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my good Miss Byron any farther questions to ask?--Your frankness of heart, madam, entitles you to equal frankness. Not a question you can ask, but the answer shall be ready upon my lips.
Is the lady, sir, whom you could prefer to all others, a foreign or an English lady?—Ah, Lucy! And do you think I asked him this question?-O, no! but I had a mind to startle you. I could have asked it, I can tell you: and, if it had been proper, it would have been the first of questions with me: yet, had not the answer been such as I had liked, perhaps I should not have been able to stay in company.
I only bowed, and I believe blushed with complacency, at the kind manner in which he spoke to me: every one, by their eyes, took notice of it with pleasure.
Lady L. Well, brother, and what think you of the purport of Charlotte's question? Charlotte says, that she does not think highly of either of the other men.
Sir Ch. That, at present, is all that concerns me to know. I will write to Sir Walter ; I will let Lord G know, that there is a man in the clouds that Charlotte waits for: that ladies must not be easily won. Milton justifies you, in his account of the behaviour of your common grandmother, on the first interview between her and the man for whom she was created. Charming copiers! You, Miss Byron, are an exception. You know nothing of affectation. You
Miss Gr. Unseasonably interrupting him.] Pray, sir, be pleased, since we are such fine copiers of the old lady you mentioned, to repeat the lines: I have no remembrance of them.
She heard me thus; and, though divinely brought,
I have looked for the passage, since, Lucy. He missed several lines.
Now, Charlotte, said Sir Charles, though these lines are a palpable accommodation to the future practice of the daughters of the old lady, as you call her, and perhaps intended for an instruction to them, since it could not be a natural behaviour in Eve, who was divinely brought to be the wife of Adam, and it being in the state of innocence, could not be conscious of dishonour in receiving his address; yet, if you know what is meant by obsequious majesty, you had as good try for it; and as you are followed, and should not follow, approve of the pleaded reason of one or other of your admirers.
Miss Gr. After hearing the pleaded reason of both, should you not say? I have the choice of
two; that had not Eve. But, hold! I had like to have been drawn in to be flippant again; and then you would have inquired after my cousin Everard, and so forth, and been angry.
Sir Ch. Not now, Charlotte: we are now at play together. I see there is constitution in your fault. The subjects we are upon, courtship and marriage, cannot, I find, be talked seriously of by a lady, before company. Shall I retire with you to solitude? Make a lover's Camera Obscura for you? Or, could I place you upon the mossy bank of a purling stream, gliding through an enamelled mead; in such a scene, a now despised Lord G- or a Sir Walter, might find his account, sighing at your feet. No witnesses but the grazing herd, lowing love around you: the feathered songsters, from an adjacent grove, contributing to harmonize and fan the lambent flame
Miss Gr. Interrupting. Upon my word, brother, I knew you had travelled through Greece, but dreamt not that you had dwelt so long in the fields of Ar-ca-dy!—But one question let me ask you, concerning your friend Beauchamp-We women don't love to be slighted!-Whether do you think him too good, or not good enough, for your sister?
Sir Ch. The friendship, Charlotte, that has for some years subsisted, and I hope will for ever subsist, between Mr Beauchamp and me, wants not the tie of relation to strengthen it. Lord L. Happy Beauchamp!
Sir Ch. Lord L- himself is not dearer to me, brother as I have the honour to call him, than my Beauchamp. It is one of my pleasures, my lord, that I am assured you will love him, and he you.
Lord L bowed, delighted; and, if he did, his good lady, you may be sure, partook of her lord's delight. They are a happy pair! They want not sense; they have both fine understandings! But, O! my Lucy, they are not the striking, dazzling qualities in men and women, that make us happy. Good sense, and solid judgment, a natural complacency of temper, a desire of obliging, and an easiness to be obliged, procure the silent, the serene happiness, to which the fluttering, tumultuous, impetuous. fervours of passion can never contribute. Nothing violent can be lasting.
Miss Gr. Not that I value-There, brother —You see, I am a borrower of Lady L———.
Lady L. Upon my honour, Charlotte, I believe you led me into those words; so don't say you borrowed them.
