Howard was no doubt an exceedingly kind and worthy man in his way, and has his reward; but, comparatively speaking, what are a hundred Howards to us, if their philanthropy do not help us in our best estate, when we are most worthy to be helped?
Howard came in and stopped him.
I imagine because Howard sent him.
So he thought it was all about Howard and a love interest.
Give Howard my love, and tell him to answer my letter.