HISTORY OF A YOUNG LADY
CONTENTS OF VOLUME V
LETTER I. Lovelace to Belford.— An agreeable airing with the lady. Delightfully easy she. Obsequiously respectful he. Miss Howe's plot now no longer his terror. Gives the particulars of their agreeable conversation while abroad.
LETTER II. From the same.— An account of his ipecacuanha plot. Instructs Dorcas how to act surprise and terror. Monosyllables and trisyllables to what likened. Politeness lives not in a storm. Proclamation criers. The lady now sees she loves him. Her generous tenderness for him. He has now credit for a new score. Defies Mrs. Townsend.
LETTER III. Clarissa to Miss Howe.— Acknowledged tenderness for Lovelace. Love for a man of errors punishable.
LETTER IV. Lovelace to Belford.— Suspicious inquiry after him and the lady by a servant in livery from one Captain Tomlinson. Her terrors on the occasion. His alarming management. She resolves not to stir abroad. He exults upon her not being willing to leave him.
LETTER V. VI. From the same.— Arrival of Captain Tomlinson, with a pretended commission from Mr. John Harlowe to set on food a general reconciliation, provided he can be convinced that they are actually married. Different conversations on this occasion.—The lady insists that the truth be told to Tomlinson. She carries her point through to the disappointment of one of his private views. He forms great hopes of success from the effects of his ipecacuanha contrivance.
LETTER VII. Lovelace to Belford.— He makes such a fair representation to Tomlinson of the situation between him and the lady, behaves so plausibly, and makes an overture so generous, that she is all kindness and unreserved to him. Her affecting exultation on her amended prospects. His unusual sensibility upon it. Reflection on the good effects of education. Pride an excellent substitute to virtue.
LETTER VIII. From the same.— Who Tomlinson is. Again makes Belford object, in order to explain his designs by answering the objections. John Harlowe a sly sinner. Hard- hearted reasons for giving the lady a gleam of joy. Illustrated by a story of two sovereigns at war.
Extracts from Clarissa's letter to Miss Howe. She rejoices in her present agreeable prospects. Attributes much to Mr. Hickman. Describes Captain Tomlinson. Gives a character of Lovelace, [which is necessary to be attended to: especially by those who have thought favourably of him for some of his liberal actions, and hardly of her for the distance she at first kept him at.]
LETTER IX. Lovelace to Belford.— Letter from Lord M. His further arts and precautions. His happy day promised to be soon. His opinion of the clergy, and of going to church. She pities every body who wants pity. Loves every body. He owns he should be the happiest of men, could he get over his prejudices against matrimony. Draughts of settlements. Ludicrously accounts for the reason why she refuses to hear them read to her. Law and gospel two different things. Sally flings her handkerchief in his face.
LETTER X. From the same.— Has made the lady more than once look about her. She owns that he is more than indifferent to her. Checks him with sweetness of temper for his encroaching freedoms. Her proof of true love. He ridicules marriage purity. Severely reflects upon public freedoms between men and their wives. Advantage he once made upon such an occasion. Has been after a license. Difficulty in procuring one. Great faults and great virtues often in the same person. He is willing to believe that women have no souls. His whimsical reasons.
LETTER XI. Lovelace to Belford.— Almost despairs of succeeding (as he had hoped) by love and gentleness. Praises her modesty. His encroaching freedoms resented by her. The woman, he observes, who resents not initiatory freedoms, must be lost. He reasons, in his free way, upon her delicacy. Art of the Eastern monarchs.
LETTER XII. From the same.— A letter from Captain Tomlinson makes all up. Her uncle Harlowe's pretended proposal big with art and plausible delusion. She acquiesces in it. He writes to the pretended Tomlinson, on an affecting hint of her's, requesting that her uncle Harlowe would, in person, give his niece to him; or permit Tomlinson to be his proxy on the occasion.—And now for a little of mine, he says, which he has ready to spring.
LETTER XIII. Belford to Lovelace.— Again earnestly expostulates with him in the lady's favour. Remembers and applauds the part she bore in the conversation at his collation. The frothy wit of libertines how despicable. Censures the folly, the weakness, the grossness, the unpermanency of sensual love. Calls some of his contrivances trite, stale, and poor. Beseeches him to remove her from the vile house. How many dreadful stories could the horrid Sinclair tell the sex! Serious reflections on the dying state of his uncle.
LETTER XIV. Lovelace to Belford.— Cannot yet procure a license. Has secured a retreat, if not victory. Defends in anger the simplicity of his inventive contrivances. Enters upon his general defence, compared with the principles and practices of other libertines. Heroes and warlike kings worse men than he. Epitome of his and the lady's story after ten years' cohabitation. Caution to those who would censure him. Had the sex made virtue a recommendation to their favour, he says, he should have had a greater regard to his morals than he has had.
LETTER XV. From the same.— Preparative to his little mine, as he calls it. Loves to write to the moment. Alarm begins. Affectedly terrified.
LETTER XVI. From the same.— The lady frighted out of her bed by dreadful cries of fire. She awes him into decency. On an extorted promise of forgiveness, he leaves her. Repenting, he returns; but finds her door fastened. What a triumph has her sex obtained by her virtue! But how will she see him next morning, as he has given her.
LETTER XVII. Lovelace to Belford.— Dialogue with Clarissa, the door between them. Her letter to him. She will not see him for a week.
LETTER XVIII. From the same.— Copies of letters that pass between them. Goes to the commons to try to get the license. She shall see him, he declares, on his return. Love and compassion hard to be separated. Her fluctuating reasons on their present situation. Is jealous of her superior qualities. Does justice to her immovable virtue.
LETTER XIX. From the same.— The lady escaped. His rage. Makes a solemn vow of revenge, if once more he gets her into his power. His man Will. is gone in search of her. His hopes; on what grounded. He will advertise her. Describes her dress. Letter left behind her. Accuses her (that is to say, LOVELACE accuses her,) of niceness, prudery, affectation.
LETTER XX. From the same.— A letter from Miss Howe to Clarissa falls into his hands; which, had it come to her's, would have laid open and detected all his designs. In it she acquits Clarissa of prudery, coquetry, and undue reserve. Admires, applauds, blesses her for the example she has set for her sex, and for the credit she has done it, by her conduct in the most difficult situations.
[This letter may be considered as a kind of summary of Clarissa's trials, her persecutions, and exemplary conduct hitherto; and of Mr. Lovelace's intrigues, plots, and views, so far as Miss Howe could be supposed to know them, or to guess at them.]
A letter from Lovelace, which farther shows the fertility of his contriving genius.
LETTER XXI. Clarissa to Miss Howe.— Informs her of Lovelace's villany, and of her escape. Her only concern, what. The course she intends to pursue.
LETTER XXII. Lovelace to Belford.— Exults on hearing, from his man Will., that the lady has refuged herself at Hampstead. Observations in a style of levity on some passages in the letter she left behind her. Intimates that Tomlinson is arrived to aid his purposes. The chariot is come; and now, dressed like a bridegroom, attended by a footman she never saw, he is already, he says, at Hampstead.
LETTER XXIII. XXIV. Lovelace to Belford.— Exults on his contrivances.—By what means he gets into the lady's presence at Mrs. Moore's. Her terrors, fits, exclamations. His plausible tales to Mrs. Moore and Miss Rawlins. His intrepid behaviour to the lady. Copies of letters from Tomlinson, and of pretended ones from his own relations, calculated to pacify and delude her.
LETTER XXV. XXVI. From the same.— His farther arts, inventions, and intrepidity. She puts home questions to him. 'Ungenerous and ungrateful she calls him. He knows not the value of the heart he had insulted. He had a plain path before him, after he had tricked her out of her father's house! But that now her mind was raised above fortune, and above him.' His precautionary contrivances.
LETTER XXVII. XXVIII. XXX. XXXI. XXXII. From the same.— Character of widow Bevis. Prepossesses the women against Miss Howe. Leads them to think she is in love with him. Apt himself to think so; and why. Women like not novices; and why. Their vulgar aphorism animadverted on. Tomlinson arrives. Artful conversation between them. Miss Rawlins's prudery. His forged letter in imitation of Miss Howe's, No. IV. Other contrivances to delude the lady, and attach the women to his party.
LETTER XXXIII. XXXIV. XXXV. XXXVI. From the same.— Particulars of several interesting conversations between himself, Tomlinson, and the lady. Artful management of the two former. Her noble spirit. He tells Tomlinson before her that he never had any proof of affection from her. She frankly owns the regard she once had for him. 'He had brought her,' she tells Tomlinson and him, 'more than once to own it to him. Nor did his own vanity, she was sure, permit him to doubt of it. He had kept her soul in suspense an hundred times.' Both men affected in turn by her noble behaviour, and great sentiments. Their pleas, prayers, prostrations, to move her to relent. Her distress.
MR. LOVELACE, TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. FRIDAY EVENING.
Just returned from an airing with my charmer, complied with after great importunity. She was attended by the two nymphs. They both topt their parts; kept their eyes within bounds; made moral reflections now-and- then. O Jack! what devils are women, when all tests are got over, and we have completely ruined them!
The coach carried us to Hampstead, to Highgate, to Muswell-hill; back to Hampstead to the Upper-Flask: there, in compliment to the nymphs, my beloved consented to alight, and take a little repast. Then home early by Kentish-town.
Delightfully easy she, and so respectful and obliging I, all the way, and as we walked out upon the heath, to view the variegated prospects which that agreeable elevation affords, that she promised to take now-and-then a little excursion with me. I think, Miss Howe, I think, said I to myself, every now-and-then as we walked, that thy wicked devices are superceded.
