Susannah Minific Gunning
Part 1 out of 4
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SERIES of LETTERS.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
Printed for T. CADELL, (Successor to Mr. MILLAR) in the Strand; and J.
PAYNE, in Pasternoster-Row.
Lady MARY SUTTON, at the German Spaw, to Miss WARLEY, in England.
How distressing, how heart-rending, is my dear Fanny's mournful
detail!--It lies before me; I weep over it!--I weep not for the departed
saint: no; it is for you, myself, for all who have experienced her
god-like virtues!--Was she not an honour to her sex? Did she not merit
rewards too great for this world to bestow?--Could the world repay her
innocence, her piety, her resignation? Wipe away, my best love, the mark
of sorrow from your cheek. Perhaps she may be permitted to look down: if
so, will she smile on those that grieve at her entering into the
fullness of joy?--Here a sudden death cannot be called dreadful. A life
like hers wanted not the admonitions of a sick-bed;--her bosom accounts
always clear, always ready for inspection, day by day were they held up
to the throne of mercy.--Apply those beautiful lines in the Spectator to
her; lines you have so often admir'd.--How silent thy passage; how
private thy journey; how glorious thy end! Many have I known more
famous, some more knowing, not one so innocent.--Hope is a noble support
to the drooping head of sorrow.--Though a deceiver, court her, I counsel
you;--she leads to happiness;--we shall bless her deceptions:--baffling
our enjoyments here, she teaches us to look up where every thing is
permanent, even bliss most exquisite.
Mr. Whitmore you never knew, otherwise would have wonder'd how his
amiable wife loiter'd so long behind.--Often she has wish'd to be
reunited to him, but ever avoided the subject in your presence.
Keep not from me her rich bequest:--_rich_ indeed,--her most valuable
treasure.--That I could fold you to my arms!--But hear me at a
distance;--hear me call you my beloved daughter,--and suppose what my
transports will be when I embrace an only child:--yes, you are mine,
till I deliver you up to a superior affection.
Lay aside, I conjure you, your fears of crossing the sea.--Mr. and Mrs.
Smith intend spending part of this winter at Montpelier: trust yourself
with them; I shall be there to receive you at the Hotel de Spence.
The season for the Spaw is almost at an end. My physicians forbid my
return to England till next autumn, else I would fly to comfort,--to
console my dearest Fanny,--We shall be happy together in France:--I can
love you the same in all places.
My banker has orders to remit you three hundred pounds;--but your power
is unlimited; it is impossible to say, my dear, how much I am in your
debt.--I have wrote my housekeeper to get every thing ready for your
reception:--consider her, and all my other servants, as your own.--I
shall be much disappointed if you do not move to the Lodge
immediately.--You shall not,--must not,--continue in a house where every
thing in and about it reminds you of so great a loss.--Miss West, Miss
Gardner, Miss Conway, will, at my request, accompany you thither.--The
Menagerie,--plantations, and other places of amusement, will naturally
draw them out;--you will follow mechanically, and by that means be kept
from indulging melancholy.--Go an-airing every day, unless you intend I
shall find my horses unfit for service:--why have you let them live so
I revere honest Jenkings--he is faithful,--he will assist you with his
advice on all occasions.--Can there be a better resource to fly to, than
a heart governed by principles of honour and humanity?
Write, my dear, to Mrs. Smith, and let me know if the time is fixed for
their coming over.--Say you will comply with the request my heart is so
much set on;--say you will be one of the party.
My health and spirits are better:--the latter I support for your
sake;--who else do I live for?--Endeavour to do the same, not only for
me, but _others_, that one day will be as dear to you as you are to
Your truly affectionate,
Miss WARLEY to Lady MARY SUTTON.
BARFORD ABBEY! _Yes_, my dearest Lady,--I date from Barford Abbey: a
house I little thought ever to have seen, when I have listened hours to
a description of it from Mr. Jenkings.--What are houses,--what palaces,
in competition with _that_ honour, _that_ satisfaction, I received by
your Ladyship's last letter!--The honour all must acknowledge;--the
satisfaction is not on the surface,--_it centers in the heart_.--I feel
too much to express any thing.--One moment an orphan; next the adopted
child of Lady Mary Sutton.--What are titles, except ennobled by virtue!
_That_ only makes a coronet fit graceful on the head;--_that_ only is
the true ornament of greatness.
Pardon my disobedience.--Can there be a stronger command than your
request?--But, my Lady, I must have died,--my life _must_ have been the
sacrifice, had I gone to the Lodge.--The windows opposite, the windows
of that little mansion where I spent nineteen happy years with my
angelic benefactress,--could it be borne?--Your Ladyship's absence
too;--what an aggravation;--The young ladies you kindly propose for my
companions, though very amiable, could not have shut my eyes, or
deaden'd my other senses.
Now let me account for being at Barford Abbey.--Was Mr. Jenkings my
father, I think I could not love him more; yet when he press'd me to
return with him to Hampshire, I was doubtful whether to consent, till
your Ladyship's approbation of him was confirmed in so particular a
manner.--His son an only one;--the fine fortune he must possess;--these
were objections not only of _mine_, but, I believe, of my dear,
dear--Oh! my Lady, I cannot yet write her name.--Often has she check'd
Mr. Jenkings, when he has solicited to take me home with him:--her very
looks spoke she had something to fear from such a visit.--She loved
me;--the dear angel loved me with maternal affection, but her partiality
never took place of noble, generous sentiments.--Young people, she has
frequently said, are, by a strict intimacy, endeared to each other.
This, I doubt not, was her motive for keeping me at a distance.--She
well knew my poor expectations were ill suited to his large ones.--I
know what was her opinion, and will steadily adhere to it.
Edmund, to do him common justice, is a desirable youth:--such a one as I
can admire his good qualities, without another with than to imitate
them.--Monday, the tenth, I took my leave of Hillford Down, and, after a
melancholy journey, arrived Tuesday evening at Mr. Jenkings's.--Nothing
did I enjoy on the road;--in spight of my endeavours, tears stream'd
from my eyes incessantly;--even the fine prospects that courted
attention, pass'd unnotic'd.--My good conductor strove to draw me off
from gloomy subjects, but in vain, till we came within a few miles of
his house; then of a sudden I felt a serenity, which, for some time, has
been a stranger to my breast;--a serenity I cannot account for.
_Mrs. Jenkings!_--never shall I forget her humanity. She flew to the
chaise the instant it stopp'd, receiv'd me with open arms, and conducted
me to the parlour, pouring out ten thousand welcomes, intermingled with
fond embraces.--She is, I perceive, one of those worthy creatures, who
make it a point to consider their husbands friends as their own; in my
opinion, the highest mark of conjugal happiness.
Plac'd in a great chair next the fire, every one was busied in something
or other for my refreshment.--One soul,--one voice,--one manner, to be
seen in the father,--mother,--son:--they look not on each other but with
a smile of secret satisfaction. _To me_ their hearts speak the same
expressive language;--their house,--their dress,--their words, plainly
elegant.--Envy never stops at such a dwelling;--nothing there is fit for
her service:--no pomp,--no grandeur,--no ostentation.--I slept sweetly
the whole night;--sweetly!--not one disagreeable idea intruded on my
Coming down in the morning, I found breakfast on the table, linen white
as snow, a large fire,--every thing that speaks cleanliness, content,
and plenty.--The first thing in a house which attracts my notice is the
fire;--I conclude from that, if the hearts of the inhabitants are warm
or cold.--Our conversation was interesting;--it might have lasted, for
aught I know, till dinner, had it not been interrupted by the entrance
of Sir James and Lady Powis.--I knew Mr. Jenkings was their steward, but
never expected they came to his house with such easy freedom.--We arose
as they entered:--I was surprised to see Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings appear
confused;--in my opinion, their visitors accosted them more like
_equals_ than _dependants_.
Your Ladyship cannot imagine how greatly I was prepossessed in their
favour even before they spoke.--In their manner was something that
struck me excessively;--few--very few--can express the nameless beauties
of grace,--never to be seen but in a carriage sweetly humble.
Lady Powis seated herself opposite to me.--We called, said she,
addressing Mr. Jenkings, to inquire what was become of you, fearing your
Oxfordshire friends had stolen you from us;--but you have made up for
your long absence, if this is the young lady, bowing to me, your wife
told us was to return with you.--A politeness so unexpected,--so
deliver'd,--visibly affected me:--I sat silent, listening for the reply
Mr. Jenkings would make.
Pardon me, my Lady! pardon me, Miss Warley! said the good man,--I am a
stranger to punctilio;--I see my error:--I should have acquainted your
Ladyship before with the name of this dear young Lady; I should have
said she is an honour to her friends.--Need I tell Miss Warley, Sir
James and Lady Powis are present:--I hope the deportment of their
_servant_ has confirmed it;--I hope it has.
Sir James kindly took his hand, and, turning to me, said, Don't believe
him, Madam, he is not our servant;--he has been our _friend_ forty
years; we flatter ourselves he deems not _that_ servitude.
Not your _servant!_--not your _dependant!_--not your _servant_, Sir
James!--and was running on when her Ladyship interrupted him.
Don't make me angry, Jenkings;--don't pain me;--hear the favour I have
to ask, and be my advocate:--it is with Miss Warley I want you to be my
advocate.--Then addressing herself to me, Will you, Madam, give me the
pleasure of your company often at the Abbey?--I mean, will you come
there as if it was your home?--Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings have comforts, I
have not,--at least that I can enjoy.--Here she sigh'd deeply;--so deep,
that I declare it pierced through my heart;--I felt as if turn'd into
stone;--what I suppose I was a true emblem of.--The silent friends that
trickled down my cheeks brought me back from that inanimate state,--and
I found myself in the embraces of Lady Powis, tenderly affectionate, as
when in the arms of Mrs. Whitmore.--Judge not, Madam, said I, from my
present stupidity, that I am so wanting in my head or heart, to be
insensible of this undeserv'd goodness.--With Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings's
permission, I am devoted to your Ladyship's service.--_Our_ approbation!
Miss Warley, return'd the former;--_yes, that_ you have:--her Ladyship
cannot conceive how happy she has made us.--Sir James seconded his Lady
with a warmth perfectly condescending:--no excuse would be taken; I must
spend the next day at the Abbey; their coach was to attend me.
Our amiable guests did not move till summoned by the dinner-bell, which
is plainly to be heard there.--I thought I should have shed tears to see
them going.--I long'd to walk part of the way, but was afraid to propose
it, lest I should appear presumptuous.--Her Ladyship perceiv'd my
inclinations,--look'd delighted,--and requested my company; on which Mr.
Jenkings offer'd his service to escort me back.
How was I surpris'd at ascending the hill!--My feet seem'd leading me to
the first garden--the sweet abode of innocence!--Ten thousand beauties
broke on my sight;--ten thousand pleasures, before unknown, danced
through my heart.--Behold me on the summit;--behold me full of
surprise,--full of admiration!--How enchanting the park! how clear the
river that winds through it!--What taste,--what elegance, in the
plantations!--How charmingly are Nature's beauties rang'd by art!--The
trees,--the shrubs,--the flowers,--hold up their heads, as if proud of
the spot they grow on!--Then the noble old structure,--the magnificent
mansion of this ancient family, how does it fire the beholder with
veneration and delight! The very walls seem'd to speak; at least there
was something that inform'd _me_, native dignity, and virtues
hereditary, dwelt within them.
