it more convenient to carry me to your lodgings, make
no scruple of it. Let it be where it will:
if I am your wife I shall think no place unfit for
me where you are. I beg we may leave London next
morning, wherever you intend to go. I should
wish to go out of England if it suits with your affairs.
You are the best judge of your father’s temper.
If you think it would be obliging to him, or necessary
for you, I will go with you immediately to ask his
pardon and his blessing. If that is not proper
at first, I think the best scheme is going to the
Spa. When you come back, you may endeavour to
make your father admit of seeing me, and treat with
mine (thought I persist in thinking it will be to no
purpose). But I cannot think of living in the
midst of my relations and acquaintance after so unjustifiable
a step:—unjustifiable to the world,—but
I think I can justify myself to myself. I again
beg you to hire a coach to be at the door early Monday
morning, to carry us some part of our way, wherever
you resolve our journey shall be. If you determine
to go to that lady’s house, you had better come
with a coach and six at seven o’clock to-morrow.
She and I will be in the balcony that looks on the
road: you have nothing to do but to stop under
it, and we will come down to you. Do in this
what you like best. After all, think very seriously.
Your letter, which will be waited for, is to determine
everything. I forgive you a coarse expression
in your last, which, however, I wish had not been
there. You might have said something like it without
expressing it in that manner; but there was so much
complaisance in the rest of it I ought to be satisfied.
You can shew me no goodness I shall not be sensible
of. However, think again, and resolve never to
think of me if you have the least doubt, or that it
is likely to make you uneasy in your fortune.
I believe to travel is the most likely way to make
a solitude agreeable, and not tiresome: remember
you have promised it.”
Even in this hour of excitement Lady Mary did not
lose her head, and she asked for a settlement that
would make her easy in her mind.
“Tis something odd for a woman that brings nothing
to expect anything; but after the way of my education,
I dare not pretend to live but in some degree suitable
to it. I had rather die than return to a dependancy
upon relations I have disobliged. Save me from
that fear if you love me. If you cannot, or think
I ought not to expect it, be sincere and tell me so.
’Tis better I should not be yours at all, than,
for a short happiness, involve myself in ages of misery.
I hope there will never be occasion for this precaution;
but, however, ’tis necessary to make it.
I depend entirely on your honour, and I cannot suspect
you of any way doing wrong. Do not imagine I
shall be angry at anything you can tell me. Let
it be sincere; do not impose on a woman that leaves
all things for you.”
No woman could be more sensible than was Lady Mary
at this time, and she gave expression to the most