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He is a good man; but he can be severe upon our sex-It is not in woman to be unreservedYou'll find that one of the reflections upon us; he adds, and, to be impartial, perhaps they should not. Why so?-But is not this a piece of advice given to myself, to make me more reserved than I am? But he gives not himself opportunity to see whether I am or am not reserved. I won't be mean, Lucy, I repeat for the twentieth time. I won't deserve to be despised by him.-No! though he were the sovereign of the greatest empire on earth. In this believe your HARRIET BYRON.
SIR CHARLES GRANDISON TO DR BARTLETT.
[Enclosed in the preceding.]
I HAVE had a visit, my dear and reverend friend, from Emily's mother. She will very probably make one also at Colnebrook, before I can be so happy as to get thither. I dispatch this, therefore, to apprize you and Lord Lof such a probability; which is the greater, as she knows Emily to be there, through the inadvertence of Saunders, and finds me to be in town. I will give you the particulars of what passed between us, for your better information, if she goes to Colnebrook.
I was preparing to attend Lord W—, as by appointment, when she sent in her name to
I received her civilly. She had the assurance to make up to me with a full expectation that I would salute her; but I took, or rather received, her ready hand, and led her to a chair by the fire-side. You have never seen her. She thinks herself still handsome; and, did not her vices render her odious, and her whole aspect shew her heart, she would not be much mistaken.
How does Emily, sir? gallanting her fan; is the girl here? Bid her come to me. I will see
She is not here, madam.
Where is she then? She has not been at Mrs Lane's for some time.
She is in the best protection; she is with my two sisters.
And pray, Sir Charles Grandison, what do you intend to do with her? The girl begins to be womanly.
She laughed; and her heart spoke out at her
Tell me what you propose to do with her? You know, added she, affecting a serious air, that she is my child.
If, madam, you deserve to be thought her mother, you will be satisfied with the hands she is in.
Pish!-I never loved your good men ; where a fine girl comes in their way, I know what I know
She looked wantonly, and laughed again. I am not to talk seriously with you, Mrs Jervois! But what have you to say to my ward? Say! Why, you know, sir, I am her mother; and I have a mind to have the care of her person myself. You must (so her father directed) have the care of her fortune; but I have a mind, for her reputation's sake, to take the girl out of the hands of so young a guardian. I hope you would not oppose me?
If this be all your business, madam, I must be excused. I am preparing, as you see, to dress.
Where is Emily? I will see the girl.
If your motive be motherly love, little, madam, as you have acted the mother by her, you shall see her when she is in town. But her person, and reputation, as well as fortune, must be my care.
I am married, sir; and my husband is a man of honour.
Your marriage, madam, gives a new reason why Emily must not be in your care.
Let me tell you, sir, that my husband is a man of honour, and as brave a man as yourself; and he will see me righted.
Be he who he will, he can have no business with Emily. Did you come to tell me you are married, madam?
I did, sir. Don't you wish me joy?
Joy, madam! I wish you to deserve joy, and you will then, perhaps, have it. You'll excuse me-I shall make my friends wait.
I could not restrain my indignation. This woman marries, as she calls it, twice or thrice a-year. Well, sir, then you will find time, perhaps, to talk with Major O'Hara. He is of one of the best families in Ireland. And he will not let me be robbed of my daughter.
Major O'Hara, madam, has nothing to do with the daughter of my late unhappy friend. Nor have I anything to say to him. Emily is in my protection; and I am sorry to say, that she never had been so, were not the woman who calls herself her mother, the person least fit to be entrusted with her daughter. Permit me the favour of leading you to your chair.
She then broke out into the language in which she always concludes these visits. She threatened me with the resentments of Major O'Hara ; and told me, he had been a conqueror in half-adozen duels.
I offered my hand. She refused it not. I led her to her chair.
I will call again to-morrow afternoon, said she, (threatening with her head ;) perhaps with the Major, sir. And I expect you will produce the little harlotry.
I left her in silent contempt. Vile woman! But let nothing of this escape you to my Emily. I think she should not see her but in
my presence. The poor girl will be terrified into fits, as she was the last time she saw her, if she comes, and I am not there. But possibly I may hear no more of this wicked woman for a month or two. Having a power to make her annuity either one or two hundred pounds, according to her behaviour, at my own discretion, the man she has married, who could have no inducement but the annuity, if he has married her, will not suffer her to incur such a reduction of it; for you know, I have always hitherto paid her two hundred pounds a-year. Her threatening to see me to-morrow may be to amuse me while she goes. The woman is a foolish woman; but, being accustomed to intrigue, she aims at cunning and contrivance.