The sight of a chaise and four, standing at the entrance, hurried me
from the charming pair of this paradise, after many good days ecchoed
to me, and thanks respectful return'd them by the same messenger.
Mr. Jenkings, in our return, entertain'd me with an account of the
family for a century past. A few foibles excepted in the character of
Sir James, I find he possesses all the good qualities of his ancestors.
Nothing could be more pleasing than the encomiums bestow'd on Lady
Powis; but she is not exempt from trouble: the _good_ and the _bad_ the
_great_ and the _little_, at some time or other, feel Misfortune's
touch. Happy such a rod hangs over us! Were we to glide on smoothly, our
affections would be fixed here, and here only.
I could love Lady Powis with a warmth not to be express'd;--but--forgive
me, my dear lady--I pine to know why _your_ intimacy was
interrupted.--Of _Lady Mary's_ steadiness and integrity I am
convinc'd;--of _Lady Powis_ I have had only a transitory view.--Heaven
forbid she should be like such people as from my heart I despise, whose
regards are agueish! Appearances promise the reverse;--but what is
appearance? For the generality a mere cheat, a gaudy curtain.
Pardon me, dear Lady Powis--I am distress'd,--I am perplex'd; but I do
not think ill of you;--indeed I cannot,--unless I find--_No_, I cannot
find it neither;--something tells me _Lady Mary_, my dear honour'd Lady
Mary, will acquit you.
We were receiv'd by Mrs. Jenkings, at our return, with a chearful
countenance, and conducted to the dining-parlour, where, during our
comfortable, meal, nothing was talk'd of but Sir James and Lady
Powis:--the kind notice taken of your Fanny mentioned with transport.
Thus honour'd,--thus belov'd,--dare I repine?--Why look on past
enjoyments with such a wistful eye!--Mrs. Whitmore, my dear maternal
Mrs. Whitmore, cannot be recall'd!--Strange perversenss!--why let that
which would give me pleasure fleet away!--why pursue that which I cannot
overtake!--No gratitude to heaven!--Gratitude to you, my dearest Lady,
shall conquer this perverseness;--even now my heart overflows like a
Good night, good night, dear Madam; I am going to repose on the very bed
where, for many years, rested the most deserving of men!--The
housekeeper has been relating many of his virtues;--so many, that I long
to see him, _though only in a dream_.
Was it not before Mr. Powis went abroad, that your ladyship visited at
the Abbey?--Yet, if so, I think I should have heard you mention
him.--Merit like his could never pass unnotic'd in a breast so
similar--Here I drop my pen, lest I grow impertinent.--Once again, good
night,--my more than parent:--to-morrow, at an early hour, I will begin
the recital to your Ladyship of this day's transactions--I go to implore
every blessing on your head, the only return that can be offer'd by
Miss WARLEY to Lady MARY SUTTON, in continuation.
I think I have told your Ladyship, I was to be honour'd with the coach
to convey me to the Abbey.--About half an hour after one it arriv'd,
when a card was deliver'd me from Lady Powis, to desire my friends would
not be uneasy, if I did not return early in the evening, as she hop'd
for an agreeable party at whist, Lord Darcey being at the Abbey.
Mrs. Jenkings informed me, his Lordship was a ward of Sir James's just
of age;--his estate genteel, not large;--his education liberal,--his
person fine,--his temper remarkably good.--Sir James, said she, is for
ever preaching lessons to him, that he must marry _prudently_;--which
is, that he must never marry without an immense fortune.--Ah! Miss
Warley, this same love of money has serv'd to make poor Lady Powis very
unhappy. Sir James's greatest fault is covetousness;--but who is without
fault?--Lord Darcey was a lovely youth, continued she, when he went
abroad; I long to see if he is alter'd by travelling.--Edmund and his
Lordship were school-fellows:--how my son will be overjoy'd to hear he
is at the Abbey!--I detain you, Miss Warley, or could talk for ever of
Lord Darcey! Do go, my dear, the family will expect you.--Promise, said
I, taking her hand,--_promise_ you will not sit up late on my
account.--She answer'd nothing, but pressing me to her bosom, seem'd to
tell me her heart was full of affection.
The old coachman, as we drove up the lawn, eyed me attentively, saying
to the footman, _It will be so, John, you may depend upon it_.--John
answer'd only by a shrug.--What either meant, I shall not pretend to
divine.--As I came near the house, I met Mr. Jenkings almost out of
breath, and, pulling the string, he came to the coach-side. I was
hurrying home, my dear young Lady, said he, to--to--to--Now faith I'm
afraid you'll be angry.
Angry with you, Sir!--angry with you, Mr. Jenkings!--is it possible!
Then, to be plain, Madam, I was hurrying home, to request you would wear
no cap.--Never shall I forget how pretty you look'd, when I saw you
without one!--Of all things, I would _this day_ wish you might look your
To satisfy him I had taken some little pains in honour to the family, I
let back the hood of my cloke.--He examin'd the manner in which my hair
was dress'd, and smiled his approbation;--which _smile_, though only
seen in the eyes, was more expressive than a contraction of all the
other features.--Wishing me a happy day, he bid the coachman drive on.
Coming within sight of the Abbey, my heart beat as if breaking from
confinement.--I was oblig'd to call it to a severe trial,--to ask, Why
this insurrection,--whence these tumults?--My monitor reply'd, Beware of
self-sufficiency,--beware of its mortifying consequences.--
How seasonable this warning against the worst of foes!--a foe which I
too much fear was stealing on me imperceptibly,--else why did I not
before feel those sensations?--Could I receive greater honour than has
been conferr'd on me by the noblest mind on earth!--by _Lady
Mary?_--Could I behold greater splendor than _Lady Mary_ is possess'd
of!--What affection in another can I ever hope for like _Lady
Mary's!_--Thus was I arguing with myself, when the coach-door open'd,
and a servant conducted me to the drawing-room,--where, I was receiv'd
by Sir James and Lady Powis with an air of polite tenderness;--a kind of
unreserve, that not only supports the timid mind, but dignifies every
word,--every action,--and gives to education and address their highest
Lord Darcey was sitting in the window, a book in his hand;--he came
forward as Sir James introduc'd me, who said, _Now_, my Lord, the
company of _this_ young Lady will make your Lordship's time pass more
agreeably, than it could have done in the conversation of two old
people.--My spirits were flutter'd; I really don't recollect his reply;
only that it shew'd him master of the great art, to make every one
pleas'd with themselves.
Shall I tell you, my dear Lady, what are my thoughts of _this_ Lord
Darcey?--To confess then, though his person is amazingly elegant, his
manners are still more engaging.--This I look upon to be the natural
consequence of a mind illumin'd with uncommon understanding, sweetness,
A short time before dinner the chaplain made his appearance,--a
venerable old man, with hair white as snow:--what renders his figure to
be completely venerated, is the loss of sight.--Her Ladyship rising from
her seat, led me towards him: Mr. Watson, said she, I am going to
introduce a lady whose _brightest charms_ will soon be visible to
you.--The best man in the world! whisper'd she, putting my hand in
his;--which hand I could not avoid putting to my lips.--_Thank_ you,
Miss Warley, said her Ladyship, _we all_ revere this gentleman.--Mr.
Watson was affected, some drops stole from their dark prisons, and he
bless'd me as if I had been his daughter:--my pleasure was
exquisite,--it seem'd as if I had receiv'd the benediction of an angel.
Our subjects turn'd more on the celestial than the terrestrial, till
dinner was serv'd up,--when I found that good _knight_ which has been so
long banish'd to the side-board, replac'd in his original station.
How different _this table_ from many others! where genteel sprightly
conversations are shut out; _where_ such as cannot feast their senses on
the genius of a _cook_, must rise unsatisfied.
A similitude of manners between your _Ladyship_ and _Lady Powis_,
particularly in doing the honours of the table, struck me so much, that
I once or twice call'd her _Lady Mary_.--Pray, Miss Warley, ask'd she,
who is this Lady Mary?
What could occasion her confusion!--what could occasion the confusion of
Sir James!--Never did I see any thing equal it, when I said it was Lady
Mary Sutton!--The significant looks that were interchang'd, spoke some
mystery;--a mystery it would be presumption in me to dive after. Her
Ladyship made no reply,--Sir James was eager to vary the subject,--and
the conversation became general.
Though autumn is far advanc'd, every thing here wears the face of
spring.--The afternoon being remarkably fine Lady Powis, Lord Darcey,
and myself, strolled out amongst the sweets.--We walk'd a considerable
time; his Lordship was all gaiety, talk'd with raptures of the
improvements; declar'd every thing he had seen abroad fell short of this
delightful spot; and _now_, my dear Lady Powis, added he, with an air of
gallantry, I can see _nothing_ wanting.
_Nothing_ wanting! return'd her Ladyship, sighing:--Ah! my Lord, _you_
are not a parent!--you feel nothing of a parent's woe!--_you_ do not
hourly regret the absence of a beloved and only son! Don't look serious,
my dear Lord, seeing him somewhat abash'd, you have hitherto tenderly
loved me.--Perhaps I had a mind to augment your affection, by bringing
to your recollection I was not happy.--His Lordship made no reply, but,
taking her hand, lifted it respectfully to his lips.
Mr. Jenkings is this moment coming up the lawn. I see him from
window;--excuse me, my dear Lady, whilst I step to ask him how he does.
I have been accounting to Mr. Jenkings for not coming home last night.
Good man! every mark of favour I receive, enlightens _his
countenance_.--The reasons I have given him, I shall now proceed to give
I said we were walking;--I have said the conversation was
interesting;--but I have not said it was interrupted by Sir James and
Mr. Watson, who join'd us just as Lord Darcey had quitted the hand of
Lady Powis.--A visit was propos'd to the Dairy-house, which is about a
mile from the Abbey.--In our way thither, I was full of curiosity, full
of inquiries about the neighbourhood, and whose seats _such_ and _such_
were, that enrich'd adjacent hills?--The neighbourhood, reply'd her
Ladyship, is in general polite and hospitable.--_Yes_, said Sir James,
and more smart young men, _Miss Warley_, than are to be met with in
_every_ county.--Yonder, continued he, live Mr. and Mrs. Finch,--very
rich,--very prudent, and very worthy;--they have one son, a discreet
lad, who seems to promise he will inherit their good qualities.
_That_ which you see so surrounded with woods, is Sir Thomas Slater's, a
_batchelor_ of fifty-five; and, let me tell you, fair Lady, the pursuit
of _every_ girl in the neighbourhood;--his estate a clear nine thousand
a-year, and--Hold, hold, interrupted Lord Darcey, in compassion to _us_
young fellows, say no more of this _redoubtable_ batchelor.
