π1r

The
History
of
Emily Montague.

In Four Volumes.

By the Author of
Lady Julia Mandeville.

“A kind indulgent sleep O’er works of length allowably may creep.” Horace.

Vol. I.

London,
Printed for J. Dodsley, in Pall Mall.
1769MDCCLXIX.

π1v A1r

The
History
of
Emily Montague.

Vol. I.

A1v A2r

The
History
of
Emily Montague.

In Four Volumes.

By the Author of
Lady Julia Mandeville.

“A kind indulgent sleep O’er works of length allowably may creep.” Horace.

Vol. I.

London,
Printed for J. Dodsley, in Pall Mall.
1769MDCCLXIX.

A2v A3r

To His Excellency
Guy Carleton, Esq.
Governor
and
Commander in Chief
of
His Majesty’s Province of Quebec
&c. &c. &c.

Sir,

As the scene of so great a part of
the following work is laid in
Canada, I flatter myself there is a peculiar
propriety in addressing it to
your excellency, to whose probity Vol. I. a3 and A3v vi
and enlightened attention the colony
owes its happiness, and individuals
that tranquillity of mind, without
which there can be no exertion of
the powers of either the understanding
or imagination.

Were I to say all your excellency has
done to diffuse, through this province,
so happy under your command, a spirit
of loyalty and attachment to our excellent
Sovereign, of chearful obedience
to the laws, and of that union
which makes the strength of government,
I should hazard your esteem by
doing you justice.

I will, A4r vii

I will, therefore, only beg leave to
add mine to the general voice of Canada;
and to assure your excellency,
that

I am,
With the utmost esteem
and respect,
Your most obedient servant,

Frances Brooke.

A4v
B1r

The
History
of
Emily Montague.

Letter I.

To John Temple, Esq; at Paris.

After spending two or three very
agreeable days here, with a party
of friends, in exploring the beauties of
the Island, and dropping a tender tear at Vol. I. B Caris- B1v 2
Carisbrook Castle on the memory of the
unfortunate Charles the First, I am just
setting out for America, on a scheme I
once hinted to you, of settling the lands
to which I have a right as a lieutenant-
colonel on half pay. On enquiry and mature
deliberation, I prefer Canada to New
York
for two reasons, that it is wilder,
and that the women are handsomer: the
first, perhaps, every body will not approve;
the latter, I am sure, you will.

You may perhaps call my project romantic,
but my active temper is ill suited
to the lazy character of a reduc’d officer;
besides that I am too proud to narrow my
circle of life, and not quite unfeeling
enough to break in on the little estate
which is scarce sufficient to support my
mother and sister in the manner to which
they have been accustom’d.

What you call a sacrifice, is none at all;
I love England, but am not obstinately chain’d B2r 3
chain’d down to any spot of earth; nature
has charms every where for a man
willing to be pleased: at my time of life,
the very change of place is amusing; love
of variety, and the natural restlessness of
man, would give me a relish for this voyage,
even if I did not expect, what I really do,
to become lord of a principality which will
put our large-acred men in England out of
countenance. My subjects indeed at present
will be only bears and elks, but in
time I hope to see the “human face divine”
multiplying around me; and, in thus cultivating
what is in the rudest state of nature,
I shall taste one of the greatest of
all pleasures, that of creation, and see
order and beauty gradually rise from
chaos.

The vessel is unmoor’d; the winds are
fair; a gentle breeze agitates the bosom
of the deep; all nature smiles: I go with
all the eager hopes of a warm imagination;B2 tion: B2v 4
yet friendship casts a lingering look
behind.

Our mutual loss, my dear Temple, will
be great. I shall never cease to regret
you, nor will you find it easy to replace
the friend of your youth. You may find
friends of equal merit; you may esteem
them equally; but few connexions form’d
after five and twenty strike root like that
early sympathy, which united us almost
from infancy, and has increas’d to the very
hour of our separation.

What pleasure is there in the friendships
of the spring of life, before the
world, the mean unfeeling selfish world,
breaks in on the gay mistakes of the just-
expanding heart, which sees nothing but
truth, and has nothing but happiness in
prospect!

I am not surpriz’d the heathens rais’d
altars to friendship; ’twas natural for untaught3 taught B3r 5
superstition to deify the source of
every good; they worship’d friendship,
which animates the moral world, on the
same principle as they paid adoration to
the sun, which gives life to the world of
nature.

I am summon’d on board. Adieu!

Ed. Rivers.

Letter II.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Ihavethis moment your letter, my
dear; I am happy to hear my mother
has been amus’d at Bath, and not at all
surpriz’d to find she rivals you in your
conquests. By the way, I am not sure she
is not handsomer, notwithstanding you tell B3 me B3v 6
me you are handsomer than ever: I am
astonish’d she will lead a tall daughter
about with her thus, to let people into a
secret they would never suspect, that she is
past five and twenty.

You are a foolish girl, Lucy: do you
think I have not more pleasure in continuing
to my mother, by coming hither, the
little indulgencies of life, than I could have
had by enjoying them myself? pray reconcile
her to my absence, and assure her
she will make me happier by jovially enjoying
the trifle I have assign’d to her use,
than by procuring me the wealth of a
Nabob, in which she was to have no
share.

But to return; you really, Lucy, ask me
such a million of questions, ’tis impossible
to know which to answer first; the country,
the convents, the balls, the ladies, the
beaux—’tis a history; not a letter, you demand,mand, B4r 7
and it will take me a twelvemonth
to satisfy your curiosity.

Where shall I begin? certainly with
what must first strike a soldier: I have seen
then the spot where the amiable hero expir’d
in the arms of victory; have traced
him step by step with equal astonishment
and admiration: ’tis here alone it is possible
to form an adequate idea of an enterprize,
the difficulties of which must have
destroy’d hope itself had they been foreseen.

The country is a very fine one; you see
here not only the beautiful which it has in
common with Europe, but the great sublime
to an amazing degree; every object
here is magnificent: the very people seem
almost another species, if we compare them
with the French from whom they are descended.

B4 On B4v 8

On approaching the coast of America,
I felt a kind of religious veneration, on
seeing rocks which almost touch’d the
clouds, cover’d with tall groves of pines
that seemed coeval with the world itself:
to which veneration the solemn silence not
a little contributed; from Cape Rosieres,
up the river St. Lawrence, during a course
of more than two hundred miles, there is
not the least appearance of a human footstep;
no objects meet the eye but mountains,
woods, and numerous rivers, which
seem to roll their waters in vain.

It is impossible to behold a scene like
this without lamenting the madness of
mankind, who, more merciless than the
fierce inhabitants of the howling wilderness,
destroy millions of their own species
in the wild contention for a little portion of
that earth, the far greater part of which
remains yet unpossest, and courts the hand
of labour for cultivation.

The B5r 9

The river itself is one of the noblest in
the world; it’s breadth is ninety miles at
it’s entrance, gradually, and almost imperceptibly,
decreasing; interspers’d with
islands which give it a variety infinitely
pleasing, and navigable near five hundred
miles from the sea.

Nothing can be more striking than the
view of Quebec as you approach; it stands
on the summit of a boldly-rising hill, at the
confluence of two very beautiful rivers, the
St. Lawrence and St. Charles, and, as the
convents and other public buildings first
meet the eye, appears to great advantage
from the port. The island of Orleans, the
distant view of the cascade of Montmorenci,
and the opposite village of Beauport,
scattered with a pleasing irregularity
along the banks of the river St. Charles,
add greatly to the charms of the prospect.

B5 I have B5v 10

I have just had time to observe, that the
Canadian ladies have the vivacity of the
French, with a superior share of beauty:
as to balls and assemblies, we have none at
present, it being a kind of interregnum
of government: if I chose to give you the
political state of the country, I could fill
volumes with the pours and the contres;
but I am not one of those sagacious observers,
who, by staying a week in place,
think themselves qualified to give, not
only its natural, but it’s moral and political
history: besides which, you and I are rather
too young to be very profound politicians.
We are in expectation of a successor
from whom we hope a new golden
age; I shall then have better subjects for
a letter to a lady.

Adieu! my dear girl! say every thing
for me to my mother. Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

Let- B6r 11

Letter III.

To Col. Rivers, at Quebec.

Indeed gone to people the wilds of
America, Ned, and multiply the “human
face divine?”
’tis a project worthy a
tall handsome colonel of twenty seven:
let me see; five feet, eleven inches, well
made, with fine teeth, speaking eyes, a
military air, and the look of a man of
fashion: spirit, generosity, a good understanding,
some knowledge, an easy address,
a compassionate heart, a strong inclination
for the ladies, and in short every quality a
gentleman should have: excellent all these
for colonization: prenez garde, mes cheres
dames
. You have nothing against you,
Ned, but your modesty; a very useless
virtue on French ground, or indeed on
any ground: I wish you had a little more B6 con- B6v 12
consciousness of your own merits: remember
that “to know one’s self” the oracle of
Apollo has pronounced to be the perfection
of human wisdom. Our fair friend Mrs.
H—
says, “Colonel Rivers wants nothing
to make him the most agreeable man
breathing but a little dash of the coxcomb.”

For my part, I hate humility in a man of
the world; ’tis worse than even the hypocrisy
of the saints: I am not ignorant, and
therefore never deny, that I am a very
handsome fellow; and I have the pleasure
to find all the women of the same opinion.

I am just arriv’d from Paris: the divine
Madame De―― is as lovely and as constant
as ever; ’twas cruel to leave her, but
who can account for the caprices of the
heart? mine was the prey of a young unexperienc’d
English charmer, just come out
of a convent,
“The bloom of opening flowers—” Ha, B7r 13
Ha, Ned? But I forget; you are for the
full-blown rose: ’tis a happiness, as we
are friends, that ’tis impossible we can ever
be rivals; a woman is grown out of my
taste some years before she comes up to
yours: absolutely, Ned, you are too nice;
for my part, I am not so delicate; youth
and beauty are sufficient for me; give me
blooming seventeen, and I cede to you the
whole empire of sentiment.

This, I suppose, will find you trying the
force of your destructive charms on the savage
dames of America; chasing females
wild as the winds thro’ woods as wild as
themselves: I see you pursuing the stately
relict of some renown’d Indian chief, some
plump squaw arriv’d at the age of sentiment,
some warlike queen dowager of the
Ottawas or Tuscaroras.

And pray, comment trouvez vous les
dames sauvages?
all pure and genuine nature,
I suppose; none of the affected coynessness B7v 14
of Europe: your attention there will
be the more obliging, as the Indian heroes,
I am told, are not very attentive to the
charms of the beau sexe.

You are very sentimental on the subject
of friendship; no one has more exalted
notions of this species of affection than
myself, yet I deny that it gives life to the
moral world; a gallant man, like you,
might have found a more animating principle:

O Venus! O Mere de l’Amour!

I am most gloriously indolent this morning,
and would not write another line if
the empire of the world (observe I do not
mean the female world) depended on it.

Adieu!

J. Temple.

Let B8r 15

Letter IV.

To John Temple, Esq. Pall Mall.

’Tis very true, Jack; I have no relish
for the Misses; for puling girls in
hanging sleeves, who feel no passion but
vanity, and, without any distinguishing taste,
are dying for the first man who tells them
they are handsome. Take your boardingschool
girls; but give me a woman; one,
in short, who has a soul; not a cold inamnimate
form, insensible to the lively impressions
of real love, and unfeeling as the wax
baby she has just thrown away.

You will allow Prior to be no bad
judge of female merit; and you may remember
his Egyptian maid, the favorite of 1 the B8v 16
the luxurious King Solomon, is painted in
full bloom.

By the way, Jack, there is generally a
certain hoity-toity inelegance of form and
manner at seventeen, which in my opinion
is not balanc’d by freshness of complexion,
the only advantage girls have to boast of.

I have another objection to girls, which
is, that they will eternally fancy every man
they converse with has designs; a coquet
and a prude in the bud are equally disagreeable;
the former expects universal adoration,
the latter is alarm’d even at that general
civility which is the right of all their
sex; of the two however the last is, I think,
much the most troublesome; I wish these
very apprehensive young ladies knew,
their virtue is not half so often in danger as
they imagine, and that there are many
male creatures to whom they may safely shew B9r 17
shew politeness without being drawn into
any concessions inconsistent with the strictest
honor. We are not half such terrible animals
as mammas, nurses, and novels represent
us; and, if my opinion is of any
weight, I am inclin’d to believe those tremendous
men, who have designs on the
whole sex, are, and ever were, characters
as fabulous as the giants of romance.

Women after twenty begin to know this,
and therefore converse with us on the footing
of rational creatures, without either
fearing or expecting to find every man a
lover.

To do the ladies justice however, I have
seen the same absurdity in my own sex,
and have observed many a very good sort
of man turn pale at the politeness of an
agreeable woman.

I lament B9v 18

I lament this mistake, in both sexes, because
it takes greatly from the pleasure of
mix’d society, the only society for which I
have any relish.

Don’t, however, fancy that, becase I
dislike the Misses, I have a taste for their
grandmothers; there is a golden mean,
Jack, of which you seem to have no idea.

You are very ill inform’d as to the manners
of the Indian ladies; ’tis in the bud
alone these wild roses are accessible; liberal
to profusion of their charms before marriage,
they are chastity itself after: the
moment they commence wives, they give
up the very idea of pleasing, and turn all
their thoughts to the cares, and those not
the most delicate cares, of domestic life:
laborious, hardy, active, they plough the
ground, they sow, they reap; whilst the haughty B10r 19
haughty husband amuses himself with
hunting, shooting, fishing, and such exercises
only as are the image of war; all
other employments being, according to his
idea, unworthy the dignity of man.

I have told you the labors of savage life,
but I should observe that they are only temporary,
and when urg’d by the sharp tooth
of necessity: their lives are, upon the whole,
idle beyond any thing we can conceive. If
the Epicurean definition of happiness is
just, that it consists in indolence of body,
and tranquillity of mind, the Indians of
both sexes are the happiest people on
earth; free from all care, they enjoy the
present moment, forget the past, and are
without solicitude for the future: in summer,
stretch’d on the verdant turf, they
sing, they laugh, they play, they relate
stories of their ancient heroes to warm the
youth to war; in winter, wrap’d in the furs B10v 20
furs which bounteous nature provides them,
they dance, they feast, and despise the rigors
of the season, at which the more effeminate
Europeans tremble.

War being however the business of their
lives, and the first passion of their souls,
their very pleasures take their colors from
it: every one must have heard of the war
dance, and their songs are almost all on the
same subject: on the most diligent enquiry,
I find but one love song in their language,
which is short and simple, tho’ perhaps not
inexpressive: “I love you,
I love you dearly,
I love you all day long.”

An old Indian told me, they had also songs
of friendship, but I could never procure a
translation of one of them: on my pressing this B11r 21
this Indian to translate one into French for
me, he told me with a haughty air, the
Indians were not us’d to make translations,
and that if I chose to understand their songs
I must learn their language. By the way,
their language is extremely harmonious,
especially as pronounced by their women,
and as well adapted to music as Italian itself.
I must not here omit an instance of
their independent spirit, which is, that
they never would submit to have the service
of the church, tho’ they profess the
Romish religion, in any language but their
own; the women, who have in general
fine voices, sing in the choir with a taste
and manner that would surprize you, and
with a devotion that might edify more polish’d
nations.

The Indian women are tall and well
shaped; have good eyes, and before marriage
are, except their color, and their coarse B11v 22
coarse greasy black hair, very far from
being disagreeable; but the laborious life
they afterwards lead is extremely unfavorable
to beauty; they become coarse and
masculine, and lose in a year or two the
power as well as the desire of pleasing. To
compensate however for the loss of their
charms, they acquire a new empire in marrying;
are consulted in all affairs of state,
chuse a chief on every vacancy of the
throne, are sovereign arbiters of peace
and war, as well as of the fate of those
unhappy captives that have the misfortune
to fall into their hands, who are adopted
as children, or put to the most cruel death,
as the wives of the conquerors smile or
frown.

A Jesuit missionary told me a story on
this subject, which one cannot hear without
horror: an Indian woman with whom
he liv’d on his mission was feeding her children,
when her husband brought in an English B12r 23
English prisoner; she immediately cut off
his arm, and gave her children the streaming
blood to drink: the Jesuit remonstrated
on the cruelty of the action, on which,
looking sternly at him, “I would have them
warriors,”
said she, “and therefore feed
them with the food of men.”

This anecdote may perhaps disgust you
with the Indian ladies, who certainly do not
excel in female softness. I will therefore
turn to the Canadian, who have every
charm except that without which all other
charms are to me insipid, I mean sensibility:
they are gay, coquet, and sprightly;
more gallant than sensible, more flatter’d
by the vanity of inspiring passion, than capable
of feeling it themselves; and, like
their European countrywomen, prefer the
outward attentions of unmeaning admiration
to the real devotion of the heart. There
is not perhaps on earth a race of females,
who talk so much, or feel so little, of love
as the French; the very reverse is in generalral B12v 24
true of the English: my fair countrywomen
seem ashamed of the charming sentiment
to which they are indebted for all
their power.

Adieu! I am going to attend a very
handsome French lady, who allows me the
honor to drive her en calache to our Canadian Hyde Park, the road to St. Foix,
where you will see forty or fifty calashes,
with pretty women in them, parading every
evening: you will allow the apology to be
admissible.

Ed. Rivers.

Let- C1r 25

Letter V.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

What an inconstant animal is man!
do you know, Lucy, I begin to be
tir’d of the lovely landscape round me? I
have enjoy’d from it all the pleasure meer
inanimate objects can give, and find ’tis a
pleasure that soon satiates, if not relieved
by others which are more lively. The
scenery is to be sure divine, but one grows
weary of meer scenery: the most enchanting
prospect soon loses its power of pleasing,
when the eye is accustom’d to it: we
gaze at first transported on the charms of
nature, and fancy they will please for ever;
but, alas! it will not do; we sigh for society,
the conversation of those dear to us;
the more animated pleasures of the heart.
There are fine women, and men of merit Vol. I C here; C1v 26
here; but, as the affections are not in our
power, I have not yet felt my heart gravitate
towards any of them. I must absolutely
set in earnest about my settlement, in order
to emerge from the state of vegetation into
which I seem falling.

But to your last: you ask me a particular
account of the convents here. Have
you an inclination, my dear, to turn nun?
if you have, you could not have applied to
a properer person; my extreme modesty
and reserve, and my speaking French, having
made me already a great favourite with
the older part of all the three communities,
who unanimously declare colonel Rivers to
be un tres aimable homme, and have given me
an unlimited liberty of visiting them whenever
I please: they now and then treat me
with a sight of some of the young ones,
but this is a favor not allow’d to all the
world.

There C2r 27

There are three religious houses at Quebec,
so you have choice; the Ursulines,
the Hotel Dieu, and the General Hospital.
The first is the severest order in the Romish
church, except that very cruel one which
denies its fair votaries the inestimable liberty
of speech. The house is large and
handsome, but has an air of gloominess,
with which the black habit, and the livid
paleness of the nuns, extremely corresponds.
The church is, contrary to the style
of the rest of the convent, ornamented and
lively to the last degree. The superior is
an English-woman of good family, who
was taken prisoner by the savages when a
child, and plac’d here by the generosity of
a French officer. She is one of the most
amiable women I ever knew, with a benevolence
in her countenance which inspires
all who see her with affection: I am very
fond of her conversation, tho’ sixty and a
nun.

C2 The C2v 28

The Hotel Dieu is very pleasantly situated,
with a view of the two rivers, and
the entrance of the port: the house is
chearful, airy, and agreeable; the habit
extremely becoming, a circumstance a handsome
woman ought by no means to overlook;
’tis white with a black gauze veil,
which would shew your complexion to
great advantage. The order is much less
severe than the Ursulines, and I might add,
much more useful, their province being the
care of the sick: the nuns of this house
are sprightly, and have a look of health
which is wanting at the Ursulines.

The General Hospital, situated about a
mile out of town, on the borders of the
river St. Charles, is much the most agreeable
of the three. This order and the habit
are the same with the Hotel Dieu, except
that to the habit is added the cross,
generally worn in Europe by canonesses
only: a distinction procur’d for them by their C3r 29
their founder, St. Vallier, the second bishop
of Quebec. The house is, without,
a very noble building; and neatness, elegance
and propriety reign within. The
nuns, who are all of the noblesse, are
many of them handsome, and all genteel,
lively, and well bread; they have an air of
the world, their conversation is easy, spirited,
and polite: with them you almost
forget the recluse in the woman of condition.
In short, you have the best nuns at
the Ursulines, the most agreeable women
at the General Hospital: all however have
an air of chagrin, which they in vain endeavour
to conceal; and the general eagerness
with which they tell you unask’d they
are happy, is a strong proof of the contrary.

Tho’ the most indulgent of all men to the
follies of others, especially such as have
their source in mistaken devotion; tho’
willing to allow all the world to play the
fool their own way, yet I cannot help C3 being C3v 30
being fir’d with a degree of zeal against an
institution equally incompatible with public
good, and private happiness; an institution
which cruelly devotes beauty and innocence
to slavery, regret, and wretchedness; to a
more irksome imprisonment than the severest
laws inflict on the worst of criminals.

Could any thing but experience, my dear
Lucy, make it be believ’d possible that
there should be rational beings, who think
they are serving the God of mercy by inflicting
on themselves voluntary tortures,
and cutting themselves off from that state
of society in which he has plac’d them, and
for which they were form’d? by renouncing
the best affections of the human heart,
the tender names of friend, of wife, of mother?
and, as far as in them lies, counterworking
creation? by spurning from them
every amusement however innocent, by
refusing the gifts of that beneficent power who C4r 31
who made us to be happy, and destroying
his most precious gifts, health, beauty, sensibility,
chearfulness, and peace!

My indignation is yet awake, from having
seen a few days since at the Ursulines,
an extreme lovely young girl, whose countenance
spoke a soul form’d for the most
lively, yet delicate, ties of love and friendship,
led by a momentary enthusiasm, or
perhaps by a childish vanity artfully excited,
to the foot of those altars, which she
will probably too soon bathe with the bitter
tears of repentance and remorse.

The ceremony, form’d to strike the imagination,
and seduce the heart of unguarded
youth, is extremely solemn and affecting;
the procession of the nuns, the sweetness
of their voices in the choir, the dignified
devotion with which the charming enthusiast
received the veil, and took the cruel
vow which shut her from the world for ever,
struck my heart inspite of my reason, and C4 I felt C4v 32
I felt myself touch’d even to tears by a superstition
I equally pity and despise.

I am not however certain it was the ceremony
which affected me thus strongly; it
was impossible not to feel for this amiable
victim; never was there an object more interesting;
her form was elegance itself;
her air and motion animated and graceful;
the glow of pleasure was on her cheek, the
fire of enthusiasm in her eyes, which are
the finest I ever saw: never did I see joy so
livelily painted on the countenance of the
happiest bride; she seem’d to walk in air;
her whole person look’d more than human.

An enemy to every species of superstition,
I must however allow it to be least destructive
to true virtue in your gentle sex, and
therefore to be indulg’d with least danger:
the superstition of men is gloomy and ferocious;
it lights the fire, and points the
dagger of the assassin; whilst that of womenmen C5r 33
takes its color from the sex; is soft,
mild, and benevolent; exerts itself in acts
of kindness and charity, and seems only
substituting the love of God to that of man.

Who can help admiring, whilst they
pity, the foundress of the Ursuline convent,
Madame de la Peltrie, to whom the
very colony in some measure owes its existence?
young, rich and lovely; a widow
in the bloom of life, mistress of her own
actions, the world was gay before her, yet
she left all the pleasures that world could
give, to devote her days to the severities of
a religion she thought the only true one:
she dar’d the dangers of the sea, and the
greater dangers of a savage people; she
landed on an unknown shore, submitted to
the extremities of cold and heat, of thirst
and hunger, to perform a service she
thought acceptable to the Deity. To an
action like this, however mistaken the motive,
bigotry alone will deny praise: the
man of candor will only lament that minds C5 capable C5v 34
capable of such heroic virtue are not directed
to views more conducive to their own
and general happiness.

I am unexpectedly call’d this moment,
my dear Lucy, on some business to Montreal,
from whence you shall hear from me.

Adieu!

Ed. Rivers.

Letter VI.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Iam arrived, my dear, and have brought
my heart safe thro’ such a continued fire
as never poor knight errant was exposed
to; waited on at every stage by blooming
country girls, full of spirit and coquetry,
without any of the village bashfulness of England, C6r 35
England, and dressed like the shepherdesses
of romance. A man of adventure might
make a pleasant journey to Montreal.

The peasants are ignorant, lazy, dirty,
and stupid beyond all belief; but hospitable,
courteous, civil; and, what is particularly
agreeable, they leave their wives
and daughters to do the honors of the house:
in which obliging office they acquit themselves
with attention, which, amidst every
inconvenience apparent (tho’ I am told not
real) poverty can cause, must please every
guest who has a soul inclin’d to be pleas’d:
for my part, I was charm’d with them, and
eat my homely fare with as much pleasure
as if I had been feasting on ortolans in a palace.
Their conversation is lively and amusing;
all the little knowledge of Canada is
confined to the sex; very few, even of the
seigneurs, being able to write their own
names.

C6 The C6v 36

The road from Quebec to Montreal is
almost a continued street, the villages being
numerous, and so extended along the banks
of the river St. Lawrence as to leave scarce
a space without houses in view; except
where here or there a river, a wood, or
mountain intervenes, as if to give a more
pleasing variety to the scene. I don’t remember
ever having had a more agreeable
journey; the fine prospects of the day so
enliven’d by the gay chat of the evening,
that I was really sorry when I approach’d
Montreal.

The island of Montreal, on which the
town stands, is a very lovely spot; highly
cultivated, and tho’ less wild and magnificent,
more smiling than the country round
Quebec: the ladies, who seem to make
pleasure their only business, and most of
whom I have seen this morning driving
about in town in calashes, and making 3 what C7r 37
what they call, the tour de la ville, attended
by English officers, seem generally
handsome, and have an air of sprightliness
with which I am charm’d; I must be acquainted
with them all, for tho’ my stay is
to be short, I see no reason why it should
be dull. I am told they are fond of little
rural balls in the country, and intend to
give one as soon as I have paid my respects
in form.

I am just come from dining with the —
regiment, and find I have a visit to pay I was
not aware of, to two English ladies who are
a few miles out of town: one of them is
wife to the major of the regiment, and the
other just going to be married to a captain
in it, Sir George Clayton, a young handsome
baronet, just come to his title and a
very fine estate, by the death of a distant
relation: he is at present at New York, and
I am told they are to be married as soon as
he comes back.

I have C7v 38

I have been making some flying visits to
the French ladies; tho’ I have not seen
many beauties, yet in general the women
are handsome; their manner is easy and
obliging, they make the most of their
charms by their vivacity, and I certainly
cannot be displeas’d with their extreme
partiality for the English officers; their
own men, who indeed are not very attractive,
have not the least chance for any share
in their good graces.

I am just setting out with a friend for
Major Melmoth’s, to pay my compliments
to the two ladies: I have no relish for this
visit; I hate misses that are going to be
married; they are always so full of the
dear man, that they have no common civility
to other people. I am told, however
both the ladies are agreeable.

Agreeable, C8r 39

Agreeable, Lucy! she is an angel: ’tis
happy for me she is engag’d; nothing else
could secure my heart, of which you know
I am very tenacious: only think of finding
beauty, delicacy, sensibility, all that can
charm in woman, hid in a wood in Canada!

You say I am given to be enthusiastic
in my approbations, but she is really
charming. I am resolv’d not only to have
a friendship for her myself, but that you
shall, and have told her so; she comes to
England as soon as she is married; you
are form’d to love each other.

But I must tell you; Major Melmoth
kept us a week at his house in the country,
in one continued round of rural amusements;
by which I do not mean hunting
and shooting, but such pleasures as the ladies C8v 40
ladies could share; little rustic balls and
parties round the neighbouring country, in
which parties we were joined by all the
fine women at Montreal. Mrs. Melmoth is
a very pleasing, genteel brunette, but Emily
Montague
—you will say I am in love with
her if I describe her, and yet I declare to
you I am not: knowing she loves another,
to whom she is soon to be united, I see her
charms with the same kind of pleasure I
do yours; a pleasure, which, tho’ extremely
lively, is by our situation without
the least mixture of desire.

