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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesJane Talbot - Letter 7 - To Henry Golden
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Jane Talbot - Letter 7 - To Henry Golden Post by :Arcana_Media Category :Long Stories Author :Charles Brockden Brown Date :May 2012 Read :1046

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Jane Talbot - Letter 7 - To Henry Golden

Letter VII - To Henry Golden

To Henry Golden

Thursday Night.

What a little thing subverts my peace,--dissipates my resolutions! Am I not an honest, foolish creature, Hal? I uncover this wayward heart to thy view as promptly as if the disclosure had no tendency to impair thy esteem and forfeit thy love; that is, to devote me to death,--to ruin me beyond redemption.

And yet, if the unveiling of my follies should have this effect, I think I should despise thee for stupidity and hate thee for ingratitude; for whence proceed my irresolution, my vicissitudes of purpose, but from my love? and that man's heart must be made of strange stuff that can abhor or contemn a woman for loving him too much. Of such stuff the heart of my friend, thank Heaven, is _not made. Though I love him far-- _far too much, he will not trample on or scoff at me.

But how my pen rambles!--No wonder; for my intellects are in a strange confusion. There is an acute pain just here. Give me your hand and let me put it on the very spot. Alas! there is no dear hand within my reach. I remember feeling just such a pain but once before. Then you chanced to be seated by my side. I put your hand to the spot, and, strange to tell, a moment after I looked for the pain and 'twas gone,--utterly vanished! Cannot I imagine so strongly as to experience that relief which your hand pressed to my forehead would give? Let me lay down the pen and try.

Ah! my friend! when present, thou'rt an excellent physician; but as thy presence is my cure, so thy absence is my only, my fatal malady.

My desk is, of late, always open; my paper spread; my pen moist. I must talk to you, though you give me no answer, though I have nothing but gloomy forebodings to communicate, or mournful images to call up. I must talk to you, even when you cannot hear; when invisible; when distant many a mile. It is some relief even to corporal agonies. Even the pain which I just now complained of is lessened since I took up the pen. Oh, Hal! Hal! if you ever prove ungrateful or a traitor to me, and there be a state retributive hereafter, terrible will be thy punishment.

But why do I talk to thee thus wildly? Why deal I in such rueful prognostics? I want to tell you why, for I have a reason for my present alarms: they all spring from one source,--my doubts of thy fidelity. Yes, Henry, since your arrival at Wilmington you have been a frequent visitant of Miss Secker, and have kept a profound silence towards me.

Nothing can be weaker and more silly than these disquiets. Cannot my friend visit a deserving woman a few times but my terrors must impertinently intrude?--Cannot he forget the pen, and fail to write to me, for half a week together, but my rash resentments must conjure up the phantoms of ingratitude and perfidy?

Pity the weakness of a fond heart, Henry, and let me hear from you, and be your precious and long-withheld letter my relief from every disquiet. I believe, and do _not believe, what I have heard, and what I have heard teems with a thousand mischiefs, or is fair and innocent, according to my reigning temper.--Adieu; but let me hear from you immediately.

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