“P.S. I mean no affrunte to Mrs. B. She is the best of yee all—by G—.”
I will not take up your time with further observations upon this poor creature’s bad conduct: his reflection must proceed from feeling; and will, that’s the worst of it, come too late, come when or how it will. I will only say, I am sorry for it on his own account, but more for that of Lord and Lady Davers, who take the matter very heavily, and wish he had married the lowest born creature in England (so she had been honest and virtuous), rather than done as he has done.
But, I suppose, the poor gentleman was resolved to shun, at all adventures, Mr. B.’s fault, and keep up to the pride of descent and family;—and so married the only creature, as I hope (since it cannot be helped), that is so great a disgrace to both: for I presume to flatter myself, for the sake of my sex, that, among the poor wretches who are sunk so low as the town-women are, there are very few of birth or education; but such, principally, as have had their necessities or their ignorance taken advantage of by base men; since birth and education must needs set the most unhappy of the sex above so sordid and so abandoned a guilt, as the hourly wickedness of such a course of life subjects them to.
But let me pursue my purpose of excusing my long silence. I had hardly returned from Lady Davers’s, and recovered my family management, and resumed my nursery duties, when my fourth dear boy, my Jemmy (for, I think am I going on to make out the number Lady Davers allotted me), pressed so upon me, as not to be refused, for one month or six weeks close attention. And then a journey to Lord Davers’s, and that noble pair accompanying us to Kent; and daily and hourly pleasures crowding upon us, narrow and confined as our room there was (though we went with as few attendants as possible), engrossed more of my time. Thus I hope you will forgive me, because, as soon as I returned, I set about writing this, as an excuse for myself, in the first place; to promise you the subject you insist upon, in the next; and to say, that I am incapable of forgetfulness or negligence to such a friend as Lady G. For I must always be your faithful and affectionate humble servant, P.B.
MY DEAR LADY G.,
The remarks, your cousin Fielding says, I have made on the subject of young gentlemen’s travelling, and which you request me to communicate to you, are part of a little book upon education, which I wrote for Mr. B.’s correction and amendment, on his putting Mr. Locke’s treatise on that subject into my hands, and requiring my observations upon it.
I cannot flatter myself they will answer your expectation; for I am sensible they must be unworthy even of the opportunities I have had in the excursions, in which I have been indulged by the best of men. But your requests are so many laws to me; and I will give you a short abstract of what I read Miss Fielding, who has so greatly overrated it to you.