And so I dismissed her, telling her, that whoever thought of being a clergyman’s wife, should resolve to be as good as himself; to set an example to all her sex in the parish, and shew how much his doctrines had weight with her; should be humble, circumspect, gentle in her temper and manners, frugal, not proud, nor vying in dress with the ladies of the laity; should resolve to sweeten his labour, and to be obliging in her deportment to poor as well as rich, that her husband get no discredit through her means, which would weaken his influence upon his auditors; and that she must be most of all obliging to him, and study his temper, that his mind might be more disengaged, in order to pursue his studies with the better effect.
And so much for your humble servant; and for Mr. Williams’s and Mr. Adams’s matrimonial prospect;—and don’t think me so disrespectful, that I have mentioned my Polly’s affair in the same letter with yours. For in high and low (I forget the Latin phrase—I have not had a lesson a long, long while, from my dear tutor) love is in all the same!—But whether you’ll like Mr. H. as well as Polly does Mr. Adams, that’s the question. But, leaving that to your own decision, I conclude with one observation; that, although I thought our’s was a house of as little intriguing as any body’s, since the dear master of it has left off that practice, yet I cannot see, that any family can be clear of some of it long together, where there are men and women worth plotting for, as husbands and wives.
My best wishes and respects attend all your worthy neighbours. I hope ere long, to assure them, severally (to wit, Sir Simon, my lady, Mrs. Jones, Mr. Peters, and his lady and niece, whose kind congratulations make me very proud, and very thankful) how much I am obliged to them; and particularly, my dear, how much I am your ever affectionate and faithful friend and servant, P. B,
From Miss Darnford, in answer to the preceding.
MY DEAR MRS. B.,
I have been several times (in company with Mr. Peters) to see Mrs. Jewkes. The poor woman is very bad, and cannot live many days. We comfort her all we can; but she often accuses herself of her past behaviour to so excellent a lady; and with blessings upon blessings, heaped upon you, and her master, and your charming little boy, is continually declaring how much your goodness to her aggravates her former faults to her own conscience.
She has a sister-in-law and her niece with her, and has settled all her affairs, and thinks she is not long for this world.—Her distemper is an inward decay, all at once as it were, from a constitution that seemed like one of iron; and she is a mere skeleton: you would not know her, I dare say.
I will see her every day; and she has given me up all her keys, and accounts, to give to Mr. Longman, who is daily expected, and I hope will be here soon; for her sister-in-law, she says herself, is a woman of this world, as she has been.