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should be, is, that all you, my dear friends, are so much in love with this really great, because good man. It is a very happy circumstance for a young woman, to look forward to a change of condition with a man, of whom every one of her relations highly approves. But what can't be, can't. I shall see what merit Lady Anne has by and by. But if fortune-Indeed, my dear, were I the first princess on earth, I would have no other man, if I might have him. And so I say, that am but poor Harriet Byron. By this time Lady D- will have taken such measures, I hope, as will not disturb me in my resolution. It is fixed, my dear. I cannot help it. I must not, I ought not, I therefore will not, give my hand, whatever has passed between that lady and my aunt, to any man living, and leave a preference in my heart against that man. Gratitude, justice, virtue, decency, all forbid it.
And yet, as I see no hope, nor trace for hope, I have begun to attempt the conquest of my hopeless-What shall I call it ?-Passion?Well, if I must call it so, I must. A child in love matters, if I did not, would find me out, you know. Nor will I, however hopeless, be ashamed of owning it, if I can help it. Is not reason, is not purity, is not delicacy, with me? Is it person that I am in love with, if I am in love? No; it is virtue, it is goodness, it is generosity, it is true politeness, that I am captivated by; all centred in this one good man. What then have I to be ashamed of?-And yet I am a little ashamed now and then, for all that.
After all, that love, which is founded on fancy, or exterior advantages, is a love, I should think, that may, and oftentimes ought to be overcome: but that which is founded on interior worth; that blazes out when charity, beneficence, piety, fortitude, are signally exerted by the object beloved; how can such a love as that be restrained, damped, suppressed? How can it, without damping every spark of generous goodness, in what my partial grandmamma calls a fellow heart, admiring and longing to promote and share in such glorious philanthropy?
Philanthropy!-Yes, my uncle; why should women, in compliance with the petulance of narrow-minded men, forbear to use words that some seem to think above them, when no other single word will equally express their sense? It will be said, they need not write. Well then, don't let them read; and carry it a little farther, and they may be forbidden to speak. And every lordly man will then be a Grand Signior, and have his mute attendant.
But won't you think my heart a little at ease, that I can thus trifle? I would fain have it be at ease; and that makes me give way to any cheerful idea that rises to my mind.
The ladies here have made me read to them several passages out of my letters to you before I send them. They are more generous than I think I wish them to be, in allowing me to
skip and pass over sentences and paragraphs as I please; for is not this allowing that I have something to write, or have written something, that they think I ought to keep from their knowledge; and which they do not desire to know? With all my heart. I will not be mean, Lucy.
WELL, Lucy, Lady Anne has been here, and is gone. She is an agreeable woman. I can't say but she is very agreeable. And were she actually Lady Grandison, I think I could respect her. I think I could-But O, my dear friends, what a happy creature was I, before I came to London!
There was a good deal of discourse about Sir Charles. She owned that she thought him the handsomest man she ever saw in her life. She was in love with his great character, she said. She could go nowhere, but he was the subject. She had heard of the affair between him and Sir Hargrave; and made me a hundred compliments on the occasion; and said, that her having heard that I was at Colnebrook, was one inducement to her to make this visit. It seems she told Miss Grandison, that she thought me the prettiest creature she ever beheld. Creature was her word-We are all creatures, 'tis true; but I think I never was more displeased with the sound of the word creature, than I was from Lady Anne.
My aunt's letter relating to what passed between her and Lady D- is just brought me. And so Lady D- was greatly chagrined! -I am sorry for it. But, my dear aunt, you say, that she is not displeased with me in the main, and commends my sincerity. That, I hope, is but doing me justice. I am very glad to find that she knew not how to get over my prepossession in favour of another man. It was worthy of herself, and of my Lord D- -'s character. I shall always respect her. I hope this affair is quite over.
My grandmamma regrets the uncertainty I am in; but did she not say herself that Sir Charles Grandison was too considerable in his fortune; in his merit? That we were but as the private, he the public, in this particular? What room is there then for regret? Why is the word uncertainty used? We may be certain-And there's an end of it. His sisters can rally me: "Some happy man in Northamptonshire!"-As much as to say, "You must not think of our brother!"-"Lady Anne S- has a vast fortune." Is not that saying, "What hope can you have, Harriet Byron ?"-Well, I don't care. This life is but a passage, a short and a dark passage, to a better; and let one jostle, and another elbow; another push me, because
they know the weakest must give way; yet I will endeavour steadily to pursue my course, till I get through it, and into broad and open day.
