Susannah Minific Gunning
Part 2 out of 4
Jenkings's;--enquired of Mrs. Jenkings, what time she thought her
husband might be home; and taking Edmund with me to my former walk,
determined to sound _his_ inclinations.--I waved mentioning Miss
Warley's name till we had gone near a quarter of a mile from the house;
still expecting he would begin the subject, which at this juncture I
suppose particularly engaged his attention; but perceiving he led to
things quite opposite, I drew him out in the following manner.
So you really think, Edmund, your father will not be out after it is
I have not known, my Lord, that he has for many years; rather than
venture, I believe, he would stop the night at Oxford. Very composedly
he said this, for I watched his looks narrowly.--
Edmund, confess, confess _frankly_, said I; has not _this_ day been the
longest you ever knew?
The longest I ever knew! Faith your Lordship was never more out: far
from thinking so, I am startled to find how fast the hours have flown;
and want the addition of at least three, to answer letters which my
father's business requires.
Business, _Edmund!_ and does _business_ really engross so much of your
attention, when you know _who_ is expected in the evening? Ah! _Edmund_,
you are a sly fellow: never tell me, you want to lengthen out the
tedious hours of _absence_.
_Tedious hours of absence!_ Ho! ho! my Lord, I see _now_ what you are
at; your Lordship can never suppose me _such_ a fool as to--
Fool!--My supposition, _Edmund_, pronounces you a man of sense; but you
mistake my meaning.
I do not mistake, my Lord; surely it must be the height of folly to lift
my thoughts to Miss Warley. Suppose my father can give me a few
thousands,--are these sufficient to purchase beauty, good sense, with
every accomplishment?--No, no, my Lord, I am not such a vain
fellow;--Miss Warley was never born for _Edmund Jenkings_--She told me
_so_, the first moment I beheld her.
_Told you so?_ what then, you have made pretensions to her, and she told
Yes, my Lord, she told, me _so_.--That is, her _eyes_, her whole
graceful _form_, spoke it.--Was I a man of family,--a man of title, with
a proper knowledge of the world,--I would not deliberate a moment.
How comes it then, Edmund, that you are so assiduous to oblige her?--You
would not run and fly for every young lady.--
True, my Lord, it is not every one would repay me with smiles of
condescension. Suffer me to assure your Lordship, when I can oblige Miss
Warley, my ambition is gratified.--Never, _never_ shall a more
presumptuous wish intrude to make me less worthy of the honour I receive
from your Lordship's notice.--
This he spoke with energy;--such energy,--as if he had come at the book
of my heart, and was reading its contents. I knew his regard for my dear
amiable girl, and the danger of betraying my secret, or should have
treated him with unbounded confidence:--I therefore only applauded his
sentiments;--told him a man who could think thus nobly,--honour'd me in
his friendship;--that mine to him should be unalterable; call'd him
brother; and by the joyful perturbations of my soul, I fear I gave him
some idea of what I strove to hide.
The curtain of night was dropping by slow degrees, when a distant sound
of wheels interrupted our conversation.--We stood listening a moment, as
it approach'd nearer. Edmund cry'd out,--They are come; I hear,
Caesar's voice; and, taking a hearty leave, ran home to receive them.--I
directed my course towards the Abbey, in hopes the chaise had proceeded
thither, and found I had steer'd right, seeing it stand at the entrance.
Mr. Jenkings did not get out; Lady Powis refused to part with Miss
Warley this night. Whilst I write, I hope she is enjoying a sweet
refreshing sleep. O! Molesworth! could I flatter myself she dreams of
To-morrow Lord and Lady Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Winter, dine here;
consequently Miss Winter, and her _fond_ admirer, Lord Baily.--How often
have I laugh'd to see that cooing, billing, pair? It is come home,
you'll say, with a vengeance.--Not so neither.--I never intend making
such a very fool of myself as Lord Baily.--Pray, Madam, don't sit
against that door;--and pray, Madam, don't sit against this window.--I
hear you have encreased your cold;--you speak hoarse:--indeed, Madam,
you speak hoarse, though you won't confess it.--In this strain has the
monkey ran on for two hours.--No body must help him at table but Miss
Winter.--He is always sure to eat whatever is next her.--She, equally
complaisant, sends her plate to him;--desires he will have a bit of the
same.--Excessively high, my Lord;--you never eat any thing so well
done.--The appearance of fruit is generally the occasion of great
altercation:--What! venture on peaches again, Miss Winter?--Indeed, my
Lord, I shall only eat this small one;--that was not half ripe which
made me sick yesterday.--No more nuts; I absolutely lay an embargo on
nuts,--No more, nonsense: I absolutely lay an embargo on nonsense, says
Miss WARLEY to Lady MARY SUTTON.
Once more, my dear Lady, I dispatch a packet from this place,--after
bidding adieu to the agreeable Dean,--Brandon Lodge,--and my friends in
How long I shall continue here, God only knows.--If my wishes could
avail, the time would be short; very short, indeed.--I am quite out of
patience with Mr. and Mrs. Smith; some delay every time I hear from
them.--First, we were to embark the middle of this month;--then the
latter end;--now it is put off till the beginning of the next:--perhaps,
when I hear next, it will be, they do not go at all.--Such weak
resolutions are never to be depended on;--a straw, like a magnet, will
draw them from side to side.
I think I am as much an inhabitant of this house as of Mr.
Jenkings's:--I lay here last night after my journey, and shall dine here
this day; but as a great deal of company is expected, must go to my
_other_ home to dress.--To-morrow your Ladyship shall command me.
From Mr. _Jenkings's_.
Rejoice with me, my dear Lady.--You _will_ rejoice, I know, you _will_.
to find my eyes are open to my folly.--How could I be so vain; so
presumptuous!--Yes, it must be vanity, it must be presumption to the
highest,--gloss it over as I will,--to harbour thoughts which before
this your Ladyship is acquainted with.--Did you not blush for me?--did
you not in contempt throw aside my letter?--Undoubtedly you did.--Go,
you said.--I am sure, dear Madam, you _must_ let me not again behold the
weakness of that poor silly girl.--But this is my hope, you are not apt
to judge unfavourably, _even_ in circumstances that will scarce admit of
palliation.--Tell me, my dear Lady, I am pardoned; tell me so, and I
shall never be again unhappy.--How charming, to have _peace_ and
_tranquility_ restor'd, when I fear'd they were for _ever_ banish'd my
breast!--I welcomed the friends;--my heart bounded at their return;--I
smiled on them;--soothed them;--and promised never more to drive them
Thank you, Lord Allen;--again, I thank you:--can I ever be too
grateful?--You have been instrumental to my repose.
The company that dined at the Abbey yesterday were Lord and Lady Allen,
Lord Baily, Mr. Mrs. and Miss Winter.--This was the first day I changed
my mourning;--a white lutestring, with the fine suit of rough garnets
your Ladyship gave me, was my dress on the occasion.--But let me proceed
to the incident for which I stand indebted for the secret tranquility,
the innate repose I now possess in a _superlative_ degree.--
When I went to Mr. Jenkings's to dress for dinner, Lord Darcey attended
me, as usual:--the coach was to fetch us.--I thought I never saw his
Lordship in such high good humour; what I mean is, I never saw him in
such spirits.--To speak the truth, his temper always appears
unruffled;--sometimes a little gloomy; but I suppose he is not exempted
from the common ills of life.--He entertained me on the way with a
description of the company expected, interlarding his conversation with
observations tending to raise my vanity. Notwithstanding his seeming
sincerity, I was proof against such insinuations.--If he had stopp'd
_there_,--well, if he had stop'd _there_;--what then?--Why then,
perhaps, I should not have betray'd the weakness of my heart.--But I
hope thy confusion pass'd unobserv'd;--I hope it was not seen before I
could draw my handkerchief from my pocket: if it should, heavens! the
very thought has dyed me scarlet.
I am running on as though your Ladyship had been present in Mr.
Jenkings's parlour,--in the coach,--and at table, whither I must conduct
you, my dear Lady, if your patience will bear a minute
_recital_.--First, then, to our conference in the parlour, after I was
My coming down interrupted a _tete-a-tete_ between his Lordship and
Edmund. The latter withdrew soon after I entered;--_it look'd some-how
as if designed;--it vexed me_;--mean it how he would, _it much_
disconcerted me:--I _hate_, I _despise_ the least appearance of
design.--In vain did I attempt to bring him back; he only answer'd he
would be with us instantly.
I was no sooner seated, than his Lordship placed himself by me; and
fetching a deep sigh, said, I wish it was in my power to oblige Miss
Warley as much as it is in hers to oblige me.--
My Lord, I cannot conceive how I have it in my power to oblige you. He
took my hand,--Yes, Madam, to make _me_ happy,--for ever happy,--to
make _Sir James_ and _Lady Powis happy_, you have only to determine not
to quit your native country.
Stop! my Lord, if you mean my going to _Montpellier_, I am
determin'd.--And are you _really_ determin'd, Miss Warley?--his face
overspread with a dreadful paleness.
I am, my Lord,
But what are you determin'd? Are you determined to distress your
I wish not to distress my friends: nothing would give me so much pain;
but I _must_ go;--indeed I _must_.
He rose up;--walk'd about the room,--came back to his seat again,
looking quite frantic,--Good God! why should that sex practise so many
arts? He pray'd,--intreated,--left no argument untried.
I cannot picture his countenance, when I declared myself resolved.--He
caught both my hands, fixed his eyes stedfastly upon me.
Then you are inflexible, Madam?--Nothing can move you to pity the most
wretched of his sex.--Know you the person living that could prevail?--If
you do,--say so;--I will bring him instantly on his knees.
There is not in the world, my Lord, one who could prevent me from paying
my _duty_, my _affection_, my _obedience_, to Lady Mary Sutton: if due
to a parent, how much more from me to _Lady Mary_;--a poor orphan, who
have experienced from her the most maternal fondness? The word _orphan_
struck him; he reeled from me and flung himself into a chair opposite,
leaning his head on a table which stood near.
I declare he distress'd me greatly;--I know not what my thoughts were at
that moment;--I rose to quit the room; he started up.
Don't leave me, Miss Warley;--don't leave me. I _will_ keep you no
longer in the dark: I _must_ not suffer in your opinion,--be the
Here we were interrupted by Edmund.--I was sorry he just then
entered;--I would have given the world to know what his Lordship was
about to say.
