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trust you, if you give me your honour, with our proofs; and if you and your friends are satisfied with them, and will consent to establish our right by the form only of a new trial, then may we be agreed; otherwise, not. And I leave you and them to consider of it. I shall hear from you within two or three days.-Sir John promised I should; but hoped to have some talk first with the Hartleys, with whom, as well as with me, he declared he would be upon honour.
I HAD a message from Sir John last night, requesting me to dine with him and the elder Mr Keeling this day; and to bring with me the two Mr Hartleys, and the proofs I had hinted at.
Those gentlemen were so obliging as to go with me; and took the important paper with them, which had been deposited with their grandfather, as a common friend, and contained a recognition of the Mansfields' right to the estates in question, upon an amicable reference to persons long since departed: an attested copy of which was once in the Mansfields' possession, as by a memorandum that came to hand; but which never could be found. The younger Keeling was not intended to be there, but he forced himself upon us. He behaved very rudely. I had once like to have forgotten myself. This meeting produced nothing; but as the father is a reasonable man; as we have obtained a rehearing of the cause; as he is much influenced by Sir John Lambton, who seems convinced, and to whose honour I have submitted an abstract of our proofs; I am in hopes that we shall be able to accommodate.
As to the woman's claim: what in honour can I do against a promise that he owns may be proved upon him? He did not condition with her that she was to be a spotless woman. If he thought she was so when he solicited her to yield to his desires, he is the less to be excused: vile as she comes out to be, had proposed to make her as vile, if he had found her not so. He promised her marriage: meant he only a promise? She is punished in being what she is: his punishment cannot be condign, but by his being obliged to perform his promise. Yet I cannot bear to think, that my cousin Grandison should be made, for life, the dupe of a successful and premeditated villainy; and the less, as, in all likelihood, the profligate Lord Bwould continue to himself, from the merit with her of having vindicated her claim, an interest in the bad woman's favour, were she to be the wife of our poor Everard.
But certainly this claim must be prosecuted with a view only to extort money from my cousin; and they know him to be of a family jealous of its honour. I think she must be treated with for releases. I could not bear to appear in such a cause as this, in open court, in support of my cousin, against a promise made by him. He is of age, and thought to be no novice in the ways of the town. I am mistaken in Mr Grandison's spirit, if it do not lead him to think himself very severely punished, (were he to have no other punishment,) by the consequence of those vices which will bring an expense upon me.
But if I should be able to extricate the unhappy man from this difficulty, what can next be done for him? The poor remains of his fortune will not support one who has always lived more than genteelly. Will he be able, think you, to endure the thoughts of living in a constant state of dependence, however easy and genteel I should endeavour to make it to him? There may be many ways (in the public offices, for example,) of providing for a broken tradesman: but for a man who calls himself, and is, a gentleman; who will expect, as such, to rank with his employer; who knows nothing of figures, or business of any kind; who has been brought up in idleness, and hardly knows the meaning of the word diligence; and never could bear confinement; what can be done for such a
one in the public offices, or by any other em ployment that requires punctual attendance? But to quit this subject, for a more agreeable
I have for some time had it in my thoughts to ask you, my dear friend, whether your nephew is provided for to your liking and his own? If not, and he would put it in my power to serve him, by serving myself, I should be obliged to you for permitting him so to do, and to him, for his consent. I would not affront him, by the offer of a salary; my presents to him shall be such as befit the services done:-sometimes as my amanuensis; sometimes as a transcriber and methodizer of papers and letters; sometimes in adjusting servants' accounts, and fitting them for my inspection. You need not fear my regard to myself in my acknowledgments to be made to him, (that, I know, will be all your fear;) for I have always considered profusion and parsimony as two extremes, equally to be avoided. You, my dear Dr Bartlett, have often enforced this lesson on my mind. Can it then ever be forgotten by
Your affectionate friend and servant, CHARLES GRANDISON?