But let me give thee a few particulars of our conversation in the circumrotation we took, while in the coach—She had received a letter from Miss Howe yesterday, I presumed?
She made no answer. How happy should I think myself to be admitted into their correspondence? I would joyfully make an exchange of communications.
So, though I hoped not to succeed by her consent, [and little did she think I had so happily in part succeeded without it,] I thought it not amiss to urge for it, for several reasons: among others, that I might account to her for my constant employment at my pen; in order to take off her jealousy, that she was the subject of thy correspondence and mine: and that I might justify my secrecy and uncommunicativeness by her own.
I proceeded therefore—That I loved familiar-letter-writing, as I had more than once told her, above all the species of writing: it was writing from the heart, (without the fetters prescribed by method or study,) as the very word cor-respondence implied. Not the heart only; the soul was in it. Nothing of body, when friend writes to friend; the mind impelling sovereignly the vassal-fingers. It was, in short, friendship recorded; friendship given under hand and seal; demonstrating that the parties were under no apprehension of changing from time or accident, when they so liberally gave testimonies, which would always be ready, on failure or infidelity, to be turned against them.—For my own part, it was the principal diversion I had in her absence; but for this innocent amusement, the distance she so frequently kept me at would have been intolerable.
Sally knew my drift; and said, She had had the honour to see two or three of my letters, and of Mr. Belford's; and she thought them the most entertaining that she had ever read.
My friend Belford, I said, had a happy talent in the letter-writing way; and upon all subjects.
I expected my beloved would have been inquisitive after our subject: but (lying perdue, as I saw) not a word said she. So I touched upon this article myself.
Our topics were various and diffuse: sometimes upon literary articles [she was very attentive upon this]; sometimes upon the public entertainments; sometimes amusing each other with the fruits of the different correspondencies we held with persons abroad, with whom we had contracted friendships; sometimes upon the foibles and perfections of our particular friends; sometimes upon our own present and future hopes; sometimes aiming at humour and raillery upon each other.—It might indeed appear to savour of vanity, to suppose my letters would entertain a lady of her delicacy and judgment: but yet I could not but say, that perhaps she would be far from thinking so hardly of me as sometimes she had seemed to do, if she were to see the letters which generally passed between Mr. Belford and me [I hope, Jack, thou hast more manners, than to give me the lie, though but in thy heart].
She then spoke: after declining my compliment in such a manner, as only a person can do, who deserved it, she said, For her part, she had always thought me a man of sense [a man of sense, Jack! What a niggardly praise!],—and should therefore hope, that, when I wrote, it exceeded even my speech: for that it was impossible, be the letters written in as easy and familiar a style as they would, but that they must have that advantage from sitting down to write them which prompt speech could not always have. She should think it very strange therefore, if my letters were barren of sentiment; and as strange, if I gave myself liberties upon premeditation, which could have no excuse at all, but from a thoughtlessness, which itself wanted excuse.—But if Mr. Belford's letters and mine were upon subjects so general, and some of them equally (she presumed) instructive and entertaining, she could not but say, that she should be glad to see any of them; and particularly those which Miss Martin had seen and praised.
This was put close.
I looked at her, to see if I could discover any tincture of jealousy in this hint; that Miss Martin had seen what I had not shown to her. But she did not look it: so I only said, I should be very proud to show her not only those, but all that passed between Mr. Belford and me; but I must remind her, that she knew the condition.
No, indeed! with a sweet lip pouted out, as saucy as pretty; implying a lovely scorn, that yet can only be lovely in youth so blooming, and beauty so divinely distinguished.
How I long to see such a motion again! Her mouth only can give it.
But I am mad with love—yet eternal will be the distance, at the rate I go on: now fire, now ice, my soul is continually upon the hiss, as I may say. In vain, however, is the trial to quench—what, after all, is unquenchable.
Pr'ythee, Belford, forgive my nonsense, and my Vulcan-like metaphors—Did I not tell thee, not that I am sick of love, but that I am mad with it? Why brought I such an angel into such a house? into such company?—And why do I not stop my ears to the sirens, who, knowing my aversion to wedlock, are perpetually touching that string?
I was not willing to be answered so easily: I was sure, that what passed between two such young ladies (friends so dear) might be seen by every body: I had more reason than any body to wish to see the letters that passed between her and Miss Howe; because I was sure they must be full of admirable instruction, and one of the dear correspondents had deigned to wish my entire reformation.
She looked at me as if she would look me through: I thought I felt eye- beam, after eye-beam, penetrate my shivering reins.—But she was silent. Nor needed her eyes the assistance of speech.
Nevertheless, a little recovering myself, I hoped that nothing unhappy had befallen either Miss Howe or her mother. The letter of yesterday sent by a particular hand: she opening it with great emotion—seeming to have expected it sooner—were the reasons for my apprehensions.
We were then at Muswell-hill: a pretty country within the eye, to Polly, was the remark, instead of replying to me.
But I was not so to be answered—I should expect some charming subjects and characters from two such pens: I hoped every thing went on well between Mr. Hickman and Miss Howe. Her mother's heart, I said, was set upon that match: Mr. Hickman was not without his merits: he was what the ladies called a SOBER man: but I must needs say, that I thought Miss Howe deserved a husband of a very different cast!
This, I supposed, would have engaged her into a subject from which I could have wiredrawn something:—for Hickman is one of her favourites— why, I can't divine, except for the sake of opposition of character to that of thy honest friend.
But she cut me short by a look of disapprobation, and another cool remark upon a distant view; and, How far off, Miss Horton, do you think that clump of trees may be? pointing out of the coach.—So I had done.
Here endeth all I have to write concerning our conversation on this our agreeable airing.
We have both been writing ever since we came home. I am to be favoured with her company for an hour, before she retires to rest.
All that obsequious love can suggest, in order to engage her tenderest sentiments for me against tomorrow's sickness, will I aim at when we meet. But at parting will complain of a disorder in my stomach.
We have met. All was love and unexceptionable respect on my part. Ease and complaisance on her's. She was concerned for my disorder. So sudden!—Just as we parted! But it was nothing. I should be quite well by the morning.
Faith, Jack, I think I am sick already. Is it possible for such a giddy fellow as me to persuade myself to be ill! I am a better mimic at this rate than I wish to be. But every nerve and fibre of me is always ready to contribute its aid, whether by health or by ailment, to carry a resolved-on roguery into execution.
Dorcas has transcribed for me the whole letter of Miss Howe, dated Sunday, May 14,* of which before I had only extracts. She found no other letter added to that parcel: but this, and that which I copied myself in character last Sunday whilst she was at church, relating to the smuggling scheme,** are enough for me.
* See Vol. IV. Letter XXIX. ** Ibid. Letter XLII.
Dorcas tells me, that her lady has been removing her papers from the mahogany chest into a wainscot box, which held her linen, and which she put into her dark closet. We have no key of that at present. No doubt but all her letters, previous to those I have come at, are in that box. Dorcas is uneasy upon it: yet hopes that her lady does not suspect her; for she is sure that she laid in every thing as she found it.
MR. LOVELACE, TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. COCOA-TREE, SATURDAY, MAY 27.
This ipecacuanha is a most disagreeable medicine. That these cursed physical folks can find out nothing to do us good, but what would poison the devil! In the other world, were they only to take physic, it would be punishable enough of itself for a mis-spent life. A doctor at one elbow, and an apothecary at the other, and the poor soul labouring under their prescribed operations, he need no worse tormentors.
But now this was to take down my countenance. It has done it: for, with violent reachings, having taken enough to make me sick, and not enough water to carry it off, I presently looked as if I had kept my bed a fortnight. Ill jesting, as I thought in the midst of the exercise, with edge tools, and worse with physical ones.
Two hours it held me. I had forbid Dorcas to let her lady know any thing of the matter; out of tenderness to her; being willing, when she knew my prohibition, to let her see that I expected her to be concerned for me.—
Well, but Dorcas was nevertheless a woman, and she can whisper to her lady the secret she is enjoined to keep!
Come hither, toad, [sick as the devil at the instant]; let me see what a mixture of grief and surprize may be beat up together in thy puden-face.
That won't do. That dropt jaw, and mouth distended into the long oval, is more upon the horrible than the grievous.
Nor that pinking and winking with thy odious eyes, as my charmer once called them.
A little better that; yet not quite right: but keep your mouth closer. You have a muscle or two which you have no command of, between your cheek-bone and your lips, that should carry one corner of your mouth up towards your crow's-foot, and that down to meet it.
There! Begone! Be in a plaguy hurry running up stair and down, to fetch from the dining-room what you carry up on purpose to fetch, till motion extraordinary put you out of breath, and give you the sigh natural.
What's the matter, Dorcas?
My beloved wonders she has not seen me this morning, no doubt; but is too shy to say she wonders. Repeated What's the matter, however, as Dorcas runs up and down stairs by her door, bring on, O Madam! my master! my poor master!
What! How! When!—and all the monosyllables of surprize.
[Within parentheses let me tell thee, that I have often thought, that the little words in the republic of letters, like the little folks in a nation, are the most significant. The trisyllables, and the rumblers of syllables more than three, are but the good-for-little magnates.]
I must not tell you, Madam—My master ordered me not to tell you—but he is in a worse way than he thinks for!—But he would not have you frighted.
High concern took possession of every sweet feature. She pitied me!—by my soul, she pitied me!
Where is he?
Too much in a hurry for good manners, [another parenthesis, Jack! Good manners are so little natural, that we ought to be composed to observe them: politeness will not live in a storm]. I cannot stay to answer questions, cries the wench—though desirous to answer [a third parenthesis—Like the people crying proclamations, running away from the customers they want to sell to]. This hurry puts the lady in a hurry to ask, [a fourth, by way of establishing the third!] as the other does the people in a hurry to buy. And I have in my eye now a whole street raised, and running after a proclamation or express-crier, as if the first was a thief, the other his pursuers.
