SCOTS
CMSW

Julia de Roubigné, Vol. 2

Author(s): Mackenzie, Henry

Text

JULIA DE ROUBIGNÉ,
A TALE.
IN A SERIES OF LETTERS.
VOL. II.
JULIA DE ROUBIGNÉ,
A TALE.
IN A SERIES OF LETTERS.
PUBLISHED BY
The AUTHOR of THE MAN OF FEELING,
and THE MAN OF THE WORLD.
VOLUME THE SECOND.
LONDON:
PRINTED FOR W. STRAHAN; AND
T. CADELL, IN THE STRAND.
MDCCLXXVII.
ADVERTISEMENT.
MY readers will eaſily perceive ſomething
particular, in the place where
the following letters of Savillon are found,
as they are manifeſtly of a date conſiderably
prior to many of the preceding.
They came to my hands, aſſorted in the
manner I have now publiſhed them,
probably from a view in my young friend,
who had the charge of their arrangement,
of keeping the correſpondence of Julia,
which communicated the great train of
her feelings on the ſubjects contained in
them, as much undivided as poſſible.
While I conjectured this reaſon for their
preſent order, I was aware of ſome advantage,
which theſe papers, as relating
a ſtory, might derive from an alteration
in that particular; but, after balancing
thoſe different conſiderations, without coming
to any deciſion, my indolence, perhaps
(a ſtronger motive with moſt men than
they are diſpoſed to allow), at length prevailed,
and I reſolved to give them to the
Public in the order they were tranſmitted
to me from France. Many of the particulars
they recount are anticipated by a
peruſal of the foregoing letters; but it is
not ſo much on ſtory, as ſentiment, that
their intereſt with the reader muſt depend.

JULIA
JULIA DE ROUBIGNÉ,
A TALE.
IN A SERIES OF LETTERS.
LETTER XXVI.
Savillon to Beauvaris.
AFTER a very unfavourable paſſage,
we are at laſt arrived at our deſtined
port. A ſhip is lying along-ſide of us,
ready to ſail for France, and every one
on board, who can write, is now writing
to ſome relation or friend, the hardſhips
of his voyage, and the period of his
arrival. How few has Savillon to greet
with tidings! to Roubigné I have already
written; to Beauvaris I am now
writing; and, when I have excepted
theſe, there is not in France a ſingle man,
to whom I am entitled to write. Yet I
mean not to claſs them together: to Roubigné
I owe the tribute of eſteem, the
debt of gratitude; for you I feel ſomething
tenderer than either. Roubigné
has been the guide, the father, of my
youth, and him I reverence as a parent:
you have been the friend, the brother,
of my ſoul, and with yours it mingles as
with a part of itſelf.
You remember the circumſtances of our
parting. You would not bid me adieu
till the ſhip was getting under way: I
believe you judged aright, if you meant
to ſpare us both: the buſtle of the ſcene,
the rattling of the ſails, the noiſe of the
ſailors, had a mechanical effect on the
mind, and ſtifled thoſe tender feelings,
which we indulge in ſolitude and ſilence.
When I went to bed, I had time to indulge
them. I found it vain to attempt
ſleeping, and ſcarcely wiſhed to ſucceed
in attempting it. About midnight I
aroſe, and went upon deck. The wind
had been fair all day, and we were then,
I ſuppoſe, more than thirty leagues from
the ſhore. I looked on the arch of heaven,
where the moon purſued her courſe
unclouded; and my ear caught no ſound,
except the ſtilly noiſe of the ſea around
me. I thought of my diſtance from
France as of ſome illuſive dream, and
could not believe, without an effort, that
it was not four and twenty hours ſince
we parted. I recollected a thouſand things
which I ſhould have ſaid to you, and
ſpoke them involuntarily in the ear of
night.
There was, my friend, there was one
thing, which I meant to have told you
at parting. Had you ſtaid a few moments
longer in the room after the
ſeaman called us, I ſhould have ſpoken
it then; but you ſhunned being alone
with me, and I could not command even
words enough, to tell you, that I wiſhed
to ſpeak with you in private. Hear it
now, and pity your Savillon.
Julia de Roubigné! — Did you feel that
name as I do! — Even traced with my
own pen, what throbbing remembrances
has it raiſed! — You are acquainted with
my obligations to her father: you have
heard me ſometimes talk of her; but you
know not, for I trembled to tell you,
the power ſhe has acquired over the heart
of your friend.
The fate of my father, as well mutual
inclination, made Roubigné his
friend; for this laſt is of a temper formed
rather to delight in the pride of aſſiſting
unfortunate worth, than in the joy of
knowing it in a better ſituation. After
the death of my father, I became the
ward of his friend's generoſity: a ſtate I
ſhould have brooked but ill, had not Julia
been his daughter. From thoſe early
days, when firſt I knew her, I remember
her friendſhip as making part of my
exiſtence: without her, pleaſure was
vapid, and ſorrow, in her ſociety, was
changed into enjoyment. At that time
of life, the mind has little reſerve. We
meant but friendſhip, and called it ſo
without alarm. The love, to which at
length I diſcovered my heart to be ſubject,
had conquered without tumult, and
become deſpotic under the ſemblance of
freedom.
The misfortunes of her family firſt
ſhewed me how I loved. — When her father
told them the ruined ſtate of his fortune,
when he prepared them for leaving
the now alienated ſeat of his anecſtors,
I was a ſpectator of the ſcene.
When I ſaw the old man, with indignant
pride, ſtifling the anguiſh of his
heart, and pointing to the chaiſe that
was to carry them from Belville, his
wife, with one hand claſping her huſband's,
the other laid on her boſom, turning
up to Heaven a look of reſignation;
his daughter, ſtriving to check her tears,
kneeling before him, and vowing her
duty to his misfortunes; then did I firſt
curſe my poverty, which prevented me
from throwing myfelf at her feet, and
bidding her parents be happy with their
Julia! — The luxury of the idea ſtill
ruſhes on my mind! — to heal the fortunes
of my father's friend; to juſtify
the ways of Heaven to his ſaint-like wife;
to wipe the tears from the eyes of his
angel daughter! — Beauvaris, our philoſophy
is falſe: power and wealth are
the choiceſt gifts of heaven: to poſſeſs
them indeed, is nothing, but thus to uſe
them, is rapture!
I had them not thus to uſe; but what
I could, I did. I attended his family
that ancient manſion, which was now
ſole property of the once opulent Roubigné.
With unwearied attention I ſoothed
his ſorrows, and humbled myſelf before
his misfortunes, as much as I had
formerly reſiſted dependence on his proſperity.

He felt the aſſiduity of my friendſhip,
and I ſaw him grateful for its exertion;
yet would the idea of being obliged, often
rankle in his mind; and I have ſeen him
frequently look at me with an appearance
of anger, when he thought I was conſcious
of obliging him.
Far different was the gentle nature of
his daughter. She thanked me with unfeigned
gratitude for my ſervices to her
father, and ſeemed ſolicitous to compenſate
with her ſmiles, for that want of.
acknowledgment ſhe obferved in him.
Had my heart been free before, it was
impoſſible to preſerve its freedom now.
A ſpectator of all thoſe excellencies which,
though ſhe ever poſſeſſed, her preſent
ſituation alone could give full room to
exert; all that ſublimity of mind, which
bore adverſity unmoved; all that gentleneſs,
which contrived to lighten it to her
father, and ſmooth the rankling of his
haughty ſoul! I applauded the election I
had made, and looked on my love as a
virtue.
Yet there were moments of anxiety,
in which I feared the conſequences of
indulging this attachment. My own ſituation,
the ſituation of Julia, the pride
of her father, the pride which it was
proper for herſelf to feel: all theſe were
preſent to my view, and ſhewed me how
little I could build on hope; yet it cheated
me, I know not how, and I dreamed,
from day to day, of bleſſings, which every
day's reflection told me were not to be
looked for.
There was, indeed, ſomething in the
ſcene around us, formed to crate those
romantic illuſions. The retreat of Roubigné
is a venerable pile, the remains of
ancient Gothic magnificence, and the
grounds adjoining to it are in that style
of melancholy grandeur, which marks
the dwellings of our forefathers. One
part of that ſmall eſtate, which is ſtill
the appendage of this once-reſpectable
manſion, is a wild and rocky dell, where
taſteleſs wealth has never warred on nature,
nor even elegance refined or embelliſhed
her beauties. The walks are
only worn by the tread of the ſhepherds,
and the banks only ſmoothed by the feeding
of their flocks. There, too dangerous
ſociety! have I paſſed whole days
with Julia: there, more dangerous ſtill!
have I paſſed whole days in thinking of
her.
A circumſtance, trifling in itſelf, added
not a little to the faſcination of the
reſt. The ſame good woman who nurſed
me, was alſo the nurſe of Julia. She was
too fond of her foſter-daughter, and too
well treated by her, ever to leave the
fortunes of her family. To this reſidence
ſhe attended them when they left Belville,
and here too, as at that place, had a
ſmall houſe and garden allotted her. It
was ſituated at the extreme verge of that
dell I have deſcribed, and was often the
end of thoſe walks we took through it together.
The good Laſune, for that is
our nurſe's name, conſidered us her children,
and treated us, in thoſe viſits to her
little dwelling, with that ſimplicity of affection,
which has the moſt powerful effect
on hearts of ſenſibility. Oh! Beauvaris!
methinks I ſee the figure of Laſune,
at this moment, pointing out to
your friend, with rapture in her countenance,
the beauties of her lovely daughter!
She places our ſeats together; ſhe
produces her ſhining platters, with fruit
and milk, for our repaſt; ſhe preſſes the
ſmiling Julia, and will not be denied by
Savillon! — Am I then a thouſand leagues
diſtant?
Does Julia remember Savillon? — Should
I hope that ſhe does? — My friend, I will
confeſs my weakneſs; perhaps, it is worſe
than weakneſs; I have wiſhed — I have
hoped, that I am not indifferent to her.
Often have I been on the point of unloading
my throbbing heart, of telling her
how paſſionately I loved, of aſking her
forgiveneſs for my preſumption. I have
thought, perhaps, it was vanity, that
at ſome ſeaſons ſhe might have anſwered
and bleſſed me; but I ſaw the conſequences
which would follow to both, and
had fortitude enough to reſiſt the impulſe.
— A time may come, when better
fortune ſhall entitle me to ſpeak; when
the pride of Roubigné may not bluſh to
look on Savillon as his ſon.
But this is the language of viſionary
hope! In the mean time, I am torn from
her, from France, from every connection
my heart had formed; caſt, like a
ſhipwrecked thing, on the other ſide of
the Atlantic, amidſt a deſert, of all
others, the moſt dreadful, the deſert of
ſociety, with which no ſocial tie unites
me! — Where now are Roubigné's little
copſes, where his winding walks, his
nameleſs rivulets? Where the ivy'd gate
of his venerable dwelling, the Gothic
windows of his echoing hall? — That
morning, on which I ſet out for Paris,
is ſtill freſh on my memory. I could not
bear the formality of parting, and ſtole
from his houſe by day-break. As I
paſſed that hall, the door was open; I
entered to take one laſt look, and bid it
adieu! I had ſat in it with Julia the
night before; the chairs we had occupied
were ſtill in their places; you know
not, my friend, what I felt at the ſight:
there was ſomething in the ſilent attitude
of thoſe very chairs, that wrung
my heart beyond the power of language;
and, I believe, the ſervant had told me
that my horſes waited, five or ſix times
over, before I could liſten to what he
ſaid.
A gentleman has ſent to aſk, if my
name is Savillon: if it is, he deſires
his compliments, and will do himſelf
the pleaſure of waiting of me. I ſtarted
to hear my name thus aſked for in Martinique.

This gentleman is a ſea-captain, a
particular acquaintance of my uncle
he is more, Beauvaris, he is an acquaintance
of Roubigné, has been often at Belville,
has ſometimes ſeen my Julia. —
We are intimate already, and he has offered
to conduct me to my uncle's houſe;
his horſes, he ſays, are in waiting.
Adieu, my deareſt friend! think of
me often; write to me often; though
you ſhould ſeldom have an opportunity
of conveying letters, yet write as if you
had; make a journal of intelligence,
and let it come when it may. Tell me
every thing, though I ſhould aſk nothing.
Your letters muſt give me back
my country, and nothing is a trifle that
belongs to her.
LETTER. XXVII.
Savillon to Beauvaris.
IT is now a week ſince I reached my
uncle's, during all which time I have
been ſo much occupied in anſwering queſtions
to the curioſity of others, or aſking
queſtions for the ſatisfaction of my own,
that I have ſcarce had a moment left for
any other employment.
I have now ſeized the opportunity of
the reſt of the family being ſtill a-bed,
to write to you an account of this uncle,
of him under whoſe protection I am to
riſe into life, under whoſe guidance I am
to thrid the mazes of the world. I fear
am unfit for the talk: I muſt unlearn
feelings in which I have long been accuſtomed
to delight: I muſt accommodate
ſentiment to conveniency, pride to
intereſt, and ſometimes even virtue itſelf
to faſhion.
But is all this abſolutely neceſſary? —
I hate to believe it. I have been frequently
told ſo indeed, but my authorities are
drawn either from men who have never
entered the ſcene at all, or entered it, reſolved
to be overcome, without the trouble
of reſiſtance. To think too meanly
of mankind is dangerous to our reverence
of virtue.
It is ſuppoſed, that in theſe wealthy
iſlands, profit is the only medium of opinion,
and that morality has nothing to
do in the ſyſtem; but I cannot eaſily imagine
that, in any latitude, the boſom is ſhut
to thoſe pleaſures which reſult from the
exerciſe of goodneſs, or that honeſty ſhould
be always ſo unſucceſsful as to have the
ſneer of the million againſt it. Men will
not be depraved beyond the perſuaſion of
ſome motive, and ſelf-intereſt will often
be the parent of ſocial obligation.
My uncle is better fitted for judging
of this queſtion; he is cool enough to
judge of it from experience, without
being miſled by feeling. — He believes
there are many more honeſt dealings than
honeſt men, but that there are more honeſt
men than knaves every where; that-common
ſenſe will keep them ſo, even excluſive
of principle; but that all may be
vanquiſhed by adequate temptation.
With a competent ſhare of plain uſeful
parts, and a certain ſteady application of
mind, he entered into commerce at an early
period of life. Not apt o be ſeduced by
the glare of great apparent advantage,
nor eaſily intimidated from his purpoſes
by accidental diſappointment, he has held
on, with ſome viciſſitude of fortune, but
with uniform equality of temper, till, in
virtue of his abilities, his diligence, and
his obſervation, he has acquired very
conſiderable wealth. He ſtill, however,
continues the labour of the race, though
he has already reached the goal; not becauſe
he is covetous of greater riches,
but becauſe the induſtry, by which
greater riches are acquired, is grown neceſſary
to his enjoyment of life. "I have
been long, ſaid he yeſterday, a very happy
man; having had a little leſs time,
and a little more money, than I know
what to make of."
The opinion of the world he,truſts
but little, in his judgment of others; of
men's actions he ſpeaks with caution,
either in praiſe or blame, and is commonly
moſt ſceptical, when thoſe around him
are moſt convinced: for it is a maxim
with him, in queſtions of character, to
doubt of ſtrong evidence, from the very
circumſtance of its ſtrength.
With regard to himſelf, however, he
accepts of the common opinion, as a
ſort of coin, which paſſes current, though
it is not always real, and often ſeems to
yield up the conviction of his own mind
in compliance to the general voice.
Ever averſe to ſplendid project in action,
or ſplendid conjecture in argument, he
contents himſelf with walking in the
beaten track of things, and does not even
venture to leave it, though he may, now
and then, obſerve it making ſmall deviations
from reaſon and juſtice. He has
ſometimes, ſince our acquaintance began,
tapped me on the ſhoulder, in the midſt
of ſome ſentiment I was uttering, and told
me, with a ſmile, that theſe were fine
words, and did very well in the mouth of
a young man. Yet he ſeems not diſpleaſed
with my feeling what himſelf
does not feel; and looks on me with the
more favourable eye, that I have ſomething
about me for experience and obſervation
to prune.
His plan of domeſtic economy is regular
but nobody is diſturbed by its regularity;
for he is perfectly free from
that rigid attention to method, which one
frequently ſees in the houſes of old batchelors.
He has ſenſe, or ſang-froid
enough, not to be troubled with little
diſarrangements, and bears, with wonderful
complacency, and conſequently with
great eaſe to gueſts, thoſe accidents which
diſturb the peace of other entertainments.
Since my arrival, we have had every day
ſomething like a feaſt, probably from a
ſort of compliment which his friend
meant to pay to him and to me; but at
his table, in its moſt elevated ſtyle, the
government is nearly republican; he aſſumes
very little, either of the trouble, or
the dignity of a landlord, ſatisfied with
giving a general aſſurance of welcome
and good-humour in his aſpect.
At one of thoſe dinners was a neighbour
and intimate acquaintance of my
uncle, a Mr. Dorville, with his wife and
daughter. The young lady was ſeated
next me, and my uncle ſeemed to incline
that I ſhould be particularly pleaſed with
her. He addreſſed ſuch diſcourſe to her
as might draw her forth to the greateſt
advantage; and, as he had heard me profeſs
myfelf a lover of muſic, he made
her ſing, after dinner, till, I believe,
ſome of the company began to be tired
of their entertainment. After they were
gone, he aſked my opinion of Mademoiſelle
Dorville, in that particular ſtyle
by which a man gives you to underſtand,
that his own is a very favourable one. To
ſay truth, the lady's appearance is in her
favour; but there is a jealous ſort of
feeling, which ariſes in my mind, when,
I hear the praiſes of any woman but one;
and, from that cauſe perhaps, I anſwered
my uncle rather coldly. I ſaw he thought
ſo, from the reply he made; I offered
ſome aukward apology; he ſmiled, and
ſaid, I was a philoſopher. Alas! he
knows not how little claim I have to philoſophy
in that way; if, indeed, we are ſo
often to profane that word, by affixing
to it the idea of inſenſibility.
To-day I begin buſineſs. My uncle
and I are to view his different plantations,
and he is to ſhew me, in general, the
province he means to allot me. I wiſh
for an opportunity to be aſſiduous in his
ſervice: till I can do ſomething on my
part, his favours are debts upon me.
It is only to a friend, like my Beauvaris,
that one feels a pleaſure in being obliged.