I am now hastening to Lord W. I hope his woman will not be admitted to his table, as she generally is, let who will be present; yet, it seems, knows not how to be silent, whatever be the subject. I have never chosen either to dine or sup with my lord, that I might not be under a necessity of objecting to her company; and were I not to object to it, as I am a near kinsman to my lord, and know the situation she is in with him, my complaisance might be imputed to motives altogether unworthy of a man of spirit.
Yours of this morning was brought me, just as I was concluding. I am greatly interested in one paragraph in it.
You hint to me, that my sisters, though my absences are short, would be glad to receive now and then a letter from me. You, my dear friend, have engaged me into a kind of habit, which makes me write to you with ease and pleasure. To you, and to our Beauchamp, methinks, I can write anything. Use, it is true, would make it equally agreeable to me to write to my sisters. I would not have them think that there is a brother in the world, that better loves his sisters than I do mine; and now, you know, I have three. But why have they not signified as much to me? Could I give pleasure to any whom I love, without giving great pain to myself, it would be unpardonable not to do
I could easily carry on a correspondence with my sisters, were they to be very earnest about it; but then it must be a correspondence; the writing must not be all of one side. Do they think I should not be equally pleased to hear what they are about, from time to time; and what, occasionally, their sentiments are, upon persons and things? If it fall in your way, and you think it not a mere temporary wish, (for young ladies often wish, and think no more of the matter,) then propose the condition.-But caution them, that the moment I discover, that they are less frank, and more reserved, than I am, there will be an end of the correspondence. My three sisters are most amiably frank, for women-but, thus challenged, dare they enter
the lists, upon honour, with a man, a brother, upon equal terms?-O no! they dare not. It is not in woman to be unreserved in some points; and (to be impartial) perhaps they should not; yet, surely, there is now and then a man, a brother, to be met with, who would be the more grateful for the confidence reposed in him.
Were this proposal to be accepted, I could write to them many of the things that I communicate to you. I have but few secrets. I only wish to keep from relations so dear to me, things that could not possibly yield them pleasure. I am sure I could trust to your judgment, the passages that might be read to them from my letters to you.
Sometimes, indeed, I love to divert myself with Charlotte's humorous curiosity; for she seems, as I told her lately, to love to suppose secrets, where there are none, for a compliment to her own sagacity, when she thinks she has found them out; and I love at such times to see her puzzled, and at a fault, as a punishment for her declining to speak out.
You have told me heretofore, in excuse for the distance which my two elder sisters observe to their brother, when I have complained of it to you, that it proceeded from awe, from reverence for him. But why should there be that awe, that reverence? Surely, my dear friend, if this is spontaneous, and invincible, in them, there must be some fault in my behaviour, some seeming want of freedom in my manner, with which you will not acquaint me; it is otherwise impossible, that between brothers and sisters, where the love is not doubted on either side, such a distance should subsist. You must consult them upon it, and get them to explain themselves on this subject to you; and when they have done so, tell me of my fault, and I will endeavour to render myself more agreeable (more familiar, shall I say?) to them. will not by any means excuse them, if they give me cause to think, that the distance is owing to the will and the power I have been blessed with to do my duty by them. What would this be, but indirectly to declare, that once they expected not justice from their brother? But no more of this subject at present. I am impatient to be with you all at Colnebrook; you cannot think how impatient. Self-denial is a very hard doctrine to be learned, my good Dr Bartlett. So, in some cases, is it found to be, by your
MISS BYRON TO MISS SELBY.
Colnebrook, Sunday Evening. POOR Emily! her heart is almost broken. This ignoble passion, what a mean-spirited crea
ture had it like to have made me!-Be quiet, be quiet, Lucy!—I will call it ignoble. Did you ever know me before so little?-And had it not like to have put me upon being hard-hearted, envious, and I can't tell what, to a poor fatherless girl, just starting into woman, and therefore into more danger than she ever was in before; wanting to be protected-from whom? From a mother.-Dreadful circumstance!-Yet I am ready to grudge the poor girl her guardian, and her innocent prattle!-But let me be despised by the man I love, if I do not conquer this new-discovered envy, jealousy, littleness, at least with regard to this unhappy girl, whose calamity endears her to me.
