Jane Austen
Samuel Richardson - Sir Charles Grandison
Volume V - lettere 21/30
traduzione di Giuseppe Ierolli

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Volume V - Letter 21


Florence, Wednesday, July 5-16.

Three weeks have now past since the date of my last Letter to my paternal friend. Nor has it, in the main, been a disagreeable space of time; since within it I have had the pleasure of hearing from you and other of my friends in England; from those at Paris; and good news from Bologna, wherever I moved, as well from the Bishop and Father Marescotti as from Mr. Lowther.

The Bishop particularly tells me, that they ascribe to the amendment of the brother, the hopes they now have of the sister's recovery.

I passed near a fortnight of this time at Naples and Portici. The General, and his Lady, who is one of the best of women, made it equally their study to oblige and amuse me.

The General, on my first arrival at Naples, entered into talk with me, on my expectations with regard to his sister. I answered him, as I had done his mother; and he was satisfied with what I said.

When we parted, he embraced me as his brother and friend; and apologised for the animosity he once had to me. If it pleased God to restore his sister, no more from him, he said, should her mind be endangered: But her choice should determine him. His Lady declared her esteem for me, without reserve; and said, That, next to the recovery of Clementina and Jeronymo, her wish was, to be entitled to call me Brother.

What, my dear Dr. Bartlett, is, at last, to be my destiny! The greatest opposer of the alliance once in view, is overcome: But the Bishop, you will observe, by what I have told you, ascribes to another cause the merit which the General gives me; with a view, possibly, to abate my expectation. Be the event as it may, I will go on in the course I am in, and leave to Providence the issue.

Mrs. Beaumont returned from Bologna but yesterday.

She confirms the favourable account I had before received of the great alteration for the better that there is in the health both of brother and sister; and, because of that, in the whole family. Mr. Lowther, she says, is as highly, as deservedly, caressed by every one. Jeronymo is able to sit up two hours in a day. He has tried his pen, and finds it will be again in his power to give his friends pleasure with it.

Mrs. Beaumont tells me, that Clementina generally twice a day visits her beloved Jeronymo. She has taken once more to her needleworks, and often sits and works in her brother's room. This amuses her, and delights him.

She converses generally without much rambling; and seems to be very soon sensible of her misfortune, when she begins to talk incoherently: For at such times she immediately stops; not seldom sheds a tear; and either withdraws to her own closet, or is silent.

She several times directed her discourse to Mr. Lowther, when she met him in her brother's chamber. She observed great delicacy when she spoke of me to him; and dwelt not on the subject: But was very inquisitive about England, and the customs and manners of the people; particularly of the women.

Every-body has made it a rule (Jeronymo among the rest, and to which also Camilla strictly conforms) never to lead her to talk of me. She, however, asks often after me; and numbers the days of my absence.

At one time, seeking Mrs. Beaumont in her dressing-room, she thus accosted her: I come, madam, to ask you, Why every-body forbears to mention the Chevalier Grandison; and when I do, talks of somebody or something else? Camilla is as perverse in this way as any body: Nay, Jeronymo (I have tried him several times) does the very same. Can Jeronymo be ungrateful? Can Jeronymo be indifferent to his friend, who had done so much for him? I hope I am not looked upon as a silly, or as a forward creature, that am not to be trusted with hearing the name of the man mentioned, for whom I profess an high esteem and gratitude. Tell me, madam, have I, at any time, in my unhappy hours, behaved or spoken aught unworthy of my character, of my family, of the modesty of woman?—If I have, my heart renounces the guilt; I must, indeed, have been unhappy; I could not be Clementina della Porretta.

Mrs. Beaumont set her heart at ease on this subject.

Well, said she, it shall be seen, I hope so, that true modesty, and high gratitude, may properly have a place together in this heart, putting her hand to her bosom. Let me but own, that I esteem him; for I really do; and I hope my sincerity shall never mislead or betray me into indecorum: And now, madam, let us talk of him for one quarter of an hour, and no more. Here is my watch; it is an English watch; nobody knows that I bought it for that very reason. Don't you tell. She then, suspecting her head, dropped a tear; and withdrew in silence.

Mrs. Beaumont, my dear friend, knows the true state of my heart; and she pities me. She wishes that the Lady's reason may be established; she is afraid it should be risked by opposition: But there is a man whom she wishes to be Clementina's. There is a woman—But—do thou, Providence, direct us both! All that thou orderest must be best.

Mrs. Beaumont thinks Lady Clementina is at times too solemn: And is the more apprehensive when she is so, as there is a greatness in her solemnity, which she is afraid will be too much for her. She has often her silent fits, in which she is regardless of what anybody but her mother says to her.

As she grows better, the fervour of her devotion, which in her highest delirium never went quite off, increases. Nor do they discourage, but indulge her in it, because in her, it seems, by the cheerfulness with which her ardent zeal is attended, to be owing to true piety, which they justly observe never makes a good mind sour, morose, or melancholy.

Mrs. Beaumont says, That for two days before she came away, she had shown, on several occasions, that she began to expect my return—She broke silence in one of her dumb fits—"Twenty days, did he say Camilla?" and was silent again.

The day before Mrs. Beaumont set out, as she, the young Lady, and Marchioness, were sitting at work together, Camilla entered with unusual precipitation, with a message from the Bishop, desiring leave to attend them—And the Marchioness saying, By all means, pray let him come in, the young Lady, on hearing him approach, laid down her work, changed colour, and stood up with an air of dignity. But on the Bishop's entrance, sat down with a look of dissatisfaction, as if disappointed.

Adieu, my dear friend! I shall reach Bologna, I hope, to-morrow night, you will soon have another Letter from

Your truly-affectionate


Volume V - lettera 21

Volume V - Letter 22


Bologna, July 7-18

It was late last night before I arrived at this place. I sent my compliments to the family. In the morning I went to their palace, and was immediately conducted to the chamber of Signor Jeronymo. He was disposing himself to rise, that he might receive me up, in order to rejoice me on his ability to do so. I sat down by him, and received the overflowings of his grateful heart. Every-body, he told me, was amended both in health and spirits.

Camilla came in soon after, congratulating me on my arrival in the name of her young Lady. She let me know, that in less than a quarter of an hour she would be ready to receive my visit.

O Sir, said the good woman, miracles! miracles!—We are all joy and hope!

At going out, she whispered as she passed (I was then at the window) My young Lady is dressing in colours, to receive you. She will no more appear to you, she says, in black—Now, Sir, will you soon reap the reward of all your goodness; for the General has signified to my Lord his entire acquiescence with his sister's choice, and their determination.

The Bishop came in: Chevalier, said he, you are welcome, thrice welcome, to Bologna. You have subdued us all. Clementina commands her own destiny. The man whom she chooses to call hers, be he who he will, will have a treasure in her, in every sense of the word. The Marquis, the Count, Father Marescotti, all severally made me the highest compliments. The Count particularly taking my hand, said, From us, Chevalier, nothing will be wanting to make you happy: From you, there can be but one thing wanting to make us so.

The Marchioness entering, saved me any other return, than by bowing to each. Before I could speak to her, Welcome, Chevalier, said she. But you are not come before you were wished for. You will find, we have kept a more exact account of the days of your absence, than we did before. I hope her joy to see you will not be too much for her. Clementina ever had a grateful heart.

The Chevalier's prudence, said Father Marescotti, may be confided in. He knows how to moderate his own joy on his first address to her, on seeing her so greatly amended. And then Lady Clementina's natural delicacy will not not have an example to carry her joy above her reason.

The Chevalier, madam, said the Bishop, smiling, will, at this rate, be too secure. We leave him not room for professions. But he cannot be ungenerous.

The Chevalier Grandison, said the kind Jeronymo, speaks by action: It is his way. His head, his heart, his lips, his hands, are governed by one motion, and directed by one spring. When he leaves no room for doubt, professions would depreciate his service.

He then ascribed an extraordinary merit to me, on my leaving my native country and friends, to attend them in person.

We may, perhaps, my reverend friend, be allowed to repeat the commendations given us by grateful and benevolent friends, when we cannot otherwise so well do justice to the generous warmth of such exalted spirits. The noble Jeronymo, I am confident, were he in my place, and I in his, would put a more moderate value on the like services, done by himself. What is friendship, if, on the like calls, and blessed with power, it is not ready to exert itself in action;

Grandison, replied the Bishop, were he one of us, might expect canonisation. In a better religion, we have but few young men of quality and fortune so good as he; tho' I think none so bad, as many of the pretended Reformed, who travel, as if to copy our vices, and not to imitate our virtues.

I was overwhelmed with gratitude, on a reception so very generous and unreserved. Camilla came in seasonably with a message from the young Lady, inviting my attendance on her in her dressing-room.

The Marchioness withdrew just before. I followed Camilla. She told me, as we went, that she thought her not quite so sedate as she had been for some days past; which she supposed owing to her hurrying in dressing, and to her expectation of me.

The mother and daughter were together. They were talking, when I entered—Dear fanciful girl! I heard the mother say, disposing otherwise some flowers that she had in her bosom.

Clementina, when her mind was sound, used to be all unaffected elegance. I never saw but one woman who equalled her in that respect. Miss Byron seems conscious, that she may trust to her native charms; yet betrays no pride in her consciousness. Who ever spoke of her jewels, that beheld her face? For mingled dignity, and freedom of air and manner, these two Ladies excel amongst women.

Clementina appeared exceedingly lovely. But her fancifulness in the disposition of her ornaments, and the unusual lustre of her eyes, which every one was wont to admire for their serene brightness, showed an imagination more disordered than I hoped to see; and gave me pain at my entrance.

The Chevalier, my Love! (said the Marchioness, turning round to me) Clementina, receive your friend.

She stood up, dignity and sweetness in her air. I approached her: She refused not her hand. The General, madam, and his Lady, salute you by me.

They received you, I am sure, as the friend of our family. But tell me, Sir, smiling, have you not exceeded your promised time?

Two or three days only.

Only, Sir!—Well, I upbraid you not. No wonder that a man so greatly valued, cannot always keep his time.

She hesitated, looked at her mother, at me, and on the floor, visibly at a loss. Then, as sensible of her wandering, turned aside her head, and took out her handkerchief.

Mrs. Beaumont, madam, said I, to divert her chagrin, sends you her compliments.

Were you at Florence?—Mrs. Beaumont, said you!—Were you at Florence! Then running to her mother, she threw her arms about her neck, hiding her face in her bosom—O, madam, conceal me! conceal me from myself. I am not well.

Be comforted, my best Love, wrapping her maternal arms about her, and kissing her forehead; you will be better presently.

I made a motion to withdraw. The Marchioness, by her head, approving, I went into the next apartment.

She soon enquired for me, and, on notice from Camilla, I returned.

She sat with her head leaning on her mother's shoulder. She raised it—Excuse me, Sir, said she. I cannot be well, I see—But no matter! I am better, and I am worse, than I was: Worse because I am sensible of my calamity.

Her eyes had then lost all that lustre which had shown a too raised imagination: But they were as much in the other extreme, overclouded with mistiness, dimness, vapours; swimming in tears.

I took her hand: Be not dishearten'd, madam. You will be soon well. These are usual turns of the malady you seem to be so sensible of, when it is changing to perfect health.

God grant it!—O Chevalier! what trouble have I given my friends!—my mamma here!—You, Sir!—Every-body! O that naughty Laurana! But for her!—But tell me—Is she dead?—Poor cruel creature! Is she no more?

Would you have her to be no more, my Love? said her mother.

O no! no! I would have had her to live, and to repent. Was she not the companion of my childhood? She loved me once. I always loved her. Say, Chevalier, is she living?

I looked at the Marchioness, as asking, if I should tell her she was; and receiving her approving nod, She is living, madam, answered I—and I hope will repent—

Is she, is she indeed, my mamma? interrupted she.

She is, my dear.

Thank God! rising from her seat, clasping her hands, and standing more erect than usual; then have I a triumph to come! said the noble creature! Excuse my pride! I will show her that I can forgive her!—But I will talk of her when I am better. You say, Sir, I shall be better! You say that my malady is changing—What comfort you give me!

Then dropping down against her mother's chair, on her knees, her eyes and hands lifted up, Great and good God Almighty, heal, heal, I beseech thee, my wounded mind, that I may be enabled to restore to the most indulgent of parents, the happiness I have robbed them of. Join your prayers with mine, Sir! You are a good man—But you, madam, are a Catholic, The Chevalier is not—Do you pray for me. I shall be restored to your prayers. And may I be restored, as I shall never more do any-thing, wilfully, to offend or disturb your tender-heart.

God restore my child! sobbed the indulgent parent, raising her.

Camilla had not withdrawn. She stood weeping in a corner of the room. Camilla, said the young Lady, advancing towards her, lend me your arm. I will return to you again, Sir—Don't go—Excuse me, madam, for a few moments. I find, putting her hand to her forehead, I am not quite well—I will return presently.

The Marchioness and I were extremely affected by her great behaviour: But tho' we were grieved for the pain her sensibility gave her, yet we could not but console and congratulate ourselves upon it, as affording hopes of her perfect recovery.

She returned soon, attended by Camilla; who having been soothing her, appealed to me, whether I did not think she would soon be quite well.

I answered, That I had no question of it.

Look you there, now, my dear Lady.

I thought you said so, Chevalier; but I was not sure. God grant it! My affliction is great, my mamma. I must have been a wicked creature—Pray for me.

Her mother comforted her, praised her, and raised her dejected heart. And then Clementina looking down, a blush overspreading her face, and standing motionless, as if considering of something—What is in my child's thoughts? said the Marchioness, taking her hand. What is my Love thinking of?

