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´╗┐Title: Evelina, Or, the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World
Author: Burney, Fanny
Language: English
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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 "Evelina, Or, the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World" ***

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Celebration of Women Writers



------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               EVELINA

                     THE HISTORY OF A YOUNG LADY'S
                          ENTRANCE INTO THE
                                WORLD

                                 1778

                                  BY
                             FANNY BURNEY

------------------------------------------------------------------------

ORIGINAL INSCRIPTION: TO DR. BURNEY


         Oh, Author of my being!-far more dear
           To me than light, than nourishment, or rest,
         Hygeia's blessings, Rapture's burning tear,

         If in my heart the love of Virtue glows,
           'T was planted there by an unerring rule;
         From thy example the pure flame arose,
           Thy life, my precept,-thy good works, my school.

         Could my weak pow'rs thy num'rous virtues trace,
           By filial love each fear should be repress'd,
         The blush of Incapacity I'd chace,
           And stand, Recorder of thy worth, confess'd:

         But since my niggard stars that gift refuse,
           Concealment is the only boon I claim;
         Obscure be still the unsuccessful Muse,
           Who cannot raise, but would not sink, thy fame.

         Oh! of my life at once the source and joy!
           If e'er thy eyes these feeble lines survey,
         Let not their folly their intent destroy;
           Accept the tribute-but forget the lay.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONTENTS


        - LETTER I. Lady Howard to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER II. Mr. Villars to Lady Howard
        - LETTER III. Lady Howard to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER IV. Mr. Villars to Lady Howard
        - LETTER V. Mr. Villars to Lady Howard
        - LETTER VI. Lady Howard to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER VII. Lady Howard to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER VIII. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER IX. Mr. Villars to Evelina
        - LETTER X. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER XI. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XIII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XIV. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XV. Mr. Villars to Evelina.
        - LETTER XVI. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER XVII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XVIII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XIX. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XX. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XXI. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XXII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XXIII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XXIV. Mr. Villars to Evelina.
        - LETTER XXV. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER XXVI. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER XXVII. Lady Howard to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER XXVIII. Mr. Villars to Lady Howard
        - LETTER XXIX. Mr. Villars to Evelina.
        - LETTER XXX. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER XXXI. Lady Howard to Sir John Belmont, Bart
        - LETTER XXXII. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER XXXIII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XXXIV. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XXXV. Sir John Belmont to Lady Howard
        - LETTER XXXVI. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER XXXVII. Mr. Villars to Evelina
        - LETTER XXXVIII. Mr. Villars to Lady Howard
        - LETTER XXXIX. Mr. Villars to Evelina
        - LETTER XL. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER XLI. Evelina to Miss Mirvan
        - LETTER XLII. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER XLIII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XLIV. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XLV. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XLVI. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER XLVII. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER XLVIII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER XLIX. Mr. Villars to Evelina
        - LETTER L. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER LI. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LIII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LIV. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LV. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LVI. Mr. Villars to Evelina
        - LETTER LVII. Evelina to Miss Mirvan
        - LETTER LVIII. Evelina to Miss Mirvan
        - LETTER LIX. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LX. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXI. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXII. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER LXIII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXIV. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXV. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXVI. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXVII. Mr. Villars to Evelina
        - LETTER LXVIII. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER LXIX. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXX. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXXI. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXXII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXXIII. Mr. Villars to Evelina
        - LETTER LXXIV. Lady Belmont to Sir John Belmont
        - LETTER LXXV. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars
        - LETTER LXXVI. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXXVII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXXVIII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXXIX. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXXX. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXXXI. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXXXII. Evelina in Continuation
        - LETTER LXXXIII. Mr. Villars to Evelina
        - LETTER LXXXIV. Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars

------------------------------------------------------------------------

ORIGINAL DEDICATION.

TO THE AUTHORS OF THE MONTHLY AND CRITICAL REVIEWS.


GENTLEMEN, The liberty which I take in addressing to you the trifling
production of a few idle hours, will doubtless move your wonder,
and probably your contempt. I will not, however, with the futility of
apologies, intrude upon your time, but briefly acknowledge the motives
of my temerity; lest, by a premature exercise of that patience which
I hope will befriend me, I should lessen its benevolence, and be
accessary to my own condemnation.

Without name, without recommendation, and unknown alike to success
and disgrace, to whom can I so properly apply for patronage, as to
those who publicly profess themselves Inspectors of all literary
performances?

The extensive plan of your critical observations,-which, not confined
to works of utility or ingenuity, is equally open to those of frivolous
amusement,-and, yet worse than frivolous, dullness,-encourages me
to seek for your protection, since,-perhaps for my sins!-it intitles
me to your annotations. To resent, therefore, this offering, however
insignificant, would ill become the universality of your undertaking;
though not to despise it may, alas! be out of your power.

The language of adulation, and the incense of flattery, though the
natural inheritance, and constant resource, from time immemorial,
of the Dedicator, to me offer nothing but the wistful regret that I
dare not invoke their aid.  Sinister views would be imputed to all I
could say; since, thus situated, to extol your judgment, would seem
the effect of art, and to celebrate your impartiality, be attributing
to suspecting it.

As magistrates of the press, and Censors for the public,-to which
you are bound by the sacred ties of integrity to exert the most
spirited impartiality, and to which your suffrages should carry the
marks of pure, dauntless, irrefragable truth-to appeal to your MERCY,
were to solicit your dishonour; and therefore,-though 'tis sweeter
than frankincense,-more grateful to the senses than all the odorous
perfumes of Arabia,-and though

         It droppeth like the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place
         beneath,-

I court it not! to your justice alone I am intitled, and by that I
must abide.  Your engagements are not to the supplicating authors;
but to the candid public, which will not fail to crave

         The penalty and forfeit of your bond.

No hackneyed writer, inured to abuse, and callous to criticism,
here braves your severity;-neither does a half-starved garretteer,

         Oblig'd by hunger-and request of friends,-

implore your lenity: your examination will be alike unbiassed by
partiality and prejudice;-no refractory murmuring will follow your
censure, no private interest will be gratified by your praise.

Let not the anxious solicitude with which I recommend myself to your
notice, expose me to your derision. Remember, Gentlemen, you were all
young writers once, and the most experienced veteran of your corps may,
by recollecting his first publication, renovate his first terrors,
and learn to allow for mine.  For though Courage is one of the noblest
virtues of this nether sphere; and though scarcely more requisite in
the field of battle, to guard the fighting hero from disgrace, than
in the private commerce of the world, to ward off that littleness of
soul which leads, by steps imperceptible, to all the base train of
the inferior passions, and by which the too timid mind is betrayed
into a servility derogatory to the dignity of human nature! yet is
it a virtue of no necessity in a situation such as mine; a situation
which removes, even from cowardice itself, the sting of ignominy;-for
surely that courage may easily be dispensed with, which would rather
excite disgust than admiration! Indeed, it is the peculiar privilege
of an author, to rob terror of contempt, and pusillanimity of reproach.

Here let me rest- and snatch myself, while I yet am able, from the
fascination of EGOTISM:-a monster who has more votaries than ever
did homage to the most popular deity of antiquity; and whose singular
quality is, that while he excites a blind and involuntary adoration in
almost every individual, his influence is universally disallowed, his
power universally contemned, and his worship, even by his followers,
never mentioned but with abhorence.

In addressing you jointly, I mean but to mark the generous sentiments
by which liberal criticism, to the utter annihilation of envy,
jealousy, and all selfish views, ought to be distinguished.

I have the honour to be,
    GENTLEMEN,
        Your most obedient
            Humble Servant,
                *** ****


------------------------------------------------------------------------

ORIGINAL PREFACE.


IN the republic of letters, there is no member of such inferior rank,
or who is so much disdained by his brethren of the quill, as the
humble Novelist; nor is his fate less hard in the world at large,
since, among the whole class of writers, perhaps not one can be named
of which the votaries are more numerous but less respectable.

Yet, while in the annals of those few of our predecessors, to whom
this species of writing is indebted for being saved from contempt,
and rescued from depravity, we can trace such names as Rousseau,
Johnson,(1)Marivaux, Fielding, Richardson, and Smollett, no man need
blush at starting from the same post, though many, nay, most men,
may sigh at finding themselves distanced.

The following letters are presented to the Public-for such, by novel
writers, novel readers will be called,-with a very singular mixture of
timidity and confidence, resulting from the peculiar situation of the
editor; who, though trembling for their success from a consciousness
of their imperfections, yet fears not being involved in their disgrace,
while happily wrapped up in a mantle of impenetrable obscurity.

To draw characters from nature, though not from life, and to mark
the manners of the times, is the attempted plan of the following
letters. For this purpose, a young female, educated in the most
secluded retirement, makes, at the age of seventeen, her first
appearance upon the great and busy stage of life; with a virtuous
mind, a cultivated understanding, and a feeling heart, her ignorance
of the forms, and inexperience in the manners of the world, occasion
all the little incidents which these volumes record, and which form
the natural progression of the life of a young woman of obscure birth,
but conspicuous beauty, for the first six months after her Entrance
into the world.

Perhaps, were it possible to effect the total extirpation of novels,
our young ladies in general, and boarding-school damsels in particular,
might profit from their annihilation; but since the distemper they
have spread seems incurable, since their contagion bids defiance
to the medicine of advice or reprehension, and since they are found
to baffle all the mental art of physic, save what is prescribed by
the slow regimen of Time, and bitter diet of Experience; surely all
attempts to contribute to the number of those which may be read,
if not with advantage, at least without injury, ought rather to be
encouraged than contemned.

Let me, therefore, prepare for disappointment those who, in the perusal
of these sheets, entertain the gentle expectation of being transported
to the fantastic regions of Romance, where Fiction is coloured by all
the gay tints of luxurious Imagination, where Reason is an outcast,
and where the sublimity of the Marvellous rejects all aid from
sober Probability. The heroine of these memoirs, young, artless,
and inexperienced, is

         No faultless Monster that the world ne'er saw;

but the offspring of Nature, and of Nature in her simplest attire.

In all the Arts, the value of copies can only be proportioned to the
scarcity of originals: among sculptors and painters, a fine statue,
or a beautiful picture, of some great master, may deservedly employ
the imitative talents of young and inferior artists, that their
appropriation to one spot may not wholly prevent the more general
expansion of their excellence; but, among authors, the reverse is the
case, since the noblest productions of literature are almost equally
attainable with the meanest. In books, therefore, imitation cannot
be shunned too sedulously; for the very perfection of a model which
is frequently seen, serves but more forcibly to mark the inferiority
of a copy.

To avoid what is common, without adopting what is unnatural, must
limit the ambition of the vulgar herd of authors: however zealous,
therefore, my veneration of the great writers I have mentioned,
however I may feel myself enlightened by the knowledge of Johnson,
charmed with the eloquence of Rousseau, softened by the pathetic
powers of Richardson, and exhiliarated by the wit of Fielding and
humour of Smollett, I yet presume not to attempt pursuing the same
ground which they have tracked; whence, though they may have cleared
the weeds, they have also culled the flowers; and, though they have
rendered the path plain, they have left it barren.

The candour of my readers I have not the impertinence to doubt, and
to their indulgence I am sensible I have no claim; I have, therefore,
only to intreat, that my own words may not pronounce my condemnation;
and that what I have here ventured to say in regard to imitation, may
be understood as it is meant, in a general sense, and not be imputed
to an opinion of my own originality, which I have not the vanity,
the folly, or the blindness, to entertain.

Whatever may be the fate of these letters, the editor is satisfied
they will meet with justice; and commits them to the press, though
hopeless of fame, yet not regardless of censure.

1)However superior the capacities in which these great writers deserve
to be considered, they must pardon me that, for the dignity of my
subject, I here rank the authors of Rasselas and Eloise as Novelists.


LETTER I

LADY HOWARD TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Howard Grove, Kent.


CAN any thing, my good Sir, be more painful to a friendly mind, than
a necessity of communicating disagreeable intelligence? Indeed it is
sometimes difficult to determine, whether the relator or the receiver
of evil tidings is most to be pitied.


I have just had a letter from Madame Duval; she is totally at a loss
in what manner to behave; she seems desirous to repair the wrongs she
has done, yet wishes the world to believe her blameless. She would
fain cast upon another the odium of those misfortunes for which she
alone is answerable. Her letter is violent, sometimes abusive, and
that of you!-you, to whom she is under obligations which are greater
even than her faults, but to whose advice she wickedly imputes all the
sufferings of her much injured daughter, the late Lady Belmont. The
chief purport of her writing I will acquaint you with; the letter
itself is not worthy your notice.


She tells me that she has, for many years past, been in continual
expectation of making a journey to England, which prevented her
writing for information concerning this melancholy subject, by giving
her hopes of making personal inquiries; but family occurrences have
still detained her in France, which country she now sees no prospect
of quitting. She has, therefore, lately used her utmost endeavors
to obtain a faithful account of whatever related to her ill-advised
daughter; the result of which giving her some reason to apprehend,
that, upon her death-bed, she bequeathed an infant orphan to the world,
she most graciously says, that if you, with whom she understands the
child is placed, will procure authentic proofs of its relationship to
her, you may sent it to Paris, where she will properly provide for it.


This woman is, undoubtedly, at length, self-convicted of her most
unnatural behaviour; it is evident, from her writing, that she is
still as vulgar and illiterate as when her first husband, Mr. Evelyn,
had the weakness to marry her; nor does she at all apologize for
addressing herself to me, though I was only once in her company.


Her letter has excited in my daughter Mirvan, a strong desire to be
informed of the motives which induced Madame Duval to abandon the
unfortunate Lady Belmont, at a time when a mother's protection was
peculiarly necessary for her peace and her reputation. Notwithstanding
I was personally acquainted with all the parties concerned in that
affair, the subject always appeared of too delicate a nature to be
spoken of with the principals; I cannot, therefore, satisfy Mrs. Mirvan
otherwise than by applying to you.


By saying that you may send the child, Madame Duval aims at conferring,
where she most owes obligation. I pretend not to give you advice;
you, to whose generous protection this helpless orphan is indebted
for every thing, are the best and only judge of what she ought to
do; but I am much concerned at the trouble and uneasiness which this
unworthy woman may occasion you.


My daughter and my grandchild join with me in desiring to be most
kindly remembered to the amiable girl; and they bid me remind you, that
the annual visit to Howard Grove, which we were formerly promised,
has been discontinued for more than four years.  I am, dear Sir,
with great regard, Your most obedient friend and servant, M. HOWARD.


LETTER II

MR. VILLARS TO LADY HOWARD Berry Hill, Dorsetshire.


YOUR Ladyship did but too well foresee the perplexity and uneasiness
of which Madame Duval's letter has been productive. However, I ought
rather to be thankful that I have so many years remained unmolested,
than repine at my present embarrassment; since it proves, at least,
that this wretched woman is at length awakened to remorse.


In regard to my answer, I must humbly request your Ladyship to write
to this effect: "That I would not, upon any account, intentionally
offend Madame Duval; but that I have weighty, nay unanswerable
reasons for detaining her grand-daughter at present in England;
the principal of which is, that it was the earnest desire of one
to whose will she owes implicit duty. Madame Duval may be assured,
that she meets with the utmost attention and tenderness; that her
education, however short of my wishes, almost exceeds my abilities;
and I flatter myself, when the time arrives that she shall pay her
duty to her grand-mother, Madame Duval will find no reason to be
dissatisfied with what has been done for her."


Your Ladyship will not, I am sure, be surprised at this answer. Madame
Duval is by no means a proper companion or guardian for a young woman:
she is at once uneducated and unprincipled; ungentle in temper, and
unamiable in her manners. I have long known that she has persuaded
herself to harbour an aversion for me-Unhappy woman! I can only regard
her as an object of pity!


I dare not hesitate at a request from Mrs. Mirvan; yet, in complying
with it, I shall, for her own sake, be as concise as I possibly can;
since the cruel transactions which preceded the birth of my ward can
afford no entertainment to a mind so humane as her's.


Your Ladyship may probably have heard, that I had the honour to
accompany Mr.  Evelyn, the grandfather of my young charge, when
upon his travels, in the capacity of a tutor. His unhappy marriage,
immediately upon his return to England, with Madame Duval, then a
waiting-girl at a tavern, contrary to the advice and entreaties of
all his friends, among whom I was myself the most urgent, induced
him to abandon his native land, and fix his abode in France.
Thither he was followed by shame and repentance; feelings which
his heart was not framed to support; for, notwithstanding he had
been too weak to resist the allurements of beauty, which nature,
though a niggard to her of every other boon, had with a lavish hand
bestowed on his wife; yet he was a young man of excellent character,
and, till thus unaccountably infatuated, of unblemished conduct. He
survived this ill-judged marriage but two years. Upon his death-bed,
with an unsteady hand, he wrote me the following note:


"My friend, forget your resentment, in favour of your humanity;-a
father, trembling for the welfare of his child, bequeaths her to your
care. O Villars! hear! pity! And relieve me!"


Had my circumstances permitted me, I should have answered these words
by an immediate journey to Paris; but I was obliged to act by the
agency of a friend, who was upon the spot, and present at the opening
of the will.


Mr. Evelyn left to me a legacy of a thousand pounds, and the sole
guardianship of his daughter's person till her eighteenth year;
conjuring me, in the most affecting terms, to take the charge of her
education till she was able to act with propriety for herself; but,
in regard to fortune, he left her wholly dependent on her mother,
to whose tenderness he earnestly recommended her.


Thus, though he would not, to a woman low-bred and illiberal as
Mrs. Evelyn, trust the conduct and morals of his daughter, he
nevertheless thought proper to secure to her the respect and duty
to which, from her own child, were certainly her due; but unhappily,
it never occurred to him that the mother, on her part, could fail in
affection or justice.


Miss Evelyn, Madam, from the second to the eighteenth year of her
life, was brought up under my care, and, except when at school
under my roof. I need not speak to your Ladyship of the virtues
of that excellent young creature.  She loved me as her father; nor
was Mrs. Villars less valued by her; while to me she became so dear,
that her loss was little less afflicting than that which I have since
sustained of Mrs. Villars herself.


At that period of her life we parted; her mother, then married to
Monsieur Duval, sent for her to Paris. How often have I since regretted
that I did not accompany her thither! Protected and supported by me,
the misery and disgrace which awaited her might perhaps have been
avoided. But, to be brief-Madame Duval, at the instigation of her
husband, earnestly, or rather tyrannically, endeavoured to effect a
union between Miss Evelyn and one of his nephews.  And, when she found
her power inadequate to her attempt, enraged at her non-compliance,
she treated her with the grossest unkindness, and threatened her with
poverty and ruin.


Miss Evelyn, to whom wrath and violence had hitherto been strangers,
soon grew weary of such usage; and rashly, and without a witness,
consented to a private marriage with Sir John Belmont, a very
profligate young man, who had but too successfully found means to
insinuate himself into her favour. He promised to conduct her to
England-he did.-O, Madam, you know the rest!-Disappointed of the
fortune he expected, by the inexorable rancour of the Duvals, he
infamously burnt the certificate of their marriage, and denied that
they had ever been united.


She flew to me for protection. With what mixed transports of joy and
anguish did I again see her! By my advice, she endeavoured to procure
proofs of her marriage-but in vain; her credulity had been no match
for his art.


Every body believed her innocent, from the guiltless tenor of her
unspotted youth, and from the known libertinism of her barbarous
betrayer. Yet her sufferings were too acute for her slender frame;
and the same moment that gave birth to her infant, put an end at once
to the sorrows and the life of its mother.


The rage of Madame Duval at her elopement, abated not while this
injured victim of cruelty yet drew breath. She probably intended, in
time, to have pardoned her; but time was not allowed. When she was
informed of her death, I have been told, that the agonies of grief
and remorse, with which she was seized, occasioned her a severe fit
of illness. But, from the time of her recovery to the date of her
letter to your Ladyship, I had never heard that she manifested any
desire to be made acquainted with the circumstances which attended
the death of Lady Belmont, and the birth of her helpless child.


That child, Madam, shall never, while life is lent me, know the loss
she has sustained. I have cherished, succoured, and supported her,
from her earliest infancy to her sixteenth year; and so amply has she
repaid my care and affection, that my fondest wish is now circumscribed
by the desire of bestowing her on one who may be sensible of her worth,
and then sinking to eternal rest in her arms.


Thus it has happened, that the education of the father, daughter,
and grand-daughter, has devolved on me. What infinite misery have the
two first caused me! Should the fate of the dear survivor be equally
adverse, how wretched will be the end of my cares-the end of my days!


Even had Madame Duval merited the charge she claims, I fear my
fortitude would have been unequal to such a parting; but being such
as she is, not only my affection, but my humanity, recoils, at the
barbarous idea of deserting the sacred trust reposed in me. Indeed,
I could but ill support her former yearly visits to the respectable
mansion at Howard Grove: pardon me, dear Madam, and do not think me
insensible of the honour which your Ladyship's condescension confers
upon us both; but so deep is the impression which the misfortunes
of her mother have made on my heart, that she does not, even for
a moment, quit my sight without exciting apprehensions and terrors
which almost overpower me. Such, Madam, is my tenderness, and such
my weakness!-But she is the only tie I have upon earth, and I trust
to your Ladyship's goodness not to judge of my feelings with severity.


I beg leave to present my humble respects to Mrs. and Miss Mirvan;
and have the honour to be, Madam, your Ladyship's most obedient and
most humble servant, ARTHUR VILLARS.


LETTER III [Written some months after the last]

LADY HOWARD TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Howard Grove, March 8.


Dear and Rev. Sir,


YOUR last letter gave me infinite pleasure: after so long and tedious
an illness, how grateful to yourself and to your friends must be your
returning health! You have the hearty wishes of every individual of
this place for its continuance and increase.


Will you not think I take advantage of your acknowledged recovery,
if I once more venture to mention your pupil and Howard Grove
together? Yet you must remember the patience with which we submitted
to your desire of not parting with her during the bad state of your
health, tho' it was with much reluctance we forbore to solicit her
company. My grand-daughter in particular, has scarce been able to
repress her eagerness to again meet the friend of her infancy; and
for my own part, it is very strongly my wish to manifest the regard I
had for the unfortunate Lady Belmont, by proving serviceable to her
child; which seems to me the best respect that can be paid to her
memory. Permit me, therefore, to lay before you a plan which Mrs.
Mirvan and I have formed, in consequence of your restoration to health.


I would not frighten you;-but do you think you could bear to part
with your young companion for two or three months? Mrs. Mirvan
proposes to spend the ensuing spring in London, whither for the
first time, my grandchild will accompany her: Now, my good friend,
it is very earnestly their wish to enlarge and enliven their party by
the addition of your amiable ward, who would share, equally with her
own daughter, the care and attention of Mrs.  Mirvan. Do not start
at this proposal; it is time that she should see something of the
world. When young people are too rigidly sequestered from it, their
lively and romantic imaginations paint it to them as a paradise of
which they have been beguiled; but when they are shown it properly,
and in due time, they see it such as it really is, equally shared by
pain and pleasure, hope and disappointment.


You have nothing to apprehend from her meeting with Sir John Belmont,
as that abandoned man is now abroad, and not expected home this year.


Well, my good Sir, what say you to our scheme? I hope it will meet
with your approbation; but if it should not, be assured I can never
object to any decision of one who is so much respected and esteemed
as Mr. Villars, by His most faithful, humble servant, M. HOWARD.


LETTER IV

MR. VILLARS TO LADY HOWARD Berry Hill, March 12.


I AM grieved, Madam, to appear obstinate, and I blush to incur
the imputation of selfishness. In detaining my young charge thus
long with myself in the country, I consulted not solely my own
inclination. Destined, in all probability, to possess a very moderate
fortune, I wished to contract her views to something within it. The
mind is but too naturally prone to pleasure, but too easily yielded
to dissipation: it has been my study to guard her against their
delusions, by preparing her to expect-and to despise them. But the
time draws on for experience and observation to take the place of
instruction: if I have in some measure, rendered her capable of using
one with discretion, and making the other with improvement, I shall
rejoice myself with the assurance of having largely contributed to her
welfare. She is now of an age that happiness is eager to attend,-let
her then enjoy it! I commit her to the protection of your Ladyship,
and only hope she may be found worthy half the goodness I am satisfied
she will meet with at your hospitable mansion.


Thus far, Madam, I cheerfully submit to your desire. In confiding my
ward to the care of Lady Howard, I can feel no uneasiness from her
absence, but what will arise from the loss of her company, since I
shall be as well convinced of her safety as if she were under my own
roof.-But can your Ladyship be serious in proposing to introduce her
to the gaieties of a London life?  Permit me to ask, for what end,
or for what purpose? A youthful mind is seldom totally free from
ambition; to curb that, is the first step to contentment, since to
diminish expectation is to increase enjoyment. I apprehend nothing
more than too much raising her hopes and her views, which the natural
vivacity of her disposition would render but too easy to effect.
The town-acquaintance of Mrs. Mirvan are all in the circle of high
life; this artless young creature, with too much beauty to escape
notice, has too much sensibility to be indifferent to it; but she
has too little wealth to be sought with propriety by men of the
fashionable world.


Consider Madam, the peculiar cruelty of her situation. Only child of
a wealthy Baronet, whose person she has never seen, whose character
she has reason to abhor, and whose name she is forbidden to claim;
entitled as she is to lawfully inherit his fortune and estate, is
there any probability that he will properly own her? And while he
continues to persevere in disavowing his marriage with Miss Evelyn,
she shall never, at the expense of her mother's honour, receive a
part of her right as the donation of his bounty.


And as to Mr. Evelyn's estate, I have no doubt but that Madame Duval
and her relations will dispose of it among themselves.


It seems, therefore, as if this deserted child, though legally heiress
to two large fortunes, must owe all her rational expectations to
adoption and friendship. Yet her income will be such as may make her
happy, if she is disposed to be so in private life; though it will
by no means allow her to enjoy the luxury of a London fine lady.


Let Miss Mirvan, then, Madam, shine in all the splendour of high life;
but suffer my child still to enjoy the pleasures of humble retirement,
with a mind to which greater views are unknown.


I hope this reasoning will be honoured with your approbation; and
I have yet another motive which has some weight with me: I would
not willingly give offence to any human being; and surely Madame
Duval might accuse me of injustice, if, while I refuse to let her
grand-daughter wait upon her, I consent that she should join a party
of pleasure to London.


In sending her to Howard Grove, not one of these scruples arise;
and therefore Mrs. Clinton, a most worthy woman, formerly her nurse,
and now my housekeeper, shall attend her thither next week.


Though I have always called her by the name of Anville, and reported
in this neighbourhood that her father, my intimate friend, left her to
my guardianship; yet I have thought it necessary she should herself
be acquainted with the melancholy circumstances attending her birth:
for though I am very desirous of guarding her from curiosity and
impertinence, by concealing her name, family, and story, yet I would
not leave it in the power of chance to shock her gentle nature with
a tale of so much sorrow.


You must not, Madam, expect too much from my pupil; she is quite
a little rustic, and knows nothing of the world; and though her
education has been the best I could bestow in this retired place,
to which Dorchester, the nearest town, is seven miles distant, yet
I shall not be surprised if you should discover in her a thousand
deficiencies of which I have never dreamt. She must be very much
altered since she was last at Howard Grove. But I will say nothing
of her; I leave her to your Ladyship's own observations, of which
I beg a faithful relation; and am, Dear Madam, with great respect,
Your obedient and most humble Servant, ARTHUR VILLARS.


LETTER V

MR. VILLARS TO LADY HOWARD March 18.  Dear Madam,


THIS letter will be delivered to you by my child-the child of my
adoption-my affection! Unblest with one natural friend, she merits
a thousand. I send her to you innocent as an angel, and artless as
purity itself; and I send you with her the heart of your friend, the
only hope he has on earth, the subject of his tenderest thoughts, and
the object of his latest cares. She is one, Madam, for whom alone I
have lately wished to live; and she is one whom to serve I would with
transport die! Restore her but to me all innocence as you receive her,
and the fondest hope of my heart will be amply gratified.  A. VILLARS.


LETTER VI

LADY HOWARD TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Howard Grove.


Dear Rev. Sir,


THE solemn manner in which you have committed your child to my care,
has in some measure damped the pleasure which I receive from the
trust, as it makes me fear that you suffer from your compliance, in
which case I shall very sincerely blame myself for the earnestness
with which I have requested this favour: but remember, my good Sir,
she is within a few days summons; and be assured, I will not detain
her a moment longer than you wish.


You desire my opinion of her.


She is a little angel! I cannot wonder that you sought to monopolize
her: neither ought you, at finding it impossible.


Her face and person answer my most refined ideas of complete beauty:
and this, though a subject of praise less important to you, or, to
me than any other, is yet so striking, it is not possible to pass
it unnoticed. Had I not known from whom she received her education,
I should at first sight of so perfect a face, have been in pain for
her understanding; since it has been long and justly remarked, that
folly has ever sought alliance with beauty.


She has the same gentleness in her manners, the same natural graces
in her motions, that I formerly so much admired in her mother. Her
character seems truly ingenuous and simple; and at the same time
that nature has blessed her with an excellent understanding and great
quickness of parts, she has a certain air of inexperience and innocency
that is extremely interesting.


You have not reason to regret the retirement in which she has lived;
since that politeness which is acquired by an acquaintance with high
life, is in her so well supplied by a natural desire of obliging,
joined to a deportment infinitely engaging.


I observe, with great satisfaction, a growing affection between
this amiable girl and my grand-daughter, whose heart is as free
from selfishness or conceit, as that of her young friend is from
all guile. Their regard may be mutually useful, since much is to be
expected from emulation where nothing is to be feared from envy. I
would have them love each other as sisters, and reciprocally supply
the place of that tender and happy relationship to which neither of
them has a natural claim.


Be satisfied, my good Sir, that your child shall meet with the same
attention as our own. We all join in most hearty wishes for your health
and happiness, and in returning our sincere thanks for the favour you
have conferred on us.  I am, dear Sir, Your most faithful servant,
M. HOWARD.


LETTER VII

LADY HOWARD TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Howard Grove, March 26.


BE not alarmed, my worthy friend, at my so speedily troubling you
again; I seldom use the ceremony of waiting for answers, or writing
with any regularity, and I have at present immediate occasion for
begging your patience.


Mrs. Mirvan has just received a letter from her long absent husband,
containing the welcome news of his hoping to reach London by
the beginning of next week. My daughter and the Captain have been
separated almost seven years, and it would therefore be needless to
say what joy, surprise, and consequently confusion, his at present
unexpected return has caused at Howard Grove. Mrs. Mirvan, you cannot
doubt, will go instantly to town to meet him; her daughter is under
a thousand obligations to attend her; I grieve that her mother cannot.


And now, my good Sir, I almost blush to proceed;-but, tell me, may I
ask-will you permit-that your child may accompany them? Do not think
us unreasonable, but consider the many inducements which conspire to
make London the happiest place at present she can be in. The joyful
occasion of the journey; the gaiety of the whole party, opposed to
the dull life she must lead, if left here with a solitary old woman
for her sole companion, while she so well knows the cheerfulness and
felicity enjoyed by the rest of the family,-are circumstances that
seem to merit your consideration. Mrs. Mirvan desires me to assure
you that one week is all she asks, as she is certain that the Captain,
who hates London, will be eager to revisit Howard Grove; and Maria is
so very earnest in wishing to have the company of her friend, that,
if you are inexorable, she will be deprived of half the pleasure she
otherwise hopes to receive.


However, I will not, my good Sir, deceive you into an opinion that
they intend to live in a retired manner, as that cannot be fairly
expected. But you have no reason to be uneasy concerning Madame Duval;
she has not any correspondent in England, and obtains no intelligence
but by common report. She must be a stranger to the name your child
bears; and, even should she hear of this excursion, so short a time
as a week or less spent in town upon so particular an occasion,
though previous to their meeting, cannot be construed into disrespect
to herself.


Mrs. Mirvan desires me to assure you, that if you will oblige her,
her two children shall equally share her time and her attention. She
has sent a commission to a friend in town to take a house for her;
and while she waits for an answer concerning it, I shall for one
from you to our petition.  However, your child is writing herself;
and that, I doubt not, will more avail than all we can possible urge.


My daughter desires her best compliments to you if, she says, you
will grant her request but not else.


Adieu, my dear Sir, we all hope every thing from your goodness.
M. HOWARD.


LETTER VIII

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Howard Grove, March 26.


THIS house seems to be the house of joy; every face wears a smile,
and a laugh is at every body's service. It is quite amusing to walk
about and see the general confusion; a room leading to the garden
is fitting up for Captain Mirvan's study. Lady Howard does not sit a
moment in a place; Miss Mirvan is making caps; every body so busy!-such
flying from room to room!-so many orders given, and retracted, and
given again! nothing but hurry and perturbation.


Well but, my dear Sir, I am desired to make a request to you. I hope
you will not think me an encroacher; Lady Howard insists upon my
writing!-yet I hardly know how to go on; a petition implies a want
and have you left me one? No, indeed.


I am half ashamed of myself for beginning this letter. But these dear
ladies are so pressing-I cannot, for my life, resist wishing for the
pleasures they offer me,-provided you do not disapprove them.


They are to make a very short stay in town. The Captain will meet them
in a day or two. Mrs. Mirvan and her sweet daughter both go; what a
happy party!  Yet, I am not very eager to accompany them: at least
I shall be contented to remain where I am, if you desire that I should.


Assured, my dearest Sir, of your goodness, your bounty, and your
indulgent kindness, ought I to form a wish that has not your
sanction? Decide for me, therefore, without the least apprehension
that I shall be uneasy or discontented. While I am yet in suspense,
perhaps I may hope; but I am most certain that when you have once
determined I shall not repine.


They tell me that London is now in full splendour. Two playhouses
are open,-the Opera-house,-Ranelagh,-and the Pantheon.-You see I have
learned all their names. However, pray don't suppose that I make any
point of going, for I shall hardly sigh, to see them depart without me,
though I shall probably never meet with such another opportunity. And,
indeed, their domestic happiness will be so great,-it is natural to
wish to partake of it.


I believe I am bewitched! I made a resolution, when I began, that
I would not be urgent; but my pen-or rather my thoughts, will not
suffer me to keep it-for I acknowledge, I must acknowledge, I cannot
help wishing for your permission.


I almost repent already that I have made this confession; pray forget
that you have read it, if this journey is displeasing to you. But
I will not write any longer; for the more I think of this affair,
the less indifferent to it I find myself.


Adieu, my most honoured, most reverenced, most beloved father! for
by what other name can I call you? I have no happiness or sorrow,
no hope or fear, but what your kindness bestows, or your displeasure
may cause. You will not, I am sure, send a refusal without reasons
unanswerable, and therefore I shall cheerfully acquiesce. Yet I
hope-I hope you will be able to permit me to go!  I am, with the
utmost affection, gratitude, and duty, your EVELINA -


I cannot to you sign ANVILLE, and what other name may I claim?


LETTER IX

MR. VILLARS TO EVELINA Berry Hill, March 28.


