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have I, indeed, in my time, made to cry and honest Protestants pronounce her pious too? laugh in a breath ; nay, one side of their pretty and call her particularly their Queen ? faces laugh before the cry could go off the As to common practice-Who, let me ask, other. Why may I not, therefore, curse and that has it in his power to gratify a predomiapplaud thee in the same moment ? So take nant passion, be it what it will, denies himself both in one; and what follows, as it shall rise the gratification ?-Leaving it to cooler deliberfrom my pen.
ation, (and, if he be a great man, to his flatterHow often have I ingenuously confessed myers,) to find a reason for it afterwards ? sins against this excellent creature !-Yet thou Then, as to the worst part of my treatment never sparest me, although as bad a man as my- of this lady-How many men are there, who, self. Since then I get so little by my confes- as well as 1, have sought, by intoxicating lisions, I have a good mind to try to defend my- quors, first to inebriate, then to subdue ?self; and that not only from ancient and mo- What signifies what the potations were, when dern story, but from common practice ; and yet the same end was in view ? avoid repeating anything I have suggested be- Let me tell thee, upon the whole, that neither fore in my own behalf.
the Queen of Carthage, nor the Queen of Scots, I am in a humour to play the fool with my would have thought they had any reason to pen: briefly, then, from ancient story first: complain of cruelty, had hey been used no Dost thou not think that I am as much entitled worse than I have used the queen of my heart. to forgiveness on Miss Harlowe's account, as And then, do I not aspire, with my whole soul, Virgil's hero was on Queen Dido's ? For what to repair by marriage? Would the pius Æneas, an ungrateful varlet was that vagabond to the thinkest thou, have done such a piece of justice hospitable princess, who had willingly conferred by Dido, had she lived ? upon him the last favour?-Stealing away, Come, come, Belford, let people run away (whence, I suppose, the ironical phrase of trusty with notions as they will, I am comparatively a Trojan to this day,) like a thief-pretendedly, very innocent man. And if, by these, and other indeed, at the command of the gods ; but could like reasonings, I have quieted my own conthat be, when the errand he went upon was to science, a great end is answered. What have I rob other princes, not only of their dominions, to do with the world? but of their lives? -Yet this fellow is, at every And now I sit me peaceably down to consiword, the pious Æneas, with the immortal bard der thy letters. who celebrates him.
I hope thy pleas in my favour,* when she Should Miss Harlowe even break her heart, gave thee, (so generously gave thee,) for me my (which Heaven forbid !) for the usage she has letters, were urged with an honest energy. But received, (to say nothing of her disappointed I suspect thee much for being too ready to give pride, to which her death would be attributable up thy client. Then thou hast such a mismore than to reason,) what comparison will her giving aspect-an aspect rather inviting rejecfate hold to Queen Dido's? And have I half tion, than carrying persuasion with it; and art the obligation to her that Æneas had to the such an hesitating, such a humming and haw. Queen of Carthage? The latter placing a confi- ing caitiff, that I shall attribute my failure, if dence, the former none, in her man ? --Then, I do fail, rather to the inability and ill looks of whom else have I robbed ? whom else have I my advocate, than to my cause. Again, thou injured ? Her brother's worthless life I gave art deprived of the force men of our cast give him, instead of taking any man's; while the to arguments; for she won't let thee swear!Trojan vagabond destroyed his thousands. Why Art, moreover, a very heavy, thoughtless felthen should it not be the pious Lovelace, as well low; tolerable only at a second rebound; a horas the pious Æneas ? For, dost thou think, had rid dunce at the impromptu. These, encountera conflagration happened, and had it been in ing with such a lady, are great disadvantages. my power, that I would not have saved - And still a greater is thy balancing, (as thou Anchises, (as he did his from the Ilion bonfire,) dost at present,) between old rakery and new even at the expense of my Creüsa, had I had a reformation ; since this puts thee into the same wife of that name?
situation with her, as they told me, at Leipsick, But, for a more modern instance in my fa- Martin Luther was in, at the first public disvour-Have I used Miss Harlowe, as our fa- pute which he held in defence of his supposed mous Maiden Queen, as she was called, used new doctrines with Eckius. For Martin was one of her own blood, a sister-queen, who threw then but a linsey-wolsey reformer. He retainherself into her protection from her rebel sub- ed some dogmas, which, by natural consequence, jects, and whom she detained prisoner eighteen made others, that he held, untenable. So that years, and at last cut off her head? Yet do not Eckius, in some points, had the better of him.
