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and courtship; and he said, What do you think he said, Lucy? that he should not, perhaps, were he in love, be over forward to declare his passion by words; but rather shew it by his assiduities and veneration, unless he saw, that the suspense was painful to the object: and in this case it would be equally mean and insolent not to break silence, and put himself in the power of her, whose honour and delicacy ought to be dearer to him than his own.
What say you to this, Lucy?
Some think, proceeded he, that the days of courtship are the happiest days of life. But the man, who, as a lover, thinks so, is not to be forgiven. Yet, it must be confessed, that hope gives an ardour which subsides in certainty.
Being called upon by Lord L- to be more explicit :
I am endeavouring, said he, to set up my particular humour for a general rule. For my own sake, I would not, by a too early declaration, drive a lady into reserves; since that would be to rob myself of those innocent freedoms, and of that complacency, to which an honourable lover might think himself entitled; and which might help him [don't be affrighted, ladies! to develope the plaits and folds of the human heart. This developement stuck with us women a little. We talked of it afterwards. And Miss Grandison then said, it was well her cousin Everard said not that. And he answered, Sir Charles may with more safety steal a horse, than I look over the hedge.
Miss Gr. Ay, cousin Grandison, that is because you are a rake. A name, believe me, of at least as much reproach as that of an old maid. Mr Gr. Aspersing a whole class at once, Miss Charlotte! "Tis contrary to your own maxim and a class too, (this of the rakes,) that many a generous spirited girl chooses out of, when she would-dispose of herself and her fortune.
Miss Gr. How malapert this Everard ! What Sir Charles next said, made him own the character more decently by his blushes.
The woman who chooses a rake, said he, does not consider, that all the sprightly airs for which she preferred him to a better man, either vanish in matrimony, or are shewn to others, to her mortal disquiet. The agreeable will be carried abroad; the disagreeable will be brought home. If he reform, (and yet bad habits are very difficult to shake off,) he will probably, from the reflections on his past guilty life, be an unsociable companion, should deep and true contrition have laid hold on him: if not, what has she chosen? He married not from honest principles: a rake despises matrimony: if still a rake, what hold will she have of him? A rake in passion is not a man in love. Such a one can seldom be in love: from a laudable passion he cannot. He has no delicacy. His love deserves a vile name: and if so, it will be strange, if in his eyes a common woman excel not his modest wife.
What he said, was openly approved by the gentlemen; tacitly by the ladies.
The subject changing to marriages of persons of unequal years; I knew, said Lord Lwoman of character, and not reckoned to want sense, who married at twenty a man of more than fifty, in hopes of burying him; but who lived with her upwards of twenty years; and then dying, she is now in treaty with a young rake of twenty-two. She is rich; and, poor woman! hopes to be happy. Pity, Sir Charles, she could not see the picture you have been drawing.
Retribution, replied Sir Charles, will frequently take its course. The lady, keeping in view one steady purpose; which was, that she would marry a young man, whenever death removed the old one; forgot, when she lost her husband, that she had been growing older for the last twenty years; and will now very probably be the despised mate to the young husband, that her late husband was to her. Thirty years hence, the now young man will perhaps fall into the error of his predecessor, if he outlive the wife he is going to take, and be punished in the same way. These are what may be called punishments in kind. The violators of the social duties are frequently punished by the success of their own wishes. Don't you think, my lord, that it is suitable to the divine benignity, as well as justice, to lend its sanctions and punishments in aid of those duties which bind man to man?
Lord L said some very good things. Your Harriet was not a mute: but you know, that my point is, to let you into the character and sentiments of Sir Charles Grandison: and whenever I can do them tolerable justice, I shall keep to that point. You will promise for me, you say, Lucy-I know you will.
But one might have expected that Dr Bartlett would have said more than he did, on some of the subjects: yet Mr Grandison, and he, and Miss Emily, were almost equally, and attentively, silent, till the last scene: and then the Doctor said, I must shew you a little translation of Miss Emily's from the Italian. She blushed, and looked as if she knew not whether she should stay or go. I should be glad to see anything of my Emily's, said Sir Charles. I know she is a mistress of that language, and elegant in her own. Pray, my dear, (to her,) let us be obliged, if it will not pain you.
She blushed, and bowed.
I must first tell you, said the Doctor, that I was the occasion of her choosing so grave a subject, as you will find that of the sonnet from which hers is taken.