Why, madam, in a low, but audible voice, I should be glad to talk with the Chevalier alone, methinks. He is a good man. But if you think I ought not, I will not desire it. In every-thing I will be governed by you: Yet I am ashamed. What can I have to say, that my mother may not hear?—Nothing, nothing. Your Clementina's heart, madam, is a part of yours.

My Love shall be indulged in every thing. You and I, Camilla, will retire—Clementina was silent; and both withdrew.

She commanded me to sit down by her. I obeyed. It was not, in the situation I was in, for me to speak first. I attended her pleasure in silence.

She seemed at a loss. She looked round her; then at me; then on the floor. I could not then forbear speaking.

The mind of Lady Clementina, said I, seems to have something upon it, that she wishes to communicate. You have not, madam, a more sincere, a more faithful friend, than the man before you. Your happiness, and that of my Jeronymo, engross all my cares. Honour me with your confidence.

I had something to say: I had many questions to ask—But pity me, Sir! my memory is gone: I have lost it all—But this I know, that we are all under obligations to you, which we never can return: And I am uneasy under the sense of them.

What, madam, have I done, but answered to the call of friendship, which, in the like situation, not any one of your family but would have obeyed?—

This generous way of thinking adds to the obligation. Say but, Sir, in what way we can express our gratitude, in what way I, in particular, can, and I shall be easy. Till we have done it, I never shall.

And can you, madam, think, that I am not highly rewarded, in the prospect of that success which opens to all our wishes?

It may be so in your opinion: But this leaves the debt still heavier upon us.

How could I avoid construing the hint in my favour? And yet I did not think the Lady, even had she not had parents in being, had she been absolutely independent, well enough to determine for herself in a situation so delicate. How then could I in honour (all her friends expecting that I should be entirely governed by her motions, as they were resolved to be) take direct advantage of the gratitude which at that instant possessed her noble mind?

If, madam, answered I, you will suppose yourselves under obligations to me, and will not be easy till you have acknowledged them, the return must be a family act. Let me refer myself to your father, mother, brothers, and to yourself: What you and they determine upon must be right.

After a short silence—Well, Sir, I believe you have put the matter upon a right footing: But here is my difficulty—You cannot be rewarded. I cannot reward you. But, Sir, the subject begins to be too much for me. I have high notions—My duty to God, and to my parents; my gratitude to you—But I have begun to write down all that has occurred to me on this important subject. I wish to act greatly! You, Sir, have set me the example. I will continue to write down my thoughts: I cannot trust to my memory—No, nor yet to my heart!—But no more on a subject that is at present too affecting to me. I will talk to my mother upon it first; but not just now; tho' I will ask for the honour of her presence.

She then went from me into the next room; and instantly returned, leading in the Marchioness. Don't, dear madam, be angry with me. I had many things to say to the Chevalier; which I thought I could best say, when I was alone with him; but I forget what they were. Indeed, I ought not to remember them, if they were such as I could not say before my mother.

My child cannot do any-thing that can make me displeased with her. The Chevalier's generosity, and my Clementina's goodness of heart, can neither of them be doubted.

O, madam! What a deep sense have I of yours and of my Father's indulgence to me! How shall I requite it!—How unworthy should I be of that returning reason, which sometimes seems to enliven my hope, if I were not to resolve, that it shall be wholly employed in my duty to God, and to you both! But even then, my gratitude to that generous man will leave a burden upon my heart, that never can be removed.

She withdrew with precipitation, leaving the Marchioness and me, in silence, looking upon each other, and admiring her. Camilla followed her; and instantly returning—My dear young Lady—Don't be frightened, madam—is not well. She seems to have exhausted her spirits by talking.

The Marchioness hastened in with Camilla. And while I was hesitating, whether to withdraw to Jeronymo, or to quit the palace, Camilla came to me—My young Lady asks for you, Sir.

I followed her to her closet. She was in her mother's arms, on a couch; just come out of a fit; but not a strong one. She held out her hand to me. I pressed it with my lips. I was affected with her nobleness of mind, and weakness of spirit—O Chevalier, said she, how unworthy am I of that tenderness which you express for me! O that I could be grateful!—But God will reward you. He only can.

She desired her mother and me to leave her to her Camilla. We both withdrew.

What can be done with this dear creature, Chevalier? She is going to be bad again!—O, Sir! Her behaviour is now different from what it ever was!

She seems, madam, to have something on her mind, that she has a difficulty to reveal. When she has revealed it, she will be easier. You will prevail upon her, madam, by your condescending goodness, to communicate it to you. Allow me to withdraw to Signor Jeronymo. Lady Clementina, when she is a little recovered, will acquaint you with what passed between her and me.

I heard it all, replied she; and you are the most honourable of men. What man would, what man could, have acted as you acted, with regard to her, with regard to us; yet not slight the dear creature's manifest meaning; but refer it to us, and to her, to make it a family act? A family act it must, it shall be. Only, Sir, let me be assured, that my child's malady will not lessen your Love for her: And permit her to be a Catholic!—These are all the terms, I, for my part, have to make with you. The rest of us still wish, that you would be so, tho' but in appearance, for the sake of our alliances. But I will not expect an answer to the last. As to the first, you cannot be ungenerous to one who has suffered so much for her Love of you.

The Marquis and the Bishop entering the room, I leave it to you, madam, said I, to acquaint their Lordships with what has passed. I will attend Signor Jeronymo for a few moments.

I went accordingly to his chamber; but being told, that he was disposed to rest, I withdrew with Mr. Lowther into his: And there Camilla coming to me Mr. Lowther retiring, she told me, that her young Lady was pretty well recovered. It was evident to her, she said, that she never would be well till the marriage was solemnised. They are all, said she, in close conference together, I believe upon that subject. My young Lady is endeavouring to compose herself in her closet. The Marchioness hopes you will stay, and dine here.

I excused myself from dining; and desired her to tell her Lady, that I would attend them in the evening.

I am now preparing to do so.

Volume V - lettera 22

Volume V - Letter 23


Bologna, July 7-18.

Now, my dear friend, are matters here drawing to a crisis. I was conducted, as soon as I entered this palace, to the presence of the Marquis and Marchioness. The Marquis arose, and took my hand, with great, but solemn kindness, and led me to a chair placed between theirs. The Bishop, the Count, and Father Marescotti, enter'd; and took their places.

My dear, said the Marquis, referring to his Lady—

After some little hesitation—We have no hope, Sir, said she, of our child's perfect restoration, but from—She stopped—

Our compliance with every wish of her heart, said the Bishop.

Ay, do you proceed, said the Marchioness to the Prelate.

It would be to no purpose, Chevalier, questioned the Bishop, to urge to you the topic so near to all our hearts?

I bowed my assent to what he said.

I am sorry for it, replied the Bishop.

I am very sorry for it, said the Count.

What security can we ask of you, Sir, said the Marquis, that our child shall not be perverted?—O Chevalier! It is a hard, hard trial!

Father Marescotti, answered I, shall prescribe the terms.

I cannot, in conscience, said the Father, consent to this marriage: Yet the merits of the Chevalier Grandison have taken from me the power of opposing it. Permit me to be silent.

Father Marescotti and I, said the Bishop, are in one situation, as to scruples of conscience. But I will forget the Prelate for the Brother. Dear Grandison, will you permit us to say to enquirers, that we look upon you as one of our church; and that prudential reasons, with regard to your country, and friends in it, deter you at present from declaring yourself?

Let not terms be proposed, my good Lord, that would lessen your opinion of me, should I comply with them. If I am to be honoured with an admission into this noble family, let me not in my own eyes appear unworthy of the honour. Were I to find myself capable of prevaricating in an article so important as religion, no one could hate me so much as I should hate myself, were even an imperial diadem with your Clementina, the noblest of women, to be the consideration.

You have the example of great princes, Chevalier, said Father Marescotti, Henry the Fourth of France, Augustus of Poland—

True, Father—But great Princes are not always, and in every action of their lives, great men. They might make the less scruple of changing their religion as they were neither of them strict in the practice of it. They who can allow themselves in some deviations, may in others. I boast not of my own virtue; but it has been my aim to be uniform. I am too well satisfied with my own religion, to doubt: If I were not, it would be impossible but I must be influenced by the wishes of friends so dear to me; whose motives are the result of their own piety, and of the regard they have for my everlasting welfare.

The Chevalier and I, rejoined the Bishop, have carried this argument to its full extent before. My honoured Lord's question recurs; What security can we have, that my sister shall not be perverted? The Chevalier refers to Father Marescotti to propose it. The Father excuses himself. I, as the brother of Clementina, ask you, Chevalier, Will you promise never by yourself, or your English divines, to attempt to pervert her?—A confessor you have allowed her. Shall Father Marescotti be the man?

And will Father Marescotti—

I will, for the sake of preserving to Lady Clementina her faith; that faith by which only she can be saved; and, perhaps, in hope of converting the man who then will be dear to the whole family.

I not only comply with the proposal, but shall think Father Marescotti will do me a favour, in putting it into my power to show him the regard I have for him. One request I have only to make; That Father Marescotti will prescribe his own conditions to me. And I assure you all, that they shall be exceeded, as to the consideration, be they ever so high.

You and I, Chevalier, replied the Father, shall have no difficulty, as to the terms.

None you can have, said the Marquis, as to those. Father Marescotti will be still our spiritual director.

Only one condition I will beg leave to make with Father Marescotti; that he will confine his pious cares to those only who are already of his own persuasion; and that no disputable points may ever be touched upon to servants, tenants, or neighbours, in a country where a different religion, from that to which he is a credit, is established. I might, perhaps, have safely left this to his own moderation and honour; yet, without such a previous engagement, his conscience might have been embarrassed; and had I not insisted on it, I should have behaved towards my country in a manner for which I could not answer to my own heart.

Your countrymen, Chevalier, said the Count, complain loudly of persecution from our church: Yet what disqualifications do Catholics lie under in England!

A great deal, my Lord, may be said on this subject. I think it sufficient to answer for myself, and my own conduct.

As to our child's servants, said the Marchioness, methinks I should hope, that Father Marescotti might have a small congregation about him, to keep their Lady in countenance, in a country where her religion will subject her to inconveniencies, perhaps to more than inconveniencies.

Her woman, and those servants, replied I, who will immediately attend her person, shall always be chosen by herself. If they behave well, I will consider them as my servants for their benefit. If they misbehave, I must be allowed to consider them also as my servants, as well as their Lady's. I must not be subject to the dominion of servants, the most intolerable of all dominion. Were they to know that they are independent of me, I should be disobeyed, perhaps insulted; and my resentment of their insolence would be thought a persecution on account of their religion.

This article bore some canvassing. If Camilla, at last, I said, were the woman; on her discretion I should have great dependence.

—And on Father Marescotti's you also may, Chevalier, said the Bishop. I should hope, that when my sister and you are in England together, you would not scruple to consult him on the misbehaviour of any of my sister's Catholic servants.

Indeed, my Lord, I would. I will myself be judge in my own house of the conduct and behaviour of all my servants. From the independence of such people upon me, disputes or uneasinesses might arise, that otherwise would never happen between their Lady and me. The power of dismission, on any flagrant misbehaviour, must be in me. My temper is not capricious: My charity is not confined: My consideration for people in a foreign country, and wholly in my power, will, I hope, be even generous. I perhaps may bear with them the more for having them in my power. But my wife's servants, were she a sovereign, must be mine.

Unhappy! said Father Marescotti, that you can not be of one faith! But, Sir, you will allow, I hope, if the case will bear it, of expostulation from me?

Yes, Father: And should generally, I believe, be determined by your advice and mediation. But I would not condition to make the greatest saint, and the wisest man on earth, a judge in my own family over me.

There is reason in this, rejoined the Bishop: You, perhaps, would not scruple, Sir, to consult the Marchioness, before you dismissed such a considerable servant as a woman, if my sister did not agree to it?

The Marquis and Marchioness will be judges of my conduct, when I am in Italy. I should despise myself, were it not to be the same in England as at Bologna. I have in my travels been attended by Catholic Servants. They never had reason to complain of want of kindness, even to indulgence, from me. We Protestants confine not salvation within the pale of our own church, Catholics do; and have therefore an argument for their zeal in endeavouring to make proselytes, that we have not. Hence, generally speaking, may a Catholic servant live more happily with a Protestant master, than a Protestant servant with a Catholic master. Let my servants live but up to their own professions, and they shall be indulged with all reasonable opportunities of pursuing the dictates of their own consciences. A truly religious servant, of whatever persuasion, cannot be a bad one.

Well, as to this article, we must leave it, acquiesced the Bishop, to occasions as they may arise. Nine months in the year, I think you propose to reside in Italy—

That, my Lord, was on a supposition that Lady Clementina would not oblige me with her company to my native country any part of the year; in that case, I proposed to pass but three months in every year in my native country: Otherwise, I hoped that year and year, in turn, would be allowed me.

We can have no wish to separate man and wife, said the Marquis. Clementina will, no doubt, accompany her husband. We will stipulate only for year and year: But let ours be the first year: And we cannot doubt but the dear child will meet with all reasonable indulgence, for the sake of her tender health.

Not one request that you, my Lord, and you, madam, shall think reasonable, shall be denied to the dear Lady.

Let me propose one thing, Chevalier, said the Marchioness; that in the first year, which is to be ours, you endeavour to prevail upon your sisters, amiable women, as we have heard they are, to come over, and be of our acquaintance: Your Ward also, who may be looked upon as a little Italian. You love your sisters; and I should be glad, so would Clementina, I make no doubt, to be familiarised to the Ladies of your family before she goes to England.

