(10th January 1788 )
I am certain I saw you, Clarinda; but you don’t look to the proper story for a Poet’s lodging-
“Where Speculation roosted near the sky”
I could almost have thrown myself over, for very vexation.-Why didn’t you look higher? It has spoilt my peace for this day.-To be so near my charming Clarinda; to miss her look when it was searching for me-I am sure the soul is capable of disease, for mine has convulsed itself into an inflamatory fever.-
I am sorry for your little boy: do, let me know tomorrow how he is.-You have converted me, .Clarinda.-(I shall love that name while I live: there is heavenly music in it.-) Booth and Amelia I know well.
Your sentiments on that subject, as they are on every subject, are just and noble.-“To be feelingly alive to kindness – and to unkindness,” is a charming female character.-
What I said in my last letter, the Powers of fuddling sociality only know for me.-By yours, I understand my good Star has been partly in my horizon, when I got wild in my reveries.- Had that evil Planet which has almost all my life shed its baleful rays on my devoted head, been, as usual, in my zenith (sic), I had certainly blab’d something that would have pointed out to you the dear Object of my tenderest friendship, and, in spite of me-something more.-Had that fatal information escaped me, and it was merely chance or kind stars that it did not; I had been undone! you would never have wrote me, except perhaps once, more!
O, I could curse circumstances! and the coarse tie of human laws which keep fast what Common Sense would loose; and which bars that happiness itself cannot giveHappiness which otherwise Love and Honor would warrant! But hold-I shall make no more “hairbreadth ‘scapes”
My friendship, Clarinda, is a life-rent business.-My Likings are both strong, and eternal.-I told you I had but one Male friend: I have but two female.-I should have a third, but she is surrounded by the blandishments of Flattery and Courtship.- Her I register in my heart’s core-by Peggy Chalmers.-Miss Nimmo can tell you how divine she is.-She is worthy of a place in the same bosom with my Clarinda.-That is the highest compliment I can pay her.-
Farewel, Clarinda! Remember