The two ladies were well pleased with my demeanour to the good folks: to whom I said, that as I should go so soon to London, I was willing to see them before I went, to wish them better and better, and to tell them, that I should leave orders with Mrs. Jervis concerning them, to whom they must make known their wants: and that Mr. Barrow would take care of them, I was sure; and do all that was in the power of physic for the restoration of their healths.
Now you must know, Miss, that I am not so good as the old ladies of former days, who used to distil cordial waters, and prepare medicines, and dispense them themselves. I knew, if I were so inclined, my dear Mr. B. would not have been pleased with it, because in the approbation he has kindly given to my present method, he has twice or thrice praised me, that I don’t carry my charity to extremes, and make his house a dispensatory. I would not, therefore, by aiming at doing too much, lose the opportunity of doing any good at all in these respects; and besides, as the vulgar saying is, One must creep before one goes. But this is my method:
I am upon an agreement with this Mr. Barrow, who is deemed a very skilful and honest apothecary, and one Mr. Simmonds, a surgeon of like character, to attend to all such cases and persons as I shall recommend; Mr. Barrow, to administer physic and cordials, as he shall judge proper, and even, in necessary cases, to call in a physician. And now and then, by looking in upon them one’s self, or sending a servant to ask questions, all is kept right.
My Lady Davers observed a Bible, a Common Prayer-book, and a Whole Duty of Man, in each cot, in leathern outside cases, to keep them clean, and a Church Catechism or two for the children; and was pleased to say, it was right; and her ladyship asked one of the children, a pretty girl, who learnt her her catechism? And she curtsey’d and looked at me; for I do ask the children questions, when I come, to know how they improve; “’Tis as I thought,” said my lady; “my sister provides for both parts. God bless you, my dear!” said she, and tapped my neck.
My ladies left tokens of their bounty behind them to both families, and all the good folks blessed and prayed for us at parting: and as we went out, my Lady Davers, with a serious air, was pleased to say to me, “Take care of your health, my dear sister; and God give you, when it comes, a happy hour: for how many real mourners would you have, if you were to be called early to reap the fruits of your piety!”
“God’s will must be done, my lady,” said I. “The same Providence that has so wonderfully put it in my power to do a little good, will raise up new friends to the honest hearts that rely upon him.”
This I said, because some of the good people heard my lady, and seemed troubled, and began to redouble their prayers, for my safety and preservation.