To the Author of the New-England Courant.
It may not be improper in the first Place to inform your
Readers, that I intend once a Fortnight to Present them,
by the Help of this Paper, with a short Epistle, which I pre-
sume will add somewhat to their Entertainment.
And since it is observed, that the Generality of People,
now a days, are unwilling either to commend or dispraise
what they read, until they are in some measure informed who
or what the Author of it is, whether he be poor or rich, old or
young, a Schollar or a Leather Apron Man, &c, and give their
Opinion of the Performance, according to the Knowledge
which they have of the Author's Circumstances, it may not
be amiss to begin with a short Account of my past Life and
present Condition, that the Reader may not be at a Loss to
judge whether or no my Lucubrations are worth his reading.
At the time of my Birth, my Parents were Ship-board in
their Way from London to N. England. My Entrance into
this troublesome World was attended with the Death of my Father, a
shall never be able to forget; for as he, poor Man, stood up-
on the Deck rejoycing at my Birth, a merciless Wave entred
the Ship, and in one Moment carry'd him beyond Reprieve.
Thus was the first Day which I saw, the last that was
seen by my Father; and thus was my disconsolate Mother at
once made both a Parent and a Widow.
When we arrived at Boston (which was not long
was put to Nurse in a Country Place, at a small Distrance
from the Town, where I went to School, and past my Infancy
and Childhood in Vanity and Idleness, until I was bound out
Apprentice, that I might no longer be a Charge to my In-
digent Mother, who was put to hard Shifts for a Living.
My Master was a Country Minister, a pious good-natur'd
young Man, & a Batchelor: He labour'd with all his Might to
instill vertuous and godly Principles into my tender Soul,
well knowing that it was the most suitable Time to make
deep and lasting Impressions on the Mind, while it was yet
untainted with Vice, free and unbiass'd. He endeavour'd that
I might be instructed in all that Knowledge and Learning
which is necessary for our Sex, and deny'd me no Accom-
plishment that could Posssibly be attained in a Country Place;
such as all Sorts of Needle-Work, Writing, Arithmetick, &c.
and observing that I took a more than ordinary Delight in
reading ingenious Books, he gave me the free Use of his
Library, which tho' it was but small, yet it was well chose,
to inform the Understanding rightly, and enable the Mind to
frame great and noble Ideas.
Before I had liv'd quite two Years with this
Gentleman, my indulgent Mother departed this Life, lea-
ving me as it were by my self, having no Relation on Earth
within my Knowledge
I will not abuse your Patience with a tedious Recital of
all the frivolous Accidents of my Life, that happened from
this Time until I arrived to Years of Discretion, only in-
form you that I liv'd a cheerful Country Life, spending my
leisure Time either in some innocent Diversion with the
neighboring Females, or in some shady Retirement, with
the best of Company, books. Thus I past away the Time
with a Mixture of Profit and Pleasure, having no Afflicti-
on but what was imaginary, and created in my own Fancy;
as nothing is more common with us Women, than to be grie-
ving for nothing, when we have nothing else to grieve for.
As I would not engross too much of your Paper at once,
I will defer the Remainder of my Story until my next Letter;
in the mean time desiring your Readers to exercise their
Patience, and bear with my Humours now and then, because
I shall trouble them but seldom. I am not insensible of the
Impossibility of pleasing all, but I would not willingly dis-
please any; and for those who will take Offence where none
is intended, they are beneath the Notice of
As the Favour of Mrs. Dogood's Correspondence is
knowledged by the Publishers of this Paper, lest any of her
Letters should miscarry, he desires they may for the future
be deliver'd at his Printing-House, or at the Blue Ball in
Union-Street, and no Questions shall be ask'd of the Bearer.