Sir Ch. Far be it from me to endeavour to cure women of affectation on such subjects as that which lately was before us-I don't know what is become of it; (looking humorously round, as if he had lost something which he wanted to recover;) but that, permit me, ladies, to say, may be an affectation in one company, that is but a necessary reserve in another
Charlotte has genius enough, I am sure, to vary her humour to the occasion; and, if she would give herself time for reflection, to know when to be grave, when to be airy.
Miss Gr. I don't know that, brother: but let me say for Charlotte, that I believe you sometimes think better of her, (as in the case,) sometimes worse, than she deserves. Charpresent lotte has not much reflection; she is apt to speak as the humour comes upon her, without considering much about the fit, or the unfit. It is constitution, you know, brother; and she cannot easily cure it: but she will try.-Only, sir, be so good as to let me have an answer to my last question, whether you think your friend too good, or not good enough? Because the answer will let me know what my brother thinks of me; and that, let me tell you, is of very high importance with me.
Sir Ch. You have no reason, Charlotte, to endeavour to come at this your end, by indirect or comparative means. Your brother loves you
Miss Gr. With all my faults, sir?
Sir Ch. With all your faults, my dear; and I had almost said, for some of them. I love you for the pretty playfulness, on serious subjects, with which you puzzle yourself, and bewilder me: you see I follow your lead. As to the other part of your question, (for I would always answer directly, when I can,) my friend Beauchamp deserves the best of women. are excellent in my eyes; but I have known two You very worthy persons, who, taken separately, have been admired by every one who knew them, and who admired each other before marriage, yet not happy in it.
Miss Gr. Is it possible? To what could their unhappiness be owing?-Both, I suppose, continuing good?
Sir Ch. To a hundred almost nameless reasons-Too little consideration on one side; too much on the other: diversions different: too much abroad the man-too much at home will sometimes have the same effect: acquaintance approved by the one; disapproved by the other: one liking the town; the other the country: or either preferring town or country in different humours, or at different times of the year. Human nature, Charlotte
Miss Gr. No more, no more, I beseech you, brother-Why, this human nature, I believe, is a very vile thing! I think, Lady Lmarry at all. I won't
Sir Ch. Some such trifles, as these I have enumerated, will be likely to make you, Charlotte, with all your excellencies, not so happy as I wish you to be. If you cannot have a man of whose understanding you have a higher opinion than you have of your own, you should think of one who is likely to allow to yours a superiority. If
Miss Grandison interrupted him again: I
wished she would not so often interrupt him : I wanted to find out his notions of our sex. I am afraid, with all his politeness, he thinks us ter of a good, a prudent woman, be as great as poor creatures. But why should not the characthat of a good, a prudent man?
tleman abroad has more understanding than I Miss Gr. Well, but, sir; I suppose the genhave.
you'll think of that: not what I, or the world,
nerally goes with the world.
stances. A wife, in general, may allow of a
Miss Gr. I think you said, sir, that bachelors were close observers.
Sir Ch. We may, in the sister, sometimes see city; but I am not sure that a husband would the wife. I admire you, myself, for your vivatrue, as you say, "that Charlotte has not much not think himself hurt by it, especially if it be reflection, and is apt to speak as the humour the fit or the unfit." comes upon her, without troubling herself about
Miss Gr. O, sir, what a memory you have!
hope this, Charlotte?
sakes, I believe.
Sir Ch. You'll tell the man in courtship, I hope, that all this liveliness is "constitution ;" and " that you know not how to cure it."
the mistress, as somebody else in the sister, Miss Gr. No, by no means, sir: let him in guess at the wife, and take warning.
play we are at: but I am willing to think highSir Ch. Very well answered, Charlotte, in the ly of my sister's prudence; and that she will be happy, and make the man so, to whom she may think fit to give her hand at the altar. And now Gthe question recurs, what shall I say to Lord ? What to Sir Walter?
Miss Gr. Why I think you must make my
er this lively spirit-You will put your deter-
Miss Gr. In plain English, then, I can by
Sir Ch. Well, and what shall I say to Lord G-?
Miss Gr. Why that's the thing-I was afraid it would come to this-Why, sir, you must tell him, I think I profess I can't tell what-But, sir, will you let me know what you would have me tell him?
