صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

mot apology for her terror on this occasion. That lady, in her own heart, knows that the poor girl has reason for it.

Madam, said the major, my wife is cruelly used. Your brother—But I shall talk to him upon the subject. He is said to be a man of conscience and honour: I hope I shall find him so. I know how to protect and right my wife.

And I will stand by my broder and his lady, said the captain, to de very last drop of my blood. He looked fierce, and put his hand on his sword.

LORD L. You don't by these airs mean to insult me, gentlemen-If you do

MAJ. No, no, my lord. But we must seek our remedy elsewhere. Surprising that a mother is denied the sight of her daughter! Very surprising !

CAPT. Very surprising, indeed! Ver dis to be done in my country-In France-English liberty! Begar ver pretty liberty !-A daughter to be supported against her moder-Whew! Ver pretty liberty, by my salvation !--

Mrs. O'HARA. And is indeed my vile child run away to avoid seeing her mother?-Strange! Does she always intend to do thus ?-She must see me-And dearly shall she repent it!

And she looked fierce, and particularly spiteful; and then declared, that she would stay there till Emily came back, were it midnight.

LORD L. You will have my leave for that, madam.

MAJ. Had we not best go into our coach, and let that drive in quest of her?—She cannot be far off. It will be easy to trace a chariot.

LORD L. Since this matter is carried so far, let me tell you, that, in the absence of her guardian, I will protect her. Since Miss Jervois is thus averse, she shall be indulged in it. If you see her, madam, it must be by the consent, and in the presence, of her guardian.

MAJ. Well, my dear, since the matter stands thus; since your child is taught to shun you thus; let us see what Sir Charles Grandison will say to it. He is the principal in this affair, and is not privileged. If he thinks fit And there he stopped, and blustered; and offered his hand to his bride.--I am able both to protect and right you, madam; and I will. But you have a letter for the girl, written on a supposition that she was not here.- Little did you or I think, that she was in the house when we came; and that she should be spirited away to avoid paying her duty to her mother.

Very true. Very true. And, very true, said each ; and Mrs. O'Hara pulled out the letter, laying it on one of the chairs; and desired it might be given to her daughter. And then they all went away, very much dissatisfied; the two men muttering, and threatening, and resolving, as they said, to make a visit to Sir Charles.

I hope we shall see him here very soon. I hope these wretches will not insult him, or endanger a life so precious. Poor Emily! I pity her from my heart. She is as much grieved on this occasion, as I was in dread of the resentment of Sir Hargrave Pollexfen.

Let me give you some account of what passed between Emily and me : you will be charmed with her beautiful simplicity.

When we were in the chariot, she told me, that the last time she saw her mother, it was at Mrs. Lane's: the bad woman made a pretence of private business with her.. daughter, and withdrew with her into another room, and

then insisted that she should go off with her, unknown to any body. And because I desired to be excused, said she, my mother laid her hands upon me, and said she would trample me under her foot. It is true (unhappy woman!) she was-[Then the dear girl whispered me, though nobody was near us—sweet modest creature, loath to reveal this part of her mother's shame even to me aloud, and blushed as she spoke]-she was in her cups.My mamma is as naughty as some men in that respect: and I believe she would have been as good as her word; but, on my screaming, (for I was very much frightened,) Mrs. Lane, who had an eye upon us, ran in with two servants, and one of her daughters, and rescued me. She had torn my cap-Yet it was a sad thing, you know, madam, to see one's mother put out of the house against her will. And then she raised the neighbourhood. Lord bless me! I thought I should have died. I did fall into fits. Then was Mrs. Lane forced to tell every one what a sad woman my mother was !- It was such a disgrace to me !—It was a month before I could go to church, or look any body in the face. But Mrs. Lane's character was of her side; and my guardian's goodness was a helpShall I say a help against my mother ?-Poor woman! we heard afterwards she was dead; but my guardian would not believe it. If it would please God to take me, I should rejoice. Many a tear does my poor mother, and the trouble I give to the best of men, cost me, when nobody sees me; and many a time do I cry myself to sleep, when I think it impossible I should get such a kind relief.

I was moved at the dear girl's melancholy tale. I clasped my arms about her, and wept on her gentle bosom. Her calamity, which was the greatest that could happen to a good child, I told her, had endeared her to me: I would love her as my sister.

And so I will: dear child, I will for ever love her. And I am ready to hate myself for some passages in my last letter. O how deceitful is the heart! I could not have thought it possible that mine could have been so


The dear girl rejoiced in my assurances, and promised grateful love to the latest hour of her life.

Indeed, madam, I have a grateful heart, said she, for all I am so unhappy in a certain relation. I have none of those sort of faults that give me a resemblance in any way to my poor mother. But how shall I make out what I say

? You will mistrust me, I fear: you will be apt to doubt my principles. But will you promise to take my heart in your hand, and guide it as you please ?—Indeed it is an honest one. I wish you saw it through and through. If ever I do a wrong thing, mistrust my head, if you please, but not my heart. But in every thing I will be directed by you; and then my head will be as right as

my heart.

I told her that good often resulted from evil. It was a happy thing, perhaps, for both, that her mother's visit had been made. Look upon me, my dear Emily, as your entire friend : we will have but one heart between us.

Let me add, Lucy, that if you find me capable of drawing this sweet girl into confessions of her infant love, and of making ungenerous advantage of them, though the event were to be fatal to my peace if I did not; I now call upon all you, my dear friends, to despise and renounce the treacherous friend in Harriet Byron.

She besought me to let her write to nie; to let her come to me for advice, as often as she wanted it, whether here, in my dressing-room or chamber, or at Mr. Reeves's, when I went from Colnebrook.

I consented very cheerfully, and, at her request, (for indeed, said she, I would not be an intruder for the world,) promised, by a nod at her entrance, to let her know, if she came when I was busy, that she must retire, and come another time.

You are too young a lady, added she, to be called my mamma-Alas ! I have never a mamma, you know: but I -will love you and obey you, on the holding up of your finger, as I would my mother, were she as good

as you.

Does not the beautiful simplicity of this charming girl affect you, Lucy? But her eyes swimming in tears, her earnest looks, her throbbing bosom, her hands now clasped about me, now in one another, added such graces to what she said, that it is impossible to do justice to it: and yet I am affected as I write; but not so much, you may believe, as at the time she told her tender tale.

Indeed her calamity has given her an absolute possession of my heart. I, who had such good parents, and have had my loss of them so happily alleviated, and even supplied, by a grandmamma and an aunt so truly maternal, as well as by the love of every one to whom I have the happiness to be related; how unworthy of such blessings should I be, if I did not know how to pity a poor girl who must reckon a living mother as her heaviest misfortune!

Sir Charles, from the time of the disturbance which this unhappy woman made in Mrs. Lane's neighbourhood, and

« السابقةمتابعة »