Well then, continued Sir James, since my Lord _will_ have it so,--let me
draw your eye, Miss Warley, from Sir Thomas Slater's, and fix it on Lord
Allen's: Observe the situation!--Nothing can be more beautiful, the
mind of its owner excepted.
_That_ house on the left is Mr. Winter's.--Chance!--_Strange
chance!_--has just put him in possession of an immense fortune, with
which he is going to purchase a _coronet_ for his daughter.--The fellow
does not know what to do with his _money_, and has at last found an
_ape_ of quality, that will take _it_ off his hands.
In this manner was Sir James characterising his neighbours, when a
sudden and violent storm descended.--Half a mile from the _Dairy-house_,
the rain fell in such torrents, that we were wet through, before a
friendly oak offer'd us its shelter.--Never shall I forget my own or
Lord Darcey's figure: he stripp'd himself of his coat, and would have
thrown it over Lady Powis. Her Ladyship absolutely refusing it, her
cloak being thick, mine the reverse, he forc'd it upon me. Sir James a
assisting to put my arms into the sleeves.--Nor was I yet enough of the
amazon:--they even compell'd me to exchange my hat for his, lapping it,
about my ears.--What a strange _metamorphose!_--I cannot think of it
without laughing!--To complete the scene, no exchange could be made,
till we reach'd the Abbey.--In this droll situation, we waited for the
coach; and getting, in, streaming from head to toe, it more resembled a
bathing machine, than any other vehicle.
A gentleman, who, after a chace of ten hours, had taken shelter under
the roof of Sir James, was, at our return, stamping up and down, the
vestibule, disappointed both in his sport and dinner, shew'd an aspect
cloudy as the heavens.--My mortification was scarce supportable, when I
heard him roar out, in a voice like thunder, _What the devil have we
here?_--I sprang to the top of the stairs in a moment,--there stopp'd to
fetch breath; and again the same person, who had so genteelly accosted
me, said to Lord Darcey,--_Great_ improvements, upon my soul!--_You_ are
return'd a mighty pretty _Miss_.--What, is _this_ the newest dress at
Turin?--I heard no more; her Ladyship's woman came and shew'd me to an
apartment,--bringing from her Lady's wardrobe a chints negligee, and a
suit of flower'd muslin; in which I was soon equipp'd.
Lady Powis sent to desire I would come to her dressing room; and,
embracing me as I entered, said, with, an air of charming freedom, If
you are not hurt, my dear, by our little excursion, I shall be quite in
spirits this evening.
I am only hurt by your Ladyship's goodness. Indeed, return'd she, I have
not a close heart, but no one ever found so quick a passage to it as
yourself.--Oh! Lady Mary, _this_ is surely a _heart_ like yours!--A
_heart_ like Mrs. Whitmore's!--Was you not surpris'd, _my dear_,
continued her Ladyship, to be so accosted by the gentleman below?--Take
no notice of what is said by Mr. Morgan.--that is his name;--he means
well, and never goes into any person's house, but where his oddities are
indulg'd.--I am particularly civil to him; he was an old school-fellow
of Sir James's, one whose purse was always open to him.--Sir James, Miss
Warley, was rather addicted to extravagance in the beginning of his
life;--_that_, in some respects, is revers'd latterly.--I have been a
sufferer,--yet is he a tender generous husband. One day you shall know
more.--I _had_ a son, Miss Warley--Here Sir James interrupted her.--I
come to tell you, said he, that Lord Darcey and myself are impatient for
O fie! Sir James, return'd Lady Powis, talk of impatience before an
unmarried Lady!--If you go on at this rate, you will frighten her from
any connection with your sex.--Not at all,--not at all, said Sir James;
you take us for better for worse.--See there, Miss Warley smiles.--I
warrant she does not think my _impatience_ unseasonable.--I was going to
reply, but effectually stopped by her Ladyship, who said, taking my
hand, Come, my dear, let us go down.--I am fond of finding excuses for
Sir James; we will suppose it was not he who was impatient:--we will
suppose the _impatience_ to be Lord Darcey's.
Whilst regaling ourselves at the tea table, Mr. Morgan was in the
dining-parlour, brightening up his features by the assitance of the cook
and butler.--We were congratulating each other on the difference of our
present and late situation, declaring there was nothing to regret, when
Mr. Morgan enter'd.--Regret! cry'd he,--what do you regret?--Not, I
hope, that I have made a good dinner on a cold sirloin and pickled
oysters?--Indeed I do, said Lady Powis:--Had I thought you so poor a
caterer, I should have taken the office on myself.--Faith then, reply'd
he, you might have eat it yourself:--Forty years, my good Lady, I have
made this house my home, and did I ever suffer you to direct _what_, or
_when_, I should eat?--
Sir James laugh'd aloud; so did her Ladyship:--I was inclin'd to do the
same,--but afraid what next he would say;--However, this caution did not
screen me from particular notice.
What the duce have I here! said he, taking one of my hands,--a snow-ball
by the colour, and feeling? and down he dropp'd it by the side of Lord
Darcey's, which rested on the table.
I was never more confounded.
You are not angry, my pretty Lady, continued he:--we shall know one
another better;--but if you displease me,--I shall thunder.--I keep all
in subjection, except the _muleish kind_, making a low bow to Sir James.
Saying this, he went in pursuit of Mr. Watson.--They soon re-enter'd
together; a card-table was produc'd; and we sat down at it, whilst they
solac'd themselves by a good fire.
My attention was frequently taken from the cards, to observe how it was
possible such opposites as Mr. Watson and Mr. Morgan cou'd be
entertain'd by one another's conversation.--Never saw I any two
seemingly more happy!--The chearfulness of the former augmented;--the
voice of the latter at least three notes lower.--This has been since
explain'd to me by Lady Powis.--Mr. Morgan, she says, notwithstanding
his rough appearance, is of a nature so compassionate, that, to people
defective in person or fortune, he is the gentlest creature breathing.
Our party broke up at nine.--I sat half an hour after supper, then
propos'd returning to Mr. Jenkings's.--Lady Powis would not hear me on
this subject--I must stay that night at the Abbey:--venturing out such
weather would hazard my health.--So said Sir James; so said Lord
Darcey.--As for Mr. Morgan, he swore, Was he the former, his horses
should not stir out for fifty pieces, unless, said he, Sir James chooses
to be a fellow-sufferer with Lord Allen, who I have led such a chace
this day, that he was forced to leave poor Snip on the forest.--Saying
which, he threw himself back in the chair, and fell into a sound
sleep.--About eleven I retir'd to my chamber;--a message first being
sent to Mr. Jenkings.--Instead of going immediately to bed, I sat down
and indulg'd myself with the satisfaction of writing to my beloved Lady
Mary.--This morning I got up early to finish my packet; and though I
have spent half an hour with Mr. Jenkings, shall close it before her
Ladyship is stirring.
Your commands, my dear Lady, are executed.--I have wrote Mrs. Smith; and
as soon as I receive her answer, shall, with a joyful heart, with
impatient fondness, prepare to throw at your Ladyship's feet,
Your much honour'd,
Lord DARCEY to the Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
Prepare your ten pieces, George!--Upon my honour, I was at Barford Abbey
a quarter before three, notwithstanding a detention on the road by Lord
Michell and Flecher, driving on Jehu for Bath, in his Lordship's phaeton
and fix.--You have seen them before this,--and, I suppose, know their
errand.--The girl is an egregious fool, that is certain.--I warrant
there are a hundred bets depending.--I ask'd what he intended doing with
her if he succeeded?--_Do_ with her! said his Lordship; why, she is not
more than eighteen; let her go to school: faith, Flecher, that's my
advice.--_Let her go_ to the devil after I am once sure of her,
return'd the lover; and, whipping up the horses; drove away like
Be serious--Answer me one serious question,--Is it not possible,--_very_
possible, to have a regard, a _friendship_, for an amiable girl, without
endangering her peace or my own?--If I am further involv'd than
_friendship_,--the blame is not mine; it will lie at the door of Sir
James and Lady Powis.--Talk no more of Lady Elizabeth's smile, or Miss
Grevel's hair--Stuff!--meer stuff! nor keep me up after a late evening,
to hear your nonsense of Miss Compton's fine neck and shoulders, or
Fanny Middleton's eyes.--Come here next week, I will insure you a sight
of all those graces in one form. Come, I say, you will be welcome to Sir
James and his Lady as myself.--Miss Warley will smile on you.--What
other inducement can you want?--Don't be too vain of Miss Warley's
smiles; _for know_, she cannot look without them.
Who is Miss Warley?--What is Miss Warley?--you ask.--To your first
question I can only answer, A visitor at Jenkings's.--To the
second,--She is what has been so much sought after in every age, perfect
harmony of mind and person.--Such a hand, George--
Already have I been here eight days:--was I to measure time, I should
call them hours.--My affairs with Sir James will take up longer in
settling than I apprehended.--Come therefore this week or the next, I
charge you.--Come as you hope to see Miss Warley. What do you think Sir
James said to me the other day?--Was Miss Warley a girl of fortune, I
should think her born for you, Darcey.--As that is not the case,--take
care of your heart, my Lord.--She will never attempt to drag you into
scrapes:--your little favourite robin, that us'd to peck from your hand,
has not less guile.
No! he will never consent;--I must only think of _friendship_.
Lady Powis doats on this paragon of beauty: scarce within their
walls,--when she was mention'd with such a just profusion of praises, as
fill'd me with impatience.--Lady Powis is a heavenly woman.--You do not
laugh;--many would, for supposing any of that sex _heavenly_ after
fifty.--The coach is this moment going for Miss Warley;--it waits only
for me;--I am often her conductor.--Was _you_ first minister of
state,--I the humble suitor whose bread depended on your favour,--not
one line more, even to express my wants.
Twelve o'clock, at night.
Our fair visitor just gone;--just gone home with Edmund.--What an
officious fool, to take him in the carriage, and prevent myself from a
pleasure I envy him for.--I am not in spirits;--I can write no
more;--perhaps the next post:--but I will promise nothing.
I am, _&c. &c._
The Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH to LORD DARCEY.
Confound your friendships!--_Friendship_ indeed!--What! up head and ears
in love, and not know it.--So it is necessary for every woman you think
capable of friendship, to have fine eyes, fine hair, a bewitching smile,
and a neck delicately turn'd.--Have not I the highest opinion of my
cousin Dolly's sincerity?--Do I not think her very capable of
_friendship?_--Yet, poor soul, her eyes are planted so deep, it requires
good ones to discover she has any.--Such a hand, George!--Such a hand,
Darcey!--Why, Lady Dorothy too has hands; I am often enough squeez'd by
them:--though hard as a horse's hoof, and the colour of tanned leather,
I hold her capable of _friendship_.--Neck she has none,--smile she has
none! yet need I the determination of another, to tell me whether my
regard for her proceeds from love or _friendship?_--Awake,--Awake,
Darcey,--Awake:--Have you any value for your own peace?--have you any
for that of Miss Warley's? If so, leave Barford Abbey.--Should you
persist in loving her, for love her I know you do?--Should the quiet of
such an amiable woman as you describe be at stake? To deal plainly, I
will come down and propose the thing myself.--No sword,--no pistol. I
mean not for _myself_, but one whose happiness is dear to me as my
Suppose your estate is but two thousand a-year, are you so fond of shew
and equipage, to barter real felicity for baubles?--I am angry,--so
angry, that it would not grieve me to see you leading to the altar an
old hobbling dowager without a tooth.--Be more yourself,
And I am yours,
Lord DARCEY to the Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
Angry!--You are really angry!--Well, I too am angry with myself.--I do
love Miss Warley;--but why this to you?--Your penetration has already
discover'd it.--Yet, O Molesworth! such insurmountable obstacles:--no
declaration can be made,--at least whilst I continue in this
Sir James would rave at my imprudence.--Lady Powis, whatever are her
sentiments, must give them up to his opinion.--Inevitably I lose the
affection of persons I have sacredly--promised to obey,--sacredly.--Was
not my promise given to a dying father?--Miss Warley has no tye; yet, by
the duty she observes to Sir James and Lady Powis, you would think her
bound by the strongest cords of nature.
