“Any thing, any thing, dear papa,” said I: “so I can but go!” He called for a kiss, for his compliance. I gave it most willingly, you may believe.
Nancy looked envious, although Mr. Murray came in just then. She looked almost like a great glutton, whom I remember; one Sir Jonathan Smith, who killed himself with eating: he used, while he was heaping up his plate from one dish, to watch the others, and follow the knife of every body else with such a greedy eye, as if he could swear a robbery against any one who presumed to eat as well as he.
Well, let’s know when you set out, and you shan’t have been a week in London, if I can help it, but you shall be told by my tongue, as now by my pen, how much I am your obliged admirer and friend, POLLY DARNFORD.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
I now proceed with my journal, which I had brought down to Thursday night.
The two ladies resolving, as they said, to inspect all my proceedings, insisted upon it, that I would take them with me in my benevolent round (as they, after we returned, would call it), which I generally take once a week, among my poor and sick neighbours; and finding I could not get off, I set out with them, my lady countess proposing Mrs. Worden to fill up the fourth place in the coach. We talked all the way of charity, and the excellence of that duty; and my Lady Davers took notice of the text, that it would hide a multitude of faults.
The countess said she had once a much better opinion of herself, than she found she had reason for, within these few days past: “And indeed, Mrs. B.,” said she, “when I get home, I shall make a good many people the better for your example.” And so said Lady Davers; which gave me no small inward pleasure; and I acknowledged, in suitable terms, the honour they both did me. The coach set us down by the side of a large common, about five miles distant from our house; and we alighted, and walked a little way, choosing not to have the coach come nearer, that we might be taken as little notice of as possible; and they entered with me into two mean cots with great condescension and goodness; one belonging to a poor widow and five children, who had been all down in agues and fevers; the other to a man and his wife bed-rid with age and infirmities, and two honest daughters, one a widow with two children, the other married to an husbandman, who had also been ill, but now, by comfortable cordials, and good physic, were pretty well to what they had been.