Letter from Polly Parsons to Betsey Baldwin
Address: Miss Betsey Baldwin, Brookfield, Favour'd by Danl Babbit
Reverse: Letters from my dear friend Polly Parsons Gloucester
January 31st 1787
Almost two long months had elaps'd without my receiving a single line from Eliza. & I had again began to conclude that some more engaging acquaintance had banish'd from her bosom, every tender sentiment for Maria at last. when I had been so often disappointed as to become inured to it -- a letter came. I expected it not, and open'd it with composure. -- but when I read the kind, the affectionate contents every disagreeable thought vanish'd & I was again the lively the pleas'd Maria. will you, my dear Eliza, when you know how much it is in your power to conduce to my happiness, suffer your pen to lie dormant? no. -- it would not be like yourself to. -- the heart that dictates this, sincerely thanks you for your letter -- how was it dilated at those kind expressions of esteem -- ! how soothing a thing is praise from those we love! whether conscious or not of deserving it, it cannot but give us great delight, those stand high in the opinion of those, whose favour we are ambitious to cultivate. -- but I will comply with your request and inform you of what we are doing here.
Nancy came home, week before last, to my very great joy. On Monday last Mr. F S-- came to invite us to make one of a party to Channels 6 miles from here. We consented to go in the [?Pell] [?setout], it was fine sleighing & we had a very agreeable time. There was about a dozen Ladies -- we danc'd out the Eve. [safe'd] & Return'd home arriv'd safely about 12 OClock. I should have passed my time exceeding agreeably if a certain Gent. whom I must confess I have to reason to dislike had not been so officious. -- but not a word more of him. Mr. Toby was very polite. I like him much better than I us'd too. last Eve Nancy & I was at singing school & this said Gentleman waited on us home, came in stay'd an hour perhaps, ask'd us to take a ride this Eve, &c &c &c -- dear Betsey let me go warm my poor fingers.
February 1st, Thursday
Again I return to my favorite amusement. Yesterday Polly & I spent at Capt. Pearsons. & I will tell you a [??] of news. Betsey is published! & I guess will be married the week after next. are you not surpriz'd? I was. as I did not imagine she would enter the matrimonial state till Spring. sincerely do I wish her happiness in it. Charles is an openhearted cleaver fellow but he has one very great vice, useing bad language! a very great one indeed. did any person know how odious it made them appear [to] the serious, & those of any character, they certainly would leave it of. even from worldly motives, but [??] my dear Eliza what an account they must give at the great day of retribution to their Maker & Judge! dreadful to think of -- but I will now quit this subject and attempt answering your favour. I am very sorry to think by my inadvertance I rais'd your curiosity in my last but 2. -- your generous sincere your kind wishes to console with your Maria anything that might grieve her will ever be remember'd with gratitude. -- indeed, Eliza, I am not at liberty to tell now what it was that pain'd me -- but this I will say, that it concerns not me, only as I was something disappointed in my opinion [??] who will ever have my good wishes. I was sorry afterwards I said anything about it -- but my head was so full of it when I wrote that I could not restrain my pen. -- when I am so happy as to see you, I can tell you every thing you wish to know. in the mean time do not accuse me of reserve I will be as open & frank as you wish me to be. --
I have too often repeated my wishes to see Brookfield to leave you in
any doubt how rejoic'd I should be could I be so happy -- but I fear it
will be a long time first -- but I will still hope. Mr. Coffin talks of
going on horseback soon buy a Sleigh there & return with Polly. so
poor I must give up my flattering hopes. -- well -- but your letters will
soften the tedious moments of absence. The [?disappointed] heart not given
up to despair