I shall only therefore add, that after an hundred other impertinences spoken to Miss Darnford and me, and retorted with spirit by her, and as well as I could by myself, quite sick of the place, I feigned to be more indisposed than I was, and so got my beloved Spaniard to go off with us, and reached home by three in the morning. And so much for masquerades. I hope I shall never have occasion to mention them again to your ladyship. I am, my dearest Madam, your ever obliged sister and servant,
MY DEAREST LADY,
My mind is so wholly engrossed by thoughts of a very different nature from those which the diversions of the town and theatres inspire, that I beg to be excused, if, for the present, I say nothing further of those lighter matters. But as you do not disapprove of my remarks, I intend, if God spares my life, to make a little book, which I will present to your ladyship, of my poor observations on all the dramatic entertainments I have seen, and shall see, this winter: and for this purpose I have made brief notes in the margin of the printed plays I have bought, as I saw them, with a pencil; by referring to which, as helps to my memory, I shall be able to state what my thoughts were at the time of seeing them pretty nearly with the same advantage, as if I had written them at my return from each.
I have obtained Sir Simon, and Lady Darnford’s permission for Miss to stay with me till it shall be seen how it will please God to deal with me, and I owe this favour partly to a kind letter written in my behalf to Sir Simon, by Mr. B., and partly to the young lady’s earnest request to her papa, to oblige me; Sir Simon having made some difficulty to comply, as Mr. Murray and his bride have left them, saying, he could not live long, if he had not the company of his beloved daughter.
But what shall I say, when I find my frailty so much increased, that I cannot, with the same intenseness of devotion I used to be blest with, apply myself to the throne of Grace, nor, of consequence, find my invocations answered by that delight and inward satisfaction, with which I used when the present near prospect was more remote?
I hope I shall not be deserted in the hour of trial, and that this my weakness of mind will not be punished with a spiritual dereliction, for suffering myself to be too much attached to those worldly delights and pleasures, which no mortal ever enjoyed in a more exalted degree than myself. And I beseech you, my dearest lady, let me be always remembered in your prayers—only for a resignation to the Divine will; a cheerful resignation! I presume not to prescribe to his gracious Providence; for if one has but that, one has every thing that one need to have.