This story of Captain Tomlinson employed us not only for the time we were together last night, but all the while we sat at breakfast this morning. She would still have it that it was the prelude to some mischief from Singleton. I insisted (according to my former hint) that it might much more probably be a method taken by Colonel Morden to alarm her, previous to a personal visit. Travelled gentlemen affected to surprise in this manner. And why, dearest creature, said I, must every thing that happens, which we cannot immediately account for, be what we least wish?
She had had so many disagreeable things befall her of late, that her fears were too often stronger than her hopes.
And this, Madam, makes me apprehensive, that you will get into so low- spirited a way, that you will not be able to enjoy the happiness that seems to await us.
Her duty and her gratitude, she gravely said, to the Dispenser of all good, would secure her, she hoped, against unthankfulness. And a thankful spirit was the same as a joyful one.
So, Belford, for all her future joys she depends entirely upon the invisible Good. She is certainly right; since those who fix least upon second causes are the least likely to be disappointed—And is not this gravity for her gravity?
She had hardly done speaking, when Dorcas came running up in a hurry— she set even my heart into a palpitation—thump, thump, thump, like a precipitated pendulum in a clock-case—flutter, flutter, flutter, my charmer’s, as by her sweet bosom rising to her chin I saw.
This lower class of people, my beloved herself observed, were for ever aiming at the stupid wonderful, and for making even common incidents matter of surprise.
Why the devil, said I to the wench, this alarming hurry?—And with your spread fingers, and your O Madams, and O Sirs!—and be cursed to you! Would there have been a second of time difference, had you come up slowly?
Captain Tomlinson, Sir!
Captain Devilson, what care I?—Do you see how you have disordered your lady?
Good Mr. Lovelace, said my charmer, trembling [see, Jack, when she has an end to serve, I am good Mr. Lovelace,] if—if my brother,—if Captain Singleton should appear—pray now—I beseech you—let me beg of you—to govern your temper—My brother is my brother—Captain Singleton is but an agent.
My dearest life, folding my arms about her, [when she asks favours, thought I, the devil’s in it, if she will not allow such an innocent freedom as this, from good Mr. Lovelace too,] you shall be witness of all passes between us.—Dorcas, desire the gentleman to walk up.
Let me retire to my chamber first!—Let me not be known to be in the house!
Charming dear!—Thou seest, Belford, she is afraid of leaving me!—O the little witchcrafts! Were it not for surprises now-and-then, how would an honest man know where to have them?
She withdrew to listen.—And though this incident has not turned out to answer all I wished from it, yet is it not necessary, if I would acquaint thee with my whole circulation, to be very particular in what passed between Captain Tomlinson and me.
Enter Captain Tomlinson, in a riding dress, whip in hand.
Your servant, Sir,—Mr. Lovelace, I presume?
My name is Lovelace, Sir.
Excuse the day, Sir.—Be pleased to excuse my garb. I am obliged to go out of town directly, that I may return at night.
The day is a good day. Your garb needs no apology. Continue reading