When we were in the coach, instead of explaining himself, he assumed
rather a chearful air; and asked, if my time was fix'd for going to
Not absolutely fix'd, my Lord; a month or two hence, perhaps. This I
said, that he might not know exactly the time when I shall set out.
_A month_ or _two!_ O! that will be just the thing, just as I could wish
What does your Lordship mean?
Only that I intend spending part of the winter in Paris; and if I should
not be deemed an _intruder_, perhaps the same yacht may carry us over.
I was never more at a loss for a reply.
Going to France, my Lord! in a hesitating voice.--I never heard,--I
never dreamt,--your Lordship had such an intention.
Well, you do not forbid it, Miss Warley? I shall certainty be of your
_I forbid it_, my Lord! _I forbid it!_ What right have _I_ to controul
your Lordship's actions? Besides, we should travel so short a way
together, it would be very immaterial.
Give me Leave, Madam, in this respect to be the judge; perhaps every one
is not bless'd with that _happy_ indifference.--What may be very
_immaterial_ to _one_,--may be matter of the _highest_ importance to
He pronounced the word _immaterial_, with some marks of displeasure. I
was greatly embarrass'd: I thought our conversation would soon become
I knew not what to do.--I attempted to give it a different turn; yet it
engrossed all my attention.--At length I succeeded by introducing my
comical adventure at the inn, in our way to Oxfordshire: but the
officer's name had escaped my memory, though I since recollect it to be
This subject engaged us till we came within sight of the drawing-room
windows.--There are the visitors, as I live! said I. Your Lordship not
being dress'd, will, I suppose, order the coach to the other door.--To
be plain, I was glad of any excuse that would prevent my getting out
before them.--Not _I_, indeed, Miss Warley, reply'd he:--Dress is never
of consequence enough to draw me two steps out of my way.--If the
spectators yonder will fix their eyes on an old coat rather than a fine
young Lady, _why_ they have it for their pains.
By this time the door was open'd, and Sir James appearing, led me, with
his usual politeness, to the company. I was placed by her Ladyship next
Miss Winter, whose person I cannot say prejudiced me in her favour,
being entirely dispossessed of that winning grace which attracts
strangers at a first glance.
After measuring me with her eye from head to toe, she sent my dimensions
in a kind of half smile across the room to Lord Baily; then vouchsafed
to ask, how long I had been in this part of the world? which question
was followed by fifty others, that shewed she laboured under the violent
thirst of curiosity; a thirst never to be conquered; for, like dropsical
people, the more they drink in, the more it rages.
My answers were such as I always return to the inquisitive.--Yes,
Madam;--No, Madam;--very well;--very good;--not certain;--quite
undetermin'd.--Finding herself unsuccessful with _me_, she apply'd to
_Lady Powis_; but alas! poor maiden, she could drain nothing from that
fountain; the streams would not flow;--they were driven back, by
endeavouring to force them into a wrong channel.
These were not certainly her first defeats, by the clever way of hiding
her chagrin:--it is gone whilst she adjusts the flower in her bosom,--or
opens and shuts her fan twice.--How can _she_ be mortified by
trifles,--when the _Lord_ of _her heart_,--the sweet, simpering,
fair-faced, Lord Baily keeps his eyes incessantly fixed on her, like
centinels on guard?--They cannot speak, _indeed they cannot_, or I
should expect them to call out every half hour, "All is well."
I admire Lord and Lady Allen. I say, I admire them: their manners are
full of easy freedom, pleasing vivacity.--I cannot admire all the world;
I wish I could.--Mr. and Mrs. Winter happen not to suit my taste;--they
are a kind of people who look down on every one of middle
fortune;--seem to despise ancestry,--yet are always fond of mixing with
the great.--Their rise was too sudden;--they jump'd into life all at
once.--Such quick transitions require great equality of mind;--the blaze
of splendor was too much for their _weak_ eyes;--the _flare_ of surprise
is still visible.
It was some time before the conversation became general.--First, and
ever to have precedence,--the weather;--next, roads;--then
houses,--plantations,--fashions,--dress,--equipage;--and last of all,
politics in a thread-bare coat.
About ten minutes before dinner, Lord Darcey joined us, dress'd most
magnificently in a suit of olive velvet, embroider'd with gold;--his
hair without powder, which became him infinitely.--He certainly appear'd
to great advantage:--how could it be otherwise, when in company with
that tawdry, gilded piece of clay?--And to sit by him, of all
things!--One would really think it had been designed:--_some_ exulted,
_some_ look'd mortified at the contrast.--Poor Miss Winter's seat began
to grow very uneasy;--she tried every corner, yet could not vary the
light in which she saw the _two opposites_.--Why did she frown on
_me?_--why cast such contemptuous glances every time I turn'd my eye
towards her?--Did _I_ recommend the daubed coxcomb;--or represent that
her future joys depended on title?--No! it was vanity, the love of
grandeur,--that could make her give up fine sense, fine accomplishments,
a princely address, and all the noble requisites:--yes, my Lady, such a
one, Lord Darcey tells me, she has refused.--Refused, for what? For
folly, a total ignorance in the polite arts, and a meaness of manners
not to be express'd: yet, I dare say, she thinks, the sweet sounds of
_my Lady_, and _your Ladyship_ is _cheaply_ purchased by such a
When we moved to go into the dining-parlour, Miss Winter bow'd for me to
follow Lady Allen and her mother; which after I had declined, Lady Powis
took me by the hand, and said, smiling, No, Madam, Miss Warley is one of
us.--If _so_, my Lady--and she swam out of the room with an air I shall
Lord Darcey took his place at table, next Lord Allen;--I sat opposite,
with Miss Winter on my right, and Lord Baily on my left.--Sorry I was,
to step between the Lovers; but ceremony required it; so I hope they do
not hate me on that account.--Lord Allen has a good deal of archness in
his countenance, though not of the ill-natur'd kind.--I don't know how,
but every time he look'd across the table I trembled; it seem'd a
foreboding of what was to follow.
He admired the venison;--said it was the best he had ever tasted from
Sir James's park;--but declared he would challenge him next Monday, if
all present would favour him with their company.--Lady Allen seconded
the request so warmly, that it was immediately assented to.--
What think you, said his Lordship it is to the _young_ folks that I
address myself, of seeing before you a couple who that day has been
married twenty years, and never frown'd on one another?
Think! said Lord Darcey, it is very possible.
_Possible_ it certainly is, reply'd Lady Powis; but very few instances,
What say you, Miss Warley? ask'd his Lordship: you find Lord Darcey
supposes it very possible.--Good God! I thought I should have sunk: it
was not so much the question, as the manner he express'd it in. I felt
as if my face was stuck full of needles: however, I stifled my
confusion, and reply'd, I was quite of Lady Powis's opinion.
Well, what say you, Miss Winter?
How I rejoiced! I declare I could hardly contain my joy, when he
address'd himself to her.
What say I, my Lord? return'd she; why, _truly_, I think it must be your
own faults, if you are not treated _civilly_.--The Devil! cry'd he.
O fie! O fie! my Lord, squeaked my left hand neighbour.--And why O fie!
retorted his Lordship: Is _civility_ all we have to expect?
We can _claim_ nothing else said the squeaker.--If the dear creatures
condescend to _esteem_ us, we ought to consider it a particular
And so, Miss Warley, cry'd Lord Allen, we are only to be _esteemed_
now-a-days. I thank God my good woman has imbibed none of those modern
notions. Her actions have convinced the world of that long ago.
Poh! my Lord, said Lady Allen, we are old-fashion'd people:--you must
not talk thus before Gentlemen and Ladies bred in the present age.
Come, come, let me hear Lord Darcey speak to this point, continued his
Lordship. He is soon to be _one of us_;--we shall shortly, I am told,
salute him _Benedick_.
On this Sir James threw down his knife and fork with emotion, crying,
This is news, indeed! This is what I never heard before! Upon my word,
your Lordship has been very secret! looking full at Lord Darcey. But you
are of _age_, my Lord, so I have no _right_ to be consulted; however, I
should be glad to know, who it is that runs away with your heart. This
was spoke half in jest, half in earnest.
In a moment my neck and face were all over crimson.--I felt the colour
rise;--it was not to be suppress'd.--I drew my handkerchief from my
pocket;--held it to my face;--hemm'd;--call'd for wine and
water;--which, when brought, I could scarcely swallow; spoke in a low
voice to Miss Winter;--said she had a poor stomach, or something like
Lord Darcey too was confus'd.--Why did I look up to him?--He was pale,
instead of red.--I saw his lips move, but could not hear what he said
for more than a minute; occasion'd by an uncommon noise which just then
rush'd through my head:--at length sounds grew distinct, and I heard
this sentence--_every_ word is inscribed where it can _never_ be
Upon my honour. Lord Allen, I have never made proposals to any woman;
and _further_, it is a matter of doubt, whether I ever shall.
By this time I had lost all my colour;--charming cool--and calm,--no
Nothing disagreeable now hung on my mind, except a certain
thoughtfulness, occasion'd by the recollection of my folly.--
Miss Winter's eyes sparkled, if it is possible for grey ones to sparkle,
at the declaration Lord Darcey had just made; and, of a sudden, growing
very fond of _me_, laid her hand on mine, speaking as it were
aside,--Well, I was never _more_ surprized! I as _much_ believed him
engaged to a _certain_ young Lady,--squeezing my thumb,--as I think I am
living.--Nay, I would not have credited the contrary, had I not heard
him declare off with my _own_ ears.--I see how it is; Sir James must
chuse a wife for him.--
To all which I only answered, Lord Darcey, Madam, is certainly the best
judge of his actions:--I make no doubt but Sir James will approve his
After what I have related, common subjects ensued:--the cloth being
removed, I withdrew to the Library, intending to sit with Mr. Watson
half an hour, who was confined by a cold. He holds out his hand to take
mine the moment he hears my footstep.--I look on him as an angel: his
purity, his mildness, his resignation speak him one.--
Lord Darcey entered as I was about to join the company; however, I staid
some minutes, that my quitting the room might not seem on _his_ account.
I am glad you are come, my Lord, said Mr. Watson; sitting with such a
poor infirm man has made Miss Warley thoughtful.--Upon my word, Sir,
returned I, it was only the fear of increasing your head-ach that me
silent.--I never was in higher spirits.--I could sing and dance this
very moment. Well then, dear Miss Warley, cried his Lordship, let me
fetch your _guitarre_.
