Well, Sir, I can only say, that I am dough in your hands, to be moulded into what shape you please. But if, as I said before—
None of thy Said-before’s, Patrick. I remember all thou sadist—and I know all thou canst farther say—thou art only, Pontius Pilate like, washing thine own hands, (don’t I know thee?) that thou mayest have something to silence thy conscience with by loading me. But we have gone too far to recede. Are not all our engines in readiness? Dry up thy sorrowful eyes. Let unconcern and heart’s ease once more take possession of thy solemn features. Thou hast hitherto performed extremely well.— Shame not thy past by thy future behaviour; and a rich reward awaits thee. If thou art dough be dough; and I slapt him on the shoulder— Resume but thy former shape, and I’ll be answerable for the event.
He bowed assent and compliance; went to the glass; and began to untwist and unsadden his features; pulled his wig right, as if that, as well as his head and heart had been discomposed by his compunction, and once more became old Lucifer’s and mine.
But didst thou think, Jack, that there was so much—What-shall-I-call-it? —in this Tomlinson? Didst thou imagine that such a fellow as that had bowels? That nature, so long dead and buried in him, as to all humane effects, should thus revive and exert itself?—Yet why do I ask this question of thee, who, to my equal surprise, hast shown, on the same occasion, the like compassionate sensibilities?
As to Tomlinson, it looks as if poverty had made him the wicked fellow he is; as plenty and wantonness have made us what we are. Necessity, after all, is the test of principle. But what is there in this dull word, or thing, called honesty, that even I, who cannot in my present views be served by it, cannot help thinking even the accidental emanations of it amiable in Tomlinson, though demonstrated in a female case; and judging better of him for being capable of such?
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford, Esq.
This debate between the Captain and me was hardly over when the three women, led by Miss Rawlins, entered, hoping no intrusion, but very desirous, the maiden said, to know if we were likely to accommodate.
O yes, I hope so. You know, Ladies, that your sex must, in these cases, preserve their forms. They must be courted to comply with their own happiness. A lucky expedient we have hit upon. The uncle has his doubts of our marriage. He cannot believe, nor will any body, that it is possible that a man so much in love, the lady so desirable—
They all took the hint. It was a very extraordinary case, the two widows allowed. Women, Jack, [as I believe I have observed* elsewhere,] have a high opinion of what they can do for us. Miss Rawlins desired, if I pleased, to let them know the expedient; and looked as if there was no need to proceed in the rest of my speech.