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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 His up for a day or two, when I go to town. concerns are large; but, he told me, not intricate. He 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 all 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 warrant
No 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 time Now 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 you Mr 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.
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 discourses yet 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 S in 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 youSir 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 comparison. 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
Walter Watkyns desired my interest with my sister. I told him, that she was entirely her own mistress; and that I should not offer to lead her choice. Lord G- made his court to her likewise; and, applying to me, received the same
I entered, however, into serious talk with my sister upon this subject. She asked me what I thought of each gentleman. I told her frankly. Miss Gr. And pray, brother, be so good as to repeat what you said of them. Let Miss Byron be judge, whether either of the portraits was very inviting.
Sir Ch. I told her, Miss Byron, that Sir Walter would, I presumed, be thought the handsomer man of the two. He was gay, lively, genteel; and had that courage in his air and manner, that ladies were seldom displeased with. I had not, however, discovered any great depth in him. My sister, I imagined, if she married him, would have the superiority in good sense; but I question whether Sir Walter would easily find that out; or allow it, if he did. He was a brisk man for an hour, and might have wit and sense too; but indeed I hardly ever saw him out of ladies' company; and he seemed to be of opinion, that flash rather than fire was what would recommend him to them. Sometimes I have thought, I told her, that women of sense should punish such men with their contempt, and not reward them with their approbation, for thus indirectly affronting their understandings; but that I had known women of sense approve a man of that character; and each woman must determine for herself, what appeared most agreeable to her.
Miss Gr. Whispering. Well, Harriet
Har. Whispering.] Don't interrupt him. Sir Ch. You remember, my dear Charlotte, that it was in this kind of way I spoke about Sir Walter Watkyns; and added, that he was independent; in possession of the family-estate, which I believed was a good one; and that he talked handsomely to me of settlements.
I do remember this, said Miss Grandison; and whispering me, I am afraid, said she, he knows too much; but the person he cannot know. Well, sir, and pray be pleased to repeat what you said of Lord G
Sir Ch. Lord G, I told you, was a gay dressing man, but of graver cast than the other. The fashion, rather than his inclination, seemed to govern his outward appearance. He was a modest man, and I feared had too much doubt of himself to appear with that dignity in the eye of a lovely woman, which should give him a first consequence with her
Miss Gr. Your servant, sir.
Sir Ch. I believed he would make a good husband; so perhaps might Sir Walter; but the one would bear, the other perhaps must be borne with. Ladies, as well as men, I presumed, had some foibles, that they would not care to
part with. As to fortune, I added, that Lord Gwas dependent on his father's pleasure. He had, indeed, his father's entire approbation, I found, in his address: and I hoped that a sister of mine would not wish for any man's death, for the sake of either title or fortune. You have seen Lord G, Miss Byron ?
Har. What, Sir Charles, was Miss Grandison's answer?
[I did not care to give any opinion, that might either hurt or humour my Charlotte.]
Sir Ch. Charlotte told me, in so many words, that she did not approve of either. Each gentleman, said I, has besought me to be his advocate; a task that I have not undertaken. I only told them, that I would talk to my sister upon the subject: but did not think a brother ought to expect an influence over a sister, when the gentlemen suspected their own. You will remember, said I to my sister, that women cannot choose where they will; and that the same man cannot be everything-She desired me to tell her, which of the two I would prefer?First, said I, let me repeat the question I have more than once put to you; have you any the least shadow of a preference in your heart, to any third person?-What was my sister's answer? She said, she had not. And yet, had I not had the private intelligence I hinted at, I should have been apt to imagine, that I had some reason to repeat the question, from the warmth, both of manner and accent, with which she declared, that she approved of neither. Women, I believe, do not, with earnestness, reject a man who is not quite disagreeable, and to whose quality and fortune there can be no objection, if they are absolutely unprejudiced in another's favour.
We women looked upon one another. I have no doubt, thought I, but Sir Charles came honestly by his knowledge of us.
The dear Charlotte sat uneasy. He proceeded. However, I now made no question but my sister's affections were absolutely disengaged. My dear Charlotte, said I, I would rather be excused telling you which gentleman's suit I should incline to favour, lest my opinion should not have your inclination with it; and your mind, by that means, should suffer any embarrassment. She desired to know it.
Miss Gr. You were very generous, sir; I owned you were, in this point, as well as in all others.
Sir Ch. I then declared in favour of Lord G- as the man who would be most likely to make her happy; who would think himself most obliged to her for her favour; and I took the liberty to hint, that though I admired her for her vivacity, and even, when her wit carried its keenest edge, loved to be awakened by it, and wished it never to lose that edge; yet I imagined, that it would hurt such a man as Sir Walter. Lord G it would enliven; and I
hoped, if she took pleasure in her innocent sallies, that she would think it something, so to choose, as that she should not be under a necessity of repressing those sprightly powers, that very seldom were to be wished to be reined in. Miss Gr. True, sir. You said, very seldom, I remember.
