RECORD: Richardson, Samuel. 1820. The history of Sir Charles Grandison in a series of letters. New ed. 7 vols. London: Strachan, vol. 4.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed (single key) by AEL Data 10.2013. RN1

NOTE: This work formed part of the Beagle library. The Beagle Library project has been generously supported by a Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1 grant and Charles Darwin University and the Charles Darwin University Foundation, Northern Territory, Australia.


[page break]

THE

BRITISH NOVELISTS;

WITH AN

ESSAY, AND PREFACES

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL,

BY

MRS. BARBAULD.

A New Edition.

VOL. XII.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR F. C. AND J. RIVINGTON; W. LOWNDES; SCATCHERD AND LETTERMAN; J. NUNN; J. CUTHELL; JEFFERY AND SON; LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME AND CO.; T. WILKIE; CADELL AND DAVIES; J. AND W. T. CLARKE; J. OTRIDGE; LACKINGTON AND CO.; S. BAGSTER; J. MURRAY; J. BOOKER; J. BLACK; BLACK AND CO.; J. RICHARDSON; J. M. RICHARDSON; R. SCHOLEY; J. MAWMAN; R. H. EVANS; A. K. NEWMAN AND CO.; J. ASPERNE; J. CARPENTER; J. BOOIR; W. GINGER; BALDWIN, CRADOCK AND JOY; T. HUDGSON; J. BOHN; J. FBERS; SHERWOOD, NEELY AND JONES; G. AND W. B. WHIITAKER; SETCHELL AND SON; WHITMORE AND FENN; R. HUNTER; G. COWIE AND CO.; R. SAUNDERS; T. AND J. ALLMAN; T. BOONE; C. BROWN; J. BRUMBY; EDWARDS AND CO.; T. HAMILTON; J. LEPARD; G. MACKIE; W. MASON; J. MILLER; OGLE, DUNCAN AND CO.; RODWELL AND MARTIN; HURST, ROBINSON AND CO.; WILSON AND SONS, YORK; STERLING AND SLADE; AND FAIRBAIRN AND ANDERSON, EDINBURGH.

1820.

[page break]

C. Baldwin, Printer, Bridge Street, Blackfriars, London.

[page break]

THE

HISTORY

OF

SIR CHARLES GRAND ISON;

IN A

SERIES OF LETTERS.

BY MR. SAMUEL RICHARDSON,

AUTHOR OF PAMELA AND CLARISSA.

IN SEVEN VOLUMES.

VOL. IV.

A NEW EDITION,

WITH THE LAST CORRECTIONS BY THE AUTHOR.

[page break]

[page 1]

THE

HISTORY

OF

SIR CHARLES GRANDISON, BART.

LETTER I.

MISS HARRIET BYRON TO MISS LUCY SELBY.

Friday, March 31.

You now, my dear friends, have before you this affecting story, as far as Dr. Bartlett can give it. My cousins express a good deal of concern for your Harriet: so does Miss Grandison: so do my Lord and Lady L.: and the more, as I seem to carry off the matter with assumed bravery. This their kind concern for me looks, however, as if they thought me a hypocrite; and I suppose, therefore that I act my part very awkwardly.

But, my dear, as this case is one of those few in which a woman can shew a bravery of spirit, I think an endeavour after it is laudable; and the rather, as

VOL. XII. B

[page] 2

in my conduct I aim at giving a tacit example to Miss Jervois.

The doctor has whispered to me, that Lady Olivia is actually on her way to England; and that the intelligence Sir Charles received of her intention, was one of the things that disturbed him, as the news of his beloved Signor Jeronymo's dangerous condition was another.

Lady Ann S. it seems has not yet given up her hopes of Sir Charles. The two sisters, who once favoured her above all the women they knew, have not been able to bring themselves to acquaint a lady of her rank and merit, that there can be no hopes; and they are still more loth to say, that their brother thinks himself under some obligations to a foreign lady. Yet you know that this was always what we were afraid of: but, who, now, will say afraid, that knows the merit of Clementina?

I wish, methinks, that this man were proud, vain, arrogant, and a boaster. How easily then might one throw off one's shackles!

Lord G. is very diligent in his court to Miss Grandison. His father and aunt are to visit her this afternoon. She behaves whimsically to my lord: yet I cannot think that she greatly dislikes him.

The Earl of D. and the countess dowager are both in town. The countess made a visit to my cousin Reeves last Tuesday: she spoke of me very kindly: she says my lord has heard so much of me, that he is very desirous of seeing me: but she was pleased to say, that since my heart was not disengaged, she should be afraid of the consequences of his visit to himself.

My grandmamma, though she was so kindly fond of me, would not suffer me to live with her; because she thought, that her contemplative temper might

[page] 3

influence mine, and make me grave, at a time of life, when she is always saying that cheerfulness is most becoming: she would therefore turn over her girl to the best of aunts. But now I fancy, she will allow me to be more than two days in a week her attendant. My uncle Selby will be glad to spare me. I shall not be able to bear a jest: and then what shall I be good for?

I have made a fine hand of coming to town, he says: and so I have: but if my heart is not quite so easy as it was, it is, I hope, a better, at least, not a worse heart than I brought up with me. Could I only have admired this man, my excursion would not have been unhappy. But this gratitude, this entangling, with all its painful consequences—But. let me say, with my grandmamma, the man is Sir Charles Grandison! The very man by whose virtues a Clementina was attracted. Upon my word, my dear, unhappy as she is, I rank her with the first of women.

I have not had a great deal of Sir Charles Grandison's company; but yet more, I am afraid, than I shall ever have again. Very true—O heart.! the most wayward of hearts, sign if thou wilt!

You have seen how seldom he was with us, when we were absolutely in his reach, and when he, as we thought, was in ours. But such a man cannot, ought not to be engrossed by one family. Bless me, Lucy, when he comes into public life (for has not his country a superior claim to him beyond every private one?) what moment can he have at liberty? Let me enumerate some of his present engagements that, we know of.

The Danby family must have some further portion of his time.

The executorship in the disposal of the 3000l. in

B 2

[page] 4

charity, in France as well as in England, will take up a good deal more.

My Lord W. may be said to be under his tutelage, as to the future happiness of his life.

Miss Jervois's affairs, and the care he has for her person, engage much of his attention.

He is his own steward.

He is making alterations at Grandison-hall; and has a large genteel neighbourhood there, who long to have him reside among them; and he himself is fond of that seat.

His estate in Ireland is in a prosperous way, from the works he set on foot there, when he was on the spot; and he talks, as Dr. Bartlett has hinted to us, of making another visit to it.

His sister's match with Lord G. is one of his cares.

He has services to perform for his friend Beauchamp, with his father and mother-in-law, for the facilitating his coming over.

The apprehended visit of Olivia gives him disturbance.

And the Bologna family in its various branches, and more especially Signor Jeronymo's dangerous state of health, and Signora Clementina's disordered mind—O Lucy!—What leisure has this man to be in love!—Yet how can I say so, when he is in love already? And with Clementina—And don't you think, that when he goes to France on the executorship account, he will make a visit to Bologna?—Ah, my dear, to be sure he will.

After he has left England therefore, which I suppose he will quickly do, and when I am in Northamptonshire, what opportunities will your Harriet have to see him, except she can obtain, as a favour, the power of obliging his Emily, in her request to be

[page] 5

with her? Then, Lucy, he may, on his return to England, once a year, or so, on his visiting his ward, see, and thank for her care and love of his Emily, his half-estranged Harriet! Perhaps Lady Clementina Grandison will be with him! God restore her! Surely I shall he capable, if she be Lady Grandison, of rejoicing in her recovery!—

Fie upon it!—Why this involuntary tear? You would see it by the large blot it has made, if I did not mention it.

Excellent man! Dr. Bartlett has just been telling me of a morning visit he received, before he went out of town, from the two sons of Mrs. Oldham.

One of them is about seven years old; the other about five; very fine children. He embraced them, the doctor says, with as much tenderness, as if they were children of his own mother. He enquired into their inclinations, behaviour, diversions; and engaged equally their love and reverence.

He told them, that, if they were good, he would love them; and said, he had a dear friend, whom he reverenced as his father, a man with white curling locks, he told the children, that they might know him at first sight, who would now-and-then, as he happened to be in town, make enquiries after their good behaviour, and reward them, as they gave him cause. Accordingly he had desired Dr. Bartlett to give them occasionally his countenance; as also to let their mother know, that he should be glad of a visit from her, and her three children, on his return to town.

The doctor had been to see her when he came to me. He found all three with her. The two younger, impressed by the venerable description Sir Charles had given of him, of their own accord, the younger, by the elder's example, fell down on their knees before him, and begged his blessing

B 3

[page] 6

Mr. Oldham is about eighteen years of age; a well-inclined, well-educated youth. He was full of acknowledgments of the favour done him in this invitation.

The grateful mother could not contain herself. Blessings without number she invoked on her benefactor for his goodness in taking such kind notice of her two sons, as he had done; and said, he had been, ever since his gracious behaviour to her in Essex, the first and last in her prayers to Heaven. But the invitation to herself, she declared, was too great an honour for her to accept of: she should not be able to stand in his presence. Alas! Sir, said she, can the severest, truest penitence recal the guilty past?

The doctor said, that Sir Charles Grandison ever made it a rule with him to raise the dejected and humble spirit. Your birth and education, madam, intitle you to a place in the first company: and where there are two lights in which the behaviour of any person may be set, though there has been unhappiness, he always remembers the most favourable, and forgets the other. I would advise you, madam (as he has invited you) by all means to come. He speaks with pleasure of your humility and good sense.

The doctor told me, that Sir Charles had made enquiries after the marriage of Major O'Hara with Mrs. Jervois, and had satisfied himself that they were actually man and wife. Methinks I am glad, for Miss Jervois's sake, that her mother has changed her name. They lived not happily together since their last enterprize. For the man, who had long been a sufferer from poverty, was in fear of losing one half at least of his wife's annuity, by what passed on that occasion; and accused her of putting him upon the misbehaviour he was guilty of; which had

[page] 7

brought upon him, he said, the resentments of man admired by all the world.

The attorney, who visited Sir Charles from these people, at their request, waited on him again, in their names., with hopes that they should not suffer in their annuity, and expressing their concern for having offended him.

Mrs. O'Hara also requested it as a favour to see her daughter.

Sir Charles commissioned the attorney, who is a man of repute, to tell them, that if Mrs. O'Hara would come to St. James's Square next Tuesday about five o'clock, Miss Jervoisshould be introduced to her; and she should be welcome to bring with her her husband, and Captain Salmonet, that they might be convinced he bore no ill-will to either of them.

Adieu, till by and-by. Miss Grandison is come, in one of her usual hurries, to oblige me to be present at the visit to be made her this afternoon, by the Earl of G. and Lady Gertrude, his sister, a maiden lady advanced in years, who is exceedingly fond of her nephew, and intends to make him heir of her large fortune.

Friday night.

The earl is an agreeable man: Lady Gertrude is a very agreeable woman. They saw Miss Grandison with the young lord's eyes; and were better pleased with her, as I told her afterwards, than l should have been, or than they would, had they known her as well as I do. She doubted not, she answered me, but I should find fault with her; and yet she was as good as for her life she could be.

Such an archness in every motion! Such a turn of the eye to me on my Lord G.'s assiduities! Such a fear in him of her correcting glance! Such a half-timid, half-free parade when he had done any thing

[page] 8

that he intended to be obliging, and now and then an aiming at raillery, as if he were not very much afraid of her, and dared to speak his mind even to her! On her part, on those occasions, such an air, as if she had a learner before her; and was ready to rap his knuckles, had nobody been present to mediate for him; that though I could not but love her for her very archness, yet in my mind, I could for their sakes, but more for her own, have severely chidden her.

She is a charming woman; and every thing she says and does becomes her. But I am so much afraid of what may be the case, when the lover is changed into the husband, that I wish to myself now-and-then, when I see her so lively, that she would remember that there was once such a man as Captain Anderson. But she makes it a rule, she says, to remember nothing that will vex her.

Is not my memory (said she once) given me for my benefit, and shall I make it my torment? No, Harriet, I will leave that to be done by you wise ones, and see what good you will get by it.

Why this, Charlotte, replied I, the wise ones may have a chance to get by it—They will very probably, by remembering past mistakes, avoid many inconveniences into which forgetfulness will run you lively ones.

Well, well, returned she, we are not all of us born to equal honour. Some of us are to be set up for warnings, some for examples: and the first are generally of greater use to the world than the other.

Now, Charlotte, said I, do you destroy the force of your own argument. Can the person who is singled out for the warning, be near so happy as the that is set up for the example?

You are right, as far as I know, Harriet: but I obey the present impulse., and try to find an excuse

[page] 9

afterwards for what that puts me upon: and all the difference is this, as to the reward, I have a joy: you a comfort: but comfort is a poor word; and I can't bear it.

So Biddy in the Tender Husband would have said, Charlotte. But poor as the word is with you and her, give me comfort rather than joy, if they must be separated. But I see not but that a woman of my Charlotte's happy turn may have both.

She tapped my cheek—Take that, Harriet, for making a Biddy of me. I believe, if you have not joy, you have comfort, in your severity.

My heart as well as my cheek glowed at the praises the earl and the lady both joined in (with a fervor that was creditable to their own hearts) of Sir Charles Grandison, while they told us what this man, and that woman, of quality or consideration, said of him. Who would not be good? What is life without reputation? Do we not wish to be remembered with honour after death? And what a share of it has this excellent man in his life!—May nothing, for the honour-sake of human nature, to which he is so great an ornament, ever happen to tarnish it!

They were extremely obliging to me. I could not but be pleased at standing well in their opinion: but, believe me. my dear, I did not enjoy their praises of me, as I did those they gave him. Indeed, I had the presumption, from the approbation given to what they said of him by my own heart, to imagine myself a sharer in them, though not in his merits. Oh, Lucy! ought there not to have been a relation between us, since what I have said, from what I found in myself on hearing him praised, is a demonstration of a regard for him superior to the love of self?

Adieu, my Lucy. I know I have all your prayers. Adieu, my dear!

[page] 10

LETTER II.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Saturday, April 1.

DR. BARTLETT is one of the kindest as well as best of men. I believe he loves me as if I were his own child: but good men must be affectionate men. He received but this morning a letter from Sir Charles, and hastened to communicate some of its contents to me, though I could pretend to no other motive but curiosity for wishing to be acquainted with the proceedings of his patron.

Sir Charles dined, as he had intended, with Sir Hargrave and his friends. He complains in his letter of a riotous day: "Yet I think, adds he, it has led me into some useful reflections. It is not indeed agreeable to be the spectator of riot; but how easy to shun being a partaker in it! How easy to avoid the too freely circling glass, if a man is known to have established a rule to himself, from which he will not depart; and if it be not refused sullenly, but mirth and good humour the more studiously kept up by the person; who would else indeed be looked upon as a spy on unguarded folly! I heartily pitied a young man, who, I dare say, has a good heart, but from false shame durst not assert the freedom to which every Englishman would claim a right, in almost every other instance! He had once put by the glass, and excused himself on account of his health; but on being laughed at for a sober dog, as they phrased it, and asked, if his spouse had not lectured him before he came out, he gave way to the wretched raillery: nor could I interfere at such a noisy moment with effect: they had laughed him out of his caution before I could be heard; and I

[page] 11

left him there at nine o'clock trying with Bagenhall which should drink the deepest.

I wish, my good Dr. Bartlett, you would throw together some serious considerations on this subject. You could touch it delicately, and such a discourse would not be unuseful to some few of our neighbours even at Grandison-hall. What is it not, that, in this single article, men sacrifice to False shame and false glory! Reason, health, fortune, personal elegance, the peace and order of their families; and all the comfort and honour of their after-years. How peevish, how wretched, is the decline of a man worn out with intemperance! In a cool hour, resolutions might be formed, that should stand the attack of a boisterous jest."

I obtained leave from Dr. Bartlett to transcribe this part of the letter. I thought my uncle would be pleased with it.

It was near ten at night before Sir Charles got to Lord W.'s, though but three miles from Sir Hargrave's. My lord rejoiced to see him; and, after first compliments, asked him, if he had thought of what he had undertaken for him. Sir Charles told him, that he was the more desirous of seeing him in his way to the hall, because he wanted to know if his lordship held his mind as to marriage. He assured him he did, and would sign and seal to whatever he should stipulate for him.

I wished for a copy of this part of Sir Charles's letter, for the sake of my aunt, whose delicacy would, I thought, he charmed with it. He has been so good as to say, he would transcribe it for me. I will inclose it, Lucy; and you will read it here:

"I cannot, my lord, (said Sir Charles,) engage,

[page] 12

that the lady will comply with the proposal I shall take the liberty to make to her mother and her. She is not more than three or four and thirty: she is handsome: she has a fine understanding: she is brought up an œconomist: she is a woman of good family: she has not, however, though born to happier prospects, a fortune worthy of your lordship's acceptance. Whatever that is, you will perhaps choose to give it to her family.

With all my heart and soul, nephew, But do you say, she is handsome? Do you say, she is of family? And has she so many good qualities?—Ah, nephew, she won't have me, I doubt.—And is she not too young, Sir Charles, to think of such a poor decrepit soul as I am?

All I can say to this, my lord, is, that the proposals on your part must be the more generous—

I will leave all those matters to you, kinsman—

This, my lord, I will take upon me to answer for, that she is a woman of principle: she will not give your lordship her hand, if she thinks she cannot make you a wife worthy of your utmost kindness: and now, my lord, I will tell you who she is, that you may make what other enquiries you think proper.

And then I named her to him, and gave him pretty near the account of the family, and the circumstances and affairs of it, that I shall by-and-by give you; though you are not quite a stranger to the unhappy case.

My lord was in raptures: he knew something, he said, of the lady's father, and enough of the family, by hearsay, to confirm all I had said of them; and besought me to do my utmost to bring the affair to a speedy conclusion.

Sir Thomas Mansfield was a very good man; and much respected in his neighbourhood. He was

[page] 13

once possessed of a large estate; but his father left him involved in a law-suit to support his title to more than one half of it.

After it had been depending several years, it was at last, to the deep regret of all who knew him, by the chicanery of the lawyers of the opposite side, and the remissness of his own, carried against him; and his expences having been very great in supporting for years his possession, he found himself reduced from an estate of near three thousand pounds a year, to little more than five hundred. He had six children: four sons, and two daughters. His eldest son died of grief in two months after the loss of the cause. The second, now the eldest, is a melancholy man. The third is a cornet of horse. The fourth is unprovided for; but all three are men of worthy minds, and deserve better fortune.

The daughters are remarkable for their piety, patience, good œconomy, and prudence. They are the most dutiful of children, and most affectionate of sisters. They were for three years the support of their father's spirits, and have always been the consolation of their mother. They lost their father about four years ago: and it is even edifying to observe, how elegantly they support the family-reputation in their fine old mansion-house, by the prudent management of their little income; for the mother leaves every household care to them; and they make it a rule to conclude the year with discharging every demand that can be made upon them, and to commence the new year absolutely clear of the world, and with some cash in hand; yet were brought up in affluence, and to the expectation of handsome fortunes; for, besides that they could have no thought of losing their cause, they had very great and reasonable prospects from Mr. Calvert, an uncle by their mother's side; who was rich in money, and

C

[page] 14

had besides an estate in land of 1500l. a year. He always declared, that for the sake of his sister's children he would continue a single man; and kept his word till he was upwards of seventy; when, being very infirm in health, and defective even to dotage in his understanding, Bolton his steward, who had always stood in the way of his inclination to have his eldest niece for his companion and manager, at last contrived to get him married to a young creature under twenty, one of the servants in the house, who brought him a child at seven months; and was with child again at the old man's death, which happened in eighteen months after his marriage: and then a will was provided, in which he gave all he had to his wife and her children born, and to be born within a year after his demise. This steward and woman now live together as man and wife.

A worthy clergyman, who hoped it might be in my power to procure them redress, either in the one case or in the other, gave me the above particulars; and upon enquiry, finding every thing to be as represented, I made myself acquainted with the widow lady and her sons: and it was impossible to see them at their own house, and not respect the daughters for their amiable qualities.

I desired them, when I was last down, to put into my hands their titles, deeds, and papers; which they have done; and they have been laid before counsel, who give a very hopeful account of them.

Being fully authorized by my lord, I took leave of him over-night, and set out early in the morning, directly for Mansfield-house. I arrived there soon after their breakfast was over, and was received by Lady Mansfield, her sons (who happened to be all at home) and her two daughters, with politeness.

After some general conversation, I took Lady

[page] 15

Mansfield aside; and, making an apology for my freedom, asked her, If Miss Mansfield were, to her knowledge, engaged in her affections?

She answered, she was sure she was not: Ah, Sir, said she, a man of your observation must know, that the daughters of a decayed family of some note in the world, do not easily get husbands. Men of great fortunes look higher: men of small must look out for wives to enlarge them: and men of genteel businesses are afraid of young women better born than portioned. Every-body knows not that my girls can bend to their condition; and they must be contented to live single all their lives; and so they will choose to do, rather than not marry creditably, and with some prospect.

I then opened my mind fully to her. She was agreeably surprised: But who, sir, said she, would expect such a proposal from the next heir to Lord W.?

I made known to her how much in earnest I was in this proposal, as well for my lord's sake, as for the young lady's. I will take care, madam, said I, that Miss Mansfield, if she will consent to make Lord W. happy, shall have very handsome settlements, and such an allowance for pin-money, as shall enable her to gratify every moderate, every reasonable wish of her heart.

Was it possible, she asked, for such an affair to be brought about? Would my lord—There she stopt.

I said, I would he answerable for him: and desired her to break the matter to her daughter directly.

I left Lady Mansfield, and joined the brothers, who were with their two sisters; and soon after Miss Mansfield was sent for by her mother.

After they had been a little while together, my Lady Mansfield sent to speak with me. They were both silent when I came in. The mother seemed at

C 2

[page] 16

a loss what to say: the daughter was still more irresolute.

I addressed myself to the mother. You have, I perceive, madam, acquainted Miss Mansfield with the proposal I made to you. I am fully authorized to make it. Propitious be your silence!—There never was, proceeded I, a treaty of marriage set on foot, which had not its conveniences and inconveniences. My lord is greatly afflicted with the gout: there is too great a disparity in years. These are the inconveniences which are to be considered of for the lady.

On the other hand, if Miss Mansfield can give into the proposal, she will be received by my lord as a blessing; as one whose acceptance of him will lay him under an obligation to her. If this proposal could not have been made with dignity and honour to the lady, it had not come from me.

The conveniences to yourselves will more properly fall under the consideration of yourselves and family. One thing only I will suggest, that an alliance with so rich a man as Lord W. will make perhaps some people tremble, who now think themselves secure.

But, madam (to the still silent daughter), let not a regard for me bias you: your family may be sure of my best services, whether my proposal be received or rejected.

My lord (I must deal sincerely with you) has lived a life of error. He thinks so himself. I am earnest to have him see the difference, and to have an opportunity to rejoice with him upon it.

I stopt: but both being still silent, the mother looking on the daughter, the daughter glancing now-and-then her conscious eye on the mother, If, madam, said I, you can give your hand to Lord W. I will take care, that settlements shall exceed your expectation. What I have observed as well as heard

[page] 17

of Miss Mansfield's temper and goodness, is the principal motive of my application to her, in preference to all the women I know.

But permit me to say, that were your affections engaged to the lowest honest man on earth, I would not wish for your favour to Lord W. And further, if, madam, you think you should have hut the shadow of a hope, to induce your compliance, that my lord's death would be more agreeable to you than his life, then would I not, for your morality's sake, wish you to engage. In a word, I address myself to you, Miss Mansfield, as to a woman of honour and conscience: if your conscience bids you doubt, reject the proposal; and this not only for my lord's sake, but for your own.

Consider, if, without too great a force upon your inclinations, you can behave with that condescension and indulgence to a man who has hastened advanced age upon himself, which I have thought from your temper I might hope.

I have said a great deal, because you, ladies, were silent; and because explicitness in every case becomes the proposer. Give me leave to retire for a few moments.

I withdrew, accordingly, to the brothers and sister. I did not think I ought to mention to them the proposal I had made. It might perhaps have engaged them all in its favour, as it was of such evident advantage to the whole family; and that might have imposed a difficulty on the lady, that neither for her own sake, nor my lord's, it would have been just to lay upon her.

Lady Mansfield came out to me, and said, I presume, Sir, as we are a family which misfortune, as well as love, has closely bound together, you will allow it to be mentioned—

To the whole family, madam!—By all means. I

C 3

[page] 18

wanted only first to know, whether Miss Mansfield's affections were disengaged: and now you shall give me leave to attend Miss Mansfield. I am party for my Lord W.: Miss Mansfield is a party: your debates will be the more free in our absence. If I find her averse, believe me, madam, I will not endeavour to persuade her. On the contrary, if she declare against accepting the proposal, I will be her advocate, though every one else should vote in its favour.

The brothers and sister looked upon one another: I left the mother to propose it to them; and stept into the inner parlour to Miss Mansfield.

She was sitting with her back to the door, in a meditating posture. She started at my entrance.

I talked of indifferent subjects, in order to divert her from the important one, that had taken up her whole attention.

It would have been a degree of oppression to her to have entered with her upon a subject of so much consequence to her while we were alone; and when her not having given a negative, was to be taken as a modest affirmative.

Lady Mansfield soon joined us.—My dear daughter, said she, we are all unanimous. We have agreed to leave every thing to Sir Charles Grandison: and we hope you will.

She was silent. I will only ask you, madam, said I to her, if you have any wish to take time to consider of the matter? Do you think you shall be easier in your mind, if you take time?—She was silent.

I will not at this time, my good Miss Mansfield, urge you further. I will make my report to Lord W. and you shall be sure of his joyful approbation of the steps I have taken, before your final consent shall be asked for. But that I may not be employed

[page] 19

in a doubtful cause, let me be commissioned to tell my lord, that you are disengaged; and that you wholly resign yourself to your mother's advice.

She bowed her head.

And that you, madam, to Lady Mansfield, are not averse to enter into treaty upon this important subject.

Averse, Sir! said the mother, bowing, and gratefully smiling.

I will write the particulars of our conversation to Lord W. and my opinion of settlements, and advise him (if I am not forbid) to make a visit at Mansfield-house [I stopt: they were both silent]. If possible, I will attend my lord in his first visit. I hope, madam, to Miss Mansfield, you will not dislike him: I am sure he will be charmed with you: he is far from being disagreeable in his person: his temper is not bad. Your goodness will make him good. I dare say that he will engage your gratitude; and I defy a good mind to separate love from gratitude.

We returned to company. I had all their blessings pronounced at once, as from one mouth. The melancholy brother was enlivened: Who knows but the consequence of this alliance may illuminate his mind? I could see by the pleasure they all had, in beholding him capable of joy on the occasion, that they hoped it would. The unhappy situation of the family affairs, as it broke the heart of the eldest brother, fixed a gloom on the temper of this gentleman.

I was prevailed upon to dine with them. In the conversation we had at and after dinner, their minds opened, and their characters rose upon me. Lord W. will be charmed with Miss Mansfield. I am delighted to think, that my mother's brother will be

[page] 20

happy, in the latter part of his life, with a wife of so much prudence and goodness, as I am sure this lady will make him. On one instance of her very obliging behaviour to me, I whispered her sister, Pray, Miss Fanny, tell Miss Mansfield, but not till I am gone, that she knows not the inconveniences she is bringing upon herself: I may, perhaps, hereafter, have the boldness to look for the same favour from my aunt, that I meet with from Miss Mansfield.

If my sister, returned she, should ever misbehave to her benefactor, I will deny my relation to her.

You will soon have another letter from me, with an account of the success of my visit to Sir Harry Beauchamp and his lady. We must have our Beauchamp among us, my dear friend: I should rather say, you must among you; for I shall not be long in England. He will supply to you, my dear Dr. Bartlett, the absence (it will not, I hope, be a long one) of your

CHARLES GRANDISON.

Sir Charles, I remember, as the doctor read, mentions getting leave for his Beauchamp to come over, who, he says, will supply his absence to him—But, ah! Lucy! Who, let me have the boldness to ask, shall supply it to your Harriet?—Time, my dear, will do nothing for me, except I could hear something very much amiss of this man.

I have a great suspicion, that the first part of the letter inclosed related to me. The doctor looked so earnestly at me, when he skipt two sides of it; and, as I thought, with so much compassion!—To be sure, it was about me.

What would I give to know as much of his mind

[page] 21

as Dr. Bartlett knows! If I thought he pitied the poor Harriet—I should scorn myself. I am, I will be, above his pity, Lucy. In this believe your

HARRIET BYRON.

LETTER III.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Sunday night, April 2.

DR. BARTLETT has received from Sir Charles an account of what passed last Friday between him, and Sir Harry and Lady Beauchamp: by the doctor's allowance, I inclose it to you

In this letter, Lucy, you will see him in a new light; and as a man whom there is no resisting, when he resolves to carry a point. But it absolutely convinces me, of what indeed I before suspected, that he has not a high opinion of our sex in general: and this I will put down as a blot in his character, He treats us, in Lady Beauchamp, as perverse, humoursome babies, loving power, yet not knowing how to use it. See him so delicate in his behaviour and address to Miss Mansfield, and carry in your thoughts his gaity and adroit management to Lady Beauchamp, as in this letter, and you will hardly think him the same man. Could he be any-thing to me, I should be more than half-afraid of him: yet this may be said in his behalf;—He but accommodates himself to the persons he has to deal with: —he can be a man of gay wit, when he pleases to desecnd, as indeed his sister Charlotte has as often found, as she has given occasion for the exercise of that talent in him;—yet, that virtue, for its own sake,

[page] 22

is his choice; since, had he been a free liver, he would have been a dangerous man.

But I will not anticipate too much: read it here, if you please.

LETTER IV.

SIR CHARLES GRANDISON TO DR. BARTLETT.

[Inclosed in the preceding.]

Grandison-hall, Friday night, March 31.

I ARRIVED at Sir Harry Beauchamp's about twelve this day. He and his Lady expected me, from the letter which I wrote and shewed you before I left the town; in which, you know, I acquainted Sir Harry with his son's earnest desire to throw himself at his feet, and to pay his duty to his mother, in England; and engaged to call myself, either this day or to-morrow, for an answer.

Sir Harry received me with great civility, and even affection. Lady Beauchamp, said he, will be with us in a moment. I am afraid you will not meet with all the civility from her on the errand you are come upon, that a man of Sir Charles Grandison's character deserves to meet with from all the world. We have been unhappy together, ever since we had your letter. I long to see my son: your friendship for him establishes him in my heart. But—And then he cursed the apron-string tenure, by which, he said, he held his peace.

You will allow me, Sir Harry, said I, to address myself in my own way to your lady. You give me pleasure, in letting me know, that the difficulty is

5

[page] 23

not with you. You have indeed, Sir, one of the most prudent young men in the world for your son. His heart is in your hand: you may form it as you please.

She is coming! She is coming! interrupted he. We are all in pieces: we were in the midst of a feud, when you arrived. If she is not civil to you—

In swam the lady; her complexion raised; displeasure in her looks to me, and indignation in her air to Sir Harry; as if they had not had their contention out, and she was ready to renew it.

With as obliging an air as I could assume, I paid my compliments to her. She received them with great stiffness; swelling at Sir Harry: who sidled to the door, in a moody and sullen manner, and then slipt out.

You are Sir Charles Grandison, I suppose, Sir, said she: I never saw you before: I have heard much talk of you.—But, pray, Sir, are good men always officious men? Cannot they perform the obligations of friendship, without discomposing families?

You see me now, madam, in an evil moment, if you are displeased with me: but I am not used to the displeasure of ladies: I do my utmost not to deserve it; and, let me tell you, madam, that I will not suffer you to be displeased with me.

I took her half reluctant hand, and led her to a chair, and seated myself in another near her.

I see, Sir, you have your arts.

She took the fire-screen, that hung by the side of the chimney and held it before her face, now glancing at me, now turning away her eye, as if resolved to be displeased.

You come upon a hateful errand, Sir: I have been unhappy ever since your officious letter came.

I am sorry for it, madam. While you are warm

[page] 24

with the remembrance of a past misunderstanding, I will not offer to reason with you: but let me, madam, see less discomposure in your looks. I want to take my impressions of you from more placid features: I am a painter, madam: I love to draw ladies pictures. Will you have this pass for a first sitting?

She knew not what to do with her anger: she was loth to part with it.

You are impertinent, Sir Charles—Excuse me— You are impertinent.

I do excuse you, Lady Beauchamp: and the rather, as I am sure you do not think me so. Your freedom is a mark of your favour; and I thank you for it.

You treat me as a child, Sir—

I treat all angry people as children: I love to humour them. Indeed, Lady Beauchamp, you must not be angry with them. Can I be mistaken? Don't I see in your aspect the woman of sense and reason:—I never blame a lady for her humour-someness, so much, as in my mind, I blame her mother.

Sir! said she. I smiled. She bit her lip, to avoid returning a smile.

Her character, my dear friend, is not, you know, that of an ili-tempered woman, though haughty, and a lover of power.

I have heard much of you, Sir Charles Grandison: but I am quite mistaken in you: I expected to see a grave formal young man, his prim mouth set in plaits: but you are a joker; and a free man; a very free man, I do assure you.

I would be thought decently free, madam; but not impertinent. I see with pleasure a returning smile. O that ladies knew how much smiles become their

[page] 25

features!—Very few causes can justify a woman's anger—Your sex, madam, was given to delight, not to torment us.

Torment you, Sir!—Pray, has Sir Harry—

Sir Harry cannot look pleased, when his lady is dis-pleased: I saw that you were, madam, the moment I beheld you. I hope I am not an unwelcome visiter to Sir Harry for one hour (I intend to stay no longer) that he received me with so disturbed a countenance, and has now withdrawn himself, as if to avoid me.

To tell you the truth, Sir Harry and I have had a dispute: but he always speaks of Sir Charles Grandison with pleasure.

Is he not offended with me, madam, for the contents of the letter—

No, Sir, and I suppose you hardly think he is— But I am—

Dear madam, let me beg your interest in favour of the contents of it.

She took fire—rose up—

I besought her patience—Why should you wish to keep abroad a young man, who is a credit to his family, and who ought to be, if he is not, the joy of his father! Let him owe to your generosity, madam, that recal, which he solicits: it will become your character: he cannot be always kept abroad; be it your own generous work—

What, Sir—Pray, Sir—With an angry brow—

You must not be angry with me, madam—(I took her hand)—You can't be angry in earnest—

Sir Charles Grandison—You are—She withdrew her hand; You are, repeated she—and seemed ready to call names—

I am the Grandison you call me; and I honour the maternal character. You must permit me to honour you, madam.

D

[page] 26

I wonder, Sir—

I will not be denied. The world reports misunderstandings between you and Mr. Beauchamp. That busy world that will be meddling, knows your power, and his dependence. You must not let it charge you with an ill use of that power: if you do, you will have its blame, when you might have its praise, he will have its pity.

What, Sir, do you think your fine letters, and smooth words, will avail in favour of a young fellow who has treated me with disrespect?

You are misinformed, madam.—I am willing to have a greater dependence upon your justice, upon your good-nature, than upon any-thing I can urge either by letter or speech. Don't let it be said, that you are not to be prevailed on—A woman not to be prevailed on to join in an act of justice, of kindness; for the honour of the sex, let it not be said.

Honour of the sex, Sir!—Fine talking!—Don't I know, that were I to consent to his coming over, the first thing would be to have his annuity augmented out of my fortune? He and his father would be in a party against me. Am I not already a sufferer through him in his father's love?—You don't know, Sir, what has passed between Sir Harry and me within this half hour—But don't talk to me: I won't hear of it: the young man hates me: I hate him: and ever will.

She made a motion to go.

With a respectful air, I told her, she must not leave me. My motive deserved not, I said, that both she and Sir Harry should leave me in displeasure.

You know but too well, resumed she, how acceptable your officiousness (I must call it so) is to Sir Harry.

And does Sir Harry, madam, favour his son's suit?

[page] 27

You rejoice me: let not Mr. Beauchamp know that he does: and do you, my dear Lady Beauchamp, take the whole merit of it to yourself. How will he revere you for your goodness to him! And what an obligation, if, as you say, Sir Harry is inclined to favour him, will you, by your generous first motion, lay upon Sir Harry.

Obligation upon Sir Harry! Yes, Sir Charles Grandison, I have laid too many obligations already upon him, for his gratitude.

Lay this one more. You own you have had a misunderstanding this morning: Sir Harry is withdrawn, I suppose, with his heart full: let me, I beseech you, make up the misunderstanding. I have been happy in this way—Thus we will order it—We will desire him to walk in. I will beg your interest with him in favour of the contents of the letter I sent. His compliance will follow as an act of obligingness to you. The grace of the action will be yours. I will be answerable for Mr. Beauchamp's gratitude.— Dear madam, hesitate not. The young gentleman must come over one day: let the favour of its being an early one, be owing entirely to you.

You are a strange man, Sir: I don't like you at all: you would persuade me out of my reason.

Let us, madam, as Mr. Beauchamp and I are already the dearest of friends, begin a family understanding. Let St. James's Square, and Berkley Square, when you come to town, be a next-door- neighbourhood. Give me the consideration of being the bondsman for the duty of Mr. Beauchamp to you, as well as to his father.

She was silent: but looked vexed and irresolute

My sisters, madam, are amiable women. You will be pleased with them. Lord L. is a man worthy of Sir Harry's acquaintance. We shall want nothing.

D 2

[page] 28

if you would think so, but Mr. Beauchamp's presence among us.

What! I suppose you design your maiden sister for the young fellow—But if you do, Sir, you must ask me for—There she stopt.

Indeed I do not. He is not at present disposed to marry. He never will without his father's approbation, and, let me say—yours. My sister is addressed to by Lord G. and I hope will soon be married to him.

And do you say so, Sir Charles Grandison?—Why then you are a more disinterested man, than I thought you in this application to Sir Harry. I had no doubt but the young fellow was to be brought over to marry Miss Grandison: and that he was to be made worthy of her at my expence.

She enjoyed, as it seemed, by her manner of pronouncing the words young fellow, that designed contempt, which was a tacit confession of the consequence he once was of to her.

I do assure you, madam, that I know not his heart, if he has at present any thoughts of marriage.

She seemed pleased at this assurance.

I repeated my wishes, that she would take to herself the merit of allowing Mr. Beauchamp to return to his native country: and that she would let me see her hand in Sir Harry's before I left them.

And pray, Sir, as to his place of residence, were he to come: Do you think he should live under the same roof with me?

You shall govern that point, madam, as you approve or disapprove of his behaviour to you.

His behaviour to me, Sir?—One house cannot, shall not, hold him and me.

I think, madam, that you should direct in this article. I hope, after a little while, so to order my

[page] 29

affairs, as constantly to reside in England. I should think myself very happy, if I could prevail upon Mr. Beauchamp to live with me.

But I must sec him, I suppose?

Not, madam, unless you shall think it right, for the sake of the world's opinion, that you should.

I can't consent—

You can, madam! You do!—I cannot allow Lady Beauchamp to be one of those women, who, having insisted upon a wrong point, can be convinced, yet not know how to recede with a grace.—Be so kind to yourself, as to let Sir Harry know, that you think it right for Mr. Beauchamp to return; but that it must be upon your own conditions: then, madam, make those conditions generous ones; and how will Sir Harry adore you! How will Mr. Beauchamp revere you! How shall I esteem you!

What a strange impertinent have I before me!

I love to be called names by a lady. If undeservedly, she lays herself by them under obligation to me, which she cannot be generous, if she resolves not to repay. Shall I endeavour to find out Sir Harry? Or will you, madam?

Was you ever, Sir Charles Grandison, denied by any woman to whom you sued for favour.

I think, madam, I hardly ever was: but it was because I never sued for a favour, that it was not for a lady's honour to grant. This is the case now; and this makes me determine, that I will not be denied the grant of my present request. Come, come, madam! How can a woman of your ladyship's good sense (taking her hand, and leading her to the door) seem to want to be persuaded to do a thing she knows in her heart to be right! Let us find Sir Harry.

Strange man!—Unhand me—He has used me unkindly—

D 3

[page] 30

Overcome him then by your generosity. But dear Lady Beauchamp, taking both her hands, and smiling confidently in her face [I could, my dear Dr. Bartlett, do so to Lady Beauchamp] will you make me believe, that a woman of your spirit (you have a charming spirit, Lady Beauchamp) did not give Sir Harry as much reason to complain, as he gave you?—I am sure by his disturbed countenance—

Now, Sir Charles Grandison, you are downright affronting. Unhand me!

This misunderstanding is owing to my officious letter. I should have waited on you in person. I should from the first have put it in your power, to do a graceful and obliging thing. I ask your pardon. I am not used to make differences between man and wife.

I took her hand. She withdrew it not. Tell me, madam, I am forgiven. Your silence is encouraging: now is my friend Beauchamp permitted to return to his native country: now are Sir Harry and his lady reconciled—Come, come, madam, it must be so—What foolish things are the quarrels of married people!—They must come to an agreement again; and the sooner the better; before hard blows are struck, that will leave marks—Let us, dear madam, find out Sir Harry—

And then with an air of vivacity, that women, whether in courtship or out of it, dislike not, I was leading her once more to the door, and, as I intended, to Sir Harry, wherever he could be found.

Hold, hold, Sir, resisting; but with features far more placid than she had suffered to be before visible—If I must be compelled—You are a strange man, Sir Charles Grandison—If I must be compelled to see Sir Harry—But you are a strange man—And she rang the bell.

[page] 31

Lady Beauchamp, Dr. Bartlett, is one of those who would be more ready to forgive an innocent freedom, than to be gratified by a profound respect; otherwise I had not treated her with so little ceremony. Such women are formidable only to those who are afraid of their anger, or who make it a serious thing.

But when the servant appeared, she not knowing how to condescend, I said, Go to your master, Sir, and tell him, that your lady requests the favour—

Requests the favour! repeated she; but in a low voice: which was no bad sign.

The servant went with a message worded with more civility than perhaps he was used to carry to his master from his lady.

Now, dear Lady Beauchamp, for your own sake; for Sir Harry's sake; make happy; and be happy: Are there not, dear madam, unhappinesses enow in life, that we must wilfully add to them?

Sir Harry came in sight. He stalked towards us with a parade like that of a young officer wanting to look martial at the head of his company.

Could I have seen him before he entered, my work would have been easier. But his hostile air disposed the lady to renew hostilities.

She turned her face aside, then her person; and the cloudy indignation with which she entered at first, again overspread her features. Ought wrath, Dr. Bartlett, to be so ready to attend a female will? —Surely, thought I, my lady's present airs, after what has passed between her and me, can be only owing to the fear of making a precedent, and being thought too easily persuaded.

Sir Harry, said I, addressing myself to him, I have obtained Lady Beauchamp's pardon for the officious letter—

[page] 32

Pardon, Sir Charles Grandison! You are a good man, and it was kindly intended—

He was going on: anger from his eyes flashed upon his cheek-bones, and made them shine. My lady's eyes struck fire at Sir Harry, and shewed that she was not afraid of him.

Better intended, than done, interrupted I, since my lady tells me, that it was the occasion of a misunderstanding—But, Sir, all will be right: my lady vssures me, that you are not disinclined to comply with the contents; and she has the goodness—

Pray, Sir Charles, interrupted the lady—

To give me hopes that she—

Pray, Sir Charles—

Will use her interest to confirm you in your faourable sentiments—

Sir Harry cleared up at once—May I hope, madam—And offered to take her hand.

She withdrew it with an air. O Dr. Bartlett, I must have been thought an unpolite husband, had she been my wife!

I took her hand. Excuse this freedom, Sir Harry —For Heaven's sake, madam, whispering, do what I know you will do, with a grace—Shall there be a misunderstanding, and the husband court a refused hand?—I then forced her half-unwilling hand into his, with an air that I intended should have both freedom and respect in it.

What a man have we got here, Sir Harry? This cannot be the modest man, that you have praised to me—I thought a good man must of necessity be bashful, if not sheepish: and here your visitor is the boldest man in England.

The righteous, Lady Beauchamp, said Sir Harry, with an aspect but half-conceding, is bold as a lion.

And must I be compelled thus, and by such a

[page] 33

man, to forgive you, Sir Harry?—Indeed you were very unkind.

And you. Lady Beauchamp, were very cruel.

I did not think, Sir, when I laid my fortune at your feet—

O Lady Beauchamp! You said cutting things! very cutting things!

And did not you, Sir Harry, say, It should be so?—So very peremptorily—

Not, madam, till you as peremptorily—

A little recrimination, thought I, there must be, to keep each in countenance on their past folly.

Ah, Sir Charles!—You may rejoice that you are not married, said Sir Harry.

Dear Sir Harry, said I, we must bear with ladies. They are meek good creatures—They—

Meek! Sir Charles, repeated Sir Harry, with a half-angry smile, and shrugging, as if his shoulder had been hurt with his wife's meekness—I say, meek!

Now, Sir Charles Grandison, said my lady, with an air of threatening—

I was desirous either of turning her displeasure into a jest, or of diverting it from the first object, in order to make her play with it, till she had lost it.

Women are of gentle natures, pursued I; and being accustomed to be humoured, opposition sits not easy upon them. Are they not kind to us, Sir Harry, when they allow of our superiority, by expecting us to bear with their pretty perversenesses?

O Sir Charles Grandison! said my lady; both her hands lifted up.

Let us be contented, proceeded I, with such their kind acknowledgments, and in pity to them, and in compliment to ourselves, bear with their foibles.— See, madam, I ever was an advocate for the ladies.

Sir Charles, I have no patience with you—

[page] 34

What can a poor woman do, continued I, when opposed? She can only be a little violent in words, and when she has said as much as she chooses to say, be perhaps a little sullen. For my part, were I so happy as to call a woman mine, and she happened to be in the wrong, I would endeavour to be in the right; and trust to her good sense to recover her temper: arguments only beget arguments.—Those reconciliations are the most durable, in which the lady makes the advances.

What doctrine is this, Sir Charles? You are not the man I took you for.—I believe, in my conscience, that you are not near so good a man, as the world reports you.

What, madam, because I pretend to know a little of the sex? Surely, Lady Beauchamp, a man of common penetration may see to the bottom of a woman's heart. A cunning woman cannot hide it: a good woman will not. You are not, madam, such mysteries, as some of us think you. Whenever you know your own minds, we need not be long doubtful: that is all the difficulty: and I will vindicate you, as to that—

As how, pray, Sir?

Women, madam, were designed to be dependent, as well as gentle creatures; and of consequence, when left to their own wills, they know not what to resolve upon.

I was hoping, Sir Charles, just now, that you would stay to dinner: but if you talk at this rate, I believe I shall be ready to wish you out of the house.

Sir Harry looked as if he were half-willing to be diverted at what passed between his lady and me. It was better for me to say what he could not but subscribe to by his feeling, than for him to say it. Though reproof seldom amends a determined spirit,

[page] 35

such a one as this lady's; yet a man who suffers by it, cannot but have some joy when he hears his sentiments spoken by a bystander. This freedom of mine seemed to save the married pair a good deal of recrimination.

You remind me, madam, that I must be gone; rising, and looking at my watch.

You must not leave us, Sir Charles, said Sir Harry.

I beg excuse, Sir Harry—Yours, also, madam, smiling—Lady Beauchamp must not twice wish me out of the house.

I will not excuse you, Sir, replied she—If you have a desire to see the matter completed—She stopt—You must stay to dinner, be that as it will.

"Be that as it will," madam!—You shall not recede.

Recede! I have not yet complied.—

O these women! they are so used to courtship, that they know not how to do right things without it—And, pardon me, madam, not always with it.

Bold man—Have I consented—

Have you not, madam, given a lady's consent? That we men expect not to be very explicit, very gracious.—It is from such non-negativc consents, that we men make silence answer all we wish.

I leave Sir Charles Grandison to manage this point, said Sir Harry. In my conscience, I think the common observation just; a stander-by sees more of the game, than he that plays.

It ever will be so, Sir Harry—But I will tell you, My lady and I have as good as agreed the matter—

I have agreed to nothing, Sir Harry—

Hush, madam—I am doing you credit.—Lady Beauchamp speaks aside sometimes, Sir Harry: you are not to hear anv-thing she says, that you don't like.

[page] 36

Then I am afraid I must stop my ears for eight hours out of twelve.

That was aside, Lady Beauchamp—You are not to hear that.

To sit, like a fool, and hear myself abused—A pretty figure I make! Sir Charles Grandison, let me tell you, that you are the first man that ever treated me like a fool.

Excuse, madam, a little innocent raillery—I met you both, with a discomposure on your countenances. I was the occasion of it, by the letter I sent to Sir Harry. I will not leave you discomposed. I think you a woman of sense; and my request is of such a nature, that the granting of it will confirm to me, that you are so—But you have granted it—

I have not.

That's charmingly said—My lady will not undervalue the compliment she is inclined to make you, Sir Harry. The moment you ask for her compliance, she will not refuse to your affection, what she makes a difficulty to grant to the entreaty of an almost stranger.

Let it, let it be so! Lady Beauchamp, said Sir Harry: and he clasped his arms about her as she sat—

There never was such a man as this Sir Charles Grandison in the world!—It is a contrivance between you, Sir Harry—

Dear Lady Beauchamp, resumed I, depreciate not your compliment to Sir Harry. There wanted not contrivance, I dare to hope (if there did, it had it not) to induce Lady Beauchamp to do a right, a kind, an obliging thing.

Let me, my dearest Lady Beauchamp, said Sir Harry—Let me request—

At your request, Sir Harry—But not at Sir Charles's.

[page] 37

This is noble, said I. I thank you, madam, for the absent youth. Both husband and son will think themselves favoured by you; and the more, as I am sure, that you will by the cheerful welcome which you will give the young man, shew, that it is a sincere compliment that you have made to Sir Harry.

This man has a strange way of flattering one into acts of—of—what shall I call them?—But, Sir Harry, Mr. Beauchamp must not, I believe, live with us—

Sir Harry hesitated.

I was afraid of opening the wound. I have a request to make to you both, said I. It is this; That Mr. Beauchamp may be permitted to live with me; and attend you, madam, and his father, as a visiter, at your own command. My sister, I believe, will be very soon married to Lord G.

That is to be certainly so! interrupted the lady.

It is, madam.

But what shall we say, my dear, resumed Sir Harry—Don't fly out again—As to the provision for my son?—Two hundred a year—What is two hundred a year—

Why then let it be three, answered she.

I have a handsome and improvable estate, said I. I have no demands but those of reason upon me. I would not offer a plea for his coming to England (and I am sure he would not have come, if I had) without his father's consent: in which, madam, he hoped for yours. You shall not, sir, allow him either the two or three hundred a year. See him with love, with indulgence (he will deserve both); and think not of any-thing else for my Beauchamp.

There is no bearing this, my dear, said Sir Harry; leaning upon his lady's shoulder, as he sat, tears in his eyes—My son is already, as I have heard, greatly

VOL. XII. E

[page] 38

obliged to this his true friend—Do you, do you, madam, answer for me, and for'yourself.

She was overcome: yet pride had its share with generosity. You are, said she, the Grandison I have heard of: but I will not be under obligations to you — not pecuniary ones, however. No, Sir Harry! Recal your son: I will trust to your love: do for him what you please; let him be independent on this insolent man [she said this with a smile, that made it obliging]; and if we are to be visiters, friends, neighbours, let it be on an equal foot, and let him have nothing to reproach us with.

I was agreeably surprised at this emanation (shall I call it?) of goodness: she is really not a bad woman, but a perverse one: in short, one of those whose passions, when rightly touched, are liable to sudden and surprising turns.

Generous, charming Lady Beauchamp! said I: now are you the woman, whom I have so often heard praised for many good qualities: now will the portrait be a just one!

Sir Harry was in raptures; but had like to have spoiled all, by making me a compliment on the force of example.

Be this, said I, the result—Mr. Beauchamp comes over. He will be pleased with whatever you do: at your feet, madam, heshall acknowledge your favour: my home shall be his, if you permit it: on me, he shall confer obligations; from you, he shall receive them. If any considerations of family prudence restrain you from allowing him at present, what your generosity would wish to do—

Lady Beauchamp's colour was heightened: she interrupted me—We are not, Sir Charles, so scanty in our fortune—

Well, my dear Lady Beauchamp, be all that as you please: not one retrospect of the past—

5

[page] 39

Yes, Sir Charles, but there shall: his allowance has been lessened for some years; not from considerations of family prudence—But—Well, 'tis all at an end, proceeded she—When the young man returns, you, Sir Harry, for my sake, and for the sake of this strange unaccountable creature, shall pay him the whole arrear.

Now, my dear Lady Beauchamp, said I, lifting her hand to my lips, permit me to give you joy. All doubts and misgivings so triumphantly got over, so solid a foundation laid for family harmony—What was the moment of your nuptials to this? Sir Harry, I congratulate you: you may be, and I believe you have been, as happy as most men; but now, you will be still happier.

Indeed, Sir Harry, said she, yon provoked me in the morning: I should not else—

Sir Harry owned himself to blame; and thus the lady's pride was set down softly.

She desired Sir Harry to write, before the day concluded, the invitation of return to Mr. Beauchamp; and to do her all the credit in it that she might claim from the last part of the conversation; but not to mention any-thing of the first.

She afterwards abated a little of this right spirit, by saying, I think, Sir Harry, you need not mention any-thing of the arrears, as I may call them—But only the future 6001. a-year. One would surprise him a little, you know, and be twice thanked—

Surprises of such a nature as this, my dear Dr. Bartlett; pecuniary surprises!—I don't love them— They are double taxes upon the gratitude of a worthy heart. Is it not enough for a generous mind to labour under a sense of obligation?—Pride, vainglory, must be the motive of such narrow-minded benefactors: a truly beneficent spirit cannot take delight in beholding the quivering lip indicating the

E 2

[page] 40

palpitating heart; in seeing the downcast countenance, the up-lifted hands, and working muscles, of a fellow-creature, who, but for unfortunate accidents, would perhaps himself have had the will, with the power, of shewing a more graceful benevolence!

