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Title: Camilla - or, A Picture of Youth
Author: Burney, Fanny, 1752-1840
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Camilla - or, A Picture of Youth" ***

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                        FANNY BURNEY

                         _Camilla_


                   _A Picture of Youth_



CONTENTS


    CAMILLA, OR A PICTURE OF YOUTH

    DEDICATION                                             3

    ADVERTISEMENT                                          5


    VOLUME I

      BOOK I

        I. A Family Scene                                  7

       II. Comic Gambols                                  14

      III. Consequences                                   26

       IV. Studies of a grown Gentleman                   33

        V. Schooling of a young Gentleman                 41

       VI. Tuition of a young Lady                        44

      VII. Lost Labour                                    49


      BOOK II

        I. New Projects                                   53

       II. New Characters                                 60

      III. A Family Breakfast                             78

       IV. A Public Breakfast                             82

        V. A Raffle                                       96

       VI. A Barn                                        109

      VII. A Declaration                                 112

     VIII. An answer                                     117

       IX. An Explication                                123

        X. A Panic                                       125

       XI. Two Lovers                                    133

      XII. Two Doctors                                   139

     XIII. Two Ways of looking at the same Thing         147

      XIV. Two Retreats                                  152

       XV. Two Sides of a Question                       157


    VOLUME II

      BOOK III

        I. A few kind Offices                            163

       II. A Pro and a Con                               173

      III. An Author's Notion of Travelling              180

       IV. An internal Detection                         189

        V. An Author's Opinion of Visiting               197

       VI. An Author's Idea of Order                     206

      VII. A Maternal Eye                                215

     VIII. Modern Ideas of Duty                          222

       IX. A Few Embarrassments                          230

        X. Modern Ideas of Life                          238

       XI. Modern Notions of Penitence                   244

      XII. Airs and Graces                               249

     XIII. Attic Adventures                              257


      BOOK IV

        I. A few Explanations                            266

       II. Specimens of Taste                            274

      III. A few Compliments                             283

       IV. The Danger of Disguise                        291

        V. Strictures on Deformity                       299

       VI. Strictures on Beauty                          305

      VII. The Pleadings of Pity                         311

     VIII. The disastrous Buskins                        317

       IX. Three Golden Maxims                           324


    VOLUME III

      BOOK V

        I. A Pursuer                                     333

       II. An Adviser                                    338

      III. Various Confabulations                        343

       IV. A Dodging                                     351

        V. A Sermon                                      355

       VI. A Chat                                        362

      VII. A Recall                                      369

     VIII. A Youth of the Times                          375


      BOOK VI

        I. A Walk by Moonlight                           386

       II. The Pantiles                                  391

      III. Mount Ephraim                                 400

       IV. Knowle                                        408

        V. Mount Pleasant                                419

       VI. The accomplished Monkies                      427

      VII. The Rooms                                     438

     VIII. Ways to the Heart                             446

       IX. Counsels for Conquest                         453

        X. Strictures upon the Ton                       462

       XI. Traits of Character                           469

      XII. Traits of Eccentricity                        482

     XIII. Traits of Instruction                         490

      XIV. A Demander                                    496

       XV. An Accorder                                   503

      XVI. An Helper                                     512


    VOLUME IV

      BOOK VII

        I. The right Style of Arguing                    521

       II. A Council                                     525

      III. A Proposal of Marriage                        531

       IV. A Bull-Dog                                    535

        V. An Oak Tree                                   541

       VI. A Call of the House                           547

      VII. The Triumph of Pride                          555

     VIII. A Summons to Happiness                        561

       IX. Offs and Ons                                  570

        X. Resolutions                                   576

       XI. Ease and Freedom                              583

      XII. Dilemmas                                      590

     XIII. Live and Learn                                596


      BOOK VIII

        I. A Way to make Friends                         604

       II. A Rage of Obliging                            612

      III. A Pleasant Adventure                          621

       IV. An Author's Time-keeper                       628

        V. An agreeable Hearing                          633

       VI. Ideas upon Marriage                           642

      VII. How to treat a Defamer                        646

     VIII. The Power of Prepossession                    655

       IX. A Scuffle                                     661

        X. A Youthful Effusion                           669

       XI. The Computations of Self-Love                 679

      XII. Juvenile Calculations                         685


    VOLUME V

      BOOK IX

        I. A Water Party                                 695

       II. Touches of Wit and Humour                     710

      III. An Adieu                                      720

       IV. A modest Request                              727

        V. A Self-dissection                             736

       VI. A Reckoning                                   740

      VII. Brides and no Brides                          750

     VIII. A Hint for Debtors                            757

       IX. A Lover's Eye                                 766

        X. A Bride's Resolves                            776

       XI. The Workings of Sorrow                        784


      BOOK X

        I. A Surprise                                    793

       II. A Narrative                                   799

      III. The Progress of Dissipation                   808

       IV. Hints upon National Prejudice                 816

        V. The Operation of Terror                       827

       VI. The Reverse of a Mask                         840

      VII. A new View of an Old Mansion                  849

     VIII. A last Resource                               855

       IX. A Spectacle                                   865

        X. A Vision                                      874

       XI. Means to still Agitation                      878

      XII. Means to obtain a Boon                        885

     XIII. Questions and Answers                         892

      XIV. The last Touches of the Picture               903



CAMILLA:

OR,

A PICTURE OF YOUTH

BY

THE AUTHOR OF

_EVELINA_ and _CECILIA_



TO THE

QUEEN


MADAM,

That Goodness inspires a confidence, which, by divesting respect of
terror, excites attachment to Greatness, the presentation of this little
Work to Your Majesty must truly, however humbly, evince; and though a
public manifestation of duty and regard from an obscure Individual may
betray a proud ambition, it is, I trust, but a venial--I am sure it is a
natural one.

       *       *       *       *       *

In those to whom Your Majesty is known but by exaltation of Rank, it may
raise, perhaps, some surprise, that scenes, characters, and incidents,
which have reference only to common life, should be brought into so
august a presence; but the inhabitant of a retired cottage, who there
receives the benign permission which at Your Majesty's feet casts this
humble offering, bears in mind recollections which must live there while
'memory holds its seat,' of a benevolence withheld from no condition,
and delighting in all ways to speed the progress of Morality, through
whatever channel it could flow, to whatever port it might steer. I blush
at the inference I seem here to leave open of annexing undue importance
to a production of apparently so light a kind--yet if my hope, my
view--however fallacious they may eventually prove, extended not beyond
whiling away an idle hour, should I dare seek such patronage?

With the deepest gratitude, and most heart-felt respect, I am,

MADAM,

Your MAJESTY'S

Most obedient, most obliged,

And most dutiful servant,

F. d'ARBLAY.

BOOKHAM,

June 28, 1796



ADVERTISEMENT


The Author of this little Work cannot, in the anxious moment of
committing it to its fate, refuse herself the indulgence of expressing
some portion of the gratitude with which she is filled, by the highly
favourable reception given to her _TWO_ former attempts in this species
of composition; nor forbear pouring forth her thanks to the many Friends
whose kind zeal has forwarded the present undertaking:--from amongst
whom she knows not how to resist selecting and gratifying herself by
naming the Hon. Mrs. BOSCAWEN, Mrs. CREWE, and Mrs. LOCKE.



VOLUME I

BOOK I


The historian of human life finds less of difficulty and of intricacy to
develop, in its accidents and adventures, than the investigator of the
human heart in its feelings and its changes. In vain may Fortune wave
her many-coloured banner, alternately regaling and dismaying, with hues
that seem glowing with all the creation's felicities, or with tints that
appear stained with ingredients of unmixt horrors; her most rapid
vicissitudes, her most unassimilating eccentricities, are mocked,
laughed at, and distanced by the wilder wonders of the Heart of man;
that amazing assemblage of all possible contrarieties, in which one
thing alone is steady--the perverseness of spirit which grafts desire on
what is denied. Its qualities are indefinable, its resources
unfathomable, its weaknesses indefensible. In our neighbours we cannot
judge, in ourselves we dare not trust it. We lose ere we learn to
appreciate, and ere we can comprehend it we must be born again. Its
capacity o'er-leaps all limit, while its futility includes every
absurdity. It lives its own surprise--it ceases to beat--and the void is
inscrutable! In one grand and general view, who can display such a
portrait? Fairly, however faintly, to delineate some of its features, is
the sole and discriminate province of the pen which would trace nature,
yet blot out personality.



CHAPTER I

_A Family Scene_


Repose is not more welcome to the worn and to the aged, to the sick and
to the unhappy, than danger, difficulty, and toil to the young and
adventurous. Danger they encounter but as the forerunner of success;
difficulty, as the spur of ingenuity; and toil, as the herald of honour.
The experience which teaches the lesson of truth, and the blessings of
tranquillity, comes not in the shape of warning nor of wisdom; from such
they turn aside, defying or disbelieving. 'Tis in the bitterness of
personal proof alone, in suffering and in feeling, in erring and in
repenting, that experience comes home with conviction, or impresses to
any use.

In the bosom of her respectable family resided Camilla. Nature, with a
bounty the most profuse, had been lavish to her of attractions; Fortune,
with a moderation yet kinder, had placed her between luxury and
indigence. Her abode was in the parsonage-house of Etherington,
beautifully situated in the unequal county of Hampshire, and in the
vicinity of the varied landscapes of the New Forest. Her father, the
rector, was the younger son of the house of Tyrold. The living, though
not considerable, enabled its incumbent to attain every rational object
of his modest and circumscribed wishes; to bestow upon a deserving wife
whatever her own forbearance declined not; and to educate a lovely race
of one son and three daughters, with that expansive propriety, which
unites improvement for the future with present enjoyment.

In goodness of heart, and in principles of piety, this exemplary couple
was bound to each other by the most perfect unison of character, though
in their tempers there was a contrast which had scarce the gradation of
a single shade to smooth off its abrupt dissimilitude. Mr. Tyrold,
gentle with wisdom, and benign in virtue, saw with compassion all
imperfections but his own, and there doubled the severity which to
others he spared. Yet the mildness that urged him to pity blinded him
not to approve; his equity was unerring, though his judgment was
indulgent. His partner had a firmness of mind which nothing could shake:
calamity found her resolute; even prosperity was powerless to lull her
duties asleep. The exalted character of her husband was the pride of her
existence, and the source of her happiness. He was not merely her
standard of excellence, but of endurance, since her sense of his worth
was the criterion for her opinion of all others. This instigated a
spirit of comparison, which is almost always uncandid, and which here
could rarely escape proving injurious. Such, at its very best, is the
unskilfulness of our fallible nature, that even the noble principle
which impels our love of right, misleads us but into new deviations,
when its ambition presumes to point at perfection. In this instance,
however, distinctness of disposition stifled not reciprocity of
affection--that magnetic concentration of all marriage felicity;--Mr.
Tyrold revered while he softened the rigid virtues of his wife, who
adored while she fortified the melting humanity of her husband.

Thus, in an interchange of happiness the most deserved, and of parental
occupations the most promising, passed the first married years of this
blest and blessing pair. An event then came to pass extremely
interesting at the moment, and yet more important in its consequences.
This was the receipt of a letter from the elder brother of Mr. Tyrold,
containing information that he meant to remove into Hampshire.

Sir Hugh Tyrold was a baronet, who resided upon the hereditary estate of
the family in Yorkshire. He was many years older than Mr. Tyrold, who
had never seen him since his marriage; religious duties, prudence, and
domestic affairs having from that period detained him at his benefice;
while a passion for field sports had, with equal constancy, kept his
brother stationary.

The baronet began his letter with kind enquiries after the welfare of
Mr. Tyrold and his family, and then entered upon the state of his own
affairs, briefly narrating, that he had lost his health, and, not
knowing what to do with himself, had resolved to change his habitation,
and settle near his relations. The Cleves' estate, which he heard was
just by Etherington, being then upon sale, he desired his brother to
make the purchase for him out of hand; and then to prepare Mrs. Tyrold,
with whom he was yet unacquainted, though he took it for granted she was
a woman of great learning, to receive a mere poor country squire, who
knew no more of hic, hæc, hoc, than the baby unborn. He begged him to
provide a proper apartment for their niece Indiana Lynmere, whom he
should bring with him, and another for their nephew Clermont, who was to
follow at the next holidays; and not to forget Mrs. Margland, Indiana's
governess, she being rather the most particular in point of pleasing
amongst them.

Mr. Tyrold, extremely gratified by this unexpected renewal of fraternal
intercourse, wrote the warmest thanks to his brother, and executed the
commission with the utmost alacrity. A noble mansion, with an extensive
pleasure-ground, scarce four miles distant from the parsonage-house of
Etherington, was bought, fitted up, and made ready for his reception in
the course of a few months. The baronet, impatient to take possession of
his new territory, arrived speedily after, with his niece Indiana, and
was welcomed at the gate of the park by Mr. Tyrold and his whole family.

Sir Hugh Tyrold inherited from his ancestors an unincumbered estate of
£.5000 per annum; which he enjoyed with ease and affluence to himself,
and disseminated with a good will so generous, that he appeared to think
his personal prosperity, and that of all who surrounded him, bestowed
but to be shared in common, rather from general right, than through his
own dispensing bounty. His temper was unalterably sweet, and every
thought of his breast was laid open to the world with an almost
infantine artlessness. But his talents bore no proportion to the
goodness of his heart, an insuperable want of quickness, and of
application in his early days, having left him, at a later period,
wholly uncultivated, and singularly self-formed.

A dearth of all sedentary resources became, when his youth passed away,
his own constant reproach. Health failed him in the meridian of his
life, from the consequences of a wound in his side, occasioned by a fall
from his horse; exercise, therefore, and active diversions, were of
necessity relinquished, and as these had hitherto occupied all his time,
except that portion which he delighted to devote to hospitality and
neighbourly offices, now equally beyond his strength, he found himself
at once deprived of all employment, and destitute of all comfort. Nor
did any plan occur to him to solace his misfortunes, till he
accidentally read in the newspapers that the Cleves' estate was upon
sale.

Indiana, the niece who accompanied him, a beautiful little girl, was the
orphan daughter of a deceased sister, who, at the death of her parents,
had, with Clermont, an only brother, been left to the guardianship of
Sir Hugh; with the charge of a small estate for the son of scarce £.200
a-year, and the sum of £.1000 for the fortune of the daughter.

The meeting was a source of tender pleasure to Mr. Tyrold; and gave
birth in his young family to that eager joy which is so naturally
attached, by our happiest early prejudices, to the first sight of near
relations. Mrs. Tyrold received Sir Hugh with the complacency due to the
brother of her husband; who now rose higher than ever in her
estimation, from a fraternal comparison to the unavoidable disadvantage
of the baronet; though she was not insensible to the fair future
prospects of her children, which seemed the probable result of his
change of abode.

Sir Hugh himself, notwithstanding his best affections were all opened by
the sight of so many claimants to their kindness, was the only dejected
person of the group.

Though too good in his nature for envy, a severe self-upbraiding
followed his view of the happiness of his brother; he regretted he had
not married at the same age, that he might have owned as fine a family,
and repined against the unfortunate privileges of his birth-right,
which, by indulging him in his first youth with whatever he could covet,
drove from his attention that modest foresight, which prepares for later
years the consolation they are sure to require.

By degrees, however, the satisfaction spread around him found some place
in his own breast, and he acknowledged himself sensibly revived by so
endearing a reception; though he candidly avowed, that if he had not
been at a loss what to do, he should never have had a thought of taking
so long a journey. 'But the not having made,' cried he, 'the proper
proficiency in my youth for the filling up my time, has put me quite
behind-hand.'

He caressed all the children with great fondness, and was much struck
with the beauty of his three nieces, particularly with that of Camilla,
Mr. Tyrold's second daughter; 'yet she is not,' he cried, 'so pretty as
her little sister Eugenia, nor much better than t'other sister Lavinia;
and not one of the three is half so great a beauty as my little Indiana;
so I can't well make out what it is that's so catching in her; but
there's something in her little mouth that quite wins me; though she
looks as if she was half laughing at me too: which can't very well be,
neither; for I suppose, as yet, at least, she knows no more of books and
studying than her uncle. And that's little enough, God knows, for I
never took to them in proper season; which I have been sorry enough for,
upon coming to discretion.'

Then addressing himself to the boy, he exhorted him to work hard while
yet in his youth, and related sundry anecdotes of the industry and merit
of his father when at the same age, though left quite to himself, as, to
his great misfortune, he had been also, 'which brought about,' he
continued, 'my being this present _ignoramus_ that you see me; which
would not have happened, if my good forefathers had been pleased to keep
a sharper look out upon my education.'

Lionel, the little boy, casting a comic glance at Camilla, begged to
know what his uncle meant by a sharper look out?

'Mean, my dear? why correction, to be sure; for all that, they tell me,
is to be done by the rod; so there, at least, I might have stood as good
a chance as my neighbours.'

'And pray, uncle,' cried Lionel, pursing up his mouth to hide his
laughter, 'did you always like the thoughts of it so well?'

'Why no, my dear, I can't pretend to that; at your age I had no more
taste for it than you have: but there's a proper season for every thing.
However, though I tell you this for a warning, perhaps you may do
without it; for, by what I hear, the rising generation's got to a much
greater pitch since my time.'

He then added, he must advise him, as a friend, to be upon his guard, as
his Cousin, Clermont Lynmere, who was coming home from Eton school next
Christmas for the holidays, would turn out the very mirror of
scholarship; for he had given directions to have him study both night
and day, except what might be taken off for eating and sleeping:
'Because,' he continued, 'having proved the bad of knowing nothing in my
own case, I have the more right to intermeddle with others. And he will
thank me enough when once he has got over his classics. And I hope, my
dear little boy, you see it in the same light too; which, however, is
what I can't expect.'

The house was now examined; the fair little Indiana took possession of
her apartment; Miss Margland was satisfied with the attention that had
been paid her; and Sir Hugh was rejoiced to find a room for Clermont
that had no window but a skylight, by which means his studies, he
observed, would receive no interruption from gaping and staring about
him. And, when the night advanced, Mr. Tyrold had the happiness of
leaving him with some prospect of recovering his spirits.

The revival, however, lasted but during the novelty of the scene;
depression returned with the feelings of ill health; and the happier lot
of his brother, though born to almost nothing, filled him with incessent
repentance of his own mismanagement.

In some measure to atone for this, he resolved to collect himself a
family in his own house; and the young Camilla, whose dawning archness
of expression had instinctively caught him, he now demanded of her
parents, to come and reside with him and Indiana at Cleves; 'for
certainly,' he said, 'for such a young little thing, she looks full of
amusement.'

Mrs. Tyrold objected against reposing a trust so precious where its
value could so ill be appreciated. Camilla was, in secret, the fondest
hope of her mother, though the rigour of her justice scarce permitted
the partiality to beat even in her own breast. Nor did the happy little
person need the avowed distinction. The tide of youthful glee flowed
jocund from her heart, and the transparency of her fine blue veins
almost shewed the velocity of its current. Every look was a smile, every
step was a spring, every thought was a hope, every feeling was joy! and
the early felicity of her mind was without allay. O blissful state of
innocence, purity, and delight, why must it fleet so fast? why scarcely
but by retrospection is its happiness known?

Mr. Tyrold, while his tenderest hopes encircled the same object, saw the
proposal in a fairer light, from the love he bore to his brother. It
seemed certain such a residence would secure her an ample fortune; the
governess to whom Indiana was entrusted would take care of his little
girl; though removed from the hourly instructions, she would still be
within reach of the general superintendance of her mother, into whose
power he cast the uncontrolled liberty to reclaim her, if there started
any occasion. His children had no provision ascertained, should his life
be too short to fulfil his own personal schemes of economy in their
favour: and while to an argument so incontrovertible Mrs. Tyrold was
silent, he begged her also to reflect, that, persuasive as were the
attractions of elegance and refinement, no just parental expectations
could be essentially disappointed, where the great moral lessons were
practically inculcated, by a uniform view of goodness of heart, and
firmness of principle. These his brother possessed in an eminent degree;
and if his character had nothing more from which their daughter could
derive benefit, it undoubtedly had not a point from which she could
receive injury.

Mrs. Tyrold now yielded; she never resisted a remonstrance of her
husband; and as her sense of duty impelled her also never to murmur, she
retired to her own room, to conceal with how ill a grace she complied.

Had this lady been united to a man whom she despised, she would yet
have obeyed him, and as scrupulously, though not as happily, as she
obeyed her honoured partner. She considered the vow taken at the altar
to her husband, as a voluntary vestal would have held one taken to her
Maker; and no dissent in opinion exculpated, in her mind, the least
deviation from his will.

But here, where an admiration almost adoring was fixt of the character
to which she submitted, she was sure to applaud the motives which swayed
him, however little their consequences met her sentiments: and even
where the contrariety was wholly repugnant to her judgment, the genuine
warmth of her just affection made every compliance, and every
forbearance, not merely exempt from pain, but if to him any
satisfaction, a sacrifice soothing to her heart.

Mr. Tyrold, whose whole soul was deeply affected by her excellencies,
gratefully felt his power, and religiously studied not to abuse it: he
respected what he owed to her conscience, he tenderly returned what he
was indebted to her affection. To render her virtues conducive to her
happiness, to soften her duties by the highest sense of their merit,
were the first and most sacred objects of his solicitude in life.

When the lively and lovely little girl, mingling the tears of separation
with all the childish rapture which novelty, to a much later period
inspires, was preparing to change her home, 'Remember,' cried Mr.
Tyrold, to her anxious mother, 'that on you, my Georgiana, devolves the
sole charge, the unlimited judgment, to again bring her under this roof,
the first moment she appears to you in any danger from having quitted
it.'

The prompt and thankful acceptance of Mrs. Tyrold did justice to the
sincerity of this offer: and the cheerful acquiescence of lessened
reluctance, raised her higher in that esteem to which her constant mind
invariably looked up, as the summit of her chosen ambition.



CHAPTER II

_Comic Gambols_


Delighted with this acquisition to his household, Sir Hugh again
revived. 'My dear brother and sister,' he cried, when next the family
visited Cleves, 'this proves the most fortunate step I have ever taken
since I was born. Camilla's a little jewel; she jumps and skips about
till she makes my eyes ache with looking after her, for fear of her
breaking her neck. I must keep a sharp watch, or she'll put poor
Indiana's nose quite out of joint, which God forbid. However, she's the
life of us all, for I'm sorry to say it, but I think, my dear brother,
poor Indiana promises to turn out rather dull.'

The sprightly little girl, thus possessed of the heart, soon guided the
will of her uncle. He could refuse nothing to her endearing entreaty,
and felt every indulgence repaid by the enchantment of her gaiety.
Indiana, his first idol, lost her power to please him, though no
essential kindness was abated in his conduct. He still acknowledged that
her beauty was the most complete; but he found in Camilla a variety that
was captivation. Her form and her mind were of equal elasticity. Her
playful countenance rekindled his spirits, the cheerfulness of her
animated voice awakened him to its own joy. He doated upon detaining her
by his side, or delighted to gratify her if she wished to be absent. She
exhilarated him with pleasure, she supplied him with ideas, and from the
morning's first dawn to the evening's latest close, his eye followed her
lightspringing figure, or his ear vibrated with her sportive sounds;
catching, as it listened, in successive rotation, the spontaneous laugh,
the unconscious bound, the genuine glee of childhood's fearless
happiness, uncurbed by severity, untamed by misfortune.

This ascendance was soon pointed out by the servants to Indiana, who
sometimes shewed her resentment in unexplained and pouting sullenness,
and at others, let all pass unnoticed, with unreflecting forgetfulness.
But her mind was soon empoisoned with a jealousy of more permanent
seriousness; in less than a month after the residence of Camilla at
Cleves, Sir Hugh took the resolution of making her his heiress.

Even Mr. Tyrold, notwithstanding his fondness for Camilla, remonstrated
against a partiality so injurious to his nephew and niece, as well as to
the rest of his family. And Mrs. Tyrold, though her secret heart
subscribed, without wonder, to a predilection in favour of Camilla, was
maternally disturbed for her other children, and felt her justice
sensibly shocked at a blight so unmerited to the hopes cherished by
Indiana and Clermont Lynmere: for though the fruits of this change of
plan would be reaped by her little darling, they were robbed of all
their sweetness to a mind so correct, by their undeserved bitterness
towards the first expectants.

Sir Hugh, however, was immoveable; he would provide handsomely, he said,
for Indiana and Clermont, by settling a thousand pounds a year between
them; and he would bequeath capital legacies amongst the rest of his
nephews and nieces: but as to the bulk of his fortune, it should all go
to Camilla; for how else could he make her amends for having amused him?
or how, when he was gone, should he prove to her he loved her the best?

Sir Hugh could keep nothing secret; Camilla was soon informed of the
riches she was destined to inherit; and servants, who now with added
respect attended her, took frequent opportunities of impressing her with
the expectation, by the favours they begged from her in reversion.

The happy young heiress heard them with little concern: interest and
ambition could find no room in a mind, which to dance, sing, and play
could enliven to rapture. Yet the continued repetition of requests soon
made the idea of patronage familiar to her, and though wholly uninfected
with one thought of power or consequence, she sometimes regaled her
fancy with the presents she should make amongst her friends; designing a
coach for her mamma, that she might oftener go abroad; an horse for her
brother Lionel, which she knew to be his most passionate wish; a new
bureau, with a lock and key, for her eldest sister Lavinia; innumerable
trinkets for her cousin Indiana; dolls and toys without end for her
little sister Eugenia; and a new library of new books, finely bound and
gilt, for her papa. But these munificent donations looked forward to no
other date than the anticipation of womanhood. If an hint were surmised
of her surviving her uncle, an impetuous shower of tears dampt all her
gay schemes, deluged every airy castle, and shewed the instinctive
gratitude which kindness can awaken, even in the unthinking period of
earliest youth, in those bosoms it has ever the power to animate.

Her ensuing birth-day, upon which she would enter her tenth year, was to
announce to the adjoining country her uncle's splendid plan in her
favour. Her brother and sisters were invited to keep it with her at
Cleves; but Sir Hugh declined asking either her father or mother, that
his own time, without restraint, might be dedicated to the promotion of
her festivity; he even requested of Miss Margland, that she would not
appear that day, lest her presence should curb the children's spirits.

The gay little party, consisting of Lavinia, who was two years older,
and Eugenia, who was two years younger than Camilla, with her beautiful
cousin, who was exactly of her own age, her brother Lionel, who counted
three years more, and Edgar Mandlebert, a ward of Mr. Tyrold's, all
assembled at Cleves upon this important occasion, at eight o'clock in
the morning, to breakfast.

Edgar Mandlebert, an uncommonly spirited and manly boy, now thirteen
years of age, was heir to one of the finest estates in the county. He
was the only son of a bosom friend of Mr. Tyrold, to whose guardianship
he had been consigned almost from his infancy, and who superintended the
care of his education with as much zeal, though not as much oeconomy,
as that of his own son. He placed him under the tuition of Dr.
Marchmont, a man of consummate learning, and he sent for him to
Etherington twice in every year, where he assiduously kept up his
studies by his own personal instructions. 'I leave him rich, my dear
friend,' said his father, when on his death-bed he recommended him to
Mr. Tyrold, 'and you, I trust, will make him good, and see him happy;
and should hereafter a daughter of your own, from frequent intercourse,
become mistress of his affections, do not oppose such a union from a
disparity of fortune, which a daughter of yours, and of your
incomparable partner's, can hardly fail to counterbalance in merit.' Mr.
Tyrold, though too noble to avail himself of a declaration so generous,
by forming any plan to bring such a connection to bear, felt
conscientiously absolved from using any measures of frustration, and
determined, as the young people grew up, neither to promote nor impede
any rising regard.

The estate of Beech Park was not all that young Mandlebert inherited;
the friendship of its late owner for Mr. Tyrold, seemed instinctively
transfused into his breast, and he paid back the parental tenderness
with which he was watched and cherished, by a fondness and veneration
truly filial.

Whatever could indulge or delight the little set was brought forth upon
this joyous meeting; fruits, sweetmeats, and cakes; cards, trinkets, and
blind fidlers, were all at the unlimited command of the fairy mistress
of the ceremonies. But unbounded as were the transports of the jovial
little group, they could scarcely keep pace with the enjoyment of Sir
Hugh; he entered into all their plays, he forgot all his pains, he
laughed because they laughed, and suffered his darling little girl to
govern and direct him at her pleasure. She made him whiskers of cork,
powdered his brown bob, and covered a thread paper with black ribbon to
hang to it for a queue. She metamorphosed him into a female, accoutring
him with her fine new cap, while she enveloped her own small head in his
wig; and then, tying the maid's apron round his waist, put a rattle into
his hand, and Eugenia's doll upon his lap, which she told him was a baby
that he must nurse and amuse.

The excess of merriment thus excited spread through the whole house.
Lionel called in the servants to see this comical sight, and the
servants indulged their numerous guests with a peep at it from the
windows. Sir Hugh, meanwhile, resolved to object to nothing, performed
every part assigned him, joined in their hearty laughs at the grotesque
figure they made of him, and cordially encouraged all their proceedings,
assuring them he had not been so much diverted himself since his fall
from his horse, and advising them, with great zeal, to be merry while
they could: 'For you will never, my dears,' said he, 'be younger, never
while you live; no more, for that matter, shall I, neither, for all I am
so much older, which, in that point, makes no difference.'

He grew weary, however, first; and stretching himself his full length,
with a prodigious yawn, 'Heigh ho!' he cried, 'Camilla, my dear, do take
away poor Doll, for fear I should let it slip.'

The little gigglers, almost in convulsions of laughter, entreated him to
nurse it some time longer; but he frankly answered, 'No, my dears, no; I
can play no more now, if I'd ever so fain, for I'm tired to death, which
is really a pity; so you must either go out with me my airing, for a
rest to your merry little sides, or stay and play by yourselves till I
come back, which I think will put you all into fevers; but, however,
nobody shall trouble your little souls with advice to-day; there are
days enough in the year for teazing, without this one.'

Camilla instantly decided for the airing, and without a dissentient
voice: so entirely had the extreme good humour of Sir Hugh won the
hearts of the little party, that they felt as if the whole of their
entertainment depended upon his presence. The carriage, therefore, was
ordered for the baronet and his four nieces, and Lionel and Edgar
Mandlebert, at the request of Camilla, were gratified with horses.

Camilla was desired to fix their route, and while she hesitated from the
variety in her choice, Lionel proposed to Edgar that they should take a
view of his house, park, and gardens, which were only three miles from
Cleves. Edgar referred the matter to Indiana, to whose already exquisite
beauty his juvenile admiration paid its most early obeisance. Indiana
approved; the little heroine of the day assented with pleasure and they
immediately set out upon the happy expedition.

The two boys the whole way came with offerings of wild honeysuckle and
sweetbriar, the grateful nosegays of all-diffusing nature, to the coach
windows, each carefully presenting the most fragrant to Indiana; for
Lionel, even more than sympathising with Edgar, declared his sisters to
be mere frights in comparison with his fair cousin. Their partiality,
however, struggled vainly against that of Sir Hugh, who still, in every
the most trivial particular, gave the preference to Camilla.

The baronet had ordered that his own garden chair should follow him to
young Mandlebert's park, that he might take Camilla by his side, and go
about the grounds without fatigue; the rest were to walk. Here Indiana
received again the homage of her two young beaus; they pointed out to
her the most beautiful prospects, they gathered her the fairest flowers,
they loaded her with the best and ripest fruits.

This was no sooner observed by Sir Hugh, than hastily stopping his
chair, he called after them aloud, 'Holloa! come hither, my boys! here,
you Mr. young Mandlebert, what are you all about? Why don't you bring
that best bunch of grapes to Camilla?'

'I have already promised it to Miss Lynmere, Sir.'

'O ho, have you so? well, give it her then if you have. I have no right
to rob you of your choice. Indiana, my dear, how do you like this
place?'

'Very much, indeed, uncle; I never saw any place I liked so much in my
life.'

'I am sure else,' said Edgar, 'I should never care for it again myself.'

'O, I could look at it for ever,' cried Indiana, 'and not be tired!'

Sir Hugh gravely paused at these speeches, and regarded them in turn
with much steadiness, as if settling their future destinies; but ever
unable to keep a single thought to himself, he presently burst forth
aloud with his new mental arrangement, saying: 'Well, my dears, well;
this is not quite the thing I had taken a fancy to in my own private
brain, but it's all for the best, there's no doubt; though the estate
being just in my neighbourhood, would have made it more suitable for
Camilla; I mean provided we could have bought, among us, the odd three
miles between the Parks; which how many acres they make, I can't pretend
to say, without the proper calculation; but if it was all joined, it
would be the finest domain in the county, as far as I know to the
contrary: nevertheless, my dear young Mr. Mandlebert, you have a right
to choose for yourself; for as to beauty, 'tis mere fancy; not but what
Indiana has one or other the prettiest face I ever saw, though I think
Camilla's so much prettier; I mean in point of winningness. However,
there's no fear as to my consent, for nothing can be a greater pleasure
to me than having two such good girls, both being cousins, live so near
that they may overlook one another from park to park, all day long, by
the mode of a telescope.'

Edgar, perfectly understanding him, blushed deeply, and, forgetting what
he had just declared, offered his grapes to Lavinia. Indiana, conceiving
herself already mistress of so fine a place, smiled with approving
complacency; and the rest were too much occupied with the objects around
them, to listen to so long a speech.

They then all moved on; but, soon after, Lionel, flying up to his
uncle's chair, informed Camilla he had just heard from the gardener,
that only half a mile off, at Northwick, there was a fair, to which he
begged she would ask to go. She found no difficulty in obliging him; and
Sir Hugh was incapable of hesitating at whatever she could desire. The
carriage and the horses for the boys were again ordered, and to the
regret of only Edgar and Indiana, the beautiful plantations of Beech
Park were relinquished for the fair.

They had hardly proceeded twenty yards, when the smiles that had
brightened the face of Lavinia, the eldest daughter of Mr. Tyrold, were
suddenly overcast, giving place to a look of dismay, which seemed the
effect of some abruptly painful recollection; and the moment Sir Hugh
perceived it, and enquired the cause, the tears rolled fast down her
cheeks, and she said she had been guilty of a great sin, and could never
forgive herself.

They all eagerly endeavoured to console her, Camilla fondly taking her
hand, little Eugenia sympathetically crying over and kissing her,
Indiana begging to know what was the matter, and Sir Hugh, holding out
to her the finest peach from his stores for Camilla, and saying, 'Don't
cry so, my dear, don't cry: take a little bit of peach; I dare say you
are not so bad as you think for.'

The weeping young penitent besought leave to get out of the coach with
Camilla, to whom alone she could explain herself. Camilla almost opened
the door herself, to hasten the discovery; and the moment they had run
up a bank by the road side, 'Tell me what it is, my dear Lavinia,' she
cried, 'and I am sure my uncle will do anything in the world to help
you.'

'O Camilla,' she answered, 'I have disobeyed mamma! and I did not mean
it in the least--but I have forgot all her commands!--She charged me not
to let Eugenia stir out from Cleves, because of the small pox--and she
has been already at Beech Park--and now, how can I tell the poor little
thing she must not go to the fair?'

'Don't vex yourself about that,' cried Camilla, kindly kissing the tears
off her cheeks, 'for I will stay behind, and play with Eugenia myself,
if my uncle will drive us back to Beech Park; and then all the rest may
go to the fair, and take us up again in the way home.'

With this expedient she flew to the coach, charging the two boys, who
with great curiosity had ridden to the bank side, and listened to all
that had passed, to comfort Lavinia.

'Lionel,' cried Edgar, 'do you know, while Camilla was speaking so
kindly to Lavinia, I thought she looked almost as pretty as your
cousin?' Lionel would by no means subscribe to this opinion, but Edgar
would not retract.

Camilla, jumping into the carriage, threw her arms around the neck of
her uncle, and whispered to him all that had passed. 'Poor innocent
little dear!' cried he, 'is that all?' it's just nothing, considering
her young age.'

Then, looking out of the window, 'Lavinia,' he said, 'you have done no
more harm than what's quite natural; and so I shall tell your mamma; who
is a woman of sense, and won't expect such a young head as yours to be
of the same age as hers and mine. But come into the coach, my dear;
we'll just drive as far as Northwick, for an airing, and then back
again.'

The extreme delicacy of the constitution of Eugenia had hitherto
deterred Mrs. Tyrold from innoculating her; she had therefore
scrupulously kept her from all miscellaneous intercourse in the
neighbourhood: but as the weakness of her infancy was now promising to
change into health and strength, she meant to give to that terrible
disease its best chance, and the only security it allows from perpetual
alarm, immediately after the heats of the present autumn should be over.

Lavinia, unused to disobedience, could not be happy in practising it:
she entreated, therefore, to return immediately to Cleves. Sir Hugh
complied; premising only that they must none of them expect him to be of
their play-party again till after dinner.

The coachman then received fresh orders: but, the moment they were
communicated to the two boys, Lionel, protesting he would not lose the
fair, said he should soon overtake them, and, regardless of all
remonstrances, put spurs to his horse, and galloped off.

Sir Hugh, looking after him with great alarm, exclaimed, 'Now he is
going to break all his bones! which is always the case with those young
boys, when first they get a horseback.'

Camilla, terrified that she had begged this boon, requested that the
servant might directly ride after him.

'Yes, my dear, if you wish it,' answered Sir Hugh; 'only we have but
this one man for us all, because of the rest staying to get the ball and
supper ready; so that if we should be overturned ourselves, here's never
a soul to pick us up.'

Edgar offered to ride on alone, and persuade the truant to return.

'Thank you, my dear, thank you,' answered Sir Hugh, 'you are as good a
boy as any I know, but, in point of horsemanship, one's as ignorant as
t'other, as far as I can tell; so we may only see both your sculls
fractured instead of one, in the midst of your galloping; which God
forbid for either.'

'Then let us all go together,' cried Indiana, 'and bring him back.'

'But do not let us get out of the coach, uncle,' said Lavinia; 'pray do
not let us get out!'

Sir Hugh agreed; though he added, that as to the small pox, he could by
no means see it in the same light, for he had no notion of people's
taking diseases upon themselves. 'Besides,' continued he, 'she will be
sure to have it when her time comes, whether she is moped up or no; and
how did people do before these new modes of making themselves sick of
their own accord?'

Pitying, however, the uneasiness of Lavinia, when they came near the
town, he called to the footman, and said, 'Hark'ee, Jacob, do you ride
on first, and keep a sharp look out that nobody has the small pox.'

The fair being held in the suburbs, they soon arrived at some straggling
booths, and the coach, at the instance of Lavinia, was stopt.

Indiana now earnestly solicited leave to alight and see the fair; and
Edgar offered to be her esquire. Sir Hugh consented, but desired that
Lavinia and Camilla might be also of the party. Lavinia tried vainly to
excuse herself; he assured her it would raise her spirits, and bid her
be under no apprehension, for he would stay and amuse the little Eugenia
himself, and take care that she came to no harm.

They were no sooner gone, however, than the little girl cried to follow;
Sir Hugh, compassionately kissing her, owned she had as good a right as
any of them, and declared it was a hard thing to have her punished for
other people's particularities. This concession served only to make her
tears flow the faster; till, unable to bear the sight, he said he could
not answer to his conscience the vexing such a young thing, and,
promising she should have whatever she liked, if she would cry no more,
he ordered the coachman to drive to the first booth where there were any
toys to be sold.

Here, having no footman to bring the trinkets to the coach, he alighted,
and, suffering the little girl, for whom he had not a fear himself, to
accompany him, he entered the booth, and told her to take whatever hit
her fancy, for she should have as many playthings as she could carry.

Her grief now gave way to ecstasy, and her little hands could soon
scarcely sustain the loaded skirt of her white frock. Sir Hugh,
determining to make the rest of the children equally happy, was
selecting presents for them all, when the little group, ignorant whom
they should encounter, advanced towards the same booth: but he had
hardly time to exclaim, 'Oho! have you caught us?' when the innocent
voice of Eugenia, calling out, 'Little boy; what's the matter with your
face, little boy?' drew his attention another way, and he perceived a
child apparently just recovering from the small pox.

Edgar, who at the same instant saw the same dreaded sight, darted
forward, seized Eugenia in his arms, and, in defiance of her playthings
and her struggles, carried her back to the coach; while Lavinia, in an
agony of terror, ran up to the little boy, and, crying out, 'O go away!
go away!' dragged him out of the booth, and, perfectly unconscious what
she did, covered his head with her frock, and held him fast with both
her hands.

Sir Hugh, all aghast, hurried out of the booth, but could scarce support
himself from emotion; and, while he leaned upon his stick, ejaculating,
'Lord help us! what poor creatures we are, we poor mortals!' Edgar had
the presence of mind to make Indiana and Camilla go directly to the
carriage. He then prevailed with Sir Hugh to enter it also, and ran back
for Lavinia. But when he perceived the situation into which distress and
affright had driven her, and saw her sobbing over the child, whom she
still held confined, with an idea of hiding him from Eugenia, he was
instantly sensible of the danger of her joining her little sister.
Extremely perplexed for them all, and afraid, by going from the sick
child, he might himself carry the infection to the coach, he sent a man
to Sir Hugh to know what was to be done.

Sir Hugh, totally overset by the unexpected accident, and
conscience-struck at his own wilful share in risking it, was utterly
helpless, and could only answer, that he wished young Mr. Edgar would
give him his advice.

Edgar, thus called upon, now first felt the abilities which his short
life had not hitherto brought into use: he begged Sir Hugh would return
immediately to Cleves, and keep Eugenia there for a few days with
Camilla and her cousin; while he undertook to go himself in search of
Lionel, with whose assistance he would convey Lavinia back to
Etherington, without seeing her little sister; since she must now be as
full of contagion as the poor object who had just had the disease.

Sir Hugh, much relieved, sent him word he had no doubt he would become
the first scholar of the age; and desired he would get a chaise for
himself and Lavinia, and let the footman take charge of his horse.

He then ordered the coach to Cleves.

Edgar fulfilled the injunctions of Sir Hugh with alacrity; but had a
very difficult task to find Lionel, and one far more painful to appease
Lavinia, whose apprehensions were so great as they advanced towards
Etherington, that, to sooth and comfort her, he ordered the postilion to
drive first to a farm-house near Cleves, whence he forwarded a boy to
Sir Hugh, with entreaties that he would write a few lines to Mrs.
Tyrold, in exculpation of her sorrowing daughter.

Sir Hugh complied, but was so little in the habit of writing, that he
sent over a messenger to desire they would dine at the farm-house, in
order to give him time to compose his epistle.

Early in the afternoon, he conveyed to them the following letter:

     _To Mrs._ Tyrold _at the Parsonage House, belonging to the Reverend
     Rector, Mr._ Tyrold, _for the Time being, at_ Etherington _in_
     Hampshire.

     DEAR SISTER,

     I am no remarkable good writer, in comparison with my brother,
     which you will excuse from my deficiencies, as it is my only
     apology. I beg you will not be angry with little Lavinia, as she
     did nothing in the whole business, except wanting to do right, only
     not mentioning it in the beginning, which is very excusable in the
     light of a fault; the wisest of us having been youths ourselves
     once, and the most learned being subject to do wrong, but how much
     so the ignorant? of which I may speak more properly. However, as
     she would certainly have caught the small pox herself, except from
     the lucky circumstance of having had it before, I think it best to
     keep Eugenia a few days at Cleves, for the sake of her infection.
     Not but what if she should have it, I trust your sense won't fret
     about it, as it is only in the course of Nature; which, if she had
     been innoculated, is more than any man could say; even a physician.
     So the whole being my own fault, without the least meaning to
     offend, if any thing comes of it, I hope, my dear sister, you won't
     take it ill, especially of poor little Lavinia, for 'tis hard if
     such young things may not be happy at their time of life, before
     having done harm to a human soul. Poor dears! 'tis soon enough to
     be unhappy after being wicked; which, God knows, we are all liable
     to be in the proper season. I beg my love to my brother; and
     remain,

     Dear sister,

     Your affectionate brother,

     HUGH TYROLD.

     _P.S._ It is but justice to my brother to mention that young Master
     Mandlebert's behaviour has done the greatest honour to the
     classics; which must be a great satisfaction to a person having the
     care of his education.

The rest of the day lost all its delights to the young heiress from this
unfortunate adventure. The deprivation of three of the party, with the
well-grounded fear of Mrs. Tyrold's just blame, were greater
mortifications to those that remained, than even the ball and supper
could remove. And Sir Hugh, to whom their lowered spirits were
sufficiently depressing, had an additional, though hardly to himself
acknowledged, weight upon his mind, relative to Eugenia and the small
pox.

The contrition of the trembling Lavinia could not but obtain from Mrs.
Tyrold the pardon it deserved: but she could make no allowance for the
extreme want of consideration in Sir Hugh; and anxiously waited the time
when she might call back Eugenia from the management of a person whom
she considered as more childish than her children themselves.



CHAPTER III

_Consequences_


Every precaution being taken with regard to Lavinia and her clothes, for
warding off infection to Eugenia, if as yet she had escaped it; Mrs.
Tyrold fixed a day for fetching her little daughter from Cleves. Sir
Hugh, at the earnest entreaty of Camilla, invited the young party to
come again early that morning, that some amends might be made them for
their recent disappointment of the ball and supper, by a holiday, and a
little sport, previous to the arrival of Mrs. Tyrold; to whom he
voluntarily pledged his word, that Eugenia should not again be taken
abroad, nor suffered to appear before any strangers.

Various gambols were now again enacted by the once more happy group; but
all was conducted with as much security as gaiety, till Lionel proposed
the amusement of riding upon a plank in the park.

A plank was immediately procured by the gardener, and placed upon the
trunk of an old oak, where it parted into two thick branches.

The boys and the three eldest girls balanced one another in turn, with
great delight and dexterity; but Sir Hugh feared committing the little
Eugenia, for whom he was grown very anxious, amongst them, till the
repinings of the child demolished his prudence. The difficulty how to
indulge her with safety was, nevertheless, considerable: and, after
various experiments, he resolved to trust her to nobody but himself;
and, placing her upon his lap, occupied one end of the plank, and
desired that as many of the rest as were necessary to make the weight
equal, would seat themselves upon the other.

This diversion was short, but its consequences were long. Edgar
Mandlebert, who superintended the balance, poised it with great
exactness; yet no sooner was Sir Hugh elevated, than, becoming
exceedingly giddy, he involuntarily loosened his hold of Eugenia, who
fell from his arms to the ground.

In the agitation of his fright, he stooped forward to save her, but lost
his equilibrium; and, instead of rescuing, followed her.

The greatest confusion ensued; Edgar, with admirable adroitness,
preserved the elder girls from suffering by the accident; and Lionel
took care of himself by leaping instantly from the plank: Sir Hugh,
extremely bruised, could not get up without pain; but all concern and
attention soon centred in the little Eugenia, whose incessant cries
raised apprehensions of some more than common mischief.

She was carried to the house in the arms of Edgar, and delivered to the
governess. She screamed the whole time she was undressing; and Edgar,
convinced she had received some injury, galloped off, unbid, for a
surgeon: but what was the horror of Sir Hugh, upon hearing him
pronounce, that her left shoulder was put out, and that one of her knees
was dislocated!

In an agony of remorse, he shut himself up in his room, without power
to issue a command, or listen to a question: nor could he be prevailed
upon to open his door, till the arrival of Mrs. Tyrold.

Hastily then rushing out, he hurried to meet her; and, snatching both
her hands, and pressing them between his own, he burst into a passionate
flood of tears, and sobbed out: 'Hate me, my dear sister, for you can't
help it! for I am sorry to tell it you, but I believe I have been the
death of poor Eugenia, that never hurt a fly in her life!'

Pale, and struck with dread, yet always possessing her presence of mind,
Mrs. Tyrold disengaged herself, and demanded where she might find her?
Sir Hugh could make no rational answer; but Edgar, who had run down
stairs, purposing to communicate the tidings more gently, briefly stated
the misfortune, and conducted her to the poor little sufferer.

Mrs. Tyrold, though nearly overpowered by a sight so affecting, still
preserved her faculties for better uses than lamentation. She held the
child in her arms while the necessary operations were performing by the
surgeon; she put her to bed, and watched by her side the whole night;
during which, in defiance of all precautions, a high fever came on, and
she grew worse every moment.

The next morning, while still in this alarming state, the unfortunate
little innocent exhibited undoubted symptoms of the small pox.

Mr. Tyrold now also established himself at Cleves, to share the parental
task of nursing the afflicted child, whose room he never left, except to
give consolation to his unhappy brother, who lived wholly in his own
apartment, refusing the sight even of Camilla, and calling himself a
monster too wicked to look at any thing that was good; though the
affectionate little girl, pining at the exclusion, continually presented
herself at his door.

The disease bore every prognostic of fatal consequences, and the fond
parents soon lost all hope, though they redoubled every attention.

Sir Hugh then gave himself up wholly to despair: he darkened his room,
refused all food but bread and water, permitted no one to approach him,
and reviled himself invariably with the contrition of a wilful murderer.

In this state of self-punishment he persevered, till the distemper
unexpectedly took a sudden and happy turn, and the surgeon made known,
that his patient might possibly recover.

The joy of Sir Hugh was now as frantic as his grief had been the moment
before: he hastened to his drawing-room, commanded that the whole house
should be illuminated; promised a year's wages to all his servants; bid
his house-keeper distribute beef and broth throughout the village; and
sent directions that the bells of the three nearest parish churches
should be rung for a day and a night. But when Mr. Tyrold, to avert the
horror of any wholly unprepared disappointment, represented the still
precarious state of Eugenia, and the many changes yet to be feared; he
desperately reversed all his orders, returned sadly to his dark room,
and protested he would never more rejoice, till Mrs. Tyrold herself
should come to him with good news.

This anxiously waited æra at length arrived; Eugenia, though seamed and
even scarred by the horrible disorder, was declared out of danger; and
Mrs. Tyrold, burying her anguish at the alteration, in her joy for the
safety of her child, with an heart overflowing from pious gratitude,
became the messenger of peace; and, holding out her hand to Sir Hugh,
assured him the little Eugenia would soon be well.

Sir Hugh, in an ecstasy which no power could check, forgot every pain
and infirmity to hurry up to the apartment of the little girl, that he
might kneel, he said, at her feet, and there give thanks for her
recovery: but the moment he entered the room, and saw the dreadful havoc
grim disease had made on her face; not a trace of her beauty left, no
resemblance by which he could have known her; he shrunk back, wrung his
hands, called himself the most sinful of all created beings, and in the
deepest despondence, sunk into a chair and wept aloud.

Eugenia soon began to cry also, though unconscious for what cause; and
Mrs. Tyrold remonstrated to Sir Hugh upon the uselessness of such
transports, calmly beseeching him to retire and compose himself.

'Yes, sister,' he answered, 'yes, I'll go away, for I am sure, I do not
want to look at her again; but to think of its being all my doing!--O
brother! O sister! why don't you both kill me in return? And what amends
can I make her? what amends, except a poor little trifle of money?--And
as to that, she shall have it, God knows, every penny I am worth, the
moment I am gone; ay, that she shall, to a single shilling, if I die
tomorrow!'

Starting up with revived courage from this idea, he ventured again to
turn his head towards Eugenia, exclaiming: 'O, if she does but get well!
does but ease my poor conscience by making me out not to be a murderer,
a guinea for every pit in that poor face will I settle on her out of
hand; yes, before I so much as breathe again, for fear of dying in the
mean time!'

Mrs. Tyrold scarce noticed this declaration; but his brother endeavoured
to dissuade him from so sudden and partial a measure: he would not,
however, listen; he made what speed he could down stairs, called hastily
for his hat and stick, commanded all his servants to attend him, and
muttering frequent ejaculations to himself, that he would not trust to
changing his mind, he proceeded to the family chapel, and approaching
with eager steps to the altar, knelt down, and bidding every one hear
and witness what he said, made a solemn vow, 'That if he might be
cleared of the crime of murder, by the recovery of Eugenia, he would
atone what he could for the ill he had done her, by bequeathing to her
every thing he possessed in the world, in estate, cash, and property,
without the deduction of a sixpence.'

He told all present to remember and witness this, in case of an apoplexy
before his new will could be written down.

Returning then to the house, lightened, he said, from a load of
self-reproach, which had rendered the last fortnight insupportable to
him, he sent for the attorney of a neighbouring town, and went upstairs,
with a firmer mind, to wait his arrival in the sick room.

'O my dear uncle,' cried his long banished Camilla, who hearing him upon
the stairs, skipt lightly after him, 'how glad I am to see you again! I
almost thought I should see you no more!'

Here ended at once the just acquired tranquility of Sir Hugh; all his
satisfaction forsook him at the appearance of his little darling; he
considered her as an innocent creature whom he was preparing to injure;
he could not bear to look at her; his heart smote him in her favour; his
eyes filled with tears; he was unable to go on, and with slow and
trembling steps, he moved again towards his own room.

'My dearest uncle!' cried Camilla, holding by his coat, and hanging upon
his arm, 'won't you speak to me?'

'Yes, my dear, to be sure I will,' he answered, endeavouring to hide his
emotion, 'only not now; so don't follow me Camilla, for I'm going to be
remarkably busy!'

'O uncle!' she cried, plaintively, 'and I have not seen you so long!
And I have wished so to see you! and I have been so unhappy about
Eugenia! and you have always locked your door; and I would not rap hard
at it, for fear you should be asleep: But why would you not see me,
uncle? and why will you send me away?'

'My dear Camilla,' he replied, with increased agitation, 'I have used
you very ill; I have been your worst enemy, which is the very reason I
don't care to see you; so go away, I beg, for I am bad enough without
all this. But I give you my thanks for all your little playful gambols,
having nothing better now to offer you; which is but a poor return from
an uncle to a niece!'

He then shut himself into his room, leaving Camilla drowned in tears at
the outside of the door.

Wretched in reflecting upon the shock and disappointment which the new
disposition of his affairs must occasion her, he had not fortitude to
inform her of his intention. He desired to speak with Edgar Mandlebert,
who, with all the Tyrold family, resided, for the present, at Cleves,
and abruptly related to him the new destination he had just vowed of his
wealth; beseeching that he would break it in the softest manner to his
poor little favourite, assuring her she would be always the first in his
love, though a point of mere conscience had forced him to make choice of
another heiress.

Edgar, whose zeal to serve and oblige had never been put to so severe a
test, hesitated how to obey this injunction; yet he would not refuse it,
as he found that all the servants of the house were enabled, if they
pleased, to anticipate more incautiously the ill news. He followed her,
therefore, into the garden, whither she had wandered to weep unobserved;
but he stopt short at sight of her distress, conceiving his errand to be
already known to her, and determined to consult with Indiana, to whom he
communicated his terrible embassy, entreating her to devise some
consolation for her poor cousin.

Indiana felt too much chagrined at her own part in this transaction, to
give her attention to Camilla; she murmured without scruple at the
deprivation of what she had once expected for herself, and at another
time for her brother; and expressed much resentment at the behaviour of
her uncle, mingled with something very near repining, not merely at his
late preference of Camilla, but even at the recovery of the little
Eugenia. Edgar heard her with surprise, and wondered to find how much
less her beauty attracted him from the failure of her good nature.

He now pursued the weeping Camilla, who, dispersing her tears at his
approach, pretended to be picking some lavender, and keeping her eyes
steadfastly upon the bush, asked him if he would have any? He took a
sprig, but spoke to her in a voice of such involuntary compassion, that
she soon lost her self-command, and the big drops again rolled fast down
her cheeks. Extremely concerned, he strove gently to sooth her; but the
expressions of regret at her uncle's avoidance, which then escaped her,
soon convinced him his own task was still to be performed. With anxious
fear of the consequences of a blow so unlooked for, he executed it with
all the speed, yet all the consideration in his power. Camilla, the
moment she understood him, passionately clasped her hands, and
exclaimed: 'O if that is all! If my uncle indeed loves me as well as
before all this; I am sure I can never, never be so wicked, as to envy
poor little Eugenia, who has suffered so much, and almost been dying,
because she will be richer than I shall be!'

Edgar, delighted and relieved, thought she was grown a thousand times
more beautiful than Indiana; and eagerly taking her hand, ran with her
to the apartment of the poor disconsolate Sir Hugh; where his own eyes
soon overflowed from tenderness and admiration, at the uncommon scene he
witnessed, of the generous affection with which Camilla consoled the
fond distress of her uncle, though springing from her own disappointment
and loss.

They stayed till the arrival of the attorney, who took the directions of
Sir Hugh, and drew up, for his immediate satisfaction, a short deed,
making over, according to his vow, all he should die possessed of,
without any let or qualification whatsoever, to his niece Eugenia. This
was properly signed and sealed, and Sir Hugh hastened up stairs with a
copy of it to Mr. Tyrold.

All remonstrance was ineffectual; his conscience, he protested, could no
other way be appeased; his noble little Camilla had forgiven him her ill
usage, and he could now bear to look at the change for the worse in
Eugenia, without finding his heart-strings ready to burst at the sight.
'You,' he cried, 'brother, who do not know what it is I have suffered
through my conscience, can't tell what it is to get a little ease; for
if she had died, you might all have had the comfort to say 'twas I
murdered her, which would have given you the satisfaction of having had
no hand in it. But then, what would have become of poor me, having it
all upon my own head? However, now thank Heaven, I have no need to care
about the matter; for as to the mere loss of beauty, pretty as it is to
look at, I hope it is no such great injury, as she'll have a splendid
fortune, which is certainly a better thing, in point of lasting. For as
to beauty, Lord help us! what is it? except just to the eye.'

He then walked up to the child, intending to kiss her, but stopt and
sighed involuntarily as he looked at her, saying: 'After all, she's not
like the same thing! no more than I am myself. I shall never think I
know her again, never as long as I live! I can't so much as believe her
to be the same, though I am sure of its being true. However, it shall
make no change in my love for her, poor little dear, for it's all my own
doing; though innocently enough, as to any meaning, God knows!'

It was still some time before the little girl recovered, and then a new
misfortune became daily more palpable, from some latent and incurable
mischief, owing to her fall, which made her grow up with one leg shorter
than the other, and her whole figure diminutive and deformed: These
additional evils reconciled her parents to the partial will of her
uncle, which they now, indeed, thought less wanting in equity, since no
other reparation could be offered to the innocent sufferer for ills so
insurmountable.



CHAPTER IV

_Studies of a grown Gentleman_


When the tumult of this affair subsided, Mr. Tyrold and his family
prepared to re-establish themselves at Etherington; and Mrs. Tyrold, the
great inducement for the separation being over, was earnest to take home
again the disinherited Camilla. Sir Hugh, whose pleasure in her sight
was how embittered by regret and remorse, had not courage to make the
smallest opposition; yet he spent the day of her departure in groans and
penitence. He thought it right, however, to detain Eugenia, who, as his
decided heiress, was left to be brought up at Cleves.

The loss of the amusing society of his favourite; the disappointment he
had inflicted upon her, and the sweetness with which she had borne it,
preyed incessantly upon his spirits; and he knew not how to employ
himself, which way to direct his thoughts, nor in what manner to beguile
one moment of his time, after the children were gone to rest.

The view of the constant resources which his brother found in
literature, augmented his melancholy at his own imperfections; and the
steady industry with which Mr. Tyrold, in early youth, had attained
them, and which, while devoted to field sports, he had often observed
with wonder and pity, he now looked back to with self-reproach, and
recognised in its effect with a reverence almost awful.

His imagination, neither regulated by wisdom, nor disciplined by
experience, having once taken this turn, he soon fancied that every
earthly misfortune originated in a carelessness of learning, and that
all he wished, and all he wanted, upbraided him with his ignorance. If
disease and pain afflicted him, he lamented the juvenile inattention
that had robbed him of acquirements which might have taught him not to
regard them; if the word scholar was named in his presence, he heaved
the deepest sigh; if an article in a newspaper, with which he was
unacquainted, was discussed, he reviled his early heedlessness of study;
and the mention of a common pamphlet, which was unknown to him, gave him
a sensation of disgrace: even inevitable calamities he attributed to the
negligence of his education, and construed every error, and every evil
of his life, to his youthful disrespect of Greek and Latin.

Such was the state of his mind, when his ordinary maladies had the
serious aggravation of a violent fit of the gout.

In the midst of the acute anguish, and useless repentance, which now
alternately ravaged his happiness, it suddenly occurred to him, that,
perhaps, with proper instruction, he might even yet obtain a sufficient
portion of this enviable knowledge, to enable him to pass his evenings
with some similarity to his brother.

Revived by this suggestion, he sent for Mr. Tyrold, to communicate to
him his idea, and to beg he would put him into a way to recover his lost
time, by recommending to him a tutor, with whom he might set about a
course of studies:--'Not that I want,' cried he, 'to make any particular
great figure as a scholar; but if I could only learn just enough to
amuse me at odd hours, and make me forget the gout, it's as much as I
desire.'

The total impossibility that such a project should answer its given
purpose, deterred not Mr. Tyrold from listening to his request. The mild
philosophy of his character saw whatever was lenient to human sufferings
as eligible, and looked no further for any obstacles to the wishes of
another, than to investigate if their gratification would be compatible
with innocence. He wrote, therefore, to a college associate of his
younger years, whom he knew to be severely embarrassed in his affairs,
and made proposals for settling him in the house of his brother. These
were not merely gratefully accepted by his old friend, but drew forth a
confession that he was daily menaced with a public arrest for debts,
which he had incurred without luxury or extravagance, from mere
ignorance of the value of money, and of oeconomy.

In the award of cool reason, to attend to what is impracticable, appears
a folly which no inducement can excuse. Mrs. Tyrold treated this scheme
with calm, but complete contempt. She allowed no palliation for a
measure of which the abortive end was glaring; to hearken to it
displeased her, as a false indulgence of childish vanity; and her
understanding felt shocked that Mr. Tyrold would deign to humour his
brother in an enterprise which must inevitably terminate in a fruitless
consumption of time.

Sir Hugh soon, but without anger, saw her disapprobation of his plan;
her opinions, from a high superiority to all deceit, were as unreserved
as those of the baronet, from a nature incapable of caution. He told her
he was sorry to perceive that she thought he should make no proficiency,
but entreated her to take notice there was at least no great presumption
in his attempt, as he meant to begin with the very beginning, and to go
no farther at the first than any young little school-boy; for he should
give himself fair play, by trying his hand with the rudiments, which
would no sooner be run over, than the rest would become plain sailing:
'And if once,' he added, 'I should conquer the mastery of the classics,
I shall make but very short work of all the rest.'

Mr. Tyrold saw, as forcibly as his wife, the utter impossibility that
Sir Hugh could now repair the omissions of his youth; but he was willing
to console his want of knowledge, and sooth his mortifications; and
while he grieved for his bodily infirmities, and pitied his mental
repinings, he considered his idea as not illaudable, though injudicious,
and in favour of its blamelessness, forgave its absurdity.

He was gratified, also, in offering an honourable provision to a man of
learning in distress, whose time and attention could not fail to deserve
it, if dedicated to his brother, in whatever way they might be bestowed.

He took care to be at Cleves on the day Dr. Orkborne, this gentleman,
was expected, and he presented him to Sir Hugh with every mark of
regard, as a companion in whose conversation, he flattered himself, pain
might be lightened, and seclusion from mixt company cheerfully
supported.

Dr. Orkborne expressed his gratitude for the kindness of Mr. Tyrold, and
promised to make it his first study to merit the high consideration with
which he had been called from his retirement.

A scholastic education was all that had been given to Dr. Orkborne by
his friends; and though in that their hopes were answered, no prosperity
followed. His labours had been seconded by industry, but not enforced by
talents; and they soon found how wide the difference between acquiring
stores, and bringing them into use. Application, operating upon a
retentive memory, had enabled him to lay by the most ample hoards of
erudition; but these, though they rendered him respectable amongst the
learned, proved nearly nugatory in his progress through the world, from
a total want of skill and penetration to know how or where they might
turn to any account. Nevertheless, his character was unexceptionable,
his manners were quiet, and his fortune was ruined. These were the
motives which induced rather the benevolence than the selection of Mr.
Tyrold to name him to his brother, in the hope that, while an asylum at
Cleves would exonerate him from all pecuniary hardships, his very
deficiency in brilliancy of parts, and knowledge of mankind, which
though differently modified, was equal to that of Sir Hugh himself,
would obviate regret of more cultivated society, and facilitate their
reciprocal satisfaction.

The introduction over, Mr. Tyrold sought by general topics to forward
their acquaintance, before any allusion should be made to the professed
plan of Sir Hugh; but Sir Hugh was too well pleased with its ingenuity
to be ashamed of its avowal; he began, therefore, immediately to descant
upon the indolence of his early years, and to impeach the want of
timely severity in his instructors: 'For there is an old saying,' he
cried, 'but remarkably true, That learning is better than house or land;
which I am an instance of myself, for I have house and land plenty, yet
don't know what to do with them properly, nor with myself neither, for
want of a little notion of things to guide me by.' His brother, he
added, had been too partial in thinking him already fitted for such a
master as Dr. Orkborne; though he promised, notwithstanding his time of
life, to become the most docile of pupils, and he hoped before long to
do no discredit to the Doctor as his tutor.

Mr. Tyrold, whose own benign countenance could scarce refrain from a
smile at this unqualified opening, endeavoured to divert to some other
subject the grave astonishment of Dr. Orkborne, who, previously aware of
the age and ill health of the baronet, naturally concluded himself
called upon to solace the privacy of his life by reading or discourse,
but suggested not the most distant surmise he could be summoned as a
preceptor.

Sir Hugh, however, far from palliating any design, disguised not even a
feeling; he plunged deeper and deeper in the acknowledgment of his
ignorance, and soon set wholly apart the delicate circumspection of his
brother, by demanding of Dr. Orkborne what book he thought he had best
buy for a beginning?

Receiving from the wondering Doctor no answer, he good humouredly added,
'Come, don't be ashamed to name the easiest, for this reason; you must
know my plan is one of my own, which it is right to tell you. As fast as
I get on, I intend, for the sake of remembering my lesson, to send for
one of my nephews, and teach it all over again to him myself; which will
be doing service to us all at once.'

Mr. Tyrold now, though for a few moments he looked down, thought it best
to leave the matter to its own course, and Dr. Orkborne to his own
observations; fully persuaded, that the smiles Sir Hugh might excite
would be transient, and that no serious or lasting ridicule could be
attached to his character, in the mind of a worthy man, to whom time and
opportunity would be allowed for an acquaintance with its habitual
beneficence. He excused himself, therefore, from staying any longer,
somewhat to the distress of Dr. Orkborne, but hardly with the notice of
the baronet, whose eagerness in his new pursuit completely engrossed
him.

His late adventure, and his new heiress, now tormented him no more;
Indiana was forgotten, Camilla but little thought of, and his whole mind
became exclusively occupied by this fruitful expedient for retrieving
his lost time.

Dr. Orkborne, whose life had been spent in any study rather than that of
human nature, was so little able to enter into the character of Sir
Hugh, that nothing less than the respect he knew to be due to Mr.
Tyrold, could have saved him, upon his first reception, from a suspicion
that he had been summoned in mere mockery. The situation, however, was
peculiarly desirable to him, and the experiment, in the beginning,
corresponded with the hopes of Mr. Tyrold. Placed suddenly in ease and
affluence, Dr. Orkborne, with the most profound desire to please, sought
to sustain so convenient a post, by obliging the patron, whom he soon
saw it would be vain to attempt improving; while Sir Hugh, in return,
professed himself the most fortunate of men, that he had now met with a
scholar who had the good nature not to despise him.

Relief from care thus combining with opportunity, Dr. Orkborne was
scarce settled, ere he determined upon the execution of a long,
critical, and difficult work in philology, which he had often had in
contemplation, but never found leisure to undertake. By this means he
had a constant resource for himself; and the baronet, observing that
time never hung heavy upon his hands, conceived a yet higher admiration
of learning, and felt his spirits proportionably re-animated by the fair
prospect of participating in such advantages.

From this dream, however, he was soon awakened; a parcel, by the
direction of Dr. Orkborne, arrived from his bookseller, with materials
for going to work.

Sir Hugh then sent off a message to the parsonage-house, informing his
brother and his family, that they must not be surprised if they did not
see or hear of him for some time, as he had got his hands quite full,
and should be particularly engaged for a week or two to come.

Dr. Orkborne, still but imperfectly conceiving the extent, either of the
plan, or of the simplicity of his new pupil, proposed, as soon as the
packet was opened, that they should read together; but Sir Hugh replied,
that he would do the whole in order, and by no means skip the
rudiments.

The disappointment which followed, may be easily imagined; with neither
quickness to learn, nor memory to retain, he aimed at being initiated in
the elements of a dead language, for which youth only can find time and
application, and even youth but by compulsion. His head soon became
confused, his ideas were all perplexed, his attention was vainly
strained, and his faculties were totally disordered.

Astonished at his own disturbance, which he attributed solely to not
getting yet into the right mode, he laughed off his chagrin, but was
steady in his perseverance; and continued wholly shut up from his family
and friends, with a zeal worthy better success.

Lesson after lesson, however, only aggravated his difficulties, till his
intellects grew so embarrassed he scarce knew if he slept or waked. His
nights became infected by the perturbation of the day; his health
visibly suffered from the restlessness of both, and all his flattering
hopes of new and unknown happiness were ere long exchanged for despair.

He now sent for his brother, and desired to speak with him alone; when,
catching him fast by the hand, and looking piteously in his face, 'Do
you know, my dear brother,' he cried, 'I find myself turning out as
sheer a blockhead as ever, for all I have got so many more years over my
head than when I began all this hard jingle jangle before?'

Mr. Tyrold, with greater concern than surprise, endeavoured to re-assure
and console him, by pointing out a road more attainable for reaping
benefit from the presence of Dr. Orkborne, than the impracticable path
into which he had erroneously entered.

'Ah! no, my dear brother,' he answered; 'if I don't succeed this way, I
am sure I shall succeed no other; for as to pains, I could not have
taken more if I had been afraid to be flogged once a-day: and that
gentleman has done all he can, too, as far as I know to the contrary.
But I really think whatever's the meaning of it, there's some people
can't learn.'

Then, shaking his head, he added, in a low voice: 'To say the truth, I
might as well have given it up from the very first, for any great
comfort I found in it, if it had not been for fear of hurting that
gentleman; however, don't let the poor gentleman know that; for I've no
right to turn him off upon nothing, merely for the fault of my having no
head, which how can he help?'

Mr. Tyrold agreed in the justice of this reflection, and undertook to
deliberate upon some conciliatory expedient.

Sir Hugh heartily thanked him; 'But only in the mean time that you are
thinking,' cried he, 'how shall I bring it about to stop him from coming
to me with all those books for my study? For, do you know, my dear
brother, because I asked him to buy me one for my beginning, he sent for
a full score? And when he comes to me about my lesson, he brings them
all upon me together: which is one thing, for ought I know, that helps
to confuse me; for I am wondering all the while when I shall get through
with them. However, say nothing of all this before the poor gentleman,
for fear he should take it as a hint; which might put him out of heart:
for which reason I'd rather take another lesson, Lord help me!--than vex
him.'

Mr. Tyrold promised his best consideration, and to see him again the
next morning. But he had hardly left Cleves ten minutes, when a man and
horse came galloping after him, with a petition that he would return
without delay.

The baronet received him with a countenance renovated with
self-complacency. 'I won't trouble you,' he cried, 'to think any more;
for now I have got a plan of my own, which I will tell you. Not to throw
this good gentleman entirely away, I intend having a sort of a kind of
school set up here in my sick room, and so to let all my nephews come,
and say their tasks to him in my hearing; and then, who knows but I may
pick up a little amongst them myself, without all this hard study?'

Mr. Tyrold stated the obvious objections to so wild a scheme; but he
besought him not to oppose it, as there was no other way for him to get
rid of his tutoring, without sending off Dr. Orkborne. He desired,
therefore, that Lionel might come instantly to Cleves; saying, 'I shall
write myself to Eton, by the means of the Doctor, to tell the Master I
shall take Clermont entirely home after the next holidays, for the sake
of having him study under my own eye.'

He then entreated him to prepare Dr. Orkborne for his new avocation.

Mr. Tyrold, who saw that in this plan the inventor alone could be
disappointed, made no further remonstrance, and communicated the design
to Dr. Orkborne; who, growing now deeply engaged in his own undertaking,
was perfectly indifferent to whom or to what his occasional attendance
might be given.



CHAPTER V

_Schooling of a young Gentleman_


Mrs. Tyrold expressed much astonishment that her husband could afford
any countenance to this new plan. 'Your expectations from it,' she
cried, 'can be no higher than my own; you have certainly some influence
with your brother; why, then, will you suffer him thus egregiously to
expose himself?'

'I cannot protect his pride,' answered Mr. Tyrold, 'at the expence of
his comfort. His faculties want some object, his thoughts some
employment. Inaction bodily and intellectual pervading the same
character, cannot but fix disgust upon every stage and every state of
life. Vice alone is worse than such double inertion. Where mental vigour
can be kept alive without offence to religion and virtue, innocence as
well as happiness is promoted; and the starter of difficulties with
regard to the means which point to such an end, inadvertently risks
both. To save the mind from preying inwardly upon itself, it must be
encouraged to some outward pursuit. There is no other way to elude
apathy, or escape discontent; none other to guard the temper from that
quarrel with itself, which ultimately ends in quarrelling with all
mankind.'

'But may you not, by refusing to send him your son, induce him to seek
recreation in some more rational way?'

'Recreation, my dear Georgiana, must be spontaneous. Bidden pleasures
fly the perversity of our tastes. Let us take care, then, scrupulously,
of our duties, but suffer our amusements to take care of themselves. A
project, a pastime, such as this, is, at least, as harmless as it is
hopeless, since the utmost sport of wit, or acrimony of malice, can only
fasten a laugh upon it: and how few are the diversions of the rich and
indolent that can so lightly be acquitted!'

Lionel, the new young student, speedily, though but little to her
satisfaction, abetted the judgment of his mother. He was no sooner
summoned to Cleves, than, enchanted to find himself a fellow-pupil with
his uncle, he conceived the highest ideas of his own premature genius:
and when this vanity, from the avowed ignorance of the artless baronet,
subsided, it was only replaced by a sovereign contempt of his new
associate. He made the most pompous display of his own little
acquirements; he took every opportunity to ask questions of Sir Hugh
which he knew he could not answer; and he would sometimes, with an arch
mock solemnity, carry his exercise to him, and beg his assistance.

Sir Hugh bore this juvenile impertinence with unshaken good humour. But
the spirits of Lionel were too mutinous for such lenity: he grew bolder
in his attacks, and more fearless of consequences; and in a very short
time, his uncle seemed to him little more than the butt at which he
might level the shafts of his rising triumph; till tired, at length,
though not angry, the baronet applied to Dr. Orkborne, and begged he
would teach him, out of hand, some small little smattering of Latin
sentences, by which he might make the young pedant think better of him.

Dr. Orkborne complied, and wrote him a few brief exercises; but these,
after toiling day and night to learn, he pronounced so ill, and so
constantly mis-applied, that, far from impressing his fellow-labourer
with more respect, the moment he uttered a single word of his new
lesson, the boy almost rolled upon the floor with convulsive merriment.

Sir Hugh, with whom these phrases neither lost nor gained by mistaking
one word for another, appealed to Dr. Orkborne to remedy what he
conceived to be an unaccountable failure. Dr. Orkborne, absorbed in his
new personal pursuit, to which he daily grew more devoted, was earnest
to be as little as possible interrupted, and therefore only advised him
to study his last lesson, before he pressed for any thing new.

Study, however, was unavailing, and he heard this injunction with
despair; but finding it constantly repeated upon every application for
help, he was seized again with a horror of the whole attempt, and begged
to consult with Mr. Tyrold.

'This gentleman you have recommended to me for my tutor,' he cried, 'is
certainly a great scholar; I don't mean to doubt that the least in the
world, being no judge: and he is complaisant enough too, considering all
that; but yet I have rather a suspicion he is afraid I shall make no
hand of it; which is a thing so disheartening to a person in the line of
improvement, that, to tell you the honest truth, I am thinking of giving
the whole up at a blow; for, Lord help me! what shall I be the better
for knowing Latin and Greek? It's not worth a man's while to think of
it, after being a boy. And so, if you please, I'd rather you'd take
Lionel home again.'

Mr. Tyrold agreed; but asked what he meant to do further concerning the
Doctor?

'Why that, brother, is the very thing my poor ignorant head wants your
advice for: because, as to that plan about our learning all together, I
see it won't do; for either the boys will grow up to be no better
scholars than their uncle, which is to say, none at all; or else they'll
hold everybody cheap, when they meet with a person knowing nothing; so
I'll have no more hand in it. And I shall really be glad enough to get
such a thing off my mind; for it's been weight enough upon it from the
beginning.'

He then desired the opinion of Mr. Tyrold what step he should take to
prevent the arrival of Clermont Lynmere, whom, he said, he dreaded to
see, being determined to have no more little boys about him for some
time to come.

Mr. Tyrold recommended re-settling him at Eton: but Sir Hugh declared he
could not possibly do that, because the poor little fellow had written
him word he was glad to leave school. 'And I don't doubt,' he added,
'but he'll make the best figure of us all; because I had him put in the
right mode from the first; though, I must needs own, I had as lieve see
him a mere dunce all his life, supposing I should live so long, which
God forbid in regard to his dying, as have him turn out a mere coxcomb
of a pedant, laughing and grinning at everybody that can't spell a Greek
noun.'

Mr. Tyrold promised to take the matter into consideration; but early the
next morning, the baronet again summoned him, and joyfully made known,
that a scheme had come into his own head, which answered all purposes.
In the first place, he said, he had really taken so prodigious a dislike
to learning, that he was determined to send Clermont over the seas, to
finish his Greek and Latin; not because he was fond of foreign parts,
but for fear, if he should let him come to Cleves, the great distaste he
had now conceived against those sort of languages, might disgust the
poor boy from his book. And he had most luckily recollected, in the
middle of the night, that he had a dear friend, one Mr. Westwyn, who was
going the very next month to carry his own son to Leipsic; which was
just what had put the thought into his head; because, by that means,
Clermont might be removed from one studying place to t'other, without
loss of time.

'But for all that,' he continued, 'as this good gentleman here has been
doing no harm, I won't have him become a sufferer for my changing my
mind: and so, not to affront him by giving him nothing to do, which
would be like saying, "You may go your ways," I intend he should try
Indiana.'

Observing Mr. Tyrold now look with the extremest surprise, he added; 'To
be sure, being a girl, it is rather out of the way; but as there is
never another boy, what can I do? Besides I shan't so much mind her
getting a little learning, because she's not likely to make much hand of
it. And this one thing, I can tell you, which I have learnt of my own
accord; I'll never press a person to set about studying at my time of
life as long as I live, knowing what a plague it is.'

Lionel returned to Etherington with his father, and the rest of the
scheme was put into execution without delay. Mr. Westwyn conveyed
Clermont from Eton to Leipsic, where he settled him with the preceptor
and masters appointed for his own son; and Dr. Orkborne was desired to
become the tutor of Indiana.

At first, quitting his learned residence, the Doctor might indignantly
have blushed at the proposition of an employment so much beneath his
abilities: but he now heard it without the smallest emotion; sedately
revolving in his mind, that his literary work would not be affected by
the ignorance or absurdity of his several pupils.



CHAPTER VI

_Tuition of a young Lady_


The fair Indiana participated not in the philosophy of her preceptor.
The first mention of taking lessons produced an aversion unconquerable
to their teacher; and the first question he asked her at the appointed
hour for study, was answered by a burst of tears.

To Dr. Orkborne this sorrow would have proved no impediment to their
proceeding, as he hardly noticed it; but Sir Hugh, extremely affected,
kindly kissed her, and said he would beg her off for this time. The next
day, however, gave rise but to a similar scene; and the next which
followed would precisely have resembled it, had not the promise of some
new finery of attire dispersed the pearly drops that were preparing to
fall.

The uncommon beauty of Indiana had made her infancy adored, and her
childhood indulged by almost all who had seen her. The brilliant picture
she presented to the eye by her smiles and her spirits, rendered the
devastation caused by crying, pouting, or fretfulness so striking, and
so painful to behold, that not alone her uncle, but every servant in the
house, and every stranger who visited it, granted to her lamentations
whatever they demanded, to relieve their own impatience at the loss of
so pleasing an image. Accustomed, therefore, never to weep without
advantage, she was in the constant habit of giving unbridled vent to her
tears upon the smallest contradiction, well knowing that not to spoil
her pretty eyes by crying, was the current maxim of the whole house.

Unused, by this means, to any trouble or application, the purposed
tuition of Dr. Orkborne appeared a burden to her intolerable; yet
weeping, her standing resource, was with him utterly vain; her tears
were unimportant to one who had taken no notice of her smiles; and
intent upon his own learned ruminations, he never even looked at her.

Bribery, day after day, could procure but a few instants' attention,
given so unwillingly, and so speedily withdrawn, that trinkets, dress,
and excursions were soon exhausted, without the smallest advancement.
The general indulgence of the baronet made partial favours of small
efficacy; and Indiana was sooner tired of receiving, than he of
presenting his offerings.

She applied, therefore, at length, to the governess, whose
expostulations, she knew by experience, were precisely what Sir Hugh
most sedulously aimed to avoid.

Miss Margland was a woman of family and fashion, but reduced, through
the gaming and extravagance of her father, to such indigence, that,
after sundry failures in higher attempts, she was compelled to acquiesce
in the good offices of her friends, which placed her as a governess in
the house of Sir Hugh.

To Indiana, however, she was but nominally a tutress; neglected in her
own education, there was nothing she could teach, though, born and bred
in the circle of fashion, she imagined she had nothing to learn. And,
while a mind proudly shallow kept her unacquainted with her own
deficiencies, her former rank in society imposed an equal ignorance of
them upon Sir Hugh. But, notwithstanding he implicitly gave her credit
for possessing whatever she assumed, he found her of a temper so
unpleasant, and so irritable to offence, that he made it a rule never to
differ from her. The irksomeness of this restraint induced him to keep
as much as possible out of her way; though respect and pity for her
birth and her misfortunes, led him to resolve never to part with her
till Indiana was married.

The spirit of Miss Margland was as haughty as her intellects were weak;
and her disposition was so querulous, that, in her constant suspicion of
humiliation, she seemed always looking for an affront, and ready primed
for a contest.

She seized with pleasure the opportunity offered her by Indiana, of
remonstrating against this new system of education; readily allowing,
that any accomplishment beyond what she had herself acquired, would be
completely a work of supererogation. She represented dictatorily her
objections to the baronet. Miss Lynmere, she said, though both beautiful
and well brought up, could never cope with so great a disadvantage as
the knowledge of Latin: 'Consider, Sir,' she cried, 'what an obstacle it
will prove to her making her way in the great world, when she comes to
be of a proper age for thinking of an establishment. What gentleman will
you ever find that will bear with a learned wife? except some mere
downright fogrum, no young lady of fashion could endure.'

She then spoke of the danger of injuring her beauty by study; and ran
over all the qualifications really necessary for a young lady to attain,
which consisted simply of an enumeration of all she had herself
attempted; a little music, a little drawing, and a little dancing; which
should all, she added, be but slightly pursued, to distinguish a lady of
fashion from an artist.

Sir Hugh, a good deal disturbed, because unable to answer her, thought
it would be best to interest Dr. Orkborne in his plan, and to beg him to
reconcile her to its execution. He sent, therefore, a message to the
Doctor, to beg to speak with him immediately.

Dr. Orkborne promised to wait upon him without delay: but he was at that
moment hunting for a passage in a Greek author, and presently forgot
both the promise and the request.

Sir Hugh, concluding nothing but sickness could detain him, went to his
apartment; where, finding him perfectly well, he stared at him a moment;
and then, sitting down, begged him to make no apology, for he could
tell his business there as well as any where else.

He gave a long and copious relation of the objections of Miss Margland,
earnestly begging Dr. Orkborne would save him from such another
harangue, it being bad for his health, by undertaking to give her the
proper notion of things himself.

The Doctor, who had just found the passage for which he had been
seeking, heard not one word that he said.

Sir Hugh, receiving no answer, imagined him to be weighing the substance
of his narration; and, therefore, bidding him not worry his brain too
much, offered him half an hour to fix upon what should be done; and
returned quietly to his own room.

Here he sat, counting the minutes, with his watch in his hand, till the
time stipulated arrived: but finding Dr. Orkborne let it pass without
any notice, he again took the trouble of going back to his apartment.

He then eagerly asked what plan he had formed?

Dr. Orkborne, much incommoded by this second interruption, coldly begged
to know his pleasure.

Sir Hugh, with great patience, though much surprise, repeated the whole,
word for word, over again: but the history was far too long for Dr.
Orkborne, whose attention, after the first sentence or two, was
completely restored to his Greek quotation, which he was in the act of
transcribing when Sir Hugh re-entered the room.

The baronet, at length, more categorically said, 'Don't be so shy of
speaking out, Doctor; though I am afraid, by your silence, you've rather
a notion poor Indiana will never get on; which, perhaps, makes you think
it not worth while contradicting Mrs. Margland? Come, speak out!--Is
that the case with the poor girl?'

'Yes, sir,' answered Dr. Orkborne, with great composure; though
perfectly unconscious of the proposition to which he assented.

'Lack a-day! if I was not always afraid she had rather a turn to being a
dunce! So it's your opinion it won't do, then?'

'Yes, sir,' again replied the Doctor; his eye the whole time fastened
upon the passage which occupied his thoughts.

'Why then we are all at a stand again! This is worse than I thought for!
So the poor dear girl has really no head?--Hay, Doctor?--Do speak,
pray?--Don't mind vexing me. Say so at once, if you can't help thinking
it.'

Another extorted, 'Yes, sir,' completely overset Sir Hugh; who, imputing
the absent and perplexed air with which it was pronounced to an
unwillingness to give pain, shook him by the hand, and, quitting the
room, ordered his carriage, and set off for Etherington.

'Oh, brother,' he cried; 'Indiana's the best girl in the world, as well
as the prettiest; but, do you know, Dr. Orkborne says she has got no
brains! So there's an end of that scheme! However, I have now thought of
another that will settle all differences.'

Mr. Tyrold hoped it was an entire discontinuance of all pupilage and
tutorship; and that Dr. Orkborne might henceforth be considered as a
mere family friend.

'No, no, my dear brother, no! 'tis a better thing than that, as you
shall hear. You must know I have often been concerned to think how glum
poor Clermont will look when he hears of my will in favour of Eugenia;
which was my chief reason in my own private mind, for not caring to see
him before he went abroad; but I have made myself quite easy about him
now, by resolving to set little Eugenia upon learning the classics.'

'Eugenia! and of what benefit will that prove to Clermont?'

'Why, as soon as she grows a little old, that is to say, a young woman,
I intend, with your good will and my sister's, to marry her to
Clermont.'

Mr. Tyrold smiled, but declared his entire concurrence, if the young
people, when they grew up, wished for the alliance.

'As to that,' said he, 'I mean to make sure work, by having them
educated exactly to fit one another. I shall order Clermont to think of
nothing but his studies till the proper time; and as to Eugenia, I shall
make her a wife after his own heart, by the help of this gentleman; for
I intend to bid him teach her just like a man, which, as she's so young,
may be done from the beginning, the same as if she was a boy.'

He then enumerated the advantages of this project, which would save
Clermont from all disappointment, by still making over to him his whole
fortune, with a wife ready formed into a complete scholar for him into
the bargain. It would also hinder Eugenia from being a prey to some sop
for her money, who, being no relation, could not have so good a right to
it; and it would prevent any affront to Dr. Orkborne, by keeping him a
constant tight task in hand.

Mr. Tyrold forbore to chagrin him with any strong expostulation, and he
returned, therefore, to Cleves in full glee. He repaired immediately to
the apartment of the Doctor, who, only by what was now said, was
apprized of what had passed before. Somewhat, therefore, alarmed, to
understand that the studies of Indiana were to be relinquished, he
exerted all the alacrity in his power for accepting his new little
pupil: not from any idea of preference; for he concluded that incapacity
of Indiana to be rather that of her sex than of an individual; but from
conceiving that his commodious abode at Cleves depended upon his
retaining one scholar in the family. Eugenia therefore was called, and
the lessons were begun.

The little girl, who was naturally of a thoughtful turn, and whose state
of health deprived her of most childish amusements, was well contented
with the arrangement, and soon made a progress so satisfactory to Dr.
Orkborne, that Sir Hugh, letting his mind now rest from all other
schemes, became fully and happily occupied by the prosecution of his
last suggestion.



CHAPTER VII

_Lost Labour_


From this period, the families of Etherington and Cleves lived in the
enjoyment of uninterrupted harmony and repose, till Eugenia, the most
juvenile of the set, had attained her fifteenth year.

Sir Hugh then wrote to Leipsic, desiring his nephew Lynmere to return
home without delay. 'Not that I intend,' he said to Mr. Tyrold,
'marrying them together at this young age, Eugenia being but a child,
except in point of Latin; though I assure you, my dear brother, she's
the most sensible of the whole, poor Indiana being nothing to her, for
all her prettiness; but the thing is, the sooner Clermont comes over,
the sooner they may begin forming the proper regard.'

The knowledge of this projected alliance was by no means confined to Sir
Hugh and Mr. and Mrs. Tyrold; it was known throughout the family, though
never publicly announced, and understood from her childhood by Eugenia
herself, though Mrs. Tyrold had exerted her utmost authority to prevent
Sir Hugh from apprizing her of it in form. It was nevertheless, the joy
of his heart to prepare the young people for each other: and his scheme
received every encouragement he could desire, from the zeal and uncommon
progress in her studies made by Eugenia; which most happily corresponded
with all his injunctions to Leipsic, for the application and
acquirements of Clermont.

Thus circumstanced, it was a blow to him the most unexpected, to receive
from the young bridegroom elect, in answer to his summons home, a
petition to make the tour of Europe, while yet on the continent.

'What!' cried Sir Hugh, 'and is this all his care for us? after so many
years separation from his kin and kind, has he no natural longings to
see his native land? no yearnings to know his own relations from
strangers?'

Eugenia, notwithstanding her extreme youth, secretly applauded and
admired a search of knowledge she would gladly have participated [in];
though she was not incurious to see the youth she considered as her
destined partner for life, and to whom all her literary labours had been
directed: for the never-failing method of Sir Hugh to stimulate her if
she was idle, had been to assure her that, unless she worked harder, her
cousin Clermont would eclipse her.

She had now acquired a decided taste for study, which, however unusual
for her age, most fortunately rescued from weariness or sadness the
sedentary life, which a weak state of health compelled her to lead. This
induced her to look with pleasure upon Clermont as the object of her
emulation, and to prosecute every plan for her improvement, with that
vigour which accompanies a pursuit of our own choice; the only labour
that asks no relaxation.

Steady occupations, such as these, kept off all attention to her
personal misfortunes, which Sir Hugh had strictly ordered should never
be alluded to; first, he said, for fear they should vex her; and next,
lest they should make her hate him, for being their cause. Those
incidents, therefore, from never being named, glided imperceptibly from
her thoughts; and she grew up as unconscious as she was innocent, that,
though born with a beauty which surpassed that of her lovely sisters,
disease and accident had robbed her of that charm ere she knew she
possessed it. But neither disease nor accident had power over her mind;
there, in its purest proportions, moral beauty preserved its first
energy. The equanimity of her temper made her seem, though a female,
born to be a practical philosopher; her abilities and her sentiments
were each of the highest class, uniting the best adorned intellects with
the best principled virtues.

The dissatisfaction of Sir Hugh with his nephew reached not to
prohibition: his consent was painful, but his remittances were generous,
and Clermont had three years allowed him for his travels through Europe.

Yet this permission was no sooner granted than the baronet again became
dejected. Three years appeared to him to be endless: he could hardly
persuade himself to look forward to them with expectation of life; and
all the learned labours he had promoted seemed vain and unpromising, ill
requiting his toils, and still less answering his hopes. Even the
studious turn of Eugenia, hitherto his first delight, he now thought
served but to render her unsociable; and the time she devoted to study,
he began to regret as lost to himself; nor could he suggest any possible
consolation for his drooping spirits, till it occurred to him that
Camilla might again enliven him.

This idea, and the order for his carriage, were the birth of the same
moment; and, upon entering the study of Mr. Tyrold, he abruptly
exclaimed, 'My dear brother, I must have Camilla back! Indiana says
nothing to amuse me; and Eugenia is so bookish, I might as well live
with an old woman; which God forbid I should object to, only I like
Camilla better.'

This request was by no means welcome to Mr. Tyrold, and utterly
distasteful to his lady. Camilla was now just seventeen years of age,
and attractively lovely; but of a character that called for more
attention to its developement than to its formation; though of a
disposition so engaging, that affection kept pace with watchfulness, and
her fond parents knew as little for their own sakes as for her's how to
part with her.

Her qualities had a power which, without consciousness how, or
consideration why, governed her whole family. The airy thoughtlessness
of her nature was a source of perpetual amusement; and, if sometimes her
vivacity raised a fear for her discretion, the innocence of her mind
reassured them after every alarm. The interest which she excited served
to render her the first object of the house; it was just short of
solicitude, yet kept it constantly alive. Her spirits were volatile,
but her heart was tender; her gaiety had a fascination; her persuasion
was irresistible.

To give her now up to Sir Hugh, seemed to Mrs. Tyrold rather impossible
than disagreeable; but he was too urgent with his brother to be wholly
refused. She was granted him, therefore, as a guest, for the three
ensuing months, to aid him to dissipate his immediate disappointment,
from the procrastinated absence of Clermont.

Sir Hugh received back his first favourite with all the fond glee of a
ductile imagination, which in every new good sees a refuge from every
past or present evil. But, as the extremest distaste of all literature
now succeeded those sanguine views which had lately made it his
exclusive object, the first words he spoke upon her arrival were, to
inform her she must learn no Latin; and the first step which followed
her welcome, was a solemn charge to Dr. Orkborne, that he must give her
no lessons.

The gaiety, the spirit, the playful good humour of Camilla, had lost
nothing of their charm by added years, though her understanding had been
sedulously cultivated, and her principles modelled by the pure and
practical tenets of her exemplary parents. The delight of Sir Hugh in
regaining her, consisted not merely of the renovation of his first
prejudice in her favour; it was strengthened by the restoration it
afforded his own mind to its natural state, and the relief of being
disburthened of a task he was so ill calculated to undertake, as
superintending, in any sort, intellectual pursuits.



BOOK II



CHAPTER I

_New Projects_


The baronet would, at length, have enjoyed perfect contentment, had he
not been molested by the teasing spirit of Miss Margland, now daily at
work in proposing a journey to London, and in representing as an
indispensable duty, that the young ladies should see and be seen, in a
manner suitable to their situation in life.

Miss Margland, equally void either of taste or of resources for the
country, had languished and fretted away twelve years in its bosom, with
no other opening to any satisfaction beyond a maintenance, except what
she secretly nourished in her hopes, that, when her beautiful pupil was
grown up, she should accompany her to the metropolis. Her former
connections and acquaintance in high life still continued to be the
stationary pride of her heart, the constant theme of her discourse, and
the perpetual allusion of some lamentation and regret. This excursion,
therefore, in prospect, had been her sole support during her retirement;
nor had she failed to instruct her fair disciple to aid her scheme,
though she had kept from her its private motive.

Most successfully, indeed, had she instilled into the youthful breast of
Indiana, a wondering curiosity to see the place which she described as
the sole residence of elegance and fashion, and an eager impatience to
exhibit there a person which she was assured would meet with universal
homage.

But neither the exhortations of the governess, nor the wishes of her
pupil, could in this point move Sir Hugh. He had a fixt aversion to
London, and to all public places, and had constantly some disaster to
relate of every visit he had accidentally made to them. The amusements
which had decided his partiality for the country were now, indeed, no
longer within his reach; but his sanguine temper, which occasionally
entertained him with hopes of a recovery, determined him always to keep
upon the right spot, he said, for sport, in the case of any sudden and
favourable change in his health.

Upon the visit of Camilla, Miss Margland grew yet more urgent, expecting
through her powerful influence to gain her point. She strove, therefore,
to engage her intercession, but Camilla, careless, easy, and gay, had no
wish about the matter, and could not be brought into the cabal.

This disappointment so much soured and provoked Miss Margland, that she
lost the usual discretion she had hitherto practised, of confining her
remonstrances to those times when she saw Sir Hugh alone. Such
opportunities, indeed, weary of the use she made of them, the baronet
contrived daily to lessen; but every meeting now, whether public or
private, was seized alike for the same purpose, and the necessity of
_bringing the young ladies out_, and the duty of _thinking of their
establishment_, were the sentences with which he was so regularly
assailed, that the moment he saw her he prepared to hear them, and
commonly with a heavy sigh anticipated their fatigue to his spirits.

No arguments, however, relative to disposing of the young ladies, had
any weight with him; he had long planned to give Eugenia to Clermont
Lynmere, and he depended upon Edgar Mandlebert for Indiana, while with
regard to Camilla, to keep her unmarried, that he might detain her under
his own roof, was the favourite wish of his heart. Nevertheless, this
perpetual persecution became by degrees insupportable, and, unused to be
deaf to any claimant, he was upon the point of constrained compliance,
when his passion for forming schemes came again to his aid, upon hearing
that Edgar Mandlebert, after a twelvemonth's absence, was just returned
to Etherington.

This youth had been making the tour of England, Wales, and Scotland,
with Dr. Marchmont, who had been induced by Mr. Tyrold to relinquish all
other avocations, and devote to him his whole time.

Sir Hugh hastening, upon this news, to the parsonage-house, said: 'Don't
imagine, brother, I am going to make any complaint against Mrs.
Margland, for she is an excellent governess, and I have no fault to find
with her, except her making too many objections, which I take to be her
worst part; but as every body has something, it would be very unfair to
quarrel with her for such a mere nothing, especially as she can't help
it, after so many years going on the same way, without coming to a stop;
but the thing I have thought of now may set it all to rights, which I
hope you'll approve, and especially my sister.'

He then explained, that as he had fixt upon marrying Eugenia to Clermont
Lynmere, she was put so completely under the care of Dr. Orkborne, in
order to make her fit for the young scholar, that Miss Margland was of
little or no use to her. He meant, therefore, to bring forward
immediately the marriage of Indiana with young Mandlebert, and then to
ask Miss Margland to go and live with them entirely, as he could very
well spare her: 'This,' he continued, 'Indiana can't object to, from the
point of having had her so long; and young Mr. Edgar's remarkably
complaisant, for such a young youth, which I saw a great while ago. By
this means, Mrs. Margland will get her main end of going to London,
which she may show off to the young bride, without my budging from home,
Lord help me! being a thing I don't much like, to be taken about to
dances and shews, now that I am not a boy; so then Camilla will be left
to stay with me, for my own companion; which I assure you I desire no
better, though she knows no more, as the Doctor tells me, of the
classics, than my old spaniel; which, to give every one his due, is much
the same with myself.'

Mr. Tyrold, with a very unpleasant astonishment, enquired further into
his meaning concerning Mandlebert; but his surprise ended in a smile,
when he heard the juvenile circumstances upon which alone Sir Hugh built
his expectations. To argue with him, however, was always fruitless; he
had found out, he said, the intentions of Edgar from the first, and he
came now to invite him to pass a month at Cleves, for the sake of
cutting the courtship short, by letting him see Indiana every day, so
that no time might be lost in coming to the conclusion.

The first wish of the secret heart of Mr. Tyrold was, that one of his
own daughters should be the choice of his ward; he did not, therefore,
totally unmoved, hear this project for Indiana, though its basis was so
little alarming.

Edgar, who was now just of age, was receiving the last cares of his
guardian, and taking into his own hands his fortune and affairs. He was
at Etherington, at present, only for that purpose, Beech Park being
already fitted up for his residence.

Sir Hugh, desiring to speak with him, most cordially made his
invitation: 'Besides myself,' he cried, 'whom I only mention first, as
being master of the house, which I hope is my excuse for it, you will
meet three very good young girls, not to mention Dr. Orkborne and Miss
Margland, who are rather not of the youngest at present, whatever they
may have been in former times; and they will all, myself included, make
you as welcome as themselves.'

Edgar accepted the proposal with pleasure, and agreed to wait upon him
the next day, Mr. Tyrold consenting that they should transact their
mutual business at Etherington, by morning rides.

At dinner Sir Hugh told the family at Cleves the new guest they were so
soon to expect, assuring them he was become a very fine young gentleman,
and bidding Indiana, with a significant nod, hold up her head.

Indiana wanted no charge upon this subject; she fully understood the
views of her uncle, and it was now some years since she had heard the
name of Beech Park without a smile or a blush.

Upon the arrival of the young man, Sir Hugh summoned his household to
meet him in the hall, where he received him with an hearty welcome, and,
in the flutter of his spirits, introduced him to them all, as if this
had been his first appearance in the family; remarking, that a full week
of shyness might be saved, by making acquaintance with the whole set in
a clump.

From eagerness irrepressible, he began with Indiana, apologising when he
had done, by saying it was only because she was oldest, having the
advantage of three weeks over Camilla: 'For which, however,' he added,
'I must beg pardon of Mrs. Margland and Dr. Orkborne, who, to be sure,
must be pretty much older.'

He next presented him to Camilla; and then, taking him apart, begged, in
a whisper, that he would not seem to notice the ugliness of Eugenia,
which, he said, was never mentioned in her hearing, by his particular
order; 'though, to be sure,' he added, 'since that small-pox, she's
grown plain enough, in point of beauty, considering how pretty she was
before. However, she's a remarkable good girl, and with regard to Virgil
and those others will pose you in a second, for aught I know to the
contrary, being but an indifferent judge in things of that sort, from
leaving off my own studies rather short, on account of the gout; besides
some other reasons.'

Edgar assured him these introductions were by no means necessary, a
single twelvemonth's absence being very insufficient to obliterate from
his memory his best and earliest friends.

Edgar Mandlebert was a young man who, if possessed neither of fortune
nor its expectations, must from his person and his manners have been as
attractive to the young, as from his morals and his conduct to those of
riper years. His disposition was serious and meditative; but liberal,
open, and candid. He was observant of the errors of others, and watched
till he nearly eradicated his own. But though with difficulty he
bestowed admiration, he diffused, both in words and deeds, such general
amity and good will, that if the strictness of his character inspired
general respect, its virtues could no less fail engaging the kinder mede
of affection. When to merit of a species so rare were added a fine
estate and a large independent fortune, it is not easy to decide whether
in prosperity or desert he was most distinguished.

The first week which he spent at Cleves, was passed with a gaiety as
unremitting as it was innocent. All parties felt his arrival as an
acquisition: Indiana thought the hour of public exhibition, long
promised by Miss Margland, at length fast approaching; Camilla, who
escaped all expectation for herself, from being informed of what was
entertained by her cousin, enjoyed the tranquil pleasure of undesigning
friendship, unchequered either by hope or fear; Eugenia met with a
respect for her acquirements that redoubled her ambition to increase
them; Sir Hugh looked forward with joy to the happy disposal of Indiana,
and a blameless riddance of Miss Margland; who, on her part, with an
almost boundless satisfaction, saw her near return to a town life, from
the high favour in which she stood with the supposed bride elect; even
Dr. Orkborne, though he disdained with so young a scholar to enter into
much philological disquisition, was gratified by a presence which
afforded a little relief to the stores of his burdened memory, from
authorizing some occasional utterance of the learned recollections,
which for many years had encumbered it without vent. Edgar, meanwhile,
obliging and obliged, received pleasure from them all; for though not
blind to any of their imperfections, they had not a merit which he
failed to discern.

The second week opened with a plan which promised a scene more lively,
though it broke into the calm retirement of this peaceful party. Lionel,
who was now at Etherington, to spend his university vacation, rode over
to Cleves, to inform Edgar, that there would be a ball the next evening
at Northwick, at which the officers of the ---- regiment, which was
quartered in the neighbourhood, and all the beaux and belles of the
county, were expected to assemble.

Miss Margland, who was present, struck with a desire that Indiana might
make her first public appearance in the county, at a ball where Edgar
might be her partner, went instantly to Sir Hugh to impart the idea. Sir
Hugh, though averse to all public places, consented to the plan, from
the hope of accelerating the affair; but declared, that if there was any
amusement, his little Camilla should not be left out. Eugenia, won by
the novelty of a first expedition of this sort, made her own request to
be included; Lionel undertook to procure tickets, and Miss Margland had
the welcome labour of arranging their dress, for which Sir Hugh, to
atone for the shortness of the time, gave her powers unlimited.

Indiana was almost distracted with joy at this event. Miss Margland
assured her, that now was the moment for fixing her conquest of
Mandlebert, by adroitly displaying to him the admiration she could not
but excite, in the numerous strangers before whom she would appear; she
gave her various instructions how to set off her person to most
advantage, and she delighted Sir Hugh with assurances of what this
evening would effect: 'There is nothing, Sir,' said she, 'so conducive
towards a right understanding between persons of fashion, as a ball. A
gentleman may spend months and months in this drowsy way in the country,
and always think one day will do as well as another for his declaration;
but when he sees a young lady admired and noticed by others, he falls
naturally into making her the same compliments, and the affair goes into
a regular train, without his almost thinking of it.'

Sir Hugh listened to this doctrine with every desire to give it credit;
and though the occupations of the toilette left him alone the whole of
the assembly day, he was as happy in the prospect of their diversion, as
they were themselves in its preparation.

When the young ladies were ready, they repaired to the apartment of the
baronet, to shew themselves, and to take leave. Edgar and Lionel were
waiting to meet them upon the stairs. Indiana had never yet looked so
lovely; Camilla, with all her attractions, was eclipsed; and Eugenia
could only have served as a foil, even to those who had no pretensions
to beauty.

Edgar, nevertheless, asked Camilla to dance with him; she willingly,
though not without wonder, consented. Lionel desired the hand of his
fair cousin; but Indiana, self-destined to Edgar, whose address to
Camilla, she had not heard, made him no answer, and ran on to present
herself to her uncle; who, struck with admiration as he beheld her,
cried, 'Indiana, my dear, you really look prettier than I could even
have guessed; and yet I always knew there was no fault to be found with
the outside; nor indeed with the inside neither, Mr. Mandlebert, so I
don't mean anything by that; only, by use, one is apt to put the outside
first.'

Lionel was now hurrying them away, when Sir Hugh calling to Edgar, said:
'Pray, young Mr. Mandlebert, take as much care of her as possible; which
I am sure you will do of your own accord.'

Edgar, with some surprise, answered, he should be happy to take whatever
care was in his power of all the ladies; 'but,' added he, 'for my own
particular charge to-night, I have engaged Miss Camilla.'

'And how came you to do that? Don't you know I let them all go on
purpose for the sake of your dancing with Indiana, which I mean as a
particular favour?'

'Sir,' replied Edgar, a little embarrassed, 'you are very good; but as
Lionel cannot dance with his sisters, he has engaged Miss Lynmere
himself.'