I have said, she is charming; there are
men here who do not think so, but to me
she is loveliness itself. My ideas of beauty
are perhaps a little out of the common
road: I hate a woman of whom every
man coldly says, she is handsome; I adore
beauty, but it is not meer features or complexion
to which I give that name; ’tis life,
’tis spirit, ’tis animation, ’tis—in one word,
’tis Emily Montague—without being regularlygularly C9r 41
beautiful, she charms every sensible
heart; all other women, however lovely,
appear marble statues near her: fair; pale
(a paleness which gives the idea of delicacy
without destroying that of health), with
dark hair and eyes, the latter large and
languishing, she seems made to feel to a
trembling excess the passion she cannot fail
of inspiring: her elegant form has an air
of softness and languor, which seizes the
whole soul in a moment: her eyes, the
most intelligent I ever saw, hold you enchain’d
by their bewitching sensibility.

There are a thousand unspeakable charms
in her conversation; but what I am most
pleas’d with, is the attentive politeness of
her manner, which you seldom see in a
person in love; the extreme desire of
pleasing one man generally taking off greatly
from the attention due to all the rest. This
is partly owing to her admirable understanding,
and partly to the natural softnessness C9v 42
of her soul, which gives her the
strongest desire of pleasing. As I am a
philosopher in these matters, and have
made the heart my study, I want extremely
to see her with her lover, and to observe
the gradual encrease of her charms in his
presence; love, which embellishes the most
unmeaning countenance, mus t give to her’s
a fire irresistible: what eyes! when animated
by tenderness!

The very soul acquires a new force and
beauty by loving; a woman of honor never
appears half so amiable, or displays
half so many virtues, as when sensible to
the merit of a man who deserves her affection.
Observe, Lucy, I shall never
allow you to be handsome till I hear you
are in love.

Did I tell you Emily Montague had the
finest hand and arm in the world? I should
however have excepted yours: her tone of
voice too has the same melodious sweetness, a per- C10r 43
a perfection without which the loveliest
woman could never make the least impression
on my heart: I don’t think you are
very unlike upon the whole, except that
she is paler. You know, Lucy, you have
often told me I should certainly have been
in love with you if I had not been your
brother: this resemblance is a proof you
were right. You are really as handsome as
any woman can be whose sensibility has
never been put in motion.

I am to give a ball to-morrow; Mrs.
Melmoth
is to have the honors of it, but as
she is with child, she does not dance. This
circumstance has produc’d a dispute not a
little flattering to my vanity: the ladies
are making interest to dance with me;
what a happy exchange have I made! what
man of common sense would stay to be
overlook’d in England, who can have rival
beauties contend for him in Canada?
This important point is not yet settled; the
etiquette here is rather difficult to adjust; as C10v 44
as to me, I have nothing to do in the consultation;
my hand is destin’d to be the longest
pedigree; we stand prodigiously on our
noblesse at Montreal.

After a dispute in which two French ladies
were near drawing their husbands into
a duel, the point of honor is yielded by
both to Miss Montague; each insisting only
that I should not dance with the other: for
my part, I submit with a good grace, as
you will suppose.

I never passed a more agreeable evening:
we have our amusements here, I assure you:
a set of fine young fellows, and handsome
women, all well dress’d, and in humor with
themselves, and with each other: my lovely
Emily like Venus amongst the Graces, only
multiplied to about sixteen. Nothing is, in my C11r 45
my opinion, so favorable to the display of
beauty as a ball. A state of rest is ungraceful;
all nature is most beautiful in motion;
trees agitated by the wind, a ship under sail,
a horse in the course, a fine woman dancing:
never any human being had such an
aversion to still life as I have.

I am going back to Melmoth’s for a
month; don’t be alarm’d, Lucy! I see all
her perfections, but I see them with the
cold eye of admiration only: a woman engaged
loses all her attractions as a woman;
there is no love without a ray of hope: my
only ambition is to be her friend; I want to
be the confidant of her passion. With what
spirit such a mind as hers must love!

Adieu! my dear!
Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

Let- C11v 46

Letter VII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

By Heavens, Lucy; this is more than
man can bear; I was mad to stay so
long at Melmoth’s; there is no resisting
this little seducer: ’tis shameful in such a
lovely woman to have understanding too;
yet even this I could forgive, had she not
that enchanting softness in her manner,
which steals upon the soul, and would almost
make ugliness itself charm; were she
but vain, one had some chance, but she will
take upon her to have no consciousness, at
least no apparent consciousness, of her perfections,
which is really intolerable. I told
her so last night, when she put on such a
malicious smile—I believe the little tyrant
wants to add me to the list of her slaves;
but I was not form’d to fill up a train. The 2 woman C12r 47
woman I love must be so far from giving
another the preference, that she must have
no soul but for me; I am one of the most
unreasonable men in the world on this head;
she may fancy what she pleases, but I set
her and all her attractions at defiance: I
have made my escape, and shall set off for
Quebec in an hour. Flying is, I must acknowledge,
a little out of character, and
unbecoming a soldier; but in these cases
it is the very best thing man or woman
either can do, when they doubt their
powers of resistance.

I intend to be ten days going to Quebec.
I propose visiting the priests at every village,
and endeavouring to get some knowledge
of the nature of the country, in order
to my intended settlement. Idleness being
the root of all evil, and the nurse of
love, I am determin’d to keep myself employed;
nothing can be better suited to
my temper than my present design; the
pleasure of cultivating lands here is as much superior C12v 48
superior to what can be found in the same
employment in England, as watching the
expanding rose, and beholding the falling
leaves: America is in infancy, Europe in
old age. Nor am I very ill qualified for this
agreeable talk: I have studied the Georgicks,
and am a pretty enough kind of a husbandman
as far as theory goes; nay, I am not
sure I shall not be, even in practice, the
best gentleman farmer in the province.

You may expect soon to hear of me in
the Museum Rusticum; I intend to make
amazing discoveries in the rural way: I
have already found out, by the force of
my own genius, two very uncommon circumstances;
that in Canada, contrary to
what we see every where else, the country
is rich, the capital poor; the hills fruitful,
the vallies barren. You see what excellent
dispositions I have to be an useful member
of society: I had always a strong biass to
the study of natural philosophy.

Tell D1r 49

Tell my mother how well I am employ’d,
and she cannot but approve my voyage:
assure her, my dear, of my tenderest regard.

The chaise is at the door.
Adieu!

Ed. Rivers.

The lover is every hour expected; I
am not quite sure I should have
lik’d to see him arrive: a third person,
you know, on such an occasion,
sinks into nothing; and I love,
wherever I am, to be one of the
figures which strike the eye; I hate
to appear on the back ground of
the picture.

Vol. I. D Let- D1v 50

Letter VIII.

To Miss Rivers.

You can’t think, my dear, what a
fund of useful knowledge I have
treasur’d up during my journey from Montreal.
This colony is a rich mine yet unopen’d;
I do not mean of gold and silver,
but of what are of much more real value,
corn and cattle. Nothing is wanting but
encouragement and cultivation; the Canadians
are at their ease even without labor;
nature is here a bounteous mother, who
pours forth her gifts almost unsolicited:
bigotry, stupidity, and laziness, united,
have not been able to keep the peasantry
poor. I rejoice to find such admirable capabilities
where I propose to fix my dominion.

I was D2r 51

I was hospitably entertained by the cures
all the way down, tho’ they are in general
but ill provided for: the parochial clergy
are useful every where, but I have a great
aversion to monks, those drones in the political
hive, whose whole study seems to be
to make themselves as useless to the world
as possible. Think too of the shocking indelicacy
of many of them, who make it a
point of religion to abjure linen, and wear
their habits till they drop off. How astonishing
that any mind should suppose the
Deity an enemy to cleanliness! the Jewish
religion was hardly any thing else.

I paid my respects wherever I stopped, to
the seigneuress of the village; for as to the
seigneurs, except for two or three, if they had
not wives, they would not be worth visiting.

I am every day more pleased with the
women here; and, if I was gallant, should
be in danger of being a convert to the D2 French D2v 52
French stile of gallantry; which certainly
debases the mind much less than ours.

But what is all this to my Emily? How I
envy Sir George! what happiness has Heaven
prepared for him, if he has a soul to
taste it!

I really must not think of her; I found
so much delight in her conversation, it was
quite time to come away; I am almost
ashamed to own how much difficulty I found
in leaving her: do you know I have scarce
slept since? This is absurd, but I cannot
help it; which by the way is an admirable
excuse for any thing.

I have been come but two hours, and
am going to Silleri, to pay my compliments
to your friend Miss Fermor, who arrived
with her father, who comes to join his regiment,
since I left Quebec, I hear there
has been a very fine importation of English ladies D3r 53
ladies during my absence. I am sorry I
have not time to visit the rest, but I go tomorrow
morning to the Indian village for a
fortnight, and have several letters to write
to-night.

Adieu! I am interrupted,
Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

Letter IX.

To Mrs. Melmoth, at Montreal.

Icannot, Madam, express my obligation
to you for having added a postscript
to Major Melmoth’s letter: I am sure
he will excuse my answering the whole to
you; if not, I beg he may know that I
shall be very pert about it, being much more
solicitous to please you than him, for a
thousand reasons too tedious to mention.

D3 I thought D3v 54

I thought you had more penetration than
to suppose me indifferent: on the contrary,
sensibility is my fault; though it is not
your little every-day beauties who can excite
it: I have admirable dispositions to
love, though I am hard to please: in short,
I am not cruel, I am only nice: do but you,
or your divine friend, give me leave to wear
your chains, and you shall soon be convinced
I can love like an angel, when I set in earnest
about it. But, alas! you are married, and
in love with your husband; and your friend
is in a situation still more unfavorable to a
lover’s hopes. This is particularly unfortunate,
as you are the only two of your bewitching
sex in Canada, for whom my
heart feels the least sympathy. To be plain,
but don’t tell the little Major, I am more
than half in love with you both, and, if I
was the grand Turk, should certainly fit
out a fleet, to seize, and bring you to my
seraglio.

There D4r 55

There is one virtue I admire extremely
in you both; I mean, that humane and tender
compassion for the poor men, which
prompts you to be always seen together; if
you appeared separate, where is the hero
who could resist either of you?

You ask me how I like the French ladies
at Montreal: I think them extremely pleasing;
and many of them handsome; I
thought Madame L―― so, even near you
and Miss Montague; which is, I think,
saying as much as can be said on the subject.

I have just heard by accident that Sir
George
is arrived at Montreal. Assure Miss
Montague
, no one can be more warmly interested
in her happiness than I am: she is
the most perfect work of Heaven; may she
be the happiest! I feel much more on this
occasion than I can express: a mind like
hers must, in marriage, be exquisitely happy D4 or D4v 56
or miserable: my friendship makes me
tremble for her, notwithstanding the worthy
character I have heard of Sir George.

I will defer till another time what I had
to say to Major Melmoth.

I have the honor to be,
Madam,
Yours &c.

Ed. Rivers.

Letter X.

Ihave been a month arrived, my dear,
without having seen your brother, who
is at Montreal, but I am told is expected
to-day. I have spent my time however
very agreably. I know not what the winter
may be, but I am enchanted with the
beauty of this country in summer; bold, picturesque, D5r 57
picturesque, romantic, nature reigns here
in all her wanton luxuriance, adorned by a
thousand wild graces which mock the cultivated
beauties of Europe. The scenery
about the town is infinitely lovely; the
prospect extensive, and diversified by a variety
of hills, woods, rivers, cascades, intermingled
with smiling farms and cottages,
and bounded by distant mountains which
seem to scale the very Heavens.

The days are much hotter here than in
England, but the heat is more supportable
from the breezes which always spring up
about noon; and the evenings are charming
beyond expression. We have much
thunder and lightening, but very few instances
of their being fatal: the thunder is
more magnificent and aweful than in Europe,
and the lightening brighter and more
beautiful; I have even seen it of a clear
pale purple, resembling the gay tints of
the morning.

D5 The D5v 58

The verdure is equal to that of England,
and in the evening acquires an unspeakable
beauty from the lucid splendor of the
fire-flies sparkling like a thousand little
stars on the trees and on the grass.

There are two very noble falls of water
near Quebec, la Chaudiere and Montmorenci:
the former is a prodigious sheet of
water, rushing over the wildest rocks, and
forming a scene grotesque, irregular, astonishing:
the latter, less wild, less irregular,
but more pleasing and more majestic, falls
from an immense height, down the side of
a romantic mountain, into the river St.
Lawrence
, opposite the most smiling part
of the island of Orleans, to the cultivated
charms of which it forms the most striking
and agreeable contrast.

The river of the same name, which supplies
the cascade of Montmorenci, is the
most lovely of all inamninmate objects: but why D6r 59
why do I call it inanimate? It almost
breathes; I no longer wonder at the enthusiasm
of Greece and Rome; ’twas from
objects resembling this their mythology took
its rise; it seems that residence of a thousand
deities.

Paint to yourself a stupendous rock
burst as it were in sunder by the hands of
nature, to give passage to a small, but very
deep and beautiful river; and forming on
each side a regular and magnificent wall,
crowned with the noblest woods that can
be imagined; the sides of these romantic
walls adorned with a variety of the gayest
flowers, and in many places little streams of
the purest water gushing through, and losing
themselves in the river below: a thousand
natural grottoes in the rock make you
suppose yourself in the abode of the Nereids;
as a little island, covered with flowering
shrubs, about a mile above the falls, where
the river enlarges itself as if to give it room,
seems intended for the throne of the river D6 goddess D6v 60
goddess. Beyond this, the rapids, formed
by the irregular projections of the rock,
which in some places seem almost to meet,
rival in beauty, as they excel in variety,
the cascade itself , and close this little world
of enchantment.

In short, the loveliness of this fairy scene
alone more than pays the fatigues of my
voyage; and, if I ever murmur at having
crossed the Atlantic, remind me that I
have seen the river Montmorenci.

I can give you a very imperfect account of
the people here; I have only examined the
landscape about Quebec, and have given very
little attention to the figures; the French
ladies are handsome, but as to the beaux,
they appear to me not at all dangerous,
and one might safely walk in a wood by
moonlight with the most agreeable Frenchman
here. I am not surprized the Canadian
ladies take such pains to seduce our men D7r 61
men from us; but I think it is a little hard we
have no temptation to make reprisals.

I am at present at an extreme pretty
farm on the banks of the river St. Lawrence;
the house stands at the foot of a
steep mountain covered with a variety of
trees, forming a verdant sloping wall, which
rises in a kind of regular confusion, “Shade above shade, a woody theatre,”
and has in front this noble river, on which
the ships continually passing present to the
delighted eye the most charming moving
picture imaginable; I never saw a place so
formed to inspire that pleasing lassitude, that
divine inclination to saunter, which may not
improperly be called, the luxurious indolence
of the country. I intend to build a
temple here to the charming goddess of
laziness.

A gentleman is just coming down the
winding path of the side of a hill, whom
by his air I take to be your brother. Adieu! I must D7v 62
I must receive him: my father is at Quebec.

Yours,

Arabella Fermor.

Your brother has given me a very
pleasing piece of intelligence: my
friend Emily Montague is at Montreal,
and is going to be married to
great advantage; I must write to
her immediately, and insist on her
making me a visit before she marries.
She came to America two
years ago, with her uncle Colonel
Montague
, who died here, and I
imagined was gone back to England;
she is however at Montreal with
Mrs. Melmoth, a distant relation of
her mother’s. Adieu! ma tres chere!

Let- D8r 63

Letter XI.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

I Find, my dear, that absence and amusement
are the best remedies for a
beginning passion; I have passed a fortnight
at the Indian village of Lorette,
where the novelty of the scene, and the
enquiries I have been led to make into
their antient religion and manners, have
been of a thousand times more service to
me than all the reflection in the world
would have been.

I will own to you that I staid too long
at Montreal, or rather at Major Melmoth’s;
to be six weeks in the same house
with one of the most amiable, most pleasing
of women, was a trying situation to a
heart full of sensibility, and of a sensibilitylity D8v 64
which has been hitherto, from a variety
of causes, a good deal restrained. I
should have avoided the danger from the
first, had it appeared to me what it really
was; but I thought myself secure in the
consideration of her engagements, a defence
however which I found grow weaker
every day.

But to my savages: other nations talk
of liberty, they possess it; nothing can be
more astonishing than to see a little village
of about thirty or forty families, the small
remains of the Hurons, almost exterminated
by long and continual war with the Iroquoise,
preserve their independence in the
midst of an European colony consisting of
seventy thousand inhabitants; yet the fact
is true of the savages of Lorette; they
assert and they maintain that independence
with a spirit truly noble. One of our company
having said something which an Indian
understood as a supposition that they
had been subjects of France, his eyes struck fire, D9r 65
fire, he stop’d him abruptly, contrary to
their respectful and sensible custom of never
interrupting the person who speaks, “You
mistake, brother,”
said he; “we are
subjects to no prince; a savage is free
all over the world.”
And he spoke only
truth; they are not only free as a people,
but every individual is perfectly so. Lord
of himself, at once subject and master, a
savage knows no superior, a circumstance
which has a striking effect on his behaviour;
unawed by rank or riches, distinctions
unknown amongst his own nation, he would
enter as unconcerned, would possess all his
powers as freely in the palace of an oriental
monarch, as in the cottage of the meanest
peasant: ’tis the species, ’tis man, ’tis
his equal he respects, without regarding the
gaudy trappings, the accidental advantages,
to which polished nations pay homage.

I have taken some pains to develop their
present, as well as past, religious sentiments,
because the Jesuit missionaries have boasted D9v 66
boasted so much of their conversion; and
find they have rather engrafted a few of
the most plain and simple truths of Christianity
on their ancient superstitions, than
exchanged one faith for another; they are
baptized, and even submit to what they
themselves call the yoke of confession, and
worship according to the outward forms of
the Romish church, the drapery of which
cannot but strike minds unused to splendor;
but their belief is very little changed,
except that the women seem to pay great
reverence to the Virgin, perhaps because
flattering to the sex. They anciently believed
in one God, the ruler and creator
of the universe, whom they called the
Great Spirit
and the Master of Life; in the
sun as his image and representative; in a
multitude of inferior spirits and demons;
and in a future state of rewards and punishments,
or, to use their own phrase, in a
country of souls
. They reverenced the spirits
of their departed heroes, but it does not D10r 67
not appear that they paid them any religious
adoration. Their morals were more
pure, their manners more simple, than
those of polished nations, except in what
regarded the intercourse of the sexes: the
young women before marriage were indulged
in great libertinism, hid however
under the most reserved and decent exterior.
They held adultery in abhorrence,
and with the more reason as their marriages
were dissolvible at pleasure. The missionaries
are said to have found no difficulty
so great in gaining them to Christianity, as
that of persuading them to marry for life:
they regarded the Christian system of marriage
as contrary to the laws of nature
and reason; and asserted that, as the Great
Spirit
formed us to be happy, it was opposing
his will, to continue together when
otherwise.

The sex we have so unjustly excluded
from power in Europe have a great share in D10v 68
in the Huron government; the chief is
chose by the matrons from amongst the
nearest male relations, by the female line,
of him he is to succeed; and is generally
an aunt’s or sister’s son; a custom which,
if we examine strictly into the principle on
which it is founded, seems a little to contradict
what we are told of the extreme
chastity of the married ladies.

The power of the chief is extremely limited;
he seems rather to advise his people
as a father than command them as a master:
yet, as his commands are always reasonable,
and for the general good, no prince
in the world is so well obeyed. They have
a supreme council of ancients, into which
every man enters of course at an age fixed,
and another of assistants to the chief on
common occasions, the members of which
are like him elected by the matrons: I am
pleased with this last regulation, as women
are, beyond all doubt, the best judges
of the merit of men; and I should be extremelytremely D11r 69
pleased to see it adopted in England:
canvassing for elections would then
be the most agreeable thing in the world,
and I am sure the ladies would give their
votes on much more generous principles
than we do. In the true sense of the word,
we are the savages, who so impolitely deprive
you of the common rights of citizenship,
and leave you no power but that of
which we cannot deprive you, the resistless
power of your charms. By the way, I
don’t think you are obliged in conscience to
obey laws you have had no share in making;
your plea would certainly be at least
as good as that of the Americans, about
which we every day hear so much.

The Hurons have no positive laws; yet
being a people not numerous, with a strong
sense of honor, and in that state of equality
which gives no food to the most tormenting
passions of the human heart, and
the council of ancients having a power to 3 punish D11v 70
punish atrocious crimes, which power however
they very seldom find occasion to use,
they live together in a tranquillity and order
which appears to us surprizing.

In more numerous Indian nations, I am
told, every village has its chief and its councils,
and is perfectly independent on the
rest; but on great occasions summon a general
council, to which every village sends
deputies.

Their language is at once sublime and
melodious; but, having much fewer ideas,
it is impossible it can be so copious as those
of Europe: the pronunciation of the men
is guttural, but that of the women extremely
soft and pleasing; without understanding
one word of the language, the
sound of it is very agreeable to me. Their
style even in speaking French is bold and
metaphorical: and I am told is on important
occasions extremely sublime. Even in 1 common D12r 71
common conversation they speak in figures,
of which I have this moment an instance.
A savage woman was wounded lately in defending
an English family from the drunken
rage of one of her nation. I asked her
after her wound; “It is well,” said she;
“my sisters at Quebec (meaning the English
ladies) have been kind to me; and piastres,
you know, are very healing.”

They have no idea of letters, no alphabet,
nor is their language reducible to
rules: ’tis by painting they preserve the
memory of the only events which interest
them, or that they think worth recording,
the conquests gained over their enemies in
war.

When I speak of their paintings, I
should not omit that, though extremely
rude, they have a strong resemblance to
the Chinese, a circumstance which struck
me the more, as it is not the stile of nature.
Their dances also, the most lively pantomimes
I ever saw, and especially the dance of D12v 72
of peace, exhibit variety of attitudes resembling
the figures on Chinese fans; nor
have their features and complexion less
likeness to the pictures we see of the Tartars,
as their wandering manner of life,
before they became cChristians, was the same.

If I thought it necessary to suppose they
were not natives of the country, and that
America was peopled later than the other
quarters of the world, I should imagine
them the descendants of Tartars; as nothing
can be more easy than their passage
from Asia, from which America is probably
not divided; or, if it is, by a very
narrow channel. But I leave this to those
who are better informed, being a subject
on which I honestly confess my ignorance.

I have already observed, that they retain
most of their antient superstitions. I should
particularize their belief in dreams, of
which folly even repeated disappointments
cannot cure them: they have also an unlimitedmited E1r 73
faith in their powawers, or conjurers,
of whom there is one in every Indian village,
who is at once physician, orator, and
divine, and who is consulted as an oracle
on every occasion. As I happened to smile
at the recital a savage was making of a
prophetic dream, from which he assured us
of the death of an English officer whom I
knew to be alive, “You Europeans,”
said he; “are the most unreasonable people
in the world; you laugh at our belief
in dreams, and yet expect us to believe
things a thousand times more incredible.”

Their general character is difficult to describe;
made up of contrary and even contradictory
qualities, they are indolent, tranquil,
quiet, humane in peace; active, restless,
cruel, ferocious in war: courteous,
attentive, hospitable, and even polite, when
kindly treated; haughty, stern, vindictive,
when they are not; and their resentment
is the more to be dreaded, as they hold it a Vol. I. E point E1v 74
point of honor to dissemble their sense of
an injury till they find an opportunity to
revenge it.

They are patient of cold and heat, of
hunger and thirst, even beyond all belief
when necessity requires, passing whole days,
and often three or four days together, without
food, in the woods, when on the watch
for an enemy, or even on their hunting parties;
yet indulging themselves in their
feasts even to the most brutal degree of intemperance.
They despise death, and suffer
the most excruciating tortures not only without
a groan, but with an air of triumph;
singing their death song, deriding their tormentors,
and threatening them with the
vengeance of their surviving friends: yet
hold it honorable to fly before an enemy
that appears the least superior in number
or force.

Deprived by their extreme ignorance,
and that indolence which nothing but their ardor E2r 75
ardor for war can surmount, of all the conveniencies,
as well as elegant refinements
of polished life; strangers to the softer passions,
love being with them on the same
footing as amongst their fellow-tenants of
the woods, their lives appear to me rather
tranquil than happy: they have fewer
cares, but they have also much fewer enjoyments,
than fall to our share. I am told,
however, that, though insensible to love,
they are not without affections; are extremely
awake to friendship, and passionately
fond of their children.

They are of a copper color, which is
rendered more unpleasing by a quantity
of coarse red on their cheeks; but the children,
when born, are of a pale silver white;
perhaps their indelicate custom of greasing
their bodies, and their being so much exposed
to the air and sun even from infancy,
may cause that total change of complexion,
which I know not how otherwise
to account for: their hair is black and E2 shining, E2v 76
shining, the women’s very long, parted at
the top, and combed back, tied behind,
and often twisted with a thong of leather,
which they think very ornamental: the
dress of both sexes is a close jacket, reaching
to their knees, with spatterdashes, all
of coarse blue cloth, shoes of deer-skin,
embroidered with porcupine quills, and
sometimes with silver spangles; and a blanket
thrown across their shoulders, and fastened
before with a kind of bodkin, with
necklaces, and other ornaments of beads or
shells.

They are in general tall, well made, and
agile to the last degree; have a lively imagination,
a strong memory; and, as far as
their interests are concerned, are very dextrous
politicians.

Their address is cold and reserved; but
their treatment of strangers, and the unhappy,
infinitely kind and hospitable. A
very worthy priest, with whom I am acquaintedquainted E3r 77
at Quebec, was some years since
shipwrecked in December on the island of
Anticosti: after a variety of distresses, not
difficult to be imagined on an island without
inhabitants, during the severity of a
winter even colder than that of Canada;
he, with the small remains of his companions
who survived such complicated distress,
early in the spring, reached the main land
in their boat, and wandered to a cabbin of
savages; the ancient of which, having heard
his story, bid him enter, and liberally supplied
their wants: “Approach, brother,”
said he; “the unhappy have a right to our
assistance; we are men, and cannot but
feel for the distresses which happen to
men;”
a sentiment which has a strong
resemblance to a celebrated one in a Greek
tragedy.

You will not expect more from me on
this subject, as my residence here has been
short, and I can only be said to catch a few E3 marking E3v 78
marking features flying. I am unable to
give you a picture at full length.

Nothing astonishes me so much as to find
their manners so little changed by their intercourse
with the Europeans; they seem
to have learnt nothing of us but excess in
drinking.

The situation of the village is very fine,
on an eminence, gently rising to a thick
wood at some distance, a beautiful little
serpentine river in front, on which are a
bridge, a mill, and a small cascade, at such
a distance as to be very pleasing objects
from their houses; and a cultivated country,
intermixed with little woods lying between
them and Quebec, from which they
are distant only nine very short miles.

What a letter have I written! I shall
quit my post of historian to your friend
Miss Fermor; the ladies love writing much better E4r 79
better than we do; and I should perhaps
be only just, if I said they write better.

Adieu!

Ed. Rivers.

Letter XII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Iyesterday morning received a letter
from Major Melmoth, to introduce
to my acquaintance Sir George Clayton,
who brought it; he wanted no other introduction
to me than his being dear to the
most amiable woman breathing; in virtue
of that claim, he may command every civility,
every attention in my power. He breakfasted
with me yesterday: we were two
hours alone, and had a great deal of conversation;
we afterwards spent the day together
very agreeably, on a party of pleasure
in the country.

E4 I am E4v 80

I am going with him this afternoon to visit
Miss Fermor, to whom he has a letter
from the divine Emily, which he is to deliver
himself.

He is very handsome, but not of my favorite
stile of beauty: extremely fair and
blooming, with fine features, light hair
and eyes; his countenance not absolutely
heavy, but inanimate, and to my taste insipid:
finely made, not ungenteel, but without
that easy air of the world which I prefer
to the most exact symmetry without it.
In short, he is what the country ladies in
England call a sweet preety man. He dresses
well, has the finest horses and the handsomest
liveries I have seen in Canada. His
manner is civil but cold, his conversation
sensible but not spirited; he seems to be a
man rather to approve than to love. Will
you excuse me if I say, he resembles the
form my imagination paints of Prometheus’s man E5r 81
man of clay, before he stole the celestial
fire to animate him?

Perhaps I scrutinize him too strictly;
perhaps I am prejudiced in my judgment
by the very high idea I had form’d of the
man whom Emily Montague could love. I
will own to you, that I thought it impossible
for her to be pleased with meer beauty;
and I cannot even now change my opinion;
I shall find some latent fire, some hidden
spark, when we are better acquainted.