Dear child! sweet Emily! You shall go down with me, if it be proposed. My grandmamma, and uncle, and aunt, will permit me to carry you with me. They are generous; they have no little passion to mislead their beneficence; they are what I hope to be, now I have found myself out-and what if her gratitude shall make her heart overflow into love, has she not excuse for it, if Harriet has any?
Maj. [Bowing. No need of this, my dear friend. My lord has the cha-ract-er of a fine gentleman himself, and knows how to receive a gentleman who waits upon him with due respect.
Lord L. I hope I do. But, madam, you know whose protection the lady is in. Mrs O'Hara. I do, my lord; Sir Charles Grandison is a very fine gentleman. Capt. De vinest cha-ract-er in the vorld. By my salvation, everybody say so.
Mrs O'Hara. But Sir Charles, my lord, is a very young gentleman to be a guardian to so young a creature; especially now that she is growing into woman. I have had some few faults, I own. Who lives, that has not? But I have been basely scandalized. My first husband had his; and much greater than I had. He was set against me by some of his own relations; vile creatures! He left me, and went abroad; but he has answered for all by this time; and for the scanty allowance he made me, his great fortune considered; but, as long as my child will be the better for it, that I can forgive.-Emily, my dear!
She stepped to the door, on hearing the rustling of silks, supposing her at hand; but it was Miss Grandison, followed by a servant with chocolate, to afford her a pretence to see the vi and at the same time having a mind to hint to them, that they were not to expect to be asked to stay to dinner.
Well, but to the occasion of the poor Emily's distress. About twelve this day, soon after Lord Land the two sisters and I came from church, (for Emily happened not to go,) a coach and four stopped at the gate, and a servant in a sorry livery, alighting from behind it, inquisitors; red for Lord L- Two gentlemen, who, by their dress and appearance, were military men, and one lady were in it.
My lord ordered them to be invited to alight, and received them with his usual politeness. Don't let me call this unhappy woman Emily's mother; O'Hara is the name she owns.
She addressed herself to my lord: I am the mother of Emily Jervois, my lord; this gentleman, Major O'Hara, is my husband.
The Major bowed, strutted, and acknowledged her for his wife; and this gentleman, my lord, said he, is Captain Salmonet; a very brave man; he is in foreign service. His lady is my own sister.
My lord took notice of each.
I understand, my lord, that my daughter is here; I desire to see her.
One of my lord's servants, at that time, passing by the door, which was open, Pray, sir, said she to him, let Miss Jervois know, that her mamma is come to see her. Desire her to come
Maj. I long to see my new daughter; I hear she is a charming young lady. She may de pend upon the kindness of a father from me.
Capt. De man of honour and good nature be my brother's general cha-ract-er, I do assure your lordship.
He spoke English as a Frenchman, my lord says; but pronounced the word character as an Irishman.
It is to Miss Grandison that I owe the description of each, the account of what passed, and the broken dialect.
Mrs O'Hara has been a handsome woman; but well might Sir Charles be disgusted with her aspect. She has a leering, sly, yet confident, eye; and a very bold countenance. She is not ungenteel; yet her very dress denotes her turn of mind. Her complexion, sallowish, streaked with red, makes her face (which is not so plump as it once has been) look like a withering John-apple that never ripened kindly.
Miss Grandison has a way of saying ill-natured things in such a good-natured manner, that one cannot forbear smiling, though one should not altogether approve of them; and yet sometimes one would be ready to wonder how she came by her images.
The Major is pert, bold, vain, and seemed
Captain Salmonet, she says, appeared to her
in a middle way between a French beau and a Dutch boor; aiming at gentility, with a person and shape uncommonly clumsy.
They both assumed military airs, which, not sitting naturally, gave them what Miss Grandison called the swagger of soldierly importance. Emily was in her own apartment, almost fainting with terror: for the servant to whom Mrs O'Hara had spoken, to bid her daughter come to her, had officiously carried up the message.
