Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford,
Sat night, June 10.
What will be the issue of all my plots and contrivances, devil take me if I am able to divine. But I will not, as Lord M. would say, forestall my own market.
At four, the appointed hour, I sent up, to desire admittance in the Captain’s name and my own.
She would wait upon the Captain presently; [not upon me!] and in the parlour, if it were not engaged.
The dining-room being mine, perhaps that was the reason of her naming the parlour—mighty nice again, if so! No good sign for me, thought I, this stiff punctilio.
In the parlour, with me and the Captain, were Mrs. Moore, Miss Rawlins, and Mrs. Bevis.
The women said, they would withdraw when the lady came down.
Lovel. Not, except she chooses you should, Ladies.—People who are so much above-board as I am, need not make secrets of any of their affairs. Besides, you three ladies are now acquainted with all our concerns.
Capt. I have some things to say to your lady, that perhaps she would not herself choose that any body should hear; not even you, Mr. Lovelace, as you and her family are not upon such a good foot of understanding as were to be wished.
Lovel. Well, well, Captain, I must submit. Give us a sign to withdraw, and we will withdraw.
It was better that the exclusion of the women should come from him, than from me.
Capt. I will bow, and wave my hand, thus—when I wish to be alone with the lady. Her uncle dotes upon her. I hope, Mr. Lovelace, you will not make a reconciliation more difficult, for the earnestness which my dear friend shows to bring it to bear. But indeed I must tell you, as I told you more than once before, that I am afraid you have made lighter of the occasion of this misunderstanding to me, than it ought to have been made.
Lovel. I hope, Captain Tomlinson, you do not question my veracity!
Capt. I beg your pardon, Mr. Lovelace—but those things which we men may think lightly of, may not be light to a woman of delicacy.—And then, if you have bound yourself by a vow, you ought—
Miss Rawlins bridling, her lips closed, (but her mouth stretched to a smile of approbation, the longer for not buttoning,) tacitly showed herself pleased with the Captain for his delicacy.
Mrs. Moore could speak—Very true, however, was all she said, with a motion of her head that expressed the bow-approbatory.
For my part, said the jolly widow, staring with eyes as big as eggs, I know what I know.—But man and wife are man and wife; or they are not man and wife.—I have no notion of standing upon such niceties.
But here she comes! cried one, hearing her chamber-door open—Here she comes! another, hearing it shut after her—And down dropt the angel among us.