The violence of Mrs Forster, when she discovered that she was considered as a lunatic, fully corroborated to the keepers the assertion of Mr Ramsden’s servant; but we must not dwell upon the scene which followed. After an ineffectual struggle, Mrs Forster found herself locked up in No. 14, and left to her own reflections. The previous scenes which had occurred, added to the treatment previous scenes which had occurred, added to the treatment which she received in the asylum, caused such excitement, that, before the next morning, she was seized with a brain fever, and raved as loudly in her delirium as any of the other unfortunate inmates there incarcerated.
by repentance is not satisfied,
Is not of heaven or earth; for these are pleased:
By penitence the Eternal’s wrath’s appeased.”
Mr Ramsden’s servant returned to Overton, stating that the doctor was not at home, but that he had left Mrs Forster and the letter. The time that Dr Beddington was to be absent had not been mentioned by the keepers; and Mr Ramsden, imagining that the doctor had probably gone out for the evening, made no further inquiries, as he intended, in a day or two, to call and bring Mrs Forster back to her own house. On the third day of her removal he set off for the asylum; and when he discovered the situation of Mrs Forster, he bitterly repented that he had been persuaded to a step which threatened such serious results. To remove her was impossible; to assert to the keepers that she was in sound mind, would have been to commit himself; he therefore withdrew his letter to Dr Beddington, who was not expected home for a fortnight, and with a heavy heart returned to Overton. Miss Dragwell was as much shocked when she was informed of the unfortunate issue of her plot; and made a resolution, to which she adhered, never to be guilty of another practical joke.
In the meantime Newton Forster had made every despatch, and returned to Overton with the cargo of shingle a few days after his mother’s incarceration. He had not been ten minutes on shore before he was made acquainted with the melancholy history of her (supposed) madness and removal to the asylum. He hastened home, where he found his father in a profound melancholy; he received Newton with a flood of tears, and appeared to be quite lost in his state of widowhood. The next morning Newton set off for the asylum, to ascertain the condition of his mother. He was admitted; found her stretched on a bed, in a state of delirium, raving in her fever, and unconscious of his presence. The frenzy of his mother being substantiated by what he had witnessed, and by the assurances of the keepers, to whom he made a present of half his small finances, to induce them to treat her with kindness, Newton returned to Overton, where he remained at home, shut up with his father. In a few days notice was given by the town-crier, that the remaining stock of Mr Nicholas Forster, optician, was to be disposed of by public auction.