The History of Eliza Warwick, Vol. I
It begins . . . "To Miss Eliza Warwick. My son is distracted, Eliza -- he complains of my -- of your rigor, He knows not the necessity (as we do) of your absence from England. He asks for your story -- demands it with wildness in his aspect -- implores me to unravel this mystery, this dreadful enigma, that is to put an end to all his hopes -- he kneels -- he bedews my hands with his tears -- then rises -- swears he will find you out -- no convent -- no Altar -- no place, however sacred, shall protect you -- shall hide you from him.
"I am upbraided with cruelty -- you he calls an innocent victim, sacrificed on the shrine of Avarice. He exclaims against a marriage with Lady Isabella Trevice, and invokes Heaven to witness that he will never call her his. In short, he wearies his spirits so effectually, by giving way to these agitations of mind, that he throws himself breathless into a chair, and is for some hours lost to all sensibility of surrounding objects -- nor can any efforts draw a word or look from him.
For Heaven's sake, Eliza, write to him the story of your life -- shed him the impossibility, the madness, of a connection taking place between you -- tell him it must not be -- shall not, I had almost said -- I cannot undertake this task. Besides, it will receive double force from your pen -- Adieu! You must be happy in a situation so peaceful -- so retired! I shall be ever solicitous about your welfare, and will be rejoiced to have it confirmed that you no longer repine at your situation.
"You are very lovely, sensible, and attractive -- dangerous qualities for a worldly life. I again repeat, you must be happy -- everything considered, you cannot be otherwise. Enclose your packet for Lord Huntley in your next to me, I will deliver it -- Heaven grant it may compose his mind, and reconcile him to the amiable woman I have allotted for his partner! My wishes will be then answered, and I shall be grateful to you when I subscribe myself the happy -- but, my dear, always. Your affectionate friend, C. Huntley. P. S. By my son's repeated request, I inclose a letter from him -- but, remember, I depend on your promise, and your prudence."
The letter from Lord Huntley to Miss Eliza Warwick . . . "The unhappy victim of your cruelty, Madam, now humbles himself before you -- he lays his heart at your feet, he opens its bleeding wounds -- he presents them as so many trophies of your conquering eyes -- he makes no doubt your pride will trample on them -- Cruel Eliza!"
It is you that can inflict misery! -- it is you alone who can behold it unmoved! You wish me unhappy because I adore you -- you treat me with severity, while I kiss the hand that dooms me to wretchedness!
"What a heart! Ah! Madam, what a heart must you possess! In such a form, too! Eliza -- dear Eliza! Why assume such softness? Fair image of Deceit -- restore my peace and restore my insensibility.
"Did you not blush -- did you not sigh -- when first I told my passion? Did not those eyes -- Ah! Those destructive eyes! -- Did they not say, "Huntley, thou art beloved?" -- Persidious sex!
"Ah! My Eliza, forgive me -- pardon the distraction that thy charms -- that a cruel mother - have occasioned! Where art thou, most loved -- most injured woman? Where has the restless ambition of Lady Huntley conveyed thee? -- Hear me, Eliza -- if ever you wish to see me happy -- if ever thy gentle heart has pitied my sufferings -- if ever you wish to taste felicity yourself -- inform me, I conjure thee, of the place of your residence -- then shall you behold your Huntley at your feet, his life, his hand, his fortune are all at your command; then will he live; then shall he be indebted to you, for more than life -- for that peace of mind which winged its flight from him when you were torn way.
"Return, blest days -- return, ye roseate hours!"
"I must hope, my Eliza, you will speak comfort to my soul. I will say -- Eliza Warwick has ever pitied the unhappy. Why, then, should a faithful lover despair? Adieu! Too charming arbiters of my fate, be kind, be merciful and let one soft sentiment plead for the unhappy Huntley.
To read the rest of the story with me you can follow along with this link to the History of Eliza Warwick, Vol I that I have listed here.
This is a summary, as far as I have gotten into Vol. I. We find Eliza Warwick, in a convent as she writes, describes to Lord Huntley her history of her mother (Eliza Tenterdon), who was the fourth daughter of the late Earl of Tenterdon and at the age of sixteen Lady Eliza was mistress of every accomplishment that could adorn her sex. The luxuriance of beauty which even at that early period she possessed, rendered her the object of general admiration.