'Pho, pho, what do you mind Lionel for? not but what he's a very good
lad; only I had rather have you and Indiana dance together, which I dare
say so had she.'

Edgar, somewhat distressed, looked at Camilla: 'O, as to me,' cried she,
gaily, 'pray let me take my chance; if I should not dance at all, the
whole will be so new to me, that I am sure of entertainment.'

'You are the best good girl, without the smallest exception,' said Sir
Hugh, 'that ever I have known in the world; and so you always were; by
which I mean nothing as to Indiana, who is just such another, except in
some points; and so here's her hand, young Mr. Mandlebert, and if you
think you shall meet a prettier partner at the ball, I beg when you get
her there, you will tell her so fairly, and give her up.'

Edgar, who had hardly yet looked at her, was now himself struck with the
unusual resplendence of her beauty, and telling Camilla he saw she was
glad to be at liberty, protested he could not but rejoice to be spared a
decision for himself, where the choice would have been so difficult.

'Well then, now go,' cried the delighted baronet; 'Lionel will find
himself a partner, I have no doubt, because he is nothing particular in
point of shyness; and as to Camilla, she'll want nothing but to hear the
fiddlers to be as merry as a grig, which what it is I never knew: so I
have no concern,' added he, in a low voice, to Edgar, 'except for little
Eugenia, and poor Mrs. Margland; for Eugenia being so plain, which is no
fault of her's, on account of the small-pox, many a person may overlook
her from that objection; and as to Mrs. Margland, being with all these
young chickens, I am afraid people will think her rather one of the
oldest for a dancing match; which I say in no disrespect, for oldness
gives one no choice.'



CHAPTER II

_New Characters_


The dancing was not yet begun, but the company was met, and the
sprightly violins were employed to quicken their motions, when the
Cleves party entered the ball room. They were distinguished immediately
by a large party of officers, who assured Lionel, with whom they were
acquainted, that they had impatiently been expected.

'I shall recompense you for waiting,' answered he, in a whisper, 'by
introducing you to the rich heiress of Cleves, who now makes her first
appearance from the nursery; though no! upon farther thoughts, I will
only tell you she is one of our set, and leave it to your own ingenuity
to find her out.'

While this was passing, Indiana, fluttering with all the secret triumph
of conscious beauty, attended by Edgar, and guarded by Miss Margland,
walked up the room, through a crowd of admiring spectators; in whom a
new figure, without half her loveliness, would have excited the same
curiosity, that her extreme inexperience attributed solely to her
peculiar charms. Camilla and Eugenia followed rather as if in her train,
than of her party; but Lionel kept entirely with the officers, insisting
upon their guessing which was the heiress; to whom, while he purposely
misled their conjectures, he urged them to make their court, by
enumerating the present possessions of Sir Hugh, and her future
expectations.

Camilla, however, passed not long unnoticed, though the splendor of
Indiana's appearance cast her at first on the back ground; a
circumstance which, by impressing her with a sensation of inferiority,
divested her mind of all personal considerations, and gave to her air
and countenance a graceful simplicity, a disengaged openness, and a
guileless freedom from affectation, that rendered her, to the observant
eye, as captivating upon examination, as Indiana, from the first glance,
was brilliant and alluring. And thus, as they patrolled the room,
Indiana excited an unmixt admiration, Camilla awakened an endless
variety of remark; while each being seen for the first time, and every
one else of the company for at least the second, all attention was their
own, whether for criticism or for praise. To Indiana this answered, in
fulfilling her expectations; by Camilla, it was unheeded, for, not
awaiting, she did not perceive it; yet both felt equal satisfaction. The
eyes of Camilla sparkled with delight as she surveyed all around her the
gay novelty of the scene; the heart of Indiana beat with a pleasure
wholly new, as she discovered that all surrounding her regarded her as
the principal object.

Eugenia, meanwhile, had not even the negative felicity to pass
unobserved; impertinent witticisms upon her face, person, and walk,
though not uttered so audibly as to be distinctly heard, ran round the
room in a confused murmur, and produced a disposition for sneering in
the satirical, and for tittering in the giddy, that made her as valuable
an acquisition to the company at large, who collect for any amusement,
indifferent to its nature, as her fair cousin proved to the admirers of
beauty, and her sister to the developers of expression. She was
shielded, however, herself, from all undeserved mortifications, by not
suspecting any were meant for her, and by a mind delightedly
pre-occupied with that sudden expansion of ideas, with which new scenery
and new objects charm a youthful imagination.

When they had taken two or three turns up and down the room, the
saunterers were called upon to give place to the dancers. Edgar then led
out Indiana, and the master of the ceremonies brought Major Cerwood to
Camilla.

Eugenia, wholly left out, became the exclusive charge of Miss Margland;
she felt no resentment of neglect, for she had formed no species of
expectation. She looked on with perfect contentment, and the motley and
quick changing group afforded her ample entertainment.

Miss Margland was not so passive; she seized the opportunity of
inveighing very angrily against the mismanagement of Sir Hugh: 'If you
had all,' she cried, 'been taken to town, and properly brought out,
according to my advice, such a disgrace as this could never have
happened; everybody would have known who you were, and then, there is no
doubt, you might have had partners enough; however, I heartily hope you
won't be asked to dance all the evening, that he may be convinced who
was in the right; besides, the more you are tired, the more you may see,
against another time, Miss Eugenia, that it is better to listen a little
to people's opinions, when they speak only for your own advantage, than
to go on with just the same indifference, as if you had no proper person
to consult with.'

Eugenia was too well amused to heed this remonstrance; and long
accustomed to hear the voice of Miss Margland without profit or
pleasure, her ear received its sound, but her attention included not its
purpose.

Indiana and Camilla, in this public essay, acquitted themselves with all
the merits, and all the faults common to a first exhibition. The
spectators upon such occasions, though never equally observant, are
never afterwards so lenient. Whatever fails is attributed to modesty,
more winning than the utmost success of excellence. Timidity solicits
that mercy which pride is most gratified to grant; the blushes of
juvenile shame atone for the deficiencies which cause them; and
awkwardness itself, in the unfounded terrors of youth, is perhaps more
interesting than grace.

Indiana could with difficulty keep to the figure of the dance, from the
exulting, yet unpractised certainty of attracting all eyes; and Camilla
perpetually turned wrong, from the mere flutter of fear, which made her
expect she should never turn right. Major Cerwood, her partner, with a
view to encourage her, was profuse in his compliments; but, as new to
what she heard as what she performed, she was only the more confused by
the double claim to her attention.

Edgar, meanwhile, was most assiduous to aid his fair partner. Miss
Margland, though scarcely even superficial in general knowledge, was
conversant in the practical detail of the hackneyed mode of forming
matrimonial engagements; she judged, therefore, rightly, that her pupil
would be seen to most advantage, in the distinction of that adulation by
which new beholders would stamp new value on her charms. From the time
of his first boyish gallantry, on the ill-fated birth-day of Camilla,
Indiana had never so much struck young Mandlebert, as while he attended
her up the assembly-room. Miss Margland observed this with triumph, and
prophesied the speediest conclusion to her long and weary sojourn at
Cleves, in the much wished-for journey to London, with a bride ready
made, and an establishment ready formed.

When the two first dances were over, the gentlemen were desired to
change partners. Major Cerwood asked the hand of Indiana, and Edgar
repaired to Camilla: 'Do you bear malice?' he cried, with a smile, 'or
may I now make the claim that Sir Hugh relinquished for me?'

'O yes,' answered she, with alacrity, when informed of the plan of
change; 'and I wish there was any body else, that would dance with me
afterwards, instead of that Major.'

'I dare believe,' said he, laughing 'there are many bodies else, who
would oblige you, if your declaration were heard. But what has the Major
done to you? Has he admired you without knowing how to keep is own
counsel?'

'No, no; only he has treated me like a country simpleton, and made me as
many fine speeches, as if he had been talking to Indiana.'

'You think, then, Indiana would have swallowed flattery with less
difficulty?'

'No, indeed! but I think the same things said to her would no longer
have been so extravagant.'

Edgar, to whom the sun-beams of the mind gave a glow which not all the
sparkling rays of the brightest eyes could emit, respected her modesty
too highly to combat it, and, dropping the subject, enquired what was
become of Eugenia.

'O poor Eugenia!' cried she, 'I see nothing of her, and I am very much
afraid she has had no better partner all this time than Miss Margland.'

Edgar, turning round, presently discerned her; she was still looking on,
with an air of the most perfect composure, examining the various
parties, totally without suspicion of the examination she was herself
sustaining; while Miss Margland was vainly pouring in her ears
observations, or exhortations, evidently of a complaining nature.

'There is something truly respectable,' said Edgar, 'in the innate
philosophy with which she bears such neglect.'

'Yet I wish it were put less to the proof;' said Camilla. 'I would give
the world somebody would take her out!'

'You don't think she would dance?'

'O yes she would! her lameness is no impediment; for she never thinks of
it. We all learnt together at Cleves. Dancing gives her a little more
exertion, and therefore a little more fatigue than other people, but
that is all.'

'After these two dances then--'

'Will you be her partner?' interrupted Camilla, 'O go to her at once!
immediately! and you will give me twenty times more pleasure than I can
have in dancing myself.'

She then flew to a form, and eagerly seated herself where she perceived
the first vacancy, to stop any debate, and enforce his consent.

The dance, which had been delayed by a dispute about the tune, was now
beginning. Edgar, looking after her with affected reproach, but real
admiration, asked the hand of Eugenia; who gave it with readiness and
pleasure; for, though contented as a spectatress, she experienced an
agreeable surprise in becoming a party engaged.

Camilla, happy in her own good humour, now looked at her neighbours; one
of which was an elderly lady, who, wholly employed in examining and
admiring the performance of her own daughters, saw nothing else in the
room. The other was a gentleman, much distinguished by his figure and
appearance, and dressed so completely in the extreme of fashion, as more
than to border upon foppery. The ease and negligence of his air denoted
a self-settled superiority to all about him; yet, from time to time,
there was an archness in the glance of his eye, that promised, under a
deep and wilful veil of conceit and affectation, a secret disposition to
deride the very follies he was practising. He was now lounging against
the wainscoat; with one hand on his side, and the other upon his
eye-lids, occupying the space, without using the seat, to the left of
Camilla.

Miss Margland, perceiving what she regarded as a fair vacancy, made up
to the spot, and saying, 'Sir, by your leave,' was preparing to take
possession of the place, when the gentleman, as if without seeing her,
dropt suddenly into it himself, and, pouring a profusion of _eau suave_
upon his handkerchief, exclaimed: 'What a vastly bad room this is for
dancing!'

Camilla, concluding herself addressed, turned round to him; but, seeing
he was sniffing up the _eau suave_, without looking at her, imagined he
meant to speak to Miss Margland.

Miss Margland was of the same opinion, and, with some pique at his
seizing thus her intended seat, rather sharply answered: 'Yes, sir, and
it's a vast bad room for _not_ dancing; for if every body would dance
that ought, there would be accommodation sufficient for other people.'

'Incomparably well observed!' cried he, collecting some bonbons from a
bonboniere, and swallowing one after another with great rapidity: 'But
won't you sit down? You must be enormously tired. Let me supplicate you
to sit down.'

Miss Margland, supposing he meant to make amends for his inattention, by
delivering up the place, civilly thanked him, and said she should not be
sorry, for she had stood a good while.

'Have you, indeed?' cried he, sprinkling some jessamine drops upon his
hands; 'how horribly abominable? Why don't some of those Mercuries,
those Ganymedes, those waiters, I believe you call them, get you a
chair?'

Miss Margland, excessively affronted, turned her back to him; and
Camilla made an offer of her own seat; but, as she had been dancing, and
would probably dance again, Miss Margland would not let her rise.

'Shall I call to one of those Barbarians, those Goths, those Vandals?'
cried the same gentleman, who now was spirting lavender water all about
him, with grimaces that proclaimed forcibly his opinion of the want of
perfume in the room: 'Do pray let me harangue them a little for you upon
their inordinate want of sensibility.'

Miss Margland deigned not any answer; but of that he took no notice, and
presently called out, though without raising his voice, 'Here, Mr.
Waiter! Purveyor, Surveyor, or whatsoever other title "_please thine
ear_," art thou deaf? why dost not bring this lady a chair? Those people
are most amazing hard of hearing! Shall I call again? Waiter, I say!'
still speaking rather lower than louder; 'Don't I stun you by this
shocking vociferation?'

'Sir, you're vastly--obliging!' cried Miss Margland, unable longer to
hold silence, yet with a look and manner that would much better have
accorded with vastly--_impertinent_.

She then pursued a waiter herself, and procured a chair.

Casting his eyes next upon Camilla, he examined her with much attention.
Abashed, she turned away her head; but not choosing to lose his object,
he called it back again, by familiarly saying, 'How is Sir Hugh?'

A good deal surprised, she exclaimed, 'Do you know my uncle, sir?'

'Not in the least, ma'am,' he coolly answered.

Camilla, much wondering, was then forced into conversation with Miss
Margland: but, without paying any regard to her surprise, he presently
said, 'It's most extremely worth your while to take a glance at that
inimitably good figure. Is it not exquisite? Can you suppose any thing
beyond it?'

Camilla, looking at the person to whom he pointed, and who was
sufficiently ludicrous, from an air of vulgar solemnity, and a dress
stiffly new, though completely old-fashioned, felt disposed to join in
his laugh, had she not been disconcerted by the mingled liberty and
oddity of his attack.

'Sir,' said Miss Margland, winking at her to be silent, though eager to
answer in her stead, 'the mixt company one always meets at these public
balls, makes them very unfit for ladies of fashion, for there's no
knowing who one may either dance with or speak to.'

'Vastly true, ma'am,' cried he, superciliously dropping his eyes, not to
look at her.

Miss Margland, perceiving this, bridled resentfully, and again talked on
with Camilla; till another exclamation interrupted them. 'O pray,' cried
he, 'I do entreat you look at that group! Is it not past compare? If
ever you held a pencil in your life, I beg and beseech you to take a
memorandum of that tall may-pole. Have you ever seen any thing so
excessively delectable?'

Camilla could not forbear smiling; but Miss Margland, taking all reply
upon herself, said: 'Caricatures, sir, are by no means pleasing for
young ladies to be taking, at their first coming out: one does not know
who may be next, if once they get into that habit!'

'Immeasurably well spoken, ma'am,' returned he; and, rising with a look
of disgust, he sauntered to another part of the room.

Miss Margland, extremely provoked, said she was sure he was some Irish
fortune-hunter, dressed out in all he was worth; and charged Camilla to
take no manner of notice of him.

When the two second dances were over, Edgar, conducting Eugenia to Miss
Margland, said to Camilla: 'Now, at least, if there is not a spell
against it, will you dance with me?'

'And if there is one, too,' cried she, gaily; 'for I am perfectly
disposed to help breaking it.'

She rose, and they were again going to take their places, when Miss
Margland, reproachfully calling after Edgar, demanded what he had done
with Miss Lynmere?

At the same moment, led by Major Cerwood, who was paying her in full all
the arrears of that gallantry Miss Margland had taught her to regret
hitherto missing, Indiana joined them; the Major, in making his bow,
lamenting the rules of the assembly, that compelled him to relinquish
her hand.

'Mr. Mandlebert,' said Miss Margland, 'you see Miss Lynmere is again
disengaged.'

'Yes, ma'am,' answered Edgar, drawing Camilla away; 'and every gentleman
in the room will be happy to see it too.'

'Stop, Miss Camilla!' cried Miss Margland; 'I thought, Mr. Mandlebert,
Sir Hugh had put Miss Lynmere under your protection?'

'O it does not signify!' said Indiana, colouring high with a new raised
sense of importance; 'I don't at all doubt but one or other of the
officers will take care of me.'

Edgar, though somewhat disconcerted, would still have proceeded; but
Camilla, alarmed by the frowns of Miss Margland, begged him to lead out
her cousin, and, promising to be in readiness for the next two dances,
glided back to her seat. He upbraided her in vain; Miss Margland looked
pleased, and Indiana was so much piqued, that he found it necessary to
direct all his attention to appeasing her, as he led her to join the
dance.

A gentleman now, eminently distinguished by personal beauty, approached
the ladies that remained, and, in the most respectful manner, began
conversing with Miss Margland; who received his attentions so
gratefully, that, when he told her he only waited to see the master of
the ceremonies at leisure, in order to have the honour of begging the
hand of one of her young ladies, his civilities so conquered all her
pride of etiquette, that she assured him there was no sort of occasion
for such a formality, with a person of his appearance and manners; and
was bidding Camilla rise, who was innocently preparing to obey, when, to
the surprise of them all, he addressed himself to Eugenia.

'There!' cried Miss Margland, exultingly, when they were gone; 'that
gentleman is completely a gentleman. I saw it from the beginning. How
different to that impertinent fop that spoke to us just now! He has the
politeness to take out Miss Eugenia, because he sees plainly nobody else
will think of it, except just Mr. Mandlebert, or some such old
acquaintance.'

Major Cerwood was now advancing towards Camilla, with that species of
smiling and bowing manner, which is the usual precursor of an invitation
to a fair partner; when the gentleman whom Miss Margland had just called
an impertinent fop, with a sudden swing, not to be eluded, cast himself
between the Major and Camilla, as if he had not observed his approach;
and spoke to her in a voice so low, that, though she concluded he asked
her to dance, she could not distinctly hear a word he said.

A good deal confused, she looked at him for an explanation; while the
Major, from her air of attention, supposing himself too late, retreated.

Her new beau then, carelessly seating himself by her side, indolently
said: 'What a heat! I have not the most distant idea how you can bear
it!'

Camilla found it impossible to keep her countenance at such a result of
a whisper, though she complied with the injunctions of Miss Margland, in
avoiding mutual discourse with a stranger of so showy an appearance.

'Yet they are dancing on,' he continued, 'just as if the Greenland snows
were inviting their exercise! I should really like to find out what
those people are made of. Can you possibly imagine their composition?'

Heedless of receiving no answer, he soon after added: 'I am vastly glad
you don't like dancing.'

'Me?' cried Camilla, surprised out of her caution.

'Yes; you hold it in antipathy, don't you?'

'No, indeed! far from it.'

'Don't you really?' cried he, starting back; 'that's amazingly
extraordinary! surprising in the extreme! Will you have the goodness to
tell me what you like in it?'

'Sir,' interfered Miss Margland, 'there's nothing but what's very
natural in a young lady's taking pleasure in an elegant accomplishment;
provided she is secure from any improper partner, or company.'

'Irrefragably just, ma'am!' answered he; affecting to take a pinch of
snuff, and turning his head another way.

Here Lionel, hastily running up to Camilla, whispered, 'I have made a
fine confusion among the red-coats about the heiress of Cleves! I have
put them all upon different scents.'

He was then going back, when a faint laugh from the neighbour of Camilla
detained him; 'Look, I adjure you,' cried he, addressing her, 'if
there's not that delightful creature again, with his bran-new clothes?
and they sit upon him so tight, he can't turn round his vastly droll
figure, except like a puppet with one jerk for the whole body. He is
really an immense treat: I should like of all things in nature, to know
who he can be.'

A waiter then passing with a glass of water for a lady, he stopt him in
his way, exclaiming: 'Pray, my extremely good friend, can you tell me
who that agreeable person is, that stands there, with the air of a
poker?'

'Yes, sir,' answered the man; 'I know him very well. His name is
Dubster. He's quite a gentleman to my knowledge, and has very good
fortunes.'

'Camilla,' cried Lionel, 'will you have him for a partner?' And,
immediately hastening up to him, he said two or three words in a low
voice, and skipped back to the dance.

Mr. Dubster then walked up to her, and, with an air conspicuously
aukward, solemnly said, 'So you want to dance, ma'am?'

Convinced he had been sent to her by Lionel, but by no means chusing to
display herself with a figure distinguished only as a mark for ridicule;
she looked down to conceal her ever-ready smiles, and said she had been
dancing some time.

'But if you like to dance again, ma'am,' said he, 'I am very ready to
oblige you.'

She now saw that this offer had been requested as a favour; and, while
half provoked, half diverted, grew embarrassed how to get rid of him,
without involving a necessity to refuse afterwards Edgar, and every
other; for Miss Margland had informed her of the general rules upon
these occasions. She looked, therefore, at that lady for counsel; while
her neighbour, sticking his hands in his sides, surveyed him from head
to foot, with an expression of such undisguised amusement, that Mr.
Dubster, who could not help observing it, cast towards him, from time to
time, a look of the most angry surprise.

Miss Margland approving, as well understanding the appeal, now
authoritatively interfered, saying: 'Sir, I suppose you know the
etiquette in public places?'

'The what, ma'am?' cried he, staring.

'You know, I suppose, sir, that no young lady of any consideration
dances with a gentleman that is a stranger to her, without he's brought
to her by the master of the ceremonies?'

'O as to that, ma'am, I have no objection. I'll go see for him, if
you've a mind. It makes no difference to me.'

And away he went.

'So you really intend dancing with him?' cried Camilla's neighbour.
''Twill be a vastly good sight. I have not the most remote conception
how he will bear the pulling and jostling about. Bend he cannot; but I
am immensely afraid he will break. I would give fifty guineas for his
portrait. He is indubitably put together without joints.'

Mr. Dubster now returned, and, with a look of some disturbance, said to
Miss Margland: 'Ma'am, I don't know which is the master of the
ceremonies. I can't find him out; for I don't know as ever I see him.'

'O pray,' cried Camilla eagerly, 'do not take the trouble of looking for
him; 'twill answer no purpose.'

'Why I think so too, ma'am,' said he, misunderstanding her; 'for as I
don't know the gentleman myself, he could go no great way towards making
us better acquainted with one another: so we may just as well take our
skip at once.'

Camilla now looked extremely foolish; and Miss Margland was again
preparing an obstacle, when Mr. Dubster started one himself. 'The worst
is,' cried he, 'I have lost one of my gloves, and I am sure I had two
when I came. I suppose I may have dropt it in the other room. If you
shan't mind it, I'll dance without it; for I don't mind those things
myself of a straw.'

'O! sir,' cried Miss Margland, 'that's such a thing as never was heard
of. I can't possibly consent to let Miss Camilla dance in such a manner
as that.'

'Why then, if you like it better, ma'am, I'll go back and look for it.'

Again Camilla would have declined giving him any trouble; but he seemed
persuaded it was only from shyness, and would not listen. 'Though the
worst is,' he said, 'you're losing so much time. However, I'll give a
good hunt; unless, indeed, that gentleman, who is doing nothing himself,
except looking on at us all, would be kind enough to lend me his.'

'I rather fancy, sir,' cried the gentleman, immediately recovering from
a laughing fit, and surveying the requester with supercilious contempt;
'I rather suspect they would not perfectly fit you.'

'Why then,' cried he, 'I think I'll go and ask Tom Hicks to lend me a
pair; for it's a pity to let the young lady lose her dance for such a
small trifle as that.'

Camilla began remonstrating; but he tranquilly walked away.

'You are superlatively in the good graces of fortune to-night,' cried
her new friend, 'superlatively to a degree: you may not meet with such
an invaluably uncommon object in twenty lustres.'

'Certainly,' said Miss Margland, 'there's a great want of regulation at
balls, to prevent low people from asking who they will to dance with
them. It's bad enough one can't keep people one knows nothing of from
speaking to one.'

'Admirably hit off! admirable in the extreme!' he answered; suddenly
twisting himself round, and beginning a whispering conversation with a
gentleman on his other side.

Mr. Dubster soon came again, saying, somewhat dolorously, 'I have looked
high and low for my glove, but I am no nearer. I dare say somebody has
picked it up, out of a joke, and put it in their pocket. And as to Tom
Hicks, where he can be hid, I can't tell, unless he has hanged himself;
for I can't find him no more than my glove. However, I've got a boy to
go and get me a pair; if all the shops a'n't shut up.'

Camilla, fearing to be involved in a necessity of dancing with him,
expressed herself very sorry for this step; but, again misconceiving her
motive, he begged her not to mind it; saying, 'A pair of gloves here or
there is no great matter. All I am concerned for is, putting you off so
long from having a little pleasure, for I dare say the boy won't come
till the next two batches; so if that gentleman that looks so
particular at me, has a mind to jig it with you a bit himself, in the
interim, I won't be his hindrance.'

Receiving no answer, he bent his head lower down, and said, in a louder
voice, 'Pray, sir, did you hear me?'

'Sir, you are ineffably good!' was the reply; without a look, or any
further notice.

Much affronted, he said no more, but stood pouting and stiff before
Camilla, till the second dance was over, and another general separation
of partners took place. 'I thought how it would be, ma'am,' he then
cried; 'for I know it's no such easy matter to find shops open at this
time of night; for if people's 'prentices can't take a little pleasure
by now, they can't never.'

Tea being at this time ordered, the whole party collected to remove to
the next room. Lionel, seeing Mr. Dubster standing by Camilla, with a
rapturous laugh, cried, 'Well, sister, have you been dancing?'

Camilla, though laughing too, reproachfully shook her head at him; while
Mr. Dubster gravely said, 'It's no fault of mine, sir, that the lady's
sitting still; for I come and offered myself to her the moment you told
me she wanted a partner; but I happened of the misfortune of losing one
of my gloves, and not being able to find Tom Hicks, I've been waiting
all this while for a boy as has promised to get me a pair; though, I
suppose he's fell down in the dark and broke his skull, by his not
coming. And, indeed, if that elderly lady had not been so particular, I
might as well have done without; for, if I had one on, nobody would have
been the wiser but that t'other might have been in my pocket.'

This speech, spoken without any ceremony in the hearing of Miss
Margland, to the visible and undisguised delight of Lionel, so much
enraged her, that, hastily calling him aside, she peremptorily demanded
how he came to bring such a vulgar partner to his sister?

'Because you took no care to get her a better,' he answered, heedlessly.

Camilla also began to remonstrate; but, without hearing her, he
courteously addressed himself to Mr. Dubster, and told him he was sure
Miss Margland and his sister would expect the pleasure of his company to
join their party at tea.

Miss Margland frowned in vain; Mr. Dubster bowed, as at a compliment but
his due; observing he should then be close at hand for his partner; and
they were proceeding to the tea-room, when the finer new acquaintance of
Camilla called after Mr. Dubster: 'Pray, my good sir, who may this
Signor Thomaso be, that has the honour to stand so high in your good
graces?'

'Mine, sir?' cried Mr. Dubster; 'I know no Signor Thomaso, nor Signor
nothing else neither: so I don't know what you mean.'

'Did not I hear you dilating, my very good sir, upon a certain Mr. Tom
somebody?'

'What, I suppose then, sir, if the truth be known, you would say Tom
Hicks?'

'Very probably, sir: though I am not of the first accuracy as the
gentleman's nomenclator.'

'What? don't you know him, sir? why he's the head waiter!'

Then, following the rest of the party, he was placed, by the assistance
of Lionel, next to Camilla, in utter defiance of all the angry glances
of Miss Margland, who herself invited the handsome partner of Eugenia to
join their group, and reaped some consolation in his willing civilities;
till the attention of the whole assembly was called, or rather commanded
by a new object.

A lady, not young, but still handsome, with an air of fashion easy
almost to insolence, with a complete but becoming undress, with a
work-bag hanging on her arm, whence she was carelessly knotting, entered
the ball-room alone, and, walking straight through it to the large
folding glass doors of the tea-room, there stopt, and took a general
survey of the company, with a look that announced a decided superiority
to all she saw, and a perfect indifference to what opinion she incurred
in return.

She was immediately joined by all the officers, and several other
gentlemen, whose eagerness to shew themselves of her acquaintance marked
her for a woman of some consequence; though she took little other notice
of them, than that of giving to each some frivolous commission; telling
one to hold her work-bag; bidding another fetch her a chair; a third,
ask for a glass of water; and a fourth, take care of her cloak. She then
planted herself just without the folding-doors, declaring there could be
no breathing in the smaller apartment, and sent about the gentlemen for
various refreshments; all which she rejected when they arrived, with
extreme contempt, and a thousand fantastic grimaces.

The tea-table at which Miss Margland presided being nearest to these
folding-doors, she and her party heard, from time to time, most of what
was said, especially by the newly arrived lady; who, though she now and
then spoke for several minutes in a laughing whisper, to some one she
called to her side, uttered most of her remarks, and all her commands
quite aloud, with that sort of deliberate ease which belongs to the most
determined negligence of who heard, or who escaped hearing her, who were
pleased, or who were offended.

Camilla and Eugenia were soon wholly engrossed by this new personage;
and Lionel, seeing her surrounded by the most fashionable men of the
assembly, forgot Mr. Dubster and his gloves, in an eagerness to be
introduced to her.

Colonel Andover, to whom he applied, willingly gratified him: 'Give me
leave, Mrs. Arlbery,' cried he, to the lady, who was then conversing
with General Kinsale, 'to present to you Mr. Tyrold.'

'For Heaven's sake don't speak to me just now,' cried she; 'the General
is telling me the most interesting thing in the world. Go on, dear
General!'

Lionel, who, if guided by his own natural judgment, would have conceived
this to be the height of ill-breeding or of ignorance, no sooner saw
Colonel Andover bow in smiling submission to her orders, than he
concluded himself all in the dark with respect to the last licences of
fashion: and, while contentedly he waited her leisure for his reception,
he ran over in his own mind the triumph with which he should carry to
Oxford the newest flourish of the _bon ton_.

In a few minutes, after gaily laughing with the General, she turned
suddenly to Colonel Andover, and, striking him on the arm with her fan,
exclaimed: 'Well, now, Colonel, what is it you would say?'

'Mr. Tyrold,' he answered, 'is very ambitious of the honour of being
introduced to you.'

'With all my heart. Which is he?' And then, nodding to Lionel's bow,
'You live, I think,' she added, 'in this neighbourhood? By the way,
Colonel, how came you never to bring Mr. Tyrold to me before? Mr.
Tyrold, I flatter myself you intend to take this very ill.'

Lionel was beginning to express his sense of the loss he had suffered by
the delay, when, again, patting the Colonel, 'Only look, I beg you,' she
cried, 'at that insupportable Sir Sedley Clarendel! how he sits at his
ease there! amusing his ridiculous fancy with every creature he sees.
Yet what an elegant posture the animal has found out! I make no doubt he
would as soon forfeit his estate as give up that attitude. I must make
him come to me immediately for that very reason;--do go to him, good
Andover, and say I want him directly.'

The Colonel obeyed; but not so the gentleman he addressed, who was the
new acquaintance of Camilla. He only bowed to the message, and, kissing
his hand across the room to the lady, desired the Colonel to tell her he
was ineffably tired; but would incontestably have the honour to throw
himself at her feet the next morning.

'O, intolerable!' cried she, 'he grows more conceited every hour. Yet
what an agreeable wretch it is! There's nothing like him. I cannot
possibly do without him. Andover, tell him if he does not come this
moment he kills me.'

'And is that a message,' said General Kinsale, 'to cure him of being
conceited?'

'O, Heaven forbid, my good General, I should cure him! That would
utterly spoil him. His conceit is precisely what enchants me. Rob him of
that, and you lose all hold of him.'

'Is it then necessary to keep him a fop, in order to retain him in your
chains?'

'O, he is not in my chains, I promise you. A fop, my dear General, wears
no chains but his own. However, I like to have him, because he is so
hard to be got; and I am fond of conversing with him, because he is so
ridiculous. Fetch him, therefore, Colonel, without delay.'

This second embassy prevailed; he shrugged his shoulders, but arose to
follow the Colonel.

'See, madam, your victory!' said the General. 'What would not a military
man give for such talents of command?'

'Ay, but look with what magnificent tardiness he obeys orders! There is
something quite irresistible in his impertinence; 'tis so conscious and
so piquant. I think, General, 'tis a little like my own.'

Sir Sedley now advancing, seized the back of a chair, which he twirled
round for a resting place to his elbow, and exclaimed, 'You know
yourself invincible!' with an air that shewed him languidly prepared for
her reproaches: but, to his own surprise, and that of all around him,
she only, with a smile and a nod, cried, 'How do do?' and immediately
turning wholly away from him, addressed herself to Colonel Andover,
desiring him to give her the history of who was in the tea-room.

At this time a young Ensign, who had been engaged at a late dinner in
the neighbourhood, stroamed into the ballroom, with the most visible
marks of his unfitness for appearing in it; and, in total ignorance of
his own condition, went up to Colonel Andover, and, clapping him upon
the back, called out, with a loud oath, 'Colonel, I hope you have taken
care to secure to me the prettiest little young angel in the room? You
know with what sincerity I despise an old hag.'

The Colonel, with some concern, advised him to retire; but, insensible
to his counsel, he uttered oath upon oath, and added, 'I'm not to be
played upon, Colonel. Beauty in a pretty girl is as necessary an
ingredient, as honour in a brave soldier; and I could find in my heart
to sink down to the bottom of the Channel every fellow without one, and
every dear creature without the other.'

Then, in defiance of all remonstrance, he staggered into the tea-room;
and, after a short survey, stopt opposite to Indiana, and, swearing
aloud she was the handsomest angel he had ever beheld, begged her hand
without further ceremony; assuring her he had broken up the best party
that had yet been made for him in the county, merely for the joy of
dancing with her.

Indiana, to whom not the smallest doubt of the truth of this assertion
occurred; and who, not suspecting he was intoxicated, thought his manner
the most spirited and gallant she had ever seen, was readily accepting
his offer; when Edgar, who saw her danger, started up, and exclaimed:
'This lady, sir, is engaged to dance the next two dances with me.'

'The lady did not tell me so, sir!' cried the Ensign, firing.

'Miss Lynmere,' replied Edgar, coolly, 'will pardon me, that on this
occasion, my memory has an interest to be better than her's. I believe
it is time for us to take our places.'

He then whispered a brief excuse to Camilla, and hurried Indiana to the
ballroom.

The Ensign, who knew not that she had danced with him the last time, was
obliged to submit; while Indiana, not conjecturing the motive that now
impelled Edgar, was in a yet brighter blaze of beauty, from an
exhilarating notion that there was a contest for the honour of her
hand.

Camilla, once more disappointed of Edgar, had now no resource against
Mr. Dubster, but the non-arrival of the gloves; for he had talked so
publicly of waiting for them to dance with her, that every one regarded
her as engaged.

No new proposition being made for Eugenia, Miss Margland permitted her
again to be led out by the handsome stranger.

When she was gone, Mr. Dubster, who kept constantly close to Camilla,
said: 'They tell me, ma'am, that ugly little body's a great fortune.'

Camilla very innocently asked who he meant.

'Why that little lame thing, that was here drinking tea with you. Tom
Hicks says she'll have a power of money.'

Camilla, whose sister was deservedly dear to her, looked much
displeased; but Mr. Dubster, not perceiving it, continued: 'He
recommended it to me to dance with her myself, from the first, upon that
account. But I says to him, says I, I had no notion that a person, who
had such a hobble in their gait, would think of such a thing as going to
dancing. But there I was out, for as to the women, asking your pardon,
ma'am, there's nothing will put 'em off from their pleasure. But,
however, for my part, I had no thought of dancing at all, if it had not
been for that young gentleman's asking me; for I'm not over fond of such
jiggets, as they've no great use in 'em; only I happened to be this way,
upon a little matter of business, so I thought I might as well come and
see the hop, as Tom Hicks could contrive to get me a ticket.'

This was the sort of discourse with which Camilla was regaled till the
two dances were over; and then, begging her to sit still till he came
back, he quitted her, to see what he could do about his gloves.

Edgar, when he returned with Indiana, addressed himself privately to
Miss Margland, whom he advised to take the young ladies immediately
home; as it would not be possible for him, a second time, to break
through the rules of the assembly, and Indiana must, therefore,
inevitably accept the young Ensign, who already was following and
claiming her, and whose condition was obviously improper for the society
of ladies.

Miss Margland, extremely pleased with him, for thus protecting her
pupil, instantly agreed; and, collecting her three young charges,
hastened them down stairs; though the young Ensign, inflamed with angry
disappointment, uttered the most bitter lamentations at their sudden
departure; and though Mr. Dubster, pursuing them to the coach door,
called out to Camilla, in a tone of pique and vexation, 'Why, what are
you going for now, ma'am, when I have just got a new pair of gloves,
that I have bought o' purpose?'



CHAPTER III

_A Family Breakfast_


In their way home, Edgar apologised to Camilla for again foregoing the
promised pleasure of dancing with her, by explaining the situation of
the Ensign.

Camilla, internally persuaded that any reason would suffice for such an
arrangement, where Indiana was its object, scarce listened to an excuse
which she considered as unnecessary.

Indiana was eager to view in the glass how her dress and ornaments had
borne the shaking of the dance, and curiously impatient to look anew at
a face and a figure of which no self-vanity, nor even the adulation of
Miss Margland, had taught her a consciousness, such as she had acquired
from the adventures of this night. She hastened, therefore, to her
apartment as soon as she arrived at Cleves, and there indulged in an
examination which forbade all surprise, and commanded equal justice for
the admirers and the admired.

Miss Margland, anxious to make her own report to Sir Hugh, accompanied
Camilla and Eugenia to his room, where he was still sitting up for them.

She expatiated upon the behaviour of young Mandlebert, in terms that
filled the baronet with satisfaction. She exulted in the success of her
own measures; and, sinking the circumstance of the intended impartiality
of Edgar, enlarged upon his dancing, out of his turn, with Indiana, as
at an event which manifested his serious designs beyond all possibility
of mistake.

Sir Hugh, in the fulness of his content, promised that when the wedding
day arrived, they should all have as fine new gowns as the bride
herself.

The next morning, not considering that every one else would require
unusual repose, he got up before his customary hour, from an involuntary
hope of accelerating his favourite project; but he had long the
breakfast parlour to himself, and became so fatigued and discomfited by
fasting and waiting, that when Indiana, who appeared last, but for whom
he insisted upon staying, entered the room, he said: 'My dear, I could
really find a pleasure in giving you a little scold, if it were not for
setting a bad example, which God forbid! And, indeed, it's not so much
your fault as the ball's, to which I can never be a sincere friend,
unless it be just to answer some particular purpose.'

Miss Margland defended her pupil, and called upon Mandlebert for
assistance, which he readily gave. Sir Hugh then was not merely appeased
but gratified, and declared, the next moment, with a marked smile at
Indiana, that his breakfast [he] had not relished so well for a
twelvemonth, owing to the advantage of not beginning till he had got an
appetite.

Soon after, Lionel, galloping across the park, hastily dismounted, and
scampered into the parlour.

The zealot for every species of sport, the candidate for every order of
whim, was the light-hearted mirthful Lionel. A stranger to reflection,
and incapable of care, laughter seemed not merely the bent of his
humour, but the necessity of his existence: he pursued it at all
seasons, he indulged it upon all occasions. With excellent natural
parts, he trifled away all improvement; without any ill temper, he
spared no one's feelings. Yet, though not radically vicious, nor
deliberately malevolent, the egotism which urged him to make his own
amusement his first pursuit, sacrificed his best friends and first
duties, if they stood in its way.

'Come, my little girls, come!' cried he, as he entered the room; 'get
your hats and cloaks as fast as possible; there is a public breakfast at
Northwick, and you are all expected without delay.'

This sudden invitation occasioned a general commotion. Indiana gave an
involuntary jump; Camilla and Eugenia looked delighted; and Miss
Margland seemed ready to second the proposition; but Sir Hugh, with some
surprise, exclaimed: 'A public breakfast, my dear boy! why where's the
need of that, when we have got so good a private one?'

'O, let us go! let us go, uncle!' cried Indiana. 'Miss Margland, do pray
speak to my uncle to let us go!'

'Indeed, sir,' said Miss Margland, 'it is time now, in all conscience,
for the young ladies to see a little more of the world, and that it
should be known who they are. I am sure they have been immured long
enough, and I only wish you had been at the ball last night, sir,
yourself!'

'Me, Mrs. Margland! Lord help me! what should I do at such a thing as
that, with all this gout in my hip?'

'You would have seen, sir, the fine effects of keeping the young ladies
out of society in this manner. Miss Camilla, if I had not prevented it,
would have danced with I don't know who; and as to Miss Eugenia, she was
as near as possible to not dancing at all, owing to nobody's knowing who
she was.'

Sir Hugh had no time to reply to this attack, from the urgency of
Indiana, and the impetuosity of Lionel, who, applying to Camilla, said:
'Come, child, ask my uncle yourself, and then we shall go at once.'

Camilla readily made it her own request.

'My dear,' answered Sir Hugh, 'I can't be so unnatural to deny you a
little pleasure, knowing you to be such a merry little whirligig; not
but what you'd enjoy yourself just as much at home, if they'd let you
alone. However, as Indiana's head is so much turned upon it, for which I
beg you won't think the worse of her, Mr. Mandlebert, it being no more
than the common fault of a young person no older than her; why, you must
all go, I think, provided you are not satisfied already, which, by the
breakfast you have made, I should think likely enough to be the case.'

They then eagerly arose, and the females hastened to make some change in
their dress. Sir Hugh, calling Eugenia back, said: 'As to you, my little
classic, I make but small doubt you will be half ready to break your
heart at missing your lesson, knowing hic, hæc, hoc, to be dearer to
you, and for good reasons enough, too, in the end, than all the hopping
and skipping in the world; so if you had rather stay away, don't mind
all those dunces; for so I must needs call them, in comparison to you
and Dr. Orkborne, though without the least meaning to undervalue them.'

Eugenia frankly acknowledged she had been much amused the preceding
evening, and wished to be again of the party.

'Why then, if that's the case,' said the baronet, the best way will be
for Dr. Orkborne to be your squire; by which means you may have a little
study as you go along, to the end that the less time may be thrown away
in doing nothing.'

Eugenia, who perceived no objection to this idea, assented, and went
quietly up stairs, to prepare for setting out. Sir Hugh, by no means
connecting the laughter of Lionel, nor the smile of Edgar, with his
proposal, gravely repeated it to Dr. Orkborne, adding: 'And if you want
a nice pair of gloves, Doctor, not that I make the offer in any
detriment to your own, but I had six new pair come home just before my
gout, which, I can assure you, have never seen the light since, and are
as much at your service as if I had bespoke them on purpose.'

The mirth of Lionel grew now so outrageous, that Dr. Orkborne, much
offended, walked out of the room without making any answer.

'There is something,' cried Sir Hugh, after a pause, 'in these men of
learning, prodigious nice to deal with; however, not understanding them,
in point of their maxims, it's likely enough I may have done something
wrong; for he could not have seemed much more affronted, if I had told
him I had six new pair of gloves lying by me, which he should be never
the better for.'

When they were all ready, Sir Hugh calling to Edgar, said: 'Now as I
don't much chuse to have my girls go to these sort of places often,
which is a prudence that I dare say you approve as much as myself, I
would wish to have the most made of them at once; and, therefore, as
I've no doubt but they'll strike up a dance, after having eat what they
think proper, why I would advise you, Mr. Mandlebert, to let Indiana
trip it away till she's heartily tired, for else she'll never give it
up, with a good grace, of her own accord.'

'Certainly, sir,' answered Edgar, 'I shall not hurry the ladies.'

'O, as to any of the rest,' interrupted Sir Hugh, 'they'll be as soon
satisfied as yourself, except,' lowering his voice, 'Mrs. Margland, who,
between friends, seems to me as glad of one of those freaks, as when she
was but sixteen; which how long it is since she was no more I can't
pretend to say, being a point she never mentions.'

Then addressing them in general: 'I wish you a good breakfast,' he
cried, 'with all my heart, which I think you pretty well deserve,
considering you go so far for it, with one close at your elbow, but just
swallowed. And so, my dear Indiana, I hope you won't tire Mr. Mandlebert
more than can't be avoided.'

'How came you to engage Indiana again, Mandlebert?' cried Lionel, in
their way to the carriage.

'Because,' said Miss Margland, finding he hesitated, 'there is no other
partner so proper for Miss Lynmere.'

'And pray what's the matter with me? why am not I as proper as
Mandlebert?'

'Because you are her relation, to be sure!'

'Well,' cried he, vaulting his horse, 'if I meet but the charming widow,
I shall care for none of you.'



CHAPTER IV

_A Public Breakfast_


The unfitting, however customary, occasion of this speedy repetition of
public amusement in the town of Northwick, was, that the county assizes
were now held there; and the arrival of the Judges of the land, to hear
causes which kept life or death suspended, was the signal for
entertainment to the surrounding neighbourhood: a hardening of human
feelings against human crimes and human miseries, at which reflection
revolts, however habit may persevere.

The young men, who rode on first, joined the ladies as they entered the
town, and told them to drive straight to the ballroom, where the company
had assembled, in consequence of a shower of rain which had forced them
from the public garden intended for the breakfast.

Here, as they stopt, a poor woman, nearly in rags, with one child by her
side, and another in her arms, approached the carriage, and presenting a
petition, besought the ladies to read or hear her case. Eugenia, with
the ready impulse of generous affluence, instantly felt for her purse;
but Miss Margland, angrily holding her hand, said, with authority: 'Miss
Eugenia, never encourage beggars; you don't know the mischief you may do
by it.' Eugenia reluctantly desisted, but made a sign to her footman to
give something for her. Edgar then alighting, advanced to hand them from
the coach, while Lionel ran forward to settle their tickets of
admittance.

The woman now grew more urgent in her supplications, and Miss Margland
in her remonstrances against attending to them.

Indiana, who was placed under the care of Edgar, enchanted to again
display herself where sure of again being admired, neither heard nor saw
the petitioner; but dimpling and smiling, quickened her motions towards
the assembly room: while Camilla, who was last, stopping short, said:
'What is the matter, poor woman?' and took her paper to examine.

Miss Margland, snatching it from her, threw it on the ground,
peremptorily saying: 'Miss Camilla, if once you begin such a thing as
that, there will be no end to it; so come along with the rest of your
company, like other people.'

She then haughtily proceeded; but Camilla, brought up by her admirable
parents never to pass distress without inquiry, nor to refuse giving at
all, because she could give but little, remained with the poor object,
and repeated her question. The woman, shedding a torrent of tears, said
she was wife to one of the prisoners who was to be tried the next day,
and who expected to lose his life, or be transported, for only one bad
action of stealing a leg of mutton; which, though she knew it to be a
sin, was not without excuse, being a first offence, and committed in
poverty and sickness. And this, she was told, the Judges would take into
consideration; but her husband was now so ill, that he could not feed on
the gaol allowance, and not having wherewithal to buy any other, would
either die before his trial, or be too weak to make known his sad story
in his own behalf, for want of some wine or some broth to support him in
the meanwhile.

Camilla, hastily giving her a shilling, took one of her petitions, and
promising to do all in her power to serve her, left the poor creature
almost choaked with sobbing joy. She was flying to join her party, when
she perceived Edgar at her side. 'I came to see,' cried he, with
glistening eyes, 'if you were running away from us; but you were doing
far better in not thinking of us at all.'

Camilla, accustomed from her earliest childhood to attend to the
indigent and unhappy, felt neither retreating shame, nor parading pride
in the office; she gave him the petition of the poor woman, and begged
he would consider if there was any thing that could be done for her
husband.

'I have received a paper from herself,' he answered, 'before you
alighted; and I hope I should not have neglected it: but I will now take
yours, that my memory may run no risk.'

They then went on to the assembly room.

The company, which was numerous, was already seated at breakfast.
Indiana and Camilla, now first surveyed by daylight, again attracted all
eyes; but, in the simplicity of undress, the superiority of Indiana was
no longer wholly unrivalled, though the general voice was still strongly
in her favour.

Indiana was a beauty of so regular a cast, that her face had no feature,
no look to which criticism could point as susceptible of improvement, or
on which admiration could dwell with more delight than on the rest. No
statuary could have modelled her form with more exquisite symmetry; no
painter have harmonised her complexion with greater brilliancy of
colouring. But here ended the liberality of nature, which, in not
sullying this fair workmanship by inclosing in it what was bad,
contentedly left it vacant of whatever was noble and desirable.

The beauty of Camilla, though neither perfect nor regular, had an
influence so peculiar on the beholder, it was hard to catch its fault;
and the cynic connoisseur, who might persevere in seeking it, would
involuntarily surrender the strict rules of his art to the predominance
of its loveliness. Even judgment itself, the coolest and last betrayed
of our faculties, she took by surprise, though it was not till she was
absent the seizure was detected. Her disposition was ardent in
sincerity, her mind untainted with evil. The reigning and radical defect
of her character--an imagination that submitted to no control--proved
not any antidote against her attractions; it caught, by its force and
fire, the quick-kindling admiration of the lively; it possessed, by
magnetic pervasion, the witchery to create sympathy in the most serious.

In their march up the room, Camilla was spoken to by a person from the
tea-table, who was distinct from every other, by being particularly ill
dressed; and who, though she did not know him, asked her how she did,
with a familiar look of intimacy. She slightly curtsied, and endeavoured
to draw her party more nimbly on; when another person, equally
conspicuous, though from being accoutred in the opposite extreme of full
dress, quitting his seat, formally made up to her, and drawing on a
stiff pair of new gloves as he spoke, said: 'So you are come at last,
ma'am! I began to think you would not come at all, begging that
gentleman's pardon, who told me to the contrary last night, when I
thought, thinks I, here I've bought these new gloves, for no reason but
to oblige the young lady, and now I might as well not have bought 'em at
all.'

Camilla, ready to laugh, yet much provoked at this renewed claim from
her old persecutor, Mr. Dubster, looked vainly for redress at the
mischievous Lionel, who archly answered: 'O, ay, true, sister; I told
the gentleman, last night, you would be sure to make him amends this
morning for putting him to so much expence.'

'I'm sure, Sir,' said Mr. Dubster, 'I did not speak for that, expence
being no great matter to me at this time; only nobody likes to fool away
their money for nothing.'

Edgar having now, at the end of one of the tables, secured places for
the ladies, Lionel again, in defiance of the frowns of Miss Margland,
invited Mr. Dubster to join them: even the appealing looks of Camilla
served but to increase her brother's ludicrous diversion, in coupling
her with so ridiculous a companion; who, without seeming at all aware of
the liberty he was taking, engrossed her wholly.

'So I see, ma'am,' he cried, pointing to Eugenia, 'you've brought that
limping little body with you again? Tom Hicks had like to have took me
in finely about her! He thought she was the great fortune of these here
parts; and if it had not been for the young gentleman, I might have
known no better neither, for there's half the room in the same scrape at
this minute.'

Observing Camilla regard him with an unpleasant surprise, he more
solemnly added: 'I ask pardon, ma'am, for mentioning the thing, which I
only do in excuse for what I said last night, not knowing then you was
the fortune yourself.'

An eager sign of silence from Lionel, forbade her explaining this
mistake; Mr. Dubster, therefore, proceeded:

'When Tom Hicks told me about it, I said at the time, says I, she looks
more like to some sort of a humble young person, just brought out of a
little good-nature to see the company, and the like of that; for she's
not a bit like a lady of fortunes, with that nudging look; and I said to
Tom Hicks, by way of joke, says I, if I was to think of her, which I
don't think I shall, at least she would not be much in my way, for she
could not follow a body much about, because of that hitch in her gait,
for I'm a pretty good walker.'

Here the ill dressed man, who had already spoken to Camilla, quitting
his seat, strolled up to her, and fastening his eyes upon her face,
though without bowing, made some speech about the weather, with the
lounging freedom of manner of a confirmed old acquaintance. His whole
appearance had an air of even wilful slovenliness: His hair was
uncombed; he was in boots, which were covered with mud; his coat seemed
to have been designedly [immersed] in powder, and his universal
negligence was not only shabby but uncleanly. Astonished and offended by
his forwardness, Camilla turned entirely away from him.

Not disconcerted by this distance, he procured a chair, upon which he
cast himself, perfectly at his ease, immediately behind her.

Just as the general breakfast was over, and the waiters were summoned to
clear away the tables, and prepare the room for dancing, the lady who
had so strikingly made her appearance the preceding evening, again
entered. She was alone, as before, and walked up the room with the same
decided air of indifference to all opinion; sometimes knotting with as
much diligence and earnestness as if her subsistence depended upon the
rapidity of her work; and at other times stopping short, she applied to
her eye a near-sighted glass, which hung to her finger, and intently
examined some particular person or group; then, with a look of absence,
as if she had not seen a creature, she hummed an opera song to herself,
and proceeded. Her rouge was remarkably well put on, and her claim to
being still a fine woman, though past her prime, was as obvious as it
was conscious: Her dress was more fantastic and studied than the night
before, in the same proportion as that of every other person present was
more simple and quiet; and the commanding air of her countenance, and
the easiness of her carriage, spoke a confirmed internal assurance, that
her charms and her power were absolute, wherever she thought their
exertion worth her trouble.

When she came to the head of the room, she turned about, and, with her
glass, surveyed the whole company; then smilingly advancing to the
sloven, whom Camilla was shunning, she called out: 'O! are you there?
what rural deity could break your rest so early?'

'None!' answered he, rubbing his eyes; 'I am invulnerably asleep at this
very moment! In the very centre of the morphetic dominions. But how
barbarously late you are! I should never have come to this vastly
horrid place before my ride, if I had imagined you could be so
excruciating.'

Struck with a jargon of which she could not suspect two persons to be
capable, Camilla turned round to her slighted neighbour, and with the
greatest surprise recognised, upon examination, the most brilliant beau
of the preceding evening, in the worst dressed man of the present
morning.

The lady now, again holding her glass to her eye, which she directed
without scruple towards Camilla and her party, said: 'Who have you got
there?'

Camilla looked hastily away, and her whole set, abashed by so unseasoned
an inquiry, cast down their eyes.

'Hey!' cried he, calmly viewing them, as if for the first time himself:
'Why, I'll tell you!' Then making her bend to hear his whisper, which,
nevertheless, was by no means intended for her own ear alone, he added:
'Two little things as pretty as angels, and two others as ugly as--I say
no more!'

'O, I take in the full force of your metaphor!' cried she, laughing;
'and acknowledge the truth of its contrast.'

Camilla alone, as they meant, had heard them; and ashamed for herself,
and provoked to find Eugenia coupled with Miss Margland, she endeavoured
to converse with some of her own society; but their attention was
entirely engaged by the whispers; nor could she, for more than a minute,
deny her own curiosity the pleasure of observing them.

They now spoke together for some time in low voices, laughing
immoderately at the occasional sallies of each other; Sir Sedley
Clarendel sitting at his ease, Mrs. Arlbery standing, and knotting by
his side.

The officers, and almost all the beaux, began to crowd to this spot; but
neither the gentleman nor the lady interrupted their discourse to return
or receive any salutations. Lionel, who with much eagerness had quitted
an inside seat at a long table, to pay his court to Mrs. Arlbery, could
catch neither her eye nor her ear for his bow or his compliment.

Sir Sedley, at last, looking up in her face and smiling, said: 'A'n't
you shockingly tired?'

'To death!' answered she, coolly.

'Why then, I am afraid, I must positively do the thing that's old
fashioned.'

And rising, and making her a very elegant bow, he presented her his
seat, adding: 'There, ma'am! I have the honour to give you my chair--at
the risk of my reputation.'

'I should have thought,' cried Lionel, now getting forward, 'that
omitting to give it would rather have risked your reputation.'

'It is possible you could be born before all that was over?' said Mrs.
Arlbery, dropping carelessly upon the chair as she perceived Lionel,
whom she honoured with a nod: 'How do do, Mr. Tyrold? are you just come
in?' But turning again to Sir Sedley, without waiting for his answer, 'I
swear, you barbarian,' she cried, 'you have really almost killed me with
fatigue.'

'Have I indeed?' said he, smiling.

Mr. Dubster now, leaning over the table, solemnly said: 'I am sure I
should have offered the lady my own place, if I had not been so tired
myself; but Tom Hicks over-persuaded me to dance a bit before you came
in, ma'am,' addressing Camilla, 'for you have lost a deal of dancing by
coming so late; for they all fell to as soon as ever they come; and, as
I'm not over and above used to it, it soon makes one a little stiffish,
as one may say; and indeed, the lady's much better off in getting a
chair, for one sits mighty little at one's ease on these here benches,
with nothing to lean one's back against.'

'And who's that?' cried Mrs. Arlbery to Sir Sedley, looking Mr. Dubster
full in the face.

Sir Sedley made some answer in a whisper, which proved highly
entertaining to them both. Mr. Dubster, with an air much offended, said
to Camilla: 'People's laughing and whispering, which one don't know what
it's about, is not one of the politest things, I know, for polite people
to do; and, in my mind, they ought to be above it.'

This resentment excited Lionel to join in the laugh; and Mr. Dubster,
with great gravity of manner, rose, and said to Camilla: 'When you are
ready to dance, ma'am, I am willing to be your partner, and I shan't
engage myself to nobody else; but I shall go to t'other end of the room
till you choose to stand up; for I don't much care to stay here, only to
be laughed at, when I don't know what it's for.'

They now all left the table; and Lionel eagerly begged permission to
introduce his sisters and cousin to Mrs. Arlbery, who readily consented
to the proposal.

Indiana advanced with pleasure into a circle of beaux, whose eyes were
most assiduous to welcome her. Camilla, though a little alarmed in being
presented to a lady of so singular a deportment, had yet a curiosity to
see more of her, that willingly seconded her brother's motion. And
Eugenia, to whose early reflecting mind every new character and new
scene opened a fresh fund for thought, if not for knowledge, was charmed
to take a nearer view of what promised such food for observation. But
Miss Margland began an angry remonstrance against the proceedings of
Lionel, in thus taking out of her hands the direction of her charges.
What she urged, however, was vain: Lionel was only diverted by her
wrath, and the three young ladies, as they had not requested the
introduction, did not feel themselves responsible for its taking effect.

Lionel led them on: Mrs. Arlbery half rose to return their curtsies; and
gave them a reception so full of vivacity and good humour, that they
soon forgot the ill will with which Miss Margland had suffered them to
quit her; and even lost all recollection that it belonged to them to
return to her. The satisfaction of Indiana, indeed, flowed simply from
the glances of admiration which every where met her eye; but Eugenia
attended to every word, and every motion of Mrs. Arlbery, with that sort
of earnestness which marks an intelligent child at a first play; and
Camilla, still more struck by the novelty of this new acquaintance,
scarce permitted herself to breathe, lest she should lose anything she
said.

Mrs. Arlbery perceived their youthful wonder, and felt a propensity to
increase it, which strengthened all her powers, and called forth all her
faculties. Wit she possessed at will; and, with exertions which rendered
it uncommonly brilliant, she displayed it, now to them, now to the
gentlemen, with a gaiety so fantastic, a raillery so arch, a spirit of
satire so seasoned with a delight in coquetry, and a certain negligence
of air so enlivened by a whimsical pleasantry, that she could not have
failed to strike with admiration even the most hackneyed seekers of
character; much less the inexperienced young creatures now presented to
her; who, with open eyes and ears, regarded her as a phenomenon, upon
finding that the splendor of her talents equalled the singularity of her
manners.

When the room was prepared for dancing, Major Cerwood brought to Indiana
Mr. Macdersey, the young Ensign who had so improperly addressed her at
the ball; and, after a formal apology, in his name, for what had passed,
begged the honour of her hand for him this morning. Indiana, flattered
and fluttered together by this ceremony, almost forgot Edgar, who stood
quietly but watchfully aloof, and was actually giving her consent when,
meeting his eye, she recollected she was already engaged. Mr. Macdersey
hoped for more success another time, and Edgar advanced to lead his fair
partner to her place.

Major Cerwood offered himself to Camilla; but Mr. Dubster coming
forward, pulled him by the elbow, and making a stiff low bow, said:
'Sir, I ask your pardon for taking the liberty of giving you such a jog,
but the young lady's been engaged to me ever so long.' The Major looked
surprised; but, observing that Camilla coloured, he bowed respectfully
and retreated.

Camilla, ashamed of her beau, determined not to dance at all: though she
saw, with much vexation, upon the general dispersion, Miss Margland
approach to claim her. Educated in all the harmony of contentment and
benevolence, she had a horror of a temper so irascible, that made it a
penance to remain a moment in its vicinity. Mr. Dubster, however, left
her not alone to it: when she positively refused his hand, he said it
was equal agreeable to him to have only a little dish of chat with her;
and composedly stationed himself before her. Eugenia had already been
taken out by the handsome stranger, with whom she had danced the evening
before; and Lionel, bewitched with Mrs. Arlbery, enlisted himself
entirely in her train; and with Sir Sedley Clarendel, and almost every
man of any consequence in the room, declined all dancing for the
pleasure of attending her.

Mr. Dubster, unacquainted with the natural high spirits of Camilla,
inferred nothing to his own disadvantage from her silence, but talked
incessantly himself with perfect complacency. 'Do you know, ma'am,'
cried he, 'just as that elderly lady, that, I suppose, is your mamma,
took you all away in that hurry last night, up comes the boy with my new
pair of gloves! but, though I run down directly to tell you of it, there
was no making the old lady stop; which I was fool to try at; for as to
women, I know their obstinacy of old. But what I grudged the most was,
as soon as I come up again, as ill luck would have it, Tom Hicks finds
me my own t'other glove! So there I had two pair, when I might as well
have had never a one!'

Observing that Eugenia was dancing, 'Lack a-day!' he exclaimed, 'I'll
lay a wager that poor gentleman has been took in, just as I was
yesterday! He thinks that young lady that's had the small-pox so bad, is
you, ma'am! 'Twould be a fine joke if such a mistake as that should get
the little lame duck, as I call her, a husband! He'd be in a fine hobble
when he found he'd got nothing but her ugly face for his bargain.
Though, provided she'd had the rhino, it would not much have signified:
for, as to being pretty or not, it's not great matter in a wife. A man
soon tires of seeing nothing but the same face, if it's one of the
best.'

Camilla here, in the midst of her chagrin, could not forbear asking him
if he was married? 'Yes, ma'am,' answered he calmly, 'I've had two wives
to my share already; so I know what I'm speaking of; though I've buried
them both. Why it was all along of my wives, what with the money I had
with one, and what with the money I had with the other, that I got out
of business so soon.'

'You were very much obliged to them, then?'

'Why, yes, ma'am, as to that, I can't say to the contrary, now that
they're gone: but I can't say I had much comfort with 'em while they
lived. They was always a thinking they had a right to what they had a
mind, because of what they brought me; so that I had enough to do to
scrape a little matter together, in case of outliving them. One of 'em
has not been dead above a twelvemonth, or there about; these are the
first clothes I've bought since I left off my blacks.'

When Indiana past them, he expressed his admiration of her beauty. 'That
young lady, ma'am,' he said, 'cuts you all up, sure enough. She's as
fine a piece of red and white as ever I see. I could think of such a
young lady as that myself, if I did not remember that I thought no more
of my wife that was pretty, than of my wife that was ugly, after the
first month or so. Beauty goes for a mere nothing in matrimony, when
once one's used to it. Besides, I've no great thoughts at present of
entering into the state again of one while, at any rate, being but just
got to be a little comfortable.'

The second dance was now called, when Mrs. Arlbery, coming suddenly
behind Camilla, said, in a low voice, 'Do you know who you are talking
with?'

'No, ma'am!'

'A young tinker, my dear! that's all!' And, with a provoking nod, she
retreated.

Camilla, half ready to laugh, half to cry, restrained herself with
difficulty from running after her; and Mr. Dubster, observing that she
abruptly turned away, and would listen no more, again claimed her for
his partner; and, upon her absolute refusal, surprised and affronted,
walked off in silence. She was then finally condemned to the morose
society of Miss Margland: and invectives against Sir Hugh for
mismanagement, and Lionel, with whom now that lady was at open war, for
impertinence, filled up the rest of her time, till the company was
informed that refreshments were served in the card-room.

Thither, immediately, every body flocked, with as much speed and
avidity, as if they had learnt to appreciate the blessing of plenty, by
the experience of want. Such is the vacancy of dissipated pleasure,
that, never satisfied with what it possesses, an opening always remains
for something yet to be tried, and, on that something still to come, all
enjoyment seems to depend.

The day beginning now to clear, the sashes of a large bow-window were
thrown up. Sir Sedley Clarendel sauntered thither, and instantly
everybody followed, as if there were no breathing anywhere else;
declaring, while they pressed upon one another almost to suffocation,
that nothing was so reviving as the fresh air: and, in a minute, not a
creature was to be seen in any other part of the room.

Here, in full view, stood sundry hapless relations of the poorer part of
the prisoners to be tried the next morning, who, with supplicating hands
and eyes, implored the compassion of the company, whom their very
calamities assembled for amusement.

Nobody took any notice of them; nobody appeared even to see them: but,
one by one, all glided gently away, and the bow-window was presently the
only empty space in the apartment.

Camilla, contented with having already presented her mite, and Eugenia,
with having given her's in commission, retired unaffectedly with the
rest; while Miss Margland, shrugging up her shoulders, and declaring
there was no end of beggars, pompously added, 'However, we gave before
we came in.'

Presently, a paper was handed about, to collect half guineas for a
raffle. A beautiful locket, set round with pearls, ornamented at the top
with a little knot of small brilliants, and very elegantly shaped, with
a space left for a braid of hair, or a cypher, was produced; and, as if
by magnetic power, attracted into almost every hand the capricious
coin, which distress, but the moment before had repelled.

Miss Margland lamented she had only guineas or silver, but suffered
Edgar to be her paymaster; privately resolving, that, if she won the
locket, she would remember the debt: Eugenia, amused in seeing the
humour of all that was going forward, readily put in; Indiana, satisfied
her uncle would repay the expences of the day, with a heart panting from
hope of the prize, did the same; but Camilla hung back, totally unused
to hazard upon what was unnecessary the little allowance she had been
taught to spend sparingly upon herself, that something might be always
in her power to bestow upon others. The character of this raffle was not
of that interesting nature which calls forth from the affluent and easy
respect as well as aid: the prize belonged to no one whom adversity
compelled to change what once was an innocent luxury, into the means of
subsistence; it was the mere common mode of getting rid of a mere common
bauble, which no one had thought worth the full price affixed to it by
its toyman. She knew not, however, till now, how hard to resist was the
contagion of example, and felt a struggle in her self-denial, that made
her, when she put the locket down, withdraw from the crowd, and resolve
not to look at it again.

Edgar, who had observed her, read her secret conflict with an emotion
which impelled him to follow her, that he might express his admiration;
but he was stopt by Mrs. Arlbery, who just then hastily attacked her
with, 'What have you done with your friend the tinker, my dear?'

Camilla, laughing, though extremely ashamed, said, she knew nothing at
all about him.

'You talked with him, then, by way of experiment, to see how you might
like him?'

'No, indeed! I merely answered him when I could not help it; but still I
thought, at a ball, gentlemen only would present themselves.'

'And how many couple,' said Mrs. Arlbery, smiling, 'do you calculate
would, in that case, stand up?'

She then ordered one of the beaux who attended her, to bring her a
chair, and told another to fetch her the locket. Edgar was again
advancing to Camilla, when Lionel, whose desire to obtain the good
graces of Mrs. Arlbery, had suggested to him an anticipation of her
commands, pushed forward with the locket.

'Well, really, it is not ugly,' cried she, taking it in her hand: 'Have
you put in yet, Miss Tyrold?'

'No, ma'am.'

'O, I am vastly glad of that; for now we will try our fortune together.'

Camilla, though secretly blushing at what she felt was an extravagance,
could not withstand this invitation: she gave her half guinea.

Edgar, disappointed, retreated in silence.

The money being collected, and the names of the rafflers taken down,
information was given, that the prize was to be thrown for in three days
time, at one o'clock at noon, in the shop of a bookseller at Northwick.

Some of the company now departed; others prepared for a last dance. Miss
Margland desired Lionel to see for their carriage; but Lionel had no
greater joy than to disregard her. Indiana asked earnestly to stay
longer; Miss Margland said, she could only give way to her request, upon
condition her partner should be Mr. Mandlebert. It was in vain she urged
that she was already engaged to Colonel Andover; Miss Margland was
inexorable, and Edgar, laughing, said, he should certainly have the
whole corps upon his back; but the honour was sufficient to
counterbalance the risk, and he would, therefore, beg the Colonel's
patience.

'Mr. Mandlebert,' said Miss Margland, 'I know enough of quarrels at
balls about partners, and ladies changing their minds, to know how to
act pretty well in those cases: I shall desire, therefore, to speak to
the Colonel myself, and not trust two gentlemen together upon such a
nice matter.'

She then beckoned to the Colonel, who stood at a little distance, and,
taking him apart, told him, she flattered herself he would not be
offended, if Miss Lynmere should dance again with Mr. Mandlebert, though
rather out of rule, as there were particular reasons for it.

The Colonel, with a smile, said he perceived Mr. Mandlebert was the
happy man, and acquiesced.

A general murmur now ran buzzing round the room, that Mr. Mandlebert and
Miss Lynmere were publicly contracted to each other; and, amongst many
who heard with displeasure that the young beauty was betrothed before
she was exhibited to view, Mr. Macdersey appeared to suffer the most
serious mortification.

As soon as this dance was over, Edgar conducted his ladies to an
apartment below stairs, and went in search of the carriage.

He did not return for some time. Miss Margland, as usual, grumbled; but
Camilla, perceiving Mrs. Arlbery, rejoiced in the delay; and stationed
herself by her side, all alive in attending to the pleasantry with which
she was amusing herself and those around her.

When Edgar, who seemed out of breath from running, came back, he made
but short answers to the murmurs of Miss Margland; and, hastening to
Camilla, said: 'I have been with your petitioner:--she has all that can
comfort her for the present; and I have learnt the name of her husband's
counsel. You will be so good as to excuse me at dinner to Sir Hugh. I
shall remain here till I can judge what may be done.'

The attention of Camilla was now effectually withdrawn from Mrs.
Arlbery, and the purest delight of which human feelings are susceptible,
took sudden and sole possession of her youthful mind, in the idea of
being instrumental to the preservation of a fellow-creature.

Edgar saw, in the change, yet brightness of her countenance, what passed
within;--and his disappointment concerning the raffle was immediately
forgotten.

A short consultation followed, in which both spoke with so much energy,
as not only to overpower the remonstrances of Miss Margland for their
departure, but to catch the notice of Mrs. Arlbery, who, coming forward,
and leaning her hand on the shoulder of Camilla, said: 'Tell me what it
is that has thus animated you? Have you heard any good tidings of your
new friend?'

Camilla instantly and eagerly related the subject that occupied them,
without observing that the whole company around were smiling, at her
earnestness in a cause of such common distress.

'You are new, my dear,' said Mrs. Arlbery, patting her cheek, 'very new;
but I take the whim sometimes of being charitable myself, for a little
variety. It always looks pretty; and begging is no bad way of shewing
off one's powers. So give me your documents, and I'll give you my
eloquence.'

Camilla presented her the petition, and she invited Mandlebert to dine
with her. Miss Margland then led the way, and the female party returned
to Cleves.



CHAPTER V

_A Raffle_


It was late when Edgar returned to Cleves. Camilla flew to meet him. He
told her everything relative to her petitioner was in the most
prosperous train; he had seen the prisoner, heard the particulars of his
story, which all tended to his exculpation; and Mrs. Arlbery had
contrived to make acquaintance with his counsel, whom she found
perfectly well disposed to exert himself in the cause, and whom she had
invited to a splendid supper. The trial was to take place the next
morning.

Camilla, already powerfully struck with Mrs. Arlbery, was enchanted to
find her thus active in benevolence.

Edgar was to dine with that lady the next day, and to learn the event of
their joint exertions.

This proved all that could be wished. The prosecution had been mild: the
judge and jury had been touched with compassion; and the venial offender
had been released with a gentle reprimand.

Mandlebert returned to communicate these tidings to Camilla, with a
pleasure exactly in unison with her own. Mrs. Arlbery, he avowed, had
been as zealous as himself; and had manifested a charity of disposition
which the flightiness of her manners had not let him to expect.

       *       *       *       *       *

The next object of attention was the raffle, which was to take place the
following morning.

Sir Hugh was averse to letting his nieces go abroad again so soon: but
Miss Margland, extremely anxious about her own chance for the prize,
solemnly asserted its necessity; inveighed against the mismanagement of
everything at Cleves, stifled all her complaints of Lionel, and
pronounced a positive decision, that, to carry Indiana to public places,
was the sole method of promoting the match.

Sir Hugh then, willing to believe, and yet more willing to get rid of
disputing with her, no longer withheld his consent.

They were advanced within half a mile of Northwick, when a sick man,
painfully supported by a woman with a child in her arms, caught their
eyes. The ready hand of Eugenia was immediately in her pocket; Camilla,
looking more intently upon the group, perceived another child, and
presently recognised the wife of the prisoner. She called to the
coachman to stop, and Edgar, at the same moment, rode up to the
carriage.

Miss Margland angrily ordered the man to drive on, saying, she was quite
sick of being thus for ever infested with beggars; who really came so
often, they were no better than pick-pockets.

'O, don't refuse to let me speak to them!' cried Camilla; 'it will be
such a pleasure to see their joy!'

'O yes! they look in much joy indeed! they seem as if they had not eat a
morsel these three weeks! Drive on, I say, coachman! I like no such
melancholy sights, for my part. They always make me ill. I wonder how
any body can bear them.'

'But we may help them; we may assist them!' said Camilla, with
increasing earnestness.

'And pray, when they have got all our money, who is to help us?'

Eugenia, delighted to give, but unhabituated to any other exertion,
flung half a crown to them; and Indiana, begging to look out, said,
'Dear! I never saw a prisoner before!'

Encouraged by an expressive look from Camilla, Edgar dismounted to hand
her from the carriage, affecting not to hear the remonstrances of Miss
Margland, though she scrupled not to deliver them very audibly. Eugenia
languished to join them, but could not venture to disobey a direct
command; and Indiana, observing the road to be very dusty, submitted, to
save a pair of beautiful new shoes.

Camilla had all the gratification she promised herself, in witnessing
the happiness of the poor petitioner. He was crawling to Cleves, with
his family, to offer thanks. They were penniless, sick, and wretched;
yet the preservation of the poor man seemed to make misery light to them
all. Edgar desired to know what were their designs for the future. The
man answered that he should not dare go back to his own country, because
there his disgrace was known, and he should procure no work; nor,
indeed, was he now able to do any. 'So we must make up our minds to beg
from door to door, and in the streets, and on the high road,' he
continued; 'till I get back a little strength; and can earn a living
more creditably.'

'But as long as we have kept you alive, and saved you from being
transported,' said his wife, 'for which all thanks be due to this good
gentleman, we shall mind no hardships, and never go astray again, in
wicked unthinkingness of this great mercy.'

Edgar inquired what had been their former occupations; they answered,
they had both been day-workers in the field, till a fit of sickness had
hindered the poor man from getting his livelihood: penury and hunger
then pressing hard upon them all, he had been tempted to commit the
offence for which he was taken, and brought to death's door. 'But as
now,' he added, 'I have been saved, I shall make it a warning for the
time to come, and never give myself up to so bad a course again.'

Edgar asked the woman what money she had left.

'Ah, sir, none! for we had things to pay, and people to satisfy, and so
everything you and the good ladies gave us, is all gone; for, while
anything was left us, they would not be easy. But this is no great
mischief now, as my husband is not taken away from us, and is come to a
right sense.'

'I believe,' said Edgar, 'you are very good sort of people, however
distress had misguided you.'

He then put something into the man's hand, and Eugenia, who from the
carriage window heard what passed, flung him another half crown; Camilla
added a shilling, and turning suddenly away, walked a few paces from
them all.

Edgar, gently following, inquired if anything was the matter; her eyes
were full of tears: 'I was thinking,' she cried, 'what my dear father
would have said, had he seen me giving half a guinea for a toy, and a
shilling to such poor starving people as these!'

'Why, what would he have said?' cried Edgar, charmed with her penitence,
though joining in the apprehended censure.

'He would more than ever have pitied those who want money, in seeing it
so squandered by one who should better have remembered his lessons! O,
if I could but recover that half guinea!'

'Will you give me leave to get it back for you?'

'Leave? you would lay me under the greatest obligation! How far half a
guinea would go here, in poverty such as this!'

He assured her he could regain it without difficulty; and then, telling
the poor people to postpone their walk to Cleves till the evening, when
Camilla meant to prepare her uncle, also, to assist them, he handed her
to the coach, with feelings yet more pleased than her own, and galloped
forward to execute his commission.

He was ready at the door of the library to receive them. As they
alighted, Camilla eagerly cried: 'Well! have you succeeded?'

'Can you trust yourself to this spot, and to a review of the
allurement,' answered he, smiling, and holding half a guinea between his
fingers, 'yet be content to see your chance for the prize withdrawn?'

'O give it me! give it me!' cried she, almost seizing it from him, 'my
dear father will be so glad to hear I have not spent it so foolishly.'

The rafflers were not yet assembled; no one was in the shop but a well
dressed elegant young man, who was reading at a table, and who neither
raised his eyes at their entrance, nor suffered their discourse to
interrupt his attention; yet though abstracted from outward objects, his
studiousness was not of a solemn cast; he seemed wrapt in what he was
reading with a pleasure amounting to ecstasy. He started, acted, smiled,
and looked pensive in turn, while his features were thrown into a
thousand different expressions, and his person was almost writhed with
perpetually varying gestures. From time to time his rapture broke forth
into loud exclamations of 'Exquisite! exquisite!' while he beat the
leaves of the book violently with his hands, in token of applause, or
lifting them up to his lips, almost devoured with kisses the passages
that charmed him. Sometimes he read a few words aloud, calling out
'Heavenly!' and vehemently stamping his approbation with his feet; then
suddenly shutting up the book, folded his arms, and casting his eyes
towards the ceiling, uttered: 'O too much! too much! there is no
standing it!' yet again, the next minute, opened it and resumed the
lecture.

The youthful group was much diverted with this unintended exhibition. To
Eugenia alone it did not appear ridiculous; she simply envied his
transports, and only wished to discover by what book they were excited.
Edgar and Camilla amused themselves with conjecturing various authors;
Indiana and Miss Margland required no such aid to pass their time,
while, with at least equal delight, they contemplated the hoped-for
prize.

Lionel now bounced in: 'Why what,' cried he, 'are you all doing in this
musty old shop, when Mrs. Arlbery and all the world are enjoying the air
on the public walks?'

Camilla was instantly for joining that lady; but Eugenia felt an
unconquerable curiosity to learn the running title of the book. She
stole softly round to look over the shoulder of the reader, and her
respect for his raptures increased, when she saw they were raised by
Thomson's Seasons.

Neither this approach, nor the loud call of Lionel, had interrupted the
attention of the young student, who perceived and regarded nothing but
what he was about; and though occasionally he ceased reading to indulge
in passionate ejaculations, he seemed to hold everything else beneath
his consideration.

Lionel, drawn to observe him from the circuit made by Eugenia,
exclaimed: 'What, Melmond! why, how long have you been in Hampshire?'

The youth, surprised from his absence of mind by the sound of his own
name, looked up and said: 'Who's that?'

'Why, when the deuce did you come into this part of the world?' cried
Lionel, approaching him to shake hands.

'O! for pity's sake,' answered he, with energy, 'don't interrupt me!'

'Why not? have not you enough of that dry work at Oxford? Come, come,
have done with this boyish stuff, and behave like a man.'

'You distract me,' answered Melmond, motioning him away; 'I am in a
scene that entrances me to Elysium! I have never read it since I could
appreciate it.'

'What! old Thomson?' said Lionel, peeping over him; 'why, I never read
him at all. Come, man! (giving him a slap on the shoulder) come along
with me, and I'll shew you something more worth looking at.'

'You will drive me mad, if you break in upon this episode! 'tis a
picture of all that is divine upon earth! hear it, only hear it!'

He then began the truly elegant and feeling description that concludes
Thomson's Spring; and though Lionel, with a loud shout, cried: 'Do you
think I come hither for such fogrum stuff as that?' and ran out of the
shop; the 'wrapt enthusiast' continued reading aloud, too much delighted
with the pathos of his own voice in expressing the sentiments of the
poet, to deny himself a regale so soothing to his ears.

Eugenia, enchanted, stood on tiptoe to hear him, her uplifted finger
petitioning silence all around, and her heart fondly repeating, O just
such a youth be Clermont! just such his passion for reading! just such
his fervour for poetry! just such his exaltation of delight in literary
yet domestic felicity!

Mandlebert, also, caught by the rehearsal of his favourite picture of a
scheme of human happiness, which no time, no repetition can make vapid
to a feeling heart, stood pleased and attentive to hear him; even
Indiana, though she listened not to the matter, was struck by the manner
in which it was delivered, which so resembled dramatic recitation, that
she thought herself at a play, and full of wonder, advanced straight
before him, to look full in his face, and watch the motions of his right
arm, with which he acted incessantly, while the left held his book. Miss
Margland concluded he was a strolling player, and did not suffer him to
draw her eyes from the locket. But when, at the words

                                ----content,
    Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
    Ease and alternate labour, useful life,
    Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven,

Mandlebert turned softly round to read their impression on the
countenance of Camilla--she was gone!

Attracted by her wish to see more of Mrs. Arlbery, she had run out of
the shop after Lionel, before she either knew what was reading, or was
missed by those the reader had engaged. Edgar, though disappointed,
wondered he should have stayed himself to listen to what had long been
familiar to him, and was quietly gliding away when he saw her returning.
He then went back to his post, wondering, with still less satisfaction,
how she could absent herself from hearing what so well was worth her
studying.

The young man, when he came to the concluding line:

    _To scenes where love and bliss immortal reign!_

rose, let fall the book, clasped his hands with a theatrical air, and
was casting his eyes upwards in a fervent and willing trance, when he
perceived Indiana standing immediately before him.

Surprised and ashamed, his sublimity suddenly forsook him; his arms
dropt, and his hands were slipt into his waistcoat pockets.

But, the very next moment, the sensation of shame and of self was
superseded by the fair object that had thus aroused him. Her beauty, her
youth, her attitude of examination, struck him at first with an
amazement that presently gave place to an admiration as violent as it
was sudden. He started back, bowed profoundly, without any pretence for
bowing at all, and then rivetting his eyes, in which his whole soul
seemed centred, on her lovely face, stood viewing her with a look of
homage, motionless, yet enraptured.

Indiana, still conceiving this to be some sort of acting, unabashed kept
her post, expecting every moment he would begin spouting something more.
But the enthusiasm of the young Oxonian had changed its object; the
charms of poetry yielded to the superior charms of beauty, and while he
gazed on the fair Indiana, his fervent mind fancied her some being of
celestial order, wonderfully accorded to his view: How, or for what
purpose, he as little knew as cared. The play of imagination, in the
romance of early youth, is rarely interrupted with scruples of
probability.

This scene of dumb transport and unfixed expectation, was broken up
neither by the admirer nor the admired, but by the entrance of Mrs.
Arlbery, Sir Sedley Clarendel, Lionel, the officers, and many of the
rest of the company that had been present at the public breakfast: Nor
would even this intrusion have disengaged the young Oxonian from his
devout and ecstatic adoration, had it been equally indifferent to
Indiana; but the appearance of a party of gay officers was not, to her,
a matter of little moment. Eager for the notice in which she delighted,
she looked round in full confidence of receiving it. The rapture of the
Oxonian, as she had seen it kindled while he was reading, she attributed
to something she did not understand, and took in it, therefore, no part;
but the adulation of the officers was by no means ambiguous, and its
acceptance was as obvious as its presentation.

Willingly, therefore, as well as immediately encompassed, she received a
thousand compliments, and in the gratification of hearing them,
completely forgot her late short surprise; but the Oxonian, more
forcibly struck, ardently followed her with his eyes, started back
theatrically at every change of attitude which displayed her fine
figure, and at her smiles smiled again, from the uncontrollable sympathy
of a fascinated imagination.

Miss Margland felt not small pride in seeing her pupil thus
distinguished, since it marked the shrewdness of her capacity in
foretelling the effect of bringing her forth. Anxious to share in a
consequence to which she had industriously contributed, she paradingly
forced her way through the group, and calling the attention of Indiana
to herself, said: 'I am glad you came away, my dear; for I am sure that
man is only a poor strolling player.'

'Dear! let me look at him again!' cried Indiana; 'for I never saw a
player before; only at a play.'

She then turned back to examine him.

Enchanted to again meet her eyes, the youth bowed with intense respect,
and advanced a few paces, as if with intention to speak to her, though
immediately and with still more precipitance he retreated, from being
ready with nothing to say.

Lionel, going up to him, and pulling him by the arm, cried: 'Why, man!
what's come to you? These are worse heroics than I have seen you in
yet.'

The bright eyes of Indiana being still fixed upon him, he disdained all
notice of Lionel, beyond a silent repulse.

Indiana, having now satisfied her curiosity, restored her attention to
the beaux that surrounded her. The Oxonian, half sighing, unfolded his
clasped hands, one of which he reposed upon the shoulder of Lionel.

'Come, prithee, be a little less in alt,' cried Lionel, 'and answer a
man when he speaks to you. Where did you leave Smythson?'

'Who is that divinity; can you tell me?' said the Oxonian in a low and
respectful tone of inquiry.

'What divinity?'

'What divinity? insensible Tyrold! tasteless! adamantine! Look, look
yonder, and ask me again if you can!'

'O what; my cousin Indiana?'

'Your cousin? have you any affinity with such a creature as that? O
Tyrold! I glory in your acquaintance! she is all I ever read of! all I
ever conceived! she is beauty in its very essence! she is elegance,
delicacy, and sensibility personified!'

'All very true,' said Lionel; 'but how should you know anything of her
besides her beauty?'

'How? by looking at her! Can you view that countenance and ask me how?
Are not those eyes all soul? Does not that mouth promise every thing
that is intelligent? Can those lips ever move but to diffuse sweetness
and smiles? I must not look at her again! another glance may set me
raving!'

'May?' cried Lionel, laughing; 'why what have you been doing all this
time? However, be a little less in the sublime, and I'll introduce you
to her.'

'Is it possible? shall I owe to you so celestial a happiness? O Tyrold!
you bind me to you for life!'

Lionel, heartily hallowing, then brought him forward to Indiana: 'Miss
Lynmere,' he cried, 'a fellow student of mine, though somewhat more
given to study than your poor cousin, most humbly begs the honour of
kissing your toe.'

The uncommon lowness of the bow which the Oxonian, ignorant of what
Lionel would say, was making, led Miss Margland to imagine he was really
going to perform that popish ceremony; and hastily pulling Lionel by the
sleeve, she angrily said: 'Mr. Lionel, I desire to know by whose
authority you present such actor-men to a young lady under my care.'

Lionel, almost in convulsions, repeated this aloud; and the young
student, who had just, in a voice of the deepest interest and respect,
begun, 'The high honour, madam;' hearing an universal laugh from the
company, stopt short, utterly disconcerted, and after a few vainly
stammering attempts, bowed again, and was silent.

Edgar, who in this distress, read an ingenuousness of nature that
counterpoised its romantic enthusiasm, felt for the young man, and
taking Lionel by the arm, said: 'Will you not introduce me also to your
friend?'

'Mr. Melmond of Brazen Nose! Mr. Mandlebert of Beech Park!' cried
Lionel, flourishing, and bowing from one to the other.

Edgar shook hands with the youth, and hoped they should be better
acquainted.

Camilla, gliding round, whispered him: 'How like my dear father was
that! to give relief to embarrassment, instead of joining in the laugh
which excites it!'

Edgar, touched by a comparison to the person he most honoured,
gratefully looked his acknowledgment; and all displeasure at her flight,
even from Thomson's scene of conjugal felicity, was erased from his
mind.

The company grew impatient for the raffle, though some of the
subscribers were not arrived. It was voted, at the proposition of Mrs.
Arlbery, that the master of the shop should represent, as their turns
came round, those who were absent.

While this was settling, Edgar, in some confusion, drew Camilla to the
door, saying: 'To avoid any perplexity about your throwing, suppose you
step into the haberdasher's shop that is over the way?'

Camilla, who already had felt very awkward with respect to her withdrawn
subscription, gladly agreed to the proposal, and begging him to explain
the matter to Miss Margland, tript across the street, while the rafflers
were crowding to the point of action.

Here she sat, making some small purchases, till the business was over:
The whole party then came forth into the street, and all in a body
poured into the haberdasher's shop, smiling, bowing, and of one accord
wishing her joy.

Concluding this to be in derision of her desertion, she rallied as well
as she was able; but Mrs. Arlbery, who entered the last, and held the
locket in her hand, said: 'Miss Tyrold, I heartily wish you equally
brilliant success, in the next, and far more dangerous lottery, in
which, I presume, you will try your fate.' And presented her the prize.

Camilla, colouring, laughing, and unwillingly taking it, said: 'I
suppose, ma'am--I hope--it is yours?' And she looked about for Edgar to
assist her; but, he was gone to hasten the carriage.

Every body crowded round her to take a last sight of the beautiful
locket. Eager to get rid of it, she put it into the hands of Indiana,
who regarded it with a partiality which her numerous admirers had
courted, individually, in vain; though the young Oxonian, by his
dramatic emotions, had engaged more of her attention than she had yet
bestowed elsewhere. Eugenia too, caught by his eccentricity, was
powerfully impelled to watch and admire him; and not the less, in the
unenvying innocency of her heart, for his evident predilection in favour
of her cousin. This youth was not, however, suffered to engross her; the
stranger by whom she had already been distinguished at the ball and
public breakfast, was one in the group, and resumed a claim upon her
notice, too flattering in its manner to be repulsed, and too new to her
extreme inexperience to be obtrusive.

Meanwhile, Camilla gathered from Major Cerwood, that the prize had
really fallen to her lot. Edgar had excused her not staying to throw for
herself, but the general proxy, the bookseller, had been successful in
her name.

In great perplexity how to account for this incident, she apprehended
Edgar had made some mistake, and determined, through his means, to
restore the locket to the subscription.

The carriage of Mrs. Arlbery was first ready; but, pushing away the
throng of beaux offering assistance, she went up to Camilla, and said:
'Fair object of the spleen of all around, will you bring a little of
your influence with good fortune to my domain, and come and dine with
me?'

Delighted at the proposal, Camilla looked at Miss Margland; but Miss
Margland, not being included in the invitation, frowned a refusal.

Edgar now entered and announced the coach of Sir Hugh.

'Make use of it as you can,' said Mrs. Arlbery; 'there is room for one
more to go back than it brought; so pray do the honours prettily.
Clarendel! take care of Miss Tyrold to my coach.'

Sir Sedley smiled, and played with his watch chain, but did not move.

'O you laziest of all lazy wretches!' cried Mrs. Arlbery.

'I shall reverse the epithet, and be the alertest of the alert,' said
Major Cerwood; 'if the commission may be devolved to myself.'

'Positively not for the world! there is nothing so pleasant as working
the indolent; except, indeed, making the restless keep quiet; so, come
forth, Clarendel! be civil, and strike us all with astonishment!'

'My adored Mrs. Arlbery!' cried he, (hoisting himself upon the shop
counter, and swinging a switch to and fro, with a languid motion) your
maxims are all of the first superlative, except this; but nobody's civil
now, you know; 'tis a fogramity quite out.'

'So you absolutely won't stir, then?'

'O pray! pray!' answered he, putting on his hat and folding his arms, 'a
little mercy! 'tis so vastly insufferably hot! Calcutta must be in the
frigid zone to this shop! a very ice-house!'

Camilla, who never imagined rudeness could make a feature of
affectation, internally attributed this refusal to his pique that she
had disregarded him at the public breakfast, and would have made him
some apology, but knew not in what manner to word it.

The Major again came forward, but Miss Margland, advancing also, said:
'Miss Camilla! you won't think of dining out unknown to Sir Hugh?'

'I am sure,' cried Mrs. Arlbery, 'you will have the goodness to speak
for me to Sir Hugh.' Then, turning to Lionel, 'Mr. Tyrold,' she added,
'you must go with us, that you may conduct your sister safe home. Don't
be affronted; I shall invite you for your own sake another time. Come,
you abominable Clarendel! awake! and give a little spring to our
motions.'

'You are most incommodiously cruel!' answered he; 'but I am bound to be
your slave.' Then calling to one of the apprentices in the shop: 'My
vastly good boy,' he cried, 'do you want to see me irrecoverably subdued
by this immensely inhuman heat?'

The boy stared; and said, 'Sir.'

'If not, do get me a glass of water.'

'O worse and worse!' said Mrs. Arlbery; 'your whims are insupportable. I
give you up! Major! advance.'

The Major, with alacrity, offered his hand; Camilla hesitated; she
wished passionately to go, yet felt she had no authority for such a
measure. The name, though not the person of Mrs. Arlbery, was known both
at Cleves and at Etherington, as belonging to the owner of a capital
house in the neighbourhood; and though the invitation was without form,
Camilla was too young to be withheld by ceremony. Her uncle, she was
sure, could refuse her nothing; and she thought, as she was only a
visitor at Cleves, Miss Margland had no right to control her; the
pleasure, therefore, of the scheme, soon conquered every smaller
difficulty, and, looking away from her party, she suffered herself to be
led to the coach.

Miss Margland as she passed, said aloud: 'Remember! I give no consent to
this!'

But Eugenia, on the other side, whispered: 'Don't be uneasy; I will
explain to my uncle how it all happened.'

Mrs. Arlbery was following, when Indiana exclaimed: 'Cousin Camilla,
what am I to do with your locket?'

Camilla had wholly forgotten it; she called to Edgar, who slowly, and
with a seriousness very unusual, obeyed her summons.

'There has been some great mistake,' said she, 'about the locket. I
suppose they neglected to scratch out my name from the subscription; for
Major Cerwood says it really came to me. Will you be so good as to
return it to the bookseller?'

The gravity of Edgar immediately vanished: 'Are you so ready,' he said,
'even when it is in your possession, to part with so pretty a trinket?'

'You know it cannot be mine, for here is my half guinea.'

Mrs. Arlbery then got into the coach; but Camilla, still farther
recollecting herself, again called to Edgar, and holding out the half
guinea, said: 'How shall I get this to the poor people?'

'They were to come,' he answered, 'to Cleves this afternoon.'

'Will you, then, give it them for me?'

'No commission to Mr. Mandlebert!' interrupted Mrs. Arlbery; 'for he
must positively dine with us.'

Mandlebert bowed a pleased assent, and Camilla applied to Eugenia; but
Miss Margland, in deep wrath, refused to let her move a step.

Mrs. Arlbery then ordered the coach to drive home. Camilla, begging a
moment's delay, desired Edgar to approach nearer, and said, in a low
voice: 'I cannot bear to let those poor expectants toil so far for
nothing. I will sooner go back to Cleves myself. I shall not sleep all
night if I disappoint them. Pray, invent some excuse for me.'

'If you have set your heart upon this visit,' answered Mandlebert, with
vivacity, though in a whisper, 'I will ride over myself to Cleves, and
arrange all to your wishes; but if not, certainly there can need no
invention, to decline an invitation of which Sir Hugh has no knowledge.'

Camilla, who at the beginning of this speech felt the highest glee, sunk
involuntarily at its conclusion, and turning with a blank countenance to
Mrs. Arlbery, stammeringly said: 'Can you, will you--be so very good, as
not to take it ill if I don't go with you?'

Mrs. Arlbery, surprised, very coldly answered: 'Certainly not! I would
be no restraint upon you. I hate restraint myself.' She then ordered the
footman to open the door; and Camilla, too much abashed to offer any
apology, was handed out by Edgar.

'Amiable Camilla!' said he, in conducting her back to Miss Margland,
'this is a self-conquest that I alone, perhaps, expected from you!'

Cheared by such approbation, she forgot her disappointment, and
regardless of Miss Margland and her ill humour, jumped into her uncle's
coach, and was the gayest of the party that returned to Cleves.

Edgar took the locket from Indiana, and promised to rectify the mistake;
and then, lest Mrs. Arlbery should be offended with them all, rode to
her house without any fresh invitation, accompanied by Lionel; whose
anger against Camilla, for suffering Miss Margland to gain a victory,
was his theme the whole ride.



CHAPTER VI

_A Barn_


The first care of Camilla was to interest Sir Hugh in the misfortunes of
the prisoner and his family; her next, to relate the invitation of Mrs.
Arlbery, and to beg permission that she might wait upon the lady the
next morning, with apologies for her abrupt retreat, and with
acknowledgments for the services done to the poor woman; which first the
Oxonian, and then the raffle, had driven from her mind. Sir Hugh readily
consented, blaming her for supposing it possible he could ever hesitate
in what could give her any pleasure.

Before the tea-party broke up, Edgar returned. He told Camilla he had
stolen away the instant the dinner was over, to avoid any mistake about
the poor people, whom he had just overtaken by the park-gate, and
conducted to the great barn, where he had directed them to wait for
orders.

'I'll run to them immediately,' cried she, 'for my half guinea is in an
agony to be gone!'

'The barn! my dear young Mr. Mandlebert!' exclaimed Sir Hugh; 'and why
did you not bring them to the servants' hall? My little girl has been
telling me all their history; and, God forbid, I should turn
hard-hearted, because of their wanting a leg of mutton, in preference to
being starved; though they might have no great right to it, according to
the forms of law; which, however, is not much impediment to the calls of
nature, when a man sees a butcher's stall well covered, and has got
nothing within him, except his own poor craving appetite; which is a
thing I always take into consideration; though, God forbid, I should
protect a thief, no man's property being another's, whether he's poor or
rich.'

He then gave Camilla three guineas to deliver to them from himself, to
set them a little a-going in an honest way, that they might not, he
said, repent leaving off bad actions. Her joy was so excessive, that she
passionately embraced his knees: and Edgar, while he looked on, could
nearly have bent to her his own, with admiration of her generous nature.
Eugenia desired to accompany her; and Indiana, rising also, said: 'Dear!
I wonder how they will look in the barn! I should like to see them too.'

Miss Margland made no opposition, and they set out.

Camilla, leading the way, with a fleetness that mocked all equality, ran
into the barn, and saw the whole party, according to their several
powers, enjoying themselves. The poor man, stretched upon straw, was
resting his aching limbs; his wife, by his side, was giving nourishment
to her baby; and the other child, a little boy of three years old, was
jumping and turning head over heels, with the true glee of unspoilt
nature, superior to poverty and distress.

To the gay heart of Camilla whatever was sportive was attractive; she
flew to the little fellow, whose skin was clean and bright, in the midst
of his rags and wretchedness, and, making herself his play-mate, bid the
woman finish feeding her child, told the man to repose himself
undisturbed, and began dancing with the little boy, not less delighted
than himself at the festive exercise.

Miss Margland cast up her hands and eyes as she entered, and poured
forth a warm remonstrance against so demeaning a condescension: but
Camilla, in whose composition pride had no share, though spirit was a
principal ingredient, danced on unheeding, to the equal amaze and
enchantment of the poor man and woman, at the honour done to their
little son.

Edgar came in last; he had given his arm to Eugenia, who was always in
the rear if unassisted. Miss Margland appealed to him upon the
impropriety of the behaviour of Camilla, adding, 'If I had had the
bringing up a young lady who could so degrade herself, I protest I
should blush to shew my face: but you cannot, I am sure, fail remarking
the difference of Miss Lynmere's conduct.'

Edgar attended with an air of complacency, which he thought due to the
situation of Miss Margland in the family, yet kept his eyes fixt upon
Camilla, with an expression that, to the least discernment, would have
evinced his utmost approbation of her innocent gaiety: but Miss
Margland was amongst that numerous tribe, who, content as well as
occupied with making observations upon others, have neither the power,
nor thought, of developing those that are returned upon themselves.

Camilla at length, wholly out of breath, gave over; but perceiving that
the baby was no longer at its mother's breast, flew to the poor woman,
and, taking the child in her arms, said: 'Come, I can nurse and rest at
the same time; I assure you the baby will be safe with me, for I nurse
all the children in our neighbourhood.' She then fondled the poor little
half-starved child to her bosom, quieting, and kissing, and cooing over
it.

Miss Margland was still more incensed; but Edgar could attend to her no
longer. Charmed with the youthful nurse, and seeing in her unaffected
attitudes, a thousand graces he had never before remarked, and reading
in her fondness for children the genuine sweetness of her character, he
could not bear to have the pleasing reflections revolving in his mind
interrupted by the spleen of Miss Margland, and, slipping away, posted
himself behind the baby's father, where he could look on undisturbed,
certain it was a vicinity to which Miss Margland would not follow him.

Had this scene lasted till Camilla was tired, its period would not have
been very short; but Miss Margland, finding her exhortations vain,
suddenly called out: 'Miss Lynmere! Miss Eugenia! come away directly!
It's ten to one but these people have all got the gaol distemper!'

Edgar, quick as lightning at this sound, flew to Camilla, and snatched
the child from her arms. Indiana, with a scream, ran out of the barn;
Miss Margland hurried after; and Eugenia, following, earnestly entreated
Camilla not to stay another moment.

'And what is there to be alarmed at?' cried she; 'I always nurse poor
children when I see them at home; and my father never prohibits me.'

'There may be some reason, however,' said Edgar, while still he tenderly
held the baby himself, 'for the present apprehension: I beg you,
therefore, to hasten away.'

'At least,' said she, 'before I depart, let me execute my commission.'
And then, with the kindest good wishes for their better fortune, she put
her uncle's three guineas into the hands of the poor man, and her own
rescued half guinea into those of his wife; and, desiring Edgar not to
remain himself where he would not suffer her to stay, ran to give her
arm to Eugenia; leaving it a doubtful point, whether the good humour
accompanying her alms, made the most pleased impression upon their
receivers, or upon their observer.



CHAPTER VII

_A Declaration_


At night, while they were enjoying the bright beams of the moon, from an
apartment in the front of the house, they observed a strange footman, in
a superb livery, ride towards the servants hall; and presently a letter
was delivered to Miss Margland.

She opened it with an air of exulting consequence; one which was
inclosed, she put into her pocket, and read the other three or four
times over, with looks of importance and complacency. She then pompously
demanded a private audience with Sir Hugh, and the young party left the
room.

'Well, sir!' she cried, proudly, 'you may now see if I judged right as
to taking the young ladies a little into the world. Please to look at
this letter, sir:'

     _To Miss_ Margland, _at Sir_ Hugh Tyrold'_s_, _Bart._ Cleves,
     Hampshire.

     MADAM,

     With the most profound respect I presume to address you, though
     only upon the strength of that marked politeness which shines forth
     in your deportment. I have the highest ambition to offer a few
     lines to the perusal of Miss Eugenia Tyrold, previous to presenting
     myself to Sir Hugh. My reasons will be contained in the letter
     which I take the liberty to put into your hands. It is only under
     your protection, madam, I can aim at approaching that young lady,
     as all that I have either seen or heard convinces me of her
     extraordinary happiness in being under your direction. Your
     influence, madam, I should therefore esteem as an honour, and I
     leave it wholly to your own choice, whether to read what I have
     addressed to that young lady before or after she has deigned to
     cast an eye upon it herself. I remain, with the most profound
     respect,

     Madam,
     your most obedient,
     and obliged servant,
     ALPHONSO BELLAMY.

     I shall take the liberty to send my servant for an answer tomorrow
     evening.

'This, sir,' continued Miss Margland, when Sir Hugh had read the letter;
'this is the exact conduct of a gentleman; all open, all respectful. No
attempt at any clandestine intercourse. All is addressed where it ought
to be, to the person most proper to superintend such an affair. This is
that very same gentleman whose politeness I mentioned to you, and who
danced with Miss Eugenia at Northwick, when nobody else took any notice
of her. This is--'

'Why then this is one of the most untoward things,' cried Sir Hugh, who,
vainly waiting for a pause, began to speak without one, 'that has ever
come to bear; for where's the use of Eugenia's making poor young fellows
fall in love with her for nothing? which I hold to be a pity, provided
it's sincere, which I take for granted.'

'As to that, sir, I can't say I see the reason why Miss Eugenia should
not be allowed to look about her, and have some choice; especially as
the young gentleman abroad has no fortune; at least none answerable to
her expectations.'

'But that's the very reason for my marrying them together. For as he has
not had the small-pox himself, that is, not in the natural way; which,
Lord help me! I thought the best, owing to my want of knowledge; why
he'll the more readily excuse her face not being one of the prettiest,
for her kindness in putting up with his having so little money; being a
thing some people think a good deal of.'

'But, sir, won't it be very hard upon poor Miss Eugenia, if a better
offer should come, that she must not listen to it, only because of a
person she has never seen, though he has no estate?'

'Mrs. Margland,' said Sir Hugh, (with some heat,) 'this is the very
thing that I would sooner have given a crown than have had happen! Who
knows but Eugenia may take a fancy to this young jackanapes? who, for
aught I know, may be as good a man as another, for which I beg his
pardon; but, as he is nothing to me, and my nephew's my nephew, why am I
to have the best scheme I ever made knocked on the head, for a person I
had as lieve were twitched into the Red Sea? which, however, is a thing
I should not say, being what I would not do.'

Miss Margland took from her pocket the letter designed for Eugenia, and
was going to break the seal; but Sir Hugh, preventing her, said: 'No,
Miss Margland; Eugenia shall read her own letters. I have not had her
taught all this time, by one of the first scholars of the age, as far as
I can tell, to put that affront upon her.'

He then rang the bell, and sent for Eugenia.

Miss Margland stated the utter impropriety of suffering any young lady
to read a letter of that sort, till proposals had been laid before her
parents and guardians. But Sir Hugh spoke no more till Eugenia appeared.

'My dear,' he then said, 'here is a letter just come to put your
education to the trial; which, I make no doubt, will stand the test
properly: therefore, in regard to the answer, you shall write it all
yourself, being qualified in a manner to which I have no right to
pretend; though I shall go to-morrow to my brother, which will give me a
better insight; his head being one of the best.'

Eugenia, greatly surprised, opened the letter, and read it with visible
emotion.

'Well, my dear, and what do you say to it?'

Without answering, she read it again.

Sir Hugh repeated the question.

'Indeed, sir,' said she, (in a tone of sadness,) 'it is something that
afflicts me very much!'

'Lord help us!' cried Sir Hugh, 'this comes of going to a ball! which,
begging Miss Margland's pardon, is the last time it shall be done.'

Miss Margland was beginning a vehement defence of herself; but Sir Hugh
interrupted it, by desiring to see the letter.

Eugenia, with increased confusion, folded it up, and said: 'Indeed,
sir--Indeed, uncle--it is a very improper letter for me to shew.'

'Well, that,' cried Miss Margland, 'is a thing I could never have
imagined! that a gentleman, who is so much the gentleman, should write
an improper letter!'

'No, no,' interrupted she, 'not improper--perhaps--for him to
write,--but for me to exhibit.'

'O, if that's all, my dear,' said Sir Hugh, 'if it's only because of a
few compliments, I beg you not to mind them, because of their having no
meaning; which is a thing common enough in the way of making love, by
what I hear; though such a young thing as you can know nothing of the
matter, your learning not going in that line; nor Dr. Orkborne's
neither, if one may judge; which, God forbid I should find fault with,
being no business of mine.'

He then again asked to see the letter; and Eugenia, ashamed to refuse,
gave it, and went out of the room.

     _To Miss_ Eugenia Tyrold, Cleves.