At last, O Lord! let Mrs. Lovelace know!—There is danger, to be sure! whispered from one nymph to another; but at the door, and so loud, that my listening fair-one might hear.
Out she darts—As how! as how, Dorcas!
O Madam—A vomiting of blood! A vessel broke, to be sure!
Down she hastens; finds every one as busy over my blood in the entry, as if it were that of the Neapolitan saint.
In steps my charmer, with a face of sweet concern.
How do you, Mr. Lovelace?
O my best love!—Very well!—Very well!—Nothing at all! nothing of consequence!—I shall be well in an instant!—Straining again! for I was indeed plaguy sick, though no more blood came.
In short, Belford, I have gained my end. I see the dear soul loves me. I see she forgives me all that's past. I see I have credit for a new score.
Miss Howe, I defy thee, my dear—Mrs. Townsend!—Who the devil are you?— Troop away with your contrabands. No smuggling! nor smuggler, but myself! Nor will the choicest of my fair-one's favours be long prohibited goods to me!
Every one is now sure that she loves me. Tears were in her eyes more than once for me. She suffered me to take her hand, and kiss it as often as I pleased. On Mrs. Sinclair's mentioning, that I too much confined myself, she pressed me to take an airing; but obligingly desired me to be careful of myself. Wished I would advise with a physician. God made physicians, she said.
I did not think that, Jack. God indeed made us all. But I fancy she meant physic instead of physicians; and then the phrase might mean what the vulgar phrase means;—God sends meat, the Devil cooks.
I was well already, on taking the styptic from her dear hands.
On her requiring me to take the air, I asked, If I might have the honour of her company in a coach; and this, that I might observe if she had an intention of going out in my absence.
If she thought a chair were not a more proper vehicle for my case, she would with all her heart!
There's a precious!
I kissed her hand again! She was all goodness!—Would to Heaven I better deserved it, I said!—But all were golden days before us!—Her presence and generous concern had done every thing. I was well! Nothing ailed me. But since my beloved will have it so, I'll take a little airing!— Let a chair be called!—O my charmer! were I to have owned this indisposition to my late harasses, and to the uneasiness I have had for disobliging you; all is infinitely compensated by your goodness.—All the art of healing is in your smiles!—Your late displeasure was the only malady!
While Mrs. Sinclair, and Dorcas, and Polly, and even poor silly Mabell [for Sally went out, as my angel came in] with uplifted hands and eyes, stood thanking Heaven that I was better, in audible whispers: See the power of love, cried one!—What a charming husband, another!—Happy couple, all!
O how the dear creature's cheek mantled!—How her eyes sparkled!—How sweetly acceptable is praise to conscious merit, while it but reproaches when applied to the undeserving!—What a new, what a gay creation it makes all at once in a diffident or dispirited heart!
And now, Belford, was it not worth while to be sick? And yet I must tell thee, that too many pleasanter expedients offer themselves, to make trial any more of this confounded ipecacuanha.
MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE, TO MISS HOWE SATURDAY, MAY 27.
Mr. Lovelace, my dear, has been very ill. Suddenly taken. With a vomiting of blood in great quantities. Some vessel broken. He complained of a disorder in his stomach over night. I was the affected with it, as I am afraid it was occasioned by the violent contentions between us.—But was I in fault?
How lately did I think I hated him!—But hatred and anger, I see, are but temporary passions with me. One cannot, my dear, hate people in danger of death, or who are in distress or affliction. My heart, I find, is not proof against kindness, and acknowledgements of errors committed.
He took great care to have his illness concealed from me as long as he could. So tender in the violence of his disorder!—So desirous to make the best of it!—I wish he had not been ill in my sight. I was too much affected—every body alarming me with his danger. The poor man, from such high health, so suddenly taken!—and so unprepared!—
He is gone out in a chair. I advised him to do so. I fear that my advice was wrong; since quiet in such a disorder must needs be best. We are apt to be so ready, in cases of emergency, to give our advice, without judgment, or waiting for it!—I proposed a physician indeed; but he would not hear of one. I have great honour for the faculty; and the greater, as I have always observed that those who treat the professors of the art of healing contemptuously, too generally treat higher institutions in the same manner.
I am really very uneasy. For I have, I doubt, exposed myself to him, and to the women below. They indeed will excuse me, as they think us married. But if he be not generous, I shall have cause to regret this surprise; which (as I had reason to think myself unaccountably treated by him) has taught me more than I knew of myself.
'Tis true, I have owned more than once, that I could have liked Mr. Lovelace above all men. I remember the debates you and I used to have on this subject, when I was your happy guest. You used to say, and once you wrote,* that men of his cast are the men that our sex do not naturally dislike: While I held, that such were not (however that might be) the men we ought to like. But what with my relations precipitating of me, on one hand, and what with his unhappy character, and embarrassing ways, on the other, I had no more leisure than inclination to examine my own heart in this particular. And this reminds me of a transcribe, though it was written in raillery. 'May it not be,' say you,** 'that you have had such persons to deal with, as have not allowed you to attend to the throbs; or if you had them a little now-and-then, whether, having had two accounts to place them to, you have not by mistake put them to the wrong one?' A passage, which, although it came into my mind when Mr. Lovelace was least exceptionable, yet that I have denied any efficacy to, when he has teased and vexed me, and given me cause of suspicion. For, after all, my dear, Mr. Lovelace is not wise in all his ways. And should we not endeavour, as much as is possible, (where we are not attached by natural ties,) to like and dislike as reason bids us, and according to the merit or demerit of the object? If love, as it is called, is allowed to be an excuse for our most unreasonable follies, and to lay level all the fences that a careful education has surrounded us by, what is meant by the doctrine of subduing our passions?—But, O my dearest friend, am I not guilty of a punishable fault, were I to love this man of errors? And has not my own heart deceived me, when I thought I did not? And what must be that love, that has not some degree of purity for its object? I am afraid of recollecting some passages in my cousin Morden's letter.***—And yet why fly I from subjects that, duly considered, might tend to correct and purify my heart? I have carried, I doubt, my notions on this head too high, not for practice, but for my practice. Yet think me not guilty of prudery neither; for had I found out as much of myself before; or, rather, had he given me heart's ease enough before to find it out, you should have had my confession sooner.
* See Vol. IV. Letter XXXIV. ** See Vol. I. Letter XII. *** See Vol. IV. Letter XIX, & seq.
Nevertheless, let me tell you (what I hope I may justly tell you,) that if again he give me cause to resume distance and reserve, I hope my reason will gather strength enough from his imperfections to enable me to keep my passions under.—What can we do more than govern ourselves by the temporary lights lent us?
You will not wonder that I am grave on this detection—Detection, must I call it? What can I call it?—
Dissatisfied with myself, I am afraid to look back upon what I have written: yet know not how to have done writing. I never was in such an odd frame of mind.—I know not how to describe it.—Was you ever so?— Afraid of the censure of her you love—yet not conscious that you deserve it?
Of this, however, I am convinced, that I should indeed deserve censure, if I kept any secret of my heart from you.
But I will not add another word, after I have assured you, that I will look still more narrowly into myself: and that I am
Your equally sincere and affectionate CL. HARLOWE.
MR. LOVELACE, TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. SAT. EVENING.
I had a charming airing. No return of my malady. My heart was perfectly easy, how could my stomach be otherwise?
But when I came home, I found that my sweet soul had been alarmed by a new incident—The inquiry after us both, in a very suspicious manner, and that by description of our persons, and not by names, by a servant in a blue livery turn'd up and trimm'd with yellow.
Dorcas was called to him, as the upper servant; and she refusing to answer any of the fellow's questions, unless he told his business, and from whom he came, the fellow (as short as she) said, that if she would not answer him, perhaps she might answer somebody else; and went away out of humour.
Dorcas hurried up to her Lady, and alarmed her, not only with the fact, but with her own conjectures; adding, that he was an ill-looking fellow, and she was sure could come for no good.
The livery and the features of the servant were particularly inquired after, and as particularly described—Lord bless her! no end of her alarms, she thought! And then did her apprehensions anticipate every evil that could happen.
She wished Mr. Lovelace would come in.
Mr. Lovelace came in soon after; all lively, grateful, full of hopes, of duty, of love, to thank his charmer, and to congratulate with her upon the cure she had performed. And then she told the story, with all its circumstances; and Dorcas, to point her lady's fears, told us, that the servant was a sun-burnt fellow, and looked as if he had been at sea.
He was then, no doubt, Captain Singleton's servant, and the next news she should hear, was, that the house was surrounded by a whole ship's crew; the vessel lying no farther off, as she understood, than Rotherhithe.
Impossible, I said. Such an attempt would not be ushered in by such a manner of inquiry. And why may it not rather be a servant of your cousin Morden, with notice of his arrival, and of his design to attend you?
This surmise delighted her. Her apprehensions went off, and she was at leisure to congratulate me upon my sudden recovery; which she did in the most obliging manner.
But we had not sat long together, when Dorcas again came fluttering up to tell us, that the footman, the very footman, was again at the door, and inquired, whether Mr. Lovelace and his lady, by name, had not lodgings in this house? He asked, he told Dorcas, for no harm. But his disavowing of harm, was a demonstration with my apprehensive fair-one, that harm was intended. And as the fellow had not been answered by Dorcas, I proposed to go down to the street-parlour, and hear what he had to say.
I see your causeless terror, my dearest life, said I, and your impatience —Will you be pleased to walk down—and, without being observed, (for he shall come no farther than the parlour-door,) you may hear all that passes?
