And this obliges me to own, that I have a little spark—not a little one, perhaps of secret pride and vanity, that will arise, now and then, on the honours done me; but which I keep under as much as I can; and to this pride, let me tell your ladyship, I know no one contributes, or can contribute, more largely than yourself.
So you see, my dear lady, what a naughty heart I have, and how far I am from being a faultless creature—I hope I shall be better and better, however, as I live longer, and have more grace, and more wit: for here to recapitulate my faults, is in the first place, vindictiveness, I will not call it downright revenge—And how much room do all these leave for amendment, and greater perfection?
Had your ladyship, and the countess, favoured us longer in your kind visit, I must have so improved, by your charming conversations, and by that natural ease and dignity which accompany everything your ladyships do and say, as to have got over such of these foibles as are not rooted in nature: till in time I had been able to do more than emulate those perfections, which at present, I can only at an awful distance revere; as becomes, my dear ladies, your most humble admirer, and obliged servant,
* * * * *
From Miss Darnford to her Father and Mother.
MY EVER-HONOURED PAPA AND MAMMA,
I arrived safely in London on Thursday, after a tolerable journey, considering Deb and I made six in the coach (two having been taken up on the way, after you left me), and none of the six highly agreeable. Mr. B. and his lady, who looks very stately upon us (from the circumstance of person, rather than of mind, however), were so good as to meet me at St. Alban’s, in their coach and six. They have a fine house here, richly furnished in every part, and have allotted me the best apartment in it.
We are happy beyond expression. Mr. B. is a charming husband; so easy, so pleased with, and so tender of his lady: and she so much all that we saw her in the country, as to humility and affability, and improved in every thing else which we hardly thought possible she could be—that I never knew so happy a matrimony.—All that prerogative sauciness, which we apprehended would so eminently display itself in his behaviour to his wife, had she been ever so distinguished by birth and fortune, is vanished. I did not think it was in the power of an angel, if our sex could have produced one, to have made so tender and so fond a husband of Mr. B. as he makes. And should I have the sense to follow Mrs. B.’s example, if ever I marry, I should not despair of making myself happy, let it be to whom it would, provided he was not a brute, nor sordid in his temper; which two characters are too obvious to be concealed, if persons take due care, and make proper inquiries, and if they are not led by blind passion. May Mr. Murray and Miss Nancy make just such a happy pair!