With all my heart, my Lord; I am _quite_ in tune.--Taking leave of Mr.
Watson, I return'd to the company.--His Lordship soon followed. Again
repeating his request, in which every person join'd, I sung and play'd
Miss Winter was next call'd upon and the guitarre presented to her by
Lord Darcey.--A long time she absolutely refused it; declaring she had
not learnt any new music this year.--What does that signify, Miss
Winter? said her mother; you know you have a sweet voice.
Bless me! Madam! how can you say so?--To be sure, I should sing to great
Well, Nancy, you'll oblige _Papa?_--says the old Gentleman; I know
you'll oblige _Papa_,--stalking over to her on the tops of his toes.
Here the contest ended; _Miss_ taking the guitarre, condescended to
oblige her _Papa_.
She really sings and plays well:--if her manner had been less affected,
we should have been more entertain'd.--The company staid supper, after
which Lord Darcey came with me home.--I made _no_ objection:--of all
things, I would make _none_--after what pass'd at table. Fortunate
event! how I rejoice in my recovered tranquillity!
The thoughts, the pleasing thoughts of freedom have kept me from sleep;
I could not think of repose amidst my charming reflections. Happy, happy
It is past two o'clock!--At all times and all seasons,
I am, my dear Lady,
Miss WARLEY to the same.
_From Mr. Jenkings's_.
Sent for before breakfast!--Nobody in the coach!--Well, I am glad of
that, however.--Something very extraordinary must have happen'd.--I hope
Lady Powis is not ill.--No other message but to desire I would come
immediately.--I go, my dear Lady; soon as I return will acquaint you
what has occasion'd me this _early_ summons.
Eight o'clock at Night.
No ill news! quite the reverse:--I am escaped from the house of
festivity to make your Ladyship a partaker.
My spirits are in a flutter.--I know not where to begin.--I have run
every step of the way, till I am quite out of breath.--Mr. Powis is
coming home,--absolutely coming home to settle;--married _too_, but I
cannot tell all at once.--Letters with an account of it have been this
morning receiv'd. He does not say _who_ his wife is, only one of the
best women in the world.
She will be received with affection;--I know she will.--Lady Powis
declares, they shall be folded together in her arms.
It was too much for Sir James, he quite roared again when he held out to
me the letter,--I don't believe he has eat a morsel this day.--I never
before saw a man so affected with joy.--Thank God! I left him pure and
The servants were like mad creatures, particularly those who lived in
the family before Mr. Powis left England.--He seems, in short, to be
considered as one risen from the dead.--
I was in such haste on receiving Lady Powis's message, that I ran down
to the coach, my hat and cloak in my hand.--Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings were
talking to the coachman.--I soon perceived by them something pleasing
had happen'd.--They caught me in their arms, and I thought would have
smother'd me in their embraces; crying out, Mr. Powis is coming home, my
dear;--Mr. Powis is coming home:--for God's sake, Madam, make haste up
to the Hall.
In getting into the coach, I stepp'd on my apron, and fell against the
opposite door.--My right arm was greatly bruis'd, which I did not
perceive till I drew on my glove.
The moment I alighted, I ran to the breakfast-parlour; but finding no
one there, went directly to her Ladyship's dressing-room.--She open'd
the door, when she heard me coming. I flew to her.--I threw my arms
about her neck, and all I could say in my hurry was, Joy, Joy, Joy!
I am all joy, my love, she return'd--I am made up of nothing else. I
quitted her to run to Sir James, who was sitting in a great chair with a
letter held out. I believe I kiss'd him twenty times before I took
it;--there could be no harm in that surely.--Such endearments I should
have shewn my father, on the like tender occasion. He wept, as I have
said, till he quite roared again.--I laid his head on my shoulder, and
it was some time before I would mention his son's name.
Lord Darcey held one of Sir James's hands: he was in the room when I
enter'd; but I declare I never saw him till he spoke. He is safe
_now_,--after what happened yesterday,--safe from any imputation on _my_
Very kind and very civil, upon my word! O! your Ladyship never heard
such a fuss as he made about the scratch on my arm.--I affect to look
pleased when he speaks to me, that he might not take it into his head I
He must be the happiest creature in the world; I honour him for the
grateful affection he shews Sir James and Lady Powis.
Breakfast stood on the table: not a soul had broke their fast.--Her
Ladyship was here, there, and every where.--I was sadly afraid they
would be all sick; at length I prevailed on them to drink a cup of
Mr. Watson, good man notwithstanding his indisposition, got up at
eleven.--I met him coming from his apartment, and had the pleasure of
leading him to the happy family.--
His congratulations were delivered with such serene joy,--such warmth of
affection,--as if he had cull'd the heart-felt satisfaction of both
The word _happy_ echoed from every mouth; each sentence began and ended
with it.--What the heart feels is seldom to be disguised.--Grief will
speak,--if not by the tongue, it will out;--it hangs on the features,
sallows the skin, withers the sinews, and is a galling weight that
pulls towards the ground.--Why should a thought of grief intrude at this
time?--Is not my dear Lady Mary's health returning?--Is not felicity
restor'd to this family?--Now will my regret at parting be
lessened;--now shall I leave every individual with minds perfectly at
Mr. Powis is expected in less than a month, intending to embark in the
next ship after the Packet.--How I long to see him!--But it is very
unlikely I should; I shall certainly have taken my leave of this place
before he arrives.--By your Ladyship's permission, I hope to look in
upon them, at our return to England.
What genteel freedoms men give themselves after _declaring off_, as Miss
Winter calls it?--I had never so many fine things said to me before;--I
can't tell how many;--quite a superabundance;--and before Sir James
_too!_--But no notice is taken; he has cleared himself of all
suspicion.--He may go to town as soon as he will.--His business is
done;--yes, he did it yesterday.
I wish I may not laugh out in the midst of his fine speeches.--
I wish your Ladyship could see this cool attention I give him.--But I
have nettled him to the truth this afternoon:--his pride was
alarm'd;--it could certainly proceed from _no other_ cause, after he has
I was sitting at the tea-table, a trouble I always take from Lady Powis,
who with Sir James was walking just without the windows, when Lord
Darcey open'd the door, and said, advancing towards me with affected
airs of admiration,--How proud should I be to see my house and table so
graced!--Then leaning over the back of my chair, Well, my angel! how is
the bad arm? Come, let me see, attempting to draw off my glove.
Oh! quite well, my Lord; withdrawing my hand carelessly.
For heaven's sake, take more care of yourself, Miss Warley; this might
have been a sad affair.
Depend on that, my Lord, for my own sake.
For your _own sake!_ Not in consideration of any _other_ person?
Yes; of _Lady Mary Sutton, Sir James_ and _Lady Powis, good Mr.
Jenkings_ and _his wife_, who I know would be concerned was I to suffer
much from any accident.
Then there is no _other_ person you would wish to preserve your life
Not that I know at present, my Lord,
Not that you know at _present!_ so you think you may one day or _other?_
I pretend not, my Lord, to answer for what _may_ happen; I have never
seen the _person_ yet. I was going to say something further, I have
really forgot what, when he turn'd from me, and walked up and down the
room with a seeming discomposure.
_If_ you are sincere in what you have said, _Miss Warley_; _if_ you are
_really_ sincere, I do pronounce--Here he burst open the door, and flew
out the instant Sir James and Lady Powis entered.
When the tea was made, a footman was sent to Lord Darcey; but he was no
where to be found.
This is very strange, said her Ladyship; Lord Darcey never used to be
out of the way at tea-time. I declare I am quite uneasy; perhaps he may
Oh! cry'd Sir James, don't hurry yourself; I warrant he is got into one
of his old reveries, and forgets the time.
I was quite easy. I knew his abrupt departure was nothing but an
air:--an air of consequence, I suppose.--However, I was willing to be
convinced, so did not move till I saw the Gentleman sauntering up the
lawn. As no one perceived him but myself, I slid out to the housekeeper,
and told her, if her Lady enquir'd for me, I was gone home to write
Letters by to-morrow's post.
You have enough of it now, I believe, my dear Lady; two long letters by
the same packet:--but you are the repository of my joy, my grief, the
very inmost secrets of my soul.--You, my dear Lady, have the whole heart
Lord DARCEY to the Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
Ruin'd and undone, as I hope for mercy!--undone too by my own egregious
folly!--She is quite lost,--quite out of my power.--I wish Lord Allen
had been in the bottom of the sea;--he can never make me amends;--no, if
he was to die to-morrow and leave me his whole fortune.--
I told you he was to dine here yesterday.--I cannot be
circumstantial.--He did dine here;--to my utter sorrow he did.
Oh what a charming morning I spent!--Tho' my angel persisted in going to
France, yet it was in a manner that made me love her, if possible, ten
thousand times more than ever.--Good God! had you seen how she
look'd!--But no matter now;--I must forget her angelical
sweetness.--Forget did I say?--No, by heaven and earth--she lives in
every corner of my heart.--I wish I had told her my whole soul.--I was
going to tell her, if I had not been interrupted.--It is too late
now.--She would not hear me: I see by her manners she would not hear me.
She has learnt to look with indifference:--even smiles with
indifference.--Why does she not frown? That would be joy to what her
smiles afford.--I hate such smiles; they are darts dipp'd in poison.--
Lord Allen said he heard I was going to be marry'd:--_What was that to
him?_--Sir James look'd displeased. To quiet _his_ fears I assured
him--God! I know not what I assured _him_--something very foreign from
She blushed when Sir James asked, to whom?--With what raptures did I
behold her blushes!--But she shrunk at my answer.--I saw the colour
leave her cheek, like a rose-bud fading beneath the hoary frost.
I _will_ know my fate.--Twill be with you in a few days,--if Sir James
should consent.--_What if he should consent?_--She is steeled against my
vows--my protestations;--my words affect her not;--the most tender
assiduities are disregarded:--she seems to attend to what I say, yet
regards it not.
Where are those looks of preference fled,--those expressive looks?--I
saw them not till now:--it is their loss,--it is their sad reverse that
tells me what they were. She turns not her head to follow my foot-steps
at parting;--or when I return, does not proclaim it by advancing
pleasure tip-toe to the windows of her soul.--No anxiety for my health!