Lady Eliza Tenterdon was anxious to exhibit the lovely Lady Eliza Darcey thus soon at Court. That was considered to be a point of ceremony, so important in the eye of nobility, being attained, she was ushered immediately into the gay world.
At every public place she constituted the principal part of admiration. The finest spectacle; the finest finger; the finest actor were disregarded the moment Lady Eliza appeared.
Lady Eliza Tenterdon was the ideal of her father, and "fond darling" of her mother's heart. Lady Eliza Tenterdon was the compass by which their most ambitious hopes were steered, and they doubted not the safe pilot who would bring them into the harbor they aimed at, by adding to their illustrious connections.
One of Lady Eliza Tenterdon's adorers was the Duke of Beauvarise was not the most unheeded; and, if Lady Eliza felt no prepossession in his favor, it was enough that Lord and Lady Tenterdon thought him the most accomplished of men.
The Duke of Beauvarise was a nobleman of immense fortune, had youth, sense, person, and merit, to recommend him as a suitor for Lord Tenterdon's daughter. The Duke's faults with Lady Eliza were not few -- and, as he was too much in love to prove as good a rallied as her vivacity and insensibility to his passion suffered her to be, she treated him with a degree of severity in her satire which nothing but the most fervent attachment on his side could have excused. The Duke of Beauvarise proposed himself to the Earl as a match for his daughter, and was joyfully accepted of; an early day for celebration of nuptials, were to be the foundation of felicity to all but Eliza, was as eagerly granted by Lord Tenterdon as solicited for by the impatient Beauvarise.
Lady Eliza Tenterdon's second sister, was about that time going down to her seat in Huntingdonshire, and Lady Eliza, during the drawing-up of settlements, and the preparations usual on such occasions, desired leave to attend her sister, Lady Norfolk, into the country at Norfolk Mansion, a resort of the young and gay where pleasure ruled with absolute dominion, and each day was witness to the institution of some new entertainment.
Lady Eliza was very unhappy with the circumstances of her proposed marriage to the Duke of Beauvarise. Lady Eliza wished for more retirement and to be enabled to indulge her chagrin without control. Where she could steal a moment to herself to reason with her heart, Duty, gratitude, nay, ambition! And urged to banish its insensibility and every art used to inspire her soul with those sentiments of love which the Duke was but to justly entitled to. Yet all were fruitless.
They recoiled against the purpose they were intended to execute, and she never thought of the connection so soon to take place without shuddering, "I will write to my father," cried lady Eliza one day, almost downed in tears, "I will open my soul to him, and how I am unhappy."
Her pen was instantly employed. It addressed Lord Tenterdon in terms that would have moved the most indifferent to the woes of a fellow creature. Alas! Her situation was truly deplorable! She had no resource but in the mercy of a man who was impenetrable to the pleadings of Nature, when they were to clash with his ambition, and who on such occasions resembled in his feelings.
Lord Tenterdon was frequently heard to declare, he would prefer seeing his daughters dead at his feet, than behold them wedded to the worthiest men without titles and riches.
Lord Tenterdon's answer was therefore preemptory, and Lady Eliza received it with evident marks of horror.
It was shortly after this while Lady Eliza had taken an evening stroll in the woods near Norfolk Mansion to console her unhappiness of her situation to man she did not love.
While Lady Eliza was grieving in her affliction, sorrow, a stranger came upon her to see what he could do to console Lady Eliza of her monstrous grief. Startled by the stranger Lady Eliza in a tone of high disdain exclaimed, "Begone! Bold intruder, begone, and seek no further to molest my retirement."
The stranger bowed low, and retreated, when for the first time Lady Eliza viewed him with less inattention than she had done, and in this discovered the most perfect form her eyes had ever beheld.
"Heavens," said Lady Eliza in a very low voice, "who is it I have thus addressed? What a savage must he think me! I will advance towards him -- I will apologize." She did so, "Sir, I ought to ask your pardon," as she trembling and cried. "For my incivility, and add my thanks for your generous offer, but, alas! I am unhappy and no one on earth (but those who will not) can relieve me. Adieu! Sir; forget this scene."
