Barford Abbey by Susannah Minific Gunning
SUTTON, at the
German Spaw, to
Miss WARLEY, in
LETTER II. Miss
WARLEY to Lady
LETTER III. Miss
WARLEY to Lady
MARY SUTTON, in
LETTER IV. Lord
DARCEY to the
LETTER V. The
LETTER VI. Lord
DARCEY to the
LETTER VII. The
Miss WARLEY to
LETTER IX. The
LETTER X. Lord
DARCEY to the
LETTER XI. The
LETTER XII. Lord
DARCEY to the
Miss WARLEY to
LETTER XIV. The
LETTER XV. Lord
DARCEY to the
LETTER XVI. Miss
WARLEY to Lady
Miss WARLEY to
Lord DARCEY to
LETTER XIX. The
LETTER XX. Lady
MARY SUTTON to
LETTER XXI. Lord
DARCEY to the
Miss WARLEY to
Lady MARY SUTTON
LETTERS. IN TWO
Miss WARLEY to
Miss WARLEY to
LETTER XXV. Miss
WARLEY to the
Lord DARCEY to
Sir JAMES POWIS.
Sir JAMES POWIS
to Lord DARCEY.
Lord DARCEY to
LETTER XXIX. The
Captain RISBY to
LETTER XXXI. The
Captain RISBY to
Captain Risby to
Miss Powis to
Miss Powis to
Captain RISBY to
LETTER XL. The
LETTER XLI. The
LETTER XLII. The
Miss DELVES to
Miss DELVES to
LETTER XLV. Miss
Delves to the
LETTER I. Lady MARY SUTTON, at the
German Spaw, to Miss WARLEY, in England.
How distressing, how heart-rending, is my dear Fanny's mournful
detail!—It lies before me; I weep over it!—I weep not for the
departed saint: no; it is for you, myself, for all who have experienced
her god-like virtues!—Was she not an honour to her sex? Did she not
merit rewards too great for this world to bestow?—Could the world
repay her innocence, her piety, her resignation? Wipe away, my best
love, the mark of sorrow from your cheek. Perhaps she may be permitted
to look down: if so, will she smile on those that grieve at her
entering into the fullness of joy?—Here a sudden death cannot be
called dreadful. A life like hers wanted not the admonitions of a
sick-bed;—her bosom accounts always clear, always ready for
inspection, day by day were they held up to the throne of mercy.—Apply
those beautiful lines in the Spectator to her; lines you have so often
admir'd.—How silent thy passage; how private thy journey; how glorious
thy end! Many have I known more famous, some more knowing, not one so
innocent.—Hope is a noble support to the drooping head of
sorrow.—Though a deceiver, court her, I counsel you;—she leads to
happiness;—we shall bless her deceptions:—baffling our enjoyments
here, she teaches us to look up where every thing is permanent, even
bliss most exquisite.
Mr. Whitmore you never knew, otherwise would have wonder'd how his
amiable wife loiter'd so long behind.—Often she has wish'd to be
reunited to him, but ever avoided the subject in your presence.
Keep not from me her rich bequest:—rich indeed,—her most
valuable treasure.—That I could fold you to my arms!—But hear me at a
distance;—hear me call you my beloved daughter,—and suppose what my
transports will be when I embrace an only child:—yes, you are mine,
till I deliver you up to a superior affection.
Lay aside, I conjure you, your fears of crossing the sea.—Mr. and
Mrs. Smith intend spending part of this winter at Montpelier: trust
yourself with them; I shall be there to receive you at the Hotel de
The season for the Spaw is almost at an end. My physicians forbid my
return to England till next autumn, else I would fly to comfort,—to
console my dearest Fanny,—We shall be happy together in France:—I can
love you the same in all places.
My banker has orders to remit you three hundred pounds;—but your
power is unlimited; it is impossible to say, my dear, how much I am in
your debt.—I have wrote my housekeeper to get every thing ready for
your reception:—consider her, and all my other servants, as your
own.—I shall be much disappointed if you do not move to the Lodge
immediately.—You shall not,—must not,—continue in a house where
every thing in and about it reminds you of so great a loss.—Miss West,
Miss Gardner, Miss Conway, will, at my request, accompany you
thither.—The Menagerie,—plantations, and other places of amusement,
will naturally draw them out;—you will follow mechanically, and by
that means be kept from indulging melancholy.—Go an-airing every day,
unless you intend I shall find my horses unfit for service:—why have
you let them live so long idle?
I revere honest Jenkings—he is faithful,—he will assist you with
his advice on all occasions.—Can there be a better resource to fly to,
than a heart governed by principles of honour and humanity?
Write, my dear, to Mrs. Smith, and let me know if the time is fixed
for their coming over.—Say you will comply with the request my heart
is so much set on;—say you will be one of the party.
My health and spirits are better:—the latter I support for your
sake;—who else do I live for?—Endeavour to do the same, not only for
me, but others, that one day will be as dear to you as you are
Your truly affectionate,
LETTER II. Miss WARLEY to Lady MARY
BARFORD ABBEY! Yes, my dearest Lady,—I date from Barford
Abbey: a house I little thought ever to have seen, when I have listened
hours to a description of it from Mr. Jenkings.—What are houses,—what
palaces, in competition with that honour, that
satisfaction, I received by your Ladyship's last letter!—The honour
all must acknowledge;—the satisfaction is not on the surface,—it
centers in the heart.—I feel too much to express any thing.—One
moment an orphan; next the adopted child of Lady Mary Sutton.—What are
titles, except ennobled by virtue! That only makes a coronet fit
graceful on the head;—that only is the true ornament of
Pardon my disobedience.—Can there be a stronger command than your
request?—But, my Lady, I must have died,—my life must have
been the sacrifice, had I gone to the Lodge.—The windows opposite, the
windows of that little mansion where I spent nineteen happy years with
my angelic benefactress,—could it be borne?—Your Ladyship's absence
too;—what an aggravation;—The young ladies you kindly propose for my
companions, though very amiable, could not have shut my eyes, or
deaden'd my other senses.
Now let me account for being at Barford Abbey.—Was Mr. Jenkings my
father, I think I could not love him more; yet when he press'd me to
return with him to Hampshire, I was doubtful whether to consent, till
your Ladyship's approbation of him was confirmed in so particular a
manner.—His son an only one;—the fine fortune he must possess;—these
were objections not only of mine, but, I believe, of my dear,
dear—Oh! my Lady, I cannot yet write her name.—Often has she check'd
Mr. Jenkings, when he has solicited to take me home with him:—her very
looks spoke she had something to fear from such a visit.—She loved
me;—the dear angel loved me with maternal affection, but her
partiality never took place of noble, generous sentiments.—Young
people, she has frequently said, are, by a strict intimacy, endeared to
each other. This, I doubt not, was her motive for keeping me at a
distance.—She well knew my poor expectations were ill suited to his
large ones.—I know what was her opinion, and will steadily adhere to
Edmund, to do him common justice, is a desirable youth:—such a one
as I can admire his good qualities, without another with than to
imitate them.—Monday, the tenth, I took my leave of Hillford Down,
and, after a melancholy journey, arrived Tuesday evening at Mr.
Jenkings's.—Nothing did I enjoy on the road;—in spight of my
endeavours, tears stream'd from my eyes incessantly;—even the fine
prospects that courted attention, pass'd unnotic'd.—My good conductor
strove to draw me off from gloomy subjects, but in vain, till we came
within a few miles of his house; then of a sudden I felt a serenity,
which, for some time, has been a stranger to my breast;—a serenity I
cannot account for.
Mrs. Jenkings!—never shall I forget her humanity. She flew
to the chaise the instant it stopp'd, receiv'd me with open arms, and
conducted me to the parlour, pouring out ten thousand welcomes,
intermingled with fond embraces.—She is, I perceive, one of those
worthy creatures, who make it a point to consider their husbands
friends as their own; in my opinion, the highest mark of conjugal
Plac'd in a great chair next the fire, every one was busied in
something or other for my refreshment.—One soul,—one voice,—one
manner, to be seen in the father,—mother,—son:—they look not on each
other but with a smile of secret satisfaction. To me their
hearts speak the same expressive language;—their house,—their
dress,—their words, plainly elegant.—Envy never stops at such a
dwelling;—nothing there is fit for her service:—no pomp,—no
grandeur,—no ostentation.—I slept sweetly the whole
night;—sweetly!—not one disagreeable idea intruded on my slumbers.
Coming down in the morning, I found breakfast on the table, linen
white as snow, a large fire,—every thing that speaks cleanliness,
content, and plenty.—The first thing in a house which attracts my
notice is the fire;—I conclude from that, if the hearts of the
inhabitants are warm or cold.—Our conversation was interesting;—it
might have lasted, for aught I know, till dinner, had it not been
interrupted by the entrance of Sir James and Lady Powis.—I knew Mr.
Jenkings was their steward, but never expected they came to his house
with such easy freedom.—We arose as they entered:—I was surprised to
see Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings appear confused;—in my opinion, their
visitors accosted them more like equals than dependants.
Your Ladyship cannot imagine how greatly I was prepossessed in their
favour even before they spoke.—In their manner was something that
struck me excessively;—few—very few—can express the nameless
beauties of grace,—never to be seen but in a carriage sweetly humble.
Lady Powis seated herself opposite to me.—We called, said she,
addressing Mr. Jenkings, to inquire what was become of you, fearing
your Oxfordshire friends had stolen you from us;—but you have made up
for your long absence, if this is the young lady, bowing to me, your
wife told us was to return with you.—A politeness so unexpected,—so
deliver'd,—visibly affected me:—I sat silent, listening for the reply
Mr. Jenkings would make.
Pardon me, my Lady! pardon me, Miss Warley! said the good man,—I am
a stranger to punctilio;—I see my error:—I should have acquainted
your Ladyship before with the name of this dear young Lady; I should
have said she is an honour to her friends.—Need I tell Miss Warley,
Sir James and Lady Powis are present:—I hope the deportment of their
servant has confirmed it;—I hope it has.
Sir James kindly took his hand, and, turning to me, said, Don't
believe him, Madam, he is not our servant;—he has been our friend
forty years; we flatter ourselves he deems not that servitude.
Not your servant!—not your dependant!—not your
servant, Sir James!—and was running on when her Ladyship
Don't make me angry, Jenkings;—don't pain me;—hear the favour I
have to ask, and be my advocate:—it is with Miss Warley I want you to
be my advocate.—Then addressing herself to me, Will you, Madam, give
me the pleasure of your company often at the Abbey?—I mean, will you
come there as if it was your home?—Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings have
comforts, I have not,—at least that I can enjoy.—Here she sigh'd
deeply;—so deep, that I declare it pierced through my heart;—I felt
as if turn'd into stone;—what I suppose I was a true emblem of.—The
silent friends that trickled down my cheeks brought me back from that
inanimate state,—and I found myself in the embraces of Lady Powis,
tenderly affectionate, as when in the arms of Mrs. Whitmore.—Judge
not, Madam, said I, from my present stupidity, that I am so wanting in
my head or heart, to be insensible of this undeserv'd goodness.—With
Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings's permission, I am devoted to your Ladyship's
service.—Our approbation! Miss Warley, return'd the former;—
yes, that you have:—her Ladyship cannot conceive how happy she has
made us.—Sir James seconded his Lady with a warmth perfectly
condescending:—no excuse would be taken; I must spend the next day at
the Abbey; their coach was to attend me.
Our amiable guests did not move till summoned by the dinner-bell,
which is plainly to be heard there.—I thought I should have shed tears
to see them going.—I long'd to walk part of the way, but was afraid to
propose it, lest I should appear presumptuous.—Her Ladyship perceiv'd
my inclinations,—look'd delighted,—and requested my company; on which
Mr. Jenkings offer'd his service to escort me back.
How was I surpris'd at ascending the hill!—My feet seem'd leading
me to the first garden—the sweet abode of innocence!—Ten thousand
beauties broke on my sight;—ten thousand pleasures, before unknown,
danced through my heart.—Behold me on the summit;—behold me full of
surprise,—full of admiration!—How enchanting the park! how clear the
river that winds through it!—What taste,—what elegance, in the
plantations!—How charmingly are Nature's beauties rang'd by art!—The
trees,—the shrubs,—the flowers,—hold up their heads, as if proud of
the spot they grow on!—Then the noble old structure,—the magnificent
mansion of this ancient family, how does it fire the beholder with
veneration and delight! The very walls seem'd to speak; at least there
was something that inform'd me, native dignity, and virtues
hereditary, dwelt within them.
The sight of a chaise and four, standing at the entrance, hurried me
from the charming pair of this paradise, after many good days ecchoed
to me, and thanks respectful return'd them by the same messenger.
Mr. Jenkings, in our return, entertain'd me with an account of the
family for a century past. A few foibles excepted in the character of
Sir James, I find he possesses all the good qualities of his ancestors.
Nothing could be more pleasing than the encomiums bestow'd on Lady
Powis; but she is not exempt from trouble: the good and the
bad the great and the little, at some time or other,
feel Misfortune's touch. Happy such a rod hangs over us! Were we to
glide on smoothly, our affections would be fixed here, and here only.
I could love Lady Powis with a warmth not to be
express'd;—but—forgive me, my dear lady—I pine to know why your
intimacy was interrupted.—Of Lady Mary's steadiness and
integrity I am convinc'd;—of Lady Powis I have had only a
transitory view.—Heaven forbid she should be like such people as from
my heart I despise, whose regards are agueish! Appearances promise the
reverse;—but what is appearance? For the generality a mere cheat, a
Pardon me, dear Lady Powis—I am distress'd,—I am perplex'd; but I
do not think ill of you;—indeed I cannot,—unless I find—No, I
cannot find it neither;—something tells me Lady Mary, my dear
honour'd Lady Mary, will acquit you.
We were receiv'd by Mrs. Jenkings, at our return, with a chearful
countenance, and conducted to the dining-parlour, where, during our
comfortable, meal, nothing was talk'd of but Sir James and Lady
Powis:—the kind notice taken of your Fanny mentioned with transport.
Thus honour'd,—thus belov'd,—dare I repine?—Why look on past
enjoyments with such a wistful eye!—Mrs. Whitmore, my dear maternal
Mrs. Whitmore, cannot be recall'd!—Strange perversenss!—why let that
which would give me pleasure fleet away!—why pursue that which I
cannot overtake!—No gratitude to heaven!—Gratitude to you, my dearest
Lady, shall conquer this perverseness;—even now my heart overflows
like a swoln river.
Good night, good night, dear Madam; I am going to repose on the very
bed where, for many years, rested the most deserving of men!—The
housekeeper has been relating many of his virtues;—so many, that I
long to see him, though only in a dream.
Was it not before Mr. Powis went abroad, that your ladyship visited
at the Abbey?—Yet, if so, I think I should have heard you mention
him.—Merit like his could never pass unnotic'd in a breast so
similar—Here I drop my pen, lest I grow impertinent.—Once again, good
night,—my more than parent:—to-morrow, at an early hour, I will begin
the recital to your Ladyship of this day's transactions—I go to
implore every blessing on your head, the only return that can be
LETTER III. Miss WARLEY to Lady MARY
SUTTON, in continuation.
I think I have told your Ladyship, I was to be honour'd with the
coach to convey me to the Abbey.—About half an hour after one it
arriv'd, when a card was deliver'd me from Lady Powis, to desire my
friends would not be uneasy, if I did not return early in the evening,
as she hop'd for an agreeable party at whist, Lord Darcey being at the
Mrs. Jenkings informed me, his Lordship was a ward of Sir James's
just of age;—his estate genteel, not large;—his education
liberal,—his person fine,—his temper remarkably good.—Sir James,
said she, is for ever preaching lessons to him, that he must marry
prudently;—which is, that he must never marry without an immense
fortune.—Ah! Miss Warley, this same love of money has serv'd to make
poor Lady Powis very unhappy. Sir James's greatest fault is
covetousness;—but who is without fault?—Lord Darcey was a lovely
youth, continued she, when he went abroad; I long to see if he is
alter'd by travelling.—Edmund and his Lordship were
school-fellows:—how my son will be overjoy'd to hear he is at the
Abbey!—I detain you, Miss Warley, or could talk for ever of Lord
Darcey! Do go, my dear, the family will expect you.—Promise, said I,
taking her hand,—promise you will not sit up late on my
account.—She answer'd nothing, but pressing me to her bosom, seem'd to
tell me her heart was full of affection.
The old coachman, as we drove up the lawn, eyed me attentively,
saying to the footman, It will be so, John, you may depend upon it.—John answer'd only by a shrug.—What either meant, I shall not
pretend to divine.—As I came near the house, I met Mr. Jenkings almost
out of breath, and, pulling the string, he came to the coach-side. I
was hurrying home, my dear young Lady, said he, to—to—to—Now faith
I'm afraid you'll be angry.
Angry with you, Sir!—angry with you, Mr. Jenkings!—is it possible!
Then, to be plain, Madam, I was hurrying home, to request you would
wear no cap.—Never shall I forget how pretty you look'd, when I saw
you without one!—Of all things, I would this day wish you might
look your best.
To satisfy him I had taken some little pains in honour to the
family, I let back the hood of my cloke.—He examin'd the manner in
which my hair was dress'd, and smiled his approbation;—which smile, though only seen in the eyes, was more expressive than a contraction
of all the other features.—Wishing me a happy day, he bid the coachman
Coming within sight of the Abbey, my heart beat as if breaking from
confinement.—I was oblig'd to call it to a severe trial,—to ask, Why
this insurrection,—whence these tumults?—My monitor reply'd, Beware
of self-sufficiency,—beware of its mortifying consequences.—
How seasonable this warning against the worst of foes!—a foe which
I too much fear was stealing on me imperceptibly,—else why did I not
before feel those sensations?—Could I receive greater honour than has
been conferr'd on me by the noblest mind on earth!—by Lady Mary?
—Could I behold greater splendor than Lady Mary is possess'd
of!—What affection in another can I ever hope for like Lady Mary's!
—Thus was I arguing with myself, when the coach-door open'd, and a
servant conducted me to the drawing-room,—where, I was receiv'd by Sir
James and Lady Powis with an air of polite tenderness;—a kind of
unreserve, that not only supports the timid mind, but dignifies every
word,—every action,—and gives to education and address their highest
Lord Darcey was sitting in the window, a book in his hand;—he came
forward as Sir James introduc'd me, who said, Now, my Lord, the
company of this young Lady will make your Lordship's time pass
more agreeably, than it could have done in the conversation of two old
people.—My spirits were flutter'd; I really don't recollect his reply;
only that it shew'd him master of the great art, to make every one
pleas'd with themselves.
Shall I tell you, my dear Lady, what are my thoughts of this
Lord Darcey?—To confess then, though his person is amazingly elegant,
his manners are still more engaging.—This I look upon to be the
natural consequence of a mind illumin'd with uncommon understanding,
sweetness, and refinement.
A short time before dinner the chaplain made his appearance,—a
venerable old man, with hair white as snow:—what renders his figure to
be completely venerated, is the loss of sight.—Her Ladyship rising
from her seat, led me towards him: Mr. Watson, said she, I am going to
introduce a lady whose brightest charms will soon be visible to
you.—The best man in the world! whisper'd she, putting my hand in
his;—which hand I could not avoid putting to my lips.—Thank
you, Miss Warley, said her Ladyship, we all revere this
gentleman.—Mr. Watson was affected, some drops stole from their dark
prisons, and he bless'd me as if I had been his daughter:—my pleasure
was exquisite,—it seem'd as if I had receiv'd the benediction of an
Our subjects turn'd more on the celestial than the terrestrial, till
dinner was serv'd up,—when I found that good knight which has
been so long banish'd to the side-board, replac'd in his original
How different this table from many others! where genteel
sprightly conversations are shut out; where such as cannot feast
their senses on the genius of a cook, must rise unsatisfied.
A similitude of manners between your Ladyship and Lady
Powis, particularly in doing the honours of the table, struck me so
much, that I once or twice call'd her Lady Mary.—Pray, Miss
Warley, ask'd she, who is this Lady Mary?
What could occasion her confusion!—what could occasion the
confusion of Sir James!—Never did I see any thing equal it, when I
said it was Lady Mary Sutton!—The significant looks that were
interchang'd, spoke some mystery;—a mystery it would be presumption in
me to dive after. Her Ladyship made no reply,—Sir James was eager to
vary the subject,—and the conversation became general.
Though autumn is far advanc'd, every thing here wears the face of
spring.—The afternoon being remarkably fine Lady Powis, Lord Darcey,
and myself, strolled out amongst the sweets.—We walk'd a considerable
time; his Lordship was all gaiety, talk'd with raptures of the
improvements; declar'd every thing he had seen abroad fell short of
this delightful spot; and now, my dear Lady Powis, added he,
with an air of gallantry, I can see nothing wanting.
Nothing wanting! return'd her Ladyship, sighing:—Ah! my
Lord, you are not a parent!—you feel nothing of a parent's
woe!—you do not hourly regret the absence of a beloved and only
son! Don't look serious, my dear Lord, seeing him somewhat abash'd, you
have hitherto tenderly loved me.—Perhaps I had a mind to augment your
affection, by bringing to your recollection I was not happy.—His
Lordship made no reply, but, taking her hand, lifted it respectfully to
Mr. Jenkings is this moment coming up the lawn. I see him from
window;—excuse me, my dear Lady, whilst I step to ask him how he does.
I have been accounting to Mr. Jenkings for not coming home last
night. Good man! every mark of favour I receive, enlightens his
countenance.—The reasons I have given him, I shall now proceed to
give your Ladyship.
I said we were walking;—I have said the conversation was
interesting;—but I have not said it was interrupted by Sir James and
Mr. Watson, who join'd us just as Lord Darcey had quitted the hand of
Lady Powis.—A visit was propos'd to the Dairy-house, which is about a
mile from the Abbey.—In our way thither, I was full of curiosity, full
of inquiries about the neighbourhood, and whose seats such and
such were, that enrich'd adjacent hills?—The neighbourhood,
reply'd her Ladyship, is in general polite and hospitable.—Yes,
said Sir James, and more smart young men, Miss Warley, than are
to be met with in every county.—Yonder, continued he, live Mr.
and Mrs. Finch,—very rich,—very prudent, and very worthy;—they have
one son, a discreet lad, who seems to promise he will inherit their
That which you see so surrounded with woods, is Sir Thomas
Slater's, a batchelor of fifty-five; and, let me tell you, fair
Lady, the pursuit of every girl in the neighbourhood;—his
estate a clear nine thousand a-year, and—Hold, hold, interrupted Lord
Darcey, in compassion to us young fellows, say no more of this
Well then, continued Sir James, since my Lord will have it
so,—let me draw your eye, Miss Warley, from Sir Thomas Slater's, and
fix it on Lord Allen's: Observe the situation!—Nothing can be more
beautiful, the mind of its owner excepted.
That house on the left is Mr. Winter's.—Chance!—Strange
chance!—has just put him in possession of an immense fortune, with
which he is going to purchase a coronet for his daughter.—The
fellow does not know what to do with his money, and has at last
found an ape of quality, that will take it off his hands.
In this manner was Sir James characterising his neighbours, when a
sudden and violent storm descended.—Half a mile from the
Dairy-house, the rain fell in such torrents, that we were wet
through, before a friendly oak offer'd us its shelter.—Never shall I
forget my own or Lord Darcey's figure: he stripp'd himself of his coat,
and would have thrown it over Lady Powis. Her Ladyship absolutely
refusing it, her cloak being thick, mine the reverse, he forc'd it upon
me. Sir James a assisting to put my arms into the sleeves.—Nor was I
yet enough of the amazon:—they even compell'd me to exchange my hat
for his, lapping it, about my ears.—What a strange metamorphose!
—I cannot think of it without laughing!—To complete the scene, no
exchange could be made, till we reach'd the Abbey.—In this droll
situation, we waited for the coach; and getting, in, streaming from
head to toe, it more resembled a bathing machine, than any other
A gentleman, who, after a chace of ten hours, had taken shelter
under the roof of Sir James, was, at our return, stamping up and down,
the vestibule, disappointed both in his sport and dinner, shew'd an
aspect cloudy as the heavens.—My mortification was scarce supportable,
when I heard him roar out, in a voice like thunder, What the devil
have we here?—I sprang to the top of the stairs in a
moment,—there stopp'd to fetch breath; and again the same person, who
had so genteelly accosted me, said to Lord Darcey,—Great
improvements, upon my soul!—You are return'd a mighty pretty
Miss.—What, is this the newest dress at Turin?—I heard no
more; her Ladyship's woman came and shew'd me to an
apartment,—bringing from her Lady's wardrobe a chints negligee, and a
suit of flower'd muslin; in which I was soon equipp'd.
Lady Powis sent to desire I would come to her dressing room; and,
embracing me as I entered, said, with, an air of charming freedom, If
you are not hurt, my dear, by our little excursion, I shall be quite in
spirits this evening.
I am only hurt by your Ladyship's goodness. Indeed, return'd she, I
have not a close heart, but no one ever found so quick a passage to it
as yourself.—Oh! Lady Mary, this is surely a heart like
yours!—A heart like Mrs. Whitmore's!—Was you not surpris'd,
my dear, continued her Ladyship, to be so accosted by the gentleman
below?—Take no notice of what is said by Mr. Morgan.—that is his
name;—he means well, and never goes into any person's house, but where
his oddities are indulg'd.—I am particularly civil to him; he was an
old school-fellow of Sir James's, one whose purse was always open to
him.—Sir James, Miss Warley, was rather addicted to extravagance in
the beginning of his life;—that, in some respects, is revers'd
latterly.—I have been a sufferer,—yet is he a tender generous
husband. One day you shall know more.—I had a son, Miss
Warley—Here Sir James interrupted her.—I come to tell you, said he,
that Lord Darcey and myself are impatient for our tea.
O fie! Sir James, return'd Lady Powis, talk of impatience before an
unmarried Lady!—If you go on at this rate, you will frighten her from
any connection with your sex.—Not at all,—not at all, said Sir James;
you take us for better for worse.—See there, Miss Warley smiles.—I
warrant she does not think my impatience unseasonable.—I was
going to reply, but effectually stopped by her Ladyship, who said,
taking my hand, Come, my dear, let us go down.—I am fond of finding
excuses for Sir James; we will suppose it was not he who was
impatient:—we will suppose the impatience to be Lord Darcey's.
Whilst regaling ourselves at the tea table, Mr. Morgan was in the
dining-parlour, brightening up his features by the assitance of the
cook and butler.—We were congratulating each other on the difference
of our present and late situation, declaring there was nothing to
regret, when Mr. Morgan enter'd.—Regret! cry'd he,—what do you
regret?—Not, I hope, that I have made a good dinner on a cold sirloin
and pickled oysters?—Indeed I do, said Lady Powis:—Had I thought you
so poor a caterer, I should have taken the office on myself.—Faith
then, reply'd he, you might have eat it yourself:—Forty years, my good
Lady, I have made this house my home, and did I ever suffer you to
direct what, or when, I should eat?—
Sir James laugh'd aloud; so did her Ladyship:—I was inclin'd to do
the same,—but afraid what next he would say;—However, this caution
did not screen me from particular notice.
What the duce have I here! said he, taking one of my hands,—a
snow-ball by the colour, and feeling? and down he dropp'd it by the
side of Lord Darcey's, which rested on the table.
I was never more confounded.
You are not angry, my pretty Lady, continued he:—we shall know one
another better;—but if you displease me,—I shall thunder.—I keep all
in subjection, except the muleish kind, making a low bow to Sir
James. Saying this, he went in pursuit of Mr. Watson.—They soon
re-enter'd together; a card-table was produc'd; and we sat down at it,
whilst they solac'd themselves by a good fire.
My attention was frequently taken from the cards, to observe how it
was possible such opposites as Mr. Watson and Mr. Morgan cou'd be
entertain'd by one another's conversation.—Never saw I any two
seemingly more happy!—The chearfulness of the former augmented;—the
voice of the latter at least three notes lower.—This has been since
explain'd to me by Lady Powis.—Mr. Morgan, she says, notwithstanding
his rough appearance, is of a nature so compassionate, that, to people
defective in person or fortune, he is the gentlest creature breathing.
Our party broke up at nine.—I sat half an hour after supper, then
propos'd returning to Mr. Jenkings's.—Lady Powis would not hear me on
this subject—I must stay that night at the Abbey:—venturing out such
weather would hazard my health.—So said Sir James; so said Lord
Darcey.—As for Mr. Morgan, he swore, Was he the former, his horses
should not stir out for fifty pieces, unless, said he, Sir James
chooses to be a fellow-sufferer with Lord Allen, who I have led such a
chace this day, that he was forced to leave poor Snip on the
forest.—Saying which, he threw himself back in the chair, and fell
into a sound sleep.—About eleven I retir'd to my chamber;—a message
first being sent to Mr. Jenkings.—Instead of going immediately to bed,
I sat down and indulg'd myself with the satisfaction of writing to my
beloved Lady Mary.—This morning I got up early to finish my packet;
and though I have spent half an hour with Mr. Jenkings, shall close it
before her Ladyship is stirring.
Your commands, my dear Lady, are executed.—I have wrote Mrs. Smith;
and as soon as I receive her answer, shall, with a joyful heart, with
impatient fondness, prepare to throw at your Ladyship's feet,
Your much honour'd,
LETTER IV. Lord DARCEY to the
Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
Prepare your ten pieces, George!—Upon my honour, I was at Barford
Abbey a quarter before three, notwithstanding a detention on the road
by Lord Michell and Flecher, driving on Jehu for Bath, in his
Lordship's phaeton and fix.—You have seen them before this,—and, I
suppose, know their errand.—The girl is an egregious fool, that is
certain.—I warrant there are a hundred bets depending.—I ask'd what
he intended doing with her if he succeeded?—Do with her! said
his Lordship; why, she is not more than eighteen; let her go to school:
faith, Flecher, that's my advice.—Let her go to the devil after
I am once sure of her, return'd the lover; and, whipping up the horses;
drove away like lightning.
Be serious—Answer me one serious question,—Is it not possible,—
very possible, to have a regard, a friendship, for an amiable
girl, without endangering her peace or my own?—If I am further
involv'd than friendship,—the blame is not mine; it will lie at
the door of Sir James and Lady Powis.—Talk no more of Lady Elizabeth's
smile, or Miss Grevel's hair—Stuff!—meer stuff! nor keep me up after
a late evening, to hear your nonsense of Miss Compton's fine neck and
shoulders, or Fanny Middleton's eyes.—Come here next week, I will
insure you a sight of all those graces in one form. Come, I say, you
will be welcome to Sir James and his Lady as myself.—Miss Warley will
smile on you.—What other inducement can you want?—Don't be too vain
of Miss Warley's smiles; for know, she cannot look without them.
Who is Miss Warley?—What is Miss Warley?—you ask.—To your first
question I can only answer, A visitor at Jenkings's.—To the
second,—She is what has been so much sought after in every age,
perfect harmony of mind and person.—Such a hand, George—
Already have I been here eight days:—was I to measure time, I
should call them hours.—My affairs with Sir James will take up longer
in settling than I apprehended.—Come therefore this week or the next,
I charge you.—Come as you hope to see Miss Warley. What do you think
Sir James said to me the other day?—Was Miss Warley a girl of fortune,
I should think her born for you, Darcey.—As that is not the
case,—take care of your heart, my Lord.—She will never attempt to
drag you into scrapes:—your little favourite robin, that us'd to peck
from your hand, has not less guile.
No! he will never consent;—I must only think of friendship.
Lady Powis doats on this paragon of beauty: scarce within their
walls,—when she was mention'd with such a just profusion of praises,
as fill'd me with impatience.—Lady Powis is a heavenly woman.—You do
not laugh;—many would, for supposing any of that sex heavenly
after fifty.—The coach is this moment going for Miss Warley;—it waits
only for me;—I am often her conductor.—Was you first minister
of state,—I the humble suitor whose bread depended on your
favour,—not one line more, even to express my wants.
Twelve o'clock, at night.