LETTER XXVIII.
Savillon to Beauvaris.
A Thouſand thanks for your laſt letter.
When you know how much I en
joyed the unwieldy appearance of the
packet, with my friend's hand on the
back of it, you will not grudge the time
it coſt you. It is juſt ſuch as I wiſhed;
your ſcene-painting is delightful. No
man is more ſuſceptible of local attachments
than I; and, with the Atlantic
between, there is not a ſtone in France,
which I can remember with indifference.
Yet I am happier here than I could
venture to expect. Had I been left to
my own choice, I ſhould probably have
ſat down in ſolitude, to think of the paſt,
and enjoy my reflections; but I have been
forced to do better. There is an active
duty, which rewards every man in the
performance; and my uncle has ſo contrived
matters, that I have had very little
time unemployed. He has been liberal
of inſtruction, and, I hope, has found
me willing to be inſtructed. Our buſineſs,
indeed, is not very intricate; but,
in the ſimpleſt occupations, there are a
thouſand little circumſtances, which experience
alone can teach us. In certain
departments, however, I have tried projects
of my own: ſome of them have
failed in the end, but all gave me pleaſure
in the purſuit. In one I have been
ſucceſsful beyond expectation; and in
that one I was the moſt deeply intereſted,
becauſe it touched the cauſe of humanity.

To a man not callous from habit, the
treatment of the negroes, in the plantations
here, is ſhocking. I felt it ſtrongly,
and could not forbear expreſſing my ſentiments
to my uncle. He allowed them
to be natural, but pleaded neceſſity, in
juſtification of thoſe ſeverities, which his
overſeers ſometimes uſed towards his
ſlaves. I ventured to doubt this propoſition,
and begged he would ſuffer me to
try a different mode of government in
one plantation, the produce of which he
had already allotted to my management.
He conſented, though with the belief
that I ſhould ſucceed very ill in the experiment.

I began by endeavouring to ingratiate
myſelf with ſuch of the ſlaves as could
beſt ſpeak the language of my country;
but I found this was a manner they did.
not underſtand, and that, from a white,
the appearance of indulgence carried the
ſuſpicion of treachery. Moſt of them,
to whom rigour had become habitual,
took the advantage of its remitting, to
neglect their work altogether; but this
only ſerved to convince me, that my
plan was a good one, and that I ſhould
undoubtedly profit, if I could eſtabliſh
ſome other motive, whoſe impulſe was
more ſteady than thoſe of puniſhment
and terror.
By continuing the mildneſs of my conduct,
I at laſt obtained a degree of willingneſs
in the ſervice of ſome; and I was
ſtill induced to believe, that the moſt
ſavage and ſullen among them had principles
of gratitude, which a good maſter
might improve to his advantage.
One ſlave, in particular, had for ſome
time attracted my notice, from that
gloomy fortitude, with which he bore
the hardſhips of his ſituation. Upon
inquiring of the overſeer, he told me,
that this ſlave, whom he called Yambu,
though, from his youth and appearance
of ſtrength, he had been accounted valuable,
yet, from the untractable ſtubbornneſs
of his diſpoſition, was worth
leſs money than almoſt any other in my
uncle's poſſeſſion. This was a language
natural to the overſeer. I anſwered him,
in his own ſtyle, that I hoped to improve
his price ſome hundreds of livres. On
being further informed, that ſeveral of
his fellow-ſlaves had come from the ſame
part of the Guinea coaſt with him, I ſent
for one of them who could ſpeak tolerable
French, and queſtioned him about
Yambu. He told me, that, in their
own country, Yambu was maſter of them
all; that they had been taken priſoners
when fighting in his cauſe, by another
prince, who, in one battle, was more fortunate
than theirs; that he had ſold them
to ſome white men, who came, in a great
ſhip, to their coaſt; that they were afterwards
brought hither, where other white
men purchaſed them from the firſt, and
ſet them to work where I ſaw them; but
that, when they died, and went beyond
the Great Mountains, Yambu ſhould be
their maſter again.
I diſmiſſed the negro, and called this
Yambu before me.
When he came, he ſeemed to regard
me with an eye of perfect indifference.
One who had inquired no further, would
have concluded him poſſeſſed of that
ſtupid inſenſibility, which Europeans often
mention as an apology for their cruelties.
I took his hand; he conſidered
this a prologue to chaſtiſement, and turned
his back to receive the laſhes he ſuppoſed
me ready to inflict. "I wiſh to be
the friend of Yambu," ſaid I. He made
me no anſwer: I let go his hand, and
he ſuffered it to drop to its former poſture.
"Can this man have been a prince
in Africa?" ſaid I to myſelf. — I reflected
for a moment. — "Yet what ſhould he
now do, if he has? — Juſt what I ſee him
do. I have ſeen a depoſed ſovereign at
Paris; but in Europe, kings are artificial
beings, like their ſubjects. — Silence is the
only throne which adverſity has left to
princes."
I fear, (ſaid I to him) you have been
ſometimes treated harſhly by the overſeer;
but you ſhall be treated ſo no more:
I wiſh all my people to be happy." He
looked on me now for the firſt time. —
"Can you ſpeak my language, or ſhall
I call for ſome of your friends who can
explain what you would ſay to me?" —
"I ſpeak no ſay to you," he replied in
his broken French. — "And you will not
be my friend?" — "No." — "Even if I
ſhould deſerve it." — "You a white man."
— I felt the rebuke as I ought. — "But
all white men are not overſeers. What
ſhall I do to make you think me a good
man?" — "Uſe men goodly." — "I mean
to do ſo, and you among the firſt, Yambu."
— "Be good for Yambu's people;
do your pleaſe with Yambu."
Juſt then the bell rung as a ſummons
for the negroes to go to work: he made
a few ſteps towards the door. "Would
you now go to work (ſaid I), if you were
at liberty to avoid it?" — "You make
go for whip, and no man love go." —
"I will go along with you, though I
am not obliged; for I chuſe to work ſometimes,
rather than be idle." — "Chuſe
work, no work at all," ſaid Yambu. —
'Twas the very principle on which my
ſyſtem was founded.
I took him with me into the houſe
when our taſk was over. "I wrought
chuſe-work (ſaid I), Yambu, yet I did
leſs than you?" — "Yambu do chuſework
then too?" — "You ſhall do ſo always,
anſwered I: from this moment you
are mine no more!" — "You ſell me
other white men then?" — "No, you are
free, and may do whatever you pleaſe!" —
"Yambu's pleaſe no here, no this country?"
he replied, waving his hand, and
looking wiſtfully towards the ſea. — "I
cannot give you back your country,
Yambu; but I can make this one better
for you. You can make it better for me
too, and for your people!" — "Speak
Yambu that (ſaid he eagerly), and be
good man!" — "You would not (ſaid I)
make your people work by the whip, as
you ſee the overſeers do?" — "Oh! no,
no whip!" — "Yet they muſt work, elſe
we ſhall have no ſugars to buy them meat
and clothing with." — (He put his hand
to his brow, as if I had ſtarted a difficulty
he was unable to overcome.)—
"Then you ſhall have the command of
them, and they ſhall work chuſe-work
for Yambu." — He looked aſkance, as
if he doubted the truth of what I ſaid;
I called the negro with whom I had the
firſt converſation about him, and, pointing
to Yambu, "Your maſter (ſaid I)
is now free, and may leave you when he
pleaſes!" — "Yambu no leave you," ſaid
he to the negro warmly. — "But he may
accompany Yambu if he chuſes." —
Yambu ſhook his head. — "Maſter, (ſaid
his former ſubject), where we go? leave
good white man, and go to bad; for
much bad white men in this country."
— "Then if you think it better, you
ſhall, both ſtay; Yambu ſhall be my
friend, and help me to raiſe ſugars for
the good of us all: you ſhall have no
overſeer but Yambu, and ſhall work no
more than he bids you?" — The negro
fell at my feet, and kiſſed them: Yambu
ſtood ſilent, and I ſaw a tear on his
cheek. — "This man has been a prince in
Africa!" ſaid I to myſelf.
I did not mean to deceive them. Next
morning I called thoſe negroes who had
formerly been in his ſervice together, and
told them that, while they continued in
the plantation, Yambu was to ſuperintend
their work; that, if they choſe to
leave him and me, they were at liberty
to go; and that, if found idle or unworthy,
they ſhould not be allowed to ſtay.
He has, accordingly, ever ſince had the
command of his former ſubjects, and
ſuperintended their work in a particular
quarter of the plantation; and, having
been declared free, according to the mode
preſcribed by the laws of the iſland, has
a certain portion of ground allotted him,
the produce of which is his property. I
have had the ſatisfaction of obſerving
thoſe men, under the feeling of good
treatment, and the idea of liberty, do
more than almoſt double their number
ſubject to the whip of an overſeer. I am
under no apprehenſion of deſertion or
mutiny; they work with the willingneſs
of freedom, yet are mine with more than
the obligation of ſlavery.
I have been often tempted to doubt
whether there is not an error in the whole
plan of negro ſervitude, and whether
whites, or creoles born in the Weſt-Indies,
or perhaps cattle, after the manner of
European huſbandry, would not do the
buſineſs better and cheaper than the
ſlaves do. The money which the latter
coſt at firſt, the ſickneſs (often owing
to deſpondency of mind) to which they
are liable after their arrival, and the proportion
that die in conſequence of it,
make the machine, if it may be ſo called,
of a plantation extremely expenſive
in its operations. In the liſt of ſlaves
belonging to a wealthy planter, it would
aſtoniſh you to ſee the number unfit for
ſervice, pining under diſeaſe, a burden
on their maſter. — I am talking only as a
merchant: — but as a man — good Heavens!
when I think of the many thouſands
of my fellow-creatures groaning
under ſervitude and miſery — Great
God! haſt thou peopled thoſe regions of
thy world for the purpoſe of calling out
their inhabitants to chains and torture?
— No; thou gaveſt them a land teeming
with good things, and lighted'ſt up thy
ſun to bring forth ſpontaneous plenty;
but the refinements of man, ever at war
with thy works, have changed this ſcene
of profuſion and luxuriance, into a theatre
of rapine, of ſlavery, and of murder!
Forgive the warmth of this apoſtrophe;
here it would not be underſtood; even
my uncle, whoſe heart is far from a hard
one, would ſmile at my romance, and
tell me that things muſt be ſo. Habit,
the tyrant of nature and of reaſon, is
deaf to the voice of either; here ſhe
ſtifles humanity, and debaſes the ſpecies
— for the maſter of ſlaves has ſeldom
the ſoul of a man.
This is not difficult to be accounted
for; from his infancy he is made callous
to thoſe feelings, which ſoften at once
and ennoble our nature. Children muſt
of neceſſity firſt exert thoſe towards domeſtics,
becauſe the ſociety of domeſtics
is the firſt they enjoy; here they are
taught to command for the ſake of commanding,
to beat and torture for pure
amuſement; — their reaſon and good-nature
improve as may be expected.
Among the legends of a European
nurſery, are ſtories of captives delivered,
of ſlaves releaſed, who had pined for
years in the durance of unmerciful enemies.
Could we ſuppoſe its infant audience
tranſported to the ſea-ſhore, where
a ſhip laden with ſlaves is juſt landing;
the queſtion would be univerſal, "Who
ſhall ſet theſe poor people free?" — The
young Weſt-Indian aſks his father to buy
a boy for him, that he may have ſomething
to vent his ſpite on when he is
peeviſh.
Methinks too, theſe people loſe a ſort
of connexion which is of more importance
in life than moſt of the relationſhips
we enjoy. The ancient, the tried domeſtic
of a family, is one of its moſt
uſeful members, one of its moſt aſſured
ſupports. My friend, the ill-fated Roubigné,
has not one relation who has ſtood
by him in the ſhipwreck of his fortunes
but the ſtorm could not ſever from their
maſter his faithful Le Blanc, or the venerable
Laſune.
Oh Beauvaris! I ſometimes ſit down
alone, and tranſporting myſelf into the
little circle at Roubigné's, grow ſick of
the world, and hate the part which I am
obliged to perform in it.
LETTER XXIX.*
Savillon to Beauvaris.
SINCE the date of my laſt is a longer
period than you allow between my
letters; but my time has been more than
commonly occupied of late. Among
other employments was that of acquiring
a friend. Be not, however, jealous: my
heart cannot own a ſecond in the ſame
* It is proper to apologize to the reader for introducing
a letter ſo purely epiſodical. I might tell him
that it is not altogether unneceſſary, as it introduces
to his acquaintance a perſon, whoſe correſpondent
Savillon becomes at a future period; but I muſt once
more reſort to an egotiſm for the true reaſon: the
picture it exhibited pleaſed myſelf, and I could not
reſiſt the deſire of communicating it.
degree with Beauvaris; yet is this one
above the level of ordinary men. He
enjoys alſo that privilege which misfortune
beſtows on the virtuous.
Among thoſe, with whom my uncle's
extenſive dealings have connected him,
he had mentioned, with particular commendation,
one Herbert, an Engliſhman,
a merchant in one of the Britiſh Weſt--
India iſlands. Chance brought him lately
to Martinique, and I was ſolicitous to
ſhew every poſſible civility to one, who,
to the claim of a ſtranger, added the
character of a worthy and amiable man.
Prepoſſeſſed as I was in his favour, my
expectations fell ſhort of the reality. I
diſcovered in him a delicacy and fineneſs
of ſentiment, which ſomething beyond
the education of a trader muſt have inſpired;
and I looked on him perhaps with
the greater reverence, from the circumſtance
of having found him in a ſtation
where I did not expect he would be found.
On a cloſer inveſtigation, I perceived a
tincture of melancholy enthuſiaſm in his
mind, which, I was perſuaded, was not
altogether owing to the national character,
but muſt have ariſen from ſome particular
cauſe. This increaſed my regard
for him; and I could not help expreſſing
it in the very ſtyle which was ſuited to its
object, a quiet and ſtill attention, ſympathetic
but not intruſive. He ſeemed
to take notice of my behaviour, and
looked as if he had found a perſon, who
gueſſed him to be unhappy, and to whom
he could talk of his unhappineſs. I encouraged
the idea with that diffidence,
which, I believe, is of all manners the
moſt intimate with a mind of the ſort I
have deſcribed; and, ſoon after, he took
an opportunity of telling me the ſtory of
his misfortunes.
It was ſimple, but not the leſs pathetic.
Inheriting a conſiderable fortune
from his father, he let out in trade with
every advantage. Soon after he was ſettled
in buſineſs, he married a beautiful
and excellent woman, for whom, from
his infancy, he had conceived the tendereſt
attachment; and, about a year after
their marriage, ſhe bleſſed him with a
ſon. But love and fortune did not long
continue to ſmile upon him. Loſſes in
trade, to which, though benevolence like
his be more expoſed, the moſt prudent
and unfeeling are liable, reduced him,
from his former affluence, to very embarraſſed
circumſtances; and his diſtreſs was
aggravated from the conſideration, that
he did not ſuffer alone, but communicated
misfortune to a woman he paſſionately
loved. Some very conſiderable debts remained
due to him in the Weſt-Indies,
and he found it abſolutely neceſſary for
their recovery, to repair thither himſelf,
however terrible might be a ſeparation
from his wife, now in a ſituation of all
others the moſt ſuſceptible. They parted,
and ſhe was, ſoon after, delivered
of a girl, whoſe promiſing appearance
as well as that of her brother, was ſome
conſolation for the abſence of their father.
His abſence, though cruel, was neceſſary,
and he found his affairs in ſuch,
ſituation, that it promiſed not to be long.
Day after day, however, elapſed, without
their final ſettlement. The impatience
both of his wife and him was increaſed,
by the appearance of a concluſion, which
ſo repeatedly diſappointed them; till, at
laſt, he ventured to ſuggeſt, and ſhe
warmly approved, the expedient of coming
out to a huſband, whoſe circumſtances
prevented him from meeting her at home.
She ſet ſail with her children; but wife
nor children ever reached the unfortunate
Herbert! they periſhed in a ſtorm ſoon
after their departure from England.
You can judge of the feelings of a man,
who upbraided himſelf as their murderer.
An interval of madneſs, he informed me,
ſucceeded the account he received of
their death. When his reaſon returned,
it ſettled into a melancholy, which time
has ſoothed, not extinguiſhed, which
indeed ſeems to have become the habitual
tone of his mind. Yet is it gentle, though
deep, in its effects; it diſturbs not the
circle of ſociety around him, and few
except ſuch as are formed to diſcover and
to pity it, obſerve any thing peculiar in
his behaviour. But he holds it not the
leſs ſacred to himſelf; and often retires
from the company of thoſe, whom he has
entertained with the good-humour of a
well-bred man, to arrange the memorials
of his much-loved Emily, and call up
the ſad remembrance of his former joys.
Having acquired a ſort of privilege
with his diſtreſs, from my acquaintance
with its cauſe, I entred his room yeſterday,
when he had thus ſhut out the
world, and found him with ſome letters
on the table before him, on which he
looked, with a tear, not of anguiſh, but
of tenderneſs. I ſtopped ſhort on perceiving
him thus employed; he ſeemed unable
to ſpeak, but making a movement, as
if he deſired that I ſhould come forward,
put two of thoſe letters ſucceſſively into
my hand. They were written by his
wife: the firſt, ſoon after their marriage,
when ſome buſineſs had calied him
away from her into the country; and the
ſecond, addreſſed to him in the Weſt--
Indies, where, by that time, their ill--
fortune had driven him. They pleaſed
me ſo much, that I aſked his leave to
keep them for a day or two. He would
not abſolutely refuſe me; but ſaid they
had never been out of his poſſeſſion. I
preſſed him no further: I could only
read them over repeatedly, and ſome
parts, that ſtruck moſt forcibly on my
memory, which you know is pretty tenacious,
I can recollect almoſt verbatim.
To another, it might ſeem odd to write
ſuch things as theſe; but my Beauvaris
is never inattentive to the language of
nature, or the voice of misfortune.
In the firſt letter were the following
expreſſions.
"You know not what feelings are here,
at thus, for the firſt time, writing to my
Henry under the name of a huſband. — A
mixture of tenderneſs, of love, of eſteem,
confidence. A ſomething, never experienced
before, is ſo warm in my heart, that ſure
it is, at this moment, more worthy of his love
than ever. — Shall not this laſt, my Harry,
notwithſtanding what I have heard from the
ſcoffers among you men? I think it ſhall.
It is not a tumultuous tranſport, that muſt
ſuddenly diſappear; but the ſoft, ſtill pleaſure
of a happy mind, that can feel its
happineſs, and delight in its cauſe.
"I have had little company ſince you left
me, and I wiſh not for much. The idea of
my Henry is my beſt companion. I have figured
out your journey, your company, and
your buſineſs, and filled up my hours with
the picture of what they are to you."
* * * * * * * *
"John has juſt taken away my chicken:
you know he takes liberties. — "Dear
heart, a leg and wing only. — Betty ſays,
Madam, the cheeſecakes are excellent." — I
ſmiled at John's manner of preſſing, and
helped myſelf to a cheeſecake. The poor
fellow looked ſo happy — "My maſter will
ſoon return," ſaid he, by way of accounting
for my puny dinner. He ſet the wine upon
the table: I filled out half a glaſs, and
began to think of you; but, in carrying it
to my lips, I reproached myſelf that it was
not a bumper: that was remedied as it
should be. John, I believe, gueſſed at the
correction. — "God bleſs him!" I heard him
ſay, muttering as he put up the things
his baſket. — I ſent him down with the reſt
of the bottle, and they are now drinking
your health in the kitchen."
* * * * * * * * * *
"My couſin Harriet has come in to ſee
me, and is going on with the cap I was making
up, while I write this by her. She is
a better milliner than I, and would have
altered it ſomewhat; but I ſtuck to my
own way, for I heard you ſay you liked it
in that ſhape. — "It is not half ſo faſhionable,
indeed, my dear," ſaid Harriet; but
ſhe does not know the luxury of making up
a cap to pleaſe the huſband one loves. — This
is all very fooliſh: is it not? but I love to
tell you thoſe trifles: it is like having you
here. If you can, write me juſt ſuch
letter about you."
Of the other letter, I recollect ſome
paſſages, ſuch as theſe.
"Captain Lewſon has juſt now been with
me, but has brought no letter; and gives
for reaſon, your having written by a ſhip
that left the iſland but a few days before
him, meaning the Triton, by which I got
your laſt; but I beg to hear from you by
every opportunity, eſpecially by ſo friendly
a hand as Lewſon; it would endear a man,
to whom I have reaſon to be grateful, much
more to me, that he brought a few lines
from you. Think, my deareſt Harry, that
earing from you is all that your Emily has
now to expect, at leaſt for a long, long time.
"Perhaps, (as you ſometimes told me,
in former days, when, alas! we only talked
of misfortunes) we always think our preſent
calamity the bittereſt; yet, methinks,
our ſeparation is the only evil, for which
could not have found a comfort. In truth,
we were not unhappy: health and ſtrength
were left us: we could have done much
for one another, and for our dear little ones.
I fear, my love, you thought of me leſs
nobly, than I hope I deſerved: I was not to
be ſhocked by any retrenchment from our former
way of living: I could have born even
the. hardſhips of poverty, had it left me
my Harry."
* * * * * * * * *
"Your ſweetmeats arrived very ſafe under
the care of Captain Lewſon: the children
have profited by them, particularly
Billy, who has ſtill ſome remains of the
hooping-cough. He aſked me, if they did
not come from papa; and when, ſaid he,
will papa come himſelf? "Papa," cried my
little Emmy, who has juſt learned to liſp the
word. "She never ſaw papa, (replied
her brother) did ſhe, mamma?" — I could
not ſtand this prattle; my boy wept with
me for company's ſake!"
* * * * * * * * * *
"Emmy, they tell me, will be a beauty.
She has, to ſay truth, lovely dark blue eyes,
and a charming complexion. I think there
is ſomething of melancholy in her look; but
this may be only my fancy. Billy is quite
different, a bold ſpirited child; yet he is
remarkably attentive to every thing I endeavour
to teach him, and can read a little already,
with no other tutor than myſelf I
choſe this taſk, to amuſe my lonely hours;
for I make it a point of duty, to keep up my
ſpirits as well as I can. Sometimes, indeed
I droop in ſpite of me, eſpecially when you
ſeem to waver about the time of your return.
Think, my love, what riſks your health
runs for the ſake of thoſe riches, which are
of no uſe without it; and, after all, it is
chiefly in opinion, that their power of beſtowing
happineſs conſiſts. I am ſure, the
little parlour, in which I now write, is
more ſnug and comfortable, than the large
room we uſed to receive company in formerly;
and the plain meal, to which I ſit down
with my children, has more reliſh than the
formal dinners we were obliged to invite them
to. Return then, my deareſt Harry, from
thoſe fatigues and dangers, to which, by your
own account, you are obliged to be expoſed.
Return to your Emily's love, and the ſmiles
of thoſe little cherubs that wait your arrival."