Lady Eliza was hurrying from him, when the charming stranger caught hold of her hand, "Rather ought I to implore your pardon, Madam, for my unseasonable interruption, but allow me to explain myself. I am an unfortunate man, entangled in an engagement the most cruel. My father has dragged me to Lord Norfolk's with the lady he has allotted for my bride. Sick of the company, but most of her, I came into these walks to indulge a chagrin to visible to be concealed, and hardly had I wandered ten minutes before I discovered you. Need I say more? I saw your sorrow. I heard your pathetic exclamations, unable to contain myself longer, I dared to disturb your solitude. Forgive me, Madam; 'tis I who should sue for forgiveness."
Lady Eliza heard and could have remained to listen as he spoke. At length she begged him to say no more on the subject that made her blush for her behavior. After assuring him of her concern for his unhappy situation, told him her name and begged to be informed of his.
He informed Lady Eliza, "My name, Madam, is Warwick. My father is near neighbor of Lord Norfolk's, and with your permission I will call here tomorrow, and will hope to be favored with a fight of the most lovely woman in the universe."
Lady Eliza did not accept of his attendance to the house, and, half dead with fear and wonder, she made the best of her way to her own apartment. Lady Eliza throwing herself into a chair cried, "Ah! Am I not indeed culpable? These emotions -- the sound of that voice -- Oh! Warwick -- Who and what art thou? Charming, generous man! Your griefs are equal to mine. Our fate bears some resemblance."
Lady Eliza spent a disturbed and restless night. She took some interest in Colonel Warwick's misfortunes. Lady Eliza rose early the next morning, dressed with a care and anxiety she knew not how to account for, and thought the hours the longest she had ever spent, then Lady Norfolk entered her dressing room, "Come, Eliza, come down and see the beauty and admiration of the world -- Young Warwick, just arrived from italy, with all the airs and graces that Nature can bestow, or Art acquire, comes thus often to my house, to shed his sense of the power of my charms. He was here yesterday, child, but you are so unaccountably dull, else you might have seen him sooner. I must tell you a compliment he paid me. He took my hand as he was going away, and, looking at me very attentively, exclaimed, 'Beautiful Lady Norfolk! How much does the loveliest woman that Nature ever created resemble you! Her eyes, her delicacy!'
"An Italian, or Parifian, I suppose?"
'No, faith -- an English Divinity, my Lady.'
"There's for you, Eliza -- you see the poor man loves me -- but I will keep him at a distance. He has never seen you yet, as he declared at dinner when Lord B. gave you as his toast, else I should think he meant that you were like me. You know, my dear, your eyes have been paid the compliment of being thought like mine."
Lady Norfolk ran on without suffering any interruption from Lady Eliza, had not Lady Norfolk's impatience to see this Adonis put a period to her volubility. Her sister, with blushes, and a pleasing palpitation, consented to attend her into the drawing room, where all the company waa assembled. With trembling steps Lady Eliza followed Lady Norfolk into the room, where the insinuating Warwick was seated.
Soon after the introduction they soon became sincere friends until Lady Eliza received a command to return to town, importing that the Duke of Beauvarise was impatient to call her his. Lady Eliza wrote to her mother, to open to her the situation of her heart. She besought Lady Tenterdon to be her advocate with her father, and urge him to lay aside the cruel resolution of sacrificing her to ambitious motives. She declared her love for Col. Warwick, and concluded by assuring her Ladyship, that nothing but death could tear his image from her heart.
This letter exasperated both father and mother, and they sent Lord Westley (their eldest son) to attend her to town, and to carry their final answer to this undutiful daughter as they called her.
Lord Westley addressed the gentle Eliza in the cruelest and harshest strain when he arrived at Norfolk Mansion. He terrified her with his unmanly threats, swore he would challenge her lover, if she seemed the least reluctant to part from him. The noise and bustle, which this hot headed young man occasioned, drew Lady Norfolk out of her reverie, and she was at last sensible that Col. Warwick admired only her sister. Stung with resentment at being deprived of so delightful a conquest, she loaded her with reproaches for her dissimulation and clandestine encouragement of him, and insisted on Lady Eliza's accompanying Lord Westley immediately to London; bidding her, at the same time, to be careful how she ever entered her house again.
