As to thy seeing her, I believe the least hint of that sort, now, would cut off some hours of her life.
What has contributed to her serenity, it seems, is, that taking the alarm her fits gave her, she has entirely finished, and signed and sealed, her last will: which she had deferred till this time, in hopes, as she said, of some good news from Harlowe-place; which would have induced her to alter some passages in it.
Miss Howe’s letter was not given her till four in the afternoon, yesterday; at which time the messenger returned for an answer. She admitted him into her presence in the dining-room, ill as she then was, and she would have written a few lines, as desired by Miss Howe; but, not being able to hold a pen, she bid the messenger tell her that she hoped to be well enough to write a long letter by the next day’s post; and would not now detain him.
SATURDAY, SIX IN THE AFTERNOON.
I called just now, and found the lady writing to Miss Howe. She made me a melancholy compliment, that she showed me not Miss Howe’s letter, because I should soon have that and all her papers before me. But she told me that Miss Howe had very considerably obviated to Colonel Morden several things which might have occasioned misapprehensions between him and me; and had likewise put a lighter construction, for the sake of peace, on some of your actions than they deserved.
She added, that her cousin Morden was warmly engaged in her favour with her friends: and one good piece of news Miss Howe’s letter contained, that her father would give up some matters, which (appertaining to her of right) would make my executorship the easier in some particulars that had given her a little pain.
She owned she had been obliged to leave off (in the letter she was writing) through weakness.
Will. says he shall reach you to-night. I shall send in the morning; and, if I find her not worse, will ride to Edgware, and return in the afternoon.
MISS HOWE, TO MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE TUESDAY, AUG. 29.
MY DEAREST FRIEND,
We are at length returned to our own home. I had intended to wait on you in London: but my mother is very ill—Alas! my dear, she is very ill indeed—and you are likewise very ill—I see that by your’s of the 25th— What shall I do, if I lose two such near, and dear, and tender friends? She was taken ill yesterday at our last stage in our return home—and has a violent surfeit and fever, and the doctors are doubtful about her.
If she should die, how will all my pertnesses to her fly in my face!— Why, why, did I ever vex her? She says I have been all duty and obedience!—She kindly forgets all my faults, and remembers every thing I have been so happy as to oblige her in. And this cuts me to the heart.