But not to see her for a week!—Dear, pretty soul! how she anticipates me in every thing! The counsellor will have finished the writings to-day or to-morrow, at furthest: the license with the parson, or the parson without the license, must also be procured within the next four-and-twenty hours; Prtichard is as good as ready with his indentures tripartite: Tomlinson is at hand with a favourable answer from her uncle —yet not to see her for a week!——Dear sweet soul;—her good angel is gone a journey: is truanting at least. But nevertheless, in thy week’s time, or in much less, my charmer, I doubt not to complete my triumph!
But what vexes me of all things is, that such an excellent creature should break her word:—Fie, fie, upon her!—But nobody is absolutely perfect! ’Tis human to err, but not to persevere—I hope my charmer cannot be inhuman!
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford,
King’s arms, Pall-mall, Thursday, two o’clock.
Several billets passed between us before I went out, by the internuncioship of Dorcas: for which reason mine are superscribed by her married name.—She would not open her door to receive them; lest I should be near it, I suppose: so Dorcas was forced to put them under the door (after copying them for thee); and thence to take the answers. Read them, if thou wilt, at this place.
Indeed, my dearest life, you carry this matter too far. What will the people below, who suppose us one as to the ceremony, think of so great a niceness? Liberties so innocent! the occasion so accidental!—You will expose yourself as well as me.—Hitherto they know nothing of what has passed. And what indeed has passed to occasion all this resentment?—I am sure you will not, by a breach of your word of honour, give me reason to conclude that, had I not obeyed you, I could have fared no worse.
Most sincerely do I repent the offence given to your delicacy—But must I, for so accidental an occurrence, be branded by such shocking names?— Vilest of men, and most detestable of plotters, are hard words!—From the pen of such a lady too.
If you step up another pair of stairs, you will be convinced, that, however detestable I may be to you, I am no plotter in this affair.
I must insist upon seeing you, in order to take your directions upon some of the subjects we talked of yesterday in the evening.
All that is more than necessary is too much. I claim your promised pardon, and wish to plead it on my knees.
I beg your presence in the dining-room for one quarter of an hour, and I will then leave you for the day, I am,
My dearest life,
Your ever adoring and truly penitent