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crowd after me; it will be each man's happi- windows, the sign-irons, and balconies, (garness (if ye shall chance to be bashful) to be ne- rets, gutters, and chimney-tops included,) all glected. I shall be found to be the greatest cri- white-caped, black-hooded, and periwigged, or minal ; and my safety, for which the general crop-eared up by the immobile vulgus ; while. voice will be engaged, will be yours.
the floating street-swarmers, who have seen us But then comes the triumph of triumphs, pass by at one place, run with stretched-out that will make the accused look up, while thé necks, and strained eye-balls, a round-about accusers are covered with confusion.
way, and elbow and shoulder themselves into Make room there !-stand by !-give back, places by which we have not passed, in order One receiving a rap, another an elbow, half a to obtain another sight of us; every street conscore a push a-piece !
tinuing to pour out its swarms of late-comers, Enter the slow-moving, hooded-faced, down- to add to the gathering snow-ball, who are conlooking plaintiffs.
tent to take descriptions of our persons, behaAnd first the widow, with a sorrowful coun- viour, and countenances, from those who had tenance, though half-veiled, pitying her daugh- the good fortune to have been in time to see us. ter more than herself. The people, the women Let me tell thee, Jack, I see not why (to especially, who on this occasion will be five- judge according to our principles and practices) sixths of the spectators, reproaching her. You'd we should not be as much elated in our march, have the conscience, would you, to have five were this to happen to us, as others may be such brave gentlemen as these hanged for you upon any other the most mob-attracting occaknow not what?
sion-suppose a lord-mayor on his gawdy—supNext comes the poor maid, who, perhaps, has pose a victorious general, or ambassador, on his been ravished twenty times before, and had not public entry-suppose (as I began with the lowappeared now, but for company-sake, mincing, est) the grandest parade that can be supposed, simpering, weeping by turns, not knowing whe- a coronation-for, in all these, do not the royal ther she should be sorry or glad.
guard, the heroic trained-bands, the pendent, But every eye dwells upon miss !-See, see, clinging throngs of spectators, with their wathe handsome gentleman bows to her!
ving heads rolling to and fro from house-tops To the very ground, to be sure, I shall bow, to house-bottoms and street-ways, as I have and kiss my hand.
above described, make the principal part of the See her confusion ! see ! she turns from him! raree-show? -Ay, that's because it is in open court, cries an And let me ask thee, if thou dost not think arch one!-While others admire her-Ay, that's that either the mayor, the ambassador, or the a girl worth venturing one's neck for!
general, would not make very pitiful figures on Then we shall be praised - Even the judges, their galas, did not the trumpets and tabrets call and the whole crowded bench, will acquit us in together the canaille to gaze at them?-Nor, their hearts;
and every single man wish he had perhaps, should we be the most guilty heroes been me !--The women, all the time, disclaim- neither; for who knows how the magistrate may ing prosecution, were the case to be their own. have obtained his gold chain? while the geneTo be sure, Belford, the sufferers cannot put ral probably returns from cutting of throats, half so good a face upon the matter as we. and from murders, sanctified by custom only.
Then what a noise will this matter make ! Cæsar, we are told,+ had won, at the age of Is it not enough, suppose us moving from the fifty-six, when he was assassinated, fifty pitchprison to the Sessions-house,* to make a noble ed battles, had taken by assault above a thouheart thump it away most gloriously, when sand towns, and slain near 1,200,000 men, I such a one finds himself attended to his trial suppose exclusive of those who fell on his own by a parade of guards and officers, of miens and side in slaying them. Are not you and I, Jack, aspects warlike and unwarlike; himself their innocent men, and babes in swaddling-clothes, whole care, and their business! weapons in compared to Cæsar, and to his predecessor in their hands, some bright, some rusty, equally heroism, Alexander, dubbed, for murders and venerable for their antiquity and inoffensive depredation, Magnus ? ness ! others of more authoritative demeanour, The principal difference that strikes me in strutting before with fine painted staves ! shoals the comparison between us and the mayor, the of people following, with a Which is he whom ambassador, the general, on their gawdies, is, the young lady appears against ? Then, let us that the mob make a greater noise, a louder look down, look up, look round, which way we huzzaing, in the one case than the other, which will, we shall see all the doors, the shops, the is called acclamation, and ends frequently in
Within these few years past, a passage has been made from the prison to the Sessions-house, whereby malefactors are carried into court without going through the street. Lovelace's triumph on their supposed march shews the wisdom of this alteration.