Our fair visitor just gone;—just gone home with Edmund.—What an
officious fool, to take him in the carriage, and prevent myself from a
pleasure I envy him for.—I am not in spirits;—I can write no
more;—perhaps the next post:—but I will promise nothing.
I am, &c. &c.
LETTER V. The Honourable GEORGE
MOLESWORTH to LORD DARCEY.
Confound your friendships!—Friendship indeed!—What! up head
and ears in love, and not know it.—So it is necessary for every woman
you think capable of friendship, to have fine eyes, fine hair, a
bewitching smile, and a neck delicately turn'd.—Have not I the highest
opinion of my cousin Dolly's sincerity?—Do I not think her very
capable of friendship?—Yet, poor soul, her eyes are planted so
deep, it requires good ones to discover she has any.—Such a hand,
George!—Such a hand, Darcey!—Why, Lady Dorothy too has hands; I am
often enough squeez'd by them:—though hard as a horse's hoof, and the
colour of tanned leather, I hold her capable of friendship.—Neck she has none,—smile she has none! yet need I the determination
of another, to tell me whether my regard for her proceeds from love or
friendship?—Awake,—Awake, Darcey,—Awake:—Have you any value for
your own peace?—have you any for that of Miss Warley's? If so, leave
Barford Abbey.—Should you persist in loving her, for love her I know
you do?—Should the quiet of such an amiable woman as you describe be
at stake? To deal plainly, I will come down and propose the thing
myself.—No sword,—no pistol. I mean not for myself, but one
whose happiness is dear to me as my own.
Suppose your estate is but two thousand a-year, are you so fond of
shew and equipage, to barter real felicity for baubles?—I am
angry,—so angry, that it would not grieve me to see you leading to the
altar an old hobbling dowager without a tooth.—Be more yourself,
And I am yours,
LETTER VI. Lord DARCEY to the
Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
Angry!—You are really angry!—Well, I too am angry with myself.—I
do love Miss Warley;—but why this to you?—Your penetration has
already discover'd it.—Yet, O Molesworth! such insurmountable
obstacles:—no declaration can be made,—at least whilst I continue in
Sir James would rave at my imprudence.—Lady Powis, whatever are her
sentiments, must give them up to his opinion.—Inevitably I lose the
affection of persons I have sacredly—promised to obey,—sacredly.—Was
not my promise given to a dying father?—Miss Warley has no tye; yet,
by the duty she observes to Sir James and Lady Powis, you would think
her bound by the strongest cords of nature.
Scarce a moment from her:—at Jenkings's every morning;—on foot if
good weather,—else in the coach for the convenience of bringing her
with me.—I am under no constraint:—Sir James and her Ladyship seem
not the least suspicious: this I much wonder at, in the former
In my tete-a-tetes with Miss Warley, what think you are our
subjects?—Chiefly divinity, history, and geography.—Of these studies
she knows more than half the great men who have wrote for ages
past.—On a taste for the two latter I once prided myself.—An eager
pursuit for the former springs up in my mind, whilst conversing with
her, like a plant long hid in the earth, and called out by the
appearance of a summer's sun.—This sun must shine at Faulcon
Park;—without it all will be dreary:—yet how can I draw it
thither?—Edmund—but why should I fear Edmund?
Will you, or will you not, meet your old friend Finch here next
Wednesday?—Be determined in your answer.—I have suspence enough on my
hands to be excused from any on your account.—Sir James thinks it
unkind you have not called on him since I left England;—hasten
therefore to make up matters with the baronet,—Need I say the pleasure
I shall have in shaking you by the hand?
LETTER VII. The Hon. GEORGE
MOLESWORTH to Lord DARCEY.
Wednesday next you shall see me,—positively you shall.—Bridgman
will be of the party.
I propose an immensity of satisfaction from this visit.—Forbid it,
heaven! Miss Warley's opposite should again give me a meeting at the
Abbey.—After the conversation I am made to expect, how should I be
mortified to have my ears eternally dinn'd with catgut work,—painting
gauze,—weaving fringes,—and finding out enigmas?—Setting a fine
face, Miss Winter is out-done by Fletcher's Nancy.—A-propos, I
yesterday saw that very wise girl step into a chaise and wheel off for
Scotland, begging and praying we would make the best of it to her
mamma.—Not the least hand had I in this affair; but, willing to help
out people in distress, at the entreaties of Lord Michell, I waited on
the old Lady at her lodging.
I found her in a furious plight,—raving at her servants,—packing
up her cloaths, and reflecting on her relations who had persuaded her
to come to Bath.—When I entered she was kneeling by a huge travelling
trunk, stuffing in a green purse at one corner, which I supposed to be
full of gold.
Where is Nancy?—riling from the ground, and accosting me with looks
of fury;—Where is Nancy, Mr. Molesworth?
Really, Madam, that is a question I cannot positively
answer;—but, to be sincere, I believe she is on the road to Scotland.
Believe!—So you would have me think you are not one of
Fletcher's clan.—But, tell him from me, running to the trunk after her
purse, and shaking it just at my ear,—tell him, he shall never
be a penny the better for this.
I took my hat, and looked towards the door, as if going.
Stop, Mr. Molesworth, (her voice somewhat lowered) why in so great a
hurry?—I once thought you my friend. Pray inform me if Nancy was
forced away;—or, if me went willingly.
You have no right, Madam, after the treatment I have received, to
expect an answer; but justice bids me declare her going off seemed a
matter of choice.
Poor child!—You was certainly trapann'd (and she put a handkerchief
to her eyes).
I solemnly protest, Madam, I have seen your daughter but twice since
she came to Bath.—Last night, when coming from the Rooms, I saw her
step into a chaise, followed by Mr. Fletcher.—They beckoned me towards
them, whispered the expedition they were going upon, and requested me
to break the matter to you, and intercede for their pardon.—My visit
has not answered its salutary purpose—I perceive it has not. So
saying I turned from her,—knowing, by old acquaintance, how I was to
play my cards, me being one of those kind of spirits which are never
quell'd but by opposition.
After fetching me from the door, she promised to hear calmly what I
had to say;—and, tho' no orator, I succeeded so well as to gain an
assurance, she would see them at their return from Scotland.
I left the old Lady in tolerable good humour, and was smiling to
myself, recollecting the bout I had passed, when, who should come
towards me but Lord Michell,—his countenance full-fraught with
Well, George!—dear George!—what success in your embassy?—I long
to know the fate of honest Fletcher.—Is he to loll in a coach and
six?—or, is the coroner's inquest to bring in their verdict Lunacy?
A sweet alternative!—As your Lordship's assiduity has shewn
the former is the highest pinnacle to which you would wish to lift a
friend, I believe your most sanguine hopes are here answered.
Is it so!—Well, if ever Fletcher offers up a prayer, it
ought to be for you, Molesworth.
Vastly good, my Lord.—What, before he prays for himself?—This
shews your Lordship's very high notions of gratitude.
We have high notions of every thing.—Bucks and bloods, as we are
call'd,—you may go to the devil before you will find a set of honester
To the Devil, my Lord!—That's true, I believe.
He was going to reply when the three choice spirits came up, and
hurried him, away to the Tuns.
A word to you, Darcey.—Surely you are never serious in the
ridiculous design.—Not offer yourself to Miss Warley, whilst she
continues in that neighbourhood?—the very spot on which you ought to
secure her,—unless you think all the young fellows who visit at the
Abbey are blind, except yourself.—Why, you are jealous
already;—jealous of Edmund.—Perhaps even I
may become one of your tormentors.—If I like her I shall as certainly
tell her so, as that my name is
[Here two Letters are omitted, one from Lady MARY to Miss
WARLEY,—and one from Miss WARLEY to Lady MARY.]
LETTER VIII. Miss WARLEY to Lady MARY
From Mr. Jenkings's.
Ah! my dear Lady, how kind,—how inexpressibly kind, to promise I
shall one day know what has put an end to the intimacy between the two
Ladies I so much revere.
To find your Ladyship has still a high opinion of Lady Powis, has
filled me with pleasure.—Fear of the reverse often threw a damp on my
heart, whilst receiving the most tender caresses.—You bid me love
her!—You say I cannot love her too well!—This is a command my
heart springs forward to obey.
Unhappy family!—What a loss does it sustain by the absence of Mr.
Powis?—No, I can never forgive the Lady who has occasioned this
source of sorrow.—Why is her name concealed?—But what would it
benefit me to come at a knowledge of it?
Pity Sir James should rather see such a son great than
happy.—Six thousand a year, yet covet a fortune twice as
large!—Love of riches makes strange wreck in the human heart.
Why did Mr. Powis leave his native country?—The refusal of a Lady
with whom he only sought an union in obedience to his father, could not
greatly affect him.—Was not such an overture without
affection,—without inclination,—a blot in his fair
character?—Certainly it was.—Your Ladyship seems to think Sir James
only to blame.—I dare not have presumed to offer my opinion, had you
not often told me, it betray'd a meanness to hide our real sentiments,
when call'd upon to declare them.
Lady Powis yesterday obliged me with a sight of several letters from
her son.—I am not mistress of a stile like his, or your
Ladyship would have been spar'd numberless tedious moments.—Such
extraordinary deckings are seldom to be met with in common minds.
I told Lady Powis, last evening, that I should devote this day to my
pen;—so I shall not be sent for;—a favour I am sure to have conferr'd
if I am not at the Abbey soon after breakfast.—Lord Darcey is
frequently my escort.—I am pleased to see that young nobleman regard
Edmund as if of equal rank with himself.
Heavens! his Lordship is here!—full-dressed, and just alighted from
the coach,—to fetch me, I fear.—I shall know in a moment; Mrs.
Jenkings is coming up.
Even so.—It vexes me to be thus taken off from my agreeable
task;—yet I cannot excuse myself,—her Ladyship is importunate.—She
sends me word I must come;—that I must return with Lord
Darcey.—Mrs. Finch is accidentally dropp'd in with her son.—I knew
the latter was expected to meet two gentlemen from Bath,—one of them
an intimate friend of Lord Darcey.—Mrs. Finch is an amiable woman;—it
is to her Lady Powis wants to introduce me.
Your Servant, my Lord.—A very genteel way to hasten me
down—impatient, I suppose, to see his friend from Bath.—Well,
Jenny, tell his Lordship it will be needless to have the horses taken
out.—I shall be ready in a quarter of an hour.—Adieu, my dear Lady.
Eleven o'clock at night.
Every thing has conspired to make this day more than commonly
agreeable.—It requires the pen of a Littelton to paint the different
graces which shone in conversation.—As no such pen is at hand, will
your Ladyship receive from mine a short description of the
company at the Abbey?
Mrs. Finch is about seven and forty;—her person plain,—her mind
lovely,—her bosom fraught with happiness.—She dispenses it
promiscuously.—Every smile,—every accent,—conveys it to all around
her.—A countenance engagingly open.—Her purse too, I am told, when
occasions offer, open as her heart.—How largely is she repaid for her
balsamic gifts,—by seeing those virtues early planted in the mind of
her son, spring up and shoot in a climate where a blight is almost
Mr. Finch is the most sedate young man I have ever seen;—but his
sedateness is temper'd with a sweetness inexpressible;—a
certain mildness in the features;—a mildness which, in the
countenance of that great commander I saw at Brandon Lodge, appears
like mercy sent out from the heart to discover the dwelling of
true courage.—There is certainly a strong likeness between the
Marquis and Lord Darcey;—so strong, that when I first beheld
his Lordship I was quite struck with surprize.
Mr. Molesworth and Mr. Bridgman, the two gentlemen from Bath, are
very opposite to each other in person and manner; yet both in a
different degree seem to be worthy members of society.
Mr. Molesworth, a most entertaining companion,—vastly
chearful,—smart at repartee; and, from the character Lord Darcey has
given me of him, very sincere.
Mr. Bridgman has a good deal the air of a foreigner; attained, I
suppose, by his residence some years at the court of ——, in a public
character.—Very fit he appears for such an
employ.—Sensible,—remarkably polite,—speaks all languages with the
same fluency as his own; but then a veil of disagreeable reserve throws
a dark shade over those perfections.—Perhaps I am wrong to spy
out faults so early;—perhaps to-morrow my opinion may be
different.—First prepossessions—Ah! What would I have said of
first prepossessions?—Is it not to them I owe a thousand
blessings?—I, who have nothing to recommend me but being unfortunate.
Somthing lies at my heart.—Yet I think I could not sleep in quiet,
was I to drop a hint in disfavour of Mr. Jenkings;—it may not be in
his disfavour neither:—However, my dear Lady, you shall be the
judge, after I have repos'd a few hours.
Seven o'clock in the morning.
Why should I blame Mr. Jenkings?—Is not Edmund his only son?—his
only child?—Is he less my friend for suspecting?—Yes, my Lady, I
perceive he does suspect.—He is uneasy.—He supposes his son
encouraging an improper affection.—I see it in his very looks:—he
must think me an artful creature.—This it is that distresses me.—I
wish I could hit on a method to set his heart at rest.—If I barely
hint a design of leaving the neighbourhood, which I have done once or
twice, he bursts into tears, and I am oblig'd to sooth him like a
How account for this behaviour?—Why does he look on me with the eye
of fatherly affection,—yet think me capable of a meanness I
I believe it impossible for a human being to have more good
nature, or more good qualities, than Edmund; yet had he the
riches of a Mogul, I could never think of a connection with him.—He, worthy young man, has never given his father cause for suspicion.—I am convinced he has not.—Naturally of an obliging disposition, he
is ever on the watch for opportunities to gratify his amiable
inclinations:—not one such selfish motive as love to push him
A summons to breakfast.—Lord Darcey, it seems, is below;—I
suppose, slid away from his friends to call on Edmund.—Mr. and Mrs.
Jenkings are all smiles, all good humour, to their
son,—I hope it is only I who have been suspicious.—Lord Darcey
is still with Edmund.—They are at this moment under my
window,—counselling perhaps, about a commission he wants his father to
purchase for him in the Guards.—I should be glad to see this matter
accommodated;—yet, I could wish, in so tender a point, his
Lordship may not be too forward in advising.—Mr. and Mrs.
Jenkings have such an opinion of him,—they pay such deference to what
he says,—his advice must have weight;—and they may be
unhappy by giving up their inclinations.
The praises of Lord Darcey are forever sounding in my ears.—To what
a height would the partiality of Mrs. Jenkings lift me?—She would have
me think,—I cannot tell your Ladyship what she would have me think.—My hopes dare not take such a flight.—No!—I can perceive
what their fall must be;—I can perceive it, without
getting on the top of the precipice to look down.
I shall order every thing for my departure, according to your
Ladyship's directions, holding myself in readiness to attend Mr. and
Mrs. Smith, at the time proposed.
Oxfordshire I must revisit,—for a few days only;—having some
little matters to regulate.
The silks I have purchas'd for your Ladyship are slight, as you
directed, except a white and gold, which is the richest and most
beautiful I could procure.
How imperceptibly time slides on?—The clock strikes eleven,—in
spight of the desire I have of communicating many things more.—An
engagement to be with Lady Powis at twelve hastens me to conclude
Most honour'd and affectionate,
LETTER IX. The Honourable GEORGE
MOLESWORTH to LORD DARCEY.
What a sacrifice do you offer up to that old dog Plutus!—I have
lost all patience,—all patience, I say.—Such a
woman!—such an angelic woman!—But what has,—what will avail
my arguments?—Her peace is gone,—if you persevere in a behaviour so
Bridgman this morning told me, that unless I assured him you had
pretensions to Miss Warley, he was determined to offer her his
hand;—that nothing prevented him from doing it whilst at the
Abbey, but your mysterious conduct, which he was at a loss how to
construe. —Not to offend you, the Lady or family
she is with, he apply'd, he said, to me, as a friend of each
party, to set him right.
Surely, Bridgman, returned I, you wish to keep yourself in the dark;
or how the duce have you been six days with people whose countenances
speak so much sensibility, and not make the discovery you seek after?
Though her behaviour to us; continued I, was politeness itself, was
there nothing more than politeness in her address to Lord
Darcey?—Her smiles too, in which Diana and the Graces revel,
saw you not them, how they played from one to another, like
sun-beams on the water, until they fixed on him?—Is the nation in
debt?—So much is Darcey in love;—and you may as well pay off one, as
rival the other with success.
Observe, my friend, in what manner I have answered for you.—Keep
her, therefore, no longer in suspence.—Delays of this sort are not
only dangerous, but cruel.—Why delight to torture what we most
admire?—From a boy you despised such actions.—Often have I known Dick
Jones, when at Westminster, threshed by your hand for picking poor
little birds alive.—His was an early point;—but for Darcey, accoutred with the breast-plate of honour, even before he could read
the word that signifies its intrinsic value,—for him to be
falling off,—falling off at a time too, when Virtue herself
appears in person to support him!
Can you say, you mean not to injure her?—Is a woman only to be
injured, but by an attempt on her virtue?—Is it no crime, no
fault, to cheat a young innocent lovely girl out of her affections, and
give her nothing in return but regret and disappointment?
Reflect, what a task is mine, thus to lay disagreeable truths
plainly before you.—To hear it pronounced, that Lord and Lady Darcey
are the happiest couple on earth, is the hope that has pushed me on to
this unpleasing office.
Bridgman is just set out for town.—I am charg'd with a profusion of
respects, thanks, &c. &c. &c. which, if you have the least oeconomy,
will serve for him, and
Your very humble servant,
LETTER X. Lord DARCEY to the
Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
Bridgman!—Could Bridgman dare aspire to Miss Warley!—He
offer her his hand!—he be connected with a woman whose
disposition is diametrically opposite to his own!—No,—that
would not have done, though I had never seen her.—Let him seek for one
who has a heart shut up by a thousand locks.
After his own conjectures,—after what you have told
him,—should he but attempt to take her from me, by all that is
sacred, he shall repent it dearly.
Molesworth! you are my friend,—I take your admonitions
well;—but, surely, you should not press thus hardly on my soul,
knowing its uneasy situation.—My state is even more perplexing than
when we parted:—I did not then know she was going to France.—Yes, she is absolutely going to France.—Why leave her friends
here?—Why not wait the arrival of Lady Mary Sutton in England?
I have used every dissuasive argument but one.—That shall be
my last.—If that fails I go—I positively go with her.—It is
your opinion that she loves me.—Would it were mine!—Not the
least partiality can I discover.—Why then be precipitate?—Every
moment she is gaining ground in the affections of Sir James and Lady
Powis.—Time may work wonders in the mind of the
former.—Without his consent never can I give my hand;—the commands of
a dying father forbid me.—Such a father!—O George! you did not
know him;—so revered,—so honour'd,—so belov'd!
not more in public than in private life.
My friend, behold your son!—Darcey, behold your
father!—As you reverence and obey Sir James, as you
consult him on all occasions, as you are guided by his advice,
receive my blessing.—These were his parting words, hugg'd into me in
his last cold embrace.—No, George, the promise I made can never be
forfeited.—I sealed it on his lifeless hand, before I was borne from
Now, are you convinc'd no mean views with-hold me?—You
despise not more than I do the knave and coxcomb; for no other, to
satiate their own vanity, would sport away the quiet of a
fellow-creature.—Well may you call it cruel.—Such cruelties
fall little short of those practised by Nero and Caligula.
Did it depend on myself only, I would tell Miss Warley I love,
every time I behold her enchanting face; every time I hear
the voice of wisdom springing from the seat of innocence.
No shadow of gaining over Sir James!—Efforts has not been
wanting:—I mean efforts to declare my inclination.—I have
follow'd him like a ghost for days past, thinking at every step how I
should bless this or that spot on which he consented to
my happiness.—Pleasing phantoms!—How have they fled at sight of his
determin'd countenance!—Methought I could trace in it the same
obduracy which nature vainly pleaded to remove.—In other
matters my heart is resolute;—here an errant coward.—No! I
cannot break it to him whilst in Hampshire.—When I get to town, a
letter shall speak for me.—Sometimes I am tempted to trust the
secret to Lady Powis.—She is compassionate;—she would even risk her
own peace to preserve mine.—Again the thoughts of involving her in
fresh perplexities determines me against it.
Had my father been acquainted with that part of Sir James's
character which concerned his son, I am convinc'd he would have made
some restrictions in regard to the explicit obedience he enjoined.—But
all was hushed whilst Mr. Powis continued on his travels; nor, until he
settled abroad, did any one suspect there had been a family
disagreement:—even at this time the whole affair is not
generally known.—The name of the lady to whom he was obliged to make
proposals, is in particular carefully concealed.—I, who from ten years
old have been bred up with them, am an entire stranger to it.—
Perhaps no part of the affair would ever have transpired, had not
Sir James made some discoveries, in the first agitation of his passion,
before a large company, when he received an account of Mr. Powis's
being appointed to the government of ——. No secret can be safe in a
breast where every passage is not well guarded against an enemy which,
like lightning, throws up all before it.
Let me not forget to tell you, amongst a multiplicity of concerns
crowding on my mind, that I have positively deny'd Edmund to intercede
with his father regarding the commission.—A bare surmise that he is my
rival, has silenced me.—Was I ungenerous enough to indulge myself in
getting rid of him, an opportunity now offers;—but I am as
averse to such proceedings as he ought to be who is the friend
of Molesworth, and writes the name of
LETTER XI. The Honourable GEORGE
MOLESWORTH to Lord DARCEY.
Believe me, my dear Lord, I never suspected you capable of designs
you justly hold in abhorrence.—If I expressed myself warmly, it was
owing to your keeping from me the knowledge of those particulars which
have varied every circumstance.—I saw my friend a poor restless being,
irresolute, full of perplexities.—I felt for him.—I rejoice now to
find from whence this irresolution, those perplexities
arose.—She is,—she must,—by heaven! she shall be yours:—A reward
fit only for such great—such noble resolutions.
You talk of a last argument—Forbear that
argument.—You must not use it before you have laid your
intentions open to Sir James.—Neither follow her to
France.—What, as you are situated, would that avail?—Prevent
her going, if you can.—Such a woman, under the
protection of Lady Mary Sutton, must have many advantageous
I understand nothing of features,—I know nothing of
physiognomy, if you have any uneasiness from Bridgman.—It was not
marks of a violent passion he betrayed;—rather, I think, an ambition
of having his taste approved by the world;—but we shall know more of
the matter when I meet him in town.
Stupidity!—Not see her partiality!—not see that she loves
you!—She will some time hence own it as frankly with her lips, as her
eyes have told you a thousand times, did you understand their
language.—The duce a word could I get from them.—Very uncivil,
I think, not to speak when they were spoke to,—They will
be ready enough, I suppose, with their thanks and applauses, when I present her hand to be united with her heart. That office shall
be mine:—Something tells me, there is to be an
alteration in your affairs, sudden as unexpected.
I go to the rooms this evening for the last time.—To-morrow I set
out for Slone Hall, in my way to London.—Here I shall spend two or
three days happily with my good-natured cousin Lady Dorothy.—Perhaps
we may take an airing together as far as your territories.—I shall
now look on Faulcon-Park with double pleasure.—Neither that or the
agreeable neighbourhood round it will be ever bridled over by a haughty
dame.—(Miss Warley, forbid it.)—Some such we see in high as
well as low life.—Haughtiness is the reverse of true greatness;
therefore it staggers me to behold it in the former.
A servant with a white favour!—What can this mean?—
Upon my word, Mr. Flecher, you return with your fair bride sooner
than I expected.—A card too.—Things must be finely
accommodated with the old Lady.—Your Lordship being at too great a
distance to partake of the feast, pray regale on what calls me to it.
“Mrs. Moor and Mr. and Mrs. Flecher's compliments to Mr.
Molesworth.—My son and daughter are just return'd from Scotland, and
hope for the pleasure of Mr. Molesworth's company with eight or ten
other friends, to congratulate them this evening on their
arrival.—Both the Ladies and Mr. Flecher will be much disappointed, if
you do not accept our invitation.”
True as I live, neither added or diminished a
tittle,—and wrote by the hand of Flecher's Desdemona.—Does not a man
richly deserve thirty thousand pounds with a wife like this?
—Not for twice that sum would I see such nonsense come from her
I was to spend my life with.
Pity Nature and Fortune has such frequent bickerings! When one
smiles the other frowns.—I wish the gipsies would make up matters, and
send us down their favours wrapp'd up together.
Considering the friendship you have honour'd Edmund with, I have no
idea he can presume to think of Miss Warley, seeing what he must
I shall expect to find a letter on my arrival in St. James's
Street.—Omit not those respects which are due at Barford Abbey.
LETTER XII. Lord DARCEY to the
Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
I should be in a fine plight, truly, to let her go to France without
me!—Why, I am almost besides myself at the thoughts of an eight days
separation.—Was ever any thing so forgetful!—To bring no other
cloaths here but mourning!—Did she always intend to encircle the sun
with a sable cloud?—Or, why not dispatch a servant?—A journey into
Oxfordshire is absolutely necessary.—Some other business, I
suppose; but I am not enough in her confidence to know of what
nature.—Poh! love!—Impossible, and refuse me so small a boon as to
attend her!—requested too in a manner that spoke my whole soul.—Yes;
I had near broke through all my resolutions.—This I did say, If Miss
Warley refuses her dear hand, pressing it to my lips, in the same
peremptory manner,—what will become of him who without it is lost to
the whole world?—The reply ventur'd no further than her cheek;—there
sat enthron'd in robes of crimson.—I scarce dar'd to look up:—her
eyes darted forth a ray so powerful, that I not only quitted her hand,
but suffered her to leave the room without my saying another
word.—This happened at Jenkings's last evening; in the morning she was
to set out with the old gentleman for Oxfordshire.—I did not attempt
seeing her again 'till that time, fearing my presence might be
unpleasing, after the confusion I had occasion'd.
Sick of my bed I got up at five; and taking a gun, directed my
course to the only spot on earth capable of affording me delight.—The
outer gate barr'd:—no appearance of any living creature, except poor
Caesar.—He, hearing my voice, crept from his wooden-house, and,
instead of barking, saluted me in a whining tone:—stretching himself,
he jumped towards the gate, licking my hand that lay between the
bars.—I said many kind things to this faithful beast, in hopes my
voice would awaken some of the family.—The scheme succeeded.—A bell
was sounded from one of the apartments; that opposite to which I
stood.—A servant opening the window-shutters, I was tempted to keep my
stand.—A white beaver with a green feather, and a riding-dress of the
same colour, plainly told me this was the room where rested all my
treasure, and caused in my mind such conflicts as can no more be
described by me than felt by another.—Unwilling to
encrease my tortures I reeled to an old tree, which lay on a bank
near;—there sat down to recover my trembling.—The next thing which
alarmed me was an empty chaise, driving full speed down the hill.—I
knew on what occasion, yet could not forbear asking the
post-boy.—He answered, To carry some company from yonder house.—My
situation was really deplorable,—when I beheld my dear lovely girl
walking in a pensive mood, attir'd in that very dress which I espied
through the window.—Heavy was the load I dragged from head to heel;
yet, like a Mercury, I flew to meet her.—She saw me,—started,—and
cry'd, Bless me! my Lord! what brings you hither at this early
hour?—The real truth was springing to my lips, when, recollecting her
happiness might be the sacrifice, I said, examining the lock of my
gun,—I am waiting, Miss Warley, for that lazy fellow Edmund:—he
promised to shew me an eye of pheasants.—If you are not a very keen
sportsman, returned she, what says your Lordship to a cup of
chocolate?—It will not detain you long;—Mrs. Jenkings has some ready
prepared for the travellers.
She pronounced travellers with uncommon glee;—at least I
thought so,—and, nettled at her indifference, could not help replying,
You are very happy, madam;—you part with your
friends very unreluctantly, I perceive.
If any thing ever appeared in my favour, it was now.—Her confusion
was visible;—even Edmund observed it, who just then strolled towards
us, and said, looking at both attentively, What is the matter with Miss
With me, Edmund? she retorted,—nothing ails me.—I suppose you
think I am enough of the fine lady to complain the whole day, because I
have got up an hour before my usual time.
His tongue was now silent;—his eyes full of
enquiries.—He fixed them on us alternately,—wanting to discover the
situation of our hearts.—Why so curious, Edmund?—Things cannot go on
long at this rate.—Your heart must undergo a strict scrutiny
before I shall know what terms we are upon.
No words can paint my gratitude for worthy Jenkings.—He went to the
Abbey, on foot, before breakfast was ended, to give me an opportunity
of supplying his place in the chaise.—At parting he actually took one
of my hands, joined it with Miss Warley's, and I could perceive
petitions ascending from the seat of purity.—I know to what they
tended.—I felt, I saw them.—The chaise drove off. I
could have blessed him.—May my blessings overtake him!—May they light
where virtue sits enshrin'd by locks of silver.
Yes, if his son was to wound me in the tenderest part, for the sake
of such a father, I think,—I know not what to think.—Living in
such suspence is next to madness.
She treats him with the freedom of a sister.—She calls him
Edmund,—leans on his arm, and suffers him to take her hand.—The least
favour conferred on me is with an air so reserved, so
distant, as if she would say, I have not for you the least sentiment of
Lady Powis sends to desire I will walk with her.—A sweet companion
am I for a person in low spirits!—That her's are not high is
evident.—She has shed many tears this morning at parting with Miss
Instead of eight days mortification we might have suffer'd twenty,
had not her Ladyship insisted on an absolute promise of returning at
that time.—Farewel till then.
LETTER XIII. Miss WARLEY to Lady
From the Crown, at ——.
Here am I, ever-honour'd lady, forty miles on the road to that
beloved spot, where, for nineteen years, my tranquility was
uninterrupted.—Will a serene sky always hang over me?—It will be
presumption to suppose it,—when thousands, perhaps, endowed with
virtues the most god-like, have nothing on which they can look back
but dark clouds,—nothing to which they can look forward but
gathering storms.—Am I a bark only fit to sail in fair weather?—Shall
I not prepare to meet the waves of disappointment?
How does my heart bear,—how throb,—to give up follies which dare
not hide themselves where a passage is made by generosity, by
affection unbounded.—Yes, my dear Lady, this is the only moment I do
not regret being absent from you;—for could my tongue relate what my
pen trembles to discover?—No!
Behold me at your Ladyship's feet!—behold me a
supplicant suing for my returning peace!—You only, can restore
it.—Command that I give up my preference for Lord Darcey, and the
intruder is banished from my heart:—then shall I no more labour
to deceive myself:—then shall I no more blindly exchange
certain peace for doubtful happiness,—a quiet for a restless
mind.—Humility has not fled me;—my heart has not fallen a sacrifice
to title, pomp, or splendor.—Yet, has it not foolishly, unasked, given
itself up?—Ah! my Lady, not entirely unask'd neither; or, why, from
the first moment, have I seen him shew such tender, such
respectful assiduities?—why so ardently solicit to attend me
into Oxfordshire?—why ask, if I refused my hand in the same peremptory
manner, what would become of the man who without it was lost to the
whole world?—But am I not too vain?—Why should this man be Lord
Darcey?—Rather one rising to his imagination, who he might possibly
suppose was entrapped by my girlish years.—A few, a very few
weeks, and I am gone from him forever.—If your Ladyship's goodness can
pardon the confession I have made, no errors will I again commit of the
kind which now lies blushing before you.
Next to your Ladyship Mr. Jenkings is the best friend I have on
earth.—He never has suspected, or now quite forgets his
suspicions.—Not all my entreaties could prevent him from taking this
long journey with me.—His age, his connections, his business, every
thing is made subservient to my convenience—Whilst I write he is
below, and has just sent up to know if I will permit a gentleman of his
acquaintance, whom he has met accidentally at this inn, to dine with
us.—Why does he use this ceremony?—I can have no objection to any
friend of his.—Dinner is served up.—I shall write again at our
last stage this evening.
From the Mitre at ——.
Past twelve at night!—An hour I used to think the most silent of
any:—but here so much the reverse, one reasonably may suppose
the inhabitants, or guests, have mistaken midnight for mid-day.
I will ring and enquire, why all this noise?