TO resist the urgency of intreaty, is a power which I have not yet
acquired: I aim not at an authority which deprives you of liberty,
yet I would fain guide myself by a prudence which should save me the
pangs of repentance. Your impatience to fly to a place which your
imagination has painted to you in colors so attractive, surprises me
not; I have only to hope, that the liveliness of your fancy may not
deceive you: to refuse, would be raising it still higher. To see my
Evelina happy, is to see myself without a wish: go, then my child;
and may that Heaven, which alone can direct, preserve and strengthen
you! To that, my love, will I daily offer prayers for your felicity. O
may it guard, watch over you, defend you from danger, save you from
distress, and keep vice as distant from your person as from your heart!
And to me, may it grant, the ultimate blessing of closing these aged
eyes in the arms of one so dear-so deservedly beloved!  ARTHUR VILLARS.


LETTER X

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Queen Ann Street, London, Saturday,
April 2.


THIS moment arrived. Just going to Drury Lane Theatre. The celebrated
Mr.  Garrick performs Ranger. I am quite in ecstasy. So is Miss
Mirvan. How fortunate that he should happen to play! We would not
let Mrs. Mirvan rest till she consented to go. Her chief objection
was to our dress, for we have had no time to Londonize ourselves; but
we teased her into compliance, and so we are to sit in some obscure
place that she may not be seen. As to me, I should be alike unknown
in the most conspicuous or most private part of the house.


I can write no more now. I have hardly time to breathe-only just this,
the houses and streets are not quite so superb as I expected. However,
I have seen nothing yet, so I ought not to judge.


Well; adieu, my dearest Sir, for the present; I could not forbear
writing a few words instantly on my arrival, though I suppose my letter
of thanks for your consent is still on the road.  Saturday Night.


O, my dear Sir, in what raptures am I returned? Well may Mr. Garrick
be so celebrated, so universally admired-I had not any idea of so
great a performer.


Such ease! such vivacity in his manner! such grace in his motions! such
fire and meaning in his eyes!-I could hardly believe he had studied
a written part, for every word seemed to be uttered from the impulse
of the moment.


His action-at once so graceful and so free!-his voice-so clear,
so melodious, yet so wonderfully various in its tones!-Such
animation!-every look speaks!


I would have given the world to have had the whole play acted over
again. And when he danced-O, how I envied Clarinda! I almost wished
to have jumped on the stage and joined them.


I am afraid you will think me mad, so I won't say any more; yet,
I really believe Mr. Garrick would make you mad too if you could see
him. I intend to ask Mrs. Mirvan to go to the play every night while
we stay in town. She is extremely kind to me; and Maria, her charming
daughter, is the sweetest girl in the world.


I shall write to you every evening all that passes in the day, and
that in the same manner as, if I could see, I should tell you.  Sunday.


This morning we went to Portland chapel; and afterwards we walked
in the mall of St. James's Park, which by no means answered my
expectations: it is a long straight walk of dirty gravel, very uneasy
to the feet; and at each end instead of an open prospect, nothing is
to be seen but houses built of brick.  When Mrs. Mirvan pointed out
the Palace to me-I think I was never much more surprised.


However, the walk was very agreeable to us; every body looked gay,
and seemed pleased; and the ladies were so much dressed, that Miss
Mirvan and I could do nothing but look at them. Mrs. Mirvan met
several of her friends. No wonder, for I never saw so many people
assembled together before. I looked about for some of my acquaintance,
but in vain; for I saw not one person that I knew, which is very odd,
for all the world seemed there.


Mrs. Mirvan says we are not to walk in the Park again next Sunday,
even if we should be in town, because there is better company in
Kensington Gardens; but really if you had seen how much every body
was dressed, you would not think that possible.  Monday.


We are to go this evening to a private ball, given by Mrs. Stanley,
a very fashionable lady of Mrs. Mirvan's acquaintance.


We have been a-shopping as Mrs. Mirvan calls it, all this morning,
to buy silks, caps, gauzes, and so forth.


The shops are really very entertaining, especially the mercers; there
seem to be six or seven men belonging to each shop; and every one took
care by bowing and smirking, to be noticed. We were conducted from
one to another, and carried from room to room with so much ceremony,
that at I was almost afraid to go on.


I thought I should never have chosen a silk: for they produced so
many, I knew not which to fix upon; and they recommended them all so
strongly, that I fancy they thought I only wanted persuasion to buy
every thing they showed me. And, indeed, they took so much trouble,
that I was almost ashamed I could not.


At the milliners, the ladies we met were so much dressed, that I should
rather have imagined they were making visits than purchases. But
what most diverted me was, that we were more frequently served
by men than by women; and such men! so finical, so affected! they
seemed to understand every part of a woman's dress better than we
do ourselves; and they recommended caps and ribbands with an air of
so much importance, that I wished to ask them how long they had left
off wearing them.


The dispatch with which they work in these great shops is amazing,
for they have promised me a complete suit of linen against the evening.


I have just had my hair dressed. You can't think how oddly my head
feels; full of powder and black pins, and a great cushion on the top
of it. I believe you would hardly know me, for my face looks quite
different to what it did before my hair was dressed. When I shall
be able to make use of a comb for myself I cannot tell; for my hair
is so much entangled, frizzled they call it, that I fear it will be
very difficult.


I am half afraid of this ball to-night; for, you know, I have never
danced but at school: however, Miss Mirvan says there is nothing in
it. Yet, I wish it was over.


Adieu, my dear Sir, pray excuse the wretched stuff I write; perhaps
I may improve by being in this town, and then my letters will be less
unworthy your reading. Meantime, I am, Your dutiful and affectionate,
though unpolished, EVELINA.


Poor Miss Mirvan cannot wear one of the caps she made, because they
dress her hair too large for them.


LETTER XI

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION Queen Ann Street, April 5, Tuesday Morning.


I HAVE a vast deal to say, and shall give all this morning to my pen.


As to my plan of writing every evening the adventures of the day,
I find it impracticable; for the diversions here are so very late,
that if I begin my letters after them, I could not go to bed at all.


We passed a most extraordinary evening. A private ball this was called,
so I expected to have seen about four or five couple; but Lord! my
dear Sir, I believe I saw half the world! Two very large rooms were
full of company; in one were cards for the elderly ladies, and in
the other were the dancers. My mamma Mirvan, for she always calls me
her child, said she would sit with Maria and me till we were provided
with partners, and then join the card-players.


The gentlemen, as they passed and repassed, looked as if they thought
we were quite at their disposal, and only waiting for the honour of
their commands; and they sauntered about, in a careless, indolent
manner, as if with a view to keep us in suspense. I don't speak of
this in regard to Miss Mirvan and myself only, but to the ladies in
general: and I thought it so provoking, that I determined in my own
mind that, far from humouring such airs, I would rather not dance
at all, than with any one who would seem to think me ready to accept
the first partner who would condescend to take me.


Not long after, a young man, who had for some time looked at us with a
kind of negligent impertinence, advanced on tiptoe towards me; he had
a set smile on his face, and his dress was so foppish, that I really
believed he even wished to be stared at; and yet he was very ugly.


Bowing almost to the ground with a sort of swing, and waving his
hand, with the greatest conceit, after a short and silly pause, he
said, "Madam-may I presume?"-and stopt, offering to take my hand. I
drew it back, but could scarce forbear laughing. "Allow me, Madam,"
continued he, affectedly breaking off every half moment, "the honour
and happiness-if I am not so unhappy as to address you too late-to
have the happiness and honour-"


Again he would have taken my hand; but bowing my head, I begged to
be excused, and turned to Miss Mirvan to conceal my laughter. He then
desired to know if I had already engaged myself to some more fortunate
man? I said No, and that I believed I should not dance at all. He would
keep himself he told me, disengaged, in hopes I should relent; and
then, uttering some ridiculous speeches of sorrow and disappointment,
though his face still wore the same invariable smile, he retreated.


It so happened, as we have since recollected, that during this little
dialogue Mrs. Mirvan was conversing with the lady of the house. And
very soon after, another gentleman, who seemed about six-and-twenty
years old, gaily but not foppishly dressed, and indeed extremely
handsome, with an air of mixed politeness and gallantry, desired to
know if I was engaged, or would honour him with my hand. So he was
pleased to say, though I am sure I know not what honour he could
receive from me; but these sort of expressions, I find, are used
as words of course, without any distinction of persons, or study
of propriety.


Well, I bowed, and I am sure I coloured; for indeed I was frightened
at the thoughts of dancing before so many people, all strangers, and,
which was worse, with a stranger: however, that was unavoidable;
for, though I looked round the room several times, I could not see
one person that I knew. And so he took my hand, and led me to join
in the dance.


The minuets were over before we arrived, for we were kept late by
the milliners making us wait for our things.


He seemed very desirous of entering into conversation with me; but
I was seized with such a panic, that I could hardly speak a word,
and nothing but the shame of so soon changing my mind prevented my
returning to my seat, and declining to dance at all.


He appeared to be surprised at my terror, which I believe was but
too apparent: however, he asked no questions, though I fear he must
think it very strange, for I did not choose to tell him it was owing
to my never before dancing but with a school-girl.


His conversation was sensible and spirited; his air, and address
were open and noble; his manners gentle, attentive, and infinitely
engaging; his person is all elegance, and his countenance the most
animated and expressive I have ever seen.


In a short time we were joined by Miss Mirvan, who stood next couple
to us.  But how I was startled when she whispered me that my partner
was a nobleman!  This gave me a new alarm: how will he be provoked,
thought I, when he finds what a simple rustic he has honoured with
his choice! one whose ignorance of the world makes her perpetually
fear doing something wrong!


That he should be so much my superior in every way, quite disconcerted
me; and you will suppose my spirits were not much raised, when I
heard a lady, in passing us, say, "This is the most difficult dance
I ever saw."


"O dear, then" cried Maria to her partner, "with your leave, I'll
sit down till the next."


"So will I too, then," cried I, "for I am sure I can hardly stand."


"But you must speak to your partner first," answered she; for he
had turned aside to talk with some gentlemen. However, I had not
sufficient courage to address him; and so away we all three tript,
and seated ourselves at another end of the room.


But, unfortunately for me, Miss Mirvan soon after suffered herself to
be prevailed upon to attempt the dance; and just as she rose to go,
she cried, "My dear, yonder is your partner, Lord Orville walking
about the room in search of you."


"Don't leave me then, dear girl!" cried I; but she was obliged to
go. And now I was more uneasy than ever; I would have given the world
to have seen Mrs.  Mirvan, and begged of her to make my apologies;
for what, thought I, can I possibly say to him in excuse for running
away? He must either conclude me a fool, or half mad; for any one
brought up in the great world, and accustomed to its ways, can have
no idea of such sort of fears as mine.


My confusion increased when I observed that he was every where seeking
me, with apparent perplexity and surprise; but when, at last, I saw
him move towards the place where I sat, I was ready to sink with
shame and distress. I found it absolutely impossible to keep my seat,
because I could not think of a word to say for myself; and so I rose,
and walked hastily towards the card-room, resolving to stay with
Mrs. Mirvan the rest of the evening, and not to dance at all. But
before I could find her, Lord Orville saw and approached me.


He begged to know if I was not well? You may easily imagine how much
I was embarrassed. I made no answer; but hung my head like a fool,
and looked on my fan.


He then, with an air the most respectfully serious, asked if he had
been so unhappy as to offend me?


"No, indeed!" cried I; and, in hopes of changing the discourse, and
preventing his further inquiries, I desired to know if he had seen
the young lady who had been conversing with me?


No;-but would I honour him with any commands to her?


"O, by no means!"


Was there any other person with whom I wished to speak?


I said no, before I knew I had answered at all.


Should he have the pleasure of bringing me any refreshment?


I bowed, almost involuntarily. And away he flew.


I was quite ashamed of being so troublesome, and so much above
myself as these seeming airs made me appear; but indeed I was too
much confused to think or act with any consistency.


If he had not been as swift as lightning, I don't know whether I
should not have stolen away again; but he returned in a moment. When
I had drank a glass of lemonade, he hoped, he said, that I would
again honour him with my hand, as a new dance was just begun. I had
not the presence of mind to say a single word, and so I let him once
more lead me to the place I had left.


Shocked to find how silly, how childish a part I had acted, my former
fears of dancing before such a company, and with such a partner,
returned more forcibly than ever. I suppose he perceived my uneasiness;
for he entreated me to sit down again if dancing was disagreeable to
me. But I was quite satisfied with the folly I had already shewn; and
therefore declined his offer, though I was really scarce able to stand.


Under such conscious disadvantages, you may easily imagine my dear Sir,
how ill I acquitted myself. But, though I both expected and deserved
to find him very much mortified and displeased at his ill fortune in
the choice he had made; yet, to my very great relief, he appeared to
be even contented, and very much assisted and encouraged me. These
people in high life have too much presence of mind, I believe, to
seem disconcerted, or out of humour, however they may feel: for had
I been the person of the most consequence in the room, I could not
have met with more attention and respect.


When the dance was over, seeing me still very much flurried, he led
me to a seat, saying that he would not suffer me to fatigue myself
from politeness.


And then, if my capacity, or even, if my spirits had been better, in
how animated a conversation I might have been engaged! it was then
I saw that the rank of Lord Orville was his least recommendation,
his understanding and his manners being far more distinguished. His
remarks upon the company in general were so apt, so just, so lively,
I am almost surprised myself that they did not reanimate me; but,
indeed, I was too well convinced of the ridiculous part I had myself
played before so nice an observer, to be able to enjoy his pleasantry:
so self-compassion gave me feeling for others. Yet I had not the
courage to attempt either to defend them or to rally in my turn;
but listened to him in silent embarrassment.


When he found this, he changed the subject, and talked of public
places, and public performers; but he soon discovered that I was
totally ignorant of them.


He then, very ingeniously, turned the discourse to the amusements
and occupations of the country.


It now struck me that he was resolved to try whether or not I was
capable of talking upon any subject. This put so great a restraint
upon my thoughts, that I was unable to go further than a monosyllable,
and not ever so far, when I could possibly avoid it.


We were sitting in this manner, he conversing with all gaiety, I
looking down with all foolishness, when that fop who had first asked
me to dance, with a most ridiculous solemnity approached, and, after
a profound bow or two, said, "I humbly beg pardon, Madam,-and of you
too, my Lord,-for breaking in upon such agreeable conversation-which
must, doubtless, be more delectable-than what I have the honour
to offer-but-"


I interrupted him-I blush for my folly,-with laughing; yet I could not
help it; for, added to the man's stately foppishness, (and he actually
took snuff between every three words) when I looked around at Lord
Orville, I saw such extreme surprise in his face,-the cause of which
appeared so absurd, that I could not for my life preserve my gravity.


I had not laughed before from the time I had left Miss Mirvan, and I
had much better have cried then; Lord Orville actually stared at me;
the beau, I know not his name, looked quite enraged. "Refrain-Madam,"
said he, with an important air, "a few moments refrain!-I have but
a sentence to trouble you with.-May I know to what accident I must
attribute not having the honour of your hand?"


"Accident, Sir!" repeated I, much astonished.


"Yes, accident, Madam;-for surely,-I must take the liberty to
observe-pardon me, Madam,-it ought to be no common one-that should
tempt a lady-so young a one too,-to be guilty of ill-manners."


A confused idea now for the first time entered my head, of something
I had heard of the rules of an assembly; but I was never at one
before,-I have only danced at school,-and so giddy and heedless I
was, that I had not once considered the impropriety of refusing one
partner, and afterwards accepting another. I was thunderstruck at the
recollection: but, while these thoughts were rushing into my head,
Lord Orville with some warmth, said, "This Lady, Sir, is incapable
of meriting such an accusation!"


The creature-for I am very angry with him-made a low bow and with a
grin the most malicious I ever saw, "My Lord," said he, "far be it
from me to accuse the lady, for having the discernment to distinguish
and prefer-the superior attractions of your Lordship."


Again he bowed and walked off.


Was ever any thing so provoking? I was ready to die with shame. "What
a coxcomb!" exclaimed Lord Orville: while I, without knowing what
I did, rose hastily, and moving off, "I can't imagine," cried I,
"where Mrs. Mirvan has hid herself!"


"Give me leave to see," answered he. I bowed and sat down again,
not daring to meet his eyes; for what must he think of me, between
my blunder, and the supposed preference?


He returned in a moment, and told me that Mrs. Mirvan was at cards,
but would be glad to see me; and I went immediately. There was but
one chair vacant; so, to my great relief, Lord Orville presently left
us. I then told Mrs.  Mirvan my disasters; and she good-naturedly
blamed herself for not having better instructed me; but said, she had
taken it for granted that I must know such common customs. However,
the man may, I think, be satisfied with his pretty speech and carry
his resentment no farther.


In a short time Lord Orville returned. I consented, with the best grace
I could, to go down another dance, for I had had time to recollect
myself; and therefore resolved to use some exertion, and, if possible,
to appear less a fool than I had hitherto done; for it occurred to me,
that, insignificant as I was, compared to a man of his rank and figure;
yet, since he had been so unfortunate as to make choice of me for a
partner, why I should endeavour to make the best of it.


The dance, however, was short, and he spoke very little; so I had no
opportunity of putting my resolution in practice. He was satisfied, I
suppose, with his former successless efforts to draw me out or, rather,
I fancied he had been inquiring who I was. This again disconcerted me;
and the spirits I had determined to exert, again failed me. Tired,
ashamed, and mortified, I begged to sit down till we returned home,
which I did soon after. Lord Orville did me the honour to hand me to
the coach, talking all the way of the honour I had done him! O these
fashionable people!


Well, my dear Sir, was it not a strange evening? I could not help
being thus particular, because, to me, every thing is so new. But it
is now time to conclude. I am, with all love and duty, your EVELINA.


LETTER XII

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION Tuesday, April 5.


THERE is to be no end to the troubles of last night. I have this
moment, between persuasion and laughter, gathered from Maria the most
curious dialogue that ever I heard. You will at first be startled at
my vanity; but, my dear Sir, have patience!


It must have passed while I was sitting with Mrs. Mirvan, in the
card-room.  Maria was taking some refreshment, and saw Lord Orville
advancing for the same purpose himself; but he did not know her,
though she immediately recollected him. Presently after, a very
gay-looking man, stepping hastily up to him cried, "Why, my Lord,
what have you done with your lovely partner?"


"Nothing!" answered Lord Orville with a smile and a shrug.


"By Jove," cried the man, "she is the most beautiful creature I ever
saw in my life!"


Lord Orville, as he well might, laughed; but answered, "Yes, a pretty
modest-looking girl."


"O my Lord!" cried the madman, "she is an angel!"


"A silent one," returned he.


"Why ay, my Lord, how stands she as to that? She looks all intelligence
and expression."


"A poor weak girl!" answered Lord Orville, shaking his head.


"By Jove," cried the other, "I am glad to hear it!"


At that moment, the same odious creature who had been my former
tormentor, joined them. Addressing Lord Orville with great respect,
he said, "I beg pardon, my Lord,-if I was-as I fear might be the
case-rather too severe in my censure of the lady who is honoured with
your protection-but, my Lord, ill-breeding is apt to provoke a man."


"Ill-breeding!" cried my unknown champion, "impossible! that elegant
face can never be so vile a mask!"


"O Sir, as to that," answered he, "you must allow me to judge;
for though I pay all deference to your opinion-in other things-yet
I hope you will grant-and I appeal to your Lordship also-that I am
not totally despicable as a judge of good or ill-manners."


"I was so wholly ignorant," said Lord Orville, gravely, "of the
provocation you might have had, that I could not but be surprised at
your singular resentment."


"It was far from my intention," answered he, "to offend your lordship;
but, really, for a person who is nobody, to give herself such airs,-I
own I could not command my passion. For, my Lord, though I have made
diligent inquiry-I cannot learn who she is."


"By what I can make out," cried my defender, "she must be a country
parson's daughter."


"He! he! he! very good, 'pon honour!" cried the fop;-"well, so I
could have sworn by her manners."


And then, delighted at his own wit, he laughed, and went away, as I
suppose, to repeat it.


"But what the deuce is all this?" demanded the other.


"Why a very foolish affair," answered Lord Orville; "your Helen
first refused this coxcomb, and then-danced with me. This is all I
can gather of it."


"O, Orville," returned he, "you are a happy man!-But ill-bred? -I
can never believe it! And she looks too sensible to be ignorant."


"Whether ignorant or mischievous, I will not pretend to determine;
but certain it is, she attended to all I could say to her, though I
have really fatigued myself with fruitless endeavours to entertain
her, with the most immovable gravity; but no sooner did Lovel begin
his complaint, than she was seized with a fit of laughing, first
affronting the poor beau, and then enjoying his mortification."


"Ha! ha! ha! why there is some genius in that, my Lord, perhaps
rather-rustic."


Here Maria was called to dance, and so heard no more.


Now, tell me, my dear Sir, did you ever know any thing more
provoking? "A poor weak girl!" "ignorant or mischievous!" What
mortifying words! I am resolved, however, that I will never again be
tempted to go to an assembly. I wish I had been in Dorsetshire.


Well, after this, you will not be surprised that Lord Orville contented
himself with an inquiry after our healths this morning, by his servant,
without troubling himself to call, as Miss Mirvan had told me he would;
but perhaps it may be only a country custom.


I would not live here for the world. I care not how soon we
leave town. London soon grows tiresome. I wish the Captain would
come. Mrs. Mirvan talks of the opera for this evening; however,
I am very indifferent about it.  Wednesday Morning.


Well, my dear Sir, I have been pleased against my will, I could almost
say; for I must own I went out in very ill humour, which I think you
cannot wonder at: but the music and the singing were charming; they
soothed me into a pleasure the most grateful, the best suited to my
present disposition in the world. I hope to persuade Mrs. Mirvan to
go again on Saturday. I wish the opera was every night. It is, of all
entertainments, the sweetest and most delightful. Some of the songs
seemed to melt my very soul. It was what they call a serious opera,
as the comic first singer was ill.


To-night we go to Ranelagh. If any of those three gentlemen who
conversed so freely about me should be there-but I won't think of it.
Thursday Morning.


Well, my dear Sir, we went to Ranelagh. It is a charming place; and
the brilliancy of the lights, on my first entrance, made me almost
think I was in some enchanted castle or fairy palace, for all looked
like magic to me.


The very first person I saw was Lord Orville. I felt so confused!-but
he did not see me. After tea, Mrs. Mirvan being tired, Maria and
I walked round the room alone. Then again we saw him, standing by
the orchestra. We, too, stopt to hear a singer. He bowed to me; I
courtesied, and I am sure I coloured. We soon walked on, not liking
our situation; however, he did not follow us; and when we passed by
the orchestra again, he was gone. Afterwards, in the course of the
evening, we met him several times; but he was always with some party,
and never spoke to us, though whenever he chanced to meet my eyes,
he condescended to bow.


I cannot but be hurt at the opinion he entertains of me. It is true
my own behaviour incurred it-yet he is himself the most agreeable,
and, seemingly, the most amiable man in the world, and therefore it
is that I am grieved to be thought ill of by him: for of whose esteem
ought we to be ambitious, if not of those who most merit our own?-But
it is too late to reflect upon this now. Well I can't help it.-However,
I think I have done with assemblies.


This morning was destined for seeing sights, auctions, curious shops,
and so forth; but my head ached, and I was not in a humour to be
amused, and so I made them go without me, though very unwillingly. They
are all kindness.


And now I am sorry I did not accompany them, for I know not what
to do with myself. I had resolved not to go to the play to-night;
but I believe I shall.  In short, I hardly care whether I do or not.
* * * * *


I thought I had done wrong! Mrs. Mirvan and Maria have been half the
town over, and so entertained!-while I, like a fool, staid at home
to do nothing.  And, at the auction in Pall-mall, who should they
meet but Lord Orville. He sat next to Mrs. Mirvan, and they talked
a great deal together; but she gave me no account of the conversation.


I may never have such another opportunity of seeing London; I am quite
sorry that I was not of the party; but I deserve this mortification,
for having indulged my ill-humour.  Thursday Night.


We are just returned from the play, which was King Lear, and has made
me very sad. We did not see any body we knew.


Well, adieu, it is too late to write more.  Friday.


Captain Mirvan is arrived. I have not spirits to give an account of
his introduction, for he has really shocked me. I do not like him. He
seems to be surly, vulgar, and disagreeable.


Almost the same moment that Maria was presented to him, he began
some rude jests upon the bad shape of her nose, and called her a tall
ill-formed thing.  She bore it with the utmost good-humour; but that
kind and sweet-tempered woman, Mrs. Mirvan, deserved a better lot. I
am amazed she would marry him.


For my own part, I have been so shy, that I have hardly spoken to
him, or he to me. I cannot imagine why the family was so rejoiced
at his return. If he had spent his whole life abroad, I should have
supposed they might rather have been thankful than sorrowful. However,
I hope they do not think so ill of him as I do. At least, I am sure
they have too much prudence to make it known.  Saturday Night.


We have been to the opera, and I am still more pleased than I was
on Tuesday.  I could have thought myself in Paradise, but for the
continual talking of the company around me. We sat in the pit, where
every body was dressed in so high a style, that if I had been less
delighted with the performance, my eyes would have found me sufficient
entertainment from looking at the ladies.


I was very glad I did not sit next the Captain; for he could not bear
the music or singers, and was extremely gross in his observations
of both. When the opera was over, we went into a place called the
coffee-room where ladies, as well as gentlemen, assemble. There are
all sorts of refreshments, and the company walk about, and chat with
the same ease and freedom as in a private room.


On Monday we go to a ridotto, and on Wednesday we return to Howard
Grove. The Captain says he won't stay here to be smoked with filth
any longer; but, having been seven years smoked with a burning sun,
he will retire to the country, and sink into a fair weather chap.
Adieu, my dear Sir.


LETTER XIII

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION Tuesday, April 12.  My dear Sir,


WE came home from the ridotto so late, or rather so early that it
was not possible for me to write. Indeed, we did not go -you will be
frightened to hear it-till past eleven o'clock: but no body does. A
terrible reverse of the order of nature! We sleep with the sun,
and wake with the moon.


The room was very magnificent, the lights and decorations were
brilliant, and the company gay and splendid. But I should have told
you, that I made many objections to being of the party, according
to the resolution I had formed.  However, Maria laughed me out of my
scruples, and so once again I went to an assembly.


Miss Mirvan danced a minuet; but I had not the courage to follow
her example.  In our walks I saw Lord Orville. He was quite alone,
but did not observe us.  Yet, as he seemed of no party, I thought
it was not impossible that he might join us; and though I did not
wish much to dance at all-yet, as I was more acquainted with him
than with any other person in the room, I must own I could not help
thinking it would be infinitely more desirable to dance again with him
than with an entire stranger. To be sure, after all that had passed,
it was very ridiculous to suppose it even probable that Lord Orville
would again honour me with his choice; yet I am compelled to confess
my absurdity, by way of explaining what follows.


Miss Mirvan was soon engaged; and presently after a very fashionable
gay looking man, who seemed about thirty years of age, addressed
himself to me, and begged to have the honour of dancing with me. Now
Maria's partner was a gentleman of Mrs. Mirvan's acquaintance; for
she had told us it was highly improper for young women to dance with
strangers at any public assembly.  Indeed it was by no means my wish
so to do: yet I did not like to confine myself from dancing at all;
neither did I dare refuse this gentleman as I had done Mr. Lovel,
and then, if any acquaintance should offer, accept him: and so, all
these reasons combining, induced me to tell him-yet I blush to write
it to you!-that I was already engaged; by which I meant to keep myself
at liberty to a dance, or not, as matters should fall out.


I suppose my consciousness betrayed my artifice, for he looked at me
as if incredulous; and, instead of being satisfied with my answer
and leaving me, according to my expectation, he walked at my side,
and, with the greatest ease imaginable, began a conversation in the
free style which only belongs to old and intimate acquaintance. But,
what was most provoking, he asked me a thousand questions concerning
the partner to whom I was engaged. And at last he said, "Is it really
possible that a man whom you have honoured with your acceptance can
fail to be at hand to profit from your goodness?"


I felt extremely foolish; and begged Mrs. Mirvan to lead to a seat;
which she very obligingly did. The Captain sat next her; and to my
great surprise, this gentleman thought proper to follow, and seat
himself next to me.


"What an insensible!" continued he; "why, Madam, you are missing the
most delightful dance in the world!-The man must be either mad or a
fool-Which do you incline to think him yourself?"


"Neither, Sir," answered I, in some confusion.


He begged my pardon for the freedom of his supposition, saying,
"I really was off my guard, from astonishment that any man can be
so much and so unaccountably his own enemy. But where, Madam, can he
possibly be!-has he left the room!-or has not he been in it?"


"Indeed, Sir," said I peevishly, "I know nothing of him."


"I don't wonder that you are disconcerted, Madam; it is really very
provoking.  The best part of the evening will be absolutely lost. He
deserves not that you should wait for him."


"I do not, Sir," said I, "and I beg you not to-"


"Mortifying, indeed, Madam," interrupted he, "a lady to wait for a
gentleman!-O fie!-careless fellow!-What can detain him?-Will you give
me leave to seek him?"


"If you please, Sir," answered I; quite terrified lest Mrs. Mirvan
should attend to him; for she looked very much surprised at seeing
me enter into conversation with a stranger.


"With all my heart," cried he; "pray, what coat has he on?"


"Indeed I never looked at it."


"Out upon him!" cried he; "What! did he address you in a coat not
worth looking at?-What a shabby wretch!"


How ridiculous! I really could not help laughing, which I fear
encouraged him, for he went on.


"Charming creature!-and can you really bear ill usage with so much
sweetness?  Can you, like patience on a monument, smile in the midst
of disappointment?  For my part, though I am not the offended person,
my indignation is so great, that I long to kick the fellow round
the room!-unless, indeed,-(hesitating and looking earnestly at me,)
unless, indeed,-it is a partner of your own creating?"


I was dreadfully abashed, and could not make an answer.


"But no!" cried he (again, and with warmth,) "It cannot be that you
are so cruel! Softness itself is painted in your eyes.-You could not,
surely, have the barbarity so wantonly to trifle with my misery."


I turned away from this nonsense with real disgust, Mrs. Mirvan saw
my confusion, but was perplexed what to think of it, and I could
not explain to her the cause, lest the Captain should hear me. I
therefore proposed to walk; she consented, and we all rose; but,
would you believe it? this man had the assurance to rise too, and
walk close by my side, as if of my party!


"Now," cried he, "I hope we shall see this ingrate.-Is that
he?"-pointing to an old man who was lame, "or that?" And in this
manner he asked me of whoever was old or ugly in the room. I made
no sort of answer: and when he found that I was resolutely silent,
and walked on as much as I could without observing him, he suddenly
stamped his foot, and cried out in a passion, "Fool! idiot!  booby!"


I turned hastily toward him: "O, Madam," continued he, "forgive my
vehemence; but I am distracted to think there should exist a wretch
who can slight a blessing for which I would forfeit my life!-O that I
could but meet him, I would soon-But I grow angry: pardon me, Madam,
my passions are violent, and your injuries affect me!"


I began to apprehend he was a madman, and stared at him with the
utmost astonishment. "I see you are moved, Madam," said he; "generous
creature!-but don't be alarmed, I am cool again, I am indeed,-upon
my soul I am;-I entreat you, most lovely of mortals! I intreat you
to be easy."


"Indeed, Sir," said I very seriously, "I must insist upon your leaving
me; you are quite a stranger to me, and I am both unused, and averse
to your language and your manners."


This seemed to have some effect on him. He made me a low bow, begged
my pardon, and vowed he would not for the world offend me.


"Then, Sir, you must leave me," cried I. "I am gone, Madam, I am
gone!" with a most tragical air; and he marched away at a quick pace,
out of sight in a moment; but before I had time to congratulate myself,
he was again at my elbow.


"And could you really let me go, and not be sorry?-Can you see me
suffer torments inexpressible, and yet retain all your favour for
that miscreant who flies you?-Ungrateful puppy!-I could bastinado him!"


"For Heaven's sake, my dear," cried Mrs. Mirvan, "who is he talking
of?"


"Indeed-I do not know, Madam," said I; "but I wish he would leave me."


"What's all that there?" cried the Captain.


The man made a low bow, and said, "Only, Sir, a slight objection
which this young lady makes to dancing with me, and which I am
endeavouring to obviate.  I shall think myself greatly honoured if
you will intercede for me."


"That lady, Sir," said the Captain coldly, "is her own mistress." And
he walked sullenly on.


"You, Madam," said the man (who looked delighted, to Mrs. Mirvan),
"You, I hope, will have the goodness to speak for me."


"Sir," answered she gravely, "I have not the pleasure of being
acquainted with you."


"I hope when you have, Ma'am," cried he, undaunted, "you will honour
me with your approbation: but, while I am yet unknown to you, it would
be truly generous in you to countenance me; and I flatter myself,
Madam, that you will not have cause to repent it."


Mrs. Mirvan, with an embarrassed air, replied, "I do not at all mean,
Sir, to doubt your being a gentleman,-but-"


"But what, Madam?-that doubt removed, why a but?"


"Well, Sir," said Mrs. Mirvan (with a good humoured smile), "I will
even treat you with your own plainness, and try what effect that will
have on you: I must therefore tell you, once for all-"


"O pardon me, Madam!" interrupted he, eagerly, "you must not proceed
with those words once for all; no, if I have been too plain, and
though a man, deserve a rebuke, remember, dear ladies that if you copy,
you ought in justice to excuse me."


We both stared at the man's strange behaviour.


"Be nobler than your sex," continued he, turning to me, "honour me
with one dance, and give up the ingrate who has merited so ill your
patience."


Mrs. Mirvan looked with astonishment at us both.


"Who does he speak of, my dear?-you never mentioned-"


"O, Madam!" exclaimed he, "he was not worth mentioning-it is a pity he
was ever though of; but let us forget his existence. One dance is all
I solicit.  Permit me, Madam, the honour of this young lady's hand;
it will be a favour I shall ever most gratefully acknowledge."


"Sir," answered she, "favours and strangers have with me no
connection."


"If you have hitherto," said he, "confined your benevolence to your
intimate friends, suffer me to be the first for whom your charity
is enlarged."


"Well, Sir, I know not what to say to you,-but-"


He stopt her but with so many urgent entreaties that she at last told
me, I must either go down one dance, or avoid his importunities by
returning home.  I hesitated which alternative to chose; but this
impetuous man at length prevailed, and I was obliged to consent to
dance with him.


And thus was my deviation from truth punished; and thus did this
man's determined boldness conquer.


During the dance, before we were too much engaged in it for
conversation, he was extremely provoking about my partner, and tried
every means in his power to make me own that I had deceived him;
which, though I would not so far humble myself as to acknowledge,
was indeed but too obvious.


Lord Orville, I fancy, did not dance at all. He seemed to have a
large acquaintance, and joined several different parties: but you
will easily suppose, I was not much pleased to see him, in a few
minutes after I was gone, walk towards the place I had just left,
and bow to and join Mrs. Mirvan!


How unlucky I thought myself, that I had not longer withstood this
stranger's importunities! The moment we had gone down the dance, I was
hastening away from him; but he stopt me, and said, that I could by no
means return to my party without giving offence, before we had done
our duty of walking up the dance. As I know nothing at all of these
rules and customs I was obliged to submit to his directions; but I
fancy I looked rather uneasy, for he took notice of my inattention,
saying, in his free way, "Whence that anxiety?-Why are those lovely
eyes perpetually averted?"


