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Saturday Aft. 3. OClock
Saturday Aft. 3 OClock

Ye powers! Whither has my lawless Imagination transported me? O shameful
and pernicious letter! How suddenly did the sight of thee awaken the most furious passions!
Incomparable Woman! why art thou so fatally exalted? Are you not affected by the
picture which your fancy draws? What a base and despicable wretch am I! What name
of ignominy, is unworthy of me? Why am I not fearfull of approaching you? Does not my
presence stain the purity and cloud the radiance of your beauty? Banish me forever from
your presence from your presence, if you wish to preserve your angelic innocence unsmirched
by profane, by sacrilegious hands.. Religion hides herself from me. Virtue is an empty and
inefficacious name. I am driven by an irresistible impulse to the verge of the precipice. I throw
myself ‸ headlong without without remorse or reluctance. I perish forever and thou, O best of women!
art involved in my destruction.

Into what fatal reveries did your letter plunge my imagination! A momentary
phrenzy, deadened my Intellects, and beguiled my Senses. Yes. You opened shut me in your closet. With
what impatience did I listen to hear your return! How was I tortured by your delay.
But I hear a step tripping, ‸ lightly as an Angel. I hear your voice ‸ humming some melodious air. Token of
Serenity, ‸ and then The chamber door is opened. You enter. Your closet is unlocked, and you suddenly
burst upon my Sight in a blaze of Charms. Far more beautiful in the careless and
voluptuous elegances of a Night dress, than in the studied decencys, the splendid Neatness
of the ‸ noon or evening garb. How does the lawn flow in wanton luxuriance about you!
How dazzlingly white; How exquisitely fine its texture! How suitably adapted to the purposes
of love! to shroud without obscuring your resplendent beauties, to shade without concealing
that exstatic bosom. Could my eyes be otherwise than intoxicated with the Sight. The dusk
which the light excluding shutters diffused throughout the chamber. The chairs in ‸ each of which
I thought I saw the forms of sedentary ease and Amorous pleasure. The Couch, from which
you had just arisen, on which my Harriot had slumbered, and of which the folds were
still ruffled and unsmoothed. On which the Night had beheld your Angelic form
supinely displayed, conscious that no human eye beheld, enjoying the Security of
Secrecy and loneliness, and careless of concealment or disguise. What effect, O my Harriet!
must all these circumstances have unavoidably produced on a rambling and unsanctified
Imagination like mine? Was it possible for my glances to have been less passionate and
eager? You turned from me in confusion. You endeavoured to cover your flutter and apprehen
sive bosom with your hand, and adjusted your bewitching dress with becoming ‸ haste and trepidation
as if you thought it were too negligence, but amidst those unavailing precautions you
found yourself suddenly encircled by my arms and almost stiffled by my kisses. Your

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Your blushes but heightened the disorder of my Senses, And your struggle only augmented my
impetuosity. And—O heavenly creature! when so little was wanting to compleat my
phrenzy, and render me the most happy and most miserable of mankind. a word a look
from you, extinguished my ardour and, ‸ in a moment & dissolved me in tears of shame ‸ and regret. With eyes that pitied
and upbraided me at the same time, you cryed out, in a firm and commanding tone:
"My friend ! forbear." It was impossible not to obey you. I instantly unloosed you from
my arms, and falling on my knee, bathed your hand with my tears, of Sorrow and
remorse and supplicated your forgiveness

See my fair the triumph of virtue over the most imperious and despotic
passions, and the the consequences of your letter. Why will you write thus seductively
Alas! the slightest spark will set my combustable imagination on flame,
and leave me no longer master of myself. . . Why cannot emulate your purity, your
perfection? My wishes are fruitless. My resolutions ineffectual. It is in vain that I
endeavour to become worthy of my Harriet, and to tread in her shining footsteps.
O commiserate my weakness. Believe my Intentions to be virtuous, and that I shall
never forfeit the confidence which you repose in me. These paroxisms of disbelief
are ‸ transitory temporary. The affect me only in your absence; and at moments when my
vigilance and circumspection are by sudden and unforeseen Accidents diverted from
the proper object.

But O, ‸ rash, Indiscrete beauty! to show me your chamber and your closet was
not sufficient. To reveal yourself to my Sight, arrayed in all the alluring negligences
of the Morning. You have made me witness of a still more ravishing spectacle,
and absolutely robbed of my fortitude. What inauspicous power presided over your
pencil, and induced you to describe, with such pernicious ‸ exactness, the Curtain drawn
aside at Midnight, the Chamber illl yet illumined with the rays of the
sinking moon, the beauteous sleeper awakening from a vision, in which her
active imagination was filled with the idea of her friend, and rising from her
Couth. The receptacle of beauty, the assylum of love, her delicate arms and luxuriant
bosom defenceless and uncovered, her dishevelled locks flowing with voluptuous profusion
over her snowy shoulders, and leaning over the Side to view the gleaming west,
and marks the progress of the peaceful hours. Where was I, her friend, her spouse,
her faithful votary, her passionate adorer, at the happy moment. Where ought I
to have been. Whither should the star of Morning, the bridal planet of have conducted me.
But where am I now? Are not all the enchantments of the Scene and hour
present? Are not all the images of night and solitude, of yielding beauty, of melting
love, of meeting bosoms and unutterable ecstasy, before me? Do I not see the sensuous

