LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Lady Morgan’s Memoirs
Chapter XXXVII

Vol. I Contents.
Prefatory Address
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII
Chapter XXIII
Chapter XXIV
Chapter XXV
Chapter XXVI
Chapter XXVII
Chapter XXVIII
Chapter XXIX
Chapter XXX
Chapter XXXI
Chapter XXXII
Chapter XXXIII
Chapter XXXIV
Chapter XXXV
Chapter XXXVI
‣ Chapter XXXVII
Vol. I Index
Vol. II Contents
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter IV
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII
Chapter XXIII
Chapter XXIV
Chapter XXV
Chapter XXVI
Chapter XXVII
Chapter XXVIII
Chapter XXIX
Chapter XXX
Chapter XXXI
Chapter XXXII
Chapter XXXIII
Chapter XXXIV
Chapter XXXV
Chapter XXXVI
Chapter XXXVII
Chapter XXXIX
Chapter XL
Vol. II Index
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When she was fairly engaged, Miss Owenson’s courage failed her. Dr. Morgan being very much in love, desired naturally that the marriage should take place with as little delay as possible. The Marchioness, to whom the drama and the dénouement were a pleasant excitement, had no idea that the ceremony in real life could be anything more than the last page in a novel, or the last words in a play, after the characters have grouped themselves. She sent for the marriage ring and licence, and would have proceeded to extremities, without consulting the wishes of one of the parties most interested.

Miss Owenson, however, contrived to obtain a short respite, and permission to pay a visit to her sister and father, in Dublin. Her father’s precarious state of health was the plea she used. She was sent the first stage of her journey in all the state of a carriage and four horses, with Dr. Morgan riding beside the window for an escort. A fortnight was to be the term of her ab-
sence, and she promised very fairly, that if permitted to go away, she would return without fail, at the time appointed. She had no such intention. Her father was ill; his health was quite broken up. As, however, he was in no immediate danger, Miss Owenson had no idea of stopping at home to keep him company. She plunged at once into all the gaieties of Dublin society. She was more the fashion than ever; and she enjoyed the feeling of freedom and independence after the stately restraints of her life at Baron’s Court, of which she had, by that time, become disenchanted.

Dr. Morgan was retained at Baron’s Court by his professional duty. Neither the Marquis nor the Marchioness would grant him leave of absence. He was extremely jealous, and knew his fair and slippery lady love to be surrounded by admirers. He was especially vexed by the attentions bestowed on her by Mr. Parkhurst, one of the gayest men about town in Dublin society; but he was unable to do more than write eloquent letters of complaint and appeal, to which the lady paid not the smallest attention. She always owned, afterwards, that she had behaved exceedingly ill, and that she deserved for ever to have lost the best husband that ever a woman had; but at the time, she only thought how she might prolong her absence, if, indeed, she did not meditate breaking loose altogether. The correspondence on both sides is characteristic, and as the subject of love and love-making, of woman’s constancy and man’s perfidy, is one of perennial interest, some of this correspondence may be given. The letters are printed as nearly according to
their date as can be ascertained. Both the Marquis and Marchioness seem to have been kind throughout the whole period, and to have shewn great patience with their refractory protegée. In one of Morgan’s letters, under date Oct. 7, there is “a magic” which requires a word of explanation. When
Miss Owenson had been particularly naughty, and wished to make her peace; she would leave in her next note a small blank space to represent a kiss. Morgan was at liberty to believe that her lips had touched the paper, and to act accordingly.

T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
Baron’s Court,
October 1, 1811.
My dearest Girl,

Here I am, again, safely returned from Strabane, after going through a day’s eating and drinking enough to kill a horse. We had a most heavenly day, yesterday; but to-day, it has rained incessantly; we were not, however, wet, being well provided with coats, so that I am in no danger of dying this trip. Baron’s Court to-day is dulness personified. Lady Abercorn received a shocking account of Lady Aberdeen from Mrs. Kemble; and though I know how very little such accounts are worth minding, yet her tears are infectious, and I cannot help feeling alarmed and out of spirits. Receiving, as I do, daily marks of their kindness and good will, I cannot avoid sympathising with them in their worst of all domestic calamities.
Yet, true to human nature, I am selfish enough to think much of the effect a fatal termination of this disease would have on us and our comforts. I trust that I am not laying up for you a winter’s residence in the house of mourning—whatever the Apostles may say, I infinitely prefer the house of rejoicing. But to return to a more grateful theme, how is my best beloved after her journey? I hope to-morrow to hear a good account of you, and that you found your father and sister better than you expected.

Have you been gadding about much? Have you seen many people? Are you happy and comfortable? or are you, like me, looking forward anxiously to the happy time that will unite us for ever? Dearest Glorvina, love me as I adore you. How often I kiss the little gold bottle, and think of the sweeter roses on somebody’s lips. Shorten time, by every means, that separates us, if you value the happiness of

Your ever devoted,
T. C. M.
T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
Monday, October 7.
Dearest, dear Love,

Will you, can you pardon my ravings? How angry I am with myself! I have at last got a sweet, charming, affectionate letter from you, and half my miseries are over. If my two last letters gave you pain, think what misery (well or ill-founded), what horrid depression must have been mine to inspire them. Your rea-
sonings are all very fine and very conclusive; but, alas, I parted with reason to a certain little coquette, and I can attend to and feel no language but that of the heart. Still, however, I must insist upon my distinction, that while I am ready to give up everything to your lovely, amiable family feelings, I can ill brook your associating any unpleasant idea with that of returning to me. If I know my heart, neither solitude, sickness, nor slavery would be unpalatable, if it gave me back to
Glorvina. I would seek her amidst the plague, in an African ship, or, if such a place existed, in her own father’s dominions. I have but one object in life, and it is you; and so little can I bear the idea of your preferring anything to me, that I have been angry with Olivia when she has had too much of your attention. Indeed, indeed it is because I love, that I cannot suppose it possible any feeling of disgust, or ennui, can associate itself with your return to me, and, I would fain hope, happiness. You cannot think so meanly of me as to suppose the dimity chamber could urge me to draw you from your duties. Trust me, love, you never win me more than when I see you, in imagination, discharging them; but when I picture to myself the thoughtless, heartless Glorvina, trifling with her friend, jesting at his sufferings, and flirting with every man she meets; when I imagine her more in love with the vanities of this wicked world than with me, I feel not sure of her. Do not think me cruel in reminding you that you have lost one husband by flirting, and that that makes me feel it is just possible you may drive another mad. I cannot,
give you to the amusements of Dublin. God knows (if he takes the trouble to know) this “pile” is “dreary” enough without you; but it makes me curse the hour I threw away my love on one so incapable of returning it, when I see you looking forward to a solitary winter in it; trust me, dearest, a little natural philosophy will make time pass pleasantly enough, never fear.

I read part of your letter to Miss B——, relative to “Almighty Tact,” and she laughed tout son saoul. She says, if there is one human being more thoroughly destitute of tact than another, it is Glorvina—and, indeed, I think so. In the instance of myself you have failed utterly. If you knew me, you would not combat my feelings by your affected stoicism; you would flatter my vanity with the idea of the separation being as painful to you as to me; you would soothe me with tenderness and not shock me with badinage. If you knew how much eloquence there was in the magic ——; if you knew the pleasure I felt in touching the paper that had touched your lips! Oh, Glor.! Glor.! have you been all this while studying me to so little purpose? In reply to your orders, know that I have not opened my lips to say more than—“a bit more,” “very good,” and “no more, thank you, My Lord,” since you have been gone. Lady Abercorn swears she heard me sing, “Il mio ben quando vena,” and says I am Nina Pazza. In good truth, I believe she is right, for surely nothing but madness would distress itself, and what it loves more than itself, as I do. I assure you I have made myself quite ill, and others
present; my calmness is acquired, unnatural, and deceitful. I am sorry, very sorry, for your poor dear dad; but hope he is not seriously worse; say everything that is kind to him from me, and tell him I hope we shall spend many a pleasant day together yet. Do you know you shock my tenderness by the ease with which you talk of Miss Butler. Surely we must adopt two terms to express our different loves, one word cannot imply such different affections. I will think and speak of nothing but you. As to my commissions, do not, best and dearest, put yourself to any inconvenience about them; when done you may send them by the mail, the pleasure of receiving anything from you is worth the carriage, though it even amounted to gold. There is, however, but one commission about which I am anxious, and that is to love me as I do you, exclusively; to prefer me to every other good; to think of me, speak of me, write to me, and to look forward to our union as the completion of every wish, for so do I by you. Do this, and though you grow as “ugly” as Sycorax, you will never lose in me the fondest, most doating, affectionate of husbands. Glorvina, I was born for tenderness; my business in life is to love. Cultivate, then, the latent feelings of the heart, learn to distrust the imagination, and to despise and quit the world, before the world leaves you. How, dearest, will you otherwise bear the hour when no longer young, lovely, and agaçante, you will see the great ones lay aside their plaything and forget their companion who can no longer give them plea-
sure; where, but in the arms of affection, will you then find consolation? Fly, then, to me by times. You have much wisdom to acquire yet, with respect to happiness; and believe me, the dimity chamber is a school worth all the Portico’s in the world, Mrs. Stoic. There nature reigns, and you will hear none but the language of truth. Do you recollect folding up a piece of blotting-paper with one of your letters? I preserve it as the apple of my eye, and kiss it, as I would you, all to pieces.

My sweetest life, I do not mean an atom of acrimony towards you in all this; but misery will be querulous. I determine to pass over my sufferings in silence; but find I cannot. Do not say I am selfish; if I were, I should have pressed you to marriage when I could have done it effectually. I should have opposed your leaving me; and now I should give up all to you for comfort. I flatter myself, that hitherto every sacrifice has been on my part. My only comfort is, that my wishes have given place to yours.

