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Frid. Ap. 10.

I believe I am an arrant simpleton; easily deceived; one whom
simplicity & love have made credulous. For here’s a girl writes with
a pen of dignity & eloquence; utters strains of noble & sublime
thought; & calls it nonsense; talks of her shame on shewing it to
another.—Now surely all this is jest or affectation. ‘Tis impossible
that one capable of writing thus, should not see her own merits
Yet I believed the charming dissembler!

Yet if, after all, you really judge thus hardly & unjustly of
your own composition, I can only say—thou’rt a strange Girl,
Eliza. An example of a most whimsical & paradoxical alliance
between the power to perform excellently & the incapacity to
judge rightly of your own performances.

Most true it is that you came from the hands of your crea=
-tor, impregnated with the seeds of all excellences. How many of
these have already taken root, & sprung up into luxuriant
& unfading honours; & what a prosperous growth may not be
expected for the rest, fostered by a genial temperature & aided
by the culture of a skilful hand.

I sat down to tell you how much I admired your paper
Having read it, I withdrew my eyes to ask myself if the hand
that traced these characters were really the hand which had
so lately been between mine; if the creature whose mind
admitted such enabling sentiments, were, indeed, the same
who loved me. If fate had, not deceived, by a rapturous dream,
my fond heart; my too procreant imagination.

Write on; write thus, forever, my Angel: Unless, indeed, Idola
=try, be really a crime, & unless you disdain to be the object
of my worship ~ I am hastening to that guilt, or rather I
have arrived at it already.

What a rich store did last evening afford my memory?
These are paradisiacal moments, which, present, absorb me in
heavenly light, but which, when they are past, do not cease


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to illuminate my soul. A sweet gleam will remain to chear
the remotest & dreariest futurity.

Be thus nobly frank; thus gracefully tender; thus exquisitely
lovely, whenever we meet. Dream not that by lifting the viel from
your heart; by obeying its affectionate dictates, you endanger
your own dignity. In my eyes that dignity is only the more
exalted, & the flame within my bosom is only more intensely
glowing, by such gestures; such looks; such words, as indicate
confidence in me.

Let your pen thus faithfully depict your character; your
sentiments. Let the grateful consciousness be ever present while
you write, that by every lineament it pourtrays, you are only
laying new claim to the homage of the most impassioned &
devoted of men.

And did such a delicious image occur to you— “Our home; our
fire side.” What a strange feeling was awakened! Mixed of
vehement longing; keen regret; inebriating rapture. The well regulated
mind ought not to be impatient. The pleasure of our interviews
tho occurring in the open air; that air most frequently bleak,
& gloomy; exposed to the vagrant view of passengers, is so ex=
quisite & so far surpassing former visions of happiness, that
I have not time to reflect, & derive impatience & repining from
reflecting, on the superior charms of stillness, seclusion &
warmth:

To have my tenderness for you requited, is so trans=
=porting a recompense, that unfrequent & witnessed interviews
& the indefinite distance of that day that will make you
my companion forever, seldom usurps my mind, & causes regret.

But again this bewitching theme! I can write only
of one subject. I greatly fear it is tiresome to you.
You have commanded me to be very wise & didactic.
To read you, every day, a sober lecture. I wonder when
I shall have the mind & the leisure to begin my lessons?


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I am uneasy for you. I want to know how you are.
Will that excuse me for calling to see you in the evening?
I hoped to have had, last night, a few minutes, with you but
saw that I could not expect it. I was obliged to call, for my
sister, at an house where she visited.

Since interviews that allow of no constraint, are so rare—that
I wish to Heaven you could prevail upon yourself to scribble
a few lines—once a day—with pen—or pencil. Let it be with
pencil, if most convenient. What a pure satisfaction would
those memorials of my Love afford me? Especially when she
herself is far distant.

Are you very kind. Do you study to give pleasure to those
you love? You do; but I wish I could come in for a share of
the benefits. That you would allow me to prescribe the means.
One of my injunctions should be, to put down, a few lines
dayly for my use. Not discouraging: indicative of confi=
=dence in me, of course.

