Jane Austen
Samuel Richardson - Sir Charles Grandison
Volume V - lettere 1/10
traduzione di Giuseppe Ierolli

     |     indice letture JA     |     home page     |     


Volume V - Letter 1


Sunday, May 7.

I believe I shall become as arrant a scribbler as Somebody else. I begin to like writing. A great compliment to you, I assure you. I see one may bring one's mind to any-thing—I thought I must have had recourse, when you and my brother left us, and when I was married, to the public amusements, to fill up my leisure: And as I have seen every-thing worth seeing of those, many times over (masquerades excepted, and them I despise); time, you know, in that case, would have passed a little heavily, after having shown myself, and, by seeing Who and Who were together, laid in a little store of the right sort of conversation for the tea-table. For you know, Harriet, that among us modern fine people, the company, and not the entertainment, is the principal part of the Raree-show. Pretty enough! to make the entertainment, and pay for it too, to the honest fellows, who have nothing to do, but to project schemes to get us together.

I don't know what to do with this man. I little thought that I was to be considered as such a Doll, such a Toy, as he would make me. I want to drive him out of the house without me, were it but to purvey for me news and scandal. What are your fine gentlemen fit for else? You know, that, with all my faults, I have a domestic and managing turn. A man should encourage that in a wife, and not be perpetually teasing her for her company abroad, unless he did it with a view to keep her at home. Our Sex don't love to be prescribed to, even in the things to which they are not naturally averse: And for this very reason, perhaps, because it becomes us to submit to prescription. Human nature, Harriet, is a perverse thing. I believe, if my good man wished me to stay at home, I should torture my brain, as other good wives do, for inventions to go abroad.

It was but yesterday, that, in order to give him a hint, I pinned my apron to his coat, without considering who was likely to be a sufferer by it; and he, getting up, in his usual nimble way, gave it a rent, and then looked behind him with so much apprehension—Hands folded, eyes goggling, bag in motion from shoulder to shoulder. I was vexed too much to make the use of the trick which I had designed, and huffed him. He made excuses, and looked pitifully; bringing in his Soul, to testify that he knew not how it could be—How it could be! Wretch! When you are always squatting upon one's clothes, in defiance of hoop, or distance.

He went out directly, and brought me in two aprons, either of which was worth twenty of that he so carelessly rent. Who could be angry with him?—I was, indeed, thinking to chide him for this—As if I were not to be trusted to buy my own clothes: And it was just at my tongue's end, to ask him, What the milaner could think of a man buying linen for a woman; but he looked at me with so good-natured an eye, that I relented, and accepted, with a bow of graciousness, his present; only calling him an odd creature—And that he is, you know, my dear.

We live very whimsically, in the mean: Not above four quarrels, however, and as many more chidings, in a day. What does the man stay at home for then so much, when I am at home? Married people, by frequent absences, may have a chance for a little happiness. How many debatings, if not direct quarrels, are saved by the good man's and his meek wife's seeing each other but once or twice a week! In what can men and women, who are much together, employ themselves, but in proving and defending, quarrelling and making up? Especially if they both chance to marry for Love (which, thank Heaven, is not altogether my case); for then both honest souls, having promised more happiness to each other than they can possibly meet with, have nothing to do but reproach each other, at least tacitly, for their disappointment.—A great deal of Free-masonry in Love, my dear, believe me! The secret, like that, when found out, is hardly worth the knowing.

Well, but what silly rattle is this, Charlotte! methinks you say, and put on one of your wisest looks.

No matter, Harriet! There may be some wisdom in much folly. Every one speaks not out so plainly as I do. But when the novelty of an acquisition or change of condition is over, be the change or the acquisition what it will, the principal pleasure is over, and other novelties are hunted after, to keep the pool of life from stagnating

This is a serious truth, my dear, and I expect you to praise me for it. You are very sparing of your praise to poor me; and yet I had rather have your good word, than any woman's in the world: Or man's either, I was going to say; but I should then have forgot my brother. As for Lord G. were I to accustom him to obligingness, I should destroy my own consequence: for then it would be no novelty; and he would be hunting after a new folly—Very true, Harriet.

Well, but we have had a good serious falling-out; and it still subsists. It began on Friday night; present Lord and Lady L. and Emily. I was very angry with him for bringing it on before them. The man has no discretion, my dear; none at all. And what about? Why, we have not made our appearance at court, forsooth.

A very confident thing, this same appearance, I think! A compliment made to fine clothes and jewels, at the expense of modesty. Lord G. pleads decorum—Decorum against modesty, my dear!—But if by decorum is meant fashion, I have in a hundred instances found decorum beat modesty out of the house. And as my brother, who would have been our principal honour on such an occasion, is gone abroad; and as ours is an elderly novelty, as I may say; (our fineries were not ready, you know, before my brother went) I was fervent against it.

'I was the only woman of condition, in England, who would be against it.'

I told my Lord, that was a reflexion on my Sex: But Lord and Lady L. who had been spoken to, I believe, by Lady Gertrude, were both on his side [I shall have this man utterly ruined for a husband among you]—When there were three to one, it would have looked cowardly to yield, you know. I was brave. But it being proposed for Sunday, and that being at a little distance, it was not doubted but I would comply. So the night past off, with prayings, hopings, and a little mutteration [Allow me that word, or find me a better.] The entreaty was renewed in the morning; but, no!—'I was ashamed of him,' he said. I asked him, If he really thought so?—He should think so, if I refused him.' Heaven forbid, my Lord, that I, who contend for the liberty of acting, should hinder you from the liberty of thinking! Only one piece of advice, honest friend, said I: Don't imagine the worst against yourself: And another, If you have a mind to carry a point with me, don't bring on the cause before any-body else: For that would be to doubt either my duty, or your own reasonableness.

As sure as you are alive, Harriet, the man made an exception against being called honest friend; as if, as I told him, either of the words were incompatible with quality. So, once, he was as froppish as a child, on my calling him the man; a higher distinction, I think, than if I had called him a king, or a prince. THE MAN!—Strange creature! To except to a distinction that implies, that he is the Man of Men!—You see what a captious mortal I have been forced to call My Lord. But Lord and Master do not always go together; tho' they do too often, for the happiness of many a meek soul of our Sex.

Well, this debate seemed suspended, by my telling him, that if I were presented at court, I would not have either the Earl or Lady Gertrude go with us, the very people who were most desirous to be there—But I might not think of that, at the time, you know—I would not be thought very perverse; only a little whimsical, or so. And I wanted not an excellent reason for excluding them—'Are their consents to our past affair doubted, my Lord, said I, that you think it necessary for them to appear to justify us?'

He could say nothing to this, you know. And I should never forgive the husband, as I told him, on another occasion, who would pretend to argue, when he had nothing to say.

Then (for the baby will be always craving something) he wanted me to go abroad with him—I forget whither—But to some place that he supposed (poor man!) I should like to visit. I told him, I dared to say, he wished to be thought a modern husband, and a fashionable man; and he would get a bad name, if he could never stir out without his wife. Neither could he answer that, you I now.

Well, we went on, mutter, mutter, grumble, grumble, the thunder rolling at a distance; a little impatience now-and-then, however, portending, that it would come nearer. But, as yet, it was only, Pray, my dear, oblige me; and, Pray, my Lord, excuse me; till this morning, when he had the assurance to be pretty peremptory: hinting, that the Lord in waiting had been spoke to. A fine time of it would a wife have, if she were not at liberty to dress herself as she pleases. Were I to choose again, I do assure you, my dear, it should not be a man, who by his taste for Moths and Butterflies, Shells, China, and such like trifles, would give me warning, that he would presume to dress his baby, and when he had done, would perhaps admire his own fancy more than her person. I believe, my Harriet, I shall make you afraid of Matrimony: But I will pursue my subject, for all that.—

When the Insolent saw that I did not dress, as he would have had me; he drew out his face, glouting, to half the length of my arm; but was silent. Soon after Lady L. sending to know whether her Lord and she were to attend as to the Drawing-room, and I returning for answer, that I should be glad of their company at dinner; he was in violent wrath. True, as you are alive! and dressing himself in a great hurry, left the house, without saying, By your leave, with your leave, or Whether he would return to dinner, or not. Very pretty doings, Harriet!

Lord and Lady L. came to dinner, however. I thought they were very kind, and, till they opened their lips, was going to thank them: For then, it was all elder Sister, and insolent Brother-in-law, I do assure you. Upon my word, Harriet, they took upon them.

Lady L. told me, I might be the happiest creature in the world, if—and there was so good as to stop.

One of the happiest only, Lady L.! Who can be happier than you?

But I, said she, should neither be so, nor deserve to be so, if—Good of her again, to stop at if.

We can't be all of one mind, replied I. I shall be wiser, in time.

Where was poor Lord G. gone?

Poor Lord G. is gone to seek his fortune, I believe.

What did I mean?

I told them the airs he had given himself; and that he was gone without leave, or notice of return.

He had served me right, ab-solutely right, Lord L. said.

I believed so myself. Lord G. was a very good sort of man, and ought not to bear with me so much as he had done: But it would be kind in them, not to tell him what I had owned.

The Earl lifted up one hand; the Countess both. They had not come to dine with me, they said, after the answer I had returned, but as they were afraid something was wrong between us.

Mediators are not to be of one side only, I said: And as they had been so kindly free in blaming me, I hoped they would be as free with him, when they saw him.

And then it was, For God's sake, Charlotte; and, Let me entreat you, Lady G. And let me, too, beseech you, madam, said Emily, with tears stealing down her cheeks.

You are both very good: You are a sweet girl, Emily. I have a too-playful heart. It will give me some pain, and some pleasure; but if I had not more pleasure than pain from my play, I should not be so silly.

My Lord not coming in, and the dinner being ready, I ordered it to be served.—Won't you wait a little longer for Lord G?—No. I hope he is safe, and well. He is his own master, as well as mine (I sighed, I believe!); and, no doubt, has a paramount pleasure in pursuing his own choice.

They raved. I begged that they would let us eat our dinner with comfort. My Lord, I hoped, would come in with a keen appetite, and Nelthorpe should get a supper for him that he liked.

When we had dined, and retired into the adjoining drawing-room, I had another schooling-bout: Emily was even saucy. But I took it all: Yet, in my heart, was vexed at Lord G.'s perverseness.

At last, in came the honest man. He does not read this, and so cannot take exceptions, and I hope you will not, at the word honest.

So lordly! so stiff! so solemn!—Upon my word!—Had it not been Sunday, I would have gone to my harpsichord directly. He bowed to Lord and Lady L. and to Emily, very obligingly; to me he nodded.—I nodded again; but, like a good-natured fool, smiled. He stalked to the chimney; turned his back towards it, buttoned up his mouth, held up his glowing face, as if he were disposed to crow; yet had not won the battle.—One hand in his bosom; the other under the skirt of his waistcoat, and his posture firmer than his mind.—Yet was my heart so devoid of malice, that I thought his attitude very genteel; and, had we not been man and wife, agreeable.

We hoped to have found your Lordship at home, said Lord L. or we should not have dined here.

If Lord G. is as polite a husband as a man, said I, he will not thank your Lordship for this compliment to his wife.

Lord G. swelled, and reared himself up. His complexion, which was before in a glow, was heightened.

Poor man! thought I.—But why should my tender heart pity obstinate people?—Yet I could not help being dutiful.—Have you dined, my Lord? said I, with a sweet smile, and very courteous.

He stalked to the window, and never a word answered he.

Pray Lady L. be so good as to ask my Lord G. If he has dined? Was not this very condescending, on such a behaviour?

Lady L. asked him, and as gently-voiced as if she were asking the same question of her own Lord. Lady L. is a kind-hearted soul, Harriet: She is my Sister.

I have not, madam, to Lady L. turning rudely from me, and, not very civilly from her. Ah! thought I, these men! The more they are courted!—Wretches! to find their consequence in a woman's meekness.—Yet, I could not forbear showing mine.—Nature, Harriet! Who can resist constitution?

What stiff airs are these? approaching him.—I do assure you, my Lord, I shall not take this behaviour well; and put my hand on his arm.

I was served right. Would you believe it? The man shook off my condescending hand, by raising his elbow scornfully. He really did!

Nay, then!—I left him, and retired to my former seat. I was vexed that it was Sunday: I wanted a little harmony.

Lord and Lady L, both blamed me, by their looks; and my Lady took my hand, and was leading me towards him. I showed a little reluctance: And, would you have thought it? out of the drawing-room whipped my nimble Lord, as if on purpose to avoid being moved by my concession.

I took my place again.

I beg of you, Charlotte, said Lady L. go to my Lord. You have used him ill.

When I think so, I will follow your advice, Lady L.

And don't you think so. Lady G.? said Lord L.

What! for taking my own option how I would be dressed to-day?—What! for deferring—That moment in came my bluff Lord—Have I not, proceeded I, been forced to dine without him today? Did he let me know what account I could give of his absence? Or when he would return? And see, now, how angry he looks!

He traversed the room—I went on—Did he not shake off my hand, when I laid it, smiling, on his arm? Would he answer me a question, which I kindly put to him, fearing he had not dined, and might be sick for want of eating? Was I not forced to apply to Lady L. for an answer to my careful question, on his scornfully turning from me in silence?—Might we not, if he had not gone out so abruptly, nobody knows where, have made the appearance his heart is so set upon?—But now, indeed, it is too late.

Oons, madam! said he, and he kemboed his arms, and strutted up to me. Now for a cuff, thought I. I was half afraid of it: But out of the room again capered he.

Lord bless me, said I, What a passionate creature is this!

Lord and Lady L. both turned from me with indignation. But no wonder if one, that they both did. They are a silly pair; and I believe have agreed to keep each other in countenance in all they do.

