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company more suitable to their taste; and we should never want objects worthy of our knowledge, and even of our admiration, to associate with. There is a kind of magnetism in goodness. Bad people will indeed find out bad people, to accompany with, in order to keep one another in countenance; but they are bound together by a rope of sand; while trust, confidence, love, sympathy, twist a cord, by a reciprocation of beneficent offices, which ties good men to good men, and cannot easily be broken.
I have never had these notions, cousin; and yet they are good ones. I took people as I found them; and, to own the truth, meaning to serve myself, rather than any body else, I never took pains to look out for worthy attachments. The people I had to do with, had the same views upon me, as I had upon them; and thus I went on in a state of hostility with all men; mistrusting and guarding, as well as I could, and not doubting that every man I had to do with would impose upon me, if I placed confidence in him.--But as to this Miss Byron, nephew, I shall never rest till I see her-Pray, what is her fortune? They
it is not above 15,0001.—What is that, to the offers you have had made you?
Just then we were told, dinner was on the table.
I am wishing for an inclination to rest ; but it flies me. The last letter from Beauchamp, dated from Bologna, as well as those from the bishop, afflict me.
Why have I such a feeling heart? Were the unhappy situation of affairs there owing to my own enterprising spirit, I should deserve the pain it gives me. But I should be too happy, had I not these without door perplexities, as I may call them, to torment me. Thank God that they arise not from within, though they make themselves too easy a pas, sage to my heart !
My paper is written out. If I am likely to find a drowsy moment, I shall welcome its approach: if not, I will rise, and continue my subject.
SIR CHARLES GRANDISON, TO DR. BARTLETT.
Sunday, March 19. I
HAVE had two happy hours of forgetfulness; I could not, though I tried for it, prevail for more: and I will continue my subject.
After dinner, every attendant being dismissed, my lord, making me first see that nobody was listening in the passages, began as follows:
I am determined, nephew, to part with this Giffard. She is the plague of my life. I would have done it half a year ago, on an occasion that I will not mention to you, because you would despise me, if I did, for my weakness : and now she wants to bring in upon me a sister of hers, and her husband, and to part with two other worthy folks, that I know love me; but of whom, for that reason, she is jealous; and then they would divide me among them : for this man and his wife have six children ; all of whoni, of late, make an appearance that cannot be honestly supported.
And have you any difficulty, my lord, in parting with her, but what arises from your own want of resolution ?
The most insolent devil that ever was about a man at one time, and the most whining at another. . Don't
But say, you
despise me, nephew; you know I have taken her as-You know what I mean I understand you, my lord.
don't despise me, Sir Charles Grandison. As I hope to live, I am half afraid of you.
My pity, my lord, where I see compunction, is stronger than my censure.
That is well said.-Now I agreed with this woman, in a weak moment, and she has held me to it, to give her an annuity of 1501. for life; which was to be made up 2501. if I parted with her, without her consent; and here we have been, for several months, plaguing one another, whether I shall turn her out of the house, or she will leave me: for she has told me, that she will not stay, unless I take in her sister and brother; yet will not go, because she will then have no more than the 1501. a year: and that is too much for her deserts for these two years past.
Your lordship sees the inconveniencies of this way of life; and I need not mention to you, how much happier that state is, which binds a man and woman together by interest, as well as by affection, if discretion be not forgotten in their choice. But let me express my surprise, that your lordship, who has so ample an estate, and no child, should seem to value your peace of mind at so low a rate as 100l. a year.
I will not let her go away with such a triumph. She has not deserved from me
Pray, my lord, was she of reputation when you took her ?
She was a widow
But was her character tolerable in the eye of the world? She might be a greater object of pity for being a widow.
My gouty disorders made me want a woman about me. I hated men fellows
Well, my lord, this regards your motive. But have you any previous or later incontinence to charge her with ?
I can't say I have. Her cursed temper would frighten, rather than invite, lovers. I heard it was no good one ; but it broke not out to me till within these two years.
Your lordship, surely, must not dispute the matter with her. If you are determined to part with her, give her the 2501. a year, and let her go.
To reward a cursed woman for misbehaviour ?-I cannot do it.
Give me leave to say, that your lordship has deserved some punishment: give her the annuity, not as a reward to her, but as a punishment to yourself.
You hurt my sore place, nephew.
Consider, my lord, that 250l. a year for life, or even for ever, is a poor price, for the reputation of a woman with whom a man of your quality and fortune condescended to enter into treaty. Every quarterly payment must strike her to the heart, if she lives to have compunction seize her, when she thinks that she is receiving, for subsistence, the wages of her shame. Be that her punishment. You intimate, that she has so behaved herself, that she has but few friends: part with her, without giving her cause of complaint, that may engage pity for her, if not friends, at your expense. A woman who has lost her reputation, will not be regardful of yours. Suppose she sue you for non-performance of covenants; would your lordship appear to such a prosecution? You cannot be capable of pleading your privilege on a prosecution that would otherwise go against you. You cannot be in earnest to part with this woman,
she cannot have offended you beyond forgiveness, if you scruple 1001. a year to get rid of her.
He fervently swore, that he was in earnest; and added, I am resolved, nephew, to marry, and live honest.
He looked at me, as if he expected I should be surprised. I believe I could not change countenance on such a hint
You have come to a good resolution, my lord; and if you marry a prudent woman, your lordship will find the difference in your own reflections, as well as in your reputation and interest. And shall the difference of 100l. a year—Don't let me say, that I am ashamed for my Lord W
I knew that you would despise me, Sir Charles.
I know that I should despise myself, were I not to deal freely with your lordship in this respect. Indeed, my lord, you have not had so good reason (forgive me !) to think hardly of my father's spirit, as you had to correct your own.
I cannot bear this, nephew. He looked displeased.
You must not be angry, my lord. I will not bear anger from any man breathing, and keep him company, who, consulting me, shall be displeased with me for speaking my mind with freedom and sincerity.
What a man am I talking to !-Well, rid me of this torinent, [you have spirit, nephew; and nobody can reproach you with acting contrary to your own principles,] and I will for ever love you. But talk to ber: I hardly dare. She whimpers and sobs, and threatens, by turns, and I cannot bear it.—Once she was going to tie herself up--
--Would to God I had not prevented her-And then (O my folly!) we went on again.