My sisters, madam, are the most obliging of women, as their Lords are of men. I have no doubt of prevailing upon them, to attend you and Lady Clementina here. And as it will give them time to prepare for the visit, I believe, if it be made in the latter part of the first year, it will be most acceptable to them, and to you; since then they will not only have commenced a friendship with Lady Clementina, and obtained the honour of your good opinion; but will attend the dear Lady in her voyage to England.

They all approved of this. I added, that I hoped, when the second year arrived, I should have the honour of finding in the party some of this noble family (looking round me) which could not fail of giving delight, as well as affiance, to the tender heart of their beloved Clementina.

My Lord and I, said the Marchioness, will probably, if well, be of the party. We shall not know how to part with a child so dear to us—But these seas—

Well, well, said the Bishop, this is a contingence, and must be left to time, and to the Chevalier and my sister, when they are one. As his is the strongest mind, it will, in all reasonable matters, yield to the weaker—Now, as to my sister's fortune—

It is a large one, said the Count. We shall all take pleasure in adding to it.

Should there be more sons than one by the marriage, rejoined the Bishop, as the estate of her two grandfathers will be an ample provision for one of them, and your English estate for another, I hope we may expect that the education of one of them may be left to us.

Every one said, this was a very reasonable expectation.

I cannot condition for this, my Lord. The education of the sons was to be left to me; that of the daughters, to the mother. I will consent, that the Italian estate shall be tied up for daughters portions; and that they shall be brought up under your own eyes, Italians. The sons shall have no benefit by the Italian estate—

Except they become Catholics, Chevalier, added the Bishop.

No, my Lord, replied I: That might be a temptation—Tho' I would leave posterity as free, as I myself am left, in the article of religion; yet would I not lay any snares for them. I am for having them absolutely secluded from any possibility of enjoying that estate, as they will be Englishmen. Cannot this be done by the laws of your country, and the tenure by which these estates are held?

If Clementina marry, said the Marquis, whether there be issue or not, Laurana's claim ceases. But, Chevalier, can you think it just to deprive children unborn of their natural right?

I have a very good estate: It is improving. I have considerable expectations besides. That is not mine which I do not possess, and shall have no right to, but by marriage; and which, therefore, must and ought to be subject to marriage-articles. Riches never made men happy. If my descendants will not be so with a competence, they will not with a redundance. I hope Signor Jeronymo may recover, and marry: Let the estate here, from the hour that I shall be honoured with the hand of your dear Clementina, be Jeronymo's, and his posterity's for ever. If it shall be thought proper for him, on taking possession, to make his sister any brotherly acknowledgement, it shall be to her sole and separate use, and not subject to any control of mine. If Signor Jeronymo marry not, or if he do, and die without issue, let the estate in question be the General's. He and his Lady deserve every-thing. The estate shall not, by my consent, go out of the name.

They looked upon each other—Brother, said the Count, I see not, but we may leave every-thing to the generosity of such a young man as this. He quite overcomes me.

A disinterested and generous man, rejoined the Bishop, is born a ruler; and he is, at the same time, the greatest of politicians, were policy only to be considered.

The most equitable medium, I think, resumed the Marchioness, is what the Chevalier hinted at—and most answerable to the intention of the dear child's grandfathers: It is, that the estate in question be secured to the daughters of the marriage. Our sons will be greatly provided for: And it will be rewarding, in some measure, the Chevalier for his generosity, that the sons of the marriage shall not have their patrimony lessened, by the provision to be made for daughters.

They all generously applauded the Marchioness; and proposing this expedient to me, I bowed my grateful assent—See, Chevalier, said Father Marescotti, what a generous family you are likely to be allied with! O that you could be subdued by a goodness so much like your own, and declare yourself a Catholic! His Holiness himself (my Lord the Bishop could engage) would receive you with blessings, at the footstool of his throne. You allow, Sir, that salvation may be obtained in our church: Out of it, we think it cannot. Rejoice us all. Rejoice, Lady Clementina—and let us know no bound in our joy.

What opinion, my dear Father Marescotti, would you all have of the man who could give up his conscience, tho' for the highest consideration on earth?—Did you, could you, think the better of the two princes mentioned to me, for the change of their religion? One of them was assassinated in the streets of his metropolis, by an ecclesiastic, who questioned the sincerity of his change. Could the matter be of indifference to me—But, my dear Father Marescotti, let us leave this to be debated hereafter between you and me, as father and son. Your piety shall command my reverence: But pain not my heart, by putting me on denial of any-thing that shall be asked of me, by such respectable and generous persons, as those I am before; and when we are talking on a subject so delicate, and so important.

Father Marescotti, we must give up this point, said the Bishop. The Chevalier and I have discussed it heretofore. He is a determined man. If you hereafter can gain upon him, you will make us all happy. But now, my Lord, to the Marquis, let the Chevalier know, what he will have with my sister, besides the bequests of her Grandfathers, from your bounty; and from yours, madam, to his mother, as a daughter of your house.

I beg my Lord, one word, said I, to the Marquis, before you speak. Let not a syllable of this be mentioned to me now. Whatever you shall be pleased to do of this nature, let it be done annually, as my behaviour to your daughter may deserve. Do I not know the generosity of every one of this noble family? Let me be in your power. I have enough for her, and for me, or I do not know the noble Clementina. Whatever you do, for the sake of your own magnificence, that do: But let us leave particulars unmentioned.

What would Lady Sforza say, were she present? rejoined the Count. Averse as she is to the alliance, she would admire the man.

Are you earnest in your request, Chevalier, asked the Bishop, that particulars shall not be mentioned?

I beg they may not. I earnestly beg it.

Pray let the Chevalier be obliged, returned the Prelate—Sir, said he, and snatched my hand, brother, friend, what shall I call you?—We will oblige you; but not in doubt of your kind treatment of Clementina. She must, she will, deserve it; but that we may have it in our power to be revenged of you: Sir, we will take great revenge of you: And let us now rejoice Jeronymo's heart with an account of all that has passed. We might have held this conference before him. All that is further necessary to be said, may be said in his presence.

Who, said Father Marescotti, can hold out against the Chevalier Grandison? I will tell every one who shall question me on this alliance, zealous Catholics, with a Protestant so determined, what a man he is; and then they will allow of this one particular exception to a general rule.

All we have now to do, said the Marquis, is to gain his Holiness's permission. That has not been refused in such cases, where either the sons or daughters of the marriage are to be brought up Catholics.

The Count then took the Marchioness's hand; the Marquis that of the Father. They whispered together as they walked; as I could hear, not to my disadvantage. The Bishop took mine, and we entered Jeronymo's chamber together. I stepped into Mr. Lowther's apartment, while they related to him all that had passed. He was impatient to see me. The Bishop led me in to him. He embraced me as his brother. Now, now, my dear Grandison, said he, I am indeed happy. This is the point to which I have long directed all my wishes. God grant that our dear Clementina's malady may be no drawback upon your felicities; and you must both then be happy.

I was sensible of a little abatement, on the Bishop's saying to his mother, not knowing I heard him, Ah, madam! the poor Count of Belvedere—How will he be affected!—But he will go to Madrid; and I hope make himself happy there with some Spanish Lady. The poor Count of Belvedere! returned the Marchioness, with a sigh—But he will not know how to blame us—

To-morrow morning I am to drink chocolate with Lady Clementina. We shall be left together, perhaps, or only with her mother or Camilla.

"What, my dear Dr. Bartlett, would I give, to be assured, that the most excellent of Englishwomen could think herself happy with the Earl of D. the only man of all her admirers, who is, in any manner, worthy of calling so bright a jewel his? Should Miss Byron be unhappy, and through my means, the remembrance of my own caution and self-restraint could not appease the grief of my heart.

"But so prudent a woman as she is, and as the Countess of D. is—What are these suggestions of tenderness—Are they not suggestions of vanity and presumption? They are. They must be so. I will banish them from my thoughts, as such. Ever amiable Miss Byron! friend of my soul! forgive me for them!—Yet if the noble Clementina is to be mine, my heart would be greatly gratified, if before she receive my vows, I could know, that Miss Byron had given her hand, in compliance with the entreaties of all her friends, to the deserving Earl of D."

Having an opportunity, I dispatch this, and my two former. In you I include remembrances to all my beloved friends—Adieu, my dear Dr. Bartlett.

"In the highest of our pleasures, the sighing heart will remind us of imperfection."

It is fit it should be so—Adieu my dear friend!


Continuation, of Lady G.'s Letter to Lady L. No. 20, dated July 24.

Well, my dear sister!—And what say you to the contents of the three inclosed Letters? I wish I had been with you, and Lord L. at the time you read them, that I might have mingled my tears with yours, for the sweet Harriet! Why would my brother dispatch these Letters, without staying till at least, he could have informed us of the result of the next day's meeting with Clementina? What was the opportunity that he had to send away these Letters, which he must be assured would keep us in strange suspense? Hang the opportunity that so officiously offered!—But, perhaps, in the tenderness of his nature, he thought that this dispatch was necessary, to prepare us for what was to follow, lest, were he to acquaint us with the event as decided, our emotion would be too great to be supported—We sisters, to go over to attend Lady CLEMENTINA GRANDISON, a twelvemonth hence—Ah the poor Harriet! And will she give us leave? But it surely must not, cannot be!—And yet—Hush, hush, hush, Charlotte!—And proceed to facts.

Dr. Bartlett, when these Letters were brought him post from London, was with us at table. We had but just dined. He arose, and retired to his own apartment with them. We were all impatient to know the contents. When I thought he had withdrawn long enough to read dispatches of a mile long, and yet found that he returned not, my impatience was heightened; and the dear Harriet said, Bad news, I fear! I hope Sir Charles is well! I hope Lady Clementina is not relapsed! The good Jeronymo! I fear for him.

I then stepped up to the Doctor's room. He was sitting with his back towards the door, in a pensive mood; and when, hearing somebody enter, he turned about, I saw he had been deeply affected!—

My dear Dr. Bartlett;—For God's sake!—How is my brother?—

Don't be affrighted, madam! All are well in Italy—In a way to be well—But, alas!—Tears started afresh—I am grieved for Miss Byron!

How, how, Doctor! Is my brother married?—It cannot, it shall not be!—Is my brother married?

O no, not married, by these Letters! But all is concluded upon! Sweet, sweet, Miss Byron! Now, indeed, will her magnanimity be put to the test!—Yet Lady Clementina is a most excellent woman!—You, madam, may read these Letters: Miss Byron, I believe, must not. You will see, by the concluding part of the last, how greatly embarrassed my Patron must be between his honour to one Lady, and his tenderness for the other. Which-soever shall be his, how much will the other be to be pitied!

I ran over, with a weeping eye, as the paragraphs struck me, the passages most affecting. O Dr. Bartlett, said I, when I had done, how shall we break this news to Mrs. Selby, to Mrs. Shirley, to my Harriet!—A trial, indeed, of her magnanimity!—Yet, to have received Letters from my brother, and to delay going down, will be as alarming as to tell it. Let us go down.

Do you, madam, take the Letters. You have tenderness: Your prudence cannot be doubted—I will attend you by-and-by. His eyes were ready to run over.

I went down. I met my Lord at the stairs foot. How, how, madam, does Sir Charles?—O my Lord! we are all undone. My brother, by this time, is the husband of Lady Clementina.

He was struck, as with a thunderbolt! God forbid! were all the words he could speak; and turned as pale as death.

I love him, for his sincere Love to my Harriet. I wrung his hand—The Letters do not say it. But every-body is consenting; and if it be not already so, it soon will—Step, my Lord, to Mrs. Selby, and tell her, that I wish to see her in the flower-garden.

Miss Byron and Nancy, said he, are gone to walk in the garden. She was so apprehensive, on your staying above, and the Doctor not coming down, that she was forced to walk into the air. I left Mr. Selby, his Lady, Emily, and Lucy, in the dining-parlour, to find you, and let you know, how every-body was affected. Tears dropped on his cheeks.

I gave him my hand in love. I was pleased with him. I called him my dear Lord.

I think our sweet friend once said, that fear made us loving. Ill-news will oblige us to look about us for consolation.

I found the persons named, just rising from their seats to walk in the garden—O my dear Mrs. Selby, said I, all is agreed upon in Italy.

They were all dumb but Emily. Her sorrow was audible: She wrung her hands; she was ready to faint; her Anne was called to take care of her; and she retired.

I then told Mr. and Mrs. Selby what were the contents of the last Letter of the three. Mr. Selby broke out into passionate grief—I know not what the honour is, said he, that could oblige Sir Charles, treated as he had been by the proud Italians, to go over at the first invitation. One might have guessed that it would have come to this—Oh! the poor Harriet! flower of the world! She deserved not to be made a second woman, to the stateliest minx in Italy: But this is my comfort, she is superior to them both. Upon my soul, madam, she is. The man, were he a king, that could prefer another woman to our Harriet, does not deserve her.

He then rose from his seat, and walked up and down the room in anger; and afterwards sitting down, My dear Mrs. Selby, said he, we shall now see what the so often pleaded for dignity of your Sex, in the noblest-minded, will enable you to do. But, O the dear soul! She will find a difference between theory and practice!

Lucy wept. Her grief was silent. Mrs. Selby dried her eyes several times. My dear Lady G. said she, at last, how shall we break this to Harriet? You must do it; and she will apply to me for comfort—Pray, Mr. Selby, be patient. You must not reflect upon Sir Charles Grandison.