I do not wish you to cut any one; but I think Parkhurst, too particular in his attentions; besides, how can I bear that anybody can have the pleasure of talking to you and gazing on you when I cannot. I should be sorry you offended a friend on account of any whim of mine; you can be civil to him without encouraging his daily visits. Strangely as I show it, I am obliged and grateful for your every attention, and in this instance in particular; but indeed I do not wish it. I have not so mean an opinion of myself to be jealous of anybody’s alienating your mind from me
by exciting a preference, et pour tout le reste j’en sais assez.

I have kissed your dear hair again and again, as I do the bottle, twenty times an hour; do not judge of my temper by this instance, for, believe me, I am not always, nor ever was in my married life, in the horrible state of mind I now am. You know I think ill of life in general, and kick against calamity as if I received an affront as well as an injury in it from fate. But trust me, no chance of life can reach me to wound as I am now wounded; when reposed on your dear bosom then my spirits will be calmed, my irritability soothed. If I thought there was the remotest chance of my giving you the uneasiness I know I now do, when once you are mine, I would release you from your engagement au coup de pistolet. No, no, my beloved, I hope, after all, we may be enabled to say, in our age, c’est un monde passable, at least it shall be so to you, if I can make it so. God bless you, my own dear, sweet, darling girl; don’t, don’t be angry with me, for I am very wretched without that. Mr. Eliot is come at last, and I must go dress and acquire steadiness for “representation.”

Adieu ma belle, ma chère Glor.

9 o’clock.

Pity and forgive a wretch whom nothing but your presence can console. God, God bless you, dear Glorvina.

T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
Du Chemin de Cerbère à la Porte d’Enfer.
Mardi, October 15th, 1811.

Faut-il que je m’egaye toujours? Combien cela est triste! Mais, soyons heureux c’est encore bien plus difficile. Egayons-nous pourtant. Pourquoi?—La reine le veut!

The Clitheroes are just gone with Bowen for the Giant’s Causeway, the latter returns in the middle of next week; the former promise to repeat their visit soon. Oglander and the Major are gone shooting: and the little tail of nobility, Miss Butler and I, are going to ride if the weather permit. I really was glad you were not with us last night. We played magical music, “What’s my Thought like?” and many other games equally amusing, for three or four hours; you would have been bored to death, as was almost your poor Mortimer. They made Lord Abercorn go out frequently, and though he was bored as bad as man could be, he did it with an ease and grace that was very pleasing; he certainly is thoroughly a gentleman on those points. Miss Butler seems thoroughly determined to go to Dublin, and then what will become of us? Che farò senza mio ben, we shall be given up to melancholy. What will become of me? io morirò—ahi! ben mio, how happy should I be could I behold thee and be near thee, and see thee with thy dear family, but what useless wishes, I love thee
dearest! my wife, I love thee! and for thee I will do and endure anything, everything! adieu, my love, adieu!

Farewell, dearest Glorvina,
Your own, own
Miss Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
October, 1811.

“Do the P——s and Castlereaghs go to you at Christmas? when does the Butler come to town, and when do the Carberys leave you?”—answer all. I don’t send you a kiss to-day, I am tired of the diurnal act, but I lay my head upon your bosom in a wife-like way, and suffer you to press me gently to your heart, which is more than you deserve! I am glad you changed your pen—I hate poesy
“When this you see,
Remember me.”
His mouth was Primmer,
A lesson I took,
I swore it was pretty,
And then kiss’d the book.”
that is the text, vide “Peeping Tom;” but I did not intend to make so free with you this three months, for you have behaved very ill indeed lately, and talked like a fool very often.
Livy does not know what to make of you! but I forgive—lay by your nervousness, and get some common sense.

S. Owenson.
Miss Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
October 31st, 1811.

I am not half such a little rascal as you suppose; the best feelings only have detained me from you; and feelings better than the best will bring me back to you. I must be more or less than woman to resist tenderness, goodness, excellence, like yours, and I am simply woman, aye, dear, “every inch a woman.” I feel a little kind of tingling about the heart, at once more feeling myself nestled in yours; do you remember—well, dear, if you don’t, I will soon revive your recollection—I said I would not write to you to-day, but I could not resist it, and I am now going off to a man of business, and about Lady Abercorn’s books, in the midst of the snow and pinched with cold. God bless you, love.

S. O.

Your song is charming; you are a clever wretch, and I love you more for your talents than your virtues, you thing of the world. What put it into your stupid head that I would not return at Christmas? did I ever say so, blockhead?

Well, I have only the old story to tell, no more than yourself—
“And I loves you, and you loves me,
And oh! how happy we shall be.”
Take care of the whiskers—mind they are not to grow
thus—but thus.—[Here follows in the letter a couple of droll portraits of
Morgan, with the whiskers grown and trimmed in the two fashions then in favour.]

T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
Thursday, November, 1811.

You are a pretty pair of Paddies, you and your sister. Only see how you enclosed your letter for me, to Lord Abercorn, without seal and without direction. Your second letter came at the usual time; but judge my consternation, when Lord Abercorn gave me your first at breakfast, premising he had read three sides of it, under the supposition it was for him, till he came quite at the end, to “my dear Morgan,” which rather surprised him. In good truth, the letter is so much like the Epistle General of St. Jude, that it will do for any church. Well, “the gods take care of Cato.” There was not a word of his frolics, of the stupidity of B. C——, of Livy’s not coming, or anything one would much care about his reading; but I was in a special flight till I could get an opportunity of reading it and convincing myself; for Heaven’s sake be more careful. I think he must have laughed at your jealous suspicions, though I don’t believe he has a very high opinion of my Josephism. I wish I had something to confess, just to satisfy you; but, ah, alas! you have the best security in the world for my fidelity, the want of opportunity for me to go astray. For unless I made love to a young diablesse or an old witch, and became the papa of an incubus, the devil a chance have I of doing wrong. I should like to know the “when and the who” of your thoughts; perhaps it would give me an idea. Seriously, my best love, if you doubt me, come and claim your own, for I am yours and only yours.

Dearest girl, how much I wish I could say anything satisfactory to you about your father. I cannot judge accurately, but all your accounts of him have given me an unfavourable impression of his chance of ultimate recovery. I should think the whiskey bad for him; at least, if not rendered necessary by circumstances, it must be injurious. Your low spirits distress me very, very much. Would to God I could be with you to soothe and comfort you! I am, however, not less so than yourself, as you must see by my awkward attempts at humour. I am very irritable at these times, and do not know whether to laugh or cry.

My yesterday’s letter (written in this mood) was particularly dull and fade; I am very much pleased, flattered, delighted by your second letter; it is so decisive a mark of your tenderness and affection. Dearest Glorvina, I have no love for any but you; you have my whole, whole heart, and if my letters vary, it is because my spirits vary, and with them my tone of thinking. When, when will the day come that shall make me yours for ever. Glorvina, we have both suffered much on each other’s account; I feel, however, conscious we shall both be ultimately happy in each other. God, God bless you! I am writing myself into dreadful spirits; I believe catching your tone.

You give a horrid picture of poor dad! He must
have been very ill indeed to require so much blistering. I find you are quite in raptures with Dublin. Four dinners beside evening parties in one week; that is pretty well for a person who went there merely to enjoy the society of her family for a few weeks. However, if you are amused, I am content. You must want occasional distraction, and to be candid, I should be all the better for it, if it were in my reach. Only love me, and write good-humouredly. You do not mention the
Butler; she is, I suppose, as happy as the day is long; give my love to her, and tell her I miss her very much.

T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
Baron’s Court,
Wednesday, 2 o’clock, Nov. 14th.
Dearest and Best,

Me voici de retour, and I have just read your dear letter. Great God! how little able am I to bear any crosses in which you are concerned. I cannot free my mind from the idea of your having been seriously ill. You say you are better, and I must believe you. But once for all I implore and beseech you, in no instance conceal from me the full extent of any sickness or calamity that may reach you or yours. It is only the entire confidence that communications are made, and that nothing would be hid that might happen ill, by which absence is rendered supportable. An anxious, fretful and Rousseauish disposition (like mine) will let the imagination so much get the start of reason, that,
when once deceived, I should never feel happy by any communication however pleasant its nature. I should fancy ten millions of accidents, kept from me for my good. I hope and trust you have acted sincerely by me in this instance, and are as well in health and about one-eighth part as happy as if you really were “on my knee” What an image! how lovely! My bosom swelled in reading it, and the obtrusive drops, for once harbingers of pleasure, danced trembling on my eyelids; bless you, bless you, dearest love! I do kiss you with my whole heart, and pat your dear caen dhu [black head]; and I, too, in my turn, ask your pardon for worrying you in my last but one, and for the two short hasty scrawls of Sunday and yesterday. In each case, however, I really was compelled to be so brief; I should not have written, but, judging by myself, I thought a short letter infinitely preferable to no letter at all; I have just received your parcel, but have had no time to examine anything. You have forgotten my lavender water, of which I am in great want—mais n’importe. The ring does famously. I kiss it every instant (now) and now and now-w-w-w. Pray take care of the mourning ring you took as a pattern, as I value it much.
Lady Abercorn played me an arch trick about it. By mistake, she opened the muslin and found the ring; she and Miss Butler abstracted it. I missed the expected delight, and flew (à la moi) all over scarlet, up to her to inquire if it was amongst her parcels, and very soon discovered by her joking how the land lay. Oh! I am a great fool, and it’s all along of you,
you thing you! God bless dear you, though, for all that. Lady Abercorn will be obliged by the Irish extract from
Ossian; her countenance quite brightened when I mentioned it. At this moment my imagination is wandering in delight. I kiss and press you in idea, and I am all fire, and passion and tenderness; the sensations are rather too nervous and will leave a horrible depression; but for one such “five minutes”—perish an eternity! This morning, in bed, at Sir John’s, I read part of The Way to Keep Him, and I see now you take the widow for your model; but it won’t do, for though I love you in every mood, it is only when you are true to nature, passionate and tender, that I adore you. You never are less interesting to me than when you brillez in a large party: “C’est dans un tête-à-tête, dans la Chambre de Basin que vous êtes vraiment déesse, mais déesse-femme.” A propos de la déesse, your Paphian orders are not from Paphos, they are from the coldest chambers of your ice-house imagination. Venus disdains them, and Cupid trembles and averts his arrows, fearful of blunting their points: “Je n’ai qu’une seule occupation pour tous les jours, et presque pour toutes les nuits, et c’est de penser à Glorvina.” I can neither read nor work, and the weather is horribly bad; how the time passes I can’t say, for except writing to you, curse me if I can tell you any one thing I do from morning to night.

