Contains several Incidents, in which the Reader is expected to be extremely interested.
Arabella had spent some Hours in her Closet, revolving a thousand different Stratagems to escape from the Misfortune that threatened her, when she was interrupted by Lucy, who, after desiring Admittance, informed her, that the Marquis, having rode out to take the Air that Evening, had fallen from his Horse and received some Hurt; that he was gone to Bed, and desired to see her.
Arabella, hearing her Father was indisposed, ran to him, excessively alarmed; and reflecting on the Resolution she had just before taken, of leaving him, which aggravated her Concern, she came to his Bedside with her Eyes swiming in Tears. Mr. Glanville was sitting near him; but, rising at her Appearance to give her his Chair, which she accepted without taking any Notice of him, he stood at some Distance contemplating her Face, to which Sorrow had given so many Charms, that he gazed on her with an Eagerness and Delight that could not escape her Observation.
She blushed excessively at the passionate Looks he gave her; and, finding the Marquis's Indisposition not considerable enough to oblige her to a constant Attendance at his Bedside, she took the first Opportunity of returning to her Chamber; but, as she was going out, Glanville presented his Hand to lead her up Stairs: Which she scornfully refusing; Sure, Cousin, said he, a little piqued, you are not disposed to carry on your ill-natured Jest any further? If you imagined I jested with you, said Arabella, I am rather to accuse the Slowness of your Understanding, for your persisting in treating me thus freely, than the Insolence I first imputed it to: But, whatever is the Cause of it, I now tell you again, that you have extremely offended me; and, if my Father's Illness did not set Bounds to my Resentment at present, I would make you know, that I would not suffer the Injury you do me, so patiently.
Since you would have me to believe you are serious, replied Glanville, be pleased to let me know what Offence it is you complain of; for I protest I am quite at a Loss to understand you.
Was it not enough, resumed Arabella, to affront me with an insolent Declaration of your Passion, but you must also, in Contempt of my Commands to the contrary, appear before me again, pursue me to my Chamber, and use the most brutal Menaces to me? Hold, pray, Madam, interrupted Glanville, and suffer me to ask you, If it is my Presumption, in declaring myself your Admirer, that you are so extremely offended at? Doubtless it is, Sir, answered Arabella; and such a Presumption, as, without the aggravating Circumstances you have since added to it, is sufficient to make me always your Enemy.
I beg Pardon, returned Mr. Glanville gravely, for that Offence; and also, for staying any longer in a House, which you have, so genteelly, turned me out of.
My Pardon, Mr. Glanville, resumed she, is not so easily gained: Time, and your Repentance, may, indeed, do much towards obtaining it.
Saying this, she made a Sign to him to retire; for he had walked up with her to her Chamber: But, finding he did not obey her, for really he was quite unacquainted with these Sorts of dumb Commands, she hastily retired to her Closet, lest he should attempt to move her Pity, by any Expressions of Despair for the cruel Banishment she had doomed him to.
Mr. Glanville, seeing she had shut herself up in her Closet, left her Chamber, and retired to his own, more confounded than ever at the Behaviour of his Cousin.
Her bidding him so peremptorily to leave the House, would have equally persuaded him of her Ignorance and Ill-breeding, had not the Elegance of her Manners, in every other respect, proved the contrary: Nor was it possible to doubt she had a great Share of Understanding; since her Conversation, singular as some of her Sentiments seemed to him, was far superior to most other Ladies. Therefore, he concluded, the Affront he had received, proceeded from her Disdain to admit the Addresses of any Person, whose Quality was inferior to hers; which, probably, was increased to some particular Dislike she had to his Person.
His Honour would not permit him to make Use of that Advantage her Father's Authority could give him; and, wholly engrossed by his Resentment of the Usage he had received from her, he resolved to set out for London the next Day without seeing the Marquis, from whom he was apprehensive of some Endeavours to detain him.
Having taken this Resolution, he ordered his Servant to have the Horses ready early in the Morning; and, without taking any Notice of his Intention, he left the Castle, riding, as fast as possible, to the next Stage, from whence he wrote to his Uncle; and, dispatching a Messenger with his Letter, held on his Way to London.
The Marquis, being pretty well recovered from his Indisposition by a good Night's Rest, sent for Mr. Glanville in the Morning, to walk with him, as was his Custom, in the Garden; but, hearing he had rode out, tho' he imagined it was only to take the Air, yet he could not help accusing him, in his own Thoughts, of a little Neglect; for which he resolved to chide him, when he returned: But his long Stay filling him with some Surprize, he was beginning to express his Fears that something had befallen him, to Arabella, who was then with him; when a Servant presented him the Letter, which Mr. Glanville's Messenger had that Moment brought.
