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Grandison, in a kind of rapture: but now his goodness makes my flippancy odious to myself. Sit down, my child, and play your Italian air. This brought in Sir Charles. He entered with a look of serenity, as if nothing had passed to disturb him.
When Emily had done playing and singing, Miss Grandison began to make apologies: but he said, Let us forget each other's failings, Charlotte.
Notice being given of dinner, Sir Charles complaisantly led his sister Charlotte to her seat at the table.
A most intolerable superiority!-I wish he would do something wrong; something cruel: if he would but bear malice, would but stiffen his air by resentment, it would be something. As a MAN, cannot he be lordly, and assuming, and where he is so much regarded, I may say feared, nod his imperial significance to his vassals about him?-Cannot he be imperious to servants, to shew his displeasure with principals? No! it is natural to him to be good and just. His whole aim, as my lord observed, is, "to convince and amend, and not to wound or hurt."
After dinner, Miss Grandison put into my hands the parcel of my letters which I had consented Sir Charles should see. Miss Byron, sir, said she, will oblige you with the perusal of some of her letters. You will in them see another sort of woman than your Charlotte. May I amend, and be but half as good!-When you have read them, you will say, Amen; and, if your prayer take place, will be satisfied with your sister.
them. I am afraid it is quite otherwise with mine.
He received them from me, standing up, bowing; and kissed the papers with an air of gallantry, that I thought greatly became him. [O the vanity of this girl! methinks my uncle says, at this place. He put them in his pocket.
Without conditions, Harriet? said Miss Grandison. Except those of candour, yet correction, answered I. Again he bowed to me.
I don't know what to say to it, Lucy; but I think Sir Charles looks highly pleased to hear me praised; and the ladies and my lord miss no opportunity to say kind things of me: but could not he have answered Miss Grandison's question, Whether his favourite was a foreigner or not? -Had any other question arisen afterwards, that he had not cared to answer, he could but have declined answering it, as he did that.
What a great deal of writing does the reciting of half an hour or an hour's conversation make, when there are three or four speakers in company; and one attempts to write what each says in the first person! I am amazed at the quantity, on looking back. But it will be so in narrative letter-writing. Did not you, Lucy, write as long letters, when you went with your brother to Paris?-I forget; only this I remember, that I always was sorry when I came to the end of
By the way, I am concerned that Lady Dis angry with me: yet, methinks, she shews, by her anger, that she had a value for me. what you told me of Lord D's setting his heart on the proposed alliance, I am not so much concerned at that, because he never saw me: and had the affair been in his own power, 'tis likely he would not have been very solicitous about his success. Many a one, Lucy, I believe, has found an ardour when repulsed, which they would never have known, had they succeeded.
Lady Betty and Miss Clements were so good as to make me a visit, this afternoon, in their way to Windsor, where they are to pass two or three days. They lamented my long absence from town; and Lady Betty kindly regretted for me, the many fine entertainments I had lost, both public and private, by my country excursion at this unpropitious season of the year, as she called it; shrugging her shoulders, as if in compassion to my rustic taste.
Good lady! she knew not that I am in company that want not entertainments out of themselves. They have no time to kill, or to delude: on the contrary, our constant complaint is, that time flies too fast: and I am sure, for my part, I am forced to be a manager of it; since, between conversation and writing, I have not a moment to spare: and I never in my life ted so few hours to rest.
Sir Charles spoke very handsomely of Miss Clements, on occasion of Miss Grandison's saying, she was a plain, but good young woman. She is not a beauty, said he; but she has qualities that are more to be, admired than mere beauty.
Would she not, asked Lady L-, make a good wife for Lord W-? There is, said Sir Charles, too great a disparity in years. She has, and must have, too many hopes. My Lord W-'s wife will, probably, be confined six months out of twelve, to a gouty man's chamber. She must, therefore, be one who has outlived half her hopes; she must have been acquainted with affliction, and known disappointment. She must consider her marriage with him, though as an act of condescension, yet partly as a preferment. Her tenderness will, by this means, be engaged; yet her dignity supported: and if she is not too much in years to bring my lord an heir, he will then be the most grateful of men to her.
