Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

M. He won't be ten thousand pounds the D. Not the offer, madam ; the chance only! better for me, if he survive me.

-if indeed you have a view to an increase of D. No, madam; he can't expect that, as you family, the money may provide have a daughter, and as he is a bachelor, and M. You can't keep within tolerable bounds! kas not a child !- Poor old soul !

-That

saucy fleer I cannot away withM. Old soul, Nancy !And thus to call him D. Dearest, dearest madam, forgive me; but for being a bachelor, not having a child !--Does old soul ran in my head again !-Nay, indeed, this become you?

and upon my word, I will not be robbed of that D. Not old soul for that, madam—but half charming smile! (And again I kissed her hand.] the sum ; five thousand pounds; you can't en- M. Away, bold creature ! Nothing can be so gage for less, madam.

provoking as to be made to smile when one M. That sum has your approbation then ? would choose, and ought, to be angry. [Looking as if she'd be even with me.]

D. But, dear madam, if it be to be, I presume D. As he leaves it to your generosity, ma- you won't think of it before next winter. dam, to reward his kindness to you, it can't be M. What now would the pert one be at? less.—Do, dear madam, permit me, without in- D. Because he only proposes to entertain you curring your displeasure, to call him poor old with pretty stories of foreign nations in a winsou again.

ter's evening.-Dearest, dearest madam, let me M. Never was such a whimsical creature ! have the reading of his letter through. I will (turning away to hide her involuntary smile, forgive him all he says

about me. for I believe I looked very archly; at least I M. It may be a very difficult thing, perhaps, intended to do so ]—I hate that wicked sly look. for a man of the best sense to write a love-letYou give yourself very free airs—don't you ? ter that may not be cavilled at. I snatched her hand, and kissed it.

D. That's because lovers in their letters hit D. My dear mamma, be not angry with your not the medium. They either write too much girl !You have told me, that you was very nonsense, or too little. But do you call this odd lively formerly.

soul's letter (no more will I call him old soul, M. Formerly! Good lack !—But were I to if I can help it] a love-letter ? encourage his proposals, you may be sure, that, M. Well, well, I see you are averse to this for Mr Hickman's sake, as well as yours, I matter. I am not to be your mother ; you will should make a wise agreement.

live single, if I marry. I had a mind to see if D. You have both lived to years of prudence, generosity governed you in your views. I shall madam.

pursue my own inclinations; and if they should M. Yes, I suppose I am an old soul too. happen to be suitable to yours, pray let me for

D. He also is for making a wise agreement, the future be better rewarded by you than hior hinting at one, at least.

therto I have been. M. Well, the short and the long I suppose is And away she flung, without staying for a this : I have not your consent to marry. reply.-Vexed, I dare say, that I did not better

D. Indeed, madam, you have not my wishes approve of the proposal-were it only that the to marry.

merit of denying might have been all her own, M. Let me tell you, that if prudence consists and to lay the stronger obligation upon her in wishing well to one's self, I see not but the saucy daughter. young flirts are as prudent as the old souls. She wrote such a widow-like refusal when she

D. Dear madam, would you blame me, if to went from me, as might not exclude hope in any wish

you not to marry Mr Antony Harlowe, is other wooer ; whatever it may do in Mr Tony to wish well to myself ?

Harlowe. M. You are mighty witty. I wish you were It will be my part, to take care to beat her as dutiful.

off the visit she half-promises to make him (as D. I am more dutiful, I hope, than witty; you will see in her answer) upon condition that or I should be a fool as well as a saucebox. he withdraw his suit. For who knows what ef

M. Let me judge of both—Parents are only fect the old bachelor's exotics [far-fetched and to live for their children, let them deserve it or dear-bought, you know, is a proverb] might not. That's their dutiful notion !

otherwise have upon a woman's mind, wanting D. Heaven forbid that I should wish, if there nothing but unnecessaries, gewgaws, and finebe two interests between my mother and me, ries, and offered such as are not easily to be that my mother postpone her own for mine ! met with, or purchased ? or give up anything that would add to the real Well, but now I give you leave to read here, comforts of her life to oblige me!—Tell me, my in this place, the copy of my mother's answer to dear mamma, if you think the closing with this your uncle's letter." Not one comment will i proposal will.

make upon it. I know my duty better. And M. I say, that ten thousand pounds is such here, therefore, taking the liberty to hope, that an acquisition to one's family, that the offer of I may, in your present less disagreeable, though it deserves a civil return.

