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Caleb Williams by William Godwin

Part 2 out of 7

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friend, had held him dumb. For the last half hour he had stood up, with
his eyes intently fixed upon Mr. Clare. He witnessed the last gasp, the
last little convulsive motion of the frame. He continued to look; he
sometimes imagined that he saw life renewed. At length he could deceive
himself no longer, and exclaimed with a distracted accent, "And is this
all?" He would have thrown himself upon the body of his friend; the
attendants withheld, and would have forced him into another apartment.
But he struggled from them, and hung fondly over the bed. "Is this the
end of genius, virtue, and excellence? Is the luminary of the world thus
for ever gone? Oh, yesterday! yesterday! Clare, why could not I have
died in your stead? Dreadful moment! Irreparable loss! Lost in the very
maturity and vigour of his mind! Cut off from a usefulness ten thousand
times greater than any he had already exhibited! Oh, his was a mind to
have instructed sages, and guided the moral world! This is all we have
left of him! The eloquence of those lips is gone! The incessant activity
of that heart is still! The best and wisest of men is gone, and the
world is insensible of its loss!"

Mr. Tyrrel heard the intelligence of Mr. Clare's death with emotion, but
of a different kind. He avowed that he had not forgiven him his partial
attachment to Mr. Falkland, and therefore could not recall his
remembrance with kindness. But if he could have overlooked his past
injustice, sufficient care, it seems, was taken to keep alive his
resentment. "Falkland, forsooth, attended him on his death-bed, as if
nobody else were worthy of his confidential communications." But what
was worst of all was this executorship. "In every thing this pragmatical
rascal throws me behind. Contemptible wretch, that has nothing of the
man about him! Must he perpetually trample upon his betters? Is every
body incapable of saying what kind of stuff a man is made of? caught
with mere outside? choosing the flimsy before the substantial? And upon
his death-bed too? [Mr. Tyrrel with his uncultivated brutality mixed, as
usually happens, certain rude notions of religion.] Sure the sense of
his situation might have shamed him. Poor wretch! his soul has a great
deal to answer for. He has made my pillow uneasy; and, whatever may be
the consequences, it is he we have to thank for them."

The death of Mr. Clare removed the person who could most effectually
have moderated the animosities of the contending parties, and took away
the great operative check upon the excesses of Mr. Tyrrel. This rustic
tyrant had been held in involuntary restraint by the intellectual
ascendancy of his celebrated neighbour: and, notwithstanding the general
ferocity of his temper, he did not appear till lately to have
entertained a hatred against him. In the short time that had elapsed
from the period in which Mr. Clare had fixed his residence in the
neighbourhood, to that of the arrival of Mr. Falkland from the
Continent, the conduct of Mr. Tyrrel had even shown tokens of
improvement. He would indeed have been better satisfied not to have had
even this intruder into a circle where he had been accustomed to reign.
But with Mr. Clare he could have no rivalship; the venerable character
of Mr. Clare disposed him to submission: this great man seemed to have
survived all the acrimony of contention, and all the jealous subtleties
of a mistaken honour.

The effects of Mr. Clare's suavity however, so far as related to Mr.
Tyrrel, had been in a certain degree suspended by considerations of
rivalship between this gentleman and Mr. Falkland. And, now that the
influence of Mr. Clare's presence and virtues was entirely removed, Mr.
Tyrrel's temper broke out into more criminal excesses than ever. The
added gloom which Mr. Falkland's neighbourhood inspired, overflowed upon
all his connections; and the new examples of his sullenness and tyranny
which every day afforded, reflected back upon this accumulated and
portentous feud.


The consequences of all this speedily manifested themselves. The very
next incident in the story was in some degree decisive of the
catastrophe. Hitherto I have spoken only of preliminary matters,
seemingly unconnected with each other, though leading to that state of
mind in both parties which had such fatal effects. But all that remains
is rapid and tremendous. The death-dealing mischief advances with an
accelerated motion, appearing to defy human wisdom and strength to
obstruct its operation.

The vices of Mr. Tyrrel, in their present state of augmentation, were
peculiarly exercised upon his domestics and dependents. But the
principal sufferer was the young lady mentioned on a former occasion,
the orphan daughter of his father's sister. Miss Melville's mother had
married imprudently, or rather unfortunately, against the consent of her
relations, all of whom had agreed to withdraw their countenance from her
in consequence of that precipitate step. Her husband had turned out to
be no better than an adventurer; had spent her fortune, which in
consequence of the irreconcilableness of her family was less than he
expected, and had broken her heart. Her infant daughter was left without
any resource. In this situation the representations of the people with
whom she happened to be placed, prevailed upon Mrs. Tyrrel, the mother
of the squire, to receive her into her family. In equity, perhaps, she
was entitled to that portion of fortune which her mother had forfeited
by her imprudence, and which had gone to swell the property of the male
representative. But this idea had never entered into the conceptions of
either mother or son. Mrs, Tyrrel conceived that she performed an act of
the most exalted benevolence in admitting Miss Emily into a sort of
equivocal situation, which was neither precisely that of a domestic, nor
yet marked with the treatment that might seem due to one of the family.

She had not, however, at first been sensible of all the mortifications
that might have been expected from her condition. Mrs. Tyrrel, though
proud and imperious, was not ill-natured. The female, who lived in the
family in the capacity of housekeeper, was a person who had seen better
days, and whose disposition was extremely upright and amiable. She early
contracted a friendship for the little Emily, who was indeed for the
most part committed to her care. Emily, on her side, fully repaid the
affection of her instructress, and learned with great docility the few
accomplishments Mrs. Jakeman was able to communicate. But most of all
she imbibed her cheerful and artless temper, that extracted the
agreeable and encouraging from all events, and prompted her to
communicate her sentiments, which were never of the cynical cast,
without modification or disguise. Besides the advantages Emily derived
from Mrs. Jakeman, she was permitted to take lessons from the masters
who were employed at Tyrrel Place for the instruction of her cousin; and
indeed, as the young gentleman was most frequently indisposed to attend
to them, they would commonly have had nothing to do, had it not been for
the fortunate presence of Miss Melville. Mrs. Tyrrel therefore
encouraged the studies of Emily on that score; in addition to which she
imagined that this living exhibition of instruction might operate as an
indirect allurement to her darling Barnabas, the only species of motive
she would suffer to be presented. Force she absolutely forbade; and of
the intrinsic allurements of literature and knowledge she had no

Emily, as she grew up, displayed an uncommon degree of sensibility,
which under her circumstances would have been a source of perpetual
dissatisfaction, had it not been qualified with an extreme sweetness and
easiness of temper. She was far from being entitled to the appellation
of a beauty. Her person was _petite_ and trivial; her complexion
savoured of the _brunette_; and her face was marked with the small-pox,
sufficiently to destroy its evenness and polish, though not enough to
destroy its expression. But, though her appearance was not beautiful, it
did not fail to be in a high degree engaging. Her complexion was at once
healthful and delicate; her long dark eye-brows adapted themselves with
facility to the various conceptions of her mind; and her looks bore the
united impression of an active discernment and a good-humoured
frankness. The instruction she had received, as it was entirely of a
casual nature, exempted her from the evils of untutored ignorance, but
not from a sort of native wildness, arguing a mind incapable of guile
itself, or of suspecting it in others. She amused, without seeming
conscious of the refined sense which her observations contained; or
rather, having never been debauched with applause, she set light by her
own qualifications, and talked from the pure gaiety of a youthful heart
acting upon the stores of a just understanding, and not with any
expectation of being distinguished and admired.

The death of her aunt made very little change in her situation. This
prudent lady, who would have thought it little less than sacrilege to
have considered Miss Melville as a branch of the stock of the Tyrrels,
took no more notice of her in her will than barely putting her down for
one hundred pounds in a catalogue of legacies to her servants. She had
never been admitted into the intimacy and confidence of Mrs. Tyrrel; and
the young squire, now that she was left under his sole protection,
seemed inclined to treat her with even more liberality than his mother
had done. He had seen her grow up under his eye, and therefore, though
there were but six years difference in their ages, he felt a kind of
paternal interest in her welfare. Habit had rendered her in a manner
necessary to him, and, in every recess from the occupations of the field
and the pleasures of the table, he found himself solitary and forlorn
without the society of Miss Melville. Nearness of kindred, and Emily's
want of personal beauty, prevented him from ever looking on her with the
eyes of desire. Her accomplishments were chiefly of the customary and
superficial kind, dancing and music. Her skill in the first led him
sometimes to indulge her with a vacant corner in his carriage, when he
went to the neighbouring assembly; and, in whatever light he might
himself think proper to regard her, he would have imagined his
chambermaid, introduced by him, entitled to an undoubted place in the
most splendid circle. Her musical talents were frequently employed for
his amusement. She had the honour occasionally of playing him to sleep
after the fatigues of the chase; and, as he had some relish for
harmonious sounds, she was frequently able to soothe him by their means
from the perturbations of which his gloomy disposition was so eminently
a slave. Upon the whole, she might be considered as in some sort his
favourite. She was the mediator to whom his tenants and domestics, when
they had incurred his displeasure, were accustomed to apply; the
privileged companion, that could approach this lion with impunity in the
midst of his roarings. She spoke to him without fear; her solicitations
were always good-natured and disinterested; and when he repulsed her, he
disarmed himself of half his terrors, and was contented to smile at her

Such had been for some years the situation of Miss Melville. Its
precariousness had been beguiled by the uncommon forbearance with which
she was treated by her savage protector. But his disposition, always
brutal, had acquired a gradual accession of ferocity since the
settlement of Mr. Falkland in his neighbourhood. He now frequently
forgot the gentleness with which he had been accustomed to treat his
good-natured cousin. Her little playful arts were not always successful
in softening his rage; and he would sometimes turn upon her
blandishments with an impatient sternness that made her tremble. The
careless ease of her disposition, however, soon effaced these
impressions, and she fell without variation into her old habits.

A circumstance occurred about this time which gave peculiar strength to
the acrimony of Mr. Tyrrel, and ultimately brought to its close the
felicity that Miss Melville, in spite of the frowns of fortune, had
hitherto enjoyed. Emily was exactly seventeen when Mr. Falkland returned
from the continent. At this age she was peculiarly susceptible of the
charms of beauty, grace, and moral excellence, when united in a person
of the other sex. She was imprudent, precisely because her own heart was
incapable of guile. She had never yet felt the sting of the poverty to
which she was condemned, and had not reflected on the insuperable
distance that custom has placed between the opulent and the poorer
classes of the community. She beheld Mr. Falkland, whenever he was
thrown in her way at any of the public meetings, with admiration; and,
without having precisely explained to herself the sentiments she
indulged, her eyes followed him through all the changes of the scene,
with eagerness and impatience. She did not see him, as the rest of the
assembly did, born to one of the amplest estates in the county, and
qualified to assert his title to the richest heiress. She thought only
of Falkland, with those advantages which were most intimately his own,
and of which no persecution of adverse fortune had the ability to
deprive him. In a word, she was transported when he was present; he was
the perpetual subject of her reveries and her dreams; but his image
excited no sentiment in her mind beyond that of the immediate pleasure
she took in his idea.

The notice Mr. Falkland bestowed on her in return, appeared sufficiently
encouraging to a mind so full of prepossession as that of Emily. There
was a particular complacency in his looks when directed towards her. He
had said in a company, of which one of the persons present repeated his
remarks to Miss Melville, that she appeared to him amiable and
interesting; that he felt for her unprovided and destitute situation;
and that he should have been glad to be more particular in his attention
to her, had he not been apprehensive of doing her a prejudice in the
suspicious mind of Mr. Tyrrel. All this she considered as the ravishing
condescension of a superior nature; for, if she did not recollect with
sufficient assiduity his gifts of fortune, she was, on the other hand,
filled with reverence for his unrivalled accomplishments. But, while she
thus seemingly disclaimed all comparison between Mr. Falkland and
herself, she probably cherished a confused feeling as if some event,
that was yet in the womb of fate, might reconcile things apparently the
most incompatible. Fraught with these prepossessions, the civilities
that had once or twice occurred in the bustle of a public circle, the
restoring her fan which she had dropped, or the disembarrassing her of
an empty tea-cup, made her heart palpitate, and gave birth to the
wildest chimeras in her deluded imagination.