The Marquis casting his Eyes on the Direction, and knowing his Nephew's Hand, Bless me, cried he, extremely surprised, What can this mean? Bella, added he, here's a Letter from your Cousin.
Arabella, at these Words, started up; and, preventing her Father, with a respectful Action, from opening it, I beseech you, my Lord, said she, before you read this Letter, suffer me to assure you, that, if it contains any thing fatal, I am not at all accessary to it: 'Tis true I have banished my Cousin, as a Punishment for the Offence he was guilty of towards me; but, Heaven is my Witness, I did not design his Death; and if he has taken any violent Resolution against himself, he has greatly exceeded my Commands.
The Marquis, whose Surprize was considerably increased by these Words, hastily broke open the Letter, which she perceiving, hurried out of the Room; and, locking herself up in her Closet, began to bewail the Effect of her Charms, as if she was perfectly assured of her Cousin's Death.
The Marquis, however, who, from Lady Bella's Exclamation, had prepared himself for the Knowlege of some very extraordinary Accident, was less surprised, than he would otherwise have been, at the Contents; which were as follow: My Lord, As my leaving your House so abruptly will certainly make me appear guilty of a most unpardonable Rudeness, I cannot dispense with myself from acquainting your Lordship with the Cause; though, to spare the Reproaches Lady Bella will probably cast on me for doing so, I could wish you knew it by any other Means.
But, my Lord, I value your Esteem too much to hazard the Loss of it by suffering you to imagine, that I am capable of doing any thing to displease you. Lady Bella was pleased to order me to stay no longer in the House; and menaced me with some very terrible Usage, if I disobeyed her: She used so many other contemptuous Expressions to me, that, I am persuaded, I shall never be so happy as to possess the Honour you designed for, My Lord, Your most obedient, &c.
When the Marquis had read this Letter, he went to his Daughter's Apartment with an Intention to chide her severely for her Usage of his Nephew; but, seeing her come to meet him with her Eyes bathed in Tears, he insensibly lost some Part of his Resentment.
Alas! my Lord, said she, I know you come prepared to load me with Reproaches, upon my Cousin's Account; but, I beseech your Lordship, do not aggravate my Sorrows: Tho' I banished Mr. Glanville, I did not desire his Death; and, questionless, if he knew how I resent it, his Ghost would be satisfied with the Sacrifice I make him.
The Marquis, not being able to help smiling at this Conceit, which he saw had so strongly possessed her Imagination, that she had no sort of Doubt but that her Cousin was dead, asked her, If she really believed Mr. Glanville loved her well enough to die with Grief at her ill Usage of him? If, said she, he loves me not well enough to die for me, he certainly loves me but little; and I am the less obliged to him.
But I desire to know, interrupted the Marquis, For what Crime it was you took the Liberty to banish him from my House? I banished him, my Lord, resumed she, for his Presumption in telling me he loved me.
That Presumption, as you call it, tho' I know not for what Reason, said the Marquis, was authorized by me: Therefore, know, Bella, that I not only permit him to love you, but I also expect you should endeavour to return his Affection; and look upon him as the Man whom I design for your Husband: There's his Letter, pursued he, putting it into her Hand.
I blush for the Rudeness you have been guilty of; but endeavour to repair it, by a more obliging Behaviour for the future: I am going to send after him immediately to prevail upon to return: Therefore, write him an Apology, I charge you; and have it done by the Time my Messenger is ready to set out.
Saying this, he went out of the Room; and Arabella eagerly opened the Letter; and, finding it in a Style so different from what she expected, her Dislike of him returned with more Violence than ever.
Ah! the Traitor! said she aloud, Is it thus that he endeavours to move my Compassion? How greatly did I over-rate his Affection, when I imagined his Despair was capable of killing him? Disloyal Man! pursued she, walking about, Is it by Complaints to my Father that thou expectest to succeed? And dost thou imagine the Heart of Arabella is to be won by Violence and Injustice? In this manner she wasted the Time allotted for her to write; and, when the Marquis sent for her Letter, having no Intention to comply, she went to his Chamber, conjuring him not to oblige her to a Condescension so unworthy of her.
The Marquis, being now excessively angry with her, rose up in a Fury, and, leading her to his Writing-Desk, ordered her, instantly, to write to her Cousin.
If I must write, my Lord, said she, sobbing, pray be so good as to dictate what I must say.
Apologize for your rude Behaviour, said the Marquis; and desire him, in the most obliging manner you can, to return.
Arabella, seeing there was a necessity for obeying, took up the Pen, and wrote the following Billet: The unfortunate Arabella, to the most ungenerous Glanville.
