vrijdag 26 december 2014

James Boswell -- 25 december 1762

James Boswell (1740-1795) was een Schotse advocaat en schrijver, bekend vanwege zijn The Life of Samuel Johnson, maar zeker ook vanwege zijn dagboeken, waaronder het London Journal 1762-1763.

In de winter van 1762/63 had Boswell een affaire met ene Louisa. Voor de voorgaande dagboekbladen hierover zie 14 december, 17 december en 21 december.

[Friday 24 December]
I waited on Louisa. Says she, "I have been very unhappy since you was here. I have been thinking of what I said to you. I find that such a connection would make me miserable." "I hope, Madam, I am not disagreeable to you." "No, Sir, you are not. If it was the first duke in England I spoke to, I should just say the same thing." "But pray, Madam, what is your objection?" "Really, Sir, I have many disagreeable apprehensions. It may be known. Circumstances might be very troublesome. I beg it of you, Sir, consider of it. Your own good sense will agree with me. Instead of visiting me as you do now, you would find a discontented, unhappy creature." I was quite confused. I did not know what to say. At last I agreed to think of it and see her on Sunday. I came home and dined in dejection. Yet I mustered up vivacity, and away I went in full dress to Northumberland House. There was spirit, to lay out a couple of shillings and be a man of fashion in my situation. There was true economy.

[Saturday 25 December]
The night before I did not rest well. I was really violently in love with Louisa. I thought she did not care for me. I thought that if I did not gain her affections, I would appear despicable to myself. This day I was in a better frame, being Christmas day, which has always inspired me with most agreeable feelings. I went to St. Paul's Church and in that magnificent temple fervently adored the GOD of goodness and mercy, and heard a sermon by the Bishop of Oxford on the publishing of glad tidings of great joy.

[Sunday 26 December]
I went to Whitehall Chapel and heard service. I took a whim to go through all the churches and chapels in London, taking one each Sunday. At one I went to Louisa's. I told her my passion in the warmest terms. I told her that my happiness absolutely depended upon her. She said it was running the greatest risk. "Then," said I, "Madam, you will show the greatest generosity to a most sincere lover." She said that we should take time to consider of it, and that then we could better determine how to act. We agreed that the time should be a week, and that if I remained of the same opinion, she would then make me blessed. There is no telling how easy it made my mind to be convinced that she did not despise me, but on the contrary had a tender heart and wished to make me easy and happy.

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