A sonnet! said Miss Grandison. My dear little POETESS, you must set it, and sing it to
have me a poetess, I am sure; and did you not, dear madam, speak that word, as if you meant to call me a name?
I think she did, my dear, said Sir Charles: nor would I have my Emily distinguished by any name, but that of a discreet, an ingenious, and an amiable young woman. The titles of wit, and poetess, have been disgraced too often by Sapphos and Corinnas, ancient and modern. Was not this in your head, sister? But do not be disturbed, my Emily: the poor girl's eyes glistened:] I mean no check to liveliness and modest ingenuity. The easy productions of a fine fancy, not made the business of life, or its boast, confer no denomination that is disgraceful, but very much the contrary.
I am very glad, for all that, said Miss Jervois, that my little translation is in plain prose: had it not, I should have been very much afraid to have it seen.
Even in that case, you need not to have been afraid, my dear Miss Jervois, said the good Dr Bartlett: Sir Charles is an admirer of good poetry: and Miss Grandison would have recollected the Philomelas, the Orindas, and other names among her own sex, whose fine genius does it honour.
Your diffidence and sweet humility, my dear Emily, said Lady L—, would, in you, make the most envied accomplishments amiable.
I am sure, said the lovely girl, hanging down her head, tears ready to start, I have reason to be affected with the subject.-The indulgent mother is described with so much sweet tenderness!-O what pleasures do mothers lose, who want tenderness!
We all, either by eyes or voices, called for the sonnet, and her translation. Dr Bartlett shewed them to us; and I send copies of both.
SONNET OF VINCEZIO DA FILICAJA.
Qual madre i figli con pietoso affetto
Mira, e d'amor si strugge a lor davante; E un bacia in fronte, ed un si stringe al petto, Uno tien sù i ginocchi, un sulle piante, E montre agli atti, a i gemiti, all'aspetto
Lor voglie intende si diverse, e tante,
A questi un guardo, a quei dispensa un detto,
Veglia, e questi conforta, e quei provvede,
O niega sol, perchè a pregar ne invita;
"See a fond mother encircled by her children: with pious tenderness she looks around, and her soul even melts with maternal love. One she kisses on the forehead; and clasps another to her bosom. One she sets upon her knee; and finds a seat upon her foot for another. And while, by their actions, their lisping words, and asking eyes, she understands their various num
berless little wishes, to these she dispenses a look; a word to those: and whether she smiles or frowns, 'tis all in tender love.
"Such to us, though infinitely high and awful, is PROVIDENCE: So it watches over us; comforting these; providing for those; listening to all: assisting every one: and if sometimes it denies the favour we implore, it denies but to invite our more earnest prayers; or, seeming to deny a blessing, grants one in that refusal.'
When the translation was read aloud, the tears that before were starting, trickled down the sweet girl's checks. But the commendations every one joined in, and especially the praises given her by her guardian, drove away every cloud from her face.
SIR CHARLES GRANDISON TO MISS GRANDISON.
Friday, March 17.
MY DEAREST CHARLOTTE,
I HAVE already seen Captain Anderson. Richard Saunders, whom I sent with your letter, as soon as I came to town, found him at his lodgings near Whitehall. He expressed himself, on reading it before the servant, with indiscreet warmth. I would not make minute inquiries after his words, because I intended an amicable meeting with him.
We met at four yesterday afternoon, at the Cocoa-tree in Pall Mall. Lieut.-Col. Mackenzie, and Major Dillon, two of his friends, with whom I had no acquaintance, were with him. The Captain and I withdrew to a private room. The two gentlemen entered it with us.
You will, on this occasion, I know, expect me to be particular. You must allow, that I had no good cause to manage; since those points that had most weight, (and which were the ground of your objections to him when you saw him in a near light,) could not be pleaded without affronting him; and if they had, would hardly have met with his allowance; and could therefore have no force in the argument.
On the two gentlemen entering the room with us, without apology or objection, I asked the Captain, if they were acquainted with the affair we met upon? He said, they were his dear and inseparable friends, and knew every secret of his heart. Perhaps in this case, Captain Anderson, returned I, it were as well they did not.
We are men of honour, Sir Charles Grandison, said the Major, briskly.
I don't doubt it, sir. But where the delicacy of a lady is concerned, the hearts of the principals should be the whole world to each other. But what is done, is done. I am ready to enter upon the affair before these gentlemen, if you choose it, Captain.