Indeed you should not, Sir, said I. He is to be pitied. I will read you the concluding part of his last Letter.

I did.

But Mr. Selby would not be pacified. He tried to blame my brother.

After all, my dear, these Lords of the creation are more violent, more unreasonable, and, of consequence, more silly and perverse, more babies, if you please, than we women, when they are disappointed in anything they set their hearts upon. But in every case, I believe, one extreme borders on another. What a fool has Otway made of Castalio, raving against the whole sex, by a common-place invective, on a mere temporary disappointment; when the fault, and all the dreadful consequences that attended it, were owing to his own baseness of heart, in being ashamed to acquaint his brother, that he meant honourable Love to the unhappy orphan, who was entitled to inviolable protection! Whenever I saw this play, I pitied the impetuous Polydore, more than I did the blubbering great boy Castalio; tho' I thought both brothers deserved to be hanged.

As we were meditating how to break this matter to our lovely friend, Mrs. Shirley came to Selby-house in her chariot. We immediately acquainted her with it. No surprises affect her steady soul. This can't be helped, said she. Our dear girl herself expects it. May I read the Letter that contains the affecting tidings? She took it. She run it over slightly, to enable herself to speak to the contents—Excellent man!—How happy should we have been, blessed with the enjoyment of our wishes! But you, Mrs. Selby, and I, have always pitied Lady Clementina. His generous regard for our child is too apparent for his own tranquillity. God comfort him, and our Harriet! O the dear creature! Her fading cheeks have shown the struggles of her heart, in such an expectation—Where is my child?

I was running out to see for her; and met her just ascending the steps that lead from the garden into the house. Your grandmamma, my love, said I—

I hear she is come, answered she. I am hastening to pay my duty to her.

But how do you, Harriet?

A little better for the air! I sent up to Dr. Bartlett, and he has let me know, that Sir Charles is well, and every-body better: And I am easy.

She hurried in to her grandmother, rejoicing, as she always does to see her. She kneeled; received her tender blessing. And what brings my grandmamma to her girl?

The day is fine; the air, and the sight of my Harriet, I thought would do me good—You have Letters, I find, from Italy, my Love?

I, madam, have not: Dr. Bartlett has: But I am not-to know the contents, I suppose. Something, I doubt not, that will be thought unwelcome to me, by their not being communicated. But as long as everybody there is well, I can have patience. Time will reveal all things.

Dr. Bartlett, who admires the old Lady, and is as much admired by her, came down, and paid his respects to her. Mrs. Shirley had returned me the Letters. I slid them into the Doctor's hand, unperceived by Miss Byron.

I am told, said she, that my Emily is not well; I will just ask how she does—And was going from us—No, don't, my love, said her aunt, taking her hand, Emily shall come down to us.

I see, said she, by the compassionate looks of everyone, that something is the matter. If it be any-thing that most concerns me to know, don't, through a mistaken tenderness, let me be the last to whom it is communicated. But I guess—with a forced smile.

What does my Harriet guess? said her aunt.

Dr. Bartlett, replied she, has acquainted me, that Sir Charles Grandison is well; and that his friends are on the recovery: Is it not then easy to guess, by everyone's silence on the contents of the Letters brought to Dr. Bartlett, that Sir Charles is either married, or near being so; What say you, my good Dr. Bartlett?

He was silent; but tears were in his eyes. She turned round, and saw us with our handkerchiefs at ours. Her uncle, rising from his seat, stood with his back to us, at one of the windows.

Well, my dear friends, and you are all grieved for me. It is kind, and I can thank you for your concern for me, because the man is Sir Charles Grandison—And so, Doctor, laying her hand upon his, he is actually married? God Almighty, piously bending one knee, make him and his Clementina happy!—Well, my dearest dear friends, and what is there in this, more than I expected?

Her aunt embraced her.

Her uncle ran to her, and clasped his arms about her; Now, now, said he, have you overcome me, my niece: For the future I never will dispute with you on some of the arguments I have heretofore held against your Sex. Were all women like you—

Her grandmother, as she sat, held out her open arms: My own Harriet! child of my heart! let me fold you to it!—She ran to her, and clasped her knees, as the old Lady threw her arms about her neck—Pray for me, however, my grandmamma—that I may act up to my judgment, and as your child, and my aunt Selby's!—It is a trial—I own it—But permit me to withdraw for a few moments.

She arose, and was hastening out of the room; but her aunt took her hand; My dearest love, said she, Sir Charles Grandison is not married—But—

Why, why, interrupted she, if it must be so, is it not so?

At that moment in came Emily. She had been trying to suppress her concern; and fancied, it seems, that she had recovered her presence of Mind: But the moment she saw her beloved Miss Byron, her fortitude forsook her. She gushed into tears, and, sobbing, would have quitted the room; but Miss Byron, stepping after her, caught her arm; My Emily, my Love, my Friend, my Sister! fly me not: Let me give you an example, my dear!—I am not ashamed to own myself affected: But I have fortitude, I hope!—Sir Charles Grandison, when he could not be happy from his own affairs, made himself a partaker in the happiness of others; and shall not you and I, after so great an example, rejoice in his?

I am, I am—grieved, replied the sobbing girl, for my Miss Byron. I don't love Italian Ladies! Were you, madam, turning to her, Lady Grandison, I should be the happiest creature in the world.

But, Dr. Bartlett, said I, may we not, now that Miss Byron knows the worst, communicate to her the contents of these Letters?

I hope you will, Sir, said Mrs. Shirley. You see that my Harriet is a noble girl.

I rely upon your judgments, Ladies, answered the Doctor; and put the Letters into Mrs. Shirley's hands.

I have read them, said I. We will leave Mrs. Shirley, Mrs. Selby, and Miss Byron, together. We, Lucy, Nancy, Emily, will take a walk in the garden. Shall we have your company, Dr. Bartlett? I saw he was desirous to withdraw. Lucy desired to stay behind. Harriet looked, as if she wished Lucy to stay; and I led the other two into the garden, Dr. Bartlett leaving us at the entrance into it; and I told them the contents of the Letters, as we walked.

They were greatly affected, as I thought they would be; which made me lead them out. Lord G. joined us in our walk, as well as in our concern; so that the dear Harriet had none but comforters left about her; who enabled her to support her spirits; for Mrs. Shirley and Mrs. Selby had always applauded the preference their beloved child was so ready to give to Clementina, because of her malady; tho' it is evident, against their wishes. There never were three nobler women related to each other than Mrs. Shirley, Mrs. Selby, and Miss Byron. But Mr. Selby is by no means satisfied, that my brother, loving Harriet, as he evidently does, should be so ready to leave her, and go to Italy. His censure arises from his Love to my brother and to his niece: But I need not tell you, that, tho' a man, he has not a soul half so capacious as that of either of the three Ladies I have named.

At our return from our little walk, it was lovely to see Harriet take her Emily aside, to comfort her, and to plead with her in favour of my brother's obligations; as afterwards she did against her uncle. How the generous creature shone in my eyes, and in those of every-one present!

When she and I were alone, she took grateful notice of the concluding part of the third Letter; where she is mentioned with so much tenderness, and in a manner so truly worthy of the character of the politest of men, as well respecting herself as her Sex, charging himself with vanity and presumption, but to suppose to himself, that Miss Byron wanted his compassion, or had the tender regard for him, that he avows for her. She pleased herself, that he had not seen the very great esteem she had for him, as you and I had done: And how could he, you know? said she; for he and I were not often together; and I was under obligation enough to him to make him attribute my regard to gratitude: But it is plain, proceeded she, that he loves the poor Harriet—Don't you think so? and perhaps would have given her a preference to all other women, had he not been circumstanced as he was. Well, God bless him, added she; he was my first Love; and I never will have any other—Don't blame me for this declaration, my dear Lady G. My Grandmamma, as well as you, once chid me for saying so, and called me romancer—But is not the man Sir Charles Grandison?

But, alas! with all these appearances, it is easy to see, that this amiable creature's solitary hours are heavy ones. She has got a habit of sighing. She rises with swelled eyes: Sleep forsakes her: Her appetite fails: And she is very sensible of all this; as she shows, by the pains she takes to conceal the alteration.

And must Harriet Byron, blessed with beauty so unequalled; health so blooming; a temper so even; passions so governable; generous and grateful, even to heroism!—Superior to every woman in frankness of heart, in true delicacy; and in an understanding and judgment beyond her years—Must she be offered up, as a victim on the altar of hopeless Love!—I deprecate such a fate;—I cannot allow the other Sex such a triumph, tho' the man be my brother. It is, however, none; on the contrary, it is apparently a grief to his noble and truly manly heart, that so excellent a creature cannot be the sole mistress of it.

Mr. Deane came hither this morning. He is a valuable man. He opened his heart to me about an hour ago. He always, he says, designed Miss Byron for the heiress of the principal part of his possessions; and he let me know his circumstances; which are great. It is, I am convinced, true policy to be good. Young and old, rich and poor, dote upon Miss Byron. You remember what her uncle says in his ludicrous Letter to her, covertly praising her, by pretending to find fault with her, that he is more noted for being the uncle of Miss Byron, than she is for being his niece; tho' of so long standing in the county: And I assure you, he is much respected too. But such beauty, such affability, a character so benevolent, so frank, so pious, yet so cheerful and unaffected, as hers is, must command the veneration and love of every one.

Mr. Deane is extremely apprehensive of her declining health. He believes her in a consumption; and has brought a physician of his intimate acquaintance to visit her: But she, and we all are convinced, that medicine will not reach her case: And she affected to be startled at his supposing she was in so bad a way, on purpose, as she owned, to avoid his kind importunity to take advice in a malady that nothing but time and patience can cure.

A charming correspondence is carried on between Harriet and the Countess of D. Harriet is all frankness in it; so is Lady D. One day I hope to procure you a sight of their Letters. I am allowed to inclose a copy of the Countess's last. You will see the force of the reasoning, on Harriet's declaration, that she will never think of a second Lover. Her grandmother is entirely with the Countess. So am I—Tho' the first was Sir Charles Grandison.

What will become of Lady Olivia, if the alliance between my brother and the Bologna family take effect?—She has her emissaries, who I suppose will soon apprise her of it. How will she flame out! I suppose you, who correspond with her, will soon be troubled with her invectives on this subject.

All here wish for you and Lord L. For my part, I long to see you both, and to be seen by you. You never could see me more to my advantage than now. We have nothing between us. But—"What your Lordship pleases." "My dearest life, you have no choice." "You prevent me, my Lord, in all my wishes."

I have told him, in Love, of some of his foibles: And he thanks me for my instruction; and is resolved to be all I wish him to be.

I have made discoveries in his favour—More wit, more humour, more good sense, more learning, than I had ever till now, that I was willing to enquire after those qualities in him, imagined he had. He allows me to have a vast share of good understanding; and so he ought, when I have made such discoveries to his advantage.

In short we so monstrously improve upon each other, that if we go on thus, we shall hardly know ourselves to be the same man and woman, that made such awkward figures in the eyes of all beholders a few months ago at St. George's church; and must be married over again, to be sure of each other; for you must believe, that we would not be the same odd souls we then were, on any account.

What raises him with me, is the good opinion every-body here has of him. They also have found him out to be a man of sense, a good-natur'd man, nay, would you believe it, a handsome man; and all these people having deservedly the reputation of good sense, penetration, and so-forth, I cannot contradict them with credit to myself. When we married folks have made a silly choice, we should in policy, you know, for the credit of our judgment, try to make the best of it. I could name you half a score people who are continually praising, the man his wife, the woman her husband, who, were they at liberty to choose again, would be hanged before they would renew their bargain.

Let me tell you, that Emily will make an excellent wife, and mistress of a family. Miss Byron is one of the best economists, and yet one of the finest Ladies, in the county. As soon as she came down, she resumed the family direction, in ease of her aunt; which was her province before she came to London. I thought myself a tolerable manager: But she has for ever stopped my mouth on this subject. Such a succession of orderliness, if I may so call it! One right thing is an introduction to another; and all is in such a method, that it seems impossible for the meanest servants to mistake their duty. Such harmony, such observance, yet such pleasure in every countenance!—But she is mistress of so much ease, so much dignity, and so much condescension, that she is worshiped by all the servants; and it is observable, hardly ever was heard to direct twice the same thing to be done, or remembered.

The servants have generally time for themselves, an hour or two in a day. Her orders are given over night; and as the family live in a genteel manner, they are never surprised, or put out of course, by company. The poor only have the less of the remnants, if visitors or guests come in unexpectedly; and in such case, she says, they shall fare better another day. Emily is taking minutes of all her management: She is resolved to imitate her in every-thing. Hence it is, that I say, the girl will make one of the best wives in England: Yet, how the dear Harriet manages it, I cannot tell; for we hardly ever miss her. But early hours, and method, and ease, without hurry, will do every-thing.


Lord bless me, my dear Lady L.! I have been frightened out of my wits. This Lord G.—What do we do by marriage, but double our cares?—He was taken very ill two hours ago; a kind of fit. The first reflexion that crossed me, when he was at worst, was this—What a wretch was I, to vex this poor man as I have done!—Happy, happy is the wife, in the depth of her affliction, on the loss of a worthy husband; happy the husband, if he must be separated from a good wife; who has no material cause for self-reproach to embitter reflexion, as to his or her conduct to the departed. Ah, Caroline, how little do we know of ourselves, till the hour of trial comes! I find, I find, I have more Love for Lord G. than I thought I had, or could have, for any man.

