A1r

The
Old Manor House.

A
Novel.

A1v A2r

The
Old Manor House.

A
Novel,
In Four Volumes.

By Charlotte Smith.

Vol. I.

“Nè fune intorto crederò che stringa Soma cosi, nè cosi legno chiodo, Come la fe, che una bella alma cinga Del suo tenace, indissolubil nodo.” Ariosto—Cant xxi. Stanza I

London:
Printed For J. Bell, No. 148, Oxford-Street.
1793MDCCXCIII.

A2v B1r

The
Old Manor House.

Chap. I.

In an old Manor House in one of the
most southern counties of England, resided
some few years since the last of a family
that had for a long series of years possessed
it. Mrs. Rayland was the only survivor
of the three co-heiresses of Sir Hildebrand
Rayland
; one of the first of those to
whom the title of Baronet had been granted
by James the First. The name had been
before of great antiquity in the county—
and the last baronet having only daughters
to share his extensive possessions, these Vol. I. B ladies B1v 2
ladies had been educated with such very
high ideas of their own importance, that
they could never be prevailed upon to
lessen, by sharing it with any of those
numerous suitors, who for the first forty or
fifty years of their lives surrounded them;
and Mrs. Barbara the eldest, and Mrs.
Catharine
the youngest, died single—one
at the age of seventy, and the other at that
of sixty-eight: by which events the second,
Mrs. Grace, saw herself at the advanced age
of sixty-nine sole inheritor of the fortunes
of her house, without any near relation, or
indeed any relation at all whom she chose
to consider as entitled to possess it after her
death.

About four miles from the ancient and
splendid seat she inhabited, dwelt the only
person who could claim any affinity with
the Rayland family: this was a gentleman
of the name of Somerive; who was
considered by the people of the country
as heir at law, as he was the grandson of
one of the sisters of Sir Hildebrand: but Mrs. B2r 3
Mrs. Rayland herself, whose opinion was
more material, since it was all at her own
disposal, did not by any means seem to
entertain the same idea.

The venerable lady, and her two sisters,
had never beheld this their relation with
the eyes of friendly interest; nor had they
ever extended towards him that generous
favour which they had so much the power to
afford, and which could not have failed to
prove very acceptable; since he had married
early in life, and had a family of two
sons and four daughters to support on the
produce of an estate, which, though he
farmed it himself, did not bring in a clear
five hundred pounds a year.

Various reasons, or rather prejudices, had
concurred to occasion this coolness on the
part of the ladies towards their cousin.—
Their aunt, who had married his ancestor,
had, as they had always been taught, degraded
herself extremely, by giving herself
to a man who was a mere yeoman.—The
son of this union had however been receivedB2 ceived B2v 4
and acknowledged as the cousin of
the illustrious heiresses of the house of
Rayland; but following most plebeian-
like the unaspiring inclination of his own
family, he had fallen in love with a young
woman, who lived with them as companion;
when it was believed that, as he
was a remarkably handsome man, he might
have lifted his eyes with impunity to one of
the ladies, his cousins: this occasioned an
estrangement of many years, and had
never been forgiven.—The recollection of
it returned with acrimonious violence, when
the son of this imprudent man imitated
his father, five-and-twenty afterwards, and
married a woman, who had nothing to recommend
her but beauty, simplicity, and
goodness.

However, notwithstanding the repeated
causes of complaint which this luckless
family of Somerive had given to the
austere and opulent inhabitants of Rayland
Hall
, the elder lady had on her
death-bed recollected, that, though debased by B3r 5
by the alloy of unworthy alliances, they
carried in their veins a portion of that
blood which had circulated in those of the
august personage Sir Orlando de Rayland
her grandfather; and she therefore recommended
Mr. Somerive and his family,
but particularly his youngest son (who
was named, by reluctantly obtained permission,
after Sir Orlando), to the consideration
of her sisters, and even gave to
Mr. Somerive himself a legacy of five hundred
pounds; a gift which her sisters took
so much amiss (though they possessed between
them a yearly income of near twice
five thousand), that it had nearly rendered
her injunction abortive; and they treated
the whole family for some time afterwards
with the greatest coolness, and even rudeness;
as if to convince them, that though
Mrs. Rayland had thus acknowledged their
relationship, it gave them no claim whatever
on the future kindness of her surviving
sisters.

For some years afterwards the dinners, to B3 which B3v 6
which in great form the whole family were
invited twice a year, were entirely omitted,
and none of them admitted to the honour
of visiting at the Hall but Orlando, then a
child of nine or ten years old; and even
his introduction was principally owing to
the favour of an old lady, the widow of a
clergyman, who was among the ancient
friends of the family, that still enjoyed the
privilege of being regularly sent for in
the old family coach, once a year; a custom
which, originating in the days of Sir
Hildebrand
, was still retained.

flawed-reproduction1-2 words lady was a woman of sense and
benevolence, and had often attempted to do
kind offices to the Somerive family with
their rich maiden relations; but the
height of her success amounted to no more,
than obtaining a renewal of the very little
notice that had ever been taken of them,
after those capricious fits of coldness which
sometimes happened; and once, some
time after the death of the elder Mrs. Rayland,
bringing Orlando to the Hall in her hand B4r 7
hand (whom she had met by chance fishing
in a stream that ran through their domain),
without being chidden for encouraging
an idle child to catch minnows, or for
leading him all dirty and wet into their
parlour, at a time when the best embroidered
chairs, done by the hands of dame Gertrude
Rayland
, were actually unpapered, and uncovered
for the reception of company.

There was indeed in the figure, face and
manner of the infant Orlando, something
so irresistible, that if Mesdames Alecto, Tisiphone,
and Megara had seen him, they
would probably have been softened in his
favour—And this something had always
so pleaded for him with the three equally
formidable ladies his relations, that notwithstanding
the opposition of their favourite
maid, who was in person and feature
well worthy to make the fourth in
such a group, the tales of their old and
confidential butler, who did not admire
the introduction of any competitor whatever,
Orlando had always been in some B4 degree B4v 8
degree of favour—even when his father,
mother and sisters were shut out, and his
elder brother entirely disclaimed as a wild
and incorrigible boy, how had been caught
in the fact of hunting divers cats, and
shooting one of their guinea hens—Orlando,
though not at all less wild than his brother,
and too artless to conceal his vivacity, was
still endured—A new half crown from each
of the ladies was presented to him on
every return to school, together with
abundance of excellent advice; and if any
one observed that he was a remarkably
handsome boy, the ladies never contradicted
it; though, when the same observation
was made as to the rest of the family,
it was declared to be most absurd and
utterly unfounded in truth.—To the beauty
indeed of any female the ladies of Rayland
Hall
had a particular objection, but that
of the Miss Somerives was above all obnoxious
to them—Nor could they ever forget
the error the grandfather of these children
had committed in marrying for her beauty the B5r 9
the young woman, whose poverty having reduced
her to be their humble companion,
they had considered as an inferior being,
and had treated with supercilious insolence
and contempt.—To those therefore to whom
her unlucky beauty was transmitted, they
bore irreconcileable enmity, even in the
second generation; and had any one been
artful enough to have suggested that Orlando
was like his grandmother, it would
probably have occasioned the loss of even
the slight share of favour he possessed.

When Orlando was about twelve years
old, the younger of the three antique heiressess
died: she left not however even a small
legacy to the Somerive family, but gave
every thing she possessed to her surviving
sister. Yet even by this lady, though
the coldest and most unsociable tempered
of the three, Orlando was not entirely forgotten
she left him the bible she always
used in her closet, and ten pounds to buy
mourning: the other members of his family
were not even named.

B5 One B5v 10

One only of the Mrs. Raylands now remained;
a woman, who, except regularly
keeping up the payment of the annual
alms, which had by her ancestors been
given once a year to the poor of her parish,
was never known to have done a voluntary
kindness to any human being: and though
she sometimes gave away money, it was
never without making the wretched petitioner
pay most dearly for it, by many a
bitter humiliation—never, but when it was
surely known, and her great goodness, her
liberal donation to such and such people,
were certainly related with exaggeration, at
the two market towns within four or five
miles of her house.

With a very large income, and a great
annual saving, her expences were regulated
exactly by the customs of her family.――
She lived, generally alone, at the Old Hall,
which had not received the slightest alteration,
either in its environs or its furniture,
since it was embellished for the marriage
of her father Sir Hildebrand, in 1698.

Twice B6r 11

Twice a year, when courts were held for
the manors, there were tenants feasts—and
twice there was a grand dinner, to which
none were admitted but a neighbouring
nobleman, and the two or three titled
people who resided within ten miles.――
Twice too in the course of the year the
family of Somerive were invited in form;
but Mrs. Rayland generally took the same
opportunity of asking the clergy of the surrounding
country with their wives and
daughters, the attorneys and apothecaries
of the adjoining towns with theirs, as if to
convince the Somerives that they were to
expect no distinction on account of the
kindred they claimed to the house of Rayland.
—And indeed it was on these occasions
that Mrs. Rayland seemed to take
peculiar pleasure in mortifying Mrs. Somerive
and her daughters; who dreaded these
dinner days as those of the greatest penance;
and who at Christmas, one of the periods of
these formal dinners, have blest more than
once the propitious snow; through which B6 that B6v 12
that important and magisterial personage,
the body coachman of Mrs. Rayland, did
not choose to venture himself, or the six
sleek animals of which he was sole governor;
for on these occasions it was the established
rule to send for the family, with
the same solemnity and the same parade
that had been used ever since the first
sullen and reluctant reconciliation between
Sir Hildebrand and his sister; when she
dared to deviate from the fastidious arrogance
of her family, and to marry a man
who farmed his own estate—and who, though
long settled as a very respectable landowner,
had not yet written Armiger after
his name.

But when the snow fell not, and the
ways were passable; or when in summer no
excuse was left, and the rheumatism of the
elder, or the colds of the younger ladies
could not be pleaded; the females of the family
of Somerive were compelled to endure
in all their terrific and tedious forms the
grand dinners at the Hall. And though on B7r 13
on these occasions the mother and the
daughters endeavoured, by the simplicity of
their dress, and the humility of their manners,
to disarm the haughty dislike which
Mrs. Rayland never took any pains to
conceal, they never could obtain from
her even as much common civility as she
deigned to bestow on the ladies who were
not connected with her; and Mr. Somerive
had often been so much hurt by her
supercilious behaviour towards his wife and
daughters, that he had frequently resolved
they should never again be exposed to endure
it. But these resolutions his wife, hateful as
the ceremony was to her, always contrived
to prevail upon him to give up, rather
than incur the hazard of injuring her
family by an unpardonable offence against
a capricious and ill-natured old woman,
who, however oddly she behaved, was still
by many people believed to intend giving
all her fortune to those who had undoubtedly
the best claim to it: others indeed
thought, with more appearance of probability,bability B7v 14
that she would endow an hospital,
or divide it among public charities.

When the young Orlando was at home,
and accompanied his family in these visits,
the austere visage of Mrs. Rayland was
alone seen to relax into a smile—and
as he grew older, this partiality was observed
evidently to increase, insomuch
that the neighbours observed, that whatever
aversion the old lady had to feminine
beauty, she did not detest that which nature
had very liberally bestowed on Orlando.
—He was now seventeen, and was
not only one of the finest looking lads in
that country, but had long since obtained
all the knowledge he could acquire at a
neighbouring grammar school; from whence
his father now took him, and began to
consider of plans for his future life.—The
eldest son, who would, as the father fondly
hoped, succeed to the Rayland estate, he
had sent to Oxford, where he had been
indulged in his natural turn to expence;
and his father had suffered him to live ratherther B8r 15
suitably to what he expected than to
what he was sure of.—In this Mr. Somerive
had acted extremely wrong; but it was from
motives so natural, that his error was rather
lamented than blamed.—An error however,
and of the most dangerous tendency, he
had now discovered it to be; young Somerive
had violent passions, and an understanding
very ill suited to their management.
—He had early in life seized with
avidity the idea, which servants and tenants
were ready enough to communicate, that
he must have the Rayland estate; and had
very thoughtlessly expressed this, to those
who failed not to repeat it to their present
mistress, tenacious of her power, and jealous
of every attempt to encroach on her
property.—He had besides trespassed on
some remote corners of her manors; and
her game-keeper had represented him as
a terrible depredator among her partridges,
pheasants, and hares. These offences,
added to the cat chases, and tieing
canisters to the tails of certain dogs, of which B8v 16
which he had been convicted in the early
part of his life, had made so deep an impression
against him, that now, whenever he
was at home, the family were never asked;
and insensibly, from calling now and then
to enquire after her while she lay ill of
a violent fit of the gout, Orlando had been
admitted to drink his tea at the Hall, then
to dine there; and at last, as winter came
on with stormy evenings and bad roads, he
had been allowed to sleep in a little tapestry
room, next to the old library at the
end of the north wing—a division of the
house so remote from that inhabited by the
female part (or indeed by any part) of the
family, that it could give no ideas of indecorum
even to the iron prudery of Mrs.
Rayland
herself.

Though Orlando was of a temper which
made it impossible for him to practise any
of those arts by which the regard of such a
woman could be secured; and though the
degree of favour he had obtained was long
rather a misery than a pleasure to him; his 6 brother B9r 17
brother beheld the progress he made with
jealousy and anger; and began to hate Orlando
for having gained advantages of
which he openly avowed his disdain and
contempt.—As his expences, which his
father could no longer support, had by this
time obliged him to quit the university, he
was now almost always at home; and his
sneering reproaches, as well as his wild
and unguarded conversation, rendered that
home every day less pleasant to Orlando
while the quiet asylum he had obtained
at the Hall, in a room adjoining to that
where a great collection of books were
never disturbed in their long slumber by
any human being but himself, endeared to
him the gloomy abode of the Sybil, and
reconciled him to the penance he was still
obliged to undergo; for he was now become
passionately fond of reading, and
thought the use of such a library cheaply
earned by acting as a sort of chaplain,
reading the psalms and lessons every day,
and the service in very bad weather; with a B9v 18
a sermon on Sunday evening. And he
even gradually forgot his murmurings at
being imprisoned on Sundays and on Fridays
in the great old long-bottomed coach,
while it was dragged in a most solemn pace
either to the next parish church, which was
indeed at but a short distance from the mansion,
or to that of a neighbouring town,
whither, on some propitious and sunny
days of summer, the old lady loved to
proceed in state, and to display to her
rustic or more enlightened neighbours a
specimen of the magnificence of the last
century. But as history must conceal no
part of the truth, from partiality to the hero
it celebrates, it must not be denied that
the young Orlando had, though insensibly
and almost unknown to himself, another
motive for submitting with a good grace to
pass much of his time in a way, for which,
thinking as he thought, the prospect of
even boundless wealth could have made
him no compensation.—To explain this, it
may be necessary to describe the persons who B10r 19
who from his ninth year, when he became
first so much distinguished by Mrs. Rayland,
till his eighteenth, composed the
household, of which he, during that period,
occasionally made a part.

CHAP. B10v 20

Chap. II.

The confidential servant, or rather
companion and femme de charge, of
Mrs. Rayland, was a woman of nearly her
own age, of the name of Lennard.—This
person, who was as well as her mistress a
spinster, had been well educated; and was
the daughter of a merchant who lost the
fruits of a long course of industry in the
fatal year 17201720. He died of a broken
heart, leaving his two daughters, who had
been taught to expect high affluence, to
the mercy of the world. Mrs. Rayland,
whose pride was gratified in having about
her the victim of unsuccessful trade, for
which she had always a most profound contempt,
received Mrs. Lennard as her own
servant. She was however so much superiorperior B11r 21
to her mistress in understanding,
that she soon governed her entirely; and
while the mean pliability of her spirit made
her submit to all the contemptuous and
unworthy treatment, which the paltry pride
of Mrs. Rayland had pleasure in inflicting,
she secretly triumphed in the consciousness
of superior abilities, and knew that she
was in fact the mistress of the supercilious
being whose wages she received.

Every year she became more and more
necessary to Mrs. Rayland, who, after
the death of both her sisters, made her not
only governess of her house, but her companion.
Her business was to sit with her
in her apartment when she had no company;
to read the newspaper; to make
tea; to let in and out the favourite dogs
(the task of combing and washing them
was transferred to a deputy); to collect and
report at due seasons intelligence of all
that happened in the neighbouring families;
to give regular returns of the behaviour of
all the servants, except the old butler and the B11v 22
the old coachman, who had each a jurisdiction
of their own; to take especial care
that the footmen and helpers behaved respectfully
to the maids (who were all
chosen by herself, and exhibited such a
group, as secured, better than her utmost
vigilance, this decorous behaviour from the
male part of the family); to keep the
keys; and to keep her mistress in good
humour with herself, and as much as possible
at a distance from the rest of the
world; above all from that part of it who
might interfere with her present and future
views; which certainly were to make herself
amends for the former injustice of fortune,
by securing to her own use a considerable
portion of the great wealth possessed
by Mrs. Rayland.

Of the accomplishment of this she might
well entertain a reasonable hope; for she
was some few years younger than her mistress
(though she artfully added to her
age, whenever she had occasion to speak
of it), and was besides of a much better constitution, B12r 23
constitution, possessing one of those frames,
where a good deal of bone and no flesh
seem to defy the gripe of disease. The
sister of this Mrs. Lennard had experienced
a very different destiny—She had
been taken at the time of her father’s misfortunes
into the family of a nobleman,
where she had married the chaplain, and
retired with him on a small living, where
she died in a few years, leaving several
children; among others a daughter, to
whom report imputed uncommon beauty;
and scandal a too intimate connexion with
the noble patron of her father. Certain it
is, that on his marriage he gave her a sum
of money, and she married a young attorney,
who was a kind of steward, by whom
she had three children; of which none
survived their parents but a little girl born
after her father’s death; and whose birth
occasioned that of her mother. To this little
orphan, her great aunt Mrs. Lennard,
who with all her starched prudery had a
considerable share of odd romantic whim in B12v 24
in her composition, had given the dramatic
and uncommon name of Monimia
Such at least was the history given in Mrs.
Rayland’s
family of an infant girl, which
at about four years old had been by the
permission of her patroness taken, as it
was said, from nurse, at a distant part of
the county, and received by Mrs. Lennard
at Rayland Hall; where she at first
never appeared before the lady but by
accident, but was the inhabitant of the
house-keeper’s room, and under the immediate
care of the still-room maid, who
was a person much devoted to Mrs. Lennard.

Mrs. Rayland had an aversion to children,
and had consented to the admission
of this into her house, on no other condition,
but that she should never hear it
cry, or ever have any trouble about it.—
Her companion easily engaged for that;
as Rayland Hall was so large, that les enfans
trouvés
at Paris might have been the
inhabitants of one of its wings, without alarming C1r 25
alarming a colony of ancient virgins at the
other. The little Monimia, though she
was described as having been “The child of misery, baptized in tears,” Langhorn.
was not particularly disposed to disturb, by
infantine expressions of distress, the chaste
and silent solitudes of the Hall; for though
her little fair countenance had at times
something of a melancholy cast, there was
more of sweetness than of sorrow in it; and
if she ever shed tears, they were so mingled
with smiles, that she might have sat to
the painter of the Seasons for the representtative
of infant April. Her beauty however
was not likely to recommend her to the
favour of her aunt’s affluent patroness; but
as to recommend her was the design of
Mrs. Lennard, she saw that a beauty of
four or five years old would be much less
obnoxious than one of fifteen, or even nine
or ten; and therefore she contrived to introduce
her by degrees; that when she
grew older, her charms, by being long seen,
might lose their power to offend.

Vol. I. C She C1v 26

She contrived that Mrs. Rayland might
first see the little orphan as by chance;
then she sent her in, when she knew her
mistress was in good humour, with a basket
of fruit; an early pine; some preserves in
brandy, or something or other which was
acceptable to the lady’s palate; and on
these occasions Monimia acquitted herself
to a miracle; and presented her little offering,
and made her little curtsey, with so
much innocent grace, that Hecate in the
midst of her rites might have suspended
her incantations to have admired her. At
six years old she had so much won upon
the heart of Mrs. Rayland, that she became
a frequent guest in the parlour, and
saved her aunt the trouble of opening the
door for Bella, and Pompey, and Julie.
From the tenderness of her nature she became
an admirable nurse for the frequent
litters of kittens, with which two favourite
cats continually increased the family of her
protectress; and the numerous daily applications
from robins and sparrows under the windows, C2r 27
windows, were never so well attended to
as since Monimia was entrusted with the
care of answering their demands.

But her name—Monimia—was an incessant
occasion of reproach—“Why,” said
Mrs. Rayland, “why would you, Lennard,
give the child such a name? As the
girl will have nothing, why put such romantic
notions in her head, as may perhaps
prevent her getting her bread honestly?
Monimia!—I protest I don’t love even
to repeat the name; it puts me so in mind
of a very hateful play, which I remember
shocked me so when I was a mere girl,
that I have always detested the name.
Monimia!—’tis so very unlike a Christian’s
name, that, if the child is much about me, I
must insist upon having her called Mary.”

To this Mrs. Lennard of course consented,
excusing herself for the romantic impropriety
of which her lady accused her, by
saying, that she understood Monimia signified
an orphan, a person left alone and
deserted; and therefore had given it to a C2 child C2v 28
child who was an orphan from her birth—
but that, as it was displeasing, she should at
least never be called so. The little girl
then was Mary in the parlour; but among
the servants, and with the people around
the house, she was still Monimia.

Among those who fondly adhered to her
original name was Orlando; who, when he
first became a frequent visitor as a school-
boy at the Hall, stole often into the still-
room to play with the little girl, who was
three years younger than himself—and insensibly
grew as fond of her as of one of
his sisters. Mrs. Lennard always checked
this innocent mirth; and when she found
it impossible wholly to prevent two children
who were in the same house from
playing with each other, she took every
possible precaution to prevent her lady’s
ever seeing them together; and threatened
the severest punishment to the little Monimia,
if she at any time even spoke to
Master Somerive, when in the presence of
Mrs. Rayland.――But nothing could be so 2 irksome C3r 29
irksome to a healthy and lively child of
nine or ten years old, as the sort of confinement
to which Monimia was condemned
in consequence of her admission to the
parlour; where she was hardly ever suffered
to speak, but sat at a distant window, where,
whether it was winter or summer, she was
to remain no otherwise distinguished from
a statue than by being employed in making
the household linen, and sometimes in
spinning it with a little wheel which Mrs.
Rayland
, who piqued herself upon following
the notable maxims of her mother, had
bought for her, and at which she kept her
closely employed when there was no other
work to do.—When any company came,
then and then only she was dismissed; but
this happened very rarely; and many
many hours poor Monimia vainly prayed
for the sight of a coach or chaise at the
end of the long avenue, which was to her
the blessed signal of transient liberty.

Her dress, the expence of which Mrs.
Rayland
very graciously took upon herself, C3 was C3v 30
was such as indicated to all who saw her,
at once the charity and prudence of her patroness,
who repeatedly told her visitors,
that she had taken the orphan niece of her
old servant Lennard, not with any view
of making her a gentlewoman, but to bring
her up to get her bread honestly; and
therefore she had directed her to be dressed,
not in gauzes and flounces, like the flirting
girls she saw so tawdry at church, but in a
plain stuff; not flaring without a cap, which
she thought monstrously indecent for a female
at any age, but in a plain cap, and a
clean white apron, that she might never be
encouraged to vanity by any kind of finery
that did not become her situation.—Monimia,
though dressed like a parish girl, or
in a way very little superior, was observed
by the visitors who happened to see her,
and to whom this harangue was made, to be
so very pretty, that nothing could conceal
or diminish her beauty. Her dark stuff
gown gave new lustre to her lovely complexion;
and her thick muslin cap could not C4r 31
not confine her luxuriant dark hair. Her
shape was symmetry itself, and her motions
so graceful, that it was impossible to behold
her even attached to her humble employment
at the wheel, without acknowledging
that no art could give what nature
had bestowed upon her.

Orlando, who had loved her as a playfellow
while they were both children, now began
to feel a more tender and more respectful
affection for her; though unconscious
himself that it was her beauty that awakened
these sentiments. On the last of his
holidays, before he entirely left school, the
vigilance of Mrs. Lennard was redoubled,
and she so contrived to confine Monimia,
that their romping was at an end, and they
hardly ever saw each other, except by mere
chance, at a distance, or now and then at dinner,
when Monimia was suffered to dine at
table; an honour which she was not alway
allowed, but which Mrs. Lennard cautiously
avoided entirely suspending when
Orlando was at the Hall, as there was nothingC4 thing C4v 32
she seemed to dread so much as
alarming Mrs. Rayland with any idea of
Orlando’s noticing her niece. This however
never happened at that time to occur to the
old lady; not only because Mrs. Lennard
took such pains to lead her imagination
from any such probability, but because she
considered them both as mere children, and
Monimia as a servant.

It was however at this time that a trifling
incident had nearly awakened such suspicions,
and occasioned such displeasure,
as it would have been very difficult to
have subdued or appeased. Mrs. Rayland
had been long confined by a fit of
the gout; and the warm weather of
Whitsuntide had only just enabled her
to walk, leaning on a crutch on one
side, and on Mrs. Lennard on the other,
in a long gallery which reached the whole
length of the south wing, and which was
hung with a great number of family pictures.
Mrs. Rayland had peculiar satisfactionfaction C5r 33
in relating the history of the heroes
and dames of her family, who were represented
by these portraits.—Sir Roger De
Coverley
never went over the account of his
ancestors with more correctness or more
delight. Indeed, the reflections of Mrs.
Rayland
were uninterrupted by any of
those little blemishes in the history of her
progenitors, that a little bewildered the
good knight; for she boasted that not one
of the Rayland family had ever stooped to
degrade himself by trade; and that the
marriage of Mrs. Somerive, her aunt, was
the only instance in which a daughter of
the Raylands had stooped to an inferior alliance.
—The little withered figure, bent
down with age and infirmity, and the last
of a race which she was thus arrogantly
boasting—a race, which in a few years, perhaps
a few months, might be no more remembered
—was a ridiculous instance of human
folly and human vanity, at which
Lennard had sense enough to smile internally,
while she affected to listen with interestC5 rest C5v 34
to stories which she had heard repeated
for near forty years. It was in the midst
of her attention to an anecdote which generally
closed the relation, of a speech made
by Queen Anne to the last Lady Rayland
on her having no son, that a sudden and
violent bounce towards the middle of the
gallery occasioned an interruption of the
story, and equal amazement in the lady and
her confidante; who both turning round,
not very nimbly indeed, demanded of Monimia,
who had been sitting in one of the old-
fashioned bow-windows of which the casement
was open, what was the matter?

Monimia, covered with blushes, and in a
sort of scuffle to conceal something with her
feet, replied, hesitating and trembling, that
she did not know.

Mrs. Lennard, who probably guessed the
truth, declared loudly that she would immediately
find out.—But it was not the
work of a moment to seat her lady safely
on one of the leathern settees, while she
herself hastened to the window to discover, if C6r 35
if possible, who had from the court below
thrown in the something that had thus
alarmed them. Before she reached the
window, therefore, the court was clear; and
Monimia had recovered her confusion, and
went on with her work.

Mrs. Lennard now thought proper to
give another turn to the incident. She said,
it must have been some accidental noise
from the wainscot’s cracking in dry weather
“though I could have sworn at the moment,”
cried she, “that something very
hard, like a stone or a stick, had been
thrown into the room. However, to be sure,
I must have been mistaken, for certainly
there is nobody in the court: and really one
does recollect hearing in this gallery very
odd noises, which, if one was superstitious,
might sometimes make one uneasy.――Many of
the neighbours some years ago used to say to
me, that they wondered I was not afraid of
crossing it of a night by myself, when you,
Ma’am, used to sleep in the worked bed-
chamber, and I lay over the house-keeper’s
room. But I used to say, that you had such C6 an C6v 36
an understanding, that I should offend you
by shewing any foolish fears; and that all
the noble family that owned this house
time out of mind, were such honourable
persons, that none of them could be supposed
likely to walk after their decease, as
the spirits of wicked persons are said to
do. But, however, they used to answer in
reply to that, that some of your ancestors,
Ma’am, had hid great sums of money and
valuable jewels in this house, to save it
from the wicked rebels in the time of the
blessed Martyr; and that it was to reveal
these treasures that the appearances of spirits
had been seen, and strange noises heard
about the house.”

This speech was so exactly calculated to
please the lady to whom it was addressed,
that it almost obliterated the recollection of
the little alarm she had felt, and blunted
the spirit of enquiry, which the twinges of
the gout also contributed to diminish; and
fortunately the arrival of the apothecary,
who was that moment announced, and whose visits C7r 37
visits were always a matter of importance,
left her no longer any time to interrogate
Monimia. But Mrs. Lennard, having led
her down to her great chair, and seen
her safely in conference with her physical
friend, returned hastily to the gallery, where
Monimia still remained demurely at work;
and peremptorily insisted on knowing what
it was that had bounced into the room, and
struck against the picture of Sir Hildebrand
himself; who in armour, and on a white
horse whose flanks were overshadowed by
his stupendous wig, pranced over the great
gilt chimney-piece, just as he appeared at
the head of a county association in 17071707.

Monimia was a poor dissembler, and had
never in her life been guilty of a falsehood.
She was as little capable of disguising as
of denying the truth; and the menaces
of her aunt frightened her into an immediate
confession, that it was Mr. Orlando,
who, passing through the court to go to
cricket in the park, had seen her sitting at
the window, and, “not thinking any harm,” had C7v 38
had thrown up his ball “only in play,” to
make her jump; but that it had unluckily
gone through the window, and hit against
the picture.

