Author: Charlotte Lennox
Dates: c.1730 – 4 January 1804
Extract of Book: Euphemia
One of the greatest pleasures I proposed t myself, on my return to England, was to meet my dear Euphemia; to bind, if possible, in faster bands, that tender friendship which has united us from our earliest years; to live in sweet society together: to suffer only short absences; rendered tolerable by frequent letters, and the dear hope of meeting soon again. But how are these expectations destroyed! You are going to leave me; and, too probably, for ever long tracts of land, and an immeasurable ocean, will soon divide us. I shall hear from you once or twice a year; perhaps: my dear Euphemia will be lost to me; and all that now remains of that friendship, which was the pride and happiness of my life, will be the sad remembrance of a good I once enjoyed, but which is fled forever!
How shall I teach my heart to forget you! How shall I bear the conversation of other young women of our age and condition, after being used to yours! It was some merit to be capable of tasting it with so high a relish, as to render that of my other companions insipid. There are friendships that serve only to pass away the time, and soften the tediousness of solitude; but yours, besides being delightful, was profitable. I never read your letters, but I brought away pleasures that remained, and advantages that did no hurt. I grew rich by what I took from you, without impoverishing you by my gain. In a word, I was happy, and I am so no more. I must lose you! There is no remedy! My tears efface my letters as I write! I cannot, I would not, restrain them! The wise may call these tender feelings infirmities of the mind, if they will; I do not wish to be without them, and I had rather have my malady than their health.
Brief Biography: Charlotte Lennox (nee Ramsay) was the daughter of a British army officer who was serving in Albany, New York. After her father’s death she unsuccessfully attempted to make a living as an actress so she turned to literary work. Her Poems on Several Occasions was published in 1747. In a study of William Shakespeare’s source material, a joint project with Doctor Johnson. Despite the friendship of Johnson and Richardson and the support of Fielding, Lennox made little from her books and died in poverty.