The whiskers thrive, and so, too, does the hair, but you really!

I cannot write another letter, and yet I cannot bear to part for two days in anger. Imagine all that is
harsh and suspicious in this letter unsaidI know you love me, however paradoxical your conduct, and I will try to be content; I cannot bear to give you pain; God bless my dearest love.

T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
November, 1811.

I am very tired and it is late, so I shall write but a short letter to-day, and that is the better for you, dear, as I am thoroughly displeased with you and your cold, calculating, most truly unamiable epistle. As for favours, whatever this tremendous favour that you dread to ask, be, I suppose it will be granted—if it can. I have never yet been in the habit of refusing you the sacrifice of every one of my feelings and prejudices. In every instance you have done exactly what you pleased, and nothing else; and my wishes, right or wrong, have been held tolerably cheap by you; but this, I suppose, is to break me into an obedient husband by times. I could, however, better away with that, than the manner in which you have trifled with me in the business of delay. Why could you not at once have told me, when you first conceived the idea in September, as I remember by a conversation we had, that you did not mean to return till Christmas. You would have saved yourself some little trouble and me very much pain, besides freeing yourself from the necessity of stooping to something more than evasion. But I do not mean to reproach you. I know this is but a specimen of the round-
about policy of all your countrywomen. How strange is it that you, who are in the general great beyond every woman I know, philosophical, magnanimous—should, in detail, be so often ill-judging, wrong, and (shall I say) little. Ah, dearest
Glorvina, you know not how I adore you; and what pain it gives me that you think so meanly of me as to imagine this little trickery necessary. Am I not worthy of your confidence? am I not always ready to live or die for your happiness? and though I may complain when I think your affections cold, and your views merely prudential, yet to your seriously-urged wishes I shall ever attend. Do not write harshly to me, nor go over again the worn-out theme of your last. It is mortification enough that you can be so dead to feelings that agitate me, almost to madness, that you can wish to stay from me! You do not mention how the letter missed, or whether you have gotten all mine regularly since. Dearest, I know I am cross; but it is because I feel strongly, and, perhaps, not always correctly. Believe, however, that none can be more truly devoted to you than your own, own

T. M.

Je vous donne mille mille baisers.

Miss Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
Wednesday, November, 1811.

Tout homme n’est pas maître de sa propre vie,” if he has, by all the arts in his power, made that life indis-
pensably necessary to the happiness of another—this you have done. Your life and love are necessary to my happiness. I did not seek to associate myself with either; it was you involved me, and you must abide by it. You must live to love me, and to be loved by me. Gracious God! how your letters harrow up my soul! I would not willingly, purposely, give you one pang for the best joy of my existence, and yet I, too, am cruel, unavoidably so. The various feelings by which I am eternally agitated and distracted, throw me into various tempers, and I pass from one strong emotion to another, almost insensible to their successive influence. I am the victim of the moment, and moments, and days and weeks, are to me but various seasons of suffering, each, in their way, too acute to be long sustained.

The gaieties I mix in, are unparticipated by others. You mistake me totally if you suppose I am the light, volatile, inconsequent wretch you paint me. Much as I am, and ought to be, flattered by the attention and kindness of a very large circle of respectable and distinguished friends; intimately associated as are all my feelings, and habits, and social pursuits with my sentiments for them, still, it is not they nor the festivals they give me, that could have a moment’s influence with me. Oh, no, it is a far deeper feeling.

Yes, Morgan, I will be yours, I hope, I trust; God give me strength to go through with it! I mean to leave this house clandestinely; Clarke only in my secret. My poor father! I am very ill—obliged to assist Livy, last night, with a heavy heart. The fa-
tigue, added to a bad cold and a settled cough, has produced a horrible state of exhaustion and nervous lowness. I scarce know what I write; your letters have overpowered me; my head is disordered and wild. You distrust me, and whether I marry or reject you, my misery is certain. Still I love you, oh! more than tenderly. I lean my aching head upon your heart, my sole asylum, my best and dearest friend. I must cease to write. The physique carries it. Tomorrow I shall be in better health. Adieu.

S. O.
T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
November 26th, 1811.
Dearest Life,

After three days of painful, miserable discussion, welcome, welcome to the holy Sabbath, and to pure, unmixed love. I know not why, but I enjoy to-day a triste sort of calmness in regard to you, to myself, and to all that life can give, which is ease and happiness when compared with the eternal flow and ebb of hope with which I am usually agitated. I will take advantage of it (while it lasts) in writing to you, contrary to my previous intention, and I do so, because I can avoid at all touching on your affairs.

I should much like to have been present at your disputation on the influence of mental cultivation on human happiness. You knew my opinion, as I had so lately mentioned it, though in a cursory way, in
one of my letters. I believe it is not very different from your own. There can be no doubt, as far as the sciences go, with which
Davy is more particularly acquainted, their happy influence on human life is considerable, not only in the aggregate by “bettering the condition” (that is the fashionable phrase) of man, and multiplying his comforts, but individually, in a way not at first sight very visible. The physical sciences all consist in facts and reasoning on facts, totally unconnected with morals, and, as Chamfort says, “Le monde physique parait l’ouvrage d’un être parfait et bon, mais le monde moral parait être le produit des caprices d’un diable devenu fou.” The mind, then, perpetually abstracted from the contemplation of this influence, stimulated by brilliant discoveries, and absorbed in the consideration of beautiful, well-arranged and constant laws, is enlarged to pleasurable emotion, at the same time that it rejoices in the consciousness of its increased powers over the natural world. Those pursuits, on the contrary, which have been supposed the most to influence happiness and to tame the tiger in our nature,—the moral and metaphysical sciences, belles-lettres, and the fine arts, are, in my opinion, of much more doubtful efficacy. Though their influence, when opposed to the passions, is really as nothing (indeed, they too often but co-operate with them in corrupting the heart) yet they cast a sort of splendour about vice by the refinement they create; and render man, if not a better animal, yet certainly a less horrible animal. As to the question whether humanity is bettered by the multiplying wants, and
thereby drawing tighter the social bonds and making us more dependant on each other, on police and on Government, we cannot decide,—the advantages and disadvantages of each state are so little comparable; most probably what is lost on the side of liberty, is gained in security and the petty enjoyments which, by their repetition become important, so that, on the whole, one age is nearly on a par with another in this respect. As for the influence of these pursuits on the cultivator of them, there can, in my opinion, be hardly a dispute; he is to all intents and purposes a victim immolated for the public for which he labours. In morality, the mind always bent upon a gloomy and shaded system of things, is either tortured in making stubborn fact bend to graduate with religious prejudices, or if forced to abandon these, lost in seas of endless speculation; consciously feeling actually existing evil, and perfectly sceptical to future good. These sciences, too, generally are connected with a cultivated imagination, the greatest curse in itself to its unfortunate possessor. Imagination, always at variance with reason and truth, delights in exaggeration and dwells most constantly on what most affects the passions. Its food, its occupation is pain; then, again, how constant is that sickly squeamishness of taste which finds nothing to admire, nothing to approve; that sees the paucity of our conceptions and the endless repetition of them. In point of fact, I have rarely seen poets, painters, or musicians (I mean composers), happy men. Fretful, irritable, impatient; guided by enthu-
siasm (another word for false conception). [End missing.]

Miss Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
“And if I answered you ’I know not what,’
It shows the name of love.”

Give me, my dear philosopher, ten thousand more such letters, that I may have ten thousand more excuses for loving you still better than I do. I glory in my own inferiority when you give that exalted mind of yours fair play. I triumph in my conscious littleness; I say, “and this creature loves me.” Yes, dearest of all the dears, this is a proud consciousness. I think precisely with you, and argued on the same grounds; but not with the same eloquence that you have done. Davy (Sir Humphry), après tout, is a borné man. I dined with him on Saturday last, and he lectured, tolerably, till every one yawned; I said twenty times in the course of the evening, to Miss Butler, “how much better Morgan would have spoken;” and so you would, dearest. Nothing takes a woman like mind in man; before that, everything sinks. When you talk en philosophe to me (even the Philosophy of Love) I adore you. When you make bad puns, and are “put in mind,” I hate you. So, as you see, my love is a relative, not a positive, quality. You will know how to manage me, and I wish you every success, dear.

