« السابقةمتابعة »
DR. BARTLETT'S FIFTH LETTER.
MR. GRANDISON thus proceeds.--I was introduced to Signor Jeronymo. He sat expecting me. He bowed more stiftly than usual, in return to my compliment.
I see, said I, that I have lost my friend.
creatur very bad night. My poor mother has been up with her ever since three o'clock: nobody else has
any influence with her. These talking fits are worse than her silent
What could I say? My soul was vexed. My friend saw it, and was grieved for me. He talked of indifferent things. I could not follow him in them.
He then entered upon the subject that would not long allow of any other. I expect the general, said he. I will not, I think, have you see each other. I bave ordered notice to be given me before any one of the family is admitted while you are with me. If you choose not to see the general, or my father or mother, should they step in to make their morning compliments, you can walk down the back stairs into the garden, or into the next chamber.
I am not the least sufferer in this distress, replied I. You have invited me. If on your own account you would have me withdraw, I will; but else I cannot conceal myself.
This is like you. It is you yourself. O Grandison ! that we could be real brothers ! In soul we are so. But what is the compromise you hinted at ?
I then told him, that I would reside one year in Italy, another in England, by turns, if the dear Clementina would accompany me; if not, but three months in England, in every year. As to religion, she should keep her own; her confessor only to be a man of known discretion.
He shook his head. I'll propose it as from yourself, if you would have me do so, chevalier. It would do with me; but will not with any body else. I have undertaken for more than that already; but it will not be heard of. Would to God, chevalier, that you, for my sake, for all our sakes !—But I know you have a great deal to say on this subject, as you told my brother. New converts, added he, may be zealous; but you old Protestants, Protestants by descent, as I may say, 'tis strange you should be so very stedfast. You have not many young gentlemen, I believe, who would be so very tenacious; such offers, such advantages--and surely you must love my sister. All our family you surely love. I will presume to say, they deserve your love ; and they give the strongest proofs that can be given of their regard for you.
Signor Jeronymo expected not an argumentative answer to what he said. My stedfastness was best expressed, and surely it was sufficiently expressed (the circumstances of the case so interesting) by silence.
Just then came in Camilla. The marchioness, sir, knows you are here. She desires you will not go till she sees you. She will attend you here, I believe.
She is persuading Lady Clementina to be blooded. She has an aversion to that operation. She begs it may not be done. She has been hitherto, on that account, bled by leeches. The marquis and the bishop are both gone out, They could not bear her solicitations to them to save her, as she called it.
The marchioness soon after entered-Care, melancholy, yet tenderness, was in her aspect : grief for her daughter's malady seemed fixed in the lines of her fine face. Keep your seat, chevalier. She sat down, sighed, wept ; but would not have had her tears seen.
Had I not been so deeply concerned in the cause of her grief, I could have endeavoured to comfort her. But what could I say? I turned my head aside. I would also have concealed my emotion; but Signor Jeronymo took notice of it.
The poor chevalier, kindly said he, with an accent of compassion
I don't doubt it, answered she as kindly, though he spoke not out what he had to say. He may be obdurate, but not ungrateful.
Excellent woman! How was I affected by her generosity! This was taking the direct road to my heart. You know that heart, Dr. Bartlett, and what a task it had.
Jeronymo inquired after his sister's health; I was afraid to inquire.
Not worse, I hope ; but so talkative! poor thing! She burst into tears.
I presumed to take her hand-O madam! Will no compromise! Will no
It ought not, chevalier. I cannot urge it. We know your power, too well we know your power over the dear creature. She will not be long a Catholic if she be yours; and you know what we then should think of her precious soul !—Better to part with her for ever—yet, how can a mother-her tears spoke what her lips could not utter.
Recovering her voice; I have left her, said she, contending with the doctors against being let blood. She was so earnest with me to prevent it, that I could not stay. It is over by this time. --She rang.
At that moment, to the astonishment of all three, in ran the dear Clementina herself.-A happy escape! Thank God! said she --Her arm bound up.
She had felt the lancet; but did not bleed more than two or three drops.
O, my mamma! And you would have run away from me too, would you ?--You don't use to be cruel; and to leave me with these doctors.-See! see! and she held out her lovely arm a little bloody, regarding nobody but her mother; who, as well as we, was speechless with surprise --They did attempt to wound; but they could not obtain their cruel ends--and I ran for shelter to my mamma's arms, (throwing hers about her neck)—Dearest, dearest madam, don't let me be sacrificed! What has your poor child done, to be thus treated ?
O ny Clementina !
The door opened. She cast her fearful eye to it, clinging faster to her mother-They are come to take me!--Begone, Camilla, [it was she]; begone, when I bid you ! They shan't take me-My mamma will save me from them
- Won't you, my mamma ? Clasping more fervently her arms about her neck, and hiding her face in her bosom. Then, lifting up her face, Begone, I tell you, Camilla ! They shan't have me. -Camilla withdrew.
Brother! my dear brother! you will protect me; won't
I was unable to bear this affecting scene-She
Good God! said she-- Then in English breaking out into that line of Hamlet, which she had taken great notice of, when we read that play together,
Angels, and ministers of grace, defend us!
She left her mother, and stept gently towards me, looking earnestly with her face held out, as if she were doublful whether it were I or not.
I snatched her hand, and pressed it with my lips-O madam!-Dearest lady!-I could say no more.
It is he! It is he, indeed, madam! turning her head to her mother; one hand held up, as in surprise, as I detained the other.
The son's arins supported the almost fainting mother; his tears mingling with hers.
For God's sake! for my sake, dear Grandison! said he,
I quitted Clementina's hand; Jeronymo's unhealed wounds had weakened him, and I hastened to support the marchioness.
O chevalier! spare your concern for me, said she. My child's head is of more consequence to me, than heart.
What was it of distress that I did not at that moment. feel !
The young lady turning to us-Well, sir, said she, here is sad work! Sad work, to be sure! Somebody is wrong: I won't
will not let these doctors use me ill-Will you ?-See here! (shewing her bound-up arm to me)—what they would have done!-See, they did get a drop or two; but no more. And I sprung from them, and ran for it.
Her mother then taking her attention-My dearest mamma ! how do
do ?0 my
child! and she clasped her arms about her Clea . inentina.
Camilla came in. She added, by her grief, to the distressful scene. She threw her arms, kneeling, about the