But Emily affected me. She sat before in one corner of the room, weeping; and just then ran to me, and, wrapping her arms about me, Dear, dear Lady G. said she, for Heaven's sake, think of what our Miss Byron said; 'Don't jest away your own happiness.' I don't say who is in fault: But, my dear Lady, do you condescend. It looks pretty in a woman to condescend. Forgive me; I will run to my Lord, and I will beg of him—

Away she ran, without waiting for an answer—and, bringing in the passionate wretch, hanging on his arm—You must not, my Lord; indeed you must not be so passionate. Why, my Lord, you frighted me; indeed you did. Such a word I never heard from your Lordship's mouth.—

Why, my Lord, said I, you give yourself pretty airs! Don't you? and use pretty words; that a child shall be terrified at them! But come, come, ask my pardon, for leaving me to dine without you.

Was not that tender?—Yet out went Lord and Lady L. To be sure they did right, if they withdrew in hopes these kind words would have been received as reconciliatory ones; and not in displeasure with me, as I am half afraid they did: For their good-nature, worthy souls! does sometimes lead them into misapprehensions. I kindly laid my hand on his arm again.—He was ungracious.—Nay, my Lord, don't once more reject me with disdain—If you do—I then smiled most courteously. Carry not your absurdities, my Lord, too far: And I took his hand [There, Harriet, was condescension!]: I protest, Sir, if you give yourself any more of these airs, you will not find me so condescending.—Come, come, tell me you are sorry, and I will forgive you.

Sorry! madam, sorry!—I am indeed sorry, for our provoking airs!

Why that's not ill said—But kemboed arms, my Lord! are you not sorry for such an air? And Oons! are you not sorry for such a word? and for such looks too? and for quarrelling with your dinner?—I protest, my Lord, you make one of us look like a child who flings away his bread and butter because it has not glass windows upon it.—

Not for one moment forbear, madam!—

Pr'ythee, pr'ythee—[I profess I had like to have said honest friend] No more of these airs; and, I tell you, I will forgive you.

But, madam, I cannot, I will not—

Hush, hush; no more in that strain, and so loud, as if we had lost each other in a wood!—If you will let us be friends, say so—In an instant—If not, I am gone—gone this moment—casting off from him, as I may say, intending to mount up stairs.

Angel, or Demon, shall I call you? said he.—Yet I receive your hand, as offered. But, for God's sake, madam, let us be happy! And he kissed my hand, but not so cordially as it became him to do; and in came Lord and Lady L. with countenances a little ungracious.

I took my seat next my own man, with an air of officiousness, hoping to oblige him by it; and he was obliged: And another day, not yet quite agreed upon, this parade is to be made.

And thus began, proceeded, and ended, this doughty quarrel. And who knows, but before the day is absolutely resolved upon, we may have half a score more? Four, five, six days, as it may happen, is a great space of time for people to agree, who are so much together; and one of whom is playful, and the other will not be played with. But these kembo and oons airs, Harriet, stick a little in my stomach; and the man seems not to be quite come to neither. He is sullen and gloomy, and don't prate away as he used to do, when we have made up before.

But I will sing him a song to-morrow: I will please the honest man, if I can. But he really should not have had for a wife a woman of so sweet a temper as



Volume V - lettera 1

Volume V - Letter 2


Monday, May 8.

My Lord and I have had another little—Tiff, shall I call it? It came not up to a quarrel. Married people would have enough to do, if they were to trouble their friends every time they misunderstood one another. And now a word or two of other people: Not always scribbling of ourselves.

We have just heard that our cousin Everard has added another fool of our Sex to the number of the weak ones who disgrace it: A sorry fellow! He has been seen with her, by one whom he would not know, at Cuper's Gardens; dressed like a Sea-officer, and skulking, like a thief, into the privatest walks of the place. When he is tired of the poor wretch, he will want to accommodate with us by promises of penitence and reformation, as once or twice before. Rakes are not only odious, but they are despicable fellows. You will the more clearly see this, when I assure you, from those who know, that this silly creature our cousin is looked upon, among his brother Libertines, and Smarts, as a man of first consideration!

He has also been seen, in a gayer habit, at a certain Gaming-table, near Covent-Garden; where he did not content himself with being an idle spectator. Colonel Winwood, our informant, shook his head, but made no other answer, to some of our enquiries. May he suffer! say I.—A sorry fellow!—

Preparations are going on, all so-fast at Windsor. We are all invited. God grant that Miss Mansfield may be as happy a Lady W. as we all conclude she will be! But I never was fond of matches between sober young women, and battered old rakes. Much good may do the adventurers, drawn in by gewgaw and title!—Poor things!—But convenience, when that's the motive, whatever foolish girls think, will hold out its comforts, while a gratified Love quickly evaporates.

Beauchamp, who is acquainted with the Mansfields, is entrusted by my brother, in his absence, with the management of the Law-affairs. He hopes, he says, to give a good account of them. The base steward of the uncle Calvert, who lived as a husband with the woman who had been forced upon his superannuated master in a doting fit, has been brought, by the death of one of the children born in Mr. Calvert's life-time, and by the precarious health of the posthumous one, to make overtures of accommodation. A new hearing of the cause between them and the Keelings, is granted; and great things are expected from it, in their favour, from some new lights thrown in upon that suit. The Keelings are frighted out of their wits, it seems; and are applying to Sir John Lambton, a disinterested neighbour, to offer himself as a mediator between them. The Mansfields will so soon be related to us, that I make no apology for interesting you in their affairs.

Be sure you chide me for my whimsical behaviour to Lord G. I know you will. But don't blame my heart: My head only is wrong.

* *

A little more from fresh informations of this sorry varlet Everard. I wished him to suffer; but I wished him not to be so very great a sufferer as it seems he is. Sharpers have bit his head off, quite close to his shoulders: They have not left it him to carry under his arm, as the honest patron of France did his. They lend it him, however, now-and-then, to repent with, and curse himself. The creature he attended to Cuper's Gardens, instead of a country Innocent, as he expected her to be, comes out to be a cast mistress, experienced in all the arts of such, and acting under the secret influences of a man of quality; who, wanting to get rid of her, supports her in a prosecution commenced against him (poor devil) for performance of covenants. He was extremely mortified, on finding my brother gone abroad: He intends to apply to him for his pity and help. Sorry fellow! He boasted to us, on our expectation of our brother's arrival from abroad, that he would enter his cousin Charles into the ways of the town. Now he wants to avail himself against the practices of the sons of that town by his cousin's character and consequence.

A combination of sharpers, it seems, had long set him as a man of fortune: But, on his taking refuge with my brother, gave over, for a time, their designs upon him, till he threw himself again in their way.

The worthless fellow had been often liberal of his promises of marriage to young creatures of more innocence than this; and thinks it very hard that he should be prosecuted for a crime which he had so frequently committed, with impunity. Can you pity him? I cannot, I assure you. The man who can betray and ruin an innocent woman, who loves him, ought to be abhorred by men. Would he scruple to betray and ruin them, if he were not afraid of the Law?—Yet there are women, who can forgive such wretches, and herd with them.—

My aunt Eleanor is arrived: A good, plump, bonny-faced old virgin. She has chosen her apartment. At present we are most prodigiously civil to each other: But already I suspect she likes Lord G. better than I would have her. She will perhaps, if a party should be formed against your poor Charlotte, make one of it.

Will you think it time thrown away, to read a further account of what is come to hand about the wretches who lately, in the double sense of the word, were overtaken between St. Denis and Paris?

Sir Hargrave Pollexfen, it seems, still keeps his chamber: He is thought not to be out of danger from some inward hurt, which often makes him bring up blood in quantities. He is miserably oppressed by lowness of spirits; and when he is a little better in that respect, his impatience makes his friends apprehensive for his head. But has he intellects strong enough to give apprehensions of that nature? Fool and madman we often join as terms of reproach; but I believe, fools seldom run really mad.

Merceda is in a still more dangerous way. Besides his bruises, and a fractured skull, he has, it seems, a wound in his thigh, which in the delirium he was thrown into by the fracture, was not duly attended to; and which, but for his valiant struggles against the knife which gave the wound, was designed for a still greater mischief. His recovery is despaired of; and the poor wretch is continually offering up vows of penitence and reformation, if his life may be spared.

Bagenhall was the person who had seduced, by promises of marriage, and fled for it, the manufacturer's daughter of Abbeville. He was overtaken by his pursuers at Douay. The incensed father, and friends of the young woman, would not be otherwise pacified than by his performing his promise; which, with infinite reluctance, he complied with, principally thro' the threats of the brother, who is noted for his fierceness and resolution; and who once made the sorry creature feel an Argument which greatly terrified him. Bagenhall is at present at Abbeville, living as well as he can with his new wife, cursing his fate, no doubt, in secret. He is obliged to appear fond of her before her brother and father; the latter being also a sour man, a Gascon, always boasting of his family, and valuing himself upon a de, affixed by himself to his name, and jealous of indignity offered to it. The fierce brother is resolved to accompany his sister to England, when Bagenhall goes thither, in order, as he declares, to secure to her good usage, and see her owned and visited by all Bagenhall's friends and relations. And thus much of these fine gentlemen.

How different a man is Beauchamp! But it is injuring him, to think of those wretches and him at the same time. He certainly has an eye to Emily, but behaves with great prudence towards her: Yet everybody but she sees his regard for her: Nobody but her guardian runs in her head; and the more, as the really thinks it is a glory to love him, because of his goodness. Every-body, she says, has the same admiration of him, that she has.

Mrs. Reeves desires me to acquaint you, that Miss Clements having by the death of her mother and aunt, come into a pretty fortune, is addressed to by a Yorkshire gentleman of easy circumstances, and is preparing to go down thither to reside; but that she intends to write to you before she goes, and to beg you to favour her with now-and-then a Letter.

I think Miss Clements is a good sort of young woman: But I imagined she would have been one of those Nuns at large, who need not make vows of living and dying Aunt Eleanors, or Lady Gertrudes; all three of them good honest souls! chaste, pious, and plain. It is a charming situation, when a woman is arrived at such a height of perfection, as to be above giving or receiving temptation. Sweet innocents! They have my reverence, if not my love. How would they be affronted, if I were to say pity!—I think only of my two good Aunts, at the present writing. Miss Clements, you know, is a youngish woman; and I respect her much. One would not jest upon the unsightliness of person, or plainness of feature: but think you she will not be one of those, who twenty years hence may put in a boast of her quondam beauty?

How I run on! I think I ought to be ashamed of myself.

'Very true, Charlotte.'

And so it is, Harriet. I have done—Adieu!—Lord G. will be silly again, I doubt; but I am prepared. I wish he had half my patience.

'Be quiet, Lord G.! What a fool you are!'—The man, my dear, under pretence of being friends, run his sharp nose in my eye. No bearing his fondness: It is worse than insolence. How my eye waters!—I can tell him—But I will tell him, and not you.—Adieu, once more.


Volume V - lettera 2

Volume V - Letter 3


Bologna, May 5—16.

I will now, my dear Brother, give you a circumstantial account of our short, but flying journey. The 20th of April, O. S. early in the morning, we left Paris, and reached Lyons the 24th at night.

Resting but a few hours, we set out for Pont Beauvoisin, where we arrived the following evening: There we bid adieu to France, and found ourselves in Savoy, equally noted for its poverty and rocky mountains. Indeed it was a total change of the scene. We had left behind us a blooming spring, which enlivened with its verdure the trees and hedges on the road we passed, and the meadows already smiled with flowers. The cheerful inhabitants were busy in adjusting their limits, lopping their trees, pruning their vines, tilling their fields: But when we entered Savoy, nature wore a very different face; and I must own, that my spirits were great sufferers by the change. Here we began to view on the nearer mountains, covered with ice and snow, notwithstanding the advanced season, the rigid winter, in frozen majesty, still preserving its domains: And arriving at St. Jean de Maurienne the night of the 26th, the snow seemed as if it would dispute with us our passage; and horrible was the force of the boisterous winds, which sat full in our faces.

Overpowered by the fatigues I had undergone in the expedition we had made, the unseasonable coldness of the weather, and the sight of one of the worst countries under heaven, still clothed in snow, and deformed by continual hurricanes; I was here taken ill. Sir Charles was greatly concerned for my indisposition, which was increased by a great lowness of spirits. He attended upon me in person; and never had man a more kind and indulgent friend. Here we stayed two days; and then, my illness being principally owing to fatigue, I found myself enabled to proceed. At two of the clock in the morning of the 28th, we prosecuted our journey, in palpable darkness, and dismal weather, tho' the winds were somewhat laid, and reaching the foot of Mount Cenis by break of day, arrived at Lanebourg, a poor little village, so environed by high mountains, that, for three months in the twelve, it is hardly visited by the cheering rays of the sun. Every object which here presents itself is excessively miserable. The people are generally of an olive complexion, with wens under their chins; some so monstrous, especially women, as quite disfigure them.

Here it is usual to unscrew and take in pieces the chaises, in order to carry them on mules over the mountain; and to put them together on the other side; For the Savoy side of the mountain is much more difficult to pass than the other. But Sir Charles chose not to lose time; and therefore left the chaise to the care of the inn-keeper; proceeding, with all expedition, to gain the top of the hill.

The way we were carried, was as follows: A kind of horse, as it is called with you, with two poles, like those of chairmen, was the vehicle; on which is secured a sort of elbow chair, in which the traveller sits. A man before, another behind, carry this open machine with so much swiftness, that they are continually running and skipping, like wild goats, from rock to rock, the four miles of that ascent. If a traveller were not prepossessed that these mountaineers are the surest-footed carriers in the universe, he would be in continual apprehensions of being overturned. I, who never undertook this journey before, must own, that I could not be so fearless, on this occasion, as Sir Charles was, tho' he had very exactly described to me how every-thing would be. Then, tho' the sky was clear when we passed this mountain, yet the cold wind blew quantities of frozen snow in our faces; insomuch that it seemed to me just as if people were employed, all the time we were passing to wound us with the sharpest needles. They indeed call the wind that brings this sharp-pointed snow, The Tormenta.