“And what became of it afterwards?”
angrily demanded Mrs. Lennard.

“It bounded,” answered the innocent
culprit, “it bounded across the floor, and
I rolled it away with my feet, under the
chairs.”

“And how dared you,” exclaimed the
aunt, “how dared you, artful little hussey,
conceal the truth from me? how dared
you encourage any such abominable doings?
—A pretty thing indeed to have happen!
—Suppose the good-for-nothing boy had
hit my lady or me upon the head or breast,
as it was a mercy he did not!—there
would have been a fine story!—Or suppose
he had broke the windows, shattered the
panes, and cut us with the glass!—Or what
if he had beat the stained glass of my lady’s
coat of arms, up at top there, all to smash— 6 what C8r 39
what d’ye think would have become of
you, you worthless little puss! what punishment
would have been bad enough for
you?”

“My dear aunt,” said the weeping Monimia,
“how could I help it? I am sure I
did not know what Mr. Orlando was going
to do; I saw him but a moment before;
and you know that, if I had known he intended
to throw the ball up, I dared not
have spoken to him to have prevented it.”

“Have spoken to him, indeed!—No, I
think not; and remember this, girl, that
you have come off well this time, and I
shan’t say any thing of the matter to my
lady: but if I ever catch you speaking to
that wicked boy, or even daring to look at
him, I will turn you out of doors that moment
—and let this teach you that I am in
earnest.”
Having thus said, she gave the
terrified trembling girl a violent blow, or
what was in her language a good box on the
ear, which forcing her head against the
stone window-frame almost stunned her; she C8v 40
she then repeated it on the lovely neck of
her victim, where the marks of her fingers
were to be traced many days afterwards;
and then flounced out of the room, and,
composing herself, went down to give her
share of information, as to her lady’s complaint,
to the apothecary.

The unhappy Monimia, who had felt
ever since her earliest recollection the
misery of her situation, was never so sensible
of it as at this moment. The work fell
from her hands—she laid her head on a
marble slab, that was on one side of the
bow window, and gave way to an agony of
grief.—Her cap had fallen from her head,
and her fine hair concealed her face, which
resting on her arms was bathed in tears.—
Sobs, that seemed to rend her heart, were
the only expression of sorrow she was able
to utter; she heard, she saw nothing—but
was suddenly startled by something touching
her hand as it hung lifelessly over the
table. She looked up—and beheld, with
mingled emotions of surpise and fear, Orlandolando C9r 41
Somerive
; who with tears in his
eyes, and in a faltering whisper, conjured
her to tell him what was the matter.—The
threat so recently uttered yet vibrated in
her ears—and her terror, lest her aunt
should return and find Orlando there, was
so great, that, without knowing what she
did, she started up and ran towards the
door; from whence she would have fled,
disordered as she was, down stairs, and
through the very room where Mrs. Rayland,
her aunt, and the apothecary were
in conference, if Orlando with superior
strength and agility had not thrown himself
before her, and, setting his back against
the door, insisted upon knowing the cause
of her tears before he suffered her to stir.

Gasping for breath, trembling and inarticulately
she tried to relate the effects of
his indiscretion, and that therefore her aunt
had threatened and struck her. Orlando,
whose temper was naturally warm, and
whose generous spirit revolted from every
kind of injustice, felt at once his indignationtion C9v 42
excited by this act of oppression, and
his anger that Mrs. Lennard should arraign
him for a childish frolic, and thence take
occasion so unworthily to treat an innocent
girl; and being too rash to reflect on consequences,
he declared that he would go instantly
into the parlour, confess to Mrs. Rayland
what he had done, and appeal against
the tyranny and cruelty of her woman.

It was now the turn of poor Monimia to
entreat and implore; and she threw herself
half frantic on her knees before him, and
besought him rather to kill her, than to
expose her to the terrors and distress such
a step would inevitably plunge her into.—
“Indeed, dear Orlando,” cried she, “you
would not be heard against my aunt. Mrs.
Rayland
, if she forgave you, would never
forgive me; but I should be immediately
turned out of the house with disgrace; and
I have no friend, no relation in the world
but my aunt, and must beg my bread.
But it is not so much that,”
added she,
while sobs broke her utterance, “it is not so much C10r 43
much that I care for—I am so unfortunate
that it does not signify what becomes
of me: I can work in the fields, or can go
through any hardship; but Mrs. Rayland
will be very angry with you, and will not
suffer you to come to the Hall again, and I
shall never—never see you any more!”

This speech, unguarded and simple as it
was, had more effect on Orlando than the
most studied eloquence. He took the
weeping, trembling Monimia up in his
arms, seated her in a chair; and drying
her eyes, he besought her to be comforted,
and to assure herself, that whatever
he might feel, he would do nothing that
should give her pain.—“Oh! go then,
for Heaven’s sake go from hence instantly!”

replied Monimia.—“If my aunt should
come to look for me, as it is very likely
she will, we should both be undone!”

“Good God!” exclaimed Orlando,
“why should it be so?—Why are we never
to meet? and what harm to any one is
done by my friendship for you, Monimia?”

Alas C10v 44

“Alas!” answered she, every moment
more and more apprehensive of the arrival
of her aunt, “alas! Orlando, I know not,
I am sure it was once, before my aunt was
so enraged at it, all the comfort I had in
the world; but now it is my greatest misery,
because I dare not even look at you
when I happen to meet you.—Yet I am
sure I mean no hurt to any body; nor can
it do my cruel aunt any harm, that you pity
a poor orphan who has no friend upon earth.”

“I will, however,” replied he warmly,
“pity and love you too—love you as well
as I do any of my sisters—even the sister I love
best—and I should hate myself if I did not.
But, dear Monimia, tell me, if I cannot see
you in the day-time, is it impossible for you
to walk out of an evening, when these old
women are in bed?—When I am not at the
Hall they would suspect nothing; and I
should not mind walking from home, after
our people are in bed, to meet you for half
an hour any where about these grounds.”

Ignorant of the decorum required by the world C11r 45
world, and innocent, even to infantine simplicity,
as Monimia was, at the age of
something more than fourteen she had that
natural rectitude of understanding, that at
once told her these clandestine meetings
would be wrong. “Ah no, Mr. Orlando,”
said she sighing, “that must not be; for if
it should be known――”

“It cannot, it shall not be known,” cried
he, eagerly interrupting her.

“But it is impossible, my good friend, if
it were not wrong; for you remember that
to-day is Saturday, and your school begins
on Monday.”

“Curse on the school! I had indeed forgot
it.—Well, but promise me then, Monimia,
promise me that you will make yourself
easy now; and that when I come from
school entirely, which I shall do at Christmas,
we shall contrive to meet sometimes, and
to read together, as we used to do, the Fairy
Tales and the Arabian Nights last year,
and the year before.—Will you promise
me, Monimia?”

Monimia C11v 46

Monimia, whose apprehensions every moment
increased, and who even fancied she
heard the rustle of Mrs. Lennard’s gown
upon the private stair-case that led down from
the gallery, was ready to promise any thing.
“Oh! yes, yes, Orlando!—I promise—
do but go now, and we shall not perhaps
be so unhappy: my aunt may not be so very
ill-humoured when you come home again.”

“And say you will not cry any more
now.”

“I will not, indeed I will not—but for
God’s sake go!—I’m sure I hear somebody.”

“There is nobody, indeed; but I will go
to make you easy.”
—He then, trembling as
much as she did, hastily kissed the hand he
held; and gliding on tip-toe to the other
end of the gallery, went through the apartments
that led down the great stair-case,
and taking a circuit round another part of
the house, entered the room where Mrs.
Rayland
was sitting, as if he had been just
come from cricket in the park.

He C12r 47

He had not left the gallery a moment
before Mrs. Lennard came to look for
Monimia, whom she found in greater agitation
than she had left her, and still
drowned in tears. She again began in the
severest terms to reprove her; and as the
sobs and sighs of the suffering girl deprived
her of the power of answering her
invectives, she violently seized her arm;
and, dragging rather than leading her to her
own room, she bade her instantly undress
and go to bed—“that you may not,”
said she, “expose your odious blubbered
face.”

Poor Monimia was extremely willing to
obey.—She sat down and began to undress,
listening as patiently as she could to the
violent scolding which her indefatigable
aunt still kept up against her; who having
at length exhausted her breath, bounced
out and locked the door.

Monimia, then left alone, again began to
indulge her tears; but her room was in a turretC12v48
turret over a sort of lumber-room, where
the game-keeper kept his nets and his rods,
and where Orlando used to deposit his bow,
his cricket-bats, and other instruments of
sport, with which he was indulged with
playing in the park. She now heard him
come in, with one of the servants; for such
an effect had his voice, that she could distinguish
it amid a thousand others, and
when it did not seem to be audible to any
one else.—Though she could not now distinguish
the words, she heard him discoursing
as if he seemed to be bidding the place
farewell for that time. She got upon a chair
(for the long narrow window was so far from
the ground, that she could not see through it
as she stood); and she perceived Orlando
cross the park on foot, and slowly and
reluctantly walk towards that part of it
that was next to his father’s house. She
continued to look at him till a wood,
through which he had to pass, concealed
him from her view. She then retired to her D1r 49
her bed, and shed tears. Orlando left his
home the next day, for his last half year
at the school (having that evening taken
leave of Mrs. Rayland); and it was six
months before Monimia saw him again.

Vol. I. D CHAP. D1v 50

Chap. III.

However trifling the incident was
that is related in the foregoing chapter,
it so much alarmed the prudent sagacity
of Mrs. Lennard, that when on the
following Christmas Mr. Orlando returned
to his occasional visits at the Hall, she took
more care than before to prevent any possibility
of his ever having an opportunity of
meeting Monimia alone; and, as much as
she could without being remarked by her
lady, from seeing her at all. But while
she took these precautions, she began to
think them useless. Orlando was no longer
the giddy boy, eager at his childish sports,
and watching with impatience for a game
of blindman’s buff in the servants’ hall, or
a romp with any one who would play with him D2r 51
him. Orlando was a young man as uncommonly
grave, as he was tall and handsome.
There was something more than gravity,
there was dejection in his manner; but it
served only to make him more interesting.
He now slept oftener than before at the
Hall, but he was seen there less; and passed
whole days in his own room, or rather in the
library; where, as this quiet and studious
temper recommended him more than ever
to Mrs. Rayland, she allowed him to
have a fire, to the great comfort and benefit
of the books, which had been
without that advantage for many years.

Mrs. Lennard, who now beheld him
with peculiar favour, though she had formerly
done him ill offices, seemed willing
to oblige him in every thing but in allowing
him ever to converse with her niece,
who was seldom suffered to appear in the
parlour, but was kept to work in her own
room. Mrs. Rayland’s increasing infirmities,
though not such as threatened her life,
threw the management of every thing D2 about D2v 52
about her more immediately into the
hands of Mrs. Lennard; and, occupied by
the care of her own health, Mrs. Rayland’s
attention to what was passing around her
was less every day, and the imbecility of
age hourly more perceptible. She therefore
made no remark on this change of
system; but if she happened to want Monimia,
or, as she chose to call her, Mary, she
sent for her, and dismissed her when her
service was performed, without any farther
enquiry as to how she afterwards passed her
time.

Orlando, however, though he had, since
his last return, never spoken a word to Monimia,
and though, in their few and short
meetings, the presence of Mrs. Lennard
prevented their exchanging even a look,
was no longer at a loss to discriminate those
sentiments which he felt for the beautiful
orphan, whose charms, which had made
almost in infancy an impression on his heart,
were now opening to a perfection even beyond
their early promise. Her imprisonment,ment D3r 53
the harshness of her aunt towards
her, and her desolate situation, contributed
to raise in his heart all that the most tender
pity could add to the ardency of a first passion.
Naturally of a warm and sanguine
temper, the sort of reading he had lately
pursued, his situation, his very name, all
added something to the romantic enthusiasm
of his character; but in the midst of
the fairy dreams which he indulged, reason
too often stepped in to poison his enjoyments,
and represented to him, that he was
without fortune and without possession—
that far from seeing at present any probability
of ever being able to offer an establishment
to the unfortunate Monimia, he
had to procure one for himself. It was now
he first felt an earnest wish, that the hopes
his relations had sometimes encouraged
might be realized, and that some part of
the great wealth of the Rayland family
might be his: but with this he had no new
reason to flatter himself; for Mrs. Rayland,
though she seemed to become every day D3 more D3v 54
more fond of his company, never took any
notice of the necessity there was, that now in
his nineteenth year he should fix upon some
plan for his future establishment in the
world.

This necessity however lay heavy on the
heart of his father, who had long felt with
anguish, that the misconduct of his eldest son
had rendered it impossible for him to do justice
to his younger. With a small income
and a large family, he had never, though he
lived as economically as possible, been
able to lay by much money; and what he
had saved, in the hope of accumulating
small fortunes for his daughters, had been
paid away for his eldest son in the first two
years of his residence at Oxford; the third
had nearly devoured the five hundred
pounds legacy given to the family by the
elder Mrs. Rayland; and the first half-
year after he left the university, and which
he passed between London and his father’s
house, entirely exhausted that resource;
while Mr. Somerive in vain represented to him D4r 55
him, that, in continuing such a career, he
must see the estate mortgaged, which was
the sole dependence of his family now, and
his sole dependence hereafter.

So deep, and often so fatal, are early impressions
in minds where reason slowly and
feebly combats the influence of passion, that
though nothing was more certain that that
Mrs. Rayland’s fortune was entirely at her
own disposal, and nothing more evident
than her dislike to him, he never could be
persuaded that, as he was the heir at law,
he should not possess the greater part of the
estate; and he was accustomed, in his orgies
among his companions, to drink “to
their propitious meeting at the Hall, when
the old girl should be in Abraham’s bosom,”
and not unfrequently “to her speedy
departure.”
He settled with himself the
alterations he should make, and the stud he
should collect; proposed to refit in an excellent
style the old kennel, and to restore
to Rayland Hall the praise it had formerly
boasted, of having the best pack of foxhoundsD4 hounds D4v 56
within three counties. When it
was represented that the possiblity of executing
these plans was very uncertain, since
the old lady certainly preferred Orlando, he
answered—“Oh! damn it, that’s not
what I’m afraid of—No, no; the old hag
has been, thanks to my fortunate stars,
brought up in good old-fashioned notions,
and knows that the first-born son is in all
Christian countries the head of the house,
and that the rest must scramble through the
world as well as they can—As for my solemn
brother, you see nature and fortune
have designed him for a parson. The tabby
may like him for a chaplain, and means
to qualify him by one of her livings for the
petticoats; but take my word for it, that
however she may set her weazen face
against it, just to impose upon the world,
she likes at the bottom of her heart a young
fellow of spirit—and you’ll see me master
of the Hall. Egad, how I’ll make her old
hoards spin again! Down go those woods
that are now every year the worse for standing.ing D5r 57
Whenever I hear she’s fairly off, the
squirrels will have notice to quit.”

It was in vain that the mild and paternal
arguments of Mr. Somerive himself, or the
tears and tender remonstrances of his wife,
were employed, whenever their son would
give them an opportunity, to counteract this
unfortunate prepossession. He by degrees
began to absent himself more and more
from home; and when he was there, his
hours were such as put any conversation on
serious topics out of their power. He was
never indeed sullen, for that was not his
disposition; but he was so thoughtless, so
volatile, and so prepossessed that he had a
right to do as other young men did with
whom he had been accustomed to associate,
that his father gave up as hopeless every
attempt to bring him to his senses.

The greater the uneasiness to which Mr.
Somerive
was thus subject by the conduct
of his eldest son, the more solicitous he became
for the future establishment of the
younger. But he knew not how to proceed D5 to D5v 58
to obtain it. He had now no longer the
means of sending him to the university, of
which he had sometimes thought, in the
hope that Mrs. Rayland might, if he were
qualified for orders, give him one of the
livings of which she was patroness; nor
could he, exhausted as his savings were by
the indiscretion of his eldest son, command
money enough to purchase him a commission,
which he once intended. Sometimes
he fancied that, if he were to apply to Mrs.
Rayland
, she would assist in securing an
establishment in future for one about whom
she appeared so much interested at present;
but he oftener apprehended, from the oddity
and caprice of her temper, that any attempt
to procure more certain and permanent
favours for Orlando, might occasion
her to deprive him of what he now possessed.

Mrs. Somerive, though a woman of an
excellent understanding, had contracted
such an awe of the old lady, that she was
positively against speaking to her about her son; D6r 59
son; while maternal partiality, which was
indeed well justified by the good qualities
and handsome person of her son, continually
suggested to her that Mrs. Rayland’s
prepossession in his favour, if left to take its
course, would finally make him the heir of
at least great part of her property.

Thus his father, from uncertainty how
to act for the best, suffered weeks and
months to pass away, in which he could not
determine to act at all; and as more than
half those weeks and months were passed at
the Hall, his mother fondly flattered herself,
that he was making rapid advances in
securing to his family the possessions they
had so good a claim to.

Neither of them saw the danger to which
they exposed him, of losing himself in an
imprudent and even fatal attachment to a
young woman, while they supposed him
wholly given up to acquire the favour of
an old one; for in fact Mrs. Lennard had
so artfully kept her niece out of sight, that
neither of them knew her—they barely D6 knew D6v 60
knew that there was a young person in the
house who was considered in the light of a
servant; but whether she was well or ill
looking, it had never occurred to them to
enquire, because they never supposed her
more acquainted with their son than any
other of the female domestics.

Poor Orlando, however, was cherishing a
passion, which had taken entire possession of
his heart before he was conscious that he had
one, and which the restraints that every
way surrounded him served only to inflame.
Monimia now appeared in his eyes, what
she really was, infinitely more lovely than
ever. She was on his account a prisoner,
for he learned that when he was not in the
country she was allowed more liberty. She
was friendless, and harshly treated; and,
with a form and face that he thought would
do honour to the highest rank of society,
she seemed to be condemned to perpetual
servitude, and he feared to perpetual ignorance;
for he knew that Mrs. Rayland had,
with the absurd prejudice of narrow minds, declared D7r 61
declared against her being taught any thing
but the plainest domestic duties, and the
plainest work. She had however taught
herself, with very little aid from her aunt,
to read; and lately, since she had been so
much alone, she had tried to write; but she
had not always materials, and was frequently
compelled to hide those she contrived
to obtain: so that her progress in this was
slow, and made only by snatches, as the ill
humour of her aunt allowed or forbade her
to make these laudable attempts at improvement.

Her apartment was still in the turret that
terminated one wing of the house, and Orlando
had been at the Hall the greater part
of a fortnight, without their having exchanged
a single word. They had indeed
met only twice by mere accident, in the
presence of the lady of the mansion and
of Mrs. Lennard; once when she crossed
the hall when he was leading the lady to
her chair out of the gallery; and a second
time when she was sent for, on an accession of D7v 62
of gout, to assist in adjusting the flannels and
cushions, which Mrs. Rayland declared she
managed better than any body.

As she knelt to perform this operation,
Orlando, who was reading a practical discourse
on faith in opposition to good works,
was surprised by her beautiful figure in her
simple stuff gown, which had such an effect
on his imagination that he no longer knew
what he was reading: but, after half a
dozen blunders in less than half a dozen
lines, he became so conscious of his confusion
that he could not proceed at all, but,
affecting to be seized with a violent cough,
got up and went out. Again, however, this
symptom escaped Mrs. Rayland, who, tho’
she read good books as a matter of form,
and to impress people with an idea of her
piety and understanding, cared very little
about their purport, and was just then
more occupied with the care of her foot
than with abstract reasonings on the efficacy
of faith.

In D8r 63

In the mean time Monimia, who blushed
if she even beheld the shadow of Orlando
at a distance, and whose heart beat at the
sound of his voice, as if it would escape
from her bosom, had never an opportunity
of hearing it, unless he accidentally spoke
to some person in the room under hers,
where she knew he often went, and particularly
at this season, which was near the
end of February, when the ponds were
drawn, and the nets and poles in frequent
use: but the door by which this room
opened to the court was on the other side.
Monimia had only one high long window
in a very thick wall, that looked into
the park: whenever therefore, as she sat
alone in her turret, she heard any person in
the room beneath her, she listened with an
anxious and palpitating heart, and at length
fancied that she could distinguish the step
of Orlando from that of the game-keeper or
any of the other servants.

If she was thus attentive to him, without
any other motive than to enjoy the pleasure of D8v 64
of fancying he was near her, Orlando was
on his side studying how to obtain an opportunity
of seeing her; not in the intention
of communicating to her those sentiments
which he now too well understood,
but in the hope of finding means to make
her amends for the injustice of fortune. If
there was any dependence to be placed on
expression of countenance, the animation
and intelligence that were visible in the
soft features of Monimia promised an excellent
understanding. What pity that it
should not be cultivated! What delight to
be her preceptor, and, in despite of the malignity
of fortune, to render her mind as
lovely as her form! This project got so
entirely the possession of Orlando’s imagination,
that he thought, he dreamed, of
nothing else; and, however difficult, or
even impracticable it seemed, he determined
to undertake it.

Mrs. Lennard slept at some distance; but
there was no other way of Monimia’s going
into any part of the house but by a passage which D9r 65
which led through her room; for every
other avenue was closed up, and the last
thing she did every night was to lock the
door of the room where her niece lay, and
to take away the key.

The window was equally well secured,
for it was in effect only a loop; and of this,
narrow as it was, the small square of the
casement that opened was secured by iron
bars. The Raylands had been eminent
royalists in the civil wars, and Rayland Hall
had held out against a party of Fairfax’s
army that had closely besieged it. Great
part of the house retained the same appearance
of defensive strength which had then
been given it; and no knight of romance
ever had so many real difficulties to encounter
in achieving the deliverance of his princess,
as Orlando had in finding the means
merely to converse with the little imprisoned
orphan. Months passed away, in which
his most watchful diligence served only to
prove that these difficulties were almost insurmountable;
nor would he perhaps, with all D9v 66
all the enthusiasm of love and romance,
have ever conquered them, if chance had
not befriended him.

Mrs. Rayland had given him, under restrictions
that he should use it only while
he was at the Hall, a very fine colt, which
was a breed of racers, the property of
the Raylands, and very eminent in the days
of Sir Hildebrand. Out of repsect to its
ancient prowess, the breed was still kept
up, though the descendants no longer
emulated the honours of their progenitors
on the turf: but the produce was generally
sold by the coachman, who had the management
of the stable, and who was supposed
to have profited very considerably
by his dealings.

Orlando, highly gratified by this mark
of Mrs. Rayland’s favour, undertook to
break the young horse himself, and to give
it among other accomplishments that of
leaping. There was no leaping-bar about
the grounds; but in the lumber-room on the
ground floor of one of the turrets he had seen D10r 67
seen the timber of one that had formerly
stood in the park. To this place, therefore,
he repaired; and in removing the
large posts, which were very little injured
by time, some other slabs of wood, boards,
and pieces of scaffolding were moved also,
and Orlando saw that they had concealed a
door, formerly boarded up, but of which
the boards were now broken and decayed:
he forced away a piece of the rotten wood,
and saw a flight of broken stone steps, just
wide enought to admit one person with difficulty.
His heart bounded with transport:
he knew that this stair-case must lead to the
top of the turret, and consequently wind
round the room occupied by Monimia,
which it was probable had a communication
also with the stairs. But, unable to
determine in a moment how he should
avail himself, or acquaint her, of this fortunate
discovery, and trembling lest it
should be known, and his hopes at once
destroyed, he hastily replaced the spars of
wood that had concealed the door, before the D10v 68
the return of the gardener and the under
game-keeper, who had been assisting him in
his operations about the leaping-bar; and
hastily following them to the spot where
they were putting it up, he affected to be
interested in its completion, while his mind
was really occupied only by plans for seeing
without fear of discovery his adored Monimia.

CHAP. D11r 69

Chap. IV.

Love rendered Orlando so politic, that
he determined rather to defer the
happiness he hoped for, in gaining unmolested
access to Monimia for two or three
days, than to risk by precipitancy the delightful
secret of the concealed door, and to
watch the motion of the dragon whose unwearied
vigilance might at once render it
useless. He therefore set himself to observe
the hours when Mrs. Lennard was most
certainly engaged about her mistress;
and he found, that as she indulged very
freely in the pleasures of a good table, of
which she was herself directress, she became
frequently unwilling to encounter
much exertion after dinner; and generally
left Monimia (who either did not dine below,
or retired with the table-cloth) unmolestedlested D11v 70
till six o’clock, when, if he was not
there, she was called down to make tea.

These hours therefore seemed most propitious
for the experiment he must of necessity
make, which was to ascend the stair-
case, and seek for the door that probably,
though now blocked up, had originally led
from it into the room inhabited by Monimia;
from whence, as it was perhaps only
boarded up, he hoped to make her hear,
and to prevail upon her to assist in forcing a
passage through it.

He knew Mrs. Lennard was less upon
the qui vive? when he was not about the
house; and therefore, the evening before
that when he intended to put his project in
execution, he took leave of Mrs. Rayland,
and told her that he was going home for a
few days, when with her permission he
would return. Mrs. Rayland, who now
thought the house melancholy without him,
bade him come back to the Hall as soon as
he could, which he promised with a beating
heart, and departed.

1 The D12r 71

The next day, however, having taken
the precaution to get a letter of compliment
from his father to Mrs. Rayland, the
better to acount for his quick return, if to
account for it should be necessary, he set
out on foot after dinner; and as he arrived
at Rayland Hall just as the servants of that
family were eating theirs, which was always
a long and momentous business, he had the
good fortune not to meet any one, but to
enter the lower room of the turret; and as
he had often the key, he now locked the
door, and listening very attentively heard
Monimia walking above, and convinced
himself that she was alone.

As silently as he could he removed the
planks and timber that concealed the door;
and having so placed them that, without
discovering the aperture, they leaned so
hollow from the wall that he could get under
them, he tore away the remaining impediments
that obstructed him, and entered
the low stair-case, of which about fourteen
broken and decayed steps led, as he expected,pected, D12v 72
to another door which was also boarded
up, and then wound up to the top of the
turret. He stopped a moment and listened;
he distinctly heard Monimia sigh deeply,
and open a drawer. He considered a moment
what way of accosting her would be
least likely to alarm her too suddenly, and
at length he determined to speak.

After another pause, and finding all was
silent in her room, he tapped softly against
the boarded door; and lowering his voice
he called, “Monimia, Monimia!”

The affrighted girl exclaimed, “Good
God! who is there? who speaks?”
“Be
not affrighted,”
replied he, speaking louder,
“it is Orlando.” “Orlando! and
from whence, dear sir, do you speak?”
“I
know not, for I cannot tell what part of
your room this door opens to; tell me,
where do you hear the sound I now make?”

“Against the head of my bed.” “Cannot
you then remove the bed, and see if
there is not a door?”
“I can,” replied
Monimia, “if my trembling does not preventvent E1r 73
me, for my bed goes upon casters;
but indeed I tremble so! if my aunt should
come!”
“She will not come,” replied
Orlando impatiently: “do not give way to
groundless fears, Monimia; but, if ever you
had any friendship for me, exert yourself
now, to procure the only opportunity we
shall ever have of meeting—remove your
bed, and see what is behind it.”

Monimia, trembling and amazed as she
was, found in the midst of her alarm a sensation
of joy that was undescribable. It
lent her strength to remove the bed, which
it was not difficult to do; but the room was
hung with old-fashioned glazed linen, when
many years before it had been fitted up as
a bed-chamber: this kind of arras entirely
hid the door. “Ah!” cried Monimia,
“there is no door, Mr. Orlando. The hangings
are just the same here as about the rest
of the room.”
“Cut them,” cried he,
“with your scissars, and you will find there
is a door.”
“But if my aunt should discover
that they are cut?”
“Oh heavens,” Vol. I. E exclaimed E1v 74
exclaimed Orlando, “if you are thus apprehensive,
Monimia, we shall never meet;
but if you have any regard for me”
――
The adjuration was too powerful: Monimia
forgot the dread of her aunt in the superior
dread of offending Orlando. She took her
scissars, and, cutting the hangings, which
through time were little more than tinder,
discovered the door, which was very thin, and
only nailed up, strengthened on the outside
by a few slight deals across it. Orlando,
who, like another Pyramus, watched with
a beating heart the breach through which
he now saw the light, forced away these
slight barriers with very little difficulty;
and then, setting his foot against the door,
it gave way, and the remnant of tattered
hanging made no resistance. He found
himself in the room with Monimia, who
from mingled emotions of pleasure and fear
could hardly breathe. “At length,” cried
he, “I have found you, Monimia! at
length I have got to you.”
“But we shall
both be utterly ruined,”
interrupted she, “if E2r 75
“if my aunt should happen to come: speak
low, for heaven’s sake, speak low. I should
die upon the spot, if she should happen to
find you here.”

“Let us consider,” said Orlando, “how
we may meet for the future. I do not
mean to stay now; but you see this door
gives us always an opportunity of seeing
each other.”
“But how shall I dare?”
cried the trembling Monimia: “my aunt
watches me so narrowly, that I am never
secure of being alone a moment: even now,
perhaps, she may be coming.”

