Evelina HTML version

Letter 3
Lady Howard To The Rev. Mr. Villars Howard Grove, March 8
Dear and Rev. Sir,
YOUR last letter gave me infinite pleasure: after so long and tedious an illness,
how grateful to yourself and to your friends must be your returning health! You
have the hearty wishes of every individual of this place for its continuance and
Will you not think I take advantage of your acknowledged recovery, if I once more
venture to mention your pupil and Howard Grove together? Yet you must
remember the patience with which we submitted to your desire of not parting with
her during the bad state of your health, tho' it was with much reluctance we
forbore to solicit her company. My grand-daughter in particular, has scarce been
able to repress her eagerness to again meet the friend of her infancy; and for my
own part, it is very strongly my wish to manifest the regard I had for the
unfortunate Lady Belmont, by proving serviceable to her child; which seems to
me the best respect that can be paid to her memory. Permit me, therefore, to lay
before you a plan which Mrs. Mirvan and I have formed, in consequence of your
restoration to health.
I would not frighten you;-but do you think you could bear to part with your young
companion for two or three months? Mrs. Mirvan proposes to spend the ensuing
spring in London, whither for the first time, my grandchild will accompany her:
Now, my good friend, it is very earnestly their wish to enlarge and enliven their
party by the addition of your amiable ward, who would share, equally with her
own daughter, the care and attention of Mrs. Mirvan. Do not start at this proposal;
it is time that she should see something of the world. When young people are too
rigidly sequestered from it, their lively and romantic imaginations paint it to them
as a paradise of which they have been beguiled; but when they are shown it
properly, and in due time, they see it such as it really is, equally shared by pain
and pleasure, hope and disappointment.
You have nothing to apprehend from her meeting with Sir John Belmont, as that
abandoned man is now abroad, and not expected home this year.
Well, my good Sir, what say you to our scheme? I hope it will meet with your
approbation; but if it should not, be assured I can never object to any decision of
one who is so much respected and esteemed as Mr. Villars, by His most faithful,
humble servant, M. HOWARD.