Hannah Webster Foster (1759–1840). The Coquette, or The History of Eliza Wharton. 1855.
I have taken possession of my new purchase—an elegant and delightful residence. It is rendered more so by being in the vicinity of my charmer’s native abode. This circumstance will conduce much to my enjoyment, if I can succeed in my plan of separating her from Mr. Boyer. I know that my situation and mode of life are far more pleasing to her than his, and shall therefore trust to my appearance and address for a reëstablishment in her favor. I intend, if possible, to ingratiate myself with her particular friends. For this purpose I called last week at her mother’s to pay my respects to her (so I told the good woman) as an object of my particular regard, and as the parent of a young lady whom I had the honor to know and admire. She received me very civilly, thanked me for my attention, and invited me to call whenever I had opportunity; which was the very thing I wanted. I intend, likewise, to court popularity. I don’t know but I must accept, by and by, some lucrative office in the civil department; yet I cannot bear the idea of confinement to business. It appears to me quite inconsistent with the character of a gentleman; I am sure it is with that of a man of pleasure. But something I must do; for I tell you, in confidence, that I was obliged to mortgage this place because I had not wherewithal to pay for it. But I shall manage matters very well, I have no doubt, and keep up the appearance of affluence till I find some lady in a strait for a husband whose fortune will enable me to extricate myself from these embarrassments. Do come and see me, Charles; for, notwithstanding all my gayety and parade, I have some turns of the hypo, some qualms of conscience, you will call them; but I meddle not with such obsolete words. And so good by to you, says