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Sunday Morn. 7 O'Clock


I rose this morning as before the day began to glimmer in the east this is my
customary hour, ‸ of rising and the Incidents of thet last evening were ‸ such as scarcely suffered me to sleep
at all. My slumbers were short and continually broken by vague and confused
dreeams, of which however, the general aspect was agreable, and ‸ which have greatly
contributed to the peace and Serenity with which I begin this letter.
Your piety will not suffer you thus to employ yourself on this day, and
you have also thought it proper strictly to prohibit me from writing,
but my dearest Harriot is it less criminal to think of you than to write
to you on Sunday? and since it is impossible to exclude you from my
thought, what ever be the Sanctity of the time and or place, I know not
why I should be forbidden to converse with you. I endeavoured indeed to
fix my attention on the scenery before me, as I wandered over the fields
and to watch the progress of day in the east, standing on a verdant,
eminence within some hundred paces from Schuylkill, but the charms of ‸ nature
are less attractive than formerly. My attention is forcibly and irresistably
born away to objects that are distance and to occurrences, that have already
happened. How different are the Emotions with with I now view the rising
Sun from those ‸ with which I have formerly beheld it, and I long for the approach of
day, and the reanimation of drooping nature, for no other ‸ reason than because it
shortens the intervals of absence ofrom you, or enables me to exercise my
pen, and enjoy in some degree, sort, your company.

The house at which I reside, is distant about half a league from
Schyulkill. We are conducted thither by a road, the Skirts of which neither
art or nature has very lavishly embellished, but the sight of dewey
verdure is ever pleasing, and the fields, though for the most part, flat
and level, are ‸ at this season rendered delightful covered to the view by being covered luxuriantly with
rising corn. Is not some of the pleasure which a cultivated Landscape
affords properly to be attributed to the consideration which naturally
suggest itself of the condition or happiness of those who cultivate it.
How much is the beauty of the Scene heightened by the appearance
of beautiful Intelligent or contented countenances? Nature seems to derive
additional Charms from the manners of the Inhabitants, and the rudest
dwelling, on the forlorn bleakest and forlornest promontory, could scarcely fail

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of pleasing the Spectator when he should know that it was the residence
of beauty and simplicity. And how ‸ quickly would the greenest copse or the most
sequestered dell, lose its charms, when it should be found to contain a nest of
adders or a den of Outlaws? If any pleasure can be gathered from the prospect
of any part of this country peninsula, we must be indebted ‸ for it totaly to Nature,
for the manners of the people are to the last degree, gross and brutal. The
light neither of letters nor religion ever illumined this dusky spot, and the
Inhabitants appear to imagine that the end of their being is to carry radishes
and potatoes, or what goes to Market, under the denomination of truck to Market, and
to hoard up the produce “for a rainy day.’ Avarice is their predominant passion
on which every other principle of action is absorbed, and they are universally
sunk in ignorance and brutality. ‸ Though Their speech be distinguished by few national
peculiarities of pronunciation, and their idiom be far more truly English
than any of the provincial diallects, of G. Britain, yet it is So perfectly the
reverse of purity and elegance, that my ears are shocked and disgusted at it
It also enormously abounds with blasphemies and obscurities impurities, and almost all
their phrazes are expressive of so strange a mixture of folly and wickedness
that I am sometimes doubtful whither they excite more contempt or abhorrence

I am affraid that the face of nature is little less disgusting. I live near
the confluence of two small streems, which fall, when united fall into
Delaware, a little above its conflux with Schulkill. These streems are
enclosed within artificial banks, in order to secure the adjacent grounds from
inundation, and roll through muddy channels, which, at the falling of
the tide, afford a striking spectacle of desolation and deformity. The land which
belongs to this farm is nearly encircled by these Rivulets, and is one uni foul
uniform unsightly level. It chiefly consists of Marsh, from which the rays
of the Sun exhale the most noisome and unholesome vapours. The garden
of which the cost has been great, is tended the only place from which the eye can
derive pleasure, and in a small building, erected in one corner of it, and in which which
by placing a chair and desk in it, and furnishing it with books and paper, I
have converted into a sort of study, I am now sitting.

