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From a Gentleman to the Father of a Lady.
SIR, I SHALL consider it as a circumstance considerably in my favor, if you are acquainted with the name subscribed to this letter; as that will prevent the necessity of my saying that which would come with a better
from some one else. I flatter myself that will really be the case; and shall only observe—that I am of a family of some consideration, and of fortune at least sufficient to keep me above contempt. I was, a few evenings ago, at the theatre; and am just informed, that a lady, who engrossed much of my attention there, is your daughter. It is on that lady's account that I now presume to write to you; and, as I am settled in my opinion that nothing can deserve censure which is undisguised and honorable, I take the freedom to own, that though I doubt not of your daughter's being, worthy of a better offer, yet I am persuaded, that my happiness depends on the manner in which she receives this. I therefore request it as a favor of you, Sir, to inform me whether the lady be engaged or not; if she is not, I intreat that, after you have informed yourself who it is that requests the honor of being introduced to her, you will favor me with an answer. is great an enemy as possible to the nonsense commonly used on these occasions; but it would be doing myself an act of injustice to conclude without saying, that iny
mind will be little at ease till I know how this is received. I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient humble Servånt.
The Father's Answer. SIR, THE letter you have honored me with, bespeaks you to be a gentleman and a man of sense, After such a prepossession in your favor, I am sorry to inform you, that I am induced, from a variety of reasons, to decline the offer you are pleased to make of an alliance with my family, My daughter, who is very dear to me, is, I believe, already engaged; I wish it may be as worthily: though I must confess, I think it rather unaccountable, that you should suffer your affections to be so strongly engaged, on so slight a foundation, as only seeing a lady once at the theatre.
It is very probable you are more than equal, in point of fortune, to my daughter; for though she has merit (if you will suffer a father to say so) her fortune, though not inconsiderable, is far from being splendid. To give you my final answer (at least what is so thought by me at present) I have not a. thought of enquiring who it was that has thus favored us; and I could wish my daughter to forget. that such a circumstance ever happened. However, we both join to thank
for the honor you: intended us. I remain, Sir,
Your obedient Servant..
From the Lover in reply. BEFORE you receive this letter, Mr. Will have waited on you in my behalf; you will not, therefore, be much surprised to be again addressed by a person, whose former overtures you had, in a great measure, doclined. You now know, who
it is that wishes for the honor of being related to you. I sincerely assure you, that I think myself happy in being informed that the lady's fortune is inferior to my own; as that may serve to convince you, that I love her for herself alone, and not for the sake of any acquisition of wealth I might gain by the alliance. I would flatter myself, that what you said of the lady's pre-engagement, was rather an excuse to try the sincerity of my attachment, than a positive determination in favor of another; and I beg that I may have permission to wait on you this afternoon, to assure the lady, of my inviolable affection, and to declare to you with how much sincerity I am, Sir,
Your obedient Servant.
From a young Lady to her father, informing him of a Proposal of Marriage being made to her.
DęAR AND HONORED SIR, BOTH my duty and affection, oblige me to inform you, that, during my residence here, I have received several visits from a Mr. Dmm, who professes a sincere affection for me. is not disagreeable; and my aunt gives him an extraordinary character. She tells me he has been in business for himself three or four years, and has a considerable trade. She also says that she has known him from his infancy, and that he was always remarkable for the excellence of his temper. But, notwithstanding this favorable description, I can assure you (and I hope you will believe me sincere) he has not made the least impression on
It was contrary to my inclinations, that he was ever brought into my company, or suffered to profess a passion that had not your
approbation : but my aunt has considerable dealings with him, and was unwilling to disoblige him." I have, however, ventured to tell him, that, as he has neglected writing to you, I resolved to take that office on myself; and insisted on not receiv ing another visit from hin, till I had your answer. The remembrance of your indulgence and affection for me, would have made me reproach myself, for ever, had I not taken the first opportunity to inform you of this affair ; and I beg that you will let me have your advice. I am, with my humble duty to you,
Your dutiful and obedient Daughter.
The Father's Answer. DEAR THE proof, your letter gave me, of your duty, and discretion, afforded me great pleasure. The tender affection, I feel for you, will induce me to take the first opportunity, of enquiring into Mr. D.'s character; and if it answers my hopes, I shall gladly consent to an union, which affords' you a prospect of happiness. In the mean time, it will be well for you to keep on your guard. His professions may be the unmeaning flattery of a person whose only view is trifling away a leisure hour. Even if what you have heard of him be true, all the lustre of his good qualities may be tarnished by some private vices, which are so well concealed as to baffle common observation; and under the warmest protestations of sincerity, may lurk some villanous design upon your honour. Not that I would have you encourage a suspicious temper; but, in the present case, it is necessary to be cautious: for, his not acquainting me with his intentions, gives but too much reason for .suspicion ; and the importance of an event on which
your happiness, or misery for life depends, calls for the utmost circumspection. Keep him therefore at a distance. Desire your aunt to intimate toi him (if she or you have not already done so that you are not at your own disposal. But if you find that his person, or any part of his conduct, are so disagreeable to you, as to make it impossible for him to gain your affections, I would not have your
my consent can be of any advantage to him, for I shall never desire you to marry a man you cannot love.
I shall en deavour to gain, as perfect a knowledge of him, as I possibly can ; and if I have reason to think him worthy of you, and you are disposed to favor his passion, I shall rejoice in contributing, all in my power, to your felicity. I am, my dear girl,
Your ever affectionate Father, &c. &c.
From a young Gentleman
nearly out of his Apprenticeship, to the Father of a Lady. WERE I not conscious, that my behaviour during my apprenticeship, would plead in my favor with you, who are so well acquainted with the family in which I live, I should not dare to write to you on this occasion. But before I presume to write to you on the subject of this letter, permit me to observe that my apprenticeship will expire
next;, when, besides my expectations from
relations, I shall have 1000l. at my own disposal ; which, with the knowledge I have acquired of my business, will enable me to enter into trade, with some degree of reputation, and with a prospect of success. Having laid before you, Sir, a faithful account of the state of my affairs, I must beg your permission to add, that I