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Friday Night, March 17. MR SYLVESTER, an honest pleasure shining in his countenance, presented to me, first, Miss Danby; then, each of her brothers; who all received my welcome with a little consciousness as if they had something to reproach themselves with, and were generously ashamed to be overcome. The sister had the least of it; and I saw by that, that she was the least blameable, not the least modest; since, I dare say, she had but followed her brothers' lead; while they looked down and bashful, as having all that was done amiss to answer for.
Miss Danby is a very pretty, and very genteel young woman. Mr Thomas and Mr Edward Danby are agreeable in their persons and manners, and want not sense.
In the first moment I dissipated all their uneasiness; and we sat down together with confidence in each other. The honest attorney had prepared them to be easy after the first introduction.
I offer not to read to you, said I, the will of your uncle. It is sufficient to repeat what Mr Sylvester has, no doubt, told you; that you are each of you entitled by it to a thousand pounds.
They all bowed; and the elder brother signified their united consent to accept it upon the terms of the will.
Three thousand pounds more are to be disposed of to charitable uses, at the discretion of the executor; three other legacies are left to three different gentlemen in France; and the large remainder, which will not be less than four and twenty thousand pounds, falls to the executor, as residuary legatee, equally unexpected and undesired.
The elder brother said, God bless you with it, sir! The second said, It could not have fallen to a worthier man. The young lady's lips moved; but words proceeded not from them. Yet her eyes shewed, that her lips made me a compliment.
It is ungenerous, Dr Bartlett, to keep expecting minds in suspense, though with a view of obliging in the end. The surprise intended to
be raised on such an occasion, carries in its appearances an air of insult. I have, said I, a great desire to do you service. Now let me know, gentlemen, (I will talk to the young lady singly, perhaps,) what your expectations were upon your uncle; what will do for each of you, to enable you to enter the world with advantage, in the way you have been brought up; and, as I told your worthy friend, Mr Sylvester, I will be ready to do you all reasonable service.-But hold, sir; for Mr Thomas Danby was going to speak; you shall consider before you answer me. The matter is of importance. Be explicit. I love openness and sincerity. I will withdraw, till you have consulted together. Command me in when you have determined.
I withdrew to my study; and in about a quarter of an hour, they let me know, that they were ready to attend me. I went in to them. They looked upon one another. Come, gentlemen, don't fear to speak; consider me, for your uncle's sake, as your brother.
The elder brother was going to speak; but hesitating, Come, said I, let me lead you into the matter-Pray, sir, what is your present situation? What are your present circumstances?
My father, sir, was unhappy-My fatherWell, sir, no more of your father-he could do nothing for you. Your whole dependence, I presume, was upon your uncle.
My uncle, sir, gave us all our education-my uncle gave each brother a thousand guineas for putting out each to a merchant; five hundred only of which sums were so employed; and the other five hundred guineas are in safe hands. Your uncle, sir, all reverence to his memory, was an excellent man.
Indeed, sir, he was.
And what, sir, is the business you were brought up to?
My master is a West India merchant. And what, Mr Danby, are your prospects in that way?
Exceeding hopeful, sir, they would have been -my master intended to propose to my uncle, had he lived to come to town, to take me in a quarter-partner with him directly; and, in a twelvemonth's time, a half-partner.
A very good sign in your favour, sir. You must have behaved yourself well.-And will he now do it?
Ah! sir, and was silent.
Upon what terms, Mr Danby, would he have proposed to your uncle to take you in a quarterpartner?
Sir-he talked ofOf what?
Four thousand pounds, sir. But my uncle never gave us hopes of more than three thousand guineas each, besides the thousand he had given; and when he had so much reason to resent the unhappy steps of my father, he let us
know, that he would not do anything for us; and, to say truth, the thousand pounds left us in the will, is more than we expected.
Very ingenuous. I love you for your sincerity. But, pray, tell me, will four thousand pounds be well laid out in a quarter-partnership?
To say truth, sir, my master had a view, at the year's end, if nothing unexpected happened to prevent it, to give me his niece in marriage; and then to admit me into a half of the business, which would be equivalent to a fortune of as much more.
