When she had got it in her possession, she flew to the door. I threw myself in her way, shut it, and, in the humblest manner, besought her to forgive me. And yet do you think the Harlowe-hearted charmer (notwithstanding the agreeable annunciation I came in with) would forgive me?—No, truly; but pushing me rudely from the door, as if I had been nothing, [yet do I love to try, so innocently to try, her strength too!] she gained that force through passion, which I had lost through fear, out she shot to her own apartment; [thank my stars she could fly no farther!] and as soon as she entered it, in a passion still, she double-locked and double-bolted herself in. This my comfort, on reflection, that, upon a greater offence, it cannot be worse.
I retreated to my own apartment, with my heart full: and, my man Will not being near me, gave myself a plaguy knock on the forehead with my double fist.
And now is my charmer shut up from me: refusing to see me, refusing her meals. She resolves not to see me; that’s more:—never again, if she can help it; and in the mind she is in—I hope she has said.
The dear creatures, whenever they quarrel with their humble servants, should always remember this saving clause, that they may not be forsworn.
But thinkest thou that I will not make it the subject of one of my first plots to inform myself of the reason why all this commotion was necessary on so slight an occasion as this would have been, were not the letters that pass between these ladies of a treasonable nature?
No admission to breakfast, any more than to supper. I wish this lady is not a simpleton, after all.
I have sent up in Captain Mennell’s name.
A message from Captain Mennell, Madam.
It won’t do. She is of baby age. She cannot be—a Solomon, I was going to say, in every thing. Solomon, Jack, was the wisest man. But didst ever hear who was the wisest woman? I want a comparison for this lady. Cunning women and witches we read of without number. But I fancy wisdom never entered into the character of a woman. It is not a requisite of the sex. Women, indeed, make better sovereigns than men: but why is that?—because the women-sovereigns are governed by men; the men-sovereigns by women.—Charming, by my soul! For hence we guess at the rudder by which both are steered.
But to putting wisdom out of the question, and to take cunning in; that is to say, to consider woman as a woman; what shall we do, if this lady has something extraordinary in her head? Repeated charges has she given to Wilson, by a particular messenger, to send any letter directed for her the moment it comes.
I must keep a good look-out. She is not now afraid of her brother’s plot. I shan’t be at all surprised, if Singleton calls upon Miss Howe, as the only person who knows, or is likely to know, where Miss Harlowe is; pretending to have affairs of importance, and of particular service to her, if he can but be admitted to her speech—Of compromise, who knows, from her brother?