“Truly have I hopes of thee now, Japhet,” replied Susannah, smiling. “Those who confess their faults will soon amend them; yet I do think there is some reason in thy observation, for who knoweth, but meeting with thy former associates, thou mayst not be tempted into falling away? Thou mayst spell thy name as thou listest; and, peradventure, it would be better to disguise it.”
So agreed Mr and Mrs Cophagus, and I therefore had it written Gnow-land; and having engaged a person of the society, strongly recommended to me, as an assistant, I took possession of my shop, and was very soon busy in making up prescriptions, and dispensing my medicines in all quarters of the good town of Reading.
And I was happy. I had enjoyment during the day; my profession was, at all events, liberal. I was dressed and lived as a gentleman, or rather I should say respectably. I was earning my own livelihood. I was a useful member of society, and when I retired home to meals, and late at night, I found, that if Cophagus and his wife had retired, Susannah Temple always waited up, and remained with me a few minutes. I had never been in love until I had fallen in with this perfect creature; but my love for her was not the love of the world; I could not so depreciate her—I loved her as a superior being—I loved her with fear and trembling. I felt that she was too pure, too holy, too good for a vain worldly creature like myself. I felt as if my destiny depended upon her and her fiat; that if she favoured me, my happiness in this world and in the next were secured; that if she rejected me, I was cast away for ever. Such was my feeling for Susannah Temple, who, perfect as she was, was still a woman, and perceived her power over me; but unlike the many of her sex, exerted that power only to lead to what was right. Insensibly almost, my pride was quelled, and I became humble and religiously inclined. Even the peculiarities of the sect, their meeting at their places of worship, their drawling, and their quaint manner of talking, became no longer a subject of dislike. I found out causes and good reasons for everything which before appeared strange—sermons in stones, and good in everything. Months passed away—my business prospered—I had nearly repaid the money advanced by Mr Cophagus. I was in heart and soul a Quaker, and I entered into the fraternity with a feeling that I could act up to what I had promised. I was happy, quite happy, and yet I had never received from Susannah Temple any further than the proofs of sincere friendship. But I had much of her society, and we were now very, very intimate. I found out what warm, what devoted feelings were concealed under her modest, quiet exterior—how well her mind was stored, and how right was that mind.