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thers about cutting of throats, if the brothers had at heart the honour of their families, as it is called; and the whole world would either be a scene of confusion; or cuckoldom as much the fashion as it is in Lithuania*.

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 Colonel's, to endeavour to persuade her friend to make up all matters by matrimony; which, no doubt, is the best, nay, the only method she can take, for her own honour, and that of her family.

I had once thoughts of revenging myself on that vixen, and, particularly, as thou mayest† remember, had planned something to this purpose on the journey she is goin to take, which had been talked of some time. But, I think-let me see—yes, I think, I will let this Hickman have her safe and entire, as thou believest the fellow to be a tolerable sort of a mortal, and that I had made the worst of him and I am glad, for his own sake, he has not launched out too virulently against me to thee.

a song.

But thou seest, Jack, by her refusal of money from him, or Miss Howe‡, that the dear extravagant takes a delight in oddnesses, choosing to part with her clothes, though for Dost think she is not a little touched at times? I am afraid she is. A little spice of that insanity, I doubt, runs through her, that she had in a stronger degree, in the first week of my operations. Her contempt of life; her proclamations; her refusal of matrimony; and now of

* 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 Vol. IV. Letter XLII.

See Letter V. of this volume.


money from her most intimate friends; are sprinklings of this kind, and no other way, I think, to be accounted for.

Her apothecary is a good honest fellow. I like him much. But the silly dear's harping so continually upon one string, dying, dying, dying, is what I have no patience with. I hope all this melancholy jargon is owing entirely to the way I would have her to be in. And it being as new to her, as the Bible beauties to thee*, no wonder she knows not what to make of herself; and so fancies she is breeding death, when the event will turn out quite the contrary.

Thou art a sorry fellow in thy remarks on the education and qualification of smarts and beaux of the rakish order ; if by thy we's and us's thou meanest thyself or met: for I pretend to say, that the picture has no resemblance of us, who have read and conversed as we have done. It may indeed, and I believe it does, resemble the generality of the fops and coxcombs about town. But that let them look to; for, if it affects not me, to what purpose thy random shot?-If indeed thou findest, by the new light darted in upon thee, since thou hast had the honour of conversing with this admirable creature, that the cap fits thy own head, why then, according to the qui capit rule, e'en take and clap it on: and I will add a string of bells to it, to complete thee for the fore-horse of the idiot team.

Although I just now said a kind thing or two for this fellow Hickman; yet I can tell thee, I could (to use one of my noble peer's humble phrases) eat him up without a corn of salt, when I think of his impudence to salute

*See Letter III. of this volume.

+ Ibid. and Letter V.

my charmer twice at parting*: And have still less patience with the lady herself for presuming to offer her cheek or lip [thou sayest not which] to him, and to press his clumsy fist between her charming hands. An honour worth a king's ransom; and what I would give-what would I not give? to have!~And then he, in return, to press her, as thou sayest he did, to his stupid heart; at that time, no doubt, more sensible, than ever it was before!

By thy description of their parting, I see thou wilt be a delicate fellow in time. My mortification in this lady's displeasure, will be thy exaltation from her conversation. I envy thee as well for thy opportunities, as for thy improvements: and such an impression has thy concluding paragrapht made upon me, that I wish I do not get into a reformation-humour as well as thou: and then what a couple of lamentable puppies shall we make, howling in recitative to each other's discordant music!

Let me improve upon the thought, and imagine that, turned hermits, we have opened the two old caves at Hornsey, or dug new ones; and in each of our cells set up a death's head, and an hour-glass, for objects of contemplation-I have seen such a picture: but then, Jack, had not the old penitent fornicator a suffocating long grey beard? What figures would a couple of brocaded or laced-waistcoated toupets make with their sour screw'd up half-cock'd faces, and more than half shut eyes, in a kneeling attitude, recapitulating their respective rogueries? This scheme, were we only to make trial of it, and return afterwards to our old ways, might serve to better purpose by far, than Horner's in the Country Wife, to bring the pretty wenches to us.

See Letter V. of this volume.

t Ibid.

Let me see; the author of Hudibras has somewhere a description that would suit us, when met in one of our caves, and comparing our dismal notes together. This is it. Suppose me described

He sat upon his rump,

His head like one in doleful dump:
Betwixt his knees his hands apply'd
Unto his cheeks, on either side:
And by him, in another hole,
Sat stupid Belford, cheek by jowl.

I know thou wilt think me too ludicrous. I think my, self so. It is truly, to be ingenuous, a forced put: for my passions are so wound up, that I am obliged either to laugh or cry. Like honest drunken Jack Daventry, [poor fellow!-What an unhappy end was his!]-thou knowest, I used to observe, that whenever he rose from an entertainment, which he never did sober, it was his way, as soon as he got to the door, to look round him like a carrier pigeon just thrown up, in order to spy out his course; and then, taking to his heels, he would run all the way home, though it were a mile or two, when he could hardly stand, and must have tumbled on his nose if he had attempted to walk moderately. This then be my excuse, in this my unconverted estate, for a conclusion so unworthy of the conclusion to thy third letter.

What a length have I run!-Thou wilt own, that if I pay thee not in quality, I do in quantity and yet I leave a multitude of things unobserved upon. Indeed I hardly at this present know what to do with myself but scribble. Tired with Lord M. who, in his recovery, has played upon me the fable of the nurse, the crying child, and the wolf -tired with my cousins Montague, though charming girls,


were they not so near of kin-tired with Mowbray and Tourville, and their everlasting identity-tired with the country-tired of myself-longing for what I have not— I must go to town; and there have an interview with the charmer of my soul for desperate diseases must have desperate remedies; and I only wait to know my doom from Miss Howe! and then, if it be rejection, I will try my fate, and receive my sentence at her feet.-But I will apprize thee of it beforehand, as I told thee, that thou mayest keep thy parole with the lady in the best manuer thou canst.



[In answer to her's of July 27, see Letters VII. VIII. of this volume.]

Friday Night, July 28.

I WILL now, my dearest friend, write to you all my mind, without reserve, on your resolution not to have this vilest of men. You gave me, in your's of Sunday the 23d, reasons so worthy of the pure mind of my Clarissa, in support of this your resolution, that nothing but self-love, lest I should lose my ever-amiable friend, could have prevailed upon me to wish you to alter it.

Indeed, I thought it was impossible there could be (however desirable) so noble an instance given by any of our sex, of a passion conquered, when there were so many inducements to give way to it. And, therefore, I was wil.

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