The Coquette

The Coquette


Hannah Webster Foster

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Eliza Wharton’s former fiancé. Mr. Haly’s engagement to Eliza was arranged by Eliza’s deceased father, who was particularly fond of Haly. Not much is known about him, although it is implied that he was also a preacher like the Reverend Boyer. Haly was a middle-class man of respectable merit, and he took sick not long after becoming engaged to Eliza. She nursed him until his death, and while Eliza did not love him, she did grow to respect and esteem him. To Eliza, Mr. Haly represents the confinements of her patriarchal society. Even though she did not love him, she was still expected to marry him and devote her life to him.

Mr. Haly Quotes in The Coquette

The The Coquette quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Haly or refer to Mr. Haly. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Women and Society Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Coquette published in 2015.
Letter 5 Quotes

What, my dear, is your opinion of our favorite Mr. Boyer? Declaring him your favorite, madam, is sufficient to render me partial to him. But to be frank, independent of that, I think him an agreeable man. Your heart, I presume, is now free? Yes, and I hope it will long remain so. Your friends, my dear, solicitous for your welfare, wish to see you suitably and agreeably connected. I hope my friends will never again interpose in my concerns of that nature. You, madam, who have ever known my heart, are sensible, that had the Almighty spared life, in a certain instance, I must have sacrificed my own happiness, or incurred their censure. I am young, gay, volatile. A melancholy event has lately extricated me from those shackles, which parental authority had imposed on my mind. Let me then enjoy that freedom which I so highly prize. Let me have opportunity, unbiassed by opinion, to gratify my natural disposition in a participation of those pleasures which youth and innocence afford.

Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
Letter 14 Quotes

From a scene of constraint and confinement, ill suited to my years and inclination, I have just launched into society. My heart beats high in expectation of its fancied joys. My sanguine imagination paints, in alluring colors, the charms of youth and freedom, regulated by virtue and innocence. Of these, I wish to partake. While I own myself under obligations for the esteem which you are pleased to profess for me, and in return, acknowledge, that neither your person nor manners are disagreeable to me, I recoil at the thought of immediately forming a connection, which must confine me to the duties of domestic life, and make me dependent for happiness, perhaps too, for subsistence, upon a class of people, who will claim the right of scrutinizing every part of my conduct; and by censuring those foibles, which I am conscious of not having prudence to avoid, may render me completely miserable.

Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Mr. Haly Character Timeline in The Coquette

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Haly appears in The Coquette. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Letter I. to Miss Lucy Freeman.
Women and Society Theme Icon
Marriage and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Miss Eliza Wharton writes a letter to her dear friend, Lucy. Eliza’s fiancé, Mr. Haly , has recently passed away, and she has suffered some depression because of it. Mr.... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Eliza does not, however, “rejoice in [ Mr. Haly ’s] death.” She felt for him “the sincerest friendship and esteem,” but now that he... (full context)
Letter V. to Miss Lucy Freeman.
Women and Society Theme Icon
Marriage and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Mrs. Richman knows as well as anyone that, had Mr. Haly lived, Eliza would have forfeited her own desires. “I am young, gay, volatile,” Eliza told... (full context)