+ Pliny gives this account, putting the number of men slain at 1,100,092. See also Lipsius de Constantia. higher taste, by throwing dead animals at one thine ; and so 'tis but getting loose from thy preanother, before they disperse, in which they sent engagement, and thou shalt pick and choose. have as much joy as in the former part of the But as for thy three brethren, they must do as triumph ; while they will attend us with all the I would have them; and so, indeed, must thou marks of an awful or silent (at most only a whis
--Else why am I your general ? But I will repering) respect; their mouths distended, as if fer this subject to its proper season. Thou knowset open with gags, and their voices generally est, that I never absolutely conclude upon a prolost in goggle-eyed admiration.
ject, till 'tis time for execution ; and then lightWell, but suppose, after all, we are convict- ning strikes not quicker than Í. ed; what have we to do, but in time make over And now to the subject next my heart. our estates, that the sheriffs may not revel in Wilt thou believe me, when I tell thee, that our spoils ?-There is no fear of being hanged I have so many contrivances rising up and crowdfor such a crime as this, while we have money ing upon me for preference, with regard to my or friends. And suppose even the worst, that Gloriana, that I hardly know which to choose two or three were to die, have we not a chance, I could tell thee of no less than six princely each man of us, to escape ? The devil's in them, ones, any of which must do. But as the dear if they'll hang five for ravishing three ! creature has not grudged giving me trouble, I
I know I shall get off for one-were it but think I ought not, in gratitude, to spare comfor family's sake; and being a handsome fellow, bustibles for her ; but, on the contrary, to make I shall have a dozen or two of young maidens, her stare and stand aghast, by springing three all dressed in white, go to court to beg my life or four mines at once. -And what a pretty show they will make, with Thou rememberest what Shakspeare, in his their white hoods, white gowns, white petti. Troilus and Cressida, makes Hector, who, howcoats, white scarfs, white gloves, kneeling for ever, is not used to boast, say to Achilles in an me, with their white handkerchiefs at their eyes, interview between them; and which, applied to in two pretty rows, as his Majesty walks through this watchful lady, and to the vexation she has them and nods my pardon for their sakes S given me, and to the certainty. I now think I And, if once pardoned, all is over ; for, Jack, have of subduing her, will run thus : supposing in a crime of this nature there lies no appeal, as the charmer before me; and I meditating her in a murder.
sweet person from head to foot :So thou seest the worst that can happen, should we not make the grand tour upon this Henceforth, () watchful fair.one ! guard thee well : occasion, but stay and take our trials. But it is For I'll not kill thee there! nor there ! nor there ! most likely that they will not prosecute at all.
But, by the zone that circles Venus' waist, If not, no risk on our side will be run ; only ta
I'll kill thee ev'rywhere; yea, o'er and o'er. king our pleasure abroad, at the worst'; leaving Thou, wisest Belford, pardon me this brag: friends tired of us, in order, after a time, to re
Her weatchfulness draws folly from my lips ;
But I'll endeavour deeds to match the words, turn to the same friends endeared to us, as we
Or may I never to them, by absence.
This, Jack, is my scheme, at the first run- Then, I imagine thee interposing to qualify ning. I know it is capable of improvement.- my impatience, as Ajax did to Achilles: For example, I can land these ladies in France, whip over before they can get a passage back, Do not chafe thee, cousin ; or before Hickman can have recovered his fright, -And let these threats alone, and so find means to entrap my beloved on board, Till accident or purpose bring thee to it. and then all will be right; and I need not care if I were never to return to England.
All that vexes me, in the midst of my gloried
in devices, is, that there is a sorry fellow in the Memorandum to be considered of-Whether, world, who has presumed to question, whether
in order to complete my vengeance, I cannot the prize, when obtained, is worthy of the pains
with gins and snares ; set up his stalking-horse,
prize at last (the reward of early hours, and of
a whole morning's pains) only a simple linnet.