A strange bustle!—Something like fighting!—Very near, I
protest.—Hark! bless me, I shall be frightened to death!—The
chambermaid not come! Would I could find my way to Mr. Jenkings's
room!—Womens voices, as I live!—Begging!—praying!—Ah! ah! now they
cry, Take the swords away!—Take the swords away!—Heaven defend us! to
be sure we shall be all killed.
Not kill'd, but terrified out of my senses.—Well, if ever I stop at
this inn again—
You remember, Madam, I was thrown into a sad fright by the hurry and
confusion without.—I dropped my pen, and pulled the bell with greater
violence.—No one came;—the noise increas'd.—Several people ran up
and down by the door of my apartment.—I flew and double lock'd
it.—But, good God! what were my terrors, when a voice cried out, She
cannot be brought to life!—Is there no assistance at hand?—no surgeon
near?—I rushed from my chamber, in the first emotions of surprize and
compassion, to mix in a confused croud, unknowing and unknown.—I ventur'd no further than the passage. Judge my astonishment, to
perceive there, and in a large room which open'd into it, fifty or
sixty well dressed people of both sexes:—Women, some crying,
some laughing:—Men swearing, stamping, and calling upon others
to come down and end the dispute below.—I thought of nothing now, but how to retreat unobserv'd:—when a gentleman, in regimentals, ran
so furiously up the stairs full against me, that I should have been
instantly at the bottom, had not his extended arm prevented my flight.
I did not stay to receive his apologies, but hastened to my chamber,
and have not yet recovered my trembling.—Why did I leave it?—Why was
I so inconsiderate?
Another alarm!—Some one knocks at the door!—Will there be no end
to my frights?
If one's spirits are on the flutter, how every little circumstance
increases our consternation!—When I heard the tapping at my door,
instead of enquiring who was there, I got up and stood against it.
Don't be afraid, Mame, said a voice without; it is only the
chambermaid come with some drops and water.—With drops and water!
replied I, letting her in—who sent you hither?
Captain Risby, Mame, one of the officers:—he told me you was
I am oblig'd to the gentleman;—but set down the drops, I do not
want any.—Pray tell me what has occasioned this uproar in your house?
To be sure, Mame, here has been a terrifying noise this
night.—It don't use to be so;—but our Town's Gentlemen have
such a dislike to Officers, I suppose there will be no peace
while they are in town.—I never saw the Ladies dress'd so fine in my
life; and had the Colonel happen'd to ask one of the Alderman's
daughters to dance, all would have gone on well.
You have an assembly then in the house?
O yes, Mame, the assembly is always kept here.—And, as I was
saying, the Colonel should have danced with one of our Alderman's
daughters:—instead of that, he engag'd a daughter of Esquire Light,
and introduced the Major and a handsome Captain to her two
sisters.—Now, to be sure, this was enough to enrage the best
Trade's-People in the place, who can give their young Ladies
three times as much as Mr. Light can his daughters.
I saw she was determin'd to finish her harangue, so did not attempt
to interrupt her.
One of us chambermaids, Mame, continued she, always assist
the waiters;—it was my turn this evening; so, as I was stirring the
fire in the card-room, I could hear the Ladies whisper their partners,
if they let strangers stand above them, they might dance with whom they
could get for the future.—They were busy about the matter when the
Colonel enter'd with Miss Light, who though she is very
handsome, very sensible, and all that, it did not become her to
wear a silver silk;—for what, as our Ladies said, is family
without fortune?—But I am running on with a story of an hour long.—So
Mame, as soon as the Colonel and his partner went into the
dancing-room,—one cry'd, Defend me from French'd hair, if
people's heads are to look like towers;—another, her gown
sleeves were too large;—a third, the robeings too high;—a
fourth, her ruff too deep:—in short, Mame, her very
shoe-buckles shared the same fate.
This recital put me out of all patience:—I could not endure to see
held up a picture, which, though out of the hands of a dauber,
presented a true likeness of human nature in her most deprav'd
state.—Enough, Mrs. Betty, said I, now pray warm my bed; it is late,
and I am fatigued.
O! to be sure, Mame; but will you not first hear what was the
occasion of the noise?—The country-dances, continued she, not waiting
my reply, began; and our Town's Gentlemen ran to the top of the
room, leaving the Officers to dance at the bottom.—This put
them in so violent a passion, that the Colonel swore, if our
Gentlemen persisted in their ill manners, not a soul should dance.—So,
Mame, upon this our Gentlemen let some of the Officers stand
above them;—and there was no dispute till after ten.—What they
quarrelled about then I don't know;—but, when I came into the room,
they were all going to fight;—and fight they certainly would, if they
could have got our Gentlemen down stairs.—Not one of them would
stir, which made the others so mad, that they would have pulled them
down, had not the Ladies interfered.—Then it was, Mame, I
suppose, you heard the cries and shrieks; for every one that had
husbands, brothers, or admirers there, took hold of them;
begging and praying they would not fight.—Poor Miss Peggy Turner will
have a fine rub; for she always deny'd to her Mamma, that there
was any thing in the affair between her and Mr. Grant the Attorney. Now
she has discovered all, by fainting away when he broke from her to go
to the other end of the room.
I hope there has been no blood shed?
None, I'll assure you, Mame, in this house; what happens out
of it is no business of mine. Now, Mame, would you please to go
to bed? By all means, Mrs. Betty.—So away went my communicative
companion. Being much tired, I shall lay down an hour or two, then
reassume my pen.
Four o'clock in the morning.
Not able to close my eyes, I am got up to have the pleasure of
introducing to your Ladyship the Gentleman who I mention'd was to dine
with us at the other inn. Judge my surprize, when I found him to be the
worthy Dean of H——going into Oxfordshire to visit his former
flock;—I knew him before Mr. Jenkings pronounced his name, by the
strong likeness of his picture.
I even fancied the beautiful pair stood before me, whose hands he is
represented joining. It is much to be regretted so fine a piece should
be hid from the world.—Why should not this be proportion? The
other portraits which your Ladyship has drawn, are even allowed by
Reynolds to be masterly.—Let me therefore entreat, next time he comes
to the Lodge, my favourite may at least have a chance of being
called from banishment.
The Dean was almost discouraged from proceeding on his journey, by
hearing of your Ladyship's absence, and the death of Mrs. Whitmore.—He
was no stranger to what concern'd me, tho' I could be scarce an
inhabitant of Hillford-Down at the time he left it.—I suppose
his information was from Mr. Jenkings; I could see them from the window
deep in discourse, walking in the Bowling-Green, from the moment the
Dean got out of his chaise till dinner.
The latter expressed infinite satisfaction when I joined them;
looking with such stedfast tenderness, as if he would trace on my
countenance the features of some dear friend.—His sincere regard for
Mr. and Mrs. Whitmore, and the gratitude he owes your Ladyship, must
make him behold me with a favourable eye, knowing how greatly I have
been distinguish'd by the two latter.
He had a stool put into his chaise; assuring us we could fit three
conveniently—We came from the last inn together, and are to travel so
the remainder of the journey.
After your Ladyship's strict commands, that I look on Brandon-Lodge
as my home, I shall make it such the few days I stay in
Oxfordshire;—and have presumed on your indulgence, to request Mr.
Jenkings will do the same.—The Dean's visit is to Mr. Gardener, which
will be happy for me, as that Gentleman's house is so near the
Lodge.—I hope to see the tops of the chimneys this evening.—
My heart would jump at the sight, if I expected your Ladyship to
meet me with open arms.—Extatic thought!—unfit to precede those
disappointments which must follow thick on one another. Can there be
greater!—to pass the very house, once inhabited by—O my
Lady!—Heaven! how will your and her image bring before me past happy
If this is the Dean's voice, he is got up, early. The horses putting
to, and scarce five o'clock! Here comes a messenger, to say they are
ready. So rest my pen, till; I again take it up at Brandon-Lodge.
I never saw such general joy as appeared through the village at
sight of the Dean.—The first person who espy'd him ran with such speed
into every house, that by the time we reached Mr. Gardener's gate, the
chaise was surrounded by a hundred people.—Mr. and Mrs. Gardener
stepping out, were saluted by the Dean. What, our old friend! cried
they.—What, our old friend!—Good God!—and Miss Warley too!—This is
a joyful surprize, indeed! and would have taken me out by force, if I
had not persisted in going to the Lodge.—Your Ladyship is enough
acquainted with these good people, to know they would part with any
thing rather than their friends.—I have not yet seen Miss Gardener:
she was gone on a walk with Miss West and Miss Conway.
The Dean showered a thousand marks of regard on all around him;—the
meanest not escaping his notice.—In this tumult of pleasure I did not
pass unregarded.—Your Ladyship and Mrs. Whitmore still live in their
hearts; the pure air of Hillford-Down will not mix with the cold blast
May the soft pillow I am going to repose on, shut not out from my
mind the load of obligations which rest on it!—The remembrance is balm
to my soul, either in my sleeping or waking hours.
Scarce out of my bed half an hour!—How have I over-slept myself!
Mrs. Bennet has prevailed on Mr. Jenkings to have some
breakfast.—Good, considerate woman!—indeed, all your Ladyship's
domestics are good and considerate.—No wonder, when you treat them so
very different from some people of high rank. Let those who
complain of fraud, guilt, negligence, or want of respect from their
dependants, look in here;—where they will see honesty, virtue, and
reverence attend the execution of every command.—Flowers must be
planted before they can take root.—Few, very few endeavour to improve
an uncultivated soil, notwithstanding how great the advantage is to the
I last night receiv'd pleasure inexpressible, by sending for the
servants to acquaint them of your Ladyship's returning health; and
feasted on the satisfaction they expressed.—In a moment all the live
creatures were brought.—I am satisfied, my Lady, if any of them die in
your absence, it must be of fat.—My old acquaintances Bell and Flora
could hardly waddle in to pay their compliments; the parrot, which used
to squall the moment she saw me, is now quite dumb; shewing no mark of
her favour, but holding down her head to be scratched;—the
turtle-doves are in the same case.—I have taken the liberty to desire
the whole crew might be put to short allowance.
John said, he believed it was natural for every thing to grow fat
here; and was much afraid, when I saw the coach-horses, I should
pronounce the same hard sentence against them, desiring orders to
attend me with the carriage this morning.—I told him my stay would be
so short, I should have no time for an airing.
The gardener has just sent me a blooming nosegay; I suppose, to put
me in mind of visiting his care, which I intend, after I have
acquainted your Ladyship with an incident that till this moment had
escaped my memory.—The Dean, Mr. Jenkings, and myself, were drinking a
cup of chocolate before we sat out from the inn where I had been so
much hurried, when captain Risby sent in his name, desiring we would
admit him for a moment. His request being assented to, he entered very
respectfully, said he came to apologize for the rudeness he was guilty
of the last night.—The Dean and Mr. Jenkings presently guessed his
meaning; I had been just relating the whole affair, which I was pleased
to find did not disturb their rest.—I assured Captain Risby, far from
deeming his behaviour rude, I was obliged to him for his solicitude in
sending a servant to my chamber. He said he had not been in bed,
determining to watch our setting out, in hopes his pardon would be
sealed:—that to think of the accident he might have occasioned, gave
him great pain.
Pardon me, Madam, addressing himself to me; and you, Sir, to Mr.
Jenkings; if I ask one plain question: Have you, or at least has
not that Lady, relations out of England? I have a friend
abroad—I have heard him say his father is still living;—but then he
has no sister;—or a certain likeness I discover would convince me.
Undoubtedly he took me for Mr. Jenkings's daughter:—what he meant
further I cannot divine.
Mr. Jenkings reply'd, You are mistaken, Sir, if you think me the
father of this Lady.—The chaise driving up that moment to the door, he
shook him by the hand, and led me towards it; the Captain assisting me
in getting in.
I wish I could have satisfied my curiosity.—I wish I had known to
whom he likened me.—Perhaps his eyes misinformed him—perhaps he might
have taken a cheerful glass after the last night's encounter:—yet he
resembled not a votary of Bacchus;—his complexion clear;—hair nicely
comb'd;—coat without a spot;—linen extremely fine and clean.—But
enough of him.—Here comes the Dean, walking up the avenue escorting a
party of my old acquaintances.
Adieu! dearest honour'd Lady, till my return to Hampshire.
LETTER XIV. The Honourable GEORGE
MOLESWORTH to LORD DARCEY.
Was every any thing so forgetful, to bring no other clothes here
Really, my Lord, this favours a good deal of the matrimonial stile.
Was you, commenced Benedict, I should think you had received lessons
from the famous L——, who takes such pains with his pupils, that those
whose attendance is frequent, can, in, the space of three months after
the knot is tied, bring their wives to hear patiently the words—
forgetful,—ridiculous,—absurd,—pish—poh,—and a thousand more of
the same significant meaning.—I hear you, my Lord:—it is true,
I am in jest; and know you would scorn to say even a peevish thing to a
Why fret yourself to a skeleton about an absence of eight days?—How
could you suppose she would let you go into Oxfordshire?—Proper
decorums must be observed by that sex.—Are not those despicable who
neglect them?—What would you have said, had she taken Edmund with
her?—Don't storm:—on reflection you will find you had no greater
right to expect that indulgence.
I have this morning had a letter from Dick Risby, that unfortunate,
but worthy cousin of mine, just returned from the West-Indies to
take on him the command of a company in Lord ——'s regiment. What a
Father his!—to abandon such a son.—Leave him to the wide world
at sixteen,—without a shilling, only to gratify the pride and avarice
of his serpent daughter,—who had art sufficient to get this noble
youth disinherited for her waddling brat, whose head was form'd large
enough to contain his mother's mischief and his own.—In vain we
attempted to set aside the will:—my brother would not leave England
whilst there remained the least hopes for poor Risby.
I always dreaded Dick's going abroad, well knowing what a designing
perfidious slut his sister was, from her very infancy.—Her parents
drew down a curse by their blind indulgence:—even her nurse was
charg'd not to contradict her; she was to have every thing for which
she shewed the least inclination.
Lord Eggom and myself being near of an age with our cousins, were
sometimes sent to play with them in their nursery; and, though boys of
tolerable spirit, that vixen girl has so worried us by her tyrannic and
impatient temper, that we have often petitioned, at our return home, to
be put to bed supperless.—If sweet-meats were to be divided, she would
cry to have the whole; the same in regard to cards,—shells,—money, or
whatever else was sent for our entertainment.—When she has pinched us
black and blue,—a complaint to her mother has been made by Dick, who
could not bear to see us so used, though he was obliged to take such
treatment himself, the only redress we should receive was—Poh! she is
but a baby.—I thought you had all known better than to take notice of
what such a child as Lucy does—Once, when this was said
before her, me flew at me, and cry'd, I will pinch again, if I
please;—papa and mamma says I shall,—and so does nurse; and I don't
mind what any body else says.—I waited only for my revenge, till the
two former withdrew; when sending the latter for a glass of water, I
gave Miss such a glorious tacking, as I believe she has never
tasted the like before or since.—In the midst of the fray, I heard
nurse running up, which made me hasten what I owed on my own
account, to remind her of the favours she had conferred on Lord
Eggom and her brother.—If such a termagant in her infant state,—judge
what she must be at a time of life when her passions are in full
vigour, and govern without controul!—I have just shewn the method of
rearing this diabolical plant, that you may not wonder at its
productions.—I shall see justice overtake her, notwithstanding the
long strides she is making to escape.
Dick will be in town with us most part of the winter:—I have wrote
him to that purpose, and mention'd your name. He will rejoice to see
you:—I have often heard him regret your acquaintance was of so short
standing.—Bridgman set out for York the day before I arrived; his
servants inform me he is not expected back this three weeks.
I like our lodgings vastly; but more so as the master and mistress
of the family are excessively clean and obliging; two things so
material to my repose, that I absolutely could not dispense patiently
with either.—This it was which made me felicitous about taking a
house; I am now so happily situated, I wish not to have one in town
whilst I remain a batchelor. Heaven knows how long that will be!—Your
nonpareil has given me a dislike to all my former slight
Lady Elizabeth Curtis!—I did once indeed think a little seriously
of her:—but such a meer girl!—Perhaps the time she has spent
in France, Germany, and the Lord knows where, may have changed her from
a little bewitching, smiling, artless creature—to a vain,
designing, haughty,—I could call a coquet by a thousand
names;—but Lady Elizabeth can-not, must not be a
coquet.—Cupid, though, shall never tye a bandage over my eyes.—The
charms that must fix me are not to be borrow'd;—I shall look for them
in her affection to her relations;—in a condescending behaviour to
inferiors;—above all, when she offers up her first duties.—If she
shines here, I shall not follow her to the card-table, or
play-house:—every thing must be right in a heart where duty,
affection, and humility, has the precedence.
The misfortune of our sex is this: when taken with a fine face, we
enquire no further than, Is she polite?—Is she witty?
Does she dance well?—sing well?—in short, is she fit to
appear in the Beau Monde; whilst good sense and virtues which
constitute real happiness, are left out of the question.
How does beauty,—politeness—wit,—a fine voice,—a graceful
movement, charm!—But how often are we deceiv'd by them.—An instance
of which I have lately seen in our old friend Sir Harry. No man on
earth can pity that poor soul more than I do; yet I have laughed hours
to think of his mistake. So mild—so gentle—said he, George, a
week before his marriage, I should have said execution,—it is
impossible to put her out of humour.—If I am not the happiest man
breathing, it must be my own fault.
What was my astonishment when I call'd on him in my way to town, and
found this mild gentle mate of his, aided by a houseful of her
relations, had not only deprived him of all right and authority in the
Castle, but almost of his very speech!
I dropt in about one, told the Baronet I came five miles out of my
way for the pleasure of saluting his bride, and to drink a bottle of
claret with him.—He was extremely glad to see me; and ventured to say
so, before I was introduced to the Ladies:—but I saw by
his sneaking look, no such liberty must be taken in their
presence.—My reception was gracious enough, considering all
communication is cut off between him and his former acquaintance.
Scarce was I seated, before the old Dowager asked me, if her
daughter had not made great alterations in the little time she
had been at the Castle.
Alterations, Madam! I reply'd;—upon my honour, they are
so visible, no person can avoid being struck with them.—How could
your father and mother, Sir Harry, bear to live in such an wood?
looking and speaking disdainfully.—He smiled
obsequious—hemm'd—trembled, and was silent.—I hope, continued she,
not to see a tree remaining near this house before the next summer.—We
want much, Mr. Molesworth, turning to me with quite a different look
and voice, to have the pleasure-ground laid out:—but really her
Ladyship has had so much to set in order within doors, that it
has taken off her attention a good deal from what is necessary to be
done without.—However, Sir, you shall see our design; so, my
dear, speaking to her daughter, let Sir Harry fetch the plan.
It is in my closet, returned her Ladyship, and I don't chuse to send
him there;—but I'll ring for Sally.
I had like that moment to have vow'd a life of celibacy—I saw him
redden;—how could he avoid it, if one spark of manhood remain'd?
The indignation I felt threw such a mist before my eyes, that when
the plan was laid on the table, I could scarce distinguish temples from
clumps of shrubs, or Chinese seats from green slopes.—Yet this
reptile of a husband could look over my shoulder, hear the opinion
of every one present, without daring to give his own.
I was more out of patience at dinner.—Bless me, says her Ladyship,
how aukward you are when I bid you cut up any thing!—the
mother and daughter echoing, Never was there such a
carver as Sir Harry!—Well, I vow, cry'd the latter, it is a
strange thing you will not remember, so often as I have told you, to lay the meat handsome in the dish.
Good God! thought I, can this man live out half his days?—And,
faith, if I had not drank five bumpers of Madeira, I could not have
stood the sight of his fearful countenance.
He perceived I was distress'd, and whisper'd me as I mounted my
horse,—You see how it is, Molesworth; breeding women must not
I do, I do see how it is, return'd I; and could not for my
soul forbear saying, I shall rejoice to hear of a delivery.
This is the day when the important affairs of the m——y are to be
settled; the papers will inform you; but can a man in love have any
relish for politics?—Pray, divest yourself of that plague, when you
attend the house.—I should drop to hear you say you espouse this
or that cause, for the love of Miss Warley, instead of
Next Friday!—Well, I long to see you after a dreadful,
dreadful absence of eight days.—There is something confounded
ridiculous in all this stuff; nor can I scarce credit that man should
pine, fret, and make himself unhappy, because he is loosed from the
apron-strings of his Phillida for a few days.—I see you shrug;—but my
fate is not dependent on your prognostications.—Was it so, I know
where I should be,—down amongst the dead men;—down amongst the
However, I would consent to be rank'd in the number of Cupid's
slain, could I be hit by just such a dart as pierc'd you.
Vulcan certainly has none ready made that will do, unless he
sharpens the points of those which have already recoiled.
But hold; I must descend from the clouds, to regale myself on a fine
turtle at the Duke of R——d's. What an epicure! Talk of
feasting my palate, when my eyes are to meet delicacies of a far more
inviting nature!—There was a time I should have been envy'd
such a repast:—that time is fled;—you are no longer
a monopolizer of beauty;—can sing but of one,—talk but of
one—dream but of one,—and, what is still more
extraordinary, love but one.—
Give me a heart at large;—such confin'd notions are not for
LETTER XV. Lord DARCEY to the
Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
I envy not the greatest monarch on earth!—She is return'd with my
peace;—my joy;—my very soul.—Had you seen her restorative smiles!
they spoke more than my pen can describe!—She bestow'd them on me,
even before she ran to the arms of Sir James and Lady Powis.—Sweet
condescension!—Her hand held out to meet mine, which, trembling, stopt
half way.—What checks,—what restraint, did I inflict on myself!—Yes,
that would have been the decisive moment, had I not perceiv'd the eyes
of Argus planted before, behind, on every side of Sir
James.—God! how he star'd.—I suppose my looks made some
discovery.—Once more I must take thee up, uneasy dress of
hypocrisy;—though it will be as hard to girt on, as the tight
waistcoat on a lunatic.
Never has a day appear'd to me so long as this.—Full
of expectation, full of impatience!—All stuff again.—No
matter; it is not the groans of a sick man, that can convey his pain to
another:—to feel greatly, you must have been afflicted with the same
I suppose you would laugh to hear how often I have opened and shut
the door;—how often look'd out at the window,—or the multiplicity of
times examined my watch since ten this morning!—Needless would it
likewise be to recount the impatient steps I have taken by the
road-side, attentive to the false winds, which would frequently cheat
me into a belief, that my heart's treasure was approaching.—Hark! I
should say, that must be wheels;—stop and pause;—walk forwards;—stop
again, till every sound have died upon my ear.
Harrass'd by expectation, I saunter'd a back way to
Jenkings's;—enquired of Mrs. Jenkings, what time she thought her
husband might be home; and taking Edmund with me to my former walk,
determined to sound his inclinations.—I waved mentioning Miss
Warley's name till we had gone near a quarter of a mile from the house;
still expecting he would begin the subject, which at this juncture I
suppose particularly engaged his attention; but perceiving he led to
things quite opposite, I drew him out in the following manner.
So you really think, Edmund, your father will not be out after it is
I have not known, my Lord, that he has for many years; rather than
venture, I believe, he would stop the night at Oxford. Very composedly
he said this, for I watched his looks narrowly.—
Edmund, confess, confess frankly, said I; has not this
day been the longest you ever knew?
The longest I ever knew! Faith your Lordship was never more out: far
from thinking so, I am startled to find how fast the hours have flown;
and want the addition of at least three, to answer letters which my
father's business requires.
Business, Edmund! and does business really engross so
much of your attention, when you know who is expected in the
evening? Ah! Edmund, you are a sly fellow: never tell me, you
want to lengthen out the tedious hours of absence.
Tedious hours of absence! Ho! ho! my Lord, I see now
what you are at; your Lordship can never suppose me such a fool
Fool!—My supposition, Edmund, pronounces you a man of sense;
but you mistake my meaning.
I do not mistake, my Lord; surely it must be the height of folly to
lift my thoughts to Miss Warley. Suppose my father can give me a few
thousands,—are these sufficient to purchase beauty, good sense, with
every accomplishment?—No, no, my Lord, I am not such a vain
fellow;—Miss Warley was never born for Edmund Jenkings—She
told me so, the first moment I beheld her.
Told you so? what then, you have made pretensions to her, and
she told you so?
Yes, my Lord, she told, me so.—That is, her eyes, her
whole graceful form, spoke it.—Was I a man of family,—a man of
title, with a proper knowledge of the world,—I would not deliberate a
How comes it then, Edmund, that you are so assiduous to oblige
her?—You would not run and fly for every young lady.—
True, my Lord, it is not every one would repay me with smiles of
condescension. Suffer me to assure your Lordship, when I can oblige
Miss Warley, my ambition is gratified.—Never, never shall a
more presumptuous wish intrude to make me less worthy of the honour I
receive from your Lordship's notice.—
This he spoke with energy;—such energy,—as if he had come at the
book of my heart, and was reading its contents. I knew his regard for
my dear amiable girl, and the danger of betraying my secret, or should
have treated him with unbounded confidence:—I therefore only applauded
his sentiments;—told him a man who could think thus nobly,—honour'd
me in his friendship;—that mine to him should be unalterable; call'd
him brother; and by the joyful perturbations of my soul, I fear I gave
him some idea of what I strove to hide.
The curtain of night was dropping by slow degrees, when a distant
sound of wheels interrupted our conversation.—We stood listening a
moment, as it approach'd nearer. Edmund cry'd out,—They are come; I
hear, Caesar's voice; and, taking a hearty leave, ran home to receive
them.—I directed my course towards the Abbey, in hopes the chaise had
proceeded thither, and found I had steer'd right, seeing it stand at
Mr. Jenkings did not get out; Lady Powis refused to part with Miss
Warley this night. Whilst I write, I hope she is enjoying a sweet
refreshing sleep. O! Molesworth! could I flatter myself she dreams of
To-morrow Lord and Lady Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Winter, dine here;
consequently Miss Winter, and her fond admirer, Lord Baily.—How
often have I laugh'd to see that cooing, billing, pair? It is come
home, you'll say, with a vengeance.—Not so neither.—I never intend
making such a very fool of myself as Lord Baily.—Pray, Madam, don't
sit against that door;—and pray, Madam, don't sit against this
window.—I hear you have encreased your cold;—you speak
hoarse:—indeed, Madam, you speak hoarse, though you won't confess
it.—In this strain has the monkey ran on for two hours.—No body must
help him at table but Miss Winter.—He is always sure to eat whatever
is next her.—She, equally complaisant, sends her plate to
him;—desires he will have a bit of the same.—Excessively high, my
Lord;—you never eat any thing so well done.—The appearance of fruit
is generally the occasion of great altercation:—What! venture on
peaches again, Miss Winter?—Indeed, my Lord, I shall only eat this
small one;—that was not half ripe which made me sick yesterday.—No
more nuts; I absolutely lay an embargo on nuts,—No more, nonsense: I
absolutely lay an embargo on nonsense, says Molesworth to
LETTER XVI. Miss WARLEY to Lady MARY
Once more, my dear Lady, I dispatch a packet from this place,—after
bidding adieu to the agreeable Dean,—Brandon Lodge,—and my friends in
How long I shall continue here, God only knows.—If my wishes could
avail, the time would be short; very short, indeed.—I am quite out of
patience with Mr. and Mrs. Smith; some delay every time I hear from
them.—First, we were to embark the middle of this month;—then the
latter end;—now it is put off till the beginning of the
next:—perhaps, when I hear next, it will be, they do not go at
all.—Such weak resolutions are never to be depended on;—a straw, like
a magnet, will draw them from side to side.
I think I am as much an inhabitant of this house as of Mr.
Jenkings's:—I lay here last night after my journey, and shall dine
here this day; but as a great deal of company is expected, must go to
my other home to dress.—To-morrow your Ladyship shall command
From Mr. Jenkings's.
Rejoice with me, my dear Lady.—You will rejoice, I know, you
will. to find my eyes are open to my folly.—How could I be so
vain; so presumptuous!—Yes, it must be vanity, it must be presumption
to the highest,—gloss it over as I will,—to harbour thoughts which
before this your Ladyship is acquainted with.—Did you not blush for
me?—did you not in contempt throw aside my letter?—Undoubtedly you
did.—Go, you said.—I am sure, dear Madam, you must let me not
again behold the weakness of that poor silly girl.—But this is my
hope, you are not apt to judge unfavourably, even in
circumstances that will scarce admit of palliation.—Tell me, my dear
Lady, I am pardoned; tell me so, and I shall never be again
unhappy.—How charming, to have peace and tranquility
restor'd, when I fear'd they were for ever banish'd my
breast!—I welcomed the friends;—my heart bounded at their return;—I
smiled on them;—soothed them;—and promised never more to drive them
Thank you, Lord Allen;—again, I thank you:—can I ever be too
grateful?—You have been instrumental to my repose.
The company that dined at the Abbey yesterday were Lord and Lady
Allen, Lord Baily, Mr. Mrs. and Miss Winter.—This was the first day I
changed my mourning;—a white lutestring, with the fine suit of rough
garnets your Ladyship gave me, was my dress on the occasion.—But let
me proceed to the incident for which I stand indebted for the secret
tranquility, the innate repose I now possess in a superlative
When I went to Mr. Jenkings's to dress for dinner, Lord Darcey
attended me, as usual:—the coach was to fetch us.—I thought I never
saw his Lordship in such high good humour; what I mean is, I never saw
him in such spirits.—To speak the truth, his temper always appears
unruffled;—sometimes a little gloomy; but I suppose he is not exempted
from the common ills of life.—He entertained me on the way with a
description of the company expected, interlarding his conversation with
observations tending to raise my vanity. Notwithstanding his seeming
sincerity, I was proof against such insinuations.—If he had stopp'd
there,—well, if he had stop'd there;—what then?—Why then,
perhaps, I should not have betray'd the weakness of my heart.—But I
hope thy confusion pass'd unobserv'd;—I hope it was not seen before I
could draw my handkerchief from my pocket: if it should, heavens! the
very thought has dyed me scarlet.
I am running on as though your Ladyship had been present in Mr.
Jenkings's parlour,—in the coach,—and at table, whither I must
conduct you, my dear Lady, if your patience will bear a minute
recital.—First, then, to our conference in the parlour, after I
My coming down interrupted a tete-a-tete between his Lordship
and Edmund. The latter withdrew soon after I entered;—it look'd
some-how as if designed;—it vexed me;—mean it how he would, it
much disconcerted me:—I hate, I despise the least
appearance of design.—In vain did I attempt to bring him back; he only
answer'd he would be with us instantly.
I was no sooner seated, than his Lordship placed himself by me; and
fetching a deep sigh, said, I wish it was in my power to oblige Miss
Warley as much as it is in hers to oblige me.—
My Lord, I cannot conceive how I have it in my power to oblige you.
He took my hand,—Yes, Madam, to make me happy,—for ever
happy,—to make Sir James and Lady Powis happy, you have
only to determine not to quit your native country.
Stop! my Lord, if you mean my going to Montpellier, I am
determin'd.—And are you really determin'd, Miss Warley?—his
face overspread with a dreadful paleness.
I am, my Lord,
But what are you determin'd? Are you determined to distress your
I wish not to distress my friends: nothing would give me so much
pain; but I must go;—indeed I must.
He rose up;—walk'd about the room,—came back to his seat again,
looking quite frantic,—Good God! why should that sex practise so many
arts? He pray'd,—intreated,—left no argument untried.
I cannot picture his countenance, when I declared myself
resolved.—He caught both my hands, fixed his eyes stedfastly upon me.
Then you are inflexible, Madam?—Nothing can move you to pity the
most wretched of his sex.—Know you the person living that could
prevail?—If you do,—say so;—I will bring him instantly on his knees.
There is not in the world, my Lord, one who could prevent me from
paying my duty, my affection, my obedience, to
Lady Mary Sutton: if due to a parent, how much more from me to Lady
Mary;—a poor orphan, who have experienced from her the most
maternal fondness? The word orphan struck him; he reeled from me
and flung himself into a chair opposite, leaning his head on a table
which stood near.
