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



Dear Charles: My hopes begin to revive. I am again permitted to associate with my Eliza—invited to the same entertainment. She does not refuse to join with me in the mazy dance, and partake the scenes of festive mirth. Nay, more; she allows me to press her hand to my lips, and listens to the sighing accents of love. Love her I certainly do. Would to Heaven I could marry her! Would to Heaven I had preserved my fortune, or she had one to supply its place! I am distracted at the idea of losing her forever. I am sometimes tempted to solicit her hand in serious earnest; but if I should, poverty and want must be the consequence. Her disappointment in the expectation of affluence and splendor, which I believe her ruling passion, would afford a perpetual source of discontent and mutual wretchedness.

She is going to Boston with her friend, Mrs. Sumner. I must follow her. I must break the connection which is rapidly forming between her and Mr. Boyer, and enjoy her society a while longer, if no more.

I have had a little intimation from New Haven that Miss Lawrence is partial to me, and might easily be obtained, with a handsome property into the bargain. I am neither pleased with nor averse to the girl; but she has money, and that may supply the place of love, by enabling me to pursue independent pleasures. This she must expect, if she marries a man of my cast. She, doubtless, knows my character; and if she is so vain of her charms or influence as to think of reforming or confining me, she must bear the consequences.

However, I can keep my head up at present without recourse to the noose of matrimony, and shall therefore defer any particular attention to her till necessity requires it. I am, &c.,