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rather unpleasing intelligence. We have assumed already the privilege of acting a secretis to this gentleman, and therefore shall present the reader with an extract from this letter.
“I beg your pardon, my dearest friend, for the pain I have given you, in forcing you to open wounds so festering as those your letter referred to. I have always heard, though erroneously perhaps, that the attentions of Mr Brown were intended for Miss, Mannering. But, however that were, it could not be supposed that in your situation his boldness should escape notice and chastisement. Wise men say, that we resign to civil society our natural rights of self-defence, only on condition that the ordinances' of law should protect us.
Where the price cannot be paid, the resignation takes no place. For instance, no one supposes, that I am not entitled to defend my purse and person against a highwayman, as much as if I were a wild Indian, who
owns neither law nor magistracy. The question of resistance, or submission, must be determined by my means and situation. But if, armed and equal in force, I submit to injustice and violence from any man, high or low, I presume it will hardly be attributed to religious or moral feeling in me, or in any one but a quaker. An aggression on my honour seems to me much the same. The insult, however trifling in itself, is one of much deeper consequence to all views of life than any wrong which can be inflicted by a depredator on the highway, and redress is much less in the
power of public jurisprudence, or rather it is entirely beyond its reach. If any man chuses to rob Arthur Mervyn of the contents of his purse,
if he has not.means of defence, or the skill and courage to use them, the assizes at Lancaster or Carlisle will do him justice by tucking up the robber :Yet who will say I am bound to wait for this justice, and submit to being plundered in the first instance, if I have myself the
means and spirit to protect my own property? But if an affront is offered to me, submission to which is to tarnish my character for ever with men of honour, and for which the twelve judges of England, with the chancellor to boot, can afford me no redress, by what rule of law or reason am I to be deterred from protecting what ought to be, and is, so infinitely dearer to every man of honour than his whole fortune? Of the religious views of the matter I shall say nothing, until I find a reverend divine who shall condemn self-defence in the article of life and property. If its propriety in that case be generally admitted, I suppose little distinction can be drawn between defence of person and goods, and defence of reputation. That the latter is liable to be assailed by persons of a different rank in life, untainted perhaps in morals, and fair in character, cannot affect my legal right of self-defence. I may be sorry that circumstances have engaged me in personal strife with
such an individual; but I should feel the same sorrow for a generous enemy who fell under my sword in a national quarrel. I shall leave the question with the casuists, however, only observing, that what I have written will not avail either the professed duellist, or he who is the age gressor in a dispute of honour. I only presume to exculpate him who is dragged into the field by such an offence, as, submitted to in patience, would forfeit for ever his rank and estimation in society,
“I am sorry you have thoughts of settling in Scotland, and yet glad that you will still be at no immeasurable distance, and that the latitude is all in our favour. To move to Westmoreland from Devonshire might make an East Indian shudder; but to come to us from Galloway or Dumfries-shire, is a step, though a short one, nearer the sun. Besides, if, as I suspect, the estate in view be connected with the old haunted castle in which you played the astrologer in your northern tour some
four or five-and-twenty years since, I have heard you too often describe the scene with comic unction, to hope you will be deterred from making the purchase. I trust, how. ever, the hospitable gossiping Laird has not run himself upon the shallows, and that his chaplain, whom you so often made us laugh at, is still in rerum natura. : "And here, dear Mannering, I wish I could stop, for I have incredible pain in telling' the rest of my story, although I am sure I can warrant you against any in. tentional impropriety on the part of my temporary ward, Julia Mannering. But I must still earn my college nickname of Downright Dunstable. In one word then, bere is the matter.
“ Your daughter has much of the romantic turn of your disposition, with a little of that love of admiration which all pretty women share less or more. She will besides, apparently, be your heiress ; a trifling circumstance to those who view Julia with my eyes, but a prevailing bait