Two Conversations, out of which the Reader may pick up a great deal.
Arabella, continuing to ruminate upon her Adventure during their little Journey, appeared so low and reserved, that Mr. Glanville, tho' he ardently wished to know all the Particulars of her Flight, and Meeting with that Gentleman, whose Company he found her in, was obliged to suppress his Curiosity for the present, out of a Fear of displeasing her.
As soon as they alighted at the Castle, her Servants ran to receive her at the Gates, expressing their Joy to see her again, by a thousand confused Exclamations.
Miss Glanville, being at her Toilet when she heard of her Arrival, ran down to welcome her, in her Hurry forgetting, that as her Woman had been curling her Hair, she had no Cap on.
Arabella received her Compliments with a little Coolness; for, observing that her Grief for her Absence had not made her neglect any of her usual Solicitude about her Person, she could not conceive it had been very great: Therefore, when she had made some slight Answer to the hundred Questions she asked in a Breath, she went up to her Apartment; and, calling Lucy, who was crying with Joy for her Return, she questioned her strictly concerning her leaving her in the Fields, acknowleging to her, that she suspected her Fidelity, tho' she wished, at the same time, she might be able to clear herself.
Lucy, in her Justification, related, after her punctual Way, all that had happened: By which, Arabella was convinced she had not betrayed her; and was also in some Doubt, whether Mr. Glanville was guilty of any Design against her.
Since, said she to Lucy, thou art restored to my good Opinion, I will, as I have always done, unmask my Thoughts to thee. I confess then, with Shame and Confusion, that I cannot think of Mr. Glanville's assisting the Unknown to carry me away, without resenting a most poignant Grief: Questionless, my Weakness will surprise thee; and could I conceal it from myself, I would from thee; but, alas! it is certain, that I do not hate him; and I believe I never shall, guilty as he may be in my Apprehensions.
Hate him! Madam, said Lucy: God forbid you should ever hate Mr. Glanville, who, I am sure, loves your Ladyship as well as he does his own Sister! You are very confident, Lucy, said Arabella blushing, to mention the Word Love to me: If I thought my Cousin had bribed thee to it, I should be greatly incensed: However, tho' I forbid you to talk of his Passion, yet I permit you to tell me the Violence of his Transports when I was missing; the Threats he uttered against my Ravishers; the Complaints he made against Fortune; the Vows he offered for my Preservation; and, in fine, whatever Extravagances the Excess of his Sorrow forced him to commit.
I assure you, Madam, said Lucy, I did not hear him say any of all this.
What! interrupted Arabella: And didst thou not observe the Tears trickle from his Eyes, which, haply, he strove to conceal? Did he not strike his Bosom with the Vehemence of his Grief; and cast his accusing and despairing Eyes to Heaven, which had permitted such a Misfortune to befal me? Indeed, Madam, I did not, resumed Lucy; but he seemed to be very sorry; and said, He would go and look for your Ladyship.
Ah! the Traitor! interrupted Arabella in a Rage: Fain would I have found out some Excuse for him, and justified him in my Apprehensions; but he is unworthy of these favourable Thoughts: Speak of him no more, I command you; he is guilty of assisting my Ravisher to carry me away; and therefore merits my eternal Displeasure: But tho' I could find Reasons to clear him even of that Crime, yet he is guilty of Indifference and Insensibility for my Loss, since he neither died with Grief at the News of it; nor needed the Interposition of his Sister, or the Desire of delivering me, to make him live.
Arabella, when she had said this, was silent; but could not prevent some Tears stealing down her fair Face: Therefore, to conceal her Uneasiness, or to be at more Liberty to indulge it, she ordered Lucy to make haste and undress her; and, going To-bed, passed the small Remainder of the Night, not in Rest, which she very much needed, but, in Reflections on all the Passages of the preceding Day: And, finding, or imagining she found, new Reasons for condemning Mr. Glanville, her Mind was very far from being at Ease.
In the Morning, lying later than usual, she received a Message from Mr. Glanville, inquiring after her Health; to which she answered, That he was too little concerned in the Preservation of it, to make it necessary to acquaint him.
Miss Glanville soon after sent to desire Permission to drink her Chocolate by her Bedside; which as she could not in Civility refuse, she was very much perplexed how to hide her Melancholy from the Eyes of that discerning Lady, who, she questioned not, would interpret it in favour of her Brother.
Upon Miss Glanville's Appearance, she forced herself to assume a chearful Look, asking her Pardon, for receiving her in Bed; and complaining of bad Rest, which had occasioned her lying late.