And do you love the young woman?
And does she countenance your address? If her uncle-I don't doubt if her uncle could have prevailed upon my uncle
Well, sir, I am your uncle's executor.-Now, sir, (to Mr Edward Danby,) let me know your situation; your prospects?
Sir, I was put to a French wine-merchant. My master is in years. I am the sole manager of his business; and he would leave off to me, I believe, and to his nephew, who knows not so much of it as I do; nor has the acquaintance, either in France or England, that I have; could I raise money to purchase half the stock.
And what, sir, is necessary for that purpose? O, sir! at least six thousand pounds.-But had my uncle left me the three thousand I once hoped for, I could have got the other half at an easy interest; for I am well beloved, and have always borne a good character.
What did you suppose your uncle would do with the bulk of his fortune, (you judged it, I suppose, to be large,) if you expected no more than three thousand guineas each at the most, besides what he had given you?
We all thought, sir, said Mr Edward Danby, it would be yours, from the time that he owed his life to your courage and conduct. We never entertained hopes of being his heirs general; and he several times told me, when I was in France, that you should be his heir.
He never hinted that to me. What I did was as necessary to be done for my own safety, as for his. He much over-rated my services. But what are your prospects, Mr Edward Danby, in the French wine-trade?
O sir! very great!And will your master leave off to you and his nephew, think you?
I dare say he would, and be glad of retiring to Enfield, where he has a house he is so fond of, that he would be continually there by his good will.
And have you, sir, any prospect of adding to your circumstances by marriage?
Women are a drug, sir. I have no doubt of offers, if once I were my own master.
I started. His sister looked angry. His bro
ther was not pleased. Mr Sylvester, who, it seems, is an old bachelor, laughed.
A true merchant this already! thought I. Well, now, shall I have your consents, gentlemen, to take your sister aside ?-Will you trust yourself with me, Miss Danby? Or had you rather answer my questions in company?
Sir, your character, your goodness, is so well known, I scruple not to attend you.
I took her hand, and led her to my study, leaving the door open to the drawing-room in which they were. I seated her. Then sat down, but still held her hand.
Now, my dear Miss Danby, you are to suppose me, as the executor of your uncle, his representative. If you had that good uncle before you, and he was urging you to tell him what would make you happy, with an assurance, that he would do all in his power towards it; and if you would open your mind freely to him; with equal freedom open it to me. There was only this difference between us; he had resentments against your father, which he carried too far when he extended them to his innocent children; [but it was an atrocious attempt, that embittered his otherwise benevolent spirit; I have no resentment; and am armed with his power, and have all the will he ever could have, to serve you. And now, let me know, what will effectually do it?
The worthy girl wept. She looked down. She seemed as if she were pulling threads out of her handkerchief. But was unable to return any other answer, than what her eyes, once cast up, as if to heaven, made for her.
Give me, my good Miss Danby, (I would not distress you,) give me, as your brothers did of their situation, some account of yours. Do you live with either of your brothers?
No, sir. I live with an aunt; my mother's sister.
Is she good to you?
Yes, sir, very good. But she has children; and cannot be so good as she would be to me. Yet she has always been kind; and has made the best of my uncle's allowance for my education; and my fortune, which is unbroken, is the same sum that he gave my brothers; and it is in good hands; and the interest of it, with my aunt's additional goodness and management, enables me to make a genteel figure; and, with my own housewifery, I never have wanted some little matters for my pocket.
Good girl! thought I-Mercantile carle! thy brother Edward, pretty one! How dared he to say, that women are drugs?-who, in their economy, short as their power is, are generally superior to men?
Your uncle was very good to put you upon a foot with your brothers, in his bounty to them; as now he has also done in his will; and assure yourself, that his representative will be equally
kind to you as to your brothers. But shall I ask you, as your uncle would have done-Is there any one man in the world, whom you prefer to another?
She was silent; looked down; and again picked her handkerchief.
I called in her elder brother, (not the drugmerchant,) and asked him what he knew of his sister's affections?