SIGNOR JERONYMO DELLA PORRETTA TO SIR CHARLES GRANDISON.
Bologna, Monday, Sept. 15, N. S. YOUR kind letters from Lyons, my dearest friend, rejoiced us extremely. Clementina languished to hear from you. How was it possible for you to write with so much warmth of affection to her, yet with so much delicacy, that a rival could not have taken exceptions at it?
She writes to you. It is not for me, it is not for any of us, I think, to say one word to the principal subject of her letter. She shewed it to me, and to her mother, only.
Dear creature! could she but be prevailed upon!-But how can you be asked to support the family-wishes? Yet if you think them just, I know you will. You know not self, when justice and the service of your friend stand in opposition to it. All that I am afraid of, is, that we shall be too precipitate for the dear creature's head.
you would have the whole family, as far as I know. We think, we talk, of nobody but you. We look out for Englishmen, to do them honour for your sake.
Mrs Beaumont is with us. Surely she is your near relation. She advises caution; but thinks that our present measures are not wrong ones, as we never can give into my sister's wishes to quit the world. Dear Grandison! love not Mrs Beaumont the less for her opinion in our favour.
Mr Lowther writes to you; I say nothing, therefore, of that worthy man.
I am wished to write more enforcingly to you on a certain important subject: but I say I cannot, dare not, will not.
Dear Grandison, love still your Jeronymo! Your friendship makes life worthy of my wish. It has been a consolation to me, when every other failed, and all around me was darkness, and the shadow of death. You will often be troubled with letters from me. My beloved, my dearest friend, my Grandison, adieu ! JERONYMO Della Porretta.
LADY CLEMENTINA TO SIR CHARLES
Bologna, Monday, Sept. 15, N. S. How welcome to me was your letter from Lyons! My good Chevalier Grandison, my heart thanks you for it: yet it was possible that heart could have been still more thankful, had I not observed in your letter an air of pensiveness, though it is endeavoured to be concealed. What pain would it give me to know, that you suffer on my account!-But no more in this strain: a complaining one must take place.
O chevalier, I am persecuted! and by whom? By my dearest, my nearest friends. I was afraid it would be so. Why would you deny me your influence when I importuned you for it? Why would you not stay among us, till you saw me professed? Then had I been happy-In time, I should have been happy!-Now am I beset with entreaties, with supplications, from those who ought to command;-yet unlawfully, if they did: I presume to think so: since parents, though they ought to be consulted in the change of condition, as to the person; yet surely should not oblige the child to marry, who chooses to be sing call her life. A more cogent reason may be pleaded, and I do plead it to my relations, as Catholics, since I wish for nothing so much as to assume the veil.-But you are a Protestant: you favour not a divine dedication, and would not plead for me. On the contrary, you have strengthened their hands!-O chevalier! how could you do so, and ever love me! Did you not know, there was but one way to escape the
grievous consequences of the importunities of those who justly lay claim to my obedience ?— And they do claim it.
And in what forcible manner claim it!-Shall I tell you? Thus, then: My father, with tears in his eyes, beseeches me! My mother gently reminds me of what she has suffered for me in my illness; and declares that it is in my power to make the rest of her days happy: nor shall she think my own tranquillity of mind secured, till I oblige her!-O chevalier, what pleas are these from a father, whose eyes plead more strongly than words; and from a mother, on whose bright days I cast a cloud! The Bishop pleads: how can a Catholic bishop plead, and not for me? The General declares that he never wooed his beloved wife for her consent with more fervour than he does me for mine, to oblige them all. Nay, Jeronymo ! Blush, sisterly love! to say it-Jeronymo, your friend Jeronymo, solicitous on the same side-Even Father Marescotti is carried away by the example of the Bishop.-Mrs Beaumont argues with me in their favour-And Camilla, who was ever full of your praises, teazes me continually.