Miss Glanville, after answering her Compliments with almost equal Politeness, proceeded to ask her an hundred Questions concerning the Cause of her Absence from the Castle: Your Woman, pursued she, laughing, told us a strange Medley of Stuff about a great Man, who was a Gardener; and wanted to carry you away: Sure there was nothing in it! Was there? You must excuse me, Cousin, said Arabella, if I do not answer your Questions precisely now: 'Tis sufficient that I tell you, Certain Reasons obliged me to act in the Manner I did, for my own Preservation; and that, another time, you shall know my History; which will explain many things you seem to be surprised at, at present.
Your History, said Miss Glanville! Why, will you write your own History then? I shall not write it, said Arabella; tho', questionless, it will be written after my Death.
And must I wait till then for it, resumed Miss Glanville, gaily? No, no, interrupted Arabella: I mean to gratify your Curiosity sooner; but it will not be yet a good time; and, haply, not till you have acquainted me with yours.
Mine! said Miss Glanville: It would not be worth your hearing; for really I have nothing to tell, that would make an History.
You have, questionless, returned Arabella, gained many Victories over Hearts; have occasioned many Quarrels between your Servants, by favouring some one, more than the others: Probably, you have caused some Bloodshed; and have not escaped being carried away once or twice: You have also, I suppose, undergone some Persecution, from those who have the Disposal of you, in Favour of a Lover whom you have an Aversion to; and lastly, there is haply some one among your Admirers, who is happy enough not to be hated by you.
I assure you, interrupted Miss Glanville, I hate none of my Admirers; and I can't help thinking you very unkind to use my Brother as you do: I am sure, there is not one Man in an hundred, that would take so much from your Hands as he does.
Then there is not one Man in an hundred, resumed Arabella, whom I should think worthy to serve me: But, pray, Madam, What ill Usage is it your Brother complains of? I have treated him with much less Severity than he had Reason to expect; and, notwithstanding he had the Presumption to talk to me of Love, I have endured him in my Sight; an Indulgence, for which I may haply be blamed in After-ages.
Why, sure, Lady Bella, said Miss Glanville, it would be no such Crime for my Brother to love you! But it was a mortal Crime to tell me so, interrupted Arabella .
And why was it such a mortal Crime to tell you so, said Miss Glanville? Are you the first Woman by Millions, that has been told so? Doubtless, returned Arabella, I am the first Woman of my Quality, that ever was told so by any Man, till after an infinite Number of Services, and secret Sufferings: And truly, I am of the illustrious Mandana's Mind; for she said, That she should think it an unpardonable Presumption, for the greatest King on Earth to tell her he loved her, tho' after Ten Years of the most faithful Services, and concealed Torments.
Ten Years! cried out Miss Glanville, in Amazement; Did she consider what Alterations ten Years would make in her Face, and how much older she would be at the End of Ten Years, than she was before? Truly, said Arabella, it is not usual to consider such little Matters so nicely; one never has the Idea of an Heroine older than Eighteen, tho' her History begins at that Age; and the Events, which compose it, contain the Space of Twenty more.
But, dear Cousin, resumed Miss Glanville, do you resolve to be Ten Years a courting? Or rather, will you be loved in Silence Ten Years, and be courted the other Ten; and so marry when you are an old Woman? Pardon me, Cousin, resumed Arabella; I must really find Fault with the Coarseness of your Language. Courting, and Old Woman! What strange Terms! Let us, I beseech you, end this Dispute: If you have any thing to say in Justification of your Brother, which, I suppose, was the chief Intention of your Visit, I shall not be rude enough to restrain you; tho' I could wish you would not lay me under the Necessity of hearing what I cannot persuade myself to believe.
Since, returned Miss Glanville, I know of no Crime my Brother has been guilty of, I have nothing to say in his Justification: I only know, that he is very much mortified at the Message you sent him this Morning; for I was with him when he received it: But pray, What has he done to offend you? If Mr. Glanville, interrupted Arabella, hopes for my Pardon, he must purchase it by his Repentance, and a sincere Confession of his Fault; which you may much better understand from himself, than from me: And, for this Purpose, I will condescend to grant him a private Audience, at which I desire you would be present; and also, I should take it well, if you will let him know, that he owes this Favour wholly to your Interposition.
Miss Glanville, who knew her Brother was extremely desirous of seeing Arabella, was glad to accept of these strange Terms; and left her Chamber, in order to acquaint him with that Lady's Intentions.