The nether Bank of Schylkill is steep and lofty with a sandy shore and is the
and is the only place within ten or fifteen miles of my residence, with place

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a solitary wanderer like myself can be much delighted, and here I am frequently
to be found at morning or & evening twilight, and am sometimes conducted hither
by the genius of contemplation, at the dead of night. The descent is overhung
by pines, which diffuse over the scenes a peculiar solemnity, which greatly
heightens the pleasure which one of a pensive and melancholy disposition
may derive from it.

This morning I repaired thither, before the east had exhibited any
tokens of approaching light, with Miltons Comus Licdas and Il Penseroso in
my Pocket, intending to devote the hours to those performances, and to investigate
the principles of that divine philosophy which they teach, but alas! My thoughts
continually wandered from the page before me, and the Image of my beautious
Harriot incessantly interposed between the poet and the critic, and intirely diverted
my attention from the book. You know it is my constant practice to think aloud,
and I could not but smile at the strange incoherent and unintelligible Soliloques
of which I was guilty in consequence of ‸ thus dividing my attention between two objects
and of forcing myself to repeat the poems, and to weigh the propriety, of
each line and phrase, when it was impossible to be absent from you for a moment
I at length forbore my unavailing struggles, and hastily returned determined
no longer to withstand my inclination, and, as you were personally inaccessible,
to spend the day in writing to you.

Judge with what satisfaction I perused your letter, which I unexpec
-tedly recieved at on my return. How infinitely condescending is my lovely Henriette
in bereaving herself of repose for my sake and yet how cruel are you in recounting
the circumstances in which you write, in telling me that, on retiring to your
chamber, you felt and no inclination to sleep, and therefore thought proper to
employ the wakeful hours at your pen: How shall I banish from my Imagination
the fatal Images that croud into it; which the mention of your chamber like the
wafture of a Magicians rod have called into being? How can I innocently foster
them? but, in compliance with your injunction I will exert the utmost Magnanimi
-ty of which I am capable, and though I am unable to hinder the lawless
excursions of my fancy, I will at least forbear to describe its rovings in this
letter, and to speak in a manner in the least offensive to your delicacy. I will
speak if possible on general topics, and keep the peaceful tenor which you

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How shall I amuse my lovely correspondent? How shall I agreably and usefully employ
my pen. For O pen! I warn thee that thou art doomed to labour without intermission
for ten or fifteen hours, or at least without any intervals of rest except those
in which thy master shall employ himself in sharing the wholesome and temperate
repast. Be therefore prepared to show thy Skill and perseverance, and be sure to suffer
nothing to escape thee, which is likely to offend my mistress. I know thou art willing
to perform all that is demanded of thee, but thou desirest to be told on what subjects
thou canst expatiate in order to afford her pleasure. Listen to her. She herself informs the
that thou shouldst utter in her presence, Sentiments like those which thy lord
dictates to thee, when in company with his friend. But I know thy obtinacy. Thou
refusest to comply with her requests Thou thinkest it impossible it impossible to
speak any otherwise than as the organ of love and tenderness, and art skilful only in
embellishing with thy eloquence, the ardent and or desponding conceptions of thy enthralled
and infatuated Master

