Returned without a letter!—This d——d fellow Will. is returned without a letter!—Yet the rascal tells me that he hears you have been writing to me these two days!
Plague confound thee, who must know my impatience, and the reason for it!
To send a man and horse on purpose; as I did! My imagination chained me to the belly of the beast, in order to keep pace with him!—Now he is got to this place; now to that; now to London; now to thee!
Now [a letter given him] whip and spur upon the return. This town just entered, not staying to bait: that village passed by: leaves the wind behind him; in a foaming sweat man and horse.
And in this way did he actually enter Lord M.’s courtyard.
The reverberating pavement brought me down—The letter, Will.! The letter, dog!—The letter, Sirrah!
No letter, Sir!—Then wildly staring round me, fists clenched, and grinning like a maniac, Confound thee for a dog, and him that sent thee without one!—This moment out of my sight, or I’ll scatter thy stupid brains through the air. I snatched from his holsters a pistol, while the rascal threw himself from the foaming beast, and ran to avoid the fate which I wished with all my soul thou hadst been within the reach of me to have met with.
But, to be as meek as a lamb to one who has me at his mercy, and can wring and torture my soul as he pleases, What canst thou mean to send back my varlet without a letter?—I will send away by day-dawn another fellow upon another beast for what thou hast written; and I charge thee on thy allegiance, that thou dispatch him not back empty-handed.
Charlotte, in a whim of delicacy, is displeased that I send the enclosed letter to you—that her handwriting, forsooth! should go into the hands of a single man!
There’s encouragement for thee, Belford! This is a certain sign that thou may’st have her if thou wilt. And yet, till she has given me this unerring demonstration of her glancing towards thee, I could not have thought it. Indeed I have often in pleasantry told her that I would bring such an affair to bear. But I never intended it; because she really is a dainty girl; and thou art such a clumsy fellow in thy person, that I should as soon have wished her a rhinoceros for a husband as thee. But, poor little dears! they must stay till their time’s come! They won’t have this man, and they won’t have that man, from seventeen to twenty-five: but then, afraid, as the saying is, that God has forgot them, and finding their bloom departing, they are glad of whom they can get, and verify the fable of the parson and the pears.
Mr. Brand, to John Harlowe,
[Enclosed in the preceding.]