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Amelia

IV.6.
In Which May Appear That Violence Is Sometimes Done To The Name Of Love
When that happy day came, in which unhallowed hands are forbidden to
contaminate the shoulders of the unfortunate, Booth went early to the colonel's
house, and, being admitted to his presence, began with great freedom, though
with great gentleness, to complain of his not having dealt with him with more
openness. "Why, my dear colonel," said he, "would you not acquaint me with that
secret which this letter hath disclosed?" James read the letter, at which his
countenance changed more than once; and then, after a short silence, said, "Mr.
Booth, I have been to blame, I own it; and you upbraid me with justice. The true
reason was, that I was ashamed of my own folly. D--n me, Booth, if I have not
been a most consummate fool, a very dupe to this woman; and she hath a
particular pleasure in making me so. I know what the impertinence of virtue is,
and I can submit to it; but to be treated thus by a whore--You must forgive me,
dear Booth, but your success was a kind of triumph over me, which I could not
bear. I own, I have not the least reason to conceive any anger against you; and
yet, curse me if I should not have been less displeased at your lying with my own
wife; nay, I could almost have parted with half my fortune to you more willingly
than have suffered you to receive that trifle of my money which you received at
her hands. However, I ask your pardon, and I promise you I will never more think
of you with the least ill-will on the account of this woman; but as for her, d--n me
if I do not enjoy her by some means or other, whatever it costs me; for I am
already above two hundred pounds out of pocket, without having scarce had a
smile in return."
Booth exprest much astonishment at this declaration; he said he could not
conceive how it was possible to have such an affection for a woman who did not
shew the least inclination to return it. James gave her a hearty curse, and said,
"Pox of her inclination; I want only the possession of her person, and that, you
will allow, is a very fine one. But, besides my passion for her, she hath now
piqued my pride; for how can a man of my fortune brook being refused by a
whore?"-- "Since you are so set on the business," cries Booth, "you will excuse
my saying so, I fancy you had better change your method of applying to her; for,
as she is, perhaps, the vainest woman upon earth, your bounty may probably do
you little service, nay, may rather actually disoblige her. Vanity is plainly her
predominant passion, and, if you will administer to that, it will infallibly throw her
into your arms. To this I attribute my own unfortunate success. While she
relieved my wants and distresses she was daily feeding her own vanity; whereas,
as every gift of yours asserted your superiority, it rather offended than pleased
her. Indeed, women generally love to be of the obliging side; and, if we examine
their favourites, we shall find them to be much oftener such as they have
conferred obligations on than such as they have received them from."
 
 
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