An adventure, which any-where else might have appeared ridiculous, I was afraid would have proved fatal to one of our chairmen, as I will call them. I had slapped down my hat to screen my eyes from the fury of that deluge of sharp-pointed frozen snow; and it was blown off my head, by a sudden gust, down the precipices: I gave it for lost, and was about to bind a handkerchief over the woollen cap, which those people provide to tie under the chin; when one of the assistant carriers (for they are always six in number to every chair, in order to relieve one another) undertook to recover it. I thought it impossible to be done; the passage being, as I imagined, only practicable for birds: However, I promised him a crown reward, if he did. Never could the leaps of the most dextrous of rope-dancers be compared to those of this daring fellow: I saw him sometimes jumping from rock to rock, sometimes rolling down a declivity of snow like a ninepin, sometimes running, sometimes hopping, skipping; in short, he descended like lightning to the verge of a torrent, where he found the hat. He came up almost as quick, and appeared as little fatigued, as if he had never left us.

We arrived at the top in two hours, from Lanebourg; and the sun was pretty high above the horizon. Out of a hut, half-buried in snow, came some mountaineers, with two poor sledges, drawn by mules, to carry as through the Plain of Mount Cenis, as it is called, which is about four Italian miles in length, to the descent of the Italian side of the mountain. These sledges are not much different from the chairs, or sedans, or horse, we then quitted; only the two under-poles are flat, and not so long as the others, and turning up a little at the end, to hinder them from sticking fast in the snow. To the fore-ends of the poles are fixed two round sticks, about two feet and a half long, which serve for a support and help to the man who guides the mule, who running on the snow between the mule and the sledge, holds the sticks with each hand.

It was diverting to see the two sledgemen striving to out-run each other. Encouraged by Sir Charles's generosity, we arrived at the other end of the plain in less than two hours: The man who walked, or rather run, between the sledge and the mule, made a continual noise; hallooing and beating the stubborn beast with his fists, which otherwise would be very slow in its motion.

At the end of this plain we found such another hut as that on the Lanebourg side: Here they took off the smoking mules from the sledges, to give them rest.

And now began the most extraordinary way of travelling that can be imagined. The descent of the mountain from the top of this side, to a small village called Novalesa, is four Italian miles. When the show has filled up all the inequalities of the mountain, it looks, in many parts, as smooth and equal as a sugar-loaf. It is on the brink of this rapid descent that they put the sledge. The man who is to guide it, sits between the feet of the traveller, who is seated in the elbow chair, with his legs at the outside of the sticks fixed at the fore-ends of the flat poles, and holds the two sticks with his hands; and when the sledge has gained the declivity, its own weight carries it down with surprising celerity. But as the immense irregular rocks under the snow make now-and-then some edges in the declivity, which, if not avoided, would overturn the sledge; the guide, who foresees the danger, by putting his foot strongly and dextrously in the snow next to the precipice, turns the machine, by help of the above-mentioned sticks, the contrary way, and, by way of zigzag, goes to the bottom. Such was the velocity of this motion, that we dispatched these four miles in less than five minutes; and, when we arrived at Novalesa, hearing that the snow was very deep most of the way to Susa, and being pleased with our way of travelling, we had some mules put again to the sledges, and ran all the way to the very gates of that city, which is seven miles distant from Mount Cenis.

In our way we had a cursory view of the impregnable fortress of Brunetta, the greatest part of which is cut out of the solid rock, and commands that important pass.

We rested all night at Susa; and, having bought a very commodious post-chaise, we proceeded to Turin, where we dined; and from thence, the evening of May 2. O. S. got to Parma by way of Alexandria and Placentia, having purposely avoided the high road through Milan, as it would have cost us a few hours more time.

Sir Charles observed to me, when we were on the plain or flat top of Mount Cenis, that, had not the winter been particularly long and severe, we should have had, instead of this terrible appearance of snow there, flowers starting up, as it were, under our feet, of various kinds, which are hardly to be met with anywhere else. One of the greatest dangers, he told me, in passing this mount in winter, arises from a ball of snow, which is blown down from the top by the wind, or falls down by some other accident; which, gathering all the way in its descent, becomes instantly of such a prodigious bigness, that there is hardly any avoiding being carried away with it, man and beast, and smothered in it. One of these balls we saw rolling down; but as it took another course than ours, we had no apprehensions of danger from it.

At Parma we found expecting us, the Bishop of Nocera, and a very Reverend Father, Marescotti by name; who expressed the utmost joy at the arrival of Sir Charles Grandison, and received me, at his recommendation, with a politeness which seems natural to them. I will not repeat what I have written before of this excellent young gentleman: Intrepidity, bravery, discretion, as well as generosity, are conspicuous parts of his character. He is studious to avoid danger; but is unappalled in it. For humanity, benevolence, providence for others, to his very servants, I never met with his equal.

My reception from the noble family to which he has introduced me; the patient's case (a very unhappy one!); and a description of this noble city, and the fine country about it; shall be the subject of my next. Assure all my friends of my health, and good wishes for them; and, my dear Arnold, believe me to be

Ever Yours, &c.

Volume V - lettera 3

Volume V - Letter 4


Bologna, Wednesday, May 10-21.

I told you, my dear and reverend friend, that I should hardly write to you till I arrived in this city.

The affair of my executorship obliged me to stay a day longer at Paris than I intended: but I have put every thing relating to that trust in such a way, as to answer all my wishes.

Mr. Lowther wrote to Mr. Arnold, a friend of his in London, the particulars of the extraordinary affair we were engaged in between St. Denis and Paris; with desire that he would inform my friends of our arrival at that capital.

We were obliged to stop two days at St. Jean de Maurienne: The expedition we travelled with was too much for Mr. Lowther; and I expected, and was not disappointed, from the unusual backwardness of the season, to find the passage over Mount Cenis less agreeable than it usually is in the beginning of May.

The Bishop of Nocera had offered to meet me any where on his side of the mountains. I wrote to him from Lyons, that I hoped to see him at Parma, on or about the very day that I was so fortunate as to reach the palace of the Count of Belvedere in that city; where I found, that he and Father Marescotti had arrived the evening before. They, as well as the Count, expressed great joy to see me; and when I presented Mr. Lowther to them, with the praises due to his skill, and let them know the consultations I had had with eminent physicians of my own country, on Lady Clementina's case, they invoked blessings upon us both, and would not be interrupted in them by my eager questions after the health and state of mind of the two dearest persons of their family—Unhappy! very unhappy! said the Bishop. Let us give you some refreshment, before we come to particulars.

To my repeated enquiries, Jeronymo, poor Jeronymo! said the Bishop, is living, and that is all we can say.—The sight of you will be a cordial to his heart. Clementina is on her journey to Bologna from Naples. You desired to find her with us, and not at Naples. She is weak; is obliged to travel slowly. She will rest at Urbino two or three days. Dear creature! What has she not suffered from the cruelty of her cousin Laurana, as well as from her malady! The General has been, and is, indulgent to her. He is married to a Lady of great merit, quality, and fortune. He has, at length, consented that we shall try this last experiment, as the hearts of my mother and now lately of my father, as well as mine, are in it. His Lady would not be denied accompanying my sister; and as my brother could not bear being absent from her, he travels with them. I wish he had stay'd at Naples. I hope, however, he will be as ready, as you will find us all, to acknowledge the favour of this visit, and the fatigue and trouble you have given yourself on our account.

As to my sister's bodily health, proceeded he, it is greatly impaired. We are almost hopeless, with regard to the state of her mind. She speaks not; she answers not any questions. Camilla is with her. She seems regardless of any-body else. She has been told, that the General is married. His Lady makes great court to her; but she heeds her not. We are in hopes, that my mother, on her return to Bologna, will engage her attention. She never yet was so bad as to forget her duty, either to God, or her Parents. Sometimes Camilla thinks she pays some little attention to your name; but then she instantly starts, as in terror; looks round her with fear; puts her finger to her lips, as if she dreaded her cruel cousin Laurana should be told of her having heard it mentioned.

The Bishop and Father both regretted that she had been denied the requested interview. They were now, they said, convinced, that if that had been granted, and she had been left to Mrs. Beaumont's friendly care, a happy issue might have been hoped for: But now, said the Bishop—Then sighed, and was silent.

I dispatched Saunders, early the next morning, to Bologna, to procure convenient lodgings for me, and Mr. Lowther.

In the afternoon we set out for that city. The Count of Belvedere found an opportunity to let me know his unabated passion for Clementina, and that he had lately made overtures to marry her, notwithstanding her malady; having been advised, he said, by proper persons, that as it was not an hereditary, but an accidental disorder, it might be, in time, cureable. He accompanied us about half way in our journey; and, at parting, Remember, Chevalier, whispered he, that Clementina is the Soul of my hope: I cannot forego that hope. No other woman will I ever call mine.

I heard him in silence: I admired him for his attachment: I pitied him. He said, he would tell me more of his mind at Bologna.

We reached Bologna on the 15th, N. S. Saunders had engaged for me the lodgings I had before.

Our conversation on the road turned chiefly on the case of Signor Jeronymo. The Bishop and Father were highly pleased with the skill, founded on practice, which evidently appeared in all that Mr. Lowther said on the subject: And the Bishop once intimated, that, be the event what it would, his journey to Italy should be made the most beneficial affair to him he had ever engaged in. Mr. Lowther replied, that as he was neither a necessitous nor a mean-spirited man, and had reason to be entirely satisfied with the terms I had already secured to him; he should take it unkindly, if any other reward were offered him.

Think, my dear Dr. Bartlett, what emotions I must have on entering, once more, the gates of the Porretta palace, tho' Clementina was not there.

I hastened up to my Jeronymo, who had been apprized of my arrival. The moment he saw me, Do I once more, said he, behold my friend, my Grandison? Let me embrace the dearest of men. Now, now, have I lived long enough. He bowed his head upon his pillow, and meditated me; his countenance shining with pleasure, in defiance of pain.

The Bishop entered, he could not be present at our first interview.

My Lord, said Jeronymo, make it your care that my dear friend be treated, by every soul of our family, with the gratitude and respect which are due to his goodness. Methinks I am easier and happier, this moment, than I have been for the tedious space of time since I last saw him. He named that space of time to the day, and to the very hour of the day.

The Marquis and Marchioness signifying their pleasure to see me, the Bishop led me to them. My reception from the Marquis was kind; from his Lady it was as that of a mother to a long-absent son. I had ever been, she was pleased to say, a fourth son in her eye; and now, that she had been informed that I had brought over with me a surgeon of experience, and the advice in writing of eminent physicians of my country, the obligations I had laid on their whole family, whatever were the success, were unreturnable.

I asked leave to introduce Mr. Lowther to them. They received him with great politeness, and recommended their Jeronymo to his best skill. Mr. Lowther's honest heart was engaged, by a reception so kind. He never, he told me afterwards, beheld so much pleasure and pain struggling in the same countenance, as in that of the Lady; so fixed a melancholy, as in that of the Marquis. Mr. Lowther is a man of spirit, tho' a modest man. He is, as on every proper occasion I found, a man of piety; and has a heart tender as manly. Such a man, heart and hand, is qualified for a profession which is the most useful and certain in the art of healing. He is a man of sense and learning out of his profession, and happy in his address.

The two surgeons who now attend Signor Jeronymo, are both of this country. They were sent for. With the approbation, and at the request, of the family, I presented Mr. Lowther to them; but first gave them his character, as a modest man, as a man of skill, and experience; and told them, that he had quitted business, and wanted not either fame or fortune.

They acquainted him with the case, and their methods of proceeding. Mr. Lowther assisted in the dressings that very evening. Jeronymo would have me to be present. Mr. Lowther suggested an alteration in their method, but in so easy and gentle a manner, as if he doubted not, but such was their intention when the state of the wounds would admit of that method of treatment, that the gentlemen came readily into it. A great deal of matter had been collected, by means of the wrong methods pursued; and he proposed, if the patient's strength would bear it, to make an aperture below the principal wound, in order to discharge the matter downward; and he suggested the dressing with hollow tents and bandage, and to dismiss the large tents, with which they had been accustomed to distend the wound, to the extreme anguish of the patient, on pretence of keeping it open, to assist the discharge.

Let me now give you, my dear friend, a brief history of my Jeronymo's case, and of the circumstances which have attended it; by which you will be able to account for the difficulties of it, and how it has happened, that, in such a space of time, either the cure was not effected, or that the patient yielded not to the common destiny.

In lingering cases, patients or their friends are sometimes too apt to blame their physicians, and to listen to new recommendations. The surgeons attending this unhappy case, had been more than once changed. Signor Jeronymo, it seems, was unskilfully treated by the young surgeon of Cremona, who was first engaged: He neglected the most dangerous wound; and when he attended to it, managed it wrong, for want of experience. He was therefore very properly dismissed.

The unhappy man had at first three wounds: One in his breast, which had been for some time healed; one in his shoulder, which, through his own impatience, having been too suddenly healed up, was obliged to be laid open again; the other, which is the most dangerous, in the hip-joint.

A surgeon of this place, and another of Padua, were next employed. The cure not advancing, a surgeon of eminence, from Paris, was sent for.

Mr. Lowther tells me, that this man's method was by far the most eligible; but that he undertook too much; since, from the first, there could not be any hope, from the nature of the wound in the hip-joint, that the patient could ever walk, without sticks or crutches: And of this opinion were the other two surgeons: But the French gentleman was so very pragmatical, that he would neither draw with them, nor give reasons for what he did; regarding them only as his assistants. They could not long bear this usage, and gave up to him in disgust.

How cruel is punctilio, among men of this science, in cases of difficulty and danger!

