From Mrs. B. to Mr. B.
MY DEAR AND EVER-HONOURED MR. B.,
Since I know not how it may please God Almighty to dispose of me on the approaching occasion, I should think myself inexcusable, not to find one or two select hours to dedicate to you, out of the very many, in the writing way, which your goodness has indulged me, because you saw I took delight in it.
But yet, think not, O best beloved of my heart! that I have any boon to beg, any favour to ask, either for myself or for my friends, or so much as the continuance of your favour, to the one or the other. As to them, you have prevented and exceeded all my wishes: as to myself, if it please God to spare me, I know I shall always be rewarded beyond my desert, let my deservings be what they will. I have only therefore to acknowledge with the deepest sense of your goodness to me, and with the most heart-affecting gratitude, that from the happy, the thrice happy hour, that you so generously made me yours, till this moment, you have not left one thing, on my own part, to wish for, but the continuance and increase of your felicity, and that I might be still worthier of the unexampled goodness, tenderness, and condescension, wherewith you have always treated me.
No, my dearest, my best beloved master, friend, husband, my first, my last, and only love! believe me, I have nothing to wish for but your honour and felicity, temporal and eternal; and I make no doubt, that God, in his infinite goodness and mercy, will perfect his own good work, begun in your dear heart; and, whatever may now happen, give us a happy meeting, never more to part from one another.
Let me then beg of you, my dearest protector, to pardon all my imperfections and defects; and if, ever since I have had the honour to be yours, I have in looks, or in word, or in deed, given you cause to wish me other than I was, that you will kindly put it to the score of natural infirmity (for in thought or intention, I can truly boast, I have never wilfully erred). Your tenderness, and generous politeness to me, always gave me apprehension, that I was not what you wished me to be, because you would not find fault with me so often as I fear I deserved: and this makes me beg of you to do, as I hope God Almighty will, pardon all my involuntary errors and omissions.
But let me say one word for my dear worthy Mrs. Jervis. Her care and fidelity will be very necessary for your affairs, dear Sir, while you remain single, which I hope will not be long. But, whenever you make a second choice, be pleased to allow her such an annuity as may make her independent, and pass away the remainder of her life with ease and comfort. And this I the rather presume to request, as my late honoured lady once intimated the same thing to you. If I were to name what that may be, it would not be with the thought of heightening, but of limiting rather, the natural bounty of your heart; and fifty pounds a-year would be a rich provision, in her opinion, and will entail upon you, dear Sir, the blessings of one of the faithfullest and worthiest hearts in the kingdom.