I intend to be very intimate with him, to
endeavour to see into his very soul; I am
hard to please in a husband for my Emily;
he must have spirit, he must have sensibility,
or he cannot make her happy.

He thank’d me for my civility to Miss
Montague
: do you know I thought him
impertinent? and I am not yet sure he was E5 not E5v 82
not so, though I saw he meant to be polite.

He comes: our horses are at the door.
Adieu!

Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

We are return’d: I every hour like him
less. There were several ladies, French
and English, with Miss Fermor, all on the
rack to engage the Baronet’s attention;
you have no notion of the effect of a title
in America. To do the ladies justice however,
he really look’d very handsome; the
ride, and the civilities he receiv’d from a
circle of pretty women, for they were well
chose, gave a glow to his complexion extremely
favorable to his desire of pleasing,ing, E6r 83
which, through all his calmness, it was
impossible not to observe; he even attempted
once or twice to be lively, but
fail’d: vanity itself could not inspire him
with vivacity; yet vanity is certainly his
ruling passion, if such a piece of still life
can be said to have any passions at all.

What a charm, my dear Lucy, is there
in sensibility! ’Tis the magnet which attracts
all to itself: virtue may command esteem,
understanding and talents admiration,
beauty a transient desire; but ’tis sensibility
alone which can inspire love.

Yet the tender, the sensible Emily Montague
—no, my dear, ’tis impossible: she
may fancy she loves him, but it is not in
nature; unless she extremely mistakes his
character. His approbation of her, for he
cannot feel a livelier sentiment, may at
present, when with her, raise him a little
above his natural vegetative state, but after E6 marriage E6v 84
marriage he will certainly sink into it
again.

If I have the least judgment in men, he
will be a cold, civil, inattentive husband;
a tasteless, insipid, silent companion; a tranquil,
frozen, unimpassion’d lover; his insensibility
will secure her from rivals, his
vanity will give her all the drapery of
happiness; her friends will congratulate her
choice; she will be the envy of her own
sex: without giving positive offence, he
will every moment wound, because he is a
stranger to, all the fine feelings of a heart
like hers; she will seek in vain the friend,
the lover, she expected; yet, scarce knowing
of what to complain, she will accuse
herself of caprice, and be astonish’d to
find herself wretched with the best husband
in the world
.

I tremble E7r 85

I tremble for her happiness; I know
how few of my own sex are to be found
who have the lively sensibility of yours,
and of those few how many wear out their
hearts by a life of gallantry and dissipation,
and bring only apathy and disgust to marriage.
I know few men capable of making
her happy; but this Sir George—my
Lucy, I have not patience.

Did I tell you all the men here are in
love with your friend Bell Fermor? The
women all hate her, which is an unequivocal
proof that she pleases the other sex.

Let- E7v 86

Letter XIII.

To Miss Fermor, at Silleri.

My dearest Bell will better imagine
than I can describe, the pleasure
it gave me to hear of her being in Canada;
I am impatient to see her, but as Mrs.
Melmoth
comes in a fortnight to Quebec;
I know she will excuse my waiting to come
to her. My visit however is to Silleri; I
long to see my dear girl, to tell her a thousand
little trifles interesting only to friendship.

You congratulate me, my dear, on the
pleasing prospect I have before me; on
my approaching marriage with a man young, rich, E8r 87
rich, lovely, enamor’d, and of an amiable
character.

Yes, my dear, I am oblig’d to my uncle
for his choice; Sir George is all you have
heard; and, without doubt, loves me, as
he marries me with such an inferiority of
fortune. I am very happy certainly; how
is it possible I should be otherwise?

I could indeed with my tenderness for
him more lively, but perhaps my wishes
are romantic. I prefer him to all his sex,
but with my preference was of a less languid
nature; there is something in it more
like friendship than love; I see him with
pleasure, but I part from him without regret;
yet he deserves my affection, and I
can have no objection to him which is not
founded in caprice.

You say true; Colonel Rivers is very
amiable; he pass’d six weeks with us, yet 5 we E8v 88
we found his conversation always new; he
is the man on earth of whom one would
wish to make a friend; I think I could
already trust him with every sentiment of
my soul; I have even more confidence in
him than in Sir George whom I love; his
manner is soft, attentive, insinuating, and
particularly adapted to please women.
Without designs, without pretensions; he
steals upon you in the character of a friend,
because there is not the least appearance
of his ever being a lover: he seems to take
such an interest in your happiness, as gives
him a right to know your every thought.
Don’t you think, my dear, these kind of
men are dangerous? Take care of yourself,
my dear Bell; as to me, I am secure in my
situation.

Sir George is to have the pleasure of
delivering this to you, and comes again in
a few days; love him for my sake, though 1 he E9r 89
he deserves it for his own. I assure you, he
is extremely worthy.

Adieu! my dear.
Your affectionate

Emily Montague.

Letter XIV.

To John Temple, Esq; Pall Mall.

Believe me, Jack, you are wrong;
this vagrant taste is unnatural, and
does not lead to happiness; your eager
pursuit of pleasure defeats itself; love
gives no true delight but where the heart
is attach’d, and you do not give yours time
to fix. Such is our unhappy frailty, that
the tenderest passion may wear out, and another E9v 90
another succeed, but the love of change
merely as change is not in nature; where it
is a real taste, ’tis a depraved one. Boys are
inconstant from vanity and affectation, old
men from decay of passion; but men, and
particularly men of sense, find their happiness
only in that lively attachment of which
it is impossible for more than one to be the
object. Love is an intellectual pleasure,
and even the senses will be weakly affected
where the heart is silent.

You will find this truth confirmed even
within the walls of the seraglio; amidst
this crowd of rival beauties, eager to
please, one happy fair generally reigns in
the heart of the sultan; the rest serve
only to gratify his pride and ostentation,
and are regarded by him with the same
indifference as the furniture of his superb
palace, of which they may be said to make
a part.

With E10r 91

With your estate, you should marry; I
have as many objections to the state as you
can have; I mean, on the footing marriage
is at present. But of this I am certain, that
two persons at once delicate and sensible,
united by friendship, by taste, by a conformity
of sentiment, by that lively ardent
tender inclination which alone deserves the
name of love, will find happiness in marriage,
which is in vain sought in any other
kind of attachment.

You are so happy as to have the power
of chusing; you are rich, and have not the
temptation to a mercenary engagement.
Look round you for a companion, a confidente;
a tender amiable friend, with all the
charms of a mistress: above all, be certain
of her affection, that you engage, that
you fill her whole soul. Find such a woman,
my dear Temple, and you cannot make
too much haste to be happy.

I have E10v 92

I have a thousand things to say to you,
but am setting off immediately with Sir
George Clayton
, to meet the lieutenant
governor at Montreal; a piece of respect
which I should pay with the most lively
pleasure, if it did not give me the opportunity
of seeing the woman in the world I
most admire. I am not however going to
set you the example of marrying: I am
not so happy; she is engaged to the gentleman
who goes up with me. Adieu!

Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

Let- E11r 93

Letter XV.

To Miss Montague, at Montreal.

Take care, my dear Emily, you do
not fall into the common error of sensible
and delicate minds, that of resining
away your happiness.

Sir George is handsome as an Adonis;
you allow him to be of an amiable character;
he is rich, young, well born, and
loves you; you will have fine cloaths, fine
jewels, a fine house, a coach and six; all
the douceurs of marriage, with an extreme
pretty fellow, who is fond of you, whom
you see with pleasure, and prefer to all his
sex
; and yet you are discontented, because
you have not for him at twenty-four the
romantic passion of fifteen, or rather that ideal E11v 94
ideal passion which perhaps never existed
but in imagination.

To be happy in this world, it is necessary
not to raise one’s ideas too high: if I loved
a man of Sir George’s fortune half as well
as by your own account you love him, I
should not hesitate one moment about marrying;
but sit down contented with ease,
affluence, and an agreeable man, without
expecting to find life what it certainly is
not, a state of continual rapture. ’Tis, I
am afraid, my dear, your misfortune to
have too much sensibility to be happy.

I could moralize exceedingly well this
morning on the vanity of human wishes and
expectations, and the folly of hoping for
felicity in this vile sublunary world: but
the subject is a little exhausted, and I have
a passion for being original. I think all the
moral writers, who have set off with promising
to shew us the road to happiness,
have obligingly ended with telling us there is E12r 95
is no such thing; a conclusion extremely
consoling, and which if they had drawn before
they set pen to paper, would have
saved both themselves and their readers an
infinity of trouble. This fancy of hunting
for what one knows is not to be found, is
really an ingenious way of amusing both
one’s self and the world: I wish people
would either write to some purpose, or be
so good as not to write at all.

I believe I shall set about writing a system
of ethics myself, which shall be short,
clear, and comprehensive; nearer the Epicurean
perhaps than the Stoic; but rural,
refined, and sentimental; rural by all
means; for who does not know that virtue
is a country gentlewoman? all the good
mammas will tell you, there is no such being
to be heard of in town.

I shall certainly be glad to see you, my
dear; though I foresee strange revolutions
in the state of Denmark from this event; at E12v 96
at present I have all the men to myself,
and you must know I have a prodigious
aversion to divided empire: however, ’tis
some comfort they all know you are going
to be married. You may come, Emily;
only be so obliging to bring Sir George
along with you: in your present situation,
you are not so very formidable.

The men here, as I said before, are all
dying for me; there are many handsomer
women, but I flatter them, and the dear
creatures cannot resist it. I am a very good
girl to women, but naturally artful (if you
will allow the expression) to the other sex;
I can blush, look down, stifle a sigh, flutter
my fan, and seem so agreeably confused—
you have no notion, my dear, what fools
men are. If you had not got the start of
me, I would have had your little white-
haired baronet in a week, and yet I don’t
take him to be made of very combustible
materials; rather mild, composed, and pretty, F1r 97
pretty, I believe; but he has vanity, which
is quite enough for my purpose.

Either your love or Colonel Rivers will
have the honor to deliver this letter; ’tis
rather cruel to take them both from us at
once; however, we shall soon be made
amends; for we shall have a torrent of
beaux with the general.

Don’t you think the sun in this country
vastly more chearing than in England? I
am charmed with the sun, to say nothing
of the moon, though to be sure I never saw
a moon-light night that deserved the name
till I came to America.

Mon cher pere desires a thousand compliments;
you know he has been in love
with you ever since you were seven years
old: he is vastly better for his voyage, and
the clear air of Canada, and looks ten years
younger than before he set out.

Vol. I. F Adieu! F1v 98

Adieu! I am going to ramble in the
woods, and pick berries, with a little smiling
civil captain, who is enamoured of me:
a pretty rural amusement for lovers!

Good morrow, my dear Emily,
Yours,

A. Fermor.

Letter XVI.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Your brother, my dear, is gone to
Montreal with Sir George Clayton,
of whom I suppose you have heard, and
who is going to marry a friend of mine, to
pay a visit to Monsieur le General, who is
arrived there. The men in Canada, the
English I mean, are eternally changing place, F2r 99
place, even when they have not so pleasing
a call; travelling is cheap and amusing, the
prospects lovely, the weather inviting; and
there are no very lively pleasures at present
to attach them either to Quebec or
Montreal, so that they divide themselves
between both.

This fancy of the men, which is extremely
the mode, makes an agreable
circulation of inamoratoes, which serves to
vary the amusement of the ladies; so that
upon the whole ’tis a pretty fashion, and
deserves encouragement.

You expect too much of your brother,
my dear; the summer is charming here,
but with no such very striking difference
from that of England, as to give room to
say a vast deal on the subject; though I
believe, if you will please to compare our
letters, you will find, putting us together,
we cut a pretty figure in the descriptive
way; at least if your brother tells me truth.

F2 You F2v 100

You may expect a very well painted frostpiece
from me in the winter; as to the
present season, it is just like any fine autumn
in England: I may add, that the
beauty of the nights is much beyond my
power of description: a constant Aurora
borealis
, without a cloud in the heavens;
and a moon so resplendent that you may
see to read the smallest print by its light;
one has nothing to wish but that it was
full moon every night. Our evening walks
are delicious, especially at Silleri, where
’tis the pleasantest thing in the world to listen
to soft nonsense, “Whilst the moon dances through the
trembling leaves”

(A line I stole from Philander and Sylvia
But to return:

The French ladies never walk but at
night, which shews their good taste; and then F3r 101
then only within the walls of Quebec,
which does not: they saunter slowly, after
supper, on a particular battery, which is a
kind of little Mall: they have no idea of
walking in the country, nor the least feeling
of the lovely scene around them; there
are many of them who never saw the falls
of Montmorenci, though little more than
an hour’s drive from the town. They seem
born without the smallest portion of curiosity,
or any idea of the pleasures of the
imagination, or indeed any pleasure but
that of being admired; love, or rather coquetry,
dress, and devotion, seem to share
all their hours: yet, as they are lively, and
in general handsome, the men are very
ready to excuse their want of knowledge.

There are two ladies in the province, I
am told, who read; but both of them are
above fifty, and they are regarded as prodigies
of erudition.

F3 Abso- F3v 102

Absolutely, Lucy, I will marry a savage,
and turn squaw (a pretty soft name for
an Indian princess!): never was any thing
delightful as their lives; they talk of
French husbands, but commend me to an
Indian one, who lets his wife ramble five
hundred miles, without asking where she is
going.

I was sitting after dinner with a book, in
a thicket of hawthorn near the beach,
when a loud laugh called my attention to
the river, where I saw a canoe of savages
making to the shore; there were six women,
and two or three children, without
one man amongst them: they landed, tied
the canoe to the root of a tree, and finding
out the most agreable shady spot amongst
the bushes with which the beach was
covered, which happened to be very near me, F4r 103
me, made a fire, on which they laid some
fish to broil, and, fetching water from
the river, sat down on the grass to their
frugal repast.

I stole softly to the house, and, ordering
a servant to bring some wine and cold provisions,
returned to my squaws: I asked
them in French if they were of Lorette;
they shook their heads: I repeated the
question in English, when the oldest of the
women told me, they were not; that their
country was on the borders of New England;
that, their husbands being on a hunting
party in the woods, curiosity, and the
desire of seeing their brethren the English
who had conquered Quebec, had brought
them up the great river, down which they
should return as soon as they had seen Montreal.
She courteously asked me to sit down,
and eat with them, which I complied with,
and produced my part of the feast. We
soon became good company, and “brighten’d F4 the F4v 104
the chain of friendship”
with two bottles of
wine, which put them into such spirits,
that they danced, sung, shook me by the
hand, and grew so very fond of me, that
I began to be afraid I should not easily get
rid of them. They were very unwilling to
part with me; but, after two or three very
ridiculous hours, I with some difficulty prevailed
on the ladies to pursue their voyage,
having first replenished their canoe with provisions
and a few bottles of wine, and given
them a letter of recommendation to your
brother, that they might be in no distress
at Montreal.

Adieu! my father is just come in, and
has brought some company with him from
Quebec to supper.

Yours ever,

A. Fermor.

Don’t F5r 105

Don’t you think, my dear, my good
sisters the squaws seem to live something
the kind of life of our gypsies?
The idea struck me as they
were dancing. I assure you, there is
a good deal of resemblance in their
persons: I have seen a fine old seasoned
female gypsey, of as dark a
complexion as a savage: they are
all equally marked as children of
the sun.

Letter XVII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

I Study my fellow traveller closely; his
character, indeed, is not difficult to ascertain;
his feelings are dull, nothing makes F5 the F5v 106
the least impression on him; he is as insensible
to the various beauties of the charming
country through which we have travelled,
as the very Canadian peasants themselves
who inhabit it. I watched his eyes
at some of the most beautiful prospects,
and saw not the least gleam of pleasure
there: I introduced him here to an extreme
handsome French lady, and as lively as she
is handsome, the wife of an officer who is
of my acquaintance; the same tasteless composure
prevailed; he complained of fatigue,
and retired to his apartment at eight:
the family are now in bed, and I have an
hour to give to my dear Lucy.

He admires Emily because he has seen
her admired by all the world, but he cannot
taste her charms of himself; they are
not of a stile to please him: I cannot support
the thought of such a woman’s being
so lost; there are a thousand insensible good
young women to be found, who would
doze away life with him and be happy.

A rich, F6r 107

A rich, sober, sedate, presbyterian citizen’s
daughter, educated by her grandmother
in the country, who would roll
about with him in unweildy splendor, and
dream away a lazy existence, would be the
proper wife for him. Is it for him, a lifeless
composition of earth and water, to unite
himself to the active elements which compose
my divine Emily?

Adieu! my dear! we set out early in the
morning for Montreal.

Your affectionate

Ed. Rivers.

F6 Let- F6v 108

Letter XVIII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

No, my dear, it is impossible she can
love him; his dull soul is ill suited to
hers; heavy, unmeaning, formal; a slave
to rules, to ceremony, to etiquette, he has
not an idea above those of a gentleman
usher. He has been three hours in town
without seeing her; dressing, and waiting
to pay his compliments first to the general,
who is riding, and every minute expected
back. I am all impatience, though only her
friend, but think it would be indecent in
me to go without him, and look like a design
of reproaching his coldness. How differently
are we formed! I should have stole
a moment to see the woman I loved from
the first prince in the universe.

The F7r 109

The general is returned. Adieu! till
our visit is over; we go from thence to Major
Melmoth’s
, whose family I should have
told you are in town, and not half a street
from us. What a soul of fire has this
lover! ’Tis to profane the word to use it in
speaking of him.

I am mistaken, Lucy; astonishing as it is,
she loves him; this dull clod of uninformed
earth has touched the lively soul of my
Emily. Love is indeed the child of caprice;
I will not say of sympathy, for what
sympathy can there be between two hearts
so different? I am hurt, she is lowered in
my esteem; I expected to find in the man
she loved, a mind sensible and tender as her
own.

I repeat it, my dear Lucy; she loves him;
I observed her when we entered the room; she F7v 110
she blushed, she turned pale, she trembled,
her voice faltered; every look spoke the
strong emotion of her soul.

She is paler than when I saw her last;
she is, I think, less beautiful, but more
touching than ever; there is a langour in
her air, a softness in her countenance,
which are the genuine marks of a heart in
love; all the tenderness of her soul is in
her eyes.

Shall I own to you all my injustice? I
hate this man for having the happiness to
please her: I cannot even behave to him
with the politeness due to every gentleman.

I begin to fear my weakness is greater
than I supposed.

I am certainly mad, Lucy; what right
have I to expect!—you will scarce believe the F8r 111
the excess of my folly. I went after dinner
to Major Melmoth’s; I found Emily at piquet
with Sir George: can you conceive
that I fancied myself ill used, that I scarce
spoke to her, and returned immediately
home, though strongly pressed to spend the
evening there. I walked two or three times
about my room, took my hat, and went to
visit the handsomest Frenchwoman at Montreal,
whose windows are directly opposite
to Major Melmoth’s; in the excess of my
anger, I asked this lady to dance with me
to-morrow at a little ball we are to have out
of town. Can you imagine any behaviour
more childish? It would have been scarce
pardonable at sixteen.

Adieu! my letter is called for. I will
write to you again in a few days.

Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

Major Melmoth tells me, they are to be
married in a month at Quebec, and to F8v 112
to embark immediately for England.
I will not be there; I cannot bear
to see her devote herself to wretchedness:
she will be the most unhappy
of her sex with this man; I see clearly
into his character; his virtue is the
meer absence of vice; his good qualities
are all of the negative kind.

Letter XIX.

To Miss Fermor, at Silleri.

Ihave but a moment, my dear, to acknowledge
your last; this week has been
a continual hurry.

You mistake me; it is not the romantic
passion of fifteen I wish to feel, but that
tender lively friendship which alone can give F9r 113
give charms to so intimate an union as that
of marriage. I wish a greater conformity
in our characters, in our sentiments, in our
tastes.

But I will say no more on this subject till
I have the pleasure of seeing you at Silleri.
Mrs. Melmoth and I come in a ship which
sails in a day or two; they tell us, it is the
most agreeable way of coming: Colonel
Rivers
is so polite, as to stay to accompany
us down: Major Melmoth asked Sir George,
but he preferred the pleasure of parading
into Quebec, and shewing his fine horses and
fine person to advantage, to that of attending
his mistress: shall I own to you that I am
hurt at this instance of his neglect, as I
know his attendance on the general was not
expected? His situation was more than a
sufficient excuse; it was highly improper
for two women to go to Quebec alone; it
is in some degree so that any other man
should accompany me at this time: my
pride is extremely wounded. I expect a thousand F9v 114
thousand times more attention from him
since his acquisition of fortune; it is with
pain I tell you, my dear friend, he seems
to shew me much less. I will not descend
to suppose he presumes on this increase of
fortune, but he presumes on the inclination,
he supposes I have for him; an inclination,
however, not violent enough to make me
submit to the least ill treatment from him.

In my present state of mind, I am extremely
hard to please; either his behaviour
or my temper have suffered a change.
I know not how it is, but I see his faults in a
much stronger light than I have ever seen
them before. I am alarmed at the coldness of
his disposition, so ill suited to the sensibility
of mine; I begin to doubt his being of
the amiable character I once supposed: in
short, I begin to doubt the possibility
of his making me happy.

You will, perhaps, call it an excess of
pride, when I say, I am much less inclined to F10r 115
to marry him than when our situations were
equal. I certainly love him; I have a habit
of considering him as the man I am to
marry, but my affection is not of that kind
which will make me easy under the sense of
an obligation.

I will open all my heart to you when we
meet: I am not so happy as you imagine:
do not accuse me of caprice; can I be too
cautious, where the happiness of my whole
life is at stake?

Adieu!
Your faithful

Emily Montague.

Let- F10v 116

Letter XX.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Ideclare off at once; I will not be a
squaw; I admire their talking of the liberty
of savages; in the most essential point,
they are slaves: the mothers marry their
children without ever consulting their inclinations,
and they are obliged to submit
to this foolish tyranny. Dear England!
where liberty appears, not as here among
these odious savages, wild and ferocious
like themselves, but lovely, smiling, led by
the hand of the Graces. There is no true
freedom any where else. They may talk
of the privilege of chusing a chief; but
what is that to the dear English privilege
of chusing a husband?

I have been at an Indian wedding, and
have no patience. Never did I see so vile
an assortment.

Adieu! F11r 117

Adieu! I shall not be in good humor
this month.

Yours,

A. Fermor.

Letter XXI.

To John Temple, Esq; Pall Mall.

What you say, my dear friend, is
more true than I wish it was; our
English women of character are generally
too reserved; their manner is cold and forbidding;
they seem to think it a crime to
be too attractive; they appear almost afraid
to please.

’Tis to this ill-judged reserve I attribute
the low profligacy of too many of our young
men; the grave faces and distant behaviour1 viour F11v 118
of the generality of virtuous women
fright them from their acquaintance, and
drive them into the society of those wretched
votaries of vice, whose conversation debases
every sentiment of their souls.

With as much beauty, good sense, sensibility,
and softness, at least, as any women
on earth, no women please so little as
the English: depending on their native
charms, and on those really amiable qualities
which envy cannot deny them, they are
too careless in acquiring those enchanting
nameless graces, which no language can define,
which give resistless force to beauty,
and even supply its place where it is wanting.

They are satisfied with being good,
without considering that unadorned virtue
may command esteem, but will never
excite love; and both are necessary in marriage,
which I suppose to be in the state
every woman of honor has in prospect; for 2 I own F12r 119
I own myself rather incredulous as to the
assertions of maiden aunts and cousins to
the contrary. I wish my amiable country-
women would consider one moment, that virtue
is never so lovely as when dressed in
smiles: the virtue of women should have
all the softness of the sex; it should be gentle,
it should be even playful, to please.

There is a lady here, whom I wish you
to see, as the shortest way of explaining to
you all I mean; she is the most pleasing woman
I ever beheld, independently of her
being one of the handsomest; her manner
is irresistible: she has all the smiling graces
of France, all the blushing delicacy and
native softness of England.

Nothing can be more delicate, my dear
Temple, than the manner in which you
offer me your estate in Rutland, by way of
anticipating your intended legacy: it is
however impossible for me to accept it; my
father, who saw me naturally more profuse than F12v 120
than became my expectations, took such
pains to counterwork it by inspiring me
with the love of independence, that I cannot
have such an obligation even to you.

Besides, your legacy is left on the supposition
that you are not to marry, and I
am absolutely determined you shall; so that,
by accepting this mark of your esteem, I
should be robbing your younger children.

I have not a wish to be richer whilst I
am a batchelor, and the only woman I ever
wished to marry, the only one my heart
desires, will be in three weeks the wife of
another; I shall spend less than my income
here: shall I not then be rich? To make
you easy, know I have four thousand
pounds in the funds; and that, from the
equality of living here, an ensign is obliged
to spend near as much as I am; he is inevitably
ruined, but I save money.

I pity G1r 121

I pity you, my friend; I am hurt to
hear you talk of happiness in the life you
at present lead; of finding pleasure in possessing
venal beauty; you are in danger of
acquiring a habit which will vitiate your
taste, and exclude you from that state of
refined and tender friendship for which nature
formed a heart like yours, and which is
only to be found in marriage: I need not
add, in a marriage of choice.

It has been said that love marriages are
generally unhappy; nothing is more false;
marriages of meer inclination will always
be so: passion alone being concerned, when
that is gratified, all tenderness ceases of
course: but love, the gay child of sympathy
and esteem, is, when attended by delicacy,
the only happiness worth a reasonable
man’s pursuit, and the choicest gift of
heaven: it is a softer, tenderer friendship,
enlivened by taste, and by the most ardent Vol. I. G desire G1v 122
desire of pleasing, which time, instead of
destroying, will render every hour more
dear and interesting.

If, as you possibly will, you should call
me romantic, hear a man of pleasure on
the subject, the Petronius of the last age,
the elegant, but voluptuous St. Evremond,
who speaks in the following manner of the
friendship between married persons:

“ I believe it is this pleasing intercourse
of tenderness, this reciprocation of esteem,
or, if you will, this mutual ardor
of preventing each other in every endearing
mark of affection, in which consists
the seetness of this second species
of friendship.
I do not speak of other pleasures,
which are not so much in themselves as
in the assurance they give of the intire
possession of those we love: this appears “to G2r 123
to me so true, that I am not afraid to
assert, the man who is by any other
means certainly assured of the tenderness
of her he loves, may easily support
the privation of those pleasures;
and that they ought not to enter into
the account of friendship, but as proofs
that it is without reserve.
’Tis true, few men are capable of the
purity of these sentiments, and ’tis for
that reason we so very seldom see perfect
friendship in marriage, at least for
any long time: the object which a sensual
passion has in view cannot long sustain
a commerce so noble as that of
friendship.”

You see, the pleasures you so much boast
are the least of those which true tenderness
has to give, and this in the opinion of
a voluptuary.

G2 My G2v 124

My dear Temple, all you have ever
known of love is nothing to that sweet consent
of souls in unison, that harmony of
minds congenial to each other, of which
you have not yet an idea.

You have seen beauty, and it has inspired
a momentary emotion, but you have never
yet had a real attachment; you yet know
nothing of that irresistible tenderness, that
delirium of the soul, which, whilst it refines,
adds strength to passion.

I perhaps say too much, but I wish with
ardor to see you happy; in which there is
the more merit, as I have not the least
prospect of being so myself.

I wish you to pursue the plan of life
which I myself think most likely to bring
nhappiness, because I know our souls to
be of the same frame: we have taken differentferent G3r 125
roads, but you will come back to
mine. Awake to delicate pleasures, I
have no taste for any other; there are no
other for sensible minds. My gallantries
have been few, rather (if it is allowed to
speak thus of one’s self even to a friend)
from elegance of taste than severity of
manners; I have loved seldom, because I
cannot love without esteem.

Believe me, Jack, the meer pleasure of
loving, even without a return, is superior to
all the joys of sense where the heart is untouched:
the French poet does not exaggerate
when he says, “――Amour;
Tous les autres plaisirs ne valent pas tes peines”
.

You will perhaps call me mad; I am
just come from a woman who is capable of
making all mankind so. Adieu!

Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

G3 Let- G3v 126

Letter XXII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Ihave been rambling about amongst
the peasants, and asking them a thousand
questions, in order to satisfy your inquisitive
friend. As to my father, though,
properly speaking, your questions are addressed
to him, yet, being upon duty, he
begs that, for this time, you will accept of
an answer from me.