You will find us to be gentlemen, Sir Charles, said the Colonel.
The Captain then began, with warmth, his own story. Indeed he told it very well. I was pleased, for my sister's sake, (pardon me, Charlotte,) that he did. He is not contemptible, either in person or understanding. He may be said, perhaps, to be an illiterate, but he is not an ignorant man; though not the person whom the friends of Charlotte Grandison would think worthy of the first place in her heart.
After he had told his story, (which I need not repeat to you,) he insisted upon your promise; and his two friends declared in his favour, with airs, each man, a little too peremptory. I told them so; and that they must do me the justice to consider me as a man of some spirit, as well as themselves. I came hither with a friendly intention, gentlemen, said I. I do not love to follow the lead of hasty spirits; but if you expect to carry any point with me, it must not be either by raised voices, or heightened complexions.
Their features were all at once changed; and they said, they meant not to be warm.
I told the Captain, that I would not enter into a minute defence of the lady, though my sister. I owned that there had appeared a precipitation in her conduct. Her treatment at home, as she apprehended, was not answerable to her merits. She was young, and knew nothing of the world. Young ladies were often struck by appearances. You, Captain Anderson, said I, have advantages in person and manner, that might obtain for you a young lady's attention; and as she be lieved herself circumstanced in her family, I wonder not that she lent an ear to the address of a gallant man, whose command in that neighbourhood, and, I doubt not, whose behaviour in that command, added to his consequence. But I take it for granted, sir, that you met with difficulties from her, when she came to reflect upon the disreputation of a young woman's carrying on clandestinely a correspondence with a man, of whose address, her father, then living, was not likely to approve. There was none of that violent passion on either side, that precludes reason, discretion, duty. It is no wonder then, that a woman of Charlotte Grandison's known good sense, should reflect, should consider; and perhaps the less, that you should therefore seek to engage her by promise. But what was the promise? It was not the promise that, it seems, you sought to engage her to make-to be absolutely yours, and no other man's-but it was, that she would not marry any other man without your consent, while you remained single. Ar. unreasonable promise, however, I will presume to say, either to be proposed, or submitted
Sir! said the Captain, and looked the soldier. I repeated what I last said.
Sir! again said the Captain; and looked upon
his friends, who pointed each his head at the other, and at him, by turns-as if they had said, Very free language.
For, sir, proceeded I, did it not give room to think, that you had either some doubts of your own merit with the lady, or of her affection and steadiness? And, in either case, ought it to have been proposed? ought it to have been made? For my part, I should disdain to think of any woman for a wife, who gave me reason to imagine, that she was likely to balance a moment, as to her choice of me, or any other man. Something in that! said the Colonel. As you explain yourself, Sir Charles, said the Major—
The Captain, however, sat swelling. He was not so easily satisfied.
Your motive, we are not to question, Captain, was love. Miss Grandison is a young woman whom any man may love. By the way, where a man is assured of a return in love, there is no occasion for a promise. But a promise was made. My sister is a woman of honour. She thinks herself bound by it; and she is content to lead a single life to the end of it, if you will not acquit her of this promise. Yet she leaves, and at the time did leave, you free. You will have the justice, sir, to allow, that there is a generosity in her conduct to you, which remains for you to shew to her, since a promise should not be made but on equal terms. Would you hold her to it, and be not held yourself? She desires not to hold you. Let me tell you, Captain, that if I had been in your situation, and had been able to prevail upon myself to endeavour to bring a lady to make me such a promise, I should have doubted her love of me, had she not sought to bind me to her by an equal tie. What! should I
have said to myself, is this lady dearer to me than all the women upon earth? Do I seek to bind her to me by a solemn promise, which shall give me a power over her? And has she so little regard for me, as not to value, whether I marry any other woman?
The gentlemen looked upon one another; but were silent. I proceeded.
Let us set this matter in its true light. Here is a young woman, who had suffered herself to be embarrassed in a treaty, that her whole heart, she assures me, was never in. This was her fault. But know we not how inextricable are the entanglements of love, as it is called, when young women are brought to enter into correspondence with men? Our sex have opportunities of knowing the world, which the other have not. Experience, gentlemen, engaging with inexperience, and perhaps the difference of twice the number of years, [Sir! said the Captain, the combat must be too unequal. How artfully do men endeavour to draw in the woman whom they think it worth their while to pursue !-But would any man here wish to marry a woman, who declares that she was insensibly drawn in beyond her
purpose? Who shewed, when she refused to promise that she would be his, in preference to all other men, that she did not love him above all other men? Who, when she was prevailed on to fetter herself, made him not of consequence enough to herself to bind him? And, in a word, who has long ago declared to him, and steadily persists in the declaration, that she never will be his?-You seem, gentlemen, to be men of spirit. Would you wish to marry the first woman on earth on these terms, if you could obtain her? -which, however, is not the case; since Miss Grandison's promise extends not so far as to oblige her to marry Captain Anderson.