It is not by the Power I have over you, that I command you to return, for I disclaim any Empire over so unworthy a Subject; but, since it is my Father's Pleasure I should invite you back, I must let you know, that I repeal your Banishment, and expect you will immediately return with the Messenger who brings this; however, to spare your Acknowlegements, know, that it is in Obedience to my Father's absolute Commands, that you receive this Mandate from Arabella.
Having finished this Billet, she gave it to the Marquis to read; who, finding a great deal of his own Haughtiness of Temper in it, could not resolve to check her for a Disposition so like his own: Yet he told her, her Stile was very uncommon: And pray, added he, smiling, who taught you to superscribe your Letters thus, "The unfortunate Arabella, to the most ungenerous Glanville?" Why, Bella, this Superscription is wholly calculated for the Bearer's Information: But come, alter it immediately; for I don't choose my Messenger should know, that you are unfortunate, or that my Nephew is ungenerous.
Pray, my Lord, replied Arabella, content yourself with what I have already done in Obedience to your Commands, and suffer my Letter to remain as it is: Methinks it is but reasonable I should express some little Resentment at the Complaint my Cousin has been pleased to make to you against me; nor can I possibly make my Letter more obliging, without being guilty of an unpardonable Meanness.
You are a strange Girl, replied the Marquis, taking the Letter, and inclosing it in one from himself; in which he earnestly intreated his Nephew to return, threatening him with his Displeasure, if he disobeyed; and assuring him, that his Daughter would receive him as well as he could possibly desire.
The Messenger being dispatched, with Orders to ride Post, and overtake the young Gentleman, he obeyed his Orders so well, that he came up with him at--, where he intended to lodge that Night.
Mr. Glanville, who expected his Uncle would make use of some Methods to recal him, opened his Letter without any great Emotion; but seeing another inclosed, his Heart leaped to his Mouth, not doubting but it was a Letter from Arabella; but the Contents surprised him so much, that he hardly knew whether he ought to look upon them as an Invitation to return, or a new Affront, her Words were so distant and haughty. The Superscription being much the same with a Billet he had received from her in the Garden, which had made him conclude her in Jest, he knew not what to think of it: One would swear this dear Girl's Head is turned, said he to himself, if she had not more Wit than her whole Sex besides.
After reading Arabella's Letter several times, he at last opened his Uncle's; and, seeing the pressing Instances he made him to return, he resolved to obey; and the next Morning set out for the Castle.
Arabella, during the time her Cousin was expected, appeared so melancholy and reserved, that the Marquis was extremely uneasy: You have never, said he to her, disobeyed me in any one Action of your Life; and I may with reason expect you will conform to my Will in the Choice I have made of a Husband for you, since it is impossible to make any Objection either to his Person or Mind; and, being the Son of my Sister, he is certainly not unworthy of you, tho' he has not a Title.
My first Wish, my Lord, replied Arabella, is to live single, not being desirous of entering into any Engagement which may hinder my Solicitude and Cares, and lessen my Attendance, upon the best of Fathers, who, till now, has always most tenderly complied with my Inclinations in every thing: But if it is your absolute Command, that I should marry, give me not to one who, tho' he has the Honour to be allied to you, has neither merited your Esteem, or my Favour, by any Action worthy of his Birth, or the Passion he pretends to have for me; for, in fine, my Lord, by what Services has he deserved the Distinction with which you honour him? Has he ever delivered you from any considerable Danger? Has he saved your Life, and hazarded his own, for you, upon any Occasion whatever? Has he merited my Esteem, by his Sufferings, Fidelity, and Respect; or, by any great and generous Action, given me a Testimony of his Love, which should oblige me to reward him with my Affection? Ah! my Lord, I beseech you, think not so unworthily of your Daughter, as to bestow her upon one who has done so little to deserve her: If my Happiness be dear to you, do not precipitate me into a State from whence you cannot recal me, with a Person whom I can never affect.
She would have gone on, but the Marquis interrupted her sternly: I'll hear no more, said he, of your foolish and ridiculous Objections: What Stuff is this you talk of? What Service am I to expect from my Nephew? And by what Sufferings is lie to merit your Esteem? Assure yourself, Arabella, continued he, that I will never pardon you, if you presume to treat my Nephew in the Manner you have done: I perceive you have no real Objection to make to him; therefore I expect you will endeavour to obey me without Reluctance; for, since you seem to be so little acquainted with what will most conduce to your own Happiness, you must not think it strange, if I insist upon directing your Choice in the most important Business of your Life.
Arabella was going to reply; but the Marquis ordered her to be silent; and she went to her own Apartment in so much Affliction, that she thought her Misfortunes were not exceeded by any she had ever read.