The present operators, when the two others had given up, were not, but by leave of the French gentleman, called in. He valuing himself on his practice in the Royal Hospital of Invalids at Paris, looked upon them as Theorists only; and treated them with as little ceremony as he had shown the others: So that at last, from their frequent differences, it became necessary to part with either him, or them. His pride, when he knew that this question was a subject of debate, would not allow him to leave the family an option. He made his demand: It was complied with; and he returned to Paris.

From what this gentleman threw out at parting, to the disparagement of the two others, Signor Jeronymo suspected their skill; and from a hint of this suspicion, as soon as I knew I should be welcome myself, I procured the favour of Mr. Lowther's attendance.

All Mr. Lowther's fear is, that Signor Jeronymo has been kept too long in hand by the different managements of the several operators; and that he will sink under the necessary process, through weakness of habit. But, however, he is of opinion, that it is requisite to confine him to a strict dict, and to deny him wine and fermented liquors, in which he has hitherto been indulged, against the opinion of his own operators, who have been too complaisant to his appetite.

An operation somewhat severe was performed on his shoulder yesterday morning. The Italian surgeons complimented Mr. Lowther with the lancet. They both praised his dexterity; and Signor Jeronymo, who will be consulted on every-thing that he is to suffer, blessed his gentle hand.

At Mr. Lowther's request, a physician was yesterday consulted; who advised some gentle aperitives, as his strength will bear it; and some balsamics, to sweeten the blood and juices.

Mr. Lowther told me just now, that the fault of the gentlemen who have now the care of him, has not been want of skill, but of critical courage, and a too great solicitude to oblige their patient; which, by their own account, had made them forego several opportunities which had offered to assist nature. In short, Sir, said he, your friend knows too much of his own case to be ruled, and too little to qualify him to direct what is to be done, especially as symptoms must have been frequently changing.

Mr. Lowther doubts not, he says, but he shall soon convince Jeronymo that he merits his confidence, and then he will exact it from him; and, in so doing, shall not only give weight to his own endeavours to serve him, but rid the other two gentlemen of embarrassments which have often given them diffidencies, when resolution was necessary.

Mean time the Marquis, his Lady, the Bishop, and Father Marescotti, are delighted with Mr. Lowther. They will flatter themselves, they say, with hopes of their Jeronymo's recovery; which however Mr. Lowther, for fear of disappointment, does not encourage. Jeronymo himself owns, that his spirits are much revived; and we all know the power that the mind has over the body.

Thus have I given you, my reverend friend, a general notion of Jeronymo's case, as I understand it from Mr. Lowther's as general representation of it.

The family have prevailed upon him to accept of an apartment adjoining to that of his patient. Jeronymo said, that when he knows he has so skilful a friend near him, he shall go to rest with confidence; and good rest is of the highest consequence to him.

What a happiness, my dear Dr. Bartlett, will fall to my share, if I may be an humble instrument, in the hand of Providence, to heal this brother; and if his recovery shall lead the way to the restoration of his sister; each so known a lover of the other, that the world is more ready to attribute her malady to his misfortune and danger, than to any other cause! But how early days are these, on which my love and my compassion for persons so meritorious, embolden me to build hopes so forward!

Lady Clementina is now impatiently expected by every one. She is at Urbino The General and his Lady are with her. His haughty spirit cannot bear to think she should see me, or that my attendance on her should be thought of so much importance to her.

The Marchioness, in a conversation that I have just now had with her, hinted this to me, and besought me to keep my temper, if his high notion of family and female honour should carry him out of his usual politeness.

I will give you, my dear friend, the particulars of this conversation.

She began with saying, that she did not, for her part, now think, that her beloved daughter, whom once she believed hardly any private man could deserve, was worthy of me, even were she to recover her reason.

I could not but guess the meaning of so high a compliment. What answer could I return that would not, on one hand be capable of being thought cool; on the other of being supposed interested, and as if I were looking forward to a reward that some of the family still think too high? But while I knew my own motives, I could not be displeased with a Lady who was not at liberty to act, in this point, according to her own will.

I only said (and it was with truth) That the calamity of the noble Lady had endeared her to me, more than it was possible the most prosperous fortune could have done.

I, my good Chevalier, may say any-thing to you. We are undetermined about every-thing. We know not what to propose, what to consent to. Your journey, on the first motion, tho' but from some of us, the dear creature continuing ill; you in possession of a considerable estate, exercising yourself in doing good in your native country [You must think we took all opportunities of enquiring after the man once so likely to be one of us]; the first fortune in Italy, Olivia, tho' she is not a Clementina, pursuing you in hopes of calling herself yours (for to England we hear she went, and there you own she is) What obligations have you laid upon us!—What can we determine upon? What can we wish?

Providence and you, madam, shall direct my steps. I am in yours and your Lord's power. The same uncertainty, from the same unhappy cause, leaves me not the thought, because not the power of determination. The recovery of Lady Clementina and her brother without a view to my own interest, fills up, at present, all the wishes of my heart.

Let me ask, said the Lady (it is for my own private satisfaction) Were such a happy event, as to Clementina, to take place, could you, would you, think yourself bound by your former offers?

When I made those offers, madam, the situation on your side was the same that it is now: Lady Clementina was unhappy in her mind. My fortune, it is true, is higher: It is indeed as high as I wish it to be. I then declared, That if you would give me your Clementina, without insisting on one hard, on one indispensable article, I would renounce her fortune, and trust to my father's goodness to me for a provision. Shall my accession to the estate of my ancestors alter me?—No! madam: I never yet made an offer, that I receded from, the circumstances continuing the same. If, in the article of residence, the Marquis, and you, and Clementina, would relax; I would acknowledge myself indebted to your goodness, but without conditioning for it.

I told you, said she, that I put this question only for my own private satisfaction: And I told you truth. I never will deceive or mislead you. Whenever I speak to you, it shall be as if, even in your own concerns, I spoke to a third person; and I shall not doubt but you will have the generosity to advise, as such, tho' against yourself.

May I be enabled to act worthy of your good opinion! I madam, look upon myself as bound: You and yours are free.

What a pleasure is it, my dear Dr. Bartlett, to the proud heart of your friend, that I could say this!—Had I sought, in pursuance of my own inclinations, to engage the affections of the admirable Miss Byron, as I might with honour have endeavoured to do, had not the woes of this noble family, and the unhappy state of mind of their Clementina, so deeply affected me; I might have involved myself, and that loveliest of women, in difficulties which would have made such a heart as mine still more unhappy than it is.

Let me know, my dear Dr. Bartlett, that Miss Byron is happy. I rejoice, whatever be my own destiny, that I have not involved her in my uncertainties. The Countess of D. is a worthy woman: The Earl, her son, is a good young man: Miss Byron merits such a mother; the Countess such a daughter. How dear, how important, is her welfare to me!—You know your Grandison, my good Dr. Bartlett. Her friendship I presumed to ask: I dared not to wish to correspond with her. I rejoice, for her sake, that I trusted not my heart with such a proposal What difficulties, my dear friend, have I had to encounter with!—God be praised, that I have nothing, with regard to these two incomparable women, to reproach myself with. I am persuaded that our prudence, if rashly we throw not ourselves into difficulties, and if we will exert it, and make a reliance on the proper assistance, is generally proportioned to our trials.

I asked the Marchioness after Lady Sforza, and her daughter Laurana; and whether they were at Milan?

You have heard, no doubt, answered she, the cruel treatment that my poor child met with from her cousin Laurana. Lady Sforza justifies her in it. We are upon extreme bad terms, on that account. They are both at Milan. The General has vowed, that he never will see them more, if he can avoid it. The Bishop, only as a Christian, can forgive them. You, Chevalier, know the reason why we cannot allow our Clementina to take the veil.

The particular reasons I have not, madam, been inquisitive about; but have always understood them to be family ones, grounded on the dying request of one of her grandfathers.

Our daughter, Sir, is entitled to a considerable estate which joins to our own domains. It was purchased for her by her two grandfathers; who vied with each other in demonstrating their love of her by solid effects. One of them (my father) was, in his youth, deeply in Love with a young Lady of great merit; and she was thought to love him: But, in a fit of pious bravery, as he used to call it, when every-thing between themselves, and between the friends on both sides, was concluded on, she threw herself into a Convent; and, passing steadily through the probationary forms, took the veil; but afterwards repented, and took pains to let it be known that she was unhappy. This gave him a disgust against the sequestered life, tho' he was, in other respects, a zealous Catholic. And Clementina having always a serious turn; in order to deter her from embracing it (both grandfathers being desirous of strengthening their house, as well in the female as male line) they inserted a clause in each of their wills, by which they gave the estate designed for her, in case she took the veil, to Laurana, and her descendants; Laurana, to enter into possession of it on the day that Clementina should be professed. But if Clementina married, Laurana was then to be entitled only to a handsome legacy, that she might not be entirely disappointed: For the reversion, in case Clementina had no children, was to go to our eldest son; who, however, has been always generously solicitous to have his sister marry.

Both grandfathers were rich. Our son Giacomo, on my father's death, as he had willed, entered upon a considerable estate in the kingdom of Naples, which had for ages been in my family: He is therefore, and will be, greatly provided for. Our second son has great prospects before him, in the church: But you know he cannot marry. Poor Jeronymo! We had not, before his misfortune, any great hopes of strengthening the family by his means: He, alas! (as you well know, who took such laudable pains to reclaim him, before we knew you) with great qualities, imbibed free notions from bad company, and declared himself a despiser of marriage. This the two grandfathers knew, and often deplored; for Jeronymo and Clementina were equally their favourites. To him and the Bishop they bequeathed great legacies.

We suspected not, till very lately, that Laurana was deeply in Love with the Count of Belvedere; and that her mother and she had views to drive our sweet child into a convent, that Laurana might enjoy the estate; which they hoped would be an inducement to the Count to marry her. Cruel Laurana! Cruel Lady Sforza! So much love as they both pretended to our child: and, I believe, had, till the temptation, strengthened by power, became too strong for them. Unhappy the day that we put her into their hands!

Besides the estate so bequeathed to Clementina, we can do great things for her: Few Italian families are so rich as ours. Her brothers forget their own interest, when it comes into competition with hers: She is as generous as they. Our four children never knew what a contention was, but who should give up an advantage to the other. This child, this sweet child, was ever the delight of us all, and likewise of our brother the Conte della Porretta. What joy would her recovery and nuptials give us!—dear creature! We have sometimes thought, that she is the fonder of the sequestered life, as it is that which we wish her not to embrace—But can Clementina be perverse? She cannot. Yet that was the life of her choice, when she had a choice, her grandfathers wishes notwithstanding.

Will you now wonder, Chevalier, that neither our sons nor we can allow Clementina to take the veil? Can we so reward Laurana for her cruelty? Especially now, that we suspect the motives for her barbarity? Could I have thought that my sister Sforza—But what will not Love and Avarice do, their powers united to compass the same end; the one reigning in the bosom of the mother, the other in that of the daughter? Alas! alas! they have, between them, broken the spirit of my Clementina. The very name of Laurana gives her terror—So far is she sensible. But, O Sir, her sensibility appears only when she is harshly treated! To tenderness she had been too much accustomed, to make her think an indulgent treatment new, or unusual.

I dread, my dear Dr. Bartlett, yet am impatient, to see the unhappy Lady. I wish the general were not to accompany her. I am afraid I shall want temper, if he forget his. My own heart, when it tells me, that I have not deserved ill usage (from my equals and superiors in rank, especially) bids me not bear it. I am ashamed to own to you, my reverend friend, that pride of spirit, which, knowing it to be my fault, I ought long ago to have subdued.

Make my compliments to every one I love. Mr. and Mrs. Reeves are of the number.

Charlotte, I hope is happy. If she is not, it must be her own fault. Let her know, that I will not allow, when my love to both sisters is equal, that she shall give me cause to say, that Lady L. is my best sister.

Lady Olivia gives me uneasiness. I am ashamed, my dear Dr. Bartlett, that a woman of a rank so considerable, and who his some great qualities, should lay herself under obligation to the compassion of a man who can only pity her. When a woman gets over that delicacy, which is the test or bulwark as I may say, of modesty—Modesty itself may soon lie at the mercy of an enemy.

Tell my Emily that she is never out of my mind; and that, among the other excellent examples she has before her. Miss Byron's must never be out of hers.

Lord L. and Lord G. are in full possession of my brotherly love.

I shall not at present write to my Beauchamp. In writing to you, I write to him.

You know all my heart. If in this, or my future Letters, any-thing should fall from my pen, that would possibly in your opinion affect or give uneasiness to any one I love and honour, were it to be communicated; I depend upon your known and unquestionable discretion to keep it to yourself.

I shall be glad you will enable yourself to inform me of the way Sir Hargrave and his friends are in. They were very ill at Paris; and, it was thought, too weak, and too much bruised, to be soon carried over to England. Men! Englishmen! thus to disgrace themselves, and their country!—I am concerned for them!

I expect large packets by the next mails from my friends. England, which was always dear to me, never was half so dear as now, to

Your ever-affectionate

Volume V - lettera 4

Volume V - Letter 5


Bologna, May 11-22.

The Bishop set out yesterday for Urbino, in order to inform himself of his sister's state of health, and perhaps to qualify the General to meet me with temper and politeness. Were I sure the good prelate thought this necessary, my pride would be excited.

The Count of Belvedere arrived here yesterday. He made it his first business to see me. He acquainted me, but in confidence, that proposals of marriage with Lady Laurana had actually been made him: To which he had returned answer, that his heart, however hopelessly was engaged; and that he never could think of any other woman than Lady Clementina.

He made no scruple, he said, of returning so short an answer, because he had been apprised of the cruelty with which one of the noblest young women in Italy had been treated, by the proposers; and with their motives for it.

You see, Chevalier, said he, that I am open and unreserved to you. You will oblige me, if you will let me know what it is you propose to your-self in the present situation?—But, first, I should be glad to hear from your own mouth, what passed between you and Clementina, and the family, before you quitted Italy the last time. I have had their account.