ESQ.

me.

not wholly agreeable situation, provoke a smile for one of her sex, and knows she has it,) is from you, I conclude myself,

more a check to me than one would wish a Your ever affectionate and faithful daughter to be; for who would choose to be

ANNA HOWE. always snapping at each other? But she will

soon be married; and then, not living togeMRS ANNABELLA HOWE TO ANTONY HARLOWE, ther, we shall only come together when we are

pleased, and stay away when we are not; and

so, like other lovers, never see anything but the

Friday, May 19. best sides of each other. MR ANTONY HARLOWE,

I own, for all this, that I love her dearly, SIR,

and she me, I dare say; so would not wish to It is not usual, I believe, for our sex to an- provoke her to do otherwise. Besides, the girl swer by pen and ink the first letter on these is so much regarded everywhere, that having occasions. The first letter! How odd is that! lived so much of my prime a widow, I would As if I expected another; which I do not. But not lay myself open to her censures, or even to then I think, as I do not judge proper to en- her indifference, you know. courage your proposal, there is no reason why I Your generous proposal requires all this exshould not answer in civility, where so great a plicitness. I thank you for your good opinion of civility is intended. Indeed, I was always of me. When I know you acquiesce with this my opinion, that a person was entitled to that, and civil refusal (and indeed, sir, I am as much in not to ill usage, because he had a respect for earnest in it, as if I had spoken broader] I

And so I have often and often told my don't know but Nancy and I may, with your daughter.

permission, come to see your fine things; for A woman, I think, makes but a poor figure in I am a great admirer of rarities that come from a man's eye afterwards, and does no reputation abroad. to her sex neither, when she behaves like a ty- So, sir, let us only converse occasionally as rant to him beforehand.

we meet, as we used to do, without any other To be sure, sir, if I were to change my con- view to each other than good wishes ; which I dition, I know not a gentleman whose proposal hope may not be lessened for this decliningcould be more agreeable. Your nephew and And then I shall always think myself your nieces have enough without you; my

Your obliged servant, daughter has a fine fortune without me, and I

ANNABELLA Howe. should take care to double it, living or dying, were I to do such a thing ; só nobody need to P. S. I sent word by Mrs Lorimer, that I would be the worse for it. But Nancy would not think write an answer ; but would take time for

consideration. So hope, sir, you won't think All the comfort I know of in children, is, it a slight, I did not write sooner. that when young they do with us what they will, and all is pretty in them to their very faults; and when they are grown up, they think

LETTER CV. their parents must live for them only, and deny themselves everything for their sakes. I know MR LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. Nancy could not bear a father-in-law. She would fly at the very thought of my being in

Sunday, May 21. earnest to give her one. Not that I stand in I am too much disturbed in my mind to think fear of my daughter neither. It is not fit I of anything but revenge ; or I did intend to should. But she has her poor papa's spirit. A give thee an account of Miss Harlowe's observery violent one that was. And one would not vations on the play. Miss Harlowe's I say, choose, you know, sir, to enter into any affair, Thou knowest that I hate the name of Harthat, one knows, one must renounce a daughter lowe; and I am exceedingly out of humour for, or she a mother-except indeed one's heart with her, and with her saucy friend. were much in it; which, i bless God, mine is What's the matter now? thou'lt ask. not.

Matter enough; for while we were at the I have now been a widow these ten years; play, Dorcas, who had her orders, and a key to nobody to control me; and I am said not to her ladyship’s chamber, as well as a master-key bear control ; so, sir, you and I are best as we to her drawers and mahogany chest, closet-key are, I believe; nay, I am sure of it; for we and all, found means to come at some of Miss want not what either has ; having both more Howe's last-written letters. The vigilant wench than we know what to do with. And I know I was directed to them by seeing her lady take a could not be in the least accountable for any of letter out of her stays, and put it to the others, my ways.

before she went out with me--afraid, as the My daughter, indeed, though she is a fine women upbraidingly tell me, that I should find girl, as girls go, (she has too much sense indeed it there.

so.

