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As to my health, I would fain be well. I am more sorry that Miss Byron's I am not for the sake of my friends (who are incessantly grievletters from
ing for me) than for my own. I have not, I think I have not, Selby House.
anything to reproach myself with, nor yet anybody to reproach
To whom have I given cause of triumph over me by my ill usage or insolence to them? I yield to an event to which I ought to submit; and to a woman not less, but more worthy than myself; and who has a prior claim.
I long to hear of the meeting of this noble pair. May it be propitious! May Sir Charles Grandison have the satisfaction and the merit with the family of being the means of restoring to reason (a greater restoration than to health) the woman, every faculty of whose soul ought in that case to be devoted to God and to him! Methinks I have at present but one wish; it is that I may live to see this lady, if she is to be the happy woman. ...
But you see Sir Charles has been indisposed. No wonder. Visited by the marquis and marchioness, you see. Not a slight illness, therefore, you may believe. God preserve him, and restore Lady Clementina, and the worthy Jeronymo !
His kind remembrance of me! But, my dear, I think the doctor and you must forbear obliging me with any more of his letters. His goodness, his tenderness, his delicacy, his strict honor, but adds- Yet can any new instances add to a character so uniformly good? But the chief reason of my self-denial, if you were to take me at my word as to these communications, is that his affecting descriptions and narratives of Lady Clementina's reveries (poor, poor lady !) will break my heart. Yet you must send them to your ever obliged
HARRIET BYRON. Poor Harriet !
Lady G. went down to Selby House, taking the good Visit of Lady G. Dr. Bartlett with her, to be with Miss Byron, and if
possible raise her spirits with her own lively 'ones. Hence comes this letter :
LADY G. TO LADY L.
Selby House, Monday, July 24th. Lord bless me, my dear, what shall we do! My brother in all probability by this time-But I cannot tell how to suppose it! Ah, the poor Harriet! The three letters from my brother,
which by the permission of Dr. Bartlett I enclose, will show you that the Italian affair is now at a crisis.
The three letters are inserted here, and then, thirty pages on, Lady G. continues :
Well, my dear sister! and what did you say to the contents ? I wish I had been with you and Lord L. at the time you read News from them, that I might have mingled my tears with yours for the sweet Harriet! Why would my brother despatch these letters, without staying till at least he could have informed us of the result of the next day's meeting with Clementina ?
What was the opportunity that he had to send away those letters, which he must be assured would keep us in strange suspense ? Hang the opportunity that so officiously offered! But perhaps, in the tenderness of his nature, he thought that this despatch was necessary to prepare us for what was to follow, lest, were he to acquaint us with the event as decided, our emotion would be too great to be supported. We sisters to go over to attend LADY CLEMENTINA GRANDISON a twelvemonth hence! Ah ! the poor Harriet! And will she give us leave ? But surely it must not, cannot be! And yet-Hush ! hush ! hush, Charlotte, and proceed to facts.
These three letters she is referring to, from Sir Charles, narrate his arrival at Bologna and subsequent Sir Charles's interviews with the Porretta family, and especially with Bologna. Clementina, whose health was greatly improving, although when he first saw her “she was in her mother's arms on a couch, just come out of a fit, but not a strong one.” The whole family were now prepared to surrender all their prejudices and render their conditions. The marquis, the marchioness, the bishop, the count, and Father Marescotti were all present at this interview at the palace. They entered and took their places.
“My dear,” said the marquis, referring to his lady. After some little hesitation, “We have no hope, sir,” said she, “of of the Porretta
family. our child's perfect restoration, but from—” she stopt.
“Our compliance with every wish of her heart," said the bishop.
“Ay, do you proceed,” said the marchioness to the prelate. Desired con- "It would be to no purpose, chevalier," questioned the version of Sir Charles.
bishop, “to urge to you the topic so near to all our hearts?”
I bowed assent to what he said.
This referred, of course, to his own change of religion, and they all beset him again to shake his purpose.
“You have the example of great princes, chevalier,” said Father Marescotti, “Henry the Fourth of France, Augustus of Poland"
“True, father. But great princes are not always, and in every action of their lives, great men.”
And so on, and so on, at great length, but they were already fully decided to surrender the point of Sir Charles's conversion to the Roman Catholic faith, on condition that he should never, by himself, or his English
divines, attempt to pervert her; should allow her a conThe conditions of the marriage. fessor, that confessor Father Marescotti, their residence
to be in England after the first year, which his sisters should pass with them in Italy. The long conversation settled everything in detail, the education of the children, daughters allowed to be Roman Catholics, sons to adhere to the faith of their father.