So great was the terror which this idea
impressed on the timid Monimia, that Orlando
saw there was no time to be lost in
settling their more secure meetings. “Have
you,”
said he, “have you, Monimia, courage
enough to make use of this door, to
come down into the study to me when we
are sure all the house is quiet? You know
there is a passage to that end of the house,
without crossing either of the courts or any
of the apartments, by going through the E2 old E2v 76
old chapel, and nobody can hear you. I
only propose this, because I suppose you
are afraid of letting me come up here.

“Oh! either is very wrong,” replied she,
“and I shall be sadly blamed.”

“Well, then, Monimia, I am deceived,
cruelly deceived. I did believe that you
had some regard for me, and I protest to
heaven that I mean nothing but the purest
friendship towards you. I want you to
read, which I know you have now no opportunity
of doing. I would find proper
books for you; for you may one day have
occasion for more knowledge than you can
acquire in the way in which you now live.
Perhaps clandestine meetings might not be
right in any other case; but, persecuted as
you are, Monimia, we must meet clandestinely,
or not meet at all. Alas! my dear
friend, it may not be long that I may be
here to ask this favour of you, or to request
you to oblige me for your own good. My
father is considering how to settle me in
life.”

“To E3r 77

“To settle you!” said Monimia, faintly.

“Yes—I mean, to put me into some
profession in the world; and whatever it is,
it will of course carry me quite away from
hence. As soon as it is determined upon,
therefore, Monimia, I shall go—and perhaps
we shall never meet again: yet you
now refuse to grant me the only happiness
that possibly my destiny will ever suffer me
to taste—I mean that of being of some
little service to you. What harm can there
really be, Monimia, in what I request?
Have we not lived from children together,
like brother and sister? and why should
we give up the sweet and innocent pleasure
of loving each other, because your aunt is
of a temper so detestably severe and suspicious?”

“Indeed I know not,” said Monimia,
whose tears now streamed down her cheeks;
“but I know, Orlando, that I cannot refuse
what you ask; for, indeed, I do not believe
you would desire me to act wrong.”

“No, I would die first.”

E3 “Tell E3v 78

“Tell me then, what would you have
me do? I tremble so that I am really
ready to sink, lest my aunt should come:
tell me, dear Orlando, what would you
have me do?”

“Replace your bed as soon as I am
gone, and I will take care that no signs
shall remain below of the discovery I have
made. As soon as the family are all in
bed, and you are sure your aunt is gone
for the night, I will come up and fetch you
into the study; where, whenever I am here,
we can read for an hour or two every night:
tell me, Monimia, do you agree to this?”

“I do,” replied she; “and now, dear
Orlando, go; it will soon be tea-time, my
aunt will come to call me.”

“You will be ready then to-night, Monimia?”

“To-night?”

“Yes; for why should we lose an hour,
when perhaps so few are left me? When
I am gone to some distant part of the world,
you may be sorry for me, Monimia, and repent E4r 79
repent that when we could see each other
you refused.”

The idea of his going, perhaps for ever,
was insupportable, and the timid doubts of
Monimia vanished before it. She thought
at that moment, that to pass one hour
with him were well worth any risk—even
though her aunt should discover and kill
her. She hesitated therefore no longer,
but promised to be ready in the evening,
and to listen for his signal. Having thus
gained his point, Orlando no longer refused
to quit her, but returned by his propitious
stair-case; and replacing the boards, at its
entrance below, as nearly as possible as he
found them, he went out unseen by any
body; and going back to the road which
led through the park, he walked hastily
across that part of it that was immediately
before the windows of the apartment where
Mrs. Rayland sat; and then went into the
house, and sent up, as was his custom, to
know if he might be admitted. She ordered
him to be shewn up, and received him E4 with E4v 80
with pleasure; for she just then was in
very ill humour, and wanted somebody in
whom she could find a patient listener,
while she related the cause of it, and declaimed
against the persons who had occasioned
it—which was thus:

The estates in this country were very
large, and that possessed by the house of
Rayland yielded in extent to none, but
was equal to that of its nearest neighbour,
a nobleman, who owned a great extent of
country which immediately adjoined to the
manors and farms of Mrs. Rayland, and on
which there was also a fine old house,
situated in the midst of the domain, at the
distance of about five miles from Rayland
Hall
, a river dividing the two estates, which
was the joint property of both.

Lord Carloraine, the last possessor of this
property, was a man very far advanced in
life. Many years had passed since the
world in which he had lived had disappeared;
and being no longer able or desirous
to take part in what was passing about a court, E5r 81
a court, to him wholly uninteresting, and
being a widower without children, he had
retired above thirty years before to his
paternal seat; where he lived in splendid
uniformity, receiving only the nobility of
the county and the baronets (whom he
considered as forming an order that made a
very proper barrier between the peerage and
the squirality), with all the massive dignity
and magnificent dulness that their fathers
and grandfathers had been entertained with
since the beginning of the century. Filled
with high ideas of the consequence of ancient
blood, he suffered no consideration
to interfere with his respect for all who had
that advantage to boast; while, for the upstart
rich men of the present day, he felt
the most ineffable contempt; and while
such were, in neighbouring counties, seen to
figure away on recently acquired fortunes,
Lord Carloraine used to pique himself
upon the inviolability of that part of the
world where he lived—and say, that very
fortunately for the morals and manners of E5 the E5v 82
the country, it had not been chosen by
nabobs and contractors for the display of
their wealth and taste. And that none such
might gain any footing in the neighbourhood,
he purchased every farm that was
to be sold; and contrived to be so much
of a despot himself, that those who were
only beginning to be great, shunned his
established greatness as inimical to their
own.

Mrs. Rayland perfectly agreed with him
in these sentiments; and had the most profound
respect for a nobleman, who acknowledged,
proud as he was of his own family,
that it had no other superiority over that
of Rayland, than in possessing an higher
title. He had been, though a much
younger man, acquainted with the late Sir
Hildebrand
; and whenever Mrs. Rayland
and Lord Carloraine met, which they
did in cumbrous state twice or thrice a
year, their whole conversation consisted of
eulogiums on the days that were passed,
in expressing their dislike of all that was now E6r 83
now acting in a degenerate world, and
their contempt of the actors.

But the winter preceding the period of
which this history is relating the events,
had carried off this ancient and noble friend
at the age of ninety-six, to the regret of
nobody so much as of Mrs. Rayland.
His estate fell to the grandson of his only
sister, a man of three-and-twenty, who was as
completely the nobleman of the present day,
as his uncle had been the representative
of those who lived in the reign of George
the First
. He cared nothing for the ancient
honours of his family; and would not have
passed a fortnight in the gloomy solitude
of his uncle’s castle, to have been master
of six times its revenue. His paternal property
and parliamentary interest lay in a
northern county; and therefore, as ready
money was a greater object to him than
land in another part of England, he offered
the estate of Lord Carloraine to sale, as
soon as it came into his possession; and in E6 a few E6v 84
a few months it was bought by the son of
a rich merchant—a young man, lately of
age, of the name of Stockton; whose father
having had very lucrative contracts in that
war which terminated in 17631763, had left his
son a minor with a fortune, which at the
end of a ten years minority amounted to
little short of half a million.

The purchase of Carloraine Castle by
such a man had given Mrs. Rayland
inexpressible concern and mortification,
which every circumstance that came to her
knowledge had contributed to increase. She
had already heard enough to foresee all the
inconveniencies of this exchange of neighbours;
on which she dwelt continually, yet
seemed to take strange pains to irritate her
own uneasiness by daily enquiries into the
alterations and proceedings of Mr. Stockton;
who, even before the purchase was generally
known to be completed, had begun, under
the auspices of modern taste, to new model
every thing. He came down to Carloraine Castle E7r 85
Castle
twice or thrice a week, every time
with a new set of company; almost every
one of his visitors was willing to assist him
in his plan of improvements, and he listened
to them all—so that what was built up to-
day, was pulled down to-morrow. All the
workmen, such as bricklayers, &c. &c. in
the neighbourhood, for many miles, were
engaged to work at the Castle; and the
delicacies which used to be supplied by the
neighbouring country, and in which Mrs.
Rayland
had usually a preference, were
now offered first to “his honour, ’Squire
Stockton
:”
—and his honour’s servants, to
whom the regulation of his house was entrusted,
were so willing to do credit to
their master’s large fortune, that they gave
London prices for every thing; and the
vicinity of affluent luxury was severely felt
by those to whom it was of much more real
consequence than to Mrs. Rayland.

To her, however, this circumstance was
particulary grating. She complained bitterly
to every body she saw, that poultry, if E7v 86
if she had by any accident occasion to buy
it, was doubled in price; that the prime
sea fish was carried to the Castle; and more
money demanded for the refuse, than she
was accustomed to give for the finest. But
with the beginning of September more aggravating
offences began also. An army
of sportsmen came down to the Castle, who
had no respect for the hitherto inviolate
manors, nor for the preserved grounds
around Rayland Hall, which not even the
game-keepers ever alarmed with an hostile
sound. Her park—even her park, where
no profane foot had ever been suffered to
enter, was now invaded; and on the second
of September, the day of which the occurrences
have been here related, five young
men and two servants, with a whole kennel
of pointers, had crossed the park, and killed
three brace of partridges within its enclosure,
laughing at the threats, and threatening in
their turns the keepers who had attempted
to oppose them.

No injury or affront that could be devisedvised E8r 87
could have made so deep an impression
on Mrs. Rayland’s mind, as such a
trespass. She was yet in the first paroxysm of
her displeasure, though the occasion of it happened
early in the morning, when Orlando
was admitted; whose mind, attuned to the
harmonizing hope of being indulged with
the frequent sight of Monimia, was but little
in unison with the petulant and querulous
complaints of Mrs. Rayland; while she for
above an hour held forth with unwearied invective
against the new inhabitant of Carloraine.
“These,” cried she, “these are modern
gentlemen!—Gentlemen! a disgrace
to the name!—City apprentices, that used
to live soberly at their shops, are turned sportsmen,
forsooth, and have the impudence to
call themselves gentlemen. I hear, and I
suppose ’tis true enough, that Mr. Philip
Somerive
thinks proper to be acquainted
with this mushroom fellow—and to be one
of his party!—Pray, child, can you tell
me—is it true?”

“I believe, madam, my brother has some E8v 88
some acquaintance, but I fancy only a slight
acquaintance, with Mr. Stockton.”

“Oh! I have very little curiosity—I dare
say he is one of the set, and it is very fit
he should. ‘Birds of a feather, you know,
flock together.’
But this I assure you,
Mr. Orlando—take this from me—that if
you should ever think proper to know that
person, that Stockton, your visits here will
from that time be dispensed with.”

Orlando, conscious that he had never
exchanged a word with any inhabitant or
visitant of Carloraine, and conscious too
that all his wishes were centred in what the
Hall contained, assured Mrs. Rayland with
equal warmth and sincerity, that he never
had, nor ever would have, any connexion
with the people who assembled there. “So
far from my wishing to hold with such
people any friendly converse, I shall hardly
be able to refrain from remonstrating with
them on their very improper and unhandsome
manner of acting towards you, madam;
and if I meet them on your grounds, I shall, E9r 89
I shall, unless you forbid me, very freely
tell them my opinion of their conduct.”

Mrs. Rayland had never in her life been
so pleased with Orlando as she was at that
moment. The readiness with which he entered
into her injuries, and the spirit with
which he undertook to check the aggressors,
placed him higher in her favour than he
had ever yet been; but her way of testifying
this her satisfaction, consisted in what
of all others was at this moment the most
mortifying; for she invited him to stay to
supper in her apartment, which was a favour
she hardly did him twice a year. Orlando,
wretched as it made him, could not make
any excuse to escape; and it was near an
hour later than usual, before Mrs. Rayland,
retiring, dismissed Orlando to watch
for the silence of the house, which was a
signal for his going to the beloved turret.

Chap. E9v 90

Chap. V.

The clock in the servants’ hall struck
twelve, and was answered by that in
the north gallery. With yet deeper tone
the hour was re-echoed from the great
clock in the cupola over the stables; when
Orlando, listening a moment to hear if all
was quiet, proceeded through an arched
passage which led from the library to the
chapel, and then through the chapel itself,
whose principal entrance was from a porch
which opened to a sort of triangular court
on the back of the house next the park.
He had previously unbarred the chapel
door, which was slightly secured by an iron
rod: the lock had long since been rusted
by time, and the key lost; for, since the
death of Sir Hildebrand, who was buried with E10r 91
with his ancestors in the chancel, the ladies
his daughters had found themselves too
much affected to enter the chapel (which
was also the church of the small parish of
Rayland), and had removed the parochial
service to that of the next parish, within a
mile: and as both belonged to them, the
livings were united, and the people of
either were content to say their prayers
wherever their ladies chose to appoint.

Orlando, till he found it opened his way
to Monimia without going through or near
any inhabited part of the house, had never
explored the chapel; but the night before
that on which the experiment was to be
made, he had taken care to see that in his
passage through it he had no impediment
to fear; for of those superstition might
have raised to deter a weaker mind, or one
engaged in a less animating cause, he was
insensible.

He now, having convinced himself that
all the family were retired, walked softly
through the aisle; and having without any difficulty E10v 92
difficulty opened the door of the porch,
that adjoined the pavement around the east
or back front, he stepped with light feet
along it, entered the lower room of the
turret which was nearly opposite, and
ascended still as silently as he could the
narrow stair-case.

“Monimia! Monimia!” cried he in a
half whisper, “Monimia, are you ready?”
“I am,” replied a low and faltering
voice. “Remove the hangings then,”
said Orlando. Slowly the faltering hands
of the trembling girl removed them. Orlando
eagerly received her as she came
through the door-way. “Are you here at
last?”
cried he vehemently. “Shall I be at
liberty at last to see you? But how cold
you are! how you tremble!”
“Ah! Mr.
Orlando
,”
answered Monimia, half shrinking
from him, “ah! I am so certain that all
this is wrong, I so dread a discovery, that
it is impossible to conquer my terrors: besides,
I have recollected that one of the windows
of my aunt’s closet up stairs looks this way. E11r 93
way. If she should be in it, if she should
see us!”

“How can she be in it without a light?
She hardly sits there in the dark for her
amusement. You know it is impossible she
can have any suspicion; yet you torment
yourself, and destroy all my happiness by
your timidity. Ah, Monimia! you are
cruel to me.”
“I would not be cruel to
you for a thousand worlds, Orlando, you
know I would not. But, if I were to die, I
cannot conquer my terrors. I tremble too
with cold as well as with fright; for I have
waited so long past my hour of going to
bed, that I am half frozen.”

“And yet you are not glad to see me,
Monimia, when at last I am come?”

“Indeed I am glad, Orlando; but
hush! hark, surely I heard a noise. Listen
a moment, for heaven’s sake, before we go
down.”

“It is nothing,” said Orlando, after a
pause, “it is nothing, upon my soul, but the E11v 94
the wind that rushes up the narrow stair-
case to the top of the tower.”

“Speak low, however,” replied Monimia,
as she gave him her cold tremulous
hand to lead her slowly down the ruined
steps; speak very low; or rather let us
be quite silent, for you remember what an
echo there is in the court.”

They then proceeded silently along the
flag-stones that surrounded the court opening
on one side to the park, and entered
the porch of the chapel; where when Monimia
arrived, she seemed so near fainting,
that, as they were now sheltered from all
observation, Orlando entreated her to sit
down on one of the thick old worm-eaten
wooden benches that were fixed on either
side.

Unable to support herself, Orlando made
her lean against him, as endeavouring to
re-assure her, he besought her to conquer
an alarm, “for which,” said he, “Monimia,
I cannot account. What do you
fear, my sweet friend? Do you already 6 repent E12r 95
repent having entrusted yourse lf with
me?”

“Oh! no indeed,” sighed Monimia, “but
the chapel!”
“What of the chapel?”
cried Orlando impatiently. “It is haunted,
you know, every night by the spirit of
one of the Lady Raylands, who I know
not how long ago died for love, and whose
ghost now sits every night in the chancel,
and sometimes walks round the house, and
particularly along the galleries, at midnight,
groaning and lamenting her fate.”

Orlando, laughing at her simplicity, cried,
“And who, my dear Monimia, who has
violated thy natural good sense by teaching
thee these ridiculous stories? Believe me,
none of the Lady Raylands, as you called
them, ever died for love; indeed I never
heard that any of them ever were in love
but my grandmother, who saved herself the
absurdity of dying, by marrying the man
she liked, in despite of the opposing pride
of her family; and as she was very happy,
and never repented her disobedience, I do not E12v 96
not believe her spirit walks: or if it should,
Monimia, if it were possible that it should,
could you not face a ghost with me for your
protector?”

“Any living creature I should not fear,
Orlando, if you were with me; but there is
something so dreadful in the idea of a
spirit!”

“This is not a place,” said Orlando with
quickness, “this is not a place to argue
with your prejudices, Monimia, for you
seem half dead with cold; but come, I beseech
you, into the library, where there is
a fire, and trust to my arm to defend you
from all supernatural beings at least on the
way.”

He then drew her arm within his, and
pushed open the door of the chapel. When
Monimia felt the cold damp that environed
her as he shut it after them, and found
herself in such a place without any other
light than what was afforded by two gothic
windows half blocked with stone work, and
almost all the rest by stained glass, at midnight,4 night, F1r 97
in a night of September, she again
shuddered, and shrunk back: but Orlando
again encouraging her, and ridiculing her
fears, she moved on; and passing the stone
passage, he at length seated her safely by the
study fire, which he now replenished with
wood. As she was still pale and trembling,
he brought her a glass of wine (of which
Mrs. Rayland allowed him whatever he
chose), which he insisted on her drinking,
and then, seating himself by her, enquired,
with a gay smile, how she did after her encounter
with the lady who died for love?

“You think me ridiculous, Orlando,
and perhaps I am so; but my aunt has often
told me, that ghosts always appeared
to people who were doing wrong, to reproach
them; and, alas! Orlando, I am
too sensible that I am not doing right.”

“Curse on her prudish falsehood!” cried
the impetuous Orlando. “If ghosts, as
you call them, were always on the watch to
persecute evil doers, I believe from my
soul that she would have been beset by those Vol. I. F of F1v 98
of all the Raylands that are packed togegether
in the chancel.”

Such was the awe of her aunt in which
Monimia had been brought up, that the
little respect and vehement manner in which
Orlando spoke of her had in it additional
terror. She did not speak; she was not
able: but the tears which had till then
trembled in her eyes now stole down her
cheeks. Orlando was tempted to kiss them
away before they reached her bosom; but
he remembered that she was wholly in his
power, and that he owed her more respect
than it would have been necessary to have
shewn even in public.

“Let us talk no more of your old aunt,”
re-assumed Orlando; “but tell me, Monimia,
all that has happened in these long,
long months of absence.”

“Happened, Mr. Orlando!” repeated
Monimia.

“Nay,” interrupted he, “let me not be
Mr. Orlando, my lovely friend, but call
me Orlando, and try to fancy me your brother.ther. F2r 99
Tell me, Monimia, how have you
passed your time since I was allowed to see
you last? What an age it is ago! Have
you practised your writing, Monimia, and
has Lennard allowed you the use of any
books?”

“A few I got at by the assistance of Betty
Richards
, who has the key of this room
to clean it when you are absent, Orlando;
but if my aunt had found it out, she would
never have forgiven either of us. I was
forced therefore to hide the books she took
out for me with the greatest care, and to
read only by snatches. And as to writing,
I have done a little of it because you desired
me; but it has been very difficult; for my
aunt Lennard never would allow me to
have pens and ink; and Betty Richards
has given me these too by stealth, when she
was able to procure them, as if they were
for herself, of Mr. Pattenson the butler,
who was always very kind to her about such
things, till a week or two ago; when he
was so cross at her asking for more paper, F2 that F2v 100
that we thought it better to let alone applying
to him again for some time.”

“The old thief was jealous, I suppose,”
answered Orlando. “I believe he was,”
said Monimia; “for he has a liking, I fancy,
to Betty, though to be sure he is old
enough to be her father.”

Orlando was now struck with an apprehension
which had never before occurred
to him: he feared that, in the gratitude of
her unadulterated heart for the kindness
she received from this Betty Richards, she
might betray to her the secret of their nocturnal
visits; and he knew that the love of
gossiping, the love of finery, the love of
nice morsels which the butler had it in his
power to give, or even the love of shewing
she was entrusted with a secret, were any of
them sufficient to overset all the fidelity
which this girl (the under house-maid)
might feel or profess to feel for Monimia.

Against this therefore it was necessary to
put her on her guard; which Orlando endeavoureddeavoured F3r 101
to do in the most impressive
manner possible, and even urged her with
warmth to give him her solemn promise
that she never would entrust this servant with
any secret, or mention to her his name on
any account whatever.

“Indeed, Orlando,” replied Monimia,
when he had finished this warm exhortation,
“indeed you need not be uneasy or anxious
about it; for there is one reason that, if I
had no other, would never permit me to
tell this poor girl that I meet you unknown
to my aunt.”

“And what is that?”

“It is, that Betty is, like myself, a very
friendless orphan, a poor girl that my aunt
has taken from the parish; and as I know
very well that all our meetings will one day
or other be discovered, it would entirely
ruin her, and occasion the loss of her place
and her character, if Betty were supposed to
know any thing about it; therefore you may
be assured, Orlando, that she never shall:
for whatever misery it may be my fate to F3 suffer F3v 102
suffer myself, I shall not so much mind, as I
should being the cause of ruining and injuring
another person, especially a friendless
girl, who has always been as kind to me
as her situation allowed her to be.”

Enchanted with her native rectitude of
heart and generosity of spirit, Orlando rapturously
exclaimed, “Charming girl! how
every sentence you utter, every sentiment
of your pure and innocent mind delight
me! No, Monimia, I am very sure that
such a security as you have given me is of
equal force, perhaps superior, as it ought to
be, even to your faith to me—superior,
Monimia, to the wish which I am sure you
have, to spare me any sort of unhappiness.”

The fine eyes of Monimia were swimming
in tears, as, tenderly pressing her hand between
his, Orlando said this. “You do
me justice,”
said she in a faltering voice,
“and I thank you. I do not know, Orlando,
why I should be ashamed to say
that I love you better than any body else
in the world; for indeed who is there in it that F4r 103
that I have to love? If you were gone, it
would be all a desert to me; for, though
I hope I am grateful, and not undutiful to
my aunt Lennard, I find I do not love
her as I love you. But indeed I do believe
she would not have me feel affection
for anybody; for she is always telling me,
that it is the most disgraceful and odious
thing imaginable, for a young woman, dependent
as I am, to think about any person,
man, woman, or child; and that, if I
would not be an undone and disgraced
creature, I must mind nothing but praying
to God, which I hope I never neglected,
and learning to earn my bread by my
hands. And then she tells me continually
how much I owe her for taking me into
her lady’s family, and what a wicked
wretch I should be if I were ungrateful.”

“Don’t tell me any more about your
aunt, do not, I entreat you,”
cried Orlando
impatiently. “I should be sorry to
say any thing that should stain, even with
the most remote suspicion of ingratitude, F4 that F4v 104
that unadulterated mind. But――I cannot
――no, it is impossible to resist saying,
that, like all other usurped authority, the
power of your aunt is maintained by unjust
means, and supported by prejudices,
which if once looked at by the eye of reason
would fall. So slender is the hold of
tyranny, my Monimia!”

“Dear Orlando,” said Monimia smiling
through her tears, “you talk what is by me
very little understood.”
“No!” replied
he, she has taken care to fetter you in
as much ignorance as possible; but your
mind rises above the obscurity with which
she would surround it. She has however
brought in supernatural aid; and, fearful of
not being able to keep you in sufficient awe
by her terrific self, she has called forth all
the deceased ladies of the Rayland family,
and gentlemen too for aught I know, and
beset you with spirits and hobgoblins if you
dare to walk about the house.”

“Ah! Orlando,” answered Monimia
timidly, and throwing round the room a half fearful F5r 105
fearful glance, “I do believe you injure
my aunt Lennard in that notion; for I am
almost sure she believes what she tells
me.”

“Pooh!” replied he, she has too
much sense. A good bottle of Barbadoes
water, or ratafia, would call your pious
aunt in the darkest night, and just as the
clock strikes twelve, into the very chancel
of the chapel itself, or even into the vaults
under it.”

“Do not laugh at such things, Orlando,
do not, pray! unless you are very sure they
are all foolish and superstitious fancies. I
assure you, Orlando, that having been used
to walk about this great old rambling house
by myself, at all times of the day, and sometimes,
at a night, I cannot have been much used
to indulge fear; for, frightened or not
frightened, I must have gone if my lady or
my aunt had ordered me. But though I
am not the least afraid, or used not to be
afraid, when I was assured in my own heart F5 that F5v 106
that I had never done or intended any harm,
yet I have seen and heard――”

“Nay then, Monimia, tell me what you
have seen and heard,”
cried he, fixing his
eyes eagerly on her face, and pulling his
chair nearer to hers, “and let us draw
round the fire and have a discourse upon
apparitions.”

“You will laugh at me, Orlando,” said
she, looking smilingly and yet grave; “but
what I have to tell you is true nevertheless.”

“Tell it then, Monimia—If any proofs
have power to make me a convert, they must
be yours.”

“ Well then, Orlando, I assure you it is
no fancy, but absolutely true, that some
time last February, at which time my aunt
was very ill by the fall she had down stairs,
she used to intrust me with the keys, and to
send me all about the house for things she
wanted. You know that when Mr. Patettenson
is out, she always insists upon having
the keys of the great cellars, as well as all
the rest, left with her; and that, after quarrelling8 relling F6r 107
some years about it, she has got the
better; and, though he will not give her his
keys, has my lady’s leave to have keys of
her own, which she always takes particular
pleasure in using when he is out (which he
happened to be that night at the christening
of Mr. Butterworth’s child), whether
she really wants the things she sends for or
no. It was a terrible stormy night and very
dark, when my aunt, who was but just got
well enough to sit in my lady’s room, took
it into her head, after everybody was gone
to bed but Betty Richards and I, that she
wanted some hot shrub and water. She
sent me to look for shrub in her closet,
where I believe she knew there was none;
and when I came back to say there was
none, she bade me go into the east-wing
cellar, which goes, you know, under the
house towards this end of it, and fetch half
a dozen bottles; and she gave me the key
and a basket. I stood trembling with fear;
for had I been sure of being killed even at
that moment, I am very certain I could
not have determined to venture alone.
F6 “What F6v 108 ‘What is the foolish girl afraid of?’
said my aunt. ‘Of going alone so far,
Ma’am,’
said I, ‘at this time of
night.’
‘And is not this time of night,’ said my
aunt angrily, ‘or is not any time of night,
or any time of day, the same thing to you?
Idiot!—and do you dare to affect any
choice, how and when you shall obey my
commands?’
‘Oh! no indeed, my dear dear aunt,’
answered I trembling, ‘no indeed; but
remember—remember, before you are so
angry with me, that an hundred and an
hundred times you have told me, that all
the galleries and passages about this house
are haunted; and that you have yourself
seen strange sights and heard frightful noises,
though you never would tell me what they
were: how shall I, my dear aunt, encounter
that which has terrified you?—Pray,
forgive me! or, if you will not, inflict upon
me any punishment you please: only be
assured, my dear aunt, that, terrible as
your anger is to your poor girl, she had rather4 ther F7r 109
endure it than go into those passages
and vaults alone.’
‘Why, thou art a driveller, a perfect
idiot,’
answered Mrs. Lennard, ‘and art
fit only for a cap and bells, clean straw, and
a whirligig.—Apparitions, you stupid fool!
But tell me, will you go for what I want,
if this other moppet, who looks as white as
a cheese-curd, will go with you?’
The offer of going with Betsy Richards
had somehow quite a charm with it,
compared with the terrors of going alone;
and therefore I readily agreed to the proposal,
flattering myself that Betty would refuse,
and that I should so be excused.
But poor Betsy had, like myself, a most
terrible awe of my aunt, whom ever since
she could remember she had been taught to
fear. ‘To be sure, I will go,’ said poor
Betsy; ‘to be certain, I will go, if madam
she desires it; though for certain――’
‘None of your ifs, you silly baggage,
but here, take the candle; and do you, you
nonsensical ninnyhammer, take the basket, and F7v 110
and fetch instantly what I want. The old
shrub stands in a bin, quite at the lower end
of the farthest arched vault, next the chapel
wing: put your hands elbow deep in the
saw-dust, and you will feel it; bring half a
dozen bottles, and mind you take care of
your candle—for the whole family of Rayland
are piled up in their velvet coffins
within two or three feet of you; and it
would be a very unhandsome thing to set
their old dry bones in a blaze on their own
premises.’
Neither Betsy nor I dared answer; for,
as my aunt spoke these last words, she waved
her hands for us to go. After we were out
of hearing, I, who held Betsy fast by the
arm, expressed my apprehension at what
had passed. I did this more particularly,
because I had never heard my aunt talk so
freely before. Betsy, frightened as she was
at the thought of the expedition we were
undertaking, could not help tittering at the
surprise I expressed, and said, ‘Lord!
why, the old woman has been sitting so long after F8r 111
after supper with Madam, that she has been
taking care to keep the cold out of her stomach:’
—meaning that Mrs. Lennard had
been drinking too much, which till then I
had never any notion of. ‘I am sure,’
replied I to my trembling companion, as
we went down the cellar stairs, and were
frightened by the echo of our feet, ‘I am
sure, Bessy, we want something to keep the
cold of fear out of ours.—Do I tremble as
much as you do, and do I look as pale?’

