But what is become of Lord M. I trow, that he writes not to me, in answer to my invitation? If he would send me such a letter as I could show, it might go a great way towards a perfect reconciliation. I have written to Charlotte about it. He shall soon hear from me, and that in a way he won’t like, if he writes not quickly. He has sometimes threatened to disinherit me. But if I should renounce him, it would be but justice, and would vex him ten times more than any thing he can do will vex me. Then, the settlements unavoidably delayed, by his neglect!—How shall I bear such a life of procrastination!—I, who, as to my will, and impatience, and so forth, am of the true lady-make, and can as little bear controul and disappointment as the best of them!
Another letter from Miss Howe. I suppose it is that which she promises in her last to send her relating to the courtship between old Tony the uncle, and Annabella the mother. I should be extremely rejoiced to see it. No more of the smuggler-plot in it, surely! This letter, it seems, she has put in her pocket. But I hope I shall soon find it deposited with the rest.
At my repeated request she condescended to meet me in the dining-room to afternoon-tea, and not before.
She entered with bashfulness, as I thought; in a pretty confusion, for having carried her apprehensions too far. Sullen and slow moved she towards the tea-table.—Dorcas present, busy in tea-cup preparations. I took her reluctant hand, and pressed it to my lips.—Dearest, loveliest of creatures, why this distance? why this displeasure?—How can you thus torture the faithfullest heart in the world?
She disengaged her hand. Again I would have snatched it.
Be quiet, [peevishly withdrawing it.] And down she sat; a gentle palpitation in the beauty of beauties indicating a mingled sullenness and resentment; her snowy handkerchief rising and falling, and a sweet flush overspreading her charming cheeks.
For God’s sake, Madam!—[And a third time I would have taken her repulsing hand.]
And for the same sake, Sir, no more teasing.
Dorcas retired; I drew my chair nearer her’s, and with the most respectful tenderness took her hand; and told her, that I could not forbear to express my apprehensions (from the distance she was so desirous to keep me at) that if any man in the world was more indifferent to her, to use no harsher word, than another, it was the unhappy wretch before her.
She looked steadily upon me for a moment, and with her other hand, not withdrawing that I held, pulled her handkerchief out of her pocket; and by a twinkling motion urged forward a tear or two, which having arisen in each sweet eye, it was plain by that motion she would rather have dissipated: but answered me only with a sigh, and an averted face.