Capítulo IV
Continuación de las equivocaciones

Glanville evitó la concurrencia para que no conocieran su desabrimiento, así que se presentó, se retiraron las dos primas: la una para dejarlo en libertad y la otra para informarse de lo que Jorge había dicho y hecho mientras la caza.

Luego que Arabela se vio sola, su imaginación la representó todo lo sucedido. ¡Cuántos sucesos en un solo día!: peligro de ser robada por un pérfido raptor, libertarse felizmente de serlo; una declaración inesperada y el descubrimiento de que Glanville tenía un competidor en su padre. No hubo heroína que se viese nunca en tan singulares circunstancias. Pero, por más descabelladas que fuesen sus ideas, Arabela halló modo de compararlas.

—¿Por qué mi mérito –decía ella– no podría producir el mismo efecto que el de Olimpia, princesa de Francia? ¿No promovió la divina Clelia una violenta pasión a Maherbal, quien no dejó de amarla, aun sabiendo que era su hermano? ¿No amó a la hermosa Alciona su tío y no intentó que le correspondiera84? ¡Ay! Sobradamente cierta es mi desgracia pero, ya que mi funesta beldad encendió tan delincuente llama, debo extinguirla y desterrar un respeto, que puede perjudicar a mi gloria.

Recapituló seguidamente cuanto la había dicho el caballero Jorge y encontró en sus expresiones tanta relación con las de Orondates que quedó su vanidad satisfecha; la regla exigía que no fuese bien recibida una declaración tan pronta, pero era absolutamente preciso admitirlo como amante, siempre que, más dichoso que Glanville, triunfase de su robador. Era una situación aquella embarazosísima. Preguntado Glanville por su padre, imaginó una querella de que hizo una sucinta relación.

—Pretendes alucinarme, hijo mío –le dijo su padre–. Tu prima lo ha revelado todo.

Mortificadísimo Glanville de que lo hubiese ridiculizado Arabela, se dejó de averiguaciones y pasó al cuarto de su prima, a saber de ella misma lo que había dicho de él.

Arabela lo cumplimentó mucho sobre su valor y le dio gracias majestuosamente de lo bien que la había servido. Glanville, después de haber intentado persuadirla a que se había asustado sin motivo, se informó de lo sucedido desde que se separó de él y tuvo la mortificación de saber que no tan solo se había dado en espectáculo ella, sino que también había sido él mismo actor en la escena extravagante que había representado; pero Arabela dio tanta importancia a la narración de sus temores, de sus inquietudes, de su dolor y, en fin, del desmayo cuya causa había él sido, que, en vez de darla quejas, hubo de mostrarla mucha gratitud. Diole Arabela una tierna ojeada y no pudo contener un suspiro. p. 130

—Es necesario, querida prima mía, que yo sepa por qué suspiráis –la dijo apretándola la mano.

—Sed tan prudente, que no me violentéis a revelaros un secreto: los hay de calidad que nunca deben descubrirse, fuera de que sobradamente presto lo sabréis.

—Aumentáis mi curiosidad siendo yo el objeto, como parece; por Dios, prima mía, que no prolonguéis mi inquietud.

—No, Glanville, no quiero ser la primera que os noticie lo que debierais eternamente ignorar.

Como Glanville conocía el carácter de su prima no se le dio mucho de aquella desgracia anunciada, pero fingió hallarse muy consternado al despedirse de la amable visionaria.

84 La historia de Olimpia se hallará en Cléopâtre VI.1. La de Maherbal está en Clélie II.2, aunque Arabela es traicionada por su memoria: Malherbal corteja a Clelia en Cartago por un corto espacio de tiempo, pero es Adherbal, pírincipe de Numidia, el que resulta ser su hermano; y el tío de Alciona, Bagistones, lo es en realidad de su marido (Cassandre II.2). [Dalziel 401-402.]

Chapter VI
In which the mistakes are continued.

As soon as Mr. Glanville appeared, the two ladies retired, Miss Glanville asking Arabella a hundred questions concerning their diversion, the drift of which was to know how Sir George behaved to her. But that fair [251] lady, whose thoughts were wholly employed on the strange accidents which had happened to her that day, longed to be at liberty to indulge her reflections; and, complaining of extreme weariness, under pretence of reposing herself till dinner, got quit of Miss Glanville’s company, which, at that time, she thought very tedious.

As soon as she was left to herself, her imagination running over all that had happened, she could not help confessing that few women ever met with such a variety of adventures in one day: in danger of being carried off by violence by one lover; delivered by another; insinuations of love from a third, who, she thought, was enamoured of her cousin; and what was still more surprising a discovery that her uncle was not insensible of her charms, but was become the rival of his own son.

