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Chapter IX.

Containing some curious Anecdotes.

Lady Bella, from the Familiarity with which Miss Glanville treated this gay Gentleman, concluding him her Lover, and one who was apparently well received by her, had a strong Curiosity to know her Adventures; and as they were walking the next Morning in the Garden, she told her, that she thought it was very strange they had hitherto observed such a Reserve to each other, as to banish mutual Trust and Confidence from their Conversation: Whence comes it, Cousin, added she, being so young and lovely as you are, that you, questionless, have been engaged in many Adventures, you have never reposed Trust enough in me to favour me with a Recital of them? Engaged in many Adventures, Madam! returned Miss Glanville, not liking the Phrase: I believe I have been engaged in as few as your Ladyship.

You are too obliging, returned Arabella, who mistook what she said for a Compliment; for since you have more Beauty than I, and have also had more Opportunities of making yourself beloved, questionless you have a greater Number of Admirers.

As for Admirers, said Miss Charlotte bridling, I fansy I have had my Share! Thank God, I never found myself neglected; but, I assure you, Madam, I have had no Adventures, as you call them, with any of them.

No, really! interrupted Arabella, innocently.

No, really, Madam, retorted Miss Glanville; and I am surprised you should think so.

Indeed, my Dear, said Arabella, you are very happy in this respect, and also very singular; for I believe there are few young Ladies in the World, who have my Pretensions to Beauty, that have not given Rise to a great many Adventures; and some of them haply very fatal.

If you knew more of the World, Lady Bella, said Miss Glanville pertly, you would not be so apt to think, that young Ladies engage themselves in troublesome Adventures: Truly the Ladies that are brought up in Town are not so ready to run away with every Man they see.

No, certainly, interrupted Arabella; they do not give their Consent to such Proceedings; but for all that, they are, doubtless, run away with many times; for truly there are some Men, whose Passions are so unbridled, that they will have recourse to the most violent Methods to possess themselves of the Objects they love. Pray do you remember how often Mandana was run away with? Not I indeed, Madam, replied Miss Glanville; I know nothing about her; but I suppose she is a Jew, by her outlandish Name.

She was no Jew, said Arabella, tho' she favoured that People very much; for she obtained the Liberty of great Numbers of them from Cyrus, who had taken them Captives, and could deny her nothing she asked.

Well, said Miss Glanville; and I suppose she denied him nothing he asked; and so they were even.

Indeed but she did tho', resumed Arabella; for she refused to give him a glorious Scarf which she wore, tho' he begged it on his Knees.

And she was very much in the right, said Miss Glanville; for I see no Reason why a Lover should expect a Gift of any Value from his Mistress.

Doubtless, said Arabella, such a Gift was worthy a Million of Services; and, had he obtained it, it would have been a glorious Distinction for him. However, Mandana refused it; and, severely virtuous as you are, I am persuaded you can't help thinking, she was a little too rigorous in denying a Favour to a Lover like him-- Severely virtuous, Lady Bella! said Miss Glanville, colouring with Anger: Pray, what do you mean by that? Have you any Reason to imagine, I would grant any Favour to a Lover? Why, if I did, Cousin, said Arabella, would it derogate so much from your Glory, think you, to bestow a Favour upon a Lover worthy your Esteem, and from whom you had received a thousand Marks of a most pure and faithful Passion, and also a great Number of very singular Services? I hope, Madam, said Miss Glanville, it will never be my Fate to be so much obliged to any Lover, as to be under a Necessity of granting him Favours in Requital.

I vow, Cousin, interrupted Arabella, you put me in mind of the fair and virtuous Antonia, who was so rigid and austere, that she thought all Expressions of Love were criminal; and was so far from granting any Person Permission to love her, that she thought it a mortal Offence to be adored even in private.

Miss Glanville, who could not imagine Arabella spoke this seriously, but that it was designed to sneer at her great Eagerness to make Conquests, and the Liberties she allowed herself in, which had probably come to her Knowlege, was so extremely vexed at the malicious Jest, as she thought it, that, not being able to revenge herself, she burst into Tears.

Arabella's Good-nature made her be greatly affected at this Sight; and, asking her Pardon for having undesignedly occasioned her so much Uneasiness, begged her to be composed, and tell her in what she had offended her, that she might to be able to justify herself in her Apprehensions.

You have made no Scruple to own, Madam, said she, that you think me capable of granting Favours to Lovers, when, Heaven knows, I never granted a Kiss without a great deal of Confusion.

And you had certainly much Reason for Confusion, said Arabella, excessively surprised at such a Confession: I assure you I never injured you so much in my Thoughts, as to suppose you ever granted a Favour of so criminal a Nature.