Dorcas no sooner found them, than she as- my personal attendance. But I had taken prosembled three ready writers of the non-appa- per precautions. Will attended her by consent; rents ; and Sally, and she, and they employed Peter, the house-servant, was within Will's themselves with the utmost diligence, in ma- call. king extracts, according to former directions, I had, by Dorcas, represented her danger from these cursed letters, for my use. Cursed, from Singleton, in order to dissuade her from I may well call them-Such abuses !-Such going at all, unless she allowed me to attend virulence k this little fury Miss Howe ! her ; but I was answered, with her usual saucy Well might her saucy friend (who has been smartness, that if there was no cause of fear of equally free with me, or the occasion could not being met with at the playhouse, when there have been given) be so violent as she lately was, were but two playhouses, surely there was less at my endeavouring to come at one of these at church, when there were so many churches. letters.

The chairmen were ordered to carry her to St I was sure, that this fair-one, at so early an James's church. age, with a constitution so firm, health so bloom- But she would not be so careless of obliging ing, eyes so sparkling, expectations therefore so me, if she knew what I have already come at, lively, and hope so predominating, could not be and how the women urge me on ; for they are absolutely, and from her own vigilance, so continually complaining of the restraint they lie guarded, and so apprehensive, as I have found under in their behaviour ; in their attendance; her to be.

neglecting all their concerns in the front house; Sparkling eyes, Jack, when the poetical tribe and keeping this elegant back one entirely free have said all they can for them, are an infalli- from company, that she may have no suspicion ble sign of a rogue, or room for a rogue, in the of them. They doubt not my generosity, they heart.

say: But why, for my own sake, in Lord M.'s Thou may’st go on with thy preachments, style, should I make so long a harvest of 80 litand Lord M. with his wisdom of nations, I am tle corn? now more assured of her than ever. And now Women, ye reason well. I think I will bemy revenge is up, and joined with my love, all gin my operations the moment she comes in. resistance must fall before it. And most som lemnly do I swear, that Miss Howe shall come in for her snack.

And here, just now, is another letter brought I HAVE come at the letter brought her from from the same little virulent devil. I hope to Miss Howe to-day. Plot, conjuration, sorcery, procure transcripts from that too, very speedily, witchcraft, all going forward! I shall not be if it be put to the test; for the saucy fair-one able to see this Miss Harlowe with patience. is resolved to go to church this morning ; not As the nymphs below ask, so do I, Why is night so much from a spirit of devotion, I have reason necessary ? And Sally and Polly upbraidingly to think, as to try whether she can go out with remind me of my first attempts upon themout check, control, or my attendance.

selves. Yet force answers not my end—and yet it may, if there be truth in that part of the libertine's creed, That once subdued, is always

subdued! And what woman answers affirmaI have been denied breakfasting with her. tively to the question ? Indeed she was a little displeased with me last night ; because, on our return from the play, I obliged her to pass the rest of the night with the women and me, in their parlour, and to stay She is returned : But refuses to admit me; till near one. She told me at parting, that she and insists upon having the day to herself. Dorexpected to have the whole next day to her- cas tells me, that she believes her denial is from self. I had not read the extracts then; so was motives of piety.--Oons, Jack, is there impiety all affectionate respect, awe, and distance ; for in seeing me?-Would it not be the highest I had resolved to begin a new course, and, if act of piety to reclaim me? And is this to be possible, to banish all jealousy and suspicion done by her refusing to see me when she is in from her heart ; and yet I had no reason to be a devouter frame than usual?_But I hate her, much troubled at her past suspicions ; since, if hate her heartily! She is old, ugly, and dea woman will continue with a man whom she formed.-But O the blasphemy! yet she is an suspects, when she can get from him, or thinks Harlowe; and I do and can hate her for that. she can, I am sure it is a very hopeful sign. But since I must not see her, Cshe will be

mistress of her own will, and of her time, truly !] let me fill up my time, by telling thee what I

have come at. She is gone. Slipt down before I was aware. She had ordered a chair, on purpose to exclude The first letter the women met with, is dated April 27.* Where can she have put the pre- “ She wants but very little farther provocaceding ones !—It mentions Mr Hickman as a tion,” she says, “ to Hy privately to London. busy fellow between them. Hickman had best And if she does, she will not leave her till she take care of himself. She says in it, “ I hope sees her either honourably married, or quit of you have no cause to repent returning my Norris the wretch.” Here, Jack, the transcriber Sally -it is forthcoming on demand.” Now, what has added a prayer-"For the Lord's sake, dear the devil can this mean !-Her Norris forth- Mr Lovelace, get this fury to London !"--Her coming on demand !—the devil take me, if I am fate, I can tell

thee, Jack, if we had her among out-Norris'd !-If such innocents can allow us, should not be so long deciding as her friend's. themselves to plot (to Norris) well may I. What a gantelope would she run, when I had

She is sorry, that “ her Hannah can't be with done with her, among a dozen of her own pitiher.”-And what if she could? What could less sex, whom my charmer shall never see! Hannah do for her in such a house as this? But more of this anon.