I gave him a very faithful relation of it. He was pleased with it. Exactly as it has been represented to me! said he. Were Clementina and you of one religion, there could have been no hope for any other man. I adore her for her piety, and for her attachment to hers; and am not so narrow-minded a man, but I can admire you for yours. As her malady is accidental, I never would think of any other woman could I flatter myself that she would not, if restored, be unhappy with me.—But now tell me; I am earnest to know; Are you come over to us (I know you are invited) with an expectation to call her yours, in case of her recovery?

I answered him as I had done the Marchioness.

He seemed as much pleased with me as I am with him. He is gone back to Parma.

Friday, May 12-23.

The Bishop is returned. Lady Clementina has been very ill: A fever. How has she been hurried about! He tells me, that the General and his Lady, and also the Conte della Porretta, acknowledge themselves and their whole family obliged to me for the trouble I have been at to serve their Jeronymo.

The fever having left Lady Clementina, the will set out in a day or two. The Count and Signor Sebastiano, as well as the General and his Lady, will attend her. I am impatient to see her. Yet how greatly will the sight of her afflict me! The Bishop says, she is the picture of silent woe: Yet, tho' greatly emaciated, looks herself, were his words. They told her, that Jeronymo was better than he had been. Your dear Jeronymo, said the General to her. The sweet echo repeated—Jeronymo—and was again silent.

They afterwards proposed to name me to her. They did. She looked quick about her, as if for Somebody. Laura, her maid, was occasionally called upon. She started, and threw her arms about Camilla, as terrified; looking wildly. Camilla doubts not, but by the name Laura, she apprehended the savage Laurana to be at hand.

How must she have suffered from her barbarity!—Sweet Innocent! she, who even in her reveries thought not but of good to the Soul of the man whom she honoured with her regard—She, who bore offence without resentment; and by meekness only sought to calm the violence for which she had not given the least cause!

But when Camilla and she had retired, she spoke to her. The Bishop gave me the following dialogue between them, as he had it from Camilla:

Did they not name to me the Chevalier Grandison? said she.

They did, madam.

See! see! said she, before I name him again, if my cruel cousin hearken not at the door.

Your cruel cousin, madam, is at many miles distance.

She may hear what I say, for all that.

My dear Lady Clementina, she cannot hear. She shall never more come near you.

So you say.

Did I ever deceive you, madam?

I can't remember: My memory is gone; quite gone, Camilla.

She then looked earnestly at Camilla, and screamed.

What ails you, my dearest young Lady?

Recovering herself—Ah, my own Camilla! It is you. I thought, by the cast of your eye, you were become Laurana.—Do not, do not give me such another look!

Camilla was not sensible of any particularity in her looks.

Here you have me again upon a journey, Camilla: But how do I know that I am not to be carried to my cruel cousin?

You are really going to your father's palace at Bologna, madam.

Is my mother there?

She is.

Who else?

The Chevalier, madam.

What Chevalier?


Impossible! Is he not in proud England?

He is come over, madam.

What for?

With a skilful English surgeon, in hopes to cure Signor Jeronymo—

Poor Jeronymo!

And to pay his compliments to you, madam.

Flatterer! How many hundred times have I been told so?

Should you wish to see him, madam?

See whom?

The Chevalier Grandison.

Once I should; and sighed.

And not now, madam?

No: I have lost all I had to say to him. Yet I wish I were allowed to go to that England. We poor women are not suffered to go any-whither; while men—

There she stopped; and Camilla could not make her say any more.

The Bishop was fond of repeating these particulars; as she had not, for some time, talked so much, and so sensibly.

Friday Evening.

I pass more than half my time with Signor Jeronymo; but (that I may not fatigue his spirits) at different hours of the day. The Italian surgeons and Mr. Lowther happily agree in all their measures: They applaud him when his back is turned; and he speaks well of them in their absence. This mutual return of good offices, which they hear of, unites them. The patient declares, that he had not for months been so easy as now. Every-body attributes a great deal to his heart's being revived by my frequent visits. To-morrow it is proposed to make an opening below the most difficult wound. Mr. Lowther says, he will not flatter us, till he sees the success of this operation.

The Marquis and his Lady are inexpressibly obliging to me. I had yesterday a visit from both, on an indisposition that confined me to my chamber; occasioned, I believe, by a hurry of spirits; by fatigue; by my apprehensions for Jeronymo; my concern for Clementina; and by my too great anxiety for the dear friends I had so lately left in England.

You know, Dr. Bartlett, that I have a heart too susceptible for my own peace, tho' I endeavour to conceal from others those painful sensibilities, which they cannot relieve. The poor Olivia was ever to be my disturbance. Miss Byron must be happy in the rectitude of her own heart. I am ready to think, that she will not be able to resist the warm instances of the Countess of D. in favour of her son, who is certainly one of the best young men among the nobility. She will be the happiest woman in the world, as she is one of the most deserving, if she be as happy as I wish her.

Emily takes up a large portion of my thoughts.

Our Beauchamp I know must be happy: So must my Lord W.; my Sisters; and their Lords.—Why then shall I not think myself so? God restore Jeronymo, and his Sister, and I must, I will; for you, my dear Dr. Bartlett, are so: And then I will subscribe myself a partaker of the happiness of all my friends; and particularly

Your ever-affectionate

Volume V - lettera 5

Volume V - Letter 6


Bologna, Monday, May 15-26.

Last night arrived Lady Clementina, the General, his Lady, the Count, and Signor Sebastiano.

I had left Jeronymo about an hour. He had had in the morning the intended opening made by Mr. Lowther. He would have me present.

The operation was happily performed: But, thro' weakness of body, he was several times in the day troubled with faintings.

I left him tolerably cheerful in the evening; and rejoicing in expectation of his sister's arrival; and, as the Bishop had assured him of the General's grateful disposition, he longed, he said, to see that affectionate brother and his Lady once more. He had never but once seen her before, and then was so ill, that he could hardly compliment her on the honour she had done their family.

The bishop sent to tell me that his sister was arrived; but that being fatigued and unhappy, Camilla should acquaint me in the morning with the way in which she should then be.

I slept not half an hour the whole night. You, my dear friend, will easily account for my restlessness.

I sent, as usual, early in the morning, to know how Jeronymo rested. The answer was favourable; returned by Mr. Lowther, who sat up with him that night, at his own motion: He knew not but something critical might happen.

Camilla came. The good woman was so full of her own joy to see me once more in Italy, that I could not presently get a word from her, of what my heart throbbed with impatience to know.

At last, You will, said she, have the General and the Bishop with you. Ah, Sir! my poor young Lady! What has she suffered since you left us! You will not know her. We are not sure she will know you. Who shall be able to bear the first interview? She has now but few intervals. It is all one gloomy confusion with her. She cares not to speak to anybody. Every stranger she sees, terrifies her. O the vile, thrice vile Lady Laurana!—

In this manner ran on Camilla: Nor would she enter into any other particulars than the unhappy ones she left me to collect from the broken hints and exclamations thus thrown out. Alas! thought I, the calamities of Clementina have affected the head of the poor Camilla! She hurried away, lest she should be wanted, and lest the General should find her with me.

The two brothers came soon after. The General took my hand, with a kind of forced politeness: We are all obliged to you, Sir, said he, for your Mr. Lowther. Are the surgeons of England so famous? But the people of your nation have been accustomed to give wounds: They should therefore furnish operators to heal them. We are obliged to you also, for the trouble you have given yourself in coming over to us in person. Jeronymo has found a revival of spirits upon it: God grant they may not subside! But, alas! our sister!—Poor Clementina!—She is lost!

Would to God, said the Bishop, we had left her to the care of Mrs. Beaumont.

The General himself, having taken her from Florence, would not join in this wish. There was a middle course, he said, that ought to have been taken. But Laurana is a daughter of the devil, said he; and Lady Sforza ought to be detested for upholding her.

The General expressed himself with coldness on my coming over; but said, that now I was on the spot, and as his sister had been formerly desirous of seeing me, an interview might be permitted, in order to satisfy those of the family who had given me the invitation, which it was very good of me to accept; especially as I had the Lady Olivia in England attending my motions: But otherwise he had no opinion—There he stopped.

I looked upon him with indignation, mingled with contempt: And directing myself to the Bishop, You remember, my Lord, said I, the story of Naaman the Syrian (Note: 2 Kings v.).

What is that, my Lord? said he to the Bishop.

Far be it from me, continued I, still directing myself to the Bishop, to presume upon my own consequence in the application of the story: But your Lordship will judge how far the comparison will hold. Would to God it might throughout!

A happy allusion, said the Bishop. I say Amen.

I know not who this Naaman is, said the General, nor what is meant by your allusion, Chevalier: But by your looks I should imagine, that you mean me contempt.

My looks, my Lord, generally indicate my heart. You may make light of my intention; and so will I of the trouble I have been at, if your Lordship make not light of me. But were I, my Lord, in your own palace at Naples, I would tell you, that you seem not to know, in my case, what graciousness is. Yet I ask not for favour from you, but as much for your own sake, as mine.

Dear Grandison, said the Bishop—My Lord, to his brother—Did you not promise me—Why did you mention Olivia to the Chevalier?

Does that disturb you, Sir? said the General to me. I cannot make light of a man of your consequence; especially with Ladies, Sir—in a scornful manner.

The General, you see, my Lord, said I, turning to the Bishop, has an insuperable ill-will to me. I found, when I attended him at Naples, that he had harboured surmises that were as injurious to his sister, as to me. I was in hopes that I had obviated them; but a rooted malevolence will recur. However, satisfied as I am with my own innocence, he shall, for many sakes, find it very difficult to provoke me.

For my own sake, among the rest, Chevalier? with an air of drollery.

You are at liberty, returned I, to make your own constructions. Allow me, my Lords, to attend you to Signor Jeronymo.

Not till you are cordial friends, said the Bishop—Brother, give me your hand, offering to take it—Chevalier, yours—

Dispose of mine as you please, my Lord, said I, holding it out.

He took it and the General's at the same time, and would have joined them.

Come, my Lord, said I, to the General, and snatched his reluctant hand, accept of a friendly offer, from a heart as friendly. Let me honour you, from my own knowledge, for those great qualities which the world gives you. I demand your favour from a consciousness that I deserve it; and that I could not, were I to submit to be treated with indignity by any man. I should be sorry to look little in your eyes; but I will not in my own.

Who can bear the superiority this man assumes, brother?

You oblige me, my Lord, to assert myself.

The Chevalier speaks nobly, my Lord. His character is well known. Let me lead you both friends to our Jeronymo. But say, Brother,—Say, Chevalier, that you are so.

I cannot bear, said the General, that the Chevalier Grandison should imagine himself of so much consequence to my sister, as some of you seem to think him.

You know me not, my Lord. I have at present no wish but for the recovery of your sister and Signor Jeronymo. Were I able to be of service to them, that service would be my reward. But, my Lord, if it will make you easy, and induce you to treat me, as my own heart tells me I ought to be treated; I will give you my honour, and let me say, that it never yet was forfeited, that whatever turn your sister's malady may take, I will not accept of the highest favour that can be done me, but with the joint consent of the three brothers, as well as of your father and mother. Permit me to add, that I will not enter into any family that shall think meanly of me; nor subject the woman I love to the contempt of her own relations.

This indeed is nobly said, replied the General. Give me your hand upon it, and I am your friend for ever.

Proud man! He could not bear to think, that a simple English gentleman, as he looks upon me to be, should ally with their family; improbable as it is, in his own opinion, that the unhappy Lady should ever recover her reason: But he greatly loves the Count of Belvedere; and all the family was fond of an alliance with that deserving nobleman.

The Bishop rejoiced to find us at last in a better way of understanding each other, than we had hitherto been in; and it was easier for me to allow for this haughty man, as Mrs. Beaumont had let me know what the behaviour was that I had to expect from him: And indeed, his father, mother, and two brothers, were very apprehensive of it: It will therefore be a pleasure to them, that I have so easily overcome his prejudices.

They both advised me to suspend my visit to their brother till the afternoon, that they might have the more time to consult with one another, and to prepare and dispose their sister to see me.

At taking leave, the General snatched my hand, and, with an air of pleasantry, said, I have a wife, Grandison. I wished him joy. You need not, said he; for I have it: One of the best of women. She longs to see you. I think I need not be apprehensive, because she is generous, and I ever must be grateful: But take care, take care, Grandison! I shall watch every turn of your eye. Admire her, if you will: You will not be able to help it. But I am glad she saw you not before she was mine.

I rejoice, said the Bishop, that a meeting, which, notwithstanding your promises, brother, gave me apprehensions as we came, is followed by so pleasant a parting: Henceforth we are four Brothers again.

Ay, and remember, Chevalier, that my Sister has also four Brothers.

May the number Four not be lessened by the death of my Jeronymo; and may Clementina be restored; and Providence dispose as it pleases of me! I am now going to the palace of Porretta; with what agitations of mind, you, Dr. Bartlett, can better imagine, than I describe.

Volume V - lettera 6

Volume V - Letter 7


Bologna, Monday Night, May 15-26.

I am just returned. You will expect me to be particular.

I went the earlier in the afternoon, that I might pass half an hour with my Jeronymo. He complains of the aperture so lately made: But Mr. Lowther gives us hopes from it.

When we were alone, They will not let me see my sister, said he: I am sure she must be very bad. But I understand, that you are to be allowed that favour, by-and-by. O my Grandison! how I pity that tender, that generous heart of yours!—But what have you done to the General? He assures me, that he admires and loves you; and the Bishop has been congratulating me upon it. He knew it would give me pleasure. My dear Grandison, you subdue everybody; yet in your own way; for they both admire your spirit.

Just then came in the General. He saluted me in so kind a manner, that Jeronymo's eyes overflowed; and he said, Blessed be God, that I have lived to see you two, dearest of men to me, so friendly together.

