Such a declaration must bring all forward. There are twenty ways, my dear, that you would find out for another in your circumstances. He will disdain, from his native insolence, to have it thought he has any body to consult. Well then, will he not be obliged to declare himself? And if he does, no delays on your side, I beseech you. Give him the day. Let it be a short one. It would be derogating from your own merit, not to be so explicit as he ought to be, to seem but to doubt his meaning; and to wait for that explanation for which I should ever despise him, if he makes it necessary. Twice already have you, my dear, if not oftener modesty’d away such opportunities as you ought not to have slipped. As to settlements, if they come not in naturally, e’en leave them to his own justice, and to the justice of his family, And there’s an end of the matter.
This is my advice: mend it as circumstances offer, and follow your own. But indeed, my dear, this, or something like it, would I do. And let him tell me afterwards, if he dared or would, that he humbled down to his shoe-buckles the person it would have been his glory to exalt.
Support yourself, mean time, with reflections worthy of yourself. Though tricked into this man’s power, you are not meanly subjugated to it. All his reverence you command, or rather, as I may say, inspire; since it was never known, that he had any reverence for aught that was good, till you was with him: and he professes now and then to be so awed and charmed by your example, as that the force of it shall reclaim him.
I believe you will have a difficult task to keep him to it; but the more will be your honour, if you effect his reformation: and it is my belief, that if you can reclaim this great, this specious deceiver, who has, morally speaking, such a number of years before him, you will save from ruin a multitude of innocents; for those seem to me to have been the prey for which he has spread his wicked snares. And who knows but, for this very purpose, principally, a person may have been permitted to swerve, whose heart or will never was in her error, and who has so much remorse upon her for having, as she thinks, erred at all? Adieu, my dearest friend.
I must trouble you with my concerns, though you own are so heavy upon you. A piece of news I have to tell you. Your uncle Antony is disposed to marry. With whom, think you? with my mother. True indeed. Your family knows it. All is laid with redoubled malice at your door. And there the old soul himself lays it.
Take no notice of this intelligence, not so much as in your letters to me, for fear of accidents.
I think it can’t do. But were I to provoke my mother, that might afford a pretence. Else, I should have been with you before now, I fancy.