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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 II.

Which ends with a very unfavourable Prediction for our Heroine.

As soon as they were seated in the Coach she did not fail to call upon him to perform his Promise: But Mr. Glanville, excessively out of Humour at her exposing herself in the Gardens, reply'd, without considering whether he should not offend her, That he knew no more of the disguis'd Lady than any body else in the Place.

How, Sir, reply'd Arabella, Did you not promise to relate her Adventures to me? And would you have me believe you knew no more of them than the rest of the Cavaliers and Ladies in the Place? Upon my Soul, I don't, Madam, said Glanville; yet what I know of her is sufficient to let me understand she was not worth the Consideration you seem'd to have for her.

She cannot sure be more indiscreet than the fair and unfortunate Hermione, reply'd Arabella; who like her put on Man's Apparel, through Despair at the ill Success of her Passion for Alexander --And certain it is, that tho' the beautiful Hermione was guilty of one great Error which lost her the Esteem of Alexander, yet she had a high and noble Soul; as was manifest by her Behaviour and Words when she was run thro' by the Sword of Demetrius. Oh! Death, cry'd she, as she was falling, how sweet do I find thee, and how much and how earnestly have I desir'd thee! Oh Lord! oh Lord! cry'd Mr. Glanville hardly sensible of what he said, Was there ever any Thing so intolerable? Do you pity the unhappy Hermione, Sir? said Arabella interpreting his Exclamation her own Way? Indeed she is well worthy of your Compassion. And if the bare Recital of the Words she utter'd at receiving her Death's Wound affects you so much, you may guess what would have been your Agonies, had you been Demetrius that gave it to her.

Here Mr. Glanville groaning aloud thro' Impatience at her Absurdities-- This Subject affects you deeply, I perceive, said Arabella. There is no Question but you would have acted in the same Circumstance, as Demetrius did: Yet let me tell you, the Extravagancy of his Rage and Despair for what he had innocently committed, was imputed to him as a great Imbecillity, as was also the violent Passion he conceiv'd soon after for the Fair Deidamia. You know the Accident which brought that fair Princess into his Way.

Indeed, I do not, Madam, said Glanville peevishly.

Well, then I'll tell you, said Arabella, but pausing a little: The Recital I have engag'd myself to make, added she, will necessarily take up some Hours Time, as upon Reflexion I have found: So if you will dispense with my beginning it at present, I will satisfy your Curiosity To-morrow, when I may be able to pursue it without Interruption.

To this Mr. Glanville made no other Answer than a Bow with his Head; and the Coach a few Moments after arriving at their own House, he led her to her Apartment, firmly resolv'd never to attend her to any more Publick Places while she continued in the same ridiculous Folly.

Sir Charles, who had several Times been in doubt whether Arabella was not really disorder'd in her Senses; upon Miss Glanville's Account of her Behaviour at the Gardens, concluded she was absolutely mad, and held a short Debate with himself, Whether he ought not to bring a Commission of Lunacy against her, rather than marry her to his Son, whom he was persuaded could never be happy with a Wife so unaccountably absurd.

Tho' he only hinted at this to Mr. Glanville, in a Conversation he had with him while his Dissatisfaction was at its Height, concerning Arabella, yet the bare Supposition that his Father ever thought of such a Thing, threw the young Gentleman into such Agonies, that Sir Charles to compose him, protested he would do nothing in relation to his Niece that he would not approve of. Yet he expostulated with him on the Absurdity of her Behaviour, and the Ridicule to which she expos'd herself wherever she went; appealing to him, whether in a Wife he could think those Follies supportable, which in a Mistress occasion'd him so much Confusion.

Mr. Glanville, as much in Love as he was, felt all the Force of this Inference, and acknowledg'd to his Father, That he could not think of marrying Arabella, till the Whims her Romances had put into her Head, were eraz'd by a better Knowledge of Life and Manners. But he added with a Sigh, That he knew not how this Reformation would be effected; for she had such a strange Facility in reconciling every Incident to her own fantastick Ideas, that every new Object added Strength to the fatal Deception she laboured under.


Chapter I. | The Female Quixote | Chapter III.