Col. Warwick, on hearing of the abrupt departure of his loved Eliza, was almost deprived of reason. He fought out his father, and, throwing himself at his feet, intreated his sanction to follow the mistress of his soul, and save her from falling a wretched sacrifice to merciless oppression. His father at first ridiculed his romantic notions, but finding his distress to poignant to bear rallying patiently, assumed a serious air, and told him he never could consent or even listen a second time to a proposal so near bordering on madness.
Col. Warwick's father reminded him of the large fortune he should get by his marriage with Miss Denson, and the small one Lord Tenterdon could give his daughter. "The first is an heiress, my boy," cried the miserable old man; "The second may be a beauty, but she has not an hundred and fifty thousand pounds to give her the finishing stroke. Come, come, Harry, you are a younger brother, and must court fortune in the way I point out to you. If you do not marry Miss Denson, I swear, by everything most sacred, you, or your posterity, shall never be the better for a shilling of mine."
The young Warwick cried, "Keep, then, your pelf. I do not ask you for it, Sir. My happiness consists not in money. You convince me yours does. I will not lessen it, by taking a guinea from you. Enjoy it, Sir, and with it every blessing. I will wander in search of that peace I should for ever relinquish in so detestable an union -- bestow on me the parental wishes of a father -- 'tis all I desire."
At these last words he kneeled again to the enraged Baronet, and taking one of his hands respectfully pressed it to his lips -- after which, he mounted his horse, and galloped to his friend Sir Edward Bentick's, where he staid three days, in expectation of hearing from Lady Eliza. His hopes were vain with no letter appearing in that time. His anxiety increasing with each minute, he imagined, as most people do, when warmly interested in any event which passes at some distance from them, that every stranger who comes from that spot can give intelligence of the important affair.
He finally rode towards London and in the heat of impatience, and torture of suspense, was ready to inquire of every one he met, coming from thence, Whether Lady Eliza was married? If Lord Tenterdon kept her confined?
Col. Warwick had just alighted at Stevenage, when his servant came to tell him, "That a gentleman in inquired for him, and that upon being told he was on his way to London, he seemed glad of the information, and begged to be admitted to his conversation, for had something of consequence to deliver and communicate to him."
"Show him in," fired the transported Warwick, "He brings me tidings of my Eliza." He prophesied truly.
Lady Eliza had been closely confined on her arrival in town and allowed to see no visitor but the Duke of Beauvarise. She considered that Nobleman's character. She knew there were some amiable traits in it, and without reserve, frankly confessed to him the situation of her heart. Lady Eliza burst into tears and implored the Duke not only to defer the marriage, but to endeavor to convey a letter from her to Col. Warwick. "Ah! Madam," replied the astonished Duke, "What is it you tell me? A rival! A happy rival, too! Is it possible!"
Beauvarise viewed her with attention and falling on his knees, exclaimed, "Charming, amiable Eliza! For Heaven's sake let me not see you weep. Ah! Pity me! Overcome not my resolutions, suffer me to hope."
Duke Beauvarise obeyed Lady Eliza's wishes to bring Warwick to her. Lady Eliza in trusted the amiable Beauvarise with a letter to Col. Warwick, "Inquire for him, my Lord, at every stage between this and Warwick-Hall, for I make no doubt he is on the road to London." The Duke took the packet and assured Lady Eliza he would be faithful to his trust, quitted Lord Tenterdon's house with precipitation.
The Duke traveled a great part of the night towards Huntingdonshire and was waiting for fresh horses at Stevenage, when Col. Warwick stopped at the same Inn, whose name being accidentally mentioned by the waiter, in the Duke's hearing, led him to make the necessary inquiries, and caused his heart to throb with a variety of emotions.
