I was so disgusted with him, as well as frighted by him, that on my return to my chamber, in a fit of passionate despair, I tore almost in two the answer I had written to his proposals.
I will see him in the morning, because I promised I would. But I will go out, and that without him, or any attendant. If he account not tolerably for his sudden change of behaviour, and a proper opportunity offer of a private lodging in some creditable house, I will not any more return to this:—at present I think so.—And there will I either attend the perfecting of your scheme; or, by your epistolary mediation, make my own terms with the wretch; since it is your opinion, that I must be his, and cannot help myself: or, perhaps, take a resolution to throw myself at once into Lady Betty’s protection; and this will hinder him from making his insolently-threatened visit to Harlowe-place.
[The Lady writes again on Monday evening; and gives
her friend an account
of all that passed between herself and Mr. Lovelace that day; and of
her being terrified out of her purpose, of going out: but Mr.
Lovelace’s next letters giving a more ample account of all, hers are
It is proper, however, to mention, that she re-urges
Miss Howe (from the
dissatisfaction she has reason for from what passed between Mr.
Lovelace and herself) to perfect her scheme in relation to Mrs.
Townsend. She concludes this letter in these words:]
I should say something of your last favour (but a few hours ago received) and of your dialogue with your mother—Are you not very whimsical, my dear? I have but two things to wish for on this occasion.—The one, that your charming pleasantry had a better subject than that you find for it in this dialogue—the other, that my situation were not such, as must too often damp that pleasantry in you, and will not permit me to enjoy it, as I used to do. Be, however, happy in yourself, though you cannot in
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford,
Monday morning, may 22.
No generosity in this lady. None at all. Wouldst thou not have thought, that after I had permitted her to withdraw, primed for mischief as I was, she would meet me next morning early; and that with a smile; making me one of her best courtesies?
I was in the dining-room before six, expecting her. She opened not her door. I went up stairs and down; and hemm’d; and called Will.; called Dorcas; threw the doors hard to; but still she opened not her door. Thus till half an hour after eight, fooled I away my time; and then (breakfast ready) I sent Dorcas to request her company.
But I was astonished, when (following the wench, as she did at the first invitation) I saw her enter dressed, all but her gloves, and those and her fan in her hand; in the same moment bidding Dorcas direct Will. to get her a chair to the door.