The Canadians live a good deal like
the ancient patriarchs; the lands were originally
settled by the troops, every officer
became a seigneur, or lord of the manor,
every soldier took lands under his commander;
but, as avarice is natural to mankind,
the soldiers took a great deal more
than they could cultivate, by way of providingviding G4r 127
for a family: which is the reason so
much land is now waste in the finest part
of the province: those who had children,
and in general they have a great number,
portioned out their lands amongst them as
they married, and lived in the midst of a
little world of their descendents.

There are whole villages, and there is
even a large island, that of Coudre, where
the inhabitants are all the descendents of
one pair, if we only suppose that their
sons went to the next village for wives, for
I find no tradition of their having had a dispensation
to marry their sisters.

The corn here is very good, though not
equal to ours; the harvest not half so gay
as in England, and for this reason, that
the lazy creatures leave the greatest part of
their land uncultivated, only sowing as
much corn of different sorts as will serve
themselves; and being too proud and too
idle to work for hire, every family gets in G4 its G4v 128
its own harvest, which prevents all that jovial
spirit which we find when the reapers
work together in large parties.

Idleness is the reigning passion here, from
the peasant to his lord; the gentlemen
never either ride on horseback or walk, but
are driven about like women, for they never
drive themselves, lolling at their ease in a
calache: the peasants, I mean the masters
of families, are pretty near as useless as
their lords.

You will scarce believe me, when I tell
you, that I have seen, at the farm next us,
two children, a very beautiful boy and
girl, of about eleven years old, assisted by
their grandmother, reaping a field of oats,
whilst the lazy father, a strong fellow of
thirty two, lay on the grass, smoaking his
pipe, about twenty yards from them: the
old people and children work here; those
in the age of strength and health only take
their pleasure.

A pro- G5r 129

A propos to smoaking, ’tis common to see
here boys of three years old, sitting at their
doors, smoaking their pipes, as grave and
composed as little old Chinese men on a
chimney.

You ask me after our fruits; we have,
as I am told, an immensity of cranberries
all the year; when the snow melts away
in spring, they are said to be found under
it as fresh and as good as in autumn: strawberries
and rasberries grow wild in profusion;
you cannot walk a step in the fields
without treading on the former: great
plenty of currants, plumbs, apples, and
pears; a few cherries and grapes, but not
in much perfection: excellent musk melons,
and water melons in abundance, but
not so good in proportion as the musk.
Not a peach, nor any thing of the kind;
this I am however convinced is less the fault
of the climate than of the people, who G5 are G5v 130
are too indolent to take pains for any thing
more than is absolutely necessary to their
existence. They might have any fruit here
but gooseberries, for which the summer is
too hot; there are bushes in the woods,
and some have been brought from England,
but the fruit falls off before it is ripe. The
wild fruits here, especially those of the
brumble kind, are in much greater variety
and perfection than in England.

When I speak of the natural productions
of the country, I should not forget that
hemp and hops grow every where in the
woods; I should imagine the former might
be cultivated here with great success, if the
people could be persuaded to cultivate any
thing.

A little corn of every kind, a little hay,
a little tobacco, half a dozen apple trees,
a few onions and cabbages, make the whole
of a Canadian plantation. There is scarce
a flower, except those in the woods, where there G6r 131
there is a variety of the most beautiful
shrubs I ever saw; the wild cherry, of which
the woods are full, is equally charming in
flower and in fruit; and, in my opinion, at
least equals the arbutus.

They sow their wheat in spring, never
manure the ground, and plough it in the
slightest manner; can it then be wondered
at that it is inferior to ours? They fancy the
frost would destroy it if sown in autumn;
but this is all prejudice, as experience has
shewn. I myself saw a field of wheat this
year at the governor’s farm, which was
manured and sown in autumn, as fine as I
ever saw in England.

I should tell you, they are so indolent as
never to manure their lands, or even their
gardens; and that, till the English came, all
the manure of Quebec was thrown into the
river.

You G6v 132

You will judge how naturally rich
the soil must be, to produce good crops
without manure, and without ever lying
fallow, and almost without ploughing; yet
our political writers in England never speak
of Canada without the epithet of barren.
They tell me this extreme fertility is owing
to the snow, which lies five or six months
on the ground. Provisions are dear, which
is owing to the prodigious number of horses
kept here; every family having a carriage,
even the poorest peasant; and every son of
that peasant keeping a horse for his little
excursions of pleasure, besides those necessary
for the business of the farm. The war
also destroyed the breed of cattle, which I
am told however begins to encrease; they
have even so far improved in corn, as to
export some this year to Italy and Spain.

Don’t you think I am become an excellent
farmeress? ’Tis intuition; some people
are born learned: are you not all astonishmentment G7r 133
at my knowledge? I never was so vain
of a letter in my life.

Shall I own the truth? I had most of my
intelligence from old John, who lived long
with my grandfather in the country; and
who, having little else to do here, has taken
some pains to pick up a competent knowledge
of the state of agriculture five miles
round Quebec.

Adieu! I am tired of the subject.
Your faithful,

A. Fermor.

Now I think of it, why did you not
write to your brother? Did you
chuse me to expose my ignorance?
If so, I flatter myself you are a little
taken in, for I think John and I
figure in the rural way.

Let- G7v 134

Letter XXIII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Oto be sure! we are vastly to be pitied:
no beaux at all with the general;
only about six to one; a very pretty
proportion, and what I hope always to see.
We, the ladies I mean, drink chocolate
with the general to-morrow, and he gives
us a ball on Thursday: you would not
know Quebec again; nothing but smiling
faces now; all so gay as never was, the
sweetest country in the world; never expect
to see me in England again; one is
really somebody here: I have been asked
to dance by only twenty-seven.

On the subject of dancing, I am, as it
were, a little embarrased: you will please to G8r 135
to observe that, in the time of scarcity,
when all the men were at Montreal, I suffered
a foolish little captain to sigh and say
civil things to me, pour passer le tems, and
the creature takes the airs of a lover, to
which he has not the least pretensions, and
chuses to be angry that I won’t dance with
him on Thursday, and I positively won’t.

It is really pretty enough that every absurd
animal, who takes upon him to make
love to one, is to fancy himself entitled to
a return: I have no patience with the men’s
ridiculousness: have you, Lucy?

But I see a ship coming down under full
sail; it may be Emily and her friends; the
colours are all out, they slacken sail; they
drop anchor opposite the house; ’tis certainly
them; I must fly to the beach:
music as I am a person, and an awning on
the deck: the boat puts off with your brother
in it. Adieu for a moment: I must
go and invite them on shore.

’Twas G8v 136

’Twas Emily and Mrs. Melmoth, with
two or three very pretty French women;
your brother is a happy man: I found tea
and coffee under the awning, and a table
loaded with Montreal fruit, which is vastly
better than ours; by the way, the colonel
has bought me an immensity; he is so
gallant and all that: we regaled ourselves,
and landed; they dine here, and we dance
in the evening; we are to have a syllabub
in the wood: my father has sent for Sir
George
and Major Melmoth, and half a
dozen of the most agreable men, from
Quebec: he is enchanted with his little
Emily, he loved her when she was a child.
I cannot tell you how happy I am; my
Emily is handsomer than ever; you know
how partial I am to beauty: I never had a
friendship for an ugly woman in my life.

Adieu! ma tres chere.
Yours,

A. Fermor.

Your G9r 137

Your brother looks like an angel this
morning; he is not drest, he is not undrest,
but somehow, easy, elegant and enchanting:
he has no powder, and his hair a
little degagée, blown about by the wind,
and agreably disordered; such fire in his
countenance; his eyes say a thousand agreable
things; he is in such spirits as I never
saw him: not a man of them has the least
chance to-day. I shall be in love with him
if he goes on at this rate: not that it will
be to any purpose in the world; he never
would even flirt with me, though I have
made him a thousand advances.

My heart is so light, Lucy, I cannot
describe it: I love Emily at my soul: ’tis
three years since I saw her, and there is
something so romantic in finding her in Canada:
there is no saying how happy I am:
I want only you, to be perfectly so.

The G9v 138

The messenger is returned: Sir George
is gone with a party of French ladies to
Lake Charles: Emily blushed when the
message was delivered; he might reasonably
suppose they would be here to-day, as
the wind was fair: your brother dances
with my sweet friend; she loses nothing by
the exchange; she is however a little
piqued at this appearance of disrespect.

Sir George came just as we sat down to
supper; he did right, he complained first,
and affected to be angry she had not sent
an express from Point au Tremble. He was
however gayer than usual, and very attentive
to his mistress; your brother seeemed
chagrined at his arrival; Emily perceived
it, and redoubled her politeness to him,
which in a little time restored part of his good G10r 139
good humor: upon the whole, it was an
agreable evening, but it would have been
more so, if Sir George had come at first,
or not at all.

The ladies lie here, and we go all together
in the morning to Quebec; the gentlemen
are going.

I steal a moment to seal, and give this to
the colonel, who will put it in his packet
to-morrow.

Letter XXIV.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Would you believe it possible, my
dear, that Sir George should decline
attending Emily Montague from Montreal,treal, G10v 140
and leave the pleasing commission to
me? I am obliged to him for the three
happiest days of my life, yet am piqued
at his chusing me for a cecisbeo to his mistress:
he seems to think me a man sans
consequence
, with whom a lady may safely
be trusted; there is nothing very flattering
in such a kind of confidence: let him take
care of himself, if he is impertinent, and
sets me at defiance; I am not vain, but set
our fortunes aside, and I dare enter the
lists with Sir George Clayton. I cannot
give her a coach and six; but I can give her,
what is more conducive to happiness, a
heart which knows how to value her perfections.

I never had so pleasing a journey; we
were three days coming down, because we
made it a continual party of pleasure, took
music with us, landed once or twice a day,
visited the French families we knew, lay
both nights on shore, and danced at the
seigneur’s of the village.

This G11r 141

This river, from Montreal to Quebec,
exhibits a scene perhaps not to be matched
in the world: it is settled on both sides,
though the settlements are not so numerous
on the south shore as on the other: the
lovely confusion of woods, mountains, meadows,
corn fields, rivers (for there are several
on both sides, which lose themselves in the
St. Lawrence, intermixed with churches
and houses breaking upon you at a distance
through the trees, form a variety of landscapes,
to which it is difficult to do justice.

This charming scene, with a clear serene
sky, a gentle breeze in our favor, and the
conversation of half a dozen fine women,
would have made the voyage pleasing to the
most insensible man on earth: my Emily
too of the party, and most politely attentive
to the pleasure she saw I had in making
the voyage agreable to her.

3 I every G11v 142

I every day love her more; and, without
considering the impropriety of it, I cannot
help giving way to an inclination, in which
I find such exquisite pleasure; I find a thousand
charms in the least trifle I can do to
oblige her.

Don’t reason with me on this subject: I
know it is madness to continue to see her;
but I find a delight in her conversation,
which I cannot prevail on myself to give
up till she is actually married.

I respect her engagements, and pretend to
no more from her than her friendship; but,
as to myself, will love her in whatever manner
I please: to shew you my prudence, however,
I intend to dance with the handsomest
unmarried Frenchwoman here on Thursdays,
and so shew her an attention which
shall destroy all suspicion of my tenderness
for Emily. I am jealous of Sir George,
and hate him; but I dissemble it better than
I thought it possible for me to do.

1 My G12r 143

My Lucy, I am not happy; my mind is
in a state not to be described; I am weak
enough to encourage a hope for which
there is not the least foundation; I misconstrue
her friendship for me every moment;
and that attention which is meerly gratitude
for my apparent anxiety to oblige. I even
fancy her eyes understand mine, which I
am afraid speak too plainly the sentiments
of my heart.

I love her, my dear girl, to madness;
these three days――

I am interrupted. Adieu!
Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

’Tis Capt. Fermor, who insists on my
dining at Silleri. They will eternally
throw me in the way of this lovely
woman: of what materials do they
suppose me formed?

Let- G12v 144

Letter XXV.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

An enchanting ball, my dear; your little
friend’s head is turned. I was
more admired than Emily, which to be sure
did not flatter my vanity at all: I see she
must content herself with being beloved,
for without coquetry ’tis in vain to expect
admiration.

We had more than three hundred persons
at the ball; above three fourths men;
all gay and well dressed, an elegant supper;
in short, it was charming.

I am half inclined to marry; I am not
at all acquainted with the man I have fixed
upon, I never spoke to him till last night,
nor did he take the least notice of me, more than H1r 145
than of other ladies, but that is nothing;
he pleases me better than any man I have
seen here; he is not handsome, but well
made, and looks like a gentleman; he has
a good character, is heir to a very pretty
estate. I will think further of it: there is
nothing more easy than to have him if I
chuse it: ’tis only saying to some of his
friends, that I think Captain Fitzgerald the
most agreable fellow here, and he will
immediately be astonished he did not sooner
find out I was the handsomest woman. I
will consider this affair seriously; one must
marry, ’tis the mode; every body marries;
why don’t you marry, Lucy?

This brother of yours is always here: I
am surprized Sir George is not jealous, for
he pays no sort of attention to me, ’tis easy
to see why he comes; I dare say I shan’t
see him next week: Emily is going to Mrs.
Melmoth’s
, where she stays till to-morrow
sevennight; she goes from hence as soon as
dinner is over.

Vol. I. H Adieu! H1v 146

Adieu! I am fatigued; we danced till
morning; I am but this moment up.

Yours,

A. Fermor.

Your brother danced with Mademoiselle
Clairaut
; do you know I was piqued he did
not give me the preference, as Emily danced
with her lover? not but that I had perhaps
a partner full as agreable, at least I have
a mind to think so.
I hear it whispered that the whole affair
of the wedding is to be settled next week;
my father is in the secret, I am not. Emily
looks ill this morning; she was not gay
at the ball. I know not why, but she
is not happy. I have my fancies, but they
are yet only fancies.
Adieu! my dear girl; I can no more.

Let- H2r 147

Letter XXVI.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Iam going, my Lucy.—I know not well
whither I am going, but I will not stay
to see this marriage. Could you have believed
it possible—But what folly! Did
I not know her situation from the first?
Could I suppose she would break off an engagement
of years, with a man who gives
so clear a proof that he prefers her to all
other women, to humor the frenzy of one
who has never even told her he loved her?

Captain Fermor assures me all is settled
but the day, and that she has promised to
name that to-morrow.

I will leave Quebec to-night; no one
shall know the road I take: I do not yet H2 know H2v 148
know it myself; I will cross over to Point
Levi
with my valet de chambre, and go
wherever chance directs me. I cannot
bear even to hear the day named. I am
strongly inclined to write to her; but what
can I say? I should betray my tenderness in
spite of myself, and her compassion would
perhaps disturb her approaching happiness:
were it even possible she should prefer me
to Sir George, she is too far gone to recede.

My Lucy, I never till this moment felt
to what an excess I loved her.

Adieu! I shall be about a fortnight absent:
by that time she will be embarked for
England. I cannot bring myself to see her
the wife of another. Do not be alarmed for
me; reason and the impossibility of success
will conquer my passion for this angelic
woman; I have been to blame in allowing
myself to see her so often.

Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

Let- H3r 149

Letter XXVII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Ithink I breathe freer air now I am
out of Quebec. I cannot bear whereever
I go to meet this Sir George; his triumphant
air is insupportable; he has, or I
fancy he has, all the insolence of a happy
rival; ’tis unjust, but I cannot avoid hating
him; I look on him as a man who has
deprived me of a good to which I foolishly
fancy I had pretensions.

My whole behaviour has been weak to
the last degree: I shall grow more reasonable
when I no longer see this charming
woman; I ought sooner to have taken this
step.

I have found here an excuse for my excursion;
I have heard of an estate to be H3 sold H3v 150
sold down the river; and am told the purchase
will be less expence than clearing any
lands I might take up. I will go and see it;
it is an object, a pursuit, and will amuse
me.

I am going to send my servant back to
Quebec; my manner of leaving it must appear
extraordinary to my friends; I have
therefore made this estate my excuse. I
have written to Miss Fermor that I am going
to make a purchase; have begged my
warmest wishes to her lovely friend, for
whose happiness no one on earth is more
anxious; but have told her Sir George is
too much the object of my envy, to expect
from me very sincere congratulations.

Adieu! my servant waits for this. You
shall hear an account of my adventures
when I return to Quebec.

Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

Let- H4r 151

Letter XXVIII.

To Miss Fermor, at Silleri.

Imust see you, my dear, this evening;
my mind is in an agitation not to be expressed;
a few hours will determine my
happiness or misery for ever; I am displeased
with your father for precipitating
a determination which cannot be made with
too much caution.

I have a thousand things to say to you,
which I can say to no one else.

Be at home, and alone; I will come to
you as soon as dinner is over.

Adieu!
Your affectionate

Emily Montague.

H4 Let- H4v 152

Letter XXIX.

To Miss Montague, at Quebec.

Iwill be home, my dear; and denied
to every body but you.

I pity you, my dear Emily; but I am
unable to give you advice.

The world would wonder at your hesitating
a moment.

Your faithful

A. Fermor.

Let- H5r 153

Letter XXX.

To Miss Fermor, at Silleri.

My visit to you is prevented by an
event beyond my hopes. Sir George
has this moment a letter from his mother,
desiring him earnestly to postpone his marriage
till spring, for some reasons of consequence
to his fortune, with the particulars
of which she will acquaint him by the next
packet.

He communicated this intelligence to me
with a grave air, but with a tranquillity
not to be described, and I received it with a
joy I found it impossible wholly to conceal.

I have now time to consult both my heart
and my reason at leisure, and to break with
him, if necessary, by degrees.

H5 What H5v 154

What an escape have I had! I was within
four and twenty hours of either determining
to marry a man with whom I fear I
have little chance to be happy, or of
breaking with him in a manner that would
have subjected one or both of us to the censures
of a prying impertinent world, whose
censures the most steady temper cannot
always contemn.

I will own to you, my dear, I every
hour have more dread of this marriage:
his present situation has brought his faults
into full light. Captain Clayton, with little
more than his commission, was modest,
humble, affable to his inferiors, polite to
all the world; and I fancied him possessed
of those more active virtues, which I supposed
the smallness of his fortune prevented
from appearing. ’Tis with pain I see that
Sir George, with a splendid income, is avaricious,
selfish, proud, vain, and profuse;
lavish to every caprice of vanity and ostentation2 tation H6r 155
which regards himself, coldly inattentive
to the real wants of others.

Is this a character to make your Emily
happy? We were not formed for each
other: no two minds were ever so different;
my happiness is in friendship, in the tender
affections, in the sweets of dear domestic
life; his in the idle parade of affluence, in
dress, in equipage, in all that splendor, which,
whilst it excites envy, is too often the mark
of wretchedness.

Shall I say more? Marriage is seldom
happy where there is a great disproportion
of fortune. The lover, after he loses that
endearing character in the husband, which
in common minds I am afraid is not long,
begins to reflect how many more thousands
he might have expected; and perhaps suspects
his mistress of those interested motives
in marrying, of which he now feels his own
heart capable. Coldness, suspicion, and H6 mutual H6v 156
mutual want of esteem and confidence, follow
of course.

I will come back with you to Silleri this
evening; I have no happiness but when I
am with you. Mrs. Melmoth is so fond of
Sir George, she is eternally persecuting me
with his praises; she is extremely mortified
at this delay, and very angry at the manner
in which I behave upon it.

Come to us directly, my dear Bell, and
rejoice with your faithful

Emily Montague.

Letter XXXI.

To Miss Montague, at Quebec.

Icongratulate you, my dear; you
will at least have the pleasure of being
five or six months longer your own mistress; which, H7r 157
which, in my opinion, when one is not
violently in love, is a consideration worth
attending to. You will also have time to
see whether you like any body else better;
and you know you can take him if you
please at last.

Send him up to his regiment at Montreal
with the Melmoths; stay the winter with
me, flirt with somebody else to try the
strength of your passion, and, if it holds out
against six months absence, and the attention
of an agreable fellow, I think you
may safely venture to marry him.

A propos to flirting, have you seen Colonel
Rivers
? He has not been here these
two days. I shall begin to be jealous of
this little impertinent Mademoiselle Clairaut.
Adieu!

Yours,

A. Fermor.

Rivers H7v 158

Rivers is absurd. I have a mighty foolish
letter from him; he is rambling about the
country, buying estates: he had better have
been here, playing the fool with us; if I
knew how to write to him I would tell him
so, but he is got out of the range of human
beings, down the river, Heaven knows
where; he says a thousand civil things to
you, but I will bring the letter with me to
save the trouble of repeating them.
I have a sort of an idea he won’t be very
unhappy at this delay; I want vastly to
send him word of it.
Adieu! ma chere.

Let- H8r 159

Letter XXXII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Iam at present, my dear Lucy, in the
wildest country on earth; I mean of
those which are inhabited at all: ’tis for
several leagues almost a continual forest,
with only a few straggling houses on the river
side; ’tis however of not the least consequence
to me, all places are equal to me
where Emily is not.

I seek amusement, but without finding
it: she is never one moment from my
thoughts; I am every hour on the point of
returning to Quebec; I cannot support the
idea of her leaving the country without
my seeing her.

’Tis H8v 160

’Tis a lady who has this estate to sell: I
am at present at her house; she is very
amiable; a widow about thirty, with an
agreable person, great vivacity, an excellent
understanding, improved by reading, to
which the absolute solitude of her situation
has obliged her; she has an open pleasing
countenance, with a candor and sincerity
in her conversation which would please me,
if my mind was in a state to be pleased with
any thing. Through all the attention and
civility I think myself obliged to shew her,
she seems to perceive the melancholy
which I cannot shake off: she is always
contriving some little party for me, as if
she knew how much I am in want of amusement.

Madame Des Roches is very kind; she
sees my chagrin, and takes every method to H9r 161
to divert it: she insists on my going in her
shallop to see the last settlement on the
river, opposite the Isle of Barnaby; she
does me the honor to accompany me, with
a gentleman and lady who live about a
mile from her.

I have been paying a very singular
visit; ’tis to a hermit, who has lived sixty
years alone on this island; I came to him
with a strong prejudice against him; I
have no opinion of those who fly society;
who seek a state of all others the most contrary
to our nature. Were I a tyrant, and
wished to inflict the most cruel punishment
human nature could support, I would seclude
criminals from the joys of society,
and deny them the endearing sight of their
species.

I am certain I could not exist a year
alone: I am miserable even in that degree of H9v 162
of solitude to which one is confined in a
ship; no words can speak the joy which I
felt when I came to America, on the first
appearance of something like the chearful
haunts of men; the first man, the first
house, nay the first Indian fire of which I
saw the smoke rise above the trees, gave me
the most lively transport that can be conceived;
I felt all the force of those ties
which unite us to each other, of that social
love to which we owe all our happiness
here.

But to my hermit: his appearance disarmed
my dislike; he is a tall old man,
with white hair and beard, the look of
one who has known better days, and the
strongest marks of benevolence in his
countenance. He received me with the utmost
hospitality, spread all his little stores
of fruit before me, fetched me fresh milk,
and water from a spring near his house.

After H10r 163

After a little conversation, I expressed
my astonishment, that a man of whose kindness
and humanity I had just had such
proof, could find his happiness in flying
mankind: I said a good deal on the subject,
to which he listened with the politest
attention.

“You appear,” said he, “of a temper
to pity the miseries of others. My story
is short and simple: I loved the most
amiable of women; I was beloved. The
avarice of our parents, who both had
more gainful views for us, prevented an
union on which our happiness depended.
My Louisa, who was threatened with an
immediate marriage with a man she detested,
proposed to me to fly the tyranny
of our friends: she had an uncle at
Quebec, to whom she was dear. The
wilds of Canada, said she, may afford
us that refuge our cruel country denies “us. H10v 164
us. After a secret marriage, we embarked.
Our voyage was thus far happy; I landed
on the opposite shore, to seek refreshments
for my Louisa; I was returning,
pleased with the thought of obliging the
object of all my tenderness, when a beginning
storm drove me to seek shelter in
this bay. The storm encreased, I saw its
progress with agonies not to be described;
the ship, which was in sight, was unable
to resist its fury; the sailors crowded
into the boat; they had the humanity to
place my Louisa there; they made for
the spot where I was, my eyes were
wildly fixed on them; I stood eagerly on
the utmost verge of the water, my arms
stretched out to receive her, my prayers
ardently addressed to Heaven, when an
immense wave broke over the boat; I
heard a general shriek; I even fancied I
distinguished my Louisa’s cries; it subsided,
the sailors again exerted all their
force; a second wave—I saw them no
more.”

“Never H11r 165

“Never will that dreadful scene be absent
one moment from my memory: I
fell senseless on the beach; when I returned
to life, the first object I beheld
was the breathless body of my Louisa
at my feet. Heaven gave me the wretched
consolation of rendering to her the last
sad duties. In that grave all my happiness
lies buried. I knelt by her, and
breathed a vow to Heaven, to wait here
the moment that should join me to all I
held dear. I every morning visit her
loved remains, and implore the God of
mercy to hasten my dissolution. I feel
that we shall not long be separated;
I shall soon meet her, to part no more.”

He stopped, and, without seeming to
remember he was not alone, walked hastily
towards a little oratory he has built on the
beach, near which is the grave of his
Louisa; I followed him a few steps, I saw 3 him H11v 166
him throw himself on his knees, and, respecting
his sorrow, returned to the house.

Though I cannot absolutely approve,
yet I more than forgive, I almost admire,
his renouncing the world in his situation.
Devotion is perhaps the only balm for
the wounds given by unhappy love; the
heart is too much softened by true tenderness
to admit any common cure.

I am returned to Madame Des Roches and
her friends, who declined visiting the hermit.
I found in his conversation all which
could have adorned society; he was pleased
with the sympathy I shewed for his sufferings;
we parted with regret. I wished to
have made him a present, but he will receive
nothing.

A ship for England is in sight. Madame
Des Roches
is so polite to send off this letter;ter; H12r 167
we return to her house in the morning.

Adieu! my Lucy.
Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

Letter XXXIII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Ihave no patience with this foolish
brother of yours; he is rambling about
in the woods when we want him here: we
have a most agreeable assembly every Thursday
at the General’s, and have had another
ball since he has been gone on this ridiculous
ramble; I miss the dear creature whereever
I go. We have nothing but balls,
cards, and parties of pleasure; but they
are nothing without my little Rivers.

I have H12v 168

I have been making the tour of the three
religions this morning, and, as I am the most
constant creature breathing; am come back
only a thousand times more pleased with
my own. I have been at mass, at church,
and at the presbyterian meeting: an idea
struck me at the last, in regard to the drapery
of them all; that the Romish religion
is like an over-dressed, tawdry, rich citizen’s
wife; the presbyterian like a rude
aukward country girl; the church of England
like an elegant well-dressed woman of
quality, “plain in her neatness” (to quote
Horace, who is my favorite author). There
is a noble, graceful simplicity both in the
worship and the ceremonies of the church
of England
, which, even if I were a stranger
to her doctrines, would prejudice me strongly
in her favor.

Sir George sets out for Montreal this
evening, so do the house of Melmoth; I
have however prevailed on Emily to stay a month I1r 169
month or two longer with me. I am rejoiced
Sir George is going away; I am tired of
seeing that eternal smile, that countenance
of his, which attempts to speak, and says
nothing. I am in doubt whether I shall let
Emily marry him; she will die in a week,
of no distemper but his conversation.

They dine with us. I am called down.
Adieu!

Heaven be praised, our lover is gone;
they parted with great philosophy on both
sides: they are the prettiest mild pairs of inamoratoes
one shall see.

Your brother’s servant has just called to
tell me his going to his master. I have a
great mind to answer his letter, and order
him back.

Vol. I. I Let- I1v 170

Letter XXXIV.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Ihave been looking at the estate Madame
Des Roches
has to sell; it is as
wild as the lands to which I have a right;
I hoped this would have amused my chagrin,
but am mistaken: nothing interests
me, nothing takes up my attention one moment:
my mind admits but one idea. This
charming woman follows me wherever I
go; I wander about like the first man
when driven out of paradise: I vainly
fancy every change of place will relieve
the anxiety of my mind.

Madame Des Roches smiles, and tells
me I am in love; ’tis however a smile of
tenderness and compassion: your sex have great I2r 171
great penetration in whatever regards the
heart.

I have this moment a letter from Miss
Fermor
, to press my return to Quebec; she
tells me, Emily’s marriage is postponed till
spring. My Lucy! how weak is the human
heart! In spite of myself, a ray of
hope—I set off this instant: I cannot conceal
my joy.

Letter XXXV.

To Colonel Rivers, at Quebec.