My dear brother, said Miss Grandison, forgive me all my faults: your actions, your sentiments, shall be the rule of mine!-But who can come up to you? The Danbys-Lord W
Anybody may, Charlotte, interrupted Sir, Charles, who will be guided by the well-known rule, of doing to others as you would they should do unto you. Were you in the situation of the
Danbys, or of Lord W, would you not wish to be done by, as I have done, and intend to do, by them? What must be those who, with hungry eyes, wait and wish for the death of a relation? May they not be compared to savages on the seashore, who look out impatiently for a wreck, in order to plunder and prey upon the spoils of the miserable? Lord W- - has been long an unhappy man from want of principles: I shall rejoice, if I can be a means of convincing him, by his own experience, that he was in a wrong course, and of making his latter days happy. Would I not, in my decline, wish for a nephew that had the same notions? And can I expect such a one, if I set not the example?
Pretty soon after supper, Sir Charles left us ; and Miss Grandison, seeing me in a reverie, said, I will lay my life, Harriet, you fancy my brother is gone up to read your letters-Nay, you are in the right; for he whispered as much to me, before he withdrew. But do not be apprehensive, Harriet; (for she saw me concerned ;) you have nothing to fear, I am sure. Lady Lsaid, that her brother's notions and mine were exactly alike, on every subject: but yet, Lucy, when one'knows one's cause to be under actual examination, one cannot but have some heart-aches.-Yet why?—If his favourite woman is a foreigner, what signifies his opinion of my letters?-And yet it does: one would be willing to be well thought of by the worthy.
Thursday, March 23.
WE sat down early this morning to breakfast: Miss Grandison dismissed the attendants, as soon as Sir Charles entered the room.
He addressed himself to me the moment he saw me: Admirable Miss Byron, said he, what an entertainment have your letters given me, down to a certain period!-How, at and after that, have they distressed me for your sufferings from a savage!-It is well for him, and perhaps for me, that I saw not sooner this latter part of your affecting story: I have read through the whole parcel.
He took it from his bosom, and, with a respectful air, presented it to me-Ten thousand thanks for the favour-I dare not hope for farther indulgence-Yet not to say, how desirous I amBut forgive me-Think me not too great an encroacher
I took them.
Surely, brother, said Miss Grandison, you cannot already have read the whole.
I have I could not leave them-I sat up late
And so, thought I, did your sister Harriet, sir. Well,rother, said Miss Grandison, and what are the faults?
Faults! Charlotte.-Such a noble heart! such an amiable frankness! No prudery! No coquetry! Yet so much, and so justly, admired by as many as have had the happiness to approach her!— Then, turning to me, I adore, madam, the goodness, the greatness of your heart.
How I blushed! how I trembled! How, though so greatly flattered, was I delighted!
Is Miss Byron, in those letters, all perfect, all faultless, all excellence, Sir Charles? asked Miss Grandison: is there no-But I am sensible (though you have raised my envy, I assure you) that Miss Byron's is another sort of heart than your poor Charlotte's.
But I hope, sir, said I, that you will cor
Sir Ch. Lord G
was very earnest with me for my interest with my sister. I, supposing that she is now absolutely disengaged, did undertake to let him know what room he had for hope, or if any; but told him, that I would not, by any means, endeavour to influence her.
Lady L. Charlotte is afraid that you would not, of yourself, from displeasure, have revived the subject-Not that she valuesThere she stopt.
Sir Ch. I might, at the time, be a little petulant; but I should have revived the subject, because I had engaged to procure an answer for an absent person, to a question that was of the highest importance to him: but, perhaps, I
should have entered into the subject with Charlotte when we were alone.
Lady L. She can have no objection, I believe, to let all of us, who are present, know her mind, on this occasion.
Miss Gr. To be sure I have not.
Lady L. What signifies mincing the matter? I undertook, at her desire, to recal the subject, because you had seemed to interest yourself in
Sir Ch. I think I know as much of Charlotte's mind already, from what you have hinted, Lady L as I ought to be inquisitive about.