“ The women in the house are to be found I find by this letter, my saucy captive had out in one breakfasting." The women are en- been drawing the characters of every varlet of raged at both the correspondents for this ; and ye. Nor am I spared in it more than you. “ The more than ever make a point of my subduing man's a fool, to be sure, my dear.' Let me her. I had a good mind to give Miss Howe to perish, if they either of them find me ones them in full property. Say but the word, Jack, A silly fellow, at least." Cursed contemptiand it shall be done.

ble/_"'I see not but they are a set of infernals !" “She is glad that Miss Harlowe had thoughts There's for thee, Belford !—“And he the Beelof taking me at my word. She wondered I did zebub!” There's for thee, Lovelace ! and yet not offer again.” Advises her, if I don't soon, she would have her friend marry a Beelzebub. “not to stay with me.” Cautions her, “ to keep -And what have any of us done, (within the me at a distance; not to permit the least fami- knowledge of Miss Harlowe,) that she should liarity.”—See, Jack! see, Belford !—Exactly as give such an account of us, as should excuse so I thought !-Her vigilance all owing to a cool much abuse from Miss Howe!—But the occafriend, who can sit down quietly, and give that sion that shall warrant this abuse is to come! advice, which in her own case she could not She blames her for not admitting Miss Partake. What an encouragement to me to pro- tington to her bed—“ Watchful, as you are, ceed in my devices, when I have reason to think what could have happened? If violence were that

my beloved's reserves are owing more to intended, he would not stay for the night." I Miss Howe's cautions than to her own inclina- am ashamed to have this hinted to me by this tions ! But it is my interest to be honest,” Miss virago. Sally writes upon this hint-“See, sir, Howe tells her.—INTEREST, fools !—I thought what is expected from you. A hundred, and a these girls knew, that my interest was ever sub- hundred times have we told you of this."-And servient to my pleasure.

so they have. But, to be sure, the advice from What would I give to come at the copies of them was not of half the efficacy as it will be the letters to which those of Miss Howe are from Miss Howe.—“You might have sat up afanswers !

ter her, or not gone to bed," proceeds she. The next letter is dated May 3.+ In this the But can there be such apprehensions between little termagant expresses her astonishment, that them, yet the one advise her to stay, and the her mother should write to Miss Harlowe, to other resolve to wait my imperial motion for forbid her to correspond with her daughter. Mr marriage? I am glad I know that. Hickman, she says, is of opinion, « that she She approves of my proposal of Mrs Fretchought not to obey her mother.” How the creep- ville's house. She puts her upon expecting seting fellow trims between both! I am afraid tlements ; upon naming a day; and concludes that I must punish him, as well as this virago; with insisting upon her writing, notwithstandand I have a scheme rumbling in my head, that ing her inother's prohibitions; or bids her“ take wants but half an hour's musing to bring into the consequence." Undutiful wretches ! How form, that will do my business upon both. II long to vindicate against them both the incannot bear, that the parental authority should sulted parental character ! be thus despised, thus trampled under foot. Thou wilt say to thyself, by this time, And But observes the vixen, " 'Tis well he is of her can this proud and insolent girl be the saine opinion ; for her mother having set her up, she Miss Howe, who sighed for honest Sir George must have somebody to quarrel with."-Could Colmar; and who, but for this her beloved a Lovelace have allowed himself a greater li- friend, would have followed him in all luis cence? This girl's a devilish rake in her heart. broken fortunes, when he was obliged to quit Had she been a man, and one of us, she'd have the kingdom ? outdone us all in enterprize and spirit.

Yes, she is the very same. And I always

Se: Letter LXIII. of this Vol.