She consented. We went down. Dorcas bid the man come forward. Well, friend, what is your business with Mr. and Mrs. Lovelace?
Bowing, scraping, I am sure you are the gentleman, Sir. Why, Sir, my business is only to know if your honour be here, and to be spoken with; or if you shall be here for any time?
Whom came you from?
From a gentleman who ordered me to say, if I was made to tell, but not else, it was from a friend of Mr. John Harlowe, Mrs. Lovelace's eldest uncle.
The dear creature was ready to sink upon this. It was but of late that she had provided herself with salts. She pulled them out.
Do you know anything of Colonel Morden, friend? said I.
No; I never heard of his name.
Of Captain Singleton?
No, Sir. But the gentleman, my master, is a Captain too.
What is his name?
I don't know if I should tell.
There can be no harm in telling the gentleman's name, if you come upon a good account.
That I do; for my master told me so; and there is not an honester gentleman on the face of God's yearth.—His name is Captain Tomlinson, Sir.
I don't know such a one.
I believe not, Sir. He was pleased to say, he don't know your honor, Sir; but I heard him say as how he should not be an unwelcome visiter to you for all that.
Do you know such a man as Captain Tomlinson, my dearest life, [aside,] your uncle's friend?
No; but my uncle may have acquaintance, no doubt, that I don't know.— But I hope [trembling] this is not a trick.
Well, friend, if your master has anything to say to Mr. Lovelace, you may tell him, that Mr. Lovelace is here; and will see him whenever he pleases.
The dear creature looked as if afraid that my engagement was too prompt for my own safety; and away went the fellow—I wondering, that she might not wonder, that this Captain Tomlinson, whoever he were, came not himself, or sent not a letter the second time, when he had reason to suppose that I might be here.
Mean time, for fear that this should be a contrivance of James Harlowe, who, I said, love plotting, though he had not a head turned for it, I gave some precautionary directions to the servants, and the women, whom, for the greater parade, I assembled before us, and my beloved was resolved not to stir abroad till she saw the issue of this odd affair.
And here must I close, though in so great a puzzle.
Only let me add, that poor Belton wants thee; for I dare not stir for my life.
Mowbray and Tourville skulk about like vagabonds, without heads, without hands, without souls; having neither you nor me to conduct them. They tell me, they shall rust beyond the power of oil or action to brighten them up, or give them motion.
How goes it with thy uncle?
MR. LOVELACE, TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. SUNDAY, MAY 28.
This story of Captain Tomlinson employed us not only for the time we were together last night, but all the while we sat at breakfast this morning. She would still have it that it was the prelude to some mischief from Singleton. I insisted (according to my former hint) that it might much more probably be a method taken by Colonel Morden to alarm her, previous to a personal visit. Travelled gentlemen affected to surprise in this manner. And why, dearest creature, said I, must every thing that happens, which we cannot immediately account for, be what we least wish?
She had had so many disagreeable things befall her of late, that her fears were too often stronger than her hopes.
And this, Madam, makes me apprehensive, that you will get into so low- spirited a way, that you will not be able to enjoy the happiness that seems to await us.
Her duty and her gratitude, she gravely said, to the Dispenser of all good, would secure her, she hoped, against unthankfulness. And a thankful spirit was the same as a joyful one.
So, Belford, for all her future joys she depends entirely upon the invisible Good. She is certainly right; since those who fix least upon second causes are the least likely to be disappointed—And is not this gravity for her gravity?
She had hardly done speaking, when Dorcas came running up in a hurry— she set even my heart into a palpitation—thump, thump, thump, like a precipitated pendulum in a clock-case—flutter, flutter, flutter, my charmer's, as by her sweet bosom rising to her chin I saw.
This lower class of people, my beloved herself observed, were for ever aiming at the stupid wonderful, and for making even common incidents matter of surprise.
Why the devil, said I to the wench, this alarming hurry?—And with your spread fingers, and your O Madams, and O Sirs!—and be cursed to you! Would there have been a second of time difference, had you come up slowly?
Captain Tomlinson, Sir!
Captain Devilson, what care I?—Do you see how you have disordered your lady?
Good Mr. Lovelace, said my charmer, trembling [see, Jack, when she has an end to serve, I am good Mr. Lovelace,] if—if my brother,—if Captain Singleton should appear—pray now—I beseech you—let me beg of you—to govern your temper—My brother is my brother—Captain Singleton is but an agent.
My dearest life, folding my arms about her, [when she asks favours, thought I, the devil's in it, if she will not allow such an innocent freedom as this, from good Mr. Lovelace too,] you shall be witness of all passes between us.—Dorcas, desire the gentleman to walk up.
Let me retire to my chamber first!—Let me not be known to be in the house!
Charming dear!—Thou seest, Belford, she is afraid of leaving me!—O the little witchcrafts! Were it not for surprises now-and-then, how would an honest man know where to have them?
She withdrew to listen.—And though this incident has not turned out to answer all I wished from it, yet is it not necessary, if I would acquaint thee with my whole circulation, to be very particular in what passed between Captain Tomlinson and me.
Enter Captain Tomlinson, in a riding-dress, whip in hand.
Your servant, Sir,—Mr. Lovelace, I presume?
My name is Lovelace, Sir.
Excuse the day, Sir.—Be pleased to excuse my garb. I am obliged to go out of town directly, that I may return at night.
The day is a good day. Your garb needs no apology.
When I sent my servant, I did not know that I should find time to do myself this honour. All that I thought I could do to oblige my friend this journey, was only to assure myself of your abode; and whether there was a probability of being admitted to the speech of either you, or your lady.
Sir, you best know your own motives. What your time will permit you to do, you also best know. And here I am, attending your pleasure.
My charmer owned afterwards her concern on my being so short. Whatever I shall mingle of her emotions, thou wilt easily guess I had afterwards.
Sir, I hope no offence. I intend none.
None—None at all, Sir.
Sir, I have no interest in the affair I come about. I may appear officious; and if I thought I should, I would decline any concern in it, after I have just hinted what it is.
And pray, Sir, what is it?
May I ask you, Sir, without offence, whether you wish to be reconciled, and to co-operate upon honourable terms, with one gentleman of the name of Harlowe; preparative, as it may be hoped, to a general reconciliation?
O how my heart fluttered! cried my charmer.
I can't tell, Sir—[and then it fluttered still more, no doubt:] The whole family have used me extremely ill. They have taken greater liberties with my character than are justifiable; and with my family too; which I can less forgive.
Sir, Sir, I have done. I beg pardon for this intrusion.
My beloved was then ready to sink, and thought very hardly of me.
But, pray, Sir, to the immediate purpose of your present commission; since a commission it seems to be?
It is a commission, Sir; and such a one, as I thought would be agreeable to all parties, or I should not have given myself concern about it.
Perhaps it may, Sir, when known. But let me ask you one previous question—Do you know Colonel Morden, Sir?
No, Sir. If you mean personally, I do not. But I have heard my good friend Mr. John Harlowe talk of him with great respect; and such a co-trustee with him in a certain trust.
Lovel. I thought it probable, Sir, that the Colonel might be arrived; that you might be a gentleman of his acquaintance; and that something of an agreeable surprise might be intended.
Capt. Had Colonel Morden been in England, Mr. John Harlowe would have known it; and then I should not have been a stranger to it.
Lovel. Well but, Sir, have you then any commission to me from Mr. John Harlowe?
Capt. Sir, I will tell you, as briefly as I can, the whole of what I have to say; but you'll excuse me also in a previous question, for what curiosity is not my motive; but it is necessary to be answered before I can proceed; as you will judge when you hear it.
Lovel. What, pray, Sir, is your question?
Capt. Briefly, whether you are actually, and bona fide, married to Miss Clarissa Harlowe?
I started, and, in a haughty tone, is this, Sir, a question that must be answered before you can proceed in the business you have undertaken?
I mean no offence, Mr. Lovelace. Mr. Harlowe sought to me to undertake this office. I have daughters and nieces of my own. I thought it a good office, or I, who have many considerable affairs upon my hands, had not accepted of it. I know the world; and will take the liberty to say, that if the young lady—
Captain Tomlinson, I think you are called?
My name is Tomlinson.
Why then, Tomlinson, no liberty, as you call it, will be taken well, that is not extremely delicate, when that lady is mentioned.
When you had heard me out, Mr. Lovelace, and had found I had so behaved, as to make the caution necessary, it would have been just to have given it.—Allow me to say, I know what is due to the character of a woman of virtue, as well as any man alive.
Why, Sir! Why, Captain Tomlinson, you seem warm. If you intend any thing by this, [O how I trembled! said the lady, when she took notice of this part of our conversation afterwards,] I will only say, that this is a privileged place. It is at present my home, and an asylum for any gentleman who thinks it worth his while to inquire after me, be the manner or end of his inquiry what it will.
I know not, Sir, that I have given occasion for this. I make no scruple to attend you elsewhere, if I am troublesome here. I was told, I had a warm young gentleman to deal with: but as I knew my intention, and that my commission was an amicable one, I was the less concerned about that. I am twice your age, Mr. Lovelace, I dare say: but I do assure you, that if either my message or my manner gives you offence, I can suspend the one or the other for a day, or for ever, as you like. And so, Sir, any time before eight tomorrow morning, you will let me know your further commands.—And was going to tell me where he might be found.
Captain Tomlinson, said I, you answer well. I love a man of spirit. Have you not been in the army?
