I am now so impatient to hear oftener of her, that I take the hint accidentally given me by our two fellows meeting at Slough, and resolve to go to our friend Doleman’s at Uxbridge; whose wife and sister, as well as he, have so frequently pressed me to give them my company for a week or two. There shall I be within two hours’ ride, if any thing should happen to induce her to see me: for it will well become her piety, and avowed charity, should the worst happen, [the Lord of Heaven and Earth, however, avert that worst!] to give me that pardon from her lips, which she has not denied to me by pen and ink. And as she wishes my reformation, she knows not what good effects such an interview may have upon me.
I shall accordingly be at Doleman’s to-morrow morning, by eleven at farthest. My fellow will find me there at his return from you (with a letter, I hope). I shall have Joel with me likewise, that I may send the oftener, as matters fall out. Were I to be still nearer, or in town, it would be impossible to withhold myself from seeing her.
But, if the worst happen!—as, by your continual knelling, I know not what to think of it!—[Yet, once more, Heaven avert that worst!—How natural it is to pray, when once cannot help one’s self!]—Then say not, in so many dreadful words, what the event is—Only, that you advise me to take a trip to Paris—And that will stab me to the heart.
I so well approve of your generosity to poor Belton’s sister, that I have made Mowbray give up his legacy, as I do mine, towards her India bonds. When I come to town, Tourville shall do the like; and we will buy each a ring to wear in memory of the honest fellow, with our own money, that we may perform his will, as well as our own.
My fellow rides the rest of the night. I charge you, Jack, if you would save his life, that you send him not back empty-handed.
Mr. Belford, to Robert Lovelace,
Tuesday night, Aug. 30.
When I concluded my last, I hoped that my next attendance upon this surprising lady would furnish me with some particulars as agreeable as now could be hoped for from the declining way she is in, by reason of the welcome letter she had received from her cousin Morden. But it proved quite otherwise to me, though not to herself; for I think I was never more shocked in my life than on the occasion I shall mention presently.
When I attended her about seven in the evening, she told me that she found herself in a very petulant way after I had left her. Strange, said she, that the pleasure I received from my cousin’s letter should have such an effect upon me! But I could not help giving way to a comparative humour, as I may call it, and to think it very hard that my nearer relations did not take the methods which my cousin Morden kindly took, by inquiring into my merit or demerit, and giving my cause a fair audit before they proceeded to condemnation.