     MADAM,

     The delicacy of your highly cultivated mind awes even the violent
     passion which you inspire. And to this I entreat you to attribute
     the trembling fear which deters me from the honour of waiting upon
     Sir Hugh, while uncertain, if my addressing him might not raise
     your displeasure. I forbear, therefore, to lay before him my
     pretensions for soliciting your favour, from the deepest
     apprehension you might think I presumed too far, upon an
     acquaintance, to my unhappiness, so short; yet, as I feel it to
     have excited in me the most lasting attachment, from my fixed
     admiration of your virtues and talents, I cannot endure to run the
     risk of incurring your aversion. Allow me then, once more, under
     the sanction of that excellent lady in whose care I have had the
     honour of seeing you, to entreat one moment's audience, that I may
     be graced with your own commands about waiting upon Sir Hugh,
     without which, I should hold myself ungenerous and unworthy to
     approach him; since I should blush to throw myself at your feet
     from an authority which you do not permit. I beseech you, madam, to
     remember, that I shall be miserable till I know my doom; but still,
     that the heart, not the hand, can alone bestow happiness on a
     disinterested mind.

     I have the honour to be,
     Madam,
     your most devoted and obedient humble servant,
     ALPHONSO BELLAMY.

Sir Hugh, when he had finished the letter, heaved a sigh, and leant his
head upon his hand, considering whether or not to let it be seen by Miss
Margland; who, however, not feeling secure what his determination might
be, had so contrived to sit at the table as to read it at the same time
with himself. Nor had she weighed the interest of her curiosity amiss;
Sir Hugh, dreading a debate with her, soon put the letter into his
pocket-book, and again sent for Eugenia.

Eugenia excused herself from returning, pleaded a head-ache, and went to
bed.

Sir Hugh was in the deepest alarm; though the evening was far advanced,
he could scarce refrain from going to Etherington directly; he ordered
his carriage to be at the door at eight o'clock the next morning; and
sent a second order, a moment after, that it should not be later than
half past seven.

He then summoned Camilla, and, giving her the letter, bid her run with
it to her sister, for fear it was that she was fretting for. And soon
after, he went to bed, that he might be ready in the morning.

Eugenia, meanwhile, felt the placid composure of her mind now for the
first time shaken. The assiduities of this young man had already pleased
and interested her; but, though gratified by them in his presence, they
occurred to her no more in his absence. With the Oxonian she had been
far more struck; his energy, his sentiments, his passion for literature,
would instantly have riveted him in her fairest favour, had she not so
completely regarded herself as the wife of Clermont Lynmere, that she
denied her imagination any power over her reason.

This letter, however, filled her with sensations wholly new. She now
first reflected seriously upon the nature of her situation with regard
to Clermont, for whom she seemed bespoken by her uncle, without the
smallest knowledge how they might approve or suit each other. Perhaps he
might dislike her; she must then have the mortification of being
refused: perhaps he might excite her own antipathy; she must then either
disappoint her uncle, or become a miserable sacrifice.

Here, on the contrary, she conceived herself an elected object. The
difference of being accepted, or being chosen, worked forcibly upon her
mind; and, all that was delicate, feminine, or dignified in her notions,
rose in favour of him who sought, when opposed to him who could only
consent to receive her. Generous, too, he appeared to her, in forbearing
to apply to Sir Hugh, without her permission; disinterested, in
declaring he did not wish for her hand without her heart; and noble, in
not seeking her in a clandestine manner, but referring every thing to
Miss Margland.

The idea also of exciting an ardent passion, lost none of its force from
its novelty to her expectations. It was not that she had hitherto
supposed it impossible; she had done less; she had not thought of it
all. Nor came it now with any triumph to her modest and unassuming mind;
all it brought with it was gratitude towards Bellamy, and a something
soothing towards herself, which, though inexplicable to her reason, was
irresistible to her feelings.

When Camilla entered with the letter, she bashfully asked her, if she
wished to read it? Camilla eagerly cried: 'O, yes.' But, having finished
it, said: 'It is not such a letter as Edgar Mandlebert would have
written.'

'I am sure, then,' said Eugenia, colouring, 'I am sorry to have received
it.'

'Do you not observe every day,' said Camilla, 'the distance, the
delicacy of his behaviour to Indiana, though Miss Margland says their
marriage is fixed; how free from all distinction that might confuse her?
This declaration, on the contrary, is so abrupt--and from so new an
acquaintance--'

'Certainly, then, I won't answer it,' said Eugenia, much discomposed;
'it had not struck me thus at first reading; but I see now all its
impropriety.'

She then bid good night to Camilla; who, concluding her the appropriated
wife of Clermont, had uttered her opinion without scruple.

Eugenia now again read the letter; but not again with pleasure. She
thought it forward and presumptuous; and the only gratification that
remained upon her mind, was an half conscious scarce admitted, and, even
to herself, unacknowledged charm, in a belief, that she possessed the
power to inspire an animated regard.



CHAPTER VIII

_An Answer_


Mr. and Mrs. Tyrold and Lavinia were at breakfast when Sir Hugh entered
their parlour, the next morning. 'Brother,' he cried, 'I have something
of great importance to tell you, which it is very fit my sister should
hear too; for which reason, I make no doubt but my dear Lavinia's good
sense will leave the room, without waiting for a hint.'

Lavinia instantly retired.

'O, my dear brother,' continued the baronet; 'do you know here's a young
chap, who appears to be a rather good sort of man, which is so much the
worse, who has been falling in love with Eugenia?'

He then delivered the two letters to Mr. Tyrold.

'Now the only thing that hurts me in this business is, that this young
man, who Miss Margland calls a person of fashion, writes as well as
Clermont would do himself; though that is what I shall never own to
Eugenia, which I hope is no sin being all for her own sake; that is to
say, for Clermont's.'

Mr. Tyrold, after attentively reading the letters, gave them to his
wife, and made many inquiries concerning their writer, and his
acquaintance with Eugenia and Miss Margland.

'Why it was all brought about,' said Sir Hugh, 'by their going to a ball
and a public breakfast; which is a thing my little Camilla is not at all
to blame for, because if nobody had put it in her head, she would not
have known there was a thing of the kind. And, indeed, it was but
natural in poor Lionel neither, to set her agog, the chief fault lying
in the assizes; to which my particular objection is against the lawyers,
who come into a town to hang and transport the poor, by way of keeping
the peace, and then encourage the rich to make all the noise and riot
they can, by their own junkettings; for which, however, being generally,
I believe, pretty good scholars, I make no doubt but they have their own
reasons.'

'I flatter myself,' said Mrs. Tyrold, scarce deigning to finish the
letters, 'Eugenia, young as she is, will need no counsel how to estimate
a writer such as this. What must the man be, who, presuming upon his
personal influence, ventures to claim her concurrence in an application
to her friends, though he has seen her but twice, and knows her to be
destitute of the smallest knowledge of his principles, his character, or
his situation in life?'

'Good lack!' cried the baronet, 'what a prodigious poor head I must
have! here I could hardly sleep all night, for thinking what a fine
letter this jackanapes, which I shall make no more apology for calling
him, had been writing, fearing it would cut up poor Clermont in her
opinion, for all his grand tour.'

Perfectly restored to ease, he now bad them good morning; but Mr. Tyrold
entreated him to stay till they had settled how to get rid of the
business.

'My dear brother,' he answered, 'I want no more help now, since I have
got your opinion, that is, my sister's, which I take it for granted is
the same. I make no doubt but Eugenia will pretty near have writ her
foul copy by the time I get home, which Dr. Orkborne may overlook for
her, to the end that this Mr. Upstart may have no more fault to find
against it.'

They both desired to dine at Cleves, that they might speak themselves
with Eugenia.

'And how,' said Mr. Tyrold, with a strong secret emotion, 'how goes on
Edgar with Indiana?'

'Vastly well, vastly well indeed! not that I pretend to speak for
myself, being rather too dull in these matters, owing to never entering
upon them in the right season, as I intend to tell other young men doing
the same.'

He then, in warm terms, narrated the accounts given him by Miss Margland
of the security of the conquest of Indiana.

Mr. Tyrold fixed his hour for expecting the carriage, and the baronet
desired that Lavinia should be of the party; 'because,' he said, 'I see
she has the proper discretion, when she is wanted to go out of the way;
which must be the same with Camilla and Indiana, too, to-day, as well as
with young Mr. Edgar; for I don't think it prudent to trust such new
beginners with every thing that goes on, till they get a little older.'

The anxiety of Mr. Tyrold, concerning Bellamy, was now mingled with a
cruel regret in relation to Mandlebert. Even his own upright conduct
could scarce console him for the loss of his favourite hope, and he
almost repented that he had not been more active in endeavouring to
preserve it.

All that passed in his mind was read and participated in by his partner,
whose displeasure was greater, though her mortification could but be
equal. 'That Edgar,' said she, 'should have kept his heart wholly
untouched, would less have moved my wonder; he has a peculiar, though
unconscious delicacy in his nature, which results not from insolence nor
presumption, but from his own invariable and familiar exercise of every
virtue and of every duty: the smallest deviation is offensive, and even
the least inaccuracy is painful to him. Was it possible, then, to be
prepared for such an election as this? He has disgraced my expectations;
he has played the common part of a mere common young man, whose eye is
his sole governor.'

'My Georgiana,' said Mr. Tyrold, 'I am deeply disappointed. Our two
eldest girls are but slightly provided for; and Eugenia is far more
dangerously circumstanced, in standing so conspicuously apart, as a
prize to some adventurer. One of these three precious cares I had fondly
concluded certain of protection and happiness; for which ever I might
have bestowed upon Edgar Mandlebert, I should have considered as the
most fortunate of her sex. Let us, however, rejoice for Indiana; no one
can more need a protector; and, next to my own three girls, there is no
one for whom I am so much interested. I grieve, however, for Edgar
himself, whose excellent judgment will, in time, assert its rights,
though passion, at this period, has set it aside.'

'I am too angry with him for pity,' said Mrs. Tyrold; 'nor is his
understanding of a class that has any claim to such lenity: I had often
thought our gentle Lavinia almost born to be his wife, and no one could
more truly have deserved him. But the soft perfection of her character
relieves me from any apprehension for her conduct, and almost all my
solicitude devolves upon Camilla. For our poor Eugenia I had never
indulged a hope of his choice; though that valuable, unfortunate girl,
with every unearned defect about her, intrinsically merits him, with all
his advantages, his accomplishments, and his virtues: but to appreciate
her, uninfluenced by pecuniary views, to which he is every way superior,
was too much to expect from so young a man. My wishes, therefore, had
guided him to our Camilla, that sweet, open, generous, inconsiderate
girl, whose feelings are all virtues, but whose impulses have no
restraints: I have not a fear for her, when she can act with
deliberation; but fear is almost all I have left, when I consider her as
led by the start of the moment. With him, however, she would have been
the safest, and with him--next alone to her mother, the happiest of her
sex.'

The kindest acknowledgments repaid this sympathy of sentiment, and they
agreed that their felicity would have been almost too complete for this
lower world, if such an event had come to pass. 'Nevertheless its
failure,' added Mrs. Tyrold, 'is almost incredible, and wholly
unpardonable. That Indiana should vanquish where Lavinia and Camilla
have failed! I feel indignant at such a triumph of mere external
unintelligent beauty.'

Eugenia received her parents with the most bashful confusion; yet they
found, upon conversing with her, it was merely from youthful shame, and
not from any dangerous prepossession. The observations of Camilla had
broken that spell with which a first declaration of regard is apt to
entangle unreflecting inexperience; and by teaching her to less value
the votary, had made the conquest less an object of satisfaction. She
was gratified by the permission of her uncle to write her own answer,
which was now produced.

     _To_ Alphonso Bellamy, _Esq._

     SIR,

     I am highly sensible to the honour of your partiality, which I
     regret it is not possible for me to deserve. Be not, therefore,
     offended, and still less suffer yourself to be afflicted, when I
     confess I have only my poor thanks to offer, and poor esteem to
     return, for your unmerited goodness. Dwell not, sir, upon this
     disappointment, but receive my best wishes for your restored
     happiness; for never can I forget a distinction to which I have so
     little claim. Believe me,

    Sir,
    Your very much obliged,
    and most grateful humble servant,
    EUGENIA TYROLD.

Mr. Tyrold, who delighted to see how completely, in her studies with Dr.
Orkborne, she had escaped any pedantry or affectation, and even
preserved all the native humility of her artless character, returned her
the letter with an affectionate embrace, and told her he could desire no
alteration but that of omitting the word _grateful_ at the conclusion.

Mrs. Tyrold was far less satisfied. She wished it to be completely
re-written; protesting, that a man who, in all probability, was a mere
fortune-hunter, would infer from so gentle a dismission encouragement
rather than repulse.

Sir Hugh said there was one thing only he desired to have added, which
was a hint of a pre-engagement with a relation of her own.

Eugenia, at this, coloured and retreated; and Mrs. Tyrold reminded the
baronet, with some displeasure, of his promise to guard the secret of
his project. Sir Hugh, a little disturbed, said it never broke out from
him but by accident, which he would take care should never get the upper
hand again. He would not, however, consent to have the letter altered,
which he said would be an affront to the learning of Eugenia, unless it
were done by Dr. Orkborne himself, who, being her master, had a right to
correct her first penmanship.

Dr. Orkborne, being called upon, slightly glanced his eye over the
letter, but made no emendation, saying: 'I believe it will do very
sufficiently; but I have only concerned myself with the progress of Miss
Eugenia in the Greek and Latin languages; any body can teach her
English.'

The fond parents finished their visit in full satisfaction with their
irreproachable Eugenia, and with the joy of seeing their darling Camilla
as happy and as disengaged as when she had left them; but Mandlebert had
spent the day abroad, and escaped, therefore, the observations with
which they had meant to have investigated his sentiments. Indiana, with
whom they conversed more than usual, and with the most scrutinizing
attention, offered nothing either in manner or matter to rescue his
decision from their censure: Mrs. Tyrold, therefore, rejoiced at his
absence, lest a coolness she knew not how to repress, should have led
him to surmise her disappointment. Her husband besought her to be
guarded: 'We had no right,' he said, 'to the disposal of his heart; and
Indiana, however he may find her inadequate to his future expectations,
will not disgrace his present choice. She is beautiful, she is young,
and she is innocent; this in early life is sufficient for felicity; and
Edgar is yet too new in the world to be aware how much of life remains
when youth is gone, and too unpractised to foresee, that beauty loses
its power even before it loses its charms, and that the season of
declining nature sighs deeply for the support which sympathy and
intelligence can alone bestow.'



CHAPTER IX

_An Explication_


The visit which Camilla had designed this morning to Mrs. Arlbery, she
had been induced to relinquish through a speech made to her by Lionel.
'You have done for yourself, now!' said he, exultingly; 'so you may be
governed by that scare-crow, Miss Margland, at your leisure. Do you know
you were not once mentioned again at the Grove, neither by Mrs. Arlbery
nor any body else? and they all agreed Indiana was the finest girl in
the world.'

Camilla, though of the same opinion with respect to Indiana, concluded
Mrs. Arlbery was offended by her retreat, and lost all courage for
offering any apology.

Edgar did not return to Cleves till some time after the departure of Mr.
and Mrs. Tyrold, when he met Miss Margland and the young ladies
strolling in the park.

Camilla, running to meet him, asked if he had restored the locket to the
right owner.

'No,' answered he, smiling, 'not yet.'

'What can be done then? my half guinea is gone; and, to confess the
truth, I have not another I can well spare!'

He made no immediate reply; but, after speaking to the rest of the
party, walked on towards the house.

Camilla, in some perplexity, following him, exclaimed: 'Pray tell me
what I must do? indeed I am quite uneasy.'

'You would really have me give the locket to its rightful proprietor?'

'To be sure I would!'

'My commission, then, is soon executed.' And taking a little shagreen
case from his waistcoat pocket, he put it into her hand.

'What can you mean? is there still any mistake?'

'None but what you may immediately rectify, by simply retaining your own
prize.'

Camilla, opening the case, saw the locket, and perceived under the
crystal a light knot of braided hair. But while she looked at it, he
hurried into the house.

She ran after him, and insisted upon an explanation, declaring it to be
utterly impossible that the locket and the half guinea should belong to
the same person.

'You must not then,' he said, 'be angry, if you find I have managed, at
last, but aukwardly. When I came to the library, the master of the
raffle told me it was against all rule to refund a subscription.' He
stopt.

'The half guinea you put into my hand, then,' cried she, colouring, 'was
your own?'

'My dear Miss Camilla, there is no other occasion upon which I would
have hazarded such a liberty; but as the money was for a charity, and as
I had undertaken what I could not perform, I rather ventured to replace
it, than suffer the poor objects for whom it was destined, to miss your
kind intention.'

'You have certainly done right,' said she (feeling for her purse); 'but
you must not, for that reason, make me a second time do wrong.'

'You will not so much hurt me?' replied he, gravely; 'you will not
reprove me as if I were a stranger, a mere common acquaintance? Where
could the money have been so well bestowed? It is not you, but those
poor people who are in my debt. So many were the chances against your
gaining the prize, that it was an event I had not even taken into
consideration: I had merely induced you to leave the shop, that you
might not have the surprise of finding your name was not withdrawn; the
rest was accident; and surely you will not punish me that I have paid to
the poor the penalty of my own ill weighed officiousness?'

Camilla put up her purse, but, with some spirit, said: 'There is another
way to settle the matter which cannot hurt you; if I do not pay you my
half guinea, you must at least keep the fruits of your own.' And she
returned him the locket.

'And what,' cried he, laughing 'must I do with it? would you have me
wear it myself?'

'Give it,' answered she, innocently, 'to Indiana.'

'No;' replied he, (reddening and putting it down upon a table,) but
_you_ may, if you believe her value will be greater than your own for
the hair of your two sisters.'

Camilla, surprised, again looked at it, and recognized the hair of
Lavinia and Eugenia.

'And how in the world did you get this hair?'

'I told them both the accident that had happened, and begged them to
contribute their assistance to obtain your pardon.'

'Is it possible,' cried she, with vivacity, 'you could add to all your
trouble so kind a thought?' and, without a moment's further hesitation,
she accepted the prize, returning him the most animated thanks, and
flying to Eugenia to inquire further into the matter, and then to her
uncle, to shew him her new acquisition.

Sir Hugh, like herself, immediately said: 'But why did he not give it to
Indiana?'

'I suppose,' said Eugenia, 'because Camilla had herself drawn the prize,
and he had only added our hair to it.'

This perfectly satisfied the baronet; but Indiana could by no means
understand why it had not been managed better; and Miss Margland, with
much ill will, nourished a private opinion that the prize might perhaps
have been her own, had not Mandlebert interfered. However, as there
seemed some collusion which she could not develope, her conscience
wholly acquitted her of any necessity to refund her borrowed half
guinea.

Camilla, meanwhile, decorated herself with the locket, and had nothing
in her possession which gave her equal delight.

Miss Margland now became, internally, less sanguine, with regard to the
preference of Edgar for Indiana; but she concealed from Sir Hugh a doubt
so unpleasant, through an unconquerable repugnance to acknowledge it
possible she could have formed a wrong judgment.



CHAPTER X

_A Panic_


Upon the ensuing Sunday, Edgar proposed that a party should be made to
visit a new little cottage, which he had just fitted up. This was agreed
to; and as it was not above a mile from the parish church, Sir Hugh
ordered that his low garden phaeton should be in readiness, after the
service, to convey himself and Eugenia thither. The rest, as the weather
was fine, desired to walk.

They went to the church, as usual, in a coach and a chaise, which were
dismissed as soon as they alighted: but before that period, Eugenia,
with a sigh, had observed, that Melmond, the young Oxonian, was
strolling the same way, and had seen, with a blush, that Bellamy was by
his side.

The two gentlemen recognised them as they were crossing the church-yard.
The Oxonian bowed profoundly, but stood aloof: Bellamy bowed also, but
immediately approached; and as Sir Hugh, at that moment, accidentally
let fall his stick, darted forward to recover and present it him.

The baronet, from surprise at his quick motion, dropt his handkerchief
in receiving his cane; this also Bellamy, attentively shaking, restored
to him: and Sir Hugh, who could accept no civility unrequited, said:
'Sir, if you are a stranger, as I imagine, not knowing your face, you
are welcome to a place in my pew, provided you don't get a seat in a
better; which I'm pretty much afraid you can't, mine being the best.'

The invitation was promptly accepted.

Miss Margland, always happy to be of consequence, was hastening to Sir
Hugh, to put him upon his guard; when a respectful offer from Bellamy to
assist her down the steps, induced her to remit her design to a future
opportunity. Any attentions from a young man were now so new to her as
to seem a call upon her gratitude; nor had her charms ever been so
attractive as to render them common.

Edgar and Indiana, knowing nothing of his late declaration, thought
nothing of his present admission; to Dr. Orkborne he was an utter
stranger; but Camilla had recourse to her fan to conceal a smile; and
Eugenia was in the utmost confusion. She felt at a loss how to meet his
eyes, and seated herself as much as possible out of his way.

A few minutes after, looking up towards the gallery, she perceived, in
one of the furthest rows, young Melmond; his eyes fixt upon their pew,
but withdrawn the instant he was observed, and his air the most
melancholy and dejected.

Again a half sigh escaped the tender Eugenia. How delicate, how elegant,
thought she, is this retired behaviour! what refinement results from a
true literary taste! O such be Clermont! if he resemble not this
Oxonian--I must be wretched for life!

These ideas, which unavoidably, though unwillingly, interrupted her
devotion, were again broken in upon, when the service was nearly over,
by the appearance of Lionel. He had ridden five miles to join them,
merely not to be thought in leading-strings, by staying at Etherington
to hear his father; though the name and the excellence of the preaching
of Mr. Tyrold, attracted to his church all strangers who had power to
reach it:--so vehement in early youth is the eagerness to appear
independant, and so general is the belief that all merit must be sought
from a distance.

The deeper understanding of Mandlebert rendered him superior to this
common puerility: and, though the preacher at Cleves church was his own
tutor, Dr. Marchmont, from whom he was scarce yet emancipated, he
listened to him with reverence, and would have travelled any distance,
and taken cheerfully any trouble, that would in the best and strongest
manner have marked the respect with which he attended to his doctrine.

Dr. Marchmont was a man of the highest intellectual accomplishments,
uniting deep learning with general knowledge, and the graceful exterior
of a man of the world, with the erudition and science of a fellow of a
college. He obtained the esteem of the scholar wherever he was known,
and caught the approbation of the most uncultivated wherever he was
seen.

When the service was over, Edgar proposed that Dr. Marchmont should join
the party to the cottage. Sir Hugh was most willing, and they sauntered
about the church, while the Doctor retired to the vestry to take off his
gown.

During this interval, Eugenia, who had a passion for reading epitaphs
and inscriptions, became so intently engaged in decyphering some old
verses on an antique tablet, that she perceived not when Dr. Marchmont
was ready, nor when the party was leaving the church: and before any of
the rest missed her, Bellamy suddenly took the opportunity of her being
out of sight of all others, to drop on one knee, and passionately seize
her hand, exclaiming: 'O madam!--' When hearing an approaching step, he
hastily arose; but parted not with her hand till he had pressed it to
his lips.

The astonished Eugenia, though at first all emotion, was completely
recovered by this action. His kneeling and his 'O madam!' had every
chance to affect her; but his kissing her hand she thought a liberty the
most unpardonable. She resented it as an injury to Clermont, that would
risk his life should he ever know it, and a blot to her own delicacy, as
irreparable as it was irremediable.

Bellamy, who, from her letter, had augured nothing of hardness of heart,
tenderly solicited her forgiveness; but she made him no answer; silent
and offended she walked away, and, losing her timidity in her
displeasure, went up to her uncle, and whispered: 'Sir, the gentleman
you invited into your pew, is Mr. Bellamy!'

The consternation of Sir Hugh was extreme: he had concluded him a
stranger to the whole party because a stranger to himself; and the
discovery of his mistake made him next conclude, that he had risked a
breach of the marriage he so much desired by his own indiscretion. He
took Eugenia immediately under his arm, as if fearful she might else be
conveyed away for Scotland before his eyes, and hurrying to the church
porch, called aloud for his phaeton.

The phaeton was not arrived.

Still more dismayed, he walked on with Eugenia to the railing round the
church-yard, motioning with his left hand that no one should follow.

Edgar, Lionel, and Bellamy marched to the road, listening for the sound
of horses, but they heard none; and the carriages of the neighbouring
gentry, from which they might have hoped any assistance, had been driven
away while they had waited for Dr. Marchmont.

Meanwhile, the eyes of Eugenia again caught the young Oxonian, who was
wandering around the church-yard: neither was he unobserved by Indiana,
who, though she participated not in the turn of reasoning, or taste for
the romantic, which awakened in Eugenia so forcible a sympathy, was yet
highly gratified by his apparent devotion to her charms: and had not
Miss Margland narrowly watched and tutored her, would easily have been
attracted from the cold civilities of Edgar, to the magnetism of
animated admiration.

In these circumstances, a few minutes appeared many hours to Sir Hugh,
and he presently exclaimed: 'There's no possibility of waiting here the
whole day long, not knowing what may be the end!' Then, calling to Dr.
Orkborne, he said to him in a low voice, 'My good friend, here's
happened a sad thing; that young man I asked into my pew, for which I
take proper shame to myself, is the same person that wanted to make
Eugenia give up Clermont Lynmere, her own natural relation, and mine
into the bargain, for the sake of a stranger to us all; which I hold to
be rather uncommendable, considering we know nothing about him; though
there's no denying his being handsome enough to look at; which, however,
is no certainty of his making a good husband; so I'll tell you a mode
I've thought of, which I think to be a pretty good one, for parting them
out of hand.'

Dr. Orkborne, who had just taken out his tablets, in order to enter some
hints relative to his great work, begged him to say no more till he had
finished his sentence. The baronet looked much distressed, but
consented: and when he had done, went on:

'Why, if you will hold Eugenia, I'll go up to the rest, and send them on
to the cottage; and when they are gone, I shall get rid of this young
chap, by telling him Eugenia and I want to be alone.'

Dr. Orkborne assented; and Sir Hugh, advancing to the group, made his
proposition, adding: 'Eugenia and I will overtake you as soon as the
garden-chair comes, which, I dare say, won't be long, Robert being so
behind-hand already.' Then, turning to Bellamy, 'I am sorry, sir,' he
said, 'I can't possibly ask you to stay with us, because of something my
little niece and I have got to talk about, which we had rather nobody
should hear, being an affair of our own: but I thank you for your
civility, sir, in picking up my stick and my pocket handkerchief, and I
wish you a very good morning and a pleasant walk, which I hope you won't
take ill.'

Bellamy bowed, and, saying he by no means intended to intrude himself
into the company, slowly drew back.

Edgar then pointed out a path through the fields that would considerably
abridge the walk, if the ladies could manage to cross over a dirty lane
on the other side of the church-yard.

The baronet, who was in high spirits at the success of his scheme,
declared that if there was a short cut, they should not part company,
for he could walk it himself. Edgar assured him it could not be more
than half a mile, and offered him the use of his arm.

'No, no, my good young friend,' answered he, smiling significantly;
'take care of Indiana! I have got a good stick, which I hold to be worth
any arm in Christendom, except for not being alive; so take care of
Indiana, I say.'

Edgar bowed, but with a silence and gravity not unmixt with surprise;
and Sir Hugh, a little struck, hastily added, 'Nay, nay, I mean no
harm!'

'No, sir,' said Edgar, recovering, 'you can mean nothing but good, when
you give me so fair a charge.' And he placed himself at the side of
Indiana.

'Well then, now,' cried Sir Hugh, 'I'll marshal you all; and, first, for
my little Camilla, who shall come to my proper share; for she's
certainly the best companion of the whole; which I hope nobody will take
for a slight, all of us not being the same, without any fault of our
own. Dr. Orkborne shall keep to Eugenia, because, if there should be a
want of conversation, they can go over some of their lessons. Lionel
shall take the care of Mrs. Margland, it being always right for the
young to help people a little stricken; and as for the odd one, Dr.
Marchmont, why he may join little Camilla and me; for as she's none of
the steadiest, and I am none of the strongest, it is but fair the one
over should be between us.'

Everybody professed obedience but Lionel; who, with a loud laugh, called
to Edgar to change partners.

'We are all under orders,' answered he, quietly, 'and I must not be the
first to mutiny.'

Indiana smiled with triumph; but Miss Margland, firing with anger,
declared she wanted no help, and would accept none.

Sir Hugh was now beginning an expostulation with his nephew; but Lionel
preferred compliance to hearing it; yet, to obviate the ridicule which
he was persuaded would follow such an acquiescence, he strided up to
Miss Margland with hasty steps, and dropping on one knee, in the dust,
seized and kissed her hand; but precipitately rising, and shaking
himself, called out: 'My dear ma'am, have you never a little
cloaths-brush in your pocket? I can't kneel again else!'

Miss Margland wrathfully turned from him; and the party proceeded to a
small gate, at the back of the church, that opened to the lane mentioned
by Edgar, over which, when the rest of the company had passed, into a
beautiful meadow, Lionel offered his hand for conducting Miss Margland,
who rejected it disdainfully.

'Then, you will be sure to fall,' said he.

'Not unless you do something to make me.'

'You will be sure to fall,' he repeated coolly.

Much alarmed, she protested she would not get over before him.

He absolutely refused to go first.

The whole party stopt; and Bellamy, who had hitherto stood still and
back, now ventured to approach, and in the most courteous manner, to
offer his services to Miss Margland. She looked victoriously around her;
but as he had spoken in a low voice, only said: 'Sir?' to make him
repeat his proposal more audibly. He complied, and the impertinencies
of Lionel rendered his civility irresistible: 'I am glad,' she cried,
'there is still one gentleman left in the world!' And accepted his
assistance, though her persecutor whispered that her spark was a dead
man! and strutted significantly away.

Half frightened, half suspecting she was laughed at, she repeated softly
to Sir Hugh the menace of his nephew, begging that, to prevent mischief,
she might still retain Bellamy.

'Lord be good unto me!' cried he, 'what amazing fools the boys of now
a-days are grown! with all their learning, and teaching, and classics at
their tongue's end for nothing! However, not to set them together by the
ears, till they grow a little wiser, which, I take it, won't be of one
while, why you must e'en let this strange gentleman walk with you till
t'other boy's further off. However, this one thing pray mind! (lowering
his voice,) keep him all to yourself! if he does but so much as look at
Eugenia, give him to understand it's a thing I sha'n't take very kind of
him.'

Beckoning then to Dr. Orkborne, he uneasily said: 'As I am now obliged
to have that young fellow along with us, for the sake of preventing an
affray, about nobody knows what, which is the common reason of quarrels
among those raw young fry, I beg you to keep a particular sharp look
out, that he does not take the opportunity to run off with Eugenia.'

The spirit of the baronet had over-rated his strength; and he was forced
to sit upon the lower step of a broad stile at the other end of the
meadow: while Miss Margland, who leant her tall thin figure against a
five-barred gate, willingly obviated his solicitude about Eugenia, by
keeping Bellamy in close and unabating conference with herself.

A circumstance in the scenery before him now struck Dr. Orkborne with
some resemblance to a verse in one of Virgil's Eclogues, which he
thought might be happily applied to illustrate a passage in his own
work; taking out, therefore, his tablets, he begged Eugenia not to move,
and wrote his quotation; which, leading him on to some reflections upon
the subject, soon drove his charge from his thoughts, and consigned him
solely to his pencil.

Eugenia willingly kept her place at his side: offended by Bellamy, she
would give him no chance of speaking with her, and the protection under
which her uncle had placed her she deemed sacred.

Here they remained but a short time, when their ears received the shock
of a prodigious roar from a bull in the field adjoining. Miss Margland
screamed, and hid her face with her hands. Indiana, taught by her
lessons to nourish every fear as becoming, shriekt still louder, and ran
swiftly away, deaf to all that Edgar, who attended her, could urge.
Eugenia, to whom Bellamy instantly hastened, seeing the beast furiously
make towards the gate, almost unconsciously accepted his assistance, to
accelerate her flight from its vicinity; while Dr. Orkborne, intent upon
his annotations, calmly wrote on, sensible there was some disturbance,
but determining to evade inquiring whence it arose, till he had secured
what he meant to transmit to posterity from the treachery of his memory.

Camilla, the least frightened, because the most enured to such sounds,
from the habits and the instruction of her rural life and education,
adhered firmly to Sir Hugh, who began blessing himself with some alarm;
but whom Dr. Marchmont re-assured, by saying the gate was secured, and
too high for the bull to leap, even supposing it a vicious animal.

The first panic was still in its meridian, when Lionel, rushing past the
beast, which he had secretly been tormenting, skipt over the gate, with
every appearance of terror, and called out: 'Save yourselves all! Miss
Margland in particular; for here's a mad bull!'

A second astounding bellow put a stop to any question, and wholly
checked the immediate impulse of Miss Margland to ask why she was thus
selected; she snatched her hands from her face, not doubting she should
see her esquire soothingly standing by her side; but, though internally
surprised and shocked to find herself deserted, she gathered strength to
run from the gate with the nimbleness of youth, and, flying to the
stile, regardless of Sir Hugh, and forgetting all her charges, scrambled
over it, and ran on from the noise, without looking to the right or the
left.

Sir Hugh, whom Lionel's information, and Miss Margland's pushing past
him, had extremely terrified, was now also getting over the stile, with
the assistance of Dr. Marchmont, ejaculating: 'Lord help us! what a poor
race we are! No safety for us! if we only come out once in a dozen
years, we must meet with a mad bull!'

He had, however, insisted that Camilla should jump over first, saying,
'There's no need of all of us being tost, my dear girl, because, of my
slowness, which is no fault of mine, but of Robert's not being in the
way; which must needs make the poor fellow unhappy enough, when he hears
of it: which, no doubt, I shall let him do, according to his deserts.'

The other side of the stile brought them to the high road. Lionel, who
had only wished to torment Miss Margland, felt his heart smite him, when
he saw the fright of his uncle, and flew to acquaint him that he had
made a mistake, for the bull was only angry, not mad.

The unsuspicious baronet thanked him for his good news, and sat upon a
bank till the party could be collected.

This, however, was not soon to be done; the dispersion from the meadow
having been made in every possible direction.



CHAPTER XI

_Two Lovers_


Indiana, intent but upon running on, had nearly reached the church-yard,
without hearkening to one word of the expostulating Mandlebert; when,
leaning over a tombstone, on which she had herself leant while waiting
for the carriage, she perceived the young Oxonian. An instinctive spirit
of coquetry made her now increase her pace; he heard the rustling of
female approach, and looked up: her beauty, heightened by her flight,
which animated her complexion, while it displayed her fine form, seemed
more than ever celestial to the enamoured student; who darted forward
from an impulse of irresistible surprise. 'O Heaven!' she cried, panting
and stopping as he met her; 'I shall die! I shall die!--I am pursued by
a mad bull!'

Edgar would have explained, that all was safe; but Melmond neither heard
nor saw him.--'O, give me, then,' he cried, emphatically; 'give me the
ecstasy to protect--to save you!'

His out-spread arms shewed his intention to bear her away; but Edgar,
placing himself between them, said: 'Pardon me, sir! this lady is under
my care!'

'O don't fight about me! don't quarrel!' cried Indiana, with an
apprehension half simple, half affected.

'No, Madam!' answered Melmond, respectfully retreating; 'I know too--too
well! my little claim in such a dispute!--Permit me, however, to assist
you, Mr. Mandlebert, in your search of refuge; and deign, madam, to
endure me in your sight, till this alarm passes away.'

Indiana, by no means insensible to this language, looked with some
elation at Edgar, to see how he bore it.

Edgar was not surprised; he had already observed the potent impression
made by the beauty of Indiana upon the Oxonian; and was struck, in
defiance of its romance and suddenness, with its air of sincerity; he
only, therefore, gently answered, that there was not the least cause of
fear.

'O, how can you say so?' said Indiana; 'how can you take so little
interest in me?'

'At least, at least,' cried Melmond, trembling with eagerness,
'condescend to accept a double guard!--Refuse not, Mr. Mandlebert, to
suffer any attendance!'

Mandlebert, a little embarrassed, answered: 'I have no authority to
decide for Miss Lynmere: but, certainly, I see no occasion for my
assistance.'

Melmond fervently clasped his hands, and exclaimed: 'Do not, do not,
madam, command me to leave you till all danger is over!'

The little heart of Indiana beat high with triumph; she thought
Mandlebert jealous: Miss Margland had often told her there was no surer
way to quicken him: and, even independently of this idea, the spirit,
the ardour, the admiration of the Oxonian, had a power upon her mind
that needed no auxiliary for delighting it.

She curtsied her consent; but declared she would never go back the same
way. They proceeded, therefore, by a little round to the high road,
which led to the field in which the party had been dispersed.

Indiana was full of starts, little shrieks, and palpitations; every one
of which rendered her, in the eyes of the Oxonian, more and more
captivating; and, while Edgar walked gravely on, reflecting, with some
uneasiness, upon being thus drawn in to suffer the attendance of a youth
so nearly a stranger, upon a young lady actually under his protection;
Melmond was continually ejaculating in return to her perpetual
apprehensions, 'What lovely timidity!--What bewitching softness!--What
feminine, what beautiful delicacy!--How sweet in terror!--How
soul-piercing in alarm!'

These exclamations were nearly enchanting to Indiana, whose only fear
was, lest they should not be heard by Edgar; and, whenever they ceased,
whenever a pause and respectful silence took their place, new starts,
fresh palpitations, and designed false steps, again called them forth;
while the smile with which she repaid their enthusiastic speaker, was
fuel to his flame, but poison to his peace.

They had not proceeded far, when they were met by Miss Margland, who, in
equal trepidation from anger and from fear, was still making the best of
her way from the bellowing of the bull. Edgar inquired for Sir Hugh, and
the rest of the party; but she could speak only of Lionel; his insolence
and his ill usage; protesting nothing but her regard for Indiana, could
induce her to live a moment longer under his uncle's roof.

'But where,' again cried Edgar, 'where is Sir Hugh? and where are the
ladies?'

'Tossed by the bull,' answered she, pettishly, 'for aught I know; I did
not choose to stay and be tossed myself; and a person like Mr. Lionel
can soon make such a beast point at one, if he takes it into his
humour.'

Edgar then begged they might hasten to their company; but Miss Margland
positively refused to go back: and Indiana, always ready to second any
alarm, declared, she should quite sink with fright, if they went within
a hundred yards of that horrid field. Edgar still pleaded that the
baronet would expect them; but Melmond, in softer tones, spoke of fears,
sensibility, and dangers; and Edgar soon found he was talking to the
winds.

All now that remained to prevent further separations was, that Edgar
should run on to the party, and acquaint them that Miss Margland and
Indiana would wait for them upon the high road.

Melmond, meanwhile, felt in paradise; even the presence of Miss Margland
could not restrain his rapture, upon a casualty that gave him such a
charge, though it forced him to forbear making the direct and open
declaration of his passion, with which his heart was burning, and his
tongue quivering. He attended them both with the most fervent respect,
evidently very gratifying to the object of his adoration, though not
noticed by Miss Margland, who was wholly absorbed by her own
provocations.

Edgar soon reached the bank by the road's side, upon which the baronet,
Dr. Marchmont, Lionel, and Camilla were seated. 'Lord help us!'
exclaimed Sir Hugh, aghast at his approach, 'if here is not young Mr.
Edgar without Indiana! This is a thing I could never have expected from
you, young Mr. Edgar! that you should leave her, I don't know where, and
come without her!'

Edgar assured him she was safe, and under the care of Miss Margland, but
that neither of them could be prevailed with to come farther: he had,
therefore, advanced to inquire after the rest of the party, and to
arrange where they should all assemble.

'You have done very right, then, my dear Mr. Edgar, as you always do, as
far as I can make out, when I come to the bottom. And now I am quite
easy about Indiana. But as to Eugenia, what Dr. Orkborne has done with
her is more than I can devise; unless, indeed, they are got to studying
some of their Greek verbs, and so forgot us all, which is likely enough;
only I had rather they had taken another time, not much caring to stay
here longer than I can help.'

Edgar said, he would make a circuit in search of them; but, first,
addressing Camilla, 'You alone,' he cried, with an approving smile,
'have remained thus quiet, while all else have been scampering apart,
making _confusion worse confounded_.'

'I have lived too completely in the country to be afraid of cattle,' she
answered; 'and Dr. Marchmont assured me there was no danger.'

'You can listen, then, even when you are alarmed,' said he,
expressively, 'to the voice of reason!'

Camilla raised her eyes, and looked at him, but dropt them again without
making any answer: Can _you_, she thought, have been pleading it in
vain? How I wonder at Indiana?

He then set out to seek Eugenia, recommending the same office to Lionel
by another route; but Lionel no sooner gathered where Miss Margland
might be met with, than his repentance was forgotten, and he quitted
everything to encounter her.

Edgar spent near half an hour in his search, without the smallest
success; he was then seriously uneasy, and returning to the party, when
a countryman, to whom he was known, told him he had seen Miss Eugenia
Tyrold, with a very handsome fine town gentleman, going into a farm
house.

Edgar flew to the spot, and through a window, as he advanced, perceived
Eugenia seated, and Bellamy kneeling before her.

Amazed and concerned, he abruptly made his way into the apartment.
Bellamy rose in the utmost confusion, and Eugenia, starting and
colouring, caught Edgar by the arm, but could not speak.

He told her that her uncle and the whole company were waiting for her in
great anxiety.

'And where, where,' cried she, 'are they? I have been in agonies about
them all! and I could not prevail--I could not--this gentleman said the
risk was so great--he would not suffer me--but he has sent for a chaise,
though I told him I had a thousand times rather hazard my life amongst
them, and with them, than save it alone!'

'They are all perfectly safe, nor has there ever been any danger.'

'I was told--I was assured--' said Bellamy, 'that a mad bull was running
wild about the country; and I thought it, therefore, advisable to send
for a chaise from the nearest inn, that I might return this young lady
to her friends.'

Edgar made no answer, but offered his arm to conduct Eugenia to her
uncle. She accepted it, and Bellamy attended on her other side.

Edgar was silent the whole way. The attitude in which he had surprised
Bellamy, by assuring him of the nature of his pretensions, had awakened
doubts the most alarming of the destination in view for the chaise which
he had ordered; and he believed that Eugenia was either to have been
beguiled, or betrayed, into a journey the most remote from the home to
which she belonged.

Eugenia increased his suspicions by the mere confusion which deterred
her from removing them. Bellamy had assured her she was in the most
eminent personal danger, and had hurried her from field to field, with
an idea that the dreaded animal was in full pursuit. When carried,
however, into the farm house, she lost all apprehension for herself in
fears for her friends, and insisted upon sharing their fate. Bellamy,
who immediately ordered a chaise, then cast himself at her feet, to
entreat she would not throw away her life by so rash a measure.

Exhausted, from her lameness, she was forced to sit still, and such was
their situation at the entrance of Edgar. She wished extremely to
explain what had been the object of the solicitation of Bellamy, and to
clear him, as well as herself, from any further surmises; but she was
ashamed to begin the subject. Edgar had seen a man at her feet, and she
thought, herself, it was a cruel injury to Clermont, though she knew not
how to refuse it forgiveness, since it was merely to supplicate she
would save her own life.

Bellamy, therefore, was the only one who spoke; and his unanswered
observations contributed but little to enliven the walk.

When they came within sight of the party, the baronet was again seized
with the extremest dismay. 'Why now, what's this?' cried he; 'here's
nothing but blunders. Pray, Sir, who gave you authority to take my niece
from her own tutor? for so I may call him, though more properly
speaking, he came amongst us to be mine; which, however, is no affair
but of our own.'

'Sir,' answered Bellamy, advancing and bowing; 'I hope I have had the
happiness of rather doing service than mischief; I saw the young lady
upon the point of destruction, and I hastened her to a place of
security, from whence I had ordered a post-chaise, to convey her safe to
your house.'

'Yes, my dear uncle,' said Eugenia, recovering from her embarrassment;
'I have occasioned this gentleman infinite trouble; and though Mr.
Mandlebert assures us there was no real danger, he thought there was,
and therefore I must always hold myself to be greatly obliged to him.'

'Well, if that's the case, I must be obliged to him too; which, to tell
you the truth, is not a thing I am remarkably fond of having happened.
But where's Dr. Orkborne? I hope he's come to no harm, by his not
shewing himself?'

'At the moment of terror,' said Eugenia, 'I accepted the first offer of
assistance, concluding we were all hurrying away at the same time; but I
saw Dr. Orkborne no more afterwards.'

'I can't say that was over and above kind of him, nor careful neither,'
cried Sir Hugh, 'considering some particular reasons; however, where is
he now?'

Nobody could say; no one had seen or observed him.

'Why then, ten to one, poor gentleman!' exclaimed the baronet, 'but he's
the very person himself who's tossed, while we are all of us running
away for nothing!'

A suspicion now occurred to Dr. Marchmont, which led him to return over
the stile into the field where the confusion had begun; and there, on
the exact spot where he had first taken out his tablets, calmly stood
Dr. Orkborne; looking now upon his writing, now up to the sky, but
seeing nothing any where, from intense absorption of thought upon the
illustration he was framing.

Awakened from his reverie by the Doctor, his first recollection was of
Eugenia; he had not doubted her remaining quietly by his side, and the
moment he looked round and missed her, he felt considerable compunction.
The good Doctor, however, assured him all were safe, and conducted him
to the group.

'So here you are,' said the baronet, 'and no more tossed than myself,
for which I am sincerely thankful, though I can't say I think you have
taken much care of my niece, nobody knowing what might have become of
her, if it had not been for that strange gentleman, that I never saw
before.'

He then formally placed Eugenia under the care of Dr. Marchmont.

Dr. Orkborne, piqued by this transfer, sullenly followed, and now gave
to her, pertinaciously, his undivided attention. Drawn by a total
revulsion of ideas from the chain of thinking that had led him to
composition, he relinquished his annotations in resentment of this
dismission, when he might have pursued them uninterruptedly without
neglect of other avocations.



CHAPTER XII

_Two Doctors_


A council was now held upon what course must next be taken. Both Sir
Hugh and Eugenia were too much fatigued to walk any further; yet it was
concluded that the garden chair, by some mistake, was gone straight to
the cottage. Edgar, therefore, proposed running thither to bring it
round for them, while Dr. Orkborne should go forward for Miss Margland
and Indiana, and conduct them by the high road to the same place; where
the whole party might at length re-assemble. Sir Hugh approved the plan,
and he set off instantly.

But not so Dr. Orkborne; he thought himself disgraced by being sent from
one post to another; and though Eugenia was nothing to him, in
competition with his tablets and his work, his own instructions had so
raised her in his mind, that he thought her the only female worthy a
moment of his time. Indiana he looked upon with ineffable contempt; the
incapacity she had shewn during the short time she was under his
pupillage, had convinced him of the futility of her whole sex, from
which he held Eugenia to be a partial exception; and Miss Margland, who
never spoke to him but in a voice of haughty superiority, and whom he
never answered, but with an air of solemn superciliousness, was his
rooted aversion. He could not brook being employed in the service of
either; he stood, therefore, motionless, till Sir Hugh repeated the
proposition.

Not caring to disoblige him, he then, without speaking, slowly and
unwillingly moved forwards.

'I see,' said the baronet, softened rather than offended, 'he does not
much like to leave his little scholar, which is but natural; though I
took it rather unkind his letting the poor thing run against the very
horns of the bull, as one may say, if it had not been for a mere
accidental passenger. However, one must always make allowance for a man
that takes much to his studies, those things generally turning the head
pretty much into a narrow compass.'

He then called after him, and said if the walk would tire him, he would
wait till they came of themselves, which no doubt they would soon do, as
Lionel was gone for them.

Dr. Orkborne gladly stopt; but Dr. Marchmont, seeing little likelihood
of a general meeting without some trouble, offered to take the
commission upon himself, with a politeness that seemed to shew it to be
a wish of his own.

Sir Hugh accepted his kindness with thanks; and Dr. Orkborne, though
secretly disconcerted by such superior alacrity in so learned a man, was
well content to reinstate himself by the side of his pupil.

Sir Hugh, who saw the eyes of Bellamy constantly turned towards Eugenia,
thought his presence highly dangerous, and with much tribulation, said:
'As I find, sir, we may all have to stay here, I don't know how long, I
hope you won't be affronted, after my best thanks for your keeping my
niece from the bull, if I don't make any particular point of begging
the favour of you to stay much longer with us.'

Bellamy, extremely chagrined, cast an appealing look at Eugenia, and
expressing his regret that his services were inadmissible, made his
retreat with undisguised reluctance.

Eugenia, persuaded she owed him a serious obligation for his care, as
well as for his partiality, felt the sincerest concern at his apparent
distress, and contributed far more than she intended to its removal, by
the gentle countenance with which she received his sorrowful glance.

Bellamy, hastily overtaking Dr. Marchmont, darted on before him in
search of Miss Margland and Indiana, who, far from advancing, were
pacing their way back to the church-yard. Lionel had joined them, and
the incensed Miss Margland had encouraged the glad attendance of the
Oxonian, as a protection to herself.

The sight of Bellamy by no means tended to disperse the storm: She
resented his deserting her while she was in danger, and desired to see
no more of him. But when he had respectfully suffered her wrath to vent
itself, he made apologies, with an obsequiousness so rare to her, and a
deference so strikingly contrasted with the daring ridicule of Lionel,
that she did not long oppose the potent charm of adulation--a charm
which, however it may be sweetened by novelty, seldom loses its effect
by any familiarity.

During these contests, Indiana was left wholly to young Melmond, and the
temptation was too strong for his impassioned feelings to withstand: 'O
fairest,' he cried, 'fairest and most beautiful of all created beings!
Can I resist--no! this one, one effusion--the first and the last! The
sensibility of your mind will plead for me--I read it in those heavenly
eyes--they emit mercy in their beauty! they are as radiant with goodness
as with loveliness! alas! I trespass--I blush and dare not hope your
forgiveness.'

He stopt, terrified at his own presumption; but the looks of Indiana
were never more beautiful, and never less formidable. A milder doom,
therefore, seemed suddenly to burst upon his view. Elated and
enraptured, he vehemently exclaimed: 'Oh, were my lot not irrevocably
miserable! were the smallest ray of light to beam upon my
despondence!'--

Indiana still spoke not a word, but she withdrew not her smiles; and the
enraptured student, lifted into the highest bliss by the permission
even of a doubt, walked on, transported, by her side, too happy in
suspence to wish an explanation.

In this manner they proceeded, till they were joined by Dr. Marchmont.
The task he had attempted was beyond his power of performance; Miss
Margland was inexorable; she declared nothing should induce her to go a
step towards the field inhabited by the bull, and every assurance of
safety the Doctor could urge was ineffectual.

He next assailed Indiana; but her first terror, soothed by the
compassion and admiration of Melmond, was now revived, and she
protested, almost with tears, that to go within a hundred yards of that
dreadful meadow would make her undoubtedly faint away. The tender
commiseration of Melmond confirmed her apprehensions, and she soon
looked upon Dr. Marchmont as a barbarian for making the proposal.

The Doctor then commended them to the care of Lionel, and returned with
this repulse to Sir Hugh.

The baronet, incapable of being angry with any one he conceived to be
frightened, said they should be pressed no more, for he would give up
going to the cottage, and put his best foot forward to walk on to them
himself; adding he was so overjoyed to have got rid of that young spark,
that he had no fear but that he, and poor Eugenia, too, should both do
as well as they could.

They proceeded very slowly, the baronet leaning upon Dr. Marchmont, and
Eugenia upon Dr. Orkborne, who watchful, with no small alarm, of the
behaviour of the only man he had yet seen with any internal respect,
since he left the university, sacrificed completely his notes and his
tablets to emulate his attentions.

When they approached the church-yard, in which Miss Margland and her
party had halted, Sir Hugh perceived Bellamy. He stopt short, calling
out, with extreme chagrin, 'Lord help us! what a thing it is to rejoice!
which one never knows the right season to do, on the score of meeting
with disappointments!'

Then, after a little meditation, 'There is but one thing,' he cried, 'to
be done, which is to guard from the first against any more mischief,
having already had enough of it for one morning, not to say more than I
could have wished by half: So do you, good Dr. Marchmont, take Eugenia
under your own care, and I'll make shift with Dr. Orkborne for myself;
for, in the case he should take again to writing or thinking, it will be
nothing to me to keep still till he has done; provided it should happen
at a place where I can sit down.'

Dr. Orkborne had never felt so deeply hurt; the same commission
transferred to Edgar, or to Lionel, would have failed to affect him; he
considered them as of an age fitted for such frivolous employment, which
he thought as much below his dignity, as the young men themselves were
beneath his competition; but the comfort of contempt, a species of
consolation ever ready to offer itself to the impulsive pride of man,
was here an alleviation he could not call to his aid; the character of
Dr. Marchmont stood as high in erudition as his own; and, though his
acquaintance with him was merely personal, the fame of his learning, the
only attribute to which fame, in his conception, belonged, had reached
him from authority too unquestionable for doubt. The urbanity,
therefore, of his manners, his general diffusion of discourse, and his
universal complaisance, filled him with astonishment, and raised an
emotion of envy which no other person would have been deemed worthy of
exciting.

But though his long and fixed residence at Cleves had now removed the
timid circumspection with which he first sought to ensure his
establishment, he yet would not venture any positive refusal to the
baronet; he resigned, therefore, his young charge to his new and
formidable opponent, and even exerted himself to mark some alacrity in
assisting Sir Hugh. But his whole real attention was upon Dr. Marchmont,
whom his eye followed in every motion, to discover, if possible, by what
art unknown he had acquired such a command over his thoughts and
understanding, as to bear patiently, nay pleasantly, with the idle and
unequal companions of general society.

Dr. Marchmont, who was rector of Cleves, had been introduced to Sir Hugh
upon the baronet's settling in the large mansion-house of that village;
but he had not visited at the house, nor had his company been solicited.
Sir Hugh, who could never separate understanding from learning, nor want
of education from folly, concluded that such a man as Dr. Marchmont must
necessarily despise him; and though the extreme sweetness of his temper
made him draw the conclusion without resentment, it so effectually
prevented all wish of any intercourse, that they had never conversed
together till this morning; and his surprise, now, at such civilities
and good humour in so great a scholar, differed only from that of Dr.
Orkborne, in being accompanied with admiration instead of envy.

Eugenia thus disposed of, they were proceeding, when Sir Hugh next
observed the young Oxonian: He was speaking with Indiana, to whom his
passionate devotion was glaring from his looks, air, and whole manner.

'Lord held me!' exclaimed he; 'if there is not another of those new
chaps, that nobody knows anything about, talking to Indiana! and, for
aught I can tell to the contrary, making love to her! I think I never
took such a bad walk as this before, since the hour I was born, in point
of unluckiness. Robert will have enough to answer for, which he must
expect to hear; and indeed I am not much obliged to Mrs. Margland
herself, and so I must needs tell her, though it is not what I much like
to do.'

He then made a sign to Miss Margland to approach him: 'Mrs. Margland,'
he cried, 'I should not have taken the liberty to beckon you in this
manner, but that I think it right to ask you what those two young
gentlemen, that I never saw before, do in the church-yard; which is a
thing I think rather odd.'

'As to that gentleman, sir,' she answered, bridling, 'who was standing
by me, he is the only person I have found to protect me from Mr. Lionel,
whose behaviour, sir, I must freely tell you--'

'Why certainly, Mrs. Margland, I can't deny but he's rather a little
over and above giddy; but I am sure your understanding won't mind it, in
consideration of his being young enough to be your son, in the case of
your having been married time enough.'

He then desired Indiana would come to him.

The rapture of the Oxonian was converted into torture by this summons;
and the suspence which the moment before he had gilded with the gay
colours of hope, he felt would be no longer supportable when deprived of
the sight of his divinity. Scarce could he refrain from casting himself
publicly at her feet, and pouring forth the wishes of his heart. But
when again the call was repeated, and he saw her look another way, as if
desirous not to attend to it, the impulse of quick rising joy dispersed
his small remains of forbearance, and precipitately clasping his hands,
'O go not!' he passionately exclaimed; 'leave me not in this abyss of
suffering! Fairest and most beautiful! tell me at least, if my death is
inevitable! if no time--no constancy--no adoration--may ever dare hope
to penetrate that gentlest of bosoms!'

Indiana herself was now, for the first time, sensible of a little
emotion; the animation of this address delighted her; it was new, and
its effect was highly pleasing. How cold, she thought, is Edgar! She
made not any answer, but permitted her eyes to meet his with the most
languishing softness.

Melmond trembled through his whole frame; despair flew him, and
expectation wore her brightest plumage: 'O pronounce but one word,' he
cried, 'one single word!--are, are you--O say not yes!--irrevocably
engaged?--lost to all hope--all possibility for ever?'

Indiana again licensed her fine eyes with their most melting powers, and
all self-control was finally over with her impassioned lover; who,
mingling prayers for her favour, with adoration of her beauty, heeded
not who heard him, and forgot every presence but her own.

Miss Margland, who, engrossed by personal resentment and debates, had
not remarked the rising courage and energy of Melmond, had just turned
to Indiana, upon the second call of Sir Hugh, and became now utterly
confounded by the sight of her willing attention: 'Miss Lynmere,' cried
she, angrily, 'what are you thinking of? Suppose Mr. Mandlebert should
come, what might be the consequence?'

'Mandlebert?' repeated Melmond, while the blood forsook his cheeks; 'is
it then even so?--is all over?--all decided? is my destiny black and
ireful for ever?'

Indiana still more and more struck with him, looked down, internally
uttering: Ah! were this charming youth but master of Beech Park!

At this instant, the rapid approach of a carriage caught their ears; and
eager to avoid making a decisive reply, she ran to the church-yard gate
to look at it, exclaiming: 'Dear! what an elegant chariot.' When it came
up to the party, it stopt, and, opening the door himself, Edgar jumped
hastily out of it.

The Oxonian stood aghast: but Indiana, springing forward, and losing in
curiosity every other sensation, cried: 'Dear! Mr. Mandlebert, whose
beautiful new carriage is that?'

'Yours,' answered he, gallantly, 'if you will honour it with any
commands.'

She then observed his crest and cypher were on the panels; and another
entire new set of ideas took instant possession of her mind. She
received literally an answer which he had made in gay courtesy, and held
out her hand to be helped into the chariot.

Edgar, though surprised and even startled at this unexpected
appropriation of his civility, could not recede; but the moment he had
seated her, hastily turned round, to inquire who else was most fatigued.

The Oxonian now felt lost! suddenly, abruptly, but irretrievably lost!
The cypher he saw--the question 'whose carriage is that?' he heard--the
answer '_yours_' made him gasp for breath, and the instantaneous
acceptance stung him to the soul. Wholly in desperation, he rushed to
the opposite window of the chariot, and calling out, 'enough,
cruel!--cruel!--enough--I will see you no more!' hurried out of sight.

Indiana, who, for the first time, thought herself mistress of a new and
elegant equipage, was so busily employed in examining the trappings and
the lining, that she bore his departure without a sigh; though but an
instant before it might have cost her something near one.

Eugenia had been touched more deeply. She was ignorant of what had
passed, but she had seen the agitation of Melmond, and the moment he
disappeared, she ejaculated secretly: 'Ah! had he conceived the
prepossession of Bellamy! where had been my steadiness? where, O
Clermont! thy security!--'

The scrupulous delicacy of her mind was shocked at this suggestion, and
she rejoiced she had not been put to such a trial.

Edgar now explained, that when he arrived at the cottage, he found, as
he had foreseen, the garden chair waiting there, by mistake, and Robert
in much distress, having just discovered that an accident had happened
to one of the wheels. He had run on, therefore, himself, to Beech Park,
for his own new chariot, which was lately arrived from town, making
Robert follow with Sir Hugh's horses, as his own were out at grass.

It was dinner-time, and Sir Hugh, equally vexed and fatigued, resolved
to return straight home. He accepted, therefore, a place in the chariot,
bid Eugenia follow him, and Robert make haste; solemnly adding to the
latter: 'I had fully intended making you the proper lecture upon your
not coming in time; but as it has turned out not to be your fault, on
account of an accident, I shall say no more; except to give you a hint
not to do such a thing again, because we have all been upon the point
of being tossed by a mad bull; which would certainly have happened, but
for the lucky chance of its turning out a false alarm.'

The remainder of the party proceeded without further adventure. Edgar
attended Camilla; Miss Margland adhered to Bellamy: Lionel, who durst
not venture at any new frolic, but with whom time lingered when none was
passing, retreated; Dr. Marchmont, who was near his home, soon also made
his bow; and Dr. Orkborne, who was glad to be alone, ruminated with
wonder upon what appeared to him a phenomenon, a man of learning who
could deign to please and seem pleased where books were not the subject
of discourse, and where scholastic attainments were not required to
elucidate a single sentence.



CHAPTER XIII

_Two Ways of looking at the same Thing_


When the party arrived at Cleves, Camilla, who had observed that Edgar
seemed much disappointed by the breaking up of the cottage expedition,
proposed that it should take place in the evening; and her uncle, though
too much fatigued to venture out again himself, consented, or rather
insisted, that the excursion should be made without him.

Before they set out, Edgar desired to speak with Sir Hugh in private.

Sir Hugh concluded it was to make his proposals of marriage for Indiana;
and had not patience to step into his own apartment, but told them all
to retire, with a nod at Indiana, which prepared not only herself but
Miss Margland, Camilla, and Eugenia to join in his expectation.

Indiana, though a good deal fluttered, flew to a window, to see if the
new chariot was in sight; and then, turning to Miss Margland, asked,
'Pray, should I refuse him at first?'

Miss Margland spared not for proper instructions; and immediately began
a negociation with the fair questioner, for continuing to live with her.

Eugenia was occupied in reflecting with pity upon the idleness of
Indiana, which so ill had fitted her for becoming the companion of
Mandlebert.

Camilla, unusually thoughtful, walked alone into the garden, and sought
a path least in sight.

Sir Hugh, meanwhile, was most unpleasantly undeceived. Edgar, without
naming Indiana, informed him of the situation in which he had surprised
Bellamy, and of his suspicions with regard to the destination of the
chaise, but for his own timely arrival at the farm-house; adding, that
his gratitude to Mr. Tyrold, his respect for himself, and his affection
for all the family, made him think it is duty to reveal these
circumstances without delay.

The baronet shuddered with horror; and declared he would instantly send
an express to bring Clermont home, that Eugenia might be married out of
hand; and, in the mean time, that he would have every window in the
house barred, and keep her locked up in her room.

Edgar dissuaded him from so violent a measure; but advised him to speak
with his niece upon the danger she had probably escaped, and of which
she seemed wholly unconscious; to prevail with her not to go out again
this evening, and to send for Mr. Tyrold, and acquaint him with the
affair.

Sir Hugh thanked him for his counsel, and implicitly acted by his
opinion.

He then ordered the coach for Miss Margland, Indiana, and Camilla.

Dr. Orkborne, finding neither Sir Hugh nor Eugenia of the party,
declined joining it. Lionel was returned to Etherington; and Edgar rode
on before, to invite Dr. Marchmont, with the consent of the Baronet, to
take the fourth place in the carriage.

Arrived at the rectory, he went straight, by prescriptive privilege,
into the study of Dr. Marchmont, whom he found immersed in books and
papers, which, immediately, at the request of Edgar, he put aside; not
without regret to quit them, though wholly without reluctance to oblige.

Edgar had ridden so hard, that they had some time to wait for the coach.
But he did not appear anxious for its arrival; though he wore a look
that was far from implying him to be free from anxiety.

He was silent,--he hemmed,--he was silent again,--and again he
hemmed,--and then, gently laying his hand upon the shoulder of the
Doctor, while his eyes, full of meaning, were fixed upon his face;
'Doctor,' he cried, 'you would hardly have known these young
ladies?--they are all grown from children into women since you saw them
last.'

'Yes,' answered the Doctor, 'and very charming women. Indiana has a
beauty so exquisite, it is scarce possible to look away from it a
moment: Eugenia joins so much innocence with information, that the mind
must itself be deformed that could dwell upon her personal defects,
after conversing with her: Camilla'--

He paused, and Edgar hastily turned another way, not to look at him, nor
be looked at, while he proceeded:

'Camilla,' he presently continued, 'seems the most inartificially sweet,
the most unobtrusively gay, and the most attractively lovely of almost
any young creature I ever beheld.'

With a heart all expanded, and a face full of sensibility, Edgar now
turned to him, and seizing, involuntarily, his hand, which he eagerly
shook, 'You think her, then,'--he cried,--but suddenly stopt, dropt his
hand, coughed two or three times; and, taking out his pocket
handkerchief, seemed tormented with a violent cold.

Dr. Marchmont affectionately embraced him. 'My dear young young friend,'
he cried, 'I see the situation of your mind--and think every possible
happiness promises to be yours; yet, if you have taken no positive step,
suffer me to speak with you before you proceed.'

'Far from having taken any positive step, I have not yet even formed any
resolution.'

Here the carriage stopt for the Doctor, who repeated, 'Yes! I think
every possible happiness promises to be yours!' before he went on to the
ladies. Edgar, in a trepidation too great to be seen by them, kept
behind till they drove off, though he then galloped so fast, that he
arrived at the cottage before them: the words, 'I think every possible
happiness promises to be yours,' vibrating the whole time in his ears.

When the coach arrived, Edgar handed out Miss Margland and Indiana;
leaving Camilla to the Doctor; willing to let him see more of her, and
by no means displeased to avoid his eyes at that moment himself.

Indiana was in the most sprightly spirits she had ever experienced; she
concluded herself on the verge of becoming mistress of a fine place and
a large fortune; she had received adulation all the morning that had
raised her beauty higher than ever in her own estimation; and she
secretly revolved, with delight, various articles of ornament and of
luxury, which she had long wished to possess, and which now, for her
wedding clothes, she should have riches sufficient to purchase.

Miss Margland, too, was all smoothness, complacency, and courtesy.

Camilla, alone, was grave; Camilla, who, by nature, was gay.

'Dear! is this the cottage we have been coming to all this time?' cried
Indiana, upon entering; 'Lord! I thought it would have been something
quite pretty.'

'And what sort of prettiness,' said Edgar, 'did you expect from a
cottage?'

'Dear, I don't know--but I thought we were come on purpose to see
something extraordinary?'

Camilla, who followed, made an exclamation far different; an exclamation
of pleasure, surprise, and vivacity, that restored for an instant, all
her native gaiety: for no sooner had she crossed the threshold, than she
recognised, in a woman who was curtsying low to receive her, and whom
Indiana had passed without observing, the wife of the poor prisoner for
whom she had interceded with Mandlebert.

'How I rejoice to see you!' cried she, 'and to see you here! and how
much better you look! and how comfortable you seem! I hope you are now
all well?'

'Ah, madam,' answered the woman; 'we owe everything to that good young
gentleman! he has put us in this nice new cottage, and employs us in his
service. Blessings on his head! I am sure he will be paid for it!'

Edgar, somewhat agitated, occupied himself with jumping the little boy;
Camilla looked round with rapture; Indiana seemed wonder-struck, without
knowing why; Dr. Marchmont narrowly watched them all; and Miss Margland,
expecting a new collection would be next proposed for setting them up,
nimbly re-crossed the threshold, to examine the prospect without.

The husband, now in decent garb, and much recovered, though still weak
and emaciated, advanced to Camilla, to make his humble acknowledgments,
that she had recommended them to their kind benefactor.

'No!' cried Camilla; 'you owe me nothing! your own distress recommended
you;--your own distress--and Mr. Mandlebert's generosity.'

Then, going up to Edgar, 'It is your happy fate,' she said, in an accent
of admiration, 'to act all that my father so often plans and wishes, but
which his income will not allow him to execute.'

'You see,' answered he, gratefully, 'how little suffices for content! I
have scarce done anything--yet how relieved, how satisfied are these
poor people! This hut was fortunately vacant'--

'O, madam!' interrupted the poor woman, 'if you knew but how that good
gentleman has done it all! how kindly he has used us, and made everybody
else use us! and let nobody taunt us with our bad faults!--and what good
he has done to my poor sick husband! and how he has clothed my poor
little half naked children! and, what is more than all, saved us from
the shame of an ill life.'--

Camilla felt the tears start into her eyes;--she hastily snatched the
little babe into her arms; and, while her kisses hid her face, Happy,
and thrice happy Indiana! with a soft sigh, was the silent ejaculation
of her heart.

She seated herself on a stool, and, without speaking or hearing any
thing more, devoted herself to the baby.

Indiana, meanwhile, whose confidence in her own situation gave her
courage to utter whatever first occurred to her, having made a general
survey of the place and people, with an air of disappointment, now
amused herself with an inspection more minute, taking up and casting
down everything that was portable, without any regard either to
deranging its neatness, or endangering its safety:--exclaiming, as she
made her round of investigation, 'Dear! Crockery ware! how ugly!--Lord,
what little mean chairs!--Is that your best gown, good woman?--Dear,
what an ugly pattern!--Well, I would not wear such a thing to save my
life!--Have you got nothing better than this for a floor-cloth?--Only
look at those curtains! Did you ever see such frights?--Lord! do you eat
off these platters? I am sure I could sooner die! I should not mind
starving half as much!'

Miss Margland, hoping the collection was now either made or
relinquished, ventured to re-enter, and inquire if they never meant to
return home? Camilla unwillingly gave up the baby; but would not depart
without looking over the cottage, where everything she saw excited a
sensation of pleasure. 'How neat is this! How tidy that!' were her
continual exclamations; 'How bright you have rubbed your saucepans! How
clean every thing is all round! How soon you will all get well in this
healthy and comfortable little dwelling!'

Edgar, in a low voice, then told Dr. Marchmont the history of his new
cottagers, saying: 'You will not, I hope, disapprove what I have done?
Their natures seemed so much disposed to good, I could not bear to let
their wants turn them again to evil.'

'You have certainly done right,' answered the Doctor; 'to give money
without inquiry, or further aid, to those who have adopted bad
practices, is, to them, but temptation, and to society an injury; but to
give them both the counsel and the means to pursue a right course, is,
to them, perhaps, salvation, and to the community, the greatest
service.'

Indiana and Miss Margland, quite wearied, both got into the carriage;
Edgar, having deposited them, returned to Camilla, who kissed both the
children, poured forth good wishes upon the father and mother; and,
then, gave him her hand. Enchanted, he took it, exclaiming; 'Ah! who is
like you! so lively--yet so feeling!'

Struck and penetrated, she made no answer: Alas! she thought, I fear he
is not quite satisfied with Indiana!

Dr. Marchmont was set down at his own house; where, he begged to have a
conference with Edgar the next morning.

The whole way home, the benevolence of Edgar occupied the mind of
Camilla; and, not in the present instance, the less, that its object had
been originally of her own pointing out.



CHAPTER XIV

_Two Retreats_


Mr. and Mrs. Tyrold had obeyed the summons of Sir Hugh, whom they found
in extreme tribulation; persuaded by his fears not only of the design of
Bellamy, but of its inevitable success. His brother, however, who knew
his alarms to be generally as unfounded as his hopes; and Mrs. Tyrold,
who almost undisguisedly despised both; no sooner heard his account,
than, declining to discuss it, they sent for Eugenia. She related the
transaction with a confusion so innocent, that it was easy to discern
shame alone had hitherto caused her silence; and with a simplicity so
unaffected, that not a doubt could rest upon their minds, but that her
heart was as disengaged as her intentions had been irreproachable. Yet
they were not the less struck with the danger she had incurred; and,
while her father blessed Mandlebert for her preservation, her mother was
so sensible to his care for the family welfare and honour, that the
anger she had conceived against him subsided, though the regret to which
it had owed its birth increased.

Mr. Tyrold gave his daughter some slight cautions and general advice;
but thought it wisest, since he found her tranquil and unsuspicious, not
to raise apprehensions that might disturb her composure, nor awaken
ideas of which the termination must be doubtful.

Her mother deemed the matter to be undeserving the least serious alarm.
The man had appeared to her from the beginning to be a despicable
adventurer; and her lofty contempt of all low arts made her conclude her
well-principled Eugenia as superior to their snares as to their
practice.

This conference completely quieted the fears of Sir Hugh; who
relinquished his design of sending for Clermont, and imagined Edgar to
have been too severe in his judgment of Bellamy, who had only knelt in
pure compassion, to prevail with Eugenia to take care of her life.

The rector and his lady were already gone before the cottage group came
home. Edgar was anxious to inquire of Sir Hugh what had passed. The
three females, concluding he had still something to say relative to his
proposals, by tacit agreement, retired to their own rooms.

They were not, however, as concurrent in their eagerness to re-assemble.
Miss Margland and Indiana watched the moment when they might appease
their burning curiosity by descending: but Eugenia wished to prolong her
absence, that she might recover from the embarrassment she had just
suffered; and Camilla determined not to appear again till the next
morning.

For the first time in her life after the shortest separation, she
forbore to seek Eugenia, [who] she supposed would have gathered all the
particular of the approaching nuptials. She felt no desire to hear them.
It was a period to which, hitherto, she had looked forward as to a
thing of course; but this day it had struck her that Edgar and Indiana
could not be happy together.--She had even surmised, from his last
speech, that he lamented, in secret, the connexion he had formed.

The gentlest pity took possession of her breast; an increasing
admiration succeeded to her pity. She could not bear to witness so
unequal a scene, as the full satisfaction of Sir Hugh contrasted with
the seriousness, perhaps repentance, of Edgar. She pleaded an head-ache,
and went to bed.

The morning did not find her less averse to hear the confirmation of the
suspected news. On the contrary, her repugnance to have it ascertained
became stronger. She did not ask herself why; she did not consider the
uselessness of flying for one hour what she must encounter the next. The
present moment was all she could weigh; and, to procrastinate any evil,
seemed, to her ardent and active imagination, to conquer it. Again,
therefore, she planned a visit to Mrs. Arlbery; though she had given it
up so long, from the discouragement of Lionel, that she felt more of
shame than of pleasure in the idea of making so tardy an apology; but
she could think of no other place to which the whole party would not
accompany her; and to avoid them and their communications, for however
short a space of time, was now her sole aim.

Before breakfast, she repaired to the apartment of her uncle; her
request was granted, as soon as heard; and she ordered the chaise.

Indiana and Miss Margland, meanwhile, had learnt from the baronet, that
the proposals were not yet made. Miss Margland softened the
disappointment of Indiana, by suggesting that her admirer was probably
waiting the arrival of some elegant trinket, that he destined to present
her upon his declaration: but she was by no means free from doubt and
suspicion herself. She languished to quit Cleves, and Sir Hugh had
almost thought her accountable for the slowness of Mandlebert's
proceedings. To keep up her own consequence, she had again repeated her
assurances, that all was in a prosperous train; though she had
frequently, with strong private uneasiness, observed the eyes of Edgar
fixed upon Camilla, with an attention far more pointed than she had ever
remarked in them when their direction was towards her fair pupil.

Camilla hurried over her breakfast in expectation of the chaise, and in
dread continual, lest her cousin should call her aside, to acquaint her
that all was arranged. Edgar perceived, with surprise, that she was
going out alone; and, no sooner gathered whither, than, drawing her to
one of the windows, he earnestly said: 'Is it by appointment you wait
upon Mrs. Arlbery?'

'No.'

'Does she at all expect you this morning?'

'No.'

'Would it, then, be asking too much, if I should entreat you to postpone
your visit for a short time?'

The whole design of Camilla was to absent herself immediately; yet she
hated to say no. She looked disturbed, and was silent.

'Have you made any further acquaintance with her since the morning of
the raffle?'

'No, none; but I wish excessively to know more of her.'

'She is certainly, very--agreeable,' said he, with some hesitation;
'but, whether she is all Mrs. Tyrold would approve'--

'I hope you know no harm of her?--If you do, pray keep it to
yourself!--for it would quite afflict me to hear anything to her
disadvantage.'

'I should be grieved, indeed, to be the messenger of affliction to you;
but I hope there may be no occasion; I only beg a day or two's patience;
and, in the meanwhile, I can give you this assurance; she is undoubtedly
a woman of character. I saw she had charmed you, and I made some
immediate inquiries. Her reputation is without taint.'

'A thousand, thousand thanks,' cried Camilla, gaily, 'for taking so much
trouble; and ten thousand more for finding it needless!'

Edgar could not forbear laughing, but answered, he was not yet so
certain it was needless; since exemption from actual blemish could only
be a negative recommendation: he should very soon, he added, see a lady
upon whose judgment he could rely, and who would frankly satisfy him
with respect to some other particulars, which, he owned, he considered
as essential to be known, before any intimacy should be formed.

Wishing to comply with his request, yet impatient to leave the house,
Camilla stood suspended till the chaise was announced.

'I think,' cried she, with a look and tone of irresolution, 'my going
this once can draw on no ill consequence?'

Edgar only dropt his eyes.

'You are not of that opinion?'

'I have a very particular engagement this morning,' he replied; 'but I
will readily give it up, and ride off instantly to make my application
to this lady, if it is possible you can defer only till tomorrow your
visit. Will you suffer me to ask such a delay? It will greatly oblige
me.'

'Why, then,--I will defer it till to-morrow,--or till to-morrow week!'
cried she, wholly vanquished; 'I insist, therefore, that you do not
postpone your business.'

She then desired the servant, who was taking away the breakfast
equipage, to order the chaise to be put up.

Edgar, subdued in his turn, caught her hand: but, instantly,
recollecting himself, hastily let it go; and, throwing up the window
sash, abruptly exclaimed: 'I never saw such fine weather:--I hope it
will not rain!'

He then rapidly wished them all good morning, and mounted his horse.

Miss Margland, who, sideling towards the window, on pretence of
examining a print, had heard and seen all that had passed, was almost
overpowered with rage, by the conviction she received that her
apprehensions were not groundless. She feared losing all weight both
with the baronet and with Indiana, if she made this acknowledgment, and
retreated, confounded, to her own room, to consider what path to pursue
at so dangerous a crisis; wearing a scowl upon her face, that was always
an indication she would not be followed.

Camilla also went to her chamber, in a perturbation at once pleasing and
painful. She was sorry to have missed her excursion, but she was happy
to have obliged Edgar; she was delighted he could take such interest in
her conduct and affairs, yet dreaded, more than ever, a private
conversation with Indiana;--Indiana, who, every moment, appeared to her
less and less calculated to bestow felicity upon Edgar Mandlebert.

She seated herself at a window, and soon, through the trees, perceived
him galloping away. 'Too--too amiable Edgar!' she cried, earnestly
looking after him, with her hands clasped, and tears starting into her
eyes.

Frightened at her own tenderness, she rose, shut the window, and walked
to another end of the apartment.

She took up a book; but she could not read: 'Too--too amiable Edgar!'
again escaped her. She went to her piano-forte; she could not play:
'Too--too amiable Edgar!' broke forth in defiance of all struggle.

Alarmed and ashamed, even to herself, she resolved to dissipate her
ideas by a long walk; and not to come out of the park, till the first
dinner-bell summoned her to dress.



CHAPTER XV

_Two Sides of a Question_


The intention of Edgar had been to ride to Mrs. Needham, the lady of
whom he meant to ask the information to which he had alluded; but a
charm too potent for resistance demanded his immediate liberation from
the promise to Dr. Marchmont, which bound him to proceed no further till
they had again conversed together.

He galloped, therefore, to the parsonage-house of Cleves, and entering
the study of the Doctor, and taking him by the hand, with the most
animated gesture; 'My dear and honoured friend,' he cried, 'I come to
you now without hesitation, and free from every painful embarrassment of
lurking irresolution! I come to you decided, and upon grounds which
cannot offend you, though the decision anticipates your counsel. I come
to you, in fine, my dear Doctor, my good and kind friend, to confess
that yesterday you saw right, with regard to the situation of my mind,
and that, to-day, I have only your felicitations to beg, upon my
confirmed, my irrevocable choice!'

Dr. Marchmont embraced him: 'May you then,' he cried, 'be as happy, my
dear young friend, as you deserve! I can wish you nothing higher.'

'Last night,' continued Edgar, 'I felt all doubt die away: captivating
as I have ever thought her, so soft, so gentle, so touchingly sweet, as
last night, I had never yet beheld her; you witnessed it, my dear
Doctor? you saw her with the baby in her arms? how beautiful, how
endearing a sight!'

The Doctor looked assentingly, but did not speak.

'Yet even last night was short of the feelings she excited this morning.
My dear friend! she was upon the point of making an excursion from
which she had promised herself peculiar pleasure, and to see a lady for
whom she had conceived the warmest admiration--I begged her to
postpone--perhaps relinquish entirely the visit--she had obtained leave
from Sir Hugh--the carriage was at the door--would you, could you
believe such sweetness with such vivacity? she complied with my request,
and complied with a grace that has rivetted her--I own it--that has
rivetted her to my soul!'

Doctor Marchmont smiled, but rather pensively than rejoicingly; and
Edgar, receiving no answer, walked for some time about the room,
silently enjoying his own thoughts.

Returning then to the Doctor, 'My dear friend,' he cried, 'I understood
you wished to speak with me?'

'Yes--but I thought you disengaged.'

'So, except mentally, I am still.'

'Does she not yet know her conquest?'

'She does not even guess it.'

Dr. Marchmont now rising, with much energy said: 'Hear me then, my dear
and most valued young friend; forbear to declare yourself, make no
overtures to her relations, raise no expectations even in her own
breast, and let not rumour surmise your passion to the world, till her
heart is better known to you.'

Edgar, starting and amazed, with great emotion exclaimed: 'What do you
mean, my good Doctor? do you suspect any prior engagement? any fatal
prepossession?'--

'I suspect nothing. I do not know her. I mean not, therefore, the
propensities alone, but the worth, also, of her heart; deception is
easy, and I must not see you thrown away.'

'Let me, then, be her guarantee!' cried Edgar, with firmness; 'for I
know her well! I have known her from her childhood, and cannot be
deceived. I fear nothing--except my own powers of engaging her regard. I
can trace to a certainty, even from my boyish remarks, her fair, open,
artless, and disinterested character.'

He then gave a recital of the nobleness of her sentiments and conduct
when only nine years old; contrasting the relation with the sullen and
ungenerous behaviour of Indiana at the same age.

Dr. Marchmont listened to the account with attention and pleasure, but
not with an air of that full conviction which Edgar expected. 'All
this,' he said, 'is highly prophetic of good, and confirms me in the
opinion I expressed last night, that every possible happiness promises
to be yours.'

'Yet, still,' said Edgar, a little chagrined, 'there seems some drawback
to your entire approbation?'

'To your choice I have none.'

'You perplex me, Doctor! I know not to what you object, what you would
intimate, nor what propose?'

'All I have to suggest may be comprised in two points: First, That you
will refuse confirmation even to your own intentions, till you have
positively ascertained her actual possession of those virtues with which
she appears to be endowed: and secondly, That if you find her gifted
with them all, you will not solicit her acceptance till you are
satisfied of her affection.'

'My dear Doctor,' cried Edgar, half laughing, 'from what an alarm of
wild conjecture has your explanation relieved me! Hear me, however, in
return, and I think I can satisfy you, that, even upon your own
conditions, not an obstacle stands in the way of my speaking to Mr.
Tyrold this very evening.

'With regard to your first article, her virtues, I have told you the
dawning superiority of her most juvenile ideas of right; and though I
have latterly lost sight of her, by travelling during our vacations, I
know her to have always been under the superintendence of one of the
first of women; and for these last three weeks, which I have spent under
the same roof with her, I have observed her to be all that is amiable,
sweet, natural, and generous. What then on this point remains? Nothing.
I am irrefragably convinced of her worth.

'With respect to your second condition, I own you a little embarrass me;
yet how may I inquire into the state of her affections, without
acknowledging her mistress of mine?'

'Hold! hold!' interrupted the Doctor, 'you proceed too rapidly. The
first article is all unsettled, while you are flying to the last.

'It is true, and I again repeat it, every promise is in your favour; but
do not mistake promise for performance. This young lady appears to be
all excellence; for an acquaintance, for a friend, I doubt not you have
already seen enough to establish her in your good opinion; but since it
is only within a few hours you have taken the resolution which is to
empower her to colour the rest of your life, you must study her, from
this moment, with new eyes, new ears, and new thoughts. Whatever she
does, you must ask yourself this question: "Should I like such
behaviour in my wife?" Whatever she says, you must make yourself the
same demand. Nothing must escape you; you must view as if you had never
seen her before; the interrogatory, _Were she mine?_ must be present at
every look, every word, every motion; you must forget her wholly as
Camilla Tyrold, you must think of her only as Camilla Mandlebert; even
justice is insufficient during this period of probation, and instead of
inquiring, "Is this right in her?" you must simply ask, "Would it be
pleasing to me?"'

'You are apprehensive, then, of some dissimilitude of character
prejudicial to our future happiness?'

'Not of character; you have been very peculiarly situated for obviating
all risk upon that first and most important particular. I have no doubt
of her general worthiness; but though esteem hangs wholly upon
character, happiness always links itself with disposition.'

'You gratify me, Doctor, by naming disposition, for I can give you the
most unequivocal assurance of her sweetness, her innocence, her
benevolence, joined to a spirit of never-dying vivacity--an animation of
never-ceasing good humour!'

'I know you, my dear Mandlebert, to be, by nature, penetrating and
minute in your observations; which, in your general commerce with the
world, will protect both your understanding and your affections from the
usual snares of youth: But here--to be even scrupulous is not enough; to
avoid all danger of repentance, you must become positively distrustful.'

'Never, Doctor, never! I would sooner renounce every prospect of
felicity, than act a part so ungenerous, where I am conscious of such
desert! Upon this article, therefore, we have done; I am already and
fully convinced of her excellence. But, with respect to your second
difficulty, that I will not seek her acceptance, till satisfied of her
regard--there--indeed, you start an idea that comes home to my soul in
its very inmost recesses! O Doctor!--could I hope--however
distantly--durst I hope--the independent, unsolicited, involuntary
possession of that most ingenuous, most inartificial of human hearts!--'

'And why not? why, while so liberally you do justice to another, should
you not learn to appreciate yourself?'

A look of elation, delight, and happiness conveyed to Dr. Marchmont his
pupil's grateful sense of this question.

'I do not fear making you vain,' he continued; 'I know your
understanding to be too solid, and your temperament too philosophic, to
endanger your running into the common futility of priding yourself upon
the gifts of nature, any more than upon those of fortune; 'tis in their
uses only you can claim any applause. I will not, therefore, scruple to
assert, you can hardly any where propose yourself with much danger of
being rejected. You are amiable and accomplished; abounding in wealth,
high in character; in person and appearance unexceptionable; you can
have no doubt of the joyful approbation of her friends, nor can you
entertain a reasonable fear of her concurrence; yet, with all this,
pardon me, when I plainly, explicitly add, it is very possible you may
be utterly indifferent to her.'

'If so, at least,' said Edgar, in a tone and with a countenance whence
all elation was flown, 'she will leave me master of myself; she is too
noble to suffer any sordid motives to unite us.'

'Do not depend upon that; the influence of friends, the prevalence of
example, the early notion which every female imbibes, that a good
establishment must be her first object in life--these are motives of
marriage commonly sufficient for the whole sex.'

'Her choice, indeed,' said Edgar, thoughtfully, 'would not, perhaps, be
wholly uninfluenced;--I pretend not to doubt that the voice of her
friends would be all in my favour.'

'Yes,' interrupted Dr. Marchmont, 'and, be she noble as she may, Beech
Park will be also in your favour! your mansion, your equipage, your
domestics, even your table, will be in your favour--'

'Doctor,' interrupted Edgar, in his turn, 'I know you think ill of
women.--'

'Do not let that idea weaken what I urge; I have not had reason to think
well of them; yet I believe there are individuals who merit every
regard: your Camilla may be one of them. Take, however, this warning
from my experience; whatever is her appearance of worth, try and prove
its foundation, ere you conclude it invulnerable; and whatever are your
pretensions to her hand, do not necessarily connect them with your
chances for her heart.'

Mandlebert, filled now with a distrust of himself and of his powers,
which he was incapable of harbouring of Camilla and her magnanimity,
felt struck to the soul with the apprehension of failing to gain her
affection, and wounded in every point both of honour and delicacy, from
the bare suggestion of owing his wife to his situation in the world. He
found no longer any difficulty in promising not to act with
precipitance; his confidence was gone; his elevation of sentiment was
depressed; a general mist clouded his prospects, and a suspensive
discomfort inquieted his mind. He shook Dr. Marchmont by the hand, and
assuring him he would weigh well all he had said, and take no measure
till he had again consulted with him, remounted his horse, and slowly
walked it back to Cleves.


END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.



VOLUME II

BOOK III



CHAPTER I

_A few kind Offices_


With deep concern Edgar revolved in his mind the suggestions of Dr.
Marchmont; and meditation, far from diminishing, added importance to the
arguments of his friend. To obtain the hand of an object he so highly
admired, though but lately his sole wish, appeared now an uncertain
blessing, a suspicious good, since the possession of her heart was no
longer to be considered as its inseparable appendage. His very security
of the approbation of Mr. and Mrs. Tyrold became a source of solicitude;
and, secret from them, from her, and from all, he determined to guard
his views, till he could find some opportunity of investigating her own
unbiased sentiments.

Such were his ruminations, when, on re-entering the Park, he perceived
her wandering alone amidst the trees. Her figure looked so interesting,
her air so serious, her solitude so attractive, that every maxim of
tardy prudence, every caution of timid foresight, would instantly have
given way to the quick feelings of generous impulse, had he not been
restrained by his promise to Dr. Marchmont. He dismounted, and giving
his horse to his groom, re-traced her footsteps.

Camilla, almost without her own knowledge, had strolled towards the
gate, whence she concluded Edgar to have ridden from the Park, and,
almost without consciousness, had continued sauntering in its vicinity;
yet she no sooner descried him, than, struck with a species of
self-accusation for this appearance of awaiting him, she crossed over to
the nearest path towards the house, and, for the first time, was aware
of the approach of Edgar without hastening to meet him.

He slackened his pace, to quiet his spirits, and restore his manner to
its customary serenity, before he permitted himself to overtake her.
'Can you,' he then cried, 'forgive me, when you hear I have been
fulfilling my own appointment, and have postponed my promised
investigation?'

'Rather say,' she gently answered, 'could I have forgiven you, if you
had shewn me you thought my impatience too ungovernable for any delay?'

To find her thus willing to oblige him, was a new delight, and he
expressed his acknowledgments in terms the most flattering.

An unusual seriousness made her hear him almost without reply; yet peace
and harmony revisited her mind, and, in listening to his valued praise,
she forgot her late alarm at her own sensations, and without extending a
thought beyond the present instant, again felt tranquil and happy: while
to Edgar she appeared so completely all that was adorable, that he could
only remember to repent his engagement with Dr. Marchmont.

Her secret opinion that he was dissatisfied with his lot, gave a
softness to her accents that enchanted him; while the high esteem for
his character, which mingled with her pity, joined to a lowered sense of
her own, from a new-born terror lest that pity were too tender, spread a
charm wholly new over her native fire and vivacity.

In a few minutes, they were overtaken by Mandlebert's gardener, who was
bringing from Beech Park a basket of flowers for his master. They were
selected from curious hot-house plants, and Camilla stopt to admire
their beauty and fragrance.

Edgar presented her the basket; whence she simply took a sprig of myrtle
and geranium, conceiving the present to be designed for Indiana. 'If you
are fond of geraniums,' said he, 'there is an almost endless variety in
my greenhouse, and I will bring you tomorrow some specimens.'

She thanked him, and while he gave orders to the gardener, Miss Margland
and Indiana advanced from the house.

Miss Margland had seen them from her window, where, in vain
deliberation, she had been considering what step to take. But, upon
beholding them together, she thought deliberation and patience were
hopeless, and determined, by a decisive stroke, to break in its bud the
connection she supposed forming, or throw upon Camilla all censure, if
she failed, as the sole means she could devise to exculpate her own
sagacity from impeachment. She called upon Indiana, therefore, to
accompany her into the Park, exclaiming, in an angry tone, 'Miss
Lynmere, I will shew you the true cause why Mr. Mandlebert does not
declare himself--your cousin, Miss Camilla, is wheedling him away from
you.'

Indiana, whose belief in almost whatever was said, was undisturbed by
any species of reflection, felt filled with resentment, and a sense of
injury, and readily following, said--'I was sure there was something
more in it than I saw, because Mr. Melmond behaved so differently. But I
don't take it very kind of my cousin, I can tell her!'

They then hurried into the Park; but, as they came without any plan,
they were no sooner within a few yards of the meeting, than they stopt
short, at a loss what to say or do.

Edgar, vexed at their interruption, continued talking to the gardener,
to avoid joining them; but seeing Camilla, who less than ever wished for
their communications, walk instantly another way, he thought it would be
improper to pursue her, and only bowing to Miss Margland and Indiana,
went into the house.

'This is worse than ever,' cried Miss Margland, 'to stalk off without
speaking, or even offering you any of his flowers, which, I dare say,
are only to be put into the parlour flower-pots, for the whole house.'

'I'm sure I'm very glad of it,' said Indiana, for I hate flowers; but
I'm sure Mr. Melmond would not have done so; nor Colonel Andover; nor
Mr. Macdersey more than all.'

'No, nor any body else, my dear, that had common sense, and their eyes
open; nor Mr. Mandlebert neither, if it were not for Miss Camilla.
However, we'll let her know we see what she is about; and let Sir Hugh
know too: for as to the colonels, and the ensigns, and that young Oxford
student, they won't at all do; officers are commonly worth nothing; and
scholars, you may take my word for it, my dear, are the dullest men in
the world. Besides, one would not give such a fine fortune as Mr.
Mandlebert's without making a little struggle for it. You don't know how
many pretty things you may do with it. So let us shew her we don't want
for spirit, and speak to her at once.'

These words, reviving in the mind of Indiana her wedding clothes, the
train of servants, and the new equipage, gave fresh pique to her
provocation: but finding some difficulty to overtake the fleet Camilla,
whose pace kept measure with her wish to avoid them, she called after
her, to desire she would not walk so fast.

Camilla reluctantly loitered, but without stopping or turning to meet
them, that she might still regale herself with the perfume of the
geranium presented her by Edgar.

'You're in great haste, ma'am,' said Miss Margland, 'which I own I did
not observe to be the case just now!'

Camilla, in much surprize, asked, what she meant.

'My meaning is pretty plain, I believe, to any body that chose to
understand it. However, though Miss Lynmere scorns to be her own
champion, I cannot, as a friend, be quite so passive, nor help hinting
to you, how little you would like such a proceeding to yourself, from
any other person.'

'What proceeding?' cried Camilla, blushing, from a dawning comprehension
of the subject, though resenting the manner of the complaint.

'Nay, only ask yourself, ma'am, only ask yourself, Miss Camilla, how you
should like to be so supplanted, if such an establishment were forming
for yourself, and every thing were fixt, and every body else refused,
and nobody to hinder its all taking place, but a near relation of your
own, who ought to be the first to help it forward. I should like to
know, I say, Miss Camilla, how you would feel, if it were your own
case?'

Astonished and indignant at so sudden and violent an assault, Camilla
stood suspended, whether to deign any vindication, or to walk silently
away: yet its implications involuntarily filled her with a thousand
other, and less offending emotions than those of anger, and a general
confusion crimsoned her cheeks.

'You cannot but be sensible, ma'am,' resumed Miss Margland, 'for sense
is not what you want, that you have seduced Mr. Mandlebert from your
cousin; you cannot but see he takes hardly the smallest notice of her,
from the pains you are at to make him admire nobody but yourself.'

The spirit of Camilla now rose high to her aid, at a charge thus
impertinent and unjust. 'Miss Margland,' she cried, 'you shock and amaze
me! I am at a loss for any motive to so cruel an accusation: but you, I
hope at least, my dear Indiana, are convinced how much it injures me.'
She would then have taken the hand of Indiana, but disdainfully drawing
it back, 'I shan't break my heart about it, I assure you,' she cried,
'you are vastly welcome to him for me; I hope I am not quite so odious,
but I may find other people in the world besides Mr. Mandlebert!'

'O, as to that,' said Miss Margland, 'I am sure you have only to look in
order to chuse; but since this affair has been settled by your uncle, I
can't say I think it very grateful in any person to try to overset his
particular wishes. Poor old gentleman! I'm sure I pity him! It will go
hard enough with him, when he comes to hear it! Such a requital!--and
from his own niece!'

This was an attack the most offensive that Camilla could receive;
nothing could so nearly touch her as an idea of ingratitude to her
uncle, and resting upon that, the whole tide of those feelings which
were, in fact, divided and subdivided into many crossing channels, she
broke forth, with great eagerness, into exclaiming, 'Miss Margland, this
is quite barbarous! You know, and you, Indiana, cannot but know, I would
not give my uncle the smallest pain, to be mistress of a thousand
universes!'

'Why, then,' said Miss Margland, 'should you break up a scheme which he
has so much set his heart upon? Why are you always winning over Mr.
Mandlebert to yourself, by all that flattery? Why are you always
consulting him? always obliging him? always of his opinion? always ready
to take his advice?'

'Miss Margland,' replied Camilla, with the extremest agitation, 'this is
so unexpected--so undeserved an interpretation,--my consultation, or my
acquiescence have been merely from respect; no other thought, no other
motive--Good God! what is it you imagine?--what guilt would you impute
to me?'

'O dear,' cried Indiana, 'pray don't suppose it signifies. If you like
to make compliments in that manner to gentlemen, pray do it. I hope I
shall always hold myself above it. I think it's their place to make
compliments to me.'

A resentful answer was rising to the tongue of Camilla, when she
perceived her two little sprigs, which in her recent disorder she had
dropt, were demolishing under the feet of Indiana, who, with apparent
unmeaningness, but internal suspicion of their giver, had trampled upon
them both. Hastily stooping she picked them up, and, with evident
vexation, was blowing from them the dust and dirt, when Indiana
scoffingly said, 'I wonder where you got that geranium?'

'I don't wonder at all,' said Miss Margland, 'for Sir Hugh has none of
that species; so one may easily guess.'

Camilla felt herself blush, and letting the flowers fall, turned to
Indiana, and said, 'Cousin, if on my account, it is possible you can
suffer the smallest uneasiness, tell me but what I shall do--you shall
dictate to me--you shall command me.'

Indiana disclaimed all interest in her behaviour; but Miss Margland
cried, 'What you can do, ma'am, is this, and nothing can be easier, nor
fairer: leave off paying all that court to Mr. Mandlebert, of asking his
advice, and follow your own way, whether he likes it or not, and go to
see Mrs. Arlbery, and Mrs. every body else, when you have a mind,
without waiting for his permission, or troubling yourself about what he
thinks of it.'

Camilla now trembled in every joint, and with difficulty restrained from
tears, while, timidly, she said--'And do you, my dear Indiana, demand of
me this conduct? and will it, at least, satisfy you?'

'Me? O dear no! I demand nothing, I assure you. The whole matter is
quite indifferent to me, and you may ask his leave for every thing in
the world, if you chuse it. There are people enough ready to take my
part, I hope, if you set him against me ever so much.'

'Indeed, indeed, Indiana,' said Camilla, overpowered with conflicting
sensations, 'this is using me very unkindly!' And, without waiting to
hear another word, she hurried into the house, and flew to hide herself
in her own room.

This was the first bitter moment she had ever known. Peace, gay though
uniform, had been the constant inmate of her breast, enjoyed without
thought, possessed without struggle; not the subdued gift of
accommodating philosophy, but the inborn and genial produce of youthful
felicity's best aliment, the energy of its own animal spirits.

She had, indeed, for some time past, thought Edgar, of too refined and
too susceptible a character for the unthinking and undistinguishing
Indiana; and for the last day or two, her regret at his fate had
strengthened itself into an averseness of his supposed destination, that
made the idea of it painful, and the subject repugnant to her; but she
had never, till this very morning, distrusted the innoxiousness either
of her pity or her regard; and, startled at the first surmise of danger,
she had wished to fly even from herself, rather than venture to
investigate feelings so unwelcome; yet still and invariably, she had
concluded Edgar the future husband of Indiana.

To hear there were any doubts of the intended marriage, filled her with
emotions indefinable; to hear herself named as the cause of those
doubts, was alarming both to her integrity and her delicacy. She felt
the extremest anger at the unprovoked and unwarrantable harshness of
Miss Margland, and a resentment nearly equal at the determined
petulance, and unjustifiable aspersions of Indiana.

Satisfied of the innocence of her intentions, she knew, not what
alteration she could make in her behaviour; and, after various plans,
concluded, that to make none would best manifest her freedom from
self-reproach. At the summons therefore to dinner, she was the first to
appear, eager to shew herself unmoved by the injustice of her accusers,
and desirous to convince them she was fearless of examination.

Yet, too much discomposed to talk in her usual manner, she seized upon a
book till the party was seated. Answering then to the call of her uncle,
with as easy an air as she could assume, she took her accustomed place
by his side, and began, for mere employment, filling a plate from the
dish that was nearest to her; which she gave to the footman, without any
direction whither to carry, or enquiry if any body chose to eat it.

It was taken round the table, and, though refused by all, she heaped up
another plate, with the same diligence and speed as if it had been
accepted.

Edgar, who had been accidentally detained, only now entered, apologizing
for being so late.

Engrossed by the pride of self-defence, and the indignancy of unmerited
unkindness, the disturbed mind of Camilla had not yet formed one
separate reflexion, nor even admitted a distinct idea of Edgar himself,
disengaged from the accusation in which he stood involved. But he had
now amply his turn. The moment he appeared, the deepest blushes covered
her face; and an emotion so powerful beat in her breast, that the
immediate impulse of her impetuous feelings, was to declare herself ill,
and run out of the room.

With this view she rose; but ashamed of her plan, seated herself the
next moment, though she had first overturned her plate and a sauce-boat
in the vehemence of her haste.

This accident rather recovered than disconcerted her, by affording an
unaffected occupation, in begging pardon of Sir Hugh, who was the chief
sufferer, changing the napkins, and restoring the table to order.

'What upon earth can be the matter with Miss Camilla, I can't guess!'
exclaimed Miss Margland, though with an expression of spite that fully
contradicted her difficulty of conjecture.

'I hope,' said Edgar surprized, 'Miss Camilla is not ill?'

'I can't say I think my cousin looks very bad!' said Indiana.

Camilla, who was rubbing a part of her gown upon which nothing had
fallen, affected to be too busy to hear them: which Sir Hugh, concluding
her silent from shame, entreated her not to think of his cloaths, which
were worth no great matter, not being his best by two or three suits.
Her thoughts had not waited this injunction; yet it was in vain she
strove to behave as if nothing had happened. Her spirit instigated, but
it would not support her; her voice grew husky, she stammered, forgot,
as she went on, what she designed to say when she began speaking, and
frequently was forced to stop short, with a faint laugh at herself, and
with a colour every moment encreasing. And the very instant the cloth
was removed, she rose, unable to constrain herself any longer, and ran
up stairs to her own room.

There all her efforts evaporated in tears. 'Cruel, cruel, Miss
Margland,' she cried, 'unjust, unkind Indiana! how have I merited this
treatment! What can Edgar think of my disturbance? What can I devise to
keep from his knowledge the barbarous accusation which has caused it?'

In a few minutes she heard the step of Eugenia.

Ashamed, she hastily wiped her eyes; and before the door could be
opened, was at the further end of the room, looking into one of her
drawers.

'What is it that has vexed my dearest Camilla?' cried her kind sister,
'something I am sure has grieved her.'

'I cannot guess what I have done with--I can no where find--' stammered
Camilla, engaged in some apparent search, but too much confused to name
anything of which she might probably be in want.

Eugenia desired to assist her, but a servant came to the door, to tell
them that the company was going to the summer-house, whither Sir Hugh
begged they would follow.

Camilla besought Eugenia to join them, and make her excuses: but,
fearing Miss Margland would attribute her absconding to guilt, or
cowardice, she bathed her eyes in cold water, and overtook her sister at
the stairs of the little building.

In ascending them, she heard Miss Margland say, 'I dare believe
nothing's the matter but some whim; for to be sure as to whims, Miss
Camilla has the most of any creature I ever saw, and Miss Lynmere the
least; for you may imagine, Mr. Mandlebert, I have pretty good
opportunity to see all these young people in their real colours.'

Overset by this malignancy, she was again flying to the refuge of her
own room, and the relief of tears, when the conviction of such positive
ill-will in Miss Margland, for which she could assign no reason, but her
unjust and exclusive partiality to Indiana, checked her precipitancy.
She feared she would construe to still another whim her non-appearance,
and resuming a little fresh strength from fresh resentment, turned back;
but the various keen sensations she experienced as she entered the
summer-house, rendered this little action the most severe stretch of
fortitude, her short and happy life had yet called upon her to make.

Sir Hugh addressed her some kind enquiries, which she hastily answered,
while she pretended to be busy in preparing to wind some sewing silk
upon cards.

She could have chosen no employment less adapted to display the cool
indifference she wished to manifest to Miss Margland and Indiana. She
pulled the silk the wrong way, twisted, twirled, and entangled it
continually; and while she talked volubly of what she was about, as if
it were the sole subject of her thoughts, her shaking hands shewed her
whole frame disordered, and her high colour betrayed her strong internal
emotion.

Edgar looked at her with surprize and concern. What had dropt from Miss
Margland of her whims, he had heard with disdain; for, without
suspecting her of malice to Camilla, he concluded her warped by her
prejudice in favour of Indiana. Dr. Marchmont, however, had bid him
judge by proof, not appearance; and he resolved therefore to investigate
the cause of this disquiet, before he acted upon his belief in its
blamelessness.

Having completely spoilt one skein, she threw it aside, and saying 'the
weather's so fine, I cannot bear to stay within,'--left her silk, her
winders, and her work-bag, on the first chair, and skipt down the
stairs.

Sir Hugh declined walking, but would let nobody remain with him. Edgar,
as if studying the clouds, glided down first. Camilla, perceiving him,
bent her head, and began gathering some flowers. He stood by her a
moment in silence, and then said: 'To-morrow morning, without fail, I
will wait upon Mrs. Needham.'

'Pray take your own time. I am not in any haste.'

'You are very good, and I am more obliged to you than I can express, for
suffering my officious interference with such patience.'

A rustling of silk made Camilla now look up, and she perceived Miss
Margland leaning half out of the window of the summer-house, from
earnestness to catch what she said.

Angry thus to be watched, and persuaded that both innocence and dignity
called upon her to make no change in her open consideration for Edgar,
she answered, in a voice that strove to be more audible, but that
irresistibly trembled, 'I beg you will impartially consult your own
judgment, and decide as you think right.'

Edgar, now, became as little composed as herself: the power with which
she invested him, possessed a charm to dissolve every hesitating doubt;
and when, upon her raising her head, he perceived the redness of her
eyes, and found that the perturbation which had perplexed him was
mingled with some affliction, the most tender anxiety filled his mind,
and though somewhat checked by the vicinity of Miss Margland, his voice
expressed the warmest solicitude, as he said, 'I know not how to thank
you for this sweetness; but I fear something disturbs you?--I fear you
are not well, or are not happy?'