Such was the wife whom Herbert loſt;
you will not wonder at his grief; yet
ſometimes, when the whole ſcene is before
me, I know not how, I almoſt envy
him his tears.
It is ſomething to endeavour to comfort
him. 'Tis perhaps a ſelfiſh movement
in our nature, to conceive an attachment
to ſuch a character; one that
throws itſelf on our pity by feeling its
diſtreſſes, is ever more beloved than that
which riſes above them. — I know, however,
without farther inquiry, that I feel
myſelf pleaſed with being the friend of
Herbert; would we were in France,
that I might make him the friend of
Beauvaris!
Your laſt mentions nothing of Roubigné,
or his family. I know he diſlikes
writing, and therefore am not ſurpriſed
at his ſilence to myſelf. You ſay, in a
former letter, you find it difficult to
hear of them; there is a young lady in
Paris, for whom the lovely Julia has
long entertained a very uncommon friendſhip;
her name is Roncilles, daughter
of the preſident Roncilles. — Yet, on ſecond
thoughts, I would not have you
viſit her, on purpoſe to make inquiry as
from me but you may fall on ſome
method of getting intelligence of them
in this line.
Do not let ſlip the opportunity of this
ſhip's return to write me fully; ſhe is
conſigned to a correſpondent of ours,
and particular care will be taken of my
letters. I think, if that had been the caſe
with the laſt that arrived here, I ſhould
have found one from you on board of
her. Think of me frequently, and write
me as often as our ſituation will allow.
LETTER XXX.
Savillon to Beauvaris.
Begin to ſuſpect that the ſenſibility, of
which young minds are proud, from
which they look down with contempt on
the unfeeling multitude of ordinary men,
is leſs a bleſſing than an inconvenience.
— Why cannot I be as happy as my uncle,
as Dorville, as all the other good people
around me — I eat, and drink, and ſing,
nay I can be merry, like them; but they
cloſe the account, and ſet down this mirth
for happineſs; I retire to the family of my
own thoughts, and find them in weeds
of ſorrow.
Herbert left this place yeſterday! the
only man beſides thee, whom my ſoul
can acknowledge as a friend And him,
perhaps, I ſhall ſee no more: And thee!
my heart droops at this moment, and I
could weep without knowing why. — Tell
me, as ſoon as poſſible, that you are well
and happy; there is, methinks, a languor
in your laſt letter — or is it but the
livery of my own imagination, which the
objects around me are conſtrained to
wear?
Herbert was a ſort of proxy for my
Beauvaris; he ſpoke from the feelings
of a heart like his. To him I could unboſom
mine, and be underſrood; for the
ſpeaking of a common language, is but
one requiſite towards the deareſt intercourſe
of ſociety. His ſorrows gave
him a ſacredneſs in my regard, that made
every endeavour to ſerve or oblige him,
like the performance of a religious duty;
there was a quiet ſatisfaction in it, which
calmed the rufflings of a ſometimes troubled
ſpirit, and reſtored me to peace
with myſelf.
He is ſailed for England, whither ſome
buſineſs, material to a friend of his much.
loved Emily, obliges him to return.
He yields to this, I perceive, as a duty
he thinks himſelf bound to diſcharge,
though the ſight of his native country,
ſpoiled as it is of thoſe bleſſings which it
once poſſeſſed for him, muſt be no eaſy
trial of his fortitude. He talks of leaving
it as ſoon as this affair will allow him,
not to return to the Weſt-Indies (for of
his buſineſs there he is now independent),
but to travel through ſome parts of Europe,
which the employments of his
younger years prevented him from viſiting
at an early period of life. If he goes
to Paris, he has promiſed me to call on
you. — Could I be with you! — What a
thought is there! — but I ſhall not be forgotten
at the interview.
I have juſt received yours of the third
of laſt month. I muſt ſtill complain of
its ſhortneſs, though I dare not quarrel
with it, as it aſſures me of your welfare.
But get rid, I pray you, of that very bad
practice, of ſuppoſing things unimportant
at Martinique, becauſe you think them
ſo at Paris. Give me your intelligence,
and allow me to be the judge of its conſequence.

You are partial to your friend, when
you write in ſuch high terms, of his treatment
of Yambu. We think but ſeldom
of thoſe things which habit has made
common, otherwiſe we ſhould correct
many of them; there needed only to give
one's feelings room on this theme, and
they could prompt no other conduct than
mine. Your approbation, however, is
not loſt upon me; the beſt of our reſolutions
are bettered, by a conſciouſneſs
the ſuffrage of good men in their favour;
and the reward is ſtill higher, when that
ſuffrage is from thoſe we love.
My uncle has ſent for me, to help him
to entertain ſome company who are juſt
arrived here. He knows not what a
train of thinking, he calls me from — I
have a little remembrancer, Beauvaris,
a picture, which has hung at my boſom
for ſome years paſt, that ſpeaks ſuch
things! —
The ſervant again! — — Mademoiſelle
Dorville is below, and I muſt come immediately.
— Well then — It will be difficult
for me to be civil to her — yet the
girl deſerves politeneſs. — But that picture!

* * * * * * * * *
LETTER XXXI.
Savillon to Beauvaris.
YOU ſay the letter, to which your
laſt was an anſwer, was written
low ſpirits; I confeſs I am not always
in high ones; not even now, though
am juſt returned from a little feaſt, when
there was much mirth, and excellent
wine. It was a dinner given by Dorville,
on occaſion of his daughter's birth
day, to which my uncle and I, among
other of his friends, had been long invited.
The old gentleman diſplayed
his wealth, and all his wit, in entertaining
us; ſome of us thanked him for neither,
though every one's complaiſance obliged
them to eat of his dainties, and laugh at
his jeſts.
It is after ſuch a ſcene, that one is
often in a date the moſt ſtupid of any.
The aſſumption of a character, in itſelf
humiliating, diſtreſſes and waſtes us,
while the loſs of ſo much time, like the
bad fortune of a gameſter, is doubly felt,
when we reflect that fools have won from
us. Yet it muſt be ſo in life, and I wiſh
to overcome the ſpleen of repining at it.
I was again ſet next Mademoiſelle Dorville,
and had the honour of accompanying
ſome of the ſongs ſhe ſung to us.
A vain fellow, in my circumſtances, might
imagine that girl liked him. I believe
there is nothing ſo ſerious in her mind,
and I ſhould be ſorry there were. The
theft of a woman's affections is not ſo
atrocious, as that of her honour; but I
have often ſeen it more terrible than that
of her life; at leaſt, if living wretchedneſs
be worſe than death: yet is it reckoned
a very venial breach of confidence,
to endeavour to become more than agreeable,
where a man feels it impoſſible to
repay what he may receive. Her father,
I am apt to believe, has ſomething of
what is commonly called a plot upon me;
but as to him my conſcience is eaſy, becauſe,
the coffers of my uncle being his
quarry, it matters not much if he is diſappointed.

Were it not from a point of delicacy,
not to run the ſmalleſt riſk of being
thought particular, I could, ſometimes,
be very well entertained with the ſociety of
Mademoiſelle Dorville. There is a ſprightlineſs
about her, which amuſes, though
it is not winning, and I never found it
fo eaſy to talk nonſenſe to any other woman.
I fancy this is always the caſe,
where there is no chance of the heart
being intereſted: it is perfectly ſo in the
Preſent inſtance with me. — Oh! Beauvaris!
I have laid out more ſoul in ſitting
five minutes with Julia de Roubigné
in ſilence, than I ſhould in a year's converſation
with this little Dorville.
The converſation of women has perhaps
a charm from its weakneſs; but
this muſt be, like all their other weakneſſes
that pleaſe us, what claims an intereſt
in our affections, without offending
our reaſon. I know not if there is
really a ſex in the ſoul: cuſtom and education
have eſtablifhed one, in our idea;
but we wiſh to feel the inferiority of the
other ſex, as one that does not debaſe
but endear it.
To their knowledge, in many things, we
have ſet limits, becauſe it ſeems to encroach
on the ſoftneſs of their feelings,
which we ſuppoſe of that retiring kind,
that ſhuns the keenneſs of argument or
enquiry. Knowledge or learning has
often this effect among men: it is even
ſometimes fatal to taſte, if by taſte is
meant the effect which beauties have on
ourſelves, rather than the power of criticiſing
on that which they ought to have
on others.
There is a little world of ſentiment
made for women to move in, where they
certainly excel our ſex, and where our
ſex, perhaps, ought to be excelled by
them. This is irreſiſtibly engaging, where
it is natural; but, of all affectations,
that of ſentiment is the moſt diſguſting.
It is, I believe, more common in France
than any where elſe; and I am not ſure,
if it does not proceed from our women
poſſeſſing the reality leſs. The daughter
of Monſ. Dorville, when ſhe would be
great, is always ſentimental. I was forced
to tell her to-day, that I hated ſentiments,
and that they ſpoiled the complexion.
She looked in the glaſs, and began to
aſk ſome queſtions about the Italian comedy.

