Noah Hobart [1706-1773]…was the school teacher in Duxbury, Masstts., having graduated at Harvard College in 1724, and become acquainted with Priscilla Thomas [1709-1796], a very interesting young girl, daughter of Caleb Thomas, a respectable citizen of that town. Their acquaintance ripened into an engagement, & mutual promise of marriage, whenever his circumstances w’d permit him to discharge ye debts he had contracted for his education.Well, that’s not how love stories work out, is it?
While this understanding subsisted between them, & they were enjoying ye happy relation of affianced lovers, & calmly waiting for such improvement in their affairs as w’d justify their marriage, John Watson Esq., of Plymouth, my Great Grand Father, being a Widower, having seen Priscilla, was much pleas’d with her, although ye serious difference of nearly thirty years existed in their ages, he being about 50, & she 22 years old.
Being, however, thus charm’d with Priscilla, he proceeded to Duxbury & call’d on her parents, & made known to them his views & wishes in relation to Priscilla, & requested their consent to visit their daughter, with ye object of offering himself to her in marriage. They inform’d M’r Watson that Priscilla was engaged to Mr. Hobart, but they w’d call her & let her speak for herself, they seeming pleas’d with ye offer, as M’r Watson’s circumstances were known to be very eligible. . . .
Priscilla was call’d, & appear’d gratified with an offer from so rich a suitor, & observed that she w’d see Noah, & talk with him about it. She convers’d with Noah, and he thought that, upon ye whole, it was not advisable for her to lose so good an opportunity; & as he was still so much in debt for his education, that it was quite uncertain when he w’d be able to relieve himself from his embarrassments, & be in a condition to marry her.
TOMORROW: Can this marriage be saved?