One word only more on this subject-There is but one man in the world whom I can honestly marry, my mind continuing what it is. His I cannot expect to be; I must then of necessity be a single woman as long as I live. Well! and where is the great evil of that? Shall I not have less cares, less anxieties ?—I shall. And let me beg of my dear friends, that none of you will ever again mention marriage to your HARRIET BYRON.
Tuesday, March 14.
SIR CHARLES is come at last! He came time enough to breakfast, and with him the good Dr Bartlett. My philosophy, I doubt, is gone again, quite gone; for one while at least. I must take sanctuary, and that very soon, at Selby-house.
Every word that passes now, seems to me worth repeating. There is no describing how the presence of this man animates every one in company. But take only a part of what passed.
We were in hopes, Sir Charles, said Lord L, that we should have had the pleasure of seeing you before now.
My heart was with you, my lord; and (taking my hand, for he sat next me, and bowing) the more ardently, I must own, for the pleasure I should have shared with you all, in the company of this your lovely guest.
[What business had he to take my hand? But, indeed, the character of brother might warrant the freedom.]
I was engaged most part of last week in a very melancholy attendance, as Mr Grandison could have informed you.
But not a word of the matter, said Mr Grandison, did I tell the ladies; looking at his two cousins. I amused them, as they love to do all mankind, when they have power.
The ladies, I hope, cousin, will punish you for this reflection.
I came not to town till Saturday, proceeded Sir Charles; and found a billet from Sir Hargrave Pollexfen, inviting himself, Mr Merceda, Mr Bagenhall, and Mr Jordan, to pass the Sunday evening with me at St James's Square. The company was not suitable to the day, nor the day to the proposed meeting. I made my excuses, and desired them to favour me at breakfast on Monday morning. They came. And when we were all in good humour with one
another, I proposed, and was seconded by Mr Jordan, that we would make a visit-You will hardly guess to whom, Miss Byron-It was to the widow Awberry, at Paddington.
I started, and even trembled. fered there was all in my mind.
What I suf
He proceeded then to tell me, that he had, though not without some difficulty on Sir Hargrave's part, actually engaged him to draw upon his banker for the 1007. he had promised Wilson; Mr Merceda, on his banker for 501., and he himself generously added 50%. more; and giving, as he said, the air of a frolic to the performance of a promise, they all of them went to Paddington. There, satisfying themselves of the girl's love for Wilson, and of the widow's opinion of Wilson's good intentions by the girl, they let them know, that the sum of 2001. was deposited in Sir Charles's hands, to be paid on the day of marriage, as a portion for the young woman; and bid them demand it as soon as they thought fit. Neither Wilson nor the widow's son was there. The widow and her daughters were overjoyed at this unexpected good news.
They afterwards shewed Sir Charles, it seems, every scene of my distress; and told him, and the gentlemen, all but Sir Hargrave, (who had not patience to hear it, and went into another room,) my whole sad story. Sir Charles was pleased to say, that he was so much affected with it, that he had some little difficulty, on joining Sir Hargrave, to be as civil to him as he was before he heard the relation.
To one condition, it seems, the gentlemen insisted Sir Charles should consent, as an inducement for them to comply with his proposal. It was, that Sir Charles should dine with Sir Hargrave and the company at his house on the Forest, some one day in the next week, of which they would give him notice. They all insisted it; and Sir Charles said, he came the more readily into the proposal, as they declared it would be the last time they should see him for at least a twelvemonth to come; they being determined to prosecute their intended tour.
Wilson and young Awberry waited on Sir Charles the same evening. The marriage is to be celebrated in a few days. Wilson says, that his widow-sister in Smithfield, will, he is sure, admit him into a partnership with her, now that he shall have something to carry into the stock; for she loves his wife-elect; and the saving both of body and soul will be owing, he declared, (with transport that left him speechless,) to Sir Charles Grandison.
Everybody was delighted with the relation he gave. Dear Sir Charles, said Mr Grandison, let ine be allowed to believe the Roman Catholic doctrine of supererogation; and let me express my hope, that I your kinsman may be the better for your good works. If all you do, is but necessary, the Lord have mercy upon me!
Miss Grandison said, if I had written to my
friends the account of what I suffered from the vile attempt of Sir Hargrave, as she doubted not but I had, Lady L, as well as herself, would take it for a particular mark of my confidence, if they might be allowed to peruse it.