I was so much afraid of hearing further abatements of Lady Beauchamp's goodness; so willing to depart with favourable impressions of her for her own sake; and at the same time so desirous to reach the hall that night; that I got myself excused, though with difficulty, staying to dine; and, accepting of a dish of chocolate, I parted with Sir Harry and my lady, both in equal good humour with themselves and me.

Could you have thought, my dear friend, that I should have succeeded so very happily, as I have done, in this affair, and at one meeting?

I think that the father and stepmother should have the full merit with our Beauchamp of a turn so unexpected. Let him not therefore ever see this letter, that he may take his impression of the favour done him, from that which Sir Harry will write to him.

My cousin Gandison, whom I hoped to find here, left the hall on Tuesday last, though he knew of my intention to be down. I am sorry for it. Poor Everard! He has been a great while pretty good. I am afraid he will get among his old acquaintance; and then we shall not hear of him for some months perhaps. If you see him in town, try to engage him, till I return. I should be glad of his company to Paris, if his going with me will keep him out of harm's way, as it is called.

Saturday, April 1.

I have had compliments sent me by many of my neighbours, who had hoped I was come to reside among them. They professed themselves disappointed on my acquainting them, that I must go up early

[page] 41

on Monday morning. I have invited myself to their Saturday assembly at the bowling-green-house.

Our reverend friend Mr. Dobson has been so good as to leave with me the sermon he is to preach tomorrow on the opening of the church: it is a very good discourse: I have only exceptions to three or four compliments he makes to the patron in as many different places of it: I doubt not but he will have the goodness to omit them.

I have already looked into all that has been done in the church; and all that is doing in the house and gardens. When both have had the direction and inspection of my dear Dr. Bartlett, need I say, that nothing could have been better?

Halden is just arrived from my lord, with a letter, which has enabled me to write to Lady Mansfield his lordship's high approbation of all our proceedings; and that he intends some one early day in next week to pay to her, and Miss Mansfield, his personal compliments.

He has left to me the article of settlements; declaring, that his regard for my future interest is all that he wishes may be attended to.

I have therefore written as from himself, that he proposes a jointure of 12001 a year penny-rents, and 400 guineas a year, for her private purse; and that his lordship desires, that Miss Mansfield will make a present to her sister of whatever she may be intitled to in her own right. Something was mentioned to me at Mansfield-house of a thousand pounds left to her by a godmother.

Halden being very desirous to see his future lady, I shall, at his request, send the letter I have written to Lady Mansfield by him early in the morning; with a line recommending him to the notice of that, lady as Lord W.'s principal steward.

E 3

[page] 42

Adieu, my dear Dr. Bartlett: I have joy in the joy of all these good people. If Providence graciously makes me instrumental to it, I look upon myself but as its instrument. I hope ostentation has no share in what draws on me more thanks and praises than I love to hear.

Lord W. has a right to be made happy by his next relation, if his nest relation can make him so. Is he not my mother's brother? Would not her enlarged soul have rejoiced on the occasion, and blessed her son for an instance of duty to her, paid by his disinterested regard for her brother? Who, my dear Dr. Bartlett, is so happy, yet who, in some cases, so unhappy, as your

CHARLES GRANDISON?

LETTER V.

MISS BYRON TO MISS SELBY.

Monday, April 3.

THE Countess of D. and the earl, her son, have but just left us. The countess sent last night, to let my cousin Reeves know of their intended morning visit, and they came together. As the visit was made to my cousin, I did not think myself obliged to be in waiting for them below. I was therefore in my closet, comforting myself with my own agreeable reflections. They were there a quarter of an hour before I was sent to.

Their talk was of me. I am used to recite my own praises, you know; and what signifies making a parade of apologies for continuing the use? I don't value myself so much as I once did on people's favourable opinions. If I had a heart in my own keep-

[page] 43

ing, I should be glad it was thought a good one; that's all. Yet though it has littlenesses in it that I knew nothing of formerly, I hope it is not a bad one.

My Lord D. by the whole turn of the partial conversation, was led to expect a very extraordinary young woman. The lady declared, that she would have her talk out, and hear all my two cousins were inclined to say of me, before I was sent up to, as I was not below when they came.

I was therefore to be seen only as a subject of curiosity. My lord had declared, it seems, that he would not be denied an introduction to me by his mother. But there were no thoughts of making any application to a girl whose heart was acknowledged not to be her own. My lord's honour would not allow of such an intention. Nor ought it.

His impatience, however, hastened the message to me. The countess met me half-way, and embraced me: My lovely girl, how do you?—My lord, said she, turning to the earl, I need not say This is Miss Byron.

He bowed low, and made me a polite compliment; but it had sense in it, though high, and above my merits. Girls, writing of themselves on these occasions, must be disclaimers, you know: but, my dear uncle, what care I now for compliments? The man, from whose mouth only they could be acceptable, is not at liberty to make me any.

The countess engaged me in an easy general conversation; part of which turned upon Lord and Lady L. Miss Grandison, and Miss Jervois; and how I had passed my time at Colnehrook, in this wintry season, when there were so many diversions in town. But, said she, you had a man with you, who is the general admiration wherever he goes.

Is there no making an acquaintance, said my lord,

[page] 44

with Sir Charles Grandison? What I hear said of him, every time he is mentioned in company, is enough to fire a young man with emulation. I should be happy, did I deserve to be thought of as a second or third man to Sir Charles Grandison.

I dare say, returned I, your lordship's acquaintance would be highly acceptable to him. He is easy of access. Men of rank, if men of merit, must be of kindred, and recognize one another the moment they meet. But Sir Charles will soon leave England.

The fool sighed: it was, you may believe, involuntarily. I felt myself blush, and was the more silly for that.

The countess took my hand—One word with you, my dear—and led me out into the next room, and sitting down, made me sit on the same settee with her.

O that I could call you daughter! began she at once; and turning half round to me, put one arm about me, with the other hand taking one of mine, and earnestly looking in my downcast face.

I was silent. Ah, Lucy! had Lady D. been the mother of Sir Charles Grandison, with what pleasure could I have listened to her!

You said, my dear, that Sir Charles Grandison will soon leave England:—and then you sighed— Will you be quite open-hearted?—May I ask you a question in hope that you will?

I was silent: Yet the word Yes was on my lips.

You have caused it to be told me, that your affections are engaged. This has been a cruel blow upon us. My lord, nevertheless, has heard so much of you [he is really a good young man, my dear] that (against my advice, I own) he would have me introduce him into your company. I see by his looks, that he could admire you above all women. He never was in love: I should be sorry if he were dis-

[page] 45

appointed in his first love. I hope his promised prudence will be his guard, if there be no prospect of his succeeding with you.—She paused—I was still silent—

It will be a mark of your frankness of heart, my dear, if, when you take my full meaning, you prevent me speaking more than I need.—I would not oppress you.—Such a delicacy, and such a frankness mingled, have I never seen in young woman—But tell me, my dear, has Sir Charles Grandison made his addresses to you?

It was a grievous question for me to answer—But why was it so, my Lucy, when all the hopes I ever had, proceeded from my own presumption, confirmed (that's true, of late!) by his sisters partiality in my favour; and when his unhappy Clementina has such a preferable claim?

What says Miss Byron?

She says, madam, that she reveres Lady D. and will answer any questions that she puts to her, however affecting—Sir Charles Grandison has not.

Once I thought, proceeded she, that I never would make a second motion, were the woman a princess, who had confessed a prior love, or even liking: but the man is Sir Charles Grandison, whom all women must esteem: and the woman is Miss Byron, whom all men must love. Let me ask you, my dear— Have you any expectation, that the first of men (I will call him so) and the loveliest and most amiable-minded of women, can be united? You sighed, you know, when you mentioned that Sir Charles was soon to leave England; and you own that he has not made addresses to you—Don't be uneasy, my love! —We women, in these tender cases, see into each other's hearts from small openings—Look upon me as your mother—What say you?

Your ladyship compliments me with delicacy and

[page] 46

frankness—It is too hard a question, if I have any of the first, to answer without blushes. A. young woman to be supposed to have an esteem for a man, who has made no declaration, and whose behaviour to her is such only as shews a politeness to which he is accustomed, and only the same kind of tenderness, as he shews to his sisters;—and whom sometimes he calls sister—as if—Ah, madam, how can one answer?

You have answered, my dear, and with that delicacy and frankness too, which make a principal part of your character. If my son (and he shall not be encouraged in his hopes, if he sees you not, mind as well as person, with his mother's eyes) should not be able to check himself by the apprehensions he has had reason for, of being but a second man in the favour of the object of his wishes [we, my dear, have our delicacies]; could you not allow him a second place in your favour, that might, in time, as he should merit, and as you should subdue your prepossessions, give him a first?—Hush—my dear, for one moment—Your honour, your piety, are my just dependence; and will be his—And now speak: it is to me, my dear: speak your whole heart: let not any apprehended difficulty—I am a woman as well as you; and prepared to indulge—

Your goodness, madam, and nothing else, interrupted I, gives me difficulty.—My Lord D. seems to me to be a man of merit, and agreeable in his person and manners. What he said of Sir Charles Grandison, and of his emulation being fired by his example, gave him additional merit with me. He must have a good mind. I wish him acquainted with Sir Charles, for his own sake, and for the sake of the world, which might be benefited by his large power, so happily directed!—But as to myself, I should forfeit the character of frankness of heart, which your

[page] 47

ladyship's goodness ascribes to me, if I did not declare, that although I cannot, and, I think, ought not, to entertain a hope with regard to Sir Charles Grandison, since there is a lady who deserved him by severe sufferings before I knew him; yet is my heart so wholly attached, that I cannot think it just to give the least encouragement to any other proposal.

You are an excellent young woman: but, my dear, if Sir Charles Grandison is engaged—your mind will, it must change. Few women marry their first loves. Your heart —

O madam! it is already a wedded heart: it is wedded to his merits; his merits will be always the object of my esteem: I can never think of any other, as I ought to think of the man to whom I give my hand.

Like merits, my dear, as person is not the principal motive, may produce like attachments. My Lord D. will be, in your hands, another Sir Charles Grandison.

How good you are, my dear Lady D.! But allow me to repeat, as the strongest expression I can use, because I mean it to carry all the force that can be given it, that my heart is already a wedded heart.

You have spoken with great force: God bless you, my dear, as I love you! The matter shall take its course. If my lord should happen to be a single man some time hence (and, I can tell you, that your excellencies will make our choice difficult); and if your mind, from any accident, or from persuasion of friends, should then have received alteration; you may still be happy in each other. I will therefore only thank you for that openness of heart, which must set free the heart of my son—Had you had the least lurking inclination to coquetry, and could have taken pride in conquests, he might have been

[page] 48

an undone man.—We will return to the company—But spare him, my dear: you must not talk much: he will love you, if you do, too fervently for his own peace. Try to be a little awkward—I am afraid for him: indeed I am. O that you had never seen Sir Charles Grandison!

I could not answer one word. She took my hand; and led me into the company.

Had I been silent, when my lord directed his discourse to me, or answered only No, or Yes, the countess would have thought me very vain; and that I ascribed to myself the consequence she so generously gave me, with respect to my lord. I therefore behaved and answered unaffectedly; but avoided such a promptness of speech, as would have looked like making pretensions to knowledge and opinion, though some of my lord's questions were apparently designed to engage me into freedom of discourse. The countess observed me narrowly. She whispered to me, that she did; and made me a very high compliment on my behaviour. How much, Lucy, do I love and reverence her!

My lord was spoken too slightly of, by Miss Grandison, in a former conversation. He is really a fine gentleman. Any woman who is not engaged in her affections, may think herself very happy with him. His conversation was easy and polite, and he said nothing that was low or trifling. Indeed, Lucy, I think Mr. Greville and Mr. Fenwick are more inferior to Lord D. than Lord D. is to Sir Charles Grandison.

At parting, he requested of me to be allowed to repeat his visits.

My lord, said the countess, before I could answer, you must not expect a mere stiff maiden answer from Miss Byron: she is above all vulgar forms. She and her cousins have too much politeness, and, I will

[page] 49

venture to say, discernment, not to be glad of your acquaintance, as an acquaintance—But, for the rest, you must look to your heart.

I shall be afraid, said he, turning to the countess, to ask your ladyship for an explanation. Miss Byron, I hope, Sir, addressing himself to Mr. Reeves, will not refuse me her company, when I pay you my compliments. Then turning to me, I hope, madam, I shall not be punished for admiring you.

My Lord D. replied I, will be entitled to every civility. I had said more, had he not snatched my hand a little too eagerly, and kissed it.

And thus much for the visit of the Countess of D. and the earl.

Did I tell you in my former letter, that Emily is with me half her time? She is a most engaging young creature. Her manners are so pure! Her heart is so sincere and open!—O Lucy! you would dearly love her. I wish I may be asked to carry her down with me. Yet she adores her guardian: but her reverence for him will not allow of the innocent familiarity in thinking of him, that—I don't know what I would say. But to love with an ardour, that would be dangerous to one's peace, one must have more tenderness than reverence for the object: Don't you think so, Lucy?

Miss Grandison made me one of her flying visits, as she calls them, soon after the countess and my lord went away.

Mr. and Mrs. Reeves told her all that had been said before them by the earl and countess, as well before I went down to them, as after. They could not tell what had passed between that lady and me, when she took me aside. I had not had time to tell them. They referred to me for that: but besides that I was not in spirits, and cared not to say much,

F

[page] 50

I was not willing to be thought, by my refusal of so great an offer, to seem to fasten myself upon her brother.

She pitied (who but must?) Lady Clementina. She pitied her brother also: and seeing me dejected, she clasped her arms about me, and wetted my cheek with a sisterly tear.

Is it not strange, Lucy, that Sir Charles's father should keep him so long abroad? These free-living men! Of what absurdities are they not guilty! What misfortunes to others do they occasion! One might, with the excellent Clementina, ask, What had Mr. Grandison to do in Italy? Or why, if he must go abroad, did he stay so long?

Travelling! Young men travelling! I cannot, my dear, but think it a very nonsensical thing! What can they see, but the ruins of the gay, once busy world, of which they have read?

To see a parcel of giddy boys, under the direction of tutors or governors, hunting after—What?—Nothing; or at best but ruins of ruins; for the imagination, aided by reflection, must be left, after all, to make out the greater glories, which the gravedigger time has buried too deep for discovery.

And when this grand tour is completed, the travelled youth returns: and, what is his boast? Why, to be able to tell, perhaps his better-taught friend, who has never been out of his native country, that he has seen in ruins, what the other has a juster idea of, from reading; and of which, it is more than probable, he can give a much better account than the traveller.

And are these, petulant Harriet (methinks, Lucy, you demand) all the benefits, that you will suppose Sir CHARLES GRANDISON has reaped from his travelling?

Why, no. But then, in turn, I ask, is every

[page] 51

traveller a Sir Charles Grandison?—And does not even he confess to Dr. Bartlett, that he wished he had never seen Italy? And may not the poor Clementina, and all her family, for her sake, wish he never had?

If an opportunity offers, I don't know but I may ask Sir Charles, Whether, in his conscience, he thinks, that, taking in every consideration, relating to time, expence, risques of life, health, morals, this part of the fashionable education of youth of condition is such an indispensable one, as some seem to suppose it? If Sir Charles Grandison give it not in favour of travelling, I believe it will be concluded, that six parts out of eight of the little masters who are sent abroad for improvement, might as well be kept at home; if, especially, they would be orderly, and let their fathers and mothers know what to do with them.

O my uncle! I am afraid of you: but spare the poor girl. She acknowledges her petulance, her presumption. The occasion you know, and will pity her for it! However, nothing shall make her declare as her sentiments what really are not so, in her unprejudiced hours; and she hopes to have her heart always open to conviction.

For the present, adieu, my Lucy.

P. S. Dr. Bartlett tells me, that Mr. Beauchamp is at Calais, waiting the pleasure of his father; and that Sir Harry has sent express for him, as at his lady's motion.

F 2

[page] 52

LETTER VI.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Tuesday, April 4.

SIR CHARLES GRANDISON came to town last night. He was so polite, as to send to enquire after my health; and to let Mr. Reeves know, that he would do himself the honour, as he called it, of breakfasting with him this morning. Very ceremonious either for his own sake or for mine—Perhaps for both.

So I am in expectation of seeing within this halfhour, the noble Clementina's future—Ah Lucy?

The compliment, you see, is to Mr.Reeves—Shall I stay above, and see if he will ask for me? He owes me something for the emotion he gave me in Lord L.'s library. Very little of him since have I seen.

"Honour forbids me, said he, then: yet honour bids me.—But I cannot be ungenerous, selfish"— These words are still in my ear.—What could he mean by them?— Honour forbids me—What! to explain himself? He had been telling me a tender tale:—he had ended it. What did honour forbid him to do?—Yet honour bids me! Why then did he not follow the dictates of honour?

But I cannot be unjust:—To Clementina he means. Who wished him to be so?— Unjust! I hope not. It is a diminution to your glory, Sir Charles Grandison, to have the word unjust, in this way of speaking, in your thoughts! As if a good man had laid under a temptation to be unjust; and had but then recollected himself

"I cannot be ungenerous." To the noble lady, I suppose? He must take compassion on her. And did

[page] 53

he think himself under an obligation to my forwardness to make this declaration to me, as to one who wished him to be ungenerous to such a lady for my sake!—I cannot bear the thought of this. Is it not as if he had said, "Fond Harriet, I see what you expect from me—But I must have compassion for, I cannot be ungenerous to, Clementina?"—But, what a poor word is compassion! Noble Clementina, I grieve for you, though the man be indeed a generous man!—O defend me, my better genius, from wanting the compassion even of a Sir Charles Grandison!

But what means he by the word selfish! He cannot be selfish!—I comprehend not the meaning of this word—Clementina has a very high fortune— Harriet but a very middling one. He cannot be unjust, ungenerous to Clementina—Nor yet selfish— This word confounds me, from a man that says nothing at random!

Well, but breakfast-time is come, while I am busy in self-debatings. I will go down, that I may not seem to affect parade. I will endeavour to see with indifference, him that we have all been admiring and studying for this last fortnight, in such a variety of lights—The christian: the hero: the friend:— Ah. Lucy! The lover of Clementina: the generous nephew of Lord W.: the modest and delicate benefactor of the Mansfields: the free, gay, raillier of Lady Beauchamp; and in her of all our sex's foibles!

But he is come! While I am prating to you with my pen, he is come—Why, Lucy, would you detain me?—Now must the fool go down in a kind of hurry: yet stay till she is sent for.—And that is now.

F 3

[page] 54

LETTER VII.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

O LUCY, I have such a conversation to relate to you!—But let me lead to it.

Sir Charles met me at the opening of the door. He was all himself—Such an unaffected modesty and politeness; yet such an ease and freedom!

I thought by his address, that he would have taken my hand; and both hands were so emulatively passive—How does he manage it to be so free in a first address, yet so respectful that a princess could not blame him?

After breakfast, my cousins being sent for out to attend Sir John Allestree and his niece, Sir Charles and I were left alone: and then, with an air equally solemn and free, he addressed himself to me.

The last time I had the honour of being alone with my good Miss Byron, I told her a very tender tale. I was sure it would raise in such a heart as hers generous compassion for the noblest lady on the continent; and I presumed, as my difficulties were not owing either to rashness or indiscretion, that she would also pity the relater.

The story did indeed affect you; yet, for my own sake, as well as yours, I referred you to Dr. Bartlett, for the particulars of some parts of it, upon which I could not expatiate.

The doctor, madam, has let me know the particulars which he communicated to you. I remember with pain the pain I gave to your generous heart in Lord L.'s study. I am sure you must have suffered still more from the same compassionate goodness on the communications he made you. May I, madam, however, add a few particulars to the same subject,

[page] 55

which he then could not give you? Now you have been let into so considerable a part of my story, I am desirous to acquaint you, and that rather than any woman in the world, with all that I know myself of this arduous affair.

He ceased speaking. I was in tremors. Sir, Sir—The story, I must own, is a most affecting one. How much is the unhappy lady to be pitied! You will do me honour in acquainting me with further particulars of it.

Dr. Bartlett has told you, madam, that the Bishop of Nocera, second brother to Lady Clementina, has very lately written to me, requesting that I will make one more visit to Bologna—I have the letter. You read Italian, madam. Shall I—Or will you— He held it to me.

I took it. These, Lucy, are the contents.

'The bishop acquaints him with the very melancholy way they are in. The father and mother declining in their healths. Signor Jeronymo worse than when Sir Charles left them. His sister also declining in her health: yet earnest still to see him.

He says, that she is at present at Urbino; but is soon to go to Naples to the general's. He urges him to make them one visit more; yet owns, that his family are not unanimous in the request: but that he and Father Marescotti, and the marchioness, are extremely earnest that this indulgence should be granted to the wishes of his sister.

He offers to meet him, at his own appointment, and conduct him to Bologna; where, he tells him, his presence will rejoice every heart, and procure an unanimous consent to the interview so much desired: and says, that if this measure, which he is sorry he has so long withstood, answers not his hopes, he will advise the shutting up of their Clementina in a nunnery, or to consign her to private

[page] 56

hands where she shall be treated kindly, but as per sons in her unhappy circumstances are accustomed to be treated.'

Sir Charles then shewed me a letter from Signor Jeronymo; in which he acquaints him with the dangerous way he is in. He tells him, 'That his life is a burden to him. He wishes it was brought to its period. He does not think himself in skilful hands. He complains most of the wound which is in his hip-joint; and which has hitherto baffled the art both of the Italian and French surgeons who have been consulted. He wishes, that himself and Sir Charles had been of one country, since the greatest felicity he now has to wish for, is to yield up his life to the Giver of it, in the arms of his Grandison.'

He mentions not one word in this melancholy letter of his unhappy sister: which Sir Charles accounted for, by supposing, that she not being at Bologna, they kept from him, in his deplorable way, every thing relating to her, that was likely to disturb him.

He then read part of a letter written in English, by the admired Mrs. Beaumont; some of the contents of which were, as you shall hear, extremely affecting:

'Mrs. Beaumont gives him in it an account of the situation of the unhappy young lady; and excuses herself for not having done it before, in answer to his request, because of an indisposition under which she had for some time laboured, which had hindered her from making the necessary inquiries.

She mentions, that the lady had received no benefit from her journeyings from place to place; and from her voyage from Leghorn to Naples, and back again; and blames her attendants, who, to quiet her, unknown to their principals, for some

[page] 57

time, kept her in expectation of seeing her chevalier, at the end of each; for her more prudent Camilla, she says, had been hindered by illness from attending her, in several of the excursions.

They had a second time, at her own request, put her into a nunnery. She at first was so sedate in it as gave them hopes: but the novelty going off, and one of the sisters, to try her, having officiously asked her to go with her into the parlour, where she said, she would be allowed to converse through the grate with a certain English gentleman, her impatience, on her disappointment, made her more ungovernable than they had ever known her; for she had been, for two hours before, meditating what she would say to him.

For a week together, she was vehemently intent upon being allowed to visit England; and had engaged her cousins Sebastiano and Juliano to promise to escort her thither, if she could obtain leave.

Her mother brought her off this when nobody else could, only by entreating her, for her sake, never to think of it more.

The marchioness then, encouraged by this instance of her obedience, took her under her own care: but the young lady going on from flight to flight; and the way she was in visibly affecting the health of her indulgent mother; a doctor was found who was absolutely of opinion, that nothing but harsh methods would avail: and in this advice Lady Sforza, and her daughter Laurana, and the general concurring, she was told, that she must prepare to go to Milan. She was so earnest to be excused from going thither, and to be permitted to go to Florence to Mrs. Beaumont, that they gave way to her entreaties; and the marquis himself, accompanying

[page] 58

her to Florence, prevailed on Mrs. Beaumont to take her under her care.

With her she staid three weeks: she was tolerably sedate in that space of time; but most so, when she was talking of England, and of the Chevalier Grandison, and his sisters, with whom she wished to be acquainted. She delighted to speak English, and to talk of the tenderness and goodness of her tutor; and of what he said to her, upon such and such a subject.

At the three weeks end, the general made her a visit, in company of Lady Sforza; and her talk being all on this subject, they were both highly displeased; and hinted, that she was too much indulged in it; and, unhappily, she repeating some tender passages that passed in the interview her mother had permitted her to hold with the chevalier, the general would have it, that Mr. Grandison had designedly, from the first, sought to give himself consequence with her; and expressed himself, on the occasion, with great violence against him.

He carried his displeasure to extremity, and obliged her to go away with his aunt and him that very day, to her great regret; and as much to the regret of Mrs. Beaumont, and of the ladies her friends; who tenderly loved the innocent visionary, as sometimes they called her. And Mrs. Beaumont is sure, that the gentle treatment she met with from time, would in time, though perhaps slowly, have greatly assisted her.'

Mrs. Beaumont then gives an account of the harsh treatment the poor young lady met with.

Sir Charles Grandison would have stopt reading here. He said, he could not read it to me, without such a change of voice, as would add to my pain, as well as to his own.

[page] 59

Tears often stole down my cheeks, when I read the letters of the bishop and Signor Jeronymo, and as Sir Charles read a part of Mrs. Beaumont's letter: and I doubted not but what was to follow would make them flow. Yet, I said, Be pleased, Sir, to let me read on. I am not a stranger to distress. I can pity others, or I should not deserve pity myself.

He pointed to the place; and withdrew to the window.

Mrs. Beaumont says, 'That the poor mother was prevailed upon to resign her child wholly to the management of Lady Sforza, and her daughter Laurana, who took her with them to their palace in Milan.

'The tender parent, however, besought them to spare all unnecessary severity; which they promised: but Laurana objected to Camilla's attendance. She was thought too indulgent; and her servant Laura, as a more manageable person, was taken in her place.' And O how cruelly, as you shall hear, did they treat her!

Father Marescotti, being obliged to visit a dying relation at Milan, was desired by the marchioness to inform himself of the way her beloved daughter was in, and of the methods taken with her, Lady Laurana having in her letters boasted of both. The good father acquainted Mrs. Beaumont with the following particulars:

'He was surprised to find a difficulty made of his seeing the lady: but insisting on it, he found her to be wholly spiritless, and in terror; afraid to speak, afraid to look, before her cousin Laurana; yet seeming to want to complain to him. He took notice of this to Laurana—O father, said she, we are in the right way, I assure you: when we had her first, her chevalier, and an interview with him, were ever

[page] 60

in her mouth; but now she is in such order, that she never speaks a word of him. But what, asked the compassionate father, must she have suffered, to be brought to this?—Don't you, father, trouble yourself about that, replied the cruel Laurana: the doctors have given their opinion, that some severity was necessary. It is all for her good.

The poor lady expressed herself to him, with earnestness, after the veil; a subject on which, it seems, they indulged her; urging, that the only way to secure her health of mind, if it could be restored, was to yield to her wishes. Lady Sforza said, that it was not a point that she herself would press; but it was her opinion, that her family sinned in opposing a divine dedication; and, perhaps, their daughter's malady might be a judgment upon them, for it.'

'The father, in his letter to Mrs. Beaumont, ascribes to Lady Sforza self-interested motives for her conduct; to Laurana, envy on account of Lady Clementina's superior qualities: but nobody, he says, till now, doubted Laurana's love of her.'

Father Marescotti then gives a shocking instance of the barbarous Laurana's treatment of the noble sufferer—All for her good—Wretch! how my heart rises against her! Her servant Laura, under pretence of confessing to her Bologna father, in tears, acquainted him with it. It was perpetrated but the day before.

'When any severity was to be exercised upon the unhappy lady, Laura was always shut out of her apartment. Her lady had said something that she was to be chidden for. Lady Sforza, who was not altogether so severe as her daughter, was not at home. Laura listened in tears: she heard Laurana in great wrath with Lady Clementina, and threaten her—and her young lady break out to this effect—

[page] 61

What have I done to you, Laurana, to be so used? —You are not the cousin Laurana you used to be? You know I am not able to help myself? Why do you call me crazy, and frantic, Laurana? [Vile upbraider, Lucy!] If the Almighty has laid his hand upon me, should I not be pitied?—

'It is all for your good! It is all for your good, Clementina! You could not always have spoken so sensibly, cousin.

Cruel Laurana! You loved me once! I have no mother, as you have. My mother was a good mother: but she is gone! Or I am gone, I know not which.

She threatened her then with the strait waistcoat, a punishment at which the unhappy lady was always greatly terrified. Laura heard her beg and pray; but, Laurana coming out, she was forced to retire.

The poor young lady apprehending her cruel cousin's return with the threatened waistcoat, and with the woman that used to be brought in when they were disposed to terrify her, went down and hid herself under a stair-case, where she was soon discovered by her clothes, which she had not been careful to draw in after her.'

O Lucy! how I wept! How insupportable to me, said Sir Charles, would have been my reflections, had my conscience told me, that I had been the wilful cause of the noble Clementina's calamity!

After I had a little recovered, I read to myself the next paragraph, which related, 'that the cruel Laurana dragged the sweet sufferer by her gown, from her hiding-place, inveighing against her, threatening her: she, all patience, resigned, her hands crossed on her bosom, praying for mercy, not by speech, but by her eyes, which, however, wept not: and

G

[page] 62

causing her to be carried up to her chamber, there punished her with the strait waistcoat, as she had threatened.

'Father Marescotti was greatly affected with Laura's relation, as well as with what he had himself observed: but on his return to Bologna, dreading to acquaint her mother, for her own sake, with the treatment her Clementina met with, he only said, he did not quite approve of it; and advised her not to oppose the young lady's being brought home, if the bishop and the general came into it: but he laid the whole matter before the bishop, who wrote to the general to join with him immediately, to release their sister from her present bondage: and the general meeting the bishop on a set day at Milan, for that purpose, the lady was accordingly released.

A breach ensued upon it, with Lady Sforza and her daughter; who would have it, that Clementina was much better for their management. They had by terror broken her spirit, and her passiveness was reckoned upon as an indication of amendment.

The marchioness being much indisposed, the young lady, attended by her Camilla, was carried to Naples; where it is supposed she now is. Poor young lady, how has she been hurried about!— But who can think of her cousin Laurana without extreme indignation?

Mrs. Beaumont writes, that the bishop would fain have prevailed upon his brother the general to join with him in an invitation to Sir Charles Grandison to come over, as a last expedient, before they locked her up either in a nunnery, or in some private house; but the general would by no means come into it.

He asked, What was proposed to be the end of Sir Charles's visit, were all that was wished from it

[page] 63

to follow, in his sister's restored mind?—He never, he said, would give his consent that she should be the wife of an English protestant.

The bishop declared, that he was far from wishing her to be so: but he was for leaving that to after considerations. Could they but restore his sister to her reason, that reason, co-operating with her principles, might answer all their hopes.

He might try his expedient, the general said, with all his heart, but he looked upon the Chevalier Grandison to be a man of art; and he was sure he must have entangled his sister by methods imperceptible to her, and to them; but yet more efficacious to his ends, than an open declaration. Had he not, he asked, found means to fascinate Olivia, and as many women as he came into company with? —For his part he loved not the chevalier. He had forced him by his intrepidity to be civil to him: but forced civility was but temporary. It was his way to judge of causes by the effects: and this he knew, that he had lost a sister who would have been a jewel in the crown of a prince: and would not be answerable for consequences, if he and Sir Charles Grandison were once more to meet, be it where it would.

Father Marescotti, however, joining, as the bishop writes, with him, and the marchioness, in a desire to try this expedient; and being sure that the marquis and Signor Jeronymo would not be averse to it, he took a resolution to write over to him, as has been related.'

This, Lucy, is the state of the unhappy case, as briefly and as clearly as my memory will serve to give it. And what a rememberer, if I may make a word, is the heart!—Not a circumstance escapes it.

And now it remained for me to know of Sir Charles what answer he had returned.

G 2

[page] 64

Was not my situation critical, my dear? Had Sir Charles asked my opinion, before he had taken the resolutions, I should have given it with my whole heart, that he should fly to the comfort of the poor lady. But then he would have shewn a suspense unworthy of Clementina; and a compliment to me, which a good man, so circumstanced, ought not to make.

My regard for him (yet what a poor affected word is regard!) was nevertheless as strong as ever. Generosity, or rather justice, to Clementina, and that so often, to you, avowed regard to him, pulled my heart two ways. I thought I wanted to consider with myself for a few moments, being desirous to clear to my own heart the conduct that I was to shew on this trying occasion, as well of precipitation as of affectation; and my cousin Reeves just then coming in for something she wanted, I took the opportunity to walk to the upper end of the room: and while a short complimental discourse passed between them, "Harriet Byron, said I to myself, be not mean. Hast thou not the example of a Clementina before thee? Her religion and her love, combating together, have overturned the noble creature's reason. Thou canst not be called to such a trial: but canst thou not shew, that if thou wert, thou couldst have acted greatly, if not so greatly? —Sir Charles Grandison is just: he ought to prefer to thee the excellent Clementina. Priority of claim, compassion, for the noble sufferer, merits so superior! —I love him for his merits: shall I not love merits, nearly as great in one of my own sex? The struggle will cost thee something: but try to be above thyself. Banished to thy retirement, to thy pillow, thought I, be all the girl. Often have I contended for the dignity of my sex; let me now be an example to myself, and not unworthy in my own eyes

[page] 65

(when I come to reflect) of an union, could it have been effected, with a man whom a Clementina looked up to with hope."

My cousin being withdrawn, and Sir Charles approaching me, I attempted to assume a dignity of aspect, without pride; and I spoke, while spirit was high in me, and to keep myself up to it—My heart bleeds, Sir, for the distress of your Clementina [Yes, Lucy, I said, your Clementina]: beyond expression, I admire the greatness of her character; and most sincerely lament her distresses. What, that is in the power of man, cannot Sir Charles Grandison do? You have honoured me, Sir, with the title of sister: in the tenderness of that relation, permit me to say, that I dread the effects of the general's violence: I feel next for you the pain that it must give to your humane heart to be once more personally present to the woes of the inimitable Clementina: but I am sure you did not hesitate a moment about leaving all your friends here in England, and resolving to hasten over to try, at least, what can be done for the noble sufferer.

Had he praised me highly for this my address to him, it would have looked, such was the situation on both sides, as if he had thought this disinterested behaviour in me, an extraordinary piece of magnanimity and self-denial; and, of consequence, as if he had supposed I had views upon him, which he wondered I could give up. His is the most delicate of human minds.

He led me to my seat, and taking his by me, still holding my passive hand—Ever since I have had the honour of Miss Byron's acquaintance, I have considered her as one of the most excellent of women. My heart demands alliance with hers; and hopes to be allowed its claim, though such are the delicacies of situation, that I scarcely dare to trust myself

G 3

[page] 66

to speak upon the subject. From the first, I called Miss Byron my sister; but she is more to me than the dearest sister; and there is a more tender friendship that I aspire to hold with her, whatever may be the accidents on either side, to bar a further wish: and this I must hope, that she will not deny me, so long as it shall be consistent with her other attachments.

He paused. I made an effort to speak: but speech was denied me. My face, as I felt, glowed like the fire before me.

My heart, resumed he, is ever on my lips. It is tortured when I cannot speak all that is in it. Professions I am not accustomed to make. As I am not conscious of being unworthy of your friendship, I will suppose it; and further talk to you of my affairs and engagements, as that tender friendship may warrant.

Sir, you do me honour, was all I could say.

I had a letter from the faithful Camilla. I hold not a correspondence with her: but the treatment that her young lady met with, of which she had got some general intimations, and some words that the bishop said to her, which expressed his wishes that I would make them one more visit at Bologna, urged her to write, begging of me, for Heaven's sake, to go over. But unless one of the family had written to me, and by consent of others of it, what hope had I of a welcome, after I had been as often refused, as I had requested while I was in Italy, to be admitted to the presence of the lady, who was so desirous of one interview more?—Especially, as Mrs. Beaumont gave me no encouragement to go, but the contrary, from what she observed of the inclinations of the family.

Mrs. Beaumont is still of opinion, as in the conclusion of the letter before you, that I should not go,

[page] 67

unless the general and the marquis join their requests to those of the marchioness, the bishop, and Father Marescotti. But I had no sooner perused the bishop's letter, than I wrote, that I would most cheerfully comply with his wishes: but that I should be glad that I might not be under any obligation to go further than Bologna; where I might have the happiness to attend my Jeronymo, as well as his sister.

I had a little twitch at my heart, Lucy. I was sorry for it; but my judgment was entirely with him.

And now, madam, you will wonder, that you see not any preparations for my departure. All is prepared: I only wait for the company of one gentleman, who is settling his affairs with all expedition to go with me. He is an able, a skilful surgeon, who has had great practice abroad, and in the armies: and having acquired an easy fortune, is come to settle in his native country. My Jeronymo expresses himself dissatisfied with his surgeons. If Mr. LOWTHER can be of service to him, how happy shall I think myself! And if my presence can be a means to restore the noble Clementina—But how dare I hope it?—And yet I am persuaded, that in her case, and with such a temper of mind (unused to hardship and opposition as she had been) the only way to recover her, would have been by complying with her in every thing that her heart or head was earnestly set upon: for what controul was necessary to a young lady, who never, even in the height of her malady, uttered a wish or thought that was contrary to her duty either to God, or her parents; nor yet to the honour of her name, and, allow me, madam, to say, to the pride of her sex?

I am under an obligation to go to Paris, proceeded he, from the will of my late friend Mr. Danby. I

[page] 68

shall stop there for a day or two only, in order to put things in a way for my last hand, on my return from Italy.

When I am in Italy, I shall perhaps be enabled to adjust two or three accounts that stand out, in relation to the affairs of my ward.

This day at dinner I shall see Mrs. Oldham, and her sons; and in the afternoon, at tea, Mrs. O'Hara, and her husband, and Captain Salmonet.

To-morrow, I hope for the honour of your company, madam, and Mr. and Mrs. Reeves's, at dinner; and be so good as to engage them, for the rest of the day. You must not deny me; because I shall want your influence upon Charlotte, to make her fix Lord G.'s happy day, that I may be able to see their hands united before I set out: as my return will be uncertain—

Ah, Lucy! more twitches just then!—

Thursday next is the day fixed for the triple marriage of the Danbys. I have promised to give Miss Danby to Mr. Galliard, and to dine with them and their friends at Enfield.

If I can see my Lord W. and Charlotte happy before I go, I shall be highly gratified.

It is another of my wishes, to see my friend Beauchamp in England first, and to leave him in possession of his father's love, and of his mother- in-law's civility. Dr. Bartlett and he will be happy in each other. I shall correspond with the doctor. He greatly admires you, madam, and will communicate to you all you shall think worthy of your notice, relating to the proceedings of a man who will always think himself honoured by your enquiries after him.

Ah, Lucy! Sir Charles Grandison then sighed. He seemed to look more than he spoke. I will not promise for my heart, if he treats me with more than

[page] 69

the tenderness of friendship: if he gives me room to think that he wishes—But what can he wish? He ought to be, he must be, Clementina's: and I will endeavour to make myself happy, if I can maintain the second place in his friendship: and when he offers me this, shall I, Lucy, be so little as to be displeased with the man, who cannot be to me all that I had once hoped he could be?—No! he shall be the same glorious creature in my eyes; I will admire his goodness of heart, and greatness of mind; and I will think him intitled to my utmost gratitude for the protection he gave me from a man of violence, and for the kindness he has already shown me. Is not friendship the basis of my love? And does he not tender me that?

Nevertheless, at the time, do what I could, I found a tear ready to start. My heart was very untoward, Lucy; and I was guilty of a little female turn. When I found the twinkling of my eyes would not disperse the too ready drop, and felt it stealing down my cheek, I wiped it off—The poor Emily, said I— She will be grieved at parting with you. Emily loves her guardian.

And I love my ward. I once had a thought, madam, of begging your protection of Emily: but as I have two sisters, I think she will be happy under their wings, and in the protection of my good Lord L. and the rather, as I have no doubt of overcoming her unhappy mother, by making her husband's interest a guaranty, for her tolerable, if not good, behaviour to her child.

I was glad to carry my thoughts out of myself, as I may say, and from my own concerns. We all, Sir, said I, look upon Mr. Beauchamp as a future—

Husband for Emily, madam? interrupted he— It must not be at my motion. My friend shall be intitled to share with me my whole estate; but I

[page] 70

will never seek to lead the choice of my WARD. Let Emily, some time hence, find out the husband she can be happy with; Beauchamp the wife he can love; Emily, if I can help it, shall not be the wife of any man's convenience. Beauchamp is nice, and I will be as nice for my WARD. And the more so, as I hope she herself wants not delicacy. There is a cruelty in persuasion, where the heart rejects the person proposed, whether the urger be parent or guardian.

Lord bless me, thought!, what a man is this!

Do you expect Mr. Beauchamp soon, Sir?

Every day, madam.

And is it possible, Sir, that you can bring all these things to bear before you leave England, and go so soon?

I fear nothing but Charlotte's whimsies: Have you, madam, any reason to apprehend that she is averse to an alliance with Lord G.? His father and aunt are very importunate for an early celebration.

None at all, Sir.

Then I shall depend much upon yours, and Lord and Lady L.'s influence over her.

He besought my excuse for detaining my attention so long. Upon his motion to go, my two cousins came in. He took even a solemn leave of me, and a very respectful one of them.

I had kept up my spirits to their utmost stretch: I desired my cousins to excuse me for a few minutes: his departure from me was too solemn; and I hurried up to my closet; and after a few involuntary sobs, a flood of tears relieved me. I besought, on my knees, peace to the disturbed mind of the excellent Clementina, calmness and resignation to my own, and safety to Sir Charles. And then, drying my eyes at the glass, I went down stairs to my cousins; and on

[page] 71

their enquiries (with looks of deep concern) after the occasion of my red eyes, I said, All is over! All is over! my dear cousins. I cannot blame him: he is all that is noble and good—I can say no more just now. The particulars you shall have from my pen.

I went up stairs to write: and except for one half hour at dinner, and another at tea, I stopt not till I had done.

And here, quite tired, uneasy, vexed with myself, yet hardly knowing why, I lay down my pen.—Take what I have written, my dear cousin Reeves: if you can read it, do: and then dispatch it to my Lucy.

But, on second thoughts, I will shew it to the two ladies, and Lord L. before it is sent away. They will be curious to know what passed in a conversation, where the critical circumstances both of us were in, required a delicacy which I am not sure was so well observed on my side, as on his.

I shall, I know, have their pity; but let nobody who pities not the noble Clementina, shew any for

HARRIET BYRON.

LETTER VIII.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Tuesday Night, April 4.

MISS GRANDISON came to me just as we had supped. She longed, she said, to see me; but was prevented coming before, and desired to know what had passed between her brother and me this morning, I gave her the letter, which I had but a little while before concluded. He had owned, she said, that he had breakfasted with me; and spoke of me to her, and Lord and Lady L. with an ardour that gave

[page] 72

them pleasure. She put my letter into her bosom. I may, I hope, Harriet—If you please, madam, said I.

If you please, madam, repeated she; and with that do-lo-rous accent too, my Harriet!—My sister and I have been in tears this morning: Lord L. had much ado to forbear. Sir Charles will soon leave us.

It can't be helped, Charlotte. Did you dine today in St. James's Square?

No, indeed! my brother had a certain tribe with him; and the woman also. It is very difficult, I believe, Harriet, for good people to forbear doing sometimes more than goodness requires of them.

Could you not, Charlotte, have sat at table with them for one hour or two?

My brother did not ask me. He did not expect it. He gives every-body their choice, you know. He told me last night who were to dine with him to-day, and supposed I would choose to dine with Lady L. or with you. he was so free as to say.

He did us an honour, which you thought too great a one. But if he had asked you, Charlotte—

Then I should have bridled. Indeed, I asked him, If he did not over-do it.

What was his answer?

Perhaps he might—But I, said he, may never see Mrs. Oldham again. I want to inform myself of her future intentions, with a view (over-do it again, Charlotte!) to make her easy and happy for life. Her children are in the world. I want to give her a credit that will make her remembered by them, as they grow up, with duty. I hope I am superior to forms. She is conscious. I can pity her. She is a gentlewoman; and intitled to a place at any man's table to whom she never was a servant. She never was mine.

And what, Miss Grandison, could you say in answer? asked I.

[page] 73

What!—Why I put up my lip.

Ungracious girl!

I can't help it. That may become a man to do in such cases as this, that would not a woman.

Sir Charles wants not delicacy, my dear, said I.

He must suppose, that I should have sat swelling, and been reserved: he was right not to ask me—So be quiet, Harriet—And yet, perhaps, you would be as tame to a husband's mistress, as you seem favourable to a father's.

She then put on one of her arch looks—

The cases differ, Charlotte—But do you know what passed between the generous man, and the mortified woman and her children; mortified as they must be by his goodness?

Yes, yes; I had curiosity enough to ask Dr. Bartlett about it all.

Pray, Charlotte—

Dr. Bartlett is favourable to every body, sinners as well as saints—He began with praising the modesty of her dress, the humility of her behaviour: he said, that she trembled and looked down, till she was re-assured by Sir Charles. Such creatures have all their tricks, Harriet.

You, Charlotte, are not favourable to sinners, and hardly to saints. But pray proceed.

Why, he re-assured the woman, as I told you: and then proceeded to ask many questions of the elder Oldham—I pitied that young fellow—to have a mother in his eye, whose very tenderness to the young ones kept alive the sense of her guilt. And yet what would she have been, had she not been doubly tender to the innocents, who were born to shame from her fault? The young man acknowledged a military genius, and Sir Charles told him, that he would, on his return from a journey he was going to take, consider whether he could not do him ser-

VOL. XII. H

[page] 74

vice in the way he choose. He gave him, it seems, a brief lecture on what he should aim to be, and what avoid, to qualify himself for a man of true honour; and spoke very handsomely of such gentlemen of the army as are real gentlemen. The young fellow, continued Miss Grandison, may look upon himself to be as good as provided for, since my brother never gives the most distant hope that is not followed by absolute certainty, the first opportunity, not that offers, but which he can make.

He took great notice of the little boys. He dilated their hearts, and set them a prating; and was pleased with their prate. The doctor, who had never seen him before in the company of children, applauded him for his vivacity, and condescending talk to them. The tenderest father in the world, he said, could not have behaved more tenderly, or shewed himself more delighted with his own children, than he did with those brats of Mrs. Oldham.

Ah, Charlotte! And is it out of doubt, that you are the daughter of Lady Grandison, and sister of Sir Charles Grandison?—Well, but I believe you are—Some children take after the father, some after the mother!—Forgive me, my dear.

But I won't. I have a great mind to quarrel with you, Harriet.

Pray don't; because I could neither help, nor can be sorry for, what I said. But pray proceed.

Why he made presents to the children. I don't know what they were; nor could the doctor tell me. I suppose very handsome ones; for he has the spirit of a prince. He enquired very particularly after the circumstances of the mother; and was more kind to her than many people would be to their own mothers—He can account for this, I suppose—though I cannot. The woman, it is true, is of a good fa-

[page] 75

mily, and so forth: but that enhances her crime. Natural children abound in the present age. Keeping is fashionable. Good men should not countenance such wretches.—But my brother and you are charitable creatures!—With all my heart, child. Virtue, however, has at least as much to say on one side of the question as on the other.

When the poor children are in the world, as your brother said—When the poor women are penitents, true penitents—Your brother's treatment of Mrs. Giffard was different. He is in both instances an imitator of the Almighty; an humbler of the impenitent, and an encourager of those who repent.

Well, well; he is undoubtedly a good sort of young man; and, Harriet, you are a good sort of young woman. Where much is given, much is required; but I have not given me such a large quantity of charity, as either of you may boast: and how can I help it?—But, however, the woman went away blessing and praising him; and that, the doctor says, more with her eyes than she was able to do in words. The elder youth departed in rapturous reverence: the children hung about his knees, on theirs. The doctor will have it, that it was without bidding—Perhaps so—He raised them by turns to his arms, and kissed them.—Why, Harriet! your eyes would have run over, I suppose, had you been there! Is it, that your heart is weakened with your present situation? I hope not. No, you are a good creature! And I see that the mention of a behaviour greatly generous, however slightly made, will have its force upon a heart so truly benevolent as yours. You must be Lady Grandison, my dear: indeed you must.—Well, but I must be gone. You dine with us to-morrow, my brother says.

He did ask me; and desired me to engage my

H 2

[page] 76

cousins. But he repeated not the invitation when he went away.

He depends upon your coming: and so do we. He is to talk to me before you, it seems: I can't tell about what: but by his hurrying on every-thing, it is plain he is preparing to leave us.

He is, madam.

"He is, madam!" And with that dejected air, and mendicant voice—Speak up like a woman!— The sooner he sets out, if he must go, the sooner he will return. Come, come, Harriet, you shall be Lady Grandison still—Ay! and that sigh too! These lovesick folks have a language that nobody else can talk to them in: and then she affectedly sighed—Is that right, Harriet?—She sighed again—No, it is not: I never knew what a sigh was, but when my father vexed my sister; and that was more for fear he should one clay be as cruel to me, than for her sake. We can be very generous for others, Harriet, when we apprehend that one day we may want the same pity ourselves. Our best passions, my dear, have their mixtures of self-love.

You have drawn a picture of human nature, Charlotte, that I don't like.

It is a likeness for all that.

She arose, snatched my hand, hurried to the door—Be with us, Harriet, and cousin Reeves, and cousin Reeves, as soon as you can to-morrow. I want to talk to you, my dear, (to me) of a hundred thousand things before dinner. Remember we dine early.

Away she fluttered—Happy Miss Grandison!— What charming spirits she has!

[page] 77

LETTER IX.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Wednesday, April 5.

MISS JERVOIS came to me this morning by six; impatient, as she said, to communicate good news to me. I was in my closet writing. I could not sleep.

I have seen my mother, said she; and we are good friends. Was she ever unkind to me, madam?

Dear creature, said I, and clasped her to my bosom, you are a sweet girl! Oblige me with the particulars.

Let me, Lucy, give you, as near as I can recollect, the amiable young creature's words and actions on this occasion.

Sit down, my love, said I—What! When I am talking of a reconciled mother! And to dear Miss Byron!—No, indeed.

She often held out one open hand, while the forefinger of the other, in full action, patted it; as at other times both were spread, with pretty wonder and delight: and thus she began;

Why, you must know, it was about six o'clock yesterday afternoon, that my mother and her husband, and Captain Salmonet, came. I was told of their visit but two hours before: and when the coach stopped, and I at the window saw them alight, I thought I should have fainted away. I would have given half I was worth in the world to have been a hundred miles off.

Dr. Bartlett was there, and received them. My guardian was unexpectedly engaged in answering a letter sent him by Lord W. for which a gentleman waited: but they had not been there a quarter of an hour, when he entered, and made apologies to them,

H 3

[page] 78

in his usual gracious manner. Never, the doctor says, did any-body look so respectful as the major and the captain: and they would have made apologies to my guardian, for their last behaviour to him; but he would not let them. And my mother, the doctor says, from the very first, behaved prettily.

The moment she asked for me, my guardian himself condescended to come up to me, and took my hand—Was not that very good of him?—My dear, said he, as he led me down stairs (and spoke so kindly) don't tremble so: am I not with you?— Your mother is very calm and composed: you must ask her blessing. I shall ease your tender heart of every pang. I shall hint to you what to do, and how to behave to the gentlemen, as occasions arise.

He had no sooner said the words, but the drawing-room door gave way to his hand, and I was in the room with him.

Down on my knees dropt I—as I now do to you: but I could not speak. Thus I did [and she kissed my hand, and bowed her face upon it]. And my mother raised me— You must raise me, madam— Yes, just so—And she kissed me too, and wept on my neck; and called me pretty names; and encouraged me, and said she loved me, as she loved her own soul—And I was encouraged.

My guardian then, with the air and manner of a gracious prince, took my hand, and presented it first to the major, then to the captain: and they each paid their compliments, and spoke in my praise, I can't tell how many fine things.

Major, said my guardian, when he presented me to him, you must excuse the dear child's weakness of spirits: she wishes you all happiness on your nuptials: she has let me know, that she is very desirous to do you service for her mother's sake.

[page] 79

The major swore by his soul, I was an angel!— Captain Salmonet said, that, by his salvation, I was a charming young lady!

My mother wept—O Sir! said she to my guardian: and dropping down in a chair by the window, not a word more could she speak.

I ran to her, and clasped my arms about her. She wept the more: I wiped her eyes with her own handkerchief: I told her, it went to my heart to see her cry: I begged she would spare me this grief.

She clasped her arms then about me, and kissed my cheek, and my forehead. O, thought I, it is very good of you, my dear mother.

Then came my guardian to us, and he kindly took my mother's hand, and conducted her to the fireside; and he led me, and placed me by her, at the tea-table, and he made the major and the captain sit down by him: so much graciousness in his countenance. O madam, I shall be an idolater, I am afraid. And be said, Emily, my dear, you will make tea for us. My sister dined abroad, madam, to my mother.—Yes, Sir, I will, said I: and I was as lively as a bird.

But before the servants came in, Let me tell you, madam, said he, what Miss Jervois has proposed to me.—They were in silent expectation.

She has desired that you, major, will accept from her, for your mutual use, of an additional 100l. a year; which I shall order to be paid you quarterly, during Mrs. O'Hara's life, not doubting but you will make her as happy as it is in your power to make her.

My mother bowed, coloured with gratitude, and looked obliged.

And she begs of you, madam, turning to my mother, that you will accept, as from the major, another 100l. a year, for pin-money, which he, or which you, madam, will draw upon me for; also quarterly,

[page] 80

if you choose not to trouble him to do it: for this 100l. a year must be appropriated to your sole and separate use, madam; and not be subject to your controul, Major O'Hara.

Good God! Sir! said the major—What a wretch was I, the last time I was here!—There is no bearing of this!

