I went to the back-shop, continued the worthy man, and recommended the angelic lady to the best care of Mrs. Smith; and, when I was in the street, cast my eye up at her window: there, for the last time, I doubt, said he, that I shall ever behold her, I saw her; and she waved her charming hand to me, and with such a look of smiling goodness, and mingled concern, as I cannot describe.
Pr’ythee tell me, thou vile Lovelace, if thou hast not a notion, even from these jejune descriptions of mine, that there must be a more exalted pleasure in intellectual friendship, than ever thou couldst taste in the gross fumes of sensuality? And whether it may not be possible for thee, in time, to give that preference to the infinitely preferable, which I hope, now, that I shall always give?
I will leave thee to make the most of this reflection, from
Thy true friend,
Miss Howe, to miss Clarissa
Thursday, July 25.*
* Text error: should be Tuesday.
Your two affecting letters were brought to me (as I had directed any letter from you should be) to the Colonel’s, about an hour before we broke up. I could not forbear dipping into them there; and shedding more tears over them than I will tell you of; although I dried my eyes as well as I could, that the company I was obliged to return to, and my mother, should see as little of my concern as possible.
I am yet (and was then still more) excessively fluttered. The occasion I will communicate to you by-and-by: for nothing but the flutters given by the stroke of death could divert my first attention from the sad and solemn contents of your last favour. These therefore I must begin with.
How can I bear the thoughts of losing so dear a friend! I will not so much as suppose it. Indeed I cannot! such a mind as your’s was not vested in humanity to be snatched away from us so soon. There must still be a great deal for you to do for the good of all who have the happiness to know you.
You enumerate in your letter of Thursday last,* the particulars in which your situation is already mended: let me see by effects that you are in earnest in that enumeration; and that you really have the courage to resolve to get above the sense of injuries you could not avoid; and then will I trust to Providence and my humble prayers for your perfect recovery: and glad at my heart shall I be, on my return from the little island, to find you well enough to be near us according to the proposal Mr. Hickman has to make to you.
* See Vol. VII. Letter XXV.
You chide me in your’s of Sunday on the freedom I take with your friends.*
* Ibid. Letter XLII.
I may be warm. I know I am—too warm. Yet warmth in friendship, surely, cannot be a crime; especially when our friend has great merit, labours under oppression, and is struggling with undeserved calamity.