When I am favoured, replied I, with the return of my letters, I will very cheerfully communicate to you, my dear ladies, my relation of this shocking affair.
They all expressed a pleasure in my frankness. Sir Charles said, he admired me beyond expression, for that noble criterion of innocence and goodness. There, Lucy!
to be brought to town as this night. I have ordered it to an undertaker's. I must lock myself up for a day or two, when I go to town. His concerns are large; but, he told me, not intriHe desired that his will might not be opened till after his interment, and that that might be private. He has two nephews and a niece. I would have had him join them in the trust with me; but he refused to do so. An attempt once had been made upon his life, by villains set at work by a wicked brother, father of those nephews and that niece, of which they were innocent: they are worthy young people. I had the happiness to save his life; but had no
I think there is nothing in that part but what merit in it; for my own safety was involved in they may see.
THE two sisters and Lord L- were then solicitous to know what was the occasion, which he called melancholy, that had engaged his attendance so many days at Canterbury.
It is really a melancholy occasion, replied he. You must not be surprised, my lord, nor you, my sisters, if you see me in mourning in a few days. His sisters started. And so, truly, must I. But I am his third sister, you know. He seemed in haste to explain himself, lest he should keep us in painful suspense. My journeyings to Canterbury have been occasioned by the melancholy necessity of visiting a sick friend, who is now
You had ali such an opinion, said Mr Grandison, that I could keep no secret, that
You are resolved, interrupted Miss Grandison, to say anything but the truth. Indeed, cousin, you had better have been silent at this time-Is there a necessity, brother, for us to go into mourning?
There is not. I had a true value for the departed. But custom will oblige me to mourn outwardly, as an executor only. And I have given orders about that and other necessary mat
Did we know the deceased gentleman, brother? said Lady L
No. His name was Danby. He was an eminent merchant; an Englishman; but, from his youth, settled in France. He had for months been in a languishing state of health; and at last, finding his recovery desperate, was desirous to die in his native country. He landed at Dover about two months ago; but his malady so greatly increased, that he was obliged to stop at Canterbury in his way to town; and there at last he yielded to the common destiny. The body was
his. I am afraid he has been too grateful.
But, my good brother, said Miss Grandison, were you not a little reserved on this occasion? You went and returned, and went and returned, to Canterbury, and never said one word to us of the call you had to go thither. For my part, I thought there was a lady in the case, I do assure you.
My reserve, as you call it, Charlotte, was rather accidental, than designed; and yet I do now and then treat your agreeable curiosity as mariners are said to do a whale: I throw out a tub to divert it. But this was too melancholy an occasion to be sported with. I was affected by it. Had the gentleman lived to come to town, you would all have been acquainted with him. I love to communicate pleasure, but not pain; when, especially, no good end can be answered by the communication. I go to different places, and return, and hardly think it worth troubling my sisters with every movement. Had I thought you had any curiosity about my little journeyings to Canterbury, you should have had it answered. And yet I know my sister Charlotte loves to puzzle, and find out secrets where none are intended.
She blushed; and so did I. Your servant, sir, was all she said.
But, Charlotte, proceeded he, you thought it was a lady that I visited: you know not your brother. I never will keep a secret of that nature from you, my good lord,-nor from you, my sisters,-when I find myself either encouraged or inclined to make a second visit. It is for your sex, Charlotte, to be very chary of such secrets; and reason good, if you have any doubt, either of the man's worthiness, or of your own consequence with him.
He looked very earnestly at her, but smiled. So, my brother! I thank you, humorously rubbing one side of her face, (though she needed not to do so, to make both cheeks glow ;) this is another box on the same ear. I have been uneasy, I can tell you, sir, at a hint you threw out before you last went to Canterbury, as if I kept from you something that it behoved you to know. Now, pray, sir, will you be pleased to explain yourself?
And, since you put it so strongly to me, Charlotte, let me ask you-Have you not?
And let me ask you, sir-Do you think I have? Perhaps, Charlotte, your solicitude on this subject, now, and the alarm you took at the time, on a very slight hint, might warrantNo warrants, brother!-Pray be so good as to speak all that lies on your mind.
Ah, Charlotte! and looked, though smilingly, with meaning.
I will not bear this Ah, Charlotte! and that meaning look.
And are you willing, my dear, to try this cause?
I demand my trial.