Sce Letter CCLXXII. of this Vol.
But, from that time, he made clear work, re- silken cords of love, should slip through my finnouncing all that stood in his way: and then gers, and be able, while my heart fames out his doctrines ran upon all fours. He was never with a violent passion for her, to despise
me, puzzled afterwards; and could boldly declare and to set both love and me at defiance. Thou that he would defend them in the face of angels canst not imagine how much I envy thee and and men ; and to his friends, who would have her doctor, and her apothecary, and every one dissuaded him from venturing to appear before who I hear are admitted to her presence and the Emperor Charles the Fifth, at Spires, That, conversation ; and wish to be the one or the were there as many devils at Spires, as tiles upon other in turn. the houses, he would go. An answer that is ad- Wherefore, if nothing else will do, I will see mired by every Protestant Saxon to this day. her. I'll tell thee of an admirable expedient,
Since then thy unhappy awkwardness de- just come cross me, to save thy promise, and stroys the force of thy arguments, I think thou my own. hadst better (for the present, however,) for- Mrs Lovick, you say, is a good woman: if bear to urge her on the subject of accepting the the lady be worse, she shall advise her to send reparation I offer ; lest the continual teazing of for a parson to pray for her: unknown to the her to forgive me should but strengthen her in lady, unknown to thee, (for so it may pass,) I her denials of forgiveness ; till, for consistency will contrive to be the man, petticoated out, and sake, she'll be forced to adhere to a resolution vested in a gown and cassock. I once, for a cerso often avowed. Whereas, if left to herself, a tain purpose, did assume the canonicals; and I little time, and better health, which will bring was thought to make a fine sleek appearance ; on better spirits, will give her quicker resent- my broad rose-bound beaver became me mightments; those quicker resentments will lead her ily; and I was much admired, upon the whole, into vehemence ; that vehemence will subside, by all who saw me. and turn into expostulation and parley: my
Methinks it must be charmingly a-propos to friends will then interpose, and guaranty for see me kneeling down by her bed-side, (I am me: and all our trouble on both sides will be sure I shall pray heartily,) beginning out of the over.-Such is the natural course of things. common-prayer book the sick-office for the re
I cannot endure thee for thy hopelessness in storation of the languishing lady, and concluthe lady's recovery ; * and that in contradiction ding with an exhortation to charity and forto the doctor and apothecary.
giveness for myself. Time, in the words of Congreve, thou sayest,
I will consider of this matter. But, in whatwill give increase to her afflictions. But why ever shape I shall choose to appear, of this thou so? Knowest thou not that those words (so mayst assure thyself, I will apprize thee beforecontrary to common experience) were applied hand of my visit, that thou mayst contrive to be to the case of a person, while passion was in its out of the way, and to know nothing of the full vigour?--At such a time, every one in a matter. This will save thy word ; and, as to heavy grief thinks the same: but as enthusiasts mine, can she think worse of me than she does do by Scripture, so dost thou by the poets thou at present ? hast read : anything that carries the most dis- An indispensable of true love and profound tant allusion from either to the case in hand, is respect, in thy wise opinion,t is absurdity or put down by both for gospel, however incon- awkwardness. 'Tis surprising that thou shouldst gruous to the general scope of either, and to be one of those partial mortals who take their that case.
So once, in a pulpit, I heard one of measures of right and wrong from what they the former very vehemently declare himself to find themselves to be, and cannot help being ! be a dead dog ; when every man, woman, and So awkwardness is a perfection in the awkchild, were convinced to the contrary by his ward !- At this rate, no man ever can be in the howling.
wrong. But I insist upon it, that an awkward I can tell thee that, if nothing else will do, fellow will do everything awkwardly; and, if I am determined, in spite of thy buskin-airs, he be like thee, will, when he has done foolishand of thy engagements for me to the contrary, ly, rack his unmeaning brain for excuses as to see her myself.
awkward as his first fault. Respectful love is Face to face have I known many a quarrel an inspirer of actions worthy of itself; and he made up, which distance would have kept alive, who cannot shew it, where he most means it, and widened. Thou wilt be a madder Jack manifests that he is an unpolite rough creature, than he in the Tale of a Tub, if thou givest an a perfect Belford, and has it not in him. active opposition to this interview.
But here thou'lt throw out that notable wit. In short, I cannot bear the thought, that a ticism, that my outside is the best of me, thine woman, whom once I had bound to me in the the worst of thee ; and that, if I set about
See Letter CCLXXII. of this Volume.
+ See Letter CCLXXI. Ibid.
mending my mind, thou wilt mend thy appear- empt them from the ridicule of even a bad man ance.
who had common sense and good manners. But, pr’ythee, Jack, don't stay for that ; but For the like reason I have never given noisy set about thy amendment in dress when thou or tumultuous instances of dislike to a new play, leavest off thy mourning ; for why shouldst if I thought it ever so indifferent: for I conclü. thou prepossess in thy disfavour all those who ded, first, that every one was entitled to see never saw thee before ?-It is hard to remove quietly what he paid for: and, next, as the early-taken prejudices, whether of liking or dis- theatre (the epitome of the world) consisted of taste. People will hunt, as I may say, for rea- pit, boxes, and gallery, it was hard, I thought, sons to confirm first impressions, in compliment if there could be such a performance exhibited to their own sagacity: nor is it every mind that as would not please somebody in that mixed has the ingenuousness to confess itself mistaken, multitude : and, if it did, those somebodies had when it finds itself to be wrong. Thou thyself as much right to enjoy their own judgments, art an adept in the pretended science of reading undisturbedly, as I had to enjoy mine. men; and, whenever thou art out, wilt study This was my way of shewing my disapprobato find some reasons why it was more probable tion; I never went again. And as a man is at that thou shouldst have been right; and wilt his option, whether he will go to a play or not, watch every motion and action, and every word he has not the same excuse for expressing his and sentiment, in the person thou hast once dislike clamorously as if he were compelled to censured, for proofs, in order to help thee to revive and maintain thy first opinion. And, in- I have ever, thou knowest, declared against deed, as thou seldom errest on the favourable those shallow libertines, who could not make side, human nature is so vile a thing that thou out their pretensions to wit, but on two subjects, art likely to be right five times in six on the to which every man of true wit will scorn to be other : and perhaps it is but guessing of others, beholden: PROFANENESS and OBSCENITY, I by what thou findest in thy own heart, to have mean; which must shock the ears of every man reason to compliment thyself on thy penetra- or woman of sense, without answering any end, tion.
but of shewing a very low and abandoned naHere is preachment for thy preachment; and ture. And, till I came acquainted with the bruI hope, if thou likest thy own, thou wilt thank tal Mowbray, [no great praise to myself from me for mine ; the rather, as thou mayest be the such a tutor,] I was far from making so free as better for it, if thou wilt: since it is calculated I now do, with oaths and curses; for then I was for thy own meridian.
forced to out-swear him sometimes in order to Well
, but the lady refers my destiny to the keep him in allegiance to me bis general : nay, letter she has written, actually written, to Miss I often check myself to myself, for this empty Howe; to whom it seems she has given her rea- unprofitable liberty of speech; in which we are sons why she will not have me. ì long to know outdone by the sons of the common sewer. the contents of this letter : but am in great All my vice is women, and the love of plots hopes that she has so expressed her denials, as and intrigues; and I cannot but wonder how I shall give room to think she only wants to be fell into those shocking freedoms of speech ; persuaded to the contrary, in order to reconcile since, generally speaking, they are far from herself to herself.
helping forward my main end: only, now and I could make some pretty observations upon then, indeed, a little novice rises to one's noone or two places of the lady's meditation : but, tice, who seems to think dress, and oaths, and wicked as I am thought to be, I never was so curses, the diagnostics of the rakish spirit she abandoned as to turn into ridicule, or even to is inclined to favour : and indeed they are the treat with levity, things sacred. I think it the only qualifications that some who are called highest degree of ill manners to jest upon those rakes and pretty fellows have to boast of. But subjects which the world in general look upon what must the women be, who can be attracted with veneration, and call divine. I would not by such empty-souled profligates —since wickeven treat the mythology of the heathen, to a edness with wit is hardly tolerable ; but, withheathen, with the ridicule that perhaps would out it, is equally shocking and contemptible. fairly lie from some of the absurdities that strike There again is preachment for thy preachevery common observer. Nor, when at Rome, ment; and thou wilt be apt to think that I am and in other popish countries, did I ever behave reforming too: but no such matter. If this indecently at those ceremonies which I thought were new light darting in upon me, as thy mo very extraordinary: for I saw some people af- rality seems to be to thee, something of this fected, and seemingly edified, by them; and I kind might be apprehended: but this was alcontented myself to think, though they were ways my way of thinking; and I defy thee, ar beyond my comprehension, that if they answer- any of thy brethren, to name a time when I hare ed any good end to the many, there was religion either ridiculed religion, or talked obscenely. enough in them, or civil policy at least, to ex- On the contrary, thou knowest how often I have checked that bear, in love-matters, Mowbray, as Belton, Mowbray, Tourville, and thyself, I and the finical Tourville, and thyself, too, for set up on my own stock; and, like what we what
have called the double-entendre. In have been told of Sir Richard, in his latter days, love, as in points that required a manly resent- valued myself on being the emperor of the comment, it has always been my maxim, to act, ra- pany; for, having fathoined the depth of them ther than talk ; and I do assure thee, as to the all, and afraid of no rival but thee, whom also first, the women themselves will excuse the one I had got a little under, (by my gaiety and sooner than the other.
promptitude, at least,) I proudly, like Addison's As to the admiration thou expressest for the Cato, delighted to give laws to my little senate. books of scripture, thou art certainly right in Proceed with thee by and by. it. But 'tis strange to me, that thou wert ig, norant of their beauty, and noble simplicity, till now. Their antiquity always made me reve- LETTER CCLXXVIII. rence them: And how was it possible that thou couldst not, for that reason, if for no other, MR LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. give them a perusal ?
I'll tell thee a short story, which I had from But now I have cleared myself of any intenmy tutor, admonishing me against exposing my- tional levity on occasion of my beloved's mediself by ignorant wonder, when I should quit col- tation ; which, as you observe, is finely suited lege, to go to town, or travel.
to her case, (that is to say, as she and you have “ The first time Dryden's Alexander's Feast drawn her case ;) I cannot help expressing my fell into his hands, he told me he was prodigi- pleasure, that by one or two verses of it, (the ously charmed with it: and, having never heard arrow, Jack, and what she feared being come upon anybody speak of it before, thought, as thou her! J I am encouraged to hope, what it will be dost of the Bible, that he had made a new dis- very surprising to me if it do not happen: that covery.
is, in plain English, that the dear creature is in “ He hastened to an appointment which he the
way to be a mamma. had with several wits, (for he was then in town,) This cursed arrest, because of the ill effects one of whom was a noted critic, who, according the terror might have had upon her, in that to him, had more merit than good fortune; for hoped-for circumstance, has concerned me more all the little nibblers in wit, whose writings than on any other account. It would be the would not stand the test of criticism, made it, pride of my life to prove, in this charming frosthe said, a common cause to run him down, as piece, the triumph of Nature over principle, and men would do a mad dog.
to have a young Lovelace by such an angel: and “ The young gentleman (for young he then then, for its sake, I am confident she will live, was) set forth magnificently in the praises of and will legitimate it. And what a meritorious that inimitable performance; and gave himself little cherub would it be, that should lay an obairs of second-hand merit, for finding out its ligation upon both parents before it was born, beauties.
which neither of them would be able to repay ! “ The old bard heard him out with a smile, -Could I be sure it is so, I should be out of which the collegian took for approbation, till he all pain for her recovery: pain, I say ; since, spoke ; and then it was in these mortifying were she to die[die! abominable word ! how words: 'Sdeath, Sir, where have you lived till I hate it !] I verily think I should be the most now, or with what sort of company have you miserable man in the world. conversed, young as you are, that you have As for the earnestness she expresses for death, never before heard of the finest piece in the Eng- she has found the words ready to her hand in lish language ?”
honest Job; else she would not have delivered This story had such an effect upon me, who herself with such strength and vehemence. had ever a proud heart, and wanted to be thought Her innate piety (as I have more than once a clever fellow, that, in order to avoid the like observed) will not permit her to shorten her own disgrace, I laid down two rules to myself. The life, either by violence or neglect. She has a first, whenever I went into company where there mind too noble for that; and would have done were strangers, to hear every one of them speak, it before now, had she designed any such thing: before I gave myself liberty to prate: The other, for to do it, like the Roman matron, when the if I found any of them above my match, to give mischief is over, and it can serve no end ; and up all title to new discoveries, contenting my- when the man, however a Tarquin, as some may self to praise what they praised, as beauties fa- think me in this action, is not a Tarquin in miliar to me, though I had never heard of them power, so that no national point can be made of before. And so, by degrees, I got the reputa- it; is what she has too much good sense to think tion of a wit myself: and when I threw off all of. restraint, and books, and learned conversation, Then, as I observed in a like case, a little and fell in with some of our brethren who are while
ago, the distress, when this was written, now wandering in Erebus, and with such others was strong upon her; and she saw no end of it:
but all was darkness and apprehension before That pain, age, penury, and imprisonment,
To what we fear of death. Revenge, Jack, has induced many a woman to cherish a life, to which grief and despair would I find, by one of thy three letters, that my otherwise have put an end.
beloved had some account from Hickman of my And, after all, death is no such eligible thing, interview with Miss Howe, at Col. Ambrose's. as Job, in his calamities, makes it. And a death I had a very agreeable time of it there; although desired merely from worldly disappointments severely rallied by several of the assembly. It shews not a right mind, let me tell this lady, concerns me, however, not a little, to find our whatever she may think of it.* You and I, Jack, affair so generally known among the flippanti although not afraid, in the height of passion or of both sexes. It is all her own fault. There resentment, to rush into those dangers which never, surely, was such an odd little soul as might be followed by a sudden and violent this.-Not to keep her own secret, when the redeath, whenever a point of honour calls upon vealing of it could answer no possible good end; us, would shudder at his cool and deliberate ap- and when she wants not (one would think) to proach in a lingering sickness, which had de- raise to herself either pity or friends, or to me bilitated the spirits.
enemies, by the proclamation Why, Jack, So we read of a famous French general, (I must not all her own sex laugh in their sleeves forget as well the reign of the prince as the name at her weakness ? what would become of the of the man] who, having faced with intrepidi- peace of the world, if all women should take it ty the ghastly varlet on an hundred occasions into their heads to follow her example ? what a in the field, was the most dejected of wretches, fine time of it would the heads of families have? when, having forfeited his life for treason, he Their wives always filling their ears with their was led with all the cruel parade of preparation, confessions; their daughters with theirs : sisters and surrounding guards, to the scaffold. would be every day setting their brothers about The poet says well :
cutting of throats, if the brothers had at heart
the honour of their families, as it is called; and 'Tis not the stoic lesson, got by rote,
the whole world would either be a scene of confuThe pomp of words, and pedant dissertation, sion; or cud ldom as much the fashion as it That can support us in the hour of terror.
is in Lithuania.t Books have taught cowards to talk nobly of it: But when the triul comes, they start and stand agbast.
I am glad, however, that Miss Howe(as much as she hates me) kept her word with my cousins
on their visit to her, and with me at the coloVery true : for then it is the old man in the nel's, to endeavour to persuade her friend to fable, with his bundle of sticks.
make up all matters by matrimony; which, The lady is well read in Shakespeare, our En- no doubt, is the best, nay, the only method she glish pride and glory; and must sometimes rea- can take, for her own honour, and that of her son with herself in his words, so greatly ex- family. pressed, that the subject, affecting as it is, can- I had once thoughts of revenging myself on not produce anything greater.
that vixen, and, particularly, as thou mayest
remember, I had planned something to this purAy, but to die, and go we know not where ; pose on the journey she is going to take, which To lie in cold obstruction, and to rot;
had been talked of some time. But, I thinkThis sensible, warm motion to become
let me see-yes, I think, I will let this Hickman A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
have her safe and entire, as thou believest the To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
fellow to be a tolerable sort of a mortal, and In thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice :
that I had made the worst of him; and I am glad, To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
for his own sake, he has not launched out too Or blown, with restless violence, about The pendent world; or to be worse than worst virulently against me to thee. Of those that lawless and uncertain thoughts
But thou seest, Jack, by her refusal of money Imagine howling; 'tis too horrible !
from him, or Miss Howe, that the dear extraThe weariest and most loaded worldly life,
vagant takes a delight in oddness, choosing to
* Mr Lovelace could not know, that the lady was so thoroughly sensible of the solidity of this doctrine, as she really was : for, in her letter to Mrs Norton, (Letter CCLXIX of this volume,) she says, “ Nor let it be imagined, that my present turn of mind proceeds from gloominess or melancholy : for, although it was brought on by disappointment, (the world shewing me early, even at my first rushing into it, its true and ugly face.) yet I hope that it has obtained a better root, and will every day more and more, by its fruits, demoastrate to me, and to all my friends, that it has."
+ In Lithuania, the women are said to have so allowedly their gallants, called adjutores, that the husbands hardly ever enter upon any party of pleasure without them.
See Letter CXV. of this Vol.