My uncle, who had ſtaid ſome time
behind me with Dorville, came in. He
was very copious on the ſubject of Mademoiſelle.
I was perfectly of his opinion
in every thing, and praiſed her in
echo to what he ſaid; but he had diſcernment
enough to ſee an indifference
in this, which I was ſorry to find he did
not like. I know not how far he meant
to go, if we had been long together;
but he found himſelf ſomewhat indiſpoſed,
and was obliged to go to bed.
I ſat down alone, and thought of Julia
de Roubigné.
My uncle is, this morning, really ill.
I owe him too much, not to be diſtreſſed
at this. He is uneaſy about his own ſituation,
though, I believe, without reaſon;
but men, who, like him, have enjoyed
uninterrupted health, are apt to be apprehenſive.
I have ſent for a phyſician
without letting him know; for it was
another effect of his good conſtitution, to
hold the faculty in contempt. At preſent,
I am ſure, he will thank me, in
his heart, for my precaution.
The doctor has been with him, and
talks doubtfully; that, perhaps, is unavoidable
in a ſcience, from its nature, ſo
uncertain; for this man has really too
much knowledge to wiſh to ſeem wiſer.
I find I muſt conclude this letter, as
the ſhip, by which I am to ſend it, is within
a quarter of an hour of ſailing, Would
it had been a few days later! a few days
might do much in a fate like mine. — I
cannot expreſs that ſort of doubt and fear,
which the look of futurity, at this moment,
gives me.
Do not, for Heaven's ſake do not fail
to write me about the ſituation of Roubigné
and his family. I know his unwillingneſs
to write, and decorum prevents (Is
it vanity to think ſo?) his daughter; therefore
I addreſſed my laſt letter to Madame
de Roubigné; but even when I ſhall recieve
her anſwer, it will not ſay enough.
You know what my heart requires; do
not diſappoint it*.
* There are no letters, in this collection, of a later
date, from Savillon to Beauvaris. The perſon who
at firſt arranged them, ſeems to intend to account for
this, by the following note on the outſide of the preceding
one, written in a hand of which I ſee little
jottings on ſeveral of the letters, "Beauvaris died
5th April, a few days after the receipt of this."
LETTER XXXII.
Julia de Montauban to Maria de Roncilles.
YOU muſt not expect to hear from
me ſo often as formerly; we have,
here, an even tenor of days, that admits
not of much deſcription. Comedies
and romances, you know, always end
with a marriage, becauſe, after that,
there is nothing to be ſaid.
But I have reaſon to be angry with
you for finding ſo little to ſay at Paris;
though, I believe, the fault is in myſelf,
or rather in your idea of me. You think
I am not formed to reliſh thoſe articles of
intelligence, which are called news in
your great town; the truth is, I have
often heard them with very little reliſh;
but I know you have wit enough to make
them pleaſant if you would; and even if
you had not, do but write any thing,
and I ſhall read it with an intereſt.
You flatter me by your praiſes of the
naiveté, in the picture I drew of our party
of pleaſure. God knows, I have no talent
that way; yet the groupe was fantaſtic
enough, and, though I felt quite otherwiſe
than merry next morning, when I
wrote to you, yet I found a ſort of pleaſure
in deſcribing it. There is a certain
kind of trifling, in which a mind not
much at eaſe can ſometimes indulge itſelf.
One feels an eſcape, as it were, from
the heart, and is fain to take up with
lighter company. It is like the theft of
a truant boy, who goes to play for a few
minutes while his maſter is aſleep, and
throws the chiding for his taſk upon futurity.

We have very different company at
preſent. Madame de Sancerre has been
here theſe three days. Her huſband was
an acquaintance of Monſ. de Montauban
in Spain, and, you will remember, we
uſed to be of her parties in town; ſo
ſhe is a gueſt of both ſides of the houſe,
though I believe no great favourite of
either. She is a wit, you know, and
ſays abundance of good things; and will
ſay any thing, provided it be witty. Here,
indeed, we give her ſo little opportunity,
that her genius is almoſt famiſhed for
want of ſubject. At Paris, I remember her
ſurrounded with men of letters; they
praiſed her learning, and to us ſhe ſeemed
wonderful both as a ſcholar and a
critic; but here when I turn the diſcourſe
on books, ſhe chuſes to talk of nothing
but the beau monde. Her deſcriptions,
however, are diverting enough, and I believe
ſhe is not the worſe pleaſed with me,
that I can only hear them without being
able to anſwer; for I think, if there is
a member of our ſociety ſhe diſlikes, it is
that relation of the count, whom I mentioned
to you in my laſt, Monſ. de Rouillé,
who is come to ſpend ſome weeks
here. From the account of his vivacity
which I received from his kinſman, I
thought Madame de Sancerre would have
thought it a piece of high good fortune
to have met him here; but, I ſee, I
miſtook the thing; and that ſhe would
reliſh his company better, if he were as
ſtupid as the reſt of us. I am of a different
opinion, and begin to like him
much; the better, that I was prepared
to be ſomewhat afraid of him; but I find
in him nothing to be feared; on the contrary,
he is my very ſafeſt barrier againſt
the ſometimes too powerful brilliancy of
the lady.
Rouillé is conſtitutionally happy; but
his vivacity, though it ſeems to be conſtant,
does not appear to be unfeeling.
It is not the cheerfulneſs of an unthinking
man, who is ready to laugh, on all
occaſions, without leave of his reaſon, or,
what is worſe, of his humanity; ſome
ſuch people I have ſeen, whoſe mirth was
like the pranks of a madman, and if
not of conſequence enough to excite
anger or fear, was entitled to our compaſſion.
Rouille has the happy talent of
hitting that point where sentiment mingles
with good humour. His wit, except
when forced into oppoſition by the
petulance of others, is ever of that gentle
kind from which we have nothing to
dread; that ſports itſelf in the level of
ordinary underſtandings, and pleaſes, becauſe
it makes no one diſpleaſed with
himſelf. Even the natural gravity of
Montauban yields to the winning livelineſs
of Rouillé, and though the firſt
ſeems to feel a little aukwarkneſs in the
attempt, yet he often comes down from
the loftineſs of his own charater, to meet
the pleaſantry of the other's.
Do not rally me on the ſavour of matrimony
in the obſervation, if I venture
to ſay, that Montauban ſeems to have
reſumed ſomewhat of his former dignity.
Think not that I ſuſpect the ſmalleſt diminution
of his affection; but now,
when the eaſe of the huſband has reſtored
him to his native character — I know not
what I would ſay — Believe me, I mean
nothing at all — I have the greateſt reaſon
to be ſatisfied and happy.
At preſent, I believe, he is now and
then out of humour with this viſitant of
ours, Madame de Sancerre; and, it may
be, thrown into ſomewhat of a ſeverity
in his manner, from the obſervation of
an oppoſite one in her. When ſhe utters,
as ſhe does pretty often, any joke at which
ſhe laughs heartily herſelf, I laugh, ſometimes
with good will, but oftener (out of
complaiſance) without; Rouillé laughs, and
is ready with his jeſt in return; but
Montauban looks graver than ever. Indeed,
there is no reſource for one who
cannot laugh at a jeſt, but to look grave
at it.
I wiſh my Maria could have accepted
of the invitation he communicated by
me ſome time ago. I think I ſhould have
ſhewn him, in my friend, a livelineſs
that would not have diſpleaſed him. Could
you ſtill contrive to come, while Rouillé
is here, you muſt be charmed with one
another. It would give me an opportunity
of making up to you, for the many
dull letters I have obliged you to read;
but you taxed yourſelf early with my
correſpondence; it was then, perhaps,
tolerable; it has, of late, been a mere
collection of egotiſms, the egotiſms too of
a mind ill at eaſe — but I have given up
making apologies or acknowledgments
to you; they are only for common obligations:
mine is a debt beyond their
quittance.
LETTER XXXIII.
Montauban to Segarva.
I AM now three letters in your debt;
yet the account of correſpondence uſed
formerly to be in my favour. The truth
is, that of facts I have nothing to write,
and of ſentiments almoſt as little. Of the
firſt, my ſituation here in the country
deprives me; and of the laſt, that quiet
ſort of ſtate I have got into is little productive.
When I was unhappy as the
lover of Julia, or firſt happy as her huſband,
I had theme enough, and to ſpare.
I can tell you, that I am happy ſtill; but
it is a ſort of happineſs that would not
figure in narration. I believe my Julia
is every thing that a good wife ſhould be
I hope I am a good huſband. I am neither
young nor old enough for a doating
one.
You will ſmile and look back to certain
letters and notes of mine, written
ſome four or five months ago. I do not
know why I ſhould be aſhamed of them.
Were Segarva to marry, he would write
ſuch letters for a while, and there never
was a man who could write ſuch letters
long. If there were, I am not ſure if I
ſhould wiſh to be that man. When we
cannot be quite ſo happy as others, our
pride naturally balances the account: it
ſhews us that we are wiſer.
Rouillé, who has been here for a week
or two, is of a different opinion: he
holds the happieſt man to be ever the
wiſeſt. You know Rouillé's diſpoſition,
which was always too much in the ſun
for us; but the goodneſs of his heart,
and the purity of his honour, are above
the reſt of his character. With this prepoſſeſſion
in his favour, I hear him laugh
at me, without reſentment; and by and
by he ſteals upon me, till I forget myſelf,
and laugh with him. I am ſometimes
gay; but I feel a ſort of trouble in
gaiety. It is exactly the reverſe with
Rouillé: he can be ſerious, when he
means to be ſo; but, if we mean nothing,
he is gay, and I am ſerious.
My wife is neither one nor t'other: there
is ſomething about her too gentle for
either; but, I think, her penſive ſoftneſs
deſerts more readily to Rouille's
ſide than to mine, though one ſhould
imagine his manner the more diſtant
from hers of the two. Rouillé jokes me
on this: he calls her the middle ſtage
between us; but ſays, it is up-hill towards
my ſide. "A ſolitary caſtle, and a
ſtill evening (ſaid he) would make a
Julia of me; but to be Montauban, I
muſt have a fog and a priſon."
Perhaps, if we conſider matters
partially, theſe men have the advantage
of us: the little cordialities of life are
more frequently in uſe than its greater
and more important duties. Somebody,
I think, has compared them to ſmall
pieces of coin, which, though of leſs
value than the large, are more current
amongft men; but the parallel fails in
one reſpect: a thouſand of thoſe livres
do not conſtitute a louis; and I have
known many characters poſſeſſed of all
that the firſt could give, whoſe minds
were incapable of the laſt. In this number,
however, I mean not to include
Rouillé.
We have another gueſt, who illuſtrates
my meaning better, the widow of Sancerre,
whom you introduced to my acquaintance,
a long time ago, in Spain.
She was then nothing; for Sancerre conſidered
all women nothing, and took
care that, during his life, ſhe ſhould be
no exception to the rule. He died; ſhe
regained her freedom; and ſhe uſes it as
one to whom it had been long denied.
She is juſt fool enough to be a wit, and
carries on a perpetual cruſade againſt
ſenſe and ſeriouſneſs. I bear with her
very impatiently: ſhe plagues me, I believe,
the more. My wife ſmiles, Rouillé
laughs at me; I am unable to laugh,
and aſhamed to be angry; ſo I remain
ſilent and ſtupid.
Sometimes I ceaſe to think of her, and
blame myſelf. Why ſhould I allow this
ſpleen of ſenſe to diſqualify me for ſociety?
— Once or twice I almoſt muttered
things againſt my preſent ſituation. —
Julia loves me; I know ſhe does: ſhe
has that tenderneſs and gratitude, which
will ſecure her affection to a huſband,
who loves her as I do; but ſhe muſt often
feel the difference of diſpoſition between
us. Had ſuch a man as Rouillé been her
huſband — not Rouillé neither, though ſhe
ſeems often delighted with his good humour,
when I cannot be pleaſed with
it. — We are neither of us ſuch a man as
the writer of a romance would have made
a huſband for Julia. — There is, indeed,
a pliability in the minds of women in this
article, which frequently gains over opinion
to the ſide of duty. — Duty is a cold
word. — No matter, we will canvaſs it no
farther. I know the purity of her boſom,
and, I think, I am not unworthy of its
affection.
Her father I ſee much ſeldomer than I
could wiſh; but he is greatly altered of
late. Since the time of his wife's death,
I have obſerved him droop apace; but
Julia ſays, that the diſtreſs of their circumſtances
kept up in him a ſort of falſe
ſpirit, which, when they were diſembarraſſed,
left him to ſink under reflection.
His faculties, I can eaſily perceive, are
not in that vigour they were wont to be;
yet his bodily ſtrength does not much
decline, and he ſeems more contented
with himſelf, than he was when in full
poſſeſſion of his abilities. We wiſh him
to live with us; but he has conſtantly
refuſed our requeſt, and it is a matter of
delicacy to preſs him on that point. We
go to ſee him ſometimes: he receives us
with ſatisfaction, not ardour: violent
emotions of every kind appear to be
quenched in him. It creates, methinks,
a feeling of mingled complacency and ſadneſs,
to look on the evening of a life
and of a character like Roubigné's.
Shall I not ſee you here ſome time
this autumn? You gave me a ſort of
promiſe, and I need you more than ever.
I want the ſociety of ſome one, in whoſe
company I can be pleaſed, without the
tax of thinking that I am ſilly for being
ſo.
LETTER XXXIV.
Julia to Maria.
I Have juſt now received a piece of intelligence,
which I muſt beg my Maria
inſtantly to ſatisfy me about. Le
Blanc, my father's ſervant, was here a
few hours ago, and among other news,
informed Liſette, that a nephew of his,
who is juſt come with his maſter from
Paris, met Savillon there, whom he perfectly
remembered, from having ſeen him
in his viſits to his uncle at Belville. The
lad had no time for enquiry, as his maſter's
carriage was juſt ſetting off, when he
obſerved a chaiſe drive up to the door of
the hotel, with a gentleman in it, whom
he knew to be Savillon, accompanied by
a valet de chambre, and two black ſervants
on horſeback.
Think, Maria, what I feel at this intelligence!
— Yet why ſhould it alarm
me? — Alas! you know this poor, weak,
throbbing heart of mine! I cannot, if I
would, hide it from you. — Find him out,
for Heaven's ſake, Maria; tell me—
yet what now is Savillon to your Julia?
— No matter — do anything your prudence
may ſuggeſt; only ſatisfy me about
the fate of this once dear — Again! I dare
not truſt myſelf on the ſubject — Monſ. de
Montauban! — Farewell!
Delay not a moment to anſwer this. —
Yet do not write, till you have learned
ſomething ſatisfactory.
At any rate, write me ſpeedily. —
I have forgotten the name of the hotel,
where the lad met him; it was ſituated in
the Rue St. Anne.
LETTER. XXXV.
Montauban to Segarva.
MY wife (that word muſt often come
acroſs the narration of a married
man) has been a good deal indiſpoſed
of late. You will not joke me on this
intelligence, as ſuch of my neighbours
whom I have ſeen have done; it is not
however what they ſay, or you may
think; her ſpirits droop more than her
body; ſhe is thoughtful and melancholy
when ſhe thinks ſhe is not obſerved, and,
what pleaſes me worſe, affects to appear
otherwiſe, when ſhe is. I like not this
ſadneſs which is conſcious of itſelf. Yet,
perhaps, I have ſeen her thus before our
marriage, and have rather admired this
turn of mind than diſapproved of it
but now I would not have her penſive —
nor very gay neither — I would have nothing
about her, methinks, to ſtir a queſtion
in me whence it aroſe. She ſhould
be contented with the affection ſhe knows
I bear for her. I do not expect her to
be romantically happy, and ſhe has no
cauſe for uneaſineſs — I am not uneaſy
neither — yet I wiſh her to conquer this
melancholy.
I was laſt night abroad at ſupper: Julia
was a-bed before my return. I found
her lute lying on the table, and a muſic--
book open by it. I could perceive the
marks of tears ſhed on the paper, and
the air was ſuch as might encourage their
falling: ſleep however had overcome her
ſadnefs, and ſhe did not awake when I
opened the curtains to look on her. When
I had ſtood ſome moments, I heard her
ſigh ſtrongly through her ſleep, and preſently
ſhe muttered ſome words, I know
not of what import. I had ſometimes
heard her do ſo before, without regarding
it much; but there was ſomething
that rouſed my attention now. I liſtened;
ſhe ſighed again, and again ſpoke a few
broken words; at laſt, I heard her plainly
pronounce the name Savillon, two or
three times over, and each time it was
accompanied with ſighs ſo deep, that
her heart ſeemed burſting as it heaved
them. I confeſs the thing ſtruck me
and, after muſing on it ſome time, I reſolved
to try a little experiment this day
at dinner, to diſcover whether chance
had made her pronounce this name, or
if ſome previous cauſe had impreſſed it
on her imagination. I knew a man of
that name at Paris, when I firſt went
thither, who had an office under the intendant
of the marine. I introduced
ſome converſation on the ſubject of the
fleet, and ſaid, in an indifferent manner,
that I had heard ſo and ſo from my old
acquaintance Savillon. She ſpilt ſome
ſoup ſhe was helping me to at the inſtant;
and, ſtealing a glance at her, I ſaw her
cheeks fluſhed into crimſon.
I have been ever ſince going the round
of conjecture on this incident. I think I
can recollect once, and but once, her father
ſpeak of a perſon called Savillon reſiding
abroad, from whom he had received
a letter; but I never heard Julia
mention him at all. I know not why I
ſhould have forborn aſking her the reaſon
of her being ſo affected at the ſound;
yet, at the moment I perceived it, the
queſtion ſtruck in my throat. I felt ſomething
like guilt hang over this incident
altogether — it is none of mine then — nor
of Julia's neither, I truſt — and yet, Segarva,
it has touched me nearer — much
nearer than I ſhould own to any one but
you.
Nine at night.
Upon looking over what I had written
in the afternoon, I had almoſt reſolved
to burn this letter, and write another;
but it ſtrikes me as inſincerity to a friend
like Segarva, not to truſt him with the
very thought of the moment, weak as it
may be.
I begin now to be aſhamed of the effect
that trifle, I mentioned above, had
upon me. Julia is better, and has been
ſinging to me the old Spaniſh ballad,
which you ſent us lately. I am delighted
with thoſe ancient national ſongs, becauſe
there is a ſimplicity, and an expreſſion
in them, which I can underſtand. Adepts
in muſic are pleaſed with more intricate
compoſitions; and they talk more of the
pleaſure than they feel; and others talk
after them, without feeling at all.
LETTER XXXVI.
Savillon to Herbert.
I AM here in Paris, and fulfil the promiſe,
which your friendſhip required
of me, to write to you immediately on
my arrival.
Alas! my reception is not ſuch as I
looked for. He, whom alone my arrival
ſhould have intereſted, my ever
faithful Beauvaris! — he meets me not —
we ſhall never meet — he died, while I
was imagining fond things of our meeting!
Gracious God! what have I done,
that I ſhould be always thus an outcaſt
from ſociety? When France was dear
to me as life itſelf, my deſtiny tore me
from her coaſt; now, when I anticipated
the pleaſures of my return, is this the
welcome ſhe affords me?
Forlorn and friendleſs as my early days
were, I complained not while Beauvaris
was mine: he was wholly mine, for his
heart was not made for the world. Naturally
reſerved, he ſhrunk early from its
notice; and, when he had lived to judge
of its ſentiments, he wiſhed not to be in
the liſt of its friends.
His extreme modeſty, indeed, was an
evil in his fate; becauſe it deprived him
of that protection and aſſiſtance, which
his ſituation required. Thoſe who might
have been patrons of his merit, had not
time to ſearch for talents his baſhfulneſs
obſcured. His virtues even ſuffered imputation
from it: ſhy, not only of intimacy,
but even of opinion and ſentiment,
perſons, whoſe ſituation ſeemed to entitle
them to his confidence, complained
of his coldneſs and indifference, and he
was accuſed of want of feeling, from what,
in truth, was an exceſs of ſenſibility.
This jewel, undiſcovered by others, was
mine. From infancy, each had accuſtomed
himſelf to conſider his friend but
a better part of himſelf; and, when the
heart of either was full, talking to the
other was but unloading it in ſoliloquy.
Forgive me, my dear Herbert, for
thus dwelling on the ſubject. The only
ſad comfort I have now left me, is to
think of his worth: it is a privilege I
would not waſte on common minds, to
hear me on this theme; your's can underſtand
it.
Why was I abſent from Paris? Too
much did the latter days of Beauvaris
require me! They ſaw him ſtruggling
with poverty as well as ſickneſs; yet the
laſt letter he wrote me confeſſed neither;
and ſome little preſents, the produce of
Martinique, which I ſent him, he would
not convert into money, becauſe they
came from me.
I am now ſitting in the room, in which
he died! — On that paltry bed lay the
head of Beauvaris — on this deſk, whereon
I write, he wrote! — Pardon me a while,
I am unable to go on.
It is from the indulgence of ſorrow, that
we firſt know a reſpite from affliction. I
have given a looſe to my grief, and I feel
the relief, which my tears have afforded
me. I am now returned to my hotel,
and am able to recollect myſelf.
I have not yet ſeen any acquaintance
of Monſ. de Roubigné; this blow, indeed,
did not allow me leiſure or ſpirits
for enquiry; I feel as if I were in a foreign
land, and am almoſt afraid of the
noiſe and buſtle I hear in the ſtreets. I
have ſent, however, offering a viſit to a
particular young lady, of whom I ſhall
be able to get intelligence of Roubigné's
family; but my meſſenger is not yet returned.

