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ings I have sustained the whole night on account of thine, Eliza, are beyond my power of words. Assuredly does Heaven give strength proportioned to the weight he lays upon us! Thou hast been bowed down, my child, with every burden that sorrow of heart, and pain of body, could inflict upon a poor being; and still thou tellest me, thou art beginning to get ease; — thy fever gone, thy sickness, the pain in thy side vanishing also. – May every evil so vanish that thwarts Eliza's happiness, or but awakens thy fears for a moment! – Fear nothing, my dear Hope every thing; and the balm of this passion will shed its influence on thy health, and make thee enjoy a spring of youth and cheerfulness, more than thou hast hardly
And so thou hast fixed thy Bramin's portrait over thy writing-desk; and wilt consult it in all doubts and difficulties. Grateful and good girl! Yorick smiles contentedly over all thou dost; his picture does not do justice to his own complacency.
Thy sweet little plan and distribution of thy time
how worthy of thee! Indeed, Eliza, thou leavest me nothing to direct thee in; thou leavest me nothing to require, nothing to ask — but a continuation of that conduct which won my esteem, and has made me thy friend for ever.
May the roses come quick back to thy cheeks, and the rubies to thy lips! But trust my declaration, Eliza, that thy husband (if he is the good feeling man I wish him) will press thee to him with more honest warmth and affection, and kiss thy pale, poor dejected face with more transport, than he would be able to do in the best bloom of all thy beauty; and so he ought,
or I pity him.
He must have strange feelings, if he knows not the value of such a creature as thou art. I am glad Miss Light * goes with you. She may
anxious moments. glad your ship-mates are friendly beings. You could least dispense with what is contrary to your own nature, which is soft and gentle, Eliza. It would civilize savages. Though pity were it thou shouldest be tainted with the office! How canst thou make apologies for thy last letter? 'tis most delicious to me,
for the very reason you excuse it. Write to me, my child, only such. Let them speak the easy carelessness of a heart that opens itself, any how, and every how, to a man you ought to esteem and trust. Such, Eliza, I write to thee, and so I should ever live with thee, most artlessly, most affectionately, if Providence permitted thy residence in the same section of the globe: for I am, all that honour and affection can
LXXXIV. TO THE SAME. I WRITE this, Eliza, at Mr. James's, whilst he is dressing, and the dear girl, his wife, is writing, beside me, to thee. - I got your melancholy billet before we sat down to dinner. 'Tis melancholy, indeed, my dear, to hear so piteous an account of thy sickness! Thou art encountered with evils enow, without that additional weight! I fear it will sink thy poor soul, and body with it, past recovery. - Heaven supply thee with fortitude! We have talked of nothing but thee, Eliza, and of thy sweet virtues, and endearing
* Miss Light afterwards married George Stratton, Esq,, late in the service of the East India Company at Madras. She is since dead.
conduct, all the afternoon. Mrs. James, and thy
Adieu to all such for ever. Mrs. James's honest heart revolts against the idea of ever returning them one visit. I honour her, and I honour thee for almost every act of thy life, but this blind partiality for an unworthy being
Forgive my zeal, dear girl, and allow me a right which arises only out of that fund of affection I have, and shall preserve for thee to the hour of my death! Reflect, Eliza, what are my motives for perpetually advising thee? think whether I can have any but what proceed from the cause I have mentioned! I think you are a very deserving woman; and that you want nothing but firmness, and a better opinion of yourself, to be the best female character I know. I wish I
could inspire you with a share of that vanity your enemies lay to your charge (though to me it has never been visible): because I think, in a well turned mind, it will produce good effects.
I probably shall never see you more; yet I flatter myself you'll sometimes think of me with pleasure; because you must be convinced I love you, and so interest myself in your rectitude that I had rather hear of any evil befalling you than your want of reverence for yourself. I had not power to keep this remonstrance in my breast.
It's now out; so adieu. Heaven watch over my Eliza! Thine,
To whom should Eliza apply in her distress but to her friend who loves her? why then, my dear, do you apologize for employing me? Yorick would be offended, and with reason, if you ever sent commissions to another, which he could execute. I have been with Zumps; and your pianoforte must be tuned from the brass middle string of your guitar, which is C. — I have got you a hammer too, and a pair of plyers to twist your wire with; and may every one of them, my dear, vibrate sweet comfort to my hopes! I have bought you ten handsome brass screws to hang your necessaries upon: I purchased twelve; but stole a couple from you to put up in my own cabin, at Coxwould. I shall never hang, or take my hat off one of them, but I shall think of you. I have bought thee, moreover, a couple of iron screws, which are more to be depended on than brass, for the globes.
I have written, also, to Mr. Abraham Walker, pilot
at Deal, that I had dispatched these in a packet, directed to his care; which I desired he would seek after, the moment the Deal machine arrived. I have, moreover, given him directions, what sort of an armchair you would want, and have directed him to purchase the best that Deal could afford, and take it, with the parcel, in the first boat that went off. Would I could, Eliza, so supply all thy wants, and all thy wishes! It would be a state of happiness to me. The journal is as it should be — all but its contents. Poor, dear, patient being! I do more than pity you; for I think I lose both firmness and philosophy, as I figure to myself your distresses. Do not think I spoke last night with too much asperity of ****; there was cause; and besides, a good heart ought not to love a bad one; and, indeed, cannot. But adieu to the ungrateful subject.
I have been this morning to see Mrs. James She loves thee tenderly, and unfeignedly. She is alarmed for thee She says thou look’dst most ill and melancholy on going away. She pities thee. I shall visit her every Sunday, while I am in town. As this may be my last letter, I earnestly bid thee farewell. May the God of Kindness be kind to thee, and approve himself thy protector, now thou art defenceless! And, for thy daily comfort, bear in thy mind this truth, that whatever measure of sorrow and distress is thy portion, it will be repaid to thee in a full measure of happiness by the Being thou hast wisely chosen for thy eternal friend.
Farewell, farewell, Eliza! whilst I live, count upon me as the most warm and disinterested of earthly friends.