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that, not being able to bear the day at home, lie has resolved to be absent for two or three days.
He will set out on horseback, attended only by one trusty servant, for the greater privacy. He will be at the most creditable looking public-house there, expecting you both next morning, if he hear nothing from me to prevent him. And he will go to town with you after the ceremony is performed, in the coach he supposes you will come in.
He is very desirous, that I should be present on the occasion. But this I have promised him, at his request, that I will be up before the day, in order to see the settlements executed, and every thing properly prepared.
He is very glad you have the licence ready.
He speaks very kindly of you, Mr. Lovelace; and says that if any of the family stand out after he has seen the ceremony performed, he will separate from them, and unite himself to his dear niece and her interests.
I owned to you, when in town last, that I took slight notice to my dear friend of the misunderstanding between you and his niece, and that I did this, for fear the lady should have shewn any little discontent in his presence, had I been able to prevail upon him to go up in person, as then was doubtful. But I hope nothing of that discontent remains now.
My absence, when your messenger came, must ex cuse me for not writing by him.
Be pleased to make my most respectful complim ents acceptable to the admirable lady, and believe me to be
Your most faithful and obedient servant,
This letter I sealed, and broke open. It was brought, thou mayst suppose, by a particular messenger; the seal such a one as the writer need not be ashamed of. I took care to inquire after the captain's health, in my beloved's hearing; and it is now ready to be produced as a pacifier according as she shall take on or resent, if the two metamorphoses happen pursuant to my wonderful dream; as, having great faith in dreams, I dare say they will.—I think it will not be amiss, in changing my clothes, to have this letter of the worthy captain lie in my beloved's way.
MR. LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ.
Wedn. noon, June 81. What shall I say now !—I, who but a few hours . ago had such faith in dreams, and had proposed to begin my treatise of dreams sleeping, and dreams <waking, and was pleasing myself with the dialogues between the old matronly lady and the young lady, and with the two metamorphoses (absolutely assured that every thing would happen as my dream chalked it out;) shall never more depend upon those flying follies, those allusions of a fancy depraved and run mad.
Thus confoundedly have matters happened. I went out at eight o'clock in high good humour with myself, in order to give the sought-for opportunity to the plotting mistress and corrupted maid; only ordering Will to keep a good look out for fear his lady should mistrust my plot, or mistake a hackney coach for the dowager lady's chariot. But first I sent to know how she did; and received for answer, very ill:—had a very bad night: which latter was but too probable: since this / know, that people who have plots in their heads as seldom have as deserve good ones.
I desired a physician might be called in; but was refused.
I took a walk in St. James's Park, congratulating myself all the way on my rare inventions: then, impatient, I took coach, with one of the windows quite up, the other almost up, playing at bo-peep at every chariot I saw pass in my way to Lincoln's Inn Fields: and when arrived there I sent the coachman to desire any one of mother H.'s family to come to me to the coach side, not doubting but I should have intelligence of my fair fugitive there; it being then half an hour after ten.
A servant came, who gave me to understand, that the matronly lady was just returned by herself in the chariot.
Frighted out of my wits, I alighted, and heard from the mother's own mouth, that Dorcas had engaged her to protect the lady; but came to tell her afterwards, that she had changed her mind, and would not quit the house.
Quite astonished, not knowing what might have happened, I ordered the coachman to lash away to our mother's.
Arriving here in an instant, the first word I asked was, if the lady was safe?
Mr. Lovelace gives here a very circumstantial relation of all that passed between the lady and Dorcas. But as he could only guess at her motives for refusing to go off', when Dorcas told her, that she had engagedfor her the protection of the dowager lady, it is thought proper to omit his relation, and t» supply it by some memoranda of the lady's. But it is first necessary to account for the occasion on which those memoranda were made.
The reader may remember, that in the letter written to Miss Howe on her escape to Hampstead*, she promises to give her the particulars of her flight at leisure.
She had indeed thoughts of continuing her account or every thing that had passed between her and Mr. Lovelace, since her last narrative letter. But the uncertainty she was in from that time, with the execrable treatment she met with on her being deluded back again :followed by a week's delirium; had hitherto hindered her from prosecuting her intention. But, nevertheless having it still in her view to perform her promise as soon as she had opportunity, she made minutes of every thing as it passed, in order to help her memory ;—which, as she observes in one place, she could less ' trust to since her late disorders than before.'
In these minutes, or book of memoranda, she observes, 'That having apprehensions, that Dorcas might be a traitress, she would have got away while she was gone out to see for a coach; and actually slid down stairs with that intent. But that, see-' ing Mrs. Sinclair in the entry, [whom Dorcas had planted there while she went out~] she speeded up again, unseen.'
She then went up to the dining-room, and saw the letter of Captain Tomlinson: on which she observes in her memorandum-book as follows:
'How am I puzzled now !—He might leave this letter on purpose: none of the other papers left
with it being of any consequence: what is the alternative?—To stay, and be the wife of the vilest of men—how my 'heart resists that!—To attempt to get off, and fail, ruin inevitable! Dorcas may betray me !—I doubt she is still his implement!— At his going out, he whispered her, as I saw, unobserved—in a very familiar manner too—Never fear, sir, with a courtesy.
'In her agreeing to connive at my escape, she provided not for her own safety, if I got away: yet had reason, in that case, to expect his vengeance. And wants not forethought To have
taken her with me, was to be in the power of her intelligence, if a faithless creature.—Let me, however, though I part not with my caution, keep my charity!—Can there be any woman Sq vile to a woman ?—O yes! Mrs. Sinclair: her aunt.—The Lord deliver me !—But alas! I have put myself out of the course of his protection by the natural means—and am already ruined! A father's curse likewise against me! Having made vain all my friends' cautions and solicitudes, I must not hope ibr miracles in my favour!
'If I do escape, what may become of me, a poor, helpless, deserted creature!—Helpless from sex!— From circumstances !—Exposed to every danger! —Lord protect me !.
'His vile man not gone with him !—Lurking hereabouts, no doubt, to watch my steps!—I mil not go away by the chariot, however.
* # *
'That this chariot should come so opportunely! So like his many opportunelies!—That Dorcas should have the sudden thought! Should have the courage with the thought, to address a lady in behalf of an absolute stranger to that lady! That the . lady should so readily consent! Yet the transaction
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