* *

How have I exposed myself!—But they none of them upbraid me with my apprehensions for the honest man. He did fright me!—A wretch!—In his childhood he was troubled with these oddities, it seems!—He is so well, that I had a good mind to quarrel with him for terrifying me as he did. For better and for worse!—A cheat!—He should have told me that he had been subject to such an infirmity!—And then, from his apprehended fits, tho' involuntary, I should have claimed allowance for my real, tho' wilful ones. In which, however, I cheated not him. He saw me in them many and many a good time, before marriage.

I have this moment yours. I thought what would be the case with Olivia. She has certainly heard of the happy turn at Bologna; or she would not think of leaving England so soon, when she had resolved to stay here till my brother's return. Unhappy woman! Harriet pities her!—But she has pity for every one that wants it.

Repeatedly all here are earnest to get you and your Lord with us. Do, come if you can—Were it but for one week; and perhaps we will go up together. If you don't come soon, your folks will not suffer you to come one while. After all, my dear, these men are, as aunt Nell would say, odious creatures. You are a good forgiving soul; but that am not I. In a few months time I shall be as grave as a cat, I suppose: But the sorry fellow knows nothing of the matter as yet.

Adieu, Lady L.

Volume V - lettera 23

Volume V - Letter 24


[Inclosed in the preceding.]

July 1.

My dear Harriet has allowed me to write to her with the affectionate freedom of a mother: As such, I may go on to urge a subject disagreeable to her; when not only the welfare of both my children is concerned in it, but when her own honour, her own delicacy of sentiment, is peculiarly interested.

Pure and noble as your heart is, it is misleading you, my Love; Oh, my Harriet, into what a labyrinth!—Have you kept a copy, my dear, of your last Letter to me? It is all amiable, all yourself—But it is Harriet Byron again, in need of a rescuer—Shall I, my child, save you from being run away with by these tyrannous, over-refinements? Yes, you will say, could I do it disinterestedly. Well, I will, if I can, imagine myself quite disinterested; suppose my son out of the case. And since I have told you, more than once, that I cannot allow the sacredness young people are apt to imagine in a first Love; I must, you know, take it for granted, that even his to you is not absolutely unconquerable.

Let us then consider a little the bright fairy schemes, for so I must call them, which you have formed in the Letter that lies before me (Note: This letter appears not). Do not your excellent grandmamma and aunt see them in the same light? I dare say they do: But to one I love so dearly, how can I omit to offer my hand to extricate her out of a maze of bewildering fancy, in which she may else tread many a weary step, that ought to be advancing forward in the paths of happiness and duty?

Think but, my dear child, what fortitude of soul, what strength even of constitution, you answer for, when you talk of living happy in friendship with two persons, when they are united by indissoluble ties, the very thought of whose union makes your cheek fade, and your health languish. Ah, my beloved Harriet! is not this a fairy-scheme?

Mistake me not, my love; I suspect not that your sentiments would want any-thing of the purity, the generosity, the true heroism required in the idea of a friendship, like that you talk of. I suspect not in the noble pair [Does that phrase hurt you, my Miss Byron? Think then how your heart would suffer in the lasting conflict that must accompany the situation which you have proposed to yourself] I suspect not, in either of them, sentiments or behaviour unsuitable to your excellence: Yet let me ask you one thing: Would not the example of such an attachment subsisting between persons known to have once had different views, and tenderer affections, mislead less delicate and less guarded minds into allowances dangerous to them; and subject souls, less great than Clementina, to jealousies, whether warrantable or not, of friendships that should plead yours for a president?

Do not be impatient, my dear; I have a great deal more to say. This friendship, what is it to be? Not more than friendship, disguised under the name of it: For how can that consist with your peace of mind, your submission to the dictates of reason, your resignation to the will of Providence? If then it be only friendship, how is it inconsistent with your forming an attachment of a nearer kind with a person of merit who approves of, and will join in it? What think you, my dear, is that Love which we vow at the altar? Surely, not adoration: Not a preference of that object absolutely, as in excellence superior to every other imaginable being. No more, surely, in most cases, than such a preferable choice (all circumstances considered) as shall make us with satisfaction of mind, and with an affectionate and faithful heart, unite ourselves for life with a man whom we esteem; who we think is no disagreeable companion, but deserves our grateful regard; that his interest from henceforth should be our own, and his happiness our study. And is not this very consistent, my dear, with admiring and loving the excellence of angels; and even with seeing and pitying, in this partner of our lives, such imperfections as make him evidently their inferior? Inferior even to such human angels, as you and I have in our heads at this moment.

Observe, my dear, I say only that such friendship is very consistent with being more nearly united to one who knows and approves it: For concealment of any thought, that much affects the heart, is, I think, in such a case (with very few exceptions from very particular circumstances) utterly unallowable, and blamably indelicate.

You are, my dear, I will not offend you, by saying to what degree, a reasonable and prudent young woman; pious, dutiful, and benevolent. Consider then, how much better you would account for the talents committed to you; how much more joy you would give to the best of friends; how much more good you would do to your fellow-creatures, by permitting yourself to be called out into active life, with all its variety of relations, than you can while you continue obstinately in a single state, on purpose to indulge a remediless sorrow. The domestic connexions would engage you in a thousand, not unpleasing, new cares and attentions, that must inevitably wear out, in time, impressions which you would feel it unfit to indulge. All that is generous, grateful, reasonable, in your very just attachment, would remain? every-thing that passion and imagination have added, every unreasonable, every painful emotion, would be banished; and the friendship between the two families become a source of lasting happiness to both.

Adieu, my Harriet! I am afraid of being tedious on an unpleasing subject. If I have omitted anything material in this argument, the excellent parents you are with, can abundantly supply it from their own reason, and experience of the world. Assure them of my unfeigned regard; and believe me, my dear child, with a degree of esteem, that no young creature ever merited half so well,

Your truly affectionate

M. D.

Pinned on by Lady G.

"Don't you think, Lady L. that the contents of this Letter ought to have the more weight with Harriet, as, were she to be Lady Grandison, they would suit her own case and Emily's, were Emily to make the same pretensions to a perpetual single life, on the improbability of marrying her first Love? I shall freely speak my mind upon this subject, when Harriet can better bear the argument."

Volume V - lettera 24

Volume V - Letter 25


Tuesday, Aug. 1.

My dear Daughter,

Let me be excused for asking you a question by pen and ink: When do you think of returning from Northamptonshire? Lady Gertrude and I are out of all patience with you; not with Lord G. We know, that wherever you are, there will he wish to be: His treasure and his heart must be together. But to me, who always loved my son; to Lady Gertrude, who always loved her nephew; and who equally rejoiced in the happy event that gave me a daughter, and her a niece; what can you say in excuse for robbing us of both? It is true, Miss Byron is a Lady that ought to be half the world to you: But must the other half have no manner of regard paid to it? I have enquired of Lord and Lady L. but they say you are so far from setting your time for return, that you are pressing them to go down to you. What can my daughter mean by this? Have you taken a house in Northamptonshire? Have you forgot that you have taken one in Grosvenor Square? Every-thing is done there, that you had ordered to be done; and all are at a stand for further directions. Let me tell you, Lady G. that my sister and I love you both too well, to bear to be thus slighted. Love us but half as well, and you will tell us the day of your return. You don't consider that we are both in years; and, that in all probability, you may often rejoice in the company you are with, when you cannot have ours. Excuse this serious conclusion. I am serious upon the subject—And why? Because I love you with a tenderness truly paternal. Pray make mine and my sister's compliments acceptable to the loveliest woman in England, and to every one whom she loves, who are now in Northamptonshire. I am, my dearest daughter,

Your ever-affectionate G.

Volume V - lettera 25

Volume V - Letter 26


Selby-house, Aug. 4.

O my dear Lord! what do you mean? Are you and Lady Gertrude really angry with me? I cannot bear the serious conclusion of your Letter. May you both live long, and be happy! If my affectionate duty to you both will contribute to your felicity, it shall not be wanting. I was so happy here, that I knew not when I should have returned to town, had you not, so kindly as to your intention, yet so severely in your expressions, admonished me. I will soon throw myself at your feet; and by the next post will fix the day on which I hope to be forgiven by you both. Let Lord G. answer for himself. Upon my word he is as much to blame as I am; nay, more; for he dotes upon Miss Byron.

Duty I avow: Pardon I beg: Never more, my dear and honoured Lord, shall you have like reason to chide

Your ever-dutiful Daughter,
Nor you, my dear Lady Gertrude,
Your most obedient Kinswoman,

Volume V - lettera 26

Volume V - Letter 27


London, Sat. Aug. 5.

Thank you, my reverend and dear Mrs. Shirley, Mrs. Selby, and Harriet the lovely and beloved. Thank you, my dear Lucy and Nancy Selby, and Kitty and Patty Holles; and good Miss Orme; and you, my dear disputatious uncle Selby, and honest cousin James, and all the rest of you; for your particular graces, favours, civilities, and goodness superabundant, to my bustling Lord, and his lively Dame. Let the good Doctor and Emily thank you for themselves.

And who do you think met us at St. Alban's?—Why, Beauchamp, Sir Harry and my Lady, and Mr. and Mrs. Reeves!

Poor Sir Harry! He is in a very bad way; and Lady Beauchamp and his son (who peradventure had a reason he gave not) prevailed upon him to make this little excursion, in hopes it would divert him. They had not for some weeks past seen him so cheerful as we made him.

Aunt Nell met us, at Barnet, with Cicely Badger, her still older woman, whom she keeps about her to make herself look young, on comparison—But a piece of bad news, Harriet: Our aunt Nell has lost two more of her upper fore-teeth. A vile bit of bone (O how she execrates it!) which lurked in a fricasee, did the irreparable mischief: And the good old soul is teaching her upper-lip, when she speaks, to resign all motion to the under one, that it may as little as possible make the defect visible. What poor wretches are we, Harriet, men as well as women! We pray for long life; and what is the issue of our prayers, but leave to outlive our teeth and our friends, to stand in the way of our elbowing relations, and to change our swan-skins for skins of buff; which nevertheless will keep out neither cold nor infirmity? But I shall be serious by-and-by. And what is the design of my pen-prattle, but to make my sweet Harriet smile?

The Earl and Lady Gertrude made up differences with me at first sight. The Lady is a little upon the fallal; a little aunt Nellish; but I protest I love her, and reverence her brother.

Beauchamp is certainly in Love with Emily. When he first addressed her at St. Alban's, his hands trembled, his cheeks glowed, his tongue faltered—So young a gipsy to make a conquest of such importance! We women are powerful creatures, Harriet. As they say of horses, If we knew our own strength, and could have a little more patience than we generally have, we might do what we would with the powerless Lords of the creation. In my conscience, Harriet, look all my acquaintance through, of both Sexes, I think there are three silly fellows to one silly woman: Don't you think so in yours?—Are your Grevilles, your Fenwicks, your Ormes, your Fowlers, your Pollexfens, your Bagenhalls, and half a score more I could name, to be put in competition with Mrs. Shirley, Mrs. Selby, Lady D. our Lucy, Nancy, Miss Orme, the two Miss Holles's?—Let uncle Selby and cousin James determine on the question.

I am half in hopes, that the little rogue Emily will draw herself in. Beauchamp is modest, yet not sheepish; he is prudent, manly, lively; has address: He will certainly draw her in, before she knows where she is: And how? Why by praising sincerely, and loving cordially, the man at present most dear to her. When he first addressed her at St. Alban's, O Mr. Beauchamp, said she, with an innocent freedom, not regarding his tremblings, his glow, and his falterings, I am glad to see you: I long to have you entertain me with stories of my guardian. But, ah! Sir, speaking lower, and with a fallen countenance, tears ready to start, Whose, whose is he by this time? Yet, if you know it, don't tell me: It must not, must not be.

The praises given to those we really love, I believe, are more grateful to us than those conferred on ourselves. I will tell you how I account for this, in general cases, my brother out of the question.—We doubt not our own merits; but may be afraid, that the favoured object will not be considered by others as we are willing to consider him: But if he is, we take the praise given him as a compliment to our own judgment. Self-love, self-love, at the bottom of all we say and do: I am convinced it is, notwithstanding all you have urged to the contrary. Generally, you know, I said. Do you think I will allow you to judge of the generality of the world by what you find in one of the best hearts in it?

An instance, in point—I remember a Miss Hurste, a sweet pretty creature, and very sensible: She had from her chamber-window been shot through the heart by the blind archer, who took his stand on the feather of a military man marching at the head of his company through the market-town in which she lived. Yet was her susceptibility her only inducement; for the man was neither handsome in his person, nor genteel in his appearance: Nor could she be in Love with the sense of a man, had he been a Solomon, whose mouth she never saw opened, and to whose character she was as much a stranger, as he was to hers, or her person, till she contrived to have him made acquainted with his good fortune. Constant, however, to her first foolish impression, she, in opposition to all advice, and the expostulations of a tender and indulgent mother, married him. A Solomon he was not. And when he at any time, by virtue of his relation to her, was introduced into her family, how would she blush, whenever he opened his mouth! And how did her eyes sparkle with gratitude upon any one who took the least respectful notice of him! Compliments to herself were unheeded; but she seemed ready to throw herself at the feet of those who smiled upon, and directed themselves to, her Captain. Poor girl! she wanted to give credit to the motive by which she had been actuated.

Now, Harriet, I charge you, that you think not that this man's name was Anderson. Somebody met with an escape! Yet now-and-then I blush for Some-body. Yet between this Some-body and Miss Hurste's cases there was this difference—A father's apprehended—Tyranny—(shall I call it?) impressing the one; a tindery fit the other. In the one a timely recovery; in the other, the first folly deliberately confirmed.

