|William Wightman, [Lisburn?] to [Madelina Patton, Belfast?].
|Irish Emigration Database
|Lisburn, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
|Mr Wightman would like for Ms Patton
|T 1475/1 p13: Copied by Permission of Miss A. McKisack, 9 Mount Pleasant, Belfast.
|The Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
|Document added by LT, 20:04:1994.
|27th March 1816
With the deepest and most distressing feelings of my own unworthyness
[unworthiness?] do I now implore your kind attention for a few moments, Ah!
do not - do not repulse this consolation.
You will frown on me when I dare to write your beloved name, but still
I will have the hardihood to do so - even if that frown should terminate my
existence. Ah! repress your indignation for a little I beseech you. Were
you aware of the distracted and tortured state of my mind I am convinced you
would sympathize with me. Yes, I feel too well you would. My --- I must
brave your resentment. I feel it totally impossible to offer something
in mitigation of my culpability unless I tresspass [trespass?] on your
feelings by repeating a name that has long beat in unison with my best and
My ever dear, dear and adored Madelina, soon after that blessed day that
first witnessed the happiness of your acquaintance, the memory of which I
ever retain to cherish with the sweetest recollections, I conceived for you
the most refined and exalted friendship continued for some years firm and
sincere, without my dreaming of it growing into a more endearing appellation,
until it eventually burst into the most lively and impassioned attachment.
This it was impossible to conquer, but which I have to confess from honourable
motives with respect to my circumstances I endeavoured to restrain.
With these sentiments I avoided your society unless that friendship subsisting
between our families seemed to demand, and even seldom as we met it was my
utmost and earnest endeavour to keep a most vigilant watch over my conduct,
that in case I did not think myself justified in soliciting you to unite
your destiny with mine I might not be anyway [any way?] instrumental in
engaging the affections of one so inexpressibly dear to me.
Matters continued in this state of torturing anxiety, sometimes an
idea suggested itself to my mind that if I could have the temerity to prevail
on you to accompany me across the Atlantic I might through the Divine blessing
have a brighter prospect for you than in my native country. My feelings
will scarcely allow me to proceed, but with the indulgence of your
generous and beneficent disposition, I will try all in my power to go on.
Well, on your late visit to my dear sister Nancy, your presence delighted
my soul - every other idea was banished. I was carried along by the
ardour and impetuosity of my passion, and was then maddened with joy that
it was perhaps reciprocated. You know I could not with any delicacy have
avowed the object of my dearest wishes when you were at Lisburn, yet I
considered I gave you proofs, in a more endearing manner than words can
express, of my sincere and unalterable affection. Nancy I will request to
explain to you the causes of my delay. I would be ashamed to offer them
myself as an alleviation as I now feel most poignantly that any business
matter that I might consider necessary to ascertain, should not have delayed
so long an affair of so singularly interesting moment - poor Nancy was also
unthinkingly an innocent cause of much uneasiness to me, in ridiculing my
presumption in wanting any Lady to leave her native shore - I almost dreaded
the interview that was to decide my happiness for life. But let you act with
me as you think proper, I trust that it will cause no diminution of that
friendship between you and my dear sister, as I will most probably not be in
the Kingdom to be an obstacle to it.
I hope however you will restore a penitent offender once more to
your heart who is weighed down by the deepest sense of contrition, whose
distracted mind and trembling hand in daring to address you, bears
too true a testimony of it, and do not thrust him entirely from you,
but he entreats that you will hold out some ray of hope, and that
you will name a day when he may appear in your presence to bless you
for this indulgence. At all events he may have been guilty of many
errors, but I do not think he is possessed of a bad heart, and he
still glows with the most unabated and ever inviolable love for his ever
beloved and adored Madelina.
Adieu and once more, yours unalterably
Wm. [William?] Wightman.
To Miss Patton Lisburn
Belfast Near five a.m.
27th March 1816