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But this makes it evident to me, that she is re-.., solved to keep no terms with thee. And yet to be able to put up such a prayer for thee, as she did in her prison; [1 will often mention the prison-room, to tease thee!] does not this shew, that revenge has very little sway in her mind; though she can retain so much proper resentment?
And this is another excellence in this admirable woman's character: for whom, before her, have we met with in the whole sex, or in ours either, that knew how, in practice, to distinguish between ReVenge and Resentment, for base and ungrateful treatment?
'Tis a cursed thing, after all, that such a woman as this should be treated as she has been treated. Hadst thou been a king, and done as thou hast done by such a meritorious innocent, I believe in my heart it would have been adjudged to be a national sin, and the sword, the pestilence, or famine must have atoned for it.—But as thou art a private man, thou wilt certainly meet with thy punishment (besides what thou mayest expect from the justice of thy country, and the vengeance of her friends) as she will her reward, Hereafter.
It must be so, if there be really such a thing as future remuneration; as now I am more and more convinced there must:—else, what a hard fate is hers, whose punishment, to all appearance, has so much exceeded her fault? And as to thine, how can temporary burnings, wert thou by some accident to be consumed in thy bed, expiate for all thy abominable vileness to her, in breach of all obligations moral and divine?
I was resolved to lose no time in having every thing which belonged to the lady at the cursed woman's sent her. Accordingly, I took coach to Smith's, and procured the lady, (to whom I sent up my compliments, and inquiries bow ike'bore her removal) ill as she sent me down word she was, to give proper directions to Mrs. Smith: whom I took with me to Sinclair's: and who saw every thing looked out, and put into the trunks and boxes they were first brought in; and carried away in two coaches.
Had I not been there, Sally and Polly would each of them have taken to herself something of the poor lady's spoils. This they declared: and I had some difficulty to get from Sally a fine Brussels-lace head, which she had the confidence to say she would wear for Miss Harfowe's sake. Nor should either I or Mrs. Smith have known she had got it, had she not been in search after the ruffles belonging to it.
My resentment on this occasion, and the conversation which Mrs. Smith and I had, (in which I not only expatiated on the merits of the lady, but expressed my concern for her sufferings; though I left her room to suppose her married, yet without averring it) gave me high credit with the good woman: so that we are perfectly well acquainted already: by which means I shall be enabled to give you accounts from time to time of all that passes; and which I will be very industrious to do, rovided I may depend upon the solemn promises have given the lady, in your name, as well as in my own, that she shall be free from all personal molestation from you. And thus shall I have it in my power to return in kind your writing favours; and preserve my short-hand besides: which, till this correspondence was openedy I had pretty much neglected.
I ordered the abandoned women to make out your account. They answered, that they would do it with a. vengeance. Indeed they breathe no llS
thing but revenge. For now they say, you will assuredly marry; and your example will be followed by all your friends and companions—as the old one says, to the utter ruin of her poor house.
MR. BELFORD TO EOBERT LOVELACE, ESQ.
Tuesday morn. (July 18) 6 o'clock. Having sat up late to finish and seal in readiness my letter to the above period, I am disturbed before I wished to have risen, by the arrival of thy second fellow, man and horse in a foam. ,
While he baits, I will write a few lines, most heartily to congratulate thee on thy expected rage and impatience, and on thy recovery of mental feeling.
How much does the idea thou givest me of thy deserved torments, by thy upright awls, bodkins, pins, and packing-needles, by thy rolling hogshead, with iron spikes, and by thy macerated sides, delight me!
I will, upon every occasion that offers, drive more spikes into thy hogshead, and roll thee down-hill, and up, as thou recoverest to sense, or rather returnest back to senselessness. Thou knowest therefore the terms on which thou art to enjoy my correspondence. Am not I, who have all along, and in time, protested against thy barbarous and ungrateful perfidies to a woman so noble, entitled to drive remorse, if possible, into thy hitherto callous heart?
Only let me repeat one thing, which perhaps I mentioned too slightly before. That the lady was determined to remove to new lodgings, where neither you nor I should be able to find her, had I not solemnly assured her, that she might depend upon being free from your visit.
These assurances I thought I might give her, not only because of your promise, but because it is necessary for you to know where she is, in order to address yourself to her by your friends.
Enable me therefore to make good to her this my solemn engagement; or adieu to all friendship, at least to all correspondence, with thee for ever.
MR. BELFORD TO ROBERT LOVELACE, ESQ.
Tuesday, July 18, afternoon. I Renewed my inquiries after the lady's health, in the morning, by my servant: and as soon as I had dined, I went myself.
I had but a poor account of it: yet sent up my compliments. She returned me thanks for all my good offices; and her excuses, that they could not be personal just then, being very low and faint: but if I gave myself the trouble of coming about six this evening, she should be able, she hoped, to drink a dish of tea with me, and would then thank me herself.
I am very proud of this condescension; and think it looks not amiss for you, as I am your avowed friend. Methinks I want fully to remove from her mind all doubts of you in this last villanous action: and who knows then what your noble relations may be able to do for you with her, if you hold your mind? For your servant acquainted me with their having actually engaged Miss Howe in their and your favour, before this cursed affair happened. And I desire the particularsof ail from yourself, that I may the better know how to serve you.
She has two handsome apartments, a bed-chamber and dining room, with light closets in each. She has already a nurse (the people of the house having but one maid); a woman whose care, diligence, and honesty, Mrs. Smith highly commends. 'She has likewise the benefit of the voluntary attendance, and love, as it seems, of a widow gentlewoman, Mrs. Lovick her name, who lodges over her apartment, and of whom she seems very fond, having found something in her, she thinks, resembling the qualities of her worthy Mrs. Norton.
About seven o'clock this morning, it seems, the lady was so ill, that she yielded to their desires, to have an apothecary sent for—not the fellow, thou mayest believe, she had had before at Rowland's: but one Mr. Goddard, a man of skill and eminence; and of conscience too; demonstrated as well by general character, as by his prescriptions to this lady: for pronouncing her case to be grief, he ordered, for the present, only innocent juleps, by way of cordial; and, as soon as her stomach should be able to bear it, light kitchen-diet; telling Mrs. Lovick that that, with air, moderate exercise, and cheerful company, would do her more good than all the medicines in his shop.
This has given me, as it seems it has the lady, (who also praises his modest behaviour, paternal looks, and genteel address) a very good opinion of the man; and I design to make myself acquainted with him, and, if he advises to call in a doctor, to wish him, for the fair patient's sake, more than the physician's, (who wants not practice) my worthy friend Dr. H.—whose character is above all excep