Dear, dear Harriet! let me make you smile!—I protest, if you won't, I will talk of Lord D. and then I know you will frown.

The excellent Lady of that name has already been to welcome us to town. She absolutely dotes upon you; so, she says, does the young Earl. She prays day and night, she tells me, that my brother may soon come to England, his Italian bride in his hand. She expects every post to hear from Sir Arthur Brandon; who has carried a Letter from her, and another from the Earl of N. recommending that promising young gentleman to my brother's favour, on his visiting Italy. She hopes my brother will not take amiss her freedom, at so short an acquaintance. If Sir Arthur sends her such news as she wishes, and we dread, to hear, away drives she to Northamptonshire—And should she, I don't know who will scruple to wish her success; for her young man rises every day in his character. My dear creature, you must, you shall, be in our row; and Lady D's last Letter to you is unanswerable. Forgive me for touching upon this subject: But we have no hopes. You have nothing to fear; since you expect what the next mails will bring. And who of us, after all, have our first Love? Aunt Nell would not have descended sola into her greys, nor Cicely Badger neither, if they might have obtained the men of their choice—Poor aunt Nell! she has been telling me (her taken off spectacles in her fingers) of a disappointment of this kind in her youth, with such woeful earnestness, that it made me ready to cry for her. She lays it at the door of her brother, my poor father; and now will you wonder, that, to this hour, she cannot speak of him with patience?—Poor aunt Nell!

Well, but how do you, my Love? For Heaven's sake, be well. Could I make you speak out, could I make you complain, I should have some hope of you: But so sorrowful when alone, as we plainly see, yet aiming to be so cheerful in company—O my dear! you must be gluttonous of grief in your solitary hours. But what tho' the man be Sir Charles Grandison; Is not the woman Harriet Byron?

Lady L. tells me, that Olivia behaved like a distracted woman, when she took leave of her on her setting out to return to Italy. She sometimes wept, sometimes raved and threatened. Wretched woman! Surely she will not attempt the life of the man she so ungovernably loves! Our case, Harriet, is not so hard as hers: But she will sooner get over her talkative, than you will your silent Love. When a person can rave, the passion is not dangerous. If the head be safe, pride and supposed slight will in time harden the heart of such a one; and her Love will be swallowed up by resentment.

You complimented me on my civility to my good man, all the time we were with you. Indeed I was very civil to him. It is now become a habit, and I verily think that it looks well in man and wife to behave prettily to each other before company. I now-and-then, however, sit down with a full design to make him look about him; but he is so obliging, that I am constrained, against my intention, to let the fit go off, without making him very serious.

Am I conceited, Harriet? Which of the two silly folks, do you think, has most (Not wit—Wit is a foolish thing, but) understanding? I think the woman has it, all to nothing.—Now don't mortify me. If you pretend to doubt, I will be sure. Upon my word, my dear, I am an excellent creature, so thinking, so assured, to behave so obligingly as I do to Lord G. Never, never, unless a woman has as much prudence as your Charlette, let her wed a man who has less understanding than herself. But women marry not so much now-a-days for Love, or fitness of tempers, as for the liberty of gadding abroad, with less censure, and less control—And yet, now I think of it, we need only to take a survey of the flocks of single women which crowd to Ranelagh and Vaux-hall markets, dressed out to be cheapened, not purchased, to be convinced that the maids are as much above either shame or control, as the wives. But were not fathers desirous to get the drugs off their hands (to express myself in young Danby's saucy stile) these freedoms would not be permitted. As for mothers, many of them are for escorting their daughters to public places, because they themselves like racketing.

But how, Charlotte, methinks you ask, do these reflexions on your own Sex square with what you said above of the preference of women to men?—How! I'll tell you. The men who frequent those places are still more silly than we. Is it their interest to join in this almost universal dissipation? And would the women crowd to market, if there were not men?

We are entered into our new house. It is furnished in taste. Lord G. has wanted but very little of my correction, I do assure you, in the disposition of every-thing: He begins to want employment. Have you, Harriet, any-thing to busy him in?—I am not willing to teach him to knot. Poor man! He has already knit one that he cannot untie.

God bless the honest Soul! He came to me, just now, so prim, and so pleased—A Parrot and Paroquet—The Parrot is the finest talker! He had great difficulty, he said, in getting them. He had observed, that I was much taken with Lady Finlay's Parrot. Lady Finlay had a Marmouset too. I wonder the poor man did not bring me a Monkey. O! but you'll say, That was needless—You are very smart, Harriet, upon my man. I won't allow any-body but myself to abuse him.

Intolerable levity, Charlotte!—And so it is. But to whom? Only to you. I love the man better every day than the former. When I write of him thus saucily, it is in the gaiety of my heart: But if, instead of a smile, I have drawn upon myself your contempt, what a mortification, however deserved, will that be to


Volume V - lettera 27

Volume V - Letter 28


Selby-house, Friday, July 24.

You write, my dear Lady G. with intent to make me smile. I thank you for your intention: It is not wholly lost. My friends and I are one; and my uncle and cousin James laughed out at several places in your lively Letter. Lucy, Nancy, smiled. My cousins Kitty and Patty Holles said, You were a charming Lady: But shall I tell you what my grandmamma and aunt said?—I will not—Now will your curiosity be excited—To say the truth, they spoke not; they only shook their heads. I saw, my dear, greatly as they love and admire you, that if they had smiled, it would have been at, not with, the poor Charlotte (Let me pity you, my dear!) who, in some places of her Letter, could sport with the infirmities of age, to which we are all advancing, and even wish to arrive at; and in others treat lightly a man, to whom she owes respect, and has vowed duty; and who almost adores her.

You ask, my dear, which of a certain pair has most understanding? And you bid me not mortify you with giving it on the man's side. I will not. Lord G. is far from being wanting in understanding; but Lady G. has undoubtedly more than thousands, even of sensible women: But in her treatment of certain subjects, she by no means shows it. There's for you, my dear! I hope you will be angry with your Harriet. You ought to take one of us to task. Methinks I would not have you be angry with yourself.

But, my dear, I am not well: This therefore may make me the less capable of relishing your raillery. These men vex me. Greville's obstinate perseverance, and so near a neighbour, that I cannot avoid seeing him often: Poor Mr. Orme's ill health: Another Letter from Sir Rowland Meredith, its contents so extremely kind and generous, that they afflict me.—Lady D. urging me (I am afraid I must say) with such strength of reason, and with an affection so truly maternal, that I know not how to answer her: And just now I have received a Letter, unknown to that good Lady, from the Earl of D.—laying in a claim, on a certain supposition, that—O my dear! how cruel is all this to your Harriet! My grandmamma by her eyes, I see, wishes me to think of marriage, and with Lord D.—as all thoughts—I need not say of what, are over—My aunt Selby's eyes are ready to second my grandmamma's—My uncle speaks out on the same side of the question: So do you: So does Lucy. Nancy is silent: She sees my disturbance when I am looked at, and talked to, on this subject: So ought Lucy, I think. Sir Rowland says, Mr. Fowler has almost pined himself to death.—My Soul, my dear, is fretted. I have begged leave to pass a fortnight or three weeks with my good Mr. Deane, who rejoiced at the motion; but my grandmother heard my request with tears: She could not spare her Harriet, she told me. My aunt also dried her eyes—How, my Charlotte, could I think of leaving them?—Yet could they have parted with me, I should surely have been more composed with Mr. Deane than at present I can be any-where else. He is more delicate (Shall I be excused to say?) than my uncle.

Were but the news come that the solemnity is over—I am greatly mistaken in myself, if I should not be more easy than I am at present—But then I should be more teased, more importuned, than before. You tell me, the Countess of D. would come down: The very thought of that visit hurts me.

I have no doubt but by this time the knot is tied. God Almighty shower on the heads of both, the choicest of his blessings! I should be quite out of humour with myself, if I were not able to offer up this prayer as often as I pray for myself.

I beg of you, my dear, to speed to me the next Letters from Italy, be the contents what they will. You know I am armed. Shall the event I wish to be over, either surprise or grieve me; I hope not.

I will not pity Lady Olivia, because she threatened and raved. True Love rages not; threatens not. Yet a disappointment in Love is a dreadful thing; and may operate, in different minds, different ways, as I have read somewhere.

I shall write to all my friends in town, and at Colnebrooke: I trouble you not, therefore, with particular compliments to them.

How could you mention the names of Mr. and Mrs. Reeves, and say no more of them? I thought you loved them both. They are deserving of your love, and love you.

Never, I believe, did any young creature suffer in her mind by suspense as I have done for some months past. In the present situation of things I know not what further to write. What can I, my Charlotte?—Conjectural topics are reserved for my closet and pillow.

Adieu, and adieu, my beloved friend, my dear Lady G. Be good, and he happy! What a blessing, that both are in your power! May they ever be so! And may you make a good use of that power, prays


Volume V - lettera 28

Volume V - Letter 29


Bologna, July 8-19.

My heart is unusually sad. How imperfect is that happiness which we cannot enjoy without giving pain to another! The Count of Belvedere has been made acquainted with the hopeful turn in the mind of Clementina? and that, in all probability, she will be given as a reward to the man to whose friendly cares for her, and her brother, the whole family attribute the happy alteration: and late last night he gave me notice of his arrival in this city, and of his intention to pay me an early visit this morning.

I have just now had a message from Clementina by Camilla, with a request, that I will suspend my intended visit till the afternoon.

I asked Camilla, If she knew the reason of this; and of her being so early dispatched with it? She said, It was her young Lady's own order, without consulting any-body. The Marchioness, said she, yesterday in the afternoon, told her that every-thing was now absolutely determined upon between them and me and she would be mistress of her own wishes; and that I should be allowed to attend her in the morning at breakfast, to know what those were. Her young Lady, on this happy communication (so Camilla called it) threw herself at her mother's feet, and in a very graceful manner acknowledged her father's and her indulgence to her; and from that hour her temper took a turn different from what it had been before. For, ever since, said Camilla, she has been silent, solemn, and reserved; yet busy at her pen, transcribing fair from her pocket-book what she had written in it. To-morrow, Camilla!—To-morrow! said she breaking once her solemn silence, her complexion varying, will be a day indeed! O that it were come! and yet I dread it. How shall I, face to face, converse with this exalted man! What shall I do to appear as great as He? His goodness fires me with emulation!—O that to-morrow were come, and gone!

This was over night. I believe, proceeded Camilla, that the dear Lady is drawing up some conditions of her own for you to sign: But Sir, I dare say, by the hint she has thrown out, they will be generous ones, and what will have more of fancy than hardship in them.

I had much ado to prevail upon her, continued her faithful woman, to go to rest at midnight: Yet at four in the morning she arose, and went to her pen and ink; and about Six commanded me to call Laura to attend her, while I went to you with the message I have brought. I expostulated with her, and begged she would delay it till the Marchioness arose; but she began to be impatient: I have reason in my request, Camilla, said she. I must not be contradicted, or expostulated with: My head will not bear opposition, at this time. Is it a slight thing for such a poor creature as I have been, and am, to be put out of her course; Am I not to have a meeting with the Chevalier Grandison, on the most important act of my life? My mamma tells me, that I am to be now mistress of my own will; Don't you, Camilla, seek to control me. I shall not be prepared enough for the subject he will possibly talk to me upon, till the afternoon: And if I know he is in the house with an expectation of seeing me, I shall want the presence of mind I am struggling to obtain.

So, Sir, concluded Camilla, I have performed my duty. The dear Lady, I see, will be in too much confusion, if the important subject be not begun with precaution: But who shall instruct you in such delicate points as these? One thing, however, permit me, Sir, to observe: I have often known young Ladies go on courageously with a Lover, while the end in view has been distant, or there have been difficulties to encounter with; but when these difficulties are overcome, and they have ascended the hill they toiled up, they have turned round, and looked about them, with fear as strong as their hopes.

What the conditions may be—

But the Count of Belvedere is come.

Ten o'clock.

The Count accosted me, in return for the kindest reception I could give him, with an air of coldness and displeasure. I was surprised at a behaviour so different from his usual politeness, and the kindness he had ever shown me. I took notice to him of it. He asked me, If I would tell him faithfully what my present situation was with Lady Clementina?

I will, my Lord, if I tell you any-thing of it: But the temper of mind you seem to be in, may not, perhaps, for your own sake, any more than mine, make it prudent for me to comply with your expectations.

You need not give me any other answer, replied he. You seem to be sure of the Lady: But she must not, she shall not, be yours, while I am living.

It is not for me, my Lord, who have met with many amazing turns and incidents which I have not either invited or provoked, to be surprised at any-thing: But if your Lordship has any expectations, any demands, to make on this subject, it must be from the family of the Marchese della Porretta, and not from me.

Do you think, Sir, that I feel not the sting of this reference? And yet all the family, but one, are in my interest in their hearts; every consideration is on my side; not one, but the plausibility of your generosity, and the speciousness of your person and manners, on yours.

A man, my Lord, should not be reproached for qualities, upon which, whether he has them or not, he values not himself. But, let me ask you, Were my pretensions out of the question, has your Lordship any hope of an interest in the affections of Lady Clementina.

While she is unmarried, I may hope. Had you not come over to us, I make no doubt but I might in time, have called her mine. You cannot but know, that her absence of mind was no obstacle with me.

I am wholly satisfied in my own conduct, replied I: That, my Lord, is a great point with me: I am not accountable for it to any man on earth. Yet, if you have any doubts about it, propose them. I have a high opinion of the Count of Belvedere, and wish to have him think well of me.