The Captain did not, he told me, like some part of what I had said; and still less, some of the words I had used; and seemed to be disposing his features to take a fiercer turn than became the occasion. I interrupted him, therefore. I met you not, Captain, said I, either to hear, or to obviate, cavils upon words. When I have told you, that I came with an amicable intention, I expect to be believed. I intend not offence. But let us be men. I am perhaps a younger man, by ten years, than any one present; but I have seen the world, as much as any man of my age; and know what is due to the character of a gentleman, whether it be Captain Anderson's, or my own; and expect not wilful misconstructions.
All I mean is, sir, said the Captain, that I will not be treated contemptuously; no, not even by the brother of Miss Grandison.
The brother of Miss Grandison, sir, is not accustomed to treat any man contemptuously. Don't treat yourself so, and you are safe from unworthy treatment from me. Let me add, sir, that I permit every man to fix his character with me, as he pleases. I will venture to say, I have a large charity; but I extend it not to credulity; but yet will always allow a third person to decide upon the justice of my intentions and actions.
The Captain said, that he ascribed a great deal of my sister's positiveness in her denial of him, (those were his words,) to the time of my arrival in England; and he doubted not, that I had encouraged the proposals, either of Sir Walter Watkyns, or of Lord G―, because of their quality and fortunes; and hence his difficulties were increased.
And then up he rose, slapt one hand upon the table, put the other on his sword, and was going to say some very fierce things, prefacing them with damning his blood; when I stood up: Hold, Captain; be calm, if possible-Hear from me the naked truth: I will make you a fair representation; and, when I have done, do you resume, if you think it necessary, that angry air you got up with, and see what you'll make of it.
His friends interposed. He sat down, half out
of breath with anger. His swelled features went down by degrees.
The truth of the matter is strictly and briefly
All my sister's difficulties (which, perhaps, were greater in apprehension than in fact) ended with my father's life. I made it my business, on my arrival, as soon as possible, to ascertain my sisters' fortunes. Lord L- married the elder. The two gentlemen you have mentioned made their addresses to the younger. I knew nothing of you, Captain Anderson. My sister had wholly kept the affair between you and her in her own breast. She had not revealed it even to her sister. The reason she gives, and to which you, sir, could be no stranger, was, that she was determined never to be yours. The subject requires explicitness, Captain Anderson; and I am not accustomed to palliate, whenever it does. She hoped to prevail upon you to leave her as generously free, as she had left you. I do assure you, upon my honour, that she favours not either of the gentlemen. I know not the man she does favour. It is I, her brother, not herself, that am solicitous for her marrying. And, upon the indifference she expressed to change her condition, on terms to which no objection could be made, I supposed she must have a secret preference to some other man. I was afterwards informed, that letters had passed between her and you, by a lady, who had it from a gentleman of your acquaintance. You have shewn me, sir, by the presence of these gentlemen, that you were not so careful of the secret, as my sister had been.-They looked one upon another.
I charged my sister, upon this discovery, with reserve to me; but offered her my service in her own way; assuring her, that if her heart were engaged, the want of quality, title, and fortune, should not be of weight with me; and that whomsoever she accepted for her husband, him would I receive for my brother.
The Colonel and the Major extravagantly applauded a behaviour on this occasion, which deserved no more than a common approbation.
She solemnly assured me, proeceded I, that although she held herself bound by the promise which youth, inexperience, and solicitation, had drawn her in to make, she resolved to perform it by a perpetual single life, if it were insisted upon. And thus, sir, you see, that it depends upon you to keep Charlotte Grandison a single woman, till you marry some other lady; (a power, let me tell you, that no man ought to seek to obtain over a young woman ;) or, generously to acquit her of it, and leave her as free as she has left you.-And now, gentlemen, (to the Major and Colonel,) if you came hither not so much parties as judges, I leave this matter upon your consideration; and will withdraw for a few
I left every mouth ready to burst into words;
and walked into the public room. There I met with Colonel Martin, whom I had seen abroad; and who had just asked after Major Dillon. He, to my great surprise, took notice to me of the business that brought me thither.