About this time an event happened, that helped to give a precise
determination to the fluctuations of Miss Melville's mind. One evening,
a short time after the death of Mr. Clare, Mr. Falkland had been at the
house of his deceased friend in his quality of executor, and, by some
accidents of little intrinsic importance, had been detained three or
four hours later than he expected. He did not set out upon his return
till two o'clock in the morning. At this time, in a situation so remote
from the metropolis, every thing is as silent as it would be in a
region wholly uninhabited. The moon shone bright; and the objects around
being marked with strong variations of light and shade, gave a kind of
sacred solemnity to the scene. Mr. Falkland had taken Collins with him,
the business to be settled at Mr. Clare's being in some respects similar
to that to which this faithful domestic had been accustomed in the
routine of his ordinary service. They had entered into some
conversation, for Mr. Falkland was not then in the habit of obliging the
persons about him by formality and reserve to recollect who he was. The
attractive solemnity of the scene made him break off the talk somewhat
abruptly, that he might enjoy it without interruption. They had not
ridden far, before a hollow wind seemed to rise at a distance, and they
could hear the hoarse roarings of the sea. Presently the sky on one side
assumed the appearance of a reddish brown, and a sudden angle in the
road placed this phenomenon directly before them. As they proceeded, it
became more distinct, and it was at length sufficiently visible that it
was occasioned by a fire. Mr. Falkland put spurs to his horse; and, as
they approached, the object presented every instant a more alarming
appearance. The flames ascended with fierceness; they embraced a large
portion of the horizon; and, as they carried up with them numerous
little fragments of the materials that fed them, impregnated with fire,
and of an extremely bright and luminous colour, they presented some
feeble image of the tremendous eruption of a volcano.

The flames proceeded from a village directly in their road. There were
eight or ten houses already on fire, and the whole seemed to be
threatened with immediate destruction. The inhabitants were in the
utmost consternation, having had no previous experience of a similar
calamity. They conveyed with haste their moveables and furniture into
the adjoining fields. When any of them had effected this as far as it
could be attempted with safety, they were unable to conceive any further
remedy, but stood wringing their hands, and contemplating the ravages of
the fire in an agony of powerless despair. The water that could be
procured, in any mode practised in that place, was but as a drop
contending with an element in arms. The wind in the mean time was
rising, and the flames spread with more and more rapidity.

Mr. Falkland contemplated this scene for a few moments, as if ruminating
with himself as to what could be done. He then directed some of the
country people about him to pull down a house, next to one that was
wholly on fire, but which itself was yet untouched. They seemed
astonished at a direction which implied a voluntary destruction of
property, and considered the task as too much in the heart of the danger
to be undertaken. Observing that they were motionless, he dismounted
from his horse, and called upon them in an authoritative voice to follow
him. He ascended the house in an instant, and presently appeared upon
the top of it, as if in the midst of the flames. Having, with the
assistance of two or three of the persons that followed him most
closely, and who by this time had supplied themselves with whatever
tools came next to hand, loosened the support of a stack of chimneys, he
pushed them headlong into the midst of the fire. He passed and repassed
along the roof; and, having set people to work in all parts, descended
in order to see what could be done in any other quarter. At this moment
an elderly woman burst from the midst of a house in flames: the utmost
consternation was painted in her looks; and, as soon as she could
recollect herself enough to have a proper idea of her situation, the
subject of her anxiety seemed, in an instant, to be totally changed.
"Where is my child?" cried she, and cast an anxious and piercing look
among the surrounding crowd. "Oh, she is lost! she is in the midst of
flames! Save her! save her! my child!" She filled the air with
heart-rending shrieks. She turned towards the house. The people that
were near endeavoured to prevent her, but she shook them off in a
moment. She entered the passage; viewed the hideous ruin; and was then
going to plunge into the blazing staircase. Mr. Falkland saw, pursued,
and seized her by the arm; it was Mrs. Jakeman. "Stop!" he cried, with a
voice of grand, yet benevolent authority. "Remain you in the street! I
will seek, and will save her!" Mrs. Jakeman obeyed. He charged the
persons who were near to detain her; he enquired which was the apartment
of Emily. Mrs. Jakeman was upon a visit to a sister who lived in the
village, and had brought Emily along with her. Mr. Falkland ascended a
neighbouring house, and entered that in which Emily was, by a window in
the roof.

He found her already awaked from her sleep; and, becoming sensible of
her danger, she had that instant wrapped a loose gown round her. Such is
the almost irresistible result of feminine habits; but, having done
this, she examined the surrounding objects with the wildness of despair.
Mr. Falkland entered the chamber. She flew into his arms with the
rapidity of lightning. She embraced and clung to him, with an impulse
that did not wait to consult the dictates of her understanding. Her
emotions were indescribable. In a few short moments she had lived an age
in love. In two minutes Mr. Falkland was again in the street with his
lovely, half-naked burthen in his arms. Having restored her to her
affectionate protector, snatched from the immediate grasp of death, from
which, if he had not, none would have delivered her, he returned to his
former task. By his presence of mind, by his indefatigable humanity and
incessant exertions, he saved three fourths of the village from

The conflagration being at length abated, he sought again Mrs. Jakeman
and Emily, who by this time had obtained a substitute for the garments
she had lost in the fire. He displayed the tenderest solicitude for the
young lady's safety, and directed Collins to go with as much speed as he
could, and send his chariot to attend her. More than an hour elapsed in
this interval. Miss Melville had never seen so much of Mr. Falkland upon
any former occasion; and the spectacle of such humanity, delicacy,
firmness, and justice in the form of man, as he crowded into this small
space, was altogether new to her, and in the highest degree fascinating.
She had a confused feeling as if there had been something indecorous in
her behaviour or appearance, when Mr. Falkland had appeared to her
relief; and this combined with her other emotions to render the whole
critical and intoxicating.

Emily no sooner arrived at the family mansion, than Mr. Tyrrel ran out
to receive her. He had just heard of the melancholy accident that had
taken place at the village, and was terrified for the safety of his
good-humoured cousin. He displayed those unpremeditated emotions which
are common to almost every individual of the human race. He was greatly
shocked at the suspicion that Emily might possibly have become the
victim of a catastrophe which had thus broken out in the dead of night.
His sensations were of the most pleasing sort when he folded her in his
arms, and fearful apprehension was instantaneously converted into
joyous certainty. Emily no sooner entered under the well known roof than
her spirits were brisk, and her tongue incessant in describing her
danger and her deliverance. Mr. Tyrrel had formerly been tortured with
the innocent eulogiums she pronounced of Mr. Falkland. But these were
lameness itself, compared with the rich and various eloquence that now
flowed from her lips. Love had not the same effect upon her, especially
at the present moment, which it would have had upon a person instructed
to feign a blush, and inured to a consciousness of wrong. She described
his activity and resources, the promptitude with which every thing was
conceived, and the cautious but daring wisdom with which it was
executed. All was fairy-land and enchantment in the tenour of her
artless tale; you saw a beneficent genius surveying and controlling the
whole, but could have no notion of any human means by which his purposes
were effected.

Mr. Tyrrel listened for a while to these innocent effusions with
patience; he could even bear to hear the man applauded, by whom he had
just obtained so considerable a benefit. But the theme by amplification
became nauseous, and he at length with some roughness put an end to the
tale. Probably, upon recollection, it appeared still more insolent and
intolerable than while it was passing; the sensation of gratitude wore
off, but the hyperbolical praise that had been bestowed still haunted
his memory, and sounded in his ear;--Emily had entered into the
confederacy that disturbed his repose. For herself, she was wholly
unconscious of offence, and upon every occasion quoted Mr. Falkland as
the model of elegant manners and true wisdom. She was a total stranger
to dissimulation; and she could not conceive that any one beheld the
subject of her admiration with less partiality than herself. Her
artless love became more fervent than ever. She flattered herself that
nothing less than a reciprocal passion could have prompted Mr. Falkland
to the desperate attempt of saving her from the flames; and she trusted
that this passion would speedily declare itself, as well as induce the
object of her adoration to overlook her comparative unworthiness.

Mr. Tyrrel endeavoured at first with some moderation to check Miss
Melville in her applauses, and to convince her by various tokens that
the subject was disagreeable to him. He was accustomed to treat her with
kindness. Emily, on her part, was disposed to yield an unreluctant
obedience, and therefore it was not difficult to restrain her. But upon
the very next occasion her favourite topic would force its way to her
lips. Her obedience was the acquiescence of a frank and benevolent
heart; but it was the most difficult thing in the world to inspire her
with fear. Conscious herself that she would not hurt a worm, she could
not conceive that any one would harbour cruelty and rancour against her.
Her temper had preserved her from obstinate contention with the persons
under whose protection she was placed; and, as her compliance was
unhesitating, she had no experience of a severe and rigorous treatment.
As Mr. Tyrrel's objection to the very name of Falkland became more
palpable and uniform, Miss Melville increased in her precaution. She
would stop herself in the half-pronounced sentences that were meant to
his praise. This circumstance had necessarily an ungracious effect; it
was a cutting satire upon the imbecility of her kinsman. Upon these
occasions she would sometimes venture upon a good-humoured
expostulation:--"Dear sir! well, I wonder how you can be so ill-natured!
I am sure Mr. Falkland would do you any good office in the
world:"--till she was checked by some gesture of impatience and

At length she wholly conquered her heedlessness and inattention. But it
was too late. Mr. Tyrrel already suspected the existence of that passion
which she had thoughtlessly imbibed. His imagination, ingenious in
torment, suggested to him all the different openings in conversation, in
which she would have introduced the praise of Mr. Falkland, had she not
been placed under this unnatural restraint. Her present reserve upon the
subject was even more insufferable than her former loquacity. All his
kindness for this unhappy orphan gradually subsided. Her partiality for
the man who was the object of his unbounded abhorrence, appeared to him
as the last persecution of a malicious destiny. He figured himself as
about to be deserted by every creature in human form; all men, under the
influence of a fatal enchantment, approving only what was sophisticated
and artificial, and holding the rude and genuine offspring of nature in
mortal antipathy. Impressed with these gloomy presages, he saw Miss
Melville with no sentiments but those of rancorous aversion; and,
accustomed as he was to the uncontrolled indulgence of his propensities,
he determined to wreak upon her a signal revenge.


Mr. Tyrrel consulted his old confident respecting the plan he should
pursue; who, sympathising as he did in the brutality and insolence of
his friend, had no idea that an insignificant girl, without either
wealth or beauty, ought to be allowed for a moment to stand in the way
of the gratifications of a man of Mr. Tyrrel's importance. The first
idea of her now unrelenting kinsman was to thrust her from his doors,
and leave her to seek her bread as she could. But he was conscious that
this proceeding would involve him in considerable obloquy; and he at
length fixed upon a scheme which, at the same time that he believed it
would sufficiently shelter his reputation, would much more certainly
secure her mortification and punishment.

For this purpose he fixed upon a young man of twenty, the son of one
Grimes, who occupied a small farm, the property of his confident. This
fellow he resolved to impose as a husband on Miss Melville, who, he
shrewdly suspected, guided by the tender sentiments she had
unfortunately conceived for Mr. Falkland, would listen with reluctance
to any matrimonial proposal. Grimes he selected as being in all respects
the diametrical reverse of Mr. Falkland. He was not precisely a lad of
vicious propensities, but in an inconceivable degree boorish and
uncouth. His complexion was scarcely human; his features were coarse,
and strangely discordant and disjointed from each other. His lips were
thick, and the tone of his voice broad and unmodulated. His legs were of
equal size from one end to the other, and his feet misshapen and clumsy.
He had nothing spiteful or malicious in his disposition, but he was a
total stranger to tenderness; he could not feel for those refinements in
others, of which he had no experience in himself. He was an expert
boxer: his inclination led him to such amusements as were most
boisterous; and he delighted in a sort of manual sarcasm, which he could
not conceive to be very injurious, as it left no traces behind it. His
general manners were noisy and obstreperous; inattentive to others; and
obstinate and unyielding, not from any cruelty and ruggedness of
temper, but from an incapacity to conceive those finer feelings, that
make so large a part of the history of persons who are cast in a gentler

Such was the uncouth and half-civilised animal, which the industrious
malice of Mr. Tyrrel fixed upon as most happily adapted to his purpose.
Emily had hitherto been in an unusual degree exempted from the
oppression of despotism. Her happy insignificance had served her as a
protection. No one thought it worth his while to fetter her with those
numerous petty restrictions with which the daughters of opulence are
commonly tormented. She had the wildness, as well as the delicate frame,
of the bird that warbles unmolested in its native groves.

