Victorian London - Publications - Etiquette and Advice Manuals - The Ladies' and Gentleman's Model Letter Writer, c.1870s (1)

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A Complete Guide to




Invitation to a Dinner Party.

    Mr. and Mrs. G. request the pleasure of Mrs. P.'s company at dinner on Thursday, the 19th of December, at six o'clock.
    Riversham Park, December 10th.

Declining the Same.

    Mrs. P. regrets extremely that a prior engagement will prevent her having the pleasure of dining with Mr. and Mrs. G. on the 19th December.
    31, Russell Square, December 11th.


    Mrs. P. has much pleasure in accepting Mr. and Mrs. G's invitation to dinner on the 19th of December.
    31, Russell Square, December 11th.

Invitation to a Dinner Party

    Will you favour us with your company at dinner on Tuesday next? It will be quite a family [-2-] gathering, but Edward and I should not consider it complete without your presence. I will take no denial.
        Believe me,
            Yours sincerely,
                HANNAH DELMAR
    Judd Street, June 9th.

The Same

    Come and dine with us on Thursday next, to meet a few old and valued friends, whose names I shall not here mention, but I assure you it will give you great pleasure to see them. Pray let me have a favourable reply, and
        Believe me,
            Yours ever sincerely,
                LUCY GORDON
    The Elms, Hornsey, June 4th.

From one Lady to another, regretting not being at home when she called, and inviting her to Dine at a short notice.

Blessington, 18th July 18末

    I am quite sorry to have missed seeing you to末day when you called, but my sister and I were gone out for a very long walk. We were afraid you were from home from not seeing any of your party at church yesterday. We meant, had you been there, to have tried to persuade you and your husband (or Mrs. 末) to dine with us tomorrow. Will you excuse this very short notice, and give us the pleasure of your company? The dinner hour is half-past six. Do [-3-] not trouble yourself to send with an answer; we will send to you for it in the course of the day.
    With kind love to your daughters,
        Yours ever sincerely,

Crowhurst, July 18th, 18末

    We shall be delighted to accept your kind invitation for to-morrow. It seems an age since we have met! We were unable to go to church yesterday in consequence of a slight accident happening to one of the children just as we were about to start.
    Believe me,    
        With love to all,
            Yours very truly,

Invitation to Dinner

    Will you give Mr. D. and myself the pleasure of your company at dinner to-morrow at half-past seven.
    Yours truly,


    I shall have much pleasure in dining with you to-morrow at half-past seven.
        Yours very truly,


Invitations to Evening Parties

    Mrs. D. requests the pleasure of Mr. C.'s company to-morrow evening, half-past nine.
    Romney Lodge, January 4th.

An Invitation to an Evening Party

    Mrs. Napwith requests the pleasure of Captain, Mrs. Frodsham, and family's company to a small evening party, on Friday, the 18th September, 187末. Eight o'clock.
    Music and cards.
    4. St. Dominic Place, E.C.

A very friendly Invitation.

    We purpose having a small party for music and cards next Thursday, and hope that you, your husband, and the dear girls will join us. If you can favour us with your company, please ask the young ladies to bring their music, and do not be later than eight o'clock.
    We unite in kindest love to you all.
        Believe me,
            Most affectionately yours,



    We shall have much pleasure in accepting your kind invitation for Thursday next.
Edith desires me to give you her love, and to say that she is delighted at the prospect of a musical evening; she will bring all your favourite song, and do her best to sing them.
    With our united best regards,
            Believe me,
            Yours affectionately,

Invitation to a Juvenile Party

George Street, December 4th.

    Will you allow your little girls to join a juvenile party at our house, at five o'clock, on the 7th instant? It is Selina's birthday, and I have invited a few of her friends to keep it with her.
    I have named an early hour, as I do not like late hours for little folks.
    With kind regards,
            Believe me,
                Yours sincerely,
                    MARIA GRAY

Answer accepting.

    I feel much pleasure in accepting your kind invitation for my little girls, particularly as you have [-6-] named an early hour. I have hitherto refused all invitations for them on account of the late hours of juvenile parties in the present day, which I consider very injurious to children.
    With many thanks,
        Believe me,
            Yours very sincerely,
                MARIA GIBSON


John Street, December 4th, 18末

    Thanks for your kind invitation to my little ones. I should not hesitate to accept it if they were quite well, but Sarah has a very bad cold and sore throat : and as our doctor has some fear that she is showing symptoms of measles, I am compelled to decline it.
    I hope Selina may enjoy her birthday party. Kiss her for me, and wish her many happy returns of the day.
    Ever yours very truly,

Invitation to a Musical Soire

    I am anxious to obtain your assistance at a Musical Soir馥 which I intend to give next Thursday week. Will you join my musicians? Bring your best music, for without flattery, you play with much [-7-] taste and feeling. Amongst other pieces do not forget the one from "Il Trovatore," which you know is a particular favourite of mine.
    Your ever sincere friend,

Accepting the same

    I have much pleasure in accepting your invitation to a Musical Soir馥, next Thursday week; but at the same time I feel rather shy about playing at it, knowing what good players nearly all your musical friends are.
    Trusting you will not doubt my willingness to do the utmost in my power to oblige you.
        Believe me (with many thanks),
            Yours very sincerely,
                ANNA FERGUSSON.