"I wish you would say no more to me, Sir," cried I peevishly; "you
have already destroyed all my happiness for this evening."


"Good Heaven! What is it I have done?-How have I merited this scorn?"


"You have tormented me to death; you have forced me from my friends,
and intruded yourself upon me, against my will, for a partner."


"Surely, my dear Madam, we ought to be better friends, since
there seems to be something of sympathy in the frankness of our
dispositions.-And yet, were you not an angel-how do you think I could
brooke such contempt?"


"If I have offended you," cried I, "you have but to leave me-and O
how I wish you would!"


"My dear creature," said he, half laughing, "why where could you
be educated?"


"Where I most sincerely wish I now was!"


"How conscious you must be, all beautiful that you are, that those
charming airs serve only to heighten the bloom of your complexion!"


"Your freedom, Sir, where you are more acquainted, may perhaps be
less disagreeable; but to me -"


"You do me justice," cried he, interrupting me, "yes, I do indeed
improve upon acquaintance; you will hereafter be quite charmed
with me."


"Hereafter, Sir, I hope I shall never-"


"O hush!-hush!-have you forgot the situation in which I found you?-Have
you forgot, that when deserted, I pursued you,-when betrayed, I adored
you?-but for me-"


"But for you, Sir, I might perhaps have been happy."


"What then, am I to conclude that, but for me, your partner would
have appeared?-poor fellow!-and did my presence awe him?"


"I wish his presence, Sir, could awe you!"


"His presence!-perhaps then you see him?"


"Perhaps, Sir, I do," cried I, quite wearied of his raillery.


"Where? Where?-for Heaven's sake show me the wretch!"


"Wretch, Sir!"


"O, a very savage!-a sneaking, shame-faced, despicable puppy!"


I know not what bewitched me-but my pride was hurt, and my spirits
were tired, and-in short, I had the folly, looking at Lord Orville,
to repeat, "Despicable, you think?"


His eyes instantly followed mine; "Why, is that the gentleman?"


I made no answer; I could not affirm, and I would not deny:-for I
hoped to be relieved from his teasing by his mistake.


The very moment we had done what he called our duty, I eagerly desired
to return to Mrs. Mirvan.


"To your partner, I presume, Madam?" said he, very gravely.


This quite confounded me. I dreaded lest this mischievous man ignorant
of his rank, should address himself to Lord Orville, and say something
which might expose my artifice. Fool! to involve myself in such
difficulties! I now feared what I had before wished; and therefore,
to avoid Lord Orville, I was obliged myself to propose going down
another dance, though I was ready to sink with shame while I spoke.


"But your partner, Ma'am?" said he, affecting a very solemn air,
"perhaps he may resent my detaining you: if you will give me leave
to ask his consent-"


"Not for the universe."


"Who is he, Madam?"


I wished myself a hundred miles off. He repeated his question,
"What is his name?"


"Nothing-nobody-I don't know-"


He assumed a most important solemnity: "How!-not know?-Give me leave,
my dear Madam, to recommend this caution to you: Never dance in public
with a stranger,-with one whose name you are unacquainted with,-who
may be a mere adventurer,-a man of no character, consider to what
impertinence you may expose yourself."


Was ever anything so ridiculous? I could not help laughing, in spite
of my vexation.


At this instant, Mrs. Mirvan, followed by Lord Orville, walked up to
us. You will easily believe it was not difficult for me to recover
my gravity; but what was my consternation, when this strange man,
destined to be the scourge of my artifice, exclaimed, "Ha! My Lord
Orville!-I protest I did not know your Lordship. What can I say for my
usurpation?-Yet, faith, my Lord, such a prize was not to be neglected."


My shame and confusion were unspeakable. Who could have supposed or
foreseen that this man knew Lord Orville? But falsehood is not more
unjustifiable than unsafe.


Lord Orville-well he might-looked all amazement.


"The philosophic coldness of your Lordship," continued this odious
creature, "every man is not endowed with. I have used my utmost
endeavours to entertain this lady, though I fear without success;
and your lordship will not be a little flattered, if acquainted with
the difficulty which attended my procuring the honour of only one
dance." Then, turning to me, who was sinking with shame, while Lord
Orville stood motionless, and Mrs. Mirvan astonished,-he suddenly
seized my hand, saying, "Think, my Lord, what must be my reluctance
to resign this fair hand to your Lordship!"


In the same instant, Lord Orville took it of him; I coloured violently,
and made an effort to recover it. "You do me too much honour, Sir,"
cried he, (with an air of gallantry, pressing it to his lips before
he let it go;) "however, I shall be happy to profit by it, if this
lady," turning to Mrs.  Mirvan, "will permit me to seek for her party."


To compel him thus to dance, I could not endure; and eagerly called
out, "By no means-not for the world!-I must beg-"


"Will you honour me, Madam, with your commands," cried my tormentor;
"may I seek the lady's party?"


"No, Sir," answered I, turning from him.


"What shall be done, my dear?" said Mrs. Mirvan.


"Nothing, Ma'am;-anything, I mean-"


"But do you dance, or not? you see his Lordship waits."


"I hope not-I beg that-I would not for the world-I am sure I ought
to-to-"


I could not speak; but that confident man, determining to discover
whether or not I had deceived him, said to Lord Orville, who
stood suspended, "My Lord, this affair, which at present seems
perplexed, I will briefly explain:-this lady proposed to me another
dance,-nothing could have made me more happy,-I only wished for your
Lordship's permission; which, if now granted, will, I am persuaded,
set everything right."


I glowed with indignation. "No, Sir-it is your absence, and that alone,
can set everything right."


"For Heaven's sake, my dear," cried Mrs. Mirvan, who could no
longer contain her surprise, "what does all this mean?-were you
pre-engaged?-had Lord Orville-"


"No, Madam," cried I, "only-only I did not know that gentleman,-and
so-and so I thought-I intended-I-"


Overpowered by all that had passed, I had not strength to make my
mortifying explanation;-my spirits quite failed me, and I burst
into tears.


They all seemed shocked and amazed.


"What is the matter, my dearest love?" cried Mrs. Mirvan, with
kindest concern.


"What have I done!" exclaimed my evil genius, and ran officiously
for a glass of water.


However, a hint was sufficient for Lord Orville, who comprehended all
I would have explained. He immediately led me to a seat, and said in
a low voice, "Be not distressed, I beseech you: I shall ever think
my name honoured by your making use of it."


This politeness relieved me. A general murmur had alarmed Miss Mirvan,
who flew instantly to me; while Lord Orville the moment Mrs. Mirvan
had taken the water, led my tormentor away.


"For Heaven's sake, dear Madam," cried I, "let me go home;-indeed I
cannot stay here any longer."


"Let us all go," cried my kind Maria.


"But the Captain, what will he say-I had better go home in a chair."


Mrs. Mirvan consented, and I rose to depart. Lord Orville and that
man both came to me. The first, with an attention I but ill-merited
from him, led me to a chair; while the other followed, pestering me
with apologies. I wished to have made mine to Lord Orville, but was
too much ashamed.


It was about one o'clock. Mrs. Mirvan's servants saw me home.


And now,-what again shall ever tempt me to an assembly? I dread to
hear what you will think of me, my most dear and honoured Sir: you
will need your utmost partiality to receive me without displeasure.


This morning Lord Orville has sent to inquire after our health; and
Sir Clement Willoughby, for that, I find, is the name of my persecutor,
has called; but I would not go down stairs till he was gone.


And now, my dear Sir, I can somewhat account for the strange,
provoking, and ridiculous conduct of this Sir Clement last night;
for Miss Mirvan says he is the very man with whom she heard Lord
Orville conversing at Mrs. Stanley's, when I was spoken of in so
mortifying a manner. He was pleased to say he was glad to hear I was
a fool; and therefore, I suppose, he concluded he might talk as much
nonsense as he pleased to me: however, I am very indifferent as to
his opinion;-but for Lord Orville,-if then he thought me an idiot,
now, I am sure, he must suppose me both bold and presuming. Make use
of his name!-what impertinence-he can never know how it happened,-he
can only imagine it was from an excess of vanity;-well, however,
I shall leave this bad city to-morrow, and never again will I enter it.


The Captain intends to take us to-night to the Fantoccini. I cannot
bear that Captain; I can give you no idea how gross he is. I heartily
rejoice that he was not present at the disagreeable conclusion of
yesterday's adventure, for I am sure he would have contributed to my
confusion; which might, perhaps, have diverted him, as he seldom or
never smiles but at some other person's expense.


And here I conclude my London letters,-and without any regret; for I
am too inexperienced and ignorant to conduct myself with propriety
in this town, where everything is new to me, and many things are
unaccountable and perplexing.


Adieu, my dear Sir; Heaven restore me safely to you! I wish I was to go
immediately to Berry Hill; yet the wish is ungrateful to Mrs. Mirvan,
and therefore I will repress it. I shall write an account of the
Fantoccini from Howard Grove. We have not been to half the public
places that are now open, though I dare say you will think we have
been to all. But they are almost as innumerable as the persons who
fill them.


LETTER XIV.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Queen Ann Street, April 13.


HOW much will you be surprised, my dearest Sir, at receiving another
letter, from London, of your Evelina's writing! But, believe me, it
was not my fault, neither is it my happiness, that I am still here:
our journey has been postponed by an accident equally unexpected
and disagreeable.


We went last night to see the Fantoccini, where we had infinite
entertainment from the performance of a little comedy in French and
Italian, by puppets, so admirably managed, that they both astonished
and diverted us all, except the Captain, who has a fixed and most
prejudiced hatred of whatever is not English.


When it was over, while we waited for the coach, a tall elderly woman
brushed quickly past us, calling out, "My God, what shall I do?"


"Why, what would you do?" cried the Captain.


"Ma foi, Monsieur," answered she, "I have lost my company, and in
this place I don't know nobody."


There was something foreign in her accent, though it was difficult
to discover whether she was an English or a French woman. She was
very well dressed; and seemed so entirely at a loss what to do,
that Mrs. Mirvan proposed to the Captain to assist her.


"Assist her!" cried he, "ay, with all my heart;-let a link-boy call
her a coach."


There was not one to be had, and it rained very fast.


"Mon Dieu!" exclaimed the stranger, "what shall become of me? Je
suis au desespoir!"


"Dear Sir," cried Miss Mirvan, "pray let us take the poor lady into
our coach.  She is quite alone, and a foreigner-"


"She's never the better for that," answered he: "she may be a woman
of the town, for anything you know."


"She does not appear such," said Mrs. Mirvan; "and indeed she seems
so much distressed, that we shall but follow the golden rule, if we
carry her to her lodgings."


"You are mighty fond of new acquaintance," returned he; "but first
let us know if she be going our way."


Upon inquiry, we found that she lived in Oxford Road; and, after
some disputing, the Captain surlily, and, with a very bad grace,
consented to admit her into his coach; though he soon convinced us,
that he was determined she should not be too much obliged to him,
for he seemed absolutely bent upon quarrelling with her: for which
strange inhospitality I can assign no other reason, than that she
appeared to be a foreigner.


The conversation began, by her telling us, that she had been in England
only two days; that the gentlemen belonging to her were Parisians,
and had left her to see for a hackney-coach, as her own carriage was
abroad; and that she had waited for them till she was quite frightened,
and concluded that they had lost themselves.


"And pray," said the Captain, "why did you go to a public place
without an Englishman?"


"Ma foi, Sir," answered she, "because none of my acquaintance is
in town."


"Why then," said he, "I'll tell you what, your best way is to go out
of it yourself."


"Pardi, Monsieur," returned she, "and so I shall; for, I promise you,
I think the English a parcel of brutes; and I'll go back to France
as fast as I can, for I would not live among none of you."


"Who wants you?" cried the Captain: "do you suppose, Madam French,
we have not enough of other nations to pick our pockets already? I'll
warrant you, there's no need for you for to put in your oar."


"Pick your pockets, Sir! I wish nobody wanted to pick your pockets no
more than I do; and I'll promise you you'd be safe enough. But there's
no nation under the sun can beat the English for ill-politeness:
for my part, I hate the very sight of them; and so I shall only
just visit a person of quality or two of my particular acquaintance,
and then I shall go back again to France."


"Ay, do," cried he; "and then go to the devil together, for that's
the fittest voyage for the French and the quality."


"We'll take care, however," cried the stranger with great vehemence,
"not to admit none of your vulgar unmannered English among us."


"O never fear," returned he, coolly, "we shan't dispute the point
with you; you and the quality may have the devil all to yourselves."


Desirous of changing the subject of a conversation which now became
very alarming, Miss Mirvan called out, "Lord, how slow the man drives!"


"Never mind, Moll," said her father, "I'll warrant you he'll drive
fast enough to-morrow, when you are going to Howard Grove."


"To Howard Grove!" exclaimed the stranger, "why, mon Dieu, do you
know Lady Howard?"


"Why, what if we do?" answered he; "that's nothing to you; she's none
of your quality, I'll promise you."


"Who told you that?" cried she; "you don't know nothing about the
matter!  besides, you're the ill-bredest person ever I see: and as
to your knowing Lady Howard, I don't believe no such a thing; unless,
indeed, you are her steward."


The Captain, swearing terribly, said, with great fury, "You would
much sooner be taken for her wash-woman."


"Her wash-woman, indeed?-Ha, ha, ha, why you han't no eyes; did you
ever see a wash-woman in such a gown as this?-Besides, I'm no such
mean person, for I'm as good as Lady Howard, and as rich too; and
besides, I'm now come to England to visit her."


"You may spare yourself that there trouble," said the Captain,
"she has paupers enough about her already."


"Paupers, Mister!-no more a pauper than yourself, nor so much
neither;-but you are a low, dirty fellow, and I shan't stoop to take
no more notice of you."


"Dirty fellow!" exclaimed the Captain, seizing both her wrists, "hark
you, Mrs. Frog, you'd best hold your tongue; for I must make bold to
tell you, if you don't, that I shall make no ceremony of tripping you
out of the window, and there you may lie in the mud till some of your
Monseers come to help you out of it."


Their increasing passion quite terrified us; and Mrs. Mirvan was
beginning to remonstrate with the Captain, when we were all silenced
by what follows.


"Let me go, villain that you are, let me go, or I'll promise you I'll
get you put to prison for this usage. I'm no common person, I assure
you; and, ma foi, I'll go to Justice Fielding about you; for I'm a
person of fashion, and I'll make you know it, or my name a'n't Duval."


I heard no more: amazed, frightened, and unspeakably shocked, an
involuntary exclamation of Gracious Heaven! escaped me, and, more
dead than alive, I sunk into Mrs. Mirvan's arms. But let me draw a
veil over a scene too cruel for a heart so compassionately tender as
your's; it is sufficient that you know this supposed foreigner proved
to be Madame Duval,-the grandmother of your Evelina!


O, Sir, to discover so near a relation in a woman, who had thus
introduced herself!-what would become of me, were it not for you,
my protector, my friend, and my refuge?


My extreme concern, and Mrs. Mirvan's surprise, immediately betrayed
me. But, I will not shock you with the manner of her acknowledging
me, or the bitterness, the grossness -I cannot otherwise express
myself,-with which she spoke of those unhappy past transactions
you have so pathetically related to me. All the misery of a much
injured parent, dear, though never seen, regretted, though never
known, crowded so forcibly upon my memory, that they rendered this
interview-one only excepted-the most afflicting I can ever know.


When we stopt at her lodgings, she desired me to accompany her into
the house, and said she could easily procure a room for me to sleep
in. Alarmed and trembling, I turned to Mrs. Mirvan. "My daughter,
Madam," said that sweet woman, "cannot so abruptly part with her young
friend; you must allow a little time to wean them from each other."


"Pardon me, Ma'am," answered Madame Duval, (who, from the time of her
being known, somewhat softened her manners) "Miss can't possibly be
so nearly connected to this child as I am."


"No matter for that," cried the Captain, (who espoused my cause to
satisfy his own pique, tho' an awkward apology had passed between them)
"she was sent to us; and so, dy'e see, we don't choose for to part
with her."


I promised to wait upon her at what time she pleased the next day;
and, after a short debate, she desired me to breakfast with her,
and we proceeded to Queen Ann Street.


What an unfortunate adventure! I could not close my eyes the whole
night. A thousand times I wished I had never left Berry Hill: however,
my return thither shall be accelerated to the utmost of my power;
and, once more in that abode of tranquil happiness, I will suffer no
temptation to allure me elsewhere.


Mrs. Mirvan was so kind as to accompany me to Madame Duval's house
this morning. The Captain, too, offered his service; which I declined,
from a fear she should suppose I meant to insult her.


She frowned most terribly upon Mrs. Mirvan; but she received me with
as much tenderness as I believe she is capable of feeling. Indeed,
our meeting seems really to have affected her; for when, overcome by
the variety of emotions which the sight of her occasioned, I almost
fainted in her arms, she burst into tears, and said, "let me not lose
my poor daughter a second time!" This unexpected humanity softened
me extremely; but she very soon excited my warmest indignation, by
the ungrateful mention she made of the best of men, my dear and most
generous benefactor. However, grief and anger mutually gave way to
terror, upon her avowing the intention of her visiting England was
to make me return with her to France. This, she said, was a plan she
had formed from the instant she had heard of my birth; which, she
protested, did not reach her ears till I must have been twelve years
of age; but Monsieur Duval, who she declared was the worst husband
in the world, would not permit her to do any thing she wished: he
had been dead but three months; which had been employed in arranging
certain affairs, that were no sooner settled, than she set off for
England. She was already out of mourning, for she said nobody here
could tell how long she had been a widow.


She must have been married very early in life: what her age is I do
not know; but she really looks to be less than fifty. She dresses
very gaily, paints very high, and the traces of former beauty are
still very visible in her face.


I know not when, or how, this visit would have ended, had not the
Captain called for Mrs. Mirvan, and absolutely insisted upon my
attending her. He is become, very suddenly, so warmly my friend, that
I quite dread his officiousness. Mrs. Mirvan, however, whose principal
study seems to be healing those wounds which her husband inflicts,
appeased Madame Duval's wrath, by a very polite invitation to drink
tea and spend the evening here.  Not without great difficulty was
the Captain prevailed upon to defer his journey some time longer;
but what could be done? It would have been indecent for me to have
quitted town the very instant I discovered that Madame Duval was in it;
and to have staid here solely under her protection-Mrs. Mirvan, thank
Heaven, was too kind for such a thought. That she should follow us to
Howard Grove, I almost equally dreaded. It is therefore determined,
that we remain in London for some days, or a week: though the Captain
has declared that the old French hag, as he is pleased to call her,
shall fare never the better for it.


My only hope is to get safe to Berry Hill; where, counselled and
sheltered by you, I shall have nothing more to fear. Adieu, my ever
dear and most honoured Sir! I shall have no happiness till I am again
with you.


LETTER XV

MR. VILLARS TO EVELINA Berry Hill, April 16.


IN the belief and hope that my Evelina would, ere now, have bid adieu
to London, I had intended to have deferred writing, till I heard
of her return to Howard Grove; but the letter I have this moment
received, with intelligence of Madame Duval's arrival in England,
demands an immediate answer.


Her journey hither equally grieves and alarms me. How much did I
pity my child, when I read of a discovery at once so unexpected
and unwished! I have long dreaded this meeting and its consequence;
to claim you seems naturally to follow acknowledging you. I am well
acquainted with her disposition, and have for many years foreseen
the contest which now threatens us.


Cruel as are the circumstances of this affair, you must not, my
love, suffer it to depress your spirits: remember, that while life
is lent me, I will devote it to your service; and, for future time,
I will make such provisions as shall seem to me most conducive to
your future happiness. Secure of my protection, and relying on my
tenderness, let no apprehensions of Madame Duval disturb your peace:
conduct yourself towards her with all the respect and deference due
to so near a relation, remembering always, that the failure of duty
on her part, can by no means justify any neglect on your's. Indeed,
the more forcibly you are struck with improprieties and misconduct
in another, the greater should be your observance and diligence
to avoid even the shadow of similar errors. Be careful, therefore,
that no remissness of attention, no indifference of obliging, make
known to her the independence I assure you of; but when she fixes
the time for her leaving England, trust to me the task of refusing
your attending her: disagreeable to myself, I own, it will be; yet
to you it would be improper, if not impossible.


In regard to her opinion of me, I am more sorry than surprised at
her determined blindness; the palliation which she feels the want of,
for her own conduct, leads her to seek for failings in all who were
concerned in those unhapppy transactions which she has so much reason
to lament. And this, as it is the cause, so we must in some measure
consider it as the excuse of her inveteracy.


How grateful to me are your wishes to return to Berry Hill! Your
lengthened stay in London, and the dissipation in which I find you
are involved, fill me with uneasiness. I mean not, however, that I
would have you sequester yourself from the party to which you belong,
since Mrs. Mirvan might thence infer a reproof which your youth and
her kindness would render inexcusable. I will not, therefore, enlarge
upon this subject; but content myself with telling you, that I shall
heartily rejoice when I hear of your safe arrival at Howard Grove,
for which place I hope you will be preparing at the time you receive
this letter.


I cannot too much thank you, my best Evelina, for the minuteness of
your communications. Continue to me this indulgence, for I should be
miserable if in ignorance of your proceedings.


How new to you is the scene of life in which you are
engaged!-balls-plays-operas-ridottos!-Ah, my child! At your return
hither, how will you bear the change? My heart trembles for your
future tranquility.-Yet I will hope every thing from the unsullied
whiteness of your soul, and the native liveliness of your disposition.


I am sure I need not say, how much more I was pleased with the
mistakes of your inexperience at the private ball, than with the
attempted adoption of more fashionable manners at the ridotto. But
your confusion and mortifications were such as to entirely silence
all reproofs on my part.


I hope you will see no more of Sir Clement Willoughby, whose
conversation and boldness are extremely disgustful to me. I was
gratified by the good nature of Lord Orville, upon your making use
of his name; but I hope you will never again put it to such a trial.


Heaven bless thee, my dear child! And grant that neither misfortune
nor vice may ever rob thee of that gaiety of heart, which, resulting
from innocence, while it constitutes your own, contributes also to
the felicity of all who know you!  ARTHUR VILLARS.


LETTER XVI

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Queen Ann Street, Thursday morning,
April 14.


BEFORE our dinner was over yesterday Madame Duval came to tea; though
it will lessen your surprise, to hear that it was near five o'clock,
for we never dine till the day is almost over. She was asked into
another room while the table was cleared, and then was invited to
partake of the dessert.


She was attended by a French gentleman, whom she introduced by the
name of Monsieur Du Bois: Mrs. Mirvan received them both with her
usual politeness; but the Captain looked very much displeased; and
after a short silence, very sternly said to Madame Duval, "Pray who
asked you to bring that there spark with you?"


"O," cried she, "I never go no where without him."


Another short silence ensued, which was terminated by the Captain's
turning roughly to the foreigner, and saying, "Do you know, Monseer,
that you are the first Frenchman I ever let come into my house?"


Monsieur Du Bois made a profound bow. He speaks no English, and
understands it so imperfectly, that he might possibly imagine he had
received a compliment.


Mrs. Mirvan endeavourd to divert the Captain's ill-humour,
by starting new subjects: but he left to her all the trouble of
supporting them, and leant back in his chair in gloomy silence,
except when any opportunity offered of uttering some sarcasm upon
the French. Finding her efforts to render the evening agreeable were
fruitless, Mrs. Mirvan proposed a party to Ranelagh.  Madame Duval
joyfully consented to it; and the Captain though he railed against
the dissipation of the women, did not oppose it; and therefore Maria
and I ran up stairs to dress ourselves.


Before we were ready, word was brought us that Sir Clement Willoughby
was in the drawing-room. He introduced himself under the pretence
of inquiring after all our healths, and entered the room with the
easy air of an old acquaintance; though Mrs. Mirvan confessed that
he seemed embarrassed when he found how coldly he was received,
not only by the Captain, but by herself.


I was extremely disconcerted at the thoughts of seeing this man again,
and did not go downstairs till I was called to tea. He was then
deeply engaged in a discourse upon French manners with Madame Duval
and the Captain; and the subject seemed so entirely to engross him,
that he did not, at first, observe my entrance into the room. Their
conversation was supported with great vehemence; the Captain roughly
maintaining the superiority of the English in every particular,
and Madame Duval warmly refusing to allow of it in any; while Sir
Clement exerted all his powers of argument and of ridicule, to second
and strengthen whatever was advanced by the Captain: for he had the
sagacity to discover, that he could take no method so effectual for
making the master of the house his friend, as to make Madame Duval his
enemy; and indeed, in a very short time, he had reason to congratulate
himself upon his successful discernment.


As soon as he saw me, he made a most respectful bow, and hoped I had
not suffered from the fatigue of the ridotto: I made no other answer
than a slight inclination of the head, for I was very much ashamed
of that whole affair. He then returned to the disputants; where he
managed the argument so skilfully, at once provoking Madame Duval,
and delighting the Captain, that I could not forbear admiring his
address, though I condemned his subtlety. Mrs.  Mirvan, dreading such
violent antagonists, attempted frequently to change the subject; and
she might have succeeded, but for the interposition of Sir Clement,
who would not suffer it to be given up, and supported it with such
humour and satire, that he seems to have won the Captain's heart;
though their united forces so enraged and overpowered Madame Duval,
that she really trembled with passion.


I was very glad when Mrs. Mirvan said it was time to be gone. Sir
Clement arose to take leave; but the Captain very cordially invited
him to join our party: he had an engagement, he said, but would give
it up to have that pleasure.


Some little confusion ensued in regard to our manner of setting
off. Mrs.  Mirvan offered Madame Duval a place in her coach, and
proposed that we four females should go all together; however, this
she rejected, declaring she would by no means go so far without a
gentleman, and wondering so polite a lady could make so English a
proposal. Sir Clement Willoughby said, his chariot was waiting at
the door, and begged to know if it could be of any use. It was at
last decided, that a hackney-coach should be called for Monsieur Du
Bois and Madame Duval, in which the Captain, and, at his request,
Sir Clement, went also; Mrs. and Miss Mirvan and I had a peaceful
and comfortable ride by ourselves.


I doubt not but they quarrelled all the way; for when we met at
Ranelagh every one seemed out of humour; and though we joined parties,
poor Madame Duval was avoided as much as possible by all but me.


The room was so very much crowded, that but for the uncommon assiduity
of Sir Clement Willoughby, we should not have been able to procure
a box (which is the name given to the arched recesses that are
appropriated for tea-parties) till half the company had retired. As
we were taking possession of our places, some ladies of Mrs. Mirvan's
acquaintance stopped to speak to her, and persuaded her to take a
round with them. When she returned to us, what was my surprise, to
see that Lord Orville had joined her party! The ladies walked on:
Mrs. Mirvan seated herself, and made a slight, though respectful,
invitation to Lord Orville to drink his tea with us; which, to my no
small consternation, he accepted.


I felt a confusion unspeakable at again seeing him, from the
recollection of the ridotto adventure: nor did my situation lessen it;
for I was seated between Madame Duval and Sir Clement, who seemed
as little as myself to desire Lord Orville's presence. Indeed, the
continual wrangling and ill-breeding of Captain Mirvan and Madame
Duval made me blush that I belonged to them. And poor Mrs. Mirvan
and her amiable daughter had still less reason to be satisfied.


A general silence ensued after he was seated: his appearance, from
different motives, gave an universal restraint to every body. What his
own reasons were for honouring us with his company, I cannot imagine;
unless, indeed, he had a curiosity to know whether I should invent
any new impertinence concerning him.


The first speech was made by Madame Duval, who said, "It's quite a
shocking thing to see ladies come to so genteel a place as Ranelagh
with hats on; it has a monstrous vulgar look: I can't think what they
wear them for. There is no such a thing to be seen in Paris."


"Indeed," cried Sir Clement, "I must own myself no advocate for
hats; I am sorry the ladies ever invented or adopted so tantalizing
a fashion: for, where there is beauty, they only serve to shade it;
and, where there is none, to excite a most unavailing curiosity. I
fancy they were originally worn by some young and whimsical coquette."


"More likely," answered the Captain, "they were invented by some
wrinkled old hag, who'd a mind for to keep the young fellows in chace,
let them be never so weary."


"I don't know what you may do in England," cried Madame Duval, "but
I know in Paris no woman needn't be at such a trouble as that to be
taken very genteel notice of."


"Why, will you pretend for to say," returned the Captain, "that they
don't distinguish the old from the young there as well as here?"


"They don't make no distinguishments at all," said she; "they're
vastly too polite."


"More fools they!" cried the Captain, sneeringly.


"Would to Heaven," cried, Sir Clement, "that, for our own sakes,
we Englishmen too were blest with so accommodating a blindness!"


"Why the devil do you make such a prayer as that?" demanded the
Captain: "them are the first foolish words I've heard you speak;
but I suppose you're not much used to that sort of work. Did you ever
make a prayer before, since you were a sniveler?"


"Ay, now," cried Madame Duval, "that's another of the unpolitenesses
of you English, to go to talking of such things as that: now in Paris
nobody never says nothing about religion, no more than about politics."


"Why then," answered he, "it's a sign they take no more care of
their souls than of their country, and so both one and t'other go to
old Nick."


"Well, if they do," said she, "who's the worse, so long as they don't
say nothing about it? It's the tiresomest thing in the world to be
always talking of them sort of things, and nobody that's ever been
abroad troubles their heads about them."


"Pray then," cried the Captain, "since you know so much of the matter,
be so good as to tell us what they do trouble their heads about?-Hey,
Sir Clement!  han't we a right to know that much?"


"A very comprehensive question," said Sir Clement, "and I expect much
instruction from the lady's answer."


"Come, Madam," continued the Captain, "never flinch; speak at once;
don't stop for thinking."


"I assure you I am not going," answered she; "for as to what they
do do, why they've enough to do, I promise you, what with one thing
or another."


"But what, what do they do, these famous Monseers?" demanded the
Captain; "can't you tell us? do they game?-or drink?-or fiddle?-or are
they jockeys?-or do they spend all their time in flummering old women?"


"As to that, Sir-but indeed I shan't trouble myself to answer such a
parcel of low questions, so don't ask me no more about it." And then,
to my great vexation, turning to Lord Orville, she said, "Pray, Sir,
was you ever in Paris?"


He only bowed.


"And pray, Sir, how did you like it?"


This comprehensive question, as Sir Clement would have called it,
though it made him smile, also made him hesitate; however, his answer
was expressive of his approbation.


"I thought you would like it, Sir, because you look so like a
gentleman. As to the Captain, and as to that other gentleman, why
they may very well not like what they don't know: for I suppose, Sir,
you was never abroad?"


"Only three years, Ma'am," answered Sir Clement, drily.


"Well, that's very surprising! I should never have thought it: however,
I dare say you only kept company with the English."


"Why, pray, who should he keep company with?" cried the Captain:
"what I suppose you'd have him ashamed of his own nation, like some
other people not a thousand miles off, on purpose to make his own
nation ashamed of him?"


"I'm sure it would be a very good thing if you'd go abroad yourself."


"How will you make out that, hey, Madam? come, please to tell me,
where would be the good of that?"


"Where! why a great deal. They'd make quite another person of you."


"What, I suppose you'd have me to learn to cut capers?-and dress like
a monkey?-and palaver in French gibberish?-hey, would you?-And powder,
and daub, and make myself up, like some other folks?"


"I would have you learn to be more politer, Sir, and not to talk to
ladies in such a rude, old-fashion way as this. You, Sir, as have been
in Paris," again addressing herself to Lord Orville, "can tell this
English gentleman how he'd be despised, if he was to talk in such an
ungenteel manner as this before any foreigners. Why, there isn't a
hairdresser, nor a shoemaker, nor nobody, that wouldn't blush to be
in your company."


"Why, look ye, Madam," answered the Captain, "as to your hair-pinchers
and shoe-blacks, you may puff off their manners, and welcome; and I
am heartily glad you like 'em so well: but as to me, since you must
needs make so free of your advice, I must e'en tell you, I never kept
company with any such gentry."


"Come, ladies and gentlemen," said Mrs. Mirvan, "as many of you as have
done tea, I invite to walk with me." Maria and I started up instantly;
Lord Orville followed; and I question whether we were not half round
the room ere the angry disputants knew that we had left the box.


As the husband of Mrs. Mirvan had borne so large a share in
the disagreeable altercation, Lord Orville forbore to make any
comments upon it; so that the subject was immediately dropt, and the
conversation became calmly sociable, and politely cheerful, and, to
every body but me, must have been highly agreeable:-but, as to myself,
I was so eagerly desirous of making some apology to Lord Orville,
for the impertinence of which he must have thought me guilty at the
ridotto, and yet so utterly unable to assume sufficient courage to
speak to him, concerning an affair in which I had so terribly exposed
myself, that I hardly ventured to say a word all the time we were
walking. Besides, the knowledge of his contemptuous opinion haunted and
dispirited me, and made me fear he might possibly misconstrue whatever
I should say. So that, far from enjoying a conversation which might, at
any other time, have delighted me, I continued silent, uncomfortable,
and ashamed. O, Sir, shall I ever again involve myself in so foolish
an embarrassment? I am sure that, if I do, I shall deserve greater
mortification.


We were not joined by the rest of the party till we had taken three
or four turns around the room; and then they were so quarrelsome,
that Mrs. Mirvan complained of being fatigued and proposed going
home. No one dissented. Lord Orville joined another party, having first
made an offer of his services, which the gentlemen declined, and we
proceeded to an outward room, where we waited for the carriages. It
was settled that we should return to town in the same manner we came
to Ranelagh; and, accordingly, Monsieur Du Bois handed Madame Duval
into a hackney coach, and was just preparing to follow her, when she
screamed, and jumped hastily out, declaring she was wet through all
her clothes. Indeed, upon examination the coach was found to be in a
dismal condition; for the weather proved very bad, and the rain had,
though I know not how, made its way into the carriage.


Mrs. and Miss Mirvan, and myself, were already disposed of as before;
but no sooner did the Captain hear this account, than, without any
ceremony, he was so civil as to immediately take possession of the
vacant seat in his own coach, leaving Madame Duval and Monsieur
Du Bois to take care of themselves.  As to Sir Clement Willoughby,
his own chariot was in waiting.


I instantly begged permission to offer Madame Duval my own place, and
made a motion to get out; but Mrs. Mirvan stopped me, saying, that
I should then be obliged to return to town with only the foreigner,
or Sir Clement.


"O never mind the old beldame," cried the Captain, "she's
weather-proof, I'll answer for her; and besides, as we are all, I hope,
English, why she'll meet with no worse than she expects from us."


"I do not mean to defend her," said Mrs. Mirvan; "but indeed, as she
belongs to our party, we cannot, with any decency, leave the place
till she is, by some means, accommodated."


"Lord, my dear," cried the Captain, whom the distress of Madame Duval
had put into very good humour, "why, she'll break her heart if she
meets with any civility from a filthy Englishman."