When therefore she heard from her kinsman the proposal of Mr. Grimes for
a husband, she was for a moment silent with astonishment at so
unexpected a suggestion. But as soon as she recovered her speech, she
replied, "No, sir, I do not want a husband."

"You do! Are not you always hankering after the men? It is high time you
should be settled."

"Mr. Grimes! No, indeed! when I do have a husband, it shall not be such
a man as Mr. Grimes neither."

"Be silent! How dare you give yourself such unaccountable liberties?"

"Lord, I wonder what I should do with him. You might as well give me
your great rough water-dog, and bid me make him a silk cushion to lie in
my dressing-room. Besides, sir, Grimes is a common labouring man, and I
am sure I have always heard my aunt say that ours is a very great

"It is a lie! Our family! have you the impudence to think yourself one
of our family?"

"Why, sir, was not your grandpapa my grandpapa? How then can we be of a
different family?"

"From the strongest reason in the world. You are the daughter of a
rascally Scotchman, who spent every shilling of my aunt Lucy's fortune,
and left you a beggar. You have got an hundred pounds, and Grimes's
father promises to give him as much. How dare you look down upon your

"Indeed, sir, I am not proud. But, indeed and indeed, I can never love
Mr. Grimes. I am very happy as I am: why should I be married?"

"Silence your prating! Grimes will be here this afternoon. Look that you
behave well to him. If you do not, he will remember and repay, when you
least like it."

"Nay, I am sure, sir--you are not in earnest?"

"Not in earnest! Damn me, but we will see that. I can tell what you
would be at. You had rather be Mr. Falkland's miss, than the wife of a
plain downright yeoman. But I shall take care of you.--Ay, this comes of
indulgence. You must be taken down, miss. You must be taught the
difference between high-flown notions and realities. Mayhap you may take
it a little in dudgeon or so; but never mind that. Pride always wants a
little smarting. If you should be brought to shame, it is I that shall
bear the blame of it."

The tone in which Mr. Tyrrel spoke was so different from any thing to
which Miss Melville had been accustomed, that she felt herself wholly
unable to determine what construction to put upon it. Sometimes she
thought he had really formed a plan for imposing upon her a condition
that she could not bear so much as to think of. But presently she
rejected this idea as an unworthy imputation upon her kinsman, and
concluded that it was only his way, and that all he meant was to try
her. To be resolved however, she determined to consult her constant
adviser, Mrs. Jakeman, and accordingly repeated to her what had passed.
Mrs. Jakeman saw the whole in a very different light from that in which
Emily had conceived it, and trembled for the future peace of her beloved

"Lord bless me, my dear mamma!" cried Emily, (this was the appellation
she delighted to bestow upon the good housekeeper,) "you cannot think
so? But I do not care. I will never marry Grimes, happen what will."

"But how will you help yourself? My master will oblige you."

"Nay, now you think you are talking to a child indeed. It is I am to
have the man, not Mr. Tyrrel. Do you think I will let any body else
choose a husband for me? I am not such a fool as that neither."

"Ah, Emily! you little know the disadvantages of your situation. Your
cousin is a violent man, and perhaps will turn you out of doors, if you
oppose him."

"Oh, mamma! it is very wicked of you to say so. I am sure Mr. Tyrrel is
a very good man, though he be a little cross now and then. He knows very
well that I am right to have a will of my own in such a thing as this,
and nobody is punished for doing what is right."

"Nobody ought, my dear child. But there are very wicked and tyrannical
men in the world."

"Well, well, I will never believe my cousin is one of these."

"I hope he is not."

"And if he were, what then? To be sure I should he very sorry to make
him angry."

"What then! Why then my poor Emily would be a beggar. Do you think I
could bear to see that?"

"No, no. Mr. Tyrrel has just told me that I have a hundred pounds. But
if I had no fortune, is not that the case with a thousand other folks?
Why should I grieve, for what they bear and are merry? Do not make
yourself uneasy, mamma. I am determined that I will do any thing rather
than marry Grimes; that is what I will."

Mrs. Jakeman could not bear the uneasy state of suspense in which this
conversation left her mind, and went immediately to the squire to have
her doubts resolved. The manner in which she proposed the question,
sufficiently indicated the judgment she had formed of the match.

"That is true," said Mr. Tyrrel, "I wanted to speak to you about this
affair. The girl has got unaccountable notions in her head, that will be
the ruin of her. You perhaps can tell where she had them. But, be that
as it will, it is high time something should be done. The shortest way
is the best, and to keep things well while they are well. In short, I am
determined she shall marry this lad: you do not know any harm of him, do
you? You have a good deal of influence with her, and I desire, do you
see, that you will employ it to lead her to her good: you had best, I
can tell you. She is a pert vixen! By and by she would be a whore, and
at last no better than a common trull, and rot upon a dunghill, if I
were not at all these pains to save her from destruction. I would make
her an honest farmer's wife, and my pretty miss cannot bear the thoughts
of it!"

In the afternoon Grimes came according to appointment, and was left
alone with the young lady.

"Well, miss," said he, "it seems the squire has a mind to make us man
and wife. For my part, I cannot say I should have thought of it. But,
being as how the squire has broke the ice, if so be as you like of the
match, why I am your man. Speak the word; a nod is as good as a wink to
a blind horse."

Emily was already sufficiently mortified at the unexpected proposal of
Mr. Tyrrel. She was confounded at the novelty of the situation, and
still more at the uncultivated rudeness of her lover, which even
exceeded her expectation. This confusion was interpreted by Grimes into

"Come, come, never be cast down. Put a good face upon it. What though?
My first sweetheart was Bet Butterfield, but what of that? What must be
must be; grief will never fill the belly. She was a fine strapping
wench, that is the truth of it! five foot ten inches, and as stout as a
trooper. Oh, she would do a power of work! Up early and down late;
milked ten cows with her own hands; on with her cardinal, rode to market
between her panniers, fair weather and foul, hail, blow, or snow. It
would have done your heart good to have seen her frost-bitten cheeks, as
red as a beefen from her own orchard! Ah! she was a maid of mettle;
would romp with the harvestmen, slap one upon the back, wrestle with
another, and had a rogue's trick and a joke for all round. Poor girl!
she broke her neck down stairs at a christening. To be sure I shall
never meet with her fellow! But never you mind that; I do not doubt that
I shall find more in you upon further acquaintance. As coy and bashful
as you seem, I dare say you are rogue enough at bottom. When I have
touzled and rumpled you a little, we shall see. I am no chicken, miss,
whatever you may think. I know what is what, and can see as far into a
millstone as another. Ay, ay; you will come to. The fish will snap at
the bait, never doubt it. Yes, yes, we shall rub on main well together."

Emily by this time had in some degree mustered up her spirits, and
began, though with hesitation, to thank Mr. Grimes for his good opinion,
but to confess that she could never be brought to favour his addresses.
She therefore entreated him to desist from all further application. This
remonstrance on her part would have become more intelligible, had it not
been for his boisterous manners and extravagant cheerfulness, which
indisposed him to silence, and made him suppose that at half a word he
had sufficient intimation of another's meaning. Mr. Tyrrel, in the mean
time, was too impatient not to interrupt the scene before they could
have time to proceed far in explanation; and he was studious in the
sequel to prevent the young folks from being too intimately acquainted
with each other's inclinations. Grimes, of consequence, attributed the
reluctance of Miss Melville to maiden coyness, and the skittish shyness
of an unbroken filly. Indeed, had it been otherwise, it is not probable
that it would have made any effectual impression upon him; as he was
always accustomed to consider women as made for the recreation of the
men, and to exclaim against the weakness of people who taught them to
imagine they were to judge for themselves.

As the suit proceeded, and Miss Melville saw more of her new admirer,
her antipathy increased. But, though her character was unspoiled by
those false wants, which frequently make people of family miserable
while they have every thing that nature requires within their reach, yet
she had been little used to opposition, and was terrified at the growing
sternness of her kinsman. Sometimes she thought of flying from a house
which was now become her dungeon; but the habits of her youth, and her
ignorance of the world, made her shrink from this project, when she
contemplated it more nearly, Mrs. Jakeman, indeed, could not think with
patience of young Grimes as a husband for her darling Emily; but her
prudence determined her to resist with all her might the idea on the
part of the young lady of proceeding to extremities. She could not
believe that Mr. Tyrrel would persist in such an unaccountable
persecution, and she exhorted Miss Melville to forget for a moment the
unaffected independence of her character, and pathetically to deprecate
her cousin's obstinacy. She had great confidence in the ingenuous
eloquence of her ward. Mrs. Jakeman did not know what was passing in the
breast of the tyrant.

Miss Melville complied with the suggestion of her mamma. One morning
immediately after breakfast, she went to her harpsichord, and played one
after another several of those airs that were most the favourites of Mr.
Tyrrel. Mrs. Jakeman had retired; the servants were gone to their
respective employments. Mr. Tyrrel would have gone also; his mind was
untuned, and he did not take the pleasure he had been accustomed to take
in the musical performances of Emily. But her finger was now more
tasteful than common. Her mind was probably wrought up to a firmer and
bolder tone, by the recollection of the cause she was going to plead; at
the same time that it was exempt from those incapacitating tremors which
would have been felt by one that dared not look poverty in the face. Mr.
Tyrrel was unable to leave the apartment. Sometimes he traversed it with
impatient steps; then he hung over the poor innocent whose powers were
exerted to please him; at length he threw himself in a chair opposite,
with his eyes turned towards Emily. It was easy to trace the progress of
his emotions. The furrows into which his countenance was contracted were
gradually relaxed; his features were brightened into a smile; the
kindness with which he had upon former occasions contemplated Emily
seemed to revive in his heart.

Emily watched her opportunity. As soon as she had finished one of the
pieces, she rose and went to Mr. Tyrrel.

"Now, have not I done it nicely? and after this will not you give me a

"A reward! Ay, come here, and I will give you a kiss."

"No, that is not it. And yet you have not kissed me this many a day.
Formerly you said you loved me, and called me your Emily. I am sure you
did not love me better than I loved you. You have not forgot all the
kindness you once had for me?" added she anxiously.

"Forgot? No, no. How can you ask such a question? You shall be my dear
Emily still!"

"Ah, those were happy times!" she replied, a little mournfully. "Do you
know, cousin, I wish I could wake, and find that the last month--only
about a month--was a dream?"

"What do you mean by that?" said Mr. Tyrrel with an altered voice. "Have
a care! Do not put me out of humour. Do not come with your romantic
notions now."

"No, no: I have no romantic notions in my head. I speak of something
upon which the happiness of my life depends."

"I see what you would be at. Be silent. You know it is to no purpose to
plague me with your stubbornness. You will not let me be in good humour
with you for a moment. What my mind is determined upon about Grimes, all
the world shall not move me to give up."

"Dear, dear cousin! why, but consider now. Grimes is a rough rustic
lout, like Orson in the story-book. He wants a wife like himself. He
would be as uneasy and as much at a loss with me, as I with him. Why
should we both of us be forced to do what neither of us is inclined to?
I cannot think what could ever have put it into your head. But now, for
goodness' sake, give it up! Marriage is a serious thing. You should not
think of joining two people for a whim, who are neither of them fit for
one another in any respect in the world. We should feel mortified and
disappointed all our lives. Month would go after month, and year after
year, and I could never hope to be my own, but by the death of a person
I ought to love. I am sure, sir, you cannot mean me all this harm. What
have I done, that I should deserve to have you for an enemy?"

"I am not your enemy. I tell you that it is necessary to put you out of
harm's way. But, if I were your enemy, I could not be a worse torment to
you than you are to me. Are not you continually singing the praises of
Falkland? Are not you in love with Falkland? That man is a legion of
devils to me! I might as well have been a beggar! I might as well have
been a dwarf or a monster! Time was when I was thought entitled to
respect. But now, debauched by this Frenchified rascal, they call me
rude, surly, a tyrant! It is true that I cannot talk in finical phrases,
flatter people with hypocritical praise, or suppress the real feelings
of my mind. The scoundrel knows his pitiful advantages, and insults me
upon them without ceasing. He is my rival and my persecutor; and, at
last, as if all this were not enough, he has found means to spread the
pestilence in my own family. You, whom we took up out of charity, the
chance-born brat of a stolen marriage! you must turn upon your
benefactor, and wound me in the point that of all others I could least
bear. If I were your enemy, should not I have reason? Could I ever
inflict upon you such injuries as you have made me suffer? And who are
you? The lives of fifty such cannot atone for an hour of my uneasiness.
If you were to linger for twenty years upon the rack, you would never
feel what I have felt. But I am your friend. I see which way you are
going; and I am determined to save you from this thief, this
hypocritical destroyer of us all. Every moment that the mischief is left
to itself, it does but make bad worse; and I am determined to save you
out of hand."