Sir Ch. I never will flatter either a prince, or a lady; yet should be sorry to treat either of them rudely. She then asked me after my own inclinations. I took this for a desire to avoid the subject we were upon; and would have withdrawn; but not in ill-humour. There was no reason for it. My sister was not obliged to follow me in a subject that was not agreeable to her; but I took care to let her know, that her question was not a disagreeable one to me; but would be more properly answered on some other occasion. She would have had me stay.-For the sake of the former subject, do you ask me to stay, Charlotte?-No, said she.
Well, then, my dear, take time to consider of it; and at some other opportunity we will resume it. Thus tender did I intend to be, with regard to my sister's inclinations.
Miss Grandison wiped her eyes-and said, but with an accent that had a little peevishness in it, You wanted not, sir, all this preparation. Nobody has the shadow of belief, that you could be wrong.
Sir Ch. If this, Charlotte, be well said; if, in that accent, it be generously said; I have done --and from my heart acquit you, and as cordially condemn myself, if I have appeared in your eye to intend to raise my own character at the expense of yours. Believe me, Charlotte, I had much rather, in a point of delicacy, that the brother should be found faulty than the sister; and let it pass, that I am so.-And only tell me, in what way you would wish me to serve you? Miss. Gr. Pardon me, brother. You can add forgiveness to the other obligations under which I labour. I was petulant.
Sir Ch. I do; most cordially I do. Miss Gr. Wiping her eyes. But won't you proceed, sir?
Sir Ch. At another opportunity, madam. Miss Gr. Madam!-Ñay, now you are indeed angry with me. Pray, proceed.
Sir Ch. I am not; but shall allow me an hour's conversation with you in your dressingroom, when you please.
Miss Gr. No-Pray, proceed. Every one here is dear to me. Every one present must hear either my acquittal or condemnation. Pray, sir, proceed-Miss Byron, pray sit still-Pray (for we were all rising to go out) keep your seats. I believe I have been wrong. My brother said, you must pity me in silence, if you found me faulty. Perhaps I shall be obliged to you for your pity.-Pray, sir, be pleased to acquaint me with what you know of my faults.
Sir Ch. My dear Charlotte, I have said enough
to point your fault to your own heart. If you know it; that I hope, is sufficient.-Do not imagine, my dear, that I want to control you-But -He stopt.
Miss Gr. BUT what, sir?-Pray, sir-And she trembled with eagerness.
Sir Ch. But it was not right to—And yet, I wish that I were mistaken in this point, and my sister not wrong!
Miss Gr. Well, sir, you have reason, I suppose, to think-There she stopt
Sir Ch. That there is a man whom you can approve of, notwithstanding
Miss Gr. All I have said to the contrary. Well, sir, if there be, it is a great fault to have denied it.
Sir Ch. That is all I mean-It is no fault in you to prefer one man to another. It is no fault in you to give this preference to any man, without consulting your brother. I proposed that you should be entirely mistress of your own conduct and actions. It would have been ungenerous in me, to have supposed you accountable to me, who had done no more than my duty by you. Dear Charlotte, do not imagine me capable of laying such a load on your free will: but I should not have been made to pronounce to Lord G, and even to the Earl his father, (on their inquiries whether your affections were or were not engaged,) in such a manner as gave them hopes of succeeding.
Miss Gr. Are you sure, sir?
Sir Ch. O, my sister, how hard fought (now must I say?) is this battle!-I can urge it no farther. For your sake, I can urge it no farther.
Miss Gr. Name your man, sir!Sir Ch. Not my man, Charlotte-Captain Anderson is not my man.
He arose; and, taking her motionless hand, pressed it with his lips.-Be not too much disturbed, said he. I am distressed, my sister, for your distress-I think, more than I am for the error; and, saying this, bowing to her, he withdrew.
He saw and pitied her confusion. She was quite confounded. It was very good of him to withdraw, to give her time to recover herself. Lady L gave her her salts. Miss Grandison hardly ever wanted salts before.
O what a poor creature am I, said she, even in my own eyes! Don't despise me, HarrietDr Bartlett, can you excuse me for so sturdy a perseverance! Forgive me, my lord!-Lady L- be indulgent to a sister's fault. But my brother will always see me in this depreciating light! "A battle hard fought," indeed! How one error, persisted in, produces another!
When Sir Charles heard her voice, as talking, every one soothing, and pitying her, he returned. She would have risen, with a disposition seemingly, as if she would have humbled herself at his feet; but he took her folded hands in