Letter to Thomas Merrill
1801

I could do no less than to say 'yes,' to an invitation to go in to a Miss whom I late at night attended [] from a visit, or dance & warm myself by the fire, as the night was chilly. As I was leaning carelessly over her shoulder, a fragrance accosted my olfactories, such as before I had never known. Delightful, enrapturing creature, thought I, thou art sweeter than the spicey gales of "traby the blest." Nature has chosen to make thee all up of munse & essences! In truth, I thought her altogether the sweetest girl I had ever seen.

The very next Eve' I took tea in a polite family, & when the cake was handed round, I instantly recognized the same luxury of sweet smell that had regaled my nerves the Eve' before. Mercy! thougth I, you have certainly here a piece of the cheek, or neck, or bosom of that organic creature!! (as I took my cake I could harcly prevent by the utmost effort a hearty laugh) What, said I inwardly, are ye man-eaters, or rather are ye woman-eaters? Are ye of the detestable race of the Anthropophage? No such thing in nature! The woman who made the cake was very harmless. Unravelled, the whole affair is thus. The nymph who so much charmed me had taken the liberty to bedew herself with rose-water, which happened also to be an ingredent in the Cake...


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