Camilla again bent over the flowers; but it was not to scent their
fragrance; she sought only a hiding place for her eyes, which were
gushing with tears; and though she wished to fly a thousand miles off,
she had not courage to take a single step, nor force to trust her voice
with the shortest reply.

'You will not speak? yet you do not deny that you have some
uneasiness?--Could I give it but the smallest relief, how fortunate I
should think myself!--And is it quite impossible?--Do you forbid me to
ask what it is?--forbid me the indulgence even to suggest----'

'Ask nothing! suggest nothing! and think of it no more!' interrupted
Camilla, 'if you would not make me quite----'

She stopt suddenly, not to utter the word unhappy, of which she felt the
improper strength at the moment it was quivering on her lips, and
leaving her sentence unfinished, abruptly walked away.

Edgar could not presume to follow, yet felt her conquest irresistible.
Her self-denial with regard to Mrs. Arlbery won his highest approbation;
her compliance with his wishes convinced him of her esteem; and her
distress, so new and so unaccountable, centered every wish of his heart
in a desire to solace, and to revive her.

To obtain this privilege hastened at once and determined his measures;
he excused himself, therefore, from walking, and went instantly to his
chamber, to reclaim, by a hasty letter to Dr. Marchmont, his
procrastinating promise.



CHAPTER II

_A Pro and a Con_


With a pen flowing quick from feelings of the most generous warmth,
Edgar wrote the following letter:

     _To Dr._ Marchmont.

     Accuse me not of precipitance, my dear Doctor, nor believe me
     capable of forgetting the wisdom of your suggestions, nor of
     lightly weighing those evils with which your zeal has encompassed
     me, though I write at this instant to confess a total contrariety
     of sentiment, to call back every promise of delay, and to make an
     unqualified avowal, that the period of caution is past! Camilla is
     not happy--something, I know not what, has disturbed the gay
     serenity of her bosom: she has forbid me to enquire the cause;--one
     way only remains to give me a claim to her confidence.--O Doctor!
     wonder not if cold, tardy, suspicious--I had nearly said unfeeling,
     caution, shrinks at such a moment, from the rising influence of
     warmer sympathy, which bids me sooth her in distress, shield her
     from danger, strengthen all her virtues, and participate in their
     emanations!

     You will not do me the injustice to think me either impelled or
     blinded by external enchantments; you know me to have withstood
     their yet fuller blaze in her cousin: O no! were she despoiled of
     all personal attraction by the same ravaging distemper that has
     been so fierce with her poor sister; were a similar cruel accident
     to rob her form of all symmetry, she would yet be more fascinating
     to my soul, by one single look, one single word, one sweet beaming
     smile, diffusing all the gaiety it displays, than all of beauty,
     all of elegance, all of rank, all of wealth, the whole kingdom, in
     some wonderful aggregate, could oppose to her.

     Her face, her form, however penetrating in loveliness, aid, but do
     not constitute, her charms; no, 'tis the quick intelligence of soul
     that mounts to her eyes, 'tis the spirit checked by sweetness, the
     sweetness animated by spirit, the nature so nobly above all
     artifice, all study--O Doctor! restore to me immediately every
     vestige, every trait of any promise, any acquiescence, any idea the
     most distant, that can be construed into a compliance with one
     moment's requisition of delay!

     EDGAR MANDLEBERT.

     _Cleves Park, Friday Evening._

       *       *       *       *       *

Camilla, meanwhile, shut up in her room, wept almost without cessation,
from a sense of general unhappiness, though fixed to no point, and from
a disturbance of mind, a confusion of ideas and of feelings, that
rendered her incapable of reflection. She was again followed by Eugenia,
and could no longer refuse, to her tender anxiety, a short detail of the
attack which occasioned her disorder; happy, at least, in reciting it,
that by unfolding the cause, there no longer remained any necessity to
repress the effects of her affliction.

To her great surprise, however, Eugenia only said: 'And is this all, my
dear Camilla?'

'All!' exclaimed Camilla.

'Yes, is it all?--I was afraid some great misfortune had happened.'

'And what could happen more painful, more shocking, more cruel?'

'A thousand things! for this is nothing but a mere mistake; and you
should not make yourself unhappy about it, because you are not to
blame.'

'Is it then nothing to be accused of designs and intentions so
criminal?'

'If the accusation were just, it might indeed make you wretched: but it
is Miss Margland only who has any reason to be afflicted; for it is she
alone who has been in the wrong.'

Struck with this plain but uncontrovertible truth, Camilla wiped her
eyes, and strove to recover some composure; but finding her tears still
force their way, 'It is not,' she cried, with some hesitation, 'it is
not the aspersions of Miss Margland alone that give me so much
vexation--the unkindness of Indiana--'

'Indeed she is highly reprehensible; and so I will tell her;--but still,
if she has any fears, however ill-founded, of losing Edgar, you cannot
but pardon--you must even pity her.'

Struck again, and still more forcibly, by this second truth, Camilla,
ashamed of her grief, made a stronger and more serious effort to repress
it; and receiving soon afterwards a summons from her uncle, her spirit
rose once more to the relief of her dejection, upon seeing him seated
between Miss Margland and Indiana, and discerning that they had been
making some successful complaint, by the air of triumph with which they
waited her approach.

'My dear Camilla,' he cried, with a look of much disturbance, 'here's a
sad ado, I find; though I don't mean to blame you, nor young Mr.
Mandlebert neither, taste being a fault one can't avoid; not but what a
person's changing their mind is what I can't commend in any one, which I
shall certainly let him know, not doubting to bring him round by means
of his own sense: only, my dear, in the meanwhile, I must beg you not to
stand in your cousin's way.'

'Indeed, my dear uncle, I do not merit this imputation; I am not capable
of such treachery!' indignantly answered Camilla.

'Treachery! Lord help us! treachery!' cried Sir Hugh, fondly embracing
her, 'don't I know you are as innocent as the baby unborn? and more
innocent too, from the advantage of having more sense to guide you by!
treachery, my dear Camilla! why, I think there's nobody so good in the
wide world!--by which I mean no reflections, never thinking it right to
make any.'

Indiana, sullenly pouting, spoke not a word; but Miss Margland, with a
tone of plausibility that was some covert to its malice, said 'Why then
all may be well, and the young ladies as good friends as ever, and Mr.
Mandlebert return to the conduct of a gentleman, only just by Miss
Camilla's doing as she would be done by; for nothing that all of us can
say will have any effect, if she does not discourage him from dangling
about after her in the manner he does now, speaking to nobody else, and
always asking her opinion about every trifle, which is certainly doing
no great justice to Miss Lynmere.'

Indiana, with a toss of the head, protested his notice was the last
thing she desired.

'My dear Indiana,' said Sir Hugh, 'don't mind all that outward shew. Mr.
Mandlebert is a very good boy, and as to your cousin Camilla, I am sure
I need not put you in mind how much she is the same; but I really think,
whatever's the reason, the young youths of now-a-days grow backwarder
and backwarder. Though I can't say but what in my time it was just the
same; witness myself; which is what I have been sorry for often enough,
though I have left off repenting it now, because it's of no use; age
being a thing there's no getting ahead of.'

'Well, then, all that remains is this,' said Miss Margland, 'let Miss
Camilla keep out of Mr. Mandlebert's way; and let her order the
carriage, and go to Mrs. Arlbery's to-morrow, and take no notice of his
likings and dislikings; and I'll be bound for it he will soon think no
more of her, and then, of course, he will give the proper attention to
Miss Lynmere.'

'O, if that's all,' cried Sir Hugh, 'my dear Camilla, I am sure, will do
it, and as much again too, to make her cousin easy. And so now, I hope,
all is settled, and my two good girls will kiss one another, and be
friends; which I am sure I am myself, with all my heart.'

Camilla hung her head, in speechless perturbation, at a task which
appeared to her equally hard and unjust; but while fear and shame kept
her silent, Sir Hugh drew her to Indiana, and a cold, yet unavoidable
salute, gave a species of tacit consent to a plan which she did not dare
oppose, from the very strength of the desire that urged her opposition.

They then separated; Sir Hugh delighted, Miss Margland triumphant,
Indiana half satisfied, half affronted, and Camilla with a mind so
crowded, a heart so full, she scarcely breathed. Sensations the most
contrary, of pain, pleasure, hope, and terror, at once assailed her.
Edgar, of whom so long she had only thought as of the destined husband
of Indiana, she now heard named with suspicions of another regard, to
which she did not dare give full extension; yet of which the most
distant surmise made her consider herself, for a moment, as the happiest
of human beings, though she held herself the next as the most culpable
for even wishing it.

She found Eugenia still in her room, who, perceiving her increased
emotion, tenderly enquired, if there were any new cause.

'Alas! yes, my dearest Eugenia! they have been exacting from me the most
cruel of sacrifices! They order me to fly from Edgar Mandlebert--to
resist his advice--to take the very measures I have promised to
forbear--to disoblige, to slight, to behave to him even offensively! my
uncle himself, lenient, kind, indulgent as he is, my uncle himself has
been prevailed with to inflict upon me this terrible injunction.'

'My uncle,' answered Eugenia, 'is incapable of giving pain to any body,
and least of all to you, whom he loves with such fondness; he has not
therefore comprehended the affair; he only considers, in general, that
to please or to displease Edgar Mandlebert can be a matter of no moment
to you, when compared with its importance to Indiana.'

'It is a thousand and a thousand, a million and a million times more
important to me, than it can ever be to her!' exclaimed the ardent
Camilla, 'for she values not his kindness, she knows not his worth, she
is insensible to his virtues!'

'You judge too hastily, my dear Camilla; she has not indeed your warmth
of heart; but if she did not wish the union to take place, why would she
shew all this disquiet in the apprehension of its breach?'

Camilla, surprised into recollection, endeavoured to become calmer.

'You, indeed,' continued the temperate Eugenia, 'if so situated, would
not so have behaved; you would not have been so unjust; and you could
not have been so weak; but still, if you had received, however
causelessly, any alarm for the affection of the man you meant to marry,
and that man were as amiable as Edgar, you would have been equally
disturbed.'

Camilla, convinced, yet shocked, felt the flutter of her heart give a
thousand hues to her face, and walking to the window, leaned far out to
gasp for breath.

'Weigh the request more coolly, and you cannot refuse a short
compliance. I am sure you would not make Indiana unhappy.'

'O, no! not for the world!' cried she, struggling to seem more
reasonable than she felt.

'Yet how can she be otherwise, if she imagines you have more of the
notice and esteem of Edgar than herself?'

Camilla now had not a word to say; the subject dropt; she took up a
book, and by earnest internal remonstrances, commanded herself to appear
at tea-time with tolerable serenity.

The evening was passed in spiritless conversation, or in listening to
the piano-forte, upon which Indiana, with the utmost difficulty, played
some very easy lessons.

At night, the following answer arrived from Dr. Marchmont:

     _To_ Edgar Mandlebert, _Esq._

     _Parsonage House, Cleves,
     Friday Night._
     MY DEAR FRIEND,

     I must be thankful, in a moment of such enthusiasm, that you can
     pay the attention of even recollecting those evils with which my
     zeal only has, you think, encompassed you. I cannot insist upon the
     practice of caution which you deem unfounded; but as you wait my
     answer, I will once more open upon my sentiments, and communicate
     my wishes. It is now only I can speak them; the instant you have
     informed the young lady of your own, silences them for ever. Your
     honour and her happiness become then entangled in each other, and I
     know not which I would least willingly assail. What in all men is
     base, would to you, I believe, be impossible--to trifle with such
     favour as may be the growth of your own undisguised partiality.

     Your present vehemence to ascertain the permanent possession of one
     you conceive formed for your felicity, obscures, to your now
     absorbed faculties, the thousand nameless, but tenacious,
     delicacies annexed by your species of character to your powers of
     enjoyment. In two words, then, let me tell you, what, in a short
     time, you will daily tell yourself: you cannot be happy if not
     exclusively loved; for you cannot excite, you cannot bestow
     happiness.

     By exclusively, I do not mean to the exclusion of other connections
     and regard; far from it; those who covet in a bride the oblivion of
     all former friendships, all early affections, weaken the finest
     ties of humanity, and dissolve the first compact of unregistered
     but genuine integrity. The husband, who would rather rationally
     than with romance be loved himself, should seek to cherish, not
     obliterate the kind feelings of nature in its first expansions.
     These, where properly bestowed, are the guarantees to that constant
     and respectable tenderness, which a narrow and selfish jealousy
     rarely fails to convert into distaste and disgust.

     The partiality which I mean you to ascertain, injures not these
     prior claims; I mean but a partiality exclusive of your situation
     in life, and of all declaration of your passion: a partiality, in
     fine, that is appropriate to yourself, not to the rank in the world
     with which you may tempt her ambition, nor to the blandishments of
     flattery, which only soften the heart by intoxicating the
     understanding.

     Observe, therefore, if your general character, and usual conduct,
     strike her mind; if her esteem is yours without the attraction of
     assiduity and adulation; if your natural disposition and manners
     make your society grateful to her, and your approbation desirable.

     It is thus alone you can secure your own contentment; for it is
     thus alone your reflecting mind can snatch from the time to come
     the dangerous surmises of a dubious retrospection.

     Remember, you can always advance; you can never, in honour, go
     back; and believe me when I tell you, that the mere simple avowal
     of preference, which only ultimately binds the man, is frequently
     what first captivates the woman. If her mind is not previously
     occupied, it operates with such seductive sway, it so soothes, so
     flatters, so bewitches her self-complacency, that while she
     listens, she imperceptibly fancies she participates in sentiments,
     which, but the minute before, occurred not even to her imagination;
     and while her hand is the recompence of her own eulogy, she is not
     herself aware if she has bestowed it where her esteem and regard,
     unbiassed by the eloquence of acknowledged admiration, would have
     wished it sought, or if it has simply been the boon of her own
     gratified vanity.

     I now no longer urge your acquiescence, my dear friend; I merely
     entreat you twice to peruse what I have written, and then leave you
     to act by the result of such perusal.

     I remain
     Your truly faithful and obliged
     GABRIEL MARCHMONT.

Edgar ran through this letter with an impatience wholly foreign to his
general character. 'Why,' cried he, 'will he thus obtrude upon me these
fastidious doubts and causeless difficulties? I begged but the
restitution of my promise, and he gives it me in words that nearly
annihilate my power of using it.'

Disappointed and displeased, he hastily put it into his pocket-book,
resolving to seek Camilla, and commit the consequences of an interview
to the impulses it might awaken.

He was half way down stairs, when the sentence finishing with, 'you
cannot excite, you cannot bestow happiness,' confusedly recurred to him:
'If in that,' thought he, 'I fail, I am a stranger to it myself, and a
stranger for ever;' and, returning to his room, he re-opened the letter
to look for the passage.

The sentence lost nothing by being read a second time; he paused upon it
dejectedly, and presently re-read the whole epistle.

'He is not quite wrong!' cried he, pensively; 'there is nothing very
unreasonable in what he urges: true, indeed, it is, that I can never be
happy myself, if her happiness is not entwined around my own.'

The first blight thus borne to that ardent glee with which the
imagination rewards its own elevated speculations, he yet a third time
read the letter.

'He is right!' he then cried; 'I will investigate her sentiments, and
know what are my chances for her regard; what I owe to real approbation;
and what merely to intimacy of situation. I will postpone all
explanation till my visit here expires, and devote the probationary
interval, to an examination which shall obviate all danger of either
deceiving my own reason, or of beguiling her inconsiderate acceptance.'

This settled, he rejoiced in a mastery over his eagerness, which he
considered as complete, since it would defer for no less than a week the
declaration of his passion.



CHAPTER III

_An Author's Notion of Travelling_


The next morning Camilla, sad and unwilling to appear, was the last who
entered the breakfast-parlour. Edgar instantly discerned the continued
unhappiness, which an assumed smile concealed from the unsuspicious Sir
Hugh, and the week of delay before him seemed an outrage to all his
wishes.

While she was drinking her first cup of tea, a servant came in, and told
her the carriage was ready.

She coloured, but nobody spoke, and the servant retired. Edgar was going
to ask the design for the morning, when Miss Margland said--'Miss
Camilla, as the horses have got to go and return, you had better not
keep them waiting.'

Colouring still more deeply, she was going to disclaim having ordered
them, though well aware for what purpose they were come, when Sir Hugh
said--'I think, my dear, you had best take Eugenia with you, which may
serve you as a companion to talk to, in case you want to say anything by
the way, which I take for granted; young people not much liking to hold
their tongues for a long while together, which is very natural, having
so little to think of.'

'Miss Eugenia, then,' cried Miss Margland, before Camilla could reply,
'run for your cloak as soon as you have finished your breakfast.'

Eugenia, hoping to aid her sister in performing a task, which she
considered as a peace-offering to Indiana, said, she had already done.

Camilla now lost all courage for resistance; but feeling her chagrin
almost intolerable, quitted the room with her tea undrunk, and without
making known if she should return or not.

Eugenia followed, and Edgar, much amazed, said, he had forgotten to
order his horse for his morning's ride, and hastily made off: determined
to be ready to hand the sisters to the carriage, and learn whither it
was to drive.

Camilla, who, in flying to her room, thought of nothing less than
preparing for an excursion which she now detested, was again surprised
in tears by Eugenia.

'What, my dearest Camilla,' she cried, 'can thus continually affect you?
you cannot be so unhappy without some cause!--why will you not trust
your Eugenia?'

'I cannot talk,' she answered, ashamed to repeat reasons which she knew
Eugenia held to be inadequate to her concern--'If there is no resource
against this persecution--if I must render myself hateful to give them
satisfaction, let us, at least, be gone immediately, and let me be
spared seeing the person I so ungratefully offend.'

She then hurried down stairs; but finding Edgar in waiting, still more
quickly hurried back, and in an agony, for which she attempted not to
account, cast herself into a chair, and told Eugenia, that if Miss
Margland did not contrive to call Edgar away, the universe could not
prevail with her to pass him in such defiance.

'My dear Camilla,' said Eugenia, surprized, yet compassionately, 'if
this visit is become so painful to you, relinquish it at once.'

'Ah, no! for that cruel Miss Margland will then accuse me of staying
away only to follow the counsel of Edgar.'

She stopt; for the countenance of Eugenia said--'_And is that not your
motive?_' A sudden consciousness took place of her distress; she hid her
face, in the hope of concealing her emotion, and with as calm a voice as
she could attain, said, the moment they could pass unobserved she would
set off.

Eugenia went downstairs.

'Alas! alas!' she then cried, 'into what misery has this barbarous Miss
Margland thrown me! Eugenia herself seems now to suspect something
wrong; and so, I suppose, will my uncle; and I can only convince them of
my innocence by acting towards Edgar as a monster.--Ah! I would sooner a
thousand times let them all think me guilty!'

Eugenia had met Miss Margland in the hall, who, impatient for their
departure, passed her, and ascended the stairs.

At the sound of her footsteps, the horror of her reproaches and
insinuations conquered every other feeling, and Camilla, starting up,
rushed forward, and saying 'Good morning!' ran off.

Edgar was still at the door, and came forward to offer her his hand.
'Pray take care of Eugenia,' she cried, abruptly passing him, and
darting, unaided, into the chaise. Edgar, astonished, obeyed, and gave
his more welcome assistance to Eugenia; but when both were seated,
said--'Where shall I tell the postillion to drive?'

Camilla, who was pulling one of the green blinds up, and again letting
it down, twenty times in a minute, affected not to hear him; but Eugenia
answered, 'to the Grove, to Mrs. Arlbery's.'

The postillion had already received his orders from Miss Margland, and
drove off; leaving Edgar mute with surprise, disappointment and
mortification.

Miss Margland was just behind him, and conceived this the fortunate
instant for eradicating from his mind every favourable pre-possession
for Camilla; assuming, therefore, an air of concern, she said--'So, you
have found Miss Camilla out, in spite of all her precautions! she would
fain not have had you know her frolic.'

'Not know it! has there, then, been any plan? did Miss Camilla
intend----'

'O, she intends nothing in the world for two minutes together! only she
did not like you should find out her fickleness. You know, I told you,
before, she was all whim; and so you will find. You may always take my
opinion, be assured. Miss Lynmere is the only one among them that is
always the same, always good, always amiable.'

'And is not Miss----' he was going to say Camilla, but checking himself,
finished with--'Miss Eugenia, at least, always equal, always
consistent?'

'Why, she is better than Miss Camilla; but not one among them has any
steadiness, or real sweetness, but Miss Lynmere. As to Miss Camilla, if
she has not her own way, there's no enduring her, she frets, and is so
cross. When you put her off, in that friendly manner, from gadding after
a new acquaintance so improper for her, you set her into such an ill
humour, that she has done nothing but cry, as you may have seen by her
eyes, and worry herself and all of us round, except you, ever since; but
she was afraid of you, for fear you should take her to task, which she
hates of all things.'

Half incredulous, yet half shocked, Edgar turned from this harangue in
silent disgust. He knew the splenetic nature of Miss Margland, and
trusted she might be wrong; but he knew, too, her opportunities for
observation, and dreaded lest she might be right. Camilla had been
certainly low spirited, weeping, and restless; was it possible it could
be for so slight, so unmeaning a cause? His wish was to follow her on
horseback; but this, unauthorized, might betray too much anxiety: he
tried not to think of what had been said by Dr. Marchmont, while this
cloud hung over her disposition and sincerity; for whatever might be
the malignity of Miss Margland, the breach of a promise, of which the
voluntary sweetness had so lately proved his final captivation, could
not be doubted, and called aloud for explanation.

He mounted, however, his horse, to make his promised enquiries of Mrs.
Needham; for though the time was already past for impeding the
acquaintance from taking place, its progress might yet be stopt, should
it be found incompatible with propriety.

The young ladies had scarce left the Park, when Sir Hugh, recollecting a
promise he had made to Mr. and Mrs. Tyrold, of never suffering Eugenia
to go abroad unattended by some gentleman, while Bellamy remained in the
country, sent hastily to beg that Edgar would follow the carriage.

Edgar was out of sight, and there was no chance of overtaking him.

'Lack-a-day!' said Sir Hugh, 'those young folks can never walk a horse
but full gallop!' He then resolved to ask Dr. Orkborne to go after his
pupil, and ride by the side of the chaise. He ordered a horse to be
saddled; and, to lose no time by messages, the tardiness of which he had
already experienced with this gentleman, he went himself to his
apartment, and after several vain rappings at his door, entered the room
unbid, saying--'Good Dr. Orkborne, unless you are dead, which God
forbid! I think it's something uncomfortable that you can't speak to a
person waiting at your door; not that I pretend to doubt but you may
have your proper reasons, being what I can't judge.'

He then begged he would get booted and spurred instantly, and follow his
two nieces to Mrs. Arlbery's, in order to take care of Eugenia; adding,
'though I'm afraid, Doctor, by your look, you don't much listen to me,
which I am sorry for; my not being able to speak like Horace and Virgil
being no fault of mine, but of my poor capacity, which no man can be
said to be answerable for.'

He then again entreated him to set off.

'Only a moment, sir! I only beg you'll accord me one moment!' cried the
Doctor, with a fretful sigh; while, screening his eyes with his left
hand, he endeavoured hastily to make a memorandum of his ideas, before
he forced them to any other subject.

'Really, Dr. Orkborne,' said Sir Hugh, somewhat displeased, 'I must
needs remark, for a friend, I think this rather slow: however, I can't
say I am much disappointed, now, that I did not turn out a scholar
myself, for I see, plain enough, you learned men think nothing of any
consequence but Homer and such; which, however, I don't mean to take
ill, knowing it was like enough to have been my own case.'

He then left the room, intending to send a man and horse after the
chaise, to desire his two nieces to return immediately.

Dr. Orkborne, who, though copiously stored with the works of the
ancients, had a sluggish understanding, and no imagination, was entirely
overset by this intrusion. The chain of his observations was utterly
broken; he strove vainly to rescue from oblivion the slow ripening
fruits of his tardy conceptions, and, proportioning his estimation of
their value by their labour, he not only considered his own loss as
irreparable, but the whole world to be injured by so unfortunate an
interruption.

The recollection, however, which refused to assist his fame, was
importunate in reminding him that the present offender was his patron;
and his total want of skill in character kept from him the just
confidence he would otherwise have placed in the unalterable goodness of
heart of Sir Hugh, whom, though he despised for his ignorance, he feared
for his power.

Uneasy, therefore, at his exit, which he concluded to be made in wrath,
he uttered a dolorous groan over his papers, and compelled himself to
follow, with an apology, the innocent enemy of his glory.

Sir Hugh, who never harboured displeasure for two minutes in his life,
was more inclined to offer an excuse himself for what he had dropt
against learning, than to resist the slightest concession from the
Doctor, whom he only begged to make haste, the horse being already at
the door. But Dr. Orkborne, as soon as he comprehended what was desired,
revived from the weight of sacrificing so much time; he had never been
on horseback since he was fifteen years of age, and declared, to the
wondering baronet, he could not risk his neck by undertaking such a
journey.

In high satisfaction, he would then have returned to his room, persuaded
that, when his mind was disembarrassed, a parallel between two ancient
authors which, with much painful stretch of thought, he had suggested,
and which, with the most elaborate difficulty, he was arranging and
drawing up, would recur again to his memory: but Sir Hugh, always eager
in expedients, said, he should follow in the coach, which might be ready
time enough for him to arrive at Mrs. Arlbery's before the visit was
over, and to bring Eugenia safe back; 'which,' cried he, 'is the main
point, for the sake of seeing that she goes no where else.'

Dr. Orkborne, looking extremely blank at this unexpected proposition,
stood still.

'Won't you go, then, my good friend?'

The Doctor, after a long pause, and in a most dejected tone, sighed out,
'Yes, sir, certainly, with the greatest--alacrity.'

Sir Hugh, who took everything literally that seemed right or
good-natured, thanked him, and ordered the horses to be put to the coach
with all possible expedition.

It was soon at the door, and Dr. Orkborne, who had spent in his room the
intervening period, in moaning the loss of the time that was to succeed,
and in an opinion that two hours of this morning would have been of more
value to him than two years when it was gone, reluctantly obeyed the
call that obliged him to descend: but he had no sooner entered the
carriage, and found he was to have it to himself, than leaping suddenly
from it, as the groom, who was to attend him, was preparing to shut the
door, he hastened back to his chamber to collect a packet of books and
papers, through the means of which he hoped to recall those flowers of
rhetoric, upon which he was willing to risk his future reputation.

The astonished groom, concluding something had frightened him, jumped
into the coach to find the cause of his flight; but Sir Hugh, who was
advancing to give his final directions, called out, with some
displeasure 'Hollo, there, you Jacob! if Dr. Orkborne thinks to get you
to go for my nieces in place of himself, it's what I don't approve;
which, however, you need not take amiss, one man being no more born with
a livery upon his back than another; which God forbid I should think
otherwise. Nevertheless, my little girls must have a proper respect
shewn them; which, it's surprising Dr. Orkborne should not know as well
as me.'

And, much disconcerted, he walked to the parlour, to ruminate upon some
other measure.

'I am sure, your honour,' said Jacob, following him, 'I got in with no
ill intention; but what it was as come across the Doctor I don't know;
but just as I was a going to shut the door, without saying never a word,
out he pops, and runs upstairs again; so I only got in to see if
something had hurt him; but I can't find nothing of no sort.'

Then, putting to the door, and looking sagaciously, 'Please your
honour,' he continued, 'I dare say it's only some maggot got into his
brain from over reading and writing; for all the maids think he'll soon
be cracked.'

'That's very wrong of them, Jacob; and I desire you'll tell them they
must not think any such thing.'

'Why, your honour don't know half, or you'd be afraid too,' said Jacob,
lowering his voice; 'he's like nothing you ever see. He won't let a
chair nor a table be dusted in his room, though they are covered over
with cobwebs, because he says, it takes him such a time to put his
things to rights again; though all the while what he calls being to
rights is just the contrary; for it's a mere higgledy piggledy, one
thing heaped o'top of t'other, as if he did it for fun.'

The baronet gravely answered, that if there were not the proper shelves
for his books he would order more.

'Why, your honour, that's not the quarter, as I tell you! why, when
they're cleaning out his room, if they happen but to sweep away a bit of
paper as big as my hand, he'll make believe they've done him as much
mischief as if they'd stole a thousand pound. It would make your honour
stare to hear him. Mary says, she's sure he has never been quite right
ever since he come to the house.'

'But I desire you'll tell Mary I don't approve of that opinion. Dr.
Orkborne is one of the first scholars in the world, as I am credibly
informed; and I beg you'll all respect him accordingly.'

'Why, your honour, if it i'n't owing to something of that sort, why does
he behave so unaccountable? I myself heard him making such a noise at
the maids one day, that I spoke to Mary afterwards, and asked her what
was the matter?--"Laws, nobody knows," says she, "but here's the Doctor
been all in a huff again; I was just a dusting his desk (says she) and
so I happened to wipe down a little bundle of papers, all nothing but
mere scraps, and he took on as if they'd been so many guineas (says she)
and he kept me there for an hour looking for them, and scolding, and
telling such a heap of fibs, that if he was not out of his head, would
be a shame for a gentleman to say" (says she).'

'Fie, fie, Jacob! and tell Mary fie, too. He is a very learned
gentleman, and no more a story-teller than I am myself; which God
forbid.'

'Why, your honour, how could this here be true? he told the maids how
they had undone him, and the like, only because of their throwing down
them few bits of papers; though they are ready to make oath they picked
them up, almost every one; and that they were all of a crump, and of no
manner of use.'

'Well, well, say no more about it, good Jacob, but go and give my
compliments to Dr. Orkborne, and ask him, what's the reason of his
changing his mind; I mean, provided it's no secret.'

Jacob returned in two minutes, with uplifted hands and eyes; 'your
honour,' cried he, 'now you'll believe me another time! he is worse than
ever, and I'll be bound he'll break out before another quarter.'

'Why, what's the matter?'

'Why, as sure as I'm here, he's getting together ever so many books, and
stuffing his pockets, and cramming them under his arms, just as if he
was a porter! and when I gave him your honour's message, I suppose it
put him out, for he said, "Don't hurry me so, I'm a coming;" making
believe as if he was only a preparing for going out, in the stead of
making that fool of himself.'

Sir Hugh, now really alarmed, bid him not mention the matter to anyone;
and was going upstairs himself, when he saw Dr. Orkborne, heavily laden
with books in each hand, and bulging from both coat pockets, slowly and
carefully coming down.

'Bless me,' cried he, rather fearfully, 'my dear sir, what are you going
to do with all that library?'

Dr. Orkborne, wishing him good morning, without attending to his
question, proceeding to the carriage, calling to Jacob, who stood aloof,
to make haste and open the door.

Jacob obeyed, but with a significant look at his master, that said, 'you
see how it is, sir!'

Sir Hugh following him, gently put his hand upon his shoulder, and
mildly said, 'My dear friend, to be sure you know best, but I don't see
the use of loading yourself in that manner for nothing.'

'It is a great loss of time, sir, to travel without books,' answered the
Doctor, quietly arranging them in the coach.

'Travel, my good friend? Why, you don't call it travelling to go four or
five miles? why, if you had known me before my fall--However, I don't
mean to make any comparisons, you gentlemen scholars being no particular
good horsemen. However, if you were to go one hundred miles instead of
four or five, you could not get through more than one of those books,
read as hard as you please; unless you skip half, which I suppose you
solid heads leave to the lower ignoramusses.'

'It is not for reading, sir, that I take all these books, but merely to
look into. There are many of them I shall never read in my life, but I
shall want them all.'

Sir Hugh now stared with increased perplexity; but Dr. Orkborne, as
eager to go, since his books were to accompany him, as before to stay,
told Jacob to bid the coachman make haste. Jacob looked at his master,
who ordered him to mount his mare, and the carriage drove off.

The baronet, in some uneasiness, seated himself in the hall, to ruminate
upon what he had just heard. The quietness and usual manner of speaking
and looking of Dr. Orkborne, which he had remarked, removed any
immediate apprehensions from the assertions of Jacob and Mary; but still
he did not like the suggestion; and the carrying off so many books, when
he acknowledged he did not mean to read one of them, disturbed him.

In every shadow of perplexity, his first wish was to consult with his
brother; and if he had not parted with both his carriages, he would
instantly have set off for Etherington. He sent, however, an express for
Mr. Tyrold, begging to see him at Cleves with all speed.



CHAPTER IV

_An internal Detection_


When the chaise drove from Cleves Park, all attempt at any disguise was
over with Camilla, who alive only to the horror of appearing ungrateful
to Edgar, wept without controul; and, leaning back in the carriage,
entreated Eugenia to dispense with all conversation.

Eugenia, filled with pity, wondered, but complied, and they travelled
near four miles in silence; when, perceiving, over the paling round a
paddock, Mrs. Arlbery and a party of company, Camilla dried her eyes,
and prepared for her visit, of which the impetuosity of her feelings
had retarded all previous consideration.

Eugenia, with true concern, saw the unfitness of her sister to appear,
and proposed walking the rest of the way, in the hope that a little air
and exercise might compose her spirits.

She agreed; they alighted, and bidding the footman keep with the
carriage, which they ordered should drive slowly behind, they proceeded
gently, arm in arm, along a clean raised bank by the side of the road,
with a pace suiting at once the infirmity of Eugenia, and the wish of
delay in Camilla.

The sound of voices reached them from within the paddock, though a thick
shrubbery prevented their seeing the interlocutors.

'Can you make out the arms?' said one.

'No,' answered another, 'but I can see the postillion's livery, and I am
certain it is Sir Hugh Tyrold's.'

'Then it is not coming hither,' said a third voice, which they
recollected for Mrs. Arlbery's; 'we don't visit: though I should not
dislike to see the old baronet. They tell me [he] is a humorist; and I
have a taste for all oddities: but then he has a house full of females,
and females I never admit in a morning, except when I have secured some
men to take the entertaining them off my hands.'

'Whither is Bellamy running?' cried another voice, 'he's off without a
word.'

'Gone in hopes of a rencounter, I doubt not,' answered Mrs. Arlbery; 'he
made palpable aim at one of the divinities of Cleves at the ball.'

Eugenia now grew uneasy. 'Let us be quick,' she whispered 'and enter the
house!'

'Divinities! Lord! are they divinities?' said a girlish female voice;
'pray how old are they?'

'I fancy about seventeen.'

'Seventeen! gracious! I thought they'd been quite young; I wonder they
a'n't married!'

'I presume, then, you intend to be more expeditious?' said another,
whose voice spoke him to be General Kinsale.

'Gracious! I hope so, for I hate an old bride. I'll never marry at all,
if I stay till I am eighteen.'

'A story goes about,' said the General, 'that Sir Hugh Tyrold has
selected one of his nieces for his sole heiress; but no two people agree
which it is; they have asserted it of each.'

'I was mightily taken with one of the girls,' said Mrs. Arlbery; 'there
was something so pleasant in her looks and manner, that I even felt
inclined to forgive her being younger and prettier than myself; but she
turned out also to be more whimsical--and that there was no enduring.'

Camilla, extremely ashamed, was now upon the point of begging Eugenia to
return, when a new speech seized all her attention.

'Do you know, General, when that beautiful automaton, Miss Lynmere, is
to marry young Mandlebert?'

'Immediately, I understand; I am told he has fitted up his house very
elegantly for her reception.'

A deep sigh escaped Camilla at such publicity in the report and belief
of the engagement of Edgar with her cousin, and brought with it a
consciousness too strong for any further self-disguise, that her
distress flowed not all from an unjust accusation: the sound alone of
the union struck as a dagger at her heart, and told her,
incontrovertibly, who was its master.

Her sensations were now most painful: she grew pale, she became sick,
and was obliged, in her turn, to lean upon Eugenia, who, affrighted to
see her thus strangely disordered, besought her to go back to the
chaise.

She consented, and begged to pass a few minutes there alone. Eugenia
therefore stayed without, walking slowly upon the bank.

Camilla, getting into the carriage, pulled up the blinds, and, no longer
self-deceived, lamented in a new burst of sorrow, her unhappy fate, and
unpropitious attachment.

This consciousness, however, became soon a call upon her integrity, and
her regret was succeeded by a summons upon propriety. She gave herself
up as lost to all personal felicity, but hoped she had discovered the
tendency of her affliction, in time to avoid the dangers, and the errors
to which it might lead. She determined to struggle without cessation for
the conquest of a partiality she deemed it treachery to indulge; and to
appease any pain she now blushed to have caused to Indiana, by strictly
following the hard prescription of Miss Margland, and the obvious
opinion of Eugenia, in shunning the society, and no longer coveting the
approbation of Edgar. 'Such, my dear father,' she cried, 'would be your
lesson, if I dared consult you! such, my most honoured mother, would be
your conduct, if thus cruelly situated!'

This thought thrilled through every vein with pleasure, in a sense of
filial desert, and her sole desire was to return immediately to those
incomparable parents, under whose roof she had experienced nothing but
happiness, and in whose bosoms she hoped to bury every tumultuous
disturbance.

These ideas and resolutions, dejecting, yet solacing, occupied her to
the forgetfulness of her intended visit, and even of Eugenia, till the
words: 'Pray let me come to you, my dear Camilla!' made her let down the
blinds.

She then perceived Mr. Bellamy earnestly addressing her sister.

He had advanced suddenly towards her, by a short cut from the paddock,
of which she was not aware, when she was about twenty yards from the
chaise.

She made an effort to avoid him; but he planted himself in the way of
her retreat, though with an air of supplication, with which she strove
in vain to be angry.

He warmly represented the cruelty of thus flying him, entreated but the
privilege of addressing her as a common acquaintance; and promised, upon
that condition, to submit unmurmuring to her rejection.

Eugenia, though in secret she thought this request but equitable, made
him no answer.

'O madam,' he cried, 'what have I not suffered since your barbarous
letter! why will you be so amiable, yet so inexorable?'

She attempted to quicken her pace; but again, in the same manner,
stopping her, he exclaimed: 'Do not kill me by this disdain! I ask not
now for favour or encouragement--I know my hard doom--I ask only to
converse with you--though, alas! it was by conversing with you I lost my
heart.'

Eugenia felt softened; and her countenance, which had forfeited nothing
of expression, though every thing of beauty, soon shewed Bellamy his
advantage. He pursued it eagerly; depicted his passion, deprecated her
severity, extolled her virtues and accomplishments, and bewailed his
unhappy, hopeless flame.

Eugenia, knowing that all she said, and believing that all she heard
issued from the fountain of truth, became extremely distressed. 'Let me
pass, I conjure you, Sir,' she cried, 'and do not take it ill--but I
cannot hear you any longer.'

The vivacity of bright hope flashed into the sparkling eyes of Bellamy,
at so gentle a remonstrance; and entreaties for lenity, declarations of
passion, professions of submission, and practice of resistance, assailed
the young Eugenia with a rapidity that confounded her: she heard him
with scarce any opposition, from a fear of irritating his feelings,
joined to a juvenile embarrassment how to treat with more severity so
sincere and so humble a suppliant.

From this situation, to the extreme provocation of Bellamy, she was
relieved by the appearance of Major Cerwood, who having observed, from
the paddock, the slow motion of the carriage, had come forth to find out
the cause.

Eugenia seized the moment of interruption to press forward, and make the
call to her sister already mentioned; Bellamy accompanying and pleading,
but no longer venturing to stop her: he handed her, therefore, to the
chaise, where Major Cerwood also paid his compliments to the two ladies;
and hearing they were going to the seat of Mrs. Arlbery, whither Camilla
now forced herself, though more unwillingly than ever, he ran on, with
Bellamy, to be ready to hand them from the carriage.

They were shewn into a parlour, while a servant went into the garden to
call his mistress.

This interval was not neglected by either of the gentlemen, for Bellamy
was scarce more eager to engage the attention of Eugenia, than the Major
to force that of Camilla. By Lionel he had been informed she was heiress
of Cleves; he deemed, therefore, the opportunity by no means to be
thrown away, of making, what he believed required opportunity alone, a
conquest of her young heart. Accustomed to think compliments always
welcome to the fair, he construed her sadness into softness, and imputed
her silence to the confusing impression made upon an inexperienced rural
beauty, by the first assiduities of a man of figure and gallantry.

In about a quarter of an hour the servant of Mrs. Arlbery slowly
returned, and, with some hesitation, said his lady was not at home. The
gentlemen looked provoked, and Camilla and Eugenia, much disconcerted at
so evident a denial, left their names, and returned to their carriage.

The journey back to Cleves was mute and dejected: Camilla was shocked at
the conscious state of her own mind, and Eugenia was equally pensive.
She began to think with anxiety of a contract with a person wholly
unknown, and to consider the passion and constancy of Bellamy as the
emanations of a truly elevated mind, and meriting her most serious
gratitude.

At the hall door they were eagerly met by Sir Hugh, who, with infinite
surprise, enquired where they had left Dr. Orkborne.

'Dr. Orkborne?' they repeated, 'we have not even seen him.'

'Not seen him? did not he come to fetch you?'

'No, Sir.'

'Why, he went to Mrs. Arlbery's on purpose! And what he stays for at
that lady's, now you are both come away, is a thing I can't pretend to
judge of; unless he has stopt to read one of those books he took with
him; which is what I dare say is the case.'

'He cannot be at Mrs. Arlbery's, Sir,' said Eugenia, 'for we have but
this moment left her house.'

'He must be there, my dear girls, for he's no where else. I saw him set
out myself, which, however, I shan't mention the particulars of, having
sent for my brother, whom I expect every minute.'

They then concluded he had gone by another road, as there were two ways
to the Grove.

Edgar did not return to Cleves till the family were assembling to
dinner. His visit to Mrs. Needham had occasioned him a new disturbance.
She had rallied him upon the general rumour of his approaching marriage;
and his confusion, from believing his partiality for Camilla detected,
was construed into a confirmation of the report concerning Indiana. His
disavowal was rather serious than strong, and involuntarily mixt with
such warm eulogiums of the object he imagined to be meant, that Mrs.
Needham, who had only named _a certain fair one at Cleves_, laughed at
his denial, and thought the engagement undoubted.

With respect to his enquiries relative to Mrs. Arlbery, Mrs. Needham
said, that she was a woman far more agreeable to the men, than to her
own sex; that she was full of caprice, coquetry, and singularity; yet,
though she abused the gift, she possessed an excellent and uncommon
understanding. She was guilty of no vices, but utterly careless of
appearances, and though her character was wholly unimpeached, she had
offended or frightened almost all the county around, by a wilful
strangeness of behaviour, resulting from an undaunted determination to
follow in every thing the bent of her own humour.

Edgar justly deemed this a dangerous acquaintance for Camilla, whose
natural thoughtlessness and vivacity made him dread the least
imprudence in the connexions she might form; yet, as the reputation of
Mrs. Arlbery was unsullied, he felt how difficult would be the task of
demonstrating the perils he feared.

Sir Hugh, during the dinner, was exceedingly disturbed. 'What Dr.
Orkborne can be doing with himself,' said he, 'is more than any man can
tell, for he certainly would not stay at the lady's, when he found you
were both come away; so that I begin to think it's ten to one but he's
gone nobody knows where! for why else should he take all those books?
which is a thing I have been thinking of ever since; especially as he
owned himself he should never read one half of them. If he has taken
something amiss, I am very ready to ask his pardon; though what it can
be I don't pretend to guess.'

Miss Margland said, he was so often doing something or other that was
ill-bred, that she was not at all surprised he should stay out at dinner
time. He had never yet fetched her a chair, nor opened the door for her,
since he came to the house; so that she did not know what was too bad to
expect.

As they were rising from the table, a note arrived from Mr. Tyrold, with
an excuse, that important business would prevent his coming to Cleves
till the next day. Camilla then begged permission to go in the chaise
that was to fetch him, flattering herself something might occur to
detain her, when at Etherington. Sir Hugh readily assented, and
composing himself for his afternoon nap, desired to be awaked if Dr.
Orkborne came back.

All now left the room except Camilla, who, taking up a book, stood still
at a window, till she was aroused by the voice of Edgar, who, from the
Park, asked her what she was reading.

She turned over the leaves, ashamed at the question, to look for the
title; she had held the book mechanically, and knew not what it was.

He then produced the promised nosegay, which had been brought by his
gardener during her excursion. She softly lifted up the sash, pointing
to her sleeping uncle; he gave it her with a silent little bow, and
walked away; much disappointed to miss an opportunity from which he had
hoped for some explanation.

She held it in her hand some time, scarcely sensible she had taken it,
till, presently, she saw its buds bedewed with her falling tears.

She shook them off, and pressed the nosegay to her bosom. 'This, at
least,' she cried, 'I may accept, for it was offered me before that
barbarous attack. Ah! they know not the innocence of my regard, or they
would not so wrong it! The universe could not tempt me to injure my
cousin, though it is true, I have valued the kindness of Edgar--and I
must always value it!--These flowers are more precious to me, coming
from his hands, and reared in his grounds, than all the gems of the East
could be from any other possessor. But where is the guilt of such a
preference? And who that knows him could help feeling it?'

Sir Hugh now awakening from a short slumber, exclaimed--'I have just
found out the reason why this poor gentleman has made off; I mean,
provided he is really gone away, which, however, I hope not: but I
think, by his bringing down all those books, he meant to give me a broad
hint, that he had got no proper book-case to keep them in; which the
maids as good as think too.'

Then, calling upon Camilla, he asked if she was not of that opinion.

'Y--e--s, Sir,' she hesitatingly answered.

'Well, then, my dear, if we all think the same, I'll give orders
immediately for getting the better of that fault.'

Miss Margland, curious to know how Camilla was detained, now re-entered
the room. Struck with the fond and melancholy air with which she was
bending over her nosegay, she abruptly demanded--'Pray, where might you
get those flowers?'

Covered with shame, she could make no answer.

'O, Miss Camilla! Miss Camilla!--ought not those flowers to belong to
Miss Lynmere?'

'Mr. Mandlebert had promised me them yesterday morning,' answered she,
in a voice scarce audible.

'And is this fair, Ma'am?--can you reckon it honourable?--I'll be judged
by Sir Hugh himself. Do you think it right, Sir, that Miss Camilla
should accept nosegays every day from Mr. Mandlebert, when her cousin
has had never a one at all?'

'Why, it's not her fault, you know, Miss Margland, if young Mr.
Mandlebert chuses to give them to her. However, if that vexes Indiana,
I'm sure my niece will make them over to her with the greatest pleasure;
for I never knew the thing she would not part with, much more a mere
little smell at the nose, which, whether one has it or not, can't much
matter after it's over.'

Miss Margland now exultingly held out her hand: the decision was
obliged to be prompt; Camilla delivered up the flowers, and ran into her
own room.

The sacrifice, cried she, is now complete! Edgar will conclude I hate
him, and believe Indiana loves him!--no matter!--it is fitting he should
think both. I will be steady this last evening, and to-morrow I will
quit this fatal roof!



CHAPTER V

_An Author's Opinion of Visiting_


When summoned to tea, Camilla, upon entering the parlour, found Sir Hugh
in mournful discourse with Edgar upon the non-appearance of Dr.
Orkborne. Edgar felt a momentary disappointment that she did not honour
his flowers with wearing them; but consoled himself with supposing she
had preserved them in water. In a few minutes, however, Indiana appeared
with them in her bosom.

Almost petrified, he turned towards Camilla, who, affecting an air of
unconcern, amused herself with patting a favourite old terrier of her
uncle's.

As soon as he could disengage himself from the Baronet, he leant also
over the dog, and, in a low voice, said--'You have discarded, then, my
poor flowers?'

'Have I not done right?' answered she, in the same tone; 'are they not
where you must be far happier to see them?'

'Is it possible,' exclaimed he, 'Miss Camilla Tyrold can suppose----'.
He stopt, for surprised off his guard, he was speaking loud, and he saw
Miss Margland approaching.

'Don't you think, Mr. Mandlebert,' said she, 'that Miss Lynmere becomes
a bouquet very much? she took a fancy to those flowers, and I think they
are quite the thing for her.'

'She does them,' he coldly answered, 'too much honour.'

Ah, Heaven! he loves her not! thought Camilla, and, while trembling
between hope and terror at the suggestion, determined to redouble her
circumspection, not to confirm the suspicion that his indifference was
produced by her efforts to attach him to herself.

She had soon what she conceived to be an occasion for its exertion. When
he handed her some cakes, he said--'You would think it, I conclude,
impertinent to hear anything more concerning Mrs. Arlbery, now you have
positively opened an acquaintance with her?'

She felt the justice of this implied reproach of her broken promise; but
she saw herself constantly watched by Miss Margland, and repressing the
apology she was sighing to offer, only answered--'You have nothing, you
own, to say against her reputation--and as to any thing else----'

'True,' interrupted he, 'my information on that point is all still in
her favour: but can it be Miss Camilla Tyrold, who holds that to be the
sole question upon which intimacy ought to depend? Does she account as
nothing manners, disposition, way of life?'

'No, not absolutely as nothing,' said she, rising; 'but taste settles
all those things, and mine is entirely in her favour.'

Edgar gravely begged her pardon, for so officiously resuming an irksome
subject; and returning to Sir Hugh, endeavoured to listen to his
lamentations and conjectures about Dr. Orkborne.

He felt, however, deeply hurt. In naming Mrs. Arlbery, he had flattered
himself he had opened an opportunity for which she must herself be
waiting, to explain the motives of her late visit; but her light answer
put an end to that hope, and her quitting her seat shewed her impatient
of further counsel.

Not a word that fell from Sir Hugh reached his ear: but he bowed from
time to time, and the good Baronet had no doubt of his attention. His
eyes were perpetually following Camilla, though they met not a glance
from her in return. She played with the terrier, talked with Eugenia,
looked out of the window, turned over some books, and did everything
with an air of negligence, that while it covered absence and anxiety,
displayed a studied avoidance of his notice.

The less he could account for this, the more it offended him. And dwells
caprice, thought he, while his eye followed her, even there! in that
fair composition!--where may I look for singleness of mind, for
nobleness of simplicity, if caprice, mere girlish, unmeaning caprice,
dwell there!

The moment she had finished her tea, she left the room, to shorten her
cruel task. Struck with the broken sentence of 'is it possible Miss
Camilla Tyrold can suppose----' the soft hope that his heart was
untouched by Indiana, seized her delighted imagination; but the
recollection of Miss Margland's assertions, that it was the real right
of her cousin, soon robbed the hope of all happiness, and she could only
repeat--To-morrow I will go!--I ought not to think of him!--I had rather
be away--to-morrow I will go!

She had hardly quitted the parlour, when the distant sound of a carriage
roused Sir Hugh from his fears; and, followed by Edgar and the ladies,
he made what haste he could into the courtyard, where, to his infinite
satisfaction, he saw his coach driving in.

He ordered it should stop immediately, and called out--'Pray, Dr.
Orkborne, are you there?'

Dr. Orkborne looked out of the window, and bowed respectfully.

'Good lack, I could never have thought I should be so glad to see you!
which you must excuse, in point of being no relation. You are heartily
welcome, I assure you; I was afraid I should never see you again; for,
to tell you the honest truth, which I would not say a word of before, I
had got a notion you were going out of your mind.'

The Doctor took not the smallest heed of his speech, and the carriage
drove up to the door. Sir Hugh then seating himself under the portico,
said--'Pray, Dr. Orkborne, before you go to your studies, may I just ask
you how you came to stay out all day? and why you never fetched Eugenia?
for I take it for granted it's no secret, on the account Jacob was with
you; besides the coachman and horses.'

Dr. Orkborne, though not at all discomposed by these questions, nor by
his reception, answered, that he must first collect his books.

'The poor girls,' continued the Baronet, 'came home quite blank; not
that they knew a word of my asking you to go for them, till I told them;
which was lucky enough, for the sake of not frightening them. However,
where you can have been, particularly with regard to your dinner, which,
I suppose, you have gone without, is what I can't guess; unless you'd be
kind enough to tell me.'

The Doctor, too busy to hear him, was packing up his books.

'Come, never mind your books,' said Sir Hugh; 'Jacob can carry them for
you, or Bob, or any body. Here, Bob, (calling to the postillion, who,
with all the rest of the servants, had been drawn by curiosity into the
courtyard) whisk me up those books, and take them into the Doctor's
room; I mean, provided you can find a place for them, which I am sorry
to say there is none; owing to my not knowing better in point of taking
the proper care; which I shall be sure to do for the future.'

The boy obeyed, and mounting one step of the coach, took what were
within his reach; which, when the Doctor observed, he snatched away with
great displeasure, saying, very solemnly, he had rather at any time be
knocked down, than see any body touch one of his books or papers.

Jacob, coming forward, whispered his master not to interfere; assuring
him, he was but just got out of one of his tantrums.

Sir Hugh, a little startled, rose to return to the parlour, begging Dr.
Orkborne to take his own time, and not hurry himself.

He then beckoned Jacob to follow him.

'There is certainly something in all this,' said he to Edgar, 'beyond
what my poor wit can comprehend: but I'll hear what Jacob has to say
before I form a complete judgment; though, to be sure, his lugging out
all those books to go but four or five miles, has but an odd look; which
is what I don't like to say.'

Jacob now was called upon to give a narrative of the day's adventures.
'Why, your Honour,' said he, 'as soon as we come to the Grove, I goes up
to the coach door, to ask the Doctor if he would get out, or only send
in to let the young ladies know he was come for them; but he was got so
deep into some of his larning, that, I dare say, I bawled it three good
times in his ears, before he so much as lifted up his head; and then it
was only to say, I put him out! and to it he went again, just as if I'd
said never a word; till, at last, I was so plaguy mad, I gives the coach
such a jog, to bring him to himself like, that it jerked the pencil and
paper out of his hand. So then he went straight into one of his takings,
pretending I had made him forget all his thoughts, and such like out of
the way talk, after his old way. So when I found he was going off in
that manner, I thought it only time lost to say no more to him, and so I
turned me about not to mind him; when I sees a whole heap of company at
a parlour window, laughing so hearty, that I was sure they had heard us.
And a fine comely lady, as clever as ever you see, that I found after
was the lady of the house, bid me come to the window, and asked what I
wanted. So I told her we was come for two of the Miss Tyrolds. Why, says
she, they've been gone a quarter of an hour, by the opposite road. So
then I was coming away, but she made me a sign to come into the parlour,
for all it was brimful of fine company, dressed all like I don't know
what. It was as pretty a sight as you'd wish to see. And then, your
honour, they all begun upon me at once! there was such a clatter, I
thought I'd been turned into a booth at a fair; and merry enough they
all was sure!--'specially the lady, who never opened her lips, but what
they all laughed: but as to all what they asked me, I could as soon
conjure a ghost as call a quarter of it to mind.'

'Try, however,' said Edgar, curious for further information of whatever
related to Mrs. Arlbery.

'Why as to that, 'squire,' answered Jacob, with an arch look, 'I am not
so sure and certain you'd like to hear it all.'

'No? and why not?'

'O! pray tell, Jacob,' cried Miss Margland; 'did they say anything of
Mr. Mandlebert?'

'Yes, and of more than Mr. Mandlebert,' said Jacob, grinning.

'Do tell, do tell,' cried Indiana, eagerly.

'I'm afeard, Miss!'

Every body assured him no offence should be taken.

'Well, then, if you must needs know, there was not one of you, but what
they had a pluck at.--Pray, says one of them, what does the old
gentleman do with all those books and papers in the coach?--That's what
nobody knows, says I, unless his head's cracked, which is Mary's
opinion.--Then they all laughed more and more, and the lady of the house
said:--Pray can he really read?--Whoo! says I, why he does nothing else;
he's at it from morning till night, and Mary says she's sure before long
he'll give up his meat and drink for it.--I've always heard he was a
quiz, says another, or a quoz, or some such word; but I did not know he
was such a book-worm.--The old quoz is generous, however, I hear, says
another, pray do you find him so?--As to that, I can't say, says I, for
I never see the colour of his money.--No! then, what are you such a fool
as to serve him for?--So, then, your honour, I found, owing to the coach
and the arms, and the like, they thought all the time it was your honour
was in the coach. I hope your honour don't take it amiss of me?'

'Not at all Jacob; only I don't know why they call me an old quiz and
quoz for; never having offended them; which I take rather unkind;
especially not knowing what it means.'

'Why, your honour, they're such comical sort of folks; they don't mind
what they say of nobody. Not but what the lady of the house is a rare
gentlewoman. Your honour could not help liking her. I warrant she's made
many a man's heart ache, and then jumped for joy when she'd done. And as
to her eyes, I think in my born days I never see nothing like 'em: they
shines like two candles on a dark night afar off on the common----.'

'Why Jacob,' said Sir Hugh, 'I see you have lost your heart. However, go
on.'

'Why, as soon as I found out what they meant--That my master? says I,
no, God be thanked! What should I have to live upon if a was? Not so
much as a cobweb! for there would not be wherewithal for a spider to
make it.'

Here Sir Hugh, with much displeasure, interrupted him; 'As to the poor
gentleman's being poor,' said he, 'it's no fault of his own, for he'd be
rich if he could, I make no doubt; never having heard he was a gambler.
Besides which, I always respect a man the more for being poor, knowing
how little a rich man may have in him; which I can judge by my own
case.'

Jacob proceeded.

'Well, if it is not Sir Hugh, says one of them, who is it?--Why, it's
only our Latin master, says I; upon which they all set up as jolly a
laugh again as ever I heard in my days. Jobbins, they're pure
merry!--And who learns Latin! says one, I hope they don't let him work
at poor old Sir Hugh? No, says I, they tried their hands with him at
first, but he thanked 'em for nothing. He soon grew tired on't.--So then
they said, who learns now, says they, do you?--Me! says I, no, God be
praised, I don't know _A_ from _B_, which is the way my head's so clear,
never having muddled it with what I don't understand.--And so then they
all said I was a brave fellow; and they ordered me a glass of wine.'

What a set! thought Edgar, is this, idle, dissipated, curious--for
Camilla to associate with!--the lively, the unthinking, the
inexperienced Camilla!

'So then they asked me, says they, does Miss Lynmere learn, says
they?--Not, as I know of, says I, she's no great turn for her book, as
ever I heard of; which I hope Miss you won't take ill, for they all
said, no, to be sure, she's too handsome for that.'

Indiana looked uncertain whether to be flattered or offended.

'But you have not told us what they said of Mr. Mandlebert yet?' cried
Miss Margland.

'No, I must come to you first, Miss,' answered he, 'for that's what they
come upon next. But mayhap I must not tell?'

'O yes, you may;' said she, growing a little apprehensive of some
affront, but determined not to seem hurt by it; 'I am very indifferent
to any thing they can say of me, assure yourself!'

'Why, I suppose, says they, this Latin master studies chiefly with the
governess?--They'd study fisty-cuffs I believe, if they did, says I, for
she hates him like poison; and there's no great love lost between them.'

'And what right had you to say that, Mr. Jacob? I did not ask what you
said. Not that I care, I promise you!'

'Why, some how, they got it all out; they were so merry and so full of
their fun, I could not be behind hand. But I hope no offence?'

'O dear no! I'm sure it's not worth while.'

'They said worse than I did,' resumed Jacob, 'by a deal; they said, says
they, she looks duced crabbed--she looks just as if she was always
eating a sour apple, says the lady; she looks--'

'Well, well, I don't want to hear any more of their opinions. I may look
as I please I hope. I hate such gossiping.'

'So then they said, pray does Miss Camilla learn? says they;--Lord love
her, no! says I.'

'And what said they to that?' cried Edgar.

'Why, they said, they hoped not, and they were glad to hear it, for they
liked her the best of all. And what does the ugly one do? says they.--'

'Come, we have heard enough now,' interrupted Edgar, greatly shocked for
poor Eugenia, who fortunately, however, had retired with Camilla.

Sir Hugh too, angrily broke in upon him, saying: 'I won't have my niece
called ugly, Jacob! you know it's against my commands such a thing's
being mentioned.'

'Why, I told 'em so, sir,' said Jacob; 'ugly one, says I, she you call
the ugly one, is one of the best ladies in the land. She's ready to lend
a hand to every mortal soul; she's just like my master for that. And as
to learning, I make no quæry she can talk you over the Latin grammar as
fast as e'er a gentleman here. So then they laughed harder than ever,
and said they should be afeard to speak to her, and a deal more I can't
call to mind.--So then they come to Mr. Mandlebert. Pray, says they,
what's he doing among you all this time?--Why, nothing particular, says
I, he's only squiring about our young ladies.--But when is this wedding
to be? says another. So then I said--'

'What did you say?' cried Edgar hastily.

'Why--nothing,' answered Jacob, drawing back.

'Tell us, however, what they said,' cried Miss Margland.

'Why, they said, says they, everything has been ready some time at Beech
Park;--and they'll make as handsome a couple as ever was seen.'

'What stuff is this!' cried Edgar, 'do prithee have done.'--

'No, no,' said Miss Margland; 'go on, Jacob!'

Indiana, conscious and glowing at the words handsome couple, could not
restrain a simper; but Edgar, thinking only of Camilla, did not
understand it.

'He'll have trouble enough, says one of the gentlemen,' continued Jacob,
'to take care of so pretty a wife.--She'll be worth a little trouble,
says another, for I think she is the most beautifullest girl I ever
see--Take my word of it, says the lady of the house, young Mandlebert is
a man who won't be made a fool of; he'll have his own way, for all her
beauty.'

'What a character to give of me to young ladies!' cried Edgar, doubtful,
in his turn, whether to be hurt or gratified.

'O she did not stop at that, sir,' resumed Jacob, 'for she said, I make
no question, says she, but in half a year he'll lock her up.'

Indiana, surprized, gave an involuntary little shriek: but Edgar, not
imputing it to any appropriate alarm, was filled with resentment against
Mrs. Arlbery. What incomprehensible injustice! he said to himself: O
Camilla! is it possible any event, any circumstance upon earth, could
induce me to practise such an outrage? to degenerate into such a savage?

'Is this all?' asked Miss Margland.

'No, ma'am; but I don't know if Miss will like to hear the rest.'

'O yes,' said Indiana, 'if it's about me, I don't mind.'

'Why, they all said, Miss, you'd make the most finest bride that ever
was seen, and they did not wonder at Mr. Mandlebert's chusing you; but
for all that--.'

He stopt, and Edgar, who, following the bent of his own thoughts, had
till now concluded Camilla to be meant, was utterly confounded by
discovering his mistake. The presence of Indiana redoubled the
awkwardness of the situation, and her blushes, and the increased lustre
of her eyes, did not make the report seem either unwelcome, or perfectly
new to her.

Miss Margland raised her head triumphantly. This was precisely such a
circumstance as she flattered herself would prove decisive.

The Baronet, equally pleased, returned her nod of congratulation, and
nodding himself towards Edgar, said; 'you're blown, you see! but what
matters secrets about nothing? which, Lord help me, I never knew how to
keep.'

Edgar was now still more disconcerted, and, from mere distress what to
say or do, bid Jacob go on.

'Why then, they said a deal more, how pretty she was, he continued, but
they did not know how it would turn out, for the young lady was so much
admired, that her husband had need look sharp after her; and if--'

'What complete impertinence!' cried Edgar, walking about the room; 'I
really can listen no longer.'

'If he had done wisely, says the lady of the house, he would have left
the professed beauty, and taken that pretty Camilla.'

Edgar surprized, stopt short; this seemed to him less impertinent.

'Camilla is a charming creature, says she; though she may want a little
watching too; but so does every thing that is worth having.'

That woman does not want discernment, thought Edgar, nor she does not
want taste.--I can never totally dislike her, if she does such justice
to Camilla.

He now again invited Jacob to proceed; but Indiana, with a pouting lip,
walked out of the room, and Miss Margland said, there was not need to be
hearing him all night.

Jacob, therefore, when no more either interrupted or encouraged, soon
finished his narrative. Mrs. Arlbery, amused by watching Dr. Orkborne,
had insisted, for an experiment, that Jacob should not return to the
coach till he was missed and called for; and so intense was the
application of the Doctor to what he was composing, that this did not
happen till the whole family had dined; Jacob and the coachman, at the
invitation of Mrs. Arlbery, having partaken of the servants' fare,
equally pleased with the regale and the joke. Dr. Orkborne then,
suddenly recollecting himself, demanded why the young ladies were so
late, and was much discomposed and astonished when he heard they were
gone. Mrs. Arlbery invited him into the house, and offered him
refreshments, while she ordered water and a feed of corn for the horses;
but he only fretted a little, and then went on again with his studies.

Sir Hugh now sent some cold dinner into the Doctor's room, and declared
he should always approve his niece's acquaintance with Mrs. Arlbery, as
she was so kind to his servants and his animals.



CHAPTER VI

_An Author's Idea of Order_


Not a bosom of the Cleves party enjoyed much tranquillity this evening.
Miss Margland, though to the Baronet she would not recede from her first
assertions, strove vainly to palliate to herself the ill grace and
evident dissatisfaction with which Edgar had met the report. To save her
own credit, however, was always her primary consideration; she resolved,
therefore, to cast upon unfair play in Camilla, or upon the instability
of Edgar, all the blame really due to her own undiscerning
self-sufficiency.

Indiana thought so little for herself, that she adopted, of course,
every opinion of Miss Margland; yet the immoveable coldness of Edgar,
contrasted frequently in her remembrance by the fervour of Melmond and
of Macdersey, became more and more distasteful to her; and Mrs.
Arlbery's idea, that she should be locked up in half a year, made her
look upon him alternately as something to shun or to over-reach. She
even wished to refuse him:--but Beech Park, the equipage, the servants,
the bridal habiliment.--No! she could enjoy those, if not him. And
neither her own feelings, nor the lessons of Miss Margland, had taught
her to look upon marriage in any nobler point of view.

But the person most deeply dissatisfied this evening was Edgar. He now
saw that, deceived by his own consciousness, he had misunderstood Mrs.
Needham, who, as well as Mrs. Arlbery, he was convinced concluded him
engaged to Indiana. He had observed with concern the approving credulity
of Sir Hugh, and though glad to find his real plan, and all his wishes
unsuspected, the false report excited his fears, lest Indiana should
give it any credit, and secretly hurt his delicacy for the honour of his
taste.

All the influence of pecuniary motives to which he deemed Camilla
superior, occurred to him in the very words of Dr. Marchmont for
Indiana; whose capacity he saw was as shallow as her person was
beautiful. Yet the admiration with which she had already made her first
appearance in the world, might naturally induce her belief of his
reported devotion. If, therefore, his situation appeared to her to be
eligible, she had probably settled to accept him.

The most timid female delicacy was not more scrupulous, than the manly
honour of Edgar to avoid this species of misapprehension; and though
perfectly confident his behaviour had been as irreproachable as it was
undesigning, the least idea of any self-delusion on the part of Indiana,
seemed a call upon his integrity for the most unequivocal manifestation
of his intentions. Yet any declaration by words, with whatever care
selected, might be construed into an implication that he concluded the
decision in his own hands. And though he could scarcely doubt the fact,
he justly held nothing so offensive as the palpable presumption. One
only line of conduct appeared to him, therefore, unexceptionable; which
was wholly to avoid her, till the rumour sunk into its own nothingness.

This demanded from him a sacrifice the most painful, that of retiring
from Cleves in utter ignorance of the sentiments of Camilla; yet it
seemed the more necessary, since he now, with much uneasiness,
recollected many circumstances which his absorbed mind had hitherto
suffered to pass unnoticed, that led him to fear Sir Hugh himself, and
the whole party, entertained the same notion.

He was shocked to consider Camilla involved in such a deception, though
delighted by the idea he might perhaps owe to an explanation, some marks
of that preference for which Dr. Marchmont had taught him to wait, and
which he now hoped might lie dormant from the persuasion of his
engagement. To clear this mistake was, therefore, every way essential,
as otherwise the very purity of her character must be in his disfavour.

Still, however, the visit to the Grove hung upon his mind, and he
resolved to investigate its cause the following morning, before he made
his retreat.

Early the next day, Camilla sent to hasten the chaise which was to fetch
Mr. Tyrold, and begged leave of her uncle to breakfast at Etherington.
His assent was always ready; and believing every evil would yield to
absence, she eagerly, and even with happiness set off.

When the rest of the party assembled without her, Edgar, surprised,
enquired if she were well? Miss Margland answered yes; but for the sake
of what she loved best in the world, a frolic, she was gone in the
chaise to Etherington. Edgar could not prevail with himself to depart
till he had spoken with her, and privately deferred his purposed
leave-taking till noon.

During this report, Sir Hugh was anxiously engaged in some business he
seemed to wish to conceal. He spoke little, but nodded frequently to
himself, with an air of approving his own ideas; he summoned Jacob to
him repeatedly, with whom he held various whispering conferences; and
desired Miss Margland, who made the tea, not to pour it out too fast, as
he was in no hurry to have breakfast over.

When nothing he could urge succeeded, in making any of the company eat
or drink any thing more, he pulled Edgar by the sleeve; and, in an eager
but low voice, said, 'My dear Mr. Edgar, I have a great favour to beg of
you, which is only that you will do something to divert Dr. Orkborne.'

'I should be very happy, Sir,' cried Edgar, smiling, 'but I much doubt
my capability.'

'Why, my dear Mr. Edgar, it's only to keep him from finding out my new
surprise till it's got ready. And if you will but just spout out to him
a bit or two of Virgil and Horace, or some of those Greek and Latin
language-masters, he'll be in no hurry to budge, I promise you.'

A request from Sir Hugh, who with the most prompt alacrity met the
wishes of everyone, was by Edgar held to be indisputable. He advanced,
therefore, to Dr. Orkborne, who was feeling for his tablets, which he
commonly examined in his way up the stairs, and started a doubt, of
which he begged an exposition, upon a passage of Virgil.

Dr. Orkborne willingly stopt, and displayed, with no small satisfaction,
an erudition, that did him nearly as much honour in the ears of the
ignorant and admiring Sir Hugh, as in those of the cultivated and
well-judging Edgar. 'Ah!' said the Baronet, sighing, though addressing
himself to no one, 'if I had but addicted myself to these studies in due
season, I might have understood all this too! though now I can't for my
life make out much sense of what they're talking of; nor a little
neither, indeed, as to that; thanks to my own idleness; to which,
however, I am not much obliged.'

Unfortunately, the discussion soon led to some points of comparison,
that demanded a review of various authors, and the doctor proposed
adjourning to his own apartment. The Baronet winked at Edgar, who would
have changed the discourse, or himself have sought the books, or have
been satisfied without them; but Dr. Orkborne was as eager here, as in
other matters he was slow and phlegmatic; and, regardless of all
opposition, was making off, when Sir Hugh, catching him by the arm,
exclaimed, 'My good friend, I beg it as a particular favour, you won't
stir a step!'

'Not stir a step, Sir?' repeated the doctor, amazed.

'That is, not to your own room.'

'Not go to my own room, Sir?'

The Baronet gently begged him not to take it amiss, and presently, upon
the appearance of Jacob, who entered with a significant smile, said, he
would keep him no longer.

Dr. Orkborne, to whom nothing was so irksome as a moment's detention
from his books and papers, instantly departed, inviting Edgar to
accompany him; but without troubling himself to inquire for what end he
had been held back.

When they were gone, Sir Hugh, rubbing his hands, said, 'Well, I think
this good gentleman won't go about the country again, with all his books
fastened about him, to shew he has nowhere to put them: for as to his
telling me he only took them to look at, I am not quite such an
ignoramus, with all my ignorance, as to believe such a thing as that,
especially of a regular bred scholar.'

A loud and angry sound of voices from above here interrupted the pleased
harangue of the Baronet; Miss Margland opened the door to listen, and,
with no small delight, heard words, scarce intelligible for rage,
breaking from Dr. Orkborne, whose anger, while Edgar was endeavouring
to moderate, Jacob and Mary were vociferously resenting.

Sir Hugh, all astonished, feared there was some mistake. He had sent,
the preceding day, as far as Winchester, for two bookcases, which he had
ordered should arrive early, and be put up during the breakfast; and he
had directed Mary to place upon the shelves, with great care, all the
loose books and papers she found dispersed about the room, as neatly as
possible: after which Jacob was to give notice when all was arranged.

The words now 'If I must have my manuscripts rummaged at pleasure, by
every dunce in the house, I would rather lie in the street!' distinctly
caught their ears. Sir Hugh was thunderstruck with amazement and
disappointment, but said nothing. Miss Margland looked all spite and
pleasure, and Eugenia all concern.

Louder yet, and with accents of encreasing asperity, the Doctor next
exclaimed 'A twelvemonth's hard labour will not repair this mischief! I
should have been much more obliged to you if you had blown out my
brains!'

The Baronet, aghast, cried, 'Lord help us! I think I had best go and get
the shelves pulled down again, what I have done not being meant to
offend, being what will cost me ten pounds and upwards.'

He then, though somewhat irresolute, whether or not to proceed, moved
towards the foot of the stairs; but there a new storm of rage startled
him. 'I wish you had been all of you annihilated ere ever you had
entered my room! I had rather have lost my ears than that manuscript! I
wish with all my heart you had been at the bottom of the sea, every one
of you, before you had touched it!'

'If you won't believe me, it can't be helped,' said Mary; 'but if I was
to tell it you over and over, I've done nothing to no mortal thing. I
only just swept the room after the carpenter was gone, for it was all in
such a pickle it was a shame to be seen.'

'You have ruined me!' cried he, 'you have swept it behind the fire, I
make not a moment's doubt; and I had rather you had given me a bowl of
poison! you can make me no reparation; it was a clue to a whole
section.'

'Well, I won't make no more words about it,' said Mary, angrily; 'but
I'm sure I never so much as touched it with a pair of tongs, for I never
see it; nor I don't so much as know it if I do.'

'Why, it's a piece of paper written all over; look! just such another as
this: I left it on the table, by this corner--'

'O! that?' cried Mary; 'yes, I remember that.'

'Well, where is it? What have you done with it?'

'Why, I happened of a little accident about that;--for as I was a
sweeping under the table, the broom knocked the ink down; but, by good
luck, it only fell upon that little morsel of paper.'

'Little morsel of paper? it's more precious than a whole library! But
what did you do with it? what is become of it? whatever condition it is
in, if you have but saved it--where is it, I say?'

'Why--it was all over ink, and good for nothing, so I did not think of
your missing it--so I throwed it behind the fire.'

'I wish you had been thrown there yourself with all my heart! But if
ever you bring a broom into my room again--'

'Why, I did nothing but what my master ordered--'

'Or if ever you touch a paper, or a book of mine, again--'

'My master said himself--'

'Your master's a blockhead! and you are another--go away, I say!'

Mary now hurried out of the room, enraged for her master, and frightened
for herself; and Edgar, not aware Sir Hugh was within hearing, soon
succeeded in calming the doctor, by mildly listening to his
lamentations.

Sir Hugh, extremely shocked, sat upon the stairs to recover himself.
Miss Margland, who never felt so virtuous, and never so elated, as when
witnessing the imperfections or improprieties of others, descanted
largely against ingratitude; treating an unmeaning sally of passion as a
serious mark of turpitude: but Eugenia, ashamed for Dr. Orkborne, to
whom, as her preceptor, she felt a constant disposition to be partial,
determined to endeavour to induce him to make some apology. She glided,
therefore, past her uncle, and tapped at the doctor's door.

Mary, seeing her master so invitingly in her way, could by no means
resist her desire of appeal and complaint; and, descending the stairs,
begged his honour to hear her.

'Mary,' said he, rising, and returning to the parlour, 'you need not
tell me a word, for I have heard it all myself; by which it may be truly
said, listeners never hear good of themselves; so I've got the proper
punishment; for which reason, I hope you won't look upon it as an
example.'

'I am sure, Sir,' said Mary, 'if your honour can excuse his speaking so
disrespectful, it's what nobody else can; and if it was not for thinking
as his head's got a crack in it, there is not a servant among us as
would not affront him for it.'

The Baronet interrupted her with a serious lecture upon the civility he
expected for all his guests; and she promised to restrain her wrath;
'But only, sir,' she continued, 'if your honour had seen the bit of
paper as he made such a noise at me for, your honour would not have
believed it. Not a soul could have read it. My Tom would ha' been well
licked if he'd wrote no better at school. And as to his being a
twelvemonth a scrawling such another, I'll no more believe it than I'll
fly. It's as great a fib as ever was told.'

Sir Hugh begged her to be quiet, and to think no more of the matter.

'No, your honour, I hope I'm not a person as bears malice; only I could
not but speak of it, because he behaves more comical every day. I
thought he'd ha' beat me over and over. And as to the stories he tells
about them little bits of paper, mortal patience can't bear it no
longer.'

The remonstrance of Eugenia took immediate effect. Dr. Orkborne, shocked
and alarmed at the expression which had escaped him, protested himself
willing to make the humblest reparation, and truly declared, he had been
so greatly disturbed by the loss he had just sustained, that he not
merely did not mean, but did not know what he had said.

Edgar was the bearer of his apology, which Sir Hugh accepted with his
usual good humour. 'His calling me a blockhead,' cried he, 'is a thing I
have no right to resent, because I take it for granted, he would not
have said it, if he had not thought it; and a man's thoughts are his
castle, and ought to be free.'

Edgar repeated the protestation, that he had been hurried on by passion,
and spoke without meaning.

'Why, then, my dear Mr. Edgar, I must fairly own I don't see the great
superiorness of learning, if it can't keep a man's temper out of a
passion. However, say nothing of the sort to poor Clermont, upon his
coming over, who I expect won't speak one word in ten I shall
understand; which, however, as it's all been done for the best, I would
not have the poor boy discouraged in.'

He then sent a kind message by Edgar to Dr. Orkborne, desiring him not
to mind such a trifle.

This conciliating office was congenial to the disposition of Edgar, and
softened his impatience for the return of Camilla, but when, soon after,
a note arrived from Mr. Tyrold, requesting Sir Hugh to dispense with
seeing him till the next day, and apologising for keeping his daughter,
he felt equally disappointed and provoked, though he determined not to
delay any longer his departure. He gave orders, therefore, for his
horses immediately, and with all the less regret, for knowing Camilla no
longer in the circle he was to quit.

The ladies were in the parlour with Sir Hugh, who was sorrowfully
brooding over his brother's note, when he entered it to take leave.
Addressing himself somewhat rapidly to the Baronet, he told him he was
under an unpleasant necessity, to relinquish some days of the month's
sojourn intended for him. He made acknowledgments full of regard for his
kindness and hospitality; and then, only bowing to the ladies, left the
room, before the astonished Sir Hugh comprehended he was going.

'Well,' cried Miss Margland, 'this is curious indeed! He has flown off
from everything, without even an apology!'

'I hope he is not really gone?' said Eugenia, walking to the window.

'I'm sure I don't care what he does,' cried Indiana, 'he's welcome to go
or to stay. I'm grown quite sick of him, for my part.'

'Gone?' said Sir Hugh, recovering breath; 'it's impossible! Why, he
never has said one word to me of the day, nor the settlements, nor all
those things!'

He then rang the bell, and sent to desire Mr. Mandlebert might be called
immediately.

Edgar, who was mounting his horse, obeyed with some chagrin. As soon as
he re-entered the room, Sir Hugh cried; 'My dear Mr. young Edgar, it's
something amazing to me you should think of going away without coming to
an explanation?'

'An explanation, sir?'

'Yes, don't you know what I mean?'

'Not in the least, sir,' cried Edgar, staggered by a doubt whether he
suspected what he felt for Camilla, or referred to what was reported of
Indiana.

'Why, then, my pretty dear,' said Sir Hugh to Indiana, 'you won't
object, I hope, to taking a little walk in the garden, provided it is
not disagreeable to you; for you had better not hear what we are going
to talk about before your face.'

Indiana, pouting her beautiful under lip, and scornfully passing Edgar,
complied. Eugenia accompanied her; but Miss Margland kept her ground.

Sir Hugh, always unwilling to make any attack, and at a loss how to
begin, simply said; 'Why, I thought Mr. Mandlebert, you would stay with
us till next year?'

Edgar only bowed.

'Why, then, suppose you do?'

'Most probably, sir, I shall by that time be upon the Continent. If some
particular circumstance does not occur, I purpose shortly making the
tour of Europe.'

Sir Hugh now lost all guard and all restraint, and with undisguised
displeasure exclaimed; 'So here's just the second part of Clermont! at
the moment I sent for him home, thinking he would come to put the finish
to all my cares about Eugenia, he sends me word he must travel!--And
though the poor girl took it very well, from knowing nothing of the
matter, I can't say I take it very kind of you, Mr. young Edgar, to come
and do just the same by Indiana!'

The surprize of Edgar was unspeakable: that Sir Hugh should wish the
relation of Jacob, with respect to Indiana, confirmed, he could not
wonder; but that his wishes should have amounted to expectations, and
that he should deem his niece ill used by their failure, gave him the
most poignant astonishment.

Miss Margland, taking advantage of his silent consternation, began now
to pour forth very volubly, the most pointed reflections upon the injury
done to young ladies by reports of this nature, which were always sure
to keep off all other offers. There was no end, she said, to the
admirers who had deserted Indiana in despair; and she questioned if she
would ever have any more, from the general belief of her being actually
pre-engaged.

Edgar, whose sense of honour was tenaciously delicate, heard her with a
mixture of concern for Indiana, and indignation against herself, that
kept her long uninterrupted; for though burning to assert the integrity
of his conduct, the fear of uttering a word that might be offensive to
Indiana, embarrassed and checked him.

Sir Hugh, who in seeing him overpowered, concluded he was relenting, now
kindly took his hand, and said: 'My dear Mr. Mandlebert, if you are
sorry for what you were intending, of going away, and leaving us all in
the lurch, why, you shall never hear a word more about it, for I will
make friends for you with Indiana, and beg of Miss Margland that she'll
do us the favour to say no more.'

Edgar, affectionately pressing the hand of the Baronet, uttered the
warmest expressions of personal regard, and protested he should always
think it an honour to have been held worthy of pretending to any
alliance in his family; but he knew not how the present mistake had been
made, or report had arisen: he could boast of no partiality from Miss
Lynmere, nor had he ever addressed her with any particular views: yet,
as it was the opinion of Miss Margland, that the rumour, however false,
might prevent the approach of some deserving object, he now finally
determined to become, for awhile, a stranger at Cleves, however painful
such self-denial must prove.

He then precipitately left the room, and, in five minutes, had galloped
out of the Park.

The rest of the morning was spent by Sir Hugh in the utmost
discomposure; and by Miss Margland in alternate abuse of Camilla and of
Edgar; while Indiana passed from a piqued and short disappointment, to
the consolatory idea that Melmond might now re-appear.

Edgar rode strait to Beech Park, where he busied himself the whole day
in viewing alterations and improvements; but where nothing answered his
expectations, since Camilla had disappointed them. That sun-beam, which
had gilded the place to his eyes, was now over-clouded, and the first
possession of his own domain, was his first day of discontent.



CHAPTER VII

_A Maternal Eye_


The vivacity with which Camilla quitted Cleves, was sunk before she
reached Etherington. She had quitted also Edgar, quitted him offended,
and in doubt if it might ever be right she should vindicate herself in
his opinion. Yet all seemed strange and unintelligible that regarded the
asserted nuptials: his indifference was palpable; she believed him to
have been unaccountably drawn in, and her heart softly whispered, it was
herself he preferred.

From this soothing but dangerous idea, she struggled to turn her
thoughts. She anticipated the remorse of holding the affections of the
husband of her cousin, and determined to use every possible method to
forget him--unless, which she strove vainly not to hope, the reported
alliance should never take place.

These reflections so completely engrossed her the whole way, that she
arrived at the Parsonage House, without the smallest mental preparation
how to account for her return, or how to plead for remaining at
Etherington. Foresight, the offspring of Judgment, or the disciple of
Experience, made no part of the character of Camilla, whose impetuous
disposition was open to every danger of indiscretion, though her genuine
love of virtue glowed warm with juvenile ardour.

She entered, therefore, the breakfast parlour in a state of sudden
perplexity what to say; Mr. Tyrold was alone and writing. He looked
surprized, but embraced her with his accustomed affection, and enquired
to what he owed her present sight.

She made no answer; but embraced him again, and enquired after her
mother.

'She is well,' he replied: 'but, tell me, is your uncle impatient of my
delay? It has been wholly unavoidable. I have been deeply engaged; and
deeply chagrined. Your poor mother would be still more disturbed, if the
nobleness of her mind did not support her.'

Camilla, extremely grieved, earnestly enquired what had happened.

He then informed her that Mrs. Tyrold, the very next morning, must
abruptly quit them all and set out for Lisbon to her sick brother, Mr.
Relvil.

'Is he so much worse?'

'No: I even hope he is better. An act of folly has brought this to bear.
Do not now desire particulars. I will finish my letter, and then return
with you for a few minutes to Cleves. The carriage must wait.'

'Suffer me first to ask, does Lavinia go with my mother?'

'No, she can only take old Ambrose. Lavinia must supply her place at
home.'

'Ah! my dearest father, and may not I, too, stay with you and assist
her?'

'If my brother will spare you, my dear child, there is nothing can so
much contribute to wile away to me your mother's absence.'

Enchanted thus, without any explanation, to have gained her point, she
completely revived; though when Mrs. Tyrold, whom she almost worshipped,
entered the room, in all the hurry of preparing for her long journey,
she shed a torrent of tears in her arms.

'This good girl,' said Mr. Tyrold, 'is herself desirous to quit the
present gaieties of Cleves, to try to enliven my solitude till we all
may meet again.'

The conscious and artless Camilla could not bear this undeserved praise.
She quitted her mother, and returning to Mr. Tyrold, 'O my father!' she
cried, 'if you will take me again under your beloved roof, it is for my
sake--not your's--I beg to return!'

'She is right,' said Mrs. Tyrold; 'there is no merit in having an heart;
she could have none, if to be with you were not her first
gratification.'

'Yes, indeed, my dear mother, it would always be so, even if no other
inducement--.' She stopt short, confused.

Mr. Tyrold, who continued writing, did not heed this little blunder; but
his wife, whose quickness of apprehension and depth of observation, were
always alive, even in the midst of business, cares, and other
attentions, turned hastily to her daughter, and asked to what 'other
inducement' she alluded.

Camilla, distressed, hung her head, and would have forborne making any
answer.

Mrs. Tyrold, then, putting down various packets which she was sorting
and selecting, came suddenly up to her, and taking both her hands,
looked earnestly in her face, saying: 'My Camilla! something has
disquieted you?--your countenance is not itself. Tell me, my dear girl,
what brought you hither this morning? and what is it you mean by some
other inducement?'

'Do not ask me now, my dearest mother,' answered she, in a faltering
voice; 'when you come back again, no doubt all will be over; and
then--'

'And is that the time, Camilla, to speak to your best friends? would it
not be more judicious to be explicit with them, while what affects you
is still depending?'

Camilla, hiding her face on her mother's bosom, burst afresh into tears.

'Alas!' cried Mrs. Tyrold, 'what new evil is hovering? If it must invade
me again through one of my children, tell me, at least, Camilla, it is
not wilfully that you, too, afflict me? and afflict the best of
fathers?'

Mr. Tyrold, dropping his pen, looked at them both with the most
apprehensive anxiety.

'No, my dearest mother,' said Camilla, endeavouring to meet her eyes;
'not wilfully,--but something has happened--I can hardly myself tell how
or what--but indeed Cleves, now--' she hesitated.

'How is my brother?' demanded Mr. Tyrold.

'O! all that is good and kind! and I grieve to quit him--but, indeed,
Cleves, now--' Again she hesitated.

'Ah, my dear child!' said Mrs. Tyrold, 'I always feared that
residence!--you are too young, too inconsiderate, too innocent, indeed,
to be left so utterly to yourself.--Forgive me, my dear Mr. Tyrold; I do
not mean to reflect upon your brother, but he is not _you_!--and with
you alone, this dear inexperienced girl can be secure from all harm.
Tell me, however, what it is--?'

Camilla, in the extremest confusion changed colour, but tried vainly to
speak. Mr. Tyrold, suspended from all employment, waited fearfully some
explanation.

'We have no time,' said Mrs. Tyrold, 'for delay;--you know I am going
abroad,--and cannot ascertain my return; though all my heart left behind
me, with my children and their father, will urge every acceleration in
my power.'

Camilla wept again, fondly folding her arms round her mother; 'I had
hoped,' she cried, 'that I should have come home to peace, comfort,
tranquillity! to both of you, my dearest father and mother, and to all
my unbroken happiness under your roof!--How little did I dream of so
cruel a separation!'

'Console yourself, my Camilla, that you have not been its cause; may
Heaven ever spare me evil in your shape at least!--you say it is nothing
wilful? I can bear everything else.'

'We will not,' said Mr. Tyrold, 'press her; she will tell us all in her
own way, and at her own time. Forced confidence is neither fair nor
flattering. I will excuse her return to my brother, and she will the
sooner be able to give her account for finding herself not hurried.'

'Calm yourself, then,' said Mrs. Tyrold, 'as your indulgent father
permits, and I will proceed with my preparations.'

Camilla now, somewhat recovering, declared she had almost nothing to
say; but her mother continued packing up, and her father went on with
his letter.

She had now time to consider that her own fears and emotion were
involving her in unnecessary confessions; she resolved, therefore, to
repress the fulness of her heart, and to acknowledge only the accusation
of Miss Margland. And in a few minutes, without waiting for further
enquiry, she gathered courage to open upon the subject; and with as much
ease and quietness as she could command, related, in general terms, the
charge brought against her, and her consequent desire to quit Cleves,
'till,----till----' Here she stopt for breath. Mr. Tyrold instantly
finished the sentence, 'till the marriage has taken place?'

She coloured, and faintly uttered, 'Yes.'

'You are right, my child,' said he, 'and you have acted with a prudence
which does you honour. Neither the ablest reasoning, nor the most
upright conduct, can so completely obliterate a surmise of this nature,
from a suspicious mind, as absence. You shall remain, therefore, with
me, till your cousin is settled in her new habitation. Do you know if
the day is fixed?'

'No, sir,' she answered, while the roses fled her cheeks at a question
which implied so firm a belief of the union.

'Do not suffer this affair to occasion you any further uneasiness,' he
continued; 'it is the inherent and unalienable compact of Innocence with
Truth, to hold themselves immovably superior to the calumny of false
imputations. But I will go myself to Cleves, and set this whole matter
right.'

'And will you, too, sir, have the goodness--' She was going to say, _to
make my peace with Edgar_; but the fear of misinterpretation checked
her, and she turned away.

He gently enquired what she meant; she avoided any explanation, and he
resumed his writing.

Ah me! thought she, will the time ever come, when with openness, with
propriety, I may clear myself of caprice to Edgar?

Less patient, because more alarmed than her husband, Mrs. Tyrold
followed her to the window. She saw a tear in her eye, and again she
took both her hands: 'Have you, my Camilla,' she cried, 'have you told
us all? Can unjust impertinence so greatly have disturbed you? Is there
no sting belonging to this wound that you are covering from our sight,
though it may precisely be the spot that calls most for some healing
balm?'

Again the cheeks of Camilla received their fugitive roses. 'My dearest
mother,' she cried, 'is not this enough?--to be accused--suspected--and
to fear--'

She stammered, and would have withdrawn her hands; but Mrs. Tyrold,
still holding them, said, 'To fear what? speak out, my best child! open
to us your whole heart!--Where else will you find repositories so
tender?'

Tears again flowed down the burning cheeks of Camilla, and dropping her
eyes, 'Ah, my mother!' she cried, 'you will think me so frivolous--you
will blush so for your daughter--if I own--if I dare confess--'

Again she stopped, terrified at the conjectures to which this opening
might give birth; but when further and fondly pressed by her mother, she
added, 'It is not alone these unjust surmises,--nor even Indiana's
unkind concurrence in them--but also--I have been afraid--I must have
made a strange--a capricious--an ungrateful appearance in the eyes of
Edgar Mandlebert.'

Here her voice dropt; but presently recovering, she rapidly continued,
'I know it is very immaterial--and I am sensible how foolish it may
sound--but I shall also think of it no more now,--and therefore, as I
have told the whole--'

She looked up, conscience struck at these last words, to see if they
proved satisfactory; she caught, in the countenance of her mother, an
expression of deep commiseration, which was followed by a thousand
maternal caresses of unusual softness, though unaccompanied by any
words.

Penetrated, yet distressed, she gratefully received them, but rejoiced
when, at length, Mr. Tyrold, rising, said, 'Go, my love, upstairs to
your sister; your mother, else, will never proceed with her business.'

She gladly ran off, and soon, by a concise narration, satisfied Lavinia,
and then calmed her own troubled mind.

Mr. Tyrold now, though evidently much affected himself, strove to
compose his wife. 'Alas!' cried she, 'do you not see what thus has
touched me? Do you not perceive that our lovely girl, more just to his
worth than its possessor, has given her whole heart to Edgar
Mandlebert?'

'I perceived it through your emotion, but I had not discovered it
myself. I grieve, now, that the probability of such an event had not
struck me in time to have kept them apart for its prevention.'

'I grieve for nothing,' cried she, warmly, 'but the infatuated blindness
of that self-lost young man. What a wife would Camilla have made him in
every stage of their united career! And how unfortunately has she
sympathised in my sentiments, that he alone seemed worthy to replace the
first and best protector she must relinquish when she quits this house!
What will he find in Indiana but a beautiful doll, uninterested in his
feelings, unmoved by his excellencies, and incapable of comprehending
him if he speaks either of business or literature!'

'Yet many wives of this description,' replied Mr. Tyrold, 'are more
pleasing in the eyes of their husbands than women who are either better
informed in intellect, or more alive in sensation; and it is not an
uncommon idea amongst men, that where, both in temper and affairs, there
is least participation, there is most repose. But this is not the case
with Edgar.'

'No! he has a nobler resemblance than this portrait would allow him; a
resemblance which made me hope from him a far higher style of choice. He
prepares himself, however, his own ample punishment; for he has too much
understanding not to sicken of mere personal allurements, and too much
generosity to be flattered, or satisfied, by mere passive intellectual
inferiority. Neither a mistress nor a slave can make him happy; a
companion is what he requires; and for that, in a very few months, how
vainly his secret soul may sigh, and _think of our Camilla_!'

They then settled, that it would be now essential to the peace of their
child to keep her as much as possible from his sight; and determined not
to send her back to Cleves to apologize for the new plan, but to take
upon themselves that whole charge. 'Her nature,' said Mrs. Tyrold, 'is
so gay, so prompt for happiness, that I have little fear but in absence
she will soon cease to dwell upon him. Fear, indeed, I have, but it is
of a deeper evil than this early impression; I fear for her future lot!
With whom can we trust her?--She will not endure negligence; and those
she cannot respect she will soon despise. What a prospect for her,
then, with our present race of young men! their frivolous fickleness
nauseates whatever they can reach; they have a weak shame of asserting,
or even listening to what is right, and a shallow pride in professing
what is wrong. How must this ingenuous girl forget all she has yet seen,
heard, or felt, ere she can encounter wickedness, or even weakness, and
disguise her abhorrence or contempt?'

'My dear Georgiana, let us never look forward to evil.'

'Will it not be doubly hard to bear, if it come upon us without
preparation?'

'I think not. Terror shakes, and apprehension depresses: hope nerves as
well as gladdens us. Remember always, I do not by hope mean presumption;
I mean simply a cheerful trust in heaven.'

'I must always yield,' cried Mrs. Tyrold, 'to your superior wisdom, and
reflecting piety; and if I cannot conquer my fears, at least I will
neither court nor indulge them.'

The thanks of a grateful husband repaid this compliance. They sent for
Camilla, to acquaint her they would make her excuses at Cleves: she gave
a ready though melancholy consent, and the virtue of her motives drew
tears from her idolizing mother, as she clasped her to her heart.

They then set out together, that Mr. Tyrold might arrange this business
with Sir Hugh, of whom and of Eugenia Mrs. Tyrold was to take leave.



CHAPTER VIII

_Modern Ideas of Duty_


Camilla now felt more permanently revived, because better satisfied with
the rectitude of her conduct. She could no longer be accused of
interfering between Edgar and Indiana; that affair would take its
natural course, and, be it what it might, while absent from both
parties, she concluded she should at least escape all censure.

Peaceably, therefore, she returned to take possession of her usual
apartment, affectionately accompanied by her eldest sister.

The form and the mind of Lavinia were in the most perfect harmony. Her
polished complexion was fair, clear, and transparent; her features were
of the extremest delicacy, her eyes of the softest blue, and her smile
displayed internal serenity. The unruffled sweetness of her disposition
bore the same character of modest excellence. Joy, hope, and prosperity,
sickness, sorrow, and disappointment, assailed alike in vain the uniform
gentleness of her temper: yet though thus exempt from all natural
turbulence, either of pleasure or of pain, the meekness of her
composition degenerated not into insensibility; it was open to all the
feminine feelings of pity, of sympathy, and of tenderness.

Thus copiously gifted with 'all her sex's softness,' her society would
have contributed to restore Camilla to repose, had they continued
together without interruption; but, in a few minutes, the room door was
opened, and Lionel, rushing into the apartment, called out, 'How do, do,
my girls? how do, do?' and shook them each by the hand, with a swing
that nearly brought them to the ground.

Camilla always rejoiced at his sight; but Lavinia gravely said, 'I
thought, brother, you had been at Dr. Marchmont's?'

'All in good time, my dear! I shall certainly visit the old gentleman
before long.'

'Did you not sleep there, then, last night?'

'No, child.'

'Good God, Lionel!--if my mother--'

'My dear little Lavinia,' cried he, chucking her under the chin, 'I have
a vast notion of making visits at my own time, instead of my mamma's.'

'O Lionel! and can you, just now----'

'Come, come,' interrupted he, 'don't let us waste our precious minutes
in old moralizing. If I had not luckily been hard by, I should not have
known the coast was clear. Pray where are they gone, tantivying?'

'To Cleves.'

'To Cleves! what a happy escape! I was upon the point of going thither
myself. Camilla, what is the matter with thee?'

'Nothing--I am only thinking--pray when do you go to Oxford?'

'Pho, pho,--what do you talk of Oxford for? you are grown quite stupid,
girl. I believe you have lived too long with Miss Margland. Pray how
does that dear creature do? I am afraid she will grow melancholy from
not seeing me so long. Is she as pretty as she used to be? I have some
notion of sending her a suitor.'

'O brother,' said Lavinia, 'is it possible you can have such spirits?'

'O hang it, if one is not merry when one can, what is the world good
for? besides, I do assure you, I fretted so consumed hard at first, that
for the life of me I can fret no longer.'

'But why are you not at Dr. Marchmont's?'

'Because, my dear, you have no conception the pleasure those old doctors
take in lecturing a youngster who is in any disgrace.'

'Disgrace!' repeated Camilla.

'At all events,' said Lavinia, 'I beseech you to be a little careful; I
would not have my poor mother find you here for the world.'

'O, as to that, I defy her to desire the meeting less than I do. But
come, let's talk of something else. How go on the classics? Is my old
friend, Dr. Orkborne, as chatty and amusing as ever?'

'My dear Lionel,' said Camilla, 'I am filled with apprehension and
perplexity. Why should my mother wish not to see you? And why--and how
is it possible you can wish not to see her?'

'What, don't you know it all?'

'I know only that something must be wrong; but how, what, or which way,
I have not heard.'

'Has not Lavinia told you, then?

'No,' answered Lavinia; 'I could be in no haste to give her pain.'

'You are a good girl enough. But how came you hither, Camilla? and what
is the reason you have not seen my mother yourself?'

'Not seen her! I have been with her this half hour.'

'What! and in all that time did not she tell you?'

'She did not name you.'

'Is it possible!--Well, she's a noble creature! I wonder how she could
ever have such a son as me. And I am still less like my father than her.
I suppose I was changed in the cradle. Will you countenance me, young
ladies, if some villainous attorney or exciseman should by and by come
to own me?'

'Dear Lionel,' cried Camilla, 'do explain to me what has happened. You
make me think it important and trifling twenty times in a minute.'

'O, a horrid business!--Lavinia must tell it you. I'll go away till she
has done. Don't despise me, Camilla; I am confounded sorry, I promise
you.'

He then hurried out of the room, evidently feeling more emotion than he
cared to display.

Yet Lavinia had but just begun her relation, when he abruptly returned.
'Come, I had better tell it you myself,' cried he, 'for she'll make such
a dismal ditty of it, that it won't be over this half year; the sooner
we have done with it the better; it will only put you out of spirits.'

Then, sitting down, and taking her hand, he began, 'You must know I was
in rather a bad scrape at Oxford last year--'

'Last year! and you never told us of it before!'

'O, 'twas about something you would not understand, so I shall not
mention particulars now. It is enough for you to know that two or three
of us wanted a little cash!--well, so--in short, I sent a
letter--somewhat of a threatening sort--to poor old uncle Relvil!'--

'O Lionel!'

'O, I did not sign it,--it was only begging a little money, which he can
afford to spare very well; and just telling him, if he did not come to a
place I mentioned, he would have his brains blown out.'--

'How horrible!'

'Pho, pho,--he had only to send the money, you know, and then his brains
might keep their place; besides, you can't suppose there was gunpowder
in the words. So I got this copied, and took the proper measures for
concealment, and,--would you believe it! the poor old gull was fool
enough actually to send the money where he was bid?'

'Fie, Lionel!' cried Lavinia; 'do you call him a fool because you
terrified him?'

'Yes, to be sure, my dear; and you both think him so too, only you don't
hold it pretty to say so. Do you suppose, if he had had half the wit of
his sister, he would have done it? I believe, in my conscience, there
was some odd mistake in their births, and that my mother took away the
brains of the man, and left the woman's for the noddle of my poor
uncle.'

'Fie, fie, brother!' said Lavinia again; 'you know how sickly he has
always been from his birth, and how soon therefore he might be alarmed.'

'Why, yes, Lavinia--I believe it was a very bad thing--and I would give
half my little finger I had not done it. But it's over, you know; so
what signifies making the worst of it?'

'And did he not discover you?'

'No; I gave him particular orders, in my letter, not to attempt anything
of that sort, assuring him there were spies about him to watch his
proceedings. The good old ass took it all for gospel. So there the
matter dropt. However, as ill luck would have it, about three months ago
we wanted another sum--'

'And could you again--'

'Why, my dear, it was only taking a little of my own fortune beforehand,
for I am his heir; so we all agreed it was merely robbing myself; for we
had several consultations about it, and one of us is to be a lawyer.'

'But you give me some pleasure here,' said Camilla; 'for I had never
heard that my uncle had made you his heir.'

'No more have I neither, my dear; but I take it for granted. Besides,
our little lawyer put it into my head. Well, we wrote again, and told
the poor old gentleman--for which I assure you I am heartily
repentant--that if he did not send me double the sum, in the same
manner, without delay, his house was to be burnt to the ground the first
night that he and all his family were asleep in bed.--Now don't make
faces and shruggings, for, I promise you, I think already I deserve to
be hanged for giving him the fright; though I would not really have hurt
him, all the time, for half his fortune. And who could have guessed he
would have bit so easily? The money, however, came, and we thought it
all secure, and agreed to get the same sum annually.'

'Annually!' repeated Camilla, with uplifted hands.

'Yes, my dear. You have no conception how convenient it would have been
for our extra expenses. But, unluckily, uncle grew worse, and went
abroad, and then consulted with some crab of a friend, and that friend
with some demagogue of a magistrate, and so all is blown!--However, we
had managed it so cleverly, it cost them near three months to find it
out, owing, I must confess, to poor uncle's cowardice in not making his
enquiries before the money was carried off, and he himself over the seas
and far away. The other particulars Lavinia must give you; for I have
talked of it now till I have made myself quite sick. Do tell me
something diverting to drive it a little out of my head. Have you seen
any thing of my enchanting widow lately?'

'No, she does not desire to be seen by me. She would not admit me.'

'She is frankness itself, and does not pretend to care a fig for any of
her own sex.--O, but, Camilla, I have wanted to ask you this great
while, if you think there is any truth in this rumour, that Mandlebert
intends to propose to Indiana?'

'To propose! I thought it had all long since been settled.'

'Ay, so the world says; but I don't believe a word of it. Do you think,
if that were the case, he would not have owned it to me? There's nothing
fixed yet, depend upon it.'

Camilla, struck, amazed, and delighted, involuntarily embraced her
brother; though, recollecting herself almost at the same moment, she
endeavoured to turn off the resistless impulse into taking leave, and
hurrying him away.

Lionel, who to want of solidity and penetration principally owed the
errors of his conduct, was easily put upon a wrong scent, and assured
her he would take care to be off in time. 'But what,' cried he, 'has
carried them to Cleves? Are they gone to tell tales? Because I have lost
one uncle by my own fault, must I lose another by their's?'

'No,' answered Lavinia, 'they have determined not to name you. They have
settled that my uncle Hugh shall never be told of the affair, nor
anybody else, if they can help it, except your sisters, and Dr.
Marchmont.'

'Well, they are good souls,' cried he, attempting to laugh, though his
eyes were glistening; 'I wish I deserved them better; I wish, too, it
was not so dull to be good. I can be merry and harmless here at the same
time,--and so I can at Cleves;--but at Oxford--or in London,--your merry
blades there--I can't deny it, my dear sisters--your merry blades there
are but sad fellows. Yet there is such fun, such spirit, such sport
amongst them, I cannot for my life keep out of their way. Besides, you
have no conception, young ladies, what a bye word you become among them
if they catch you flinching.'

'I would not for the world say anything to pain you, my dear brother,'
cried Lavinia; 'but yet I must hope that, in future, your first study
will be to resist such dangerous examples, and to drop such unworthy
friends?'

'If it is not to tell tales, then, for what else are they gone to
Cleves, just at this time?'

'For my mother to take leave of Eugenia and my uncle before her
journey.'

'Journey! Why whither is she going?'

'Abroad.'

'The deuce she is!--And what for?'

'To try to make your peace with her brother; or at least to nurse him
herself till he is tolerably recovered.'

Lionel slapped his hat over his eyes, and saying, 'This is too much!--if
I were a man I should shoot myself!'--rushed out of the room.

The two sisters rapidly followed him, and caught his arm before he could
quit the house. They earnestly besought him to return, to compose
himself, and to promise he would commit no rash action.

'My dear sisters,' cried he, 'I am worked just now only as I ought to
be; but I will give you any promise you please. However, though I have
never listened to my father as I ought to have listened, he has
implanted in my mind a horror of suicide, that will make me live my
natural life, be it as good for nothing as it may.'

He then suffered his sisters to lead him back to their room, where he
cast himself upon a chair, in painful rumination upon his own
unworthiness, and his parents' excellence; but the tender soothings of
Lavinia and Camilla, who trembled lest his remorse should urge him to
some act of violence, soon drew him from reflections of which he hated
the intrusion; and he attended, with complacency, to their youthful
security of perfect reconciliations, and re-established happiness.

With reciprocal exultation, the eyes of the sisters congratulated each
other on having saved him from despair: and seeing him now calm, and,
they hoped, safe, they mutually, though tacitly, agreed to obtrude no
further upon meditations that might be useful to him, and remained
silently by his side.