‘Oh! hush,’ said she, ‘hush! I shall
drop if I hear a voice—it sounds so among
these hollow doors.’
Her teeth chattered
in her head, and she held the candle in her
hand so unsteadily that I was afraid it would
have gone out. In this manner we proceeded
to the bottom of the stairs, which you
know are very long, and had got half a
dozen paces along the passage, which is, you
may remember, very high and narrow and
long, when we heard a loud rushing noise
at the other end of it. Something came
sweep along; but Betsy let fall the candle, and F8v 112
and fell herself against the wall, where I endeavoured
in vain to support her. She
sunk quite down; and, as I stooped to assist
her, somebody certainly brushed by me. I
know not what I heard afterwards, for fear
deprived me of my senses. This, however,
lasted but a moment; for, my recollection
returning, I was sensible that, whatever there
was to hurt us, we should do more wisely to
endeavour to return back to my aunt’s room
than to remain in that dismal place. With
great difficulty, by rubbing her hands within
mine, and reasoning with her as soon as
she seemed able to hear it, I prevailed upon
Betsy Richards to try to walk. The apprehension
that this frightful apparition
might return (which she whispered me had
the figure of a tall man in a white or light-
coloured gown), had more effect upon her
than any thing I could say; and she consented
to try to return up the stairs. It was
so dark, however, that we were obliged to
feel our way with our hands; and I own I
every moment expected to put them against the F9r 113
the frightful figure which my companion
had seen. ”

“But you were wrong there,” said the
incredulous Orlando; “for, if it were a
ghost, Monimia, you know a ghost is only
air, and of course you could not have
touched it.—But tell me how your aunt received
you.”

“It was, I am sure, almost half an hour
before we got back, more dead than alive,
to the oak parlour. She asked us very impatiently,
what we had been so long about?
but neither of us was presently able to answer.
She saw how it was by our faces, but
very sharply bade us tell her that moment
what was the matter. Betsy had then more
courage than I had; for I was more afraid
of my aunt, if possible, than of the ghost,
and so she related as well as she could all she
saw, or fancied she saw. Mrs. Lennard was
extremely angry with us both, and scolded
us for a quarter of an hour; which I thought
a little unreasonable towards me, since she
was angry with me now for being afraid of the F9v 114
the very things she had been teaching me
to fear. However, as there was no chance
of persuading us to make another attempt
that night, and she was disabled by lameness
from going herself, she was forced to
be content with some other of the cordials
she had in her closet; and afterwards she
rather wished to have the story hushed up
and forgotten, for somehow or other that
key of the cellar was never found after that
night. The basket and the candle remained
where they were dropped; yet the key,
which was a very great heavy key, and
which I had in my hand, was gone; and
Mr. Patterson would have made such a
racket about it, that my aunt, as she had
another, let the story drop, and contrived
an excuse a week or two afterwards, when
she was able to get about herself, to have
the lock changed.”

“And this is all the reason you have, my
Monimia, from your own observation, to
believe in spirits?”
said Orlando.

“All!” F10r 115

“All!” replied she, “and is it not then enough?”

“Not quite, I fear, to convince the
scepticism of the present day. I do not,
however, wish to prejudice your mind on
the other side, by bringing arguments
against the possibility of their existence;
but I will give your reason an opportunity
of deciding for itself. Against to-morrow
night, when we shall meet again, I will
look out and mark for you all those stories
of supernatural appearances that are related
by the most reasonable people, and are the
best authenticated. You shall fairly enquire
whether any of those visits of the dead
were ever found to be of any use to the living.
We are told that they have been seen
(as is reported of that vision which Clarendon
tells of), to warn the persons to whom
they appeared, or some others to whom
they were to repeat their mission, of impending
danger. But the danger, however
foretold, has never been avoided; and shall
we therefore believe, that an all-wise and all- F10v 116
all-powerful Being shall suffer a general law
of nature to be so uselessly violated, and
shall make the dead restless, only to terrify
the living?”

“Oh! but in cases of murder you know
what spectres have appeared!”

“Yes, Monimia, to the conscience of
the guilty; but even that is not always
ready to raise hideous shadows to persecute
the sanguinary monsters who are stained
with crimes; for if it were, Monimia, I
am afraid not one of our kings or heroes
could have slept in their beds.”

“And yet,” said Monimia shuddering,
“and yet, Orlando, you sometimes talk of
being a soldier!”

“Ah! my sweet friend,” replied Orlando,
“I have no choice, but must be what
they would have me. Yet believe me,
Monimia, if I had a choice, it would be to
pass all my life in some quiet retirement
with you. We should not want either of
us to be very rich, for we should certainly
be very happy.”

To F11r 117

To this poor Monimia felt herself quite
unable to answer; but sighing deeply, from
the fear that it could never be, she tried to
turn the discourse: “Is it not very late,
Orlando,”
said she, “and had I not better
go?”

“If you insist upon going yet, I shall be
half tempted to let you travel through the
chapel alone,”
replied he smiling, “and, to
revenge myself for your desertion, expose
you to meet the tall man in the white dress.”

He then led the conversation to other subjects,
gave her some books he had selected
for her reading, and some materials for
writing; and, after insisting upon her promise
to meet him the next night, he consented
that she should return to her aunt.
As, with his arm round her waist, he conducted
her through the chapel, and still
found her tremble, he gently reproached
her with it. “Ah!” said she, “Orlando,
you are surely unreasonable, if you expect
me to be as courageous as you are!”
“Not
at all,”
answered he; “for you may derive your F11v 118
your confidence from the same source, and
say, as I do, ‘I fear no evil angel, and have offended
no good one.’”

Monimia promised to do all she could
towards conquering her apprehensions.
They were by this time arrived at the door
of her chamber, where tenderly kissing her
hand, he again bade her good night, or rather
good morning, for it was near three
o’clock; and waiting till he heard the door
safely concealed by her bed, and hearing
that all was secure, he returned to his own
room, and went to rest in spirits disposed to
indulge delicious dreams of happiness to
come.

Chap. F12r 119

Chap. VI.

Another and another evening Orlando
attended at the turret, and the
apprehensions of Monimia decreased in proportion
as her reason, aided by her confidence
in him, taught her that there was in
reality little to fear from the interposition of
supernatural agency. The dread of being
discovered by the people in the house, however,
still interrupted the hours which passed
with imperceptible rapidity while they
were together. This might happen a thousand
ways, which Monimia was ingenious
in finding out; while Orlando was sometimes
successful, and sometimes failed, in
ridiculing those apprehensions which he
could not always help sharing.

The F12v 120

The mind of the innocent Monimia had
been till now like that of Miranda in her
desert island. To her, the world that was
past and that which was now passing were
alike unknown; and all the impressions
that her infant understanding had received,
tended only to confirm the artificial influence
which her aunt endeavoured to establish
over her imagination. Her poverty,
her dependence, the necessity of her earning
a subsistence by daily labour, had been
the only lessons she had been taught; and
the only hope held out to her, that of passing
through life in an obscure service.

But she had learned now that, abject
and poor as she was, she was an object of
affection to Orlando, who seemed in her
eyes the representation of divinity. The
reading he had directed her to pursue, had
assisted in teaching her some degree of self-
value. She found that to be poor was not
disgraceful in the eye of Heaven, or in the
eyes of the good upon earth; and that the great G1r 121
great teacher of that religion which she had
been bid to profess, though very little instructed
in it, was himself poor, and the
advocate and friend of poverty. In addition
to all this knowledge, so suddenly acquired,
she had lately made another discovery.
Her aunt had always told her that
she was a very plain girl, had a bad person,
and was barely fit to be seen; but since the
marriage of the servant who had lived at
the Hall during the infancy of Monimia,
Betty Richards, the under house-maid, had
been ordered to do the little that Monimia
was allowed to have done in her room.
Mrs. Lennard had taken her from the
parish officers as an apprentice; and having
long seen her only in her coarse gown and
nailed shoes, and observed in her manner
only a great deal of rustic simplicity, had
not the least idea that under that semblance
she concealed the cunning and the vanity
of a country coquet; and that the first
week she passed in Mrs. Rayland’s family
had called forth these latent qualities. She Vol. I. G was G1v 122
was a ruddy, shewy girl, with a large but
rather a good figure; and her face was no
sooner washed, and her hair combed over
a roll, than she became an object which
attracted the attention of the great Mr.
Pattenson
himself; who, proceeding in the
usual way by which he had won the favour
of so many of the subaltern nymphs in Mrs.
Rayland’s
kitchen, began to make her many
presents, and to talk of her beauty; and
as she could not forbear repeating all these
extravagant expressions of his admiration,
Monimia could as little help reflecting,
though she was somehow humbled as she
made the comparison, that if Betty was so
handsome, she could not herself be so ugly
as her aunt had always represented her.
The fineries which her new friend received
Monimia beheld without any wish to enjoy
such herself; though on Betty, a poor girl
bred in a workhouse, they had a most intoxicating
effect. They were given under the
strictest injunctions of secrecy, which was
tolerably well observed towards the rest of the G2r 123
the house; and the finery, which at first
consisted only of beads and ribbands was reserved
for Sunday afternoons, and put on at
a friend’s cottage near a distant church. But
it was not in female nature to conceal these
acquisitions from Monimia; and it was in
her drawers that they were often deposited,
when there was reason to apprehend that
the little deal box, which had till lately
been amply sufficient for the check apron
and linsey-woolsey gown of Betty, might
not safely conceal the ribbands “colour
of emperors’ eyes,”
the flowered shawls,
the bugle necklaces, and caps with new
edging to them, which she now possessed.

Sometimes, when Betty obtained leave to
go out, and thought that, Mrs. Lennard
being engaged with her lady, and the other
servants gone different ways, she should
escape unnoticed across the park, she persuaded
Monimia, who knew not how to refuse
her any thing, to let her dress at her
little glass; and there the progress of rural G2 coquetry G2v 124
coquetry had full power to display itself.
She tried on her various topknots, disposed
her hair in a thousand fanciful ways, and
called to Monimia for her opinion, which of
them was most becoming; appealing for the
authority of these variations to a certain
pocket-book, presented her also from the
same quarter, which represented in one of
its leaves six young ladies in the most
fashionable head-dresses for 17761776.”

Monimia, with all her ingenuous simplicity,
had sense enough to smile at the ridiculous
vanity of the girl; and to know, that
her accepting all this finery from the old
butler was quite wrong. But she felt also,
that to reprove her for it would look like
envy, and that to remonstrate would probably
be vain. She contented herself therefore
with keeping as much out of her confidence
as she could; and had reasons enough
of her own, which were continually strengthened
by the exhortations of Orlando, for
keeping her from being a too frequent visitor
in her room.

But G3r 125

But the remarks she made upon all this,
and upon numberless circumstances in the
house which Betty related to her, no longer
left her in her original ignorance. In a
great house there are among the servants as
many cabals, and as many schemes, as
among the leaders of a great nation; and
few exhibited a greater variety of interests
than did the family of Mrs. Rayland. Mrs.
Lennard
at once hated, feared, and courted
Pattenson, who, having been taken a boy
from the plough, had been gradually promoted
till he became the favourite footman
of the elder Mrs. Rayland, who, on the
death of an old man who had long occupied
that post, made him butler; where he
was supposed to have accumulated in the
course of five-and-twenty years a great deal
of money, was known to have several sums
out at interest, and had bought two or three
small farms in the county, with the approbation
of his lady, whose favour had never
once failed him, though various attempts
had been made to injure him in her opinion G3 by G3v 126
by complaints of his amours. Though he
was a perfect Turk in morals, and though
in his advanced life he rather indulged than
corrected this propensity to libertinism, he
had hitherto contrived to escape his lady’s
wrath; and indeed knew that nobody but
Mrs. Lennard or the old coachman had,
among the domestics, interest enough to
shake her good opinion of him; and of
both the one and the other, though aware
that neither of them bore him any good
will, he was tolerably secure.

How the prudent and guarded Mrs. Lennard
came to be in his power was never
fully understood; but in his power she certainly
felt herself: for though they were in
habits of frequent squabbling about trifles,
which indeed with the lady seemed necessary
to break the tedious uniformity of her
life, yet whenever she found Mr. Pattenson
really angry, she, albeit unused to the condescending
mood, began to palliate and
apologize—and peace was generally made
over some nice thing, and some fine old wine, G4r 127
wine, by way of a petit souper in Mr. Pattenson’s
parlour, after Mrs. Rayland was gone
to bed.

The old coachman, who was the other
favourite servant, was always a third in
these peace-making meetings. He was a
man grown unwieldy from excess of good
living, and more than seventy years old;
but he possessed an infinite deal of cunning,
and knew how to get and how to keep money,
with which it was his ambition to portion
his two daughters, and to marry them
to gentlemen; and his dealings in contraband
goods, as Rayland Hall was only five
miles from the coast, his having the management
of the great farms in hand, and his
concern in buying and selling horses, were
together supposed to have rendered this
object of ambition of easy attainment. Of
deeper sagacity than the other two, he foresaw
that the time could not be far distant
when Rayland Hall, and all the wealth that
belonged to it, must change its possessor.
It was a plan of Mrs. Lennard and PattensonG4 son G4v 128
to enjoy and to secure all they could
now, and to be well assured of a very considerable
legacy hereafter. But old Snelcraft
had farther hopes; and for that reason,
though he had at first opposed as much as
he could the reception of Orlando, and
since expressed displeasure towards him, he
of late had in his head floating visions of the
probability there was that, if Orlando came
to the estate, he might marry his favourite
daughter, Miss Patty Snelcraft, who would
have such a fine fortune, and was, as her father
believed, the very extract of all beauty.
Ridiculous and chimerical as such a project
was, the old man, in the dotage of his purse-
proud vanity, believed it not only possible
but probable: for, though he knew that
Mrs. Rayland would have disinherited her
own son for entertaining such an idea for a
moment, yet he saw that Mr. Orlando had
no pride at all; and he was pretty sure, from
the arrangements that he believed were
made as to money, that, great as the sum of
ready money would perhaps be that Mrs. Rayland G5r 129
Rayland
might leave behind her, none of
it would be suffered to go to Mr. Orlando.
Miss Patty Snelcraft was, as this precious
plan got more entirely the possession of her
father’s imagination, taken from a boarding-
school at a neighbouring town, and one
luckless day brought to church in all the
finery which she had there been accustomed
to wear. But the effect was very far from
that her parents intended, who expected
that Madam would have sent for her to the
Hall, as she used to do at breaking-up, and
have commended her beauty and elegance;
instead of which, Mrs. Rayland no sooner
arrived at home than she sent for Robin, as
she still called her old servant, who now was
seldom able to mount the box himself, and
asked, if it was possible that the tawdry
thing she had seen with his wife was his
daughter? He answered in all humility that
it was his eldest daughter, who, as she had
now finished her learning, he had taken
home from boarding-school.

“Finished her learning!” exclaimed the G5 old G5v 130
old lady; “and is that what she has learned,
to dress herself out like a stage-player, like
a mountebank’s doxy? Upon my word,
Robin, I am sorry for you. I though you
and your wife had more sense. What! is
that a dress for a sober girl, who ought to
be a help to her mother, and to take care
of her father in his old age?”

“She does, Ma’am, do both, I’ll assure
you,”
answered Robin, terribly stung by
this reproof, “and is a very good and dutiful
child. And as to her fineries, Ma’am,
and such like, you are sensible that I’m not
myself no judge of them there things; and
my wife I believe thought, that seeing how
by your goodness and my long and faithful
service we are well to pass, for our condition
and circumstances and such like, there
would not be no offence whatsumdever in
dressing our poor girls, being we have but
two, a little dessent and neat, just to shew
that one is no beggar after having served in
such a good family so many years.”

The lady, a little softened by this speech, which G6r 131
which was made in almost a crying tone of
voice, replied, “Well well, good Robin,
I know how to make allowances; but do
you and your wife learn for the future to
make a more modest use of the means you
are blessed with, and never encourage your
girls to vanity and extravagance. Here’s
Mary here, Lennard’s niece, whom I
give leave to be in the house”
(Monimia
stood waiting all this time with the chocolate,
which the old lady always swallowed as
soon as she came in from her devotions),
she, I assure you, comes of parents that
many people would call genteel; and yet
you see, as it has pleased Providence to
make her a dependent and a servant, I never
suffer her to stick herself out in feathers
and flowers like a May-day girl.”

The lecture ended, and the old coachman
withdrew, extremely discontent that
his Patty had been compared to the housekeeper’s
niece, who was, as he muttered to
himself, a mere pauper; and Monimia was not
at all flattered by being brought forward as G6 a com- G6v 132
a comparison for Miss Snelcraft, whom the
servants, and particularly Betty, had been
turning into ridicule for her awkward finery
and airs of consequence—nor did the expression,
that she was born of parents whom
some people would call genteel, at all
sweeten the bitterness of this comparison.
Monimia, who had before in the course of
the day received a severe mortification from
her aunt, in being refused leave to go to
church, now, as soon as her service in waiting
on Mrs. Rayland with the chocolate
was performed, withdrew to her own room,
and indulged her tears. At length she recollected
that, though all the rest of the world
might despise and contemn her, the heart
of Orlando was hers; she was secure of his
affection; he would repeat it to her at
night, when he had promised to fetch her
to his room: and these reflections dried her
eyes, and dissipated her sorrows: they
even lent her force to bear, without betraying
her impatience, the intrusion of Betty
Richards
, who soon after asked leave to come G7r 133
come in. “Oh, laud! my dear miss,” cried
she, as soon as she entered the room, “how
we be shut up in this here old place like
two little singing birds in a cage!—I’ve been
trying to persuade old Jenny to let me take
her turn this a’ternoon to go to church,
and have promised to give her two turns
for one; but the cross old witch says indeed
she chooses to go herself.—Oh lud lud! I’d
give a little finger to go.”

“And why are you so eager to go to-day,
Betty, more than any other afternoon?”

“Oh gad!” replied the girl, “for five
hundred reasons:—first, because it’s so early
that I could get away to West Wolverton
church with all the ease in the world, and
’tis such a sweet afternoon, and winter will
be here now so soon; besides that—but you
must not tell for an hundred pounds—my
good old fat sweetheart brought me home
last night the most beautifullest bonnet,
such as the millener told him was worn by
the tip-top quality in Lonnon—and I die to
wear it, and to go to West Wolverton church G7v 134
church in it this very afternoon; for at ours,
you know, I dares as well jump into the fire
as put it on.”

“But why do your bonnet and your
piety conspire to carry you so far just this
very evening, Betty,”
said Monimia smiling,
“when both East Wolverton and Bartonwick
have an evening church, and are not
much more than half as far?”

“Oh! thereby hangs a tale—What! you
han’t heard then, I suppose, of all the great
doings at West Wolverton?”

This was the name of the village in which
was situated the house of Mr. Somerive.—
“Great doings!” repeated Monimia, changing
colour; “no, I have heard of nothing.”

“Why then you must know, Miss, that
Mr. Orlando, who was not here last night――

(Monimia knew it well, for they had agreed two nights before not to meet
till
the present evening)—

Mr. Orlando, I say, came over about
an hour ago, just as my Lady came from
church, and after walking backwards and forwards G8r 135
forwards in his melancholy fashion, with a
book in his hand, upon the broad pavement
in the chapel court, which really oft-times
rives one’s very heart to see him, he went
away to his study. For my part, I was sitting
in the window up stairs for a moment, for
I had just been making up my Lady’s fire
before she came from church—when all of
a sudden I saw John Dickman, ’Squire
Somerive’s groom, come riding up; so down
I went to speak to him. He gived me a
letter, which I carried in to Orlando,
who seemed monstrous surprised at it, as
he was but that minute as ’twere come from
home; and when I went back to the kitchen
John told me, he was ordered to wait for
his young master—for that Madam Somerive’s
brother, the London merchant, was
come down, with some of his family, sons
and daughters, and the gentleman from
some part beyond the sea, who was to marry
the eldest Miss Somerive, for he had got
his father’s consent, and the wedding was
to take place out of hand. And so,”
added Betty G8v 136
Betty, who had almost talked herself out
of breath, “as Mr. Phil. is out, gone
as he always is upon a visit to they newcomers
up at Castle, the ’Squire he ordered
John to fetch our Orlando out of hand
home to entertain all this grand company.”

“And he went!” said Monimia in a
faint voice, who had changed colour a
dozen times during this narration.

“Oh, Lord! yes, to be sure he went,”
replied Betty; “yet somehow he look’d to
me as if he had rather of stay’d, and hung
about for some time, as thos unwilling to
go. Lord! sir, said I, as I went to shut
up his windows before he lock’d the study
door—Lord, how strange it is that you are
not like other young men, and never cares
nothing for company and such like! He
only sighed, a sweet creature!—when
I’m sure, if all the grand lords and dukes,
and even the King, and the Prince of
Wales, and the Archbishop of Osnabig,
and all his Majesty’s court, were to be collected
together, there’s not one of them to be G9r 137
be compared to young ’Squire Orlando.――
Lord! what would I give to see all these
gentlefolks together at West Wolverton
church, and that dear sweet Orlando outshining
them all!”

“And that was the reason,” said Monimia
in a still fainter voice, “that you are
satisfied with no church but West Wolverton?
But after all, Betty, pray are you sure
these ladies and gentlemen will be there?”

“As sure as five pence—for John Dickman
told me so. Oh! that I could but
go!—for Orlando, you know, Miss, who is
the sweetest temperd good-naturdest cretur
in all England, would never tell if he saw
one ever so smartly dress:—No, egollys!
he’s more like to give one some trifle or
other to help one out, than to blab to get
one anger.”

“Has he ever given you any thing,
Betty?”
said Monimia, in a voice the tremor
of which she could not disguise; for, mingled
with numberless other sensations, something
like a half-formed jealousy and suspicious apprehension G9v 138
apprehension now entered her heart— “tell
me, Betty, what has he ever given you?”

“Why I assure you,” replied the girl
pertly, “not above a month ago neither,
a’ter he had been here for almost a fortnight,
he called me to him as I was a dusting
of them there guns and arrows and
what d’yecallums, as hangs over the chimney
in that parlour as you goes through to
get to his study—And so, says he, Betty,
you’ve a good deal of trouble in cleaning
of my room and making my fire, and perhaps
your lady may not recollect it, and so
may not make you a consideration for it;
and therefore, Betty, I beg you’ll accept
this, and I wish I had it in my power to do
better.—And if you’ll believe me, Miss, it
was a brand new crown, quite new, a crown
piece they told me it was.—I would have
given any thing not to have changed it, but
to have laid it up as a keepsake—But there!
—I had not money enough without it to buy
my new cotton gown, when Alexander
Macgill the Scotchman called here; and so away G10r 139
away went my poor dear crown, though I
had leverer have partered with one of my
fingers.”

“You did right, however,” said Monimia
coldly; “the gown you wanted, and the
crown, I dare say, Mr. Orlando meant you
should use.”

“I suppose he did, a dear sweet creature!
—Lord a mercy! what would I give to
have a peep at his sweet face this afternoon!
I’ll tell you what, Miss, though you cannot
go to church, nor I neither, we might
ten to one see these gentlefolks ride by, if
we could but steal up to the upper park,
and so through the little common. ’Tis
not much better than three miles, and we
might not be miss’d.”

“No,” said Monimia drily, “I shall
run no such risk indeed of making my aunt
angry; and besides, what would Mr. Somerive,
or Mr. Orlando, or any other of them
think if they saw us there?”

“Hang their thoughts!” replied Betty;
“what would it signify to us what any body thought G10v 140
thought, if we pleased ourselves? I’ll go
and see how the land lays, and if the two
old girls have done their dinner, and are
set down together to take their afternoon’s
dose.”

“Do not come back then, Betty,” said
Monimia; “for I certainly will not go
out without leave, and you know it nonsense
to ask it—therefore, if you like it, go;
but I assure you I shall not.”

Having thus released herself from her
importunate visitor, Monimia sat down to
consider all she had told her. That Orlando
should quit the house without telling her,
gave her at first extreme pain; yet a moment’s
reflection convinced her that, unless
he had made a confidante of Betty, of which
she now saw all the danger, there was no
possible way of his conveying to her intelligence
of the sudden summons he had received
from his father; for Mrs. Lennard
was at home, and had shut herself up in her
own room to do twenty little services which
she frequently chose to have performed on Sunday G11r 141
Sunday mornings. A thousand doubts now
arose in the mind of Monimia, whether he
would be able to call for her at night; a
thousand apprehensions left the people he
was with, particularly his uncle’s daughters,
who he had said were very pretty women,
should estrange his thoughts from her, and
rob her of his affections. These fears were
so acute, that she was trying to drive them
from her, when Betty returned, and, finding
the door of her room fastened, tapped softly
at it, and cried, “Miss, miss! who will
refuse to go into the park now?”

“You have not surely got leave!”

“No, nor I have not asked it; but the
old ladies are hard set in to their good
things. Madam has had a gouty feel in her
stomach all day, she says, and that’s always
a symptom for a double dose; and as to
your aunt, she has been ailing too, and will
not flinch her share, you know very well.”

Monimia, alarmed at the loud whisper,
had opened the door before the end of this
speech, and let in her unwelcome companion,nion G11v 142
who now repeated, that every body
was safely bestowed who could interrupt
them; and that, as it was still very early,
they might have a good chance of seeing
some of these comers, and above all Orlando,
in their evening ride. But Monimia,
who was displeased with the familiar way in
which the girl named Orlando, and knew
that he would object to her walking with
her, assumed a virtue when she had it not;
and though she believed they might safely
go the way she proposed, and return before
the hour when it was likely her aunt would
want her; though she would have given
half the world only for the chance of seeing
Orlando at a distance, he positively refused
—and had the resolution to see Betty set out
by herself, with her new “most beautifullest”
bonnet pinned under her petticoat,
which she proposed putting on when she
got clear of the house; and then Monimia,
forcing her attention from what had the last
few hours engaged it, sat down to the sort
of lesson which Orlando had last marked for G12r 143
for her, and which she had promised to
make herself mistress of before she saw him
again;—though, alas! while she read, the
idea of the superior advantages enjoyed by
the Miss Woodfords, his cousins, their beauty,
and the probability there was that one
of them might be intended for him, too
frequently distracted her thoughts, and impeded
her good intentions.

The G12v 144

Chap. VII.

The day had been unusually warm;
but towards evening a thunder-storm
came on, and, as it grew later, a tempest of
wind, with heavy and continual rain.

Betty, sulky that Monimia refused, and
still more sulky that she had got nothing by
her long walk, but nearly spoiling all her
finery, had not come to Monimia’s room
any more; but she recieved, at the usual
hour, the usual summons for tea. She
thought both Mrs. Lennard and her aunt
uncommonly peevish and tedious, and that
the sermon one was reading, while the other
fell asleep, was most unreasonably long.
At length she was dismissed, and, retiring to
her turret, began to listen to the wind, that
howled in tremendous gusts among the trees H1r 145
trees, and to the rain falling in torrents, the
rushing of which was redoubled by the
leaden pipes that, from the roof of her
turret, threw the water in columns on the
pavement below. Would Orlando come?
Through such a tempest it were hardly to be
wished he should. Having been absent all
day, there would be no fire in his room, he
would be drenched with rain, and half dead
with cold. Monimia then could not desire
he should come; yet she felt, in despite of
her reason, that she should be very unhappy
if he did not; for, though so many causes
might combine to detain him, her humble
ideas of herself, and the pictures she had
made of the beauty and attractions of
the Miss Woodfords, added another which
rendered her wretched. “Alas!” cried
she, “Orlando, among them, will be too
happy to think of me; and it is quite
ridiculous to suppose, that he will quit these
ladies to come through the storm almost
five miles to poor Monimia. No, no!
Orlando will not come.”

Vol. I. H Still H1v 146

Still however she could not determine to
go to bed, at least till the hour was past for
which he had made the appointement. At
the usual time her aunt, who now frequently
omitted to come herself, sent Betty for her
candle, and her door was locked as usual,
for that was a ceremony which either in
person or proxy was always performed. But
Monimia now no longer passed the long interval,
between half after nine o’clock and
the hour when Orlando usually called her,
in darkness; for he had furnished her with
the means of procuring a light, and with
small wax candles. One of these she now
lit, and endeavoured to sit down to read—
but the violence of the wind, which she
fancied every moment increased, and the
flashes of lightning which she saw through
her narrow casement, to which there was no
shutter, distracted her attention; and she
could only sit in miserable anxiety, listening
to the various noises which in such a tempestuous
night are heard around an old
building, and especially such a part of it as she H2r 147
she inhabited; where, around the octagon
tower or turret, the wind roared with violence
from every point; while, in the long
passages which led from thence to her aunt’s
apartments, it seemed yet more enraged,
from being confined. She now traversed
her small room with fearful steps; now sat
down on her bed, near the door, that she
might the more readily hear Orlando if he
should come; and now got on a chair, and
opened her casement to observe if there seemed
any probability of the storm’s abating:
but still, though the thunder had ceased, the
clouds, driven against each other by violent
and varying gusts of wind, produced vivid
flashes of lightning, which suddenly illuminated
the whole park. But Orlando
came not, and it was now near an hour past
his usual time. Again the poor anxious
Monimia, now half despairing of his coming,
and trying to persuade herself that she
did not wish he should come, traversed her
room, again went to her window. Another
and another hour passed: amidst the heavy H2 gusts H2v 148
gusts and mournful howlings of the wind,
she had counted the clock, that, with a more
than usually hollow sound, told twelve, one,
two!—Orlando certainly did not mean to
come—no! it was unreasonable to suppose
he would; unreasonable to flatter herself
that he would quit a cheerful circle of his
relations, to traverse the extensive commons
and lanes, and all the park, that lay between
West Wolverton and the Hall, in
such a night, when no person would think
of going out but on life and death. Yet,
while she thus argued with herself, a few tears
involuntarily stole from her eyes; and as
she gave up all hopes of his comin, and lay
down in her clothes on her bed (for she had
not the resolution to undress herself), she
sighed deeply, and said to herself: “And
yet, if it had been me who was expected, I
do not believe any storm could have hindered
me from trying to see Orlando! and
I am sure no company would.—Yet he is
quite in the right, I know, and I do not
blame him.”