The angry expostulations of Mr. Tyrrel suggested new ideas to the tender
mind of Miss Melville. He had never confessed the emotions of his soul
so explicitly before; but the tempest of his thoughts suffered him to be
no longer master of himself. She saw with astonishment that he was the
irreconcilable foe of Mr. Falkland, whom she had fondly imagined it was
the same thing to know and admire; and that he harboured a deep and
rooted resentment against herself. She recoiled, without well knowing
why, before the ferocious passions of her kinsman, and was convinced
that she had nothing to hope from his implacable temper. But her alarm
was the prelude of firmness, and not of cowardice.

"No, sir," replied she, "indeed I will not be driven any way that you
happen to like. I have been used to obey you, and, in all that is
reasonable, I will obey you still. But you urge me too far. What do you
tell me of Mr. Falkland? Have I ever done any thing to deserve your
unkind suspicions? I am innocent, and will continue innocent. Mr. Grimes
is well enough, and will no doubt find women that like him; but he is
not fit for me, and torture shall not force me to be his wife."

Mr. Tyrrel was not a little astonished at the spirit which Emily
displayed upon this occasion. He had calculated too securely upon the
general mildness and suavity of her disposition. He now endeavoured to
qualify the harshness of his former sentiments.

"God damn my soul! And so you can scold, can you? You expect every body
to turn out of his way, and fetch and carry, just as you please? I could
find in my heart--But you know my mind. I insist upon it that you let
Grimes court you, and that you lay aside your sulks, and give him a fair
hearing. Will you do that? If then you persist in your wilfulness, why
there, I suppose, is an end of the matter. Do not think that any body is
going to marry you, whether you will or no. You are no such mighty
prize, I assure you. If you knew your own interest, you would be glad to
take the young fellow while he is willing."

Miss Melville rejoiced in the prospect, which the last words of her
kinsman afforded her, of a termination at no great distance to her
present persecutions. Mrs. Jakeman, to whom she communicated them,
congratulated Emily on the returning moderation and good sense of the
squire, and herself on her prudence in having urged the young lady to
this happy expostulation. But their mutual felicitations lasted not
long. Mr. Tyrrel informed Mrs. Jakeman of the necessity in which he
found himself of sending her to a distance, upon a business which would
not fail to detain her several weeks; and, though the errand by no means
wore an artificial or ambiguous face, the two friends drew a melancholy
presage from this ill-timed separation. Mrs. Jakeman, in the mean time,
exhorted her ward to persevere, reminded her of the compunction which
had already been manifested by her kinsman, and encouraged her to hope
every thing from her courage and good temper. Emily, on her part, though
grieved at the absence of her protector and counsellor at so interesting
a crisis, was unable to suspect Mr Tyrrel of such a degree either of
malice or duplicity as could afford ground for serious alarm. She
congratulated herself upon her delivery from so alarming a persecution,
and drew a prognostic of future success from this happy termination of
the first serious affair of her life. She exchanged a state of fortitude
and alarm for her former pleasing dreams respecting Mr. Falkland. These
she bore without impatience. She was even taught by the uncertainty of
the event to desire to prolong, rather than abridge, a situation which
might be delusive, but which was not without its pleasures.


Nothing could be further from Mr. Tyrrel's intention than to suffer his
project to be thus terminated. No sooner was he freed from the fear of
his housekeeper's interference, than he changed the whole system of his
conduct. He ordered Miss Melville to be closely confined to her
apartment, and deprived of all means of communicating her situation to
any one out of his own house. He placed over her a female servant, in
whose discretion he could confide, and who, having formerly been
honoured with the amorous notices of the squire, considered the
distinctions that were paid to Emily at Tyrrel Place as an usurpation
upon her more reasonable claims. The squire himself did every thing in
his power to blast the young lady's reputation, and represented to his
attendants these precautions as necessary, to prevent her from eloping
to his neighbour, and plunging herself in total ruin.

As soon as Miss Melville had been twenty-four hours in durance, and
there was some reason to suppose that her spirit might be subdued to the
emergency of her situation, Mr. Tyrrel thought proper to go to her, to
explain the grounds of her present treatment, and acquaint her with the
only means by which she could hope for a change. Emily no sooner saw
him, than she turned towards him with an air of greater firmness than
perhaps she had ever assumed in her life, and accosted him thus:--

"Well, sir, is it you? I wanted to see you. It seems I am shut up here
by your orders. What does this mean? What right have you to make a
prisoner of me? What do I owe you? Your mother left me a hundred pounds:
have you ever offered to make any addition to my fortune? But, if you
had, I do not want it. I do not pretend to be better than the children
of other poor parents; I can maintain myself as they do. I prefer
liberty to wealth. I see you are surprised at the resolution I exert.
But ought I not to turn again, when I am trampled upon? I should have
left you before now, if Mrs. Jakeman had not over-persuaded me, and if I
had not thought better of you than by your present behaviour I find you
deserve. But now, sir, I intend to leave your house this moment, and
insist upon it, that you do not endeavour to prevent me."

Thus saying, she rose, and went towards the door, while Mr. Tyrrel stood
thunderstruck at her magnanimity. Seeing, however, that she was upon the
point of being out of the reach of his power, he recovered himself and
pulled her back.

"What is in the wind now? Do you think, strumpet; that you shall get
the better of me by sheer impudence? Sit down! rest you satisfied!--So
you want to know by what right you are here, do you? By the right of
possession. This house is mine, and you are in my power. There is no
Mrs. Jakeman now to spirit you away; no, nor no Falkland to bully for
you. I have countermined you, damn me! and blown up your schemes. Do you
think I will be contradicted and opposed for nothing? When did you ever
know any body resist my will without being made to repent? And shall I
now be browbeaten by a chitty-faced girl?--I have not given you a
fortune! Damn you! who brought you up? I will make you a bill for
clothing and lodging. Do not you know that every creditor has a right to
stop his runaway debtor. You may think as you please; but here you are
till you marry Grimes. Heaven and earth shall not prevent but I will get
the better of your obstinacy!"

"Ungenerous, unmerciful man! and so it is enough for you that I have
nobody to defend me! But I am not so helpless as you may imagine. You
may imprison my body, but you cannot conquer my mind. Marry Mr. Grimes!
And is this the way to bring me to your purpose? Every hardship I suffer
puts still further distant the end for which I am thus unjustly treated.
You are not used to have your will contradicted! When did I ever
contradict it? And, in a concern that is so completely my own, shall my
will go for nothing? Would you lay down this rule for yourself, and
suffer no other creature to take the benefit of it? I want nothing of
you: how dare you refuse me the privilege of a reasonable being, to live
unmolested in poverty and innocence? What sort of a man do you show
yourself, you that lay claim to the respect and applause of every one
that knows you?"

The spirited reproaches of Emily had at first the effect to fill Mr.
Tyrrel with astonishment, and make him feel abashed and overawed in the
presence of this unprotected innocent. But his confusion was the result
of surprise. When the first emotion wore off, he cursed himself for
being moved by her expostulations; and was ten times more exasperated
against her, for daring to defy his resentment at a time when she had
every thing to fear. His despotic and unforgiving propensities
stimulated him to a degree little short of madness. At the same time his
habits, which were pensive and gloomy, led him to meditate a variety of
schemes to punish her obstinacy. He began to suspect that there was
little hope of succeeding by open force, and therefore determined to
have recourse to treachery.

He found in Grimes an instrument sufficiently adapted to his purpose.
This fellow, without an atom of intentional malice, was fitted, by the
mere coarseness of his perceptions, for the perpetration of the greatest
injuries. He regarded both injury and advantage merely as they related
to the gratifications of appetite; and considered it an essential in
true wisdom, to treat with insult the effeminacy of those who suffer
themselves to be tormented with ideal misfortunes. He believed that no
happier destiny could befal a young woman than to be his wife; and he
conceived that that termination would amply compensate for any
calamities she might suppose herself to undergo in the interval. He was
therefore easily prevailed upon, by certain temptations which Mr. Tyrrel
knew how to employ, to take part in the plot into which Miss Melville
was meant to be betrayed.

Matters being thus prepared, Mr. Tyrrel proceeded, through the means of
the gaoler (for the experience he already had of personal discussion did
not incline him to repeat his visits), to play upon the fears of his
prisoner. This woman, sometimes under the pretence of friendship, and
sometimes with open malice, informed Emily, from time to time, of the
preparations that were making for her marriage. One day, "the squire had
rode over to look at a neat little farm which was destined for the
habitation of the new-married couple;" and at another, "a quantity of
live stock and household furniture was procured, that every thing might
be ready for their reception." She then told her "of a licence that was
bought, a parson in readiness, and a day fixed for the nuptials." When
Emily endeavoured, though with increased misgivings, to ridicule these
proceedings as absolutely nugatory without her consent, her artful
gouvernante related several stories of forced marriages, and assured her
that neither protestations, nor silence, nor fainting, would be of any
avail, either to suspend the ceremony, or to set it aside when

The situation of Miss Melville was in an eminent degree pitiable. She
had no intercourse but with her persecutors. She had not a human being
with whom to consult, who might afford her the smallest degree of
consolation and encouragement. She had fortitude; but it was neither
confirmed nor directed by the dictates of experience. It could not
therefore be expected to be so inflexible, as with better information it
would, no doubt, have been found. She had a clear and noble spirit; but
she had some of her sex's errors. Her mind sunk under the uniform
terrors with which she was assailed, and her health became visibly

Her firmness being thus far undermined, Grimes, in pursuance of his
instructions, took care, in his next interview, to throw out an
insinuation that, for his own part, he had never cared for the match,
and since she was so averse to it, would be better pleased that it
should never take place. Between one and the other however, he was got
into a scrape, and now he supposed he must marry, will he, nill he. The
two squires would infallibly ruin him upon the least appearance of
backwardness on his part, as they were accustomed to do every inferior
that resisted their will. Emily was rejoiced to find her admirer in so
favourable a disposition; and earnestly pressed him to give effect to
this humane declaration. Her representations were full of eloquence and
energy. Grimes appeared to be moved at the fervency of her manner; but
objected the resentment of Mr. Tyrrel and his landlord. At length,
however, he suggested a project, in consequence of which he might assist
her in her escape, without its ever coming to their knowledge, as,
indeed, there was no likelihood that their suspicions would fix upon
him. "To be sure," said he, "you have refused me in a disdainful sort of
a way, as a man may say. Mayhap you thought I was no better 'an a brute:
but I bear you no malice, and I will show you that I am more
kind-hearted 'an you have been willing to think. It is a strange sort of
a vagary you have taken, to stand in your own light, and disoblige all
your friends. But if you are resolute, do you see? I scorn to be the
husband of a lass that is not every bit as willing as I; and so I will
even help to put you in a condition to follow your own inclinations."

Emily listened to these suggestions at first with eagerness and
approbation. But her fervency somewhat abated, when they came to discuss
the minute parts of the undertaking. It was necessary, as Grimes
informed her, that her escape should be effected in the dead of the
night. He would conceal himself for that purpose in the garden, and be
provided with false keys, by which to deliver her from her prison. These
circumstances were by no means adapted to calm her perturbed
imagination. To throw herself into the arms of the man whose intercourse
she was employing every method to avoid, and whom, under the idea of a
partner for life, she could least of all men endure, was, no doubt, an
extraordinary proceeding. The attendant circumstances of darkness and
solitude aggravated the picture. The situation of Tyrrel Place was
uncommonly lonely; it was three miles from the nearest village, and not
less than seven from that in which Mrs. Jakeman's sister resided, under
whose protection Miss Melville was desirous of placing herself. The
ingenuous character of Emily did not allow her once to suspect Grimes of
intending to make an ungenerous and brutal advantage of these
circumstances; but her mind involuntarily revolted against the idea of
committing herself, alone, to the disposal of a man, whom she had lately
been accustomed to consider as the instrument of her treacherous

After having for some time revolved these considerations, she thought of
the expedient of desiring Grimes to engage Mrs. Jakeman's sister to wait
for her at the outside of the garden. But this Grimes peremptorily
refused. He even flew into a passion at the proposal. It showed very
little gratitude, to desire him to disclose to other people his concern
in this dangerous affair. For his part, he was determined, in
consideration of his own safety, never to appear in it to any living
soul. If Miss did not believe him, when he made this proposal out of
pure good-nature, and would not trust him a single inch, she might even
see to the consequences herself. He was resolved to condescend no
further to the whims of a person who, in her treatment of him, had
shown herself as proud as Lucifer himself.

