shall send this long letter by Collins, who
changes his day to oblige me; and that he may try
(now I know where you are) to get it into your
own hands. If he cannot, he will leave it at
Wilson’s. As none of our letters by that convey-
ance have miscarried when you have been in more
apparently disagreeable situations than you are in at
present. I hope that this will go safe, if Collins
should be obliged to leave it there.
>>> I wrote a short letter to you in my first
It contained not above twenty lines, all full of fright,
alarm, and execration. But being afraid that my
vehemence would too much affect you, I thought it
better to wait a little, as well for the reasons already
hinted at, as to be able to give you as many par-
ticulars as I could, and my thoughts upon all. And
as they have offered, or may offer, you will be
sufficiently armed to resist all his machinations, be
what they will.
>>> One word more. Command me up, if I
of the least service or pleasure to you. I value
not fame; I value not censure; nor even life itself,
I verily think, as I do your honour, and your friend-
ship—For, is not your honour my honour? And
is not your friendship the pride of my life?
Heaven preserve you, my dearest creature,
in honour and safety, is the prayer, the hourly
Your ever-faithful and affectionate
Thursday morn. 5. I have
written all night
My dearest creature,
How you have shocked, confounded, surprised, astonished me, by your dreadful communication!—My heart is too weak to bear up against such a stroke as this!—When all hope was with me! When my prospects were so much mended!—But can there be such villany in men, as in this vile principal, and equally vile agent!
I am really ill—very ill—grief and surprise, and, now I will say, despair, have overcome me!—All, all, you have laid down as conjecture, appears to me now to be more than conjecture!
O that your mother would have the goodness to permit me the presence of the only comforter that my afflicted, my half-broken heart, could be raised by. But I charge you, think not of coming up without her indulgent permission. I am too ill at present, my dear, to think of combating with this dreadful man; and of flying from this horrid house!— My bad writing will show you this.—But my illness will be my present security, should he indeed have meditated villany.—Forgive, O forgive me, my dearest friend, the trouble I have given you!—All must soon—But why add I grief to grief, and trouble to trouble?—But I charge you, my beloved creature, not to think of coming up without your mother’s love, to the truly desolate and broken-spirited