He got up, and went to the window: and the captain said, Blessed Jesu! and something else, which I could not mind; for I was weeping like a baby.

What, Sir, said my mother! 400l. a year! Do you mean so?—I do, madam—And, Sir, to be so generously paid me my 100l. of it, as if I received it not from my child, but from my husband!—Good God! How you overpower me, Sir! What shame, what remorse, do you strike into my heart!

And my poor mother's tears ran down as fast as mine.

O madam, said the dear girl to me, clasping her arms about me, how your tender heart is touched! —It is well you were not there!

Dr. Bartlett came in to tea. My guardian would not permit Antony, who offered himself, to wait. Antony had been my own papa's servant, when my mother was not so good.

Nothing but blessings, nothing but looks and words of admiration and gratitude, passed all the tea-time. How their hearts rejoiced, I warrant!— Is it not a charming thing, madam, to make people's hearts glad?—To be sure it is! How many hearts has my guardian rejoiced! You must bid him be cross to me, or I shall not know what to do with myself!—But then, if he were, I should only get by myself, and cry, and be angry with myself, and think he could not be to blame.

O my love, my Emily! said I, take care of your gratitude: that drew in your true friend.

[page] 81

Well, but how can it be helped, madam? Can a right heart be ungrateful? Dr. Bartlett says, there is no such thing as true happiness in this life: and is it not better to be unhappy from good men and women, than from bad?—Dear madam, why you have often made me unhappy, because of your goodness to me: and because I knew, that I neither could deserve nor return it.

The dear prater went on—My guardian called me aside, when tea was over: My Emily, said he [I do love he should call me his Emily!— But all the world is his Emily, I think] Let me see what you will do with these two notes; giving me two bank-notes of 251. each.—Present pin-money and cash may be wanted. We will suppose that your mother has been married a quarter of a year. Her pin-money and the additional annuity may commence from the 25th of December last. Let me, Emily, when they go away, see the graceful manner in which you will dispose of the notes: and from Mr. O'Hara's behaviour upon it, we shall observe whether he is a man with whom your mother, if it be not her own fault (now you have made it their interest to be kind to each other) may live well: but let the motion be all your own.

How good this was! I could have kissed the hand that gave me the notes, if I thought it would not have looked too free.

I understand you. Sir, said I.

And when they went away. pouring out their very hearts in grateful joy, I addressed myself to Mr. O'Hara: Sir. said I, it is proper that the payment of the additional annuity should have a commencement: let it be from Christmas last. Accept of the first payment from my own hands—and I gave him one 251. note; and, looking at my mother, with a look of duty, for fear he should mistake, and discredit him-

[page] 82

self in the eyes of the deepest discerner in the world, gave him the other.

He looked first upon one, then upon the other note, with surprise—And then bowing to the ground, to me, and to my guardian, he stept to my mother, and presented them both to her—You, madam, said he, must speak: I cannot as I ought: God send me with a whole heart out of this house! He hurried out, and when he was in the hall, wiped his eyes, and sobbed like a child, as one of the servants told my Anne.

My mother looked upon one note, as her husband had done, and upon the other; and lifting up her eyes, embraced me—And would have said something to my guardian, but he prevented her, by saying—Emily will be always dutiful to you, madam, and respectful to Mr. O'Hara: May you be happy together!

And he led her out—Was ever such condescension! He led her out to her husband, who, being a little recovered, was just about to give some money to the servant, who was retiring from the offer.— Nobody, said my guardian, graciously smiling, pays my servants but myself, Mr. O'Hara. They are good people, and merit my favour.

And he went to the very door with my mother. I could not. I ran back, crying for joy, into the drawing-room, when they went out of it. I could not bear myself. How could I, you know, madam? —Captain Salmonet all the time wiped his eyes, shrugged his shoulders, lifted up his hands, and cried out upon Jesu; and once or twice he crossed himself: but all the time my guardian looked and acted, as if those actions and praises were nothing to be proud of.

When he came in to me, I arose, and threw myself at his feet; but could only say, Thank you, Sir, for your goodness to my mother. He raised me.

[page] 83

He sat down by me: See, child (said he, and he took my hand: my heart was sensible of the favour, and throbbed with joy), what it is in the power of people of fortune to do. You have a great one. Now your mother is married, I have hopes of her. They will at least keep up appearances to each other, and to the world. They neither of them want sense. You have done an act of duty and benevolence both in one. The man who would grudge them this additional 2001. a year out of your fortune, to make your parent happy, shall not have my Emily—Shall he?

Your Emily, your happy Emily, Sir, has not, cannot have a heart, that is worth notice, if it be not implicitly guided by you.—This I said, madam; and it is true.

And did he not, said I, clasp his Emily to his generous bosom, when you said so?

No, madam; that would have been too great an honour: but he called me, Good child! And said, You shall never be put to pay me an implicit regard: your own reason (and he called me child again) shall always be the judge of my conduct to you, and direct your observances of my advice. Something like this he said; but in a better manner than I can say it.

He calls me oftener child, madam, than any-thing else, when we are alone together; and is not quite so free, I think, at such times, in his behaviour to me (yet is vastly gracious, I don't know how) as when we are in company—Why is that?—I am sure, I equally respect him, at one time as at another— Do you think, madam, there is any-thing in the observation? Is there any reason for it? I do love to study him, and to find out the meaning of his very looks as well as words. Sir Charles Grandison's heart is the book of heaven—May I not study it?

[page] 84

Study it, my love, while you have an opportunity.

But he will soon leave us: he will soon leave England.

So I fear: and I will love and pity the poor Clementina, whose heart is so much wounded and oppressed. But my guardian shall be nobody's but yours. I have prayed night and day, the first thing, and the last thing, ever since I have heard of Lady Clementina, that you, and nobody but you, may be Lady Grandison: and I will continue my prayers.— But, will you forgive me? I always conclude them with praying, that you will both consent to let the poor Emily live with you.

Sweet girl! The poor Emily, said she?—I embraced her, and we mingled tears, both our hearts full, each for the other; and each perhaps for herself.

She hurried away. I resumed my pen—Run off what had passed, almost as swift as thought. I quit it, to prepare to attend my cousins to St. James's Square.

LETTER X.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Wednesday night, April 5.

MISS GRANDISON, as I told you, took with her my letter of yesterday. As soon as my cousin Reeves's and I entered Sir Charles's house, the two sisters conducted us into the drawing-room adjoining to the dining-parlour, and congratulated me on the high compliment their brother had made me, though in preference to themselves, and his communicativeness and tender behaviour to me. Lord L. joined us, and he, having read the letter, congratulated me

[page] 85

also—On what, Lucy?—Why on the possibility, that if the unhappy Clementina should die; or if she should be buried for life in a nunnery; or if she should be otherwise disposed of; why then, that your Harriet may have room given her to hope for a civil husband in Sir Charles Grandison, and half a heart: Is not this the sum of these humbling congratulations?

Sir Charles, when we came, was in his study with Mr. Lowther, the surgeon, whom he had engaged to go abroad with him: but he just came out to welcome us; and then returned—He had also with him two physicians eminent for their knowledge in disorders of the head, to whom he had before communicated the case of the unhappy Clementina; and who brought to him in writing their opinions of the manner in which she ought to be treated, according to the various symptoms of her disorder.

When he joined us, he told us this; and said very high things at the same time in praise of the English surgeons; and particularly of this gentleman: and added, that as nervous disorders were more frequent in England, than in any country in the world, he was willing to hope, that the English physicians were more skilful than those of any other country in the management of persons afflicted with such maladies: and as he was now invited over, he was determined to furnish himself with all the means he could think of, that were likely to be useful in restoring and healing friends so dear to him.

Miss Grandison told him, that we were all in some apprehensions, on his going to Italy, of that fierce and wrong-headed man the general. Miss Byron, said she, has told us, that Mrs. Beaumont advises not your going over.

The young Marquis della Porretta, said he, is hasty; but he is a gallant man, and loves his sister.

I

[page] 86

His grief on the unhappy situation they are in, demands allowance. It is natural in a heavy calamity to look out of ourselves for the occasion. I have not any apprehensions from him, or from any-body else. The call upon me is a proper one. The issue must be left where it ought to be left. If my visit will give comfort to any one of the family, I shall be rewarded: if to more than one, happy—And, whatever be the event, shall be easier in myself, than I could be, were I not to comply with the request of the bishop, were he only to have made it.

Lord L. asked Sir Charles, whether he had fixed the day of his setting out?

I have, said he, within this half-hour. Mr. Lowther has told me, that he shall be ready by the beginning of next week; and on Saturday-sevennight I hope to be at Dover, on my way.

We looked upon one another. Miss Grandison told me afterwards, that my colour went and came several times, and that she was afraid for me. My heart was indeed a little affected. I believe I must not think of taking leave of him when he sets out. Ah, Lucy! Nine days hence!—Yet in less than nine days after that, I shall be embraced by the tenderest relations that ever creature had to boast of.

Sir Charles taking his sister aside, I want, said he, to say a few words to you, Charlotte. They were about half an hour together; and then returning, I am encouraged to think, said he, that Charlotte will give her hand to Lord G. She is a woman of honour, and her heart must therefore go with it.—I have a request to make to her, before all you our common friends—The Earl of G. Lady Gertrude, Lord G. all join in one suit: it is, that I may be allowed to give my sister to Lord G. before I leave England.

I have told you, brother, that it is impossible, if you go away in nine or ten days time.

[page] 87

Sir Charles particularly requested my influence. I could have no doubt, I said, but Miss Grandison would oblige her brother.

She vehemently opposed so early a day.

In a most affectionate manner, yet with an air of seriousness, he urged his request. He said, that it was very proper for him to make some dispositions of his affairs before he went abroad. He should leave England with much more pleasure, if he saw his Charlotte the wife of a man so worthy as Lord G.: Lord G. said he, adores you: you intend to be his: resolve to oblige your brother, who, though he cannot be happy himself, wishes to see you so.

O Sir Charles! said she, you ruin me by your solemnity, and by your goodness.

The subject is not a light one. I am greatly in earnest, Charlotte. I have many affairs on my hands. My heart is in this company; yet my engagements will permit me but few opportunities to enjoy it between this and Tuesday next. If you deny me now, I must acquiesce: if you have more than punctilio to plead, say you have; and I will not urge you further.

And so this is the last time of asking, Sir?—A little archly—

Not the last time of my Lord G.'s—But of mine —But I will not allow you now to answer me lightly. If you can name a day before Tuesday, you will greatly oblige me. I will leave you to consider of it. And he withdrew.

Every one then urged her to oblige her brother. Lady L. very particularly. She told her, that he was intitled to her compliance; and that he had spoken to her on this subject in a still more earnest manner. She should hardly be able to excuse her, she said, if the serious hint he had given about settling his affairs before he went abroad, had not

I 2

[page] 88

weight with her. You know, Charlotte, continued she, that he can have no motive but your good; and you have told me, that you intend to have Lord G. and that you esteem his father, his aunt, and every one of his family, whom you have seen; and they are highly pleased with you. Settlements are ready drawn: that my brother told you last night. Nothing is wanting but your day.

I wish he was in half the hurry to be married himself

So he would be, I dare say, Charlotte, if marriage were as much in his power, as it is in yours.

What a duce, to be married to a man in a week's time, with whom I have quarrelled every day for a fortnight past!—Pride and petulance must go down by degrees, sister. A month, at least, is necessary, to bring my features to such a placidness with him, as to allow him to smile in my face.

Your brother has hinted, Charlotte, said I, that he loves you for your vivacity; and should still more, if you consulted time and occasion.

He has withdrawn, sister, said Lord L. with a resolution, if you deny him, to urge you no further.

I hate his peremptoriness.

Has he not told you, Charlotte, said I, and that in a manner so serious, as to affect every-body, that there is a kind of necessity for it?

I don't love this Clementina, Harriet; all this is owing to her.

Just then a rapping at the door signified visiters; and Emily ran in—Lord G. the earl, and Lady Gertrude, believe me!

Miss Grandison changed colour. A contrivance of my brother's!—Ah! Lord! Now shall I be beset! —I will be sullen, that I may not be saucy.

Sullen you can't be, Charlotte, said Lady L.: but saucy you can. Remember, however, my brother's

[page] 89

earnestness, and spare Lord G. before his father and aunt, or you will give me, and every-body pain.

How can I? Our last quarrel is not made up: but advise him not to be either impertinent or secure.

Immediately entered Sir Charles, introducing the earl and Lady Gertrude. After the first compliments, Pray, Sir Charles, said Miss Grandison, drawing him aside, towards me, and whispering, tell me truly: Did not you know of this visit?

I invited them, Charlotte, whispered he. I meant not however to surprise you. If you comply, you will give me great pleasure: if you do not, I will not be dis-pleased with my sister.

What can I do? Either be less good to me, Sir, or less hurrying.

You have sacrificed enough to female punctilio, Charlotte. Lord G. has been a zealous courtier. You have no doubt of the ardor of his passion, nor of your own power. Leave the day to me. Let it be Tuesday next.

Good heaven! I can't bear you, after such a— And she gasped, as if for breath; and he turning from her to me, she went to Lady Gertrude, who, rising, took her hand, and withdrew with her into the next room.

They staid out till they were told dinner was served: and when they returned, I thought I never saw Miss Grandison look so lovely. A charming flush had overspread her cheeks: a sweet consciousness in her eyes gave a female grace to her whole aspect, and softened, as I may say, the natural majesty of her fine features.

Lood G. looked delighted, as if his heart were filled with happy presages. The earl seemed no less pleased.

Miss Grandison was unusually thoughtful all dinner-time: she gave me great joy to see her so, in

I 3

[page] 90

the hope, that when the lover becomes the husband, the over-lively mistress will be sunk in the obliging wife.—And yet, now-and then, as the joy in my lord's heart overflowed at his lips, I could observe that archness rising to her eye, that makes one both love and fear her.

After dinner, the Earl of G. and Lady Gertrude desired a conference with Sir Charles and Lady L. They were not long absent, when Sir Charles came in, and carried out Miss Grandison to them. Lord G.'s complexion varied often.

Sir Charles left them together, and joined us. We were standing; and he singled me out—I hope, madam, said he, that Charlotte may be prevailed upon for Tuesday next: but I will not urge it further.

I thought he was framing himself to say something particular to me. when Lady L. came in, and desired him and me to step to her sister, who had retired from the earl and Lady Gertrude by consent.

Ah, my Harriet! said she, pity me, my dear!— Debasement is the child of pride!—Then turning to Sir Charles, I acknowledge myself overcome, said she, by your earnestness, as you are so soon to leave us, and by the importunities of the Earl of G. Lady Gertrude, and my sister—Unprepared in mind, in clothes, I am resolved to oblige the best of brothers. Do you, sir, dispose of me as you think fit.

My sister, consents, Sir, said Lady L. for next Tuesday.

Cheerfully, I hope. If Charlotte balances whether, if she took more time, she should have Lord G. at all, let her take it. Lord L. in my absence, will be to her all that I wish to be, when she shall determine.

I balance not, Sir: but I thought to have had a month's time, at least, to look about me, and having treated Lord G. too flippantly, to give him by de-

[page] 91

grees some fairer prospects of happiness with me, than hitherto he has had.

Sir Charles embraced her. She was all his sister, he said. Let the alteration now begin. Lord G. would rejoice in it, and consider ail that had passed, as trials only of his love for her. The obliging wife would banish from his remembrance the petulant mistress. And now allow me, my dear sister, to present you to the earl and Lady Gertrude.

He led her in to them. Lady L. and I followed. —Charlotte, my lord yields to yours and Lady Gertrude's importunities. Next Tuesday will give the two families a near and tender relation to each other.

The earl saluted her in a very affectionate manner: so did Lady Gertrude; who afterwards ran out for her nephew; and presented him to Miss Grandison.

She had just time to whisper me, as he approached her; Ah, Harriet! now comes the worst part of the shew.—He kneeled on one knee, kissed her hand; but was too much overjoyed to speak; for Lady Gertrude had told him, that Tuesday was to be his happy day.

It is impossible, Lucy, but Sir Charles Grandison must carry every point he sets his heart upon. When he shall appear before the family of Porretta in Italy, who will be able to withstand him!—Is not his consequence doubled, more than doubled, since he was with them? The man whose absence they wished for, they now invite to come among them. They have tried every experiment to restore their Clementina: he has a noble estate now in possession. The fame of his goodness is gone out to distant countries. O my dear! All opposition must fly before him. And if it be the will of heaven to restore Clementina, all her friends must concur in giving her to him upon

[page] 92

the terms he has proposed; and from which, having himself proposed them, Sir Charles Grandison cannot recede.

His heart, it is evident, is at Bologna. Well, and so it ought to be. And yet I could not forbear being sensibly touched by the following words, which I overheard him say to Lord L. in answer to something my lord said to him:

'I am impatient to be abroad. Had I not waited for Mr. Lowther, the last letters I received from Italy should have been answered in person.

But as honour, compassion, love, friendship (still nobler than love!) have demands upon him, let him obey the call. He has set me high in his esteem. Let me be worthy of his friendship. Pangs I shall occasionally feel; but who that values one person above the rest of the world, does not?

Sir Charles, as we sat at tea, mentioned his cousin Grandison to Lord L: It is strange, my lord, said he, that We hear nothing of our cousin Everard, since he was seen at White's. But whenever he emerges, Charlotte, if I am absent, receive him without reproaches: yet I should be glad that he could have rejoiced with us. Must I leave England, and not see him?

It has been, it seems, the way of this unhappy man, to shut himself up with some woman in private lodgings, for fear his cousin should find him out; and in two or three months, when he has been tired of his wicked companion, emerge, as Sir Charles called it, to notice, and then seek for his cousin's favour and company, and live for as many more months in a state of contrition. And Sir Charles, in his great charity, believes, that till some new temptation arises, he is in earnest in his penitence; and hopes, that in time he will see his errors.

Oh, Lucy! What a poor, creeping, mean wretch

[page] 93

is a libertine, when one looks down upon him, and up to such a glorious creature as Sir Charles Grandison!

Sir Charles was led to talk of his engagement for to-morrow, on the triple marriage in the Danby family. We all gave him joy of the happy success that had rewarded his beneficent spirit, with regard to that family. He gave us the characters of the three couples greatly to their advantage, and praised the families on both sides, which were to be so closely united on the morrow; not forgetting to mention kindly honest Mr. Sylvester, the attorney.

He told us that he should set out on Friday early for Windsor, in order to attend Lord W. in his first visit at Mansfield-house. You, Lady L. will have the trouble given you, said he, of causing to be new-set the jewels of the late Lady W. for a present to the future bride. My Lord shewed them to me (among a great number of other valuable trinkets of his late wife's) in my last return from the ball. They are rich, and will do credit to his quality. You, my Lord L. you, my sisters, will be charmed with your new aunt, and her whole family. I have joy on the happiness in prospect that will gild the latter days of my mother's brother; and at the same time be a means of freeing from oppression an ancient and worthy family.

Tears were in every eye. There now, thought I, sits this princely man, rejoicing every one who sees him, and hears him speak: But where will he be nine days hence? And whose this-day-twelve-month?

He talked with particular pleasure of the expected arrival of his Beauchamp. He pleased himself, that he should leave behind him a man who would delight every-body, and supply to his friends his absence.—What a character did he give, and Dr. Bartlett confirm, of that amiable friend of his!

[page] 94

How did the earl, and Lady Gertrude, dwell upon all he said! They prided themselves on the relation they were likely so soon to stand in to so valuable a man.

In your last letter, you tell me, Lucy, that Mr. Greville has the confidence to throw out menaces against this excellent man—Sorry wretch!—How my heart rises against him!—He—But no more of such an earth-born creature.

LETTER XI.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Thursday morning, April 6.

MISS GRANDISON, accompanied by Miss Jervois, has just left us. Lady L. has undertaken, she says, to set all hands at work, to have things in tolerable order, early as the day is, for Tuesday next. Miss Grandison (would you believe it?) owns, that she wants spirits to order any-thing. What must be the solemnity of that circumstance, when near, that shall make Charlotte Grandison want spirits?

She withdrew with me to my apartment. She threw herself into a chair: 'Tis a folly to deny it, Harriet, but I am very low, and very silly: I don't like next Tuesday by any means.

Is your objection only to the day, my dear?

I do not like the man.

Is there any man whom you like better?

I can't say that neither. But this brother of mine makes me think contemptibly of all other men. I would compound for a man but half so good—Tender, kind, humane, polite, and even cheerful in af-

[page] 95

fliction!—O Harriet! where is there such another man?

No-where.—But you don't by marriage lose, on the contrary, you further engage and secure, the affection of this brother. You will have a good-natured, worthy man for your husband, a man who loves you; and you will have your brother besides.

Do you think I can be happy with Lord G.?

I am sure you may, if it be not your own fault.

That's the thing: I may perhaps bear with the man; but I cannot honour him.

Then don't vow to honour him. Don't meet Him at the altar.

Yet I must. But I believe I think too much: and consideration is no friend to wedlock —Would to heaven that the same hour that my hand and Lord G.'s were joined, yours and my brother's were also united!

Ah, Miss Grandison! If you love me, try to wean me; and not to encourage hopes of what never, never can be.

Dear creature! You will be greater than Clementina, and that is greater than the greatest, if you can conquer a passion, which overturned her reason.

Do not, my Charlotte, make comparisons in which the conscience of your Harriet tells her she must be a sufferer. There is no occasion for me to despise myself, in order to hold myself inferior to Clementina.

Well, you are a noble creature!—But, the approaching Tuesday—I cannot bear to think of it.

Dear Charlotte!

And dear Harriet too!—But the officiousness, the assiduities of this trifling man, are disgustful to me.

You don't hate him?—

Hate him—True—I don't hate him—But I have been so much accustomed to treat him like a fool, that I can't help thinking him one. He should not

[page] 96

have been so tame to such a spirit as mine. He should have been angry when I played upon him. have got a knack of it, and shall never leave it off, that's certain.

Then I hope he will be angry with you. I hope that he will resent your ill treatment of him.

Too late, too late to begin, Harriet. I won't take it of him now. He has never let me see that his face can become two sorts of features. The poor man can look sorrowful; that I know full well: but I shall always laugh when he attempts to look angry.

You know better, Charlotte. You may give him so much cause for anger, that you may make it habitual to him, and then would be glad to see him pleased. Men have a hundred ways that women have not, to divert themselves abroad, when they cannot be happy at home. This I have heard observed by—

By your grandmother, Harriet. Good old lady! In her reign it might be so; but you will find, that women now have as many ways to divert themselves abroad as the men. Have you not observed this yourself in one of your letters to Lucy! Ah! my dear! We can every hour of the twenty-four be up with our monarchs, if they are undutiful.

But Charlotte Grandison will not, cannot—

Why, that's true, my dear—But I shall not then be a Grandison. Yet the man will have some security from my brother's goodness. He is not only good himself, but he makes every one related to him, either for fear or shame, good likewise. But I think that when one week or fortnight is happily over, and my spirits are got up again from the depression into which this abominable hurry puts them, I could fall upon some inventions that would make every one laugh, except the person who might take it into his

[page] 97

head that he may be a sufferer by them: and who can laugh, and be angry, in the same moment?

You should not marry, Charlotte, till this wicked vein of humour and raillery is stopt.

I hope it will hold me till fifty.

Don't say so, Charlotte—Say rather that you hope it will hold you so long only as it may be thought innocent or inoffensive, by the man whom it will be your duty to oblige; and so long as it will bring no discredit to yourself.

Your servant, goody Gravity!—But what must be, must. The man is bound to see it. It will be all his own seeking. He will sin with his eyes open. I think he has seen enough of me to take warning. All that I am concerned about is for the next week or fortnight. He will be king all that time—Yet perhaps not quite all neither. And I shall be his sovereign ever after, or I am mistaken. What a duce shall a woman marry a man of talents not superior to her own, and forget to reward herself for her condescension?—But, high-ho!—There's a sigh, Harriet. Were I at home, I would either sing you a song, or play you a tune, in order to raise my own heart.

She besought me then, with great earnestness, to give her my company till the day arrived, and on the day. You see, said she, that my brother has engagements till Monday. Dear creature, support, comfort me—Don't you see my heart beat through my stays?—If you love me, come to me to-morrow to breakfast; and leave me not for the whole time— Are you not my sister, and the friend of my heart? I will give you a month for it, upon demand. Come, let us go down, I will ask the consent of both your cousins.

She did: and they, with their usual goodness to me, cheerfully complied.

K

[page] 98

Sir Charles set out this morning to attend the triple marriages; drest charmingly, his sister says. I have made Miss Grandison promise to give me an account of such particulars, as, by the help of Saunders, and Sir Charles's own relation, she can pick up. All we single girls, I believe, are pretty attentive to such subjects as these: as what one day may be our own concern.

LETTER XII.

MISS GRANDISON TO MISS BYRON.

Thursday night.

UNREASONABLE, wicked, cruel, Byron! To expect a poor creature so near her execution, to write an account of other people's behaviour in the same tremendous circumstances! The matrimonial noose has hung over my head for some time past; and now it is actually fitted to my devoted neck.—Almost choaked, my dear!—This moment done hearing read, the firsts, seconds, thirds, fourths, to near a dozen of them—Lord be merciful to us!—And the villainous lawyer rearing up to me his spectacled nose, as if to see how I bore it! Lord G. insulting me, as I thought, by his odious leers: Lady Gertrude simpering; little Emily ready to bless herself —How will the dear Harriet bear these abominable recitatives?—But I am now up stairs from them all, in order to recover my breath and obey my Byron.

Well, but what am I now to say about the Danbys? Saunders has made his report; Sir Charles has told us some things: yet I will only give you heads: make out the rest.

In the first place, my brother went to Mrs. Har-

5

[page] 99

rington's (Miss Danby's aunt): she did every-thing but worship him. She had with her two young ladies, relations of her late husband, dainty damsels of the city, who had procured themselves to be invited, that they might see the man, whom they called, A wonder of generosity and goodness. Richard heard one of them say to the other, Ah, sister! This is a king of a man! What pity there are not many such! But, Harriet, if there were a hundred of them, we would not let one of them go into the city for a wife; would we, my dear?

Sir Charles praised Miss Danby. She was full of gratitude; and of humility, I suppose. Meek, modest, and humble, are qualities of which men are mighty fond in women. But matrimony, and a sense of obligation, are equally great humblers even of spirits prouder than that of Miss Danby; as your poor Charlotte can testify.

The young gentlemen, with the rest, were to meet Sir Charles, the bride, and these ladies, at St. Helen's, I think the church is called.

As if wedlock were an honour, the Danby girl, in respect to Sir Charles, was to be first yoked. He gave her away to the son Galliard. The father Galliard gave his daughter to Edward Danby: but first Mr. Hervey gave his niece to the elder.

One of the brides, I forget which, fainted away; another half-fainted—Saved by timely salts; the third, poor soul, wept heartily—as I suppose I shall do on Tuesday.

Never, surely was there such a matrimony-promoter, as my brother. God give me soon my revenge upon him in the same way!

The procession afterwards was triumphant—Six coaches, four silly souls in each; and to Mr. Poussin's at Enfield they all drove. There they found another large company.

K 2

[page] 100

My brother was all cheerfulness: and both men and women seemed to contend for his notice: but they were much disappointed at finding he meant to leave them early in the evening.

One married lady, the wife of Sir—Somebody (I am very bad at remembering the names of city knights) was resolved, she said, since they could not have Sir Charles to open the ball, to have one dance before dinner with the handsomest man in England. The music was accordingly called in; and he made no scruple to oblige the company on a day so happy.

Do you know, Harriet, that Sir Charles is supposed to be one of the finest dancers in England? Remember, my dear, that on Tuesday—[Lord help me! I shall then be stupid, and remember nothing] you take him out yourself: and then you will judge for yourself of his excellence in this science—May we not call dancing a science? If we judge by the few who perform gracefully in it, I am sure we may; and a difficult one too.

O!—And remember, Harriet, that you get somebody to call upon him to sing.— You shall play—I believe I shall forget in that only agreeable moment of the day (for you have a sweet finger, my love) that I am the principal fool in the play of the evening.

O Harriet!—how can I, in the circumstances I am in, write any more about these soft souls, and silly? Come to me by day-dawn, and leave me not till—I don't know when. Come, and take my part, my dear: I shall hate this man: he does nothing but hop, skip, and dance about me, grin, and make mouths; and every-body upholds him in it.

Must this (I hope not!) be the last time that I write myself to you

CHARLOTTE GRANDISON?

[page] 101

LETTER XIII.

MISS BYRON TO MISS SELBY.

St. James's Square, Friday morning, April 7.

SIR CHARLES GRANDISON set out early this morning for Lord W.'s, in his way to Lady Mansfield's. I am here with this whimsical Charlotte.

Lady L. Miss Jervois, myself, and every female of the family, or who do business for both sisters out of it, are busy in some way or other, preparatory to the approaching Tuesday.

Miss Grandison is the only idle person. I tell her, she is affectedly so.

The earl has presented her, in his son's name, with some very rich trinkets. Very valuable jewels are also bespoke by Lord G. who takes Lady L.'s advice in every-thing; as one well read in the fashions. New equipages are bespoke; and gay ones they will be.

Miss Grandison confounded me this morning by an instance of her generosity. She was extremely urgent with me to accept, as her third sister, of her share of her mother's jewels. You may believe, that I absolutely refused such a present. I was angry with her; and told her, she had but one way of making up with me: and that was, that since she would be so completely set out from her lord, she would unite the two halves, by presenting hers to Lady L. who had refused jewels from her lord on her marriage; and who then would make an appearance, occasionally, as brilliant as her own.

She was pleased with the hint; and has actually given them (unknown to any-body but me) to her jeweller; who is to dispose them in such figures, as shall answer those she herself is to have, which Lady

K 3

[page] 102

L. has not. And by this contrivance, which will make them in a manner useless to herself, she thinks she shall oblige her sister, however reluctant, to accept of them.

Lady Gertrude is also preparing some fine presents for her niece elect: but neither the delighted approbation of the family she is entering into, nor the satisfaction expressed by her own friends, give the perverse Charlotte any visible joy, nor procure for Lord G. the distinction which she ought to think of beginning to pay him. But, for his part, never was man so happy. He would, however, perhaps, fare better from her, if he could be more moderate in the outward expression of his joy; which she has taken it into her head to call an insult upon her.

She does not, however, give the scope she did before the day was fixt, to her playful captiousness. She is not quite so arch as she was. Thoughtfulness, and a seeming carelessness of what we are all employed in, appear in her countenance. She saunters about, and affects to be diverted by her harpsichord only. What a whimsical thing is Charlotte Grandison! But still she keeps Lord G. at distance. I told her an hour ago, that she knows not how to condescend to him with that grace which is so natural to her in her whole behaviour to everybody else.

I have been talking to Dr. Bartlett, about Sir Charles's journey to Italy. Nobody knows, he says, what a bleeding heart is covered by a countenance so benign and cheerful. Sir Charles Grandison, said he, has a prudence beyond that of most young men; but he has great sensibilities.

I take it for granted, Sir, said I, that he will for the future be more an Italian than Englishman.

Impossible, madam! A prudent youth, by travelling, reaps this advantage—From what he sees of

[page] 103

other countries, he learns to prefer his own. An imprudent one the contrary. Sir Charles's country is endeared to him by his long absence from it. Italy in particular is called, The garden of Europe; but it is rather to be valued for what it was, and might be, than what it is. I need not tell a lady who has read and conversed as you have done, to what that incomparable difference is owing. Sir Charles Grandison is greatly sensible of it. He loves his country, with the judgment of a wise man; and wants not the partiality of a patriot.

But, doctor, he has offered, you know, to reside —There I stopt.

True, madam—And he will not recede from his offers, if they are claimed. But this uncertainty it is that disturbs him.

I pity my patron, proceeded he. I have often told you he; is not happy. What has indiscretion to expect, when discretion has so much to suffer? His only consolation is, that he has nothing to reproach himself with. Inevitable evils he bears as a man should He makes no ostentation of his piety: but, madam, Sir Charles Grandison is a CHRISTIAN.

You need not, Sir, say more to me to exalt him: and, let me add, that I have no small pleasure in knowing that Clementina is a lady of strict piety, though a Roman Catholic.

And let me assure you madam, that Sir Charles's regard for Miss Byron (his more than regard for her, why should I not say? since every body sees it) is founded upon her piety, and upon the amiable qualities of her mind. Beauty, madam, is an accidental and transient good. No man better knows how to distinguish between admiration and love, than my patron. His virtue is virtue upon full proof, and against sensibilities, that it is heroic to overcome. Lady Olivia knows this: and here I must acknowledge

[page] 104

myself a debtor to you for three articles out of you ten. I hope soon to discharge the obligation.

Your own time, doctor: but I must say, that whenever you give me Lady Olivia's story, I shall be pained, if I find that a Clementina is considered by a beauty of an unhappier turn, as her rival in the love of Sir Charles Grandison.

Lady Olivia, madam, admires him for his virtue; but she cannot, as he has made it his study to do, divide admiration from love. What offers has she not refused?—But she declares, that she had rather be the friend of Sir Charles Grandison, than the wife of the greatest prince on earth.

This struck me: Have not I said something like it? But surely with innocence of heart. But here the doctor suggests, that Olivia has put his virtue to the proof. Yet I hope not.

The FRIEND, Dr. Bartlett!—I hope that no woman who is not quite given up to dishonour, will pollute the sacred word, by affixing ideas to it, that cannot be connected with it. A friend is one of the highest characters that one human creature can shine in to another. There may be love, that though it has no view but to honour, yet even in wedlock, ripens not into friendship. How poor are all such attachments! How much beneath the exalted notion I have of that noblest, that most delicate union of souls! You wonder at me, Dr Bartlett. Let me repeat to you, Sir (I have it by heart) Sir Charles Grandison's tender of friendship to the poor Harriet Byron, which has given me such exalted ideas of this disinterested passion; but you must not take notice that I have. I repeated those words beginning, "My heart demands alliance with hers"—and ending with these—" So long as it shall be consistent with her other attachments*."

* See p. 66. of this volume.

[page] 105

The doctor was silent for a few moments: at last, What a delicacy is there in the mind of this excellent man! Yet how consistent with the exactest truth! The friendship he offers you, madam, is indeed friendship. What you have repeated can want no explanation: yet it is expressive of his uncertain situation. It is —

He stopt of a sudden.

Pray, doctor, proceed: I love to hear you talk.

My good young lady!—I may say too much. Sir Charles in these nice points must be left to himself. It is impossible for any-body to express his thoughts as he can express them. But let me say, that he justly, as well as greatly, admires Miss Byron.

My heart rose against myself. Bold Harriet, thought I, how darest thou thus urge a good man to say more than he has a mind to say of the secrets of a friend, which are committed to his keeping? Content thyself with the hopes that the worthiest man in the world would wish to call thee his, were it not for an invincible obstacle. And, noble, thrice noble Clementina, be thine the preference even in the heart of Harriet Byron, because justice gives it to thee; for, Harriet, hast thou not been taught to prefer right and justice to every other consideration? And, wouldst thou abhor the thought of a common theft, yet steal a heart that is the property, and that, by the dearest purchase, of another?

[page] 106

LETTER XIV.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Friday evening.

We have had a great debate about the place in which the nuptial ceremony is to be performed.

Charlotte, the perverse Charlotte, insisted upon not going to church.

Lord G. dared not to give his opinion; though his father and Lady Gertrude, as well as every other person, were against her.

Lord L. said, that if fine ladies thought so slightly of the office, as that it might be performed anywhere, it would be no wonder, if fine gentlemen thought still more slightly of the obligation it laid them under.

Being appealed to, I said, that I thought of marriage as one of the most solemn acts of a woman's life.

And if of a woman's, of a man's, surely, interrupted Lady L. If your whimsey, Charlotte, added she, arises from modesty, you reflect upon your sister; and, what is worse, upon your mother.

Charlotte put up her pretty lip, and was unconvinced.

Lady Gertrude laid a heavy hand upon the affectation; yet admires her niece elect. She distinguished between chamber vows and church vows. She mentioned the word decency. She spoke plainer, on Charlotte's unfeeling perverseness. If a bride meant a compliment by it to the bridegroom, that was another thing; but then let her declare as much; and that she was in a hurry to oblige him.

Charlotte attempted to kill her by a look—She gave a worse to Lord G.—And why, whispered she to him, as he sat next her, must thou shew all thy teeth, man?—As Lady Gertrude meant to shame

[page] 107

her, I thought I could as soon forgive that lady, as her who was the occasion of the freedom of speech.

But still she was perverse: she would not be married at all, she said, if she were not complied with.

I whispered her, as I sat on the other side of her, I wish, Charlotte, the knot were tied: till then, you will not do even right things, but in a wrong manner.

Dr. Bartlett was not present: he was making a kind visit to my cousin Reeves's. When he came in, the debate was referred to him. He entered into it with her, with so much modesty, good sense, propriety, and steadiness, that at last the perverse creature gave way: but hardly would neither, had he not assured her, that her brother would be entirely against her; and that he himself must be excused performing the sacred office, but in a sacred place. She has set her heart on the doctor's marrying her.

The Earl of G. and Lady Gertrude, as also Lord and Lady L. went away, not dissatisfied with Charlotte's compliance: she is the most ungraciously graceful young woman I ever knew in her compliances: but Lord G. was to pay for all: she and I had got together in the study: in bolted Lord G. perhaps with too little ceremony. She coloured— Hey-day, Sir! who expected you? His countenance immediately fell. He withdrew precipitately. Fie, Charlotte! said I: recollect yourself—and rising, stept to the door, My lord—calling after him.

He came back; but in a little ferment—I hoped, I hoped, madam, as you were not in your own apartment, that I might, that I might, have been—

Wherever ladies are by themselves, it is a lady's apartment, my lord, said she, with a haughtiness

[page] 108

that sat better on her features, than they would upon almost any other woman's.

He looked, as if he knew not whether he should stay or go. Sit down, my lord, said I; we are not particularly engaged. He came nearer, bowing to her, who sat as stately as a princess on her throne: but yet looked disobliged. You give yourself pretty airs, my lord—don't you?

Pretty airs, madam!—Pretty airs!—By my soul, I think, madam—And with such a glow in your face, madam—Taking his laced hat from under his arm, and with an earnest motion swinging it backwards and forwards, as unknowing what he did—

What, Sir, am I to be buffeted, Sir!—

He put his hat under his arm again—Buffeted, madam!—Would to heaven—

What has heaven to do with your odd ways, Lord G.?

I beg pardon for intruding, madam—but I thought—

That you had a privilege, Sir—But marriage itself, Sir, shall not give you a privilege to break into my retirements. You thought, Sir—You could not think—So much the worse if you did—

If I have really offended—I will be more circumspect for the future—I beg pardon, madam—Miss Byron I hope will forgive me too.

He was going, in great discomposure, and with an air of angry humility.

Charlotte, whispered I—Don't be silly—

Come, come, now you have broke in upon us, you may stay—But another time, when you know me to be retired with a friend so dear to me, let it enter into your head, that no third person, unsent for, can be welcome.

Poor man—How he loves her!—His countenance changed at once to the humble placid: he looked as if he had rather be in fault than she.

[page] 109

Oh! how little did she make him look!

But he has often, as well as in this instance, let her see her power over him. I am afraid she will use it. I now see it is and will be his misfortune, that she can vex him without being vexed herself: and what may he expect, who can be treated with feigned displeasure, which, while it seems to be in earnest to him, will be a jest to his wife?

I was very angry with her, when we were alone; and told her, that she would be an enemy, I was afraid, of her own happiness. But she only laughed at me: Happiness, my dear! said she: that only is happiness which we think so. If I can be as happy in my way, as you can be in yours, shall I not pursue it? Your happiness, child, is in the still life. I love not a dead calm: now a tempest, now a refreshing breeze, I shall know how to enjoy the difference—My brother will not be here to turn jest into earnest; as might perhaps be the effect of his mediation—But, high-ho, Harriet! that the first week were over, and I had got into my throne!

She ended with an Italian air, contrasted with another high-ho; and left me for a few moments.

Poor Lord G.! said I, looking after her.

She returned soon. Poor Lord G.! Those were the piteous words you threw after me, Harriet— But if I should provoke him, do you think be would not give me a cuff, or so?—You know he can't return joke for joke; and he must revenge himself some way—If that should be the case, poor Charlotte, I hope you would say—

Not if you deserved it.

Deserve a cuff, Harriet!—Well, but I am afraid I shall.

Remember next Tuesday, Charlotte!—You must vow obedience—Will you break your vow?—This is not a jesting matter.

VOL. XII. I.

[page] 110

True, Harriet. And that it is not, was perhaps one of the reasons that made me disinclined to go to so solemn a place as the church with Lord G.— Don't you think it one with those who insist upon being married in their own chamber?

I believe great people, said I, think they must not do right things in the common way: that seems to me to be one of their fantastic reasons: but the vow is the vow, Charlotte: God is every-where.

Now you are so serious, Harriet, it is time to have done with the subject.

I have no sleep in my eyes; and must go on. What keeps me more wakeful is, my real concern for this naughty Miss Grandison, and my pity for Lord G.; for the instance I have given you of her petulance is nothing to what I have seen: but I thought, so near the day, she would have changed her behaviour to him. Surely, the situation her brother is in, without any fault of his own, might convince her, that she need not go out of her path to pick up subjects for unhappiness.

Such a kittenish disposition in her, I called it; for it is not so much the love of power that predominates in her mind, as the love of playfulness: and when the fit is upon her, she regards not whether it is a china cup, or a cork, that she pats and tosses about: but her sport will certainly be the death of Lord G.'s happiness. Pity-that Sir Charles, who only has power over her, is obliged to go abroad so soon! But she has principles: Lady Grandison's daughter, Sir Charles Grandison's sister, must have principles. The solemnity of the occasion; the office; the church; the altar;—must strike her: the vow —Will she not regard the vow she makes in circumstances so awful? Could but my Lord G. assume dignity and mingle raillery with it, and be able

[page] 111

to laugh with her, and sometimes at her, she would not make him her sport: she would find somebody else: a butt she must have to shoot at: but I am afraid he will be too sensible of her smartness: and she will have her jest, let who will suffer by it.

Some of the contents of your last are very agreeable to me, Lucy. I will begin in earnest to think of leaving London. Don't let me look silly in your eyes, my dear, when I come. It was not so very presumptuous in me (was it?) to hope—When all his relations—When he himself—Yet what room for hope did he, could he, give me? He was honest; and I cheated myself: but then all you, my dearest friends, encouraged the cheat: nay, pointed my wishes, and my hopes, by yours, before I had dared (or shall I say, condescended?) to own them to myself.

You may let that Greville know, if you please, that there is no room for his if's, nor, of consequence, any for his menaces. You may own, that I shall soon be in Northamptonshire. This may prevent his and Fenwick's threatened journey to town.

But, Lucy, though my heart has been ever dutifully, as I may say, open to the venerable domestic circle; though it would not have been an honest heart, could it, circumstanced as I was, have concealed itself from Lady D.; and must have been an impenetrable one indeed, if it could have been disguised to the two sisters here—yet, I beseech you, my dear, almost on my knees I beseech you, let not the audacious, the insulting Greville, have ground given him to suspect a weakness in your Harriet, which indelicate minds know not how to judge of delicately. For sex-sake, for example-sake, Lucy, let it not be known to any but the partial, friendly few, that our grandmamma Shirley's child,

L 2

[page] 112

and aunt Selby's niece, has been a volunteer in her affections. How many still more forward girls would plead Mrs. Shirley's approbation of the hasty affection, without considering the circumstances and the object! So the next girl that run away to a dancing-master, or an ensign, would reckon herself one of Harriet's school.

Poor Mr. Orme! I am sorry he is not well. It is cruel in you, Lucy, at this time, to say (so un-doubtingly) that his illness is owing to his love of me. You knew that such a suggestion would pain me. Heaven restore Mr. Orme!

But I am vexed, as it cannot be to purpose, that Sir Charles Grandison and I have been named together, and talked of, in your neighbourhood!— He will be gone abroad: I shall return to Northamptonshire: and shall look so silly! So like a refused girl!

'Every-body gives me to him, you say'—So much the worse. I wonder what business this every-body has to trouble itself about me.

One consolation, however, I shall have in my return; and that is, in my Nancy's recovered health; which was so precarious when I set out for London.

But I shall have nothing to entertain you with when I am with you: Sir Charles Grandison, Lord and Lady L. Lady G. (as now in three or four days she will be) my dear Miss Jervois, Dr. Bartlett, will be all my subject. And have I not exhausted that by pen and ink? O no! The doctor promises to correspond with me; and he makes no doubt but Sir Charles will correspond with him as usual.

What can the unusually tender friendship be called which he professed for me, and, as I may say, claimed in return for me? I know that he has no notion of the love called platonic. Nor have I: I think it, in general, a dangerous allowance; and, with regard

[page] 113

to our sex, a very unequal one; since, while the man has nothing to fear, the woman has every thing, from the privileges that may be claimed, in an acknowledged confidence, especially in presence. Miss Grandison thus interprets what he said, and strengthens her opinion by some of Dr. Bartlett's late intimations, that he really loves me; but not being at liberty to avow his love, he knew not what to say; and so went as near to a declaration as was possible to do in his circumstances.

But might I not expect, from such a profession of friendship in Sir Charles, an offer of correspondence in absence? And if he made the offer, ought I to decline it? Would it not indicate too much on my side, were I to do so?—And does it not on his, if he make not the offer? He corresponds with Mrs. Beaumont: nobody thinks that any-thing can be meant by that correspondence on either side; because Mrs. Beaumont must be at least forty; Sir Charles but six or seven and twenty: but if he makes not the request to Harriet, who is but little more than twenty; what after such professions of a friendship so tender, will be inferred from his forbearance?

But I shall puzzle myself, and you too, Lucy, if I go on with this sort of reasoning; because I shall not know how to put all I mean into words. Have I not already puzzled you? I think my expression is weak and perplexed—But this offered and accepted friendship between two persons not indelicate, must be perplexing; since he is the only young man in the world, from whom a woman has no dishonour to fear—Ah, Lucy!—It would be vanity in me, would it not? to suppose that he had more to fear from Harriet, than she has from him; as the virtue of either, I hope, is not questionable?

L 3

[page] 114

But. the event of his Italian visit will explain and reconcile every-thing.

I will encourage a drowsy fit that seems to be stealing upon me. If I have not written with the perspicuity I always aim at, allow, Lucy, for the time of night; for spirits not high; and for the subject, which having its delicacies. as well as uncertainties, I am not able to write clearly upon it.

LETTER XV.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Sunday Night, April 9.

SIR Charles is already returned: he arrived at Windsor on Friday morning; but found that Lord W. had set out the afternoon of the day before, for the house of his friend Sir Joseph Lawrence, which is but fifteen miles from Mansfield-house.

Upon this intelligence, Sir Charles, wanting to return to town as soon as he could, followed him to the knight's: and having time enough himself to reach Mansfield-house that night, he, by his uncle's consent, pursued his journey thither; to the great joy of the family; who wished for his personal introduction of my lord to Miss Mansfield.

My lord arrived by breakfast-time, unfatigued, and in high spirits: staid at Mansfield-house all day; and promised so to manage, as to be in town to-morrow, in order to be present at his niece's nuptials on Tuesday.

As for Sir Charles, he made the Mansfield family happy in his company the whole Friday evening; enquiring into their affairs relating to the oppression

[page] 115

they lay under; pointing out measures for redress; encouraging Miss Mansfield; and informing the brothers, that the lawyers he had consulted on their deeds, told him, that a new trial might be hoped for; the result of which, probably, would be a means to do them justice, so powerfully protected and assisted as they would be now; for new lights had broken in upon them, and they wanted but to recover a deed, which they understood was in the hands of two gentlemen, named Hartley, who were but lately returned from the Indies. Thus prepared, the Mansfields also were in high spirits the next morning; and looked, Sir Charles said, on each other, when they met, as if they wanted to tell each other their agreeable dreams.

Sir Charles, in his way, had looked in upon Sir Harry Beauchamp and his lady. He found Sir Harry in high spirits, expecting the arrival of his son; who was actually landed from Calais, having met there his father's letter, allowing him to return to England, and wishing in his own, and in Lady Beauchamp's name, his speedy arrival.

Sir Charles's impatience to see his friend, permitted him only to breakfast with my lord and the Mansfields; and to know the opinion each party formed of the other, on this first interview; and then he set out to Sir Harry Beauchamp's. What an activity!—Heaven reward him with the grant of his own wishes, whatever they be, and make him the happiest of men!

My lord is greatly taken with the lady, and her whole family. Well he may, Sir Charles says. He blessed him, and called himself blessed in his sister's son, for his recommendation of each to the other. The lady thinks better of him, as her mother owned to Sir Charles, than she thought she should, from report.

[page] 116

I begin to think, Lucy, that those who set out for happiness are most likely to find it, when they live single till the age of fancy is over. Those who marry while it lasts, are often disappointed of that which they propose so largely to themselves: while those who wed for convenience, and deal with tolerable honesty by each other, are at a greater certainty. Tolerable, I repeat, since, it seems, we are to expect that both parties will turn the best side of the old garment outward. Hence arises consolation to old maidens, and cautions against precipitation—Expatiate, my dear, on this fruitful subject: I would, were I at leisure.

Sir Charles says, that he doubts not but Lord W. will be as happy a man as he wishes to be, in less than a month.

The deuce is in this brother of mine, whispered Miss Grandison, to me, for huddling up of marriages! He don't consider, that there may be two chances for one, that his honest folks may, in half a year's time, bless him the contrary way.

Sir Charles told us, that he had desired Lord W. to give out every-where (that the adversaries of the Mansfield family might know it) his intended alliance; and that he and his nephew were both determined to procure a retrospection of all former proceedings.

Sir Charles got to Sir Harry Beauchamp's a little before his friend arrived. Sir Harry took him aside at his alighting, and told him that Lady Beauchamp had had clouds on her brow all the day; and he was afraid, would not receive his son with the graciousness that once he hoped for from her: but that he left him to manage with her. She never, said he, had so high an opinion either of man or woman as she has of you.

Sir Charles addressed himself to her, as not doubt-

[page] 117

ing her goodness upon the foot of their former conversation; and praised her for the graces that however appeared but faintly in her countenance, till his compliments lighted them up, and made them shine full out in it. He told her, that his sister and Lord G. were to be married on the following Tuesday. He himself, he said, should set out for Paris on Friday after: but hoped to see a family intimacy begun between his sisters and Lady Beauchamp; and between their lords, and Sir Harry, and Mr. Beauchamp. He applauded her on the generosity of her intentions, as declared to him in their former conference; and congratulated her on the power she had, of which she made so noble a use, of laying at the same time an obligation on the tenderest of husbands, and the most deserving of sons; whose duty to her he engaged for.

All this set her in high good humour; and she took to herself, and bridled upon it, to express myself in Charlotte's manner, the praises and graces this adroit manager gave her, as if they were her unquestionable due.

This agreeable way they were all in, Sir Harry transported with his lady's goodness, when Mr. Beauchamp arrived.

The young gentleman bent his knee to his stepmother, as well as to his father; and thanked her for the high favours which, his father had signified to him by letter, he owed to her goodness. She confirmed them; but, Sir Charles observed, with an ostentation that shewed she thought very highly of her own generosity.

They had a very cheerful evening. Not one cloud would hang on Lady Beauchamp's brow, though once or twice it seemed a little overshaded, as Mr. Beauchamp displayed qualities for which his father was too ready to admire him. Sir Charles

[page] 118

thought it necessary to caution Sir Harry on this subject; putting it in this light, that Lady Beauchamp loved her husband so well, that she would be too likely to dread a rivalry in his affections from a son so very accomplished. Sir Harry took the hint kindly.

Mr. Beauchamp was under a good deal of concern at Sir Charles's engagements to leave England so soon after his arrival; and asked his father's leave to attend him. Sir Harry declared, that he could not part with him. Sir Charles chid his friend, and said, It was not quite so handsome a return as might have been expected from his Beauchamp, to the joyful reception he had met with from his father, and Lady Beauchamp. But she excused the young gentleman, and said, She wondered not, that anybody who was favoured with his friendship, should be unwilling to be separated from him.

Sir Charles expresses great satisfaction in Mr. Beauchamp's being arrived before his departure, that he may present to us himself, a man with whom he is sure we shall all be delighted, and leave him happy in the beloved society which he himself is obliged to quit.

A repining temper, Lucy, would consider only the hardship of meeting a long-absent friend, just to feel the uneasiness of a second parting: but this man views every-thing in a right light. When his own happiness is not to be attained, he lays it out of his thoughts, and, as I have heretofore observed, rejoices in that of others. It is a pleasure to see how Sir Charles seems to enjoy the love which Dr. Bartlett expresses for this friend of them both.

Sir Charles addressed himself to me, on several occasions, in so polite, in so tender a manner, that every one told me afterwards, they are sure he loves me. Dr. Bartlett at the time, as he sat next

[page] 119

me, whispered, on the regret expressed by all on losing him so soon—Ah, madam!—I know, and pity, my patron's struggles—Struggles, Lucy! What could the doctor mean by this whisper to me! But I hope he guesses not at mine! If he does, would he have whispered his pity of Sir Charles to me?— Come, Lucy, this is some comfort, however; and I will endeavour to be brave upon it, that I may not, by my weakness, lessen myself in the doctor's good opinion.

It was agreed for Charlotte (whose assent was given in these words—' Do as you will—or, rather, as my brother will—What signifies opposing him?') that the nuptials shall be solemnized, as privately as possible, at St. George's church. The company is to drop in at different doors, and with as few attendants as may be. Lord W. the Earl of G. and Lady Gertrude, Lord and Lady L. Miss Jervois, and your Harriet, are to be present at the ceremony. I was very earnest to be excused, till Miss Grandison, when we were alone, dropt down on one knee, and held up her hands, to beg me to accompany her. Mr. Everard Grandison, if he can be found, is to he also there, at Sir Charles's desire.

