A solemn Interview.
In the mean time, that Fair-one, being risen, and negligently dressed, as was her Custom, went into her Closet, sending to give Miss Glanville Notice, That she was ready to see her. This Message immediately brought both the Brother and the Sister to her Apartment: And Miss Glanville, at her Brother's Request, staying in the Chamber, where she busied herself in looking at her Cousin's Jewels, which lay upon the Toilet, he came alone into the Closet, in so much Confusion at the Thoughts of the ridiculous Figure he made in complying with Arabella's fantastical Humours, that his Looks persuading her, there was some great Agitation in his Mind, she expected to see him fall at her Feet, and endeavour to deprecate her Wrath by a Deluge of Tears.
Mr. Glanville however disappointed her in that respect; for, taking a Seat near her, he began to intreat, her with a smiling Countenance, to tell him in what he had offended her; protesting, that he was not conscious of doing or saying any thing to displease her.
Arabella was greatly confused at this Question, which she thought she had no Reason to expect; it not being possible for her to tell him she was offended, that he was not in absolute Despair for her Absence, without, at the same time, confessing she looked upon him in the Light of a Lover, whose Expressions of a violent Passion would not have displeased her: Therefore, to disengage herself from the Perplexity his Question threw her into, she was obliged to offer some Violence to her Ingenuousness; and, contrary to her real Belief, tax him again with a Design of betraying her into the Power of the Unknown.
Mr. Glanville, tho' excessively vexed at her persisting in so ridiculous an Error, could hardly help smiling at the stern Manner in which she spoke; but, knowing of what fatal Consequence it would be to him, if he indulged any Gaiety in so solemn a Conference, he composed his Looks to a Gravity suitable to the Occasion; and asked her, in a very submissive Tone, What Motive she was pleased to assign for so extraordinary a Piece of Villainy, as that she supposed him guilty of? Truly, answered she, blushing, I do not pretend to account for the Actions of wicked and ungenerous Persons.
But, Madam, resumed Glanville, if I must needs be suspected of a Design to seize upon your Person, methinks it would have been more reasonable to suppose, I would rather use that Violence in Favour of my own Pretensions, than those of any other whatever; for, tho' you have expresly forbid me to tell you I love you, yet I hope, you still continue to think I do.
I assure you, returned Arabella, assuming a severe Look, I never gave myself the Trouble to examine your Behaviour with Care enough to be sensible, if you still were guilty of the Weakness, which displeased me; but, upon a Supposition, that you repented of your Fault, I was willing to live with you upon Terms of Civility and Friendship, as became Persons in that Degree of Relationship in which we are: Therefore, if you are wise, you will not renew the Remembrance of those Follies I have long since pardoned; nor seek Occasions of offending me by new ones of the same kind, lest in produce a more severe Sentence than that I formerly laid upon you.
However, Madam, returned Mr. Glanville, you must suffer me to assure you, That my own Interest, which was greatly concerned in your Safety, and my Principles of Honour, would never allow me to engage in so villainous an Enterprize, as that of abetting any Person in stealing you away: Nor can I conceive, how you possibly could imagine a Fellow, who was your menial Servant, could form so presumptuous and dangerous a Design.
By your Manner of speaking, resumed Arabella, one would imagine you were really ignorant, both of the Quality of that presumptuous Man, as well as his designed Offence: But yet, 'tis certain, I saw you in his Company; and saw you ready to draw your Sword in his Defence, against my Deliverer. Had I not the Evidence of my own Senses, for your Guilt, I must confess, I could not be persuaded of it by any other Means: Therefore, since Appearances are certainly against you, it is not strange, if I cannot consent to acquit you in my Apprehenons, till I have more certain Confirmation of your Innocence, than your bare Testimony only; which, at present, has not all the Weight with me it had some time ago.
I protest, Madam, said Mr. Glanville, who was strangely perplexed, I have Reason to think my Case extremely hard, since I have brought myself to be suspected by you, only through my Eagerness to find you, and Solicitude for your Welfare.
Doubtless, interrupted Arabella, if you are innocent, your Case is extremely hard; yet it is not singular; and therefore you have less Reason to complain: The valiant Coriolanus, who was the most passionate and faithful Lover imaginable, having, by his admirable Valour, assisted the Ravishers of his adored Cleopatra, against those who came to rescue her; and, by his Arm alone, opposed to great Numbers of their Enemies, facilitated the Execution of their Design, had the Mortification afterwards to know, that he had, all that time, been fighting against that Divine Princess, who loaded him with the most cruel Reproaches for the Injury he had done her: Yet Fortune was so kind, as to give him the Means of repairing his Fault, and restoring him to some Part of her good Opinion; for, covered with Wounds as he was, and fatigued with fighting, before, yet he undertook, in that Condition, to prevent her Ravishers from carrying her off; and, for several Hours, continued fighting alone with near Two hundred Men, who were not able to overcome him, notwithstanding his extreme Weariness, and the Multitude of Blows which they aimed at him: Therefore, Glanville, considering you, as Cleopatra did that unfortunate Prince, who was before suspected by her, as neither guilty nor innocent, I can only, like her, wish you may find some Occasion of justifying yourself, from the Crime laid to your Charge: Till then, I must be under a Necessity of banishing you from my Presence, with the same consolatory Speech she used to that unfortunate Prince: --"Go, therefore, Glanville, go, and endeavour your own Justification; I desire you should effect it, no less than you do yourself; and, if my Prayers can obtain from Heaven this Favour for you, I shall not scruple to offer some in your behalf."