صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

good. It has always been so: and to mend the hearts, as well as fortunes of men, is his glory.

We could not but congratulate the doctor on his having so considerable a hand (as Sir Charles always, Lord Lsaid, delighted to own) in cultivating his innate good principles, at só critical a time of life, as that was, in which they became acquainted.

The doctor very modestly received the compliment, and, to wave our praises, gave us another instance of the great manner in which Sir Charles conferred benefits; as follows:

He once, said the doctor, when his fortune was not what it now is, lent a very honest man, a merchant of Leghorn, when he resided there, (as he did sometimes for a month or two together, for the conveniency of the English chapel,) a considerable sum; and took his bond for it: after a while, things not answering to the poor man's expectation, Mr. Grandison took notice to me, said the doctor, that he appeared greatly depressed and dejected, and occasionally came into his company with such a sense of obligation in his countenance and behaviour, that he could not bear it: and why, said he, should I keep it in my power to distress a man, whose modesty and diffidence shew that he deserves to be made

may

die suddenly: my executors may think it but justice to exact payment: and that exaction may involve him in as great difficulties as those were, from which the loan delivered him. -I will make his heart light. Instead of suffering him to sigh over his uncertain prospects, at his board, or in his bed, I will make both his board and his bed easy to him. His wife and his five children shall rejoice with him; they shall see the good man's countenance, as it used to do,

VOL. III.

easy ?-1

H

shine upon them; and occasionally meet mine with grateful comfort.

He then cancelled the bond : and at the same time, fearing the man's distress might be deeper than he owned, offered him the loan of a further sum. But, by his behaviour upon it, I found, said Mr. Grandison, that the sum he owed, and the doubt he had of being able to pay it in time, were the whole of the honest man's grievance. He declined, with gratitude, the additional offer, and walked, ever after, erect.

He is now living, and happy, proceeded the doctor; and, just before Mr. Grandison left Italy, would have made him some part of payment, from the happier turn in his affairs; which, probably, was owing to his revived spirits: but Mr. Grandison asked, what he thought he meant, when he cancelled the obligation ?-Yet he told him, that it was not wrong in him to make the tender: for free minds, he said, loved not to be ungenerously dealt with.

What a man is this, Lucy!

No wonder, thus gloriously employed, with my Lord W--- and the Danbys, said Lord L-, and perhaps in other acts of goodness that we know nothing of, besides the duties of his executorship, that we are deprived of his company! But some of these, as he has so good a friend as Dr. Bartlett, he might transfer to him--and oblige us more with his presence; and the rather, as he declares it would be obliging himself.

Ah, my lord ! said the doctor, and looked round him, his eyes dwelling longest on me-You don't know-He stopped. We all were silent. He proceeded—Sir Charles Grandison does nothing without reason: a good man must have difficulties to encounter with, that a mere man of the world would not be embarrassed by.—But how I engage your attention, ladies!

The doctor arose; for breakfast was over.--Dear doctor, said Miss Grandison, don't leave us-As to that Bologna, that Camilla, that bishop-Tell us more of them, dear doctor.

Excuse me, ladies; excuse me, my lord. He bowed, and withdrew.

How we looked at one another! How the fool, in particular, blushed ! How her heart throbbed !--At what?

But, Lucy, give me your opinion-Dr. Bartlett guesses, that I am far from being indifferent to Sir Charles Grandison: he must be assured, that my own heart must be absolutely void of benevolence, if I did not more and more esteem Sir Charles, for his : and would Dr. Bartlett be so cruel, as to contribute to a flame that, perhaps, is with difficulty kept from blazing out, as one hears new instances of his generous goodness, if he knew that Sir Charles Grandison was so engaged, as to render it impossible-What shall I say?-0 this cruel, cruel suspense !—What hopes, what fears, what contradictory conjectures !-But all will too soon perhaps-Here he is come--Sir Charles Grandison is come

O no!-A false alarm!-He is not come: it is only my Lord L- returning from an airing.

I could beat this girl! this Emily-It was owing to her! -A chit!-How we have fluttered each other ! But send for me down to Northamptonshire, my dear friends, before I am quite a fool.

PRAY-Do you know, Lucy, what is the business that calls Mr. Deane to town, at this season of the year? He has made a visit to Sir Charles Grandison: for Dr. Bartlett told me, as a grateful compliment, that Sir Charles was much pleased with him; yet Mr. Deane did not tell me, that he designed it. I beseech you, my dear friends-Do not—But you would not; you could not !—I would be torn in pieces: I would not accept of—I don't know what I would say. Only add not disgrace to distress. But I am safe, if nothing be done but at the motion of my grandmamma and aunt Selby. They would not permit Mr. Deane, or any body, to make improper visits.—But don't you think, that it must look particular to Sir Charles, to have a visit paid him by a man expressing for me so much undeserved tenderness and affection, so long after the affair was over which afforded him a motive for it ?-I dread, as much for Mr. Deane's sake as my own, every thing that may be construed into officiousness or particularity, by so nice a discerner. Does he not say, that no man is more quick-sighted than himself, to those faults in women which are owing to want of delicacy?

I have been very earnest with Lord and Lady Land Miss Grandison, that they do not suffer their friendship for me to lay me under any difficulties with their brother. They all took my meaning, and promised to consult my punctilio, as well as my inclination. Miss Grandison was more kindly in earnest, in her assurances of this nature, than I was afraid she would be: and

my

lord said, it was fit that I should find even niceness gratified, in this particular.

[I absolutely contide in you, Lucy, to place hooks where I forget to put them; and where, in your delicate mind,

you think I ought to put them; that they may direct your eye (when you come to read out before my uncle) to omit those passages which very few men have delicacy or seriousness enough to be trusted with. Yet, a mighty piece of sagacity, to find out a girl of little more than twenty, in love, as it is called! and to make a jest of her for it!] (But I am peevish, as well as saucy.-This also goes between hooks.]

Adieu, my dear.

LETTER XIII.

SIR CHARLES GRANDISON, TO DR. BARTLETT.

Monday night, Mar. 20. I am very much dissatisfied with myself, my dear Dr. Bartlett. What pains have I taken, to conquer those sudden gusts of passion, to which, from my early youth, I have been subject, as you have often heard me confess ! yet to find, at times, that I am unequal—to myself, shall I say?- To myself I will say; since I have been so much amended by your precepts and example. But I will give you the occasion.

My guests, and you, had but just left me, when the wretched Jervois, and her O'Hara, and another bullying man, desired to speak with me.

I bade the servant shew the woman into the drawingroom next iny study, and the men into the adjoining parlour; but they both followed her into the drawing-room.

« السابقةمتابعة »