Sir Ch. "Will not be denied an audience, if he come!" And this to Charlotte's brother! Women! Women! Women!-You, Miss Byron, I repeat it with pleasure, are an exception-In your letters and behaviour we see what a woman is, and what she ought to be Yet, I know you have too much greatness of Sir Ch. I will follow your lead as far as I mind to accept (as you once told Sir Rowland can.-Can you, do you think, love Lord G-? Meredith) of a compliment made you at the exMiss Gr. Love him! love Lord G ?pense of your sex-But my heart does you juswhat a question is that!-Why no! I verily tice. believe, that I can't say that.
Sir Ch. Can you esteem him? Miss Gr. Esteem him!-Why that's a quaint word, though a female one. I believe, if I were to marry the honest man, I could be civil to him, if he would be very complaisant, very observant, and all that-Pray, brother, don't, however, be angry with me.
Sir Ch. I will not Charlotte, (smiling.) It is constitution, you say.-But if you cannot be more than civil; and if he is to be very observant; you'll make it your agreement with him, before you meet him at the altar, that he shall subscribe to the woman's part of the vow; and that you shall answer to the man's.
Miss Gr. A good thought, I believe! I'll consider of it. If I find, in courtship, the man will bear it, I may make the proposal.-Yet I don't know, but it will be as well to suppose the vow changed, without conditioning for it, as other good women do; and act accordingly. One would not begin with a singularity, for fear of putting the parson out. I heard an excellent lady once advise a good wife, who, however, very little wanted it, to give the man a hearing, and never do anything that he would wish to be done, except she chose to do it. If the man loves quiet, he'll be glad to compound.
Har. Nay now, Miss Grandison, you are much more severe upon your sex, and upon matrimony, than Sir Charles.
Sir Ch. Have I been severe upon either, my dear Miss Byron ?
Har. Indeed I think so.
Sir Ch. I am sorry for it; I only intended to be just. See, Charlotte, what a censure, from goodness itself, you draw upon me!-But I am to give encouragement (am I?) to Lord G? Miss Gr. Do as you please, sir.
Sir Ch. That is saying nothing. Is there a man in the world you prefer to Lord G―? Miss Gr. In the world, sir!-A very wide place, I profess.
Sir Ch. You know what I mean by it. Miss Gr. Why, No-Yes-No-What can I say to such a question?
Sir Ch. Help me, Lady L. You know, better than I, Charlotte's language: help me to understand it.
Lady L. I believe, brother, you may let Lord Gknow, that he will not be denied an audience, if he come
Lord L. See, however, brother Grandison, this excellence in the two sisters! You say, indeed, but just things in praise of Miss Byron ; but they are more than women: for they enjoy that praise, and the acknowledged superiority of the only woman in Britain, to whom they can be inferior.
Do you think I did not thank them both for compliments so high? I did. You DID, Harriet?
Ah, Lucy! I had a mind to surprise you again. I did thank them; but it was in downcast silence, and by a glow in my cheeks, that was even painful to me to feel.
The sisters have since observed to me (flattering ladies!) that their brother's eyes-But is it not strange, Lucy, that they did not ask him, in this long conversation, whether his favourite of our sex is a foreigner, or not? If she be, what signifies the eye of pleasure cast upon your Harriet?
But what do you think was Miss Grandison's address to me, on this agreeable occasion? You, my grandmamma, will love her again, I am sure, though she so lately incurred your displeasure.
Sweet and ever amiable Harriet! said she; Sister! Friend! enjoy the just praises of two of the best of men!-You can enjoy them with equal modesty and dignity; and we can (what say you, Lady L—?) find our praise in the honour you do our sex, and in being allowed to be seconds to you.
And what do you think was the answer of Lady L- (generous woman!) to this call of her sister?
I can cheerfully, said she, subscribe to the visible superiority of my Harriet, as shewn in all her letters, as well as in her whole conduct: but then you, my lord, and you, my brother, who in my eye are first of men, must not let me have cause to dread, that your Caroline is sunk in yours.