Invitation to a Pic末nic.

Pinner, August 9th.

    Before leaving our delightful summer lodgings, we are desirous of getting up a Pic末nic party for our young people, and the many kind friends whom they have met during our stay here.
    Should the weather be favourable, next Tuesday is the day we were fixed upon for the excursion, and I shall be delighted if yourself, and your two dear girls, will join us in our merry末making.
    It is strictly to be a gipsy party, and you will oblige me by coming in a suitable dress 末 i.e., prepared for [-8-] rambling in lanes and getting over hedges and ditches; to be rewarded by some lovely views, besides affording the gentlemen opportunities of showing their gallantry and good nature in helping the ladies.
    I will send the Pic末nic omnibus round for you at 末 o'clock, as our house is to be the starting point.
        By sending an early reply you will oblige,
            Yours most sincerely,
                ROSA DUNCAN


Pinner, August 9th.

    I am most happy to accept your invitation for myself and my daughters on Tuesday next. Lucy and Mary are delighted to go. Of all parties, a Pic末nic is that which they most thoroughly enjoy; for, as they say, all formality is set aside on such occasions, and in the face of nature one feels free as air and dares be natural, which, in the present state of society, is rather difficult.
    I have a favour to ask 末 it is that you will permit me to bring a little contribution to the rural repast, which you are preparing. Our garden is well stocked with fruit, and by allowing me to supply the dessert you will greatly oblige
    Your sincere friend,

Declining, owing to a previous Engagement

Pinner, August 9th.

    I am exceedingly sorry to be obliged to decline your kind invitation for Tuesday next, owing to [-9-] a prior engagement caused by the coming of age of my brother's eldest son, on which occasion the family dine together at his house.
    Hoping the weather will prove favourable for your excursion, and that the young people will be as happy as you could wish.
    Believe me,
        (With king regards, in which my daughters unite)
            Yours very sincerely,
                LAURA STANLEY

Invitation to a Pic末nic

Kildare, August 20th, 18末

    We have a few friends from England staying with us now, and as the country is looking very beautiful and the weather tempting, we propose to have a Pic末nic at 末, on the 24th inst. We have arranged with Mrs. M. 末, and Major and Mrs. C末 as to the means of conveyance; so if you are disengaged and will join us, call here at about 11:30. We have a vacant seat for you in our car.
    Believe me,
        Dear Mr. Paxton,
            Yours truly,
                HARRIET W末

Refusing the Invitation on account of a recent bereavement

Kildare, June 15th, 18末

    I am doomed to disappointment! I was looking forward with great pleasure to joining what [-10-] I am well assured, would have been a most enjoyable Pic末nic, when news came this morning, informing us of the death of Charles B末, my husband's cousin. I have never seen him; but George and he were on most intimate terms : so naturally for some little time we shall be unable to accept any invitation.     Trusting your party may be as successful as you wish, and with our kindest love.
    Believe me,
        Yours very sincerely,
            MARIA B末.

Accompanying a Ticket for a Concert

Ashfield, October 10th.

    Pray accept the enclosed ticket for a concert at the 末 Hall, on the 末th. I am very desirous that you should accompany us, and, knowing your numerous engagements, I send it at once, as it is not probable that I shall be able to bring it to you.
    The concert promises to be superior to any we have had this season, and knowing how much you enjoy good music, I shall feel quite disappointed if you cannot go with us.
    I remain,
        Yours truly,
            ANNE STEVENS.


Bedford Square, October 11th.

    I was delighted to receive your letter and the ticket. I cannot express my thanks for your [-11-] thoughtful kindness. You know my love for music and how seldom an opportunity offers for my gratifying it; even if any engagement had stood in the way, I think I should have been tempted to break it; but as such is not the case, I am impatiently looking forward to a great treat. Hoping to see you soon,
    Believe me,
            With a thousand thanks,
                Your most obliged,
                    MARY DONOVAN.


Bedford Square, October 11th.

    I am very sorry that I cannot have the great pleasure of accepting your kind gift of the concert ticket; but I have a previous engagement for that day from which I know I cannot get excused. You may imagine my disappointment. I return the ticket, as you may like to offer it to some other friend who is happier, in being able to accept it, than
    Your obliged and affectionate

Invitation to a Young Friend.

Ampthill, June 9th.

