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So pious, so good' Oh, how he charmed them all'His beneficence'. Excellent heart-Never was there a more expanded heart-Blessings on his benevolence- All the graces of gentle persuasion are his'He imitates God • Divine philanthropy'Godlike instances of goodness,' &c., &c.
We must not, however, dwell on the faults of a writer whose excellences are so many and so great. The Lady Clementina is a character that would redeem a novel infinitely more.objectionable than Sir Charles Grandison. The two - volumes that relate to her are, perhaps, the best of Richardson's works. Then there is CLARISSA HARLOWE, which, as a whole, is certainly the greatest of the author's efforts , and it may be questioned, if, in the whole range of fictitious writing, two characters claim more interest, or take deeper hold on the sympathy of the reader, than the hero and heroine of that work. Still in this, as in all his writings, the author overdoes his scenes, and dwells so minutely on trifles, that, if he has not been read in early life, he has little likelihood of being read when one has entered upon the business and cares of mature years.
TRIAL SCENE IN PAMELA.
I Am commanded, my dear lady, now to write particularly my trial
. The reason will appear in its place. --And, Oh! congratulate me, my dear, dear lady! for I am happy, and shall be happier than I ever was; and that I thought, so did every body, was impossible.—But I will not anticipate the account of my trial, and the effects, the blessed effects, it has produced. Thus, then, it was :
Mr B. came up, with great impatience in his looks. I met him at my chamber-door, with as sedate a countenance as I possibly could put on, and my heart was high with my purpose, and supported me better than I could have expected. Yet, on recollection, now I impute to myself something of that kind of magnanimity, that was wont to inspire the innocent sufferers of old, for a still worthier cause than mine;
though their motives could hardly be more pure, in that one hope I had, to be an humble means of saving the man I love and honour, from errors that might be fatal to his soul.
I took his hand with boldness :- Dear Sir,' leading him to my closet, here is the bar, at which I am to take my trial, pointing to the back of three chairs, which I had placed in a joined row, leaving just room to go by on each side. • You must give me, Sir, all my own way; this is the first, and perhaps the last time, that I shall desire it.-Nay, dear Sir,' turning my face from him, look not upon me with an eye of tenderness : if you do, I may lose my purposes, important to me as they are ; and however fantastic my behaviour may seem to you, I want not to move your passions (for the good impressions made upon them, may be too easily dissipated, by the winds of sense )-but your reason, and if that can be done, I am safe, and shall fear no relapse. • What means all this parade, my dear? Let me perish,' that was his word, if I know how to account for you, or your humour.'
You will presently, Sir. But give me all my way-I pray you do, this once this one time only !' • Well, so, this is your bar, is it? There's an elbowchair, I see; take your place in it, Pamela, and here I'll stand to answer all your questions.' No, Sir, that must not be.' So I boldly led him to the elbow-chair. - You are the judge, Sir; it is I that am to be tried. Yet I will not say I am a criminal. I know I am not. But that must be proved, Sir, you know.' Well, take your way; but I fear for your head, my dear, in all this. I fear only my heart, Sir, that's all ! but there you must sit-So here,' (retiring to the three chairs, and leaning on the backs,) here I stand. And now, my dearest Mr B., you must begin first: when you showed me the House of Peers, their bar, at which causes are heard, and sometimes peers are tried, looked awful to me; and the present occasion requires that this should. Now, dear Sir, you must be my accuser, as well as my judge.' • I have nothing to accuse you of, my dear, if I must give into your moving whimsy. You are every thing I wish you to be. But for the last month you have seemed to be uneasy, and have not done me the justice to acquaint me with your reasons for it.'