I had hardly power to sit, yet had less to retire; as I had, for a moment, a thought to do. I am glad I did not attempt it: my return to company must have been awkward, and made me look particular. But, Lucy, what is in my letters, to deserve all these fine speeches ?-But my lord and his sisters are my true friends, and zealous well-wishers. No fear that I should be too proud on this occasion: it is humbling enough to reflect, that the worthy three thought it all
no more than necessary to establish me with somebody; and yet, after all, if there be a foreign lady, what signify all these fine things?
But how (you will ask) did the brother acknowledge these generous speeches of his sisters and Lord L -How? Why as he ought to do. He gave them, for their generous goodness to their Harriet, in preference to themselves, such due praises, as more than restored them, in my eye, to the superiority they had so nobly given up.
Sir Charles afterwards addressed himself to me jointly with his sisters. I see with great pleasure, said he, the happy understanding that there is between you three ladies: it is a demonstration, to me, of surpassing goodness in you all. To express myself in the words of an ingenious man, to whose works your sex, and if yours, ours, are more obliged, than to those of any single man in the British world,
Great souls by instinct to each other turn, Demand alliance, and in friendship burn. ADDISON'S Campaign.
The two sisters and your Harriet bowed as they sat.
Encouraged by this happy understanding among you, let me hope, proceeded he, that you, Miss Byron, will be so good as to inform yourself, and let me know, what I may certainly depend upon to be our Charlotte's inclinations, with respect to the two gentlemen who court her favour; and whether there is any man that she can or does prefer to the most favoured of either of them. From you I shall not meet with the "Not that she values"-The depreciating indifferences, the affected slights, the female circumambages, if I may be allowed the words; the coldly expressed consent to visits not deserving to be discouraged, and perhaps not intended to be so; that I have had to encounter with in the past conversation. I have been exceedingly diverted with my sister's vivacity; but as the affair is of a very serious nature; as I would be extremely tender in my interposition, having really no choice but hers; and wanting only to know on whom that choice will fall, or whether on any man, at present; on your noble frankness I can rely: and Charlotte will open her mind to you: if not, she has very little profited by the example you have set her in the letters you have permitted her to read.
He arose, bowed, and withdrew; Miss Grandison called after him, Brother, brother, brother-One word-Don't leave us-But he only kissed his hand to us at the door; and bowing, with a smiling air, left us looking at each other in a silence that held a few moments.
LORD L broke the silence. You are a delightful girl, Charlotte; but your brother has had a great deal of patience with you.
O my lord, said she, if we women play our cards right, we shall be able to manage the best and the wisest of you all, as we please. It is but persevering, and you men, if not out-argued, may be out-teazed.-But, Harriet—upon my word-The game seems to be all in your own hands.
We want but my brother to be among us, said Lady L. Beauty would soon find its power: and such a mind-And then they complimented me, that their brother and I were born for each other.
Miss Grandison told us all three her thoughts, in relation to the alliance with Lord GShe said, she was glad that her brother had proposed to know her mind from me. Something, Harriet, said she, may rise in the tête-àtête conversation, that may let us into a little of his own.
But shall I trust myself with him alone, Lucy? Indeed I am afraid of him, of my-self rather. My own concerns so much in my head, .I wish I don't confound them with Miss Grandison's. A fine piece of work shall I make of it, if I do. If I get it so happily over, as not to be dissatisfied with myself, for my part in it, I shall think I have had a deliverance.
But, Lucy, if all these distinctions paid me in this conversation, and all this confidence placed in me, produce nothing-If-Why, what if? -In one word, should this if be more than if
Why then it will go the harder, that's all, with your Harriet, than if she had not been so much distinguished.
At afternoon tea, the Danbys being mentioned, Lord Lasked Sir Charles, what was the danger from which he relieved their uncle? And we all joining in requesting particulars, he gave the following, which I will endeavour to repeat, as near as possible, in his own words. My heart interested itself in the relation.
"MR DANBY," said he, " was a merchant of equal eminence and integrity: he was settled at Cambray: he had great dealings in the manufactures of cambrics and lace. His brother John, a very profligate man, had demanded of him, and took it ill that he denied him, a thousand guineas; for no better reason, but because he had generously given that sum to each of the wicked man's children. Surely, he pleaded, he was as nearly related to his brother as were those
his children. No plea is too weak for folly and self-interest to insist upon. Yet my Mr Danby had often given this brother large sums, which he squandered away almost as soon as he received them.