I declare he distress'd me greatly;—I know not what my thoughts
were at that moment;—I rose to quit the room; he started up.
Don't leave me, Miss Warley;—don't leave me. I will keep you
no longer in the dark: I must not suffer in your opinion,—be
Here we were interrupted by Edmund.—I was sorry he just then
entered;—I would have given the world to know what his Lordship was
about to say.
When we were in the coach, instead of explaining himself, he assumed
rather a chearful air; and asked, if my time was fix'd for going to
Not absolutely fix'd, my Lord; a month or two hence, perhaps. This I
said, that he might not know exactly the time when I shall set out.
A month or two! O! that will be just the thing, just
as I could wish it.—
What does your Lordship mean?
Only that I intend spending part of the winter in Paris; and if I
should not be deemed an intruder, perhaps the same yacht may
carry us over.
I was never more at a loss for a reply.
Going to France, my Lord! in a hesitating voice.—I never heard,—I
never dreamt,—your Lordship had such an intention.
Well, you do not forbid it, Miss Warley? I shall certainty be of
I forbid it, my Lord! I forbid it! What right have
I to controul your Lordship's actions? Besides, we should travel so
short a way together, it would be very immaterial.
Give me Leave, Madam, in this respect to be the judge; perhaps every
one is not bless'd with that happy indifference.—What may be
very immaterial to one,—may be matter of the highest
importance to another.
He pronounced the word immaterial, with some marks of
displeasure. I was greatly embarrass'd: I thought our conversation
would soon become too interesting.
I knew not what to do.—I attempted to give it a different turn; yet
it engrossed all my attention.—At length I succeeded by introducing my
comical adventure at the inn, in our way to Oxfordshire: but the
officer's name had escaped my memory, though I since recollect it to be
This subject engaged us till we came within sight of the
drawing-room windows.—There are the visitors, as I live! said I. Your
Lordship not being dress'd, will, I suppose, order the coach to the
other door.—To be plain, I was glad of any excuse that would prevent
my getting out before them.—Not I, indeed, Miss Warley, reply'd
he:—Dress is never of consequence enough to draw me two steps out of
my way.—If the spectators yonder will fix their eyes on an old coat
rather than a fine young Lady, why they have it for their pains.
By this time the door was open'd, and Sir James appearing, led me,
with his usual politeness, to the company. I was placed by her Ladyship
next Miss Winter, whose person I cannot say prejudiced me in her
favour, being entirely dispossessed of that winning grace which
attracts strangers at a first glance.
After measuring me with her eye from head to toe, she sent my
dimensions in a kind of half smile across the room to Lord Baily; then
vouchsafed to ask, how long I had been in this part of the world? which
question was followed by fifty others, that shewed she laboured under
the violent thirst of curiosity; a thirst never to be conquered; for,
like dropsical people, the more they drink in, the more it rages.
My answers were such as I always return to the inquisitive.—Yes,
Madam;—No, Madam;—very well;—very good;—not certain;—quite
undetermin'd.—Finding herself unsuccessful with me, she apply'd
to Lady Powis; but alas! poor maiden, she could drain nothing
from that fountain; the streams would not flow;—they were driven back,
by endeavouring to force them into a wrong channel.
These were not certainly her first defeats, by the clever way of
hiding her chagrin:—it is gone whilst she adjusts the flower in her
bosom,—or opens and shuts her fan twice.—How can she be
mortified by trifles,—when the Lord of her heart,—the
sweet, simpering, fair-faced, Lord Baily keeps his eyes incessantly
fixed on her, like centinels on guard?—They cannot speak, indeed
they cannot, or I should expect them to call out every half hour,
“All is well.”
I admire Lord and Lady Allen. I say, I admire them: their manners
are full of easy freedom, pleasing vivacity.—I cannot admire all the
world; I wish I could.—Mr. and Mrs. Winter happen not to suit my
taste;—they are a kind of people who look down on every one of middle
fortune;—seem to despise ancestry,—yet are always fond of mixing with
the great.—Their rise was too sudden;—they jump'd into life all at
once.—Such quick transitions require great equality of mind;—the
blaze of splendor was too much for their weak eyes;—the
flare of surprise is still visible.
It was some time before the conversation became general.—First, and
ever to have precedence,—the weather;—next, roads;—then
houses,—plantations,—fashions,—dress,—equipage;—and last of all,
politics in a thread-bare coat.
About ten minutes before dinner, Lord Darcey joined us, dress'd most
magnificently in a suit of olive velvet, embroider'd with gold;—his
hair without powder, which became him infinitely.—He certainly
appear'd to great advantage:—how could it be otherwise, when in
company with that tawdry, gilded piece of clay?—And to sit by him, of
all things!—One would really think it had been designed:—some
exulted, some look'd mortified at the contrast.—Poor Miss
Winter's seat began to grow very uneasy;—she tried every corner, yet
could not vary the light in which she saw the two opposites.—Why did she frown on me?—why cast such contemptuous glances
every time I turn'd my eye towards her?—Did I recommend the
daubed coxcomb;—or represent that her future joys depended on
title?—No! it was vanity, the love of grandeur,—that could make her
give up fine sense, fine accomplishments, a princely address, and all
the noble requisites:—yes, my Lady, such a one, Lord Darcey tells me,
she has refused.—Refused, for what? For folly, a total ignorance in
the polite arts, and a meaness of manners not to be express'd: yet, I
dare say, she thinks, the sweet sounds of my Lady, and your
Ladyship is cheaply purchased by such a sacrifice.
When we moved to go into the dining-parlour, Miss Winter bow'd for
me to follow Lady Allen and her mother; which after I had declined,
Lady Powis took me by the hand, and said, smiling, No, Madam, Miss
Warley is one of us.—If so, my Lady—and she swam out of the
room with an air I shall never forget.
Lord Darcey took his place at table, next Lord Allen;—I sat
opposite, with Miss Winter on my right, and Lord Baily on my
left.—Sorry I was, to step between the Lovers; but ceremony required
it; so I hope they do not hate me on that account.—Lord Allen has a
good deal of archness in his countenance, though not of the ill-natur'd
kind.—I don't know how, but every time he look'd across the table I
trembled; it seem'd a foreboding of what was to follow.
He admired the venison;—said it was the best he had ever tasted
from Sir James's park;—but declared he would challenge him next
Monday, if all present would favour him with their company.—Lady Allen
seconded the request so warmly, that it was immediately assented to.—
What think you, said his Lordship it is to the young folks
that I address myself, of seeing before you a couple who that day has
been married twenty years, and never frown'd on one another?
Think! said Lord Darcey, it is very possible.
Possible it certainly is, reply'd Lady Powis; but very few
instances, I believe—
What say you, Miss Warley? ask'd his Lordship: you find Lord Darcey
supposes it very possible.—Good God! I thought I should have sunk: it
was not so much the question, as the manner he express'd it in. I felt
as if my face was stuck full of needles: however, I stifled my
confusion, and reply'd, I was quite of Lady Powis's opinion.
Well, what say you, Miss Winter?
How I rejoiced! I declare I could hardly contain my joy, when he
address'd himself to her.
What say I, my Lord? return'd she; why, truly, I think it
must be your own faults, if you are not treated civilly.—The
Devil! cry'd he.
O fie! O fie! my Lord, squeaked my left hand neighbour.—And why O
fie! retorted his Lordship: Is civility all we have to expect?
We can claim nothing else said the squeaker.—If the dear
creatures condescend to esteem us, we ought to consider it a
And so, Miss Warley, cry'd Lord Allen, we are only to be esteemed
now-a-days. I thank God my good woman has imbibed none of those modern
notions. Her actions have convinced the world of that long ago.
Poh! my Lord, said Lady Allen, we are old-fashion'd people:—you
must not talk thus before Gentlemen and Ladies bred in the present age.
Come, come, let me hear Lord Darcey speak to this point, continued
his Lordship. He is soon to be one of us;—we shall shortly, I
am told, salute him Benedick.
On this Sir James threw down his knife and fork with emotion,
crying, This is news, indeed! This is what I never heard before! Upon
my word, your Lordship has been very secret! looking full at Lord
Darcey. But you are of age, my Lord, so I have no right
to be consulted; however, I should be glad to know, who it is that runs
away with your heart. This was spoke half in jest, half in earnest.
In a moment my neck and face were all over crimson.—I felt the
colour rise;—it was not to be suppress'd.—I drew my handkerchief from
my pocket;—held it to my face;—hemm'd;—call'd for wine and
water;—which, when brought, I could scarcely swallow; spoke in a low
voice to Miss Winter;—said she had a poor stomach, or something like
Lord Darcey too was confus'd.—Why did I look up to him?—He was
pale, instead of red.—I saw his lips move, but could not hear what he
said for more than a minute; occasion'd by an uncommon noise which just
then rush'd through my head:—at length sounds grew distinct, and I
heard this sentence—every word is inscribed where it can
never be erazed—
Upon my honour. Lord Allen, I have never made proposals to any
woman; and further, it is a matter of doubt, whether I ever
By this time I had lost all my colour;—charming cool—and calm,—no
Nothing disagreeable now hung on my mind, except a certain
thoughtfulness, occasion'd by the recollection of my folly.—
Miss Winter's eyes sparkled, if it is possible for grey ones to
sparkle, at the declaration Lord Darcey had just made; and, of a
sudden, growing very fond of me, laid her hand on mine, speaking
as it were aside,—Well, I was never more surprized! I as
much believed him engaged to a certain young
Lady,—squeezing my thumb,—as I think I am living.—Nay, I would not
have credited the contrary, had I not heard him declare off with my
own ears.—I see how it is; Sir James must chuse a wife for him.—
To all which I only answered, Lord Darcey, Madam, is certainly the
best judge of his actions:—I make no doubt but Sir James will approve
his Lordship's choice.
After what I have related, common subjects ensued:—the cloth being
removed, I withdrew to the Library, intending to sit with Mr. Watson
half an hour, who was confined by a cold. He holds out his hand to take
mine the moment he hears my footstep.—I look on him as an angel: his
purity, his mildness, his resignation speak him one.—
Lord Darcey entered as I was about to join the company; however, I
staid some minutes, that my quitting the room might not seem on his
I am glad you are come, my Lord, said Mr. Watson; sitting with such
a poor infirm man has made Miss Warley thoughtful.—Upon my word, Sir,
returned I, it was only the fear of increasing your head-ach that me
silent.—I never was in higher spirits.—I could sing and dance this
very moment. Well then, dear Miss Warley, cried his Lordship, let me
fetch your guitarre.
With all my heart, my Lord; I am quite in tune.—Taking leave
of Mr. Watson, I return'd to the company.—His Lordship soon followed.
Again repeating his request, in which every person join'd, I sung and
play'd several compositions.
Miss Winter was next call'd upon and the guitarre presented to her
by Lord Darcey.—A long time she absolutely refused it; declaring she
had not learnt any new music this year.—What does that signify, Miss
Winter? said her mother; you know you have a sweet voice.
Bless me! Madam! how can you say so?—To be sure, I should sing to
great advantage now.
Well, Nancy, you'll oblige Papa?—says the old Gentleman; I
know you'll oblige Papa,—stalking over to her on the tops of
Here the contest ended; Miss taking the guitarre,
condescended to oblige her Papa.
She really sings and plays well:—if her manner had been less
affected, we should have been more entertain'd.—The company staid
supper, after which Lord Darcey came with me home.—I made no
objection:—of all things, I would make none—after what pass'd
at table. Fortunate event! how I rejoice in my recovered tranquillity!
The thoughts, the pleasing thoughts of freedom have kept me from
sleep; I could not think of repose amidst my charming reflections.
Happy, happy change!
It is past two o'clock!—At all times and all seasons,
I am, my dear Lady,
LETTER XVII. Miss WARLEY to the
From Mr. Jenkings's.
Sent for before breakfast!—Nobody in the coach!—Well, I am glad of
that, however.—Something very extraordinary must have happen'd.—I
hope Lady Powis is not ill.—No other message but to desire I would
come immediately.—I go, my dear Lady; soon as I return will acquaint
you what has occasion'd me this early summons.
Eight o'clock at Night.
No ill news! quite the reverse:—I am escaped from the house of
festivity to make your Ladyship a partaker.
My spirits are in a flutter.—I know not where to begin.—I have run
every step of the way, till I am quite out of breath.—Mr. Powis is
coming home,—absolutely coming home to settle;—married too,
but I cannot tell all at once.—Letters with an account of it have been
this morning receiv'd. He does not say who his wife is, only one
of the best women in the world.
She will be received with affection;—I know she will.—Lady Powis
declares, they shall be folded together in her arms.
It was too much for Sir James, he quite roared again when he held
out to me the letter,—I don't believe he has eat a morsel this day.—I
never before saw a man so affected with joy.—Thank God! I left him
pure and calm.
The servants were like mad creatures, particularly those who lived
in the family before Mr. Powis left England.—He seems, in short, to be
considered as one risen from the dead.—
I was in such haste on receiving Lady Powis's message, that I ran
down to the coach, my hat and cloak in my hand.—Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings
were talking to the coachman.—I soon perceived by them something
pleasing had happen'd.—They caught me in their arms, and I thought
would have smother'd me in their embraces; crying out, Mr. Powis is
coming home, my dear;—Mr. Powis is coming home:—for God's sake,
Madam, make haste up to the Hall.
In getting into the coach, I stepp'd on my apron, and fell against
the opposite door.—My right arm was greatly bruis'd, which I did not
perceive till I drew on my glove.
The moment I alighted, I ran to the breakfast-parlour; but finding
no one there, went directly to her Ladyship's dressing-room.—She
open'd the door, when she heard me coming. I flew to her.—I threw my
arms about her neck, and all I could say in my hurry was, Joy, Joy,
I am all joy, my love, she return'd—I am made up of nothing else. I
quitted her to run to Sir James, who was sitting in a great chair with
a letter held out. I believe I kiss'd him twenty times before I took
it;—there could be no harm in that surely.—Such endearments I should
have shewn my father, on the like tender occasion. He wept, as I have
said, till he quite roared again.—I laid his head on my shoulder, and
it was some time before I would mention his son's name.
Lord Darcey held one of Sir James's hands: he was in the room when I
enter'd; but I declare I never saw him till he spoke. He is safe now,—after what happened yesterday,—safe from any imputation on my
Very kind and very civil, upon my word! O! your Ladyship never heard
such a fuss as he made about the scratch on my arm.—I affect to look
pleased when he speaks to me, that he might not take it into his head I
He must be the happiest creature in the world; I honour him for the
grateful affection he shews Sir James and Lady Powis.
Breakfast stood on the table: not a soul had broke their fast.—Her
Ladyship was here, there, and every where.—I was sadly afraid they
would be all sick; at length I prevailed on them to drink a cup of
Mr. Watson, good man notwithstanding his indisposition, got up at
eleven.—I met him coming from his apartment, and had the pleasure of
leading him to the happy family.—
His congratulations were delivered with such serene joy,—such
warmth of affection,—as if he had cull'd the heart-felt satisfaction
of both parents.
The word happy echoed from every mouth; each sentence began
and ended with it.—What the heart feels is seldom to be
disguised.—Grief will speak,—if not by the tongue, it will out;—it
hangs on the features, sallows the skin, withers the sinews, and is a
galling weight that pulls towards the ground.—Why should a thought of
grief intrude at this time?—Is not my dear Lady Mary's health
returning?—Is not felicity restor'd to this family?—Now will my
regret at parting be lessened;—now shall I leave every individual with
minds perfectly at ease.
Mr. Powis is expected in less than a month, intending to embark in
the next ship after the Packet.—How I long to see him!—But it is very
unlikely I should; I shall certainly have taken my leave of this place
before he arrives.—By your Ladyship's permission, I hope to look in
upon them, at our return to England.
What genteel freedoms men give themselves after declaring off, as Miss Winter calls it?—I had never so many fine things said to me
before;—I can't tell how many;—quite a superabundance;—and before
Sir James too!—But no notice is taken; he has cleared himself
of all suspicion.—He may go to town as soon as he will.—His business
is done;—yes, he did it yesterday.
I wish I may not laugh out in the midst of his fine speeches.—
I wish your Ladyship could see this cool attention I give him.—But
I have nettled him to the truth this afternoon:—his pride was
alarm'd;—it could certainly proceed from no other cause, after
he has declared off.
I was sitting at the tea-table, a trouble I always take from Lady
Powis, who with Sir James was walking just without the windows, when
Lord Darcey open'd the door, and said, advancing towards me with
affected airs of admiration,—How proud should I be to see my house and
table so graced!—Then leaning over the back of my chair, Well, my
angel! how is the bad arm? Come, let me see, attempting to draw off my
Oh! quite well, my Lord; withdrawing my hand carelessly.
For heaven's sake, take more care of yourself, Miss Warley; this
might have been a sad affair.
Depend on that, my Lord, for my own sake.
For your own sake! Not in consideration of any other
Yes; of Lady Mary Sutton, Sir James and Lady Powis, good
Mr. Jenkings and his wife, who I know would be concerned was
I to suffer much from any accident.
Then there is no other person you would wish to preserve your
Not that I know at present, my Lord,
Not that you know at present! so you think you may one day or
I pretend not, my Lord, to answer for what may happen; I have
never seen the person yet. I was going to say something further,
I have really forgot what, when he turn'd from me, and walked up and
down the room with a seeming discomposure.
If you are sincere in what you have said, Miss Warley;
if you are really sincere, I do pronounce—Here he burst
open the door, and flew out the instant Sir James and Lady Powis
When the tea was made, a footman was sent to Lord Darcey; but he was
no where to be found.
This is very strange, said her Ladyship; Lord Darcey never used to
be out of the way at tea-time. I declare I am quite uneasy; perhaps he
may be ill.
Oh! cry'd Sir James, don't hurry yourself; I warrant he is got into
one of his old reveries, and forgets the time.
I was quite easy. I knew his abrupt departure was nothing but an
air:—an air of consequence, I suppose.—However, I was willing to be
convinced, so did not move till I saw the Gentleman sauntering up the
lawn. As no one perceived him but myself, I slid out to the
housekeeper, and told her, if her Lady enquir'd for me, I was gone home
to write Letters by to-morrow's post.
You have enough of it now, I believe, my dear Lady; two long letters
by the same packet:—but you are the repository of my joy, my grief,
the very inmost secrets of my soul.—You, my dear Lady, have the whole
LETTER XVIII. Lord DARCEY to the
Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
Ruin'd and undone, as I hope for mercy!—undone too by my own
egregious folly!—She is quite lost,—quite out of my power.—I wish
Lord Allen had been in the bottom of the sea;—he can never make me
amends;—no, if he was to die to-morrow and leave me his whole
I told you he was to dine here yesterday.—I cannot be
circumstantial.—He did dine here;—to my utter sorrow he did.
Oh what a charming morning I spent!—Tho' my angel persisted in
going to France, yet it was in a manner that made me love her, if
possible, ten thousand times more than ever.—Good God! had you seen
how she look'd!—But no matter now;—I must forget her angelical
sweetness.—Forget did I say?—No, by heaven and earth—she lives in
every corner of my heart.—I wish I had told her my whole soul.—I was
going to tell her, if I had not been interrupted.—It is too late
now.—She would not hear me: I see by her manners she would not hear
me. She has learnt to look with indifference:—even smiles with
indifference.—Why does she not frown? That would be joy to what her
smiles afford.—I hate such smiles; they are darts dipp'd in poison.—
Lord Allen said he heard I was going to be marry'd:—What was
that to him?—Sir James look'd displeased. To quiet his
fears I assured him—God! I know not what I assured him
—something very foreign from my heart.
She blushed when Sir James asked, to whom?—With what raptures did I
behold her blushes!—But she shrunk at my answer.—I saw the colour
leave her cheek, like a rose-bud fading beneath the hoary frost.
I will know my fate.—Twill be with you in a few days,—if
Sir James should consent.—What if he should consent?—She is
steeled against my vows—my protestations;—my words affect her
not;—the most tender assiduities are disregarded:—she seems to attend
to what I say, yet regards it not.
Where are those looks of preference fled,—those expressive
looks?—I saw them not till now:—it is their loss,—it is their sad
reverse that tells me what they were. She turns not her head to follow
my foot-steps at parting;—or when I return, does not proclaim it by
advancing pleasure tip-toe to the windows of her soul.—No anxiety for
my health! No, she cares not what becomes of me.—I complain'd of my
head, said I was in great pain;—heaven knows how true! My complaints
were disregarded.—I attended her home. She sung all the way; or if she
talked, it was of music:—not a word of my poor head;—no
charges to draw the glasses up going back.
There was a time, Molesworth—there was a time, if my finger had but
ached, it was, My Lord, you look ill. Does not Lady Powis persuade you
to have advice? You are really too careless of your health.
Shall she be another's?—Yes; when I shrink at sight of what
lies yonder,—my sword, George;—that shall prevent her ever being
Tell me you believe she will be mine:—it may help to calm my
disturbed mind.—Be sure you do not hint she will be another's.
Have I told you, Mr. Powis is coming home?—I cannot recollect
whether I have or not;—neither can I pain myself to look back.
All the world has something to comfort them, but your poor
friend.—Every thing wears the face of joy, till I turn my eyes
inwards:—there it is I behold the opposite;—there it is
where Grief has fix'd her abode.—Does the fiend ever sleep? Will she
be composed by ushering in the happy prospects of others?—Yes, I will
feel, joy.—Joy did I say? Joy I cannot feel.—Satisfaction
then?—Satisfaction likewise is forbid to enter.—What then will
possess my mind; on recollecting peace is restor'd, where gratitude
calls for such large returns?—I'll pray for them;—I'll pray for a
continuance of their felicity.—I'll pray, if they have future ills in
store, they may light on the head of Darcey.—Yes, he can bear more
yet:—let the load be ever so heavy, he will stoop to take up the
burthen of his friends;—such friends as Sir James and Lady Powis have
LETTER XIX. The Honourable GEORGE
MOLESWORTH to LORD DARCEY.
Well, give me the first salute of your fair bride;—and for your
bride I'll ensure Miss Warley.—Why there is not a symptom but is
in your favour.—She is nettled; can't you perceive it?—Once a studied
disregard takes place, we are safe:—nothing will hurt you now,
You have been stuttering falsehoods.—From what I can gather, you
have been hushing the Baronet at the expence of your own and Miss
Warley's quiet.—If you have, never mind it; things may not be the
worse.—Come away, I advise you; set out immediately.—See how she
looks at parting.—But don't distress her;—I charge you not to
distress her.—Should you play back her own cards, I will not answer
for the pride of the sex.—
Sir James's consent once gained, and she rejects your proposals, lay
all your letters to me on the subject before her.—I have them by
me.—These cannot fail of clearing every doubt; she will be convinced
then how sincerely you have loved her.—
You surprise me concerning Mr. Powis:—I thought he was settled in
his government for life;—or rather, for the life of his
father.—However, I am convinced his coming over will be no bad thing
for you;—he has suffered too much from avarice, not to assist another
so hardly beset.—
Was not his settling abroad an odd affair!—If he determined to
remain single till he had an opportunity of pleasing himself, why did
he leave England?—The mortification could not be great to have his
overtures refused, where they were made with such indifference.—
As he has lived so many years a batchelor, I suppose there will be
now an end to that great family.—
What a leveller is avarice! How does it pull down by attempting to
raise? How miserable, as Seneca says, in the desire?—how miserable in
attaining our ends?—The same great man alledges, that as long as we
are solicitous for the increase of wealth, we lose the true use of it;
and spend our time in putting out, calling in, and passing our
accounts, without any substantial benefit, either to the world, or to
If you had ever any uneasiness on Bridgman's account, it must be now
at an end.—Married, and has brought his bride to town.—What a false
fellow!—From undoubted authority, I am assured the writings have been
drawn six months:—so that every thing must be concluded between him
and his wife, at the very time he talked to me of Miss Warley.—I wash
my hands from any further acquaintance with concealed minds:—there
must be something very bad in a heart which has a dark cloud drawn
before it.—Virtue and innocence need no curtain:—they were sent to us
naked;—it is their loss, or never possessing them,—that makes caution
necessary, to hide from the world their destined place of
abode.—Without entering a house, and being conversant with its
inhabitants, how is it possible to say, if they are worthy or
unworthy:—so if you knock, and are not admitted, you still remain
doubtful.—But I am grown wise from experience;—and shall judge, for
the future, where a heart is closely shut up, there is nothing in it
worth enquiring after.
I go on Thursday to meet Risby, and conduct him to town. It would
give us great joy, at our return, to shake you by the hand.—What can
avail your staying longer in the midst of doubts, perplexities, racks,
tortures, and I know-not-what. Have you any more terms to express the
deadly disorder?—If you have keep them to yourself; I want not the
confounded list compleat:—no; no, not I; faith.—
I go this evening to see the new play, which is at present a general
subject of conversation.—Now, was I a vain fellow—a boaster—would I
mention four or six of the prettiest women about town, and swear I was
to escort them.—Being a lover of truth, I confess I shall steal alone
into an upper box, to fix my attention on the performance of the
piece.—Perhaps, after all is over, I may step to the box of some
sprightly, chatty girl, such as lady ——,—hear all the scandal of the
town, ask her opinion of the play, hand her to her chair, and so home,
to spend a snug evening with sir Edward Ganges, who has promised to
meet me here at ten.
LETTER XX. Lady MARY SUTTON to Miss
No, my dear, Lord Darcey is not the man he appears.—What
signifies a specious outside, if within there's a narrow heart?—Such
must be his, to let a virtuous love sit imprisoned in secret corners,
when it delights to dwell in open day.
Perhaps, if he knew my intentions, all concealments would be thrown
aside, and he glory to declare what at present he meanly darkly
hints.—By my consent, you should never give your hand to one who can
hold the treasures of the mind in such low estimation.
When you mention'd your happy situation, the friendly treatment of
Sir James and Lady Powis, I was inclined to think for many
reasons, it would be wrong to take you from them;—now I am
convinced, the pain that must occasion, or the danger in
crossing the sea, is not to be compared to what you might suffer in
your peace by remaining where you are.—When people of Lord
Darcey's rank weigh long a matter of this nature, it is seldom the
scale turns of the right side;—therefore, let not Hope, my dear
child, flatter you out of your affections.
Do not think you rest in security:—tender insinuations from a man
such as you describe Lord Darcey, may hurt your quiet.
I speak not from experience;—Nature, by cloathing me in her
plainest garb, has put all these hopes and fears far from me.
I have been ask'd, it is true, often, for my fortune;—at least, I
look upon asking for my heart to be the same thing.—Sure, I could
never be such a fool to part with the latter, when I well knew it was
requested only to be put in possession of the former!
You think Jenkings suspects his son has a too tender
regard for you;—you think he is uneasy on that
account.—Perhaps he is uneasy;—but time will convince you his
suspicions, his uneasiness, proceed not from the cause you imagine.—He is a good man; you cannot think too well of him.
I hope this letter will find you safe return'd to Hampshire. I am
preparing to leave the Spaw with all possible expedition: I should quit
it with reluctance, but for the prospect of visiting it again next
summer, with my dear Fanny.
At Montpelier the winter will slide on imperceptibly: many agreeable
families will there join us from the Spaw, whose good-humour and
chearful dispositions, together with plentiful draughts of the Pouhon
Spring, have almost made me forget the last ten years I have dragg'd,
on in painful sickness.
The family in which I have found most satisfaction, is Lord
Hampstead's:—every way calculated to make themselves and others
happy;—such harmony is observed through the whole, that the mechanism
of the individuals seem to be kept in order by one common wheel.—I
rejoice that I shall have an opportunity of introducing you to
them.—We have fixed to set out the same day for Montpelier.
Lady Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, has obligingly offer'd to
travel in my coach, saying, she thought it would be dull for me to go
It is impossible to say which of the two sisters, was it left to my
choice, would be my companion, as both are superlatively
pleasing.—They possess, to a degree, what I so much admire in our
sex;—a peculiar softness in the voice and manner; yet not quite so
sprightly, perhaps, as may be thought necessary for some misses started
up in this age; but sufficient, I think, for those who keep within
certain bounds.—It requires an uncommon share of understanding, join'd
with a great share of wit, to make a very lively disposition agreeable.
I allow, if these two ingredients are happily blended, none can chuse
but admire, as well as be entertain'd with, such natural fine
talents:—on the contrary, where one sees a pert bold girl apeing such
rare gifts, it is not only the most painful, but most absurd sight on
Lady Elizabeth, and her amiable sister Sophia strive to hide every
perfection they possess;—yet these I have just mention'd, with all
others, will on proper occasions, make their appearance through a croud
of blushes.—This timidity proceeds partly from nature,—partly from
the education they have received under the best of mothers, whose
tenderness for them would not suffer her to assign that momentous task
to any but herself; fearing, as she has often told me, they would have
had a thousand faults overlook'd by another, which her eye was ever on
the watch to discover. She well knew the most trivial might be to them
of the worst consequence:—when they were call'd to an account for what
was pass'd, or warn'd how to avoid the like for the future, her manner
was so determin'd and persuasive, as if she was examining her own
conscience, to rectify every spot and blemish in it.
Though Lady Hampstead's fondness for her daughters must cause her to
admire their good qualities, like a fine piece of perspective, whose
beauties grow upon the eye,—yet she has the art not only to conceal
her admiration, but, by the ascendency her tenderness has gain'd, she
keeps even from themselves a knowledge of those perfections.—To this
is owing the humility which has fortified their minds from the frequent
attacks flattery makes against the unstable bulwarks of title and
Matchless as these sisters appear, they are to be equalled in their
own, as well as the other sex.—I hope you will allow it in one,
when you see Lord Hallum: he is their brother as much by virtue
as birth.—I could find in my heart to say a thousand things of
this fine youth;—but that I think such subjects flow easier from a
handsome young woman than a plain old one.—Yet don't be
surpriz'd;—unaccountable things happen every day;—if I should
lend a favourable ear to this Adonis!—Something whispers me I shall
receive his proposals.—An excuse, on these occasions, is never
wanting; mine will be a good one:—that, at my death, you may be left
to the protection of this worthy Lord.—But, first, I must be assured
you approve of him in that light;—being so firmly attach'd to my dear
Fanny, to your happiness, my Love, that the wish of contributing to it
is the warmest of your ever affectionate
LETTER XXI. Lord DARCEY to the Hon.
Five days more, and I am with you.—Saturday morning!—Oh that I may
support the hour of trial with fortitude!—I tremble at the
thought;—my blood freezes in my veins, when I behold the object I am
to part from.—
I try in vain to keep out of her sight:—if I attempt to leave the
room where she is, my resolutions are baffled before I reach the
door.—Why do I endeavour to inflict so hard a penance!—Because I
foolishly suppose it would wean me.—Wean me from what?—From
virtue.—No, Molesworth, it is not absence;—it is not time
itself can deaden the exalted image;—it neither sickens or dies, it
blooms to immortality,
Was I only to be parted from beauty, that I might meet again
in every town and village.—I want you to force me from the
house.—Suppose I get up early, and slip away without taking
leave.—But that will not do;—Sir James is ceremonious;—Lady Powis
may deem it disrespect;—above all, Miss Warley, that dear, dear
Miss Warley,—if she should think me wanting in regard, all
then must be at an end.
Ha! Sir James yonder on the terrace, and alone! Let me examine his
countenance:—I see no clouds;—this is the time, if ever!—Miss Warley
not yet come up from Jenkings's!—If successful, with what transports
shall I run to fetch her!—Yes, I will venture;—I will
have one trial, as I hope for mercy.—
* * * * *
As I hope for mercy, I see, were my last words.—I do indeed
hope for it, but never from Sir James.
Still perplexed;—still miserable!—
I told you Miss Warley was not come from Jenkings's; but how I
started, when I saw her going to Lady Powis's dressing-room!
