BOOK XV. IN WHICH THE HISTORY ADVANCES ABOUT TWO DAYS.
9. Chapter ix. Containing love-letters of several sorts.
Containing love-letters of several sorts.
Mr Jones, at his return home, found the following letters lying on his
table, which he luckily opened in the order they were sent.
"Surely I am under some strange infatuation; I cannot keep my
resolutions a moment, however strongly made or justly founded. Last
night I resolved never to see you more; this morning I am willing to
hear if you can, as you say, clear up this affair. And yet I know
that to be impossible. I have said everything to myself which you
can invent.----Perhaps not. Perhaps your invention is stronger. Come
to me, therefore, the moment you receive this. If you can forge an
excuse I almost promise you to believe it. Betrayed too----I will
think no more.----Come to me directly.----This is the third letter I
have writ, the two former are burnt----I am almost inclined to burn
this too----I wish I may preserve my senses.----Come to me
"If you ever expect to be forgiven, or even suffered within my
doors, come to me this instant."
"I now find you was not at home when my notes came to your lodgings.
The moment you receive this let me see you;--I shall not stir out;
nor shall anybody be let in but yourself. Sure nothing can detain
Jones had just read over these three billets when Mr Nightingale came
into the room. "Well, Tom," said he, "any news from Lady Bellaston,
after last night's adventure?" (for it was now no secret to any one in
that house who the lady was). "The Lady Bellaston?" answered Jones
very gravely.----"Nay, dear Tom," cries Nightingale, "don't be so
reserved to your friends. Though I was too drunk to see her last
night, I saw her at the masquerade. Do you think I am ignorant who the
queen of the fairies is?" "And did you really then know the lady at
the masquerade?" said Jones. "Yes, upon my soul, did I," said
Nightingale, "and have given you twenty hints of it since, though you
seemed always so tender on that point, that I would not speak plainly.
I fancy, my friend, by your extreme nicety in this matter, you are not
so well acquainted with the character of the lady as with her person.
Don't be angry, Tom, but upon my honour, you are not the first young
fellow she hath debauched. Her reputation is in no danger, believe