For some minutes all were profoundly still; Lionel then suddenly started
up; the sisters, affrighted, hastily arose at the same instant; when
stretching himself and yawning, he called out, 'Pr'ythee, Camilla, what
is become of that smug Mr. Dubster?'

Speechless with amazement, they looked earnestly in his face, and feared
he was raving.

They were soon, however undeceived; the tide of penitence and sorrow
was turned in his buoyant spirits, and he was only restored to his
natural volatile self.

'You used him most shabbily,' he continued, 'and he was a very pretty
fellow. The next time I have nothing better to do, I'll send him to you,
that you may make it up.'

This quick return of gaiety caused a sigh to Lavinia, and much surprise
to Camilla; but neither of them could prevail with him to depart, till
Mr. and Mrs. Tyrold were every moment expected; they then, though with
infinite difficulty, procured his promise that he would go straight to
Dr. Marchmont, according to an arrangement made for that purpose by Mrs.
Tyrold herself.

Lavinia, when he was gone, related some circumstances of this affair
which he had omitted. Mr. Relvil, the elder brother of Mrs. Tyrold, was
a country gentleman of some fortune, but of weak parts, and an invalid
from his infancy. He had suffered these incendiary letters to prey upon
his repose, without venturing to produce them to any one, from a terror
of the menaces hurled against him by the writer, till at length he
became so completely hypochondriac, that his rest was utterly broken,
and, to preserve his very existence, he resolved upon visiting another
climate.

The day that he set out for Lisbon, his destined harbour, he delivered
his anonymous letters to a friend, to whom he left in charge to
discover, if possible, their author.

This discovery, by the usual means of enquiries and rewards, was soon
made; but the moment Mr. Relvil learnt that the culprit was his nephew,
he wrote over to Mrs. Tyrold a statement of the transaction, declaring
he should disinherit Lionel from every shilling of his estate. His
health was so much impaired, he said, by the disturbance this had given
to his mind, that he should be obliged to spend the ensuing year in
Portugal; and he even felt uncertain if he might ever return to his own
country.

Mrs. Tyrold, astonished and indignant, severely questioned her son, who
covered, with shame, surprise, and repentance, confessed his guilt.
Shocked and grieved in the extreme, she ordered him from her sight, and
wrote to Dr. Marchmont to receive him. She then settled with Mr. Tyrold
the plan of her journey and voyage, hoping by so immediately following,
and herself nursing her incensed brother, to soften his wrath, and avert
its final ill consequences.



CHAPTER IX

_A Few Embarrassments_


Mr. and Mrs. Tyrold returned to Etherington somewhat relieved in their
spirits, though perplexed in their opinions. They had heard from Sir
Hugh, that Edgar had decidedly disavowed any pretensions to Indiana, and
had voluntarily retreated from Cleves, that his disavowal might risk no
misconstruction, either in the family or the neighbourhood.

This insensibility to beauty the most exquisite wanted no advocate with
Mrs. Tyrold. Once more she conceived some hope of what she wished, and
she determined upon seeing Edgar before her departure. The displeasure
she had nourished against him vanished, and justice to his general
worth, with an affection nearly maternal to his person, took again their
wonted place in her bosom, and made her deem herself unkind in having
purposed to quit the kingdom without bidding him farewell.

Mr. Tyrold, whom professional duty and native inclination alike made a
man of peace, was ever happy to second all conciliatory measures, and
the first to propose them, where his voice had any chance of being
heard. He sent a note, therefore, to invite Edgar to call the next
morning; and Mrs. Tyrold deferred her hour of setting off till noon.

Her own natural and immediate impulse, had been to carry Camilla with
her abroad; but when she considered that her sole errand was to nurse
and appease an offended sick man, whose chamber she meant not to quit
till she returned to her family, she gave up the pleasure she would
herself have found in the scheme, to her fears for the health and
spirits of her darling child, joined to the superior joy of leaving such
a solace with her husband.

Sir Hugh had heard the petition for postponing the further visit of
Camilla almost with despondence; but Mr. Tyrold restored him completely
to confidence, with respect to his doubts concerning Dr. Orkborne, with
whom he held a long and satisfactory conversation; and his own
benevolent heart received a sensible pleasure, when, upon examining
Indiana with regard to Edgar, he found her, though piqued and pouting,
untouched either in affection or happiness.

Early the next morning Edgar came. Mrs. Tyrold had taken measures for
employing Camilla upstairs, where she did not even hear that he entered
the house.

He was received with kindness, and told of the sudden journey, though
not of its motives. He heard of it with unfeigned concern, and earnestly
solicited to be the companion of the voyage, if no better male protector
were appointed.

Mr. Tyrold folded his arms around him at this grateful proposal, while
his wife, animated off her guard, warmly exclaimed--'My dear, excellent
Edgar! you are indeed the model, the true son of your guardian!'

Sorry for what had escaped her, from her internal reference to Lionel,
she looked anxiously to see if he comprehended her; but the mantling
blood which mounted quick into his cheeks, while his eyes sought the
ground, soon told her there was another mode of affinity, which at that
moment had struck him.

Willing to establish whether this idea were right, she now considered
how she might name Camilla; but her husband, who for no possible purpose
could witness distress without seeking to alleviate it, declined his
kind offer, and began a discourse upon the passage to Lisbon.

This gave Edgar time to recover, and, in a few seconds, something of
moment seemed abruptly to occur to him, and scarcely saying adieu, he
hurried to remount his horse.

Mrs. Tyrold was perplexed; but she could take not steps towards an
explanation, without infringing the delicacy she felt due to her
daughter: she suffered him, therefore, to depart.

She then proceeded with her preparations, which entirely occupied her
till the chaise was at the gate; when, as the little party, their eyes
and their hearts all full, were taking a last farewell, the parlour door
was hastily opened, and Dr. Marchmont and Edgar entered the room.

All were surprised, but none so much as Camilla, who, forgetting, in
sudden emotion, every thing but former kindness and intimacy,
delightedly exclaimed--'Edgar! O how happy, my dearest mother!--I was
afraid you would go without seeing him!'

Edgar turned to her with a quickness that could only be exceeded by his
pleasure; her voice, her manner, her unlooked-for interest in his
appearance, penetrated to his very soul. 'Is it possible,' he cried,
'you could have the goodness to wish me this gratification? At a moment
such as this, could you----?' think of me, he would have added; but Dr.
Marchmont, coming forward, begged him to account for their intrusion.

Almost overpowered by his own sudden emotion, he could scarce recollect
its motive himself; while Camilla, fearful and repentant that she had
broken her deliberate and well-principled resolutions, retreated to the
window.

Mr. and Mrs. Tyrold witnessed the involuntary movements which betrayed
their mutual regard with the tenderest satisfaction; and the complacency
of their attention, when Edgar advanced to them, soon removed his
embarrassment.

He then briefly acquainted them, that finding Mrs. Tyrold would not
accept him for her chevalier, he had ridden hard to the parsonage of
Cleves, whence he hoped he had brought her one too unexceptionable for
rejection.

Dr. Marchmont, with great warmth, then made a proffer of his services,
declaring he had long desired an opportunity to visit Portugal; and
protesting that, besides the pleasure of complying with any wish of Mr.
Mandlebert's, it would give him the most serious happiness to shew his
gratitude for the many kind offices he owed to Mr. Tyrold, and his high
personal respect for his lady; he should require but one day for his
preparations, and for securing the performance of the church duty at
Cleves during his absence.

Mr. and Mrs. Tyrold were equally struck by the goodness of Dr.
Marchmont, and the attentive kindness of Edgar. Mrs. Tyrold,
nevertheless, would immediately have declined the scheme; but her
husband interposed. Her travelling, he said, with such a guard, would be
as conducive to his peace at home, as to her safety abroad. 'And with
respect,' cried he, 'to obligation, I hold it as much a moral duty not
to refuse receiving good offices, as not to avoid administering them.
That species of independence, which proudly flies all ties of gratitude,
is inimical to the social compact of civilized life, which subsists but
by reciprocity of services.'

Mrs. Tyrold now opposed the scheme no longer, and the chaise was ordered
for the next day.

Dr. Marchmont hurried home to settle his affairs; but Edgar begged a
short conference with Mr. Tyrold.

Every maternal hope was now awake in Mrs. Tyrold, who concluded this
request was to demand Camilla in marriage; and her husband himself, not
without trepidation, took Edgar into his study.

But Edgar, though his heart was again wholly Camilla's, had received a
look from Dr. Marchmont that guarded him from any immediate declaration.
He simply opened upon the late misconception at Cleves; vindicated
himself from any versatility of conduct, and affirmed, that both his
attentions and his regard for Indiana had never been either more or less
than they still continued. All this was spoken with a plainness to which
the integrity of his character gave a weight superior to any
protestations.

'My dear Edgar,' said Mr. Tyrold, 'I am convinced of your probity. The
tenor of your life is its guarantee, and any other defence is a
degradation. There is, indeed, no perfidy so unjustifiable, as that
which wins but to desert the affections of an innocent female. It is
still, if possible, more cowardly than it is cruel; for the greater her
worth, and the more exquisite her feelings, the stronger will be the
impulse of her delicacy to suffer uncomplaining; and the deluder of her
esteem commonly confides, for averting her reproach, to the very
sensibility through which he has ensnared her good opinion.'

'No one,' said Edgar, 'can more sincerely concur in this sentiment than
myself; and, I trust, there is no situation, and no character, that
could prompt me to deviate in this point. Here, in particular, my
understanding must have been as defective as my morals, to have betrayed
me into such an enterprise.'

'How do you mean?'

'I beg pardon, my dear sir; but, though I have a sort of family regard
for Miss Lynmere, and though I think her beauty is transcendent, her
heart, I believe----' he hesitated.

'Do you think her heart invulnerable?'--

'Why--no--not positively, perhaps,' answered he, embarrassed, 'not
positively invulnerable; but certainly I do not think it composed of
those finely subtle sensations which elude all vigilance, and become
imperceptibly the prey of every assailing sympathy; for itself,
therefore, I believe it not in much danger; and, for others--I see not
in it that magnetic attraction which charms away all caution, beguiles
all security, enwraps the imagination, and masters the reason!----'

The chain of thinking which, from painting what he thought insensible in
Indiana, led him to describe what he felt to be resistless in Camilla,
made him finish the last sentence with an energy that surprised Mr.
Tyrold into a smile.

'You seem deeply,' he said, 'to have studied the subject.'

'But not under the guidance of Miss Lynmere,' he answered, rising, and
colouring, the moment he had spoken, in the fear he had betrayed
himself.

'I rejoice, then, the more,' replied Mr. Tyrold, calmly, 'in her own
slackness of susceptibility.'

'Yes,' cried Edgar, recovering, and quietly re-placing himself; 'it is
her own security, and it is the security of all who surround her; though
to those, indeed, there was also another, a still greater, in the
contrast which----' he stopt, confused at his own meaning; yet
presently, almost irresistibly, added--'Not that I think the utmost
vivacity of sentiment, nor all the charm of soul, though eternally
beaming in the eyes, playing in every feature, glowing in the
complection, and brightening every smile----' he stopt again,
overpowered with the consciousness of the picture he was portraying; but
Mr. Tyrold continuing silent, he was obliged, though he scarce knew what
he said, to go on. 'Nothing, in short, so selfishly are we formed,--that
nothing, not even the loveliest of the lovely, can be truly bewitching,
in which we do not hope or expect some participation.--I believe I have
not made myself very clear?--However, it is not material--I simply meant
to explain my retreat from Cleves. And, indeed, it is barbarous, at a
season such as this, to detain you a moment from your family.'

He then hastily took leave.

Mr. Tyrold was sensibly touched by this scene. He saw, through a
discourse so perplexed, and a manner so confused, that his daughter had
made a forcible impression upon the heart of Mandlebert, but could not
comprehend why he seemed struggling to conceal it. What had dropt from
him appeared to imply a distrust of exciting mutual regard; yet this,
after his own observations upon Camilla, was inconceivable. He
regretted, that at a period so critical, she must part with her mother,
with whom again he now determined to consult.

Edgar, who hitherto had opened his whole heart upon every occasion to
Mr. Tyrold, felt hurt and distressed at this first withholding of
confidence. It was, however, unavoidable, in his present situation.

He went back to the parlour to take leave once more of Mrs. Tyrold;
but, opening the door, found Camilla there alone. She was looking out of
the window, and had not heard his entrance.

This was not a sight to still his perturbed spirits; on the contrary,
the moment seemed to him so favourable, that it irresistibly occurred to
him to seize it for removing every doubt.

Camilla, who had not even missed her mother and sister from the room,
was contemplating the horse of Edgar, and internally arraigning herself
for the dangerous pleasure she had felt and manifested at the sight of
his master.

He gently shut the door, and approaching her, said, 'Do I see again the
same frank and amiable friend, who in earliest days, who always, indeed,
till--'

Camilla, turning round, startled to behold him so near, and that no one
else remained in the room, blushed excessively, and without hearing what
he said, shut the window; yet opened it the same minute, stammering out
something, but she herself knew not what, concerning the weather.

The gentlest thoughts crossed the mind of Edgar at this evident
embarrassment, and the most generous alacrity prompted him to hasten his
purpose. He drew a chair near her, and, in penetrating accents, said:
'Will you suffer me, will you, can you permit me, to take the privilege
of our long friendship, and honestly to speak to you upon what has
passed within these last few days at Cleves?'

She could not answer: surprise, doubt, fear of self-deception, and hope
of some happy explanation, all suddenly conspired to confound and to
silence her.

'You cannot, I think, forget,' he soon resumed, 'that you had
condescended to put into my hands the management and decision of the new
acquaintance you are anxious to form? My memory, at least, will never be
unfaithful to a testimony so grateful to me, of your entire reliance
upon the deep, the unspeakable interest I have ever taken, and ever must
take, in my invaluable guardian, and in every branch of his respected
and beloved family.'

Camilla now began to breathe. This last expression, though zealous in
friendliness, had nothing of appropriate partiality; and in losing her
hope she resumed her calmness.

Edgar observed, though he understood not, the change; but as he wished
to satisfy his mind before he indulged his inclination, he endeavoured
not to be sorry to see her mistress of herself during the discussion. He
wished her but to answer him with openness: she still, however, only
listened, while she rose and looked about the room for some work. Edgar,
somewhat disconcerted, waited for her again sitting down; and after a
few minutes spent in a useless search, she drew a chair to a table at
some distance.

Gravely then following, he stood opposite to her, and, after a little
pause, said, 'I perceive you think I go too far? you think that the
intimacy of childhood, and the attachment of adolescence, should expire
with the juvenile sports and intercourse which nourished them, rather
than ripen into solid friendship and permanent confidence?'

'Do not say so,' cried she, with emotion; 'believe me, unless you knew
all that had passed, and all my motives, you should judge nothing of
these last few days, but think of me only, whether well or ill, as you
thought of me a week ago.'

The most laboured and explicit defence could not more immediately have
satisfied his mind than this speech. Suspicion vanished, trust and
admiration took its place, and once more drawing a chair by her side,
'My dear Miss Camilla,' he cried, 'forgive my having thus harped upon
this subject; I here promise you I will name it no more.'

'And I,' cried she, delighted, 'promise you'--she was going to add, that
she would give up Mrs. Arlbery, if he found reason to disapprove the
acquaintance; but the parlour door opened, and Miss Margland stalked
into the room.

Sir Hugh was going to send a messenger to enquire how and when Mrs.
Tyrold had set out; but Miss Margland, from various motives of
curiosity, offered her services, and came herself. So totally, however,
had both Edgar and Camilla been engrossed by each other, that they had
not heard the carriage drive up to the garden gate, which, with the door
of the house, being always open, required neither knocker nor bell.

A spectre could not more have startled or shocked Camilla. She jumped
up, with an exclamation nearly amounting to a scream, and involuntarily
seated herself at the other end of the room.

Edgar, though not equally embarrassed, was still more provoked; but he
rose, and got her a chair, and enquired after the health of Sir Hugh.

'He is very poorly, indeed,' answered she, with an austere air, 'and no
wonder!'

'Is my uncle ill?' cried Camilla, alarmed.

Miss Margland deigned no reply.

The rest of the family, who had seen the carriage from the windows, now
entered the room, and during the mutual enquiries and account which
followed, Edgar, believing himself unobserved, glided round to Camilla,
and in a low voice, said, 'The promise--I think I guess its gratifying
import--I shall not, I hope, lose, through this cruel intrusion?'

Camilla, who saw no eyes but those of Miss Margland, which were severely
fastened upon her, affected not to hear him, and planted herself in the
group out of his way.

He anxiously waited for another opportunity to put in his claim; but he
waited in vain; Camilla, who from the entrance of Miss Margland had had
the depressing feel of self-accusation, sedulously avoided him; and
though he loitered till he was ashamed of remaining in the house at a
period so busy, Miss Margland, by indications not to be mistaken, shewed
herself bent upon out-staying him; he was obliged, therefore, to depart;
though, no sooner was he gone, than, having nothing more to scrutinize,
she went also.

But little doubt now remained with the watchful parents of the mutual
attachment of Edgar and Camilla, to which the only apparent obstacle
seemed, a diffidence on the part of Edgar with respect to her internal
sympathy. Pleased with the modesty of such a fear in so accomplished a
young man, Mr. Tyrold protested that, if the superior fortune were on
the side of Camilla, he would himself clear it up, and point out the
mistake. His wife gloried in the virtuous delicacy of her daughter, that
so properly, till it was called for, concealed her tenderness from the
object who so deservingly inspired it; yet they agreed, that though she
could not, at present, meet Edgar too often, she should be kept wholly
ignorant of their wishes and expectations, lest they should still be
crushed by any unforeseen casualty: and that, meanwhile, she should be
allowed every safe and innocent recreation, that might lighten her mind
from its depression, and restore her spirits to their native vivacity.

Early the next morning Dr. Marchmont came to Etherington, and brought
with him Lionel, by the express direction of his father, who never
objected to admit the faulty to his presence; his hopes of doing good
were more potent from kindness than from severity, from example than
from precept: yet he attempted not to conquer the averseness of Mrs.
Tyrold to an interview; he knew it proceeded not from an inexorable
nature, but from a repugnance insurmountable to the sight of a beloved
object in disgrace.

Mrs. Tyrold quitted her husband with the most cruel regret, and her
darling Camilla with the tenderest inquietude; she affectionately
embraced the unexceptionable Lavinia, with whom she left a message for
her brother, which she strictly charged her to deliver, without
softening or omitting one word.

And then, attended by Dr. Marchmont, she set forward on her journey
towards Falmouth: whence a packet, in a few days, she was informed,
would sail for Lisbon.



CHAPTER X

_Modern Ideas of Life_


Grieved at this separation, Mr. Tyrold retired to his study; and his two
daughters went to the apartment of Lionel, to comfort him under the
weight of his misconduct.

They found him sincerely affected and repentant; yet eager to hear that
his mother was actually gone. Ill as he felt himself to deserve such an
exertion for his future welfare, and poignant as were his shame and
sorrow to have parted her from his excellent father, he thought all evil
preferable to encountering her eye, or listening to her admonitions.

Though unaffectedly beloved, Mrs. Tyrold was deeply feared by all her
children, Camilla alone excepted; by Lionel, from his horror of reproof;
by Lavinia, from the timidity of her humility; and by Eugenia, from her
high sense of parental superiority. Camilla alone escaped the contagion;
for while too innocent, too undesigning, wilfully to excite displeasure,
she was too gay and too light-hearted to admit apprehension without
cause.

The gentle Lavinia knew not how to perform her painful task of
delivering the message with which she was commissioned. The sight of
Lionel in dejection was as sad as it was new to her, and she resolved,
in conjunction with Camilla, to spare him till the next day, when his
feelings might be less acute. They each sat down, therefore, to work,
silent and compassionate; while he, ejaculating blessings upon his
parents, and calling for just vengeance upon himself, stroamed up and
down the room, biting his knuckles, and now and then striking his
forehead.

This lasted about ten minutes: and then, suddenly advancing to his
sisters, and snatching a hand of each: 'Come, girls,' he cried, 'now
let's talk of other things.'

Too young to have developed the character of Lionel, they were again as
much astonished as they had been the preceding day: but his defects,
though not originally of the heart, were of a species that soon tend to
harden it. They had their rise in a total aversion to reflection, a wish
to distinguish himself from his retired, and, he thought, unfashionable
relations, and an unfortunate coalition with some unprincipled young
men, who, because flashy and gay, could lead him to whatever they
proposed. Yet, when mischief or misfortune ensued from his wanton
faults, he was always far more sorry than he thought it manly to own;
but as his actions were without judgment, his repentance was without
principle; and he was ready for some new enterprise the moment the
difficulties of an old one subsided.

Camilla, who, from her affection to him, read his character through the
innocence of her own, met his returning gaiety with a pleasure that was
proportioned to her pain at his depression; but Lavinia saw it with
discomfort, as the signal for executing her charge, and, with extreme
reluctance, gave him to understand she had a command to fulfil to him
from his mother.

The powers of conscience were again then instantly at work; he felt what
he had deserved, he dreaded to hear what he had provoked; and trembling
and drawing back, entreated her to wait one half hour before she entered
upon the business.

She chearfully consented; and Camilla proposed extending the reprieve to
the next day: but not two minutes elapsed, before Lionel protested he
could not bear the suspense, and urged an immediate communication.

'She can have said nothing,' cried he, 'worse than I expect, or than I
merit. Probe me then without delay. She is acting by me like an angel,
and if she were to command me to turn anchoret, I know I ought to obey
her.'

With much hesitation, Lavinia then began. 'My mother says, my dear
Lionel, the fraud you have practised--'

'The fraud! what a horrid word! why it was a mere trick! a joke! a
frolic! just to make an old hunks open his purse-strings for his natural
heir. I am astonished at my mother! I really don't care if I don't hear
another syllable.'

'Well, then, my dear Lionel, I will wait till you are calmer: my mother,
I am sure did not mean to irritate, but to convince.'

'My mother,' continued he, striding about the room, 'makes no
allowances. She has no faults herself, and for that reason she thinks
nobody else should have any. Besides, how should she know what it is to
be a young man? and to want a little cash, and not know how to get it?'

'But I am sure,' said Lavinia, 'if you wanted it for any proper purpose,
my father would have denied himself everything, in order to supply you.'

'Yes, yes; but suppose I want it for a purpose that is not proper, how
am I to get it then?'

'Why, then, my dear Lionel, surely you must be sensible you ought to go
without it,' cried the sisters, in a breath.

'Ay, that's as you girls say, that know nothing of the matter. If a
young man, when he goes into the world, was to make such a speech as
that, he would be pointed at. Besides, who must he live with? You don't
suppose he is to shut himself up, with a few musty books, sleeping over
the fire, under pretence of study, all day long, do you? like young
Melmond, who knows no more of the world than one of you do?'

'Indeed,' said Camilla, 'he seemed to me an amiable and modest young
man, though very romantic.'

'O, I dare say he did! I could have laid any wager of that. He's just a
girl's man, just the very thing, all sentiment, and poetry and heroics.
But we, my little dear, we lads of spirit, hold all that amazing cheap.
I assure you, I would as soon be seen trying on a lady's cap at a glass,
as poring over a crazy old author when I could help it. I warrant you
think, because one is at the university, one must all be book-worms?'

'Why, what else do you go there for but to study?'

'Every thing in the world, my dear.'

'But are there not sometimes young men who are scholars without being
book-worms?' cried Camilla, half colouring; 'is not--is not Edgar
Mandlebert--'

'O yes, yes; an odd thing of that sort happens now and then. Mandlebert
has spirit enough to carry it off pretty well, without being
ridiculous; though he is as deep, for his time, as e'er an old fellow of
a college. But then this is no rule for others. You must not expect an
Edgar Mandlebert at every turn.'

Ah no! thought Camilla.

'But, Edgar,' said Lavinia, 'has had an extraordinary education, as well
as possessing extraordinary talents and goodness: and you, too, my dear
Lionel, to fulfil what may be expected from you, should look back to
your father, who was brought up at the same university, and is now
considered as one of the first men it has produced. While he was
respected by the learned for his application, he was loved even by the
indolent for his candour and kindness of heart. And though his income,
as you know, was so small, he never ran in debt, and by an exact but
open oeconomy, escaped all imputation of meanness: while by forbearing
either to conceal, or repine at his limited fortune, he blunted even the
raillery of the dissipated, by frankly and good humouredly meeting it
half way. How often have I heard my dear mother tell you this!'

'Yes; but all this, child, is nothing to the purpose; my father is no
more like other men than if he had been born in another planet, and my
attempting to resemble him, is as great a joke, as if you were to dress
up Miss Margland in Indiana's flowers and feathers, and then expect
people to call her a beauty.'

'We do not say you resemble my father, now,' said Camilla, archly; 'but
is there any reason why you should not try to do it by and by?'

'O yes! a little one! nature, nature, my dear, is in the way. I was born
a bit of a buck. I have no manner of natural taste for study, and
poring, and expounding, and black-letter work. I am a light, airy spark,
at your service, not quite so wise as I am merry;--but let that pass. My
father, you know, is firm as a rock. He minds neither wind nor weather,
nor fleerer nor sneerer: but this firmness, look ye, he has kept all to
himself; not a whit of it do I inherit; every wind that blows veers me
about, and makes me look some new way.'

Soon after, gathering courage from curiosity, he desired to hear the
message at once.

Lavinia, unwillingly complying, then repeated: 'The fraud which you have
practised, my mother says, whether from wanton folly to give pain, or
from rapacious discontent to gain money, she will leave without comment,
satisfied that if you have any heart at all, its effects must bring its
remorse, since it has dangerously encreased the infirmities of your
uncle, driven him to a foreign land, and forced your mother to forsake
her home and family in his pursuit, unless she were willing to see you
punished by the entire disinheritance with which you are threatened.
But----'

'O, no more! no more! I am ready to shoot myself already! My dear,
excellent mother! what do I not owe you! I had never seen, never thought
of the business in this solemn way before. I meant nothing at first but
a silly joke, and all this mischief has followed unaccountably. I assure
you, I had no notion at the beginning he would have minded the letter;
and afterwards, Jack Whiston persuaded me, the money was as good as my
own, and that it was nothing but a little cribbing from myself. I will
never trust him again; I see the whole now in its true and atrocious
colours.--I will devote myself in future to make all the amends in my
power to my dear incomparable mother.'

The sisters affectionately encouraged this idea, which produced near a
quarter of an hour's serious thinking and penitence.

He then begged to hear the rest; and Lavinia continued.

'But since you are re-admitted, said my mother, to Etherington, by the
clemency of your forbearing father, she charges you to remember, you can
only repay his goodness by an application the most intense to those
studies you have hitherto neglected, and of which your neglect has been
the cause of all your errors; by committing to idle amusements the time
that innocently, as well as profitably, ought to have been dedicated to
the attainment of knowledge. She charges you also to ask yourself,
since, during the vacation, your father himself is your tutor, upon what
pretext you can justify wasting his valuable time, however little you
may respect your own?--Finally--'

'I never wasted his time! I never desired to have any instruction in the
vacations. 'Tis the most deuced thing in life to be studying so hard
incessantly. The waste of time is all his own affair;--his own
choice--not mine, I assure you! Go on, however.'

'Finally, she adjures you to consider, that if you still persevere to
consume your time in wilful negligence, to bury all thought in idle
gaiety, and to act without either reflection or principle, the career of
faults which begins but in unthinking folly, will terminate in shame, in
guilt, and in ruin! And though such a declension of all good, must
involve your family in your affliction, your disgrace, she bids me say,
will ultimately fall but where it ought; since your own want of personal
sensibility to the horror of your conduct, will neither harden nor blind
any human being besides yourself. This is all.'

'And enough too,' cried he, reddening: 'I am a very wretch!--I believe
that--though I am sure I can't tell how; for I never intend any harm,
never think, never dream of hurting any mortal! But as to study--I must
own to you, I hate it most deucedly. Anything else--if my mother had but
exacted any thing else--with what joy I would have shewn my
obedience!--If she had ordered me to be horse-ponded, I do protest to
you, I would not have demurred.'

'How always you run into the ridiculous!' cried Camilla.

'I was never so serious in my life; not that I should like to be
horse-ponded in the least, though I would submit to it for a punishment,
and out of duty: but then, when it was done, it would be over: now the
deuce of study is, there is no end of it! And it does so little for one!
one can go through life so well without it! There is not above here and
there an old codger that asks one a question that can bring it into any
play. And then, a turn upon one's heel, or looking at one's watch, or
wondering at one's short memory, or happening to forget just that one
single passage, carries off the whole in two minutes, as completely as
if one had been working one's whole life to get ready for the assault.
And pray, now, tell me, how can it be worth one's best days, one's
gayest hours, the very flower of one's life--all to be sacrificed to
plodding over musty grammars and lexicons, merely to cut a figure just
for about two minutes once or twice in a year?'

The sisters, brought up with an early reverence for learning, as forming
a distinguished part of the accomplishments of their father, could not
subscribe to this argument. But they laughed; and that was ever
sufficient for Lionel, who, though sincerely, in private, he loved and
honoured his father, never bestowed upon him one voluntary moment that
frolic or folly invited elsewhere.

Lavinia and Camilla, perfectly relieved now from all fears for their
brother, repaired to the study of their father, anxious to endeavour to
chear him, and to accelerate a meeting and reconciliation for Lionel;
but they found him desirous to be alone, though kindly, and unsolicited,
he promised to admit his son before dinner.

Lionel heard this with a just awe; but gave it no time for deep
impression. It was still very early, and he could settle himself to
nothing during the hours yet to pass before the interview. He persuaded
his sisters, therefore, to walk out with him, to while away at once
expectation and retrospection.



CHAPTER XI

_Modern Notions of Penitence_


They set out with no other plan than to take a three hours' stroll.
Lionel led the way, and they journeyed through various pleasant lanes
and meadows, till, about three miles distance from Etherington, upon
ascending a beautiful little hill, they espied, fifty yards off, the
Grove, and a party of company sauntering round its grounds.

He immediately proposed making a visit to Mrs. Arlbery; but Lavinia
declined presenting herself to a lady who was unknown to her mother; and
Camilla, impressed with the promise she had intended for Edgar, which
she was sure, though unpronounced, he had comprehended, dissented also
from the motion.

He then said he would go alone; for his spirits were so low from
vexation and regret, that they wanted recruit; and he would return to
them by the time they would be sufficiently rested to walk home.

To this they agreed; and amused themselves with watching to see him join
the group; in which, however, they were no sooner gratified, than, to
their great confusion, they perceived that he pointed them out, and that
all eyes were immediately directed towards the hill.

Vexed and astonished at his quick passing penitence, they hastened down
the declivity, and ran on till a lane, with an high hedge on each side,
sheltered them from view.

But Lionel, soon pursuing them, said he brought the indisputable orders
of his invincible widow to convoy them to the mansion. She never, she
had owned, admitted formal visitors, but whatever was abrupt and out of
the way, won her heart.

To the prudent Lavinia, this invitation was by no means alluring. Mrs.
Tyrold, from keeping no carriage, visited but little, and the Grove was
not included in her small circle; Lavinia, therefore, though she knew
not how to be peremptory, was steady in refusal; and Camilla, who would
naturally with pleasure have yielded, had a stronger motive for
firmness, than any with which she was gifted by discretion, in her wish
to oblige Mandlebert. But Lionel would listen to neither of them; and
when he found his insistance insufficient, seized Lavinia by one arm,
and Camilla by the other, and dragged them up the hill, in defiance of
their entreaties, and in full view of the party. He then left the more
pleading, though less resisting, Lavinia alone; but pulled Camilla down
by the opposite side, with a velocity that, though meant but to bring
her to the verge of a small rivulet, forced her into the midst of it so
rapidly that he could not himself at last stop: and wetted her so
completely, that she could with difficulty, when she got across it, walk
on.

The violent spirits of Lionel always carried him beyond his own
intentions; he was now really sorry for what he had done: and Lavinia,
who had quietly followed, was uneasy from the fear of some ill
consequence to her sister.

Mrs. Arlbery, who had seen the transaction, came forth now herself, to
invite them all into her house, and offer a fire and dry clothing to
Camilla; not sparing, however, her well-merited raillery at the awkward
exploit of young Tyrold.

Camilla, ashamed to be thus seen, would have hidden herself behind her
sister, and retreated; but even Lavinia now, fearing for her health,
joined in the request, and she was obliged to enter the house.

Mrs. Arlbery took her upstairs, to her own apartment, and supplied her
immediately with a complete change of apparel; protesting that Lionel
should be punished for his frolic, by a solitary walk to Etherington, to
announce that she would keep his two sisters for the day.

Opposition was vain; she was gay, good humoured, and pleasant, but she
would not be denied. She meant not, however, to inflict the serious
penalty which the face of Lionel proclaimed him to be suffering, when he
prepared to depart; and the sisters, who read in it his dread of meeting
Mr. Tyrold alone, in the present circumstances of his affairs, conferred
together, and agreed that Lavinia should accompany him, both to
intercede for returning favour from his father, and to explain the
accident of Camilla's staying at the Grove. Mrs. Arlbery, meanwhile,
promised to restore her young guest safe at night in her own carriage.

Notwithstanding the pleasure with which Camilla, in any other situation,
would have renewed this acquaintance, was now changed into reluctance,
she was far from insensible to the flattering kindness with which Mrs.
Arlbery received and entertained her, nor to the frankness with which
she confessed, that her invisibility the other morning, had resulted
solely from pique that the visit had not been made sooner.

Camilla would have attempted some apology for the delay, but she assured
her apologies were what she neither took nor gave; and then laughingly
added--'We will try one another to day, and if we find it won't do--we
will shake hands and part. That, you must know, is my mode; and is it
not vastly better than keeping up an acquaintance that proves dull,
merely because it has been begun?'

She then ordered away all her visitors, without the smallest ceremony;
telling them, however, they might come back in the evening, only
desiring they would not be early. Camilla stared; but they all submitted
as to a thing of course.

'You are not used to my way, I perceive,' cried she, smiling; 'yet, I
can nevertheless assure you, you can do nothing so much for your
happiness as to adopt it. You are made a slave in a moment by the world,
if you don't begin life by defying it. Take your own way, follow your
own humour, and you and the world will both go on just as well, as if
you ask its will and pleasure for everything you do, and want, and
think.'

She then expressed herself delighted with Lionel, for bringing them
together by this short cut, which abolished a world of formalities, not
more customary than fatiguing. 'I pass, I know,' continued she, 'for a
mere creature of whim; but, believe me, there is no small touch of
philosophy in the composition of my vagaries. Extremes, you know, have a
mighty knack of meeting. Thus I, like the sage, though not with
sage-like motives, save time that must otherwise be wasted; brave rules
that would murder common sense; and when I have made people stare, turn
another way that I may laugh.'

She then, in a graver strain, and in a manner that proved the laws of
politeness all her own, where she chose, for any particular purpose, or
inclination, to exert them, hoped this profession of her faith would
plead her excuse, that she had thus incongruously made her fair guest a
second time enter her house, before her first visit was acknowledged;
and enquired whether it were to be returned to Etherington or at Cleves.

Camilla answered, she was now at home, on account of her mother's being
obliged to make a voyage to Lisbon.

Mrs. Arlbery said, she would certainly, then, wait upon her at
Etherington; and very civilly regretted having no acquaintance with Mrs.
Tyrold; archly, however, adding: 'As we have no where met, I could not
seek her at her own house without running too great a risk; for then,
whether I had liked her or not, I must have received her, you know, into
mine. So, you see, I am not quite without prudence, whatever the dear
world says to the contrary.'

She then spoke of the ball, public breakfast, and raffle; chatting both
upon persons and things with an easy gaiety, and sprightly negligence,
extremely amusing to Camilla, and which soon, in despite of the
unwillingness with which she had entered her house, brought back her
original propensity to make the acquaintance, and left no regret for
what Lionel had done, except what rested upon the repugnance of Edgar to
his intercourse. As he could not, however, reproach what was begun
without her concurrence, he would see, she hoped, like herself, that
common civility henceforward would exact its continuance.

In proportion as her pleasure from this accidental commerce was
awakened, and her early partiality revived, her own spirits re-animated,
and, in the course of the many hours they now spent completely together,
she was set so entirely at her ease, by the good humour of Mrs. Arlbery,
that she lost all fear of her wit. She found it rather playful than
satirical; rather seeking to amuse than to disconcert; and though
sometimes, from the resistless pleasure of uttering a _bon mot_ she
thought more of its brilliancy than of the pain it might inflict, this
happened but rarely, and was more commonly succeeded by regret than by
triumph.

Camilla soon observed she had, personally, nothing to apprehend,
peculiar partiality supplying the place of general delicacy, in
shielding her from every shaft that even pleasantry could render
poignant. The embarrassment, therefore, which, in ingenuous youth,
checks the attempt to please, by fear of failure, or shame of exertion,
gave way to natural spirits, which gaily rising from entertainment
received, restored her vivacity, and gradually, though unconsciously,
enabled her to do justice to her own abilities, by unaffectedly calling
forth the mingled sweetness and intelligence of her character; and Mrs.
Arlbery, charmed with all she observed, and flattered by all she
inspired, felt such satisfaction in her evident conquest, that before
the _tête-à-tête_ was closed, their admiration was become nearly
mutual.

When the evening party was announced, they both heard with surprise that
the day was so far advanced. 'They can wait, however,' said Mrs.
Arlbery, 'for I know they have nothing to do.'

She then invited Camilla to return to her the next day for a week.

Camilla felt well disposed to comply, hoping soon to reason from Edgar
his prejudice against a connection that afforded her such singular
pleasure; but to leave her father at this period was far from every
wish. She excused herself, therefore, saying, she had still six weeks
due to her uncle at Cleves, before any other engagement could take
place.

'Well, then, when you quit your home for Sir Hugh, will you beg off a
few days from him, and set them down to my account?'

'If my uncle pleases--'

'If he pleases?' repeated she, laughing; 'pray never give that _If_ into
his decision; you only put contradiction into people's heads, by asking
what pleases them. Say at once, My good uncle, Mrs. Arlbery has invited
me to indulge her with a few days at the Grove; so to-morrow I shall go
to her. Will you promise me this?'

'Dear madam, no! my uncle would think me mad.'

'And suppose he should! A little alarm now and then keeps life from
stagnation. They call me mad, I know, sometimes; wild, flighty, and what
not; yet you see how harmless I am, though I afford food for such
notable commentary.'

'But can you really like such things should be said of you?'

'I adore the frankness of that question! why, n--o,--I rather think I
don't. But I'm not sure. However, to prevent their minding me, I must
mind them. And it's vastly more irksome to give up one's own way, than
to hear a few impertinent remarks. And as to the world, depend upon it,
my dear Miss Tyrold, the more you see of it, the less you will care for
it.'

She then said she would leave her to re-invest herself in her own
attire, and go downstairs, to see what the poor simple souls, who had
had no more wit than to come back thus at her call, had found to do with
themselves.

Camilla, having only her common morning dress, and even that utterly
spoilt, begged that her appearance might be dispensed with; but Mrs.
Arlbery, exclaiming, 'Why, there are only men; you don't mind men, I
hope!' ashamed, she promised to get ready; yet she had not sufficient
courage to descend, till her gay hostess came back, and accompanied her
to the drawing room.



CHAPTER XII

_Airs and Graces_


Upon entering the room, Camilla saw again the Officers who had been
there in the morning, and who were now joined by Sir Sedley Clarendel.
She was met at the door by Major Cerwood, who seemed waiting for her
appearance, and who made her his compliments with an air that studiously
proclaimed his devotion. She seated herself by the side of Mrs. Arlbery,
to look on at a game of chess, played by Sir Sedley and General Kinsale.

'Clarendel,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'you have not the least in the world the
air of knowing what you are about.'

'Pardon me, ma'am,' said the General, 'he has been at least half an hour
contemplating this very move,--for which, as you see, I now check-mate
him. Pray, Sir Sedley, how came you, at last, to do no better?'

'Thinking of other things, my dear General. 'Tis impossible in the
extreme to keep one's faculties pinioned down to the abstruse vagaries
of this brain-besieging game. My head would be deranged past redress, if
I did not allow it to visit the four quarters of the globe once, at
least, between every move.'

'You do not play so slow, then, from deliberating upon your chances, but
from forgetting them?'

'Defined, my dear General, to scrupulosity! Those exquisite little
moments we steal from any given occupation, for the pleasure of
speculating in secret upon something wholly foreign to it, are
resistless to deliciousness.'

'I entreat, and command you then,' cried Mrs. Arlbery, 'to make your
speculations public. Nothing will more amuse me, than to have the least
intimation of the subjects of your reveries.'

'My dear Mrs. Arlbery! your demand is the very quintessence of
impossibility! Tell the subject of a reverie! know you not it wafts one
at once out of the world, and the world's powers of expression? while
all it substitutes is as evanescent as it is delectable. To attempt the
least description would be a presumption of the first monstrousness.'

'O never heed that! presumption will not precisely be a novelty to you;
answer me, therefore, my dear Clarendel, without all this conceit. You
know I hate procrastination; and procrastinators still worse.'

'Softly, dearest madam, softly! There is nothing in nature so horribly
shocking to me as the least hurry. My poor nerves seek repose after any
turbulent words, or jarring sounds, with the same craving for rest that
my body experiences after the jolts, and concussions of a long winded
chase. By the way, does anybody want a good hunter? I have the first,
perhaps, in Europe; but I would sell it a surprising bargain, for I am
excruciatingly tired of it.'

All the gentlemen grouped round him to hear further particulars, except
Mr. Macdersey, the young Ensign, who had so unguardedly exposed himself
at the Northwick ball, and who now, approaching Camilla, fervently
exclaimed; 'How happy I should have been, madam, if I had had the good
fortune to see you meet with that accident this morning, instead of
being looking another way! I might then have had the pleasure to assist
you. And O! how much more if it had been your divine cousin! I hope that
fair angel is in perfect health! O what a beautiful creature she is! her
outside is the completest diamond I ever saw! and if her inside is the
same, which I dare say it is, by her smiles and delicate dimples, she
must be a paragon upon earth!'

'There is at least something very inartificial in your praise,' said
General Kinsale, 'when you make your panegyric of an absent lady to a
present one.'

'O General, there is not a lady living can bear any comparison with her.
I have never had her out of my thoughts from the first darling moment
that ever I saw her, which has made me the most miserable of men ever
since. Her eyes so beautiful, her mouth so divine, her nose so
heavenly!--'

'And how,' cried Sir Sedley, 'is the tip of her chin?'

'No joking, sir!' said the Ensign, reddening; 'she is a piece of
perfection not to be laughed at; she has never had her fellow upon the
face of the earth; and she never will have it while the earth holds,
upon account of there being no such person above ground.'

'And pray,' cried Sir Sedley, carelessly, 'how can you be sure of that?'

'How! why by being certain,' answered the inflamed admirer; 'for though
I have been looking out for pretty women from morning to night, ever
since I was conscious of the right use of my eyes, I never yet saw her
parallel.'

A servant was now bringing in the tea; but his lady ordered him to set
it down in the next room, whence the gentlemen should fetch it as it was
wanted.

Major Cerwood took in charge all attendance upon Camilla; but he was
not, therefore, exempt from the assiduities required by Mrs. Arlbery,
for whom the homage of the General, the Colonel, and the Ensign, were
insufficient; and who, had a score more been present, would have found
occupation for them all. Sir Sedley alone was excepted from her
commands; for knowing they would be issued to him in vain, she contented
herself with only interchanging glances of triumph with him, at the
submission of every vassal but himself.

'Heavens!' cried she, to Colonel Andover, who had hastened to present
her the first cup, 'you surely think I have nerves for a public orator!
If I should taste but one drop of this tea, I might envy the repose of
the next man who robs on the highway. Major Cerwood, will you try if you
can do any better for me?'

The Major obeyed, but not with more success. 'What in the world have you
brought me?' cried she; 'Is it tea? It looks prodigiously as if just
imported out of the slop bason. For pity sake, Macdersey, arise, and
give me your help; you will at least never bring me such maudlin stuff
as this. Even your tea will have some character; it will be very good or
very bad; very hot or very cold; very strong or very weak; for you are
always in flames of fire, or flakes of snow.'

'You do me justice, ma'am; there is nothing upon the face of the earth
so insipid as a medium. Give me love or hate! a friend that will go to
jail for me, or an enemy that will run me through the body! Riches to
chuck guineas about like halfpence, or poverty to beg in a ditch!
Liberty wild as the four winds, or an oar to work in a galley! Misery to
tear my heart into an hundred thousand millions of atoms, or joy to make
my soul dance into my brain! Every thing has some gratification, except
a medium. 'Tis a poor little soul that is satisfied between happiness
and despair.'

He then flew to bring her a dish of tea.

'My dear Macdersey,' cried she, in receiving it, 'this is according to
your system indeed; for 'tis a compound of strong, and rich, and sweet,
to cloy an alderman, making altogether so luscious a syrup, that our
spring would be exhausted before I could slake my thirst, if I should
taste it only a second time. Do, dear General, see if it is not possible
to get me some beverage that I can swallow.'

The youngest man present was not more active than the General in this
service; but Mrs. Arlbery, casting herself despondingly back the moment
she had tasted what he brought her, exclaimed, 'Why this is worst of
all! If you can do no better for me, General, than this, tell me, at
least, for mercy's sake, when some other regiment will be quartered
here?'

'What a cruelty,' said the Major, looking with a sigh towards Camilla,
'to remind your unhappy prey they are but birds of passage!'

'O, all the better, Major. If you understand your own interest you will
be as eager to break up your quarters, as I can be to see your
successors march into them. I have now heard all your compliments, and
you have heard all my repartees; both sides, therefore, want new
auditors. A great many things I have said to you will do vastly well
again for a new corps; and, to do you justice, some few things you have
said yourselves may do again in a new county.'

Then, addressing Camilla, she proposed, though without moving, that they
should converse with one another, and leave the men to take care of
themselves. 'And excessively they will be obliged to me,' she continued,
without lowering her voice, 'for giving this little holiday to their
poor brains; for, I assure you, they have not known what to say this
half hour. Indeed, since the first fortnight they were quartered here,
they have not, upon an average, said above one new thing in three days.
But one's obliged to take up with Officers in the country, because
there's almost nothing else. Can you recommend me any agreeable new
people?'

'O no, ma'am! I have hardly any acquaintance, except immediately round
the rectory; but, fortunately, my own family is so large, that I have
never been distressed for society.'

'O, ay, true! your own family, begin with that; do, pray, give me a
little history of your own family?'

'I have no history, ma'am, to give, for my father's retired life----'

'O, I have seen your father, and I have heard him preach, and I like him
very much. There's something in him there's no turning into ridicule.'

Camilla, though surprised, was delighted by such a testimony to the
respectability of her father; and, with more courage, said--'And, I am
sure, if you knew my mother, you would allow her the same exemption.'

'So I hear; therefore, we won't talk of them. It's a delightful thing to
think of perfection; but it's vastly more amusing to talk of errors and
absurdities. To begin with your eldest sister, then--but no; she seems
in just the same predicament as your father and mother: so we'll let her
rest, too.'

'Indeed she is; she is as faultless----'

'O, not a word more then; she won't do for me at all. But, pray, is
there not a single soul in all the round of your large family, that can
afford a body a little innocent diversion?'

'Ah, madam,' said Camilla, shaking her head; 'I fear, on the contrary,
if they came under your examination, there is not one in whom you would
not discern some foible!'

'I should not like them at all the worse for that; for, between
ourselves, my dear Miss Tyrold, I am half afraid they might find a
foible or two in return in me; so you must not be angry if I beg the
favour of you to indulge me with a few of their defects.'

'Indulge you!'

'Yes, for when so many of a family are perfect, if you can't find me one
or two that have a little speck of mortality, you must not wonder if I
take flight at your very name. In charity, therefore, if you would not
drop my acquaintance, tell me their vulnerable parts.'

Camilla laughed at this ridiculous reasoning, but would not enter into
its consequences.

'Well, then, if you will not assist me, don't take it ill that I assist
myself. In the first place, there's your brother; I don't ask you to
tell me any thing of him; I have seen him! and I confess to you he does
not put me into utter despair! he does not alarm me into flying all his
race.'

Camilla tried vainly to look grave.

'I have seen another, too, your cousin, I think; Miss Lynmere, that's
engaged to young Mandlebert.'

Camilla now tried as vainly to look gay.

'She's prodigiously pretty. Pray, is not she a great fool?'

'Ma'am?'

'I beg your pardon! but I don't suppose you are responsible for the
intellects of all your generation. However, she'll do vastly well; you
need not be uneasy for her. A face like that will take very good care of
itself. I am glad she is engaged, for your sake, though I am sorry for
Mandlebert; that is, if, as his class of countenance generally predicts,
he marries with any notion of expecting to be happy.'

'But why, ma'am,' cried Camilla, checking a sigh, 'are you glad for my
sake?'

'Because there are two reasons why she would be wonderfully in your way;
she is not only prettier than you, but sillier.'

'And would both those reasons,' cried Camilla, again laughing, 'make
against me?'

'O, intolerably, with the men! They are always enchanted with something
that is both pretty and silly; because they can so easily please and so
soon disconcert it; and when they have made the little blooming fools
blush and look down, they feel nobly superior, and pride themselves in
victory. Dear creatures! I delight in their taste; for it brings them a
plentiful harvest of repentance, when it is their connubial criterion;
the pretty flies off, and the silly remains, and a man then has a choice
companion for life left on his hands!'

The young Ensign here could no longer be silent: 'I am sure and
certain,' cried he, warmly, 'Miss Lynmere is incapable to be a fool! and
when she marries, if her husband thinks her so, it's only a sign he's a
blockhead himself.'

'He'll be exactly of your opinion for the first month or two,' answered
Mrs. Arlbery, 'or even if he is not, he'll like her just as well. A man
looks enchanted while his beautiful young bride talks nonsense; it comes
so prettily from her ruby lips, and she blushes and dimples with such
lovely attraction while she utters it; he casts his eyes around him
with conscious elation to see her admirers, and his enviers; but he has
amply his turn for looking like a fool himself, when youth and beauty
take flight, and when his ugly old wife exposes her ignorance or folly
at every word.'

'The contrast of beginning and end,' said the General, 'is almost always
melancholy. But how rarely does any man,--nay, I had nearly said, or any
woman--think a moment of the time to come, or of any time but the
present day, in marrying?'

'Except with respect to fortune!' cried Mrs. Arlbery, 'and there,
methinks, you men, at least, are commonly sufficiently provident. I
don't think reflection is generally what you want in that point.'

'As to reflection,' exclaimed Mr. Macdersey, ''tis the thing in the
world I look upon to be the meanest! a man capable of reflection, where
a beautiful young creature is in question, can have no soul nor vitals.
For my part, 'tis my only misfortune that I cannot get at that lovely
girl, to ask her for her private opinion of me at once, that I might
either get a licence tomorrow, or drive her out of my head before sleep
overtakes me another night.'

'Your passions, my good Macdersey,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'considering
their violence, seem tolerably obedient. Can you really be so fond, or
so forgetful at such short warning?'

'Yes, but it's with a pain that breaks my heart every time.'

'You contrive, however, to get it pretty soon mended!'

'That, madam, is a power that has come upon me by degrees; I have paid
dear enough for it!--nobody ever found it harder than I did at the
beginning; for the first two or three times I took my disappointments so
to heart, that I should have been bound for ever to any friend that
would have had the good nature to blow my brains out.'

'But now you are so much in the habit of experiencing these little
failures, that they pass on as things of course?'

'No, madam, you injure me, and in the tenderest point; for, as long as I
have the least hope, my passion's as violent as ever; but you would not
be so unreasonable as to have a man love on, when it can answer no end?
It's no better than making him unhappy for a joke. There's no sense in
such a thing.'

'By the way, my dear Miss Tyrold, and _apropos_ to this Miss Lynmere,'
said Mrs. Arlbery, 'do tell me something about Mr. Mandlebert--what is
he?--what does he do always amongst you?'

'He--he!--' cried Camilla, stammering, 'he was a ward of my father's--'

'O, I don't mean all that; but what is his style?--his class?--is he
agreeable?'

'I believe--he is generally thought so.'

'If he is, do pray, then, draw him into my society, for I am terribly in
want of recruits. These poor gentlemen you see here are very good sort
of men; but they have a trick of sleeping with their eyes wide open, and
fancy all the time they are awake; and, indeed, I find it hard to
persuade them to the contrary, though I often ask them for their dreams.
By the way, can't you contrive, some or other amongst you, to make the
room a little cooler?'

'Shall I open this window?' said the Major.

'Nay, nay, don't ask me; I had rather bear six times the heat, than give
my own directions: nothing in the world fatigues me so much as telling
stupid people how to set about things. Colonel, don't you see I have no
fan?'

'I'll fetch it directly--have you left it in the dining-parlour?'

'Do you really think I would not send a footman at once, if I must
perplex myself with all that recollection? My dear Miss Tyrold, did you
ever see any poor people, that pretended at all to walk about, and
mingle with the rest of the world, like living creatures, so completely
lethargic?--'tis really quite melancholy! I am sure you have good nature
enough to pity them. It requires my utmost ingenuity to keep them in any
employment; and if I left them to themselves, they would stand before
the fire all the winter, and lounge upon sofas all the summer. And that
indolence of body so entirely unnerves the mind, that they find as
little to say as to do. Upon the whole, 'tis really a paltry race, the
men of the present times. However, as we have got no better, and as the
women are worse, I do all I can to make them less insufferable to me.'

'And do you really think the women are worse?' cried Camilla.

'Not in themselves, my dear; but worse to me, because I cannot possibly
take the same liberties with them. Macdersey, I wish I had my salts.

'It shall be the happiness of my life to find them, be they hid where
they may; only tell me where I may have the pleasure to go and look for
them.'

'Nay, that's your affair.'

'Why, then, if they are to be found from the garret to the cellar, be
sure I am a dead man, if I do not bring them you!'

This mode of displaying airs and graces was so perfectly new to Camilla,
that the commands issued, and the obedience paid, were equally amusing
to her. Brought up herself to be contented with whatever came in her
way, in preference either to giving trouble, or finding fault, the
ridiculous, yet playful wilfulness with which she saw Mrs. Arlbery send
every one upon her errands, yet object to what every one performed,
presented to her a scene of such whimsical gaiety, that her concern at
the accident which had made her innocently violate her intended
engagement with Edgar, was completely changed into pleasure, that thus,
without any possible self blame, an acquaintance she had so earnestly
desired was even by necessity established: and she returned home at
night with spirits all revived, and eloquent in praise of her new
favourite.



CHAPTER XIII

_Attic Adventures_


Mr. Tyrold, according to the system of recreation which he had settled
with his wife, saw with satisfaction the pleasure with which Camilla
began this new acquaintance, in the hope it would help to support her
spirits during the interval of suspense with regard to the purposes of
Mandlebert. Mrs. Arlbery was unknown to him, except by general fame;
which told him she was a woman of reputation as well as fashion, and
that though her manners were lively, her heart was friendly, and her
hand ever open to charity.

Upon admitting Lionel again to his presence, he spoke forcibly, though
with brevity, upon the culpability of his conduct. What he had done, he
said, let him colour it to himself with what levity he might, was not
only a robbery, but a robbery of the most atrocious and unjustifiable
class; adding terror to violation of property, and playing upon the
susceptibility of the weakness and infirmities, which he ought to have
been the first to have sheltered and sheathed. Had the action contained
no purpose but a frolic, even then the situation of the object on whom
it fell, rendered it inhuman; but as its aim and end was to obtain
money, it was dishonourable to his character, and criminal by the laws
of his country. 'Yet shudder no more,' continued he, 'young man, at the
justice to which they make you amenable, than at having deserved, though
you escape it! From this day, however, I will name it no more. Feeble
must be all I could utter, compared with what the least reflection must
make you feel! Your uncle, in a broken state of health, is sent abroad;
your mother, though too justly incensed to see you, sacrifices her
happiness to serve you!'

Lionel, for a few hours, was in despair after this harangue; but as they
passed away, he strove to drive it from his mind, persuading himself it
was useless to dwell upon what was irretrievable.

Mrs. Arlbery, the following day, made her visit at Etherington, and
invited the two sisters to a breakfast she was to give the next morning.
Mr. Tyrold, who with surprize and concern at a coldness so dilatory,
found a second day wearing away without a visit from Mandlebert, gladly
consented to allow of an amusement, that might shake from Camilla the
pensiveness into which, at times, he saw her falling.

Mrs. Arlbery had declared she hated ceremony in the summer; guarded,
therefore, by Lionel, the sisters walked to the Grove. From the little
hill they had again to pass, they observed a group of company upon the
leads of her house, which were flat, and balustraded round; and when
they presented themselves at the door, they were met by Major Cerwood,
who conducted them to the scene of business.

It was the end of July, and the weather was sultry; but though the
height of the place upon which the present party was collected, gave
some freshness to the air, the heat reflected from the lead would have
been nearly intolerable, had it not been obviated by an awning, and by
matts, in the part where seats and refreshments were arranged. French
horns and clarinets were played during the repast.

This little entertainment had for motive a young lady's quitting her
boarding school. Miss Dennel, a niece, by marriage, of Mrs. Arlbery,
who, at the age of fourteen, came to preside at the house and table of
her father, had begged to be felicitated by her aunt, upon the joyful
occasion, with a ball: but Mrs. Arlbery declared she never gave any
entertainments in which she did not expect to play the principal part
herself; and that balls and concerts were therefore excluded from her
list of home diversions. It was vastly well to see others shine
superior, she said, elsewhere, but she could not be so accommodating as
to perform Nobody under her own roof. She offered her, however, a
breakfast, with full choice of its cakes and refreshments; which, with
leave to fix upon the spot where it should be given, was all the
youthful pleader could obtain.

The Etherington trio met with a reception the most polite, and Camilla
was distinguished by marks of peculiar favour. Few guests were added to
the party she had met there before, except the young lady who was its
present foundress; and whose voice she recollected to have heard, in the
enquiries which had reached her ear from within the paddock.

Miss Dennel was a pretty, blooming, tall girl, but as childish in
intellect as in experience; though self-persuaded she was a woman in
both, since she was called from school to sit at the head of her
father's table.

Camilla required nothing further for entertainment than to listen to her
new friend; Lavinia, though more amazed than amused, always modestly
hung back as a mere looker on; and the company in general made their
diversion from viewing, through various glasses, the seats of the
neighbouring gentlemen, and reviewing, with yet more scrutiny, their
characters and circumstances. But Lionel, ever restless, seized the
opportunity to patrol the attic regions of the house, where, meeting
with a capacious lumber room, he returned to assure the whole party it
would make an admirable theatre, and to ask who would come forth to
spout with him.

Mr. Macdersey said, he did not know one word of any part, but he could
never refuse anything that might contribute to the company's pleasure.

Away they sped together, and in a few minutes reversed the face of
everything. Old sofas, bedsteads, and trunks, large family chests, deal
boxes and hampers, carpets and curtains rolled up for the summer, tables
with two legs, and chairs without bottoms, were truckled from the middle
to one end of the room, and arranged to form a semi-circle, with seats
in front, for a pit. Carpets were then uncovered and untied, to be
spread for the stage, and curtains, with as little mercy, were unfurled,
and hung up to make a scene.

They then applied to Miss Dennel, who had followed to peep at what they
were about, and asked if she thought the audience might be admitted.

She declared she had never seen any place so neat and elegant in her
life.

Such an opinion could not but be decisive; and they prepared to
re-ascend; when the sight of a small door, near the entrance of the
large apartment, excited the ever ready curiosity of Lionel, who, though
the key was on the outside, contrived to turn it wrong; but while
endeavouring to rectify by force what he had spoilt by aukwardness, a
sudden noise from within startled them all, and occasioned quick and
reiterated screams from Miss Dennel, who, with the utmost velocity burst
back upon the company on the leads, calling out; 'O Lord! how glad I am
I'm coming back alive! Mr. Macdersey and young Mr. Tyrold are very
likely killed! for they've just found I don't know how many robbers shut
up in a dark closet!'

The gentlemen waited for no explanation to this unintelligible story,
but hastened to the spot; and Mrs. Arlbery ordered all the servants who
were in waiting to follow and assist.

Miss Dennel then entreated to have the trap door through which they
ascended, from a small staircase, to the leads, double locked till the
gentlemen should declare upon their honours that the thieves were all
dead.

Mrs. Arlbery would not listen to this, but waited with Lavinia and
Camilla the event.

The gentlemen, meanwhile, reached the scene of action, at the moment
when Macdersey, striking first his foot, and then his whole person
against the door, had forced it open with such sudden violence, that he
fell over a pail of water into the adjoining room.

The servants arriving at the same time, announced that this was merely a
closet for mops, brooms, and pails, belonging to the housemaid: and it
appeared, upon examination, that the noise from within, had simply been
produced by the falling down of a broom, occasioned by their shaking the
door in endeavouring to force the lock.

The Ensign, wetted or splashed all over, was in a fury; and, turning to
Lionel, who laughed vociferously, whilst the rest of the gentlemen were
scarce less moderate, and the servants joined in the chorus,
peremptorily demanded to know if he had put the pail there on purpose;
'In which case, sir,' said he, 'you must never let me see you laugh
again to the longest hour you have to live!'

'My good Macdersey,' said the General, 'go into another room, and have
your cloaths wiped and dried; it will be time enough then to settle who
shall laugh longest.'

'General,' said he, 'I scorn to mind being either wet or dry; a soldier
ought to be above such delicate effeminacy: it is not, therefore, the
sousing I regard, provided I can once be clear it was not done for a
joke.'

Lionel, when he could speak, declared, that far from placing the pail
there on purpose, he had not known there was such a closet in the house,
nor had ever been up those stairs till they all mounted them together.

'I am perfectly satisfied, then, my good friend,' said the Ensign,
shaking him by the hand with an heartiness that gave him no small share
of the pail's contents; 'when a gentleman tells me a thing seriously, I
make it a point to believe him; especially if he has a good honest
countenance, that assures me he would not refuse me satisfaction, in the
case he had meant to make game of me.'

'And do you always terminate your jests with the ceremony of a tilting
match?' cried Sir Sedley.

'Yes, Sir! if I'm made a joke of by a man of any honour. For, to tell
you a piece of my mind, there's no one thing upon earth I hate like a
joke; unless it's against another person; and then it only gives me a
little joy inwardly; for I make it a point of complaisance not to laugh
out: except where I happen to wish for a little private conversation
with the person that gives me the diversion.'

'Facetious in the extreme!' cried Sir Sedley, 'an infallibly excellent
mode to make a man die of laughter? Droll to the utmost!'

'With regard to that, Sir, I have no objection to a little wit or
humour, provided a person has the politeness to laugh only at himself,
and his own particular friends and relations; but if once he takes the
liberty to turn me into ridicule, I look upon it as an affront, and
expect the proper reparation.'

'O, to refuse that would be without bowels to a degree!'

Lionel now ran up stairs, to beg the ladies would come and see the
theatre; but suddenly exclaimed, as he looked around, 'Ah ha!' and
hastily galloped down, and to the bottom of the house. Mrs. Arlbery
descended with her young party, and the Ensign, in mock heroics,
solemnly prostrated himself to Miss Dennel, pouring into her delighted
ears, from various shreds and scraps of different tragedies, the most
high flown and egregiously ill-adapted complements: while the Major,
less absurdly, though scarce less passionately, made Camilla his Juliet,
and whispered the tenderest lines of Romeo.

Lionel presently running, out of breath, up stairs again, cried: 'Mrs.
Arlbery, I have drawn you in a new beau.'

'Have you?' cried she, coolly; 'why then I permit you to draw him out
again. Had you told me he had forced himself in, you had made him
welcome. But I foster only willing slaves. So off, if you please, with
your boast and your beau.'

'I can't, upon my word, ma'am, for he is at my heels.'

Mandlebert, at the same moment, not hearing what passed, made his
appearance.

The surprised and always unguarded Camilla, uttered an involuntary
exclamation, which instantly catching his ear, drew his eye towards the
exclaimer, and there fixed it; with an astonishment which suspended
wholly his half made bow, and beginning address to Mrs. Arlbery.

Lionel had descried him upon the little hill before the house; where, as
he was passing on, his own attention had been caught by the sound of
horns and clarinets, just as, without any explanation, Lionel flew to
tell him he was wanted, and almost forced him off his horse, and up the
stairs.

Mrs. Arlbery, in common with those who dispense with all forms for
themselves, exacted them punctiliously from all others. The visit
therefore of Mandlebert not being designed for her, afforded her at
first no gratification, and produced rather a contrary feeling, when she
observed the total absence of all pleasure in the surprise with which he
met Camilla at her house. She gave him a reception of cold civility, and
then chatted almost wholly with the General, or Sir Sedley.

Edgar scarce saw whether he was received or not; his bow was mechanical,
his apology for his intrusion was unintelligible. Amazement at seeing
Camilla under this roof, disappointment at her breach of implied
promise, and mortification at the air of being at home, which he
thought he remarked in her situation, though at an acquaintance he had
taken so much pains to keep aloof from her, all conspired to displease
and perplex him; and though his eyes could with difficulty look any
other way, he neither spoke to nor approached her.

Nor was even thus meeting her all he had to give him disturbance; the
palpable devoirs of Major Cerwood incensed as well astonished him; for,
under pretext of only following the humour of the day, in affecting to
act the hero in love, the Major assailed her, without reserve, with
declarations of his passion, which though his words passed off as
quotations, his looks and manner made appropriate. How, already, thought
Edgar, has he obtained such a privilege? such confidence? To have
uttered one such sentence, my tongue would have trembled, my lips would
have quivered!

Camilla felt confounded by his presence, from the consciousness of the
ill opinion she must excite by this second apparent disregard of a given
engagement. She would fain have explained to him it's history; but she
could not free herself from the Major, whose theatrical effusions were
not now to be repressed, since, at first, she had unthinkingly attended
to them.

Lionel joined with Macdersey in directing similar heroics to Miss
Dennel, who, simply enchanted, called out: 'I'm determined when I've a
house of my own, I'll have just such a room as this at the top of it, on
purpose to act a play every night.'

'And when, my dear,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'do you expect to have a house
of your own?'

'O, as soon as I am married, you know.'

'Is your marrying, then, already decided?'

'Dear no, not that I know of, aunt. I'm sure I never trouble myself
about it; only I suppose it will happen some day or other.'

'And when it does, you are very sure your husband will approve your
acting plays every night?'

'O, as to that, I shan't ask him. Whenever I'm married I'll be my own
mistress, that I'm resolved upon. But papa's so monstrous cross, he says
he won't let me act plays now.'

'Papas and mamas,' cried Sir Sedley, 'are ever most egregiously in the
way. 'Tis prodigiously surprising they have never yet been banished
society. I know no mark more irrefragable of the supineness of mankind.'

Then rising, and exclaiming: 'What savage heat! I wish the weather had
a little feeling!' he broke up the party by ordering his curricle, and
being the first to depart.

'That creature,' cried Mrs. Arlbery, 'if one had the least care for him,
is exactly an animal to drive one mad! He labours harder to be affected
than any ploughman does for his dinner. And, completely as his conceit
obscures it, he has every endowment nature can bestow, except common
sense!'

They now all descended to take leave, except the Ensign and Lionel, who
went, arm in arm, prowling about, to view all the garrets, followed on
tip-toe by Miss Dennel. Lavinia called vainly after her brother; but
Camilla, hoping every instant she might clear her conduct to Edgar, was
not sorry to be detained.

They had not, however, been five minutes in the parlour, before a
violent and angry noise from above, induced them all to remount to the
top of the house; and there, upon entering a garret whence it issued,
they saw Miss Dennel, decorated with the Ensign's cocked hat and
feather, yet looking pale with fright; Lionel accoutred in the maid's
cloaths, and almost in a convulsion of laughter; and Macdersey, in a
rage utterly incomprehensible, with the coachman's large bob-wig hanging
loose upon his head.

It was sometime before it was possible to gather, that having all
paraded into various garrets, in search of adventures, Lionel, after
attiring himself in the maid's gown, cap, and apron, had suddenly
deposited upon Miss Dennel's head the Ensign's cocked hat, replacing it
with the coachman's best wig upon the toupee of Macdersey; whose
resentment was so violent at this liberty, that it was still some
minutes before he could give it articulation.

The effect of this full buckled bob-jerom which stuck hollow from the
young face and powdered locks of the Ensign, was irresistibly ludicrous;
yet he would have deemed it a greater indignity to take it quietly off,
than to be viewed in it by thousands; though when he saw the disposition
of the whole company to sympathise with Lionel, his wrath rose yet
higher, and stamping with passion, he fiercely said to him--'Take it
off, sir!--take it off my head!'

Lionel, holding this too imperious a command to be obeyed, only shouted
louder. Macdersey then, incensed beyond endurance, lowered his voice
with stifled choler, and putting his arms a-kimbo, said--'If you take me
for a fool, sir, I shall demand satisfaction; for it's what I never put
up with!'

Then, turning to the rest, he solemnly added--'I beg pardon of all the
worthy company for speaking this little whisper, which certainly I
should scorn to do before ladies, if it had not been a secret.'

Mrs. Arlbery, alarmed at the serious consequences now threatening this
folly, said--'No, no; I allow of no secrets in my house, but what are
entrusted to myself. I insist, therefore, upon being umpire in this
cause.'

'Madam,' said Macdersey, 'I hope never to become such a debased brute of
the creation, as to contradict the commands of a fair lady: except when
it's upon a point of honour. But I can't consent to pass for a fool; and
still more not for a poltroon--You'll excuse the little hint.'

Then, while making a profound and ceremonious bow, his wig fell over his
head on the ground.

'This is very unlucky,' cried he, with a look of vexation; 'for
certainly, and to be sure no human mortal should have made me take it
off myself, before I was righted.'

Camilla, picking it up, to render the affair merely burlesque, pulled
off the maid's cap from her brother's head, and put on the wig in its
place, saying--'There, Lionel, you have played the part of _Lady Wrong
Head_ long enough; be so good now as to perform that of _Sir Francis_.'

This ended the business, and the whole party, in curricles, on
horseback, or on foot, departed from the Grove.



BOOK IV



CHAPTER I

_A Few Explanations_


The last words of Dr. Marchmont, in taking leave of Edgar, were
injunctions to circumspection, and representations of the difficulty of
drawing back with honour, if once any incautious eagerness betrayed his
partiality. To this counsel he was impelled to submit, lest he should
risk for Camilla a report similar to that which for Indiana had given
him so much disturbance. There, indeed, he felt himself wholly
blameless. His admiration was but such as he always experienced at sight
of a beautiful picture, nor had it ever been demonstrated in any more
serious manner. He had distinguished her by no particular attention,
singled her out by no pointed address, taken no pains to engage her good
opinion, and manifested no flattering pleasure at her approach or
presence.

His sense of right was too just to mislead him into giving himself
similar absolution with respect to Camilla. He had never, indeed,
indulged a voluntary vent to his preference; but the candour of his
character convinced him that what so forcibly he had felt, he must
occasionally have betrayed. Yet the idea excited regret without remorse;
for though it had been his wish, as well as intention, to conceal his
best hopes, till they were ratified by his judgment, he had the
conscious integrity of knowing that, should her heart become his prize,
his dearest view in life would be to solicit her hand.

To preserve, therefore, the appearance of an undesigning friend of the
house, he had forced himself to refrain, for two days, from any visit to
the rectory, whither he was repairing, when thus, unlooked and unwished
for, he surprized Camilla at the Grove.

Disappointed and disapproving feelings kept him, while there, aloof from
her; by continual suggestions, that her character was of no stability,
that Dr. Marchmont was right in his doubts, and Miss Margland herself
not wrong in accusing her of caprice; and when he perceived, upon her
preparing to walk home with her brother and sister, that Major Cerwood
stept forward to attend her, he indignantly resolved to arrange without
delay his continental excursion. But again, when, as she quitted the
room, he saw her head half turned round, with an eye of enquiry if he
followed, he determined frankly, and at once, in his capacity of a
friend, to request some explanation of this meeting.

The assiduities of the Major made it difficult to speak to her; but the
aid of her desire for a conversation, which was equally anxious, and
less guarded than his own, anticipated his principal investigation, by
urging her, voluntarily to seize an opportunity of relating to him the
history of her first visit to Mrs. Arlbery; and of assuring him that the
second was indispensably its consequence.

Softened by this apparent earnestness for his good opinion, all his
interest and all his tenderness for her returned; and though much
chagrined at the accident, or rather mischief, which had thus
established the acquaintance, he had too little to say, whatever he had
to feel, of positive weight against it, to propose its now being
relinquished. He thanked her impressively for so ready an explanation;
and then gently added; 'I know your predilection in favour of this lady,
and I will say nothing to disturb it; but as she is yet new to you, and
as all residence, all intercourse, from your own home or relations, is
new to you also--tell me, candidly, sincerely tell me, can you
condescend to suffer an old friend, though in the person of but a young
man, to offer you, from time to time, a hint, a little counsel, a few
brief words of occasional advice? and even, perhaps, now and then, to
torment you into a little serious reflection?'

'If you,' cried she, gaily, 'will give me the reflection, I promise, to
the best of my power, to give you in return, the seriousness; but I can
by no means engage for both!'

'O, never, but from your own prudence,' he answered, gratefully, 'may
your delightful vivacity know a curb! If now I seem myself to fear it,
it is not from moroseness, it is not from insensibility to its
charm----'

He was stopt here by Macdersey, who, suddenly overtaking him, entreated
an immediate short conference upon a matter of moment.

Though cruelly vexed by the interruption, he could not refuse to turn
back with him; and Camilla again was left wholly to the gallant Major;
but her heart felt so light that she had thus cleared herself to Edgar,
so gratified by his request to become himself her monitor, and so
enchanted to find her acquaintance with Mrs. Arlbery no longer disputed,
that she was too happy to admit any vexation; and the Major had never
thought her so charming, though of the Major she thought not one moment.

Macdersey, with a long, ceremonious, and not very clear apology,
confessed he had called Mandlebert aside only to enquire into the
certain truth, if it were not a positive secret, of his intended
nuptials with the beautiful Miss Lynmere. Mandlebert, with surprize, but
without any hesitation, declared himself wholly without any pretensions
to that lady. Macdersey then embraced him, and they parted mutually
satisfied.

It seemed now too late to Mandlebert to go to Etherington till the next
day, whither, as soon as he had breakfasted, he then rode.

According to his general custom, he went immediately to the study, where
he met with a calm, but kind reception from Mr. Tyrold; and after half
an hour's conversation, upon Lisbon, Dr. Marchmont, and Mrs. Tyrold, he
left him to seek his young friends.

In the parlour, he found Lavinia alone; but before he could enquire for
her sister, who was accidentally up stairs, Lionel, just dismounted from
his horse, appeared.

'O, ho, Edgar!' cried he, 'you are here, are you? this would make fine
confusion, if that beauty of nature, Miss Margland, should happen to
call. They've just sent for you to Beech Park. I don't know what's to be
done to you; but if you have an inclination to save poor Camilla's eyes,
or cap, at least, from that meek, tender creature, you'll set off for
Cleves before they know you are in this house.'

Edgar amazed, desired an explanation; but he protested the wrath of Miss
Margland had been so comical, and given him so much diversion, that he
had not been able to get at any particulars; he only knew there was a
great commotion, and that Edgar was declared in love with some of his
sisters or cousins, and Miss Margland was in a rage that it was not with
herself; and that, in short, because he only happened to drop a hint of
the latter notion, that delectable paragon had given him so violent a
blow with her fine eyes, that in order to vent an ungovernable fit of
laughter, without the risk of having the house pulled about his ears, he
had hastily mounted his horse, and galloped off.

The contempt of Edgar for Miss Margland would have made him disdain
another question, if the name of Camilla had not been mingled in this
relation; no question, however, could procure further information.
Lionel, enchanted that he had tormented Miss Margland, understood
nothing more of the matter, and could only repeat his own merry sayings,
and their effect.

Lavinia expressed, most innocently, her curiosity to know what this
meant; and was going for Camilla, to assist in some conjecture; but
Edgar, who by this strange story had lost his composure, felt unequal to
hearing it discussed in her presence, and, pleading sudden haste, rode
away.

He did not, however, go to Cleves; he hardly knew if Lionel had not
amused him with a feigned story; but he no sooner arrived at Beech Park,
then he found a message from Sir Hugh, begging to see him with all
speed.

The young Ensign was the cause of this present summons and disturbance.
Elated by the declaration of Mandlebert, that the rumour of his contract
was void of foundation, and buoyed up by Mrs. Arlbery, to whom he
returned with the communication, he resolved to make his advances in
form. He presented himself, therefore, at Cleves, where he asked an
audience of Sir Hugh, and at once, with his accustomed vehemence,
declared himself bound eternally, life and soul, to his fair niece, Miss
Lynmere; and desired that, in order to pay his addresses to her, he
might be permitted to see her at odd times, when he was off duty.

Sir Hugh was scarce able to understand him, from his volubility, and the
extravagance of his phrases and gestures; but he imputed them to his
violent passion, and therefore answered him with great gentleness,
assuring him he did not mean to doubt his being a proper alliance for
his niece, though he had never heard of him before; but begging he would
not be affronted if he could not accept him, not knowing yet quite
clearly if she were not engaged to a young gentleman in the
neighbourhood.

The Ensign now loudly proclaimed his own news: Mandlebert had protested
himself free, and the whole county already rang with the mistake.

Sir Hugh, who always at a loss how to say no, thought this would have
been a good answer, now sent for Miss Margland, and desired her to speak
herself with the young gentleman.

Miss Margland, much gratified, asked Macdersey if she could look at his
rent roll.

He had nothing of the kind at hand, he said, not being yet come to his
estate, which was in Ireland, and was still the property of a first
cousin, who was not yet dead.

Miss Margland, promising he should have an answer in a few days, then
dismissed him; but more irritated than ever against Mandlebert, from the
contrast of his power to make settlements, she burst forth into her old
declarations of his ill usage of Miss Lynmere; attributing it wholly to
the contrivances of Camilla, whom she had herself, she said, surprized
wheedling Edgar into her snares, when she called last at Etherington;
and who, she doubted not, they should soon hear was going to be married
to him.

Sir Hugh always understood literally whatever was said; these assertions
therefore of ill humour, merely made to vent black bile, affected him
deeply for the honour and welfare of Camilla, and he hastily sent a
messenger for Edgar, determining to beg, if that were the case, he would
openly own the whole, and not leave all the blame to fall all upon his
poor niece.

At this period, Lionel had called, and, by inflaming Miss Margland, had
aggravated the general disturbance.

When Edgar arrived, Sir Hugh told him of the affair, assuring him he
should never have taken amiss his preferring Camilla, which he thought
but natural, if he had only done it from the first.

Edgar, though easily through all this he saw the malignant yet shallow
offices of Miss Margland, found himself, with infinite vexation,
compelled to declare off equally from both the charges; conscious, that
till the very moment of his proposals, he must appear to have no
preference nor designs. He spoke, therefore, with the utmost respect of
the young ladies, but again said it was uncertain if he should not
travel before he formed any establishment.

The business thus explicitly decided, nothing more could be done: but
Miss Margland was somewhat appeased, when she heard that her pupil was
not so disgracefully to be supplanted.

Indiana herself, to whom Edgar had never seemed agreeable, soon forgot
she had ever thought of him; and elated by the acquisition of a new
lover, doubted not, but, in a short time, the publication of her liberty
would prove slavery to all mankind.

Early the next morning, the carriage of Sir Hugh arrived at the rectory
for Camilla. She never refused an invitation from her uncle, but she
felt so little equal to passing a whole day in the presence of Miss
Margland, after the unaccountable, yet alarming relation she had
gathered from Lionel, that she entreated him to accompany her, and to
manage that she should return with him as soon as the horses were fed
and rested.

Lionel, ever good humoured, and ready to oblige, willingly complied; but
demanded that she should go with him, in their way back, to see a new
house which he wanted to examine.

Sir Hugh received her with his usual affection, Indiana with
indifference, and Miss Margland with a malicious smile: but Eugenia,
soon taking her aside, disclosed to her that Edgar, the day before, had
publicly and openly disclaimed any views upon Indiana, and had declared
himself without any passion whatever, and free from all inclination or
intention but to travel.

The blush of pleasure, with which Camilla heard the first sentence of
this speech, became the tingle of shame at the second, and whitened into
surprise and sorrow at the last.

Eugenia, though she saw some disturbance, understood not these changes.
Early absorbed in the study of literature and languages, under the
direction of a preceptor who had never mingled with the world, her
capacity had been occupied in constant work for her memory; but her
judgment and penetration had been wholly unexercised. Like her uncle,
she concluded every body, and every thing to be precisely what they
appeared; and though, in that given point of view, she had keener
intellects to discern, and more skill to appreciate persons and
characters, she was as unpractised as himself in those discriminative
powers, which dive into their own conceptions to discover the latent
springs, the multifarious and contradictory sources of human actions and
propensities.

Upon their return to the company, Miss Margland chose to relate the
history herself. Mr. Mandlebert, she said, had not only thought proper
to acknowledge his utter insensibility to Miss Lynmere, but had declared
his indifference for every woman under the sun, and protested he held
them all cheap alike. 'So I would advise nobody,' she continued, 'to
flatter themselves with making a conquest of him, for they may take my
word for it, he won't be caught very easily.'

Camilla disdained to understand this but in a general sense, and made no
answer. Indiana, pouting her lip, said she was sure she did not want to
catch him: she did not fear having offers enough without him, if she
should happen to chuse to marry.

'Certainly,' said Miss Margland, 'there's no doubt of that; and this
young officer's coming the very moment he heard of your being at
liberty, is a proof that the only reason of your having had no more
proposals, is owing to Mr. Mandlebert. So I don't speak for you, but for
any body else, that may suppose they may please the difficult gentleman
better.'

Camilla now breathed hard with resentment; but still was silent, and
Indiana, answering only for herself, said: 'O, yes! I can't say I'm much
frightened. I dare say if Mr. Melmond had known, ... but he thought like
everybody else ... however, I'm sure, I'm very glad of it, only I wish
he had spoke a little sooner, for I suppose Mr. Melmond thinks me as
much out of his reach as if I was married. Not that I care about it;
only it's provoking.'

'No, my dear,' said Miss Margland, 'it would be quite below your dignity
to think about him, without knowing better who he is, or what are his
expectations and connexions. As to this young officer, I shall take
proper care to make enquiries, before he has his answer. He belongs to a
very good family; for he's related to Lord O'Lerney, and I have friends
in Ireland who can acquaint me with his situation and fortune. There's
time enough to look about you; only as Mr. Mandlebert has behaved so
unhandsomely, I hope none of the family will give him their countenance.
I am sure it will be to no purpose, if any body should think of doing it
by way of having any design upon him. It will be lost labour, I can tell
them.'

'As to that, I am quite easy,' said Indiana, tossing her head, 'any body
is welcome to him for me;--my cousin, or any body else.'

Camilla, now, absolutely called upon to speak, with all the spirit she
could assume, said, 'With regard to me, there is no occasion to remind
me how much I am out of the question; yet suffer me to say, respect for
myself would secure me from forming such plans as you surmise, if no
other sense of propriety could save me from such humiliation.'

'Now, my dear, you speak properly,' said Miss Margland, taking her hand;
'and I hope you will have the spirit to shew him you care no more for
him than he cares for you.'

'I hope so too,' answered Camilla, turning pale; 'but I don't suppose--I
can't imagine--that it is very likely he should have mentioned anything
good or bad--with regard to his care for me?'

This was painfully uttered, but from a curiosity irrepressible.

'As to that, my dear, don't deceive yourself; for the question was put
home to him very properly, that you might know what you had to expect,
and not keep off other engagements from a false notion.'

'This indeed,' said Camilla, colouring with indignation, 'this has been
a most useless, a most causeless enquiry!'

'I am very glad you treat the matter as it deserves, for I like to see
young ladies behave with dignity.'

'And pray, then, what--was there any--did he make--was there any--any
answer--to this--to--.'

'O, yes, he answered without any great ceremony, I can assure you! He
said, in so many words, that he thought no more of you than of our
cousin, and was going abroad to divert and amuse himself, better than by
entering into marriage, with either one or other of you; or with any
body else.'

Camilla felt half killed by this answer; and presently quitting the
room, ran out into the garden, and to a walk far from the house, before
she had power to breathe, or recollection to be aware of the sensibility
she was betraying.

She then as hastily went back, secretly resolving never more to think of
him, and to shew both to himself and to the world, by every means in her
power, her perfect indifference.

She could not, however, endure to encounter Miss Margland again, but
called for Lionel, and begged him to hurry the coachman.

Lionel complied--she took a hasty leave of her uncle, and only saying,
'Good by, good by!' to the rest, made her escape.

Sir Hugh, ever unsuspicious, thought her merely afraid to detain her
brother; but Eugenia, calm, affectionate, and divested of cares for
herself, saw evidently that something was wrong, though she divined not
what, and entreated leave to go with her sister to Etherington, and
thence return, without keeping out the horses.

Sir Hugh was well pleased, and the two sisters and Lionel set off
together.



CHAPTER II

_Specimens of Taste_


The presence of Lionel stifled the enquiries of Eugenia; and pride, all
up in arms, absorbed every softer feeling in Camilla.

When they had driven half a mile, 'Now, young ladies,' said he, 'I shall
treat you with a frolic.' He then stopt the carriage, and told the
coachman to drive to Cornfield; saying, 'Tis but two miles about, and
Coachy won't mind that; will you Coachy?'

The coachman, looking forward to half a crown, said his horses would be
all the better for a little more exercise; and Jacob, familiarly fond of
Lionel from a boy, made no difficulty.

Lionel desired his sisters to ask no questions, assuring them he had
great designs, and a most agreeable surprise in view for them.

In pursuance of his directions, they drove on till they came before a
small house, just new fronted with deep red bricks, containing, on the
ground floor, two little bow windows, in a sharp triangular form,
enclosing a door ornamented with small panes of glass, cut in various
shapes; on the first story, a little balcony, decorated in the middle
and at each corner with leaden images of Cupids; and, in the attic
story, a very small venetian window, partly formed with minute panes of
glass, and partly with glazed tiles; representing, in blue and white,
various devices of dogs and cats, mice and birds, rats and ferrets, as
emblems of the conjugal state.

'Well, young ladies, what say you to this?' cried he, 'does it hit your
fancy? If it does, 'tis your own!'

Eugenia asked what he meant.

'Mean? to make a present of it to which ever is the best girl, and can
first cry bo! to a goose. Come, don't look disdainfully. Eugenia, what
say you? won't it be better to be mistress of this little neat, tight,
snug box, and a pretty little tidy husband, that belongs to it, than to
pore all day long over a Latin theme with old Dr. Orkborne? I have often
thought my poor uncle was certainly out of his wits, when he set us
all, men, women, and children, to learn Latin, or else be whipt by the
old doctor. But we all soon got our necks out of the collar, except poor
Eugenia, and she's had to work for us all. However, here's an
opportunity--see but what a pretty place--not quite finished, to be
sure, but look at that lake? how cool, how rural, how refreshing!'

'Lake?' repeated Eugenia, 'I see nothing but a very dirty little pond,
with a mass of rubbish in the middle. Indeed I see nothing else but
rubbish all round, and every where.'

'That's the very beauty of the thing, my dear; it's all in the exact
state for being finished under your own eye, and according to your own
taste.'

'To whom does it belong?'

'It's uninhabited yet; but it's preparing for a very spruce young spark,
that I advise you both to set your caps at. Hold! I see somebody
peeping; I'll go and get some news for you.'

He then jumped from the coach, and ran up five deep narrow steps, formed
of single large rough stones, which mounted so much above the threshold
of the house, that upon opening the door, there appeared a stool to
assist all comers to reach the floor of the passage.

Eugenia, with some curiosity, looked out, and saw her brother, after
nearly forcing his entrance, speak to a very mean little man, dressed in
old dirty cloaths, who seemed willing to hide himself behind the door,
but whom he almost dragged forward, saying aloud, 'O, I can take no
excuse, I insist upon your shewing the house. I have brought two young
ladies on purpose to see it; and who knows but one of them may take a
fancy to it, and make you a happy man for life.'

'As to that, sir,' said the man, still endeavouring to retreat, 'I can't
say as I've quite made my mind up yet as to the marriage ceremony. I've
known partly enough of the state already; but if ever I marry again,
which is a moot point, I sha'n't do it hand over head, like a boy,
without knowing what I'm about. However, it's time enough o'conscience
to think of that, when my house is done, and my workmen is off my
hands.'

Camilla now, by the language and the voice, gathered that this was Mr.
Dubster.

'Pho, pho,' answered Lionel, 'you must not be so hard-hearted when fair
ladies are in the case. Besides, one of them is that pretty girl you
flirted with at Northwick. She's a sister of mine, and I shall take it
very ill if you don't hand her out of the coach, and do the honours of
your place to her.'

Camilla, much provoked, earnestly called to her brother, but utterly in
vain.

'Lauk-a-day! why it is not half finished,' said Mr. Dubster; 'nor a
quarter neither: and as to that young lady, I can't say as it was much
in my mind to be over civil to her any more, begging pardon, after her
giving me the slip in that manner. I can't say as I think it was over
and above handsome, letting me get my gloves. Not that I mind it in the
least, as to that.'

'Pho, pho, man, you must never bear malice against a fair lady. Besides,
she's come now on purpose to make her excuses.'

'O, that's another thing; if the young lady's sorry, I sha'n't think of
holding out. Besides, I can't say but what I thought her agreeable
enough, if it had not been for her behaving so comical just at the last.
Not that I mean in the least to make any complaint, by way of getting of
the young lady scolded.'

'You must make friends now, man, and think no more of it;' cried Lionel,
who would have drawn him to the carriage; but he protested he was quite
ashamed to be seen in such a dishabille, and should go first and dress
himself. Lionel, on the contrary, declaring nothing so manly, nor so
becoming, as a neglect of outward appearance, pulled him to the coach
door, notwithstanding all his efforts to disengage himself, and the most
bashful distortions with which he strove to sneak behind his conductor.

'Ladies,' said he, 'Mr. Dubster desires to have the honour of walking
over his house and grounds with you.'

Camilla declared she had no time to alight; but Lionel insisted, and
soon forced them both from the coach.

Mr. Dubster, no longer stiff, starched, and proud, as when full dressed,
was sunk into the smallest insignificance; and when they were compelled
to enter his grounds, through a small Chinese gate, painted of a deep
blue, would entirely have kept out of sight; but for a whisper from
Lionel, that the ladies had owned they thought he looked to particular
advantage in that careless attire.

Encouraged by this, he came boldly forward, and suddenly facing them,
made a low bow saying: 'Young ladies, your humble.'

They courtsied slightly, and Camilla said she was very sorry to break in
upon him.

'O, it don't much matter,' cried he, extremely pleased by this civility,
'I only hope, young ladies, you won't take umbrage at my receiving you
in this pickle; but you've popt upon me unawares, as one may say. And my
best coat is at this very minute at Tom Hicks's, nicely packed and
papered up, and tied all round, in a drawer of his, up stairs, in his
room. And I'd have gone for it with the greatest pleasure in life, to
shew my respect, if the young gentleman would have let me.'

And then, recollecting Eugenia, 'Good lauk, ma'am,' said he, in a low
voice to Camilla, 'that's that same lame little lady as I saw at the
ball?'

'That lady, sir,' answered she, provoked, 'is my sister.'

'Mercy's me!' exclaimed he, lifting up his hands, 'I wish I'd known as
much at the time. I'm sure, ma'am, if I'd thought the young lady was any
ways related to you, I would not have said a word disrespectful upon no
account.'

Lionel asked how long he had had this place.

'Only a little while. I happened of it quite lucky. A friend of mine was
just being turned out of it, in default of payment, and so I got it a
bargain. I intend to fit it up a little in taste, and then, whether I
like it or no, I can always let it.'

They were now, by Lionel, dragged into the house, which was yet
unfurnished, half papered, and half white washed. The workmen, Mr.
Dubster said, were just gone to dinner, and he rejoiced that they had
happened to come so conveniently, when he should be no loser by leaving
the men to themselves, in order to oblige the young ladies with his
company.

He insisted upon shewing them not only every room, but every closet,
every cupboard, every nook, corner, and hiding place; praising their
utility, and enumerating all their possible appropriations, with the
most minute encomiums.

'But I'm quite sorry,' cried he, 'young ladies, to think as I've nothing
to offer you. I eats my dinner always at the Globe, having nobody here
to cook. However I'd have had a morsel of cake or so, if the young
gentleman had been so kind as to give me an item beforehand of your
intending me the favour. But as to getting things into the house hap
hazard, really everything is so dear--it's quite out of reason.'

The scampering of horses now carrying them to a window, they saw some
hounds in full cry, followed by horse-men in full gallop. Lionel
declared he would borrow Jacob's mare, and join them, while his sisters
walked about the grounds: but Camilla, taking him aside, made a serious
expostulation, protesting that her father, with all his indulgence, and
even her uncle himself, would be certainly displeased, if he left them
alone with this man; of whom they knew nothing but his very low trade.

'Why what is his trade?'

'A tinker's: Mrs. Arlbery told me so.'

He laughed violently at this information, protesting he was rejoiced to
find so much money could be made by the tinkering business, which he was
determined to follow in his next distress for cash: yet added, he feared
this was only the malice of Mrs. Arlbery, for Dubster, he had been told,
had kept a shop for ready made wigs.

He gave up, however, his project, forgetting the chace when he no longer
heard the hounds, and desired Mr. Dubster to proceed in shewing his
lions?

'Lauk a day! sir, I've got no lions, nor tygers neither. It's a deal of
expence keeping them animals; and though I know they reckon me near, I
sha'n't do no such thing; for if a man does not take a little care of
his money when once he has got it, especially if it's honestly, I think
he's a fool for his pains; begging pardon for speaking my mind so
freely.'

He then led them again to the front of the house, where he desired they
would look at his pond. 'This,' said he, 'is what I value the most of
all, except my summer house and my labyrinth. I shall stock it well; and
many a good dinner I hope to eat from it. It gets me an appetite,
sometimes, I think, only to look at it.'

''Tis a beautiful piece of water,' said Lionel, 'and may be useful to
the outside as well as the inside, for, if you go in head foremost, you
may bathe as well as feed from it.'

'No, I sha'n't do that, sir, I'm not over and above fond of water at
best. However, I shall have a swan.'

'A swan? why sure you won't be contented with only one?'

'O yes, I shall. It will only be made of wood, painted over in white.
There's no end of feeding them things if one has 'em alive. Besides it
will look just as pretty; and won't bite. And I know a friend of mine
that one of them creatures flew at, and gave him such a bang as almost
broke his leg, only for throwing a stone at it, out of mere play. They
are mortal spiteful, if you happen to hurt them when you're in their
reach.'

He then begged them to go over to his island, which proved to be what
Eugenia had taken for a mass of rubbish. They would fain have been
excused crossing a plank which he called a bridge, but Lionel would not
be denied.

'Now here,' said he, 'when my island's finished, I shall have something
these young ladies will like; and that's a lamb.'

'Alive, or dead?' cried Lionel.

'Alive,' he replied, 'for I shall have good pasture in a little bit of
ground just by, where I shall keep me a cow; and here will be grass
enough upon my island to keep it from starving on Sundays, and for now
and then, when I've somebody come to see me. And when it's fit for
killing, I can change it with the farmer down the lane, for another
young one, by a bargain I've agreed with him for already; for I don't
love to run no risks about a thing for mere pleasure.'

'Your place will be quite a paradise,' said Lionel.

'Why, indeed, sir, I think I've earned having a little recreeting, for I
worked hard enough for it, before I happened of meeting with my first
wife.'

'O, ho! so you began with marrying a fortune?'

'Yes, sir, and very pretty she was too, if she had not been so puny. But
she was always ailing. She cost me a mort of money to the potecary
before she went off. And she was a tedious while a dying, poor soul!'

'Your first wife? surely you have not been twice married already?'

'Yes, I have. My second wife brought me a very pretty fortune too. I
can't say but I've rather had the luck of it, as far as I've gone yet
awhile.'

They now repassed the plank, and were conducted to an angle, in which a
bench was placed close to the chinese rails, which was somewhat shaded
by a willow, that grew in a little piece of stagnant water on the other
side. A syringa was planted in front, and a broom-tree on the right
united it with the willow; in the middle there was a deal table.

'Now, young ladies,' said Mr. Dubster, 'if you have a taste to breathe a
little fresh country air, here's where I advise you to take your rest.
When I come to this place first, my arbour, as I call this, had no look
out, but just to the fields, so I cut away them lilacs, and now there's
a good pretty look out. And it's a thing not to be believed what a sight
of people and coaches, and gentlemen's whiskeys and stages, and flys,
and wagons, and all sorts of things as ever you can think of, goes by
all day long. I often think people's got but little to do at home.'

Next, he desired to lead them to his grotto, which he said was but just
begun. It was, indeed, as yet, nothing but a little square hole, dug
into a chalky soil, down into which, no steps being yet made, he slid as
well as he could, to the no small whitening of his old brown coat, which
already was thread bare.

He begged the ladies to follow, that he might shew them the devices he
had marked out with his own hand, and from his own head, for fitting up
the inside. Lionel would not suffer his sisters to refuse compliance,
though Mr. Dubster himself cautioned them to come carefully, 'in
particular,' he said, 'the little lady, as she has happened of an ugly
accident already, as I judge, in one of her hips, and 'twould be pity,
at her time of life, if she should happen of another at t'other side.'

Eugenia, not aware this misfortune was so glaring, felt much hurt by
this speech; and Camilla, very angry with its speaker, sought to silence
him by a resentful look; but not observing it; 'Pray, ma'am,' he
continued, 'was it a fall? or was you born so?'

Eugenia looked struck and surprized; and Camilla hastily whispered it
was a fall, and bid him say no more about it; but, not understanding
her, 'I take it, then,' he said, 'that was what stinted your growth so,
Miss? for, I take it, you're not much above the dwarf as they shew at
Exeter Change? Much of a muchness, I guess. Did you ever see him,
ma'am?'

'No, sir.'

'It would be a good sight enough to see you together. He'd think himself
a man in a minute. You must have had the small pox mortal bad, ma'am. I
suppose you'd the conflint sort?'

Camilla here, without waiting for help, slid down into the intended
grotto, and asked a thousand questions to change the subject; while
Eugenia, much disconcerted, slowly followed, aided by Lionel.

Mr. Dubster then displayed the ingenious intermixture of circles and
diamonds projected for the embellishment of his grotto; the first of
which were to be formed with cockle-shells, which he meant to colour
with blue paint; and the second he proposed shaping with bits of shining
black coal. The spaces between would each have an oyster-shell in the
middle, and here and there he designed to leave the chalk to itself,
which would always, he observed, make the grotto light and cheery.
Shells he said, unluckily, he did not happen to have; but as he had
thoughts of taking a little pleasure some summer at Brighthelmstone or
Margate, for he intended to see all those places, he should make a
collection then; being told he might have as curious shells, and pebbles
too, as a man could wish to look at, only for the trouble of picking
them up off the shore.

They next went to what he called his labyrinth, which was a little walk
he was cutting, zig-zag, through some brushwood, so low that no person
above three foot height could be hid by it. Every step they took here,
cost a rent to some lace or some muslin of one of the sisters; which Mr.
Dubster observed with a delight he could not conceal; saying this was a
true country walk, and would do them both a great deal of good; and
adding: 'we that live in town, would give our ears for such a thing as
this.' And though they could never proceed a yard at a time, from the
continual necessity of disentangling their dress from thorns and briars,
he exultingly boasted that he should give them a good appetite for their
dinner; and asked if this rural ramble did not make them begin to feel
hungry. 'For my part,' continued he, 'if once I get settled a bit, I
shall take a turn in this zig-zag every day before dinner, which may
save me my five grains of rhubarb, that the doctor ordered me for my
stomach, since my having my illness, which come upon me almost as soon
as I was a gentleman; from change of life, I believe, for I never knew
no other reason; and none of the doctors could tell me nothing about it.
But a man that's had a deal to do, feels quite unked at first, when he's
only got to look and stare about him, and just walk from one room to
another, without no employment.'

Lionel said he hoped, at least, he would not require his rhubarb to get
down his dinner to day.

'I hope so too, 'squire,' answered he, licking his lips, 'for I've
ordered a pretty good one, I can tell you; beef steaks and onions; and I
don't know what's better. Tom Hicks is to dine with me at the Globe, as
soon as I've give my workmen their tasks, and seen after a young lad
that's to do me a job there, by my grotto. Tom Hicks is a very good
fellow; I like him best of any acquaintance I've made in these here
parts. Indeed, I've made no other, on account of the unconvenience of
dressing, while I'm so much about with my workmen. So I keep pretty
incog from the genteel; and Tom does well enough in the interim.'

He then requested them to make haste to his summer-house, because his
workmen would be soon returned, and he could not then spare a moment
longer, without spoiling his own dinner.

'My summer-house,' said he, 'is not above half complete yet; but it will
be very pretty when it's done. Only I've got no stairs yet to it; but
there's a very good ladder, if the ladies a'n't afraid.'

The ladies both desired to be excused mounting; but Lionel protested he
would not have his friend affronted; and as neither of them were in the
habit of resisting him, nor of investigating with seriousness any thing
that he proposed, they were soon teized into acquiescence, and he
assisted them to ascend.

Mr. Dubster followed.

The summer-house was, as yet, no more than a shell; without windows,
scarcely roofed, and composed of lath and plaister, not half dry. It
looked on to the high road, and Mr. Dubster assured them, that, on
market days, the people passed so thick, there was no seeing them for
the dust.

Here they had soon cause to repent their facility,--that dangerous, yet
venial, because natural fault of youth;--for hardly had they entered
this place, ere a distant glimpse of a fleet stag, and a party of
sportsmen, incited Lionel to scamper down; and calling out: 'I shall be
back presently,' he made off towards the house, dragging the ladder
after him.

The sisters eagerly and almost angrily remonstrated; but to no purpose;
and while they were still entreating him to return and supposing him,
though out of sight, within hearing, they suddenly perceived him passing
the window by the high road, on horse-back, switch in hand, and looking
in the utmost glee. 'I have borrowed Jacob's mare,' he cried, 'for just
half an hour's sport, and sent Jacob and Coachy to get a little
refreshment at the next public house; but don't be impatient; I shan't
be long.'

Off then, he galloped, laughing; in defiance of the serious entreaties
of his sisters, and without staying to hear even one sentence of the
formal exhortations of Mr. Dubster.



CHAPTER III

_A few Compliments_


The two young ladies and Mr. Dubster, left thus together, and so
situated that separation without assistance was impossible, looked at
one another for some time in nearly equal dismay; and then Mr. Dubster,
with much displeasure, exclaimed--'Them young gentlemen are as full of
mischief, as an egg's full of meat! Who'd have thought of a person's
going to do such a thing as this?--it's mortal convenient, making me
leave my workmen at this rate; for I dare say they're come, or coming,
by this time. I wish I'd tied the ladder to this here rafter.'

The sisters, though equally provoked, thought it necessary to make some
apology for the wild behaviour of their brother.

'O, young ladies,' said he, formally waving his hand by way of a bow, 'I
don't in the least mean to blame you about it, for you're very welcome
to stay as long as it's agreeable; only I hope he'll come back by my
dinner time; for a cold beef-steak is one or other the worst morsel I
know.'

He then kept an unremitting watch from one window to another, for some
passenger from whom he could claim aid; but, much as he had boasted of
the numbers perpetually in sight, he now dolorously confessed, that,
sometimes, not a soul came near the place for half a day together: 'And,
as to my workmen,' continued he, 'the deuce can't make 'em hear if once
they begin their knocking and hammering.'

And then, with a smirk at the idea, he added--'I'll tell you what; I'd
best give a good squall at once, and then if they are come, I may catch
'em; in the proviso you won't mind it, young ladies.'

This scheme was put immediately into practice; but though the sisters
were obliged to stop their ears from his vociferation, it answered no
purpose.

'Well, I'll bet you what you will,' cried he, 'they are all deaf:
however, it's as well as it is, for if they was to come, and see me
hoisted up in this cage, like, they'd only make a joke of it; and then
they'd mind me no more than a pin never again. It's surprising how them
young gentlemen never think of nothing. If he'd served me so when I was
a 'prentice, he'd have paid pretty dear for his frolic; master would
have charged him half a day's work, as sure as a gun.'

Soon after, while looking out of the window, 'I do think,' he exclaimed,
'I see somebody!--It shall go hard but what I'll make 'em come to us.'

He then shouted with great violence; but the person crossed a stile into
a field, without seeing or hearing him.

This provoked him very seriously; and turning to Camilla, rather
indignantly, he said--'Really, ma'am, I wish you'd tell your brother, I
should take it as a favour he'd never serve me o' this manner no more!'

She hoped, she said, he would in future be more considerate.

'It's a great hindrance to business, ma'am, such things; and it's a
sheer love of mischief, too, begging pardon, for it's of no manner of
use to him, no more than it is to us.'

He then desired, that if any body should pass by again, they might all
squall out at once; saying, it was odds, then, but they might be heard.

'Not that it's over agreeable, at the best,' added he; 'for if one was
to stop any poor person, and make 'em come round, and look for the
ladder, one could not be off giving them something: and as to any of the
gentlefolks, one might beg and pray as long as one would before they'd
stir a step for one: and as to any of one's acquaintance, if they was to
go by, it's ten to one but they'd only fall a laughing. People's
generally ill-natured when they sees one in jeopardy.'

Eugenia, already thoughtful and discomposed, now grew uneasy, lest her
uncle should be surprised at her long absence; this a little appeased
Mr. Dubster, who, with less resentment, said--'So I see, then, we're all
in the same quandary! However, don't mind it, young ladies; you can have
no great matters to do with your time, I take it; so it does not so much
signify. But a man's quite different. He looks like a fool, as one may
say, poked up in such a place as this, to be stared at by all comers and
goers; only nobody happens to pass by.'

His lamentations now were happily interrupted by the appearance of three
women and a boy, who, with baskets on their heads, were returning from
the next market town. With infinite satisfaction, he prepared to assail
them, saying, he should now have some chance to get a bit of dinner: and
assuring the ladies, that if they should like a little scrap for a
relish, he should be very willing to send 'em it by their footman; 'For
it's a long while,' said he, 'young ladies, to be fasting, that's the
truth of it.'

The market women now approached, and were most clamourously hailed,
before their own loud discourse, and the singing and whistling of the
boy, permitted their hearing the appeal.

'Pray, will you be so kind,' said Mr. Dubster, when he had made them
stop, 'as to step round by the house, and see if you can see the
workmen; and if you can, tell 'em a young gentleman, as come here while
they was at dinner, has taken away the ladder, and left us stuck up here
in the lurch.'

The women all laughed, and said it was a good merry trick; but were
preparing to follow his directions, when Mr. Dubster called after the
boy, who loitered behind, with an encouraging nod: 'If you'll bring the
ladder with you upon your shoulders, my lad, I'll give you a
half-penny!'

