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to protect her from other person's insults, as from escaping herself.
Then they were people of more hpnour, she said, than she had been of late used to.
She asked, if they knew Mr. Lovelace?
No, was their answer.
Have you heard of him?
Well then, you may be good sort of folks in your way.
Pause here a moment, Lovelace!—and reflect—I must.
* * *
Again they asked her if they should send any word to her lodgings?
These are my lodgings now; are they not ?— was all her answer.
She sat up in a chair all night, the back against the door; having, it seems, thrust a broken piece of a poker through the staples where a bolt had been on the inside.
Next morning Sally and Polly both went to visit her.
She had begged of Sally the day before, that she might not see Mrs. Sinclair, nor Dorcas, nor the broken-toothed servant, called William.
Polly would have ingratiated herself with her ;. and pretended to be concerned for her misfortunes. But she took no more notice of her than of the other.
They asked, if she had any commands ?—If she had, she only need to mention what they were, and she should be obeyed.
None at all, she said.
How did she like the people of the house? Were they civil to her?
Pretty well, considering she had no money to give them.
Would she accept of any money? They could put it to her account.
She would contract no debts.
Had she any money about her?
She meekly put her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a half guinea, and a little silver. Yes,
I have a little. But here should be fees paid,
I believe. Should there .not? I have heard of entrance-money to compound for not being stript. But these people are very civil people, I fancy; tor they have not offered to take away my clothes.
They have orders to be civil to you.
It is very kind.
But we two will bail you, miss, if you will go back with us to Mrs. Sinclair's. Not for the world.
Hers are very handsome apartments.
You may be very happy yet, miss, if you will.
If you refuse to eat or drink, we will give bail, and take you with us.
Then I wijl try to eat and drink. Any thing but go with you.
Will you not send to your new lodgings; the people will be frighted.
So they will, if I send. So they will, if they know where I am.
But have you no things to send for from thence?
There is what will pay for their lodgings and trouble: I shall not lessen their security.
But perhaps letters or messages may be left for you there.
I have very few friends; and to those I have, I will spare the mortification of knowing what has befallen me.
We are surprised at your indifference Miss Harlowe. Will you not write to any of your friends?
Why, you don't think of tarrying here always?
Do you think you are to stay here as long as you live?
That's as it shall please God, and those who have brought me hither.
Should you like to be at liberty?
I am miserable!—What is liberty to the miserable, but to be more miserable?
Hffw miserable, miss ?—You may make yourself as happy as you please.
I hope you are both happy.
May you be more and more happy!
But we wish you to be so too.
I shall never be of your opinion, I believe, as to what happiness is.
What do you take our opinion of happiness to be?
It is not in my inclination to trouble you.
You are mighty short, miss.
Adieu, perverse beauty I
As you deserve, Miss Harlowe. Pride will have' a fall.
Better fall, with what you call pride, than stand with meanness. Who does?
I had once a better opinion of you, Miss Horton f —Indeed you should not insult the miserable.
Neither should the miserable, said Sally, insult people for their civility.
I should be sorry if I did.
Mrs. Sinclair shall attend you by-and-by to know if you have any commands for her.
I have no wish for any liberty, but that of refusing to see her, and one more person.
What we came for, was to know if you had any proposals to make for your enlargement.
Then, it seems, the officer put in. You have very good friends, madam, I understand. Is it not better that you make it up? Charges will run high. A hundred and fifty guineas are easier paid than two hundred. Let these ladies bail you, and go along with them; or write to your friends to make it up.
Sally said, there is a gentleman who saw you taken, and was so much moved for you, Miss Harlowe, that he would gladly advance the money for you, and leave you to pay it when you can.
See, Lovelace, what cursed devils these are! This is the way, we know, that many an innocent heart is thrown upon keeping, and then upon the town. But for these wretches thus to go to work with such an angel as this!—How glad would have been the devilish Sally, to have had the least handle to report to thee a listening ear, or patient spirit, upon this hint?
Sir, said she, with high indignation, to the officer, did not you say last night, that it was as much your business to protect me from the insults of others, as from escaping ?—Cannot I be permitted to see whom I please, and to refuse admittance to those I like not?
Your creditors, madam, will expect to see you.
Not, if I declare I will not treat with them.
Then, madam, you will be sent to prison.
Prison, friend!—What dost thou call thy house?
Not a prison, madam.
Why these iron-barred windows, then? Why these double locks and bolts all on the outside, none on the in?
And down she dropt into her chair, and they could not get another word from her. She threw her handkerchief over her face, as once before, which was soon wet with tears; and grievously, they own, she sobbed.
Gentle treatment, Lovelace!—Perhaps thou, as well as these wretches, wilt think it so!
Sally then ordered a dinner, and said, they would soon be back again, and see that she eat and drank, as a good christian should, comporting herself to her condition, and making the best of it.
What has not this charming creature suffered, what has she not gone through, in these last threa months, that I know of!—Who would think such a delicately framed person coul d have sustained what she has sustained! We sometimes talk of bravery, of courage, of fortitude !—Here they are