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Robert Campbell Esq.
Philadelphia June 4, 1838
When I tell you that I write from a deserted hall, you must not associate with these words the idea of a feasting chamber, deserted by its gay guests unless you choose to fancy the banquet to be one of knowledge the guests to be Miss Hawkes' scholars and the furniture of the feasting chamber red desks & red chairs. A holiday is the cause of the desertion a very agreeable one certainly, although it is employed in your service, Lester has left me and gone 'solems morem, to Virginia now.
A most miraculous event took place yesterday. Miss Hawkes opened her heart so far as to let us go and spend the Sabbath at cousin Mary's. I was in raptures, you may well imagine - went twice to Dr. Ging's church where we saw several screaming infants
[Pg. Break] christened. Dr. Ging as usual preached a very fine sermon on the law of nature that from the most trifling [spelled triffling] circumstances the most important events happen. Yes indeed I agree with him, from a formal introduction how many are ensnared into matrimonial fetters. You did not think I was half so profane now did you, would that I could erase the foregoing observations.
For the first time I have made Shakespeare the amusement of all the leisure moments, I have for reading, the poetry I of course think very fine though I am not so pedantic as to think myself any critic. My own feelings tell me however that it is in some parts no book calculated to preserve a young lady's delicacy, but you remember it was written in an age not very refined.
You are probably out of patience with me for not coming immediately to the point I presume you are most desirous I should.
You are desirous I perceive and extremely so that two persons should in a word and in one sense become unity. I am sure that Ma will never never consent to any such measures, even I myself do not desire it. Every time I consider the ________ [left blank in letter]
[Pg. Break] I come to the conclusion that at eighteen years old a girl is too young to marry - I trust you will agree with me. I am sure you will if I can persuade you in an unbiased manner to regard it.
We are much obliged to you for your intimations of accompanying us wherever we go this summer, it is decided that we will neither remain in Philadelphia or go to Wilmington, but spend the summer with our friends in Richmond whom we have not stayed [spelled staid] at all with for five years. I presume with reason too that we shall enjoy ourselves beyond measure.
Mrs. Larkin's has been up to the city, we have seen her several times, she has in some way heard the summer of our engagement and her last word was that she hoped she would soon see me in St. Louis. If you see her there I trust you will forget entirely that such a being is in existence and do not blush I beg of you one would never have suspected that you were a straw dearer to me than any other gentleman from the manner I received her salutes on the occasion, you know I can be very stiff sometimes.
Yours most devotedly,
[Pg. Break, side of first page] My lecture is to come last. You always send some message to all the girls excluding Bessie, to me such neglect implies a want of affection to her, and though Maggie is related to me I love Bessie much more.
[Pg. Break, side of third page] Cousin Mary intends starting for Richmond on Wednesday - but I will save you the detail of arrangements a lady makes on such an occasion.