Lady L. How so, brother? What have I said? Sir Ch. What meant the words you stopt at -Not that she values ?-Now, though I will not endeavour to lead her choice in behalf of a prince; yet would I be earnest to oppose her marriage with a man for whom she declaredly has no value.
Lady L. You are a little sudden upon me, Sir Charles.
Sir Ch. You must not think the words you stopt at, Lady L -, slight words: Principle, and Charlotte's future happiness, and that of a worthy man, are concerned here. But, perhaps, you mean no more than to give a little specimen of lady-like pride in those words. It is a very hard matter for women, on such occasions as these, to be absolutely right.-Dear Miss Byron, bowing to me, excuse me.-There is one lady in the world that ought not, from what I have had the honour to see, on her own account, to take amiss my freedom with her sex, though she perhaps will on that of those she loves. But have I not some reason for what I say, when even Lady L, speaking for her sister on this concerning subject, cannot help throwing in a salvo for the pride of her sex?
Har. I doubt not, sir, but Lady L and Miss Grandison will explain themselves to your satisfaction.
Lady L- then called upon her sister. Miss Gr. Why, as to value-and all that To be sure-Lord G is not a man, that (and then she looked round her on each person) -that a woman-Hem!-that a woman-But, brother, I think you are a little too ready-to -to-A word and a blow, as the saying is, are two things-Not that-And there she stopt. Sir Ch. Smiling.] O, my dear Lord Lwhat shall we say to these Not thats? Were I my cousin Everard, I am not sure but I should suppose, when ladies were suspending unnecessarily, or with affectation, the happiness of the man they resolve to marry, that they were reflecting on themselves by an indirect acknowledgment of self-denial.
Miss Gr. Good God! brother.
I was angry at him, in my mind. How came this good man, thought I, by such thoughts as these, of our sex? What, Lucy, could a woman do with such a man, were he to apply to
her in courtship, whether she denied or accepted of him?
Sir Ch. You will consider, Lady L———, that you and Charlotte have brought this upon yourselves. That I call female pride, which distinguishes not either time, company, or occasion. You will remember that Lord G is not here; we are all brothers and sisters: and why, Charlotte, do you approve of entering upon the subject in this company; yet come with your exceptions, as if Lord G- had his father present, or pleading for him? These Not that she values, and so forth, are so like the dealings between petty chapmen and common buyers and sellers, that I love properly (observe that I say properly) to discourage them among persons of sense and honour. But come, Charlotte, enter into your own cause: you are an excellent pleader, on occasion. You know, or at least you ought to know, your own mind. I never am for encouraging agency, (Lady L———, excuse me-Will you give up yours?) where principals can be present.
Lady L. With all my heart. I stumbled at the very threshold. E'en, Charlotte, be your own advocate. The cause is on.
Miss Gr. Why, I don't know what to say.My brother will be so peremptory, perhaps
Sir Ch. A good sign for somebody-Don't you think so, madam? to me.-But the snail will draw in its horns, if the finger hastily touch it-Come, no good sign, perhaps, Charlotte.-I will not be peremptory. You shall be indulged, if you have not already been indulged enough, in all the petty circumambages customary on these occasions.
Miss Gr. This is charming:-But pray, sir, what is your advice on this subject?
Sir Ch. In our former conversation upon it, I told you what I thought of my lord's goodhumour; what of your vivacity-Can you, Charlotte, were you the wife of Lord Gcontent yourself now and then to make him start, by the lancet-like delicacy of your wit, without going deeper than the skin? Without exposing him (and yourself for doing so) to the ridicule of others? Can you bear with his foibles, if he can bear with yours? And if the forbearance is greater on his side than on yours, can you value him for it, and for his goodhumour?