He has found her, and ſhe has appointed
me to come to her to-morrow
morning. You cannot imagine what a
flutter the expectation of this viſit has
thrown me into; I am not apt to ſtand
in awe of preſages, but I could be very
weak that way at this moment. My man,
who poſſeſſes a happy vivacity, brought
me in, after dinner, a bottle of Burgundy,
which, he ſaid, the landlord aſſured
him was excellent. I have drunk
three fourths of it, by way of medicine;
it has made my head ſomewhat dizzy,
but my heart is as heavy as before.
What a letter of egotiſm have I
written! but you have taught me to
give vent to my feelings, by the acquaintance
you have allowed me with yours.
To ſpeak one's diſtreſſes to the unfeeling is
terrible; even to aſk the alms of pity is
humiliating; but to pour our griefs into
the boſom of a friend, is but committing
to him a pledge above the truſt of ordinary
men.
Do not, I beſeech you, forget your
deſign of travelling into France this ſeaſon;
— yet why ſhould I aſk this? I know
not where fortune may lead me! it cannot,
however, place me in a ſituation,
where the friendſhip of Herbert ſhall be
forgotten.
P. S. I direct this for you at London,
as, I think, you muſt be there by
this time. Your anſwer will find me
here; let it be ſpeedy.
LETTER XXXVII.
Savillon to Herbert.
BEAR with me, Herbert, bear with
me. The firſt uſe I make of that
correſpondence which you deſired, is to
pour out my miſeries before you! but
you can hear them. — You have known
what it is to love, and to deſpair as I do.
When I told you my Beauvaris was no
more, I thought I had exhauſted the ſum
of diſtreſs, which this viſit to Paris was
to give me. I knew not then what fate
had prepared for me — that Julia, on
whom my doating heart had reſted all
its hopes of happineſs; — that Julia is the
wife of another!
All but this I could have born; the
loſs of fortune, the decay of health, the
coldneſs of friends, might have admitted
of hope; here only was deſpair to be
found, and here I have found it!
Oh! Herbert! ſhe was ſo interwoven
with my thoughts of futurity, that life
now fades into a blank, and is not worth
the keeping; — but I have a uſe for it;
I will ſee her yet at leaſt — Wherefore
ſhould I wiſh to ſee her? — Yet, methinks,
it is now the only object that can prompt
a wiſh in me.
When I viſited that lady, that Maria de
Roncilles, whom I knew to be the deareſt
of her friends, ſhe ſeemed to receive me
with confuſion; her tongue could ſcarce
articulate the words that told me of Julia's
marriage: She mentioned ſomething
too of having heard of mine. — I
am tortured every way with conjecture —
my brain ſcarce holds its recollection. —
Julia de Roubigné is married to another!

I know not what I ſaid to this friend
of her's at firſt; I remember only that,
when I had recovered a little, I begged
her to convey a letter from me to Julia;
ſhe ſeemed to heſitate in her conſent; but
ſhe did at laſt conſent. Twice have I
written, and twice have I burnt what I
had written — I have no friend to guide,
to direct me — not even to weep to!
At laſt I have finiſhed that letter; it
contains the laſt requeſt which the miſerable
Savilion has to make. This one
interview paſt, and my days have nothing
to mark them with anxiety or hope.
I am now more calmly wretched; the
writing of that letter has relieved, for a
while, my ſwelling heart. I went with it
myſelf to Mademoiſelle de Roncilles's;
ſhe was abroad, ſo I left it without ſeeing
her. You can judge of my feelings;
I wondered at the indifference of the faces
I met with in my way; they had no cares
to cloud them, none at leaſt like Savillon's.
— Why of all thoſe thouſands am
I the moſt wretched?
I am returned to my hotel. I hear the
voices of my ſervants below: they are
telling, I ſuppoſe, the adventures of
their voyage. I can diſtinguiſh the voice
of my man, and. his audience are merry
around him — Why ſhould he not jeſt?
he knows not what his maſter ſuffers.
Something like a ſtupid ſleepineſs oppreſſes
me: laſt night, I could not ſleep.
Where are now thoſe luxurious ſlumbers,
thoſe wandering dreams of future happineſs?
— Never ſhall I know them again
— Good night, my Herbert! — It is ſomething
ſtill to ſleep and to forget them.
LETTER XXXVIII.
Julia to Maria.
WHAT do you tell me! Savillon is
Paris! unmarried, unengaged, raving
of Julia! Hide me from myſelf,
Maria, hide me from myſelf — Am I not
the wife of Montauban? —
Yes, and I know that character which,
as the wife of Montauban, I have to ſupport:
her huſband's honour and her own
are in the breaſt of Julia. My heart
ſwells, while I think of the ſtation in which
I am placed. — Relentleſs Honour! thou
trieſt me to the uttermoſt; thou enjoineſt
me to think no more of ſuch a being as
Savillon.
But can I think of him no more
Cruel remembrances! — Thou too, my
friend, betrayeſt me; you dare not truſt
me with the whole ſcene; but you tell
me enough. — I ſee him, I ſee him now!
He came, unconſcious of what Fortune
had made of me; he came, elate with
the hopes of ſharing with his Julia that
wealth, which propitious Heaven had
beſtowed on him. — She is married to another!
— I ſee him ſtart back in amazement
and deſpair; his eye wild and haggard,
his voice loſt in the throb of aſtoniſhment!
He thinks on the ſhadows
which his ſond hopes had reared — the
dreams of happineſs! — Say not that he
wept at the thought. — Had thoſe tears
fallen upon Julia's grave, Memory! thou
couldſt not thus have ſtung me. But,
perhaps, gentle as his nature is, he was
not weak enough to be overcome by the
thought. Could he but think of me with
indifference — Tell him, Maria, what a
wretch I am: a wife, without a wife's affection,
to whom life has loſt its reliſh,
and virtue its reward. Let him hate me,
I deſerve his ſcorn — yet, methinks, I
may claim his pity. —
The daughter of Roubigné, the wife
of Montauban! I will not bear to be
pitied. No; I will ſtifle the grief that
would betray me, and be miſerable without
a witneſs. This heart ſhall break,
this proud heart, without ſuffering a ſigh
to relieve it.
Alas! my friend, it will not be. —
That picture, Maria, that picture
Why did I not baniſh it from my ſight?
too amiable Savillon! Look there, look
there! in that eye there is no ſcorn, no
reproach to the unhappy Julia: mildneſs
and melancholy! — We were born to be
miſerable! — Think'ſt thou, Maria, that
at this moment — it is poſſible — he is gazing
thus on the reſemblance of one, whoſe
ill-fated raſhneſs has undone herſelf and
him! — he thus weep over it as I do?
Will he pardon my offences, and thus
preſs it? — I dare not: this boſom is
the property of Montauban. — Tears are
all I have to beſtow. Is there guilt in
thoſe tears? Heaven knows. I cannot
help weeping.
I was interrupted by the voice of my
huſband, giving ſome orders to his ſervant
at the door of my apartment. He
entered with a look of gaiety; but I fear,
by the change of his countenance, that
he obſerved my tears. I clapped on my
hat to hide them, and told him, as well
as I could, that I was going to walk.
He ſuffered me to leave him, without any
further queſtion. I ſtrolled I knew not
whither, till I found myſelf by the ſide
of a little brook, about a quarter of a
mile's diſtance from the houſe. The
ſtillneſs of noon, broken only by the
gentle murmuring of the water, and the
quiet hum of the bees, that hung on the
wild flowers around it; theſe gave me
back myſelf, and allowed me the languor
of thought; my tears fell without
controul, and almoſt without diſtreſs. I
would have looked again on the picture
of Savillon, for I could then have truſted
myſelf with the ſight of it; but I had
left it behind in my chamber. The
thoughts of its being ſeen by my huſband
gave wings to my return. I hope he
miſſed it; for I found it lying, as I had
left it, on my dreſſing-table, in the midſt
of ſome letters of compliment, which
had been thrown careleſsly there the day
before; and, when I went down ſtairs,
I diſcovered nothing in his behaviour that
ſhould have followed ſuch a diſcovery.
On the contrary, I think, he ſeemed
more pleaſed than uſual, and was particularly
attentive to me. I felt his kindneſs
a reproach, and my endeavours to
return it ſat aukwardly upon me. There
was a treachery, methought, in my attempts
to pleaſe him, and, I fear, the
greater eaſe I meant to aſſume in making
thoſe attempts, I gave them only more
the appearance of conſtraint.
What a ſituation is mine! to wear the
appearance of ſerenity, while my heart
is wretched, and the diſſimulation of
guilt, though my ſoul is unconſcious of
a crime! — There is ſomething predictive
in my mind, that tells me I ſhall not long
be thus; but I am ſick of conjecture, as
I am bereft of hope, and only ſatisfy
myſelf with concluding, that, in the moſt
fateful lives, there is ſtill a certain point,
where the maze of deſtiny can bewilder
no more!
LETTER XXXIX.
Montauban to Segarva.
SEGARVA! — but it muſt be told — I
bluſh even telling it to thee — have I
lived to this? — that thou ſhouldſt hear
the name of Montauban coupled with
diſhonour!
I came into my wife's room yeſterday
morning, ſomewhat unexpectedly. I obſerved
ſhe had been weeping, though ſhe
put on her hat to conceal it, and ſpoke
in a tone of voice affectedly indifferent.
Presently ſhe went out on pretence of
walking; I ſtaid behind, not without
ſurpriſe at her tears, though, I think,
without ſuſpicion; when turning over
(in the careleſs way one does in muſing)
ſome looſe papers on her dreſſing-table, I
found the picture of a young man in miniature,
the glaſs of which was ſtill wet
with the tears ſhe had ſhed on it. I have
but a confuſed remembrance of my feelings
at the time; there was a bewildered
pauſe of thought, as if I had waked in
another world. My faithful Lonquillez
happened to enter the room at that moment;
look there! ſaid I, holding out
the picture without knowing what I did;
he held it in his hand, and turning it,
read on the back, Savillon. I ſtarted at
that ſound, and ſnatched the picture from
him; I believe he ſpoke ſomewhat, expreſſing
his ſurpriſe at my emotion; I
know not what it was, nor what my anſwer:
he was retiring from the chamber
— I called him back. — "I think, (ſaid I)
thou loveſt thy maſter, and would ſerve him
if thou could'ſt?" — "With my life?"
anſwered Lonquillez — the warmth of his
manner touched me: I think I laid my
hand on my ſword. Savillon! I repeated
the name; "I have heard of him,"
ſaid Lonquillez. — "Heard of him!" —
"I heard Le Blanc talk of him a few
days ago." — "And what did he ſay of
him?" — "And ſaid he had heard of this
gentleman's arrival from the Weſt-Indies,
from his own nephew, who had juſt come
from Paris; that he remembered him
formerly, when he lived with his maſter
at Belville, the ſweeteſt young gentleman,
and the handſomeſt in the province."
— My ſituation ſtruck me at that
inſtant. — I was unable to enquire further.
— After ſome little time, Lonquillez
left the room; I knew not that he was
gone, till I heard him going down ſtairs.
I called him back a ſecond time; he
came: I could not ſpeak. — "My dear
maſter!" (ſaid Lonquillez) — It was the
accent of a friend, and it overcame me.
"Lonquillez, (ſaid I) your maſter is
moſt unhappy! — Canſt thou think my
wife is falſe to me?" — "Heaven forbid!"
ſaid he, and ſtarted back in amazement.
— "It may be I wrong her; but to
dream of Savillon, to keep his picture,
to weep over it." — "What ſhall I do,
Sir?" ſaid Lonquillez. — "You ſee I am
calm, I returned, and will do nothing
raſhly; — try to learn from Le Blanc
every thing he knows about this Savillon.
Liſette too is ſilly, and talks much. I
know your faith, and will truſt your capacity;
get me what intelligence you
can, but beware of ſhewing the moſt diſtant
ſuſpicion.—We heard my wife below;
— threw down the picture where I
had found it, and haſtened to meet her.
As I approached her, my heart throbbed
ſo violently that I durſt not venture the
meeting. My dreſſing-room door ſtood
a-jar; I ſlunk in there, I believe, unperceived,
and heard her paſs on to her
chamber. I would have called Lonquillez
to have ſpoken to him again; but I durſt
not then, and have not found an opportunity

