Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, a foundling

2. Chapter ii. Containing letters and other matters...

Containing letters and other matters which attend amours.

Jones had not been long at home before he received the following letter:--

"I was never more surprized than when I found you was gone. When you left the room I little imagined you intended to have left the house without seeing me again. Your behaviour is all of a piece, and convinces me how much I ought to despise a heart which can doat upon an idiot; though I know not whether I should not admire her cunning more than her simplicity: wonderful both! For though she understood not a word of what passed between us, yet she had the skill, the assurance, the----what shall I call it? to deny to my face that she knows you, or ever saw you before.----Was this a scheme laid between you, and have you been base enough to betray me?----O how I despise her, you, and all the world, but chiefly myself! for----I dare not write what I should afterwards run mad to read; but remember, I can detest as violently as I have loved."

Jones had but little time given him to reflect on this letter, before a second was brought him from the same hand; and this, likewise, we shall set down in the precise words.

"When you consider the hurry of spirits in which I must have writ, you cannot be surprized at any expressions in my former note.--Yet, perhaps, on reflection, they were rather too warm. At least I would, if possible, think all owing to the odious playhouse, and to the impertinence of a fool, which detained me beyond my appointment.----How easy is it to think well of those we love!----Perhaps you desire I should think so. I have resolved to see you to-night; so come to me immediately.

"P.S.--I have ordered to be at home to none but yourself.

"P.S.--Mr Jones will imagine I shall assist him in his defence; for I believe he cannot desire to impose on me more than I desire to impose on myself.

"P.S.--Come immediately."

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