The moment Col. Warwick's servant presented his master's compliments, and interested the favor of the stranger's company, the Duke followed him into the room, where Col. Warwick was waiting his arrival with impatience. No sooner did he behold the elegant person of Warwick, and his animated countenance, than he sighed within himself at the very great advantages this dangerous rival possessed, and reluctantly approved Lady Eliza's taste.
After usual salutations of the two well-bred men, the Duke proceeded to business, "Sir," with an agitation he could not conceal "I am come on an extra ordinary errand. I have traveled post to embrace a man I have cause to hate and what is worse, to deliver him a tender billet from he mistress of my affections."
"Strange indeed!" replied Warwick. "Can I be of any service to you, Sir, in this affair? I should hope so, by doing me the honor of desiring an interview."
"Hold, sir," answered the Duke, "Do you know this hand?" showing him part of the superscription of Lady Eliza's letter. Warwick reddened, "Sir, you are disposed to trifle -- rendered desperate by wretchedness, I can but ill brook it. Who are you?"
The Duke said, "I am that Beauvarise who was intended for Lady Eliza's husband, the disposed, the miserable object of her aversion. I am come to make you blessed; to present you with this letter. It is but just, after having given you both pain, that I should seek for opportunities of doing you service. No thanks, sir."
Warwick had grasped his hand, and though his tongue refused utterance to his acknowledgements, his intelligent eyes expressed all the grateful feelings of his heart. The duke left the room so Warwick could read the letter.
The letter read, "The generous Duke of Beauvarise conveys this to your hands, my Warwick and I have only time to tell you, that he will concert some method for our meeting, and that speedily. I am hurried. I am interrupted by my fears. Adieu!"
The Duke told Warwick that Lady Eliza loved Warwick and only he could make her happy. The new friends, the Duke and Col. Warwick spent the night and some hours of the following morning in conversation. They sat out together for London the next morning.
Lord Tenterdon began to grow uneasy at the dilatory work of the lawyers, and proposed to the Duke to marry his daughter before the settlements were finished. Beauvarise played his part admirably. H assured his Lordship his wishes kept pace with his desires, and he would testify his joy by giving a superb ball, at his house in Grosvenor-Square, the night before the ceremony was to be performed, and fixed it for the week following.
The Earl promised that all his family should be there, but excused himself, as too gouty and infirm to be out late. The apology was readily accepted and the Duke waited on lady Eliza to communicate to her this intelligence. The plan was laid, and on the night of this ball, Lady Eliza, instead of being handed to her chair, was put into a chaise by Col. Warwick and the Duke, and they immediately set off for Scotland.
Lady Tenterdon, who had gone to her own apartments directly as she was sat down at home, heard nothing of Eliza's being missing till she arose the next noon. The most faithful, and the favorite attendant of Lady Eliza had been ordered to wait in the chaise, at some little distance from the Duke's, for it was designed she should accompany her mistress in her flight.
The servants of the house supposed their young lady had been suffered to go home with lady Emily Colville, her eldest sister, as it was very usual for her to do so. They had therefore no suspicions, nor, indeed, could her unerring prudence (until that night) ever have given rise to any.
All that day was spent in fruitless inquiries. The night, in vain surmises. The next morning a letter from the Duke of Beauvarise unravelled the mystery, and left them without one doubt to give them comfort.
The Duke's letter read as follows: "My Lord, Sensible of your Lordship's humanity, conscious of the tenderness you experience for the amiable Lady Eliza, and well assured of her filial affection and love of virtue, I am feared, not to become a suppliant for her, (that I am fore would be unnecessary,) but to awaken those sentiments of compassion for the unhappy which are readily excited in your and lady Tenterdon's bosoms.
"Your sweet Eliza, your darling child, my Lord, is the object for whom those sentiments use now glow. Almost driven by my unfortunate passion, and your reiterated commands, to wed a man she could not love, even when she declared to you her inclination for another, be not surprised if the brink of misery she stood on gave her courage to break through the cruel injection of a parent, by seeking refuge in the protection of the most excellent of his sex. Your daughter, my Lord, is married. I am the chief contriver of this union. Too generous to deceive, she informed me of the situation of her heart, and when I knew how worthily it was bestowed, I repaid her confidence, in the best manner I was able, by securing her felicity. I did it at the moment she was most beloved by me. You, my Lord, surely! will not deal less tenderly. Reflect, that, if a lover could give up his dearest hopes in the possession of a mistress, a father should do more for a child who never erred till obliged to it by his arbitrary commands in a point where the flighted compulsion ought never to be used.
