I wept, “Be not angry, dear Sir: your kind words have just the same effect upon me now, as in the afternoon.”
“Your apprehensions, my dear, must be very strong, that a kind word, as you call it, has such an effect upon you! But let us wave the subject for a few days, because I am to set out on a little journey at four, and had not intended to go to bed, for so few hours.”
When we came up, I said, “I was very bold. Sir, to break in upon you; but I could not help it, if my life had been the forfeit; and you received me with more goodness than I could have expected. But will you pardon me, if I ask, whither you go so soon? And if you had intended to have gone without taking leave of me?”
“I go to Tunbridge, my dear. I should have stept up and taken leave of you before I went.”
“Well, Sir, I will not ask you, who is of your party: I will not—No,” (putting my hand to his lips) “don’t tell me. Sir: it mayn’t be proper.”
“Don’t fear, my dear; I won’t tell you: nor am I certain whether it be proper or not, till we are come to a better understanding. Only, once more, think as well of me as I do of you.”
“Would to Heaven,” thought I, “there was the same reason for the one as for the other!”
I intended (for my heart was full) to enter further into this subject, so fatal to my repose: but the dear gentleman had no sooner laid his head on the pillow, but he fell asleep, or feigned to do so, and that was as prohibitory to my talking as if he had. So I had all my own entertaining reflections to myself; which gave me not one wink of sleep; but made me of so much service, as to tell him, when the clock struck four, that he should not (though I did not say so, you may think, Madam) make my ready rivaless (for I doubted not her being one of the party) wait for him.
He arose, and was dressed instantly; and saluting me, bid me be easy and happy, while it was yet in my own power.
He said, he should be back on Saturday night, as he believed. And I wished him, most fervently, I am sure, health, pleasure, and safety.
Here, Madam, must I end this letter. My next, will, perhaps contain my trial, and my sentence: God give me but patience and resignation, and then whatever occurs, I shall not be unhappy: especially while I can have, in the last resource, the pleasure of calling myself your ladyship’s most obliged sister and servant,
* * * * *
My dear Lady,
I will be preparing to write to you, as I have opportunity, not doubting but this must be a long letter; and having some apprehensions, that, as things may fall out, I may want either head or heart to write to your ladyship, were I to defer it till the catastrophe of this cruel suspense.
O what a happiness am I sunk from!—And in so few days too! O the wicked masquerades!