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"My own Syl,
"Take (in the language of prescribers) a walk. The sun is commonly called at this season of the year, the old man's cordial; but though younger ones may not directly stand in need of it, I would order them a sufficient quantity, to be repeated as occasion requires, in any vehicle. The ten-toe equipage is no bad one, because we can drive ourselves, and the pair is entirely under command.
Our Author's " Ten-toe Equipage and Pair," is a pleasing specimen of a Fancy, under command on every occasion.
"I am driving mine to a baiting place, where there is good entertainment for travellers. Otherwise they would carry me as naturally to your house, as those belonging to the other physical gentry drawl them to Batson's or George's, when they have nothing else to do."
On the Use of Time.
"Friday Morning, 8 o'clock, Nov. 11, 1763.
"My dear, dear Sylvia,
"It is as ridiculons to cry....how time wears away....as to observe....how hot it is in June, or how cold in December:....facts, that must continually occur to our reflection. Yet there is an use in it, if it reminds one to stir the fire, or set open a window: so likewise the consideration of the decay of time may put us in mind of the occasion there is not to lose it, at least as little as we can. People differ in sentiment vastly, about the method of making the most of one's time :
but it may, in my opinion, be comprised in one general rule.....Let your mind be inactive as few moments as possible.....Activity of mind is life:....While we sleep, we do not know that we exist; at least, upon waking we do not recollect that we were sensible of it. How many people (I may say) walk in their sleep through life! From their eyes being open, one pronounces them to be awake; but they are dead asleep with respect to mind. Many others doze on in a kind of lethargy of reason, without passions to rouze them. Some few perhaps require the opiate of insensibility to give them a little rest from the continual labour of reflecting....but indeed these are few. (This side of my paper drawing near to a conclusion,. and I am scarce awake enough to think cn,) I shail conclude with the old sentimental toast...." May we live all the days of our lives!....My dear Syl,....we will say,....Together."
The following Effucions convey their own comment; and are honourable to the mind from whence they sprung.
"My dear Sylvia,
"Notwithstanding the charms that this little earthly Paradise affords, there is one thing wanting to complete it. I don't know how it is, but I may say with Hamlet, "Man delights not me"....nor the bottle neither. I retire into myself in the midst of company, and my eye roves about unsatisfied with the most beautiful objects of nature, because there is ever present before me one particular object (that I most admire) in my mind's eye, Horatio. There's your true lovier's rhapsody! Is it not in the true, rapturous, tender, melting, soft novel stile? Now to plain truth....Indeed, my dear, I long to see you, and
shall therefore hasten up to town, and hope to eat your cold beef on Sunday evening. Think of me in your Litany that day, when you come to all those that travel by sea or land,....indeed I have travelled hitherto by water and land, as we have had such dismal wet weather."
"My dear, dear Syl,
"Did not it seem odd to you that I should call at your house last night at so unseasonable an hour? Indeed, my dear, I did not intend knocking at the door, for I imagined you would be all in bed ;....but seeing a light in the kitchen, I could not resist the impulse I felt, though I had not the least intention to disturb the family. As I had not seen thee, my dearest, all the day long, I could not walk quietly to my own home without turning to Petty France, that I might have the satisfaction of saying to myself, while I looked at your house,...." There she is." I, who in your parlour, have, I know not what, ridiculous apprehensions about being knocked down, &c. had then no thought of danger, as my mind was wholly taken up with one favourite dear idea, which it pleases me to cherish and dwell upon for ever, in all places and in all companies. Syl, Syl, thou hast engrossed my whole attention !...." Thou hast put poison in my drink," as Falstaff says, (6 to make me doat upon
"When I waked this morning, you cannot conceive how delighted I was with the cloudiness of the sky; and I am at this present writing very angry at the officiousness of the wind, that keeps off the rain, and the impertinence of the sun, that seems to promise us a fair day. I could wish it to rain cats and
dogs, nay, I could almost wish my dear Sylvia was ill again, rather than she should go out of town....Is there any thing so selfish as love? though at first sight it might seem to be most disinterested. I know it will contribute to the restoring my Syl's health, her going....yet I grudge her that advantage, because it debars me of the satisfaction which I have in her company.
"However, my dear Syl, though you will not be with me personally, I shall have you with me in idea. The time of your absence I shall dedicate to you, in employing it upon matters preparatory to our being one. O matrimony! thou pleasing dreadful thought! Yet, my dear Sylvia, I am confident that we shall be very, very, happy. There is a sweet complacency in your disposition; you have good sense, you have had a sensible education, and (above all) you have an honest, frank, open, well-meaning heart. To this last particular I am vain enough to put in my pretensions likewise and if we both mean well, depend upon it, my dear soul, with the blessing of Providence, our happiness will be mutual."
"The surgeon has just left me, and I am convinced from all circumstances, that every thing is absolutely in a fair way. My dear, I would not pay your understanding so ill a compliment, as to think it necessary to disguise or conceal matters from you.... Though you have tenderness to feel, you have reflection to support you, at the same time that your humanity is shocked. But at the present, my Syl, let mé assure you, that there is not the least reason for indulging any ugly apprehensions about me.
"I cannot but look upon this little intervention, which has broke in upon our happiness and damped it for a while, as a preparatory in some sort for what may happen to either of us hereafter. The mind, which is indued with sensibility, is ever open to pity; and pity works strongest, where it is heightened and enforced by affection. Shall I repeat a truth, which I dare say I have whispered more than once in your ear? I could hardly be certain that I loved you with that rivetted affection, which I have since felt, till your late illness. O my Syl! the situation you was then in, filled my heart with thoughts about you only, and would not allow room for any hesitation or doubt of the sincerity of my regard. You will smile perhaps to hear me say, that I then wished and longed to live happy with you when I had reason to fear you was at death's door. There is another thing, Sylvia, which weighed with me more than any thing, and fixed me your's without any more scruples. I discerned in you a sympathy, as I thought, and I am happy that the consequence has shewn that I was not mistaken........ Love is commonly said to be blind; but I rather think it is very sharp-sighted in general, as it can even see into the heart of another, and discover it's most secret workings. It's sight is, indeed, sometimes jaundiced, as it were, and the object is represented as tinctured with an hue, which in reality it has not.
"The best way to judge of the feelings of another is to examine and try them by our own in the same situation. This criterion can never fail, where the heart is honest and free from dissimulation. I need therefore only consult my own bosom to know what passed in your's on account of my accident. I want no other light to enable me to see into it's inmost recesses, no other clue to guide me through it's most intricate windings. I would not wish you, my dear Syl, to have a window in your breast; it is sufficient I descend into myself, in order to discover what is in