Mrs. Mirvan, however, prevailed; and we all got out of the coach, to
wait till Madame Duval could meet with some better carriage. We found
her, attended by Monsieur Du Bois, standing amongst the servants, and
very busy in wiping her negligee, and endeavouring to save it from
being stained by the wet, as she said it was a new Lyons silk. Sir
Clement Willoughby offered her the use of his chariot, but she had been
too much piqued by his raillery to accept it.  We waited some time,
but in vain; for no hackney-coach could be procured. The Captain,
at last, was persuaded to accompany Sir Clement himself, and we four
females were handed into Mrs. Mirvan's carriage, though not before
Madame Duval had insisted upon our making room for Monsieur Du Bois,
to which the Captain only consented in preference to being incommoded
by him in Sir Clement's chariot.


Our party drove off first. We were silent and unsociable; for the
difficulties attending this arrangement had made every one languid
and fatigued.  Unsociable, I must own, we continued; but very short
was the duration of our silence, as we had not proceeded thirty yards
before every voice was heard at once-for the coach broke down! I
suppose we concluded, of course, that we were all half killed, by
the violent shrieks that seemed to come from every mouth. The chariot
was stopped, the servants came to our assistance, and we were taken
out of the carriage, without having been at all hurt. The night was
dark and wet; but I had scarce touched the ground when I was lifted
suddenly from it by Sir Clement Willoughby, who begged permission to
assist me, though he did not wait to have it granted, but carried me
in his arms back to Ranelagh.


He enquired very earnestly if I was not hurt by the accident? I assured
him I was perfectly safe, and free from injury; and desired he would
leave me, and return to the rest of the party, for I was very uneasy
to know whether they had been equally fortunate. He told me he was
happy in being honoured with my commands, and would joyfully execute
them; but insisted upon first conducting me to a warm room, as I had
not wholly escaped being wet. He did not regard my objections; but
made me follow him to an apartment, where we found an excellent fire,
and some company waiting for carriages. I readily accepted a seat,
and then begged he would go.


And go, indeed, he did; but he returned in a moment, telling me
that the rain was more violent than ever, and that he had sent his
servants to offer their assistance, and acquaint the Mirvans of my
situation. I was very mad that he would not go himself; but as my
acquaintance with him was so very slight, I did not think proper to
urge him contrary to his inclination.


Well, he drew a chair close to mine; and, after again enquiring how
I did, said, in a low voice, "You will pardon me, Miss Anville, if
the eagerness I feel to vindicate myself, induces me to snatch this
opportunity of making sincere acknowledgments for the impertinence
with which I tormented you at the last ridotto. I can assure you,
Madam, I have been a true and sorrowful penitent ever since; but-shall
I tell you honestly what encouraged me to-"


He stopt, but I said nothing; for I thought instantly of the
conversation Miss Mirvan had overheard, and supposed he was going to
tell me himself what part Lord Orville had borne in it; and really
I did not wish to hear it repeated.  Indeed, the rest of his speech
convinces me that such was his intention; with what view I know not,
except to make a merit of his defending me.


"And yet," he continued, "my excuse may only expose my own credulity,
and want of judgment and penetration. I will, therefore, merely
beseech your pardon, and hope that some future time-"


Just then the door was opened by Sir Clement's servant, and I had the
pleasure of seeing the Captain, Mrs. and Miss Mirvan, enter the room.


"O ho!" cried the former, "you have got a good warm berth here; but
we shall beat up your quarters. Here, Lucy, Moll, come to the fire,
and dry your trumpery. But, hey-day-why, where's old Madame French?"


"Good God," cried I, "is not Madame Duval then with you?"


"With me! No,-thank God."


I was very uneasy to know what might have become of her; and, if they
would have suffered me, I should have gone in search of her myself;
but all the servants were dispatched to find her; and the Captain said,
we might be very sure her French beau would take care of her.


We waited some time without any tidings, and were soon the only party
in the room. My uneasiness increased so much that Sir Clement now
made a voluntary offer of seeking her. However, the same moment that
he opened the door with this design, she presented herself at it,
attended by Monsieur Du Bois.


"I was this instant, Madam," said he, "coming to see for you."


"You are mighty good, truly," cried she, "to come when all the
mischief's over."


She then entered,-in such a condition!-entirely covered with mud,
and in so great a rage, it was with difficulty she could speak. We all
expressed our concern, and offered our assistance-except the Captain,
who no sooner beheld her than he burst out into a loud laugh.


We endeavoured, by our enquiries and condolements, to prevent her
attending to him; and she was for some time so wholly engrossed by her
anger and her distress, that we succeeded without much trouble. We
begged her to inform us how this accident happened. "How!" repeated
she,-"why it was all along of your all going away,-and there poor
Monsieur Du Bois-but it wasn't his fault,-for he's as bad off as me."


All eyes were then turned to Monsieur Du Bois, whose clothes were in
the same miserable plight with those of Madame Duval; and who, wet,
shivering, and disconsolate, had crept to the fire.


The Captain laughed yet more heartily; while Mrs. Mirvan, ashamed of
his rudeness, repeated her inquiries to Madame Duval; who answered,
"Why, as we were a-coming along, all in the rain, Monsieur Du Bois
was so obliging, though I'm sure it was an unlucky obligingness
for me, as to lift me up in his arms to carry me over a place that
was ankle-deep in mud; but instead of my being ever the better for
it, just as we were in the worst part,-I'm sure I wish we had been
fifty miles off,-for somehow or other his foot slipt,-at least, I
suppose so,-though I can't think how it happened, for I'm so such
great weight;-but, however that was, down we both came, together,
all in the mud; and the more we tried to get up, the more deeper we
got covered with the nastiness-and my new Lyons negligee, too, quite
spoilt!-however, it's well we got up at all, for we might have laid
there till now, for aught you all cared; nobody never came near us."


This recital put the Captain into an ecstasy; he went from the lady to
the gentleman, and from the gentleman to the lady, to enjoy alternately
the sight of their distress. He really shouted with pleasure; and,
shaking Monsieur Du Bois strenuously by the hand, wished him joy of
having touched English ground; and then he held a candle to Madame
Duval, that he might have a more complete view of her disaster,
declaring repeatedly, that he had never been better pleased in
his life.


The rage of poor Madame Duval was unspeakable; she dashed the candle
out of his hand, stamping upon the floor, and, at last, spat in
his face.


This action seemed immediately to calm them both, as the joy of the
Captain was converted into resentment, and the wrath of Madame Duval
into fear: for he put his hands upon her shoulders, and gave her
so violent a shake, that she screamed out for help; assuring her,
at the same time, that if she had been one ounce less old, or less
ugly, she should have had it all returned in her own face.


Monsieur Du Bois, who had seated himself very quietly at the fire,
approached them, and expostulated very warmly with the Captain;
but he was neither understood nor regarded; and Madame Duval was not
released till she quite sobbed with passion.


When they were parted, I intreated her to permit the woman who has
charge of the ladies' cloaks to assist in drying her clothes; she
consented, and we did what was possible to save her from catching
cold. We were obliged to wait in this disagreeable situation near an
hour before a hackney-coach could be found; and then we were disposed
in the same manner as before our accident.


I am going this morning to see poor Madame Duval, and to inquire after
her health, which I think must have suffered by her last night's
misfortunes; though, indeed, she seems to be naturally strong and
hearty.


Adieu, my dear Sir, till to-morrow.


LETTER XVII

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION Friday Morning, April 15.


SIR CLEMENT WILLOUGHBY called here yesterday at noon, and Captain
Mirvan invited him to dinner. For my part I spent the day in a manner
the most uncomfortable imaginable.


I found Madame Duval at breakfast in bed, though Monsieur Du Bois was
in the chamber; which so much astonished me, that I was, involuntarily,
retiring, without considering how odd an appearance my retreat would
have, when Madame Duval called me back, and laughed very heartily at
my ignorance of foreign customs.


The conversation, however, very soon took a more serious turn; for
she began, with great bitterness, to inveigh against the barbarous
brutality of that fellow the Captain, and the horrible ill-breeding
of the English in general, declaring, she should make her escape
with all expedition from so beastly a nation. But nothing can be more
strangely absurd, than to hear politeness recommended in language so
repugnant to it as that of Madame Duval.


She lamented, very mournfully, the fate of her Lyons silk; and
protested she had rather have parted with all the rest of her wardrobe,
because it was the first gown she had bought to wear upon leaving off
her weeds. She has a very bad cold, and Monsieur Du Bois is so hoarse,
he can hardly speak.


She insisted upon my staying with her all day; as she intended, she
said, to introduce me to some of my own relations. I would very fain
have excused myself, but she did not allow me any choice.


Till the arrival of these relations, one continued series of questions
on her side, and of answers on mine, filled up all the time we
passed together. Her curiosity was insatiable; she inquired into
every action of my life, and every particular that had fallen under
my observation in the lives of all I knew. Again, she was so cruel
as to avow the most inveterate rancour against the sole benefactor
her deserted child and grand-child have met with; and such was the
indignation her ingratitude raised, that I would actually have quitted
her presence and house, had she not, in a manner the most peremptory,
absolutely forbid me. But what, good Heaven! can induce her to such
shocking injustice? O, my friend and father! I have no command of
myself when this subject is started.


She talked very much of taking me to Paris, and said I greatly
wanted the polish of a French education. She lamented that I had
been brought up in the country, which, she observed, had given me
a very bumpkinish air. However, she bid me not despair, for she had
known many girls much worse than me, who had become very fine ladies
after a few years residence abroad; and she particularly instanced
a Miss Polly Moore, daughter of a chandler's-shop woman, who, by an
accident not worth relating, happened to be sent to Paris, where,
from an awkward ill-bred girl, she so much improved, that she has
since been taken for a woman of quality.


The relations to whom she was pleased to introduce me, consisted
of a Mr.  Branghton, who is her nephew, and three of his children,
the eldest of which is a son, and the two younger are daughters.


Mr. Branghton appears about forty years of age. He does not seem
to want a common understanding, though he is very contracted and
prejudiced: he has spent his whole time in the city, and I believe
feels a great contempt for all who reside elsewhere.


His son seems weaker in his understanding, and more gay in his
temper; but his gaiety is that of a foolish, overgrown school-boy,
whose mirth consists in noise and disturbance. He disdains his father
for his close attention to business, and love of money; though he
seems himself to have no talents, spirit, or generosity, to make him
superior to either. His chief delight appears to be tormenting and
ridiculing his sisters; who, in return, most heartily despise him.


Miss Branghton, the eldest daughter, is by no means ugly; but looks
proud, ill-tempered, and conceited. She hates the city, though without
knowing why; for it is easy to discover she has lived no where else.


Miss Polly Branghton is rather pretty, very foolish, very ignorant,
very giddy, and, I believe, very good-natured.


The first half-hour was allotted to making themselves comfortable;
for they complained of having had a very dirty walk, as they came on
foot from Snow Hill, where Mr. Branghton keeps a silversmith's shop;
and the young ladies had not only their coats to brush, and shoes to
dry, but to adjust their head-dress, which their bonnets had totally
discomposed.


The manner in which Madame Duval was pleased to introduce me to this
family extremely shocked me. "Here, my dears," said she, "here's a
relation you little thought of; but you must know, my poor daughter
Caroline had this child after she run away from me,-though I never
knew nothing of it, not I, for a long while after; for they took care
to keep it a secret from me, though the poor child has never a friend
in the world besides."


"Miss seems very tender-hearted, aunt," said Miss Polly; "and to be
sure she's not to blame for her mama's undutifulness, for she couldn't
help it."


"Lord, no," answered she, "and I never took no notice of it to her:
for, indeed, as to that, my own poor daughter wasn't so much to blame
as you may think; for she'd never have gone astray, if it had not
been for that meddling old parson I told you of."


"If aunt pleases," said young Mr. Branghton, "we'll talk o' somewhat
else, for Miss looks very uneasy-like."


The next subject that was chosen was the age of the three young
Branghtons and myself. The son is twenty; the daughters upon hearing
that I was seventeen, said that was just the age of Miss Polly; but
their brother, after a long dispute, proved that she was two years
older, to the great anger of both sisters, who agreed that he was
very ill-natured and spiteful.


When this point was settled, the question was put, Which was
tallest?-We were desired to measure, as the Branghtons were all of
different opinions. None of them, however, disputed my being the
tallest in the company; but, in regard to one another, they were
extremely quarrelsome: the brother insisted upon their measuring fair,
and not with heads and heels; but they would by no means consent to
lose those privileges of our sex; and therefore the young man was cast,
as shortest; though he appealed to all present upon the injustice of
the decree.


This ceremony over, the young ladies begun, very freely, to examine
my dress, and to interrogate me concerning it. "This apron's
your own work, I suppose, Miss? but these sprigs a'n't in fashion
now. Pray, if it is not impertinent, what might you give a yard for
this lutestring?-Do you make your own caps, Miss?" and many other
questions equally interesting and well-bred.


Then they asked me how I liked London? and whether I should not think
the country a very dull place, when I returned thither? "Miss must
try if she can't get a good husband," said Mr. Branghton, "and then
she may stay and live here."


The next topic was public places, or rather the theatres, for they
knew of no other; and the merits and defects of all the actors and
actresses were discussed: the young man here took the lead, and seemed
to be very conversant on the subject. But during this time, what was
my concern, and, suffer me to add, my indignation, when I found, by
some words I occasionally heard, that Madame Duval was entertaining
Mr. Branghton with all the most secret and cruel particulars of my
situation! The eldest daughter was soon drawn to them by the recital;
the youngest and the son still kept their places; intending, I believe,
to divert me, though the conversation was all their own.


In a few minutes, Miss Branghton coming suddenly up to her sister,
exclaimed, "Lord, Polly, only think! Miss never saw her papa!"


"Lord, how odd!" cried the other; "why, then, Miss, I suppose you
wouldn't know him?"


This was quite too much for me; I rose hastily, and ran out of
the room: but I soon regretted I had so little command of myself;
for the two sisters both followed, and insisted upon comforting me,
notwithstanding my earnest intreaties to be left alone.


As soon as I returned to the company, Madame Duval said, "Why, my dear,
what was the matter with you? why did you run away so?"


This question almost made me run again, for I knew not how to
answer it. But, is it not very extraordinary, that she can put me
in situations so shocking, and then wonder to find me sensible of
any concern?


Mr. Branghton junior now inquired of me, whether I had seen the Tower,
or St.  Paul's church? and upon my answering in the negative, they
proposed making a party to shew them to me. Among other questions,
they also asked, if I had ever seen such a thing as an opera?  I told
them I had. "Well," said Mr.  Branghton, "I never saw one in my life,
so long as I've lived in London; and I never desire to see one,
if I live here as much longer."


"Lord, papa," cried Miss Polly, "why not? you might as well for once,
for the curiosity of the thing: besides, Miss Pomfret saw one, and
she says it was very pretty."


"Miss will think us very vulgar," said Miss Branghton, "to live in
London, and never have been to an opera; but it's no fault of mine,
I assure you, Miss, only papa don't like to go."


The result was, that a party was proposed, and agreed to, for some
early opportunity. I did not dare contradict them; but I said
that my time, while I remained in town, was at the disposal of
Mrs. Mirvan. However, I am sure I will not attend them, if I can
possibly avoid doing so.


When we parted, Madame Duval desired to see me the next day; and the
Branghtons told me, that the first time I went towards Snow Hill,
they should be very glad if I would call upon them.


I wish we may not meet again till that time arrives.


I am sure I shall not be very ambitious of being known to any more of
my relations, if they have any resemblance to those whose acquaintance
I have been introduced to already.


LETTER XVIII

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION


I HAD just finished my letter to you this morning, when a violent
rapping at the door made me run down stairs; and who should I see in
the drawing room, but-Lord Orville!


He was quite alone, for the family had not assembled to breakfast. He
inquired first of mine, then of the health of Mrs. and Miss Mirvan,
with a degree of concern that rather surprised me, till he said he had
just been informed of the accident we had met with at Ranelagh. He
expressed his sorrow upon the occasion with utmost politeness, and
lamented that he had not been so fortunate as to hear of it in time to
offer his services. "But I think," he added, "Sir Clement Willoughby
had the honour of assisting you?"


"He was with Captain Mirvan, my Lord."


"I had heard of his being of your party."


I hope that flighty man has not been telling Lord Orville he only
assisted me!  however, he did not pursue the subject: but said, "This
accident though extremely unfortunate, will not, I hope, be the means
of frightening you from gracing Ranelagh with your presence in future?"


"Our time, my Lord, for London, is almost expired already."


"Indeed! do you leave town so very soon?"


"O yes, my Lord, our stay has already exceeded our intentions."


"Are you, then, so particularly partial to the country?"


"We merely came to town, my Lord, to meet Captain Mirvan."


"And does Miss Anville feel no concern at the idea of the many mourners
her absence will occasion?"


"O, my Lord,-I'm sure you don't think-" I stopt there; for, indeed,
I hardly knew what I was going to say. My foolish embarrassment, I
suppose, was the cause of what followed; for he came to me, and took
my hand saying, "I do think, that whoever has once seen Miss Anville,
must receive an impression never to be forgotten."


This compliment,-from Lord Orville,-so surprised me, that I could
not speak; but felt myself change colour, and stood for some moments
silent, and looking down: however, the instant I recollected my
situation, I withdrew my hand, and told him that I would see if
Mrs. Mirvan was not dressed. He did not oppose me-so away I went.


I met them all on the stairs, and returned with them to breakfast.


I have since been extremely angry with myself for neglecting so
excellent an opportunity of apologizing for my behaviour at the
ridotto: but, to own the truth, that affair never once occurred to me
during the short tete-e-tete which we had together. But, if ever
we should happen to be so situated again, I will certainly mention it;
for I am inexpressibly concerned at the thought of his harbouring an
opinion that I am bold or impertinent, and I could almost kill myself
for having given him the shadow of a reason for so shocking an idea.


But was not it very odd that he should make me such a compliment? I
expected it not from him;-but gallantry, I believe, is common to all
men, whatever other qualities they may have in particular.


Our breakfast was the most agreeable meal, if it may be called a meal,
that we have had since we came to town. Indeed, but for Madame Duval,
I should like London extremely.


The conversation of Lord Orville is really delightful. His manners are
so elegant, so gentle, so unassuming, that they at once engage esteem,
and diffuse complacence. Far from being indolently satisfied with his
own accomplishments, as I have already observed many men here are,
though without any pretensions to his merit, he is most assiduously
attentive to please and to serve all who are in his company, and,
though his success is invariable, he never manifests the smallest
degree of consciousness.


I could wish that you, my dearest Sir, knew Lord Orville, because I
am sure you would love him; and I have felt that wish for no other
person I have seen since I came to London. I sometimes imagine, that
when his youth is flown, his vivacity abated, and his life is devoted
to retirement, he will, perhaps, resemble him whom I most love and
honour. His present sweetness, politeness, and diffidence, seem to
promise in future the same benevolence, dignity, and goodness. But
I must not expatiate upon this subject.


When Lord Orville was gone,-and he made but a very short visit,-I
was preparing, most reluctantly, to wait upon Madame Duval; but
Mrs. Mirvan proposed to the Captain, that she should be invited to
dinner in Queen Ann Street; and he readily consented, for he said he
wished to ask after her Lyons negligee.


The invitation is accepted, and we expect her every moment. But to me,
it is very strange, that a woman who is the uncontrolled mistress
of her time, fortune, and actions, should choose to expose herself
voluntarily to the rudeness of a man who is openly determined to
make her his sport. But she has very few acquaintance; and, I fancy,
scarce knows how to employ herself.


How great is my obligation to Mrs. Mirvan, for bestowing her
time in a manner so disagreeable to herself, merely to promote my
happiness! Every dispute in which her undeserving husband engages, is
productive of pain and uneasiness to herself; of this I am so sensible,
that I even besought her not to send to Madame Duval; but she declared
she could not bear to have me pass all my time, while in town, with her
only. Indeed she could not be more kind to me, were she your daughter.


LETTER XIX

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION Saturday Morning, April 16.


MADAM DUVAL was accompanied by Monsieur Du Bois. I am surprised that
she should choose to introduce him where he is so unwelcome: and,
indeed, it is strange that they should be so constantly together,
though I believe I should have taken notice of it, but that Captain
Mirvan is perpetually rallying me upon my grandmama's beau.


They were both received by Mrs. Mirvan with her usual good-breeding;
but the Captain, most provokingly, attacked her immediately, saying,
"Now, Madame, you that have lived abroad, please to tell me this here:
Which did you like best, the warm room at Ranelagh, or the cold bath
you went into afterwards?  though I assure you, you look so well,
that I should advise you to take another dip."


"Ma foi, Sir," cried she, "nobody asked for your advice, so you may
as well keep it to yourself: besides, it's no such great joke to be
splashed, and to catch cold, and spoil all one's things, whatever
you may think of it."


"Splashed, quoth-a!-why I thought you were soused all over.-Come,
come, don't mince the matter, never spoil a good story; you know you
hadn't a dry thread about you-'Fore George, I shall never think on't
without hollooing! such a poor forlorn draggle-tailed-gentlewoman! and
poor Monseer French, here, like a drowned rat, by your side!-"


"Well, the worse pickle we was in, so much the worser in you not to
help us; for you knowed where we were fast enough, because, while I
laid in the mud, I'm pretty sure I heard you snigger: so it's like
enough you jostled us down yourself; for Monsieur Du Bois says, that
he is sure he had a great jolt given him, or he shouldn't have fell."


The Captain laughed so immoderately, that he really gave me also a
suspicion that he was not entirely innocent of the charge: however,
he disclaimed it very peremptorily.


"Why then," continued she, "if you didn't do that, why didn't you
come to help us?"


"Who, I?-what, do you suppose I had forgot I was an Englishman,
a filthy, beastly Englishman?"


"Very well, Sir, very well; but I was a fool to expect any better,
for it's all of a piece with the rest; you know, you wanted to fling
me out of the coach-window, the very first time ever I see you:
but I'll never go to Ranelagh with you no more, that I'm resolved;
for I dare say, if the horses had runn'd over me, as I laid in that
nastiness, you'd never have stirred a step to save me."


"Lord, no, to be sure, Ma'am, not for the world! I know your opinion
of our nation too well, to affront you by supposing a Frenchman would
want my assistance to protect you. Did you think that Monseer here,
and I had changed characters, and that he should pop you into the mud,
and I help you out of it? Ha, ha, ha!"


"O very well, Sir, laugh on, it's like your manners; however, if
poor Monsieur Du Bois hadn't met with that unlucky accident himself
I shouldn't have wanted nobody's help."


"O, I promise you, Madame, you'd never have had mine; I knew my
distance better: and as to your being a little ducked, or so, why,
to be sure, Monseer and you settled that between yourselves; so it
was no business of mine."


"What, then, I suppose you want to make me believe as Monsieur Du
Bois served me that trick o'purpose?"


"O' purpose! ay, certainly; whoever doubted that? Do you think a
Frenchman ever made a blunder? If he had been some clumsy-footed
English fellow, indeed, it might have been accidental: but what
the devil signifies all your hopping and capering with your
dancing-masters, if you can't balance yourselves upright?"


In the midst of this dialogue, Sir Clement Willoughby made his
appearance. He affects to enter the house with the freedom of an old
acquaintance; and this very easiness, which, to me, is astonishing,
is what most particularly recommends him to the Captain. Indeed,
he seems very successfully to study all the humours of that gentleman.


After having heartily welcomed him, "You are just come in time, my
boy," said he, "to settle a little matter of a dispute between this
here gentlewoman and I; do you know she has been trying to persuade
me, that she did not above half like the ducking Monseer gave her
t'other night."


"I should have hoped," said Sir Clement, with the utmost gravity, "that
the friendship subsisting between that lady and gentleman would have
guarded them against any actions professed disagreeable to each other:
but, probably, they might not have discussed the matter previously;
in which case the gentleman, I must own, seems to have been guilty of
inattention, since, in my humble opinion, it was his business first
to have inquired whether the lady preferred soft or hard ground,
before he dropt her."


"O very fine, gentlemen, very fine," cried Madame Duval, "you may try
to set us together by the ears as much as you will; but I'm not such
an ignorant person as to be made a fool of so easily; so you needn't
talk no more about it, for I sees into your designs."


Monsieur Du Bois, who was just able to discover the subject upon
which the conversation turned, made his defence, in French, with
great solemnity: he hoped, he said, that the company would at least
acknowledge he did not come from a nation of brutes; and consequently,
that to wilfully offend any lady, was, to him, utterly impossible;
but that, on the contrary, in endeavouring, as was his duty, to save
and guard her, he had himself suffered, in a manner which he would
forbear to relate, but which, he greatly apprehended, he should feel
the ill effects of for many months: and then, with a countenance
exceedingly lengthened, he added, that he hoped it would not be
attributed to him as national prejudice, when he owned that he must,
to the best of his memory, aver, that his unfortunate fall was owing
to a sudden but violent push, which, he was shocked to say, some
malevolent person, with a design to his injury, must certainly have
given him; but whether with a view to mortify him, by making him let
the lady fall, or whether merely to spoil his clothes, he could not
pretend to determine.


This disputation was, at last, concluded by Mrs. Mirvan's proposing
that we should all go to Cox's Museum. Nobody objected, and carriages
were immediately ordered.


In our way down stairs, Madame Duval, in a very passionate manner,
said, "Ma foi, if I wouldn't give fifty guineas only to know who gave
us that shove!"


This Museum is very astonishing, and very superb; yet if afforded me
but little pleasure, for it is a mere show, though a wonderful one.

Sir Clement Willoughby, in our walk round the room, asked me what my
opinion was of this brilliant spectacle!

"It is a very fine, and very ingenious," answered I; "and yet-I don't
know how it is-but I seem to miss something."

"Excellently answered!" cried he; "you have exactly defined my own
feelings, though in a manner I should never have arrived at. But
I was certain your taste was too well formed, to be pleased at the
expense of your understanding."

"Pardi," cried Madame Duval, "I hope you two is difficult enough! I'm
sure if you don't like this you like nothing; for it's the grandest,
prettiest, finest sight that ever I see in England."

"What," cried the Captain with a sneer, "I suppose this may be in
your French taste? it's like enough, for it's all kickshaw work. But
pr'ythee, friend," turning to the person who explained the devices,
"will you tell me the use of all this? for I'm not enough of a conjuror
to find it out."

"Use, indeed!" repeated Madame Duval, disdainfully; "Lord if every
thing's to be useful!-"

"Why, Sir, as to that, Sir," said our conductor, "the ingenuity of
the mechanism-the beauty of the workmanship-the-undoubtedly, Sir, any
person of taste may easily discern the utility of such extraordinary
performances."

"Why then, Sir," answered the Captain, "your person of taste must
be either a coxcomb, or a Frenchman; though, for the matter of that,
'tis the same thing."

Just then our attention was attracted by a pine-apple; which, suddenly
opening, discovered a nest of birds, which immediately began to
sing. "Well," cried Madame Duval, "this is prettier than all the rest!
I declare, in all my travels, I never see nothing eleganter."

"Hark ye, friend," said the Captain, "hast never another pine-apple?"

"Sir?-"

"Because, if thou hast, pr'ythee give it us without the birds;
for, d'ye see, I'm no Frenchman, and should relish something more
substantial."

This entertainment concluded with a concert of mechanical music: I
cannot explain how it was produced, but the effect was pleasing. Madame
Duval was in ecstasies; and the Captain flung himself into so many
ridiculous distortions, by way of mimicking her, that he engaged the
attention of all the company; and, in the midst of the performance of
the Coronation Anthem, while Madame Duval was affecting to beat time,
and uttering many expressions of delight, he called suddenly for salts,
which a lady, apprehending some distress, politely handed to him,
and which, instantly applying to the nostrils of poor Madame Duval,
she involuntarily snuffed up such a quantity, that the pain and
surprise made her scream aloud. When she recovered, she reproached
him with her usual vehemence; but he protested he had taken that
measure out of pure friendship, as he concluded, from her raptures,
that she was going into hysterics. This excuse by no means appeased
her, and they had a violent quarrel; but the only effect her anger
had on the Captain, was to increase his diversion. Indeed, he laughs
and talks so terribly loud in public, that he frequently makes us
ashamed of belonging to him.

Madame Duval, notwithstanding her wrath, made no scruple of returning
to dine in Queen Ann Street. Mrs. Mirvan had secured places for the
play at Drury-Lane Theatre, and, though ever uneasy in her company, she
very politely invited Madame Duval to be of our party; however, she had
a bad cold and chose to nurse it. I was sorry for her indisposition;
but I knew not how to be sorry she did not accompany us, for she is-I
must not say what, but very unlike other people.


LETTER XX

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION


OUR places were in the front row of a side-box. Sir Clement Willoughby,
who knew our intention, was at the door of the theatre, and handed
us from the carriage.

We had not been seated five minutes before Lord Orville, whom we saw in
the stage-box, came to us; and he honoured us with his company all the
evening; Miss Mirvan and I both rejoiced that Madam Duval was absent,
as we hoped for the enjoyment of some conversation, uninterrupted
by her quarrels with the Captain: but I soon found that her presence
would have made very little alteration; for as far was I from daring
to speak, that I knew not where even to look.

The play was Love for Love; and though it is fraught with wit and
entertainment I hope I shall never see it represented again; for it
is so extremely indelicate-to use the softest word I can-that Miss
Mirvan and I were perpetually out of countenance, and could neither
make any observations ourselves, nor venture to listen to those of
others. This was the most provoking, as Lord Orville was in excellent
spirits, and exceedingly entertaining.

When the play was over, I flattered myself I should be able to look
about me with less restraint, as we intended to stay the farce; but
the curtain had hardly dropped, when the box-door opened, and in came
Mr. Lovel, the man by whose foppery and impertinence I was so much
teased at the ball where I first saw Lord Orville.

I turned away my head, and began talking to Miss Mirvan; for I was
desirous to avoid speaking to him-but in vain; for, as soon as he had
made his compliments to Lord Orville and Sir Clement Willoughby, who
returned them very coldly, he bent his head forward and said to me,
"I hope, Ma'am, you have enjoyed your health since I had the honour-I
beg ten thousand pardons, but, I protest I was going to say the honour
of dancing with you-however, I mean the honour of seeing you dance?"

He spoke with a self-complacency that convinced me that he had studied
this address, by way of making reprisals for my conduct at the ball;
I therefore bowed slightly, but made no answer.

After a short silence he again called my attention, by saying, in an
easy, negligent way, "I think, Ma'am, you was never in town before?"

"No, Sir."

"So I did presume. Doubtless, Ma'am, every thing must be infinitely
novel to you. Our customs, our manners, and les etiquettes de nous
autres, can have little very resemblance to those you have been used
to. I imagine, Ma'am, your retirement is at no very small distance
from the capital?"

I was so much disconcerted at this sneering speech, that I said not
a word; though I have since thought my vexation both stimulated and
delighted him.

"The air we breathe here, however, Ma'am," continued he, very
conceitedly, "though foreign to that you have been accustomed to,
has not I hope been at variance with your health?"

"Mr. Lovel," said Lord Orville, "could not your eye have spared
that question?"

"O, my Lord," answered he, "if health were the only cause of a lady's
bloom, my eye, I grant, had been infallible from the first glance;
but-"

"Come, come," cried Mrs. Mirvan, "I must beg no insinuations of that
sort: Miss Anville's colour, as you have successfully tried, may,
you see, be heightened; but, I assure you, it would be past your
skill to lessen it."

"'Pon honour, Madam," returned he, "you wrong me; I presumed not to
infer that rouge was the only succedaneum for health; but, really,
I have known so many different causes for a lady's colour, such as
flushing-anger-mauvaise honte-and so forth, that I never dare decide
to which it may be owing."

"As to such causes as them there," cried the Captain, "they must
belong to those that they keep company with."

"Very true, Captain," said Sir Clement; "the natural complexion has
nothing to do with the occasional sallies of the passions, or any
accidental causes."

"No, truly," returned the Captain: "for now here's me, why I look like
any other man; just now; and yet, if you were to put me in a passion,
'fore George, you'd soon see me have as fine a high colour as any
painted Jezebel in all this place, be she never so bedaubed."

"But," said Lord Orville, "the difference of natural and of artificial
colour seems to me very easily discerned; that of nature is mottled
and varying; that of art set, and too smooth; it wants that animation,
that glow, that indescribable something, which, even now that I see
it, wholly surpasses all my powers of expression."

"Your Lordship," said Sir Clement, "is universally acknowledged to
be a connoisseur in beauty."

"And you, Sir Clement," returned he, "an enthusiast."

"I am proud to own it," cried Sir Clement; "in such a cause, and before
such objects, enthusiasm is simply the consequence of not being blind."

"Pr'ythee, a truce with all this palavering," cried the Captain:
"the women are vain enough already; no need for to puff 'em up more."

"We must all submit to the commanding officer," said Sir Clement:
"therefore, let us call another subject. Pray, ladies, how have you
been entertained with the play?"

"Want of entertainment," said Mrs. Mirvan, "is its least fault; but I
own there are objections to it, which I should be glad to see removed."

"I could have ventured to answer for the ladies," said Lord Orville,
"since I am sure this is not a play that can be honoured with their
approbation."

"What, I suppose it is not sentimental enough!" cried the Captain,
"or else it is too good for them; for I'll maintain it's one of the
best comedies in our language, and has more wit in one scene than
there is in all the new plays put together."

"For my part," said Mr. Lovel, "I confess I seldom listen to the
players: one has so much to do, in looking about and finding out one's
acquaintance, that, really, one has no time to mind the stage. Pray,"
most affectedly fixing his eyes upon a diamond ring on his little
finger, "pray-what was the play to-night?"

"Why, what the D-l," cried the Captain, "do you come to the play
without knowing what it is?"

"O yes, Sir, yes, very frequently: I have no time to read play-bills;
one merely comes to meet one's friends, and shew that one's alive."

"Ha, ha, ha!-and so," cried the Captain, "it costs you five shillings
a-night just to shew you're alive! Well, faith, my friends should
all think me dead and underground before I'd be at that expense for
'em. Howsomever-this here you may take from me-they'll find you out
fast enough if you have anything to give 'em.-And so you've been here
all this time, and don't know what the play was?"

"Why, really Sir, a play requires so much attention,-it is scarce
possible to keep awake if one listens;-for, indeed, by the time it
is evening, one has been so fatigued with dining,-or wine,-or the
house,-or studying,-that it is-it is perfectly an impossibility. But,
now I think of it, I believe I have a bill in my pocket; O, ay,
here it is-Love for Love, ay,-true, ha, ha!-how could I be so stupid!"

"O, easily enough, as to that, I warrant you," said the Captain;
"but, by my soul, this is one of the best jokes I ever heard!-Come
to a play, and not know what it is!-Why, I suppose you wouldn't have
found it out, if they had fob'd you off with a scraping of fiddlers,
or an opera?-Ha, ha, ha!-Why, now, I should have thought you might
have taken some notice of one Mr. Tattle, that is in this play!"

This sarcasm, which caused a general smile, made him colour: but,
turning to the Captain with a look of conceit, which implied that he
had a retort ready, he said, "Pray, Sir, give me leave to ask-What
do you think of one Mr. Ben, who is also in this play?"

The Captain, regarding him with the utmost contempt, answered in a loud
voice, "Think of him!-why, I think he is a man!" And then, staring
full in his face, he struck his cane on the ground with a violence
that made him start.  He did not however, choose to take any notice
of this: but, having bit his nails some time in manifest confusion,
he turned very quick to me, and in a sneering tone of voice, said,
"For my part, I was most struck with the country young lady, Miss Prue;
pray what do you think of her, Ma'am?"