Tell me, Chevalier, what your present situation is with Lady Clementina? What is concluded upon between the family and you? And whether Clementina herself has declared for you?

She has not yet declared herself to me. I repeat, that I have a value for the Count of Belvedere, and will therefore acquaint him with more than he has reason to expect from the humour which seems to have governed him in this visit.—I am to attend her this afternoon, by appointment: Her family and I understand one another. I have been willing to consider the natural impulses of a spirit so pure, tho' disturbed, as the finger of Providence. I have hitherto been absolutely passive: In honour I cannot now be so. This afternoon, my Lord—

'This afternoon,' trembling; What! this afternoon!—

Will my destiny, as to Lady Clementina, be determined.

I am distracted. If her friends are determined in your favour, it is from necessity, rather than choice: But if the Lady is left to her own determination, I am a lost man.

You have given a reason, my Lord, for your acquiescence, should Lady Clementina determine in my favour—But it cannot be a happy circumstance for me, if, as you hint, I am to enter into the family of Porretta as an unwelcome relation to any of them; and still less, if my good fortune shall make a man, justly valued by all who know him, unhappy.

And are you, this afternoon, Chevalier, to see Clementina for the purpose you intimate? This very afternoon?—And are you then to change your passive conduct towards her? And will you court, will you urge her to consent to be yours? Religion, Country—Let me tell you, Sir,—I must take resolutions. With infinite regret I tell you, that I must. You will not refuse to meet me. The consent is not yet given: You shall not rob Italy of such a prize. Favour me, Sir, this moment, without the city-gates.

Unhappy man! How much I pity you! You know my principles. It is hard, acting as I have done, to be thus invited. Acquaint yourself with my whole conduct in this affair, from the Bishop, from Father Marescotti, from the General himself, so much always your friend, and once so little mine. What has influenced them (so much as you seem to think against their inclinations) cannot want its influence upon a mind so noble as that of the Count of Belvedere. But whatever be your resolutions upon the enquiries I wish you to make, I tell you before-hand, that I never will meet you but as my friend.

He turned from me with emotion: He walked about the room as a man irresolute; and at last, with a wildness in his air, approached me.—I will go this instant, said he, to the family: I will see Father Marescotti, and the Bishop; and I will let them know my despair, And if I cannot have hope given me.—O Chevalier! once more I say, that Lady Clementina shall not be yours while I live.

He looked round him, as if he would not have anybody hear what he was going to say, but me, tho' no one was near; and whispering, It is better, said he, to die by your hand, than—He stopped; and in disorder hurried from me; and was out of sight when I got down to the door.

The Count, when he came up to me, left his valet below; who told Saunders that Lady Sforza had made his Lord a visit at Parma; and by something she related to him, had stimulated him to make this to me. He added, that he was very apprehensive of the humour he came in, and which he had held ever since he saw Lady Sforza.

How, my dear Dr. Bartlett, do the rash escape as they do; when I who endeavour to avoid embarrassments, and am not ready either to give or take offence, am hardly able to extricate myself from one difficulty, but I find myself involved in another? What cannot a woman do, when she resolves to make mischief among friends? Lady Sforza is a high-spirited and contriving woman. It is not for her interest that Clementina should marry at all: But yet, as the Count of Belvedere is a cool, a dispassionate man, and knows the views of that Lady, I cannot but wonder what those arts must be, by which she has been able to excite, in so calm a breast, a flame so vehement.

I am now hastening to the palace of Porretta; my heart not a little affected with the apprehensions, given me by Camilla's account of her young Lady's solemn, yet active turn, on the expected visit. For does it not indicate an imagination too much raised for the occasion (important as that is); and that her disorder is far from subsiding?

Volume V - lettera 29

Volume V - Letter 30


Bologna, Sat. Evening.

I sit down, now, my dear and reverend friend, to write to you particulars which will surprise you! Clementina is the noblest woman on earth! What at last—But I find I must have a quieter heart, and fingers too, before I can proceed.

* *

I think I am a little less agitated than I was. The above few lines shall go; for they will express to you the emotions of my mind, when I attempted to write an account of what had then so newly passed.

As soon as I entered the palace, Camilla met me, and conducted me to the Marchioness. The Marquis and the Bishop were with her. O Chevalier! said she, we have been greatly disturbed by a visit from the Count of Belvedere. Poor man!—He says he waited on you at your lodgings.

He did. I then, at the Bishop's request, told them all that had passed between us, except his last words, which implied, that it was better to die by the hand of another man, than by his own.

They expressed their concern for him, and their apprehensions for me; but I found that his unexpected visit had not altered their purpose in my favour. They were convinced, they told him, that the restoration of their daughter's tranquillity of mind depended upon giving her entirely her own way; and not one word more of opposition or contradiction should she meet with from them.

I have been hindered, said the Marchioness, by this unhappy man's visit, and his vehemence, which moved me to pity him (for I am afraid that he will be in our daughter's unhappy way) from watching in person the humour of my child; which, two hours ago, Camilla told me, was very particular. I was going to her, when you came; but I will send for Camilla.—She did.

As soon as she saw me in the morning, continued the Marchioness, she apologised to me for sending Camilla to you to suspend your visit till the afternoon. She was not, she said, prepared to see you.—I asked her, continued she, What preparation was wanted to see a man esteemed by us all, and who had given such instances of his regard to her?

Madam, answered she, and seemed as if gasping for breath, Am I not now to see him in a light, in which hitherto I never beheld him? I have a thousand things to say to him, none of which perhaps I shall be able to say, except he draws them from me. He hinted once, very lately, that he could only be rewarded by a family act. We cannot reward him; that is my grief: I must see him with a heart overwhelmed with obligation. He will appear as a prince to me: I must to myself as his vassal. I have been putting down, in writing, what I should say to him; but I cannot please myself. O madam! he is great in my eyes, because I am unable to reward him as he deserves. I told her, that her fortune, her quality, the sacrifice she would make of her Country (tho' never, I hoped, of her Religion) ought to give her a higher opinion of herself; tho' all these were far from cancelling the obligation we all were under to him, on our Jeronymo's account, as well as on hers.

Well, madam, replied she, Heaven only knows how I shall be able to behave to him, now you have left every thing to myself; and how he will talk to me, by permission, on a subject so new, yet so very interesting. O that this day were over!

I asked her, proceeded the Marchioness, if she would yet take further time?—A week, or more?

O no, said she: That must not be. I shall be prepared to see him, I hope, by the afternoon. Pray let him come then. I am very clear now, putting her hand to her forehead: I may not be so a week, nor a day hence.

Camilla then entered the room. Camilla, said the Marchioness, In what way is the dear creature now?

Ever since your Ladyship left her, she has been more reserved, and thoughtful; yet her spirits are high: Her mind seems full of the Chevalier's next visit; and twice, within this half-hour, she asked if he were come? She reads over and over, something she has written; lays it down, takes it up; walks about the room, sometimes with an air of dignity, at others hanging down her head. I don't like her frequent startings. Within this hour she has several times shed tears. She sighs often. She was not to be pleased with her dress. Once she would be in black; then in colours; then her white and silver was taken out: But that, she said, would give her a bridal appearance: She at last chose her plain white satin. She looks like an Angel. But O that her eyes, and her motions, showed greater composure!

You have a task before you, Chevalier, said the Bishop. What tokens are these of a disordered, yet a raised mind! We may see, from these extraordinary agitations, on the expectation of a conversation that is to end in her consent to crown your wishes, how much her heart has been in that event: May it be happy to you both!

I fear nothing, said the Marchioness, as to the happiness of my child, that lies within the power of the Chevalier: I am sure of his tenderness to her.

I think, said the Marquis, we will allow the Chevalier to carry his bride over to England for the first six months, and return with her to us in the second: It may give a new turn to the course of her ideas. The same places, the same persons, always in view, may sadden her reflecting heart. And, besides, the mind of the poor Count of Belvedere may be strengthened by this absence.

The Bishop applauded this thought. The Marchioness said, Reason may approve the motion; but can the mother so soon part with her child?—Yet for her happiness, I must submit.

Let us, said the Marquis, leave this to her choice, as the rest. Camilla, let my daughter know, that the Chevalier attends her pleasure. You would have it so, Chevalier?

I bowed my assent.

Camilla returned not presently: When she did; I could not come sooner, said she. My young Lady is strangely fluttered. I have been reasoning with her.—Madam, turning to the Marchioness, Will you be pleased to walk up to her?

Had this been the first interview, said the Bishop, I should not have wondered at her discomposure: But this disorder shows itself in a strange variety of shapes!

The Marchioness, attended by Camilla, went up. I was soon sent for. The Marchioness met me at the entrance of the young Lady's dressing-room—and retiring, whispered—I believe she had rather be alone with you. Dear creature! I don't know what to make of her. She has, I fancy, something to propose to you. Camilla, come with me. We will be but in the next room, Chevalier.

When I entered the room, the young Lady was sitting in a pensive mood, at her toilette; her hand supporting her head. A fine glow overspread her cheeks, as soon as she saw me: She arose, and, curtsying low, advanced a few steps towards me; but trembled, and looked now down, now aside, and now consciously glancing towards me.

I approached her, and, with profound respect, took her hand with both mine, and pressed it with my lips. I address not myself now to Lady Clementina as my pupil: I have leave given me to look upon her in a nearer light; and she will have the goodness to pardon the freedom of this address.

Ah, Chevalier! said she, turning her face from me, but not withdrawing her hand—And hesitating, as if not knowing how to speak her mind, sighed, and was silent.

I led her to her chair. She sat down, still trembling. God be praised, said I, bowing my face on both her hands, as I held them in mine, for the amended health of the Lady so dear to all who have the happiness of knowing her! May her recovery, and that of our dear Jeronymo, be perfected!

Happy man! said she, happy in the power given you to oblige as you have done!—But how, how shall I—O, Sir! you know not the conflict that has rent my heart in pieces, ever since—I forget when.—O Chevalier! I have not power—She stopped, wept, and remained silent.

It is in your power, madam, to make happy the man to whom you own obligations which are already overpaid.

I took my seat by her, at her silent motion to a chair.

Speak on, Sir: My Soul is labouring with great purposes. Tell me, tell me, all you have to say to me. My heart is too big for its prison, putting her hand to it: It wants room, methinks; yet utterance is denied me—Speak, and let me be silent.

Your Father, Mother, Brothers, Uncle, are all of one mind. I am permitted to open my heart to their Clementina; and I promise myself a gracious audience. Father Marescotti befriends me.—The terms, madam, are those I offered when I was last in Italy.

She hung down her head, in listening silence—

Every other year I am to be happy with my Clementina in England—

Your Clementina, Sir!—Ah Chevalier!—She blushed, and turned away her face—Your Clementina, Sir! repeated she—and looked pleased; yet a tear stole down on her glowing cheek.

Yes, madam, I am encouraged to hope you will be mine.—You are to have your confessor, madam, Father Marescotti will do me the honour of attending you in that function. His piety, his zeal, my own charity for all those who differ from me in opinion, my honour so solemnly engaged to the family who condescend to entrust me with their dearest pledge, will be your security.

Ah, Sir! interrupted she, And are not you then to be a Catholic?

You consented, madam, when I was last in Italy, that I should pursue the dictates of my conscience.

Did I? said she, and sighed!—Well, Sir—

Your father or mother, madam, will acquaint you with every other particular in which you shall want to be satisfied.

Tears stood in her eyes; she seemed in great perplexity. She would twice or thrice have spoken; but speech was denied her: At last, she gave me her hand, and directed her steps, trembling, to her closet. She entered it. Leave me, leave me, said she; and putting a paper in my hand, and shutting to the door, instantly, as I saw, fell on her knees; and I, to avoid hearing sobs which pierced my heart, went into the next apartment, where were her mother and Camilla, who had heard part of what had passed between us. The Marchioness went to her; but presently returning, The dear creature, said she, is quite sensible, thank God, tho' in grief. She besought me to leave her to her own struggles. If she could but be assured that you, Chevalier, would forgive her, she should be better. She had given you a paper. Let him read it, said she; and let me stay here till he sends for me, if he can bear in his sight, after he has read it, a creature unworthy of his goodness.—What, said the Marchioness, can be the meaning of all this?

I was as much surprised as she. I had not opened the paper, and offered to read it in her presence; but she desired to hear it read in her Lord's, if it were proper; and precipitately withdrew, leaving me in the young Lady's dressing-room, Camilla attending in the next apartment, to wait her commands. I was astonished at the contents. These are they (Note: Translated by Dr. Bartlett):

O Thou whom my heart best loveth, forgive me!—Forgive me, said I, for what?—For acting, if I am enabled to act, greatly? The example is from thee, who, in my eyes, art the greatest of human creatures. My duty calls upon me one way: My heart resists my duty, and tempts me not to perform it: Do thou, O God, support me in the arduous struggle! Let it not, as once before, overthrow my reason; my but just-returning reason!—O God! do thou support me, and strengthen my reason. My effort is great! It is worthy of the creature, which thou, Clementina, didst always aspire to be.