I have, Sir; but have turned my sword into a ploughshare, as the scripture has it,—[there was a clever fellow, Jack!—he was a good man with somebody, I warrant! O what a fine coat and cloke for an hypocrite will a text of scripture, properly applied, make at any time in the eyes of the pious!—how easily are the good folks taken in!]—and all my delight, added he, for some years past, has been in cultivating my paternal estate. I love a brave man, Mr. Lovelace, as well as ever I did in my life. But let me tell you, Sir, that when you come to my time of life, you will be of opinion, that there is not so much true bravery in youthful choler, as you may now think there is.
A clever fellow again, Belford!—Ear and heart, both at once, he took in my charmer!—'Tis well, she says, there are some men who have wisdom in their anger.
Well, Captain, that is reproof for reproof. So we are upon a footing. And now give me the pleasure of hearing the import of your commission.
Sir, you must first allow me to repeat my question: Are you really, and bona fide, married to Miss Clarissa Harlowe? or are you not yet married?
Bluntly put, Captain. But if I answer that I am, what then?
Why then, Sir, I shall say, that you are a man of honour.
That I hope I am, whether you say it or not, Captain Tomlinson.
Sir, I will be very frank in all I have to say on this subject—Mr. John Harlowe has lately found out, that you and his niece are both in the same lodgings; that you have been long so; and that the lady was at the play with you yesterday was se'nnight; and he hopes that you are actually married. He has indeed heard that you are; but as he knows your enterprising temper, and that you have declared, that you disdain a relation to their family, he is willing by me to have your marriage confirmed from your own mouth, before he take the steps he is inclined to take in his niece's favour. You will allow me to say, Mr. Lovelace, that he will not be satisfied with an answer that admits of the least doubt.
Let me tell you, Captain Tomlinson, that it is a high degree of vileness for any man to suppose—
Sir—Mr. Lovelace—don't put yourself into a passion. The lady's relations are jealous of the honour of their family. They have prejudices to overcome as well as you—advantage may have been taken—and the lady, at the time, not to blame.
This lady, Sir, could give no such advantages: and if she had, what must the man be, Captain Tomlinson, who could have taken them?—Do you know the lady, Sir?
I never had the honour to see her but once; and that was at a church; and should not know her again.
Not know her again, Sir!—I thought there was not a man living who had once seen her, and would not know her among a thousand.
I remember, Sir, that I thought I never saw a finer woman in my life. But, Mr. Lovelace, I believe, you will allow, that it is better that her relations should have wronged you, than you the lady, I hope, Sir, you will permit me to repeat my question.
Enter Dorcas, in a hurry.
A gentleman, this minute, Sir, desires to speak with your honour—[My lady, Sir!—Aside.]
Could the dear creature put Dorcas upon telling this fib, yet want to save me one?
Desire the gentleman to walk into one of the parlours. I will wait upon him presently.
The dear creature, I doubted not, wanted to instruct me how to answer the Captain's home put. I knew how I intended to answer it—plumb, thou may'st be sure—but Dorcas's message staggered me. And yet I was upon one of my master-strokes—which was, to take advantage of the captain's inquiries, and to make her own her marriage before him, as she had done to the people below; and if she had been brought to that, to induce her, for her uncle's satisfaction, to write him a letter of gratitude; which of course must have been signed Clarissa Lovelace. I was loth, therefore, thou may'st believe, to attend her sudden commands: and yet, afraid of pushing matters beyond recovery with her, I thought proper to lead him from the question, to account for himself and for Mr. Harlowe's coming to the knowledge of where we are; and for other particulars which I knew would engage her attention; and which might possibly convince her of the necessity there was for her to acquiesce in the affirmative I was disposed to give. And this for her own sake; For what, as I asked her afterwards, is it to me, whether I am ever reconciled to her family?—A family, Jack, which I must for ever despise.
You think, Captain, that I have answered doubtfully to the question you put. You may think so. And you must know, that I have a good deal of pride; and, only that you are a gentleman, and seem in this affair to be governed by generous motives, or I should ill brook being interrogated as to my honour to a lady so dear to me.—But before I answer more directly to the point, pray satisfy me in a question or two that I shall put to you.
With all my heart, Sir. Ask me what questions you please, I will answer them with sincerity and candour.
You say, Mr. Harlowe has found out that we were at a play together: and that we were both in the same lodgings—How, pray, came he at his knowledge?—for, let me tell you, that I have, for certain considerations, (not respecting myself, I will assure you,) condescended that our abode should be kept secret. And this has been so strictly observed, that even Miss Howe, though she and my beloved correspond, knows not directly where to send to us.
Why, Sir, the person who saw you at the play, was a tenant of Mr. John Harlowe. He watched all your motions. When the play was done, he followed your coach to your lodgings. And early the next day, Sunday, he took horse, and acquainted his landlord with what he had observed.
Lovel. How oddly things come about!—But does any other of the Harlowes know where we are?
Capt. It is an absolute secret to every other person of the family; and so it is intended to be kept: as also that Mr. John Harlowe is willing to enter into treaty with you, by me, if his niece be actually married; for perhaps he is aware, that he shall have difficulty enough with some people to bring about the desirable reconciliation, although he could give them this assurance.
I doubt it not, Captain—to James Harlowe is all the family folly owing. Fine fools! [heroically stalking about] to be governed by one to whom malice and not genius, gives the busy liveliness that distinguishes him from a natural!—But how long, pray, Sir, has Mr. John Harlowe been in this pacific disposition?
I will tell you, Mr. Lovelace, and the occasion; and be very explicit upon it, and upon all that concerns you to know of me, and of the commission I have undertaken to execute; and this the rather, as when you have heard me out, you will be satisfied, that I am not an officious man in this my present address to you.
I am all attention, Captain Tomlinson.
And so I doubt not was my beloved.
Capt. 'You must know, Sir, that I have not been many months in Mr. John Harlwe's neighbourhood. I removed from Northamptonshire, partly for the sake of better managing one of two executorship, which I could not avoid engaging in, (the affairs of which frequently call me to town, and are part of my present business;) and partly for the sake of occupying a neglected farm, which has lately fallen into my hands. But though an acquaintance of no longer standing, and that commencing on the bowling- green, [uncle John is a great bowler, Belford,] (upon my decision of a point to every one's satisfaction, which was appealed to me by all the gentlemen, and which might have been attended with bad consequences,) no two brothers have a more cordial esteem for each other. You know, Mr. Lovelace, that there is a consent, as I may call it, in some minds, which will unite them stronger together in a few hours, than years can do with others, whom yet we see not with disgust.'
Lovel. Very true, Captain.
Capt. 'It was on the foot of this avowed friendship on both sides, that on Monday the 15th, as I very well remember, Mr. Harlowe invited himself home with me. And when there, he acquainted me with the whole of the unhappy affair that had made them all so uneasy. Till then I knew it only by report; for, intimate as we were, I forbore to speak of what was so near his heart, till he began first. And then he told me, that he had had an application made to him, two or three days before, by a gentleman whom he named,* to induce him not only to be reconciled himself to his niece, but to forward for her a general reconciliation.
* See Vol. IV. Letters XXIII and XXIX.
'A like application, he told me, had been made to his sister Harlowe, by a good woman, whom every body respected; who had intimated, that his niece, if encouraged, would again put herself into the protection of her friends, and leave you: but if not, that she must unavoidably be your's.'
I hope, Mr. Lovelace, I make no mischief.—You look concerned—you sigh, Sir.
Proceed, Captain Tomlinson. Pray proceed.—And I sighed still more profoundly.
Capt. 'They all thought it extremely particular, that a lady should decline marriage with a man she had so lately gone away with.'
Pray, Captain—pray, Mr. Tomlinson—no more of this subject. My beloved is an angel. In every thing unblamable. Whatever faults there have been, have been theirs and mine. What you would further say, is, that the unforgiving family rejected her application. They did. She and I had a misunderstanding. The falling out of lovers—you know, Captain. —We have been happier ever since.
Capt. 'Well, Sir; but Mr. John Harlowe could not but better consider the matter afterwards. And he desired my advice how to act in it. He told me that no father ever loved a daughter as he loved this niece of his; whom, indeed, he used to call his daughter-niece. He said, she had really been unkindly treated by her brother and sister: and as your alliance, Sir, was far from being a discredit to their family, he would do his endeavour to reconcile all parties, if he could be sure that ye were actually man and wife.'
Lovel. And what, pray, Captain, was your advice?
Capt. 'I gave it as my opinion, that if his niece were unworthily treated, and in distress, (as he apprehended from the application to him,) he would soon hear of her again: but that it was likely, that this application was made without expecting it would succeed; and as a salvo only, to herself, for marrying without their consent. And the rather thought I so, as he had told me, that it came from a young lady her friend, and not in a direct way from herself; which young lady was no favourite of the family; and therefore would hardly have been employed, had success been expected.'
Lovel. Very well, Captain Tomlinson—pray proceed.
Capt. 'Here the matter rested till last Sunday evening, when Mr. John Harlowe came to me with the man who had seen you and your lady (as I presume she is) at the play; and who had assured him, that you both lodged in the same house.—And then the application having been so lately made, which implied that you were not then married, he was so uneasy for his niece's honour, that I advised him to dispatch to town some one in whom he could confide, to make proper inquiries.'
Lovel. Very well, Captain—And was such a person employed on such an errand by her uncle?
Capt. 'A trusty and discreet person was accordingly sent; and last Tuesday, I think it was, (for he returned to us on the Wednesday,) he made the inquiries among the neighbours first.' [The very inquiry, Jack, that gave us all so much uneasiness.*] 'But finding that none of them could give any satisfactory account, the lady's woman was come at, who declared, that you were actually married. But the inquirist keeping himself on the reserve as to his employers, the girl refused to tell the day, or to give him other particulars.'
* See Vol. IV. Letter L.
Lovel. You give a very clear account of every thing, Captain Tomlinson. Pray proceed.
