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النشر الإلكتروني

if he is to be very observant; you'll make it your agreement with him, before you meet him at the altar, that he shall subscribe to tbe woman's part of the vow; and that you shall answer to the man's.

Miss Gr. A good thought, I believe! I'll consider of it. If I find, in courtship, the man will bear it, I may make the proposal.--Yet I don't know, but it will be as well to suppose the vow changed, without conditioning for it, as other good women do; and act accordingly. One would not begin with a singularity, for fear of putting the parson out. I heard an excellent lady once advise a good wife, who, however, very little wanted it, to give the man a hearing, and never do any thing that he would wish to be done, except she chose to do it. If the man loves quiet, he'll be glad to compound.

Har. Nay now, Miss Grandison, you are much more severe upon your sex, and upon matrimony, than Sir Charles.

Sir Ch. Have I been severe upon either, my dear Miss Byron?

HAR. Indeed I think so.

Sir Ch. I am sorry for it; I only intended to be just. See, Charlotte, what a censure, from goodness itself, you draw upon me!-But I am to give encouragement (am I ?) to Lord G--?

Miss Gr. Do as you please, sir.

Sir Ch. That is saying nothing. Is there a man in the world you prefer to Lord G--? · Miss Gr. In the world, sir !-A very wide place, I profess.

Sir Ch. You know what I mean by it.

Miss Gr. Why, No-Yes--No-What can I say to such a question ?

Sir Ch. Help me, Lady L- You know, better than I, Charlotte's language : help me to understand it.

LADY L. I believe, brother, you may let Lord G know, that he will not be denied an audience, if he

come

you at the

Sir CH. · Will not be denied an audience, if he come !' And this to Charlotte's brother! Women! Women! Women !- You, Miss Byron, I repeat it with pleasure, are an exception-In your letters and behaviour we see what a woman is, and what she ought to be-Yet, I know you have too much greatness of mind to accept (as you once told Sir Rowland Meredith) of a compliment made

expense

of your sex-But my heart does you justice.

LORD L. See, however, brother Grandison, this excellence in the two sisters! You say, indeed, but just things in praise of Miss Byron; but they are more than women : for they enjoy that praise, and the acknowledged superiority of the only woman in Britain, to whom they can be inferior.

Do you think I did not thank them both for compliments so high? I did.

You DID, Harriet?

Ah, Lucy! I had a mind to surprise you again. I did thank them; but it was in downcast silence, and by a glow in my cheeks, that was even painful to me to feel.

The sisters have since observed to me (flattering ladies !) that their brother's eyes-But is it not strange, Lucy, that they did not ask him, in this long conversation, whether his favourite of our sex is a foreigner, or not? If she be, what signifies the eye of pleasure cast upon your Harriet?

But what do you think was Miss Grandison's address to me, on this agreeable occasion? You, my grandmamma, will love her again, I am sure, though she so lately incurred your displeasure.

Sweet and ever amiable Harriet! said she; Sister! Friend! enjoy the just praises of two of the best of meu ! --You can enjoy them with equal modesty and dignity; and we can (what say you, Lady L--?) find our praise in the honour you do our sex, and in being allowed to be seconds to you.

And what do you think was the answer of Lady L (generous woman!) to this call of her sister ?

I can cheerfully, said she, subscribe to the visible superiority of my Harriet, as shewn in all her letters, as well as in her whole conduct : but then you, my lord, and you, my brother, who in my eye are the first of men, must not let me have cause to dread, that your Caroline is sunk in yours.

I had hardly power to sit, yet had less to retire ; as I had, for a moment, a thought to do. I am glad I did not attempt it: my return to company must have been awkward, and made me look particular. But, Lucy, what is in my letters, to deserve all these fine speeches ?-But my lord and his sisters are my true friends, and zealous wellwishers. No fear that I should be too proud on this occasion: it is humbling enough to reflect, that the worthy three thought it all no more than necessary to establish me with somebody; and yet, after all, if there be a foreign lady, what signify all these fine things?

But how (you will ask) did the brother acknowledge these generous speeches of his sisters and Lord L-?How? Why as he ought to do. He gave them, for their generous goodness to their Harriet, in preference to themselves, such due praises, as more than restored them, in my eye, to the superiority they had so nobly given up.

Sir Charles afterwards addressed himself to me jointly with his sisters. I see, with great pleasure, said he, the happy understanding that there is between you three ladies : it is a demonstration, to me, of surpassing goodness in you all. To express myself in the words of an ingenious man, to whose works your sex, and if yours, ours, are more obliged, than to those of any single man in the British world,

Great souls by instinct to each other turn,
Demand alliance, and in friendship burn.'

Addison's Campaign. The two sisters and your Harriet bowed as they sat.

Encouraged by this happy understanding among you, let me hope, proceeded he, that you, Miss Byron, will be so good as to iuform your-self, and let me know, what I may certainly depend upon to be our Charlotte's inclinations, with respect to the two gentlemen who court her favour; and whether there is any man that she can or does prefer to the most favoured of either of them. From you I shall not meet with the · Not that she values'-The de. preciating indifferences, the affected slights, the female cir. cumambages, if I may be allowed the words ; the coldly expressed consent to visits not deserving to be discouraged, and perhaps not intended to be so ; that I have had to encounter with in the past conversation. I have been exceedingly diverted with my sister's vivacity : but as the affair is of a very serious nature; as I would be extremely tender in my interposition, having really no choice but hers; and wanting only to know on whom that choice will fall, or whether on any man, at present; on your noble frankness I can rely: and Charlotte will open her mind to you : if not, she has very little profited by the example you have set her in the letters you have permitted her to read.

He arose, bowed, and withdrew; Miss Grandison called after him, Brother, brother, brother-One word-Don't leave us--But he only kissed his hand to us at the door; and bowing, with a smiling air, left us looking at each other in a silence that held a few moments.

LETTER XVIII,

MISS BYRON.-IN CONTINUATION.

LORD L-broke the silence. You are a delightful girl, Charlotte ; but your brother has had a great deal of patience with you.

O my lord, said she, if we women play our cards right, we shall be able to manage the best and wisest of you all, as we please. It is but persevering, and you men, if not out-argued, may be out-teased.-But, Harriet-upon my word–The game seems to be all in your own hands.

We want but my brother to be among us, said Lady L- Beauty would soon find its power: and such a mind-And then they complimented me, that their brother and I were born for each other.

Miss Grandison told us all three her thoughts, in rela. tion to the alliance with Lord G-She said, she was glad that her brother had proposed to know her näind

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