"Indeed, Sir," cried I, very much provoked, "I think-that is, I do
not think any thing about her."

"Well, really, Ma'am, you prodigiously surprise me!-mais, apparemment
ce n'est qu'une facon de parler? -though I should beg your pardon,
for probably you do not understand French?"

I made no answer, for I thought his rudeness intolerable; but Sir
Clement, with great warmth, said, "I am surprised that you can suppose
such an object as Miss Prue would engage the attention of Miss Anville
even for a moment."

"O, Sir," returned this fop, "'tis the first character in the piece!-so
well drawn!-so much the thing!-such true country breeding-such rural
ignorance!  ha, ha, ha!-'tis most admirably hit off, 'pon honour!"

I could almost have cried, that such impertinence should be leveled
at me; and yet, chagrined as I was, I could never behold Lord Orville
and this man at the same time, and feel any regret for the cause I
had given of displeasure.

"The only female in the play," said Lord Orville, "worthy of being
mentioned to these ladies is Angelica."

"Angelica," cried Sir Clement, "is a noble girl; she tries her lover
severely, but she rewards him generously."

"Yet, in a trial so long," said Mrs. Mirvan, "there seems rather too
much consciousness of her power."

"Since my opinion has the sanction of Mrs. Mirvan," added Lord
Orville, "I will venture to say, that Angelica bestows her hand
rather with the air of a benefactress, than with the tenderness of
a mistress. Generosity without delicacy, like wit without judgment,
generally gives as much pain as pleasure. The uncertainty in which
she keeps Valentine, and her manner of trifling with his temper,
give no very favourable idea of her own."

"Well, my Lord," said Mr. Lovel, "it must, however, be owned, that
uncertainty is not the ton among our ladies at present; nay, indeed,
I think they say,-though faith," taking a pinch of snuff, "I hope it
is not true-but they say, that we now are most shy and backward."

The curtain then drew up, and our conversation ceased. Mr. Lovel,
finding we chose to attend to the players, left the box. How strange
it is, Sir, that this man, not contented with the large share of
foppery and nonsense which he has from nature, should think proper
to affect yet more! for what he said of Tattle and of Miss Prue,
convinced me that he really had listened to the play, though he was
so ridiculous and foolish as to pretend ignorance.

But how malicious and impertinent is this creature to talk to me in
such a manner! I am sure I hope I shall never see him again. I should
have despised him heartily as a fop, had he never spoken to me at
all; but now, that he thinks proper to resent his supposed ill-usage,
I am really quite afraid of him.

The entertainment was, The Duece is in Him; which Lord Orville observed
to be the most finished and elegant petit piece that was ever written
in English.

In our way home, Mrs. Mirvan put me into some consternation by saying,
it was evident, from the resentment which this Mr. Lovel harbours
of my conduct, that he would think it a provocation sufficiently
important for a duel, if his courage equaled his wrath.

I am terrified at the very idea. Good Heaven! that a man so weak
and frivolous should be so revengeful! However, if bravery would
have excited him to affront Lord Orville, how much reason have I to
rejoice that cowardice makes him contended with venting his spleen
upon me! But we shall leave town soon, and, I hope, see him no more.

It was some consolation to me to hear from Miss Mirvan, that, while
he was speaking to me so cavalierly, Lord Orville regarded him with
great indignation.

But, really, I think there ought to be a book of the laws and
customs -e;-la-mode, presented to all young people upon their first
introduction into public company.

To-night we go to the opera, where I expect very great pleasure. We
shall have the same party as at the play, for Lord Orville said he
should be there, and would look for us.


LETTER XXI

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION I HAVE a volume to write of the adventures
of yesterday. In the afternoon,-at Berry Hill I should have said the
evening, for it was almost six o'clock,-while Miss Mirvan and I were
dressing for the opera, and in high spirits from the expectation of
great entertainment and pleasure, we heard a carriage stop at the door,
and concluded that Sir Clement Willoughby, with his usual assiduity,
was come to attend us to the Haymarket; but, in a few moments, what
was our surprise to see our chamber door flung open, and the two Miss
Branghtons enter the room! They advanced to me with great familiarity,
saying, "How do you do, Cousin?-so we've caught you at the glass!-well,
I'm determined I'll tell my brother of that!"

Miss Mirvan, who had never before seen them, and could not at first
imagine who they were, looked so much astonished, that I was ready
to laugh myself, till the eldest said, "We're come to take you to
the opera, Miss; papa and my brother are below, and we are to call
for your grand-mama as we go along."

"I am very sorry," answered I, "that you should have taken so much
trouble, as I am engaged already."

"Engaged! Lord, Miss, never mind that," cried the youngest; "this
young lady will make your excuses I dare say; it's only doing as one
would be done by, you know."

"Indeed Ma'am," said Miss Mirvan, "I shall myself be very sorry to
be deprived of Miss Anville's company this evening."

"Well, Miss, that is not so very good-natured in you," said Miss
Branghton, "considering we only come to give our cousin pleasure;
it's no good to us; it's all upon her account; for we came, I don't
know how much round about to take her up."

"I am extremely obliged to you," said I, "and very sorry you have
lost so much time; but I cannot possibly help it, for I engaged myself
without knowing you would call."

"Lord, what signifies that?" said Miss Polly, "you're no old maid,
and so you needn't be so very formal: besides I dare say those you
are engaged to a'n't half so near related to you as we are."

"I must beg you not to press me any further, for I assure you it is
not in my power to attend you."

"Why, we came all out of the city on purpose: besides, your grand-mama
expects you;-and, pray, what are we to say to her?"

"Tell her, if you please, that I am much concerned,-but that I am
pre-engaged."

"And who to?" demanded the abrupt Miss Branghton.

"To Mrs. Mirvan,-and a large party."

"And, pray, what are you all going to do, that it would be such a
mighty matter for you to come along with us?"

"We are all going to-to the opera."

"O dear, if that be all, why can't we go altogether?"

I was extremely disconcerted at this forward and ignorant behaviour,
and yet their rudeness very much lessened my concern at refusing
them. Indeed, their dress was such as would have rendered their scheme
of accompanying our party impracticable, even if I had desired it;
and this, as they did not themselves find it out, I was obliged,
in terms the least mortifying I could think of, to tell them.

They were very much chagrined, and asked where I should sit.

"In the pit," answered I.

"In the pit," repeated Miss Branghton; "well, really, I must own,
I should never have supposed that my gown was not good enough for
the pit: but come, Polly, let's go; if Miss does not think us fine
enough for her, why to be sure she may choose."

Surprised at this ignorance, I would have explained to them, that the
pit at the opera required the same dress as the boxes; but they were
so much affronted they would not hear me; and, in great displeasure,
left the room, saying, they would not have troubled me, only they
thought I should not be proud with my own relations, and that they
had at least as good a right to my company as strangers.

I endeavoured to apologize, and would have sent a long message to
Madame Duval: but they hastened away without listening to me; and
I could not follow them down stairs, because I was not dressed. The
last words I heard them say were, "Well, her grandmama will be in a
fine passion, that's one good thing."

Though I was extremely mad at this visit, yet I so heartily rejoiced at
their going, that I would not suffer myself to think gravely about it.

Soon after, Sir Clement actually came, and we all went down
stairs. Mrs.  Mirvan ordered tea; and we were engaged in a very lively
conversation, when the servant announced Madame Duval, who instantly
followed him into the room.

Her face was the colour of scarlet, and her eyes sparkled with
fury. She came up to me with a hasty step, saying, "So, Miss, you
refuses to come to me, do you? And pray who are you, to dare to
disobey me?"

I was quite frightened;-I made no answer;-I even attempted to rise,
and could not, but sat still, mute and motionless.

Everybody but Miss Mirvan seemed in the utmost astonishment; and
the Captain rising and approaching Madame Duval, with a voice of
authority, said, "Why, how now, Mrs. Turkey-cock, what's put you into
this here fluster?"

"It's nothing to you," answered she, "so you may as well hold your
tongue; for I shan't be called to no account by you, I assure you."

"There you're out, Madame Fury," returned he; "for you must know,
I never suffer anybody to be in a passion in my house, but myself."

"But you shall," cried she, in a great rage; "for I'll be in as great
a passion as ever I please, without asking your leave: so don't give
yourself no more airs about it. And as for you Miss," again advancing
to me, "I order you to follow me this moment, or else I'll make you
repent it all your life."  And, with these words, she flung out of
the room.

I was in such extreme terror, at being addressed and threatened in a
manner to which I am so wholly unused, that I almost thought I should
have fainted.

"Don't be alarmed, my love," cried Mrs. Mirvan, "but stay where you
are, and I will follow Madame Duval, and try to bring her to reason."

Miss Mirvan took my hand, and most kindly endeavoured to raise my
spirits. Sir Clement, too, approached me, with an air so interested
in my distress, that I could not but feel myself obliged to him; and,
taking my other hand, said, "For Heaven's sake, my dear Madam, compose
yourself: surely the violence of such a wretch ought merely to move
your contempt; she can have no right, I imagine, to lay her commands
upon you, and I only wish that you would allow me to speak to her."

"O no! not for the world!-indeed, I believe,-I am afraid-I had better
follow her."

"Follow her! Good God, my dear Miss Anville, would you trust yourself
with a mad woman? for what else can you call a creature whose passions
are so insolent? No, no; send her word at once to leave the house,
and tell her you desire that she will never see you again."

"O, Sir! you don't know who you talk of!-it would ill become me to
send Madame Duval such a message."

"But why," cried he, (looking very inquisitive,) "why should you
scruple to treat her as she deserves?"

I then found that his aim was to discover the nature of her connection
with me; but I felt so much ashamed of my near relationship to her,
that I could not persuade myself to answer him, and only intreated
that he would leave her to Mrs. Mirvan, who just then entered the room.

Before she could speak to me, the Captain, called out, "Well, Goody,
what have you done with Madame French? is she cooled a little? cause
if she ben't, I've just thought of a most excellent device to bring
her to."

"My dear Evelina," said Mrs. Mirvan, "I have been vainly endeavouring
to appease her; I pleaded your engagement, and promised your future
attendance: but I am sorry to say, my love, that I fear her rage will
end in a total breach (which I think you had better avoid) if she is
any further opposed."

"Then I will go to her, Madam," cried I; "and, indeed, it is now no
matter, for I should not be able to recover my spirits sufficiently
to enjoy much pleasure any where this evening."

Sir Clement began a very warm expostulation and intreaty, that I would
not go; but I begged him to desist, and told him, very honestly, that,
if my compliance were not indispensably necessary I should require
no persuasion to stay. He then took my hand, to lead me down stairs;
but the Captain desired him to be quiet, saying he would 'squire me
himself, "because" he added, (exultingly rubbing his hands) "I have
a wipe ready for the old lady, which may serve her to chew as she
goes along."

We found her in the parlour, "O you're come at last, Miss, are
you?-fine airs you give yourself, indeed!-ma foi, if you hadn't
come, you might have staid, I assure you, and have been a beggar,
for your pains."

"Heyday, Madam," cried the Captain, (prancing forward, with a look of
great glee) "what, a'n't you got out of that there passion yet? why
then, I'll tell you what to do to cool yourself; call upon your old
friend, Monseer Slippery, who was with you at Ranelagh, and give my
service to him, and tell him, if he sets any store by your health,
that I desire he'll give you such another souse as he did before:
he'll know what I mean, and I'll warrant you he'll do't for my sake."

"Let him, if he dares!" cried Madame Duval; "but I shan't stay to
answer you no more; you are a vulgar fellow;-and so, child, let us
leave him to himself."

"Hark ye, Madam," cried the Captain, "you'd best not call names;
because, d'ye see, if you do, I shall make bold to shew you the door."

She changed colour, and saying, "Pardi, I can shew it myself," hurried
out of the room, and I followed her into a hackney-coach. But, before
we drove off, the Captain, looking out of the parlour window, called
out "D'ye hear, Madam, don't forget my message to Monseer."

You will believe our ride was not the most agreeable in the world;
indeed, it would be difficult to say which was least pleased, Madame
Duval or me, though the reasons of our discontent were so different:
however, Madame Duval soon got the start of me; for we had hardly
turned out of Queen Ann Street, when a man, running full speed,
stopt the coach. He came up to the window, and I saw he was the
Captain's servant. He had a broad grin on his face, and panted for
breath. Madame Duval demanded his business: "Madam," answered he,
"my master desires his compliments to you, and-and-and he says he
wishes it well over with you. He! he! he!-"

Madame Duval instantly darted forward, and gave him a violent blow on
the face; "Take that back for your answer, sirrah," cried she, "and
learn not to grin at your betters another time. Coachman, drive on!"

The servant was in a violent passion, and swore terribly; but we were
soon out of hearing.

The rage of Madame Duval was greater than ever; and she inveighed
against the Captain with such fury, that I was even apprehensive
she would have returned to his house, purposely to reproach him,
which she repeatedly threatened to do; nor would she, I believe,
have hesitated a moment, but that, notwithstanding her violence,
he has really made her afraid of him.

When we came to her lodgings we found all the Branghtons in the
passage, impatiently waiting for us with the door open.

"Only see, here's Miss!" cried the brother.

"Well, I declare I thought as much!" said the younger sister.

"Why, Miss," said Mr. Branghton, "I think you might as well have
come with your cousins at once; it's throwing money in the dirt,
to pay two coaches for one fare."

"Lord, father," cried the son, "make no words about that; for I'll
pay for the coach that Miss had."

"O, I know very well," answered Mr. Branghton, "that you're always
more ready to spend than to earn."

I then interfered, and begged that I might myself be allowed to pay
the fare, as the expense was incurred upon my account; they all said
no, and proposed that the same coach should carry us to the opera.

While this passed the Miss Branghtons were examining my dress, which,
indeed, was very improper for my company; and, as I was extremely
unwilling to be so conspicuous amongst them, I requested Madame Duval
to borrow a hat or bonnet for me of the people of the house. But
she never wears either herself, and thinks them very English and
barbarous; therefore she insisted that I should go full dressed,
as I had prepared myself for the pit, though I made many objections.

We were then all crowded into the same carriage; but when we arrived
at the opera-house, I contrived to pay the coachman. They made a
great many speeches; but Mr. Branghton's reflection had determined
me not to be indebted to him.

If I had not been too much chagrined to laugh, I should have been
extremely diverted at their ignorance of whatever belongs to an
opera. In the first place they could not tell at what door we ought
to enter, and we wandered about for some time, without knowing
which way to turn: they did not choose to apply to me, though I was
the only person of the party who had ever before been at an opera;
because they were unwilling to suppose that their country counsin,
as they were pleased to call me, should be better acquainted with
any London public place than themselves. I was very indifferent and
careless upon this subject; but not a little uneasy at finding that
my dress, so different from that of the company to which I belonged,
attracted general notice and observation.

In a short time, however, we arrived at one of the door-keeper's
bars. Mr.  Branghton demanded for what part of the house they
took money? They answered, the pit; and regarded us all with great
earnestness. The son then advancing, said "Sir, if you please, I beg
that I may treat Miss."

"We'll settle that another time," answered Mr. Branghton, and put
down a guinea.

Two tickets of admission were given to him.

Mr. Branghton, in his turn, now stared at the door-keeper, and demanded
what he meant by giving him only two tickets for a guinea.

"Only two, Sir!" said the man; "why, don't you know that the tickets
are half-a guinea each?"

"Half-a-guinea each!" repeated Mr. Branghton, "why, I never heard of
such a thing in my life! And pray, Sir, how many will they admit?"

"Just as usual, Sir, one person each."

"But one person for half-a-guinea!-why, I only want to sit in the
pit, friend."

"Had not the ladies better sit in the gallery, Sir; for they'll hardly
choose to go into the pit with their hats on?"

"O, as to that," cried Miss Branghton, "if our hats are too high we'll
take them off when we get in. I sha'n't mind, it, for I did my hair
on purpose."

Another party then approaching, the door-keeper could no longer attend
to Mr.  Branghton; who, taking up the guinea, told him it should be
long enough before he'd see it again, and walked away.

The young ladies, in some confusion, expressed their surprise that
their papa should not know the opera prices, which, for their parts,
they had read in the papers a thousand times.

"The price of stocks," said he, "is enough for me to see after; and
I took it for granted it was the same thing here as at the playhouse."

"I knew well enough what the price was," said the son; "but I would
not speak, because I thought perhaps they'd take less, as we're such
a large party."

The sisters both laughed very contemptuously at this idea, and
asked him if he ever heard of people's abating any thing at a public
place? I don't know whether I have or not," answered he; "but I am
sure if they would, you'd like it so much the worse."

"Very true, Tom," cried Mr. Branghton; "tell a woman that any thing
is reasonable, and she'll be sure to hate it."

"Well," said Miss Polly, "I hope that aunt and Miss will be of our
side, for papa always takes part with Tom."

"Come, come," cried Madame Duval, "if you stand talking here, we
shan't get no place at all."

Mr. Branghton then enquired the way to the gallery; and, when we came
to the door-keeper, demanded what was to pay.

"The usual price, Sir," said the man.

"Then give me change," cried Mr. Branghton, again putting down
his guinea.

"For how many, Sir?"

"Why-let's see,-for six."

"For six, Sir? why, you're given me but a guinea."

"But a guinea! why, how much would you have? I suppose it is'n't
half-a-guinea a piece here too?"

"No, Sir, only five shillings."

Mr. Branghton again took up his unfortunate guinea, and protested he
would not submit to no such imposition. I then proposed that we should
return home, but Madame Duval would not consent; and we were conducted,
by a woman who sells books of the opera, to another gallery-door,
where, after some disputing, Mr.  Branghton at last paid, and we all
went up stairs.

Madame Duval complained very much of the trouble of going so high:
but Mr.  Branghton desired her not to hold the place too cheap;
"for, whatever you think," cried he, "I assure you I paid pit price;
so don't suppose I come here to save my money."

"Well, to be sure," said Miss Branghton, "there's no judging of a
place by the outside, else, I must needs say, there's nothing very
extraordinary in the stair-case."

But, when we entered the gallery their amazement and disappointment
became general. For a few instants, they looked at one another without
speaking, and then they all broke silence at once.

"Lord, papa," exclaimed Miss Polly, "why, you have brought us to the
one-shilling gallery!"

"I'll be glad to give you two shillings, though," answered he,
"to pay. I was never so fooled out of my money before, since the
house of my birth. Either the door-keeper's a knave, or this is the
greatest imposition that ever was put upon the public."

"Ma foi," cried Madame Duval, "I never sat in such a mean place in
all my life;-why, it's as high-we shan't see nothing."

"I thought at the time," said Mr. Branghton, "that three shillings was
an exorbitant price for a place in the gallery: but as we'd been asked
so much at the other doors, why I paid it without many words; but,
then, to be sure, thinks I, it can never be like any other gallery,
we shall see some crinkum-crankum or other for our money; but I find
it's as arrant a take-in as ever I met with."

"Why, it's as like the twelve-penny gallery at Drury Lane," cried
the son, "as two peas are to one another. I never knew father so
bit before."

"Lord," said Miss Branghton, "I thought it would have been quite a
fine place,-all over, I don't know what,-and done quite in taste."

In this manner they continued to express their dissatisfaction till
the curtain drew up; after which their observations were very curious.

They made no allowance for the customs, or even for the language,
of another country; but formed all their remarks upon comparisons
with the English theatre.

Notwithstanding my vexation at having been forced into a party so
very disagreeable, and that, too, from one so much-so very much the
contrary-yet, would they have suffered me to listen, I should have
forgotten every thing unpleasant, and felt nothing but delight in
hearing the sweet voice of Signor Millico, the first singer; but they
tormented me with continual talking.

"What a jabbering they make!" cried Mr. Branghton, "there's no
knowing a word they say. Pray, what's the reason they can't as well
sing in English?-but I suppose the fine folks would not like it,
if they could understand it."

"How unnatural their action is!" said the son: "why, now, who ever
saw an Englishman put himself in such out-of-the-way postures?"

"For my part," said Miss Polly, "I think it's very pretty, only I
don't know what it means."

"Lord, what does that signify," cried her sister; "mayn't one like a
thing without being so very particular?-You may see that Miss likes
it, and I don't suppose she knows more of the matter than we do."

A gentleman, soon after, was so obliging as to make room in the front
row for Miss Branghton and me. We had no sooner seated ourselves,
than Miss Branghton exclaimed, "Good gracious! only see!-why, Polly,
all the people in the pit are without hats, dressed like anything!"

"Lord, so they are," cried Miss Polly; "well, I never saw the
like!-it's worth coming to the opera, if one saw nothing else."

I was then able to distinguish the happy party I had left; and I saw
that Lord Orville had seated himself next to Mrs. Mirvan. Sir Clement
had his eyes perpetually cast towards the five-shilling gallery,
where I suppose he concluded that we were seated; however, before the
opera was over, I have reason to believe that he had discovered me,
high and distant as I was from him. Probably he distinguished me by
my head-dress.

At the end of the first act, as the green curtain dropped to prepare
for the dance, they imagined that the opera was done; and Mr. Branghton
expressed great indignation that he had been tricked out of his money
with so little trouble. "Now, if any Englishman was to do such an
impudent thing as this," said he, "why, he'd be pelted;-but here,
one of these outlandish gentry may do just what he pleases, and come
on, and squeak out a song or two, and then pocket your money without
further ceremony."

However, so determined he was to be dissatisfied, that, before the
conclusion of the third act, he found still more fault with the opera
for being too long; and wondered whether they thought their singing
good enough to serve us for supper.

During the symphony of a song of Signor Millico's, in the second act,
young Mr. Branghton said, "It's my belief that that fellow's going
to sing another song!-why, there's nothing but singing!-I wonder when
they'll speak."

This song, which was slow and pathetic, caught all my attention,
and I leaned my head forward to avoid hearing their observations,
that I might listen without interruption: but, upon turning round,
when the song was over, I found that I was the object of general
diversion to the whole party; for the Miss Branghtons were tittering,
and the two gentlemen making signs and faces at me, implying their
contempt of my affectation.

This discovery determined me to appear as inattentive as themselves;
but I was very much provoked at being thus prevented enjoying the
only pleasure, which, in such a party, was within my power.

"So Miss," said Mr. Branghton, "you're quite in the fashion, I see-so
you like operas? Well, I'm not so polite; I can't like nonsense,
let it be never so much the taste."

"But pray, Miss," said the son, "what makes that fellow look so
doleful while he is singing?"

"Probably because the character he performs is in distress."

"Why, then, I think he might as well let alone singing till he's in
better cue: it's out of all nature for a man to be piping when he's
in distress. For my part, I never sing but when I'm merry; yet I love
a song as well as most people."

When the curtain dropt they all rejoiced.

"How do you like it?"-and "How do you like it?" passed from one
to another with looks of the utmost contempt. "As for me," said
Mr. Branghton, "they've caught me once; but if ever they do again,
I'll give 'em leave to sing me to Bedlam for my pains: for such a
heap of stuff never did I hear: there isn't one ounce of sense in
the whole opera, nothing but one continued squeaking and squalling
from beginning to end."

"If I had been in the pit," said Madame Duval, "I should have liked it
vastly, for music is my passion; but sitting in such a place as this,
is quite unbearable."

Miss Branghton, looking at me, declared, that she was not genteel
enough to admire it.

Miss Polly confessed, that, if they would but sing English, she would
like it very well.

The brother wished he could raise a riot in the house, because then
he might get his money again.

And, finally, they all agreed that it was monstrous dear.

During the last dance, I perceived standing near the gallery-door,
Sir Clement Willoughby. I was extremely vexed, and would have given
the world to have avoided being seen by him: my chief objection was,
from the apprehension that he would hear Miss Branghton call me
cousin.-I fear you will think this London journey has made me grow
very proud; but indeed this family is so low-bred and vulgar, that
I should be equally ashamed of such a connection in the country,
or anywhere. And really I had already been so much chagrined that
Sir Clement had been a witness of Madame Duval's power over me,
that I could not bear to be exposed to any further mortification.

As the seats cleared, by parties going away, Sir Clement approached
nearer to us. The Miss Branghtons observed with surprise, what a
fine gentleman was come into the gallery; and they gave me great
reason to expect, that they would endeavour to attract his notice,
by familiarity with me, whenever he should join us; and so I formed a
sort of plan to prevent any conversation.  I'm afraid you will think
it wrong; and so I do myself now;-but, at the time, I only considered
how I might avoid immediate humiliation.

As soon as he was within two seats of us, he spoke to me: "I am
very happy, Miss Anville, to have found you, for the ladies below
have each an humble attendant, and therefore I am come to offer my
services here."

"Why then," cried I, (not without hesitating) "if you please,-I will
join them."

"Will you allow me the honour of conducting you?" cried he eagerly;
and, instantly taking my hand, he would have marched away with me:
but I turned to Madame Duval, and said, "As our party is so large,
Madame, if you will give me leave, I will go down to Mrs. Mirvan,
that I may not crowd you in the coach."

And then, without waiting for an answer, I suffered Sir Clement to
hand me out of the gallery.

Madame Duval, I doubt not, will be very angry; and so I am with myself
now, and therefore I cannot be surprised: but Mr. Branghton, I am
sure, will easily comfort himself, in having escaped the additional
coach-expense of carrying me to Queen Ann Street; as to his daughters,
they had no time to speak; but I saw they were in utter amazement.

My intention was to join Mrs. Mirvan, and accompany her home. Sir
Clement was in high spirits and good humour; and all the way he went,
I was fool enough to rejoice in secret at the success of my plan;
nor was it till I got down stairs, and amidst the servants, that any
difficulty occurred to me of meeting with my friends.

I then asked Sir Clement, how I should contrive to acquaint Mrs. Mirvan
that I had left Madame Duval?

"I fear it will be almost impossible to find her," answered he;
"but you can have no objection to permitting me to see you safe home."

He then desired his servant, who was waiting, to order his chariot
to draw up.

This quite startled me; I turned to him hastily, and said that I
could not think of going away without Mrs. Mirvan.

"But how can we meet with her?" cried he; "you will not choose to
go into the pit yourself; I cannot send a servant there; and it is
impossible for me to go and leave you alone."

The truth of this was indisputable, and totally silenced me. Yet,
as soon as I could recollect myself, I determined not to go into
his chariot, and told him I believed I had best return to my party
up stairs.

He would not hear of this; and earnestly intreated me not to withdraw
the trust I had reposed in him.

While he was speaking, I saw Lord Orville, with several ladies and
gentlemen, coming from the pit passage: unfortunately he saw me too,
and, leaving his company, advanced instantly towards me, and with an
air and voice of surprise, said, "Good God, do I see Miss Anville!"

I now most severely felt the folly of my plan, and the awkwardness
of my situation: however, I hastened to tell him, though in a
hesitating manner, that I was waiting for Mrs. Mirvan; but what was my
disappointment, when he acquainted me that she was already gone home!

I was inexpressibly distressed; to suffer Lord Orville to think
me satisfied with the single protection of Sir Clement Willoughby,
I could not bear; yet I was more than ever averse to returning to a
party which I dreaded his seeing.  I stood some moments in suspense,
and could not help exclaiming, "Good Heaven, what can I do!"

"Why, my dear madam," cried Sir Clement, "should you be thus
uneasy?-you will reach Queen Ann Street almost as soon as Mrs. Mirvan,
and I am sure you cannot doubt being as safe."

I made no answer, and Lord Orville then said, "My coach is here; and
my servants are ready to take any commands Miss Anville will honour
me with for them. I shall myself go home in a chair, and therefore-"

How grateful did I feel for a proposal so considerate, and made
with so much delicacy! I should gladly have accepted it, had I been
permitted, but Sir Clement would not let him even finish his speech;
he interrupted him with evident displeasure, and said, "My Lord,
my own chariot is now at the door."

And just then the servant came, and told him the carriage was ready. He
begged to have the honour of conducting me to it, and would have taken
my hand; but I drew it back, saying, "I can't-I can't indeed! pray
go by yourself-and as to me, let me have a chair."

"Impossible," cried he with vehemence, "I cannot think of trusting
you with strange chairmen,-I cannot answer it to Mrs. Mirvan;-come,
dear Madam, we shall be home in five minutes."

Again I stood suspended. With what joy would I then have compromised
with my pride, to have been once more with Madame Duval and the
Branghtons, provided I had not met with Lord Orville! However, I
flatter myself that he not only saw but pitied my embarrassment; for
he said in a tone of voice unusually softened, "To offer my services
in the presence of Sir Clement Willoughby would be superfluous; but
I hope I need not assure Miss Anville how happy it would make me to
be of the least use to her."

I courtsied my thanks. Sir Clement, with great earnestness, pressed
me to go; and while I was thus uneasily deliberating what to do, the
dance, I suppose, finished, for the people crowded down stairs. Had
Lord Orville then repeated his offer, I would have accepted it
notwithstanding Sir Clement's repugnance; but I fancy he thought it
would be impertinent. In a very few minutes I heard Madame Duval's
voice, as she descended from the gallery. "Well," cried I hastily,
"if I must go-" I stopt; but Sir Clement immediately handed me
into his chariot, called out, "Queen Ann Street," and then jumped
in himself. Lord Orville, with a bow and a half smile, wished me
good night.

My concern was so great at being seen and left by Lord Orville in so
strange a situation, that I should have been best pleased to have
remained wholly silent during our ride home; but Sir Clement took
care to prevent that.

He began by making many complaints of my unwillingness to trust myself
with him, and begged to know what could be the reason? This question
so much embarrassed me, that I could not tell what to answer; but
only said, that I was sorry to have taken up so much of his time.

"O Miss Anville," cried he, taking my hand, "if you knew with what
transport I would dedicate to you not only the present but all the
future time allotted to me, you would not injure me by making such
an apology."

I could not think of a word to say to this, nor to a great many other
equally fine speeches with which he ran on; though I would fain have
withdrawn my hand, and made almost continual attempts; but in vain,
for he actually grasped it between both his, without any regard to
my resistance.

Soon after, he said that he believed the coachman was going the wrong
way; and he called to his servant, and gave him directions. Then
again addressing himself to me, "How often, how assiduously have I
sought an opportunity of speaking to you, without the presence of
that brute, Captain Mirvan! Fortune has now kindly favoured me with
one; and permit me," again seizing my hand, "permit me to use it in
telling you that I adore you."

I was quite thunderstruck at this abrupt and unexpected
declaration. For some moments I was silent; but when I recovered
from my surprise, I said, "Indeed, Sir, if you were determined to
make me repent leaving my own party so foolishly, you have very
well succeeded."

"My dearest life," cried he, "is it possible you can be so cruel? Can
your nature and your countenance be so totally opposite? Can the
sweet bloom upon those charming cheeks, which appears as much the
result of good-humour as of beauty-"

"O, Sir," cried I, interrupting him, "this is very fine; but I had
hoped we had had enough of this sort of conversation at the ridotto,
and I did not expect you would so soon resume it."

"What I then said, my sweet reproacher, was the effect of a mistaken,
a profane idea, that your understanding held no competition with your
beauty; but now, now that I find you equally incomparable in both, all
words, all powers of speech, are too feeble to express the admiration
I feel of your excellencies."

"Indeed," cried I, "if your thoughts had any connection with your
language, you would never suppose that I could give credit to praise
so very much above my desert."

This speech, which I made very gravely, occasioned still stronger
protestations; which he continued to pour forth, and I continued to
disclaim, till I began to wonder that we were not in Queen Ann Street,
and begged he would desire the coachman to drive faster.

"And does this little moment," cried he, "which is the first of
happiness I have ever known, does it already appear so very long
to you?"

"I am afraid the man has mistaken the way," answered I, "or else we
should ere now have been at our journey's end. I must beg you will
speak to him."

"And can you think me so much my own enemy?-if my good genius has
inspired the man with a desire of prolonging my happiness, can you
expect that I should counteract its indulgence?"

I now began to apprehend that he had himself ordered the man to go
a wrong way; and I was so much alarmed at the idea, that, the very
instant it occurred to me, I let down the glass, and made a sudden
effort to open the chariot-door myself, with a view of jumping into
the street; but he caught hold of me, exclaiming, "For Heaven's sake,
what is the matter?"

"I-I don't know," cried I (quite out of breath), "but I am sure the
man goes wrong; and if you will not speak to him, I am determined I
will get out myself."

"You amaze me," answered he (still holding me), "I cannot imagine
what you apprehend. Surely you can have no doubts of my honour?"

He drew me towards him as he spoke. I was frightened dreadfully,
and could hardly say, "No, Sir, no,-none at all: only Mrs. Mirvan,-I
think she will be uneasy."

"Whence this alarm, my dearest angel?-What can you fear?-my life is
at your devotion, and can you, then, doubt my protection?"

And so saying, he passionately kissed my hand.

Never, in my whole life, have I been so terrified. I broke forcibly
from him, and, putting my head out of the window, called aloud to the
man to stop.  Where we then were, I know not; but I saw not a human
being, or I should have called for help.

Sir Clement, with great earnestness, endeavoured to appease and
compose me: "If you do not intend to murder me," cried I, "for mercy's,
for pity's sake, let me get out!"

"Compose your spirits, my dearest life," cried he, "and I will do
everything you would have me." And then he called to the man himself,
and bid him make haste to Queen Ann Street. "This stupid fellow,"
continued he, "has certainly mistaken my orders; but I hope you are
now fully satisfied."

I made no answer, but kept my head at the window watching which way he
drove, but without any comfort to myself, as I was quite unacquainted
with either the right or the wrong.

Sir Clement now poured forth abundant protestations of honour, and
assurances of respect, intreating my pardon for having offended me,
and beseeching my good opinion: but I was quite silent, having too much
apprehension to make reproaches, and too much anger to speak without.

In this manner we went through several streets, till at last, to my
great terror, he suddenly ordered the man to stop, and said, "Miss
Anville, we are now within twenty yards of your house; but I cannot
bear to part with you, till you generously forgive me for the offence
you have taken, and promise not to make it known to the Mirvan's."

I hesitated between fear and indignation.

"Your reluctance to speak redoubles my contrition for having displeased
you, since it shews the reliance I might have on a promise which you
will not give without consideration."

"I am very, very much distressed," cried I; "you ask a promise which
you must be sensible I ought not to grant, and yet dare not refuse."

"Drive on!" cried he to the coachman;-"Miss Anville, I will not compel
you; I will exact no promise, but trust wholly to your generosity."

This rather softened me; which advantage he no sooner received, than
he determined to avail himself of; for he flung himself on his knees,
and pleaded with so much submission, that I was really obliged to
forgive him, because his humiliation made me quite ashamed: and,
after that, he would not let me rest till I gave him my word that I
would not complain of him to Mrs. Mirvan.

My own folly and pride, which had put me in his power, were pleas
which I could not but attend to in his favour. However, I shall take
very particular care never to be again alone with him.

When, at last, we arrived at our house, I was so overjoyed, that I
should certainly have pardoned him then, if I had not before. As he
handed me up stairs, he scolded his servant aloud, and very angrily,
for having gone so much out of the way. Miss Mirvan ran out to meet
me; -and who should I see behind her, but Lord Orville!

All my joy now vanished, and gave place to shame and confusion; for
I could not endure that he should know how long a time Sir Clement
and I had been together, since I was not at liberty to assign any
reason for it.