Emily exerted herself to appease his resentment; but all the eloquence
of her new confederate could not prevail upon her instantly to give up
her objection. She desired till the next day to consider of it. The day
after was fixed by Mr. Tyrrel for the marriage ceremony. In the mean
time she was pestered with intimations, in a thousand forms, of the fate
that so nearly awaited her. The preparations were so continued,
methodical, and regular, as to produce in her the most painful and
aching anxiety. If her heart attained a moment's intermission upon the
subject, her female attendant was sure, by some sly hint or sarcastical
remark, to put a speedy termination to her tranquillity. She felt
herself, as she afterwards remarked, alone, uninstructed, just broken
loose, as it were, from the trammels of infancy, without one single
creature to concern himself in her fate. She, who till then never knew
an enemy, had now, for three weeks, not seen the glimpse of a human
countenance, that she had not good reason to consider as wholly
estranged to her at least, if not unrelentingly bent on her destruction.
She now, for the first time, experienced the anguish of never having
known her parents, and being cast upon the charity of people with whom
she had too little equality, to hope to receive from them the offices of

The succeeding night was filled with the most anxious thoughts. When a
momentary oblivion stole upon her senses, her distempered imagination
conjured up a thousand images of violence and falsehood; she saw herself
in the hands of her determined enemies, who did not hesitate by the most
daring treachery to complete her ruin. Her waking thoughts were not more
consoling. The struggle was too great for her constitution. As morning
approached, she resolved, at all hazards, to put herself into the hands
of Grimes. This determination was no sooner made, than she felt her
heart sensibly lightened. She could not conceive any evil which could
result from this proceeding, that deserved to be put in the balance
against those which, under the roof of her kinsman, appeared

When she communicated her determination to Grimes, it was not possible
to say whether he received pleasure or pain from the intimation. He
smiled indeed; but his smile was accompanied by a certain abrupt
ruggedness of countenance, so that it might equally well be the smile of
sarcasm or of congratulation. He, however, renewed his assurances of
fidelity to his engagements and punctuality of execution. Meanwhile the
day was interspersed with nuptial presents and preparations, all
indicating the firmness as well as security of the directors of the
scene. Emily had hoped that, as the crisis approached, they might have
remitted something of their usual diligence. She was resolved, in that
case, if a fair opportunity had offered, to give the slip both to her
jailors, and to her new and reluctantly chosen confederate. But, though
extremely vigilant for that purpose, she found the execution of the idea

At length the night, so critical to her happiness, approached. The mind
of Emily could not fail, on this occasion, to be extremely agitated. She
had first exerted all her perspicacity to elude the vigilance of her
attendant. This insolent and unfeeling tyrant, instead of any
relentings, had only sought to make sport of her anxiety. Accordingly,
in one instance she hid herself, and, suffering Emily to suppose that
the coast was clear, met her at the end of the gallery, near the top of
the staircase. "How do you do, my dear?" said she, with an insulting
tone. "And so the little dear thought itself cunning enough to outwit
me, did it? Oh, it was a sly little gipsy! Go, go back, love; troop!"
Emily felt deeply the trick that was played upon her. She sighed, but
disdained to return any answer to this low vulgarity. Being once more in
her chamber, she sat down in a chair, and remained buried in reverie for
more than two hours. After this she went to her drawers, and turned
over, in a hurrying confused way, her linen and clothes, having in her
mind the provision it would be necessary to make for her elopement. Her
jailor officiously followed her from place to place, and observed what
she did for the present in silence. It was now the hour of rest. "Good
night, child," said this saucy girl, in the act of retiring. "It is time
to lock up. For the few next hours, the time is your own. Make the best
use of it! Do'ee think ee can creep out at the key-hole, lovey? At eight
o'clock you see me again. And then, and then," added she, clapping her
hands, "it is all over. The sun is not surer to rise, than you and your
honest man to be made one."

There was something in the tone with which this slut uttered her
farewell, that suggested the question to Emily, "What does she mean? Is
it possible that she should know what has been planned for the few next
hours?"--This was the first moment that suspicion had offered itself,
and its continuance was short. With an aching heart she folded up the
few necessaries she intended to take with her. She instinctively
listened, with an anxiety that would almost have enabled her to hear the
stirring of a leaf. From time to time she thought her ear was struck
with the sound of feet; but the treading, if treading it were, was so
soft, that she could never ascertain whether it were a real sound, or
the mere creature of the fancy. Then all was still, as if the universal
motion had been at rest. By and by she conceived she overheard a noise
as of buzzing and low-muttered speech. Her heart palpitated; for a
second time she began to doubt the honesty of Grimes. The suggestion was
now more anxious than before; but it was too late. Presently she heard
the sound of a key in her chamber-door, and the rustic made his
appearance. She started, and cried, "Are we discovered? did not I hear
you speak?" Grimes advanced on tiptoe with his finger to his lip. "No,
no," replied he, "all is safe!" He took her by the hand, led her in
silence out of the house, and then across the garden. Emily examined
with her eye the doors and passages as they proceeded, and looked on all
sides with fearful suspicion; but every thing was as vacant and still as
she herself could have wished. Grimes opened a back-door of the garden
already unlocked, that led into an unfrequented lane. There stood two
horses ready equipped for the journey, and fastened by their bridles to
a post not six yards distant from the garden. Grimes pushed the door
after them.

"By Gemini," said he, "my heart was in my mouth. As I comed along to
you, I saw Mun, coachey, pop along from the back-door to the stables. He
was within a hop, step, and jump of me. But he had a lanthorn in his
hand, and he did not see me, being as I was darkling." Saying this, he
assisted Miss Melville to mount. He troubled her little during the
route; on the contrary, he was remarkably silent and contemplative, a
circumstance by no means disagreeable to Emily, to whom his conversation
had never been acceptable.

After having proceeded about two miles, they turned into a wood, through
which the road led to the place of their destination. The night was
extremely dark, at the same time that the air was soft and mild, it
being now the middle of summer. Under pretence of exploring the way,
Grimes contrived, when they had already penetrated into the midst of
this gloomy solitude, to get his horse abreast with that of Miss
Melville, and then, suddenly reaching out his hand, seized hold of her
bridle. "I think we may as well stop here a bit," said he.

"Stop!" exclaimed Emily with surprise; "why should we stop? Mr. Grimes,
what do you mean?"

"Come, come," said he, "never trouble yourself to wonder. Did you think
I were such a goose, to take all this trouble merely to gratify your
whim? I' faith, nobody shall find me a pack-horse, to go of other folks'
errands, without knowing a reason why. I cannot say that I much minded
to have you at first; but your ways are enough to stir the blood of my
grand-dad. Far-fetched and dear-bought is always relishing. Your consent
was so hard to gain, that squire thought it was surest asking in the
dark. A' said however, a' would have no such doings in his house, and
so, do ye see, we are comed here."

"For God's sake, Mr. Grimes, think what you are about! You cannot be
base enough to ruin a poor creature who has put herself under your

"Ruin! No, no, I will make an honest woman of you, when all is done.
Nay, none of your airs; no tricks upon travellers! I have you here as
safe AS a horse in a pound; there is not a house nor a shed within a
mile of us; and, if I miss the opportunity, call me spade. Faith, you
are a delicate morsel, and there is no time to be lost!"

Miss Melville had but an instant in which to collect her thoughts. She
felt that there was little hope of softening the obstinate and
insensible brute in whose power she was placed. But the presence of mind
and intrepidity annexed to her character did not now desert her. Grimes
had scarcely finished his harangue, when, with a strong and unexpected
jerk, she disengaged the bridle from his grasp, and at the same time put
her horse upon full speed. She had scarcely advanced twice the length of
her horse, when Grimes recovered from his surprise, and pursued her,
inexpressibly mortified at being so easily overreached. The sound of his
horse behind served but to rouse more completely the mettle of that of
Emily; whether by accident or sagacity, the animal pursued without a
fault the narrow and winding way; and the chase continued the whole
length of the wood.

At the extremity of this wood there was a gate. The recollection of this
softened a little the cutting disappointment of Grimes, as he thought
himself secure of putting an end, by its assistance, to the career of
Emily; nor was it very probable that any body would appear to interrupt
his designs, in such a place, and in the dead and silence of the night.
By the most extraordinary accident, however, they found a man on
horseback in wait at this gate. "Help, help!" exclaimed the affrighted
Emily; "thieves! murder! help!" The man was Mr. Falkland. Grimes knew
his voice; and therefore, though he attempted a sort of sullen
resistance, it was feebly made. Two other men, whom, by reason of the
darkness, he had not at first seen, and who were Mr. Falkland's
servants, hearing the bustle of the rencounter, and alarmed for the
safety of their master, rode up; and then Grimes, disappointed at the
loss of his gratification, and admonished by conscious guilt, shrunk
from farther parley, and rode off in silence.

It may seem strange that Mr. Falkland should thus a second time have
been the saviour of Miss Melville, and that under circumstances the most
unexpected and singular. But in this instance it is easily to be
accounted for. He had heard of a man who lurked about this wood for
robbery or some other bad design, and that it was conjectured this man
was Hawkins, another of the victims of Mr. Tyrrel's rural tyranny, whom
I shall immediately have occasion to introduce. Mr. Falkland's
compassion had already been strongly excited in favour of Hawkins; he
had in vain endeavoured to find him, and do him good; and he easily
conceived that, if the conjecture which had been made in this instance
proved true, he might have it in his power not only to do what he had
always intended, but further, to save from a perilous offence against
the laws and society a man who appeared to have strongly imbibed the
principles of justice and virtue. He took with him two servants,
because, going with the express design of encountering robbers, if
robbers should be found, he believed he should be inexcusable if he did
not go provided against possible accidents. But he had directed them, at
the same time that they kept within call, to be out of the reach of
being seen; and it was only the eagerness of their zeal that had brought
them up thus early in the present encounter.

This new adventure promised something extraordinary. Mr. Falkland did
not immediately recognise Miss Melville; and the person of Grimes was
that of a total stranger, whom he did not recollect to have ever seen.
But it was easy to understand the merits of the case, and the propriety
of interfering. The resolute manner of Mr. Falkland, conjoined with the
dread which Grimes, oppressed with a sense of wrong, entertained of the
opposition of so elevated a personage, speedily put the ravisher to
flight. Emily was left alone with her deliverer. He found her much more
collected and calm, than could reasonably have been expected from a
person who had been, a moment before, in the most alarming situation.
She told him of the place to which she desired to be conveyed, and he
immediately undertook to escort her. As they went along, she recovered
that state of mind which inclined her to make a person to whom she had
such repeated obligations, and who was so eminently the object of her
admiration, acquainted with the events that had recently befallen her.
Mr. Falkland listened with eagerness and surprise. Though he had already
known various instances of Mr. Tyrrel's mean jealousy and unfeeling
tyranny, this surpassed them all; and he could scarcely credit his ears
while he heard the tale. His brutal neighbour seemed to realise all that
has been told of the passions of fiends. Miss Melville was obliged to
repeat, in the course of her tale, her kinsman's rude accusation against
her, of entertaining a passion for Mr. Falkland; and this she did with
the most bewitching simplicity and charming confusion. Though this part
of the tale was a source of real pain to her deliverer, yet it is not to
be supposed but that the flattering partiality of this unhappy girl
increased the interest he felt in her welfare, and the indignation he
conceived against her infernal kinsman.