No, she cares not what becomes of me.--I complain'd of my head, said I
was in great pain;--heaven knows how true! My complaints were
disregarded.--I attended her home. She sung all the way; or if she
talked, it was of music:--not a word of _my poor head_;--no charges to
draw the glasses up going back.
There was a time, Molesworth--there was a time, if my finger had but
ached, it was, My Lord, you look ill. Does not Lady Powis persuade you
to have advice? You are really too careless of your health.
Shall she be _another's?_--Yes; when I shrink at sight of what lies
yonder,--my sword, George;--that shall prevent her ever being
Tell me you believe she will be _mine_:--it may help to calm my
disturbed mind.--Be sure you do not hint she will be _another's_.
Have I told you, Mr. Powis is coming home?--I cannot recollect whether I
have or not;--neither can I pain myself to look back.
All the world has something to comfort them, but your poor
friend.--Every thing wears the face of joy, till I turn my eyes
inwards:--_there it is_ I behold the opposite;--_there it is_ where
Grief has fix'd her abode.--Does the fiend ever sleep? Will she be
composed by ushering in the happy prospects of others?--Yes, I will
feel, joy.--Joy did I say? Joy I cannot feel.--Satisfaction
then?--Satisfaction likewise is forbid to enter.--What then will
possess my mind; on recollecting peace is restor'd, where gratitude
calls for such large returns?--I'll pray for them;--I'll pray for a
continuance of their felicity.--I'll pray, if they have future ills in
store, they may light on the head of Darcey.--Yes, he can bear more
yet:--let the load be ever so heavy, he will stoop to take up the
burthen of his friends;--such friends as Sir James and Lady Powis have
The Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH to LORD DARCEY.
Well, give me the first salute of your fair bride;--_and for your bride_
I'll ensure Miss Warley.--Why there is not a symptom but is in your
favour.--She is nettled; can't you perceive it?--Once a studied
disregard takes place, we are safe:--nothing will hurt you _now_, my
You have been stuttering falsehoods.--From what I can gather, you have
been hushing the Baronet at the expence of your own and Miss Warley's
quiet.--If you have, never mind it; things may not be the worse.--Come
away, I advise you; set out immediately.--See how she looks at
parting.--But don't distress her;--I charge you not to distress
her.--Should you play back her own cards, I will not answer for the
pride of the sex.--
Sir James's consent once gained, and she rejects your proposals, lay all
your letters to me on the subject before her.--I have them by me.--These
cannot fail of clearing every doubt; she will be convinced then how
sincerely you have loved her.--
You surprise me concerning Mr. Powis:--I thought he was settled in his
government for life;--or rather, for the life of his father.--However, I
am convinced his coming over will be no bad thing for you;--he has
suffered too much from avarice, not to assist another so hardly beset.--
Was not his settling abroad an odd affair!--If he determined to remain
single till he had an opportunity of pleasing himself, why did he leave
England?--The mortification could not be great to have his overtures
refused, where they were made with such indifference.--
As he has lived so many years a batchelor, I suppose there will be now
an end to that great family.--
What a leveller is avarice! How does it pull down by attempting to
raise? How miserable, as Seneca says, in the desire?--how miserable in
attaining our ends?--The same great man alledges, that as long as we are
solicitous for the increase of wealth, we lose the true use of it; and
spend our time in putting out, calling in, and passing our accounts,
without any substantial benefit, either to the world, or to ourselves.--
If you had ever any uneasiness on Bridgman's account, it must be now at
an end.--Married, and has brought his bride to town.--What a false
fellow!--From undoubted authority, I am assured the writings have been
drawn six months:--so that every thing must be concluded between him and
his wife, at the very time he talked to me of Miss Warley.--I wash my
hands from any further acquaintance with concealed minds:--there must be
something very bad in a heart which has a dark cloud drawn before
it.--Virtue and innocence need no curtain:--they were sent to us
naked;--it is their loss, or never possessing them,--that makes caution
necessary, to hide from the world their destined place of
abode.--Without entering a house, and being conversant with its
inhabitants, how is it possible to say, if they are worthy or
unworthy:--so if you knock, and are not admitted, you still remain
doubtful.--But I am grown wise from experience;--and shall judge, for
the future, where a heart is closely shut up, there is nothing in it
worth enquiring after.
I go on Thursday to meet Risby, and conduct him to town. It would give
us great joy, at our return, to shake you by the hand.--What can avail
your staying longer in the midst of doubts, perplexities, racks,
tortures, and I know-not-what. Have you any more terms to express the
deadly disorder?--If you have keep them to yourself; I want not the
confounded list compleat:--no; no, not I; faith.--
I go this evening to see the new play, which is at present a general
subject of conversation.--Now, was I a vain fellow--a boaster--would I
mention four or six of the prettiest women about town, and swear I was
to escort them.--Being a lover of truth, I confess I shall steal alone
into an upper box, to fix my attention on the performance of the
piece.--Perhaps, after all is over, I may step to the box of some
sprightly, chatty girl, such as lady ----,--hear all the scandal of the
town, ask her opinion of the play, hand her to her chair, and so home,
to spend a snug evening with sir Edward Ganges, who has promised to meet
me here at ten.
Lady MARY SUTTON to Miss WARLEY.
No, my dear, _Lord Darcey_ is not the man he appears.--What signifies a
specious outside, if within there's a narrow heart?--Such must be his,
to let a virtuous love sit imprisoned in secret corners, when it
delights to dwell in open day.
Perhaps, if he knew my intentions, all concealments would be thrown
aside, and he glory to declare what at present he meanly darkly
hints.--By my consent, you should never give your hand to one who can
hold the treasures of the mind in such low estimation.
When you mention'd your happy situation, the friendly treatment of Sir
James and Lady Powis, I was inclined to think for _many_ reasons, it
would be wrong to take you from them;--_now_ I am convinced, the pain
_that_ must occasion, or the danger in crossing the sea, is not to be
compared to what you might suffer in your _peace_ by remaining where you
are.--When people of Lord Darcey's rank weigh long a matter of this
nature, it is seldom the scale turns of the right side;--therefore, let
not _Hope_, my dear child, flatter you out of your affections.
Do not think you rest in security:--tender insinuations from a man such
as you describe Lord Darcey, may hurt your quiet.
I speak not from experience;--Nature, by cloathing me in her plainest
garb, has put all these hopes and fears far from me.
I have been ask'd, it is true, often, for my fortune;--at least, I look
upon asking for my heart to be the same thing.--Sure, I could never be
such a fool to part with the latter, when I well knew it was requested
only to be put in possession of the former!
_You_ think Jenkings suspects his son has a _too_ tender regard for
you;--_you_ think he is uneasy on that account.--Perhaps he is
uneasy;--but time will convince you his suspicions, his uneasiness,
proceed not from the _cause you imagine_.--He is a good man; you cannot
think too well of him.
I hope this letter will find you safe return'd to Hampshire. I am
preparing to leave the Spaw with all possible expedition: I should quit
it with reluctance, but for the prospect of visiting it again next
summer, with my dear Fanny.
At Montpelier the winter will slide on imperceptibly: many agreeable
families will there join us from the Spaw, whose good-humour and
chearful dispositions, together with plentiful draughts of the Pouhon
Spring, have almost made me forget the last ten years I have dragg'd, on
in painful sickness.
The family in which I have found most satisfaction, is Lord
Hampstead's:--every way calculated to make themselves and others
happy;--such harmony is observed through the whole, that the mechanism
of the individuals seem to be kept in order by one common wheel.--I
rejoice that I shall have an opportunity of introducing you to them.--We
have fixed to set out the same day for Montpelier.
Lady Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, has obligingly offer'd to travel in
my coach, saying, she thought it would be dull for me to go alone.
It is impossible to say which of the two sisters, was it left to my
choice, would be my companion, as both are superlatively pleasing.--They
possess, to a degree, what I so much admire in our sex;--a peculiar
softness in the voice and manner; yet not quite so sprightly, perhaps,
as may be thought necessary for some misses started up in this age; but
sufficient, I think, for those who keep within certain bounds.--It
requires an uncommon share of understanding, join'd with a great share
of wit, to make a very lively disposition agreeable. I allow, if these
two ingredients are happily blended, none can chuse but admire, as well
as be entertain'd with, such natural fine talents:--on the contrary,
where one sees a pert bold girl apeing such rare gifts, it is not only
the most painful, but most absurd sight on earth.
Lady Elizabeth, and her amiable sister Sophia strive to hide every
perfection they possess;--yet these I have just mention'd, with all
others, will on proper occasions, make their appearance through a croud
of blushes.--This timidity proceeds partly from nature,--partly from the
education they have received under the best of mothers, whose tenderness
for them would not suffer her to assign that momentous task to any but
herself; fearing, as she has often told me, they would have had a
thousand faults overlook'd by another, which her eye was ever on the
watch to discover. She well knew the most trivial might be to them of
the worst consequence:--when they were call'd to an account for what was
pass'd, or warn'd how to avoid the like for the future, her manner was
so determin'd and persuasive, as if she was examining her own
conscience, to rectify every spot and blemish in it.
Though Lady Hampstead's fondness for her daughters must cause her to
admire their good qualities, like a fine piece of perspective, whose
beauties grow upon the eye,--yet she has the art not only to conceal her
admiration, but, by the ascendency her tenderness has gain'd, she keeps
even from themselves a knowledge of those perfections.--To this is owing
the humility which has fortified their minds from the frequent attacks
flattery makes against the unstable bulwarks of title and beauty.
Matchless as these sisters appear, they are to be equalled in their own,
as well as the other sex.--I hope you will allow it in _one_, when you
see Lord Hallum: he is their brother as much by _virtue_ as _birth_.--I
could find in my heart to say a thousand things of this fine youth;--but
that I think such subjects flow easier from a handsome young woman than
a plain old one.--Yet don't be surpriz'd;--unaccountable things happen
every day;--if I _should_ lend a favourable ear to this
Adonis!--Something whispers me I shall receive his proposals.--An
excuse, on these occasions, is never wanting; mine will be a good
one:--that, at my death, you may be left to the protection of this
worthy Lord.--But, first, I must be assured you approve of him in that
light;--being so firmly attach'd to my dear Fanny, to your happiness,
my Love, that the wish of contributing to it is the warmest of your
Lord DARCEY to the Hon. GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
Five days more, and I am with you.--Saturday morning!--Oh that I may
support the hour of trial with fortitude!--I tremble at the thought;--my
blood freezes in my veins, when I behold the object I am to part from.--
I try in vain to keep out of her sight:--if I attempt to leave the room
where she is, my resolutions are baffled before I reach the door.--Why
do I endeavour to inflict so hard a penance!--Because I foolishly
suppose it would wean me.--Wean me _from what?_--From virtue.--No,
Molesworth, it is not _absence_;--it is not _time_ itself can deaden the
exalted image;--it neither sickens or dies, it blooms to immortality,
Was I only to be parted from beauty, _that_ I might meet again in every
town and village.--I want you to force me from the house.--Suppose I get
up early, and slip away without taking leave.--But that will not
do;--Sir James is ceremonious;--Lady Powis may deem it
disrespect;--above all, Miss Warley, _that dear, dear Miss Warley_,--if
_she_ should think me wanting in regard, all then must be at an end.