You have no idea, Ned, how much
your absence is lamented by the dowagers,
to whom, it must be owned, your
charity has been pretty extensive.

I2 It I2v 172

It would delight you to see them condoling
with each other on the loss of the dear
charming man, the man of sentiment, of
true taste, who admires the maturer beauties,
and thinks no woman worth pursuing
till turned of twenty-five: ’tis a loss not
to be made up; for your taste, it must be
owned, is pretty singular.

I have seen your last favorite, Lady
H――
, who assures me, on the word of a
woman of honour, that, had you staid
seven years in London, she does not think
she should have had the least inclination to
change: but an absent lover, she well observed,
is, properly speaking, no lover at
all. “Bid Colonel Rivers remember,” said
she, “what I have read somewhere, the
parting words of a French lady to a
bishop of her acquaintance, ‘Let your
absence be short, my lord; and remember
that a mistress is a benefice which
obliges to residence.’”

3 I am I3r 173

I am told, you had not been gone a week
before Jack Willmott had the honor of
drying up the fair widow’s tears.

I am going this evening to Vauxhall, and
to-morrow propose setting out for my
house in Rutland, from whence you shall
hear from me again.

Adieu! I never write long letters in London.
I should tell you, I have been to see
Mrs. Rivers and your sister; the former is
well, but very anxious to have you in England
again; the latter grows so very handsome,
I don’t intend to repeat my visits
often.

Yours,

J. Temple.

I3 Let- I3v 174

Letter XXXVI.

To John Temple, Esq; Pall Mall.

Iam this moment arrived from a ramble
down the river; but, a ship being just
going, must acknowledge your last.

You make me happy in telling me my
dear Lady H―― has given my place in her
heart to so honest a fellow as Jack Willmott;
and I sincerely wish the ladies always
chose their favorites as well.

I should be very unreasonable indeed to
expect constancy at almost four thousand
miles distance, especially when the prospect
of my return is so very uncertain.

My voyage ought undoubtedly to be
considered as an abdication: I am to all intentstents I4r 175
and purposes dead in law as a lover;
and the lady has a right to consider her heart
as vacant, and to proceed to a new election.

I claim no more than a share in her esteem
and remembrance, which I dare say
I shall never want.

That I have amused myself a little in
the dowager way, I am very far from denying;
but you will observe, it was less
from taste than the principle of doing as
little mischief as possible in my few excursions
to the world of gallantry. A little
deviation from the exact rule of right we
men all allow ourselves in love affairs; but
I was willing to keep as near it as I could.
Married women are, on my principles, forbidden
fruit; I abhor the seduction of innocence;
I am too delicate, and (with all
my modesty) too vain, to be pleased with
venal beauty: what was I then to do, with
a heart too active to be absolutely at rest, I4 and I4v 176
and which had not met with its counterpart?
Widows were, I thought, fair prey,
as being sufficiently experienced to take care
of themselves.

I have said married women are, on my
principles, forbidden fruit: I should have
explained myself; I mean in England, for
my ideas on this head change as soon as I
land at Calais.

Such is the amazing force of local prejudice,
that I do not recollect having ever
made love to an English married woman, or
a French unmarried one. Marriages in
France being made by the parents, and
therefore generally without inclination on
either side, gallantry seems to be a tacit
condition, though not absolutely expressed
in the contract.

But to return to my plan: I think it an
excellent one; and would recommend it to all
those young men about town, who, like me, find I5r 177
find in their hearts the necessity of loving,
before they meet with an object capable of
fixing them for life.

By the way, I think the widows ought
to raise a statue in my honor, for having
done my possible to prove that, for the sake
of decorum, morals, and order, they ought
to have all the men to themselves.

I have this moment your letter from
Rutland. Do you know that I am almost angry?
Your ideas of love are narrow and pedantic;
custom has done enough to make the
life of one half of our species tastless;
but you would reduce them to a state of
still greater insipidity than even that to
which our tyranny has doomed them.

You would limit the pleasure of loving
and being beloved, and the charming power
of pleasing, to three or four years only in
the life of that sex which is peculiarly
formed to feel tenderness; women are born I5 with I5v 178
with more lively affections than men, which
are still more softened by education; to deny
them the privilege of being amiable, the
only privilege we allow them, as long as
nature continues them so, is such a mixture
of cruelty and false taste as I should never
have suspected you of, notwithstanding your
partiality for unripened beauty.

As to myself, I persist in my opinion,
that women are most charming when they
join the attractions of the mind to those
of the person, when they feel the passion
they inspire; or rather, that they are never
charming till then.

A woman in the first bloom of youth resembles
a tree in blossom, when mature in
fruit; but a woman who retains the charms
of her person till her understanding is in
its full perfection, is like those trees in
happier climes, which produce blossoms and
fruit together.

You I6r 179

You will scarce believe, Jack, that I have
lived a week téte à téte, in the midst of a
wood, with just the woman I have been
describing; a widow extremely my taste,
mature, five or six years more so than you
say I require, lively, sensible, handsome,
without saying one civil thing to her; yet
nothing can be more certain.

I could give you powerful reasons for
my insensibility; but you are a traitor to
love, and therefore have no right to be in
any of his secrets.

I will excuse your visits to my sister; as
well as I love you myself, I have a thousand
reasons for chusing she should not be
acquainted with you.

What you say in regard to my mother,
gives me pain; I will never take back my
little gift to her; and I cannot live in EnglandI6 land I6v 180
on my present income, though it enables
me to live en prince in Canada.

Adieu! I have not time to say more. I
have stole this half hour from the loveliest
woman breathing, whom I am going to
visit: surely you are infinitely obliged to
me. To lessen the obligation, however, my
calash is not yet come to the door.

Adieu! once more.
Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

Letter XXXVII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Our wanderer is returned, my dear,
and in such spirits as you can’t conceive:
he passed yesterday with us; he likes I7r 181
likes to have us to himself, and he had yesterday;
we walked à trio in the wood, and
were foolish; I have not passed so agreable a
day since I came to Canada: I love mightily to
be foolish, and the people here have no
taste that way at all: your brother is divinely
so upon occasion. The weather was,
to use the Canadian phrase, superbe et magnifique.
We shall not, I am told, have much
more in the same magnifique style, so we
intend to make the most of it: I have ordered
your brother to come and walk with
us from morning till night; every day and
all the day.

The dear man was amazingly overjoyed
to see us again; we shared his joy,
though my little Emily took some pains to
appear tranquil on the occasion: I never
saw more pleasure in the countenances of
two people in my life, nor more pains
taken to suppress it.

Do I7v 182

Do you know Fitzgerald is really an
agreable fellow? I have an admirable natural
instinct; I perceived he had understanding,
from his aquiline nose and his
eagle eye, which are indexes I never knew
fail. I believe we are going to be great;
I am not sure I shall not admit him to make
up a partie quarrée with your brother and
Emily: I told him my original plot upon
him, and he was immensely pleased with
it. I almost fancy he can be foolish; in
that case, my business is done: if with
his other merits he has that, I am a lost
woman.

He has excellent sense, great good nature,
and the true princely spirit of an
Irishman: he will be ruined here, but that
is his affair, not mine. He changed quarters
with an officer now at Montreal; and,
because the lodgings were to be furnished,
thought himself obliged to leave three
months wine in the cellars.

His I8r 183

His person is pleasing; he has good
eyes and teeth (the only beauties I require),
is marked with the small pox, which in
men gives a sensible look; very manly,
and looks extremely like a gentleman.

“He comes, the conqueror comes”.

I see him plainly through the trees; he
is now in full view, within twenty yards of
the house. He looks particularly well on
horseback, Lucy; which is one certain
proof of a good education. The fellow is
well born, and has ideas of things: I think I
shall admit him of my train.

Emily wonders have I never been in
love: the cause is clear; I have prevented
any attachment to one man, by constantly
flirting with twenty: ’tis the most sovereign
receipt in the world. I think, too, my dear,
you have maintained a sort of running fight with I8v 184
with the little deity: our hour is not yet
come. Adieu!

Yours,

A. Fermor.

Letter XXXVIII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Iam returned, my dear, and have had
the pleasure of hearing you and my
mother are well, though I have had no
letters from either of you.

Mr. Temple, my dearest Lucy, tells me
he has visited you. Will you pardon me a
freedom which nothing but the most tender
friendship can warrant, when I tell you that I9r 185
that I would wish you to be as little acquainted
with him as politeness allows? He
is a most agreable man, perhaps too agreable,
with a thousand amiable qualities; he
is the man I love above all others; and,
where women are not concerned, a man of
the most unblemished honor: but his manner
of life is extremely libertine, and his ideas of
women unworthy the rest of his character;
he knows not the perfections which
adorn the valuable part of your sex, he is
a stranger to your virtues, and incapable,
at least I fear so, of that tender affection
which alone can make an amiable woman
happy. With all this, he is polite and attentive,
and has a manner, which, without
intending it, is calculated to deceive women
into an opinion of his being attached when
he is not: he has all the splendid virtues
which command esteem; is noble, generous,
disinterested, open, brave; and is the
most dangerous man on earth to a woman of I9v 186
of honor, who is unacquainted with the
arts of man.

Do not however mistake me, my Lucy;
I know him to be as incapable of forming
improper designs on you, even were you
not the sister of his friend, as you are of
listening to him if he did: ’tis for your
heart alone I am alarmed; he is formed to
please; you are young and inexperienced,
and have not yet loved; my anxiety for
your peace makes me dread your loving a
man whose views are not turned to marriage,
and who is therefore incapable of returning
properly the tenderness of a woman
of honor.

I have seen my divine Emily: her manner
of receiving me was very flattering; I
cannot doubt her friendship for me; yet I
am not absolutely content. I am however
convinced, by the easy tranquillity of her
air, and her manner of bearing this delay
of their marriage, that she does not love the I10r 187
the man for whom she is intended: she has
been a victim to the avarice of her friends.
I would fain hope—yet what have I to
hope? If I had even the happiness to be
agreable to her, if she was disengaged from
Sir George, my fortune makes it impossible
for me to marry her, without reducing her
to indigence at home, or dooming her to
be an exile in Canada for life. I dare not
ask myself what I wish or intend: yet I
give way in spite of me to the delight of
seeing and conversing with her.

I must not look forward; I will only enjoy
the present pleasure of believing myself
one of the first in her esteem and friendship,
and of showing her all those little
pleasing attentions so dear to a sensible
heart; attentions in which her lover is
astonishingly remiss: he is at Montreal, and
I am told was gay and happy on his journey
thither, though he left his mistress
behind.

I have I10v 188

I have spent two very happy days at
Silleri with Emily and your friend Bell
Fermor
: to-morrow I meet them at the
governor’s, where there is a very agreable
assembly on Thursday evenings. Adieu!

Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

I shall write again by a ship which sails
next week.

Letter XXXIX.

To John Temple,Esq; Pall Mall.

Ihave this moment a letter from Madame
Des Roches
, the lady at whose
house I spent a week, and to whom I am greatly I11r 189
greatly obliged. I am so happy as to have
an opportunity of rendering her a service,
in which I must desire your assistance.

’Tis in regard to some lands belonging
to her, which, not being settled, some other
person has applied for a grant of a home.
I send you the particulars, and beg you
will lose no time in entering a caveat, and
taking other proper steps to prevent what
would be an act of great injustice: the war
and the incursions of the Indians in alliancee
with us have hitherto prevented these lands
from being settled, but Madame Des Roches
is actually in treaty with some Acadians to
settle them immediately. Employ all your
friends as well as mine if necessary; my
lawyer will direct you in what manner to
apply, and pay the expences attending the
application. Adieu!

Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

Let- I11v 190

Letter XL.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Idanced last night till four o’clock in
the morning (if you will allow the expression),
without being the least fatigued:
the little Fitzgerald was my partner, who
grows upon me extremely; the monkey
has a way of being attentive and careless
by turns, which has an amazing effect; nothing
attaches a woman of my temper so
much to a lover as her being a little in fear
of losing him; and he keeps up the spirit
of the thing admirably.

Your brother and Emily danced together,
and I think I never saw either of them look
so handsome; she was a thousand times
more admired at this ball than the first,
and reason good, for she was a thousand times I12r 191
times more agreable; your brother is
really a charming fellow, he is an immense
favorite with the ladies; he has that very
pleasing general attention, which never fails
to charm women; he can even be particular
to one, without wounding the vanity of
the rest: if he was in company with twenty,
his mistress of the number, his manner
would be such, that every woman there
would think herself the second in his esteem;
and that, if his heart had not been unluckily
pre-engaged, she herself should have been
the object of his tenderness.

His eyes are of immense use to him; he
looks the civilest things imaginable; his
whole countenance speaks whatever he
wishes to say; he has the least occasion for
words to explain himself of any man I ever
knew.

Fitzgerald has eyes too, I assure you, and
eyes that know how to speak; he has a 1 look I12v 192
look of saucy unconcern and inattention,
which is really irresistible.

We have had a great deal of snow already,
but it melts away; ’tis a lovely day, but an
odd enough mixture of summer and winter;
in some places you see half a foot of snow
lying, in others the dust is even troublesome.

Adieu! there are a dozen or two of
beaux at the door.

Yours,

A. Fermor.

Let- K1r 193

Letter XLI.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

The savages assure us, my dear, on the
information of the beavers, that we
shall have a very mild winter: it seems, these
creatures have laid in a less winter stock
than usual. I take it very ill, Lucy, that
the beavers have better intelligence than
we have.

We are got into a pretty composed easy
way; Sir George writes very agreable,
sensible, sentimental, gossiping letters, once
a fortnight, which Emily answers in due
course, with all the regularity of a countinghouse
correspondence; he talks of coming
down after Christmas: we expect him without
impatience; and in the mean time
amuse ourselves as well as we can, and soften Vol. I. K the K1v 194
the pain of absence by the attention of a
man that I fancy we like quite as well.

With submission to the beavers, the
weather is very cold, and we have had a
great deal of snow already; but they tell
me ’tis nothing to what we shall have: they
are taking precautions which make me shudder
beforehand, pasting up the windows,
and not leaving an avenue where cold can
enter.

I like the winter carriages immensely;
the open carriole is a kind of one-horse
chaise, the covered one a chariot, set on a
sledge to run on the ice; we have not yet
had snow enough to use them, but I like
their appearance prodigiously; the covered
carrioles seem the prettiest things in nature
to make love in, as there are curtains to draw
before the windows: we shall have three
in effect, my father’s, River’s, and Fitzgerald’s;
the two latter are to be elegance
itself, and entirely for the service of the ladies: K2r 195
ladies: your brother and Fitzgerald are
trying who shall be ruined first for the honor
of their country. I will bet three to one
upon Ireland. They are every day contriving
parties of pleasure, and making the
most gallant little presents imaginable to
the ladies.

Adieu! my dear.
Yours,

A. Fermor.

Letter XLII.

To Miss Rivers.

Ishall not, my dear, have above
one more opportunity of writing to
you by the ships; after which we can only
write by the packet once a month.

K2 My K2v 196

My Emily is every day more lovely; I
see her often, and every hour discover new
charms in her; she has an exalted understanding,
improved by all the knowledge
which is becoming in your sex; a soul
awake to all the finer sensations of the
heart, checked and adorned by the native
loveliness of woman: she is extremely
handsome, but she would please every feeling
heart if she was not; she has the soul
of beauty: without feminine softness and
delicate sensibility, no features can give
loveliness; with them, very indifferent ones
can charm: that sensibility, that softness,
never were so lovely as in my Emily. I can
write on no other subject. Were you to
see her, my Lucy, you would forgive me.
My letter is called for. Adieu!

Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

Your friend Miss Fermor will write you
every thing.

Let- K3r 197

Letter XLIII.

To Miss Montague, at Silleri.

Mr. Melmoth and I, my dear Emily;
expected by this time to have seen
you at Montreal. I allow something to
your friendship for Miss Fermor; but there
is also something due to relations who tenderly
love you, and under whose protection
your uncle left you at his death.

I should add, that there is something
due to Sir George, had I not already displeased
you by what I have said on the
subject.

You are not to be told, that in a week
the road from hence to Quebec will be impassable
for at least a month, till the rivers
are sufficiently froze to bear carriages.

K3 I will K3v 198

I will own to you, that I am a little jealous
of your attachment to Miss Fermor,
though no one can think her more amiable
than I do.

If you do not come this week, I would
wish you to stay till Sir George comes
down, and return with him; I will entreat
the favor of Miss Fermor to accompany you
to Montreal, which we will endeavour to
make as agreable to her as we can.

I have been ill of a slight fever, but am
now perfectly recovered. Sir George and
Mr. Melmoth are well, and very impatient
to see you here.

Adieu! my dear.
Your affectionate

E. Melmoth.

Let- K4r 199

Letter XLIV.

To Mrs. Melmoth, at Montreal.

Ihave a thousand reasons, my dearest
Madam, for intreating you to excuse
my staying some time longer at Quebec.
I have the sincerest esteem for Sir George,
and am not insensible of the force of our
engagements; but do not think his being
there a reason for my coming: the kind of
suspended state, to say no more, in which
those engagements now are, call for a delicacy
in my behaviour to him, which is
so difficult to observe without the appearance
of affectation, that his absence relieves
me for a very painful kind of restraint:
for the same reason, ’tis impossible
for me to come up at the time he does, if
I do come, even though Miss Fermor should
accompany me.

K4 A mo- K4v 200

A moment’s reflexion will convince you
of the propriety of my staying here till
his mother does me the honor again to approve
his choice; or till our engagement is
publicly known to be at an end. Mrs.
Clayton
is a prudent mother, and a woman
of the world, and may consider that Sir
George’s
situation is changed since she consented
to his marriage.

I am not capricious; but I will own to
you, that my esteem for Sir George is much
lessened by his behaviour since his last return
from New-York: he mistakes me extremely,
if he supposes he has the least
additional merit in my eyes from his late
acquisition of fortune: on the contrary, I
now see faults in him which were concealed
by the mediocrity of his situation before,
and which do not promise happiness to a
heart like mine, a heart which has little
taste for the false glitter of life, and the most K5r 201
most lively one possible for the calm real
delights of friendship, and domestic felicity.

Accept my sincerest congratulations on
your return of health; and believe me,
My dearest Madam,
Your obliged and affectionate

Emily Montague.

Letter XLV.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Ihave been seeing the last ship go out
of the port, Lucy; you have no notion
what a melancholy sight it is: we are
now left to ourselves, and shut up from all
the world for the winter: somehow we K5 seem K5v 202
seem so forsaken, so cut off from the rest
of human kind, I cannot bear the idea: I
sent a thousand sighs and a thousand tender
wishes to dear England, which I never
loved so much as at this moment.

Do you know, my dear, I could cry if I
was not ashamed? I shall not absolutely be
in spirits again this week.

’Tis the first time I have felt any thing
like bad spirits in Canada: I followed the
ship with my eyes till it turned Point Levi,
and, when I lost sight of it, felt as if I had
lost every thing dear to me on earth. I am
not particular: I see a gloom on every
countenance; I have been at church, and
think I never saw so many dejected faces in
my life.

Adieu! for the present: it will be a
fortnight before I can send this letter;
another agreable circumstance that: would to K6r 203
to Heaven I were in England, though I
changed the bright sun of Canada for a
fog!

We have had a week’s snow without intermission:
happily for us, your brother
and the Fitz have been weather-bound all
the time at Silleri, and cannot possibly get
away.

We have amused ourselves within doors,
for there is no stirring abroad, with playing
at cards, playing at shuttlecock, playing
the fool, making love, and making moral
reflexions: upon the whole, the week has
not been very disagreable.

The snow is when we wake constantly
up to our chamber windows; we are literally
dug out of it every morning.

K6 As K6v 204

As to Quebec, I give up all hopes of
ever seeing it again: but my comfort is,
that people there cannot possibly get
to their neighbors; and I flatter myself
very few of them have been half so well
entertained at home.

We shall be abused, I know, for (what is
really the fault of the weather) keeping
these two creatures here this week; the
ladies hate us for engrossing two such fine
fellows as your brother and Fitzgerald, as
well as for having vastly more than our
share of all the men: we generally go out
attended by at least a dozen, without any
other woman but a lively old French lady,
who is a flirt of my father’s, and will certainly
be my mamma.

We sweep into the general’s assembly
on Thursdays with such a train of beaux
as draws every eye upon us: the rest of
the fellows crowd round us; the misses
draw up, blush, and flutter their fans; and 5 your K7r 205
your little Bell sits down with such a fancy
impertinent consciousness in her countenance
as is really provoking: Emily on the
contrary looks mild and humble, and seems
by her civil decent air to apologize to them
for being so much more agreable than
themselves, which is a fault I for my part
am not in the least inclined to be ashamed
of.

Your idea of Quebec, my dear, is perfectly
just; it is like a third or fourth rate
country town in England; much hospitality,
little society; cards, scandal, dancing, and
good chear; all excellent things to pass
away a winter evening, and peculiarly
adapted to what I am told, and what I begin
to feel, of the severity of this climate.

I am told they abuse me, which I can
easily believe, because my impertinence to
them deserves it: but what care I,
you know, Lucy, so long as I please myself,
and am at Silleri out of the sound?

They K7v 206

They are squabbling at Quebec, I hear,
about I cannot tell what, therefore shall
not attempt to explain: some dregs of old
disputes, it seems, which have had not time
to settle: however, we new comers have
certainly nothing to do with these matters:
you can’t think how comfortable we feel
at Silleri, out of the way.

My father says, the politics of Canada
are as complex and as difficult to be understood
as those of the Germanic system.

For my part, I think no politics worth
attending to but those of the little commonwealth
of woman: if I can maintain
my empire over hearts, I leave the men to
quarrel for every thing else.

I observe a strict neutrality, that I may
have a chance for admirers amongst both
parties. Adieu! the post is just going out.

Your faithful

A. Fermor.

Let- K8r 207

Letter XLVI.

To Miss Montague, at Silleri.

There is something, my dear Emily,
in what you say as to the delicacy
of your situation; but, whilst you are so
very exact in acting up to it on one side,
do you not a little overlook it on the
other?

I am extremely unwilling to say a disagreable
thing to you, but Miss Fermor is
too young as well as too gay to be a protection
—the very particular circumstance
you mention makes Mr. Melmoth’s the
only house in Canada in which, if I have
any judgment, you can with propriety live
till your marriage takes place.

You K8v 208

You extremely injure Sir George in supposing
it possible he should fail in his engagements:
and I see with pain that you
are more quicksighted to his failings than
is quite consistent with that tenderness,
which (allow me to say) he has a right to
expect from you. He is like other men of
his age and fortune; he is the very man
you so lately thought amiable, and of
whose love you cannot without injustice
have a doubt.

Though I approve your contempt of the
false glitter of the world, yet I think it a
little strained at your time of life: did I
not know you as well as I do, I should say
that philosophy in a young and especially a
female mind, is so out of season, as to be
extremely suspicious. The pleasures which
attend on affluence are too great, and too
pleasing to youth, to be overlooked, exceptcept K9r 209
when under the influence of a livelier
passion.

Take care, my Emily; I know the
goodness of your heart, but I also know
its sensibility; remember that, if your situation
requires great circumspection in your
behaviour to Sir George, it requires much
greater to every other person: it is even
more delicate than marriage itself.

I shall expect you and Miss Fermor as
soon as the roads are such that you can
travel agreably; and, as you object to Sir
George
as a conductor, I will entreat Captain
Fermor
to accompany you hither.

I am, my dear,
Your most affectionate

E. Melmoth.

Let- K9v 210

Letter XLVII.

To Mrs. Melmoth, at Montreal.

Ientreat you, my dearest Madam,
to do me the justice to believe I see
my engagement to Sir George in as strong
a light as you can do; if there is any
change in my behaviour to him, it is owing
to the very apparent one in his conduct to
me, of which no one but myself can be a
judge. As to what you say in regard to
my contempt of affluence, I can only say
it is in my character, whether it is generally
in the female one or not.

Were the cruel hint you are pleased to
give just, be assured Sir George should be
the first person to whom I would declare it.
I hope however it is possible to esteem merit K10r 211
merit without offending even the most sacred
of all engagements.

A gentleman waits for this. I have only
time to say, that Miss Fermor thanks you
for your obliging invitation, and promises
she will accompany me to Montreal as soon
as the river St. Lawrence will bear carriages,
as the upper road is extremely inconvenient.

I am,
My dearest Madam,
Your obliged
and faithful

Emily Montague.

Let- K10v 212

Letter XLVIII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

After a fortnight’s snow, we have
had near as much clear blue sky
and sunshine: the snow is six feet deep, so
that we may be said to walk on our own
heads; that is, speaking en philosophe, we
occupy the space we should have done in
summer if we had done so; or, to explain
it more clearly, our heels are now where
our heads should be.

The scene is a little changed for the
worse: the lovely landscape is now one undistinguished
waste of snow, only a little
diversified by the great variety of evergreens
in the woods: the romantic winding
path down the side of the hill to our farm,
on which we used to amuse ourselves with seeing K11r 213
seeing the beaux serpentize, is now a confused,
frightful, rugged precipice, which
one trembles at the idea of ascending.

There is something exceedingly agreable
in the whirl of the carrioles, which
fly along at the rate of twenty miles an
hour; and really hurry one out of one’s
senses.

Our little coterie is the object of great
envy; we live just as we like, without
thinking of other people, which I am not
sure here is prudent, but it is pleasant,
which is a better thing.

Emily, who is the civilest creature
breathing, is for giving up her own pleasure
to avoid offending others, and wants
me, every time we make a carrioling-party,
to invite all the misses of Quebec to go
with us, because they seem angry at our
being happy without them: but for that very K11v 214
very reason I persist in my own way, and
consider wisely, that, though civility is due
to other people, yet there is also some civility
due to one’s self.

I agree to visit every body, but think it
mighty absurd I must not take a ride without
asking a hundred people I scarce know
to go with me: yet this is the style here;
they will neither be happy themselves, nor
let any body else. Adieu!

I will never take a beaver’s word again
as long as I live: there is no supporting
this cold; the Canadians say it is seventeen
years since there has been so severe a season.
I thought beavers had been people
of more honor.

Adieu! I can no more: the ink freezes
as I take it from the standish to the paper,
though close to a large stove. Don’t expect3 pect K12r 215
me to write again till May; one’s faculties
are absolutely congealed this weather.

Yours,

A. Fermor.

Letter XLIX.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

It is with difficulty I breathe, my dear;
the cold is so amazingly intense as almost
totally to stop respiration. I have
business, the business of pleasure, at Quebec;
but have not the courage to stir from the
stove.

We have had five days, the severity of
which none of the natives remember to have K12v 216
have ever seen equaled: ’tis said, the cold
is beyond all the thermometers here, tho’
intended for the climate.

The strongest wine freezes in a room
which has a stove in it; even brandy is
thickened to the consistence of oil: the
largest wood fire, in a wide chimney, does
not throw out it’s heat a quarter of a yard.

I must venture to Quebec to-morrow, or
have company at home: amusements are
here necessary to life; we must be jovial,
or the blood will freeze in our veins.

I no longer wonder the elegant arts are
unknown here; the rigour of the climate
suspends the very powers of the understanding;
what then must become of those of
the imagination? Those who expect to see “A new Athens rising near the pole,” will L1r 217
will find themselves extremely disappointed.
Genius will never mount high, where
the faculties of the mind are benumbed
half the year.

’Tis sufficient employment for the most
lively spirit here to contrive how to preserve
an existence, of which there are moments
that one is hardly conscious: the
cold really sometimes brings on a sort of
stupefaction.

We had a million of beaux here yesterday,
notwithstanding the severe cold: ’tis
the Canadian custom, calculated I suppose
for the climate, to visit all the ladies on
New-year’s-day, who sit dressed in form
to be kissed: I assure you, however, our
kisses could not warm them; but we were
obliged, to our eternal disgrace, to call in
rasberry brandy as an auxiliary.

Vol. I. L You L1v 218

You would have died to see the men;
they look just like so many bears in their
open carrioles, all wrapped in furs from
head to foot; you see nothing of the human
form appear, but the tip of a nose.

They have intire coats of beaver skin,
exactly like Friday’s in Robinson Crusoe;
and casques on their heads like the old
knights errant in romance; you never saw
such tremendous figures; but without this
kind of cloathing it would be impossible to
stir out at present.

The ladies are equally covered up, tho’
in a less unbecoming style; they have long
cloth cloaks with loose hoods, like those
worn by the market-women in the north
of England. I have one in scarlet, the
hood lined with sable, the prettiest ever
seen here; in which I assure you I look
amazingly handsome; the men think so, and L2r 219
and call me the Little red riding-hood; a
name which becomes me as well as the
hood.