I shall not write much to you, to-day, because I am writing a long, long, letter to— to— the—Lord
Mayor!!! Aye, and going to send it to the
Freeman’s Journal!! Don’t look frightened to death, you quiz! I always have something to talk to the chief magistrate about, at this season of the year, and now it is about poor children; but I will send you the paper, and that will best inform you. Just before I sat down to write to you, yesterday, Livy and I had four naked little wretches at the fire warming and feeding, and, to tell the truth, their sufferings added to my nervousness; and you, joking and dissipation, had an equal share in the wretched spirits in which I addressed the dearest and the best. “Oh! Father Abraham, what these Irish be!” but so it is,—it is next to impossible to follow the quick transitions of our feelings. Just as I had got thus far, enter Professor Higgins—our Professor of Chemistry. He came to arrange a collection of mineralogy for Livy, which Clarke bought her with a cabinet, and now, here we are, in the midst of spars, quartz, ores, madrepores, and petrifactions. I know the whole thing now, at my fingers’ ends, and all in half-an-hour!!! The Professor says, I am a clever little soul! I have got a little collection, myself, which, with a harp, tripod, fifty volumes, and some music, constitutes all my household furniture—funny enough! Now, coûte qui coûte, no more dolorous letters; à quoi bon? if I were not to marry you, it would be because I loved you too well to involve you in difficulties and in distress. If I do marry you (and, like Solus, “I’m pretty sure I shall be married”) I will make you the dearest, best, and funniest little wife in the world.
Meantime, I prefer you to your whole sex, and so, clearest of all philosophers,


PS.—I shall not write to you to-morrow, love, because I am going out about business for poor papa, who is very poorly; but still, if not better, he is not worse. Here is a trait of poor human nature. When his head was blistered, he would only suffer the sise of the blister to be shaved; but when the pain came to the front of his head, he was obliged to have it all shaven. Yesterday he said to me, “Tell Morgan, my dear, that I have made a great sacrifice to health; that I have lost the finest head of hair that ever man had, and that I prided myself on, because I should like to prepare him for seeing me in a wig!

I wish you would accustom yourself to write a little every day in mere authorship. I mean we shall write a novel together. Your name shall go down to posterity with mine, you wretch. The snow very deep, and the cold insupportable.

Sydney O.

In the next note from Morgan to Miss Owenson, Mr. Parkhurst is again alluded to with bitterness. How far Miss Owenson went in her flirtations with this gentleman, it is hard to say; for when Lady Morgan, after her marriage, made a collection of the love letters of her old sweethearts, and presented it to Sir Charles, under the title of Youth, Love and Folly, she included
none of Parkhurst’s, if indeed she had any to include. Parkhurst had excited
Ormsby’s jealousy long before he disturbed Morgan’s peace of mind. But there was nothing serious between them; at least, they never quarrelled and made each other miserable, as people in love usually do.

T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
My darling, injured Love,

I have behaved most ungenerously, most unjustly to you, and I am a beast. Do not despise, do not hate me, and I will endeavour to amend. I have sat building odious castles in the air about you till I fancied my speculations were realities. Do me, however, the justice to believe, that you have been a little the cause of my irritability. When you reflect that you told me * * * was coming to Baron’s Court only on your account, and that I found you were not shocked at the indelicacy of his attentions—when you add to this that I found his name mentioned in every one of the first few letters you wrote, do you not think that a man who really and truly loved, might, nay must, feel anxious and uneasy. Never, for a moment, did I doubt your preference for me, nor dread his influence over your mind; but I was angry that you should indulge your vanity at the expense of my feelings and your reputation. I was hurt that you mentioned to Lady Abercorn his calling on you with so much apparent delight. But no more of this distressing subject. For God
Almighty’s sake, for mine and your own, do not again, while you live, seek to hide a feeling or a thought from me; let us sacrifice together on the altar of truth, and communicate with unbounded confidence. Have you, indeed, been suffering and wretched, and have I added to that suffering by my conduct? You thought by hiding your grief to diminish mine, and you have overwhelmed me by your apparent indifference; the badinage and frivolity of tone in your letters (excuse me, dearest), have overcome me with a conviction of your indifference towards me, no kindness of individual expression could confute. Had you at first told me the extent of your wishes about absence, hard as they were, I must have yielded to you. But the little preaching of delay upon delay, has impressed me with the idea, that you wished that delay should terminate in separation. Tell me, tell me, dearest, even what you wish and all you wish, and I will, at any risk, gratify you if I can. Do not wrap yourself in stoicism, nor “disdain” to open your bosom to one whose privilege it is to share your griefs and to soothe your sorrows. When you will look to me for support, you shall find me a man capable of strong exertion, of self-command to act and to suffer for you. It is your indifference, your reserve, with which I cannot contend. I confess I cannot see any adequate reason for your dread of Baron’s Court. They will not return to England till late in the next summer. Do you wish, do you really wish to delay my happiness so long? I do not think you can avoid coming here, without positively affronting the
Abercorns, nor can you long delay it. But, as far as I am concerned, do whatever will contribute to your own happiness, and leave mine to its chance. You know I had set my heart upon our being well and intimately known to each other by marriage, before the necessity of domestic arrangements should interfere with our enjoyments. When we go to England we shall have much to do and something to suffer. I was in hopes that by the cultivation of every tender feeling, we should have prepared each other to go through this with cheerfulness. But do as you will.

Sydney Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
November, 1811.

I told you I would not write to you to-day, dear, yet down I sat, determined on sending you a long letter when I had finished Lady L.’s; but, lo! a parcel of people (the Cahers) and their carriage seen at the door, others were obliged to be admitted, and one moment till this (five o’clock) I could not get, to tell you I love you the more I think of you, so take it for granted, my life is yours, and should be devoted to your happiness. God bless you! “Je t’embrasse tendrement à la hâte.” Tell Lady L. that whatever Miss Butler may have written her—Lady Manners seems, at least, in too good spirits for anything very serious to be impending.

S. O.
T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
Baron’s Court,
Wednesday Morning, Nov. 27th, 1811

And God bless you, my dear love, notwithstanding your shabby apologies for notes. Well, well, you are amusede basta cosi—only, when you are at leisure, write me a dear, good letter, to make amends for your last week’s slender diet. Your views of life are so different from mine, that at first they gave me great pain and uneasiness; use, however, reconciles to many things and I have already lost the uneasiness; perhaps the pain will soon follow, at least I feel a satisfaction in submitting my will to your’s, which already diminishes it. Nonobstant, I wish you were more independent in your pleasures, and did not receive the bright lights in your picture of life so much by reflection from the world. For myself, I am not without a large portion of personal vanity, and am as pleased with incense, when offered, as others, but it is not a want of habit with me; and, on the whole, I had rather be loved than admired, and, I fear also, rather than esteemed. This, you will say, is weakness, “le bonheur n’est pour (moi) ni sur la même route, ni de la même espèce, que celui des autres hommes; ils ne cherchent que la puissance et les regards d’autrui; il ne (me) faut que la tendresse et la paix, ne suis je pas un vrai St. Preux?” and so much the worse for me, if I am; a slight touch of ambition would pepper life; and truly, at little more
than thirty, it is rather hard to find all “vanity and vexation of spirit.” I am as convinced as of any mathematical fact, that the whole life can give is included in the four magical letters home. The affections are the only inlets to real satisfaction; and they, alas! are so often chilled, thwarted, or, by death and separation, annihilated, that I repeat, most sincerely, “of happiness I despair.” Ah,
Glorvina! you, you have roused me from that enviable state of apathy, in which the world passed as a panorama,—a dream; you have called forth the violent passions into action, which, I had hoped, slumbered for ever with the dead. I am again the sport of hopes and fears, and you are at once their cause, object and end. Dearest love, you have much in your power; oh! be merciful, be merciful! nor think it beneath your genius to strew some flowers in the path of him who lives but to adore you! But to descend to the common-place of life, Lady Abercorn has received another parcel of the books, and now finds she has got a copy of them already. She wishes, therefore, to know if the man will take them back, giving her something else in return? she will not send them till she gets your answer. The major is again returned from his military duties. How much more palpable his peculiarities are after a little absence. Have you burned the letters yet? Why will you not put me at rest on that point? You complain of my temper sometimes, but you should afford the same pardon to sickness of mind as to bodily infirmity; your absence is the cause of it all.

T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
November 29th, 1811.

How is this Glorvina? twice, already, you have failed writing. Is it so very painful to bestow five minutes recollection on me? though, in truth, I know not whether your silence is not less painful than your letters. How cold—how indifferent—what ill-timed levity, and ill-timed animadversion! I am, and have been, very, very ill; and you are the cause of it. I am sure neither health nor reason could long withstand the agonies I suffered on your account for these last twenty-four hours. I have not slept, and am now obliged to put myself under Bowen’s care. The whole of yesterday was spent in answering your letter; but I will not pain you by that exhibition of my lacerated mind; I have already destroyed it. On the subject of delay, however, one word for all. As long as your presence is necessary to your family, so long (be it a month or a year) I freely consent to your absence from me; but not one hour longer; you have no right to demand it, and if you knew what love was, it is impossible you could wish it. But I fear you are a stranger to love, except as it affects the fancy. You may understand its picturesque effects; but of the anxious, agonizing alternations of doubt and confidence, joy and despair—of all that is tender, of all that is heart in it, I fear you are utterly ignorant. For what purpose can you wish a protracted stay?
Your plea about a “respected guest and a part of the establishment,” is too childish for a moment’s consideration. If you do not love me sufficiently to master such fancies—if my affection is so little esteemed, and my happiness so little valued, why have you led me into this fools’ Paradise? You know you will not be able to refuse invitations to go out; for them, therefore, for your
Parkhursts and Ormsbys (the devil take them) and not for your family, you will leave me in all the miseries of widowhood and solitude. I repeat it, this is not love. You say, before you knew me you were free as air; and I, too, was free; but you cannot give me back my former self, my “pleased alacrity and cheer of mind.” Seek not, then, to torture me with your coldness and carelessness. Remember that, attachment means bondage, and that we are mutually bound to promote each other’s happiness by every means in our power. Remember, that savage freedom is incompatible with the social affections, and that you have no right to render a being miserable, who lives and breathes only in your love. You cannot imagine the grief of heart, the tears, this early avowal of your wish to lengthen our separation has cost me. By heavens, there is no place so vile, so infectious, that I would not inhabit it with you; and you object to share my love in a place to which another and a more worthless passion—vanity, has chained you for nearly a year at once, with every circumstance that should have driven you away! How every unkind word, every doubtful expression with regard to your future conduct towards me, recurs to my recollec-
tion! If you really do not mean to marry me, your trifling with a passion like mine is worse than cruelty. For God’s sake, be candid, and let me know the horrid truth at once.