Ha! Sir James yonder on the terrace, and alone! Let me examine his
countenance:--I see no clouds;--this is the time, if ever!--Miss Warley
not yet come up from Jenkings's!--If successful, with what transports
shall I run to fetch her!--_Yes, I will_ venture;--_I will_ have one
trial, as I hope for mercy.--
* * * * *
_As I hope for mercy_, I see, were my last words.--I do indeed hope for
it, but never from Sir James.
Still perplexed;--still miserable!--
I told you Miss Warley was not come from Jenkings's; but how I started,
when I saw her going to Lady Powis's dressing-room!
I was hurried about her in a dream, last night.--I thought I had lost
her:--I hinted it when we met;--that moment I fancied she eyed me with
regard;--she spoke _too_ in a manner very different from what she has
done some days past.--Then I'll swear it,--for it was not illusion,
George,--her whole face had something of a sweet melancholy spread over
it;--a kind of resignation in her look;--a melting softness that droop'd
on her cheek:--I felt what it expressed;--it fir'd my whole frame;--it
sent me to Sir James with redoubled eagerness.
I found him thoughtful and complaisant: we took several turns, before I
could introduce my intended subject; when, talking of my setting out, I
said, Now I have an opportunity, Sir James, perhaps I may not have
another before I go, I should be glad of your sentiments in regard to my
settling in life.--
How do you mean, my Lord; as to the choice of a wife?--
Why, I think, Sir, there's no other way of settling to one's
To be sure, it is very necessary your Lordship should consider on those
matters,--especially as you are the last of a noble family:--when, you
do fix, I hope it will be _prudently_.
_Prudently_, Sir James! you may depend on it I will never settle my
Wall, but, my Lord, what are your notions of _prudence?_
Why, Sir, to make choice of a person who is virtuous, sensible, well
descended.--_Well descended Jenkings has assured me she is_.
You say nothing, my Lord, of what is _most_ essential to
happiness;--nothing of the _main point_.
Good-nature, I suppose you mean:--I would not marry an ill-natur'd
woman, Sir James, for the world. And is good-nature, with those you
have mention'd, the only requisites?
I think they are the chief, Sir.
You and I differ much, my Lord.--Your father left his estate encumbered;
it is not yet clear; you are of age, my Lord: pray, spare yourself the
trouble of consulting me, if you do not think of _fortune_.
Duty to the memory of my rever'd father, the affection and gratitude I
owe you, Sir James, calls for my obedience:--without _your_ sanction,
Sir, never shall my hand be given.
He seem'd pleas'd: I saw tears starting to his eyes; but still he was
resolv'd to distress me.
Look about you, my child; look about you, Darcey;--there's Lady Jane
Marshly, Miss Beaden, or--and was going on.
Pardon me, Sir James, for interrupting you; but really, I cannot take
any Lady on recommendation: I am very difficult, perhaps _perverse_ in
this point; my first attachment must be merely accidental.
Ah! these are the notions that ruin half the young fellows of this
age.--_Accidental likings_--_First love_,--and the devil knows what,
runs away with half the old family estates.--Why, the least thing men
ought to expect, even if they marry for _love_, is six-pence for a
shilling.--Once for all, my Lord, I must tell you, your _interest_ is to
be consulted before your _inclinations_.
_Don't_ be ruffled, Sir James; _don't_ let us talk warmly of a matter
which perhaps is at a great distance.
I wish it may be at a _great distance_, my Lord.--_If what I conjecture
is true_--Here he paus'd, and look'd so sternly, that I expected all
What do you _conjecture_, Sir?--Yes, I ask'd him what.--
Your Lordship must excuse my answering that question. _I hope_ I am
wrong;--_I hope_ such a thing never enter'd your thoughts:--if it
has--and he mutter'd something I could not understand; only I heard
distinctly the words _unlucky_,--_imprudent_,--_unforeseen_.--I knew
enough of their meaning to silence me.--Shaking him by the hand, I said,
Well, Sir James, if you please, we will drop this subject for the
present.--On which the conversation ended.
What a deal of patience and philosophy am I master of, to be here at my
pen, whilst two old men are sucking in the honey which I should lay up
for a winter's store?--Like Time, nothing can stand before her:--she
mows down all ages.--Even Morgan, that man who us'd to look on a fine
woman with more indifference than a horse or dog,--is now
new-moulded;--not one oath in the space where I have known twenty escape
him:--instead of following his dogs the whole morning, he is eternally
with the ladies.
If he rides out with my angel, for he's determin'd, he says, to make her
a complete horsewoman, I must not presume to give the least direction,
or _even_ touch the bridle.
I honour him for the tender regard he shews her:--yes, I go further;
_he_ and _Mr. Watson_ may _love_ her;--they do _love_ her, and glory in
declaring it.--I _love_ them in return;--but they are the only two, of
all the race of batchelors within my knowledge, that should make _such_
a declaration with impunity.
Let me see: I shall be in London Saturday evening;--Sunday, no
post;--Monday, _then_ I determine to write to Sir James;--Wednesday, I
may have an answer;--_Thursday_,--who knows but _Thursday!_--nothing is
impossible; who knows but _Thursday_ I may return to all my hopes?--How
much I resemble a shuttlecock! how am I thrown from side to side by hope
and fear; now up, now down; no sooner mounted by one hand than lower'd
This moment a gleam of comfort steals sweetly through my heart;--but it
is gone even before I could bid it welcome.--Why so fast!--to what spot
is it fled?--Can there be a wretch more in need, who calls louder for
its charitable ray than
Miss WARLEY to Lady MARY SUTTON
_From Mr. Jenkings's_
Now, my dear Lady, the time is absolutely fix'd for our embarkation; the
22d, without fail.--Mr. Smith intends coming himself, to accompany me to
London.--How very good and obliging this!--I shall say nothing of it to
Lady Powis, till Lord Darcey is gone, which will be Saturday:--_he_ may
go to France, if he pleases, but not with _me_.--
When I received Mrs. Smith's letter, he was mighty curious to know who
it was from:--I found him examining the seal, as it lay on the table in
Mr. Jenkings's parlour.--Here is a letter for you, Miss Warley, a good
deal confus'd.--So I see, my Lord: I suppose from Lady Mary Sutton.
I fancy not;--it does not appear to be directed in the same hand with
that my servant brought you last from the post-office.--I broke the
seal; it was easy to perceive the contents gave me pleasure.
There is something, Miss Warley, which gives you particular
You are right, my Lord, I never was better pleas'd.
Then it is from Lady Mary?
_No_, not from Lady Mary.
From Mrs. Smith, _then?_--Do I guess _now?_--You say nothing; oh, there
it is.--I could not forbear smiling.
Pray tell me, only _tell me_, and he caught one of my hands, if this
letter does not fix the _very_ day of your setting out for France?
I thought him possest with the spirit of divination.--What could I do,
in this case?--Falshoods I despise;--evasions are low, _very_ low,
indeed:--yet I knew he ought not to be trusted with the contents, even
at the expence of my veracity--I recollected myself, and looked grave.
My Lord, you must excuse me; this affair concerns only myself; even Lady
Powis will not be acquainted with it yet.
I have done, if Lady Powis is not to be acquainted with it.--I have no
right--I say _right_.--Don't look so, Miss Warley--_believe I did flare
a little_--Time will unfold,--will cast a different light on things from
that in which you now see them.
I was confus'd;--I put up my letter, went to the window, took a book
from thence, and open'd it, without knowing what I did.
_Complete Pocket-Farrier; or, A Cure for all Disorders in Horses_, read
his Lordship aloud, looking over my shoulder; for such was the title of
What have you here, my love?
_My love_, indeed! Mighty free, mighty free, was it not, my Lady? I
could not avoid laughing at the drollery of this accident, or I should
have given him the look he deserved.--I thank God I am come to a state
of _indifference_; and my time here is so short, I would willingly
appear as little reserv'd as possible, that he might not think I have
chang'd my sentiments since his _declaring off_: though I must own I
have; but my pride will not suffer me to betray it to him.
If he has distress'd me,--if he has led my heart a little astray,--I am
recovered now:--I have found out my mistake.--Should I suffer my eye to
drop a tear, on looking back, for the future it will be more
watchful;--it will guard, it will protect the poor wanderer.
He is very busy settling his affairs with Sir James:--three hours were
they together with Mr. Jenkings in the library;--his books all pack'd up
and sent away, to be sure he does not intend returning _here_ again
I suppose he will settle;--he talks of new furnishing his house;--has
consulted Lady Powis upon it.--If he did not intend marrying, if he had
no Lady in his eye--
But what is all this to me? Can he or his house be of any consequence to
my repose?--I enjoy the thoughts of going to France without him:--I
suppose he will think me very sly, but no matter.--
That good-natur'd creature Edmund would match me to a prince, was it in
his power.--He told me, yesterday, that he'd give the whole world, if I
was not to go to France.--Why so, Edmund?--I shall see you again, said
I, at my return to England.
Ay, but what will _somebody do_, in the mean time?
Who is _somebody?_
Can't you guess, Miss Warley?
I do guess, Edmund. But you was never more mistaken; the person you mean
is not to be distress'd by _my_ absence.
He is, upon my honour;--I know _he is_.--Lord Darcey loves you to
Poh! Edmund; don't take such things into your head: I know _you_ wish me
well; but don't be so sanguine!--Lord Darcey stoop to think of _me!_
Stoop to think of _you_, Miss Warley!--I am out of all patience: stoop
to think of _you!_--I shall never forget _that_.--Greatly as I honour
his Lordship, if he conceals his sentiments, if he trifles in an affair
of such importance,--was he the first duke in the kingdom, I hold him
below the regard even of such a one as _I_ am.--Pardon my curiosity,
madam, I mean no ill; but surely he has made proposals to you.
