She then retired with a cheerful and serene air. The two gentlemen went away together. I went down to the women, and, inquiring, found, that Mrs. Lovick was this day to bring her twenty guineas more, for some other of her apparel.
The widow told me that she had taken the liberty to expostulate with her upon the occasion she had for raising this money, to such great disadvantage; and it produced the following short and affecting conversation between them.
None of my friends will wear any thing of mine, said she. I shall leave a great many good things behind me.—And as to what I want the money for —don’t be surprised:—But suppose I want it to purchase a house?
You are all mystery, Madam. I don’t comprehend you.
Why, then, Mrs. Lovick, I will explain myself.—I have a man, not a woman, for my executor: and think you that I will leave to his care any thing that concerns my own person?—Now, Mrs. Lovick, smiling, do you comprehend me?
Mrs. Lovick wept.
O fie! proceeded the Lady, drying up her tears with her own handkerchief, and giving her a kiss—Why this kind weakness for one with whom you have been so little while acquainted? Dear, good Mrs. Lovick, don’t be concerned for me on a prospect with which I have occasion to be pleased; but go to-morrow to your friends, and bring me the money they have agreed to give you.
Thus, Lovelace, it is plain she means to bespeak her last house! Here’s presence of mind; here’s tranquillity of heart, on the most affecting occasion—This is magnanimity indeed!—Couldst thou, or could I, with all our boisterous bravery, and offensive false courage, act thus?—Poor Belton! how unlike was thy behaviour!
Mrs. Lovick tells me that the lady spoke of a letter she had received from her favourite divine Dr. Lewen, in the time of my absence; and of an letter she had returned to it. But Mrs. Lovick knows not the contents of either.
When thou receivest the letter I am now writing, thou wilt see what will soon be the end of all thy injuries to this divine lady. I say when thou receivest it; for I will delay it for some little time, lest thou shouldest take it into thy head (under pretence of resenting the disappointment her letter must give thee) to molest her again.
This letter having detained me by its length, I shall not now set out for Epsom till to-morrow.
I should have mentioned that the lady explained to me what the one thing was that she was afraid might happen to ruffle her. It was the apprehension of what may result from a visit which Col. Morden, as she is informed, designs to make you.
The Rev. Dr. Lewen, to
miss CL. Harlowe
Friday, Aug. 18.
Presuming, dearest and ever-respectable young lady, upon your former favour, and upon your opinion of my judgment and sincerity, I cannot help addressing you by a few lines on your present unhappy situation.