This cool and honest speech let down his stiffened muscles into complacence. He was my very obedient and faithful humble servant several times over, as I waited on him to his chariot: and I was his almost as often.
And so exit Hickman.
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford, ESQ. [In answer to letters XXII. XXVI. XXVII. Of this volume.] Friday night, July 21.
I will throw away a few paragraphs upon the contents of thy last shocking letters just brought me; and send what I shall write by the fellow who carries mine on the interview with Hickman.
Reformation, I see, is coming fast upon thee. Thy uncle’s slow death, and thy attendance upon him through every stage towards it, prepared thee for it. But go thou on in thine own way, as I will in mine. Happiness consists in being pleased with what we do: and if thou canst find delight in being sad, it will be as well for thee as if thou wert merry, though no other person should join to keep thee in countenance.
I am, nevertheless, exceedingly disturbed at the lady’s ill health. It is entirely owing to the cursed arrest. She was absolutely triumphant over me and the whole crew before. Thou believest me guiltless of that: so, I hope, does she.—The rest, as I have often said, is a common case; only a little uncommonly circumstanced; that’s all: Why, then, all these severe things from her, and from thee?
As to selling her clothes, and her laces, and so forth, it has, I own, a shocking sound to it. What an implacable as well as unjust set of wretches are those of her unkindredly kin, who have money of her’s in their hands, as well as large arrears of her own estate; yet with-hold both, avowedly to distress her! But may she not have money of that proud and saucy friend of her’s, Miss Howe, more than she wants?—And should not I be overjoyed, thinkest thou, to serve