I was hurried about her in a dream, last night.—I thought I had
lost her:—I hinted it when we met;—that moment I fancied she eyed me
with regard;—she spoke too in a manner very different from what
she has done some days past.—Then I'll swear it,—for it was not
illusion, George,—her whole face had something of a sweet melancholy
spread over it;—a kind of resignation in her look;—a melting softness
that droop'd on her cheek:—I felt what it expressed;—it fir'd my
whole frame;—it sent me to Sir James with redoubled eagerness.
I found him thoughtful and complaisant: we took several turns,
before I could introduce my intended subject; when, talking of my
setting out, I said, Now I have an opportunity, Sir James, perhaps I
may not have another before I go, I should be glad of your sentiments
in regard to my settling in life.—
How do you mean, my Lord; as to the choice of a wife?—
Why, I think, Sir, there's no other way of settling to one's
To be sure, it is very necessary your Lordship should consider on
those matters,—especially as you are the last of a noble
family:—when, you do fix, I hope it will be prudently.
Prudently, Sir James! you may depend on it I will never
settle my affections imprudently.
Wall, but, my Lord, what are your notions of prudence?
Why, Sir, to make choice of a person who is virtuous, sensible, well
descended.—Well descended Jenkings has assured me she is.
You say nothing, my Lord, of what is most essential to
happiness;—nothing of the main point.
Good-nature, I suppose you mean:—I would not marry an ill-natur'd
woman, Sir James, for the world. And is good-nature, with those you
have mention'd, the only requisites?
I think they are the chief, Sir.
You and I differ much, my Lord.—Your father left his estate
encumbered; it is not yet clear; you are of age, my Lord: pray, spare
yourself the trouble of consulting me, if you do not think of
Duty to the memory of my rever'd father, the affection and gratitude
I owe you, Sir James, calls for my obedience:—without your
sanction, Sir, never shall my hand be given.
He seem'd pleas'd: I saw tears starting to his eyes; but still he
was resolv'd to distress me.
Look about you, my child; look about you, Darcey;—there's Lady Jane
Marshly, Miss Beaden, or—and was going on.
Pardon me, Sir James, for interrupting you; but really, I cannot
take any Lady on recommendation: I am very difficult, perhaps
perverse in this point; my first attachment must be merely
Ah! these are the notions that ruin half the young fellows of this
age.—Accidental likings—First love,—and the devil
knows what, runs away with half the old family estates.—Why, the least
thing men ought to expect, even if they marry for love, is
six-pence for a shilling.—Once for all, my Lord, I must tell you, your
interest is to be consulted before your inclinations.
Don't be ruffled, Sir James; don't let us talk warmly
of a matter which perhaps is at a great distance.
I wish it may be at a great distance, my Lord.—If what I
conjecture is true—Here he paus'd, and look'd so sternly, that I
expected all would out.
What do you conjecture, Sir?—Yes, I ask'd him what.—
Your Lordship must excuse my answering that question. I hope
I am wrong;—I hope such a thing never enter'd your
thoughts:—if it has—and he mutter'd something I could not understand;
only I heard distinctly the words unlucky,—imprudent,—
unforeseen.—I knew enough of their meaning to silence me.—Shaking
him by the hand, I said, Well, Sir James, if you please, we will drop
this subject for the present.—On which the conversation ended.
What a deal of patience and philosophy am I master of, to be here at
my pen, whilst two old men are sucking in the honey which I should lay
up for a winter's store?—Like Time, nothing can stand before her:—she
mows down all ages.—Even Morgan, that man who us'd to look on a fine
woman with more indifference than a horse or dog,—is now
new-moulded;—not one oath in the space where I have known twenty
escape him:—instead of following his dogs the whole morning, he is
eternally with the ladies.
If he rides out with my angel, for he's determin'd, he says, to make
her a complete horsewoman, I must not presume to give the least
direction, or even touch the bridle.
I honour him for the tender regard he shews her:—yes, I go further;
he and Mr. Watson may love her;—they do love
her, and glory in declaring it.—I love them in return;—but
they are the only two, of all the race of batchelors within my
knowledge, that should make such a declaration with impunity.
Let me see: I shall be in London Saturday evening;—Sunday, no
post;—Monday, then I determine to write to Sir
James;—Wednesday, I may have an answer;—Thursday,—who knows
but Thursday!—nothing is impossible; who knows but Thursday
I may return to all my hopes?—How much I resemble a shuttlecock! how
am I thrown from side to side by hope and fear; now up, now down; no
sooner mounted by one hand than lower'd by another!
This moment a gleam of comfort steals sweetly through my heart;—but
it is gone even before I could bid it welcome.—Why so fast!—to what
spot is it fled?—Can there be a wretch more in need, who calls louder
for its charitable ray than
LETTER XXII. Miss WARLEY to Lady
From Mr. Jenkings's
Now, my dear Lady, the time is absolutely fix'd for our embarkation;
the 22d, without fail.—Mr. Smith intends coming himself, to accompany
me to London.—How very good and obliging this!—I shall say nothing of
it to Lady Powis, till Lord Darcey is gone, which will be Saturday:—
he may go to France, if he pleases, but not with me.—
When I received Mrs. Smith's letter, he was mighty curious to know
who it was from:—I found him examining the seal, as it lay on the
table in Mr. Jenkings's parlour.—Here is a letter for you, Miss
Warley, a good deal confus'd.—So I see, my Lord: I suppose from Lady
I fancy not;—it does not appear to be directed in the same hand
with that my servant brought you last from the post-office.—I broke
the seal; it was easy to perceive the contents gave me pleasure.
There is something, Miss Warley, which gives you particular
You are right, my Lord, I never was better pleas'd.
Then it is from Lady Mary?
No, not from Lady Mary.
From Mrs. Smith, then?—Do I guess now?—You say
nothing; oh, there it is.—I could not forbear smiling.
Pray tell me, only tell me, and he caught one of my hands, if
this letter does not fix the very day of your setting out for
I thought him possest with the spirit of divination.—What could I
do, in this case?—Falshoods I despise;—evasions are low, very
low, indeed:—yet I knew he ought not to be trusted with the contents,
even at the expence of my veracity—I recollected myself, and looked
My Lord, you must excuse me; this affair concerns only myself; even
Lady Powis will not be acquainted with it yet.
I have done, if Lady Powis is not to be acquainted with it.—I have
no right—I say right.—Don't look so, Miss Warley—believe I
did flare a little—Time will unfold,—will cast a different light
on things from that in which you now see them.
I was confus'd;—I put up my letter, went to the window, took a book
from thence, and open'd it, without knowing what I did.
Complete Pocket-Farrier; or, A Cure for all Disorders in Horses, read his Lordship aloud, looking over my shoulder; for such was the
title of the book.
What have you here, my love?
My love, indeed! Mighty free, mighty free, was it not, my
Lady? I could not avoid laughing at the drollery of this accident, or I
should have given him the look he deserved.—I thank God I am come to a
state of indifference; and my time here is so short, I would
willingly appear as little reserv'd as possible, that he might not
think I have chang'd my sentiments since his declaring off:
though I must own I have; but my pride will not suffer me to betray it
If he has distress'd me,—if he has led my heart a little astray,—I
am recovered now:—I have found out my mistake.—Should I suffer my eye
to drop a tear, on looking back, for the future it will be more
watchful;—it will guard, it will protect the poor wanderer.
He is very busy settling his affairs with Sir James:—three hours
were they together with Mr. Jenkings in the library;—his books all
pack'd up and sent away, to be sure he does not intend returning
here again soon.
I suppose he will settle;—he talks of new furnishing his
house;—has consulted Lady Powis upon it.—If he did not intend
marrying, if he had no Lady in his eye—
But what is all this to me? Can he or his house be of any
consequence to my repose?—I enjoy the thoughts of going to France
without him:—I suppose he will think me very sly, but no matter.—
That good-natur'd creature Edmund would match me to a prince, was it
in his power.—He told me, yesterday, that he'd give the whole world,
if I was not to go to France.—Why so, Edmund?—I shall see you again,
said I, at my return to England.
Ay, but what will somebody do, in the mean time?
Who is somebody?
Can't you guess, Miss Warley?
I do guess, Edmund. But you was never more mistaken; the person you
mean is not to be distress'd by my absence.
He is, upon my honour;—I know he is.—Lord Darcey loves you
Poh! Edmund; don't take such things into your head: I know you
wish me well; but don't be so sanguine!—Lord Darcey stoop to think of
Stoop to think of you, Miss Warley!—I am out of all
patience: stoop to think of you!—I shall never forget that.—Greatly as I honour his Lordship, if he conceals his sentiments, if
he trifles in an affair of such importance,—was he the first duke in
the kingdom, I hold him below the regard even of such a one as I
am.—Pardon my curiosity, madam, I mean no ill; but surely he has made
proposals to you.
Well, then, I will tell you, Edmund;—I'll tell you frankly, he
never has made proposals:—and further, I can answer for him, he
never will.—His belief was stagger'd;—he stood still, his eyes
fixed on the ground.
Are you really in earnest, Miss Warley?
Then, for heaven's sake, go to France.—But how can you tell, madam,
he never intends to make proposals?
On which I related what passed at table, the day Lord Allen dined at
the Abbey.—Nothing could equal his astonishment; yet would he fain
have persuaded me that I did not understand him;—call'd it
misapprehension, and I know not what.
He will offer you his hand, Miss Warley; he certainly will.—I've known him from a school-boy;—I'm acquainted with every turn of
his mind;—I know his very looks;—I have observ'd them when they have
been directed to you:—he will, I repeat,—he will offer you his hand.
No! Edmund:—but if he did, his overtures should be
Say not so, Miss Warley; for God's sake, say not so again;—it kills
me to think you hate Lord Darcey.
I speak to you, Edmund, as a friend, as a brother:—never let what
has pass'd escape your lips.
If I do, madam, what must I deserve?—To be shut out from your
confidence is a punishment only fit for such a breach of trust.—But,
for heaven's sake, do not hate Lord Darcey.
Mr. Jenkings appeared at this juncture, and look'd displeas'd.—How
strangely are we given to mistakes!—I betray'd the same confusion, as
if I had been really carrying on a clandestine affair with his son.—In
a very angry tone he said, I thought, Edmund, you was to assist me,
knowing how much I had on my hands, before Lord Darcey sets out;—but I
find business is not your pursuit:—I believe I must consent to
your going into the army, after all.—On which he button'd up his coat,
and went towards the Abbey, leaving me quite thunderstruck. Poor Edmund
was as much chagrined as myself.—A moment after I saw Mr. Jenkings
returning with a countenance very different,—and taking me apart from
his son, said, I cannot forgive myself, my dear young Lady;—can you
forgive me for the rudeness I have just committed?—I am an old man,
Miss Warley;—I have many things to perplex me;—I should not,—I know
I should not, have spoke so sharply to Edmund, when you had
honour'd him with your company.
I made him easy by my answer; and since I have not seen a cloud on
his brow.—I shall never think more, with concern, of Mr. Jenkings's
suspicions.—Your Ladyship's last letter,—oh! how sweetly tender!
tells me he has motives to which I am a stranger.
We spent a charming day, last Monday, at Lord Allen's. Most of the
neighbouring families were met there, to commemorate the happy
festival.—Mr. Morgan made one of the party, and return'd with us to
the Abbey, where he proposes waiting the arrival of his godson, Mr.
Powis.—If I have any penetration, most of his fortune will center
there,—For my part, I am not a little proud of stealing into his
good graces:—I don't know for what, but Lady Powis tells me, I am one
of his first favourites; he has presented me a pretty little grey
horse, beautifully caparison'd; and hopes he says, to make me a good
As I have promis'd to be at the Abbey early, I shall close this
letter; and, if I have an opportunity, will write another by the same
packet.—Believe me ever, my dearest Lady, your most grateful and
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
LETTERS. IN TWO VOLUMES.
LETTER XXIII. Miss WARLEY to Lady
from Mr. Jenkings's.
Oh what a designing man is Lord Darcey!—He loves me not, yet fain
would persuade me that he does.—When I went yesterday morning to the
Abbey, I met him in my way to Lady Powis's dressing-room.—Starting as
if he had seen an apparition, and with a look which express'd great
importance, he said, taking my hand, Oh! Miss Warley, I have had the
most dreadful night!—but I hope you have rested well.
I have rested very well, my Lord; what has disturb'd your Lordship's
What, had it been real as it was visionary,
would have drove me to madness.—I dreamt, Miss Warley,—I dreamt every
thing I was possess'd of was torn from me;—but now—and here stopt.
Well, my Lord, and did not the pleasure of being undeceiv'd overpay
all the pain which you had been deceiv'd into?
No, my angel!—Why does he call me his angel?
Why, no: I have such a sinking, such a load on my mind, to reflect
it is possible,—only possible it might happen, that, upon my word, it
has been almost too much for me.
Ah! my Lord, you are certainly wrong to anticipate evils; they come
fast enough, one need not run to meet them:—besides, if your Lordship
had been in reality that very unfortunate creature, you dreamt you
were, for no rank or degree is proof against the caprice of
Fortune,—was nothing to be preserv'd entire?—Fortune can require only
what she gave: fortitude, peace, and resignation, are not her gifts.
Oh! Miss Warley, you mistake: it was not riches I fancied myself
dispossess'd of;—it was, oh my God!—what my peace, my very
soul is center'd in!—and his eyes turn'd round with so wild a stare,
that really I began to suspect his head.
I trembled so I could scarce reach the dressing-room, though just at
the door.—The moment I turn'd from him, he flew like lightning over
the stairs; and soon after, I saw him walking with Sir James on the
terrace. By their gestures I could discover their conversation was not
a common one.
Mr. Morgan comes this instant in sight;—a servant after him,
leading my little horse.—I am sorry to break off, but I must attend
him;—he is so good, I know your Ladyship would be displeas'd, was I to
prolong my letter at the expence of his favour.—Yours, my much
honour'd,—my much lov'd Lady,—with all gratitude, with all affection,
LETTER XXIV. Miss WARLEY to the
From Mr. Jenkings's.
Now, my dearest Lady, am I again perplex'd, doubting, and
embarrass'd:—yet Lord Darcey is gone,—gone this very morning,—about
an hour since.
Well, I did not think it would evermore be in his power to distress
me;—but I have been distress'd,—greatly distress'd!—I begin to think
Lord Darcey sincere,—that he has always been sincere—He talks of next
Thursday, as a day to unravel great mysteries:—but I shall be far
enough by that time; sail'd, perhaps.—Likely, he said, I might know
before Thursday.—I wish any body could, tell me:—I fancy Sir James
and Lady Powis are in the secret.
Mr. Jenkings is gone with his Lordship to Mr. Stapleton's,—about
ten miles this side London, on business of importance:—to-morrow he
returns; then I shall acquaint him with my leaving this place.—Your
Ladyship knows the motive why I have hitherto kept the day of my
setting out a secret from every person,—even from Sir James and Lady
Yesterday, the day preceding the departure of Lord Darcey, I went up
to the Abbey, determin'd to exert my spirits and appear chearful, cost
what it would to a poor disappointed heavy heart.—Yes, it was
disappointed:—but till then I never rightly understood its
situation;—or perhaps would not understand it;—else I have not
examin'd it so closely as I ought, of late;—Not an unusual thing
neither: we often stop to enquire, what fine feat that?—whose
magnificent equipage this?—long to see and converse with
persons so surrounded with splendor;—but if one happen to pass a poor
dark cottage, and see the owner leaning on a crutch at the door, we are
apt to go by, without making any enquiry, or betraying a wish to be
acquainted with its misery.—
This was my situation, when I directed my steps to the Abbey.—I saw
not Lord Darcey in an hour after I came into the house;—when he join'd
us, he was dress'd for the day, and in one hand his own hat, in the
other mine, with my cloak, which he had pick'd up in the Vestibule:—he
was dreadfully pale;—complain'd of a pain in his head, which he is
very subject to;—said he wanted a walk;—and ask'd, if I would give
him the honour of my company.—I had not the heart to refuse, when I
saw how ill he look'd;—though for some days past, I have avoided being
alone with him as much as possible.
We met Lady Powis returning from a visit to her poultry-yard.—Where
are my two runabouts going now? she said.—Only for a little
walk, madam, reply'd Lord Darcey.
You are a sauce-box, said she, shaking him by the hand;—but don't
go, my Lord, too far with Miss Warley, nodding and smiling on
him at the same time.—She gave me a sweet affectionate kiss, as I
pass'd her; and cried out, You are a couple of pretty strollers, are
you not!—But away together; only I charge you, my Lord, calling after
him, remember you are not to go too far with my dear girl.
We directed our steps towards the walk that leads to the Hermitage,
neither of us seeming in harmony of spirits.—His Lordship still
complaining of his head, I propos'd going back before we had gone ten
paces from the house.
Would Miss Warley then prevent me, said he, from the last
satisfaction! might ever enjoy?—You don't know, madam, how long—it is
impossible to say how long—if ever I should be so happy again—I look
forward to Wednesday with impatience;—if that should be propitious,—
Thursday will unravel mysteries; it will clear up doubts
;—it will perhaps bring on an event which you, my dearest life, may in
time reflect on with pleasure;—you, my dearest life!—pardon the
liberty,—by heaven! I am sincere!
I was going to withdraw my hand from his: I can be less reserv'd
when he is less free.
Don't take your hand from me;—I will call you miss Warley;—I see
my freedom is depleasing;—but don't take your hand away; for I was
still endeavouring to get it away from him.
Yes, my angel, I will call you Miss Warley.
Talk not at this rate, my Lord: it is a kind of conversation I do
not, nor wish to understand.
I see, madam, I am to be unhappy;—I know you have great reason to
condemn me:—my whole behaviour, since I first saw you, has been one
Pray, my Lord, forbear this subject.
No! if I never see you more, Miss Warley,—this is my wish that you
think the worst of me that appearances admit;—think I have basely
wish'd to distress you.
Distress me, my Lord?
Think so, I beseech you, if I never return.—What would the
misfortune be of falling low, even to the most abject in your opinion,
compared with endangering the happiness of her whole peace is my ardent
pursuit?—If I fail, I only can tell the cause:—you shall never be
acquainted with it;—for should you regard me even with pity,—cool
pity,—it would be taking the dagger from my own breast, and planting
it in yours.
Ah! my Lady, could I help understanding him?—could I help being
moved?—I was moved;—my eyes I believe betrayed it.
If I return, continued he, it is you only can pronounce me
happy.—If you see me not again, think I am tossed on the waves of
adverse fortune:—but oh think I again intreat you,—think me
guilty. Perhaps I may outlive—no, that will never do;—you will be
happy long before that hour;—it would be selfish to hope the contrary.
I wish Mr. Powis was come home;—I wish—All my wishes tend to
one great end.—Good God, what a situation am I in!—That the Dead
could hear my petitions!—that he could absolve me!—What signifies,
whether one sue to remains crumbled in the dust, or to the ear which
can refuse to hear the voice of reason?
I thought I should have sunk to see the agony he was work'd up
to.—I believe I look'd very pale;—I felt the blood thrill through my
veins, and of a sudden stagnate:—a dreadful sickness follow'd;—I
desir'd to sit;—he look'd on every side, quite terrified;—cry'd,
Where will you sit, my dearest life?—what shall I do?—For heaven's
sake speak,—speak but one word;—speak to tell me, I have not been
I attempted to open my mouth, but in vain; I pointed to the ground,
making an effort to sit down:—he caught me in his arms, and bore me to
a bench not far off;—there left me, to fetch some water at a brook
near, but came back before he had gone ten steps.—I held out my hand
to his hat, which lay on the ground, then look'd to the water.—Thank
God!—thank God! he said, and went full speed, to dip up some;—he
knelt down, trembling, before me;—his teeth chatter'd in his head
whilst he offer'd the water.
I found myself beginning to recover the moment it came to my
lips.—He fix'd his eyes on me, as if he never meant to take them off,
holding both my hands between his, the tears running down his face,
without the contraction of one feature.—If sorrow could be express'd
in stone, he then appear'd the very statue which was to represent it.
I attempted to speak.
Don't speak yet, he cried;—don't make yourself ill again: thank
heaven, you are better!—This is some sudden chill; why have you
ventur'd out without clogs?
How delicate,—how seasonable, this hint! Without it could I have
met his eye, after the weakness I had betrayed?—We had now no more
interesting subjects; I believe he thought I had enough of them.
It was near two when we reach'd the Abbey. Sir James and Mr. Morgan
were just return'd from a ride;—Lady Powis met us on the Green, where
she said she had been walking some time, in expectation of her
strollers,—She examin'd my countenance very attentively, and then
ask'd Lord Darcey, if he had remember'd her injunctions?
What reason, my Lady, have you to suspect the contrary? he
returned—Well, well, said she, I shall find you out some day or
other;—but her Ladyship seem'd quite satisfied, when I assured her I
had been no farther than the Beach-walk.
Cards were propos'd soon after dinner: the same party as usual.—Mr.
Morgan is never ask'd to make one;—he says he would as soon see the
devil as a card-table.—We kept close at it 'till supper.—I could not
help observing his Lordship blunder'd a little;—playing a diamond for
a spade,—and a heart for a club,—I took my leave at eleven, and he
attended me home.
Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings were gone to bed,—Edmund was reading in the
parlour; he insisted on our having a negus which going out to order,
was follow'd by Lord Darcey:—I heard them whisper in the passage, but
could distinguish the words, if she is ill, remember, if she is ill
—and then Edmund answer'd, You may depend on it, my Lord,—as I have a
soul to be saved:—does your Lordship suppose I would be so negligent?
I guess'd at this charge;—it was to write, if I should be ill, as I
have since found by Edmund,—who return'd capering into the room,
rubbing his hands, and smiling with such significance as if he would
have said, Every thing is as it should be.
When his Lordship had wish'd us a good night, he said to me,—
To-morrow, Miss Warley!—but I will say nothing of to-morrow
;—I shall see you in the morning. His eyes glisten'd, and he left the
room hastily.—Whilst Edmund attended him out, I went to my chamber
that I might avoid a subject of which I saw his honest heart was full.
On my table lay the Roman History; I could not help giving a peep
where I had left off, being a very interesting part:—from one thing I
was led to another, 'till the clock struck three; which alarm made me
quit my book.
Whilst undressing, I had leisure to recollect the incidents of the
pass'd day; sometimes pleasure, sometimes pain, would arise, from this
examination; yet the latter was most predominant.
When I consider'd Lord Darcey's tender regard for my future, as well
as present peace,—how could I reflect on him without gratitude?—When
I consider'd his perplexities, I thought thus:—they arise from some
entanglement, in which his heart is not engag'd.—Had he confided in
me, I should not have weaken'd his resolutions;—I would no more wish
him to be guilty of a breach of honour, than surrender myself to
infamy.—I would have endeavour'd to persuade him she is
amiable, virtuous, and engaging.—If I had been successful, I would
have frown'd when he smil'd;—I would have been gay
when he seem'd oppress'd—I would have been reserv'd,
peevish, supercilicus;—in short, I would have counterfeited the
very reverse of what was likely to draw him from a former attachment.
To live without him must be my fate; since that is almost
inevitable, I would have strove to have secur'd his happiness, whilst
mine had remain'd to chance.—These reflections kept me awake 'till
six; when I fell into a profound sleep, which lasted 'till ten; at
which time I was awaken'd by Mrs. Jenkings to tell me Lord Darcey was
below; with an apology, that she had made breakfast, as her husband was
preparing, in great haste, to attend his Lordship.
This was a hint he was not to stay long; so I put on my cloaths with
expedition; and going down, took with me my whole stock of resolution;
but I carried it no farther than the bottom of the stairs;—there it
flew from me;—never have I seen it since:—that it rested not in the
breast of Lord Darcey, was visible;—rather it seem'd as if his and
mine had taken a flight together.
I stood with the lock of the door in my hand more than a minute, in
hopes my inward flutterings would abate.—His Lordship heard my
footstep, and flew to open it;—I gave him my hand, without knowing
what I did;—joy sparkled in his eyes and he prest it to his breast
with a fervour that cover'd me with confusion.
He saw what he had done,—He dropp'd it respectfully, and inquiring
tenderly for my health, ask'd if I would honour him with my commands
before he sat out for Town?—What a fool was I!—Lord bless me!—can I
ever forget my folly? What do you think, my Lady! I did not speak;—no!
I could not answer;—I was silent;—I was silent, when I
would have given the world for one word.—When I did speak, it was not
to Lord Darcey, but, still all fool, turn'd and said to Mr. Jenkings,
who was looking over a parchment, How do you find yourself, Sir? Will
not the journey you are going to take on horseback be too fatiguing?
No, no, my good Lady; it is an exercise I have all my life been us'd
to: to-morrow you will see me return the better for it.
Mrs. Jenkings here enter'd, follow'd by a servant with the
breakfast, which was plac'd before me, every one else having
breakfasted.—She desir'd I would give myself the trouble of making
tea, having some little matters to do without.—This task would have
been a harder penance than a fast of three days;—but I must have
submitted, had not my good genius Edmund appear'd at this moment; and
placing himself by me, desir'd to have the honour of making my
I carried the cup with difficulty to my mouth. My embarrassment was
perceiv'd by his Lordship; he rose from his seat, and walk'd up and
down.—How did his manly form struggle to conceal the disorder of his
mind!—Every movement, every look, every word, discover'd Honour in her
most graceful, most ornamental garb: when could it appear to
such advantage, surrounded with a cloud of difficulties, yet shining
out and towering above them all?
He laid his cold hand on mine;—with precipitation left the
room;—and was in a moment again at my elbow.—Leaning over the back of
my chair, he whisper'd, For heaven's sake, miss Warley, be the
instrument of my fortitude; whilst I see you I cannot—there stopt and
turn'd from me.—I saw he wish'd me to go first,—as much in compassion
to myself as him. When his back was turn'd, I should have slid out of
the room;—but Mr. Jenkings starting up, and looking at his watch,
exclaim'd, Odso, my Lord! it is past eleven; we shall be in the
dark. This call'd him from his reverie; and he sprang to the door, just
as I had reached it.—Sweet, generous creature! said he, stopping me;
and you will go then?—Farewell, my Lord, replied I.—My dear,
good friend, to Mr. Jenkings, take care of your health.—God bless you
both I—My voice faulter'd.
Excellent Miss Warley! a thousand thanks for your kind
condescension, said the good old man.—Yet one moment, oh God! yet one
moment, said his Lordship; and he caught both my hands.
Come, my Lord, return'd Mr. Jenkings; and never did I see him look
so grave, something of disappointment in his countenance;—come, my
Lord, the day is wasting apace. Excuse this liberty:—your Lordship has
been long determin'd,—have long known of leaving this
country.—My dearest young Lady, you will be expected at the Abbey.—I
shall, indeed, replied I;—so God bless you, Sir!—God bless you, my
Lord! and, withdrawing my hands, hasten'd immediately to my chamber.
I heard their voices in the court-yard:—if I had look'd out at the
window, it might not have been unnatural,—I own my inclinations led to
it.—Inclination should never take place of prudence;—by following
one, we are often plung'd into difficulties;—by the other we are sure
to be conducted safely:—instead, then, of indulging my curiosity to
see how he look'd—how he spoke at taking leave of this
dwelling;—whether his eyes were directed to the windows, or the
road;—if he rid slow or fast;—how often he turn'd to gaze, before he
was out of sight:—instead of this, I went to Mrs. Jenkings's
apartment, and remain'd there 'till I heard they were gone, then
return'd to my own; since which I have wrote down to this period.
Perhaps I should have ran on farther, if a summons from Lady Powis did
not call me off. I hope now to appear before her with tolerable
composure.—I am to go in the coach alone.—Well, it will seem
strange!—I shall think of my late companion;—but time
reconciles every thing.—This was my hope, when I lost my best
friend, the lov'd instructress of my infant years.—Time, all
healing Time! to that I fear I must look forward, as a
lenitive against many evils.
Two days!—only two days!—and then, adieu, my dear friends at the
Abbey;—adieu, my good Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings!—and you too, my
friendly-hearted Edmund, adieu!
Welcome,—doubly welcome, every moment which brings me nearer to
that when I shall kiss the hands of my honour'd Lady;—when I shall be
able to tell you, in person, ten thousand things too much for my
pen;—when you will kindly say, Tell me all, my Fanny, tell me every
secret of your heart.—Happy sounds!—pleasing sounds! these will be to
your grateful and affectionate
LETTER XXV. Miss WARLEY to the same.
From Mr. Jenkings's.
Now, my dear Lady, am I ready for my departure:—Sir James and Lady
Powis reconciled to my leaving them;—yet how can I call it reconciled,
when I tear myself from their arms as they weep over me?—Heavens! how
tenderly they love me!—Their distress, when I told them the day was
absolutely fix'd; when I told them the necessity of my going, their
distress nothing could equal but my own.—I thought my heart
would have sunk within me!—Surely, my Lady, my affection for them is
not a common affection;—it is such as I hear your dear
self;—it is such as I felt for my revered Mrs. Whitmore.—I
cannot dwell on this subject—indeed I cannot.
I almost wish I had not kept the day so long a secret.—But suppose
I had not,—would their concern have been lessen'd?
I would give the world, if Mr. Jenkings was come home:—his wife is
like a frantic woman; and declares, if I persist in going, I shall
break the heart of her and her husband.—Why do they love me so
well?—It cannot be from any deserts of mine:—I have done no more than
common gratitude demands;—the affection I shew them is only the result
of their own kindness.—Benevolent hearts never place any thing to
their own account:—they look on returns as presents, not as just
debts:—so, whether giving or receiving, the glory must be their's.
I fancy Mr. Smith will not be here 'till to morrow, his Lady having
wrote me, he intended spending the evening with an acquaintance of his
about six miles from the Abbey.
How I dread the hour of parting!—Poor Mr. Watson!—I fear I shall
never see him more.—Mr. Morgan too! but he is likely to
live many years.—There is something in this strange man excessively
engaging.—If people have roughness, better to appear in the voice, in
the air and dress, than in the heart: a want of softness there,
I never can dispense with.—What is a graceful form, what are
numberless accomplishments, without humanity? I love, I revere, the
honest, plain, well-meaning Mr. Morgan.
Hark! I hear the trampling of horses.—Mr. Jenkings is certainly
return'd.—I hasten down to be the first who shall inform him of my
How am I mortified to see Aaron return without his master!—Whilst
Mrs. Jenkings was busied in enquiries after the health of her good man,
I was all impatience for the contents of a letter she held in her hand,
unopen'd: having broke the seal, and run her eye hastily over it, she
gave it me.—I think my recollection will serve to send it verbatim to
Mr. JENKINGS to Mrs. JENKINGS.
I dispatch Aaron to acquaint you it is impossible for me to be home
till Wednesday. Mr. Stapleton is gone to London: I am obliged to attend
Lord Darcey thither. I love his Lordship more and more.—He has convinc'd me our conjectures were not without
foundation.—Heaven grant it may end to our wishes!—There are,
he thinks, difficulties to be overcome. Let him think it:—his
happiness will be more exquisite when he is undeceiv'd.—Distribute my
dutiful respects to Sir James, Lady Powis, and Miss Warley; next to
yourself and our dear Edmund, they are nearest the heart of your truly
I will make no comments on this letter; it cannot concern me,—What can I do about seeing Mr. Jenkings before I go?—
Lord bless me! a chaise and four just stopp'd; Mr. Smith in
it.—Heavens! how my heart throbs!—I did not expect him 'till
to-morrow: I must run to receive him.—How shall I go up to the
Abbey!—how support the last embrace of Sir James and Lady Powis!
Ten at Night, just come from the Abbey.