The Canadian ladies wear these cloaks
in India silk in summer, which, fluttering in
the wind, look really graceful on a fine
woman.

Besides our riding-hoods, when we go
out, we have a large buffaloe’s skin under
our feet, which turns up, and wraps round
us almost to our shoulders; so that, upon
the whole, we are pretty well guarded from
the weather as well as the men.

Our covered carrioles too have not only
canvas windows (we dare not have glass,
because we often overturn), but cloth curtains
to draw all round us; the extreme
swiftness of these carriages also, which dart
along like lightening, helps to keep one warm,
by promoting the circulation of the blood.

L2 I pity L2v 220

I pity the Fitz; no tiger was ever so
hard-hearted as I am this weather: the
little god has taken his flight, like the swallows.
I say nothing, but cruelty is no
virtu in Canada; at least at this season.

I suppose Pygmalion’s statue was some
frozen Canadian gentlewoman, and a sudden
warm day thawed her. I love to expound
ancient fables, and I think no exposition
can be more natural than this.

Would you know what makes me chatter
this morning? Papa has made me
take some excellent liqueur; ’tis the mode
here; all the Canadian ladies take a little,
which makes them so coquet and agreable.
Certainly brandy makes a woman talk like
an angel. Adieu!

Yours,

A. Fermor.

Let- L3r 221

Letter L.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Idon’t quite agree with you, my
dear; your brother does not appear
to me to have the least scruple of that
foolish false modesty which stands in a
man’s way.

He is extremely what the French call
awakened; he is modest, certainly; that is,
he is not a coxcomb, but he has all that
proper self-confidence which is necessary to
set his agreable qualities in full light: nothing
can be a stronger proof of this, than
that, wherever he is, he always takes your
attention in a moment, and this without
seeming to solicit it.

L3 I am L3v 222

I am very fond of him, though he never
makes love to me, in which circumstance he
is very singular: our friendship is quite
platonic, at least on his side, for I am not
quite so sure on the other. I remember
one day in summer we were walking téte à
téte
in the road to Cape Rouge, when he
wanted me to strike into a very beautiful
thicket: “Positively, Rivers” said I, “I
will not venture with you into that
wood.”
“Are you afraid of me, Bell?”
“No, but extremely of myself.”

I have loved him ever since a little scene
that passed here three or four months ago:
a very affecting story, of a distressed family
in our neighbourhood, was told him and
Sir George; the latter preserved all the
philosophic dignity and manly composure
of his countenance, very coldly expressed
his concern, and called another subject:
your brother changed color, his eyes glistened;tened; L4r 223
he took the first opportunity to leave
the room, he sought these poor people, he
found, he relieved them; which we discovered
by accident a month after.

The weather, tho’ cold beyond all that
you in England can form an idea of, is yet
mild to what it has been the last five or six
days; we are going to Quebec, to church.

Emily and I have been talking religion
all the way home: we are both mighty
good girls, as girls go in these degenerate
days; our grandmothers to be sure—but
it’s folly to look back.

We have been saying, Lucy, that ’tis
the strangest thing in the world people
should quarrel about religion, since we undoubtedly
all mean the same thing; all
good minds in every religion aim at pleasing
the Supreme Being; the means we take L4 differ L4v 224
differ according to the country where we
are born, and the prejudices we imbibe
from education; a consideration which
ought to inspire us with kindness and indulgence
to each other.

If we examine each other’s sentiments
with candor, we shall find much less difference
in essentials than we imagine; “Since all agree to own, at least to mean,
One great, one good, one general Lord
of all.”

There is, I think, a very pretty Sunday
reflexion for you, Lucy.

You must know, I am extremely religious;
and for this amongst other reasons, that I
think infidelity a vice peculiarly contrary
to the native softness of woman: it is bold,
daring, masculine; and I should almost
doubt the sex of an unbeliever in petticoats.

Women L5r 225

Women are religious as they are virtuous,
less from principles founded on reasoning
and argument, than from elegance
of mind, delicacy of moral taste, and a
certain quick perception of the beautiful
and becoming in every thing.

This instinct, however, for such it is, is
worth all the tedious reasonings of the men;
which is a point I flatter myself you will
not dispute with me.

This is the first day I have ventured in an
open carriole; we have been running a
race on the snow, your brother and I against
Emily and Fitzgerald: we conquered from
Fitzgerald’s complaisance to Emily. I shall
like it mightily, well wrapt up: I set off
with a crape over my face to keep off the
cold, but in three minutes it was a cake L5 of L5v 226
of solid ice, from my breath which froze
upon it; yet this is called a mild day, and
the sun shines in all his glory.

We are just come from the general’s
assembly; much company, and we danced
till this minute; for I believe we have not
been more coming these four miles.

Fitzgerald is the very pink of courtesy;
he never uses his covered carriole himself,
but devotes it intirely to the ladies; it
stands at the general’s door in waiting on
Thursdays: if any lady comes out before
her carriole arrives, the servants call out
mechanically, “Captain Fitzgerald’s carriole
here, for a lady.”
The Colonel is
equally gallant, but I generally lay an embargo
on his: they have each of them an
extreme pretty one for themselves, or to
drive a fair lady a morning’s airing, when 1 she L6r 227
she will allow them the honor, and the
weather is mild enough to permit it.

Bon soir! I am sleepy.
Yours,

A. Fermor.

Letter LI.

To John Temple,Esq; Pall Mall.

You mistake me extremely, Jack, as
you generally do: I have by no
means forsworn marriage: on the contrary,
though happiness is not so often found
there as I wish it was, yet I am convinced
it is to be found no where else; and, poor
as I am, I should not hesitate about trying
the experiment myself to-morrow, if I L6 could L6v 228
could meet with a woman to my taste, unappropriated,
whose ideas of the state agreed
with mine, which I allow are something
out of the common road: but I must be
certain those ideas are her own, therefore
they must arise spontaneously, and not in
complaisance to mine; for which reason, if
I could, I would endeavour to lead my mistress
into the subject, and know her sentiments
on the manner of living in that state
before I discovered my own.

I must also be well convinced of her tenderness
before I make a declaration of mine:
she must not distinguish me because I flatter
her, but because she thinks I have merit;
those fancied passions, where gratified vanity
assumes the form of love, will not satisfy
my heart: the eyes, the air, the voice of
the woman I love, a thousand little indiscretions
dear to the heart, must convince
me I am beloved, before I confess I love.

5 Though L7r 229

Though sensible of the advantages of
fortune, I can be happy without it: if I
should ever be rich enough to live in the
world, no one will enjoy it with greater
gust; if not, I can with great spirit, provided
I find such a companion as I wish,
retire from it to love, content, and a cottage:
by which I mean to the life of a
little country gentleman.

You ask me my opinion of the winter
here. If you can bear a degree of cold,
of which Europeans can form no idea, it
is far from being unpleasant; we have settled
frost, and an eternal blue sky. Travelling
in this country in winter is particularly
agreable: the carriages are easy, and
go on the ice with an amazing velocity,
though drawn only by one horse.

The continual plain of snow would be
extremely fatiguing both to the eye and
imagination, were not both relieved, not only L7v 230
only by the woods in prospect, but by the
tall branches of pines with which the road
is marked out on each side, and which
form a verdant avenue agreably contrasted
with the dazzling whiteness of the snow, on
which, when the sun shines, it is almost impossible
to look steadily even for a moment.

Were it not for this method of marking
out the roads, it would be impossible to
find the way from one village to another.

The eternal sameness however of this
avenue is tiresome when you go far in one
road.

I have passed the last two months in the
most agreable manner possible, in a little
society of persons I extremely love: I feel
myself so attached to this little circle of
friends, that I have no pleasure in any other
company, and think all the time absolutely
lost that politeness forces me to spend, any where L8r 231
where else. I extremely dread our party’s
being dissolved, and wish the winter to last
for ever, for I am afraid the spring will divide
us.

Adieu! and believe me,
Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

Letter LII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Ibegin not to disrelish the winter
here; now I am used to the cold, I
don’t feel it so much: as there is no business
done here in the winter, ’tis the season
of general dissipation; amusement is the study L8v 232
study of every body, and the pains people
take to please themselves contribute to the
general pleasure: upon the whole, I am
not sure it is not a pleasanter winter than
that of England.

Both our houses and our carriages are
uncommonly warm; the clear serene sky,
the dry pure air, the little parties of dancing
and cards, the good tables we all keep,
the driving about on the ice, the abundance
of people we see there, for every body has
a carriole, the variety of objects new to an
European, keep the spirits in a continual
agreable hurry, that is difficult to describe,
but very pleasant to feel.

Sir George (would you believe it?) has
written Emily a very warm letter; tender,
sentimental, and almost impatient; Mrs.
Melmoth’s
dictating, I will answer for it;
not at all in his own composed agreable
style. He talks of coming down in a few days L9r 233
days: I have a strong notion he is coming,
after his long tedious two years siege, to
endeavor to take us by storm at last; he
certainly prepares for a coup de main. He
is right, all women hate a regular attack.

Adieu for the present.

We sup at your brother’s to-night, with
all the beau monde of Quebec: we shall be
superbly entertained, I know. I am malicious
enough to wish Sir George may arrive
during the entertainment, because I have
an idea it will mortify him; though I scarce
know why I think so. Adieu!

Yours,

A. Fermor.

Let- L9v 234

Letter LIII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

We passed a most agreable evening
with your brother, though a large
company, which is seldom the case: a
most admirable supper, excellent wine, an
elegant desert of preserved fruits, and
every body in spirits and good humor.

The Colonel was the soul of our entertainment:
amongst his other virtues, he
has the companionable and convivial ones
to an immense degree, which I never had
an opportunity of discovering so clearly
before. He seemed charmed beyond words
to see us all so happy: we staid till four
o’clock in the morning, yet all complained
to-day we came away too soon.

I need L10r 235

I need not tell you we had fiddles, for
there is no entertainment in Canada without
them: never was such a race of dancers.

The dear man is come, and with an equipage
which puts the Empress of Russia’s
tranieau to shame. America never beheld
any thing so brilliant:
“All other carrioles, at sight of this,
Hide their diminish’d heads.”

Your brother’s and Fitzgerald’s will never
dare to appear now; they sink into nothing.

Emily has been in tears in her chamber;
’tis a letter of Mrs. Melmoth’s which has
had this agreable effect; some wife advice,
I suppose. Lord! how I hate people that
give advice! don’t you, Lucy?

I don’t L10v 236

I don’t like this lover’s coming; he is almost
as bad as a husband: I am afraid he
will derange our little coterie; and we have
been so happy, I can’t bear it.

Good night, my dear.
Yours,

A. Fermor.

Letter LIV.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

We have passed a mighty stupid day;
Sir George is civil, attentive, and
dull; Emily pensive, thoughtful, and silent;
and my little self as peevish as an old maid:
nobody comes near us, not even your brother,
because we are supposed to be settlingtling L11r 237
preliminaries; for you must know Sir
George
has graciously condescended to
change his mind, and will marry her, if she
pleases, without waiting for his mother’s
letter, which resolution he has communicated
to twenty people at Quebec in his
way hither; he is really extremely obliging.
I suppose the Melmoths have spirited
him up to this.

Emily is strangely reserved to me; she
avoids seeing me alone, and when it happens
talks of the weather; papa is however
in her confidence: he is as strong an
advocate for this milky baronet as Mrs. Melmoth.

All is over, Lucy; that is to say, all is
fixed: they are to be married on Monday
next at the Recollects church, and to set
off immediately for Montreal: my father has L11v 238
has been telling me the whole plan of operations:
we go up with them, stay a fortnight,
then all come down, and show away
till summer, when the happy pair embark
in the first ship for England.

Emily is really what one would call a
prudent pretty sort of woman, I did not
think it had been in her: she is certainly
right, there is danger in delay; she has a
thousand proverbs on her side; I thought
what all her fine sentiments would come
to; she should at least have waited for mamma’s
consent; this hurry is not quite consistent
with that extreme delicacy on which
she piques herself; it looks exceedingly as
if she was afraid of losing him.

I don’t love her half so well as I did three
days ago; I hate discreet young ladies that
marry and settle; give me an agreable
fellow and a knapsack.

My L12r 239

My poor Rivers! what will become of
him when we are gone? he has neglected
every body for us.

As she loves the pleasures of conversation,
she will be amazingly happy in her choice; “With such a companion to spend the
long day!”

He is to be sure a most entertaining
creature.

Adieu! I have no patience.
Yours,

A. Fermor.

After all, I am a little droll; I am angry
with Emily for concluding an advantageous
match with a man she does not absolutely
dislike, which all good mammas say is sufficient;
and this only because it breaks in on
a little circle of friends, in whose society I
have been happy. O! self! self! I would have L12v 240
have her hazard losing a fine fortune and a
coach and six, that I may continue my coterie
two or three months longer.
Adieu! I will write again as soon as we
are married. My next will, I suppose, be
from Montreal. I die to see your brother
and my little Fitzgerald; this man gives me
the vapours. Heavens! Lucy, what a
difference there is in men!

End of Vol. I.

A1r

The
History
of
Emily Montague.

By the Author of
Lady Julia Mandeville.

Vol. II.

London,
Printed for J. Dodsley, in Pall Mall 1769MDCCLXIX.

A1v A2r

The
History
of
Emily Montague.

Vol. II.

A2v A3r

The
History
of
Emily Montague.

By the Author of
Lady Julia Mandeville.

Vol. II.

London,
Printed for J. Dodsley, in Pall Mall.
1769MDCCLXIX.

A3v
B1r 1

The
History
of
Emily Montague

Letter LV.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

So, my dear, we went on too fast, it
seems: Sir George was so obliging as
to settle all without waiting for Emily’s consent;
not having supposed her refusal to be Vol. II. B in B1v 2
in the chapter of possibilities: after having
communicated their plan of operations to
me as an affair settled, papa was dispatched,
as Sir George’s ambassador, to inform
Emily of his gracious intentions in her favor.

She received him with proper dignity,
and like a girl of true spirit told him, that
as the delay was originally from Sir George,
she should insist on observing the conditions
very exactly, and was determined to wait
till spring, whatever might be the contents
of Mrs. Clayton’s expected letter; reserving
to herself also the privilege of refusing him
even then, if upon mature deliberation she
should think proper so to do.

She has further insisted, that till that
time he shall leave Silleri; take up his abode
at Quebec, unless, which she thinks most
adviseable, he should return to Montreal
for the winter; and never attempt seeing
her without witnesses, as their present situation5 tion B2r 3
is particularly delicate, and that whilst
it continues they can have nothing to say
to each other which their common friends
may not with propriety hear: all she can
be prevailed on to consent to in his favor, is
to allow him en attendant to visit here like
any other gentleman.

I wish she would send him back to Montreal,
for I see plainly he will spoil all our
little parties.

Emily is a fine girl, Lucy, and I am
friends with her again; so, my dear, I shall
revive my coterie, and be happy two or
three months longer. I have sent to ask my
two sweet fellows at Quebec to dine here:
I really long to see them; I shall let them
into the present state of affairs here, for
they both despise Sir George as much as I
do; the creature looks amazingly foolish,
and I enjoy his humiliation not a little:
such an animal to set up for being beloved
indeed! O to be sure!

B2 Emily B2v 4

Emily has sent for me to her apartment.
Adieu for a moment.

.

She has shewn me Mrs. Melmoth’s letter
on the subject of concluding the marriage
immediately: it is in the true spirit
of family impertinence. She writes with the
kind discreet insolence of a relation; and
Emily has answered her with the geniune
spirit of an independent Englishwoman,
who is so happy as to be her own mistress,
and who is therefore determined to think
for herself.

She has refused going to Montreal at all
this winter; and has hinted, though not
impolitely, that she wants no guardian of
her conduct but herself; adding a compliment
to my ladyship’s discretion so very civil,
it is impossible for me to repeat it with
decency.

O Heavens! B3r 5

O Heavens! your brother and Fitzgerald!
I fly. The dear creatures! my life has been
absolute vegetation since they absented
themselves.

Adieu! my dear,
Your faithful

A. Fermor

Letter LVI.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

We have the same parties and amusements
we used to have, my dear,
but there is by no means the same spirit in
them; constraint and dullness seem to have
taken the place of that sweet vivacity and
confidence which made our little society so B3 pleasing: B3v 6
pleasing: this odious man has infected us
all; he seems rather a spy on our pleasures
than a partaker of them; he is more an
antidote to joy than a tall maiden aunt.

I wish he would go; I say spontaneoussly
every time I see him, without considering I
am impolite, “La! Sir George, when do
you go to Montreal? He reddens, and
gives me a peevish answer; and I then, and
not before, recollect how very impertinent
the question is.”

But pray, my dear, because he has no
taste for social, companionable life, has he
therefore a right to damp the spirit of it in
those that have? I intend to consult some
learned casuist on this head.

He takes amazing pains to please in his
way, is curled, powdered, perfumed, and
exhibits every day in a new suit of embroidery;
but with all this, has the mortificationcation B4r 7
to see your brother please more in a
plain coat. I am lazy. Adieu!

Yours, ever and ever,

A. Fermor.

Letter LVII.

To John Temple, Esq; Pall Mall.

So you intend, my dear Jack, to marry
when you are quite tired of a life of
gallantry: the lady will be much obliged
to you for a heart, the refuse of half the
prostitutes in town; a heart, the best feelings
of which will be entirely obliterated;
a heart hardened by long commerce
with the most unworthy of the sex; and
which will bring disgust, suspicion, colds
ness, and depravity of taste, to the bosom
of sensibility and innocence.

B4 For B4v 8

For my own part, though fond of women
to the greatest degree, I have had, considering
my profession and complexion, very
few intrigues. I have always had an idea I
should some time or other marry, and have
been unwilling to bring to a state in which I
hoped for happiness from mutual affection,
a heart worn out by a course of gallantries:
to a contrary conduct is owing most of our
unhappy marriages; the woman brings with
her all her stock of tenderness, truth, and
affection; the man’s is exhausted before they
meet: she finds the generous delicate tenderness
of her soul, not only unreturned,
but unobserved; she fancies some other woman
the object of his affection, she is unhappy,
she pines in secret; he observes her
discontent, accuses her of caprice; and her
portion is wretchedness for life.

If I did not ardently wish your happiness,
I should not thus repeatedly combat a prejudice,
which, as you have sensibility, will infalliblyfallibly B5r 9
make the greater part of your life
a scene of insipidity and regret.

You are right, Jack, as to the savages;
the only way to civilize them is to feminize
their women; but the task is rather difficult:
at present their manners differ in nothing
from those of the men; they even
add to the ferocity of the latter.

You desire to know the state of my
heart: excuse me, Jack; you know nothing
of love; and we who do, never disclose it’s
mysteries to the prophane: besides, I always
chuse a female for the confidante of my sentiments;
I hate even to speak of love to one
of my own sex.

Adieu! I am going a party with half a
dozen ladies, and have not another minute
to spare.

Yours,

Ed. Rivers.

B5 Let- B5v 10

Letter LVIII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Ievery hour, my dear, grow more in
love with French manners; there is
something charming in being young and
sprightly all one’s life: it would appear
absurd in England to hear, what I have just
heard, a fat virtuous lady of seventy toast
Love and Opportunity to a young fellow;
but ’tis nothing here: they dance too to
the last gasp; I have seen the daughter,
mother, and grand-daughter, in the same
French country dance.

They are perfectly right; and I honor
them for their good sense and spirit, in determining
to make life agreable as long as
they can.

A propos to age, I am resolved to go home,
Lucy; I have found three grey hairs this morning; B6r 11
morning; they tell me ’tis common; this
vile climate is at war with beauty, makes
one’s hair grey, and one’s hands red. I won’t
stay, absolutely.

Do you know there is a very pretty fellow
here, Lucy, Captain Howard, who has
taken a fancy to make people believe he
and I are on good terms? He affects to sit by
me, to dance with me, to whisper nothing
to me, to bow with an air of mystery,
and to shew me all the little attentions of a
lover in public, though he never yet said
a civil thing to me when we were alone.

I was standing with him this morning
near the brow of the hill, leaning against a
tree in the sunshine, and looking down the
precipice below, when I said something
of the lover’s leap, and in play, as you will
suppose, made a step forwards: we had
been talking of indifferent things, his air
was till then indolence itself; but on this B6 little B6v 12
little motion of mine, though there was
not the least danger, he with the utmost
seeming eagerness catched hold of me as if
alarmed at the very idea, and with the most
passionate air protested his life depended
on mine, and that he would not live an
hour after me. I looked at him with astonishment,
not being able to comprehend the
meaning of this sudden flight, when turning
my head, I saw a gentleman and lady close
behind us, whom he had observed though
I had not. They were retiring: “Pray approach,
my dear Madam,”
said I; “we
have no secrets, this declaration was intended
for you to hear; we were talking
of the weather before you came.”

He affected to smile, though I saw he was
mortified; but as his smile shewed the finest
teeth imaginable I forgave him: he is really
very handsome, and ’tis pity he has this
foolish quality of preferring the shadow to
the substance.

I shall, B7r 13

I shall, however, desire him to flirt elsewhere,
as this badinage, however innocent,
may hurt my character, and give pain to
my little Fitzgerald: I believe I begin to
love this fellow, because I begin to be delicate
on the subject of flirtations, and feel
my spirit of coquetry decline every day.

Mrs. Clayton has wrote, my dear; and
has at last condescended to allow Emily the
honor of being her daughter-in-law, in
consideration of her son’s happiness, and of
engagements entered into with her own consent;
though she very prudently observes,
that what was a proper match for Captain
Clayton
is by no means so for Sir George;
and talks something of an offer of a citizen’s
daughter with fifty thousand pounds,
and the promise of an Irish title. She has,
however, observed that indiscreet engagements
are better broke than kept.

Sir B7v 14

Sir George has shewn the letter, a very
indelicate one in my opinion, to my father
and me; and has talked a great deal of nonsense
on the subject. He wants to shew it to
Emily, and I advise him to it, because I
know the effect it will have. I see plainly
he wishes to make a great merit of keeping
his engagement, if he does keep it: he
hinted a little fear of breaking her heart;
and I am convinced, if he thought she could
survive his infidelity, all his tenderness and
constancy would cede to filial duty and a coronet.

After much deliberation, Sir George has
determined to write to Emily, inclose his mother’s
letter, and call in the afternoon to enjoy
the triumph of his generosity in keeping
his engagement, when it is in his power to
do so much better: ’tis a pretty plan, and I
encourage him in it; my father, who wishes the B8r 15
the match, shrugs his shoulders, and frowns
at me; but the little man is fixed as fate in
his resolve, and is writing at this moment
in my father’s apartment. I long to see his
letter; I dare say it will be a curiosity:
’tis short, however, for he is scoming out of
the room already.

Adieu! my father calls for this letter; it
is to go in one of his to New York, and
the person who takes it waits for it at the
door.

Ever yours,

A. Fermor.

Let- B8v 16

Letter LIX.

To Miss Montague, at Silleri.

Dear Madam,

Isend you the inclosed from my mother:
I thought it necessary you should see it,
though not even a mother’s wishes shall ever
influence me to break those engagements
which I have had the happiness of entering
into with the most charming of women,
and which a man of honor ought to hold
sacred.

I do not think happiness intirely dependent
on rank or fortune, and have only to
wish my mother’s sentiments on this subject
more agreable to my own, as there is nothing
I so much wish as to oblige her: at all
events, however, depend on my fulfilling
those promises, which ought to be the more B9r 17
more binding, as they were made at a time
when our situations were more equal.

I am happy in an opportunity of convincing
you and the world, that interest and
ambition have no power over my heart,
when put in competition with what I owe to
my engagements; being with the greatest
truth,

My dearest Madam,
Yours, &c.

G. Clayton.

You will do me the honor to name the
day to make me happy

Let- B9v 18

Letter LX.

To Sir George Clayton, at Quebec.

Dear Sir,

Ihave read Mrs Clayton’s letter with
attention; and am of her opinion, that
indiscreet engagements are better broke
than kept.

I have the less reason to take ill your
breaking the kind of engagement between
us at the desire of your family, as I entered
into it at first entirely in compliance with
mine. I have ever had the sincerest esteem
and friendship for you, but never that
romantic love which hurries us to forget
all but itself: I have therefore no reason
to expect in you the imprudent disinterestedness
that passion occasions.

A fuller B10r 19

A fuller explanation is necessary on
this subject than it is possible to enter into
in a letter: if you will favor us with your
company this afternoon at Silleri, we may
explain our sentiments more clearly to each
other: be assured, I never will prevent your
complying in every instance with the wishes
of so kind and prudent a mother.

I am, dear Sir,
Your affectionate friend
and obediant servant,

Emily Montague.

Letter LXI.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

I have been with Emily, who has been
reading Mrs Clayton’s letter; I saw joy
sparkle in her eyes as she went on, her
little heart seemed to flutter with transport;
I see two things very clearly, one of B10v 20
of which is, that she never loved this little
insipid Baronet; the other I leave your
sagacity to find out. All the spirit of her
countenance is returned: she walks in air;
her cheeks have blush of pleasure; I
never saw so astonishing a change. I never
felt more joy from the acquisition of a new
lover, than she seems to find in the prospect
of losing an old one.

She has written to Sir George, and in a
style that I know will hurt him; for though
I believe he wishes her to give him up, yet
his vanity would desire it should cost her
very dear; and appear the effort of dis
interested love, and romantic generosity,
not what it really is, the effect of the most
tranquil and perfect indifference.

By the way, a disinterested mistress is,
according to my ideas, a mistress who fancies
she loves: we may talk what we please, at
a distance, of sacrificing the dear man to his interest, B11r 21
interest, and promoting his happiness by
destroying our own; but when it comes to
the point, I am rather inclined to believe all
women are of my way of thinking; and let me
die if I would give up a man I loved to the
first dutchess in Christendom: ’tis all mighty
well in theory; but for the practical part,
let who will believe it for Bell.

Indeed when a woman finds her lover inclined
to change, ’tis good to make a virtue
of necessity, and give the thing a sentimental
turn, which gratifies his vanity, and does
not wound one’s own.

Adieu! I see Sir George and his fine
carriole; I must run, and tell Emily.

Ever yours,

A. Fermor.

Let- B11v 22

Letter LXII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Yes, my Lucy, your brother tenderly
regrets the absence of a sister endeared
to him much more by her amiable
qualities than by blood; who would be the
object of his esteem and admiration, if she
was not that of his fraternal tenderness;
who has all the blooming graces, simplicity,
and innocence of nineteen, with the accomplishments
and understanding of five and
twenty; who joins the strength of mind so
often confined to our sex, to the softness,
delicacy, and vivacity of her own; who, in
short, is all that is estimable and lovely;
and who, except one, is the most charming
of her sex: you will forgive the exception,
Lucy; perhaps no man but a brother would
make it.

My B12r 23

My sweet Emily appears every day more
amiable; she is now in the full tyranny of
her charms, at the age when the mind is
improved, and the person in its perfection.
I every day see in her more indifference to
her lover, a circumstance which gives me a
pleasure which perhaps it ought not: there
is a selfishness in it, for which I am afraid
I ought to blush.

You judge perfectly well, my dear, in
checking the natural vivacity of your
temper, however pleasing it is to all who
converse with you: coquetry is dangerous
to English women, because they have
sensibility; it is more suited to the French,
who are naturally something of the salamander
kind.

I have this moment a note from Bell
Fermor
, that she must see me this instant. I hope B12v 24
I hope my Emily is well: Heaven preserve
the most perfect of all its works.

Adieu! my dear girl.
Your affectionate.

Ed. Rivers

Letter LXIII

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

We have passed three or four droll
days, my dear. Emily persists in
resolving to break with Sir George; he
thinks it decent to combat her resolution,
lest he should lose the praise of generosity:
he is also piqued to see her give him up
with such perfect composure, though I am
convinced he will not be sorry upon the
whole to be given up; he has, from the first C1r 25
first receipt of the letter, plainly wished
her to resign him, but hoped for a few
faintings and tears, as a sacrifice to his vanity
on the occasion.

My father is setting every engine at work
to make things up again, supposing Emily
to have determined from pique, not from
the real feelings of her heart: he is
frighted to death lest I should counterwork
him, and so jealous of my advising her to
continue a conduct he so much disapproves,
that he won’t leave us a moment together;
he even observes carefully that each goes
into her respective apartment when we
retire to bed.