Another thing—why do you keep secrets from me? Why suffer me to learn from others circumstances which so materially affect your interest?—as those of your father’s health. For my sake, for your own, let there be no mystery between us, no separation of interests. Trust me, I was rejoiced to learn that he was better again, and that you were the cause of it—that is the true balm, the only balm you can pour upon the wounds made by your absence—it gratifies and consoles me.

Miss Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
December, 1811.

Great God! is there to be no end of this? is every idle, every mischievous person to change your sentiments towards me, and to destroy your confidence? what have I done, what have I said? to bring down this tirade of abuse and reproach? Your letter has distracted me. I thought myself so assured of your esteem, your confidence! I cannot write on the subject. If it is Miss Butler who has done this, I will never speak to her again.

Never mind what I said about the bond, no matter about that, or anything else. Your answer shall determine the moment of my departure. I will throw myself into the mail the night of the day I receive it,
if you command it—by all that is sacred—at the expense of health and life, I will do as you desire.
Livy goes to a certainty, except some misfortune happens, and means to leave this on the morning of the 2nd, so that she will, of course, be at Baron’s Court on the night of the 3rd. If I have, indeed, been the cause of much pain to you, what remains of my life shall be devoted to your happiness. How different do we feel towards each other! I am all confidence, all esteem, all admiration, you are in love and nothing else. Any woman may inspire all that I have inspired—passion accompanied by distrust and suspicion—still I embrace you, my beloved, as tenderly as ever.

I am far from well. I have a most painful sore throat and oppression on my chest, with some remains of my cough; this is owing to my having gone into a bath at 105 degrees, when there was a hard frost; but the country will soon, I trust, put to flight every symptom of delicacy. God bless you! may your next bring me some comfort.

S. O.
Miss Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
December 3, 1811.
My dearest Dear,

The horrible struggle of feeling I sought to forget in every species of dissipation of mind, is over—friends, relatives, country, all are now resigned, and I am yours for ever—from this moment be it. The study of my life to deserve your love, and to expiate those
errors of conduct which had their source in the long-cherished affections of the heart, by a life devoted exclusively to you. Oh, my dearest friend, passionately as you love me, you do not yet justly appreciate me, and know not all I am capable of when imperiously called on by feeling and by honour.

I have gained my point in putting off our marriage for three months, by which I have gratified the independent spirit of my character in avoiding any addition of obligation to those on whom we are already too dependant. I have satisfied the feelings of my heart by fulfilling the tender duties they dictate, to my father and my family. I have obtained a more thorough knowledge of your character from the development of your feelings in your letters; and I have satisfied my woman’s delicacy, and the bienséance of the world, by avoiding the appearance of rashness in uniting myself for life to one whom I knew but a month, which, had I listened to you, would have been the case. I have now done with the little world, here, and shall go out no more; all that remains of my absence from you must be exclusively devoted to my family. I have informed them of my resolution with great firmness; it was received in silence and in tears; but no opposition was made, the effort is over, and I think we are all calmer, and even happier, than during the late interval of horrible suspense. I will return to you soon after Christmas-day, as we can decide upon a safe mode of travelling. Meantime, my heart and soul are with you, and as for the little body, that will come soon enough. Every moment I can spare from
my poor suffering father, I am devoting to collecting everything on Irish story that can be had here. I have made out a most exquisite subject matter for an Irish novel which will help to furnish our London baby-house. Well, dear, we are now where we ought to be, and long, long may we remain so. Pray tell
Lady Abercorn you are satisfied with me.

Here is one of my wife-like demands. Will you send to London for six yards of black velvet for me? Mrs. Morgan will get it, at Grafton House, for half-a-guinea a yard, and your friend of Pall Mall, will frank it over. This, dear, is no extravagance.

S. O.
Miss Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
Thursday, 11 o’clock, [1811].

I perceive it is easier to command your obedience than to endure it. You have taken me now, au pied de la lettre. Three weeks back you would have made another commentary on the text and tortured it into any sense but that in which you have now taken it. However, I submit uncomplaining, though not unrepining. Ah! my dear Morgan, les absens ont toujours tort, and that passion which, a month past, I feared might urge on its disappointment to exile, or even perhaps to worse, has now flown lightly over, like a summer gale, which leaves on the air scarce a trace of its fleeting fragrance. Well, “Thou canst not say ’twas I did it.” The inequalities, the inconsistency of my manner and my letters, the quick alternation from
tenderness to reproach, from affection to indifference, the successive glow of hope and chill of despair, the brilliant playfulness of one moment, the gloomy affliction of the next—these were accessory, but not final, causes of your alienation, for your love, like your religion, is a tangible creed; faith alone will not nourish it, you must have the Real Presence; you must touch to believe, you must enjoy to adore, and in the absence of the goddess you will erect the golden calf, sooner than waste your homage upon an invisible object. Dearest, I have divined you well.

You will say, “My sweetest Glorvina, I would love you if I could; but how am I to find you? catch, if I can the Cynthia of the moment.” And, dearest Morgan, you say true; but am I to blame if I am unhappy? “Who would be a wretch for ever?” and if you know the objects and the interests that alternately tear my heart, you would much less blame than pity me. In the morning, when I come down to breakfast, the dear faces I have so long looked on, turned on me with such smiles of tenderness, the family kiss, the little gossip that refers to the social pleasures of the former evening,—my whole heart is theirs,—I say, “no, I will not, cannot, part from you for ever.” Then all disperse; your letter comes, your reproaches, your suspicion! divided between tenderness and resentment; wanting to give you force, but overcome by my own weakness—I know not what I write. My feelings struggle and combat, and I sink under it. Again—perhaps I go out—the brilliant assembly, where every member is my friend
or my acquaintance, every smile pointed to me, every hand is stretched out to me, and where all is the perfect intelligence of old acquaintanceship, mingled with Irish wit and Irish cordiality. The reverse of the picture—the dreary country, the stately, cold magnificence, and the imposed silence; the expected affliction, and where I too often find ridicule substituted for that admiration now too necessary to me. Again you rush on me, and all is forgotten. Your true, disinterested love! your passionate feelings! your patience! you long endurance of all my faults! your generous and noble feelings! your talents, your exclusive devotion to me! then, my whole soul is yours! Father, sister, home, friends, country, all are forgotten, and I enter again upon life with you; I struggle again for subsistence; I resign ease and comfort, and share with you a doubtful existence. I give up my career of pleasure and vanity to sink into privacy and oblivion; and the ambition of the authoress and the woman is lost in the feelings of the mistress and the wife.

It was thus I felt yesterday, five minutes after my cold letter to you. After dinner I threw myself on the couch and heard the clock strike seven, and I was transported into the little angular room! To surprise us all, the door opened, and, carried in between two old servants, appeared the dear father—papa! Hot cake ordered for tea, and a boiled chicken for supper. We tuned the harp and piano, and Clarke would play his flute in such time and tune as it pleased God! There never was such a family picture. In the
midst of it all, papa said, “I am thinking, my dears, that if God ever restores me the use of my hands, I will write a treatise on Irish music for
Morgan!!” Again, when he was going back to his room, he leaned on my shoulders to walk to the door,—“you are my support Now, my little darling,” and he burst into tears. Such, dearest, are the feelings alternately awakened in a heart so vitally alive to impressions of tenderness and affection, that in its struggles between contending emotions it is sometimes ready to burst. Oh, then, pity me, and forgive me; bear with me, examine the source and cause of my faults, and you will see them in that sensibility which makes a part of my physical structure, and which time and circumstances have fatally fed and nourished. You do not expect, do not deserve, perhaps do not wish to be bored, with this letter, yet I shall send it; keep it by you, and when you are angry with me, read, and forgive!

When the postman knocked, I said, “Ah! the rascal, after all his impertinent, icy Strabane letter, he has written.” I flew to meet it—burst it open with a smile of triumph. It was from Lord Abercorn! the smile disappeared, and, with a sigh I sat down to write this; while you, perhaps, without one thought of the Glorvina, are writing verses on the charms of Lady Carberry.

Poor dear papa! The consequence of his little frolic last night are, that he is confined to his bed today, and symptoms of gout in his head. I am going to see him. God bless you.

S. O.
Lord Abercorn to Miss Owenson.

You are not worth writing to, little fool, for though your words are fair, they are few and probably false.

Have you really the presumption to think I will condescend to write to her, who instead of writing two or three for one, thinks I am going to put up with a miserable cover of another letter?

As to “Livy,” alas! I thought better of her. I thought better of her. I “give her courage by a tender line!” why was not one more tender than she deserved in my very last to you? But I see too well, that your calumnies (as I thought them) against her, are truths; and that she beguiled only to deceive me. The jackal, too, has been sneaking into the forest where the lion only should have stalked. Alas! alas! what has she to say to me for herself? and when will she say it?

T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
Dearest Love,

I do pity while I blame you. But your great instability, whatever be the cause of it, is equally cruel in you and equally unbearable to me. It is absolutely necessary for you to exert some firmness of nerve. Review your own conduct to me and think how very unnecessarily you have tortured with repeated promises, all evaded; while each letter has
been a direct contradiction of the last. It is not the lapse of time I so much regret; and in whatever way our loves may terminate, I beg you to carry that in your remembrance. The same effort of self-denial, which gave you one month, would have given you three, had you asked it seriously and firmly. It is the eternal fiddling upon nerves untuned by love (perhaps too romantic) for you, that I cannot bear the repeated frustration of hope. The evident preference you give to general society over mine—your very dread of this place,—the instability of your affections as depicted in your letters, are all sources of agony greater than I can endure, and it must have an end. To finish this business, then, at once—of your own mere motion within this last week, you have fixed with me and with your sister too, to leave Dublin at Christmas, and that much I give to nature and to amusement. If you can then return to me freely and voluntarily (for I will be no restraint upon you) say so, and stick to your promise. If not, we had better (great Heaven! and is it come to this!) we had better never meet again. The love I require is no ordinary affection. The woman who marries me must be identified with me. I must have a large bank of tenderness to draw upon. I must have frequent profession, and frequent demonstration of it. Woman’s love is all in all to me; it stands in place of honours and riches, and, what is yet more, in place of tranquillity of mind and ease; without it there is a void in existence that deprives me of all control of myself, and leads me to headlong dissipation, as a refuge from reflection. If, then, your love
for me is not sufficiently ardent to bring you freely to me at the end of a three months’ absence for your own happiness’ sake, by Heaven! more dear to me than my own, do not let us risk a life of endless regret and disappointment. Deliberate; make up your mind; and, having done so, have the honesty to abide by your determination, and not again trifle with feelings so agonized as your unfortunate friend’s.