She H3r 149

She could not, however fatigued and
weary, close her eyes for some time. The
clock at length struck three; and soon after,
wearied with watching and anxiety, she
fell into an unquiet repose.

Suddenly, without being conscious how
long she had indulged in, she started from
her sleep, and fancied she heard the well-
known signal: she listened a moment; it
was repeated. Trembling with joy, yet
equally agitated by fear, she arose and answered
it; and removing the impediments
that were between them, and again lighting
her candle, Orlando stepped into the
room.

His clothes and his hair were streaming
with water, and he said hastily, as he came
through the hangings, “You had given
me over, my Monimia, had you not?”

“Long ago,” replied she, with an apprehensive
countenance, which yet was lightened
up with pleasure. “And now I am
come, Monimia,”
reassumed he, “you
must suffer me to remain here, for I cannot H3 get H3v 150
get into my own room: the chapel doors,
you know, are fastened within side, and by
the usual way at this hour of the night it is
impossible. I can stay but a moment; but
I could not bear to be so many hours without
seeing you; and besides, I had no
means of letting you know why I went so
suddenly from hence, and I fear you have
been unhappy.”

“I should have been unhappy indeed, if
Betty, who heard it from the servant who
came for you, had not told me as a piece
of news, that company had arrived unexpectedly
at West Wolverton.—And in such
a night, Orlando, was it possible to expect
you could leave them to come so far? How
good it is of you!—And yet you will suffer,
I fear, from your wet clothes. Good God!
what can I do to prevent your suffering?”

“Be not uneasy about that, my angel
friend,”
replied Orlando; such trifles I
never attend to, and never suffer from: if
you will let me sit down here with you, I
will take off my great coat, and my other clothes H4r 151
clothes are not so very wet. At this hour
there will surely be nothing to apprehend
from staying here.”

“I hope not,” said Monimia, “I hope
not, if we speak low. The wind is so high,
that any trifling noise could hardly be ehard
by my aunt if she were upon the watch,
which I hope she is not.”
“You are generous
to indulge me,”
answered Orlando;
“and I must be a monster to dream of injuring
such innocence and candour. But,
Monimia, there are a thousand uneasy
thoughts continually crowding upon me
about you. This Betty Richards—I am
afraid she is a bad girl; I am sure she is an
artful one; and there is an alliance of some
sort or other between her and the old butler:
you will never trust her, Monimia.”

“Never indeed,” replied Monimia; “for
though she is of late much thrown in my
way since my aunt has become more indolent
from her accident, I never willingly
am with her; nor do I indeed like her so
well as I used to do.”

H4 Continue H4v 152

“Continue to keep yourself then from
much intimacy, Monimia; for the conversation
of such a girl, to a mind pure and unsullied
like yours, is to be dreaded. It is
coarse at least, if not vicious; and, if it be
not dangerous, is at all events improper.
Discourage therefore her talking to you as
much as you can, even about the tittle tattle
of the house.”
Monimia most readily
promised to obey him:—and then observing
that he looked at her with a peculiar
expression of uneasiness in his countenance,
she said, “But is that all, Orlando? Is
there not something else that gives you
concern?”
“Yes,” replied he; “I will
not conceal from you that there are many
things. This wedding of my sister’s, though
I most sincerely rejoice that she is likely to
be happily settled, seems to teem with troubles
for me.”

Monimia turned pale, but only clasped
her hands together as she sat by him, and
did not interrupt him. He went on.

“My uncle Woodford piques himself extremely H5r 153
extremely upon having brought about this
marriage; for the father of the young man
(a merchant at Corke in very great business)
for some time positively refused his consent,
because of Philippa’s want of fortune. My
uncle, you know, or rather you do not know,
is just the reverse of my mother, and is as
bustling and spirited as she is mild and
tranquil. Having got his money himself,
he has no notion that any thing but money
is worth thinking about, and that the money
is best that is made in trade; and therefore,
as he has only one son, who does nto
choose to take up his business, but is studying
at the Temple, he has adopted a notion,
that it would be much better for me to go
with him to London, and learn his business
of a wine merchant, to which I may succeed.”

“And marry one of your cousins,” said
Monimia in a faint voice, “who are, you
have told me, such pretty women!”
“If
that is part of his plan,”
answered Orlando,
“my Monimia, he has kept it to himself.— H5 But H5v 154
But I do not believe it is, as one of them is
engaged, and the other would not think me
either smart or rich enough. Whatever
may be Mr. Woodford’s plan, however,
that part of it will certainly never take
effect; nor indeed will any of it, for I feel
a total disinclination to it.”

“Why then are you so distrest, Orlando,
at the proposal?”

“Because I see it makes my father restless
――not exactly the proposal, so much as the
conversation my uncle has held with him.—
He has been declaiming against the folly of
my dreaming away my time in waiting for
a legacy from Mrs. Rayland; which after
all, said he, the whimsical old woman may
not give him—and what if she does? If she
acts as she ought, the estate, you know,
brother Somerive, ought to be your eldest
son Phil’s; and if she gives the rest of your
family three or four thousand pounds each,
what will that do for your youngest son?
Why, not give him salt for his porridge.”

“Dear papa,” said Maria, “what an expression! H6r 155
expression!”
“Well, well, child,” answered
my uncle, “I can’t stand to pick my
words, when I am as anxious about a thing
as I am about this—I say, and every man
who knows the world will agree with me—
I say, that a fine young fellow like my nephew
here ought not to waste his life nailed
to the gouty chair of a peevish old woman,
who ten to one dies and bilks him at last.
Let him be put into some way of doing for
himself—every man who knows the world
will agree with me—let him be put into
some way of doing for himself; and then, if
Mrs. Rayland has a mind to be a friend to
him, take my word for it she’ll do it so
much the sooner. I’m sure of it, for I’ve
remarked it in my dealings among mankind,
and every man who knows the world
will agree with me, that people are always
more ready to help those who are in a way
of doing well, than those that hang about
helpless. If Orlando here was in a way of
getting forward in the world, why you’d
see that the old girl would be twice as kind H6 to H6v 156
to him—or, if she was not, why he need
not so much care.”

“I found,” continued Orlando, “that
this discourse, though my father did not
perfectly assent to the justice of all its arguments,
made a deep impression on his mind,
which had long been disturbed by the difficulty
of finding for me some proper line of
conduct for my future establishment: and
the determination is, that Mrs. Rayland is
to be applied to for her opinion as to my
sister’s marriage, by way of compliment;
and in regard to me, by way of sounding
her intentions. It appears to me to be
all very bad policy; and I foresee nothing
but vexation, perhaps my removal from
hence.”

Orlando paused a moment; and Monimia,
with a deep and tremulous sigh, repeated,
“From hence! Alas! Orlando, I
have foreseen that the happiness I have so
little while enjoyed of seeing you would
not last long!”

“I know not,” replied he. “I may be too H7r 157
too easily alarmed; but, with the bustle and
fuss my uncle makes about every thing he
pursues, he seldom fails of carrying his
point; and he is now elated with his success
over the prudent and worldly-minded Mr.
Fitz-Owen, and believes his interposition
would every where prove as infallible as it
has done in hurrying up this marriage for
Philippa.”

“Do you think it then too much hurried?”
said Monimia.

“I hardly know,” replied he, “how to
think it otherwise. Mr. Fitz-Owen is a
very young man: he only saw Philippa half
a dozen times when she was in town last
spring with my uncle; and he has insisted
upon this match with as much vehemence
as he could have done, had he known all
her good qualities.”

“That,” said Monimia, “is a very
grave reflection. If Philippa has the good
qualities of which the gentleman is ignorant,
the discovery that beauty is her least perfection
will increase his happiness.”

But H7v 158

“But what does she know of him, Monimia?
What opportunity can she have
had to judge of a man with whom she is
engaged to pass her life? Surely the acquaintance
of a fortnight is very insufficient
to form her judgment of a character on
which the happiness of her whole life is to
depend. Mr. Fitz-Owen may be a very
good-tempered and worthy man; but, as he
is the native of another country, it is impossible
we should know whether he is or no.
However, I keep all these reflections to myself;
for the affair is settled, and my father
seems pleased with it. Philippa too seems
to become attached to Mr. Fitz-Owen.
There is something very flattering to a
young woman in the attention and perseverance
he has shewn. He has a good
person, and she really I believe likes him.”

“But you do not, Orlando?”

“I do not dislike him—I only wish I
knew more of his temper; and I wish too
that my bustling busy uncle had not contrived
to connect my affairs with those of this H8r 159
this wedding, and to hurry every thing with
a precipitation that hardly gives one time to
breathe. It was only on Thursday evening
that Fitz-Owen arrived from Dublin
with his father’s consent: on Friday he delivered
his credentials; and on Saturday the
impetuous Mr. Woodford whirled him,
with his own daughters and his officious self,
down to us, where he pursues his plan with
the same vehemence, for he has already
settled with my father, that the letter to
Mrs. Rayland is to be written to-morrow,
and on Wednesday Philippa and Isabella,
and, if Mrs. Rayland consents, I also, return
with them to London,”
(Monimia
shuddered, and checked an involuntary emotion
she felt to implore Heaven aloud that
Mrs. Rayland might be inexorably averse
to this scheme) “where,” continued Orlando,
“the marriage is to take place as
soon as the usual forms can be gone through
Philippa is to set off to Ireland with her
husband, and Isabella is to remain the winter
with the Woodfords; my uncle being sure H8v 160
sure, he says, of getting her married as well
as he has done Philly.”

“Alas! Orlando, you will go then: for
Mrs. Rayland, however she may dislike
such a proposal, will not, I am afraid, oppose
it: there is something so odd in her
temper, that, though she is offended if her
advice is not asked, she will seldom give it
when it is, especially if she believes any
other person has been consulted first.”

“I understand her perfectly, my Monimia,
and I see nothing but vexation gathering
for me in every quarter. Alas! it is
not one of the least, that, while these people
remain, my father expects me to stay at
home; though, as my brother is so good
as to promise to come thither to-morrow, I
think I might be spared.”

“And has your brother,” said Monimia,
“been consulted on this plan of your going
into business with your uncle?”

“Oh, yes! It was opened to him after
dinner, while I had left the room a moment
to consider by what means I could get to you H9r 161
you; and I found him eagerly promoting it
for reasons which I heartily forgive, while
I thank God I feel myself incapable of harbouring
such sentiments towards him, could
we change situations. I must follow my
destiny, Monimia, whatever it may be; for
I must not make my poor father, and still
less my mother, unhappy. They have too
many uneasy hours about Philip; and
while the marriage of Philippa gives them
some satisfaction, it shall not be embittered
by any opposition of mine to what they may
think right for me—and yet I own, Monimia,
I own, that to go with Mr. Woodford,
to be confined to that sort of business,
would make me most completely wretched.”
He said this in a tone of voice so expressive
of despondence, that Monimia,
oppressed as she was before, could conceal
the anguish she felt no longer. Still, however,
she tried to check the excess of her
sorrow, while he tenderly soothed her, assuring
her that, whatever might be his fate,
he should love her to the end of his life; and H9v 162
and if he thought that the drudgery of a
few years at any business, however irksome
to him, would enable him to pass the rest
of his life in moderate competence with
her, he would submit to it, not only as a
duty, but as a blessing. “And now, my
Monimia, let us consider how we can meet
to-morrow night—by that time something
may more decidedly be known.—I will
come then early in the morning, before this
letter, of which I dread the event, is sent;
and, under pretence of enquiring how Mrs.
Rayland
does, and then of going into the
study for some of my clothes, which I often
leave there, I can open the chapel door,
and prepare every thing for our going to
the study the next evening; for to live
without seeing you, Monimia, is impossible,
and I fear to meet here often might be too
hazardous.”

“It would indeed,” replied Monimia,
“and even now I have been in misery the
whole time—Yet it was so late, Orlando,
before you came!”

It H10r 163

“It was two o’clock before I could leave
the company; for my uncle is a man who
loves to sit long over his wine, to tell what
he thinks good stories, and calls for toasts
and songs, suffering nobody to quit the
room as long as they can distinguish the
glass from the candle. My father, very
little used to this sort of conviviality, was
tired, and left us to manage him as we could.
—My brother would have remained with
him till now, I dare say, most willingly;
but he had promised to be at Stockton’s,
with whom he now almost entirely lives, to
a great hunting party this morning; and he
dashed through the rain about one o-clock.
Fitz-Owen got extremely drunk, and was
extremely noisy; and I at length found
there was no way for me to escape but by
feigning to be in the same situation; by
which stratagem I was at length released,
and flew, Monimia, with impatience to
thee, dear source of all the happiness I
have, or ever hope to have, on earth!”

It H10v 164

It was now so near the dawn of day,
that Monimia besought him to consider the
danger there was, if he staid longer, of being
observed in his departure by the labourers
coming to their work. Orlando owned
there was something to fear, yet felt unusually
reluctant to go, and lingered till the
break of day was very visible through the
casement. He then tore himself away, and
excaped from the turret without observation;
but in crossing the park he was seen at a
distance by the footman, who was up on
some scheme of his own. As great rewards
were offered for the detection of poachers,
and the fellow concluded Orlando to be
one, he hastily called one of the grooms;
and they went round together to another
part of the park, by which they thought
the intruder must pass; and, as Orlando was
mounting the stile, he was amazed to find
himself suddenly collared by one man, and
rudely seized by the arm by another. His
uncommon strength and activity enabled him H11r 165
him to disengage himself instantly from both.
They as instantly discovered their mistake,
and with a thousand apologies returned to
the house: but this unlucky rencounter was
afterwards talked of in the family; and,
though the conjectures to which it gave
rise were remote from the truth, they yet
failed not to disturb the tranquility of the
young lovers.

Mr. H11v 166

Chap. VIII.

Mr. Somerive, after many debates with
himself, and many consultations
with his wife, at length determined to write
to Mrs. Rayland: it was indeed necessary
to pay her the compliment of consulting
her on the marriage of his daughter; and
he thought it not an improper opportunity
to try what were her intentions in regard to
Orlando, by hinting, than an occasion now
offered to establish him advantageously in
trade.

The arguments of Mr. Woodford had
not on this point so much influence as to
prevent his fearing the experiment he was
about to make; but the conduct of his
eldest son, which nothing could restrain,
made him look forward with fear to the future.ture H12r 167
He found his own health very much
injured by the uneasiness he had lately undergone;
and he knew that, should he die,
the only dependence of his wife and his unmarried
daughters must be on Orlando,
and on the friendship of Woodford. To
put his son therefore into business with his
wife’s brother was certainly a very desirable
plan, if Mrs. Rayland did not intend better
to provide for him; and it was certainly
time to know whether she had or had not
any such intentions in his favour.

The letter then which Orlando so dreaded,
was written, after great precautions in
choosing the words. It requested her approbation
of his eldest daughter’s marriage with
Mr. Fitz-Owen, the only son of an eminent
merchant at Corke; and said, that as
Orlando was now of an age in which it became
necessary to think of his future establishment,
thoughts were entertained of putting
him into business with his uncle; but
that nothing would be concluded upon
without the entire approbation of Mrs. Rayland H12v 168
Rayland, to whose notice and protection
he was so much obliged.

A servant was sent with this letter about
noon. It was received and read in due form
and a verbal message returned, that Mrs.
Rayland
would at her leisure write an answer,
and send one of her own servants
with it.

On this occasion Mrs. Rayland talked
to Lennard—not to consult her, for it was
an affair in which she thought herself alone
competent to judge—but to give vent to her
spleen, and to express her dislike of all people
in trade, and particularly of poor Mrs.
Somerive. “Those vulgar mundugus
folks,”
said she, “will not suffer the family
to better by their chance connection with
a gentleman—let them marry their girls, if
they will, to dealers and chapmen; I shall
never interfere: they are all like the mother,
and may make good tradesmen’s
wives; though, if Mr. Somerive had not,
like his foolish father, had a low taste, his
daughters might have married men of family,mily I1r 169
who would have been proud to be
allied, though distantly, to ours. As it is,
they must carry their cherry cheeks to a
lower market—I shall never oppose it. But
for Orlando, there was something of an air
of good blood about him, that almost made
me doubt at times his birth by his mother’s
side. However, if he gets these buying and
selling notions in his head, and chooses his
mother’s low origin should continue to be
remembered, I have done. I suppose he’s
got among them—a fine flahsy set of trades-
folks—and enters into their amusements
and views; and if so, I shall never disturb
him, let him go his own way; only I shall
not choose to have a shopkeeper an inmate
at Rayland Hall.”

Monimia, who was called down a moment
before to assist in cutting out linen,
was present during this harangue, for they
considered her as a mere cypher. She
found herself terribly affected by the opening
of it; but when it proceeded to speak
of Orlando, she measured four times insteadVol. I. I stead I1v 170
of two, notched a piece of Irish cloth
in the wrong place, and was beginning to
use her scissars the wrong way, when a severe
look from Mrs. Lennard, who snatched it
out of her hand with “What are you about,
mope?”
restored her to her recollection.
She begged pardon; and another look from
her aunt bade her beware that she did not
offend a second time—when Mrs. Rayland
thus went on:

“After a taste for such company, this
place must be very dull: drinking and
jollity, I suppose, are soon learned. And so
Mr. Orlando has not been here these two
days! Mighty well; he is his own master—
Lennard! he has not called this morning,
has he?”

Monimia, by a glance of her eye, saw
him at that moment pensively and dejectedly
crossing the park on foot. She dared
not however say so; but finding herself
quite unequal to the misery of being present
at an interview, in which she foresaw
that, in consequence of this fatal letter, he would I2r 171
would be forbidden the house, and seeing
that her aunt determined she should stay,
she hung her foot as if by accident in the
long roll of linen that was on the ground,
and, in pretending to disengage it, fell with
some violence against an old heavy gilt leather
screen that went across one side of the
large room, and ran the sharp-pointed
scissars, with which she was cutting the
linen, into her arm a little above the
wrist.

Her aunt, however, did not perceive it,
till the blood streamed from her arm, round
which, without any complaint, she wrapped
her handkerchief. The paleness and faintness,
which she could not disguise, were accounted
for when Mrs. Lennard saw the
handkerchief bathed in blood. Monimia,
who was actually sinking to the earth, though
not from the wound, was then dismissed,
while Betty was called to take care of the
careless girl, and ordered to put some friar’s
balsam to the cut; and she just tottered out
of one door as Orlando, after sending up I2 for I2v 172
for permission, entered at the other. This
was fortunate; for, had he beheld her in such
a situation, and had she at that moment
seen him, their intelligence could hardly
have been concealed. The looks Mrs.
Lennard had cast on her, when she first appeared
confused, had impressed her with
terror, and, she fancied, menaced all that
was dreadful. With difficulty, and leaning
on Betty’s arm, she reached her turret;
where, under pretence that the accident
of having hurt her arm had turned her
sick, she begged a glass of water, and lay
down, being otherwise unable to conceal
from Betty the agitation of her spirits, and
the terror she was in for the reception of
Orlando.

Mrs. Rayland, instead of the kindness
she was used to shew him, now received
him with the most cold and repulsive formality.
“Your servant, Mr. Orlando
Please to take a chair,”
was all she said;
and in the manner of her saying it, Orlando
saw abundant cause to fear that his father’sther’s I3r 173
letter had undone him with Mrs.
Rayland
.

“I find we are to lose you, Sir!――
you are going to turn merchant, or shopkeeper!”

“Not, Madam,” replied Orlando, “if
you think my doing so a wrong measure.”

“Oh! Sir, I never pretend to dictate.
Every one knows their own affairs best;
and by all means you ought to follow
your father’s orders and your own inclinations.”

“Alas, dear Madam!” replied Orlando,
with a sort of spirited humility that well became
him, “my father’s orders would, I
believe, in this case, be given with reluctance;
and though I should obey them, ti
would be with reluctance indeed!”

“What, Sir!” (relaxing a little of her vinegar
aspect) “is it not your own desire then
that you should be put apprentice or journeyman
to this person, this brother of your
mother’s? I thought, for my part, that finding
perhaps, like your brother and other gay I3 young I3v 174
young men, that the country was very dull,
you chose probably to figure in London;
for it is trades-people now that can best
afford to shew away, as witness the new
comers at poor Lord Carloraine’s fine place
—those what d’ye callums—they were
trades-people—yet nobody can attempt to
live as they do. If such things can be
done by trade, no wonder young men are
eager to begin. The Hall, Mr. Orlando,
must be a dull place, when once you have
got these fine doings in your head.”

“Madam,” said Orlando trembling, for
he now found that his fate depended on the
event of this dialogue— “Madam, I have
always avoided the meanness of adulation,
nor will I use it now; you ought to despise
me if I did; and I know you have
generosity enought to have bestowed all the
favours I have received from you, without
expecting me to sacrifice my integrity or
my freedom.”

Mrs. Rayland did not very clearly comprehend
this sentence. It was partly complimentary,plimentary I4r 175
and therefore to her taste; but
the words sacrifice” and “freedom”, at the end,
on which a strong emphasis was laid, sounded
a little like rebellion. She therefore
screwed up her visage to its former asperity,
and answered, “No, indeed, Sir, I expect
no sacrifices from any body; and as to freedom
—every body is free to do as they like
best in their own affairs, as i told you before.”

“You will not then, Madam, suspect
me of meanness unworthy equally of my
respect for you and what I owe myself, if I
declare to you, that I have no wish to enter
into trade, for which I am very certian I
have no talents; and that, though I must
obey my father if he insists upon it, yet I
shall be very unhappy, and had rather, infinitely
rather, if you will have the goodness
to permit it, remain at home, with the advantage
of being allowed sometimes, in
paying my respects to you, to have, as I
have had for some months, the use of your
library; where I hope I am qualifying myselfI4 self I4v 176
for one of the liberal professions against
the time when my father can find an opportunity
to place me in one: and in the
mean time I call God to witness, that to
associate with such people as Mr. Stockton,
or to emulate his splendour, is so far from
being my wish, that to be compelled to do
it would be the greatest punishment that
could be inflicted upon me.”

“I believe, cousin Orlando, I believe—
and I am pleased to see it—you have some
understanding; and indeed, young man,
I think too well of you to wish to see you a
tradesman.”
“Cousin Orlando,” were, he
well knew, words that always portended
good humour, and were never used but on
days of high favour. They now sounded
most soothingly in the ears of Orlando.—
“Will you then, Madam, be so very good,
when you take the trouble to answer my
father’s letter, to express your sentiments
on this matter? and I am sure he will then
press it no farther.”

“I shall tell him, child,” replied she, that I5r 177
“that I think you may do better; and for
the present, as you are not idle, that you
may go on with your studies at the Hall.”

Orlando, in raptures at having carried
his point, thanked his venerable cousin a
thousand times. He never thought her so
reasonable before: she never fancied him
so much like her grandfather Sir Orlando;
and so many civilities passed between them,
that, before they parted, she gave him a
bank-note of ten pounds, and he was admitted
to the honour of kissing her hands.
In this excellent humour, which Mrs. Lennard
did not discourage, he left her, went
into the study to secure his admittance in
the evening, and to recover himself of the
extreme perturbation he was in, before he
returned to the party with whom he was to
dine at home.

Mrs. Rayland then, having called for her
writing materials, which seldom saw the sun,
and being placed in form at her rose-wood
writing-box, lined with green velvet and
mounted in silver, produced, at the end of I5 four I5v 178
four hours, the following letter, piquing
herself on spelling as her father spelt, and
disdaining those idle novelties by which a
few superfluous letters are saved.


Sir, my kinsman,
I have received youre letter, and am
oblidged by youre taking the troubbel to
informe me of youre famely affaires, to the
wich I am a sinceer goode wisher. In respecte
to youre daughter Philippa must
begge to be excused from givving my oppinion,
not haveing the pleasure to knowe
the gentlemen, and being from my retired
life no judge of the personnes charractere,
who are remote and in bisness, as I understande
this personne is; wherefore I can
onelye there upon saie, that doubtlesse you,
being as you are a goode and carefulle father,
will take due care and precaution that
youre daughtere shall not, by her marriage,
be exposed to the mischances of becoming reduced I6r 179
reduced by bankruptcies and other accidents,
whereby peopel in trade are oft times
grate sufferers.—But your care herein for
your daughter’s securitye is not to be questionned.
Furthermore, respecting youre
youngest sonne, Mr. Orlando, he is very
certainelye at youre disposal also, and you
are, it may be, the most competent judge
of that which is sitting to bee done for his
future goode and advantage. I wish him
very well; he seeming to me to be a sober,
promising, and well-conditioned youthe;
and such a one as, were I his neerer relation,
I shoulde thinke a pitye to put to a
trade. I am at present alwaies glad of his
companie at the Hall, and willinge to give
anye littel encourragement to his defier of
learninge in the liberal sciences fitting for a
gentleman, the wich his entring on a shoppe
or warehouse would distroye and put an ende
to. However that maye bee, I saie again,
that you, being his father, are to be sure the
propperest personne to determine for him,
and he is dutiefullie inclined, and willinge I6 to I6v 180
to obey you. Yet by the discourse I have
had with him there-uponne, it doth not appeare
that the youthe himself is inclined to
become a dealer, as you purpose.
Heartilie recommending you in my prayers
to the Disposer of all goode giftes, and
hoping he will directe you in all thinges for
the well-doing of your famely, I remaine,

Sir, my kinsman,
youre well-wisher
and humbel servant, Grace Raylande.”

This letter was received at Wolverton
while Mr. Somerive, his two sons, Mr.
Woodford
and Mr. Fitz-Owen were yet
over their wine. The anxious father opened
it with a palpitating heart, nor were the
younger part of the audience less solicitious
to know its contents. As there were none
of them towards whom secrecy was absolutely
necessary, though it might have been
more prudent, Mr. Somerive, at the request
of his eldest son, put it across the table to him— I7r 181
him—who, with that thoughtless indiscretion
which marked his character, read it
aloud, with comments serving to turn into
ridicule the writer, and the sentiments it
contained. The description of Orlando
under that of a sober, promising, and well-
conditioned youth—was read with a burst of
laughter; while the slighting way in which
trade was mentioned, and the contempt
thrown on shopkeepers, under which Mrs.
Rayland
seemed to describe wine-merchants
and every person in business, raised the indignation
of Mr. Woodford and Mr. Fitz-
Owen, who both agreed in declaring that the
opinion of such an old crone was not worth
consulting; that she was in a perfect dotage,
as well from pride as old age; and that it was
a condescension in Mr. Somerive to have
consulted her at all. Orlando, however, saw
all this with concern mingled with joy. He
was pretty sure, from the countenance of
his father, which he solicitously watched as
he persued the letter, that the part of it
which related to himself was kinder than he expected I7v 182
expected; that it had turned the fluctuating
and undecided opinion of his father in his
favour; and that he should not now, by
being sent with his uncle Woodford, be
condemned to the double misery of quitting
Monimia, and associating with persons
whose manners and ideas were so different
from his own, that it was a perpetual punishment
to him to be in their company. The
displeasure of his brother at the partiality
Mrs. Rayland expressed for him was easily
accounted for; and Orlando had long accustomed
himself to bear his rough jokes, and
even his sarcastic reproaches, which he vented
whenever they met, without much uneasiness.

As soon as Mr. Somerive could disengage
himself from his company, he withdrew
to consult with his wife on the purport
of Mrs. Rayland’s letter, and made a sign
to Orlando to follow him in a few moments.
—He did so, and found his father and mother
in consultation in the garden. The
mother, whose heart was half broken at the idea I8r 183
idea of parting with her daughter so suddenly,
was weeping with joy to find that
Orlando would not yet leave her: flattering
herself, from the purport of the letter, that
the affluent fortune of Mrs. Rayland would
at last centre with Orlando, and putting
the most favourable construction on every
expression that related to him, she agreed
with Mr. Somerive, that nothing would be
so imprudent as to think of removing him;
and it was even determined, that Mr. Somerive
should that evening write to her
again, thanking her for her advice about
his daughter, and leaving the future fate of
Orlando wholly to her disposal; that Orlando
should himself carry the letter, and
ask leave to take his former apartments for
some time—only returning once again to
Wolverton to take leave of his eldest sister,
whom he was to see no more before she
went to Ireland—and of his second sister
Isabella, who was to accompany her to London,
and to pass some time with her uncle
and aunt Woodford.

Never I8v 184

Never did Orlando obey his father with
more alacrity than on this occasion; and on
his return Mrs. Rayland never received
him more kindly. He was now again invited
to partake of her supper: without
putting much force on himself, he shewed
her exactly that sort of attention which was
the most agreeable to her, and appeared
grateful without being servile. At length
he was dismissed; and, when the house was
perfectly quiet, he flew to Monimia, who
accompanied him to the study; and when
he related how much more happily the
events of the day had passed than he had
at its beginning expected, she shed tears of
delight; and the sweet sensations of hope,
which they now dared to indulge more than
there ever yet appeared reason to indulge
them, made this one of the happiest evenings
they had ever passed together.