Dr. Barlett, as I before hinted, at her earnest request, is to perform the ceremony. Sir Charles wished it to be at his own parish-church: but Miss Grandison thought it too near to be private. He was indifferent, as to the place, he said—So it was at church; for he had been told of the difficulty we had to get Charlotte to desist from having it performed in the house; and seemed surprised—Fie, Charlotte! said he—An office so solemn!—Vows to receive and pay as in the Divine presence—

She was glad, she told me, that she had not left that battle to he fought with him.

[page] 120

Monday, April 10.

Lord W. is come. Lord and Lady L. are here. They, and Miss Grandison, received him with great respect. He embraced his nieces in a very affectionate manner. Sir Charles was absent. Lord W. is in person and behaviour a much more agreeable man than I expected him to be. Nor is he so decrepit with the gout, as I had supposed. He is very careful of himself, it seems. This world has been kind to him; and I fancy he makes a great deal of a little pain, for want of stronger exercises to his patience; and so is a sufferer by self-indulgence. Had I not been made acquainted with his free living, and with the insults he bore from Mrs. Giffard, with a spirit so poor, and so low, I should have believed I saw not only the man of quality, but the man of sense, in his countenance. I endeavoured, however, as much as I could, to look upon him as the brother of the late Lady Grandison. Had he been worthy of that relation, how should I have reverenced him!

But whatever I thought of him, he expressed himself highly in my favour. He particularly praised me for the modesty which he said was visible in my countenance. Free-livers, Lucy, taken with that grace in a woman, which they make it their pride to destroy! But all men, good and bad, admire modesty in a woman: and I am sometimes out of humour with our sex, that they do not as generally like modesty in men. I am sure that this grace in Sir Charles Grandison, is one of his principal glories with me. It emboldens one's heart, and permits one to behave before him with ease; and, as I may say, with security, in the consciousness of a right intention.

[page] 121

But what were Lord W.'s praises of his nephew! He called him, The glory of his sex, and of human nature. How the cheeks of the dear Emily glowed at the praises given to her guardian!—She was the taller for them: when she moved, it was on tiptoe; stealing, as it were, cross the floor, lest she should lose any-thing, that was said on a subject so delightful to her.

My lord was also greatly pleased with her. He complimented her as the beloved ward of the best of guardians. He lamented, with us, the occasion that called his nephew abroad. He was full of his own engagements with Miss Mansfield, and declared that his nephew should guide and govern him as he pleased in every material case, respecting either the conduct of his future life, or the management and disposition of his estate; adding, that he had made his will, and, excepting only his lady's jointure, and a few legacies, had left every-thing to him.

How right a thing, even in policy, is it, my dear, to be good and generous!

I must not forget, that my lord wished, with all his soul, that was his expression, that he might have the honour of giving to his nephew my hand in marriage.

I could feel myself blush. I half-suppressed a sigh: I would have wholly suppressed it, if I could. I recovered the little confusion, his too plainly expressed wish gave me, by repeating to myself the word CLEMENTINA.

This Charlotte is a great coward. But I dare not tell her so, for fear of a retort. I believe I should be as great a one in her circumstances, so few hours to one of the greatest events of one's life! But I pretend not to bravery: yet hope, that in the cause of virtue or honour I should be found to have a soul.

M

[page] 122

I write now at my cousins. I came hither to make an alteration in my dress. I have promised to be with the sweet bully early in the morning of her important day.

LETTER XVI.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Tuesday night, April 11, 12.
Wednesday morning,

MISS GRANDISON is no longer to be called by that name. She is Lady G. May she make Lord G. as happy as I dare say he will make her, if it be not her own fault!

I was early with her, according to promise. I found her more affected than she was even last night with her approaching change of condition. Her brother had been talking to her, she said; and had laid down the duties of the state she was about to enter into, in such a serious manner, and made the performance of them of so much importance to her happiness both here and hereafter, that she was terrified at the thoughts of what she was about to undertake. She had never considered matrimony in that formidable light before. He had told her, that he was afraid of her vavacity; yet was loth to discourage her cheerfulness, or to say any-thing that should lower her spirits. All he besought of her was, to regard times, tempers, and occasions; and then it would be impossible but her lively humour must give delight not only to the man whom she favoured with her hand, but to every one who had the pleasure of approaching her. If, Charlotte, said he, you would have the world around you respect

[page] 123

your husband, you must set the example. While the wife gives the least room to suspect, that she despises her husband, she will find, that she subjects him to double contempt, if he resents it not: and if he does, can you be happy? Aggressors lay themselves open to severe reprisals. If you differ, you will be apt to make by-standers judges over you. They will remember when you are willing to forget; and your fame will be the sport of those beneath you. as well in understanding as degree.

She believed, she told me, that Lord G. had been making some complaints of her. If he had—

Hush, my dear, said I—Not one word of threatening: Are you more solicitous to conceal your fault, than to amend it?

No—But you know, Harriet, for a man, before he has experienced what sort of a wife I shall make, to complain against me for foibles in courtship, when he can help himself if he will, has something so very little—

Your conscience, Charlotte, tells you, that he had reason for complaint; and therefore you think he has complained. Think the best of Lord G. for your own reputation's sake, since you thought fit to go thus far with him. You have borne nothing from him: he has borne a great deal from you.

I am fretful, Harriet; I won't be chidden: I will be comforted by you: you shall sooth me: are you not my sister? She threw her arms around me, and kissed my cheek.

I ventured to railly her, though I was afraid of her retort, and met with it: but I thought it would divert her. I am glad, my dear, said I, that you are capable of this tenderness of temper: you blustering girls—But fear, I believe, will make cowards loving.

Harriet, said she, and flung from me to the win-

M 2

[page] 124

dow, remember this: May I soon see you in the same situation! I will then have no mercy upon you.

The subject, which Sir Charles led to at breakfast, was the three weddings of Thursday last. He spoke honourably of marriage, and made some just compliments to Lord and Lady L.; concluding them with wishes, that his sister Charlotte and Lord G. might be neither more nor less happy than they were. Then turning to Lord W. he said, He questioned not his lordship's happiness with the lady he had so lately seen; for I cannot doubt, said he, of your lordship's affectionate gratitude to her, if she behaves as I am sure she will.

My lord had tears in his eyes. Never man had such a nephew as I have, said he. All the joy of my present prospects, all the comforts of my future life, are and will be owing to you.

Here had he stopt, it would have been well: but, turning to me, he unexpectedly said, Would to God, madam, that you could reward him! I cannot; and nobody else can.

All were alarmed for me; every eye was upon me. A sickishness came over my heart—I know not how to describe it. My head sunk upon my bosom. I could hardly sit; yet was less able to rise.

Sir Charles's face was overspread with blushes. He bowed to my lord. May the man, said he, who shall have the honour to call Miss Byron his, be, if possible, as deserving as she is! Then will they live together the life of angels.

He gracefully looked down; not at me; and I got a little courage to look up: yet Lady L. was concerned for me: so was Lord L.: Emily's eye dropt a tear upon her blushing cheek.

Was it not, Lucy, a severe trial?—Indeed it was.

[page] 125

My Lord, to mend the matter, lamented very pathetically, that Sir Charles was under an obligation to go abroad: and still more, that he could not stay to be present at the celebration of his nuptials with Miss Mansfield.

The earl, Lord G. Lady Gertrude, and the doctor, were to meet the bride and us at church. Lord and Lady L. Sir Charles, and Emily, went in one coach: Miss Grandison and I in another.

As we went, I don't like this affair at all, Harriet, said she. My brother has long made all other men indifferent to me. Such an infinite difference!

Can any-body be happier than Lord and Lady L. Charlotte? Yet Lady L. admires her brother as much as you can do.

They happy!—And so they are. But Lady L. soft soul! fell in love with Lord L. before my brother came over. So the foundation was laid: and it being a first flame with her, she, in compliment to herself, could not but persevere. But the sorry creature Anderson, proving a sorry creature, made me despise the sex: and my brother's perfections contributed to my contempt of all other men.

Indeed, my dear, you are wrong. Lord G. loves you: but were Sir Charles not your brother, it is not very certain, that he would have returned your love.

Why, that's true. I believe be would not, in that case, have chosen me. I am sure he would not, if he had known you: but for the man one loves, one can do any-thing, be every-thing, that he would wish one to be.

Do you think you cannot love Lord G.?—For Heaven's sake, Charlotte, though you are now almost within sight of the church, do not think of giving your hand, if you cannot resolve to make

M 3

[page] 126

Lord G. as happy, as I have no doubt he will make you, if it be not your own fault.

What will my brother say? What will—

Leave that to me. I will engage Sir Charles and Dr. Bartlett to lend me their ear in the vestry; and I am sure your brother, if he knows that you have any antipathy to Lord G. or that you think you cannot be happy with him, will undertake your cause, and bring you off.

Antipathy! That's a strong word, Harriet. The man is a good-natured silly man.—

Silly! Charlotte!—Silly then he must be for loving you so well, who, really, have never yet given him an opportunity to shew his importance with you.

I do pity him sometimes.

The coach stopt:—Ah, Lord! Harriet! The church! The church!

Say, Charlotte, before you step out—Shall I speak to your brother, and Dr. Bartlett, in the vestry?

I shall look like a fool either way.

Don't act like one, Charlotte, on this solemn occasion. Say, you will deserve, that you will try to deserve Lord G.'s love.

Sir Charles appeared. Lord help me!—My brother!— I'll try, I'll try, what can be done.

He gave each his hand in turn: in we flew: the people began to gather about us. Lord G. all rapture, received her at the entrance. Sir Charles led me: and the earl and Lady Gertrude received us with joy in their countenances. I overheard the naughty one say, as Lord G. led her up to the altar, You don't know what you are about, man. I expect to have all my way: remember that's one of my articles before marriage.

[page] 127

He returned her an answer of fond assent to her condition. I am afraid, thought I, poor Lord G. you will be more than once reminded of this previous article.

When she was led to the altar, and Lord G. and she stood together, she trembled. Leave me not, Harriet, said she.— Brother! Lady L.! —

I am sure she looked sillier than Lord G. at that instant.

The good doctor began the office. No dearly beloveds, Harriet! whispered she, as I had said, on a really terrible occasion. I was offended with her in my heart: again she whispered something against the office, as the doctor proceeded to give the reasons for the institution. Her levity did not forsake her even at that solemn moment.

When the service was over, every one (Sir Charles in a solemn and most affectionate manner) wished her happy. My Lord G. with transport saluted her.

She took my hand. Ah! Lord, what have I done?—And am I married? whispered she—And can it never be undone?—And is that the man, to whom I am to be obedient?—Is he to be my lord and master?

Ah, Lady G. said I, it is a solemn office. You have vowed: he has vowed:—it is a solemn office.

Lord G. led her to the first coach. Sir Charles led me into the same. The people, to my great confusion, whispered, That's the bride! What a charming couple! Sir Charles handed Miss Emily next. Lord G. came in: as he was entering, Harkee, friend, said Charlotte, and put out her hand, You mistake the coach: you are not of our company.

The whole world, replied my lord, shall not now

[page] 128

divide us: and took his seat on the same side with Emily.

The man's a rogue, Harriet, whispered she: See! He gives himself airs already!

This, said Lord G. as the coach drove on, taking one hand, and eagerly kissing it, is the hand that blessed me.

And that, said she, pushing him from her with the other, is the hand that repulses your forwardness. What came you in here for?—Don't be silly.

He was in raptures all the way.

When we came home, every one embraced and wished joy to the bride. The earl and Lady Gertrude were in high spirits. The lady re-saluted her niece, as her dear niece: the earl recognized his beloved daughter.

But prepare to hear a noble action of Lord W.

When he came up to compliment her—My dearest niece, said he, I wish you joy with all my soul. I have not been a kind uncle. There is no fastening any-thing on your brother. Accept of this [and he put a little paper into her hand—It was a bank-note of 1000l.]: My sister's daughter, and your brother's sister, merits more than this.

Was not this handsomely presented, Lucy?

He then, in a manner becoming Lady Grandison's brother, stept to Lady L. My niece Charlotte is not my only niece. I wish you, my dear, as if this was your day of marriage, all happiness: accept these two papers [the one, Lucy, was a note for 1000l. and the other for 100l.]: and he said, The lesser note is due to you for interest on the greater.

When the ladies opened their notes and saw what they were, they were at first at a loss what to say.

It was most gracefully done: but see, Lucy, the example of a good and generous man can sometimes alter natures; and covetous men, I have heard it

[page] 129

observed, when their hearts are opened, often act nobly.

As soon as Lady G. (so now I must call her) recovered herself from the surprise into which my lord's present and address had put her, she went to him: Allow me, my lord, said she, and bent one knee to him, to crave your blessing; and at the same time to thank you for your paternal present to your ever obliged Charlotte.

God bless you, my dear! saluting her—But thank your noble brother: you delight me with your graceful acceptance.

Lady L. came up. My lord, you overcome me by your bounty.—How shall I—

Your brother's princely spirit, Lady L. said he, makes this present look mean. Forgive me only, that it was not done before. And he saluted her.

Lord L. came up. Lady L. shewed him the opened notes—See here, my lord, said she, what Lord W. has done: and he calls this the interest due on that.

Your lordship oppresses me with your goodness to your niece, said Lord L. May health, long life, and happiness, attend you in your own nuptials!

There, there, said Lord W. pointing to Sir Charles, (who had withdrawn, and then entered) make your acknowledgement: his noble spirit has awakened mine: it was only asleep. My late sister's brother wanted but the force of such an example. That son is all his mother.

Sir Charles joining them, having heard only the last words,—If I am thought a son not unworthy of the most excellent of mothers, said he, and by her brother, I am happy.

Then you are happy, replied my lord.

Her memory, resumed Sir Charles, I cherish; and when I have been tempted to forget myself, that

[page] 130

memory has been a means of keeping me steady in my duty. Her precepts, my lord, were the guide of my early youth. Had I not kept them in mind, how much more blameable than most young men had I been;—My Charlotte! have that mother in your memory, on this great change of your condition! You will not be called to her trials.—His eyes glistened. Tender be our remembrance of my father —Charlotte, be worthy of your mother.

He withdrew with an air so noble!—But soon returning with a cheerful look, he was told what Lord W. had done—Your lordship was before, said he, intitled to our duty, by the ties of blood: but what is the relation of body to that of mind? You have bound me for my sisters, and that still more by the manner than by the act, in a bond of gratitude that never can be broken!

Thank yourself, thank yourself, my noble nephew.

Encourage, my lord, a family intimacy between your lady, and her nieces and nephews. You will be delighted, my sisters, with Miss Mansfield; but when she obliges my lord with her hand, you will reverence your aunt. I shall have a pleasure, when I am far distant, in contemplating the family union. Your lordship must let me know your day in time; and I will be joyful upon it, whatever, of a contrary nature, I may have to struggle with on my own account.

My lord wept—My lord wept, did I say?—Not one of us had a dry eye!—This was a solemn scene, you will say, for a wedding-day: but how delightfully do such scenes dilate the heart!

The day, however, was not forgotten as a day of festivity. Sir Charles himself, by his vivacity and openness of countenance, made every one joyful: and, except that now-and-then a sigh, which could not be checked, stole from some of us. to think that

[page] 131

he would so soon be in another country (far distant from the friends he now made happy) and engaged in difficulties; perhaps in dangers; every heart was present to the occasion of the day.

O Charlotte! Dear Lady G.! Hitherto it is in your power, to make every future day worthy of this! —' Have your mother, your noble mother, in your memory, my dear:' and give credit to the approbation of such a brother.

I should have told you, that my cousin Reeves's came about two, and were received with the utmost politeness by every-body.

Sir Charles was called out just before dinner; and returned introducing a young gentleman, dressed as if for the day—This is an earlier favour than I had hoped for, said Sir Charles; and leading him to Lady G. This, Sir, is the queen of the day. My dear Lady G. welcome (the house is yours—Welcome) the man I love: welcome my Beauchamp.

Every one, except Emily and me, crowded about Mr. Beauchamp, as Sir Charles's avowedly beloved friend, and bid him cordially welcome; Sir Charles presenting him to each by name.

Then leading him to me—I am half ashamed, Lucy, to repeat—But take it as he spoke it—Revere, said he, my dear friend, that excellent young lady: but let not your admiration stop at her face and person; she has a mind as exalted, my Beauchamp, as your own. Miss Byron, in honour to my sister, and to us all, has gilded this day by her presence.

Mr. Beauchamp approached me with polite respect. The lady whom Sir Charles Grandison admires, as he does you, madam, must be the first of women.

I might have said, that he, who was so eminently distinguished as the friend of Sir Charles Grandison, must be a most valuable man: but my spirits were

5

[page] 132

not high. I courtesied to his compliment; and was silent.

Sir Charles presented Emily to him.—My Emily, Beauchamp. I hope to live to see her happily married. The man whose heart is but half so worthy as hers, must be an excellent man.

Modesty might look up, and be sensible to compliments from the lips of such a man. Emily looked at me with pleasure, as if she had said, Do you hear, madam, what a fine thing my guardian has said of me?

Sir Charles asked Mr. Beauchamp, how he stood with my Lady Beauchamp?

Very well, answered he. After such an introduction as you had given me to her, I must have been to blame, had I not. She is my father's wife: I must respect her, were she ever so unkind to me: she is not without good qualities. Were every family so happy as to have Sir Charles Grandison for a mediator when misunderstandings happened, there would be very few lasting differences among relations. My father and mother tell me, that they never sit down to table together, but they bless you: and to me they have talked of nobody else: but Lacy Beauchamp depends upon your promise of making her acquainted with the ladies of your family.

My sisters, and their lords, will do honour to my promise in my absence. Lady L. Lady G. let me recommend to you Lady Beauchamp as more than a common visiting acquaintance. Do you, Sir, to Mr. Beauchamp, see it cultivated.

Mr. Beauchamp is an agreeable, and, when Sir Charles Grandison is not in company, a handsome and genteel man. I think, my dear, that I do but the same justice that every-body would do, in this exception. He is cheerful, lively, yet modest, and not too full of words. One sees both love and re-

[page] 133

spect in every look he easts upon his friend; and that he is delighted when he hears him speak, be the subject what it will.

He once said to Lord W. who praised his nephew to him, as he does to every-body near him; The universal voice, my lord, is in his favour wherever he goes. Every one joins almost in the same words, in different countries, allowing for the different languages, that for sweetness of manners, and manly dignity, he hardly ever had his equal.

Sir Charles was then engaged in talk with his Emily; she before him; he standing in an easy genteel attitude, leaning against the wainscot, listening, smiling to her prattle, with looks of indulgent love, as a father might do to a child he was fond of; while she looked back every now-and-then towards me, so proud, poor dear! of being singled out by her guardian.

She tript to me afterwards, and, leaning over my shoulder, as I sat, whispered—I have been begging of my guardian to use his interest with you, madam, to take me down with you to Northamptonshire.

And what is the result?

She paused.

Has he denied your request?

No, madam.

Has he allowed you to go, my dear, if I comply; turning half round to her with pleasure.

She paused, and seemed at a loss. I repeated my question.

Why, no, he has not consented neither—But he said such charming things, so obliging, so kind, both of you, and of me, that I forgot to repeat my question, though it was so near my heart: but I will ask him again.

And thus, Lucy, can he decline complying, and

N

[page] 134

yet send away a requester so much delighted with him, as to forget what her request was.

Miss Grandison—Lady G. I would say—singled me out soon after—This Beauchamp is really a very pretty fellow, Harriet.

He is an agreeable man, answered I.

So I think.

She said no more of him at that time.

Between dinner and tea, at Lady L.'s motion, they made me play on the harpsichord; and after one lesson, they besought Sir Charles to sing to my playing. He would not, he said, deny any request that was made him on that day.

He sung. He has a mellow manly voice, and great command of it.

This introduced a little concert. Mr. Beauchamp took the violin; Lord L. the bass-viol; Lord G. the German-flute; and most of the company joined in the chorus. The song was from Alexander's Feast: the words;

Happy, happy, happy pair!
None but the good deserves the fair;

Sir Charles, though himself equally brave and good, preferring the latter word to the former.

Lady L. had always insisted upon dancing at her sister's wedding. We were not company enough for country-dances: but music having been ordered, and the performers come, it was insisted upon that we should have a dance, though we were engaged in a conversation, which I thought infinitely more agreeable.

Lord G. began by dancing a minuet with his bride: she danced charmingly! But on my telling her so afterwards, she whispered me, that she should have performed better, had she danced with her brother. Lord G. danced extremely well.

[page] 135

Lord L. and Lady Gertrude, Mr. Beauchamp and Mrs. Reeves, Mr. Reeves and Lady L. danced all of them very agreeably.

The earl took me out: but we had hardly done, when, asking pardon for disgracing me, as he too modestly expressed himself; he, and all but my cousins and Emily, called out for Sir Charles to dance with me.

I was abashed at the general voice calling upon us both: but it. was obeyed.

He deserved all the praises that Miss Gran—Lady G. I would say, gave him in her letter to me.

Lord bless me, my dear, this man is every-thing: but his conversation has ever been among the politest people of different nations.

Lord W. wished himself able, from his gout, to take out Miss Jervois.

The bridegroom was called upon by Sir Charles: and he took out the good girl; who danced very prettily. I fancied, that he chose to call out Lord G. rather than Mr. Beauchamp. He is the most delicate and considerate of men.

Sir Charles was afterwards called upon by the bride herself: and she danced then with a grace indeed! I was pleased that she could perform so well at her own wedding.

Supper was not ready till twelve. Mr. Reeves's coach came about that hour; but we got not away till two

Perhaps the company would not have broke up so soon, had not the bride been perverse, and refused to retire.

Was she not at home? she asked Lady L. who was put upon urging her: and should she leave her company?

She would make me retire with her. She took a very affectionate leave of me.

N 2

[page] 136

Marriage, Lucy, is an awful rite. It is supposed to be a joyful solemnity: but on the woman's side it can be only so, when she is given to the man she loves above all the men in the world; and even to her, the anniversary day, when doubt is turned into certainty, must be much happier than the day itself.

What a victim must that woman look upon herself to be, who is compelled, or even over-persuaded, to give her hand to a man who has no share in her heart? Ought not a parent or guardian, in such a circumstance, especially if the child has a delicate, an honest mind, to be chargeable with all the unhappy consequences that may follow from such a cruel compulsion?

But this is not the case with Miss Grandison. Early she cast her eye on an improper object. Her pride convinced her in time of the impropriety. And this, as she owns, gave her an indifference to all men.

She dislikes not Lord G. There is no man whom she prefers to him: and in this respect may, perhaps, be upon a par with eight women out of twelve, who marry, and yet make not bad wives.

As she played with her passion till she lost it, she may be happy if she will: and since she intended to be, some time or other, Lady G. her brother was kind in persuading her to shorten her days of coquetting and teasing, and to allow him to give her to Lord G. before he went abroad.

LETTER XVII.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Wednesday, April 12.

DR. BARTLETT was so good as to breakfast with my cousins and me this morning. He talks of setting

[page] 137

out for Grandison-hall on Saturday or Monday next. We have settled a correspondence; and he gives me hope, that he will make me a visit in Northamptonshire. I know you will all rejoice to see him.

Emily came in before the doctor went. She brought me the compliments of the bride, and Lord W. with their earnest request, that I, and my two cousins, would dine with them. Sir Charles was gone, she said, to make a farewell visit to the Danby set; but would be at home at dinner.

It would be better for me, I think, Lucy, to avoid all opportunities of seeing him: don't you think so? —There is no such thing as seeing him with indifference. But, so earnestly invited, how could I deny; especially as my cousins were inclinable to go?

Miss Jervois whispered me at parting: I never before, said she, had an opportunity to observe the behaviour of a new-married couple to each other: but is it customary, madam, for the bride to be more snappish, as the bridegroom is more obliging?

Lady G. is very naughty, my dear, if she so behaves, as to give you reason to ask this question.

She does; and upon my word, I see more obedience where it was not promised, than where it was. Dear madam, is not what is said at church to be thought of afterwards? But why did not the doctor make her speak out? What signified bowing, except a woman was so bashful that she could not speak?

The bowing, my dear, is an assent. It is as efficacious as words. Lord G. only bowed, you know. Could you like to be called upon, Emily, to speak out, on such an occasion?

Why, no. But then I Would be very civil and good-natured to my husband, if it were but for fear he should be cross to me; but I should think it my duty as well.

Sweet innocent

N 3

[page] 138

She went away, and left the doctor with me.

When our hearts are set upon a particular subject, how impertinent, how much beside the purpose, do we think every other! I wanted the doctor to talk of Sir Charles Grandison: but as he fell not into the subject, and as I was afraid he would think me to be always leading him into it, if I began it, I suffered him to go away at his first motion: I never knew him so shy upon it, however.

Sir Charles returned to dinner. He has told Lady L. who afterwards told us, that he had a hint from Mr. Galliard senior, that if he were not engaged in his affection, he was commissioned to make him a very great proposal in behalf of one of the young ladies he had seen the Thursday before; and that from her father.

Surely, Lucy, we may pronounce without doubt, that we live in an age in which there is a great dearth of good men, that so many offers fall to the lot of one.

But, I am thinking, 'tis no small advantage to Sir Charles, that his time is so taken up, that he cannot stay long enough in any company to suffer them to cast their eyes on other objects, with distinction. He left the numerous assembly at Enfield, while they were in the height of their admiration of him. Attention, love, admiration, cannot be always kept at the stretch. You will observe, Lucy, that on the return of a long-absent dear friend, the rapture lasts not more than an hour: gladdened, as the heart is, the friend received, and the friends receiving, perhaps in less than that time, can sit down quietly together, to hear and to tell stories, of what has happened to either in the long-regretted absence. It will be so with us, Lucy, when I return to the arms of my kind friends: and now, does not

[page] 139

Sir Charles's proposed journey to Italy endear his company to us?

The Earl of G. Lady Gertrude, and two agreeable nieces of that nobleman, were here at dinner. Lady G. behaved pretty well to her lord before them: but I, who understood the language of her eyes, saw them talk very saucily to him on several occasions. My lord is a little officious in his obligingness; which takes off from that graceful, that polite frankness, which so charmingly, on all occasions, distinguishes one happy man, who was then present. Lord G. will perhaps appear more to advantage in that person's absence.

Mr. Beauchamp was also present. He is indeed an agreeable, a modest young man. He appeared to great advantage, as well in his conversation, as by his behaviour: and not the less for subscribing in both to the superiority of his friend; who nevertheless endeavoured to draw him out, as the first man

After dinner, Lady L. Lady G. and I, found an opportunity to be by ourselves for one half hour. Lady G. asked Lady L. what she intended to do with the thousand pounds with which Lord W. had so generously presented her?—Do with it, my dear!

—What do you think I intend to do with it?—It is already disposed of.

I'll be hanged, said Lady G. if this good creature has not given it to her husband.

Indeed, Charlotte, I have. I gave it to him before I slept.

I thought so! She laughed—And Lord L took it! Did he?

To be sure he did. I should otherwise have been displeased with him.

Dear, good soul!—And so you gave him a thousand pounds to take part of it back from him. by a few paltry guineas at a time, at his pleasure?

[page] 140

Lord L. and I, Charlotte, have but one purse. You may not, perhaps, know how we manage it.

Pray, good, meek, dependent creature! how do you manage it?

Thus, Charlotte! My lord knows that his wife and he have but one interest; and from the first of our happy marriage, he would make me take one key, as he has another, of the private drawer, where his money and money-bills lie. There is a little memorandum-book in the drawer, in which he enters on one page, the money he receives; on the opposite, the money he takes out: and when I want money, I have recourse to my key. If I see but little in the drawer, I am the more moderate; or, perhaps, if my want is not urgent, defer the supplying of it till my lord is richer: but little or much, I minute down the sum, as he himself does what he takes out: and so we know what we are about; and I never put it out of my lord's power, by my unseasonable expences, to preserve that custom of his for which he is as much respected, as well served; not to suffer a demand to be twice made upon him where he is a debtor.

Good soul;—And, pray, don't you minute down too the use to which you put the money you take out?

Indeed I often do: always indeed, when I take out more than five guineas at one time: I found my lord did so; and I followed the example of my own accord.

Happy pair! said I—O Lady G. what a charming example is this!—I hope you will follow it.

Thank you, Harriet, for your advice. Why, I can't but say, that this is one pretty way of coaxing each other into frugality: but don't you think, that where an honest pair are so tender of disobliging, and so studious of obliging each other, they seem to con-

[page] 141

fess that the matrimonial good understanding hangs by very slender threads?

And do not the tenderest friendships, said I, hang by as slender? Can delicate minds be united to each other but by delicate observances?

Why thou art a good soul, too, Harriet!—And so you would both have me make a present to Lord G. of my thousand pounds before we have chosen our private drawer; before he has got two keys made to it?

Let him know, Charlotte, what Lord L. and I do, if you think the example worth following—And then —

Ay, and then give him my thousand pounds for a beginning, Lady L.?—But see you not that this proposal should come from him, and not from me? — And should we not let each other see a little of each other's merits first?

See, first, the merits of the man you have actually married, Charlotte!

Yes, Lady L —But yesterday married, you know. Can there be a greater difference between any two men in the world, than there often is between the same man, a lover, and a husband?—And now, my generous advisers, be pleased to continue silent. You cannot answer me fairly. And besides, wot ye not the indelicacy of an early present, which you are not obliged to make?

We were both silent, each expecting the other to answer the strange creature.

She laughed at us both. Soft souls, and tender! said she, let me tell you. that there is more in delicacy in delicacy, than you very delicate people are aware of.

You, Charlotte, said Lady L. have odder notions than any-body else. Had you been a man, you would have been a sad rake

[page] 142

A rake perhaps I might have been! but not a sad one, Lady. L.

Lady G. can't help being witty, said I: it is sometimes her misfortune, sometimes ours, that she cannot: however, I highly approve of the example set by Lord L. and followed by Lady L.

And so do I, Harriet. And when Lord G. sets the example, I shall—consider of it. I am not a bad œconomist. Had I ten thousand pounds in my hands, I would not be extravagant: had I but one hundred, I would not be mean. I value not money but as it enables me to lay an obligation, instead of being under the necessity of receiving one. I am my mother's daughter, and brother's sister: and yours, Lady L. in this particular; and yours too, Harriet: different means may be taken to arrive at the same end. Lord G. will have no reason to be dissatisfied with my prudence in money-matters, although I should not make him one of my best courtesies, as if—as if—(and she laughed; but checking herself) I were conscious—again she laughed—that I had signed and sealed to my absolute dependence on his bounty.

What a mad creature! said Lady L.: But, my Harriet, don't you think that she behaved pretty well to Lord G. at table?

Yes, answered I, as those would think who observe not her arch looks: but she gave me pain for her several times; and I believe her brother was not without his apprehensions.

He had his eyes upon you, Harriet, replied Lady G. more earnestly than he had upon me, or any body else.

That's true, said Lady L. I looked upon both him and you, my dear, with pity. My tears were ready to start more than once, to reflect how happy you

[page] 143

two might be in each other, and how greatly you would love each other, were it not—

Not one word more on this subject, dear Lady L.! I cannot bear it. I thought my-self, that he often cast an eye of tenderness upon me. I cannot bear it. I am afraid of myself; of my justice

His tender looks did not escape me, said Lady G. Nor yet did my dear Harriet's. But we will not touch this string: it is too tender a one. I, for my part, was forced, in order to divert myself, to turn my eyes on Lord G.; he got nothing by that. The most officious

Nay, Lady G. interrupted I, you shall not change the discourse at the expence of the man you have vowed to honour. I will take pain to myself, by the continuation of the former subject, rather than that shall be.

Charming Harriet! said Lady L. I hope your generosity will be rewarded. Yet, tell me, my dear, can you wish Lady Clementina may be his? I have no doubt but you wish her recovery; but can you wish her to be his?

I have debated the matter, my dear Lady L. with myself. I am sorry it has admitted of debate: so excellent a creature! Such an honour to her sex! So nobly sincere! So pious! But I will confess the truth: I have called upon justice to support me in my determination; I have supposed myself in her situation, her unhappy malady excepted: I have supposed her in mine: and ought I then to have hesitated to which to give the preference?—Yet—

What yet, most frank, and most generous of women? said Lady L. clasping her arms about me; what yet—

Why, yet—Ah ladies—Why, yet, I have many a pang; many a twitch, as I may call it!—Why is your brother so tender-hearted, so modest, so fault-

[page] 144

less?—Why did he not insult me with his pity? Why does he on every occasion shew a tenderness for me, that is more affecting than pity? And why does he give me a consequence that exalts, while it depresses me?

I turned my head aside to hide my emotion—Lady G. snatched my handkerchief from me; and wiped away a starting tear; and called me by very tender names.

Am I dear, continued I, to the heart of such a man? You think I am: allow me to say, that he is indeed dear to mine: yet I have not a wish but for his happiness, whatever becomes of me.

Emily appeared at the door—May I come in, ladies?— I will come in! — My dear Miss Byron affected! My dear Miss Byron in tears!

Her pity, without knowing the cause, sprung to her eyes. She took my hand in both hers, and repeatedly kissed it!—My guardian asks for you. O with what tenderness of voice—Where is your Miss Byron, love? He calls every one by gentle names, when he speaks of you—His voice then is the voice of love—Love, said he to me! Through you, madam, he will love his ward—And on your love will I build all my merit. But you sigh, dear Miss Byron, you sigh—Forgive your prating girl!—You must not be grieved.

I embraced her. Grief, my dear, reaches not my heart at this time. It is the merit of your guardian that affects me.

God bless you, madam, for your gratitude to my guardian!

A Clementina and a Harriet! said Lady L. two women so excellent! What a fate is his! How must his heart be divided!

Divided, say you, Lady L.! resumed Lady G. The man who loves virtue for virtue's sake, loves

[page] 145

it wherever he finds it: such a man may distinguish more virtuous women than one: and if he be of a gentle and beneficent nature, there will be tenderness in his distinction to every one, varying only according to the difference of circumstance and situation.

Let me embrace you, my Charlotte, resumed Lady L. for that thought. Don't let me hear, for a month to come, one word from the same lips, that may be unworthy of it.

You have Lord G. in your head, Lady L.: but never mind us. He must now-and-then be made to look about him. I'll take care to keep up my consequence with him, never fear: nor shall he have reason to doubt the virtue of his wife.

Virtue, my dear! said I: What is virtue only? She who will not be virtuous for virtues sake, is not worthy to be called a woman: but she must be something more than virtuous for her husband's, nay, for her vow's sake. Complacency, obligingness—

Obedience too, I warrant—Hush, hush, my sweet Harriet! putting her hand before my mouth, we will behave as well as we can: and that will be very well, if nobody minds us. And now let us go down together.

LETTER XVIII.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Thursday, April 13.

WE played at cards last night till supper-time. When that was over, every one sought to engage Sir Charles in discourse. I will give you some particulars of our conversation, as I did of one before.

VOL. XII. O

[page] 146

Lord W. began it with a complaint of the insolence and profligateness of servants. What he said, was only answered by Sir Charles, with the word Example, example, my good lord, repeated.

You, Sir Charles, replied my lord, may indeed insist upon the force of example; for I cannot but observe, that all those of yours, whom I have seen, are intitled to regard. They have the looks of men at ease, and of men grateful for that ease: they know their duty, and need not a reminding look. A servant of yours, Sir Charles, looks, as if he would one day make a figure as a master. How do you manage it?

Perhaps I have been peculiarly fortunate in worthy servants. There is nothing in my management deserving the attention of this company.

I am going to begin the world anew, nephew. Hitherto, servants have been a continual plague to me. I must know how you treat them.

I treat them, my lord, as necessary parts of my family. I have no secrets, the keeping or disclosing of which might give them self-importance. I endeavour to set them no bad example. I am never angry with them but for wilful faults: if those are not habitual, I shame them into amendment, by gentle expostulation, and forgiveness. If they are not capable of a generous shame, and the faults are repeated, I part with them; but with such kindness, as makes their fellow-servants blame them, and take warning. I am fond of seeking occasions to praise them: and even when they mistake, if it be with a good intention, they have my approbation of the intention, and my endeavours to set them right as to the act. Sobriety is an indispensable qualification for my service; and for the rest, if we receive them not quite good, we make them better than they were before. Generally speaking, a master

[page] 147

may make a servant what he pleases. Servants judge by example, rather than precept, and almost always by their feelings. One thing more permit me to add; I always insist upon my servants being kind and compassionate to one another. A compassionate heart cannot habitually be an unjust one. And thus do I make their good-nature contribute to my security, as well as quiet.

My Lord was greatly pleased with what his nephew said.

Upon some occasion, Lady G. reflected upon a lady for prudery, and was going on, when Sir Charles, interrupting her, said, Take care, Lady G.—You, ladies, take care; for I am afraid, that MODESTY, under this name, will become ignominious, and be banished the hearts, at least the behaviour and conversation, of all those whose fortunes or inclinations carry them often to places of public resort.

Talk of places of public resort! said Lord L.: it is vexatious to observe at such, how men of real merit are neglected by the fine ladies of the age, while every distinction is shewn to fops and foplings.

But, who, my lord, said Sir Charles, are those women? Are they not generally of a class with those men? Flippant women love empty men, because they cannot reproach them with a superiority of understanding, but keep their folly in countenance. They are afraid of a wise man: but I would by no means have such a one turn fool to please them: for they will despise the wise man's folly more than the silly man's, and with reason; because being uncharacteristic, it must sit more awkwardly upon him than the other's can do.

Yet wisdom itself, and the truest wisdom, goodness, said Mrs. Reeves, is sometimes thought to sit ungracefully, when it is uncharacteristic, not to the

O 2

[page] 148

man, but to the times. She then named a person who was branded as a hypocrite, for performing all his duties publickly.

He will be worse spoken of, if he declines doing so, said Dr. Bartlett. His enemies will add the charge of cowardice; and not acquit him of the other.

Lady Gertrude being withdrawn, it was mentioned as a wonder, that so agreeable a woman, as she must have been in her youth, and still was for her years, should remain single. Lord G. said, that she had had many offers: and once, before she was twenty, had like to have stolen a wedding: but her fears, he said, since that, had kept her single.

The longer, said Sir Charles, a woman remains unmarried, the more apprehensive she will be of entering into the state. At seventeen or eighteen a girl will plunge into it, sometimes without either fear or wit; at twenty she will begin to think; at twenty-four will weigh and discriminate; at twenty-eight will be afraid of venturing; at thirty will turn about, and look down the hill she has ascended; and, as occasions offer, and instances are given, will sometimes repent, sometimes rejoice, that she has gained that summit sola.

Indeed, said Mrs. Reeves, I believe in England many a poor girl goes up the hill with a companion she would little care for, if the state of a single woman were not here so peculiarly unprovided and helpless: for girls of slender fortunes, if they have been genteelly brought up, how can they, when family-connexions are dissolved, support themselves? A man can rise in a profession, and, if he acquires wealth in a trade, can get above it, and be respected. A woman is looked upon as demeaning herself, if she gains a maintenance by her needle, or by

[page] 149

domestic attendance on a superior; and without them where has she a retreat?

You speak, good Mrs. Reeves, said sir Charles, as if you would join with Dr. Bartlett and me in wishing the establishment of a scheme we have often talked over, though the name of it would make many a lady start. We want to see established in every county, protestant nunneries; in which single women of small or no fortunes might live with all manner of freedom, under such regulations as it would be a disgrace for a modest or good woman not to comply with, were she absolutely on her own hands; and to be allowed to quit it whenever they pleased.

Well, brother, said Lady G. and why could you not have got all this settled a fortnight ago (you that can carry every point) and have made poor me a lady abbess?

You are still better provided for, my sister: but let the doctor and me proceed with our scheme. The governesses or matrons of the society I would have to be women of family, of unblameable characters from infancy, and noted equally for their prudence, good-nature, and gentleness of manners. The attendants, for the slighter services, should be the hopeful female children of the honest industrious poor.

Do you not, ladies, imagine, said Dr. Bartlett, that such a society as this, all women of unblemished reputation, employing themselves as each (consulting her own genius) at her admission, shall undertake to employ herself, and supported genteelly, some at more, some at less expence to the foundation, according to their circumstances, might become a national good; and particularly a seminary for good wives, and the institution a stand for virtue,

O 3

[page] 150

in an age given up to luxury, extravagance, and amusements little less than riotous?

How could it be supported? said Lord W.

Many of the persons, of which each community would consist, would be, I imagine, replied Sir Charles, no expence to it at all; as numbers of young women, joining their small fortunes, might be able, in such a society, to maintain themselves genteelly on their own income; though each, singly in the world, would be distressed. Besides, liberty might be given for wives, in the absence of their husbands, in this maritime country; and for widows, who, on the deaths of theirs, might wish to retire from the noise and hurry of the world, for three, six, or twelve months, more or less; to reside in this well-regulated society: and such persons, we may suppose, would be glad, according to their respective abilities, to be benefactresses to it. No doubt but it would have besides the countenance of the well-disposed of both sexes; since every family in Britain, in their connexions and relations, near or distant, might be benefited by so reputable and useful an institution: to say nothing of the works of the ladies in it, the profits of which perhaps will be thought proper to be carried towards the support of a foundation that so genteelly supports them. Yet I would have a number of hours in each day, for the encouragement of industry, that should be called their own; and what was produced in them, to be solely appropriated to their own use.

A truly worthy divine, at the appointment of the bishop of the diocese, to direct and animate the devotion of such a society, and to guard it from that superstition and enthusiasm which soars to wild heights in almost all nunneries, would confirm it a blessing to the kingdom.

[page] 151

I have another scheme, my lord, proceeded Sir Charles—An hospital for female penitents; for such unhappy women, as having been once drawn in, and betrayed by the perfidy of men, find themselves, by the cruelty of the world, and principally by that of their own sex, unable to recover the path of virtue, when perhaps (convinced of the wickedness of the men in whose honour they confided) they would willingly make their first departure from it the last.

These, continued he, are the poor creatures who are eminently intitled to our pity, though they seldom meet with it. Good-nature, and credulity the child of good-nature, are generally, as I have the charity to believe, rather than viciousness, the foundation of their crime. Those men who pretend they would not be the first destroyers of a woman's innocence, look upon these as fair prize. But what a wretch is he, who, seeing a poor creature exposed on the summit of a dangerous precipice, and unable, without an assisting hand, to find her way down, would rather push her into the gulph below, than convey her down in safety?

Speaking of the force put upon a daughter's inclinations, in wedlock; Tyranny and ingratitude, said Sir Charles, from a man beloved, will be more supportable to a woman of strong passions, than even kindness from a man she loves not: shall not parents then, who hope to see their children happy, avoid compelling them to give their hands to a man who has no share in their hearts?

But would you allow young ladies to be their own choosers, Sir Charles? said Mrs. Reeves.

Daughters, replied he, who are earnest to choose for themselves, should be doubly careful that prudence justifies their choice. Every widow who marries imprudently (and very many there are who do) furnishes a strong argument in favour of a pa-

[page] 152

rent's authority over a maiden daughter. A designing man looks out for a woman who has an independent fortune, and has no questions to ask. He seems assured at finding indiscretion and rashness in such a one, to befriend him. But ought not she to think herself affronted, and resolve to disappoint him?

But how, said Lady G. shall a young creature be able to judge?

By his application to her, rather than to her natural friends and relations; by his endeavouring to alienate her affections from them; by wishing her to favour private and clandestine meetings (conscious that his pretensions will not stand discussion); by the inequality of his fortune to hers: and has not our excellent Miss Byron, in the letters to her Lucy (bowing to me) which she has had the goodness to allow us to read, helped us to a criterion! 'Men in their addresses to young women, she very happily observes, forget not to set forward the advantages by which they are distinguished, whether hereditary or acquired; while Love, love, is all the cry of him who has no other to boast of.'

And by that means, said Lady Gertrude, setting the silly creature at variance with all her friends, he makes her fight his battles for him; and become herself the cat's paw to help him to the ready-roasted chesnuts.

But, dear brother, said Lady G. do you think love is such a staid deliberate passion, as to allow a young creature to take time to ponder and weigh all the merits of the cause?

Love at first sight, answered Sir Charles, must indicate a mind prepared for impression, and a sudden gust of passion, and that of the least noble kind; since there could be no opportunity of knowing the merit of the object. What woman would have her-

[page] 153

self supposed capable of such a tindery fit? In a man, it is an indelicate paroxysm: but in a woman, who expects protection and instruction from a man, much more so. Love, at first may be only fancy. Such a young love may be easily given up, and ought, to a parent's judgment. Nor is the conquest so difficult as some young creatures think it. One thing, my good Emily, let me say to you, as a rule of some consequence in the world you are just entering into—Young persons, on arduous occasions, especially in love-cases, should not presume to advise young persons; because they seldom can divest themselves of passion, partiality, or prejudice; that is, indeed, of youth; and forbear to mix their own concerns and biasses with the question referred to them. It should not be put from young friend to young friend. What would you do in such a case? but what ought to be done?

How the dear girl blushed, and how pleased she looked, to be particularly addressed by her guardian!

Lady Gertrude spoke of a certain father, who for interested views obliged his daughter to marry at fifteen, when she was not only indifferent to the man, but had formed no right notions of the state.

And are they not unhappy? asked Sir Charles.

They are, replied she.

I knew such an instance, returned he. The lady was handsome, and had her full share of vanity. She believed every man who said civil things to her, was in love with her; and had she been single, that he would have made his addresses to her. She supposed, that she might have had this great man, or that, had she not been precipitated; and this brought her to slight the man who had, as she concluded, deprived her of better offers. They were unhappy to the end of their lives. Had the lady lived single long enough to find out the difference between compliment and

[page] 154

sincerity, and that the man who flattered her vanity, meant no more than to take advantage of her folly, she would have thought herself not unhappy with the very man with whom she was so dissatisfied.

Lady L. speaking afterwards of a certain nobleman, who is continually railing against matrimony, and who makes a very indifferent husband to an obliging wife; I have known more men than one, said Sir Charles, inveigh against matrimony, when the invective would have proceeded with a much better grace from their wives lips than from theirs. But let us enquire, would this complainer have been, or deserved to be, happier in any state, than he now is?

A state of suffering, said Lady L. had probably humbled the spirit of the poor wife into perfect meekness and patience.

You observe rightly, replied Sir Charles: and surely a most kind disposition of Providence it is, that adversity, so painful in itself, should conduce so peculiarly as it does to the improvement of the human mind. It teaches modesty, humility, and compassion.

You speak feelingly, brother, said Lady L. with a sigh. Do you think, Lucy, nobody sighed but she?

I do, said he. I speak with a sense of gratitude: I am naturally of an imperious spirit: but I have reaped advantages, from the early stroke of a mother's death. Being for years, against my wishes, obliged to submit to a kind of exile from my native country, which I considered as a heavy evil, though I thought it my duty to acquiesce, I was determined, as much as my capacity would allow, to make my advantage of the compulsion, by qualifying myself to do credit, rather than discredit, to my father, my friends, and my country. And, let me add, that if I have in any tolerable manner succeeded, I owe

[page] 155

much to the example and precepts of my dear Dr. Bartlett.

The doctor blushed and bowed, and was going to disclaim the merit which his patron had ascribed to him; but Sir Charles confirmed it in still stronger terms: You, my dear Dr. Bartlett, said he, as I have told Miss Byron, was a second conscience to me in my earlier youth; your precepts, your excellent life, your pure manners, your sweetness of temper, could not but open and enlarge my mind. The soil, I hope I may say, was not barren; but you, my dear paternal friend, was the cultivator: I shall ever acknowledge it—And he bowed to the good man; who was covered with modest confusion, and could not look up.

And think you, Lucy, that this acknowledgment lessened the excellent man with any one present? No! It raised him in every eye: and I was the more pleased with it, as it helped me to account for that deep observation, which otherwise one should have been at a loss to account for, in so young a man. And yet I am convinced, that there is hardly a greater difference in intellect between angel and man, than there is between man and man.

LETTER XIX.

LADY G. TO MISS BYRON.

Thursday, April 13.

For Heaven's sake, my dearest Harriet, dine with us to-day; for two reasons: one relates to myself; the other you shall hear by-and-by: to myself, first, as is most fit—This silly creature has offended me, and presumed to be sullen upon my resentment.

[page] 156

Married but two days, and shew his airs!—Were I in fault, my dear (which, upon my honour, I am not) for the man to lose his patience with me, to forget his obligations to me, in two days!—What an ungrateful wretch is he! What a poor powerless creature your Charlotte!

Nobody knows of the matter, except he has complained to my brother—If he has! But what if he has?—Alas! my dear, I am married; and cannot help myself.

We seem, however, to be drawing up our forces on both sides —One struggle for my dying liberty, my dear!—The success of one pitched battle will determine which is to be the general, which the subaltern, for the rest of the campaign. To dare to be sullen already!—As I hope to live, my dear, I was in high good humour within myself; and when he was foolish, only intended a little play with him; and he takes it in earnest. He worships you: so I shall railly him before you: but I charge you, as the man by his sullenness has taken upon him to fight his own battle, either to be on my side, or be silent. I shall take it very ill of my Harriet, if she strengthen his hands.

Well, but enough of this husband—HUSBAND! What a word! —Who do you think is arrived from abroad?—You cannot guess for your life—Lady OLIVIA!—True as you are alive! accompanied, it seems, by an aunt of hers; a widow, whose years and character are to keep the niece in countenance in this excursion. The pretence is, making the tour of Europe: and England was not to be left out of the scheme. My brother is excessively disturbed at her arrival. She came to town but last night. He had notice of it but this morning. He took Emily with him to visit her: Emily was known to her at Florence. She and her aunt are to be here

[page] 157

at dinner. As she is come, Sir Charles says, he must bring her acquainted with his sisters, and their lords, in order to be at liberty to pursue the measures he has unalterably resolved upon: and this, Harriet, is my second reason for urging you to dine with us.

Now do I wish we had known her history at large. Dr. Bartlett shall tell it us. Unwelcome as she is to my brother, I long to see her. I hope I shall not hear something in her story, that will make me pity her.

Will you come?

I wonder whether she speaks English, or not. I don't think I can converse in Italian.

I won't forgive you, if you refuse to come.

Lady L. and her good man will be here. We shall therefore, if you come, be our whole family together.

My brother has presented this house to me, till his return. He calls himself Lord G.'s guest and mine: so you can have no punctilio about it. Besides, Lord W. will set out to-morrow morning for Windsor. He dotes upon you: and perhaps it is in your power to make a new-married man penitent and polite.

So you must come.

Hang me, if I sign by any other name, while this man is in his fits, than that of

CHARLOTTE GRANDISON.

P

[page] 158

LETTER XX.

MISS BYRON TO MISS SELBY.

Thursday, April 13.

I SEND you inclosed a letter I received this morning from Lady G. I will suppose you have read it.

Emily says, that the meeting between Sir Charles and the lady mentioned in it, was very polite on both sides: but more cold on his, than on hers. She made some difficulty, however, of dining at his house; and her aunt, Lady Maffei, more. But on Sir Charles's telling them, that he would bring his eldest sister to attend them thither, they complied.

When I went to St. James's Square, Sir Charles and Lady L. were gone in his coach to bring the two ladies.

Lady G. met me on the stairs-head, leading into her dressing-room. Not a word, said she, of the man's sullens: he repents: a fine figure, as I told him, of a bridegroom, would he make in the eyes of foreign ladies, at dinner, were he to retain his gloomy airs. He has begged my pardon; as good as promised amendment; and I have forgiven him.

Poor Lord G. said I.

Hush hush! He is within: he will hear you: and then perhaps repent of his repentance.

She led me in: my lord had a glow in his cheeks, and looked as if he had been nettled; and was but just recovering a smile, to help to carry off the petulance. O how saucily did her eyes look! Well, my lord, said she, I hope—But you say, I misunderstood—

No more, madam, no more, I beseech you—

Well, Sir, not a word more, since you are—

Pray, madam—

[page] 159

Well, well, give me your hand—You must leave Harriet and me together.

She humorously courtesied to him as he bowed to me, taking the compliment as to herself. She nodded her head to him, as he turned back his when he was at the door; and when he was gone, If I can but make this man orderly, said she, I shall not quarrel with my brother for hurrying me, as he has done.

You are wrong, excessively wrong, Charlotte: you call my lord a silly man, but can have no proof that he is so, but by his bearing this treatment from you.

None of your grave airs, my dear. The man is a good sort of man, and will be so, if you and Lady L. don't spoil him. I have a vast deal of roguery, but no ill-nature, in my heart. There is luxury in jesting with a solemn man, who wants to assume airs of privilege, and thinks he has a right to be impertinent. I'll tell you how! will manage—I believe I shall often try his patience, and when I am conscious that I have gone too far, I will be patient if he is angry with me; so we shall be quits. Then I'll begin again: he will resent: and if I find his aspect very solemn—Come, come, no glouting, friend, I will say, and perhaps smile in his face: I'll play yon a tune, or sing you a song—Which, which! Speak in a moment, or the humour will be off.

If he was ready to cry before, he will laugh then, though against his will: and as he admires my finger, and my voice, shall we not be instantly friends?

It signified nothing to rave at her: she will have her way. Poor Lord G.!—At my first knowledge of her, I thought her very lively; but imagined not that she was indiscreetly so.

Lord G.'s fondness for his saucy bride was, as I have reason to believe, his fault. I dared not to ask

P 2

[page] 160

for particulars of their quarrel: and if I had, and found it so, could not, with such a raillying creature have entered into his defence, or censured her.

I went down a few moments before her. Lord G. whispered me, that he should be the happiest man in the world, if I, who had such an influence over her, would stand his friend.

I hope, my lord, said I, that you will not want any influence but your own. She has a thousand good qualities. She has charming spirits. You will have nothing to bear with but from them. They will not last always. Think only, that she can mean nothing by the exertion of them, but innocent gaiety; and she will every day love your lordship the better for bearing with her. You know she is generous and noble.