Charming innocence! thought I, at the timeNow shall I find some fault, I hope, in this almost perfect brother. I triumphed in my mind, for my Charlotte.
Who shall be your judge?
God grant you may be found guilty, cousin, said Mr Grandison, for your plaguing of me. Has that wretch, looking at Mr Grandison, insinuated anything?-She stopt.
Are you afraid, my sister?
I would not give that creature any advantage
Sir Ch. I think I would, if there were fair room-You have too often all the game in your own hands. You should allow Mr Grandison his chance.
Miss Gr. Not to arise from such an observing by-stander, as my brother.
Sir Ch. Conscious, Charlotte!
Sir Ch. Maybe is doubtful: maybe No, implies maybe Yes.
Lady L. You have made Charlotte uneasy: indeed, brother, you have. The poor girl has been harping upon this string ever since you have been gone.
Sir Ch. I am sorry what I said pressed so hard-Do you, Lady L, if this delinquency comes to trial, offer yourself as an advocate for Charlotte?
Lady L. I know not any act of delinquency she has committed.
Sir Ch. The act of delinquency is this-Shall I, Charlotte, explain myself?
Miss Gr. Teazing man! How can youMr Grandison rubbed his hands, and rejoiced. Miss Grandison was nettled. She gave Mr Grandison such a look !—I never saw such a contemptuous one-Pray, sir, do you withdraw, if you please.
Mr Gr. Not I, by the mass! are you afraid of a trial in open court? O ho, cousin Charlotte!
Miss Gr. Have I not a cruel brother, Miss Byron ?
Lord L. Our sister Charlotte really suffers, Sir Charles.
Sir Ch. I am sorry for it. The innocent should not suffer. We will drop the cause. Lady L. Worse and worse, brother. Sir Ch. How so, Lady L- --?Is not Charlotte innocent?
Dr Bar. If an advocate be required, and you, Sir Charles, are judge, and not a pleader in this cause, I offer myself to Miss Grandison.
Sir Ch. A very powerful one she will then have. You think her cause a just one, Doctor, by your offer.-Will you, Charlotte, give Dr Bartlett a brief? Or have you given him one? Dr Bar. I have no doubt of the justice of the
Sir Ch. Nor of the justice of the accuser, I hope. I cannot be a judge in it.
Lady L. Nay, then!-Poor Charlotte! Miss Gr. I wish, cousin Grandison, you would withdraw.
Mr Gr. I wish, cousin Charlotte, you would not wish it.
Miss Gr. But are you serious, brother?
Sir Ch. Let us call another cause, sister, if you please. Pray, my lord, what visitors have you had since I had the honour to attend you? Miss Gr. Nay, brother-Don't thinkSir Ch. BE QUIET, Charlotte.
Lady L. Your own words, sister!-But we had a visit from Lady Anne S- yesterday. [I was glad to hear Lady L- say this. But nothing came of it.
Sir Ch. You have seen Lady Anne more than once, my Emily: How do you like Lady Anne? Miss Emily. Very well, sir. She is a very agreeable lady. Don't you think so, sir?
Sir Ch. I do-but, Charlotte, (and looked tenderly upon her,) I must not have you uneasy.
She sat vexed-her complexion raised; and playing with a lump of sugar; and sometimes twirling round and round a tea-cup; for the tea-things, through earnestness of talking, were not taken away, though the servants were withdrawn.
Mr Gr. Well, I will leave you_together, I think. Poor cousin Charlotte.-[Rising, he tapped her shoulder.]-Poor cousin Charlotte! Ha, ha, ha, hah!
Miss Gr. Impertinence! with a look, the fellow to that she gave him before.
Miss Emily. I will withdraw, if you please, madam; rising, and curtesying.
Miss Grandison nodded her assent. And Emily withdrew likewise.
Dr Bartlett offered to do so. Miss Grandison seemed not to disapprove of his motion: but Sir Charles said, The Doctor is retained on your part, Charlotte: he must hear the charge. Shall Miss Byron be judge?
I begged to be excused. The matter began to look like earnest.
Miss Gr. [Whispering me. I wish, Harriet, I had opened my whole heart to you. Your
nasty scribbling! Eternally at your pen; or I had.