Why, my good Dr Bartlett, are these women ashamed of owning a laudable passion? Surely there is nothing shameful in discreet love.
Her brother acquainted me with the story of her love; the good girl blushing, and looking down all the while, with the consciousness of a sweet thief, who had stolen a heart, and, being required to restore it, had been guilty of a new cheat, and given her own instead of it.
The son of Mr Galliard, an eminent Turkeymerchant, is the man with whom she has made this exchange. His father, who lives in the neighbourhood of her aunt, had sent him abroad, in the way of his traffick; partly with a view to prevent his marrying Miss Danby, till it should be seen whether her uncle would do anything considerable for her; and he was but just returned; and, in order to be allowed to stay at home, had promised his father never to marry without his consent; but nevertheless loved his sister, Mr Danby said, above all women; and declared that he never would be the husband of any other.
I asked, whether the father had any objections, but those of fortune, to his son's choice? and was answered, No. He could have no other, the young man, like a brother, said; there was not a more virtuous and discreet young woman in the kingdom than his sister, though he said it, that should not say it.
Though you say it, that should not say it? Is not our relation entitled to the same justice that we would do to another?
We must not blame indiscriminately, continued I, all fathers who expect a fortune to be brought into their family, in some measure equivalent to the benefit the new-comer hopes to receive from it; especially in mercantile families, if the young man is to be admitted into a share with his father; who, by the way, may have other children
Something by way of equivalent for the part he gives up, should be done. Love is a selfish deity; he puts two persons upon preferring their own interest, nay, a gratification of their passion often against their interests, to those of everybody else; and reason, discretion, duty, are frequently given up in a competition with it. But love, nevertheless, will not do everything for the ardent pair. Parents know this; and ought not to pay for the rashness they wish to prevent, but cannot.
They were attentive. I proceeded, addressing myself to both in the mercantile style.
Is a father, who, by his prudence, has weathered many a storm, and got safe into port, obliged to re-embark in the voyage of life, with the young folks, who, perhaps, in a little while, will consider him as an incumbrance, and grudge him his cabin? Parents (though a young man, I have always thought in this manner) should be indulgent; but children, when they put themselves into one scale, should allow the parent his due weight in the other.-You are angry at this father, are you not, my dear Miss Danby?
I said this, to hear what answer she would return.
Indeed I am not. Mr Galliard knows best his own affairs, and what they require. I have said so twenty and twenty times; and young Mr Galliard is convinced, that his father is not to be blamed, having other children. And, to own the truth, (looking on the floor,) we both sit down, and wish together, now and then; but what signifies wishing?
My sister will now have two thousand pounds; perhaps when old Mr Galliard sees, that his son's affections
Old Mr Galliard, interrupted I, shall be asked to do nothing inconvenient to himself, or that is not strictly right by his other children; nor shall the niece of my late worthy friend enter into his family with discredit to herself.
Notice being given, that supper was ready, I took the brother and sister each by the hand; and, entering the drawing-room with them, Enjoy, said I, the little repast that will be set before you. If it be in my power to make you all three happy, happy you shall be.
It must give great pleasure, my dear Dr Bartlett, you will believe, to a man of my lively sensations, to see three very different faces in the same persons, from those they had entered with. I imagined more than once, as the grateful eyes of the sister, and tongues of the brothers, expressed their joy, that I saw my late worthy friend looking down upon us delighted, and not with disapprobation upon his choice of an executor, who was determined to supply the defects, which the frailty of human nature, by an over-strong resentment on one hand, and an over-flowing gratitude on the other, had occasioned.
I told Mr Thomas Danby, that, besides his legacy, he might reckon upon five thousand pounds, and enter accordingly into treaty for and with his master's niece.
Mr Edward Danby I commissioned, on the strength of the like additional sum, to treat with the gentleman he had served.
And you, my good Miss Danby, said I, shall acquaint your favoured Mr Galliard, that, besides the two thousand pounds already yours,
you will have five thousand pounds more at his service. And if these sums answer not your full purposes, I expect you will let me know; since, whether they do or not, my respect to the memory of your worthy uncle shall be shewn to the value of more than these three sums to his relations. I never will be a richer man than I ought to be; and you must inform me what other relations you have, and of their different situations in life, that I may be enabled to amend a will made in a long and painful sickness, which might sour a disposition that was naturally all benevolence.