The boy was well contented; but the women, a little alarmed, turned back
and said--'And what will you give to us, master?' 'Give?' repeated he, a
little embarrassed; 'why, I'll give--why I'll thank you kindly; and it
won't be much out of your way, for the house is only round there.'

'You'll thank us kindly, will you?' said one of the women; it's like you
may! But what will you do over and above?'

'Do? why it's no great matter, just to stop at the house as you go by,
and tell 'em----'

Here Eugenia whispered she would herself satisfy them, and begged he
would let them make their own terms.

'No, Miss, no; I don't like to see nobody's money fooled away, no more
than my own. However, as you are so generous, I'll agree with 'em to
give 'em a pot of beer.'

He then, with some parade, made this concession; but said, he must see
the ladder, before the money should be laid down.

'A pot of beer for four!--a pot of beer for four!' they all exclaimed in
a breath; and down everyone put her basket, and set her arms a-kembo,
unanimously declaring, they would shame him for such stinginess.

The most violent abuse now followed, the boy imitating them, and every
other sentence concluding with--'A pot of beer for four!--ha!'

Camilla and Eugenia, both frightened, besought that they might have any
thing, and every thing, that could appease them; but Mr. Dubster was
inflexible not to submit to imposition, because of a few foul words;
'For, dear heart,' said he, 'what harm will they do us!--they an't of no
consequence.'

Then, addressing them again, 'As to four,' he cried, 'that's one over
the bargain, for I did not reckon the boy for nothing.'

'You didn't, didn't you?' cried the boy; 'i'cod, I hope I'm as good as
you, any day in the year!'

'You'll thank us kindly, will you?' said one of the women; 'I'fackens,
and so you shall, when we're fools enough to sarve you!--A pot of beer
for four!'

'We help you down!--we get you a ladder!' cried another; 'yes, forsooth,
it's like we may!--no, stay where you are like a toad in a hole as you
be!'

Camilla and Eugenia now, tired of vain application to Mr. Dubster, who
heard all this abuse with the most sedate unconcern, advanced themselves
to the window; and Eugenia, ever foremost where money was to be given,
began--'Good women----' when, with a violent loud shout, they called
out--'What! are you all in Hob's pound? Well, they as will may let you
out for we; so I wish you a merry time of it!'

Eugenia began again her--'Good women----' when the boy exclaimed--'What
were you put up there for, Miss? to frighten the crows?'

Eugenia, not understanding him, was once more re-commencing; but the
first woman said--'I suppose you think we'll sarve you for looking
at?--no need to be paid?'

'Yes, yes,' cried the second, 'Miss may go to market with her beauty;
she'll not want for nothing if she'll shew her pretty face!'

'She need not be afeard of it, however,' said the third, 'for 'twill
never be no worse. Only take care, Miss, you don't catch the small pox!'

'O fegs, that would be pity!' cried the boy, 'for fear Miss should be
marked.'

Eugenia, astonished and confounded, made no farther attempt; but
Camilla, though at that moment she could have inflicted any punishment
upon such unprovoked assailants, affected to give but little weight to
what they said, and gently drew her away.

'Hoity, toity!' cried one of the women, as she moved off, 'why, Miss, do
you walk upon your knees?'

'Why my Poll would make two of her,' said another, 'though she's only
nine years old.'

'She won't take much for cloaths,' cried another, 'that's one good
thing.'

'I'd answer to make her a gown out of my apron,' said the third.

'Your apron?' cried another, 'your pocket handkerchief you mean!--why
she'd be lost in your apron, and you might look half an hour before
you'd find her.'

Eugenia, to whom such language was utterly new, was now in such visible
consternation, that Camilla, affrighted, earnestly charged Mr. Dubster
to find any means, either of menace or of reward, to make them depart.

'Lauk, don't mind them, ma'am,' cried he, following Eugenia, 'they can't
do you no hurt; though they are rather rude, I must needs confess the
truth, to say such things to your face. But one must not expect people
to be over polite, so far from London. However, I see the sporting
gentry coming round, over that way, yonder; and I warrant they'll gallop
'em off. Hark'ee, Mistresses! them gentlemen that are coming here, shall
take you before the justice, for affronting Sir Hugh's Tyrold's
Heiresses to all his fortunes.

The women, to whom the name and generous deeds of Sir Hugh Tyrold were
familiar, were now quieted and dismayed. They offered some aukward
apologies, of not guessing such young ladies could be posted up in such
a place; and hoped it would be no detriment to them at the ensuing
Christmas, when the good Baronet gave away beef and beer; but Mr.
Dubster pompously ordered them to make off, saying, he would not accept
the ladder from them now, for the gentry that were coming would get it
for nothing: 'So troop off,' cried he; 'and as for you,' to the boy,
'you shall have your jacket well trimmed, I promise you: I know who you
are, well enough; and I'll tell your master of you, as sure as you're
alive.'

Away then, with complete, though not well-principled repentance, they
all marched.

Mr. Dubster, turning round with exultation, cried--'I only said that to
frighten them, for I never see 'em before, as I know of. But I don't
mind 'em of a rush; and I hope you don't neither. Though I can't pretend
it's over agreeable being made fun of. If I see anybody snigger at me, I
always ask 'em what it's for; for I'd as lieve they'd let it alone.'

Eugenia, who, as there was no seat, had sunk upon the floor for rest and
for refuge, remained silent, and seemed almost petrified; while Camilla,
affectionately leaning over her, began talking upon other subjects, in
hopes to dissipate a shock she was ashamed to console.

She made no reply, no comment; but, sighed deeply.

'Lauk!' cried Mr. Dubster, 'what's the matter with the young lady! I
hope she don't go for to take to heart what them old women says? she'll
be never the worse to look at, because of their impudence. Besides,
fretting does no good to nothing. If you'll only come and stand here,
where I do, Miss, you may have a peep at ever so many dogs, and all the
gentlemen, riding helter skelter round that hill. It's a pretty sight
enough for them as has nothing better to mind. I don't know but I might
make one among them myself, now and then, if it was not for the
expensiveness of hiring of a horse.'

Here some of the party came galloping towards them; and Mr. Dubster made
so loud an outcry, that two or three of the sportsmen looked up, and one
of them, riding close to the summer-house, perceived the two young
ladies, and, instantly dismounting, fastened his horse to a tree, and
contrived to scramble up into the little unfinished building.

Camilla then saw it was Major Cerwood. She explained to him the
mischievous frolick of her brother, and accepted his offered services to
find the ladder and the carriage.

Eugenia meanwhile rose and courtsied in answer to his enquiries after
her health, and then, gravely fixing her eyes upon the ground, took no
further notice of him.

The object of the Major was not Eugenia; her taciturnity therefore did
not affect him; but pleased to be shut up with Camilla, he soon found
out that though to mount had been easy, to descend would be difficult;
and, after various mock efforts, pronounced it would be necessary to
wait till some assistance arrived from below: adding, young Mr. Tyrold
would soon return, as he had seen him in the hunt.

Camilla, whose concern now was all for her sister, heard this with
indifference; but Mr. Dubster lost all patience. 'So here,' said he, 'I
may stay, and let Tom Hicks eat up all my dinner! for I can't expect him
to fast, because of this young gentleman's comical tricks. I've half a
mind to give a jump down myself, and go look for the ladder; only I'm
not over light. Besides, if one should break one's leg, it's but a hard
thing upon a man to be a cripple in the middle of life. It's no such
great hindrance to a lady, so I don't say it out of disrespect; because
ladies can't do much at the best.'

The Major, finding Dubster was his host, thought it necessary to take
some notice of him, and ask him if he never rode out.

'Why no, not much of that, Sir,' he answered; 'for when a man's not over
used to riding, one's apt to get a bad tumble sometimes. I believe it's
as well let alone. I never see as there was much wit in breaking one's
neck before one's time. Besides, half them gentlemen are no better than
sharpers, begging pardon, for all they look as if they could knock one
down.'

'How do you mean sharpers, Sir?'

'Why they don't pay everyone his own, not one in ten of them. And
they're as proud as Lucifer. If I was to go among them to-morrow, I'll
lay a wager they'd take no notice of me: unless I was to ask them to
dinner. And a man may soon eat up his substance, if he's so over
complaisant.'

'Surely, Major,' cried Camilla, 'my brother cannot be much longer before
he joins us?--remembers us rather.'

'Who else could desert or forget you?' cried the Major.

'It's a moot point whether he'll come or no, I see that,' said Mr.
Dubster, quite enraged; 'them young 'squires never know what to do for
their fun. I must needs say I think it's pity but what he'd been brought
up to some calling. 'Twould have steadied him a little, I warrant. He
don't seem to know much of the troubles of life.'

A shower of rain now revived his hopes that the fear of being wet might
bring him back; not considering how little sportsmen regard wet jackets.

'However,' continued he, 'it's really a piece of good luck that he was
not taken with a fancy to leave us upon my island; and then we might all
have been soused by this here rain: and he could just as well have
walked off with my bridge as with the ladder.'

Here, to his inexpressible relief, Lionel, from the road, hailed them;
and Camilla, with emotion the most violent, perceived Edgar was by his
side.

Mr. Dubster, however, angry as well as glad, very solemnly said, 'I
wonder, Sir, what you think my workmen has been doing all this time,
with nobody to look after them? Besides that I promised a pot o'beer to
a lad to wheel me away all that rubbish that I'd cut out of my grotto;
and it's a good half day's work, do it who will; and ten to one if
they've stirred a nail, all left to themselves so.'

'Pho, pho, man, you've been too happy, I hope, to trouble your mind
about business. How do do my little girls? how you have been
entertained?'

'This is a better joke to you than to us 'squire; but pray, Sir, begging
pardon, how come you to forget what I told you about the Globe? I know
very well that they say it's quite alley-mode to make fun, but I can't
pretend as I'm over fond of the custom.'

He then desired that, at least, if he would not get the ladder himself,
he would tell that other gentleman, that was with him, what he had done
with it.

Edgar, having met Lionel, and heard from him how and where he had left
his sisters, had impatiently ridden with him to their relief; but when
he saw that the Major made one in the little party, and that he was
standing by Camilla, he felt hurt and amazed, and proceeded no farther.

Camilla believed herself careless of his opinion; what she had heard
from Miss Margland of his professed indifference, gave her now as much
resentment, as at first it had caused her grief. She thought such a
declaration an unprovoked indignity; she deigned not even to look at
him, resolved for ever to avoid him; yet to prove herself, at the same
time, unmortified and disengaged, talked cheerfully with the Major.

Lionel now, producing the ladder, ran up it to help his sisters to
descend; and Edgar, dismounting, could not resist entering the grounds,
to offer them his hand as they came down.

Eugenia was first assisted; for Camilla talked on with the Major, as if
not hearing she was called: and Mr. Dubster, his complaisance wholly
worn out, next followed, bowing low to everyone separately, and begging
pardon, but saying he could really afford to waste no more time, without
going to give a little look after his workmen, to see if they were alive
or dead.

At this time the horse of the Major, by some accident, breaking loose,
his master was forced to run down, and Lionel scampered after to assist
him.

Camilla remained alone; Edgar, slowly mounting the ladder, gravely
offered his services; but, hastily leaning out of the window, she
pretended to be too much occupied in watching the motions of the Major
and his horse, to hear or attend to any thing else.

A sigh now tore the heart of Edgar, from doubt if this were preference
to the Major, or the first dawn of incipient coquetry; but he called not
upon her again; he stood quietly behind, till the horse was seized, and
the Major re-ascended the ladder. They then stood at each side of it,
with offers of assistance.

This appeared to Camilla a fortunate moment for making a spirited
display of her indifference: she gave her hand to the Major, and,
slightly courtesying to Edgar as she passed, was conducted to the
carriage of her uncle.

Lionel again was the only one who spoke in the short route to
Etherington, whence Eugenia, without alighting, returned to Cleves.



CHAPTER IV

_The Danger of Disguise_


Edgar remained behind, almost petrified: he stood in the little
building, looking after them, yet neither descending nor stirring, till
one of the workmen advanced to fetch the ladder. He then hastily quitted
the spot, mounted his horse, and galloped after the carriage; though
without any actual design to follow it, or any formed purpose whither to
go.

The sight, however, of the Major, pursuing the same route, made him,
with deep disgust, turn about, and take the shortest road to Beech Park.

He hardly breathed the whole way from indignation; yet his wrath was
without definition, and nearly beyond comprehensibility even to himself,
till suddenly recurring to the lovely smile with which Camilla had
accepted the assistance of Major Cerwood, he involuntarily clasped his
hands and called out: 'O happy Major!'

Awakened by his ejaculation to the true state of his feelings, he
started as from a sword held at his breast. 'Jealousy!' he cried, 'am I
reduced to so humiliating a passion? Am I capable of love without trust?
Unhappy enough to cherish it with hope? No! I will not be such a slave
to the delusions of inclination. I will abandon neither my honour nor my
judgment to my wishes. It is not alone even her heart that can fully
satisfy me; its delicacy must be mine as well as its preference.
Jealousy is a passion for which my mind is not framed, and which I must
not find a torment, but an impossibility!'

He now began to fear he had made a choice the most injudicious, and that
coquetry and caprice had only waited opportunity, to take place of
candour and frankness.

Yet, recollecting the disclaiming speeches he had been compelled to make
at Cleves, he thought, if she had heard them, she might be actuated by
resentment. Even then, however, her manner of shewing it was alarming,
and fraught with mischief. He reflected with fresh repugnance upon the
gay and dissipated society with which she was newly mixing, and which,
from her extreme openness and facility, might so easily, yet so fatally,
sully the fair artlessness of her mind.

He then felt tempted to hint to Mr. Tyrold, who, viewing all things, and
all people in the best light, rarely foresaw danger, and never suspected
deception, the expediency of her breaking off this intercourse, till she
could pursue it under the security of her mother's penetrating
protection. But it occurred to him next, it was possible the Major might
have pleased her. Ardent as were his own views, they had never been
declared, while those of the Major seemed proclaimed without reserve. He
felt his face tingle at the idea, though it nearly made his heart cease
to beat; and determined to satisfy his conjecture ere he took any
measure for himself.

To speak to her openly, he thought the surest as well as fairest way,
and resolved, with whatever anguish, should he find the Major favoured,
to aid her choice in his fraternal character, and then travel till he
should forget her in every other.

For this purpose, it was necessary to make immediate enquiry into the
situation of the Major, and then, if she would hear him, relate to her
the result; well assured to gather the state of her heart upon this
subject, by her manner of attending to the least word by which it should
be introduced.

Camilla, meanwhile, was somewhat comforted by the exertion she had
shewn, and by her hopes it had struck Edgar with respect.

       *       *       *       *       *

The next morning, Sir Hugh sent for her again, and begged she would pass
the whole day with her sister Eugenia, and use all her pretty ways to
amuse her; for she had returned home, the preceding morning, quite moped
with melancholy, and had continued pining ever since; refusing to leave
her room, even for meals, yet giving no reason for her behaviour. What
had come to her he could not tell; but to see her so, went to his heart;
for she had always, he said, till now, been chearful and even tempered,
though thinking over her learning made her not much of a young person.

Camilla flew up stairs, and found her, with a look of despondence,
seated in a corner of her room, which she had darkened by nearly
shutting all the shutters.

She knew but too well the rude shock she had received, and sought to
revive her with every expression of soothing kindness. But she shook her
head, and continued mute, melancholy, and wrapt in meditation.

More than an hour was spent thus, the strict orders of Sir Hugh
forbidding them any intrusion: but when, at length, Camilla ventured to
say, 'Is it possible, my dearest Eugenia, the passing insolence of two
or three brutal wretches can affect you thus deeply?' She awakened from
her silent trance, and raising her head, while something bordering upon
resentment began to kindle in her breast, cried, 'Spare me this
question, Camilla, and I will spare you all reproach.'

'What reproach, my dear sister,' cried Camilla, amazed, 'what reproach
have I merited?'

'The reproach,' answered she, solemnly; 'that, from me, all my family
merit! the reproach of representing to me, that thousands resembled me!
of assuring me I had nothing peculiar to myself, though I was so unlike
all my family--of deluding me into utter ignorance of my unhappy
defects, and then casting me, all unconscious and unprepared, into the
wide world to hear them!'

She would now have shut herself into her book-closet; but Camilla,
forcing her way, and almost kneeling to be heard, conjured her to drive
such cruel ideas from her mind, and to treat the barbarous insults that
she had suffered with the contempt they deserved.

'Camilla,' said she, firmly; 'I am no longer to be deceived nor trifled
with. I will no more expose to the light a form and face so hideous:--I
will retire from all mankind, and end my destined course in a solitude
that no one shall discover.'

Camilla, terrified, besought her to form no such plan, bewailed the
unfortunate adventure of the preceding day, inveighed against the
inhuman women, and pleaded the love of all her family with the most
energetic affection.

'Those women,' said she, calmly, 'are not to blame; they have been
untutored, but not false; and they have only uttered such truths as I
ought to have learnt from my cradle. My own blindness has been
infatuated; but it sprung from inattention and ignorance.--It is now
removed!--Leave me, Camilla; give notice to my Uncle he must find me
some retreat. Tell all that has passed to my father. I will myself write
to my mother--and when my mind is more subdued, and when sincerely and
unaffectedly I can forgive you all from my heart, I may consent to see
you again.'

She then positively insisted upon being left.

Camilla, penetrated with her undeserved, yet irremediable distress,
still continued at her door, supplicating for re-admittance in the
softest terms; but without any success till the second dinner bell
summoned her down stairs. She then fervently called upon her sister to
speak once more, and tell her what she must do, and what say?

Eugenia steadily answered: 'You have already my commission: I have no
change to make in it.'

Unable to obtain anything further, she painfully descended: but the
voice of her Uncle no sooner reached her ears from the dining parlour,
than, shocked to convey to him so terrible a message, she again ran up
stairs, and casting herself against her sister's door, called out
'Eugenia, I dare not obey you! would you kill my poor Uncle? My Uncle,
who loves us all so tenderly? Would you afflict--would you make him
unhappy?'

'No, not for the universe!' she answered, opening the door; and then,
more gently, yet not less steadfastly, looking at her, 'I know,' she
continued, 'you are all very good; I know all was meant for the best; I
know I must be a monster not to love you for the very error to which I
am a victim.--I forgive you therefore all! and I blush to have felt
angry.--But yet--at the age of fifteen--at the instant of entering into
the world--at the approach of forming a connection which--O Camilla!
what a time, what a period, to discover--to know--that I cannot even be
seen without being derided and offended!'

Her voice here faltered, and, running to the window curtain, she
entwined herself in its folds, and called out: 'O hide me! hide me! from
every human eye, from every thing that lives and breathes! Pursue me,
persecute me no longer, but suffer me to abide by myself, till my
fortitude is better strengthened to meet my destiny!'

The least impatience from Eugenia was too rare to be opposed; and
Camilla, who, in common with all her family, notwithstanding her extreme
youth, respected as much as she loved her, sought only to appease her by
promising compliance. She gave to her, therefore, an unresisted, though
unreturned embrace, and went to the dining-parlour.

Sir Hugh was much disappointed to see her without her sister; but she
evaded any account of her commission till the meal was over, and then
begged to speak with him alone.

Gently and gradually she disclosed the source of the sadness of Eugenia:
but Sir Hugh heard it with a dismay that almost overwhelmed him. All his
contrition for the evils of which, unhappily, he had been the cause,
returned with severest force, and far from opposing her scheme of
retreat, he empowered Camilla to offer her any residence she chose; and
to tell her he would keep out of her sight, as the cause of all her
misfortunes; or give her the immediate possession and disposal of his
whole estate, if that would make her better amends than to wait till his
death.

This message was no sooner delivered to Eugenia, than losing at once
every angry impression, she hastened down stairs, and casting herself at
the knees of her Uncle, begged him to pardon her design, and promised
never to leave him while she lived.

Sir Hugh, most affectionately embracing her, said--'You are too good, my
dear, a great deal too good, to one who has used you so ill, at the very
time when you were too young to help yourself. I have not a word to
offer in my own behalf; except to hope you will forgive me, for the sake
of its being all done out of pure ignorance.'

'Alas, my dearest Uncle! all I owe to your intentions, is the deepest
gratitude; and it is your's from the bottom of my heart. Chance alone
was my enemy; and all I have to regret is, that no one was sincere
enough, kind enough, considerate enough, to instruct me of the extent of
my misfortunes, and prepare me for the attacks to which I am liable.'

'My dear girl,' said he, while tears started into his eyes, 'what you
say nobody can reply to; and I find I have been doing you one wrong
after another, instead of the least good: for all this was by my own
order; which it is but fair to your brothers and sisters, and father and
mother, and the servants, to confess. God knows, I have faults enough of
my own upon my head, without taking another of pretending to have none!'

Eugenia now sought to condole him in her turn, voluntarily promising to
mix with the family as usual, and only desiring to be excused from going
abroad, or seeing any strangers.

'My dear,' said he, 'you shall judge just what you think fit, which is
the least thing I can do for you, after your being so kind as to forgive
me; which I hope to do nothing in future not to deserve more; meaning
always to ask my brother's advice; which might have saved me all my
worst actions, if I had done it sooner: for I've used poor Camilla no
better; except not giving her the small pox, and that bad fall. But
don't hate me, my dears, if you can help it, for it was none of it done
for want of love; only not knowing how to shew it in the proper manner;
which I hope you'll excuse for the score of my bad education.'

'O, my Uncle!' cried Camilla, throwing her arms round his neck, while
Eugenia embraced his knees, 'what language is this for nieces who owe so
much to your goodness, and who, next to their parents, love you more
than anything upon earth!'

'You are both the best little girls in the world, my dears, and I need
have nothing upon my conscience if you two pass it over; which is a
great relief to me; for there's nobody else I've used so bad as you two
young girls; which, God knows, goes to my heart whenever I think of
it.--Poor little innocents!--what had you ever done to provoke me?'

The two sisters, with the most virtuous emulation, vied with each other
in demonstrative affection, till he was tolerably consoled.

The rest of the day was ruffled but for one moment; upon Sir Hugh's
answering, to a proposition of Miss Margland for a party to the next
Middleton races,--that there was no refusing to let Eugenia take that
pleasure, after her behaving so nobly: her face was then again overcast
with the deepest gloom; and she begged not to hear of the races, nor of
any other place, public or private, for going abroad, as she meant
during the rest of her life, immoveably to remain at home.

He looked much concerned, but assured her she should be mistress in
every thing.

Camilla left them in the evening, with a promise to return the next day;
and with every anxiety of her own, lost in pity for her innocent and
unfortunate sister.

She was soon, however, called back to herself, when, with what light yet
remained, she saw Edgar ride up to the coach door.

With indefatigable pains he had devoted the day to the search of
information concerning the Major. Of Mrs. Arlbery he had learned, that
he was a man of fashion, but small fortune; and from the Ensign he had
gathered, that even that small fortune was gone, and that the estate in
which it was vested, had been mortgaged for three thousand pounds, to
pay certain debts of honour.

Edgar had already been to the Parsonage House, but hearing Camilla was
at Cleves, had made a short visit, and determined to walk his horse upon
the road till he met the carriage of Sir Hugh; believing he could have
no better opportunity of seeing her alone.

Yet when the coach, upon his riding up to the door, stopt, he found
himself in an embarrassment for which he was unprepared. He asked how
she did; desired news of the health of all the family one by one; and
then, struck by the coldness of her answers, suffered the carriage to
drive on.

Confounded at so sudden a loss of all presence of mind, he continued,
for a minute or two, just where she left him; and then galloped after
the coach, and again presented himself at its window.

In a voice and manner the most hurried, he apologised for this second
detention. 'But, I believe,' he said, 'some genius of officiousness has
to-day taken possession of me, for I began it upon a Quixote sort of
enterprise, and a spirit of knight-errantry seems willing to accompany
me through it to the end.'

He stopt; but she did not speak. Her first sensation at his sight had
been wholly indignant: but when she found he had something to say which
he knew not how to pronounce, her curiosity was awakened, and she looked
earnest for an explanation.

'I know,' he resumed, with considerable hesitation, 'that to give advice
and to give pain is commonly the same thing:--I do not, therefore,
mean--I have no intention--though so lately you allowed me a privilege
never to be forgotten'--

He could not get on; and his embarrassment, and this recollection, soon
robbed Camilla of every angry emotion. She looked down, but her
countenance was full of sensibility, and Edgar, recovering his voice,
proceeded--

'My Quixotism, I was going to say, of this morning, though for a person
of whom I know almost nothing, would urge me to every possible
effort--were I certain the result would give pleasure to the person for
whom alone--since with regard to himself,--I--it is merely----'

Involved in expressions he knew not how to clear or to finish, he was
again without breath: and Camilla, raising her eyes, looked at him with
astonishment.

Endeavouring then to laugh, 'One would think,' cried he, 'this same
Quixotism had taken possession of my intellects, and rendered them as
confused as if, instead of an agent, I were a principal.'--

Still wholly in the dark as to his aim, yet, satisfied by these last
words, it had no reference to himself, she now lost enough of the
acuteness of her curiosity to dare avow what yet remained; and begged
him, without further preface, to be more explicit.

Stammering, he then said, that the evident admiration with which a
certain gentleman was seen to sigh in her train, had awakened for him an
interest, which had induced some inquiries into the state of his
prospects and expectations. 'These,' he continued, 'turn out to be,
though not high, nor by any means adequate to--to----however they are
such as some previous friendly exertions, with settled future
oeconomy, might render more propitious: and for those previous
exertions--Mr. Tyrold has a claim which it would be the pride and
happiness of my life to see him honour;--if--if--'

The if almost dropt inarticulated: but he added--'I shall make some
further enquiries before I venture to say any more.'

'For yourself, then, be they made, Sir!' cried she, suddenly seizing the
whole of the meaning--'not for me?--whoever this person may be to whom
you allude--to me he is utterly indifferent.'

A flash of involuntary delight beamed in the eyes of Edgar at these
words: he had almost thanked her, he had almost dropt the reins of his
horse to clasp his hands: but filled only with her own emotions, without
watching his, or waiting for any answer, she coldly bid him good night,
and called to the coachman to drive fast home.

Edgar, however, was left with a sunbeam of the most lively delight. 'He
is wholly indifferent to her,' he cried, 'she is angry at my
interference; she has but acted a part in the apparent preference--and
for _me_, perhaps, acted it!'

Momentary, however, was the pleasure such a thought could afford
him;--'O, Camilla,' he cried, 'if, indeed, I might hope from you any
partiality, why act any part at all?--how plain, how easy, how direct
your road to my heart, if but straightly pursued!'



CHAPTER V

_Strictures on Deformity_


Camilla went on to Etherington in deep distress; every ray of hope was
chaced from her prospects, with a certainty more cruel, though less
offensive, to her feelings, than the crush given them by Miss Margland.
He cares not for me! she cried; he even destines me for another! He is
the willing agent of the Major; he would portion me, I suppose, for him,
to accelerate the impossibility of ever thinking of me! And I imagined
he loved me!--what a dream!--what a dream!--how has he deceived me!--or,
alas! how have I deceived myself!

She rejoiced, however, that she had made so decided an answer with
regard to Major Cerwood, whom she could not doubt to be the person
meant, and who, presented in such a point of view, grew utterly odious
to her.

The tale she had to relate to Mr. Tyrold, of the sufferings and sad
resolution of Eugenia, obviated all comment upon her own disturbance. He
was wounded to the heart by the recital. 'Alas!' he cried, 'your wise
and excellent mother always foresaw some mischief would ensue, from the
extreme caution used to keep this dear unfortunate child ignorant of her
peculiar situation. This dreadful shake might have been palliated, at
least, if not spared, by the lessons of fortitude that noble woman would
have inculcated in her young and ductile mind. But I could not resist
the painful entreaties of my poor brother, who, thinking himself the
author of her calamities, believed he was responsible for saving her
from feeling them; and, imagining all the world as soft-hearted as
himself, concluded, that what her own family would not tell her, she
could never hear elsewhere. But who should leave any events to the
caprices of chance, which the precautions of foresight can determine?'

These reflections, and the thoughts of her sister, led at once and aided
Camilla to stifle her own unhappiness; and for three days following, she
devoted herself wholly to Eugenia.

On the morning of the fourth, instead of sending the carriage, Sir Hugh
arrived himself to fetch Camilla, and to tell his brother, he must come
also, to give comfort to Eugenia; for, though he had thought the worst
was over, because she appeared quiet in his presence, he had just
surprised her in tears, by coming upon her unawares. He had done all he
could, he said, in vain; and nothing remained but for Mr. Tyrold to try
his hand himself: 'For it is but justice,' he added, 'to Dr. Orkborne,
to say she is wiser than all our poor heads put together; so that there
is no answering her for want of sense.' He then told him to be sure to
put one of his best sermons in his pocket to read to her.

Mr. Tyrold was extremely touched for his poor Eugenia, yet said he had
half an hour's business to transact in the neighbourhood, before he
could go to Cleves. Sir Hugh waited his time, and all three then
proceeded together.

Eugenia received her Father with a deliberate coldness that shocked him.
He saw how profound was the impression made upon her mind, not merely of
her personal evils, but of what she conceived to be the misconduct of
her friends.

After a little general discourse, in which she bore no share, he
proposed walking in the park; meaning there to take her aside, with less
formality than he could otherwise desire to speak with her alone.

The ladies and Sir Hugh immediately looked for their hats or gloves: but
Eugenia, saying she had a slight head-ache, walked away to her room.

'This, my dear brother,' cried Sir Hugh, sorrowfully following her with
his eyes, 'is the very thing I wanted you for; she says she'll never
more stir out of these doors as long as she's alive; which is a sad
thing to say, considering her young years; and nobody knowing how
Clermont may approve it. However, it's well I've had him brought up from
the beginning to the classics, which I rejoice at every day more and
more, it being the only wise thing I ever did of my own head; for as to
talking Latin and Greek, which I suppose is what they will chiefly be
doing, there's no doubt but they may do it just as well in a room as in
the fields, or the streets.'

Mr. Tyrold, after a little consideration, followed her. He tapped at her
door; she asked, in a tone of displeasure, who was there?--'Your Father,
my dear,' he answered; and then, hastily opening it, she proposed
returning with him down stairs.

'No,' he said; 'I wish to converse with you alone. The opinion I have
long cherished of your heart and your understanding, I come now to put
to the proof.'

Eugenia, certain of the subject to which he would lead, and feeling she
could not have more to hear than to say, gave him a chair, and
composedly seated herself next to him.

'My dear Eugenia,' said he, taking her passive hand, 'this is the moment
that more grievously than ever I lament the absence of your invaluable
Mother. All I have to offer to your consideration she could much better
have laid before you; and her dictates would have met with the attention
they so completely deserve.'

'Was my Mother, then, Sir,' said she, reproachfully, 'unapprized of the
worldly darkness in which I have been brought up? Is she unacquainted
that a little knowledge of books and languages is what alone I have been
taught?'

'We are all but too apt,' answered Mr. Tyrold, mildly, though surprised,
'to deem nothing worth attaining but what we have missed, nothing worth
possessing but what we are denied. How many are there, amongst the
untaught and unaccomplished, who would think an escape such as yours, of
all intellectual darkness, a compensation for every other evil!'

'They could think so only, Sir, while, like me, they lived immured
always in the same house, were seen always by the same people, and were
total strangers to the sensations they might excite in any others.'

'My dear Eugenia, grieved as I am at the present subject of your
ruminations, I rejoice to see in you a power of reflection, and of
combination, so far above your years. And it is a soothing idea to me to
dwell upon the ultimate benevolence of Providence, even in circumstances
the most afflicting: for if chance has been unkind to you, Nature seems,
with fostering foresight, to have endowed you with precisely those
powers that may best set aside her malignity.'

'I see, Sir,' cried she, a little moved, 'the kindness of your
intention; but pardon me if I anticipate to you its ill success. I have
thought too much upon my situation and my destiny to admit any
fallacious comfort. Can you, indeed, when once her eyes are opened, can
you expect to reconcile to existence a poor young creature who sees
herself an object of derision and disgust? Who, without committing any
crime, without offending any human being, finds she cannot appear but to
be pointed at, scoffed and insulted!'

'O my child! with what a picture do you wound my heart, and tear your
own peace and happiness! Wretches who in such a light can view outward
deficiencies cannot merit a thought, are below even contempt, and ought
not to be disdained, but forgotten. Make a conquest, then, my Eugenia,
of yourself; be as superior in your feelings as in your understanding,
and remember what Addison admirably says in one of the Spectators: 'A
too acute sensibility of personal defects, is one of the greatest
weaknesses of self-love.'

'I should be sorry, Sir, you should attribute to vanity what I now
suffer. No! it is simply the effect of never hearing, never knowing,
that so severe a call was to be made upon my fortitude, and therefore
never arming myself to sustain it.'

Then, suddenly, and with great emotion clasping her hands: 'O if ever I
have a family of my own,' she cried, 'my first care shall be to tell my
daughters of all their infirmities! They shall be familiar, from their
childhood, to their every defect--Ah! they must be odious indeed if they
resemble their poor mother!'

'My dearest Eugenia! let them but resemble you mentally, and there is no
person, whose approbation is worth deserving, that will not love and
respect them. Good and evil are much more equally divided in this world
than you are yet aware: none possess the first without alloy, nor the
second without palliation. Indiana, for example, now in the full bloom
of all that beauty can bestow, tell me, and ask yourself strictly, would
you change with Indiana?'

'With Indiana?' she exclaimed; 'O! I would forfeit every other good to
change with Indiana! Indiana, who never appears but to be admired, who
never speaks but to be applauded.'

'Yet a little, yet a moment, question, and understand yourself before
you settle you would change with her. Look forward, and look inward.
Look forward, that you may view the short life of admiration and
applause for such attractions from others, and their inutility to their
possessor in every moment of solitude or repose; and look inward, that
you may learn to value your own peculiar riches, for times of
retirement, and for days of infirmity and age!'

'Indeed, Sir,--and pray believe me, I do not mean to repine I have not
the beauty of Indiana; I know and have always heard her loveliness is
beyond all comparison. I have no more, therefore, thought of envying it,
than of envying the brightness of the sun. I knew, too, I bore no
competition with my sisters; but I never dreamt of competition. I knew I
was not handsome, but I supposed many people besides not handsome, and
that I should pass with the rest; and I concluded the world to be full
of people who had been sufferers as well as myself, by disease or
accident. These have been occasionally my passing thoughts; but the
subject never seized my mind; I never reflected upon it at all, till
abuse, without provocation, all at once opened my eyes, and shewed me to
myself! Bear with me, then, my father, in this first dawn of terrible
conviction! Many have been unfortunate,--but none unfortunate like me!
Many have met with evils--but who with an accumulation like mine!'

Mr. Tyrold, extremely affected, embraced her with the utmost tenderness:
'My dear, deserving, excellent child,' he cried, 'what would I not
endure, what sacrifice not make, to soothe this cruel disturbance, till
time and your own understanding can exert their powers?' Then, while
straining her to his breast with the fondest parental commiseration, the
tears, with which his eyes were overflowing, bedewed her cheeks.

Eugenia felt them, and, sinking to the ground, pressed his knees. 'O my
father,' she cried, 'a tear from your revered eyes afflicts me more than
all else! Let me not draw forth another, lest I should become not only
unhappy, but guilty. Dry them up, my dearest father--let me kiss them
away.'

'Tell me, then, my poor girl, you will struggle against this ineffectual
sorrow! Tell me you will assert that fortitude which only waits for your
exertion; and tell me you will forgive the misjudging compassion which
feared to impress you earlier with pain!'

'I will do all, every thing you desire! my injustice is subdued! my
complaints shall be hushed! you have conquered me, my beloved father!
Your indulgence, your lenity shall take place of every hardship, and
leave me nothing but filial affection!'

Seizing this grateful moment, he then required of her to relinquish her
melancholy scheme of seclusion from the world: 'The shyness and the
fears which gave birth to it,' said he, 'will but grow upon you if
listened to; and they are not worthy the courage I would instil into
your bosom--the courage, my Eugenia, of virtue--the courage to pass by,
as if unheard, the insolence of the hard-hearted, and ignorance of the
vulgar. Happiness is in your power, though beauty is not; and on that to
set too high a value would be pardonable only in a weak and frivolous
mind; since, whatever is the involuntary admiration with which it meets,
every estimable quality and accomplishment is attainable without it: and
though, which I cannot deny, its immediate influence is universal, yet
in every competition and in every decision of esteem, the superior, the
elegant, the better part of mankind give their suffrages to merit alone.
And you, in particular, will find yourself, through life, rather the
more than the less valued, by every mind capable of justice and
compassion, for misfortunes which no guilt has incurred.'

Observing her now to be softened, though not absolutely consoled, he
rang the bell, and begged the servant, who answered it, to request his
brother would order the coach immediately, as he was obliged to return
home; 'And you, my love,' said he, 'shall accompany me; it will be the
least exertion you can make in first breaking through your averseness to
quit the house.'

Eugenia would not resist; but her compliance was evidently repugnant to
her inclination; and in going to the glass to put on her hat, she turned
aside from it in shuddering, and hid her face with both her hands.

'My dearest child,' cried Mr. Tyrold, wrapping her again in his arms,
'this strong susceptibility will soon wear away; but you cannot be too
speedy nor too firm in resisting it. The omission of what never was in
our power cannot cause remorse, and the bewailing what never can become
in our power cannot afford comfort. Imagine but what would have been the
fate of Indiana, had your situations been reversed, and had she, who can
never acquire your capacity, and therefore never attain your knowledge,
lost that beauty which is her all; but which to you, even if retained,
could have been but a secondary gift. How short will be the reign of
that all! how useless in sickness! how unavailing in solitude! how
inadequate to long life! how forgotten, or repiningly remembered in old
age! You will live to feel pity for all you now covet and admire; to
grow sensible to a lot more lastingly happy in your own acquirements and
powers; and to exclaim, with contrition and wonder, Time was when I
would have changed with the poor mind-dependent Indiana!'

The carriage was now announced; Eugenia, with reluctant steps,
descended; Camilla was called to join them, and Sir Hugh saw them set
off with the utmost delight.



CHAPTER VI

_Strictures on Beauty_


To lengthen the airing, Mr. Tyrold ordered the carriage by a new road;
and to induce Eugenia to break yet another spell, in walking as well as
riding, he proposed their alighting, when they came to a lane, and
leaving the coach in waiting while they took a short stroll.

He walked between his daughters a considerable way, passing, wherever it
was possible, close to cottages, labourers, and children. Eugenia
submitted with a sigh, but held down her head, affrighted at every fresh
object they encountered, till, upon approaching a small miserable hut,
at the door of which several children were playing, an unlucky boy
called out, 'O come! come! look!--here's the little hump-back
gentlewoman!'

She then, clinging to her father, could not stir another step, and cast
upon him a look of appeal and reproach that almost overset him; but,
after speaking to her some words of kindness, he urged her to go on, and
alone, saying, 'Throw only a shilling to the senseless little crew, and
let Camilla follow and give nothing, and see which will become the most
popular.'

They both obeyed, Eugenia fearfully and with quickness casting amongst
them some silver, and Camilla quietly walking on.

'O, I have got a sixpence!' cried one; 'and I've got a shilling!' said
another; while the mother of the little tribe came from her wash-tub,
and called out, 'God bless your ladyship!' and the father quitted a
little garden at the side of his cottage, to bow down to the ground, and
cry, 'Heaven reward you, good madam! you'll have a blessing go with you,
go where you will!'

The children then, dancing up to Camilla, begged her charity; but when,
seconding the palpable intention of her father, she said she had nothing
for them, they looked highly dissatisfied, while they redoubled their
blessings to Eugenia.

'See, my child,' said Mr. Tyrold, now joining them, 'how cheaply
preference, and even flattery, may be purchased!'

'Ah, Sir!' she answered, recovered from her terrour, yet deep in
reflection, 'this is only by bribery, and gross bribery, too! And what
pleasure, or what confidence can accrue from preference so earned!'

'The means, my dear Eugenia, are not beneath the objects: if it is only
from those who unite native hardness with uncultured minds and manners,
that civility is to be obtained by such sordid materials, remember,
also, it is from such only it can ever fail you. In the lowest life,
equally with the highest, wherever nature has been kind, sympathy
springs spontaneously for whatever is unfortunate, and respect for
whatever seems innocent. Steel yourself, then, firmly to withstand
attacks from the cruel and unfeeling, and rest perfectly secure you will
have none other to apprehend.'

The clear and excellent capacity of Eugenia, comprehended in this
lesson, and its illustration, all the satisfaction Mr. Tyrold hoped to
impart; and she was ruminating upon it with abated despondence, when, as
they came to a small house, surrounded with a high wall, Mr. Tyrold,
looking through an iron gate at a female figure who stood at one of the
windows, exclaimed--'What a beautiful creature! I have rarely, I think
seen a more perfect face.'

Eugenia felt so much hurt by this untimely sight, that, after a single
glance, which confirmed the truth of what he said, she bent her eyes
another way; while Camilla herself was astonished that her kind father
should call their attention to beauty, at so sore and critical a
juncture.

'The examination of a fine picture,' said he, fixing his eyes upon the
window, and standing still at the iron gate, 'is a constant as well as
exquisite pleasure; for we look at it with an internal security, that
such as it appears to us to-day, it will appear again tomorrow, and
tomorrow, and tomorrow; but in the pleasure given by the examination of
a fine face, there is always, to a contemplative mind, some little
mixture of pain; an idea of its fragility steals upon our admiration,
and blends with it something like solicitude; the consciousness how
short a time we can view it perfect, how quickly its brilliancy of bloom
will be blown, and how ultimately it will be nothing.--'

'You would have me, Sir,' said Eugenia, now raising her eyes, 'learn to
see beauty with unconcern, by depreciating its value? I feel your kind
intention; but it does not come home to me; reasoning such as this may
be equally applicable to any thing else, and degrade whatever is
desirable into insignificance.'

'No, my dear child, there is nothing, either in its possession or its
loss, that can be compared with beauty; nothing so evanescent, and
nothing that leaves behind it a contrast which impresses such regret. It
cannot be forgotten, since the same features still remain, though they
are robbed of their effect upon the beholder; the same complexion is
there, though faded into a tint bearing no resemblance with its original
state; and the same eyes present themselves to the view, though bereft
of all the lustre that had rendered them captivating.'

'Ah, Sir! this is an argument but formed for the moment. Is not the loss
of youth the same to every body? and is not age equally unwelcome to the
ugly and to the handsome?'

'For activity, for strength, and for purposes of use, certainly, my dear
girl, there can be no difference; but for motives to mental regret,
there can be no comparison. To those who are commonly moulded, the
gradual growth of decay brings with it its gradual endurance, because
little is missed from day to day; hope is not roughly chilled, nor
expectation rudely blasted; they see their friends, their connections,
their contemporaries, declining by the same laws, and they yield to the
immutable and general lot rather imperceptibly than resignedly; but it
is not so with the beauty; her loss is not only general, but peculiar;
and it is the peculiar, not the general evil, that constitutes all
hardship. Health, strength, agility, and animal spirits, she may
sorrowing feel diminish; but she hears everyone complain of similar
failures, and she misses them unmurmuring, though not unlamenting; but
of beauty, every declension is marked with something painful to
self-love. The change manifested by the mirror might patiently be borne;
but the change manifested in the eyes of every beholder, gives a shock
that does violence to every pristine feeling.'

'This may certainly, sir, be cruel; trying at least; but then,--what a
youth has she first passed! Mortification comes upon her, at least, in
succession; she does not begin the world with it,--a stranger at all
periods to anything happier!'

'Ah, my child! the happiness caused by personal attractions pays a dear
after-price! The soldier who enters the field of battle requires not
more courage, though of a different nature, than the faded beauty who
enters an assembly-room. To be wholly disregarded, after engaging every
eye; to be unassisted, after being habituated to seeing crowds anxiously
offer their services; to be unheard, after monopolising every ear--can
you, indeed, persuade yourself a change such as this demands but
ordinary firmness? Yet the altered female who calls for it, has the
least chance to obtain it; for even where nature has endowed her with
fortitude, the world and its flatteries have almost uniformly enervated
it, before the season of its exertion.'

'All this may be true,' said Eugenia, with a sigh; 'and to me, however
sad in itself, it may prove consolatory; and yet--forgive my sincerity,
when I own--I would purchase a better appearance at any price, any
expence, any payment, the world could impose!'

Mr. Tyrold was preparing an answer, when the door of the house, which he
had still continued facing, was opened, and the beautiful figure, which
had for some time retired from the window, rushed suddenly upon a lawn
before the gate against which they were leaning.

Not seeing them, she sat down upon the grass, which she plucked up by
hands full, and strewed over her fine flowing hair.

Camilla, fearing they should seem impertinent, would have retreated; but
Eugenia, much struck, sadly, yet with earnestness, compelled herself to
regard the object before her, who was young, fair, of a tall and
striking figure, with features delicately regular.

A sigh, not to be checked, acknowledged how little either reasoning or
eloquence could subdue a wish to resemble such an appearance, when the
young person, flinging herself suddenly upon her face, threw her white
arms over her head, and sobbed aloud with violence.

Astonished, and deeply concerned, Eugenia internally said, alas! what a
world is this! even beauty so exquisite, without waiting for age or
change, may be thus miserable!

She feared to speak, lest she should be heard; but she looked up to her
father, with an eye that spoke concession, and with an interest for the
fair afflicted, which seemed to request his assistance.

He motioned to her to be quiet; when the young person, abruptly half
rising, burst into a fit of loud, shrill, and discordant laughter.

Eugenia now, utterly confounded, would have drawn her father away; but
he was intently engaged in his observations, and steadily kept his
place.

In two minutes, the laugh ceased all at once, and the young creature,
hastily rising, began turning round with a velocity that no machine
could have exceeded.

The sisters now fearfully interchanged looks that shewed they thought
her mad, and both endeavoured to draw Mr. Tyrold from the gate, but in
vain; he made them hold by his arms, and stood still.

Without seeming giddy, she next began to jump; and he now could only
detain his daughters, by shewing them the gate, at which they stood, was
locked.

In another minute, she perceived them, and, coming eagerly forward,
dropt several low courtesies, saying, at every fresh bend--'Good
day!--Good day!--Good day!'

Equally trembling, they now both turned pale with fear; but Mr. Tyrold,
who was still immovable, answered her by a bow, and asked if she were
well.

'Give me a shilling!' was her reply, while the slaver drivelled
unrestrained from her mouth, rendering utterly disgusting a chin that a
statuary might have wished to model.

'Do you live at this house!' said Mr. Tyrold.

'Yes, please--yes, please--yes, please,' she answered, twenty times
following, and almost black in the face before she would allow herself
to take another breath.

A cat now appearing at the door, she seized it, and tried to twine it
round her neck with great fondling, wholly unresisting the scratches
which tore her fine skin.

Next, capering forward with it towards the gate, 'Look! look!' she
cried, 'here's puss!--here's puss!--here's puss!'

Then, letting it fall, she tore her handkerchief off her neck, put it
over her face, strained it as tight as she was able, and tied it under
her chin; and then struck her head with both her hands, making a noise
that resembled nothing human.

'Take, take me away, my father!' cried Eugenia, 'I see, I feel your
awful lesson! but impress it no further, lest I die in receiving it!'

Mr. Tyrold immediately moved off without speaking; Camilla, penetrated
for her sister, observed the same silence; and Eugenia, hanging upon her
father, and absorbed in profound rumination, only by the depth of her
sighs made her existence known; and thus, without the interchange of a
word, slowly and pensively they walked back to the carriage.

Eugenia broke the silence as soon as they were seated: 'O, my father!'
she exclaimed, 'what a sight have you made me witness! how dread a
reproof have you given to my repining spirit! Did you know this unhappy
beauty was at that house? Did you lead me thither purposely to display
to me her shocking imbecility?'

'Relying upon the excellence of your understanding, I ventured upon an
experiment more powerful, I well knew, than all that reason could urge;
an experiment not only striking at the moment, but which, by playing
upon the imagination, as well as convincing the judgment, must make an
impression that can never be effaced. I have been informed for some
time, that this poor girl was in our neighbourhood; she was born an
idiot, and therefore, having never known brighter days, is insensible to
her terrible state. Her friends are opulent, and that house is taken,
and a woman is paid, to keep her in existence and in obscurity. I had
heard of her uncommon beauty, and when the news reached me of my dear
Eugenia's distress, the idea of this meeting occurred to me; I rode to
the house, and engaged the woman to detain her unfortunate charge at the
window till we appeared, and then to let her loose into the garden.
Poor, ill fated young creature! it has been, indeed, a melancholy
sight.'

'A sight,' cried Eugenia, 'to come home to me with shame!--O, my dear
Father! your prescription strikes to the root of my disease!--shall I
ever again dare murmur!--will any egotism ever again make me believe no
lot so hapless as my own! I will think of her when I am discontented; I
will call to my mind this spectacle of human degradation--and submit, at
least with calmness, to my lighter evils and milder fate.'

'My excellent child! this is just what I expected from the candour of
your temper, and the rectitude of your sentiments. You have seen, here,
the value of intellects in viewing the horrour of their loss; and you
have witnessed, that beauty, without mind, is more dreadful than any
deformity. You have seized my application, and left me nothing to
enforce; my dear, my excellent child! you have left for your fond Father
nothing but tender approbation! With the utmost thankfulness to
Providence, I have marked from your earliest childhood, the native
justness of your understanding; which, with your studious inclination to
sedentary accomplishments, has proved a reviving source of consolation
to your mother and to me, for the cruel accidents we have incessantly
lamented. How will that admirable mother rejoice in the recital I have
to make to her! What pride will she take in a daughter so worthily her
own, so resembling her in nobleness of nature, and a superior way of
thinking! Her tears, my child, like mine, will thank you for your
exertions! she will strain you to her fond bosom, as your father strains
you at this moment!'

'Yes, Sir,' cried Eugenia, 'your kind task is now completed with your
vanquished Eugenia! her thoughts, her occupations, her happiness, shall
henceforth all be centred in filial gratitude and contentment.'

The affectionate Camilla, throwing her arms about them both, bathed each
with the tears of joy and admiration, which this soothing conclusion to
an adventure so severe excited.



CHAPTER VII

_The Pleadings of Pity_


To oblige Mr. Tyrold, who had made the arrangement with Sir Hugh,
Eugenia consented to dine and spend the day at Etherington, which she
quitted at night in a temper of mind perfectly composed.

Camilla was deeply penetrated by the whole of this affair. The
sufferings, so utterly unearned by fault or by folly, of a sister so
dear to her, and the affecting fortitude which, so quickly upon her
wounds, and at so early a period of life, she already began to display,
made her blush at the dejection into which she was herself cast by every
evil, and resolve to become in future more worthy of the father and the
sister, who at this moment absorbed all her admiration.

Too reasonable, in such a frame of mind, to plan forgetting Mandlebert,
she now only determined to think of him as she had thought before her
affections became entangled; to think of him, in short, as he seemed
himself to desire; to seek his friendly offices and advice, but to
reject every offered establishment, and to live single for life.

Gratified by indulgent praise, and sustained by exerted virtue, the
revived Eugenia had nearly reached Cleves, on her return, when the
carriage was stopt by a gentleman on horseback, who, approaching the
coach window, said, in a low voice, as if unwilling to be heard by the
servants--'O, Madam! has Fate set aside her cruelty? and does Fortune
permit me to live once more?'

She then recollected Mr. Bellamy. She had only her maid in the carriage,
who was sent for her by Sir Hugh, Miss Margland being otherwise engaged.

All that had so lately passed upon her person and appearance being full
upon her mind, she involuntarily shrunk back, hiding her face with her
cloak.

Bellamy, by no means conceiving this mark of emotion to be unfavourable,
steadied his horse, by leaning one hand on the coach-window, and said,
in a yet lower voice--'O, Madam! is it possible you can hate me so
barbarously?--will you not even deign to look at me, though I have so
long been banished from your presence?'

Eugenia, during this speech, called to mind, that though new, in some
measure, to herself, she was not so to this gentleman, and ventured to
uncover her face; when the grief painted on the fine features of
Bellamy, so forcibly touched her, that she softly answered--'No, Sir,
indeed I do not hate you; I am incapable of such ingratitude; but I
conjure--I beseech you to forget me!'

'Forget you?--O, Madam! you command an impossibility!--No, I am
constancy itself, and not all the world united shall tear you from my
heart!'

Jacob, who caught a word or two, now rode up to the other window, and as
Eugenia began--'Conquer, Sir, I entreat you, this ill-fated
partiality!--' told her the horses had been hard-worked, and must go
home.

As Jacob was the oracle of Sir Hugh about his horses, his will was
prescriptive law: Eugenia never disputed it, and only saying--'Think of
me, Sir, no more!' bid the coachman drive on.

Bellamy, respectfully submitting, continued, with his hat in his hand,
as the maid informed her mistress, looking after the carriage till it
was out of sight.

A tender sorrow now stole upon the just revived tranquillity of the
gentle and generous Eugenia. 'Ah!' thought she, 'I have rendered, little
as I seem worthy of such power, I have rendered this amiable man
miserable, though possibly, and probably, he is the only man in
existence whom I could render happy!--Ah! how may I dare expect from
Clermont a similar passion?'

Molly Mill, a very young girl, and daughter of a poor tenant of Sir
Hugh, interrupted these reflections from time to time, with remarks upon
their object. 'Dearee me, Miss,' she cried, 'what a fine gentleman that
was!--he sighed like to split his heart when you said, don't think about
me no more. He's some loveyer, like, I'm sure.'

Eugenia returned home so much moved by this incident, that Sir Hugh,
believing his brother himself had failed to revive her, was disturbed
all anew with acute contrition for her disasters, and feeling very
unwell, went to bed before supper time.

Eugenia retired also; and after spending the evening in soft compassion
for Bellamy, and unfixed apprehensions and distaste for young Lynmere,
was preparing to go to bed, when Molly Mill, out of breath with haste,
brought her a letter.

She eagerly opened it, whilst enquiring whence it came.

'O, Miss, the fine gentleman--that same fine gentleman--brought it
himself: and he sent for me out, and I did not know who I was to go to,
for Mary only said a boy wanted me; but the boy said, I must come with
him to the stile; and when I come there, who should I see but the fine
gentleman himself! And he gave me this letter, and he asked me to give
it you--and see! look Miss! what I got for my trouble!'

She then exhibited a half-guinea.

'You have not done right, Molly, in accepting it. Money is bribery; and
you should have known that the letter was improperly addressed, if
bribery was requisite to make it delivered.'

'Dearee me, Miss, what's half-a-guinea to such a gentleman as that? I
dare say he's got his pockets full of them!'

'I shall not read it, certainly,' cried Eugenia, 'now I know this
circumstance. Give me the wax--I will seal it again.'

She then hesitated whether she ought to return it, or shew it to her
uncle, or commit it to the flames.

That to which she was most unwilling, appeared, to the strictness of her
principles, to be most proper: she therefore determined that the next
morning she would relate her evening's adventure, and deliver the unread
letter to Sir Hugh.

Had this epistle not perplexed her, she had meant never to name its
writer. Persuaded her last words had finally dismissed him, she thought
it a high point of female delicacy never to publish an unsuccessful
conquest.

This resolution taken, she went to bed, satisfied with herself, but
extremely grieved at the sufferings she was preparing for one who so
singularly loved her.

The next morning, however, her uncle did not rise to breakfast, and was
so low spirited, that fearing to disturb him, she deemed it most prudent
to defer the communication.

But when, after she had taken her lesson from Dr. Orkborne, she returned
to her room, she found Molly Mill impatiently waiting for her: 'O,
Miss,' she cried, 'here's another letter for you! and you must read it
directly, for the gentleman says if you don't it will be the death of
him.'

'Why did you receive another letter?' said Eugenia, displeased.

'Dearee me, Miss, how could I help it? if you'd seen the taking he was
in, you'd have took it yourself. He was all of a quake, and ready to go
down of his two knees. Dearee me, if it did not make my heart go pit-pat
to see him! He was like to go out of his mind, he said, and the tears,
poor gentleman, were all in his eyes.'

Eugenia now turned away, strongly affected by this description.

'Do, Miss,' continued Molly, 'write him a little scrap, if it's never so
scratched and bad. He'll take it kinder than nothing. Do, Miss, do.
Don't be ill-natured. And just read this little letter, do, Miss,
do;--it won't take you much time, you reads so nice and fast.'

'Why,' cried Eugenia, 'did you go to him again? how could you so
incautiously entrust yourself to the conduct of a strange boy?'

'A strange boy! dearee me, Miss, don't you know it was Tommy Hodd? I
knows him well enough; I knows all the boys, I warrant me, round about
here. Come, Miss, here's pen and ink; you'll run it off before one can
count five, when you've a mind to it. He'll be in a sad taking till he
sees me come back.'

'Come back? is it possible you have been so imprudent as to have
promised to see him again?'

'Dearee me, yes, Miss! he'd have made away with himself if I had not.
He'd been there ever since six in the morning, without nothing to eat or
drink, a riding up and down the road, till he could see me coming to the
stile. And he says he'll keep a riding there all day long, and all night
too, till I goes to him.'

Eugenia conceived herself now in a situation of unexampled distress. She
forced Molly Mill to leave her, that she might deliberate what course to
pursue.

Having read no novels, her imagination had never been awakened to scenes
of this kind; and what she had gathered upon such subjects in the poetry
and history she had studied with Dr. Orkborne, had only impressed her
fancy in proportion as love bore the character of heroism, and the lover
that of an hero. Though highly therefore romantic, her romance was not
the common adoption of a circulating library: it was simply that of
elevated sentiments, formed by animated credulity playing upon youthful
inexperience.

'Alas!' cried she, 'what a conflict is mine! I must refuse a man who
adores me to distraction, in disregard of my unhappy defects, to cast
myself under the guidance of one who, perhaps, may estimate beauty so
highly as to despise me for its want!'

This idea pleaded so powerfully for Bellamy, that something like a wish
to open his letters, obtained pardon to her little maid for having
brought them. She suppressed, however, the desire, though she held them
alternately to her eyes, conjecturing their contents, and bewailing for
their impassioned writer the cruel answer they must receive.

Though checked by shame, she had some desire to consult Camilla; but she
could not see her in time, Mrs. Arlbery having insisted upon carrying
her in the evening to a play, which was to be performed, for one night
only, by a company of passing strollers at Northwick.

'My decision,' she cried, 'must be my own, and must be immediate. Ah!
how leave a man such as this, to wander night and day neglected and
uncertain of his fate! With tears he sent me his letters!--what must not
have been his despair when such was his sensibility? tears in a
man!--tears, too, that could not be restrained even till his messenger
was out of sight!--how touching!--'

Her own then fell, in tender commiseration, and it was with extreme
repugnance she compelled herself to take such measures as she thought
her duty required. She sealed the two letters in an empty cover, and
having directed them to Mr. Bellamy, summoned Molly Mill, and told her
to convey them to the gentleman, and positively acquaint him she must
receive no more, and that those which were returned had never been read.
She bid her, however, add, that she should always wish for his
happiness, and be grateful for his kind partiality; though she earnestly
conjured him to vanquish a regard which she did not deserve, and must
never return.

Molly Mill would fain have remonstrated; but Eugenia, with that firmness
which, even in the first youth, accompanies a consciousness of
preferring duty to inclination, silenced, and sent her off.

Relieved for herself, now the struggle was over, she secretly rejoiced
that it was not for Melmond she had so hard a part to act: and this
idea, while it rendered Bellamy less an object of regret, diminished
also something of her pity for his conflict, by reminding her of the
success which had attended her own similar exertions.

But when Molly returned, her distress was renewed: she brought her these
words, written with a pencil upon the back of her own cover:

     'I do not dare, cruellest of your sex, to write you another letter;
     but if you would save me from the abyss of destruction, you will
     let me hear my final doom from your own mouth. I ask nothing more!
     Ah! walk but one moment in the park, near the pales; deny not your
     miserable adorer this last single request, and he will fly this
     fatal climate which has swallowed up his repose for ever! But, till
     then, here he will stay, and never quit the spot whence he sends
     you these lines, till you have deigned to pronounce verbally his
     doom, though he should famish for want of food!

     ALPHONSO BELLAMY.'

Eugenia read this with horrour and compassion. She imagined he perhaps
thought her confined, and would therefore believe no answer that did not
issue immediately from her own lips. She sent Molly to him again with
the same message; but Molly returned with a yet worse account of his
desperation, and a strong assurance, that if she would only utter to him
a single word, he would obey, depart, and live upon it the rest of his
life.

This completely softened her. Rather than imperiously suffer such a
pattern of respectful constancy to perish, she consented to speak her
own negative. But fearing she might be moved to some sympathy by his
grief, she resolved to be accompanied by Camilla, and deferred,
therefore, the interview till the next day.

Molly brought back his humble acknowledgments for this concession, and
an account that, at last, slowly and sadly, he had ridden away.

Her feelings were now better satisfied than her understanding. She
feared what she had granted was a favour; yet her heart was too tender
to reproach a compliance made upon such conditions, and to prevent such
evils.



CHAPTER VIII

_The disastrous Buskins_


Camilla, though her personal sorrows were blunted by the view of the
calamities and resignation of her sister, was so little disposed for
amusement, that she had accepted the invitation of Mrs. Arlbery, only
from wanting spirit to resist its urgency. Mr. Tyrold was well pleased
that such a recreation came in her way, but desired Lavinia might be of
the party: not only that she might partake of the same pleasure, but
from a greater security in her prudence, than in that of her naturally
thoughtless sister.

The town of Etherington afforded no theatre; and the room fitted up for
the night's performance could contain but two boxes, one of which was
secured for Mrs. Arlbery and her friends.

The attentive Major was ready to offer his hand to Camilla upon her
arrival. The rest of the officers were in the box.

The play was Othello; and so miserably represented, that Lavinia would
willingly have retired after the first scene: but the native spirits of
Camilla revisited her in the view of the ludicrous personages of the
drama. And they were soon joined by Sir Sedley Clarendel, whose quaint
conceits and remarks assisted the risibility of the scene. She thought
him the least comprehensible person she had ever known; but as he was
totally indifferent to her, his oddity entertained without tormenting
her.

The actors were of the lowest strolling kind, and so utterly without
merit, that they had never yet met with sufficient encouragement to
remain one week in the same place. They had only a single scene for the
whole performance, which depictured a camp, and which here served for a
street, a senate, a city, a castle, and a bed-chamber.

The dresses were almost equally parsimonious, everyone being obliged to
take what would fit him, from a wardrobe that did not allow quite two
dresses a person for all the plays they had to enact. Othello,
therefore, was equipped as king Richard the third, save that instead of
a regal front he had a black wig, to imitate wool: while his face had
been begrimed with a smoked cork.

Iago wore a suit of cloaths originally made for Lord Foppington:
Brabantio had borrowed the armour of Hamlet's Ghost: Cassio, the
Lieutenant General in the christian army, had only been able to equip
himself in Osmyn's Turkish vest; and Roderigo, accoutred in the garment
of Shylock, came forth a complete Jew.

Desdemona, attired more suitably to her fate than to her expectations,
went through the whole of her part, except the last scene, in the sable
weeds of Isabella. And Amelia was fain to content herself with the habit
of the first witch in Macbeth.

The gestures, both of the gentlemen and ladies, were as outrageous as if
meant rather to intimidate the audience, than to shew their own
animation; and the men approached each other so closely with arms
a-kimbo, or double fists, that Sir Sedley, with pretended alarm, said
they were giving challenges for a boxing match.

The ladies also, in the energy of their desire not to be eclipsed, took
so much exercise in their action, that they tore out the sleeves of
their gowns; which, though pinned up every time they left the stage,
completely exposed their shoulders at the end of every act; and they
raised their arms so high while facing each other, that Sir Sedley
expressed frequent fears they meant to finish by pulling caps.

So imperfect were they also in their parts, that the prompter was the
only person from whom any single speech passed without a blunder.

Iago, who was the master of the troop, was the sole performer who spoke
not with a provincial dialect; the rest all betrayed their birth and
parentage the first line they uttered.

Cassio proclaimed himself from Norfolk:

    The Deuk dew greet yew, General,
    -----------
    Being not at yew're lodging to be feund--
    The senate sent above tree several quests, &c.

Othello himself proved a true Londoner; and with his famed soldier-like
eloquence in the senate-scene, thus began his celebrated defence.

    Most potent, grawe, and rewerend Seignors,
    My wery noble and approwed good masters,
    That I have ta'en avay this old man's darter--
    I vill a round, unwarnish'd tale deliver
    Of my whole course of love; vhat drugs, vhat charms,
    Vhat conjuration, and vhat mighty magic
    I von his darter with----
    Her father lov'd me, oft inwited me----
    ----My story being done,
    She gave me for my pains a vorld of sighs,
    She svore in faith 'tvas strange, 'tvas passing strange,
    'Tvas pitiful, 't'vas vondrous pitiful;
    She vish'd she had not heard it; yet she vish'd
    That Heawen had made her such a man.----
    This only is the vitchcraft I have us'd;
    Here comes the lady, let her vitness it.

This happily making the gentle Desdemona recognised, notwithstanding her
appearance was so little bridal, her Somersetshire father cried:

        I preay you hear 'ur zpeak.
    If a confez that a waz half the woer
    Deztruction on my head, if my bead bleame
    Light o' the mon!

His daughter, in the Worcestershire pronunciation, answered:

                Noble father,
    Hi do perceive ere a divided duty;
    To you hi howe my life hand heducation,
    My life hand heducation both do teach me
    Ow to respect you. You're the lord hof duty;
    Hi'm itherto your daughter: but ere's my usband!----

The fond Othello then exclaimed:

        Your woices, lords! beseech you let her vill
    Have a free vay!-- -- --

And Brabantio took leave with

    Look to'ur, Moor! if th' azt eyez to zee;
    A haz deceiv'd 'ur veather, and may thee.--

They were detained so long between the first and second act, that Sir
Sedley said he feared poor Desdemona had lost the thread-paper from
which she was to mend her gown, and recommended to the two young ladies
to have the charity to go and assist her. 'Consider,' he said, 'the
trepidation of a fair bride but just entered into her shackles. Who
knows but Othello may be giving her a strapping, in private, for wearing
out her cloaths so fast! you young ladies think nothing of these little
conjugal freedoms.'

Mrs. Arlbery, though for some time she had been as well diverted by the
play as Camilla, less new to such exhibitions, was soon tired of the
sameness of the blunders, and, at the end of the fourth act, proposed
retiring. But Camilla, who had long not felt so much entertained, looked
so disappointed, that her good humour overcame her fatigue, and she was
insisting upon staying; when a gentleman, who visited them from the
opposite box, proposed that the young ladies should be carried home by
his mother, a lady who lived at Etherington, and was acquainted at the
rectory, and who intended to stay out not only the play but the farce.
Lavinia consented; the son went with the proposition, and the business
was soon arranged. Mrs. Arlbery, who had three miles to go beyond the
parsonage-house, and who, though she delighted to oblige, was but
little in the habit of practising self-denial, then consigned the young
ladies to General Kinsale, to be conducted to the opposite box, and was
handed by Colonel Andover to her coach.

The General guarded the eldest sister; the Major took care of Camilla:
but they were all stopt in their passage by the sudden seizure of a
pickpocket, and forced hastily back to the box they had quitted.

This commotion, though it had disturbed all the audience, had not stopt
the performance; and Desdemona being just now discovered in bed,
Camilla, not to lose the interesting scene, persuaded her sister to wait
till the play was over, before they attempted again to cross to the
opposite box; into which, in a few minutes after, she saw Mandlebert
enter.

They had both already seated themselves as much out of sight as
possible; and Camilla now began to regret she had not accompanied Mrs.
Arlbery. She had thought only of the play and its entertainment, till
the sight of Mandlebert told her that her situation was improper; and
the idea only occurred to her by considering that it would occur to him.

Mandlebert had dined out with a party of men, and had stept in to see
what was going forwards, without any knowledge whom he should meet: he
instantly discerned Lavinia, and felt anxious to know why Camilla was
not with her, and why she sat so much out of sight: but Camilla so
completely hid herself, he could only see there was a female, whom he
concluded to be some Etherington lady; and he determined to make further
enquiry when the act should be over.

The performance now became so truly ludicrous, that Camilla,
notwithstanding all her uneasiness, was excited to almost perpetual
laughter.

Desdemona, either from the effect of a bad cold, or to give more of
nature to her repose, breathed so hard, as to raise a general laugh in
the audience; Sir Sedley, stopping his ears, exclaimed, 'O! if she
snores I shall plead for her no more, if she tear her gown to tatters!
Suffocation is much too lenient for her. She's an immense horrid
personage! nasal to alarm!'

Othello then entered, with a tallow candle in his hand, staring and
dropping grease at every step; and, having just declared he would not

    Scar that vhiter skin of hers than snow,

perceived a thief in the candle, which made it run down so fast over his
hand, and the sleeve of his coat, that, the moment not being yet arrived
for extinguishing it, he was forced to lay down his sword, and, for want
of better means, snuff it with his fingers.

Sir Sedley now protested himself completely disordered: 'I must be
gone,' cried he, 'incontinently; this exceeds resistance: I shan't be
alive in another minute. Are you able to form a notion of anything more
annihilating? If I did not build upon the pleasure of seeing him stop up
those distressing nostrils of the gentle Desdemona, I could not breathe
here another instant.'

But just after, while Othello leant over the bed to say--

              Vhen I've pluck'd the rose
    I cannot give it wital growth again,
    It needs must vither----

his black locks caught fire.

The candle now fell from his hand, and he attempted to pull off his wig;
but it had been tied close on, to appear more natural, and his fright
disabled him; he therefore flung himself upon the bed, and rolled the
coverlid over his head.

Desdemona, excessively frightened, started up, and jumped out, shrieking
aloud--'O, Lord! I shall be burnt!'

This noble Venetian Dame then exhibited, beneath an old white satin
bedgown, made to cover her arms and breast, the dress in which she had
equipped herself, between the acts, to be ready for trampling home;
namely, a dirty red and white linen gown, an old blue stuff quilted
coat, and black shoes and stockings.

In this pitiable condition, she was running, screaming, off the stage,
when Othello, having quenched the fire, unconscious that half his curls
had fallen a sacrifice to the flames, hastily pursued her, and, in a
violent passion, called her a fool, and brought her back to the bed; in
which he assisted her to compose herself, and then went behind the
scenes to light his candle; which having done, he gravely returned, and,
very carefully putting it down, renewed his part with the line.

    Be thus vhen thou art dead, and I vill kill thee
    And love thee after--

Amidst roars of laughter from the whole audience, who, when he kissed
her, almost with one voice called out--'Ay ay, that's right--kiss and
friends!'

And when he said--

    I must veep----

'So must I too, my good friend,' cried Sir Sedley, wiping his eyes, 'for
never yet did sorrow cost me more salt rheum! Poor Blacky! thou hast
been most indissolubly comic, I confess. Thou hast unstrung me to a
degree. A baby of half an hour might demolish me.'

And again, when Othello exclaimed--

    She vakes!

'The deuce she does?' cried Sir Sedley, 'what! has she been asleep again
already? She's a very caricatura of Morpheus. Ay, do thy worst, honest
Mungo. I can't possibly beg her off. I would sooner snift thy farthing
candle once a day, than sustain that nasal cadence ever more.'

'He's the finest fellow upon the face of the earth,' cried Mr.
Macdersey, who had listened to the whole play with the most serious
interest; 'the instant he suspects his wife, he cuts her off without
ceremony; though she's dearer to him than his eye sight, and beautiful
as an angel. How I envy him!'

'Don't you think 'twould have been as well,' said General Kinsale, 'if
he'd first made some little enquiry?'

'He can do that afterwards, General; and then nobody will dare surmise
it's out of weakness. For to be sure and certain, he ought to right her
fame; that's no more than his duty, after once he has satisfied his own.
But a man's honour is dearest to him of all things. A wife's a bauble to
it--not worth a thought.'

The suffocating was now beginning but just as Desdemona begged to be
spared--

    But alf han our--

the door-keeper forced his way into the pit, and called out--'Pray, is
one Miss Tyrold here in the play-house?'

The sisters, in much amazement hung back, entreating the gentlemen to
screen them; and the man, receiving no answer, went away.

While wondering what this could mean, the play was finished, when one of
the comedians, a brother of the Worcestershire Desdemona, came to the
pit door, calling out--'Hi'm desired to hask hif Miss Camilla Tyrold's
hany way ere hin the ouse, for hi'm hordered to call er hout, for her
Huncle's hill and dying.'

A piercing shriek from Camilla now completed the interruption of all
attention to the performance, and betrayed her hiding place.
Concealment, indeed, was banished her thoughts, and she would herself
have opened the box door to rush out, had not the Major anticipated her,
seizing, at the same time, her hand to conduct her through the crowd.



CHAPTER IX

_Three Golden Maxims_


Lavinia, almost equally terrified, followed her sister; and Sir Sedley,
burying all foppery in compassion and good nature, was foremost to
accompany and assist. Camilla had no thought but to get instantly to
Cleves; she considered not how; she only forced herself rapidly on,
persuaded she could walk it in ten minutes, and ejaculating incessantly,
'My Uncle!--my dear Uncle!'--

They almost instantly encountered Edgar, who, upon the fatal call, had
darted round to meet them, and finding each provided with an attendant,
inquired whose carriage he should seek?

Camilla, in a broken voice, answered she had no carriage, and should
walk.

'Walk?' he repeated; 'you are near five miles from Cleves!'

Scarce in her senses, she hurried on without reply.

'What carriage did you come in, Miss Tyrold?' said Edgar to Lavinia.

'We came with Mrs. Arlbery.'

'Mrs. Arlbery?--she has been gone this half hour; I met her as I
entered.'

Camilla had now rushed out of doors, still handed by the Major.

'If you have no carriage in waiting,' said Edgar, 'make use, I beseech
you, of mine!'

'O, gladly! O, thankfully!' cried Camilla, almost sobbing out her words.

He flew then to call for his chaise, and the door-keeper, for whom Sir
Sedley had inquired, came to them, accompanied by Jacob.

'O, Jacob!' she cried, breaking violently from the Major, 'tell
me!--tell me!--my Uncle!--my dearest Uncle!'

Jacob, in a tone of deep and unfeigned sorrow, said, his Master had been
seized suddenly with the gout in his stomach, and that the doctor, who
had been instantly fetched, had owned there was little hope.

She could hear no more; the shock overpowered her, and she sunk nearly
senseless into the arms of her sister.

She was recovered, however, almost in a minute, and carried by Edgar
into his chaise, in which he placed her between himself and the weeping
Lavinia; hastily telling the two gentlemen, that his intimate connection
with the family authorized his assisting and attending them at such a
period.

This was too well known to be disputed; and Sir Sedley and the Major,
with great concern, uttered their good wishes and retreated.

Jacob had already been for Mr. Tyrold, who had set off instantaneously
on horseback.

Camilla spoke not a word the first mile, which was spent in an hysteric
sobbing: but, recovering a little afterwards, and sinking on the
shoulder of her sister, 'O, Lavinia!' she cried, 'should we lose my
Uncle----'

A shower of tears wetted the neck of Lavinia, who mingled with them her
own, though less violently, from having less connection with Sir Hugh,
and a sensibility less ungovernable.

She called herself upon the postillion to drive faster, and pressed
Edgar continually to hurry him; but though he gave every charge she
could desire, so much swifter were her wishes than any possible speed,
that twenty times she entreated to get out, believing she could walk
quicker than the horses galloped.

When they arrived at the park gate, she was with difficulty held back
from opening the chaise door; and when, at length, they stopt at the
house porch, she could not wait for the step, and before Edgar could
either precede or prevent her, threw herself into the arms of Jacob,
who, having just dismounted, was fortunately at hand to save her from
falling.

She stopt not to ask any question; 'My Uncle!--my Uncle!' she cried,
impetuously, and, rushing past all she met, was in his room in a moment.

Edgar, though he could not obstruct, followed her close, dreading lest
Sir Hugh might already be no more, and determined, in that case, to
force her from the fatal spot.

Eugenia, who heard her footstep, received her at the door, but took her
immediately from the room, softly whispering, while her arms were thrown
round her waist--'He will live! he will live, my sister! his agonies are
over--he is fallen asleep, and he will live!'

This was too sudden a joy for the desponding Camilla, whose breath
instantly stopt, and who must have fallen upon the floor, had she not
been caught by Edgar; who, though his own eyes copiously overflowed with
delight, at such unexpected good news of the universally beloved
Baronet, had strength and exertion sufficient to carry her downstairs
into the parlour, accompanied by Eugenia.

There, hartshorn and water presently revived her, and then, regardless
of the presence of Edgar, she cast herself upon her knees, to utter a
fervent thanksgiving, in which Eugenia, with equal piety, though more
composure, joined.

Edgar had never yet beheld her in a light so resplendent--What a heart,
thought he, is here! what feelings, what tenderness, what animation!--O,
what a heart!--were it possible to touch it!

The two sisters went both gently up stairs, encouraging and
congratulating each other in soft whispers, and stationed themselves in
an ante-room: Mr. Tyrold, by medical counsel, giving directions that no
one but himself should enter the sick chamber.

Edgar, though he only saw the domestics, could not persuade himself to
leave the house till near two o'clock in the morning: and by six, his
anxiety brought him thither again. He then heard, that the Baronet had
passed a night of more pain than danger, the gout having been expelled
his stomach, though it had been threatening almost every other part.

Three days and nights passed in this manner; during which, Edgar saw so
much of the tender affections, and softer character of Camilla, that
nothing could have withheld him from manifesting his entire sympathy in
her feelings, but the unaccountable circumstance of her starting forth
from a back seat at the play, where she had sat concealed, attended by
the Major, and without any matron protectress.

Miss Margland, meanwhile, scowled at him, and Indiana pouted in vain.
His earnest solicitude for Sir Hugh surmounted every such obstacle to
his present visits at Cleves; and he spent there almost the whole of his
time.

On the fourth day of the attack, Sir Hugh had a sleep of five hours'
continuance, from which he awoke so much revived, that he raised himself
in his bed, and called out--'My dear Brother! you are still here?--you
are very good to me, indeed; poor sinner that I am! to forgive me for
all my bad behaviour to your Children.'

'My dearest Brother! my Children, like myself, owe you nothing but
kindness and beneficence; and, like myself, feel for you nothing but
gratitude and tenderness.'

'They are very good, very good indeed,' said Sir Hugh, with a deep sigh;
'but Eugenia!--poor little Eugenia has nearly been the death of me;
though not meaning it in the least, being all her life as innocent as a
lamb.'

Mr. Tyrold assured him, that Eugenia was attached to him with the most
unalterable fondness. But Sir Hugh said, that the sight of her,
returning from Etherington, with nearly the same sadness as ever, had
wounded him to the heart, by shewing him she would never recover; which
had brought back upon him all his first contrition, about the smallpox,
and the fall from the plank, and had caused his conscience to give him
so many twitches, that it never let him rest a moment, till the gout
seized upon his stomach, and almost took him off at once.

Mr. Tyrold attributed solely to his own strong imagination the idea of
the continuance of the dejection of Eugenia, as she had left Etherington
calm, and almost chearful. He instantly, therefore, fetched her,
intimating the species of consolation she could afford.

'Kindest of Uncles!' cried she, 'is it possible you can ever, for a
moment, have doubted the grateful affection with which your goodness has
impressed me from my childhood? Do me more justice, I beseech you, my
dearest Uncle! recover from this terrible attack, and you shall soon see
your Eugenia restored to all the happiness you can wish her.'

'Nobody has got such kind nieces as me!' cried Sir Hugh, again
dissolving into tenderness; 'for all nobody has deserved so ill of them.
My generous little Camilla, forgave me from the very first, before her
young soul had any guile in it, which, God knows, it never has had to
this hour, no more than your own. However, this I can tell you, which
may serve to keep you from repenting being good, and that is, that your
kindness to your poor Uncle may be the means of saving a christian's
life; which, for a young person at your age, is as much as can be
expected: for I think, I may yet get about again, if I could once be
assured I should see you as happy as you used to be; and you've been the
contentedest little thing, till those unlucky market-women, that ever
was seen: always speaking up for the servants, and the poor, from the
time you were eight years old. And never letting me be angry, but taking
every body's part, and thinking them all as good as yourself, and only
wanting to make them as happy.'

'Ah, my dear Uncle! how kind a memory is yours! retaining only what can
give pleasure, and burying in oblivion whatever might cause pain!--'

'Is my Uncle well enough to speak?' cried Camilla, softly opening the
door, 'and may I--for one single moment,--see him?----'

'That's the voice of my dear Camilla!' said Sir Hugh; 'come in, my
little love, for I shan't shock your tender heart now, for I'm going to
get better.'

Camilla, in an ecstasy, was instantly at his bedside, passionately
exclaiming, 'My dear, dear Uncle! will you indeed recover?--'

Sir Hugh, throwing his feeble arms round her neck, and leaning his head
upon her shoulder, could only faintly articulate, 'If God pleases, I
shall, my little darling, my heart's delight and joy! But don't vex,
whether I do or not, for it is but in the course of nature for a man to
die, even in his youth; but how much more when he comes to be old?
Though I know you can't help missing me, in particular at the first,
because of all your goodness to me.'

'Missing you? O my Uncle! we can never be happy again without you! never
never!--when your loved countenance no longer smiles upon us,--when your
kind voice no longer assembles us around you!----'

'My dear child--my own little Camilla,' cried Sir Hugh, in a faint
voice, 'I am ready to die!'

Mr. Tyrold here forced her away, and his brother grew so much worse,
that a dangerous relapse took place, and for three days more, the
physician, the nurse, and Mr. Tyrold, were alone allowed to enter his
room.

During this time, the whole family suffered the truest grief, and
Camilla was inconsolable.

When again he began to revive, he called Mr. Tyrold to him, and said
that this second shake persuaded him he had but a short time more for
this world; and begged therefore he would prepare him for his exit.

Mr. Tyrold complied, and found, with more happiness than surprise, his
perfect and chearful resignation either to live or to die, rejoicing as
much as himself, in the innocent benevolence of his past days.

Composed and strengthened by religious duties, he then desired to see
Eugenia and Indiana, that he might give them his last exhortations and
counsel, in case of a speedy end.

Mr. Tyrold would fain have spared him this touching exertion, but he
declared he could not go off with a clear conscience, unless he told
them the advice which he had been thinking of for them, between whiles,
during all his illness.

Mr. Tyrold then feared that opposition might but discompose him, and
summoned his youngest daughter and his niece, charging them both to
repress their affliction, lest it should accelerate what they most
dreaded.

Camilla, always upon the watch, glided in with them, supplicating her
Father not to deny her admittance; though fearful of her impetuous
sorrows, he wished her to retreat; but Sir Hugh no sooner heard her
murmuring voice, than he declared he would have her refused nothing,
though he had meant to take a particular leave of her alone, for the
last thing of all.

Gratefully thanking him, she advanced trembling to his bedside; solemnly
promising her Father that no expression of her grief should again risk
agitating a life and health so precious.

Sir Hugh then desired to have Lavinia called also, because, though he
had thought of nothing to say to her, she might be hurt, after he was
gone, in being left out.

He was then raised by pillows and sat upright, and they knelt round his
bed. Mr. Tyrold entreated him to be concise, and insisted upon the
extremest forbearance and fortitude in his little audience. He seated
himself at some distance, and Sir Hugh, after swallowing a cordial
medicine, began:

'My dear Nieces, I have sent for you all upon a particular account,
which I beg you to listen to, because, God only knows whether I may ever
be able to give you so much advice again. I see you all look very
melancholy, which I take very kind of you. However don't cry, my little
dears, for we must all go off, so it matters but little the day or the
hour; dying being, besides, the greatest comfort of us all, taking us
off from our cares; as my Brother will explain to you better than me.

'The chief of what I have got to say, in regard to what I have been
studying in my illness, is for you two, my dear Eugenia and Indiana;
because, having brought you both up, I can't get it out of my head what
you'll do, when I am no longer here to keep you out of the danger of bad
designers.

'My hope had been to have seen you both married while I was alive and
amongst you, and I made as many plans as my poor head knew how, to bring
it about; but we've all been disappointed alike, for which reason we
must put up with it properly.

'What I have now last of all, to say to you, my little dears, is three
maxims, which may serve for you all four alike, though I thought of
them, at first, only for you two.

'In the first place, _Never be proud_: if you are, your superiors
will laugh at you, your equals won't love you, and your dependants
will hate you. And what is there for poor mortal man to be proud
of?--Riches!----why they are but a charge, and if we don't use them
well, we may envy the poor beggar that has so much less to answer
for.--Beauty!----why, we can neither get it when we haven't it; nor keep
it when we have it.--Power!----why we scarce ever use it one way, but
what we are sorry we did not use it another!

'In the second place, _Never trust a Flatterer_. If a man makes you a
great many compliments, always suspect him of some bad design, and never
believe him your friend, till he tells you of some of your faults. Poor
little things! you little imagine how many you have, for all you're so
good!

'In the third place, _Do no harm to others, for the sake of any good it
may do to yourselves_; because the good will last you but a little
while; and the repentance will stick by you as long as you live; and
what is worse, a great while longer, and beyond any count the best
Almanack-maker knows how to reckon.

'And now, my dear Nieces, this is all; except the recommending to my
dear Eugenia to be kind to my poor servants, who have all used me so
well, knowing I have nothing to leave them.'

Eugenia, suppressing her sobs, promised to retain them all, as long as
they should desire to remain with her, and to provide for them
afterwards.

'I know, you'll forget nobody, my dear little girl,' cried the Baronet,
'which makes me die contented; not even Mrs. Margland, a little
particularity not being to be considered at one's last end: and much
less Dr. Orkborne, who has so much a better right from you. As to
Indiana, she'll have her own little fortune when she comes of age; and I
dare say her pretty face will marry her before long.--And as to
Clermont, he'll come off rather short, finding I leave him nothing; but
you'll make up for the deficiency, by giving him the whole, as well as a
good wife. As to Lionel, I leave him my blessing; and as to any other
legacy I never happened to promise him any; which is very good luck for
me, as well as my best excuse; and I may say the same to my dear
Lavinia, which is the reason I called her in, because she may not often
have an opportunity to hear a man speak upon his death-bed. However all
I wish for is, that I could leave you all equal shares, as well as give
Eugenia the whole.'

'O my dear Uncle!' exclaimed Eugenia, 'make a new Will immediately! do
everything your tenderness can dictate!--or tell me what I shall do in
your name, and every word, every wish shall be sacredly obeyed!'

'Dear, generous, noble girl! no! I won't take from you a shilling! keep
it all--nobody will spend it so well;--and I can't give you back your
beauty; so keep it, my dear, all, for my oath's sake, when I am gone;
and don't make me die under a prevaricating; which would be but a
grievous thing for a person to do; unless he was but a bad believer:
which, God help us! there are enough, without my helping to make more.'

Mr. Tyrold now again remonstrated, motioning to the weeping group to be
gone.

'Ah! my dear Brother!' said Sir Hugh, 'you are the only right person
that ought to have had it all, if it had not been for my poor weak
brain, that made me always be looking askew instead of strait forward.
And indeed I always meant you to have had it for your life, till the
smallpox put all things out of my head. However, I hope you won't object
to preach my funeral sermon, for all my bad faults, for nobody else will
speak of me so kindly; which may serve as a better lesson for those I
leave behind.'

Tears flowed fast down the cheeks of Mr. Tyrold, as he uttered whatever
he could suggest most tenderly soothing to his Brother: and the young
mourners, not daring to resist, were all gliding away, except Camilla,
whose hand was fast grasped in that of her Uncle.

'Ah, my Camilla,' cried he, as she would gently have withdrawn it, 'how
shall I part with my little dear darling? this is the worst twitch to me
of all, with all my contentedness! And the more because I know you love
your poor old Uncle, just as well as if he had left you all he was
worth, though you won't get one penny by his death!'

'O my dear, dearest Uncle--' exclaimed Camilla, in a passionate flood of
tears; when Mr. Tyrold, assuring them both the consequences might be
fatal, tore her away from the bed and the room.


END OF THE SECOND VOLUME.



VOLUME III



BOOK V



CHAPTER I

_A Pursuer_


Notwithstanding the fears so justly excited from the mixt emotions and
exertions of Sir Hugh, Mr. Tyrold had the happiness to see him fall into
a tranquil sleep, from which he awoke without any return of pain; his
night was quiet; the next day was still better; and the day following he
was pronounced out of danger.

The rapture which this declaration excited in the house, and diffused
throughout the neighbourhood, when communicated to the worthy baronet,
gave a gladness to his heart that recompensed all he had suffered.

The delight of Camilla exceeded whatever she had yet experienced: her
life had lost half its value in her estimation, while she believed that
of her uncle to be in danger.

No one single quality is perhaps so endearing, from man to man, as
good-nature. Talents excite more admiration; wisdom, more respect; and
virtue, more esteem: but with admiration envy is apt to mingle, and fear
with respect; while esteem, though always honourable, is often cold: but
good-nature gives pleasure without any allay; ease, confidence, and
happy carelessness, without the pain of obligation, without the exertion
of gratitude.

If joy was in some more tumultuous, content was with none so penetrating
as with Eugenia. Apprised now that she had been the immediate cause of
the sufferings of her uncle, his loss would have given to her peace a
blow irrecoverable; and she determined to bend the whole of her thoughts
to his wishes, his comfort, his entire restoration.

To this end all her virtue was called in aid; a fear, next to aversion,
having seized her of Clermont, from the apprehension she might never
inspire in him such love as she had inspired in Bellamy, nor see in him,
as in young Melmond, such merit as might raise similar sentiments for
himself.

Molly Mill had not failed to paint to her the disappointment of Bellamy
in not seeing her; but she was too much engrossed by the dangerous state
of her uncle, to feel any compunction in her breach of promise; though
touched with the account of his continual sufferings, she became very
gentle in her reprimands to Molly for again meeting him; and, though
Molly again disobeyed, she again was pardoned. He came daily to the lane
behind the park pales, to hear news of the health of Sir Hugh, without
pressing either for an interview or a letter; and Eugenia grew more and
more moved by his respectful obsequiousness. She had yet said nothing to
Camilla upon the subject; not only because a dearer interest mutually
occupied them, but from a secret shame of naming a lover at a period so
ungenial.

But now that Sir Hugh was in a fair way of recovery, her situation
became alarming to herself. Openly, and before the whole house, she had
solemnly been assigned to Clermont Lynmere; and, little as she wished
the connexion, she thought it, from circumstances, her duty not to
refuse it. Yet this gentleman had attended her so long, had endured so
many disappointments, and borne them so much to her satisfaction, that,
though she lamented her concession as an injury to Clermont, and grew
ashamed to name it even to Camilla, she believed it would be cruelty
unheard of to break it. She determined, therefore, to see him, to
pronounce a farewell, and then to bend all her thoughts to the partner
destined her by her friends.

Molly Mill was alone to accompany her to give her negative, her good
wishes, and her solemn declaration that she could never again see or
hear of him more. He could deem it no indelicacy that she suffered Molly
to be present, since she was the negociator of his own choice.

Molly carried him, therefore, this news, with a previous condition that
he was not to detain her mistress one minute. He promised all
submission; and the next morning, after breakfast, Eugenia, in extreme
dejection at the ungrateful task she had to perform, called for Molly,
and walked forth.

Camilla, who was then accidentally in her own room, was, soon after,
summoned by three smart raps to her chamber door.

There, to her great surprise, she saw Edgar, who, after a hasty apology,
begged to have a few minutes conference with her alone.

She descended with him into the parlour, which was vacant.

'You suspect, perhaps,' said he, in an hurried manner, though attempting
to smile, 'that I mean to fatigue you with some troublesome advice; I
must, therefore, by an abrupt question, explain myself. Does Mr. Bellamy
still continue his pretensions to your sister Eugenia?'

Startled in a moment from all thoughts of self, that at first had been
rushing with violence to her heart, Camilla answered, 'No! why do you
ask?'

'I will tell you: In my regular visits here of late, I have almost
constantly met him, either on foot or on horseback, in the vicinity of
the park. I suspected he watched to see Eugenia; but I knew she now
never left the house; and concluded he was ignorant of the late general
confinement. This moment, however, upon my entrance, I saw him again;
and, as he hastily turned away upon meeting my eye, I dismounted, gave
my horse to my man, and determined to satisfy myself which way he was
strolling. I then followed him to the little lane to the right of the
park, where I perceived an empty post-chaise-and-four in waiting: he
advanced, and spoke with the postillion--I came instantly into the house
by the little gate. This may be accidental; yet it has alarmed me; and I
ventured, therefore, thus suddenly to apply to you, in order to urge you
to give a caution to Eugenia, not to walk out, just at present,
unattended.'

Camilla thanked him, and ran eagerly to speak to her sister; but she was
not in her room; nor was she with her uncle; nor yet with Dr. Orkborne.
She returned uneasily to the parlour, and said she would seek her in the
park.

Edgar followed; but they looked around for her in vain: he then, deeming
the danger urgent, left her, to hasten to the spot where he had seen the
post-chaise.

Camilla ran on alone; and, when she reached the park gate, perceived her
sister, Molly Mill, and Bellamy, in the lane.

They heard her quick approach, and turned round.

The countenance of Bellamy exhibited the darkest disappointment, and
that of Eugenia the most excessive confusion. 'Now then, Sir,' she
cried, 'delay our separation no longer.'

'Ah, permit me,' said he, in a low voice, 'permit me to hope you will
hear my last sad sentence, my final misery, another day!--I will defer
my mournful departure for that melancholy joy, which is the last I shall
feel in my wretched existence!'

He sighed so deeply, that Eugenia, who seemed already in much sorrow,
could not utter an abrupt refusal; and, as Camilla now advanced, she
turned from him, without attempting to say any thing further.

Camilla, in the delight of finding her sister safe, after the horrible
apprehensions she had just experienced, could not speak to her for
tears.

Abashed at once, and amazed, Eugenia faintly asked what so affected her?
She gave no explanation, but begged her to turn immediately back.

Eugenia consented; and Bellamy, bowing to them both profoundly, with
quick steps walked away.

Camilla asked a thousand questions; but Eugenia seemed unable to answer
them.

In a few minutes they were joined by Edgar, who, walking hastily up to
them, took Camilla apart.

He told her he firmly believed a villainous scheme to have been laid: he
had found the chaise still in waiting, and asked the postillion to whom
he belonged. The man said he was paid for what he did; and refused
giving any account of himself. Bellamy then appeared: he seemed
confounded at his sight; but neither of them spoke; and he left him and
his chaise, and his postillion, to console one another. He doubted not,
he said, but the design had been to carry Eugenia off, and he had
probably only pretended to take leave, that the chaise might advance,
and the postillion aid the elopement: though finding help at hand, he
had been forced to give up his scheme.

Camilla even with rapture blest his fortunate presence; but was
confounded with perplexity at the conduct of Eugenia. Edgar, who feared
her heart was entangled by an object who sought only her wealth,
proposed dismissing Molly Mill, that he might tell her himself the
opinion he had conceived of Bellamy.

Camilla overtook her sister, who had walked on without listening to or
regarding them; and, sending away Molly, told her Edgar wished
immediately to converse with her, upon something of the utmost
importance.

'You know my high esteem of him,' she answered; 'but my mind is now
occupied upon a business of which he has no information, and I entreat
that you will neither of you interrupt me.'

Camilla, utterly at a loss what to conjecture, joined Mandlebert alone,
and told him her ill success. He thought every thing was to be feared
from the present state of the affair, and proposed revealing at once all
he knew of it to Mr. Tyrold: but Camilla desired him to take no step
till she had again expostulated with her sister, who might else be
seriously hurt or offended. He complied, and said he would continue in
the house, park, or environs, incessantly upon the watch, till some
decisive measure were adopted.

Joining Eugenia then again, she asked if she meant seriously to
encourage the addresses of Bellamy.

'By no means,' she quietly answered.

'My dear Eugenia, I cannot at all understand you; but it seems clear to
me that the arrival of Edgar has saved you from some dreadful violence.'

'You hurt me, Camilla, by this prejudice. From whom should I dread
violence? from a man who--but too fatally for his peace--values me more
than his life?'

'If I could be sure of his sincerity,' said Camilla, 'I should be the
last to think ill of him: but reflect a little, at least, upon the risk
that you have run; my dear Eugenia! there was a post-chaise in waiting,
not twenty yards from where I stopt you!'

'Ah, you little know Bellamy! that chaise was only to convey him away;
to convey him, Camilla, to an eternal banishment!'

'But why, then, had he prevailed with you to quit the park?'

'You will call me vain if I tell you.'

'No; I shall only think you kind and confidential.'

'Do me then the justice,' said Eugenia, blushing, 'to believe me as much
surprised as yourself at his most unmerited passion: but he told me,
that if I only cast my eyes upon the vehicle which was to part him from
me for ever, it would not only make it less abhorrent to him, but
probably prevent the loss of his senses.'

'My dear Eugenia,' said Camilla, half smiling, 'this is a violent
passion, indeed, for so short an acquaintance!'

'I knew you would say that,' answered she, disconcerted; 'and it was
just what I observed to him myself: but he satisfied me that the reason
of his feelings being so impetuous was, that this was the first and only
time he had ever been in love.--So handsome as he is!--what a choice for
him to make!'

Camilla, tenderly embracing her, declared, 'the choice was all that did
him honour in the affair.'

'He never,' said she, a little comforted, 'makes me any compliments; I
should else disregard, if not disdain him: but indeed he seems,
notwithstanding his own extraordinary manly beauty, to be wholly
superior to external considerations.'

Camilla now forbore expressing farther doubt, from the fear of painful
misapprehension; but earnestly entreated her to suffer Edgar to be
entrusted and consulted: she decidedly, however, refused her consent. 'I
require no advice,' cried she, 'for I am devoted to my uncle's will: to
speak then of this affair would be the most cruel indelicacy, in
publishing a conquest which, since it is rejected, I ought silently,
though gratefully, to bury in my own heart.'

She then related the history of all that had passed to Camilla; but
solemnly declared she would never, to any other human being, but him who
should hereafter be entitled to her whole heart, betray the secret of
the unhappy Bellamy.



CHAPTER II

_An Adviser_


The wish of Camilla was to lay this whole affair before her father; but
she checked it, from an apprehension she might seem displaying her duty
and confidence at the expence of those of her sister; whose motives for
concealment were intentionally the most pure, however, practically, they
might be erroneous; and whom she both pitied and revered for her
proposed submission to her uncle, in opposition to her palpable
reluctance.

She saw not, however, any obstacle to consulting with Edgar, since he
was already apprised of the business, and since his services might be
essentially useful to her sister: while, with respect to herself, there
seemed, at this time, more of dignity in meeting than shunning his
friendly intercourse, since his regard for her seemed to have lost all
its peculiarity. He has precisely, cried she, the same sentiments for my
sisters as for me,--he is equally kind, disinterested, and indifferent
to us all! anxious alike for Eugenia with Mr. Bellamy, and for me with
the detestable Major! Be it so!--we can no where obtain a better friend;
and I should blush, indeed, if I could not treat as a brother one who
can treat me as a sister.

Tranquil, though not gay, she returned to converse with him; but when
she had related what had passed, he confessed that his uneasiness upon
the subject was increased. The heart of Eugenia appeared to him
positively entangled; and he besought Camilla not to lose a moment in
acquainting Mr. Tyrold with her situation.

She pleaded against giving this pain to her sister with energetic
affection: her arguments failed to convince, but her eloquence
powerfully touched him; and he contented himself with only entreating
that she would again try to aid him with an opportunity of conversing
with Eugenia.

This she could not refuse; nor could he then resist the opportunity to
inquire why Mrs. Arlbery had left her and Lavinia at the play. She
thanked him for remembering his character of her monitor, and
acknowledged the fault to be her own, with a candour so unaffected,
that, captivated by the soft seriousness of her manner, he flattered
himself his fear of the Major was a chimæra, and hoped that, as soon as
Sir Hugh was able to again join his family, no impediment would remain
to his begging the united blessings of the two brothers to his views.

When Camilla told her sister the request of Edgar, she immediately
suspected the attachment of Bellamy had been betrayed to him; and
Camilla, incapable of any duplicity, related precisely how the matter
had passed. Eugenia, always just, no sooner heard than she forgave it,
and accompanied her sister immediately down stairs.

'I must rest all my hope of pardon,' cried Edgar, 'for the part I am
taking, to your conviction of its motive; a filial love and gratitude to
Mr. Tyrold, a fraternal affection and interest for all his family.'

'My own sisterly feelings,' she answered, 'make me both comprehend and
thank your kind solicitude: but, believe me, it is now founded in error.
I am shocked to find you informed of this unhappy transaction; and I
charge and beseech that no interference may wound its ill-fated object,
by suffering him to surmise your knowledge of his humiliating
situation.'

'I would not for the world give you pain,' answered Edgar: 'but permit
me to be faithful to the brotherly character in which I consider myself
to stand with you ... all.'

A blush had overspread his face at the word Brotherly; while at that of
_all_, which recovered him, a still deeper stained the cheeks of
Camilla: but neither of them looked at the other; and Eugenia was too
self-absorbed to observe either.

'Your utter inexperience in life,' he continued, 'makes me, though but
just giving up leading-strings myself, an adept in the comparison.
Suffer me then, as such, to represent to you my fears, that your
innocence and goodness may expose you to imposition. You must not judge
all characters by the ingenuousness of your own; nor conclude, however
rationally and worthily a mind such as yours might--may--and will
inspire a disinterested regard, that there is no danger of any other,
and that mercenary views are out of the question, because mercenary
principles are not declared.'

'I will not say your inference is severe,' replied Eugenia, 'because you
know not the person of whom you speak: but permit me to make this
irrefragable vindication of his freedom from all sordid motives; he has
never once named the word fortune, neither to make any inquiries into
mine, nor any professions concerning his own. Had he any inducement to
duplicity, he might have asserted to me what he pleased, since I have no
means of detection.'

'Your situation,' said Edgar, 'is pretty generally known; and for
his ... pardon me if I hint it may be possible that silence is no virtue.
However, since I am unacquainted, you say, with his character, will you
give me leave to make myself better informed?'

'There needs no investigation; to me it is perfectly known.'

'Forgive me if I ask how!'

'By his letters and by his conversation.'

A smile which stole upon the features of Edgar obliged him to turn his
head another way; but presently recovering, 'My dear Miss Eugenia,' he
cried, 'will it not be most consonant to your high principles, and
scrupulous delicacy, to lay the whole of what has passed before Mr.
Tyrold?'

'Undoubtedly, if my part were not strait forward. Had I the least
hesitation, my father should be my immediate and decisive umpire.
But ... I am not at liberty even for deliberation!--I am not ... I
know ... at my own disposal!'--

She blushed and looked down, confused; but presently, with firmness,
added, 'It is not, indeed, fit that I should be; my uncle completely
merits to be in all things my director. To know his wishes, therefore,
is not only to know, but to be satisfied with my doom. Such being my
situation, you cannot misunderstand my defence of this unhappy young
man. It is but simple justice to rescue an amiable person from calumny.'

'Let us allow all this,' said Edgar; 'still I see no reason why Mr.
Tyrold....'

'Mr. Mandlebert,' interrupted she, 'you must do what you judge right. I
can desire no one to abstain from pursuing the dictates of their own
sense of honour. I leave you, therefore, unshackled: but there is no
consideration which, in my opinion, can justify a female in spreading,
even to her nearest connexions, an unrequited partiality. If, therefore,
I am forced to inflict this undue mortification, upon a person to whom I
hold myself so much obliged, an uneasiness will remain upon my mind,
destructive of my forgetfulness of an event which I would fain banish
from my memory.'

She then refused to be any longer detained.

'How I love the perfect innocence, and how I reverence the respectable
singularity of that charming character!' cried Edgar; 'yet how vain are
all arguments against such a combination of fearless credulity, and
enthusiastic reasoning? What can we determine?'

'I am happy to retort upon you that question,' replied Camilla; 'for I
am every way afraid to act myself, lest I should hurt this dear sister,
or do wrong by my yet dearer father.'

'What a responsibility you cast upon me! I will not, however, shrink
from it, for the path seems far plainer to me since I have had this
conversation. Eugenia is at present safe; I see, now, distinctly, her
heart is yet untouched. The readiness with which she met the subject,
the openness with which she avows her esteem, the unembarrassed, though
modest simplicity with which she speaks of his passion and his distress,
all shew that her pity results from generosity, not from love. Had it
been otherwise, with all her steadiness, all her philosophy, some
agitation and anxiety would have betrayed her secret soul. The internal
workings of hopes and fears, the sensitive alarms of repressed
consciousness....' A deep glow, which heated his face, forced him here
to break off; and, abruptly leaving his sentence unfinished, he hastily
began another.

'We must not, nevertheless, regard this as security for the future,
though it is safety for the present; nor trust her unsuspicious
generosity of mind to the dangerous assault of artful distress. I speak
without reserve of this man; for though I know him not, as she
remonstrated, I cannot, from the whole circumstances of his clandestine
conduct, doubt his being an adventurer.... You say nothing? tell me, I
beg, your opinion.'

Camilla had not heard one word of this last speech. Struck with his
discrimination between the actual and the possible state of Eugenia's
mind, and with the effect the definition had produced upon himself, her
attention was irresistibly seized by a new train of ideas, till finding
he waited for an answer, she mechanically repeated his last word
'opinion?'

He saw her absence of mind, and suspected his own too palpable
disturbance had occasioned it: but in what degree, or from what
sensations, he could not conjecture. They were both some time silent;
and then, recollecting herself, she said it was earnestly her wish to
avoid disobliging her sister, by a communication, which, made by any one
but herself, must put her into a disgraceful point of view.

Edgar, after a pause, said, they must yield, then, to her present
fervour, and hope her sounder judgment, when less played upon, would see
clearer. It appeared to him, indeed, that she was so free, at this
moment, from any dangerous impression, that it might, perhaps, be even
safer to submit quietly to her request, than to urge the generous
romance of her temper to new workings. He undertook, meantime, to keep a
constant watch upon the motions of Bellamy, to make sedulous inquiries
into his character and situation in life, and to find out for what
ostensible purpose he was in Hampshire: entreating leave to communicate
constantly to Camilla what he might gather, and to consult with her,
from time to time, upon what measures should be pursued: yet ultimately
confessing, that if Eugenia did not steadily persist in refusing any
further rejections, he should hold himself bound in conscience to
communicate the whole to Mr. Tyrold.

Camilla was pleased, and even thankful for the extreme friendliness and
kind moderation of this arrangement; yet she left him mournfully, in a
confirmed belief his regard for the whole family was equal.

Eugenia, much gratified, promised she would henceforth take no step with
which Edgar should not first be acquainted.



CHAPTER III

_Various Confabulations_


Mr. Tyrold saw, at first, the renewed visits of Edgar at Cleves with
extreme satisfaction; but while all his hopes were alive from an
intercourse almost perpetual, he perceived, with surprise and
perplexity, that his daughter became more and more pensive after every
interview: and as Edgar, this evening, quitted the house, he observed
tears start into her eyes as she went up stairs to her own room.