O! I have not thanked you for your comments on my
poem. How delightful were they, my friend. They answered
my fondest; vainest hopes. Indeed, they far surpassed
my hopes. I bless myself for recollecting this poem, & getting
it transcribed for you. Shall I do the same by some others
that are in my possession? I want, methinks, to put all
my former, as well as present self into my Eliza’s hands.

I called yesterday on Mrs. Higginson. Miss Templeton,
the Millars, had their portraits slightly touched by her hand.
Some short allusions to the history & present situation of
S. H. Smith & his Margarette; The Powers of Genius & the
Farmer’s boy; all supplied us with transient topics.

I was disengaged, at nine, & found no small difficulty
in turning my steps away from you. I despaired of seeing
you alone, & was not a little mortified at this disappoint
=ment of hopes that I had cherished through the day.
—I thought I’d take the opportunity & call on Mrs. H. I
staid with her an hour.



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You must make haste & dismiss your indisposition. I hope
it will shortly disappear. Moonlight has commenced its
reign once more, & summons, from their fire=side, Lorenzo
& his Jessica. But you must be more careful than you
have been. The inconveniencies, to which our love of each
other’s company has subjected us, are no topics of serious com=
=plaint. Curious subterfuges & expedients are lovers obliged to
resort to. They are subjects of amusement on recollection, &
will form the sweet discourse of many ‸a winter evening to thee
& me hereafter, when our fates are one.

Ah! Does your heart leap at such a thought, my friend. That
is the criterion of your sentiments. If your feelings are un=
moved, then—you do not love as I love.

All this while I don't know how you are, & am uneasy on
your account.


I asked about your opinions respecting the Rape of
the Lock—&—Essay on Man, merely because I want to multiply
the memorials you possess, of me. I met with very elegant
editions of these poems, & the thought occurred of procuring
one for you. I am jealous of the influence of time & absence on
your heart. I seem to have, as yet, precarious hold of your
affections, & my cause would be served by multiplying round
you, objects which might remind you of him who adores you

Goldsmith you say is most your favourite. Shall I
get for you? Before I give it you, I can read it myself, &
mark the passages that please me most. I judge, fondly
perhaps, of you by myself. Such notes by your hand would
render a volume inestimable to me


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Sat. Aft.

Yesterday was tempestuous. I neither expected nor wished
you to go out on such a day; & therefore, turned not my steps, as
I would otherwise have done, towards the— “Garden.”

How fared you, my love, yesterday. I must bring you to a
strict account. To me must your confessions, dayly, be made.
Would to Heaven this were done by the pen as well as the lips.
What shall I have to do, think you, when you are gone, but
half=mournfully to read & ruminate on the letters you shall leave
me?

I would fain, now, be very wise; be very monitory; very
lessonful. I would play the tutor with you; the elder brother
with his head a mere store house for the harvest of experi=
=ence; retailing his wisdom with the authoritative air of elder=
=ship—But, Well-a-day! I am more fit to be your pupil than
Preceptor. The great art of being happy, of regulating my affections;
Of subjecting my conduct & my motives to the government of a ration
=al piety, I am more deficient in, than thou, & in that science—
worth all the rest in the circle—I must learn of thee.~

There is something inexpressibly charming in that part of your
character. Your nightly orizons; your rational; unostentatious: unobtrusive
devotion adds sanctity to your character.

Have I any influence over you? Yes. I have. What a glowing
zeal does that belief awaken in me. What a sacred duty to
employ that influence in cherishing in you the seeds of excellence

Confide in the never ending watchfulness and fervour of my
zeal to do you good. It is not vanity that says—I deserve
your confidence.~”

This air is mild and temperate. I hope to find you enjoying
it abroad. Business may interfere with my present purpose of meeting
you. If it does, I must endeavour not to murmer. Tomorrow Aft.
I hope to see you.~



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Eliza Linn.



Si sum tibi cara, sit tibi cura tui.~