Letter 471: From Mr. Belford to Mr. Robert Lovelace

                                                                                              Wedn. morn. eight o’clock(6Sept.) 

Your servant arrived here before I was stirring. I sent him to Smith’s to inquire how the lady was; and ordered him to call upon me when he came back. I was pleased to hear she had had tolerable rest; and, as soon as I had dispatched him with the letter I had written overnight, I went to attend her.


I found her up, and dress’d; in a white satten nightgown. Ever elegant; but now more so, than I had seen her for a week past; her aspect serenely chearful.


She mentioned the increased dimness of her eyes, and the tremor which had invaded her limbs. If this be dying, said she, there is nothing at all shocking in it. My body hardly sensible of pain, my mind at ease, my intellects clear and perfect as ever. What a good and gracious God have I! —For this is what I always prayed for.

I told her, It was not so serene with you.

There is not the same reason for it, replied she. ‘Tis a choice comfort, Mr Belford, at the winding-up of our short story, to be able to say, I have rather suffered injuries myself, than offered them to others . I bless God, tho’ I have been unhappy, as the world deems it, and once I thought more so, than at present I do; yet have I not wilfully made any one creature so. I have no reason to grieve for any-thing but for the sorrow I have given my friends.


But pray, Mr. Belford, remember me in the best manner to my cousin Morden; and desire him to comfort them, and to tell them, that all would have been the same, had they accepted of my true penitence, as I wish as and I trust the Almighty has done.


I was called down: It was to Harry, who was just returned from Miss Howe’s, to whom he carried the lady’s letter. The stupid fellow, being bid to make haste with it, and return as soon as possible, staid not till Miss Howe had it, she being at the distance of five miles, altho’ Mrs. Howe would have had him stay, and sent a man and horse purposely with it to her daughter.

Wednesday morning, 10 o’Clock. 

The poor lady is just recovered from a fainting fit, which has left her at death’s door. Her late tranquility and freedom from pain seemed but alightening, as Mrs. Lovick and Mrs. Smith call it.

By my faith, Lovelace, I had rather part with all the friends I have in the world, than with this lady: I never knew what a virtuous, a holy friendship, as I may call mine to her, was before. But to be so new to it, and to be obliged to forego it so soon, what an affliction! Yet, thank heaven, I lose her not by my own fault! —But ‘twould be barbarous not to spare thee now.

She has sent for the Divine, who visited her before, in order to pray with her.

This entry was posted in from John Belford, To Mr. Lovelace and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *