« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
as would rather make one imagine that the figure (without shoe or stocking, as it is, though the rest of the body is robed) was looking up to its corn-cutter: the other riveted to its native earth, bemired, like thee (immersed thou callest it) beyond the possibility of unsticking itself. Both figures, thou wilt find, seem to be in a contention, the bigger, whether it should pull down the lesser about its ears the lesser (a chubby fat little varlet, of a fourth part of the other's bigness, with wings not much larger than those of a butterfly) whether it should raise the larger to a Heaven it points to, hardly big enough to contain the great toes of either.
Thou wilt say, perhaps, that the dame's figure in stone may do credit, in the comparison, to thine, both in grain and shape, wooden as thou art all over: but that the lady, who, in every thing but in the trick she has played me so lately, is truly an angel, is but sorrily represented by the fat-flanked cupid. This I allow thee. But yet there is enough in thy aspirations to strike my mind with a resemblance of thee and the lady to the figures on the wretched monument; for thou oughtest to remember, that, prepared as she may be to mount to her native skies, it is impossible for her to draw after her a heavy fellow who has so much to repent of as thou hast.
But now, to be serious once more, let me tell you, Belford, that, if the lady be really so ill as you write she is, it will become you [no Roman style here!] in a case so very affecting, to be a little less pointed and sarcastic in your reflections. For, upon my soul, the matter begins to grate me most confoundedly.
I am now so impatient to hear oftener of her, that I take the hint accidentally given me by our two fellows meeting at Slough, and resolve to go to our friend Dole
man's at Uxbridge; whose wife and sister, as well as he, have so frequently pressed me to give them my company for a week or two. There shall I be within two hours ride, if any thing should happen to induce her to see me: for it will well become her piety, and avowed charity, should the worst happen, [the Lord of Heaven and Earth, however, avert that worst!] to give me that pardon from her lips, which she has not denied to me by pen and ink. And as she wishes my reformation, she knows not what good effects such an interview may have upon
I shall accordingly be at Doleman's to-morrow morning, by eleven at farthest. My fellow will find me there at his return from you (with a letter, I hope). I shall have Joel with me likewise, that I may send the oftener, as matters fall out. Were I to be still nearer, or in town, it would be impossible to withhold myself from seeing her. But, if the worst happen!-as, by your continual kne! ling, I know not what to think of it!-[Yet, once more, Heaven avert that worst!-How natural it is to pray, when one cannot help one's self!]—THEN say not, in so many dreadful words, what the event is-Only, that you advise me to take a trip to Paris-And that will stab me to the heart.
I so well approve of your generosity to poor Belton's sister, that I have made Mowbray give up his legacy, as I do mine, towards her India bonds. When I come to town, Tourville shall do the like; and we will buy each a ring to wear in memory of the honest fellow, with our own money, that we may perform his will, as well as
My fellow rides the rest of the night. I charge you, Jack, if you would save his life, that you send hịm not back empty-handed.
MR. BELFORD, TO ROBERT LOVELACE, ESQ.
Tuesday Night, Aug. 30.
WHEN I concluded my last, I hoped that my next attendance upon this surprising lady would furnish me with some particulars as agreeable as now could be hoped for from the declining way she is in, by reason of the welcome letter she had received from her cousin Morden. But it proved quite otherwise to me, though not to herself ; for I think I was never more shocked in my life than on the occasion I shall mention presently.
When I attended her about seven in the evening, she told me that she found herself in a very petulant way after I had left her. Strange, said she, that the pleasure I received from my cousin's letter should have such an effect upon me? But I could not help giving way to a comparative humour, as I may call it, and to think it very hard that my nearer relations did not take the methods which my cousin Morden kindly took, by inquiring into my merit or demerit, and giving my cause a fair audit before they proceeded to condemnation.
She had hardly said this, when she started, and a blush overspread her sweet face, on hearing, as I also did, a sort of lumbering noise upon the stairs, as if a large trunk
were bringing up between two people and, looking upon me with an eye of concern, Blunderers! said she, they have brought in something two hours before the time.-Don't be surprised, Sir-it is all to save you trouble.
Before I could speak, in came Mrs. Smith: O Madam, said she, what have you done?-Mrs. Lovick, entering, made the same exclamation. Lord have mercy upon me, Madam! cried I, what have you done?-For, she stepping at the instant to the door, the women told me it was a coffin.-O Lovelace! that thou hadst been there at the moment!-Thou, the causer of all these shocking scenes! Surely thou couldst not have been less affected than I, who have no guilt, as to her, to answer for.
With an intrepidity of a piece with the preparation, having directed them to carry it into her bed-chamber, she returned to us: they were not to have brought it in till after dark, said she-Pray, excuse me, Mr. Belford: and don't you, Mrs. Lovick, be concerned: nor you, Mrs. Smith. Why should you? There is nothing more in it than the unusualness of the thing. Why may we not be as reasonably shocked at going to the church where are the monuments of our ancestors, with whose dust we even hope our dust shall be one day mingled, as to be moved at such a sight as this?
We all remaining silent, the women having their aprons at their eyes, Why this concern for nothing at all? said she. If I am to be blamed for any thing, it is for showing too much solicitude, as it may be thought, for this earthly part. I love to do every thing for myself that I can do. I ever did. Every other material point is so far done, and taken care of, that I have had leisure for things of lesser moment. Minutenesses may be observed, where greater
articles are not neglected for them. I might have had this to order, perhaps, when less fit to order it. I have no mother, no sister, no Mrs. Norton, no Miss Howe, near me. Some of you must have seen this in a few days, if not now; perhaps have had the friendly trouble of directing it. And what is the difference of a few days to you, when I am gratified rather than discomposed by it? I shall not die the sooner for such a preparation. Should not every body that has any thing to bequeath make their will? And who, that makes a will, should be afraid of a coffin?-My dear friends [to the women] I have considered these things; do not, with such an object before you as you have had in me for weeks, give me reason to think you have not.
How reasonable was all this!--It showed, indeed, that she herself had well considered it. But yet we could not help being shocked at the thoughts of the coffin thus brought in; the lovely person before our eyes who is, in all likelihood, so soon to fill it.
We were all silent still, the women in grief, I in a manner stunned. She would not ask me, she said; but would be glad, since it had thus earlier than she had intended been brought in, that her two good friends would walk in and look upon it. They would be less shocked when it was made more familiar to their eye: don't you lead back, said she, a starting steed to the object he is apt to start at, in order to familiarize him to it, and cure his starting? The same reason will hold in this case. my good friends, I will lead you in.
I took my leave; telling her she had done wrong, very wrong; and ought not, by any means, to have such an object before her.
The women followed her in.-Tis a strange sex! No