They wept; looked at one another; dried their eyes, and wept again. I thought my presence painful to them; and withdrew to my study; and shut the door, that I might not add to their pain.
At my return-Do you-Do you, referred each brother to the other; and Mr Thomas Danby getting up to speak, I see, my friends, said I, your grateful hearts in your countenances. Do you think my pleasure is not, at least, equal to yours? I am more than rewarded in the consciousness of having endeavoured to make a right use of the power entrusted to me. You will each of you, I hope, (thus set forward,) be eminent in his particular business. The merchants of Great Britain are the most useful members of the community. If I have obliged you, let me recommend to you, each in his several way, according to his ability, and as opportunity may offer, to raise those worthy hearts, that inevitable calamities shall make spiritless. Look upon what is done for you, not as the reward of any particular merits in yourselves, but as your debt to that Providence, which makes it a principal part of your religion, to do good to your fellow-creatures. In a word, let me enjoin you, in all your transactions, to remember mercy, as well as justice.
The brothers, with folded hands, declared, that their hearts were opened by the example set them; and, they hoped, would never be shut. The sister looked the same declaration.
Mr Sylvester, raised with this scene of gratitude, tears in his honest eyes, said, that he should be impatient till he had looked into his affairs, and through his acquaintance, in order to qualify himself to do some little good, after such a self-rewarding example.
If a private man, my dear Dr Bartlett, could be a means of expanding thus the hearts of four persons, none of them unworthy, what good might not princes, and those who have princely fortunes, do!-Yet, you see, I have done nothing but mere justice. I have not given up anything that was my own, before this will gave me a power, that perhaps was put into my hands, as a new trial of the integrity of my heart.
But what poor creatures are we, my dear friend, that the very avoiding the occasion of a
wrong action should gladden our hearts, as with the consciousness of something meritorious?
At parting, I told the nephews that I expected to hear from them the moment anything should be brought to effect; and let their masters and them agree, or not, I would take the speediest methods that could be fallen upon, to transfer to them, and to their sister, such actions and stocks, as would put them in full possession of what they were entitled to, as well by my promise, as by their uncle's will.
I was obliged to enjoin them silence.
Their sister wept; and when I pressed her hand at taking leave of her, gratefully returned the pressure; but in a manner so modest, (recollecting herself into some little confusion,) that shewed gratitude had possession of her whole heart, and set her above the forms of her
The good attorney, as much raised as if he were one of the persons benefited, joined with the two brothers in invoking blessings upon me. So much, my dear Dr Bartlett, for this night. The past day is a day that I am not displeased with.
DR BARTLETT TO MISS BYRON.
I PRESENT to you, madam, the account you desired to see, as extracted by my kinsman from my papers. You seemed to wish it to be hastened for you; it is not what it might have been ; but mere facts, I presume, will answer your intention. Be pleased, therefore, to accept it with your usual goodness.
"DR BARTLETT went abroad as governor of a young man of quality; Mr Lorimer I am to call him, to conceal his real name. He was the very reverse of young Mr Grandison. He was not only rude and ungovernable; but proud, ill-natured, malicious, even base.
"The Doctor was exceedingly averse to take upon him the charge of the wicked youth abroad; having had too many instances of the badness of his nature while in England; but he was prevailed upon by the solicitations of his father, (who represented it as an act of the greatest charity to him and his family,) as well as by the solemn promises of good behaviour from the young man; for he was known to regard the advice of Dr Bartlett more than that of any other person.
"The Doctor and Mr Lorimer were at Turin, when young Mr Grandison, (who had been some months in France,) for the first time ar
rived in that city; then in the eighteenth year of his age.
and of every material incident of his life; not only as his narrations would be matter of the highest entertainment to him, but as they would furnish him with lessons, from example, that might be of greater force upon the unhappy Lorimer, than his own precepts.