Torn in pieces!—my poor heart torn in pieces!—I shall never see
them more;—never again be strain'd to their parental bosoms.—Forgive
me, my dearest Lady, I do not grieve that I am coming to you; I
grieve only that I go from them.—Oh God! why must my soul be
Another struggle too with poor Mrs. Jenkings!—She has been on her
knees:—yes, thus lowly has she condescended to turn me from my
purpose, and suffer Mr. Smith to go back without me,—I blush to think
what pain, what trouble I occasion.—She talks of some important
event at hand. She says if I go, it will, end in the destruction of
us all.—What can she mean by an important event?—Perhaps Lord
Darcey—but no matter; nothing, my dear Lady, shall with-hold me from
you.—The good woman is now more calm. I have assured her it is
uncertain how long we may be in London: it is only that has calm'd
her.—She says, she is certain I shall return;—she is
certain, when Mr. Powis and his Lady arrives, I must
return.—Next Thursday they are expected:—already are they arrived at
Falmouth:—but, notwithstanding what I have told Mrs. Jenkings, to
soften her pains at parting, I shall by Thursday be on my voyage;—for
Mr. Smith tells me the Packet will sail immediately.—Perhaps I may be
the messenger of my own letters:—but I am determin'd to write on 'till
I see you;—that when I look them over, my memory may receive some
assistance.—Good night, my dearest Lady; Mrs. Jenkings and Mr. Smith
LETTER XXVI. Lord DARCEY to Sir
Even whilst I write, I see before me the image of my expiring
father;—I hear the words that issued from his death-like lips;—my
soul feels the weight of his injunctions;—again in my
imagination I seal the sacred promise on his livid hand;—and my heart
bows before Sir James with all that duty which is indispensable from a
child to a parent.
Happiness is within my reach, yet without your sanction I
will not, dare not, bid it welcome;—I will not hold
out my hand to receive it.—Yes, Sir, I love Miss Warley; I can
no longer disguise my sentiments.—On the terrace I should not have
disguis'd them, if your warmth had not made me tremble for the
consequence.—You remember my arguments then; suffer me now to
I allow it would be convenient to have my fortune augmented by
alliance; but then it is not absolutely necessary I should make
the purchase with my felicity.—A thousand chances may put me in
possession of riches;—one event only can put me in possession of
content.—Without it, what is a fine equipage?—what a splendid
retinue?—what a table spread with variety of dishes?
Judge for me, Sir James; you who know, who love
Miss Warley, judge for me.—Is it possible for a man of my turn to see
her, to talk with her, to know her thousand virtues, and not
wish to be united to them?—It is to your candour I appeal.—Say
I am to be happy, say it only in one line, I come
immediately to the Abbey, full of reverence, of esteem, of gratitude.
Think, dear Sir James, of Lady Powis;—think of the satisfaction you
hourly enjoy with that charming woman; then will you complete the
LETTER XXVII. Sir JAMES POWIS to
I am not much surpris'd at the contents of your Lordship's letter,
it is what Lady Powis and I have long conjectur'd; yet I must
tell, you, my Lord, notwithstanding Miss Warley's great merit, I should
have been much better pleas'd to have found myself mistaken.
I claim no right to controul your inclinations: the strict
observance you pay your father's last request, tempts me to give my
opinion very opposite to what I should otherwise have done.—Duty like
yours ought to be rewarded.—If you will content yourself with an
incumber'd estate rather than a clear one, why—why—why—faith you
shall not have my approbation 'till you come to the Abbey. Should you
see the little bewitching Gipsy before I talk with you, who knows but
you may be wise enough to make a larger jointure than you can afford?
I am glad your Lordship push'd the matter no farther on the terrace:
I did not then know how well I lov'd our dear girl.—My wife is so
pleas'd,—so happy,—so overjoy'd,—at what she calls
your noble disinterested regard for her Fanny, that one would think she
had quite forgot the value of money.—I expect my son
to-morrow.—Let me have the happiness of embracing you at the same
time;—you are both my children, &c. &c.:
LETTER XXVIII. Lord DARCEY to the
Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
Full of joy! full of surprize! I dispatch a line by Robert.—Fly,
Molesworth, to Mr. Smith's, in Bloomsbury-Square:—tell my
dearest, dear Miss Warley, but tell her of it by degrees, that Mr.
Powis is her father!—Yes! her father, George;—and the
most desirable woman on earth, her mother!—Don't tell her of it
neither; you will kill her with surprise.—Confounded luck! that I did
not know she was in London.
I shall be with you in less than two hours, after Robert:—I send
him on, with orders to ride every horse to death, lest he should be set
out for Dover.
Jenkings is now on the road, but he travels too slow for my
wishes.—If she is gone, prepare swift horses for me to follow:—I am
kept by force to refresh myself.—What refreshment can I want!—Fly, I
say, to Miss Powis, now no longer Miss Warley.—Leave her not, I charge
you;—stir not from her;—by our friendship, Molesworth, stir not from
her 'till you see
LETTER XXIX. The Honourable GEORGE
MOLESWORTH to RICHARD RISBY, Esq;
Oh Dick! the most dreadful affair has happen'd!—Lord Darcey is
distracted and dying; I am little better—Good God! what shall I
do?—what can I do?—He lies on the floor in the next room, with half
his hair torn off.—Unhappy man! fatigue had near kill'd him, before
the melancholy account reach'd his ears.—Miss Warley, I mean Miss
Powis, is gone to the bottom.—She sunk in the yacht that sailed
yesterday from Dover for Calais.—Every soul is lost.—The fatal
accident was confirm'd by a boat which came in not ten minutes before
we arriv'd.—There was no keeping it from Lord Darcey.—The woman of
the Inn we are at has a son lost in the same vessel: she was in fits
when we alighted.—Some of the wreck is drove on shore.—What can equal
this scene!—Oh, Miss Powis! most amiable of women, I tremble for your
relations!—But Darcey, poor Darcey, what do I feel for you!—He
speaks:—he calls for me:—I go to him.
Oh, Risby! my heart is breaking; for once let it be said a man's
heart can break.—Whilst he rav'd, whilst his sorrows were loud, there
was some chance; but now all is over. He is absolutely dying;—death is
in every feature.—His convulsions how dreadful!—how dreadful the pale
horror of his countenance!—But then so calm,—so compos'd!—I repeat,
there can, be no chance.—
Where is Molesworth? I heard him say as I enter'd his apartment:
come to me, my friend,—holding out his hand—come to me, my
friend.—Don't weep—don't let me leave you in tears.—If you wish me
well, rejoice:—think how I should have dragg'd out a miserable number
of days, after—oh, George! after—Here he stopp'd.—The surgeon
desir'd he would suffer us to lift him on the bed.—No, he said, in a
faultering accent, if I move I shall die before I have made known to my
friend my last request.—Upon which the physician and surgeon retir'd
to a distant part of the room, to give him an opportunity of speaking
with greater freedom.
He caught hold of my hand with the grasp of anguish, saying, Go, go.
I entreat you, by that steady regard which has subsisted between us,—
go to the unhappy family:—if they can be comforted; ay, if they
can, you must undertake the task.—I will die without
you.—Tell them I send the thanks, the duty, of a dying man;—that they
must consider me as their own. A few, a very few hours! and I
shall be their own;—I shall be united to their angel daughter.—Dear
soul, he cried, is it for this,—for this, I tore myself from you!—But
stop, I will not repine; the reward of my sufferings is at hand.
Now, you may lift me on the bed;—now, my friend,
pointing to the door,—now, my dear Molesworth, if you wish I
should die in—there fainted.—He lay without signs of life so
long, that I thought, all was over.—
I cannot comply with his last request;—it is his last I am
convinc'd;—he will never speak more, Risby!—he will never more
pronounce the name of Molesworth.
Be yours the task he assign'd me.—Go instantly to the friends you
revere;—go to Mr. and Mrs. Powis, the poor unfortunate
parents.—Abroad they were to you as tender relations;—in England,
your first returns of gratitude will be mournful.—You have seen Miss
Powis:—it could be no other than that lovely creature whom you met so
accidentally at ——: the likeness she bore to her father startled you.
She was then going with Mr. Jenkings into Oxfordshire:—you admired
her;—but had you known her mind, how would you have felt for Darcey!
Be cautious, tender, and circumspect, in your sad undertaking.—Go
first to the old steward's, about a mile from the Abbey; if he is not
return'd, break it to his wife and son.—They will advise, they will
assist you, in the dreadful affair;—I hope the poor old gentleman has
not proceeded farther than London.—Write the moment you have seen the
family; write every melancholy particular: my mind is only fit for such
gloomy recitals.—Farewel! I go to my dying friend.
LETTER XXX. Captain RISBY to the
Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH,
What is the sight of thousands slain in the field of battle,
compar'd with the scene I am just escap'd from!—How can I be
circumstantial!—where am I to begin!—whose distress shall I paint
first!—can there be precedence in sorrow!
What a weight will human nature support before it sinks!—The
distress'd inhabitants of this house are still alive; it is proclaim'd
from every room by dreadful groans.—You sent me on a raven's
message:—like that ill-boding bird I flew from house to house, afraid
to croak my direful tidings.
By your directions I went to the steward's;—at the gate stood my
dear friends, Mr. and Mrs. Powis, arm in arm.—I thought I should have
sunk;—I thought I should have died instantly.—I was turning my horse
to go back, and leave my black errand to be executed by another.
They were instantly at my side;—a hand was seiz'd by each,—and the
words Risby!—captain Risby!—ecchoed in my ears.—What with their
joyous welcomes,—and transported countenances, I felt as if a flash of
lightning had just darted on my head.—Mrs. Powis first perceiv'd the
alteration and ask'd if I was well;—if any thing had happen'd to give
Certainly there has, said Mr. Powis, or you are not the same
man you was, Risby.—It is true, Sir, return'd I;—it is true, I
am not so happy as when I last saw you;—my mind is
disagreeably situated;—could I receive joy, it would be in knowing
this amiable woman to be Mrs. Powis.
You both surprise and affect us, replied he.
Indeed you do, join'd in his Lady; but we will try to remove your
uneasiness:—pray let us conduct you to the Abbey; you are come to the
best house in the world to heal grievances.—Ah, Risby! said my friend,
all there is happiness.—Dick, I have the sweetest daughter: but Lord
Darcey, I suppose, has told you every thing; we desir'd he would; and
that we might see you immediately.—Can you tell us if his
Lordship is gone on to Dover?
He is, returned I.—I did not wait his coming down, wanting to
discover to you the reason of my perplexities.
What excuse after saying this, could I make, for going into the
steward's?—For my soul, I could not think of any.—Fortunately it
enter'd my head to say, that I had been wrong directed;—that a foolish
boy had told me this was the strait road to the Abbey.
Mr. and Mrs. Powis importun'd me to let the servant lead my horse,
that I might walk home with them.—This would never do.—I could
not longer trust myself in their company, 'till I had
reconnoitred the family;—'till I had examin'd who there was
best fitted to bear the first onset of sorrow.—I brought myself off by
saying, one of my legs was hurt with a tight boot.
Well then, go on, Risby, said Mr. Powis: you see the Abbey just
before you; my wife and I will walk fast;—we shall be but a few
My faculties were quite unhing'd, the sight of the noble
structure.—I stopp'd, paus'd, then rode on; stopp'd again, irresolute
whether to proceed.—Recollecting your strict injunctions, I reach'd
the gate which leads to the back entrance; there I saw a well-looking
gentleman and the game-keeper just got off their horses:—the former,
after paying me the compliment of his hat, took a brace of hares from
the keeper, and went into the house.—I ask'd of a servant who stood
by, if that was Sir James Powis?
No, Sir, he replied; but Sir James is within.
Who is that gentleman? return'd I.
His name is Morgan, Sir,
Very intimate here, I suppose—is he not?
Yes, very intimate, Sir.
Then he is the person I have business with; pray tell him
The servant obey'd.—Mr. Morgan came to me, before I had dismounted;
and accosting me very genteely, ask'd what my commands were with him?
Be so obliging, Sir, I replied; to go a small distance from the
house; and I will unfold an affair which I am sorry to be the messenger
Nothing is amiss, Sir, I hope: you look strangely terrified; but
I'll go with you this instant.—On that he led me by a little path to a
walk planted thick with elms; at one end of which was a bench, where we
seated ourselves.—Now, Sir, said Mr. Morgan, you may here
deliver what you have to say with secrecy.—I don't recollect to have
had the honour of seeing you before;—but I wait with impatience
to be inform'd the occasion of this visit.
You are a friend, I presume, of Sir James Powis?
Yes, Sir, I am: he has few of longer standing, and, as times
go, more sincere, I believe.—But what of that?—do you know any
harm, Sir, of me, or of my friend?
God knows I do not;—but I am acquainted, Mr. Morgan, with an
unfortunate circumstance relative to Sir James.
Sir James! Zounds, do speak out:—Sir James, to my knowledge, does
not owe a shilling.
It is not money matters, Sir, that brought me here:—heaven grant it
The devil, Sir!—tell me at once, what is this damn'd affair? Upon
my soul, you must tell me immediately.
Behold!—read, Sir—what a task is mine! (putting your letter
into his hands.)
Never was grief, surprize, and disappointment so strongly painted as
in him.—At first, he stood quite silent; every feature
distorted:—then starting back some paces, threw his hat over the
hedge:—stamp'd on his wig;—and was stripping himself naked, to fling
his clothes into a pond just by, when I prevented him.
Stop, Sir, I cried: do not alarm the family before they are
prepar'd.—Think of the dreadful consequences;—think of the unhappy
parents!—Let us consult how to break it to them, without severing
their hearts at one blow.
Zounds, Sir, don't talk to me of breaking it; I shall go mad:—you
did not know her.—Oh! she was the most lovely, gentle creature!—What
an old blockhead have I been!—Why did I not give her my fortune?—
then Darcey would have married her;—then she would not have
gone abroad;—then we should have sav'd her. Oh, she was a
sweet, dear soul!—What good will my curst estates do me now?
—You shall have them, Sir;—any body shall have them—I don't care what
becomes of me.—Do order my horse, Sir—I say again, do order my
horse. I'll never see this place more.—Oh! my dear, sweet, smiling
girl, why would you go to France?
Here I interrupted him.
Think not, talk not, Sir, of leaving the family in such a melancholy
situation.—Pray recollect yourself.—You ought not to run from
your friends;—you ought to redouble your affection at this hour
of trial.—Who can be call'd friends, but those who press
forward, when all the satisfactions of life draw back.—You are
not;—your feeling heart tells me you are not one of the many that
retire with such visionary enjoyments.—Come, Sir, for the present
forget the part you bear in this disaster:—consider,—pray, consider
her poor parents; consider what will be their sufferings:—let it be
our task to prepare them.
What you say is very right, Sir, return'd he.—I believe you are a
good christian;—God direct us,—God direct us.—I wish I had a
dram:—faith, I shall be choak'd.—Sweet creature!—what will become of
Lord Darcey!—I never wanted a dram so much before.—Your name, Sir, if
you please.—I perceive we shall make matters worse by staying out so
I told him my name; and that I had the honour of being intimately
acquainted with Mr. and Mrs. Powis.
He continued,—You will go in with me, Sir.—How am I to
act!—I'll follow your advice—We must expect it will be a dreadful
piece of work.—
Caution and tenderness, Mr. Morgan, will be absolutely necessary.
But where is my hat?—where is my wig?—have I thrown them into the
It is well the poor distress'd man recollected he had them not; or,
bare-headed as he was, I should have gone with him to the house.—I
pick'd them up, all over dirt; and, well as I could, clean'd them with
Now, Sir, said I, if you will wipe your face,—for the sweat was
standing on it in large drops,—I am ready to attend you.
So I must really go in, captain.—I don't think I can stand
it;—you had better go without me.—Upon my soul, I had sooner face the
mouth of a cannon—If you would blow my brains out, it would be the
kindest thing you ever did in your life.
Poh! don't talk at this rate, Sir.—Do we live only for ourselves?—
But will you not leave us, captain;—will you not run
from us, when all is out?
Rather, Sir, suspect me of cowardice.—I should receive greater
satisfaction from administering the smallest consolation to people in
distress, than from whole nations govern'd by my nod.
Well, captain, I will go;—I will do any thing you
desire me, since you are so good to say you will not leave us.
But, notwithstanding his fair promise, I never expected to get him
within the doors.—He was shifting from side to side:—sometimes he
would stand still,—sometimes attempt to retreat.—When we were just at
the house, a servant appear'd:—of whom he enquir'd, if Mr. and Mrs.
Powis were return'd; and was inform'd the latter was within;—the
former gone out in pursuit of us. We likewise found the Ladies were
with Sir James in the library. I sent in my name: it was in vain for me
to expect any introduction from my companion.
Mrs. Powis flew to meet me at the door:—Mr. Morgan lifted up his
eyes, and shook his head.—I never was so put to it:—I knew not what
to say; or how to look.—Welcome, Mr. Risby, said the amiable,
unfortunate, unsuspecting mother;—doubly welcome at this happy
juncture.—Let me lead you to parents, introducing me to Sir James and
Lady Powis, from whom I have receiv'd all my felicity.
You need not be told my reception:—it is sufficient that you know
Sir James and her Ladyship.—My eyes instantly turn'd on the venerable
chaplin: I thought I never discover'd so much of the angel in a human
Mrs. Powis ask'd me a thousand questions;—except answering them, I sat stupidly silent.—It was not so with Mr. Morgan: he walk'd, or
rather ran up and down;—his eyes fix'd on the floor,—his lips in
motion.—The Ladies spoke to him: he did not answer; and I could
perceive them look on each other with surprize.
Mr. Powis enter'd:—the room seem'd to lift up:—I quite rambled
when I rose to receive his salute.—Mr. Morgan was giving me the
slip.—I look'd at him significantly,—then at Mr. Watson,—as much as
to say, Take him out; acquaint him with the sorrowful tidings.—He
understood the hint, and immediately they withdrew together.
Come, dear Risby, pluck up, said Mr. Powis:—do not you, my friend,
be the only low-spirited person amongst us.—I fear Mr. Risby is not
well, return'd Lady Powis.—We must not expect to see every one in high
spirits, because we are:—our blessings must be
consider'd as very singular.—You have not mention'd Fanny to
Indeed, Madam, I have, replied he.—Risby knows, I every minute
expect my belov'd daughter.—But tell me, Dick;—tell me, my
friend;—all present are myself;—fear not to be candid;—what accident
has thrown a cloud of sadness over your once chearful countenance?—Can
I assist you?—My advice, my interest, my purse are all your own.—Nay,
dear Risby, you must not turn from me.—I did turn, I could hold it no
Pray Sir, said Mrs. Powis, do speak;—do command us; and she
condescended to lay her hand on mine—Lady Powis, Sir James too, both
intreated I would suffer them to make me happy.—Dear worthy creatures,
how my heart bled! how it still bleeds for them!—
I was attempting some awkward acknowledgment, when Mr. Watson
enter'd, led by Mr. Morgan.—I saw he had executed the task, which made
me shudder.—Never did the likeness of a being celestial shine more
than in the former! He mov'd gently forward,—plac'd himself next Lady
Powis;—pale,—trembling,—sinking.—Mr. Morgan retir'd to the
Now,—now,—the dreadful discovery was at a crisis.—Mr. Watson
sigh'd.—Lady Powis eyed him with attention; then starting up, cried,
Bless me! I hear wheels: suppose, Mr. Watson, it should be Fanny!—and
after looking into the lawn resum'd her chair.
Pardon me, Lady Powis said. Mr. Watson in a low-voice; why this
impatience?—Ah Madam! I could rather wish you to check than encourage
Hold, hold, my worthy friend, return'd Sir James; do you forget four
hours since how you stood listening at a gate by the road-side, saying,
you could hear, tho' not see?
We must vary our hopes and inclinations, reply'd Mr. Watson.—Divine
Providence—there stopp'd;—not another word.—He stopp'd;—he
groan'd;—and was silent.—Great God! cried Mr. Powis, is my child
ill?—Is my child dead? frantickly echoed Mrs. Powis—Heaven forbid!
exclaim'd Sir James and his Lady, arising.—Tell us, Mr. Watson;—tell
us, Mr. Ruby.
When you are compos'd,—return'd the former—Then, our child is
dead,—really dead! shriek'd the parents.—No, no, cried Lady Powis,
clasping her son and daughter in her arms,—she is, not dead; I am sure
she is not dead.
Mr. Watson, after many efforts to speak, said in a faultering
voice,—Consider we are christians:—let that bless'd name fortify our
Mrs. Powis fell on her knees before him,—heart-rending sight!—her
cap torn off,—her hair dishevell'd,—her eyes fix'd;—not a tear,—not
a single tear to relieve the bitter anguish of her soul.
Sir James had left the room;—Lady Powis was sunk almost senseless
on the sopha;—Mr. Powis kneeling by his wife, clasping her to his
bosom;—Mr. Morgan in a corner roaring out his affliction;—Mr. Watson
with the voice of an angel speaking consolation.—I say nothing of my
own feelings.—God, how great!—how inexpressible! when Mrs. Powis,
still on her knees, turn'd to me with uplifted hands,—Oh Mr. Risby!
cried she,—can you,—can you speak comfort to the
miserable?—Then again addressing Mr. Watson,—Dear, saint, only say
she lives:—I ask no more; only say she lives.—My best love!—my
life!—my Fanny! said Mr. Powis, lifting her to the
sopha;—live,—live,—for my sake.—Oh!—Risby, are you the
messenger?—his head fell on my shoulder, and he sobb'd aloud.
Lady Powis beckon'd him towards her, and, looking at Mrs. Powis with
an expressive glance of tenderness,—said Compose yourself, my
son;—what will become of you, if—He took the meaning of her
words, and wrapping his arms about his wife, seem'd for a moment to
forget his own sorrow in endeavours to.
What an exalted woman is Lady Powis!
My children, said she; taking a hand from each,—I am thankful: whom
the Lord loveth he chasteneth.—Let us follow his great example of
patience,—of resignation.—What is a poor span?—Ours will be
I whisper'd Mr. Morgan, a female friend would be necessary to attend
the Ladies;—one whom they lov'd,—whom they confided in, to be
constantly with them in their apartments.—He knew just such a woman,
he said; and went himself to fetch Mrs. Jenkings.—Lady Powis being
unable longer to support herself, propos'd withdrawing.—I offered my
arm, which she accepted, and led her to the dressing-room.—Mrs. Powis
follow'd; almost lifeless, leaning on her husband: there I left them
together, and walk'd out for a quarter of an hour to recover my
At my return to the library, I found Sir James and Mr. Watson in
conversation.—The former, with a countenance of horror and
distraction,—Oh Sir! said he, as I came near him,—do I see you
again?—are you kind enough not to run from our distress?
Run from it, Sir James! I reply'd;—no, I will stay and be a
Oh Sir! he continued, you know not my distress:—death only
can relieve me—I am without hope, without comfort.
And is this, Sir James, what you are arriv'd at? said the good
chaplain—Is this what you have been travelling sixty years
after?—Wish for death yet say you have neither hope or comfort.—Your
good Lady, Sir, is full of both;—she rejoices in affliction:—
she has long look'd above this world.
So might I, he reply'd,—had I no more to charge myself with than
she has.—You know, Mr. Watson,—you know how faulty I
Your errors, dear Sir James, said he, are not remember'd.—Look back
on the reception you gave your son and daughter.
He made no reply; but shedding a flood of tears, went to his
Mr. Watson, it seems, whilst I had been out, acquainted him with the
contents of your letter;—judging it the most seasonable time, as their
grief could not then admit of increase.
Sir James was scarce withdrawn, when Lady Powis sent her woman to
request the sight of it.—As I rose to give it into her hand, I saw Mr.
Morgan pass by the door, conducting an elderly woman, whom I knew
afterward to be Mrs. Jenkings.—She had a handkerchief to her eyes, one
hand lifted up;—and I heard her say, Good God! Sir, what shall I
do?—how can I see the dear Ladies?—Oh Miss Powis!—the amiable Miss
Mr. Morgan join'd us immediately, with whom and Mr. Watson I spent
the remainder of this melancholy evening: at twelve we retir'd.
So here I sit, like one just return'd from the funeral of his best
friend;—alone, brooding over every misery I can call together.—The
light of the moon, which shines with uncommon splendor, casts not one
ray on my dark reflections:—nor do the objects which present
themselves from the windows offer one pleasing idea;—rather an
aggravation to my heart-felt anguish.—Miserable family!—miserable
those who are interested in its sad disaster!—
I go to my bed, but not to my repose.
Nine o'clock in the morning.
How sad, how gloomy, has been the approach of morning!—About six,
for I had not clos'd my eyes,—somebody enter'd my chamber. I suppos'd
it Mr. Morgan, and drew aside my curtain.—It was not Mr. Morgan;—it
was the poor disconsolate father of Miss Powis, more agitated, if
possible, than the preceding night.—He flung himself on my bed with
agony not to be express'd:—
Dear Risby, said he, do rise:—do come to my
apartment.—Alas! my Fanny—
What new misfortune, my friend? ask'd I, starting up.—My wife!
return'd! he!—she is in fits;—she has been in fits the whole
night.—Oh Risby! if I should lose her, if I should lose my
wife!—My parents too, I shall lose them!—
Words could not lessen his affliction. I was silent, making what
haste I could to huddle on my clothes;—and at his repeated intreaties
follow'd him to his wife,—She was sitting near the fire drowned; in
tears, supported by her woman. I was pleas'd to see them drop so
plentifully.—She lifted up her head a little, as I enter'd.—How
alter'd!—how torn to pieces with grief!—Her complexion once so
lovely,—how changed in a few hours.
My husband! said she, in a faint voice, as he drew near her.—Then
looking at me,—Comfort him, Mr. Risby;—don't let him sob so.—Indeed
he will be ill;—indeed he will.—Then addressing him, Consider, she
who us'd to be your nurse is now incapable of the task.—His agitation
was so much increas'd by her words and manner, that I attempted to draw
him into another apartment.—Your intentions are kind, said she, Mr.
Risby;—but I must not lose my husband:—you see how it is, Sir,
shaking her head;—try to sooth him;—talk to him here but do
not take him from me.—
Then turning to Mr. Powis,—I am better, my love,—don't frighten
yourself:—we must learn to be resign'd.—Set the example, and I will
be resign'd, said he,—wiping away the tears as they trickled down her
cheek;—if my Fanny supports herself, I shall not be quite miserable.
In this situation I left them, to close my letter.
What is become of poor Lord Darcey? For ever is he in my thoughts.—
His death will be an aggravation to the general sorrow.—Write
instantly:—I wait your account with impatience; yet dread to receive
LETTER XXXI. The Honourable GEORGE
MOLESWORTH to RICHARD RISBY, Esq;
Say not a word of it;—no, not for the world;—the body of Miss
Powis is drove on shore.—If the family choose to have her brought
down, it may be done some time hence.—I have order'd an undertaker to
get a lead coffin, and will take care to have her remains properly
deposited.—It would be an act of cruelty at present to acquaint her
friends with this circumstance.—I have neither leisure or spirits to
tell you in what manner the body was found, and how I knew it to be
The shore is fill'd with a multitude of people.—What sights will
they gaze on to satisfy their curiosity!—a curiosity that makes human
I have got three matronly women to go with the undertaker, that the
body may be taken up with decency.
Darcey lives;—but how does he live?—Without sense; almost
God protect the good old steward!—the worthy Jenkings!—He is with
you before this;—he has told you everything. I could not write by
him:—I thought I should never be able to touch a pen again.—He had
left Dover before the body was found.—What conflicts did he escape!
But as it is, I fear his grey hairs will go down with sorrow to the
grave.—God support us all!
LETTER XXXII. Captain RISBY to the
Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
My heart bleeds afresh—Her body found! Good heaven!—it must
not,—shall not come to the knowledge of the family.—At present
they submit with a degree of resignation.—Who knows but a latent hope
might remain?—Instances have been known of many saved from
wrecks;—but her body is drove on shore.—Not a
glimmering;—possibility is now out of the question.—The family
are determin'd to shut themselves out from the world;—no company ever
more to be admitted;—never to go any where but to the church.—Your
letter was deliver'd me before them.—I was ask'd tenderly for poor
Lord Darcey.—What could I answer?—Near the same; not worse, on the
whole.—They flatter themselves he will recover;—I encourage all their
Mrs. Jenkings has never been home since Mr. Morgan fetch'd her;—Mr.
Jenkings too is constantly here;—sometimes Edmund:—except the unhappy
parents, never was grief like theirs.
Mr. Jenkings has convinc'd me it was Miss Powis which I saw at ——.
Strange reverse of fortune since that hour!
When the family are retir'd I spend many melancholy hours with poor
Edmund;—and from him have learnt the reason why Mr. Powis conceal'd
his marriage,—which is now no secret.—Even Edmund never knew
it till Mr. and Mrs. Powis return'd to England,—Take a short
recital:—it will help to pass away a gloomy moment.
When Mr. Powis left the University, he went for a few months to
Ireland with the Lord-Lieutenant; and at his return intended to make
the Grand Tour.—In the mean time, Sir James and Lady Powis contract an
intimacy with a young Lady of quality, in the bloom of life, but not of
beauty.—By what I can gather, Lady Mary Sutton is plain to a
degree,—with a mind—But why speak of her mind?—let that speak for
She was independent; her fortune noble;—her affections
disengag'd.—Mr. Powis returns from Ireland: Lady Mary is then at the
Abbey.—Sir James in a few days, without consulting his son, sues for
her alliance.—Lady Mary supposes it is with the concurrence of Mr.
Powis:—his person,—his character,—his family,
were unexceptionable; and generously she declar'd her sentiments in his
favour.—Sir James, elated with success, flies to his son;—and in
presence of Lady Powis, tells him he has secur'd his happiness.—Mr.
Powis's inclinations not coinciding,—Sir James throws himself into a
violent rage.—Covetousness and obstinacy always go hand in hand:—both
had taken such fast hold of the Baronet, that he swore—and his oath
was without reservation—he would never consent to his son's marrying
any other woman.—Mr. Powis, finding his father determin'd,—and
nothing, after his imprecation, to expect from the entreaties of his
mother,—strove to forget the person of Lady Mary, and think only of
her mind.—Her Ladyship, a little chagrin'd Sir James's proposals were
not seconded by Mr. Powis, pretended immediate business into
Oxfordshire.—The Baronet wants not discernment: he saw through her
motive; and taking his opportunity, insinuated the violence of his
son's passion, and likewise the great timidity it occasion'd—he even
prevail'd on Lady Powis to propose returning with her to Brandon Lodge.
The consequence of this was, the two Ladies set out on their
journey, attended by Sir James and Mr. Powis, who, in obedience to his
father, was still endeavouring to conquer his indifference.—
Perhaps, in time, the amiable Lady Mary might have found a
way to his heart,—had she not introduc'd the very evening of their
arrival at the Lodge, her counter-part in every thing but
person:—there Miss Whitmore outshone her whole sex.—This fair
neighbour was the belov'd friend of Lady Mary Sutton, and soon became
the idol of Mr. Powis's affections, which render'd his situation still
more distressing.—His mother's disinterested tenderness for Lady
Mary;—her own charming qualifications;—his father's irrevocable
menace, commanded him one way:—Miss Whitmore's charms led him another.
Attached as he was to this young Lady, he never appear'd to take the
least notice, of her more than civility demanded;—tho' she was of the
highest consequence to his repose, yet the obstacles which surrounded
him seem'd insurmountable.
Sir James and Lady Powis retiring one evening earlier than
usual,—Lady Mary and Mr. Powis were left alone. The latter appear'd
greatly embarrass'd. Her Ladyship eyed him attentively; but instead of
sharing his embarrassment,—began a conversation of which Miss Whitmore
was the subject.—She talk'd so long of her many excellencies,
profess'd such sincerity, such tenderness, for her, that his emotion became visible:—his fine, eyes were full of
fire;—his expressive features spoke what she, had long wish'd to
discover.—You are silent, Sir, said she, with a smile of ineffable
sweetness; is my lovely friend a subject that displeases you?—
How am I situated! replied he—Generous Lady Mary, dare I repose a
confidence in your noble breast?—Will you permit me that
honour?—Will you not think ill of me, if I disclose—No, I
cannot—presumption—I dare not. She interrupted him:
Ah Sir!—you hold me unworthy,—you hold me incapable of
friendship.—Suppose me your sister:—if you had a sister, would you
conceal any thing from her?—Give me then a brother;—I
can never behold you in any other light.
