Fiction > Hannah Webster Foster > The Coquette
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Hannah Webster Foster (1759–1840).  The Coquette, or The History of Eliza Wharton.  1855.
 
Letter LIX
 
TO MRS. LUCY SUMNER.
HARTFORD.  
  Dear Lucy: I intended this week to have journeyed to Boston with Julia Granby; but my resolution fails me. I find it painful even to think of mixing again with the gay multitude. I believe the melancholy reflections by which I am oppressed will be more effectually, if not more easily, surmounted by tarrying where they are rendered familiar, than by going from them awhile and then returning.
  1
  Julia will therefore go without me. I envy her no enjoyment there, except your company.  2
  The substitution of friendship, in the place of love, for Major Sanford, I find productive of agreeable sensations. With him, he assures me, it is a far more calm and rational pleasure. He treats me with the affection and tenderness of a brother, and his wife, who exceeds him in professions of regard, with all the consoling softness and attention of a sister. Indeed, their politeness has greatly contributed to revive the cheerfulness of my natural disposition. I believe the major’s former partiality to me as a lover is entirely obliterated; and for my part, I feel as little restraint in his company and his lady’s as in that of any other in the neighborhood.  3
  I very much regret the departure of Julia, and hope you will permit her to return to me again as soon as possible. She is a valuable friend. Her mind is well cultivated, and she has treasured up a fund of knowledge and information which renders her company both agreeable and useful in every situation of life. We lately spent the afternoon and evening at Mr. Smith’s. They had a considerable number of visitants, and among the rest Major Sanford. His wife was expected, but did not come, being indisposed.  4
  I believe, my friend, you must excuse me if my letters are shorter than formerly. Writing is not so agreeable to me as it used to be. I love my friends as well as ever, but I think they must be weary of the gloom and dulness which pervade my present correspondence. When my pen shall have regained its original fluency and alertness, I will resume and prolong the pleasing task.  5
  I am, my dear Lucy, yours most affectionately,
ELIZA WHARTON.  
  6
 
 
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