This sweet girl! said the General:—How, Grandison, will you bear to see her?

The Bishop entered: O Chevalier! my sister is insensible to every-thing, and every-body. Camilla is nobody with her to-day.

They had forgot Jeronymo, tho' in his chamber; and their attention being taken by his audible sensibilities, they comforted him; and withdrew with me into Mr. Lowther's apartment; while Mr. Lowther went to his patient.

The Marchioness joined us in tears. This dear child knows me not; heeds me not: She never was unmindful of her mother before. I have talked to her of the Chevalier Grandison: She regards not your name. O this affecting silence!—Camilla has told her, that she is to see you. My daughter-in-law has told her so. O Chevalier! she has quite, quite lost her understanding. Nay, we were barbarous enough to try the name of Laurana. She was not terrified, as she used to be, with that.

Camilla came in with a face of joy: Lady Clementina has just spoken! I told her, she must prepare to see the Chevalier Grandison in all his glory, and that every-body, the General in particular, admired him. Go, naughty Camilla, said she, tapping my hand; you are a wicked deceiver. I have been told this story too often, to credit it. This was all I could get her to say.

Hence it was concluded, that she would take some notice of me when she saw me; and I was led by the General, followed by the rest, into the Marchioness's drawing-room.

Father Marescotti had given me an advantageous character of the General's Lady, whom I had not yet seen. The Bishop had told me, that she was such another excellent woman as his mother, and, like her, had the Italian reserve softened by a polite French education. The Marquis, the Count, Father Marescotti, and this real fine Lady, were in the drawing-room. The General presented me to her. I do not, madam, bid you admire the Chevalier Grandison: But I forgive you if you do; because you will not be able to do otherwise.

My Lord, said she, you told me an hour ago, that I must: And now, that I see the Chevalier, you will have no cause to reproach me with disobedience.

I bowed on her hand. Father Marescotti, madam, said I, bid me expect from the Lady of the young Marchese della Porretta every-thing that was condescending and good. Your compassionate Love for an unhappy new sister, who deserves every-one's Love, exalts your character.

Father Marescotti came in. We took our places. It was designed, I found, to try to revive the young Lady's attention, by introducing her in full assembly, I one of it. But I could not forbear asking the Marchioness, if Lady Clementina would not be too much startled at so much company?

I wish, said the Marquis, sighing, that she may be startled.

We meet, as only on a conversation-visit, said the Marchioness. We have tried every other way to awaken her attention.

We are all near relations, said the Bishop.

And want to make our observations, said the General.

She has been bid to expect you among us, resumed the Marchioness. We shall only be attended by Laura and Camilla.

Just then entered the sweet Lady, leaning upon Camilla, Laura attending. Her movement was slow and solemn. Her eyes were cast on the ground. Her robes were black and flowing. A veil of black gauze half covered her face. What woe was there in it!

What, at that moment, was my emotion! I arose from my seat, sat down, and arose again, irresolute, not knowing what I did, or what to do!

She stopped in the middle of the floor, and made some motion, in silence, to Camilla, who adjusted her veil: But she looked not before her; lifted not up her eyes; observed no-body.

On her stopping, I was advancing towards her; but the General took my hand: Sit still, sit still, dear Grandison, said he: Yet I am charmed with your sensibility. She comes! She moves towards us!

She approached the table round which we sat, her eyes more than half closed, and cast down. She turned to go towards the window. Here, here, madam, said Camilla, leading her to an elbow-chair that had been placed for her, between the two Marchionesses. She implicitly took her woman's directions, and sat down. Her mother wept. The young Marchioness wept. Her father sobbed; and looked from her. Her mother took her hand: My love, said she, look around you.

Pray, sister, said the Count, her uncle, leave her to her own observation.

She was regardless of what either said; her eyes were cast down, and half closed. Camilla stood at the back of her chair.

The General, grieved and impatient, arose, and stepping to her, My dearest sister, said he, hanging over her shoulder, look upon us all. Do not scorn us, do not despise us: See your father, your mother, your sister, and every-body, in tears. If you love us, smile upon us. He took the hand which her mother had quitted, to attend her own emotions.

She reared up her eyes to him, and, sweetly condescending, tried to smile; but such a solemnity had taken possession of her features, that she only could show her obligingness, by the effort. Her smile was a smile of woe. And, still further to show her compliance, withdrawing her hand from her brother, she looked on either side of her; and seeing which was her mother, she, with both hands, took hers, and bowed her head upon upon it.

The Marquis arose from his seat, his handkerchief at his eyes. Sweet creature! said he, never, never let me again see such a smile as that. It is here, putting his hand to his breast.

Camilla offered her a glass of lemonade; she accepted it not, nor held up her head for a few moments.

Obliging sister! you do not scorn us, said the General. See, Father Marescotti is in tears [The reverend man sat next me]: Pity his grey hairs! See, my Lord, your own father too—Comfort your father. His grief for your silence.—

She cast her eyes that way. She saw me. Saw me greatly affected. She started. She looked again; again started; and quitting her mother's hand, now changing pale, now reddening, she arose, and threw her arms about her Camilla—O Camilla! was all she said; a violent burst of tears wounding, yet giving some ease to every heart. I was springing to her, and should have clasped her in my arms before them all; but the General taking my hand, as I reached her chair, Dear Grandison, said he, pronouncing in her ear my name, keep your seat. If Clementina remembers her English tutor, she will bid you welcome once more to Bologna.—O Camilla, said she, faithful, good Camilla! Now, at last, have you told me truth! It is, it is he!—And her tears would flow, as she hid her face in Camilla's bosom.

The General's native pride again showed itself. He took me aside. I see, Grandison, the consequence you are of to this unhappy girl: Every one sees it. But I depend upon your honour: You remember what you said this morning—

Good God! said I, with some emotion: I stopped—And resuming, with pride equal to his own, Know, Sir, that the man whom you thus remind, calls himself a man of honour; and you, as well as the rest of the world, shall find him so.

He seemed a little abashed. I was flinging from him, not too angrily for him, but for the rest of the company, had they not been attentive to the motions of their Clementina.

We, however, took the Bishop's eye. He came to us.

I left the General; and the Bishop led him out, in order to enquire into the occasion of my warmth.

When I turned to the company, I found the dear Clementina, supported by the two Marchionesses, and attended by Camilla, just by me, passing towards the door, in order, it seems, at her motion, to withdraw. She stopped. Ah, Chevalier! said she; and reclining her head on her mother's bosom, seemed ready to faint. I took one hand, as it hung down lifelessly extended (her mother held the other); and, kneeling, pressed it with my lips—Forgive me, Ladies; forgive me, Lady Clementina!—My soul overflowed with tenderness, tho' the moment before it was in a tumult of another kind; for she cast down her eyes upon me with a benignity, that for a long time they all afterwards owned they had not beheld. I could not say more. I arose. She moved on to the door; and when there, turned her head, straining her neck to look after me, till she was out of the room. I was a statue for a few moments; till the Count, snatching my hand, and Father Marescotti's, who stood nearest him, We see to what the malady is owing—Father, you must join their hands!—Chevalier! you will be a Catholic!—Will you not?—O that you would! said the Father—Why, why, joined in the Count, did we refuse the so-earnestly requested interview, a year and half ago?

The young Marchioness returned, weeping—They will not permit me to stay. My sister, my dear sister, is in fits!—O Sir, turning graciously to me, you are—I will not say what you are—But I shall not be is danger of disobeying my Lord, on your account.

Just then entered the General, led in by the Bishop. Now, brother, said the latter, if you will not be generous, be, however, just—Chevalier, Were you not a little hasty?

I was, my Lord. But surely the General was unseasonable.

Perhaps I was.

There is as great a triumph, my Lord, said I, in a due acknowledgement, as in a victory. Know me, my Lords, as a man incapable of meanness; who will assert himself; but who, from the knowledge he has of his own heart, wishes at his soul to be received as the unquestionably disinterested friend of this whole family. Excuse me, my Lords, I am obliged to talk greatly, because I would not wish to act petulantly. But my soul is wounded by those distresses, which had not, I am sorry to say it, a little while ago, a first place in your heart.

Do you reproach me, Grandison?

I need not, my Lord, if you feel it as such. But indeed you either know not me, or forget yourself. And now, having spoken all my mind, I am ready to ask your pardon for any-thing that may have offended you in the manner. I snatched his hand so suddenly, I hope not rudely, but rather fervently, that he started—Receive me, my Lord, as a Friend. I will deserve your friendship.

Tell me, brother, said he to the Bishop, what I shall say to this strange man? Shall I be angry or pleased?

Be pleased, my Lord, replied the Prelate.

The General embraced me—Well, Grandison, you have overcome. I was unseasonable. You were passionate. Let us forgive each other.

His Lady stood suspended, not being able to guess at the occasion of this behaviour, and renewed friendship. The Count was equally surprised. Father Marescotti seemed also at a loss. The Marquis had withdrawn.

We sat down, and reasoned variously on what had passed, with regard to the unhappy Lady, according to the hopes and fears which actuated the bosoms of each. But I cannot help thinking, that had this interview been allowed to pass with less surprise to her, she might have been spared those fits, with the affecting description of which the young Marchioness alarmed us, till Camilla came in with the happy news, that she was recovering from them; and that her mother was promising her another visit from me, in hopes it would oblige her; tho' it was not what she required.

I took this opportunity to put into the hands of the young Marchioness, sealed up, the opinions of the physicians I had consulted in England, on the case of Clementina; requesting that she would give it to her mother, in order to have it considered.

The Bishop withdrew, to acquaint Jeronymo, in the way he thought best, with what had passed in this first interview with his sister; resolving not to take any notice of the little sally of warmth between the General and me.

I hope to make the pride and passion of this young nobleman of use to myself, by way of caution: For am I not naturally too much inclined to the same fault? O Dr. Bartlett! how have I regretted the passion I suffered myself to be betray'd into, by the foolish violence of O'Hara and Salmonet, in my own house, when it would have better become me, to have had them showed out of it by my servants!

And yet, were I to receive affronts with tameness from those haughty spirits, who think themselves of a rank superior to me, and from men of the sword, I, who make it a principle not to draw mine but in my own defence, should be subjected to insults, that would be continually involving me in the difficulties I am solicitous to avoid.

I attended the General and his Lady to Jeronymo. The generous youth forgot his own weak state, in the hopes he flatter'd himself with, of a happy result to his sister's malady, from the change of symptoms which had already taken place; tho' violent hysterics disorder'd and shook her before-wounded frame.

The General said, that if she could overcome this first shock, perhaps it was the best method that could have been taken to rouse her out of that stupidity and inattention which had been for some weeks so disturbing to them all.

There were no hopes of seeing the unhappy Lady again that evening. The General would have accompanied me to the Casino (Note: The Casino at Bologna is a fine apartment, illuminated every night, for the entertainment of the gentlemen and ladies of the city, and whomever they please to introduce. There are card-tables; and waiters attend with chocolate, coffee, ice. The whole expense is defrayed by twelve men of the first quality, each in turn taking his month); saying, that we might both be diverted by an hour passed there: But I excused myself. My heart was full of anxiety, for the welfare of a brother and sister, both so much endeared to me by their calamities: And I retired to my lodgings.

Volume V - lettera 7

Volume V - Letter 8


Bologna, Tuesday, May 16-27.

I had a very restless night; and found myself so much indisposed in the morning, with a feverish disorder, that I thought of contenting myself with sending to know how the brother and sister rested, and of staying within, at least till the afternoon, to give my hurried spirits some little repose: But my messenger returned with a request from the Marchioness, to see me presently.

I obeyed. Clementina had asked, Whether she had really seen me, or had only dreamed so. They took this for a favourable indication; and therefore sent the above request.

I met the General in Jeronymo's apartment. He took notice that I was not very well. Mr. Lowther proposed to bleed me. I consented. I afterwards saw my friend's wounds dressed. The three surgeons pronounced appearances not to be unfavourable.

We all then retired into Mr. Lowther's apartment. The Bishop introduced to us two of the faculty. The prescriptions of the English physicians were considered; and some of the methods approved, and agreed to be pursued.

Clementina, when I came, was retired to her own apartment with Camilla. Her terrors on Laurana's cruelty had again got possession of her imagination; and they thought it not advisable that I should be admitted into her presence, till the hurries she was in, on that account, had subsided.

But by this time, being a little more composed, her mother led her into her dressing-room. The General, and his Lady were both present; and, by their desire, I was asked to walk in.

Clementina, when I entered, was sitting close to Camilla; her head leaning on her bosom, silent, and, seemingly, thoughtful. I bowed to her, to the two Marchionesses, to the General. She raised her head, and looked towards me; and clasping her arms about Camilla's neck, hid her face in her bosom for a few moments; then, looking as bashful towards me, she loosed her hands, stood up, and looked steadily at me, and at Camilla, by turns, several times, as irresolute. At last, quitting Camilla, she moved towards me with a stealing pace; but when near me, turning short, hurried to her mother; and putting one arm about her neck, the other held up, she looked at me, as if she were doubtful whom she saw. She seemed to whisper to her mother, but not to be understood. She went then by her sister-in-law, who took her hand as she passed her, with both hers, and kissed it; and coming to the General, who sat still nearer me, and who had desired me to attend to her motions, she stood by him, and looked at me with a sweet irresolution.

As she had stolen such advances towards me, I could no longer restrain myself. I arose, and, taking her hand, Behold the man, said I, with a bent knee, whom once you honour'd with the name of tutor, your English tutor!—Know you not the grateful Grandison, whom all your family have honoured with their regard?

O yes!—Yes,—I think I do.—They rejoiced to hear her speak.—But where have you been all this time?

In England, madam—But returned, lately returned, to visit you and your Jeronymo.

Jeronymo! one hand held up; the other not withdrawn. Poor Jeronymo!

