LETTER 273: MR. LOVELACE, TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ

Wedn. Noon, June 21. 

What shall I say now! —I who but a few hours ago had such faith in dreams, and had proposed out of hand to begin my treatise ofDreams-sleeping and Dreams-waking, and was pleasing myself with the dialoguings between the old matronly lady, and the young lady; and with the two metamorphoses (absolutely assured that every thing would happen as my dream chalked it out); shall never more depend upon those flying follies, those illusions of a fancy depraved, and run mad.

 

Thus confoundedly have matters happened.

 

I went out at eight o’clock in high good humour with myself, in order to give the sought-for opportunity to the plotting mistress and corrupted maid; only ordering Will. to keep a good look-out, for fear his lady should mistrust my plot, or mistake a hackney-coach for the dowager-lady’s chariot. But first I sent to know how she did; and received for answer, Very ill: —Had a very bad night: Which latter was but too probable: Since This I know, that people who have plots in their heads as seldom have as deserve good ones.

 

I desired a physician might be called in; but was refused.

 

I took a walk in St. James’s park, congratulating myself all the way on my rare inventions: Then, impatient, I took coach, with one of the windows quite up, the other almost up, playing at bo-peep at every chariot I saw pass in my way to Lincolns-inn-fields: And, when arrived there, I sent the coachman to desire any one of Mother H.’s family to come to me to the coach-side, not doubting but I should have intelligence of my fair fugitive there; it being then half an hour after ten.

 

A servant came to me, who gave me to understand, that the matronly lady was just returned by herself in the chariot.

 

Frighted out of my wits, I alighted, and heard from the Mother’s own mouth, that Dorcas had ingaged her to protect the lady; but came to tell her afterwards, that she had changed her mind, and would not quit the house.

 

Quite astonish’d, not knowing what might have happen’d, I order’d the coachman to lash away to our mother’s.

 

Arriving here in an instant, the first word I ask’d, was, If the lady were safe ( a ) ?

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