They name not the. man: they pretend to leave me free to choose through the world. They plead, that, zealous as they are in the Catholic faith, they were so earnest for me to enter into the state, that they were desirous to see me the wife even of a Protestant, rather than I should remain single: and they remind me, that it was owing to my scruple only, that this was not effected. But why will they weaken, rather than strengthen my scruple? Could I have got over three points-The sense of my own unworthiness, after my mind had been disturbed; the insuperable apprehension, that, drawn aside by your love, I should probably have ensnared my own soul, and that I should be perpetually lamenting the certainty of the loss of his whom it would be my duty to love as my own; their importunity would hardly have been wanted.
Tell me, advise me, my good chevalier, my fourth brother, you are not now interested in the debate, if I may not lawfully stand out? Tell me, as I know that I cannot answer their views, except I marry, and yet cannot consent to marry, whether I may not as well sequester myself from the world, and insist upon so doing?
What can I do?-I am distressed-O thou, my brother, my friend, whom my heart ever must hold dear, advise me! To you I have told them I will appeal. They are so good as to promise to suspend their solicitations, if I will hold suspended my thoughts of the veil till I have your advice. But give it not against meIf you ever valued Clementina,
Give it not against her !
SIR CHARLES GRANDISON TO LADY
London, Monday, Sept. 18-29. WHAT can I say, most excellent of women! to the contents of the letter you have honoured me with? What a task have you imposed upon me! You take great, and, respecting your intentions, I will call it kind care, to let me know that I can have no interest in the decision of the case you refer to me. I repeat my humble acquiescence; but must again declare, that it would have been next to impossible to do so, had you not made a point of conscience of your scruples.
But what weight is my advice likely to have with a young lady, who repeatedly, in the close of her letter, desires me not to give it for her parents?
I, madam, am far from being unprejudiced in this case: for, can the man who once himself hoped for the honour of your hand, advise you against marriage?-Are not your parents generously indulgent, when they name not any particular person to you? I applaud both their wisdom and their goodness on this occasion. Possibly you guess the man whom they would recommend to your choice: and I am sure Lady Clementina would not refuse their recommendation merely because it was theirs. Nor, indeed, upon any less reason than an unconquerable aversion, or a preference to some other Catholic. A Protestant, it seems, it cannot be.
But let me ask my sister, my friend, What answer I can make to the lady who had shewn, in one instance, that she had not an insuperable aversion to matrimony; yet, on conscientious reasons, refusing one man, and not particularly favouring any, can scruple to oblige (obey is not the word they use)" a father, who, with tears in his eyes, beseeches her; a mother who gently reminds her of what she has suffered for her; who declares that it is in her power to make the rest of her days happy ;" and who urges a still stronger plea, respecting them both, and the whole family, to engage the attention of the beloved daughter?—O madam! "what pleas are those, [Let me still make use of your own pathetic words,] from a father whose eyes plead more strongly than words! and from a mother, over whose bright days you had (though involuntarily) cast a cloud!"— Your brother the Bishop, a man of piety; your Confessor, a man of equal piety; your two other brothers; your disinterested friend Mrs Beaumont; your faithful Camilla; all wholly disinterested.-What an enumeration against yourself!-Forbidden, as I am, to give the cause against you, what can I say? Dearest
Lady Clementina, can I, on your own representation, give it for you?
You know, madam, the sacrifice I have made to the plea of your conscience, not my own. make no doubt, but parents so indulgent as yours will yield to your reasons, if you can plead conscience against the performance of the filial duty; the more a duty, as it is so gently urged: nay, hardly urged; but by tears, and wishes, which the eyes, not the lips, express; and which if you will perform, your parents will think themselves under an obligation to their child.