As to your two chapters on story-telling, I am indignant enough at them, but my mind is too much occupied to dwell on that subject—only this; you assume too high a tone on these occasions. I set up no tyrannical pretensions to man’s superiority, and have besides a personal respect for your intellect over other women’s. I know too, that in the present instance, you are right. But I never will submit to an assumed control on the woman’s side; we must be equals; and ridicule or command will meet with but little success and little quarter from me.

Oh, God! oh, God! my poor lacerated mind! but the horrid task is over, and now, dearest woman (for such you are and ever will be to me), take me to you, your own ardent lover; let me throw myself on your bosom, and give vent to my burdened heart; let me feel your gentle pressure, the warmth of your breath, and your still warmer tear on my cheek. Think, love, of those delicious moments! when all created things but our two selves were forgotten; of those instants wherein we lived eternities.

T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
Wednesday, December.
My dearest Love,

I am indeed a wretch to inflict pain on so much excellence; but, alas! what can wretchedness do but complain! Recollect how often my hopes in you have been delayed a few days, the return of a post, a week, a month for you to go to town—three weeks delay in your departure added to this. And now, by every means in your power, you would delay them still further for an indefinite time. Recollect, too, the things you have said of yourself, your “exaggeration of your faults,” the array of lovers you have dressed out; the times you have been on the point of matrimony and broken it off, and think what I must suffer with a mind making food for irritation even out of mere possibilities. Indeed, I was cut to the very heart of heart, when you first hinted at your dislike of this place being a sufficient motive for keeping from me. But when you renewed this plea, ere the first pang of parting had ceased to vibrate in my bosom, when you talked of happiness without me too great for comparison, can you wonder that I was horror-stricken and overwhelmed with misery. I doubt not, Glorvina, if I had duties to discharge incompatible with our meeting for some time, like you, I should discharge them, but I should feel the sacrifice, I should count the hours till we met, and should be, as I now am, a very wretch till that time arrived. I little
thought when we parted at Omagh, that you meditated to leave me for a longer time than was originally fixed. I confess to you, I should have entreated you (on my knees I should) to have married me before you went. I should have then borne your absence with less uneasiness. Now, I have a sad presentiment we shall never meet again. I read and re-read your letter to feed upon your kind expressions, but all will not do. I sink into a despondence almost too great to bear; life is hateful to me, and the possibility of a good agent in creation scarcely admissible. For God’s sake give me some idea when you think of returning. What hopes do the medical people give you of your father’s recovering his limbs? Your last letter told me you feared he never would. If I had never been buoyed up with hopes of our speedy union, I could have better borne your absence. I am in so horrid a state, that I have already burned two sheets full written, least I should annoy you; and here I am writing worse than ever. Oh, God! oh, God! can I ever bear it? Can you forgive it?
Lady Asgill too; how that woman frightens me! She is possessed of the only weapon you cannot resist—ridicule. You will never endure the object of her constant raillery. Really I do not see how she can affect you, now your father is ill. I did not part with every earthly happiness, with peace, with everything, that you might furnish out her dinner-tables. If you can dine out, you can come to me. I sent you home to nurse, and every hour taken from your duty to your father is a double fraud to me. Indeed, if I hear of your being gay, I shall go quite mad!—Glorvina, I cannot be gay.

Sydney Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
Saturday, 10 clock, December 11, 1811.

If you are not, you ought to be, very indignant at my last chapter upon long stories, for I certainly treated the subject rather pertly; but you know my way of preferring any one of the deadly sins, to the respectable dulness of worthy bores; and if there is any one thing on earth more insupportably provoking than another, it is to see a man like yourself full of that stuff which people call “natural talent” cultivated by a superior education, enlightened by science, and refined by philosophy, concealing his native treasures, and borne away by the bad ton of a bad style of society, substituting, in their stead, the “leather and prunella” of false taste. It is thus the Irish peasant plants potatoes on the surface of those mountains whose bosoms teem with gold! I have seen the best and the worst of English society; I have dined at the table of a city trader, taken tea with the family of a London merchant, and supped at Devonshire House, all in one day, and I must say, that if there is a people upon earth that understand the science of conversation less than another, it is the English. The quickness, the variety, the rapidity of perception and impression, which is indispensable to render conversation delightful, is constitutionally denied to them; like all people of slowly operating mental faculties, and of business pursuits, they depend upon memory more than upon spontaneous thought. When the power of, and time for, cultivating
that retentive faculty is denied, they are then hébête and tiresome, and when it is granted (as among the higher circles) the omnipotence of ton is so great that every one fears to risk himself. In Ireland it is quite different; our physique, which renders us ardent, restless, and fond of change, bids defiance to the cultivation of memory; and, therefore, though we produce men of genius, we never have boasted of any man of learning—and so we excel in conversation, because, of necessity we are obliged to do the honours of the amour-propre of others; we are obliged to give and take, for thrown upon excitement, we only respond in proportion to the quantity of stimulus received. In England, conversation is a game of chess—the result of judgment, memory, and deliberation; with us, it is a game of battledore, and our ideas, like our shuttlecocks, are thrown lightly one to the other, bounding and rebounding, played more for amusement than conquest, and leaving the players equally animated by the game, and careless of its results.

There is a term in England applied to persons popular in society, which illustrates what I have said; it is “he (or she) is very amusing,” that is, they tell stories of a ghost, or an actor. They recite verses, or they play tricks, all of which must exclude conversation, and it is, in my opinion, the very bane of good society. An Englishman will declaim, or he will narrate, or he will be silent; but it is very difficult to get him to converse, especially if he is suprême bon ton, or labours under the reputation of being a rising man; but even all this, dull as it is, is better than a man
who, struck by some fatal analogy in what he is saying, immediately chimes in with the eternal “that puts me in mind,” and then gives you, not an anecdote, bat an absolute history of something his uncle did, or his grandfather said, and then, by some lucky association, goes on with stories which have his own obscure friends for his heroes and heroines, but have neither point, bût, humour, nor even moral (usually tagged to the end of old ballads). Oh, save me from this, good heaven, and I will sustain all else beside!

Dad’s bedroom, 10 o’clock, letter arrived.

Ah, dearest love, what a querulous letter. While I, waiting impatiently for the post, was scribble, scribble, scribble, and would have gone on till night in the same idle way, had not your letter cut me short;—dearest, suspicious Morgan, you wrong me, indeed, you do, if you think me capable of evasion or deceit. When I left you, I had no plan, no object in view, but to gratify imperious feelings which still tyrannise and lead me on from day to day. It is not I who entreat permission to prolong my residence here, it is a father whom I shall never see again—it is a sister, whom I may never see again. It is friends I love, and who love me, who solicit you to leave me yet a little longer among them—you who are about to possess me for ever! My best friend, if after all I should be miserable, would you not blame yourself for having put a force upon my inclinations? If I come voluntarily and self-devoted to you, then the penalty
lies upon my own head, and I must abide the issue. I will tell you honestly, and I have often told you so, you call it caprice or weakness if you will; but I shudder at the place! You will understand me, I know the susceptibility of my spirits, and I know the train of gloomy impressions which await them. I am sure of you! I am only delaying a good which may be mine whenever I please, and avoiding evils which are certain, and which once there, I cannot escape. Still, however, I am not the unworthy wretch you think. I am always more to be pitied than blamed.

God bless you dearest, ever.

S. O.
T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
Baron’s Court,
December [14], 1811.

My yesterday’s letter will be a sufficient answer to yours of this morning. I can only repeat, that I will no more consent to delay and trifling, and that I consider your fulfilment of your sacred promise as the touchstone of your affection, and the only means of regaining my confidence, at present, I confess, somewhat in abeyance. I do not mean to accuse you of deceit, as you have so often said, but while your wishes extend in proportion to my facility in complying with them—while your love of pleasure (now no longer disguised) exceeds your love for me, and your regard for your own honour and pledged word—while your
letters alternately breathe hot and cold as to marrying at all, you cannot wonder that I think you tired of your bargain, and I am anxious to reduce to certainty my hopes and fears on points so entirely involving my complete life. Professions of love are easily made; but if you really have that regard for me which I suppose, place cannot make so much difference. Your hatred of this place is an insult which any, less foolishly-fond than myself, would seriously resent. You complain of my irritable feelings; they are your own creation; from the very first hour of our intimacy, either from want of tact, or from disregard of it, you have kept them afloat, and when the cup is full you cannot wonder if a drop makes it run over.

[End wanting.]

T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
Saturday, December 16th.

