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Chapter IV.

In which Mr. Glanville makes an unsuccessful Attempt upon Arabella.

Arabella, when she had finish'd these Words, which banish'd in part Mr. Glanville's Confusion, went to her own Apartment, follow'd by Miss Glanville, to whom she had made a Sign for that Purpose; and throwing herself into a Chair, burst into Tears, which greatly surprizing Miss Glanville, she prest her to tell her the Cause.

Alas! reply'd Arabella, have I not Cause to think myself extremely unhappy? The deplorable Death of Mr. Selvin, the Despair to which I see your Brother reduc'd, with the fatal Consequences which may attend it, fills me with a mortal Uneasiness.

Well, said Miss Glanville, your Ladyship may make yourself quite easy as to both these Matters; for Mr. Selvin is not dead, nor is my Brother in Despair that I know of.

What do you say, Miss, interrupted Arabella, is not Mr. Selvin dead? Was the Wound he gave himself not mortal then? I know of no Wound that he gave himself, not I, said Miss Glanville; what makes your Ladyship suppose he gave himself a Wound? Lord bless me, what strange Thoughts come into your Head.

Truly I am rejoic'd to hear it; reply'd Arabella; and in order to prevent the Effects of his Despair, I'll instantly dispatch my Commands to him to live.

I dare answer for his Obedience, Madam, said Miss Glanville smiling.

Arabella then gave Orders for Paper and Pens to be brought her, and seeing Mr. Glanville enter the Room, very formally acquainted him with her Intention, telling him, that he ought to be satisfy'd with the Banishment to which she had doom'd his unhappy Rival, and not require his Death, since he had nothing to fear from his Pretensions.

I assure you, Madam, said Mr. Glanville, I am perfectly easy upon that Account: And in order to spare you the Trouble of sending to Mr. Selvin, I may venture to assure you that he is in no Danger of dying.

'Tis impossible, Sir, reply'd Arabella, according to the Nature of Things, 'tis impossible but he must already be very near Death-- You know the Rigour of my Sentence, you know-- I know, Madam, said Mr. Glanville, that Mr. Selvin does not think himself under a Necessity of obeying your Sentence; and has the Impudence to question your Authority for banishing him from his native Country.

My Authority, Sir, said Arabella strangely surpriz'd, is sounded upon the absolute Power he has given me over him. He denies that, Madam, said Glanville, and says that he neither can give, nor you exercise an absolute Power over him; since you are both accountable to the King, whose Subjects you are, and both restrain'd by the Laws under whose Sanction you live.

Arabella's apparent Confusion at these Words giving Mr. Glanville Hopes that he had fallen upon a proper Method to cure her of some of her strange Notions, he was going to pursue his Arguments, when Arabella looking a little sternly upon him, The Empire of Love, said she, like the Empire of Honour, is govern'd by Laws of its own, which have no Dependence upon, or Relation to any other.

Pardon me, Madam, said Glanville, if I presume to differ from you. Our Laws have fix'd the Boundaries of Honour as well as those of Love.

How is that possible, reply'd Arabella, when they differ so widely, that a Man may be justify'd by the one, and yet condemn'd by the other? For Instance, pursued she, you are not permitted by the Laws of the Land to take away the Life of any Person whatever; yet the Laws of Honour oblige you to hunt your Enemy thro' the World, in order to sacrifice him to your Vengeance. Since it is impossible then for the same Actions to be at once just and unjust, it must necessarily follow, that the Law which condemns it, and that which justifies it is not the same, but directly opposite--And now, added she, after a little Pause, I hope I have entirely clear'd up that Point to you.

You have indeed, Madam, reply'd Mr. Glanville, proved to a Demonstration, that what is called Honour is something distinct from Justice, since they command Things absolutely opposite to each other.

Arabella without reflecting on this Inference, went on to prove the independent Sovereignty of Love, which, said she, may be collected from all the Words and Actions of those Heroes who were inspir'd by this Passion. We see it in them, pursued she, triumphing not only over all natural and avow'd Allegiance, but superior even to Friendship, Duty, and Honour itself. This the Actions of Oroondates, Artaxerxes, Spitridates, and many other illustrious Princes sufficiently testify.

Love requires a more unlimited Obedience from its Slaves, than any other Monarch can expect from his Subjects; an Obedience which is circumscrib'd by no Laws whatever, and dependent upon nothing but itself.

I shall live, Madam, says the renowned Prince of Scythia to the divine Statira, I shall live, since it is your Command I should do so; and Death can have no Power over a Life which you are pleas'd to take Care of-- Say only that you wish I should conquer, said the great Juba to the incomparable Cleopatra, and my Enemies will be already vanquish'd--Victory will come over to the Side your favour--and an Army of a hundred thousand Men will not be able to overcome the Man who has your Commands to conquer-- How mean and insignificant, pursued she, are the Titles bestow'd on other Monarchs compar'd with those which dignity the Sovereigns of Hearts, such as divine Arbitress of my Fate, Visible Divinity, Earthly Goddess, and many others equally sublime-- Mr. Glanville losing all patience at her obstinate Folly, interrupted her here with a Question quite foreign to the Subject she was discussing, and soon after quitting her Chamber, retir'd to his own, more than ever despairing of her Recovery.


Chapter III. | The Female Quixote | Chapter V.