To be serious, Belford, I must acknowledge, MR LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. that all our pursuits, from childhood to man
hood, are only trifles of different sort and sizes, IF, Belford, thou likest not my plot upon Miss proportioned to our years and views; but then Howe, I have three or four more as good in my is not a fine woman the noblest trifle, that ever own opinion ; better, perhaps, they will be in was or could be obtained by man? --And to
what purpose do we say obtained, if it be not in ses and doubts under which I have laboured for the way we wish for ? — If a man is rather to be some time past. And this will be a further her prize, than she his ?
proof of my love, and will demand a grateful return
And what then, thou egregious contriver?
Why then, I shall have the less remorse, if I And now, Belford, what dost think? am to use a little violence ; for can she deserve That thou art a cursed fellow, if
compassion, who shews none ? If-no ifs--but I shall be very sick to-mor- And what if she shews a great deal of conrow. I shall, 'faith.
cern? Sick !-Why sick? What a-devil shouldst Then shall I be in hopes of building on a good thou be sick for?
foundation. Love hides a multitude of faults, For more good reasons than one, Jack. and diminishes those it cannot hide. Love,
I should be glad to hear but one.—Sick, when acknowledged, authorizes freedom; and quotha ! Of all thy roguish inventions, I should freedom begets freedom; and I shall then see not have thought of this.
how far I can go. Perhaps thou thinkest my view to be, to draw Well, but, Lovelace, how the deuce wilt thou, the lady to my bedside. That's a trick of three with that full health and vigour of constitution, or four thousand years old ; and I should find and with that bloom in thy face, make anybody it much more to my purpose, if I could get to believe thou art sick ? hers. However, I'll condescend to make thee How !-Why, take a few grains of ipecacuas wise as myself.
anha; enough to make me retch like a fury. I am excessively disturbed about this smug- Good !-But how wilt thou manage to bring gling scheme of Miss Howe. I have no doubt, up blood, and not hurt thyself? that my fair-one, were I to make an attempt, Foolish fellow ! Are there not pigeons and and miscarry, will fly from me, if she can. 1 chickens in every poulterer's shop? once believed she loved me; but now I doubt Cry thy mercy: whether she does or not; at least, that it is with But then I will be persuaded by Mrs Sinsuch an ardour, as Miss Howe calls it, as will clair, that I have of late confined myself too make her overlook a premeditated fault, should much ; and so will have a chair called, and be I be guilty of one.
carried to the Park ; where I will try to walk And what will being sick do for thee? half the length of the Mall, or so; and in my
Have patience. I don't intend to be so very return, amuse myself at White's or the Cocoa. bad as Dorcas shall represent me to be. But yet And what will this do? I know I shall retch confoundedly, and bring Questioning again !-I am afraid thou’rt an up some clotted blood. To be sure, I shall break infidel, Belford—Why then, shall I not know if a vessel ; there's no doubt of that; and a bottle my beloved offers to go out in my absence ?of Eaton's styptic shall be sent for ; but no doc- And shall I not see whether she receives me with tor. If she has humility, she will be concerned. tenderness at my return? But this is not all: I But if she has love, let it have been pushed ever have a foreboding that something affecting will so far back, it will, on this occasion, come for- happen while I am out. But of this more in its ward, and shew itself ; not only in her eye, but place. in every line of her sweet face.
And now, Belford, wilt thou, or wilt thou I will be very intrepid. I will not fear death, not, allow, that it is a right thing to be sick ?-or anything else. I will be sure of being well Lord, Jack, so much delight do I take in my in an hour or two, having formerly found great contrivances, that I shall be half sorry when the benefit by this astringent medicine, on occasion occasion for them is over ; for never, never, shall of an inward bruise by a fall from my horse in I again have such charming exercise for my inhunting, of which, perhaps, this malady may be vention. the remains. And this will shew her, that Meantime these plaguy women are so imperthough those about me may make the most of tinent, so full of reproaches, that I know not it, I do not ; and so can have no design in it. how to do anything but curse them. And then,
Well, methinks thou sayest, I begin to think truly, they are for helping me out with some of tolerably of this device.
their trite and vulgar artifices. Sally, particuI knew thou wouldst, when I explained my- larly, who pretends to be a mighty contriver, self. Another time prepare to wonder; and has just now, in an insolent manner, told me, banish doubt.
on my rejecting her proffered aids, that I had no Now, Belford, I shall expect, that she will mind to conquer ; and that I was so wicked as to shew some concern at the broken vessel, as it intend to marry, though I would not own it to may be attended with fatal effects, especially to
her. one so fiery in his temper as I have the reputa- Because this little devil made her first sacri. tion to be thought to be ; and the rather, as I fice at my altar, she thinks she may take any shall calmly attribute the accident to the haras- liberty with me; and what makes her outrage
ous at times, is, that I have, for a long time, whole affair, to find both so uncommonly trick,
once subdued, always subdued] co-operated. with harlots. I have been always aiming at the But a more tender tell-tale revealed the secret merit of a first discoverer.