Ah, dearest, what have I done? positively nothing, but what I was always prepared to do, what I always felt bound to do—given up to yourself,—and considered you entirely your own mistress, to act as you pleased; free as air, unpromise-bound—to the very last moment of your approach to the altar; and yet, though our relative situation is not altered, I am fretful and uneasy, that you should deliberate. Perhaps I am mortified that deliberation should yet be necessary; whatever it be, I have not the courage to look the possibility of losing you in the face. Surely,
surely, it has not been a presentiment of truth, that has uniformly haunted me with the idea that you would not ultimately be mine. Do not say I am meanly suspicious, or that I have any fixed notion of your intending me unfairly; it is but the restless anxiety of a mind, naturally too susceptible of painful impressions, acted upon by circumstances very peculiar, and which (when once we are married) can never recur. “Je ne doute pas de votre sincerité; votre amour même n’est plus un mystere pour moi, mais j’apprehende quelques révolutions; quelles, et d’ou peuvent elles venir? Je n’en sais rien—je crois que je puis dire; je crains parceque j’aime.” This is exactly my state; ah, my God! you deliberate!! and under what circumstances? surrounded by objects all acting forcibly on your senses and imagination, all opposed to my interests in you. Bored eternally by acquaintance who wish to retain you they know not why,—and no one by to take my part, to support my cause and plead with you for me. Alas! the paper can indeed carry my complaints, can show you the variety of my feelings, but it shows only the désagréments of the passion, but the inconvenience to which (perhaps an ill regulated) love appears to threaten you. Little can it express the warmth, the tenderness of the feeling, still less can it convey the kiss, the sigh, the tear, the look which speak at once to the heart, and “outstrip the pauser reason;” ah! les absents ant tort, en verité, in this case. It is vain that the cold line is traced, without the expression that should accompany its delivery, the rhetoric of the eye is dumb and the heart cannot submit to
mere calculation and debate. Dearest, dearest girl, I have a friend, an eloquent friend in your bosom; call him often to council; he will tell you far, far more than words can express; he will remind you of moments, blissful as they were transitory, moments when the world was but as nothing, compared to the passion, the tender self-abandonment of your friend; he will whisper of instants when father, sister, all were forgotten, or remembered only as less capable of conferring happiness than he who now addresses you. You have had, I admit, but a bad specimen of my temper. Irritable feelings but too idly indulged; but consider the unusual situation in which I am placed. You had always assumed a volatile, inconsequent air, and before I could be assured of your love, you left me. Honestly and fervently, I believed you no trifling good, and the weight of the loss has always pressed on me more than the probability, that I should lose you. I was uneasy because I was not absolutely and entirely certain of you.

Do you understand this? If I at all know myself, and can judge by my three years of married life, I am above suspicion and jealousy. I do not know that I ever felt one uneasy moment on that head. But while fate can snatch you from me, while you are anything short of my married wife, I cannot help taking alarm—I know not why—and from circumstances that won’t bear analysis. Cannot you comprehend a sensation of uneasiness that crossed me (for instance) when I read your friends’ satirical account of this place. It appears as if every body were trying to de-
tain you and to picture your prospects in as dark colours as possible. Such have, however, been the but of every anecdote you have written me of Dublin conversation. Ah, my own sweet love, you cannot think how much more than they ought, such trifles prey upon a bosom agitated like mine. I should, indeed, be ashamed to confess this, if I did not feel it was nature, and a necessary part of a devoted affection. Our weather, contrary to your supposition, is fine, and Baron’s Court in (my eyes) as lovely as ever. Were you out of the question, I could live here for ever. London and its gaieties would be forgotten.

Miss Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
December 18th, 1811.
My dear Friend,

Your letter to-day [of the 16th] came very opportunely. Your dreadful epistle yesterday [of the 14th] totally overthrew me,—it found me ill and low spirited, and left me in a high fever; in my life I never received such a shock—its severity, its cruelty, its suspicion. Oh, what a frightful futurity opened to my view! I went to bed almost immediately to hide my feelings from my family, but never closed my eyes all night; I am now languid and stupefied; my cold is very oppressive, it is an influenza going; my throat, however, is better.

From the style of your letter to-day, I suppose, I may stay to accompany my sister on the 2nd, that is, next Thursday, the day week on which you will receive this. Still I will go the moment your mandate ar-
rives, whether I am better or not, and whether my life is at stake or no. It would be much better to die than to suffer what I did yesterday. I don’t care a fig about being popular or unpopular. I am sick of that stuff and intend to be more savagely independent than ever. I am so very unwell, particularly in my head and throat, that I cannot write much to you. I have been obliged to give up extracting.”

PS.—Write me word how my large trunk can be conveyed to Baron’s Court, as I would send it off directly. My dearest, do not think of coming to meet us—we both particularly intreat you will not. We shall be quite full inside the carriage and cannot admit you (maid inside), and what use your riding beside the carriage? I entreat most earnestly you will let our first meeting be in your own little room. I will fly there the moment I arrive—but no human being must be present. My cold is better. If Livy does not set off at daylight on Thursday morning, no human power shall prevent me setting off in the evening without. She will decidedly go, and on that day, and so, for once, have confidence and believe. Who could invent such a lie, that I did not mean to go to Baron’s Court till the middle of January? The idea never suggested itself to me; the 3rd was the most distant day I ever thought of. I suspect that wretched G., for reasons I have. God bless you, dearest and most beloved.

S. O.

I will write to-morrow if the post leaves this, but I fear it does not.

Mr. Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
Dublin, December 23, 1811.

“Not know you? by the Lord I do, as well as he that made you, Hal;” why, I wouldn’t be acquainted with any man that I didn’t find out in speaking two sentences, or reading a couple of paragraphs of his letter. Well, then, although I know you these fifty years, I am at a loss whether to believe the whole, or the half of what I hear of you; to save you a blush (for I suppose you’ve learned to blush since you came to this immaculate country), I shall believe but half, and if you are but the tenth part of that half, by the Lord you are too good for a son-in-law of mine, who have been, however, half the while, little better than one of the wicked. Well, all’s one for that; heaven’s above all, and as we in the south say, “there’s worse in the north.” The cause of this saying arose from the hatred the southerns (especially the lower orders) had to the northerns, looking upon them as marauders and common robbers; and it was a common thing with nurses to frighten the children to sleep, by threatening them to call an Ulsterman. I remember this very well, myself. Now, if one man is speaking ill of another to a third person, that man will probably say, “Well, well, he is bad enough; but there’s worse in the north.”

“But hear, you yadward,” here’s a little bit of a thing here, that runs out in your praise as if you were
“the god of her idolatry;” by-the-bye, you’ve had a good deal of patience with her lately; don’t let her ride the bald filly too much; and if she won’t go quietly in a snaffle, get a good bit and curb for her. But I have nothing to say to it; “among you be it, blind harpers.”

For myself, here I am, “a poor old man, more sinned against than sinning.” Instead of being the “fine, gay, bold-faced vil—” no, I’ll change the word to fellow, I was wont to be—the very head and front of every jollification—I am dwindled into the “slipper’d pantaloon, with my hose a world too large for my shrunk shanks.” I deny this, for my feet and legs swell so in the course of the day, that I can scarcely get hose large enough to fit me; but this swelling goes off in the night. “Can’st thou not minister to a leg diseased? if thou can’st not, throw physic to the dogs, I’ll none on’t;” time, however, is drawing near, when it will be “sans eyes, sans teeth, sans everything.” With me, however, although “I owe heaven a debt, I would not wish to pay it before it’s due;” therefore, if I could get these legs well, and the cursed teasing pain in my head somewhat banished, I should not fear lilting up one of Carolan’s planxtirs, in such a style as to be heard from this to the Monterlomy mountains with the wind full in my teeth; for the old trunk is as sound as a roast, and never once in the course of a ten months’ illness, was in the least affected, therefore, “who is afraid.”

Sir Arthur and I will be left all alone and moody in a few days, as our ladies mean to set off immediately
to the hospitable mansion of Baron’s Court, where, as I am informed, the good things of this world are only to be had; so, commending you to God’s holy keeping, and wishing you neighbour’s share of plumpudding, this gormandizing season, I remain, then, in truth and in spirit.

Robert Owenson.

PS. You have worked a miracle—for eight months back, I never could take a pen in my hand! I really am astonished at myself now, bad as it is.

Sydney Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
December 24th.

I told you yesterday, dearest, that you should have a long letter to-day, and here comes one as short as myself. The reason is, that a good old Irishman has sent me 20,000 volumes of old Irish books to make extracts from, and I am to return them directly, and here I am in poor Dad’s room just after binding up his poor blistered head, and I am just going to work pell mell, looking like a little conjuror, with all my black-lettered books about me. I am extracting from Edmund Spenser, who loved Ireland tant soit peu; dearest, your letters are delicious, ’tis such a sweet feeling to create happiness for those we love; if we have but de quoi vivre in a nutshell house in London, I shall be satisfied, and you shall be made as happy as Irish love, Irish talent, and Irish fun can make a
grave, cold, shy Englishman. Your song is divine. Here is
Livy just come in and insists on saying so; but first I must tell you that poor, dear papa continues very ill and so low spirited, that it is heartbreaking to listen to him.

Postscript from Livy.
Dear Charles,

I like and thank you for your pretty song,—it is quite in the style of Italian composition, and is the very thing for my weak natural voice, and I shall sing it with the Spanish guitar to great advantage. I suppose I may thank Madam Glo.’s loving epistles for your little billet doux.

I am yours, en tout cas,
December 24.

Irish books are pouring in on all sides—anonymously, too, which is very singular, and mostly “Rebelly” books as you English would call them. Has Lady Abercorn Taaf’s Impartial History of Ireland? I hear it is beautifully written, and full of eloquence. I think, to-morrow, Livy will have talked over her journey with Clarke, and something will decidedly be settled. Till then, and now, ever and ever yours in every way,


I write, as usual, in a hurry. There is a puff in
the Irish papers to-day, so like
Stockdale, that I could swear he sent it over for insertion. I’ll try and get it for you before I send this.

In the next letter it will be seen that Lady Abercorn speaks of her physician as Sir Charles. He was not yet knighted, but Lady Abercorn had always proposed that when the Wild Irish Girl married she should have a title, and His Grace of Richmond was ready to lay the sword on Morgan’s reluctant shoulders whenever her ladyship pleased.