    A few friends have unexpectedly visited us on their way home from the north, and are going to make a short stay with us. Will you, like a dear kind friend, come and help me to entertain them? You know what a dull place this is, and how dependent we are on each other's society for amuse末[-12-]ment, so do not disappoint me, but come and spend a fortnight with us. You will be charmed with Mrs. S末. Her nephews are elegant and well末informed young men 末 I am sure you will be equally pleased with them.
    Trusting that I may have a favourable answer from you to-morrow.
        Believe me,
            Yours very sincerely,
                JANET MONTROSE.

Answer Accepting.

London, June 10th.

    I hasten to reply to your kind invitation, which reached me this morning. I feel most happy in accepting it, and I will do my best to help you in any way I can. From what I hear of your friends, it will not be a very difficult matter to amuse them, and I expect to derive a great deal of pleasure from my visit.
    Hoping you will excuse a short note (as I have a few preparations to make for my journey),
        Believe me,
            Yours truly obliged,
                KATE HOWARD.

Answer Declining.

London, June 19th.

    I regret that I cannot accept your kind invitation, on account of Emily being laid up with a severe attack of bronchitis, which, of course, keeps me at home. [-13-] I am very sad on my dear sister's account, and very much disappointed at being unable to go to you, as I am very desirous of making the acquaintance of your friends.
    With many thanks for your kind remembrance of me,
        Believe me,
            With kindest love,
                Yours ever sincerely,
                    KATE HOWARD

Answer declining

London, June 10th.

    Many thanks for your kind invitation. I regret that a prior engagement will prevent me from accepting it. Cousin Emmy called here yesterday and made Mamma promise that I should accompany her to Brighton. She seemed so lonely 末 having just parted from Charles for four months 末 that Mamma had not heart to refuse her request that I should stay with her during his absence, and I am as busy as I possibly can be, preparing for a long visit.
    Again thanking you for your kindness,
        Believe me,
            Your affectionate friend,
                KATE HOWARD.

From a Lady inviting her Friend to visit her in the country.

Crossley, February 1st , 18末

    We have now fully made up our mind to leave London for a time, as circumstances have occurred [-14-] which render it necessary for us to reside at Crossley.
    Papa went down the other day to look for a house and has succeeded in finding a very pretty detached one facing the river; there is a lovely view of the hills from the room which he has already selected for you, when you come to see us. As the house is ready末furnished, we shall soon have everything in order, and, in about a fortnight, I hope to see you. There are lovely walks round this place : it is a very pleasant change from London; for, after having been some time in Town, one really longs for country air. Several very old friends of ours reside in the neighbourhood, which will, I hope, make your visit pleasant. I find that very good balls are given here during the winter months, and as we are within easy reach of a large garrison town and dockyard, we may expect to meet some of our Naval and Military friends.
    Capt. 末, of the 末th Volunteers, has just called. You remember him at M末, do you not? He says poor little "Dot" (you remember Charlie P末?) is not expected to live. Is it not sad? I will write again shortly and fix a day for you to come with us.
We went into C末 this morning; there are some very excellent shops; prices are moderate and things fashionable.
    Jane joins me in kindest love to you.
        Believe me,
            Yours very affectionary,



Penge, S.E. February 4th.

    I am very glad to hear that you like your new home so much, and I shall look forward eagerly, I assure you, for my summons.
    I was very sorry indeed to hear of poor little Dot's dangerous illness; he was such a good末natured, kind little fellow, and one of the best dancers I ever met. Pray thank your Mamma and Papa, for their kind invitation.
    I reserve all news till we meet 末 except the announcement that Aunt Jane is going to be married! What do you think of that? She is so good and amiable that I think nobody can deserve her; but I hear that my uncle, that is to be, is a very agreeable, clever excellent man.
    With love to all,
        Believe me,
            Your ever affectionate,

A Lady to a Friend in Town, inviting her to spend a few days with her at the seaside.

Ryde, Isle of Wight, August 18末

    We have a very pleasant recollection of the manner in which you enlivened our pic末nics and water末parties last year, and of our regret when you left us. We are again by the seaside, and, as we have some friends (just returned from France) staying with us, and are planning some excursions by sea for their amusement, we have resolved to send you an [-16-] entreaty to join us at once. Do come, dear Mrs. 末. Captain B末 is here, and has placed one of his ship's boats at our disposal. IF you tear yourself away from London, let us hear from you soon, saying when we shall see you. Mr. H末 desires his kindest regards. With best love,
    Believe me,
        Yours very sincerely,


Montague Place, W.C., August

    I shall have no difficulty in tearing myself away from London just now, I assure you, for all the world is forsaking it, and the squares and great thoroughfares look quite deserted.
    Besides, I think I am very fortunate in receiving such a delightful invitation, for I dearly love the sea, 末 and being with you and your family is one of the greatest pleasures I ever enjoy.
    I will be with you by dinner time on Monday next, and will let you know by what boat I shall arrive as soon as I have a Bradshaw to ascertain at what hours the trains start, and the boats leave, but I could not delay an hour thanking you and accepting your kind invitation.
    Pray give my best remembrances to General H末,
        And believe me,
            Most truly yours,
    P.S. 末 Can I bring anything down to you from London? Do not hesitate to employ me if I can.


