You know, my dear Mrs. B., all I mean, by what I have said.; and if you have any pretty conversation in memory, by the recital of which, this my bold curiosity may be answered, pray oblige me with it; and we shall be able to judge by it, not only of the in-born generosity which all that know Mr. B. have been willing to attribute to him, but of the likelihood of the continuance of both your felicities, upon terms suitable to the characters of a fine lady and fine gentleman: and, of consequence, worthy of the imitation of the most delicate of our own sex.
Your obliging longings, my beloved dear lady, for my company, I hope, will very soon be answered. My papa was so pleased with your sweet earnestness on this occasion, that he joined with my mamma; and both, with equal cheerfulness, said, you should not be many days in London before me. Murray and his mistress go on swimmingly, and have not yet had one quarrel. The only person, he, of either sex, that ever knew Nancy so intimately, and so long, without one!
This is all I have to say, at present, when I have assured you, my dear Mrs. B., how much I am your obliged, and affectionate POLLY DARNFORD.
My dearest Miss Darnford,
I was afraid I ended my last letter in a gloomy way; and I am obliged to you for the kind and friendly notice you take of it. It was owing to a train of thinking which sometimes I get into, of late; I hope only symptomatically, as you say, and that the cause and effect will soon vanish together.
But what a task, my dear friend, I’ll warrant, you think you have set me! I thought, in the progress of my journal, and in my letters, I had given so many instances of Mr. B.’s polite tenderness to me, that no new ones would be required at my hands; and when I said he was always most complaisant before company, I little expected, that such an inference would be drawn from my words, as would tend to question the uniformity of his behaviour to me, when there were no witnesses to it. But I am glad of an opportunity to clear up all your doubts on this subject.
To begin then:
You first desire an instance, where Mr. B. has borne with some infirmity of mine:
Next, that in complaisance to my will, he has receded from his own:
And lastly, whether he breaks not into my retirements unceremoniously; and without apology or concern, making no difference between the field or the stud, and my chamber or closet?
As to the first, his bearing with my infirmities; he is daily giving instances of his goodness to me on this head; and I am ashamed to say, that of late I give him so much occasion for them as I do; but he sees my apprehensiveness, at times, though I endeavour to conceal it; and no husband was ever so soothing and so indulgent as Mr. B. He gives me the best advice, as to my malady, if I may call it one: treats