This jealousy has started an idea which
I think will amuse us, and which I shall
take the first opportunity of communicating
to Emily; ’tis to write each other at night
our sentiments on whatever passes in the
day; if she approves the plan, I will send Vol. II. C you C1v 26
you the letters, which will save me a great
deal of trouble in telling you all our
petites histoires.

This scheme will have another advantage;
we shall be a thousand times more
sincere and open to each other by letter
than face to face; I have long seen by her
eyes that the little fool has twenty things
to say to me, but has not courage; now
letters you know, my dear, “Excuse the blush, and pour out all
the heart.”

Besides, it will be so romantic and pretty,
almost as agreable as a love affair: I long
to begin the correspondence.

Adieu!
Yours,

A. Fermor

Let- C2r 27

Letter LXIV.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

IHave but a moment, my Lucy, to tell
you, my divine Emily has broke with
her lover, who this morning took an eternal
leave of her, and set out for Montreal in
his way to New York, whence he proposes
to embark for England.

My sensations on this occasion are not to
be described: I admire that amiable delicacy
which has influenced her to give up
every advantage of rank and fortune which
could tempt the heart of woman, rather
than unite herself to a man for whom she
felt the least degree of indifference; and
this, without regarding the censures of her C2 family C2v 28
family, or of the world, by whom, what they
will call her imprudence, will never be
forgiven: a woman who is capable of acting
so nobly, is worthy of being beloved, of
being adored, by every man who has a soul
to distinguish her perfections.

If I was a vain man, I might perhaps
fancy her regard for me had some share in
determining her conduct, but I am convinced
of the contrary; ’tis the native delicacy of
her soul alone, incapable of forming an
union in which the heart has no share, which,
independent of any other consideration, has
been the cause of a resolution so worthy of
herself.

That she has the tenderest affection for
me, I cannot doubt one moment; her attention
is too flattering to be unobserved; but
’tis that kind of affection in which the mind
alone is concerned. I never gave her the most C3r 29
most distant hint that I loved her: in her
situation, it would have been even an
outrage to have done so. She knows the
narrowness of my circumstances, and how
near impossible it is for me to marry; she
therefore could not have an idea—no, my
dear girl, tis not to love, but to true delicacy,
that she has sacrificed avarice and
ambition; and she is a thousand times the
more estimable from this circumstance.

I am interrupted. You shall hear from
me in a few days.

Adieu!
Your affectionate

Ed. Rivers.

C3 Let- C3v 30

Letter LXV.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

IHave mentioned my plan to Emily, who
is charmed with it; ’tis a pretty evening
amusement for two solitary girls in the
country.

Behold the first fruits of our correspondence:

“To Miss Fermor. It is not to you, my dear girl, I need
vindicate my conduct in regard to Sir
George
; you have from the first approved
it; you have even advised it. If I have
been to blame, ’tis in having too long delayed“layed C4r 31
an explanation on a point of such
importance to us both. I have been long
on the borders of a precipice, without
courage to retire from so dangerous a
situation: overborn by my family, I have
been near marrying a man for whom I
have not the least tenderness, and whose
conversation is even now tedious to me.
My dear friend, we were not formed
for each other: our minds have not the
least resemblance. Have you not observed
that, when I have timidly hazarded my
ideas on the delicacy necessary to keep
love alive in marriage, and the difficulty
of preserving the heart of the object beloved
in so intimate an union, he has
indolently assented, with a coldness not to
be described, to sentiments which it is
plain from his manner he did not understand;
whilst another, not interested in
the conversation, has, by his countenance,
by the fire of his eyes, by looks more C4 eloquent C4v 32
eloquent than all language, shewed his
soul was of intelligence with mine!
A strong sense of the force of engagements
entered into with my consent,
though not the effect of my free, unbiassed
choice, and the fear of making Sir George,
by whom I supposed myself beloved, unhappy,
have thus long prevented my
resolving to break with him for ever;
and though I could not bring myself to
marry him, I found myself at the same
time incapable of assuming sufficient resolution
to tell him so, ’till his mother’s
letter gave me so happy an occasion.
There is no saying what transport I
feel in being freed from the insupportable
yoke of this engagement, which has long
sat heavy on my heart, and suspended the
natural chearfulness of my temper.
“Yes, C5r 33 Yes, my dear, your Emily has been
wretched, without daring to confess it even
to you: I was ashamed of owning I had entered
into such engagements with a man whom
I had never loved, though I had for a short
time mistaken esteem for a greater degree
of affection than my heart ever really
knew. How fatal, my dear Bell, is this
mistake to half our sex, and how happy
am I to have discovered mine in time!
I have scarce yet asked myself what I
intend; but I think it will be most prudent
to return to England in the first ship,
and retire to a relation of my mother’s
in the country, where I can live with decency
on my little fortune.
Whatever is my fate, no situation can
be equally unhappy with that of being
wife to a man for whom I have not even
the slightest friendship or esteem, for whose C5 “conver- C5v 34
conversation I have not the least taste,
and who, if I know him, would for ever
think me under an obligation to him for
marrying me.
I have the pleasure to see I give no
pain to his heart, by a step which has
relieved mine from misery: his feelings
are those of wounded vanity, not of love.
Adieu! YourEmily Montague.”

I have no patience with relations, Lucy;
this sweet girl has been two years wretched
under the bondage her uncle’s avarice (for
he foresaw Sir George’s acquisition, though
she did not) prepared for her. Parents should
chuse our company, but never even pretend
to direct our choice; if they take care
we converse with men of honor only, tis
impossible we can chuse amiss: a conformity of C6r 35
of taste and sentiment along can make marriage
happy, and of that none but the parties
concerned can judge.

By the way, I think long engagements,
even between persons who love, extremely
unfavorable to happiness: it is certainly right
to be long enough acquainted to know something
of each other’s temper; but ’tis bad to
let the first fire burn out before we come together;
and when we have once resolved, I
have no notion of delaying a moment.

If I should ever consent to marry Fitzgerald,
and he should not fly for a licence
before I had finished the sentence, I would
dismiss him if there was not another lover
to be had in Canada.

Adieu!
Your faithful

A. Fermor.

C6 My C6v 36

My Emily is now free as air; a sweet
little bird escaped from the gilded
cage. Are you not glad of it, Lucy?
I am amazingly.

Letter LXVI.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Would one think it possible, Lucy,
that Sir George should console himself
for the loss of all that is lovely in
woman, by the sordid prospect of acquiring,
by an interested marriage, a little more of
that wealth of which he has already much
more than he can either enjoy or become?
By what wretched motives are half mankind
influenced in the most important action of
their lives!

The C7r 37

The vulgar of ever rank expect happiness
where it is not to be found, in the ideal
advantages of splendor and dissipation;
those who dare to think, those minds who
partake of the celestial fire, seek it in the
real solid pleasures of nature and soft
affection.

I have seen my lovely Emily since I wrote
to you; I shall not see her again of some
days; I do not intend at present to make
my visits to Silleri so frequent as I have
done lately, lest the world, ever studious to
blame, should misconstrue her conduct on
this very delicate occasion. I am even afraid
to shew my usual attention to her when present,
lest she herself should think I presume
on the politeness she has ever shewn me, and
see her breaking with Sir George in a false
light: the greater I think her obliging partiality
to me, the more guarded I ought to
be in my behaviour to her; her situation has C7v 38
has some resemblance to widowhood, and
she has equal decorums to observe.

I cannot however help encouraging a
pleasing hope that I am not absolutely indifferent
to her: her lovely eyes have a softness
when they meet mine, to which words cannot
do justice: she talks less to me than to
others, but it is in a tone of voice which
penetrates my soul; and when I speak, her
attention is most flattering, though of a nature
not to be seen by common observers;
without seeming to distinguish me from the
crowd who strive to engage her esteem and
friendship, she has a manner of addressing
me which the heart alone can feel; she contrives
to prevent my appearing to give her
any preference to the rest of her sex, yet
I have seen her blush at my civility to
another.

She has at least a friendship for me, which
alone would make the happiness of my life; I and C8r 39
and which I would prefer to the love of the
most charming woman imagination could
form, sensible as I am to the sweetest of all
passions: this friendship, however, time
and assiduity may ripen into love; at least
I should be most unhappy if I did not think
so.

I love her with a tenderness of which few
of my sex are capable: you have often told
me, and you were right, that my heart has
all the sensibility of woman.

A mail is arrived, by which I hope to hear
from you; I must hurry to the post office;
you shall hear again in a few days.

Adieu!
Your affectionate

Ed. Rivers.

Let- C8v 40

Letter LXVII.

To Colonel Rivers, at Quebec.

You need be in no pain, my dear
brother, on Mr. Temple’s account;
my heart is in no danger from a man of his
present character: his person and manner
are certainly extremely pleasing; his understanding,
and I believe his principles, are
worthy of your friendship; an encomium
which, let me observe, is from me a very
high one: he will be admired every where,
but to be beloved, he wants, or at least
appears to me to want, the most endearing
of all qualities, that genuine tenderness of
soul, that almost feminine sensibility, which,
with all your firmness of mind and spirit,
you possess beyond any man I ever yet met
with.

If C9r 41

If your friend wishes to please me,
which I almost fancy he does, he must endeavor
to resemble you; ’tis rather hard
upon me, I think, that the only man I perfectly
approve, and whose disposition is
formed to make me happy, should be my
brother: I beg you will find out somebody
very like yourself for your sister, for you
have really made me saucy.

I pity you heartily, and wish above all
things to hear of your Emily’s marriage,
for your present situation must be extremely
unpleasant.

But, my dear brother, as you were so
very wise about Temple, allow me to ask
you whether it is quite consistent with
prudence to throw yourself in the way of a
woman so formed to inspire you with tenderness,
and whom it is so impossible you can
ever hope to possess: is not this acting a little C9v 42
little like a foolish girl, who plays round
the flame which she knows will consume
her?

My mother is well, but will never be
happy till you return to England; I often
find her in tears over your letters: I will
say no more on a subject which I know will
give you pain. I hope, however, to hear
you have given up all thoughts of settling
in America: it would be a better plan to
turn farmer in Northamptonshire; we
could doubt the estate by living upon it,
and I am sure I should make the prettiest
milk-maid in the county.

I am serious, and think we could live very
superbly all together in the country; consider
it well, my dear Ned, for I cannot
bear to see my mother so unhappy as
your absence makes her. I hear her on
the stairs; I must hurry away my letter, for C10r 43
for I don’t chuse she should know I write
to you on this subject.

Adieu!
Your affectionate

Lucy Rivers.

Say every thing for me to Bell Fermor;
and in your own manner to your
Emily, in whose friendship I promise
myself great happiness.

Letter LXVIII

To Miss Montague, at Silleri.

Never any astonishment equalled
mine, my dear Emily, at hearing you
had broke an engagement of years, so
much to your advantage as to fortune, and with C10v 44
with a man so very unexceptionable a
character as Sir George, without any other
apparent cause than a slight indelicacy in
a letter of his mother’s, for which candor
and affection would have found a thousand
excuses. I will not allow myself to suppose,
what is however publicly said here, that
you have sacrificed prudence, decorum, and
I had almost said honor, to an imprudent
inclination for a man, to whom there is the
strongest reason to believe you are indifferent,
and who is even said to have an attachment
to another: I mean Colonel Rivers,
who, though a man of worth, is in a situation
which makes it impossible for him to
think of you, were you even as dear to him
as the world says he is to you.

I am too unhappy to say more on this
subject, but expect from our past friendship
a very sincere answer to two questions;
whether love for Colonel Rivers was the
real motive for the indiscreet step you have taken? C11r 45
taken? and whether, if it was, you have
the excuse of knowing he loves you? I
should be glad to know what are your views,
if you have any. I am,

My dear Emily,
Your affectionate friend,

E. Melmoth.

Letter LXIX.

To Mrs. Melmoth, at Montreal

My dear Madam,

Iam too sensible of the rights of friendship,
to refuse answering your questions;
which I shall do in as few words as possible.
I have not the least reason to suppose
myself beloved by Colonel Rivers; nor, if I know C11v 46
I know my heart, do I love him in that
sense of the word your question supposes:
I think him the best, most amiable of
mankind; and my extreme affection for him,
though I believe that affection only a very
lively friendship, first awakened me to a
sense of the indelicacy and impropriety of
marrying Sir George.

To enter into so sacred an engagement
as marriage with one man, with a stronger
affection for another, of how calm and
innocent nature soever that affection may
be, is a degree of baseness of which my
heart is incapable.

When I first agreed to marry Sir
George
, I had no superior esteem for any
other man; I thought highly of him, and
wanted courage to resist the pressing solicitations
of my uncle, to whom I had a
thousand obligations. I even almost persuaded
myself I loved him, nor did I find my C12r 47
my mistake till I saw Colonel Rivers, in
whose conversation I had so very lively a
pleasure as soon convinced me of my
mistake: I therefore resolved to break
with Sir George, and nothing but the fear
of giving him pain prevented my doing it
sooner: his behaviour on the receipt of his
mother’s letter removed that fear, and set
me free in my own opinion, and I hope will
in yours, from engagements which were
equally in the way of my happiness, and
his ambition. If he is sincere, he will tell
you my refusal of him made him happy,
though he chuses to affect a chagrin which
he does not feel.

I have no view but that of returning to
England in the spring, and fixing with a
relation in the country.

If Colonel Rivers has an attachment, I
hope it is to one worthy of him; for my
own part, I never entertained the remotest thought C12v 48
thought of him in any light but that of the
most sincere and tender of friends. I am,
Madam, with great esteem,

Your affectionate friend
and obedient servant,

Emily Montague

Letter LXX.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

There are two parties at Quebec in
regard to Emily: the prudent mammas
abuse her for losing a good match, and
suppose it to proceed from her partiality to
your brother, to the imprudence of which
they give no quarter; whilst the misses admire
her generosity and spirit, in sacrificing
all for love; so impossible it is to please every D1r 49
every body. However, she has, in my
opinion, done the wisest thing in the world;
that is, she has pleased herself.

As to her inclination for your brother, I
am of their opinion, that she loves him without
being quite clear in the point herself:
she has not yet confessed the fact even to
me; but she has speaking eyes, Lucy, and
I think I can interpret their language.

Whether he sees it or not I cannot tell;
I rather think he does, because he has been
less here, and more guarded in his manner
when here, than before this matrimonial
affair was put an end to; which is natural
enough on that supposition, because he
knows the impertinence of Quebec, and is
both prudent and delicate to a great degree.

He comes, however, and we are pretty
good company, only a little more reserved
on both sides; which is, in my opinion, a
little symptomatic.

Vol. II. D La! D1v 50

La! here’s papa come up to write at my
bureau; I dare say, it’s only to pry into what
I am about; but excuse me, my dear Sir, for
that. Adieu! jusqu’au demain, ma tres chere.

Yours,

A. Fermor.

Letter LXXI.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Every hour, my Lucy, convinces me
more clearly there is no happiness for
me without this lovely woman; her turn of
mind is so correspondent to my own, that
we seem to have but one soul: the first moment
I saw her the idea struck me that we
had been friends in some pre-existent state,
and were only renewing our acquaintance
here; when she speaks, my heart vibrates
to the sound, and owns every thought she
expresses a native there.

The D2r 51

The same dear affections, the same tender
sensibility, the most precious gift of Heaven,
inform our minds, and make us peculiarly
capable of exquisite happiness or misery.

The passions, my Lucy, are common to
all; but the affections, the lively sweet affections,
the only sources of true pleasure,
are the portion only of a chosen few.

Uncertain at present of the nature of her
sentiments, I am determined to develop
them clearly before I discover mine: if she
loves as I do, even a perpetual exile here
will be pleasing. The remotest wood in
Canada with her would be no longer a desert
wild; it would be the habitation of the
Graces.

But I forget your letter, my dear girl;
I am hurt beyond words at what you tell
me of my mother; and would instantly return
to England, did not my fondness for
this charming woman detain me here: you D2 are D2v 52
are both too good in wishing to retire with
me to the country; will your tenderness
lead you a step farther, my Lucy? It would
be too much to hope to see you here; and
yet, if I marry Emily, it will be impossible
for me to think of returning to England.

There is a man here whom I should prefer
of all men I ever saw for you; but he
is already attached to your friend Bell Fermor,
who is very inattentive to her own
happiness, if she refuses him: I am very
happy in finding you think of Temple as I
wish you should.

You are so very civil, Lucy, in regard
to me, I am afraid of becoming vain from
your praises.

Take care, my dear, you don’t spoil me
by this excess of civility, for my only mereit
is that of not being a coxcomb.

I have D3r 53

I have a heaviness of heart, which has never
left me since I read your letter: I am
shocked at the idea of giving pain to the
best parent that ever existed; yet have less
hope than ever of seeing England, without
giving up the tender friend, the dear companion,
the adored mistress; in short the
very woman I have all my life been in
search of: I am also hurt that I cannot
place this object of all my wishes in a station
equal to that she has rejected, and I begin
to think rejected for me.

I never before repined at seeing the gifts
of fortune lavished on the unworthy.

Adieu, my dear! I will write again when
I can write more chearfully.

Your affectionate

Ed. Rivers.

D3 Let- D3v 54

Letter LXXII.

To the Earl of ――

My Lord,

Your Lordship does me great honor in
supposing me capable of giving any
satisfactory account of a country in which I
have spent only a few months.

As a proof, however, of my zeal, and
the very strong desire I have to merit the
esteem you honor me with, I shall communicate
from time to time the little I have
observed, and may observe, as well as what
I hear from good authority, with that lively
pleasure with which I have ever obeyed
every command of your Lordship’s.

The French, in the first settling this colony,
seem to have had an eye only to the
conquest of ours: their whole system of policy D4r 55
policy seems to have been military, not
commercial; or only so far commercial as
was necessary to supply the wants, and by
so doing to gain the friendship, of the savages,
in order to make use of them against
us.

The lands are held on military tenure:
every peasant is a soldier, every seigneur
an officer, and bother serve without pay
whenever called upon; this service is, except
a very small quit-rent by way of acknowledgement,
all they pay for their
lands: the seigneur holds of the crown, the
peasant of the seigneur, who is at once his
lord and commander.

The peasants are in general tall and robust,
notwithstanding their excessive indolence;
they love war, and hate labor; are
brave, hardy, alert in the field, but lazy
and inactive at home; in which they resemble
the savages, whose manners they seem D4 strongly D4v 56
strongly to have imbibed. The government
appears to have encouraged a military spirit
all over the colony; though ignorant and
stupid to a great degree, these peasants
have a strong sense of honor; and though
they serve, as I have said, without pay, are
never so happy as when called to the field.

They are excessively vain, and not only
look on the French as the only civilized
nation in the world, but on themselves as
the flower of the French nation: they had,
I am told, a great aversion to the regular
troops which came from France in the late
war, and a contempt equal to that aversion;
they however had an affection and
esteem for the late Marquis De Montcalm,
which almost rose to idolatry; and I have
even at this distance of time seen many of
them in tears at the mention of his name:
an honest tribute to the memory of a commander
equally brave and humane; for
whom his enemies wept even on the day
when their own hero fell.

I am D5r 57

I am called upon for this letter, and have
only time to assure your Lordship of my
respect, and of the pleasure I always receive
from your commands. I have the
honor to be,

My Lord,
Your Lordship’s, &c.

William Fermor.

Letter LXXIII.

To Miss Fermor.

Ihave indeed, my dear, a pleasure in
his conversation, to which words cannot
do justice: love itself is less tender and
lively than my friendship for Rivers; from
the first moment I saw him, I lost all taste D5 for D5v 58
for other conversation; even yours, amiable
as you are, borrows its most prevailing
charm from the pleasure of hearing you
talk of him.

When I call my tenderness for him
friendship, I do not mean either to paint
myself as an enemy to tenderer sentiments,
or him as one whom it is easy to see without
feeling them: all I mean is, that, as
our situations make it impossible for us to
think of each other except as friends, I
have endeavored—I hope with success—
to see him in no other light: it is not in
his power to marry without fortune, and
mine is a trifle: had I worlds, they should
be his; but, I am neither so selfish as to
desire, nor so romantic as to expect, that he
should descend from the rank of life he has
been bred in, and live lost to the world
with me.

As to the impertinence of two or three
women, I hear of it with perfect indifference:ference: D6r 59
my dear Rivers esteems me, he
approves my conduct, and all else is below
my care: the applause of worlds would
give me less pleasure than one smile of approbation
from him.

I am astonished your father should know
me so little, as to suppose me capable of
being influenced even by you: when I determined
to refuse Sir George, it was from
the feelings of my own heart alone; the
first moment I saw Colonel Rivers convinced
me my heart had till then been a
stranger to true tenderness: from that
moment my life has been one continued
struggle between my reason, which shewed
me the folly as well as indecency of marrying
one man when I so infinitely preferred
another, and a false point of honor and
mistaken compassion: from which painful
state, a concurrence of favorable accidents
has at length happily relieved me, and left
me free to act as becomes me.

D6 Of D6v 60

Of this, my dear, be assured, that, though
I have not the least idea of ever marrying
Colonel Rivers, yet, whilst my sentiments
for him continue what they are, I will never
marry any other man.

I am hurt at what Mrs. Melmoth hinted
in her letter to you, of Rivers having appeared
to attach himself to me from vanity;
she endeavors in vain to destroy my esteem
for him: you well know, he never did appear
to attach himself to me; he is incapable
of having done it from such a motive; but if
he had, such delight have I in whatever
pleases him, that I should with joy have
sacrificed my own vanity to gratify his.

Adieu! Your

Emily Montague.

Let- D7r 61

Letter LXXIV.

To Miss Montague.

My dear, you deceive yourself; you
love Colonel Rivers; you love him
even with all the tenderness of romance:
read over again the latter part of your
letter; I know friendship, and of what it
is capable; but I fear the sacrifices it makes
are of a different nature.

Examine your heart, my Emily, and tell
me the result of that examination. It is of
the utmost consequence to you to be clear
as to the nature of your affection for
Rivers.

Adieu! Yours,

A. Fermor.
Let- D7v 62

Letter LXXV.

To Miss Fermor.

Yes, my dear Bell, you know me better
than I know myself; your Emily
loves.—But tell me, and with that clear
sincerity which is the cement of our friendship;
has not your own heart discovered to
you the secret of mine? do you not also
love this most amiable of mankind? Yes,
you do, and I am lost: it is not in woman to
see him without love; there are a thousand
charms in his conversation, in his look,
nay in the very sound of his voice, to
which it is impossible for a soul like yours
to be insensible.

I have observed you a thousand times
listening to him with that air of softness
and complacency—Believe me, my dear,
I am not angry with you for loving him; he D8r 63
he is formed to charm the heart of woman:
I have not the least right to complain of
you; you knew nothing of my passion for
him; you even regarded me almost as the
wife of another. But tell me, though my
heart dies within me at the question, is
your tenderness mutual? does he love you?
I have observed a coldness in his manner
lately, which now alarms me.—My heart is
torn in pieces. Must I receive this wound
from the two persons on earth most dear to
me? Indeed, my dear, this is more than
your Emily can bear. Tell me only whether
you love: I will not ask more.—Is there
on earth a man who can please where he
appears?

Let- D8v 64

Letter LXXVI.

To Miss Montague.

You have discovered me, my sweet
Emily: I love—not quite so dyingly
as you do; but I love; will you forgive
me when I add that I am beloved? It is
unnecessary to add the name of him I love,
as you have so kindly appropriated the
whole sex to Colonel Rivers.

However, to shew you it is possible you
may be mistaken, ’tis the little Fitz I love,
who, in my eye, is ten times more agreable
than even your nonpareil of a Colonel;
I know you will think me a shocking
wretch for this depravity of taste; but so
it is.

Upon my word, I am half inclined to
be angry with you for not being in love
with Fitzgerald; a tall Irishman, with 2 good D9r 65
good eyes, has as clear a title to make conquests
of other people.

Yes, my dear, “there is a man on earth”,
and even in the little town of Quebec, “who
can please where he appears.”
Surely, child,
if there was but one man on earth who
could please, you would not be so unreasonable
as to engross him all to
yourself.

For my part, though I like Fitzgerald
extremely, I by no means insist that every
other woman shall.

Go, you are a foolish girl, and don’t
know what you would be at. Rivers is a
very handsome agreable fellow; but “it is in
woman”
to see him without dying for love,
of which behold your little Bell an
example. Adieu! be wiser, and believe me

Ever yours

A. Fermor.

Will D9v 66

Will you go this morning to Montmorenci
on the ice, and dine on the
island of Orleans? dare you trust
yourself in a covered carriole with
the dear man? Don’t answer this,
because I am certain you can say
nothing on the subject, which will
not be very foolish.

Letter LXXVII.

To Miss Fermor.

Iam glad you do not see Colonel Rivers
with my eyes; yet it seems to me very
strange; I am almost piqued at your giving
another the preference. I will say no more,
it being, as you observe, impossible to avoid
being absurd on such a subject.

I will go to Montmorenci; and to shew
my courage, will venture in covered carriole
with Colonel Rivers, though I should rather
wish your father for my cavalier at present.

Yours,

Emily Montague

Let- D10r 67

Letter LXXVIII.

To Miss Montague.

You are right, my dear: ’tis more
prudent to go with my father. I love
prudence; and will therefore send for Mademoiselle
Clairaut
to be River’s belle.

Yours,

A. Fermor.

Letter LXXIX.

To Miss Fermor.

You are a provoking chit, and I will
go with Rivers. Your father may
attend Madame Villiers, who you know will
naturally take it ill if she is not of our party.
We can ask Mademoiselle Clairaut
another time.

Adieu! Your

Emily Montague.

Let- D10v 68

Letter LXXX.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Silleri,

Those who have heard no more of
a Canadian winter than what regards
the intenseness of its cold, must suppose it a
very joyless season: ’tis, I assure you, quite
otherwise; there are indeed some days here
of the severity of which those who were
never out of England can form no conception;
but those days seldom exceed a dozen
in a whole winter, nor do they come in succession;
but at intermediate periods, as the
winds set in from the North-West; which,
coming some hundred leagues, from frozen
lakes and rivers, over woods and mountains
covered with snow, would be unsupportable,
were it not for the furs with which the country
abounds, in such variety and plenty as to
be within the reach of all its inhabitants.

Thus D11r 69

Thus defended, the British belles set the
winter of Canada at defiance; and the season
of which you seem to entertain such terrible
ideas, is that of the utmost chearfulness
and festivity.

But what particularly pleases me is, there
is no place where women are of such importance:
not one of the sex, who has the
least share of attractions, is without a levee
of beaux interceding for the honor of attending
her on some party, of which every
day produces three or four.

I am just returned from one of the most
agreable jaunts imagination can paint, to
the island of Orleans, by the falls of Montmorenci;
the latter is almost nine miles dis
tant, across the great bason of Quebec; but
as we are obliged to reach it in winter by the
waving line, our direct road being intercepted
by the inequalities of the ice, it is now perhaps a third D11v 70
a third more. You will possibly suppose a
ride of this kind must want one of the greatest
essentials to entertainment, that of variety,
and imagine it only one dull whirl over
an unvaried plain of snow: on the contrary,
my dear, we pass hills and mountains of ice
in the trifling space of these few miles. The
bason of Quebec is formed by the conflux
of the rivers St. Charles and Montmorenci
with the great river St. Lawrence, the rapidity
of whose flood tide , as these rivers are
gradually seized by the frost, breaks up the
ice, and drives it back in heaps, till it forms
ridges of transparent rock to an height that
is astonishing, and of a strength which bids
defiance to the utmost rage of the most
furiously rushing tide.

This circumstance makes this little journey
more pleasing than you can possibly conceive:
the serene blue sky above, the dazling
brightness of the sun, and the colors
from the refraction of its rays on the transparentrent D12r 71
part of these ridges of ice, the winding
course these oblige you to make, the
sudden disappearing of a train of fifteen or
twenty carrioles, as these ridges intervene,
which again discover themselves on your
rising to the top of the frozen mount, the
tremendous appearance both of the ascent
and descent, which however are not attended
with the least danger; all together give
a grandeur and variety to the scene, which
almost rise to enchantment.

Your dull foggy climate affords nothing
that can give you the least idea of our frost
pieces in Canada; nor can you form any
notion of our amusements, of the agreableness
of a covered carriole, with a sprightly
fellow, rendered more sprightly by the
keen air and romantic scene about him; to
say nothing of the fair lady at his side.