Scarce a moment from her:--at Jenkings's every morning;--on foot if good
weather,--else in the coach for the convenience of bringing her with
me.--I am under no constraint:--Sir James and her Ladyship seem not the
least suspicious: this I much wonder at, in the former particularly.
In my _tete-a-tetes_ with Miss Warley, what think you are our
subjects?--Chiefly divinity, history, and geography.--Of these studies
she knows more than half the great men who have wrote for ages past.--On
a taste for the two latter I once prided myself.--An eager pursuit for
the former springs up in my mind, whilst conversing with her, like a
plant long hid in the earth, and called out by the appearance of a
summer's sun.--This sun must shine at Faulcon Park;--without it all will
be dreary:--_yet_ how can I draw it thither?--_Edmund_--but why should I
Will you, or will you not, meet your old friend Finch here next
Wednesday?--Be determined in your answer.--I have suspence enough on my
hands to be excused from any on your account.--Sir James thinks it
unkind you have not called on him since I left England;--hasten
therefore to make up matters with the baronet,--Need I say the pleasure
I shall have in shaking you by the hand?
The Hon. GEORGE MOLESWORTH to Lord DARCEY.
Wednesday next you shall see me,--positively you shall.--Bridgman will
be of the party.
I propose an immensity of satisfaction from this visit.--Forbid it,
heaven! Miss Warley's opposite should again give me a meeting at the
Abbey.--After the conversation I am made to expect, how should I be
mortified to have my ears eternally dinn'd with catgut work,--painting
gauze,--weaving fringes,--and finding out enigmas?--Setting a fine
face, Miss Winter is out-done by Fletcher's Nancy.--A-propos, I
yesterday saw that very wise girl step into a chaise and wheel off for
Scotland, begging and praying we would make the best of it to her
mamma.--Not the least hand had I in this affair; but, willing to help
out people in distress, at the entreaties of Lord Michell, I waited on
the old Lady at her lodging.
I found her in a furious plight,--raving at her servants,--packing up
her cloaths, and reflecting on her relations who had persuaded her to
come to Bath.--When I entered she was kneeling by a huge travelling
trunk, stuffing in a green purse at one corner, which I supposed to be
full of gold.
Where is Nancy?--riling from the ground, and accosting me with looks of
fury;--Where is Nancy, Mr. Molesworth?
Really, _Madam_, that is a question I cannot positively answer;--but, to
be sincere, I believe she is on the road to Scotland.
_Believe!_--So you would have me think you are not one of Fletcher's
clan.--But, tell him from me, running to the trunk after her purse, and
shaking it just at my ear,--_tell him_, he shall never be a penny the
better for this.
I took my hat, and looked towards the door, as if going.
Stop, Mr. Molesworth, (her voice somewhat lowered) why in so great a
hurry?--I once thought you my friend. Pray inform me if Nancy was forced
away;--or, if me went willingly.
You have no right, Madam, after the treatment I have received, to expect
an answer; but justice bids me declare her going off seemed a matter of
Poor child!--You was certainly trapann'd (and she put a handkerchief to
I solemnly protest, Madam, I have seen your daughter but twice since she
came to Bath.--Last night, when coming from the Rooms, I saw her step
into a chaise, followed by Mr. Fletcher.--They beckoned me towards them,
whispered the expedition they were going upon, and requested me to break
the matter to you, and intercede for their pardon.--My visit has not
answered its salutary purpose--I perceive it _has not_. So saying I
turned from her,--knowing, by old acquaintance, how I was to play my
cards, me being one of those kind of spirits which are never quell'd but
After fetching me from the door, she promised to hear calmly what I had
to say;--and, tho' no orator, I succeeded so well as to gain an
assurance, she would see them at their return from Scotland.
I left the old Lady in tolerable good humour, and was smiling to myself,
recollecting the bout I had passed, when, who should come towards me but
Lord Michell,--his countenance full-fraught with curiosity.
Well, George!--dear George!--what success in your embassy?--I long to
know the fate of honest Fletcher.--Is he to loll in a coach and
six?--or, is the coroner's inquest to bring in their verdict Lunacy?
A sweet alternative!--_As_ your Lordship's assiduity has shewn the
former is the highest pinnacle to which you would wish to lift a
friend, I believe your most sanguine hopes are here answered.
Is it _so!_--Well, if ever Fletcher offers up a prayer, it ought to be
for you, Molesworth.
Vastly good, my Lord.--What, before he prays for himself?--_This_ shews
your Lordship's _very_ high notions of gratitude.
We have high notions of every thing.--Bucks and bloods, as we are
call'd,--you may go to the devil before you will find a set of honester
To the _Devil_, my Lord!--That's true, I believe.
He was going to reply when the three choice spirits came up, and hurried
him, away to the Tuns.
A word to _you_, Darcey.--Surely you are never serious in the ridiculous
design.--Not offer yourself to Miss Warley, whilst she continues in that
neighbourhood?--the very spot on which you ought to secure her,--unless
you think all the young fellows who visit at the Abbey are blind, except
yourself.--_Why_, you are jealous _already_;--_jealous_ of
_Edmund_.--Perhaps _even I_ may become one of your tormentors.--If I
like her I shall as certainly tell her _so, as_ that my name is
[Here two Letters are omitted, one from Lady MARY to Miss WARLEY,--and
one from Miss WARLEY to Lady MARY.]
Miss WARLEY to Lady MARY SUTTON.
From Mr. _Jenkings's_.
Ah! my dear Lady, how kind,--how inexpressibly kind, to promise I shall
one day know what has put an end to the intimacy between the two Ladies
I _so_ much revere.
To find your Ladyship has still a high opinion of Lady Powis, has filled
me with pleasure.--Fear of the reverse often threw a damp on my heart,
whilst receiving the most tender caresses.--You bid me love her!--You
say I cannot love her too well!--_This_ is a command my heart springs
forward to obey.
Unhappy family!--What a loss does it sustain by the absence of Mr.
Powis?--_No_, I can never forgive the Lady who has occasioned this
source of sorrow.--Why is her name concealed?--But what would it benefit
me to come at a knowledge of it?
Pity Sir James should rather see such a son _great_ than happy.--Six
thousand a year, _yet_ covet a fortune twice as large!--Love of riches
makes strange wreck in the human heart.
Why did Mr. Powis leave his native country?--The refusal of a Lady with
whom he only sought an union in obedience to his father, could not
_greatly_ affect him.--Was not such an overture _without_
affection,--_without_ inclination,--a blot in his fair
character?--Certainly it was.--Your Ladyship seems to think Sir James
only to blame.--I dare not have presumed to offer my opinion, had you
not often told me, it betray'd a meanness to hide our real sentiments,
when call'd upon to declare them.
Lady Powis yesterday obliged me with a sight of several letters from her
son.--_I_ am not mistress of a stile like _his_, or your Ladyship would
have been spar'd numberless tedious moments.--Such extraordinary
deckings are seldom to be met with in common minds.
I told Lady Powis, last evening, that I should devote this day to my
pen;--so I shall not be sent for;--a favour I am sure to have conferr'd
if I am not at the Abbey soon after breakfast.--Lord Darcey is
frequently my escort.--I am pleased to see that young nobleman regard
Edmund as if of equal rank with himself.
Heavens! his Lordship is here!--full-dressed, and just alighted from the
coach,--to fetch me, I fear.--I shall know in a moment; Mrs. Jenkings
is coming up.
Even so.--It vexes me to be thus taken off from my agreeable task;--yet
I cannot excuse myself,--her Ladyship is importunate.--She sends me word
I _must_ come;--that I _must_ return with Lord Darcey.--Mrs. Finch is
accidentally dropp'd in with her son.--I knew the latter was expected to
meet two gentlemen from Bath,--one of them an intimate friend of Lord
Darcey.--Mrs. Finch is an amiable woman;--it is to her Lady Powis wants
to introduce me.
_Your Servant, my Lord_.--A very genteel way to hasten me
down--impatient, I suppose, to see his friend from Bath.--_Well_, Jenny,
tell his Lordship it will be needless to have the horses taken out.--I
shall be ready in a quarter of an hour.--Adieu, my dear Lady.
Eleven o'clock at night.
Every thing has conspired to make this day more than commonly
agreeable.--It requires the pen of a Littelton to paint the different
graces which shone in conversation.--As no such pen is at hand, will
your Ladyship receive from _mine_ a short description of the company at
Mrs. Finch is about seven and forty;--her person plain,--her mind
lovely,--her bosom fraught with happiness.--She dispenses it
promiscuously.--Every smile,--every accent,--conveys it to all around
her.--A countenance engagingly open.--Her purse too, I am told, when
occasions offer, open as her heart.--How largely is she repaid for her
balsamic gifts,--by seeing those virtues early planted in the mind of
her son, spring up and shoot in a climate where a blight is almost
Mr. Finch is the most sedate young man I have ever seen;--but his
sedateness is temper'd with a _sweetness_ inexpressible;--a certain
mildness in the features;--_a mildness_ which, in the countenance of
that great commander I saw at Brandon Lodge, appears like _mercy_ sent
out from the heart to discover the dwelling of _true courage_.--There is
certainly a strong likeness between the Marquis and Lord Darcey;--_so
strong_, that when I first beheld his Lordship I was quite struck with
Mr. Molesworth and Mr. Bridgman, the two gentlemen from Bath, are very
opposite to each other in person and manner; yet both in a different
degree seem to be worthy members of society.
Mr. Molesworth, a most entertaining companion,--vastly chearful,--smart
at repartee; and, from the character Lord Darcey has given me of him,
Mr. Bridgman has a good deal the air of a foreigner; attained, I
suppose, by his residence some years at the court of ----, in a public
character.--Very fit he appears for such an
employ.--Sensible,--remarkably polite,--speaks all languages with the
same fluency as his own; but then a veil of disagreeable reserve throws
a dark shade over those perfections.--_Perhaps_ I am wrong to spy out
faults so early;--_perhaps_ to-morrow my opinion may be
different.--First prepossessions--Ah! What would I have said of _first
prepossessions?_--Is it not to them I owe a thousand blessings?--I, who
have nothing to recommend me but being unfortunate.