"Dr Bartlett had not a more profligate pupil than Mr Grandison had a governor; though recommended by General W- his uncle by the mother's side. It used to be observed in places where they made but a few days' resi- "While Lorimer was passing through but a dence, that the young gentleman ought to have few of the cities in Lombardy, Mr Grandison been the governor, Monsieur Creutzer the go- made almost the tour of Europe; and yet gave verned. Mr Grandison had, in short, the hap- himself time to make such remarks upon perpiness, by his prudence, to escape several snares sons, places, and things, as could hardly be befaid for his virtue, by a wretch, who hoped, if lieved to be the observations of so young a man. he could betray him into them, to silence the Lorimer, meantime, was engaged in shows, remonstrances of the young man, upon his evil spectacles, and in the diversions of the places in conduct; and to hinder him from complaining which he lived, as it might be said, rather than of him to his father. through which he passed.
"Mr Grandison became acquainted with Dr Bartlett at Turin; Monsieur Creutzer, at the same time, commenced an intimacy with Mr Lorimer; and the two former were not more united from good qualities, than the two latter were from bad.
"Several riotous things were done by Creutzer and Lorimer, who, whatever the Doctor could do to separate them, were hardly ever asunder. One of their enormities fell under the cognizance of the civil magistrate; and was not made easy to Lorimer without great interest and expense; while Creutzer fled to Rome, to avoid condign punishment; and wrote to Mr Grandison to join him there.
"Then it was, that Mr Grandison wrote, (as he had often ineffectually threatened to do,) to represent to his father the profligacy of the man; and to request him to appoint him another governor; or to permit him to return to England till he had made choice of one for him; begging of Dr Bartlett that he would allow him, till he had an answer from his father, to apply to him for advice and instruction.
"The answer of his father was, that he heard of his prudence from every mouth; that he was at liberty to choose what companion he pleased; but that he gave him no governor but his own discretion.
"Mr Grandison then, more earnestly than before, and with a humility and diffidence, suited to his natural generosity of temper, that never grew upon indulgence, besought the Doctor's direction; and when they were obliged to separate, they established a correspondence, which never will end but with the life of one of them. "Mr Grandison laid before the Doctor all his plan; submitting his conduct to him, as well with regard to the prosecution of his studies, as to his travels; but they had not long corresponded in this manner, when the Doctor let him know, that it was needless to consult him aforehand; and the more so, as it often occasioned a suspension of excellent resolutions; but he besought him to continue to him an account of all he undertook, of all he performed,
"The Doctor, at one time, was the more patient with these delays, as he was willing that the carnival at Venice should be over, before he suffered his pupil to go to that city. But Lorimer, suspecting his intention, slipt thither unknown to his governor, at the very beginning of it; and the Doctor was forced to follow him; and when there, had the mortification of hearing of him, (for the young man avoided his governor as much as possible,) as one of the most riotous persons there.
"In vain did the Doctor, when he saw his pupil, set before him the example of Mr Grandison; a much younger man. All the effect which the reading of Mr Grandison's letters had upon him, was to make him hate the more both his governor and that gentleman. By one of these letters only, did he do himself temporary credit. It was written some months before it was shewn him, and described some places of note through which Mr Grandison had passed, and through which the Doctor and his charge had also more lately passed. The mean creature contrived to steal it; and his father having often urged for a specimen of his son's observations on his travels, he copied it almost verbatim, and transmitted it as his own to his father; only letting the Doctor know, after he had sent it away, that he had written.
"The Doctor doubted not, but Lorimer had exposed himself; but was very much surprised, when he received a congratulatory letter from the father on his son's improvements, mingled with some little asperity on the Doctor, for having set out his son to his disadvantage: 'I could not doubt,' said the fond father, that a son of mine had genius; he wanted nothing but to apply. And then he gave orders for doubling the value of his next remittance.
"The Doctor took the young gentleman to task about it. He owned what he had done, and gloried in his contrivance. But his governor thought it incumbent upon him to undeceive the father, and to save him the extraordinary part of his remittance.
"The young man was enraged at the Doctor,