I went, last night, as I intended, to Smith’s: but the dear creature was not returned at near ten o’clock. And, lighting upon Tourville, I took him home with me, and made him sing me out of my megrims. I went to bed tolerably easy at two; had bright and pleasant dreams; (not such of a frightful one as that I gave thee an account of;) and at eight this morning, as I was dressing, to be in readiness against the return of my fellow, whom I had sent to inquire after the lady, I had the following letter brought to me by a chairman:
I have good news to tell you. I am setting out with all diligence for my father’s house, I am bid to hope that he will receive his poor penitent with a goodness peculiar to himself; for I am overjoyed with the assurance of a thorough reconciliation, through the interposition of a dear, blessed friend, whom I always loved and honoured. I am so taken up with my preparation for this joyful and long-wished-for journey, that I cannot spare one moment for any other business, having several matters of the last importance to settle first. So, pray, Sir, don’t disturb or interrupt me—I beseech you don’t. You may possibly in time see me at my father’s; at least if it be not your own fault.
I will write a letter, which shall be sent you when I am got thither and received: till when, I am, &c.
I dispatched instantly a letter to the dear creature, assuring her, with the most thankful joy, ’That I would directly set out for Berks, and wait the issue of the happy reconciliation, and the charming hopes she had filled me with. I poured out upon her a thousand blessings. I declared that it should be the study of my whole life to merit such transcendent goodness: and that there was nothing which her father or friends should require at my hands, that I would not for her sake comply with, in order to promote and complete so desirable a reconciliation.’
I hurried it away without taking a copy of it; and I have ordered the chariot-and-six to be got ready; and hey for M. Hall! Let me but know how Belton does. I hope a letter from thee is on the road. And if the poor fellow can spare thee, make haste, I command thee, to attend this truly divine lady. Thou mayest not else see her of months perhaps; at least, not while she is Miss Harlowe. And oblige me, if possible, with one letter before she sets out, confirming to me and accounting for this generous change.
But what accounting for it is necessary? The dear creature cannot receive consolation herself but she must communicate it to others. How noble! She would not see me in her adversity; but no sooner does the sun of prosperity begin to shine upon her than she forgives me.
I know to whose mediation all this is owing. It is to Colonel Morden’s. She always, as she says, loved and honoured him! And he loved her above all his relations.