But seest thou not that I have a claim of merit for a grace that every body hitherto had denied me? and that is for a capacity of being moved by prayers and tears—Where, where, on this occasion, was the callous, where the flint, by which my heart was said to be surrounded?
This, indeed, is the first instance, in the like case, that ever I was wrought upon. But why? because, I never before encountered a resistance so much in earnest: a resistance, in short, so irresistible.
What a triumph has her sex obtained in my thoughts by this trial, and this resistance?
But if she can now forgive me—can!—she must. Has she not upon her honour already done it?—But how will the dear creature keep that part of her promise which engages her to see me in the morning as if nothing had happened?
She would give the world, I fancy, to have the first interview over!—She had not best reproach me—yet not to reproach me!—what a charming puzzle!—Let her break her word with me at her peril. Fly me she cannot—no appeals lie from my tribunal—What friend has she in the world, if my compassion exert not itself in her favour?—and then the worthy Captain Tomlinson, and her uncle Harlowe, will be able to make all up for me, be my next offence what it may.
As to thy apprehensions of her committing any rashness upon herself, whatever she might have done in her passion, if she could have seized upon her scissors, or found any other weapon, I dare say there is no fear of that from her deliberate mind. A man has trouble enough with these truly pious, and truly virtuous girls; [now I believe there are such;] he had need to have some benefit from, some security in, the rectitude of their minds.
In short, I fear nothing in this lady but grief: yet that’s a slow worker, you know; and gives time to pop in a little joy between its sullen fits.
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford,
Thursday morning, eight o’clock.
Her chamber-door has not yet been opened. I must not expect she will breakfast with me. Nor dine with me, I doubt. A little silly soul, what troubles does she make to herself by her over-niceness!—All I have done to her, would have been looked upon as a frolic only, a romping bout, and laughed off by nine parts in ten of the sex accordingly. The more she makes of it, the more painful to herself, as well as to me.
Why now, Jack, were it not better, upon her own notions, that she seemed not so sensible as she will make herself to be, if she is very angry?
But perhaps I am more afraid than I need. I believe I am. From her over-niceness arises my fear, more than from any extraordinary reason for resentment. Next time, she may count herself very happy, if she come off no worse.
The dear creature was so frightened, and so fatigued, last night, no wonder she lies it out this morning.