I am all over joy and rapture. My good papa permits me to say, that he will put his Polly under your protection, when you go to London. If you have but a tenth part of the pleasure I have on this occasion, I am sure, I shall be as welcome as I wish. But he will insist upon it, he says, that Mr. B. signs some acknowledgment, which I am to carry along with me, that I am intrusted to his honour and yours, and to be returned to him heart-whole and dutiful, and with a reputation as unsullied as he receives me. But do continue your journals till then; for I have promised to take them up where you leave off, to divert our friends here. There will be presumption! But yet I will write nothing but what I will shew you, and have your consent to send! For I was taught early not to tell tales out of school; and a school, the best I ever went to, will be your charming conversation.
We were greatly diverted with the trick put upon that barbarian Sir Jacob. His obstinacy, repentance, and amendment, followed so irresistibly in one half hour, from the happy thought of the excellent lady countess, that I think no plot was ever more fortunate. It was like springing a lucky mine in a siege, that blew up twenty times more than was expected from it, and answered all the besiegers’ ends at once.
Mr. B.’s defence of his own conduct towards you is quite noble; and he judges with his usual generosity and good sense, when, by adding to your honour, he knows he enhances his own.
You bid me skim over your writings lightly; but ’tis impossible. I will not flatter you, my dear Mrs. B., nor will I be suspected to do so; and yet I cannot find words to praise, so much as I think you deserve: so I will only say that your good parents, for whose pleasure you write, as well as for mine, cannot receive or read them with more delight than I do. Even my sister Nancy (judge of their effect by this!) will at any time leave Murray, and forget to frown or be ill-natured, while she can hear read what you write. And, angry as she makes me some times, I cannot deny her this pleasure, because possibly, among the innumerable improving reflections they abound with, some one may possibly dart in upon her, and illuminate her, as your conversation and behaviour did Sir Jacob.
But your application in P.S. to my papa pleased him; and confirmed his resolution to let me go. He snatched the sheet that contained this, “That’s to me,” said he: “I must read this myself.” He did, and said, “She’s a sweet one: ‘Do dear good Sir Simon,’” repeated he aloud, “‘let Miss Polly add to our delights!’ So she shall, then;—if that will do it!—And yet this same Mrs. B. has so many delights already, that I should think she might be contented. But, Dame Darnford, I think I’ll let her go. These sisters then, you’ll see, how they’ll love at a distance, though always quarrelling when together.” He read on, “’The new affair will divert