Look you there now! said Miss Glanville, weeping more violently than before: I knew what all your round-about Speeches would come to: All you have said in Vindication of granting Favours, was only to draw me into a Confession of what I have done: How ungenerous was that! The Favours I spoke of, Madam, said Arabella, were quite of another Nature, than those it seems you have so liberally granted: Such as giving a Scarf, a Bracelet, or some such Thing, to a Lover, who had haply sighed whole Years in Silence, and did not presume to declare his Passion, till he had lost best Part of his Blood in Defence of the Fair one he loved: It was when you maintained, that Mandana was in the right to refuse her magnificent Scarf to the illustrious Cyrus, that I took upon me to oppose your Rigidness; and so much mistaken was I in your Temper, that I foolishly compared you to the fair and wise Antonia, whose Severity was so remarkable; but really, by what I understand from your own Confession, your Disposition resembles that of the inconsiderate Julia, who would receive a Declaration of Love without Anger from any one; and was not over-shy, any more than yourself, of granting Favours almost as considerable as that you have mentioned.

While Arabella was speaking, Miss Glanville, having dried up her Tears, sat silently swelling with Rage, not knowing whether she should openly avow her Resentment for the injurious Language her Cousin had used to her, by going away immediately, or, by making up the Matter, appear still to be her Friend, that she might have the more Opportunities of revenging herself. The Impetuosity of her Temper made her most inclined to the former; but the Knowlege that Sir George was to stay yet some Months in the Country, made her unwilling to leave a Place, where she might often see a Man whose fine Person had made some Impression upon her Heart; and, not enduring to leave such a charming Conquest to Arabella, she resolved to suppress her Resentment for the present; and listened, without any Appearance of Discomposure, to a fine Harangue of her Cousin upon the Necessity of Reserve, and distant Behaviour, to Men who presumed to declare themselves Lovers, enforcing her Precepts with Examples drawn from all the Romances she had ever read; at the End of which she embraced her, and assured her, if she had said any thing harsh, it proceeded from her great Regard to her Glory, of which she ardently wished to see her as fond as herself.

Miss Glanville constrained herself to make a Reply that might not appear disagreeable: And they were upon these Terms, when Mr. Glanville came up to them, and told Lady Bella, Sir George had sent to intreat their Company at his House that Day: But, added he, as I presume you will not think proper to go, on account of your Mourning, neither my Sister nor I will accept the Invitation.

I dare say, interrupted Miss Glanville hastily, Lady Bella will not expect such a needless Piece of Ceremony from us; and, if she don't think proper to go, she won't confine us.

By no means, Cousin, said Arabella, smiling; and, being persuaded Sir George makes the Entertainment purely for your Sake, it would not be kind in me to deprive him of your Company.

Mr. Glanville, being pleased to find his Cousin discovered no Inclination to go, would have persuaded his Sister not to leave Lady Bella: But Miss Glanville looked so much displeased at his Request, that he was obliged to insist upon it no more; and, both retiring to dress, Lady Bella went up to her Apartment, and betook herself to her Books, which supplied the Place of all Company to her.

Miss Glanville, having taken more than ordinary Pains in dressing herself, in order to appear charming in the Eyes of Sir George, came in to pay her Compliments to Lady Bella before she went, not doubting but she would be chagrined to see her look so well: But Lady Bella, on the contrary, praised the Clearness of her Complexion, and the Sparkling of her Eyes.

I question not, said she, but you will give Fetters to more Persons than one To-day; but remember, I charge you, added she smiling, while you are taking away the Liberty of others, to have a special Care of your own.

Miss Glanville, who could not think it possible, one Woman could praise another with any Sincerity, cast a Glance at the Glass, fearing it was rather because she looked but indifferently, that her Cousin was so lavish in her Praises; and, while she was setting her Features in a Mirror which every Day represented a Face infinitely more lovely than her own, Mr. Glanville came in, who, after having very respectfully taken Leave of Lady Bella, led his Sister to the Coach.

Sir George, who was extremely mortified to find Lady Bella not in it, handed Miss Glanville out with an Air so reserved, that she raillied him upon it; and gave her Brother a very unpleasing Emotion, by telling Sir George, she hoped Lady Bella's not coming along with them, would not make him bad Company.

As he was too gallant to suffer an handsome young Lady, who spread all her Attractions for him, to believe he regretted the Absence of another when she was present; he coquetted with her so much, that Mr. Glanville was in hopes his Sister would wholly engage him from Lady Bella.

Chapter VIII. | The Female Quixote | Chapter X.