God be praised! said the General: Some faint hopes. The two Marchionesses wept for joy.

Your Jeronymo, madam, and my Jeronymo, is, we hope, in a happy way. Do you love Jeronymo?

Do I!—But what of Jeronymo? I don't understand you.

Jeronymo, now you are well, will be happy.

Am I well? Ah, Sir!—But save me, save me, Chevalier!—faintly screaming, and looking about her, with a countenance of woe and terror.

I will save you, madam. The General will also protect you. Of whom are you afraid?

O the cruel, cruel Laurana!—She withdrew her hand in a hurry, and lifted up the sleeve of the other arm—You shall see—O I have been cruelly used—But you will protect me. Forbearing to show her arm, as she seemed to intend.

Laurana shall never more come near you.

But don't hurt her!—Come, sit down by me, and I will tell you all I have suffered.

She hurried to her former seat; and sat down by her weeping Camilla. I followed her. She motioned to me to sit down by her.

Why, you must know, Chevalier—She paused—Ah my head! putting her hand to it—Well, but, now you must leave me. Something is wrong—Leave me—I don't know myself—

Then looking with a face of averted terror at me—You are not the same man I talked to just now!—Who are you, Sir?—She again faintly shrieked, and threw her arms about Camilla's neck, once more hiding her face in her bosom.

I could not bear this. Not very well before, it was too much for me. I withdrew.

Don't withdraw, Chevalier, said the General, drying his eyes.

I withdrew, however, to Mr. Lowther's chamber. He not being there, I shut the door upon myself—So oppressed! my dear Dr. Bartlett, I was greatly oppressed.

Recovering myself in a few moments, I went to Jeronymo. I had but just entered his chamber, when the General, who seemed unable to speak, took my hand, and in silence led me to his mother's dressing-room. As we entered it, She enquires after you, Chevalier, said he, and laments your departure. She thinks she has offended you. Thank God, she has recollection!

When I went in, she was in her mother's arms; her mother soothing her, and weeping over her.

See, see, my child, the Chevalier! you have not offended him.

She quitted her mother's arms. I approached her. I thought it was not you that sat by me, a while ago. But when you went away from me, I saw it could be nobody but you. Why did you go away? Was you angry?

I could not be angry, madam. You bid me leave you: And I obeyed.

Well, but now what shall I say to him, madam? I don't know what I would say. You, madam, stepping with a hasty motion towards her sister-in-law, will not tell Laurana any-thing against me?

Unhappy hour, said her mother, speaking to the General, that I ever yielded to her going to the cruel Laurana!

The Marchioness took her hand; I hate Laurana, my dear; I love nobody but you.

Don't hate her, however—Chevalier, whisperingly, Who is this Lady?

The General rejoiced at the question; for this was the first time she had ever taken any particular notice of his Lady, or enquired who she was, notwithstanding her generous tenderness to her.

That Lady is your sister, your brother Signor Giacomo's wife—

My sister! how can that be?—Where has she been all this time?

Your sister by marriage: Your elder brother's wife.

I don't understand it. But why, madam, did you not tell me so before? I wish you happy. Laurana would not let me be her cousin. Will you own me?

The young Marchioness clasp'd her arms about her. My sister, my friend, my dear Clementina! Call me your sister, and I shall be happy.

What strange things have come to pass?

How did these dawnings of reason rejoice every one!

Sir, turning to the General, let me speak with you.

She led him by the hand to the other end of the room—Let nobody hear us, said she: Yet spoke not low. What had I to say?—I had something to say to you very earnestly. I don't know what—

Well, don't puzzle yourself, my dear, to recollect it, said the General. Your new sister loves you. She is the best of women. She is the joy of my life. Love your new sister, my Clementina.

So I will. Don't I love every-body?

But you must love her better than any other woman, the best of mothers excepted. She is my wife, and your sister; and she loves both you, and our dear Jeronymo.

And no-body else? Does she love no-body else?

Whom else would you have her love?

I don't know. But every-body, I think; for I do.

Whomever you love, she will love. She is all goodness.

Why that's well. I will love her, now I know who she is. But, Sir, I have some notion—

Of what, my dear?

I don't know. But pray, Sir, What brings the Chevalier over hither again?

To comfort you, your father, mother, Jeronymo: To comfort us all. To make us all well, and happy in each other.

Why that's very good. Don't you think so? But he was always good. Are you, brother, happy?

I am, and should be more so, if you and Jeronymo were.

But that can never, never be.

God forbid! my sister. The Chevalier has brought over with him a skilful man, who hopes to cure our Jeronymo—

Has the Chevalier done this? Why did he not do so before?

The General was a little disconcerted; but generously said, We were wrong; we took not right methods. I, for my part, wish we had followed his advice in every-thing.

Bless me!—holding up one hand. How came all these things about! Sir, Sir, with quickness—I will come again presently—And was making to the door.

Camilla stepped to her—Whither, whither, my dear young Lady?—O! Camilla will do as well—Camilla, laying her hand upon her shoulder, go to Father Marescotti—Tell him—There she stopped: Then proceeding, Tell him, I have seen a vision—He shall pray for us all.

Then stepping to her mother, and taking her passive hand, she kissed it, and stroked her own forehead and cheek with it—Love me, madam, love your child. You don't know, neither do I, what ails my poor head. Heal it! Heal it! with your gentle hand! Again stroking her forehead with it; then putting it to her heart.

The Marchioness, kissing her forehead, made her face wet with her tears.

Shall I, said Camilla, go to Father Marescotti?

No, said the General, except she repeats her commands. Perhaps she has forgot him already.—She said no more of Father Marescotti.

The Marchioness thinks that she had some confused notions of the former enmity of the General and Father to me; and finding the former reconciled, wanted the Father to be so too, and to pray for us all.

I was willing, my dear Dr. Bartlett, to give you minutely the workings of the poor Lady's mind on our two first interviews. Every-body is rejoiced at so hopeful an alteration already.

We all thought it best, now, that she had so surprisingly taken a turn, from observing a profound silence, to free talking, and shown herself able, with very little incoherence, to pursue a discourse, that she should not exhaust herself; and Camilla was directed to court her into her own dressing-room, and endeavour to engage her on some indifferent subjects. I asked her leave to withdraw: She gave it me readily, with these words, I shall see you again, I hope, before you go to England.

Often, I hope, very often, answered the General for me.

That is very good, said she; and, curtsying to me, went up with Camilla.

We all went into Jeronymo's apartment; and the young Marchioness rejoiced him with the relation of what had passed. That generous friend was for ascribing to my presence the hoped-for happy alteration; while the General declared, that he never would have her contradicted for the future, in any reasonable request she should make.

The Count her uncle, and Signor Sebastiano his eldest Son, are set out for Urbino. They took leave of me at my lodgings. He hoped, he said, that all would be happy; and that I would be a Catholic.

* *

I have received a large packet of Letters from England.

I approve of all you propose, my dear Dr. Bartlett. You shall not, you say, be easy, except I will inspect your accounts. Don't refuse to give your own worthy heart any satisfaction that it can receive, by consulting your true friend: But otherwise, you need not ask my consent to any-thing you shall think sit to do. Of one thing, methinks, I could be glad, that only such children of the poor, as show a peculiar ingenuity, have any great pains taken with them in their books. Husbandry and labour are what are most wanting to be encouraged among the lower class of people. Providence has given to men different genius's and capacities, for different ends; and that all might become useful links of the same great chain. Let us apply those talents to Labour, those to Learning, those to Trade, to Mechanics, in their different branches, which point out the different pursuits, and then no person will be unuseful; on the contrary, every one may be eminent in some way or other. Learning, of itself, never made any man happy. The ploughman makes fewer mistakes in the conduct of life than the scholar, because the sphere in which he moves is a more contracted one. But if a genius arises, let us encourage it: There will be rustics enough to do the common services for the finer spirits, and to carry on the business of the world, if we do not, by our own indiscriminate good offices, contribute to their misapplication.

I will write to congratulate Lord W. and his Lady. I rejoice exceedingly in their happiness.

I will also write to my Beauchamp, and to Lady Beauchamp, to give her joy on her enlarged heart. Surely, Dr. Bartlett, human nature is not so bad a thing, as some disgracers of their own species have imagined. I have, on many occasions, found, that it is but applying properly to the passions of persons, who, tho' they have not been very remarkable for benevolence, may yet be induced to do right things in some manner, if not always in the most graceful. But as it is an observation, that the miser's feast is often the most splendid; so may we say, as in the cases of Lord W. and Lady Beauchamp, the one to her son-in-law, the other to his Lady and nieces, that when such persons are brought to taste the sweets of a generous and beneficent action, they are able to behave greatly. We should not too soon, and without making proper applications, give up persons of ability or power, upon conceptions of their general characters; and then, with the herd, set our faces against them, as if we knew them to be invincible. How many ways are there to overcome persons, who may not, however, be naturally beneficent! Policy, a regard for outward appearances, ostentation, love of praise, will sometimes have great influences; and not seldom is the requester of a favour himself in fault, who perhaps shows as much self in the application, as the refuser does in the denial.

Let Charlotte know, that I will write to her when she gives me a subject.

I will write to Lord and Lady L. by the next mail. To write to either is to write to both.

I have already answered Emily's favour. I am very glad that her mother, and her mother's husband, are so wise as to pursue their own interests in their behaviour to that good girl, and their happiness in their conduct to each other.

My poor cousin Grandison—I am concerned for him. I have a very affecting Letter from him. But I see the proud man in it, valuing himself on his knowledge of the world, and rather vexed to be overreached by the common artifices of some of the worst people in it, than from right principles. I know not what I can do for him, except I were on the spot. I am grieved that he has not profited by other men's wisdom: I wish he may by his own experience. I will write to him; yet neither to reproach him, nor to extenuate his folly, tho' I wish to free him from the consequences of it.

I write to my aunt Eleanor, to congratulate and welcome her to London. I hope to find her there on my return from Italy.

The unhappy Sir Hargrave! The still unhappier Merceda! What sport have they made of their health, in the prime of their days; and with their reputation! How poor would have been their triumph, had they escaped, by a flight so ignominious, the due reward of their iniquitous contrivances! But to meet with such a disgraceful punishment, and so narrowly to escape a still more disgraceful one—Tell me, Can the poor men look out into open day?

But poor Bagenhall! sunk as he is, almost beneath pity, what can be said of him?

We see, Dr. Bartlett, in the behaviour, and sordid acquiescence with insults, of these three men, that offensive spirits cannot be true ones.

If you have any call or inclination to go to London, I am sure you will look in upon the little Oldhams, and their mother.

My compliments to the young officer. I am glad he is pleased with what has been done for him.

I have Letters from Paris. I am greatly pleased with what is done, and doing there, in pursuance of my directions, relating to the moiety of 3000l. left by the good Mr. Danby, to be disposed of at the discretion of his executor, either in France or England. As he gained a great part of his considerable fortune in France, I think it would have been agreeable to him, to find out there half of the objects of his benevolence: Why else named he France in his Will?

The intention of the bequeather, in doubtful cases, ought always to be considered. And another case has offered, which, I think, as there is a large surplus in my hands, after having done by his relations more than they expected, and full as much as is necessary, to put them in a flourishing way, I ought to consider in that light.

Mr. Danby, at his setting out in life, owed great obligations to a particular family, then in affluent circumstances. This family fell, by unavoidable accidents, into decay. Its descendants were numerous. Mr. Danby used to confer on no less than six granddaughters, and four grandsons, of this family, an annual bounty, which kept them just above want. And he had put them in hopes, that he would cause it to be continued to them, as long as they were unprovided for: The elder girls were in services; the younger were brought up to be qualified for the same useful way of life: The sons were neither idle nor vicious. I cannot but think, that it was his intention to continue his bounty to them by his last will, had he not forgot them when he gave orders for drawing it up; which was not till he thought himself in a dying way.

Proper enquiries have been made; and this affair is settled. The numerous family think themselves happy. And the supposed intention of my deceased friend is fully answered; and no Legatee a sufferer.

You kindly, my dear Dr. Bartlett, regret the distance we are at from each other. I am the loser by it, and not you; since I give you, by pen and ink, almost as minute an account of my proceedings, as I could do were we conversing together: Such are your expectations upon, and such is the obedience of,

Your ever-affectionate and filial Friend,

Volume V - lettera 8

Volume V - Letter 9


June 12-23.

We have now, thank God, some hopes of our Jeronymo. The opening made below the great wound answers happily its intention; and that in the shoulder is once more in a fine way.

Lady Clementina has been made to understand, that he is better; and this good news, and the method she is treated with, partly in pursuance of the advice of the English physicians, leave us not without hopes of her recovery.

The General and his Lady are gone to Naples, in much higher spirits than when they left that city. His Lady seconding his earnest invitation, I was not able to deny them the promise of a visit there.

Every one endeavours to sooth and humour Lady Clementina; and the whole Family is now satisfied, that this was the method which always ought to have been taken with her; and lay to the charge of Lady Sforza and Laurana, perhaps much deeper views than they had at first; tho' they might enlarge them afterwards, and certainly did extend them, when the poor Lady was deemed irrecoverable.

Let me account to you, my dear friend, for my silence of near a month since the date of my last.

For a fortnight together, I was every day once with Lady Clementina. She took no small pleasure in seeing me. She was very various all that time in her absences; sometimes she had sensible intervals, but they were not durable. She generally rambled much; and was very incoherent. Sometimes she fell into her silent fits: But they seldom lasted long when I came. Sometimes she aimed to speak to me in English: But her ideas were too much unfixed, and her memory too much shattered, to make herself understood for a sentence together, in the tongue she had so lately learned, and for some time disused. Yet, on the whole, her reason seemed to gather strength. It was a heavy fortnight to me; and the heavier, as I was not very well myself—Yet I was loth to forbear my daily visits.