Lady Abercorn to Miss Owenson.
December, 1811.
Dear Glorvina,

I own I think if you are not here by Christmas, you use Sir Charles very ill indeed; let me give you a piece of advice, which I know, from a long knowledge of the world, that it is very unwise for a woman, when she intends to marry a man, to let him for a moment suppose he is not her first object; for after marriage, people have more time to reflect, and sometimes it might so happen that a man might recollect that though he was accepted of for a husband, that past conduct proved it was more par convenance than from attachment; now I know you will say, that as Sir Charles is not a very great match, he cannot ever imagine you married him for aught but himself; but that will not be so considered, and I recommend you to play no longer with his feelings. I am sure Lady
Clarke will be of my opinion; I leave her to decide, trusting that she has a wiser head than you have. Tell Lady Clarke I do hope she will be here before Christmas; I am sure she will not be the person to put off coming.

I should be sorry to offend Mr. Mason; I am very sensible of his great goodness to me, and if there was a chance of his taking it ill my not wanting the MS., pray have it done. My objection to it is, that it has been so long about, that Lady Charlotte Campbell will have forgotten all about it; if, however, the Schoolmaster is come up to do it, let it be done, and, above all, express to Mr. Mason my gratitude. I only want the bookseller to change the books for others—they are damaged, and I have a set of them here. He might let me have No. 62, which is about the same price.

What is the cabinet? tell me. What is become of Miss Butler? bid her write to me.

Yours, dear Glorvina, sincerely,
A. J. A.
Miss Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
December, 26, 1811.

Lady Cahir has just sent me a magnificent edition of the Pacata Hibernica, to be returned this evening, by Miss Butler, who drinks tea with me, and I am extracting till I am black in the face, and I have scarce a moment to say how do you do? I had made
up my mind before
Lady Abercorn’s letter, as you must have known by three letters you had previously received; but I thought it would please her to give her a little credit, &c., &c. I have written a very civil little billet to Mrs. Morgan, merely inclosing the address for Skinner, as it will save six days’ delay. Are you angry? God bless you, which is all I have time to say.

Ever your own,
Miss Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
December, 27th, 1811.

“And the last note is shorter than the first.” I totally despair of ever writing you a legitimate letter again, and you have met with a more formidable rival in O’Donnel, of Tirconnel, than all your jealous brain ever fancied in Generals, Aides-de-Camp, and Dublin Lawyers. I have not yet got through the Pacata, and have obtained permission to keep it another day. I delight in my story, and my hero, and shall throw myself tête baissée this winter to the best of passions—Love and Fame. Heaven send the latter do not find its extinction in the former, and depend upon it, dear, had I asked your leave to stay in Dublin three months, you would have knocked me down. I will do all you desire on the subject of odious business, and I shall write to you (barring O’Donnel) to-morrow, fully on it, and if I do not, believe, as Sappho says, “the less my words, the more my love appears.”
Dearest friend, protector, guardian, guide,—every day draws me closer to you by ties (I trust) which Death only can break. There was so much of force in the commencement of this business, that my heart was frightened back from the course it would naturally have taken. I have now had time to reflect myself into love for you—how much deeper and fonder than that mere engouement which first possessed me; do not fear me, my dear friend, once decided upon rational grounds, I am immoveable, and I am as much yours as if the Archbishop of Canterbury had given his blessing to the contract; by your wishing to get all business out of the way, I suppose I am to be met at the door by Mr. Bowen* with his prayer-book in one hand and you in the other, and “will you,
Sydney, take this man,” &c., &c. Heavens, what a horror! but you really cannot mean to take me, shattered and shaken after a long, dislocating journey! Let me at least, like other innocent victims, be fed before I am offered.

Miss Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
December 28th.

Why, I’m coming you wretch! Do you think I can borrow Friar Bacon’s flying chair or Fortunatus’ wishing cap? Would I could; and at eight o’clock this evening in the old arm-chair in the angular room—ah, you rascal!—
“Have you no bowels
For my poor relations?”

* Lady Abercorn’s chaplain.


No, you are merciless as a vulture, and I am worse off than
“the maiden all forlorn,
Who was tossed by the cow
With the crumplty horn.”

Well, no matter. I go on loving ad libitum—and without my “vanity and ambition,” literary and personal, I cannot get on. As to our plans of travelling, they can be determined on in an hour. I do not think Livy could set off before the 5th of January.

Now, Stupid the First, read the following paragraph to the best of all possible marchionesses:—

“The injured Glorvina can read and put together as well as other people, and with respect to No. 9, acted with her accustomed wisdom—she bought neither edition until she described both to the Marchioness. The difference lies in this—the dear one is dear because it is a rare one, done upon much larger paper than the cheap; the engravings much finer by the execution,—and the binding splendid morocco and gold; the cheap one would be deemed a very fine book if not seen beside the other. The engravings are coarser, but the work, in Glorvina’s opinion, equally good. The scarcity of the fine edition is its value. Mr. Mason is gone this day to look at both. I bought none till further orders.” S. O.

T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson.
Saturday, 4 o’clock, p.m.,
December 28, 1811.

A thousand thousand blessings upon my soul’s best
hope for her dear letters. Oh! how welcome was the stranger joy to my heart, yet it was a stranger, and its first approach, almost pain. I grew sick as I read, and trembled violently—tears flowed, welcome, heavenly drops; dear as the first showers in April, when the cold east wind has long parched the fields. My beloved
Glorvina, you will come, then! you will be here at Christmas? and no longer leave me to pine at your absence, and doubt your love. Yet tell me so again; tell me your arrangements; as yet I dare not trust myself with this promise of better days. I have had a long and dreary dream, and fear has not yet quitted me. How weak, how inadequate are words to express all that I would say to you on this event! the ideas crowd upon my mind, and in vain seek for utterance. I would tell you of my love, my devotion, my gratitude. I would do homage to your virtues, to your tenderness, your affection, by heaven more welcome to me than fortune’s proudest gifts, her foremost places; but it must not be. Your imagination must befriend me; think me at your feet, my long frozen bozom thawed and melting into all that is tender, all that is affectionate. What an age of misery I have suffered!—the pain, the grief of heart to think hardly of you! Yet so it has been; you have suffered in my estimation more than I dare tell; and though I feel now that I wronged you, yet was I not unjust; but thank God, thank God, all is again peace, and I have nothing to regret, but the lingering flight of slow-winged time. My sweet love, why do you not take care of your health? Why do you suffer that odious cough to remain? be more thoughtful of your-
self, for my sake; how much too happy should I be was it possible to bear your sorrows and your sickness for you—what a proud satisfaction in the endurance! The bell has just rung, and I must bid you a hasty farewell. Give my love to
Livy, and tell her, if I can manage a billet doux for her to-morrow I will write.

T. C. Morgan to Miss Owenson
Saturday, December 29th.

I could almost fancy, my dearest life, that there was something more than chance in your having inclosed the billet douceureux; that I, too, might have something pleasant to peruse to-day, and so sympathise with you in the delight with which you are now reading my letter of Thursday last. Ten thousand thanks for it! How little do you know my temper; that small note has a power over my mind beyond comparison greater than your grave, sententious epistles; you will never scold me into yielding a point; but coax me, out of whatever you will, though it be my heart’s blood. I cannot think of your stupid Irish post without vexation. Two whole days of torment added to your sufferings, and to my repentance. But I have sinned, and must bear your anger till the return of post on Monday relieves me. When I look back at my senseless irritability, I am more than ashamed. It was the excess of love; but I am sure
un peu plus d’indifference, would have been more excusable. However, at last you have gained a triumph, and I bow submissive at your feet. Enjoy your victory with moderation, and as you are stout, be merciful. You may partly guess what the sacrifice has cost me. You have not only vanquished love, and ardent, passionate, yet tender anxiety to possess you; but you have overcome my fixed principles of conduct and compelled me (according to my ideas) to risk our happiness, by protracting courtship; the whims and caprices I mean are those little peculiarities of habit, which can only be known to us by the close contact of matrimony. All the courtship in the world will never teach them. What the conquest has cost you, you do not know. If love had a triumph over reason, reason has, in its turn, gained the advantage of love. I love you certainly less than I did. It is more
T. C. M. and Miss O., and less Mortimer and Glorvina. Yet I hope I have stock enough on hand, to carry us through the vale of years. “Such as you are,” you are necessary to my happiness, so I must e’en marry you, yoursensible menand all. I hope and trust all unpleasant discussion is over between us. Burn my “eloquence” that it may not rise in judgment against me, and if you can, forget the ungenerous reveries in which I have indulged. You must, I hope feel, that in spite of my nonsense, I am ready to sacrifice every feeling of self to your happiness. I do not wish me faire valoir, but you cannot conceive the convulsive throes of my mind, even now, at trusting my hopes into your possession. If you had asked Clarke,
he would have told you in what funds my little all lies. My long annuity stands in my own name; my wife’s settlement is vested in the Three per Cents., in the names (I think) of George Hammond, Anthony H. John Buckshaw and Francis Const, the trustees to the settlement. So ma’am you are accountable to no one on earth but me. Oh, that I could now kiss my thanks to you for the sweet avowal; prepare to find in me a rigid accountant, demanding the long arrear of love you owe me, and one who will not let you off “till you have paid the uttermost farthing.” Thank your sister for her note, she, too, shall love me; kiss her for me.

Miss Owenson to T. C. Morgan.
Great George’s Street, Dublin,
December, 29, 1811.

Packing to be off, you quiz! Don’t grumble at this scrap, but down on your knees and thank God you get a line. I am all hurry and confusion, and my spirits sad, sad, and sometimes hysterically high; how much I must love you to act as I am acting! I shall write to-morrow; but not after. Oh, Morgan! give me all your love, tenderness, comfort and support—in five short days I am yours for ever. My poor father—do write to him—flatter him beyond everything on the score of his little

S. O.