Mr. Booth Continues His Story. In This Chapter There Are Some Passages That
May Serve As A Kind Of Touchstone By Which A Young Lady May Examine The
Heart Of Her Lover. I Would Advise, Therefore, That Every Lover Be Obliged To
Read It Over In The Presence Of His Mistress, And That She Carefully Watch
His Emotions While He Is Reading
"I was under the utmost concern," cries Booth, "when I retired from my visit, and
had reflected coolly on what I had said. I now saw plainly that I had made
downright love to Amelia; and I feared, such was my vanity, that I had already
gone too far, and been too successful. Feared! do I say? could I fear what I
hoped? how shall I describe the anxiety of my mind?"
"You need give yourself no great pain," cried Miss Matthews, "to describe what I
can so easily guess. To be honest with you, Mr. Booth, I do not agree with your
lady's opinion that the men have a superior understanding in the matters of love.
Men are often blind to the passions of women: but every woman is as quick-
sighted as a hawk on these occasions; nor is there one article in the whole
science which is not understood by all our sex."
"However, madam," said Mr. Booth, "I now undertook to deceive Amelia. I
abstained three days from seeing her; to say the truth, I endeavoured to work
myself up to a resolution of leaving her for ever: but when I could not so far
subdue my passion---But why do I talk nonsense of subduing passion?--I should
say, when no other passion could surmount my love, I returned to visit her; and
now I attempted the strangest project which ever entered into the silly head of a
lover. This was to persuade Amelia that I was really in love in another place, and
had literally expressed my meaning when I asked her advice and desired her to
be my confidante.
"I therefore forged a meeting to have been between me and my imaginary
mistress since I had last seen Amelia, and related the particulars, as well as I
could invent them, which had passed at our conversation.
"Poor Amelia presently swallowed this bait; and, as she hath told me since,
absolutely believed me to be in earnest. Poor dear love! how should the sincerest
of hearts have any idea of deceit? for, with all her simplicity, I assure you she is
the most sensible woman in the world."
"It is highly generous and good in you," said Miss Matthews, with a sly sneer, "to
impute to honesty what others would, perhaps, call credulity."