They all expressed great satisfaction at seeing me; and said they
had been extremely uneasy and surprised that I was so long coming
home, as they had heard from Lord Orville that I was not with Madame
Duval. Sir Clement, in an affected passion, said, that his booby of
a servant had misunderstood his orders, and was driving us to the
upper end of Piccadilly. For my part, I only coloured; for though I
would not forfeit my word, I yet disdained to confirm a tale in which
I had myself no belief.

Lord Orville, with great politeness, congratulated me, that the
troubles of the evening had so happily ended; and said, that he had
found it impossible to return home, before he enquired after my safety.

In a very short time he took his leave, and Sir Clement followed
him. As soon as they were gone, Mrs. Mirvan, though with great
softness, blamed me for having quitted Madame Duval. I assured her,
and with truth, that for the future I would be more prudent.

The adventures of the evening so much disconcerted me, that I could
not sleep all night. I am under the most cruel apprehensions lest
Lord Orville should suppose my being on the gallery-stairs with Sir
Clement was a concerted scheme, and even that our continuing so long
together in his chariot was with my approbation, since I did not say a
word on the subject, nor express my dissatisfaction at the coachman's
pretended blunder.

Yet his coming hither to wait our arrival though it seems to imply
some doubt, shews also some anxiety. Indeed, Miss Mirvan says,
that he appeared extremely anxious, nay, uneasy and impatient for
my return. If I did not fear to flatter myself, I should think it
not impossible but that he had a suspicion of Sir Clement's design,
and was therefore concerned for my safety.

What a long letter is this! however, I shall not write many more from
London; for the Captain said this morning, that he would leave town
on Tuesday next.  Madame Duval will dine here to-day, and then she
is to be told his intention.

I am very much amazed that she accepted Mrs. Mirvan's invitation, as
she was in such wrath yesterday. I fear that to-day I shall myself be
the principal object of her displeasure; but I must submit patiently,
for I cannot defend myself.

Adieu, my dearest Sir. Should this letter be productive of any
uneasiness to you, more than ever shall I repent the heedless
imprudence which it recites.


LETTER XXII

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION Monday Morning, April 18.


MRS. MIRVAN has just communicated to me an anecdote concerning Lord
Orville, which has much surprised, half pleased, and half pained me.

While they were sitting together during the opera, he told her that
he had been greatly concerned at the impertinence which the young
lady under her protection had suffered from Mr. Lovel; but that he
had the pleasure of assuring her, she had no future disturbance to
apprehend from him.

Mrs. Mirvan, with great eagerness, begged he would explain himself;
and said she hoped he had not thought so insignificant an affair
worthy his serious attention.

"There is nothing," answered he, "which requires more immediate notice
than impertinence, for it ever encroaches when it is tolerated." He
then added, that he believed he ought to apologize for the liberty
he had taken in interfering; but that, as he regarded himself in the
light of a party concerned, from having had the honour of dancing
with Miss Anville, he could not possibly reconcile to himself a
patient neutrality.

He then proceeded to tell her, that he had waited upon Mr. Lovel the
morning after the play; that the visit had proved an amicable one,
but the particulars were neither entertaining nor necessary: he only
assured her, Miss Anville might be perfectly easy, since Mr. Lovel
had engaged his honour never more to mention, or even to hint at what
had passed at Mrs. Stanley's assembly.

Mrs. Mirvan expressed her satisfaction at this conclusion, and thanked
him for his polite attention to her young friend.

"It would be needless," said he, "to request that this affair may
never transpire, since Mrs. Mirvan cannot but see the necessity of
keeping it inviolably secret; but I thought it incumbent upon me,
as the young lady is under your protection, to assure both you and
her of Mr.  Lovel's future respect."

Had I known of this visit previous to Lord Orville's making it, what
dreadful uneasiness would it have cost me! Yet that he should so much
interest himself in securing me from offence, gives me, I must own,
an internal pleasure, greater than I can express; for I feared he
had too contemptuous an opinion of me, to take any trouble upon my
account. Though, after all, this interference might rather be to
satisfy his own delicacy, than from thinking well of me.

But how cool, how quiet is true courage! Who, from seeing Lord Orville
at the play, would have imagined his resentment would have hazarded
his life? yet his displeasure was evident, though his real bravery and
his politeness equally guarded him from entering into any discussion
in our presence.

Madame Duval, as I expected, was most terribly angry yesterday:
she scolded me for, I believe, two hours, on account of having
left her; and protested she had been so much surprised at my going,
without giving her time to answer, that she hardly knew whether she
was awake or asleep. But she assured me that if ever I did so again,
she would never more take me into public. And she expressed an equal
degree of displeasure against Sir Clement, because he had not even
spoken to her, and because he was always of the Captain's side in
an argument. The Captain, as bound in honour, warmly defended him,
and then followed a dispute in the usual style.

After dinner, Mrs. Mirvan introduced the subject of our leaving
London. Madame Duval said she would stay a month or two longer. The
Captain told her she was welcome, but that he and his family should
go into the country on Tuesday morning.

A most disagreeable scene followed. Madame Duval insisted upon keeping
me with her; but Mrs. Mirvan said, that as I was actually engaged on
a visit to Lady Howard, who had only consented to my leaving her for
a few days, she could not think of returning without me.

Perhaps, if the Captain had not interfered, the good-breeding and
mildness of Mrs. Mirvan might have had some effect upon Madame Duval;
but he passes no opportunity of provoking her; and therefore made
so many gross and rude speeches, all of which she retorted, that,
in conclusion, she vowed she would sooner go to law in right of her
relationship, than that I should be taken away from her.

I heard this account from Mrs. Mirvan, who was so kindly considerate
as to give me a pretence for quitting the room as soon as this
dispute began, lest Madame Duval should refer to me, and insist on
my obedience.

The final result of the conversation was, that, to soften matters for
the present, Madame Duval should make one in the party to Howard Grove,
whither we are positively to go next Wednesday. And though we are
none of us satisfied with this plan, we know not how to form a better.

Mrs. Mirvan is now writing to Lady Howard, to excuse bringing this
unexpected guest, and prevent the disagreeable surprise which must
otherwise attend her reception. This dear lady seems eternally studying
my happiness and advantage.

To-night we go to the Pantheon, which is the last diversion we shall
partake of in London; for to-morrow-  * * * * *


This moment, my dearest Sir, I have received your kind letter.

If you thought us too dissipated the first week, I almost fear to
know what you will think of us this second;-however, the Pantheon this
evening will probably be the last public place which I shall ever see.

The assurance of your support and protection in regard to Madame Duval,
though what I never doubted, excites my utmost gratitude. How,
indeed, cherished under your roof, the happy object of your
constant indulgence, how could I have borne to become the slave of
her tyrannical humours? -Pardon me that I speak so hardly of her;
but whenever the idea of passing my days with her occurs to me, the
comparison which naturally follows, takes from me all that forbearance
which, I believe, I owe her.

You are already displeased with Sir Clement: to be sure, then, his
behaviour after the opera will not make his peace with you. Indeed
the more I reflect upon it, the more angry I am. I was entirely in
his power, and it was cruel in him to cause me so much terror.

O, my dearest Sir, were I but worthy the prayers and the wishes
you offer for me, the utmost ambition of my heart would be fully
satisfied! but I greatly fear you will find me, now that I am out of
the reach of your assisting prudence, more weak and imperfect than
you could have expected.

I have not now time to write another word, for I must immediately
hasten to dress for the evening.


LETTER XXIII

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION Queen Ann Street, Tuesday, April 19.


THERE is something to me half melancholy in writing an account of our
last adventures in London. However, as this day is merely appropriated
to packing and preparations for our journey, and as I shall shortly
have no more adventures to write, I think I may as well complete my
town journal at once: and, when you have it all together, I hope,
my dear Sir, you will send me your observations and thoughts upon it
to Howard Grove.

About eight o'clock we went to the Pantheon. I was extremely struck
with the beauty of the building, which greatly surpassed whatever
I could have expected or imagined. Yet it has more the appearance
of a chapel than of a place of diversion; and, though I was quite
charmed with the magnificence of the room, I felt that I could
not be as gay and thoughtless there as at Ranelagh; for there is
something in it which rather inspires awe and solemnity, than mirth
and pleasure. However, perhaps it may only have this effect upon such
a novice as myself.

I should have said, that our party consisted only of Captain, Mrs. and
Miss Mirvan, as Madame Duval spent the day in the city;-which I own
I could not lament.

There was a great deal of company; but the first person we saw was Sir
Clement Willoughby. He addressed us with his usual ease, and joined
us for the whole evening. I felt myself very uneasy in his presence;
for I could not look at him, nor hear him speak, without recollecting
the chariot adventure; but, to my great amazement, I observed that
he looked at me without the least apparent discomposure, though,
certainly, he ought not to think of his behaviour without blushing. I
really wish I had not forgiven him, and then he could not have ventured
to speak to me any more.

There was an exceeding good concert, but too much talking to hear
it well.  Indeed I am quite astonished to find how little music
is attended to in silence; for, though every body seems to admire,
hardly any body listens.

We did not see Lord Orville till we went into the tea-room, which
is large, low, and under ground, and serves merely as a foil to the
apartments above; he then sat next to us. He seemed to belong to a
large party, chiefly of ladies; but, among the gentlemen attending
them, I perceived Mr. Lovel.

I was extremely irresolute whether or not I ought to make any
acknowledgments to Lord Orville for his generous conduct in securing
me from the future impertinence of that man; and I thought, that,
as he had seemed to allow Mrs.  Mirvan to acquaint me, though no one
else, of the measures which he had taken, he might perhaps suppose me
ungrateful if silent: however, I might have spared myself the trouble
of deliberating, as I never once had the shadow of an opportunity of
speaking unheard by Sir Clement. On the contrary, he was so exceedingly
officious and forward, that I could not say a word to any body but
instantly he bent his head forward, with an air of profound attention,
as if I had addressed myself wholly to him; and yet I never once
looked at him, and would not have spoken to him on any account.

Indeed, Mrs. Mirvan herself, though unacquainted with the behaviour of
Sir Clement after the opera, says it is not right for a young woman to
be seen so frequently in public with the same gentleman; and, if our
stay in town was to be lengthened, she would endeavour to represent
to the Captain the impropriety of allowing his constant attendance;
for Sir Clement with all his easiness, could not be so eternally of
our parties, if the Captain was less fond of his company.

At the same table with Lord Orville sat a gentleman,-I call him so
only because he was at the same table,-who, almost from the moment
I was seated, fixed his eyes steadfastly on my face, and never once
removed them to any other object during tea-time, notwithstanding my
dislike of his staring must, I am sure, have been very evident. I was
quite surprised, that a man, whose boldness was so offensive, could
have gained admission into a party of which Lord Orville made one;
for I naturally concluded him to be some low-bred, uneducated man;
and I thought my idea was indubitably confirmed, when I heard him say
to Sir Clement Willoughby, in an audible whisper,-which is a mode of
speech very distressing and disagreeable to bystanders,-"For Heaven's
sake, Willoughby, who is that lovely creature?"

But what was my amazement, when, listening attentively for the answer,
though my head was turned another way, I heard Sir Clement say,
"I am sorry I cannot inform your Lordship, but I am ignorant myself."

Lordship! how extraordinary! that a nobleman, accustomed, in all
probability, to the first rank of company in the kingdom, from his
earliest infancy, can possibly be deficient in good manners, however
faulty in morals and principles! Even Sir Clement Willoughby appeared
modest in comparison with this person.

During tea, a conversation was commenced upon the times, fashions,
and public places, in which the company of both tables joined. It
began by Sir Clement's inquiring of Miss Mirvan and of me, if the
Pantheon had answered our expectations.

We both readily agreed that it had greatly exceeded them.

"Ay, to be sure," said the Captain, "why, you don't suppose they'd
confess they didn't like it, do you? Whatever's the fashion, they
must like, of course;-or else, I'd be bound for it, they'd own,
that there never was such a dull place as this here invented."

"And has, then, this building," said Lord Orville, "no merit that may
serve to lessen your censure? Will not your eye, Sir, speak something
in its favour?"

"Eye!" cried the Lord, (I don't know his name,) "and is there any eye
here, that can find pleasure in looking at dead walls or statues, when
such heavenly living objects as I now see demand all their admiration?"

"O, certainly," said Lord Orville, "the lifeless symmetry of
architecture, however beautiful the design and proportion, no man would
be so mad as to put in competition with the animated charms of nature:
but when, as to-night, the eye may be regaled at the same time, and
in one view, with all the excellence of art, and all the perfection
of nature, I cannot think that either suffer by being seen together."

"I grant, my Lord," said Sir Clement, "that the cool eye of
unimpassioned philosophy may view both with equal attention, and
equal safety; but, where the heart is not so well guarded, it is
apt to interfere, and render, even to the eye, all objects but one
insipid and uninteresting."

"Aye, Aye," cried the Captain, "you may talk what you will of your
eye here, and your eye there, and, for the matter of that, to be sure
you have two,-but we all know they both squint one way."

"Far be it from me," said Lord Orville, "to dispute the magnetic
power of beauty, which irresistibly draws and attracts whatever has
soul and sympathy: and I am happy to acknowledge, that though we
have now no gods to occupy a mansion professedly built for them,
yet we have secured their better halves, for we have goddesses to
whom we all most willingly bow down." And then with a very droll air,
he made a profound reverence to the ladies.

"They'd need to be goddesses with a vengeance," said the Captain,
"for they're mortal dear to look at. Howsomever, I should be glad
to know what you can see in e'er a face among them that's worth
half-a-guinea for a sight."

"Half-a-guinea!" exclaimed that same Lord, "I would give half I am
worth for a sight of only one, provided I make my own choice. And,
prithee, how can money be better employed than in the service of
fine women?"

"If the ladies of his own party can pardon the Captain's speech," said
Sir Clement, "I think he has a fair claim to the forgiveness of all."

"Then you depend very much, as I doubt not but you may," said Lord
Orville, "upon the general sweetness of the sex;-but as to the ladies
of the Captain's party, they may easily pardon, for they cannot
be hurt."

"But they must have a devilish good conceit of themselves, though,"
said the Captain, "to believe all that. Howsomever, whether or no,
I should be glad to be told by some of you, who seem to be knowing
in them things, what kind of diversion can be found in such a place
as this here, for one who has had, long ago, his full of face-hunting?"

Every body laughed, but nobody spoke.

"Why, look you there now," continued the Captain, "you're all at a dead
stand!-not a man among you can answer that there question. Why, then,
I must make bold to conclude, that you all come here for no manner
of purpose but to stare at one another's pretty faces:-though, for
the matter of that, half of 'em are plaguy ugly;-and, as to t'other
half,-I believe it's none of God's manufactory."

"What the ladies may come hither for, Sir," said Mr. Lovel, (stroking
his ruffles, and looking down,) "it would ill become us to determine;
but as to we men, doubtless we can have no other view than to admire
them."

 "If I ben't mistaken," cried the Captain, (looking earnestly in
 his face,)
"you are that same person we saw at Love for Love t'other night;
ben't you?"

 Mr. Lovel bowed.

"Why, then, Gentlemen," continued he, with a loud laugh, "I must tell
you a most excellent good joke;-when all was over, as sure as you're
alive, he asked what the play was! Ha, ha, ha!"

 "Sir," said Mr. Lovel, colouring, "if you were as much used to
 town-life as I
am,-which, I presume, is not precisely the case,-I fancy you would
not find so much diversion from a circumstance so common."

 "Common! What, is it common?" repeated the Captain; "why then,
 'fore George,
such chaps are more fit to be sent to school, and well disciplined with
a cat-o'-nine tails, than to poke their heads into a play-house. Why,
a play is the only thing left, now-a-days, that has a grain of sense
in it; for as to all the rest of your public places, d'ye see, if
they were all put together, I wouldn't give that for 'em!" (snapping
his fingers.) "And now we're talking of them sort of things, there's
your operas,-I should like to know, now, what any of you can find to
say for them."

 Lord Orville, who was most able to have answered, seemed by no means
 to think
the Captain worthy an argument, upon a subject concerning which he
had neither knowledge nor feeling: but, turning to us, he said, "The
ladies are silent, and we seem to have engrossed the conversation to
ourselves, in which we are much more our own enemies than theirs. But,"
addressing himself to Miss Mirvan and me, "I am most desirous to hear
the opinions of these young ladies, to whom all public places must,
as yet, be new."

 We both, and with eagerness, declared that we had received as much,
 if not
more pleasure, at the opera than any where: but we had better have
been silent; for the Captain, quite displeased, said, "What signifies
asking them girls? Do you think they know their own minds yet? Ask
'em after any thing that's called diversion, and you're sure they'll
say it's vastly fine-they are a set of parrots, and speak by rote,
for they all say the same thing: but ask 'em how they like making
puddings and pies, and I'll warrant you'll pose 'em. As to them operas,
I desire I may hear no more of their liking such nonsense; and for
you, Moll" (to his daughter,) "I charge you, as you value my favour,
that you'll never again be so impertinent as to have a taste of your
own before my face. There are fools enough in the world, without
your adding to their number. I'll have no daughter of mine affect
them sort of megrims. It is a shame they a'n't put down; and if I'd
my will, there's not a magistrate in this town but should be knocked
on the head for suffering them. If you've a mind to praise any thing,
why you may praise a play, and welcome, for I like it myself."

 This reproof effectually silenced us both for the rest of the
 evening. Nay,
indeed, for some minutes it seemed to silence every body else; till Mr.
Lovel, not willing to lose an opportunity of returning the Captain's
sarcasm, said, "Why, really Sir, it is but natural to be most pleased
with what is most familiar; and, I think, of all our diversions,
there is not one so much in common between us and the country as a
play. Not a village but has its barns and comedians; and as for the
stage business, why it may be pretty equally done any where; and even
in regard to us, and the canaille, confined as we all are within the
semi-circle of a theatre, there is no place where the distinction is
less obvious."

 While the Captain seemed considering for Mr. Lovel's meaning,
 Lord Orville,
probably with a view to prevent his finding it, changed the subject
to Cox's Museum, and asked what he thought of it?

 "Think!-"said he, "why I think as how it i'n't worth thinking
 about. I like
no such jemcracks. It is only fit, in my mind, for monkeys:-though,
for aught I know, they too might turn up their noses at it."

 "May we ask your Lordship's own opinion?" said Mrs. Mirvan.

 "The mechanism," answered he, "is wonderfully ingenioous: I am sorry
 it is
turned to no better account; but its purport is so frivolous, so
very remote from all aim at instruction or utility, that the sight
of so fine a show leaves a regret on the mind, that so much work,
and so much ingenuity, should not be better bestowed."

 "The truth is," said the Captain, "that in all this huge town,
 so full as it
is of folks of all sorts, there i'n't so much as one public place,
besides the play-house, where a man, that's to say, a man who is a
man, ought not to be ashamed to shew his face. T'other day they got
me to a ridotto: but, I believe, it will be long enough before they
get me to another. I knew no more what to do with myself, than if my
ship's company had been metamorphosed into Frenchman.  Then, again,
there's your famous Ranelagh, that you make such a fuss about;-why
what a dull place is that!-it's the worst of all."

 "Ranelagh dull!"-"Ranelagh dull!-was echoed from mouth to mouth;
 and all
the ladies, as if of one accord, regarded the Captain with looks of
the most ironical contempt.

 "As to Ranelagh," said Mr. Lovell, "most indubitably, though the
 price is
blebian, it is by no means adapted to the plebian taste. It requires
a certain acquaintance with high life, and-and-and something
of-of-something d'un vrai gout, to be really sensible of its
merit. Those whose-whose connections, and so forth, are not among
les gens comme il faut, can feel nothing but ennui at such a place
as Ranelagh."

 "Ranelagh!" cried Lord -, "O, tis the divinest place under heaven,-or,
indeed,-for aught I know-"

"O you creature!" cried a pretty, but affected young lady, patting him
with her fan, "you sha'n't talk so; I know what you are going to say;
but, positively, I won't sit by you, if you're so wicked."

 "And how can one sit by you, and be good?" said he, "when only to
 look at you
is enough to make one wicked-or wish to be so?"

 "Fie, my Lord!" returned she, "you really are insufferable. I don't
 think I
shall speak to you again these seven years."

 "What a metamorphosis," cried Lord Orville," should you make a
 patriarch of
his Lordship."

 "Seven years!" said he, "dear Madam, be contented with telling me
 you will
not speak to me after seven years, and I will endeavour to submit."

"O, very well, my Lord," answered she, "pray date the end of our
speaking to each other as early as you please, I'll promise to agree
to your time."

 "You know, dear Madam," said he, sipping his tea, "you know I only
 live in
your sight."

 "O yes, my Lord, I have long known that. But I begin to fear we
 shall be too
late for Ranelagh this evening."

 "O no, Madame," said Mr. Lovel, looking at his watch, "it is but
 just past
ten."

 "No more!" cried she, "O then we shall do very well."

 All the ladies now started up, and declared they had no time to lose.

 "Why, what the D-l," cried the Captain, leaning forward with both
 his arms
on the table," are you going to Ranelagh at this time of night?"

 The ladies looked at one another, and smiled.

 "To Ranelagh?" cried Lord -, "yes, and I hope you are going too;
 for we
cannot possibly excuse these ladies."

 "I go to Ranelagh?-if I do, I'll be -."

 Everybody now stood up; and the stranger Lord, coming round to me,
 said, "You
go, I hope?"

 "No, my Lord, I believe not."

 "O you cannot, must not be so barbarous." And he took my hand,
 and ran on,
saying such fine speeches, and compliments, that I might almost have
supposed myself a goddess, and him a pagan paying me adoration. As
soon as I possibly could, I drew back my hand; but he frequently,
in the course of conversation, contrived to take it again, though it
was extremely disagreeable to me; and the more so, as I saw that Lord
Orville had his eyes fixed upon us, with a gravity of attention that
made me uneasy.

 And, surely, my dear Sir, it was a great liberty in this lord,
not withstanding his rank, to treat me so freely. As to Sir Clement,
he seemed in misery.

 They all endeavoured to prevail with the Captain to join the
 Ranelagh party;
and this lord told me, in a low voice, that it was tearing his heart
out to go without me.

During this conversation Mr. Lovel came forward, and assuming a look
of surprise, made me a bow, and inquired how I did, protesting upon
his honour, that he had not seen me before, or would have sooner paid
his respects to me.

 Though his politeness was evidently constrained, yet I was very glad
 to be
thus assured of having nothing more to fear from him.

 The Captain, far from listening to their persuasions of accompanying
 them to
Ranelagh, was quite in a passion at the proposal, and vowed he would
sooner go to the Blackhole in Calcutta.

"But," said Lord -, "if the ladies will take their tea at Ranelagh,
you may depend upon our seeing them safe home; for we shall be proud
of the honour of attending them."

 "May be so," said the Captain, "but I'll tell you what, if one
 of these
places ben't enough for them to-night, why to-morrow they shall go
to ne'er a one."

 We instantly declared ourselves ready to go home.

"It is not for yourselves that we petition," said Lord -. "But for us;
if you have any charity, you will not be so cruel as to deny us; we
only beg you to prolong our happiness for a few minutes,-the favour
is but a small one for you to grant, though so great a one for us
to receive."

 "To tell you a piece of my mind," said the Captain, surlily,
 "I think you
might as well not give the girls so much of this palaver; they'll take
it all for gospel. As to Moll, why she's well enough, but nothing
extraordinary; though, perhaps, you may persuade her that her pug
nose is all the fashion; and as to the other, why she's good white
and red to be sure; but what of that?-I'll warrant she'll moulder
away as fast as her neighbours."

 "Is there," cried Lord -, "another man in this place, who, seeing such
objects, could make such a speech?"

 "As to that there," returned the Captain, "I don't know whether
 there be or
no, and, to make free, I don't care; for I sha'n't go for to model
myself by any of these fair-weather chaps, who dare not so much
as say their souls are their own,-and, for aught I know, no more
they ben't. I'm almost as much ashamed of my countrymen as if I was
a Frenchman, and I believe in my heart there i'n't a pin to choose
between them; and, before long, we shall hear the very sailors talking
that lingo, and see never a swabber without a bag and a sword."

 "He, he, he!-well, 'pon honour," cried Mr. Lovel, "you gentlemen of
 the ocean
have a most severe way of judging."

 "Severe! 'fore George, that is impossible; for, to cut the matter
 short, the
men, as they call themselves, are no better than monkeys; and as to
the women, why they are mere dolls. So now you've got my opinion of
this subject; and I so wish you good night."

 The ladies, who were very impatient to be gone, made their courtsies,
 and
tripped away, followed by all the gentlemen of their party, except
the lord before mentioned, and, Lord Orville, who stayed to make
inquiries of Mrs.  Mirvan concerning our leaving town; and then
saying, with his usual politeness, something civil to each of us,
with a very grave air he quitted us.

 Lord - remained some minutes longer, which he spent in making a
 profusion of
compliments to me; by which he prevented my hearing distinctly what
Lord Orville said, to my great vexation, especially as he looked-I
thought so, at least-as if displeased at his particularity of behaviour
to me.

In going to an outward room, to wait for the carriage, I walked, and
could not possibly avoid it, between this nobleman and Sir Clement
Willoughby, and, when the servant said the coach stopped the way,
though the latter offered me his hand, which I should much have
preferred, this same lord, without any ceremony, took mine himself;
and Sir Clement, with a look extremely provoked, conducted Mrs. Mirvan.

 In all ranks and all stations of life, how strangely do characters and
manners differ! Lord Orville, with a politeness which knows no
intermission, and makes no distinction, is as unassuming and modest
as if he had never mixed with the great, and was totally ignorant
of every qualification he possesses; this other lord, though lavish
of compliments and fine speeches, seems to me an entire stranger to
real good-breeding; whoever strikes his fancy, engrosses his whole
attention. He is forward and bold; has an air of haughtiness towards
men, and a look of libertinism towards woman; and his conscious quality
seems to have given him a freedom in his way of speaking to either sex,
that is very little short of rudeness.

 When we returned home, we were all low-spirited. The evening's
 entertainment
had displeased the Captain; and his displeasure, I believe,
disconcerted us all.

 And here I thought to have concluded my letter; but, to my great
 surprise,
just now we had a visit from Lord Orville. He called, he said, to
pay his respects to us before we left town, and made many inquiries
concerning our return; and, when Mrs Mirvan told him we were going
into the country without any view of again quitting it, he expressed
concern in such terms-so polite, so flattering, so serious-that I
could hardly forbear being sorry for myself. Were I to go immediately
to Berry Hill, I am sure I should feel nothing but joy;-but, now we
are joined by this Captain, and Madame Duval, I must own I expect
very little pleasure at Howard Grove.

 Before Lord Orville went, Sir Clement Willoughby called. He was
 more grave
than I had ever seen him; and made several attempts to speak to me in
a low voice, and to assure me that his regret upon the occasion of
our journey was entirely upon my account. But I was not in spirits,
and could not bear to be teased by him. However, he has so well
paid his court to Captain Mirvan, that he gave him a very hearty
invitation to the Grove. At this he brightened,-and just then Lord
Orville took leave.

 No doubt but he was disgusted at this ill-timed, ill-bred partiality;
 for
surely it was very wrong to make an invitation before Lord Orville
in which he was not included! I was so much chagrined, that, as soon
as he went, I left the room; and I shall not go down stairs till Sir
Clement is gone.

Lord Orville cannot but observe his assiduous endeavours to ingratiate
himself into my favour; and does not this extravagant civility
of Captain Mirvan give him reason to suppose that it meets with
our general approbation? I cannot thimk upon this subject without
inexpressible uneasiness; and yet I can think of nothing else.

 Adieu, my dearest Sir. Pray write to me immediately. How many
 long letters
has this one short fortnight produced! More than I may probably
ever write again. I fear I shall have tired you with reading them;
but you will now have time to rest, for I shall find but little to
say in future.

 And now, most honoured Sir, with all the follies and imperfections
 which I
have thus faithfully recounted, can you, and with unabated kindness,
suffer me to sign myself   Your dutiful and most affectionate EVELINA?


LETTER XXIV

MR VILLARS TO EVELINA Berry Hill, April 22.


HOW much do I rejoice that I can again address my letters to Howard
Grove! My Evelina would have grieved had she known the anxiety of my
mind during her residence in the great world. My apprehensions have
been inexpressibly alarming; and your journal, at once exciting and
relieving my fears, has almost wholly occupied me since the time of
your dating it from London.

 Sir Clement Willoughby must be an artful designing man: I am extremely
irritated at his conduct. The passion he pretends for you has neither
sincerity nor honour; the manner and the opportunities he has chosen
to declare it, are bordering upon insult.

 His unworthy behaviour after the opera, convinces me, that, had
 not your
vehemence frightened him, Queen Ann Street would have been the last
place whither he would have ordered his chariot. O, my child, how
thankful am I for your escape! I need not now, I am sure, enlarge
upon your indiscretion and want of thought, in so hastily trusting
yourself with a man so little known to you, and whose gaiety and
flightiness should have put you on your guard.

 The nobleman you met at the Pantheon, bold and forward as you describe
 him to
be, gives me no apprehension; a man who appears so openly licentious,
and who makes his attack with so little regard to decorum, is one who,
to a mind such as my Evelina's, can never be seen but with the disgust
which his manners ought to excite.

 But Sir Clement, though he seeks occasion to give real offence,
 contrives to
avoid all appearance of intentional evil. He is far more dangerous,
because more artful: but I am happy to observe, that he seems to
have made no impression upon your heart; and therefore a very little
care and prudence may secure you from those designs which I fear he
has formed.

 Lord Orville appears to be of a better order of beings. His spirited
 conduct
to the meanly impertinent Lovel, and his anxiety for you after the
opera, prove him to be a man of sense and feeling. Doubtless he thought
there was much reason to tremble for your safety while exposed to
the power of Sir Clement; and he acted with a regard to real honour,
that will always incline me to think well of him, in so immediately
acquainting the Mirvan family with your situation. Many men of this
age, from a false and pretended delicacy to a friend, would have
quietly pursued their own affairs, and thought it more honourable
to leave an unsuspecting young creature to the mercy of a libertine,
than to risk his displeasure by taking measures for her security.

 Your evident concern at leaving London is very natural, and yet
 it afflicts
me. I ever dreaded your being too much pleased with a life of
dissipation, which youth and vivacity render but too alluring; and
I almost regret the consent for your journey, which I had not the
resolution to withhold.

 Alas, my child, the artfulness of your nature, and the simplicity
 of your
education, alike unfit you for the thorny paths of the great and
busy world.  The supposed obscurity of your birth and situation,
makes you liable to a thousand disagreeable adventures. Not only
my views, but my hopes for your future life, have ever centered in
the country. Shall I own to you, that, however I may  differ from
Captain Mirvan in other respects, yet my opinion of the town, its
manners, inhabitants, and diversions, is much upon upon a level with
his own? Indeed it is the general harbour of fraud and of folly, of
duplicity and of impertinence; and I wish few things more fervently,
than that you may have taken a lasting leave of it.

 Remember, however, that I only speak in regard to a public and
 dissipated
life; in private families we may doubtless find as much goodness,
honesty, and virtue, in London as in the country.

 If contented with a retired station, I still hope I shall live to
 see my
Evelina the ornament of her neighbourhood, and the pride and delight
of her family; and giving and receiving joy from such society as may
best deserve her affection, and employing herself in such useful and
innocent occupations as may secure and merit the tenderest love of her
friends, and the worthiest satisfaction of her own heart. Such are my
hopes, and such have been my expectations. Disappointment them not,
my beloved child; but cheer me with a few lines, that may assure me,
this one short fortnight spent in town has not undone the work of
seventeen years spent in the country. ARTHUR VILLARS.


LETTER XXV

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Howard Grove, April 25.


NO, my dear Sir, no: the work of seventeen years remains such as
it was, ever unworthy your time and your labour; but not more so
now-at least I hope not,-than before that fortnight which has so much
alarmed you.

 And yet I must confess, that I am not half so happy here at present
 as I was
ere I went to town: but the change is in the place, not in me. Captain
Mirvan and Madame Duval have ruined Howard Grove. The harmony that
reigned here is disturbed, our schemes are broken, our way of life is
altered, and our comfort is destroyed. But do not suppose London to
be the source of these evils; for, had our excursion been any where
else, so disagreeable an addition to our household must have caused
the same change at our return.

 I was sure you would be displeased with Sir Clement Willoughby,  and
therefore I am by no means surprised at what you say of him; but
for Lord Orville-I must own I had greatly feared that my weak and
imperfect account would not have procured him the good opinion which
he so well deserves, and which I am delighted to find you seem to
have of him. O, Sir, could I have done justice to the merit of which
I believe him posessed;-could I have painted him to you such as he
appeared to me;-then, indeed, you would have had some idea of the
claim which he has to your approbation!

 After the last letter which I wrote in town, nothing more passed
 previous to
our journey hither, except a very violent quarrel between Captain
Mirvan and Madame Duval. As the Captain intended to travel on
horseback, he had settled that we four females should make use of
his coach. Madame Duval did not come to Queen Ann Street till the
carriage had waited some time at the door; and then, attended by
Monsieur Du Bois, she made her appearance.

 The Captain, impatient to be gone, would not suffer them to enter
 the house,
but insisted that we should immediately get into the coach. We obeyed;
but were no sooner seated, than Madame Duval said, "Come, Monsieur
Du Bois, these girls can make very good room for you; sit closer,
children."

 Mrs. Mirvan looked quite confounded; and M. Du Bois, after making some
apologies about crowding us, actually got into the coach, on the side
with Miss Mirvan and me. But no sooner was he seated, than the Captain,
who had observed this transaction very quietly, walked up to the
coach door, saying, "What, neither with your leave, nor by your leave?"

 M. Du Bois seemed rather shocked, and began to make abundance of
 excuses: but
the Captain neither understood nor regarded him, and, very roughly,
said, "Look'ee, Monseer, this here may be a French fashion for aught I
know,-but give and take is fair in all nations; and so now, d'ye see,
I'll make bold to show you an English one."

And then, seizing his wrist, he made him jump out of the coach.

 M. Du Bois instantly put his hand upon his sword, and threatened to
resent this indignity. The Captain, holding up his stick, bid him draw
at his peril. Mrs. Mirvan, greatly alarmed, got out of the coach, and,
standing between them, intreated her husband to re-enter the house.

 "None of your clack!" cried he angrily; "what the D-l, do you
 suppose I
can't manage a Frenchman?"

 Meantime, Madame Duval called out to M. Du Bois, "Eh, laissez-le,
 mon ami, ne
le corrigez pas; c'est une villaine bete qui n'en vaut pas la peine."

"Monsieur le Capitaine," cried M. Du Bois, "voulez-vous bien ne
demander pardon?"

 "O ho, you demand pardon, do you?" said the Captain," I thought as
 much; I
thought you'd come to;-so you have lost your relish for an English
salutation, have you?" strutting up to him with looks of defiance.

 A crowd was now gathering, and Mrs. Mirvan again besought her husband
 to go
into the house.

 "Why, what a plague is the woman afraid of?-Did you ever know
 a Frenchman
that could not take an affront?-I warrant Monseer knows what he is
about;-don't you Monseer?"