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pillow and participated coutch!—Benignant Angel forgive me. I do not recollect
with more ‸ less horror than yourself, these lawless Imaginations. I strive in vain to subdue them,
to recall my wandering thoughts, and pin them on a less seducing image. To
view you in the decencies of dress. I make continued efforts to escape from this delirium,
but the current of ideas is with difficulty checked, and directed into another channel.
I am still pursued by these fatal and delightful phantoms. I still riot unrestrained in
in this delicious banquet of the Senses, and am plunging deeper into guilt, in proportion
as I endeavour to disengage myself. But is it criminal to think of my charmer thus?
Will an awfull Ceremony sanctify these thoughts, and give me a religious claim
to slumber on your bosom, and to taste unspeakable felicity in your arms. When it will
cease to be criminal to avow, & ‸ when it will be laudable [gap] to gratify my ardent boundless & impetuous wishes. Will that desirable period
ever arrive? How distant is it from the passing hour? Is it not in her own choice to hasten
its arrival, or defer it? Why then is the gratification of those eager and tormenting
wishes postponed?

I am convinced, thoroughly convinced, by your reasoning. I know that
our union is impossible, but and that, if it were possible to take place, it would be an
instance of the most inexcusable impudence and temerity, that ages of repentance
would be bought by moments of pleasure, and yet my why, my Angel, should
you wonder if I sometimes murmur at the hard decree which makes me miserable
If I sometimes, in an agony of impatience, venture to doubt whether any success or
disaster which might arise from our immediate union, can could equall the pangs
which are produced by postponing it, and how is it possible for me to feel very
forcibly that conviction, which your persuasive eloquence, ‸ has expressed when I reflect, that this
very evening, your chamber might be mine. That supreme felicity is within
my grasp, that it is placed beyond my reach ‸ only by cold motives of dubious discretion
for, on second thoughts, I cannot esteem th our union impossible, for what is required
but that a Minister should recite a few words from his own ecclesiastical formulary
in our presence and with our concurrences. Your apartment would serve instead of
a more sacred place. Witnesses if necessary could be easily procured, and then—let
me think upon the rapturous result. No. The illusion is vanished. The end of my being
is to contribute to your happiness. I will never ‸ be that Selfish and contracted wretch that
gratifies his wishes at the expence of your felicity. Do with me what you please.
It is sufficient that in acting thus or thus I conform to the desires of my Harriet.
What! is it possible to disunite us? Is not my existance annihilated or rather absorbed
in yours. Can I harbour sentiments different from yours? Your wish is mine, your

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happiness is mine; In enjoy nothing distinct from you, and I exist for you only.
Alas! How am I I agitated by opposite and irreconcilable emotions? My reason is
a fluctuating sea, on which my shattered vessel is in continual danger of
foundering. It is the sport of a thousand hostile and variable winds, and nither
shore nor bottom are discoverable. At one moment the Storm is hushed. The waves
are calm. I begin to collect my thoughts, reflect upon my situation, and beg
prepare to regulate my course at leisure, but, on a sudden, my bark is overtaken
by another tempest, the ocean is again in tumult, the motions of the helm are
no longer obeyed, and terror and dismay beset me

It is only when listening to the melodious precepts of wisdom that flow from
your lips. It is only in your presence that I am happy, and serene. You have deprived
me of my reason, but I feel a temporary restoration of it in your presence. Your
eyes, are far more powerful preceptors than your letters. The pressure of your hand
produces a greater and more instantaneous effect than a thousand disertations. Sweet
Excellence! Thou indeed hast reason to be fearless and cautious in the presence in the
arms of thy lover: For it is only in your absence that my thoughts will not be controuled
Your presence— how can I describe its influence? It produces an entire revolution in my
feelings. It is not the sight, of you merely that can gratify the ardent wishes which I
form in solitude, and yet as soon as I behold you, where have my desires flown?
They cease any longer to torment me. I experience all the felicity which I had previously
imagined, could be derived only from the gratification of these wishes. And I am
certain that were I to find you other than you now are; I should turn from you
with horror and disgust. All your charms would fade as your purity and delicacy
vanished. O Virtue! Am I not actuated by a double evil? By two principles,
nether of which is more powerful than the other! I am miserable without possessing
her whom I adore, and yet to possess her would be misery! How is this strife of passion
to be appeased, Not by giving conferring superiority to ‸ on one but by reconciling them
By giving me the sacred Name of Husband: by superadding the Nuptial ties to
those of Love.

O Virtue! Chastity! Æthereal power! Effluence of deity! Incomprehensible
Attribute! ‸ Sum & Source ‸ of excellence! of beauty! Muse of Love! How shall I describe thy influence? With
what rites will thou be worship? Where art thou visible? In the person of my beauteous Har?
In adorning her bosom does she not decorate thy shrine? Is not the lustre of her eyes
attempered by thee? And is not the empire of her charms the result of thy energy?
Yes, Angelic woman! My love is without limits, & above controul, but by what inevitable

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inconceivable charm my passion was excited, it would be fruitless to inquire. But have
I not found thee without a blemish. Is not thy purity immaculate? And with what
rage and detestation should I view thee, were I conscious that thy purity were lost
That the spottedHow would thy charms be blasted, by the spotted and malignant fever of licentiousness
What unbearable disorder would seize my Intellect ! What opiate but death could
lull my despair?


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