• I was in hopes my reasons might have proved to be no reasons; and I would not trouble
with my ungrounded apprehensions. But now, Sir, we are come directly to the point ; and methinks I stand here as Paul before Felix ;
and, like that poor prisoner, if I, Sir, reason of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, even to make you, as the great Felix did, tremble, don't put me off to another day, to a more convenient season, as that governor
did Paul ; for
you must bear patiently with all I have to say.' * Strange, uncommon girl! how unaccountable is all this !--Pr'ythee, my dear, and he pulled a chair by him, 'come and sit down by me, and without these romantic airs let me hear all you
have to say; and tease me not with this parade.' No, Sir, let me stand, if you please, while I can stand; when I am weary, I will sit down at my bar. Now, Sir, since you are so good as to say, you have nothing but change of temper to accuse me of, I am to answer to that, and assign a cause ; and I will do it without evasion or reserve: but I beseech you say not one word, but Yes or No, to my questions, till I have said all I have to say, and then you shall find me all silence and resignation. Well, my strange dear !-But sure your
head is a little turned !-What is your question ? "Whether, Sir, the Nun-1 speak boldly; the case requires it-who followed you at the Masquerade every where, is not the Countess of? What then, my dear?'-(speaking with quickness) I thought the occasion of your sullenness and reserve was this !-But, Pamela'Nay, Sir,' interrupted I, only Yes or No if you please ; I will be all silence by-and-by. Yes, then.' Well, Sir, then let me tell you, for I ask you not, it may be too bold in me to multiply questions) that she loves you ; that you correspond by letters with her-Yes, Sir, before that letter from her ladyship came, which you received from my hand in so short and angry a manner, for fear I should have had a curiosity to see its contents, which would have been inexcusable in me, I own, if I had. You have talked over to her all your polygamy notions, and her ladyship seems so well convinced of them, that she has declared to her noble uncle, (who expostulated with her on the occasions she gave for talk) that she had rather be a certain gentleman's second wife, than the first to the greatest man in England: and you are but just returned from a journey to Tunbridge, in which that lady was a party ; and the motive for it, I am acquainted with, by a letter here in
hand.' He was displeased and frowned : I looked down, being resolved not to be terrified if I could help it. I have cau. tioned you, Pamela— 'I know you have, Sir,' interrupted I; ' but be pleased to answer me. Has not the Countess
taken a house or lodgings at Tunbridge?' She has :-and what then ? * And is her ladyship there or in town?' * There—and what then?' 'Are you to go to Tunbridge, Sir, soon, or not ?-Be pleased to answer me but that one question.' 'I will know, rising up in anger; ‘ your
• Dear Sir, so you shall, in proper time : you shall know all, as soon as I am convinced, that your wrath will not be attended with bad consequences to yourself and others. That is wholly the cause of my reserve in this point; for I have not a thought, and never had, since I have been yours, that I wish to be concealed from you. But, dear Sir, your knowledge of the informants make nothing at all as to the truth of the information-Nor will I press you too home. I doubt not, you are soon to go down to Tunbridge again.' I am, and what then ?- Must the consequence be crime enough to warrant your jealousy?'
Dear Sir, don't be so very angry,' still looking down; for I durst not trust myself to look up. “I don't do this as you charged me in your letter, in a spirit of matrimonial recrimination : if you don't tell me, that you see the Countess with pleasure, I ask it not of you ; nor have I any thing to say by way of upbraiding. 'T'is my misfortune, that she is too lovely, and too attractive: and it is the less wonder that a fine young gentleman as you are, and a fine young lady as she is, should engage one another's affections. thing, except what this letter, which you shall read presently, communicates, when you brought the two noble sisters to visit me: hence proceeded my grief; and should I, Sir, have deserved to be what I am, if I was not grieved? Religion has helped me, and God has answered my supplications, and enabled me to act this new and uncommon part before you at this imaginary bar. You shall see, Sir, that as, on one hand, I want not, as I said before, to move your passions in my favour; so, on the other, I shall not be terrified by your displeasure, dreaded by me as it used to be, and as it will be again, the moment that my raised spirits sink down to their usual level, or are diverted from this my long meditated purpose, to tell you all my mind. I repeat then, Sir, that I knew all this, when the two noble sisters came to visit your poor girl, and to see your Billy. Yet, grave as the Countess called me, (dear Sir! might I not well be grave, knowing what I knew ?) did I betray any impatience of speech or action, or any discomposure?' No Sir, patting my hand on my breast, herè all my discomposạre lay, struggling, ve.
I knew every
hemently struggling, now-and-then, and wanting that vent of my eyes, which it seems (overcome by my joy, to hear myself favourably spoken of by you and the lady) it too soon made itself. But I could not help it-You might have seen, Sir, I could not. But I want neither to recriminate or expostulate ; nor yet, Sir, to form excuses for my general conduct; for that you accuse not in the main—but be pleased, Sir, to read this letter. It was brought by the penny-post, as you'll see by the mark. Who the writer is, I know not. And did you, Sir, that knowledge, and your resentment upon it, will not alter the fact, or give it a more favourable appearance.'
I stepped to him, and giving him the letter, came back to my bar, and sat down on one of the chairs while he read it, drying my eyes ; for they would overflow as I talked, do what I could. He was much moved at the contents of this letter : called it damned malice, and hoped he might find out the author of it, saying he would advertise 500 guineas reward for the discoverer. He put the letter in his pocket. •Well, Pamela, you believe all that you have said, no doubt; and this matter has a black appearance, indeed, if you But who was your first informant ?—Was that by letter or personally ? That damned Turner, I doubt not, is at the bottom of all this. The vain coxcomb has had the insolence to imagine the Countess would favour an address of his; and is enraged to meet with a repulse; and has taken liberties upon it, that have given birth to all the scandals which have been scattered about on this occasion. Nor do I doubt but he has been the Serpent at the ear of my Eve. I stood up at my bar, and said — Don't be too hasty, Sir, in your judgment-You may be mistaken.' But am I mistaken, Pamela ?—You never yet told me an untruth in cases the most important to you to conceal. Am I mistaken ?' • Dear Sir, if I should tell you it is not Mr Turner, you'll guess at somebody else: and what avails all this to the matter in hand ? You are your own master, and must stand or fall by your own conscience. God grant that that may acquit you !-But my intention is not either to accuse or upbraid you. • But, my dear, to the fact, then :- This is a malicious and a villanous piece of intelligence, given you, perhaps, for the sake of designs and views, that may not yet be proper to be avowed.' By God's grace, Sir, 1 defy all designs and views of any one upon my honour ! dear, the charge is basely false; we have not agreed upon