I ſaw my wife ſoon after; I counterfeited
as well as I could, and, I think,
ſhe was the moſt embarraſſed of the two;
ſhe attempted once or twice to bring in
ſome apology for her former appearance;
complained of having been ill in the
morning, that her head had ached, and
her eyes been hot and uneaſy.
She came herſelf to call me to dinner.
We dined alone, and I marked her cloſely;
I ſaw, (by Heaven! I did) a fawning
ſolicitude to pleaſe me, an attempt
at the good-humour of innocence, to
cover the embarraſſment of guilt. I
ſhould have obſerved it, I am ſure I
ſhould, even without a key; as it was,
I could read her ſoul to the bottom. —
Julia de Roubigné! the wife of Montauban!
— Is it not ſo?
I have had time to think, — You will
recollect the circumſtances of our marriage
— her long unwillingneſs, her almoſt
unconquerable reluctance. — Why did I
marry her?
Let me remember — I durſt not truſt
the honeſt deciſion of my friend, but
ſtole into this engagement without his
knowledge; I purchaſed her conſent,
bribed, I bought her; bought her, the
leavings of another! — I will trace this line
of infamy no further: there is madneſs
in it!
Segarva, I am afraid to hear from
you; yet write to me, write to me freely.
If you hold me juſtly puniſhed — yet ſpare
me, when you think on the ſeverity of
my puniſhmen
LETTER XL.
Montauban to Segarva.
LONQUILLEZ has not ſlept on his
poſt and chance has aſſiſted his vigilance.
Le Blanc came hither the morning
after our converſation: Lonquillez
managed his enquiry with equal acuteneſs
and caution: the other told every
thing as the ſtory of an old man — he
ſmiled and told it. He knew not that
he was delivering the teſtimony of a witneſs
— that the fate of his former miſtreſs
hung on it!
This Savillon lived at Belville from
his earlieſt youth, the companion of Julia,
though a dependant on her father.
When they were forced to remove thence,
he accompanied their retreat, the only
companion of Roubigné, whom adverſity
had left him to comfort it — but he
had his reward: the company of the
daughter often ſupplied the place of her
father's. He was her maſter in literature,
her fellow-ſcholar in muſic and
painting, and they frequently planned
walks in concert, which they afterwards
trod together — Le Blanc has ſeen them
there, liſtening to the ſong of the nightingale.

I am to draw the concluſion. — All this
might be innocent, the effects of early
intimacy and friendſhip; and on this
ſuppoſition might reſt the quiet of an
indifferent huſband, But why was this
intimacy, this friendſhip, ſo induſtriouſly
concealed from me? The name of Savillon
never mentioned, except in guilty
dreams? while his picture was kept in
her chamber for the adultery of the imagination!
— Do I triumph while I puſh
this evidence? — Segarva! whither will it
lead me?
The truth riſes upon me, and every
ſucceeding circumſtance points to one
concluſion. Liſette was to-day of a junketting
party, which Lonquillez contrived
for the entertainment of his friend
Le Blanc. Mention was again made of
old ſtories, and Savillon was a perſon of
the drama. The wench is naturally talkative,
and ſhe was then in ſpirits from
company and good cheer. Le Blanc and
ſhe recollected interviews of their young
miſtreſs and this handſome eleve of her
father. They were, it ſeems, nurſed by
the ſame woman, that old Laſune, for
whom Julia procured a little dwelling,
and a penſion of four hundred livres,
from her unſuſpecting huſband. "She
loved them (ſaid Le Blanc) like her own
children, and they were like brother and
ſiſter to each other." — " Brother and
ſiſter, indeed!" (ſaid Liſette.) She was
more ſagacious, and had obſerved things
better. — "I know what I know, (ſaid ſhe)
but, to be ſure, thoſe things are all over
now, and, I am perſuaded, my miſtreſs
loves no man ſo well as her own huſband.
What ſignifies what happened ſo long ago,
eſpecially while Monſ. de Montauban
knows nothing about the matter?"
Theſe were her words: Lonquillez repeated
them thrice to me. — Were I a
fool, a driveller, I might be ſatisfied to
doubt and be uneaſy; it is Montauban's
to ſee his diſgrace, and, ſeeing, to revenge
it.
Lonquillez has been with me: his
diligence is indefatigable; but he feels
for the honour of his maſter, and, being
a Spaniard, is entitled to ſhare it.
He went with Le Blanc to ſee Laſune,
whom that old man, it ſeems, never fails
to viſit when he is here. Lonquillez told
her, that Le Blanc had news for her
about her foſter-ſon. "Of my dear Savillon?"
cried ſhe. "Yes (ſaid Le
Blanc). You will have heard, that he
arrived from abroad ſome weeks ago;
and I am told, that he is worth a power
of money, which his uncle left him in the.
Weſt-Indies." — "Bleſs him! Heavens
bleſs him! (cried Laſune.) Then I may
ſee him once more before I die. You
never ſaw him, (turning to Lonquillez)
but Le Blanc remembers him well: the
handſomeſt, ſweeteſt, beſt conditioned —
your miſtreſs and he have often ſat on
that bench there — Lord pity my forgetfulneſs!
— it was far from this place; but
it was juſt ſuch a bench — and they would
prefer poor Laſune's little treat to all the
fine things at my maſter's — and how he
would look on my ſweet child! — Well,
deſtiny rules every thing; but there
was a time, when I thought I ſhould have
called her by another name than Montauban."
— Lonquillez was too much
ſtruck with her words to appear unaffected
by them: ſhe obſerved his ſurpriſe. —
"You think no harm, I hope," ſaid ſhe.
He aſſured her he did not. "Nay, I
need not care, for that part, who hears
me, yet ſome folks might think it odd;
but we are all friends here, as we may
ſay, and neither of you, I know, are
tale-bearers, otherwiſe I ſhould not prattle
as I do; eſpecially, as the laſt time
I ſaw my lady, when I aſked after her
foſter-brother, ſhe told me, I muſt not
ſpeak of him now, nor talk of the meetings
they uſed to have at my houſe."
Such were her words; the memory of
Lonquillez is faithful, and he was intereſted
to remember — I drew my breath
ſhort, and muttered vengeance: the good
fellow ſaw my warmth, and tried to moderate
it. "It is a matter, Sir, (ſaid he)
of ſuch importance, that, if I may preſume
to adviſe, nothing ſhould be believed
raſhly. If my miſtreſs loves Savillon,
if he ſtill anſwers her fondneſs, they will
ſurely write to each other. I commonly
take charge of the letters for the poſt:
if you can find any proof that way, it cannot
lie nor deceive you."
I have agreed to his propoſal. — How
am I fallen, Segarva, when ſuch artifices
are eaſy to me! — But I will not
pauſe on trivial objections — the fate of
Montauban is ſet upon this caſt, and the
leſſer moralities muſt ſpeak unheeded.
LETTER XLI.
Montauban to Segarva.
IT is ſomething to be ſatisfied of the
worſt. I have now ſuch proof, Segarva!
— Enquiry is at an end, and vengeance
the only buſineſs I have left. Before you
can anſwer this — the infamy of your
friend cannot be eraſed, but it shall be
waſhed in blood!
Lonquillez has juſt brought me a letter
from my wife to a Mademoiſelle de Roncilles,
a boſom-friend of hers at Paris.
He opened it, by a very ſimple operation,
without hurting its appearance. It conſiſted
only of a few hurried lines, deſiring
her to deliver an encloſed letter to
Savillon, and to take charge of his anſwer.
— That letter now lies before me. —
Read it, Segarva — thou wilt wiſh to ſtab
her while thou read'ſt it — but Montauban
has a dagger too.
"I know not, Sir, how to anſwer the
"letter my friend Mademoiſelle de Ron"cilles
has juſt ſent me from you. The
"intimacy of our former days I ſtill recal, as
"one of the happieſt periods of my life The
"friendſhip of Julia you are certainly ſtill
"entitled to, and might claim, without
"the ſuſpicion of impropriety, though fate
"has now thrown her into the arms of an"other,
There would then be no occaſion
"for this ſecret interview, which, I con"feſs,
I cannot help dreading; but, as
"you urge the impoſſibility of your viſiting
"Monſ, de Montauban, without betraying
"emotions, which, you ſay, would be danger"ous
to the peace of us all, conjured as I am
"by thoſe motives of compaſſion, which
"my heart is, perhaps, but too ſuſceptible
"of for my own peace, I have at laſt, not
"without a feeling like remorſe, reſolved to
"meet you on Monday next, at the houſe
"of our old nurſe Laſune, whom I ſhall
"prepare for the purpoſe, and on whoſe fide"lity
I can perfectly rely. I hope you will
"give me credit for that remembrance of
"Savillon, which your letter, rather un"juſtly,
denies me, when you find me
"agreeing to this meaſure of imprudence,
"of danger, it may be of guilt, to mitigate
"the diſtreſs, which I have been unfortu"nate
enough to give him."
I feel at this moment a ſort of determined
coolneſs, which the bending up
of my mind to the revenge her crimes
deſerve, has conferred upon me; I have
therefore underlined * ſome paſſages in this
damned ſcroll, that my friend may ſee the
weight of that proof on which I proceed.
Mark the air of prudery that runs
through it, the trick of voluptuous vice
to give pleaſure the zeſt of nicety and
reluctance. "It may be of guilt." —
Mark with what coolneſs ſhe invites him
to participate it! — Is this the hand-writing
of Julia? — I am awake and ſee it, —
— Julia! my wife! damnation!
* The paſſages here alluded to are printed in Italics.
I have been viſiting this Laſune, whoſe
houſe is deſtined for the ſcene of my
wife's interview with her gallant. I feel
the meanneſs of an inquiſition, that degrades
me into the wretched ſpy on an
abandoned woman. — I bluſhed and heſitated
while I talked to this old doating
miniſter of their pleaſures. But the moment
comes when I ſhall reſume myfelf,
when I ſhall burſt upon them in the terrors
of puniſhment.
Whether they have really impoſed on
the ſimplicity of this creature, I know
not; but her anſwers to ſome diſtant
queſtions of mine looked not like thoſe
of an accomplice of their guilt. — Or, rather,
it is I who am deceived; the cunning
of intrigue is the property of the
meaneſt among the ſex. — It matters not:
I have proof without her.
She conducted me into an inner room
fitted up with a degree of nicety. On
one ſide ſtood a bed, with curtains and
a bed-cover of clean cotton. That bed,
Segarva! — but this heart ſhall down;
I will be calm — at the time, while I
looked on it, I could not; the old woman
obſerved my emotion, and aſked if
I was ill; I recovered myſelf however,
and ſhe ſuſpected nothing; I think ſhe
did not — It looked as if the Beldame had
trimmed it for their uſe — damn her!
damn her! killing is poor — Canſt thou
not invent me ſome luxurious vengeance?

Lonquillez has re-ſealed and ſent off
her letter to Savillon; he will take care
to bring me the anſwer: but I know the
anſwer — "On Monday next" — why ſhould
I ſtart as I think on it? — Their fate
is fixed! mine perhaps — but I will think
no more. — Farewell.
Rouillé is juſt arrived here; I could
have wiſhed him abſent now. He cannot
participate my wrongs; they are ſacred
to more determined ſouls. — Methinks,
at this time, I hate his ſmiles;
they ſuit not the purpoſes of Montauban.
LETTER XLII.
Julia to Maria.
I Hope, from the conveyance which
Liſette has procured for this letter, it
may reach you nearly as ſoon, as that in
which I incloſed one for Savillon. If it
comes in time, let it prevent your delivering
that letter. I have been conſidering
of this interview again, and I feel a
ſort of crime in it towards my huſband,
which I dare not venture on. I have
treſpaſſed too much againſt ſincerity already,
in concealing from him my former
attachment to, that unfortunate young
man. So ſtrongly indeed did this idea
ſtrike me, that I was prepared to tell it
him this very day, when he returned from
riding, and found me ſcarce recovered
from the emotion which a reperuſal of
Savillon's letter had cauſed; but his look
had a ſternneſs in it, ſo oppoſite to thoſe
feelings which ſhould have opened the
boſom of your diſtracted Julia, that I
ſhrunk back into ſecreſy, terrified at the
reflection on my own purpoſe. — Why am
I the wife of this man? but if confidence
and tenderneſs are not mine to give, there
is a duty which is not mine to refuſe. —
Tell Savillon, I cannot ſee him.
Not in the way he aſks — let him come
as the friend of Julia de Roubigné — Oh!
Maria! what a picture do theſe words
recall the friend of Julia de Roubigné!
— in thoſe happy days when it was not
guilt to ſee, to hear, to think of him —
when this poor heart was inconſcious of
its little wanderings, or felt them but
as harmleſs dreams, which ſweetened the
real ills of a life too early viſited by misfortune!