Well, then, I will tell you, Edmund;--I'll tell you frankly, he never
_has_ made proposals:--and further, I can answer for him, he never
_will_.--His belief was stagger'd;--he stood still, his eyes fixed on
Are you _really_ in earnest, Miss Warley?
Then, for heaven's sake, go to France.--But how can you tell, madam, he
never intends to make proposals?
On which I related what passed at table, the day Lord Allen dined at the
Abbey.--Nothing could equal his astonishment; yet would he fain have
persuaded me that I did not understand him;--call'd it misapprehension,
and I know not what.
He _will_ offer you his hand, Miss Warley; he certainly _will_.--I've
known him from a school-boy;--I'm acquainted with every turn of his
mind;--I know his very looks;--I have observ'd them when they have been
directed to you:--he will, I repeat,--he will offer you his hand.
No! Edmund:--but if he _did_, his overtures should be disregarded.
Say not so, Miss Warley; for God's sake, say not so again;--it kills me
to think you _hate_ Lord Darcey.
I speak to you, Edmund, as a friend, as a brother:--never let what has
pass'd escape your lips.
If I do, madam, what must I deserve?--To be shut out from your
confidence is a punishment only fit for such a breach of trust.--But,
for heaven's sake, do not _hate_ Lord Darcey.
Mr. Jenkings appeared at this juncture, and look'd displeas'd.--How
strangely are we given to mistakes!--I betray'd the same confusion, as
if I had been really carrying on a clandestine affair with his son.--In
a very angry tone he said, I thought, Edmund, you was to assist me,
knowing how much I had on my hands, before Lord Darcey sets out;--but I
find business is not _your_ pursuit:--I believe I must consent to your
going into the army, after all.--On which he button'd up his coat, and
went towards the Abbey, leaving me quite thunderstruck. Poor Edmund was
as much chagrined as myself.--A moment after I saw Mr. Jenkings
returning with a countenance very different,--and taking me apart from
his son, said, I cannot forgive myself, my dear young Lady;--can you
forgive me for the rudeness I have just committed?--I am an old man,
Miss Warley;--I have many things to perplex me;--I should not,--I know I
should _not_, have spoke so sharply to Edmund, when you had honour'd him
with your company.
I made him easy by my answer; and since I have not seen a cloud on his
brow.--I shall never think more, with concern, of Mr. Jenkings's
suspicions.--Your Ladyship's last letter,--oh! how sweetly tender!
tells me _he_ has _motives_ to which _I_ am a stranger.
We spent a charming day, last Monday, at Lord Allen's. Most of the
neighbouring families were met there, to commemorate the happy
festival.--Mr. Morgan made one of the party, and return'd with us to the
Abbey, where he proposes waiting the arrival of his godson, Mr.
Powis.--If I have any penetration, most of his fortune will center
_there_,--For my part, I am not a little proud of stealing into his good
graces:--I don't know for what, but Lady Powis tells me, I am one of his
first favourites; he has presented me a pretty little grey horse,
beautifully caparison'd; and hopes he says, to make me a good
As I have promis'd to be at the Abbey early, I shall close this letter;
and, if I have an opportunity, will write another by the same
packet.--Believe me ever, my dearest Lady, your most grateful and
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
SERIES of LETTERS.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
Miss WARLEY to Lady MARY SUTTON.
_from Mr. Jenkings's_.
Oh what a designing man is Lord Darcey!--He loves me not, yet fain would
persuade me that he does.--When I went yesterday morning to the Abbey, I
met him in my way to Lady Powis's dressing-room.--Starting as if he had
seen an apparition, and with a look which express'd great importance, he
said, taking my hand, Oh! Miss Warley, I have had the most dreadful
night!--but I hope _you_ have rested well.
I have rested very well, my Lord; what has disturb'd your Lordship's
_What_, had it been _real_ as it was _visionary_, would have drove me to
madness.--I dreamt, Miss Warley,--I dreamt every thing I was possess'd
of was torn from me;--but now--_and here stopt_.
Well, my Lord, and did not the pleasure of being undeceiv'd overpay all
the pain which you had been deceiv'd into?
No, my angel!--_Why does he call me his angel?_
Why, no: I have such a sinking, such a load on my mind, to reflect it is
possible,--only possible it might happen, that, upon my word, it has
been almost too much for me.
Ah! my Lord, you are certainly wrong to anticipate evils; they come fast
enough, one need not run to meet them:--besides, if your Lordship had
been in reality that very unfortunate creature, you dreamt you were, for
no rank or degree is proof against the caprice of Fortune,--was nothing
to be preserv'd entire?--Fortune can require only what she gave:
fortitude, peace, and resignation, are not her gifts.
Oh! Miss Warley, you mistake: it was not riches I fancied myself
dispossess'd of;--it was, oh my God!--what my peace, my _very_ soul is
center'd in!--and his eyes turn'd round with so wild a stare, that
really I began to suspect his head.
I trembled so I could scarce reach the dressing-room, though just at the
door.--The moment I turn'd from him, he flew like lightning over the
stairs; and soon after, I saw him walking with Sir James on the terrace.
By their gestures I could discover their conversation was not a common
Mr. Morgan comes this instant in sight;--a servant after him, leading my
little horse.--I am sorry to break off, but I must attend him;--he is so
good, I know your Ladyship would be displeas'd, was I to prolong my
letter at the expence of his favour.--Yours, my much honour'd,--my much
lov'd Lady,--with all gratitude, with all affection,
Miss WARLEY to the same.
_From Mr. Jenkings's_.
Now, my dearest Lady, am I again perplex'd, doubting, and
embarrass'd:--yet Lord Darcey is gone,--gone this very morning,--about
an hour since.
Well, I did not think it would evermore be in his power to distress
me;--but I have been distress'd,--greatly distress'd!--I begin to think
Lord Darcey sincere,--that he has always been sincere--He talks of next
_Thursday_, as a day to unravel great mysteries:--but I shall be far
enough by that time; sail'd, perhaps.--Likely, he said, I might know
before Thursday.--I wish any body could, tell me:--I fancy Sir James and
Lady Powis are in the secret.
Mr. Jenkings is gone with his Lordship to Mr. Stapleton's,--about ten
miles this side London, on business of importance:--to-morrow he
returns; then I shall acquaint him with my leaving this place.--Your
Ladyship knows the motive why I have hitherto kept the day of my setting
out a secret from every person,--even from Sir James and Lady Powis.
Yesterday, the day preceding the departure of Lord Darcey, I went up to
the Abbey, determin'd to exert my spirits and appear chearful, cost what
it would to a poor disappointed heavy heart.--Yes, it was
disappointed:--but till then I never rightly understood its
situation;--or perhaps would not understand it;--else I have not
examin'd it so closely as I ought, of late;--Not an unusual thing
neither: we often stop to enquire, what fine feat _that?_--whose
magnificent equipage _this?_--long to see and converse with persons so
surrounded with splendor;--but if one happen to pass a poor dark
cottage, and see the owner leaning on a crutch at the door, we are apt
to go by, without making any enquiry, or betraying a wish to be
acquainted with its misery.--
This was my situation, when I directed my steps to the Abbey.--I saw not
Lord Darcey in an hour after I came into the house;--when he join'd us,
he was dress'd for the day, and in one hand his own hat, in the other
mine, with my cloak, which he had pick'd up in the Vestibule:--he was
dreadfully pale;--complain'd of a pain in his head, which he is very
subject to;--said he wanted a walk;--and ask'd, if I would give him the
honour of my company.--I had not the heart to refuse, when I saw how ill
he look'd;--though for some days past, I have avoided being alone with
him as much as possible.
We met Lady Powis returning from a visit to her poultry-yard.--Where are
my two runabouts going _now?_ she said.--Only for a little walk, madam,
reply'd Lord Darcey.
You are a sauce-box, said she, shaking him by the hand;--but don't go,
my Lord, _too far_ with Miss Warley, nodding and smiling on him at the
same time.--She gave me a sweet affectionate kiss, as I pass'd her; and
cried out, You are a couple of pretty strollers, are you not!--But away
together; only I charge you, my Lord, calling after him, remember you
are not to go _too far_ with my dear girl.
We directed our steps towards the walk that leads to the Hermitage,
neither of us seeming in harmony of spirits.--His Lordship still
complaining of his head, I propos'd going back before we had gone ten
paces from the house.
Would Miss Warley then prevent me, said he, from the last satisfaction!
might ever enjoy?--You don't know, madam, how long--it is impossible to
say how long--if ever I should be so happy again--I look forward to
Wednesday with impatience;--if that should be propitious,--_Thursday_
will unravel _mysteries_; it will clear up _doubts_;--it will perhaps
bring on an event which you, my dearest life, may in time reflect on
with pleasure;--you, my dearest life!--pardon the liberty,--by heaven! I
I was going to withdraw my hand from his: I can be less reserv'd when he
is less free.
Don't take your hand from me;--I will call you miss Warley;--I see my
freedom is depleasing;--but don't take your hand away; for I was still
endeavouring to get it away from him.
Yes, my angel, I will call you _Miss Warley_.
Talk not at this rate, my Lord: it is a kind of conversation I do not,
nor wish to understand.
I see, madam, I am to be unhappy;--I know you have great reason to
condemn me:--my whole behaviour, since I first saw you, has been one
Pray, my Lord, forbear this subject.
No! if I never see you more, Miss Warley,--this is my wish that you
think the worst of me that appearances admit;--think I have basely
wish'd to distress you.
Distress me, my Lord?
Think so, I beseech you, if I never return.--What would the misfortune
be of falling low, even to the most abject in your opinion, compared
with endangering the happiness of her whole peace is my ardent
pursuit?--If I fail, I only can tell the cause:--you shall never be
acquainted with it;--for should you regard me even with pity,--cool
pity,--it would be taking the dagger from my own breast, and planting it
Ah! my Lady, could I help understanding him?--could I help being
moved?--I was moved;--my eyes I believe betrayed it.
