What a letter hast thou sent me!—Poor Lovelace!—is all the answer I will return.
Five o’clock.] Col. Morden is this moment arrived.
Mr. Belford [in continuation.] Eight in the evening.
I had but just time, in my former, to tell you that Col. Morden was arrived. He was on horseback, attended by two servants, and alighted at the door just as the clock struck five. Mrs. Smith was then below in her back-shop, weeping, her husband with her, who was as much affected as she; Mrs. Lovick having left them a little before, in tears likewise; for they had been bemoaning one another; joining in opinion that the admirable lady would not live the night over. She had told them, it was her opinion too, from some numbnesses, which she called the forerunners of death, and from an increased inclination to doze.
The Colonel, as Mrs. Smith told me afterwards, asked with great impatience, the moment he alighted, how Miss Harlowe was? She answered— Alive!—but, she feared, drawing on apace.—Good God! said he, with his hands and eyes lifted up, can I see her? My name is Morden. I have the honour to be nearly related to her.—Step up, pray, and let her know, (she is sensible, I hope,) that I am here—Who is with her?
Nobody but her nurse, and Mrs. Lovick, a widow gentlewoman, who is as careful of her as if she were her mother.
And more careful too, interrupted he, or she is not careful at all——
Except a gentleman be with her, one Mr. Belford, continued Mrs. Smith, who has been the best friend she has had.
If Mr. Belford be with her, surely I may—but pray step up, and let Mr. Belford know that I shall take it for a favour to speak with him first.
Mrs. Smith came up to me in my new apartment. I had but just dispatched your servant, and was asking her nurse if I might be again admitted? Who answered, that she was dozing in the elbow chair, having refused to lie down, saying, she should soon, she hoped, lie down for good.
The Colonel, who is really a fine gentleman, received me with great politeness. After the first compliments—My kinswoman, Sir, said he, is more obliged to you than to any of her own family. For my part, I have been endeavouring to move so many rocks in her favour; and, little thinking the dear creature so very bad, have neglected to attend her, as I ought to have done the moment I arrived; and would, had I known how ill she was, and what a task I should have had with the family. But, Sir, your friend has been excessively to blame; and you being so intimately his friend, has made her fare the worse for your civilities to her. But are there no hopes of her recovery?
The doctors have left her, with the melancholy declaration that there are none.
Has she had good attendance, Sir? A skilful physician? I hear these good folks have been very civil and obliging to her.