Capítulo XX
Conclusión de las aventuras de Arabela

Sumamente alborozado Glanville de ver a su amada Arabela curada de su heroica locura, ansiaba el hablar y tratar con ella; quiso irla a visitar al instante, pero la reflexión le dio a conocer que era necesario dejarla meditar sola e introducir después a Jorge Belmur para ponerla en estado de apreciar ella misma sus extravagancias. Arabela ignoraba cuanto había pasado entre Belmur y Glanville. Presentose, pues, aquél pálido, confundido, taciturno y, finalmente, muy diverso de lo que era. Tenía que cumplir lo prometido y le costaba repugnancia. Precisado, pues, a hacer a su palabra un sacrificio de su amor propio, recurrió a su ingenio para dar alguna gracia a su humillación. Confesó todos sus artificios; convino, de buena fe, en que le había animado a ellos la facilidad con que Arabela acogía las aventuras extrañas y novelescas, y explicó muy extensamente la historia de la fingida princesa de las Galias. Arabela, no teniendo que contestarle, deseó que la dejaran sola y estuvo dos horas absorbida en meditaciones desagradables sobre su pasada conducta y, así que se hubo repuesto y asegurado un poco, envió a llamar a Glanville y al barón, y los pidió perdón de cuantas penas les había causado.

—Por lo que mira a vos, mi primo querido –le dijo con una ternura que tiraba a encubrir su modestia–, conozco intensamente los favores de que os soy deudora y el valor intrínseco de cuanto por mí habéis hecho. No me atrevo a ofreceros mi mano con mi ignorancia y mis imperfecciones, pero si, no obstante, no tenéis repugnancia en aceptarla, emplearé por obligación, por cariño y por agradecimiento, cuantos medios pudieren hacerme digna de un hombre de mérito.

La respuesta de Glanville fue tomarla la mano y besársela mil veces. El barón la dio afectuosísimas gracias y explicó su alegría de un modo muy tierno.

Jorge Belmur, cogido en sus propias redes, se vio obligado a cumplir la palabra dada a Carlota y a su padre, y ambos matrimonios se celebraron en breve.

Observamos que Belmur y Carlota se casaron según la acepción común del término, esto es, que unieron sus títulos, sus armas, sus equipajes y sus gastos, pero Glanville y Arabela añadieron a todo esto la virtud, la estimación y el amor.


Chapter XII
In which the history is concluded.

Mr. Glanville, who fancied to himself the most ravishing delight from conversing with his lovely cousin, now recovered to the free use of all her noble powers of reason, would have paid her a visit that afternoon, had not a moment’s reflection convinced him that now was the time, when her mind was labouring under the force of conviction, to introduce the repentant Sir George to her, who, [320] by confessing the ridiculous farce he had invented to deceive her, might restore him to her good opinion, and add to the doctor’s solid arguments the poignant sting of ridicule which she would then perceive she had incurred.

Sir George being now able to leave his chamber, and Arabella well enough recovered to admit a visit in hers, Mr. Glanville entreated his father to wait on her, and get permission for Sir George to attend her upon a business of some consequence. Sir Charles no sooner mentioned this request than Arabella after a little hesitation complied with it. As she had been kept a stranger to all the particulars of Mr. Glanville’s quarrels with the young baronet, her thoughts were a little perplexed concerning the occasion of this visit, and her embarrassment was considerably increased by the confusion which she perceived in the countenance of Sir George. It was not without some tokens of a painfully suppressed reluctance that Sir George consented to perform his promise when Mr. Glanville claimed it, but the disadvantages that would attend his breach of it, dejected and humbled as he now was, presenting themselves in a forcible manner to his imagination, confirmed his wavering resolutions. And since he found himself obliged to be his own accuser, he endeavoured to do it with the best grace he could. Acknowledging therefore to Lady Bella all the artifices her deception by romances had given him encouragement to use upon her, and explaining very explicitly the last with relation to the pretended princess of Gaul, he submissively asked her pardon [321] for the offence it would now give her, as well as for the trouble it had formerly.p. 343

Arabella, struck with inconceivable confusion, having only bowed her head to his apology, desired to be left alone, and continued for near two hours afterwards wholly absorbed in the most disagreeable reflections on the absurdity of her past behaviour, and the contempt and ridicule to which she now saw plainly she had exposed herself. The violence of these first emotions having at length subsided, she sent for Sir Charles and Mr. Glanville, and having with a noble ingenuity expatiated upon the follies her vitiated judgment had led her into, she apologised to the first, for the frequent causes she had given him of uneasiness; and, turning to Mr. Glanville, whom she beheld with a look of mingled tenderness and modesty:

“To give you myself,” said she,* “with all my remaining imperfections is making you but a poor present in return for the obligations your generous affection has laid me under to you; yet since I am so happy as to be desired for a partner for life by a man of your sense and honour, I will endeavour to make myself as worthy as I am able of such a favourable distinction.”

Mr. Glanville kissed the hand she gave him with an emphatic silence, while Sir Charles, in the most obliging manner imaginable, thanked her for the honour she conferred both on himself and son by this alliance.

Sir George, entangled in his own artifices, saw himself under a necessity of confirming the promises he had made to Miss Glanville during his fit of penitence, and was accordingly married [322] to that young lady, at the same time that Mr. Glanville and Arabella were united.

We choose, reader, to express this circumstance, though the same, in different words, as well to avoid repetition, as to intimate that the first-mentioned pair were indeed only married in the common acceptation of the word; that is, they were privileged to join fortunes, equipages,* titles and expense; while Mr. Glanville and Arabella were united, as well in these, as in every virtue and laudable affection of the mind.


iTo give you myself, said she] To give you myself, 1752 (1st).

iiequipages] All that is needed for a domestic establishment.