me without the main thing, I mean the money, that I had no patience to hear him make so long a story of it.
I received him civilly, and let him see I could bear to hear a wicked proposal without being affronted, and yet I was not to be brought into it too easily. He visited me a long while, and, in short, courted me as closely and assiduously as if he had been wooing me to matrimony. He made me several valuable presents, which I suffered myself to be prevailed with to accept, but not without great difficulty.
Gradually I suffered also his other importunities; and when he made a proposal of a compliment or appointment to me for a settlement, he said that though I was rich, yet there was not the less due from him to acknowledge the favours he received; and that, if I was to be his, I should not live at my own expense, cost what it would. I told him I was far from being extravagant, and yet I did not live at the expense of less than £500 a year out of my own pocket; that, however, I was not covetous of settled allowances, for I looked upon that as a kind of golden chain, something like matrimony; that, though I knew how to be true to a man of honour, as I knew his lordship to be, yet I had a kind of aversion to the bonds; and though I was not so rich as the world talked me up to be, yet I was not so poor as to bind myself to hardships for a pension.
He told me he expected to make my life perfectly easy, and intended it so; that he knew of no bondage there could be in a private engagement between us; that the bonds of honour he knew I would be tied by, and think them no burthen; and, for other obligations, he scorned to expect anything from me but what he knew as a woman of honour I could grant. Then, as to maintenance, he told me he would soon show me that he valued me infinitely above £500 a year, and upon this foot we began.
I seemed kinder to him after this discourse, and as time and private conversation made us very intimate, we began to come nearer to the main article, namely, the £500 a year. He offered that at first word, and to acknowledge it as an infinite favour to have it be accepted of; and I, that thought it was too much by all the money, suffered myself to be mastered, or prevailed with to yield, even on but a bare engagement upon parole.
When he had obtained his end that way, I told him my mind. 'Now you see, my lord', said I, 'how weakly I have acted, namely, to yield to you without any capitulation, or anything secured to me but that which you may cease to allow when you please. If I am the less valued for such a confidence, I shall be injured in a manner that I will endeavour not to deserve.'
He told me that he would make it evident to me that he did not seek me by way of bargain, as such things were often done; that as I had treated him with a generous confidence, so I should find I was in the hands of a man of honour, and one that knew how to value the obligation; and upon this he pulled out a goldsmith's bill for £300, which (putting it into my hand), he said, he gave me as a pledge that I should not be a loser by my not having made a bargain with him. This was engaging indeed, and gave me a good idea of our future correspondence; and, in short, as I could not refrain treating him with more kindness than I had done before, so, one thing begetting another, I gave him several testimonies that I was entirely his own by inclination as well as by the common obligation of a mistress, and this pleased him exceedingly.