I see, madam, said he, she has let you into—

She has not acquainted me with the particulars of the little misunderstanding; only has said, that there had been a slight one, which was quite made up.

I am ashamed, replied he, to have it thought by Miss Byron, that there could have been a misunderstanding between us, especially so early. She knows her power over me. I am afraid she despises me.

Impossible, my lord: Have you not observed, that she spares nobody when she is in a lively humour?

True—But here she comes!—Not a word, madam!—I bowed assenting silence. Lord G. said she, approaching him, in a low voice, I shall be jealous of your conversations with Miss Byron.

Would to heaven, my dearest life, snatching at her withdrawn hand, that—

I were half as good as Miss Byron: I understand you:—But time and patience, Sir; nodding to him, and passing him.

[page] 161

Admirable creature! said he, how I adore her.

I hinted to her afterwards, his fear of her despising him. Harriet, answered she, with a serious air, I will do my duty by him I will abhor my own heart, if I ever find in it the shadow of a regard for any man in the world, inconsistent with that which he has a right to expect from me.

I was pleased with her. And found an opportunity to communicate what she said, in confidence, to my lord; and had his blessings for it.

But now for some account of Lady Olivia. With which I will begin a new letter.

LETTER XXI.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

SIR CHARLES returned with the ladies. He presented to Lady Olivia and her aunt, Lady G. Lord L. and Lord W. I was in another apartment talking with Dr. Bartlett.

Lady Olivia asked for the doctor. He left me to pay his respects to her.

Sir Charles being informed, that I was in the house, told Lady Olivia, that he hoped he should have the honour of presenting to her one of our English beauties; desiring Lady G. to request my company.

Lady G. came to me—A lovely woman, I assure you, Harriet; let me lead you to her.

Sir Charles met me at the entrance of the drawing room: Excuse me, madam, said he, taking my hand, with profound respect, and allow me to introduce you to a very amiable Italian lady—Miss Byron, madam, addressing himself to her, salutes

P 3

[page] 162

you. The advantages of person are her least perfection.

Her face glowed. Miss Byron! A relation, Sir? In Italian.

He bowed; but answered not her question.

I would sooner forgive you here, whispered Lady Olivia to Sir Charles, in Italian, looking at me, than at Bologna.

I heard her; and by my confusion shewed that I understood her. She was in confusion too.

Mademoiselle, said she, in French, understands Italian.—I am ashamed, Monsieur.

Miss Byron does, answered Sir Charles; and French too.

I must have the honour, said she in French, to be better known to you, Mademoiselle.

I answered her as politely as I could in the same language.

Lady OLIVIA is really a lovely woman. Her complexion is fine. Her face oval. Every feature of it is delicate. Her hair is black; and, I think, I never saw brighter black eyes in my life: if possible, they are brighter, and shine with a more piercing lustre, than even Sir Charles Grandison's: but yet I give his the preference; for we see in them a benignity, that hers, though a woman's, has not; and a thoughtfulness, as if something lay upon his mind, which nothing but patience could overcome; yet mingled with an air that shews him to be equal to any-thing, that can be undertaken by man. While Olivia's eyes shew more fire and impetuosity than sweetness. Had I not been told it, I should have been sure that she has a violent spirit: but on the whole she is a very fine figure of a woman.

She talked of taking a house, and staying in England a year at least; and was determined, she said, to perfect herself in the language, and to be

[page] 163

come an Englishwoman: but when Sir Charles, in the way of discourse, mentioned his obligation to leave England, as on next Saturday morning, how did she and her aunt look upon each other! And how was the sunshine that gilded her fine countenance, shut in! Surely, Sir, said her aunt, you are not in earnest!

After dinner, the two ladies retired with Sir Charles, at his motion. Dr. Bartlett, at Lady G.'s request, then gave us this short sketch of her history: He said, she had a vast fortune: she had had indiscretions; but none that had affected her character as to virtue: but her spirits could not bear controul. She had shewn herself to be vindictive, even to a criminal degree. Lord bless me, my dear, the doctor has mentioned to me in confidence, that she always carries a poinard about her; and that once she used it. Had the person died, she would have been called to public account for it. The man, it seems, was of rank, and offered some slight affront to her. She now comes over, the doctor said, as he had reason to believe, with a resolution to sacrifice even her religion, if it were insisted upon, to the passion she had so long in vain endeavoured to conquer.

She has, he says, an utter hatred to Lady Clementina; and will not be able to govern her passion, he is sure, when Sir Charles shall acquaint her, that he is going to attend that lady, and her family: for he has only mentioned his obligation to go abroad; but not said whither.

Lord W. praised the person of the lady, and her majestic air. Lord L. and Lord G. wished to be within hearing of the conference between her and Sir Charles: so did Lady G.: and while they were thus wishing, in came Sir Charles, his face all in a

[page] 164

glow; Lady L. said he, be so good as to attend Lady Olivia.

She went to her. Sir Charles staid not with us: yet went not to the lady; but into his study. Dr. Bartlett attended him there: the doctor returned soon after to us. His noble heart is vexed, said he: Lady Olivia has greatly disturbed him: he chooses to be alone.

Lady L.afterwards told us, that she found the lady in violent anguish of spirit; her aunt endeavouring to calm her: she, however, politely addressed herself to Lady L. and begging her aunt to withdraw for a few moments, she owned to her, in French, her passion for her brother: She was not, she said, ashamed to own it to his sister, who must know that his merit would dignify the passion of the noblest woman. She had endeavoured to conquer hers: she had been willing to give way to the prior attachments that he had pleaded for a Jady of her own country, Signora Clementina della Porretta, whom she allowed to have had great merit; but who, having irrecoverably been put out of her right mind, was shut up at Naples by a brother, who vowed eternal enmity to Sir Charles; and from whom his life would be in the utmost hazard, if he went over. She owned, that her chief motive for coming to England was, to cast her fortune at her brother's feet; and as she knew him to be a man of honour, to comply with any terms he should propose to her. He had offered to the family della Porretta to allow their daughter her religion, and her confessor, and to live with her every other year in Italy. She herself, not inferior in birth, in person, in mind, as she said, she presumed, and superior in fortune, the riches of three branches of her family, all rich, having centered in her, insisted not now upon such

5

[page] 165

conditions. Her aunt, she said, knew not that she proposed, on conviction, a change of her religion; but she was resolved not to conceal any-thing from Lady L. She left her to judge how much she must be affected, when he declared his obligation to leave England; and especially when he owned, that it was to go to Bologna, and that so suddenly, as if, as she apprehended at first, it was to avoid her. She had been in tears, and even would have kneeled to him, to induce him to suspend his journey for one month, and then to have taken her over with him, and seen her safe in her own palace, if he would go upon so hated, and so fruitless, as well as so hazardous an errand: but he had denied her this poor favour.

This refusal, she owned, had put her out of all patience. She was unhappily passionate; but was the most placable of her sex. What, madam, said she, can affect a woman, if slight, indignity, and repulse, from a favoured person, is not able to do it? a woman of my condition to come over to England, to solicit—how can I support the thought—and to be refused the protection of the man she prefers to all men; and her request to see her safe back again, though but as the fool she came over—You may blame me, madam—but you must pity me, even were you to have a heart the sister-heart of your inflexible brother.

In vain did Lady L. plead to her Lady Clementina's deplorable situation; the reluctance of his own relations to part with him; and the magnanimity of his self-denial in an hundred instances, on the bare possibility of being an instrument to restore her: she could not bear to hear her speak highly of the unhappy lady. She charged Clementina with the pride of her family, to which she attributed their deserved calamity [Deserved! Cruel lady! How

[page] 166

could her pitiless heart allow her lips to utter such a word!]; and imputed meanness to the noblest of human minds, for yielding to the intreaties of a family, some of the principals of which, she said, had treated him with an arrogance that a man of his spirit ought not to bear.

Lady Maffei came in. She seems dependent upon her niece. She is her aunt by marriage only: and Lady L. speaks very favourably of her from the advice she gave, and her remonstrances to her niece. Lady Maffei besought her to compose herself, and return to the company.

She could not bear, she said, to return to the company, the slighted, the contemned object, she must appear to be to every one in it. I am an intruder, said she, haughtily; a beggar, with a fortune that would purchase a sovereignty in some countries. Make my excuses to your sister, to the rest of the company—and to that fine young lady—whose eyes, by their officious withdrawing from his, and by the consciousness that glowed in her face whenever he addressed her, betrayed, at least to a jealous eye, more than she would wish to have seen—But tell her, that all lovely and blooming as she is, she must have no hope, while Clementina lives.

I hope, Lucy, it is only to a jealous eye that my heart is so discoverable!—I thank her for her caution. But I can say what she cannot; that from my heart, cost me what it may, I do subscribe to a preference in favour of a lady who has acted, in the most arduous trials, in a greater manner than I fear either Olivia or I could have acted, in the same circumstances. We see that her reason, but not her piety, deserted her in the noble struggle between her love and her religion. In the most affecting absences of her reason, the soul of the man she loved was the object of her passion. However

[page] 167

hard it is to prefer another to one's self, in such a case as this; yet if my judgment is convinced, my acknowledgment shall follow it. Heaven will enable me to be reconciled to the event, because I pursue the dictates of that judgment, against the biasses of my more partial heart Let that Heaven, which only can, restore Clementina, and dispose as it pleases of Olivia and Harriet. We cannot either of us, I humbly hope, be so unhappy as the lady has been whom I rank among the first of women; and whose whole family deserves almost equal compassion.

Lady Olivia asked Lady L. If her brother had not a very tender regard for me? He had, Lady L. answered; and told her, that he had rescued me from a very great distress; and that mine was the most grateful of human hearts.

She called me sweet young creature (supposing me, I doubt not, younger than I am); but said, that the graces of my person and mind alarmed her not, as they would have done, had not his attachment to Clementina been what now she saw, hut never could have believed it was; having supposed, that compassion only was the tie that bound him to her.

But compassion, Lucy, from such a heart as his, the merit so great in the lady, must be love; a love of the nobler kind—And if it were not, it would be unworthy of Clementina's.

Lady Maffei called upon her dignity, her birth, to carry her above a passion that met not with a grateful return. She advised her to dispose herself to stay in England some months, now she was here. And as her friends in Italy would suppose what her view was in coming to England, their censures would be obviated by her continuing here for some time, while Sir Charles was abroad, and in Italy: and

[page] 168

that she should divert herself with visiting the court, the public places, and in seeing the principal curiosities of this kingdom, as she had done those of others; in order to give credit to an excursion that might otherwise be freely spoken of, in her own country.

She seemed to listen to this advice. She bespoke, and was promised, the friendship of the two sisters; and included in her request, through their interests, mine; and Lady G. was called in, by her sister, to join in the promise.

She desired that Sir Charles might be requested to walk in; but would not suffer the sisters to withdraw, as they would have done, when he returned. He could not but be polite; but, it seems, looked still disturbed. I beg you to excuse, Sir, said she, my behaviour to you: it was passionate; it was unbecoming. But, in compliment to your own consequence, you ought to excuse it. I have only to request one favour of you: that you will suspend for one week, in regard to me, your proposed journey; but for one week; and I will, now I am in England, stay some months; perhaps till your return.

Excuse me, madam.

I will not excuse you—But one week, Sir. Give me so much importance with myself, as for one week's suspension. You will. You must.

Indeed I cannot. My soul, I own to you, is in the distresses of the family of Porretta. Why should I repeat what I said to you before?

I have bespoken, Sir, the civilities of your sisters, of your family: you forbid them not?

You expect not an answer, madam, to that question. My sisters will be glad, and so will their lords, to attend you wherever you please, with a hope to make England agreeable to you.

[page] 169

How long do you propose to stay in Italy, Sir?

It is not possible for me to determine.

Are you not apprehensive of danger to your person?

I am not.

You ought to be.

No danger shall deter me from doing what I think to be right. If my motives justify me, I cannot fear.

Do you wish me, Sir, to stay in England till your return?

A question so home put, disturbed him. Was it a prudent one in the lady? It must either subject her to a repulse; or him, by a polite answer, to give her hope, that her stay in England might not be fruitless as to the view she had in coming. He reddened. It is fit, answered he, that your own pleasure should determine you. It did, pardon me, madam, in your journey hither.

She reddened to her very ears. Your brother, ladies, has the reputation of being a polite man: bear witness to this instance of it. I am ashamed of myself!

If I am impolite, madam, my sincerity will be my excuse; at least to my own heart.

O that inflexible heart! But, ladies, if the inhospitable Englishman refuse his protection in his own country, to a foreign woman, of no mean quality; do not you, his sisters, despise her.

They, madam, and their lords, will render you every cheerful service. Let me request you, my sisters, to make England as agreeable as possible to this lady. She is of the first consideration in her own country: she will be of such wherever she goes. My Lady Maffei deserves likewise your utmost respect. Then addressing himself to them; Ladies,

Q

[page] 170

said he, encourage my sisters: they will think themselves honoured by your commands.

The two sisters confirmed, in an obliging manner, what their brother had said; and both ladies acknowledged themselves indebted to them for their offered friendship: but Lady Olivia seemed not at all satisfied with their brother: and it was with some difficulty he prevailed on her to return to the company, and drink coffee.

I could not help reflecting, on occasion of this lady's conduct, that fathers and mothers are great blessings, to daughters, in particular, even when women grown. It is not every woman that will shine in a state of independency. Great fortunes are snares. If independent women escape the machinations of men, which they have often a difficulty to do, they will frequently be hurried by their own imaginations, which are said to be livelier than those of men, though their judgments are supposed less, into inconveniencies. Had Lady Olivia's parents or uncles lived, she hardly would have been permitted to make the tour of Europe: and not having so great a fortune to support vagaries, would have shone, as she is well qualified to do, in a dependent state in Italy, and made some worthy man and herself happy.

Had she a mind great enough to induce her to pity Clementina, I should have been apt to pity her; for I saw her soul was disturbed. I saw that the man she loved was not able to return her love: a pitiable case!—I saw a starting tear now-and-then with difficulty dispersed. Once she rubbed her eye, and, being conscious of observation, said something had got into it: so it had. The something was a tear. Yet she looked with haughtiness, and her bosom swelled with indignation ill concealed.

[page] 171

Sir Charles repeated his recommendation of her to Lord L. and Lord G. They offered their best services: Lord W. invited her and all of us to Windsor. Different parties of pleasure were talked of: but still the enlivener of every party was not to be in any one of them. She tried to look pleased; but did not always succeed in the trial: an eye of love and anger mingled was often cast upon the man whom every-body loved. Her bosom heaved, as it seemed sometimes, with indignation against herself: that was the construction which I made of some of her looks.

Lady Maffei, however, seemed pleased with the parties of pleasure talked of: she often directed herself to me in Italian. I answered her in it as well as I could. I do not talk it well: but as I am not an Italian, and little more than book-learned in it (for it is a long time ago since I lost my grandfather, who used to converse with me in it, and in French) I was not scrupulous to answer in it. To have for- born, because I did not excel in what I had no opportunity to excel in, would have been false modesty, nearly bordering upon pride. Were any lady to laugh at me for not speaking well her native tongue, I would not return the smile, were she to be less perfect in mine, than I am in hers. But Lady Olivia made me a compliment on my faulty accent, when I acknowledged it to he so. Signora, said she, you shew us that a pretty mouth can give beauty to a defect. A master teaching you, added she, would perhaps find some fault; but a friend conversing with you, must be in love with you for the very imperfection.

Sir Charles was generously pleased with the compliment, and made her a fine one on her observation.

He attended the two ladies to their lodgings in his

Q 2

[page] 172

coach. He owned to Dr. Bartlett, that Lady Olivia was in tears all the way, lamenting her disgrace in coming to England, just as he was quitting it; and wishing she had staid at Florence. She would have engaged him to correspond with her: he excused himself. It was a very afflicting thing to him, he told the doctor, to deny any request that was made to him, especially by a lady: but he thought he ought in conscience and honour to forbear giving the shadow of an expectation that might be improved into hope, where none was intended to be given. Heaven, he said, had, for laudable ends, implanted such a regard in the sexes towards each other, that both man and woman who hoped to be innocent, could not be too circumspect in relation to the friendships they were so ready to contract with each other. He thought he had gone a great way, in recommending an intimacy between her and his sisters, considering her views, her spirit, her perseverance, and the free avowal of her regard for him, and her menaces on his supposed neglect of her. And yet, as she had come over, and he was obliged to leave England so soon after her arrival; he thought he could not do less: and he hoped his sisters, from whose example she might be benefited, would, while she behaved prudently, cultivate her acquaintance.

The doctor tells me, that now Lady Olivia is so unexpectedly come hither in person, he thinks it best to decline giving me, as he had once intended, her history at large; but will leave so much of it as may satisfy my curiosity, to be gathered from my own observation; and not only from the violence and haughtiness of her temper, but from the freedom of her declarations. He is sure, he said, that his patron will be best pleased, that a veil should be thrown over the weaker part of her conduct; which,

[page] 173

were it known, would indeed be glorious to Sir Charles, but not so to the lady; who, however, never was suspected, even by her enemies, of giving any other man reason to tax her with a thought that was not strictly virtuous: and she had engaged his pity and esteem, for the sake of her other fine qualities, though she could not his love. Before she saw him (which, it seems, was at the opera at Florence for the first time, when he had an opportunity to pay her some slight civilities) she set all men at defiance.

To-morrow morning Sir Charles is to breakfast with me. My cousins and I are to dine at Lord L.'s. The earl and Lady Gertrude are also to be there. Lord W. has been prevailed upon to stay, and be there also, as it is his nephew's last day in England.—' Last day in England!' O my Lucy! What words are those!—Lady L. has invited Lady Olivia and her aunt, at her own motion, Sir Charles (his time being so short) not disapproving.

I thank my grandmamma and aunt for their kind summons. I will soon set my day: I will, my dear, soon set my day.

LETTER XXII.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Friday noon, April 14.

NOT five hours in bed; not one hour's rest for many uneasy nights before; I was stupid till Sir Charles came: I then was better. He enquired, with tender looks and voice, after my health; as if he thought I did not look well.

We had some talk about Lord and Lady G. He

Q 3

[page] 174

was anxious for their happiness. He complimented me with hopes from my advice to her. Lord G. he said, was a good-natured worthy man. If he thought his sister would make him unhappy, he should himself be so.

I told him, that I dared to answer for her heart. My lord must bear with some innocent foibles, and all would be well.

We then talked of Lady Olivia. He began the subject, by asking me my opinion of her. I said she was a very fine woman in her person; and that she had an air of grandeur in her mien.

And she has good qualities, said he; but she is violent in her passions. I am frequently grieved for her. She is a fine creature in danger of being lost, by being made too soon her own mistress.

He said not one word of his departure to-morrow morning: I could not begin it; my heart would not let me; my spirits were not high: and I am afraid, if that key had been touched, I should have been too visibly affected. My cousins forbore, upon the same apprehension.

He was excessively tender and soothing to me, in his air, his voice, his manner. I thought of what Emily said; that his voice, when he spoke of me, was the voice of love. Dear flattering girl!—But why did she flatter me?

We talked of her next. He spoke of her with the tenderness of a father. He besought me to love her. He praised her heart.

Emily, said I, venerates her guardian. She never will do any-thing contrary to his advice.

She is very young, replied he. She will be happy, madam, in yours. She both loves and reverences you.

I greatly love the dear Emily, Sir. She and I shall be always sisters.

[page] 175

How happy am I in your goodness to her! Permit me, madam, to enumerate to you my own felicities in those of my dearest friends.

Mr. Beauchamp is now in the agreeable situation I have long wished him to be in. His prudence and obliging behaviour to his mother-in-law, have won her. His father grants him every-thing through her; and she, by this means, finds that power enlarged which she was afraid would be lessened, if the son were allowed to come over. How just is this reward of his filial duty!

Thus, Lucy, did he give up the merit to his Beauchamp, which was solely due to himself.

Lord W. he hoped, would be soon one of the happiest men in England: and the whole Mansfield family had now fair prospects opening before them.

Emily [not he, you see] had made it the interest of her mother to be quiet.

Lord and Lady L. gave him pleasure whenever he saw them, or thought of them.

Dr. Bartlett was in heaven, while on earth. He would retire to his beloved Grandison-hall, and employ himself in distributing, as objects offered, at least a thousand pounds of the three thousand bequeathed to charitable uses by his late friend Mr. Danby. His sister's fortune was paid. His estates in both kingdoms were improving—See, madam, said he, how like the friend of my soul I claim your attention to affairs that are of consequence to myself; and in some of which your generosity of heart has interested you.

I bowed. Had I spoken, I had burst into tears. I had something arose in my throat, I know not what. Still, thought I, excellent man, you are not yourself happy!—O pity! pity! Yet, Lucy, he plainly had been enumerating all these things, to take off from my mind that impression which I am afraid he

[page] 176

too well knows it is affected with, from his difficult situation.

And now, madam, resumed he, how are all my dear and good friends, whom you more particularly call yours?—I hope to have the honour of a personal knowledge of them. When heard you from our good Mr. Deane? He is well, I hope.

Very well, Sir.

Your grandmamma Shirley that ornament of advanced years?

I bowed: I dared not to trust to my voice.

Your excellent aunt Selby?

I bowed again.

Your uncle, your Lucy, your Nancy: Happy family! All harmony! all love!—How do they?

I wiped my eyes.

Is there any service in my power to do them, or any of them? Command me, good Miss Byron, if there be: my Lord W. and I are one. Our influence is not small—Make me still more happy, in the power of serving any one favoured by you.

You oppress me, Sir, by your goodness!—I cannot speak my grateful sensibilities.

Will you, my dear Mr. Reeves, Will you, madam, (to my cousin) employ me in any way that I can be of use to you, either abroad or at home? Your acquaintance has given me great pleasure. To what a family of worthies has this excellent young lady introduced me!

O Sir! said Mrs. Reeves, tears running down her cheeks, that you were not to leave people whom you have made so happy in the knowledge of the best of men!

Indispensable calls must be obeyed, my dear Mrs. Reeves. If we cannot be as happy as we wish, we will rejoice in the happiness we can have. We must not be our own carvers.—But I make you all serious. I was enumerating, as I told you, my present felici-

[page] 177

ties: I was rejoicing in your friendships. I have joy; and, I presume to say, I will have joy. There is a bright side in every event; I will not lose sight of it: and there is a dark one; but I will endeavour to see it only with the eye of prudence, that I may not be involved by it at unawares. Who that is not reproached by his own heart, and is blessed with health, can grieve for inevitable evils; evils that can be only evils as we make them so? Forgive my seriousness: my dear friends, you make me grave. Favour me, I beseech you, my good Miss Byron, with one lesson: we shall be too much engaged, perhaps, by-and-by.

He led me (I thought it was with a cheerful air; but my cousins both say, his eyes were full) to the harpsichord: he sung unasked, but with a low voice: and my mind was calmed. O Lucy! How can I part with such a man? How can I take my leave of him?—But perhaps he has taken his leave of me already, as to the solemnity of it, in the manner I have recited.

LETTER XXIII.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Saturday morning, April 15.

O LUCY, Sir Charles Grandison is gone! Gone indeed! He set out at three this morning; on purpose, no doubt, to spare his sisters, and friends, as well as himself, concern.

We broke not up till after two. Were I in the writing humour which I have never known to fail me till now, I could dwell upon an hundred things, some of which I can now only briefly mention.

[page] 178

Dinner-time yesterday passed with tolerable cheerfulness: every one tried to be cheerful. O what pain attends loving too well, and being too well beloved! He must have pain, as well as we.

Lady Olivia was the most thoughtful, at dinnertime; yet poor Emily! Ah the poor Emily! she went out four or five times to weep; though only I perceived it.

Nobody was cheerful after dinner but Sir Charles. He seemed to exert himself to be so. He prevailed on me to give them a lesson on the harpsichord. Lady L. played: Lady G. played: we tried to play, I should rather say. He himself took the violin, and afterwards sat down to the harpsichord, for one short lesson. He was not known to be such a master: but he was long in Italy. Lady Olivia indeed knew him to be so. She was induced to play upon the harpsichord: she surpassed every-body. Italy is the land of harmony.

About seven at night he singled me out, and surprised me greatly by what he said. He told me, that Lady D. had made him a visit. I was before low: I was then ready to sink. She has asked me questions, madam.

Sir, Sir! was all I could say.

He himself trembled as he spoke—Alas! my dear, he surely loves me! Hear how solemnly he spoke— God Almighty be your director, my dear Miss Byron! I wish not more happiness to my own soul, than I do to you.—In discharge of a promise made, I mention this visit to you: I might otherwise have spared you, and myself—

He stopt there—Then resumed; for I was silent, I could not speak—Your friends will be entreated for a man that loves you; a very worthy young nobleman.—I give you emotion, madam.—Forgive me. I have performed my promise. He turned from

[page] 179

me with a seeming cheerful air. How could he appear to be cheerful!

We made parties at cards. I knew not what I played. Emily sighed, and tears stole down her cheeks, as she played. O how she loves her guardian! Emily, I say—I don't know what I write!

At supper we were all very melancholy. Mr. Beauchamp was urgent to go abroad with him. He changed the subject, and gave him an indirect denial, as I may call it, by recommending the two Italian ladies to his best services.

Sir Charles, kind, good, excellent! wished to Lord L. to have seen Mr. Grandison!—unworthy as that man has made himself of his attention.

He was a few moments in private with Lady Olivia. She returned to company with red eyes.

Poor Emily watched an opportunity to be spoken to by him alone—So diligently!—He led her to the window—About one o'clock it was — He held both her hands. He called her, she says, his Emily. He charged her to write to him.

She could not speak; she could only sob; yet thought she had a thousand things to say to him.

He contradicted not the hope his sisters and their lords had of his breakfasting with them. They invited me; they invited the Italian ladies: Lady L. Lord L. did go, in expectation: but Lady G. when she found him gone, sent me and the Italian ladies word, that he was. It would have been cruel, if she had not. How could he steal away so! I find, that he intended that his morning visit to me (as indeed I half-suspected) should he a taking leave of my cousins, and your Harriet. How many things did he say then—How many questions ask—In tender woe—He wanted to do us all service—He seemed not to know what to say—Surely he hates not your poor Harriet—What struggles in his noble

[page] 180

bosom!—But a man cannot complain: a man cannot ask for compassion, as a woman can. But surely his is the gentlest of manly minds!

When we broke up, he handed my cousin Reeves into her coach. He handed me. Mr. Reeves said, We see you again, Sir Charles, in the morning? He bowed. At handing me in he sighed—He pressed my hand—I think he did—That was all.—He saluted nobody—He will not meet his Clementina as he parted with us.

But, I doubt not, Dr. Bartlett was in the secret.

He was. He has just been here. He found my eyes swelled. I had had no rest; yet knew not, till seven o'clock, that he was gone.

It was very good of the doctor to come: his visit soothed me: yet he took no notice of my red eyes. Nay, Mrs. Reeves's eyes were swelled, as well as mine. Angel of a man! How is he beloved!

The doctor says, that his sisters, their lords, Lord W. are in as much grief as if he were departed for ever—And who knows—But I will not torment myself with supposing the worst: I will endeavour to bear in mind what he said yesterday morning to us, no doubt for an instruction, that he would have joy.

And did he then think that I should be so much grieved as to want such an instruction?—And therefore did he vouchsafe to give it?—But, vanity, be quiet—Lie down, hope—Hopelessness, take place! —Clementina shall be his. He shall be hers.

Yet his emotion, Lucy, at mentioning Lady D.'s visit—O! but that was only owing to his humanity. He saw my emotion; and acknowledged the tenderest friendship for me! Ought I not to be satisfied with that? I am. I will be satisfied. Does he not love me with the love of mind? The poor Olivia has not this to comfort herself with. The poor Olivia! If I

[page] 181

see her sad and afflicted, how I shall pity her! All her expectations frustrated; the expectations that engaged her to combat difficulties, to travel, to cross many waters, and to come to England—to come just time enough to take leave of him; he hastening on the wings of love and compassion to a dearer, a deservedly dearer object, in the country she had quitted, on purpose to visit him in his—Is not hers a more grievous situation than mine?—It is. Why, then, do I lament?

But here, Lucy, let me in confidence hint, what I have gathered from several intimations from Dr. Bartlett, though as tenderly made by him as possible, that had Sir Charles Grandison been a man capable of taking advantage of the violence of a lady's passion for him, the unhappy Olivia would not have scrupled, great, haughty, and noble, as she is, by birth and fortune, to have been his, without conditions, if she could not have been so with: the Italian world is of this opinion, at least. Had Sir Charles been a Rinaldo, Olivia had been an Armida.

O that I could hope, for the honour of the sex, and of the lady who is so fine a woman, that the Italian world is mistaken!—I will presume that it is.

My good Dr. Bartlett, will you allow me to accuse you of a virtue too rigorous? That is sometimes the fault of very good people. You own that Sir Charles has not, even to you, revealed a secret so disgraceful to her. You own that he has only blamed her for having too little regard for her reputation, and for the violence of her temper: yet how patiently, for one of such a temper, has she taken his departure, almost on the day of her arrival! He could not have given her an opportunity to indicate to him a concession so criminal: she could not, if he had, have made the overture. Wicked, wicked world! I will not believe you! And the less credit shall you have

VOL. XII. R

[page] 182

with me, Italian world, as I have seen the lady. The innocent heart will be a charitable one. Lady Olivia is only too intrepid. Prosperity, as Sir Charles observed, has been a snare to her, and set her above a proper regard to her reputation.—Merciless world! I do not love you. Dear Dr. Bartlett, you are not yet absolutely perfect! These hints of yours against Olivia, gathered from the malevolence of the envious, are proofs (the first indeed that I have met with) of your imperfection!

Excuse me, Lucy: How have I run on! Disappointment has mortified me, and made me good- natured.—I will welcome adversity, if it enlarge my charity.

The doctor tells me that Emily, with her halfbroken heart, will be here presently. If I can be of comfort to her—But I want it myself, from the same cause. We shall only weep over each other.

As I told you, the doctor, and the doctor only, knew of his setting out so early. He took leave of him. Happy Dr. Bartlett!—Yet I see by his eyes, that this parting cost him some paternal tears.

Never father better loved a son than this good man loves Sir Charles Grandison.

Sir Charles, it seems, had settled all his affairs three days before. His servants were appointed.

I he doctor tells me, that he had last week prese ted the elder Mr. Oldham with a pair of colours, which he had purchased for him. Nobody had heard of this.

Lord W. he says, is preparing for Windsor; Mr. Beauchamp for Hampshire, for a few days; and then he returns to attend the commands of the noble Italians

Lady Olivia will soon have her equipage ready.

She will make a great appearance:—But Sir CHARLES GRANDISON will not be with her. What is grandeur to a disturbed heart?

[page] 183

The Earl of G. and Lady Gertrude are setting out for Hertfordshire. Lord and Lady L. talk of retiring for a few weeks, to Colnebrook: the doctor is preparing for Grandison-hall; your poor Harriet for Northamptonshire—Bless me, my dear, what a dispersion!—But Lord W.'s nuptials will collect some of them together at Windsor.

Emily, the dear weeping girl! is just come. She is with my cousins. She expects my permission for coming up to me. Imagine us weeping over each other; praying for, blessing the guardian of us both. Your imagination cannot form a scene too tender. Adieu, my Lucy.

LETTER XXIV.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Sunday, April 16.

O WHAT a blank, my dear!—But I need not say what I was going to say. Poor Emily!—But to mention her grief, is to paint my own.

Lord W. went to Windsor yesterday.

A very odd behaviour of Lady Olivia. Mr. Beauchamp went yesterday, and offered to attend her to any of the public places, at her pleasure; in pursuance of Sir Charles's reference to him, to do all in his power to make England agreeable to her; and she thought (it to tell him before her aunt, that she thanked him for his civility; but she should not trouble him during her stay in England. She had gentlemen in her train; and one of them had been in England before—

He left her in disgust.

R 2

[page] 184

Lady L. making her a visit in the evening, she told her of Mr. Beauchamp's offer, and of her answer. The gentleman, said she, is a polite and very agreeable man; and this made me treat his kind offer with abruptness: for I can hardly doubt your brother's view in it. I scorn his view: and if I were sure of it, perhaps I should find a way to make him repent of the indignity. Lady L. was sure, she said, that neither her brother, nor Mr. Beauchamp, had any other views than to make England as agreeable to her as possible.

Be this as it may, madam, said she, I have no service for Mr. Beauchamp: but if your ladyship, your sister, and your two lords, will allow me to cultivate your friendship, you will do me honour. Dr. Bartlett's company will be very agreeable to me likewise, as often as he will give it me. To Miss Jervois I lay some little claim. I would have had her for my companion in Italy; but your cruel brother—No more, however, of him. Your English beauty too, I admire her: but, poor young creature, I admire her the more, because I can pity her. I should think myself very happy to be better acquainted with her.

Lady L. made her a very polite answer for herself and her sister, and their lords. But told her, that I was very soon to set out for my own abode in Northamptonshire; and that Dr. Bartlett had some commissions, which would oblige him, in a day or two, to go to Sir Charles's seat in the country. She herself offered to attend her to Windsor, and to every other place, at her command.

Lady L. took notice of her wrist being bound round with a broad black ribband, and asked, if it were hurt? A kind of sprain, said she. But you little imagine how it came; and must not ask.

This made Lady L. curious. And Olivia re-

[page] 185

questing that Emily might be allowed to breakfast with her as this morning; she has bid the dear girl endeavour to know how it came, if it fell in her way; for Olivia reddened, and looked up, with a kind of consciousness to Lady L. when she told her that she must not ask questions about it.

Lady G. is very earnest with me to give into the town-diversions for a month to come: but I have now no desire in my heart so strong, as to return to all my dear Northamptonshire friends.

I am only afraid of my uncle. He will railly his Harriet; yet only, I know, in hopes to divert her, and us all: but my jesting days are over: my situation will not bear it. Yet if it will divert him, let him railly.

I shall be so much importuned to stay longer than I ought, or will stay, that I may as well fix a peremptory day at once. Will you, my ever indulgent friends, allow me to set out for Selby-house on Friday next? Not on a Sunday, as Lady Betty Williams advises, for fear of the odious waggons. But I have been in a different school. Sir Charles Grandison, I find, makes it a tacit rule with him, never to begin a journey on a Sunday; nor, except when in pursuit of works of mercy or necessity, to travel in time of divine service. And this rule he observed last Sunday, though he reached us here in the evening. O my grandmamma! How much is he, what you all are, and ever have been!—But he is now pursuing a work of mercy. God succeed to him the end of his pursuit!

By why tacit? you will ask. Is Sir Charles Grandison ashamed to make an open appearance in behalf of his Christian duties? He is not. For instance; I have never seen him sit down at his own table, in the absence of Dr. Bartlett, or some other clergyman, but he himself says grace; and that with

R 3

[page] 186

such an easy dignity, as commands every one's reverence; and which is succeeded by a cheerfulness that looks as if he were the better pleased for having shewn a thankful heart.

Dr. Bartlett has also told me, that he begins and ends every day, either in his chamber, or in his study, in a manner worthy of one who is in earnest in his Christian profession. But he never frights gay company with grave maxims. I remember, one day, Mr. Grandison asked him, in his absurd way, Why he did not preach to his company now-and-then? Faith, Sir Charles, said he, if you did, you would reform many a poor ignorant sinner of us; since you could do it with more weight, and more certainty of attention than any parson in Christendom.

It would be an affront, said Sir Charles, to the understanding, as well as education, of a man who took rank above a peasant, in such a country as this, to seem to question whether he knew his general duties, or not, and the necessity of practising what he knew of them. If he should be at a loss, he may once a week be reminded, and his heart kept warm. Let you and me, cousin Everard, shew our conviction by our practice; and not invade the clergyman's province.

I remember, that Mr. Grandison shewed his conviction by his blushes; and by repeating the three little words, You and me! Sir Charles.

Sunday evening.

O my dear friends! I have a strange, a shocking piece of intelligence to give you! Emily has just been with me in tears: she begged to speak with me in private. When we were alone, she threw her arms about my neck; Ah, madam! said she, I am come to tell you, that there is a person in the world that I hate, and must and will hate, as long as I live.

[page] 187

It is Lady Olivia.—Take me down with you into Northamptonshire, and never let me see her more.

I was surprised.

O madam! I have found out, that she would, on Thursday last, have killed my guardian.

I was astonished, Lucy.

They retired together, you know, madam! He came from her, his face in a glow; and he sent in his sister to her, and went not in himself till afterwards. She would have had him put off his journey. She was enraged because he would not; and they were high together; and at last she pulled out of her stays, in fury, a poinard, and vowed to plunge it into his heart. He should never, she said, see his Clementina more. He went to her. Her heart failed her. Well it might, you know, madam. He seized her hand. He took it from her. She struggled, and in struggling her wrist was hurt; that's the meaning of the broad black ribband!—Wicked creature! to have such a thought in her heart!—He only said, when he had got it from her, Unhappy, violent woman! I return not this instrument of mischief! You will have no use for it in England —And would not let her have it again.

I shuddered. O my dear, said I, he has been a sufferer, we are told, by good women; but this is not a good woman. But can it be true? Who informed you of it?

Lady Maffei herself. She thought that Sir Charles must have spoken of it: and when she found he had not, she was sorry she had, and begged I would not tell any-body: but I could not keep it from you. And she says, that Lady Olivia is grieved on the remembrance of it; and arraigns herself and her wicked passion; and the more, for his noble forgiveness of her on the spot, and recommending her

[page] 188

afterwards to the civilities of his sisters, and their lords. But I hate her, for all that.

Faulty but unhappy Olivia! said I. But what, my Emily, are we women, who should be the meekest and tenderest of the whole animal creation, when we give way to passion! But if she is so penitent, let not the shocking attempt be known to his sisters, or their lords. I may take the liberty of mentioning it, in strict confidence [Observe that, Lucy] to those from whom I keep not any secret: but let it not be divulged to any of the relations of Sir Charles. Their detestation of her, which must follow, would not be concealed; and the unhappy creature, made desperate, might—Who knows what she might do?

The dear girl ran on upon what might have been the consequence, and what a loss the world would have had, if the horrid fact bad been perpetrated. Lady Maffei told her, however, that had not her heart relented, she might have done him mischief; for he was too rash in approaching her. She fell down on her knees to him, as soon as he had wrested the poinard from her. I forgive, and pity you, madam, said he, with an air that had, as Olivia and her aunt have recollected since, both majesty and compassion in it: but against her entreaty, he would withdraw. Yet, at her request, sent in Lady L. to her; and, going into his study, told not even Dr. Bartlett of it, though he went to him there immediately.

From the consciousness of this violence, perhaps, the lady was more temperate afterwards, even to the very time of his departure.

Lord bless me, What shall I do? Lady D. has sent a card to let me know, that she will wait upon Mrs. Reeves and me to-morrow to breakfast. She

[page] 189

comes, no doubt, to tell me, that Sir Charles having no thoughts of Harriet Byron, Lord D. may have hopes of succeeding with her: and perhaps her ladyship will plead Sir Charles's recommendation and interest in Lord D.'s favour. But should this plea be made, good Heaven give me patience! I am afraid I shall be uncivil to this excellent woman.

LETTER XXV.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Monday, April 17.

THE countess is just gone.

Mr. Reeves was engaged before to breakfast with Lady Betty Williams; and we were only Mrs. Reeves, Lady D. and I.

My heart ached at her entrance; and every moment still more, as we were at breakfast. Her looks, I thought, had such a particular kindness and meaning in them, as seemed to express, 'You have no hopes, Miss Byron, any-where else; and I will have you to be mine.'

But my suspense was over the moment the tea-table was removed. I see your confusion, my dear, said the countess [Mrs. Reeves, you must not leave us]; and I have sat in pain for you, as I saw it increase. By this I know that Sir Charles Grandison has been as good as his word. Indeed, I doubted not but he would. I don't wonder, my dear, that you love him. He is the finest man in his manners, as well as person, that I ever saw. A woman of virtue and honour cannot but love him. But I need not praise him to you; nor to you, neither, Mrs. Reeves; I see that.

[page] 190

Now you must know, proceeded she, that there is an alliance proposed for my son, of which I think very well; but still should have thought better, had I never seen you, my dear. I have talked to my lord about it: you know I am very desirous to have him married. His answer was; I never can think of any proposal of this nature, while I have any hope that I can make myself acceptable to Miss Byron.

What think you, my lord, said I, if I should directly apply to Sir Charles Grandison, to know his intentions; and whether he has any hopes of obtaining her favour? He is said to be the most unreserved of men. He knows our characters to be as unexceptionable as his own; and that our alliance cannot be thought a discredit to the first family in the kingdom. It is a free question, I own, as I am unacquainted with him by person: but he is such a man that methinks I can take pleasure in addressing myself to him on any subject.

My lord smiled at the freedom of my motion; but not disapproving it, I directly went to Sir Charles, and, after due compliments, told him my business.

The countess stopt. She is very penetrating. She looked at us both.

Well, madam, said my cousin, with an air of curiosity—Pray, your ladyship—

I could not speak for very impatience—

I never heard in my life, said the countess, such a fine character of any mortal, as he gave you. He told me of his engagements to go abroad as the very next day. He highly extolled the lady for whose sake, principally, he was obliged to go abroad; and he spoke as highly of a brother of hers, whom he loved as if he were his own brother; and mentioned very affectionately the young lady's whole family.

'God only knows, (said he,) what may be my destiny!—As generosity, as justice, or rather as Providence leads, I will follow.'

[page] 191

After he had generously opened his heart, proceeded the countess, I asked him, if he had any hope, should the foreign lady recover her health, of her being his?

'I can promise myself nothing, (said he.) I go over without one selfish hope. If the lady recover her health, and her brother can be amended in his, by the assistance I shall carry over with me, I shall have joy inexpressible. To Providence I leave the rest. The result cannot be in my own power.'

Then, Sir, proceeded the countess, you cannot in honour be under any engagements to Miss Byron?

I arose from my seat. Whither, my dear?—I have done, if I oppress you. I moved my chair behind hers, but so close to hers, that I leaned on the back of it, my face hid, and my eyes running over. She stood up. Sit down again, madam, said I, and proceed—Pray proceed. You have excited my curiosity. Only let me sit here unheeded, behind you.

Pray, madam, said Mrs. Reeves (burning also with curiosity, as she has since owned) go on; and indulge my cousin in her present seat. What answer did Sir Charles return?

Let me first, said the countess (sitting down, as I had requested) be answered one question. I would not do mischief.

You cannot do mischief, madam, replied I. What is your ladyship's question?

Has Sir Charles Grandison ever directly made his addresses to you, my dear?

Never, madam.

It is not for want of love, I dare aver, that he has not. But thus he answered my question: 'I should have thought myself the unworthiest of men, knowing the difficulties of my own situation, how great

[page] 192

soever were the temptation from Miss Byron's merit, if I had sought to engage her affections.'

[O, Lucy, how nobly is his whole conduct towards me justified!]

'She has, madam, (proceeded the countess in his words) 'a prudence that I never knew equalled in a woman so young. With a frankness of mind, to which hardly ever young lady before her had pretensions, she has such a command of her affections, that no man, I dare say, will ever have a share in them, till he has courted her favour by assiduities which shall convince her that he has no heart but for her.'

O my Lucy! What an honour to me would these sentiments be, if I deserved them! And can Sir Charles Grandison think I do?—I hope so. But if he does, how much am I indebted to his favourable, his generous opinion! Who knows but I have reason to rejoice at, rather than to regret, as I used to do, his frequent absences from Colnebrook?

The countess proceeded.

Then, Sir, you will not take it amiss, if my son, by his assiduities, can prevail upon Miss Byron to think that he has merit, and that his heart is wholly devoted to her.

Amiss, madam!—No!—In justice, in honour, I cannot. May Miss Byron be, as she deserves to be, one of the happiest women on earth in her nuptials. I have heard a great character of Lord D. He has a very large estate. He may boast of his mother.—God forbid, that I, a man divided in myself, not knowing what I can do, hardly sometimes what I ought to do, should I seek to involve in my own uncertainties the friend I revere; the woman I so greatly admire: her beauty so attracting; so proper therefore for her to engage a generous protector in the marriage state!'

[page] 193

Generous man! thought I. O how my tears ran down my cheeks, as I hid my face behind the countess's chair?

But will you allow me, Sir, proceeded the countess, to ask you, Were you freed from all your uncertainties—

'Permit me, madam, interrupted he, to spare you the question you were going to put. As I know not what will be the result of my journey abroad, I should think myself a very selfish man, and a very dishonourable one to two ladies of equal delicacy and worthiness, if I sought to involve, as I hinted before, in my own uncertainties, a young lady whose prudence and great qualities must make herself and any man happy, whom she shall favour with her hand.

To be still more explicit, (proceeded he,) With what face could I look up to a woman of honour and delicacy, such a one as the lady before whom I now stand, if I could own a wish, that, while my honour has laid me under obligation to one lady, if she shall be permitted to accept of me, I should presume to hope, that another, no less worthy, would hold her favour for me suspended, till she saw what would be the issue of the first obligation? No, madam; I could sooner die, than offer such indignity to BOTH! I am fettered, added he: but Miss Byron is free: and so is the lady abroad. My attendance on her at this time, is indispensable; but I make not any conditions for myself—My reward will be in the consciousness of having discharged the obligations that I think myself under, as a man of honour.'

The countess's voice changed in repeating this speech of his: and she stopt to praise him; and then went on.

You are THE man, indeed, Sir!—But then give

S

[page] 194

me leave to ask you, as I think it very likely that you will be married before your return to England, Whether now that you have been so good as to speak favourably of my son, and that you call Miss Byron sister, you will oblige him with a recommendation to that sister?

'The Countess of D. shews, by this request, her value for a young lady who deserves it; and the more, for its being, I think (excuse me, madam) a pretty extraordinary one. But what a presumption would it be in me to suppose that I had SUCH an interest with Miss Byron, when she has relations as worthy of her, as she is of them?'

You may guess, my dear, said the countess, that I should not have put this question, but as a trial of his heart. However, I asked his pardon; and told him, that I would not believe he gave it me, except he would promise to mention to Miss Byron, that I had made him a visit on this subject [Methinks, Lucy, I should have been glad that he had not let me know that he was so forgiving!]

And now, my dear, said the lady, let me turn about. She did; and put one arm round my neck, and with my own handkerchief wiped my eyes, and kissed my cheek; and when she saw me a little recovered, she addressed me as follows:

Now, my good young creature, [O that you would let me call you daughter in my own way! for I think I must always call you so, whether you do, or not] let me ask you, as if I were your real mother, 'Have you any expectation that Sir Charles Grandison will be yours? '

Dear madam, Is not this as hard a question to be put to me, as that which you put to him?

Yes, my dear—full as hard. And I am as ready to ask your pardon, as I was his, if you are really displeased with me for putting it. Are you, Miss

[page] 195

Byron? Excuse me, Mrs. Reeves, for thus urging your lovely cousin; I am at least entitled to the excuse Sir Charles Grandison made for me, that it is a demonstration of my value for her.

I have declared, madam, returned I, and it is from my heart, that I think he ought to be the husband of the lady abroad: and though I prefer him to all the men I ever saw, yet I have resolved, if possible, to conquer the particular regard I have for him. He has in a very noble manner offered me his friendship, so long as it may be accepted without interfering with any other attachments on my part: and I will be satisfied with that.

A friendship so pure, replied the countess, as that of such a man, is consistent with any other attachments. My Lord D. will, with his whole soul, contribute all in his power to strengthen it: he admires Sir Charles Grandison: he would think it a double honour to be acquainted with him through you. Dearest Miss Byron, take another worthy young man into your friendship, but with a tenderer name: I shall then claim a fourth place in it for myself. O my dear! What a quadruple knot will you tie!

Your ladyship does me too much honour, was all I could just then reply.

I must have an answer, my dear: I will not take up with a compliment.

This, then, madam, is my answer—I hope I am an honest creature: I have not a heart to give.

Then you have expectations, my dear.—Well, I will call you mine, if I can. Never did I think that I could have made the proposal, that I am going to make you: but in my eyes, as well as in my lord's, you are an incomparable young woman.—This is it—We will not think of the alliance proposed to us (it is yet but a proposal, and to which we have not returned any answer) till we see what turn the affair

S 2

[page] 196

Sir Charles is gone upon, takes. You once said, you could prefer my son to any of the men that had hitherto applied to you for your favour. Your affections to Sir Charles were engaged before you knew us. Will you allow my son this preference, which will be the first preference, if Sir Charles engages himself abroad?

Your ladyship surprises me: Shall I not improve by the example you have just now set before me? Who was it that said (and a man too) 'With what face could I look up to a woman of honour and delicacy, such a one as the lady before whom I now stand, if I could own a wish, that, while' my heart leaned to one person, I should think of keeping another in suspense till I saw whether I could or could not be the other's? 'No, madam, I would sooner die,' as Sir Charles said, 'than offer such an indignity to both.' But I know, madam, that you only made this proposal, as you did another to Sir Charles Grandison, as a trial of my heart.

Upon my word, my dear, I should, I think, be glad to be entitled to such an excuse: but I was really in earnest: and now take a little shame to myself.

What charming ingenuousness in this lady!

I have but one plea, to make for myself, added she; I could not have fallen into such an error (the example so recently given to the contrary) had I not wished you to be, before any woman in the world, Countess of D.— Noble creature! No title can give you dignity. May your own wishes be granted!

The countess asked, When I returned to Northamptonshire? I told her my intention. She charged me to see her first. But I can tell you, said she, my lord shall not be present when you come: not once more will I trust him in your company; and if he

[page] 197

should steal a visit, unknown to me, let not your cousin see him, Mrs. Reeves. He does indeed admire you, love.

I acknowledged, with a grateful heart, her goodness to me. She engaged me to correspond with her when I got home. Her commands were an honour done me, that I could not refuse myself. Her son, she smilingly told me, should no more see my letters, than my person.

At her going away—I will tell you one thing, said she: I never before, in a business which my heart was set upon, was so effectually silenced by a precedent produced by myself in the same conversation. I came with an assurance of success. When our hearts are engaged in a hope, we are apt to think every step we take for the promoting it, reasonable: our passions, my dear, will evermore run away with our judgment. But now I think of it, I must, when I say our, make two exceptions; one for you, and one for Sir Charles Grandison.

But, Lucy, tell me—May I, do you think, explain the meaning of the word SELFISH used by Sir Charles in the conclusion of the library-conference at Colnebrook (and which puzzled me then to make out) by his disclaiming of selfishness in the conversation with the countess above recited? If I may, what an opening of his heart does that word give in my favour, were he at liberty? Does it not look, my dear, as if his honour cheeked him, when his love would have prompted him to wish me to preserve my heart disengaged till his return from abroad? Nor let it be said, that it was dishonourable in him to have such a thought, as it was checked and overcome; and as it was succeeded by such an emotion that he was obliged to depart abruptly from me. —Let me repeat the words—You may not have m) letter at hand which relates that affecting address to

S 3

[page] 198

me; and it is impossible for me, while I have memory, to forget them. He had just concluded his brief history of Clementina—' And now, madam, what can I say?—Honour forbids me!—Yet honour bids me—But I cannot be unjust, ungenerous, selfish!'— If I may flatter myself, Lucy, that he did love me when he said this, and that he had a conflict in his noble heart between the love on one side so hopeless (for I could not forgive him, if he did not love, as well as pity, Clementina), and on the other not so hopeless, were there to have been no bar between —Shall we not pity him for the arduous struggle? Shall we not see that honour carried it, even in favour of the hopeless against the hopeful, and applaud him the more for being able to overcome? How shall we call virtue by its name, if it be not tried; and if it hath no contest with inclination?

If I am a vain self-flatterer, tell me, chide me, Lucy; but allow me, however, at the same time, this praise, if I can make good my claim to it, that my conquest of my passion is at least as glorious for me, as his is for him, were he to love me ever so well; since I can most sincerely, however painfully, subscribe to the preference which honour, love, compassion, unitedly, give to CLEMENTINA.

LETTER XXVI.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Monday night.

MY cousins and I, by invitation, supped with Lady G. this evening. Lord and Lady L. were there; Lady Olivia also, and Lady Maffei.

I have set them all into a consternation, as they

[page] 199

expressed themselves, by my declaration of leaving London on my return home early on Friday morning next. I knew, that were I to pass the whole summer here, I must be peremptory at last. The two sisters vow, that I shall not go so soon. They say, that I have seen so few of the town-diversions —Town-diversions, Lucy!—I have had diversions enough, of one sort!—But in your arms, my dear friends, I shall have consolation—And I want it.

I have great regrets, and shall have hourly more, as the day approaches, on the leaving of such dear and obliging friends: but I am determined.

My cousin's coach will convey me to Dunstable; and there, I know, I shall meet with my indulgent uncle, or your brother. I would not have it publicly known, because of the officious gentlemen in the neighbourhood.

Dr. Bartlett intended to set out for Grandison-hall to-morrow: but from the natural kindness of his heart he has suspended his journey to Thursday next. No consideration, therefore, shall detain me, if I am well.

My cousins are grieved: they did not expect that I would be a word and a blow, as they phrase it.

Lady Olivia expressed herself concerned, that she, in particular, was to lose me. She had proposed great pleasure, she said, in the parties she should make in my company. But, after what Emily told me, she appears to me as a Medusa; and were I to be thought by her a formidable rival, I might have as much reason to be afraid of the potion, as the man she loves of the poniard. Emily has kept the secret from every-body but me. And I rely on the inviolable secrecy of all you, my friends.

Lord and Lady L. had designed to go to Colnebrook to-morrow, or at my day, having hopes of getting me with them: but now, they say, they will

[page] 200

stay in town till they can see whether I am to be prevailed upon, or will be obdurate.

Lady Olivia enquired after the distance of Northamptonshire. She will make the tour of England, she says, and visit me there. I was obliged to say I should take her visit as an honour.

Wicked politeness! Of how many falsehoods dost thou make the people, who are called polite, guilty!