' All we have now to do,” said the marquis, “is to gain his holiness's permission [the pope]. That has not been refused in such cases, where either the sons or the daughters of the marriage are to be brought up Catholics."
Such was the news in the three letters which Sir Charles sent off to Dr. Bartlett. He closes thus :
To-morrow I am to drink chocolate with Lady Clementina. We shall be left together perhaps, or only with her mother and Camilla.
A long interval had to elapse before the waiting circle heard further news ; it came thus :
SIR CHARLES GRANDISON TO DR. BARTLETT.
Bologna, Saturday ev'g. I sit down now, my dear and reverend friend, to write you Surprising particulars which will surprise you. There is not on earth a nobler woman than Clementina! What at last-But I find I must have a quieter heart, and fingers, tvo, before I can proceed.
He resumes later :
I think I am a little less agitated than I was. The above few lines shall go, for they will express to you the emotions of my mind when I attempted to write an account of what had then so newly passed.
What had newly passed was that Clementina, in the interview accorded, after showing great agitation at his addresses and the warmth of them, retired to a closet, putting a paper in his hand as she left him. This paper revealed her absolute determination never
Clementina's to unite herself to a heretic, even if it were the beloved resolve. of her heart. Here is a part of it (translated by Dr. Bartlett):
“My tutor, my brother, my friend ! oh, most beloved and best of men! Seek me not in marriage! I am unworthy of thee. Thy SOUL was ever most dear to Clementina. Whenever I meditated the gracefulness of thy person I restrained my eye, I checked my fancy; and how? Why, by meditating on the superior graces of thy mind. And is not that soul to be saved ? thought I. Dear, obstinate, and perverse! And shall I bind my soul to a soul allied to perdition? That so dearly loves that soul, as hardly to wish to be separated from it in its future lot. Oh, thou most amiable of men, how can I be sure that were I thine, thou wouldst not draw me after thee by love, by sweetness of manners, by condescending goodness ? I, who once thought a heretic the worst of beings, have been already led, by the amiableness of thy piety, to think more favorably of all heretics for thy sake!
“But dost thou indeed love me? Or is it owing to thy gener
osity, thy compassion, thy nobleness for a creature, who, aiming to be great like thee, could not sustain the effort? It is in thy power to hold me fast or to set me free. I know thou lovest Clementina ; it is her pride to think that thou dost. But she is not worthy of thee. Yet let thy heart own that thou lovest her soul. Thou art all magnanimity; thou canst sustain the effort which she was unequal to. Make some other woman happy! But I cannot bear that it shall be an Italian.
My brain wounded, my health impaired, can I expect a long life? And shall I not endeavor to make the close of it happy? Let me be great, my chevalier ! ”
Every effort to change this determination was vain, and Her determination irrevocable. after repeated efforts and a (really) touching final inter
view with Clementina, Sir Charles departed for England.
On Tuesday, September 5th, Lady G. writes : Congratulate us, my dearest Miss Byron, on the arrival of my brother. He came last night. It was late, and he sent to us this morning, and to others of his friends. My lord and I hurried away to breakfast with him. Ah, my dear! we see too plainly that he has been very much disturbed in mind. He looks more wan, and is thinner than he was; but he is the same kind brother, friend, and good man.
And next from Selby House, Wednesday, September 2oth, comes this from Harriet :
MY DEAREST LADY G.: Do you know what is become of Grandmamma
your brother? My grandmamma Shirley has seen his ghost, Shirley sees a and talked with it near an hour; and then it vanished. Be not ghost.
surprised, my dear creature. I am still in amaze at the account my grandmamma gives us of its appearance, discourse, and vanishing! Nor was the dear parent in a reverie. It happened in the middle of the afternoon, all in broad day.
Thus she tells it: “I was sitting,” said she, “in my own drawing-room, yesterday, by myself, when in came James, to whom it first appeared, and told me that a gentleman desired to be introduced to me. I was reading 'Sherlock upon
Death' with that cheerfulness with which I always meditate the subject. I gave orders for his admittance; and in came, to appearance, one of the handsomest men I ever saw in my life, in a riding dress. It was a courteous ghost; it saluted me, or