My Tutor, my Brother, my Friend! O most beloved and best of men! seek me not in marriage! I am unworthy of Thee. Thy SOUL was ever most dear to Clementina: Whenever I meditated the gracefulness of thy person, I restrained my eye, I checked my fancy: And how? Why, by meditating the superior graces of thy mind. And is not that SOUL, thought I, to be saved? Dear obstinate, and perverse! And shall I bind my Soul to a Soul allied to perdition? That so dearly loves that Soul, as hardly to wish to be separated from it in its future lot.—O thou most amiable of men! How can I be sure, that, were I thine, thou wouldst not draw me after thee, by Love, by sweetness of Manners, by condescending Goodness? I, who once thought a Heretic the worst of beings, have been already led, by the amiableness of thy piety, by the universality of thy charity to all thy fellow-creatures, to think more favourably of all Heretics, for thy sake? Of what force would be the admonitions of the most pious Confessor, were thy condescending goodness, and sweet persuasion, to be exerted to melt a heart wholly thine! I know that I should not forbear arguing with thee, in hopes to convince thee: Yet, sensible of thy superior powers, and of my duty, might I not be entangled? My Confessor would, in that case, grow uneasy with me. Women love not to be suspected. Opposition arises from suspicion and contradiction; thy Love, thy Gentleness, thrown in the other scale, should I not be lost?

And what have my Father, my Mother, my Brothers done, that I should show myself willing to leave them, and a beloved Country, for a Country but lately hated too, as well as the Religion? But now, that that hatred is gone off, and so soon, gives another instance of my weakness, and thy strength, O most amiable of men!—O thou, whom my Soul loveth, seek not to entangle me by thy Love! Were I to be thine, my duty to thee would mislead me from that I owe to my God, and make me more than temporarily unhappy: Since wert thou to convince me at the time, my doubts would return; and whenever thou wert absent, I should be doubly miserable. For canst Thou, can I, be indifferent in these high matters? Hast thou not shown me, that thou canst not? And shall I not be benefited by thy example? Shall a wrong Religion have a force, an efficacy, upon thee, which a right one cannot have upon me?—O thou most amiable of men! seek not to entangle me by thy Love!

But dost thou indeed love me? Or is it owing to thy generosity, thy compassion, thy nobleness, for a creature, who, aiming to be great like thee, could not sustain the effort? I call upon thee, blessed Virgin, to witness, how I formerly struggled with myself! How much I endeavoured to subdue that affection which I ever must bear to him!—Permit me, most generous of men, to subdue it! It is in thy power to hold me fast, or to set me free. I know thou lovest Clementina: It is her pride to think that thou dost. But she is not worthy of thee. Yet let thy heart own, that thou lovest her Soul, her immortal Soul, and her future peace. In that wilt thou show thy Love, as she has endeavoured to show hers. Thou art all magnanimity: Thou canst sustain the effort which she was unequal to. Make some other woman happy!—But I cannot bear that it shall be an Italian. If it must be an Italian, not Florence, but Bologna, shall give an Italian to thee!

But can I show thee this paper, which has cost me so many tears, so much study, so much blotting-out, and revising and transcribing, and which yet I drew up with an intent to show thee? I verily think I cannot: Nor will I, till I can see, by conversing with thee face to face, what I shall be enabled to do, in answer to prayers to Heaven, that it would enable me!—O how faint, at times, have been those prayers!

You, my Father, my Mother, my Brothers, and you my spiritual Father, pious and good man! have helped to subdue me, by your generous goodness. You have all yielded up your own judgments to mine. You have told me, that if the choice of my heart can make me happy, happy I shall be. But do I not know, that you have complied with me, for my sake only?—Shall I not, if it please God to restore my memory, be continually recollecting the arguments which you, Father Marescotti, in particular, formerly urged against an alliance with this noblest of men, because he was of a religion so contrary to my own, and so pertinacious in it? And will those recollections make me happy? O permit, permit me, my dearest friends, still to be God's child, the spouse of my Redeemer only! Let me, let me yet take the veil!— And let me, in a place consecrated to his glory, pass the remainder of my life (It may not be a long one) in prayers for you all, and in prayers for the conversion and happiness of the man, whose soul my soul loveth, and ever must love. What is the portion of this world, which my grandfathers have bequeathed to me, weighed against this motive, and my soul's everlasting welfare? Let me take a great revenge of my cruel cousin Laurana. Let hers be the estate so truly despised, and so voluntarily forfeited, by the happier Clementina!—Are we not all of us rich and noble? Shall I not have a great revenge, if I can be enabled to take it in this way?

O thou whom my soul loveth, let me try the greatness of thy love, and the greatness of thy soul, by thy endeavours to strengthen, and not impair, a resolution, which, after all, it will be in thy power to make me break or keep: For God only knoweth what this struggle from the first hath cost me; and what it will still further cost me! But, my brain wounded, my health impaired, can I expect a long life? And shall I not endeavour to make the close of it happy? Let me be great, my Chevalier! how fondly can I nevertheless call thee my Chevalier! Thou canst make the unhappy Clemantina what thou pleasest.

But, O my friends, what can we do for this great and good man, in return for the obligations he hath heaped upon us all? In return for his goodness to two of your children? These obligations lie heavy upon my heart. Yet who knows not his magnanimity? Who, that knows him, knows not that he can enjoy the reward in the action? Divine, almost divine, Philanthropist, canst thou forgive me?—But I know thou canst. Thou hast the same notions that I have of the brevity and vanity of this world's glory, and of the duration of that to come! And can I have the presumption to imagine, that the giving thee in marriage so wounded a frame, would be making thee happy? Once more, if I have the courage, the resolution, to show thee this paper, do thou enable me, by thy great example, to complete the conquest of myself; and do not put me upon taking advantage of my honoured friends generosity: But do God and thou enable me to say, Not my will, but his and theirs, be done!—Yet, after all, it must be, let me own, in thy choice (for I cannot bear to be thought ungrateful to such exalted merit) to add what name thou pleasest, to that of


Never was man more astonished, perplexed, confounded. For a few moments, I forgot that the angel was in her closet, expecting the issue of my contemplations; and walking out of her dressing-room, I threw myself on a sofa, in the next room, not heeding Camilla, who sat in the window. My mind tortured; how greatly tortured! Yet filled with admiration of the angelic qualities of Clementina, I tried to look again into the paper; but the contents were all in my mind, and filled it.

She rang. Camilla hastened to her. I started as she passed me. I arose; yet trembled: And for a moment sat down to re-assure my feet. But Camilla, coming to me, roused me out of the stupidity that had seized me. Never was I so little present to myself, as on this occasion—A woman so superior to all her own Sex, and to all that I had read of, of ours.—O Sir, said Camilla, my Lady dreads your anger. She dreads to see you: Yet hopes it—Hasten, hasten, and save her from fainting—O how she loves you! How she fears your displeasure!—Hers indeed is true Love!

She said this as she conducted me in, as I now recollect; for then all my faculties were too much engaged, to attend to her.

I hastened in. The admirable Lady met me halfway; and throwing herself at my feet—Forgive me, forgive the creature, who must be miserable, if you are offended with her.

I would have raised her but she would not be raised, she said, till I had forgiven her.

I kneeled to her, as she kneeled; and clasping her in my arms, Forgive you, madam! Inimitable woman! More than woman!—Can you forgive me for having presumed, or for still presuming, to hope such an angel mine!

She was ready to faint; and cast her arms about me to support herself. Camilla held to her her salts:—I myself, for the first time, was sensible of benefit from them, as my cheek was joined to hers, and bathed with her tears.

Am I, am I, forgiven—Say that I am!—

Forgive! madam! You have done nothing that requires forgiveness. I adore your greatness of mind!—What you wish, bid me be, and that I will be. Rise, most excellent of human creatures!

I raised her; and leading her to a chair, involuntarily kneeled on one knee to her, holding both her hands in mine as she sat; and looking up to her with eyes that spoke not my heart, if they were not full of love and reverence.

Camilla had run down to the Marchioness—O madam! it seems she said—Such a scene! Hasten, hasten up. They will faint in each other's arms. Virtuous Love! how great is thy glory!

The Marquis, his Lady, the Bishop, the Count, and Father Marescotti, were together, waiting the event of my visit. They were surprised at Camilla's address—But little imagined to what the intellectual scene she spoke of, was owing.

The Marchioness hastened after Camilla, and found me in this kneeling posture, her daughter's hands both in mine—Dear Chevalier, said she, restrain your grateful rapture! For the sake of the sweet child's head, grateful as I see by her eyes it must be to her—restrain it.

O madam, quitting Clementina's hands, and rising, and taking one of hers—Glory in your daughter? You always loved and admired her; but you will now glory in her. She is an angle—Give me leave, madam (to Clementina) to present this paper to the Marchioness. I give it to her—Read it, madam—Let your Lord, let the Bishop, let Father Marescotti, read it—But read it with compassion for me; and then direct me what to say, what to do! I resign myself wholly to your direction, and theirs; and to yours, my dear Lady Clementina.

You say, you forgive me, Chevalier:—Now shall I forgive myself. God's goodness and yours will, I hope, perfectly restore me. This is my direction, Chevalier—Love my MIND, as yours ever was the principal object of my love!

What, what, my dear, can be in this paper? said the Marchioness, holding it in her hand, trembling, and afraid to open it. Pardon me, madam, answered Clementina—I could not show it to you first. I could not reveal my purpose to Camilla neither. How could I, when I knew not whether I could or could not maintain it, or even mention it?—But now, best of men, and, rising, laid her hand on my arm, leave me for a few moments. My heart is disturbed. Be so good as to excuse me, madam.

She again retired to her closet. We heard her sob: And Camilla hastening to her—O these hysterical disorders! said she—They tear her tender constitution in pieces.

The Marchioness left her to Camilla; and offered me her hand. Surprising! said she, as we went. Where will all this end? What can be in this paper?

I was unable to answer. And coming to the passage that led to her drawing-room, where she had left the gentlemen, I bowed on her hand; and, the same passage leading to the back-stairs, took that way into the garden, in order to try to recover and compose my spirits—Who, my dear friend, could have expected such a turn as this?

I had not walked long, before Mr. Lowther came to me—Signor Jeronymo, Sir, said he, is greatly disturbed, on reading a paper that has been put into his hands. He begs to see you instantly.

Mr. Lowther left me at Jeronymo's chamber-door. He was on his couch. O my Grandison, said he, as I approached him with a thoughtful air, how much am I concerned for you! I cannot bear, that such a spirit as yours should be subjected to the petulance of a brain-sick girl!

Hush, my Jeronymo! Let not the friend forget the brother. Clementina is the noblest of women. It is true, I was not prepared for this blow. But I reverence her for her greatness of mind—You have read her paper?

I have; and am astonished at its contents.

The Marquis, the Count, the Bishop, and Father Marescotti, entered. The Bishop embraced me. He disclaimed, in the name of every one, the knowledge of her intentions: He expected, he said, that she would have received my address with raptures of joy. But she must, she will, be yours, Chevalier. We are all engaged in honour to you. This is only a start of female delicacy, operating on a raised imagination. She leaves it to you, after all, to call her by what name you please.

May it be so! But ah, my Lords! you see not the force of her arguments. With a Lady so zealous in her religion, and so justly fond of her relations and country, they must have weight—Instruct me, tell me, however, my Lords: Be pleased, madam [The Marchioness joined us just before] to advise me, what to do—I am yours.—I will withdraw. Consult together; and let me know what I am to be.

I withdrew, and walked again into the garden.

Camilla came to me. O Chevalier! What strange things are these? My Lady has taken a resolution she never will be able to support. She commanded me to find you out, and to watch your looks, your behaviour, your temper. She cannot live, she says, if you are displeased with her—I see that your mind is greatly disturbed. Must I report it so?

Tell her, Camilla, that I am all resignation to her will: Disturbed as she has been, tell her, that her peace of mind is dear to me as my own life: That I can have no anger, no resentment; and that I admire her more than I can express.

Camilla left me. Father Marescotti came to me presently after, with a request, that I would attend the family in Jeronymo's chamber.

We went up together. All that the good Father said, as we walked in, was, that God knew what was best for us: For his part, he could only wonder and adore in silence.

When we were all seated, the Bishop said, My dear Chevalier, you have entitled yourself to our utmost gratitude. It is confirmed, that Clementina shall be yours. Jeronymo will have it so: We are all of his mind. Her mother will enter into conversation with her in your favour.

I am equally obliged and honoured by this goodness. But should she persist, what can I say, when she calls upon me in the most solemn manner, to support her in her resolution; and not to put her upon taking advantage of the generosity of her friends?

She will be easily persuaded, no doubt, Chevalier, answered the Bishop. She loves you. Does she not say in this very paper, "that it is in your power to make her break or keep her resolution? and to add what name you please to her Christian name?"

Nor can I, said the Marquis, bear that flight, in Laurana's favour. If her mind were found, her duty would not permit her to think of it.

It is our unanimous opinion, resumed the Bishop, that she will not be able to support her resolution. You see she is obliged to court your assistance, to enable her to keep it. Father Marescotti, it is true, has laid a stress upon some passages, in which she shows a doubt of her own strength, and dreads yours in a certain article nearest our hearts: But she must be cautioned to leave all arguments of that kind to her confessor and you; and to content herself to be an auditor, not an arguer; and we doubt not your honour. The marriage-articles will bind you, as they shall us—And now allow me to be before-hand with your Jeronymo, and ours, in saluting you our Brother.

He took my hand; and, embracing me as such, You deal nobly with me, my Lord, said I. I resign myself to your direction.

Jeronymo affectionately held out his arms, and joyfully saluted me as his Brother. The Marquis, the Count, each took my hand: And, the Marchioness offering hers, I pressed it with my lips; and, withdrawing, hastened to my lodgings; with a heart, O Dr. Bartlett, how penetrated by a suspense so strange and unexpected!

But when they attribute to flight, and unsoundness of mind, that glorious passage, in which she proposes to take a revenge so noble on the cruel Laurana, they seem unable to comprehend, as I can easily do, the greatness of mind of this admirable woman.

Volume V - lettera 30

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