Capítulo XIV
La aventura de los libros felizmente terminada

Mandó el marqués llamar a Glanville y le dijo que iba a exterminar, quemándolos, todos los libros de Arabela.

—Para vengarte –añadió riéndose– del mal que te han causado es menester que presidas a la ejecución.

—Muy indispuesto estoy ciertamente contra Estatira, pero pido su perdón: ruégoos que, por consideración a mí, conservéis lo que ama mi prima y permitid que yo me haga de ello un mérito con la ofendida.

—Está bien, sobrino mío, pero mira que dejas subsistente el mal que conviene destruir.

Se apoderó Glanville de los libros temiendo que su tío no mudase de resolución y, dándose la enhorabuena de haber hallado el medio de hacer sus paces, corrió a toda priesa a la habitación de Arabela, donde entró a pesar de Lucía; en ella lloraba, de todo corazón, la pérdida de sus heroínas. Sin embargo, de la ridiculez de semejante dolor, se esforzó Glanville a mostrarse sobremanera triste. Dio disculpas sobre la irregularidad de su visita y restituyó el tesoro. Una sonrisa agradable animó la fisionomía de Arabela, volvió los ojos complacida hacia los tomazos de a folio y dio a Glanville una ojeada de aprobación.

—Esperáis, ya lo veo, que esta acción generosa ahuyente mi sentimiento; no soy ingrata y quiero perdonaros: dejadme sola, Glanville, que necesito de reposo.

Con una profunda reverencia se despidió Glanville y se dirigió a dar parte a su tío del éxito de su diligencia.

Chapter I

In which the adventure of the books is happily concluded.

The marquis, as soon as he saw Mr. Glanville, told him he was resolved to cure Arabella of her whims, by burning the books that had put them into her head:

“I have seized upon some of them,” pursued he, smiling; “and you may, if you please, wreak your spite upon these authors of your disgrace, by burning them yourself.”

[82] “Though I have all the reason in the world to be enraged with that incendiary Statira,” said Glanville laughing, “for the mischief she has done me; yet I cannot consent to put such an affront upon my cousin, as to burn her favourite books. And now I think of it, my lord,” pursued he, “I’ll endeavour to make a merit with Lady Bella by saving them. Therefore spare them, at my request, and let me carry them to her. I shall be quite unhappy till we are friends again.”

“You may do as you will,” said the marquis. “But I think it encouraging her in her follies to give them to her again.”

Glanville, without replying, eagerly took up the books, for fear the marquis should change his mind; and, highly delighted with the opportunity he had got of making his peace with Lady Bella, ran to her apartment, loaded with these kind intercessors; and, making his way by Lucy, who would have opposed him, penetrated even into the closet of the melancholy fair one, who was making bitter reflections on the cruelty of her destiny, and bewailing her loss with a deluge of tears.

As ridiculous as the occasion of these tears was, yet Glanville could not behold them without being affected. Assuming, therefore, a countenance as sad as he was able, he laid the books before her; and told her, he hoped she would excuse his coming into her presence without her permission, since it was only to restore her those books, whose loss she seemed so greatly to lament; and added that it was with much difficulty he prevailed upon the marquis not to [83] burn them immediately; and his fears that he might really do as he threatened, made him snatch them up, and bring them, with so little ceremony, into her closet.

Arabella, whose countenance brightened into a smile of pleasing surprise at the sight of her recovered treasure, turned her bright eyes upon Glanville with a look of complacency that went to his heart.

“I well perceive,” said she, “that in exaggerating the merit of this little service you have done me, you expect I should suffer it to cancel your past offences. I am not ungrateful enough to be insensible of any kindness that is shown me; and, though I might be excused for suspecting it was rather policy than friendship that induced you to seek my satisfaction, by saving these innocent victims of my father’s displeasure, nevertheless I pardon you upon the supposition that you will, for the future, avoid all occasion of offending me.”

At these words she made a sign to him to be gone, fearing the extravagance of his joy would make him throw himself at her feet to thank her for the infinite favour she had conferred upon him. But, finding he seemed disposed to stay longer, she called one of her women into the closet; and, by some very significant frowns, gave Glanville to understand his stay was displeasing; so that he left her, with a very low bow, highly pleased at her having repealed his banishment; and assured the marquis that nothing could have happened more fortunate for him than his intended disposal of [84] his daughter’s books, since it had proved the means of restoring him to her favour.