Invitation to Archery and Croquet

The Elms, Monday.

    If you, your husband and your daughters are disengaged on Friday 15th, will you give us the pleasure of your company at 3 o'clock? We intend to have Croquet and Archery in the afternoon, and shall number about forty people. You may tell the young ladies that we expect several of the officers of the 末, and as the Col. 末 has promised us six of his band, we hope, in the evening, that we may manage to get up a dance. We intend having tea in a tent, so that we may have the dining末room for dancing. Should you have any friends staying with you, we shall be charmed to see them. Our son Charles has just come home on leave, and that is the reason we are getting up this little gaiety.
    With kind regards,
        Believe me,
            My dear Mrs. W末,
                Yours most sincerely,
                    CAROLINE T末.


Bromley Villa, Tuesday.

    My daughters and myself have great pleasure in accepting your very kind invitation for the 15th inst., and sincerely hope that you may have a fine day for your Croquet and Archery party.
My daughters have a young friend staying with them, whom we shall bring with us, 末 as you so kindly [-18-] give me leave to bring a friend. We are rejoiced to hear of your son's safe return.
With united kind regards to all your circle,
    Believe me,
        My dear Mrs. S末,
            Yours sincerely,
                ANNE F末.

Regretting being unable to accept.

Chitworth House, Tuesday Morning

    Very many thanks for your kind note and invitation for Friday, 15th, which, I am sorry to say, we are unable to accept, as we have this morning heard of the dangerous illness of my husband's mother. My daughters are much disappointed as they would have enjoyed a dance. We congratulate you on upon your son's return; it must be a great pleasure to you all to have him once more in your family circle.
    With kind regards,
        Believe me,    
            My dear Mrs. T末,
                Very sincerely yours,
                    MARY S末.

Invitation to a Friend at the seaside to come and spend some time in the country.

The Elms, August 6th.

    I should be very glad if you could come and spend a month with us; the country is really so lovely during hay末making time, and the evenings so deliciously [-19-] cool, that such an admirer of nature, would, I think, enjoy the change from your wild, rocky scenery to our quiet peaceful valley, and from the roar of the waves to the music of murmuring brooks.
    I expect my brother and sister to spend the autumn with me, and if you can make up your mind to leave home for a short time, they, as well as I, will be delighted with your company. George, who is as merry and mischievous as ever, will, I know, do his utmost to add to your enjoyment, and make your visit a pleasant one.
    With kindest regards to all at home,
        Believe me,
            Your sincere friend,
                ANNIE LEIGHTON.


Hastings, August 7th.

    I shall be delighted to accept your kind invitation. It will be a great treat to pay an inland visit, again, and I always enjoy staying with you very much. I shall also be glad to see my old friends again, and to have a laugh with George.
    Please excuse a short note, as I am going out with a friend, and she is waiting for me, but I would not delay a post in acknowledging your kindness.
    With love from us all to you and yours,
        I am ever,
            Your obliged
                Young friend,



Hastings, August 7th.

    Thank you very much for so kindly inviting me to stay with you, but, alas! I cannot have the great pleasure of going to you. My dearest mother is very ill, and I cannot leave her; you see I have a double cause for regret, my disappointment having such a sad cause.
    I wish indeed that I could see your lovely place, and have a laugh with George.
    Pray remember me to him, and give my best love to your sister, when you see her.
    My invalid requires all my time. Please, therefore, excuse a very hurried note, and
        Believe me,
            Your disappointed, but affectionate


The Elms, August 8th.

    I am truly sorry for the cause of our disappointment. Pray let me hear how the dear invalid is, whenever you have a moment to spare.
    We unite in love and affectionate sympathy to you.
        Your sincere friend,
            ANNIE LEIGHTON.

Invitation to a Wedding.

London, May 15th, 18末

    We have fixed on the twelfth of June for our marriage. Arthur says he shall call it the proudest day [-21-] of his life, and knowing our attachment, you will not be surprised when I say that I gladly look forward to it. Still, on the dawn of this new life, a lingering love for my old home, where I have experienced so much happiness, causes some natural regrets. To leave all I have cherished of old, and to cling to one only in the future, at times, saddens me; but in the hope of making Arthur's happiness, I feel more reconciled to the change.
    The purport of my letter I must not forget, which is to beg that you will favour us with your presence at the ceremony.
    By sending an early reply, and that a favourable one, you will confer the greatest favour on
        Your loving friend,
            FLORENCE DARLIN.

Answer accepting.