Capt. 'The gentleman returned; and, on his report, Mr. Harlowe, having still doubts, and being willing to proceed on some grounds in so important a point, besought me (as my affairs called me frequently to town) to undertake this matter. "You, Mr. Tomlinson, he was pleased to say, have children of your own: you know the world: you know what I drive at: you will proceed, I am sure, with understanding and spirit: and whatever you are satisfied with shall satisfy me."'
Enter Dorcas again in a hurry.
Sir, the gentleman is impatient.
I will attend him presently.
The Captain then accounted for his not calling in person, when he had reason to think us here.
He said he had business of consequence a few miles out of town, whither he thought he must have gone yesterday, and having been obliged to put off his little journey till this day, and understanding that we were within, not knowing whether he should have such another opportunity, he was willing to try his good fortune before he set out; and this made him come booted and spurred, as I saw him.
He dropped a hint in commendation of the people of the house; but it was in such a way, as to give no room to suspect that he thought it necessary to inquire after the character of persons, who make so genteel an appearance, as he observed they do.
And here let me remark, that my beloved might collect another circumstance in favour of the people below, had she doubted their characters, from the silence of her uncle's inquirist on Tuesday among the neighbours.
Capt. 'And now, Sir, that I believe I have satisfied you in every thing relating to my commission, I hope you will permit me to repeat my question—which is—'
Enter Dorcas again, out of breath.
Sir, the gentleman will step up to you. [My lady is impatient. She wonders at your honour's delay. Aside.]
Excuse me, Captain, for one moment.
I have staid my full time, Mr. Lovelace. What may result from my question and your answer, whatever it shall be, may take us up time.— And you are engaged. Will you permit me to attend you in the morning, before I set out on my return?
You will then breakfast with me, Captain?
It must be early if I do. I must reach my own house to-morrow night, or I shall make the best of wives unhappy. And I have two or three places to call at in my way.
It shall be by seven o'clock, if you please, Captain. We are early folks. And this I will tell you, that if ever I am reconciled to a family so implacable as I have always found the Harlowes to be, it must be by the mediation of so cool and so moderate a gentleman as yourself.
And so, with the highest civilities on both sides, we parted. But for the private satisfaction of so good a man, I left him out of doubt that we were man and wife, though I did not directly aver it.
MR. LOVELACE, TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. SUNDAY NIGHT.
This Captain Tomlinson is one of the happiest as well as one of the best men in the world. What would I give to stand as high in my beloved's opinion as he does! but yet I am as good a man as he, were I to tell my own story, and have equal credit given to it. But the devil should have had him before I had seen him on the account he came upon, had I thought I should not have answered my principal end in it. I hinted to thee in my last what that was.
But to the particulars of the conference between my fair-one and me, on her hasty messages; which I was loth to come to, because she has had an half triumph over me in it.
After I had attended the Captain down to the very passage, I returned to the dining-room, and put on a joyful air, on my beloved's entrance into it—O my dearest creature, said I, let me congratulate you on a prospect so agreeable to your wishes! And I snatched her hand, and smothered it with kisses.
I was going on; when interrupting me, You see, Mr. Lovelace, said she, how you have embarrassed yourself by your obliquities! You see, that you have not been able to return a direct answer to a plain and honest question, though upon it depends all the happiness, on the prospect of which you congratulate me!
You know, my best love, what my prudent, and I will say, my kind motives were, for giving out that we were married. You see that I have taken no advantage of it; and that no inconvenience has followed it. You see that your uncle wants only to be assured from ourselves that it is so—
Not another word on this subject, Mr. Lovelace. I will not only risk, but I will forfeit, the reconciliation so near my heart, rather than I will go on to countenance a story so untrue!
My dearest soul—Would you have me appear—
I would have you appear, Sir, as you are! I am resolved that I will appear to my uncle's friend, and to my uncle, as I am.
For one week, my dearest life! cannot you for one week—only till the settlements—
Not for one hour, with my own consent. You don't know, Sir, how much I have been afflicted, that I have appeared to the people below what I am not. But my uncle, Sir, shall never have it to upbraid me, nor will I to upbraid myself, that I have wilfully passed upon him in false lights.
What, my dear, would you have me say to the Captain to-morrow morning? I have given him room to think—
Then put him right, Mr. Lovelace. Tell the truth. Tell him what you please of the favour of your relations to me: tell him what you will about the settlements: and if, when drawn, you will submit them to his perusal and approbation, it will show him how much you are in earnest.
My dearest life!—Do you think that he would disapprove of the terms I have offered?
Then may I be accursed, if I willingly submit to be trampled under foot by my enemies!
And may I, Mr. Lovelace, never be unhappy in this life, if I submit to the passing upon my uncle Harlowe a wilful and premeditated falshood for truth! I have too long laboured under the affliction which the rejection of all my friends has given me, to purchase my reconciliation with them now at so dear a price as this of my veracity.
The women below, my dear—
What are the women below to me?—I want not to establish myself with them. Need they know all that passes between my relations and you and me?
Neither are they any thing to me, Madam. Only, that when, for the sake of preventing the fatal mischiefs which might have attended your brother's projects, I have made them think us married, I would not appear to them in a light which you yourself think so shocking. By my soul, Madam, I had rather die, than contradict myself so flagrantly, after I have related to them so many circumstances of our marriage.
Well, Sir, the women may believe what they please. That I have given countenance to what you told them is my error. The many circumstances which you own one untruth has drawn you in to relate, is a justification of my refusal in the present case.
Don't you see, Madam, that your uncle wishes to find that we are married? May not the ceremony be privately over, before his mediation can take place?
Urge this point no further, Mr. Lovelace. If you will not tell the truth, I will to-morrow morning (if I see Captain Tomlinson) tell it myself. Indeed I will.
Will you, Madam, consent that things pass as before with the people below? This mediation of Tomlinson may come to nothing. Your brother's schemes may be pursued; the rather, that now he will know (perhaps from your uncle) that you are not under a legal protection.—You will, at least, consent that things pass here as before?—
To permit this, is to go on in an error, Mr. Lovelace. But as the occasion for so doing (if there can be in your opinion an occasion that will warrant an untruth) will, as I presume, soon be over, I shall the less dispute that point with you. But a new error I will not be guilty of, if I can avoid it.
Can I, do you think, Madam, have any dishonourable view in the step I supposed you would not scruple to take towards a reconciliation with your own family? Not for my own sake, you know, did I wish you to take it; for what is it to me, if I am never reconciled to your family? I want no favours from them.
I hope, Mr. Lovelace, there is no occasion, in our present not disagreeable situation, to answer such a question. And let me say, that I shall think my prospects still more agreeable, if, to-morrow morning you will not only own the very truth, but give my uncle's friend such an account of the steps you have taken, and are taking, as may keep up my uncle's favourable intentions towards me. This you may do under what restrictions of secrecy you please. Captain Tomlinson is a prudent man; a promoter of family-peace, you find; and, I dare say, may be made a friend.
I saw there was no help. I saw that the inflexible Harlowe spirit was all up in her.—A little witch!—A little—Forgive me, Love, for calling her names! And so I said, with an air, We have had too many misunderstandings, Madam, for me to wish for new ones: I will obey you without reserve. Had I not thought I should have obliged you by the other method, (especially as the ceremony might have been over before any thing could have operated from your uncle's intentions, and of consequence no untruth persisted in,) I would not have proposed it. But think not, my beloved creature, that you shall enjoy, without condition, this triumph over my judgment.
And then, clasping my arms about her, I gave her averted cheek (her charming lip designed) a fervent kiss.—And your forgiveness of this sweet freedom [bowing] is that condition.
She was not mortally offended. And now must I make out the rest as well as I can. But this I will tell thee, that although her triumph has not diminished my love for her, yet it has stimulated me more than ever to revenge, as thou wilt be apt to call it. But victory, or conquest, is the more proper word.
There is a pleasure, 'tis true, in subduing one of these watchful beauties. But by my soul, Belford, men of our cast take twenty times the pains to be rogues than it would cost them to be honest; and dearly, with the sweat of our brows, and to the puzzlement of our brains, (to say nothing of the hazards he run,) do we earn our purchase; and ought not therefore to be grudged our success when we meet with it—especially as, when we have obtained our end, satiety soon follows; and leaves us little or nothing to show for it. But this, indeed, may be said of all worldly delights.—And is not that a grave reflection from me?
I was willing to write up to the time. Although I have not carried my principal point, I shall make something turn out if my favour from Captain Tomlinson's errand. But let me give thee this caution; that thou do not pretend to judge of my devices by parts; but have patience till thou seest the whole. But once more I swear, that I will not be out-Norris'd by a pair of novices. And yet I am very apprehensive, at times, of the consequences of Miss Howe's smuggling scheme.
My conscience, I should think, ought not to reproach me for a contrivance, which is justified by the contrivances of two such girls as these: one of whom (the more excellent of the two) I have always, with her own approbation, as I imagine, proposed for my imitation.
But here, Jack, is the thing that concludes me, and cases my heart with adamant: I find, by Miss Howe's letters, that it is owing to her, that I have made no greater progress with my blooming fair-one. She loves me. The ipecacuanha contrivance convinces me that she loves me. Where there is love there must be confidence, or a desire of having reason to confide. Generosity, founded on my supposed generosity, has taken hold of her heart. Shall I not now see (since I must forever be unhappy, if I marry her, and leave any trial unessayed) what I can make of her love, and her newly-raised confidence?—Will it not be to my glory to succeed? And to her's and to the honour of her sex, if I cannot?—Where then will be the hurt to either, to make the trial? And cannot I, as I have often said, reward her when I will by marriage?
