1. The Cap Fits

If the cap fits, put it on.

I must become other than I am for a woman.

For seven years I trudged behind a counter, a willing, though not obedient slave. My temper soured, marr’d my future views, my projects o’erturn’d and my quiet disturb’d. I was not ev’ry thing I ought to be.

For sev’ral years I have led a single life, nor coveted a spouse: till now, all alone, like Adam in the garden, I have found out I am wanting, and that is a wife.

I have found a comely maid, a native of Ardsley and a fellow Friend and mean to bind her in indissoluble chains. I live a bachelor in my fathers ancient wood and plaster house called St Ann’s and warehouse at the north-east corner of May Day Green, in the fair commercial town of Bamsley; linen manufacturing, my business. I thought a good standing enough to gain a wife; I did not think two worthless fellows could from their tatling, tell~tale disposition, have set at ears my nearest, dearest friends ; their worthless stories have broke all confidence, destroy’d the harmony of private life and made an earthly paradise a hell; poison’d the stream that flows by, soil’d the bleached linen drying in the fields.

I pretended to be very good; a man set up for something more than human, a pharisee of strict observance, pretending to Communion with God.

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