Faith, Jack, I think I am sick already. Is it possible for such a giddy fellow as me to persuade myself to be ill! I am a better mimic at this rate than I wish to be. But every nerve and fibre of me is always ready to contribute its aid, whether by health or by ailment, to carry a resolved-on roguery into execution.
Dorcas has transcribed for me the whole letter of Miss Howe, dated Sunday, May 14,* of which before I had only extracts. She found no other letter added to that parcel: but this, and that which I copied myself in character last Sunday whilst she was at church, relating to the smuggling scheme,** are enough for me.
* See Vol. IV. Letter XXIX. ** Ibid. Letter XLII.
Dorcas tells me, that her lady has been removing her papers from the mahogany chest into a wainscot box, which held her linen, and which she put into her dark closet. We have no key of that at present. No doubt but all her letters, previous to those I have come at, are in that box. Dorcas is uneasy upon it: yet hopes that her lady does not suspect her; for she is sure that she laid in every thing as she found it.
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford,
Cocoa-tree, Saturday, may 27.
This ipecacuanha is a most disagreeable medicine. That these cursed physical folks can find out nothing to do us good, but what would poison the devil! In the other world, were they only to take physic, it would be punishable enough of itself for a mis-spent life. A doctor at one elbow, and an apothecary at the other, and the poor soul labouring under their prescribed operations, he need no worse tormentors.
But now this was to take down my countenance. It has done it: for, with violent reachings, having taken enough to make me sick, and not enough water to carry it off, I presently looked as if I had kept my bed a fortnight. Ill jesting, as I thought in the midst of the exercise, with edge tools, and worse with physical ones.
Two hours it held me. I had forbid Dorcas to let her lady know any thing of the matter; out of tenderness to her; being willing, when she knew my prohibition, to let her see that I expected her to be concerned for me.—
Well, but Dorcas was nevertheless a woman, and she can whisper to her lady the secret she is enjoined to keep!
Come hither, toad, [sick as the devil at the instant]; let me see what a mixture of grief and surprize may be beat up together in thy puden-face.
That won’t do. That dropt jaw, and mouth distended into the long oval, is more upon the horrible than the grievous.
Nor that pinking and winking with thy odious eyes, as my charmer once called them.
A little better that; yet not quite right: but keep your mouth closer. You have a muscle or two which you have no command of, between your cheek-bone and your lips, that should carry one corner of your mouth up towards your crow’s-foot, and that down to meet it.