As extravagant as this notion was, Arabella found precedents in her romances of passions full as strange and unjustifiable; and confirmed herself in that opinion, by recollecting several examples of unlawful love: “Why should I not believe,” said she, “that my charms can work as powerful effects as those of Olympia, princess of Thrace, whose brother was passionately enamoured of her?

“Did not the divine Clelia inspire Maherbal with a violent passion for her, who, though discovered to be her brother, did not, nevertheless, cease to adore her? And, to bring an instance still nearer to my own case, was not the uncle of the fair Alcyone in love with her? [252] And did he not endeavour to win her heart by all the methods in his power?

“Ah! Then,” pursued she, “let us doubt no more of our misfortune. And, since our fatal beauty has raised this impious flame, let us stifle it with our rigour, and not allow an ill-timed pity, or respect, to encourage a passion which may, one day, cast a blemish upon our glory.”p. 167

Arabella, having settled this point, proceeded to reflect on the conquest she had made of Sir George: she examined his words over and over, and found them so exactly conformable to the language of an Oroondates or Orontes that she could not choose but be pleased. But, recollecting that it behoved her, like all other heroines, to be extremely troubled and perplexed at an insinuation of love, she began to lament the cruel necessity of parting with an agreeable friend, who if he persisted in making her acquainted with his thoughts, would expose himself to the treatment persons so indiscreet always meet with; nor was she less concerned, lest if Mr. Glanville had not already dispatched her ravisher, Sir George, by wandering in search of him, and, haply, sacrificing him to his eager desire of serving her, should by that means lay her under an obligation to him, which, considering him as a lover, would be a great mortification.

Sir George, however, was gone home to his own house, with no thoughts of pursuing Arabella’s ravisher. And Mr. Glanville, being questioned by his father concerning his quarrel, invented some trifling excuse for it, which [253] not agreeing with the account the baronet had received from Arabella, he told his son that he had concealed the truth from him, and that there was more in that affair than he had owned. “You quarrelled,” added he, “upon Arabella’s account, and she did not scruple to affirm it before all the company.”

Mr. Glanville, who had vainly flattered himself with a hope that his cousin had not acquainted the company with her whimsical apprehensions, was extremely vexed when he found she had exposed herself to their ridicule, and that it was probable even he had not escaped. But willing to know from her own mouth how far she had carried her folly, he went up to her chamber; and, being immediately admitted, she began to congratulate him upon the conquest he had gained, as she supposed, over his enemy, and thanked him very solemnly for the security he had procured for her.

Mr. Glanville, after assuring her that she was in no danger of ever being carried away by that person whom she feared, proceeded to enquire into all that had passed between her and the company whom she had joined when she left him; and Arabella, relating every particular, gave him the mortification to know that her folly had been sufficiently exposed. But she touched upon her fears for him with so much delicacy, and mentioned her fainting in such a manner, as insinuated a much greater tenderness than he before had reason to hope for; and this knowledge destroying all his intentions to quarrel with her for what she had said, he appeared so easy and satisfied that Arabella, [254] reflecting upon the misfortune his father’s newborn passion would probably be the occasion of to him, could not help sighing at the apprehension, looking on him, at the same time, with a kind of pitying complacency, which did not escape Mr. Glanville’s notice.

“I must know the reason of that sigh, cousin,” said he, smiling, and taking her hand.

“If you are wise,” replied Arabella, gravely, “you will be contented to remain in the pleasing ignorance you are at present; and not seek to know a thing which will, haply, afford you but little satisfaction.”p. 168

“You have increased my curiosity so much by this advice,” resumed he, accommodating his looks* to Arabella’s, “that I shall not be at rest till I know what it is you conceal from me; and since I am so much concerned in it, even by your own confession, I have a right to press you to explain yourself.”

“Since you are so importunate,” replied Arabella, “I must tell you that I will not do you so great a diskindness* as to explain myself; nor will I be the first who shall acquaint you with your misfortune, since you will, haply, too soon arrive at the knowledge of it by other means.”

Glanville, who imagined this was some new whim that had got into her head, was but little perplexed at an insinuation, which, had he been ignorant of her foible, would have given him great uneasiness. But, being sensible that she expected he would press her to disclose herself, and appear extremely concerned at her refusing him that satisfaction, he counterfeited [255] so well that she was at a loss how to evade the arguments he used to make her unfold the terrible mystery, when the dinner bell ringing, and relieving her for the present, Mr. Glanville led her down to the parlour, where Sir Charles and his daughter attended their coming.

iaccommodating his looks] Focusing his eyes on.

iidiskindness] obs. Unkindness.