Lady Clementina is one of the most generous of women: but consider, madam, in this instance of your preferring your own will to that of the most indulgent of parents, whether there is not an apparent selfishness, inconsistent with your general character, even were you to be as happy in a convent, as you propose. Would you not, in that case, live to yourself, and renounce your parents and family, as parts of that world which you would vow to despise ?-Dear lady! I asked you once before, Is there anything sinful in a sacrament? Such all good Catholics deem matrimony. And shall I ask you, Whether, as self-denial is held to be meritorious in your church, there is not a merit in denying yourself in the case before us, when you can, by perform ing the filial duty, oblige your whole family?
Permit me to say, that, though a Protestant, I am not an enemy to such foundations in general. I could wish, under proper regulations, that we had nunneries among us. I would not, indeed, have the obligation upon nuns be perpetual: let them have liberty, at the end of every two or three years, to renew their vows or other wise by the consent of friends. Celibacy in the clergy is an indispensable law of your church: yet a cardinal has been allowed to lay down the purple, and marry. You know, madam, I must mean Ferdinand of Medicis. Family-reasons, in that case, preponderated, as well at Rome as at Florence.
the question: but what I have urged has been a task upon me; a task which I could not have performed, had I not preferred to my own, the happiness of you and your family.
May both earthly and heavenly blessings attend your determination, whatever it be, prays, dearest madam,
Your ever faithful friend, affectionate brother, And humble servant,
Of all the women I know, Lady Clementina della Porretta should be the last who should be earnest to take the veil. There can be but two persons in the world, besides herself, who will not be grieved at her choice. We know their reasons. The will of her grandfather, now with God, is against her; and her living parents, and every other person of her family, those two excepted, would be made unhappy if she sequestered herself from the world and them. Clementina has charity: she wishes, she once said, to take a great revenge upon Laurana. Laurana has something to repent of: let her take the veil. The fondness she has for the world, a fondness which could make her break through all the ties of relation and humanity, requires a check: but are any of those in convents more pious, more exemplarily pious, than Clementina is out of them?
Much more could I urge on the same side of
SIR CHARLES GRANDISON TO SIGNOR JERONYMO DELLA PORRETTA.
London, Saturday, Sept. 18-29. I HAVE Written, my beloved friend, to Lady Clementina; and shall enclose a copy of my letter.
I own that, till I received hers, I thought there was a possibility, though not a probability, that she might change her mind in my favour. I foresaw that you would all join, for familyreasons, to press her to marry: and when, thought I, she finds herself very earnestly urged, it is possible that she will forego her scruples, and, proposing some conditions for herself, will honour with her hand the man whom she has avowedly honoured with a place in her heart, rather than any other. The malady she has been afflicted with, often leaves, for some time, an unsteadiness in the mind: my absence, as I proposed to settle in my native country, never more, perhaps, to return to Italy; the high notions she has of obligation and gratitude; her declared confidence in my honour and affection; all co-operating, she may, thought I, change her mind; and if she does, I cannot doubt the favour of her friends. It was not, my Jeronymo, presumptuous to hope. It was justice to Clementina to attend the event, and to wait for the promised letter: but now, that I see you are all of one mind, and that the dear lady, though vehemently urged by all her friends to marry some other man, can appeal to me only as to her fourth brother, and a man not interested in the event-I give up all my hopes.
I have written accordingly to your dear Clementina; but it could not be expected that I should give the argument all the weight that might be given it: yet, being of opinion that she was in duty obliged to yield to the entreaties of all her friends, I have been honest. But, surely, no man ever was involved in so many difficult situations as your Grandison; who yet never, by enterprize or rashness, was led out of the plain path into difficulties so uncommon.
You wish, my dear friend, that I would set an example to your excellent sister. I will unbosom my heart to you.
your own; and of the dignity of your sex. The world looks up to you (your education, too, so greatly beyond that of most Italian ladies) with the expectation of an example-Yet have not evil reports already gone out upon your last excursion? The world will not see with our eyes, nor judge as we would have it, and as we sometimes know it ought to judge. My visit to Italy, when you were absent from it, and in England, was of service to your fame. The malignant world, at present, holds itself suspended in its censures; and expects, from your future conduct, either a confutation or a confirmation of them. It is, therefore, still in your power (rejoice, madam, that it is!) for ever to establish, or for ever to depreciate your character, in the judgment both of friends and enemies.