Alarmed and disappointed, he thought it now high time to investigate the
state of the affair, and to encourage or prevent future meetings, as it
appeared to him to be propitious or hopeless.

Penetrated with the goodness, while lamenting the indifference of Edgar,
Camilla had just reached her room; when, as she turned round to shut her
door, Mr. Tyrold appeared before her.

Hastily, with the back of her hand, brushing off the tears from her
eyes, she said, 'May I go to my uncle, Sir?... can my uncle admit me?'

'He can always admit you,' he answered; 'but, just now, you must forget
him a moment, and consign yourself to your father.'

He then entered, shut the door, and making her sit down by him, said,
'What is this sorrow that assails my Camilla? Why is the light heart of
my dear and happy child thus dejected?'

Speech and truth were always one with Camilla; who, as she could not in
this instance declare what were her feelings, remained mute and
confounded.

'Hesitate not, my dear girl,' cried he kindly, 'to unbosom your griefs
or your apprehensions, where they will be received with all the
tenderness due to such a confidence, and held sacred from every human
inspection; unless you permit me yourself to entrust your best and
wisest friend.'

Camilla now trembled, but could not even attempt to speak.

He saw her disorder, and presently added, 'I will forbear to probe your
feelings, when you have satisfied me in one doubt;--Is the sadness I
have of late remarked in you the effect of secret personal disturbance,
or of disappointed expectation?'

Camilla could neither answer nor look up: she was convinced, by this
question, that the subject of her melancholy was understood, and felt
wholly overcome by the deeply distressing confusion, with which wounded
pride and unaffected virgin modesty impress a youthful female, in the
idea of being suspected of a misplaced, or an unrequited partiality.

Her silence, a suffocating sigh, and her earnest endeavour to hide her
face, easily explained to Mr. Tyrold all that passed within; and
respecting rather than wishing to conquer a shame flowing from fearful
delicacy, 'I would spare you,' he said, 'all investigation whatever,
could I be certain you are not called into any action; but, in that
case, I know not that I can justify to myself so implicit a confidence,
in youth and inexperience so untried in difficulties, so unused to evil
or embarrassment as yours. Tell me then, my dear Camilla, do you sigh
under the weight of any disingenuous conduct? or do you suffer from some
suspence which you have no means of terminating?'

'My dearest father, no!' cried she, sinking upon his breast. 'I have no
suspence!'

She gasped for breath.

'And how has it been removed, my child?' said Mr. Tyrold, in a mournful
tone; 'has any deception, any ungenerous art....'

'O no, no!... he is incapable ... he is superior ... he....' She stopt
abruptly; shocked at the avowal these few words at once inferred of her
partiality, of its hopelessness, and of its object.

She walked, confused, to a corner of the room, and, leaning against the
wainscot, enveloped her face in her handkerchief, with the most painful
sensations of shame.

Mr. Tyrold remained in deep meditation. Her regard for Edgar he had
already considered as undoubted, and her undisguised acknowledgment
excited his tenderest sympathy: but to find she thought it without
return, and without hope, penetrated him with grief. Not only his own
fond view of the attractions of his daughter, but all he had observed,
even from his childhood, in Edgar, had induced him to believe she was
irresistibly formed to captivate him; and what had lately passed had
seemed a confirmation of all he had expected. Camilla, nevertheless,
exculpated him from all blame; and, while touched by her artlessness,
and honouring her truth, he felt, at least, some consolation to find
that Edgar, whom he loved as a son, was untainted by deceit, unaccused
of any evil. He concluded that some unfortunate secret entanglement, or
some mystery not yet to be developed, directed compulsatorily his
conduct, and checked the dictates of his taste and inclination.

Gently, at length, approaching her, 'My dearest child,' he said, 'I will
ask you nothing further; all that is absolutely essential for me to
know, I have gathered. You will never, I am certain, forget the noble
mother whom you are bound to revere in imitating, nor the affectionate
father whom your ingenuousness renders the most indulgent of your
friends. Dry up your tears then, my Camilla, and command your best
strength to conceal for ever their source, and, most especially ... from
its cause.'

He then embraced, and left her.

'Yes, my dearest father,' cried she, as she shut the door, 'most perfect
and most lenient of human beings! yes, I will obey your dictates; I will
hide till I can conquer this weak emotion, and no one shall ever know,
and Edgar least of all, that a daughter of yours has a feeling she ought
to disguise!'

Elevated by the kindness of a father so adored, to deserve his good
opinion now included every wish. The least severity would have chilled
her confidence, the least reproof would have discouraged all effort to
self-conquest; but, while his softness had soothed, his approbation had
invigorated her; and her feelings received additional energy from the
conscious generosity with which she had represented Edgar as blameless.
Blameless, however, in her own breast, she could not deem him: his
looks, his voice, his manner, ... words that occasionally dropt from
him, and meanings yet more expressive which his eyes or his attentions
had taken in charge, all, from time to time, had told a flattering tale,
which, though timidity and anxious earnestness had obscured from her
perfect comprehension, her hopes and her sympathy had prevented from
wholly escaping her. Yet what, internally, she could not defend she
forgave; and, acquitting him of all intentional deceit, concluded that
what he had felt for her, he had thought too slight and immaterial to
deserve repressing on his own part, or notice on her's. To continue with
him her present sisterly conduct was all she had to study, not doubting
but that what as yet was effort, would in time become natural.

Strengthened thus in fortitude, she descended cheerfully to supper,
where Mr. Tyrold, though he saw with pain that her spirits were
constrained, felt the fondest satisfaction in the virtue of her
exertion.

Her night passed in the consolation of self-applause. My dear father,
thought she, will see I strive to merit his lenity, and that soothing
consideration with the honourable friendship of Edgar, will be
sufficient for the happiness of my future life, in the single and
tranquil state in which it will be spent.

Thus comforted, she again met the eye of Mr. Tyrold the next day at
breakfast; in the midst of which repast Edgar entered the parlour. The
tea she was drinking was then rather gulped than sipped; yet she
maintained an air of unconcern, and returned his salutation with
apparent composure.

Edgar, while addressing to Mr. Tyrold his inquiries concerning Sir Hugh,
saw, from the window, his servant, whom he had out-galloped, thrown with
violence from his horse. He rushed out of the parlour; and the first
person to rise, with involuntary intent to follow him, was Camilla. But,
as she reached the hall-door, she saw that the man was safe, and
perceived that her father was the only person who had left the room
besides herself. Ashamed, she returned, and found the female party
collected at the windows.

Hoping to retrieve the error of her eagerness, she seated herself at the
table, and affected to finish her breakfast.

Eugenia told her they had discovered the cause of the accident, which
had been owing to a sharp stone that had penetrated into the horse's
hoof, and which Edgar was now endeavouring to extract.

A general scream, just then, from the window party, and a cry from
Eugenia of 'O Edgar!' carried her again to the hall-door with the
swiftness of lightning, calling out, 'Where?... What?... Good
Heaven!...'

Molly Mill, accidentally there before her, said, as she approached, that
the horse had kicked Mr. Mandlebert upon the shoulder.

Every thing but tenderness and terror was now forgotten by Camilla; she
darted forward with unrestrained velocity, and would have given, in a
moment, the most transporting amazement to Edgar, and to herself the
deepest shame, but that Mr. Tyrold, who alone had his face that way,
stopt, and led her back to the house, saying, 'There is no mischief; a
bee stung the poor animal at the instant the stone was extracted, and
the surprise and pain made it kick; but, fortunately, without any bad
effect. I wish to know how your uncle is; I should be glad you would go
and sit with him till I can come.'

With these words he left her; and, though abashed and overset, she found
no sensation so powerful as joy for the safety of Edgar.

Still, however, too little at ease for conversing with her uncle, she
went straight to her own chamber, and flew involuntarily to a window,
whence the first object that met her eyes was her father, who was
anxiously looking up. She retreated, utterly confounded, and threw
herself upon a chair at the other end of the room.

Shame now was her only sensation. The indiscretion of her first
surprise, she knew, he must forgive, though she blushed at its
recollection; but a solicitude so pertinacious, an indulgence so
repeated of feelings he had enjoined her to combat ... how could she
hope for his pardon? or how obtain her own, to have forfeited an
approbation so precious?

She could not go to her uncle; she would have remained where she was
till summoned to dinner, if the house-maid, after finishing all her
other work, had not a third time returned to inquire if she might clean
her room.

She then determined to repair to the library, where she was certain only
to encounter Eugenia, who would not torment, or Dr. Orkborne, who would
not perceive her: but at the bottom of the stairs she was stopt by Miss
Margland, who, with a malicious smile, asked if she was going to hold
the bason?

'What bason?' cried she, surprised.

'The bason for the surgeon.'

'What surgeon?' repeated she, alarmed.

'Mr. Burton, who is come to bleed Mr. Mandlebert.'

She asked nothing more. She felt extremely faint, but made her way into
the park, to avoid further conference.

Here, in the most painful suspence, dying for information, yet shirking
whoever could give it her, she remained, till she saw the departure of
the surgeon. She then went round by a back way to the apartment of
Eugenia, who informed her that the contusion, though not dangerous, was
violent, and that Mr. Tyrold had insisted upon immediate bleeding. The
surgeon had assured them this precaution would prevent any ill
consequence; but Sir Hugh, hearing from the servants what had happened,
had desired that Edgar would not return home till the next day.

The joy of Camilla, that nothing was more serious, banished all that was
disagreeable from her thoughts, till she was called back to reflections
less consoling, by meeting Mr. Tyrold, as she was returning to her own
room; who, with a gravity unusual, desired to speak with her, and
preceded her into the chamber.

Trembling, and filled with shame, she followed, shut the door, and
remained at it without daring to look up.

'My dear Camilla,' cried he with earnestness, 'let me not hope in vain
for that exertion you have promised me, and to which I know you to be
fully equal. Risk not, my dear girl, to others, those outward marks of
sensibility which, to common or unfeeling observers, seem but the effect
of an unbecoming remissness in the self-command which should dignify
every female who would do herself honour. I had hoped, in this house at
least, you would not have been misunderstood; but I have this moment
been undeceived: Miss Margland has just expressed a species of
compassion for what she presumes to be the present state of your mind,
that has given me the severest pain.'

He stopt, for Camilla looked thunderstruck.

Approaching her, then, with a look of concern, and a voice of
tenderness, he kindly took her hand, and added: 'I do not tell you this
in displeasure, but to put you upon your guard. You will hear from
Eugenia that we shall not dine alone; and from what I have dropt you
will gather how little you can hope to escape scrutiny. Exert yourself
to obviate all humiliating surmises, and you will amply be repaid by the
balm of self-approbation.'

He then kissed her, and quitted the room.

She now remained in utter despair: the least idea of disgrace totally
broke her spirit, and she sat upon the same spot on which Mr. Tyrold had
left her, till the ringing of the second dinner bell.

She then gloomily resolved to plead an head-ache, and not to appear.

When a footman tapt at her door, to acquaint her every body was seated
at the table, she sent down this excuse: forming to herself the further
determination, that the same should suffice for the evening, and for the
next morning, that she might avoid the sight of Edgar, in presence
either of her father or Miss Margland.

Eugenia, with kind alarm, came to know what was the matter, and informed
her, that Sir Hugh had been so much concerned at the accident of Edgar,
that he had insisted upon seeing him, and, after heartily shaking hands,
had promised to think no more of past mistakes and disappointments, as
they had now been cleared up to the county, and desired him to take up
his abode at Cleves for a week.

Camilla heard this with mixt pleasure and pain. She rejoiced that Edgar
should be upon his former terms with her beloved uncle; but how preserve
the caution demanded from her for so long a period, in the constant
sight of her now watchful father, and the malicious Miss Margland?

She had added to her own difficulties by this present absconding, and,
with severe self-blame, resolved to descend to tea. But, while settling
how to act, after her sister had left her, she was struck with hearing
the name of Mandlebert pronounced by Mary, the house-maid, who was
talking with Molly Mill upon the landing place. Why it had been spoken
she knew not; but Molly answered: 'Dearee me, never mind; I'll help you
to do his room, if Nanny don't come in time. My little mistress would
rather do it herself, than he should want for anything.'

'Why, it's natural enough,' said Mary, 'for young ladies to like young
gentlemen; and there's none other comes a nigh 'em, which I often thinks
dull enough for our young misses. And, to be certain, Mr. Mandlebert
would be as pretty a match for one of 'em as a body could desire.'

'And his man,' said Molly, 'is as pretty a gentleman sort of person, to
my mind, as his master. I'm sure I'm as glad as my young lady when they
comes to the house.'

'O, as to Miss Eugeny,' said Mary, 'I believe, in my conscience, she
likes our crack-headed old Doctor as well as e'er a young gentleman in
Christendom; for there she'll sit with him, hour by hour, poring over
such a heap of stuff as never was seed, reading, first one, then
t'other, God knows what; for I believe never nobody heard the like of it
before; and all the time never give the old Doctor a cross word.--'

'She never given nobody a cross word,' interrupted Molly; 'if I was Mr.
Mandlebert, I'd sooner have her than any of 'em, for all she's such a
nidging little thing.'

'For certain,' said Mary, 'she's very good, and a deal of good she does,
to all as asks her; but Miss Camilla for my money. She's all alive and
merry, and makes poor master young again to look at her. I wish Mr.
Mandlebert would have her, for I have overheard Miss Margland telling
Miss Lynmere she was desperate fond of him, and did all she could to get
him.'

Camilla felt flushed with the deepest resentment, and could scarcely
command herself to forbear charging Miss Margland with this persecuting
cruelty.

Nanny, the under house-maid, now joining them, said she had been
detained to finish altering a curtain for Miss Margland. 'And the cross
old Frump,' she added, 'is in a worse spite than ever, and she kept
abusing that sweet Mr. Mandlebert to Miss Lynmere all the while, till
she went down to dinner, and she said she was sure it was all Miss
Camilla's doings his staying here again, for she could come over master
for any thing: and she said she supposed it was to have another catch at
the young 'Squire's heart, but she hoped he would not be such a fool.'

'I'm sure I wish he would,' cried Molly Mill, 'if it was only to spite
her, she's such a nasty old viper. And Miss Camilla's always so
good-natured, and so affable, she'd make him a very agreeable wife, I
dare say.'

'And she's mortal fond of him, that's true,' said Mary, 'for when they
was both here, I always see her a running to the window, to see who was
a coming into the park, when he was rode out; and when he was in the
house, she never so much as went to peep, if there come six horses, one
after t'other. And she was always a saying, "Mary, who's in the parlour?
Mary, who's below?" while he was here; but before he come, duce a bite
did she ask about nobody.'

'I like when I meets her,' said Molly Mill, 'to tell her Mr.
Mandlebert's here, Miss; or Mr. Mandlebert's there, Miss;--Dearee me,
one may almost see one self in her eyes, it makes them shine so.'

Camilla could endure no more; she arose, and walked about the room; and
the maids, who had concluded her at dinner, hearing her step, hurried
away, to finish their gossiping in the room of Mandlebert.

Camilla now felt wholly sunk; the persecutions of Miss Margland seemed
nothing to this blow: they were cruel, she could therefore repine at
them; they were unprovoked, she could therefore repel them: but to find
her secret feelings, thus generally spread, and familiarity commented
upon, from her own unguarded conduct, exhausted, at once, patience,
fortitude, and hope, and left her no wish but to quit Cleves while Edgar
should remain there.

Certain, however, that her father would not permit her to return to
Etherington alone, a visit to Mrs. Arlbery was the sole refuge she could
suggest; and she determined to solicit his permission to accept
immediately the invitation of that lady.



CHAPTER IV

_A Dodging_


Camilla waited in the apartment of Mr. Tyrold till he came up stairs,
and then begged his leave to spend a few days at the Grove; hinting,
when he hesitated, though with a confusion that was hardly short of
torture, at what had passed amongst the servants.

He heard her with the tenderest pity, and the kindest praise of her
sincerity; and, deeply as he was shocked to find her thus generally
betrayed, he was too compassionate to point out, at so suffering a
moment, the indiscretions from which such observations must have
originated. Yet he saw consequences the most unpleasant in this rumour
of her attachment; and though he still privately hoped that the
behaviour of Mandlebert was the effect of some transient embarrassment,
he wished her removed from all intercourse with him that was not sought
by himself, while the incertitude of his intentions militated against
her struggles for indifference. The result, therefore, of a short
deliberation was to accede to her request.

Camilla then wrote her proposition to Mrs. Arlbery, which Mr. Tyrold
sent immediately by a stable-boy of the baronet's.

The answer was most obliging; Mrs. Arlbery said she would herself fetch
her the next morning, and keep her till one of them should be tired.

The relief which this, at first, brought to Camilla, in the week's
exertions it would spare, was soon succeeded by the most acute
uneasiness for the critical situation of Eugenia, and the undoubted
disapprobation of Edgar. To quit her sister at a period when she might
serve her; ... to forsake Cleves at the moment Edgar was restored to it,
seemed selfish even to herself, and to him must appear unpardonable.
'Alas!' she cried, 'how for ever I repent my hasty actions! Why have I
not better struggled against my unfortunate feelings?'

She now almost hated her whole scheme, regretted its success, wished
herself suffering every uneasiness Miss Margland could inflict, and all
the shame of being watched and pitied by every servant in the house, in
preference to deserting Eugenia, and making Mandlebert deem her
unworthy. But self-upbraiding was all that followed her contrition: Mrs.
Arlbery was to fetch her by appointment; and it was now too late to
trifle with the conceding goodness of her father.

She did not dare excuse herself from appearing at breakfast the next
morning, lest Mr. Tyrold should think her utterly incorrigible to his
exhortations.

Edgar earnestly inquired after her health as she entered the room; she
slightly answered she was better; and began eating, with an apparent
eagerness of appetite: while he, who had expected some kind words upon
his own accident, surprised and disappointed, could swallow nothing.

Mr. Tyrold, seeing and pitying what passed in her mind, gave her a
commission, that enabled her, soon, to leave the room without
affectation; and, happy to escape, she determined to go down stairs no
more till Mrs. Arlbery arrived. She wished to have conversed first upon
the affairs of Eugenia with Edgar: but to name to him whither she was
herself going, when she could not possibly name why; to give to him a
surprise that must recoil upon herself in disapprobation, was more than
she could endure. She had invested him with full powers to counsel and
to censure her; he would naturally use them to dissuade her from a visit
so ill-timed; and what could she urge in opposition to his arguments
that would not seem trifling or wilful?

The present moment was all that occupied, the present evil all that ever
alarmed the breast of Camilla: to avoid him, therefore, now, was the
whole of her desire, unmolested with one anxiety how she might better
meet him hereafter.

She watched at her window till she saw the groom of Mrs. Arlbery gallop
into the Park. She hastened then to take leave of Sir Hugh, whom Mr.
Tyrold had prepared for her departure; but, at the door of his
apartment, she encountered Edgar.

'You are going out?' cried he, perceiving an alteration in her dress.

'I am ... just going to ... to speak to my uncle,' cried she, stammering
and entering the room at the same moment.

Sir Hugh kindly wished her much amusement, and hoped she would make him
long amends when he was better. She took leave; but again, on the
landing-place, met Edgar, who, anxious and perlexed, watched to speak to
her before she descended the stairs. Eagerly advancing, 'Do you walk?'
he cried; 'may I ask? or ... am I indiscreet?'

She answered she had something to say to Eugenia, but should be back in
an instant. She then flew to the chamber of her sister, and conjured her
to consult Edgar in whatever should occur during her absence. Eugenia
solemnly consented.

Jacob presently tapped at the door, to announce that Mrs. Arlbery was
waiting below in her carriage.

How to pass or escape Edgar became now her greatest difficulty; she
could suggest nothing to palliate to him the step she was taking, yet
could still less bear to leave him to wild conjecture and certain blame:
and she was standing irresolute and thoughtful, when Mr. Tyrold came to
summon her.

After mildly representing the indecorum of detaining any one she was to
receive by appointment, he took her apart, and putting a packet into her
hand, 'I would not,' he said, 'agitate your spirits this morning, by
entering upon any topic that might disturb you: I have therefore put
upon paper what I most desire you to consider. You will find it a little
sermon upon the difficulties and the conduct of the female heart. Read
it alone, and with attention. And now, my dearest girl, go quietly into
the parlour, and let one brief and cheerful good-morrow serve for every
body alike.'

He then returned to his brother.

She made Eugenia accompany her down stairs, to avoid any solitary attack
from Edgar; he suffered them to pass; but followed to the parlour, where
she hastily bid adieu to Miss Margland and Indiana; but was stopt from
running off by the former, who said, 'I wish I had known you intended
going out, for I designed asking Sir Hugh for the chariot for myself
this morning, to make a very particular visit.'

Camilla, in a hesitating voice, said she should not use her uncle's
chariot.

'You walk then?'

'No, ... ma'am ... but--there is--there is a carriage--I believe, now at
the door.'

'O dear, whose?' cried Indiana; 'do, pray, tell me where you are going?'
while Edgar, still more curious than either, held out his hand to
conduct her, that he might obtain better information.

'I am very glad your head-ache is so well,' said Miss Margland; 'but,
pray--is Mr. Mandlebert to be your chaperon?'

They both blushed, though both affected not to hear her: but, before
they could quit the room, Indiana, who had run to a bow-window,
exclaimed, 'Dear! if there is not Mrs. Arlbery in a beautiful high
phaeton!'

Edgar, astonished, was now as involuntarily drawing back, as Camilla,
involuntarily, was hurrying on: but Miss Margland, insisting upon an
answer, desired to know if she should return to dinner?

She stammered out, No. Miss Margland pursued her to ask at what time the
chariot was to fetch her; and forced from her a confession that she
should be away for some days.

She was now permitted to proceed. Edgar, impressed with the deepest
displeasure, leading her in silence across the hall: but, stopping an
instant at the door, 'This excursion,' he gravely said, 'will rescue you
from no little intended importunity: I had purposed tormenting you, from
time to time, for your opinion and directions with respect to Miss
Eugenia.'

And then, bowing coldly to Mrs. Arlbery, who eagerly called out to
welcome her, he placed her in the phaeton, which instantly drove off.

He looked after them for some time, almost incredulous of her departure:
but, as his amazement subsided into certainty, the most indignant
disappointment succeeded. That she could leave Cleves at the very moment
he was reinstated in its society, seemed conviction to him of her
indifference; and that she could leave it in the present state of the
affairs of Eugenia, made him conclude her so great a slave to the love
of pleasure, that every duty and all propriety were to be sacrificed to
its pursuit. 'I will think of her,' cried he, 'no more! She concealed
from me her plan, lest I should torment her with admonitions: the
glaring homage of the Major is better adapted to her taste,--She flies
from my sincerity to receive his adulation,--I have been deceived in her
disposition,--I will think of her no more!'



CHAPTER V

_A Sermon_


The kind reception of Mrs. Arlbery, and all the animation of her
discourse, were thrown away upon Camilla. An absent smile, and a few
faint acknowledgments of her goodness were all she could return: Eugenia
abandoned when she might have been served, Edgar contemning when he
might have been approving ... these were the images of her mind, which
resisted entrance to all other.

Tired of fruitless attempts to amuse her, Mrs. Arlbery, upon their
arrival at the Grove, conducted her to an apartment prepared for her,
and made use of no persuasion that she would leave it before dinner.

Camilla then, too unhappy to fear any injunction, and resigned to
whatever she might receive, read the discourse of Mr. Tyrold.

     _For Miss_ Camilla Tyrold.

     It is not my intention to enumerate, my dear Camilla, the many
     blessings of your situation; your heart is just and affectionate,
     and will not forget them: I mean but to place before you your
     immediate duties, satisfied that the review will ensure their
     performance.

     Unused to, because undeserving control, your days, to this period,
     have been as gay as your spirits. It is now first that your
     tranquillity is ruffled; it is now, therefore, that your fortitude
     has its first debt to pay for its hitherto happy exemption.

     Those who weigh the calamities of life only by the positive, the
     substantial, or the irremediable mischiefs which they produce,
     regard the first sorrows of early youth as too trifling for
     compassion. They do not enough consider that it is the suffering,
     not its abstract cause, which demands human commiseration. The man
     who loses his whole fortune, yet possesses firmness, philosophy, a
     disdain of ambition, and an accommodation to circumstances, is less
     an object of contemplative pity, than the person who, without one
     real deprivation, one actual evil, is first, or is suddenly forced
     to recognise the fallacy of a cherished and darling hope.

     That its foundation has always been shallow is no mitigation of
     disappointment to him who had only viewed it in its
     super-structure. Nor is its downfall less terrible to its
     visionary elevator, because others had seen it from the beginning
     as a folly or a chimæra; its dissolution should be estimated, not
     by its romance in the unimpassioned examination of a rational
     looker on, but by its believed promise of felicity to its credulous
     projector.

     Is my Camilla in this predicament? had she wove her own destiny in
     the speculation of her wishes? Alas! to blame her, I must first
     forget, that delusion, while in force, has all the semblance of
     reality, and takes the same hold upon the faculties as truth. Nor
     is it till the spell is broken, till the perversion of reason and
     error of judgment become wilful, that Scorn ought to point 'its
     finger' or Censure its severity.

     But of this I have no fear. The love of right is implanted
     indelibly in your nature, and your own peace is as dependant as
     mine and as your mother's upon its constant culture.

     Your conduct hitherto has been committed to yourself. Satisfied
     with establishing your principles upon the adamantine pillars of
     religion and conscience, we have not feared leaving you the entire
     possession of general liberty. Nor do I mean to withdraw it, though
     the present state of your affairs, and what for some time past I
     have painfully observed of your precipitance, oblige me to add
     partial counsel to standing precept, and exhortation to advice. I
     shall give them, however, with diffidence, fairly acknowledging and
     blending my own perplexities with yours.

     The temporal destiny of woman is enwrapt in still more impenetrable
     obscurity than that of man. She begins her career by being involved
     in all the worldly accidents of a parent; she continues it by being
     associated in all that may environ a husband: and the difficulties
     arising from this doubly appendant state, are augmented by the next
     to impossibility, that the first dependance should pave the way for
     the ultimate. What parent yet has been gifted with the foresight to
     say, 'I will educate my daughter for the station to which she shall
     belong?' Let us even suppose that station to be fixed by himself,
     rarely as the chances of life authorise such a presumption; his
     daughter all duty, and the partner of his own selection solicitous
     of the alliance: is he at all more secure he has provided even for
     her external welfare? What, in this sublunary existence, is the
     state from which she shall neither rise nor fall? Who shall say
     that in a few years, a few months, perhaps less, the situation in
     which the prosperity of his own views has placed her, may not
     change for one more humble than he has fitted her for enduring, or
     more exalted than he has accomplished her for sustaining? The
     conscience, indeed, of the father is not responsible for events,
     but the infelicity of the daughter is not less a subject of pity.

     Again, if none of these outward and obvious vicissitudes occur, the
     proper education of a female, either for use or for happiness, is
     still to seek, still a problem beyond human solution; since its
     refinement, or its negligence, can only prove to her a good or an
     evil, according to the humour of the husband into whose hands she
     may fall. If fashioned to shine in the great world, he may deem the
     metropolis all turbulence; if endowed with every resource for
     retirement, he may think the country distasteful. And though her
     talents, her acquirements, may in either of these cases be set
     aside, with an only silent regret of wasted youth and application;
     the turn of mind which they have induced, the appreciation which
     they have taught of time, of pleasure, or of utility, will have
     nurtured inclinations and opinions not so ductile to new sentiments
     and employments, and either submission becomes a hardship, or
     resistance generates dissention.

     If such are the parental embarrassments, against which neither
     wisdom nor experience can guard, who should view the filial without
     sympathy and tenderness?

     You have been brought up, my dear child, without any specific
     expectation. Your mother and myself, mutually deliberating upon the
     uncertainty of the female fate, determined to educate our girls
     with as much simplicity as is compatible with instruction, as much
     docility for various life as may accord with invariable principles,
     and as much accommodation with the world at large, as may combine
     with a just distinction of selected society. We hoped, thus, should
     your lots be elevated, to secure you from either exulting
     arrogance, or bashful insignificance; or should they, as is more
     probable, be lowly, to instil into your understandings and
     characters such a portion of intellectual vigour as should make you
     enter into an humbler scene without debasement, helplessness, or
     repining.

     It is now, Camilla, we must demand your exertions in return. Let
     not these cares, to fit you for the world as you may find it, be
     utterly annihilated from doing you good, by the uncombated sway of
     an unavailing, however well-placed attachment.

     We will not here canvass the equity of that freedom by which women
     as well as men should be allowed to dispose of their own
     affections. There cannot, in nature, in theory, nor even in common
     sense, be a doubt of their equal right: but disquisitions on this
     point will remain rather curious than important, till the
     speculatist can superinduce to the abstract truth of the position
     some proof of its practicability.

     Meanwhile, it is enough for every modest and reasonable young woman
     to consider, that where there are two parties, choice can belong
     only to one of them: and then let her call upon all her feelings of
     delicacy, all her notions of propriety, to decide: Since Man must
     choose Woman, or Woman Man, which should come forward to make the
     choice? Which should retire to be chosen?

     A prepossession directed towards a virtuous and deserving object
     wears, in its first approach, the appearance of a mere tribute of
     justice to merit. It seems, therefore, too natural, perhaps too
     generous, to be considered either as a folly or a crime. It is only
     its encouragement where it is not reciprocal, that can make it
     incur the first epithet, or where it ought not to be reciprocal
     that can brand it with the second. With respect to this last, I
     know of nothing to apprehend:--with regard to the first--I grieve
     to wound my dearest Camilla, yet where there has been no subject
     for complaint, there can have been none for expectation.

     Struggle then against yourself as you would struggle against an
     enemy. Refuse to listen to a wish, to dwell even upon a
     possibility, that opens to your present idea of happiness. All that
     in future may be realised probably hangs upon this conflict. I mean
     not to propose to you in the course of a few days to reinstate
     yourself in the perfect security of a disengaged mind. I know too
     much of the human heart to be ignorant that the acceleration, or
     delay, must depend upon circumstance: I can only require from you
     what depends upon yourself, a steady and courageous warfare against
     the two dangerous underminers of your peace and of your fame,
     imprudence and impatience. You have champions with which to
     encounter them that cannot fail of success, ... good sense and
     delicacy.

     Good sense will shew you the power of self-conquest, and point out
     its means. It will instruct you to curb those unguarded movements
     which lay you open to the strictures of others. It will talk to you
     of those boundaries which custom forbids your sex to pass, and the
     hazard of any individual attempt to transgress them. It will tell
     you, that where allowed only a negative choice, it is your own best
     interest to combat against a positive wish. It will bid you, by
     constant occupation, vary those thoughts that now take but one
     direction, and multiply those interests which now recognise but one
     object: and it will soon convince you, that it is not strength of
     mind which you want, but reflection, to obtain a strict and
     unremitting control over your passions.

     This last word will pain, but let it not shock you. You have no
     passions, my innocent girl, at which you need blush, though enough
     at which I must tremble!--For in what consists your constraint,
     your forbearance? your wish is your guide, your impulse is your
     action. Alas! never yet was mortal created so perfect, that every
     wish was virtuous, or every impulse wise!

     Does a secret murmur here demand: if a discerning predilection is
     no crime, why, internally at least, may it not be cherished? whom
     can it injure or offend, that, in the hidden recesses of my own
     breast, I nourish superior preference of superior worth?

     This is the question with which every young woman beguiles her
     fancy; this is the common but seductive opiate, with which
     inclination lulls reason.

     The answer may be safely comprised in a brief appeal to her own
     breast.

     I do not desire her to be insensible to merit; I do not even demand
     she should confine her social affections to her own sex, since the
     most innocent esteem is equally compatible, though not equally
     general with ours: I require of her simply, that, in her secret
     hours, when pride has no dominion, and disguise would answer no
     purpose, she will ask herself this question, 'Could I calmly hear
     that this elect of my heart was united to another? Were I to be
     informed that the indissoluble knot was tied, which annihilates all
     my own future possibilities, would the news occasion me no
     affliction?' This, and this alone, is the test by which she may
     judge the danger, or the harmlessness of her attachment.

     I have now endeavoured to point out the obligations which you may
     owe to good sense. Your obligations to delicacy will be but their
     consequence.

     Delicacy is an attribute so peculiarly feminine, that were your
     reflections less agitated by your feelings, you could delineate
     more distinctly than myself its appropriate laws, its minute
     exactions, its sensitive refinements. Here, therefore, I seek but
     to bring back to your memory what livelier sensations have
     inadvertently driven from it.

     You may imagine, in the innocency of your heart, that what you
     would rather perish than utter can never, since untold, be
     suspected: and, at present, I am equally sanguine in believing no
     surmise to have been conceived where most it would shock you: yet
     credit me when I assure you, that you can make no greater mistake,
     than to suppose that you have any security beyond what sedulously
     you must earn by the most indefatigable vigilance. There are so
     many ways of communication independent of speech, that silence is
     but one point in the ordinances of discretion. You have nothing, in
     so modest a character, to apprehend from vanity or presumption; you
     may easily, therefore, continue the guardian of your own dignity:
     but you must keep in mind, that our perceptions want but little
     quickening to discern what may flatter them; and it is mutual to
     either sex to be to no gratification so alive, as to that of a
     conscious ascendance over the other.

     Nevertheless, the female who, upon the softening blandishment of an
     undisguised prepossession, builds her expectation of its
     reciprocity, is, in common, most cruelly deceived. It is not that
     she has failed to awaken tenderness; but it has been tenderness
     without respect: nor yet that the person thus elated has been
     insensible to flattery; but it has been a flattery to raise
     himself, not its exciter in his esteem. The partiality which we
     feel inspires diffidence: that which we create has a contrary
     effect. A certainty of success in many destroys, in all weakens,
     its charm: the bashful excepted, to whom it gives courage; and the
     indolent, to whom it saves trouble.

     Carefully, then, beyond all other care, shut up every avenue by
     which a secret which should die untold can further escape you.
     Avoid every species of particularity; neither shun nor seek any
     intercourse apparently; and in such meetings as general prudence
     may render necessary, or as accident may make inevitable, endeavour
     to behave with the same open esteem as in your days of
     unconsciousness. The least unusual attention would not be more
     suspicious to the world, than the least undue reserve to the
     subject of our discussion. Coldness or distance could only be
     imputed to resentment; and resentment, since you have received no
     offence, how, should it be investigated, could you vindicate? or
     how, should it be passed in silence, secure from being attributed
     to pique and disappointment?

     There is also another motive, important to us all, which calls for
     the most rigid circumspection. The person in question is not merely
     amiable; he is also rich: mankind at large, therefore, would not
     give merely to a sense of excellence any obvious predilection. This
     hint will, I know, powerfully operate upon your disinterested
     spirit.

     Never from personal experience may you gather, how far from
     soothing, how wide from honourable, is the species of compassion
     ordinarily diffused by the discovery of an unreturned female
     regard. That it should be felt unsought may be considered as a mark
     of discerning sensibility; but that it should be betrayed uncalled
     for, is commonly, however ungenerously, imagined rather to indicate
     ungoverned passions, than refined selection. This is often both
     cruel and unjust; yet, let me ask--Is the world a proper confident
     for such a secret? Can the woman who has permitted it to go abroad,
     reasonably demand that consideration and respect from the
     community, in which she has been wanting to herself? To me it would
     be unnecessary to observe, that her indiscretion may have been the
     effect of an inadvertence which owes its origin to artlessness, not
     to forwardness: She is judged by those, who, hardened in the ways
     of men, accustom themselves to trace in evil every motive to
     action; or by those, who, preferring ridicule to humanity, seek
     rather to amuse themselves wittily with her susceptibility, than to
     feel for its innocence and simplicity.

     In a state of utter constraint, to appear natural is, however, an
     effort too difficult to be long sustained; and neither precept,
     example, nor disposition, have enured my poor child to the
     performance of any studied part. Discriminate, nevertheless,
     between hypocrisy and discretion. The first is a vice; the second a
     conciliation to virtue. It is the bond that keeps society from
     disunion; the veil that shades our weakness from exposure, giving
     time for that interior correction, which the publication of our
     infirmities would else, with respect to mankind, make of no avail.

     It were better no doubt, worthier, nobler, to meet the scrutiny of
     our fellow-creatures by consent, as we encounter, per force, the
     all-viewing eye of our Creator: but since for this we are not
     sufficiently without blemish, we must allow to our unstable
     virtues all the encouragement that can prop them. The event of
     discovered faults is more frequently callousness than amendment;
     and propriety of example is as much a duty to our fellow-creatures,
     as purity of intention is a debt to ourselves.

     To delicacy, in fine, your present exertions will owe their future
     recompence, be your ultimate lot in life what it may. Should you,
     in the course of time, belong to another, you will be shielded from
     the regret that a former attachment had been published; or should
     you continue mistress of yourself, from a blush that the world is
     acquainted it was not by your choice.

     I shall now conclude this little discourse by calling upon you to
     annex to whatever I have offered you of precept, the constant
     remembrance of your mother for example.

     In our joint names, therefore, I adjure you, my dearest Camilla,
     not to embitter the present innocence of your suffering by
     imprudence that may attach to it censure, nor by indulgence that
     may make it fasten upon your vitals! Imprudence cannot but end in
     the demolition of that dignified equanimity, and modest propriety,
     which we wish to be uniformly remarked as the attributes of your
     character: and indulgence, by fixing, may envenom a dart that as
     yet may be gently withdrawn, from a wound which kindness may heal,
     and time may close; but which, if neglected, may wear away, in
     corroding disturbance, all your life's comfort to yourself, and all
     its social purposes to your friends and to the world.

     AUGUSTUS TYROLD.



CHAPTER VI

_A Chat_


The calm sadness with which Camilla had opened her letter was soon
broken in upon by the interest of its contents, the view it displayed of
her duties, her shame at her recent failures, and her fears for their
future execution; and yet more than all, by the full decision in which
it seemed written, that the unhappy partiality she had exposed, had been
always, and would for ever remain unreturned.

She started at the intimation how near she stood to detection even from
Edgar himself, and pride, reason, modesty, all arose to strengthen her
with resolution, to guard every future conflict from his observation.

The article concerning fortune touched her to the quick. Nothing
appeared to her so degrading as the most distant idea that such a
circumstance could have any force with her. But the justice done to
Edgar she gloried in, as an apology for her feelings, and exculpatory of
her weakness. Her tears flowed fast at every expression of kindness to
herself, her burning blushes dried them up as they were falling, at
every hint of her feebleness, and the hopelessness of its cause; but
wholly subdued by the last paragraph, which with reverence she pressed
to her lips, she offered up the most solemn vows of a strict and entire
observance of every injunction which the letter contained.

She was thus employed, unnoticing the passage of time, when Mrs. Arlbery
tapped at her door, and asked if she wished to dine in her own room.

Surprised at the question, and ashamed to be thus seen, she was
beginning a thousand apologies for not being yet dressed: but Mrs.
Arlbery, interrupting her, said, 'I never listen to excuses. 'Tis the
only battery that overpowers me. If, by any mischance, and in an evil
hour, some country cousin, not knowing my ways, or some antediluvian
prig, not minding them, happen to fall upon me with formal speeches,
where I can make no escape, a fit of yawning takes me immediately, and I
am demolished for the rest of the day.'

Camilla, attempting to smile, promised to play the country cousin no
more. Mrs. Arlbery then observed she had been weeping; and taking her
hand, with an examining look, 'My lovely young friend,' she cried, 'this
will never do!'

'What, ma'am?... how?... what?...'

'Nay, nay, don't be frightened. Come down to dinner, and we'll talk over
the hows? and the whats? afterwards. Never mind your dress; we go no
where this evening; and I make a point not to suffer any body to change
their attire in my house, merely because the afternoon is taking place
of the morning. It seems to me a miserable compliment to the mistress of
a mansion, to see her guests only equip themselves for the table. For my
part, I deem the garb that is good enough for me, good enough for my
geese and turkies ... apple and oyster-sauce included.'

Camilla then followed her down stairs, where she found no company but
Sir Sedley Clarendel.

'Come, my dear Miss Tyrold,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'you and I may now
consider ourselves as _tête-à-tête_; Sir Sedley won't be much in our
way. He hears and sees nothing but himself.'

'Ecstatically flattering that!' cried Sir Sedley; 'dulcet to every
nerve!'

'O, I know you listen just now, because you are yourself my theme. But
the moment I take another, you will forget we are either of us in the
room.'

'Inhuman to the quick!' cried he; 'barbarous to a point!'

'This is a creature so strange, Miss Tyrold,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'that I
must positively initiate you a little into his character;--or, rather,
into its own caricature; for as to character, he has had none
intelligible these three years.--See but how he smiles at the very
prospect of being portrayed, in defiance of all his efforts to look
unconcerned! yet he knows I shall shew him no mercy. But, like all other
egotists, the only thing to really disconcert him, would be to take no
notice of him. Make him but the first subject of discourse, and praise
or abuse are pretty much the same to him.'

'O shocking! shocking! killing past resuscitation! Abominably horrid, I
protest!'

'O I have not begun yet. This is an observation to suit thousands. But
do not fear; you shall have all your appropriations. Miss Tyrold, you
are to be auditor and judge: and I will save you the time and the
trouble which decyphering this animal, so truly a non-descript, might
cost you.'

'What a tremendous exordium! distressing to a degree! I am agued with
trepidation!

'O you wretch! you know you are enchanted. But no further interruption!
I send you to Coventry for the next ten minutes.'

'This man, my dear Miss Tyrold, whom we are about to delineate, was
meant by nature, and prepared by art, for something greatly superior to
what he now appears: but, unhappily, he had neither solidity of
judgment, nor humility of disposition, for bearing meekly the early
advantages with which he set out in life; a fine person, fine parts, and
a fine estate, all dashed into consciousness at the presuming age of one
and twenty. By this aggregate of wealthy, of mental, and of personal
prosperity, he has become at once self spoilt, and world spoilt. Had
you known him, as I have done, before he was seized with this systematic
affectation, which, I am satisfied, causes him more study than the
united pedants of both universities could inflict upon him, you would
have seen the most delightful creature breathing! a creature combining,
in one animated composition, the very essences of spirit, of gaiety, and
of intelligence. But now, with every thing within his reach, nothing
seems worth his attainment. He has not sufficient energy to make use of
his own powers. He has no one to command him, and he is too indolent to
command himself. He has therefore turned fop from mere wantonness of
time and of talents; from having nothing to do, no one to care for, and
no one to please. Take from him half his wit, and by lessening his
presumption, you will cure him of all his folly. Rob him of his fortune,
and by forcing him into exertion, you will make him one of the first men
of his day. Deface and maim his features and figure, and by letting him
see that to appear and be admired is not the same thing, you will render
him irresistible.'

'Have you done?' cried the baronet smiling.

'I protest,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'I believe you are a little touched! And
I don't at all want to reform you. A perfect character only lulls me to
sleep.'

'Obliging in the superlative! I must then take as a consolation, that I
have never given you a nap?'

'Never, Clarendel, I assure you; and yet I don't hate you! Vice is
detestable; I banish all its appearances from my coteries; and I would
banish its reality, too, were I sure I should then have any thing but
empty chairs in my drawing-room--but foibles make all the charm of
society. They are the only support of convivial raillery, and domestic
wit. If formerly, therefore, you more excited my admiration, it is now,
believe me, you contribute most to my entertainment.'

'Condoling to a phenomenon! I have really, then, the vastly prodigious
honour to be exalted in your fair graces to the level of a mountebank? a
quack doctor? his merry Andrew? or any other such respectable buffoon?'

'Piqued! piqued! I declare! this exceeds my highest ambition. But I must
not weaken the impression by dwelling upon it.'

She then asked Camilla if she had any message for Cleves, as one of her
servants was going close to the park gate.

Camilla, glad to withdraw, said she would write a few words to her
father, and retired for that purpose.

       *       *       *       *       *

'What in the world, my dear Clarendel,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'can I do
with this poor thing? She has lost all her sprightliness, and vapours me
but to look at her. She has all the symptoms upon her of being in the
full meridian of that common girlish disease, an hopeless passion.'

'Poor little tender dove!' cried the baronet. ''Twould be odious to cure
her. Unfeeling to excess. What in nature can be half so mellifluously
interesting? I shall now look at her with most prodigious softness.
Ought one not to sigh as she approaches?'

'The matter to be sure is silly enough,' answered Mrs. Arlbery; 'but,
this nonsense apart, she is a charming girl. Besides, I perceive I am a
violent favourite with her; and flattery, my dear Clarendel, will work
its way, even with me! I really owe her a good turn: Else I should no
longer endure her; for the tender passion has terribly flattened her. If
we can't restore her spirits, she will be a mere dead weight to me.'

'O a very crush! a cannon ball would be a butterfly in the comparison!
But who is the irresistible? What form has the little blind traitor
assumed?'

'O, assure yourself, that of the first young man who has come in her
sight. Every damsel, as she enters the world, has some picture ready
painted upon her imagination, of an object worthy to enslave her: and
before any experience forms her judgment, or any comparison her taste,
she is the dupe of the first youth who presents himself to her, in the
firm persuasion of her ductile fancy, that he is just the model it had
previously created.'

She then added, she had little doubt but young Mandlebert was the hero,
from their private conferences after the raffle, and from her blushes
when forced to name him.

'Nay, nay, this is not the first incongruity!' said the young baronet,
'not romantic to outrage. Beech Park has nothing very horrific in it.
Nothing invincibly beyond the standard of a young lady's philosophy.'

'Depend upon it, that's the very idea its master has conceived of the
matter himself. You wealthy Cavaliers rarely want flappers to remind
you of your advantages. That Mandlebert, you must know, is my aversion.
He has just that air and reputation of faultlessness that gives me the
spleen. I hope, for her sake, he won't think of her; he will lead her a
terrible life. A man who piques himself upon his perfections, finds no
mode so convenient and ready for displaying them, as proving all about
him to be constantly in the wrong. However, a character of that stamp
rarely marries; especially if he is rich, and has no obstacles in his
way. What can I do, then, for this poor thing? The very nature of her
malady is to make her entertain false hopes. I am quite bent upon curing
them. The only difficulty, according to custom, is how. I wish you would
take her in hand yourself.'

'I?... preposterous in the extreme! what particle of chance should I
have against Mandlebert?'

'O you vain wretch! to be sure you don't know, that though he is rich,
you are richer? and, doubtless, you never took notice, that though he is
handsome, you are handsomer? As to manners, there is little to choose
between you, for he is as much too correct, as you are too fantastic. In
conversation, too, you are nearly upon a par, for he is as regularly too
right, as you are ridiculously too wrong,--but O the charm of dear
amusing wrong, over dull commanding right! you have but to address
yourself to her with a little flattering distinction, and Mandlebert
ever after will appear to her a pedant.'

'What a wicked sort of sprite is a female wit!' cried Sir Sedley,
'breathing only in mischief! a very will-o'-the-wisp, personified and
petticoated, shining but to lead astray. Dangerous past all fathom! Have
the goodness, however, my fair Jack-o'-lanthorn, to intimate what you
mean I should do with this languishing dulcinea, should I deliver her
from thraldom? You don't advise me, I presume, to take unto myself a
wife? I protest I am shivered to the utmost point north at the bare
suggestion! frozen to an icicle!'

'No, no; I know you far too confirmed an egotist for any thing but an
old bachelor. Nor is there the least necessity to yoke the poor child to
the conjugal plough so early. The only sacrifice I demand from you is a
little attention; the only good I aim at for her, is to open her eyes,
which have now a film before them, and to let her see that Mandlebert
has no other pre-eminence, than that of having been the first young man
with whom she became acquainted. Never imagine I want her to fall in
love with you. Heaven help the poor victim to such a complication of
caprice!'

'Nay, now I am full south again! burning with shame and choler! How you
navigate my sensations from cold to heat at pleasure! Cooke was a mere
river water-man to you. My blood chills or boils at your command. Every
sentence is a new climate. You waft me from extreme to extreme, with a
rapidity absolutely dizzying. A balloon is a broad-wheeled wagon to
you.'

'Come, come, jargon apart, will you make yourself of any use? The cure
of a romantic first flame is a better surety to subsequent discretion,
than all the exhortations of all the fathers, and mothers, and
guardians, and maiden aunts in the universe. Save her now, and you serve
her for life;--besides giving me a prodigious pleasure in robbing that
frigid Mandlebert of such a conquest.'

'Unhappy young swain! I pity him to immensity. How has he fallen thus
under the rigour of your wrath? Do you banish him your favour, like
another Aristides, to relieve your ear from hearing him called the
Just?'

'Was ever allusion so impertinent? or, what is worse, for aught I can
determine, so true? for, certainly, he has given me no offence; yet I
feel I should be enchanted to humble him. Don't be concerned for him,
however; you may assure yourself he hates me. There is a certain spring
in our propensities to one another, that involuntarily opens and shuts
in almost exact harmony, whether of approbation or antipathy. Except,
indeed, in the one article of love, which, distinguishing nothing, is
ready to grasp at any thing.'

'But why have you not recourse to the gallant cockade?'

'The Major? O, I have observed, already, she receives his devoirs
without emotion; which, for a girl who has seen nothing of the world, is
respectable enough, his red coat considered. Whether the man has any
meaning himself, or whether he knows there is such a thing, I cannot
tell: but as I do not wish to see her surrounded with brats, while a
mere brat herself, it is not worth inquiry. You are the thing,
Clarendel, the very thing! You are just agreeable enough to annul her
puerile fascination, yet not interesting enough to involve her in any
new danger.'

'Flattering past imitability! divine Arlberiana!'

'Girls, in general,' continued she, 'are insupportable nuisances to
women. If you do not set them to prate about their admirers, or their
admired, they die of weariness;--if you do, the weariness reverberates
upon yourself.'

Camilla here returned. She had written a few lines to Eugenia, to
enforce her reliance upon Edgar, with an earnest request to be sent for
immediately, if any new difficulty occurred. And she had addressed a few
warmly grateful words to her father, engaging to follow his every
injunction with her best ability.

Sir Sedley now rung for his carriage; and Camilla, for the rest of the
evening, exerted herself to receive more cheerfully the kind civilities
of her lively hostess.



CHAPTER VII

_A Recall_


After two days passed with tolerable, though not natural cheerfulness at
the Grove, Camilla was surprised by the arrival of the carriage of Sir
Hugh with a short note from Eugenia.

     _To Miss_ Camilla Tyrold.

     An incident has happened that overpowers me with sadness and
     horror. I cannot write. I send the chariot. O! come and pass an
     hour or two at Cleves with your distressed.

     EUGENIA!

Camilla could scarcely stop to leave a message for Mrs. Arlbery, before
she flew to the carriage; nor even inquire for her uncle at Cleves,
before she ran to the apartment of Eugenia, and, with a thousand tender
caresses, desired to know what had thus cruelly afflicted her.

'Alas!' she answered, 'my uncle has written to Clermont to come
over,--and informed him with what view!'

She then related, that Indiana, the preceding day, had prevailed with
Sir Hugh to let her go to the Middleton races; and she found he would be
quite unhappy if she refused to be also of the party. That they had been
joined by Bellamy on the race ground, who only, however, spoke to Miss
Margland, as Edgar, watchful and uneasy, scarce let him even see anyone
else. But the horses having taken fright, while they were in a great
crowd, Bellamy had persuaded Miss Margland to alight, while the coach
passed a terrible concourse of carriages; and, in that interval, he had
contrived to whisper a claim upon her tacit promise of viewing the
chaise which was for ever to convey him away from her; and, though her
engagement to Edgar made her refuse, he had drawn her, she knows not
herself how, from her party, and, while she was angrily remonstrating,
and he seemed in the utmost despair at her displeasure, Edgar, who had
been at first eluded by being on horseback, dismounted, forced his way
to her, and almost carried her back to the coach, leaving Bellamy, who
she was sure had no sinister design, nearly dead with grief at being
unworthily suspected. Edgar, she however added, was fixed in believing
he meant to convey her away; and Jacob, asserting he saw him purposely
frighten the horses, had told his surmises to Sir Hugh; which he had
corroborated by an account that the same gentleman had stopt to converse
with her in her last return from Etherington. Sir Hugh, terrified, had
declared he would no longer live without Clermont upon the spot. She had
felt too much for his disturbance to oppose him at the moment, but had
not imagined his plan would immediately be put into execution, till,
early this morning, he had sent for her, and produced his letter of
recall, which had taken him, he said, the whole night to compose and
finish. Urged by surprise and dissatisfaction, she was beginning a
little remonstrance; but found it made him so extremely unhappy, that,
in the fear of a relapse, she desisted; and, with a shock she knew not
when she should overcome, saw the fatal letter delivered for the post.

Camilla, with much commiseration, inquired if she had consulted with
Edgar. Yes, she answered; and he had extorted her permission to relate
the whole transaction to her father, though in a manner wide from
justice to the ill-fated Bellamy; whose design might be extraordinary,
but whose character, she was convinced, was honourable.

Camilla, whose education, though private, had not like that of Eugenia,
been secluded and studious, was far less credulous than her sister,
though equally artless. She knew, too, with regard to this affair, the
opinion of Edgar, and to know and be guided by it was imperceptibly one.
She declared herself, therefore, openly against Bellamy, and made her
motives consist in a commentary upon his proceedings.

Eugenia warmly defended him, declaring the judgment of Camilla, and that
of all her friends, to be formed in the dark; for that none of them
could have doubted a moment his goodness or his honour, had they seen
the distracted suffering that was marked in his countenance.

'And what,' cried Camilla, 'says my father to all this?'

'He says just what Edgar says:--he is all that is kind and good, but he
has never beheld Bellamy--how, then, should he know him?'

A message came now from Sir Hugh to Camilla, that he would see her
before she went, but that he was resting at present from the fatigue of
writing a letter. He sent her, however, with his love, the foul copy, to
amuse her till she could come to him.

     _To_ Clermont Lynmere _Esq._

     Dear Nephew,

     I have had a very dangerous illness, and the doctors themselves are
     all surprised that I recovered; but a greater doctor than them was
     pleased to save me, for which I thank God. But as this attack has
     made me think more than ever I thought before, I am willing to turn
     my thoughts to good account.

     Now, as I have not the gift of writing, at which, thank God, I have
     left off repining, from the reason of its great troublesomeness in
     acquiring, I can't pretend to any thing of a fine letter, but shall
     proceed to business.

     My dear Clermont, I write now to desire you would come over out of
     hand; which I hope you won't take unkind, foreign parts being no
     great pleasure to see, in comparison of old England; besides which,
     I have another apology to offer, which is, having a fine prize in
     view for you; which is the more essential, owing to some unlucky
     circumstances, in which I did not behave quite as well as I wish,
     though very unwillingly; which I mention to you as a warning.
     However, you have no need to be cast down, for this prize will set
     all right, and make you as rich as a lord, at the same time that
     you are as wise as a philosopher. And as learning, though I have
     the proper respect for it, won't serve to make the pot boil, you
     must needs be glad of more substantial fuel; for there's no living
     upon air, however you students may affect to think eating mere
     gluttony.

     Now, this prize is no other than your cousin Eugenia Tyrold, whom I
     don't tell you is a beauty; but if you are the sensible lad I take
     you for, you won't think the worse of her for wanting such frail
     perfections. Besides, we should not be too nice amongst relations,
     for if we are, what can we expect from the wide world? So I beg you
     to come over with all convenient speed, for fear of her falling a
     prey to some sharper, many such being to be found; especially at
     horse-races, and so forth. I remain,

     Dear nephew,
     Your affectionate uncle,

     HUGH TYROLD.

Eugenia, from motives of delicacy and of shame, declined reading the
copy as she had declined reading the letter; but looked so extremely
unhappy, that Camilla offered to plead with her uncle, and use her
utmost influence that he would countermand the recall.

'No,' answered she, 'no! 'tis a point of duty and gratitude, and I must
bear its consequences.'

She was now called down to Mr. Tyrold. Camilla accompanied her.

He told her he had gathered, from the kind zeal and inquiries of Edgar,
that Bellamy had certainly laid a premeditated plan for carrying her
off, if she went to the races; which, as the whole neighbourhood was
there, might reasonably be expected.

Eugenia, with fervour, protested such wickedness was impossible.

'I am unwilling, my dear child,' he answered, 'to adulterate the purity
of your thoughts and expectations, by inculcating suspicions; but,
though nature has blessed you with an uncommon understanding, remember,
in judgment you are still but fifteen, and in experience but a child.
One thing, however, tell me candidly, is it from love of justice, or is
it for your happiness you combat thus ardently for the integrity of this
young man?'

'For my justice, Sir!' said she firmly.

'And no latent reason mingles with and enforces it?'

'None, believe me! save only what gratitude dictates.'

'If your heart, then, is your own, my dear girl, do not be uneasy at the
letter to Clermont. Your uncle is the last man upon earth to put any
constraint upon your inclinations; and need I add to my dearest Eugenia,
I am the last father to thwart or distress them? Resume, therefore,
your courage and composure; be just to your friends, and happy in
yourself.'

Reason was never thrown away upon Eugenia. Her mind was a soil which
received and naturalized all that was sown in it. She promised to look
forward with more cheerfulness, and to dwell no longer upon this
agitating transaction.

Edgar now came in. He was going to Beech Park to meet Bellamy. He was
charged with a long message for him from Sir Hugh; and an order to
inform him that his niece was engaged; which, however, he declined
undertaking, without first consulting her.

This was almost too severe a trial of the duty and fortitude of Eugenia.
She coloured, and was quitting the room in silence: but presently
turning back, 'My uncle,' she cried, 'is too ill now for argument, and
he is too dear to me for opposition:--Say, then, just what you think
will most conduce to his tranquillity and recovery.'

Her father embraced her; Camilla shed tears; and Edgar, in earnest
admiration, kissed her hand. She received their applause with
sensibility, but looked down with a secret deduction from its force, as
she internally uttered, 'My task is not so difficult as they believe!
touched as I am with the constancy of Bellamy--It is not Melmond who
loves me! it is not Melmond I reject!--'

Edgar was immediately setting off, but, stopping him--'One thing alone I
beg,' she said; 'do not communicate your intelligence abruptly. Soften
it by assurances of my kind wishes.--Yet, to prevent any deception, any
future hope--say to him--if you think it right--that I shall regard
myself, henceforward, as if already in that holy state so sacred to one
only object.'

She blushed, and left them, followed by Camilla.

'If born but yesterday,' cried Mr. Tyrold, while his eyes glistened,
'she could not be more perfectly free from guile.'

'Yet that,' said Edgar, 'is but half her praise; she is perfectly free,
also, from self! she is made up of disinterested qualities and liberal
sensations. To the most genuine simplicity, she joins the most singular
philosophy; and to knowledge and cultivation, the most uncommon, adds
all the modesty as well as innocence of her extreme youth and
inexperience.'

Mr. Tyrold subscribed with frankness to this just praise of his
highly-valued daughter; and they then conferred upon the steps to be
taken with Bellamy, whom neither of them scrupled to pronounce a mere
fortune-hunter. All the inquiries of Edgar were ineffectual to learn any
particulars of his situation. He said he was travelling for his
amusement; but he had no recommendation to anyone; though, by being
constantly well-dressed, and keeping a shewy footman, he had contrived
to make acquaintance almost universally in the neighbourhood. Mr. Tyrold
determined to accompany Edgar to Beech Park himself, and there, in the
most peremptory terms, to assure him of the serious measures that would
ensue, if he desisted not from his pursuit.

He then went to take leave of Camilla, who had been making a visit to
her uncle, and was returning to the Grove.

He had seen with concern the frigid air with which Edgar had bowed to
her upon his entrance, and with compassion the changed countenance with
which she had received his formal salutation. His hope of the alliance
now sunk; and so favourite a wish could not be relinquished without
severe disappointment; yet his own was immaterial to him when he looked
at Camilla, and saw in her expressive eyes the struggle of her soul to
disguise her wounded feelings. He now regretted that she had not
accompanied her mother abroad; and desired nothing so earnestly as any
means to remove her from all intercourse with Mandlebert. He seconded,
therefore, her speed to be gone, happy she would be placed where
exertion would be indispensable; and gently, yet clearly, intimated his
wish that she should remain at the Grove, till she could meet Edgar
without raising pain in her own bosom, or exciting suspicions in his.
Cruelly mortified, she silently acquiesced. He then said whatever was
most kind to give her courage; but, dejected by her conscious failure,
and afflicted by the change in Edgar, she returned to Mrs. Arlbery in a
state of mind the most melancholy.

And here, nothing could be less exhilarating nor less seasonable than
the first news she heard.

The regiment of General Kinsale was ordered into Kent, in the
neighbourhood of Tunbridge: It was the season for drinking the water of
that spring; and Mr. Dennel was going thither with his daughter. Sir
Sedley Clarendel conceived it would be serviceable also to his own
health; and had suddenly proposed to Mrs. Arlbery forming a party to
pass a few weeks there. With a vivacity always ready for any new
project, she instantly agreed to it, and the journey was settled to
take place in three days. When Camilla was informed of this intended
excursion, the disappointment with which it overpowered her was too
potent for disguise: and Mrs. Arlbery was so much struck with it, that,
during coffee, she took Sir Sedley apart, and said; 'I feel such concern
for the dismal alteration of that sweet girl, that I could prevail with
myself, all love-lorn as she is, to take her with me to Tunbridge, if
you will aid my hardy enterprise of driving that frozen composition of
premature wisdom from her mind. If you are not as invulnerable as
himself, you cannot refuse me this little sleight of gallantry.'

Sir Sedley gave a laughing assent, declaring, at the same time, with the
strongest professed diffidence, his conscious inability. Mrs. Arlbery,
in high spirits, said she scarce knew which would most delight her, to
mortify Edgar, or restore Camilla to gaiety and independance. Yet she
would watch, she said, that matters went no further than just to shake
off a whining first love; for the last thing upon earth she intended was
to entangle her in a second.

Camilla received the invitation with pleasure yet anxiety: for though
glad to be spared returning to Cleves in a state of disturbance so
suspicious, she was bitterly agitated in reflecting upon the dislike of
Edgar to Mrs. Arlbery, the pains he had taken to prevent her mingling
with this society, and the probably final period to his esteem and
good-will, that would prove the result of her accompanying such a party
to a place of amusement.



CHAPTER VIII

_A Youth of the Times_


Mrs. Arlbery accompanied Camilla the next day to Cleves, to ask
permission of Mr. Tyrold for the excursion. She would trust the request
to none but herself, conscious of powers of persuasion unused to
repulse.

Mr. Tyrold was distressed by the proposition: he was not satisfied in
trusting his unguarded Camilla to the dissipation of a public place,
except under the wing of her mother; though he felt eager to remove her
from Edgar, and rejoiced in any opportunity to allow her a change of
scene, that might revive her natural spirits, and unchain her heart from
its unhappy subjection.

Perceiving him undetermined, Mrs. Arlbery called forth all her artillery
of eloquence and grace, to forward her conquest. The licence she allowed
herself in common of fantastic command, gave way to the more feminine
attraction of soft pleading: her satire, which, though never malignant,
was often alarming, was relinquished for a sportive gaiety that diffused
general animation; and Mr. Tyrold soon, though not caught like his
daughter, ceased to wonder that his daughter had been caught.

In this indecision he took Camilla apart, and bade her tell him, without
fear or reserve, her own feelings, her own wishes, her own opinion upon
this scheme. She held such a call too serious and too kind for disguise:
she hid her face upon his shoulder and wept; he soothed and encouraged
her to confidence; and, in broken accents, she then acknowledged herself
unequal, as yet, to fulfilling his injunctions of appearing cheerful and
easy, though sensible of their wisdom.

Mr. Tyrold, with a heavy heart, saw how much deeper was her wound, than
the airiness of her nature had prepared him to expect, and could no
longer hesitate in granting his consent. He saw it was her wish to go;
but he saw that the pleasures of a public place had no share in exciting
it. To avoid betraying her conscious mortification was her sole and
innocent motive; and though he would rather have sent her to a more
private spot, and have trusted her to a more retired character; he yet
thought it possible, that what opportunity presented unsought, might,
eventually, prove more beneficial than what his own choice would have
dictated; for public amusements, to the young and unhackneyed, give
entertainment without requiring exertion; and spirits lively as those of
Mrs. Arlbery create nearly as much gaiety as they display.

Fixed, now, for the journey, he carried Camilla to her uncle to take
leave. The prospect of not seeing her again for six weeks was gloomy to
Sir Hugh; though he bore it better at this moment, when his fancy was
occupied by arranging preparations for the return of Clermont, than he
could have done at almost any other. He put into her hand a fifty pound
Bank note for her expences, and when, with mingled modesty and
dejection, she would have returned the whole, as unnecessary even to her
wishes, Mr. Tyrold, interfering, made her accept twenty pounds. Sir
Hugh pressed forward the original sum in vain; his brother, though
always averse to refuse his smallest desire, thought it here a duty to
be firm, that the excursion, which he granted as a relief to her
sadness, might not lead to pleasures ever after beyond her reach, nor to
their concomitant extravagance. She could not, he knew, reside at
Tunbridge with the oeconomy and simplicity to which she was accustomed
at Etherington; but he charged her to let no temptation make her forget
the moderate income of which alone she was certain; assuring her, that
where a young woman's expences exceeded her known expectations, those
who were foremost to praise her elegance, would most fear to form any
connection with her, and most despise or deride her in any calamity.

Camilla found no difficulty in promising the most exact observance of
this instruction; her heart seemed in sackcloth and ashes, and she cared
not in what manner her person should be arrayed.

Sir Hugh earnestly enjoined her not to fail to be at Cleves upon the
arrival of Clermont, intimating that the nuptials would immediately take
place.

She then sought Eugenia, whom she found with Dr. Orkborne, in a state of
mind so perfectly calm and composed, as equally to surprise and rejoice
her. She saw with pleasure that all Bellamy had inspired was the most
artless compassion; for since his dismission had now positively been
given, and Clermont was actually summoned, she devoted her thoughts
solely to the approaching event, with the firm, though early wisdom
which distinguished her character.

Indiana joined them; and, in a low voice, said to Camilla, 'Pray,
cousin, do you know where Mr. Macdersey is? because I am sadly afraid
he's dead.'

Camilla, surprised, desired to know why she had such an apprehension?

'Because he told me he'd shoot himself through the brains if I was
cruel--and I am sure I had no great choice given me: for, between
ourselves, Miss Margland gave all the answers for me, without once
stopping to ask me what I should chuse. So if he has really done it, the
fault is more her's than mine.'

She then said, that, just after Camilla's departure the preceding day,
Mr. Macdersey arrived, and insisted upon seeing her, and speaking to Sir
Hugh, as he was ordered into Kent, and could not go so far in suspence.
Sir Hugh was not well enough to admit him; and Miss Margland, upon whom
the office devolved, took upon her to give him a positive refusal; and
though she went into the room while he was there, never once would let
her make an answer for herself.

Miss Margland, she added, had frightened Sir Hugh into forbidding him
the house, by comparing him with Mr. Bellamy; but Mr. Macdersey had
frightened them all enough, in return, as he went away, by saying, that
as soon as ever Sir Hugh was well, he would call him out, because of his
sending him word down stairs not to come to Cleves any more, for he had
been disturbed enough already by another Irish fortune-hunter, that came
after another of his nieces; and he was the more sure Mr. Macdersey was
one of them, because of his being a real Irishman, while Mr. Bellamy was
only an Englishman. 'But don't you think now, cousin,' she continued,
'Miss Margland might as well have let me speak for myself?'

Camilla inquired if she was sorry for the rejection.

'N ... o,' she answered, with some hesitation; 'for Miss Margland says
he's got no rent-roll; besides, I don't think he's so agreeable as Mr.
Melmond; only Mr. Melmond's worth little or no fortune they say: for
Miss Margland inquired about it, after Mr. Mandlebert behaved so. Else I
can't say I thought Mr. Melmond disagreeable.'

Mrs. Arlbery now sent to hasten Camilla, who, in returning to the
parlour, met Edgar. He had just gathered her intended excursion, and,
sick at heart, had left the room. Camilla felt the consciousness of a
guilty person at his sight; but he only slightly bowed; and coldly
saying, 'I hope you will have much pleasure at Tunbridge,' went on to
his own room.

And there, replete with resentment for the whole of her late conduct, he
again blessed Dr. Marchmont for his preservation from her toils; and,
concluding the excursion was for the sake of the Major, whose regiment
he knew to be just ordered into Kent, he centered every former hope in
the one single wish that he might never see her more.

Camilla, shocked by such obvious displeasure, quitted Cleves with still
increasing sadness; and Mrs. Arlbery would heartily have repented her
invitation, but for her dependance upon Sir Sedley Clarendel.

At Etherington they stopt, that Camilla might prepare her package for
Tunbridge. Mrs. Arlbery would not alight.

While Camilla, with a maid-servant, was examining her drawers, the
chamber door was opened by Lionel, for whom she had just inquired, and
who, telling her he wanted to speak to her in private, turned the maid
out of the room.

Camilla begged him to be quick, as Mrs. Arlbery was waiting.

'Why then, my dear little girl,' cried he, 'the chief substance of the
matter is neither more nor less than this: I want a little money.'

'My dear brother,' said Camilla, pleasure again kindling in her eyes as
she opened her pocket-book, 'you could never have applied to me so
opportunely. I have just got twenty pounds, and I do not want twenty
shillings. Take it, I beseech you, any part, or all.'

Lionel paused and seemed half choaked. 'Camilla,' he cried presently,
'you are an excellent girl. If you were as old and ugly as Miss
Margland, I really believe I should think you young and pretty. But this
sum is nothing. A drop of water to the ocean.'

Camilla now, drawing back, disappointed and displeased, asked how it was
possible he should want more.

'More, my dear child? why I want two or three cool hundred.'

'Two or three hundred?' repeated she, amazed.

'Nay, nay, don't be frightened. My uncle will give you two or three
thousand, you know that. And I really want the money. It's no joke, I
assure you. It's a case of real distress.'

'Distress? impossible! what distress can you have to so prodigious an
amount?'

'Prodigious! poor little innocent! dost think two or three hundred
prodigious?'

'And what is become of the large sums extorted from my uncle Relvil?'

'O that was for quite another thing. That was for debts. That's gone and
over. This is for a perfectly different purpose.'

'And will nothing--O Lionel!--nothing touch you? My poor mother's
quitting England ... her separation from my father and her family ... my
uncle Relvil's severe attack ... will nothing move you to more
thoughtful, more praise-worthy conduct?'

'Camilla, no preaching! I might as well cast myself upon the old ones at
once. I come to you in preference, on purpose to avoid sermonising.
However, for your satisfaction, and to spur you to serve me, I can
assure you I have avoided all new debts since the last little deposit of
the poor sick hypochondriac miser, who is pining away at the loss of a
few guineas, that he had neither spirit nor health to have spent for
himself.'

'Is this your reasoning, your repentance, Lionel, upon such a
catastrophe?'

'My dear girl, I am heartily concerned at the whole business, only, as
it's over, I don't like talking of it. This is the last scrape I shall
ever be in while I live. But if you won't help me, I am undone. You know
your influence with my uncle. Do, there's a dear girl, use it for your
brother! I have not a dependance in the world, now, but upon you!'

'Certainly I will do whatever I can for you,' said she, sighing; 'but
indeed, my dear Lionel, your manner of going on makes my very heart
ache! However, let this twenty pounds be in part, and tell me your very
smallest calculation for what must be added?'

'Two hundred. A farthing less will be of no use; and three will be of
thrice the service. But mind!... you must not say it's for me!'

'How, then, can I ask for it?'

'O, vamp up some dismal ditty.'

'No, Lionel!' exclaimed she, turning away from him; 'you propose what
you know to be impracticable.'

'Well, then, if you must needs say it's for me, tell him he must not for
his life own it to the old ones.'

'In the same breath, must I beg and command?'

'O, I always make that my bargain. I should else be put into the lecture
room, and not let loose again till I was made a milk-sop. They'd talk me
so into the vapours, I should not be able to act like a man for a month
to come.'

'A man, Lionel?'

'Yes, a man of the world, my dear; a knowing one.'

Mrs. Arlbery now sent to hasten her, and he extorted a promise that she
would go to Cleves the next morning, and procure a draft for the money,
if possible, to be ready for his calling at the Grove in the afternoon.

She felt this more deeply than she had time or courage to own to
Lionel, but her increased melancholy was all imputed to reflections
concerning Mandlebert by Mrs. Arlbery.

       *       *       *       *       *

That lady lent her chaise the next morning, with her usual promptitude
of good humour, and Camilla went to Cleves, with a reluctance that never
before accompanied her desire to oblige.

Her visit was received most kindly by all the family, as merely an
additional leave taking; in which light, though she was too sincere to
place it, she suffered it to pass. Having no chance of being alone with
her uncle by accident, she was forced to beg him, in a whisper, to
request a _tête-à-tête_ with her: and she then, covered with all the
confusion of a partner in his extravagance, made the petition of Lionel.

Sir Hugh seemed much surprised, but protested he would rather part with
his coat and waistcoat than refuse anything to Camilla. He gave her
instantly a draft upon his banker for two hundred pounds; but added, he
should take it very kind of her, if she would beg Lionel to ask him for
no more this year, as he was really so hard run, he should not else be
able to make proper preparations for the wedding, till his next rents
became due.

Camilla was now surprised in her turn; and Sir Hugh then confessed,
that, between presents and petitions, his nephew had had no less than
five hundred pounds from him the preceding year, unknown to his parents;
and that for this year, the sum she requested made the seventh hundred;
without the least account for what purpose it was given.

Camilla now heartily repented being a partner in a business so
rapacious, so unjustifiable, and so mysterious; but, kindly interrupting
her apology, 'Don't be concerned, my dear,' he cried, 'for there's no
help for these things; though what the young boys do with all their
money now-a-days, is odd enough, being what I can't make out. However,
he'll soon be wiser, so we must not be too severe with him; though I
told him, the last time, I had rather he would not ask me so often;
which was being almost too sharp, I'm afraid, considering his youngness;
for one can't expect him to be an old man at once.'

Camilla gave voluntarily her word no such application should find her
its ambassadress again: and though he would have dispensed with the
promise, she made it the more readily as a guard against her own
facility.

'At least,' cried the baronet, 'say nothing to my poor brother, and more
especially to your mother; it being but vexatious to such good parents
to hear of such idleness, not knowing what to think of it; for it is a
great secret, he says, what he does with it all; for which reason one
can't expect him to tell it. My poor brother, to be sure, had rather he
should be studying _hic_, _hæc_, _hoc_; but, Lord help him! I believe he
knows no more of that than I do myself; and I never could make out much
meaning of it, any further than it's being Latin; though I suppose, at
the time, Dr. Orkborne might explain it to me, taking it for granted he
did what was right.'

Camilla was most willing to agree to concealing from her parents what
she knew must so painfully afflict them, though she determined to assume
sufficient courage to expostulate most seriously with her brother,
against whom she felt sensations of the most painful anger.

Again she now took leave; but upon re-entering the parlour, found Edgar
there alone.

Involuntarily she was retiring; but the counsel of her father recurring
to her, she compelled herself to advance, and say, 'How good you have
been to Eugenia! how greatly are we all indebted for your kind vigilance
and exertion!'

Edgar, who was reading, and knew not she was in the house, was
surprised, both by her sight and her address, out of all his
resolutions; and, with a softness of voice he meant evermore to deny
himself, answered, 'To me? can any of the Tyrold family talk of being
indebted to me?--my own obligations to all, to every individual of that
name, have been the pride, have been--hitherto--the happiness of my
life!--'

The word 'hitherto,' which had escaped, affected him: he stopt,
recollected himself, and presently, more drily added, 'Those obligations
would be still much increased, if I might flatter myself that one of
that race, to whom I have ventured to play the officious part of a
brother, could forget those lectures, she can else, I fear, with
difficulty pardon.'

'You have found me unworthy your counsel,' answered Camilla, gravely,
and looking down; 'you have therefore concluded I resent it: but we are
not always completely wrong, even when wide from being right. I have
not been culpable of quite so much folly as not to feel what I have owed
to your good offices; nor am I now guilty of the injustice to blame
their being withdrawn. You do surely what is wisest, though
not--perhaps--what is kindest.'

To these last words she forced a smile; and, wishing him good morning,
hurried away.

Amazed past expression, and touched to the soul, he remained, a few
instants, immoveable; then, resolving to follow her, and almost
resolving to throw himself at her feet, he opened the door she had shut
after her: he saw her still in the hall, but she was in the arms of her
father and sisters, who had all descended, upon hearing she had left Sir
Hugh, and of whom she was now taking leave.

Upon his appearance, she said she could no longer keep the carriage;
but, as she hastened from the hall, he saw that her eyes were swimming
in tears.

Her father saw it too, with less surprise, but more pain. He knew her
short and voluntary absence from her friends could not excite them: his
heart ached with paternal concern for her; and, motioning everybody else
to remain in the hall, he walked with her to the carriage himself,
saying, in a low voice, as he put her in, 'Be of better courage, my
dearest child. Endeavour to take pleasure where you are going--and to
forget what you are leaving: and, if you wish to feel or to give
contentment upon earth, remember always, you must seek to make
circumstance contribute to happiness, not happiness subservient to
circumstance.'

Camilla, bathing his hand with her tears, promised this maxim should
never quit her mind till they met again.

She then drove off.

'Yes,' she cried, 'I must indeed study it; Edgar cares no more what
becomes of me! resentment next to antipathy has taken place of his
friendship and esteem!'

She wrote down in her pocket-book the last words of her father; she
resolved to read them daily, and to make them the current lesson of her
future and disappointed life.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lionel, too impatient to wait for the afternoon, was already at the
Grove, and handed her from the chaise. But, stopping her in the portico,
'Well,' he cried, 'where's my draft?'

'Before I give it you,' said she, seriously, and walking from the
servants, 'I must entreat to speak a few words to you.'

'You have really got it, then?' cried he, in a rapture; 'you are a
charming girl! the most charming girl I know in the world! I won't take
your poor twenty pounds: I would not touch it for the world. But come,
where's the draft? Is it for the two or the three?'

'For the two; and surely, my dear Lionel--'

'For the two? O, plague take it!--only for the two?--And when will you
get me the odd third?'

'O brother! O Lionel! what a question! Will you make me repent, instead
of rejoice, in the pleasure I have to assist you?'

'Why, when he was about it, why could he not as well come down like a
gentleman at once? I am sure I always behaved very handsomely to him.'

'How do you mean?'

'Why, I never frightened him; never put him beside his poor wits, like
t'other poor nuncle. I don't remember I ever did him an ill turn in my
life, except wanting Dr. Pothook, there, to flog him a little for not
learning his book. It would have been a rare sight if he had!--Don't you
think so?'

'Rare, indeed, I hope!'

'Why, now, what could he have done, if the Doctor had really performed
it? He could not in justice have found fault, when he put himself to
school to him. But he'd have felt a little queer. Don't you think he
would?'

'You only want to make me laugh, to prevent my speaking to the purpose;
but I am not disposed to laugh; and therefore--'

'O, if you are not disposed to laugh, you are no company for me. Give me
my draft, therefore.'

'If you will not hear, I hope, at least, Lionel, you will think; and
that may be much more efficacious. Shall I put up the twenty? I really
do not want it. And it is all, all, all I can ever procure you! Remember
that!'

'What?--all?--this all?--what, not even the other little mean hundred?'

'No, my dear brother! I have promised my uncle no further application--'

'Why what a stingy, fusty old codger, to draw such a promise from you!'

'Hold, hold, Lionel! I cannot endure to hear you speak in such a manner
of such an uncle! the best, the most benevolent, the most indulgent--'

'Lord, child, don't be so precise and old maidish. Don't you know it's a
relief to a man's mind to swear, and say a few cutting things when he's
in a passion? when all the time he would no more do harm to the people
he swears at, than you would, that mince out all your words as if you
were talking treason, and thought every man a spy that heard you.
Besides, how is a man the worse for a little friendly curse or two,
provided he does not hear it? It's a very innocent refreshment to a
man's mind, my dear; only you know nothing of the world.'

Mrs. Arlbery now approaching, he hastily took the draft, and, after a
little hesitation, the twenty pounds, telling her, if she would not ask
for him, she must ask for herself, and that he felt no compunction, as
he was certain she might draw upon her uncle for every guinea he was
worth.

He then heartily embraced her; said she was the best girl in the world,
when she did not mount the pulpit, and rode off.

Camilla felt no concern at the loss of her twenty pounds: lowered and
unhappy, she was rather glad than sorry that her means for being abroad
were diminished, and that to keep her own room would soon be most
convenient.

The next day was fixed for the journey.



BOOK VI



CHAPTER I

_A Walk by Moonlight_


Mrs. Arlbery and Camilla set off in the coach of Mr. Dennel, widower of
a deceased sister of the husband of Mrs. Arlbery, whom she was induced
to admit of the party that he might aid in bearing the expenses, as she
could not, from some family considerations, refuse taking her niece into
her coterie. Sir Sedley Clarendel drove his own phaeton; but instead of
joining them, according to the condition which occasioned the treaty,
cantered away his ponies from the very first stage, and left word, where
he changed horses, that he should proceed to the hotel upon the
Pantiles.

Mrs. Arlbery was nearly provoked to return to the Grove. With Mr. Dennel
she did not think it worth while to converse; her niece she regarded as
almost an idiot; and Camilla was so spiritless, that, had not Sir Sedley
acceded to her plan, this was the last period in which she would have
chosen her for a companion.

They travelled very quietly to within a few miles of Tunbridge, when an
accident happened to one of the wheels of the carriage, that the
coachman said would take some hours to repair. They were drawn on, with
difficulty, to a small inn upon the road, whence they were obliged to
send a man and horse to Tunbridge for chaises.

As they were destined, now, to spend some time in this place, Mrs.
Arlbery retired to write letters, and Mr. Dennel to read newspapers;
and, invited by a bright moon, Camilla and Miss Dennel wandered from a
little garden to an adjoining meadow, which conducted them to a lane,
rendered so beautiful by the strong masses of shade with which the trees
intercepted the resplendent whiteness of the moon, that they walked on,
catching fresh openings with fresh pleasure, till the feet of Miss
Dennel grew as weary with the length of the way, unbroken by any
company, as the ears of Camilla with her incessant prattling, unaided by
any idea. Miss Dennel proposed to sit down, and, while relieving herself
by a fit of yawning and stretching, Camilla strolled a little further in
search of a safe and dry spot.

Miss Dennel, following in a moment, on tiptoe, and trembling, whispered
that she was sure she heard a voice. Camilla, with a smile, asked if
only themselves were privileged to enjoy so sweet a night? 'Hush!' cried
she, 'hush! I hear it again!' They listened; and, in a minute, a soft
plaintive tone reached their ears, too distant to be articulate, but
undoubtedly female.

'I dare say it's a robber!' exclaimed Miss Dennel shaking; 'If you don't
run back, I shall die!'

Camilla assured her, from the gentleness of the sound, she must be
mistaken; and pressed her to advance a few steps further, in case it
should be anybody ill.

'But you know,' said Miss Dennel, speaking low, 'people say that
sometimes there are noises in the air, without its being anybody?
Suppose it should be that?'

Still, though almost imperceptibly, Camilla drew her on, till, again
listening, they distinctly heard the words, 'My lovely friend.'

'La! how pretty!' said Miss Dennel; 'let's go a little nearer.'

They advanced, and presently, again stopping heard, 'Could pity pour
balm into my woes, how sweetly would they be alleviated by your's, my
lovely friend?'

Miss Dennel now looked enchanted, and eagerly led the way herself.

In a few minutes, arriving at the end of the lane, which opened upon a
wild and romantic common, they caught a glimpse of a figure in white.

Miss Dennel turned pale. 'Dear!' cried she, in the lowest whisper, 'what
is it?'

'A lady,' answered Camilla, equally cautious not to be heard, though
totally without alarm.

'Are you sure of that?' said Miss Dennel, shrinking back, and pulling
her companion to accompany her.

'Do you think it's a ghost?' cried Camilla, unresisting the retreat, yet
walking backwards to keep the form in sight.

'Fie! how can you talk so shocking? all in the dark so, except only for
the moon?'

'Your's, my lovely friend!' was now again pronounced in the tenderest
accent.

'She's talking to herself!' exclaimed Miss Dennel; 'Lord, how
frightful!' and she clung close to Camilla, who, mounting a little
hillock of stones, presently perceived that the lady was reading a
letter.

Miss Dennel, tranquillised by hearing this, was again content to stop,
when their ears were suddenly struck by a piercing shriek.

'O Lord! we shall be murdered!' cried she, screaming still louder
herself.

They both ran back some paces down the lane, Camilla determining to send
somebody from the inn to inquire what all this meant: but presently,
through an opening in the common, they perceived the form in white
darting forwards, with an air wild and terrified. Camilla stopt, struck
with compassion and curiosity at once; Miss Dennel could not quit her,
but after the first glance, hid her face, faintly articulating, 'O,
don't let it see us! don't let it see us! I am sure it's nothing
natural! I dare say it's somebody walking!'

The next instant, they perceived a man, looking earnestly around, as if
to discover who had echoed the scream; the place they occupied was in
the shade, and he did not observe them. He soon rushed hastily on, and
seized the white garment of the flying figure, which appeared, both by
its dress and form, to be an elegant female. She clasped her hands in
supplication, cast up her eyes towards heaven, and again shrieked aloud.

Camilla, who possessed that fine internal power of the thinking and
feeling mind to adopt courage for terror, where any eminent service may
be the result of immediate exertion, was preparing to spring to her
relief; while Miss Dennel, in extreme agony holding her, murmured out,
'Let's run away! let's run away! she's going to be murdered!' when they
saw the man prostrate himself at the lady's feet, in the humblest
subjection.

Camilla stopt her flight; and Miss Dennel, appeased, called out; 'La!
his kneeling! how pretty it looks! I dare say it's a lover. How I wish
one could hear what he says!'

An exclamation, however, from the lady, uttered in a tone of mingled
affright and disgust, of 'leave me! leave me!' was again the signal to
Miss Dennel of retreat, but of Camilla to advance.

The rustling of the leaves, caused by her attempt to make way through
the breach, caught the ears of the suppliant, who hastily arose; while
the lady folded her arms across her breast, and seemed ejaculating the
most fervent thanks for this relief.

Camilla now forced a passage through the hedge, and the lady, as she saw
her approach, called out, in a voice the most touching, 'Surely 'tis
some pitying Angel, mercifully come to my rescue!'

The pursuer drew back, and Camilla, in the gentlest words, besought the
lady to accompany her to the friends she had just left, who would be
happy to protect her.

She gratefully accepted the proposal, and Camilla then ventured to look
round, to see if the object of this alarm had retreated: but, with an
astonishment that almost confounded her, she perceived him, a few yards
off, taking a pinch of snuff, and humming an opera air.

The lady, then, snatching up her letter, which had fallen to the ground,
touched it with her lips, and carefully folding, put it into her bosom,
tenderly ejaculating, 'I have preserved thee!... O from what danger!
what violation!'

Then pressing the hand of Camilla, 'You have saved me,' she cried, 'from
the calamity of losing what is more dear than I have words to express!
Take me but where I may be shielded from that wretch, and what shall I
not owe to you?'

The moon now shining full upon her face, Camilla saw seated on it youth,
sensibility, and beauty. Her pleasure, involuntarily rather than
rationally, was redoubled that she had proved serviceable to her, as, in
equal proportion, was her abhorrence of the man who had caused the
disturbance.

The three females were now proceeding, when the offender, with a
careless air, and yet more careless bow, advancing towards them,
negligently said, 'Shall I have the honour to see you safe home,
ladies?'

Camilla felt indignant; Miss Dennel again screamed; and the stranger,
with a look of horror and disgust, said; 'Persecute me no more!'

'O hang it! O curse it!' cried he, swinging his cane to and fro, 'don't
be serious. I only meant to frighten you about the letter.'

The lady deigned no answer, but murmured to herself 'that letter is more
precious to me than life or light!'

They now walked on; and, when they entered the lane, they had the
pleasure to observe they were not pursued. She then said to Camilla,
'You must be surprised to see any one out, and unprotected, at this late
hour; but I had employed myself, unthinkingly, in reading some letters
from a dear and absent friend, and forgot the quick passage of time.'

A man in a livery now appearing at some distance, she hastily summoned
him, and demanded where was the carriage?

In the road, he answered, where she had left it, at the end of the lane.

She then took the hand of Camilla, and with a smile of the utmost
softness said, 'When the shock I have suffered is a little over, I must
surely cease to lament I have sustained it, since it has brought to me
such sweet succour. Where may I find you tomorrow, to repeat my thanks?'

Camilla answered, 'she was going to Tunbridge immediately, but knew not
yet where she should lodge.'

'Tunbridge!' she repeated; I am there myself; I shall easily find you
out tomorrow morning, for I shall know no rest till I have seen you
again.'

She then asked her name, and, with the most touching acknowledgments,
took leave.

Camilla recounted her adventure to Mrs. Arlbery, with an animated
description of the fair Incognita, and with the most heart-felt delight
of having, though but accidentally, proved of service to her. Mrs.
Arlbery laughed heartily at the recital, assuring her she doubted not
but she had made acquaintance with some dangerous fair one, who was
playing upon her inexperience, and utterly unfit to be known to her.
Camilla warmly vindicated her innocence, from the whole of her
appearance, as well as from the impossibility of her knowing that her
scream could be heard: yet was perplexed how to account for her not
naming herself, and for the mystery of the carriage and servant in
waiting so far off. These latter she concluded to belong to her father,
as she looked too young to have any sort of establishment of her own.

'What I don't understand in the matter is, that there reading of letters
by the light of the moon;' said Mr. Dennel. 'Where's the necessity of
doing that, for a person that can afford to keep her own coach and
servants?'

Mr. Dennel was a man as unfavoured by nature as he was uncultivated by
art. He had been accepted as a husband by the sister of Mr. Arlbery,
merely on account of a large fortune, which he had acquired in
business. The marriage, like most others made upon such terms, was as
little happy in its progression as honourable in its commencement; and
Miss Dennel, born and educated amidst domestic dissention, which robbed
her of all will of her own, by the constant denial of one parent to what
was accorded by the other, possessed too little reflexion to benefit by
observing the misery of an alliance not mentally assorted; and grew up
with no other desire but to enter the state herself, from an ardent
impatience to shake off the slavery she experienced in singleness. The
recent death of her mother had given her, indeed, somewhat more liberty;
but she had not sufficient sense to endure any restraint, and languished
for the complete power which she imagined a house and servants of her
own would afford.

When they arrived at the hotel, in Tunbridge, Mrs. Arlbery heard, with
some indignation, that Sir Sedley Clarendel was gone to the rooms,
without demonstrating, by any sort of inquiry, the smallest solicitude
at her non-appearance.



CHAPTER II

_The Pantiles_


A servant tapt early at the door of Camilla, the next morning, to
acquaint her that a lady, who called herself the person that had been so
much obliged to her the preceding day, begged the honour of being
admitted.

Camilla was sorry, after the suspicions of Mrs. Arlbery, that she did
not send up her name; yet, already partially disposed, her prepossession
was not likely to be destroyed by the figure that now appeared.

A beautiful young creature, with an air of the most attractive softness,
eyes of the most expressive loveliness, and a manner which by every look
and every motion announced a soul 'tremblingly alive,' glided gently
into the room, and advancing, with a graceful confidence of kindness,
took both her hands, and pressing them to her heart, said, 'What
happiness so soon to have found you! to be able to pour forth all the
gratitude I owe you, and the esteem with which I am already inspired!'

Camilla was struck with admiration and pleasure; and gave way to the
most lively delight at the fortunate accident which occasioned her
walking out in a place entirely unknown to her; declaring she should
ever look back to that event as to one of the marked blessings of her
life.

'If you,' answered the fair stranger, 'have the benevolence thus to
value our meeting, how should it be appreciated by one who is so
eternally indebted to it? I had not perceived the approach of that
person. He broke in upon me when least a creature so ungenial was
present to my thoughts. I was reading a letter from the most amiable of
friends, the most refined--perhaps--of human beings!'

Camilla, impatient for some explanation, answered, 'I hope, at least,
that friend will be spared hearing of your alarm?'

'I hope so! for his own griefs already overwhelm him. Never may it be my
sad lot to wound where I mean only to console.'

At the words _his own_, Camilla felt herself blush. She had imagined it
was some female friend. She now found her mistake, and knew not what to
imagine next.

'I had retired,' she continued, 'from the glare of company, and the
weight of uninteresting conversation, to read, at leisure and in
solitude, this dear letter--heart-breaking from its own woes,
heart-soothing to mine! In a place such as this, seclusion is difficult.
I drove some miles off, and ordered my carriage to wait in the high
road, while I strolled alone upon the common. I delight in a solitary
ramble by moonlight. I can then indulge in uninterrupted rumination, and
solace my melancholy by pronouncing aloud such sentences, and such
names, as in the world I cannot utter. How exquisitely sweet do they
sound to ears unaccustomed to such vibrations!'

Camilla was all astonishment and perplexity. A male friend so beloved,
who seemed to be neither father, brother, nor husband; a carriage at her
command, though without naming one relation to whom either that or
herself might belong; and sentiments so tender she was almost ashamed to
listen to them; all conspired to excite a wonder that painfully prayed
for relief: and in the hope to obtain it, with some hesitation, she
said, 'I should have sought you myself this morning, for the pleasure of
inquiring after your safety, but that I was ignorant by what name to
make my search.'

The fair unknown looked down for a moment, with an air that shewed a
perfect consciousness of the inquiry meant by this speech; but turning
aside the embarrassment it seemed to cause her, she presently raised her
head, and said, 'I had no difficulty to find you, for my servant,
happily, made his inquiry at once at this hotel.'

Disappointed and surprised by this evasion, Camilla saw now an evident
mystery, but knew not how to press forward any investigation. She began,
therefore, to speak of other things, and her fair guest, who had every
mark of an education rather sedulously than naturally cultivated, joined
readily in a conversation less personal.

They did not speak of Tunbridge, of public places, nor diversions; their
themes, all chosen by the stranger, were friendship, confidence, and
sensibility, which she illustrated and enlivened by quotations from
favourite poets, aptly introduced and feelingly recited; yet always
uttered with a sigh, and an air of tender melancholy. Camilla was now in
a state so depressed, that, notwithstanding her native vivacity, she
fell as imperceptibly into the plaintive style of her new acquaintance,
who seemed habitually pensive, as if sympathy rather than accident had
brought them together.

Yet when chance led to some mention of the adventure of the preceding
evening, and the lady made again an animated eulogium of the friend
whose letter she was perusing; she hazarded, with an half smile, saying:
'I hope--for his own sake, this friend is some sage and aged personage?'

'O no!' she answered; 'he is in the bloom of youth.'

Camilla, again a little disconcerted, paused; and the lady went on.

'It was in Wales I first met him; upon a spot so beautiful that painting
can never do it justice. I have made, however, a little sketch of it,
which, some day or other, I will shew you, if you will have the goodness
to let me see more of you.'

Camilla could not refrain from an eager affirmative; and the
conversation was then interrupted by a message from Mrs. Arlbery, who
always breakfasted in her own room, to announce that she was going out
lodging-hunting.

Camilla would rather have remained with her new acquaintance, better
adapted to her present turn of mind than Mrs. Arlbery; but this was
impossible, and the lovely stranger hastened away, saying she would
call herself the next morning to shew the way to her house, where she
hoped they might pass together many soothing and consolatory hours.

       *       *       *       *       *

Camilla found Mrs. Arlbery by no means in her usual high spirits. The
opening of her Tunbridge campaign had so far from answered its trouble
and expence, that she heartily repented having quitted the Grove. The
Officers either were not arrived in the neighbourhood, or were wholly
engaged in military business; Camilla, instead of contributing to the
life of the excursion, seemed to hang heavily both upon that, and upon
herself; and Sir Sedley Clarendel, whose own proposition had brought it
to bear, had not yet made his appearance, though lodging in the same
hotel.

Thus vexatiously disappointed, she was ill-disposed to listen with
pleasure to the history Camilla thought it indispensable to relate of
her recent visit: and in answer to all praise of this fair Incognita,
only replied by asking her name and connexions. Camilla felt extremely
foolish in confessing she had not yet learnt them. Mrs. Arlbery then
laughed unmercifully at her commendations, but concluded with saying:
'Follow, however, your own humour; I hate to torment or be tormented:
only take care not to be seen with her.'

Camilla rejoiced she did not exact any further restriction, and hoped
all raillery would soon be set aside, by an honourable explanation.

       *       *       *       *       *

They now repaired to the Pantiles, where the gay company and gay shops
afforded some amusement to Camilla, and to Miss Dennel a wonder and
delight, that kept her mouth open, and her head jerking from object to
object, so incessantly, that she saw nothing distinctly, from the
eagerness of her fear lest anything should escape her.

Mrs. Arlbery, meeting with an old acquaintance in the bookseller's shop,
there sat down with him, while the two young ladies loitered at the
window of a toy-shop, struck with just admiration of the beauty and
ingenuity of the Tunbridge ware it presented to their view; till
Camilla, in a party of young men who were strolling down the Pantiles,
and who went into the bookseller's shop, distinguished the offender of
the fair unknown.

To avoid following, or being recollected by a person so odious to her,
she entered the toy-shop with Miss Dennel, where she amused herself,
till Mrs. Arlbery came in search of her, in selecting such various
little articles for purchase as she imagined would amount to about half
a crown; but which were put up for her at a guinea. This a little
disconcerted her: though, as she was still unusually rich, from Mr.
Tyrold's having advanced her next quarterly allowance, she consoled
herself that they would serve for little keep-sakes for her sisters and
her cousin: yet she determined, when next she entered a shop for
convenience, to put nothing apart as a buyer, till she had inquired its
price.

The assaulter, Lord Newford, a young nobleman of the _ton_, after taking
a staring survey of every thing and every body around, and seeing no one
of more consequence, followed Mrs. Arlbery, with whom formerly he had
been slightly acquainted, to the toy-shop. He asked her how she did,
without touching his hat; and how long she had been at Tunbridge,
without waiting for an answer; and said he was happy to have the
pleasure of seeing her, without once looking at her.

To his first sentence, Mrs. Arlbery made a civil answer; but, repenting
it upon the two sentences that succeeded, she heard them without seeming
to listen, and fixing her eyes upon him, when he had done, coolly said,
'Pray have you seen any thing of my servant?'

Lord Newford, somewhat surprised, replied, 'No.'

'Do look for him, then,' cried she, negligently, 'there's a good man.'

Lord Newford, a little piqued, and a little confused at feeling so, said
he should be proud to obey her; and turning short off to his companion,
cried, 'Come, Offy, why dost loiter? where shall we ride this morning?'
And, taking him by the arm, quitted the Pantiles.

Mrs. Arlbery, laughing heartily, now felt her spirits a little revive;
'I doat,' she cried, 'upon meeting, now and then, with insolence, for I
have a little taste for it myself, which I make some conscience of not
indulging unprovoked.'

They then proceeded to the milliner's, to equip themselves for going to
the rooms at night. Mrs. Arlbery and Miss Dennel, who were both rich,
gave large orders: Camilla, indifferent to every thing except to avoid
appearing in a manner that might disgrace her party, told the milliner
to choose for her what she thought fashionable that was most reasonable.
She was soon fitted up with what was too pretty to disapprove, and
desiring immediately to pay her bill, found it amounted to five guineas;
though she had imagined she should have change out of two.

She had only six, and some silver; but was ashamed to dispute, or desire
any alteration; she paid the money; and only determined to apply to
another person than the seller, when next she wanted any thing
reasonable.

Mrs. Arlbery now ordered the carriage, and they drove to Mount Pleasant,
where she hired a house for the season, to which they were to remove the
next day.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the evening, they went to the Rooms, where the decidedly fashionable
mien and manner of Mrs. Arlbery, attracted more general notice and
admiration than the youthful captivation of Camilla, or the pretty face
and expensive attire of Miss Dennel.

Dressed by the milliner of the day, Camilla could not fail to pass
uncensured, at least, with respect to her appearance; but her eyes
wanted their usual lustre, from the sadness of her heart, and she never
looked less herself, nor to less advantage.

The master of the ceremonies brought to her Sir Theophilus Jarard; but
as she had seen him the companion of Lord Newford, to whom she had
conceived a strong aversion, she declined dancing. He looked surprised,
but rather offended than disappointed, and with a little laugh, half
contemptuous, as if ashamed of having offered himself, stalked away.

Sir Sedley Clarendel was now sauntering into the room. Mrs. Arlbery,
willing to shew her young friend in a favourable point of view to him,
though more from pique at his distance, than from any thought at that
moment of Camilla, told her she must positively accept Sir Theophilus,
whose asking her must be regarded as a particular distinction, for he
was notoriously a man of the _ton_. And, heedless of her objections,
told Mr. Dennel to call him back.

'How can I do that,' said Mr. Dennel, 'after seeing her refuse him with
my own eyes?'

'O, nobody cares about a man's eyes,' said Mrs. Arlbery; 'go and tell
him Miss Tyrold has changed her mind, and chooses to dance.'

'As to her changing her mind,' he answered, 'that's likely enough; but I
don't see how it's any reason I should go of a fool's errand.'

'Pho, pho, go directly; or you sha'n't dine before eight o'clock for the
whole Tunbridge season.'

'Nay,' said Mr. Dennel, who had an horror of late hours, 'if you will
promise we shall dine more in reason'--

'Yes, yes,' cried Mrs. Arlbery, hurrying him off, notwithstanding the
reiterated remonstrances of Camilla.

'See, my dear,' she then added, laughing, 'how many weapons you must
have in use, if you would govern that strange animal called man! yet
never despair of victory; for, depend upon it, there is not one of the
race that, with a little address, you may not bring to your feet.'

Camilla, who had no wish but for one single votary, and whose heart was
sunk from her failure in obtaining that one, listened with so little
interest or spirit, that Mrs. Arlbery, quite provoked, resolved not to
throw away another idea upon her for the rest of the evening. And
therefore, as her niece went completely and constantly for nothing with
her, she spoke no more, till, to her great relief, she was joined by
General Kinsale.

Mr. Dennel returned with an air not more pleased with his embassy, than
her own appeared with her auditress. The gentleman, he said, had joined
two others, and they were all laughing so violently together, that he
could not find an opportunity to deliver his message, for they seemed as
if they would only make a joke of it.

Mrs. Arlbery then saw that he had got between Lord Newford and Sir
Sedley, and that they were all three amusing themselves, without
ceremony or disguise, at the expense of every creature in the room; up
and down which they strolled, arm in arm, looking familiarly at every
body, but speaking to nobody; whispering one another in hoarse low
voices, and then laughing immoderately loud: while nothing was
distinctly heard, but from time to time, 'What in the world is become of
Mrs. Berlinton to-night?' or else, 'How stupid the Rooms are without
Lady Alithea.'

Mrs. Arlbery, who, like the rest of the world, saw her own defects in
as glaring colours, and criticised them with as much animated ridicule
as those of her neighbours, when exhibited by others, no sooner found
she was neglected by this set, than she raved against the prevailing ill
manners of the leaders in the _ton_, with as much asperity of censure,
as if never for a moment betrayed herself, by fashion, by caprice, nor
by vanity, to similar foibles. 'Yet, after all,' cried she presently,
'to see fools behave like fools, I am well content. I have no anger,
therefore, against Lord Newford, nor Sir Theophilus Jarard; if they were
not noticed for being impertinent, how could they expect to be noticed
at all? When there is but one line that can bring them forward, I rather
respect them that they have found it out. But what shall we say to Sir
Sedley Clarendel? A man as much their superior in capacity as in powers
of pleasing? 'Tis a miserable thing, my dear General, to see the dearth
of character there is in the world. Pope has bewailed it in women;
believe me, he might have extended his lamentation. You may see, indeed,
one man grave, and another gay; but with no more "mark or likelihood,"
no more distinction of colouring, than what simply belongs to a dismal
face or a merry one: and with just as little light and shade, just as
abrupt a skip from one to the other, as separates inevitably the old man
from the young one. We are almost all, my good General, of a nature so
pitifully plastic, that we act from circumstances, and are fashioned by
situation.'

Then, laughing at her own pique, 'General,' she added, 'shall I make you
a confession? I am not at all sure, if that wretched Sir Sedley had
behaved as he ought to have done, and been at my feet all the evening,
that I should not, at this very moment, be amused in the same manner
that he is himself! yet it would be very abominable, I own.'

'This is candid, however.'

'O, we all acknowledge our faults, now; 'tis the mode of the day: but
the acknowledgment passes for current payment; and therefore we never
amend them. On the contrary, they take but deeper root, by losing all
chance of concealment. Yet I am vexed to see that odious Sir Sedley shew
so silly a passion for being a man of the _ton_, as to suffer himself to
be led in a string by those two poor paltry creatures, who are not more
troublesome as fops, than tiresome as fools, merely because they are
better known than himself upon the turf and at the clubs.'

Here, she was joined by Lord O'Lerney and the honourable Mr. Ormsby.
And, in the next saunter of the _tonnish_ triumvirs, Lord Newford,
suddenly seeing with whom she was associated, stopt, and looking at her
with an air of surprise, exclaimed, 'God bless me! Mrs. Arlbery! I hope
you are perfectly well?'

'Infinitely indebted to your lordship's solicitude!' she answered,
rather sarcastically. But, without noticing her manner, he desired to be
one in her tea-party, which she was then rising to form.

She accepted the offer, with a glance of consciousness at the General,
who, as he conducted her, said: 'I did not expect so much grace would so
immediately have been accorded.'

'Alas! my dear General, what can one do? These _tonnish_ people,
cordially as I despise them, lead the world; and if one has not a few of
them in one's train, 'twere as well turn hermit. However, mark how he
will fare with me! But don't judge from the opening.'

She now made his lordship so many gay compliments, and mingled so much
personal civility with the general entertainment of her discourse, that,
as soon as they rose from tea, he professed his intention of sitting by
her, for the rest of the evening.

She immediately declared herself tired to death of the Rooms, and
calling upon Miss Dennel and Camilla, abruptly made her exit.

The General, again her conductor, asked how she could leave thus a
conquest so newly made.

'I leave,' she answered, 'only to secure it. He will be piqued that I
should go, and that pique will keep me in his head till to-morrow. 'Tis
well, my dear General, to put any thing there! But if I had stayed a
moment longer, my contempt might have broken forth into satire, or my
weariness into yawning: and I should then inevitably have been cut by
the _ton_ party for the rest of the season.'

Miss Dennel, who had been dancing, and was again engaged to dance,
remonstrated against retiring so soon; but Mrs. Arlbery had a regular
system never to listen to her. Camilla, whom nothing had diverted, was
content to retreat.

At the door stood Sir Sedley Clarendel, who, as if now first perceiving
them, said to Mrs. Arlbery, 'Ah! my fair friend!--And how long have you
been at the Wells?'