When I look back on that life, how
fateful has it been! Is it unjuſt in Providence,
to make this ſo often the lot of
hearts little able to ſtruggle with misfortune?
or is it indeed the poſſeſſion of
ſuch hearts, that creates their misfortunes?
Had I not felt as I have done,
half the ills I complain of had been nothing,
and at this moment I were happy.
Yet to have wanted ſuch a heart, ill-ſuited
as it is to the rude touch of ſublunary
things — I think I cannot wiſh ſo much.
There will come a time, Maria, (might
I forebode without your cenſure, I ſhould
ſay it may not be diſtant) when they ſhall
wound it no longer!
In truth, I am every way weak at preſent.
My poor father adds much to my
diſtreſſes: he has appeared, for ſome time
paſt, to be verging towards a ſtate, which
alone I ſhould think worſe than his death.
His affection for me is the only ſenſe now
quite alive about him, nay it too partakes
of imbecillity. He uſed to embrace
me with ardour; he now embraces me
with tears.
Judge then, if I am able to meet Savillon
at this time, if I could allow myſelf
to meet him at all. Think what I
am, and what he is. The coolneſs I
ought to maintain had been difficult at
beſt; at preſent, it is impoſſible. I can
ſcarce think without weeping; and to ſee
that form —
Maria! when this picture was drawn!
— I remember the time well — my father
was at Paris, and Savillon left with my
mother and me at Belville. The painter
(who was accidentally in our province)
came thither to give me a few leſſons of
drawing. Savillon was already a tolerable
deſigner; but he joined with me in
becoming ſcholar to this man. When
our maſter was with us, he uſed ſometimes
to guide my hand; when he was
gone, at our practice of his inſtructions,
Savillon commonly ſupplied his place.
But Savillon's hand was not like the
other's: I felt ſomething from its touch,
not the leſs delightful from carrying a ſort
of fear along with that delight: it was
like a pulſe in the ſoul! —
Whither am I wandering? What now
are thoſe ſcenes to me, and why ſhould
I wiſh to remember them? Am I not
another's, irrevocably another's? — Savillon
knows I am. — Let him not wiſh to
ſee me: we cannot recal the paſt, and
wherefore, wherefore ſhould we add to the
evils of the preſent?
LETTER xLIII.
Montauban to Segarva.
I HAVE miſſed ſome link of my intelligence;
for the day is paſt, and no,
anſwer from Savillon is arrived. I thank
him, whatever be the reaſon, for he has
given me time to receive the inſtructions
of my friend.
You caution me well as to the certainty
of her guilt. You know the proof I have
already acquired; but I will have aſſurance
beyond the poſſibility of doubt: I
will wait their very meeting, before I
ſtrike this blow, and my vengeance, like
that of Heaven, ſhall be juſtified by a
repetition of her crimes.
I am leſs eaſily convinced, or rather
I am leſs willing to be guided, by your
opinion, as to the ſecreſy of her puniſhment.
You tell me, that there is but
one expiation of a wife's infidelity. — I
am reſolved, ſhe dies — but that the ſacrifice
ſhould be ſecret. Were I even to
upbraid her with her crime, you ſay, her
tears, her proteſtations would outplead
the conviction of ſenſe itſelf, and I ſhould
become the dupe of that infamy I am
bound to puniſh. — Is there not ſomething
like guilt in this ſecreſy? Should Montauban
ſhrink, like a coward, from the
vindication of his honour? — Should he
not burſt upon this ſtrumpet and her
lover — the picture is beaſtly — the ſword
of Montauban! — thou art in the right,
it would diſgrace it. — Let me read your
letter again.
I am a fool to be ſo moved — but your
letter has given me back myſelf. "The
diſgrace is only publiſhed by an open revenge:
it can be buried with the guilty
by a ſecret one." — I am yours, Segarva,
and you ſhall guide me.
Chance has been kind to me for the
means. Once, in Andaluſia, I met with
a Venetian empiric, of whom, among
other chymical curioſities, I bought a
poiſonous drug, the efficacy of which he
ſhewed me on ſome animals to whom he
adminiſtered it. The death it gave was
eaſy, and altered not the appearance of
the thing it killed.
I have fetched it from my cabinet,
and it ſtands before me. It is contained
in a little ſquare phial, marked with ſome
hieroglyphic ſcrawls, which I do not underſtand.
Methinks, while I look on it —
I could be weak, very weak, Segarva. —
But an hour ago I ſaw her walk, and
ſpeak, and ſmile — yet theſe few drops! —
I will look on it no more. —
I hear the tread of her feet in the apartment
above. Did ſhe know what paſſes
in my mind! — the ſtudy in which I ſit
ſeems the cave of a demon!
Lonquillez has relieved me again. He
has this moment got from her maid the
following letter, addreſſed to her friend
Mademoiſelle de Roncilles. What a ſex
it is! but I have heard of their alliances
of intrigue. — It is not that theſe things
are uncommon, but that Montauban is
a fool — a huſband — a — perdition ſeize
her!
'Is my friend too leagued againſt me?
'Alas! my virtue was too feeble before,
'and needed not the addition of Maria's
'arguments to be overcome. Savillon's
'figure, you ſay, aided by that languid
'paleneſs, which his late illneſs had given
'it, was irreſiſtible. — Why is not Julia
'ſick? — yet, wretched as ſhe is, irre'trievably
wretched, ſhe breathes, and
walks, and ſpeaks, as ſhe did in her moſt
'happy days! —.
'You intreat me, for pity's ſake, to meet
'him. — "He hinted his deſign of ſoon
'leaving France to return to Martinique."
' — Why did he ever leave France? Had
'he remained contented with love and
'Julia, inſtead of this ſtolen, this guilty
'meeting — What do I ſay? — I live but
'for Montauban!
'I will think no longer. — This one
'time I will ſilence the monitor within me.
'— Tell him, I will meet him. On Thurſday
next, let him be at Laſune's in the
evening: it will be dark by ſix.
'I dare not read what I have written.
'Farewell.'
It will be dark by ſix. — Yet I will
keep my word, Segarva! they ſhall meet,
that certainty may precede my vengeance;
but, when they part, they part
to meet no more. Lonquillez's fidelity I
know: his ſoul is not that of a ſervant
he ſhall provide for Savillon. Julia is a
victim above him — Julia ſhall be the
charge of his maſter.
Farewell! when I write again, it ſhall
not be to threaten.
LETTER XLIV.
Savilion to Herbert.
AFTER an interval of torture, I have
at laſt received an anſwer from Madame
de Montauban — Have I lived to
write that name! — but it is fit that I be
calm.
Her friend has communicated her reſolution
of allowing me to ſee her in thehouſe
of that good Laſune, whom I have
mentioned to you in ſome of our converſations,
as the common nurſe of both.
Were it not madneſs to look back, and
that, at preſent, I need the full poſſeſſion
of myſelf, the idea of Laſune's houſe
would recal ſuch things — but they are
paſt, never, never to return!
I have recovered and can go on calmly.
I ſet out to-morrow morning; Thurſday
next is the day ſhe has appointed for our
interview. I have but to diſpatch this
one great buſineſs, and then depart from
my native country for ever. Every tie
that bound me to this world is now
broken, except that which accident gave
me in your friendſhip: before I croſs the
Atlantic, I would once more ſee my Herbert;
when I have indulged myſelf in
that laſt throb of affection, which our
friendſhip demands at parting, there remains
nothing for me to do, but to
ſhrink up from all the feelings of
life, and look forward, without emotion,
to its cloſe!
I feel, at this moment, as if I were on
my death-bed, the neceſſity of a manly
compoſure; that ſtifled ſigh was the laſt
ſacrifice of my weakneſs! I am now thinking
what I have to do with the hours that
remain: meet me like a man, and help
me to employ them as I ought. Nothing
ſhall drag me back to Europe, and
therefore I would ſhake off every occaſion
to reviſit it.
Though the externals of place and diſtance
are not of much importance to me,
yet there is ſomething in large towns that
I wiſh to avoid. As you mention a deſign
of being in Dorſetſhire ſometime
ſoon, may I aſk you to make next week
that time, and meet me at the town of
Poole in that county? Inconſiderable
and unknown as I am, there are circumſtances
that might mark me out in Picardy;
and therefore I ſhall go by Dieppe
to that port of England, where I know
I ſhall, at this ſeaſon, find an opportunity
of getting over the Atlantic.
I incloſe a letter to a merchant in London,
relating to ſome buſineſs, in which
my uncle was concerned with the houſe,
of which he is a partner. Be ſo kind as
forward it, and let him know, that I deſire
the anſwer may be committed to
your care. As I ſee, by his correſpondence,
that he is not altogether a man
of buſineſs, he may perhaps be deſirous
of meeting with you, to aſk ſome queſtions
about the nephew of his old acquaintance.
He will wonder, as others
will, at ſo rich a man returning to Martinique.
If a reaſon is neceſſary, invent
ſome one; it is peculiar to miſery like
mine to be incapable of being told. — I
ſhall relapſe, if I continue to write. —
You will, if it is poſſible, meet me at
Poole; if not, write to me thither,
where I ſhall find you. Let your letter
wait me at the poſt-houſe. Farewell.
LETTER XLV.
Julia to Maria.
THE hour is almoſt arrived! My
huſband has juſt left me: he came
into my room in his riding-dreſs. — "I
ſhall not be at home (ſaid he) till ſupper--
time, and Rouillé's ſhooting party will
detain him till it is late." — The conſciouſneſs
of my purpoſe preſſed on my
tongue while I anſwered him: I faltered,
and could hardly ſpeak. "You ſpeak
faintly (ſaid Montauban). You are not
ill, I hope," taking my hand. I told
him, truly, that my head ached a good
deal, that it had ached all day, that I
meant to try if a walk would do it ſervice.
"Perhaps it may," anſwered he,
and methought he looked ſteadily, and
with a ſort of queſtion, at me; or rather
my own mind interpreted his look in that
manner. — I believe I bluſhed.—
How I tremble as I look on my watch!
Would I could recal my promiſe!
I am ſomewhat bolder now; but it is
not from having conquered my fear;
ſomething like deſpair aſſiſts me. — It
wants but a few minutes — the hand that
points them ſeems to ſpeak as I watch
it. — I come, Savillon, I come!
How ſhall I deſcribe our meeting? I
am unfit for deſcribing — it cannot be deſcribed
— I ſhall be calmer by and by.
I know not how I got to the houſe.
From the moment I quitted my chamber,
I was unconſcious of every thing around
me. The firſt object that ſtruck my eye
was Savillon! I recollect my nurſe placing
me in a chair oppoſite to where he
ſat — ſhe left us — I felt the room turning
round with me — I had fainted, it ſeems.
When I recovered, I found her ſupporting
me in her arms, and holding a phial
of ſalts to my noſe. Savillon had my
hands in his, gazing on me with a countenance
of diſtreſs and terror. — My eye
met his, and, for ſome moments, I looked
on him, as I have done in my dreams,
unmindful of our ſituation, — The preſſure
of his hand awakened me to recollection.
He looked on me more earneſtly
ſtill, and breathed out the word Julia! —
It was all he could utter; but it ſpoke
ſuch things, Maria! — You cannot underſtand
its force. Had you felt it as I
did! — I could not, indeed I could not
help burſting into tears.
"My deareſt children," cried the good
Laſune, taking our hands, which were
ſtill folded together, and ſqueezing them
in hers. The action had ſomething of
that tender ſimplicity in it, which is not
to be reſiſted. I wept afreſh; but my
tears were leſs painful than before.
She fetched a bottle of wine from a
cupboard, and forced me to take a glaſs
of it. She offered another to Savillon.
He put it by, with a gentle inclination of
his head. "You ſhall drink it, indeed,
my dear boy, (ſaid ſhe) it is a long time
ſince you taſted any thing in this houſe."
— He gave a deep ſigh, and drank it.
She had given us time to recover the
power of ſpeech; but I knew leſs how
to begin ſpeaking than before. My eyes
now found ſomething in Savillon's, which
they were aſhamed to meet. — Laſune left
us; I almoſt wiſhed her to ſtay.
Savillon ſat down in his former place:
he threw his eyes on the ground — "I
know not, (ſaid he, in a faltering voice)
how to thank you for the condeſcenſion
of this interview — our former friendſhip
—" I trembled for what he ſeemed
about to ſay. — "I have not forgotten it,"
ſaid I, half interrupting him. — I ſaw him
ſtart from his former poſture, as if awaked
by the ſound of my voice. — "I aſk
not (continued he) to be remembered:
I am unworthy of your remembrance. —
In a ſhort time, I ſhall be a voluntary
exile from France, and breathe out the remains
of life amidſt a race of ſtrangers,
who cannot call forth thoſe affections, that
would henceforth be ſhut to the world!"
— "Speak not thus, (I cried) for pity's
ſake, ſpeak not thus! Live, and be happy,
happy as your virtues deſerve, as
Julia wiſhes you!" "Julia wiſh me
happy!" — "Oh! Savillon, you know not
the heart that you wring thus! — If it has
wronged you, you are revenged enough,"
— "Revenged! revenged on Julia! Heaven
is my witneſs, I intreated this meeting,
that my parting words might bleſs
her!" — He fell on his knees before me —
"May that Power (he cried), who formed
this excellence, reward it! May every
bleſſing this life can beſtow, be the portion
of Julia! May ſhe be happy, long after
the tongue that aſks it, is ſilent for ever,
and the heart, that now throbs with the
wiſh, has ceaſed its throbbing!" — Had
you ſeen him, Maria, as he uttered this!
— What ſhould I have done? — Weeping,
trembling, unconſcious, as it were, of
myſelf, I ſpoke I know not what — told
him the weakneſs of my ſoul, and lamented
the deſtiny that had made me another's.
This was too much. When I
could recollect myſelf, I felt that it was
too much. I would have retracted what
I had ſaid: I ſpoke of the duty I owed to
Montauban, of the eſteem which his
virtues deſerved. — "I have heard of his
worth (ſaid Savillon); I needed no proof
to be convinced of it; he is the huſband
of Julia." — There was ſomething in the
tone of theſe laſt words, that undid my
reſolution again. — I told him of the falſe
intelligence I had received of his marriage,
without which no argument of prudence,
no paternal influence, could have
made me the wife of another. — He put
his hand to his heart, and threw his eyes
wildly to heaven. — I ſhrunk back at that
look of deſpair, which his countenance
aſſumed. — He took two or three hurried
turns through the room; then, reſuming
his ſeat, and lowering his voice, "It is
enough (ſaid he), I am fated to be miſerable!
but the contagion of my deſtiny
ſhall ſpread no farther. — This night I
leave France for ever!" — "This night!"
I exclaimed. "It muſt be ſo (ſaid he,
with a determined calmneſs); but before
I go, let me depoſit in your hands this
paper. It is a memorial of that Savillon,
who was the friend of Julia!" —
I opened it: it was a will, bequeathing
his fortune to me. "This muſt not be
(ſaid I), this muſt not be. Think not, I
conjure you, ſo deſpairingly of life; live
to enjoy that fortune, which is ſo ſeldom
the reward of merit like thine. I have
no title to its diſpoſal." "You have the
beſt one (returned Savillon, ſtill preſerving
his compoſure), I never valued
wealth, but as it might render me, in the
language of the world, more worthy of
thee. To make it thine, was the purpoſe
of my wiſhing to acquire it; to make it
thine, is ſtill in my power." "I cannot
receive this, indeed I cannot. Think of
the ſituation in which I ſtand." I preſſed
the paper upon him: he took it at laſt,
and pauſing, as if he thought, for a
moment — "You are right, there may be
an impropriety in your keeping it. —
Alas! I have ſcarce a friend, to whom I
can intruſt any thing; yet I may find
one, who will ſee it faithfully executed."
He was interrupted by Laſune, who
entered ſomewhat hurriedly, and told me,
Liſette was come to fetch me, and that
ſhe had met my huſband in her way to
the houſe. "We muſt part then (ſaid
he), for ever! — let not a thought of the
unfortunate Savillon diſturb the happineſs
which Heaven allots to Julia; ſhe
ſhall hear of him but once again — when
that period arrives, it will not offend the
happy Montauban, if ſhe drops a tear
to the memory of one, whoſe love was
expiated by his ſufferings!" — Maria! was
it a breach of virtue, if then I threw
myfelf, on his neck, if then I wept on
his boſom? His look, his laft look! I
fee it ſtill! never shall I forget it!—
Merciful God! at whoſe altar I vowed
fidelity to another! impute not to me as
a crime the remembrance of Savillon;—
thou canſt ſee the purity of that heart,
which bleeds at the remembrance
Eleven at night.
You know my preſentiments of evil;
never did I feel them ſo ſtrong as at preſent.
I tremble to go to bed—the taper
that burns by me is dim, and methinks
my bed looks like a grave!
I was weak enough to call back Liſette.
I pretended ſome little buſineſs for her;
the poor girl obſerved that I looked ill,
and aſked if ſhe ſhould ſit by me: I had
almoſt ſaid Yes, but had courage enough
to combat my fears in that inſtance. She
bid me Good night — there was ſomewhat
ſolemn in her utterance of that Goodnight;
I fancy mine was not without its
particular emphaſis, for ſhe looked back
wiſtfully as I ſpoke. —
I will ſay my prayers and forget it;
pray for me too, my friend. — I have need
of your prayers, indeed I have — Good
night to my deareſt Maria!
If I have recollection enough — Oh!
my Maria! — I will be calm — it was but
a dream — will you bluſh for my weakneſs?
yet hear me — if this ſhould be the
laſt time I ſhall ever write — the memory
of my friend mingles with the thought! —
yet methinks I could, at this time, beyond
any other, die contented.
My fears had given way to ſleep; but
their impreſſion was on my fancy
Methought I ſat in our family-monument
at Belville, with a ſingle glimmering
lamp, that ſhewed the horrors of the
place, when, on a ſudden, a light like
that of the morning, burſt on the gloomy
vault, and the venerable figures of my
fathers, ſuch as I had ſeen them in the
pictures of our hall, ſtood ſmiling benignity
upon me! The attitude of the foremoſt
was that of attention, his finger
reſting upon his lip. — I liſtened — when
ſounds of more than terreſtrial melody
ſtole on my ear, borne, as it were, on
the diſtant wind, till they ſwelled at laſt
to muſic ſo exquiſite, that my raviſhed
ſenſe was ſtretched too far for deluſion,
and I awoke in the midſt of the intrancement!