Then I began to be afraid for her. Dear Miss Grandison! re-whispered I, it was not for me to obtrude-Dear Miss Grandison, my pen should never have interfered, if
Miss Gr. Still whispering.] One should be courted out of some sort of secrets. One is not very forward to begin some sort of discoursesyet the subjects most in our hearts, perhaps. But don't despise me. You see what an accuser I have and so generous a one too, that one must half condemn one's self at setting out. Har. [Whispering.] Fear nothing, my Charlotte. You are in a brother's hands.
Miss Gr. Well, Sir Charles; and now, if you please, for the charge. But you say you cannot be judge and accuser: Who shall be judge?
Sir Ch. Your own heart, Charlotte. I desire all present to be your advocates, if their judgment be with you and if it be not, that they will pity you in silence.
He looked smilingly serious. Good heaven! thought I.
Miss Gr. Pity me !-Nay, then-But, pray, sir, your charge?
Sir Ch. The matter is too serious to be spoken of in metaphor.
Miss Gr. Good God!-Hem!-and twice more she hemmed.-Pray, sir, begin. Begin while I have breath.
Lord and Lady L, and Dr Bartlett, and I, looked very grave; and Miss Grandison looked, in general, fretfully humble, if I may so express myself: and everything being removed, but the table, she played with her diamond ring; sometimes pulling it off, and putting it on; sometimes putting the tip of her finger in it, as it lay upon the table, and turning it round and round, swifter or slower, and stopping through downcast vexation, or earnest attention, as she found herself more or less affected-What a sweet confusion!
Sir Ch. You know, my dear Charlotte, that I, very early after my arrival, inquired after the state of your heart. You told me it was absolutely free.
Miss Gr. Well, sir.
Sir Ch. Not satisfied with your own acknowledgment; as I know that young ladies are too apt to make secrets of a passion that is not in itself illaudable; [I know not why, when proper persons make inquiries, and for motives not ungenerous; I asked your elder sister, who scrupled not to own hers, whether there were any one man, whom you preferred to another?-She assured me, that she knew not of any one.
Lady L. My sister knows I said truth. Miss Gr. Well, well, Lady L-, nobody doubts your veracity.
Sir Ch. Dear Charlotte, keep your temper. Miss Gr. Pray, sir, proceed and the ring turned round very fast.
Sir Ch. On several occasions I put the same question, and had the same assurances. My reason for repeating my question, was owing to an early intelligence of which more by and by. Miss Gr. Sir !
Sir Ch. And that I might either provide the money that was due to her as my sister, or to take time to pay it, according to the circumstances of her engagement; and take from her all apprehensions of control, in case that might affect the happiness of her life. These, and brotherly love, were the motives of my inquiry. Miss Gr. Your generosity, sir, was without example.
Sir Ch. Not so, I hope. My sisters had an equitable, if not a legal, right to what has been done. I found, on looking into my affairs, that, by a moderate calculation of the family circumstances, no man should think of addressing a daughter of Sir Thomas Grandison, without supposing himself entitled, either by his merits or fortune, to expect 10,000l. with her-and this, even allowing to the son the customary preferences given to men as men; though given for the sake of pride, perhaps, rather than natural justice. For does not tyrant custom make a daughter change her name in marriage, and give to a son, for the sake of name only, the estate of the common ancestor of both ?
This generous hint affected me. It was nearly my own case, you know. I might otherwise have been a rich heiress, and might have had as strong pretensions to be distinguished by the Grandisons, for my fortune, as any Lady Sin the kingdom. But worthless as those are, to whom, for the sake of the name, my father's estate is passed, I never grudged it to them till I came acquainted with these Grandisons.
Lord L. But who, Sir Charles, but you— Sir Ch. Pray, my lord, let not your generosity mislead you to think that a favour, which is but a due. We shall not be judged by compari
The laws of truth and justice are always the same. What others would not have done in the like situation, that let them look to; but what is the mortal man, who should make an unjust advantage of mortality?
Miss Grandison pulled out her handkerchief, put it to her eyes, and then in her lap; and putting half on, and half off, by turns, her ring, looked now and then at me, as if she had wished me to pity her.
Indeed, Lucy, I did pity her; every one did; and so did her judge, I dare say, in his heart. But justice, my Lucy, is a severe thing. Who can bear a trial, if the integrity and greatness of this man's heart is to be the rule by which their actions are to be examined? Yet you shall hear how generous he was.
Sir Ch. Allow me, for Miss Byron's sake, who has been but lately restored to our family, to be a little more particular than otherwise I need to be. I had not been long in England, before Sir