Even an overturning has nothing alarming
in it; you are laid gently down on a soft D12v 72
soft bed of snow, without the least danger
of any kind; and an accident of this sort
only gives a pretty fellow occasion to vary
the style of his civilities, and shew a greater
degree of attention.

But it is almost time to come to Montmorenci:
to avoid, however, fatiguing you
or myself, I shall refer the rest of our tour
to another letter, which will probably accompany
this: my meaning is, that two moderate
letters aare vastly better than one
long one; in which sentiment I know you
agree with

Yours,

A. Fermor.

Let- E1r 73

Letter LXXXI.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

So, my dear, as I was saying, this same
ride to Montmorenci—where was I,
Lucy? I forget.—O, I believe pretty near
the mouth of the bay, embosomed in which
lies the lovely cascade of which I am to
give you a winter description, and which I
only slightly mentioned when I gave you an
account of the rivers by which it is supplied.

The road, about a mile before you
reach this bay, is a regular glassy level,
without any of those intervening hills of
ice which I have mentioned; hills, which
with the ideas, though false ones, of danger
and difficulty, give those of beauty and
magnificence too.

Vol. II. E As E1v 74

As you gradually approach the bay, you
are struck with an awe, which increases
every moment, as you come nearer, from
the grandeur of a scene, which is one of
the noblest works of nature: the beauty,
the proportion, the solemnity, the wild
magnificence of which, surpassing every possible
effect of art, impress one strongly with
the idea of its Divine Almighty Architect.

The rock on the east side, which is first
in view as you approach, is a smooth and
almost perpendicular precipice, of the same
height as the fall; the top, which a little
over-hangs, is beautifully covered with
pines, firs, and ever-greens of various
kinds, whose verdant lustre is rendered at
this season more shining and lovely by the
surrounding snow, as well as by that which
is sprinkled irregularly on their branches,
and glitters half molted in the sun-beams:
a thousand smaller shrubs are scattered on
the side of the ascent, and, having their roots E2r 75
roots in almost imperceptible clefts of the
rock, seem to those below to grow in air.

The west side is equally lofty, but more
sloping, which, from that circumstance, affords
soil all the way, upon shelving inequalities
of the rock, at little distances, for
the growth of trees and shrubs, by which
it is almost entirely hid.

The most pleasing view of this miracle
of nature is certainly in summer, and in the
early part of it, when every tree is in foliage
and full verdure, every shrub in
flower; and when the river, swelled with a
waste of waters from the mountains from
which it derives its source, pours down in a
tumultuous torrent, that equally charms
and astonishes the beholder.

The winter scene has, notwithstanding, its
beauties, though of a different kind, more
resembling the stillness and inactivity of the
season.

E2 The E2v 76

The river being on its sides bound up in
frost, and its channel rendered narrower
than in the summer, affords a less body of
water to supply the cascade; and the fall,
though very steep, yet not being exactly
perpendicular, masses of ice are formed,
on different shelving projections of the rock,
in a great variety of forms and proportions.

The torrent, which before rushed with
such impetuosity down the deep descent in
one vast sheet of water, now descends in
some parts with a slow and majestic pace;
in others seems almost suspended in mid air;
and in others, bursting through the obstacles
which interrupt its course, pours down
with redoubled fury into the foaming bason
below, from whence a spray arises, which,
freezing in its ascent, becomes on each side a
wide and irregular frozen breast-work; and
in front, the spray being there much greater,
a lofty and magnificent pyramid of solid
ice.

I have E3r 77

I have not told you half the grandeur,
half the beauty, half the lovely wildness
of this scene: if you would know what it is,
you must take no information but that of
your own eyes, which I pronounce strangers
to the loveliest work of creation till they
have seen the river and fall of Montmorenci.

In short, my dear, I am Montmorenci-
mad.

I can hardly descend to tell you, we passed
the ice from thence to Orleans, and dined
out of doors on six feet of snow, in the
charming enlivening warmth of the sun,
though in the month of February, at a time
when you in England scarce feel his beams.

Fitzgerald made violent love to me all the
way, and I never felt myself listen with
such complacency.

E3 Adieu! E3v 78

Adieu! I have wrote two immense letters.
Write oftener; you are lazy, yet expect me
to be an absolute slave in the scribbling way.

Your faithful

A. Fermor.

Do you know your brother has admirable
ideas? He contrived to lose his way
on our return, and kept Emily ten minutes
behind the rest of the company. I am apt
to fancy there was something like a declaration,
for she blushed, “Celestial rosy red,”
when he led her into the dining room at
Silleri.
Once more, adieu!

Let- E4r 79

Letter LXXXII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Iwas mistaken, my dear; not a word
of love between your brother and
Emily, as she positively assures me; something
very tender has passed, I am convinced,
notwithstanding, for she blushes
more than ever when he approaches, and
there is a certain softness in his voice when
he addresses her, which cannot escape a
person of my penetration.

Do you know, my dear Lucy, that there
is a little impertinent girl here, a Mademoiselle
Clairaut
, who, on the meer merit
of features and complexion, sets up for being
as handsome as Emily and me?

If beauty, as I will take the liberty to
assert, is given us for the purpose of pleasing,E4 ing, E4v 80
she who pleases most, that is to say,
she who excites the most passion, is to all
intents and purposes the most beautiful
woman; and, in this case, I am inclined to
believe your little Bell stands pretty high
on the roll of beauty; the men’s eyes may
perhaps say she is handsome, but their
hearts feel that I am so.

There is, in general, nothing so insipid,
so uninteresting, as a beauty; which those
men experience to their cost, who chuse
from vanity, not inclination. I remember
Sir Charles Herbert, a Captain in the same
regiment with my father, who determined
to marry Miss Raymond before he saw her,
merely because he had been told she was
a celebrated beauty, though she was never
known to have inspired a real passion: he
saw her, not with his own eyes, but those
of the public, took her charms on trust; and,
till he was her husband, never found out
she was not his taste; a secret, however, of
some little importance to his happiness.

I have, E5r 81

I have, however, known some beauties
who had a right to please; that is, who had
a mixture of that invisible charm, that
nameless grace which by no means depends
on beauty, and which strikes the heart in a
moment; but my first aversion is your fine
women:
don’t you think a fine woman a
detestable creature, Lucy? I do: they are
vastly well to fill public places; but as to
the heart—Heavens, my dear! yet there
are men, I suppose, to be found, who
have a taste for the great sublime in
beauty.

Men are vastly foolish, my dear; very
few of them have spirit to think for themselves;
there are a thousand Sir Charles
Herberts
: I have seen some of them weak
enough to decline marrying the woman
on earth most pleasing to themselves, because
not thought handsome by the generality
of their companions.

E5 Women E5v 82

Women are above this folly, and therefore
chuse much oftener from affection than
men. We are a thousand times wiser,
Lucy, than these important beings, these
mighty lords, “Who strut and fret their hour upon
the stage;”

and, instead of playing the part in life
which nature dictates to their reason and
their hearts, act a borrowed one at the will
of others.

I had rather even judge ill, than not
judge for myself.

Adieu! yours ever,

A. Fermor.

Let- E6r 83

Letter LXXXIII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

After debating with myself some
days, I am determined to pursue
Emily; but, before I make a declaration, will
go to see some ungranted lands at the back
of Madame Des Roche’s estate; which, lying
on a very fine river, and so near the St.
Lawrence
, may I think be cultivated at
less expence than those above Lake Champlain,
though in a much inferior climate:
if I make my settlement here, I will purchase
the estate Madame Des Roches has to
sell, which will open me a road to the river
St. Lawrence, and consequently treble the
value of my lands.

E6 I love, E6v 84

I love, I adore this charming woman;
but I will not suffer my tendernes for her
to make her unhappy, or to lower her
station in life: if I can, by my present plan,
secure her what will in this country be a
degree of affluence, I will endeavor to
change her friendship for me into a tenderer
and more lively affection; if she loves,
I know by my own heart, that Canada
will be no longer a place of exile; if I have
flattered myself, and she has only a friendship
for me, I will return immediately to
England, and retire with you and my
mother to our little estate in the country.

You will perhaps say, why not make
Emily of our party? I am almost ashamed
to speak plain; but so weak are we, and so
guided by the prejudices we fancy we
despise, that I cannot bear my Emily, after
refusing a coach and six, should live without
an equipage suitable at least to her birth, and E7r 85
and the manner in which she has always
lived when in England.

I know this is folly, that it is a despicable
pride; but it is a folly, a pride, I cannot
conquer.

There are moments when I am above
all this childish prejudice, but it returns
upon me in spite of myself.

Will you come to us, my Lucy? Tell
my mother, I will build her a rustic palace,
and settle a little principality on you both.

I make this a private excursion, because
I don’t chuse any body should even gues
at my views. I shall set out in the evening,
and make a circuit to cross the river above
the town.

I shall not even take leave at Silleri, as
I propose being back in four days, and I know E7v 86
I know your friend Bell will be inquisitive
about my journey.

Adieu!
Your affectionate

Ed. Rivers.

Letter LXXXIV

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Your brother is gone nobody knows
whither, and without calling upon
us before he set off; we are piqued, I
assure you, my dear, and with some little
reason.

Very E8r 87

Very strange news, Lucy; they say
Colonel Rivers is gone to marry Madame
Des Roches
; a lady at whose house he was
some time in autumn; if this is true, I forswear
the whole sex: his manner of stealing
off is certainly very odd, and she is rich and
agreable; but, if he does not love Emily,
he has been excessively cruel in shewing an
attention which has deceived her into a
passion for him. I cannot believe it possible:
not that he has ever told her he loved her;
but a man of honor will not tell an untruth
even with his eyes, and his have spoke a
very unequivocal language.

I never saw any thing like her confusion,
when she was told he was gone to visit
Madame Des Roches; but, when it was
hinted with what design, I was obliged to
take her out of the room, or she would have E8v 88
have discovered all the fondness of her
soul. I really thought she would have
fainted as I led her out.

I have sent away all the men, and drank
tea in Emily’s apartment; she has scarce
spoke to me; I am miserable for her; she
has a paleness which alarms me, the tears
steal every moment into her lovely eyes.
Can Rivers act so unworthy a part? her
tenderness cannot have been unobserved
by him; it was too visisble to every body.

Not a line from your brother yet; only
a confirmation of his being with Madame
Des Roches
, having been seen there by
some Canadians who are come up this
morning: I am not quite pleased, though I do E9r 89
I do not believe the report; he might have
told us surely where he was going.

I pity Emily beyond words; she says
nothing, but there is a dumb eloquence in
her countenance which is not to be
described.

I have been an hour alone with the dear
little girl, who has, from a hint I dropt
on purpose, taken courage to speak to me
on this very interesting subject; she says,
she shall be most unhappy if this report
is true, though without the least right to
complain of Colonel Rivers, who never
even hinted a word of any affection for
her more tender than friendship; that if
her vanity, her self-love, or her tenderness,
have deceived her, she ought only to
blame herself.”
She added, “that she
wished him to marry Madame Des Roches, “if E9v 90
if she could make him happy;”
but when
she said this, an involuntary tear seemed to
contradict the generosity of her sentiments.

I beg your pardon, my dear, but my
esteem for your brother is greatly lessened;
I cannot help fearing there is something in
the report, and that this is what Mrs.
Melmoth
meant when she mentioned his
having an attachment.

I shall begin to hate the whole sex, Lucy,
if I find your brother unworthy, and shall
give Fitzgerald his dismission immediately.

I am afraid Mrs. Melmoth knows men
better than we foolish girls do; she said, he
attached himself to Emily meerly from
vanity, and I begin to believe she was
right: how cruel is this conduct! The
man who from vanity, or perhaps only to
amuse an idle hour, can appear to be attached
where he is not, and by that means seduce E10r 91
seduce the heart of a deserving woman, or
indeed of any woman, falls in my opinion
very little short in baseness of him who
practices a greater degree of seduction.

What right has he to make the most
amiable of women wretched? a woman who
would have deserved him had he been
monarch of the universal world! I might
add, who has sacrificed ease and affluence to
her tenderness for him?

You will excuse my warmth on such an
occasion; however, as it may give you pain,
I will say no more.

Adieu!
Your faithful

A. Fermor.

Let- E10v 92

Letter LXXXV

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

I have met with something, my dear Lucy,
which has given me infinite uneasiness;
Madame Des Roches, from my extreme zeal
to serve her in an affair wherein she has been
hardly used, from my second visit, and a
certain involuntary attention, and softness of
manner, I have to all women, has supposed
me in love with her, and with a frankness
I cannot but admire, and a delicacy not to
be described, has let me know I am far from
being indifferent to her.

I was at first extremely embarassed; but
when I had reflected a moment, I considered
that the ladies, though another may be the
object, always regard with a kind of complacencycency E11r 93
a man who loves, as one who acknowledges
the power of the sex, whereas an
indifferent is a kind of rebel to their empire;
I considered also that the confession of a prior
inclination saves the most delicate vanity
from being wounded; and therefore determined
to make her the confidante of my tenderness
for Emily; leaving her an opening
to suppose that, if my heart had been disengaged,
it could not have escaped her attractions.

I did this with all possible precaution,
and with every softening friendship and politeness
could suggest; she was shocked at
my confession, but soon recovered herself
enough to tell me she was highly flattered
by this proof of my confidence and esteem;
that she believed me a man to have only
the more respect for a woman who by owning
her partiality had told me she considered
me not only as the most amiable, but the
most noble of my sex; that she had heard, no E11v 94
no love was so tender as that which was
the child of friendship; but that of this
she was convinced, that no friendship was
so tender as that which was the child of
love; that she offered me this tender, this
lively friendship, and would for the future
find her happiness in the consideration of
mine.

Do you know, my dear, that, since this
confession, I feel a kind of tenderness for
her, to which I cannot give a name? It is
not love; for I love, I idolize another: but
it is softer and more pleasing, as well as
more animated, than friendship.

You cannot conceive what pleasure I find
in her conversation; she has an admirable
understanding, a feeling heart, and a mixture
of softness and spirit in her manner,
which is peculiarly pleasing to men. My
Emily will love her; I must bring
them acquainted: she promises me to come to Quebec E12r 95
Quebec in May; I shall be happy to shew
her every attention when there.

I have seen the lands, and am pleased with
them: I believe this will be my residence,
if Emily, as I cannot avoid hoping, will
make me happy; I shall declare myself as
soon as I return, but must continue here a
few days longer: I shall not be less pleased
with this situation for its being so near Madame
Des Roches
, in whom Emily will
find a friend worthy of her esteem, and
an entertaining lively companion.

Adieu, my dear Lucy!
Your affectionate

Ed. Rivers.

I have fixed on the loveliest spot on
earth, on which to build a house for
my mother: do I not expect too
much in fancying she will follow me
hither?

Let- E12v 96

Letter LXXXVI.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Still with Madame Des Roches; appearances
are rather against him, you
must own, Lucy: but I will not say all I
think to you. Poor Emily! we dispute
continually, for she will persist in defending
his conduct; she says, he has a right to
marry whoever he pleases; that her loving
him is no tie upon his honor, especially
as he does not even know of this preference;
that she ought only to blame the
weakness of her own heart, which has betrayed
her into a false belief that their tenderness
was mutual: this is pretty talking,
but he has done every thing to convince her
of his feeling the strongest passion for her
except making a formal declaration.

5 She F1r 97

She talks of returning to England the
moment the river is open: indeed, if your
brother marries, it is the only step left her
to take. I almost wish now she had married
Sir George: she would have had all the
douceurs of marriage; and as to love, I begin
to think men incapable of feeling it:
some of them can indeed talk well on the
subject; but self-interest and vanity are the
real passions of their souls. I detest the
whole sex.

Adieu!

A. Fermor.

Vol. II. F Let- F1v 98

Letter LXXXVII.

To the Earl of ――

My Lord,

Igenerally distrust my own opinion
when it differs from your Lordship’s;
but in this instance I am most certainly
in the right: allow me to say, nothing
can be more ill-judged than your
Lordship’s design of retiring into a small
circle, from that world of which you have
so long been one of the most brilliant ornaments.
What you say of the disagreeableness
of age, is by no means applicable to
your Lordship; nothing is in this respect
so fallible as the parish register. Why
should any man retire from society whilst
he is capable of contributing to the pleasures
of it? Wit, vivacity, good-nature, and politeness,
give an eternal youth, as stupidity 4 and F2r 99
and moroseness a premature old age. Without
a thousandth part of your Lordship’s
shining qualities, I think myself much younger
than half the boys about me, meerly
because I have more good-nature, and a
stronger desire of pleasing.

My daughter is much honored by your
Lordship’s enquiries: she is Bell Fermor
still; but is addressed by a gentleman who
is extremely agreable to me, and I believe
not less so to her; I however know too well
the free spirit of woman, of which she has
her full share, to let Bell know I approve
her choice; I am even in doubt whether it
would not be good policy to seem to dislike
the match, in order to secure her consent:
there is something very pleasing to a young
girl, in opposing the will of her father.

To speak truth, I am a little out of humor
with her at present, for having contributed,
and I believe entirely from a spirit of oppositionF2 position F2v 100
to me, to break a match on which I
had extremely set my heart; the lady was
the daughter of my particular friend, and
one of the most lovely and deserving women
I ever knew: the gentleman very worthy,
with an agreable, indeed a very handsome
person, and a fortune which with those who
know the world, would have compensated
for the want of most other advantages.

The fair lady, after an engagement of
two years, took a whim that there was no
happiness in marriage without being madly
in love, and that her passion was not sufficiently
romantic; in which piece of folly
my rebel encouraged her, and the affair
broke off in a manner which has brought
on her the imputation of having given way
to an idle prepossession in favor of another.

Your Lordship will excuse my talking on
a subject very near my heart, though uninteresting
to you; I have too often experienced2 rienced F3r 101
your Lordship’s indulgence to doubt
it on this occasion: your good-natured philosophy
will tell you, much fewer people
talk or write to amuse or inform their
friends, than to give way to the feelings of
their own hearts, or indulge the governing
passion of the moment.

In my next, I will endeavor in the best
manner I can, to obey your Lordship’s commands
in regard to the political and religious
state of Canada: I will make a point of
getting the best information possible; what
I have yet seen, has been only the surface.

I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your Lordship’s &c.

William Fermor.

F3 Let- F3v 102

Letter LXXXVIII

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Your brother is come back; and has
been here: he came after dinner yesterday.
My Emily is more than woman;
I am proud of her behaviour: he entered
with his usual impatient air; she received
him with a dignity which astonished me,
and disconcerted him: there was a cool dispassionate
indifference in her whole manner,
which I saw cut his vanity to the quick,
and for which he was by no means prepared.

On such an occasion I should have flirted
violently with some other man, and have
shewed plainly I was piqued: she judged
much better; I have only to wish it may
last. He is the veriest coquet in nature,
for, after all, I am convinced he loves Emily.

He F4r 103

He stayed a very little time, and has not
been here this morning; he may pout if he
pleases, but I flatter myself we shall hold
out the longest.

He came to dine; we kept up our state
all dinner time; he begged a moment’s conversation,
which we refused, but with a
timid air that makes me begin to fear we
shall beat a parley: he is this moment gone,
and Emily retired to her apartment on
pretence of indisposition: I am afraid she
is a foolish girl.

It will not do, Lucy: I found her in tears
at the window, following Rivers’s carriole
with her eyes: she turned to me with such
a look—in short, my dear, F4 “The F4v 104
“The weak, the fond, the fool, the
coward woman”

has prevailed over all her resolution: her
love is only the more violent for having been
a moment restrained; she is not equal to the
task she has undertaken; her resentment
was concealed tenderness, and has retaken
its first form.

I am sorry to find there is not one wise
woman in the world but myself.

I have been with her again: she seemed
a little calmer; I commended her spirit; she
disavowed it; was peevish with me, angry
with herself; said she had acted in a manner
unworthy her character; accused herself
of caprice, artifice, and cruelty; said
she ought to have seen him, if not alone,
yet with me only: that it was natural he
should be surprized as a reception so inconsistentsistent F5r 105

with true friendship, and therefore
that he should wish an explanation; that her
Rivers (and why not Madame Des Roches’s
Rivers?) was incapable of acting otherwise
than as became the best and most tender of
mankind, and that therefore she ought not
to have suffered a whisper injurious to his
honor: that I had meant well, but had, by
depriving her of Rivers’s friendship, which
she had lost by her haughty behaviour, destroyed
all the happiness of her life.

To be sure, your poor Bell is always to
blame: but if ever I intermeddle between
lovers again, Lucy

I am sure she was ten times more angry
with him than I was, but this is to be too
warm in the interest of our friends.

Adieu! till to-morrow.
Yours,

A. Fermor.

F5 I can F5v 106

I can only say, that if Fitzgerald had visited
a handsome rich French widow, and staid
with her ten days tête à tête in the country,
without my permission—
O Heavens! here is mon chere pere: I
must hide my letter.

Bon soir

Letter LXXXVIX.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Icannot account, my dear, for what
has happened to me. I left Madame Des
Roches’s
full of the warm impatience of love,
and flew to my Emily at Silleri: I was received
with a disdainful coldness which I
did not think had been in her nature, and
which has shocked me beyond all expression.

I went F6r 107

I went again to-day, and met with the
same reception; I even saw my presence
was painful to her, therefore shortened my
visit, and, if I have resolution to persevere,
will not go again till invited by Captain
Fermor
in form.

I could bear any thing but to lose her
affection; my whole heart was set upon her:
I had every reason to believe myself dear
to her. Can caprice find a place in that bosom
which is the abode of every virtue?

I must have been misrepresented to her,
or surely this could not have happened:
I will wait to-morrow, and if I hear nothing
will write to her, and ask an explanation by
letter; she refused me a verbal one to-day,
though I begged to speak with her only for
a moment.

F6 I have F6v 108

I have been asked on a little riding party,
and, as I cannot go to Silleri, have accepted
it: it will amuse my present anxiety.

I am to drive Madamoiselle Clairaut, a
very pretty French lady; this is however
of no consequence, for my eyes see nothing
lovely but Emily.

Adieu!
Your affectionate

Ed. Rivers.

Let- F7r 109

Letter XC.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Poor Emily is to meet with perpetual
mortification: we have been carrioling
with Fitzgerald and my father; and, coming
back, met your brother driving Mademoiselle
Clairaut
: Emily trembled, turned
pale, and scarce returned Rivers’s bow;
I never saw a poor little girl so in love; she
is amazingly altered within the last fortnight.

A letter from Mrs. Melmoth: I send
you a copy of it with this.

Adieu!
Yours,

A. Fermor.

Let- F7v 110

Letter XCI.

To Miss Montague, at Silleri.

If you are not absolutely resolved on destruction,
my dear Emily, it is yet in your
power to retrieve the false step you have
made.

Sir George, whose good-nature is in this
instance almost without example, has been
prevailed on by Mr. Melmoth to consent I
should write to you before he leaves Montreal,
and again offer you his hand, though
rejected in a manner so very mortifying both
to vanity and love.

He gives you a fortnight to consider his
offer, at the end of which if you refuse him
he sets out for England over the lakes.

Be F8r 111

Be assured, the man for whom it is too
plain you have acted this imprudent part,
is so far from returning your affection, that
he is at this moment addressing another; I
mean Madame Des Roches, a near relation
of whose assured me that there was an
attachment between them: indeed it is impossible
he could have thought of a woman
whose fortune is as small as his own. Men,
Miss Montague, are not the romantic beings
you seem to suppose them; you will not find
many Sir George Claytons.

I beg as early an answer as is consistent
with the attention so important a proposal
requires, as a compliment to a passion so generous
and disinterested as that of Sir
George
. I am, my dear Emily,

Your affectionate friend,

E. Melmoth.

Let- F8v 112

Letter XCII.

To Mrs. Melmoth, at Montreal.

Iam sorry, my dear Madam, you should
know so little of my heart, as to suppose
it possible I could have broke my engagements
with Sir George from any motive
but the full conviction of my wanting that
tender affection for him, and that lively taste
for his conversation, which alone could have
ensured either his felicity or my own;
happy is it for both that I discovered this
before it was too late: it was a very unpleasing
circumstance, even under an intention
only of marrying him, to find my
friendship stronger for another; what then
would it have been under the most sacred of
all engagements, that of marriage? What wretch- F9r 113
wretchedness would have been the portion
of both, had timidity, decorum, or false
honor, carried me, with this partiality in
my heart, to fulfill those views, entered into
from compliance to my family, and continued
from a false idea of propriety, and weak
fear of the censures of the world?

The same reason therefore still subsisting,
nay being every moment stronger, from a
fuller conviction of the merit of him my
heart prefers, in spite of me, to Sir George,
our union is more impossible than ever.

I am however obliged to you, and Major
Melmoth
, for your zeal to serve me, though
you must permit me to call it a mistaken
one; and to Sir George, for a concession
which I own I should not have made in his
situation, and which I can only suppose the
effect of Major Melmoth’s persuasions,
which he might suppose were known to
me, and an imagination that my sentiments for F9v 114
for him were changed: assure him of my
esteem, though love is not in my power.

As Colonel Rivers never gave me the
remotest reason to suppose him more than
my friend, I have not the least right to
disapprove his marrying: on the contrary,
as his friend, I ought to wish a connexion
which I am told is greatly to his advantage.

To prevent all future importunity, painful
to me, and, all circumstances considered,
degrading to Sir George, whose honor is
very dear to me, though I am obliged to
refuse him that hand which he surely cannot
wish to receive without my heart, I am
compelled to say, that, without an idea of
ever being united to Colonel Rivers, I will
never marry any other man.

Were I never again to behold him, were
he even the husband of another, my tenderness,ness, F10r 115
a tenderness as innocent as it is lively,
would never cease: nor would I give up the
refined delight of loving him, independently
of any hope of being beloved, for any advantage
in the power of fortune to bestow.

These being my sentiments, sentiments
which no time can alter, they cannot be
too soon known to Sir George: I would
not one hour keep him in suspence in a
point, which this step seems to say is of
consequence to his happiness.

Tell him, I entreat him to forget me, and
to come into views which will make his
mother, and I have no doubt himself, happier
than a marriage with a woman whose
chief merit is that very sincerity of heart
which obliges her to refuse him.

I am, Madam,
Your affectionate, &c.

Emily Montague.

Let- F10v 116

Letter XCIII.

To Miss Rivers, Clarges Street.

Your brother dines here to-day, by
my father’s invitation; I am afraid it
will be but an awkward party.

Emily is at this moment an exceeding
fine model for a statue of tender melancholy.

Her anger is gone; not a trace remaining;
’tis sorrow, but the most beautiful sorrow
I ever beheld: she is all grief for having
offended the dear man.

I am out of patience with this look; it
is so flattering to him, I could beat her for it: F11r 117
it: I cannot bear his vanity should be so
gratified.

I wanted her to treat him with a saucy,
unconcerned, flippant air; but her
whole appearance is gentle, tender, I had
almost said, supplicating: I am ashamed of
the folly of my own sex: O, that I could
to-day inspire her with a little of my spirit!
she is a poor tame household dove, and
there is no making any thing of her.

“For my shepherd is kind, and my heart is
at ease.”

What fools women are, Lucy! He took
her hand, expressed concern for her health,
softened his tone of voice, looked a few
civil things with those expressive lying eyes of F11v 118
of his, and without one word of explanation
all was forgot in a moment.

Good night! Yours,

A. Fermor.

Heavens! the fellow is here, has followed
me to my dressing-room; was ever any
thing so confident? These modest men have
ten times the assurance of your impudent
fellows. I believe absolutely he is going
to make love to me: ’tis a critical hour,
Lucy; and to rob one’s friend of a lover is
really a temptation.

The dear man is gone, and has made all
up: he insisted on my explaining the
reasons of the cold reception he had met
with; which you know was impossible, without F12r 119
without betraying the secret of poor
Emily’s little foolish heart.

I however contrived to let him know we
were a little piqued at his going without
seeing us, and that we were something
inclined to be jealous of his friendship for
Madame Des Roches.

He made a pretty decent defence; and,
though I don’t absolutely acquit him of coquetry,
yet upon the whole I think I forgive
him.

He loves Emily, which is great merit
with me: I am only sorry they are two such
poor devils, it is next to impossible they
should ever come together.

I think I am not angry now; as to Emily,
her eyes dance with pleasure; she has not
the same countenance as in the morning; this F12v 120
this love is the finest cosmetick in the
world.

After all, he is a charming fellow, and
has eyes, Lucy—Heaven be praised, he
never pointed their fire at me!

Adieu! I will try to