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Clandestine Interviews.


thus concludes his epistle :- I have some reason to imagine that I am not altogether disagreeable to your daughter ; but I assure you, honestly, that I have not as yet endeavoured to win her affections, for fear it might be repugnant to a father's will.'

In answer to a proposal for a clandestine interview, a right-thinking young lady writes :'I am altogether surprised at the proposal in your letter. Although our acquaintance has been of but short standing, I believe my conduct has never been such as to give you reason to suppose me capable of an act which, in my opinion, is equally incompatible with truth and female propriety. Another fair one, of a less scrupulous turn of mind, overcomes her conscientious objections to anything like underhand conduct, by the consideration of her aunt's ungenerous attempts to force another man upon her whom she cannot love, and boldly says in the reply to her admirer :-'I shall be walking at at o'clock, when we shall perhaps gain an opportunity of a few minutes' conversation.' Following a middle course between these two extreme cases, a third young lady merely complains of the 'precipitate character' of the

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Abandoned Engagements.

address of a total stranger ; and, ' without wishing to say anything harsh,' informs her correspondent that she has felt it to be her duty to lay his letter before her parents.

The ladies are furnished with four different forms of refusal, on the respective grounds of a pre-engagement, want of sympathy, levity of conduct, and insufficient means. Quarrels, misunderstandings, slights, and changes of feeling, are all duly provided for. A lady writes :'To speak plainly, I feel that my sentiments in regard to yourself are no longer what they were ;' while a gentleman breaks off an engagement in the following words :— My dear , With pain I utter it --I must resign all hopes of our future union. Ask me not wherefore : my answer would inflict an additional pang in the breasts of both.'

As counterparts to these painful communications, we have many other effusions of a more pleasing character. An ardent fiancée makes the following delicate announcement to her accepted suitor :-'I have received your pretty present, and will repay you for your kind remembrance of me, with a token more acceptable than money, when I see you.

Until then, my


Romantic Effusions.



dearest,' etc. etc. Another young lady writes to inform her mother of the result of her gaieties at a fashionable watering-place. It seems almost ungrateful,' she says, 'to think of loving any one but you; but oh, mamma, if you saw Henry , you would forgive me, I am sure. He is so handsome, so gentle in his manners, and yet so sensible and accomplished !' Among the gentlemen's epistles, we find an absent lover sending his portrait to his 'dearest Julia,' on her birthday, although he feels that 'its original is too deeply stamped on her heart to require any effigy to remind her of him.' Another, after referring to the painfulness of separation, thus expresses himself :-'I shall soon hope once more to bask in the sunshine of my Fanny's sweet countenance, and to feed my imagination with thoughts of the happiness which her placid and sincere disposition will hereafter shed around a home!'

The formidable objection of want of means, to which I have already incidentally referred, appears to be frequently urged by the softer sex, more especially in the humbler ranks of society. Thus, in a letter to a young farmer, the writer remarks :-Mother says that "they


· Unfavourable' Replies.


who ride fast never ride long;"' while a female servant, in answer to a proposal of immediate marriage, inculcates 'the necessity of prudence, with the view of avoiding that poverty which too often leads to misery on both sides.' The same sentiment is indicated by a better educated correspondent in a more elaborate statement, which she thus concludes :—No, my

dear we must wait for better times, and not entail misery beyond calculation upon others, as well as ourselves, by a too hasty step.'

The 'unfavourable' reply of a domestic servant to a young tradesman contains the following pithy announcement:—' And I will give you a word of advice, young man. Court your sweetheart with your tongue, and make sure of her that way, before you commit your feelings to paper. You will thereby save yourself and her a great deal of nonsense.' Another ‘Mary-Jane' indites the following pointblank refusal John,-I do not know what could have led you to believe that I had any partiality for you. Such is not the case.

. I wish you well, as I have no reason for wishing you otherwise, but I have no desire for any attentions from you of any kind.'

Loans and Subscriptions.



Besides a form suitable for a proposal from a widower to a widow, in which he touchingly refers to the fact of their both having been deprived of the partners of their earlier years, we have several specimens of replies, both negative and affirmative. One lady considers herself too far advanced in years; another is prevented by the tenderness of her attachment to the memory of her late husband; while a third ‘has no dislike

l to entering again into the marriage state.'

Of applications for loans and subscriptions, we have numerous examples. Thus :— DearI write to ask you a rather disagreeable favour. In consequence of imprudently placing my name to one of -'s bills, I find that I am likely to be involved in some expense and difficulty, if I cannot at once meet the amount. Would you, under these circumstances, accommodate me?' etc. etc. Another applicant has so great an aversion to borrowing money from professional lenders, that he prefers the course of soliciting the aid of some well-known friend !' One writer promptly says in reply :-'I enclose you the sum you require, to which you are heartily welcome ;' while it affords much pleasure to another generous individual to be able



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