Let Rogers bring one line, I pray you. I thought
to have sent him this
afternoon; but he cannot set out till to-morrow morning early.
I cannot express how much your staggering lines and
Mr. Belford, to Robert Lovelace,
Sunday evening, Sept. 3.
I wonder not at the impatience your servant tells me you express to hear from me. I was designing to write you a long letter, and was just returned from Smith’s for that purpose; but, since you are urgent, you must be contented with a short one.
I attended the lady this morning, just before I set out for Edgware. She was so ill over-night, that she was obliged to leave unfinished her letter to Miss Howe. But early this morning she made an end of it, and just sealed it up as I came. She was so fatigued with writing, that she told me she would lie down after I was gone, and endeavour to recruit her spirits.
They had sent for Mr. Goddard, when she was so ill last night; and not being able to see him out of her own chamber, he, for the first time, saw her house, as she calls it. He was extremely shocked and concerned at it; and chid Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Lovick for not persuading her to have such an object removed form her bed-chamber: and when they excused themselves on the little authority it was reasonable to suppose they must have with a lady so much their superior, he reflected warmly on those who had more authority, and who left her to proceed with such a shocking and solemn whimsy, as he called it.
It is placed near the window, like a harpsichord, though covered over to the ground: and when she is so ill that she cannot well go to her closet, she writes and reads upon it, as others would upon a desk or table. But (only as she was so ill last night) she chooses not to see any body in that apartment.
I went to Edgware; and, returning in the evening, attended her again. She had a letter brought her from Mrs. Norton (a long one, as it seems by its bulk,) just before I came. But she had not opened it; and said, that as she was pretty calm and composed, she was afraid to look into the contents, lest she should be ruffled; expecting now to hear of nothing that could do her good or give her pleasure from that good woman’s dear hard-hearted neighbours, as she called her own relations.
Seeing her so weak and ill, I withdrew; nor did she desire me to tarry, as sometimes she does, when I make a motion to depart.
I had some hints, as I went away, from Mrs. Smith, that she had appropriated that evening to some offices, that were to save trouble, as she called it, after her departure; and had been giving orders to her nurse, and to Mrs. Lovick, and Mrs. Smith, about what she would have done when she was gone; and I believe they were of a very delicate and affecting nature; but Mrs. Smith descended not to particulars.