Hornsey, May 15th

    Most gladly do I accept your invitation to your wedding on the 12th June, which day I earnestly hope and pray, will date at the era of many, many happy years for you, attended with every blessing. If my short acquaintance with Mr. C末 justifies me in forming an opinion of him, I may say that I think him a most estimable, frank, and warm末hearted man, and one to whom I could safely intrust the future of my old companion, were I to decide what should be her fate; being spared that responsibility, I still mean to sanction the act by being present at the ceremony. Until then adieu, and with warmest love believe me,
    Yours very affectionately,


Declining through absence.

Hornsey, May 15th, 187末

    Imagine my disappointment when I received your letter and invitation to your wedding. I was in the midst of packing, I much fear for a prolonged absence from home, the sudden indisposition of Edward's aged uncle obliging us to start immediately for Paris. Knowing his helpless condition when these attacks come on, and what a happiness and comfort dear Edward's society ever is to him, I could not refuse to accompany my dear husband. You know me well, dear Florence, and I need not say how much my thoughts will be with you on that day of all days; for you the beginning of a new life, the casting in your lot with another's. I can well understand and sympathize with your natural anxiety.
    That your trusting heart may not be disappointed, and that you may both be as happy in your wedded life as I have been, is the earnest prayer of
    Your sincere and loving friend,

An invitation from a Lady recently married.

Harrow, August 10th.

    I have now been married six months, and not one little visit hae you paid me yet! Do come and spend a fortnight with us, that you may see how happy we are. I am as happy as the days are long, and one look at dear Willie's face will satisfy you as [-23-] to his contentment. He is the best and dearest of husbands, grants all my wishes, and loves me as foolishly as ever.
    Our house is not a mansion, but happiness is not always found in splendid dwellings. I will not describe our little snuggery, as I wish you to come and judge for yourself if I have not every cause to be a happy woman. I have been so spoilt lately that I cannot bear a disappointment; so do not refuse my request. Hoping that you will come very soon (and with best love),
    Believe me,
        Your affectionate old friend,
            MILLY LE BRETON.

Answer accepting

London, August 11th.

    Your first disappointment shall not come from me. I shall be delighted to accept your kind invitation, and if you can receive me next Monday, you may expect me by the seven o'clock train from 末. I suppose I can get a cab at the station?
    I shall be happy in seeing your happiness, and therefore look forward to a delightful visit.
    How we shall gossip when we are together again! I shall keep all news till we meet; then I expect you will be tired of my chattering.
    Give my best regards to your husband, and
        Believe me,
            Your most affectionate friend,



Harrow, August 12th.

    Just a line to say that Monday will suit delightfully. Our little country station does not boast of cabs, but Willie will meet you and bring you to me.
    I am so happy at the prospect of seeing you.
        Your ever affectionate

From one Lady to another, regretting that she cannot accept an Invitation for herself and guests.

Highfield, January 3rd, 187末

    Many thanks for your kind invitation to ourselves and our visitors. I am very sorry we cannot have the pleasure of accepting it, as on Wednesday we are expecting 末 and his wife here. My sister begs to be especially remembered to you, and baby sends love and kisses to all. I was very vexed to find we had missed you, when we returned from our walk the other day and found you had called. With our united kindest regards,
    Believe me,
        Yours very truly,

From a Lady declining an Invitation on account of a prior Engagement.

Beauchamp Lodge, March 14th, 187末

    We regret very much that we are engaged for Saturday next, and are therefore unable to accept your kind invitation. With kind regards,
    Believe me, yours very truly,
        ELLEN KEANE.


A Letter inviting a Young Lady to become a Bridesmaid.

Roehampton, October 12th, 187末

    For many days, we have been endeavouring to call upon you, but have been kept prisoners by the number of friends calling to congratulate us on Harriet's approaching wedding. The day is now fixed, 末 Tuesday, the 23rd February 末 and we all wish you to act as one of the bridesmaids. If you do not object to the colours, we thought of asking the bridesmaids to wear very light tarlatan dresses, trimmed with blue. Would you mind calling to-morrow about luncheon time 末 we shall be so glad to see you, 末 and I could then show you the exact colour and material we mean.
    William is an excellent, good末natured creature; we think that Harriet will be very happy with him, for he has no thought for self; all his care appears to be how he can render "Harrie," as he calls her, happy. Mamma joins us all in kindest love; pray come if you can.
    Believe me,
        Yours very affectionately,

Letter enclosing tickets for a theatrical performance.

London, January 187末

    This morning a friend of mine called with four tickets for stalls at the 末 Theatre. We have all seen the play now acting there, and as I think your young people might like to go, I inclose them to you with our best love,
    Believe me,
        Yours affectionately,
            ROSA GLOVER.


Accepting tickets with thanks.

London, January, 187末

    You are indeed very kind! The tickets you have sent us could not have come at a better time. Jane's two daughters have just come up from Croydon for the day, and will greatly enjoy going to the Theatre with my daughter and myself. Thanking you for your great kindness,
    Believe me,
        Yours very sincerely,
            ALICE FREEMAN.

