I kissed her unrepulsing hand no less than five times during this conversation. Lord, Jack, how my generous heart ran over!—She was quite obliging at parting.—She in a manner asked me leave to retire; to reperuse Charlotte’s letter.—I think she bent her knees to me; but I won’t be sure.—How happy might we both have been long ago, had the dear creature been always as complaisant to me! For I do love respect, and, whether I deserve it or not, always had it, till I knew this proud beauty.
And now, Belford, are we in a train, or the deuce is in it. Every fortified town has its strong and its weak place. I have carried on my attacks against the impregnable parts. I have not doubt but I shall either shine or smuggle her out of her cloke, since she and Miss Howe have intended to employ a smuggler against me.—All we wait for now is my Lord’s letter.
But I had like to have forgot to tell thee, that we have been not a little alarmed, by some inquiries that have been made after me and my beloved by a man of good appearance; who yesterday procured a tradesman in the neighbourhood to send for Dorcas: of whom he asked several questions relating to us; particularly (as we boarded and lodged in one house) whether we were married?
This has given my beloved great uneasiness. And I could not help observing upon it, to her, how right a thing it was that we had given out below that we were married. The inquiry, most probably, I said, was from her brother’s quarter; and now perhaps that our marriage was owned, we should hear no more of his machinations. The person, it seems, was curious to know the day that the ceremony was performed. But Dorcas refused to give him any other particulars than that we were married; and she was the more reserved, as he declined to tell her the motives of his inquiry.
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford,
The devil take this uncle of mine! He has at last sent me a letter which I cannot show, without exposing the head of our family for a fool. A confounded parcel of pop-guns has he let off upon me. I was in hopes he had exhausted his whole stock of this sort in his letter to you.—To keep it back, to delay sending it, till he had recollected all this farrago of nonsense—confound his wisdom of nations, if so much of it is to be scraped together, in disgrace of itself, to make one egregious simpleton! —But I am glad I am fortified with this piece of flagrant folly, however; since, in all human affairs, the convenient are so mingled, that there is no having the one without the other.
I have already offered the bill enclosed in it to my beloved; and read to her part of the letter. But she refused the bill: and, as I am in cash myself, I shall return it. She seemed very desirous to peruse the whole letter. And when I told her, that, were it not for exposing the writer, I would oblige her, she said, it would not be exposing his Lordship to show it to her; and that she always preferred the heart to the head. I knew her meaning; but did not thank her for it.