Now, when I have said this, and when I say, further, that I can forgive your severe lady, and yourself too, (who, however, are less to be excused in the airs you assume, which looks like one chimney-sweeper calling another a sooty rascal) I gave a proof of my charity, which I hope with Mrs. B. will cover a multitude of faults; and the rather, since, though I cannot be a follower of her virtue in the strictest sense, I can be an admirer of it; and that is some little merit: and indeed all that can be at present pleaded by yourself, I doubt, any more than your humble servant,
MY HONOURED AND DEAR PARENTS,
I hope you will excuse my long silence, which has been owing to several causes, and having had nothing new to entertain you with: and yet this last is but a poor excuse to you, who think every trifling subject agreeable from your daughter.
I daily expect here my Lord and Lady Davers. This gives me no small pleasure, and yet it is mingled with some uneasiness at times; lest I should not, when viewed so intimately near, behave myself answerably to her ladyship’s expectations. But I resolve not to endeavour to move out of the sphere of my own capacity, in order to emulate her ladyship. She must have advantages, by conversation, as well as education, which it would be arrogance in me to assume, or to think of imitating.
All that I will attempt to do, therefore, shall be, to shew such a respectful obligingness to my lady, as shall be consistent with the condition to which I am raised; so that she may not have reason to reproach me of pride in my exaltation, nor her dear brother to rebuke me for meanness in condescending: and, as to my family arrangement, I am the less afraid of inspection, because, by the natural bias of my own mind, I bless God, I am above dark reserves, and have not one selfish or sordid view, to make me wish to avoid the most scrutinising eye.
I have begun a correspondence with Miss Darnford, a young lady of uncommon merit. But yet you know her character from my former writings. She is very solicitous to hear of all that concerns me, and particularly how Lady Davers and I agree together. I loved her from the moment I saw her first; for she has the least pride, and the most benevolence and solid thought, I ever knew in a young lady, and does not envy any one. I shall write to her often: and as I shall have so many avocations besides to fill up my time, I know you will excuse me, if I procure from this lady the return of my letters to her, for your perusal, and for the entertainment of your leisure hours. This will give you, from time to time, the accounts you desire of all that happens here. But as to what relates to our own particulars, I beg you will never spare writing, as I shall not answering; for it is one of my greatest delights, that I have such worthy parents (as I hope in God, I long shall) to bless me and to correspond with me.