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Part Fourth.—The Last Escape of AIL
MB. BELFOBD TO ROBEBT LOVELACE, ESQ.
Thursday, June 29. jjHOU hast heard from McDonald and Mowbray the news. Bad or good, I know not which thou'lt deem it. I only wish I could have given thee joy upon the same account, before the unhappy lady was seduced from Hampstead: for then of what an ungrateful villainy hadst thou been spared the perpetration, which now thou hast to answer for!
The noble exertion of spirit she had made on Friday night, had, it seems, greatly disordered her; insomuch that she was not visible till Saturday evening; when Mabell saw her; and she seemed to be very ill: but on Sunday morning, having dressed herself, as if designing to go to church, she ordered Mabell to get her a coach to the door.
The wench told her, she was to obey her in everything but the calling of a coach or chair, or in relation to letters.
She sent for Will and gave him the same command.
He pleaded his master's orders to the contrary, and desired to be excused.
Upon this, down she went herself, and would have gone out without observation: but finding the street door double-locked, and the key not in the lock, she stepped into the street parlour, and would have thrown up the sash to call out to the people passing by, as they doubted not: but that, since her last attempt of the same nature, had been fastened down.
Hereupon she resolutely stepped into Mrs. Sinclair's parlour in the back house; where were the old devil and her two partners; and demanded the key of the street door, or to have it opened for her.
They were all surprised; but desired to be excused, and pleaded your orders.
She asserted, that you had no authority over her; and never should have any: that their present refusal was their own act and deed: she saw the intent of their back house, and the reason of putting her there: she pleaded her condition and fortune; and said, they had no way to avoid utter ruin, but by opening their doors to her, or by murdering her, and burying her in their garden or cellar, too deep for detection: that alrea'dy what had been done to her was punishable by death: and bid them at their peril detain her.
What a noble, what a right spirit has this charming creature, in cases that will justify an exertion of spirit!
They answered, that Mr. Lovelace could prove his marriage, and would indemnify them. And they all would have vindicated their behaviour on Friday night, and the reputation of their house: but refusing to hear them on that topic, she flung from them, threatening.
She then went up half a dozen stairs in her way to her own apartment: but, as if she had bethought herself, down she stepped again, and proceeded towards the street parlour; saying, as she passed by the infamous Dorcas, I'll make myself protectors, though the windows suffer: but that wench, of her own head, on the lady's going out of that parlour to Mrs. Sinclair's, had locked the door, and taken out the key: so that finding herself disappointed, she burst into tears, and went menacing and sobbing up stairs again.
The women, in pursuance of your orders, offered not