Hannah Webster Foster (1759–1840). The Coquette, or The History of Eliza Wharton. 1855.

Letter LIII


Gracious Heaven! What have I heard? Major Sanford is married! Yes; the ungrateful, the deceitful wretch is married. He has forsworn, he has perjured and given himself to another. That, you will say, is nothing strange. It is characteristic of the man. It may be so; but I could not be convinced of his perfidy till now.

Perhaps it is all for the best. Perhaps, had he remained unconnected, he might still have deceived me; but now I defy his arts.

They tell me he has married a woman of fortune. I suppose he thinks, as I once did, that wealth can insure happiness. I wish he may enjoy it.

This event would not affect me at all were it not for the depression of spirits which I feel in consequence of a previous disappointment; since which every thing of the kind agitates and overcomes me. I will not see him. If I do, I shall betray my weakness, and flatter his vanity, as he will doubtless think he has the power of mortifying me by his connection with another.

Before this news discomposed me, I had attained to a good degree of cheerfulness. Your kind letter, seconded by Julia’s exertions, had assisted me in regulating my sensibility. I have been frequently into company, and find my relish for it gradually returning.

I intend to accept the pleasure, to which you invite me, of spending a little time with you this winter. Julia and I will come together. Varying the scene may contribute effectually to dissipate the gloom of my imagination. I would fly to almost any resort rather than my own mind. What a dreadful thing it is to be afraid of one’s own reflections, which ought to be a constant source of enjoyment! But I will not moralize. I am sufficiently melancholy without any additional cause to increase it.