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proud and unfeeling brother, whom she so well corrected, voluntarily and for ever could I forego the heaven it would be to win her. But my task would then be easy and sweet, in the thought that I possessed her favour, and sacrificed my own feelings to her welfare. Here, however, she herself avows that such favour would be slanderous. All, therefore, is dreary mortification, humiliation, and self-blame, for aspirations mocked, and audacity punished. Oh! who can bear the pangs of despised love ?”
“ You will have greater merit in the conquest of them,” said Granville. Nor, as I have said, is it so difficult; only gird yourself to the battle, and though the contest is severer than I thought it would be, you will triumph like a brave boy. Meantime recollect that Bertha does any thing but despise, nay, evidently esteems you; which is as much as she does by Sir Harry, though a favourite of fortune, and supported by her family--you the reverse. Ought not this to satisfy your pride ? the wound of which, after all, forms a very principal ingredient in the grief which affects a disappointed lover-which, as you never were encouraged, nor even declared yourself, you cannot be called. But, if necessary for your cure, I could not give you a better history, either of the folly or the cure of love, than
own.” “ Pray,” said I, “ give it me.”
Willingly. Imprimis, the lady was an Oxford belle, the daughter of the head of a house, and therefore, in that place, one of the haute noblesse. It was my fortune to meet her every evening in one or other
of the walks, and it gave me such pleasure, that at last it became necessary to my happiness for the night. Nay, when every body was retiring to rest, I could never go to bed, without watching, as I sometimes did, for an hour together, till I beheld the light of her bed-candle through the crevice of her shutter; nor could I leave it, till the light disappeared (during which imagination was briskly at work), and only then thinking that all was over, and that she had sunk to her repose, could I retire to mine. I think you will allow here was folly enough.”
“ But did you never tell your love ?"
“ Never. Nay, for a long time I did not know her, yet haunted her upon all occasions. As she was a great walker out, and passed daily by my window, I was always seated till she appeared. I then dogged her. If she went into a shop, I was sure to want something in the same place : if I saw which way she walked, I took a round-about path to meet her: if I did so, I was in glory; if she had turned before I saw her, I was in despair. Meantime, I gave her credit for every virtue and every accomplishment, and became sick and hopeless, because unknown to her. I was at length introduced-found her a fool- and was cured."
“How old were you ?" asked I. “ Your age," said he.
I was silent for some time. At length, seeing he thought his case unanswerable, I observed,
“ Bertha, at least, is no fool, whatever your Chloe may have been; and though all this may be true, and
you may not have invented it for my benefit, it does not apply. It was evident you were not-you could not be in love, knowing so little of her.”
Why not I,” said he, “ as well as Petrarch ?” “ True,” replied I; “but your example is unfortunate again, for Petrarch was not cured."
“ That,” said he, “ was probably because he never was introduced to Laura.”
If I was to be lectured out of my feelings, and made a convert to prudence from a destructive passion, I was fortunate in such a friend as Granville ; for from perhaps a soft nature, and certainly from his own acquaintance with the waywardness of love, he was better able to soothe and persuade me than the sterner mind of Fothergill. With all my deference for my good tutor, I could not help feeling the difference between them in this respect: for Granville, as I have said, was himself romantic-Fothergill, matter of fact; Granville had often deviated into the flowery paths of imagination-Fothergill had never quitted the beaten track of sober life.
'Twas well for me that at this distressing moment Granville—not Fothergill—was my physician. In fact, he made my case so much his own, and entered so kindly, as well as considerately into my situation, that I was made sensible of the egregious folly of plunging into mere romance, at the expense of the plainest common sense, without being made to feel the humiliation of too severe self-blame.
“ Your position,” said he, “ has at least this ad
“flat and unpro
vantage--your mistress has broke no faith with you; you are not numbered among the jilted; you cannot complain of ill-usage.”
“ And yet,” said I, “ill-usage might give me spirit, and I should have my pride to retire upon-here all is blank and barren—a weary waste fitable’-nothing but a garden of weeds.”
Say not so," replied he, "for a garden more cultivated and productive the garden of the world—lies
if you would but look at, and cultivate it. As for your pride, you must surely be prouder than Louis XIV. himself, to suppose you are wronged, because a lady to whom you never breathed a syllable of your
love has not returned it, or rather has not herself fallen in love with you : and this I should say if
you were a duke.” “ I believe," returned I, “ I am a very great fool.”
“ Stick to that,” said he, “ and your cure is at hand; for I suppose you are not like Orlando, who, when Rosalind said she would cure him, replied, that he would not be cured. But you are really not so desperate ; for though, as far as making verses by the side of a brook is concerned, you may have the quotidian of love' upon you, you have none of the marks which the same Rosalind so learnedly enumerates. You have not the lean cheek; a sunken eye ; a beard neglected; hose ungartered ; bonnet unbanded; sleeve unbuttoned. You are rather pointdevice in your accoutrements.* Besides, though it
* As You Like It.
were not so, and though Bertha is charming, there are
My dear friend, I like your reasoning, but not your raillery. I trust you think me not so common-place as to fly like a butterfly from one flower to another; or that Bertha herself cau be so little valued :
When the devout religion of mine eye
Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires." “ Good,” returned he; “ we shall soon, no doubt, have you an English Petrarch, burying yourself in some Yorkshire Vaucluse; or, like Camillo, flying to the mountains, to live with shepherds. I shall certainly watch the county papers for an advertisement, which will begin with— Whereas a melancholy man lately left his abode, and is suspected of wandering in the neighbourhood of Foljambe Park: whoever will give information"
“ Never !" cried I, interrupting him, and unable to contain myself—“ never would I stoop to such humiliation. I should not care if Bertha knew all my devotion; but never should that proud family have such a triumph over me!”
“ I hail the resolution,” returned Granville," and upon this ground, if there were no other, I rest for your recovery. But there is another.”
I eagerly asked what ?
“ Your own good sense, and your very love itself for Bertha, whom, if you could win, you would not reduce to beggary and estrangement from her family;