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man of my known fortune, surely, Jack, though the woman were the daughter of a duke.
Just now, in high good-humour, my beloved returned me the draughts of the settlements; a copy of which I had sent to Captain Tomlinson. She complimented me, “that she never had any doubt of my honour in cases of this nature.”
Io matters between man and man nobody ever had, thou knowest. I had need, thou wilt say, to have some good qualities.
Monday, June 5. I am now almost in despair of succeeding with this charming frost-piece by love or gentleness. Never, I believe, was there so true, so delicate a modesty in the human mind as in that of this lady. And this has been my security all along : and, in spite of Miss Howe's advice to her, will be so still; since, if her delicacy be a fault, she can no more overcome it than I can my aversion to matrimony. Habit, habit, Jack, seest thou not ? may subject us both to weaknesses. And should she not have charity for me, as I have for her ?
Twice indeed with rapture, which once she called rude, did I salute her; and each time, resenting the freedom, did she retire ; though, to do her justice, she favoured me again with her presence at my first entreaty, and took no notice of the cause of her withdrawing.
Is it policy to show so open a resentment for innocent liberties, which, in her situation, she must so soon forgive ?
Yet the woman who resents not initiatory freedoms must be lost. For Love is an encroacher. Love never goes backward. Love is always aspiring. Always must aspire. Nothing but the highest act of love can satisfy an indulged love. And what advantages has a lover who values not breaking the peace, over his mistress who is solicitous to keep it !
I have now at this instant wrought myself up, for the dozenth time, to a half-resolution. A thousand agreeable things I have to say to her. She is in the diningroom. Just gone up. She always expects me when there.
High displeasure !—followed by an abrupt departure.
I sat down by her. I took both her hands in mine. I would have it so. All gentle my voice. Her father mentioned with respect. Her mother with reverence. Even her brother amicably spoken of. I never thought I could have wished so ardently, as I told her I did wish, for a reconciliation with her family
A sweet and grateful flush then overspread her fair face; a gentle sigh now and then heaved her handkerchief.
I perfectly longed to hear from Captain Tomlinson. It was impossible for her uncle to find fault with the draft of the settlements. I would not, however, be understood by sending them down, that I intended to put it in her uncle's power to delay my happy day. When, when, was it to be ?
No new delays for Heaven's sake, I besought her; and reproached her gently for the past. Name but the day(an early day, I hoped it would be, in the following week)
—that I might hail its approach, and number the tardy hours.
My cheek reclined on her shoulder-kissing her hands by turns. Rather bashfully than angrily reluctant, her hands sought to be withdrawn; her shoulder avoiding my reclined cheek—apparently loth, and more loth, to quarrel with me; her downcast eye confessing more than her lips could utter. Now surely, thought I, is my time to try if she can forgive a still bolder freedom than I had ever yet taken.
I then gave her struggling hands liberty. I put one arm round her waist: I imprinted a kiss on her sweet
lips, with a Be quiet only, and an averted face, as if she feared another.
Encouraged by so gentle a repulse, the tenderest things I said; and then, with my other hand, drew aside the handkerchief that concealed the beauty of beauties, and pressed with my burning lips the most charming breast that ever my ravished eyes beheld.
A very contrary passion to that which gave her bosom so delightful a swell, immediately took place. She struggled out of my encircling arms with indignation. I detained her reluctant hand. Let me go, said she. I see there is no keeping terms with you. Base encroacher ! Is this the design of your flattering speeches ?-Far as matters have gone, I will for ever renounce you. You have an odious heart. Let me go, I tell you.
I was forced to obey, and she flung from me.
Monday Afternoon. A letter received from the worthy Captain Tomlinson, has introduced me into the presence of my charmer sooner than perhaps I should otherwise have been admitted.
Sullen her brow, at her first entrance into the diningroom. But I took no notice of what had passed, and her anger of itself subsided.
The Captain, after letting me know, that he chose not to write, till he had the promised draft of the settlements, acquaints me, that his friend Mr. John Harlowe, in their first conference (which was held as soon as he got down) was extremely surprised, and even grieved (as he feared he would be) to hear, that we were not married. The world, he said, who knew my character, would be very censorious, were it owned, that we had lived so long together unmarried in the same lodgings ; although our marriage were now to be ever so publicly celebrated.
My beloved was vexed. She pulled out her handkerchief: but was more inclined to blame me, than herself.
Had you kept your word, Mr. Lovelace. and left me when we came to town—And there she stopped; for she knew, that it was her own fault that we were not married before we left the country; and how could I leave her afterwards, while her brother was plotting to carry her off by violence ?
I read on to the following effect :
“The Captain then told Uncle John, the reasons that induced me to give out that we were married; and the conditions on which my beloved was brought to countenance it; which had kept us at the most punctilious distance.
“But still Mr. Harlowe objected my character. And went away dissatisfied. And the Captain was also so much concerned, that he cared not to write what the result of his first conference was.
“But in the next, which was held on receipt of the drafts, at the Captain's house (as the former was, for the greater secrecy) when the old gentleman had read them, and had the Captain's opinion, he was much better pleased. And yet he declared, that it would not be easy to persuade any other person of his family to believe so favourably of the matter, as he was now willing to believe, were they to know that we had lived so long together unmarried
" And then, the Captain says, his dear friend made a proposal :-It was this—That we should marry out of hand, but as privately as possible, as indeed he found we intended (for he could have no objection to the drafts)
-But yet, he expected to have present one trusty friend of his own, for his better satisfaction”- .
Here I stopped, with a design to be angry—But she desiring me to read on, I obeyed.
“-But that it should pass to every one living, except to that trusty person, to himself, and to the Captain, that we were married from the time that we had lived together
in one house ; and that this time should be made to agree with that of Mr. Hickman's application to him from Miss Howe.”
Well, my dearest life, what say you to your uncle's expedient? Shall I write to the Captain, and acquaint him, that we have no objection to it ?
She was silent for a few minutes. At last, with a sigh, See, Mr. Lovelace, said she, what you have brought me to, by treading after you in such crooked paths !-See what disgrace I have incurred !—Indeed you have not acted like a wise man.
My beloved creature, do you not remember, how earnestly I besought the honour of your hand before we came to town ?-Had I been then favoured
Well, well, sir—There has been much amiss somewhere ; that's all I will say at present. And since what's passed cannot be recalled, my uncle must be obeyed, I think.
Charmingly dutiful !I had nothing then to do, that I might not be behind-hand with the worthy Captain and her uncle, but to press for the day. This I fervently did. But (as I might have expected) she repeated her former answer; to wit, that when the settlements were completed; when the licence was actually obtained; it would be time enough to name the day: and, O Mr. Lovelace, said she, turning from me with a grace inimitably tender, her handkerchief at her eyes, what a happiness, if my dear uncle could be prevailed upon to be personally a father, on this occasion, to the poor fatherless girl!
What's the matter with me !—Whence this dew-drop ! A tear !--As I hope to be saved, it is a tear, Jack !
I withdrew, and wrote to the Captain to the following effect :-“I desired, that he would be so good as to acquaint his dear friend, that we entirely acquiesced with what he had proposed; and had already properly cautioned the gentlewomen of the house, and their serVOL. II.