It is not possible my dearest creature that you should imagine me impressed with a
a mean opinion of your understanding. I must indeed confess that before I knew you I deemed
too contemptuously of the greater part of your sex, and supposed that the actual arguments
of women are in general few and inconsiderable, and, as a general position, I see no reasoning
for relinquishing it even at present; but I never concieved that the minds of women were
naturally inferior to those of Men. I have always indeed strenuously maintained that you are
originally foremost in the scale of being, and it is easy to produce examples which shew
that you are capable of outgoing us ‸ both in vice and virtue; and then, my fairest, who is there
where there whose superiority I am less inclined to call in question? Whose maxims I should
more implicitly adopt, whatever subjects they regarded, and whose guidance, in whatever
tract, I should less scrupulously follow? I am sencible that if our intercourse were
merely literary, I should reap infinitely greater advantage from it than yourself, and
that even the Sagacity and erudition of my friend, does not so justly intitle her to become
what he is at present, my guide and teacher, than ‸ as the exquisite penetration of refined
taste, and various knowledge of my Henriette. Have I not reposed in your hands the
direction of my conduct and opinions? Am I not your vassal? Than I have given up the
priviledge of acting and thinking for myself, and, await, with all the madness of
impatience, for that period, when I shall add to those which you already possess
all the exterior Symbols of Sovereignty. When you shall see, in the person of your
— (Ah! Name of rapture! when shall I be worthy of thee?) — the same awestruck

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votary, the same prostrate adorer, that now trembles before you, taken ‸ when the sacrifice
of Masculine priviledges, [gap] hateful, arrogant, pernicious priviledges! shall claim the
merit of being voluntary and constraintless.

But do not ‸ you see the impossibility of devoting his correspondence to
indifferent topics? In writing to my Harriot shall the phantoms of Ambition be suffered
to intrude? Shall I delineate those splendid objects at which I was wont formerly to
gaze, and assume, amidst the brightest visions of accepted love, amidst the rays of
benignant beauty, amidst the ravishments of tenderness and overflowing ecstasy,
the rug stern and rugged aspect of the critic and Grammarian? Exalt myself into
a judge of Rhetorical performances, and act as Arbiter of the claims of rival orators.
No! My Harriot would justly despise and resent such unreasonable pedantry.
A lover has other avocations than to write critical disertations, and dispute about the
the merits of Tully and Hortensius.

But however acceptable my criticisms might be, to my charming Hariett
and whatever delight she might take in the correspondence of a second Atticus,
I am not accustomed to counterfeit opinions and mimic enthusiasms. My hours of
political Ambition are past. I no longer muse in the ‸ a portico of Athens, or the
grove of Academe. I no longer listen to the diallogists of Tusculum, nor frequent the
schools of Isocrates Quintilian or Dyonysius. What I formerly beheld with rapture
is now disgustful or indifferent, and I have at length acquired a relish for true
felicity, and all that I now desire is to pass a [gap] life of rural and noiseless obscurity
in the arms of love and Friendship.

My Correspondence with my friend is far from being such as you imagine
and though not less regular and copious than formerly, is dedicated to very different
purposes. You will not be at a loss to discover them; for how should it be supposed
that one in my situation can reason, with any degree of coherence or propriety, [gap]
meditate or reason on a speculative topic? I have no licencse to examine whether this
phrase be classical or that Sentiment be just, Whether the orator has well or ill-
arranged his arguments on a particular occasion, no inclination to imagine myself
his oponent, and compose an answer to his declamation. No, my dearest, Henriette
I formerly thought that ambition was the attribute of the noblest minds, that the
Science of Rhetorick was the sublimest of studies, and regarded perfection in eloquence
as the pinacle of human glory and felicity, but my creed is now intirely changed
The sacred influence of two bright eyes has softened my heart and illumined my understanding
and taught me to estimate the perishable praise of men, at its real value, and to court

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the shade of philosophical retirements, domestic peace and nuptial transports, with as much
Ardour as I formerly aspired to to the splendid reward of forensi Judicial and deliberative

