Then, dear Sir, since that noble conversation you held with me at Tunbridge, in relation to the consequences that might, had it not been for God’s grace intervening, have followed the masquerade affair, I have the inexpressible pleasure to find a thorough reformation, from the best motives, taking place; and your joining with me in my closet (as opportunity permits) in my evening duties, is the charming confirmation of your kind and voluntary, and I am proud to say, pious assurances; so that this makes me fearless of your displeasure, while I rather triumph in my joy for your precious soul’s sake, than presume to think of recriminating; and when (only for this once) I take the liberty of looking back from the delightful now, to the painful formerly!
But, what a rambler am I again! You command me to write to you all I think, without fear. I obey, and, as the phrase is, do it without either fear or wit.
If you are not displeased, it is a mark of the true nobleness of your nature, and the sincerity of your late pious declarations.
If you are, I shall be sure I have done wrong in having applied a corrosive to eat away the proud flesh of a wound, that is not yet so thoroughly digested, as to bear a painful application, and requires balsam and a gentler treatment. But when we were at Bath, I remember what you said once of the benefit of retrospection: and you charged me, whenever a proper opportunity offered, to remind you, by that one word, retrospection, of the charming conversation we had there, on our return from the rooms.
If this be not one of them, forgive, dearest Sir, the unreasonableness of your very impertinent, but, in intention and resolution, ever dutiful,
From Mrs. B. to her Father and Mother
EVER DEAR, AND EVER HONOURED,
I must write this one letter, although I have had the happiness to see you so lately; because Mr. B. is now about to honour me with the tour he so kindly promised; and it may therefore be several months, perhaps, before I have again the pleasure of paying you the like dutiful respects.
You know his kind promise, that he would for every dear baby I present him with, take an excursion with me afterwards, in order to establish and confirm my health.
The task I have undertaken of dedicating all my writing amusements to the dearest of men; the full employment I have, when at home; the frequent rambles he has so often indulged me in, with my dear Miss Goodwin, to Kent, London, Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire, and to my lady Davers, take from me the necessity of writing to you, to my Miss Damford that was, and to Lady Davers, so often as I formerly thought myself obliged to do, when I saw all my worthy friends so seldom; the same things, moreover, with little variation, occurring this year, as to our conversations, visits, friends, employments, and amusements, that fell out the last, as must be the case in a family so uniform and methodical as ours.