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on my bended knees, feveral times, to confider what I had faid, and not kill me with cruel denials. She told me, that though fhe was fenfible of my merit, and efteemed my judgment and piety, and loved me next to her dear deceafed friend, whofe remembrance could never be erafed from her mind; yet fhe could not bring her heart to acquiefce in my propofals. .“ No, Sir,” The continued, "it is not in my power. The image of the dear youth is fo ftrongly impreffed on my mind, that it can never be effaced. I can *not beftow that love on you which was lavished on him. I wish to forget him, but I cannot. I am fenfible, Sir, you love me, and wish I could give you a return of affection: but it is not in my power; I am dead to the feelings of love to any man, now fince the dear youth, whom I doted on, is no more. O Sir, endeavour to forget me, and cherish not an unavailing paffion. I with you happy in the poffeffion of a virtuousand amiable lady; but I don't think I will ever þé your wife, or that of any other man." I used all the moft moving entreaties and expoftulations I could think of, to conquer the averfion and frigidity of this amiable lady, whom I viewed as the fair queen of love, and with whofe beauty and excellent accomplishments I was deeply fmitten; but the proved relentless, and deaf to all I could fay. I therefore determined to leave this family, and return to my own house, wishing I had never feen the lovely charmer, as I could with no fatiffaction abide in a place where the fole object of my affection would not give me even a diftant hint of encouragement. Iintimated to Mr Ts and his lady on Saturday my intention of returning home on Monday morning; at which they were exceffively grieved, and ufed every argument to diffuade me, faying, they were happy
in my company and converfation, and would be quite unhappy without me. They imputed my fudden departure to the coldness of Mifs Cm, and threatened to chide her; which I earnestly begged them not to do. They then defired it as a very fingular favour if I would promise to return in three weeks, and honour them with my company at Mifs T-s's marriage; expreffing their hopes, that that event might poffibly be a means of altering the mind of their dear, but stubborn niece. I answered, that I would confider of the kind invitation, and return them an answer in due time.
I took my leave of this worthy family on Monday after breakfaft, which was very affecting, every one as well as myself fhedding many tears. Mifs Cm was fenfibly grieved at my abrupt departure, and told me fhe was forry at my hafty refolution, for which fhe blamed herself, and affured me the should endeavour to think of what I had faid. I reached my own house in the evening, being greatly fatigued, and grieved at my unfuccefsful journey. I dedicated the moft part of my time to reading, meditation, and prayer, befides taking a ride or walk every day, except on the day of facred reft. That week all my baggage from arrived; as did that of Mr Ts, at his father's houfe; who immediately gave me notice of it, and defired leave to send the books, agreeably to his fon's will. But I absolutely refused to receive them, saying, I was obliged to the deceased and to him, but I had enough of my own. I then fent him all the bundles of letters which I found in his fon's cabinet, except those written by the deceased, most of which I had burnt before I left keeping nothing but the effays. My refufal was taken in very ill
part by the worthy gentleman; but I would not yield to his moft preffing folicitations.
The week before Mifs Ts's marriage, Mr Ts fent me a very preffing letter, earnestly defiring, if I was not quite alienated from his family, of which the coldness of his niece and my refufal of the books were but too plain evidences, as he alleged, I would come once more, and honour his daughter's nuptials, declaring that Mifs Cm heartily concurred in the invitation. I wrote him an anfwer, very fhortly, that I would come. I went accordingly to his houfe the day before that folemnity, and was joyfully received by the whole family, not excepting Mifs Cm; who did not look near fo well as when I saw her before. I had a long converfation with her that evening; in which, I reprefented the real injury fhe was doing to herfelf, by ruining her health, and offending her Maker, by an immoderate and finful grief for the act of God in removing a young gentleman from a finful and vain world, to a ftate of complete felicity; that he could not now be the object of human love, and could feel none of the paffions of poor mortals; that reafon and feripture loudly called on her to Calter her fentiments and behaviour, and not deliberately fhorten a life, which might be employed in a way tending to the glory of God, and the benefit of her fellow-creatures. Iobtefted her to act rationally, and confider what fhe was doing; for if the continued obftinate in this extravagant courfe of vain grief, fhe would repent it when it was too late. She made me a very polite reply, but declared fhe could not forget the dear youth now deceased, and could not be reconciled to the thoughts of admitting another lover. This cold reserve determined me to make my ftay here very fhort. Accordingly next day I witneffed the nup
tials of the amiable couple, which were conducted with great decency and regularity, but with innocent mirth and feftivity. And the day following, notwithstanding the most importunate folicitations to honour them with my company for fome time longer, I fet out on my return home. I carried on an epiftolary correfpondence with both Mr Ts and his fon, much to my fatisfaction. I also wrote feveral letters to Miss C—m, ufing every argument reafon or fcripture could fuggeft, to induce her to abandon her immoderate grief, and admit me to a fhare of her affections; defiring her every day to read the latter part of Mr Ts's letter to her, and feriously afk her own heart, how she could anfwer to God for destroying, with her own hands, the life which the great God had given her? Though she had now loft the company of Mifs Ts, who had gone to with her husband, and had no companion but Mifs Jeffy, who was indeed a very fenfible girl, yet the continued obftinate. Though the wrote me very polite anfwers to my feveral letters, yet fhe I gave me no hint of encouragement whatever. At laft I wrote her a letter, in which I told her, that fince the obftinately refufed my honourable and affectionate propofals, I should give her no further trouble, nor ever again court one of her fex. This letter I fent unfealed under cover to Mr Ts, that he might fee it, and prefent it to her. He wrote me, he was exceedingly vexed at the unaccountable conduct of his niece, and at my precipitant resolution, as he defired nothing more earnestly than to have me joined in affinity with his family.
I ftaid at home for nine months after this, without vifiting Mr Ts's family, and feldom went abroad, except to fee Mr M, who had
taken his degree of Doctor in Medicine, and fettled at , about forty miles from me, and practifed with great reputation and fuccefs. He married a very amiable lady, and I witneffed his nuptials. He continued to have the fame favoury impreffions of religion, and we took great pleasure in one another's company. I visited him at least four times every year. Juft nine months after the date of my laft letter to Mifs C-m, The wrote me, acquainting me, that her exceffive grief for the death of her dear lover had thrown her into a confumption; that she was now brought very low, and had, in appearance, but a few days to live; that he was fenfible of her error now when it was too late, earneftly defiring the Lord might forgive her; that fhe begged pardon for her coldness, and indifferency to me, whom fhe now faw it was her duty, and would have been her intereft to encourage; and concluded with entreating, that if I had the smallest spark of affection remaining in me to her, that I would vifit her before fhe died. Though I knew that a vifit from me would be to little purpose, and would only serve to augment my grief, I yet refolved to vifit the lovely, unfortunate lady. I found her indeed very ill, worn to a skeleton, but fenfible, and exercifed to religion. She received me in the most affectionate manner, expreffing her deep forrow for her harsh and ungenerous treatment of me, faying, if the were to live, fhe would receive my propofals with open arms; but that now death, alas! would foon bring her to her long home, and fhe muft bid an eternal farewell to all human connections and' earthly objects. She earnestly begged I would' forgive her the injury fhe had done me, blaming her own folly in the moft moving terms. I told her, that from the bottom of my heart I for