Often when I talked over past events, did I listen to her remarks, all tending to one point, morality and virtue; often did I receive from her at first a severe, but latterly a kind rebuke, when my discourse was light and frivolous; but when I talked of merry subjects which were innocent, what could be more joyous or more exhilarating than her laugh—what more intoxicating than her sweet smile, when she approved of my sentiments! and when animated by the subject, what could be more musical or more impassioned than her bursts of eloquence, which were invariably followed by a deep blush, when she recollected how she had been carried away by excitement?
There was one point upon which I congratulated myself, which was, that she had received two or three unexceptionable offers of marriage during the six months that I had been in her company, and refused them. At the end of that period, thanks to the assistance I received from the Friends, I had paid Mr Cophagus all the money which he had advanced, and found myself in possession of a flourishing business, and independent. I then requested that I might be allowed to pay an annual stipend for my board and lodging, commencing from the time I first came to his house. Mr Cophagus said I was right—the terms were easily arranged, and I was independent.
Still my advances with Susannah were slow, but if slow, they were sure. One day I observed to her, how happy Mr Cophagus appeared to be as a married man; her reply was, “He is, Japhet; he has worked hard for his independence, and he now is reaping the fruits of his industry.” That is as much as to say that I must do the same, thought I, and that I have no business to propose for a wife, until I am certain that I am able to provide for her. I have as yet laid up nothing, and an income is not a capital. I felt that whether a party interested or not, she was right, and I redoubled my diligence.
A variety of the Quaker
tribe—who had a curious disintegration
of mind and body.
I was not yet weaned from the world, but I was fast advancing to that state, when a very smart young Quaker came on a visit to Reading. He was introduced to Mr and Mrs Cophagus, and was soon, as might be expected, an admirer of Susannah, but he received no encouragement. He was an idle person, and passed much of his time sitting in my shop, and talking with me, and being much less reserved and guarded than the generality of the young men of the sect, I gradually became intimate with him. One day when my assistant was out he said to me, “Friend Gnow-land, tell me candidly, hast thou ever seen my face before?”
“Not that I can recollect, friend Talbot.”
“Then my recollection is better than yours, and now having obtained thy friendship as one of the society, I will remind thee of our former acquaintance. When thou wert Mr N-e-w-land, walking about town with Major Carbonnell, I was Lieutenant Talbot, of the—Dragoon Guards.”