If I return, continued he, it is you only can pronounce me happy.--If
you see me not again, think I am tossed on the waves of adverse
fortune:--but oh think I again intreat _you_,--think me guilty. Perhaps
I may outlive--no, that will never do;--you will be happy long before
that hour;--it would be selfish to hope the contrary. I _wish_ Mr. Powis
was come home;--I wish--All my wishes tend to one great end.--Good God,
what a situation am I in!--That the Dead could hear my petitions!--that
he could absolve me!--What signifies, whether one sue to remains
crumbled in the dust, or to the ear which can refuse to hear the voice
I thought I should have sunk to see the agony he was work'd up to.--I
believe I look'd very pale;--I felt the blood thrill through my veins,
and of a sudden stagnate:--a dreadful sickness follow'd;--I desir'd to
sit;--he look'd on every side, quite terrified;--cry'd, Where will you
sit, my dearest life?--what shall I do?--For heaven's sake speak,--speak
but one word;--speak to tell me, I have not been your murderer.
I attempted to open my mouth, but in vain; I pointed to the ground,
making an effort to sit down:--he caught me in his arms, and bore me to
a bench not far off;--there left me, to fetch some water at a brook
near, but came back before he had gone ten steps.--I held out my hand to
his hat, which lay on the ground, then look'd to the water.--Thank
God!--thank God! he said, and went full speed, to dip up some;--he knelt
down, trembling, before me;--his teeth chatter'd in his head whilst he
offer'd the water.
I found myself beginning to recover the moment it came to my lips.--He
fix'd his eyes on me, as if he never meant to take them off, holding
both my hands between his, the tears running down his face, without the
contraction of one feature.--If sorrow could be express'd in stone, he
then appear'd the very statue which was to represent it.
I attempted to speak.
Don't speak yet, he cried;--don't make yourself ill again: thank heaven,
you are better!--This is some sudden chill; why have you ventur'd out
How delicate,--how seasonable, this hint! Without it could I have met
his eye, after the weakness I had betrayed?--We had now no more
interesting subjects; I believe he thought I had _enough_ of them.
It was near two when we reach'd the Abbey. Sir James and Mr. Morgan were
just return'd from a ride;--Lady Powis met us on the Green, where she
said she had been walking some time, in expectation of her
strollers,--She examin'd my countenance very attentively, and then ask'd
Lord Darcey, if he had remember'd her injunctions?
What reason, my Lady, have you to suspect the contrary? he
returned--Well, well, said she, I shall find you out some day or
other;--but her Ladyship seem'd quite satisfied, when I assured her I
had been no farther than the Beach-walk.
Cards were propos'd soon after dinner: the same party as usual.--Mr.
Morgan is never ask'd to make one;--he says he would as soon see the
devil as a card-table.--We kept close at it 'till supper.--I could not
help observing his Lordship blunder'd a little;--playing a diamond for a
spade,--and a heart for a club,--I took my leave at eleven, and he
attended me home.
Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings were gone to bed,--Edmund was reading in the
parlour; he insisted on our having a negus which going out to order, was
follow'd by Lord Darcey:--I heard them whisper in the passage, but could
distinguish the words, _if she is ill, remember, if she is ill_--and
then Edmund answer'd, You may depend on it, my Lord,--as I have a soul
to be saved:--does your Lordship suppose I would be so negligent?
I guess'd at this charge;--it was to write, if I should be ill, as I
have since found by Edmund,--who return'd capering into the room,
rubbing his hands, and smiling with such significance as if he would
have said, Every thing is as it should be.
When his Lordship had wish'd us a good night, he said to
me,--_To-morrow_, Miss Warley!--but I will say nothing of
_to-morrow_;--I shall see you in the morning. His eyes glisten'd, and he
left the room hastily.--Whilst Edmund attended him out, I went to my
chamber that I might avoid a subject of which I saw his honest heart was
On my table lay the Roman History; I could not help giving a peep where
I had left off, being a very interesting part:--from one thing I was led
to another, 'till the clock struck three; which alarm made me quit my
Whilst undressing, I had leisure to recollect the incidents of the
pass'd day; sometimes pleasure, sometimes pain, would arise, from this
examination; yet the latter was most predominant.
When I consider'd Lord Darcey's tender regard for my future, as well as
present peace,--how could I reflect on him without gratitude?--When I
consider'd his perplexities, I thought thus:--they arise from some
entanglement, in which his heart is not engag'd.--Had he confided in me,
I should not have weaken'd his resolutions;--I would no more wish him to
be guilty of a breach of honour, than surrender myself to infamy.--I
would have endeavour'd to persuade him _she_ is amiable, virtuous, and
engaging.--If I had been successful, I would have _frown'd_ when he
_smil'd_;--I would have been _gay_ when he seem'd _oppress'd_--I would
have been _reserv'd, peevish, supercilicus_;--in short, I would have
counterfeited the very reverse of what was likely to draw him from a
To live without him must be my fate; since that is almost inevitable, I
would have strove to have secur'd his happiness, whilst mine had
remain'd to chance.--These reflections kept me awake 'till six; when I
fell into a profound sleep, which lasted 'till ten; at which time I was
awaken'd by Mrs. Jenkings to tell me Lord Darcey was below; with an
apology, that she had made breakfast, as her husband was preparing, in
great haste, to attend his Lordship.
This was a hint he was not to stay long; so I put on my cloaths with
expedition; and going down, took with me my whole stock of resolution;
but I carried it no farther than the bottom of the stairs;--there it
flew from me;--never have I seen it since:--that it rested not in the
breast of Lord Darcey, was visible;--rather it seem'd as if his and mine
had taken a flight together.
I stood with the lock of the door in my hand more than a minute, in
hopes my inward flutterings would abate.--His Lordship heard my
footstep, and flew to open it;--I gave him my hand, without knowing what
I did;--joy sparkled in his eyes and he prest it to his breast with a
fervour that cover'd me with confusion.
He saw what he had done,--He dropp'd it respectfully, and inquiring
tenderly for my health, ask'd if I would honour him with my commands
before he sat out for Town?--What a fool was I!--Lord bless me!--can I
ever forget my folly? What do you think, my Lady! I did not speak;--no!
I could not answer;--I was _silent_;--I was _silent_, when I would have
given the world for one word.--When I did speak, it was not to Lord
Darcey, but, still all fool, turn'd and said to Mr. Jenkings, who was
looking over a parchment, How do you find yourself, Sir? Will not the
journey you are going to take on horseback be too fatiguing? No, no, my
good Lady; it is an exercise I have all my life been us'd to: to-morrow
you will see me return the better for it.
Mrs. Jenkings here enter'd, follow'd by a servant with the breakfast,
which was plac'd before me, every one else having breakfasted.--She
desir'd I would give myself the trouble of making tea, having some
little matters to do without.--This task would have been a harder
penance than a fast of three days;--but I must have submitted, had not
my good genius Edmund appear'd at this moment; and placing himself by
me, desir'd to have the honour of making my breakfast.
I carried the cup with difficulty to my mouth. My embarrassment was
perceiv'd by his Lordship; he rose from his seat, and walk'd up and
down.--How did his manly form struggle to conceal the disorder of his
mind!--Every movement, every look, every word, discover'd Honour in her
most graceful, most ornamental garb: _when_ could it appear to such
advantage, surrounded with a cloud of difficulties, yet shining out and
towering above them all?
He laid his cold hand on mine;--with precipitation left the room;--and
was in a moment again at my elbow.--Leaning over the back of my chair,
he whisper'd, For heaven's sake, miss Warley, be the instrument of my
fortitude; whilst I see you I cannot--there stopt and turn'd from me.--I
saw he wish'd me to go first,--as much in compassion to myself as him.
When his back was turn'd, I should have slid out of the room;--but Mr.
Jenkings starting up, and looking at his watch, exclaim'd, _Odso_, my
Lord! it is past eleven; we shall be in the dark. This call'd him from
his reverie; and he sprang to the door, just as I had reached
it.--Sweet, generous creature! said he, stopping me; and you will go
_then?_--Farewell, my Lord, replied I.--My dear, good friend, to Mr.
Jenkings, take care of your health.--God bless you both I--My voice
Excellent Miss Warley! a thousand thanks for your kind condescension,
said the good old man.--Yet one moment, oh God! yet one moment, said his
Lordship; and he caught both my hands.
Come, my Lord, return'd Mr. Jenkings; and never did I see him look so
grave, something of disappointment in his countenance;--come, my Lord,
the day is wasting apace. Excuse this liberty:--your Lordship has been
_long_ determin'd,--have _long_ known of leaving this country.--My
dearest young Lady, you will be expected at the Abbey.--I shall, indeed,
replied I;--so God bless you, Sir!--God bless you, my Lord! and,
withdrawing my hands, hasten'd immediately to my chamber.
I heard their voices in the court-yard:--if I had look'd out at the
window, it might not have been unnatural,--I own my inclinations led to
it.--Inclination should never take place of prudence;--by following one,
we are often plung'd into difficulties;--by the other we are sure to be
conducted safely:--instead, then, of indulging my curiosity to see how
he look'd--how he spoke at taking leave of this dwelling;--whether his
eyes were directed to the windows, or the road;--if he rid slow or
fast;--how often he turn'd to gaze, before he was out of sight:--instead
of this, I went to Mrs. Jenkings's apartment, and remain'd there 'till I
heard they were gone, then return'd to my own; since which I have wrote
down to this period. Perhaps I should have ran on farther, if a summons
from Lady Powis did not call me off. I hope now to appear before her
with tolerable composure.--I am to go in the coach alone.--Well, it will
seem strange!--I shall think of my _late_ companion;--but time
reconciles every thing.--_This_ was my hope, when I lost my best friend,
the lov'd instructress of my infant years.--_Time_, all healing _Time!_
to _that_ I fear I must look forward, as a lenitive against many evils.
Two days!--only two days!--and then, adieu, my dear friends at the
Abbey;--adieu, my good Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings!--and you _too_, my
friendly-hearted Edmund, adieu!
Welcome,--doubly welcome, every moment which brings me nearer to that
when I shall kiss the hands of my honour'd Lady;--when I shall be able
to tell you, in person, ten thousand things too much for my pen;--when
you will kindly say, Tell me all, my Fanny, tell me every secret of your
heart.--Happy sounds!--pleasing sounds! these will be to your grateful
Miss WARLEY to the same.
_From Mr. Jenkings's_.
