To Miss LYDIA MELFORD.
Miss Willis has pronounced my doom—you are going away, dear Miss Melford!—you are going to be removed, I know not whither! what shall I do? which way shall I turn for consolation? I know not what I say—all night long have I been tossed in a sea of doubts and fears, uncertainty and distraction, without being able to connect my thoughts, much less to form any consistent plan of conduct—I was even tempted to wish that I had never seen you; or that you had been less amiable, or less compassionate to your poor Wilson; and yet it would be detestable ingratitude in me to form such a wish, considering how much I am indebted to your goodness, and the ineffable pleasure I have derived from your indulgence and approbation—Good God! I never heard your name mentioned without emotion! the most distant prospect of being admitted to your company, filled my whole soul with a kind of pleasing alarm! as the time approached, my heart beat with redoubled force, and every nerve thrilled with a transport of expectation; but, when I found myself actually in your presence;—when I heard you speak;—when I saw you smile; when I beheld your charming eyes turned favourably upon me; my breast was filled with such tumults of delight, as wholly deprived me of the power of utterance, and wrapt me in a delirium of joy!—encouraged by your sweetness of temper and affability, I ventured to describe the feelings of my heart—even then you did not check my presumption—you pitied my sufferings and gave me leave to hope you put a favourable—perhaps too favourable a construction, on my appearance—certain it is, I am no player in love—I speak the language of my own heart; and have no prompter but nature. Yet there is something in this heart, which I have not yet disclosed.—I flattered myself—But, I will not—I must not proceed. Dear Miss Liddy! for Heaven’s sake, contrive, if possible, some means of letting me speak to you before you leave Gloucester; otherwise, I know not what will—But I begin to rave again.—I will endeavour to bear this trial with fortitude—while I am capable of reflecting upon your tenderness and truth, I surely have no cause to despair—a cloud hangs over me, and there is a dreadful weight upon my spirits! While you stay in this place, I shall continually hover about your lodgings, as the parted soul is said to linger about the grave where its mortal comfort lies.—I know, if it is in your power, you will task your humanity—your compassion—shall I add, your affection?—in order to assuage the almost intolerable disquiet that torments the heart of your afflicted,
WILSON GLOUCESTER, March 31.