When I am married, said I?—What a sound has that!
I must wait with patience for a sight of this charming creature, till she is at her father’s. And yet, as the but blossoming beauty, as thou tellest me, is reduced to a shadow, I should have been exceedingly delighted to see her now, and every day till the happy one; that I might have the pleasure of observing how sweetly, hour by hour, she will rise to her pristine glories, by means of that state of ease and contentment, which will take place of the stormy past, upon her reconciliation with her friends, and our happy nuptials.
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford, Esq.
Well, but now my heart is a little at ease, I will condescend to take brief notice of some other passages in thy letters.
I find I am to thank thee, that the dear creature has avoided my visit. Things are now in so good a train that I must forgive thee; else thou shouldst have heard more of this new instance of disloyalty to thy general.
Thou art continually giving thyself high praise, by way of opposition, as I may say, to others; gently and artfully blaming thyself for qualities thou wouldst at the same time have to be thought, and which generally are thought, praise-worthy.
Thus, in the airs thou assumest about thy servants, thou wouldst pass for a mighty humane mortal; and that at the expense of Mowbray and me, whom thou representest as kings and emperors to our menials. Yet art thou always unhappy in thy attempts of this kind, and never canst make us, who know thee, believe that to be a virtue in thee, which is but the effect of constitutional phlegm and absurdity.
Knowest thou not, that some men have a native dignity in their manner, that makes them more regarded by a look, than either thou canst be in thy low style, or Mowbray in his high?
I am fit to be a prince, I can tell thee, for I reward well, and I punish seasonably and properly; and I am generally as well served by any man.
The art of governing these underbred varlets lies more in the dignity of looks than in words; and thou art a sorry fellow, to think humanity consists in acting by thy servants, as men must act who are not able to pay them their wages; or had made them masters of secrets, which, if divulged, would lay them at the mercy of such wretches.
Now to me, who never did any thing I was ashamed to own, and who have more ingenuousness than ever man had; who can call a villany by its own right name, though practised by myself, and (by my own readiness to reproach myself) anticipate all reproach from others; who am not such a hypocrite, as to wish the world to think me other or better than I am— it is my part, to look a servant into his duty, if I can; nor will I keep one who knows not how to take me by a nod, or a wink; and who, when I smile, shall not be all transport; when I frown, all terror. If, indeed, I am out of the way a little, I always take care to rewards the varlets for patiently bearing my displeasure. But this I hardly ever am but when a fellow is egregiously stupid in any plain point of duty, or will be wiser than his master; and when he shall tell me, that he thought acting contrary to my orders was the way to serve me best.