I then besought her, while she was capable of such glorious instances of generosity, and forgiveness, to extend her goodness to a man, whose heart bled in every vein of it for the injuries he had done her; and who would make it the study of his whole life to repair them.
The women would have withdrawn when the subject became so particular. But she would not permit them to go. She told me, that if after this time I was for entering with so much earnestness into a subject so very disagreeable to her, my visits must not be repeated. Nor was there occasion, she said, for my friendly offices in your favour; since she had begun to write her whole mind upon that subject to Miss Howe, in answer to letters from her, in which Miss Howe urged the same arguments, in compliment to the wishes of your noble and worthy relations.
Mean time, you may let him know, said she, that I reject him with my whole heart:—yet, that although I say this with such a determination as shall leave no room for doubt, I say it not however with passion. On the contrary, tell him, that I am trying to bring my mind into such a frame as to be able to pity him; [poor perjured wretch! what has he not to answer for!] and that I shall not think myself qualified for the state I am aspiring to, if, after a few struggles more, I cannot forgive him too: and I hope, clasping her hands together, uplifted as were her eyes, my dear earthly father will set me the example my heavenly one has already set us all; and, by forgiving his fallen daughter, teach her to forgive the man, who then, I hope, will not have destroyed my eternal prospects, as he has my temporal!
Stop here, thou wretch!—but I need not bid thee!——for I can go no farther!
You will imagine how affecting her noble speech and behaviour were to me, at the time when the bare recollecting and transcribing them obliged me to drop my pen. The women had tears in their eyes. I was silent for a few moments.—At last, Matchless excellence! Inimitable goodness! I called her, with a voice so accented, that I was half-ashamed of myself, as it was before the women—but who could stand such sublime generosity of soul in so young a creature, her loveliness giving grace to all she said? Methinks, said I, [and I really, in a manner, involuntarily bent my knee,] I have before me an angel indeed. I can hardly forbear prostration, and to beg your influence to draw me after you to the world you are aspiring to!—Yet—but what shall I say—Only, dearest excellence, make me, in some small instances, serviceable to you, that I may (if I survive you) have the glory to think I was able to contribute to your satisfaction, while among us.