They arrived without accident at the house of the good lady under whose
protection Emily desired to place herself. Here Mr. Falkland willingly
left her as in a place of security. Such conspiracies as that of which
she was intended to have been the victim, depend for their success upon
the person against whom they are formed being out of the reach of help;
and the moment they are detected, they are annihilated. Such reasoning
will, no doubt, be generally found sufficiently solid; and it appeared
to Mr. Falkland perfectly applicable to the present case. But he was


Mr. Falkland had experienced the nullity of all expostulation with Mr.
Tyrrel, and was therefore content in the present case with confining his
attention to the intended victim. The indignation with which he thought
of his neighbour's character was now grown to such a height, as to fill
him with reluctance to the idea of a voluntary interview. There was
indeed another affair which had been contemporary with this, that had
once more brought these mortal enemies into a state of contest, and had
contributed to raise into a temper little short of madness, the already
inflamed and corrosive bitterness of Mr. Tyrrel.

There was a tenant of Mr. Tyrrel, one Hawkins;--I cannot mention his
name without recollecting the painful tragedies that are annexed to it!
This Hawkins had originally been taken up by Mr. Tyrrel, with a view of
protecting him from the arbitrary proceedings of a neighbouring squire,
though he had now in his turn become an object of persecution to Mr.
Tyrrel himself. The first ground of their connection was this:--Hawkins,
beside a farm which he rented under the above-mentioned squire, had a
small freehold estate that he inherited from his father. This of course
entitled him to a vote in the county elections; and, a warmly contested
election having occurred, he was required by his landlord to vote for
the candidate in whose favour he had himself engaged. Hawkins refused
to obey the mandate, and soon after received notice to quit the farm he
at that time rented.

It happened that Mr. Tyrrel had interested himself strongly in behalf of
the opposite candidate; and, as Mr. Tyrrel's estate bordered upon the
seat of Hawkins's present residence, the ejected countryman could think
of no better expedient than that of riding over to this gentleman's
mansion, and relating the case to him. Mr. Tyrrel heard him through with
attention. "Well, friend," said he, "it is very true that I wished Mr.
Jackman to carry his election; but you know it is usual in these cases
for tenants to vote just as their landlords please. I do not think
proper to encourage rebellion."--"All that is very right, and please
you," replied Hawkins, "and I would have voted at my landlord's bidding
for any other man in the kingdom but Squire Marlow. You must know one
day his huntsman rode over my fence, and so through my best field of
standing corn. It was not above a dozen yards about if he had kept the
cart-road. The fellow had served me the same sauce, an it please your
honour, three or four times before. So I only asked him what he did that
for, and whether he had not more conscience than to spoil people's crops
o' that fashion? Presently the squire came up. He is but a poor,
weazen-face chicken of a gentleman, saving your honour's reverence. And
so he flew into a woundy passion, and threatened to horsewhip me. I will
do as much in reason to pleasure my landlord as arr a tenant he has; but
I will not give my vote to a man that threatens to horsewhip me. And so,
your honour, I and my wife and three children are to be turned out of
house and home, and what I am to do to maintain them God knows. I have
been a hard-working man, and have always lived well, and I do think the
case is main hard. Squire Underwood turns me out of my farm; and if your
honour do not take me in, I know none of the neighbouring gentry will,
for fear, as they say, of encouraging their own tenants to run rusty

This representation was not without its effect upon Mr. Tyrrel. "Well,
well, man," replied he, "we will see what can be done. Order and
subordination are very good things; but people should know how much to
require. As you tell the story, I cannot see that you are greatly to
blame. Marlow is a coxcombical prig, that is the truth on't; and if a
man will expose himself, why, he must even take what follows. I do hate
a Frenchified fop with all my soul: and I cannot say that I am much
pleased with my neighbour Underwood for taking the part of such a
rascal. Hawkins, I think, is your name? You may call on Barnes, my
steward, to-morrow, and he shall speak to you."

While Mr. Tyrrel was speaking, he recollected that he had a farm vacant,
of nearly the same value as that which Hawkins at present rented under
Mr. Underwood. He immediately consulted his steward, and, finding the
thing suitable in every respect, Hawkins was installed out of hand in
the catalogue of Mr. Tyrrel's tenants. Mr. Underwood extremely resented
this proceeding, which indeed, as being contrary to the understood
conventions of the country gentlemen, few people but Mr. Tyrrel would
have ventured upon. There was an end, said Mr. Underwood, to all
regulation, if tenants were to be encouraged in such disobedience. It
was not a question of this or that candidate, seeing that any gentleman,
who was a true friend to his country, would rather lose his election
than do a thing which, if once established into a practice, would
deprive them for ever of the power of managing any election. The
labouring people were sturdy and resolute enough of their own accord; it
became every day more difficult to keep them under any subordination;
and, if the gentlemen were so ill advised as to neglect the public good,
and encourage them in their insolence, there was no foreseeing where it
would end.

Mr. Tyrrel was not of a stamp to be influenced by these remonstrances.
Their general spirit was sufficiently conformable to the sentiments he
himself entertained; but he was of too vehement a temper to maintain the
character of a consistent politician; and, however wrong his conduct
might be, he would by no means admit of its being set right by the
suggestions of others. The more his patronage of Hawkins was criticised,
the more inflexibly he adhered to it; and he was at no loss in clubs and
other assemblies to overbear and silence, if not to confute, his
censurers. Beside which, Hawkins had certain accomplishments which
qualified him to be a favourite with Mr. Tyrrel. The bluntness of his
manner and the ruggedness of his temper gave him some resemblance to his
landord; and, as these qualities were likely to be more frequently
exercised on such persons as had incurred Mr. Tyrrel's displeasure, than
upon Mr. Tyrrel himself, they were not observed without some degree of
complacency. In a word, he every day received new marks of distinction
from his patron, and after some time was appointed coadjutor to Mr.
Barnes under the denomination of bailiff. It was about the same period
that he obtained a lease of the farm of which he was tenant.

Mr. Tyrrel determined, as occasion offered, to promote every part of the
family of this favoured dependent. Hawkins had a son, a lad of
seventeen, of an agreeable person, a ruddy complexion, and of quick and
lively parts. This lad was in an uncommon degree the favourite of his
father, who seemed to have nothing so much at heart as the future
welfare of his son. Mr. Tyrrel had noticed him two or three times with
approbation; and the boy, being fond of the sports of the field, had
occasionally followed the hounds, and displayed various instances, both
of agility and sagacity, in presence of the squire. One day in
particular he exhibited himself with uncommon advantage; and Mr. Tyrrel
without further delay proposed to his father, to take him into his
family, and make him whipper-in to his hounds, till he could provide him
with some more lucrative appointment in his service.

This proposal was received by Hawkins with various marks of
mortification. He excused himself with hesitation for not accepting the
offered favour; said the lad was in many ways useful to him; and hoped
his honour would not insist upon depriving him of his assistance. This
apology might perhaps have been sufficient with any other man than Mr.
Tyrrel; but it was frequently observed of this gentleman that, when he
had once formed a determination, however slight, in favour of any
measure, he was never afterwards known to give it up, and that the only
effect of opposition was to make him eager and inflexible, in pursuit of
that to which he had before been nearly indifferent. At first he seemed
to receive the apology of Hawkins with good humour, and to see nothing
in it but what was reasonable; but afterwards, every time he saw the
boy, his desire of retaining him in his service was increased, and he
more than once repeated to his father the good disposition in which he
felt himself towards him. At length he observed that the lad was no more
to be seen mingling in his favourite sports, and he began to suspect
that this originated in a determination to thwart him in his projects.

Roused by this suspicion, which, to a man of Mr. Tyrrel's character,
was not of a nature to brook delay, he sent for Hawkins to confer with
him. "Hawkins," said he, in a tone of displeasure, "I am not satisfied
with you. I have spoken to you two or three times about this lad of
yours, whom I am desirous of taking into favour. What is the reason,
sir, that you seem unthankful and averse to my kindness? You ought to
know that I am not to be trifled with. I shall not be contented, when I
offer my favours, to have them rejected by such fellows as you. I made
you what you are; and, if I please, can make you more helpless and
miserable than you were when I found you. Have a care!"

"An it please your honour," said Hawkins, "you have been a very good
master to me, and I will tell you the whole truth. I hope you will na be
angry. This lad is my favourite, my comfort, and the stay of my age."

"Well, and what then? Is that a reason you should hinder his

"Nay, pray your honour, hear me. I may be very weak for aught I know in
this case, but I cannot help it. My father was a clergyman. We have all
of us lived in a creditable way; and I cannot bear to think that this
poor lad of mine should go to service. For my part, I do not see any
good that comes by servants. I do not know, your honour, but, I think, I
should not like my Leonard to be such as they. God forgive me, if I
wrong them! But this is a very dear case, and I cannot bear to risk my
poor boy's welfare, when I can so easily, if you please, keep him out or
harm's way. At present he is sober and industrious, and, without being
pert or surly, knows what is due to him. I know, your honour, that it is
main foolish of me to talk to you thus; but your honour has been a good
master to me, and I cannot bear to tell you a lie."

Mr. Tyrrel had heard the whole of this harangue in silence, because he
was too much astonished to open his mouth. If a thunderbolt had fallen
at his feet, he could not have testified greater surprise. He had
thought that Hawkins was so foolishly fond of his son, that he could not
bear to trust him out of his presence; but had never in the slightest
degree suspected what he now found to be the truth.

"Oh, ho, you are a gentleman, are you? A pretty gentleman truly! your
father was a clergyman! Your family is too good to enter into my
service! Why you impudent rascal! was it for this that I took you up,
when Mr. Underwood dismissed you for your insolence to him? Have I been
nursing a viper in my bosom? Pretty master's manners will be
contaminated truly? He will not know what is due to him, but will be
accustomed to obey orders! You insufferable villain! Get out of my
sight! Depend upon it, I will have no gentlemen on my estate! I will off
with them, root and branch, bag and baggage! So do you hear, sir? come
to me to-morrow morning, bring your son, and ask my pardon; or, take my
word for it, I will make you so miserable, you shall wish you had never
been born."

This treatment was too much for Hawkins's patience. "There is no need,
your honour, that I should come to you again about this affair. I have
taken up my determination, and no time can make any change in it. I am
main sorry to displease your worship, and I know that you can do me a
great deal of mischief. But I hope you will not be so hardhearted as to
ruin a father only for being fond of his child, even if so be that his
fondness should make him do a foolish thing. But I cannot help it, your
honour: you must do as you please. The poorest neger, as a man may say,
has some point that he will not part with. I will lose all that I have,
and go to day-labour, and my son too, if needs must; but I will not make
a gentleman's servant of him."

"Very well, friend; very well!" replied Mr. Tyrrel, foaming with rage.
"Depend upon it, I will remember you! Your pride shall have a downfal!
God damn it! is it come to this? Shall a rascal that farms his forty
acres, pretend to beard the lord of the manor? I will tread you into
paste! Let me advise you, scoundrel, to shut up your house and fly, as
if the devil was behind you! You may think yourself happy, if I be not
too quick for you yet, if you escape in a whole skin! I would not suffer
such a villain to remain upon my land a day longer, if I could gain the
Indies by it!"

"Not so fast, your honour," answered Hawkins, sturdily. "I hope you will
think better of it, and see that I have not been to blame. But if you
should not, there is some harm that you can do me, and some harm that
you cannot. Though I am a plain, working man, your honour, do you see?
yet I am a man still. No; I have got a lease of my farm, and I shall not
quit it o' thaten. I hope there is some law for poor folk, as well as for

Mr. Tyrrel, unused to contradiction, was provoked beyond bearing at the
courage and independent spirit of his retainer. There was not a tenant
upon his estate, or at least not one of Hawkins's mediocrity of fortune,
whom the general policy of landowners, and still more the arbitrary and
uncontrollable temper of Mr. Tyrrel, did not effectually restrain from
acts of open defiance.