Somthing lies at my heart.--Yet I think I could not sleep in quiet, was
I to drop a hint in disfavour of Mr. Jenkings;--it may not be in his
_disfavour_ neither:--However, my dear Lady, you shall be the judge,
after I have repos'd a few hours.
Seven o'clock in the morning.
Why should I blame Mr. Jenkings?--Is not Edmund his only son?--his only
child?--Is he less my friend for suspecting?--Yes, my Lady, I perceive
he does _suspect_.--He is uneasy.--He supposes his son encouraging an
improper affection.--I see it in his very looks:--he must think me an
artful creature.--This it is that distresses me.--I wish I could hit on
a method to set his heart at rest.--If I barely hint a design of leaving
the neighbourhood, which I have done once or twice, he bursts into
tears, and I am oblig'd to sooth him like a child.
How account for this behaviour?--Why does he look on me with the eye of
fatherly affection,--yet think me capable of a meanness I _despise?_
I believe it impossible for a human being to have _more_ good nature, or
_more_ good qualities, than Edmund; yet had he the riches of a Mogul, I
could never think of a connection with him.--_He_, worthy young man, has
never given his father cause for _suspicion_.--I am convinced he has
not.--Naturally of an obliging disposition, he is ever on the watch for
opportunities to gratify his amiable inclinations:--not _one_ such
selfish motive as love to push him on.
A summons to breakfast.--Lord Darcey, it seems, is below;--I suppose,
slid away from his friends to call on Edmund.--Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings are
_all_ smiles, _all_ good humour, to their son,--I hope it is only I who
have been _suspicious_.--Lord Darcey is still with Edmund.--They are at
this moment under my window,--counselling perhaps, about a commission
he wants his father to purchase for him in the Guards.--I should be glad
to see this matter accommodated;--yet, I could wish, in _so_ tender a
point, his Lordship may not be _too_ forward in advising.--Mr. and Mrs.
Jenkings have such an opinion of him,--they pay such deference to what
he says,--his advice _must_ have weight;--and they _may_ be unhappy by
giving up their inclinations.
The praises of Lord Darcey are forever sounding in my ears.--To what a
height would the partiality of Mrs. Jenkings lift me?--She would have me
think,--I cannot tell your Ladyship what she would _have me think_.--My
hopes dare not take _such_ a flight.--No!--I can perceive what their
fall _must_ be;--I can perceive _it_, without getting on the top of the
precipice to look down.
I shall order every thing for my departure, according to your Ladyship's
directions, holding myself in readiness to attend Mr. and Mrs. Smith, at
the time proposed.
Oxfordshire I must revisit,--for a few days only;--having some little
matters to regulate.
The silks I have purchas'd for your Ladyship are slight, as you
directed, except a white and gold, which is the richest and most
beautiful I could procure.
How imperceptibly time slides on?--The clock strikes eleven,--in spight
of the desire I have of communicating many things more.--An engagement
to be with Lady Powis at twelve hastens me to conclude myself
Most honour'd and affectionate,
The Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH to LORD DARCEY.
What a sacrifice do you offer up to that old dog Plutus!--I have lost
_all_ patience,--_all_ patience, I say.--_Such_ a woman!--_such_ an
angelic woman!--But what has,--what will avail my arguments?--Her peace
is gone,--if you persevere in a behaviour so _particular_,--absolutely
Bridgman this morning told me, that unless I assured him you had
_pretensions_ to Miss Warley, he was determined to offer her his
hand;--_that_ nothing prevented him from doing it whilst at the Abbey,
but your mysterious conduct, which he was at a loss how to construe.
--Not to offend _you_, the _Lady_ or _family_ she is with, he apply'd,
he said, to _me_, as a friend of each party, to set him right.
Surely, Bridgman, returned I, you wish to keep yourself in the dark; or
how the duce have you been six days with people whose countenances speak
so much sensibility, and not make the discovery you seek after?
Though her behaviour to us; continued I, was politeness itself, was
there nothing more than _politeness_ in her address to Lord Darcey?--Her
smiles _too_, in which Diana and the Graces revel, saw you not _them_,
how they played from one to another, like sun-beams on the water, until
they fixed on him?--Is the nation in debt?--So much is Darcey in
love;--and you may as well pay off one, as rival the other with
Observe, my friend, in what manner I have answered for you.--Keep her,
therefore, no longer in suspence.--Delays of this sort are not only
dangerous, but cruel.--Why delight to torture what we most admire?--From
a boy you despised such actions.--Often have I known Dick Jones, when at
Westminster, threshed by your hand for picking poor little birds
alive.--_His_ was an early point;--but for _Darcey_, accoutred with the
breast-plate of honour, even before he could read the word that
signifies its intrinsic value,--_for him_ to be falling off,--falling
off at a time _too_, when Virtue herself appears in person to support
Can you say, you mean not to injure her?--Is a woman only to be injured,
but by an attempt on her virtue?--Is it _no_ crime, _no_ fault, to cheat
a young innocent lovely girl out of her affections, and give her
nothing in return but regret and disappointment?
Reflect, what a task is mine, thus to lay disagreeable truths plainly
before you.--To hear it pronounced, that Lord and Lady Darcey are the
happiest couple on earth, is the hope that has pushed me on to this
Bridgman is just set out for town.--I am charg'd with a profusion of
respects, thanks, &c. &c. &c. which, if you have the least oeconomy,
will serve for him, and
Your very humble servant,
Lord DARCEY to the Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
Bridgman!--Could Bridgman dare aspire to Miss Warley!--_He_ offer her
his hand!--_he_ be connected with a woman whose disposition is
diametrically opposite to his own!--_No_,--that would not have done,
though I had never seen her.--Let him seek for one who has a heart shut
up by a thousand locks.
After his _own_ conjectures,--after what _you_ have told him,--should he
_but_ attempt to take her from me, by all that is sacred, he shall
repent it dearly.
Molesworth! _you_ are my friend,--I take your admonitions well;--but,
surely, you should not press thus hardly on my soul, knowing its uneasy
situation.--My state is even more perplexing than when we parted:--I did
not then know she was going to France.--_Yes_, she is absolutely going
to _France_.--Why leave her friends here?--Why not wait the arrival of
Lady Mary Sutton in England?
I have used every dissuasive argument _but one_.--That shall be my
last.--If _that_ fails I go--I positively go with her.--It is your
opinion that she loves me.--Would it were mine!--_Not_ the least
partiality can I discover.--Why then be precipitate?--Every moment she
is gaining ground in the affections of Sir James and Lady Powis.--_Time_
may work wonders in the mind of the former.--Without his consent never
can I give my hand;--the commands of a dying father forbid me.--_Such_ a
father!--O George! you did not know him;--_so_ revered,--_so_
honour'd,--_so_ belov'd! not more in public than in private life.
_My friend_, behold your son!--_Darcey_, behold your father!--_As_ you
reverence and obey Sir James, _as_ you consult him on all occasions,
_as_ you are guided by his advice, receive my blessing.--These were his
parting words, hugg'd into me in his last cold embrace.--No, George, the
promise I made can never be forfeited.--I sealed it on his lifeless
hand, before I was borne from him.
_Now_, are you convinc'd no mean views with-hold me?--You despise not
more than I do the knave and coxcomb; for no other, to satiate their own
vanity, would sport away the quiet of a fellow-creature.--Well may you
call it cruel.--_Such_ cruelties fall little short of those practised by
_Nero_ and _Caligula_.
Did it depend on myself only, I would tell Miss Warley I love, _every
time_ I behold her enchanting face; _every time_ I hear the voice of
wisdom springing from the seat of innocence.
No shadow of gaining over Sir James!--_Efforts_ has not been wanting:--I
mean _efforts_ to declare my inclination.--I have follow'd him like a
ghost for days past, thinking at every step how I should bless _this_ or
_that_ spot on which he consented to my happiness.--Pleasing
phantoms!--How have they fled at sight of his determin'd
countenance!--Methought I could trace _in it_ the same obduracy which
nature vainly pleaded to remove.--In _other_ matters my heart is
resolute;--_here_ an errant coward.--No! I cannot break it to him whilst
in Hampshire.--When I get to town, a letter _shall_ speak for
me.--Sometimes I am tempted to trust the secret to Lady Powis.--She is
compassionate;--she would even risk her own peace to preserve
mine.--Again the thoughts of involving her in fresh perplexities
determines me against it.
Had my father been acquainted with that part of Sir James's character
which concerned his son, I am convinc'd he would have made some
restrictions in regard to the explicit obedience he enjoined.--But all
was hushed whilst Mr. Powis continued on his travels; nor, until he
settled abroad, did any one suspect there had been a family
disagreement:--_even_ at _this_ time the whole affair is not generally
known.--The name of the lady to whom he was obliged to make proposals,
is in particular carefully concealed.--I, who from ten years old have
been bred up with them, am an entire stranger to it.--_Perhaps_ no part
of the affair would ever have transpired, had not Sir James made some
discoveries, in the first agitation of his passion, before a large
company, when he received an account of Mr. Powis's being appointed to
the government of ----. No secret can be safe in a breast where every
passage is not well guarded against an enemy which, like lightning,
throws up all before it.
Let me not forget to tell you, amongst a multiplicity of concerns
crowding on my mind, that I have positively deny'd Edmund to intercede
with his father regarding the commission.--A bare surmise that he is my
rival, has silenced me.--Was I ungenerous enough to indulge myself in
getting rid of him, an opportunity now offers;--but I am _as_ averse to
such proceedings as _he_ ought to be who is the friend of Molesworth,
and writes the name of
The Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH to Lord DARCEY.
Believe me, my dear Lord, I never suspected you capable of designs you
justly hold in abhorrence.--If I expressed myself warmly, it was owing
to your keeping from me the knowledge of those particulars which have
varied every circumstance.--I saw my friend a poor restless being,
irresolute, full of perplexities.--I felt for him.--I rejoice now to
find from whence this _irresolution_, those _perplexities_ arose.--She
is,--she must,--by heaven! she shall be yours:--A reward fit only for
_such_ great--_such_ noble resolutions.
You talk of a _last_ argument--Forbear _that_ argument.--You _must_ not
use it before you have laid your intentions open to Sir
James.--_Neither_ follow her to France.--What, as you are situated,
would _that_ avail?--Prevent her going, _if_ you can.--_Such_ a woman,
under the protection of Lady Mary Sutton, _must_ have many advantageous
I understand _nothing_ of features,--I know _nothing_ of physiognomy, if
you have any uneasiness from Bridgman.--It was not marks of a violent
passion he betrayed;--rather, I think, an ambition of having his taste
approved by the world;--but we shall know more of the matter when I meet
him in town.
Stupidity!--Not see her partiality!--not see that she loves you!--She
will some time hence own it as frankly with her lips, as her eyes have
told you a thousand times, did you understand their language.--The duce
a word could _I_ get from them.--Very uncivil, I think, not to _speak_
when they were _spoke_ to,--They will be ready enough, I suppose, with
their _thanks_ and _applauses_, when I present her hand to be united
with her heart. That office shall be _mine_:--_Something_ tells me,
there is to be an alteration in _your_ affairs, sudden as unexpected.
