Miss Charlotte Montague, to miss
M. Hall, Tuesday afternoon.
DEAR MISS HOWE,
Your letter has infinitely disturbed us all.
This wretched man has been half distracted ever since Saturday night.
We knew not what ailed him, till your letter was brought.
Vile wretch, as he is, he is however innocent of this new evil.
Indeed he is, he must be; as I shall more at large acquaint you.
But will not now detain your messenger.
Only to satisfy your just impatience, by telling you, that the dear young lady is safe, and we hope well.
A horrid mistake of his general orders has subjected her to the terror and disgrace of an arrest.
Poor dear Miss Harlowe!—Her sufferings have endeared her to us, almost as much as her excellencies can have endeared her to you.
But she must now be quite at liberty.
He has been a distracted man, ever since the news was brought him; and we knew not what ailed him.
But that I said before.
My Lord M. my lady Sarah Sadleir, and my Lady Betty Lawrance, will all write to you this very afternoon.
And so will the wretch himself.
And send it by a servant of their own, not to detain your’s.
I know not what I write.
But you shall have all the particulars, just, and true, and fair, from
Your most faithful and obedient servant,
Miss Montague, to miss Howe
M. Hall, July 18.
In pursuance of my promise, I will minutely inform you of every thing we know relating to this shocking transaction.
When we returned from you on Thursday night, and made our report of the kind reception both we and our message met with, in that you had been so good as to promise to use your interest with your dear friend, it put us all into such good humour with one another, and with my cousin Lovelace, that we resolved upon a little tour of two days, the Friday and Saturday, in order to give an airing to my Lord, and Lady Sarah, both having been long confined, one by illness, the other by melancholy. My Lord, Lady Sarah, Lady Betty, and myself, were in the coach; and all our talk was of dear Miss Harlowe, and of our future happiness with her: Mr. Lovelace and my sister (who is his favourite, as he is her’s) were in his phaeton: and, whenever we joined company, that was still the subject.
As to him, never man praised woman as he did her: Never man gave greater hopes, and made better resolutions. He is none of those that are governed by interest. He is too proud for that. But most sincerely delighted was he in talking of her; and of his hopes of her returning favour. He said, however, more than once, that he feared she would not forgive him; for, from his heart, he must say, he deserved not her forgiveness: and often and often, that there was not such a woman in the world.