I cannot help acquainting you (however it may be received, coming from me) that your poor sister is dangerously ill, at the house of one Smith, who keeps a glover’s and perfume shop, in King-street, Covent-garden. She knows not that I write. Some violent words, in the nature of an imprecation, from her father, afflict her greatly in her weak state. I presume not to direct you what to do in this case. You are her sister. I therefore could not help writing to you, not only for her sake, but for your own. I am, Madam,
Your humble servant,
Miss Arabella Harlowe [in answer.] Thursday, July 20.
I have your’s of this morning. All that has happened to the unhappy body you mentioned, is what we foretold and expected. Let him, for whose sake she abandoned us, be her comfort. We are told he has remorse, and would marry her. We don’t believe it, indeed. She may be very ill. Her disappointment may make her so, or ought. Yet is she the only one I know who is disappointed.
I cannot say, Miss, that the notification from you is the more welcome, for the liberties you have been pleased to take with our whole family for resenting a conduct, that it is a shame any young lady should justify. Excuse this freedom, occasioned by greater. I am, Miss,
Your humble servant,
Miss Howe [in reply.] Friday, July 21.
If you had half as much sense as you have ill-nature, you would (notwithstanding the exuberance of the latter) have been able to distinguish between a kind intention to you all (that you might have the less to reproach yourselves with, if a deplorable case should happen) and an officiousness I owed you not, by reason of freedoms at least reciprocal. I will not, for the unhappy body’s sake, as you call a sister you have helped to make so, say all that I could say. If what I fear happen, you shall hear (whether desired or not) all the mind of
Miss Arabella Harlowe, to miss
Friday, July 21.
Your pert letter I have received. You, that spare nobody, I cannot expect should spare me. You are very happy in a prudent and watchful mother.—But else mine cannot be exceeded in prudence; but we had all too good an opinion of somebody, to think watchfulness needful. There may possibly be some reason why you are so much attached to her in an error of this flagrant nature.