The dreariness of the time that followed is beyond my power of description. I besought Mr. Chiffinch to let me go abroad again, but he forbade me very emphatically; and I owed so much to him that I could not find it in my heart to disobey. For so desperate was I, at the ruin of all my hopes, that the thought even came to me that I would go back and try to be a monk again; for how, thought I, can I keep my word even to Dolly herself? Every prospect I had was ruined; my coronet was gone like the dream which it had always been; I had failed lamentably and hopelessly; and it was through her father’s treachery and malice that all had come about. This I felt in my heaviest moods; but Mr. Chiffinch would hear none of it. He said that it was but a question of time, and His Majesty would come round once more; that he would never be content until I was reinstated; that he had not for an instant lost heart. Besides, he said, I was of use in another way, and that was to make Hoskyns disclose himself. Hoskyns would never rest, he said, till he had made at least one more attempt upon me; and next time, he hoped, he would catch him at it, and get rid of the fellow once and for all.
Neither could I even go to Hare Street; for how could I live again even for an hour in the house of my Cousin who had betrayed me? I could not even tell Dolly all that had fallen; for I was as sure as of anything in the world that her father would tell her nothing, and I did not have the heart to disgrace him in her eyes. I but wrote to her that I was a little out of favour with His Majesty at present, though I kept my lodgings, and that I must not stir from Court till I had regained my position. Meanwhile I reserved what I had to say to my Cousin Tom, until I should meet with him alone. I had no doubt whatever that he had done what he had, thinking to get rid of me as his daughter’s lover.
The time dragged then very heavily; for I did not care to go much into the society of others, and had nowhere else to go, since I must not leave Whitehall; for it soon became known that I was out of favour, though I do not suppose that the reason was ever named. I spent my days principally in my own lodgings, and did a good deal of private work for Mr. Chiffinch, which occupied me. I went to the play sometimes, taking my man James with me; and I rode out with him usually, down Chelsea way, or to the north, coming back for dinner or supper. I never went alone, by Mr. Chiffinch’s urgent desire.
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It was after Christmas that matters were brought to a head, and that the last great adventures of my life came about that closed all that I thought to be life at that time. Even now, so many years after, I can scarce bear to write them down, though, as I look back upon them now, there were at least two matters for which I should have thanked God even then. I thank Him now.
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