The following day Orlando returned to
the house of his father, and found that, in
regard to some parts of his family, a new
arrangement had taken place. Mrs. Somerive,rive I9r 185
as the hour approached for her two
eldest daughters to leave her—one to be
separated from her perhaps for years, and
to enter into another family—found herself
so much affected, that her husband, who
was very indulgent to her, agreed she
should accompany the party to London,
be present at the wedding of her daughter,
and return in a fortnight, bringing Isabella
back with her, if the idea of leaving her was
at the end of that time uneasy to her. This
being settled, Orlando took leave of his
mother and sisters that evening: the former
rejoicing that he would remain in the
country; and the latter, but particularly
the eldest, lamenting their separation with
many tears: for Orlando, who was tenderly
attentive to his sisters, was fondly beloved
by them all; though to Selina, the
third, who was a year younger than himself,
he was more attached than to the rest.

Pensively he returned back to the Hall
after this melancholy parting: it was the
first time the family had been thus separated;ed; I9v 186
for, except the unhappy eccentricities
of his eldest son, the union of Mr. Somerive’s
children, and the promise they all
gave of excellence, had hitherto made him
amends for much of the difficulty he found
in supporting them. But Orlando saw that
the hour was now come when his father
felt equal pain for the fate of those who
were about to be what is called established
in the world, and for those whom he knew
not how to establish, or, in case of his death,
to provide for. All that filial tenderness
and good sense could suggest to his ingenuous
and generous mind, he said to console
his father; but with infinite concern he observed,
that the wounds inflicted by the
profligacy of his brother festered more
deeply every day, and that all he could do
had too little power to assuage the constant
pain arising from this source; from which,
though his father did not complain, Orlando
thought it but too evident that his health
was gradually impaired.

Against the uneasiness these observations gave I10r 187
gave him he found the only respite in his
books, to which he assiduously applied himself
—and in his evening conferences with
Monimia, who every hour became more
dear to him, and whose personal charms
seemed every hour heightened by the progress
of her understanding. As the nights
became longer, and more obscure, they met
earlier, and with less apprehension of detection;
and as Mrs. Lennard seemed to become
more and more remiss in her office
of duenna, the opportunities they had of
seeing each other in the course of the day
(though they rarely ventured to hold any
conversation) sweetened the tedious hours
between their meetings.

Thus almost a fortnight passed after the
departure of Mrs. Somerive and her daughters
for London; Orlando remaining constantly
at the Hall, except dining occasionally
with his father, or riding over in a
morning to enquire after him, Mrs. Rayland
seeming every day more fond of his
company; and every body about the house, even I10v 188
even the old servants, who had hitherto had
such an ascendency, appearing to consider
him as the future master of the domain,
where he was now invested with powers he
had never before enjoyed. The game-
keeper was ordered to suffer no other person
to have the liberty of shooting on the
extensive manors; and Mrs. Rayland was
pleased when the game that was brought to
her table was killed by Orlando; while,
whatever diminution of consequence the
confidential servants might suffer by this
growing fondness of their mistress for him,
there was something in his manner so fascinating,
that their jealousy and anger were
insensibly converted into attachment; and
all, even the austere Mrs. Lennard herself,
seemed to wish him well; except Mr. Pattenson,
who, in proportion as he became in
favour with others, appeared to dislike him.
Orlando had some time before remarked
his rudeness, and often fancied that he
watched him, and had some suspicion of
his evening conversations with Monimiayet I11r 189
yet if he had, it was more likely he would
speak of what he knew, than secretly resent
what he had in fact nothing to do with:
but some resentment he appeared to harbour;
and, whenever he met Orlando, surveyed
him with looks which expressed anger,
scorn, and apprehension. Orlando,
conscious of never having injured him, and
fearful only in one point, endeavoured to
guard against any mischief he could do by
discovering his evening visits to the turret,
or those of Monimia to the library; and,
for the rest, despised his wrath too much to
attempt appeasing or resenting it.

Mrs. Lennard, to whom the constant
residence of Orlando at the Hall might be
supposed to be disagreeable, was much
more civil to him, now that he was a fine
young man, than ever she had been during
his childhood: to her he was always extremely
obliging; and though he disdained
to stoop to the meanness of flattering
Mrs. Rayland, where money might be
supposed to be his sole object, he did not think I11v 190
think it equally unworthy to use a little art
to promote the interest of his love. Mrs.
Lennard was remarkably open to two sorts
of adulation—She loved to be thought a
woman of sense, and to hear how fine her
person must have been in her younger days.
She was even now accustomed to say, that
though not so well to meet, she was still well
to follow; for she fancied her tall perpendicular
figure exhibited still a great deal of
dignity and grace. These foibles were so
evident, and whenever she was not with
Mrs. Rayland she took so little pains to
conceal them, that Orlando, who thought
it too probable that on her the future happiness
of his life depended, believed it not
wrong to take advantage of them to acquire
her favour; and he succeeded so well by
adroitly administering now and then a little
well-timed flattery, that Mrs. Lennard not
only held him in high esteem, but endeavoured
to secure his, by cultivating the graces
he had remarked. She entered on a new
course of reading, and a little modernised her I12r 191
her appearance. To have made too many
and too rapid improvements in the latter
respect, would have been attended with the
hazard of displeasing Mrs. Rayland; hers
therefore were confined to that sort of emendations
which she was not likely to perceive.

It happened that, in the progress of
these refinements, Mrs. Lennard had occasion
for some articles which Betty Richards
(who was a very great favourite, from the
assiduity which she affected in her service
particularly) was commissioned to buy.
The place she was to go to was rather a
large village than a town, and was about
three miles and a half from the Hall; the
way to it leading partly through the
park, and partly through some hanging
woods and coppices which belonged to
Mrs. Rayland. Monimia happened to be
in the room when Mrs. Lennard was giving
Betty this commission for the next morning;
and as her aunt had promised her a few
articles for herself, for which she had immediate
occasion, she ventured to solicit leave to I12v 192
to go with Betty to make these purchases.
“Dear Madam,” said she, “do indulge me
this once. I have hardly been out of the
park twice in my life; and though I have
no desire to go any where when you disapprove
of it, surely there can be no harm in
my walking to such a place with Betty, just
to buy what you are so good as to allow me.
We shall not be gone above two hours and
a half, for I will go as early as you please in
the morning.”

Mrs. Lennard, who happened to be in a
better humour than usual when this request
was made, agreed to it under some restrictions.
She said, that if Monimia did go,
she must be back by nine o’clock at the
very latest, and not go into any house but
that of the universal dealer with whom her
business was; that she must make no acquaintance,
and enter into conversation with
nobody. To all this Monimia most willingly
agreed; and she believed that Orlando,
whom she determined to consult in
the evening, would not object to her going, on K1r 193
on such an occasion, so little a way, whatever
dislike he had to her associating much
with Betty.

To Orlando, therefore, she communicated
her design as soon as they met, who did
not seem much pleased with it; but to a
matter apparently so trifling he was ashamed
of making any serious opposition, when
she said that she really wanted the articles
her aunt had given her leave to buy, which
no other opportunity might afford her. He
therefore, after expressing his hopes that she
would continue upon her guard against
Betty, whom he told her he saw more and
more cause to mistrust and dislike, consented
to the little expedition she meditated,
and directed her the nearest way through the
woods and the preserved pheasant-grounds
of Mrs. Rayland. “I shall be out with
my gun to-morrow,”
said he; “but I suppose
I must not venture to meet you as if it
were by chance?”

“I think,” answered Monimia, “you
had better not. Were we to meet, it would Vol. I. K perhaps K1v 194
perhaps look like design; and as we could
not venture to enter into conversation, it is
hardly worth the risk of Betty’s talking
about it, since we should only just pass
each other in the woods.”

“I believe,” replied Orlando, “it will
be better not; especially as I told Mrs.
Rayland
at dinner yesterday, and while
your aunt was present, that I should walk
with my gun to my father’s, and try round
his lands for some game to send up to my
mother and sister.”

Mrs. Lennard had probably recollected
this circumstance when she so easily gave
Monimia the permission she asked, her walk
lying quite on the opposite side of the
country. It was agreed, therefore, that
Orlando should not incur any suspicion of
a correspondence between them, by changing
his plan for the next day; and after
that was settled, Orlando read to her a letter
he had that day received from his mother.
It related the marriage of Philippa,
and her immediate departure for Ireland— described K2r 195
described the state of her own mind on bidding
adieu to her daughter—and said, that
Mr. Woodford had insisted on her staying
another week in town to recover her spirits;
which however she should rather do to indulge
Isabella, who had never been in
town before, with the sight of the play-
houses and other public places; for that
her own spirits would be infinitely more relieved
by collecting around her the rest of
her children. “But,” added she, while a
tear had blistered the paper where the sentence
was written, “why do I thus fondly
flatter myself, and forget that your brother,
my Orlando, is almost a stranger to us, and
is, I much fear, by his thoughtless conduct,
slowly destroying the invaluable life of your
dear father? Alas! while I remember this,
I know not how I should support myself if
I did not find comfort in thinking of you.”

Orlando’s tears, while he read this letter,
fell where the paper was marked by those of
this beloved parent. The delightful visions
he had been indulging but the moment K2 before K2v 196
before, disappeared; and he hardly dared
think of Monimia, if it must be at the expence
of wounding the peace and detroying
the hopes of his parents. One look,
however, from her, the sound of her voice
as she soothingly spoke of his mother, dissipated
these mournful thoughts; and, as he
led her to her turret, he fancied that, if his
mother could see her, she would love her as
much as he did, and be happy to add to
the family she wished to collect around her,
so amiable and interesting a creature.

Early K3r 197

Chap. IX.

Early on the following morning,
Monimia, awaking from her short repose,
prepared herself for her little journey,
which, unused as she was to go farther than
about the park or in the walled gardens,
was to be an event of some importance.
The best dress she had was a white gown,
which she put on to make her appearance
in the village, with a little straw hat tied
under her chin with blue ribband. Her
fine hair, which she had never attempted to
distort with irons, or change by powder,
was arranged only by the hands of nature;
and a black gauze handkerchief, which her
aunt had given her from her own wardrobe,
was tied over her shoulders. Nothing
could be more simple than her whole appearance;K3 pearance K3v 198
but nothing could conceal the
beautiful symmetry of her figure, or lessen
the grace which accompanied her motions.
Her companion Betty, as eager as she was
for the walk, entered her room before she
was quite ready, dressed in all the finery
she dared shew at home, while she reserved
her most splendid ornaments to put on at
the park-stile, and to be restored to her
pocket at the same place on their return.

It was a clear morning in the middle of
October when they set out. They happily
executed their commission; but Betty
had so much to say, so many things to
look at, and so many wishes for the pretty
things she saw—and the man and his wife,
who kept the shop, were so glad to see the
ladies, as they called them both, and so
willing to shew all the newest things from
the next provincial town, as very fashionable,
and pressed them so earnestly to go
into their parlour, and eat some cake and
drink some of their currant wine, that Betty
had quite forgot Mrs. Lennard’s injunctiontion K4r 199
to return at nine o’clock; nor could
the repeated remonstrances of Monimia
prevail upon her to leave the house till the
clock struck eleven. Monimia, very much
alarmed, and fearing that her aunt would,
in consequence of this disobedience, never
allow her to go out again, then prevailed
upon her companion to set out; and to save
as much time as they could, they walked as
fast as possible up the path which led from
the village, through a copse that clothed the
steep acclivity of a hill, which, at the end of
about three quarters of a mile, led to Mrs.
Rayland’s
woods. They passed with equal
speed through the first of these woods, the
path still ascending; but when they came
to the second, Monimia, from the unusal exertion,
from the heat (for the sun had yet
great power and force), and the apprehensions
of her aunt’s anger, was quite exhausted,
and begged Betty to let her rest a moment
on the steps of the stile; to which
she, who feared Mrs. Lennard’s displeasure
much less than Monimia, readily assented.

K4 Lord K4v 200

“Lord, Miss,” cried she, as they sat
down, “how frighted you be at nothing!
Why, what can your aunt do, child? She
can’t kill you; and as for a few angry
words, I’ve no notion of minding ’em, not
I: ’tis hard indeed if one’s to be always a
slave, and never dares to stir ever so little;
—one might as well be a negur.”

“I would not for the world,” answered
Monimia, “offend my aunt when she is
kind to me; and it was very good in her
to give me money to buy these things, and
to let me go for them.”

“I see no mighty manner of goodness in
it,”
cried the other: “who is to provide for
you, if she does not, who is your own natural
relation? Egollys! Miss, if I was you, I
should be very apt to shew her the difference.
Why, very often she uses you like a
dog, and I’m sure she makes you work like
a servant. There’s Mr. Pattenson always
a-telling me, that handsome girls have no
occasion to be drudges as I be, or as I have
been; for that in London they may make their K5r 201
their fortunes, and live like the finest ladies
of the land.”
Thus she ran on, while Monimia,
hardly hearing, and not at all attending
to her conversation, sat silent, considering
how extraordinary Orlando would think
it, if by any accident he should know she
was out so long—and trying to recover her
breath that they might proceed—when suddenly
several spaniels ran out of the wood,
a pheasant flew up near them, and the report
of two guns was heard so near, that
Monimia started in some degree of terror;
while Betty, whose nerves were much
stronger, clapped her hands, and, laughing
aloud, cried: “Oh jingo! if here ben’t
some gentlemen shooting—let’s stay and
see who they be!”

“No, no!” said Monimia, “let us go.”

She then arose to walk on; but the voices of the persons who were
shooting
were now heard immediately before them,
and she turned pale when she thought she
distinguished that of Orlando. Instantaneously,
however, the sportsmen broke out of K5 the K5v 202
the thick underwood into the path before
them, and Monimia beheld a young man,
whom, from his distant resemblance to Orlando,
she immediately knew to be his
elder brother. With him were two other
gentlemen, and a servant who carried their
nets. “Oh ho!” cried the elder Somerive;
“what have we here! two cursed
pretty wenches—hey, Stockton? Here’s a
brace of birds that it may be worth while
to mark, damme!”
He then approached
Monimia, who shrunk back terrified behind
her companion; while Betty, far from
feeling any apprehension, advanced with a
curtsey and a giggle, and “Pray, Sir, let
us pass.”

“Not so quickly, my little dear,” said
Mr. Stockton; “I am a new comer into
this country, and have a great inclination to
be acquainted with all my pretty neighbours
—By Heaven, you are as handsome
as an angel—Pray, my dear, where do you
live?”

“With Mrs. Rayland, Sir,” said Betty, dropping K6r 203
dropping another curtsey; “and I beg
your honour will not stop us, for my Lady
will be very angry.”

“Damn her anger,” cried Stockton;
“does she think to shut up all the beauty
in the country in her old fortification? If
she’s angry, you pretty little rogue, leave
her to vent it on her jolly favourite butler,
that fellow who looks like the confessor to
the convent, and do you come to me—I
keep open house for the reception of all
pretty damsels distress—and bring your
companion here with you.”

He then looked forward towards Monimia,
and saw her in an agony of tears; for
the conversation of Philip Somerive and
his companion, to whom he gave the title
of Sir John, had terrified her so much that
she could no longer command herself.—
“Why, what the devil’s the matter?”
cried Stockton. “Why, Sir John――why,
Somerive, what have you said to that sweet
girl?”

K6 We’ve K6v 204

“We’ve been asking her who she is,”
replied Sir John; “and it seems she does
not know.”

“You are the housekeeper’s niece, are
you not?”
said Somerive.

“Tell me, my dear,” addressing himself
to Betty, “is not this little simpleton,
that falls a-crying so prettily, the reputed
niece of that old formal piece of hypocrisy,
Lennard? Come, tell us—you have more
sense than to cry because one asks a civil
question.”

“Lord, Sir,” replied Betty, “to be sure
you are such another wild gentleman that I
don’t wonder you’ve frighted our Miss,
who, poor thing! has scarcely ever been out
of our house all her life.――Yes, Sir, ’tis
Miss Monimee, Sir, Madam Lennard’s
kinswoman; and I hope, Sir, you’ll please
to give us leave to pass, for we shall have
a deal of anger for being out so much
longer than Madam Lennard she gived us
leave to stay.”

Tell K7r 205

“Tell us then,” said Sir John, taking
both Monimia’s hands, which she in vain
endeavoured to disengage from his grasp—
“tell us where and when we can see you
again, and then you shall go.”
“Yes,”
cried Stockton, addressing himself to Betty,
“tell us, my dear girl, when can we see you
again?”
“We shall not easily relinquish
the acquaintance,”
interrupted Somerive;
“and if you are to be met with only at the
Hall, I shall contrive to get into favour
again with that immortal old frump, and
I can tell you that’s no small compliment.”

“Oh! dear Sir,” giggled Betty, “I
vow and declare you put me all in a twitter
with your wild ways. Indeed, Sir, you
can’t see us no where; for, as to Miss, she
never goes out, not at all.—For my share,
to be sure, I now and tan be at church,
and such like; but for all that, it’s morally
impossible for us to see you nohow at all.”

“Well then,” cried Stockton, “we’ll
have a kiss a-piece somehow at all, now we
do see you.”

Yes K7v 206

“Yes, yes,” said Somerive, “that we
will.”

“Well, gentlemen,” replied Betty, “I
am sure this is very rude behaviour (Lord,
Miss, why d’ye cry so? I warrant they won’t
do no harm); and if you insist upon it, I
hope you’ll let us go then.”

“Yes,” answered Somerive, “we’ll let
you go then.”

Betty went through the ceremony without
making many difficulties; but when
Stockton advanced towards Monimia, to
whom Sir John had all this time been making
professions of violent love, she retreated
from him; and her alarm was so evidently
unaffected that Sir John stopped
him.—“Don’t, Stockton,” cried he; “Miss
is apparently very new to the world, and
we have distressed her.”
“Well, well,”
answered Stockton, “we won’t distress her
then. Come, Somerive, we shall meet
these charming girls some other time; I
see you are taking care of that,”
for he
continued whispering Betty; so let us now K8r 207
now go on to beat the wood.”
Somerive,
who seemed to have made, during his momentary
conversation, some arrangement
with Betty, now agreed to this; and, as he
passed Monimia, looked earnestly under
her hat, and said in a half whisper, “Upon
my honour! that sober well-conditioned
young man, Mr. Orlando, has a fine time
of it—these are his studies at the Hall!”

Poor Monimia, sinking with terror and
confusion, now endeavoured to disengage
herself from Sir John, and to follow Betty,
who, making more half curtseys, and looking
smilingly after the gentlemen, was
walking on; but he, who had attached
himself to Monimia, was not so easily
shaken off. He told Stockton and Somerive,
that he should go home another way,
and should shoot no more. “Good morrow,
therefore,”
added he, “I shall wait
upon these ladies through the woods; and
as you do not want Ned”
(speaking of his
servant), “he may as well go with me and
take home the birds.”
To this the other two K8v 208
two assenting departed; while Sir John,
giving his servant a hint to enter into
conversation with Betty, and discover as
much as he could relative to Monimia,
again joined her, though she had walked
forward as quickly as possible, and desired
her, as he said she seemed tired, to accept
of his arm. Monimia, more terrified every
step she took, and dreading lest he should
insist upon following her to the Hall, now
acquired courage to entreat that he would
leave her; while he, regardless of the distress
so evident in her countenance, endeavoured
to prevail upon her to listen to
him: and in this manner they had proceeded
nearly to the part of the woods
which open directly into the park, when
suddenly, at a sharp turn of the path, Orlando,
with his gun upon his shoulder, stood
before them.

Amazement and indignation were pictured
in his countenance when he beheld a
stranger walking close to Monimia, and
seeming to have his arm round her waist. Thrown K9r 209
Thrown totally off his guard by an appearance
so sudden and so extraordinary, he
cried, “Pray, who is this gentleman?—
Pray, what does this mean?”
Betty, who
had been detained some paces behind, now
approached; and Orlando, recollecting
himself, took no other notice of Monimia,
who would, had she dared, have flown to
him for protection: but, slightly touching
his hat, he advanced to Sir John, and said,
“I suppose, Sir, you have Mrs. Rayland’s
permission to shoot in these preserved
grounds?”

“I always shoot, Sir,” answered Sir
John haughtily, “in all grounds that happen
to suit me, whether they are preserved
or no, and take no trouble to ask leave of
any body.”

“Then, Sir,” said Orlando with quickness,
“you must allow me to say that you
do a very unhandsome thing.”

“And I,” rejoined the other, say,
whether you allow it or no, that you are a
very impertinent fellow.”

The K9v 210

The blood rushed into the face of Orlando;
and even the pale and terrified countenance
of Monimia, who caught hold of
Betty for support, did not deter him from
resenting this insolence. “Who are you,”
cried he, seizing Sir John by the collar,
“that thus dare to insult me?”

“And who are you, scoundrel,” answered
his antagonist, endeavouring to disengage
himself, “who dare to behave with
such confounded inpudence to a man of
my consequence?”

“Curse on your consequence!” exclaimed
the enraged Orlando, throwing him
violently from him: “If you are a gentleman,
which I doubt, give me an opportunity
of telling you properly who I am.”

“If I am a gentleman?” cried the other.
“Am I questioned by a park-keeper? or
by some dirty valet?”

Sir John, who was quite the modern
man of fashion, did not much approve of
the specimen Orlando had given him of
athletic powers:—he liked him still less when K10r 211
when he replied—“My name is Somerive
—my usual residence at West Wolverton,
or Rayland Hall. Now, Sir, as you
speak neither to a park-keeper nor a valet,
you must tell me from whom I have received
this brutal insult.”

“My servant will tell you,” replied he;
“and, if you are likely to forget his information,
you shall hear it properly from
me to-morrow. In the mean time, my dear
girl,”
added he, turning familiarly to Monimia,
“let us leave this fierce drawcansir
to watch the old lady’s pheasants; and as
you seem much alarmed by his ridiculous
fury, let me have the pleasure of seeing you
safe home.”

He would then have taken the arm of
the trembling Monimia within his; but
she shrunk from him, and would have
passed on. He still insisted, however, on
being permitted to attend her home; when
Orlando, quite unable to command himself,
sprung forward, and, seizing the arm
of Monimia, cried, “This young lady, being K10v 212
being under the protection of Mrs. Rayland,
is under mine; and I insist on her
not being troubled with your impertinent
familiarity. Come, Madam, if you will
give me leave, I will conduct you to your
aunt.”
He then, without waiting for any
farther reply, walked hastily away; while
Sir John, filled with rage and contempt,
bade his servant follow him, and inform him
that the person whom he had thus grossly
affronted was Sir John Berkely Belgrave,
baronet, of Belgrave Park in Suffolk, brother-in-law
to the Earl of Glenlyon of
Scotland, and member of parliament. Orlando
heard this list of dignities with contemptuous
coolness; and then, as he continued
to walk on, bade the servant tell his
master, Sir John Berkely Belgrave, of Belgrave
Park
in Suffolk, brother-in-law to
the Earl of Glenlyon of Scotland, and
member of parliament, that he expected to
hear from him.

They were no sooner out of sight, than
Orlando, addressing himself to Betty (for Monimia K11r 213
Monimia was quite unable to answer him),
said: “Where did you meet this man?
and how came you to be with him?”

“Lord,” said Betty, pertly, “how could
we help it? and pray where was the harm?
For my part, I always speak to gentlefolks
that speak to me; I’ve no notion of sitting
mum chance, when gentlemen are so civil
as to speak genteel to one. Here’s a fuss, indeed,
about nothing! And so you’ve gone
and made a fine piece of work, and had a
mind for to have fit that baron knight—I
suppose there will be a pretty to do!”

“But where did you meet him?” repeated
Orlando impatiently.

“Don’t bite one’s nose off,” said Betty:
“Gemini! what a passion you puts yourself
into—Met him!—why we met him, and two
more very obliging civil gentlemen as I ever
wish to see; your brother was one of them,
and what then? I’m sure it’s wast ridiculous
to quarrel and fall out about a few
nasty pheasants, with all the gentlefolks
about. That’s the reason that Mistress never K11v 214
never has nobody come to see her at the
Hall; and one may as well live in a prison.
I’m quite sick of it, for my share.”

As nothing but mutterings were to be
obtained form Betty, Orlando no longer
questioned her; but as his first emotion of
something like anger mingled with vexation
towards Monimia had now subsided,
he said to her, in a low and mournful
voice, “This is all very disagreeable;
would to God you had never gone this unlucky
walk!”

“Would to God I never had! for now
I see nothing but misery will arise from it.
But let us part here:”
(they were now in
the park) “it is quite enough for me to
have gone through what has passed within
this hour; there is no occasion to add to my
terror, by letting my aunt see us together.
I thought I should suffer enough by being
so late home; but, good God! what is that
fear in comparison of what I suffer now
about this quarrel?”

“The quarrel, as you call it, will be of no K12r 215
no consequence, Monimia: I shall probably
hear no more of it;—or, if I do,
Mrs. Rayland will not be displeased at my
having spoken to these men, who have so
long impertinently trespassed on her manors.”

“But who,” said Monimia, “who shall
ensure your safety, Orlando, if you do hear
more of it?”

“I must take my chance about that. Do
not, my Monimia,”
whispered he, “make
yourself uneasy about it: I shall see you at
night; and now, perhaps, it will be better
to part.”
He then said aloud, that Betty
might hear, who was a few paces behind,
“Since you seem now to be delivered from
the persecution of this impertinent stranger,
I wish you good morning.”
Orlando
then walked another way, as if pursuing his
diversion of shooting; and Betty joining
Monimia, they proceeded together towards
the house.

As they went, Betty, who was very much
displeased wtih Orlando, because he seemed to K12v 216
to have given all that attention to Monimia
which she had herself a great inclination
to monopolize, began again to exclaim
against the folly of his having driven
away and quarrelled with a baron knight,
as she emphatically termed it. “Why
one would have thof,”
cried she, “actually
that the gentleman, who is in my mind a
pretty gentleman, had done some great
harm. If Mr. Orlando had been your
sweetheart, Miss, he couldn’t have brustled
up a greater passion.”

“My sweetheart!” said Monimia faintly;
“how can he be my sweetheart, when
you know, Betty, I have hardly exchanged
ten words with him in my whole life?”

“Well, Miss, you nid not colour so
about it—Lord, I suppose people have had
sweethearts before now; and the better’s
their luck:—not that I say Mr. Orlando is
yours, for I knows to the contrary.”

“I believe,” said Monimia, making an
effort to command herself, “I believe, Betty,
it will be as well, on many accounts, not to say L1r 217
say any thing about all this at home. If
this unlucky quarrel should go any farther,
which I hope it will not, it will make my
aunt very angry if she knows we were present
at it;—and, upon the whole, I wish
you would make a resolution not to speak
of it.”

“Not I,” answered Betty, “I shan’t
speak of it, not I.—I’m none of your blabs
—and scorn to say any thing to make mischief;
—besides, we shall have anger enough
for staying so much later than we were bid
to stay. Yes; we shall have a fine rattle;
and there stands Madam Lennard at the
window, watching for us.”
They were
now near the house, and poor Monimia,
looking up, saw her aunt indeed watching
their return. She trembled so much, that
she could hardly find strength to get into
the house; where as soon as Betty arrived,
she was hastening to the kitchen;
but Monimia finding it impossible to meet,
alone, the first rage of her aunt, entreated
her to go up stairs.

Vol. I. L Do L1v 218

“Do not leave me, dear Betty,” said
the timid Monimia; “I am in such terror
already, that if my aunt is very violent
against me, I really believe I shall die on
the spot. You have more courage than I
have—for Heaven’s sake, do not leave
me.”

“I don’t know any good I can do,” replied
Betty; “but however, if I must go,
I must.”
They then ascended the stairs together,
and entered the room where Mrs.
Lennard waited for them in the disposition
of an hungry tigress who has long been
disappointed of her prey. She scolded
with such vehemence for near half an hour,
that she absolutely exhausted every form
of invective and reproach which her very
fertile genius, and the vocabulary of Billingsgate,
could furnish her with; and then
taking Monimia rudely by the arm, she led
her to that turret, and locked her in, protesting
that, so far from ever suffering her
to go junketing out again to the village,
she should not leave her room for a week. With L2r 219
With this threat she left her weeping niece,
and turned the key upon her: but Monimia,
somewhat relieved by her departure,
felt with secret delight that it was not in
her power to confine her—and that at
night she should see Orlando. Yet the
danger he had run into recurred to her with
redoubled force; and never did she pass
such miserable hours as those that intervened
between her aunt’s fierce remonstrance,
and that when she expected the
signal from Orlando.

L2 The L2v 220

Chap. X.

The unfortunate rencontre which promised
to produce so much uneasiness,
was occasioned by the impatience of
Orlando at Monimia’s long absence. He
had gone early in the morning to his father’s,
as he had the preceding evening
proposed: and returning about ten-o’clock,
anxious to know if Monimia was come
back from her walk, he enquired among
the servants for Betty; and was told that
she was not yet come home from the village,
whither Mrs. Lennard had sent her
early in the morning. “What do you want
with Betty, sir?”
said Pattenson, who heard
the enquiry. “To make the fire up in my
room,”
replied Orlando. “Any other of
the maids can do that as well, I suppose,”

answered the butler, sullenly: and then, from L3r 221
from his manner, Orlando was first struck
with the idea, that Pattenson, being an admirer
of Betty, was apprehensive of his acquiring
too much of her favour. This observation
was a great relief to him, and
dissipated the fears he had long entertained,
that the old butler suspected his stolen interviews
with Monimia.