'Tis late, or rather early; for the day begins to dawn upon me. I am plaguy heavy. Perhaps I need not to have told thee that. But will only indulge a doze in my chair for an hour; then shake myself, wash and refresh. At my time of life, with such a constitution as I am blessed with, that's all that's wanted.
Good night to me!—It cannot be broad day till I am awake.—Aw-w-w-whaugh—pox of this yawning!
Is not thy uncle dead yet?
What's come to mine, that he writes not to my last?—Hunting after more wisdom of nations, I suppose!—Yaw-yaw-yawning again!—Pen, begone!
MR. LOVELACE, TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. MONDAY, MAY 29.
Now have I established myself for ever in my charmer's heart.
The Captain came at seven, as promised, and ready equipped for his journey. My beloved chose not to give us her company till our first conversation was over—ashamed, I suppose, to be present at that part of it which was to restore her to her virgin state by my confession, after her wifehood had been reported to her uncle. But she took her cue, nevertheless, and listened to all that passed.
The modestest women, Jack, must think, and think deeply sometimes. I wonder whether they ever blush at those things by themselves, at which they have so charming a knack of blushing in company. If not; and if blushing be a sign of grace or modesty; have not the sex as great a command over their blushes as they are said to have over their tears? This reflection would lead me a great way into female minds, were I disposed to pursue it.
I told the Captain, that I would prevent his question; and accordingly (after I had enjoined the strictest secrecy, that no advantage might be given to James Harlowe, and which he had answered for as well on Mr. Harlowe's part as his own) I acknowledged nakedly and fairly the whole truth—to wit, 'That we were not yet married. I gave him hints of the causes of procrastination. Some of them owing to unhappy misunderstandings: but chiefly to the Lady's desire of previous reconciliation with her friends; and to a delicacy that had no example.'
Less nice ladies than this, Jack, love to have delays, wilful and studied delays, imputed to them in these cases—yet are indelicate in their affected delicacy: For do they not thereby tacitly confess, that they expect to be the greatest estgainers in wedlock; and that there is self-denial in the pride they take in delaying?
'I told him the reason of our passing to the people below as married—yet as under a vow of restriction, as to consummation, which had kept us both to the height, one of forbearing, the other of vigilant punctilio; even to the denial of those innocent freedoms, which betrothed lovers never scruple to allow and to take.
'I then communicated to him a copy of my proposal of settlement; the substance of her written answer; the contents of my letter of invitation to Lord M. to be her nuptial-father; and of my Lord's generous reply. But said, that having apprehensions of delay from his infirmities, and my beloved choosing by all means (and that from principles of unrequited duty) a private solemnization, I had written to excuse his Lordship's presence; and expected an answer every hour.
'The settlements, I told him, were actually drawing by Counsellor Williams, of whose eminence he must have heard—'
'And of the truth of this he might satisfy himself before he went out of town.
'When these were drawn, approved, and engrossed, nothing, I said, but signing, and the nomination of my happy day, would be wanting. I had a pride, I declared, in doing the highest justice to so beloved a creature, of my own voluntary motion, and without the intervention of a family from whom I had received the greatest insults. And this being our present situation, I was contented that Mr. John Harlowe should suspend his reconciliatory purposes till our marriage were actually solemnized.'
The Captain was highly delighted with all I said: Yet owned, that as his dear friend Mr. Harlowe had expressed himself greatly pleased to hear that we were actually married, he could have wished it had been so. But, nevertheless, he doubted not that all would be well.
He saw my reasons, he said, and approved of them, for making the gentlewomen below [whom again he understood to be good sort of people] believe that the ceremony had passed; which so well accounted for what the lady's maid had told Mr. Harlowe's friend. Mr. James Harlowe, he said, had certainly ends to answer in keeping open the breach; and as certainly had formed a design to get his sister out of my hands. Wherefore it as much imported his worthy friend to keep this treaty as secret, as it did me; at least till he had formed his party, and taken his measures. Ill will and passion were dreadful misrepresenters. It was amazing to him, that animosity could be carried so high against a man capable of views so pacific and so honourable, and who had shown such a command of his temper, in this whole transaction, as I had done. Generosity, indeed, in every case, where love of stratagem and intrigue (I would excuse him) were not concerned, was a part of my character.
He was proceeding, when, breakfast being ready, in came the empress of my heart, irradiating all around her, as with a glory—a benignity and graciousness in her aspect, that, though natural to it, had been long banished from it.
Next to prostration lowly bowed the Captain. O how the sweet creature smiled her approbation of him! Reverence from one begets reverence from another. Men are more of monkeys in imitation than they think themselves.—Involuntarily, in a manner, I bent my knee—My dearest life—and made a very fine speech on presenting the Captain to her. No title myself, to her lip or cheek, 'tis well he attempted not either. He was indeed ready to worship her;—could only touch her charming hand.
I have told the Captain, my dear creature—and then I briefly repeated (as if I had supposed she had not heard it) all I had told him.
He was astonished, that any body could be displeased one moment with such an angel. He undertook her cause as the highest degree of merit to himself.
Never, I must need say, did an angel so much look the angel. All placid, serene, smiling, self-assured: a more lovely flush than usual heightening her natural graces, and adding charms, even to radiance, to her charming complexion.
After we had seated ourselves, the agreeable subject was renewed, as we took our chocolate. How happy should she be in her uncle's restored favour!
The Captain engaged for it—No more delays, he hoped, on her part! Let the happy day be but once over, all would then be right. But was it improper to ask for copies of my proposals, and of her answer, in order to show them to his dear friend, her uncle?
As Mr. Lovelace pleased.—O that the dear creature would always say so!
It must be in strict confidence then, I said. But would it not be better to show her uncle the draught of the settlements, when drawn?
And will you be so good as to allow of this, Mr. Lovelace?
There, Belford! We were once the quarrelsome, but now we are the polite, lovers.
Indeed, my dear creature, I will, if you desire it, and if Captain Tomlinson will engage that Mr. Harlowe shall keep them absolutely a secret; that I may not be subjected to the cavil and controul of any others of a family that have used me so very ill.
Now, indeed, Sir, you are very obliging.
Dost think, Jack, that my face did not now also shine?
I held out my hand, (first consecrating it with a kiss,) for her's. She condescended to give it me. I pressed it to my lips: You know not Captain Tomlinson, (with an air,) all storms overblown, what a happy man—
Charming couple! [his hands lifted up,] how will my good friend rejoice! O that he were present! You know not, Madam, how dear you still are to your uncle Harlowe!
I am still unhappy ever to have disobliged him!
Not too much of that, however, fairest, thought I!
The Captain repeated his resolution of service, and that in so acceptable a manner, that the dear creature wished that neither he, nor any of his, might ever want a friend of equal benevolence.
Nor any of this, she said; for the Captain brought it in, that he had five children living, by one of the best wives and mothers, whose excellent management made him as happy as if his eight hundred pounds a year (which was all he had to boast of) were two thousand.
Without economy, the oracular lady said, no estate was large enough. With it, the least was not too small.
Lie still, teasing villain! lie still.—I was only speaking to my conscience, Jack.
And let me ask you, Mr. Lovelace, said the Captain; yet not so much from doubt, as that I may proceed upon sure grounds—You are willing to co-operate with my dear friend in a general reconciliation?
Let me tell you, Mr. Tomlinson, that if it can be distinguished, that my readiness to make up with a family, of whose generosity I have not had reason to think highly, is entirely owing to the value I have for this angel of a woman, I will not only co-operate with Mr. John Harlowe, as you ask; but I will meet with Mr. James Harlowe senior, and his lady, all the way. And furthermore, to make the son James and his sister Arabella quite easy, I will absolutely disclaim any further interest, whether living or dying, in any of the three brothers' estates; contenting myself with what my beloved's grandfather had bequeathed to her: for I have reason to be abundantly satisfied with my own circumstances and prospects—enough rewarded, were she not to bring a shilling in dowry, in a woman who has a merit superior to all the goods of fortune.—True as the Gospel, Belford!—Why had not this scene a real foundation?
The dear creature, by her eyes, expressed her gratitude, before her lips could utter it. O Mr. Lovelace, said she—you have infinitely—And there she stopt.
The Captain run over in my praise. He was really affected.
O that I had not such a mixture of revenge and pride in my love, thought I!—But, (my old plea,) cannot I make her amends at any time? And is not her virtue now in the height of its probation?—Would she lay aside, like the friends of my uncontending Rosebud, all thoughts of defiance—Would she throw herself upon my mercy, and try me but one fortnight in the life of honour—What then?—I cannot say, What then—
Do not despise me, Jack, for my inconsistency—in no two letters perhaps agreeing with myself—Who expects consistency in men of our character?—But I am mad with love—fired by revenge—puzzled with my own devices—my invention is my curse—my pride my punishment—drawn five or six ways at once, can she possibly be so unhappy as I?—O why, why, was this woman so divinely excellent!—Yet how know I that she is? What have been her trials? Have I had the courage to make a single one upon her person, though a thousand upon her temper?—Enow, I hope, to make her afraid of ever more disobliging me more!—
I must banish reflection, or I am a lost man. For these two hours past have I hated myself for my own contrivances. And this not only from what I have related to thee; but for what I have further to relate. But I have now once more steeled my heart. My vengeance is uppermost; for I have been reperusing some of Miss Howe's virulence. The contempt they have both held me in I cannot bear.
The happiest breakfast-time, my beloved owned, that she had ever known since she had left her father's house. [She might have let this alone.] The Captain renewed all his protestations of service. He would write me word how his dear friend received the account he should give him of the happy situation of our affairs, and what he thought of the settlements, as soon as I should send him the draughts so kindly promised. And we parted with great professions of mutual esteem; my beloved putting up vows for the success of his generous mediation.
