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for an opportunity to thank him for the relief lie had given to a young lady in whom I claimed an interest that was truly paternal. At the same time I congratulated him on the noble manner in which he had extricated himself, to the confusion of inen, whom he had taught to find out, and to be ashamed, that they were savages.
He received my compliments as a man might be supposed to do, to whom praise is not a new thing; and made me very handsome ones, declaring himself acquainted with my character, with my connexions with your family, and with one of the most excellent of young ladies. This naturally introduced the praises of our Harriet ; in which he joined in so high and so just a strain, that I saw his heart was touched. I am sure it is : so set yours at rest. It must do. Every thing is moving, and that not slowly, to the event so desirable. I led to the graces of her person : be to those of her mind : he allowed her to be, for both, one of the most perfect beauties he had ever seen. In short, Mrs. Selby, I am convinced, that the important affair will ripen of itself. His sisters, Lord L--, Dr. Bartlett, all avowedly in our lovely girl's favour, and her merit so extraordinary; it must do. Don't you remember what the old song says ?
“ When Phæbus does his beams display,
Is to suppose them blind.” All I want, methinks, is to have them oftener together. Idleness, I believe, is a great friend to love. I wish his affairs would let him be a little idle. They must be despatched soon, be they what they will; for Lord L--said, that when he is master of a subject, his execution is as swift as thought. Sir Charles hinted, that he shall soon be obliged to go to France. Seas are nothing to him. Dr.
-What say you
Bartlett said, that he considers all nations as joined on the same continent: and doubted not but if he had a call, he would undertake a journey to Constantinople or Pekin, with as little difficulty as some others would (he might have named me for one) to the Land's-end.
Indeed he appears to be just that kind of man. Yet he seems not to have any of that sort of fire in his constitution, that goes off with a bounce, and leaves nothing but vapour and smoke behind it.
You are in doubt about our girl's fortune. It is not a despicable one. He may, no question, have a woman with a much greater; and so may she a man. to Lady D--'s proposal, rejected for his sake; at haphazard too, as the saying is ? But let it once come to that question, and leave it to me to answer it.
You bid me remark how Harriet looks. She is as lovely as ever; but I think not quite so lively, and somewhat paler ; but it is a clear and healthy, not a sickly paleness : and there is a languor in her fine eyes, that I never saw in them before. She never was a pert girl ; but she has more meekness and humility in her countenance, than, methinks, I would wish her to have; because it gives to Miss Grandison, who has fine spirits, some advantages, in conversation, over Harriet, that, if she had, methinks she would not take. But they perfectly understand one another.
But now for a word or two about Miss Jervois. I could not but take notice to our Miss Byron, of the greediness with which she eats and drinks the praises given her guardian; of the glow that overspreads her cheeks, and of a sigh that now and then seems to escape even her own observation, when he is spoken of; [so like a niece of mine, who drew herself in, and was afterwards unhappy ;] and
by these symptoms I conclude, that this young creature is certainly giving way to love. She has a very great fortune, is a pretty girl, and an improving beauty. She is tall and womanly. I thought her sixteen or seventeen; but, it seems, she is hardly fourteen. There is as much difference in girls, as in fruits, as to their maturing, as I may say. My mother, I remember, once said of an early bloom in a niece of hers, that such were born to woe. I hope it won't be so with this ; for she certainly is a good young creature, but has not had great opportunities of knowing either the world, or herself. Brought up in a confined manner in her father's house at Leghorn, till twelve or thirteen ; what opportunities could she have ? No mother's wings to be sheltered under; her mother's wickedness giving occasion the more to streighten her education, and at a time of life so young, and in so restraining a country as Italy, for girls and young maidens: and since brought over, put to board with a retired country gentlewoman-What can she know, poor thing? She has been but a little while with Miss Grandison, and that but as a guest : so that the world before her all new to her : and, indeed, there seems to be in her pretty wonder, and honest declarations of her whole heart, a simplicity that sometimes borders upon childishness, though at other times a kind of womanly prudence. I am not afraid of her on our Harriet's account ; and yet Harriet (lover-like, perhaps !) was alarmed at my binting it to her : but I am on her own. I wish, as I said before, Sir Charles was more among them: he would soon discover whose love is fit to be discountenanced, and whose to be encouraged ; and, by that means, give ease to twenty hearts. For I cannot believe that such a man as this would be guilty (I will call it) of reserve to such a young lady as
ours, were he but to have the shadow of a thought that he has an interest in her heart.
My affairs are more untoward than I expected: but on my return to Peterborough I will call at Shirley-house and Selby-manor--and then (as I hope to see Sir Charles again, either in London, or at Coloebrook) I will talk to you of all these matters. Mean time, believe me to be Your affectionate and faithful humble servant,
MISS BYRON, TO MISS SELBY.
Monday, March 20. AFTER we had taken leave of one another for the night, I tapt at Emily's chamber-door ; which being immediately opened by her maid, Is it you, my dear Miss Byron ? said she, running to me. How good this is !
I am come, my dear, late as it is, to pass an agreeable half hour with you, if it will not be unseasonable.
That it can never be.
You must then let your Anne go to bed, said I; else, as her time is not her own, I shall shorten my visit. I will assist you in any little services myself. I have dismissed Jenny.
God bless you, madam, said she; you consider every body. Anne tells me, that the servants throughout the house adore you: and I am sure their principals do. Anne, you may go to your rest.
Jenny, who attends me here, has more than once hinted to me, that Miss Jervois loves to sit up late, either reading, or being read to, by Anne ; who, though she reads well, is not fond of the task.
Servants, said I, are as sensible as their masters and mistresses. They speak to their feelings. I question not but they love Miss Jervois as well as they do me.
I should as soon choose to take my measures of the goodness of principals by their servants' love of them, as by any other rule. Don't you see, by the silent veneration and assiduities of the servants of Sir Charles Grandison, how much they adore their master ?
I am very fond of being esteemed by servants, said she, from that very observation of my guardian's goodness, and his servants' worthiness, as well as from what my maid tells me, all of them say of you. But you and my guardian are so much alike in every thing, that you seem to be bora for one another.
And then she sighed, involuntarily; yet seemed not to endeavour to restrain or recall her sigh.
Why sighs my dear young friend? Why sighs my Emily?
That's good of you to call me your Emily. My guardian calls me his Emily. I am always proud when he calls me so I don't know why I sigh: but I have lately got a trick of sighing, I think. Will it do me harm ? Anne tells me it will; and says, I must break myself of it. She says, it is not pretty in a young lady to sigh: but where is the unprettiness of it?
Sighing is said to be a sign of being in love ; and young ladies
Ah! madam! And yet you sigh, very oftenma