Mr. Belford . In Continuation.
The Colonel tells me, That he has written to Mr. John Harlowe, by his servant, “That they might spare themselves the trouble of debating about a reconciliation; for that his dear cousin would probably be no more, before they could resolve.”
He asked me after his cousin’s means of subsisting; and whether she had accepted of any favour from me : He was sure, he said, she would not from you .
I acquainted him with the truth of her parting with some of her apparel. This wrung his heart; and bitterly did he exclaim as well against you, as against her implacable relations.
He wished he had not come to England at all, or had come time enough; and hoped I would apprize him of the whole mournful story, at a proper season. He added, that he had thoughts when he came over, of fixing here for the remainder of his days: But now, as it was impossible his cousin could recover, he would go abroad again, and resettle himself at Florence or Leghorn.
The lady has been giving orders, with great presence of mind, about her body: directing her nurse and the maid of the house to put her into her coffin as soon as she was cold. Mr. Belford, she said, would know that rest by her will.
She has just now given from her bosom, where she always wore it, a miniature picture, set in gold, of Miss Howe: She gave it to Mrs. Lovick, desiring her to fold it up in white paper, and direct it, To Charles Hickman, Esq ; and to give it to me, when she was departed, for that gentleman.
She looked upon the picture, before she gave it her— Sweet and ever-amiable friend—companion—sister—lover! said she. —And kissed it four several times, once at each tender appellation.
Your other servant is come. —Well may you be impatient! —Well may you! —But do you think I can leave off in the middle of a conversation, to run and set down what offers, and send it away piecemeal as I write? —If I could, must I not lose one half, while I put down the other?
This event is nearly as interesting to me as it is to you . If you are more grieved than I, there can be but one reason for it; and that’s at your heart! I had rather lose all the friends I have in the world (yourself included,) than this divine lady; and shall be unhappy when ever I think of her sufferings, and her merit; tho’ I have nothing to reproach myself upon the former.
I say not this, just now, so much to reflect upon you, as to express my own grief; tho’ your conscience, I suppose, will make you think otherwise.
Your poor fellow, who says, that he begs for his life, in desiring to be dispatched back with a letter, tears this from me. Else, perhaps, (for I am just sent for down) a quarter of an hour would make you—not easy indeed— but certain —And that, in a state like yours, to a mind like yours, is a relief.
Thursday afternoon, 4 o’Clock.