For, with all my pleasures and hopes; in the midst of my dear parents’ joy and congratulations on our arrival, and on what had passed so happily since we were last here together, (in the birth of the dear child, and my safety, for which they had been so apprehensive,) the poor baby was taken ill. It was on that very Tuesday his papa set out for Tunbridge; but we knew not it would be the small-pox till Thursday. O Madam! how are all the pleasures I had formed to myself sickened now upon me! for my Billy is very bad.
They talk of a kind sort: but alas: they talk at random: for they come not out at all!—I fear the nurse’s constitution is too hale and too rich for the dear baby!—Had I been permitted—But hush, all my repining ifs!—except one if; and that is, if it be got happily over, it will be best he had it so young, and while at the breast!—
Oh! Madam, Madam! the small appearance that there was is gone in again: and my child, my dear baby, will die! The doctors seem to think so.
They wanted to send for Mr. B. to keep me from him!—But I forbid it!—For what signifies life, or any thing, if I cannot see my baby, while he is so dangerously ill!
My father and mother are, for the first time, quite cruel to me; they have forbid me, and I never was so desirous of disobeying them before, to attend the darling of my heart: and why?—For fear of this poor face!—For fear I should get it myself!—But I am living very low, and have taken proper precautions by bleeding, and the like, to lessen the distemper’s fury, if I should have it; and the rest I leave to Providence. And if Mr. B.’s value is confined so much to this poor transitory sightliness, he must not break with his Countess, I think; and if I am ever so deformed in person, my poor intellects, I hope will not be impaired, and I shall, if God spare my Billy, be useful in his first education, and be helpful to dear Miss Goodwin—or to any babies—with all my heart—he may make me an humble nurse too!—How peevish, sinfully so, I doubt, does this accident, and their affectionate contradiction, make one!
I have this moment received the following from Mr. B.
“My dearest love,
“I am greatly touched with the dear boy’s malady, of which I have this moment heard. I desire you instantly to come to me hither, in the chariot with the bearer, Colbrand. I know what your grief must be: but as you can do the child no good, I beg you’ll oblige me. Everything is in a happy train; but I can think only of you, and (for your sake principally, but not a little for my own) my boy. I will set out to meet you; for I choose not to come myself, lest you should try to persuade me to permit your tarrying about him; and I should be sorry to deny you any thing. I have taken handsome apartments for you, till the event, which I pray God may be happy, shall better determinate me what to do. I will be ever your affectionate and faithful.”