Congratulating a Lady on her birthday, and sending a Present.

末 Square, January 21st, 187末

    to-morrow being your birthday I send you a trifling gift, which I hope you will accept, as a token of my affection for you; I wish it were more worthy your acceptance, and hope you may have many happy returns of the day. Let me hear if you receive the parcel safely. With kindest love and good wishes, 
    I am,
        Ever your affectionate friend,
            M. T. I


    Accept my best wishes for many happy returns of your birthday, and also the accompanying trifle as a mark of my sincere affection.
        Yours sincerely,


Acknowledging Letter and Present. 

Broadstairs, Kent, June 4th

    Very many thanks for your kind note, and for the lovely little case you have so kindly sent to me. I shall always value it and keep it for your sake. How good it was of you to remember my birthday when you have so many other things to think about at the present time. I shall hope soon to be in town and shall then come and thank you in person. Nellie joins me in kindest love to all your circle, and
    Ever believe me,
        Your affectionate friend,

Accompanying a Present.

Camden Town, June 8th.

    Accept this little token of love and esteem from an old friend. It is but a small proof of my affection, which words are not needed to express, for I am well aware that you know me ever to be
    Your true and loving friend,

Thanking for the same.

 Camden Town, June 8th.

    How can I thank you sufficiently for your magnificent gift, you dear kind friend? You quite Load me with kindnesses; no proof of your friendship [-28-] was wanting to assure me of your esteem and friendship, which I hope I shall always deserve.
    Thanking you from my heart,
        Believe me,
            Yours most affectionately,
                MARY LESLIE.

Another, accompanying a Present.

Islington, July 6th.

    Many happy returns of the day! So fearful was I lest it should have escaped your memory, that I thought I would send you this little trinket by way of reminder. I beg you to accept it and wear it for the sake of the giver.
    With love and best wishes,
        Believe me ever,
            Your sincere friend,
                CAROLINE RICHARDSON.

Thanking for same.

Islington, July 7th.

    I am very much obliged to you for the handsome bracelet you have sent me. How kind and thoughtful it was of you to remember me on my birthday. I am sure I have every cause to bless the day, and did I forget it I have many kind friends to remind me of it. Again thanking you for your present (which is far too beautiful for me), and also for your kind wishes,
    Believe me,
        Your most grateful
            NELLY SULLIVAN.


Accompanying a basket of fruit to an Invalid.

 The Grove, Sept. 7th.

    Allow me to offer for your acceptance this small basket of fruit and flowers. I have not the honour of your acquaintance, but I trust my sympathy in your sufferings may excuse this intrusion of a stranger.
    I remain, &c.,

Letter to a Lady, on hearing accidentally that she is married.

 Beerhampton, April, 187末 

    Accept my sincere congratulations on your marriage. I felt at first inclined to be a little cross, at your having kept us (your old friends) in such total ignorance of your engagement to Mr. B. Why did you not let us know that you were married? We beard of it by the merest accident. We know your husband well, and if any man can be worthy of one so truly excellent as yourself, we believe he is the person. From our knowledge of him we believe that you have every prospect of being a very happy woman, and this assurance gives us true pleasure.
    With every wish for your happiness from us all.
        Believe me,
            Most affectionately yours,


Young Lady to her Mother, informing her of a Proposal.

 Hastings, October, 187末 

    I have very wonderful tidings to communicate to you! Yesterday Mr. C., of whom we have seen a great deal since I came to my aunt's, joined me on the Esplanade (where I was walking with only aunty's little dog Fido with me), and after a little unimportant conversation, suddenly proposed to me! I was very much astonished, for I had not an idea that he cared for me. I have referred him to you, as of course I cannot decide without your advice and approval. But, dearest Mamma, I like him very much better than any one whom I have ever seen, and if you would not think it imprudent of us to marry on his small income, I think I could be very happy with him.
    I do not think that riches confer happiness, and I should be content, myself, to share his moderate means and struggle to get on with him, hoping for better days to come 末 in a pecuniary sense I mean.
    He is a very religious man, Mamma; and very good tempered. I could trust him fully, and look up to him as a guide and adviser.
    My aunt knew that he intended to make me an offer, and says, that she thinks I "might do worse," which is warm approval from her.
    Pray, dearest mother, let me hear from you by return of post. I cannot help feeling restless till this affair is settled.
    Ever your loving
        And obedient child,


Announcing an Engagement.

Southsea, April 9th.

    You were quite correct in your guess. It is indeed something serious that has delayed my answering your last letter, and I count on your congratulations when I inform you of the cause. It is my engagement to Mr. N.
    I do not think you will be very much surprised, as you have long known his partiality for me, and I do not hesitate to own that I am much attached to him. But "the course of true love never did run smooth," and there were so many obstacles to his marrying that he would not ask me to enter into any engagement till they were removed.
    Come soon to see me, as I wish to talk to you of another event which is not very far distant. I must now wish you good-bye, and with kind regards to all, and dear love to yourself
    Believe me,
        Yours faithfully,
            LIZZIE GRAINGER.