But there is one man in the world, who is remarkable for his truth, yet is unquestionably polite. He censures not others for complying with fashions established by custom; but he gives not in to them. He never perverts the meaning of words. He never, for instance, suffers his servants to deny him, when he is at home. If he is busy, he just finds time to say he is, to unexpected visitors; and if they will stay, he turns them over to his sisters, to Dr. Bartlett, to Emily, till he can attend them. But then he has always done so. Every one knows that he lives to his own heart, and they expect it of him; and when they can have his company, they have double joy in the ease and cheerfulness that attend his leisure: they then have him wholly. And he can be the more polite, as the company then is all his business.

Sir Charles might the better do so, as he came over so few months ago, after so long an absence; and his reputation for politeness was so well established, that people rather looked for rules from him, than a conformity to theirs.

His denials of complimenting Lady Olivia(though she was but just arrived in his native country, where she never was before) with the suspending of his departure for one week, or but for one day—Who but he could have given them? But he was convinced, that it was right to hasten away, for the sake of Clementina and his Jeronymo; and that it would

5

[page] 201

have been wrong to shew Olivia, even for her own sake, that in such a competition she had consequence with him; and all her entreaties, all her menaces, the detested poniard in her hand, could not shake his steady soul, and make him delay his well-settled purpose.

LETTER XXVII.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Tuesday morning, April 18.

THIS naughty Lady G.—She is excessively to blame. Lord L. is out of patience with her. So is Lady L. Emily says, she loves her dearly; but she does not love her ways. Lord G. as Emily tells me, talks of coming to me; the cause of quarrel supposed to be not great: but trifles, insisted upon, make frequently the widest breaches. Whatever it be, it is between themselves; and neither cares to tell: but Lord and Lady L. are angry with her, for the ludicrous manner in which she treats him.

The misunderstanding happened after my cousin and I left them last night. I was not in spirits, and declined staying to cards. Lady Olivia and her aunt went away at the same time. Whist was the game. Lord and Lady L. Dr. Bartlett and Emily, were cast in. In the midst of their play, Lady G. came hurrying down stairs to them, warbling an air: Lord G. followed her, much disturbed. Madam, I must tell you, said he—Why MUST, my lord? I don't bid you.

Sit still, child, said she to Emily; and took her seat behind her—Who wins? Who loses?

Lord G. walked about the room—Lord and Lady

[page] 202

L. were unwilling to take notice, hoping it would go off; for there had been a few livelinesses on her side at dinner-time, though all was serene at supper.

Dr. Bartlett offered her his cards. She refused them—No, doctor, said she, I will play my own cards: I shall have enough to do to play them well.

As you manage it, so you will, madam, said Lord G.

Don't expose yourself, my lord: we are before company. Lady L. you have nothing but trumps in your hand.

Let me say a word or two to you, madam, said Lord G. to her.

I am all obedience, my lord.

She arose. He would have taken her hand: she put it behind her.

Not your hand, madam?

I can't spare it.

He flung from her, and went out of the room.

Lord bless me, said she, returning to the card- table with a gay unconcern, What strange passionate creatures are these men!

Charlotte, said Lady L. I wonder at you.

Then I give you joy—

What do you mean, sister?—

We women love wonder, and the wonder-ful!

Surely, Lady G. said Lord L. you are wrong.

I give your lordship joy, too.

On what?

That my sister is always right.

Indeed, madam, were I Lord G. I should have no patience.

A good him for you, Lady L. I hope you will take this for a warning, and continue good.

When I behave as you do, Charlotte—

I understand you, Lady L. you need not speak out—Every one in their way.

[page] 203

You would not behave thus, were my brother—

Perhaps not.

Dear Charlotte, you are excessively wrong

So I think, returned she.

Why then do you not—

Mend Lady L.? All in good time.

Her woman came in with a message, expressing her lord's desire to see her.—The deuce is in these men: they will neither be satisfied with us, nor without us. But I am all obedience: no vow will I break—And out she went.

Lord G. not returning presently, and Lord and Lady L.'s chariot being come, they both took this opportunity, in order to shew their displeasure, to go away without taking leave of their sister. Dr. Bartlett retired to his apartment. And when Lady G. came down, she was surprised, and a little vexed, to find only Emily there. Lord G. came in at another door—Upon my word, my lord, this is strange behaviour in you: you fright away, with your husband-like airs, all one's company.

Good God!—I am astonished at you, madam.

What signifies your astonishment?—when you have scared every-body out of the house.

I, madam!

You, Sir! Yes, You!—Did you not lord it over me in my dressing-room?—To be easy and quiet, did I not fly to our company in the drawing-room? Did you not follow me there—with looks—Very pretty looks for a new-married man, I assure you! Then did you not want to take me aside—Would not any-body have supposed it was to express your sorrow for your odd behaviour? Was I not all obedience? Did you not, with very mannish airs, slight me for my compliance, and fly out of the room? All the company could witness the calmness with which I returned to them, that they might not be

[page] 204

grieved for me; nor think our misunderstanding a deep one. Well, then, when your stomach came down, as I supposed, you sent for me out: no doubt, thought I, to express his concern now.—I was all obedience again.

And did I not beseech you, madam—

Beseech me, my lord!—Yes—But with such looks!—I married, Sir, let me tell you, a man with another face—See, see, Emily—He is gone again—

My lord flew out of the room in a rage—O these men, my dear! said she to Emily.

I know, said Emily, what I could have answered, if I dared: but it is ill meddling, as I have heard say, between man and wife.

Emily says, the quarrel was not made up; but was carried higher still in the morning.

She had but just finished her tale, when the following billet was brought me, from Lady G.

HARRIET, Tuesday morning.

If you love me, if you pity me, come hither this instant: I have great need of your counsel. I am resolved to be unmarried; and therefore subscribe myself by the beloved name of

CHARLOTTE GRANDISON.

I instantly dispatched the following:

I know no such person as Charlotte Grandison. I love Lady G. but can pity only her lord. I will not come near you. I have no counsel to give you: but that you will not jest away your own happiness.

HARRIET BYRON.

Soon after, came a servant from Lady G with the following letter:

[page] 205

So, then, I have made a blessed hand of wedlock. My brother gone; my man excessive unruly; Lord and Lady L. on his side, without enquiring into merits, or demerits: lectured by Dr. Bartlett's grave face: Emily standing aloof; her linger in her eye: and now my Harriet renouncing me: and all in one week!

What can I do?—War seems to be declared: and will you not turn mediatrix?—You won't, you say. Let it alone. Nevertheless, I will lay the whole matter before you.

It was last night, the week from the wedding-day not completed, that Lord G. thought fit to break into my retirement without my leave—By the way, he was a little impertinent at dinner-time; but that I passed over.—

What boldness is this, said I?—Pray, Sir, begone!—Why do you leave your company below? I come, my dearest life, to make a request to you.

The man began with civility enough, had he had a little less of his odious rapture: for he flung his arms obout me, Jenny in presence. A husband's fondness is enough to ruin these girls. Don't you think, Harriet, that there is an immorality in it, before them?

I refuse your request, be it what it will. How dare you invade me in my retirement?—You may believe that I intended not to stay long above, my sister below. Does the ceremony, so lately past, authorize want of breeding?

Want of breeding, madam!—And he did so stare!

Leave me, this instant—I looked good-natured, I suppose, in my anger; for he declared he would not; and again throwing his arms about me as I sat, joined

T

[page] 206

his sharp face to mine, and presumed to kiss me; Jenny still in the room.

Now, Harriet, you never will desert me in a point of delicacy, I am sure. You cannot defend these odious freedoms in a matrimony so young, unless you would be willing to be served so yourself.

You may suppose, that then I let loose my indignation upon him. And he stole out, daring to mutter, and be displeased. The word devil was in his mouth.

Did he call me devil, Jenny?

No, indeed, madam, said the wench—And, Harriet, see the ill example of such a free behaviour before her: she presumed to prate in favour of the man's fit of fondness; yet, at other times, is a prude of a girl.

Before my anger was gone down, in again [It is truth, Harriet] came the bold wretch. I will not, said he, as you are not particularly employed, leave you—Upon my soul, madam, you don't use me well. But if you will oblige me with your company tomorrow morning—

No-where, Sir—

Only to breakfast with Miss Byron, my dear—As a mark of your obligingness, I request it.

His dear!—Now I hate a hypocrite of all things. I knew that he had a design to make a shew of his bride, as his property, at another place; and seeing me angry, thought he would name a visit agreeable to me, and which at the same time would give him a merit with you, and preserve to himself the consequence of being obliged by his obedient wife, at the word of authority.

From this foolish beginning arose our mighty quarrel. What vexed me was, the art of the man, and the evident design he had to get you of his

[page] 207

side. He, in the course of it, threatened me with appealing to you—To intend to ruin me in the love of my dearest friend! Who, that valued that friend, could forgive it? You may believe, that if he had not proposed it, and after such accumulated offences, it was the very visit that I should have been delighted with.

Indeed, Sir—Upon my word, my lord, I do assure you, Sir,—with a moderate degree of haughtiness— was what the quarrel arose to, on my side—And, at last to a declaration of rebellion—I won't.

On his side, Upon my soul, madam—Let me perish, if—and then hesitating—You use me ill, madam. I have not deserved—And give me leave to say—I insist upon being obliged, madam'.

There was no bearing of this, Harriet.—It was a cool evening; but I took up my fan—Hey-day! said I, What language is this?—You insist upon it, my lord!—I think I am married; Am I not?—And I took my watch, Half an hour after ten on Monday night—the—What day of the month is this:—Please the lord, I will note down this beginning moment of your authoritative demeanour.

My dear Lady G. [The wretch called me by his own name, perhaps further to insult me] if I could bear this treatment, it would be impossible for me to love you as I do.

So it is in love to me, that you are to put on already all the husband!—Jenny! [Do you see, my lord, affecting a whisper, how you dash the poor wench! How like a fool she looks at our folly!] remember Jenny, that to-morrow morning you carry my wedding suits to Mrs. Arnold; and tell her, she has forgot the hanging-sleeves to the gowns. Let her put them on directly.

I was proceeding—But he rudely, gravely, and even with an air of scorn [There was no bearing

T 2

[page] 208

that, you know] admonished me; A little less wit, madam, and a little more discretion, would perhaps better become you.

This was too true to be forgiven. You'll say it, Harriet, if I don't. And to come from a man that was not overburdened with either—But I had too great a command of myself to say so. My dependence, my lord [this I did say] is upon your judgment: that will always be a balance to my wit; and, with the assistance of your reproving love, will in time teach me discretion.

Now, my dear, was not this a high compliment to him? Ought he not to have taken it as such? Especially as I looked grave, and dropt him a very fine courtesy. But either his conscience or ill-nature (perhaps you'll say both) made him take it as a reflection [True as you are alive, Harriet]. He bit his lip. Jenny, begone, said he—Jenny, don't go, said I.—Jenny knew not which to obey. Upon my word, Harriet, I began to think the man would have cuff'd me—And while he was in his airs of mock- majesty, I stept to the door, and whipt down to my company.

As married people are not to expose themselves to their friends (who I once heard you sagely remark, would remember disagreeable things, when the honest pair had forgot them) I was determined to be prudent. You would have been charmed with me, my dear, for my discretion. I will cheat by-standers, thought I; I will make my Lord and Lady L. Dr. Bartlett, and Emily, whom I had before set in at cards, think we are egregiously happy—And down I sat, intending, with a lamblike peaceableness, to make observations on the play. But soon after, in whipt my indiscreet lord, his colour heightened, his features working: and though I cautioned him not to expose himself, yet he as-

[page] 209

sumed airs that were the occasion, as you shall hear, of frighting away my company. He withdrew, in consequence of those airs; and, after a little while (repenting, as I hoped) he sent for me out. Some wives would have played the queen Vashti on their tyrant, and refused to go; but I, all obedience (my vow, so recently made, in my head) obeyed, at the very first word; yet you must think that I (meek as I am naturally) could not help recriminating. He was too lordly to be expostulated with.—There was, 'I tell you, madam,' and 'I won't be told, Sir;' and when I broke from the passionate creature, and hoped to find my company, behold! they were all gone! None but Emily left. And thus was poor Lady L. sent home, weeping, perhaps, for such an early marriage-tyranny, exerted on her meek sister.

Well, and don't you think we looked like a couple of fools at each other, when we saw ourselves left alone, as I may say, to fight it out? I did expostulate with him as mildly as I could: he would have made it up with me afterwards: but, no! there was no doing that, as a girl of your nice notions may believe, after he had, by his violent airs, exposed us both before so many witnesses. In decency, therefore, I was obliged to keep it up: and now our misunderstanding blazes, and is at such a comfortable height, that if we meet by accident, we run away from each other by design. We have already made two breakfast-tables: yet I am meek; he is sullen: I make courtesies; he returns not bows.—Sullen creature, and a rustic!—I go to my harpsichord: melody enrages him. He is worse than Saul; for Saul could be gloomily pleased with the music even of the man he hated.

I would have got you to come to us: that I thought was tending to a compliance; for it would have been

T 3

[page] 210

condescending too much, as he is so very perverse, if I had accompanied him to you. He has a great mind to appeal to you; but I have half-raillied him out of his purpose I sent to you. What an answer did you return me!—Cruel Harriet! to deny your requested mediation in a difference that has arisen between man and wife.—But let the fire glow. If it spares the house, and only blazes in the chimney, I can bear it.

Cross creature, adieu! If you know not such a woman as Grandison, Heaven grant that I may; and that my wishes may be answered as to the person; and then I will not know a Byron.

See, Lucy, how high this dear flighty creature bribes! But I will not be influenced by her bribery, to take her part.

LETTER XXVIII.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Tuesday night.

I AM just returned from St. James's Square.

But, first, I should tell you, that I had a visit from Lady Olivia and Lady Maffei. Our conversation was in Italian and French. Lady Olivia and I had a quarter of an hour's discourse in private: you may guess at our subject. She is not without that tenderness of heart which is the indispensable characteristic of a woman. She lamented the violence of her temper, in a manner so affecting, that I cannot help pitying her, though at the instant I had in my head a certain attempt that makes me shudder whenever I think of it. She regrets my going to

[page] 211

Northamptonshire so soon. I have promised to return her visit to-morrow in the afternoon.

She sets out on Friday next for Oxford. She wished I could accompany her. She resolves to see all that is worth seeing in the western circuit, as I may call it. She observes, she says, that Sir Charles Grandison's sisters, and their lords, are very particularly engaged at present; and are in expectation of a call to Windsor, to attend Lord W.'s nuptials: she will therefore, having attendants enough, and two men of consideration in her train, one of whom is not unacquainted with England, take cursory tours over the kingdom; having a taste for travelling, and finding it a great relief to her spirits: and when Lady L. and Lady G. are more disengaged, will review the seats and places which she shall think worthy of a second visit, in their company.

She professed to like the people here, and the face of the country; and talked favourably of the religion of it: but poor woman! she likes all those the better, I doubt not, for the sake of one Englishman. Love, Lucy, gilds every object which bears a relation to the person beloved.

Lady Maffei was very free in blaming her niece for this excursion. She took her chiding patiently; but yet, like a person that thought it too much in her power, to gratify the person blaming her, to pay much regard to what she said.

I took a chair to Lady G.'s. Emily ran to meet me in the hall. She threw her arms about me. I rejoice you are come, said she. Did you not meet the house in the square?—What means my Emily?—Why, it has been flung out of the windows, as the saying is. Ah, madam! we are all to pieces. One so careless, the other so passionate!—But, hush! Here comes Lady G.—

[page] 212

Take, Lucy, in the dialogue-way, particulars.

Lady G. Then your are come, at last, Harriet. You wrote, that you would not come near me.

Harriet. I did; but I could not stay away. Ah, Lady G. you will destroy your own happiness!

Lady G. So you wrote. Not one word, on the subject you hint at, that you have ever said or written before. I hate repititions, child.

Harriet. Then I must be silent upon it.

Lady G. Not of necessity. You can say new things upon old subjects.—But hush! Here comes the man —She ran to her harpsichord—Is this it, Harriet? and touched the keys—repeating

Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon she sooth'd——

ENTER LORD G.

Lord G. Miss Byron, I am your most obedient servant. The sight of you rejoices my soul.—Madam (to his lady) you have not been long enough together to begin a tune. I know what this is for—

Lady G. Harmony! harmony! is a charming thing! But I, poor I! know not any but what this simple instrument affords me.

Lord G. lifting up his hands. Harmony, madam! God is my witness—But I will lay every-thing before Miss Byron.

Lady G. You need not, my lord: she knows as much as she can know, already; except the fine colourings be added to the woeful tale, that your unbridled spirit can give it.—Have you my long letter about you, Harriet?

Lord G. And could you, madam, have the heart to write—

Lady G. Why, my lord, do you mince the matter? For heart, say courage. You may speak as plain in

[page] 213

Miss Byron's presence, as you did before she came: I know what you mean.

Lord G. Let it be courage, then.

Harriet. Fie, fie, Lord G. Fie, fie, Lady G. What lengths do you run! If I understand the matter right, you have both, like children, been at play, till you have fallen out.

Lord G. If, Miss Byron, you know the truth, and can blame me—

Harriet. I blame you only, my lord, for being in a passion. You see, my lady is serene: she keeps her temper: she looks as if she wanted to be friends with you.

Lord G. O that cursed serenity!—When my soul is torn by a whirlwind—

Lady G. A good tragedy rant!—But, Harriet, you are mistaken: my Lord G. is a very passionate man. So humble, so—what shall I call it? before marriage—Did not the man see what a creature I was?—To bear with me, when he had no obligation to me; and not now, when he has the highest—A miserable sinking!—O Harriet, Harriet! Never never marry!

Harriet. Dear Lady G. you know in your own heart you are wrong—Indeed you are wrong—

Lord G. God for ever reward you, madam!—I will tell you how it began—

Lady G. 'Began!' She knows that already, I tell you, my lord. But what has passed within these four hours, she knows not: you may entertain her with that, if you please.—It was just about the time this day is a week, that we were all together, mighty comfortably, at St. George's, Hanover-square—

Lord G. Every tittle of what you promised there, madam—

Lady G. And I, my lord could be your echo in

[page] 214

this, were I not resolved to keep my temper; as you cannot but say I have done, all along.

Lord G. You could not, madam, if you did not despise me.

Lady G. You are wrong, my lord, to think so: but you don't believe yourself: if you did, the pride of your heart ought not to permit you to own it.

Lord G. Miss Byron, give me leave—

Lady G. Lord bless me! that people are so fond of exposing themselves! Had you taken my advice, when you pursued me out of my dressing-room into company—My lord, said I, as mildly as I now speak, don't expose yourself. But he was not at all the wiser for my advice.

Lord G. Miss Byron, you see—But I had not come down but to make my compliments to you. He bowed, and was about to withdraw.

I took him by the sleeve—My lord, you must not go. Lady G. if your own heart justifies you for your part in this misunderstanding, say so; I challenge you to say so—She was silent.

Harriet. If otherwise, own your fault, promise amendment.—Ask pardon.

Lady G. Hey-day!

Harriet. And my lord will ask yours, for mistaking you.—For being too easily provoked—

Lord G. Too easily, madam—

Harriet. "What generous man would not smile at the foibles of a woman whose heart is only gay with prosperity and lively youth; but has not the least malice in it? Has not she made choice of your lordship in preference of any other man? She raillies every one; she can't help it: she is to blame.— Indeed, Lady G. you are. Your brother felt your edge; he once smarted by it, and was angry with

[page] 215

you.—But afterwards, observing that it was her way, my lord; that it was a kind of constitutional gaiety of heart, and exercised on those she loved best; he forgave, raillied her again, and turned her own weapons upon her; and every one in company was delighted with the spirit of both.— You love her, my lord—

Lord G. Never man more loved a woman. I am not an ill-natured man—

Lady G. But a captious, a passionate one, Lord G.—Who'd have thought it!

Lord G. Never was there, my dear Miss Byron, such a strangely-aggravating creature! She could not be so, if she did not despise me.

Lady G. Fiddle-faddle, silly man! And so you said before. If you thought so, you take the way (don't you?) to mend the matter, by dancing and capering about, and putting yourself into all manner of disagreeable attitudes; and even sometimes being ready to foam at the mouth?—I told him, Miss Byron, There he stands, let him deny it, if he can; that I married a man with another face. Would not any other man have taken this for a compliment to his natural undistorted face, and instantly have pulled off the ugly mask of passion, and shewn his own?—

Lord G. You see, you see, the air, Miss Byron!— How ludicrously does she now, even now—

Lady G. See, Miss Byron!—How captious!— Lord G. ought to have a turmagant wife: one who could return rage for rage. Meekness is my crime.— I cannot be put out of temper.—Meekness was never before attributed to woman as a fault.

Lord G. Good God!—Meekness!—Good God!

Lady G. But, Harriet, do you judge on which side the grievance lies. — Lord G. presents me with a face for his, that I never saw him wear before marriage: he has cheated me, therefore. I shew him

[page] 216

the same face that I ever wore, and treat him pretty much in the same manner (or I am mistaken) that I ever did: and what reason can he give, that will not demonstrate him to be the most ungrateful of men, for the airs he gives himself? airs that he would not have presumed to put on eight days ago. Who then, Harriet, has reason to complain of grievance; my lord, or I?

Lord G. You see, Miss Byron—Can there be any arguing with a woman who knows herself to be in jest, in all she says?

Harriet. Why then, my lord, make a jest of it. What will not bear an argument, will not be worth one's anger.

Lord G. I leave it to Miss Byron, Lady G. to decide between us, as she pleases.

Lady G. You'd better leave it to me, Sir.

Harriet. Do, my lord.

Lord G. Well, madam!—And what is your decree?

Lady G. You, Miss Byron, had best be lady chancellor, after all. I should not bear to have my decree disputed, after it is pronounced.

Harriet. If I must, my decree is this:—You, Lady G. shall own yourself in fault; and promise amendment. My lord shall forgive you; and promise, that he will, for the future, endeavour to distinguish between your good and your ill-nature: that he will sit down to jest with your jest, and never be disturbed at what you say, when he sees it accompanied with that archness of eye and lip which you put on to your brother, and to every one whom you best love, when you are disposed to be teazingly facetious.

Lady G. Why, Harriet, you have given Lord G a clue to find me out, and spoil all my sport.

Harriet. What say you, my lord?

[page] 217

Lord G. Will Lady G. own herself in fault, as you propose?

Lady G. Odious recrimination!—I leave you together. I never was in fault in my life. Am I not a woman? If my lord will ask pardon for his froppishness, as we say of children —

She stopt, and pretended to be going—

Harriet. That my lord shall not do, Charlotte. You have carried the jest too far already. My lord shall preserve his dignity for his wife's sake. My lord, you will not permit Lady G. to leave us, however?

He took her hand, and pressed it with his lips: For God's sake, madam, let us he happy: it is in your power to make us both so: it ever shall be in your power. If I have been in fault, impute it to my love. I cannot bear your contempt: and I never will deserve it.

Lady G. Why could not this have been said some hours ago?—Why, slighting my early caution, would you expose yourself?

I took her aside. Be generous, Lady G. Let not your husband be the only person to whom you are not so.

Lady G. (whispering) Our quarrel has not run half its length. If we make up here, we shall make up clumsily. One of the silliest things in the world is, a quarrel that ends not, as a coachman after a journey comes in, with a spirit. We shall certainly renew it.

Harriet. Take the caution you gave to my lord: Don't expose yourself. And another; That you cannot more effectually do so, than by exposing your husband. I am more than half ashamed of you. You are not the Charlotte I once thought you were. Let me see, if you have any regard to my good

VOL. XII. U

[page] 218

opinion of you, that you can own an error with some grace.

Lady G. I am a meek, humble, docible creature. She turned to me, and made me a rustic courtesy, her hands before her: I'll try for it; tell me, if I am right. Then stepping towards my lord, who was with his back to us looking out at the window—and he turning about to her bowing—My lord, said she, Miss Byron has been telling me more than I knew before of my duty. She proposes herself one day to make a won-der-ful obedient wife. It would have been well for you, perhaps, had I had her example to walk by. She seems to say, that, now I am married, I must be grave, sage, and passive: that smiles will hardly become me: that I must be prim and formal, and reverence my husband. If you think this behaviour will become a married woman, and expect it from me, pray, my lord, put me right by your frowns, whenever I shall be wrong. For the future, if I ever find myself disposed to be very light-hearted, I will ask your leave before I give way to it. And now, what is next to be done? humorously courtesying, her hands before her.

He clasped her in his arms; Dear provoking creature! This, this is next to be done—I ask you but to love me half as much as I love you, and I shall be the happiest man on earth.

My lord, said I, you ruin all by this condescension on a speech and air so ungracious. If this is all you get by it, never, never, my lord, fall out again. O Charlotte! If you are not generous, you come off much, much too easily.

Well, now, my lord, said she, holding out her hand, as if threatening me, let you and me, man and wife like, join against the interposer in our quarrels.—Harriet, I will not forgive you, for this last part of your lecture.

5

[page] 219

And thus was this idle quarrel made up. All that vexes me on the occasion is, that it was not made up with dignity on my lord's part. His honest heart so overflowed with joy at his lips, that the naughty creature, by her arch leers, every now-and-then, shewed, that she was sensible of her consequence to his happiness. But, Lucy, don't let her sink too low in your esteem: she has many fine qualities.

They prevailed on me to stay supper. Emily rejoiced in the reconciliation: her heart was, as I may say, visible in her joy. Can I love her better than I do? If I could, she would, every time I see her, give me reason for it.

LETTER XXIX.

MISS BYRON. IN CONTINUATION.

Wednesday noon, April 19.

IT would puzzle you to guess at a visiter I had this morning.—Honest Mr. Fowler. I was very glad to see him. He brought me a letter from his worthy uncle. Good Sir Rowland! I had a joy that I thought I should not have had while I stayed in London, on its being put into my hand, though the contents gave me sensible pain. I inclose it. It is dated from Caermarthen. Be pleased to read it here.

Caermarthen, April 11.

How shall I, in fit manner, inscribe my letter to the loveliest of women! I don't mean because of your loveliness; but whether as daughter or not, as you

U 2

[page] 220

did me the honour to call yourself. Really, and truly, I must say, that I had rather call you by another name, though a little more remote as to consanguinity. Lord have mercy upon me, how I talked of you? How many of our fine Caermarthen girls have I filled with envy of your peerless perfections!

Here am I settled to my heart's content, could I but obtain—You know whom I mean.—A town of gentry: a fine country round us—A fine estate of our own. Esteemed, nay, for that matter, beloved by all our neighbours and tenants. Who so happy as Rowland Meredith, if his poor boy could be happy! — Ah, madam!—And can't it be so? I am afraid of asking. Yet I understand, that, notwithstanding all the jack-a-dandies that have been fluttering about you, you are what you were when I left town. Some whispers have gone out of a fine gentleman indeed, who had a great kindness for you; but yet that something was in the way between you. The Lord bless and prosper my dear daughter, as I must then call you and not niece, if you have any kindness for him. And if as how you have, it would be wonderfully gracious if you would but give half a hint of it to my nephew, or if so be you will not to him, to me, your father you know, under your own precious hand. The Lord be good unto me! But I shall never see the she that will strike my fancy, as you have done. But what a dreadful thing would it be, if you, who are so much courted and admired by many fine gallants, should at last be taken with a man who could not be yours! God forbid that such a disastrous thing should happen! I profess to you, madam, that a tear or two have strayed down my cheeks at the thoughts of it. For why? Because you played no tricks with any

[page] 221

man: You never were a coquet, as they call 'em You dealt plainly, sincerely, and tenderly too, to all men; of which my nephew and I can bear witness.

Well, but what now is the end of my writing?— Lord love you, cannot, cannot you at last give comfort to two honest hearts? Honester you never knew! And yet, if you could, I dare say you would. Well, then, and if you can't, we must sit down as contented as we can; that's all we have for it.— But, poor young man! look at him, if you read this before him. Strangely altered! Poor young man!—And if as how you cannot, why then, God bless my daughter; that's all. And I do assure you, that you have our prayers every Lord's day, from the bottom of our hearts.

And now, if you will keep a secret, I will tell it you; and yet, when I began, I did not intend it: the poor youth must not know I do. It is done in the singleness of our hearts; and if you think we mean to gain your love for us by it, I do assure you that yon wrong us.—My nephew declares, that he never will marry, if it be not somebody: and he has made his will, and so have I his uncle; and, let me tell you, that if as how I cannot have a niece, my daughter shall be the better for having known, and treated as kindly as power was lent her,

Her true friend, loving father,
and obedient servant,

ROWLAND MEREDITH.

Love and service to Mr. and Mrs. Reeves, and all friends who enquire after me. Farewell. God bless you! Amen.

Have you, could you, Lucy, read this letter with dry eyes? Generous, worthy, honest men! I read but half way before Mr. Fowler—Glad I was, that

U 3

[page] 222

I read no further. I should not have been able to have kept his uncle's secret, if I had; had it been but to disclaim the acceptance of the generous purpose. The carrying it into effect would exceedingly distress me, besides the pain the demise of the honest man would give me; and the more, as I bespoke the fatherly relation from him myself. If such a thing were to be, Sir Charles Grandison's behaviour to the Danbys should be my example.

Do you know, Mr. Fowler, said I, the contents of the letter you have put into my hand?

No further than that my uncle told me, it contained professions of fatherly love; and with wishes only—But without so much as expressing his hopes.

Sir Rowland is a good man, said I: I have not read above half his letter. There seems to be too much of the father in it; for me to read further, before my brother. God bless my brother Fowler, and reward the fatherly love of Sir Rowland to his daughter Byron!—I must write to him.

Mr. Fowler, poor man! profoundly sighed; bowed; with such a look of respectful acquiescence—Bless me, my dear, how am I to be distressed on all sides! by good men too; as Sir Charles could say he was by good women.

Is there nothing less than giving myself to either, that I can do to shew Mr. Orme and Mr. Fowler my true value for them?

Poor Mr. Fowler!—Indeed he looks to be, as Sir Rowland hints, not well.—Such a modest, such an humble, such a silent lover!—He cost me tears at parting: I could not hide them. He heaped praises and good wishes upon me, and hurried away at last, to hide his emotion, with a sentence unfinished— God preserve you, dear and worthy Sir! was all I could try to say. The last words stuck in my throat, till he was out of hearing; and then I prayed for

[page] 223

blessings upon him and his uncle: and repeated them, with fresh tears, on reading the rest of the affecting letter.

Mr. Fowler told Mr. Reeves, before I saw him, that he is to go to Caermarthen for the benefit of his native air, in a week. He let him know where he lodged in town, He had been riding for his health and diversion about the country, ever since his uncle went; and has not been yet at Caermarthen.

I wish Mr. Fowler had once, if but once, called me sister: it would have been such a kind acquiescence, as would have given me some little pleasure on recollection. Methinks I don't know how to have done writing of Sir Rowland and Mr. Fowler.

I sat down, however, while the uncle and nephew filled my thoughts, and wrote to the former. I have enclosed the copy of my letter. Adieu my Lucy.

LETTER XXX.

MISS BYRON TO SIR ROWLAND MEREDITH.

Wednesday, April 19.

IT was with great pleasure that I received, this day, the kindest letter that ever was written by a real father to his dearest child. I was resolved that I would not go to rest till I had acknowledged the favour.

How sweet is the name of father to a young person who, out of near one-and-twenty years of life, has for more than half the time been bereaved of hers; and who was also one of the best of men.

You gave me an additional pleasure in causing

[page] 224

this remembrance of your promised paternal goodness to be given me by Mr. Fowler in person. Till I knew you and him, I had no father, no brother.

How good you are in your apprehensions that there may be a man on whom your daughter has cast her eye, and who cannot look upon her with the same distinction—O that I had been near you when you wrote that sweetly-compassionating, that indulgent passage! I would have wiped the tears from your eyes myself, and reverenced you as my true father.

You demand of me, as my father, a hint, or half a hint, as you call it, to be given to my brother Fowler; or if not to him, to you. To him, whom I call father, I mean all the duty of a child I call him not father nominally only: I will, irksome as the subject is, own without reserve, the truth to you (In tenderness to my brother, how could I to him?)— There is a man whom, and whom only, I could love as a good wife ought to love her husband. He is the best of men. O my good Sir Rowland Meredith! if you knew him, you would love him yourself, and own him for your son. I will not conceal his name from my father: Sir Charles Grandison is the man. Enquire about him. His character will rise upon you from every mouth. He engaged first all your daughter's gratitude, by rescuing her from a great danger and oppression; for he is as brave as he is good: and how could she help suffering a tenderness to spring up from her gratitude, of which she was never before sensible to any man in the world? There is something in the way, my good Sir; but not that proceeds from his slights or contempts. Your daughter could not live, if it were so. A glorious creature is in the way! who has suffered for him, who does suffer for him: he ought to be hers, and only hers: and if she can be recovered from a

[page] 225

fearful malady that has seized her mind, he probably will. My daily prayers are, that God will restore her!

But yet, my dear Sir, my friend, my father! my esteem for this noblest of men is of such a nature, that I cannot give my hand to any other; my father Meredith would not wish me to give a hand without a heart.

This, Sir, is the case. Let it, I beseech you, rest within your own breast, and my brother Fowler's. How few minds are there delicate and candid enough to see circumstances of this kind in the light they ought to appear in! And pray for me, my good Sir Rowland; not that the way may be smoothed to what once would have crowned my wishes as to this life; but that Sir Charles Grandison may be happy with the lady that is, and ought to be, dearest to his heart; and that your daughter may be enabled to rejoice in their felicity. What, my good Sir, is this span of life, that a passenger through it should seek to overturn the interests of others to establish her own? And can the single life be a grievance? Can it be destitute of the noblest tendernesses? No, Sir. You that have lived to an advanced age, in a fair fame, surrounded with comforts, and as tender to a worthy nephew, as the most indulgent father could be to the worthiest of sons, can testify for me, that it is not.

But now, Sir, one word—I disclaim, but yet in all thankfulness, the acceptance of the favour signified to be intended me in the latter part of the paternal letter before me. Our acquaintance began with a hope, on your side, that I could not encourage. As I could not, shall I accept of the benefit from you, to which I could only have been entitled (and that as I had behaved) had I been able to oblige you? —No, Sir! I will not, in this case, be benefited

[page] 226

when I cannot benefit. Put me not, therefore, I beseech you, Sir, if such an event (deplored by me, as it would be!) should happen, upon the necessity of enquiring after your other relations and friends. Sir Rowland Meredith my father, and Mr. Fowler my brother, are all to me of the family they distinguish by their relation, that I know at present. Let me not be made known to the rest by a distinction that would be unjust to them, and to yourself, as it must deprive you of the grace of obliging those who have more than a stranger's claim; and must, in the event, lay them under the appearance of an obligation to that stranger for doing them common justice.

I use the word stranger with reference to those of your family and friends to whom I must really appear in that light. But, laying these considerations aside, in which I am determined not to interfere with them, I am, with the tenderest regard, dear and good Sir,

Your ever-dutiful and affectionate daughter,

HARRIET BYRON.

LETTER XXXI.

MISS BYRON TO MISS SELBY.

Wednesday, April 19.

I SHALL dispatch this by your Gibson early in the morning. It was kind in you to bid him call, in his way down; for now I shall be almost sure of meeting (if not my uncle) your brother, and who knows, but my Lucy herself, at Dunstable? Where, barring accidents, I shall be on Friday night.

You will see some of the worthiest people in the world, my dear, if you come, all prepared to love you; but let not any-body be put to inconvenience

[page] 227

to meet me at Dunstable. My noble friends here will proceed with me to Stratford, or even to Northampton, they say; but they will see me safe in the protection of somebody I love, and whom they must love for my sake.

I don't wonder that Sir Charles Grandison loves Mr. Beauchamp: he is a very worthy and sensible man. He, as every-body else, idolizes Sir Charles. It is some pleasure to me, Lucy, that I stand high in his esteem. To be respected by the worthy, is one of the greatest felicities in this life; since it is to be ranked as one of them. Sir Harry and his lady are come to town. All, it seems, is harmony in that family. They cannot bear Mr. Beauchamp's absence from them for three days together. All the neighbouring gentlemen are in love with him. His manners are so gentle; his temper so even: so desirous to oblige; so genteel in his person; so pleasing in his address; he must undoubtedly make a good woman very happy.

But Emily, poor girl! sees only Sir Charles Grandison with eyes of love. Mr. Beauchamp is, however, greatly pleased with Emily. He told Lady G. that he thought her a fine young creature; and that her mind was still more amiable than her person. But his behaviour to her is extremely prudent. He says finer things of her, than to her: yet surely I am mistaken if he meditates not in her, his future wife.

Mr. Beauchamp will be one of my escorte.

Emily has made it her request, to go to Colnebrook with Lady L. after I am gone.

Mr. Reeves will ride. Lord L. and Lord G. will also oblige me with their company on horseback.

Mrs. Reeves is forbidden to venture; but Lady L. and Lady G. will not be denied coming with me.

I shall take leave of Lady Olivia and Lady Maffei to-morrow morning; when they will set out for their

[page] 228

projected tour. To-morrow we and the whole Grandison family are to dine together at Lord L.'s for the last time. It will be a mournful dining-time on that account.

Lady Betty Williams, her daughter, and Miss Clements, supped with us this night, and took leave of me in the tenderest manner. They greatly regret my going down so soon, as they call it.

As to the public diversions, which they wish me to stay and give into, to be sure I should have been glad to have been better qualified to have entertained you with the performances of this or that actor, this or that musician, and the like: but, frighted by the vile plot upon me at the masquerade, I was thrown out of that course of diversion, and indeed into more affecting, more interesting engagements; into the knowledge of a family that had no need to look out of itself for entertainments: and, besides, are not all the company we see, as visiters, or guests, full of these things? I have seen the principal performers, in every way, often enough to give me a notion of their performances, though I have not troubled you with such common things as revolve every season.

You know I am far from slighting the innocent pleasures in which others delight.—It would have been happier for me, perhaps, had I had more leisure to attend those amusements, than I have found. Yet I am not sure, neither: for methinks, with all the pangs that my suspenses have cost me, I would not but have known Sir Charles Grandison, his sisters, his Emily, and Dr. Bartlett.

I could only have wished to have been spared Sir Hargrave Pollexfen's vile attempt: then, if I had come acquainted with this family, it would have been as I came acquainted with others: my gratitude had not been engaged so deeply.

[page] 229

Well—But what signify if's?—What has been, has; what must be, must. Only love me, my dear friends, as you used to love me. If I was a good girl when I left you, I hope I am not a bad one now, that I am returning to you. My heart is not corrupted by the vanities of the great town: I have a little more experience than I had: and if I have severely paid for it, it is not at the price of my reputation. And I hope, if nobody has benefited by me, since I have been in town, that no one has suffered by me. Poor Mr. Fowler! —I could not help it, you know. Had I, by little snares, follies, coquetries, sought to draw him on, and entangle him, his future welfare would with reason be more the subject of my solicitude, than it is now necessary it should be; though indeed I cannot help making it a good deal so.

Thursday morning.

Dr. Bartlett has just now taken leave of me in my own dressing-room. The parting scene between us was tender.

I have not given you my opinion of Miss Williams. Had I seen her at my first coming to town, I should have taken as much notice of her, in my letters to you, as I did of the other ladies and gentlemen who took my first notice, as they fell early in my way, and with whom it is possible, as well as with the town-diversions, I had been more intimate, had not Sir Hargrave's vile attempt carried me out of their acquaintance into a much higher; which of necessity, as well as choice, entirely engrossed my attention. But now how insipid would any new characters appear to you, if they were but of a like cast with those I have formerly mentioned, were I to make such the subjects of my pen, and had I time before me; which I cannot have, to write again, be-

X

[page] 230

fore I embrace you all, my dear, my ever-dear and indulgent friends.

I will only say, that Miss Williams is a genteel girl; but will hardly be more than one of the better sort of modern women of condition; and that she is to be classed so high, will be owing more to Miss Clements's lessons, than, I am afraid, to her mother's example.

Is it, Lucy, that I have more experience and discernment now, or less charity and good-nature, than when I first came to town? for then I thought well, in the main, of Lady Betty Williams. But though she is a good-natured, obliging woman; she is so immersed in the love of public diversions! so fond of routs, drums, hurricanes—Bless me, my dear! how learned should I have been in all the gaities of the modern life; what a fine lady, possibly; had I not been carried into more rational (however to me they have been more painful) scenes; and had I followed the lead of this lady, as she (kindly, as to her intention) had designed I should!

In the afternoon Mr. Beauchamp is to introduce Sir Harry and Lady Beauchamp, on their first visit to the two sisters.

I had almost forgot to tell you, that my cousins and I are to attend the good Countess of D. for one half hour, after we have taken leave of Lady Olivia and her aunt.

And now, my Lucy, do I shut up my correspondence with you from London. My heart beats high with the hope of being as indulgently received by all you, my dearest friends, as I used to be after a shorter absence: for I am, and ever will be,

The grateful, dutiful, and affectionate

HARRIET BYRON.

[page] 231

LETTER XXXII.

MISS BYRON TO LADY G.

Selby-House, Monday, April 24.

THOUGH the kind friends with whom I parted at Dunstable were pleased, one and all, to allow that the correspondence which is to pass between my dear Lady G. and their Harriet should answer the just expectations of each upon her, in the writing way: and though (at your motion, remember, not at mine) they promised to be contented with hearing read to them such parts of my letters as you shall think proper to communicate; yet cannot I dispense with my duty to Lady L. my Emily, my cousin Reeves, and Dr. Bartlett. Accordingly, I write to them by this post; and I charge you, my dear, with my sincere and thankful compliments to your lord, and to Mr. Beauchamp, for their favours.

What an agreeable night, in the main, was Friday night! Had we not been to separate next morning, it would have been an agreeable one indeed!

Is not my aunt Selby an excellent woman? But you all admired her. She admires you all. I will tell you, another time, what she said of you, my dear, in particular.

My cousin Lucy, too, is she not an amiable creature?—She is as prudent as Lady L. and now our Nancy is so well recovered, as cheerful as Lady G. You said, you would provide a good husband for her: don't forget. The man, whoever he be, cannot be too good for my Lucy. Nancy is such another good girl: but so I told you.

Well, and pray, did you ever meet with so pleasant a man, as my uncle Selby? What should we have done, when we talked of your brother, when we

X 2

[page] 232

talked of our parting, had it not been for him? You looked upon me every now-and-then, when he returned your smartness upon him, as if you thought I had let him know some of your perversenesses to Lord G.—And do you think I did not? Indeed I did. Can you imagine that your frank-hearted Harriet, who hides not from her friends her own faults, should conceal yours?—But what a particular character is yours! Every-body blames you, that knows of your over-liveliness; yet every-body loves you —I think, for your very faults. Had it not been so, do you imagine I could ever have loved you, after you had led Lady L. to join with you, on a certain teazing occasion?—My uncle doats upon you!

But don't tell Emily that my cousin James Selby is in love with her. That he may not, on the score of the dear girl's fortune, be thought presumptuous, let me tell you, that he is almost of age; and, when he is, comes into possession of an handsome estate. He has many good qualities. I have, in short, a very great value for him; but not enough, though he is my relation, to wish him my still more beloved Emily. Dear creature! methinks I still feel her parting tears on my cheek!

You charge me to be as minute, in the letters I write to you, as I used to be to my friends here: and you promise to be as circumstantial in yours. I will set you the example: do you be sure to follow it.

We baited at Stony-Stratford. J was afraid how it would be: there were the two bold creatures, Mr. Greville, and Mr. Fenwick, ready to receive us. A handsome collation, as at our setting out, so now, bespoke by them, was set on the table. How they came by their intelligence, nobody knows: we were all concerned to see them. They seemed half- mad for joy. My cousin James had alighted to

[page] 233

hand us out; but Mr. Greville was so earnest to offer his hand, that though my cousin was equally ready, I thought I could not deny to his solicitude for the poor favour, such a mark of civility. Besides, if I had, it would have been distinguishing him for more than a common neighbour you know. Mr. Fenwick took the other hand, when I had stept out of the coach, and then (with so much pride, as made me ashamed of myself) they hurried me between them, through the inn-yard, and into the room they had engaged for us; blessing themselves, all the way for my coming down Harriet Byron.

I looked about, as if for the dear friends I had parted with at Dunstable. This is not, thought I, so delightful an inn as they made that.—Now they, thought I, are pursuing their road to London, as we are ours to Northampton. But ah! where, where is Sir Charles Grandison at this time? And I sighed! But don't read this, and such strokes as this, to anybody but Lord and Lady L.—You won't, you say. —Thank you, Charlotte.—I will call you Charlotte, when I think of it, as you commanded me.

The joy we had at Dunstable was easy, serene, deep, full, as I may say; it was the joy of sensible people: but the joy here was made by the two gentlemen, mad, loud, and even noisy. They hardly were able to contain themselves; and my uncle, and cousin James, were forced to be loud, to be heard.

Mr. Orme, good Mr. Orme, when we came near his park, was on the highway-side, perhaps near the very spot where he stood to see me pass to London so many weeks ago—Poor man!—When I first saw him (which was before the coach came near, for I looked out only, as thinking I would mark the place where I last beheld him) he looked with so disconsolate an air, and so fixed, that I compassionately said

X 3

[page] 234

to myself, Surely the worthy man has not been there ever since!

I twiched the string just in time: the coach stopt. Mr. Orme, said I. how do you? Well, I hope?— How does Miss Orme?

I had my hand on the coach-door. He snatched it. It was not an unwilling hand. He pressed it with his lips. God be praised, said he (with a countenance, O how altered for the better!) for permitting me once more to behold that face—that angelic face, he said.

God bless you, Mr. Orme! said I: I am glad to see you. Adieu.

The coach drove on. Poor Mr. Orme! said my aunt.

Mr. Orme, Lucy, said I, don't look so ill as you wrote he was.

His joy to see you, returned she—But Mr. Orme is in a declining way.

Mr. Greville, on the coach stopping, rode back just as it was going on again—And with a loud laugh —How the d—I came Orme to know of your coming, madam!—Poor fellow! It was very kind of you to stop your coach to speak to the statue. And he laughed again.—Nonsensical! At what!

My grandmamma Shirley, dearest of parents! her youth, as she was pleased to say. renewed by the expectation of so soon seeing her darling child, came (as my aunt told us, you know) on Thursday night to Selby-house, to charge her and Lucy with her blessing to me; and resolving to stay there to receive me. Our beloved Nancy was also to be there; so were two other cousins, Kitty and Patty Holles, good young creatures; who, in my absence, had attended my grandmamma at every convenient opportunity, and whom I also found here.

When we came within sight of this house, Now,

[page] 235

Harriet, said Lucy, I see the same kind of emotions beginning to arise in your face and bosom, as Lady G. told us you shewed when you first saw your aunt at Dunstable. My grandmamma! said I, I am in sight of the dear house that holds her: I hope she is here. But I will not surprise her with my joy to see her. Lie still, throbbing, impatient heart.

But when the coach set us down at the inner gate, there, in the outward-hall, sat my blessed grandmamma. The moment I beheld her, my intended caution forsook me: I sprang by my aunt, and before the footstep could be put down, flew, as it were, out of the coach, and threw myself at her feet, wrapping my arms about her: Bless, bless, said I, your Harriet! I could not, at the moment, say another word.

Great God! said the pious parent, her hands and eyes lifted up, Great God! I thank thee! Then folding her arms about my neck, she kissed my forehead, my cheek, my lips—God bless my love! Pride of my life! the most precious of a hundred daughters! How does my child—My Harriet—O my love! — After such dangers, such trials, such harassings— Once more, God be praised that I clasp to my fond heart, my Harriet!

Separate them, separate them, said my facetious uncle (yet he had tears in his eyes) before they grow together!—Madam, to my grandmamma, she is our Harriet as well as yours: let us welcome the saucy girl, on her re-entrance into these doors!—Saucy, I suppose, I shall soon find her.

My grandmamma withdrew her fond arms: Take her, take her, said she each in turn: but I think I never can part with her again.

How can I return the obligations which the love of all my friends lays upon me? To be good, to be grateful, is not enough; since that one ought to be

[page] 336

for one's own sake. Yet how can I be even grateful to them with half a heart? Ah Lady G. Don't you think I look silly to myself? You bid me be free in my confessions. You promise to look my letters over before you read them to any-body; and to mark passages proper to be kept to yourself— Pray do.

Mr. Greville and Mr. Fenwick were here separately an hour ago: I thanked them for their civility on the road, and not ungraciously, as Mr. Greville told my uncle, as to him. He was not, he said, without hopes, yet; since I knew not how to be ungrateful. Mr. Greville builds, as he always did, a merit on his civility; and by that means sinks, in the narrower lover, the claim he might otherwise make to the title of the generous neighbour.

Miss Orme has just been here. She could not help throwing in a word for her brother.

You will guess, my dear Lady G. at the subject of our conversations here, and what they will be, morning, noon, and night, for a week to come. My grandmamma is better in health than I have known her for a year or two past. The health of people in years can mend but slowly; and they are slow to acknowledge it in their own favour. My grandmamma, however, allows that she is better within these few days past; but attributes the amendment to her Harriet's return.

How do they all bless, revere, extol, your noble brother!—How do they wish—And how do they regret—You know what—Yet how ready are they to applaud your Harriet, if she can hold her magnanimity, in preferring the happiness of Clementina to her own!—My grandmamma and aunt are of opinion, that I should; and they praise me for the generosity of my effort, whether the superior merits of

[page] 237

the man will or will not allow me to succeed in it. But my uncle, my Lucy, and my Nancy, from their unbounded love of me, think a little, and but a little, narrower; and, believing it will go hard with me, say, It is hard. My uncle, in particular, says, the very pretension is flight and nonsense: but, however, if the girl, added he, can parade away her passion for an object so worthy; with all my heart: it will be but just, that the romancing elevations, which so often drive headstrong girls into difficulties, should now-and-then help a more discreet one out of them.

Adieu, my beloved Lady G. Repeated compliments, love, thanks, to my Lord and Lady L to my Emily, to Dr. Bartlett, to Mr. Beauchamp, and particularly to my Lord G. Dear, dear Charlotte, be good! Let me beseech you be good! If you are not, you will have every one of my friends against you; for those of them who met you at Dunstable find but one fault in my lord: it is, that he seems too fond of a wife, who, by her archness of looks, and half-saucy turns upon him, even before them, evidently shewed—Shall I say what?

But I stand up for you, my dear. Your gratitude, your generosity, your honour, I say (and why should I not add your duty?) will certainly make you one of the most obliging of wives, to the most affectionate of husbands.

My uncle says, he hopes so: but though he admires you for a friend, and the companion of a lively hour; yet he does not know but his dame Selby is still the woman whom a man should prefer for a wife: and she, said he, is full as saucy as a wife need to be; though I think, Harriet, that she has not been the less dutiful of late for your absence.

[page] 238

Once more, adieu, my dear Lady G. and continue to love your

HARRIET BYRON.

LETTER XXXIII.

LADY G. TO MISS BYRON.

Thursday, April 27.

EVERY one of the Dunstable party says, that you are a grateful and good girl. Beauchamp can talk of nobody else of our sex: I believe in my conscience he is in love with you. I think all the unprovided-for young women, wherever you come, must hate you. Were you never by surprise carried into the chamber of a friend labouring with the small-pox, in the infectious stage of it?—O, but I think you once said you had had that distemper. But your mind, Harriet, were your face to be ruined, would make you admirers. The fellows who could think of preferring even such a face to such a heart, may be turned over to the class of insignificants.

Is not your aunt Selby, you ask, an excellent woman?—She is. I admire her. But I am very angry with you for deferring to another time acquainting me with what she said of me. When we are taken with any-body, we love they should be taken with us. Teazing Harriet! You know what an immoderate quantity of curiosity I have. Never serve me so again!

I am in love with your cousin Lucy. Were either Fenwick or Greville good enough—But they are not. I think she shall have Mr. Orme. Nancy,

[page] 239

you say, is such another good girl. I don't doubt it. Is she not your cousin, and Lucy's sister? But I cannot undertake for every good girl who wants a husband. I wish I had seen Lucy a fortnight ago: then Nancy might have had Mr. Orme, and Lucy should have had Lord G. He admires her greatly. And do you think that a man who at that time professed for me so much love and service, and all that, would have scrupled to oblige me, had I (as I easily should) proved to him, that he would have been a much happier man than he could hope to be with somebody else?

Your uncle is a pleasant man: but tell him I say, that the man would be out of his wits, that did not make the preference he does in favour of his dame Selby, as he calls her. Tell him also, if you please, in return for his plain dealing, that I say, he studies too much for his pleasantries: he is continually hunting for occasions to be smart. I have heard my father say, that this was the fault of some wits of his acquaintance, whom he ranked among the wit-lings for it. If you think it will mortify him more, you may tell him (for I am very revengeful when I think myself affronted) that were I at liberty, which, God help me, I am not! I would sooner choose for a husband the man I have (poor soul, as I now-and- then think him) than such a teazing creature as himself, were both in my power, and both of an age. And I should have this good reason for my preference. Your uncle and I should have been too much alike, and so been jealous of each other's wit; whereas I can make my honest Lord G. look about him, and admire me strangely, whenever I please.

But I am, it seems, a person of a particular character. Every one, you say, loves me, yet blames me. Odd characters, my dear, are needful to make even characters shine. You good girls would not

[page] 240

be valued as you are, if there were not bad ones. Have you not heard it said, That all human excellence is but comparative? Pray allow of the contrast. You, I am sure, ought. You are an ungrateful creature, if, whenever you think of my over-livelinesses, as you call 'em, you don't drop a courtesy, and say, You are obliged to me.