Uneasy, however, at her staying so much
later than the hour when he knew she was
ordered to return, he could not forbear
making a circuit round the wood-walks of
the park, where he could not be observed,
and passing towards the preserved pheasant-
grounds, through which her path lay;
where he had not waited long before the
appearance of Monimia, attended by Sir
John Belgrave
, produced the alarming conversation
which the last chapter related.

When Orlando parted from Monimia,
and began coolly to consider what had happened,
he felt no other uneasiness than that
which arose from his apprehension that her
name might be brought in question; for he L3 was L3v 222
was a stranger to all personal fear, and was
totally indifferent to the resentment of Sir
John Belgrave
, which he thought it probable
he might think it wise to lay aside;
for he did not appear to be one of those
who are eager to acquire fame by personal
danger. However that might be, Orlando’s
principal concern was, how to appease the
fears of Monimia; and as early as it was
safe to go to the turret, he repaired thither;
but this happened almost an hour later than
usual. Pattenson had visitors, some tradesmen
from a neighbouring town, to sup with
him; and Orlando, who was upon the
watch, had the mortification to hear them
singing in the butler’s room at half after
eleven, and to find it near one o’clock
when they betook themselves to their horses,
and departed. It was yet near half an hour
longer before the lights about the house
were extinguished, and all was quiet.

The night, dark and tempestuous, added
to the gloomy appearance of all that surrounded
Monimia; while her imagination, filled L4r 223
filled with images of horror, represented to
her, that his delay was owing to the consequences
of his morning’s adventure: and
these apprehensions, added to the fatigue
and anxiety she had gone through during
the day, almost overcame her, before the
well known, long wished for signal was
heard.

At length Orlando had safely placed her
by the fire, and began to speak as cheerfully
as he could of what had passed; but
he saw her pale, dejected, and ready to
sink—her eyes swollen with weeping—and
her whole frame languid, depressed by the
uneasy circumstances of the day, and the
uneasy suspense of the night. For the latter
he had easily accounted; and he endeavoured to
dissipate her dread as to the consequences
of the former. “This fine gentleman,” said
he, “who could persecute with his insulting
attentions a young and defenceless woman,
my Monimia, can never have much
proper and steady courage; or, if he has,
he will, if he has a shadow of understanding,L4 ing L4v 224
be ashamed of exerting it in such a
cause. Besides, after all the applications
that have with great civility been made to
Mr. Stockton, entreating him to forbear,
either by himself, his friends or servants,
trespassing on those woods, where Mrs.
Rayland
is so fond of preserving the game,
nothing can be more ungentleman-like than
to persist in it: it looks like taking advantage
of Mrs. Rayland’s being without any
man about her who has a right to enforce
her wishes, which, whether capricious and
absurd or no, should surely be repsected.
I feel myself perfectly justified for having
spoken as I did, and only regret that you
were present. Relate to me, Monimia,
what passed before I met you. Did not
Betty say, that my brother was one of the
people who were with this Sir John Belgrave?”

Monimia then related all that had passed,
as well as the alarm she had been in had allowed
her to observe it; and in the behaviour
of his brother, particularly in the speech L5r 225
speech he had made to Monimia as he
passed her, Orlando found more cause of
vexation than in any other circumstance of
the morning. He foresaw that the beauty
of Monimia, which had hitherto been quite
unobserved, would now become the topic of
common conversation; his father and his
family would be alarmed, and his stay at
the Hall imputed to motives very different
from his love of solitude and study. Hitherto
Monimia had seemed a beautiful and
unique gem, of which none but himself
had discovered the concealment, or knew
the value. He had visited it with fonder
idolatry, from alone possessing the knowledge
where it was hid. But now half his
happiness seemed to be destroyed, since his
treasure was discovered, and particularly
by his brother, who was so loose in his
principles, and so unfeeling in his conduct.
As these painful reflections passed through
his mind, he sat a while silent and dejected,
till, being awakened from his mournful reverie
by a deep sigh from Monimia, he L5 saw L5v 226
saw her face bathed in tears. “Ah! Orlando,”
said she, in a tremulous voice, “I
see that you feel as I do. All our little happiness
is destroyed; perhaps this is the last
night we shall ever meet: something tells
me, that the consequence of this luckless
day will be our eternal separation.”
The
sobs that swelled her bosom as she said this
impeded her utterance. Orlando, with more
than usual tenderness, endeavoured to sooth
and re-assure her—when suddenly, as he
hung fondly over he, speaking to her in a
low voice, she started, and said, in a whisper,
“Hush, hush—for heaven’s sake—I hear
a noise in the chapel.”
Orlando listened a
moment. “No—it is only the wind, which
is very high to-night.”
But listening again
a moment, he thought, as she did, that it
was something more; and before he had
time to imagine what it might be, the old
heavy lock of the study door, that opened
from the passage to the chapel, was moved
slowly; the door as slowly opened, and at
it a human face fast appeared. Starting up, Orlando L6r 227
Orlando, whose fears were ever alive for
Monimia, blew out the single candle which
stood at some distance from them; and
then springing towards the door he demanded
fiercely who was there. Monimia,
whose terror almost annihilated her faculties,
would have thrown herself into his
arms, and there have waited the discovery
which appeared more dreadful than death:
but he was instantly gone, and pursued
through the chapel a man, whom however
he could not overtake, and who seemed at
the door to vanish—though the night was
so dark, that it was impossible to distinguish
any object whatever. Through the chapel
he had heard the sound of feet; but when
he got to the porch, and from thence
listened for the same sound to direct his
pursuit along the flag-stones, it was heard
no more. All was profoundly silent, unless
the stillness was interrupted by the howling
of the wind roudn the old buildings.

Orlando, after a moment’s pause, was
disposed to fasten the chapel door before he L6 returned L6v 228
returned; but he recollected that perhaps
he might enclose an enemy within it, or
impede the escape of his Monimia to her
turret. Uncertain therefore what to do,
but too certain of the agonizing fears to
which he had left her exposed, he hastily
went back; and securing that door which
led from the chapel to the passage as well
as he could (for there was no key to it, and
only a small rusty bar), and then fastening
the door of the study, he approached, by
the light of the wood fire which was nearly
extinguished, the fainting Monimia, who,
unable to support herself, had sunk on the
ground, and rested her head on the old
tapestry chair on which she had been sitting.

Orlando found her cold, and almost insensible;
and it was some moments before
he could restore her to speech. Terror
had deprived her of the power of shedding
tears; nor had she strength to sit up: but
when he had placed her in her chair, he
was compelled to support her, while he endeavoureddeavoured L7r 229
to make light of a circumstance
that overwhelmed him with alarm for her,
and with vexation beyond what he had ever
yet experienced.

They had both distinctly beheld the
face, though neither had the least idea to
whom it belonged. Orlando had as distinctly
heard the footsteps along the hollow
ground of the chapel; it was not therefore
one of those supernatural beings, to whose
existence Monimia had been taught to give
credit. Orlando would willingly have sheltered
himself under such a prejudice, had it
been possible; for all the ghosts in the Red
Sea would have terrified him less than the
discovery of Monimia by any of the family:
yet, that such a discovery was made, he
could not doubt; and the more he thought
of even its immediate consequences, and
the impossiblity there might be to reconvey
his lovely trembling charge to her own
room, the greater his distraction became;
while all he could make Monimia say,
was, “Dearest Orlando, let me stay and die L7v 230
die here. A few hours longer of such extreme
pain, as I at this moment suffer, will
certainly kill me: and if I die in your presence,
my death will be happier than my
life has been, or than now it ever can
be.”

Orlando being thus under the necessity
of conquering his own extreme disquiet, that
he might appease hers, began to make various
conjectures as to this man, tending to
encourage the hope that it was some accidental
intruder, and not one whose business
was to discover her. “But even if the
villain came with that design,”
said he, “I
do not believe he could distinguish you, so
instantly I blew out the candle: or, if he
saw a female figure, he could not know it
to be you; it might as well be any other
woman.”
These suppositions had little power
to quiet the fears with which Monimia was
tormented: but when Orlando seemed so
deeply affected by her situation; when he
declared to her that he was unequal to the
sight of her terror; and that not even the discovery L8r 231
discovery they dreaded, could make him so
wretched as seeing her in such a situation;
she made an effort to recover herself; and
at length succeeded so well as to regain the
power of consulting with him, as to what
was best to be done.

It was now early morning, but still very
dark, with rain and wind. It was however
time to consider of Monimia’s return; for
within two hours the servants would be up,
and in even less time the labourers in the
gardens would come to their work. It was
at length agreed, taht Orlando should go
through the chapel first, and try if he could
discover any traces of their alarming visitor;
and if, after his reconnoitring, all appeared
safe, that Monimia should return as
usual to her apartment.

Orlando then, directing her to fasten herself
the study door within side, went through
the chapel with a candle in his hand, which
he shaded with his hat to prevent the light
being seen from the windows. He looked
carefully among the broken boards which had L8v 232
had once formed two or three pews, and
then went into the chancel, but saw nothing.
He passed through the porch, leaving
his candle behind the door on one of the
benches, but nobody appeared: and by the
very faint light of the first dawn, on a
stormy October morning, which served only
to make “the darkness visible,” he could
just see round the whole chapel court, and
was satisfied nobody was there. Thus convinced,
he returned to Monimia; assured
her that the wretch, whoever he was, was
gone; and that there seemed to be no danger
in her returning to her apartment. He
endeavoured again to persuade her that her
alarm, however just, would end without
any of the consequences they dreaded;
made her swallow a large glass of wine;
and then taking one of her hands in his,
he put his other arm round her waist; and
with uncertain steps himself, while through
fear her feet almost refused to move, they
proceeded slowly and lightly through the
chapel; neither of them spoke; Monimia hardly L9r 233
hardly breathed; when arriving about the
middle of it, they were struck motionless
by a sudden and loud crash, which seemed
to proceed from the chancel; and a deep
hollow voice pronounced the words, “Now
—now.”

There was a heavy stone font in the middle
of the chapel, with a sort of bench under
it. Orlando, unable at once to support and
defend Monimia, placed her on this bench;
and imploring her to take courage, he darted
forward into the chancel, from whence
he was sure the voice had issued, and cried
aloud, “Who is there? Speak this moment.
Who are you?”

The words re-echoed through the vaulted
chancel, but no answer was returned: again,
and in a yet louder voice, he repeated them,
and again listened to hear if any reply was
made. A slight and indistinct noise like the
shutting a distant door, and a low murmur
which soon died away, left every thing in
profound silence. He remained however
yet an instant listening, while Monimia, resting L9v 234
resting against the stone a cheek almost as
cold, was petrified with excess of fear; and
in the dread pause between Orlando’s question
and his awaiting an answer, the old
banners which hung over her head, waving
and rustling with the current of air, seemd
to repeat the whispers of some terrific and
invisible being, foretelling woe and destruction;
while the same wind by which these
fragments were agitated hummed sullenly
among the helmets and gauntlest, trophies
of the prowess of former Sir Orlandos and
Sir Hildebrands, which were suspended
from the pillars of the chapel.

When Orlando returned to her, he found
her more dead than alive. He soothed, he
supported her, and earnestly besought her
to exert herself against the fear that oppressed
her.

“What shall we do, Monimia?” said
he. “For my own part, rather than see
you suffer thus, I will take you in my hand,
and declare at once to these people, whoever
they are, that we cannot live apart. And L10r 235
And should we, by such an avowal, forfeit
the protection of our friends, what is there
in that so very dreadful? I am young and
strong, and well able to work in any way
for a subsistence for us both. Tell me, Monimia,
should you fear poverty, if we could
but live together?”

“No,” replied Monimia, acquiring courage
from this excess of tenderness in her
lover— “no, Orlando, I should be too
happy to be allowed to beg with you round
the world.”
“What then have we to fear?”
whispered he. “Come, let us go and face
these people, if, as their expression ‘Now’
seems to intimate, they are waiting for us
without. In the chapel they are not, however
the sound seemed to come from thence.
I fear they way-lay us at the door. But if we
are thus prepared against the worst that can
befall us, why should we shrink now, only
to be exposed a second time to alarms that
seem to threaten your life, from your extreme
timidity? Tell me, Monimia, have you L10v 236
you courage to brave the discovery at once,
which sooner or later must be made?”

“I have courage,” answered she; “let
us go while I am able.”
She arose, but
could hardly stand. Orlando however led
her forward, listening still every step they
took. They heard nothing either in the
chapel or in the porch; and being now on
the pavement without, they stopped and
looked around them, expecting that the person
or persons whose words had alarmed them
would appear: but there was nobody
to be seen, yet it was now light enough
to discern every part of the court. “This is
wonderful,”
said Orlando; “but since there
seems to be nothing to prevent it, let me
see you, my Monimia, safe to your room;
and let me hope to have the comfort of
knowing, that after the fatigues and terrors
of such a day and night, you obtain some
repose.”
“How can you know it, Orlando,”
answered she, since it will be
madness, if we escape now, to think of venturingturing L11r 237
a meeting to-morrow night?”
“I
would not have you venture it; but, Monimia,
I have thought of a way, by which
I can hear from you and write to you in the
course of the day, which, under our present
circumstances, must be an infinite satisfaction.
As I have at all hours access to the
turret, I can put a letter at your door behind
your bed; and there you can deposit
an answer.”
To this expedient Monimia
readily assented. Without any alarm they
passed the rest of their short walk. Monimia
promised to go immediately to bed,
and to endeavour to compose herself; and
Orlando, having seen her secured in her
turret, returned to the chapel, determined
to discover, if possible, what it was that had
so cruelly alarmed them. Again he went
over every part, but could discover nothing.
He then determined to go round the house;
and resolute not to spare any wretch who
might be lurking about it with evil designs,
he went into a large uninhabited
parlour that opened into the study from the body L11v 238
body of the house, where, over the chimney,
several sorts of arms were disposed, which
for many years had never been used. He
tood down an hanger, and a pair of horse
pistols: both were somewhat injured by neglect,
and of the latter he knew he could
make no use till they had been cleaned;
but drawing the hanger from its scabbard,
he sallied forth in eager expectation of finding
some means to discover, and at least to
terrify from future intrusion, the man he
had seen and heard: but after wandering
round the house, through the gardens, and
even over the adjoining offices, for above
an hour, he saw nothing that could lead
him to guess who it could be. The workmen
and servants were all at their usual employments.
He talked to some of them,
but observed no consciousness of any thing
extraordinary in any of them. He then returned,
not less uneasy than before his
search. Sometimes the idea of Sir John Belgrave
presented itself; but that he should
have ventured to visit the Hall at such an hour L12r 239
hour, he soon rejected as an impossibility.
Had Mrs. Rayland discovered his intelligence
with Monimia, she would have signified
her displeasure openly and at once. At
length, he supposed it might be his brother.
This, as Philip Somerive knew the house,
appeared the least improbable of all his conjectures.
But still it was hardly to be supposed
that he would leave his jovial companions
on such a night for the pleasure of
persecuting him, when so many other means
were now in his power, by which he might
disturb the happiness of Orlando. Dissatisfied
with every supposition, but becoming
every instant more restless and anxious, he
waited with impatience for the customary
time of visiting Mrs. Rayland. It came,
and she behaved to him just as usual.
Some hours, therefore, were still passed in
fruitless conjectures and tormenting suspense.

Orlando L12v 240

Chap. XI.

Orlando left Mrs. Rayland about
twelve o’clock, convinced that, whatever
discovery had been made, she was
yet perfectly unacquainted with it. He
thought it best to tell her as much of
what had happened the preceding day, as
he was sure she would not disapprove: he
therefore mentioned to her, in the presence
of Lennard, who seemed as ignorant of any
misadventure as she was, that he had gone
roudn the park with his gun, after his return
from his father’s in the morning, and,
hearing several shot fired in the copses, he
had followed the sound. “I met, madam,”
said he, “Mrs. Lennard’s niece and your
servant Betty, and almost at the same moment
a gentleman shooting, and a servant following M1r 241
following him with several pheasants. I
thought it necessary to speak to him; and
we had rather high words. I found he had
two companions with him, whom I did not
see: Stockton himself was one of them”
(Orlando
always carefully avoided naming his
brother). “The man to whom I spoke,
was, I found from his servant, a baronet.”

“A baronet, child!” said Mrs. Rayland.
“Impossible! at least if he is, it
must be one of the new-made baronets:
these, as well as new-created lords, spring
up like mushrooms, from nobody knows
where, every year. A man of family could
not behave so. This person is some enriched
tradesman, who has bought his title.
Belgrave!—Belgrave!—I don’t recollect
the name. No; he cannot be a man of
any family.”

Orlando saw that Mrs. Rayland had not
the least idea of the circumstances likely to
follow his dialogue with Sir John Belgrave,
and only dwelt upon the improbability that
a man whose title was above two years old, Vol. I. M could M1v 242
could commit so great an indecorum as he
had been guilty of. Unwilling, therefore,
to awaken in her mind those apprehensions
of future consequences, of which she seemed
quite ignorant, he soon after turned the
discourse; and, leaving her and Mrs. Lennard
both in perfect good humour, he returned
to his study, and sat down to give
Monimia the satisfaction of knowing, that,
to whomsoever the affright of the preceding
evening was owing, Mrs. Rayland and
her aunt had certainly no share in it, and
as yet no suspicion of their intercourse.

He had been employed thus near half
an hour, and had just finished his letter,
when Betty bounced into his room.

“There’s one without vants to speak
to you,”
cried she: pouting and sullenly
she spoke; and then, shutting the
door as hastily as she had opened it, was
going: but Orlando, following her, said,
“Betty! who is it? If the person has a letter
for me, let it be sent in; if not, beg to
know his name.”
(A letter or a message from M2r 243
from Sir John Belgrave was what he expected.)

“I shan’t carry none of your messages,
indeed,”
replied the girl: “but I suppose
the person without is your father; I never
see him but once or twice, but I’m pretty
sure ’tis he.”

“Good God!” exclaimed Orlando;
“and why, then, if you knew him, would
you let my father wait without?”

“’Twas no business of mine, Mr. Orlando,
to shew him in; and besides, folks
sometimes has company with them in their
rooms, you know; and then an old father
may be one too many, Mr. Orlando.”

“What do you mean by that?” cried
Orlando eagerly.

“Nay, never mind what I means—I
knows what I knows; but I think you
mid as well take care not to get other folks
into bad bread, that are as innocent as the
child unborn.”

“I insist upon your telling me,” said
Orlando, seizing her hand――“I insist, M2 nay M2v 244
nay I implore you, dear Betty, to tell
me――”

At this moment the old butler appeared
at the door of the parlour in which they
were standing; and seeing Orlando apparently
interceding with Betty, he said
roughly,

“Instead of pulling the wenches about,
and behaving in this rakish sort of way in
my mistress’s house, it would be more becoming
of you to go speak to your father,
who is waiting in the stable-yard.”

“You are impertinent, Mr. Pattenson!”
answered Orlando; “and I beg you will
understand that impertinence from any one
I am not disposed to endure.”

Orlando then went hastily out—Pattenson
muttering as he passed, “I don’t
know how you’ll help yourself.”

In the stable-yard Orlando found Mr.
Somerive. He had not dismounted, having
made it a rule for many years never
to enter Mrs. Rayland’s house unless he
was invited. Orlando saw by his countenancenance M3r 245
that he was under great concern;
and respectfully approaching him, he said,
“Dear Sir, is all well at home? Is my
mother returned? Is she well?”

“Your mother is not returned, Orlando,”
replied Mr. Somerive in a grave
and melancholy tone; “but she is well,
and all is well at home.”

“I hope then, Sir, that I owe this visit
merely to your kindness. Will you get
off your horse, and come in?—I have a
fire in the library—or shall I let Mrs. Rayland
know you are here?”

“Neither the one or the other,” replied
Mr. Somerive. “But get your horse immediately,
and come with me; I have
business with you.”

“I have only slippers on, Sir; will you
walk in while I put on my boots?”

“You will not need them—I shall not
detain you long. Your horse is already
saddled by my desire—You have your hat,
and therefore hasten to follow me.”

Orlando would have given half a world M3 to M3v 246
to have an opportunity of depositing
his letter to Monimia, which he had put
hastily into his pocket; but there was now
no possibility of escaping to do it: and in
the hope that his father would soon dismiss
him, yet foreseeing that what he had to say
was of a very painful nature, he mounted
his horse, which one of the grooms brought
out, and followed his father across the park.
Mr. Somerive was silent till they had got
at some distance from the house. Orlando
rode by his side a foot pace. He observed
that his father sighed deeply two or three
times, and at length said: “Orlando, I
desire you will give me a faithful detail of
all that passed yesterday.”

The events of the night dwelt more
upon him mind than those of the day; and
believing therefore that his father alluded
to them, he blushed deeply, and repeated,
“All that passed yesterday, Sir?”

“Yes,” replied the father; “you certainly
don’t mean to affect misunderstanding
me. You have got into a quarrel with one M4r 247
one of the guests of Mr. Stockton: I have
heard of it from one quarter; let me now
have your account of it.”

“That is very easily given, my dear
Sir,”
answered Orlando, relieved by finding
that the adventures of the night were
not meant. “I met a gentleman shooting
in those woods, where, you know, it has
been for years the particular whim of Mrs.
Rayland
, as it was, they tell me, of her
father, to preserve the pheasants. You
know that Mr. Stockton has often been
entreated to forbear; and you will allow
that it is unhandsome to persist in doing
what is offensive to a defenceless woman:
therefore, upon meeting this Sir John Something,
with his servant carrying a net full
of birds, I spoke to him on the impropriety
of his shooting in those woods, and indeed
almost within the park. He answered me
very insolently, and I collared him; after
which some rather high words passed between
us. He sent his servant after me M4 with M4v 248
with his address; and I expected to have
heard farther from him to-day.”

“And was that all, Orlando?” said Mr.
Somerive, looking steadily, and somewhat
sternly, in his face.
“That was all that passed, Sir,” replied
Orlando, hesitating, and blushing again.

“And was there no other person present
when this quarrel happened? Was there no
other cause for your displeasure against this
gentleman, than what arose from his having
killed these birds?—Orlando, I used in your
infancy and early youth to have the firmest
reliance on your veracity; shall I have
the infinite mortification now to find myself
mistaken?”

“No, Sir,” answered Orlando, “nor
now, nor ever: I have no reason to
be ashamed of saying the truth, when called
upon—though I should—”

“Come, come, Orlando!” cried his father;
“you would not tell it, if you could,
without being guilty of the meanness of a
direct falsehood, conceal it. There were two M5r 249
two young women present; and you
thought it necessary to resent the behaviour
of this Sir John Belgrave to one of
them.”

“Yes, I thought him very impertinent.
The young woman was terrified, and I considered
myself bound to protect her from
him. I am sure, Sir, you would yourself
have done the same thing.”

“Perhaps I might. You are acquainted
then with this girl, for whom you exercised
your chivalry?”

“Certainly,” said Orlando, again blushing
so much that his father could not but
perceive it—“certainly I am—am acquainted
with her; that is—I know her, to
be sure, a little;—indeed, as I live so much
under the same roof, it would be odd, and
strange, if I did not.”

“Very odd and strange indeed, Orlando,”
replied Mr. Somerive drily—“very
odd and very strange!—especially as your
brother tells me that the damsel is remarkably
handsome.”

M5 Well M5v 250

“Well, Sir,” cried Orlando with quickness,
“admitting it to be so: does my
brother think to do me an ill office with
you, by telling you that I admire beauty;
or that I defended a woman, for whom, if
she had been ugly, I should equally have
interposed, from the impudent persecutions
of a coxcomb?”

“I do not believe that your brother intended
to do you an ill office. On the
contrary, he came to me this morning, at
an hour when a visit from him was very
unexpected, to tell me that he was very
uneasy at the resentment expressed by Sir
John Belgrave
; and to desire I would
prevent this disagreeable affair from going
farther, by prevailing on you to make some
proper apology.”

“And if that was my brother’s sole intention,
I see no necessity for his having
named the lady; there was otherwise ground
enough for the quarrel, if a quarrel it can
be called. However, I heartily forgive
Philip; and am only sorry that he thinks he M6r 251
he has cause to do me every disservice in
his power.”

“Do you call his anxiety for your safety
a disservice? He hopes to prevent any
risk of it, by telling me what has happened,
and procuring, before it is too late, an
apology.”

Orlando checked his tears: “And does
my father really think,”
said he, “that I
ought to make an apology?”

“If the affair passed as Philip represented
it to me, I think you ought; for you seem
by that account to have been the aggressor.”

“No, Sir,” cried Orlando: “in every
thing else your commands should be my
law; but here I hope you will not lay
them upon me, because I feel that, for the
first time in my life, I must disobey them.”

“And your mother,” said Mr. Somerive,
“your mother, on her return, is to hear that
you are engaged in a duel; that you have
either killed a man, who is a stranger to
you, for the sake of a few paltry pheasants,
or have yourself fallen? Oh rash and M6 headlong M6v 252
headlong boy!—if you did not feel deeper
resentment that what a trespass on Mrs.
Rayland’s
grounds occasioned, you would
not thus have engaged in a dispute so
alarming. I greatly fear your attachment
to that girl.”

Orlando, without denying or assenting to
the truth of this accusation, related distinctly
the very words that had passed.—
“You see, Sir,” continued he, “that it
was about no girl the quarrel began; for,
upon my soul! these were the very words.”

“I think still,” said his father, “that
it is a very foolish affair; and, should Sir
John Belgrave
insist upon it, that you
ought to make an excuse.”

“Never,” said Orlando; “and do not,
dear Sir, do not, I conjure you, lay me
under the cruel necessity of disobeying you.
You cannot, with all the spirit you possess
yourself, desire me to act like a coward;
you must despise me if I did: and even
my dear, my tender mother would blush
for her son, if she thought him afraid of any M7r 253
any man when he is conscious of a good
cause.”

“What is to be done, then?” cried
Somerive in great perplexity. “You will
certainly receive a challenge, Orlando.”

“And then I must certainly accept it.
But indeed, dear Sir, you are needlessly distressed:
if this warlike Sir John must vindicate
his injured honour by firing a brace
of pistols at me, I have as good a chance
as he has; and at all events, if I fall, you
will be delivered from the anxiety of providing
for me, and I shall die lamented,
which is better than to live disgraced.
But after all”
(seeing his father’s distress
increase), “I am much mistaken if this most
magnanimous baronet had not rather let
it alone—A few hours will determine it;
and before my mother’s return, whom I
should be very sorry to terrify, it will be
over, one way or other.”

“You will not then, Orlando, settle it
by an apology?”

“Never, indeed, my dear Sir.”

Nor M7v 254

“Nor give me your word that there is
no attachment between you and this girl,
this niece of Lennard’s?”

“Why, my dear father,” replied Orlando
gaily, “if I am to be shot by Sir
John Belgrave
, my attachments are of
little consequence; it will therefore be time
enough to talk of that when I find myself
alive after our meeting.”

“Young man,” said Somerive, with
more sternness than he almost ever shewed
towards Orlando before, “you were once
accustomed to obey implicitly all my commands.
At hardly twenty, it is rather early
to throw off all parental authority. But I
see that the expectations you have formed
of possessing the Rayland estate, have made
you fancy yourself independent.”

“Pardon me, dear Sir! if I say you
greatly mistake me. If I were to-morrow
to find myself, by Mrs. Rayland’s will, the
owner of this property, which is of all
the things the most unlikely, I should not be
at all more independent than I am now; for M8r 255
for, while my father lived, I should be conscious
that he alone had a right to the
Rayland estate; nor should I then consider
myself otherwise than as a dependent on
his bounty.”

“There is no contending with you,
Orlando,”
said Mr. Somerive, bursting into
tears; “I cannot bear this!—You must
do, my son, as your own sense and spirit
dictate; and I must leave the event to
Heaven, to whose protection I commit
you!—Yet remember your mother, Orlando:
remember your sisters, whose protector
you will, I trust, live to be; and do
not, more rashly than these unlucky circumstances
require, risk a life so precious
to us all.”

Orlando threw himself off his horse, and,
seizing his father’s hand, bathed it with
his tears. Neither of them spoke for some
moments. At length Orlando, recovering
himself, said: “My father! I would die
rather than offend you—If I could, or if
I can without cowardice and meanness evade M8v 256
evade a meeting which may give you pain,
I will. In the mean time let us say nothing
about this squabble to alarm my mother,
if she returns, as you say you expect
she will, to-morrow. If any thing happens
worth your knowing, you shall instantly
hear of it: and in the mean time let me
entreat you not to make yourself uneasy;
for I am well convinced all will end without
any of those distressing events which
your imagination has painted.”

Mr. Somerive shook his head and sighed.
As he found nothing could be done with
Orlando, he had determined to try to put
a stop to the further progress of the affair,
by his own interposition with Sir John Belgrave;
and therefore, bidding Orlando tenderly
adieu, he told him to go back to the
Hall, while he himself went to his own
house to consider how he might best ward
off the impending evil from a son whom he
every day found more cause to love and
admire. He saw too evidently that Orlando
had an affection for Mrs. Lennard’s niece M9r 257
niece; for which, though it might be productive
of the loss of Mrs. Rayland’s favour,
he knew not how to blame him. But
these discoveries added new bitterness to
the reflections he often made on the situation
of Orlando; with which, notwithstanding
the flattering prospect held out by
Mrs. Rayland’s late behaviour to him, his
father could not be satisfied while it remained
in such uncertainty. The anxiety
however that he felt for these circumstances
immediately suspended his solicitude for
what was to come. A few hours might
perhaps terminate that life, about the future
disposition of which he was so continually
meditating.

