The widow Moore returned! say you?—Down, down, flutterer!—This impertinent heart is more troublesome to me than my conscience, I think. —I shall be obliged to hoarsen my voice, and roughen my character, to keep up with its puppily dancings.
But let me see, shall I be angry or pleased when I am admitted to my beloved’s presence?
Angry to be sure.—Has she not broken her word with me?—At a time too when I was meditating to do her grateful justice?—And is not breach of word a dreadful crime in good folks?—I have ever been for forming my judgment of the nature of things and actions, not so much from what they are in themselves, as from the character of the actors. Thus it would be as odd a thing in such as we to keep our words with a woman, as it would be wicked in her to break her’s to us.
Seest thou not that this unseasonable gravity is admitted to quell the palpitations of this unmanageable heart? But still it will go on with its boundings. I’ll try as I ride in my chariot to tranquilize.
‘Ride, Bob! so little a way?’
Yes, ride, Jack; for am I not lame? And will it not look well to have a lodger who keeps his chariot? What widow, what servant, asks questions of a man with an equipage?
My coachman, as well as my other servant, is under Will.’s tuition.
Never was there such a hideous rascal as he has made himself. The devil only and his other master can know him. They both have set their marks upon him. As to my honour’s mark, it will never be out of his dam’d wide mothe, as he calls it. For the dog will be hanged before he can lose the rest of his teeth by age.
I am gone.
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford,
Hampstead, Friday night, June 9.
Now, Belford, for the narrative of narratives. I will continue it as I have opportunity; and that so dexterously, that, if I break off twenty times, thou shalt not discern where I piece my thread.
Although grievously afflicted with the gout, I alighted out of my chariot (leaning very hard on my cane with one hand, and on my new servant’s shoulder with the other) the same instant almost that he had knocked at the door, that I might be sure of admission into the house.
I took care to button my great coat about me, and to cover with it even the pummel of my sword, it being a little too gay for my years. I knew not what occasion I might have for my sword. I stooped forward; blinked with my eyes to conceal their lustre (no vanity in saying that, Jack); my chin wrapt up for the tooth-ache; my slouched, laced hat, and so much of my wig as was visible, giving me, all together, the appearance of an antiquated beau.
My wife, I resolved beforehand, should have a complication of disorders.