I am in a way to come at the wished-for license.
I have now given every thing between my beloved and me a full consideration; and my puzzle is over. What has brought me to a speedier determination is, that I think I have found out what she means by the week’s distance at which she intends to hold me. It is, that she may have time to write to Miss Howe, to put in motion that cursed scheme of her’s, and to take measures upon it which shall enable her to abandon and renounce me for ever. Now, Jack, if I obtain not admission to her presence on my return; but am refused with haughtiness; if her week be insisted upon (such prospects before her); I shall be confirmed in my conjecture; and it will be plain to me, that weak at best was that love, which could give place to punctilio, at a time when that all-reconciling ceremony, as she must think, waits her command:—then will I recollect all her perversenesses; then will I re-peruse Miss Howe’s letters, and the transcripts from others of them; give way to my aversion to the life of shackles: and then shall she be mine in my own way.
But, after all, I am in hopes that she will have better considered of every thing by the evening; that her threat of a week’s distance was thrown out in the heat of passion; and that she will allow, that I have as much cause to quarrel with her for breach of her word, as she has with me for breach of the peace.
These lines of Rowe have got into my head; and I shall repeat them very devoutly all the way the chairman shall poppet me towards her by-and-by.
Teach me, some
power, the happy art of speech,
To dress my purpose up in gracious words;
Such as may softly steal upon her soul,
And never waken the tempestuous passions.
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford,
Thursday evening, June 8.
O for a curse to kill with!—Ruined! Undone! Outwitted! Tricked!—Zounds, man, the lady has gone off!—Absolutely gone off! Escaped!—
Thou knowest not, nor canst conceive, the pangs that wring my heart!— What can I do!—O Lord, O Lord, O Lord!
And thou, too, who hast endeavoured to weaken my hands, wilt but clap thy dragon’s wings at the tidings!
Yet I must write, or I shall go distracted! Little less have I been these two hours; dispatching messengers to every stage, to every inn, to every waggon or coach, whether flying or creeping, and to every house with a bill up, for five miles around.