This messenger arrived Friday afternoon; and staid here till we returned on Saturday night:—and, when he read the letter he brought—I have told you, Madam, what a fury he was in.
The letter he retired to write, and which he dispatched away so early on Sunday morning, was to conjure his friend, Mr. Belford, on receipt of it, to fly to the lady, and set her free; and to order all her things to be sent to her; and to clear him of so black and villanous a fact, as he justly called it.
And by this time he doubts not that all is happily over; and the beloved of his soul (as he calls her at ever word) in an easier and happier way than she was before the horrid fact. And now he owns that the reason why Mr. Belford’s letter set him into stronger ravings was, because of his keeping him wilfully (and on purpose to torment him) in suspense; and reflecting very heavily upon him, (for Mr. Belford, he says, was ever the lady’s friend and advocate); and only mentioning, that he had waited upon her; referring to his next for further particulars; which Mr. Belford could have told him at the time.
He declares, and we can vouch for him, that he has been, ever since last Saturday night, the most miserable of men.
He forbore going up himself, that it might not be imagined he was guilty of so black a contrivance; and that he went up to complete any base views in consequence of it.
Believe us all, dear Miss Howe, under the deepest concern at this unhappy accident; which will, we fear, exasperate the charming sufferer; not too much for the occasion, but too much for our hopes.
O what wretches are these free-living men, who love to tread in intricate paths; and, when once they err, know not how far out of the way their headstrong course may lead them!
My sister joins her thanks with mine to your good mother and self, for the favours you heaped upon us last Thursday. We beseech your continued interest as to the subject of our visit. It shall be all our studies to oblige and recompense the dear lady to the utmost of our power, and for what she has suffered from the unhappy man.
We are, dear Madam,
Your obliged and faithful servants,
Charlotte | Montague.
DEAR MISS HOWE,
We join in the above request of Miss Charlotte and Miss Patty Montague, for your favour and interest; being convinced that the accident was an accident, and no plot or contrivance of a wretch too full of them. We are, Madam,
Your most obedient humble servants,
DEAR MISS HOWE,
After what is written above, by names and characters of unquestionable honour, I might have been excused signing a name almost as hateful to myself, as I know it is to you. But the above will have it so. Since, therefore, I must write, it shall be the truth; which is, that if I may be once more admitted to pay my duty to the most deserving and most injured of her sex, I will be content to do it with a halter about my neck; and, attended by a parson on my right hand, and the hangman on my left, be doomed, at her will, either to the church or the gallows.