He had it often upon his mind, he says, to write to you on this very subject; but he had not the courage; and besides, did not know how Mr. B. might take it, if he should see that letter, as the case had such delicate circumstances in it, that in blaming himself, as he should very freely have done, he must, by implication, have cast still greater blame upon him.
Mr. Peters is certainly a very good man, and my favourite for that reason; and I hope you, who could so easily forgive the late wicked, but now penitent Jewkes, will overlook with kindness a fault in a good man, which proceeded more from pusillanimity and constitution, than from want of principle: for once, talking of it to my mamma, before me, he accused himself on this score, to her, with tears in his eyes. She, good lady, would have given you this protection at Mr. Williams’s desire; but wanted the power to do it.
So you see, my dear Mrs. B., how your virtue has shamed every one into such a sense of what they ought to have done, that good, bad, and indifferent, are seeking to make excuses for past misbehaviour, and to promise future amendment, like penitent subjects returning to their duty to their conquering sovereign, after some unworthy defection.
Happy, happy lady! May you ever be so! May you always convert your enemies, invigorate the lukewarm, and every day multiply your friends, wishes your most affectionate,
P.S. How I rejoice in the joy of your honest parents! God bless ’em! I am glad Lady Davers is so wise. Every one I have named desire their best respects. Write oftener, and omit not the minutest thing: for every line of yours carries instruction with it.
From Sir Simon Darnford to Mr. B.
Little did I think I should ever have occasion to make a formal complaint against a person very dear to you, and who I believe deserves to be so; but don’t let her be so proud and so vain of obliging and pleasing you, as to make her not care how she affronts every body else.
The person is no other than the wife of your bosom, who has taken such liberties with me as ought not to be taken, and sought to turn my own child against me, and make a dutiful girl a rebel.
If people will set up for virtue, and all that, let ’em be uniformly virtuous, or I would not give a farthing for their pretences.
Here I have been plagued with gouts, rheumatisms, and nameless disorders, ever since you left us, which have made me call for a little more attendance than ordinary; and I had reason to think myself slighted, where an indulgent father can least bear to be so, that is, where he most loves; and that by young upstarts, who are growing up to the enjoyment of those pleasures which have run away from me, fleeting rascals as they are! before I was willing to part with them. And I rung and rung, and “Where’s Polly?” (for I honour the slut with too much of my notice), “Where’s Polly?” was all my cry, to every one who came up to ask what I rung for. And, at last, in burst the pert baggage, with an air of assurance, as if she thought all must be well the moment she appeared, with “Do you want me, papa?”