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А Б В Г Д Е Ж З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я


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Chapter I.

For the Shortness of which the Length of the next shall make some Amends.

Sir George, to gratify Arabella's Humour, had not presumed to come to the Castle for several Days; but, hearing that they were preparing to leave the Country, he wrote a short Billet to her; and in the Style of Romance, most humbly intreated her to grant him a Moment's Audience.

Arabella being informed by Lucy, to whom Sir George's Gentleman had addressed himself, that he had brought a Letter from his Master, she ordered her to bring him to her Apartment, and as soon as he appeared, How comes it, said she, that the Prince your Master, has had the Presumption to importune me again, after my absolute Commands to the contrary? The Prince, my Master, Madam, said the Man, excessively surprised.

Ay! said Arabella, Are you not Sir George's 'Squire? And does he not trust you with his most secret Thoughts? I belong to Sir George Bellmour, Madam, replied the Man, who did not understand what She meant: I have not the Honour to be a 'Squire.

No! interrupted Arabella; 'tis strange then, that he should have honoured you with his Commission; Pray, what is it you come to request for him? My Master, Madam, said he, ordered me to get this Letter delivered to your Ladyship, and to stay for your Commands.

You would persuade me, said she, sternly, being provoked that he did not deliver the Letter upon his Knees, as was the Custom in Romances, that you are not acquainted with the Purport of this audacious Billet, since you express so little Fear of my Displeasure; but know, presumptuous, that I am mortally offended with your Master, for his daring to suppose I would read this Proof at once of his Insolence and Infidelity; and was you worth my Resentment, I would haply make you suffer for your Want of Respect to me.

The poor Man, surprised and confounded at her Anger, and puzzled extremely; to understand what she meant, was opening his Mouth to say something, 'tis probable in his own Defence, when Arabella, preventing him, I know what thou wouldst say, said she: Thou wouldst abuse my Patience by a false Detail of thy Master's Sighs, Tears, Exclamations, and Despair.

Indeed, Madam, I don't intend to say any such Thing, replied the Man. No! repeated Arabella, a little disappointed, Bear back his presumptuous Billet, which, I suppose, contains the melancholy Account; and tell him, He that could so soon forget the generous Sydimiris for Philonice, and could afterwards be false to that incomparable Beauty, is not a Person worthy to adore Arabella.

The Man, who could not tell what to make of this Message, and feared he should forget these two hard Names, humbly intreated her to be pleased to acquaint his Master, by a Line, with her Intentions. Arabella, supposing he meant to importune her still more, made a Sign with her Hand, very majestically, for him to be gone; but he, not able to comprehend her Meaning, stood still, with an Air of Perplexity, not daring to beg her to explain herself; supposing, she, by that Sign, required something of him.

Why dost thou not obey my Commands? said Arabella, finding he did not go.

I will, to be sure, Madam, replied he; wishing at the same time secretly, she would let him know what they were.

And yet, said she hastily, thou art disobeying me this Moment: Did I not bid you get out of my Presence, and to speak no more of your inconstant Master, whose Crimes have rendered him the Detestation of all generous Persons whatever? Sir George's Messenger, extremely surprised at so harsh a Character of his Master, and the Rage with which the Lady seemed to be actuated, made haste to get out of her Apartment; and, at his Return, informed his Master, very exactly, of the Reception he had met with, repeating all Lady Bella's Words; which, notwithstanding the Blunders he made in the Names of Sydimiris and Philonice, Sir George understood well enough; and found new Occasion of wondering at the Excess of Arabella's Extravagance, who he never imagined would have explained herself in that Manner to his Servant.

Without endeavouring therefore to see Arabella, he went to pay his Compliments to Sir Charles, Mr. Glanville, and Miss Glanville; to the last of which he said some soft things, that them her extremely regret his staying behind made in the Country.


Chapter XI. | The Female Quixote | Chapter II.