Answer to a Proposal.

London, September 4th.

    I was very much surprised by your letter, hand I will add, much pleased at being the object of your preference. I am fully sensible that it is the greatest compliment you could pay me.
    I have had frequent opportunities of learning your worth, and must candidly admit that I both like and esteem you.
    But an engagement is a very serious affair, and I [-32-] am sure that I may safely appeal to your generosity for time to give the matter due consideration, especially as I do not feel at liberty to give a decisive answer without previously consulting my relatives. Trusting that you wiIl see the propriety of my request,
    I remain,
        Yours very sincerely,
            JANE ANDREWS.

Unfavourable Answer.

London, September 4t

    I was both surprised and sorry on receiving your letter, as I do not think I have ever by word or deed given you any encouragement which could induce you to make me an offer, and末deeply as I feel honoured by your preference末reasons which I am not at liberty to explain, prevent my entertaining a thought of a more intimate acquaintance.
    Trusting you will banish me from your memory, or think only of me as a sincere friend, I remain, with sincerest wishes for your future happiness and welfare,
    Yours truly,


The Oaks, March 9.

    I feel much flattered by your proposal, and if my father makes no objection to you; I shall esteem myself happy in having secured the affection of so good a man. 
    [-33-] Pray excuse the shortness of this letter ; it is the most awkward one I ever had to write末but I have good cause to know that you will pardon the shortcomings of
    Yours sincerely,

Answer to a proposal.

Belvoir Terrace April 1, 18末.

    Your letter was a surprise, although our long and affectionate friendship, and the many proofs you have given of tender care for me, ought to have prepared me for it. But it was a very happy surprise too, Charlie. I do not doubt you have a shrewd guess that I care a wee bit for my old friend; indeed I should be very ungrateful if I did not.
    You must speak to my father and mother on the subject. That they may consent to our union is the sincere wish of
    Your very sincerely attached,


London, April 5th, 18末.

    I scarcely know how to reply to your letter or to express what I feel at finding that you have given me your affection. I am not worthy of you in any way, but if you really think that I could make you happy. I will gladly try my best to do so.
    Of course my consent to your proposal must now de-[-34-]pend on that of my father, to whom pray apply at once. I have prepared him for your letter.
    Believe me,
        Very truly yours,

On same subject.

London, September 4th.

    I acknowledge with much gratitude your very flattering letter, which has nevertheless given me great pain.
    It is not possible for me to accept your proposal, and my esteem and respect for you make me feel sincerely sorry to wound you by a rejection.
    Forgive me that I cannot love you as you deserve to be loved, and try to forget that you have honoured me by your choice.
    Believe me,
        Dear Sir,
            Your obliged and obedient,

Refusing a proposal.

London, August 5th.

    My father has placed your letter to him in my hands, and desired me to answer the flattering proposal which it contains. It is with profound regret that I obey him; for I cannot末unhappily末respond to the feelings you are good enough to entertain for me.
    As a friend I shall ever like and esteem you, but I cannot feel for you the love which alone can make married life happy.
[-35-] Allow me, however, to thank you very heartily fox the great compliment that you have paid me, and to entreat your forgiveness if anything in my manner has unconsciously given rise to the hopes I am obliged to disappoint. 
    You will doubtless meet with some far worthier object by-and-by on whom to bestow your affections. That such may be the case is the sincere prayer of
    Your obliged friend,
        L. M.


The Ferns, January 1st.

    Allow me to express my grateful sense of the great honour you have done me in asking me to be your wife. It is with extreme regret that I feel myself compelled to decline your proposal. I have the greatest esteem and regard for you, but I cannot feel the affection which a wife should possess for her husband towards yourself.
    I write with much sorrow; and I trust that at some future time, when you have a little forgotten any possible pain which I may now give you, that you will renew your former friendship with,
        Dear Sir,
   Your obliged and sincere friend,

From a Lady to her Betrothed, who has not written to her.

Elm Grove, November 13th.

    It is more than a month since you wrote to me. Are you ill? or what causes your silence? I [-36-] have thought lately also that your letters were constrained and cold, as well as few and far between. Has your affection for me changed? If so, speak frankly to me, dear John. I would not for the world hold you to your promise to me, if you desired to be released from it.
    Write to me immediately, and answer me truly.
        I am, ever,
            Yours affectionately,

From a Lady to her Lover, whom she suspects of inconstancy.

Havant, November 4th.

