So thou seest the worst that can happen, should we not make the grand tour upon this occasion, but stay and take our trials. But it is most likely, that they will not prosecute at all. If not, no risque on our side will be run; only taking our pleasure abroad, at the worst; leaving friends tired of us, in order, after a time, to return to the same friends endeared to us, as we to them, by absence.
This, Jack, is my scheme, at the first running. I know it is capable of improvement—for example: I can land these ladies in France; whip over before they can get a passage back, or before Hickman can have recovered his fright; and so find means to entrap my beloved on board—and then all will be right; and I need not care if I were never to return to England.
Memorandum, To be considered of—Whether,
in order to complete my
vengeance, I cannot contrive to kidnap away either James Harlowe or
Solmes? or both? A man, Jack, would not go into exile for nothing.
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford, Esq.
If, Belford, thou likest not my plot upon Miss Howe, I have three or four more as good in my own opinion; better, perhaps, they will be in thine: and so ’tis but getting loose from thy present engagement, and thou shalt pick and choose. But as for thy three brethren, they must do as I would have them: and so, indeed, must thou—Else why am I your general? But I will refer this subject to its proper season. Thou knowest, that I never absolutely conclude upon a project, till ’tis time for execution; and then lightning strikes not quicker than I.
And now to the subject next my heart.
Wilt thou believe me, when I tell thee, that I have so many contrivances rising up and crowding upon me for preference, with regard to my Gloriana, that I hardly know which to choose?—I could tell thee of no less than six princely ones, any of which must do. But as the dear creature has not grudged giving me trouble, I think I ought not, in gratitude, to spare combustibles for her; but, on the contrary, to make her stare and stand aghast, by springing three or four mines at once.
Thou remembrest what Shakespeare, in his Troilus and Cressida, makes Hector, who, however, is not used to boast, say to Achilles in an interview between them; and which, applied to this watchful lady, and to the vexation she has given me, and to the certainty I now think I have of subduing her, will run thus: supposing the charmer before me; and I meditating her sweet person from head to foot:
watchful fair-one, guard thee well:
For I’ll not kill thee there! nor there! nor there!
But, by the zone that circles Venus’ waist,
I’ll kill thee ev’ry where; yea, o’er and o’er.—
Thou, wisest Belford, pardon me this brag:
Her watchfulness draws folly from my lips;
But I’ll endeavour deeds to match the words,
Or I may never——