I go to the rooms this evening for the last time.--To-morrow I set out
for Slone Hall, in my way to London.--Here I shall spend two or three
days happily with my good-natured cousin Lady Dorothy.--Perhaps we may
take an airing together as far as your territories.--I shall _now_ look
on Faulcon-Park with double pleasure.--Neither that or the agreeable
neighbourhood round it will be ever bridled over by a haughty
dame.--(Miss Warley, forbid it.)--Some such we see in _high_ as well as
_low_ life.--Haughtiness is the reverse of true greatness; therefore it
staggers me to behold it in the former.
A servant with a white favour!--What can this mean?--
Upon my word, Mr. Flecher, you return with your fair bride sooner than I
expected.--_A card too_.--Things must be _finely_ accommodated with the
old Lady.--Your Lordship being at too great a distance to partake of the
feast, pray regale on what calls me to it.
"Mrs. Moor and Mr. and Mrs. Flecher's compliments to Mr. Molesworth.--My
son and daughter are just return'd from Scotland, and hope for the
pleasure of Mr. Molesworth's company with eight or ten other friends, to
congratulate them this evening on their arrival.--Both the Ladies and
Mr. Flecher will be much disappointed, if you do not accept our
True as I live, _neither added_ or _diminished_ a tittle,--and wrote by
the hand of Flecher's Desdemona.--Does not a man richly deserve thirty
thousand pounds with a wife _like this?_--Not for _twice_ that sum would
I see such nonsense come from her I was to spend my life with.
Pity Nature and Fortune has such frequent bickerings! When one smiles
the other frowns.--I wish the gipsies would make up matters, and send us
down their favours wrapp'd up together.
Considering the friendship you have honour'd Edmund with, I have no idea
he can presume to think of Miss Warley, _seeing_ what he must _see_.
I shall expect to find a letter on my arrival in St. James's
Street.--Omit not those respects which are due at Barford Abbey.
Lord DARCEY to the Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
I should be in a fine plight, truly, to let her go to France without
me!--Why, I am almost besides myself at the thoughts of an eight days
separation.--Was ever any thing so forgetful!--To bring no other cloaths
here but mourning!--Did she always intend to encircle the sun with a
sable cloud?--Or, why not dispatch a servant?--A journey into
Oxfordshire is absolutely necessary.--Some _other_ business, I suppose;
but I am not enough in her confidence to know of what nature.--Poh!
love!--Impossible, and refuse me so small a boon as to attend
her!--requested too in a manner that spoke my whole soul.--Yes; I had
near broke through all my resolutions.--This I did say, If Miss Warley
refuses her dear hand, pressing it to my lips, in the same peremptory
manner,--what will become of him who without it is lost to the whole
world?--The reply ventur'd no further than her cheek;--there sat
enthron'd in robes of crimson.--I scarce dar'd to look up:--her eyes
darted forth a ray so powerful, that I not only quitted her hand, but
suffered her to leave the room without my saying another word.--This
happened at Jenkings's last evening; in the morning she was to set out
with the old gentleman for Oxfordshire.--I did not attempt seeing her
again 'till that time, fearing my presence might be unpleasing, after
the confusion I had occasion'd.
Sick of my bed I got up at five; and taking a gun, directed my course to
the only spot on earth capable of affording me delight.--The outer gate
barr'd:--no appearance of any living creature, except poor Caesar.--He,
hearing my voice, crept from his wooden-house, and, instead of barking,
saluted me in a whining tone:--stretching himself, he jumped towards the
gate, licking my hand that lay between the bars.--I said many kind
things to this faithful beast, in hopes my voice would awaken some of
the family.--The scheme succeeded.--A bell was sounded from one of the
apartments; that opposite to which I stood.--A servant opening the
window-shutters, I was tempted to keep my stand.--A white beaver with a
green feather, and a riding-dress of the same colour, plainly told me
this was the room where rested all my treasure, and caused in my mind
such conflicts as can no more be described by _me_ than felt by
_another_.--Unwilling to encrease my tortures I reeled to an old tree,
which lay on a bank near;--there sat down to recover my trembling.--The
next thing which alarmed me was an empty chaise, driving full speed
down the hill.--I knew on _what_ occasion, yet could not forbear asking
the post-boy.--He answered, To carry some company from yonder house.--My
situation was really deplorable,--when I beheld my dear lovely girl
walking in a pensive mood, attir'd in that very dress which I espied
through the window.--Heavy was the load I dragged from head to heel;
yet, like a Mercury, I flew to meet her.--She saw me,--started,--and
cry'd, Bless me! my Lord! what brings you hither at this early
hour?--The real truth was springing to my lips, when, recollecting her
happiness might be the sacrifice, I said, examining the lock of my
gun,--I am waiting, Miss Warley, for that lazy fellow Edmund:--he
promised to shew me an eye of pheasants.--If you are not a very keen
sportsman, returned she, what says your Lordship to a cup of
chocolate?--It will not detain you long;--Mrs. Jenkings has some ready
prepared for the travellers.
She pronounced _travellers_ with uncommon glee;--at least I thought
so,--and, nettled at her indifference, could not help replying, _You_
are _very_ happy, madam;--_you_ part with your friends _very_
unreluctantly, I perceive.
If any thing ever appeared in my favour, it was now.--Her confusion was
visible;--even Edmund observed it, who just then strolled towards us,
and said, looking at both attentively, What is the matter with Miss
With me, Edmund? she retorted,--nothing ails me.--I suppose you think I
am enough of the fine lady to complain the whole day, because I have got
up an hour before my usual time.
His tongue was _now_ silent;--his eyes _full_ of enquiries.--He fixed
them on us alternately,--wanting to discover the situation of our
hearts.--Why so curious, Edmund?--Things cannot go on long at this
rate.--_Your_ heart must undergo a strict scrutiny before I shall know
what terms we are upon.
No words can paint my gratitude for worthy Jenkings.--He went to the
Abbey, on foot, before breakfast was ended, to give me an opportunity of
supplying his place in the chaise.--At parting he actually took one of
my hands, joined it with Miss Warley's, and I could perceive petitions
ascending from the seat of purity.--I know to what they tended.--I
_felt_, I _saw_ them.--The chaise drove off. I could have blessed
him.--May my blessings overtake him!--May they light where virtue sits
enshrin'd by locks of silver.
Yes, if his son was to wound me in the tenderest part, for the sake of
_such_ a father, I think,--I know not what to think.--Living in such
suspence is next to madness.
She treats him with the freedom of a sister.--She calls him
Edmund,--leans on his arm, and suffers him to take her hand.--The least
favour conferred on me is with an air _so_ reserved, _so_ distant, as if
she would say, I have not for you the least sentiment of tenderness.
Lady Powis sends to desire I will walk with her.--A sweet companion am I
for a person in low spirits!--That her's are not high is evident.--She
has shed many tears this morning at parting with Miss Warley.
Instead of eight days mortification we might have suffer'd twenty, had
not her Ladyship insisted on an absolute promise of returning at that
time.--Farewel till then.
Miss WARLEY to Lady MARY SUTTON.
_From the Crown, at ----_.
Here am I, ever-honour'd lady, forty miles on the road to that beloved
spot, where, for nineteen years, my tranquility was uninterrupted.--Will
a serene sky always hang over me?--It will be presumption to suppose
it,--when thousands, perhaps, endowed with virtues the most god-like,
have nothing on which they can look _back_ but dark clouds,--nothing to
which they can look _forward_ but gathering storms.--Am I a bark only
fit to sail in fair weather?--Shall I not prepare to meet the waves of
How does my heart bear,--how throb,--to give up follies which dare not
hide themselves where a passage is made _by_ generosity, _by_ affection
unbounded.--Yes, my dear Lady, this is the only moment I do not regret
being absent from you;--for could my tongue relate what my pen trembles
Behold _me_ at your Ladyship's feet!--behold _me_ a supplicant suing for
my returning peace!--_You_ only, can restore it.--Command that I give up
my preference for Lord Darcey, and the intruder is banished from my
heart:--_then_ shall I no more labour to deceive myself:--_then_ shall I
no more blindly exchange certain peace for doubtful happiness,--a
_quiet_ for a _restless_ mind.--Humility has not fled me;--my heart has
not fallen a sacrifice to title, pomp, or splendor.--Yet, has it not
foolishly, unasked, given itself up?--Ah! my Lady, not entirely unask'd
neither; or, why, from the first moment, have I seen him shew _such_
tender, _such_ respectful assiduities?--why _so_ ardently solicit to
attend me into Oxfordshire?--why ask, if I refused my hand in the same
peremptory manner, what would become of the man who without it was lost
to the whole world?--But am I not too vain?--Why should this man be Lord
Darcey?--Rather one rising to his imagination, who he might possibly
suppose was entrapped by my girlish years.--A few, a very _few_ weeks,
and I am gone from him forever.--If your Ladyship's goodness can pardon
the confession I have made, no errors will I again commit of the kind
which now lies blushing before you.
Next to your Ladyship Mr. Jenkings is the best friend I have on
earth.--He _never_ has suspected, or _now_ quite forgets his
suspicions.--Not all my entreaties could prevent him from taking this
long journey with me.--His age, his connections, his business, every
thing is made subservient to my convenience--Whilst I write he is below,
and has just sent up to know if I will permit a gentleman of his
acquaintance, whom he has met accidentally at this inn, to dine with
us.--Why does he use this ceremony?--I can have no objection to any
friend of _his_.--Dinner is served up.--I shall write again at our last
stage this evening.
_From the Mitre at ----_.
Past twelve at night!--An hour I used to think the most silent of
any:--but _here_ so much the reverse, one reasonably may suppose the
inhabitants, or guests, have mistaken midnight for mid-day.
I will ring and enquire, why all this noise?
A strange bustle!--Something like fighting!--Very near, I
protest.--Hark! bless me, I shall be frightened to death!--The
chambermaid not come! Would I could find my way to Mr. Jenkings's
room!--Womens voices, as I live!--Begging!--praying!--Ah! ah! now they
cry, Take the swords away!--Take the swords away!--Heaven defend us! to
be sure we shall be all killed.
Not kill'd, but terrified out of my senses.--Well, if ever I stop at
this inn again--
You remember, Madam, I was thrown into a sad fright by the hurry and
confusion without.--I dropped my pen, and pulled the bell with greater
violence.--No one came;--the noise increas'd.--Several people ran up and
down by the door of my apartment.--I flew and double lock'd it.--But,
good God! what were my terrors, when a voice cried out, She cannot be
brought to life!--Is there no assistance at hand?--no surgeon near?--I
rushed from my chamber, in the first emotions of surprize and
compassion, to mix in a confused croud, _unknowing_ and _unknown_.--I
ventur'd no further than the passage. Judge my astonishment, to perceive
there, and in a large room which open'd into it, fifty or sixty well
dressed people of both sexes:--_Women_, some crying, some
laughing:--_Men_ swearing, stamping, and calling upon others to come
down and end the dispute below.--I thought of nothing _now_, but how to
retreat unobserv'd:--when a gentleman, in regimentals, ran so furiously
up the stairs full against me, that I should have been instantly at the
bottom, had not his extended arm prevented my flight.
