Which contains a very natural Incident.
From this Time Mr. Glanville, tho' he was far from coming up to Lady Bella's Idea of a Lover, yet, by the Pains he apparently seemed to be at in obliging her, made every Day some Progress in her Esteem. The Marquis was extremely pleased at the Harmony which subsisted between them; tho' he could have wished to have seen their Marriage advance a little faster; but Glanville, who was better acquainted with Arabella's Foible than the Marquis, assured him, he would ruin all his Hopes, if he pressed her to marry; and intreated him to leave it intirely to him, to dispose her to consent to both their Wishes.
The Marquis was satisfied with his Reasons, and, resolving not to importune his Daughter, upon that Subject, any more, they lived for some Months in a perfect Tranquillity; to which an Illness the Marquis was seized with, and which was, from the first, thought to be dangerous gave a sad Interruption.
Arabella's extreme Tenderness upon this Occasion, her anxious Solicitude, her pious Cares, and never-ceasing Attendance at the Bedside of her sick Father, were so many new Charms, that engaged the Affection of Glanville more strongly. As the Marquis's Indisposition increased, so did her Care and Assiduity: She would not allow any one to give him any thing but herself; bore all the pettish Humours of a sick Man with a surprising Sweetness and Patience; watched whole Nights, successively, by his Bedside; and when, at his Importunity, she consented to take any Rest, it was only upon a Couch in his Chamber, from whence no Intreaties could make her remove. Mr. Glanville partook with her in these Fatigues; and, by his Care of her Father, and Tenderness for her, confirmed her in the Esteem she had entertained of him.
The Marquis, who had struggled with the Violence of his Distemper for a Fortnight, died on the Fifteenth Day in the Arms of Arabella, who received his last Looks; his Eyes never removing themselves from her Face, till they were closed by Death. Her Spirits, which the Desire she had of being useful to him, had alone supported, now failed her at once; and she fell upon the Bed, without Sense or Motion, as soon as she saw him expire.
Mr. Glanville, who was kneeling on the other Side, and had been holding one of his Uncle's Hands, started up in the most terrible Consternation, and, seeing the Condition she was in, flew to her Relief: Her Women, while he supported her, used all the Endeavours they could think of to recover her; but she continued so long in her Swoon, that they apprehended she was dead; and Glanville was resigning himself up to the most bitter Sorrow, when she opened her Eyes; but it was only to close them again. Her Faintings continued the whole Day; and the Physicians declaring she was in great Danger, from her extreme Weakness, she was carried to Bed in a Condition that seemed to promise very little Hopes of her Life.
The Care of the Marquis's Funeral devolving upon Mr. Glanville, he sent a Messenger express for his Father, who was appointed Guardian to Lady Bella; the Marquis having first asked her if she was willing it should be so. This Gentleman arrived Time enough to be Witness of that sad Ceremony, which was performed with a Magnificence suitable to the Birth and Fortune of the Marquis.
Lady Bella kept her Bed several Days, and her Life was thought to be in Danger; but her Youth, and the Strength of her Constitution, overcame her Disease; and, when she was so well recovered as to be able to admit of a Visit from her Uncle, Mr. Glanville sent for Permission to introduce him: The afflicted Arabella granted his Request; but, being then more indisposed than usual, she intreated they would defer their Visit for an Hour or two, which they complied with; and, returning at the appointed Time, were conducted into her Dressing-Room by Lucy, who informed them her Lady was just fallen into a Slumber.
Mr. Glanville, who had not seen her for some Days, expected her waking with great Impatience; and pleased himself with describing her, with a Lover's Fondness, to his Father, when the Sound of her Voice in the next Room interrupted him.