July 1750 [3]

14. Mercy “Cleora” Doddridge, [St. Albans], to Mary “Roselinda” Doddridge, [Northampton], undated [July 1750]. [f. 53]

To Thee my Friend my Dearest best Delight

In fond Epistles I could ever write

For scence our absence and your Love I knew

My kindest thoughts have all been turnd on you.

My dear Rosalinda may perhaps wonder at my addressing her in verse a thing so uncomon but as I could find no words that could better express my thought I determind to make use of these & as I know you have no aversion to verse I flatter my self you will think them as scensere as if thay had not been in rime & if I ware capable of thanking my Roselinda as I could wish for her Charming Letters or of expresssing my Friendship for her in a manner answerable to it I might with the Justest proprity say in fond Epistles I could ever write, but tho I must disspare of this, yet I flatter my [self] that senserity can with you my Dear make up the want of polite adress and if so neither my Friendship nor best thanks for your last Letter will be unacceptable to my Dear Roselinda,

I cant but think myself very much oblig’d to you my Dear for the Friendly impatience you was pleas’d to express to hear from me & indeed nothing could give me greater satisfaction then to hear that my Letter was in the least agreeable to you & that after such long expectation it did not intirly disapoint your wishes indeed my Dear your approbation of any thing I doe tho I must think you partial does & ever will give me the most scensire pleasure for how agreeable so ever my present situation neither this nor any other can ever make me forgetfull to doe my utmost indeavours to gain the approbation & deserve the favourable opinion of my Northampton Friends & which if I can obtain I shall think myself very happy & I ashure you my Dear that I consider the Friendship of my Dear Roselinda as no inconsiderable part of that happiness but my Dear before we goe any farther for I am indeed in greate fright & fears pray my Dear doe you alown see my Letters or does not my Pappa but I may answer my[self] for by one pasage in your post script it seems too probable to me, but then I think again no, my Roselinda would not expose me so as to show my nonsensical ^scribling^ to my Pappa but suppose Pappa asks to see them it must be alow’d that is a very reasonable & I ought to think a very obliging request for be shure Pappas doe condesend or at least Daughters ought to think so when thay vouchsafe to read thair Letters (you may be sure I did not intend that Pappa should see this Letter) but yet what must I doe in this case is very dificult for me to determining I acknowledge it is very reasonable that if my Pappa desires it he should see my Letters & it was to be a Favour of him to indulge me so far as to let me write to you without seeing my Letters would not this seem to[o] intimat[e] to Pappa that what I write is what I ought not to write or else might Pappa say if this was not the case what could one Sister have to say to the other which the Pappa might be desird not to see this my Dear you see would be bringing me under an unjust suspition, as this raly is not the Thing but the thoughts of my Pappas seing my Letters lays a restraint upon me while I am writing to my Dear Rosalinda as I can not overcome nor chat to you with half that freedom as if I was left quit[e] by our selves for indeed my dear I look on writing to you in the same light as the contuniation [continuation] of those Friendly Chats which we bouth or at lest I was usd to be so fond of now my Dear if you take my writing to you in this light which I for my part think a very just one you know that when we was alone we could speek to each other with the greatest freedom but if Pappa was in the room farewell that intended chat for that time as we must bid adue to that freedom which the thoughts of being alown & nothing ^but^ the thoughts of being alone can inspire & tho prehaps we say nothing that if any other person had chanced to have heard it would have singefied nothing to either them or us yet if that same person had been in the room we had not said those things now my Dear you must [know] that I consider my Pappa seeing my letters to you as the same thing as being preasent at our chat which as I have hinted at above it would take away all that friendly confidence which in my opinon constitutes the sweets of Friendship so I find on my part (not on yours I hope my Dear) that in writing it must take away [from] this Delightfull part of mutial Friendship or indeed when I am writing I cant doe it with half that freedom & consequently with half that pleasure as when you my Dear alown was to see my letter for tho I know my Pappas goodness & readiness to excuse many faults which does & will ever atend them yet thair is something I know not what that has a strange influence over me & I know not how to write it, it is not that if my Pappa will laugh at them this I expect & Pappa is very welcome to laugh at me, if he pleases, no my Dear it is not this but what? I before said that it takes away that freedom which is so valuable to me if it had not been for this my Dear you had sertanly would have had at last what you so much desird a Discription of my present situation but that thought that prehaps Pappa would ask to see my letter has spread a Cloud of impenitrable ^darkness^ over the rising sun of my immagination & the horison which to seek Truth was not befor very ^bright^ is now ought but clouds & darkness we know that thair is no discribing prospects in the dark, especialy as mine when ever it comes must be a very true one [which] for a metephor if this does not make you laugh it [is] not in my power to say what will, & I bleive a good laugh is better than any discription if ever it comes which ^it^ will, ^not^ except Pappa will indulge so far as to let me write to you without what I have so often above [said] but I dont chuse to petition Pappa for this favour least he should ask me unreasonable as well as for the reasom be^fore^ mentiond so my Dear [I’m] afraid I must tho’ very much to my mortifycation be oblig’d to shorten my letters very much for if Pappa sees them the less thair is of them the better but I have scarch [scarce] left my self room to beg you will be so good as to give my Dear Pappa & Mamma with my best wishes for the Health & Happiness of them both may the same ever atend my Dear Rosalinda is the most ardont wish of her who is & ever will be with an unalterable affection

Your Cleora

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Note on first page: “No 7”