I did not stay to receive his apologies, but hastened to my chamber, and
have not yet recovered my trembling.--Why did I leave it?--Why was I so
Another alarm!--Some one knocks at the door!--Will there be no end to my
If one's spirits are on the flutter, how every little circumstance
increases our consternation!--When I heard the tapping at my door,
instead of enquiring who was there, I got up and stood against it.
Don't be afraid, _Mame_, said a voice without; it is only the
chambermaid come with some drops and water.--With drops and water!
replied I, letting her in--who sent you hither?
Captain Risby, _Mame_, one of the officers:--he told me you was
I am oblig'd to the gentleman;--but set down the drops, I do not want
any.--Pray tell me what has occasioned this uproar in your house?
To be sure, _Mame_, here has been a terrifying noise this night.--It
don't use to be so;--but our _Town's_ Gentlemen have such a dislike to
_Officers_, I suppose there will be no peace while they are in town.--I
never saw the Ladies dress'd so fine in my life; and had the Colonel
happen'd to ask one of the _Alderman's_ daughters to dance, all would
have gone on well.
You have an assembly then in the house?
O yes, _Mame_, the assembly is always kept here.--And, as I was saying,
the Colonel should have danced with one of our Alderman's
daughters:--instead of that, he engag'd a daughter of Esquire Light, and
introduced the Major and a _handsome Captain_ to her two sisters.--Now,
to be sure, this was enough to enrage the best Trade's-People in the
place, who can give their _young Ladies_ three times as much as Mr.
Light can his daughters.
I saw she was determin'd to finish her harangue, so did not attempt to
One of us chambermaids, _Mame_, continued she, always assist the
waiters;--it was my turn this evening; so, as I was stirring the fire in
the card-room, I could hear the Ladies whisper their partners, if they
let strangers stand above them, they might dance with whom they could
get for the future.--They were busy about the matter when the Colonel
enter'd with Miss Light, who though she is _very_ handsome, _very_
sensible, and all that, it did not become her to wear a silver
silk;--for what, as _our Ladies_ said, is family without fortune?--But I
am running on with a story of an hour long.--So _Mame_, as soon as the
Colonel and his partner went into the dancing-room,--_one_ cry'd, Defend
me from French'd hair, if people's heads are to look like
towers;--_another_, her gown sleeves were too large;--a _third_, the
robeings too high;--a _fourth_, her ruff too deep:--in short, _Mame_,
her very shoe-buckles shared the same fate.
This recital put me out of all patience:--I could not endure to see held
up a picture, which, though out of the hands of a dauber, presented a
true likeness of human nature in her most deprav'd state.--Enough, Mrs.
Betty, said I, now pray warm my bed; it is late, and I am fatigued.
O! to be sure, _Mame_; but will you not first hear what was the occasion
of the noise?--The country-dances, continued she, not waiting my reply,
began; and _our Town's Gentlemen_ ran to the top of the room, leaving
the _Officers_ to dance at the bottom.--This put them in _so_ violent a
passion, that the Colonel swore, if _our_ Gentlemen persisted in their
ill manners, not a soul should dance.--So, _Mame_, upon this _our_
Gentlemen let some of the Officers stand above them;--and there was no
dispute till after ten.--What they quarrelled about then I don't
know;--but, when I came into the room, they were all going to
fight;--and fight they certainly would, if they could have got _our_
Gentlemen down stairs.--Not one of them would stir, which made the
others so mad, that they would have pulled them down, had not the Ladies
interfered.--Then it was, _Mame_, I suppose, you heard the cries and
shrieks; for every one that had _husbands, brothers_, or _admirers_
there, took hold of them; begging and praying they would not
fight.--Poor Miss Peggy Turner will have a fine rub; for she always
deny'd to her _Mamma_, that there was any thing in the affair between
her and Mr. Grant the Attorney. Now she has discovered all, by fainting
away when he broke from her to go to the other end of the room.
I hope there has been no blood shed?
None, I'll assure you, _Mame_, in this house; what happens out of it is
no business of mine. Now, _Mame_, would you please to go to bed? By all
means, Mrs. Betty.--So away went my communicative companion. Being much
tired, I shall lay down an hour or two, then reassume my pen.
_Four o'clock in the morning_.
Not able to close my eyes, I am got up to have the pleasure of
introducing to your Ladyship the Gentleman who I mention'd was to dine
with us at the other inn. Judge my surprize, when I found him to be the
worthy Dean of H---- going into Oxfordshire to visit his former
flock;--I knew him before Mr. Jenkings pronounced his name, by the
strong likeness of his picture.
I even fancied the beautiful pair stood before me, whose hands he is
represented joining. It is much to be regretted so fine a piece should
be hid from the world.--Why should not _this_ be proportion? The _other_
portraits which your Ladyship has drawn, are even allowed by Reynolds to
be masterly.--Let me therefore entreat, next time he comes to the Lodge,
my favourite may _at least_ have a chance of being called from
The Dean was almost discouraged from proceeding on his journey, by
hearing of your Ladyship's absence, and the death of Mrs. Whitmore.--He
was no stranger to what concern'd me, tho' I could be scarce an
inhabitant of Hillford-Down at the time _he_ left it.--I suppose his
information was from Mr. Jenkings; I could see them from the window deep
in discourse, walking in the Bowling-Green, from the moment the Dean got
out of his chaise till dinner.
The latter expressed infinite satisfaction when I joined them; looking
with such stedfast tenderness, as if he would trace on my countenance
the features of some dear friend.--His sincere regard for Mr. and Mrs.
Whitmore, and the gratitude he owes your Ladyship, must make him behold
me with a favourable eye, knowing how greatly I have been distinguish'd
by the two latter.
He had a stool put into his chaise; assuring us we could fit three
conveniently--We came from the last inn together, and are to travel so
the remainder of the journey.
After your Ladyship's strict commands, that I look on Brandon-Lodge as
my home, I shall make it such the few days I stay in Oxfordshire;--and
have presumed on your indulgence, to request Mr. Jenkings will do the
same.--The Dean's visit is to Mr. Gardener, which will be happy for me,
as that Gentleman's house is so near the Lodge.--I hope to see the tops
of the chimneys this evening.--
My heart would jump at the sight, if I expected your Ladyship to meet me
with open arms.--Extatic thought!--unfit to precede those
disappointments which must follow thick on one another. Can there be
greater!--to pass the very house, once inhabited by--O my Lady!--Heaven!
how will your and her image bring before me past happy scenes!
If this is the Dean's voice, he is got up, early. The horses putting to,
and scarce five o'clock! Here comes a messenger, to say they are ready.
So rest my pen, till; I again take it up at Brandon-Lodge.
I never saw such general joy as appeared through the village at sight of
the Dean.--The first person who espy'd him ran with such speed into
every house, that by the time we reached Mr. Gardener's gate, the
chaise was surrounded by a hundred people.--Mr. and Mrs. Gardener
stepping out, were saluted by the Dean. What, our old friend! cried
they.--What, our old friend!--Good God!--and Miss Warley too!--This is a
joyful surprize, indeed! and would have taken me out by force, if I had
not persisted in going to the Lodge.--Your Ladyship is enough acquainted
with these good people, to know they would part with any thing rather
than their friends.--I have not yet seen Miss Gardener: she was gone on
a walk with Miss West and Miss Conway.
The Dean showered a thousand marks of regard on all around him;--the
meanest not escaping his notice.--In this tumult of pleasure I did not
pass unregarded.--Your Ladyship and Mrs. Whitmore still live in their
hearts; the pure air of Hillford-Down will not mix with the cold blast
May the soft pillow I am going to repose on, shut not out from my mind
the load of obligations which rest on it!--The remembrance is balm to my
soul, either in my sleeping or waking hours.
Scarce out of my bed half an hour!--How have I over-slept myself! Mrs.
Bennet has prevailed on Mr. Jenkings to have some breakfast.--Good,
considerate woman!--indeed, all your Ladyship's domestics are good and
considerate.--No wonder, when you treat them so very different from
_some people_ of high rank. Let those who complain of fraud, guilt,
negligence, or want of respect from their dependants, look in
here;--where they will see honesty, virtue, and reverence attend the
execution of every command.--Flowers must be planted before they can
take root.--Few, very few endeavour to improve an uncultivated soil,
notwithstanding how great the advantage is to the improver.
I last night receiv'd pleasure inexpressible, by sending for the
servants to acquaint them of your Ladyship's returning health; and
feasted on the satisfaction they expressed.--In a moment all the live
creatures were brought.--I am satisfied, my Lady, if any of them die in
your absence, it must be of fat.--My old acquaintances Bell and Flora
could hardly waddle in to pay their compliments; the parrot, which used
to squall the moment she saw me, is now quite dumb; shewing no mark of
her favour, but holding down her head to be scratched;--the turtle-doves
are in the same case.--I have taken the liberty to desire the whole crew
might be put to short allowance.
John said, he believed it was natural for every thing to grow fat here;
and was much afraid, when I saw the coach-horses, I should pronounce the
same hard sentence against them, desiring orders to attend me with the
carriage this morning.--I told him my stay would be so short, I should
have no time for an airing.
The gardener has just sent me a blooming nosegay; I suppose, to put me
in mind of visiting his care, which I intend, after I have acquainted
your Ladyship with an incident that till this moment had escaped my
memory.--The Dean, Mr. Jenkings, and myself, were drinking a cup of
chocolate before we sat out from the inn where I had been so much
hurried, when captain Risby sent in his name, desiring we would admit
him for a moment. His request being assented to, he entered very
respectfully, said he came to apologize for the rudeness he was guilty
of the last night.--The Dean and Mr. Jenkings presently guessed his
meaning; I had been just relating the whole affair, which I was pleased
to find did not disturb their rest.--I assured Captain Risby, far from
deeming his behaviour rude, I was obliged to him for his solicitude in
sending a servant to my chamber. He said he had not been in bed,
determining to watch our setting out, in hopes his pardon would be
sealed:--that to think of the accident he might have occasioned, gave
him great pain.
Pardon me, Madam, addressing himself to me; and you, Sir, to Mr.
Jenkings; if I ask one plain question: Have _you_, or at least has not
_that Lady_, relations out of England? I have a friend abroad--I have
heard him say his father is still living;--but then he has no
sister;--or a certain likeness I discover would convince me.
Undoubtedly he took me for Mr. Jenkings's daughter:--what he meant
further I cannot divine.
Mr. Jenkings reply'd, You are mistaken, Sir, if you think me the father
of this Lady.--The chaise driving up that moment to the door, he shook
him by the hand, and led me towards it; the Captain assisting me in
I wish I could have satisfied my curiosity.--I wish I had known to whom
he likened me.--Perhaps his eyes misinformed him--perhaps he might have
taken a cheerful glass after the last night's encounter:--yet he
resembled not a votary of Bacchus;--his complexion clear;--hair nicely
comb'd;--coat without a spot;--linen extremely fine and clean.--But
enough of him.--Here comes the Dean, walking up the avenue escorting a
party of my old acquaintances.
