Pity me, Jack, for pity’s sake; since, if thou dost not, nobody else will: and yet never was there a man of my genius and lively temper that wanted it more. We are apt to attribute to the devil every thing happens to us, which we would not have happen: but here, being, (as perhaps thou’lt say,) the devil myself, my plagues arise from an angel. I suppose all mankind is to be plagued by its contrary.
She began with me like a true woman, [she in the fault, I to be blamed,] the moment I entered the dining-room: not the least apology, not the least excuse, for the uproar she had made, and the trouble she had given me.
I come, said she, into thy detested presence, because I cannot help it. But why am I to be imprisoned here?—Although to no purpose, I cannot help——
Dearest Madam, interrupted I, give not way to so much violence. You must know, that your detention is entirely owing to the desire I have to make you all the amends that is in my power to make you. And this, as well for your sake as my own. Surely there is still one way left to repair the wrongs you have suffered——
Canst thou blot out the past week! Several weeks past, I should say; ever since I have been with thee? Canst thou call back time?—If thou canst——
Surely, Madam, again interrupting her, if I may be permitted to call you legally mine, I might have but anticip——
Wretch, that thou art! Say not another word upon this subject. When thou vowedst, when thou promisedst at Hampstead, I had begun to think that I must be thine. If I had consented, at the request of those I thought thy relations, this would have been a principal inducement, that I could then have brought thee, what was most wanted, an unsullied honour in dowry, to a wretch destitute of all honour; and could have met the gratulations of a family to which thy life has been one continued disgrace, with a consciousness of deserving their gratulations. But thinkest thou, that I will give a harlot niece to thy honourable uncle, and to thy real aunts; and a cousin to thy cousins from a brothel? for such, in my opinion, is this detested house!—Then, lifting up her clasped hands, ‘Great and good God of Heaven,’ said she, ‘give me patience to support myself under the weight of those afflictions, which thou, for wise and good ends, though at present impenetrable by me, hast permitted!’
Then, turning towards me, who knew neither what to say to her, nor for myself, I renounce thee for ever, Lovelace!—Abhorred of my soul! for ever I renounce thee!—Seek thy fortunes wheresoever thou wilt!—only now, that thou hast already ruined me!—
Ruined you, Madam—the world need not—I knew not what to say.
Ruined me in my own eyes; and that is the same to me as if all the world knew it—hinder me not from going whither my mysterious destiny shall lead me.