Now, my dear Lady, am I ready for my departure:--Sir James and Lady
Powis reconciled to my leaving them;--yet how can I call it reconciled,
when I tear myself from their arms as they weep over me?--Heavens! how
tenderly they love me!--Their distress, when I told them the day was
absolutely fix'd; when I told them the necessity of my going, _their_
distress nothing could equal but my _own_.--I thought my heart would
have sunk within me!--Surely, my Lady, my affection for them is not a
common affection;--it is _such_ as I hear your dear self;--it is _such_
as I felt for my revered Mrs. Whitmore.--I cannot dwell on this
subject--indeed I cannot.
I almost wish I had not kept the day so long a secret.--But suppose I
had not,--would their concern have been lessen'd?
I would give the world, if Mr. Jenkings was come home:--his wife is like
a frantic woman; and declares, if I persist in going, I shall break the
heart of her and her husband.--Why do they love me so well?--It cannot
be from any deserts of mine:--I have done no more than common gratitude
demands;--the affection I shew them is only the result of their own
kindness.--Benevolent hearts never place any thing to their own
account:--they look on returns as presents, not as just debts:--so,
whether giving or receiving, the glory must be their's.
I fancy Mr. Smith will not be here 'till to morrow, his Lady having
wrote me, he intended spending the evening with an acquaintance of his
about six miles from the Abbey.
How I dread the hour of parting!--Poor Mr. Watson!--I fear I shall never
see _him_ more.--Mr. Morgan _too!_ but he is likely to live many
years.--There is something in this strange man excessively engaging.--If
people have roughness, better to appear in the voice, in the air and
dress, than in the heart: a want of softness _there_, I never can
dispense with.--What is a graceful form, what are numberless
accomplishments, without humanity? I love, I revere, the honest, plain,
well-meaning Mr. Morgan.
Hark! I hear the trampling of horses.--Mr. Jenkings is certainly
return'd.--I hasten down to be the first who shall inform him of my
How am I mortified to see Aaron return without his master!--Whilst Mrs.
Jenkings was busied in enquiries after the health of her good man, I was
all impatience for the contents of a letter she held in her hand,
unopen'd: having broke the seal, and run her eye hastily over it, she
gave it me.--I think my recollection will serve to send it verbatim to
Mr. JENKINGS to Mrs. JENKINGS.
I dispatch Aaron to acquaint you it is impossible for me to be home till
Wednesday. Mr. Stapleton is gone to London: I am obliged to attend Lord
Darcey thither. I love his Lordship _more_ and _more_.--He has convinc'd
me _our_ conjectures were not without foundation.--Heaven grant it may
end to _our_ wishes!--There are, he thinks, difficulties to be overcome.
Let him think it:--his happiness will be more exquisite when he is
undeceiv'd.--Distribute my dutiful respects to Sir James, Lady Powis,
and Miss Warley; next to yourself and our dear Edmund, they are nearest
the heart of your truly affectionate husband
I will make no comments on this letter; it cannot concern _me_,--What
can I do about seeing Mr. Jenkings before I go?--
Lord bless me! a chaise and four just stopp'd; Mr. Smith in
it.--Heavens! how my heart throbs!--I did not expect him 'till
to-morrow: I must run to receive him.--How shall I go up to the
Abbey!--how support the last embrace of Sir James and Lady Powis!
Ten at Night, just come from the Abbey.
Torn in pieces!--my poor heart torn in pieces!--I shall never see them
more;--never again be strain'd to their parental bosoms.--Forgive me, my
dearest Lady, I do not grieve that I am coming to _you_; I grieve only
that I go from _them_.--Oh God! why must my soul be divided?
Another struggle too with poor Mrs. Jenkings!--She has been on her
knees:--yes, thus lowly has she condescended to turn me from my purpose,
and suffer Mr. Smith to go back without me,--I blush to think what pain,
what trouble I occasion.--She talks of some _important event_ at hand.
She says if I go, it will, end in the destruction of us all.--What can
she mean by an _important event?_--Perhaps Lord Darcey--but no matter;
nothing, my dear Lady, shall with-hold me from you.--The good woman is
now more calm. I have assured her it is uncertain how long we may be in
London: it is only that has calm'd her.--She says, she is _certain_ I
shall return;--she is _certain_, when Mr. Powis and his Lady arrives, _I
must_ return.--Next Thursday they are expected:--already are they
arrived at Falmouth:--but, notwithstanding what I have told Mrs.
Jenkings, to soften her pains at parting, I shall by Thursday be on my
voyage;--for Mr. Smith tells me the Packet will sail
immediately.--Perhaps I may be the messenger of my own letters:--but I
am determin'd to write on 'till I see you;--that when I look them over,
my memory may receive some assistance.--Good night, my dearest Lady;
Mrs. Jenkings and Mr. Smith expects me.
Lord DARCEY to Sir JAMES POWIS.
Even whilst I write, I see before me the image of my expiring father;--I
hear the words that issued from his death-like lips;--my soul feels the
weight of his injunctions;--_again_ in my imagination I seal the sacred
promise on his livid hand;--and my heart bows before Sir James with all
that duty which is indispensable from a child to a parent.
Happiness is within my reach, yet without _your_ sanction I _will_ not,
_dare_ not, bid it welcome;--I _will_ not hold out my hand to receive
_it_.--Yes, Sir, I love Miss Warley; I can no longer disguise my
sentiments.--On the terrace I should not have disguis'd them, if your
warmth had not made me tremble for the consequence.--You remember my
arguments _then_; suffer me now to reurge _them_.
I allow it would be convenient to have my fortune augmented by alliance;
but then it is not _absolutely_ necessary I should make the purchase
with my felicity.--A thousand chances may put me in possession of
riches;--one event only can put me in possession of content.--Without
_it_, what is a fine equipage?--what a splendid retinue?--what a table
spread with variety of dishes?
Judge for me, Sir James; _you_ who _know_, who _love_ Miss Warley, judge
for me.--Is it possible for a man of my turn to see her, to talk with
her, to know her thousand _virtues_, and not wish to be united to
them?--It is to your candour I appeal.--_Say_ I _am_ to be happy, _say_
it only in one line, I come immediately to the Abbey, full of reverence,
of esteem, of gratitude.
Think, dear Sir James, of Lady Powis;--think of the satisfaction you
hourly enjoy with that charming woman; then will you complete the
Sir JAMES POWIS to Lord DARCEY.
I am not much surpris'd at the contents of your Lordship's letter, it is
_what_ Lady Powis and I have long conjectur'd; yet I must tell, you, my
Lord, notwithstanding Miss Warley's great merit, I should have been much
better pleas'd to have found myself mistaken.
I claim no right to controul your inclinations: the strict observance
you pay your father's last request, tempts me to give my opinion very
opposite to what I should otherwise have done.--Duty like yours ought to
be rewarded.--If you will content yourself with an incumber'd estate
rather than a clear one, why--why--why--faith you shall not have my
approbation 'till you come to the Abbey. Should you see the little
bewitching Gipsy before I talk with you, who knows but you may be wise
enough to make a larger jointure than you can afford?
I am glad your Lordship push'd the matter no farther on the terrace: I
did not then know how well I lov'd our dear girl.--My wife is _so_
pleas'd,--_so_ happy,--_so_ overjoy'd,--at what she calls your noble
disinterested regard for her Fanny, that one would think she had quite
forgot the value of _money_.--I expect my son to-morrow.--Let me have
the happiness of embracing you at the same time;--you are both my
children, &c. &c.:
Lord DARCEY to the Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
Full of joy! full of surprize! I dispatch a line by Robert.--Fly,
Molesworth, to Mr. Smith's, in _Bloomsbury-Square_:--tell my dearest,
dear Miss Warley, but tell her of it by degrees, that Mr. Powis is her
_father!_--Yes! her _father_, George;--and the most desirable woman on
earth, her mother!--Don't tell her of it neither; you will kill her with
surprise.--Confounded luck! that I did not know she was in London.
I shall be with you in less than two hours, after Robert:--I send him
on, with orders to ride every horse to death, lest he should be set out
Jenkings is now on the road, but he travels too slow for my wishes.--If
she is gone, prepare swift horses for me to follow:--I am kept by force
to refresh myself.--What refreshment can I want!--Fly, I say, to Miss
Powis, now no longer Miss Warley.--Leave her not, I charge you;--stir
not from her;--by our friendship, Molesworth, stir not from her 'till
The Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH to RICHARD RISBY, Esq;
Oh Dick! the most dreadful affair has happen'd!--Lord Darcey is
distracted and dying; I am little better--Good God! what shall I
do?--what can I do?--He lies on the floor in the next room, with half
his hair torn off.--Unhappy man! fatigue had near kill'd him, before the
melancholy account reach'd his ears.--Miss Warley, I mean Miss Powis, is
gone to the bottom.--She sunk in the yacht that sailed yesterday from
Dover for Calais.--Every soul is lost.--The fatal accident was confirm'd
by a boat which came in not ten minutes before we arriv'd.--There was no
keeping it from Lord Darcey.--The woman of the Inn we are at has a son
lost in the same vessel: she was in fits when we alighted.--Some of the
wreck is drove on shore.--What can equal this scene!--Oh, Miss Powis!
most amiable of women, I tremble for your relations!--But Darcey, poor
Darcey, what do I feel for you!--He speaks:--he calls for me:--I go to
Oh, Risby! my heart is breaking; for once let it be said a man's heart
can break.--Whilst he rav'd, whilst his sorrows were loud, there was
some chance; but now all is over. He is absolutely dying;--death is in
every feature.--His convulsions how dreadful!--how dreadful the pale
horror of his countenance!--But then so calm,--so compos'd!--I repeat,
there can, be no chance.--
Where is Molesworth? I heard him say as I enter'd his apartment: come to
me, my friend,--_holding out his hand_--come to me, my friend.--Don't
weep--don't let me leave you in tears.--If you wish me well,
rejoice:--think how I should have dragg'd out a miserable number of
days, after--oh, George! after--Here he stopp'd.--The surgeon desir'd he
would suffer us to lift him on the bed.--No, he said, in a faultering
accent, if I move I shall die before I have made known to my friend my
last request.--Upon which the physician and surgeon retir'd to a distant
part of the room, to give him an opportunity of speaking with greater
He caught hold of my hand with the grasp of anguish, saying, Go, go. I
entreat you, by that steady regard which has subsisted between us,--_go_
to the unhappy family:--if they can be comforted; ay, if they _can_, you
must undertake the task.--_I_ will die without you.--Tell them I send
Back to Full Books