( 21st January 1788 )
* * * I am a discontented ghost a perturbed spirit. Clarinda. if
ever you forget Sylvander, may you be happy, but he will be miserable.
O, what a fool I am in love!-what an extravagant prodigal of affection! Why are your sex called the tender sex, when I never have met with one who can repay me in passion? They are either not so rich in love as I am, or they are niggards where I am lavish.
O Thou, whose I am, and whose are all my ways! Thou see’st me here, the hapless wreck of tides and tempests in my own bosom: do Thou direct to thyself that ardent love, for which I have so often sought a return, in vain, from my fellow-creatures!
If Thy goodness has yet such a gift in store for me, as an equal return of affection from her who, Thou knowest, is dearer to me than life, do Thou bless and hallow our band of love and friendship; watch over us, in all our outgoings and incomings, for good; and may the tie that unites our hearts be strong and indissoluble as the thread of man’s immortal life!
I am just going to take your Blackbird, the sweetest, I am sure, that ever sung, and prune its wings a little.