-revealed it, before the marquis could come to The more devil I, perhaps thou wilt say, to cover the disgrace. The sister was inveterate; endeavour to corrupt the uncorrupted.
the husband irreconcilable; in every respect But I say, not ; since, hence, I have but very, unfit for a husband, even for a French onefew adulteries to answer for.
made, perhaps, more delicate to these particuOne affair, indeed, at Paris, with a married lars by the customs of a people among whom he lady, [I believe I never told thee of it,] touched was then resident, so contrary to those of his my conscience a little ; yet brought on by the own countrymen. She was obliged to throw herspirit of intrigue, more than by sheer wicked- self into my protection—nor thought herself unness. I'll give it thee in brief :
happy in it, till childbed pangs seized her; then A French marquis, somewhat in years, em- penitence, and death, overtook her the same ployed by his court in a public function at that hour ! of Madrid, had put his charming young new- Excuse a tear, Belford !-She deserved a betmarried wife under the control and wardship, ter fate! What hath such a vile inexorable husas I may say, of his insolent sister, an old band to answer for !—The sister was punished prude.
effectually—that pleases me on reflection—the I saw the lady at the opera. I liked her at sister was cffectually punished !—But perhaps first sight, and better at second, when I knew I have told thee this story before. the situation she was in. So, pretending to make
addresses to the prude, got admittance to both.
LETTER CXVII. The first thing I had to do, was to compliment my prude into shyness by complaints of MR LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. shyness ; next, to take advantage of the marquise's situation, between her husband's jea
Friday Evening. lousy and his sister's arrogance; and to inspire Just returned from an airing with my charmer, her with resentment, and, as I hoped, with a complied with after great iinportunity. She was regard to my person. The French ladies have attended by the two nymphs. They both topt no dislike to intrigue.
their parts; kept their eyes within bounds; The sister began to suspect me; the lady had made moral reflections now-and-then. O Jack ! no mind to part with the company of the only what devils are women, when all tests are got man who had been permitted to visit her; and over, and we have completely ruined them! told me of her sister's suspicions. I put her up- The coach carried us to Hampstead, to Highon concealing the prude, as if unknown to me, gate, to Muswell-hill ; back to Hampstead to in a closet in one of her own apartments, lock- the Upper-Flask; there, in compliment to the ing her in, and putting the key in her own nymphs, my beloved consented to alight, and pocket; and she was to question me on the sin- take a little repast. Then home early by Kentcerity of my professions to her sister, in her ish-town. sister's hearing:
Delightfully easy she, and so respectful and She complied. My mistress was locked up. obliging 1, all the way, and as we walked out The lady and I took our seats. I owned fervent upon the Heath, to view the variegated prospects love, and made high professions ; for the mar- which that agreeable elevation affords, that she quise put it home to me. The prude was de- promised to take now-and-then a little excurlighted with what she heard.
sion with me. I think, Miss Howe, I think, said And how dost think it ended ?-I took my I to myself, every now-and-then as we walked, advantage of the lady herself, who durst not for that thy wicked devices are superseded. her life cry out; and drew her after me to the But let me give thee a few particulars of our next apartment, on pretence of going to seek her conversation in the circumrotation we took, sister, who all the time was locked up in the while in the coach-She had received a letter closet.
from Miss Howe yesterday, I presumed? No woman ever gave me a private meeting for She made no answer. How happy should I nothing ; my dearest Miss Harlowe excepted. think myself to be admitted into their corre
My ingenuity obtained my pardon; the lady spondence ! I would joyfully make an exchange being unable to forbear laughing throughout the of communications.