I roſe, with the memory of the ſounds
full upon my mind; the candle I had
ordered to ſtand by me was ſtill unextinguiſhed.
I ſat down to the organ, and,
with that ſmall ſoft ſtop you uſed to call
ſeraphic, endeavoured to imitate their
beauty. And never before did your Julia
play an air ſo heavenly, or feel ſuch
extaſy in the power of ſound! When
I had catched the ſolemn chord that laſt
aroſe in my dream, my fingers dwelt
involuntarily on the keys, and methought
I ſaw the guardian ſpirits around me,
liſtening with a rapture like mine! —
But it will not laſt — the bliſsful deluſion
is gone, and I am left a weak, an
unhappy woman ſtill! —
I am ſick at heart, Maria, and a faintneſs
like that of death —
The fit is over, and I am able to write
again; and I will write while I am able.
Methinks, my friend, I am taking farewell
of you, and I would lengthen out the
lingering words as much as I can. I
am juſt now recalling the ſcenes of
peaceful happineſs we have enjoyed together.
— I imagine I feel the arm of my
Maria thrown round my neck — her tears
fall on my boſom! — Think of me when
I am gone. — This faintneſs again. — Farewell!
farewell! perhaps ——
LETTER XLVI.
Montauban to Segarva.
IT is done, Segarva, it is done! — the
poor unthinking — Support me, my
friend, ſupport me with the thoughts of
that vengeance I owe to my honour — the
guilty Julia has but a few hours to live.
I did but liſten a moment at the door;
I thought I heard her maid upon the
ſtairs — it is not yet the time. — Hark! —
it was not my wife's bell — the clock ſtruck
eleven — never ſhall ſhe hear it ſtrike that
hour again! —
Pardon me, my Segarva; methinks I
ſpeak to you, when I ſcrawl upon this paper.
I wiſh for ſomebody to ſpeak to;
to anſwer, to comfort, to guide me. —
Had you ſeen her, when theſe trembling
hands delivered her the bowl! — She had
complained of being ill, and begged to
lie alone; but her illneſs ſeemed of the
mind, and when ſhe ſpoke to me, ſhe
betrayed the embarraſſment of guilt. I
gave her the drug as a cordial. She took
it from me, ſmiling, and her look ſeemed
to loſe its confuſion. She drank my
health! She was dreſſed in a white ſilk
bed-gown, ornamented with pale pink
ribbands. Her cheek was gently fluſhed
from their reflection; her blue eyes were
turned upwards as ſhe drank, and a dark--
brown ringlet lay on her ſhoulder. — Methinks
I ſee her now — how like an angel
ſhe looked! Had ſhe been innocent, Segarva!
— You know, you know, it is impoſſible
ſhe can be innocent.
Let me recollect myſelf — a man, a
ſoldier, the friend of Segarva! —
At the word innocent I ſtopped; I
could ſcarce hold my pen; I roſe from
my ſeat, I know not why. Methought
ſome one paſſed behind me in the room.
I ſnatched up my ſword in one hand, and
a candle in the other. — It was my own
figure in a mirror that ſtood at my back.
— What a look was mine! — Am I a murderer?
— Juſtice cannot murder, and the
vengeance of Montauban is juſt.
Lonquillez has been with me. — I durſt
not queſtion him when he entered the
apartment — but the deed is not done:
he could not find Savillon. After watching
for ſeveral hours, he met a peaſant,
whom he had ſeen attending him the day
before, who informed him, that the
ſtrange gentleman had ſet off, ſome time
after it grew dark, in a poſt-chaiſe, which
drove away at full ſpeed. Is my revenge
then incomplete? — or is one victim
ſufficient to the injured honour of a
huſband? — What a victim is that one!
I went down ſtairs to let Lonquillez
out by a private paſſage, of which I
keep the key. When I was returning
to my apartment, I heard the ſound of
muſic proceeding from my wife's chamber;
there is a double door on it; I
opened the outer one without any noiſe,
and the inner has ſome panes of glaſs
a-top, through which I ſaw a part of the
room. Segarva! ſhe ſat at the organ,
her fingers preſſing on the keys, and her
look up-raiſed with enthuſiaſtic rapture
— the ſolemn ſounds ſtill ring in my ear!
ſuch as angels might play, when the ſainted
ſoul aſcends to Heaven! I am the
fool of appearances, when I have ſuch
proofs — Liſette is at my door.
It is now that I feel myſelf a coward;
the horrid draught has begun to operate!
— She thinks herſelf in danger; a phyſician
is ſent for, but he lives at a diſtance;
before he arrives — Oh! Segarva!
She begged I would quit the chamber;
ſhe ſaw my confuſion, and thought
it proceeded from diſtreſs at her illneſs.
— Can guilt be thus miſtreſs of herſelf?
— let me not think that way — my brain
is too weak for it! — Liſette again!
She is guilty, and I am not a murderer!
I go to —
LETTER XLVII.
Monſieur de Rouillé to Mademoiſelle
Roncilles.
MADAM,
THE writer of this letter has no title
to addreſs you, except that which
common friendſhip and common calamity
may give him.
Amidſt the fatal ſcenes, which he has
lately witneſſed, his recollection was loſt;
when it returned, it ſpoke of Mademoiſelle
de Roncilles, the firſt, he believes,
and deareſt friend of the moſt amiable,
but moſt unfortunate Madame de Montauban.
The office he now undertakes
is terrible; but it is neceſſary. — You
muſt ſoon be told, that your excellent
friend is no more! Hear it then from
one, who knew her excellence, as you
did; who tells the horrid circumſtances
of her death with a bleeding heart. —
Yes, Madam, I muſt prepare you for
horrors; and, while the remembrance
tears my own boſom, aſſume the calmneſs
that is neceſſary for yours.
On the evening of Thurſday laſt, I was
told Madame de Montauban was a good
deal indiſpoſed, and had gone to bed before
her uſual time. At a very ſhort and
ſilent ſupper, I perceived her huſband
uncommonly agitated, and, as ſoon as
decency would allow me, withdrew and
left him. Betwixt eleven and twelve
o'clock, (I had not yet gone to bed) one
of the maid-ſervants came to my room,
begging I would inſtantly attend her to
the chamber of her miſtreſs, who was ſo
extremely ill, that, without immediate
aſſiſſtance, they feared the very worſt conſequences.
I had formerly ſtudied a little
phyſic, and been in uſe to practiſe it in
ſome particular campaigns, when abler
aſſiſtance could not be had. I ran down
ſtairs with the ſervant, deſiring my own
man to ſeek out a little caſe of lancets and
follow us. The girl informed her miſtreſs
of my being at the door of her apartment.
She deſired I might come in,
and with that ſmile, which ſickneſs could
not quench, ſtretched out her hand to me.
I found her pulſe low and weak, and ſhe
complained of a ſtrange fluttering at her
heart, which hardly allowed her to ſpeak.
I was afraid to venture on bleeding, and
only gave her a little of ſome common reſtoratives
that were at hand. She found
herſelf ſomewhat relieved, and ſat up in
her bed ſupported by her maid. Montauban
entered the room: his:countenance
ſurpriſed me: it was not that of diſtreſs
alone, it was marked with turbulence
and horror. It ſeemed to hurt his wife.
At that moment ſhe was ſcarce able to
ſpeak; but ſhe forced out a few broken
words, begging him to leave the room,
for that her illneſs affected him too much.
He withdrew in ſilence. In a little time,
ſhe ſeemed a good deal eaſier; but her
pulſe was ſtill lower than before. She
ordered her maid to call Monſ. de Montauban
again: "I dare not truſt to future
moments (ſaid ſhe), and I have
ſomething important to reveal to him." —
I offered to leave the room as he entered.
— "His friend may hear it" — ſhe ſaid,
in a faltering voice. She fixed her eye
languidly, but ſteadily, on Montauban.
He advanced towards her with an eager
gaze, without uttering a word. When
ſhe would have ſpoken, her voice failed
her again, and ſhe beckoned, but with a
modeſty in her action, ſignifying her deſire
that he ſhould ſit down by her. She
took his hand; he ſeemed unconſcious of
her taking it, and continued to bend a
look of earneſtneſs upon her.
When ſhe had recovered the power
of utterance, "I feel, Sir, (ſaid ſhe)
ſomething in this illneſs predictive of the
worſt; at any rate, I would prepare for
it. If I am now to die, I hope (lifting up
her eyes with a certain meek aſſurance
which it is impoſſible to paint) I die
in peace with Heaven! there is one account
which I wiſh to ſettle with you.
Theſe moments of eaſe, which I enjoy,
are allowed me to confeſs my offence,
and intreat your forgiveneſs."
"Thou wert guilty then?" — exclaimed
her huſband, ſtarting from his ſeat.
She pauſed in aſtoniſhment at the impaſſioned
geſture he aſſumed — "Speak!"
cried Montauban, recovering himſelf a
little, his voice ſuffocated with the word.
"When you have heard me (ſaid
Julia), you will find, I am leſs guilty
than unfortunate; yet I am not innocent,
for then I ſhould not have been the wife
of Montauban."
When I became yours, my heart
owned you not for the lord of its affections;
there was an attachment —— yet
look not ſo ſternly on me. — He, in whoſe
favour that prepoſſeſſion was formed, would
not have wronged you if he could. His
virtues were the objects of my affection;
and had Savillon been the thing you fear,
Julia had been guiltleſs even of loving
him in ſecret. Till yeſterday he never
told me his love; till yeſterday he knew
not I had ever loved him." —
"But yeſterday," cried Montauban,
ſeeming to check the agitation he had
ſhewn before, and lowering his voice into
a tone of calm ſeverity.
"For the offence of yeſterday, (ſaid
ſhe) I would obtain your pardon, and
die in peace. I met Savillon in ſecret;
I ſaw the anguiſh of his ſoul, and pitied
it. — Was it a crime thus to meet him?
Was it a crime to confeſs my love, while
I received the laſt farewell of the unfortunate
Savillon? This is my offence —
perhaps the laſt that Julia can commit,
or you forgive!"
He claſped his hands convulſively together,
and throwing up to Heaven a
look of deſpair, fell ſenſeleſs into my
arms, Julia would have ſprung to his
aſſiſtance, but her ſtrength was unequal
to the effort: her maid ſcreamed for help,
and ſeveral of the ſervants ruſhed into
the room. We recovered the hapleſs
Montauban; he looked round wildly for
a moment, then faſtening his eye on
Julia — "I have murdered thee, he cried;
that draught I gave thee — that
draught was death!" He would have
preſſed her to his boſom; ſhe ſunk from
his embrace — her cloſing eye looked piteous
upon him — her hand was half
ſtretched to his — and a ſingle ſigh breathed
out her ſoul to Heaven!
"She ſhall not die," he cried, eagerly
catching hold of her hand, and bending
over her lifeleſs body with a glare of inconceivable
horror in his aſpect. I laid
hold of his arm, endeavouring to draw
his attention towards me; but he ſeemed
not to regard me, and continued that
frightful gaze on the remains of his much--
injured wife. I made a ſign for the ſervants
to aſſiſt me, and taking his hand,
began to uſe a gentle ſort of violence
to lead him away. He ſtarted back a
few paces, without, however, altering the
direction of his eye, "You may torture
me (cried he, wildly), I can bear it all
— Ha! Segarva there! — let them prove
the hand-writing if they can — mark it,
I ſay, there is no blood in her face — let
me aſk one queſtion of the doctor — you
know the effects of poiſon — her lips are
white — bid Savillon kiſs them now ——
they ſhall ſpeak no more, Julia ſhall
ſpeak no more!"
Word was now brought me, that
the phyſician, who had been ſent for
to the aſſiſtance of Julia, was arrived.
He had come, alas! too late
for her; but I meant to uſe his ſkill
on behalf of Montauban. I repeated my
endeavours, to get him away from the
dreadful object before him; and at laſt,
though he ſeemed not to heed the intreaties
I made uſe of, he allowed himſelf to
be conducted to his own apartment, where
the doctor was in waiting. There were
marks of confuſion in this man's countenance,
which I wiſhed to diſſipate. I
made uſe of ſome expreſſive looks, to
ſignify that he ſhould appear more eaſy;
and, aſſuming that manner myſelf, begged
Montauban to allow him to feel his
pulſe. — "You come to ſee my wife,
(ſaid he, turning towards him) — tread
ſoftly — ſhe will do well enough when ſhe
wakes. There! — (ſtretching out his arm)
— your hand trembles ſadly; I will count
the beatings myſelf — here is ſomething
amiſs; but I am not mad. — Your name
is Arpentier, mine is Montauban — I am
not mad." The phyſician deſired him to
get undreſſed, and go to bed. "I mean.
to do ſo, for I have not ſlept theſe two
nights — but it is better not. Give me
ſome potion againſt bad dreams — that's
well thought on, that's well thought
on."
His ſervant had begun to undreſs him.
He went for a few minutes into his cloſet;
he returned with his night-gown on,
and his look appeared more thoughtful
and leſs wild than formerly. He made
a ſlight bow to the phyſician: "I ſhall
ſee you when I riſe, Sir. — Rouillé, is it
not? (addreſſing himſelf to me, and
ſqueezing my hand) — I am not fit for
talking juſt now, I know I am not. —
Good night!" I left him, whiſpering his
ſervant to ſtay in the room, unperceived,
if he could; but, at any rate, not to
leave his maſter alone.
I know not how I was ſo long able to
command reflection. The moment I left
Montauban, the horror of the ſcene I had
witneſſed ruſhed upon my mind, and I
remember nothing of what paſſed, till I
found myſelf kneeling before the breathleſs
remains of the ill-fated Julia. The
doctor was ſtanding by me with a letter
in his hand: it was written by Montauban,
and had been found open on the
table of his ſtudy. Arpentier gave it
me, ſaying, it contained things which
ſhould be communicated only to the
friends of the count. From it I diſcovered
the dreadful certainty of what I
had before gathered from the diſtracted
words of Montauban. He had ſuppoſed
his wife faithleſs, his bed diſhonoured,
and had revenged the imagined injury
by poiſon. — My God! I can ſcarce, at
this moment, believe that I have waked
and ſeen this!
But his ſervant now came running into,
the room, calling for us to haſten into his
maſter's chamber, for that he feared he
was dead. We ruſhed into the room together
— it was too true: Montauban was
no more! The doctor tried, he confeſſed,
without hope, ſeveral expedients to
revive him; but they failed of ſucceſs.
I hung over the bed, entranced in the recollection
of the fateful events I had
ſeen. Arpentier, from the habit of looking
on the forms of death, was more
maſter of himſelf; after examining the
body, and pondering a little on the behaviour
of the count, he went into the
cloſet, where he found, on a ſmall table,
a phial uncorked, which he brought to
me. It explained the fate of Montauban;
a label faſtened to it, was inſcribed
LAUDANUM; its deadly contents he
had ſwallowed in his delirium, before he
went to bed.
Such was the concluſion of a life diſtinguiſhed
by the exerciſe of every manly
virtue, and, except in this inſtance, unſtained
with a crime. While I mourn
the fate of his moſt amiable wife, I recal
the memory of my once dearly-valued
friend, and would ſhelter it with
ſome apology if I could. Let that honour
which he worſhipped plead in his
defence. — That honour we have worſhipped
together, and I would not weaken
its ſacred voice; but I look on the body
of Montauban — I weep over the pale
corſe of Julia! — I ſhudder at the ſacrifices
of miſtaken honour, and lift up
my hands to pity and to juſtice.
* * * * * * * * * *
THE END
Publiſhed by the ſame Author.
1. The MAN of FEELING, a new
Edition, Price 3s.
2. The MAN of the WORLD, in 2
Volumes, 2d Edition, Price 6s.
3. The PURSUITS of HAPPINESS.
INSCRIBED TO A FRIEND. Price 1s. 6d.

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APA Style:

Julia de Roubigné, Vol. 2. 2022. In The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved July 2022, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/cmsw/document/?documentid=658.

MLA Style:

"Julia de Roubigné, Vol. 2." The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2022. Web. July 2022. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/cmsw/document/?documentid=658.

Chicago Style

The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing, s.v., "Julia de Roubigné, Vol. 2," accessed July 2022, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/cmsw/document/?documentid=658.

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. 2022. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/cmsw/.

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Julia de Roubigné, Vol. 2

Document Information

Document ID 658
Title Julia de Roubigné, Vol. 2
Year group 1750-1800
Genre Imaginative prose
Year of publication 1777
Publisher W Strahan and T Caddell
Place of publication London
Wordcount 24547

Author information: Mackenzie, Henry

Author ID 239
Forenames Henry
Surname Mackenzie
Gender Male
Year of birth 1745
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Occupation Author
Father's occupation Physician
Locations where resident Edinburgh