Laetitia was a witness of their union of hands on her coming back to the room.
They promised to visit her very early in the morning, neither of them conceiving that they left her to a night of storm and tears.
She sat meditating on Clara’s present appreciation of Sir Willoughby’s generosity.
LAETITIA AND SIR WILLOUGHBY
We cannot be abettors of the tribes of imps whose revelry is in the frailties of our poor human constitution. They have their place and their service, and so long as we continue to be what we are now, they will hang on to us, restlessly plucking at the garments which cover our nakedness, nor ever ceasing to twitch them and strain at them until they have stripped us for one of their horrible Walpurgis nights: when the laughter heard is of a character to render laughter frightful to the ears of men throughout the remainder of their days. But if in these festival hours under the beam of Hecate they are uncontrollable by the Comic Muse, she will not flatter them with her presence during the course of their insane and impious hilarities, whereof a description would out-Brocken Brockens and make Graymalkin and Paddock too intimately our familiars.
It shall suffice to say that from hour to hour of the midnight to the grey-eyed morn, assisted at intervals by the ladies Eleanor and Isabel, and by Mr. Dale awakened and re-awakened—hearing the vehemence of his petitioning outcry to soften her obduracy—Sir Willoughby pursued Laetitia with solicitations to espouse him, until the inveteracy of his wooing wore the aspect of the life-long love he raved of aroused to a state of mania. He appeared, he departed,