Of the utility of that eloquence which is exhibited in conversation, I have always been
convinced, and ‸ I shall not scruple to expatiate, even in my letters to you, on that interesting
and important Subject, because as a woman, you may reasonable aspire to the knowledge
and attainment of it; because it is not less momentous with regard to you than to myself
and because the discussion, of it, so far from excluding your image from ‸ my mind, and diverting
my attention to other objection, will furnish additional motives for contemplating it. Since
all my rules must be drawn from you and all my precepts be illustrated by your example
for, of that Eloquence, where shall I search for a more perfect model than yourself! O
my better angel, to what unlimited gratitude are you intitled! How numberless are my
obligations to you? By acquiring and displaying so many excellences, you have raised me
above myself. In contemplating perfection do we not not ourselves become more perfect
Do we not acquire some resemblance to the deity, by constantly meditating on his
Attributes? To gaze at your image by which I am constantly attended, is my sole employ=
=ment, and from continually gazing at purity and excellence, I necessarily derive Advantages
I become, in some degree, akin to yourself. I feel a gradual elevation of Sentiments, and am
actuated by a boundless desire of rising to the same extraordinary pitch of mental and
moral excellence. How potent and how beneficial is the influence of true love. It chastens
the most wanton Imagination, it converts arrogance into humility, and softens the
rudest and most boisterous demeanour into affability and gentleness; it teaches us
diffidence of our own powers, and deference to the opinions of others, and produces a
general Conformity, in thoughts and actions, to the beloved object. These are the effects
of this sublime and exalted passions, and of which I do not scruple to quote my own
behaviour as an example? what changes has it produced in the appearance and deportment
of the awkward rustic, whose speech might have been quoted as a model of uncouthness
and inelegance, who could talk only on paper; whose pen only was audible, and
the streem of whose turbid and muddy elocution, only served to perplex or baffle
Curiosity, and to hide from the view of the Understanding those ideas which it was
employed to render visible and obvious. I now involuntarily and mechanically
imitate, as far as natural defects will suffer me, the captivating grace and
musical distinctness of your Utterance, and the splendid simplicity and unstudied
elegances of your style. Since my connection with you I begin to entertain a better
opinion of my own Abilities, and know not, but that, in time, my Harriot may
discover in me some resemblance to herself, and may deem me worthy of the Panageric
which my vanity has already pronounced.

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When religious rites shall have completed our union, and fortune shall ‸ have conducted us
to some romantic and peaceful assylum, decorated with the beauty and magnificence of
nature, shall I not search out some sacred and sequestered spot "embosomed high in
tufted trees? Shall I not call the from her attic shrines, the genius of Architecture,
to erect and dedicate a temple to the Deity of love? O thou precious fane faculty!
Creative and propitious power of poetical Imagination! At thy command an
eden opens in the wilderness. How ravishing and picturesque is the landscape
which is momentaneously depicted by thy pencil! Ye Rushing torrents and gigantic
Mountains! Whose sides, verdant with luxuriant shrubbs, or gloomy with impentrable
forrests are contrasted with your summits naked bleak and inaccessible, columns of
ice on rocky pyramids. ‸ Ye Springs bursting from the mossy stone, and hiding, in
the depth of ‸ echoing caverns your collected streems. Ye Vales whose fertilizing streems and
Shadowy recesses, where Silence, with footsteps noiseless and inaudible, is wont
to stray.. are nighty witnesses of heavenly conferences, and are thronged with spirrits
vassals of the poets invocation on the word of Magic. Ye Images of rural Magnificence
and tranquility, how rapidly do you glide before me, and tantalize with the
prospect of felicity which I never shall enjoy. Lo! the mansion of peace the dome of
elegance and hospitality. The residence of love and beauty! Rising in the midst
of the wild, decorating the bosom of a swelling dale, that terminate on the
low and flowery margin of a winding and transpar [gap] ent streem of which the
opposite bank, ascends, in steep and rugged magnificence, into the clouds. That Mansion
O my Harriot have my hopes selected for our future residence, and I will not
cease to believe the accomplishment of those hopes at least within the verge of possibility

The Scenes by which I am encompassed are in general so little suited to
afford me pleasure, that the embellishments of fancy are absolutely necessary to make
them be viewed by ‸ with patience, and of these embellishment, I am therefore by no
no means inspiring, and it would not be easy for an indifferent to concieve
in how many additional char and adventitious charms, the most gloomy and insipid
prospects are arrayed when they present themselves to my eye.

But the Sun has traversed ‸ performed one third of his diurnal Journey,
and the Morning meal awaits my participation. How then must I finish this
Epistle, but, as soon as my repast is taken, I will return and resume my pen.

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