How often have I seen passion, and even rage, deform features that are really lovely! Shall it be said, that your great fortune, your abundance, has been a snare to you? That you would have been a happier, nay, a better woman, had not God so bountifully blessed you?
Can your natural generosity of temper allow you to bear such an imputation, as that the want of power only can keep you within the limits, (pardon, Olivia, the lover of your fame!) which the gentleness of your sex, which true honour prescribe?
You are a young lady. Three fourths of your natural life (Heaven permitting) are yet to come. You have noble qualities, shining accomplishments. You will probably, in very few years, perhaps in few months, be able to esta blish yourself in the world. So far only as you have gone, the inconsideration of youth will be allowed an excuse for your conduct. Blest with means, as you are, you still have it in your power, let me repeat, to be an honour to your sex, to your country, to your splendid house, and to the age to which you are given.
The monitor I mentioned, (you know him by person, by manners,) from my earlier youth, born, as he knew me to be, the heir of a considerable fortune, suggested to me an address to Heaven, which my heart has had no repugnance to make a daily one; That the Almighty will, in mercy, withhold from me wealth and affluence, and make my proud heart a dependent one, even for my daily bread, were riches to be a snare to me; and if I found not my inclinations to do good, as occasions offered, enlarge with my power.-O that you, Olivia, were poor and low, if the being so, and nothing else, would make you know yourself and act accordingly!-And that it were given to me, by acts of fraternal love, to restore you, as you could bear it, to an independence, large as your own wishes!
What an uncontrollable MAN would Lady
Olivia have made, had she been a man, with but the same passions, that now diminish the grandeur of her soul, and so large a power to gratify them!-What a sovereign!-Look into the characters of absolute princes, and see whose, of all those who have sullied royalty, by the violence of their wills, you would have wished to copy, or to have been compared with.
How has the unhappy Olivia, though but a subject, dared!-How often has that tender bosom, whose glory it would have been to melt at another's woe, and to rejoice in acts of kindness and benevolence to her fellow-creatures, been armed by herself, (not the mistress, but the slave, of her passions,) not with defensive, but offensive, steel!* Hitherto Providence has averted any remediless mischief; but Providence will not be tempted.
Believe me, still believe me, madam, I mean not to upbraid you. My dear Olivia, I will call you, how often has my heart bled for you! How paternally, though but of years to be your brother, have I lamented for you in secret! I will own to you, that, but for the withholding prudence, and withholding honour, that I owed to both our characters, because of a situation which would not allow me to express my tenderness for you, I had folded you, in your contrite moments, to my bosom ; and, on my knees, besought you to act up to your own knowledge, and to render yourself worthy of your illustrious ancestry. And what but your glory could have been, what but that is now, my motive?
With what joy do I reflect, that I took not (God be praised for his restraining goodness!) advantage of the favour I stood in, with a most lovely, and princely-spirited woman; an advantage that would have given me cause to charge myself with baseness to her, in the hour wherein I should have wanted most consolation! With what apprehension (dreading for myself, because of the great, the sometimes almost irresistible, temptation) have I looked upon myself to be (shall I say?) the sole guardian of Olivia's honour! More than once, most generous and confiding of women, have I, from your unmerited favour for me, besought you to spare me my pride; and as often to permit me to spare you yours-Not the odious vice generally known by that name, (the fault of fallen angels,) but that which may be called a prop, a support, to an imperfect goodness; which, properly directed, may, in time, grow into virtue:-That friendly pride, let me add, which has ever warmed my heart with wishes for your temporal and eternal welfare.
I call upon you once more, my FRIEND! How unreproachingly may we call each other by that sacred name! The friend of your fame, the friend
• Alluding to the poniard she carried in her bosom.