Let me see; the author of Hudibras has somewhere a description that would suit us, when met in one of our caves, and comparing our dismal notes together. This is it. Suppose me described—
sat upon his rump,
His head like one in doleful dump:
Betwixt his knees his hands apply’d
Unto his cheeks, on either side:
And by him, in another hole,
Sat stupid Belford, cheek by jowl.
I know thou wilt think me too ludicrous. I think myself so. It is truly, to be ingenuous, a forced put: for my passions are so wound up, that I am obliged either to laugh or cry. Like honest drunken Jack Daventry, [poor fellow!—What an unhappy end was his!]—thou knowest, I used to observe, that whenever he rose from an entertainment, which he never did sober, it was his way, as soon as he got to the door, to look round him like a carrier pigeon just thrown up, in order to spy out his course; and then, taking to his heels, he would run all the way home, though it were a mile or two, when he could hardly stand, and must have tumbled on his nose if he had attempted to walk moderately. This then must be my excuse, in this my unconverted estate, for a conclusion so unworthy of the conclusion to thy third letter.
What a length have I run!—Thou wilt own, that if I pay thee not in quality, I do in quantity: and yet I leave a multitude of things unobserved upon. Indeed I hardly at this present know what to do with myself but scribble. Tired with Lord M. who, in his recovery, has played upon me the fable of the nurse, the crying child, and the wolf—tired with my cousins Montague, though charming girls, were they not so near of kin—tired with Mowbray and Tourville, and their everlasting identity— tired with the country—tired of myself—longing for what I have not—I must go to town; and there have an interview with the charmer of my soul: for desperate diseases must have desperate remedies; and I only wait to know my doom from Miss Howe! and then, if it be rejection, I will try my fate, and receive my sentence at her feet.—But I will apprize thee of it beforehand, as I told thee, that thou mayest keep thy parole with the lady in the best manner thou canst.
Miss Howe, to miss Clarissa Harlowe [in answer to her’s of July 27, see letters L. LI. Of this volume.] Friday night, July 28.
I will now, my dearest friend, write to you all my mind, without reserve, on your resolution not to have this vilest of men. You gave me, in your’s of Sunday the 23d, reasons so worthy of the pure mind of my Clarissa, in support of this your resolution, that nothing but self-love, lest I should lose my ever-amiable friend, could have prevailed upon me to wish you to alter it.