When I returned from attending the Captain down stairs, which I did to the outward door, my beloved met me as I entered the dining-room; complacency reigning in every lovely feature.
'You see me already,' said she, 'another creature. You know not, Mr. Lovelace, how near my heart this hoped-for reconciliation is. I am now willing to banish every disagreeable remembrance. You know not, Sir, how much you have obliged me. And O Mr. Lovelace, how happy I shall be, when my heart is lightened from the all-sinking weight of a father's curse! When my dear mamma—You don't know, Sir, half the excellencies of my dear mamma! and what a kind heart she has, when it is left to follow its own impulses—When this blessed mamma shall once more fold me to her indulgent bosom! When I shall again have uncles and aunts, and a brother and sister, all striving who shall show most kindness and favour to the poor outcast, then no more an outcast—And you, Mr. Lovelace, to behold all this, with welcome—What though a little cold at first? when they come to know you better, and to see you oftener, no fresh causes of disgust occurring, and you, as I hope, having entered upon a new course, all will be warmer and warmer love on both sides, till every one will perhaps wonder, how they came to set themselves against you.'
Then drying her tears with her handkerchief, after a few moments pausing, on a sudden, as if recollecting that she had been led by her joy to an expression of it which she had not intended I should see, she retired to her chamber with precipitation; leaving me almost as unable to stand it as herself.
In short, I was—I want words to say how I was—my nose had been made to tingle before; my eyes have before been made to glisten by this soul-moving beauty; but so very much affected, I never was—for, trying to check my sensibility, it was too strong for me, and I even sobbed— Yes, by my soul, I audibly sobbed, and was forced to turn from her before she had well finished her affecting speech.
I want, methinks, now I had owned the odd sensation, to describe it to thee—the thing was so strange to me—something choking, as it were, in my throat—I know not how—yet, I must needs say, though I am out of countenance upon the recollection, that there was something very pretty in it; and I wish I could know it again, that I might have a more perfect idea of it, and be better able to describe it to thee.
But this effect of her joy on such an occasion gives me a high notion of what that virtue must be [What other name can I call it?] which in a mind so capable of delicate transport, should be able to make so charming a creature, in her very bloom, all frost and snow to every advance of love from the man she hates not. This must be all from education too—Must it not, Belford? Can education have stronger force in a woman's heart than nature?—Sure it cannot. But if it can, how entirely right are parents to cultivate their daughters' minds, and to inspire them with notions of reserve and distance to our sex: and indeed to make them think highly of their own! for pride is an excellent substitute, let me tell thee, where virtue shines not out, as the sun, in its own unborrowed lustre.
MR. LOVELACE, TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ.
And now it is time to confess (and yet I know that thy conjectures are aforehand with my exposition) that this Captain Tomlinson, who is so great a favourite with my charmer, and who takes so much delight in healing breaches, and reconciling differences, is neither a greater man nor a less than honest Patrick M'Donald, attended by a discarded footman of his own finding out.
Thou knowest what a various-lifed rascal he is; and to what better hopes born and educated. But that ingenious knack of forgery, for which he was expelled the Dublin-University, and a detection since in evidenceship, have been his ruin. For these have thrown him from one country to another; and at last, into the way of life, which would make him a fit husband for Miss Howe's Townsend with her contrabands. He is, thou knowest, admirably qualified for any enterprize that requires adroitness and solemnity. And can there, after all, be a higher piece of justice, than to keep one smuggler in readiness to play against another?
'Well, but, Lovelace, (methinks thou questionest,) how camest thou to venture upon such a contrivance as this, when, as thou hast told me, the Lady used to be a month at a time at this uncle's; and must therefore, in all probability, know, that there was not a Captain Tomlinson in all the neighbourhood, at least no one of the name so intimate with him as this man pretends to be?'
This objection, Jack, is so natural a one, that I could not help observing to my charmer, that she must surely have heard her uncle speak of this gentleman. No, she said, she never had. Besides she had not been at her uncle Harlowe's for near ten months [this I had heard from her before]: and there were several gentlemen who used the same green, whom she knew not.
We are all very ready, thou knowest, to believe what she likes.
And what was the reason, thinkest thou, that she had not been of so long a time at this uncle's?—Why, this old sinner, who imagines himself entitled to call me to account for my freedoms with the sex, has lately fallen into familiarities, as it is suspected, with his housekeeper; who assumes airs upon it.—A cursed deluding sex!—In youth, middle age, or dotage, they take us all in.
Dost thou not see, however, that this housekeeper knows nothing, nor is to know any thing, of the treaty of reconciliation designed to be set on foot; and therefore the uncle always comes to the Captain, the Captain goes not to the uncle? And this I surmised to the lady. And then it was a natural suggestion, that the Captain was the rather applied to, as he is a stranger to the rest of the family—Need I tell thee the meaning of all this?
But this intrigue of the antient is a piece of private history, the truth of which my beloved cares not to own, and indeed affects to disbelieve: as she does also some puisny gallantries of her foolish brother; which, by way of recrimination, I have hinted at, without naming my informant in their family.
'Well but, methinks, thou questionest again, Is it not probable that Miss Howe will make inquiry after such a man as Tomlinson?—And when she cannot—'
I know what thou wouldst say—but I have no doubt, that Wilson will be so good, if I desire it, as to give into my own hands any letter that may be brought by Collins to his house, for a week to come. And now I hope thou art satisfied.
I will conclude with a short story.
'Two neighbouring sovereigns were at war together, about some pitiful chuck-farthing thing or other; no matter what; for the least trifles will set princes and children at loggerheads. Their armies had been drawn up in battalia some days, and the news of a decisive action was expected every hour to arrive at each court. At last, issue was joined; a bloody battle was fought; and a fellow who had been a spectator of it, arriving, with the news of a complete victory, at the capital of one of the princes some time before the appointed couriers, the bells were set a ringing, bonfires and illuminations were made, and the people went to bed intoxicated with joy and good liquor. But the next day all was reversed: The victorious enemy, pursuing his advantage, was expected every hour at the gates of the almost defenceless capital. The first reporter was hereupon sought for, and found; and being questioned, pleaded a great deal of merit, in that he had, in so dismal a situation, taken such a space of time from the distress of his fellow-citizens, and given it to festivity, as were the hours between the false good news and the real bad.'
Do thou, Belford, make the application. This I know, that I have given greater joy to my beloved, than she had thought would so soon fall to her share. And as the human life is properly said to be chequerwork, no doubt but a person of her prudence will make the best of it, and set off so much good against so much bad, in order to strike as just a balance as possible.
[The Lady, in three several letters, acquaints her friend with the most material passages and conversations contained in those of Mr. Lovelace's preceding. These are her words, on relating what the commission of the pretended Tomlinson was, after the apprehensions that his distant inquiry had given her:]
At last, my dear, all these doubts and fears were cleared up, and banished; and, in their place, a delightful prospect was opened to me. For it comes happily out, (but at present it must be an absolute secret, for reasons which I shall mention in the sequel,) that the gentleman was sent by my uncle Harlowe [I thought he could not be angry with me for ever]: all owing to the conversation that passed between your good Mr. Hickman and him. For although Mr. Hickman's application was too harshly rejected at the time, my uncle could not but think better of it afterwards, and of the arguments that worthy gentleman used in my favour.
Who, upon a passionate repulse, would despair of having a reasonable request granted?—Who would not, by gentleness and condescension, endeavour to leave favourable impressions upon an angry mind; which, when it comes cooly to reflect, may induce it to work itself into a condescending temper? To request a favour, as I have often said, is one thing; to challenge it as our due, is another. And what right has a petitioner to be angry at a repulse, if he has not a right to demand what he sues for as a debt?
[She describes Captain Tomlinson, on his breakfast-visit, to be, a grave, good sort of man. And in another place, a genteel man of great gravity, and a good aspect; she believes upwards of fifty years of age. 'I liked him, says she, as soon as I saw him.'
As her projects are now, she says, more favourable than heretofore, she wishes, that her hopes of Mr. Lovelace's so-often-promised reformation were better grounded than she is afraid they can be.]
We have both been extremely puzzled, my dear, says she, to reconcile some parts of Mr. Lovelace's character with other parts of it: his good with his bad; such of the former, in particular, as his generosity to his tenants; his bounty to the innkeeper's daughter; his readiness to put me upon doing kind things by my good Norton, and others.
A strange mixture in his mind, as I have told him! for he is certainly (as I have reason to say, looking back upon his past behaviour to me in twenty instances) a hard-hearted man.—Indeed, my dear, I have thought more than once, that he had rather see me in tears than give me reason to be pleased with him.
My cousin Morden says, that free livers are remorseless.* And so they must be in the very nature of things.
* See Vol. IV. Letter XIX. See also Mr. Lovelace's own confession of the delight he takes in a woman's tears, in different parts of his letters.
Mr. Lovelace is a proud man. We have both long ago observed that he is. And I am truly afraid, that his very generosity is more owing to his pride and his vanity, that that philanthropy (shall I call it?) which distinguishes a beneficent mind.
Money he values not, but as a mean to support his pride and his independence. And it is easy, as I have often thought, for a person to part with a secondary appetite, when, by so doing, he can promote or gratify a first.
I am afraid, my dear, that there must have been some fault in his education. His natural bias was not, perhaps (as his power was likely to be large) to do good and beneficent actions; but not, I doubt, from proper motives.
If he had, his generosity would not have stopt at pride, but would have struck into humanity; and then would he not have contented himself with doing praiseworthy things by fits and starts, or, as if relying on the doctrine of merits, he hoped by a good action to atone for a bad one;* but he would have been uniformly noble, and done the good for its own sake.