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My dear, you are now almost a woman. He will, if he remain a single man, soon draw back into his heart that kindness and love for you, which, while you are a girl, he suffers to dwell upon his lips. You must expect this change of behaviour soon, from his prudence. You yourself, my love, will set him the example: you will grow more reserved in your outward behaviour, than hitherto there was reason to be.
O, madam! never tell me that! I should break my heart, were I twenty, and he did not treat me with the tenderness that he has always treated me with. If, indeed, he find me an encroacher; if he find me forward, and indiscreet, and troublesome; then let him call me any body's Emily, rather than his.
You will have different notions, my dear, before that time
Then, I think, I shan't desire to live to see the time. Why, madam, all the comfort I have to set against my unhappiness from my mother, is, that so good, so virtuous, and so prudent a man as Sir Charles Grandison, calls me his Emily, and loves me as his child. Would you, madam, were you Lady Grandison, (now, tell me, would you) grudge me these instances of his favour and affection ?
Indeed, my dear, I would not: if I know my own heart, I would not.
And would you permit me to live with you ?--Now it is out--Will you permit me to live with my guardian and you ?—This is a question I wanted to put to you; but was both ashamed and afraid, till you thus kindly emboldened me.
Indeed I would, if your guardian had no objection.
That don't satisfy me, madam. Would you be my earnest, my sincere advocate, and plead for me? He
would not deny you any thing. And would you (come, madam, I will put you to it-Would you) say, “Look you • here, Sir Charles Grandison; this girl, this Emily, is a
good sort of girl: she has a great fortune: snares may • be laid for her: she has no papa but you: she has, poor
thing !' [I hope you would call me by names of pity, to move hiin,] ' no mamma; or is more unhappy than if
she had none. Where can you dispose of her so pro
perly, as to let her be with us? I will be her protectress, • her friend, her mamma'-[Yes, do, madam, let me choose á mamma! Don't let the poor girl be without a mamma, if you can give her one. I am sure I will study to give you pleasure, and not pain)
-I insist upon it, Sir Charles. It • will make the poor girl's heart easy. She is told of the . arts and tricks of men, where girls have great fortunes ; * and she is always in dread about them, and about her
unhappy mother. Who will form plots against her, if she • is with us ?-Dear, dear madam! you are moved in my favour-[Who, Lucy, could have forborne being affected by her tender prattle ?)-She threw her arms about me; I see you are moved in my favour !-And I will be your attendant; I will be your waiting-maid: I will help to adorn you, and to make you more and more lovely in the eyes of my guardian.
I could not bear this—No more, no more, my lovely girl, my innocent, my generous, my irresistible girl! Were it to come to that-[It became me to be unreserved, for more reasons than one, to this sweet child]-Not one request should my Emily make, that heart and mind I would not comply with: not one wish that I would not endeavour to promote and accomplish for her.
I folded her to my heart, as she hung about my neck.
I grieve youI would not, for the world, grieve my young mamma, said she -Henceforth let me call you my inamma.--Mamma, as I have heard the word explained, is a more tender name even than mother --The unhappy Mrs. Jervois shall be Mrs. O'Hara, if she pleases; and only mother : a child must not renounce her mother, though the mother should renounce, or worse than renounce, her child.
I must leave you, Emily.
I must leave you, my, and more than my Emily.--You have cured me of sleepiness for this night!
O then I am sorry
No; don't be sorry. You have given me pain, 'tis true; but I think it is the sweetest pain that ever entered into a human heart. Such goodness ! such innocence! such generosity-I thank God, my love, that there is in my kpow. ledge so worthy a young heart as yours.
Now, how good this is! (and again she wrapped her arms about me.) And will you go?
I must, I must, my dear!—I can stay no longer.--But take this assurance, that my Emily shall have a first place in my heart for ever. I will study to promote your happiness; and your wishes shall be the leaders of mine.
Then I am sure I shall live with my guardian and you for ever, as I may say: and God grant, and down on her knees she dropped, with her arms wrapped about mine, that you may be the happiest of women, and that soon, for my sake, as well as your own, in marriage with the best of men, my guardian ! (exultingly, said she :) and say, Amen -Do, God bless you, madam, say Amen to my prayer.
I struggled from her.–O my sweet girl! I cannot bear you!—I hastened out at the door to go to my chamber.
You are not angry, madam ? following me, and taking my hand, and kissing it with eagerness. Say you are not displeased with me. I will not leave
Thank God, I have not offended you. And now say, once more, my Emily-Say, good rest to you, my Emilymy love—and all those tender names- say,
God bless you, my child, as if you were my mamma; and I will leave you, and I shall in fancy go to sleep with angels.
Angels only are fit company for my Emily-God bless my Emily! Good night! Be your slumbers happy!
I kissed her once, twice, thrice, with fervor; and away she tript; but stopt at the door, courtesying low, as I, delighted, yet painfully delighted, looked after her.
Ruminating, in my retirement, on all the dear girl had said, and on what might be my fate; so many different thoughts came into my head, that I could not close my eyes: I therefore arose before day; and while my thoughts were agitated with the affecting subject, had recourse to my pen.
Do, my Lucy, and do you, my grandmamma, my aunt, my uncle, more than give me leave, bid me, command me, if it shall be proposed, to bring down with me my Emily: and yet she shall not come, if you don't all promise to love her as well as you do
Your for ever obliged
MISS BYRON, TO MISS SELBY.
Monday, Mar. 20. The active, the restless goodness of this Sir Charles Grandison, absolutely dazzles me, Lucy!
The good Dr. Bartlett has obliged us all with the sight of two letters, which give an account of what he has done for Lord W, his uncle. He has been more than a father to his uncle: does not that sound strange? But he is to be the obliger of every body.
The doctor said, that since Miss Grandison had claimed the benefit of her brother's permission for him to use his own discretion in communicating to us such of the letters as he was favoured with by Sir Charles, he believed he could not more unexceptionably oblige Lord L-- and the sisters, than by reading to them those two letters, as they were a kind of family subject.
After the doctor had done reading, he withdrew to his closet. I stole up after him, and obtained his leave to transmit them to you.
Lucy, be chary of them, and return them when perused.
There is no such thing as pointing out particular passages of generosity, justice, prudence, disinterestedness, beneficence, that strike one in those letters, without transcribing every paragraph in them. And, ah, Lucy! there are other observations to be made; mortifying ones, I fear.
Only let me say, that I think, if Sir Charles Grandison could and would tender himself to my acceptance, I ought