 M. Du Bois, not understanding him, only said, "plait-il, Monsieur?"

 "No, nor dish me neither," answered the Captain; "but, be that as
 it may,
what signifies our parleying here? If you've any thing to propose,
speak at once; if not, why let us go on our journey without more ado."

 "Parbleu, je n'entends rien, moi!" cried M. Du Bois, shrugging up his
shoulders, and looking very dismal.

 Mrs. Mirvan then advanced to him, and said in French, that she was
 sure the
Captain had not any intention to affront him, and begged he would
desist from a dispute which could only be productive of mutual
misunderstanding, as neither of them knew the language of the other.

 This sensible remonstrance had the desired effect; and M. Du Bois,
 making a
bow to every one except the Captain, very wisely gave up the point,
and took leave.

 We then hoped to proceed quietly on our journey; but the turbulent
 Captain
would not yet permit us. He approached Madame Duval with an exulting
air, and said, "Why, how's this, Madame? what, has your champion
deserted you? why, I thought you told me, that you old gentlewomen
had it all your own way among them French sparks?"

 "As to that, Sir," answered she, "it's not of no consequence what you
thought; for a person who can behave in such a low way, may think
what he pleases for me, for I sha'n't mind."

 "Why then, Mistress, since you must needs make so free," cried he,
 "please to
tell me the reason you took the liberty for to ask any of your
followers into my coach without my leave? Answer me to that."

 "Why, then, pray, Sir," returned she, "tell me the reaon why you
 took the
liberty to treat the gentleman in such an unpolite way, as to take
and pull him neck and heels out? I'm sure he hadn't done nothing to
affront you, nor nobody else; and I don't know what great hurt he
would have done you, by just sitting still in the coach; he would
not have eat it."

 "What, do you think, then, that my horses have nothing to do but
 to carry
about your snivelling Frenchmen? If you do, Madam, I must make bold
to tell you, you are out, for I'll see 'em hang'd first."

 "More brute you, then! For they've never carried nobody half so good."

 "Why, look'ee, Madam, if you must needs provoke me, I'll tell you
 a piece of
my mind; you must know, I can see as far into a millstone as another
man; and so, if you thought for to fob me off with another one of your
smirking French puppies for a son-in-law, why you'll find yourself
in a hobble, that's all."

"Sir, you're a-but I won't say what;-but I protest I hadn't no such
a thought, no more hadn't Monsieur Du Bois."

 "My dear," said Mrs. Mirvan, "we shall be very late."

 "Well, well," answered he, "get away then; off with you as fast as
 you can,
it's high time. As to Molly, she's fine lady enough in all conscience;
I want none of your French chaps to make her worse."

 And so saying he mounted his horse and we drove off. And I could
 not but
think, with regret, of the different feelings we experienced upon
leaving London, to what had belonged to our entering it.

 During the journey Madame Duval was so very violent against the
 Captain, that
she obliged Mrs. Mirvan to tell her, that, when in her presence,
she must beg her to choose some other subject of discourse.

 We had a most affectionate reception from Lady Howard, whose
 kindness and
hospitality cannot fail of making every body happy who is disposed
so to be.

 Adieu, my dearest Sir. I hope, though I have hitherto neglected
 to mention
it, that you have always remembered me to whoever has made any inquiry
concerning me.


LETTER XXVI

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Howard Grove, April 27.


O MY dear Sir, I now write in the greatest uneasiness! Madame Duval
has made a proposal which terrifies me to death, and which was as
unexpected as it is shocking.

 She had been employed for some hours this afternoon in reading
 letters from
London: and, just about tea-time, she sent for me into her room, and
said, with a look of great satisfaction, "Come here, child, I've got
some very good news to tell you: something that will surprise you,
I'll give you my word, for you ha'n't no notion of it."

I begged her to explain herself; and then, in terms which I cannot
repeat, she said she had been considering what a shame it was to
see me such a poor country, shame-faced thing, when I ought to be a
fine lady; and that she had long, and upon several occasions, blushed
for me, though she must own the fault was none of mine; for nothing
better could be expected from a girl who had been so immured. However,
she assured me she had, at length, hit upon a plan, which would make
quite another creature of me.

 I waited, without much impatience, to hear what this preface led to;
 but I
was soon awakened to more lively sensations, when she aquainted me,
that her intention was to prove my birthright, and to claim, by law,
the inheritance of my real family!

 It would be impossible for me to express my extreme consternation
 when she
thus unfolded her scheme. My surprise and terror were equally great;
I could say nothing: I heard her with a silence which I had not the
power to break.

 She then expatiated very warmly upon the advantages I should reap from
her plan; talked in a high style of my future grandeur; assured me
how heartily I should despise almost every body and every thing I had
hitherto seen; predicted my marrying into some family of the first
rank in the kingdom; and, finally, said I should spend a few months in
Paris, where my education and manners might receive their last polish.

 She enlarged also upon the delight she should have, in common
 with myself,
from mortifying the pride of certain people, and showing them that
she was not to be slighted with impunity.

 In the midst of this discourse, I was relieved by a summons to
 tea. Madame
Duval was in great spirits; but my emotion was too painful for
concealment, and every body enquired into the cause. I would fain
have waived the subject, but Madame Duval was determined to make it
public. She told tham that she had it in her head to make something
of me, and that they should soon call me by another name than that
of Anville; and yet that she was not going to have the child married
neither.

 I could not endure to hear her proceed, and was going to leave
 the room;
which, when Lady Howard perceived, she begged Madame Duval would
defer her intelligence to some other opportunity; but she was so
eager to communicate her scheme, that she could bear no delay;
and therefore they suffered me to go without opposition. Indeed,
whenever my situation or affairs are mentioned by Madame Duval,
she speaks of them with such bluntness and severity, that I cannot
be enjoined a task more cruel than to hear her.

 I was afterwards accquainted with some particulars of the conversation
 by
Miss Mirvan; who told me that Madame Duval informed them of her plan
wih the utmost complacency, and seemed to think herself very fortunate
in having suggested it; but, soon after, she accidentally betrayed,
that she had been instigated to the scheme by her relations the
Branghtons, whose letters, which she received today, first mentioned
the proposal. She declared that she would have nothing to do with
any roundabout ways, but go openly and instantly to law, in order to
prove my birth, real name, and title to the estate of my ancestors.

How impertinent and officious in these Branghtons, to interfere
thus in my concerns! You can hardly imagine what a disturbance this
plan has made in the family. The Captain, without enquiring into any
particulars of the affair, has peremptorily declared himself against
it, merely because it has been proposed by Madame Duval; and they
have battled the point together with great violence. Mrs. Mirvan says,
she will not even think, till she hears your opinion. But Lady Howard,
to my great surprise, openly avows her appprobation of Madame Duval's
intention; however, she will write her reasons and sentiments upon
the subject to you herself.

 As to Miss Mirvan, she is my second self, and neither hopes nor
 fears but as
I do. And as to me,-I know not what to say, nor even what to wish; I
have often thought my fate peculiarly cruel, to have but one parent,
and from that one to be banished for ever;-while, on the other side,
I have but too well known and felt the propriety of the separation. And
yet, you may much better imagine, than I can express, the internal
anguish which sometimes oppresses my heart, when I reflect upon the
strange indifference that must occasion a father never to make the
least enquiry after the health, the welfare, or even the life of
his child!

 O Sir, to me the loss is nothing!-greatly, sweetly, and most
 benevolently
have you guarded me from feeling it; but for him, I grieve indeed!-I
must be divested, not merely of all filial piety, but of all humanity,
could I ever think upon this subject, and not be wounded to the soul.

 Again I must repeat, I know not what to wish; think for me, therefore,
my dearest Sir, and suffer my doubting mind, that knows not which way
to direct its hopes, to be guided by your wisdom and unerring counsel.
EVELINA.



LETTER XXVII

LADY HOWARD TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Howard Grove.


Dear Sir,


I CANNOT give a greater proof of the high opinion I have of your
candour, than by the liberty I am now going to take, of presuming to
offer you advice, upon a subject concerning which you have so just a
claim to act for yourself; but I know you have too unaffected a love
of justice, to be partially tenacious of your own judgment.

 Madame Duval has been proposing a scheme which has put us all in
 commotion,
and against which, at first, in common with the rest of my family,
I exclaimed: but, upon more mature consideration, I own my objections
have almost wholly vanished.

This scheme is no other than to commence a lawsuit with Sir John
Belmont, to prove the validity of his marriage with Miss Evelyn; the
necessary consequence of which proof will be, securing his fortune
and estate to his daughter.

 And why, my dear Sir, should not this be? I know that, upon first
 hearing,
such a plan conveys ideas that must shock you; but I know, too,
that your mind is superior to being governed by prejudices, or
to opposing any important cause on account of a few disagreeable
attendant circumstances.

 Your lovely charge, now first entering into life, has merit which
 ought not
to be buried in obscurity. She seems born for an ornament to the world.
Nature has been bountiful to her of whatever she had to bestow; and
the peculiar attention you have given to her education, has formed her
mind to a degree of excellence, that in one so young I have scarce
ever seen equalled.  Fortune alone has hitherto been sparing of her
gifts; and she, too, now opens the way which leads to all that is
left to wish for her.

 What your reasons may have been, my good Sir, for so carefully
 concealing the
birth, name, and pretensions of this amiable girl, and forbearing to
make any claim upon Sir John Belmont, I am totally a stranger to; but,
without knowing, I respect them, from the high opinion that I have
of your character and judgment: but I hope they are not insuperable;
for I cannot but think, that it was never designed for one who seems
meant to grace the world, to have her life devoted to retirement.

 Surely Sir John Belmont, wretch as he has shown himself, could never
 see his
accomplished daughter, and not be proud to own her, and eager to
secure her the inheritance of his fortune. The admiration she met
with in town, though merely the effect of her external attractions,
was such, that Mrs.  Mirvan assures me, she would have had the most
splendid offers, had there not seemed to be some mystery in regard
to her birth, which, she was well informed was assiduously, though
vainly, endeavoured to be discovered.

Can it be right, my dear Sir, that this promising young creature
should be deprived of the fortune and rank of life to which she is
lawfully entitled, and which you have prepared her to support and to
use so nobly? To despise riches may, indeed, be philosophic; but to
dispense them worthily must, surely, be more beneficial to mankind.

 Perhaps a few years, or indeed a much shorter time, may make this
scheme impracticable: Sir John, tho' yet young, leads a life too
dissipated for long duration; and when too late, we may regret that
something was not sooner done: for it will be next to impossible, after
he is gone, to settle or prove anything with his heirs and executors.

Pardon the earnestness with which I write my sense of this affair;
but your charming ward has made me so warmly her friend, that I cannot
be indifferent upon a subject of such importance to her future life.


Adieu, my dear Sir;-send me speedily an answer to this remonstrance,
and believe me to be, -c.  M. HOWARD.


LETTER XXVIII

MR VILLARS TO LADY HOWARD Berry Hill, May 2.


YOUR letter, Madam, has opened a source of anxiety, to which I look
forward with dread, and which, to see closed, I scarcely dare expect. I
am unwilling to oppose my opinion to that of your Ladyship; nor,
indeed, can I, but by arguments which I believe will rather rank me
as a hermit ignorant of the world, and fit only for my cell, than as
a proper guardian, in an age such as this, for an accomplished young
woman. Yet, thus called upon, it behoves me to explain, and endeavour
to vindicate, the reasons by which I have been hitherto guided.


The mother of this dear child,-who was led to destruction by her own
imprudence, the hardness of heart of Madame Duval, and the villany of
Sir John Belmont,-was once, what her daughter is now, the best beloved
of my heart: and her memory, so long as my own holds, I shall love,
mourn and honour! On the fatal day that her gentle soul left its
mansion, and not many hours ere she ceased to breathe, I solemnly
plighted my faith, That her child if it lived, should know no father
but myself, or her acknowledged husband.


You cannot, Madam, suppose that I found much difficulty in adhering
to this promise, and forbearing to make any claim upon Sir John
Belmont. Could I feel an affection the most paternal for this poor
sufferer, and not abominate her destroyer? Could I wish to deliver to
him, who had so basely betrayed the mother, the helpless and innocent
offspring, who, born in so much sorrow, seemed entitled to all the
compassionate tenderness of pity?


For many years, the name alone of that man, accidentally spoken in my
hearing, almost divested me of my Christianity, and scarce could I
forbear to execrate him. Yet I sought not, neither did I desire, to
deprive him of his child, had he with any appearance of contrition,
or, indeed, of humanity, endeavoured to become less unworthy such a
blessing;-but he is a stranger to all parental feelings, and has with
a savage insensibility, forborne to enquire even into the existence
of this sweet orphan, though the situation of his injured wife was
but too well known to him.


You wish to be acquainted with my intentions.-I must acknowledge
they were such as I now perceive would not be honoured with your
Ladyship's approbation; for though I have sometimes thought of
presenting Evelina to her father, and demanding the justice which
is her due, yet, at other times, I have both disdained and feared
the application; disdained lest it should be refused; and feared,
lest it should be accepted!


Lady Belmont, who was firmly persuaded of her approaching dissolution,
frequently and earnestly besought me, that if her infant was a female,
I would not abandon her to the direction of a man so wholly unfit to
take the charge of her education: but, should she be importunately
demanded, that I would retire with her abroad, and carefully conceal
her from Sir John, till some apparent change in his sentiments and
conduct should announce him less improper for such a trust. And
often would she say, "Should the poor babe have any feelings
correspondent with its mother's, it will have no want while under
your protection." Alas! she had no sooner quitted it herself, than
she was plunged into a gulph of misery, that swallowed up her peace,
reputation, and life.


During the childhood of Evelina, I suggested a thousand plans for the
security of her birth-right;-but I as many times rejected them. I
was in a perpetual conflict, between the desire that she should
have justice done her, and the apprehension that, while I improved
her fortune, I should endanger her mind.  However, as her character
began to be formed, and her disposition to be displayed, my perplexity
abated; the road before me seemed less thorny and intricate, and I
thought I could perceive the right path from the wrong: for when I
observed the artless openness the ingenuous simplicity of her nature;
when I saw that her guileless and innocent soul fancied all the world
to be pure and disinterested as herself, and that her heart was open
to every impression with which love, pity, or art might assail it;-then
did I flatter myself, that to follow my own inclination, and to secure
her welfare, was the same thing; since, to expose her to the snares and
dangers inevitably encircling a house of which the master is dissipated
and unprincipled, without the guidance of a mother, or any prudent and
sensible female, seemed to me no less than suffering her to stumble
into some dreadful pit, when the sun is in its meridian. My plan,
therefore, was not merely to educate and to cherish her as my own, but
to adopt her the heiress of my small fortune, and to bestow her upon
some worthy man, with whom she might spend her days in tranquility,
cheerfulness, and good-humour, untainted by vice, folly, or ambition.


So much for the time past. Such have been the motives by which I have
been governed; and I hope they will be allowed not merely to account
for, but also to justify, the conduct which has resulted from them. It
now remains to speak of the time to come.


And here, indeed, I am sensible of difficulties which I almost despair
of surmounting according to my wishes. I pay the highest deference to
your Ladyship's opinion, which it is extremely painful to me not to
concur with;-yet I am so well acquainted with your goodness, that I
presume to hope it would not be absolutely impossible for me to offer
such arguments as might lead you to think with me, that this young
creature's chance of happiness seems less doubtful in retirement, than
it would be in the gay and dissipated world. But why should I perplex
your Ladyship with reasoning that can turn to so little account? for,
alas! what arguments, what persuasions, can I make use of, with any
prospect of success, to such a woman as Madame Duval? Her character
and the violence of her disposition, intimidate me from making the
attempt: she is too ignorant for instruction, too obstinate for
intreaty, and too weak for reason.


I will not, therefore, enter into a contest from which I have nothing
to expect but altercation and impertinence. As soon would I discuss the
effect of sound with the deaf, or the nature of colours with the blind,
as aim at illuminating with conviction a mind so warped by prejudice,
so much the slave of unruly and illiberal passions. Unused as she
is to control, persuasion would but harden, and opposition incense
her. I yield, therefore, to the necessity which compels my reluctant
acquiescence; and shall now turn all my thoughts upon considering
of such methods for the conducting this enterprise, as may be most
conducive to the happiness of my child and least liable to wound
her sensibility.


The law-suit, therefore, I wholly and absolutely disapprove.


Will you, my dear Madam, forgive the freedom of an old man, if I
own myself greatly surprised, that you could, even for a moment,
listen to a plan so violent, so public, so totally repugnant to all
female delicacy? I am satisfied your Ladyship has not weighed this
project. There was a time, indeed, when to assert the innocence
of Lady Belmont, and to blazon to the world the wrongs, not guilt,
by which she suffered, I proposed, nay attempted, a similar plan:
but then all assistance and encouragement was denied. How cruel to
the remembrance I bear of her woes is this tardy resentment of Madame
Duval! She was deaf to the voice of Nature, though she has hearkened
to that of Ambition.


Never can I consent to have this dear and timid girl brought forward to
the notice of the world by such a method; a method which will subject
her to all the impertinence of curiosity, the sneers of conjecture, and
the stings of ridicule. And for what?-the attainment of wealth which
she does not want, and the gratification of vanity which she does not
feel. A child to appear against a father!-no, Madam, old and infirm
as I am, I would even yet sooner convey her myself to some remote
part of the world, though I were sure of dying in the expedition.


Far different had been the motives which would have stimulated
her unhappy mother to such a proceeding; all her felicity in this
world was irretrievably lost; her life was become a burthen to her;
and her fair fame, which she had early been taught to prize above
all other things, had received a mortal wound: therefore, to clear
her own honour, and to secure from blemish the birth of her child,
was all the good which fortune had reserved herself the power of
bestowing. But even this last consolation was withheld from her!


Let milder measures be adopted: and-since it must be so-let application
be made to Sir John Belmont, but as to a law-suit, I hope, upon this
subject, never more to hear it mentioned.


With Madame Duval, all pleas of delicacy would be ineffectual;
her scheme must be opposed by arguments better suited to her
understanding. I will not, therefore, talk of its impropriety, but
endeavour to prove its inutility.  Have the goodness, then, to tell
her, that her own intentions would be frustrated by her plan; since,
should the lawsuit be commenced, and even should the cause be gained,
Sir John Belmont would still have it in his power, and, if irritated,
no doubt in his inclination, to cut off her grand-daughter with
a shilling.


She cannot do better herself than to remain quiet and inactive
in the affair: the long and mutual animosity between her and Sir
John will make her interference merely productive of debates and
ill-will. Neither would I have Evelina appear till summoned. And as
to myself, I must wholly decline acting; though I will, with unwearied
zeal, devote all my thoughts to giving counsel: but, in truth, I have
neither inclination nor spirits adequate to engaging personally with
this man.


My opinion is, that he would pay more respect to a letter from your
Ladyship upon this subject, than from any other person. I, therefore,
advise and hope, that you will yourself take the trouble of writing
to him, in order to open the affair. When he shall be inclined to see
Evelina, I have for him a posthumous letter, which his much injured
lady left to be presented to him, if ever such a meeting should
take place.


The views of the Branghtons, in suggesting this scheme, are obviously
interested. They hope, by securing to Evelina the fortune of her
father, to induce Madame Duval to settle her own upon themselves. In
this, however, they would probably be mistaken; for little minds have
ever a propensity to bestow their wealth upon those who are already
in affluence; and, therefore, the less her grandchild requires her
assistance, the more gladly she will give it.


I have but one thing more to add, from which, however, I can by no
means recede: my word so solemnly given to Lady Belmont, that her
child should never be owned but with her self, must be inviolably
adhered to.  I am, dear Madam, with great respect, Your Ladyship's
most obedient servant, ARTHUR VILLARS.


LETTER XXIX

MR. VILLARS TO EVELINA Berry Hill, May 2.


HOW sincerely do I sympathise in the uneasiness and concern which
my beloved Evelina has so much reason to feel! The cruel scheme in
agitation is equally repugnant to my judgment and my inclination;-yet
to oppose it seems impracticable. To follow the dictates of my own
heart, I should instantly recall you to myself, and never more consent
to your being separated from me; but the manners and opinion of the
world demand a different conduct. Hope, however, for the best, and be
satisfied you shall meet with no indignity; if you are not received
into your own family as you ought to be, and with the distinction that
is your due, you shall leave it for ever; and once again restored to
my protection, secure your own tranquillity, and make, as you have
hitherto done, all the happiness of my life.  ARTHUR VILLARS.


LETTER XXX

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Howard Grove, May 6.


THE die is thrown, and I attend the event in trembling! Lady Howard
has written to Paris, and sent her letter to town, to be forwarded in
the ambassador's packet; and, in less than a fortnight, therefore, she
expects an answer. O, Sir, with what anxious impatience shall I wait
its arrival! upon it seems to depend the fate of my future life. My
solicitude is so great, and my suspense so painful, that I cannot
rest a moment in peace, or turn my thoughts into any other channel.


Deeply interested as I now am in the event, most sincerely do I
regret that the plan was ever proposed. Methinks it cannot end to
my satisfaction: for either I must be torn from the arms of my more
than father,-or I must have the misery of being finally convinced,
that I am cruelly rejected by him who has the natural claim to that
dear title, which to write, mention, or think of, fills my whole soul
with filial tenderness.


The subject is discussed here eternally. Captain Mirvan and Madame
Duval, as usual, quarrel whenever it is started: but I am so wholly
engrossed by my own reflections, that I cannot even listen to them. My
imagination changes the scene perpetually: one moment, I am embraced
by a kind and relenting parent, who takes me to that heart from
which I have hitherto been banished, and supplicates, through me,
peace and forgiveness from the ashes of my mother!-at another, he
regards me with detestation, considers me as the living image of an
injured saint, and repulses me with horror!-But I will not afflict
you with the melancholy phantasms of my brain; I will endeavour to
compose my mind to a more tranquil state, and forbear to write again
till I have in some measure succeeded.


May Heaven bless you, my dearest Sir! and long, long may it continue
you on earth, to bless Your grateful EVELINA


LETTER XXXI

LADY HOWARD TO SIR JOHN BELMONT, BART Howard Grove, May 5.


Sir,

YOU will, doubtless, be surprised at receiving a letter from one who
had for so short a period the honour of your acquaintance, and that
at so great a distance of time; but the motive which has induced me to
take this liberty is of so delicate a nature, that were I to commence
making apologies for my officiousness, I fear my letter would be too
long for your patience.


You have, probably, already conjectured the subject upon which I
mean to treat. My regard for Mr. Evelyn, and his amiable daughter,
was well known to you: nor can I ever cease to be interested in
whatever belongs to their memory or family.


I must own myself somewhat distressed in what manner to introduce the
purport of my writing; yet as I think that, in affairs of this kind,
frankness is the first requisite to a good understanding between
the parties concerned, I will neither torment you nor myself with
punctilious ceremonies, but proceed instantly and openly to the
business which occasions my giving you this trouble.


I presume, Sir, it would be superfluous to tell you, that your child
resides still in Dorsetshire, and is still under the protection
of the Reverend Mr.  Villars, in whose house she was born: for,
though no enquiries concerning her have reached his ears, or mine,
I can never suppose it possible you have forborne to make them. It
only remains, therefore, to tell you, that your daughter is now
grown up; that she has been educated with the utmost care, and the
utmost success; and that she is now a most deserving, accomplished,
and amiable young woman.


Whatever may be your view for her future destination in life, it seems
time to declare it. She is greatly admired, and, I doubt not, will
be very much sought after: it is proper, therefore, that her future
expectations, and your pleasure concerning her, should be made known.


Believe me, Sir, she merits your utmost attention and regard. You
could not see and know her, and remain unmoved by those sensations of
affection which belong to so near and tender a relationship. She is
the lovely resemblance of her lovely mother;-pardon, Sir, the liberty
I take in mentioning that unfortunate lady; but I think it behoves
me, upon this occasion, to shew the esteem I felt for her: allow me,
therefore, to say, and be not offended at my freedom, that the memory
of that excellent lady has but too long remained under the aspersions
of calumny; surely it is time to vindicate her fame;-and how can that
be done in a manner more eligible, more grateful to her friends, or
more honourable to yourself, than by openly receiving as your child,
the daughter of the late Lady Belmont?


The venerable man who has had the care of her education, deserves
your warmest acknowledgments, for the unremitting pains he has taken,
and the attention he has shewn in the discharge of his trust. Indeed
she has been peculiarly fortunate in meeting with such a friend and
guardian; a more worthy man, or one whose character seems nearer to
perfection, does not exist.


Permit me to assure you, Sir, she will amply repay whatever regard and
favour you may hereafter shew her, by the comfort and happiness you
cannot fail to find in her affection and duty. To be owned properly
by you is the first wish of her heart; and, I am sure, that to merit
your approbation will be the first study of her life.


I fear that you will think this address impertinent; but I must rest
upon the goodness of my intention to plead my excuse.  I am, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant, M. HOWARD.


LETTER XXXII

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Howard Grove, Kent, May 10.


OUR house has been enlivened to-day by the arrival of a London visitor;
and the necessity I have been under of concealing the uneasiness of
my mind, has made me exert myself so effectually, that I even think
it is really diminished; or, at least, my thoughts are not so totally,
so very anxiously, occupied by one subject only as they lately were.


I was strolling this morning with Miss Mirvan, down a lane about
a mile from the Grove, when we heard the trampling of horses; and,
fearing the narrowness of the passage, we were turning hastily back,
but stopped upon hearing a voice call out, "Pray, Ladies, don't be
frightened, for I will walk my horse." We turned again, and then saw
Sir Clement Willoughby. He dismounted; and approaching us with the
reins in his hand, presently recollected us.  "Good Heaven," cried
he, with his usual quickness, "do I see Miss Anville ?-and you too,
Miss Mirvan?"


He immediately ordered his servant to take charge of his horse; and
then, advancing to us, took a hand of each, which he pressed to his
lips, and said a thousand fine things concerning his good fortune,
our improved looks, and the charms of the country, when inhabited
by such rural deities. "The town, Ladies, has languished since your
absence;-or, at least, I have so much languished myself, as to be
absolutely insensible to all it had to offer. One refreshing breeze,
such as I now enjoy, awakens me to new vigour, life, and spirit. But I
never before had the good luck to see the country in such perfection."


"Has not almost every body left town, Sir?" said Miss Mirvan.


"I am ashamed to answer you, Madam,-but indeed it is as full as ever,
and will continue so till after the birth-day. However, you Ladies
were so little seen, that there are but few who know what it has
lost. For my own part, I felt it too sensibly, to be able to endure
the place any longer."


"Is there any body remaining there, that we were acquainted
with?" cried I.


"O yes, Ma'am." And then he named two or three persons we have seen
when with him; but he did not mention Lord Orville, and I would not
ask him, lest he should think me curious. Perhaps, if he stays here
some time, he may speak of him by accident.


He was proceeding in this complimentary style, when we were met by
the Captain; who no sooner perceived Sir Clement, than he hastened
up to him, gave him a hearty shake of the hand, a cordial slap on the
back, and some other equally gentle tokens of satisfaction, assuring
him of his great joy at his visit, and declaring he was as glad to
see him as if he had been a messenger who brought news that a French
ship was sunk. Sir Clement, on the other side, expressed himself with
equal warmth; and protested he had been so eager to pay his respects
to Captain Mirvan, that he had left London in its full lustre, and a
thousand engagements unanswered, merely to give himself that pleasure.


"We shall have rare sport," said the Captain; "for, do you know, the
old French-woman is among us? 'Fore George, I have scarce made any
use of her yet, by reason I have had nobody with me that could enjoy a
joke: howsomever, it shall go hard but we'll have some diversion now."


Sir Clement very much approved of the proposal; and we then went into
the house, where he had a very grave reception from Mrs. Mirvan, who
is by no means pleased with his visit, and a look of much discontent
from Madame Duval, who said to me in a low voice, "I'd as soon have
seen Old Nick as that man, for he's the most impertinentest person
in the world, and isn't never of my side."


The Captain is now actually occupied in contriving some scheme, which,
he says, is to pay the old Dowager off; and so eager and delighted is
he at the idea, that he can scarcely restrain his raptures sufficiently
to conceal his design even from herself. I wish, however, since I do
not dare put Madame Duval upon her guard, that he had the delicacy
not to acquaint me with his intention.


LETTER XXXIII

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION May 13th.


THE Captain's operations are begun,-and, I hope, ended; for, indeed,
poor Madame Duval has already but too much reason to regret Sir
Clement's visit to Howard Grove.


Yesterday morning, during breakfast, as the Captain was reading the
newspaper, Sir Clement suddenly begged to look at it, saying, he wanted
to know if there was any account of a transaction, at which he had
been present the evening before his journey hither, concerning a poor
Frenchman, who had got into a scrape which might cost him his life.


The Captain demanded particulars; and then Sir Clement told a
long story of being with a party of country friends at the Tower,
and hearing a man call out for mercy in French; and that, when he
inquired into the occasion of his distress, he was informed that he
had been taken up upon suspicion of treasonable practices against the
government. "The poor fellow," continued he, "no sooner found that I
spoke French, than he besought me to hear him, protesting that he had
no evil designs; that he had been but a short time in England, and
only waited the return of a lady from the country to quit it for ever."


Madame Duval changed colour, and listened with the utmost attention.


"Now, though I by no means approve of so many foreigners continually
flocking into our country," added he, addressing himself to the
Captain, "yet I could not help pitying the poor wretch, because
he did not know enough of English to make his defence; however, I
found it impossible to assist him; for the mob would not suffer me
to interfere. In truth, I am afraid he was but roughly handled."


"Why, did they duck him?" said the Captain.


"Something of that sort," answered he.


"So much the better! so much the better!" cried the Captain, "an
impudent French puppy! I'll bet you what you will he was a rascal. I
only wish all his countrymen were served the same."


"I wish you had been in his place, with all my soul!" cried Madame
Duval, warmly;-"but pray, Sir, did'n't nobody know who this poor
gentleman was?"


"Why I did hear his name," answered Sir Clement, "but I cannot
recollect it."


"It wasn't-it wasn't-Du Bois?" stammered out Madame Duval.


"The very name!" answered he: "yes, Du Bois, I remember it now."


Madame Duval's cup fell from her hand, as she repeated "Du
Bois! Monsieur Du Bois, did you say?"


"Du Bois! why, that's my friend," cried the Captain, "that's Monseer
Slippery, i'n't it?-Why, he's plaguy fond of sousing work; howsomever,
I'll be sworn they gave him his fill of it."


"And I'll be sworn," cried Madame Duval, "that you're a-but I don't
believe nothing about it, so you needn't be so overjoyed, for I dare
say it was no more Monsieur Du Bois than I am."


"I thought at the time," said Sir Clement, very gravely, "that I had
seen the gentleman before; and now I recollect, I think it was in
company with you, Madame."


"With me, Sir?" cried Madame Duval.


"Say you so?" said the Captain; "why then it must be he, as sure
as you're alive!-Well, but, my good friend, what will they do with
poor Monseer?"


"It is difficult to say," answered Sir Clement, very thoughtfully;
"but I should suppose, that if he has not good friends to appear for
him, he will be in a very unpleasant situation; for these are serious
sorts of affairs."


"Why, do you think they'll hang him?" demanded the Captain.


Sir Clement shook his head, but made no answer.


Madame Duval could no longer contain her agitation; she started
from her chair, repeating, with a voice half-choked, "Hang him!-they
can't,-they sha'n't-let them at their peril!-However, it's all false,
and I won't believe a word of it;-but I'll go to town this very moment,
and see M. Du Bois myself;-I won't wait for nothing."


Mrs. Mirvan begged her not to be alarmed; but she flew out of the
room, and up stairs into her own apartment. Lady Howard blamed both
the gentlemen for having been so abrupt, and followed her. I would
have accompanied her, but the Captain stopped me; and, having first
laughed very heartily, said he was going to read his commission to
his ship's company.


"Now, do you see," said he, "as to Lady Howard, I sha'n't pretend for
to enlist her into my service, and so I shall e'en leave her to make
it out as well as she can; but as to all you, I expect obedience and
submission to orders; I am now upon a hazardous expedition, having
undertaken to convoy a crazy vessel to the shore of Mortification; so,
d'ye see, if any of you have anything to propose that will forward the
enterprise,-why speak and welcome; but if any of you, that are of my
chosen crew, capitulate, or enter into any treaty with the enemy,-I
shall look upon you as mutinying, and turn you adrift."


Having finished this harangue, which was interlarded with many
expressions, and sea-phrases, that I cannot recollect, he gave Sir
Clement a wink of intelligence, and left us to ourselves.


Indeed, notwithstanding the attempts I so frequently make of writing
some of the Captain's conversation, I can only give you a faint idea
of his language; for almost every other word he utters is accompanied
by an oath, which, I am sure, would be as unpleasant for you to read,
as for me to write: and, besides, he makes use of a thousand sea-terms,
which are to me quite unintelligible.


Poor Madame Duval sent to inquire at all probable places, whether
she could be conveyed to town in any stage-coach: but the Captain's
servant brought her for answer, that no London stage would pass
near Howard Grove till to-day.  She then sent to order a chaise;
but was soon assured, that no horses could be procured. She was so
much inflamed by these disappointments, that she threatened to set
out for town on foot; and it was with difficulty that Lady Howard
dissuaded her from this mad scheme.


The whole morning was filled up with these inquiries. But when we
were all assembled to dinner, she endeavoured to appear perfectly
unconcerned, and repeatedly protested that she gave not any credit
to the report, as far as it regarded M. Du Bois, being very certain
that he was not the person in question.


The Captain used the most provoking efforts to convince her that she
deceived herself; while Sir Clement, with more art, though not less
malice, affected to be of her opinion; but, at the same time that he
pretended to relieve her uneasiness, by saying that he doubted not
having mistaken the name, he took care to enlarge upon the danger to
which the unknown gentleman was exposed, and expressed great concern
at his perilous situation.


Dinner was hardly removed, when a letter was delivered to Madam
Duval. The moment she had read it, she hastily demanded from whom
it came.


"A country boy brought it," answered the servant," but he would
not wait."


"Run after him this instant!" cried she, "and be sure you bring him
back. Mon Dieu! quelle aventure! que feraije?"


"What's the matter? what's the matter?" said the Captain.


"Why nothing-nothing's the matter. O mon Dieu!"


And she rose, and walked about the room.


"Why, what,-has Monseer sent to you?" continued the Captain: "is that
there letter from him?"


"No,-it i'n't;-besides, if it is, it's nothing to you."


"O then, I'm sure it is! Pray now, Madam, don't be so close;
come tell us all about it-what does he say? how did he relish the
horse-pond?-which did he find best, sousing single or double? 'Fore
George, 'twas plaguy unlucky you was not with him!"


"It's no such a thing, Sir," cried she, very angrily; "and if you're
so very fond of a horse-pond, I wish you'd put yourself into one,
and not be always a thinking about other people's being served so."


The man then came in to acquaint her they could not overtake the
boy. She scolded violently, and was in such perturbation, that Lady
Howard interfered, and begged to know the cause of her uneasiness,
and whether she could assist her.


Madame Duval cast her eyes upon the Captain and Sir Clement, and said
she should be glad to speak to her Ladyship without so many witnesses.


"Well, then, Miss Anville," said the Captain, turning to me, "do you
and Molly go into another room, and stay there till Mrs. Duval has
opened her mind to us."


