I cannot do justice to the affection,—the compassion,—the tender assiduity I have experienc’d from Mr. Delves’s family:—I shall always love them; I hope too I shall always be grateful.
God grant, my dear Lady;—God grant, dear Sir James, that long ere this you may have embrac’d Mr. and Mrs. Powis.—My heart is with you:—it delights to dwell at Barford Abbey.
In a few days I hope to do myself the honour of writing to your Ladyship again.—One line from your dear hand would be most gratefully receiv’d by your oblig’d and affectionate
P.S. My good friends Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings shall hear from me next post.
Miss Powis to Lady MARY SUTTON.
Oh my dear Lady! what a villain have I escap’d from?—Could your Ladyship believe that a man, who, to all appearance, has made a good husband to your agreeable neighbour upwards of twelve years, and preserv’d the character of a man of honour;—could you believe in the decline of life he would have fallen off? No, he cannot have fallen: such a mind as his never was exalted.—It is the virtues of his wife that has hitherto made his vices imperceptible;—that has kept them in their dark cell, afraid to venture out;—afraid to appear amidst her shining perfections.—Vile, abandon’d Smith!—But for the sake of his injur’d, unhappy wife, I will not discover his baseness to any but yourself and Lady Powis.—Perhaps Mrs. Smith may not be unacquainted with his innate bad principles;—perhaps she conceals her knowledge of them knowing it vain to complain of a disorder which is past the reach of medicine.—What cure is there for mischief lurking under the mask of hypocrisy?—It must be of long standing before that covering can grow over it:—like a vellum on the eye, though taken off ever skillfully, it will again spread on the blemish’d sight.
How am I running on!—My spirits are flutter’d:—I begin where I should end, and end where I should begin.—Behold me, dearest Madam, just parted from my Hampshire friends,—silent and in tears, plac’d by the side of my miscreant conductor.—You know, my Lady, this specious man can make himself vastly entertaining: he strove to render his conversation particularly so, on our first setting out.
We had travell’d several stages without varying the subject, which was that of our intended tour, when I said I hop’d it would conquer Mrs. Smith’s melancholy for the death of her brother.—How did his answer change him in a moment from the most agreeable to the most disgustful of his sex!
My wife, Miss Warley, with a leer that made him look dreadful, wants your charming sprightliness:—it is a curs’d thing to be connected with a gloomy woman:—
Gloomy, Sir! casting at him a look of disdain; do you call mildness, complacency, and evenness of temper, gloomy?