Thursday, June 29.
My dear Mrs. Norton,
I address myself to you after a very long silence (which, however, was not owing either to want of love or duty) principally to desire you to satisfy me in two or three points, which it behoves me to know.
My father, and all the family, I am informed, are to be at my uncle Harlowe’s this day, as usual. Pray acquaint me, if they have been there? And if they were chearful on the anniversary occasion? And also, if you have heard of any journey, or intended journey, of my brother, in company with Captain Singleton and Mr. Solmes.
Strange things have happened to me, my dear worthy and maternal friend! —Very strange things! —Mr. Lovelace has proved a very barbarous and ingrateful man to me. But, God be praised, I have escaped from him! —Being among absolute strangers (tho’ I think worthy folks), I have written to Hannah Burton to come and be with me. If the good creature fall in your way, pray encourage her to come to me. I always intended to have her, she knows: —But hoped to be in happier circumstances
Say nothing to any of my friends, that you have heard from me.
Pray, do you think my father would be prevailed upon, if I were to supplicate him by letter, to take off the heavy curse he laid upon me, at my going from Harlowe-Place? —I can expect no other favour from him: But that being literally fulfilled, as to my prospects in this life, I hope it will be thought to have operated far enough.
I am afraid my Poor, as I used to call the good creatures to whose necessities I was wont to administer, by your faithful hands, have missed me of late. But now, alas! I am poor myself. It is not the least aggravation of my fault, nor of my regrets, that with such inclinations as God had given me, I have put it out of my power to do the good I once pleased myself to think I was born to do. It is a sad thing, my dearest Mrs. Norton, to render ourselves unworthy of the talents Providence has intrusted to us!
But these reflections are now too late; and perhaps I ought to have kept them to myself. Let me, however, hope, that you love me still. Pray let me hope that you do: And then, notwithstanding my misfortunes, which have made me seem ingrateful to the kind and truly maternal pains you have taken with me from my cradle, I shall have the happiness to think that there is One worthy person, who hates not
Pray remember me to my foster-brother. I hope he continues dutiful and good to you
Be pleased to direct for Rachel Clark, at Mr. Smith’s in King-street, Covent-garden. But keep the direction an absolute secret.