Mrs. Beaumont, at the fortnight's end, made the family and me a visit of three days. In that space, Lady Clementina's absences were stronger, but less frequent than before.

I had, by Letter, been all this time preparing the persons who had the management of Mr. Jervois's affairs, to adjust, finally, the account relating to his estate, which remained unsettled; and they let me know, that they were quite ready to put the last hand to them. It was necessary for me to attend those gentlemen in person: And as Mrs. Beaumont could not conveniently stay any longer than the three days, I acquainted the Marchioness, that I should do myself the honour of attending her to Florence.

As well Mrs. Beaumont, as the Marchioness, and the Bishop, thought I should communicate my intention, and the necessity of pursuing it, to Lady Clementina; lest, on her missing me, she should be impatient, and we should lose the ground we had gained.

I laid before the young Lady, in presence of her mother and Mrs. Beaumont, in a plain and simple manner, my obligation to leave her for a few days, and the reason for it. To Florence, said she? Does not Lady Olivia live at Florence?—She does, usually, answered Mrs. Beaumont: But she is abroad on her travels.

Well, Sir, it is not for me to detain you, if you have business: But what will become of my poor Jeronymo in the mean time?—But, before I could answer, What a silly question is that? I will be his comforter.

Father Marescotti just then entered—O Father! rambled the poor Lady, you have not prayed with me for a long time. O, Sir, I am an undone creature! I am a lost soul!—She fell on her knees, and with tears bemoaned herself.

She endeavoured, after this, to recollect what she had been talking of before. We make it a rule not to suffer her, if we can help it, to puzzle and perplex herself, by aiming at recollection? and therefore I told her what was our subject. She fell into it again with cheerfulness—Well, Sir, and when may Jeronymo expect you again?—In about ten days, I told her. And taking her hint, I added, that I doubted not but she would comfort Signor Jeronymo in my absence. She promised she would; and wished me happy.

I attended Mrs. Beaumont accordingly. I concluded, to my satisfaction, all that remained unadjusted of my Emily's affairs, in two days after my arrival at Florence. I had a happy two days more with Mrs. Beaumont, and the Ladies her friends; and I stole a visit out of the ten days to the Count of Belvedere, at Parma.

This excursion was of benefit to my health; and having had a Letter from Mr. Lowther, as I had desired at Modena, in my way to Parma, with very favourable news, in relation both to the sister and brother, I returned to Bologna, and met with a joyful reception from the Marquis, his Lady, the Bishop, and Jeronymo; who all joined to give me a share in the merit that was principally due to Mr. Lowther, and his assistants, with regard to the brother's amendment, and to their own soothing methods of treating the beloved sister; who followed strictly the prescriptions of her physicians.

I was introduced to Lady Clementina by her mother, attended only by Camilla. The young Lady met me at the entrance of her antechamber, with a dignity like that which used to distinguish her in her happier days. You are welcome, Chevalier, said she: But you kept not your time. I have set it down; pulling out her pocket-book—Ten days, madam: I told you ten days. I am exactly to my time—You shall see that: I cannot be mistaken, smiling. But her smiles were not quite her own.

She referred me to her book. You have reckoned two days twice over, madam. See here—

Is it possible?—I once, Sir, was a better accomptant. Well, but we will not stand upon two days in so many. I have taken great care of Jeronymo in your absence. I have attended him several times; and would have seen him oftener; but they told me there was no need.

I thanked her for her care of my friend—

That's good enough, said she, to thank me for the care of myself. Jeronymo is myself.

Signor Jeronymo, replied I, cannot be dearer to his sister than he is to me.

You are a good man, returned she; and laid her hand upon my arm; I always said so. But, Chevalier, I have quite forgot my English. I shall never recover it. What happy times were those, when I was innocent, and was learning English!

My beloved young Lady, said Camilla, was always innocent.

No, Camilla!—No!—And then she began to ramble—And taking Camilla under the arm, whispering, Let us go together, to that corner of the room, and pray to God to forgive us. You, Camilla, have been wicked as well as I.

She went and kneeled down, and held up her hands in silence: Then rising, she came to her mother, and kneeled to her, her hands lifted up—Forgive me, forgive your poor child, my mamma!

God bless my child! Rise, my Love!—I do forgive you!—But do you forgive me, tears trickling down her cheeks, for ever suffering you to go out of my own sight? for delivering you into the management of less kind, and less indulgent relations?

And God forgive them too, rising. Some of them made me crazy, and then upbraided me with being so. God forgive them! I do.

She then came to me; and, to my great surprise, dropped down on one knee. I could not, for a few moments, tell what to do, or what to say to her. Her hands held up, her fine eyes supplicating—Pray, Sir, forgive me!

Humour, humour the dear creature, Chevalier, said her mother, sobbing.

Forgive you, madam!—Forgive you, dear Lady! for what?—You have not offended! You could not offend.

I raised her; and, taking her hand, pressed it with my lips! Now, madam, forgive me—For this freedom forgive me!

O Sir, I have given you, I have given every-body, trouble!—I am an unhappy creature; and God and you are angry with me—And you will not say you forgive me?

Humour her, Chevalier.

I do, I do forgive you, most excellent of women.

She hesitated a little; then turned round to Camilla, who stood at a distance, weeping; and running to her, cast herself into her arms, hiding her face in her bosom—Hide me, hide me, Camilla? What have I done!—I have kneeled to a man!—She put her arm under Camilla's, and hurried out of the room with her.

Her mother seeing me in some confusion; Rejoice with me, Chevalier, said she, yet weeping, that we see, tho' her reason is imperfect, such happy symptoms. Our child will, I trust in God, he once more our own. And you will be the happy instrument of restoring her to us.

The Marquis, and the Bishop, were informed of what had passed. They also rejoiced, in these further day-breaks, as I may call them, of their Clementina's reason, accompanied with that delicacy, that never, in so innocent a mind, can be separated from it.

You will observe, my dear Dr. Bartlett, that I only aim to give you an account of the greater and more visible changes that happen in the mind of this unhappy Lady; omitting those conversations between her and her friends, in which her situation varied but little from those before described. By this means, you will be able to trace the steps to that recovery of her reason, which we presume to hope will be the return to our fervent prayers, and humble endeavours.

Volume V - lettera 9

Volume V - Letter 10


Bologna, June 13-24.

The Conte della Porretta, and the two young Lords Sebastiano and Juliano, came hither yesterday, to rejoice on the hopeful prospects before us.

I thought I saw a little shyness and reserve sit upon the brow of the Marchioness, which I had not observed till the arrival of the Count. A complaisance that was too civil for friendship; for our friendship. I never permit a cloud to hang for one hour upon the brow of a friend, without examining into the reason of it, in hopes it may be in my power to dispel it. An abatement in the freedom of one I love, is a charge of unworthiness upon me, that I must endeavour to obviate the moment I suspect it. I desired a private audience of the good Lady.

She favoured me with it at the first word. But as soon as I had opened my heart to her, she asked, If Father Marescotti, who loved me, she said, as if I were his own son, might be allowed to be present at our conversation? I was a little startled at the question; but answered, By all means.

The Father was sent to, and came. Tender concern and reserve were both apparent in his countenance. This showed that he was apprised of the occasion of the Marchioness's reserve; and expected to be called upon, or employed in the explanation, had I not demanded it.

I repeated, before him, what I had said to the Marchioness, of the reserve that I had thought I saw since yesterday in one of the most benign countenances in the world.

Chevalier, said she, if you think that every one of our family, as well those of Urbino and Naples, as those of this place, do not love you as one of their own family, you do not do us justice.

She then enumerated and exaggerated their obligations to me. I truly told her, that I could not do less than I had done, and answer it to my own heart.

Leave us, replied she, to judge for ourselves on this subject. And, for God's sake, do not think us capable of ingratitude. We begin with pleasure to see the poor child after a course of sufferings and distresses, that few young creatures have gone thro', reviving to our hopes. She must in gratitude, in honour, in justice, be yours, if you require her of us, and upon the terms you have formerly proposed.

I think so, said the Father.

What can I say? proceeded she: We are all distressed. I am put upon a task that grieves me. Ease my heart, Chevalier, by sparing my speech.

Explain yourself no further, madam: I fully understand you. I will not impute ingratitude to any heart in this family. Tell me, Father Marescotti, if you can allow for me, as I could for you, were you in my circumstances (and you cannot be better satisfied in your religion, than I am in mine) tell me, by what you could do, what I ought.

There is no answering a case so strongly put, replied the Father. But can a false religion, an heresy, persuade an ingenuous mind as strongly as the true?

Dear Father Marescotti, you know you have said nothing: It would sound harshly to repeat your own question to you; yet that is all I need to do. But let us continue our prayers, that the desirable work may be perfected: That Lady Clementina may be quite recovered. You have seen, madam, that I have not offered to give myself consequence with her. You see the distance I have observed to her: You see nothing in her, not even in her most afflicting reveries, that can induce you to think she has marriage in view. As I told your Ladyship at first, I have but one wish at present; and that is, her perfect recovery.

What, Father, can we say? resumed the Marchioness. Advise us, Chevalier. You know our situation. But do not, do not impute ingratitude to us. Our child's salvation, in our own opinion, is at stake—If she be yours, she will not be long a Catholic—Once more, advise us.

You generously, I know, madam, think you speak in time, both for the young Lady's sake and mine. You say she shall be mine upon the terms I formerly offered, if I insist upon it. I have told the General, that I will have the consent of all three brothers, as well as yours, madam, and your good Lord's, or I will not hope for the honour of your alliance: And I have declared to you, that I look upon myself as bound; upon you all, as free. If you think that the sense of supposed obligation, as Lady Clementina advances in her health, may engage her further than you wish, let me decline my visits by degrees, in order to leave her as disengaged as possible in her own mind; and that I may not be thought of consequence to her recovery. In the first place, I will make my promised visit to the General. You see she was not the worse, but, perhaps, the better, for my absence of ten days. I will pass twenty, if you please, at Rome, and at Naples; holding myself in readiness to return post, at the first call. Let us determine nothing in the interim. Depend upon the honour of a man, who once more assures you, that he looks upon himself as bound, and the Lady free; and who will act accordingly by her, and all your family.

They were both silent, and looked upon each other.

What say you, madam, to this proposal? What say you, Father Marescotti? Could I think of a more disinterested one, I would make it.

I say, you are a wonderful man.

I have not words, resumed the Lady—She wept. Hard, hard fate! The man, that of all men—

There she stopped. The Father was present, or, perhaps, she had said more.

Shall we, said she, acquaint Jeronymo with this conversation?

It may disturb him, replied I. You know, madam, his generous attachment to me. I have promised the General a visit. Signor Jeronymo was as much pleased with the promise, as with the invitation. The performance will add to his pleasure. He may get more strength: Lady Clementina may be still better: And you will, from events so happy, be able to resolve. Still he pleased to remember, that I hold myself bound, yourselves to be free.

Yet I thought at the time, with a concern, that, perhaps, was too visible, When, when shall I meet with the returns, which my proud heart challenges as its due? But then my pride (shall I call it?) came in to my relief—Great God! I thank thee, thought I, that thou enablest me to do what my conscience, what humanity tells me, is fit and right to be done, without taking my measures of right and wrong from any other standard.

Father Marescotti saw me affected. Tears stood in his eyes. He withdrew, to conceal his emotion. The Marchioness was still more concerned. She called me the most generous of men. I took a respectful leave, and withdrew to Jeronymo.

* *

As I was intending to return to my lodgings, in order to try to calm there my disturbed mind, the Marquis and his Brother, and the Bishop, sent for me into the Marchioness's drawing-room, where were she and Father Marescotti; who had acquainted them with what had passed between her, himself, and me.

The Bishop arose, and embraced me—Dear Grandison, said he, how I admire you!—Why, why will you not let me call you brother?—Were a prince your competitor, and you would be a Catholic—

O that you would! said the Marchioness; her hands and eyes lifted up.

And will you not? Can you not? said the Count.

That, my Lord, is a question kindly put, as it shows your regard for me—But it is not to be answered now.

The Marquis took my hand. He applauded the disinterestedness of my behaviour to his family. He approved of my proposal of absence; but said, that I must myself undertake to manage that part, not only with their Clementina, but with Jeronymo; whose grateful heart would otherwise be uneasy, on a surmise, that the motion came not from myself, but them.

We will not resolve upon any measures, said he. God continue and improve our prospects; and the result we will leave to his providence.

I went from them directly to Jeronymo; and told him my intention of setting out for Rome and Naples, in discharge of my promise to the General and his Lady.

He asked me, What would become of Clementina in the mean time? Was there not too great a danger that she would go back again?

I told him I would not go, but with her approbation. I pleaded my last absence of ten days, in favour of my intention. Her recovery, said I, must be a work of time. If I am of the consequence your friendship for me supposes, her attention will, probably, be more engaged by short absences, and the expectations raised by them, than by daily visits. I remember not, my dear Jeronymo, continued I, a single instance, that could induce any one to imagine, that your Clementina's regard for the man you favour was a personal one. Friendship never lighted up a purer flame in a human heart, than in that of your sister. Was not the future happiness of the man she esteemed, the constant, I may say, the only object of her cares? In the height of her malady, Did she not declare, that were that great article but probably secured, she would resign her life with pleasure?

True, very true: Clementina is an excellent creature: She ever was. And you only can deserve her. O that she could be now worthy of you! But are my father, mother, brother, willing to part with you? Do they not, for Clementina's sake, make Objections?

The last absence fitting so easy on her mind, they doubt not but frequent absences may excite her attention.

Well, well, I acquiesce. The General and his Lady will rejoice to see you. I must not be too selfish. God preserve you, wherever you go!—Only let not the gentle heart of Clementina be wounded by your absence. Don't let her miss you.

To-morrow, replied I, I will consult her. She shall determine for me.

Volume V - lettera 10

     |     indice letture JA     |     home page     |