You see, my sister, the consequence you were of to Captain Anderson. He had not been able to forbear boasting of the honour which a daughter of Sir Thomas Grandison had done him, and of his enlarged prospects, by her interest. Dear Charlotte-How unhappy was the man, that your pride should make you think yourself concerned to keep secret an affair, that he thought a glory to him to make known to many! For we see (shall I not say, to the advantage of this gentleman's character?) that he has many dear and inseparable friends, from whom he concealed not any secret of his heart.
Colonel Mackenzie came out soon after, and we withdrew to the corner of the room. He talked a great deal of the strength of the Captain's passion; of the hopes he had conceived of making his fortune, through the interest of a family to which he imputed consideration : he made me many compliments: he talked of the great detriment this long-suspended affair had been to his friend; and told me, with a grave countenance, that the Captain was grown as many years older, as it had been in hand; and was ready to rate very highly so much time lost in the prime of life. In short, he ascribed to the Captain the views and the disappointments of a military fortune-hunter too plainly for his honour, in my eye, had I been disposed to take proper notice of the meaning of what he said.
After having heard him out, I desired the Colonel to let me know, what all this meant, and what were the Captain's expectations.
He paraded on again, a long time; and asked me, at last, if there were no hopes that the lady
None at all, interrupted I. She has steadily declared as much. Charlotte Grandison is a woman of fine sepse. She has great qualities. She has insuperable objections to the Captain, which are founded on a more perfect knowledge of the man, and of her own heart, than she could have at first. It is not my intention to depreciate him with his friend; I shall not, therefore, enter into particulars. Let me know, Colonel, what the gentleman pretends to. He is passionate, I see. I am not a tame man; but God forbid, that Captain Anderson, who hoped to be benefited by an alliance with the daughter of Sir Thomas Grandison, should receive hurt, or hard treatment, from her brother!
Here Colonel Martin, who had heard something of what was said, desired to speak with Colonel Mackenzie. They were not so distant, but my ear unavoidably caught part of their subject. Colonel Martín expatiated, in a very high manner, on my character, when I was
abroad. He imputed bravery to me, (a great article among military men, and with you ladies,) and I know not how many good qualities-and Colonel Mackenzie took him in with him to the other two gentlemen; where, I suppose, everything that had passed was repeated.
After a while, I was desired by Colonel Martin, in the name of the gentlemen, to walk in ; he himself sitting down in the public room.
They received me with respect. I was obliged to hear and say a great many things, that I had said and heard before; but at last two proposals were made me; either of which, they said, if complied with, would be taken as laying the Captain under a very high obligation.
Poor man! I had compassion on him, and closed with one of them; declining the other for a reason which I did not give to them. To say truth, Charlotte, I did not choose to promise my interest in behalf of a man, of whose merit I was not assured, had I been able to challenge any, as perhaps I might, by Lord W's means; who stands well with proper persons. A man ought to think himself, in some measure, accountable for warm recommendations; especially where the public is concerned; and could I give my promise, and be cool as to the performance? And I should think myself also answerable to a worthy man, and to every one connected with him, if I were a means of lifting one less worthy over his head. I chose, therefore, to do that service to him, for which I am responsible only to myself. After I have said this, my sister must ask me no questions.
I gave a rough draught, at the Captain's request, of the manner in which I would have releases drawn. Colonel Martin was desired to walk in. And all the gentlemen promised to bury in silence all that had ever come to their knowledge, of what had passed between Charlotte Grandison and Captain Anderson.
Let not the mentioning to you these measures, hurt you, my sister. Many young ladies of sense and family have been drawn in to still greater inconveniencies than you have suffered. Persons of eminent abilities (I have a very high opinion of my Charlotte's) seldom err in small points. Most young women, who begin a correspondence with our designing sex, think they can stop when they will. But it is not so. We, and the dark spirit that sets us at work, which we sometimes miscall love, will not permit you to do so. Men and women are devils to one another. They need no other tempter.
All will be completed to-morrow; and your written promise, of consequence, given up. I congratulate my sister on the happy conclusion of this affair. You are now your own mistress, and free to choose for yourself. I should never forgive myself, were I, who have been the means of freeing you from one control, to endeavour to lay you under another. Think not either of Sir