Orlando, deeply concerned at the distress
of his father, and too much confirmed
in his opinion of his brother’s treachery and
malice, returned to the Hall filled with
disquiet. He had now much to add to his
letter to Monimia, for he resolved to keep
nothing a secret from her; and he went
impatiently to his own room to finish his letter M9v 258
letter, when, upon the table, he found the
following billet:

“ Sir, As I find, on enquiry, you are by birth
a gentleman, you cannot believe I can pass
over the very extraordinary language and
conduct you chose to make use of yesterday.
Yet, in consideration of your youth, and of
your relation to Mr. Somerive, the
friend of my friend Stockton, I shall no
otherwise notice it than by desiring you
will write such an apology as it becomes
you to make, and me to receive. I am, Sir,
Your humble servant, J. B. Belgrave.

To this letter, which Orlando was told
was delivered a few moments before by a
servant who waited, he, without hesitation,
returned the following answer:

“Sir, Not conscious of any impropriety in my
conduct, I shall assuredly make no apology for M10r 259
for it; and I beg that neither your indulgence
to my youth, or my relationship to
Mr. Philip Somerive, may prevent your
naming any other satisfaction which your
honour may require, and which I am immediately
ready to give.
I am, Sir,
Your humble servant,
Orlando Somerive.

Having dispatched this billet, he continued
very coolly to conclude his letter to
Monimia; and this last circumstance was
the only one he concealed from her. Having
done it, he went to the turret, and
softly mounted the stair-case, flattering
himself that, if he heard no noise, and could
be quite secure that no person was with her,
he might venture to see Monimia for a few
moments. He listened therefore impatiently;
but, to his infinite mortification,
heard Betty talking with more than her
usual volubility; and as his name was repeated,peated M10v 260
he could not help attending to her
harangue.

“Oh! to be sure”, said she, in answer to
something Monimia had said; “to be sure,
I warrant Orlando is a saint and an angel
in your eyes—but I know something.”

“Tell me, Betty,” said Monimia tremulously,
“tell me what you know.”

“Why I know—that though he looks
as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth,
cheese won’t choke him. I can tell you
what, Miss, he’s slyer than his brother, but
not a bitter gooder—What’s more, he lets
women into his room at night.”

“Women!” cried Monimia, “what
women? How should he do that? and who
should they be?”

“That’s more than I can tell; but some
hussy or other he does let in, I tell you, for
I know they as have seen her. There’s
Pattenson has been as mad as fury with me,
saying as how it was me; and all I can say
won’t persuade him to the contrary.—
Egollys! if it had been me, I should not have M11r 261
have gone to have denied it, in spite of
Pattenson; but he’s as mad as a dog, and
won’t hear nothing I can say, but swears
he’ll tell my Lady—though I can bring
Jenny to prove that, at that very time as
he says I was sitting along with ’Squire Orlando
in his own study, I was fast asleep up
stairs—And so if Pattenson does make a
noise about it, Jenny offers to take her bible
oath before the Justice.”

“I think,” said Monimia, acquiring a
little courage from the hope she now entertained
that she had not been distinguished,
“I think it is much better to say nothing
about it.”

“So I tells him,” answered Betty; “but
he is so crazy anger’d with me that he
won’t hear nothing I can say—and there
to be sure I owns I should like to know who
this puss is.”

“Why,” replied Monimia, “what can
it signify, Betty, to you?”

“It signifies to every body, I think, Miss,
especially to us poor servants, who may lose our M11v 262
our characters. You see that I’m blamed
about it already, and Pattenson is always a
telling me that Mr. Orlando has a liking
for me, and that I keeps him company.—
Not I, I’m sure!—but it’s very hard to be
brought into such a quandary as this, when
one’s quite as ’twere as innocent as can be.
I’d give my ears to see this slut.”

“Why, who did ever see her?” enquired
Monimia.

“Oh! that’s neither here nor there—she
was seen, and that’s enough.”

“I think it’s impertinent in any body
to pry into Mr. Orlando’s room, and I dare
say it is all a mistake――”

“Please the Lord, I’ll find out the mistake,”
said Betty, “and, I warrant, know
who this dear friend of Orlando’s is before
I’m two days older—and I know somebody
else that won’t be sorry to know.”

“Who is that?”

“Why his brother—a dear sweet man—
He came up to our house last night, Miss,
after ’twas dark, on purpose to speak to me. I M12r 263
I won’t tell you half he said; but he’s a
noble generous gentleman, and has a more
genteeler taste too than Orlando; and for
my share, I think he’s as handsome.”

Monimia now seemed to let the discourse
drop, and to be considering what she ought
to do. Orlando waited yet a little, in
hopes that Betty would go, and that he
might have an opportunity of seeing Monimia:
but immediately the dinner bell
ran; and as he now generally dined with
Mrs. Rayland, he was afraid of being enquired
for, and retired silently to his room,
somewhat easier, from the strong reason he
now had to believe, that, whoever it was
whose curiosity brought them the preceding
evening to his door, they were actuated by
no suspicion in regard to Monimia, and that
they had not even distinguished her countenance
and figure; and he meditated how
to prevent any suspicion concerning her—
content to be accused himself of any other
folly or error, if Monimia could but escape.

CHAP. M12v 264

Chap. XII.

It was probable that Sir John Belgrave’s
messenger would immediately return,
fixing the time and place where he would
meet Orlando, who debated with himself
whether he should send the billet he had
received, and that he expected, to his father.
He had not yet determined how he
ought to act, and was traversing the flagstones
which went around the house considering
of it, when his father’s servant appeared,
and delivered to him the following
letter:

“My dear Orlando, I have just seen Sir John Belgrave at
Mr. Stockton’s, who, on my account, as
this affair really gives me great pain, is willing N1r 265
willing to drop any farther resentment, if
you will only say to me, that you are sorry
for your rashness. I entreat you to gratify
me in this—I will not say I command you,
because I hope that I need not; but
this unlucky business must be settled before
the return of your mother, from whom I
have to-day heard that she will be at home
to-morrow with Isabella, since she cannot
determine to leave her in London.—I have
also a letter from my old friend General
Tracy
, of whom you recollect hearing me
speak as one of my early friends. He is
much acquainted with your uncle Woodford,
and has been very obliging in promoting
his interest among his connnections,
which are with people of the first rank.—
Having met your mother and sisters at Mr.
Woodford’s, he has renewed that friendship
which time and distance, and our different
modes of life, have for some years interrupted;
and as he is fond of field sports,
and your mother has said how happy I shall
be to see him, he intends coming hither tomorrowVol. I. N morrow N1v 266
for ten days or a fortnight, and
brings your mother and Isabella down in
his post-chaise. This intelligence has put
Selina, who is now my house-keeper, into
some little hurry, as you know we are little
used to company; and it prevents my
coming to you myself, as I should otherwise
have done.—But I repeat, Orlando, that
this uneasiness must be removed from my
mind. Write to me therefore such a letter
as I may shew to this Sir John Belgrave,
and let us hear no more of it. I beg that
you will inform Mrs. Rayland that I expect
company, and that you will obtain her
leave to be here to-morrow to receive them.
Robert waits for your answer, which I am
persuaded will be satisfactory to
your affectionate father, P. Somerive.”

To this letter, which was extremely distressing
to Orlando, since it imposed upon
him what he had he thought with propriety
refused, he knew not what to answer. To suffer N2r 267
suffer his father to say to Sir John Belgrave
that he was sorry for what had passed, seemed
to him even more humiliating than to
say it himself――he could not bear to owe
his safety to his father’s fears; yet it gave
him infinite pain to disobey him, and was
the first time in his life that he had been
tempted to act for himself, in opposition to
his father: and the apprehensions of what
his mother would feel were still more distressing
to him; yet his high spirit could
not stoop to apologize for what he knew
was not wrong, nor to say he was concerned
for having acted as he should certainly act
again were the same occasion to arise. After
much and uneasy deliberation, he at length
dispatched to his father the following lines:


“My dear Sir,
Again I must entreat your pardon for
the disobedience I am compelled to be
guilty of. Indeed it is impossible for me,
highly as I honour your commands, and
greatly as I feel the value of your tenderness,N2 ness N2v 268
quite impossible for me to make any
apology to Sir John Belgrave: for, were I
to say that I am sorry for what passed, I
should say what is false, which surely my
father will never insist upon. It would
grieve my very soul to alarm my mother;
but surely there is no necessity for her
knowing any thing of this silly business.
As you expect General Tracy to-morrow,
of whose military character I have often
heard you sepak with applause, I entreat
that you will rather entrust him with the
affair, and ask him whether I ought, all
circumstances fairly related, to make the
submission required of me; and as I am
sure I may leave it to him to decide for
me, I promise that I will abide by his determination,
and will not till then meet
Sir John Belgrave if he should in the mean
time send me an appointment; though
even this delay is, I own, imcompatible with
my ideas of that spirit which, in a proper
cause, should be exerted by a son of yours.
Let this promise, however, of a reference to N3r 269
to General Tracy make you easy at present,
my dear and honoured Sir! and be
assured in every other instance of the obedience,
and in every instance of the affection
of your
Orlando.

Having dispatched this letter, Orlando
dismissed the affair of Sir John Belgrave
from his mind for the present, and gave
all his thoughts to Monimia. The circumstance
of the man’s appearing at his door,
thought much less alarming than it seemd
at first, was yet such as threatened to put an
end to all those delicious conversations
which had so long been the charm of his
existence. Not to have an opportunity of
seeing Monimia, was death to him; yet to
see her, were she exposed to such terrors as
she had undergone at their last interview,
was impossible. In order to turn all suspicion
from her, he would very willingly have N3 been N3v 270
been suspected of a penchant for Betty, and
have encouraged her flippant forwardness;
but that, as it awakened the envy and jealousy
of Pattenson, was likely to put him
upon the watch, and to bring on the very
evil he dreaded. During the day, indeed,
he had now frequent opportunities of seeing
Monimia, who was now, unless under her
aunt’s displeasure, less rigorously confined
than formerly; but those interviews were
never but in the presence of a third person;
and after what his father had said, and what
had happened on the alarming evening, he
was compelled to be more than ever cautious.
Tormented by uncertainty, and perplexed
by apprehensions, he passed a wretched
afternoon; impatiently waiting till he
could ascend the turret, and at least, if he
could not see Monimia, obtain a letter
from her. The hour at length came when
he believed every one in the house were
occupied with their own affairs; and having
excused himself from drinking tea with Mrs. N4r 271
Mrs. Rayland, under pretence of being
busied in writing for his father, he stole
softly to the room under that of Monimia,
and for thence up the stairs.

He listened, fearful of again hearing the
indefatigable clack of Betty; but every
thing was profoundly silent. The letter,
which he had deposited there, was gone;
but there was no answer. He feared Monimia
was ill—the terror, the fatigue of
the preceding night, had been too much
for her. It was dreadful to be within two
or three paces of her, and yet not dare to
enquire.

Still listening some time in breathless
anxiety, he at length determined to tap
gently at the door; for he was pretty well
convinced she was alone. Monimia, who
was really ill, had lain down; but, starting
at the well-known signal, she approached
close to the door, and said, “Orlando!—
Gracious Heaven! are you there?”

“Yes, yes!” replied he; “is it impossibleN4 ble N4v 272
you can admit me for a moment? I am
miserable, and shall hardly keep my senses
if I cannot see you.”

Monimia, without replying, moved her
bed and admitted him. It was already
dar, but she had a candle on her table,
and Orlando was shocked to see how ill she
looked. He spoke of it tenderly to her:
she assured him it was only owing to her
having been so much fatigued and frightened,
and that a night’s rest, if she could
obtain it, would entirely restore her. “But
you must not stay, Orlando!”
said she――
“indeed you must not.”

“Why?” answered he—“Is not your
door fastened? Who is likely to interrupt
us?”

“My aunt or Betty,” replied she; “for,
though my aunt is at her tea, there is no
being secure of her. I have said I am ill,
in which it can hardly be said I am guilty
of a falsehood; and as I am under her displeasure
on account of my unluckily staying
beyond her orders, yet she may perhapshaps N5r 273
be seized by some whim, and even
the voice of Betty would terrify me to
death.”

Orlando, promising to go, yet finding it
impossible to tear himsself from her, began
to speak of what he had heard from Betty
in the morning, while he waited at the door
of Monimia’s room after depositing his letter.
“You see, my angel,” said he, “you
see you are not suspected; and that the
impertinent brute, whoever it was that
dared intrude upon us, did not distinguish
you. Make yourself easy, therefore, I conjure
you, and let us think no more of this
alarm, for which, though I cannot yet discover
how, I am sure I shall in a few days
be able to account.”

“But I shall never again have courage
to venture to your room, Orlando.”

“You will,” replied he, surely, when
I am able to convince you that such an interruption
will happen no more, and till
then I do not wish you to venture.”

“Hush, dearest Orlando!” whispered N5 Monimia N5v 274
Monimia; “Speak very low! I heard the
door at the end of the passage open.”

They both listened; and instantly Betty,
by attempting to open the door, convinced
them their fears were not groundless.――
“Lud, Miss,” cried she, pushing against
the door, “what have you lock’d yourself
in for? Open the door—I want speak to
you.”

“Don’t speak!” whispered Orlando:
“let me out as softly as you can, and then
tell her you were sleeping.”

“She has the ears of a mole,” said Monimia,
“and I shall be undone.”

Quickly and softly, however, as her trembling
hands would let her, she assisted in
Orlando’s evasion—Betty still thumping at
the door—“I must come in, Miss, this
minute.”

“I am laid down for my headach,”
replied Monimia as soon as Orlando was
gone: “It is strange that I can never have
any repose! I was just asleep, Betty, and
should be very glad not to be disturbed.”

Glad N6r 275

“Glad or not glad,” replied the other,
“I must come in. ’Tis an odd thing, I
think, for people to push their chairs and
tables about in their sleep! If you can do
that, I suppose you can open the door?”

Monimia now opened the door, and tremuluously
asked Betty, who flounced into
the room, what was the matter?

“Matter!” said she—“why there’s a fine
to do below—There’s your favourite young
’Squire; he, as never does no wrong, has
got into a fine scrape—just as I thought!”

“Good God!” replied she, in a voice
hardly articulate, “tell me what you
mean.”

“Why this great gentleman, as he affronted
so, has determined to kill him outright
—He have been writing to him about
it this morning, and Orlando he is so stomachful
he won’t ask the gentleman’s pardon,
and so now they be to fight.”

“And how,” said Monimia, speaking
with difficulty—“how did you hear all
this?”

N6 Why N6v 276

“Why, from Sir John’s own man, a
smart servant as ever I see, who is just come
with a letter to fix the time and place
where they be to meet; and he have been
telling us how it is to be: and so my mistress
she have heard of it, and there’ll be
fine to do I can tell you. They have been
going for to find young ’Squire Orlando,
but he is out somewhere or another. Mistress
is in a fine quandary, but she says how
Orlando was quite in the right.”

Betty, having thus unburthened herself
of news which she was so anxious to tell
returned to see a little more of the smart
servant; but not till Orlando, who had
heard enough at the beginning of her conversation,
had flown down to receive a letter
which he had long expected, and now prepared
to answer; though he was convinced
that, by the bustle Sir John Belgrave chose
to make, there was very little probability
that he desired to be very much in earnest.
The anxious night that this would occasion
to his Monimia was his chief concern. He determined N7r 277
determined to attempt seeing her again, in
hopes to alleviate her uneasiness, but he
was first compelled to attend to Mrs. Rayland,
who sent for him, and to whom he
now related what had passed before, and
read the letter which he had just received
from Sir John Belgrave, which ran thus:

“ Sir, In consideration of your respectable
father, I did hope that you might have
spared me the disagreeable task of chastising
your improper behaviour. I shall be, on
Thursday at twelve o’clock, in the meadow
adjoining to West Wolverton, with a brace
of pistols, of which you shall take your
choice.

I am, Sir,
your humble servant,
John Berkeley Belgrave.

To N7v 278

To this billet Orlando answered thus――

“ Sir, I will assuredly attend you at the
time and place appointed; and have only
to regret, that the persons to whom this affair
has most unnecessarily been communicated,
have so long an interval of uneasiness
thus imposed upon them. I am, Sir,
your humble servant, Orlando Somerive.

Mrs. Rayland, who entered into this
business with an earnestness of which she
seemed on most occasions incapable, approved
of his letter, and admired the spirit
he exerted in a cause which she considered
as her own. Her fears for his safety seemed
to be absorbed in the pleasure she felt in
having found a champion who was so ready
to take up her quarrel against those whose
inroads had long disturbed her, and whom
she hoped to mortify and humble.

Orlando N8r 279

Orlando, therefore, never was so high in
her favour; but his own heart was torn
with anguish, in reflecting on the situation
of Monimia. As soon the house was
quiet he returned to the turret, made desperate
by reflecting on her distress, and
thinking it better to hazard a discovery
than to leave her a whole night in solicitude
so alarming.

Monimia, who little expected his return,
admitted him as soon as she heard his signal.
He found her in that state of mind
which allows not the sufferer to shed tears;
pale, and almost petrified, she sat on the side
of her bed, with clasped hands and fixed
eyes, while he related to her the whole of a
transaction which he wished he could have
concealed from her till the event could be
known. But it was long before he could
persuade her that the danger was infinitely
less than it appeared. It was evident that
Sir John Belgrave, by postponing to Thursday
what he might as well have settled on
Wednesday, had no objection to the interferenceference N8v 280
of the family he had taken care to
alarm; and rather wished to have the honour
of appearing a man of nice honour
and dauntless courage at little expence,
than to run the hazard of maintaining that
character by needless rashness. When Orlando
therefore had represented his conduct
in the ridiculous light it deserved, and
shewn her how probable it was that his father
and General Tracy would contrive to
prevent a meeting, the fears of Monimia
were in some degree subdued; and at day-
break Orlando left her, having insisted on
her promising to endeavour to sleep, and
to make herself as easy as under such circumstances
was possible.

End of the First Volume.

A1r

The
Old Manor House.

A
Novel,

In Four Volumes.

By Charlotte Smith.

Vol. II.

“Ah me! for aught that I could ever read, Could ever hear from tale or history, The course of true love ever did run smooth; But either it was different in blood, Or else misgrafted in respect of years, Or else it stood upon the choice of friends; Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, War, death, or sickness, did lay siege to it.” Shakesp. Midsummer Night’s Dream.

London: Printed for J. Bell, No. 148, Oxford-Street. 1793MDCCXCIII.

A1v B1r

The
Old Manor House.

Chap. I.

On the following morning Orlando
received an early summons from his
father, requesting him to be at home by
two o’clock, when his mother, his sister,
and General Tracy were expected; for, as
the General travelled with his own four
horses, which were very fine ones, and of
which he was particularly fond, the ladies
had agreed to remain one night on the
road, and reach home early the second day;
though the journey was otherwise easily performed
in one, West Wolverton being only
about sixty five miles from London.

Vol. II. B Orlando B1v 2

Orlando having informed Mrs. Rayland
of the reason of his absence; having seen
Monimia for a moment, again whispered
to her to be less apprehensive for his safety,
and promising to see her at night, he proceeded
to obey his father. On his arrival,
he found him walking with the General on
the grass plot before the door; and, springing
from his horse, paid his duty to him,
was introduced in form to the General, and
then eagerly asked for his mother and his
sister.

They were within; and Orlando, flying
to them, was surprised by his mother’s
throwing her arms around him, and falling
into an agony of tears, in which his three
sisters, who stood around her, accompanied
her. He entreated an explanation; and
learned from Isabella, who alone was able
to speak, that the servants had been telling
them, instantly on their arrival at home,
that he was about to fight a duel, in which
it was the opinion of the informers that he
must certainly be killed.

Orlando, B2r 3

Orlando, execrating the folly of the servants,
or rather the paltry conduct of Sir
John Belgrave
, who had apparently made
all this bustle on purpose, endeavoured to
re-assure and console his mother; but her
alarm for his safety was too great to allow
her to listen patiently to any thing he could
say, since the fact of his having received
and accepted a challenge from Sir John
Belgrave
he did not attempt to deny. The
anxious mother, now that she saw him before
her, thought only of preventing the
meeting which might deprive her of that
comfort for ever. She seemed afraid of
his stirring from her sight, as if Sir John
Belgrave
had lurked in every corner of
the house; and desired he would remain
with her in her own room, while she sent
Isabella to entreat that Mr. Somerive would
come to her.

When he saw her, her tears and agitation
sufficiently explained to him, that those
whom he had expressly ordered to be silent
had found it impossible to obey him. To B 2 Selina B2v 4
Selina and Emma, the two youngest girls,
who had remained at home, it had been
known almost as soon as to himself, but he
had enjoined them to conceal it from their
mother; and knew that, whatever it cost
them to be silent on such a subject, neither
of them would disobey him. It was, however,
too late, or at least useless, to declaim
against the folly of those who had; and he
found sufficient employment in appeasing
the distress of his wife and daughters,
while he sent Orlando to entertain the
General.

General Tracy was the second brother of
a noble family; and, having entered very
young into the army, had passed through
the inferior ranks with that rapidity which
interest always secures. At five-and-thirty
he had a regiment; and as some of the
fortunes of uncles and aunts had centred
in him, he was now, at near sixty, a man of
very large fortune, and seemed to want nothing
to complete his happiness, but the
power of persuading others, as he had almostmost B3r 5
persuaded himself, that he was but
five-and-thirty still.

To effect this, and maintain that favour
which he had always been in among the
ladies, was the great object of his life. His
person had been celebrated for beauty; and
he desired to preserve a pre-eminence,
which was in his opinion superior to any
fame he could derive from his bravery in
the field, or his ability in the senate, where
he had long been a member, certainly voting
with the minister of the day. He had
a place about the court, at which he was a
constant attendant, and where the softness
and elegance of his manners, the pliability
of his political attachments, and his very
considerable interest and property, rendered
him a great favourite.—All the time he
could spare from his duty there, he seemed
to devote to the service of those fashionable
women who give the ton, and whose favour
he disputed with the rising heroes of the
fashionable world. But he felt in reality
only disgust and satiety in their company; B 3 and B3v 6
and had no taste but for youth and beauty,
of which he was continually in search—and
with his fortune his search could not be
unsuccessful. He had no scruples to deter
him from decoying any young woman whom
he liked, that chance might throw into his
power; but he usually avoided with care
any scheme which was likely to be interrupted
by the unpleasant remonstrances of
a father or a brother, and generally pursued
only the indigent and the defenceless.

As he purchased his wine of Mr. Woodford,
he had occasionally been at his house.
His daughters were rather handsome, and
very lively girls; and though they did not
come exactly under the description of those
whose preference the General could without
much trouble secure, he found himself
pleased with their company, because they
were greatly flattered by the admiration of
such a fashionable man, and never so happy
as when the General sent his superb
coach for them, and gallanted them to some
public place, or drove them in his phaeton through B4r 7
through Hyde Park to Kensington Gardens.
Their father, who thought more of the good
customer which the General was himself,
and the great families he had recommended
him to, than of any necessity for reserve in
his daughters, encouraged this acquaintance
(which their mother was as well
pleased with as the young women) till the
neighbourhood talked loudly of their indiscretion,
and till the youngest Miss Woodford,
who was his peculiar favourite, was
declared by many ladies to have considerably
injured her reputation. This she herself
considered only as a testimony of their
envy, and her own superior attractions; and
the more she heard of their malignant remarks,
the more eagerly she endeavoured
to shew her contempt of their opinion, and
her power over the General, who, on the
return of the family to town after their
visit to West Wolverton, was more than
usual at the house. But thither he was no
longer attracted by the charms of Miss
Eliza Woodford
. The moment he beheld B 4 Isabella B4v 8
Isabella Somerive, he had no eyes for any
other person; and though he soon learned
that she was in a situation of life which
placed her above those temptations which
he generally found infallible, and had a
father and two brothers to protect her, the
impression she had made was such that he
could not determine to lose sight of her;
and as the discovery of the preference he
gave her had made both her cousins very
little desirous of her company in London
during the winter, where she seemed too
likely to rob them of all their conquests,
he found she was to return home with her
mother—and thither he resolved to follow
her.

An opportunity of introducing himself
into the family of Somerive was easily obtained,
when he recollected that, in the
preceding war, Somerive, in whose own
county there was at that time no militia,
had, being then an active man, procured a
commission in that of a neighbouring county,
and served in a camp then formed for the B5r 9
the defence of the coast, where he himself
was a captain. They had at that time
been frequently together, and afterwards
kept up some degree of intimacy, till Somerive’s
marriage fixing him wholly in retirement,
the gay and fashionable soldier
thought of him no more.

The General, however, no sooner knew
who the visitors at Woodford’s were, than
he most assiduously and successfully paid
his court to Mrs. Somerive; talked to her
continually of her husband, whose merits he
affected to remember with infinite regard,
and for whose interest he appeared to feel
the warmest concern. It was a theme of
which Mrs. Somerive, who adored her husband,
was never weary; and while General
Tracy
so pathetically lamented the interruption
of their friendship, nothing was
more natural than her entreaties to him that
he would renew it.

That was the point he had laboured to
gain, and he accepted the invitation she
gave him, adding the opportunity of the B 5 shooting B5v 10
shooting season to his other inducements,
the better to colour so unexpected a visit.
He had found it convenient to pretend a
great passion for field sports—partly because
it was fashionable, and partly because it
shewed that his powers of enduring fatigue
were equal to the youthful appearance he
assumed; and to support this, he now and
then went through, what was to him most
miserable drudgery, that of a day’s hunting
or shooting; but he more usually contrived,
when he was at the houses of his friends
for these purposes, to sprain his ancle in
the first excursion he made, or to hurt himself
by the recoil of his gun: and by such
methods he generally managed to be left
without suspicion at home with the ladies;
with whom he was so universal a favourite,
and to whom he had so many ways of recommending
himself, by deciding on their
dress, reading to them books of entertainment,
and relating anecdotes collected in
the higher circles where he moved in the
winter, that he found no loss of attention 5 from B6r 11
from the progress of years—a progress
indeed which he took the utmost pains to
conceal. His clothes, which were always
made by the most eminent taylor, were cut
with as much care as those of the most celebrated
beauty on her first appearance at
court; and he had several contrivances, of
his own invention, to make them fit with
advantage to his person. His hands were
more delicate than those of any lady; and
though he could not so totally baffle the
inexorable hands of time as to escape a few
wrinkles, he still maintained a considerable
share of the bloom of youth, not without
suspicion of Olympian dew, cold cream,
and Spanish wool. Certain it is that he
was very long at his toilet every day, to
which no person, not even his valet-de-
chambre, was admitted. With all this he
was a man of the most undoubted bravery;
and had not only served in Germany with
great credit, but had been engaged in several
affairs of honour, in which he had
always acquitted himself with courage and B 6 propriety. B6v 12
propriety. Such was the man who was
now, from no very honourable motives,
become an inmate in the house of Mr.
Somerive
.

When Mr. Somerive had appeased the
distress into which his wife was thrown by
the intelligence she had so abruptly received
about Orlando, and had prevailed
upon her to compose herself and appear at
dinner, he returned back to his friend,
whom he found in conversation with Orlando;
and he determined that he would,
over their wine, relate to him what had
passed between Sir John Belgrave and his
son (who had put Sir John’s last letter into
his hands), and take the General’s opinion
as to what was fit to be done.

Dinner was announced, and the ladies
of the family appeared;—the mother, with
swollen eyes, which she could not a moment
keep from Orlando; and the daughters
appearing to sympathize with her; particularly
Selina, who was fondly attached to
Orlando, and who, from the terror in which she B7r 13
she saw her mother, having caught redoubled
apprehension, could hardly command
her tears; and though the General
failed not to compliment her on her beauty,
which even exceeded that of her sister, and
to speak in the warmest terms to Mr. and
Mrs. Somerive of their lovely family, Selina
heeded him not. He observed that
Isabella was less insensible of his studied
eulogiums, and from thence drew a favourable
omen. Emma, the youngest of the
girls, was only between twelve and thirteen.

As soon as the table-cloth was removed,
Mrs. Somerive, under pretence of being a
good deal fatigued with her journey, and
somewhat indisposed, withdrew with her
daughters: Mr. Somerive soon after gave
Orlando a hint to go also; and then he
opened to General Tracy the affair which
lay so heavy on his heart, and entreated his
advice how to act.

“I am glad,” answered the General,
“to learn the cause of Mrs. Somerive’s concern, B7v 14
concern, which was so evident at dinner,
as well as that of her amiable daughters,
that I was afraid some very disagreeable
incident had happened in the family.”

“And is not,” said Mr. Somerive,
“what I have related disagreeable
enough?”

“No, upon my honor! I see nothing
in it but what is rather a matter of exultation.
Your son is one of the finest and most
spirited young men I ever saw. If he was
a son of my own, I should rejoice that he
had acted so properly, and be very proud
of him.”

“But you would not risk his life, surely?”
said Mr. Somerive.

“Why, as to that,” replied the General,
“in these cases there is some little risk, to
be sure; but I should never check a lad of
spirit. I know Belgrave,”
added he, smiling.

“And what is his reputation for courage?”
enquired Mr. Somerive.

“Oh! he is quite the fine man of the day,” B8r 15
day,”
answered the General carelessly.—
“He will fight, if he must—but I believe
is quite as willing to let it