No, my Lady;—no, return'd he, I deserve not this honour.—If
you knew, madam,—if you knew all,—you would, you must
Despise you, Mr. Powis!—she replied;—despise you for loving Miss
Exalted goodness! said he,—approaching her with rapture: take my
heart;—do with it as you please;—it is devoted to your generosity.
Well then, said she, I command it,—I command it
instantly to be laid open before me.—Now let it speak,—now
let it declare if I am not the bar to its felicity:—if—
No, my good angel, interrupted he, dropping on his knees,—and
pressing her hand to his lips;—I see it is through you,—through you
only,—I am to expect felicity.
Before Lady Mary could prevail on Mr. Powis to arise, Sir James,
whom they did not expect,—and who they thought was retir'd for the
night, came in quest of his snuff-box;—but with a countenance full of
joy retir'd precipitately, bowing to Lady Mary with the same reverence
as if she had been a molten image cast of his favourite metal.
In this conversation I have been circumstantial, that you might have
a full view of the noble, disinterested Lady Mary Sutton:—you may
gather now, from whence sprang her unbounded affection for the
incomparable, unfortunate Miss Powis.
You will not be surprised to find a speedy marriage took place
between Mr. Powis and Miss Whitmore, to which none were privy but the
Dean of H——, who perform'd the ceremony,—Lady Mary,—Mrs. Whitmore
(the mother of Mrs. Powis),—Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings.—Perhaps you think
Lady Powis ought to have been consulted:—I thought so too; but
am now convinc'd she would have been the wretchedest woman in
the world, had she known her son acting diametrically opposite to the
will of his father in so material a point.
To put it out of the power of every person intrusted with this
momentous secret to divulge it,—and to make Mr. Powis perfectly
easy,—each bound themselves at the altar where the ceremony was
perform'd, never to make the least discovery 'till Mr. Powis thought
fit to declare his marriage.
What an instance have I given you of female friendship!—Shew
me such another:—our sex are a test of their friendships.
How many girls have I seen,—for ever together arm in
arm,—whispering their own, perhaps the secrets of all their
neighbours;—when in steps a young fellow of our cloth,—or any other,
it signifies not the colour,—and down tumbles the tottering
basis.—Instead of my dear and my love, it is sly
creature, false friend, could any one have thought Miss Such-a-one
possess'd of so much art?—then out comes intrigues, family-affairs,
losses at cards,—in short, every thing that has been treasur'd up by
two industrious fair ones seven years before.
Don't think me satyrical:—I am nice;—too much so,
perhaps.—The knowledge of such as constitute this little
narrative, and some other minds like theirs, has made me
rather too nice, as I said before;—a matter of little
consequence, as I am situated.—Can I look forward to happy prospects,
and see how soon the fairest felicity is out of sight?—This afflicted
family, Molesworth, has taught me to forget,—that is, I ought to
forget.—But no matter;—never again let me see Lady Sophia;—never
lead me a second time into danger:—she is mortal; like Miss
Powis.—Lord Darcey! poor Lord Darcey!
If recollection will assist me, a word or two more of Mr. and Mrs.
Lady Sophia—the deuce is in me! you know who I mean;—why write I
the name of Lady Sophia?—upon my honour, I have given over all
thoughts of that divinity—Lady Mary I should have said, a few months
after the nuptials of her friends, wrote to Mr. Powis, who was then at
Barford Abbey, an absolute refusal, in consequence of a preconcerned
plan of operation.—Immediately after this, she set out with Mrs. Powis
for London, whose situation made it necessary for her to leave
You will suppose, on the receipt of this letter, how matters were at
the Abbey:—Sir. James rav'd; even Lady Powis thought her son ill us'd;
but, in consideration of their former intimacy, prevail'd on Sir James
never to mention the affair, though from this time all acquaintance
ceas'd between the families.
In order to conceal the marriage, it was inevitable Mr. Powis must
carry his wife abroad;—and as he intended to travel before the match
was thought of with Lady Mary,—his father now readily consented that
he should begin his tour.—This furnish'd him with an excuse to go
immediately to town,—where he waited 'till the angel that we all weep
for, made her appearance.
But what, you ask, was Mrs. Powis's excuse to leave England, without
being suspected?—Why, I'll tell you: by the contrivance of Lady Mary,
together with Mrs. Whitmore, it was believ'd she had left the
world;—that she died in town of a malignant fever;—that—but I cannot
be circumstantial—Miss Powis, after her parents went abroad, was
brought down by Lady Mary, and consign'd to the care of her
grandmother, with whom she liv'd as the orphan child of some distant
Whilst Mr. and Mrs. Powis were travelling through Italy, he apply'd
to his friend the Lord-Lieutenant,—and by that interest was
appointed to the government of ——. It was here my acquaintance with
them commenc'd: not that I suspected Miss Glinn to be Mrs. Powis,
though I saw her every day.—Glinn was a name she assum'd 'till
she returned to England.—A thousand little circumstances which
render'd her character unsuspected, I want spirits to relate.—Suffice
it to say,—the death of Mrs. Whitmore;—a daughter passing on the
world for an orphan;—and the absence of Lady Mary Sutton;—made them
resolve to hazard every thing rather than leave their child
unprotected.—Alas! for what are they come home?
Nothing is impossible with a Supreme Being.—Lord Darcey may
recover.—But why this ray of hope to make the horrors of my mind more
dreadful?—He is past hope, you say.—
LETTER XXXIII. The Honourable George
Molesworth to Richard Risby, Esq;
Risby, I am lifted above myself!—I am overcome with surprise!—I am
mad with joy!—Is it possible!—can it be!—But Lord Darcey's servant
has swore it;—yes, he has swore, a letter directed in Miss Powis's
own hand, lay on the counter in a banker's shop where he went to
change a bill: the direction was to Lady Mary Sutton:—he has put many
for the same Lady into the post-office.—I run, I ride or
rather fly to town.
You may jump, you may sing, but command your features before the
family.—Should it be a mistake of John's, we kill them twice.
If I live to see the resurrection of our hopes, John shall be with
you instantly.—On second thought, I will not dispatch this, unless we
have a bless'd certainty.
LETTER XXXIV. The Honourable George
Molesworth to the same.
Are you a mile from the Abbey, Dick?—Are you out of sight,—out of
hearing?—John, though you should offer to kill him, dare not deliver
letter or message 'till you are at a proper distance.
Miss Powis lives!—Restore peace within the walls.—As I hope to be
pardon'd for my sins, I have seen, I have spoke to her.—She
lives!—Heavenly sound! it should be convey'd to them from above.—She
lives! let me again repeat it.—Proclaim the joyful tidings:—but for
particulars have patience 'till I return to the man, to the friend my
life is bound up in.—I have seen him in every stage. Brightest has he
shone, as the taper came nearer to an end.—The rich cordial must be
administered one drop at a time.—Observe the caution.
LETTER XXXV. Captain Risby to the
Honourable George Molesworth.
Well, Molesworth,—well—I can go no farther;—yet I must;—John, poor faithful John, says I must;—says he shall be sent
back again.—But I have lost the use of my fingers:—my head bobs from
side to side like a pendulum. Don't stamp, don't swear: they have a few
drops of your cordial more than I intended.—It operates well.—I long
to administer a larger potion.—Could you see how I am shifted—now
here—now there—by the torrent of joy, that like a deluge almost
drives reason before it;—I say, could you see me, you would not wonder
at the few unconnected lines of
LETTER XXXVI. The Honourable GEORGE
MOLESWORTH to RICHARD RISBY, Esq;
Darcey bears the joyful surprise beyond imagination:—it has brought
him from death to life.—
Hear in what manner I proceeded;—You may suppose the hurry in which
I left Dover:—I took no leave of my friend;—his humane apothecary
promis'd not to quit him in my absence:—I gave orders when his
Lordship enquir'd for me, that he should be told particular business of
my own had call'd me to town express.—It happen'd very
convenient that I left him in a profound sleep.
Away I flew,—agitated betwixt hope and fear
:—harrass'd by fatigue;—not in a bed for three nights before;—nature
was almost wore out, when I alighted at the banker's.
I accosted one of the clerks, desiring to speak with Mr. or Mrs.
Delves [Footnote: The name of the banker.]:—the former not at home, I
was immediately conducted to the latter, a genteel woman, about
forty.—She receiv'd me politely; but before I could acquaint her with
the occasion of my visit, the door open'd, and in stepp'd a pretty
sprightly girl, who on seeing me was going to retire.—Do you want any
thing, my love? said Mrs. Delves. Only, Madam, she replied, if you
think it proper for Miss Warley to get up.
Miss Warley! exclaim'd I.—Great God! Miss Warley!—Tell me, Ladies,
is Miss Warley really under your roof?—Both at once, for
both seem'd equally dispos'd to diffuse happiness, answer'd to my
I threw myself back in my chair:—the surprise was more than I could
support.—Shall I tell you all my weakness?—I even shed tears;—yes,
Dick, I shed tears:—but they were drops of heart-felt gladness.
The Ladies look'd on each other,—Mrs. Delves said in a tone that
shew'd she was not without the darling passion of her sex,
Pardon me, Sir; I think I have heard Miss Warley has no
brother,—or I should think your emotion I saw him before
me.—But whoever you are, this humanity is noble.—Indeed, the poor
young Lady has been extremely ill.
I am not her brother, Madam, return'd I.—It is true, she has no
brother;—but she has parents, she has friends, who
lament her dead:—their sorrow has been mine.
I fear, Sir, return'd she, it will not end here.—I grieve to tell
you, the Miss Warley you speak of is not with me;—I know nothing of
that Lady:—my Miss Warley has no parents.
I still persisted it was the same; and, to the no small
gratification of both mother and daughter, promis'd to explain the
mystery.—But before I began, Miss Delves was sent to desire Miss
Warley would continue in bed an hour longer, on account of some
visitors that had dropp'd in accidentally.
Soon as Miss Delves return'd, I related every particular.—I cannot
tell you half that pass'd;—I cannot describe their astonishment:—but
let me tell you Miss Powis is just recover'd from the
small-pox;—that this was the second day of her sitting up:—let me
tell you too her face is as beautiful as ever.—On mature
deliberation, it was determin'd, for the sake of Miss Powis's health,
she must some time longer think her name Warley.
I din'd with my new acquaintance, on their promising to procure an
interview for me with Miss Powis in the afternoon.
It was about five when I was admitted to her presence.—I found her
in an elegant dressing-room, sitting on a sopha: her head a little
reclin'd.—I stepp'd slow and softly: she arose as I enter'd.—I wonder
not that Darcey adores her, never was a form so perfect!
My trembling knees beat one against another.—My heart,—my
impatient heart flew up to my face to tell its joyful sensations.—I
ventur'd to press her hand to my lips, but was incapable of pronouncing
a syllable.—She was confus'd:—she certainly thought of Darcey, when
she saw his friend.—I took a chair next her.—I shall not repeat our
conversation 'till it became interesting, which began by her asking, if
I had heard lately any accounts from Barford Abbey?—Lord Darcey,
Madam, I reply'd, has receiv'd a letter from Sir James.
Lord Darcey! she repeated with great emotion.—Is Sir James and Lady
Powis well. Sir?
His Lordship, reply'd I, awkwardly, did not mention particulars.—I
believe,—I suppose.—your friends are well.
I fear, said she sighing, they will think me an ungrateful
creature.—No person, Mr. Molesworth, had ever such obligations
to their friends as I have—This family, looking at the two
Ladies, must be rank'd with my best.—Their replies were polite and
affectionate—Can you tell me, Sir, continued she, if Lord—here her
face was all over crimson—heavens! I mean, if Mr. Powis and his Lady
are at the Abbey?—Why did she not say Lord Darcey? I swear the name
quiver'd on her lips.
I answer'd in the affirmative;—and sitting silent a moment,—she
ask'd how I discover'd her to be still in England.—I said by means of
a servant:—true enough, Dick:—but then I was oblig'd to add, this
servant belonged to Mr. Delves, and that he accidentally happen'd a few
hours since to mention her name whilst I was doing business in the
shop.—She was fond of dwelling on the family at the Abbey;—on Mr. and
Mrs. Jenkings;—and once when I mention'd my friend, when I said how
happy I should make him at my return;—pleasure, the most difficult to
be conceal'd of any sensation, sprang to her expressive eyes.
I suppose she will expect a visit from his Lordship.—If she is
angry at being disappointed, no matter: the mistake will be soon
The moment I left her, I stepp'd into a chaise that waited for me at
the door, and drove like lightning from stage to stage, 'till I reach'd
this place;—my drivers being turn'd into Mercuries by a touch more
efficacious than all the oaths that can be swore by a first-rate blood.
I did not venture into Darcey's apartment 'till he was inform'd of
my return.—I heard him impatiently ask to see me, as I stood without
the door. This call'd me to him;—when pulling aside the curtain he
ask'd, Who is that?—Is it Molesworth?—Are you come, my friend? But
what have you seen?—what have you heard?—looking earnestly in face.—
I am past joy,—past feeling pleasure even for you, George;—yet
tell me why you look not so sorrowful as yesterday.—
I ask'd what alteration it was he saw:—what it was he
suspected.—When I have griev'd, my Lord, it has been for you.—If I am
now less afflicted, you must be less miserable.—He started up in the
bed, and grasping both my hands in his, cry'd. Tell me, Molesworth, is
there a possibility,—a bare possibility?—I ask no more;—only tell me
there is a possibility.
My Lord,—my friend,—my Darcey, nothing is impossible.
By heaven! he exclaim'd, you would not flatter me;—by heaven she
Ask me not farther, my Lord.—What is the blessing you most wish
for?—Suppose that blessing granted.—And you, Risby, suppose the
extasy,—the thankfulness that ensued.—He that is grateful to man, can
he be ungrateful to his Maker?
LETTER XXXVII. Miss Powis to Lady
Think me not ungrateful, my ever-honour'd Lady, that I have been
silent under the ten thousand obligations which I receiv'd at Barford
Abbey.—But indeed, my dear Lady, I have been very ill.—I have
had the small-pox:—I was seiz'd delirious the evening after my arrival
in Town.—My God! what a wretch did I set out with!—Vile man!—Man did
I say?—No; he is a disgrace to manhood.—How shall I
tell your Ladyship all I have suffer'd?—I am weak,—very
weak;—I find myself unequal to the task.—
This moment I have hit on an expedient that will unravel all;—I'll
recall a letter [Footnote: This was the same Lord Darcey's servant saw
on the counter.] which I have just sent down to be put into the
post-office;—a letter I wrote Lady Mary Sutton immediately on my
arrival here;—but was seiz'd so violently, that I could not add the
superscription, for which reason it has lain by ever since.—I am easy
on Lady Mary's account:—Mr. Delves has acquainted her of my
illness:—like wise the prospect of my recovery.
Consider then, dear Lady Powis, the inclos'd as if it was address'd
I cannot do justice to the affection,—the compassion,—the tender
assiduity I have experienc'd from Mr. Delves's family:—I shall always
love them; I hope too I shall always be grateful.
God grant, my dear Lady;—God grant, dear Sir James, that long ere
this you may have embrac'd Mr. and Mrs. Powis.—My heart is with you
:—it delights to dwell at Barford Abbey.
In a few days I hope to do myself the honour of writing to your
Ladyship again.—One line from your dear hand would be most gratefully
receiv'd by your oblig'd and affectionate
P.S. My good friends Mr. and Mrs. Jenkings shall hear from me
LETTER XXXVIII. Miss Powis to Lady
Oh my dear Lady! what a villain have I escap'd from?—Could your
Ladyship believe that a man, who, to all appearance, has made a good
husband to your agreeable neighbour upwards of twelve years, and
preserv'd the character of a man of honour;—could you believe in the
decline of life he would have fallen off? No, he cannot have fallen:
such a mind as his never was exalted.—It is the virtues of his wife
that has hitherto made his vices imperceptible;—that has kept them in
their dark cell, afraid to venture out;—afraid to appear amidst her
shining perfections.—Vile, abandon'd Smith!—But for the sake of his
injur'd, unhappy wife, I will not discover his baseness to any but
yourself and Lady Powis.—Perhaps Mrs. Smith may not be unacquainted
with his innate bad principles;—perhaps she conceals her knowledge of
them knowing it vain to complain of a disorder which is past the reach
of medicine.—What cure is there for mischief lurking under the mask of
hypocrisy?—It must be of long standing before that covering can grow
over it:—like a vellum on the eye, though taken off ever skillfully,
it will again spread on the blemish'd sight.
How am I running on!—My spirits are flutter'd:—I begin where I
should end, and end where I should begin.—Behold me, dearest Madam,
just parted from my Hampshire friends,—silent and in tears, plac'd by
the side of my miscreant conductor.—You know, my Lady, this specious
man can make himself vastly entertaining: he strove to render
his conversation particularly so, on our first setting out.
We had travell'd several stages without varying the subject, which
was that of our intended tour, when I said I hop'd it would conquer
Mrs. Smith's melancholy for the death of her brother.—How did his
answer change him in a moment from the most agreeable to the
most disgustful of his sex!
My wife, Miss Warley, with a leer that made him look dreadful, wants
your charming sprightliness:—it is a curs'd thing to be connected with
a gloomy woman:—
Gloomy, Sir! casting at him a look of disdain; do you call
mildness, complacency, and evenness of temper, gloomy?
She is much altered, Madam;—is grown old and peevish;—her health
is bad;—she cannot live long.
Mrs. Smith can never be peevish, Sir;—and as to her age, I thought it pretty near your own.
No, no, Madam, you are quite mistaken; I am at least five years
Five years, Sir! what are five years at your time of life!
Come, come, Miss Warley, laying his huge paw on my hand, and in a
tone of voice that shew'd him heartily nettled;—even at my time
of life I can admire a beautiful young Lady.—If my wife should die,—
old as I am—men older than myself, with half my estate, have
married some of the finest women in the kingdom.
Very likely, Sir;—but then it is to be suppos'd the characters of
such men have been particularly amiable,—No man or woman of honour
can esteem another whose principles are doubtful.
This was a pretty home-thrust; it put him more on his guard for the
present; but had he behav'd like an angel, I must have hated him. He
was very respectful, very ceremonious, and very
thoughtful, 'till we arrived at the inn where we were to stop the
night; and had so much art not to seem displeas'd, that I refus'd
giving him my company at supper, under pretence of
indisposition.—Indeed, I was far from well: a child which I had seen a
few hours before fresh in the small-pox, a good deal disconcerted
me.—After fixing on my room, not to appear suspicious, I went down at
his request, to eat a bit of cake and drink a glass of wine, before I
retired for the night.—I had scarce swallow'd it when he left me, as
he said, to speak to the drivers. I wished him a good night as he went
out, and took an opportunity a few moments after to go to my
chamber.—When there I lock'd the door, and sat myself down to undress;
but I began to be greatly alarm'd by something that mov'd under the
bed.—Judge my surprize,—judge my horror,—on taking the candle and
examining, to see there a man!—But how was that surprize,—that horror
increased, on discovering, him to be the vile Smith!—I gave a loud
scream, and ran towards the door; but had not power to turn the key,
before he caught me in his arms.—
Be calm, Miss Warley, cried the monster;—hear what I have to
say.—Suffer me to tell you, that I love you to distraction;—that I
Adore me, vile man! said I, breaking from him:—leave me this
instant—begone:—leave me, I say, instantly.—Again I scream'd.
No, by heaven! he reply'd, I will not go 'till you have heard and
pardon'd me.—Here I stand determin'd to be heard:—hear
me, or this moment is my last.—With that he drew out a pistol, and
held it to his breast.
And dare you, said I, collecting all my resolution,—dare
you rush into eternity, without one virtue to offer up with your
polluted soul?—I pronounc'd these words with steadiness.—He
trembled, he look'd like a criminal at the hour of execution.—Letting
the pistol drop from his hand, the base dissembler fell on his knees
before me.—Nobody hearing my cries,—nobody coming to my assistance, I
was oblig'd to hear, and pretend to credit his penitential
protestations. God knows how my ears might have been farther shock'd
with his odious passion;—what indignities I might have suffer'd,—had
I not heard some person passing by the door of my apartment:—on which
I ventur'd to give another scream.—The door was instantly burst open;
and whilst an elderly Gentleman advanc'd towards me, full of surprize,
the detested brute slipp'd away.—This Gentleman, my good deliverer,
was no other than your Ladyship's banker, who when he was acquainted
with my name, insisted on taking me to Town in his own coach, where he
was returning from a visit he had made at Salisbury—I did not ask,
neither do I know what became of Smith; but I suppose he will set out
with his wife immediately for Dover.—Thank God! I am not of the
party—How I pity poor Miss Frances Walsh, a young Lady who, he told
me, was waiting at his house in Town to go over with them.—I am but
just arriv'd at Mr. Delves's house.—Mr. and Mrs. Delves think with me,
that the character of the unworthy Smith should not be expos'd
for the sake of his worthy wife.—The family here are all
amiable.—I could say a great deal more; but my head aches
dreadfully.—This I must add, I have consented, at the tender
intreaties of Mr. and Mrs. Delves, to remain with them 'till a proper
opportunity offers to throw myself at your Ladyship's feet.—My head
grows worse;—I must lay down my pen.—This bad man has certainly
frighten'd me into a fever.
[The following lines were added after Miss Powis's recovery]
I hope, my dear Lady, before this you have Mr. Delves's letter;—if
so, you know I have had the small-pox.—You know too I am out of
danger.—How can I be thankful enough for so many escapes!—This is the
first day I have been able to hold a pen.—I am permitted to write no
more than the name of your honour'd and affectionate
LETTER XXXIX. Captain RISBY to the
Will all the thanks,—all the gratitude,—the parents
blessings,—their infinity of joy, be contain'd in one poor
sheet?—No:—Was I to repeat half,—only half of what they send, you, I
might write on for ever.—One says you shall be their son;—another,
their brother;—a third, that you are a man most favour'd of
heaven—but all agree, as a reward for your virtues you are impower'd
to heal afflictions—in short, they want to make me think you can make
black white—But enough for the vanity of one man.
I dread your coming to the Abbey.—We that are here already, shall
only, then, appear like pismires:—but let me caution my friend not to
think his head will touch the clouds.
What man can bear to be twice disinherited?—Mr. Morgan's estate,
which the other day I was solely to possess, is now to devolve on the
Honourable George Molesworth.—But mark me:—As I have been
disinherited for you,—you as certainly will be disinherited for
See what a man of consequence I am.—Does Captain Risby say this?
—Does Captain Risby say that?—Does Captain Risby think well of
Expect, George, to behold me push'd into perferment against my
will;—all great people say so, you know;—expect to behold me
preside as governor of this castle.—Let me enjoy it then,—let me
plume myself beneath the sun-beam.
If to witness the honours with I am surrounded, is insufficient to
fill your expanded heart;—if it looks out for a warmer gratification;
you shall see, you shall hear, the exulting parents?—you shall see Mr.
Morgan revers'd;—Mr. Watson restor'd to more than sight—the
steward and his family worthy every honour they receive from
this honourable house.
I hear my shadow.—Strange, indeed! to hear shadows
;—but more so to hear them swear.—Ha! ha! ha!—Ha! ha! ha!—I cannot
speak to it for laughing.—Coming, Sir!—coming, Mr. Morgan!—Now is he
cursing me in every corner of the house;—I suppose dinner is on the
This moment return'd from regaling myself with the happy family:—I
mean Sir James and Lady Powis, with their joyful inmates.—Mr. and Mrs.
Powis are set out for London.—As an addition to their felicity, Lady
Powis had a letter from her grand-daughter the instant they were
stepping into the chaise.
For one hour I am at your command:—take, then, the particulars
which I was incapable of giving you by John.—
I was sitting in the library-window, talking to Mr. Watson; the
Ladies, Sir James, and Mr. Morgan, in the dressing-room, when I saw
John riding down the great road a full gallop.—At first I thought Lord
Darcey had been dead; then, again, consider'd his faithful servant
would not have come post with the news:—however, I had not patience to
go through the house, but lifting up a sash, jump'd out before he could
reach the stable yard.—Without speaking, I enquired of his face what
tidings; and was answer'd by a broad grin. I had nothing to fear from
Well, John, said I, running up to him,—how is your Lord? how is Mr.
Better, I thank God, Sir;—better, I thank God! With that he turned
his horse, and was riding across the lawn.—
Zounds, John, where are you going?—where are you going?
Follow me, Sir;—follow me (setting up a brisk trot). If you kill
me, I dare not deliver letter or message before we are at a distance
from the Abbey.
I thought him mad, but kept on by the side of his horse 'till we
came to the gate of a meadow, where he dismounted.
Now, Sir,' said he, with a look that bespoke his consequence,—have
patience, whilst I tie up my horse.
Patience, John! (and I swore at him) I am out of all
With that he condescended to deliver your letters.—I rambled with
surprise at the contents, and fell against a hedge.—John, who by this
time had fasten'd his steed, came up to me just as I recover'd my
legs;—and speaking close to my ear,—'Twas John Warren, Sir,
was the man who found out the Lady; 'twas I was the man,
I shook him heartily by the hand, but for my soul could not utter a
syllable.—I hope you are not ill, Sir, said the poor fellow, thinking
me seiz'd speechless.—
No, John;—no, reply'd I; it is only excess of pleasure.—You are a
welcome messenger:—you have made your fortune, John Warren, and please
your honour, has made his dear Lord happy;—that is more pleasurable
to him than all the riches in the world.
You are an honest, good creature, John.
Ay, Captain; but was it not very sensible to remember the young
Lady's hand-writing?—Would a powder-headed monkey have had the
Oh very sensible, John;—very sensible, indeed!—Now go the
Abbey;—ask for my servant;—say you was sent by Mr. Molesworth to
enquire for the family; but do not mention you have seen me:—I shall
return by a different way.
John mounted immediately, and I walk'd full speed towards the house.
I found Mr. Morgan taking long strides up and down the dining-parlour,
puffing, blowing, and turning his wig on every side.
Where have you been, Captain? I have sent to seek you.—Lord
Darcey's servant is without;—come to enquire how things are here.—I would not let them send his message up;—but I have been out myself
to ask for his Lordship.
Well, Sir, and what says the servant?
Says!—Faith I hardly know what he says—something about hopes of
him:—to be plain, I should think it better if hope was out of
the question.—If he and all of us were dead—But see
John yourself; I will send him to you.
As he was just without the door, I drew him back,—and turn'd the
Come hither, Sir;—Come hither, Mr. Morgan:—I have something of
importance to communicate.
D——n ye, Captain, what's the matter now? (staring.)—I'll hear no
more bad news:—upon my soul, I'll run out of it (attempting to open
Hold, Sir; why this impatience?—Miss Powis lives!—Will you
run from me now?—Miss Powis lives!—With that he sent forth a
horrid noise;—something betwixt howling and screaming.—It reach'd the
dressing-room, as well it might:—had the wind sat that way, I question
if the village would not have been alarm'd.—Down ran Sir James and Mr.
Powis into the library;—out jump'd Mr. Morgan.—I held up my hand for
him to retreat:—he disregarding the caution, I follow'd.—Sir James
was inquiring of a servant whence the noise had proceeded.
It was I, said Mr. Morgan, rubbing his sides, and expressing the
agitation of joy by dumb shew;—it was I, beating one of my damn'd dogs
for running up stairs.
If that is all, said Mr. Powis,—let us return to my mother and
wife, who are much hurried.—Away we went together, and the affair of
the dog pass'd very well on the Ladies.
I sat musing for some moments how to introduce the event my heart
labour'd to give up.—Every sigh that escap'd,—every
sorrowful look that was interchang'd, I now plac'd to my own
account, because in my power to reverse the scene.
Addressing myself to Mr. Powis, I ask'd if he knew Lord Darcey's
servant was below.—He shook his head;—No, he answer'd.—Then it is
all over, Risby, I suppose in a low voice?—I hardly wish for
his own sake he may recover:—for ours, it would be
He was not worse, I reply'd:—there was hope,—great hope he would
Blessings attend him! cried Mrs. Powis.—tears starting afresh to
her swoln eyes;—then you really think, Mr. Risby, he may recover?
If he does, Madam, return'd! he is flatter'd into life.—Flatter'd!
said Mr. Powis eagerly;—how flatter'd?
Why, continued I, he has been told some persons are sav'd from the
Up they all started, surrounding me on every side:—there seem'd but
one voice, yet each ask'd if I credited the report.
I said I did.—
Down they dropp'd on their knees, praying with uplifted hands their
dear,—dear child may be of the number.—Though nothing could equal the
solemnity of this scene, I could scarce command my countenance, when I
saw Mr. Morgan standing in the midst of the circle, his hat held up
before his face, and a cane under his arm.
As they rose from their knees,—I gave them all the consolation I
thought at that moment they were capable of sustaining;—and assur'd
them no vigilance would be wanting to come at particulars.—I was
ask'd, if there was any letter from Mr. Molesworth?—When answer'd in
the affirmative,—the next question was, if it related to what I had
just disclos'd?—I equivocated in my reply, and withdrew to write the
few unconnected lines sent by John.
After he was dispatch'd, I return'd immediately to the
hopeing,—fearing family.—Mr. Watson was sitting amidst them:—he
seem'd like a Being of purity presiding over hearts going to be
rewarded for resignation to the Divine will.
He heard me as I enter'd: he rose from his seat as I came near him,
and pressing one of my hands between both his, whisper'd, I have seen
Mr. Morgan.—Then raising his voice, You are the messenger of joy, Mr.
Risby;—complete the happiness you have begun:—all present, pointing
round, are prepar'd to receive it.
Here drops my pen.—I must not attempt this scene:—a Shakespeare
would have wrote it in tears.
How infinite,—how dazzling the beauty of holiness!—Affliction
seems to have threaten'd this amiable family, only to encrease their
love,—their reverence,—their admiration of Divine
Omnipotence.—Blessings may appear, as a certain great man remarks,
under the shape of pain, losses, and disappointments;—but let us have
patience, and we shall see them in their own proper figures.
If rewards even in this world attend the virtuous, who would
be depraved?—Could the loose, the abandon'd, look in on this
happy mansion, how would their sensual appetites be pall'd!—How would
they hate,—how detest the vanity,—the folly that leads to vice!—If
pleasure is their pursuit, here they might see it speaking at mouth
and eyes:—pleasures that fleet not away;—pleasures
that are carried beyond the grave.
What a family is this to take a wife from!—Lord Darcey's happiness
is insur'd:—in my conscience, there will not be such another couple in
Preparations are making to welcome the lovely successor of this
ancient house;—preparations to rejoice those whose satisfactions are
scanty,—to clothe the naked,—to feed the hungry,—to let the stately
roof echo with songs and mirth from a croud of chearful, honest, old
I often hear Mrs. Jenkings crying out in extasy,—My angel!—my
sweet angel!—As to the old gentleman and Edmund, they actually cannot
refrain from tears, when Miss Powis's name is mention'd.—Sir James and
her Ladyship are never easy without these good folks.—It has ever been
an observation of mine, that at an unexpected fortunate event, we are
fond of having people about us who feel on the same passion.
Mr. Morgan is quite his own man again:—he has been regaling himself
with a fine hunt, whilst I attended Sir James and my Lady in an airing
round the park.—After dinner we were acquainted with all his losses
and crosses in the dog and horse way.—He had not seen Filley
rubb'd down this fortnight:—the huntsman had lost three of his best
hounds:—two spaniels were lame;—and one of his running horses
glander'd.—He concluded with swearing, as things turn'd out, he did
not matter it much;—but had it happen'd three weeks since; he
should have drove all his servants to the devil.—Enough of Mr.
Morgan.—Adieu, Molesworth!—Forget not my congratulations to your
noble, happy, friend.
LETTER XL. The Honourable GEORGE
to RICHARD RISBY, Esq;
All is happiness, Dick!—I see nothing else; I hear of nothing
else.—It is the last thing I take leave of at night;—the
first thing I meet in the morning.—Yesterday was full of
it!—yesterday I dined with Mr. and Mrs. Powis and their
charming daughter, at the Banker's.—To look back, it seems as if I had
gone through all the vexations of my life in the last three weeks.