"Col. Warwick, my Lord, is of a noble family, he has distinguished himself lately in the service of his King, which well authorized the rapid promotion of so young a man. His own Sex esteem, and wish to copy him; the other admire, and sigh for him. Does not his evince that the amiable Warwick is sensible, generous, sincere, and elegant? My pen is inadequate to the eulogiums he merits in a word, lady Eliza only is deserving of him.
"The only misfortune col. Warwick at present knows, is the having offended his father by disappointing his views in an alliance he had planned for him with a woman of fortune as deformed in her person as she was in temper, and who promised him, in her appearance, a life of wretchedness, had they met in the connubial bands. He declared his aversion to the lady to Sir William Warwick, and that nothing should induce him to marry her, and for this open violation of his authority will, no doubt, feel his resentment. Even the honor of being connected to your Lordship could not dazzle the eyes of a miser, but had Lady Eliza possessed an equal share of fortune with Miss Denson, Sir William would have thought of this marriage with rapture.
"I shudder when I reflect what the delicate Eliza would have suffered with a lover less attached to her than I was. her tears might not have moved him. her prayers and sighs wasted in vain, she would have become the sad victim of parental authority. Ah! lord Tenterdon, bless Heaven for her escape, and open wide your arms to receive this amiable child! Suffer me to bring her to them, and for her sake, as well as his own, honor col. Warwick with your friendship, your assistance. By my advice they have left England till you can view this affair in a proper light. On your answer, my Lord, depends their immediate return.
"Be convinced that I am not less your friend than before this event happened, and that I shall ever esteem myself happy in testifying to your Lordship (or any part of your family) that I am, my Lord, Your and their sincere and most devoted servant, Beauvarise."
Of course, Lord Tenterdon, looked and spoke more like a madman than a reasonable being. He reproached Lady Tenterdon with her carelessness that fatal night. He abused Lord Westley for being out of town, but most of all he execrated the noble Beauvarise, as the cause of his greatest misfortune. In vain did his family endeavor to pacify him. They let Lady Eliza suffer for her disobedience and forgot they had such a daughter. Eliza was unworthy of their regard.
See you next week with more of the History of Eliza Warwick!
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Comments: Bibliographic information
The following is what I found. It says it's not in print. I'll keep checking.
Bath County marriage bonds and ministers' returns, 1791-1853: with an addendum of newly found ministers' returns
Eliza Warwick Wise, Bath County Historical Society (Va.)
Constance Corley Metheny
The Society, 1998
Bath County (Va.)
Registers of births, etc
~email@example.com 2012-03-07 10:17:55
I'll send you the link. The name Eliza was one nam, but then you have William, also Jeano was also used which I think is Eliza's mother's nickname. Her real name was Janet. I'll ck my notes. Again, thanks for all your hard work. And I haven't forgotten about my promise to run up to Pt. Pleasant for you. I'll let you know. ~ 2012-03-07 08:30:32
That's interesting about "Eliza Warwick listed as an author of the Bath County Marriages for the same time period." could you find that piece of information and send a copy to me? In reading the 2nd vol. of Eliza's story towards the end we found out that Eliza is living with nuns and is on her death bed. Researching the Warwick's I have found a lot of names using "Eliza." it is interesting trying to piece together every little piece of the puzzle, isn't it? ~Linda McGill Wagner 2012-03-07 05:28:23
I cannot believe what a wonderful job you have done with this book. I have read portions of it online and have my favorite piece written down, I loved it so much. Thank you for all your hard work and I can't wait to read more. One thing I noticed when I got back into trying to find my own copy of the book was that Eliza Warwick was listed as an author of the Bath County Marriages(?) for the same time period. I just thought it was interesting. I think this is the story of Jacob Warwick's mother and her heartache suffered through her relationship with William. Thank you. ~ 2012-03-06 19:27:40
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