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it seems he has privately communicated to her his laudable intentions: and her resolution depends as well as his, upon what to-morrow will produce.
Disappoint not then I beseech you, for an hundred person's sakes, as well as for mine, that uncle and that mother, whose displeasure I have heard you so often deplore.
You may think it impossible for me to reach London by the canonical hour. If it should, the ceremony may be performed in your own apartment, at any, time in the day, or at night: so that Captain Tomlinson may have it to aver to your uncle, that it was performed on his anniversary.
Tell but the Captain, that you forbid me not to attend you: and that shall be sufficient for bringing to you on the wings of love,
Your ever-grateful and affectionate
TO MR. PATRICK M'DONALD,
At his lodgings, at Mr. Brown's, peruke-maker, in St. Martin's Lane, Westminster.
M. Hall, Wedn. morning, two o'clock.
The bearer of this has a letter to carry to the lady*. I have been at the trouble of writing a copy of it; which I inclose, that you may not mistake your cue.
You will judge of my reasons for ante-dating the inclosed sealed onef directed to you by the name of Tomlinson; which you are to shew the lady, as in confidence. You will open it of course.
* See the preceding letter. t See the next letter.
I doubt not your dexterity and management, dear M'Donald; nor your zeal; especially as the hope of cohabitation must now be given up. Impossible to be carried is that scheme. I might break her heart, but not incline her will—am in earnest therefore to marry her, if she let not the day slip.
Improve upon the hint of her mother. That may touch her. But John Harlowe, remember, has privately engaged that lady—privately, I say; else ( not to mention the reason for her uncle Harlowe's former expedient) you know, she might find means to get a letter away to the one or the other, to know the truth; or to Miss Howe, to engage her to inquire into it: and if she should, the word privately will account for the uncle's and mother's denying it.
However, fail not, as from me, to charge our mother and her nymphs to redouble their vigilance both as to her person and letters. All is upon a crisis now. But she must not be treated ill neither.
Thursday over, I shall know what to resolve upon.
If necessary, you must assume authority. The devil's in't, if such a girl as this shall awe a man of your years and experience. You are not in love with her as I am. Fly out, if she doubt your honour. Spirits naturally soft may be beat out of their play, and borne down (though ever so much raised) by higher anger. AH women are cowards at bottom: only violent where they may. I have often stormed a girl out of her mistrust, and made her yield (before she knew where she was) to the point indignantly mistrusted; and that to make up with me, though I was the aggressor.
If this matter succeed as I'd have it, (or if not, and do not fail by your fault) I will take you off the necessity of pursuing your cursed smuggling; which otherwise may one day end fatally for you.
We are none of us perfect, M'Donald. This sweet lady makes me serious sometimes in spite of my heart. But as private vices are less blamable than public; and as I think smuggling (as it is called) a national evil; I have no doubt to pronounce you a much worse man than myself, and as such shall take pleasure in reforming you.
I send you inclosed ten guineas, as a small earnest of further favours. Hitherto you have been a very clever fellow.
As to clothes for Thursday, Monmouth Street will afford a ready supply. Clothes quite new would make your condition suspected. But you may defer that care, till you see if she can be prevailed upon. Your riding dress will do for the first visit. Nor let your boots be over-clean. I have always told you the consequence of attending to the minutice, where art (or imposture, as the ill-mannered would call it) is designed—your linen rumpled and soily, when you wait upon her—easy terms these—just come to town—remember (as formerly) to loll, to throw out your legs, to stroke and grasp down your ruffles, as if of significance enough to be careless. What though the presence of a fine lady would require a different behaviour, are you not of years to dispense with politeness? You can have no design upon her, you know. You are a father yourself of daughters as old as she. Evermore is parade and obsequiousness suspectable: it must shew either a foolish head, or a knavish heart. Assume airs of consequence therefore; and you will be treated as a man of consequence. I have often more than half ruined myself by ray complaisance; and, being afraid of control, have brought control upon myself.
I think I have no more to say at present. I intend to be at Slough, or on the way to it, as by aune to the lady. Adieu, honest M'Donald.
TO CAPTAIN ANTONY TOMLINSON.
[Inclosed in the preceding; to be shewn to the lady as in
M. Hall,Tuesday morn. June 27.
DEAR CAPT. TOMLINSON,
An unhappy misunderstanding having arisen between the dearest lady in the world and me (the particulars of which she perhaps may give you, but I will not, because I might be thought partial to myself); and she refusing to answer my most pressing and respectful letters; I am at a most perplexing uncertainty whether she will meet us or not next Thursday to solemnize.
My lord is so extremely ill, that if I thought she would not oblige me, I would defer going up to town for two or three days. He cares not to have me out of his sight: yet is impatient to salute my beloved as his niece before he dies. This I have promised to give him an opportunity to do: intending, if the dear creature will make me happy, to set out with her for this place directly from church.
With regret I speak it of the charmer of my soul; that irreconcileableness is her family-fault—the less excusable indeed in her, as she herself suffers by it in so high a degree from her own relations.
Now, sir, as you intended to be in town some time before Thursday, if it be not too great an inconvenience to you, I could be glad you would go up as soon as possible, for my sake: and this I the more boldly request, as I presume that a man who has so many great affairs of his own in hand .as you have, would be glad to be at a certainty himself as to the day.
You, sir, can so pathetically and justly set before her the unhappy consequences that will follow if the day be postponed, as well with regard to her uncle's disappointment, as to the part you have assured me her mother is willing to take in the wishedfor reconciliation, that I have great hopes she will suffer herself to be prevailed upon. And a man and horse shall be in waiting to take your dispatches and bring them to me.
But if you cannot prevail in my favour, you will be pleased to satisfy your friend Mr. John Harlowe, that it is not my fault that he is not obliged. I am, dear sir, Your extremely obliged
and faithful servant,
TO ROBERT LOVELACE, ESQ. 'Honoured Sir, Wed. June 28, near 12 o'clock. I Received yours, as your servant desired me to acquaint you, by ten this morning. Horse and man were in a foam.
I instantly equipped myself, as if come off from a journey, and posted away to the lady, intending to plead great affairs that I came not before, in order to favour your antedate; and likewise to be in a hurry to have a pretence to hurry her ladyship, and