I had a visit yesterday from my old friend Mrs. C末  She is, you know, ignorant of my engagement to you. In the course of conversation she told me that you are at S末, and that you were flirting with Sophy Grey! Is this truth, or idle invention? If it be really the case, no words would be sufficiently strong to express my contempt for you. Is it right for a man to win a woman's affection only to disappoint her at last? Your own heart (that is, if not very materially changed) will answer, No! Write immediately to me, then, and dispel my anxieties, for they are almost more than I can at present bear. I demand the truth from you, which every honourable-minded man is bound to render to the woman whose affections he has gained.
    Your very unhappy,


Fixing Wedding-day.

Cornwall Gardens, August 8th.

    If the 16th of this month will suit your plans, I shall be ready on it to take the final vows which will bind me to obedience for the future. Will you be a very severe "lord and master ?"
    Ah! I know what you will say! Only keep your promises, dearest, as faithfully as I intend to keep mine, and we shall be very happy together. But we must both ask God's assistance for the performance of our new duties, or we may fail lamentably.
    I am a little nervous, and half sad, half happy. Come soon, and soothe
        Your anxious and affectionate,

Postponing Wedding末day.

Canterbury Terrace, June 14th.

    In reply to your most affectionate letter, 1 am compelled to ask you for a little further delay. I have always promised Janet Gordon that she should be my bridesmaid, and she cannot be in England for another fortnight. Will you wait, dear? I should be so much obliged to you if you would; and I trust it is the very last disappointment that I shall ever inflict on you.
    My dearest John,
        Believe me ever
            Your faithfully attached,


Young Woman's reply to her Lover's (a Sailor) Letter.

Vere Street, January 29th, 187末

    With what pleasure I received your loving and truly welcome letter, no one in the world can tell but myself. Ah, dear William (my mother says that I may call you so now), nothing in the world shall ever make me break my promise to you when you sailed from Chatham. Heavy hearts we had both of us末had we not? and sad enough have I been since you left. Young H末, the son of John H末, the pawnbroker, has been for the last few weeks trying to persuade me to walk with him, but I steadily refuse. Knowing how true you are to me, I will, like a sailor's intended wife, be "true blue" too. He writes to me and says that perhaps you will never return, or that you will marry abroad. I do not answer him, but hope and trust you may return safely. As for your marrying another, I know you are too good a man to break a girl's heart. I only hope, dear, your ship will soon be ordered home. It is an anxious life for me while you are away. What a happy meeting it will be when you return! I always said I would marry a sailor; I can't bear land-lubbers. What use are they? Do they defend us from our foreign foes? Do they protect our shores? No, William, no; the sailors, the pride of the ocean, protect Old England, as they ever have and will do!
    Mother sends her kindest love to you, and father has been very busy indeed, and has made a very good thing of his last contract. He desires me to say he shall he very glad to call you his son; so you see, dear [-39-] Will, when you come home all will be very glad to see you, but none more so than
    Your ever loving

A Servant to her Sweetheart.

World's-end, Tilbury, May 1st, 1871.

    Your letter received last week was a great pleasure to me, as you seem to be doing so well. I shall be very glad when we can meet again and talk over our future prospects. It seems almost a lifetime since we saw each other, and yet it was only five weeks ago last Sunday. I feel that the old saying, about absence making the heart grow fonder, is very true, Edward; I hope it is the same with you. I like my place very much indeed; the family are all kind and good to me. They must like me, I think, as my mistress has raised my wages 2l. a year. I told her you would be able to go to your mother's for a few days soon, and she has no objection to your coming to see me here. I must leave off now, with best love.
    I remain,
        Yours affectionately,

On Calling to take Leave of a Friend who was absent from Home.

London, May 12th.

    I was very much disappointed when I called on Tuesday to find you were absent from home, as I wished very much to see you and bid you "farewell," there not being any chance of our meeting again for wears. But do not imagine, dearest Helen, that absence [-40-] will lessen my affection for you. Though you will indeed be far from me, according to measurement of miles, you will ever be near me by measurement of affection. I had many inquiries to make (had I seen you) about the new country to which I am going, and which to you is so familiar. I had planned it all so nicely! such a pleasant chat! such valuable counsel from a true friend, and all has ended in disappointment.
    Farewell! my dear friend; let me often hear from you, and with sincerest wishes for your health and happiness,
    Believe me ever,
        Your attached friend,
            ELIZA STRANGE.

Answer to the same.

London, May 13th.

    Your disappointment was not greater than mine, when I returned and found your card on my work-table. Dear child, I so longed to see you once more; to wish you God speed; to advise you in regard to your future prospects; but for some wise purpose, I do not doubt, this pleasure has been denied me. Enclosed I have sent a few letters, which I trust will find friends for you in your new home, and through whom I hope to hear of you often. I cannot but approve of the step you have taken, knowing full well the motive for this sudden determination; so do not be cast down, my dear child. I will bid you a joyous "good-bye," and with many prayers for your health and happiness,
    Believe me,
        Your sincerest friend and well wisher,
            HELEN FERGUSSON.

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