I hate thee heartily!—by my faith I do!—every hour I hate thee more than the former!——
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford,
Saturday, July 22.
What dost hate me for, Belford!—and why more and more! have I been guilty of any offence thou knewest not before?—If pathos can move such a heart as thine, can it alter facts!—Did I not always do this incomparable creature as much justice as thou canst do her for the heart of thee, or as she can do herself?——What nonsense then thy hatred, thy augmented hatred, when I still persist to marry her, pursuant to word given to thee, and to faith plighted to all my relations? But hate, if thou wilt, so thou dost but write. Thou canst not hate me so much as I do myself: and yet I know if thou really hatedst me, thou wouldst not venture to tell me so.
Well, but after all, what need of her history to these women? She will certainly repent, some time hence, that she has thus needless exposed us both.
Sickness palls every appetite, and makes us hate what we loved: but renewed health changes the scene; disposes us to be pleased with ourselves; and then we are in a way to be pleased with every one else. Every hope, then, rises upon us: every hour presents itself to us on dancing feet: and what Mr. Addison says of liberty, may, with still greater propriety, be said of health, for what is liberty itself without health?
It makes the gloomy
face of nature gay;
Gives beauty to the sun, and pleasure to the day.
And I rejoice that she is already so much better, as to hold with strangers such a long and interesting conversation.
Strange, confoundedly strange, and as perverse [that is to say, womanly] as strange, that she should refuse, and sooner choose to die [O the obscene word! and yet how free does thy pen make with it to me!] than be mine, who offended her by acting in character, while her parents acted shamefully out of theirs, and when I am now willing to act out of my own to oblige her; yet I am not to be forgiven; they to be faultless with her!—and marriage the only medium to repair all breaches, and to salve her own honour!—Surely thou must see the inconsistence of her forgiving unforgiveness, as I may call it!—yet, heavy varlet as thou art, thou wantest to be drawn up after her! And what a figure dost thou make with thy speeches, stiff as Hickman’s ruffles, with thy aspirations and protestations!—unused, thy weak head, to bear the sublimities that fall, even in common conversation, from the lips of this ever-charming creature!
But the prettiest whim of all was, to drop the bank note behind her chair, instead of presenting it on thy knees to her hand!—To make such a woman as this doubly stoop—by the acceptance, and to take it from the ground!—What an ungrateful benefit-conferrer art thou!—How awkward, to take in into thy head, that the best way of making a present to a lady was to throw the present behind her chair!