But still the attack made upon you in your dressing-room at Colnebrook, by my sister and me, sticks with you.—And why so? We were willing to shew you, that we were not the silly people you must have thought us, had we not been able to distinguish light from darkness. You, who ever were, I believe, one of the frankest-hearted girls in Britain, and admired for the ease and dignity given you by that frankness, were growing awkward, nay dishonest. Your gratitude! your gratitude! was the dust you wanted to throw into our eyes, that we might not see that you were governed by a stronger motive. You called us your friends, your sisters, but treated us not as either; and this man, and that, and t'other, you could refuse; and why? No reason given for it; and we were to be popt off with your gratitude, truly!—We were to believe just what you said, and no more: nay, not so much as you said. But we were not so implicit. Nor would you, in our case, have been so.

But 'you, perhaps, would not have violently broken in upon a poor thing, who thought we were blind, because she was not willing we should see.'— May be not: but then, in that case, we were honester than you would have been; that's all. Here, said I, Lady L. is this poor girl awkwardly struggling to conceal what every-body sees; and, seeing, applauds her for, the man considered [Yes, Harriet, the man considered; be pleased to take that in]. Let us in pity, relieve her. She is thought to be frank, open-

[page] 241

hearted, communicative; nay, she passes herself upon us in those characters: she sees we keep nothing from her. She has been acquainted with your love before wedlock; with my folly in relation to Anderson: she has carried her head above a score or two of men not contemptible. She sits enthroned among us, while we make but common figures at her footstool: she calls us sisters, friends, and twenty pretty names. Let us acquaint her, that we see into her heart; and why Lord D. and others are so indifferent with her. If she is ingenuous, let us spare her; if not, leave me to punish her—Yet we will keep up her punctilio as to our brother; we will leave him to make his own discoveries. She may confide in his politeness; and the result will be happier for her; because she will then be under no restraint to us, and her native freedom of heart may again take its course.

Agreed, agreed, said Lady L.—And arm in arm, we entered your dressing-room, dismissed the maid, and began the attack—And, O Harriet! how you hesitated, paraded, fooled on with us, before you came to confession! Indeed you deserved not the mercy we shewed you—So, child, you had better to have let this part of your story sleep in peace

You bid me not tell Emily, that your cousin is in love with her: but I think I will. Girls begin very early to look out for admirers. It is better, in order to stay her stomach, to find out one for her, than that she should find out one for herself; especially when the man is among ourselves, as I may say, and both are in our own management, and at distance from each other. Emily is a good girl; but she has susceptibilities already: and though I would not encourage her, as yet, to look out of herself for happiness; yet I would give her consequence with herself, and at the same time let her see, that there

Y

[page] 242

could be no mention made of any-thing that related to her, but what she should be acquainted with. Dear girl! I love her as well as you; and I pity her too: for she, as well as somebody else, will have difficulties to contend with, which she will not know easily how to get over; though she can, in a flame so young, generously prefer the interest of a more excellent woman to her own.—There, Harriet, is a grave paragraph: you'll like me for it.

You are a very reflecting girl, in mentioning to me, so particularly, your behaviour to your Grevilles, Fenwicks, and Ormes. What is that but saying, See, Charlotte! I am a much more complaisant creature to the men, no one of which I intend to have, than you are to your husband!

What a pious woman, indeed, must be your grandmamma, that she could suspend her joy, her long-absent darling at her feet, till she had first thanked God for restoring her to her arms! But, in this instance, we see the force of habitual piety. Though not so good as I should be myself, I revere those who are so; and that I hope you will own is no bad sign.

Well, but now for ourselves, and those about us.

Lady Olivia has written a letter from Windsor to Lady L. It is in French; extremely polite. She promises to write to me from Oxford.

Lady Anne S. made me a visit this morning. She was more concerned than I wished to see her, on my confirming the report she had heard of my brother's being gone abroad. I raillied her a little too freely, as it was before Lord G. and Lord L. I never was better rebuked than by her; for she took out her pencil, and on the cover of a letter wrote these lines from Shakespeare, and slid them into my hand:

[page] 243

And will you rend your ancient love asunder,
To join with men, in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly; 'tis not maidenly:
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.

I never, my dear, told you how freely this lady and I had talked of love: but, freely as we had talked, I was not aware that the matter lay so deep in her heart. I knew not how to tell her that my brother had said, It could not be. I could have wept over her when I read this paper; and I owned myself by a whisper justly rebuked. She charged me not to let any man see this; particularly not either of those present: and do you, Harriet, keep what I have written of Lady Anne to yourself.

My aunt Eleanor has written a congratulatory letter to me from York. Sir Charles, it seems, had acquainted her with Lord G.'s day [Not my day, Harriet! that is not the phrase, I hope!] as soon as he knew it himself; and she writes, supposing that I was actually offered on it. Women are victims on these occasions: I hope you'll allow me that. My brother has made it a point of duty to acquaint his father's sister with every matter of consequence to the family; and now, she says, that both her nieces are so well disposed of, she will come to town very quickly to see her new relations and us; and desires we will make room for her. And yet she owns, that my brother has informed her of his being obliged to go abroad; and she supposes him gone. As he is the beloved of her heart, I wonder she thinks of making this visit now he is absent: but we shall all be glad to see my aunt Nell. She is a good creature, though an old maid. I hope the old lady has not utterly lost cither her invention, or memory; and then, between both, I shall be entertained with a

Y 2

[page] 244

great number of love-stories of the last age; and perhaps of some dangers and escapes; which may serve for warnings for Emily. Alas! alas! they will come too late for your Charlotte!

I have written already the longest letter that I ever wrote in my life: yet it is prating; and to you, to whom I love to prate. I have not near done.

You bid me be good; and you threaten me, if I am not, with the ill opinion of all your friends: but I have such an unaccountable bias for roguery, or what shall I call it? that I believe it is impossible for me to take your advice. I have been examining myself. What a duce is the matter with me, that I cannot see my honest man in the same advantageous light in which he appears to every-body else? Yet I do not, in my heart, dislike him. On the contrary, I know not, were I to look about me, far and wide, the man I would have wished to have called mine, rather than him. But he is so important about trifles; so nimble, yet so slow: he is so sensible of his own intention to please, and has so many antic motions in his obligingness; that I cannot forbear laughing at the very time that I ought perhaps to reward him with a gracious approbation.

I must fool on a little while longer, I believe: permit me, Harriet, so to do, as occasions arise.

An instance, an instance in point, Harriet. Let me laugh as I write. I did at the time.—What do you laugh at, Charlotte?—Why this poor man, or as I should rather say, this lord and master of mine, has just left me. He has been making me both a compliment and a present. And what do you think the compliment is? Why, if I please, he will give away to a virtuoso friend, his collection of moths and butterflies: I once, he remembered, raillied him

[page] 245

upon them. And by what study, thought I, wilt thou, honest man, supply their place? If thou hast a talent this way, pursue it; since perhaps thou wilt not shine in any other. And the best any-thing you know, Harriet, carries with it the appearance of excellence. Nay, HE would also part with his collection of SHELLS, if I had no objection.

To whom, my lord?—He had not resolved.— Why then, only as Emily is too little of a child, or you might give them to her. 'Too little of a child, madam!' and a great deal of bustle and importance took possession of his features—Let me tell you, madam—I won't let you, my lord; and I laughed.

Well, madam, I hope here is something coming up that you will not disdain to accept of yourself.

Up came groaning under the weight, or rather under the care, two servants with baskets: a fine set of old Japan china with brown edges, believe me. They sat down their baskets, and withdrew.

Would you not have been delighted Harriet, to see my lord busying himself with taking out, and putting in the windows, one at a time, the cups, plates, jars, and saucers, rejoicing and parading over them, and shewing his connoisseurship to his motionless admiring wife, in commending this and the other piece as a beauty? And, when he had done, taking the liberty, as he phrased it, half fearful, half resolute, to salute his bride for his reward; and then pacing backwards several steps, with such a strut and a crow—I see him yet!—Indulge me, Harriet! —I burst into a hearty laugh; I could not help it: and he, reddening, looked round himself, and round himself, to see if any-thing was amiss in his garb. The man, the man! honest friend, I could have said, but had too much reverence for my husband, is the oddity! Nothing amiss in the garb. I quickly recollectcd myself, however, and put him in good

Y 3

[page] 246

humour, by proper marks of my gracious acceptance. On reflection, I could not bear myself for vexing the honest man when he had meant to oblige me.

How soon I may relapse again, I know not.—O Harriet! Why did you beseech me to be good? I think in my heart I have the stronger inclination to be bad for it! You call me perverse: if you think me so, bid me be saucy, bid me be bad; and I may then, like other good wives, take the contrary course for the sake of dear contradiction.

Shew not, however, (I in turn beseech you) to your grandmamma and aunt, such parts of this letter as would make them despise me. You say, you stand up for me; I have need of your advocateship: never let me want it. And do I not, after all, do a greater credit to my good man, when I can so heartily laugh in the wedded state, than if I were to sit down with my finger in my eye?

I have taken your advice, and presented my sister with my half of the jewels. I desired her to accept them, as they were my mother's, and for her sake. This gave them a value with her, more than equal to their worth: but Lord L. is uneasy, and declares he will not suffer Lady L. long to lie under the obligation. Were every one of family in South Britain and North Britain to be as generous and disinterested as Lord L. and our family, the union of the two parts of the island would be complete.

Lord help this poor obliging man! I wish I don't love him, at last. He has taken my hint, and has presented his collection of shells (a very fine one, he says, it is) to Emily; and they two are actually busied (and will be for an hour or two, I doubt not) in admiring them; the one strutting over the beauties, in order to enhance the value of the present;

[page] 247

the other courtesying ten times in a minute, to shew her gratitude. Poor man! when his virtuoso friend has got his butterflies and moths, I am afraid he must set up a turner's shop, for employment. If he loved reading, I could, when our visiting hurries are over, set him to read me the new things that come out, while I knot or work; and, if he loved writing, to copy the letters which pass between you and me, and those for you which I expect with so much impatience from my brother by means of Dr. Bartlett. I think he spells pretty well for a lord.

I have no more to say at present, but compliments, without number or measure, to all you so deservedly love and honour; as well those I have not seen, as those I have.

Only one thing: reveal to me all the secrets of your heart, and how that heart is from time to time affected; that I may know whether you are capable of that greatness of mind in a love-case, that you shew in all others. We will all allow you to love Sir Charles Grandison. Those who do, give honour to themselves, if their eyes stop not at person, his having so many advantages. For the same reason, I make no apologies, and never did, for praising my brother, as any other lover of him might do.

Let me know every thing how and about your fellows, too. Ah! Harriet, you make not the use of power that I would have done in your situation. I was half-sorry when my hurrying brother made me dismiss Sir Walter; and yet, to have but two danglers after one, are poor doings for a fine lady. Poorer still, to have but one!

Here's a letter as long as my arm. Adieu. I was loth to come to the name: but defer it ever so long, I must subscribe, at last,

CHARLOTTE G.

[page] 248

LETTER XXXIV.

MISS JERVOIS TO MISS BYRON*.

Monday, May 1.

O MY dearest, my honoured Miss Byron, how you have shamed your Emily by sending a letter to her; such a sweet letter too! before I have paid my duty to you, in a letter of thanks for all your love to me, and for all your kind instructions. But I began once, twice, and thrice, and wrote a great deal each time, but could not please myself: you, madam, are such a writer, and I am such a poor thing at my pen!—But I know you will accept the heart. And so my very diffidence shews pride; since it cannot be expected from me to be a fine writer: and yet this very letter, I foresee, will be the worse for my diffidence, and not the better: for I don't like this beginning, neither.—But come, it shall go. Am I not used to your goodness? And do you not bid me prattle to you, in my letters, as I used to do in your dressing-room? O what sweet advice have you, and do you return for my silly prate! And so I will begin.

And was you grieved at parting with your Emily on Saturday morning? I am sure I was very much concerned at parting with you. I could not help crying all the way to town: and Lady G. shed tears as well as I, and so did Lady L. several times; and said, You were the loveliest, best young lady in the world. And we all praised likewise your aunt, your cousin Lucy, and young Mr. Selby. How good are all your relations! They must be good! And Lord

* The letter to which this is an answer, as well as those written by Miss Byron to her cousin Reeves, Lady L. &c. and theirs in return; are omitted.

[page] 249

L. and Lord G. for men, were as much concerned as we, at parting with you. Mr. Reeves was so dull all the way!—Poor Mr. Reeves, he was very dull. And Mr. Beauchamp, he praised you to the very skies; and in such a pretty manner too! Next to my guardian, I think Mr. Beauchamp is a very agreeable man. I fancy these noble sisters, if the truth were known, don't like him so well as their brother does: but they are vastly civil to him, nevertheless; yet they never praise him when his back is turned, as they do others, who can't say half the good things that he says.

Well, but enough of Mr. Beauchamp. My guardian! my gracious, my kind, my indulgent guardian! who, that thinks of him, can praise any-body else?

O madam! Where is he now? God protect and guide my guardian, wherever he goes! This is my prayer, first and last, and I can't tell how often in the day. I look for him in every place I have seen him in [And pray tell me, madam, Did not you do so when he had left us?]; and when I can't find him, I do so sigh!—What a pleasure, yet what a pain, is there in sighing, when I think of him! Yet I know I am an innocent girl. And this I am sure of, that I wish him to be the husband of but one woman in the whole world; and that is you. But then my next wish is—You know what—Ah my Miss Byron! you must let me live with you and my guardian, if you should ever be Lady Grandison.

But here, madam, are sad doings sometimes between Lord and Lady G. I am very angry at her often in my heart; yet I cannot help laughing, now-and-then, at her out-of-the-way sayings. Is not her character a very new one? Or are there more such young wives? I could not do as she does, were I to be queen of the globe. Every-body blames her.

[page] 250

She will make my lord not love her, at last. Don't you think so? And then what will she get by her wit?

Just this moment she came into my closet— Writing, Emily? said she: To whom?—I told her. —Don't tell tales out of school, Emily.—I was so afraid that she would have asked to see what I had written: but she did not. To be sure she is very polite, and knows what belongs to herself, and every- body else: to be ungenerous, as you once said, to her husband only, that is a very sad thing to think of.

Well, and I would give any-thing to know if you think what I have written tolerable, before I go any farther: but I will go on in this way, since I cannot do better. Bad is my best; but you shall have quantity, I warrant, since you bid me write long letters.

But I have seen my mother: it was but yesterday. She was in a mercer's shop in Covent-Garden. I was in Lord L.'s chariot; only Anne was with me. Anne saw her first. I alighted, and asked her blessing in the shop: I am sure I did right. She blessed me, and called me dear love. I staid till she had bought what she wanted, and then I slid down the money, as if it were her own doing; and glad I was I had so much about me: it came but to four guineas. I begged her, speaking low, to forgive me for so doing: and finding she was to go home as far as Soho, and had thoughts of having a hackney coach called; I gave Anne money for a coach for herself, and waited on my mother to her own lodgings: and it being Lord L.'s chariot, she was so good as to dispense with my alighting.

She blessed my guardian all the way, and blessed me. She said, she would not ask me to come to see her, because it might not be thought proper, as my

[page] 251

guardian was abroad; but she hoped, she might be allowed to come and see me sometimes.—Was she not very good, madam? But my guardian's goodness makes every-body good.—O that my mamma had been always the same! I should have been but too happy.

God bless my guardian, for putting me on enlarging her power to live handsomely. Only as a coach brings on other charges, and people must live accordingly, or be discredited, instead of credited, by it; or I should hope the additional two hundred a year might afford them one. Yet one does not know but Mr. O'Hara may have been in debt before he married her; and I fancy he has people who hang upon him. But if it pleases God, I will not, when I am at age, and have a coach of my own, suffer my mother to walk on foot. What a blessing is it, to have a guardian that will second every good purpose of one's heart!

Lady Olivia is rambling about; and I suppose she will wait here in England till Sir Charles's return: but I am sure he never will have her. A wicked wretch, with her poniards! Yet it is pity! She is a fine woman. But I hate her for her expectation, as well as for her poniard. And a woman to leave her own country, to seek for a husband! I could die before I could do so; though to such a man as my guardian. Yet once I thought I could have liked to have lived with her at Florence. She had some good qualities, and is very generous, and in the main well esteemed in her own country; every-body knew she loved my guardian: but I don't know how it is; nobody blamed her for it, vast as the difference in fortune then was. But that is the glory of being a virtuous man; to love him is a credit, instead of a shame. O madam! Who would not be virtuous? And that not only for their own, but for their friends

[page] 252

sakes, if they loved their friends, and wished them to be well thought of?

Lord W. is very desirous to hasten his wedding.

Mr. Beauchamp says, that all the Mansfields (he knows them) bless my guardian every day of their lives: and their enemies tremble. He has commissions from my guardian to enquire and act in their cause, that no time may be lost to do them service, against his return.

We have had another visit from Lady Beauchamp, and have returned it. She is very much pleased with us: you see I say us. Indeed my two dear ladies are very good to me; but I have no merit: it is all for their brother's sake.

Mr. Beauchamp tells us, just now, that his mother-in-law has joined with his father, at her own motion, to settle 10001. a year upon him. I am glad of it, with all my heart: are not you? He is all gratitude upon it. He says, that he will redouble his endeavours to oblige her; and that his gratitude to her, as well as his duty to his father, will engage his utmost regard for her.

Mr. Beauchamp, Sir Harry himself, and my lady, are continually blessing my guardian: every-body, in short, blesses him.—But, ah! madam, Where is he at this moment? O that I were a bird! that I might hover over his head, and sometimes bring tidings to his friends of his motions and good deeds. I would often flap my wings, dear Miss Byron, at your chamber-window, as a signal of his welfare, and then fly back again, and perch as near him as I could.

I am very happy, as I said before, in the favour of Lady and Lord L. and Lady and Lord G.; but I never shall be so happy, as when I had the addition of your charming company. I miss you and my guardian: O how I miss you both! But, dearest

[page] 253

Miss Byron, love me not the less, though now I have put my pen to paper, and you see what a poor creature I am in my writing. Many a one, I believe, may be thought tolerable in conversation; but when they are so silly as to put pen to paper, they expose themselves; as I have done, in this long piece of scribble. But accept it, nevertheless, for the true love I bear you; and a truer love never flamed in any bosom, to any one the most dearly beloved, than does in mine to you.

I am afraid I have written arrant nonsense, because I knew not how to express half the love that is in the heart of

Your ever-obliged and affectionate

EMILY JERVOIS.

LETTER XXXV.

MISS BYRON TO LADY G.

Tuesday, May 2.

I HAVE no patience with you, Lady G. You are ungenerously playful. Thank Heaven, if this be wit, that I have none of it. But what signifies expostulating with one who knows herself to be faulty, and will not amend? How many stripes, Charlotte, do you deserve?—But you never spared any-body, not even your brother, when the humour was upon you. So make haste; and since you will lay in stores for repentance, fill up your measure as fast as you can.

'Reveal to you the state of my heart!'—All, my dear! it is an unmanageable one. 'Greatness of mind!'—I don't know what it is.—All his excellencies, his greatness, his goodness, his modesty, his

VOL. XII. Z

[page] 254

cheerfulness under such afflictions as would weigh down every other heart that had but half the compassion in it with which his overflows—Must not all other men appear little, and, less than little, nothing, in my eyes?—It is an instance of patience in me, that I can endure any of them who pretend to regard me out of my own family.

I thought, that when I got down to my dear friends here, I should be better enabled, by their prudent counsels, to attain the desirable frame of mind which I had promised myself: but I find myself mistaken. My grandmamma and aunt are such admirers of him, take such a share in the disappointment, that their advice has not the effect I had hoped it would have. Lucy, Nancy, are perpetually reminding me of his excellencies by calling upon me to tell them something of Sir Charles Grandison; and when I begin, I know not how to leave off. My uncle raillies me, laughs at me, sometimes reminds me of what he calls my former brags. I did not brag, my dear: I only hoped, that, respecting as I did every man according to his merit, I should never be greatly taken with any one, before duty added force to the inclination. Methinks the company of the friends I am with, does not satisfy me; yet they never were dearer to me than they now are. I want to have Lord and Lady L. Lord and Lady G. Dr. Bartlett, my Emily, with me. To lose you all at once!—is hard! There seems to be a strange void in my heart—And so much, at present, for the state of that heart.

I always had reason to think myself greatly obliged to my friends and neighbours all around us; but never, till my return, after these few months absence, knew how much. So many kind visitors; such unaffected expressions of joy on my return; that had I not a very great counterbalance on my heart, would be enough to make me proud.

[page] 255

My grandmamma went to Shirley-manor on Saturday; on Monday I was with her all day: but she would have it that I should be melancholy if I staid with her. And she is so self-denyingly careful of her Harriet! There never was a more noble heart in woman. But her solitary moments, as my uncle calls them, are her moments of joy: because she then divests herself of all that is either painful or pleasurable to her in this life: for she says, that her cares for her Harriet, and especially now, are at least a balance for the delight she takes in her.

You command me to acquaint you with what passes between me and the gentlemen in my neighbourhood; in your stile, my fellows.

Mr. Fenwick invited himself to breakfast with my aunt Selby yesterday morning. I would not avoid him.

I will not trouble you with the particulars: you know well enough what men will say on the subject upon which you will suppose he wanted to talk to me. He was extremely earnest. I besought him to accept my thanks for his good opinion of me, as all the return I could make him for it; and this in so very serious a manner, that my heart was fretted, when he declared, with warmth, his determined perseverance.

Mr. Greville made us a tea-visit in the afternoon. My uncle and he joined to railly us poor women, as usual. I left the defence of the sex to my aunt and Lucy. How poor appears to me every conversation now with these men! — But hold, saucy Harriet, was not your uncle Selby one of the railliers?—But he does not believe all he says; and therefore cannot wish to be so much regarded, on this topic, as he ought to be by me, on others.

After the run of raillery was over, in which Mr. Greville made exceptions favourable to the women

Z 2

[page] 256

present, he applied to every one for their interest with me, and to me to countenance his address. He set forth his pretensions very pompously, and mentioned a considerable increase of his fortune; which before was a handsome one. He offered our own terms. He delared his love for me above all women, and made his happiness in the next world, as well as in this, depend upon my favour to him.

It was easy to answer all he said; and is equally so for you to guess in what manner I answered him: and he finding me determined, began to grow vehement, and even affrontive. He hinted to me, that he knew what had made me so very resolute. He threw out threatenings against the man, be he who he would, that should stand in the way of his success with me; at the same time intimating saucily, as I may say, (for his manner had insult in it) that it was impossible a certain event could ever take place.

My uncle was angry with him; so was my aunt: Lucy was still more angry than they: but I, standing up, said, Pray, my dear friends, take nothing amiss that Mr.Greville has said.—He once told me, that he would set spies upon my conduct in town. If, Sir, your spies have been just, I fear nothing they can say. But the hints you have thrown out, shew such a total want of all delicacy of mind, that you must not wonder if my heart rejects you. Yet I am not angry: I reproach you not: every one has his peculiar way. All that is left me to say or to do, is to thank you for your favourable opinion of me, as I have thanked Mr. Fenwick; and to desire that you will allow me to look upon you as my neighbour, and only as my neighbour.

I courtesied to him, and withdrew.

But my great difficulty had been before with Mr. Orme.

His sister had desired that I would see her bro-

[page] 257

ther. Both were invited by my aunt to dinner on Tuesday. They came. Poor man! He is not well! I am sorry for it. Poor Mr. Orme is not well! He made me such honest compliments, as I may say: his heart was too much in his civilities to raise them above the civilities that justice and truth might warrant in favour of a person highly esteemed. Mine was filled with compassion for him; and that compassion would have shewn itself in tokens of tenderness, more than once, had I not restrained myself for his sake.

How you, my dear Lady G. can delight in giving pain to an honest heart, I cannot imagine. I would make all God Almighty's creatures happy, if I could; and so would your noble brother. Is he not crossing dangerous seas, and ascending, through almost perpetual snows, those dreadful Alps which I have heard described with such terror, for the generous end of relieving distress?

I made Mr. Orme sit next me. I was assiduous to help him, and to do him all the little offices which I thought would light up pleasure in his modest countenance; and he was quite another man. It gave delight to his sister, and to all my friends, to see him smile, and look happy.

I think, my dear Lady G. that when Mr. Orme looks pleasant, and at ease, he resembles a little the good-natured Lord G.—O that you would take half the pains to oblige him, that I do to relieve Mr. Orme!—Half the pains, did I say? That you would not take pains to dis-oblige him; and he would be, of course, obliged. Don't be afraid, my dear, that, in such a world as this, things will not happen to make you uneasy without your studying for them.

Excuse my seriousness. I am indeed too serious at times.

But when Mr, Orme requested a few minutes

Z 3

[page] 258

audience of me, as he called it, and I walked with him into the cedar parlour, which you have heard me mention, and with which I hope you will be one day acquainted; he paid, poor man! for his too transient pleasure. Why would he urge a denial that he could not but know I must give?

His sister and I had afterwards a conference. I was greatly affected by it; and at last besought her, if she valued my friendship as I did hers, never more to mention to me a subject which gave me a pain too sensible for my peace.

She requested me to assure her, that neither Mr. Greville, nor Mr. Fenwick, might be the man. They both took upon them, she said, to ridicule her brother for the profound respect, even to reverence, that he bore me; which, if he knew, might be attended with consequences: for that her brother, mild and gentle as was his passion for me, had courage to resent any indignities that might be cast upon him by spirits boisterous as were those of the two gentlemen she had named. She never, therefore, told her brother of their scoffs. But it would go to her heart, if either of them should succeed, or have reason but for a distant hope.

I made her heart easy, on that score.

I have just now heard, that Sir Hargrave Pollexfen is come from abroad already. What can be the meaning of it? He is so low-minded, so malicious a man, and I have suffered so much from him—What can be the meaning of his sudden return? I am told, that he is actually in London. Pray, my dear Lady G. inform yourself about him; and whether he thinks of coming into these parts.

Mr. Greville, when he met us at Stony-Stratford, threw out menaces against Sir Hargrave, on my account; and said, It was well he was gone abroad, I told him then, that he had no business, even were

[page] 259

Sir Hargrave present, to engage himself in my quarrels.

Mr. Greville is an impetuous man; a man of rough manners; and makes many people afraid of him. He has, I believe, indeed, had his spies about me; for he seems to know every-thing that has befallen me in my absence from Selby-house.

He has dared also to threaten somebody else. Insolent wretch! But he hinted to me yesterday, that he was exceedingly pleased with the news, that a certain gentleman was gone abroad, in order to prosecute a former amour, was the light wretch's as light expression. If my indignant eyes could have killed him, he would have fallen dead at my foot.

Let the constant and true respects of all my friends to you and yours, and to my beloved Emily, be always, for the future, considered as very affectionately expressed, whether the variety of other subjects leave room for a particular expression of them, or not, by, my dearest Lady G.

Your faithful, and ever-obliged

HARRIET BYRON.

LETTER XXXVI.

LADY G. TO MISS BYRON.

Saturday, May 6.

I THANK you, Harriet, for yours. What must your fellows think of you? In this gross age, your delicacy must astonish them. There used to be more of it formerly. But how should men know any-thing of it, when women have forgot it? We females, since we have been admitted into so constant a share of the public diversions, want not courage. We can

[page] 260

give the men stare for stare wherever we meet them. The next age, nay, the rising generation, must surely be all heroes and heroines. But whither has this word delicacy carried me; me who, it seems, have faults to be corrected for, of another sort: and who want not the courage for which I congratulate others?

But to other subjects. I could write a vast deal of stuff about my lord and self, and Lord and Lady L. who assume parts which I know not how to allow them; and sometimes they threaten me with my brother's resentments, sometimes with my Harriet's; so that I must really have leading-strings fastened to my shoulders. O my dear! a fond husband is a surfeiting thing; and yet I believe most women love to be made monkeys of.

But all other subjects must now give way. We have heard of, though not from my brother. A particular friend of Mr. Lowther was here with a letter from that gentleman, acquainting us, that Sir Charles and he were arrived at Paris.

Mr. Beauchamp was with us when Mr. Lowther's friend came. He borrowed the letter on account of the extraordinary adventure mentioned in it.

Make your heart easy, in the first place, about Sir Hargrave. He is indeed in town; but very ill. He was frighted into England, and intends not ever again to quit it. In all probability he owes it to my brother that he exists.

Mr. Beauchamp went directly to Cavendish Square, and informed himself there of other particulars relating to the affair, from the very servant who was present and acting in it; and from those particulars, and Mr. Lowther's letter, wrote one for Dr. Bartlett. Mr. Beauchamp obliged me with the perusal of what he wrote; whence I have extracted the

[page] 261

following account; for his letter is long and circumstantial; and I did not ask his leave to take a copy, as he seemed desirous to hasten it to the doctor.

On Wednesday, the 19/30 of April, in the evening, as my brother was pursuing his journey to Paris, and was within two miles of that capital, a servant-man rode up, in visible terror, to his post-chaise, in which were Mr. Lowther and himself, and besought them to hear his dreadful tale. The gentlemen stopt, and he told them, that his master, who was an Englishman, and his friend of the same nation, had been but a little while before attacked, and forced out of the road in their post-chaise, as he doubted not, to be murdered, by no less than seven armed horsemen; and he pointed to a hill, at a distance, called Mont Martre, behind which they were, at that moment, perpetrating their bloody purpose. He had just before, he said, addressed himself to two other gentlemen, and their retinue, who drove on the faster for it.

The servant's great coat was open; and Sir Charles observing his livery, asked him, If he were not a servant of Sir Hargrave Pollexfen? and was answered in the affirmative.

There are, it seems, trees planted on each side the road from St. Denis to Paris, but which, as France is an open and uninclosed country, would not, but for the hill, have hindered the seeing a great way off the scuffling of so many men on horseback. There is also a ditch on either hand; but places left for owners to come at their grounds, with their carts, and other carriages. Sir Charles ordered the postboy to drive to one of those passages; saying, He could not forgive himself, if he did not endeavour to

[page] 262

save Sir Hargrave, and his friend, whose name the man told him was Merceda.

His own servants were three in number, besides one of Mr. Lowther. My brother made Mr. Lowther's servant dismount; and, getting himself on his horse, ordered the others to follow him. He begged Mr. Lowther to continue in the chaise, bidding the dismounted servant stay, and attend his master, and galloped away towards the hill. His ears were soon pierced with the cries of the poor wretches; and presently he saw two men on horseback holding the horses of four others, who had under them the two gentlemen, struggling, groaning, and crying out for mercy.

Sir Charles, who was a good way a-head of his servants, calling out to spare the gentlemen, and bending his course to relieve the prostrate sufferers, two of the four quitted their prey, and mounting, joined the other two horsemen, and advanced to meet him, with a shew of supporting the two men on foot in their violence; who continued laying on the wretches, with the but-ends of their whips, unmercifully.

As the assailants offered not to fly, and as they had more than time enough to execute their purpose, had it been robbery and murder; Sir Charles concluded, it was likely that these men were actuated by a private revenge. He was confirmed in this surmise, when the four men on horseback, though each had his pistol ready drawn, as Sir Charles also had his, demanded a conference; warning Sir Charles how he provoked his fate by his rashness; and declaring, that he was a dead man if he fired.

Forbear, then, said Sir Charles, all further violences to the gentlemen, and I will hear what you have to say.

[page] 263

He then put his pistol into his holster; and one of his servants being come up, and the two others at hand (to whom he called out, not to fire till they had his orders), he gave him his horse's reins; bidding him have an eye to the holsters of both, and leapt down; and drawing his sword, made towards the two men who were so cruelly exercising their whips; and who, on his approach, retired to some little distance, drawing their hangers.

The four men on horseback joined the two on foot, just as they were quitting the objects of their fury; and one of them said, Forbear, for the present, further violence, brother; the gentleman shall be told the cause of all this.—Murder, Sir, said he, is not intended; nor are we robbers: the men whom you are solicitous to save from our vengeance, are villains.

Be the cause what it will, answered Sir Charles, you are in a country noted for doing speedy justice, upon proper application to the magistrates. In the same instant he raised first one groaning man, then the other. Their heads were all over bloody, and they were so much bruised, that they could not extend their arms to reach their wigs and hats, which lay near them; nor put them on without Sir Charles's help.

The men on foot by this time had mounted their horses, and all six stood upon their defence: but one of them was so furious, crying out, that his vengeance should be yet more complete, that two of the others could hardly restrain him.

Sir Charles asked Sir Hargrave and Mr. Merceda, Whether they had reason to look upon themselves as injured men, or injurers? One of the assailants answered, That they both knew themselves to be villains.

Either from consciousness, or terror, perhaps

[page] 264

From both, they could not speak for themselves, but by groans, nor could either of them stand or sit upright.

Just then came up, in the chaise, Mr. Lowther and his servant, each a pistol in his hand. He quitted the chaise, when he came near the suffering men; and Sir Charles desired him instantly to examine whether the gentlemen were dangerously hurt or not.

The most enraged of the assailants, having slipt by the two who were earnest to restrain him, would again have attacked Mr. Merceda; offering a stroke at him with his hanger: but Sir Charles (his drawn sword still in his hand) caught hold of his bridle; and, turning his horse's head aside, diverted a stroke, which, in all probability, would otherwise have been a finishing one.

They all came about Sir Charles, bidding him, at his peril, use his sword upon their friend: and Sir Charles's servants were coming up to their master's support, had there been occasion. At that instant Mr. Lowther, assisted by his own servant, was examining the wounds and bruises of the two terrified men, who had yet no reason to think themselves safe from further violence.

Sir Charles repeatedly commanded his servants not to fire, nor approach nearer, without his orders. The persons, said he, to the assailants, whom you have so cruelly used, are Englishmen of condition. I will protect them. Be the provocation what it will, you must know that your attempt upon them is a criminal one: and if my friend last come up, who is a very skilful surgeon, shall pronounce them in danger, you shall find it so.

Still he held the horse of the furious one; and three of them, who seemed to be principals, were beginning to express some resentment at this cavalier

[page] 265

treatment, when Mr. Lowther gave his opinion, that there was no apparent danger of death: and then Sir Charles, quitting the man's bridle, and putting himself between the assailants and sufferers, said, That as they had not either offered to fly, or to be guilty of violence to himself, his friend, or servants; he was afraid they had some reason to think themselves ill used by the gentlemen. But, however, as they could not suppose they were at liberty, in a civilized country, to take their revenge on the persons of those who were entitled to the protection of that country; he should expect, that they would hold themselves to be personally answerable for their conduct at a proper tribunal.

The villains, said one of the men, know who we are, and the provocation; which merits a worse treatment than they have hitherto met with. You, Sir, proceeded he, seem to be a man of honour, and temper: we are men of honour, as well as you. Our design, as we told you, was not to kill the miscreants; but to give them reason to remember their villainy as long as they lived; and to put it out of their power ever to he guilty of the like. They have made a vile attempt, continued he, on a lady's honour at Abbeville; and, finding themselves detected, and in danger, took round-about ways, and shifted from one vehicle to another, to escape the vengeance of her friends. The gentleman whose horse you held, and who has reason to be in a passion, is the husband of the lady [a Spanish husband, surely, Harriet; not a French one, according to our notions]. That gentleman, and that, are her brothers. We have been in pursuit of them two days; for they gave out, in order, no doubt, to put us on a wrong scent, that they were to go to Antwerp.

And it seems, my dear, that Sir Hargrave and his colleague had actually sent some of their servants

2 A

[page] 266

that way; which was the reason that they were themselves attended but by one.

The gentleman told Sir Charles that there was a third villain in their plot. They had hopes, he said, that he would not escape the close pursuit of a manufacturer at Abbeville, whose daughter, a lovely young creature, he had seduced, under promises of marriage. Their government, he observed, were great countenances of the manufacturers at Abbeville; and he would have reason, if he were laid hold of, to think himself happy, if he came off with being obliged to perform his promises.

This third wretch must be Mr. Bagenhall. The Lord grant, say I, that he may be laid hold of; and obliged to make a ruined girl an honest woman, as they phrase it in LANCASHIRE. Don't you wish so, my dear? And let me add, that had the relations of the injured lady completed their intended vengeance on those two libertines (a very proper punishment, I ween, for all libertines), it might have helped them to pass the rest of their lives with great tranquillity; and honest girls might, for any contrivances of theirs, have passed to and from masquerades without molestation.

Sir Hargrave and his companion intended, it seems, at first, to make some resistance; four only, of the seven, stopping the chaise; but when the other three came up, and they saw who they were, and knew their own guilt, their courage failed them.

The seventh man was set over the post-boy, whom he had led about half a mile from the spot they had chosen as a convenient one for their purpose.

Sir Hargrave's servant was secured by them at their first attack; but after they had disarmed him and his masters, he found an opportunity to slip from them, and made the best of his way to the road, in hopes of procuring assistance for them.

[page] 267

While Sir Charles was busy in helping the bruised wretches on their feet, the seventh man came up to the others, followed by Sir Hargrave's chaise. The assailants had retired to some distance, and, after a consultation together, they all advanced towards Sir Charles; who, bidding his servants be on their guard, leapt on his horse, with that agility and presence of mind, for which, Mr. Beauchamp says, he excels most men; and leading towards them, Do you advance, gentlemen, said he, as friends, or otherwise?—Mr Lowther took a pistol in each hand, and held himself ready to support him; and the servants disposed themselves to obey their master's orders.

Our enmity, answered one of them, is only to these two inhospitable villains: murder, as we told you, was not our design. They know where we are to be found; and that they are the vilest of men, and have not been punished equal to their demerits. Let them on their knees ask this gentleman's pardon; pointing to the husband of the insulted lady. We insist upon this satisfaction; and upon their promise, that they never more will come within two leagues of Abbeville; and we will leave them in your protection.

I fancy, Harriet, that these women-frightening heroes needed not to have been urged to make this promise.

Sir Charles, turning towards them, said, If you have done wrong, gentlemen, you ought not to scruple asking pardon. If you know yourselves to be innocent, though I should be loth to risque the lives of my friend and servants, yet shall not my countrymen make so undue a submission.

The wretches kneeled; and the seven men, civilly saluting Sir Charles and Mr. Lowther, rode off; to the joy of the two delinquents, who kneeled again

2 A 2

[page] 268

to their deliverer, and poured forth blessings upon the man whose life, so lately, one of them sought; and whose preservation he had now so much reason to rejoice in, for the sake of his own safety.

My brother himself could not but be well pleased that he was not obliged to come to extremities, which might have ended fatally on both sides.

By this time Sir Hargrave's post-chaise was come up. He and his colleague were with difficulty lifted into it. My brother and Mr. Lowther went into theirs; and being but a small distance from Paris, they proceeded thither in company; the poor wretches blessing them all the way; and at Paris found their other servants waiting for them.

Sir Charles and Mr. Lowther saw them in bed in the lodgings that had been taken for them. They were so stiff with the bastinado they had met with, that they were unable to help themselves. Mr. Marceda had been more severely (I cannot call it more cruelly) treated than the other; for he, it seems, was the greatest malefactor in the attempt made upon the lady: and he had, besides, two or three gashes, which, but for his struggles, would have been but one.

As you, my dear, always turn pale when the word masquerade is mentioned; so, I warrant, will ABBEVILLE be a word of terror to these wretches, as long as they live.

Their enemies, it seems, carried off their arms; perhaps, in the true spirit of French chivalry, with a view to lay them, as so many trophies, at the feet of the insulted lady.

Mr. Lowther writes, that my brother and he are lodged in the hotel of a man of quality, a dear friend of the late Mr. Danby, and one of the three whom he has remembered in his will; and that Sir Charles is extremely busy in relation to the executorship;

[page] 269

and having not a moment to spare, desired Mr. Lowther to engage his friend to whom he wrote, to let us know as much; and that he was hastening every-thing for his journey onwards.

Mr. Beauchamp's narrative of this affair is, as I told you, very circumstantial. I thought to have shortened it more than I have done. I wish I have not made my abstract confused, in several material places: but I have not time to clear it up. Adieu, my dear.

CHARLOTTE G.

LETTER XXXVII.

LADY G. TO MISS BYRON.

Sunday, May 7.

I BELIEVE I shall become as errant a scribbler as somebody else. I begin to like writing. A great compliment to you, I assure you. I see one may bring one's mind to any-thing—I thought I must have had recourse, when you and my brother left us, and when I was married, to the public amusements, to fill up my leisure: and as I have seen every thing worth seeing of those, many times over (masquerades excepted, and them I despise); time, you know, in that case, would have passed a little heavily, after having shewn myself, and, by seeing who and who were together, laid in a little store of the right sort of conversation for the tea-table. For you know, Harriet, that among us modern fine people, the company, and not the entertainment, is the principal part of the raree-show. Pretty enough! to make the entertainment and pay for it too, to the

2 A 2

[page] 270

honest fellows, who have nothing to do, but to project schemes to get us together.

I don't know what to do with this man. I little thought that I was to be considered as such a doll, such a toy, as he would make me. I want to drive him out of the house without me, were it but to purvey for me news and scandal. What are your fine gentlemen fit for else? You know, that with all my faults, I have a domestic and managing turn. A man should encourage that in a wife, and not be perpetually teazing her for her company abroad, unless he did it with a view to keep her at home. Our sex don't love to be prescribed to, even in the things to which they are not naturally averse: and for this very reason, perhaps, because it becomes us to submit to prescription. Human nature, Harriet, is a perverse thing. I believe, if my good man wished me to stay at home, I should torture my brain, as other good wives do, for inventions to go abroad.

It was but yesterday, that in order to give him a hint, I pinned my apron to his coat, without considering who was likely to be a sufferer by it; and he, getting up, in his usual nimble way, gave it a rent, and then looked behind him with so much apprehension—Hands folded, bag in motion from shoulder to shoulder. I was vexed too much to make the use of the trick which I had designed, and huffed him. He made excuses, and looked pitifully; bringing in his soul, to testify that he knew not how it could be.—How it could be! Wretch! when you are always squatting upon one's clothes, in defiance of hoop, or distance.

He went out directly, and brought me in two aprons, either of which was worth twenty of that he so carelessly rent. Who could be angry with him?—I was, indeed, thinking to chide him for this—As if

[page] 271

I were not to be trusted to buy my own clothes; but he looked at me with so good-natured an eye, that I relented, and accepted, with a bow of graciousness, his present; only calling him an odd creature—And that he is, you know, my dear.

We live very whimsically, in the main: not above four quarrels, however, and as many more chidings, in a day. What does the man stay at home for then so much, when I am at home?—Married people, by frequent absences, may have a chance for a little happiness. How many debatings, if not direct quarrels, are saved by the good man's and his meek wife's seeing each other but once or twice a week! In what can men and women, who are much together, employ themselves, but in proving and defending, quarrelling and making up? Especially if they both chance to marry for love (which, thank Heaven, is not altogether my case); for then both honest souls, having promised more happiness to each other than they can possibly meet with, have nothing to do but reproach each other, at least tacitly, for their disappointment—A great deal of free-masonry in love, my dear, believe me! The secret, like that, when found out, is hardly worth the knowing.

Well, but what silly rattle is this, Charlotte! methinks you say, and put on one of your wisest looks.

No matter, Harriet! There may be some wisdom in much folly. Every one speaks not out so plainly as I do. But when the novelty of an acquisition or change of condition is over, be the change or the acquisition what it will, the principal pleasure is over, and other novelties are hunted after, to keep the pool of life from stagnating.

This is a serious truth, my dear, and I expect you

[page] 272

to praise me for it. You are very sparing of your praise to poor me; and yet I had rather have your good word than any woman's in the world: or man's either, I was going to say; but I should then have forgot my brother. As for Lord G. were I to accustom him to obligingness, I should destroy my own consequence: for then it would be no novelty; and he would be hunting after a new folly.—Very true, Harriet.

Well, but we have had a good serious falling-out; and it still subsists. It began on Friday night; present, Lord and Lady L. and Emily. I was very angry with him for bringing it on before them. The man has no discretion, my dear; none at all. And what about? Why, we have not made our appearance at court, forsooth.

A very confident thing, this same appearance, I think! A compliment made to fine clothes and jewels, at the expence of modesty.

Lord G. pleads decorum—Decorum against modesty, my dear!—But if by decorum is meant fashion, I have in a hundred instances found decorum beat modesty out of the house. And as my brother, who would have been our principal honour on such an occasion, is gone abroad; and as ours is an elderly novelty, as I may say; [our fineries were not ready, you know, before my brother went] I was fervent against it.

'I was the only woman of condition, in England, who would be against it.'

I told my lord, that was a reflection on my sex: but Lord and Lady L. who had been spoken to, I believe, by Lady Gertrude, were both on his side [I shall have this man utterly ruined for a husband among you]—When there were three to one, it would have looked cowardly to yield, you know. I

5

[page] 273

was brave. But it being proposed for Sunday, and that being at a little distance, it was not doubted but I would comply. So the night past off, with prayings, hopings, and a little mutteration [allow me that word, or find me a better.] The entreaty was renewed in the morning; but, no!—' I was ashamed of him,' he said. I asked him, If he really thought so?—' He should think so, if I refused him.' Heaven forbid, my lord, that I, who contend for the liberty of acting, should hinder you from the liberty of thinking! Only one piece of advice, honest friend, said I: Don't imagine the worst against yourself: and another, If you have a mind to carry a point with me, don't bring on the cause before any-body else: for that would be to doubt either my duty, or your own reasonableness.

As sure as you are alive, Harriet, the man made an exception against being called honest friend; as if, as I told him, either of the words were incompatible with quality. So, once, he was as froppish as a child, on my calling him the man; a higher distinction, I think, than if I had called him a king, or a prince. THE MAN!—Strange creature! To except to a distinction that implies, that he is the man of men!—You see what a captious mortal I have been forced to call my lord. But lord and master do not always go together; though they do too often, for the happiness of many a meek soul of our sex.

Well, this debate seemed suspended, by my telling him, that if I were presented at court, I would not have either the earl or Lady Gertrude go with us, the very people who were most desirous to be there—But I might not think of that, at the time, you know.—I would not be thought very perverse; only a little whimsical, or so. And I wanted not an excellent reason for excluding them—' Are their

[page] 274

consents to our past affair doubted, my lord, said I, that you think it necessary for them to appear to justify us?'

He could say nothing to this, you know. And I should never forgive the husband, as I told him, on another occasion, who would pretend to argue, when he had nothing to say.

Then (for the baby will be always craving something) he wanted me to go abroad with him—I forget whither—But to some place that he supposed (poor man!) I should like to visit. I told him, I dared to say, he wished to be thought a modern husband, and a fashionable man; and he would get a bad name, if he could never stir out without his wife. Neither could he answer that, you know.

Well, we went on, mutter, mutter, grumble, grumble, the thunder rolling at a distance; a little impatience now-and-then, however, portending, that it would come nearer. But, as yet, it was only, Pray, my dear, oblige me; and, Pray, my lord, excuse me; till this morning, when he had the assurance to be pretty peremptory; hinting, that the lord in waiting had been spoke to. A fine time of it would a wife have, if she were not at liberty to dress herself as she pleases. Were I to choose again, I do assure you, my dear, it should not be a man, who by his taste for moths and butterflies, shells, china, and such-like trifles, would give me warning, that he would presume to dress his baby, and when he had done, would perhaps admire his own fancy more than her person. I believe, my Harriet, I shall make you afraid of matrimony: but I will pursue my subject, for all that.—:

When the insolent saw that I did not dress as he would have had me; he drew out his face, glouting, to half the length of my arm; but was silent. Soon

[page] 275

after Lady L. sending to know whether her lord and she were to attend us to the drawing-room, and I returning for answer, that I should be glad of their company at dinner; he was in violent wrath. True, as you are alive! and dressing himself in a great hurry, left the house, without saying, By your leave, With your leave, or Whether he would return to dinner, or not. Very pretty doings, Harriet!

Lord and Lady L. came to dinner, however. I thought they were very kind, and, till they opened their lips, was going to thank them: for then, it was all elder sister, and insolent brother-in-law, I do assure you. Upon my word, Harriet, they took upon them.

Lady L. told me, I might be the happiest creature in the world, if—and there was so good as to stop.

One of the happiest only, Lady L.! Who can be happier than you?

But I, said she, should neither be so, nor deserve to be so, if—Good of her again, to stop at if.

We cannot be all of one mind, replied I. I shall be wiser, in time.

Where was poor Lord G. gone?

Poor Lord G. is gone to seek his fortune, I believe.

What did I mean?

I told them the airs he had given himself; and that he was gone without leave, or notice of return.

He had served me right, ab-solutely right, Lord L. said.

I believed so myself. Lord G. was a very good sort of man, and ought not to bear with me so much as he had done: but it would be kind in them, not to tell him what I had owned.

The earl lifted up one hand, the countess both. They had not come to dine with me, they said, after

[page] 276

the answer I had returned, but as they were afraid something was wrong between us.

Mediators are not to be of one side only, I said: and as they had been so kindly free in blaming me, I hoped they would be as free with him, when they saw him.

And then it was, For God's sake, Charlotte; and, Let me entreat you, Lady G. And let me, too, beseech you, madam, said Emily, with tears stealing down her cheeks.

You are both very good: you are a sweet girl, Emily. I have a too-playful heart. It will give me some pain, and some pleasure; but if I had not more pleasure than pain from my play, I should not be so silly.

My lord not coming in, and the dinner being ready, I ordered it to be served.—Won't you wait a little longer for Lord G.?—No. I hope he is safe, and well. He is his own master, as well as mine (I sighed, I believe!); and, no doubt, has a paramount pleasure in pursuing his own choice.

They raved. I begged that they would let us eat our dinner with comfort. My lord, I hoped, would come in with a keen appetite, and Nelthorpe should get a supper for him that he liked.

When we had dined, and retired into the adjoining drawing-room, I had another schooling-bout.: Emily was even saucy. But I took it all: yet, in my heart, was vexed at Lord G.'s perverseness.

At last, in came the honest man. He does not read this, and so cannot take exceptions, and I hope you will not, at the word honest.

So lordly! so stiff! so solemn!—Upon my word! —Had it not been Sunday, I would have gone to my harpsichord directly. He bowed to Lord and Lady L. and to Emily, very obligingly; to me he nodded.—I nodded again; but like a good-natured

[page] 277

fool, smiled. He stalked to the chimney; turned his back towards it, buttoned up his mouth, held up his glowing face, as if he were disposed to crow; yet had not won the battle.—One hand in his bosom; the other under the skirt of his waistcoat, and his posture firmer than his mind.—Yet was my heart so devoid of malice, that I thought his attitude very genteel; and, had we not been man and wife, agreeable.

We hoped to have found your lordship at home, said Lord L. or we should not have dined here.

If Lord G. is as polite a husband as a man, said I, he will not thank your lordship for this compliment to his wife.

Lord G. swelled and reared himself up. His complexion, which was before in a glow, was heightened.

Poor man! thought I.—But why should my tender heart pity obstinate people?—Yet I could not help being dutiful—Have you dined, my lord? said I, with a sweet smile, and very courteous.

He stalked to the window, and never a word answered he.

Pray, Lady L. be so good as to ask my Lord G. if he has dined? Was not this very condescending, on such a behaviour?

Lady L. asked him; and as gently-voiced as if she were asking the same question of her own lord. Lady L. is a kind-hearted soul, Harriet, she is my sister.

I have not, madam, to Lady L. turning rudely from me, and not very civilly, from her. Ah! thought I, these men! The more they are courted—Wretches! to find their consequence in a woman's meekness. —Yet, I could not forbear shewing mine.—Nature, Harriet! Who can resist constitution?

What stiff airs are these! approaching him.— I

2 B

[page] 278

do assure you, my lord, I shall not take this behaviour well; and put my hand on his arm.

I was served right. Would you believe it? The man shook off my condescending hand, by raising his elbow scornfully. He really did!

Nay, then!—I left him, and retired to my former seat. I was vexed that it was Sunday: I wanted a little harmony.

Lord and Lady L. both blamed me, by their looks; and my lady took my hand, and was leading me towards him. I shewed a little reluctance: and, would you have thought it? out of the drawingroom whipt my nimble lord, as if on purpose to avoid being moved by my concession.

I took my place again.

beg of you, Charlotte, said Lady L. go to my lord. You have used him ill.

When I think so, I will follow your advice, Lady L.

And don't you think so, Lady G.? said Lord

What! for taking my own option how I would be dressed to-day?—What! for deferring—That moment in came my bluff lord—Have I not, proceeded I, been forced to dine without him to-day? Did he let me know what account I could give of his absence? Or when he would return?—And see, now how angry he looks!

He traversed the room—I went on—Did he not shake off my hand, when I laid it, smiling, on his arm? Would he answer me a question, which I kindly put to him, fearing he had not dined, and might be sick for want of eating? Was I not forced to apply to Lady L. for an answer to my careful question, on his scornfully turning from me in silence?—Might we not, if he had not gone out so abruptly, nobody knows where, have made the ap-

[page] 279

pearance his heart is so set upon?—But now, indeed, it is too late.

Oons, madam! said he, and he kemboed his arms, and strutted up to me. Now for a cuff, thought I. I was half afraid of it: but out of the room again capered he.

Lord bless me, said I, What a passionate creature is this!

Lord and Lady L. both turned from me with indignation. But no wonder if one, that they both did. They are a silly pair; and I believe have agreed to keep each other in countenance in all they do.

But Emily affected me. She sat before in one corner of the room, weeping; and just then ran to me, and, wrapping her arms about me, Dear, dear Lady G. said she, for Heaven's sake, think of what our Miss Byron said; 'Don't jest away your own happiness.' I don't say who is in fault: but, my dear lady, do you condescend. It looks pretty in a woman to condescend. Forgive me; I will run to my lord, and I will beg of him—

Away she ran, without waiting for an answer— and, bringing in the passionate wretch, hanging on his arm—You must not, my lord, indeed you must not be so passionate. Why, my lord, you frighted me; indeed you did. Such a word I never heard from your lordship's month—

Ay, my lord, said I, you give yourself pretty airs! Don't you? And use pretty words; that a child shall be terrified at them! But come, come, ask my pardon, for leaving me to dine without you.

