No shadow of gaining over Sir James!—Efforts has not been wanting:—I mean efforts to declare my inclination.—I have follow’d him like a ghost for days past, thinking at every step how I should bless this or that spot on which he consented to my happiness.—Pleasing phantoms!—How have they fled at sight of his determin’d countenance!—Methought I could trace in it the same obduracy which nature vainly pleaded to remove.—In other matters my heart is resolute;—here an errant coward.—No! I cannot break it to him whilst in Hampshire.—When I get to town, a letter shall speak for me.—Sometimes I am tempted to trust the secret to Lady Powis.—She is compassionate;—she would even risk her own peace to preserve mine.—Again the thoughts of involving her in fresh perplexities determines me against it.
Had my father been acquainted with that part of Sir James’s character which concerned his son, I am convinc’d he would have made some restrictions in regard to the explicit obedience he enjoined.—But all was hushed whilst Mr. Powis continued on his travels; nor, until he settled abroad, did any one suspect there had been a family disagreement:—even at this time the whole affair is not generally known.—The name of the lady to whom he was obliged to make proposals, is in particular carefully concealed.—I, who from ten years old have been bred up with them, am an entire stranger to it.—Perhaps no part of the affair would ever have transpired, had not Sir James made some discoveries, in the first agitation of his passion, before a large company, when he received an account of Mr. Powis’s being appointed to the government of ——. No secret can be safe in a breast where every passage is not well guarded against an enemy which, like lightning, throws up all before it.
Let me not forget to tell you, amongst a multiplicity of concerns crowding on my mind, that I have positively deny’d Edmund to intercede with his father regarding the commission.—A bare surmise that he is my rival, has silenced me.—Was I ungenerous enough to indulge myself in getting rid of him, an opportunity now offers;—but I am as averse to such proceedings as he ought to be who is the friend of Molesworth, and writes the name of
The Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH to Lord DARCEY.
Believe me, my dear Lord, I never suspected you capable of designs you justly hold in abhorrence.—If I expressed myself warmly, it was owing to your keeping from me the knowledge of those particulars which have varied every circumstance.—I saw my friend a poor restless being, irresolute, full of perplexities.—I felt for him.—I rejoice now to find from whence this irresolution, those perplexities arose.—She is,—she must,—by heaven! she shall be yours:—A reward fit only for such great—such noble resolutions.