Hannah Webster Foster (1759–1840). The Coquette, or The History of Eliza Wharton. 1855.
TO MISS ELIZA WHARTON.
Can time, can distance, can absence allay or extinguish the sentiments of refined affection, the ardor of true love? No, my dear Eliza. If I may judge by my own heart, I shall say they cannot. Amidst the parade which has attended me, the interesting scenes in which I have been engaged, and the weighty cares which have occupied my attention, your idea has been the solace of my retired moments, the soother of every anxious thought. I recall with pleasure the conversation which we have shared. I dwell with rapture on the marks of favor which I have received from you. My first wish is the continuance and increase of these favors; my highest ambition, to deserve them. I look forward and anticipate with impatience the future enjoyment of your society, and hope we shall one day experience the reality of those beautiful lines of Thomson:—
“——an elegant sufficiency,Content, retirement, rural quiet, friendship,Books, ease, and alternate labor; useful life,Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven;These are the matchless joys of virtuous love.
Mr. Selby, my particular friend, will have the honor of delivering this letter. He will be able to give you any information, relative to our public transactions, which you may wish. May I solicit the favor of a line, through him, in return? It will relieve, in some measure, the tediousness of this separation. I intend to pay my respects to you personally in about a fortnight; till when I subscribe myself your sincere and affectionate friend,