Adieu! dearest honour'd Lady, till my return to Hampshire.
The Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH to LORD DARCEY.
_Was every any thing so forgetful, to bring no other clothes here but
Really, my Lord, this favours a good deal of the matrimonial stile. Was
you, commenced Benedict, I should think you had received lessons from
the famous L----, who takes such pains with his pupils, that those whose
attendance is frequent, can, in, the space of three months after the
knot is tied, bring their wives to hear patiently the
words--_forgetful,--ridiculous,--absurd,--pish--poh_,--and a thousand
more of the same significant meaning.--I hear you, my Lord:--_it is
true_, I am in jest; and know you would scorn to say even a peevish
thing to a wife.
Why fret yourself to a skeleton about an absence of eight days?--How
could you suppose she would let you go into Oxfordshire?--Proper
decorums must be observed by that sex.--Are not those despicable who
neglect them?--What would you have said, had she taken Edmund with
her?--Don't storm:--on reflection you will find you had no greater right
to expect that indulgence.
I have this morning had a letter from Dick Risby, that unfortunate, but
worthy cousin of _mine_, just returned from the West-Indies to take on
him the command of a company in Lord ----'s regiment. What a Father
his!--to abandon _such_ a son.--Leave him to the wide world at
sixteen,--without a shilling, only to gratify the pride and avarice of
his serpent daughter,--who had art sufficient to get this noble youth
disinherited for her waddling brat, whose head was form'd large enough
to contain his mother's mischief and his own.--In vain we attempted to
set aside the will:--my brother would not leave England whilst there
remained the least hopes for poor Risby.
I always dreaded Dick's going abroad, well knowing what a designing
perfidious slut his sister was, from her very infancy.--Her parents drew
down a curse by their blind indulgence:--even her nurse was charg'd not
to contradict her; she was to have every thing for which she shewed the
Lord Eggom and myself being near of an age with our cousins, were
sometimes sent to play with them in their nursery; and, though boys of
tolerable spirit, that vixen girl has so worried us by her tyrannic and
impatient temper, that we have often petitioned, at our return home, to
be put to bed supperless.--If sweet-meats were to be divided, she would
cry to have the whole; the same in regard to cards,--shells,--money, or
whatever else was sent for our entertainment.--When she has pinched us
black and blue,--a complaint to her mother has been made by Dick, who
could not bear to see us so used, though he was obliged to take such
treatment himself, the only redress we should receive was--Poh! she is
but a baby.--I thought you had all known better than to take notice of
what _such_ a _child_ as Lucy does--Once, when this was said before her,
me flew at me, and cry'd, I will pinch again, if I please;--papa and
mamma says I shall,--and so does nurse; and I don't mind what any body
else says.--I waited only for my revenge, till the two former withdrew;
when sending the latter for a glass of water, I gave _Miss_ such a
glorious tacking, as I believe she has never tasted the like before or
since.--In the midst of the fray, I heard nurse running up, which made
me hasten what I owed on _my own_ account, to remind her of the
_favours_ she had conferred on Lord Eggom and her brother.--If such a
termagant in her infant state,--judge what she must be at a time of life
when her passions are in full vigour, and govern without controul!--I
have just shewn the method of rearing this diabolical plant, that you
may not wonder at its productions.--I shall see justice overtake her,
notwithstanding the long strides she is making to escape.
Dick will be in town with us most part of the winter:--I have wrote him
to that purpose, and mention'd your name. He will rejoice to see you:--I
have often heard him regret your acquaintance was of so short
standing.--Bridgman set out for York the day before I arrived; his
servants inform me he is not expected back this three weeks.
I like our lodgings vastly; but more so as the master and mistress of
the family are excessively clean and obliging; two things so material to
my repose, that I absolutely could not dispense patiently with
either.--This it was which made me felicitous about taking a house; I am
now so happily situated, I wish not to have one in town whilst I remain
a batchelor. Heaven knows how long that will be!--Your nonpareil has
given me a dislike to all my former slight prepossessions.
Lady Elizabeth Curtis!--I did once indeed think a little seriously of
her:--but _such_ a meer girl!--Perhaps the time she has spent in France,
Germany, and the Lord knows where, may have changed her from a little
bewitching, smiling, artless creature--to a _vain, designing,
haughty_,--I could call a coquet by a thousand names;--but Lady
Elizabeth _can_-not, _must_ not be a coquet.--Cupid, though, shall never
tye a bandage over my eyes.--The charms that must fix me are not to be
borrow'd;--I shall look for them in her affection to her relations;--in
a condescending behaviour to inferiors;--above all, when she offers up
her first duties.--If she shines here, I shall not follow her to the
card-table, or play-house:--every thing must be right in a heart where
duty, affection, and humility, has the precedence.
The misfortune of our sex is this: when taken with a fine face, we
enquire no further than, Is she _polite?_--Is she _witty?_ Does she
_dance_ well?--sing well?--in short, _is_ she fit to appear in the _Beau
Monde_; whilst good sense and virtues which constitute real happiness,
are left out of the question.
How does beauty,--politeness--wit,--a fine voice,--a graceful movement,
charm!--But how often are we deceiv'd by them.--An instance of which I
have lately seen in our old friend Sir Harry. No man on earth can pity
that poor soul more than I do; yet I have laughed hours to think of his
mistake. _So mild--so gentle_--said he, George, a week before his
marriage, I should have said _execution_,--it is impossible to put her
out of humour.--If I am not the happiest man breathing, it must be my
What was my astonishment when I call'd on him in my way to town, and
found this mild _gentle mate_ of his, aided by a houseful of her
relations, had not only deprived him of all right and authority in the
_Castle_, but almost of his very speech!
I dropt in about one, told the Baronet I came five miles out of my way
for the pleasure of saluting his bride, and to drink a bottle of claret
with him.--He was extremely glad to see me; and ventured to say so,
_before_ I was introduced to the _Ladies_:--but I saw by his sneaking
look, no such liberty must be taken in _their_ presence.--My reception
was gracious enough, considering all communication is cut off between
him and his former acquaintance.
Scarce was I seated, before the old Dowager asked me, if her daughter
had not made _great_ alterations in the little time she had been at the
_Alterations_, Madam! I reply'd;--upon my honour, they are _so_ visible,
no person can avoid being struck with them.--How could your father and
mother, Sir Harry, bear to live in such an wood? looking and speaking
disdainfully.--He smiled obsequious--hemm'd--trembled, and was
silent.--I hope, continued she, not to see a tree remaining near this
house before the next summer.--We want much, Mr. Molesworth, turning to
me with quite a different look and voice, to have the pleasure-ground
laid out:--but really her Ladyship has had so much to set in order
_within doors_, that it has taken off her attention a good deal from
what is necessary to be done _without_.--However, Sir, you shall see our
design; so, my dear, speaking to her daughter, let Sir Harry fetch the
It is in my closet, returned her Ladyship, and I don't chuse to send
_him_ there;--but I'll ring for Sally.
I had like that moment to have vow'd a life of celibacy--I saw him
redden;--how could he avoid it, if one spark of manhood remain'd?
The indignation I felt threw such a mist before my eyes, that when the
plan was laid on the table, I could scarce distinguish temples from
clumps of shrubs, or Chinese seats from green slopes.--Yet this
_reptile_ of a husband could look over my shoulder, hear the opinion of
every one present, without _daring_ to give his own.
I was more out of patience at dinner.--Bless me, says her Ladyship, how
_aukward_ you are when I _bid_ you cut up any thing!--the mother and
daughter echoing, _Never_ was there _such_ a carver as _Sir
Harry!_--Well, I vow, cry'd the latter, it is a strange thing you will
not remember, so often as I have _told you_, to lay the meat handsome in
Good God! thought I, can this man live out half his days?--And, faith,
if I had not drank five bumpers of Madeira, I could not have stood the
sight of his fearful countenance.
He perceived I was distress'd, and whisper'd me as I mounted my
horse,--You see how it is, Molesworth; breeding women _must_ not be
_I do, I do_ see how it is, return'd I; and could not for my soul
forbear saying, I shall rejoice to hear of a _delivery_.
This is the day when the important affairs of the m----y are to be
settled; the papers will inform you; but can a man in love have any
relish for politics?--Pray, divest yourself of that plague, when you
attend the house.--I should drop to hear you say you espouse _this_ or
_that_ cause, for the love of _Miss Warley_, instead of your _country_.
_Next Friday!_--Well, I long to see you after a dreadful, dreadful
absence of _eight days_.--There is something confounded ridiculous in
all this stuff; nor can I scarce credit that man should pine, fret, and
make himself unhappy, because he is loosed from the apron-strings of his
Phillida for a few days.--I see you shrug;--but my fate is not dependent
on your prognostications.--Was it so, I know where I should be,--down
amongst the _dead_ men;--down amongst the _dead_ men.--
However, I would consent to be rank'd in the number of Cupid's slain,
could I be hit by just such a dart as pierc'd you.
Vulcan certainly has none ready made that will do, unless he sharpens
the points of those which have already recoiled.
But hold; I must descend from the clouds, to regale myself on a fine
turtle at the Duke of R----d's. What an _epicure!_ Talk of feasting my
palate, when my eyes are to meet delicacies of a far more inviting
nature!--There _was_ a time I should have been envy'd _such_ a
repast:--_that_ time is fled;--_you_ are no longer a monopolizer of
beauty;--can sing but of _one_,--talk but of _one_--dream but of
_one_,--and, what is still more extraordinary, love but _one_.--
Give _me_ a heart at large;--such confin'd notions are not for
Lord DARCEY to the Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
I envy not the greatest monarch on earth!--She is return'd with my
peace;--my joy;--my very soul.--Had you seen her restorative smiles!
they spoke more than my pen can describe!--She bestow'd them on me, even
before she ran to the arms of Sir James and Lady Powis.--Sweet
condescension!--Her hand held out to meet mine, which, trembling, stopt
half way.--What checks,--what restraint, did I inflict on myself!--Yes,
that would have been the decisive moment, had I not perceiv'd the eyes
of Argus planted _before, behind_, on _every side_ of Sir James.--God!
how he star'd.--I suppose my looks made some discovery.--Once more I
must take thee up, uneasy dress of hypocrisy;--though it will be as hard
to girt on, as the tight waistcoat on a lunatic.
Never has a day appear'd to me so long as _this_.--_Full_ of
expectation, _full_ of impatience!--All stuff again.--No matter; it is
not the groans of a sick man, that can convey his pain to another:--to
feel greatly, you must have been afflicted with the same malady.
I suppose you would laugh to hear how often I have opened and shut the
door;--how often look'd out at the window,--or the multiplicity of times
examined my watch since ten this morning!--Needless would it likewise
be to recount the impatient steps I have taken by the road-side,
attentive to the false winds, which would frequently cheat me into a
belief, that my heart's treasure was approaching.--Hark! I should say,
that must be wheels;--stop and pause;--walk forwards;--stop again, till
every sound have died upon my ear.
Harrass'd by expectation, I saunter'd a back way to
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