My father used to make remittances to Mr Danby, for my use; for his dealings in other branches of commerce extended to the south of France and Italy: this brought me acquainted with him.
"He took a great liking to me. I saw him first at Lyons; and he engaged me to visit him at Cambray, whenever I should go to Paris or Flanders.
"Accompanying a friend, soon after, to Paris, I performed my promise.
"He had a villa in the Cambresis, at a small distance from the city, which he sometimes called his cottage, at others his dormitory. It was a little lone house: he valued it for its elegance. Thither, after I had passed two days with him at his house in the city, he carried me.
"His brother, enraged at being refused the sum he had so unreasonably demanded, formed a plot to get possession of his whole fortune. My Mr Danby was a bachelor, and, it was known, had, to that time, an aversion to the thought of making his will.
"The wretch, in short, hired three ruffians to murder him. The attempt was to be made in this little house, that the fact might have the appearance of being committed by robbers; and the cabinets, in the bed-chamber, if there were time for it, after the horrid fact was perpetrated, were to be broken open, and rifled, in order to give credit to that appearance. The villains were each to be rewarded with a thousand crowns, payable on the wicked man's getting possession of his brother's fortune; and they had fifty crowns a-piece paid them in hand.
"Their unnatural employer waited the event at Calais, though he told them he should be at Dunkirk.
"I had one servant with me, who lay with a man-servant of Mr Danby in a little room over the stable, about an hundred yards from the house. There were only conveniences in the house for Mr Danby and a friend, besides two women-servants in the upper part of it.
"About midnight I was alarmed by a noise, as of violence used at the window of Mr Danby's room. Mine communicated with his. The fastening of the door was a spring-lock, the key of which was on my side.
"I slipt on my clothes in an instant, and, drawing my sword, rushed into the next room, just as one villain, with a large knife in his hand, had seized the throat of Mr Danby, who, till then, was in a sound sleep. The skin of his neck, and one hand lifted up to defend himself, were slightly wounded before I ran the ruffian into the shoulder, as I did with my sword, and
in the same moment disarmed him, and threw him with violence from the bed, against the door. He roared out, that he was a dead man.
"A second fellow had got up to the window, and was half in ; he called out to a third below, to hasten up after him on a ladder, which was generally left in an out-house near the little garden.
"I hastened to this second fellow, who then fired a pistol, but happily missed me; and who, feeling my sword's point in his arm, threw himself, with a little of my help, out of the window, upon the third fellow, who was mounting the ladder, and knocked him off; and then both made their escape by the way they came. "The fellow within had fainted, and lay weltering in his blood.
By this time the two women-servants had let in our men, who had been alarmed by the report of the pistol, and by the screams of the women from their window; for they ventured not out of their chamber, till they were called upon for entrance, by their fellow-servant from below.
"The two footmen, by my direction, bound up the ruffian's shoulder; they dragged him down into the hall; he soon came to himself, and offered to make an ample confession.
"Poor Mr Danby had crept into my room, and in a corner of it had fainted away. We recovered him with difficulty.
"The fellow confessed, before a magistrate, the whole villainy, and who set him at work; the other two, being disabled by their bruises from flying far, were apprehended next day. The vile brother was sent after to Dunkirk, ac-, cording to the intelligence given of him by the fellows; but he having informed himself of what had happened, got over from Calais to Dover.
"The wounded man, having lost much blood, recovered not. They were all three ordered to be executed; but, being interceded for, the surviving villains were sent to the gallies.
"It seems they knew nothing of Mr Danby's having a guest with him; if they had, they owned they would have made their attempt another night.”
WE were about to deliver our sentiments on this extraordinary event, when Sir Charles, turning to Lady L, Let me ask you, said he, (the servant being withdrawn,) has Charlotte found out her own mind?
Yes, yes, sir; I believe she has opened all her heart to Miss Byron.
Then I shall know more of it in ten minutes, than Charlotte would let me know in as many hours.
Stand by, everybody, said the humorous lady -Let me get up, and make my brother one of my best curtseys.
Sir Charles was just then called out to a mes