Was not that tender?—Yet out went Lord and Lady L. To be sure they did right, if they withdrew in hopes these kind words would have been received as reconciliatory ones; and not in displeasure with me, as I am half afraid they did: for their

2 B 2

[page] 280

good-nature (worthy souls!) does sometimes lead them into misapprehensions. I kindly laid my hand on his arm again.—He was ungracious.—Nay, my lord, don't once more reject me with disdain—If you do—I then smiled most courteously. Carry not your absurdities, my lord, too far: and I took his hand [There, Harriet, was condescension!] I protest, Sir, if you give yourself any more of these airs, you will not find me so condescending.—Come, come, tell me you are sorry, and I will forgive you.

Sorry! madam; sorry!—I am indeed sorry, for your provoking airs!

Why that's not ill said—But kemboed arms, my lord! are you not sorry for such an air! And Oons! are you not sorry for such a word? and for such looks too? and for quarrelling with your dinner?— I protest, my lord, you make one of us look like a child who flings away his bread and butler because it has not glass windows upon it.—

Not for one moment forbear, madam!—

Pr'ythee, pr'ythee—[I profess I had like to have said honest friend] No more of these airs; and, I tell you, I will forgive you.

But, madam, I cannot, I will not—

Hush, hush; no more in that strain, and so loud, as if we had lost each other in a wood—If you will let us be friends, say so—In an instant—If not, I am gone—gone this moment—casting off from him, as I may say, intending to mount up-stairs.

Angel, or demon, shall I call you? said he.—Yet I receive your hand, as offered. But, for God's sake, madam, let us be happy! And he kissed my hand, but not so cordially as it became him to do; and in came Lord and Lady L. with countenances a little ungracious.

I took my seat next my own mail, with an air of officiousness, hoping to oblige him by it. He was

[page] 281

obliged: and another day, not yet quite agreed upon, this parade is to be made.

And thus began, proceeded, and ended, this doughty quarrel. And who knows but, before the day is absolutely resolved upon, we may have half a score more? Four, five, six days, as it may happen, is a great space of time for people to agree, who are so much together; and one of whom is playful, and the other will not be played with. But these kembo and oons airs, Harriet, stick a little in my stomach; and the man seems not to be quite come to neither. He is sullen and gloomy, and don't prate away as he used to do, when we have made up before.

But I will sing him a song to-morrow: I will please the honest man, if I can. But he really should not have had for a wife a woman of so sweet a temper as your

CHARLOTTE G.

LETTER XXXVIII.

LADY G. TO MISS BYRON.

Monday, May 8.

MY lord and I have had another little—Tiff, shall I call it? It came not up to a quarrel. Married people would have enough to do, if they were to trouble their friends every time they misunderstood one another. And now a word or two of other people: not always scribbling of ourselves.

We have just heard, that our cousin Everard has added another fool of our sex to the number of the weak ones who disgrace it: a sorry fellow! He has been seen with her, by one whom he would not

2 B 3

[page] 282

know, at Cuper's gardens; dressed like a sea-officer, and skulking, like a thief, into the privatest walks of the place. When he is tired of the poor wretch, he will want to accommodate with us by promises of penitence and reformation, as once or twice before. Rakes are not only odious, but they are despicable creatures. You will the more clearly see this, when I assure you, from those who know, that this silly creature our cousin is looked upon, among his brother libertines, and smarts, as a man of first consideration!

He has also been seen in a gayer habit, at a certain gaming-table, near Covent-Garden; where he did not content himself with being an idle spectator. Colonel Winwood, our informant, shook his head, but made no other answer, to some of our enquiries. May he suffer! say I.—A sorry fellow!

Preparations are going on, all so-fast, at Windsor. We are all invited. God grant that Miss Mansfield may be as happy as Lady W. as we all conclude she will be! but I never was fond of matches between sober young women, and battered old rakes. Much good may do the adventurers, drawn in by gewgaw and title!—Poor things!—But convenience, when that's the motive, whatever foolish girls think, will hold out its comforts, while a gratified love quickly evaporates.

Beauchamp, who is acquainted with the Mansfields, is entrusted by my brother, in his absence, with the management of the law-affairs. He hopes, he says, to give a good account of them. The base steward of the uncle Calvert, who lived as a husband with the woman who had been forced upon his superannuated master in a doting fit, has been brought by the death of one of the children born in Mr. Calvert's life-time, and by the precarious health of the posthumous one, to make overtures of accom-

[page] 283

modation. A new hearing of the cause between them and the Keelings, is granted; and great things are expected from it, in their favour, from some new lights thrown in upon that suit. The Keelings are frighted out of their wits, it seems; and are applying to Sir John Lambton, a disinterested neighbour, to offer himself as a mediator between them. The Mansfields will so soon be related to us, that I make no apology for interesting you in their affairs.

Be sure you chide me for my whimsical behaviour to Lord G. I know you will. But don't blame my heart: my head only is wrong.

A little more from fresh information of this sorry varlet Everard. I wished him to suffer; but I wished him not to be so very great a sufferer as it seems he is. Sharpers have hit his head off, quite close to his shoulders: they have not left it him to carry under his arm, as the honest patron of France did his. They lend it him, however, now-and-then, to repent with, and curse himself. The creature he attended to Cuper's gardens, instead of a country innocent, as he expected her to be, comes out to be a east mistress, experienced in all the arts of such, and acting under the secret influences of a man of quality; who, wanting to get rid of her, supports her in a prosecution commenced against him (poor devil!) for performance of covenants. He was extremely mortified, on finding my brother gone abroad: he intends to apply to him for his pity and help. A wretch! He boasted to us, on our expectation of our brother's arrival from abroad, that he would enter his cousin Charles into the ways of the town. Now he wants to avail himself against the practices of the sons of that town, by his cousin's character and consequence.

A combination of sharpers, it seems, had long set

[page] 284

him as a man of fortune: but, on his taking refuge with my brother, gave over for a time their designs upon him, till he threw himself again in their way.

The worthless fellow had been often liberal of his promises of marriage to young creatures of more innocence than this; and thinks it very hard that he should be prosecuted for a crime which he had so frequently committed with impunity. Can you pity him? I cannot, I assure you. The man who can betray and ruin an innocent woman, who loves him, ought to be abhorred by men. Would he scruple to betray and ruin them, if he were not afraid of the law?—Yet there are women who can forgive such wretches, and herd with them.——

My aunt Eleanor is arrived: a good, plump, bonny-faced old virgin. She has chosen her apartment. At present we are most prodigiously civil to each other: but already I suspect she likes Lord G. better than I would have her. She will perhaps, if a party should be formed against your poor Charlotte, make one of it.

Will you think it time thrown away, to read a further account of what has come to hand about the wretches who lately, in the double sense of the word, were overtaken between St. Denis and Paris?

Sir Hargrave Pollexfen, it seems, still keeps his chamber: he is thought not to be out of danger from some inward hurt, which often makes him bring up blood in quantities. He is miserably oppressed by lowness of spirits, and when he is a little better in that respect, his impatience makes his friends apprehensive for his head. But has he intellects strong enough to give apprehensions of that nature? Fool and madman we often join as terms of reproach; but I believe fools seldom run really mad.

Merceda is in a still more dangerous way. Besides his bruises, and a fractured skull, he has, it seems,

[page] 285

a wound in his thigh, which, in the delirium he was thrown into by the fracture, was not duly attended to; and which, but for his valiant struggles against the knife which gave the wound, was designed for a still greater mischief. His recovery is despaired of; and the poor wretch is continually offering up vows of penitence and reformation, if his life may be spared.

Bagenhall was the person who had seduced, by promises of marriage, and fled for it, the manufacturer's daughter of Abbeville. He was overtaken by his pursuers at Douay. The incensed father, and friends of the young woman, would not be otherwise pacified than by his performing his promise; which, with infinite reluctance, he complied with, principally through the threats of the brother, who is noted for his fierceness and resolution; and who once made the sorry creature feel an argument which greatly terrified him. Bagenhall is at present at Abbeville, living as well as he can with his new wife, cursing his fate, no doubt, in secret. He is obliged to appear fond of her before her brother and father; the latter being also a sour man, a Gascon, always boasting of his family, and valuing himself upon a >De, affixed by himself to his name, and jealous of indignity offered to it. The fierce brother is resolved to accompany his sister to England, when Bagenhall goes thither, in order, as he declares, to secure to her good usage, and see her owned and visited by all Bagenhall's friends and relations. And thus much of these fine gentlemen.

How different a man is Beauchamp! But it is injuring him, to think of those wretches and him at the same time. He certainly has an eye to Emily, but behaves with great prudence towards her: yet every-body but she sees his regard for her: nobody but her guardian runs in her head; and the more,

[page] 286

as she really thinks it is a glory to love him, because of his goodness. Every-body, she says, has the same admiration of him, that she has.

Mrs. Reeves desires me to acquaint you, that Miss Clements, having, by the death of her mother and aunt, come into a pretty fortune, is addressed to by a Yorkshire gentleman of easy circumstances, and is preparing to leave the town, having other connexions in that county; but that she intends to write to you before she goes, and to beg you to favour her with now-and-then a letter.

I think Miss Clements is a good sort of young woman: but I imagined she would have been one of those nuns at large, who need not make vows of living and dying aunt Eleanors, or Lady Gertrudes; all three of them good honest souls! chaste, pious, and plain. It is a charming situation, when a woman is arrived at such a height of perfection, as to be above giving or receiving temptation. Sweet innocents! They have my reverence, if not my love. How would they be affronted, if I were to say pity! —I think only of my two good aunts, at the present writing. Miss Clements, you know, is a youngish woman; and I respect her much. One would not jest upon the unsightliness of person, or plainness of feature: but think you she will not be one of those, who twenty years hence may put in a boast of her quondam beauty?

How I run on! I think I ought to be ashamed of myself.

'Very true, Charlotte.'

And so it is, Harriet. I have done—Adieu!— Lord G. will be silly again, I doubt; but I am prepared. I wish he had half my patience.

'Be quiet, Lord G.! what a fool you are!'—The man, my dear, under pretence of being friends, run his sharp nose in my eye. No bearing his fondness:

[page] 287

it is worse than insolence. How my eye waters!— I can tell him—But I will tell him, and not you.— Adieu, once more.

CHARLOTTE G.

LETTER XXXIX.

MR. LOWTHER TO JOHN ARNOLD, ESQ. (HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW) IN LONDON.

BOLOGNA, MAY 5-16.

I WILL now, my dear brother, give you a circumstantial account of our short, but flying journey. The 20th of April, O. S. early in the morning, we left Paris, and reached Lyons the 24th, at night.

Resting but a few hours, we set out for Pont Beauvoisin, where we arrived the following evening: there we bid adieu to France, and found ourselves in Savoy, equally noted for its poverty and rocky mountains. Indeed it was a total change of the scene. We had left behind us a blooming spring, which enlivened with its verdure the trees and hedges on the road we passed, and the meadows already smiled with flowers. The cheerful inhabitants were busy in adjusting their limits, lopping their trees, pruning their vines, tilling their fields; but when we entered Savoy, nature wore a very different face; and I must own, that my spirits were great sufferers by the change. Here we began to view on the nearer mountains, covered with ice and snow, notwithstanding the advanced season, the rigid winter, in frozen majesty, still preserving its domains: and arriving at St. Jean Maurienne the night of the 26th, the snow seemed as if it would dispute with us our

[page] 288

passage: and horrible was the force of the boisterous winds, which sat full in our faces.

Overpowered by the fatigues I had undergone in the expedition we had made, the unseasonable coldness of the weather, and the sight of one of the worst countries under heaven, still clothed in snow, and deformed by continual hurricanes; I was here taken ill. Sir Charles was greatly concerned for my indisposition, which was increased by a great lowness of spirits. He attended upon me in person; and never had man a more kind and indulgent friend. Here we staid two days; and then, my illness being principally owing to fatigue, I found myself enabled to proceed. At two of the clock in the morning of the 28th, we prosecuted our journey, in palpable darkness, and dismal weather, though the winds were somewhat laid, and reaching the foot of Mount Cenis by break of day, arrived at Lanebourg, a poor little village, so environed by high mountains, that, for three months in the twelve, it is hardly visited by the cheering rays of the sun. Every object which here presents itself is excessively miserable. The people are generally of an olive complexion, with wens under their chins; some so monstrous, especially women, as quite disfigure them.

Here it is usual to unscrew and take in pieces the chaises, in order to carry them on mules over the mountain; and to put them together on the other side: for the Savoy side of the mountain is much more difficult to pass than the other. But Sir Charles chose not to lose time; and therefore left the chaise to the care of the inn-keeper; proceeding, with all expedition, to gain the top of the hill.

The way we were carried, was as follows: A kind of horse, as it is called with you, with two poles like those of chairmen, was the vehicle; on which is se-

[page] 289

cured a sort of elbow-chair, in which the traveller sits. A man before, another behind, carry this open machine with so much swiftness, that they are continually running and skipping, like wild goats, from rock to rock, the four miles of that ascent. If a traveller were not prepossessed that these mountaineers are the surest-footed carriers in the universe, he would be in continual apprehensions of being overturned. I, who never undertook this journey before, must own that I could not be so fearless, on this occasion, as Sir Charles was, though he had very exactly described to me how everything would be. Then, though the sky was clear when we passed this mountain, yet the cold wind blew quantities of frozen snow in our faces; insomuch that it seemed to me just as if people were employed, all the time we were passing, to wound us with the sharpest needles. They indeed call the wind that brings this sharp-pointed snow, The Tormenta.

An adventure, which any-where else might have appeared ridiculous, I was afraid would have proved fatal to one of our chairmen, as I will call them. I had flapt down my hat to screen my eyes from the fury of that deluge of sharp-pointed frozen snow; and it was blown off my head, by a sudden gust, down the precipices: I gave it up for lost, and was about to bind a handkerchief over the woollen cap, which those people provide to tie under the chin; when one of the assistant carriers (for they are always six in number to every chair, in order to relieve one another) undertook to recover it. I thought it impossible to be done; the passage being, as I imagined, only practicable for birds: however, I promised him a crown reward, if he did. Never could the leaps of the most dexterous of rope-dancers be compared to those of this daring fellow: I saw him

VOL. XII. 2 C

[page] 290

sometimes jumping from rock to rock, sometimes rolling down a declivity of snow like a ninepin, sometimes running, sometimes hopping, skipping; in short he descended like lightning to the verge of a torrent, where he found the hat. He came up with surprising agility, and appeared as little fatigued, as if he had never left us.

We arrived at the top in two hours, from Lanebourg; and the sun was pretty high above the horizon. Out of a hut, half-buried in snow, came some mountaineers, with two poor sledges, drawn by mules, to carry us through the Plain of Mount Cenis as it is called, which is about four Italian miles in length, to the descent of the Italian side of the mountain. These sledges are not much different from the chairs, or sedans, or horse, we then quitted; only the two under-poles are flat, and not so long as the others, and turning up a little at the end, to hinder them from sticking fast in the snow. To the fore-ends of the poles are fixed two round sticks, about two feet and a half long, which serve for a support and help to the man who guides the mule, who running on the snow between the mule and the sledge holds the sticks with each hand.

It was diverting to see the two sledgemen striving to outrun each other.

Encouraged by Sir Charles's generosity, we very soon arrived at the other end of the plain. The man who walked, or rather ran, between the sledge and the mule, made a continual noise; hallooing and beating the stubborn beast with his fists, which otherwise would be very slow in its motion.

At the end of this plain we found such another hut as that on the Lanebourg side; here they took off the smoking mules from the sledges, to give them rest.

And now began the most extraordinary way of

[page] 291

travelling that can be imagined. The descent of the mountain from the top of this side, to a small village called Novalesa, is four Italian miles. When the snow has filled up all the inequalities of the mountain, it looks, in many parts, as smooth and equal as a sugar-loaf. It is on the brink of this rapid descent that they put the sledge. The man who is to guide it, sits between the feet of the traveller, who is seated in the elbow-chair, with his legs at the outside of the sticks fixed at the fore-ends of the flat-poles, and holds the two sticks with his hands; and when the sledge has gained the declivity, its own weight carries it down with surprising celerity. But as the immense irregular rocks under the snow make now-and-then some edges in the declivity, which, if not avoided, would overturn the sledge; the guide, who foresees the danger, by putting his foot strongly and dexterously in the snow next to the precipice, turns the machine, by help of a pointed iron on his heel, and of the above-mentioned sticks, the contrary way, and, by way of zigzag, goes to the bottom. Such was the velocity of this motion, that we dispatched these four miles in less than five minutes: and, when we arrived at Novalesa, hearing that the snow was very deep most of the way to Susa, and being pleased with our way of travelling, we had some mules put again to the sledges, and ran all the way to the very gates of that city, which is seven miles distant from Mount Cenis.

In our way we had a cursory view of the impregnable fortress of Brunetta, the greatest part of which is cut out of the solid rock, and commands that important pass.

We rested all night at Susa; and, having bought a very commodious post-chaise, we proceeded to Turin, where we dined; and from thence, the even-

2 C 2

[page] 292

ing of May 2, O. S. got to Parma by way of Alexandria and Placcntia, having purposely avoided the high road through Milan, as it would have cost us a few hours more time.

Sir Charles observed to me, when we were on the plain or flat top of Mount Cenis, that, had not the winter been particularly long and severe, we should have had, instead of this terrible appearance of snow there, flowers starting up, as it were, under our feet, of various kinds, which are hardly to be met with any-where else. One of the greatest dangers, he told me, in passing this mount in winter, arises from a ball of snow, which is blown down from the top by the wind, or falls down by some other accident; which, gathering all the way in its descent becomes instantly of such a prodigious bigness, that there is hardly any avoiding being carried away with it, man and beast, and smothered in it. One of these balls we saw rolling down; but as it took another course than ours, we had no apprehensions of danger from it.

At Parma we found expecting us, the Bishop of Nocera, and a very reverend father, Marescotti by name; who expressed the utmost joy at the arrival of Sir Charles Grandison, and received me, at his recommendation, with a politeness which seems natural to them I will not repeat what I have written before of this excellent young gentleman: intrepidity, bravery, discretion, as well as generosity, are conspicuous parts of his character. He is studious to avoid danger; but is unappalled in it. For humanity, benevolence, providence for others, to his very servants, I never met with his equal.

My reception from the noble family to which he has introduced me; the patient's case (a very unhappy one!); and a description of this noble city, and the fine country about it; shall be the subject

[page] 293

of my next. Assure all my friends of my health, and good wishes for them; and, my dear Arnold, believe me to be

Ever yours, &c.

LETTER XL.

SIR CHARLES GRANDISON TO DR. BARTLETT.

Bologna, Wednesday, May 10—21.

I TOLD you, my dear and reverend friend, that I should hardly write to you till I arrived in this city.

The affair of my executorship obliged me to stay a day longer at Paris than I intended; but I have put every thing relating to that trust in such a way, as to answer all my wishes.

Mr. Lowther wrote to Mr. Arnold, a friend of his in London, the particulars of the extraordinary affair we were engaged in between St. Denys and Paris; with desire that he would inform my friends of our arrival at that capital.

We were obliged to stop two days at St. Jean de Maurienne: the expedition we travelled with was too much for Mr. Lowther; and I expected, and was not disappointed from the unusual backwardness of the season, to find the passage over Mount Cenis less agreeable than it usually is in the beginning of May.

The Bishop of Nocera had offered to meet me any-where on his side of the mountains. I wrote to him from Lyons, that I hoped to see him at Parma, on or about the very day that I was so fortunate as to reach the palace of the Count of Belvedere in that city; where I found, that he and Father Mareseotti had arrived the evening before. They, as well as

2 C 3

[page] 294

the count expressed great joy to see me; and when I presented Mr. Lowther to them with the praises due to his skill, and let them know the consultations I had had with eminent physicians of my own country on Lady Clementina's case, they invoked blessings upon us both, and would not be interrupted in them by my eager questions after the health and state of mind of the two dearest persons of their family—Unhappy! very unhappy! said the bishop. Let us give you some refreshment, before we come to particulars.

To my repeated enquiries, Jeronymo, poor Jeronymo! said the bishop, is living, and that is all we can say. The sight of you will be a cordial to his heart. Clementina is on her journey to Bologna from Naples. You desired to find her with us, and not at Naples. She is weak; is obliged to travel slowly. She will rest at Urbino two or three days. Dear creature! What has she not suffered from the cruelty of her cousin Laurana, as well as from her malady! The general has been, and is, indulgent to her. He is married to a lady of great merit, quality, and fortune. He has, at length, consented that we shall try this last experiment, as the hearts of my mother and now lately of my father, as well as mine, are in it. His lady would not be denied accompanying my sister; and as my brother could not bear being absent from her, he travels with them. I wish he had staid at Naples. I hope, however, he will be as ready, as you will find us all, to acknowledge the favour of this visit, and the fatigue and trouble you have given yourself on our account.

As to my sister's bodily health, proceeded he, it is greatly impaired. We are almost hopeless, with regard to the state of her mind. She speaks not; she answers not any questions. Camilla is with her. She seems regardless of any-body else. She has been told, that the general is married. His lady makes

[page] 295

great court to her; but she heeds her not. We are in hopes, that my mother, on her return to Bologna, will engage her attention. She never yet was so ill as to forget her duty, either to God, or her parents. Sometimes Camilla thinks she pays some little attention to your name; but then she instantly starts, as in terror; looks round her with fear; puts her finger to her lips, as if she dreaded her cruel cousin Laurana should be told of her having heard it mentioned.

The bishop and father both regretted that she had been denied the requested interview. They were now, they said, convinced, that if that had been granted, and she had been left to Mrs. Beaumont's friendly care, a happy issue might have been hoped for: But now, said the bishop—Then sighed, and was silent.

I dispatched Saunders, early the next morning, to Bologna, to procure convenient lodgings for me, and Mr. Lowther.

In the afternoon we set out for that city. The Count of Belvedere found an opportunity to let me know his unabated passion for Clementina, and that he had lately made overtures to marry her, notwithstanding her malady: having been advised, he said, by proper persons, that as it was not an hereditary, but an accidental disorder, it might be, in time, cureable. He accompanied us about half way in our journey; and, at parting, Remember, chevalier, whispered he, that Clementina is the soul of my hope: I cannot forego that hope. No other woman will I ever call mine.

I heard him in silence: I admired him for his attachment: I pitied him. He said, he would tell me more of his mind at Bologna.

We reached Bologna on the 15th, N. S. Saunders had engaged for me the lodgings I had before.

[page] 296

Our conversation on the road turned chiefly on the case of Signor Jeronymo. The bishop and father were highly pleased with the skill, founded on practice, which evidently appeared in all that Mr. Lowther said on the subject: and the bishop once intimated, that, be the event what it would, his journey to Italy should be made the most beneficial affair to him he had ever engaged in. Mr. Lowther replied, that as he was neither a necessitous nor a mean-spirited man, and had reason to be entirely satisfied with the terms I had already secured to him; he should take it unkindly, if any other reward were offered him.

Think, my dear Dr. Bartlett, what emotions I must have on entering, once more, the gates of the Poretta palace, though Clementina was not there.

I hastened up to my Jeronymo, who had been apprised of my arrival. The moment he saw me, Do I once more, said he, behold my friend, my Grandison? Let me embrace the dearest of men. Now, now, have I lived long enough. He bowed his head upon his pillow, and meditated me; his countenance shining with pleasure, in defiance of pain.

The bishop entered: he could not be present at our first interview.

My lord, said Jeronymo, make it your care that my dear friend be treated, by every soul of our family, with the gratitude and respect which are due to his goodness. Methinks I am easier and happier, this moment, than I have been for the tedious space of time since I last saw him. He named that space of time to the day, and to the very hour of the day.

The marquis and marchioness signifying their pleasure to see me, the bishop led me to them. My reception from the marquis was kind; from his lady it was as that of a mother to a long-absent son. I had ever been, she was pleased to say, a fourth

[page] 297

son in her eye; and now, that she had been informed that I had brought over with me a surgeon of experience, and the advice in writing of eminent physicians of my country, the obligations I had laid on their whole family, whatever were the success, were unreturnable.

I asked leave to introduce Mr. Lowther to them. They received him with great politeness, and recommended their Jeronymo to his best skill. Mr. Lowther's honest heart was engaged, by a reception so kind. He never, he told me afterwards, beheld so much pleasure and pain struggling in the same countenance, as in that of the lady; so fixed a melancholy, as in that of the marquis.

Mr. Lowther is a man of spirit, though a modest man. He is, as on every proper occasion I found, a man of piety; and has a heart tender as manly. Such a man, heart and hand, is qualified for a profession which is the most useful and certain in the art of healing. He is a man of sense and learning out of his profession, and happy in his address.

The two Surgeons who now attend Signor Jeronymo, are both of this country. They were sent for. With the approbation, and at the request, of the family, I presented Mr. Lowther to them; but first gave them his character, as a modest man, as a man of skill and experience; and told them, that he had quitted business, and wanted not either fame or fortune.

They acquainted him with the ease, and their methods of proceeding. Mr. Lowther assisted in the dressings that very evening. Jeronymo would have me to be present. Mr. Lowther suggested an alteration in their method, but in so easy and gentle a manner (as if he doubted not, but such was their intention when the state of the wounds would admit of that method of treatment) that the gen-

[page] 298

tlemen came readily into it. A great deal of matter had been collected, by means of the wrong methods pursued; and he proposed, if the patient's strength would bear it, to make an aperture below the principal wound, in order to discharge the matter downward; and he suggested the dressing with hollow tents and bandage, and to dismiss the large tents, with which they had been accustomed to distend the wound, to the extreme anguish of the patient, on pretence of keeping it open, to assist the discharge.

Let me now give you, my dear friend, a brief history of my Jeronymo's case, and of the circumstances which have attended it; by which you will be able to account for the difficulties of it, and how it has happened, that, in such a space of time, either the cure was not effected, or that the patient yielded not to the common destiny.

In lingering cases, patients or their friends are sometimes too apt to blame their physicians, and to listen to new recommendations. The surgeons attending this unhappy case, had been more than once changed. Signor Jeronymo, it seems, was unskilfully treated by the young surgeon of Cremona, who was first engaged; he neglected the most dangerous wound; and, when he attended to it, ma-managed it wrong, for want of experience. He was therefore very properly dismissed.

The unhappy man had at first three wounds: one in his breast, which had been for some time healed; one in his shoulder, which, through his own impatience, having been too suddenly healed up, was obliged to be laid open again: the other, which is the most dangerous, in the hip-joint.

A surgeon of this place, and another of Padua, were next employed. The cure not advancing, a surgeon of eminence, from Paris, was sent for.

Mr. Lowther tells me, that this man's method was

[page] 299

by far the most eligible; but that he undertook too much; since, from the first, there could not be any hope, from the nature of the wound in the hip-joint, that the patient could ever walk, without sticks or crutches: and of this opinion were the other two surgeons: but the French gentleman was so very pragmatical, that he would neither draw with them, nor give reasons for what he did; regarding them only as his assistants. They could not long bear this usage, and gave up to him in disgust.

How cruel is punctilio, among men of this science, in cases of difficulty and danger!

The present operators, when the two others had given up, were not, but by leave of the French gentleman, called in. He, valuing himself on his practice in the Royal Hospital of Invalids at Paris, looked upon them as theorists only; and treated them with as little ceremony as he had shewn the others: so that at last, from their frequent differences, it became necessary to part with either him, or them. His pride, when he knew that this question was a subject of debate, would not allow him to leave the family an option. He made his demand: it was complied with; and he returned to Paris.

From what this gentleman threw out at parting, to the disparagement of the two others, Signor Jeronyno suspected their skill: and from a hint of this suspicion, as soon as I knew I should be welcome myself, I procured the favour of Mr. Lowther's attendance.

All Mr. Lowther's fear is, that Signor Jeronymo has been kept too long in hand by the different managements of the several operators; and that he will sink under the necessary process, through weakness of habit. But, however, he is of opinion, that it is requisite to confine him to a strict diet, and to deny him wine and fermented liquors, in which he has

[page] 300

hitherto been indulged, against the opinion of his own operators, who have been too complaisant to his appetite.

An operation somewhat severe was performed on his shoulder yesterday morning. The Italian surgeons complimented Mr. Lowther with the lancet. They both praised his dexterity; and Signor Jeronymo, who will be consulted on every-thing that he is to suffer, blessed his gentle hand.

At Mr. Lowther's request, a physician was yesterday consulted; who advised some gentle aperitives, as his strength will bear it; and some balsamics, to sweeten the blood and juices.

Mr. Lowther told me just now, that the fault of the gentlemen who have now the care of him, has not been want of skill, but of critical courage, and a too great solicitude to oblige their patient; which, by their own account, had made them forego several opportunities which had offered to assist nature. In short, Sir, said he, your friend knows too much of his own case to be ruled, and too little to qualify him to direct what is to be done, especially as symptoms must have been frequently changing.

Mr. Lowther doubts not, he says, but he shall soon convince Jeronymo that he merits his confidence, and then he will exact it from him; and, in so doing, shall not only give weight to his own endeavours to serve him, but rid the other two gentlemen of embarrasments which have often given them diffidencies, when resolution was necessary.

In the mean time the family here are delighted with Mr. Lowther. They will flatter themselves they say, with hopes of their Jeronymo's recovery; which, however, Mr. Lowther, for fear of disappointment, does not encourage. Jeronymo himself owns, that his spirits are much revived; and we all know the power that the mind has over the body.

[page] 301

Thus have I given you, my reverend friend, a general notion of Jeronymo's case, as I understand it from Mr. Lowther's as general representation of it.

He has been prevailed upon to accept an apartment adjoining to that of his patient. Jeronymo said, that when he knows he has so skilful a friend near him, he shall go to rest with confidence; and good rest is of the highest consequence to him.

What a happiness, my dear Dr. Bartlett, will fall to my share, if I may be an humble instrument, in the hand of Providence, to heal this brother; and if his recovery should lead the way to the restoration of his sister; each so known a lover of the other, that the world is more ready to attribute her malady to his misfortunes and danger, than to any other cause! But how early days are these, on which my love and my compassion for persons so meritorious, embolden me to build such forward hopes!

Lady Clementina is now impatiently expected by every one. She is at Urbino. The general and his lady are with her. His haughty spirit cannot bear to think she should see me, or that my attendance on her should be thought of so much importance to her.

The marchioness, in a conversation that I have just now had with her, hinted this to me, and besought me to keep my temper, if his high notion of family and female honour shall carry him out of his usual politeness.

I will give you, my dear friend, the particulars of this conversation.

She began with saying, that she did not, for her part, now think, that her beloved daughter, whom once she believed hardly any private man could deserve, was worthy of me, even were she to recover her reason.

2 D

[page] 302

I could not but guess the meaning of so high a compliment. What answer could I return that would not, on one hand, be capable of being thought cool; on the other, of being supposed interested, and as if I were looking forward to a reward that some of the family still think too high? But while I knew my own motives, I could not be displeased with a lady who was not at liberty to act, in this point, according to her own will.

I only said (and it was with truth) That the calamity of the noble lady had endeared her to me, more than it was possible the most prosperous fortune could have done.

I, my good chevalier, may say any-thing to you. We are undetermined about every-thing. We know not what to propose, what to consent to. Your journey, on the first motion, though but from some of us, the dear creature continuing ill; you in possession of a considerable estate, exercising yourself in doing good in your native country [you must think we took all opportunities of enquiring after the man once so likely to be one of us]; the first fortune in Italy, Olivia, though she is not a Clementina, pursuing you in hopes of calling herself yours (for to England we hear she went, and there you own she is); What obligations have you laid upon us!— What can we determine upon? What can we wish?

Providence and you, madam, shall direct my steps. I am in yours and your lord's power. The same uncertainty, from the same unhappy cause, leaves me not the thought, because not the power of determination. The recovery of Lady Clementina and her brother, without a view to my own interest, fills up, at present, all the wishes of my heart.

Let me ask, said the lady (it is for my own private satisfaction) Were such a happy event, as to

[page] 303

Clementina, to take place, could you, would you, think yourself bound by your former offers?

When I made those offers, madam, the situation on your side was the same that it is now: Lady Clementina was unhappy in her mind. My fortune, it is true, is higher. It is indeed as high as I wish it to be. I then declared, That if you would give me your Clementina, without insisting on one hard, on one indispensable article, I would renounce her fortune, and trust to my father's goodness to me for a provision. Shall my accession to the estate of my ancestors alter me?—No, madam: I never yet made an offer, that I receded from, the circumstances continuing the same. If, in the article of residence, the marquis, and you, and Clementina, would relax; I would acknowledge myself indebted to your goodness; but without conditioning for it.

I told you, said she, that I put this question only for my own private satisfaction: and I told you truth. I never will deceive or mislead you. Whenever I speak to you, it shall be as if, even in your own concerns, I spoke to a third person; and I shall not doubt but you will have the generosity to advise, as such, though against yourself.

May I be enabled to act worthy of your good opinion! I, madam, look upon myself as bound; you and yours are free.

What a pleasure is it, my dear Dr. Bartlett, to the proud heart of your friend, that I could say this!—Had I sought, in pursuance of my own inclinations, to engage the affections of the admirable Miss Byron, as I might with honour have endeavoured to do, had not the woes of this noble family, and the unhappy state of mind of their Clementina, so deeply affected me; I might have involved myself, and that loveliest of women, in difficulties which would have made such a heart as mine still more unhappy than it is.

2 D 2

[page] 304

Let me know, my dear Dr. Bartlett, that Miss Byron is happy. I rejoice, whatever be my own destiny, that I have not involved her in my uncertainties. The Countess of D. is a worthy woman: the earl, her son, is a good young man: Miss Byron merits such a mother; the countess such a daughter. How dear, how important, is her welfare to me!— You know your Grandison, my good Dr. Bartlett. Her friendship [ presumed to ask: I dared not to wish to correspond with her. I rejoice, for her sake, that I trusted not my heart with such a proposal. What difficulties, my dear friend, have I had to encounter with!—God be praised that I have nothing, with regard to these two incomparable women, to reproach myself with. I am persuaded that our prudence, if rashly we throw not ourselves into difficulties, and if we will exert it, and make a reliance on the proper assistance, is generally proportioned to our trials.

I asked the marchioness after Lady Sforza, and her daughter Laurana; and whether they were at Milan?

You have heard, no doubt, answered she, the cruel treatment that my poor child met with from her cousin Laurana. Lady Sforza justifies her in it. We are upon extreme bad terms, on that account. They are both at Milan. The general has vowed, that he never will see them more, if he can avoid it. The bishop, only as a christian, can forgive them. You, chevalier, know the reason why we cannot allow our Clementina to take the veil.

The particular reasons I have not, madam, been iniquisitive about; but have always understood them to be family ones, grounded on the dying request of one of her grandfathers.

Our daughter, Sir, is intitled to a considerable estate which joins to our own domains. It was pur-

[page] 305

chased for her by her two grandfathers; who vied with each other in demonstrating their love of her by solid effects. One of them (my father) was, in his youth, deeply in love with a young lady of great merit; and she was thought to love him: but, in a fit of pious bravery, as he used to call it, when everything between themselves, and between the friends on both sides, was concluded on, she threw herself into a convent; and, passing steadily through the probationary forms, took the veil; but afterwards repented, and took pains to let it be known that she was unhappy. This gave him a disgust against the sequestered life, though he was, in other respects, a zealous Catholic. And Clementina having always a serious turn; in order to deter her from embracing it (both grandfathers being desirous of strengthening their house, as well in the female as male line) they inserted a clause in each of their wills, by which they gave the estate designed for her, in case she took the veil, to Laurana, and her descendants; Laurana to enter into possession of it on the day that Clementina should be professed. But if Clementina married, Laurana was then to be intitled only to a handsome legacy, that she might not be entirely disappointed: for the reversion, in case Clementina had no children, was to go to our eldest son; who, however, has been always generously solicitous to have his sister marry.

Both grandfathers were rich. Our son Giacomo, on my father's death, as he had willed, entered upon a considerable estate in the kingdom of Naples, which had for ages been in my family: he is therefore, and will be, greatly provided for. Our second son has great prospects before him, in the church: but you know he cannot marry. Poor Jeronymo! We had not, before his misfortune, any great hopes of strengthening the family by his means: he, alas!

2 D 3

[page] 306

(as you well know, who took such laudable pains to reclaim him, before he knew you) with great qualities, imbibed free notions from bad company, and declared himself a despiser of marriage. This the two grandfathers knew, and often deplored; for Jeronymo and Clementina were equally their favourites. To him and the bishop they bequeathed great legacies.

We suspected not till very lately, that Laurana was deeply in love with the Count of Belvedere; and that her mother and she had views to drive our sweet child into a convent, that Laurana might enjoy the estate; which they hoped would be an inducement to the count to marry her. Cruel Laurana! Cruel Lady Sforza! So much love as they both pretended to our child; and, I believe, had, till the temptation, strengthened by power, became too strong for them. Unhappy the day that we put her into their hands.

Besides the estates so bequeathed to Clementina, we can do great things for her: few Italian families are so rich as ours. Her brothers forget their own interest, when it comes into competition with hers: she is as generous as they. Our four children never knew what a contention was, but who should give up an advantage to the other. This child, this sweet child, was ever the delight of us all, and likewise of our brother the Conte della Porretta. What joy would her recovery and nuptials give us?—Dear creature! We have sometimes thought, that she is the fonder of the sequestered life, as it is that which we wish her not to embrace—But can Clementina be perverse? She cannot. Yet that was the life of her choice, when she had a choice, her grandfathers wishes notwithstanding.

Will you now wonder, chevalier, that neither our sons nor we can allow Clementina to take the veil?

[page] 307

Can we so reward Laurana for her cruelty? Especially now, that we suspect the motives for her barbarity? Could I have thought that my sister Sforza —But what will not love and avarice do, their powers united, to compass the same end; the one reigning in the bosom of the daughter, the other in that of the mother? Alas! alas! they have, between them, broken the spirit of my Clementina. The very name of Laurana gives her terror—So far is she sensible. But, O Sir, her sensibility appears only when she is harshly treated! To tenderness she had been too much accustomed, to make her think an indulgent treatment new, or unusual.

I dread, my dear Dr. Bartlett, yet am impatient, to see the unhappy lady. I wish the general were not to accompany her. I am afraid I shall want temper, if he forget his. My own heart, when it tells me, that I have not deserved ill usage (from my equals and superiors in rank, especially) bids me not bear it. I am ashamed to own to you, my reverend friend, that pride of spirit, which, knowing it to he my fault, I ought long ago to have subdued.

Make my compliments to every one I love. Mr. and Mrs. Reeves are of the number.

Charlotte, I hope, is happy. If she is not, it must be her own fault. Let her know, that I will not allow, when my love to both sisters is equal, that she shall give me cause to say that Lady L. is my best sister.

Lady Olivia gives me uneasiness. I am ashamed, my dear Dr. Bartlett, that a woman of a rank so considerable, and who has some great qualities, should lay herself under obligation to the compassion of a man who can only pity her. When a woman gets over that delicacy, which is the test or bulwark, as I may say, of modesty—Modesty itself may soon lie at the mercy of an enemy.

[page] 308

Tell my Emily, that she is never out of my mind; and that, amongst the other excellent examples she has before her, Miss Byron's must never be out of hers.

Lord L. and Lord G. are in full possession of my brotherly love.

I shall not at present write to my Beauchamp. In writing to you, I write to him.

You know all my heart. If in this or my future letters, any-thing should fall from my pen, that would possibly in your opinion affect or give uneasiness to any one I love and honour, were it to be communicated; I depend upon your known and unquestionable discretion to keep it to yourself.

I shall be glad you will enable yourself to inform me of the way Sir Hargrave and his friends are in. They were very ill at Paris; and, it was thought, too weak, and too much bruised, to be soon carried over to England. Men! Englishmen! thus to disgrace themselves, and their country!—I am concerned for them!

I expect large pacquets by the next mails from my friends. England, which was always dear to me, never was half so dear as now, to

Your ever-affectionate

GRANDISON.

LETTER XLI.

SIR CHARLES GRANDISON TO DR. BARTLETT.

Bologna, May 11—22.

THE bishop set out yesterday for Urbino, in order to inform himself of his sister's state of health, and perhaps to qualify the general to meet me with

[page] 309

temper and politeness. Were I sure the good prelate thought this necessary, my pride would be excited.

The Count of Belvedere arrived here yesterday. He made it his first business to see me. He acquainted me, but in confidence, that proposals of marriage with Lady Laurana had actually been made him: to which he had returned answer, that his heart, however hopelessly, was engaged; and that he never could think of any other woman than Lady Clementina.

He made no scruple, he said, of returning so short an answer, because he had been apprised of the cruelty with which one of the noblest young women in Italy had been treated, by the proposers; and with their motives for it.

You see, chevalier, said he, that I am open and unreserved to you. You will oblige me, if you will let me know what it is you propose to your-self in the present situation!—But, first, I should be glad to hear from your own mouth, what passed between you and Clementina, and the family, before you quitted Italy the last time. I have had their account.

I gave him a very faithful relation of it. He was pleased with it. Exactly as it has been represented to me! said he. Were Clementina and you of one religion, there could have been no hope for any other man. I adore her for her piety, and for her attachment to hers; and am not so narrow-minded a man, but I can admire you for yours. As her malady is accidental, I never would think of any other woman, could I flatter myself that she would not, if restored, be unhappy with me. But now tell me: I am earnest to know; Are you come over to us (I know you are invited) with an expectation to call her yours, in case of her recovery?

[page] 310

I answered him as I had done the marchioness.

He seemed as much pleased with me as I am with him. He is gone back to Parma.

Friday, May 12—23.

The bishop is returned. Lady Clementina has been very ill; a fever. How has she been hurried about! He tells me, that the general and his lady, and also the Conte della Poretta, acknowledge themselves and their whole family obliged to me for the trouble I have been at to serve their Jeronymo.

The fever having left Lady Clementina, she will set out in a day or two. The Count and Signor Sebastiano, as well as the general and his lady, will attend her. I am impatient to see her. Yet how greatly will the sight of her afflict me! The bishop says, she is the picture of silent woe: yet, though greatly emaciated, looks herself, were his words. They told her, that Jeronymo was better than he had been. Your dear Jeronymo, said the general to her. The sweet echo repeated—Jeronymo—and was again silent.

They afterwards proposed to name me to her. They did. She looked quick about her, as if for Somebody. Laura, her maid, was occasionally called upon. She started, and threw her arms about Camilla, as terrified; looking wildly. Camilla doubts not, but by the name Laura, she apprehends the savage Laurana to be at hand.

How must she have suffered from her barbarity! —Sweet innocent! She, who even in her reveries thought not but of good to the soul of the man whom she honoured with her regard—She, who bore offence without resentment; and by meekness only sought to calm the violence for which she had not given the least cause!

[page] 311

But when Camilla and she had retired, she spoke to her. The bishop gave me the following dialogue between them, as he had it from Camilla:

Did they not name to me the Chevalier Grandison? said she.

They did, madam.

See! see! said she, before I name him again, if my cruel cousin hearken not at the door.

Your cruel cousin, madam, is at many miles distance.

She may hear what I say, for all that.

My dear Lady Clementina, she cannot hear. She shall never more come near you.

So you say.

Did I ever deceive you, madam?

I can't remember: my memory is gone; quite gone, Camilla.

She then looked earnestly at Camilla, and screamed.

What ails you, my dearest young lady?

Recovering herself—Ah, my own Camilla! It is you. I thought, by the cast of your eye, you were become Laurana.—Do not, do not, give me such another look!

Camilla was not sensible of any particularity in her looks.

Here you have me again upon a journey, Camilla: but how do I know that I am not to be carried to my cruel cousin?

You are really going to your father's palace at Bologna, madam.

Is my mother there?

She is.

Who else?

The chevalier, madam.

What chevalier?

Grandison.

[page] 312

Impossible! Is he not in proud England?

He is come over, madam.

What for?

With a skilful English surgeon, in hopes to cure Signor Jeronymo—

Poor Jeronymo!

And to pay his compliment to you, madam.

Flatterer! How many hundred times have I been told so?

Should you wish to see him, madam?

See whom?

The Chevalier Grandison.

Once I should; and sighed.

And not now, madam?

No: I have lost all I had to say to him. Yet I wish I were allowed to go to that England. We poor women are not suffered to go any-whither! while men—

There she stopt; and Camilla could not make her say any more.

The bishop was fond of repeating these particulars; as she had not, for some time, talked so much, and so sensibly.

Friday evening.

I pass more than half my time with Signor Jeronymo; but (that I may not fatigue his spirits) at different hours of the day. The Italian surgeons and Mr. Lowther happily agree in all their measures: they applaud him when his back is turned; and he speaks well of them in their absence. This mutual return of good offices, which they hear of, unites them. The patient declares, that he had not for months been so easy as now. Every-body attributes a great deal to his heart's being revived by my frequent visits. To-morrow it is proposed to make an

[page] 313

opening below the most difficult wound. Mr.Lowther says, he will not flatter us, till he sees the success of this operation.

The marquis and his lady are inexpressibly obliging to me. I had yesterday a visit from both, on an indisposition that confined me to my chamber; occasioned, I believe, by a hurry of spirits; by fatigue; by my apprehensions for Jeronymo; my concern for Clementina; and by my too great anxiety for the dear friends I had so lately left in England.

You know, Dr. Bartlett, that I have a heart too susceptible for my own peace, though I endeavour to conceal from others those painful sensibilities, which they cannot relieve. The poor Olivia was ever to be my disturbance. Miss Byron must be happy in the rectitude of her own heart. I am ready to think, that she will not be able to resist the warm instances of the Countess of D. in favour of her son, who is certainly one of the best young men among the nobility. She will be the happiest woman in the world, as she is one of the most deserving, if she be as happy as I wish her.

Emily takes up a large portion of my thoughts.

Our Beauchamp I know must be happy: so must my Lord W.; my sisters, and their lords.—Why then shall I not think myself so? God restore Jeronymo, and his sister, and I must, I will; for you, my dear Dr. Bartlett, are so: and then I will subscribe myself a partaker of the happiness of all my friends; and particularly

Your ever-affectionate

GRANDISON.

2 E

[page] 314

LETTER XLII.

SIR CHARLES GRANDISON TO DR. BARTLETT.

Bologna, Monday, May 15–26.

LAST night arrived Lady Clementina, the general, his lady, the count, and Signor Sebastiano.

I had left Jeronymo about an hour. He had had in the morning the intended opening made by Mr. Lowther. He would have me present.

The operation was happily performed: but, through weakness of body, he was several times in the day troubled with faintings.

I left him tolerably cheerful in the evening; and rejoicing in expectation of his sister's arrival; and, as the bishop had assured him of the general's grateful disposition, he longed, he said, to see that affectionate brother and his lady once more. He had never but once seen her before, and then was so ill, that he could hardly compliment her on the honour she had done their family.

The bishop sent to tell me that his sister was arrived; but that being fatigued and unhappy, Camilla should acquaint me in the morning with the way in which she should then be.

I slept not half an hour the whole night. You, my dear friend, will easily account for my restlessness.

I sent, as usual, early in the morning, to know how Jeronymo rested. The answer was favourable; returned by Mr. Lowther, who sat up with him that night, at his own motion: he knew not but something critical might happen.

Camilla came. The good woman was so full of

5

[page] 315

her own joy to see me once more in Italy, that I could not presently get a word from her, of what my heart throbbed with impatience to know.

At last, You will, said she, have the general and the bishop with you. Ah, Sir! my poor young lady! What has she suffered since you left us! You will not know her. We are not sure she will know you. Who shall be able to bear the first interview? She has now but few intervals. It is all one gloomy confusion with her. She cares not to speak to anybody. Every stranger she sees, terrifies her. O the vile, thrice vile Lady Laurana!

In this manner ran on Camilla: nor would she enter into any other particulars than the unhappy ones she left me to collect from the broken hints and exclamations thus thrown out. Alas! thought I, the calamities of Clementina have affected the head of the poor Camilla! She hurried away, lest she should be wanted, and lest the general should find her with me.

The two brothers came soon after. The general took my hand, with a kind of forced politeness: We are all obliged to you, Sir, said he, for your Mr. Lowther. Are the surgeons of England so famous? But the people of your nation have been accustomed to give wounds: they should therefore furnish operators to heal them. We are obliged to you also for the trouble you have given yourself in coming over to us in person. Jeronymo has found a revival of spirits upon it: God grant they may not subside! But, alas! our sister!—Poor Clementina! —She is lost!

Would to God, said the bishop, we had left her to the care of Mrs. Beaumont.

The general himself, having taken her from Florence, would not join in this wish. There was a

2 E 2

[page] 316

middle course, he said, that ought to have been taken. But Laurana is a daughter of the devil, said he; and Lady Sforza ought to be detested for upholding her.

The general expressed himself with coldness on my coming over; but said, that now I was on the spot, and as his sister had been formerly desirous of seeing me, an interview might be permitted, in order to satisfy those of the family who had given me the invitation, which it was very good of me to accept; especially as I had the Lady Olivia in England attending my motions: but otherwise he had no opinion—There he stopt.

I looked upon him with indignation, mingled with contempt: and directing myself to the bishop, You remember, my lord, said I, the story of Naaman the Syrian*.

What is that, my lord? said he to the bishop.

Far be it from me, continued I, still directing myself to the bishop, to presume upon my own consequence in the application of the story: but your lordship will judge how far the comparison will hold. Would to God it might throughout!

A happy allusion, said the bishop. I say, Amen.

I know not who this Naaman is, said the general, nor what is meant by your allusion, chevalier: but by your looks I should imagine, that you mean me contempt.

My looks, my lord, generally indicate my heart. You may make light of my intention; and so will I of the trouble I have been at, if your lordship make not light of me. But were I not, my lord, in my own lodgings, I would tell you, that you seem not to know, in my case, what graciousness is. Yet I

* 2 Kings v.

[page] 317

ask not for favour from you, but as much for your own sake, as mine.

Dear Grandison! said the bishop—My lord! to his brother—Did you not promise me—Why did you mention Olivia to the chevalier?

Does that disturb you, Sir? said the general to me. I cannot make light of a man of your consequence; especially with ladies, Sir—in a scornful manner.

The general, you see, my lord, said I, turning to the bishop, has an insuperable ill-will to me. I found, when I attended him at Naples, that he had harboured surmises that were as injurious to his sister, as to me. I was in hopes that I had obviated them; but a rooted malevolence will recur. However, satisfied as I am with my own innocence, he shall, for many sakes, find it very difficult to provoke me.

For my own sake, among the rest, chevalier? with an air of drollery.

You are at liberty, returned I, to make your own constructions. Allow me, my lords, to attend you to Signor Jeronymo.

Not till you are cordial friends, said the bishop— Brother, give me your hand, offering to take it— Chevalier, yours—

Dispose of mine as you please, my lord, said I, holding it out.

He took it, and the general's at the same time, and would have joined them.

Come, my lord, said I, to the general, and snatched his reluctant hand, accept of a friendly offer, from a heart as friendly. Let me honour you, from my own knowledge, for those great qualities which the world gives you. I demand your favour, from a consciousness that I deserve it; and

2 E 3

[page] 318

that I could not, were I to submit to be treated with indignity by any man. I should be sorry to look little in your eyes; but I will not in my own.

Who can bear the superiority this man assumes, brother?

You oblige me, my lord, to assert myself.

The chevalier speaks nobly, my lord. His character is well known. Let me lead you both friends to our Jeronymo. But say, brother—Say, chevalier, that you are so.

I cannot bear, said the general, that the Chevalier Grandison should imagine himself of so much consequence to my sister, as some of you seem to think him.

You know me not, my lord. I have at present no wish but for the recovery of your sister, and Signor Jeronymo. Were I able to be of service to them, that service would be my reward. But, my lord, if it will make you easy, and induce you to treat me, as my own heart tells me I ought to be treated; I will give you my honour, and let me say, that it never yet was forfeited, that whatever turn your sister's malady may take, I will not accept of the highest favour that can be done me, but with the joint consent of the three brothers, as well as of your father and mother. Permit me to add, that I will not enter into any family that shall think meanly of me; nor subject the woman I love to the contempt of her own relations.

This indeed is nobly said, replied the general. Give me your hand upon it, and I am your friend for ever.

Proud man! He could not bear to think, that a simple English gentleman, as he looks upon me to be, should ally with their family; improbable as it is, in his own opinion, that the unhappy lady should

[page] 319

ever recover her reason; but he greatly loves the Count of Belvedere; and all the family was fond of an alliance with that deserving nobleman.

The bishop rejoiced to find us at last in a better way of understanding each other, than we had hitherto been in; and it was easier for me to allow for this haughty man, as Mrs. Beaumont had let me know what the behaviour was that I had to expect from him: and indeed, his father, mother, and two brothers, were very apprehensive of it: it will therefore be a pleasure to them, that I have so easily overcome his prejudices.

They both advised me to suspend my visit to their brother till the afternoon, that they might have the more time to consult with one another, and to prepare and dispose their sister to see me.

At taking leave, the general snatched my hand, and with an air of pleasantry, said, I have a wife, Grandison. I wished him joy. You need not, said he; for I have it: one of the best of women. She longs to see you. I think I need not be apprehensive, because she is generous, and I ever must be grateful: but take care, take care, Grandison! I shall watch every turn of your eye. Admire her, if you will: you will not be able to help it. But I am glad she saw you not before she was mine.

I rejoice, said the bishop, that a meeting, which, notwithstanding your promises, brother, gave me apprehensions as we came, is followed by so pleasant a parting: henceforth we are four brothers again.

Ay, and remember, chevalier, that my sister has also four brothers.

May the number four not be lessened by the death

[page] 320

of my Jeronymo; and may Clementina be restored; and Providence dispose as it pleases of me! I am now going to the palace of Porretta; with what agitations of mind, you, Dr. Bartlett, can better imagine, than I describe.

END OF VOL. XII.

C. Balwin, Printer,
New Bridge-street, London.


This document has been accessed 978 times

Return to homepage

Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

File last updated 21 January, 2014