She answered, That she should be always glad to see so humane a man: that his visits would keep her in charity with his sex: but that, where [sic] she able to forget that he was her physician, she might be apt to abate of the confidence in his skill, which might be necessary to effect the amendment that was the end of his visits.
And when he urged her still further, which he did in a very polite manner, and as passing by the door two or three times a day, she said she should always have pleasure in considering him in the kind light he offered himself to her: that that might be very generous in one person to offer, which would be as ungenerous in another to accept: that indeed she was not at present high in circumstance; and he saw by the tender, (which he must accept of,) that she had greater respect to her own convenience than to his merit, or than to the pleasure she should take in his visits.
We all withdrew together; and the Doctor and Mr. Goddard having a great curiosity to know something more of her story, at the motion of the latter we went into a neighbouring coffee-house, and I gave them, in confidence, a brief relation of it; making all as light for you as I could; and yet you’ll suppose, that, in order to do but common justice to the lady’s character, heavy must be that light.
I just now called again at Smith’s; and am told she is somewhat better; which she attributed to the soothings of her Doctor. She expressed herself highly pleased with both gentlemen; and said that their behaviour to her was perfectly paternal.——
Paternal, poor lady!——never having been, till very lately, from under her parents’ wings, and now abandoned by all her friends, she is for finding out something paternal and maternal in every one, (the latter qualities in Mrs. Lovick and Mrs. Smith,) to supply to herself the father and mother her dutiful heart pants after.
Mrs. Smith told me, that, after we were gone, she gave the keys of her trunk and drawers to her and the widow Lovick, and desired them to take an inventory of them; which they did in her presence.
They also informed me, that she had requested them to find her a purchaser for two rich dressed suits; one never worn, the other not above once or twice.
This shocked me exceedingly—perhaps it may thee a little!!!—Her reason for so doing, she told them, was, that she should never live to wear them: that her sister, and other relations, were above wearing them: that her mother would not endure in her sight any thing that was her’s: that she wanted the money: that she would not be obliged to any body, when she had effects by her for which she had no occasion: and yet, said she, I expect not that they will fetch a price answerable to their value.
They were both very much concerned, as they owned; and asked my advice upon it: and the richness of her apparel having given them a still higher notion of her rank than they had before, they supposed she must be of quality; and again wanted to know her story.