|Hannah Webster Foster (17591840). The Coquette, or The History of Eliza Wharton. 1855.|
|TO THE REV. J. BOYER.|
NEW HAVEN. I resume my pen, having just returned from General Richmans; not with an expectation, however, of your reading this till you have perused and reperused the enclosed. I can bear such neglect in this case, as I have been alike interested myself.
| I went to General Richmans at twelve oclock. About a mile from thence, upon turning a corner, I observed a gentleman and lady on horseback, some way before me, riding at a very moderate pace, and seemingly in close conversation. I kept at the same distance from them till I saw them stop at the generals gate. I then put on, and, coming up with them just as they alighted, was surprised to find them no other than Major Sanford and Miss Wharton. They were both a little disconcerted at my salutation: I know not why. Miss Wharton invited him in; but he declined, being engaged to dine. General Richman received us at the door. As I handed Miss Wharton in, he observed, jocosely, that she had changed company. Yes, sir, she replied, more than once since I went out, as you doubtless observed. I was not aware, said Mrs. Richman, that Major Sanford was to be of your party to-day. It was quite accidental, madam, said Miss Wharton. Miss Lawrence and I had agreed, last evening, to take a little airing this forenoon. A young gentleman, a relation of hers, who is making them a visit, was to attend us.|| 2|
| We had not rode more than two miles when we were overtaken by Major Sanford, who very politely asked leave to join our party. Miss Lawrence very readily consented; and we had a very sociable ride. The fineness of the day induced me to protract the enjoyment of it abroad; but Miss Lawrence declined riding so far as I proposed, as she had engaged company to dine. We therefore parted till the evening, when we are to meet again. What, another engagement! said Mrs. Richman. Only to the assembly, madam. May I inquire after your gallant, my dear? But I have no right, perhaps, to be inquisitive, said Mrs. Richman. Miss Wharton made no reply, and the conversation took a general turn. Miss Wharton sustained her part with great propriety. Indeed, she discovers a fund of useful knowledge and extensive reading, which render her peculiarly entertaining; while the brilliancy of her wit, the fluency of her language, the vivacity and ease of her manners are inexpressibly engaging. I am going myself to the assembly this evening, though I did not mention it to General Richman. I therefore took my leave soon after dinner.|| 3|
| I have heard so much in praise of Miss Whartons penmanship, in addition to her other endowments, that I am almost tempted to break the seal of her letter to you; but I forbear. Wishing you much happiness in the perusal of it, and more in the possession of its writer, I subscribe myself yours, &c.,|