To what Mrs O'Hara had said in defence of her own character, my lord answered, Mr Jervois had a right, madam, to do what he pleased with a fortune acquired by his own industry. A disagreement in marriage is very unhappy; but in this case, as in a duel, the survivor is hardly ever in fault. I have nothing to do in this matter. Miss Jervois is very happy in Sir Charles Grandison's protection. She thinks so; and so does everybody that knows her. It is your misfortune if you do not.
Mrs O'Hara. My lord, I make no dispute of Sir Charles's being the guardian of her fortune; but no father can give away the authority a mother has, as well as himself, over a child.
Maj. That child a daughter too, my lord. Lord L. To all this I have nothing to say. You will not be able, I believe, to persuade my brother Grandison to give up his ward's person
Mrs O'Hara. Chancery may, my lordLord L. I have nothing to say to this, madam. No man in England knows better what is to be done, in this case, than Sir Charles Grandison; and no man will be readier to do what is just and fitting, without law: but I enter not into the case; you must not talk to me on this subject.
Miss Gr. Do you think, madam, that your marriage entitles you the rather to have the care of Miss Jervois ?
Maj. With great quickness. I hope, madam, that my honour and cha-ract-er
Miss Gr. Be they ever so unquestionable, will not entitle you, sir, to the guardianship of Miss Jervois's person.
Maj. I do not pretend to it, madam. But I hope that no father's will, no guardian's power, is to set aside the natural authority which a mother has over her child.
Lord L. This is not my affair. I am not inclined to enter into a dispute with you, madam, on this subject.
Mrs O'Hara. Let Emily be called down to her mother. I hope I may see my child. She is in this house, my lord. I hope I may see my
ships. Your lordship will not refuse to let de daughter come to her moder?
Lord L. Her guardian perhaps will not deny it. You must apply to him. He is in town. Miss Jervois is here but as a guest. She will be soon in town. I must not have her alarmed. She has very weak spirits.
Mrs O'Hara. Weak spirits, my lord!—A child to have spirits too weak to see her mother!-And she felt for her handkerchief.
Miss Gr. It sounds a little harshly, I own, to deny to a mother the sight of her daughter: but unless my brother were present, I think, my lord, it cannot be allowed.
Maj. Not allowed, madam!
Capt. A moder to be denied to see her daughter! Jesu! And he crossed himself.
Mrs O'Hara. Putting her handkerchief to hide her eyes, for it seems she wept not.] I am a very unhappy mother indeed
Maj. Embracing her. My dearest life! My best love! I must not bear these tears-Would to God Sir Charles was here, and thought fitbut I came not here to threaten-you, my lord, are a man of the greatest honour; so is Sir Charles. -But whatever were the misunderstandings between husband and wife, they should not be kept up and propagated between mother and child. My wife, at present, desires only to see her child: that's all, my lord. Were your brother present, madam, he would not deny her this. Then again embracing his wife, My dear soul, be comforted. You will be allowed to see your daughter, no doubt of it. I am able to protect and right you. My dear soul, be comforted.
She sobbed, Miss Grandison says; and the good-natured Lord L- was moved.-Let Miss Jervois be asked, said he, if she chooses to come down.
I will go to her myself, said Miss Grandison. She came down presently againMiss Byron and Miss Jervois, said she, are gone out together in the chariot. Maj. Nay, madam
Capt. Upon my salvation this must not pass -And he swaggered about the room.
Mrs O'Hara looked with an air of incredulity. It was true, however: for the poor girl being ready to faint, I was called in to her. Lady L- had been making a visit in the chariot; and it had just brought her back. O save me, save me, dear madam! said Miss Emily to me, wringing her hands. I cannot, I cannot see my mother out of my guardian's presence: and she will make me own her new husband. I beseech you, save me; hide me!
I saw the chariot from the window, and, without asking any questions, I hurried Miss Emily down stairs, and conducted the trembling dear into it; and, whipping in after her, ordered the coachman to drive anywhere, except towards London: and then the poor girl threw her arms
about my neck, smothering me with her kisses, and calling me by all the tender names that terror and mingled gratitude could suggest to her. Miss Grandison told the circumstances pretty near as above; adding, I think, my lord, that Miss Emily wants not apology for her terror on this occasion. That lady, in her own heart, knows that the poor girl has reason for it.