So, though I hoped not to succeed by her con- had always thought me a man of sense [a man sent, [and little did she think I had so happily of sense, Jack! What a niggardly praise ! ]-and in part succeeded without it,] I thought it not should therefore hope, that, when I wrote, it amiss to urge for it, for several reasons ; among exceeded even my speech ; for that it was imothers, that I might account to her for my con- possible, be the letters written in as easy and fastant employment at my pen ; in order to take miliar a style as they would, but that they must off her jealousy, that she was the subject of thy have that advantage from sitting down to write correspondence and mine; and that I might jus- them which prompt speech could not always tify my secrecy and uncommunicativeness by her have. She should think it very strange, thereown.
fore, if my letters were barren of sentiment; and I proceeded therefore-That I loved familiar as strange, if I gave myself liberties upon preletter-writing, as I had more than once told her, meditation, which could have no excuse at all, above all the species of writing : it was writing but from a thoughtlessness, which itself wanted from the heart, (without the fetters prescribed excuse.—But if Mr Belford's letters and mine by method or study,) as the very word cor-re- were upon subjects so general, and some of them spondence implied. Not the heart only; the soul equally (she presumed) instructive and enterwas in it. Nothing of body, when friend writes taining, she could not but say, that she should to friend; the mind impelling sovereignly the be glad to see any of them; and particularly vassal-fingers. It was, in short, friendship re- those which Miss Martin had seen and praised. corded ; friendship given under hand and seal ; This was put close. demonstrating that the parties were under no I looked at her, to see if I could discover any apprehension of changing from time or acci- tincture of jealousy in this hint; that Miss Mara dent, when they so liberally gave testimonies, tin had seen what I had not shewn to her. But which would always be ready, on failure or in- she did not look it; so I only said, I should be fidelity, to be turned against them.–For my very proud to shew her not only those, but all own part, it was the principal diversion I had in that passed between Mr Belford and me ; but I her absence; but for this innocent amusement, must remind her, that she knew the condition. the distance she so frequently kept me at would No, indeed! with a sweet lip pouted out, as have been intolerable.
saucy as pretty ; implying a lovely scorn, that Sally knew my drift ; and said, She had had yet can only be lovely in youth so blooming, and the honour to see two or three of my letters, and beauty so divinely distinguished. of Mr Belford's ; and she thought them the most How I long to see such a motion again! Her entertaining that she had ever read.
mouth only can give it. My friend Belford, I said, had a happy talent But I am mad with love-yet eternal will be in the letter-writing way; and upon all sub- the distance, at the rate I go on; now fire, now jects.
ice, my soul is continually upon the hiss, as I I expected my beloved would have been in- may say. In vain, however, is the trial to quench quisitive after our subject ; but (lying perdue, -what, after all, is unquenchable. as I saw) not a word said she. So I touched up- Pr’ythee, Belford, forgive my nonsense, and on this article myself.
my Vulcan-like metaphors-Did I not tell thee, Our topics were various and diffuse ; some- not that I am sick of love, but that I am mad times upon literary articles [she was very at- with it? Why brought I such an angel into tentive upon this ] '; sometimes upon the public such a house ? 'into such company ?-And why entertainments ; sometimes amusing each other do I not stop my ears to the sirens, who, knowwith the fruits of the different correspondences ing my aversion to wedlock, are perpetually we held with persons abroad, with whom we had touching that string? contracted friendships ; sometimes upon the foi- I was not willing to be answered so easily; I bles and perfections of our particular friends ; was sure, that what passed between two such sometimes upon our own present and future young ladies (friends so dear) might be seen by hopes ; sometimes aiming at humour and rail- everybody; I had more reason than anybody to lery upon each other. It might, indeed, appear wish to see the letters that passed between her to savour of vanity, to suppose my letters would and Miss Howe; because I was sure they must entertain a lady of her delicacy and judgment; be full of admirable instruction, and one of the but yet I could not but say, that perhaps she dear correspondents had deigned to wish my enwould be far from thinking so hardly of me as tire reformation. sometimes she had seemed to do, if she were to She looked at me as if she would look me see the letters which generally passed between through; I thought I felt eye-beam, after eyeMr Belford and me. I hope, Jack, thou hast beam, penetrate my shivering reins.--But she more manners, than to give me the lie, though was silent. Nor needed her eyes
the assistance but in thy heart.]
of speech. She then spoke; after declining my compli- Nevertheless, a little recovering myself, I hoped ment, in such a manner, as only a person could that nothing unhappy had befallen either Miss do, who deserved it, she said, For her part, she Howe or her mother. The letter of yesterday