Darcey would not let me rest 'till I had been to congratulate them,
or rather to satisfy his own impatience, being distracted to hear how
Miss Powis bore the great discovery.—Her fortitude is amazing!—But
Sir James has had every particular from his son, therefore I shall be
too late on that subject.
The following short epistle I receiv'd from Mr. Powis, as I was
setting off for Town.
Mr. Powis to the Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH.
“The first moment I can tear myself from the tender embraces of all
my hopes;—the first moment I can leave my belov'd daughter, I come to
Dover;—I come to acknowledge my gratitude to the noble-minded
Molesworth—I come to testify my affection to the generous,
disinterested Lord Darcey.—We pray for the recovery of his. Lordship's
health.—When that is establish'd, not one wish will be wanting to
complete the felicity of
The more I know of this family, the more I admire them.—I
must be their neighbour, that's certain—Suppose I petition
for a little spot at one end of the park; suppose you throw up
your commission; and we live together two snug batchelors.
Darcey vows he will go to Town next week.—If fatigue should cause
him to relapse, what will become of us then?—But I will not
think of that now.
We shall come down a joyful, cavalcade to the Abbey.—I long to see
the doors thrown open to receive us.—School-boy like, I shall first
count days;—next hours;—then minutes: though I am your's the same
here, there, and every where.
LETTER XLI. The Honourable GEORGE
MOLESWORTH to the same.
Build in the park, and live batchelors!—Pish!—A horrid scheme!—I
give it up.—Over head and ears, Dick!
Last Monday arriv'd at his Lordship's house in St. James's-Square, the Right Honourable the Earl and Countess of Hampstead,—Lord
Hallum,—the Ladies Elizabeth and Sophia Curtis.
True, as I hope to be sav'd;—and as true, that Lady
Elizabeth and Sophia are blooming as angels.
Three times have I sat down, pen in my hand, paper
folded, yet could not tune my mind to write one word.—Over head and
ears! I say.—
Past one in the morning!—All silent! Let me try if I can scribble
First, I must tell you the body drove on shore at Dover, which I
concluded was Miss Powis's, is discover'd to be a Miss Frances Walsh,
going over in the yacht which was unfortunately cast-away;—the corpse
much defac'd:—but what confirm'd it to be the body of Miss Powis, was
a handkerchief taken from the neck mark'd F W.—Poor young Lady! her
friends, perhaps are suffering the excesses of grief which you
and I have so lately witness'd.—But this is a subject I shall
not dwell on.
I came to Town this evening with Darcey:—he bore the journey very
poorly;—sinking, fainting, all the way.—When we got to our lodgings,
and he was put into a bed, recovering a little, he press'd me to go to
the Banker's.—I saw his impatience, and went immediately.
My name was no sooner sent up, than Mr. Powis flew to receive
me.—Welcome, my friend! said he; you come opportunely. We have a noble
family with us that has been just wishing to see Mr. Molesworth.—He
had time for no more; the door open'd.—What was my surprize to be
embrac'd by Lord Hampstead and Lord Hallum, by them, led to the
Countess and our two divinities, whose mild eyes,—whose
elegant deportment, told me Loves and Graces had put a
finishing stroke to the great work of virtue and humility.—Lady Mary Sutton,—yes, Lady Mary Sutton too was there: she advanc'd
towards me, Miss Powis in her hand.
I have the honour, said Mr. Powis, of presenting Lady Mary Sutton
(the source of all my felicity) to Mr. Molesworth.—Then addressing
himself to her Ladyship, Permit me, Madam, to introduce to you the
friend I love.
If ever I wish'd to shine, it was then—I would have given the world
for eloquence;—nay, common understanding.—The former I never
possessed:—A surprize and pleasure had flown away with the
latter.—Miss Powis has that looks through one's very soul—a sweet
compassionate eye: the dignity it expresses bespeaks your
confidence.—She perceived my embarrassment, and said, Come, Mr.
Molesworth, let me have the satisfaction of placing you next Lady Mary.
So down sat the stupid blockhead.—Her Ladyship is very chatty, and
very affable; she said a thousand obliging things; but half was lost
upon me, whilst I watch'd the lips of my fair Elizabeth.
Mr. Mrs. Powis, and Lady Mary, enquired affectionately after the
health of Lord Darcey. When I said he was come to Town, up flew the
heart's tell-tale to the face of Miss Powis.—Her father and mother
ask'd, if they might have the happiness of waiting on his Lordship next
morning.—I arose to assure them what joy their visit would occasion;
when having settled the hour, and so forth, I slid to a chair vacant
between Lady Elizabeth and Lady Sophia,—How enchanting did they
look!—how enchanting did they speak!—No reserve;—all
frankness;—the same innocence in their manners as at fifteen;—the
vivacity of the French,—the sedateness of the English, how charmingly
Risby, thou art a fortunate fellow: Lady Sophia speaks of thee with
The sweet syrens—syrens only by attraction—held me by the
ear upwards of an hour.—From them I learnt Lady Mary Sutton came to
England, on receiving an account from Mr. Delves that Miss Powis had
the small-pox.—Happy for us, Dick, they lov'd Lady Mary too well to
stay behind her!
As I was listening to their entertaining descriptions of places
abroad, we were join'd by Lord Hallum.—Molesworth, said his Lordship,
I will not suffer these girls to engage you solely:—My prating sisters
are grown so saucy that I am obliged to be a very tyrant.—
A spirited conversation ensued, in which the cherub sisters bore
away the palm.
More and more sick of my batchelor notions!—Yet I aver, that state
should be my choice, rather than swallow one grain of indifference in
the matrimonial pill, gilder'd over ever so nicely.—Think what must
be my friendship for Darcey, to tear myself from this engageing circle
before nine!—As I was taking my leave, Lady Mary stepp'd towards
me.—To-morrow, Mr. Molesworth, said her Ladyship, I bespeak the favour
of your company and Lord Darcey's to dine with me in Pall-Mall
:—I bow'd, and answer'd both for his Lordship and myself.
We shall rejoice, continued she, to congratulate your friend on his
recovery,—looking with peculiar meaning at Miss Powis.—I think by
that look there will be an interview between the lovers,
though I did not say so much to Darcey.—He requires sleep: none would
he have had, if he knew my surmises.—I'll to bed, and dream of Lady
Elizabeth;—so good night, Dick.
Twelve o'clock at noon.
Mr. and Mrs. Powis this moment gone;—Lord Darcey dressing to meet
them in Pall-Mall.—Yes, they are to be there;—and the whole
groupe of beauties are to be there;—Miss Powis,—Lady Elizabeth,—Lady
Sophia,—and the little sprightly hawk-eyed Delves.—Risby, you
know nothing of life; you are dead and buried.
I will try to be serious.—Impossible! my head runs round and round
with pleasure.—The interview was affecting to the last
degree.—Between whom?—Why Darcey, Mr. and Mrs.—faith I can write no
LETTER XLII. The Hon. GEORGE
MOLESWORTH to the same.
The day of days is over!
I am too happy to sleep:—exquisite felicity wants not the common
supports of nature.—In such scenes as I have witness'd, the soul
begins to know herself:—she gives us a peep into futurity:—the
enjoyments of this day has been all her own.
Once more I regain the beaten path of narrative.
Suppose me then under the hands of hair-dressers, valets, &c. &c.
&c. I hate those fellows about me:—but the singularity of this visit
made me undergo their tortures with tolerable patience.—Now was the
time when Vanity, under pretence of respect, love, and decorum, usher'd
in her implements.
It was about two when we were set down at Lady Mary
Sutton's.—Darcey trembled, and look'd so pale at coming out of his
chair, that I desir'd a servant to shew us to a room, where we might be
alone 'till Mr. Powis was inform'd of our being in the house.—He
instantly came with Lady Mary.—Tender welcomes and affectionate
caresses fill'd him with new life.—Her Ladyship propos'd he should
first see Miss Powis in her dressing-room;—that none should be present
but Mr. and Mrs. Powis, her Ladyship, and your humble servant.
Judge how agreeable this must be to his Lordship, whose extreme
weakness consider'd, could not have supported this interview before so
much company as were assembled in the drawing-room.
The plan settled, Lady Mary withdrew to prepare Miss Powis for our
reception.—A footman soon came with a message from her Ladyship that
she expected us.
I was all compassionate at this moment:—the conflicts of my feeble
friend were not to be conceal'd.—We follow'd Mr. Powis;—the door
open'd;—Darcey turn'd half round, and laying his cold clammy hand on
mine, said, Oh Molesworth! my happiness is in view!—how can I meet it?
Inimitable creature!—Can I describe your reception of my
friend?—can I describe the dignity of beauty;—the melting softness of
sensibility;—the blushing emotion of surprize?—No,
The Ladies stood to receive us; Miss Powis supported between her
mother and Lady Mary;—she all graceful timidity;—they
all extasy and rapture.—Do you not expect to see Darcey at the feet of
his mistress?—No; at Mrs. Powis's, at Lady Mary's, he fell.
The eyes of his Adorable glisten'd.—He was rais'd, and embrac'd
tenderly—by the parents,—by Lady Mary.—Mr. Powis said, presenting
him to his delighted daughter, You, my dear, must make our
returns of gratitude to Lord Darcey;—giving him her more than passive
hand, which he press'd to his lips with fervor, saying, This is
the hour my soul has flown up to petition—Dearest, best of women! tell
me I am welcome.
She attempted to reply;—it was only an attempt.
She does bid you welcome, return'd Mr. Powis;—her heart bids
Indeed, said she, I am not ungrateful:—indeed, my Lord, I am
not insensible to the obligations you have laid me under.
As these words escap'd her, you must certainly take in the whole
countenance of Darcey.
By this time we were seated, and Lady Mary return'd to the company.
Honour'd as I am, said his Lordship, addressing Miss Powis, will you
permit me, Madam, in presence of your revered parents,—in presence of
the friend to whom every wish of my heart has been confess'd;—will you
permit me to hope you are not offended by my application to Sir
James?—May I hope for your—
Friendship, my Lord (reply'd she, interrupting him); you may command
Friendship! (retorted he) Miss Powis, starting up:—is that
all I am to expect?—Can I accept your friendship?—No,
Madam, the man who would have died for you aspires to more than
friendship;—he aspires to your love.
I am no stranger, my Lord, return'd she, to the honour you intend
me;—I am no stranger to your worth;—but I have
scruples;—scruples that seem to me insurmountable.
I never saw him so affected.
For heaven's sake, Madam, he answer'd, don't drive me to
despair:—tear not open the wound which the hand of Mercy has just
clos'd:—my shatter'd frame will not bear another rub from fortune.—
What scruples?—Tell me, Miss Powis, I conjure you.
You have none, my dear child, said Mrs. Powis. You have none, Fanny,
said Mr. Powis, but what his Lordship can remove.
Indeed, Sir!—indeed, Madam! replied she, I meant not to give Lord
Darcey pain.—Then turning to him in a tender, soothing accent,—Your
peace, my Lord, has never been lightly regarded by me.—Here he
brighten'd up,—and said, taking her hand, You know not, Miss Powis,
from the first moment I saw you, how ardent,—how steady has been my
Why then my Lord, resum'd she—why endeavour to gain
my affections, yet hide your preference for me from the world
;—even from myself?—Think of the day Lord Allen dined at
the Abbey;—think what pass'd in a walk preceding that you set
out for town:—on both these,—on many others, how mysterious your
conduct?—If you thought me worthy your regard, my Lord, why such
For God's sake, my dear,—dear Miss Powis, said Darcey, suffer me to
vindicate myself.—Pardon me, my Lord (continued the angel that
harangued him) hear me patiently another moment, and I will listen to
She went on.
From whence can I suppose, my Lord, your embarrassments proceeded,
if not from some entanglement grown irksome?—No; before I can
promise myself happiness, I must be first satisfied I do not
borrow that happiness from another.
Another, Madam! repeated he, throwing himself at her
feet:—May all my brighter prospects fly me;—may my youth be blighted
by the loss of reason if I have ever lov'd another!
She was affected with the solemnity of his air: one pearly drop
stray'd down her cheek;—one that escap'd the liquid body of tenderness
assembled in her eyes:—she could not speak, but held out her snowy
hand for him to be seated.
He obey'd; and placing himself next her, so clearly accounted for
that part of his conduct she call'd mysterious, that Mr. and Mrs. Powis
both at once exclaim'd, Now, my dear, complete our felicity;—now all
your scruples must be over.
And do you, said she, my tender, my indulgent parents, rising and
throwing herself into their arms;—do you say it is in my power
to complete your felicity?—Will confessing a preference for
Lord Darcey;—will declaring I wish you to prefer him to your
daughter;—will that complete it?
My friend caught the blushing beauty from the arms of her parents,
and, frantic with joy, folded her to his bosom, standing as if he
wonder'd at his own happiness.
What innocence in the look of Miss Powis, when she greatly
acknowledg'd her heart!—How reverse from this innocence,
this greatness, is the prudish hypocrite, who forbids
even her features to say she is susceptible of love! You may
suppose a profusion of friendly acknowledgments fell to my
share; but I am not vain enough to repeat them.
It is well Lady Elizabeth stands portress at the door of my
heart:—there is such bustling and pushing to get in;—but,
notwithstanding her Ladyship's vigilance, Miss Powis has slipp'd by,
and sits perch'd up in the same corner with Darcey.
If you go back to Lady Mary's dressing-room, you will find nobody
there:—but give a peep into the dining-parlour, and you will see
us just set down at dinner;—all smiling,—all happy;—an
inexhaustible fountain of pleasure in every breast.
I will go down to Slope Hall;—give Lady Dorothy a hint that she has
it now in her power to make one man happy;—a hint I believe she
never had before.—A snug twenty thousand added to my present
fortune,—the hand of Lady Elizabeth,—and then, Risby, get hold of my
skirts, and you mount with me.
Next Tuesday prepare, as governor of the castle, for a warm siege.—
Such a battery of eyes,—such bundles of darts,—such
stores of smiles,—such a train of innocence will be laid before
the walls, as never was withstood!—No; I shall see you cap-a-pee
open the gates to the besiegers.—Away goes my pen.—I write no more
LETTER XLIII. Miss DELVES to Mrs.
Are you well, Madam? Is my dear father well? Tell me you are, and
never was so happy a creature as your daughter. I tremble with
pleasure,—with joy,—with delight:—but I must—my duty, my
affection, every thing says I must sit down to write.—You did
not see how we were marshall'd at setting out:—I wish you could have
got up early enough:—never was there such joyous party!
All in Lady Mary's dining-room by seven;—the fine equipages at the
door;—servants attending in rich new liveries, to the number of
twenty;—Lord Darcey and his heavenly bride that is to be,—smiling on
each other,—smiling on all around;—Lady Mary Sutton—yes, she
is heavenly too;—I believe I was the only earthly creature
amongst them;—Lord and Lady Hampstead,—the angelic Ladies Elizabeth
and Sophia,—Mr. Molesworth,—the generous, friendly, open-hearted Mr.
Molesworth,—Lord Hallum.—But why mention him last?—Because, Bessy, I
suppose he was last in your thoughts.—Dear Madam, how can you
In Lady Mary's coach went her Ladyship, Lord Darcey, Mrs. and Miss
Powis:—in Lord Hampstead's, his Lordship, Lady Hampstead, Lady
Elizabeth, and Mr. Molesworth:—in Lord Darcey's, Lady Sophia, Mr.
Powis, Lord Hallum, and your little good-for-nothing:—in Mr.
Powis's, the women-servants.—We lay fifty miles short of the Abbey,
and the next evening reach'd it at seven.
We reach'd Barford Abbey, I say—but what shall I say now?—I
cannot do justice to what I have seen of duty,—of affection,—of
joy,—of hospitality.—Do, dear Madam, persuade my father to purchase a
house in this neighbourhood.
Servants were posted at the distance of six miles to carry
intelligence when we should approach.—I suppose in their way back it
was proclaim'd in the village:—men, women, and children, lined the
road a mile from the Abbey, throwing up their hats with loud
huzzaing,—bells ringing in every adjacent parish;—bonfires on every
rising ground;—in short, we were usher'd in like conquerors.—The
coachmen whipp'd up their horses full speed through the park;—thump,
thump, went my heart, when by a number of lights I discover'd we were
just at the house.
What sensations did I feel when the carriages stopp'd!—At the
entrance stood Sir James and Lady Powis,—the Chaplain,—Mr.
Morgan,—Captain Risby,—you know their characters, Madam;—every
servant in the house with a light:—but who could have stay'd within at
The first coach that drove up was Lady Mary's. Out sprang Lord
Darcey, Miss Powis in his hand; both in a moment lock'd in parental
embraces.—Good heaven, what extasy!—I thought Mr. Watson and Mr.
Morgan would have fought a duel which should first have folded Miss
Powis in his arms, whilst Sir James and Lady Powis quitted her to
welcome Lady Mary.—We were all receiv'd tenderly affectionate:—a
reception none can have an idea of, but those who have been at Barford
In my way to the house, I suppose I had a hundred kisses:—God
knows from whom.—What can I say of Lord Hampstead's family?—what
of Mr. Molesworth?—The general notice taken of him is
sufficient.—Absolutely that charming man will be spoil'd.—Pity to set
him up for an idol!—I hope he will not always expect to be
worshipp'd—Mr. Risby too—Well, I'll mention you all, one after
another, as fast as possible.—Let me see, where did I leave off?—Oh!
we were just out of our carriages.—And now for the pathetics:—an
attempt;—a humble attempt only.
Lady Powis, Lady Mary, and their darling, had given us the
slip.—What could be done?—I mean with Mr. Morgan:—he was quite
outrageous.—What could be done? I repeat.—Why Sir James, to pacify
him, said, we should all go and surprize them in his Lady's
dressing-room.—We did go;—we did surprize them;—great God! in what
an attitude!—The exalted Lady Powis at the feet of Lady Mary;—Miss
Powis kneeling by her;—she endeavouring to raise them.—I said it
would be an attempt at the pathetics;—it must be an attempt:—I can
proceed no farther.
To be sure, Mr. Morgan is a queer-looking man, but a great favourite
at the Abbey.—He took Miss Powis on his knee;—call'd her a hundred
times his dear, dear daughter;—and I could not forbear laughing, when
he told her he had not wore a tye-wig before these twenty years. This
drew me to observe his dress, which, unless you knew the man, you can
have no idea how well it suited him:—a dark snuff-colour'd coat with
gold buttons, which I suppose by the fashion of it, was made when he
accustomed himself to tye-wigs;—the lace a rich orrice; but
then it was so immoderately short, both in the sleeves and skirts, that
whilst full dress'd he appeared to want cloathing.
The next morning,—ay, the next morning, then it was I
lost my freedom.—Disrob'd of his gingerbread coat, I absolutely sell a
sacrifice to a plain suit of broad cloth,—or rather, to a noble, plain
heart.—Now pray, dear Madam, do not cross me in my first
love;—at least, see Mr. Morgan, before you command me to give
him up:—and you, sweet Sir, steal to a corner of your new possession,
whilst I take notice of those who are capering to my fingers ends.
You have seen Miss Powis, Madam, on Mr. Morgan's knee;—you have
heard him say enough to fill any other girl than myself with
jealousy:—nay, Madam, you may smile;—he really makes love to me.—But
for a moment let me forget my lover;—let me forget his melting
sighs,—his tender protections,—his persuasive
eloquence,—his air so languishing:—let me forget them all, I say, and lead you to the library, where by a message flew Miss
Powis.—A look from her drew me after:—I suppose Lord Darcey had a
touch from the same magnet.
A venerable pair with joy next to phrenzy caught her in their
extended arms, as the door open'd. My kind, my dear, ever
dear friends, said the lovely creature,—and is it thus we meet?
is it thus I return to you?—Mr. Jenkings clasp'd her to him;
but his utterance was quite choak'd:—the old Lady burst into a flood
of tears, and then cried out,—How great is thy mercy, O God!—Suffer
me to be grateful.—Again she flew to their arms;—again they folded
her to their bosoms.—Lord Darcey too embrac'd them;—he
condescendingly kiss'd their hands;—he said, next to the parents of
his Fanny,—next to Lady Mary, they were most dear to him.—Miss Powis
seated herself between them, and hung about the neck of Mrs.
Jenkings;—whilst his Lordship, full of admiration, look'd as if his
great soul labour'd for expression.—
Overcome with tender scenes, I left the library.—I acquainted Lady
Mary who was there, and she went to them immediately.—Mr. Watson and
Mr. Morgan for a quarter of an hour were all my own;—captain Risby,
Mr. Molesworth, Lady Elizabeth and Sophia, being engag'd in a
conversation at another part of the room:—you may guess our
subject, Madam;—but I declare, whilst listening to Mr. Watson, I
thought myself soaring above earthly enjoyments.—
Sir James, who had follow'd Lady Mary, soon return'd with her
Ladyship, Miss Powis, Lord Darcey, and, what gave me heart-felt
pleasure, the steward and his wife;—an honour they with difficulty
accepted, as they were strangers to Lord Hampstead's family.—
Who says there is not in this life perfect happiness?—I say they
are mistaken:—such felicity as I here see and partake of, cannot be
call'd imperfect—How comes it that the domestics of this family
so much surpass those of other people?—how is it one
interest governs the whole?—I want to know a thousand mysteries.—I
could write,—I could think eternally,—of the first happy
evening.—First happy evening do I say? And can the days that crown
that eve be forgot?—Heaven forbid! at least whilst I have
recollection.—My heart speaks so fast to my pen, that fain my fingers
would,—but cannot keep up with it.
The next morning Lord Darcey introduc'd to us the son of Mr.
Jenkings.—A finer youth I never saw!—Well might the old gentleman be
suspicious.—Few fathers would, like him, have sacrificed
the interest of a son, to preserve that of a friend.—To know the real
rank of Miss Powis;—her ten thousand virtues;—her great expectations;
yet act with so much caution!—with an anxiety which the most
sordid miser watching his treasure, could not have exceeded! and for
what?—Why lest involuntarily she might enrich his belov'd son with
her affections.—Will you part with me to this extraordinary
man?—Only for an hour or two.—A walk is propos'd.—Our ramble will
not be farther than his house.—You say I may go. Thank you, Madam: I
Just return'd from the steward's, so cramm'd with sweet-meats, cake,
and jellies, that I am absolutely stupified.
I must tell you who led Miss Powis.—Lord Darcey, to be sure.—No,
Madam; I had the favour of his Lordship's arm:—it was Edmund.—I call
him Edmund;—every body calls him Edmund;—yes, and at Lord
Darcey's request too.—Never shall I forget in what a graceful
manner!—But his Lordship does every thing with grace.—He mention'd
something of past times, hinting he should not always have courted him
to such honour, presenting the hand of his belov'd.
I wish I could send you her look at that moment; it was all
love,—all condescension.—I say I cannot send it.—Mortifying! I
cannot even borrow it.
Adieu, dear Madam!—Adieu, dear Sir!—Adieu, you best of parents—It
is impossible to say which is most dear to your ever dutiful and
LETTER XLIV. Miss DELVES to the
Lost my heart again!—Be not surpriz'd, Madam; I lose and
find it ten times a day;—yet it never strays from Barford Abbey.—The
last account you had from me it was button'd inside Mr. Morgan's
hunting-frock:—since that, it has been God knows with whom:—sometimes
wrapt in a red coat;—sometimes in a blue;—sometimes in a green:—but
finding many competitors flew to black, where it now lies snug, warm,
and easy.—Restless creature! I will never take it home again.
What think you, Madam, of a Dean for a son-in-law?
What do I think? you say.—Why the gentlemen of the church have too
much sense and gravity to take my madcap off my hands.—Well, Madam,
but suppose the Dean of H——now you look pleas'd.—Oh, the Dean of
H——! What the Dean, Bessy, that Lady Mary used to talk
of:—the Dean that married Mr. and Mrs. Powis.
As sure as I live, Madam, the very man:—and
to-morrow,—to-morrow at ten, he is to unite their lovely daughter
with Lord Darcey.—Am I not very good,—extremely good,
indeed, to sit down and write,—when every person below is solacing
themselves on the approach of this happy festival?
I would suffer shipwreck ten times;—ten times would I be drove on
uninhabited islands, for such a husband as Lord Darcey.—Miss Powis's
danger was only imaginary, yet she must be so
rewarded.—Well, she shall be rewarded:—she ought to be
rewarded:—Lord Darcey shall reward her.
But is it not very hard upon your poor girl, that
all the young smarts we brought down, and that which we
found here, should have dispos'd of their hearts?—All
;—even Lord Hallum,—he who used to boast so much of
freedom,—now owns he has dispos'd of his.—
But to whom?—Aye: that's a question.—
They think, perhaps, the old stuff will do well enough for
poor me!—Thanks to my genius, I can set my cap at any thing.
Why there's something tolerable in the sound of a Dean's Lady—Let
me see if it will do.—“The Deans's coach;—the Dean's
servants.”—Something better this than a plain Mr.
Here comes Miss Powis. Now shall I be forc'd to huddle this into my
pocket.—I am resolv'd she shall not see the preferment I have chalk'd
out for myself.—No, no; I must be secret, or I shall have it taken
This Miss Powis,—this very dutiful young Lady, that I
used to have set up for a pattern,—now tells me that I must
write no more; that you will not expect to hear from me 'till
the next post.—If I must take Miss Powis's advice in
everything;—if I must be guided by her;—you know who
said this, Madam;—why then there is an end of my scribbling for this
night.—But remember it is not my fault.—No, indeed, I was sat
down as sober sedate as could be.—Quite fit for a Dean's
Lady?—Yes;—quite fit, indeed.—Now comes Lady Elizabeth and Lady
Sophia.—Well, it is impossible, I find, to be dutiful in this house.
Thursday, twelve o'clock at noon.
Bless my soul! one would think I was the bride by my shaking and
quaking! Miss Powis is—Lady Darcey.—Down drops my letter:—Yes, dear
Madam, I see you drop it to run and tell my father.
I may write on now;—I may do what I will;—Lord and Lady
Darcey are every thing with every body Well as I love
them, I was not present at the ceremony:—I don't know why
neither.—Not a soul but attended, except your poor foolish girl—At
the window I stood to see them go, and never stirr'd a step 'till they
return'd.—Mr. Molesworth gave her away.—I vow I thought near as
handsome as the bridegroom.—But what signifies my thinking him
handsome?—I'll ask Lady Elizabeth by and bye what she thinks.—Now for
a little about it, before I ature myself with implements of
destruction.—The Dean is not quite dead yet; but if he live out this
day,—I say, he is invulnerable.
Let us hear no more of yourself:—tell us of Lord and Lady Darcey
Have patience, Madam, and I will,
Well, their dress?—Why their faces were dress'd in
smiles of love:—Nature's charms should always take place of art.—You
see with what order I proceed.
Lord Darcey was dress'd in white richly lac'd with gold;—Lady
Darcey in a white lutestring negligee nounc'd deep with a silver
net;—no cap, a diamond sprig; her hair without powder; a diamond
necklace and sleeve-knots;—bracelets set round with diamonds; and let
me tell you, her jewels are a present from my first Adorable;—on the
knowledge of which I discarded him.—No, no, Mr. Morgan; you are not a
jewel of yourself neither.—Lady Darcey would have wore quite a
morning dishabille, if the vain old Gentleman had not requested the
contrary:—so forsooth, to humour him, we must be all put out of our
There they are on the lawn, as I hope to live, going to invite in
Caesar.—Only an old dog, Madam, that lives betwixt this house and the
Lady Elizabeth and Mr. Molesworth, Lady Sophia and Captain
Risby,—Oh, I long to be with you!—throw no more gravel to my
window.—I will be dutiful;—in spite of your allurements, I
I left them in the library, inspecting a very charming piece, just
brought from Brandon Lodge, done by the hand of Lady Mary Sutton.—Upon
my word, they have soon conn'd it over:—but I have not told you it is
the portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Powis;—my dear Dean too joining their
God defend me! there he is, hopping out.—I wish he had kept
within.—Why, Sir, I should have been down in a moment: then we might
have had the most comfortable tete-a-tete.
Seriously, Madam—now I am really serious—can you believe,
after beholding Lord and Lady Darcey, I will ever be content with a
moderate share of happiness?—No, I will die first.—To see them at
this instant would be an antidote for indifference.—Not any thing of
foolish fondness:—no; that will never be seen in Lord and Lady
Darcey.—Their happiness is not confin'd:—we are all refreshed by
it:—it pours forth from their homes like streams flowing from a pure
terrain.—I think I said I could not go to church:—no, not for the
world would I have gone:—I expected Miss Powis would be crying,
fainting, and I know not what.—Instead of all this fuss, not a tear
was shed.—I thought every body cried when they were married:—those
that had, or had not cause.—Well, I am determin'd to
appear satisfied, however, if the yoke is a little galling.
How charming look'd Miss Powis, when she smil'd on Lord Darcey!—On
Lord Darcey? On every body I mean.—And for him—But I must forget his
air,—his words,—his looks, if ever I intend to say love, honour, and
obey.—Once I am brought to say love,—honour and obey will slide off
glibly enough. I must go down amongst them. Believe me, Madam, I shut
myself up to write against intreaties,—against the most persuasive
This is the day when the Powis family are crown'd with felicity.—I
think on it with rapture.—I will set it down on the heart of your
dutiful and affectionate
LETTER XLV. Miss Delves to the same.
Surely I must smell of venison,—roast beef, and
plumb-puddings.—Yes, I smell of the Old English hospitality.—You, Madam, have no tenants to regale so;—are safe from such troubles on
my account.—Will you believe me, Madam, I had rather see their honest
old faces than go to the finest opera ever exhibited.—What think you
of a hundred-and-seven chearful farmers sitting at long tables spread
with every thing the season can afford;—two hogsheads of wine at their
elbows;—the servants waiting on them with assiduous respect:—Their
songs still echo in my ears.
I thought the roof would have come down, when Lord and Lady Darcey
made their appearance.—Some sung one tune,—some another;—some paid
extempore congratulations;—others that had not a genius, made use of
ballads compos'd on the marriage of the King and Queen.—One poor old
soul cried to the Butler, because he could neither sing or repeat a
verse.—Seeing his distress, I went to him, and repeated a few lines
applicable to the occasion, which he caught in a moment, and tun'd away
with the best of them.
Lord and Lady Hampstead are so delighted with the honest rustics,
that they declare every Christmas their tenants shall be regal'd at
What can one feel equal to the satisfaction which arises on looking
out in the park?—Three hundred poor are there feasting under a shed
erected for the purpose;—cloath'd by Sir James and Lady Powis;—so
clean,—so warm,—so comfortable, that to see them at
this moment, one would suppose they had never tasted of poverty.
Lord Darcey has order'd two hundred guineas to be given amongst
them,—that to-morrow might not be less welcome to them than this day.
For my part, I have only two to provide for out of the number;—a
pretty little boy and girl, that pick'd me up before I came to the
shed.—The parents of those children were very good, and gave them to
me on my first application.
Here comes Mrs. Jenkings.—Well, what pleasing thing have you
to tell me, Mrs. Jenkings?
Five hundred pounds, as I live, to be given to the poor to-morrow
from Lady Mary Sutton.—
What blessings will follow us on our journey! I believe I have not
told you, Madam, we set out for Faulcum Park on Monday.—Not to
stay:—no, I thank God we are not to stay.—If Lord and Lady
Darcey were to inhabit Faulcum Park, yet it would not be to me
like Barford Abbey,—Barford Abbey is to be their home whilst Sir James
and Lady Powis live.
Lord Hallum wants me to walk with him.—Not I, indeed:—I hate a
tete-a-tete with heartless men.—On second thoughts, I will go.
Oh Madam! out of breath with astonishment!—What think you:—I am
the confidante of Lord Hallum's passion;—with permission too of the
earl and countess.—Heavens! and can you guess, Madam, who it is he
loves?—Adieu, my dear,—dear Dean!—Need I say more?—Will you
not spare the blushes of your happy daughter,