· Madam, said the Major, my wife is cruelly used. Your brother-But I shall talk to him upon the subject. He is said to be a man of conscience and honour: I hope I shall find him so. I know how to protect and right my wife. And I will stand by my broder and his lady, said the Captain, to de very last drop of my blood. He looked fierce, and put his hand on his sword.
Lord L. You don't by these airs mean to insult me, gentlemen-If you do
Maj. No, no, my lord. But we must seek our remedy elsewhere. Surprising! that a mother is denied the sight of her daughter! Very surprising!
Capt. Very surprising, indeed! Ver dis to be done in my country-In France-English liberty! Begar, ver pretty liberty!-A daughter to be supported against her moder-Whew! Ver pretty liberty, by my salvation !—
Mrs O'Hara. And is indeed my vile child run away to avoid seeing her mother?-Strange! Does she always intend to do thus ?-She must see me-And dearly shall she repent it!
all went away, very much dissatisfied; the two men muttering, and threatening, and resolving, as they said, to make a visit to Sir Charles.
I hope we shall see him here very soon. hope these wretches will not insult him, or endanger a life so precious. Poor Emily! I pity her from my heart. She is as much grieved on this occasion, as I was in dread of the resentment of Sir Hargrave Pollexfen.
Let me give you some account of what passed between Emily and me: you will be charmed with her beautiful simplicity.
When we were in the chariot, she told me, that the last time she saw her mother, it was at Mrs Lane's: the bad woman made a pretence of private business with her daughter, and withdrew with her into another room, and then insisted that she should go off with her, unknown to anybody. And because I desired to be excused, said she, my mother laid her hands upon me, and said she would trample me under her foot. It is true (unhappy woman!) she was[Then the dear girl whispered me, though nobody was near us-sweet modest creature, loath to reveal this part of her mother's shame even to me aloud, and blushed as she spoke]—she was in her cups.-My mamma is as naughty as some men in that respect: and I believe she would have been as good as her word; but, on my screaming, (for I was very much frightened,) Mrs Lane, who had an eye upon us, ran in with two servants, and one of her daughters, and rescued me. She had torn my cap-Yet it was a sad thing, you know, madam, to see one's mother put out of the house against her will. And then she raised the neighbourhood. Lord bless me! I thought I should have died. I did fall into fits. Then was Mrs Lane forced to tell every one what a sad woman my mother was! -It was such a disgrace to me !-It was a month Lord L. Since this matter is carried so far, before I could go to church, or look anybody in let me tell you, that, in the absence of her guar- the face. But Mrs Lane's character was of her dian, I will protect her. Since Miss Jervois is side; and my guardian's goodness was a helpthus averse, she shall be indulged in it. If you Shall I say a help against my mother?--Poor see her, madam, it must be by the consent, and woman! we heard afterwards she was dead; in the presence, of her guardian. but my guardian would not believe it. If it would please God to take me, I should rejoice. Many a tear does my poor mother, and the trouble I give to the best of men, cost me, when nobody sees me; and many a time do I cry myself to sleep, when I think it impossible I should get such a kind relief.
And she looked fierce, and particularly spiteful; and then declared, that she would stay there till Emily came back, were it midnight. Lord L. You will have my leave for that, madam.
Maj. Had we not best go into our coach, and let that drive in quest of her?-She cannot be far off. It will be easy to trace a chariot.
Maj. Well, my dear, since the matter stands thus; since your child is taught to shun you thus; let us see what Sir Charles Grandison will say to it. He is the principal in this affair, and is not privileged. If he thinks fit-And there he stopped, and blustered; and offered his hand to his bride.-I am able both to protect and right you, madam; and I will. But you have a letter for the girl, written on a supposition that she was not here.-Little did you or I think, that she was in the house when we came; and that she should be spirited away to avoid paying her duty to her mother.
Very true. Very true. And, very true, said each; and Mrs O'Hara pulled out the letter, laying it on one of the chairs; and desired it might be given to her daughter. And then they
I was moved at the dear girl's melancholy tale. I clasped my arms about her, and wept on her gentle bosom. Her calamity, which was the greatest that could happen to a good child, I told her, had endeared her to me: I would love her as my sister.
And so I will: dear child, I will for ever love her. And I am ready to hate myself for some passages in my last letter. O how deceitful is the heart! I could not have thought it possible that mine could have been so narrow.