+ See Letter LXXI. of this Vol..

found in others, as well as in myself, that a first “ I am at the head of a gang of wretches," passion thoroughly subdued, made the conquer. [thee, Jack, and thy brother varlets, she owns or of it a rover; the conqueress a tyrant. she means, į “ who join together to betray in

Well, but now comes mincing in a letter, nocent creatures, and to support one another in from one who has “the honour of dear Miss their villainies.”—What sayest thou to this, BelHowe's commands, to acquaint Miss Harlowe, ford ? that Miss Howe is “excessively concerned for “ She wonders not at her melancholy reflecthe concern she has given her.”

tions for meeting me, for being forced upon me, “ I have great temptations, on this occasion," and tricked by me." - I hope, Jack, thou'lt have says the prim Gothamite, to

express my own done preaching after this ! resentments upon your present state.'

But she comforts her, “ that she will be both “My own resentments!"- -And why did he a warning and example to all her sex.” I hope not fall into this temptation ?-Why, truly, be- the sex will thank me for this ! cause he knew not what that state was, which The nymphs had not time, they say, to trangave him so tempting a subject-only by a con- scribe all that was worthy of my resentment in jecture, and so forth.

this letter; so I must find an opportunity to He then dances in his style, as he does in his come at it myself. Noble rant, they say it congait ! To be sure, to be sure, he must have made tains—But I am a seducer, and a hundred vile the grand tour, and come home by the way of fellows, in it.—" And the devil, it seems, took Tipperary,

possession of my heart, and of the hearts of all "And being, moreover, forbid,” says the pran- her friends, in the same dark hour, in order to cer, “ to enter into the cruel subject.”—This provoke her to meet me.” Again, “ There is a prohibition was a mercy to thee, friend Hick- fate in her error,” she says-Why then should man!—But why cruel subject, if thou knowest she grieve ?-“ Adversity is her shining time,” not what it is, but conjecturest only from the dis- and I can't tell what; yet never to thank the turbance it gives to a girl, that is her mother's man to whom she owes the shine! disturbance, will be thy disturbance, and the In the next letter, I wicked as I am, “she fears disturbance, in turn, of everybody with whom I must be her lord and master.” she is intimately acquainted, unless I have the I hope so. humbling of her?

She retracts what she said against me in her In another letter, + the little fury professes, last.-My behaviour to my Rosebud; Miss Har" that she will write, and that no man shall write lowe to take possession of Mrs Fretchville's for her," as if some medium of that kind had house ; I to stay at Mrs Sinclair's; the stake I been proposed. She approves of her fair friend's have in my country ; my reversions; my econointention to leave me, if she can be received my; my person ; my address ; [something like by her relations. I am a wretch, a foolish in all this!) are brought in my favour, to induce wretch. She hates me for my teazing ways. She her now not to leave me. How do I love to has just made an acquaintance with one who puzzle these long-sighted girls ! knows a vast deal of my private history.” A curse

my teazing ways,” it seems, are inupon her, and upon her historiographer!—“The tolerable.” ---Are women only to teaze, I trow? man is really a villain, an execrable one.” Devil The sex may thank themselves for teaching me take her ! -" Had I a dozen lives, I might have to out-teaze them. So the headstrong Charles forfeited them all twenty crimes ago.” An odd XII. of Sweden taught the Czar Peter to beat way of reckoning, Jack !

him, by continuing a war with the Muscovites Miss Betterton, Miss Lockyer, are named - against the ancient maxims of his kingdom. the man (she irreverently repeats) she again May eternal vengeance PURSUE the villain, calls a villain. Let me perish, I repeat, if I am [thank heaven, she does not say overtake,] if he called a villain for nothing !She will have give room to doubt his honour!"-Women can't her uncle," as Miss Harlowe requests, “sound- swear, Jack-sweet souls ! they can only curse. ed about receiving her. Dorcas is to be attach- I am said, to doubt her love-Have I not reaed to her interest ; my letters are to be come at son? And she, to doubt my ardour-Ardour, by surprise or trick.”

Jack !—why, 'tis very right-women, as Miss What thinkest thou of this, Jack?

Howe says, and as every rake knows, love arMiss Howe is alarmed at my attempt to come

dours at a letter of hers.

She apprizes her of the “ill success of the ap“ Were I to come at the knowledge of her plication made to her uncle”-By Hickman no freedoms with my character,” she says, ~ she doubt !-I must have this fellow's ears in my should be afraid to stir out without a guard.” I pocket, very quickly, I believe. would advise the vixen to get her guard ready. She says, “ she is equally shocked and enraged

Yet «

See Letter XC. of this Vol.

See Letter LXXIII. of this Vol. + See Letter LXXXVI. of this Vol. VOL. VII.

N

« НазадПродовжити »