Pray, Sir—civility is not ceremony.
And now, dressed as a bridegroom, my heart elated beyond that of the most desiring one, (attended by a footman whom my beloved never saw,) I am already at Hampstead!
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford,
Fri. Morn. 7 O’clock. (June 9.)
I am now here, and here have been this hour and half.—What an industrious spirit have I!—Nobody can say that I eat the bread of idleness. I take true pains for all the pleasure I enjoy. I cannot but admire myself strangely; for certainly, with this active soul, I should have made a very great figure in whatever station I had filled. But had I been a prince, (to be sure I should have made a most noble prince!) I should have led up a military dance equal to that of the great Macedonian. I should have added kingdom to kingdom, and despoiled all my neighbour sovereigns, in order to have obtained the name of Robert the Great! And I would have gone to war with the Great Turk, and the Persian, and Mogul, for the seraglios; for not one of those eastern monarchs should have had a pretty woman to bless himself with till I had done with her.
And now I have so much leisure upon my hands, that, after having informed myself of all necessary particulars, I am set to my short-hand writing in order to keep up with time as well as I can; for the subject is now become worthy of me; and it is yet too soon, I doubt, to pay my compliments to my charmer, after all her fatigues for two or three days past. And, moreover, I have abundance of matters preparative to my future proceedings to recount, in order to connect and render all intelligible.
I parted with the Captain at the foot of the hill, trebly instructed; that is to say, as to the fact, to the probable, and to the possible. If my beloved and I can meet, and make up without the mediating of this worthy gentleman, it will be so much the better. As little foreign aid as possible in my amorous conflicts has always been a rule with me; though here I have been obliged to call in so much. And who knows but it may be the better for the lady the less she makes necessary? I cannot bear that she should sit so indifferent to me as to be in earnest to part with me for ever upon so slight, or even upon any occasion. If I find she is—but no more threatenings till she is in my power—thou knowest what I have vowed.
All Will.’s account, from the lady’s flight to his finding her again, all the accounts of the people of the house, the coachman’s information to Will., and so forth, collected together, stand thus:
’The Hampstead coach, when the dear fugitive came to it, had but two passengers in it. But she made the fellow to go off directly, paying for the vacant places.