"Excellent, upon my soul! God damn my blood! but you are a rare fellow.
You have a lease, have you? You will not quit, not you! a pretty pass
things are come to, if a lease can protect such fellows as you against
the lord of a manor! But you are for a trial of skill? Oh, very well,
friend, very well! With all my soul! Since it is come to that, we will
show you some pretty sport before we have done! But get out of my sight,
you rascal! I have not another word to say to you! Never darken my doors

Hawkins (to borrow the language of the world) was guilty in this affair
of a double imprudence. He talked to his landlord in a more peremptory
manner than the constitution and practices of this country allow a
dependent to assume. But above all, having been thus hurried away by his
resentment, he ought to have foreseen the consequences. It was mere
madness in him to think of contesting with a man of Mr. Tyrrel's
eminence and fortune. It was a fawn contending with a lion. Nothing
could have been more easy to predict, than that it was of no avail for
him to have right on his side, when his adversary had influence and
wealth, and therefore could so victoriously justify any extravagancies
that he might think proper to commit. This maxim was completely
illustrated in the sequel. Wealth and despotism easily know how to
engage those laws as the coadjutors of their oppression, which were
perhaps at first intended [witless and miserable precaution!] for the
safeguards of the poor.

From this moment Mr Tyrrel was bent upon Hawkins's destruction; and he
left no means unemployed that could either harass or injure the object
of his persecution. He deprived him of his appointment of bailiff, and
directed Barnes and his other dependents to do him ill offices upon all
occasions. Mr. Tyrrel, by the tenure of his manor, was impropriator of
the great tithes, and this circumstance afforded him frequent
opportunities of petty altercation. The land of one part of Hawkins's
farm, though covered with corn, was lower than the rest; and
consequently exposed to occasional inundations from a river by which it
was bounded. Mr. Tyrrel had a dam belonging to this river privately cut,
about a fortnight before the season of harvest, and laid the whole under
water. He ordered his servants to pull away the fences of the higher
ground during the night, and to turn in his cattle, to the utter
destruction of the crop. These expedients, however, applied to only one
part of the property of this unfortunate man. But Mr. Tyrrel did not
stop here. A sudden mortality took place among Hawkins's live stock,
attended with very suspicious circumstances. Hawkins's vigilance was
strongly excited by this event, and he at length succeeded in tracing
the matter so accurately, that he conceived he could bring it home to
Mr. Tyrrel himself.

Hawkins had hitherto carefully avoided, notwithstanding the injuries he
had suffered, the attempting to right himself by legal process; being of
opinion that law was better adapted for a weapon of tyranny in the hands
of the rich, than for a shield to protect the humbler part of the
community against their usurpations. In this last instance however he
conceived that the offence was so atrocious, as to make it impossible
that any rank could protect the culprit against the severity of justice.
In the sequel, he saw reason to applaud himself for his former
inactivity in this respect, and to repent that any motive had been
strong enough to persuade him into a contrary system.

This was the very point to which Mr. Tyrrel wanted to bring him, and he
could scarcely credit his good fortune, when he was told that Hawkins
had entered an action. His congratulation upon this occasion was
immoderate, as he now conceived that the ruin of his late favourite was
irretrievable. He consulted his attorney, and urged him by every motive
he could devise, to employ the whole series of his subterfuges in the
present affair. The direct repelling of the charge exhibited against him
was the least part of his care; the business was, by affidavits,
motions, pleas, demurrers, flaws, and appeals, to protract the question
from term to term, and from court to court. It would, as Mr. Tyrrel
argued, be the disgrace of a civilized country, if a gentleman, when
insolently attacked in law by the scum of the earth, could not convert
the cause into a question of the longest purse, and stick in the skirts
of his adversary till he had reduced him to beggary.

Mr. Tyrrel, however, was by no means so far engrossed by his law-suit,
as to neglect other methods of proceeding offensively against his
tenant. Among the various expedients that suggested themselves, there
was one, which, though it tended rather to torment than irreparably
injure the sufferer, was not rejected. This was derived from the
particular situation of Hawkins's house, barns, stacks, and outhouses.
They were placed at the extremity of a slip of land connecting them with
the rest of the farm, and were surrounded on three sides by fields, in
the occupation of one of Mr. Tyrrel's tenants most devoted to the
pleasures of his landlord. The road to the market-town ran at the bottom
of the largest of these fields, and was directly in view of the front of
the house. No inconvenience had yet arisen from that circumstance, as
there had always been a broad path, that intersected this field, and led
directly from Hawkins's house to the road. This path, or private road,
was now, by concert of Mr. Tyrrel and his obliging tenant, shut up, so
as to make Hawkins a sort of prisoner in his own domains, and oblige him
to go near a mile about for the purposes of his traffic.

Young Hawkins, the lad who had been the original subject of dispute
between his father and the squire, had much of his father's spirit, and
felt an uncontrollable indignation against the successive acts of
despotism of which he was a witness. His resentment was the greater,
because the sufferings to which his parent was exposed, all of them
flowed from affection to him, at the same time that he could not propose
removing the ground of dispute, as by so doing he would seem to fly in
the face of his father's paternal kindness. Upon the present occasion,
without asking any counsel but of his own impatient resentment, he went
in the middle of the night, and removed all the obstructions that had
been placed in the way of the old path, broke the padlocks that had been
fixed, and threw open the gates.

In these operations he did not proceed unobserved, and the next day a
warrant was issued for apprehending him. He was accordingly carried
before a meeting of justices, and by them committed to the county gaol,
to take his trial for the felony at the next assizes. Mr. Tyrrel was
determined to prosecute the offence with the greatest severity; and his
attorney, having made the proper enquiries for that purpose, undertook
to bring it under that clause of the act 9 Geo. I. commonly called the
Black Act, which declares that "any person, armed with a sword, or other
offensive weapon, and having his face blackened, or being otherwise
disguised, appearing in any warren or place where hares or conies have
been or shall be usually kept, and being thereof duly convicted, shall
be adjudged guilty of felony, and shall suffer death, as in cases of
felony, without benefit of clergy." Young Hawkins, it seemed, had
buttoned the cape of his great coat over his face, as soon as he
perceived himself to be observed, and he was furnished with a
wrenching-iron for the purpose of breaking the padlocks. The attorney
further undertook to prove, by sufficient witnesses, that the field in
question was a warren in which hares were regularly fed. Mr. Tyrrel
seized upon these pretences with inexpressible satisfaction. He
prevailed upon the justices, by the picture he drew of the obstinacy and
insolence of the Hawkinses, fully to commit the lad upon this miserable
charge; and it was by no means so certain as paternal affection would
have desired, that the same overpowering influence would not cause in
the sequel the penal clause to be executed in all its strictness.

This was the finishing stroke to Hawkins's miseries: as he was not
deficient in courage, he had stood up against his other persecutions
without flinching. He was not unaware of the advantages which our laws
and customs give to the rich over the poor, in contentions of this kind.
But, being once involved, there was a stubbornness in his nature that
would not allow him to retract, and he suffered himself to hope, rather
than expect, a favourable issue. But in this last event he was wounded
in the point that was nearest his heart. He had feared to have his son
contaminated and debased by a servile station, and he now saw him
transferred to the seminary of a gaol. He was even uncertain as to the
issue of his imprisonment, and trembled to think what the tyranny of
wealth might effect to blast his hopes for ever.

From this moment his heart died within him. He had trusted to
persevering industry and skill, to save the wreck of his little property
from the vulgar spite of his landlord. But he had now no longer any
spirit to exert those efforts which his situation more than ever
required. Mr. Tyrrel proceeded without remission in his machinations;
Hawkins's affairs every day grew more desperate, and the squire,
watching the occasion, took the earliest opportunity of seizing upon
his remaining property in the mode of a distress for rent.

It was precisely in this stage of the affair, that Mr. Falkland and Mr.
Tyrrel accidentally met, in a private road near the habitation of the
latter. They were on horseback, and Mr. Falkland was going to the house
of the unfortunate tenant, who seemed upon the point of perishing under
his landlord's malice. He had been just made acquainted with the tale of
this persecution. It had indeed been an additional aggravation of
Hawkins's calamity, that Mr. Falkland, whose interference might
otherwise have saved him, had been absent from the neighbourhood for a
considerable time. He had been three months in London, and from thence
had gone to visit his estates in another part of the island. The proud
and self-confident spirit of this poor fellow always disposed him to
depend, as long as possible, upon his own exertions. He had avoided
applying to Mr. Falkland, or indeed indulging himself in any manner in
communicating and bewailing his hard hap, in the beginning of the
contention, and, when the extremity grew more urgent, and he would have
been willing to recede in some degree from the stubbornness of his
measures, he found it no longer in his power. After an absence of
considerable duration, Mr. Falkland at length returned somewhat
unexpectedly; and having learned, among the first articles of country
intelligence, the distresses of this unfortunate yeoman, he resolved to
ride over to his house the next morning, and surprise him with all the
relief it was in his power to bestow.

At sight of Mr. Tyrrel in this unexpected rencounter, his face reddened
with indignation. His first feeling, as he afterwards said, was to avoid
him; but finding that he must pass him, he conceived that it would be
want of spirit not to acquaint him with his feelings on the present

"Mr. Tyrrel," said he, somewhat abruptly, "I am sorry for a piece of
news which I have just heard."

"And pray, sir, what is your sorrow to me?"

"A great deal, sir: it is caused by the distresses of a poor tenant of
yours, Hawkins. If your steward have proceeded without your authority, I
think it right to inform you what he has done; and, if he have had your
authority, I would gladly persuade you to think better of it."

"Mr. Falkland, it would be quite as well if you would mind your own
business, and leave me to mind mine. I want no monitor, and I will have

"You mistake, Mr. Tyrrel; I am minding my own business. If I see you
fall into a pit, it is my business to draw you out and save your life.
If I see you pursuing a wrong mode of conduct, it is my business to set
you right and save your honour."

"Zounds, sir, do not think to put your conundrums upon me! Is not the
man my tenant? Is not my estate my own? What signifies calling it mine,
if I am not to have the direction of it? Sir, I pay for what I have: I
owe no man a penny; and I will not put my estate to nurse to you, nor
the best he that wears a head."

"It is very true," said Mr. Falkland, avoiding any direct notice of the
last words of Mr. Tyrrel, "that there is a distinction of ranks. I
believe that distinction is a good thing, and necessary to the peace of
mankind. But, however necessary it may be, we must acknowledge that it
puts some hardship upon the lower orders of society. It makes one's
heart ache to think, that one man is born to the inheritance of every
superfluity, while the whole share of another, without any demerit of
his, is drudgery and starving; and that all this is indispensable. We
that are rich, Mr. Tyrrel, must do every thing in our power to lighten
the yoke of these unfortunate people. We must not use the advantage that
accident has given us with an unmerciful hand. Poor wretches! they are
pressed almost beyond bearing as it is; and, if we unfeelingly give
another turn to the machine, they will be crushed into atoms."

This picture was not without its effect, even upon the obdurate mind of
Mr. Tyrrel.--"Well, sir, I am no tyrant. I know very well that tyranny
is a bad thing. But you do not infer from thence that these people are
to do as they please, and never meet with their deserts?"

"Mr. Tyrrel, I see that you are shaken in your animosity. Suffer me to
hail the new-born benevolence of your nature. Go with me to Hawkins. Do
not let us talk of his deserts! Poor fellow! he has suffered almost all
that human nature can endure. Let your forgiveness upon this occasion be
the earnest of good neighbourhood and friendship between you and me."

"No, sir, I will not go. I own there is something in what you say. I
always knew you had the wit to make good your own story, and tell a
plausible tale. But I will not be come over thus. It has been my
character, when I had once conceived a scheme of vengeance, never to
forego it; and I will not change that character. I took up Hawkins when
every body forsook him, and made a man of him; and the ungrateful rascal
has only insulted me for my pains. Curse me, if I ever forgive him! It
would be a good jest indeed, if I were to forgive the insolence of my
own creature at the desire of a man like you that has been my perpetual

"For God's sake, Mr. Tyrrel, have some reason in your resentment! Let us
suppose that Hawkins has behaved unjustifiably, and insulted you: is
that an offence that never can be expiated? Must the father be ruined,
and the son hanged, to glut your resentment?"

"Damn me, sir, but you may talk your heart out; you shall get nothing of
me. I shall never forgive myself for having listened to you for a
moment. I will suffer nobody to stop the stream of my resentment; if I
ever were to forgive him, it should be at nobody's, entreaty but my own.
But, sir, I never will. If he and all his family were at my feet, I
would order them all to be hanged the next minute, if my power were as
good as my will."

"And this is your decision, is it? Mr. Tyrrel, I am ashamed of you!
Almighty God! to hear you talk gives one a loathing for the institutions
and regulations of society, and would induce one to fly the very face of
man! But, no! society casts you out; man abominates you. No wealth, no
rank, can buy out your stain. You will live deserted in the midst of
your species; you will go into crowded societies, and no one will deign
so much as to salute you. They will fly from your glance as they would
from the gaze of a basilisk. Where do you expect to find the hearts of
flint that shall sympathise with yours? You have the stamp of misery,
incessant, undivided, unpitied misery!"

