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[Letter from Y. J. Allen to Mollie Houston, June 2, 1854]

Emory & Henry College

Miss Mollie Houston. Dear Mollie:

Amid the flattery and encomia heaped upon the reception of my unmeriting [unclear] letter, need I tell thee your letter was with warmest emotions welcomed and perused, and oft reperused, freshened still [added] by the dews of its lovely eden bower, and all radiant and glowing with the tenderness and affection which thy fair hand has traced in lines of purity and simplicity -- Nay -- need I tell you that yester's eve (1st of June) was hallowed by the multi-perusals of its silken-like embroidered [unclear] -- and the image of Whose form and beauty I saw reflected there --

Yea Dear Mollie -- thy letter was truly a mirror in which beautifully reflected I saw the gentleness of thy mind; and truly too -- it was a Telescope through which with my mind's eye I could wander in retrospect back [deleted] through the misty maze of distance and days whose sacredness yet lingers as grateful fragrance fresh in memory, and which oft chase away the dull cares of a solitary hour, when unseen, unheard the pensive pulsations of the [added] heart's deepest emotions. thrill [added]

Dear Mollie -- I was glad to know that bound with the fetters of Science, and depressed by thought, you were Struggling yet to ascend the rugged Steep -- where "Star eyed Science" and fame unfold their banners to every anxious aspirant, and under whose folds of magnitude and magnificence all alike are permitted to recumb, and recur those who have in vagrancy strayed "tracing Shadows" -- beware of Shdows [sic] [Shadows] Mollie. --

As thou hast well ascribed thy mind is strong, thy thoughts and sentiments pure and ennobling, aside from thy beauty and surpassing lovliness [sic] [loveliness] , and Mollie -- ere long, (methinks now I can indulge the hope) I hope to recognize thy signature [unclear] among the list of
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of [sic] Fair Female Correspondents of literature, Yea -- meseems to look forward even now and behold thee, the "Amelia" of Georgia -- May you be its fondest boast.

Aye Dear Mollie -- thou art gay -- hero! nimium felix -- when thou was floating away in the fanciful Quadrille, I would like to have seen thee robed in all thy beauty -- but from the ball and the dance, (pardon me,) I ever beg to be absent, there never was, there ne'er can be there charms for me -- Smiling faces there may cheer me, flattering tongues there [deleted] may there elate with [unclear] the charms of beauty, but alas, as Vanity it vanisheth, aside from there, and then dismantled of its feigned assimilations, the heart cold, and inhuman greeting -- Oh! Vanity of Vanities the Ball -- the Dance -- there can but [deleted] be there but [added] a little polish of Society and a little pruning and pluming of rusticity to mingle with whatever of urbanity the cives [sic] may perchance have. --Yea -- dear Mollie -- firmly and Stedfast [sic] [Steadfast] am I planted against that evil -- which I am proud to say is so fast -- (I trust) winging its everlasting flight from the Shores of our beloved land. -- for as I said above it can - do, but cultivate a little erternal [sic] [external] beauty of carriage, and fanciful movements, while on the other hand -- Oh! that immortal Soul -- is neglected -- Yea instead of adorning that part which shall live forever, the Ball, the Dance cultivate and adorn that which shall perish soon -- when death comes to "elaborat [sic] life's elixir from its clayey crucibles" -- Dear Mollie -- then Oh! then let me advise you [added] to away, away with the Shadows of pleasure -- The "Ball-Dance", Oh! let them as idle tales pass by; "Remember", Dear Mollie, "thy Creator in the days of the Youth," neglect not, longer let me entreat you peace with Your Great Preserver & Benefactor
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Go, to the fount of living waters and drink there never ceasing pleasures, pleasures that the blinded world knoweth not of, but which Angels delight in Heaven to recognize; The Ball's pleasures quickly fade and die away, but the pleasures of Religion are lasting, perpetual, -- Yes -- Religion is the sure balm and cordial to the troubled heart and sovereign antidote against the fears of death -- as a friend then -- Yea as lover, let Me implore thee, to turn away from the follies and sinfulness of this vile world's pleasures and seek everlasting pleasures, and a home in heaven -- in Religion is the only where they can be found. -- there is more happiness and consolation in the enjoyment and sweet peace of Religion one hour than the world can afford in a million of ages -- Yea -- Dear Mollie, if not on my brow you saw sadness brooding, it was there, and in my heart its pangs of anguish have often been felt, and oft a bitter tear in Solitude has suffused my eye; Thou mayest not suppose because, when in they presence I was not sad I ne'er am so, nay for too often "Gilded tombs do [added] worms enfold". -- as for me Dear Mollie I am trying to live so that when I come to meet death I can like my dying friend, a few days since, sing out with him "Religion is a fortune and heaven is a home." Yea Dear Mollie upon that Star, perhaps we are gazing at the same time, when it seems to mirror back thy beauty in its own resplendent brilliancy -- Often I remember thee with warmest emotions and tenderest affections. -- I have not time now Mollie to write you a long letter; I have one more Zamination [sic] [Examination] in Latin and then I'm done, on Wednesday is Commenz [sic] Commencement [sic] day and on Thursday I expect to leave for the North --

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Pardon my brief attempt and illegible fist. It would much gratify me to write more but methinks thou canst Pardon me.

It is my greatest delight to receive a letter from you and I trust that immediately You will respond -- and I assure you that it will be a welcome messenger from thee fostered and prized much --

Pardon me -- Dear Mollie -- if in this I may have cast any insinuations upon your finer feeling, And believe me Sincere — ad eternum

A.Y.J.W. Allen

P.S. Tell me in Your next who is paying his distresses to you, wait not 'till I come home -- for the Lord only knows when that may be.

Allen

And with due de [added] ference and Much respect I subscribe myself a Hermesian With Motto
Πλουτς ὁ της ψυχης, Πλυ μονος εστιν αληθης --
And dear Mollie may that be your Motto as it is that of The Hermesian Society
Allen -- a member

Yes Mollie I'll tell you all about my trip when I return and some by line if you'll respond soon so that I may receive it when I return -- an et nunc vale = and now farewell Mollie

Allen

Ηστιν Ποθος σου... --

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