Miss Gr. Finely run off, upon my word! Sir Ch. I am afraid only that you will be able, Charlotte, to do what you will with him. I am sorry to have cause to say, that I have seen very good women, who have not known how to bear indulgence!-Waller was not absolutely wrong, as to such, when he said, "that women were born to be controlled." If control is likely to be necessary, it will be with women of such charming spirits as you know whose, Charlotte, who will not confine to time and place their otherwise agreeable vivacities.
us-As to that Bologna, that Camilla, that bishop-Tell us more of them, dear Doctor.
Excuse me, ladies; excuse me, my lord. He bowed, and withdrew.
How we looked at one another! How the fool, in particular, blushed! How her heart throbbed!-At what?
But, Lucy, give me your opinion-Dr Bartlett guesses, that I am far from being indifferent to Sir Charles Grandison; he must be assured, that my own heart must be absolutely void of benevolence, if I did not more and more esteem Sir Charles, for his; and would Dr Bartlett be so cruel, as to contribute to a flame that, perhaps, is with difficulty kept from blazing out, as one hears new instances of his generous goodness, if he knew that Sir Charles Grandison was so engaged, as to render it impossibleWhat shall I say?-O this cruel, cruel suspense! What hopes, what fears, what contradictory conjectures!-But all will too soon perhaps-Here he is come-Sir Charles Grandison is come
O no!-A false alarm!-He is not come: it is only my Lord L― returning from an airing.
I could beat this girl! this Emily-It was owing to her!-A chit!-How we have fluttered each other!-But send for me down to Northamptonshire, my dear friends, before I am quite a fool.
PRAY-Do you know, Lucy, what is the business that calls Mr Deane to town, at this season of the year? He has made a visit to Sir Charles Grandison: for Dr Bartlett told me, as a grateful compliment, that Sir Charles was much pleased with him; yet Mr Deane did not tell me, that he designed it. I beseech you, my dear friends -Do not-But you would not; you could not! -I would be torn in pieces: I would not accept of I don't know what I would say. Only add not disgrace to distress.-But I am safe, if nothing be done but at the motion of my grandmamma and aunt Selby. They would not permit Mr Deane, or anybody, to make improper visits. But don't you think, that it must look particular to Sir Charles, to have a visit paid him by a man expressing for me so much undeserved tenderness and affection, so long after the affair was over which afforded him a motive for it?-I dread, as much for Mr Deane's sake as my own, everything that may be construed into officiousness or particularity, by so nice a discerner. Does he not say, that no man is more quick-sighted than himself, to those faults in women which are owing to want of delicacy?
I have been very earnest with Lord and Lady L and Miss Grandison, that they do not suffer their friendship for me to lay me under any difficulties with their brother. They all took my meaning, and promised to consult my punctilio, as well as my inclination. Miss Grandi
son was more kindly in earnest, in her assurances of this nature, than I was afraid she would be: and my lord said, it was fit that I should find even niceness gratified, in this particular.
[I absolutely confide in you, Lucy, to place hooks where I forget to put them; and where, in your delicate mind, you think I ought to put them; that they may direct your eye (when you come to read out before my uncle) to omit those passages which very few men have delicacy or seriousness enough to be trusted with. Yet, a mighty piece of sagacity, to find out a girl of little more than twenty, in love, as it is called! and to make a jest of her for it!]-[But I am peevish, as well as saucy.-This also goes between hooks.]
Adieu, my dear.
SIR CHARLES GRANDISON TO DR BARTLETT.
Monday Night, March 20.
I AM very much dissatisfied with myself, my dear Dr Bartlett. What pains have I taken, to conquer those sudden gusts of passion, to which, from my early youth, I have been subject, as you have often heard me confess! yet to find, at times, that I am unequal-to myself, shall I say?—To myself I will say; since I have been so much amended by your precepts and example. But I will give you the occasion.
My guests, and you, had but just left me, when the wretched Jervois, and her O'Hara, and another bullying man, desired to speak with
I bade the servant shew the woman into the drawing-room next my study, and the men into the adjoining parlour; but they both followed her into the drawing-room. I went to her, and, after a little stiff civility, (I could not help it,) asked, if these gentlemen had business with me?