Thus saying, Mr. Falkland gave spurs to his horse, rudely pushed beside
Mr. Tyrrel, and was presently out of sight. Flaming indignation
annihilated even his favourite sense of honour, and he regarded his
neighbour as a wretch, with whom it was impossible even to enter into
contention. For the latter, he remained for the present motionless and
petrified. The glowing enthusiasm of Mr. Falkland was such as might well
have unnerved the stoutest foe. Mr. Tyrrel, in spite of himself, was
blasted with the compunctions of guilt, and unable to string himself
for the contest. The picture Mr. Falkland had drawn was prophetic. It
described what Mr. Tyrrel chiefly feared; and what in its commencements
he thought he already felt. It was responsive to the whispering of his
own meditations; it simply gave body and voice to the spectre that
haunted him, and to the terrors of which he was an hourly prey.

By and by, however, he recovered. The more he had been temporarily
confounded, the fiercer was his resentment when he came to himself. Such
hatred never existed in a human bosom without marking its progress with
violence and death. Mr. Tyrrel, however, felt no inclination to have
recourse to personal defiance. He was the furthest in the world from a
coward; but his genius sunk before the genius of Falkland. He left his
vengeance to the disposal of circumstances. He was secure that his
animosity would never be forgotten nor diminished by the interposition
of any time or events. Vengeance was his nightly dream, and the
uppermost of his waking thoughts.

Mr. Falkland had departed from this conference with a confirmed
disapprobation of the conduct of his neighbour, and an unalterable
resolution to do every thing in his power to relieve the distresses of
Hawkins. But he was too late. When he arrived, he found the house
already evacuated by its master. The family was removed nobody knew
whither; Hawkins had absconded, and, what was still more extraordinary,
the boy Hawkins had escaped on the very same day from the county gaol.
The enquiries Mr. Falkland set on foot after them were fruitless; no
traces could be found of the catastrophe of these unhappy people. That
catastrophe I shall shortly have occasion to relate, and it will be
found pregnant with horror, beyond what the blackest misanthropy could
readily have suggested.

I go on with my tale. I go on to relate those incidents in which my own
fate was so mysteriously involved. I lift the curtain, and bring forward
the last act of the tragedy.


It may easily be supposed, that the ill temper cherished by Mr. Tyrrel
in his contention with Hawkins, and the increasing animosity between him
and Mr. Falkland, added to the impatience with which he thought of the
escape of Emily.

Mr. Tyrrel heard with astonishment of the miscarriage of an expedient,
of the success of which he had not previously entertained the slightest
suspicion. He became frantic with vexation. Grimes had not dared to
signify the event of his expedition in person, and the footman whom he
desired to announce to his master that Miss Melville was lost, the
moment after fled from his presence with the most dreadful
apprehensions. Presently he bellowed for Grimes, and the young man at
last appeared before him, more dead than alive. Grimes he compelled to
repeat the particulars of the tale; which he had no sooner done, than he
once again slunk away, shocked at the execrations with which Mr. Tyrrel
overwhelmed him. Grimes was no coward; but he reverenced the inborn
divinity that attends upon rank, as Indians worship the devil. Nor was
this all. The rage of Mr. Tyrrel was so ungovernable and fierce, that
few hearts could have been found so stout, as not to have trembled
before it with a sort of unconquerable inferiority.

He no sooner obtained a moment's pause than he began to recall to his
tempestuous mind the various circumstances of the case. His complaints
were bitter; and, in a tranquil observer, might have produced the united
feeling of pity for his sufferings, and horror at his depravity. He
recollected all the precautions he had used; he could scarcely find a
flaw in the process; and he cursed that blind and malicious power which
delighted to cross his most deep-laid schemes. "Of this malice he was
beyond all other human beings the object. He was mocked with the shadow
of power; and when he lifted his hand to smite, it was struck with
sudden palsy. [In the bitterness of his anguish, he forgot his recent
triumph over Hawkins, or perhaps he regarded it less as a triumph, than
an overthrow, because it had failed of coming up to the extent of his
malice.] To what purpose had Heaven given him a feeling of injury, and
an instinct to resent, while he could in no case make his resentment
felt! It was only necessary for him to be the enemy of any person, to
insure that person's being safe against the reach of misfortune. What
insults, the most shocking and repeated, had he received from this
paltry girl! And by whom was she now torn from his indignation? By that
devil that haunted him at every moment, that crossed him at every step,
that fixed at pleasure his arrows in his heart, and made mows and
mockery at his insufferable tortures."

There was one other reflection that increased his anguish, and made him
careless and desperate as to his future conduct. It was in vain to
conceal from himself that his reputation would be cruelly wounded by
this event. He had imagined that, while Emily was forced into this
odious marriage, she would be obliged by decorum, as soon as the event
was decided, to draw a veil over the compulsion she had suffered. But
this security was now lost, and Mr. Falkland would take a pride in
publishing his dishonour. Though the provocations he had received from
Miss Melville would, in his own opinion, have justified him in any
treatment he should have thought proper to inflict, he was sensible the
world would see the matter in a different light. This reflection
augmented the violence of his resolutions, and determined him to refuse
no means by which he could transfer the anguish that now preyed upon his
own mind to that of another.

Meanwhile, the composure and magnanimity of Emily had considerably
subsided, the moment she believed herself in a place of safety. While
danger and injustice assailed her with their menaces, she found in
herself a courage that disdained to yield. The succeeding appearance of
calm was more fatal to her. There was nothing now, powerfully to foster
her courage or excite her energy. She looked back at the trials she had
passed, and her soul sickened at the recollection of that, which, while
it was in act, she had had the fortitude to endure. Till the period at
which Mr. Tyrrel had been inspired with this cruel antipathy, she had
been in all instances a stranger to anxiety and fear. Uninured to
misfortune, she had suddenly and without preparation been made the
subject of the most infernal malignity. When a man of robust and
vigorous constitution has a fit of sickness, it produces a more powerful
effect, than the same indisposition upon a delicate valetudinarian. Such
was the case with Miss Melville. She passed the succeeding night
sleepless and uneasy, and was found in the morning with a high fever.
Her distemper resisted for the present all attempts to assuage it,
though there was reason to hope that the goodness of her constitution,
assisted by tranquillity and the kindness of those about her, would
ultimately surmount it. On the second day she was delirious. On the
night of that day she was arrested at the suit of Mr. Tyrrel, for a debt
contracted for board and necessaries for the last fourteen years.

The idea of this arrest, as the reader will perhaps recollect, first
occurred, in the conversation between Mr. Tyrrel and Miss Melville, soon
after he had thought proper to confine her to her chamber. But at that
time he had probably no serious conception of ever being induced to
carry it into execution. It had merely been mentioned by way of threat,
and as the suggestion of a mind, whose habits had long been accustomed
to contemplate every possible instrument of tyranny and revenge. But
now, that the unlooked-for rescue and escape of his poor kinswoman had
wrought up his thoughts to a degree of insanity, and that he revolved in
the gloomy recesses of his mind, how he might best shake off the load of
disappointment which oppressed him, the idea recurred with double force.
He was not long in forming his resolution; and, calling for Barnes his
steward, immediately gave him directions in what manner to proceed.

Barnes had been for several years the instrument of Mr. Tyrrel's
injustice. His mind was hardened by use, and he could, without remorse,
officiate as the spectator, or even as the author and director, of a
scene of vulgar distress. But even he was somewhat startled upon the
present occasion. The character and conduct of Emily in Mr. Tyrrel's
family had been without a blot. She had not a single enemy; and it was
impossible to contemplate her youth, her vivacity, and her guileless
innocence, without emotions of sympathy and compasssion.

"Your worship?--I do not understand you!--Arrest Miss--Miss Emily!"

"Yes,--I tell you!--What is the matter with you?--Go instantly to
Swineard, the lawyer, and bid him finish the business out of hand!"

"Lord love your honour! Arrest her! Why she does not owe you a brass
farthing: she always lived upon your charity!"

"Ass! Scoundrel! I tell you she does owe me,--owes me eleven hundred
pounds.--The law justifies it.--What do you think laws were made for? I
do nothing but right, and right I will have."

"Your honour, I never questioned your orders in my life; but I must now.
I cannot see you ruin Miss Emily, poor girl! nay, and yourself too, for
the matter of that, and not say which way you are going. I hope you will
bear with me. Why, if she owed you ever so much, she cannot be arrested.
She is not of age."

"Will you have done?--Do not tell me of--It cannot, and It can. It has
been done before,--and it shall be done again. Let him dispute it that
dares! I will do it now and stand to it afterwards. Tell Swineard,--if
he make the least boggling, it is as much as his life is worth;--he
shall starve by inches."

"Pray, your honour, think better of it. Upon my life, the whole country
will cry shame of it."

"Barnes!--What do you mean? I am not used to be talked to, and I cannot
hear it! You have been a good fellow to me upon many occasions--But, if
I find you out for making one with them that dispute my authority, damn
my soul, if I do not make you sick of your life!"

"I have done, your honour. I will not say another word except this,--I
have heard as how that Miss Emily is sick a-bed. You are determined, you
say, to put her in jail. You do not mean to kill her, I take it,"

"Let her die! I will not spare her for an hour--I will not always be
insulted. She had no consideration for me, and I have no mercy for
her.--I am in for it! They have provoked me past bearing,--and they
shall feel me! Tell Swineard, in bed or up, day or night, I will not
hear of an instant's delay."

Such were the directions of Mr. Tyrrel, and in strict conformity to his
directions were the proceedings of that respectable limb of the law he
employed upon the present occasion. Miss Melville had been delirious,
through a considerable part of the day on the evening of which the
bailiff and his follower arrived. By the direction of the physician whom
Mr. Falkland had ordered to attend her, a composing draught was
administered; and, exhausted as she was by the wild and distracted
images that for several hours had haunted her fancy, she was now sunk
into a refreshing slumber. Mrs. Hammond, the sister of Mrs. Jakeman, was
sitting by her bed-side, full of compassion for the lovely sufferer, and
rejoicing in the calm tranquillity that had just taken possession of
her, when a little girl, the only child of Mrs. Hammond, opened the
street-door to the rap of the bailiff He said he wanted to speak with
Miss Melville, and the child answered that she would go tell her mother.
So saying, she advanced to the door of the back-room upon the
ground-floor, in which Emily lay; but the moment it was opened, instead
of waiting for the appearance of the mother, the bailiff entered along
with the girl.

Mrs. Hammond looked up. "Who are you?" said she. "Why do you come in
here? Hush! be quiet!'

"I must speak with Miss Melville."

"Indeed, but you must not. Tell me your business. The poor child has
been light-headed all day. She has just fallen asleep, and must not be

"That is no business of mine. I must obey orders."

"Orders? Whose orders? What is it you mean?"

At this moment Emily opened her eyes. "What noise is that? Pray let me
be quiet."

"Miss, I want to speak with you. I have got a writ against you for
eleven hundred pounds at the suit of squire Tyrrel."

At these words both Mrs. Hammond and Emily were dumb. The latter was
scarcely able to annex any meaning to the intelligence; and, though Mrs.
Hammond was somewhat better acquainted with the sort of language that
was employed, yet in this strange and unexpected connection it was
almost as mysterious to her as to poor Emily herself.

"A writ? How can she be in Mr. Tyrrel's debt? A writ against a child!"

"It is no signification putting your questions to us. We only do as we
are directed. There is our authority. Look at it."

"Lord Almighty!" exclaimed Mrs. Hammond, "what does this mean? It is
impossible Mr. Tyrrel should have sent you."

"Good woman, none of your jabber to us! Cannot you read?"

"This is all a trick! The paper is forged! It is a vile contrivance to
get the poor orphan out of the hands of those with whom only she can be
safe. Proceed upon it at your peril!"

"Rest you content; that is exactly what we mean to do. Take my word, we
know very well what we are about."

"Why, you would not tear her from her bed? I tell you, she is in a high
fever; she is light-headed; it would be death to remove her! You are
bailiffs, are not you? You are not murderers?"

"The law says nothing about that. We have orders to take her sick or

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