'Intolerable wretch!' cried she, taking him apart, 'is it thus you keep
your conditions? did you draw me into bringing this poor love-sick thing
with me, only to sigh me into the vapours?'

'My dear madam!' exclaimed he, in a tone of expostulation, 'who can
think of the same scheme two days together? Could you possibly form a
notion of anything so patriarchal?'

       *       *       *       *       *

Before they retired to their chambers at the hotel, Camilla told Mrs.
Arlbery how shocking to her was the sight, much more any acquaintance
with Lord Newford, who was the person that had so much terrified the
lady she had met on their journey. Mrs. Arlbery assured her he should be
exiled her society, if, upon investigation, he was found the aggressor;
but while there appeared so much mystery in the complaint and the
conduct of this unknown lady, she should postpone his banishment.

Camilla was obliged to submit: but scarce rested till she saw again her
new favourite the next morning.



CHAPTER III

_Mount Ephraim_


This expected guest arrived early. Camilla received her with the only
sensation of pleasure she had experienced at Tunbridge. Yet what she
excited seemed still stronger: the fair stranger besought her friendship
as a solace to her existence, and hung upon her as upon a treasure long
lost, and dearly recovered. Camilla soon caught the infection of her
softness, and felt a similar desire to cultivate her regard. She found
her beauty attractive, her voice melodious, and her manners bewitchingly
caressing.

Fearing, nevertheless, while yet in ignorance of her connexions, to
provoke further ridicule from Mrs. Arlbery by going abroad with her, she
proposed deferring to return her visit till another day: the lady
consented, and they spent together two hours, which each thought had
been but two minutes, when Mrs. Arlbery summoned Camilla to a walk.

The fair unknown then took leave, saying her servant was in waiting; and
Camilla and Mrs. Arlbery went to the bookseller's.

Here, that lady was soon joined by Lord O'Lerney and General Kinsale,
who were warm admirers of her vivacity and observations. Mr. Dennel took
up the Daily Advertiser; his daughter stationed herself at the door to
see the walkers upon the Pantiles; Sir Theophilus Jarard, under colour
of looking at a popular pamphlet, was indulging in a nap in a corner;
Lord Newford, noticing nothing, except his own figure as he past a
mirrour, was shuffling loud about the floor, which was not much
embellished by the scraping of his boots; and Sir Sedley Clarendel,
lounging upon a chair in the middle of the shop, sat eating _bon bons_.

Mrs. Arlbery, for some time, confined her talents to general remarks:
but finding these failed to move a muscle in the face of Sir Sedley, at
whom they were directed, she suddenly exclaimed: 'Pray, my Lord
O'Lerney, do you know any thing of Sir Sedley Clarendel?'

'Not so much,' answered his Lordship, 'as I could wish; but I hope to
improve my acquaintance with him.'

'Why then, my lord, I am much afraid you will conclude, when you see him
in one of those reveries, from the total vacancy of his air, that he is
thinking of nothing. But pray permit me to take his part. Those apparent
cogitations, to which he is so much addicted, are moments only of
pretended torpor, but of real torment, devoted, not as they appear, to
supine insipidity, but to painful secret labour how next he may call
himself into notice. Nevertheless, my lord, don't let what I have said
hurt him in your opinion; he is quaint, to be sure, but there's no harm
in him. He lives in my neighbourhood; and, I assure your lordship, he
is, upon the whole, what may be called a very good sort of man.'

Here she yawned violently; and Sir Sedley, unable to maintain his
position, twice crossed his legs, and then arose and took up a book:
while Lord Newford burst into so loud a laugh, that he awakened Sir
Theophilus Jarard, by echoing, 'A good sort of man! O poor Clary!... O
hang it!... O curse it!... poor Clary!'

'What's the matter with Clary?' cried Sir Theophilus, rubbing his eyes;
'I have been boring myself with this pamphlet, till I hardly know
whether I am awake or asleep.'

'Why, he's a good sort of man!' replied Lord Newford.

Sir Sedley, though he expected, and even hoped for some pointed
strictures, and could have defied even abuse, could not stand this
mortifying praise; and, asking for the subscription books, which,
already, he had twice examined, said: 'Is there any body here one
knows?'

'O, ay, have you any names?' cried Lord Newford, seizing them first; and
with some right, as they were the only books in the shop he ever read.

'Come, I'll be generous,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'and add another signature
against your lordship's next lecture.'

She then wrote her name, and threw down half-a-guinea. Camilla, to whom
the book was next presented, concluded this the established custom, and,
from mere timidity, did the same; though somewhat disturbed to leave
herself no more gold than she gave. Miss Dennel followed; but her
father, who said he did not come to Tunbridge to read, which he could do
at home, positively refused to subscribe.

Sir Theophilus now, turning, or rather, tossing over the leaves, cried:
'I see no name here one knows any thing of, but Lady Alithea Selmore.'

'Why, there's nobody else here,' said Lord Newford, 'not a soul!'

Almost every body present bowed; but wholly indifferent to reproof, he
again whistled, again streamed up and down the room, and again took a
bold and full survey of himself in the looking-glass.

'On the contrary,' cried Sir Sedley, 'I hear there is a most
extraordinary fine creature lately arrived, who is invincible to a
degree.'

'O that's Mrs. Berlinton;' said Sir Theophilus; 'yes, she's a pretty
little thing.'

'She's very beautiful indeed,' said Lord O'Lerney.

'Where can one see her?' cried Mrs. Arlbery.

'If she is not at the Rooms to-night,' said Sir Sedley, 'I shall be
stupified to petrifaction. They tell me she is a marvel of the first
water; turning all heads by her beauty, winning all hearts by her
sweetness, fascinating all attention by her talents, and setting all
fashions by her elegance.'

'This paragon,' cried Mrs. Arlbery, to Camilla, 'can be no other than
your mysterious fair. The description just suits your own.'

'But my fair mysterious,' said Camilla, 'is of a disposition the most
retired, and seems so young, I don't at all think her married.'

'This divinity,' said Sir Sedley, 'for the blessing of everyone, yet

    Lord of Himself, uncumber'd by a Wife[1],

[Footnote 1: Dryden]

is safely noosed; and amongst her attributes are two others cruel to
desperation; she excited every hope by a sposo properly detestable--yet
gives birth to despair, by a coldness the most shivering.'

'And what,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'is this Lady Alithea Selmore?'

'Lady Alithea Selmore,' drily, but with a smile, answered General
Kinsale.

'Nay, nay, that's not to be mentioned irreverently,' returned Mrs.
Arlbery; 'a title goes for a vast deal, where there is nothing else;
and, where there is something, doubles its value.

Mr. Dennel, saying he found, by the newspaper, a house was to be sold
upon Mount Ephraim, which promised to be a pretty good bargain, proposed
walking thither, to examine what sort of condition it was in.

Lord O'Lerney inquired if Camilla had yet seen Mount Ephraim. No, she
answered; and a general party was made for an airing. Sir Sedley ordered
his phaeton; Mrs. Arlbery drove Camilla in her's; Miss Dennel walked
with her father; and the rest of the gentlemen went on horseback.

       *       *       *       *       *

Arrived at Mount Ephraim, they all agreed to alight, and enjoy the view
and pure air of the hill, while Mr. Dennel visited the house. But, just
as Mrs. Arlbery had descended from the phaeton, her horses, taking
fright at some object that suddenly struck them, reared up, in a manner
alarming to the spectators, and still more terrific to Camilla, in whose
hands Mrs. Arlbery had left the reins: and the servant, who stood at the
horses' heads, received a kick that laid him flat on the ground.

'O, jump out! jump out!' cried Miss Dennel, 'or else you'll be
murdered!'

'No! no! keep your seat, and hold the reins!' cried Mrs. Arlbery: 'For
heaven's sake, don't jump out!'

Camilla, mentally giddy, but personally courageous, was sufficiently
mistress of herself to obey the last injunction, though with infinite
labour, difficulty, and terror, the horses plunging and flouncing
incessantly.

'Don't you think she'll be killed?' cried Lord Newford, dismounting,
lest his own horse should also take fright. 'Do you think one could
help her?' said Sir Theophilus Jarard, steadily holding the bridle of
his mare from the same apprehension.

Lord O'Lerney was already on foot to afford her assistance, when the
horses, suddenly turning round, gave to the beholders the dreadful
menace of going down the steep declivity of Mount Ephraim full gallop.

Camilla now, appalled, had no longer power to hold the reins; she let
them go, with an idea of flinging herself out of the carriage, when Sir
Sedley, who had darted like lightning from his phaeton, presented
himself at the horses' heads, on the moment of their turning, and, at
the visible and imminent hazard of his life, happily stopt them while
she jumped to the ground. They then, with a fury that presently dashed
the phaeton to pieces, plunged down the hill.

The fright of Camilla had not robbed her of her senses, and the exertion
and humanity of Sir Sedley seemed to restore to him the full possession
of his own: yet one of his knees was so much hurt, that he sunk upon the
grass.

Penetrated with surprise, as well as gratitude, Camilla, notwithstanding
her own tremor, was the first to make the most anxious inquiries:
secretly, however, sighing to herself: Ah! had Edgar thus rescued me!
yet struck equally with a sense of obligation and of danger, from the
horrible, if not fatal mischief she had escaped, and from the
extraordinary hazard and kindness by which she had been saved, she
expressed her concern and acknowledgments with a softness, that even Sir
Sedley himself could not listen to unmoved.

He received, indeed, from this adventure, almost every species of
pleasure of which his mind was capable. His natural courage, which he
had nearly annihilated, as well as forgotten, by the effeminate part he
was systematically playing, seemed to rejoice in being again exercised;
his good nature was delighted by the essential service he had performed;
his vanity was gratified by the publicity of the praise it brought
forth; and his heart itself experienced something like an original
feeling, unspoilt by the apathy of satiety, from the sensibility he had
awakened in the young and lovely Camilla.

The party immediately flocked around him, and he was conveyed to a house
belonging to Lord O'Lerney, who resided upon Mount Ephraim, and his
lordship's carriage was ordered to take him to his apartment at the
hotel.

Mrs. Arlbery, whose high spirits were totally subdued by the terror with
which she had been seized at the danger of Camilla, was so delighted by
her rescue, and the courage with which it was effected, that all her
spleen against Sir Sedley was changed into the warmest approbation. When
he was put into the coach, she insisted upon seeing him safe to the
hotel; Camilla, with her usual inartificial quickness, seconding the
motion, and Lord O'Lerney, a nobleman far more distinguished by
benevolence and urbanity than by his rank, taking the fourth place
himself. The servant, who was considerably hurt, he desired might remain
at his house.

In descending Mount Ephraim, Camilla turned giddy with the view of what
she had escaped, and cast her eyes with doubled thankfulness upon Sir
Sedley as her preserver. Fragments of the phaeton were strewed upon the
road; one of the horses [lay] dead at the bottom of the hill; and the
other was so much injured as to be totally disabled for future service.

When they came to the hotel, they all alighted with the young baronet,
Camilla with as little thought, as Mrs. Arlbery with little care for
doing any thing that was unusual. They waited in an adjoining apartment
till they were assured nothing of any consequence was the matter, and
Lord O'Lerney then carried them to their new lodging upon Mount
Pleasant.

Mrs. Arlbery bore her own share in this accident with perfect
good-humour, saying it would do her infinite good, by making her a rigid
oeconomist; for she could neither live without a phaeton, nor yet
build one, and buy ponies, but by parsimonious savings from all other
expenses.

       *       *       *       *       *

At night they went again to the Rooms. But Mrs. Arlbery found in them as
little amusement as Camilla. Sir Sedley was not there, either to attack
or to flatter; the celebrated Mrs. Berlinton still appeared not to
undergo a scrutiny; and Lady Alithea Selmore sat at the upper end of the
apartment, attended by all the beaux, except the General, now at
Tunbridge.

This was not to be supported. She arose, and declaring she would take
her tea with the invalid, bid the General escort her to his room.

In their way out, she perceived the assembly books. Recollecting she had
not subscribed, she entered her name, but protested she could afford but
half-a-guinea, upon her present new and avaricious plan.

Camilla, with much secret consternation, concluded it impossible to give
less; and a few shillings were now all that remained in her purse. Her
uneasiness, however, presently passed away, upon recollecting she should
want no more money, as she was now free of the rooms, and of the
library, and equipped in attire for the whole time she should stay.

Miss Dennel put down a guinea; but her father, telling her half-a-crown
would have done, said, for that reason, he should himself pay nothing.

Sir Sedley received them with the most unaffected pleasure: forced upon
solitude, and by no means free from pain, he had found no resource but
in reading, which of late had been his least occupation, except the mere
politics of the day. Even reflection had discovered its way to him,
though a long banished guest, which had quitted her post, to make room
for affectation, vanity, and every species of frivolity. Reduced,
however, to be reasonable, even by this short confinement, he now felt
the obligation of their charitable visit, and set his foppery and
conceit apart, from a desire to entertain them. Camilla had not
conceived he had the power of being so pleasantly natural; and the
strong feeling of gratitude in her ever warm heart made her contribute
what she was able to the cheerfulness of the evening.

Some time after, General Kinsale was called out, and presently returned
with Major Cerwood, just arrived from the regiment; who, with some
apology to Sir Sedley, hoped he might be pardoned for the liberty he
took, upon hearing who was at the hotel, of preferring such society to
the Rooms.

As the Major had nothing in him either brilliant or offensive, his
sight, after the first salutations, was almost all of which the company
was sensible.

Camilla, his sole object, he could not approach; she sat between the
baronet and Mrs. Arlbery; and all her looks and all her attention were
divided between them.

Mrs. Arlbery, emerging from the mortifications of neglect, which she had
experienced, almost for the first time in her life, at the Rooms, was
unusually alive and entertaining; Sir Sedley kept pace with her, and
the discourse was so whimsical, that Camilla, amused, and willing to
encourage a sensation so natural to her, after a sadness till now, for
so long a time unremitting, once more heard and welcomed the sound of
her own laughter.

It was instantly, however, and strangely checked; a sigh, so deep that
it might rather be called a groan, made its way through the wainscot of
the next apartment.

Much raillery followed the sight of her changed countenance; the hotel
was pronounced to be haunted, and by a ghost reduced to that plight from
her cruelty. But the good-humour and gaiety of the conversation soon
brought her again to its tone; and time passed with general hilarity,
till they observed that Miss Dennel, who, having no young female to talk
with of her own views and affairs, was thoroughly tired, had fallen fast
asleep upon her chair.

Her father was already gone home to a hot supper, which he had ordered
in his own room, and meant to eat before their return; Mrs. Arlbery, to
his great discomfort, allowing nothing to appear at night but fruit or
oysters.

They now took leave, Mrs. Arlbery conducted by the General, and Camilla,
by the Major; while Miss Dennel, unassisted and half asleep, stumbled,
screamed, and fell, just before she reached the staircase.

The General was first to aid her; the Major, not choosing to quit
Camilla; who, looking round at a light which came from the room whence
the sigh they had heard had issued, perceived, as it glared in her eyes,
it was held by Edgar.

Astonishment, pleasure, hope, and shame, took alternate rapid possession
of her mind; but the last sensation was the first that visibly operated,
and she snatched her hand involuntarily from the Major.

Mrs. Arlbery exclaimed, 'Bless me, Mr. Mandlebert! are you the ghost we
heard sighing in that room yonder?'

Mandlebert attempted to make some slight answer; but his voice refused
all sound.

She went on, then, to the carriage of Mr. Dennel, followed by her young
ladies, and drove off for Mount Pleasant.



CHAPTER IV

_Knowle_


The last words of Camilla to Mandlebert, in quitting Cleves, and the
tears with which he saw her eyes overflowing, had annihilated all his
resentment, and left him no wish but to serve her. Her distinction
between what was wisest and what was kindest, had penetrated him to the
quick. To be thought capable of severity towards so sweet a young
creature, the daughter of his guardian, his juvenile companion, and
earliest favourite, made him detestable in his own eyes. He languished
to follow her, to apologise for what had hurt her, and to vow to her a
fair and disinterested friendship for the rest of his life: and he only
forced himself, from decency, to stay out his promised week with the
baronet, before he set out for Tunbridge.

Upon his arrival, which was late, he went immediately to the Rooms; but
he only saw her name in the books, and learnt, upon inquiring for Mrs.
Arlbery, that she and her party were already retired.

Glad to find her so sober in hours, he went to the hotel, meaning
quietly to read till bed-time, and to call upon her the next morning.

In a few moments, a voice struck his ear that effectually interrupted
his studies. It was the voice of Camilla. Camilla at an hotel at past
eleven o'clock! He knew she did not lodge there; he had seen, in the
books, the direction of Mrs. Arlbery at Mount Pleasant. Mrs. Arlbery's
voice he also distinguished, Sir Sedley Clarendel's, General Kinsale's,
and, least of all welcome, ... the Major's.

Perhaps, however, some lady, some intimate friend of Mrs. Arlbery, was
just arrived, and had made them spend the evening there. He rang for his
man, and bid him inquire who had taken the next room, ... and learnt it
was Sir Sedley Clarendel.

To visit a young man at an hotel; rich, handsome, and splendid; and with
a _chaperon_ so far from past her prime, so elegant, so coquetish, so
alluring, and still so pretty; and to meet there a flashy Officer, her
open pursuer and avowed admirer--'Tis true, he had concluded, Tunbridge
and the Major were one; but not thus, not with such glaring impropriety;
his love, he told himself, was past; but his esteem was still
susceptible, and now grievously wounded.

To read was impossible. To hold his watch in his hand, and count the
minutes she still stayed, was all to which his faculties were equal. No
words distinctly reached him; that the conversation was lively, the tone
of every voice announced, but when that of Camilla struck him by its
laughter, the depth of his concern drew from him a sigh that was heard
into the next apartment.

Of this, with infinite vexation, he was himself aware, from the sudden
silence and pause of all discourse which ensued. Ashamed both of what he
felt and what he betrayed, he grew more upon his guard, and hoped it
might never be known to whom the room belonged.

When, however, as they were retiring, a scream reached his ear, though
he knew it was not the voice of Camilla, he could not command himself,
and rushed forth with a light; but the lady who screamed was as little
noticed as thought of: the Major was holding the hand of Camilla, and
his eye could take in no more: he saw not even that Mrs. Arlbery was
there; and when roused by her question, all voice was denied him for
answer; he stood motionless even after they had descended the stairs,
till the steps of the General and the Major, retiring to their chambers,
brought to him some recollection, and enabled him to retreat.

Fully now, as well as cruelly convinced, of the unabated force of his
unhappy passion, he spent the night in extreme wretchedness; and all
that was not swallowed up in repining and regret, was devoted to
ruminate upon what possible means he could suggest, to restore to
himself the tranquillity of indifference.

The confusion of Camilla persuaded him she thought she was acting wrong;
but whether from disapprobation of the character of the Major, or from
any pecuniary obstacles to their union, he could not devise. To assist
the marriage according to his former plan, would best, he still
believed, sooth his internal sufferings, if once he could fancy the
Major at all worthy of such a wife. But Camilla, with all her
inconsistencies, he thought a treasure unequalled: and to contribute to
bestow her on a man who, probably, only prized her for her beauty, he
now persuaded himself would rather be culpable than generous.

Upon the whole, therefore, he could resolve only upon a complete change
of his last system; to seek, instead of avoiding her; to familiarise
himself with her faults, till he ceased to doat upon her virtues; to
discover if her difficulties were mental or worldly; to enforce them if
the first, and ... whatever it might cost him--to invalidate them if the
last.

This plan, the only one he could form, abated his misery. It reconciled
him to residing where Camilla resided, it was easy to him, therefore, to
conclude it the least objectionable.

       *       *       *       *       *

Camilla, meanwhile, in her way to Mount Pleasant, spoke not a syllable.
Dismay that Edgar should have seen her so situated, while in ignorance
how it had happened, made an uneasiness the most terrible combat the
perplexed pleasure, that lightened, yet palpitated in her bosom, from
the view of Edgar at Tunbridge, and from the sigh which had reached her
ears. Yet, was it for her he sighed? was it not, rather, from some
secret inquietude, in which she was wholly uninterested, and might never
know? Still, however, he was at Tunbridge; still, therefore, she might
hope something relative to herself induced his coming; and she
determined, with respect to her own behaviour, to observe the
injunctions of her father, whose letter she would regularly read every
morning.

Mrs. Arlbery, also, spoke not; the unexpected sight of Mandlebert
occupied all her thoughts; yet, though his confusion was suspicious, she
could not, ultimately, believe he loved Camilla, as she could suggest no
possible impediment to his proclaiming any regard he entertained. His
sigh she imagined as likely to be mere lassitude as love; and supposed,
that having long discovered the partiality of Camilla, his vanity had
been confounded by the devoirs of the Major.

Miss Dennel, therefore, was the only one whose voice was heard during
the ride; for now completely awaked, she talked without cessation of the
fright she had endured. 'La, I thought,' cried she, 'when I tumbled
down, somebody threw me down on purpose, and was going to kill me! dear
me! I thought I should have died! And then I thought it was a robber;
and then I thought that candle that come was a ghost! O la! I never was
so frightened in my life!'

       *       *       *       *       *

The next morning they went, as usual, to the Pantiles, and Mrs. Arlbery
took her seat in the bookseller's shop, where the usual beaux were
encountered; and where, presently, Edgar entering, addressed to her some
discourse, and made some general inquiries after the health of Camilla.

It was a cruel drawback to her hopes to see him first thus in public:
but the manner of Mrs. Arlbery at the hotel, he had thought repulsive;
he had observed that she seemed offended with him since the rencounter
at the breakfast given for Miss Dennel; and he now wished for some
encouragement for renewing his rights to the acquaintance.

Sir Sedley, though with the assistance of a stick he had reached the
library, was not sufficiently at his ease to again mount his horse; a
carriage expedition was therefore agitating for the morning, and to see
Knowle being fixed upon, equipages and horses were ordered.

While they waited their arrival. Lady Alithea Selmore, and a very shewy
train of ladies and gentlemen, came into the library. Sir Sedley, losing
the easy, natural manner which had just so much pleased Camilla, resumed
his affectation, indolence, and inattention, and flung himself back in
his chair, without finishing a speech he had begun, or listening to an
inquiry why he stopt short. His friends, Lord Newford and Sir Theophilus
Jarard, shuffled up to her ladyship; and Sir Sedley, muttering to
himself life would not be life without being introduced to her, got up,
and seizing Lord Newford by the shoulder, whispered what he called the
height of his ambition, and was presented without delay.

He then entered into a little abrupt, half articulated conversation with
Lady Alithea, who, by a certain toss of the chin, a short and half
scornful laugh, and a supercilious dropping of the eye, gave to every
sentence she uttered the air of a _bon mot_; and after each, as
regularly stopt for some testimony of admiration, as a favourite actress
in some scene in which every speech is applauded. What she said, indeed,
had no other mark than what this manner gave to it; for it was neither
good nor bad, wise nor foolish, sprightly nor dull. It was what, if
naturally spoken, would have passed, as it deserved, without censure or
praise. This manner, however, prevailed not only upon her auditors, but
herself, to believe that something of wit, of _finesse_, of peculiarity,
accompanied her every phrase. Thought, properly speaking, there was none
in any thing she pronounced: her speeches were all replies, which her
admirers dignified by the name of repartees, and which mechanically and
regularly flowed from some word, not idea, that preceded.

Mrs. Arlbery, having listened some time, turned entirely away, though
with less contempt of her ladyship than of her hearers. Her own
auditors, however, except the faithful General, had all deserted her.
Even the Major, curious to attend to a lady of some celebrity, had
quitted the chair of Camilla; and Edgar himself, imagining, from this
universal devotion, there was something well worth an audience, had
joined the group.

'We are terribly in the back ground, General!' cried Mrs. Arlbery, in a
low voice. 'What must be done to save our reputations?'

The General, laughing, said, he feared they were lost irretrievably; but
added that he preferred defeat with her, to victory without her.

'Your gallantry, my dear General,' cried she, with a sudden air of glee,
'shall be rewarded! Follow me close, and you shall see the fortune of
the day reversed.'

Rising then, she advanced softly, and with an air of respect, towards
the party, and fixing herself just opposite to Lady Alithea, with looks
of the most profound attention, stood still, as if in admiring
expectation.

Lady Alithea, who had regarded this approach as an intrusion that
strongly manifested ignorance of high life, thought much better of it
when she remarked the almost veneration of her air. She deemed it,
however, wholly beneath her to speak when thus attended to; till,
observing the patient admiration with which even a single word seemed to
be hoped for, she began to pardon what appeared to be a mere tribute to
her fame; and upon Sir Theophilus Jarard's saying, 'I don't think we
have had such a bore of a season as this, these five years;' could not
refuse herself the pleasure of replying: 'I did not imagine, Sir
Theophilus, you were already able to count by lustres.'

Her own air of complacency announced the happiness of this answer. The
company, as usual, took the hint, and approbation was buzzed around her.
Lord Newford gave a loud laugh, without the least conception why; and
Sir Theophilus, after paying the same compliment, wished, as it
concerned himself, to know what had been said; and glided to the other
end of the shop, to look for the word lustre in Entick's dictionary.

But this triumph was even less than momentary; Mrs. Arlbery, gently
raising her shoulders with her head, indulged herself in a smile that
favoured yet more of pity than derision; and, with a hasty glance at the
General, that spoke an eagerness to compare notes with him, hurried out
of the shop; her eyes dropt, as if fearful to trust her countenance to
an instant's investigation.

Lady Alithea felt herself blush. The confusion was painful and unusual
to her. She drew her glove off and on; she dabbed a highly scented
pocket handkerchief repeatedly to her nose; she wondered what it was
o'clock; took her watch in her hand, without recollecting to examine it;
and then wondered if it would rain, though not a cloud was to be
discerned in the sky.

To see her thus completely disconcerted, gave a weight to the
mischievous malice of Mrs. Arlbery, of which the smallest presence of
mind would have robbed it. Her admirers, one by one, dwindled away, with
lessened esteem for her talents; and, finding herself presently alone in
the shop with Sir Theophilus Jarard, she said, 'Pray, Sir Theophilus, do
you know anything of that queer woman?'

The words _queer woman_ were guides sufficient to Sir Theophilus, who
answered, 'No! I have seen her, somewhere, by accident, but--she is
quite out of our line.'

This reply was a sensible gratification to Lady Alithea, who, having
heard her warmly admired by Lord O'Lerney, had been the more susceptible
to her ridicule. Rudeness she could have despised without emotion; but
contempt had something in it of insolence; a commodity she held herself
born to dispense, not receive.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Mrs. Arlbery arrived, laughing, at the bottom of the Pantiles, she
found Edgar making inquiries of the time and manner of drinking the
mineral water.

Camilla heard him, also, and with deep apprehensions for his health. He
did not however look ill; and a second sadness, not less deep, ensued,
that she could now retain no hope of being herself his inducement to
this journey.

But egotism was no part of her composition; when she saw, therefore, the
next minute, Sir Sedley Clarendel advance limping, and heard him ask if
his phaeton were ready, she approached him, saying, 'Will you venture,
Sir Sedley, in your phaeton?'

'There's no sort of reason why not,' answered he, sensibly flattered;
'yet I had certainly rather go as you go!'

'Then that,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'must be in Dennel's coach, with him and
my little niece here: and then I'll drive the General in your phaeton.'

'Agreed!' cried Sir Sedley, seating himself on one of the forms; and
then, taking from a paper some tickets, added; 'I want a few guineas.'

'So do I!' exclaimed Mrs. Arlbery; 'do you know where such sort of
things are to be met with?'

'Lady Alithea Selmore has promised to disperse some twenty tickets for
the master of the ceremonies' ball, and she commands me to help. How
many shall I give you?'

'Ask Mr. Dennel,' answered she negligently; 'he's the only paymaster
just now.'

Mr. Dennel turned round, and was going to walk away; but Mrs. Arlbery,
taking him by the arm, said: 'My good friend, how many tickets shall Sir
Sedley give you?'

'Me!--none at all.'

'O fie! every body goes to the master of the ceremonies' ball. Come, you
shall have six. You can't possibly take less.'

'Six! What should I do with them?'

'Why, you and your daughter will use two, and four you must give away.'

'What for?'

'Was ever such a question? To do what's proper and right, and handsome
and gallant.'

'O, as to all that, it's what I don't understand. It's out of my way.'

He would then have made off; but Mrs. Arlbery, piqued to succeed, held
him fast, and said: 'Come, if you'll be good, I'll be good too, and you
shall have a plain joint of meat at the bottom of the table every day
for a fortnight.'

Mr. Dennel softened a little here into something like a smile; and drew
two guineas from his purse; but more there was no obtaining.

'Come,' cried Sir Sedley, 'you have canvassed well so far. Now for your
fair self.'

'You are a shocking creature!' cried she; 'don't you know I am turned
miser?'

Yet she gave her guinea.

'But the fair Tyrold does not also, I trust, assume that character?'

Camilla had felt very uneasy during this contest; and now, colouring,
said she did not mean to go to the ball.

'Can you ever expect, then,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'to have a partner at
any other? You don't know the rules of these places. The master of the
ceremonies is always a gentleman, and every body is eager to shew him
every possible respect.'

Camilla was now still more distressed; and stammered out, that she
believed the fewer balls she went to, the better her father would be
pleased.

'Your father, my dear, is a very wise man, and a very good man, and a
very excellent preacher: but what does he know of Tunbridge Wells?
Certainly not so much as my dairy maid, for she has heard John talk of
them; but as to your father, depend upon it, the sole knowledge he has
ever obtained, is from some treatise upon its mineral waters; which,
very possibly, he can analyse as well as a physician: but for the
regulation of a country dance, be assured he will do much better to make
you over to Sir Sedley, or to me.'

Camilla laughed faintly, and feeling in her pocket to take out her
pocket handkerchief, by way of something to do, Mrs. Arlbery concluded
she was seeking her purse, and suddenly putting her hand upon her arm to
prevent her, said, 'No, no! if you don't wish to go, or choose to go, or
approve of going, I cannot, in sober earnestness, see you compelled.
Nothing is so detestable as forcing people to be amused. Come, now for
Knowle.'

Sir Sedley was then putting up his tickets; but the Major, taking one of
them out of his hand, presented it to Camilla, saying: 'Let the ladies
take their tickets now, and settle with us afterwards.'

Camilla felt extremely provoked, yet not knowing how to resist, took the
ticket; but, turning pointedly from the Major to Sir Sedley, said: 'I am
your debtor, then, sir, a guinea--the smallest part, indeed, of what I
owe you, though all I can pay!' And she then resolved to borrow that sum
immediately of Mrs. Arlbery.

Sir Sedley began to think she grew handsomer every moment: and,
contrary to his established and systematic inattention, upon hearing the
sound of the carriages, conducted her himself to Mr. Dennel's coach,
which he ascended after her.

Edgar, unable to withstand joining the party, had ordered his horse
during the debate about the tickets.

Lords O'Lerney and Newford, and Sir Theophilus Jarard, and Major
Cerwood, went also on horseback.

Sir Sedley made it his study to procure amusement for Camilla during the
ride; and while he humoured alternately the loquacious folly of Miss
Dennel, and the under-bred positiveness of her father, intermingled with
both comic sarcasms against himself, and pointed annotations upon the
times, that somewhat diverted her solicitude and perplexity.

She forgot them however, more naturally, in examining the noble antique
mansion, pictures, and curiosities of Knowle; and in paying the tribute
that taste must ever pay to the works exhibited there of Sir Joshua
Reynolds.

The house viewed, they all proceeded to the park, where, enchanted with
the noble old trees which venerably adorn it, they strolled delightedly,
till they came within sight of an elegant white form, as far distant as
their eyes could reach, reading under an oak.

Camilla instantly thought of her moonlight friend; but Sir Theophilus
called out, 'Faith, there's the divine Berlinton!'

'Is there, faith?' exclaimed Lord Newford, suddenly rushing forward to
satisfy himself if it were true.

Deeming this an ill-bred and unauthorised intrusion, they all stopt. The
studious fair, profoundly absorbed by her book, did not hear his
lordship's footsteps, till his coat rustled in her ears. Raising then
her eyes, she screamed, dropt her book, and darting up, flew towards the
wood, with a velocity far exceeding his own, though without seeming to
know, or consider, whither her flight might lead her.

Camilla, certain now this was her new friend, felt an indignation the
most lively against Lord Newford, and involuntarily sprung forward. It
was evident the fair fugitive had perceived none of the party but him
she sought to avoid; notwithstanding Lord Newford himself, when
convinced who it was, ceased his pursuit, and seemed almost to find out
there was such a sensation as shame; though by various antics, of
swinging his cane, looking up in the air, shaking his pocket
handkerchief, and sticking his arms a-kimbo, he thought it essential to
his credit to disguise it.

Camilla had no chance to reach the flying beauty, but by calling to her
to stop; which she did instantly at the sound of her voice, and, turning
round with a look of rapture, ran into her arms.

The Major, whose devoirs to Camilla always sought, not avoided the
public eye, eagerly pursued her. Edgar, cruelly envying a licence he
concluded to result from his happy situation, looked on in silent amaze;
but listened with no small attention to the remarks that now fell from
Mrs. Arlbery, who said she was sure this must be the fair Incognita that
Miss Tyrold had met with upon the road; and gave a lively relation of
that adventure.

He could not hear without delight the benevolent courage thus manifested
by Camilla, nor without terror the danger to which it might have exposed
her. But Lord O'Lerney, with an air of extreme surprise, exclaimed: 'Is
it possible Lord Newford could give any cause of alarm to Mrs.
Berlinton?'

'Is she then, my lord, a woman of character?' cried Mrs. Arlbery.

'Untainted!' he answered solemnly; 'as spotless, I believe, as her
beauty: and if you have seen her, you will allow that to be no small
praise. She comes from a most respectable family in Wales, and has been
married but a few months.'

'Married, my lord? my fair female Quixote assured me she was single.'

'No, poor thing! she was carried from the nursery to the altar, and, I
fear, not very judiciously nor happily.'

'Dear!' cried Miss Dennel, 'i'n't she happy?'

'I never presume to judge,' answered his lordship, smiling; 'but she has
always something melancholy in her air.'

'Pray how old is she?' said Miss Dennel.

'Eighteen.'

'Dear! and married?--La! I wonder what makes her unhappy!'

'Not a husband, certainly!' said Mrs. Arlbery, laughing, 'that is
against all chance and probability.'

'Well, I'm resolved when I'm married myself, I won't be unhappy.'

'And how will you help it?'

'O, because I'm determined I won't. I think it's very hard if I may'nt
have my own way when I'm married.'

''Twill at least be very singular!' answered Mrs. Arlbery.

Camilla now returned to her party, having first conducted her new friend
towards a door in the park where her carriage was waiting.

'At length, my dear,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'your fair mysterious has, I
suppose, avowed herself?'

'I made no inquiry,' answered she, painfully looking down.

'I can tell you who she is, then, myself,' said Miss Dennel; 'she is
Mrs. Berlinton, and she's come out of Wales, and she's married, and
she's eighteen.'

'Married!' repeated Camilla, blushing from internal surprise at the
conversations she had held with her.

'Yes; your fair Incognita is neither more nor less,' said Mrs. Arlbery,
'than the honourable Mrs. Berlinton, wife to Lord Berlinton's brother,
and, next only to Lady Alithea Selmore, the first toast, and the
reigning cry of the Wells for this season.'

Camilla, who had seen and considered her in almost every other point of
view, heard this with less of pleasure than astonishment. When a further
investigation brought forth from Lord O'Lerney that her maiden name was
Melmond, Mrs. Arlbery exclaimed: 'O, then, I cease to play the idiot,
and wonder! I know the Melmonds well. They are all half crazy, romantic,
love-lorn, studious, and sentimental. One of them was in Hampshire this
summer, but so immensely "melancholy and gentleman-like[2]," that I
never took him into my society.'

[Footnote 2: Ben Jonson]

''Twas the brother of this young lady, I doubt not,' said Lord O'Lerney;
'he is a young man of very good parts, and of an exemplary character;
but strong in his feelings, and wild in pursuit of whatever excites
them.'

'When will you introduce me to your new friend, Miss Tyrold?' said Mrs.
Arlbery; 'or, rather,' (turning to Lord Newford,) 'I hope your lordship
will do me that honour; I hear you are very kind to her; and take much
care to convince her of the ill effects and danger of the evening air.'

'O hang it! O curse it!' cried his lordship; 'why does a woman walk by
moon-light?'

'Why, rather, should man,' said Lord O'Lerney, 'impede so natural a
recreation?'

The age of Lord O'Lerney, which more than doubled that of Lord Newford,
made this question supported, and even drew forth the condescension of
an attempted exculpation. 'I vow, my lord,' he cried, 'I had no
intention but to look at a letter; and that I thought, she only read in
public to excite curiosity.'

'O but you knelt to her!' cried Miss Dennel, 'you knelt to her! I saw
you! and why did you do that, when you knew she was married, and you
could not be her lover?'

The party being now disposed to return to the Wells, Mrs. Arlbery called
upon the General to attend her to the phaeton. Camilla, impatient to pay
Sir Sedley, followed to speak to her; but, not aware of her wish, Mrs.
Arlbery hurried laughingly on, saying, 'Come, General, let us be gone,
that the coach may be last, and then Dennel must pay the fees! That will
be a good guinea towards my ponies!'



CHAPTER V

_Mount Pleasant_


The shame and distress natural to every unhackneyed mind, in any
necessity of soliciting a pecuniary favour, had now, in that of Camilla,
the additional difficulty of coping against the avowed desire of Mrs.
Arlbery not to open her purse.

When they arrived at Mount Pleasant, she saw all the horsemen alighted,
and in conversation with that lady; and Edgar move towards the carriage,
palpably with a design to hand her out: but as the Major advanced, he
retreated, and, finding himself unnoticed by Mrs. Arlbery, remounted his
horse. Provoked and chagrined, she sprung forwards alone, and when
pursued by the Major, with some of his usual compliments, turned from
him impatiently and went up stairs.

Intent in thinking only of Edgar, she was not herself aware of this
abruptness, till Mrs. Arlbery, following her to her chamber, said, 'Why
were you so suddenly haughty to the Major, my dear Miss Tyrold? Has he
offended you?'

Much surprised, she answered, no; but, forced by further questions, to
be more explicit, confessed she wished to distance him, as his behaviour
had been remarked.

'Remarked! how? by whom?'

She coloured, and was again hardly pressed before she answered, 'Mr.
Mandlebert--once--named it to me.'

'O, ho, did he?' said Mrs. Arlbery, surprised in her turn; 'why then, my
dear, depend upon it, he loves you himself.'

'Me!--Mr. Mandlebert!--' exclaimed Camilla, doubting what she heard.

'Nay, why not?'

'Why not?' repeated she in an excess of perturbation; 'O, he is too
good! too excelling! he sees all my faults--points them out himself--'

'Does he?...' said Mrs. Arlbery thoughtfully, and pausing: 'nay,
then,--if so--he wishes to marry you!'

'Me, ma'am!' cried Camilla, blushing high with mingled delight at the
idea, and displeasure at its free expression.

'Why, else, should he caution you against another?'

'From goodness, from kindness, from generosity!--'

'No, no; those are not the characteristics of young men who counsel
young women! We all heard he was engaged to your beautiful
vacant-looking cousin; but I suppose he grew sick of her. A very young
man seldom likes a silly wife. It is generally when he is further
advanced in life that he takes that depraved taste. He then flatters
himself a fool will be easier to govern.'

She now went away to dress; leaving Camilla a new creature; changed in
all her hopes, though overwhelmed with shame at the freedom of this
attack, and determined to exert her utmost strength of mind, not to
expose to view the secret pleasure with which it filled her.

She was, however, so absent when they met again, that Mrs. Arlbery,
shaking her head, said: 'Ah, my fair friend! what have you been thinking
of?'

Excessively ashamed, she endeavoured to brighten up. The General and Sir
Sedley had been invited to dinner. The latter was engaged in the evening
to Lady Alithea Selmore, who gave tea at her own lodgings. 'The Rooms,
then, will be quite empty,' said Mrs. Arlbery; 'so we had better go to
the play.'

Mr. Dennel had no objection, and Sir Sedley promised to attend them, as
it would be time enough for her ladyship afterwards.

       *       *       *       *       *

So completely was Camilla absorbed in her new ideas, that she forgot
both her borrowed guinea, and the state of her purse, till she arrived
at the theatre. The recollection was then too late; and she had no
resource against completely emptying it.

She was too happy however, at this instant, to admit any regret. The
sagacity of Mrs. Arlbery she thought infallible; and the sight of Edgar
in a box just facing her, banished every other consideration.

The theatre was almost without company. The assembly at Lady Alithea
Selmore's had made it unfashionable, and when the play was over, Edgar
found easily a place in the box.

Lord Newford and Sir Theophilus Jarard looked in just after, and
affected not to know the piece was begun. Sir Sedley retired to his
toilette, and Mr. Dennel to seek his carriage.

Some bills now got into the box, and were read by Sir Theophilus,
announcing a superb exhibition of wild beasts for the next day,
consisting chiefly of monkies who could perform various feats, and a
famous ourang outang, just landed from Africa.

Lord Newford said he would go if he had but two more days to live. Sir
Theophilus echoed him. Mr. Dennel expressed some curiosity; Miss Dennel,
though she protested she should be frightened out of her wits, said she
would not stay at home; Mrs. Arlbery confessed it would be an amusing
sight to see so many representations of the dear human race; but Camilla
spoke not: and scarce heard even the subject of discourse.

'You,' cried the Major, addressing her, 'will be there?'

'Where?' demanded she.

'To see this curious collection of animals.'

'It will be curious, undoubtedly,' said Edgar, pleased that she made no
answer; 'but 'tis a species of curiosity not likely to attract the most
elegant spectators; and rather, perhaps, adapted to give pleasure to
naturalists, than to young ladies.'

Softened, at this moment, in every feeling of her heart towards Edgar,
she turned to him, and said, 'Do you think it would be wrong to go?'

'Wrong,' repeated he, surprised though gratified, 'is perhaps too hard a
word; but, I fear, at an itinerant show, such as this, a young lady
would run some chance of finding herself in a neighbourhood that might
seem rather strange to her.'

'Most certainly then,' cried she, with quickness, 'I will not go!'

The astonished Edgar looked at her with earnestness, and saw the
simplicity of sincerity on her countenance. He looked then at the Major;
who, accustomed to frequent failures in his solicitations, exhibited no
change of features. Again he looked at Camilla, and her eyes met his
with a sweetness of expression that passed straight to his heart.

Mrs. Arlbery now led the way to the coach; the forwardness of the Major,
though in her own despight, procured him the hand of Camilla; but she
had left upon Edgar an impression renovating to all his esteem. She is
still, he thought, the same; candid, open, flexible; still, therefore,
let me follow her, with such counsel as I am able to give. She has
accused me of unkindness;--She was right! I retreated from her service
at the moment when, in honour, I was bound to continue in it. How
selfish was such conduct! how like such common love as seeks only its
own gratification, not the happiness or welfare of its object! Could
she, though but lately so dear to me, that all the felicity of my life
seemed to hang upon her, become as nothing, because destined to another?
No! Her father has been my father, and so long as she retains his
respected name, I will watch by her unceasingly.

       *       *       *       *       *

In their way home, one of the horses tired, and could not be made to
drag the carriage up to Mount Pleasant. They were therefore obliged to
alight and walk. Mrs. Arlbery took the arm of Mr. Dennel, which she did
not spare, and his daughter, almost crying with sleep and fatigue, made
the same use of Camilla's. She protested she had never been so long upon
her feet in her life as that very morning in Knowle Park, and, though
she leant upon her companion with as little scruple as upon a walking
stick, she frequently stopt short, and declared she should stay upon the
road all night, for she could not move another step: and they were still
far from the summit, when she insisted upon sitting down, saying
fretfully, 'I am sure I wish I was married! Nobody minds me. I am sure
if I was, I would not be served so. I'm resolved I'll always have two
coaches, one to come after me, and one to ride in; for I'm determined I
won't marry a man that has not a great fortune. I'm sure papa could
afford it too, if he'd a mind; only he won't. Every body vexes me. I'm
sure I'm ready to cry!'

Mr. Dennel and Mrs. Arlbery, who neither of them, at any time, took the
smallest notice of what she said, passed on, and left the whole weight
both of her person and her complaints to Camilla. The latter, however,
now reached the ears of a fat, tidy, neat looking elderly woman, who, in
a large black bonnet, and a blue checked apron, was going their way; she
approached them, and in a good-humoured voice, said: 'What! poor dear!
why you seem tired to death? come, get up, my dear; be of good heart,
and you shall hold by my arm; for that t'other poor thing's almost
hauled to pieces.'

Miss Dennel accepted both the pity and the proposal; and the substantial
arm of her new friend, gave her far superior aid to the slight one of
Camilla.

'Well, and how did you like the play, my dears?' cried the woman.

'La!' said Miss Dennel, 'how should you know we were at the play?'

'O, I have a little bird,' answered she, sagaciously nodding, 'that
tells me everything! you sat in the stage box?'

'Dear! so we did! How can you tell that? Was you in the gallery?'

'No, my dear, nor yet in the pit neither. And you had three gentlemen
behind you, besides that gentleman that's going up the Mount?'

'Dear! So we had! But how do you know? did you peep at us behind the
scenes?'

'No, my dear; I never went behind the scenes. But come, I hope you'll do
now, for you ha'n't much further to go.'

'Dear! how do you know that?'

'Because you live at that pretty house, there, up Mount Pleasant, that's
got the little closet window.'

'La, yes! who told you so?'

'And there's a pretty cat belonging to the house, all streaked brown and
black?'

'O, la!' exclaimed Miss Dennel, half screaming, and letting go her arm,
'I dare say you're a fortune-teller! Pray, don't speak to me till we get
to the light!'

She now hung back, so terrified that neither Camilla could encourage,
nor the woman appease her; and she was going to run down the hill,
forgetting all her weariness, to seek refuge from the servants, when
the woman said, 'Why what's here to do? Why see, my dear, if I must let
you into the secret--you must know--but don't tell it to the world!--I'm
a gentlewoman!' She then removed her checked apron, and shewed a white
muslin one, embroidered and flounced.

Miss Dennel was now struck with a surprise, of which Camilla bore an
equal share. Their new acquaintance appeared herself in some confusion,
but having exacted a promise not to be discovered to _the world_, she
told them, she lodged at a house upon Mount Pleasant, just by their's,
whence she often saw them; that, having a ticket given her, by a friend,
for the play, she dressed herself and went into a box, with some very
genteel company, who kept their coach, and who sat her down afterwards
at another friend's, where she pretended she should be fetched: 'But I
do my own way,' continued she, 'and nobody knows a word of the matter:
for I keep a large bonnet, and cloak, and a checked apron, and a pair of
clogs, or pattens, always at this friend's; and then when I have put
them on, people take me for a mere common person, and I walk on, ever so
late, and nobody speaks to me; and so by that means I get my pleasure,
and save my money; and yet always appear like a gentlewoman when I'm
known.'

She then again charged them to be discreet, saying that if this were
spread to _the world_, she should be quite undone, for many ladies that
took her about with them, would notice her no more. At the same time, as
she wished to make acquaintance with such pretty young ladies, she
proposed that they should all three meet in a walk before the house, the
next morning, and talk together as if for the first time.

Camilla, who detested all tricks, declined entering into this
engagement; but Miss Dennel, charmed with the ingenuity of her new
acquaintance, accepted the appointment.

       *       *       *       *       *

Camilla had, however, her own new friend for the opening of the next
day. 'Ah! my sweet protectress!' cried she, throwing her arms about her
neck, 'what am I not destined to owe you? The very sight of that man is
horror to me. Amiable, generous creature! what a sight was yours, when
turning round, I met your eyes, and beheld him no more!'

'Your alarm, at which I cannot wonder,' said Camilla, 'prevented your
seeing your safety; for Lord Newford was with a large party.'

'O, he is obnoxious to my view! wherever I may see him, in public or in
private, I shall fly him. He would have torn from me the loved
characters of my heart's best correspondent!--'

Camilla now felt a little shocked, and colouring and interrupting her,
said: 'Is it possible, Mrs. Berlinton--' and stopt not knowing how to go
on.

'Ah! you know me, then! You know my connexions and my situation!' cried
she, hiding her face on Camilla's bosom: 'tell me, at least, tell me,
you do not therefore contemn and abhor me?'

'Heaven forbid!' said Camilla, terrified at such a preparation; 'what
can I hear that can give you so cruel an idea?'

'Alas! know you not I have prophaned at the altar my plighted vows to
the most odious of men? That I have formed an alliance I despise? and
that I bear a name I think of with disgust, and hate ever to own?'

Camilla, thunderstruck, answered; 'No, indeed! I know nothing of all
this!'

'Ah! guard yourself, then, well,' cried she, bursting into tears, 'from
a similar fate! My friends are kind and good, but the temptation of
seeing me rich beguiled them. I was disinterested and contented myself,
but young and inexperienced; and I yielded to their pleadings, unaware
of their consequences. Alas! I was utterly ignorant both of myself and
the world! I knew not how essential to my own peace was an amiable
companion; and I knew not, then,--that the world contained one just
formed to make me happy!'

She now hung down her head, weeping and desponding. Camilla sought to
sooth her, but was so amazed, so fearful, and so perplext, she scarce
knew what either to say or to think.

The fair mourner, at length, a little recovering, added: 'Let me not
agitate your gentle bosom with my sorrows. I regard you as an angel sent
to console them; but it must be by mitigating, not partaking of them.'

Camilla was sensibly touched; and though strangely at a loss what to
judge, felt her affections deeply interested.

'I dreaded,' she continued, 'to tell you my name, for I dreaded to sink
myself into your contempt, by your knowledge of an alliance you must
deem so mercenary. 'Twas folly to hope you would not hear it; yet I
wished first to obtain, at least, your good will. The dear lost name of
Melmond is all I love to pronounce! That name, I believe, is known to
you; so may be, also, perhaps, my brother's unhappy story?'

Melmond, she then said, believing Miss Lynmere betrothed to Mr.
Mandlebert, had quitted Hampshire in misery, to finish his vacation in
Wales, with their mutual friends. There he heard that the rumour was
false; and would instantly have returned and thrown himself at the feet
of the young lady, by whose cousin, Mr. Lionel Tyrold, he had been told
she was to inherit a large fortune; when this second report, also, was
contradicted, and he learnt that Miss Lynmere had almost nothing; 'My
brother,' added she, 'with the true spirit of true sentiment, was but
the more urgent to pursue her; but our relations interfered--and he,
like me, is doomed to endless anguish!'

The accident, she said, of the preceding morning, was owing to her being
engaged in reading Rowe's letters from the dead to the living; which had
so infinitely enchanted her, that, desiring to peruse them without
interruption, yet fearing to again wander in search of a rural retreat,
she had driven to Knowle; where, hearing the noble family was absent,
she had asked leave to view the park, and there had taken out her
delicious book, which she was enjoying in the highest luxury of solitude
and sweet air, when Lord Newford broke in upon her.

Camilla enquired if she feared any bad consequences, by telling Mr.
Berlinton of his impertinence.

'Heaven forbid,' she answered, 'that I should be condemned to speak to
Mr. Berlinton of anything that concerns or befalls me! I see him as
little as I am able, and speak to him as seldom.'

Camilla heard this with grief, but durst not further press a subject so
delicate. They continued together till noon, and then reluctantly
parted, upon a message from Mrs. Arlbery that the carriages were
waiting. Mrs. Berlinton declined being introduced to that lady, which
would only, she said, occasion interruptions to their future
_tête-à-têtes_.

Neither the thoughtlessness of the disposition, nor the gaiety of the
imagination of Camilla, could disguise from her understanding the
glaring eccentricity of this conduct and character: but she saw them
with more of interest than blame; the various attractions with which
they were mixed, blending in her opinion something between pity and
admiration, more captivating, though more dangerous, to the fond fancy
of youth, than the most solid respect, and best founded esteem.



CHAPTER VI

_The accomplished Monkies_


When Camilla descended, she found Sir Sedley Clarendel and General
Kinsale in attendance; and saw, from the parlour window, Miss Dennel
sauntering before the house, with the newly made acquaintance of the
preceding evening.

The Baronet, who was to drive Mrs. Arlbery, enquired if Camilla would
not prefer, also, an open carriage. Mrs. Arlbery seconded the motion.
Miss Dennel, then, running to her father, exclaimed, 'Pray, papa, let's
take this lady I've been talking with in the coach with us. She's the
good-naturedest creature I ever knew.'

'Who is she? what's her name?'

'O, I don't know that, papa; but I'll go and ask her.'

Flying then back, 'Pray, ma'am,' she cried, 'what's your name? because
papa wants to know.'

'Why, my dear, my name's Mittin. So you may think of me when you put on
your gloves.'

'Papa, her name's Mittin,' cried Miss Dennel, scampering again to her
father.

'Well, and who is she?'

'O, la, I'm sure I can't tell, only she's a gentlewoman.'

'And how do you know that?'

'She told me so herself.'

'And where does she live?'

'Just by, papa, at that house you see there.'

'O, well, if she's a neighbour, that's enough. I've no more to say.'

'O, then, I'll ask her!' cried Miss Dennel, jumping, 'dear! I'm so glad!
'twould have been so dull, only papa and I. I'm resolved, when I've a
house of my own, I'll never go alone any where with papa.'

This being muttered, the invitation was made and accepted, and the
parties set forward.

The ride was perfectly pleasing to Camilla, now revived and cheerful;
Sir Sedley was free from airs; Mrs. Arlbery drew them into conversation
with one another, and none of them were glad when Mr. Dennel, called
'stop! or you'll drive too far.'

Camilla, who, supposing she was going, as usual, to the Pantiles, had
got into the phaeton without inquiry; and who, finding afterwards her
mistake, concluded they were merely taking an airing, now observed she
was advancing towards a crowd, and presently perceived a booth, and an
immense sign hung out from it, exhibiting a man monkey, or ourang
outang.

Though excessively fluttered, she courageously, and at once, told Mrs.
Arlbery she begged to be excused proceeding.

Mrs. Arlbery, who had heard, at the play, the general objections of
Mandlebert, though she had not attended to her answer, conjectured her
reason for retreating, and laughed, but said she would not oppose her.

Camilla then begged to wait in Mr. Dennel's carriage, that she might
keep no one else from the show. Sir Sedley, saying it would be an
excruciatingly vulgar sight, proposed they should all return; but she
pleaded strongly against breaking up the party, though, while she was
handed out, to go back to the coach, the Dennels and Mrs. Mittin had
alighted, and it had driven off.

The chagrin of Camilla was so palpable, that Mrs. Arlbery herself agreed
to resign the scheme; and Sir Sedley, who drew up to them, said he
should rejoice in being delivered from it: but Miss Dennel, who was
waiting without the booth for her aunt, was ready to cry at the thought
of losing the sight, which Mrs. Mittin had assured her was extremely
pretty; and, after some discussion, Camilla was reduced to beg she might
do no mischief, and consent to make one.

A more immediate distress now occurred to her; she heard Mr. Dennel call
out to the man stationed at the entrance of the booth, 'What's to pay?'
and recollected she had no money left.

'What your Honor pleases,' was the answer, 'but gentlefolks gives
half-a-crown.'

'I'm sure it's well worth it,' said Mrs. Mittin, 'for it's one of the
most curious things you ever saw. You can't give less, sir.' And she
passed nimbly by, without paying at all: but added, 'I had a ticket the
first day, and now I come every day for nothing, if it don't rain, for
one only need to pay at first.'

Mr. Dennel and his daughter followed, and Camilla was beginning a
hesitating speech to Mrs. Arlbery, as that lady, not attending to her,
said to Mr. Dennel: 'Well, frank me also; but take care what you pay;
I'm not at all sure I shall ever return it. All I save goes to my
ponies.' And, handed by the General, she crossed the barrier; not
hearing the voice of her young friend, which was timidly beseeching her
to stop.

Camilla was now in extreme confusion. She put her hand into her pocket,
took it out, felt again, and again brought forth the hand empty.

The Major, who was before her, and who watched her, begged leave to
settle with the booth-keeper; but Camilla, to whom he grew daily more
irksome, again preferred a short obligation to the Baronet, and
blushingly asked if he would once more be her banker?

Sir Sedley, by no means suspecting the necessity that urged this
condescension, was surprised and delighted, and almost without knowing
it himself, became all that was attentive, obliging, and pleasing.

Before they were seated, the young Ensign, Mr. Macdersey, issuing from a
group of gentlemen, addressed himself to Camilla, though with an air
that spoke him much discomposed and out of spirits. 'I hope you are
well, Miss Camilla Tyrold,' he cried; 'and have left all your family
well? particularly the loveliest of your sex, that angel of beauty, the
divine Miss Lynmere?'

'Except the company present!' said Mrs. Arlbery; 'always except the
company present, when you talk of beauty to women.'

'I would not except even the company absent!' replied he, with warmth;
but was interrupted from proceeding, by what the master of the booth
called his _Consort of Musics_: in which not less than twenty monkies
contributed their part; one dreadfully scraping a bow across the strings
of a vile kit, another beating a drum, another with a fife, a fourth
with a bagpipe, and the sixteen remainder striking together tongs,
shovels, and pokers, by way of marrowbones and cleavers. Every body
stopt their ears, though no one could forbear laughing at their various
contortions, and horrible grimaces, till the master of the booth, to
keep them, he said, in tune, dealt about such fierce blows with a stick,
that they set up a general howling, which he called the _Wocal_ part of
his _Consort_, not more stunning to the ear, than offensive to all
humanity. The audience applauded by loud shouts, but Mrs. Arlbery,
disgusted, rose to quit the booth. Camilla eagerly started up to second
the motion, but her eyes still more expeditiously turned from the door,
upon encountering those of Edgar; who, having met the empty coach of Mr.
Dennel, had not been able to refrain from inquiring where its company
had been deposited; nor, upon hearing it was at the _accomplished
Monkies_, from hastening to the spot, to satisfy himself if or not
Camilla had been steady to her declaration. But he witnessed at once the
propriety of his advice, and its failure.

The master of the booth could not endure to see the departure of the
most brilliant part of his spectators, and made an harangue, promising
the company, at large, if they would submit to postponing the _Consort_,
in order to oblige his friends the Quality, they should have it, with
the newest squalls in taste, afterwards.

The people laughed and clapped, and Mrs. Arlbery sat down.

In a few minutes, the performers were ready for a new exhibition. They
were dressed up as soldiers, who, headed by a corporal, came forward to
do their exercises.

Mrs. Arlbery, laughing, told the General, as he was upon duty, he should
himself take the command: the General, a pleasant, yet cool and sensible
man, did not laugh less; but the Ensign, more warm tempered, and wrong
headed, seeing a feather in a monkey's cap, of the same colour, by
chance, as in his own, fired with hasty indignation, and rising, called
out to the master of the booth: 'What do you mean by this, sir? do you
mean to put an affront upon our corps?'

The man, startled, was going most humbly to protest his innocence of any
such design; but the laugh raised against the Ensign amongst the
audience gave him more courage, and he only simpered without speaking.

'What do you mean by grinning at me, sir?' said Macdersey; 'do you want
me to cane you?'

'Cane me!' cried the man enraged, 'by what rights?'

Macdersey, easily put off all guard, was stepping over the benches, with
his cane uplifted, when his next neighbour, tightly holding him, said,
in a half whisper, 'If you'll take my advice, you'd a deal better
provoke him to strike the first blow.'

Macdersey, far more irritated by this counsel than by the original
offence, fiercely looked back, calling out 'The first blow! What do you
mean by that, sir?'

'No offence, sir,' answered the person, who was no other than the slow
and solemn Mr. Dubster; 'but only to give you a hint for your own good;
for if you strike first, being in his own house, as one may say, he may
take the law of you.'

'The law!' repeated the fiery Ensign; 'the law was made for poltroons: a
man of honour does not know what it means.'

'If you talk at that rate, sir,' said Dubster, in a low voice, 'it may
bring you into trouble.'

'And who are you, sir, that take upon you the presumption to give me
your opinion?'

'Who am I, sir? I am a gentleman, if you must needs know.'

'A gentleman! who made you so?'

'Who made me so? why leaving off business! what would you have make me
so? you may tell me if you are any better, if you come to that.'

Macdersey, of an ancient and respectable family, incensed past measure,
was turning back upon Mr. Dubster; when the General, taking him gently
by the hand, begged he would recollect himself.

'That's very true, sir, very true, General!' cried he, profoundly
bowing; 'what you say is very true. I have no right to put myself into a
passion before my superior officer, unless he puts me into it himself;
in which case 'tis his own fault. So I beg your pardon, General, with
all my heart. And I'll go out of the booth without another half
syllable. But if ever I detect any of those monkies mocking us, and
wearing our feathers, when you a'n't by, I sha'n't put up with it so
mildly. I hope you'll excuse me, General.'

He then bowed to him again, and begged pardon of all the ladies; but, in
quitting the booth, contemptuously said to Mr. Dubster: 'As to you, you
little dirty fellow, you a'n't worth my notice.'

'Little dirty fellow!' repeated Mr. Dubster, when he was gone; 'How come
you to think of that? why I'm as clean as hands can make me!'

'Come, sir, come,' said Mrs. Mittin, reaching over to him, and stroking
his arm, 'don't be angry; these things will happen, sometimes, in public
companies; but gentlemen should be above minding them. He meant no harm,
I dare say.'

'O, as to that, ma'am,' answered Mr. Dubster proudly, 'I don't much care
if he did or not: it's no odds to me. Only I don't know much what right
he has to defame me. I wonder who he thinks he is that he may break the
peace for nothing. I can't say I'm much a friend to such behaviour.
Treating people with so little ceremony.'

'I protest,' cried Sir Sedley to Camilla, ''tis your favourite swain
from the Northwick assembly! wafted on some zephyr of Hope, he has
pursued you to Tunbridge. I flatter myself he has brought his last bran
new cloaths to claim your fair hand at the master of the ceremonies'
ball.'

'Hush! hush!' cried Camilla, in a low voice; 'he will take you literally
should he hear you!'

Mr. Dubster, now perceiving her, bowed low from the place where he
stood, and called out, 'How do you do, ma'am? I ask pardon for not
speaking to you before; but I can't say as I see you.'

Camilla was forced to bow, though she made no answer. But he continued
with his usual steadiness; 'Why, that was but a unked morning we was
together so long, ma'am, in my new summer-house. We was in fine
jeopardy, that's the truth of it. Pray, how does the young gentleman do
as took away our ladder?'

'What a delectable acquaintance!' cried Sir Sedley; 'would you have the
cruelty to keep such a treasure to yourself? present me, I supplicate!'

'O, I know you well enough, sir,' said Mr. Dubster, who overheard him;
'I see you at the hop at the White Hart; and I believe you know me
pretty well too, sir, if I may take account by your staring. Not that I
mind it in the least.'

'Come, come, don't be touchy,' said Mrs. Mittin; 'can't you be
good-natured, and hold your tongue? what signifies taking things amiss?
It only breeds ill words.'

'That's very sensibly observed upon!' said Mr. Dennel; 'I don't know
when I've heard any thing more sensibly said.'

'O, as to that, I don't take it amiss in the least,' cried Mr. Dubster;
'if the gentleman's a mind to stare, let him stare. Only I should like
to know what it's for. It's no better than child's play, as one may say,
making one look foolish for nothing.'

The ourang outang was now announced, and Mrs. Arlbery immediately left
the booth, accompanied by her party, and speedily followed by Edgar.

Neither of the carriages were in waiting, but they would not return to
the booth. Sir Sedley, to whom standing was still rather inconvenient,
begged a cast in the carriage of a friend, who was accidentally passing
by.

Macdersey, who joined them, said he had been considering what that
fellow had proposed to him, of taking the first blow, and found he could
not put up with it: and upon the appearance of Mr. Dubster, who in
quitting the booth was preparing, with his usual leisurely solemnity, to
approach Camilla, darted forward and seizing him by the collar,
exclaimed, 'Retract, sir! Retract!'

Mr. Dubster stared, at first, without speech or opposition; but being
released by the Major, whom the General begged to interfere, he angrily
said: 'Pray, sir, what business have you to take hold of a body in such
a manner as that? It's an assault, sir, and so I can prove. And I'm glad
of it; for now I can serve you as I did another gentleman once before,
that I smarted out of a good ten pound out of his pocket, for a knock he
gave me, for a mere nothing, just like this here pulling one by the
collar, nobody knows why.'

The Major, endeavouring to quiet Macdersey, advised him to despise so
low a person.

'So I will, my dear friend,' he returned, 'as soon as ever I have given
him the proper chastisement for his ignorance. But I must do that first.
You won't take it ill, Major.'

'I believe,' cried Mr. Dubster, holding up both his hands, 'the like of
this was never heard of! Here's a gentleman, as he calls himself, ready
to take away my life, with his own good will, for nothing but giving him
a little bit of advice! However, it's all one to me. The law is open to
all. And if any one plays their tricks upon me, they shall pay for their
fun. I'm none of your tame ones to put up with such a thing for nothing.
I'm above that, I promise you.'

'Don't talk, sir, don't talk!' cried Macdersey; 'it's a thing I can't
bear from a mean person, to be talked to. I had a hundred thousand times
rather stand to be shot at.'

'Not talk, sir? I should be glad to know what right you has to hinder
me, provided I say nothing against the law? And as to being a mean
person, it's more than you can prove, for I'm sure you don't know who I
am, nor nothing about me. I may be a lord, for any thing you know,
though I don't pretend to say I am. But as to what people take me for,
that behave so out of character, it's what I sha'n't trouble my head
about. They may take me for a chimney-sweeper, or they may take me for a
duke; which they like. I sha'n't tell them whether I'm one or t'other,
or whether I'm neither. And as to not talking, I shall hold my tongue
when I think proper.'

'Ask my pardon this instant, fellow!' cried the Ensign, whom the Major,
at the motion of the General, now caught by the arm, and hurried from
the spot: Mrs. Mittin, at the same moment pulling away Mr. Dubster, and
notably expounding to him the advantages of patience and good humour.

Mrs. Arlbery, wearied both of this squabble and of waiting, took the arm
of the General, and said she would walk home; Miss Dennel lovingly held
by Mrs. Mittin, with whom her father also assorted, and by whom Mr.
Dubster was drawn on.

Camilla alone had no immediate companion, as the Major was occupied by
the Ensign. Edgar saw her disengaged. He trembled, he wavered; he wished
the Major back; he wished him still more at a distance too remote ever
to return; he thought he would instantly mount his horse, and gallop
towards Beech Park; but the horse was not ready, and Camilla was in
sight;--and, in less than a minute, he found himself, scarce knowing
how, at her side.

Camilla felt a pleasure that bounded to her heart, though the late
assertions of Mrs. Arlbery prepared her to expect him. He knew not,
however, what to say; he felt mortified and disappointed, and when he
had uttered something scarce intelligible about the weather, he walked
on in silence.

Camilla, whose present train of thoughts had no discordant tendency,
broke through this strangeness herself, and said: 'How frivolous I must
appear to you! but indeed I was at the very door of the booth, before I
knew whither the party was going.'

'You did not, I hope, at least,' he cried, 'when you had entered it,
deem me too rigid, too austere, that I thought the species, both of
company and of entertainment, ill calculated for a young lady?'

'Rigid! austere!' repeated she; 'I never thought you either! never--and
if once again--' she stopt; embarrassed, ashamed.

'If once again what?' cried he in a tremulous voice; 'what would Miss
Camilla say?--would she again--Is there yet--What would Miss Camilla
say?--'

Camilla felt confounded, both with ideas of what he meant to allude to,
and what construction he had put upon her half finished sentence.
Impatient, however, to clear that, 'If once more,' she cried, 'you could
prevail with yourself--now and then--from time to time--to give me an
hint, an idea--of what you think right--I will promise, if not a
constant observance, at least a never-failing sense of your kindness.'

The revulsion in the heart, in the whole frame of Edgar, was almost too
powerful for restraint: he panted for an immediate explanation of every
past and every present difficulty, and a final avowal that she was
either self-destined to the Major, or that he had no rival to fear: But
before he could make any answer, a sudden and violent shower broke up
the conference, and grouped the whole party under a large tree.

This interruption, however, had no power upon their thoughts; neither of
them heard a word that was saying; each ruminated intently, though
confusedly, upon what already was passed. Yet where the wind
precipitated the rain, Edgar stationed himself, and held his hat to
intercept its passage to Camilla; and as her eye involuntarily was
caught by the shower that pattered upon his head and shoulders, she
insensibly pressed nearer to the trunk of the tree, to afford more
shelter to him from its branches.

The rest of the party partook not of this taciturnity: Mr. Dubster,
staring Mrs. Mittin full in the face, exclaimed: 'I think I ought to
know you, ma'am, asking your pardon?'

'No matter for that!' cried she, turning with quickness to Camilla;
'Lord, miss--I don't know your name,--how your poor hat is all I don't
know how! as limp, and as flimzy, as if it had been in a wash-tub!'

'I've just bethought me,' continued he, 'where it was we used to see one
another, and all the whole manner of it. I've got it as clear in my head
as if it was but yesterday. Don't you remember--'

'Can't you stand a little out, there?' interrupted she; 'what signifies
a man's old coat? don't you see how you let all the rain come upon this
young lady? you should never think of yourself, but only of what you can
do to be obliging.'

'A very good rule, that! a very good one indeed!' said Mr. Dennel; 'I
wish everybody would mind it.'

'I'm as willing to mind it, I believe,' said Mr. Dubster, 'as my
neighbours; but as to being wet through, for mere complaisance, I don't
think it fair to expect such a thing of nobody. Besides, this is not
such an old coat as you may think for. If you was to see what I wear at
home, I promise you would not think so bad of it. I don't say it's my
best; who'd be fool then, to wear it every day? However, I believe it's
pretty nigh as good as that I had on that night I saw you at Mrs.
Purdle's, when, you know, one of your pattens--'

'Come, come, what's the man talking about? one person should not take
all the conversation up so. Dear miss ... do tell me your name?... I am
so sorry for your hat, I can't but think of it; it looks as dingy!...'

'Why, now, you won't make me believe,' said Mr. Dubster, 'you've forgot
how your patten broke; and how I squeezed my finger under the iron? And
how I'd like to have lost the use of it? There would have been a fine
job! And how Mrs. Purdle....'

'I'm sure the shower's over,' cried Mrs. Mittin, 'and if we stay here,
we shall have all the droppings of the leaves upon us. Poor miss
thing-o-me's hat is spoilt already. There's no need to make it worse.'

'And how Mrs. Purdle,' he continued, 'was obliged to lend you a pair of
shoes and stockings, because you was wet through your feet? And how they
would not fit you, and kept tumbling off? And how, when somebody come to
fetch you in their own coach, you made us say you was taken ill, because
you was so daubed with mud and mire, you was ashamed to shew yourself?
And how....'

'I can't think what you are talking of,' said Mrs. Mittin; 'but come,
let's you and I go a little way on, to see if the rain's over.' She then
went some paces from the tree, and said: 'What signifies running on so,
Mr. Dubster, about things nobody knows anything of? It's tiring all the
company to death. You should never talk about your own fingers, and
hap-hazards, to genteel people. You should only talk about agreeable
subjects as I do. See how they all like me! That gentleman brought me to
the monkies in his own coach.'

'As to that,' answered he, gravely, 'I did not mean, in the least, to
say anything disagreeable; only I thought it odd you should not seem to
know me again, considering Mrs. Purdle used----'

'Why you've no nous, Mr. Dubster; Mrs. Purdle's a very good sort of
woman and the best friend I have in the world, perhaps, at the bottom;
but she i'n't a sort of person to talk of before gentlefolks. You should
talk to great people about their own affairs, and what you can do to
please them, and find out how you can serve them, if you'd be treated
genteelly by them, as I am. Why, I go every where, and see every thing,
and it costs me nothing. A friend, a lady of great fashion, took me one
day to the monkies, and paid for me; and I've gone since, whenever I
will, for nothing.'

'Nobody treats me to nothing,' answered he, in a melancholy voice,
'whatever's the reason: except when I make friends with somebody that
can let me in free, sometimes. And I get a peep, now and then, at what
goes forward, that way.'

'But you are rich enough to pay for yourself now, Mr. Dubster; good
lack! if I had such a fortune as yours, I'd go all the world over, and
thanks to nobody.'

'And how long would you be rich then, Mrs. Mittin? Who'd give you your
money again when you'd spent it? I got mine hard enough. I sha'n't fool
it away in a hurry, I promise you!'

'I can't say I see that, Mr. Dubster, when two of your wives died so
soon, and left you so handsome.'

'Why, yes, I don't say to the contrary of that; but then, think of the
time before, when I was 'prentice!--'

The shower was now over, and the party proceeded as before.

Edgar, uncertain, irresolute, walked on in silence: yet attentive,
assiduous, even tenderly watchful to guide, guard, and assist his fair
companion in her way. The name of the Major trembled perpetually upon
his lips; but fear what might be the result of his inquiries stopt his
speech till they approached the house; when he commanded voice to say:
'You permit, then, the renewal of my old privilege?--'

'Permit! I wish for it!'

They were now at the door. Edgar, not daring to speak again to Camilla,
and not able to address any one else, took his leave; enchanted that he
was authorized, once more, to inform himself with openness of the state
of her affairs, and of her conduct. And Camilla, dwelling with delight
upon the discernment of Mrs. Arlbery, blest the happy penetration that
had endowed her with courage to speak again to Edgar in terms of
friendship and confidence.

Mrs. Mittin, declaring she could not eat till she had seen what could be
done for the hat of Miss Tyrold, accompanied her upstairs, took it off
herself, wiped it, smoothed, and tried to new arrange it; and, at last,
failing to succeed, insisted upon taking it home, to put it in order,
and promised to return it in the morning time enough for the Pantiles.
Camilla was much ashamed; but she had no means to buy another, and she
had now lost her indifference to going abroad. She thought, therefore,
this new acquaintance at least as useful as she was officious, and
accepted her civility with thanks.



CHAPTER VII

_The Rooms_


The evening, as usual, was destined to the Rooms. The first object
Camilla perceived upon her entrance was Edgar, and the smile with which
she met his eye brought him instantly to her side. That smile was not
less radiant for his nearer approach; nor was his pleasure in it less
animated for observing that Major Cerwood was not of her party, nor as
yet in the room. The opportunity seemed inviting to engage her himself;
to suggest and to find it irresistible was the same thing, and he
inquired if her whole evening were arranged, or she would go down two
dances with an old friend.

The softness of her assent was even exquisite delight to him; and, as
they all walked up and down the apartment, though he addressed her but
little, and though she spoke but in answer, every word he uttered she
received as couching some gentle meaning, and every syllable she
replied, he thought conveyed something of flattering interest: and
although all was upon open and unavoidable subjects, he had no eyes but
for her, she had no attention but for him.

This quiet, yet heart-felt intercourse, was soon a little interrupted by
the appearance of a large and striking party, led on by Lady Alithea
Selmore; for which every body made way, to which every body turned, and
which, passing by all the company without seeming conscious there was
any to pass, formed a mass at the upper end of the room, with an air and
manner of such exclusive attention to their chief, or to one another,
that common observation would have concluded some film before their eyes
obstructed their discerning that they were not the sole engrossers of
the apartment.

But such was not the judgment formed of them by Mrs. Arlbery, who,
forced by the stream to give them passage, paid herself for the
condescension by a commentary upon the passengers. 'Those good people,'
said she, 'strive to make us believe we are nothing to them. They strive
even to believe it themselves. But this is the mere semblance worn by
pride and affectation, to veil internal fatigue. They come hither to
recruit their exhausted powers, not, indeed, by joining in our society,
but by a view of new objects for their senses, and the flattering idea,
for their minds, of the envy or admiration they excite. They are all
people of some consequence, and many of them are people of title: but
these are far the most supportable of the group; their privileged
superiority over the rest is so marked and indisputable, that they are
saved the trouble either of claiming or ascertaining it: but those who
approach their rank without reaching it, live in a constant struggle to
make known their importance. Indeed, I have often seen that people of
title are less gratified with the sound of their own honours, than
people of no title in pronouncing them.'

Sir Sedley Clarendel was of this set. Like the rest he passed Mrs.
Arlbery without seeming to notice her, and was passing Camilla in the
same manner; but not aware this was only to be fine, like the party to
which he belonged, she very innocently spoke to him herself, to hope he
got safe to his lodgings, without feeling any further ill effect from
his accident.

Sir Sedley, though internally much gratified by this interest in his
safety, which in Camilla was the result of having herself endangered it,
looked as if he scarce recollected her, and making hastily a kind of
half bow, walked on with his company.

Camilla, who had no view, nor one serious thought concerning him, was
rather amused than displeased by his caprices; and was preparing to
relate the history of his lameness to Edgar, who seemed surprised and
even hurt by her addressing him, and by his so slightly passing her,
when the entrance of another splendid party interrupted all discourse.

And here, to her utter amaze, she beheld, as chief of the group, her
romantic new friend; not leading, indeed, like Lady Alithea Selmore, a
train, but surrounded by admirers, who, seeking no eye but hers, seemed
dim and humble planets, moving round a radiant sun.

Camilla now, forgetting Sir Sedley, would have taken this moment to
narrate her adventure with Mrs. Berlinton, had not her design been
defeated by the approach of the Major. He belonged to this last group,
but was the only one that separated from it. He spoke to Camilla with
his usual air of devotion, told her he had dined with Mrs. Berlinton, to
whose husband, whom he had taken for her grandfather, he had been just
introduced; and begged to know of Mrs. Arlbery if he might have the
pleasure of bringing them all acquainted; an offer which Camilla,
unauthorised by Mrs. Berlinton, had not ventured to make. Mrs. Arlbery
declined the proposal; not anxious to mix where she had small chance of
presiding.

The party, after traversing the room, took full and exclusive possession
of a considerable spot just below that occupied by Lady Alithea.

These two companies completely engrossed all attention, amply supplying
the rest of the assembly with topics for discourse. The set with Lady
Alithea Selmore was, in general, haughty, supercilious, and taciturn;
looking around with eyes determined to see neither any person nor any
thing before them, and rarely speaking, except to applaud what fell from
her ladyship; who far less proud, because a lover of popularity, deigned
herself, from time to time, a slight glance at the company, to see if
she was observed, and to enjoy its reverence.

The party to which Mrs. Berlinton was the loadstone, was far more
attractive to the disciples of nature, though less sedulously sought by
those whom the manners and maxims of the common world had sophisticated.
They were gay, elegant, desirous to please, because pleased themselves;
and though some of them harboured designs deeper and more dangerous than
any formed by the votaries of rank, they appeared to have nothing more
in view than to decorate with flowers the present moment. The magnetic
influence of beauty was, however, more powerful than that of the _ton_;
for though Mrs. Berlinton, from time to time, allured a beau from Lady
Alithea Selmore, her ladyship, during the whole season, had not one
retaliation to boast. But, on the other hand, the females, in general,
strove to cluster about Lady Alithea; Mrs. Berlinton leaving them no
greater chance of rival-ship in conversation than in charms.

Edgar had made way upon the approach of the Major, who wore an air of
superior claim extremely unpleasant to him; but, since already engaged
to Camilla, he meant to return to her when the dancing began.

She concluded he left her but to speak to some acquaintance, and was,
herself, amply occupied in observing her new friend. The light in which
she now beheld her, admired, pursued, and adulated, elegantly adorned in
her person, and evidently with but one rival for fame and fashion in
Tunbridge, filled her with astonishment. Nothing could less assort with
her passion for solitude, her fondness for literary and sentimental
discussions, and her enthusiasm in friendship. But her surprise was
mixed with praise and admiration, when she reflected upon the soft
humility, and caressing sweetness of her manners, yet found her, by
general consent, holding this elevated rank in society.

The Major earnestly pressed to conduct Camilla to this coterie, assuring
her Mrs. Berlinton would not have passed, had she seen her, for, during
dinner, and at coffee, she had talked of nobody else. Camilla heard this
with pleasure, but shrunk from all advances, and strove rather to hide
than shew herself, that Mrs. Berlinton might have full liberty either to
seek or avoid her. She wished to consult Edgar upon this acquaintance;
though the present splendour of her appearance, and the number of her
followers, made her fear she could never induce him to do justice to the
sweetness and endearment of her social powers.

When the Major found he pleaded in vain, he said he would at least let
Mrs. Berlinton know where to look for her; and went himself to that
lady.

Edgar, who had felt sensibly mortified to observe, when he retreated,
that the eyes and attention of Camilla had been wholly bestowed upon
what he considered merely as a new scene, was now coming forward; when
he saw Mrs. Berlinton hastily rise, suddenly break from all her
adulators, and, with quick steps and animated gestures, traverse the
apartment, to address Camilla, whom, taking by both her hands, which she
pressed to her heart, she conjured, in the most flattering terms, to
accompany her back.

Camilla was much gratified; yet, from delicacy to Mrs. Arlbery,
stimulated by the fear of missing her expected partner in the country
dances, declined the invitation: Mrs. Berlinton looked disappointed; but
said she would not be importunate, and returned alone.

Camilla, a little disturbed, besought the Major to follow, with an
offer of spending with her, if she pleased, the whole of the ensuing
day.

'Charming!' cried the Major, 'for I am engaged to her myself already.'

To Camilla this hearing was distressing; to Edgar it was scarcely
endurable. But she could not retract, and Edgar was stopt in the
inquiries he meant to make concerning this striking new acquaintance, by
an abrupt declaration from Mrs. Arlbery, that the Rooms were
insufferable, and she would immediately go home. She then gave her hand
to the General, and Miss Dennel took the arm of Camilla, murmuring, that
she would never leave the Rooms at such an early hour again, when once
she was married.

To quit Edgar thus, at the very moment of renewed intercourse and amity,
seemed too cruel; and Camilla, though with blushes, and stammering,
whispered Mrs. Arlbery, 'What can I do, ma'am? most unfortunately I have
engaged myself to dance?'

'With whom?'

'With--Mr.--Mandlebert.'

'O, vastly well! Stay, then by all means: but, as he has not engaged me
too, allow me, I beseech you, to escape. Mrs. Berlinton will, I am sure,
be happy to take care of you.'

This scheme was, to Camilla, the most pleasant that could be proposed;
and, at the same instant, the Major returned to her, with these words
written with a pencil upon the back of a letter.

'To-morrow, and next day, and next day, come to me, my lovely friend;
every thing, and every body fatigues me but yourself.'

Camilla, obliged again to have recourse to the Major, wrote, upon the
same paper, 'Can you have the goodness to convey me to Mount Pleasant
to-night, if I stay?' and begged him to bring her an answer. She
entreated, also, Mrs. Arlbery to stop till it arrived, which was almost
in the same minute; for the eye of Mrs. Berlinton had but glanced upon
the words, ere her soft and lovely form was again with their fair
writer, with whom, smiling and delighted, she walked back, arm in arm,
to her place.

Mrs. Arlbery and the General, and Mr. and Miss Dennel, now left the
room.

Edgar viewed all this with amazement. He found that the young lady she
joined was sister-in-law to a peer, and as fashionable as she was
beautiful; but could not fathom how so great an intimacy had so suddenly
been formed.

Camilla, thus distinguished, became now herself an object of peculiar
notice; her own personal claim to particular attention, her dejection
had forfeited, for it had robbed her eyes of their animation, and her
countenance of its play; but no contagion spreads with greater certainty
nor greater speed than that of fashion; slander itself is not more sure
of promulgation. She was now looked at by all present as if seen for the
first time; every one discovered in her some charm, some grace, some
excellence; those who, the minute before, had passed her with perfect
indifference, said it was impossible to see and not be struck with her;
and all agreed she could appear upon no spot under the sun, and not
instinctively be singled out, as formed to shine in the highest sphere.

But he by whom this transaction was observed with most pleasure, was Sir
Sedley Clarendel. The extraordinary service he had performed for
Camilla, and the grateful interest she had shewn him in return, had led
him to consider her with an attention so favourable, that, without half
her merit, or half her beauty, she could not have failed rising in his
estimation, and exciting his regard: and she had now a superior charm
that distanced every other; she had been asked to dance, yet refused it,
by a man of celebrity in the _ton_; and she was publicly sought and
caressed by the only rival at Tunbridge, in that species of renown, to
Lady Alithea Selmore.

He felt an increased desire to be presented to Mrs. Berlinton himself;
and, gliding from his own circle as quietly as he could contrive, not to
offend Lady Alithea, who, though she laughed at _the little Welsh
rustic_, was watchful of her votaries, and jealous of her rising power,
came gently behind Lord O'Lerney and whispered his request.

He was received by the young beauty with that grace, and that sweetness
which rendered her so generally bewitching, yet with an air that proved
her already accustomed to admiration, and untouched by its intoxicating
qualities. All that was voluntary of her attention was bestowed
exclusively upon Camilla, though, when addressed and called upon by
others, she answered without impatience, and looked without displeasure.

This conduct, at the same time that it shewed her in a point of view the
most amiable, raised Camilla higher and higher in the eyes of the
by-standers: and, in a few minutes more, the general cry throughout the
assembly was, to inquire who was the young lady thus brought forward by
Mrs. Berlinton.

Edgar heard this with increased anxiety. Has she discretion, has she
fortitude, thought he, to withstand public distinction? Will it not
spoil her for private life; estrange her from family concerns? render
tasteless and insipid the conjugal and maternal characters, meant by
Nature to form not only the most sacred of duties, but the most
delicious of enjoyments?

Very soon after, this anxiety was tinctured with a feeling more severe;
he saw her spoken to negligently by Sir Sedley; he required, after what
he had already himself deemed impertinence from the Baronet, that she
should have assumed to him a distant dignity; but he perceived, on the
contrary, that she answered him with pleasant alacrity, and, when not
engaged by Mrs. Berlinton, attended to him, even with distinction.

Alas! thought he, the degradation from the true female character is
already begun! already the lure of fashion draws her from what she owes
to delicacy and propriety, to give a willing reception to insolence and
foppery!

Camilla, meanwhile, unsuspicious of his remarks, and persuaded every
civility in her power was due to Sir Sedley, was gay, pleased, and
pleasing; happy to consider herself under the guidance, and restored to
the amity of Edgar, and determined to acquaint him with all her affairs,
and consult him upon all her proceedings.

The dancing, for which mutually they languished, as the mutual means of
reunion, seemed not to be the humour of the evening, and those who were
ready for it, were not of sufficient consequence to bring it forward.
But when Mrs. Berlinton mentioned, that she had been taking some lessons
in a cotillon, a universal cry was raised by all her party, to try one
immediately. She pleaded in vain her inexperience in such dances; they
insisted there was nobody present that could criticise, that her form
alone would compensate for every mistake of rule, and that the best
lesson was easy practice.

She was soon gained, for she was not addicted to denials; but the
application which ensued to Camilla was acceded to less promptly. As
there were but two other ladies in the circle of Mrs. Berlinton, her
assistance was declared to be indispensable. She pleaded inability of
every sort, though to dance without Edgar was her only real objection;
for she had no false shame in being ignorant of what she never had
learnt. But Mrs. Berlinton protested she would not rise if she were the
only novice to be exhibited; and the Major then prepared to prostrate
himself at the feet of Camilla; who, hastily, and ashamed, stood up, to
prevent an action that Edgar might misinterpret.

Hoping, however, now, to at least draw him into their set, she ventured
to acknowledge to Mrs. Berlinton, that she was already engaged, in case
she danced.

The Major, who heard her, and who knew it was not to himself,
strenuously declared this could only be for country dances, and
therefore would not interfere with a cotillon.

'Will country dances, then,' said she, blushing, 'follow?'

'Certainly, if any one has spirit to begin them.'

The cotillon was now played, and the preceding bow from the opposite
Major forced her courtsie in return.

The little skill in this dance of one of the performers, and the total
want of it in another, made it a mere pleasantry to all, though the
youth and beauty of the two who did the worst, rendered them objects of
admiration, that left nearly unnoticed those who did best.

To Camilla what belonged to pleasantry in this business was of short
duration. When the cotillon was over, she saw nothing of Edgar. She
looked around, mortified, disappointed. No one called for a country
dance; and the few who had wished for it, concluding all chance over
when a cotillon was begun, had now retired, or given it up.

What was this disappointment, compared with the sufferings of Edgar?
Something of a contest, and of entreaties, had reached his ears, while
he had hovered near the party, or strolled up and down the room. He had
gathered the subject was dancing, and he saw the Major most earnest with
Camilla. He was sure it was for her hand, and concluded it was for a
country dance; but could she forfeit her engagement? were matters so far
advanced, as to make her so openly shew him all prevailing, all
powerful, not only over all rivals, but, according to the world's
established customs upon these occasions, over all decorum?

Presently, he saw the Major half kneel; he saw her rise to prevent the
prostration; and he heard the dance called.

He could bear no more; pain intolerable seized, distracted him, and he
abruptly quitted the ballroom, lest the Major should approach him with
some happy apology, which he was unfitted to receive.

He could only settle his ideas by supposing she really loved Major
Cerwood, and had suffered her character to be infected by the indelicacy
that made a part of his own. Yet why had she so striven to deny all
regard, all connection? what an unaccountable want of frankness! what a
miserable dereliction of truth!

His first impulse was to set off instantly from Tunbridge; but his
second thoughts represented the confession this would make. He was too
proud to leave the Major, whom he despised, such a triumph, and too much
hurt to permit Camilla herself to know him so poignantly wounded. She
could not, indeed, but be struck by his retreat; he resolved, however,
to try to meet with her the next day, and to speak to her with the amity
they had so lately arranged, yet in a way that should manifest him
wholly free from all other interest or view.



CHAPTER VIII

_Ways to the Heart_


All pleasure to Camilla was completely over from the moment that Edgar
disappeared.

When she returned to Mount Pleasant, Mrs. Arlbery, whom she found alone,
said, 'Did I not understand that you were going to dance with Mr.
Mandlebert? How chanced he to leave you? We were kept ages waiting for
the coach; and I saw him pass by, and walk off.'

Camilla, colouring, related the history of the cotillon; and said, she
feared, not knowing how she had been circumstanced, he was displeased.

'Displeased!' cried Mrs. Arlbery, laughing; 'and do you, at seventeen,
suffer a man to be displeased? How can you do worse when you are fifty?
Know your own power more truly, and use it better. Men, my dear, are all
spoilt by humility, and all conquered by gaiety. Amuse and defy
them!--attend to that maxim, and you will have the world at your feet.'

'I have no such ambition: ... but I should be sensibly hurt to make an
old friend think ill of me.'

'When an old friend,' said Mrs. Arlbery, archly, 'happens to be a young
man, you must conduct yourself with him a little like what you are; that
is, a young woman. And a young woman is never in her proper place, if
such sort of old friends are not taught to know their own. From the
instant you permit them to think of being offended, they become your
masters; and you will find it vastly more convenient to make them your
slaves.'

Camilla pretended to understand this in a mere general sense, and wished
her good night.

       *       *       *       *       *

The next morning, at an early hour, her chamber door was opened with
great suddenness, and no preparation, and Mrs. Mittin tript nimbly into
the room, with a hat in her hand.

'Look here! my dear Miss Tyrold,' cried she, 'for now that other young
lady has told me your name, and I writ it down upon paper, that I might
not forget it again: look at your hat now! Did you ever see anything so
much improved for the better? I declare nobody would know it! Miss
Dennel says it's as pretty again as it was at first. I'll go and shew it
to the other lady.'

Away she went, triumphant, with the trophy of her notability; but
presently returned, saying, 'Do, pray, Miss Tyrold, write me down that
other lady's name upon a scrap of paper. It always goes out of my head.
And one looks as if one knew nobody, when, one forgets people's names.'

Camilla complied, and expressed her shame to have caused her so much
trouble.

'O, my dear, it's none at all. I got all the things at Mrs. Tillden's.'

'Who is Mrs. Tillden?' cried Camilla, staring.

'Why the milliner. Don't you know that?'

'What things?' asked Camilla, alarmed.

'Why these, my dear; don't you see? Why it's all new, except just the
hat itself, and the feathers.'

Camilla was now in extreme embarrassment. She had concluded Mrs. Mittin
had only newly arranged the ornaments, and had not the smallest idea of
incurring a debt which she had no means to discharge.

'It all comes to quite a trifle,' continued Mrs. Mittin, 'for all it's
so pretty. Mrs. Tillden's things are all monstrous cheap. I get things
for next to nothing from her, sometimes, when they are a little past the
mode. But then I recommend her a heap of customers. I get all my
friends, by hook or by crook, to go to her shop.'

'And what,' stammered out Camilla, 'besides my thanks, do I owe you?'

'Oh nothing. She would not be paid; she said, as you was her customer,
and had all your things of her at first, she'd put it down in your bill
for the season.'

This was, at least, some respite; though Camilla felt the disagreeable
necessity of increasing her intended demand upon Mrs. Arlbery.

Miss Dennel came with a summons from that lady to the Pantiles, whither,
as the day was fine, she proposed they should walk.

'O,' cried Mrs. Mittin, 'if you are going upon the Pantiles, you must go
to that shop where there's the curious ear-rings that are be to raffled
for. You'll put in to be sure.'

Camilla said no, with a sigh attributed to the ear-rings, but due to a
tender recollection of the raffle in which Edgar had procured her the
trinket she most valued. Mrs. Mittin proposed accompanying them, and
asked Camilla to introduce her to Mrs. Arlbery. This was very
disagreeable; but she knew not how, after the civility she owed her, to
refuse.

Mrs. Arlbery received her with much surprize, but perfect unconcern;
conscious of her own importance, she feared no disgrace from being seen
with one in a lower station; and she conceived it no honour to appear
with one in a higher.

When they came to the Pantiles, Mrs. Mittin begged to introduce them to
a view of the ear-rings, which belonged, she said, to one of her
particular friends; and as Mrs. Arlbery caught the eye of Sir Sedley
Clarendel in passing the window, she entered the shop.

'Well,' cried Mrs. Mittin, to its master, 'don't say I bring you no
company. I am sure you ought to let me throw for nothing, if it's only
for good luck; for I am sure these three ladies will all put in. Come,
Miss Dennel, do lead the way. 'Tis but half a guinea, and only look what
a prize.'

'Ask papa to pay for me!' cried Miss Dennel.

'Come, good sir, come, put down the half guinea for the young lady. I'm
sure you can't refuse her. Lord! what's half a guinea?'

'That's a very bad way of reasoning,' answered Mr. Dennel; 'and what I
did not expect from a woman of your sense.'

'Why you don't think, sir, I meant that half a guinea's a trifle? No
indeed! I know what money is better than that. I only mean half a guinea
is nothing in comparison to ten guineas, which is the price of the
ear-rings; and so that makes me think it's pity the young lady should
lose an opportunity of getting them so cheap. I'm sure if they were
dear, I should be the last to recommend them, for I think extravagance
the greatest sin under the sun.'

'Well, now you speak like the sensible woman I took you for.'

A very little more eloquence of this sort was necessary, before Mr.
Dennel put down half a guinea.

'Well, I declare,' cried Mrs. Mittin, 'there's only three more names
wanted; and when these two ladies have put in, there will be only one!
I'm sure if I was rich enough, that one would not be far off. But come,
ma'am, where's your half guinea? Come, Miss Tyrold, don't hold back; who
knows but you may win? there's only nineteen against you. Lord, what's
that?'

Camilla turned away, and Mrs. Arlbery did not listen to a word; but when
Sir Sedley said, 'They are really very pretty; won't you throw?' she
answered, 'I must rather make a raffle with my own trinkets, than raffle
for other people's. Think of my ponies! However, I'll put in, if Mr.
Dennel will be my paymaster.'

Mr. Dennel, turning short off, walked out of the shop.

'This is a bad omen!' cried she, laughing; and then desired to look at
the list of rafflers; when seeing amongst the names those of Lady
Alithea Selmore and the Hon. Mrs. Berlinton, she exclaimed: ''Tis a
coalition of all fashion and reputation! We shall be absolutely scouted,
my dear Miss Tyrold, if we shrink. My poor ponies must wait half a
guinea longer! Let us put in together.'

Camilla answered, she had no intention to try for them.

'Well, then, lend me half a guinea; for I never trust myself, now, with
my purse.'

'I have not a half guinea ... I have ... I have no ... gold ... in my
purse,' answered Camilla, with a face deeply tinged with red.

Major Cerwood, who joined the party during this discussion, intreated to
be banker for both the ladies. Camilla positively refused any share; but
Mrs. Mittin said it would be a shame for such a young lady to go
without her chance, and wrote down her name next to that of Mrs.
Arlbery; while the Major, without further question, put down a guinea
upon the counter.

Camilla could not endure this; yet, from a youthful shame of confessing
poverty, forced herself to the ear of Mrs. Arlbery, and whispered an
entreaty that she would pay the guinea herself.

Mrs. Arlbery, surprized, answered she had really come out without her
purse; but seeing her seriously vexed, added, 'If you do not approve of
the Major for a banker till we go home, what say you to Sir Sedley?'

'I shall prefer him a thousand times!'

Mrs. Arlbery, in a low voice, repeated this to the young Baronet, and
receiving his guinea, threw it down; making the Major, without the
smallest excuse or ceremony, take back his own.

This was by no means lost upon Sir Sedley; he felt flattered ... he felt
softened; he thought Camilla looked unusually lovely; he began to wonder
at the coldness of Mandlebert, and to lament that the first affections
of so fair a creature should be cast away.

Mandlebert himself was an object of nothing less than envy. He had
entered the shop during the contest about the raffle, and seen Major
Cerwood pay for Camilla as well as for Mrs. Arlbery. Confirmed in his
notions of her positive engagement, and sick at heart from the
confirmation, he walked further into the shop, upon pretence of looking
at some other articles, before he could assume sufficient composure to
speak to her.

Mrs. Mittin now began woefully to repine that she could not take the
last share for the ear-rings; and, addressing herself to Mr. Dennel, who
re-entered as soon as he saw the money was paid for Mrs. Arlbery, she
said, 'You see, sir, if there was somebody ready to take the last chance
at once, this gentleman might fix a day for the throwing immediately;
but else, it may be dawdled on, nobody knows how long; for one will be
gone, and t'other will be gone, and there'll be no getting the people
together; and all the pleasure of the thing is being here to throw for
one's self: for I don't much like trusting money matters out of sight.'

'If I'd thought of all that,' said Mr. Dennel, 'I should not have put
in.'

'True, sir. But here, if it was not that I don't happen to have half a
guinea to spare just now, how nicely it might all be finished in a
trice! For, as I have been saying to Miss Dennel, this may turn out a
real bargain; for they'll fetch their full value at any time. And I tell
Miss Dennel that's the only way to lay out money, upon things that will
bring it back again if it's wanted; not upon frippery froppery, that's
spoilt in a minute, and then i'n't worth a farthing.'

'Very sensibly said,' cried Mr. Dennel; 'I'm sure she can't hear better
advice; I'm much obliged to you for putting such sensible thoughts into
her head.' And then, hoping she would continue her good lessons to his
daughter, he drew out his purse, and begged her to accept a chance from
it for the prize.

Mrs. Mittin was in raptures; and the following week was settled for the
raffle.

Mrs. Arlbery, who had attended to this scene with much amusement, now
said to General Kinsale, who had taken a seat by her: 'Did I not tell
you well, General, that all men are at the disposition of women? If even
the shrewd monied man cannot resist, what heart shall we find
impenetrable? The connoisseur in human characters knows, that the
pursuit of wealth is the petrifaction of tenderness: yet yonder is my
good brother-in-law, who thinks cash and existence one, allured even to
squander money, merely by the address of that woman, in allowing that
money should be the first study of life! Let even Clarendel have a care
of himself! or, when least he suspects any danger, some fair dairy-maid
will praise his horsemanship, or take a fancy to his favourite spaniel,
or any other favourite that happens to be the foible of the day, and his
invulnerability will be at her feet, and Lady Clarendel be brought
forward in a fortnight.'

Lord O'Lerney now entered the shop, accompanying a lady whose
countenance and appearance were singularly pleasing, and who, having
made some purchase, was quietly retiring, when the master of the shop
inquired if she wished to look at the ear-rings; adding, that though the
number was full, he knew of one person, who would give up her chance, in
case it would oblige a customer.

She answered she had no present occasion for ear-rings, and would not
therefore take up either his time or her own unnecessarily; and then
walked gently away, still attended by Lord O'Lerney.

'Bless me,' cried Mrs. Arlbery, 'who is that? to hear a little plain
common sense is so rare, it strikes one more than wit.'

'It's Lady Isabella Irby, madam,' answered the master of the shop.

Here Lord O'Lerney, who had only handed her to her carriage, returned.

'My Lord,' cried Mrs. Arlbery, 'do you know what a curiosity you brought
in amongst us just now? A woman of rank who looks round upon other
people just as if she thought they were her fellow creatures?'

'Fie, fie!' answered Lord O'Lerney, laughing, 'why will you suppose that
so rare? If we have not as many women who are amiable with titles as
without, it is only because we have not the same number from which to
select them. They are spoilt or unspoilt, but in the same proportion as
the rest of their sex. Their fall, or their escape, is less local than
you imagine; it does not depend upon their titles, but upon their
understandings.'

'Well, my lord, I believe you are right. I was adopting a narrow
prejudice, merely from indolence of thought.'

'But why, my lord,' cried Sir Sedley, 'does this paragon of a divinity
deny her example to the world? Is it in contempt of our incorrigibility?
or in horror of our contagion?'

'My dear Sir Sedley,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'don't flatter yourself with
being so dangerous. Her ladyship does not fly you from fear, take my
word for it. There is nothing in her air that looks as if she could only
be good by being shut up. I dare believe she could meet you every day,
yet be mistress of herself! Nevertheless, why, my lord, is she such a
recluse? Why does one never see her at the Rooms?'

'Never see her there, my dear madam! she is there almost every night;
only being unintruding, she is unnoticed.'

'The satire, then, my lord,' said Mrs. Arlbery, 'falls upon the company.
Why is she not surrounded by volunteer admirers? Why, with a person and
manner so formed to charm, joined to such a character, and such rank,
has she not her train?'

'The reason, my dear madam, you could define with more sagacity than
myself; she must be sought! And the world is so lazy, that the most easy
of access, however valueless, is preferred to the most perfect, who must
be pursued with any trouble.'

Admirable Lord O'Lerney! thought Edgar, what a lesson is this to
youthful females against the glare of public homage, the false
brilliancy of unfeminine popularity!

This conversation, however, which alone of any he had heard at Tunbridge
promised him any pleasure, was interrupted by Mr. Dennel, who said the
dinner would be spoilt, if they did not all go home.

Camilla felt extremely vexed to quit the shop, without clearing up the
history of the dance; and Edgar, seeing the persevering Major at her
side as she departed, in urgency to put any species of period to his own
sufferings, followed the party, and precipitately began a discourse with
Lord O'Lerney upon making the tour of Europe. Camilla, for whom it was
designed, intent upon planning her own defence, heard nothing that was
said, till Lord O'Lerney asked him if his route would be through
Switzerland, and he answered: 'My route is not quite fixed, my lord.'

Startled, she now listened, and Mrs. Arlbery, whom she held by the arm,
was equally surprised, and looked to see how she bore this intimation.

'If you will walk with me to my lodgings,' replied Lord O'Lerney, 'I
will shew you my own route, which may perhaps save you some
difficulties. Shall you set out soon?'

'I fancy within a month,' answered Edgar; and, arm in arm, they walked
away together, as Camilla and her party quitted the Pantiles for Mount
Pleasant.



CHAPTER IX

_Counsels for Conquest_


Fortunately for Camilla, no eye was upon her at this period but that of
Mrs. Arlbery; her changed countenance, else, must have betrayed still
more widely her emotion. Mrs. Arlbery saw it with real concern, and
saying she had something to consult her about, hurried on with her
alone.

Camilla scarce knew that she did, or what she suffered; the suddenness
of surprise, which involved so severe a disappointment, almost stupified
her faculties. Mrs. Arlbery did not utter one word by the way, and, when
they arrived at home, saw her to her chamber, pressed her hand, and left
her.

She now, from a sense of shame, came to her full recollection. She was
convinced all her feelings were understood by Mrs. Arlbery; she thought
over what her father had said upon such exposures, and hopeless of any
honorable end to her suspences, earnestly wished herself back at
Etherington, to hide in his revered breast her confusion and grief.

Even Mrs. Arlbery she now believed had been mistaken; Edgar appeared
never to have loved her; his attentions, his kindness, had all flowed
from friendship; his solicitude, his counsel had been the result of
family regard.

When called to dinner, she descended with downcast eyes. She found no
company invited; she felt thankful, yet abashed; and Mrs. Arlbery let
her retire when the meal was over, but soon followed to beg she would
prepare for the play.

She saw her hastily putting away her handkerchief, and dispersing her
tears. 'Ah! my dear,' cried she, taking her hand, 'I am afraid this old
friend of yours does not much contribute to make Tunbridge Wells
salubrious to you!'

Camilla, affecting not to understand her, said she had never been in
better health.

'Of mind, do you mean, or body?' cried Mrs. Arlbery, laughing; but
seeing she only redoubled her distress, more seriously added, 'Will you
suffer me, my dear Miss Tyrold, to play the old friend, also, and speak
to you with openness?'

Camilla durst not say no, though she feared to say yes.

'I must content myself with a tacit compliance, if I can obtain no
other. I am really uneasy to talk with you; not, believe me, from
officiousness nor impertinence, but from a persuasion I may be able to
promote your happiness. You won't speak, I see? And you judge perfectly
right; for the less you disclaim, the less I shall torment you. Permit
me, therefore, to take for granted that you are already aware I am
acquainted with the state of your heart.'

Camilla, trembling, had now no wish but to fly; she fastened her eyes
upon the door, and every thought was devoted to find the means of
escape.

'Nay, nay, if you look frightened in sober sadness, I am gone. But shall
I think less, or know less, for saying nothing? It is not speech, my
dear Miss Tyrold, that makes detections: It only proclaims them.'

A sigh was all the answer of Camilla: though, assured, thus, she had
nothing to gain by flight, she forced herself to stay.

'We understand one another, I see, perfectly. Let me now, then, as
unaffectedly go on, as if the grand explanation had been verbally made.
That your fancy, my fair young friend, has hit upon a tormentor, I will
not deny; yet not upon an ingrate; for this person, little as you seem
conscious of your power, certainly loves you.'

Surprised off all sort of guard, Camilla exclaimed, 'O no!--O no!'

Mrs. Arlbery smiled, but went on. 'Yes, my dear, he undoubtedly does you
that little justice; yet, if you are not well advised, his passion will
be unavailing; and your artlessness, your facility, and your innocence,
with his knowledge, nay, his very admiration of them, will operate but
to separate you.'

Glowing with opposing yet strong emotions at these words, the
countenance of Camilla asked an explanation, in defiance of her earnest
desire to look indifferent or angry.

'You will wonder, and very naturally, how such attractions should work
as repulses; but I will be plain and clear, and you must be candid and
rational, and forgive me. These attractions, my dear, will be the source
of this mischief, because he sees, by their means, tha