That gentleman is Major O'Hara, sir; he is my husband. That gentleman is Captain Salmonet: he is the Major's brother-in-law. He is an officer of equal worth and bravery.
They gave themselves airs of importance and familiarity; and the Major motioned, as if he would have taken my hand.
I encouraged not the motion. Will you, gentlemen, walk this way?
I led the way to my study. The woman arose, and would have come with them.
If you please to stay where you are, madam, I will attend you presently.
They entered, and, as if they would have me think them connoisseurs, began to admire the globes, the orrery, the pictures, the busts.
I took off that sort of attention-Pray, gentlemen, what are your commands with me? I am called Major O'Hara, sir; I am the hus
band of the lady in the next room, as she told
And what, pray, sir, have I to do either with you or your marriage? I pay that lady, as the widow of Mr Jervois, 2001. a-year; I am not obliged to pay her more than one. She has no demands upon me; much less has her husband. The men had so much the air of bullies, and the woman is so very wicked, that my departed friend, and the name by which she so lately called the poor Emily, were in my head, and I had too little command of my temper.
Look ye, Sir Charles Grandison, I would have you to know
And he put his left hand upon his swordhandle, pressing it down, which tilted up the point with an air extremely insolent.
What am I to understand by that motion, sir?
The man seemed at a loss what to say; but not from bashfulness. He looked about him, as if for his woman; set his teeth; bit his lip, and took snuff, with an air so like defiance, that, for fear I should not be able to forbear taking notice of it, I turned to the other: Pray, Captain Salmonet, said I, what are your commands with me?
He spoke in broken English: and said, he had the honour to be Major O'Hara's brother; he had married the Major's sister.
And why, sir, might you not have favoured me with the company of all your relations? Have you any business with me, sir, on your own account?
I come, I come, said he, to see my brother righted, sir
Who has wronged him?-Take care, gentlemen, how-But, Mr O'Hara, what are your pretensions?
Why look ye, Sir Charles Grandison-(throwing open his coat, and sticking one hand in his side, the other thrown out with a flourish) Look ye, sir, repeated he
I found my choler rising. I was afraid of self.
angry airs; nodding their heads at each other; but followed the servant into that parlour.
I went to Mrs O'Hara as she calls herself. Well, madam, what is your business with me now?
You are only, sir, to take care of her fortune; so I am advised; I, as her mother, have the natural right over her person. The Chancery will give it to me.
Then seek your remedy in Chancery; let me never hear of you again, but by the officers of that court.
I opened the door leading into the room where the two men were.
They are not officers, I daresay; common men of the town, I doubt not, new-dressed for the occasion. O'Hara, as she calls him, is probably one of her temporary husbands only,
Pray, walk in, gentlemen, said I. This lady intimates to me, that she will apply to Chancery against me. The Chancery, if she has any grievance, will be a proper recourse. She can have no business with me, after such a declaration my--much less can either of you.
Where are the gentlemen, sir? Where is my husband?
They are both in the next room, and within hearing of all that shall pass between you and me.
And do you hold them unworthy of your presence, sir?
Not, madam, while you are before me, and if they had any business with me, or I with them. Has not a husband business where his wife is? Neither wife nor husband has business with
Yes, sir, I am come to demand my daughter. I come to demand a mother's right.
I answer not to such a demand; you know you have no right to make it.
I have been at Colnebrook; she was kept from me; my child was carried out of the house, that I might not see her.
And have you then terrified the poor girl? I have left a letter for her; and I expect to see her upon it. Her new father, as worthy and as brave a man as yourself, sir, longs to see her
Her new father, madam.-You expect to see her! madam.-What was your behaviour to her, unnatural woman! the last time you saw her? But if you do see her, it must be in my presence, and without your man, if he form pretensions, on your account, that may give either her or me disturbance.
And opening the drawing-room door that led to the hall, Frederick, said I, attend the lady and the gentlemen to their coach.
I turned from them to go into my study.
The Major, as he was called, asked me with a fierce air, his hand on his sword, if this were treatment due to gentlemen?