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Chapter VI.

In which the Mistakes are continued.

As soon as Mr. Glanville appeared, the two Ladies retired; Miss Glanville asking Arabella a hundred Questions concerning their Diversion, the Drift of which was, to know how Sir George behaved to her: But that fair Lady whose Thoughts were wholly employed on the strange Accidents which had happened to her that Day, longed to be at Liberty to indulge her Reflections; and, complaining of extreme Weariness, under Pretence of reposing herself till Dinner, got quit of Miss Glanville's Company, which, at that time, she thought very tedious.

As soon as she was left to herself, her Imagination running over all that had happened, she could not help confessing, that few Women ever met with such a Variety of Adventures in one Day: In Danger of being carried off by Violence, by one Lover; delivered by another; Insinuations of Love from a Third, who, she thought, was enamoured of her Cousin; and, what was still more surprising! a Discovery, that her Uncle was not insensible of her Charms, but was become the Rival of his own Son.

As extravagant as this Notion was, Arabella found Precedents in her Romances of Passions full as strange and unjustifiable; and confirmed herself in that Opinion, by recollecting several Examples of unlawful Love. Why should I not believe, said she, that my Charms can work as powerful Effects as those of Olympia, Princess of Thrace, whose Brother was passionately enamoured of her? Did not the Divine Clelia inspire Maherbal with a violent Passion for her, who, though discovered to be her Brother, did not, nevertheless, cease to adore her? And, to bring an Instance still nearer to my own Case, was not the Uncle of the fair Alcyone in Love with her? And did he not endeavour to win her Heart by all the Methods in his Power? Ah! then, pursued she, let us doubt no more of our Misfortune: And, since our fatal Beauty has raised this impious Flame, let us stifle it with our Rigour, and not allow an illtimed Pity, or Respect, to encourage a Passion which may, one Day, cast a Blemish upon our Glory.

Arabella, having settled this Point, proceeded to reflect on the Conquest she had made of Sir George: She examined his Words over and over, and found them so exactly conformable to the Language of an Oroondates or Oronces, that she could not choose but be pleased: But, recollecting that it behoved her, like all other Heroines, to be extremely troubled and perplexed at an Insinuation of Love, she began to lament the cruel Necessity of parting with an agreeable Friend; who, if he persisted in making her acquainted with his Thoughts, would expose himself to the Treatment Persons so indiscreet always meet with; nor was she less concerned, lest, if Mr. Glanville had not already dispatched her Ravisher, Sir George, by wandering in Search of him, and, haply, sacrificing him to his eager Desire of serving her, should, by that means, lay her under an Obligation to him, which, considering him as a Lover, would be a great Mortification. Sir George, however, was gone home to his own House, with no Thoughts of pursuing Arabella's Ravisher: And Mr. Glanville, being questioned by his Father concerning his Quarrel, invented some trifling Excuse for it; which not agreeing with the Account the Baronet had received from Arabella, he told his Son, that he had concealed the Truth from him; and that there was more in that Affair than he had owned. You quarrelled, added he, upon Arabella's Account; and she did not scruple to affirm it before all the Company.

Mr. Glanville, who had vainly flattered himself with an Hope, that his Cousin had not acquainted the Company with her whimsical Apprehensions, was extremely vexed when he found she had exposed herself to their Ridicule, and that it was probable even he had not escaped: But, willing to know from her own Mouth how far she had carried her Folly, he went up to her Chamber; and, being immediately admitted, she began to congratulate him upon the Conquest he had gained, as she supposed, over his Enemy; and thanked him very solemnly for the Security he had procured for her.

Mr. Glanville, after assuring her, that she was in no Danger of ever being carried away by that Person whom she feared, proceeded to inquire into all that had passed between her and the Company whom she had joined, when she left him; and Arabella, relating every Particular, gave him the Mortification to know, that her Folly had been sufficiently exposed: But she touched upon her Fears for him with so much Delicacy, and mentioned her Fainting in such a manner, as insinuated a much greater Tenderness than he before had Reason to hope for; and this Knowlege destroying all his Intentions to quarrel with her for what she had said, he appeared so easy and satisfied, that Arabella, reflecting upon the Misfortune his Father's newborn Passion would probably be the Occasion of to him, could not help sighing at the Apprehension; looking on him, at the same time, with a kind of pitying Complacency; which did not escape Mr. Glanville's Notice.

I must know the Reason of that Sigh, Cousin, said he, smiling, and taking her Hand.

If you are wise, replied Arabella, gravely, you will be contented to remain in the pleasing Ignorance you are at present; and not seek to know a thing which will, haply, afford you but little Satisfaction.

You have increased my Curosity so much by this Advice, resumed he, accommodating his Looks to Arabella's, that I shall not be at Rest till I know what it is you conceal from me: And, since I am so much concerned in it, even by your own Confession, I have a Right to press you to explain yourself.

Since you are so importunate, replied Arabella, I must tell you, that I will not do you so great a Diskindness, as to explain myself; nor will I be the first who shall acquaint you with your Misfortune, since you will, haply, too soon arrive at the Knowlege of it, by other means.

Glanville, who imagined this was some new Whim that had got into her Head, was but little perplexed at an Insinuation, which, had he been ignorant of her Foible, would have given him great Uneasiness: But, being sensible that she expected he would press her to disclose herself, and appear extremely concerned at her refusing him that Satisfaction, he counterfeited so well, that she was at a loss how to evade the Arguments he used to make her unfold the terrible Mystery; when the Dinner-bell ringing, and relieving her for the present, Mr. Glanville led her down to the Parlour; where Sir Charles and his Daughter attended their coming.

Chapter V. | The Female Quixote | Chapter VII.