He dropped a hint in commendation of the people of the house; but it was in such a way, as to give no room to suspect that he thought it necessary to inquire after the character of persons, who make so genteel an appearance, as he observed they do.
And here let me remark, that my beloved might collect another circumstance in favour of the people below, had she doubted their characters, from the silence of her uncle’s inquirist on Tuesday among the neighbours.
Capt. ’And now, Sir, that I believe I have satisfied you in every thing relating to my commission, I hope you will permit me to repeat my question—which is—’
Enter Dorcas again, out of breath.
Sir, the gentleman will step up to you. [My lady is impatient. She wonders at your honour’s delay. Aside.]
Excuse me, Captain, for one moment.
I have staid my full time, Mr. Lovelace. What may result from my question and your answer, whatever it shall be, may take us up time.— And you are engaged. Will you permit me to attend you in the morning, before I set out on my return?
You will then breakfast with me, Captain?
It must be early if I do. I must reach my own house to-morrow night, or I shall make the best of wives unhappy. And I have two or three places to call at in my way.
It shall be by seven o’clock, if you please, Captain. We are early folks. And this I will tell you, that if ever I am reconciled to a family so implacable as I have always found the Harlowes to be, it must be by the mediation of so cool and so moderate a gentleman as yourself.
And so, with the highest civilities on both sides, we parted. But for the private satisfaction of so good a man, I left him out of doubt that we were man and wife, though I did not directly aver it.
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford,
This Captain Tomlinson is one of the happiest as well as one of the best men in the world. What would I give to stand as high in my beloved’s opinion as he does! but yet I am as good a man as he, were I to tell my own story, and have equal credit given to it. But the devil should have had him before I had seen him on the account he came upon, had I thought I should not have answered my principal end in it. I hinted to thee in my last what that was.
But to the particulars of the conference between my fair-one and me, on her hasty messages; which I was loth to come to, because she has had an half triumph over me in it.
After I had attended the Captain down to the very passage, I returned to the dining-room, and put on a joyful air, on my beloved’s entrance into it—O my dearest creature, said I, let me congratulate you on a prospect so agreeable to your wishes! And I snatched her hand, and smothered it with kisses.