For Heaven’s sake, said the penetrated varlet [his hands lifted up]; for Heaven’s sake, take compassion upon this admirable woman!—I cannot proceed—she deserves all things—
Softly!—d—n the fellow!—the women are coming in.
He sobbed up his grief—turned about—hemm’d up a more manly accent—Wipe thy cursed eyes—He did. The sunshine took place on one cheek, and spread slowly to the other, and the fellow had his whole face again.
The women all three came in, led by that ever-curious Miss Rawlins. I told them, that the lady was gone up to consider of every thing: that we had hopes of her. And such a representation we made of all that had passed, as brought either tacit or declared blame upon the fair perverse for hardness of heart and over-delicacy.
The widow Bevis, in particular, put out one lip, tossed up her head, wrinkled her forehead, and made such motions with her now lifted-up, now cast-down eyes, as showed that she thought there was a great deal of perverseness and affectation in the lady. Now-and-then she changed her censuring looks to looks of pity of me—but (as she said) she loved not to aggravate!—A poor business, God help’s! shrugging up her shoulders, to make such a rout about! And then her eyes laughed heartily— Indulgence was a good thing! Love was a good thing!—but too much was too much!
Miss Rawlins, however, declared, after she had called the widow Bevis, with a prudish simper, a comical gentlewoman! that there must be something in our story, which she could not fathom; and went from us into a corner, and sat down, seemingly vexed that she could not.
The lady staid longer above than we wished; and I hoping that (lady-like) she only waited for an invitation to return to us, desired the widow Bevis, in the Captain’s name, (who wanted to go to town,) to request the favour of her company.
I cared not to send up either Miss Rawlins or Mrs. Moore on the errand, lest my beloved should be in a communicative disposition; especially as she had hinted at an appeal to Miss Rawlins; who, besides, has such an unbounded curiosity.
Mrs. Bevis presently returned with an answer (winking and pinking at me) that the lady would follow her down.
Miss Rawlins could not but offer to retire, as the others did. Her eyes, however, intimated that she had rather stay. But they not being answered as she seemed to wish, she went with the rest, but with slower feet; and had hardly left the parlour, when the lady entered it by the other door; a melancholy dignity in her person and air.
She sat down. Pray, Mr. Tomlinson, be seated.
He took his chair over against her. I stood behind her’s that I might give him agreed-upon signals, should there be occasion for them.