"So you may think, Sir," cried she, "but who's fool then? no, no,
you needn't trouble yourself to make a ninny of me neither, for I'm
not so easily taken in, I'll assure you."


Lady Howard then invited her into the dressing-room, and I was desired
to attend her.


As soon as we had shut the door, "O my Lady," exclaimed Madam Duval,
"here's the most cruelest thing in the world has happened!-but that
Captain is such a beast, I can't say nothing before him,-but it's
all true! poor M. Du Bois is tooked up!"


Lady Howard begged her to be comforted, saying that, as M. Du Bois
was certainly innocent, there could be no doubt of his ability to
clear himself.


"To be sure, my Lady," answered she, "I know he is innocent; and to
be sure they'll never be so wicked as to hang him for nothing?"


"Certainly not," replied Lady Howard; "you have no reason to be
uneasy. This is not a country where punishment is inflicted without
proof."


"Very true, my Lady: but the worst thing is this; I cannot bear
that that fellow the Captain should know about it; for if he does,
I sha'n't never hear the last of it;-no more won't poor M. Du Bois."


"Well, well," said Lady Howard, "shew me the letter, and I will
endeavour to advise you."


The letter was then produced. It was signed by the clerk of a country
justice; who acquainted her, that a prisoner, then upon trial for
suspicion of treasonable practices against the government, was just
upon the point of being committed to jail; but having declared that
he was known to her, this clerk had been prevailed upon to write,
in order to enquire if she really could speak to the character and
family of a Frenchman who called himself Pierre Du Bois.


When I heard the letter, I was quite amazed at its success. So
improbable did it seem, that a foreigner should be taken before
a country justice of peace, for a crime of so dangerous a nature,
that I cannot imagine how Madame Duval could be alarmed, even for
a moment. But, with all her violence of temper, I see that she is
easily frightened, and in fact, more cowardly than many who have not
half her spirit; and so little does she reflect upon circumstances,
or probability, that she is continually the dupe of her own-I ought
not to say ignorance, but yet I can think of no other word.


I believe that Lady Howard, from the beginning of the transaction,
suspected some contrivance of the Captain; and this letter, I am
sure, must confirm her suspicion: however, though she is not at all
pleased with his frolic, yet she would not hazard the consequence of
discovering his designs: her looks, her manner, and her character,
made me draw this conclusion from her apparent perplexity; for not a
word did she say that implied any doubt of the authenticity of the
letter. Indeed there seems to be a sort of tacit agreement between
her and the Captain, that she should not appear to be acquainted with
his schemes; by which means she at once avoids quarrels, and supports
her dignity.


While she was considering what to propose, Madame Duval begged to
have the use of her Ladyship's chariot, that she might go immediately
to the assistance of her friend. Lady Howard politely assured her,
that it should be extremely at her service; and then Madame Duval
besought her not to own to the Captain what had happened, protesting
that she could not endure he should know poor M. Du Bois had met with
so unfortunate an accident. Lady Howard could not help smiling, though
she readily promised not to inform the Captain of the affair. As to
me, she desired my attendance; which I was by no means rejoiced at,
as I was certain that she was going upon a fruitless errand.


I was then commissioned to order the chariot.


At the foot of the stairs I met the Captain, who was most impatiently
waiting the result of the conference. In an instant we were joined
by Sir Clement. A thousand inquiries were then made concerning Madame
Duval's opinion of the letter, and her intentions upon it: and when I
would have left them, Sir Clement, pretending equal eagerness with
the Captain, caught my hand, and repeatedly detained me, to ask
some frivolous question, to the answer of which he must be totally
indifferent. At length, however, I broke from them; they retired into
the parlour, and I executed my commission.


The carriage was soon ready; and Madame Duval, having begged Lady
Howard to say she was not well, stole softly down stairs, desiring me
to follow her.  The chariot was ordered at the garden-door; and, when
we were seated, she told the man, according to the clerk's directions,
to drive to Mr. Justice Tyrell's, asking at the same time, how many
miles off he lived?


I expected he would have answered, that he knew of no such person;
but, to my great surprise, he said, "Why, 'Squire Tyrell lives about
nine miles beyond the park."


"Drive fast, then," cried she, "and you sha'n't be no worse for it."


During our ride, which was extremely tedious, she tormented herself
with a thousand fears for M. Du Bois's safety; and piqued herself
very much upon having escaped unseen by the Captain, not only that
she avoided his triumph, but because she knew him to be so much M. Du
Bois's enemy, that she was sure he would prejudice the justice against
him, and endeavour to take away his life. For my part, I was quite
ashamed of being engaged in so ridiculous an affair, and could only
think of the absurd appearance we should make upon our arrival at
Mr. Tyrell's.


When we had been out near two hours, and expected every moment to
stop at the place of our destination, I observed that Lady Howard's
servant, who attended us on horseback, rode on forward till he was
out of sight: and soon after returning, came up to the chariot window,
and delivering a note to Madame Duval, said he had met a boy who was
just coming with it to Howard Grove from the clerk of Mr. Tyrell.

While she was reading it, he rode round to the other window, and making
a sign for secrecy, put into my hand a slip of paper, on which was
written, "Whatever happens, be not alarmed-for you are safe-though
you endanger all mankind!"

I readily imagined that Sir Clement must be the author of this note,
which prepared me to expect some disagreeable adventure: but I had
no time to ponder upon it; for Madame Duval had no sooner read her
own letter, than, in an angry tone of voice, she exclaimed, "Why,
now, what a thing is this! here we're come all this way for nothing!"

She gave me the note; which informed her, that she need not trouble
herself to go to Mr. Tyrell's, as the prisoner had had the address to
escape. I congratulated her upon this fortunate incident; but she was
so much concerned at having rode so far in vain, that she seemed to
be less pleased than provoked. However, she ordered the man to make
what haste he could home, as she hoped, at least, to return before
the Captain should suspect what had passed.

 The carriage turned about; and we journeyed so quietly for near an
 hour, that
I began to flatter myself we should be suffered to proceed to Howard
Grove without any molestation, when suddenly, the footman called out,
"John, are we going right?"

 "Why, I a'n't sure," said the coachman, "But I'm afraid we turned
 wrong."

 "What do you mean by that, sirrah?" said Madame Duval; "why, if you
 lose your
way, we shall all be in the dark."

"I think we should turn to the left," said the footman.

 "To the left!" answered the other; "No, no, I'm partly sure we should
 turn to
the right."

 "You had better make some enquiry," said I.

 "Ma foi!" cried Madame Duval, "we're in a fine hole here!-they
 neither of
them know no more than the post. However, I'll tell my Lady as sure
as you're born, you'd better find the way."

"Let's try this lane," said the footman.

"No," said the coachman, "that's the road to Canterbury; we had best
go straight on."



 "Why, that's the direct London road," returned the footman, "and
 will lead us
twenty miles about."



"Pardi," cried Madame Duval, "why, they won't go one way nor
t'other! and now we're come all this jaunt for nothing, I suppose we
shan't get home to-night!"

 "Let's go back to the public-house," said the footman, "and ask for a
guide."

 "No, no," said the other, "if we stay here a few minutes, somebody
 or other
will pass by; and the horses are almost knocked up already."

 "Well, I protest," cried Madame Duval, "I'd give a guinea to see
 them sots
both horse-whipped! As sure as I'm alive they're drunk! Ten to one
but they'll overturn us next."

 After much debating, they at length agreed to go on till we came to
 some inn,
or met with a passenger who could direct us. We soon arrived at a
farm-house, and the footman alighted, and went into it.

 In a few minutes he returned, and told us we might proceed, for that
 he had
procured a direction: "But," added he, "it seems there are some
thieves hereabouts; and so the best way will be for you to leave
your watches and your purses with the farmer, whom I know very well,
and who is an honest man, and a tenant of my Lady's."

 "Thieves!" cried Madame Duval, looking aghast; "the Lord help
 us!-I've no
doubt but we shall be all murdered!"

 The farmer came up to us, and we gave him all we were worth, and
 the servants
followed our example. We then proceeded; and Madame Duval's anger
so entirely subsided, that, in the mildest manner imaginable, she
intreated them to make haste, and promised to tell their Lady how
diligent and obliging they had been. She perpetually stopped them,
to ask if they apprehended any danger; and was at length so much
overpowered by her fears, that she made the footman fasten his horse
to the back of the carriage, and then come and seat himself within
it. My endeavours to encourage her were fruitless: she sat in the
middle, held the man by the arm, and protested that if he did but
save her life, she would make his fortune. Her uneasiness gave me much
concern, and it was with the utmost difficulty I forbore to acquaint
her that she was imposed upon; but the mutual fear of the Captain's
resentment to me, and of her own to him, neither of which would have
any moderation, deterred me. As to the footman, he was evidently in
torture from restraining his laughter; and I observed that he was
frequently obliged to make most horrid grimaces, from pretended fear,
in order to conceal his risibility.

Very soon after, "The robbers are coming!" cried the coachman.

The footman opened the door, and jumped out of the chariot.

Madame Duval gave a loud scream.

I could no longer preserve my silence. "For Heaven's sake, my dear
Madame," said I, "don't be alarmed,-you are in no danger,-you are
quite safe,-there is nothing but-"

 Here the chariot was stopped by two men in masks; who at each side
 put in
their hands as if for our purses. Madame Duval sunk to the bottom
of the chariot, and implored their mercy. I shrieked involuntarily,
although prepared for the attack: one of them held me fast, while
the other tore poor Madame Duval out of the carriage, in spite of
her cries, threats, and resistance.

I was really frightened, and trembled exceedingly. "My angel!" cried
the man who held me, "you cannot surely be alarmed,-do you not know
me?-I shall hold myself in eternal abhorrence, if I have really
terrified you."

"Indeed, Sir Clement, you have," cried I:-"but, for Heaven's sake,
where is Madame Duval?-why is she forced away?"

 "She is perfectly safe; the Captain has her in charge: but suffer
 me now, my
adored Miss Anville, to take the only opportunity that is allowed me,
to speak upon another, a much dearer, much sweeter subject."

And then he hastily came into the chariot, and seated himself next to
me. I would fain have disengaged myself from him, but he would not let
me: "Deny me not, most charming of women," cried he, "deny me not this
only moment that is lent me, to pour forth my soul into your gentle
ears,-to tell you how much I suffer from your absence,-how much I dread
your displeasure,-and how cruelly I am affected by your coldness!"

 "O, Sir, this is no time for such language;-pray leave me, pray go
 to the
relief of Madame Duval,-I cannot bear that she should be treated with
such indignity."

 "And will you,-can you command my absence?-When may I speak to you,
 if not
now?-Does the Captain suffer me to breathe a moment out of his
sight?-and are not a thousand impertinent people for ever at your
elbow?"

 "Indeed, Sir Clement, you must change your style, or I will not hear
 you. The
impertinent people you mean are among my best friends; and you would
not, if you really wished me well, speak of them so disrespectfully."

 "Wish you well!-O, Miss Anville, point but out to me how, in what
 manner, I
may convince you of the fervour of my passion;-tell me but what
services you will accept from me,-and you shall find my life, my
fortune, my whole soul at your devotion."

 "I want nothing, Sir, that you can offer;-I beg you not to talk to
 me so-so
strangely. Pray leave me; and pray assure yourself you cannot take
any method so successless to show any regard for me, as entering into
schemes so frightful to Madame Duval, and so disagreeable to myself."

 "The scheme was the Captain's: I even opposed it: though, I own,
 I could not
refuse myself the so-long-wished-for happiness of speaking to you
once more, without so many of-your friends to watch me. And I had
flattered myself, that the note I charged the footman to give you,
would have prevented the alarm you have received."

 "Well Sir, you have now, I hope, said enough; and, if you will not go
yourself to see for Madame Duval, at least suffer me to inquire what
is become of her."

 "And when may I speak to you again?"

 "No matter when,-I don't know,-perhaps-"

 "Perhaps what, my angel?"

 "Perhaps never, Sir,-if you torment me thus."

 "Never! O, Miss Anville, how cruel, how piercing to my soul is
 that icy
word!-Indeed I cannot endure such displeasure."

 "Then, Sir, you must not provoke it. Pray leave me directly."

 "I will Madam: but let me, at least, make a merit of my
 obedience,-allow me
to hope that you will, in future, be less averse to trusting yourself
for a few moments alone with me"

 I was surprised at the freedom of this request: but, while I hesitated
 how to
answer it, the other mask came up to the chariot-door, and, in a voice
almost stifled with laughter said, "I've done for her!-the old buck
is safe;-but we must sheer off directly, or we shall be all ground."

 Sir Clement instantly left me, mounted his horse, and rode off. The
 Captain
having given some directions to the servants, followed him.

 I was both uneasy and impatient to know the fate of Madame Duval, and
immediately got out of the chariot to seek her. I desired the footman
to show me which way she was gone; he pointed with his finger by
way of answer, and I saw that he dared not trust his voice to make
any other. I walked on at a very quick pace, and soon, to my great
consternation, perceived the poor lady seated upright in a ditch. I
flew to her with unfeigned concern at her situation. She was sobbing,
nay, almost roaring, and in the utmost agony of rage and terror. As
soon as she saw me, she redoubled her cries; but her voice was so
broken, I could not understand a word she said. I was so much shocked,
that it was with difficulty I forebore exclaiming against the cruelty
of the Captain for thus wantonly ill-treating her; and I could not
forgive myself for having passively suffered the deception. I used my
utmost endeavours to comfort her, assuring her of our present safety,
and begging her to rise and return to the chariot.

 Almost bursting with passion, she pointed to her feet, and with
 frightful
violence she actually tore the ground with her hands.

I then saw that her feet were tied together with a strong rope, which
was fastened to the upper branch of a tree, even with a hedge which
ran along the ditch where she sat. I endeavoured to untie the knot;
but soon found it was infinitely beyond my strength. I was, therefore,
obliged to apply to the footman; but, being very unwilling to add to
his mirth by the sight of Madame Duval's situation. I desired him to
lend me a knife: I returned with it, and cut the rope. Her feet were
soon disentangled; and then, though with great difficulty, I assisted
her to rise. But what was my astonishment, when, the moment she was
up, she hit me a violent slap on the face! I retreated from her with
precipitation and dread: and she then loaded me with reproaches, which,
though almost unintelligible, convinced me that she imagined I had
voluntarily deserted her; but she seemed not to have the slightest
suspicion that she had not been attacked by real robbers.

 I was so much surprised and confounded at the blow, that, for some
 time, I
suffered her to rave without making any answer; but her extreme
agitation, and real suffering, soon dispelled my anger, which all
turned into compassion. I then told her, that I had been forcibly
detained from following her, and assured her of my real sorrow of
her ill-usage.

 She began to be somewhat appeased; and I again intreated her to
 return to the
carriage, or give me leave to order that it should draw up to the
place where we stood. She made no answer, till I told her, that the
longer we remained still, the greater would be the danger of our
ride home. Struck with this hint, she suddenly, and with hasty steps,
moved forward.

 Her dress was in such disorder, that I was quite sorry to have
 her figure
exposed to the servants, who all of them, in imitation of her master,
hold her in derision: however the disgrace was unavoidable.

 The ditch, happily, was almost quite dry, or she must have suffered
 still
more seriously; yet so forlorn, so miserable a figure, I never before
saw her. Her head-dress had fallen off, her linen was torn, her
negligee had not a pin left in it, her petticoats she was obliged to
hold on, and her shoes were perpetually slipping off. She was covered
with dirt, weeds, and filth, and her face was really horrible; for
the pomatum and powder from her head, and the dust from the road,
were quite pasted on her skin by her tears, which, with her rouge,
made so frightful a mixture, that she hardly looked human.

 The servants were ready to die with laughter the moment they saw her;
 but not
all my remonstrances could prevail upon her to get into the carriage,
till she had most vehemently reproached them both for not rescuing
her. The footman, fixing his eyes on the ground, as if fearful of
again trusting himself to look at her, protested that the robbers had
vowed they would shoot him if he moved an inch, and that one of them
had stayed to watch the chariot, while the other carried her off,
adding, that the reason of their behaving so barbarously, was to
revenge our having secured our purses.  Notwithstanding, her anger,
she gave immediate credit to what he said; and really imagined that her
want of money had irritated the pretended robbers to treat her with
such cruelty. I determined, therefore, to be carefully upon my guard
not to betray the imposition, which could now answer no other purpose,
then occasioning an irreparable breach between her and the Captain.

 Just as we were seated in the chariot, she discovered the loss which
 her head
had sustained, and called out, "My God! what is become of my hair?-why,
the villain has stole all my curls!"

 She then ordered the man to run and see if he could find any of them
 in the
ditch. He went, and presently returning, produced a great quantity of
hair, in such nasty condition, that I was amazed she would take it;
and the man, as he delivered it to her, found it impossible to keep
his countenance; which she no sooner observed, than all her stormy
passions were again raised. She flung the battered curls in his face,
saying, "Sirrah, what do you grin for?  I wish you'd been served so
yourself, and you wouldn't have found it no such joke; you are the
impudentest fellow ever I see; and if I find you dare grin at me any
more, I shall make no ceremony of boxing your ears."

 Satisfied with the threat, the man hastily retired, and we drove on.

 Her anger now subsiding into grief, she began most sorrowfully to
 lament her
case. "I believe," she cried, "never nobody was so unlucky as I
am! and so here, because I ha'n't had misfortunes enough already,
that puppy has made me lose my curls!-Why, I can't see nobody without
them:-only look at me,-I was never so bad off in my life before. Pardi,
if I'd know'd as much, I'd have brought two or three sets with me:
but I'd never a thought of such a thing as this."

 Finding her now somewhat pacified, I ventured to ask an account of her
adventure, which I will endeavour to write in her own words.

 "Why, child, all this misfortune comes of that puppy's making us
 leave our
money behind us; for, as soon as the robber see I did put nothing
in his hands, he lugged me out of the chariot by main force, and I
verily thought he'd have murdered me. He was as strong as a lion;
I was no more in his hands than a child. But I believe never nobody
was so abused before; for he dragged me down the road, pulling and
hauling me all the way, as if'd no more feeling than a horse. I'm
sure I wish I could see that man cut up and quartered alive! however,
he'll come to the gallows, that's one good thing. So soon as we'd
got out of sight of the chariot, though he needn't have been afraid,
for if he'd beat me to a mummy, those cowardly fellows wouldn't have
said nothing to it-so, when I was got there, what does he do, but
all of a sudden he takes me by both the shoulders, and he gives me
such a shake!-Mon Dieu I shall never forget it, if I live to be an
hundred. I'm sure I dare say I'm out of joint all over. And though
I made as much noise as I ever could, he took no more notice of
it than nothing at all; there he stood, shaking me in that manner,
as if he was doing it for a wager. I'm determined, if it costs me
all my fortune, I'll see that villain hanged. He shall be found out,
if there's e'er a justice in England. So when he had shook me till he
was tired, and I felt all over like a jelly, without saying never a
word, he takes and pops me into the ditch! I'm sure, I thought he'd
have murdered me, as much as ever I thought any thing in my life;
for he kept bumping me about, as if he thought nothing too bad for
me. However, I'm resolved I'll never leave my purse behind me again,
the longest day I have to live. So when he couldn't stand over me
no longer, he holds out his hands again for my money; but he was as
cunning as could be, for he wouldn't speak a word, because I shouldn't
swear to his voice; however, that sha'n't save him, for I'll swear to
him any day in the year, if I can but catch him. So, when I told him I
had no money, he fell to jerking me again, just as if he had but that
moment begun! And, after that, he got me close by a tree, and out of
his pocket he pulls a great cord!-It's a wonder I did not swoon away:
for as sure as you're alive, he was going to hang to me that tree. I
screamed like any thing mad, and told him if he would but spare my
life, I'd never prosecute him, nor tell anybody what he'd done to me:
so he stood some time quite in a brown study, a-thinking what he should
do. And so, after that, he forced me to sit down in the ditch, and he
tied my feet together, just as you see them: and then, as if he had
not done enough, he twitched off my cap, and without saying nothing,
got on his horse and left me in that condition; thinking, I suppose,
that I might lie there and perish."

 Though this narrative almost compelled me to laugh, yet I was really
irritated with the Captain, for carrying his love of tormenting,-sport,
he calls it,-to such barbarous and unjustifiable extremes. I consoled
and soothed her, as well as I was able: and told her, that since
M. Du Bois had escaped, I hoped, when she recovered from her fright,
all would end well.

 "Fright, child!" repeated she,-"why that's not half:-I promise you,
 I wish it
was: but here I'm bruised from top to toe and it's well if ever I have
the right use of my limbs again. However, I'm glad the villain got
nothing but his trouble for his pains. But here the worst is to come,
for I can't go out, because I've got no curls, and so he'll be escaped
before I can get to the justice to stop him. I'm resolved I'll tell
Lady Howard how her man served me; for if he hadn't made me fling
'em away, I dare say I would have pinned them up well enough for
the country."

 "Perhaps Lady Howard may be able to lend you a cap that will wear
 without
them."

 "Lady Howard, indeed! why, do you think I'd wear one of her
 dowdies? No, I'll
promise you, I sha'n't put on no such disguisement. It's the unluckiest
thing in the world that I did not make the man pick up the curls again;
but he put me in such a passion, I could not think of nothing. I
know I can't get none at Howard   Grove for love nor money: for of
all the stupid places ever I see, that Howard Grove is the worst;
there's never no getting nothing one wants."

This sort of conversation lasted till we arrived at our journey's end;
and then a new distress occurred: Madame Duval was eager to speak
to Lady Lady Howard and Mrs. Mirvan, and to relate her misfortunes:
but she could not endure that Sir Clement or the Captain should
see her in such disorder; so she said they were so ill-natured,
that instead of pitying her, they would only make a jest of her
disasters. She therefore sent me first into the house, to wait for an
opportunity of their being out of the way, that she might steal up
stairs unobserved. In this I succeeded, as the gentlemen thought it
most prudent not to seem watching for her; though they both contrived
to divert themselves with peeping at her as she passed.

She went immediately to bed, where she had her supper. Lady Howard
and Mrs.  Mirvan both of them very kindly sat with her, and listened
to her tale with compassionate attention: while Miss Mirvan and I
retired to our own room, where I was very glad to end the troubles
of the day in a comfortable conversation.

The Captain's raptures, during supper, at the success of his plan,
were boundless. I spoke afterwards to Mrs. Mirvan with the openness
which her kindness encourages, and begged her to remonstrate with
him upon the cruelty of tormenting Madame Duval so causelessly. She
promised to take the first opportunity of starting up the subject:
but said he was at present so much elated, that he would not listen
to her with any patience. However, should he make any new efforts to
molest her, I can by no means consent to be passive.  Had I imagined
he would have been so violent, I would have risked his anger in her
defense much sooner.

She had kept her bed all day, and declares she is almost bruised
to death.

Adieu, my dear Sir. What a long letter have I written! I could almost
fancy I sent it to you from London!


LETTER XXXIV

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION
 Howard Grove, May 15.


THIS insatiable Captain, if left to himself, would not, I believe,
rest, till he had tormented Madame Duval into a fever. He seems
to have no delight but in terrifying or provoking her; and all his
thoughts apparently turn upon inventing such methods as may do it
most effectually.

She had her breakfast again in bed yesterday morning: but during ours,
the Captain, with a very significant look at Sir Clement, gave us to
understand, that he thought she had now rested long enough to bear
the hardships of a fresh campaign.

His meaning was obvious: and, therefore, I resolved to endeavour
immediately to put a stop to his intended exploits. When breakfast
was over, I followed Mrs. Mirvan out of the parlour, and begged
her to lose no time in pleading the cause of Madame Duval with the
Captain. "My love," answered she, "I have already expostulated with
him; but all I can say is fruitless, while his favourite, Sir Clement,
contrives to urge him on."

"Then I will go and speak to Sir Clement," said I, "for I know he
will desist if I request him."

"Have I care, my dear!" said she, smiling: "it is sometimes dangerous
to make requests to men who are too desirous of receiving them."

"Well, then, my dear Madam, will you give me leave to speak myself
to the Captain?"

"Willingly: nay, I will accompany you to him."

I thanked her, and we went to seek him. He was walking in the garden
with Sir Clement. Mrs. Mirvan most obligingly made an opening for my
purpose, by saying, "Mr. Mirvan, I have brought a petitioner with me."

"Why, what's the matter now?" cried he.

I was fearful of making him angry, and stammered very much, when I
told him, I hoped he had no new plan for alarming Madame Duval.

"New plan!" cried he; "why, you don't suppose the old one would do
again, do you? Not but what it was a very good one, only I doubt she
wouldn't bite."

"Indeed, Sir," said I, "she had already suffered too much; and I
hope you will pardon me, if I take the liberty of telling you, that I
think it my my duty to do all in my power to prevent her being again
so much terrified."

A sullen gloominess instantly clouded his face, and, turning short
from me, he said, I might do as I pleased, but that I should much
sooner repent than repair my officiousness.

I was too much disconcerted at this rebuff to attempt making any
answer: and finding that Sir Clement warmly espoused my cause,
I walked away, and left them to discuss the point together.

Mrs. Mirvan, who never speaks to the Captain when he is out of humour,
was glad to follow me, and with her usual sweetness made a thousand
apologies for her husband's ill-manners.

When I left her, I went to Madame Duval, who was just risen, and
employed in examining the clothes she had on the day of her ill usage.

"Here's a sight!" she cried. "Come, here child,-only look-Pardi, so
long as I've lived, I never see so much before! Why, all my things
are spoilt; and what's worse, my sacque was as good as new. Here's
the second negligee I've used in this manner! - I'm sure I was a
fool to put it on in such a lonesome place as this; however if I
stay here these ten years, I'll never put on another good gown,
that I'm resolved."

"Will you let the maid try if she can iron it out, or clean it, Ma'am?"

"No, she'll only make bad worse.-But look here, now, here's
a cloak! Mon Dieu!  why it looks like a dish-clout! Of all the
unluckiness that ever I met, this is the worst! for, do you know, I
bought it but the day before I left Paris!-Besides, into the bargain,
my cap's quite gone: where the villain twitched it, I don't know;
but I never see no more of it from that time to this. Now you must
know that this was the becomingest cap I had in the world, for I've
never another with pink ribbon in it; and, to tell you the truth,
if I hadn't thought to have seen M. Du Bois, I'd no more have put
it on than I'd have flown; for as to what one wears in such a stupid
place as this, it signifies no more than nothing at all."

She then told me, that she had been thinking all night of a contrivance
to hinder the Captain from finding out her loss of curls; which was
having a large gauge handkerchief pinned over her head as a hood,
and saying she had the tooth-ache.

"To tell you the truth," added she, "I believe that Captain is one
of the worst men in the world; he's always making a joke of me;
and as to his being a gentleman, he has no more manners than a bear,
for he's always upon the grin when one's in distress; and, I declare
I'd rather be done anything to than laughed at, for, to my mind,
it's one or other the disagreeablest thing in the world."

Mrs. Mirvan, I found, had been endeavouring to dissuade her from the
design she had formed of having recourse to the law, in order to find
out the supposed robbers; for she dreads a discovery of the Captain,
during Madam Duval's stay at Howard Grove, as it could not fail being
productive of infinite commotion. She has, therefore, taken great
pains to show the inutility of applying to justice, unless she were
more able to describe the offenders against whom she would appear;
and has assured her, that as she neither heard their voices, nor saw
their faces, she cannot possibly swear to their persons, or obtain
any redress.

Madame Duval, in telling me this, extremely lamented her hard fate,
that she was thus prevented from revenging her injuries; which,
however, she vowed she would not be persuaded to pocket tamely:
"because," added she, "if such villains as these are let to have
their own way, and nobody takes no notice of their impudence, they'll
make no more ado than nothing at all of tying people in ditches,
and such things as that: however, I shall consult with M.  Du Bois,
as soon as I can ferret out where he's hid himself. I'm sure I've a
right to his advice, for it's all along of his gaping about at the
Tower that I've met with these misfortunes."

"M. Du Bois," said I, "will, I am sure, be very sorry when he hears
what has happened."

"And what good will that do now?-that won't unspoil all my clothes;
I can tell him, I a'n't much obliged to him, though it's no fault
of his;-yet it i'n't the less provokinger for that. I'm sure, if he
had been there, to have seen me served in that manner, and put neck
and heels into a ditch, he'd no more have thought it was me than
the Pope of Rome. I'll promise you, whatever you may think of it,
I sha'n't have no rest, night nor day, till I find out that rogue."

"I have no doubt, Madam, but you will soon discover him."

"Pardi, if I do, I'll hang him, as sure as fate!-but what's the oddest,
is, that he should take such a special spite against me above all the
rest! it was as much for nothing as could be; for I don't know what
I had done, so particular bad, to be used in that manner: I'm sure,
I hadn't given no offence, as I know of, for I never see his face all
the time: and as to screaming a little, I think it's very hard if one
mustn't do such a thing as that, when one's put in fear of one's life."

During this conversation, she endeavoured to adjust her headdress,
but could not at all please herself. Indeed, had I not been present,
I should have thought it impossible for a woman, at her time of life,
to be so very difficult in regard to dress. What she may have in
view, I cannot imagine, but the labour of the toilette seems the
chief business of her life.

When I left her, in my way down stairs, I met Sir Clement; who with
great earnestness, said he must not be denied the honour of a moment's
conversation with me; and then, without waiting for an answer, he
led me to the garden; at the door of which, however, I absolutely
insisted upon stopping.

He seemed very serious, and said, in a grave tone of voice, "At length,
Miss Anville, I flatter myself I have hit upon an expedient that will
oblige you; and therefore, though it is death to myself, I will put
in practice."

I begged him to explain himself.

"I saw your desire of saving Madame Duval, and scarce could I refrain
giving the brutal Captain my real opinion of his savage conduct;
but I am unwilling to quarrel with him, lest I should be denied
entrance into a house which you inhabit; I have been endeavouring
to prevail with him to give up his absurd new scheme, but I find
him impenetrable:-I have therefore determined to make a pretense for
suddenly leaving this place, dear as it is to me, and containing all
I most admire and adore;-and I will stay in town till the violence
of this boobyish humour is abated."

He stopped; but I was silent, for I knew not what I ought to
say. He took my hand, which he pressed to his lips, saying, "And
must I then, Miss Anville, must I quit you-sacrifice voluntarily my
greatest felicity:-and yet not be honoured with one word, one look
of approbation?"

I withdrew my hand, and said with half a laugh, "You know so well,
Sir Clement, the value of the favours you confer, that it would be
superfluous for me to point it out."

"Charming, charming girl! how does your wit, your understanding, rise
upon me daily: and must I, can I part with you?-will no other method-"

"O, Sir, do you so soon repent the good office you had planned for
Madame Duval?"

"For Madame Duval!-cruel creature, and will you not even suffer me
to place to your account the sacrifice I am about to make?"

"You must place it, Sir, to what account you please; but I am too
much in haste now to stay here any longer."

And then I would have left him; but he held me, and rather impatiently
said, "If, then, I cannot be so happy as to oblige you, Miss Anville,
you must not be surprised should I seek to oblige myself. If my scheme
is not honoured with your approbation, for which alone it was formed,
why should I, to my own infinite dissatisfaction, pursue it?"

We were then, for a few minutes, both silent; I was really unwilling
he should give up a plan which would so effectually break into
the Captain's designs, and, at the same time, save me the pain
of disobliging him; and I should instantly and thankfully have
accepted his offered civility, had not Mrs.  Mirvan's caution made
me fearful. However, when he pressed me to speak, I said, in an
ironical voice, "I had thought, Sir, that the very strong sense you
have yourself of the favour you propose to me, would sufficiently have
repaid you; but, as I was mistaken, I must thank you myself. And now,"
making a low courtesy, "I hope, Sir, you are satisfied."

"Loveliest of thy sex-" he began; but I forced myself from him and
ran upstairs.

Soon after Miss Mirvan told me that Sir Clement had just received a
letter, which obliged him instantly to leave the Grove, and that he
had actually ordered a chaise. I then acquainted her with the real
state of the affair.  Indeed, I conceal nothing from her; she is so
gentle and sweet-tempered, that it gives me great pleasure to place
an entire confidence in her.

At dinner, I must own, we all missed him; for though the flightiness
of his behaviour to me, when we are by ourselves is very distressing;
yet, in large companies, and general conversation, he is extremely
entertaining and agreeable. As to the Captain, he has been so much
chagrined at his departure, that he has scarce spoken a word since
he went: but Madame Duval, who made her first public appearance since
her accident, was quite in raptures that she escaped seeing him.

The money which we left at the farm-house has been returned to
us. What pains the Captain must have taken to arrange and manage the
adventures which he chose we should meet with! Yet he must certainly be
discovered; for Madame Duval is already very much perplexed, at having
received a letter this morning from M. Du Bois, in which he makes no
mention of his imprisonment.  However, she has so little suspicion,
that she imputes his silence upon the subject to his fears that the
letter might be intercepted.

 Not one opportunity could I meet with, while Sir Clement was here,
 to enquire
after his friend Lord Orville: but I think it was strange he should
never mention him unasked. Indeed, I rather wonder that Mrs. Mirvan
herself did not introduce the subject, for she always seemed
particularly attentive to him.

 And now, once more, all my thoughts involuntarily turn upon the
 letter I so
soon expect from Paris. This visit of Sir Clement has, however,
somewhat diverted my fears; and, therefore, I am very glad he made
it at this time.  Adieu, my dear Sir.


LETTER XXXV

SIR JOHN BELMONT TO LADY HOWARD Paris, May 11.


Madam,

I HAVE this moment the honour of your Ladyship's Letter, and I will
not wait another, before I return an answer.

 It seldom happens that a man, though extolled as a saint, is really
 without
blemish; or that another, though reviled as a devil, is really
without humanity. Perhaps the time is not very distant, when I may
have the honour to convince your Ladyship of this truth, in regard
to Mr. Villars and myself.

 As to the young lady, whom Mr. Villars so obligingly proposes
 presenting to
me, I wish her all the happiness to which, by your ladyship's account,
she seems entitled; and, if she has a third part of the merit of her
to whom you compare her, I doubt not but Mr. Villars will be more
successful in every other application he may make for her advantage,
that he can ever be in any with which he may be pleased to favour me.
I have the honour to be Madam, Your Ladyship's most humble, and most
obedient servant, JOHN BELMONT.


LETTER XXXVI

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Howard Grove, May 18.


WELL, my dear Sir, all is now over! the letter so anxiously expected
is at length arrived, and my doom is fixed. The various feelings
which oppress me, I have not language to describe; nor need I-you
know my heart, you have yourself formed it-and its sensations upon
this occasion you may but too readily imagine.

 Outcast as I am, and rejected for ever by him to whom I of right
 belong-shall
I now implore your continued protection?-No, no;-I will not offend
your generous heart, which, open to distress, has no wish but to
relieve it, with an application that would seem to imply a doubt. I
am more secure than ever of your kindness, since you now know upon
that is my sole dependence.

 I endeavour to bear this stroke with composure, and in such a manner
 as if I
had already received your counsel and consolation. Yet, at times,
my emotions are almost too much for me. O, Sir, what a letter for a
parent to write! Must I not myself be deaf to the voice of nature,
if I could endure to be thus absolutely abandoned without regret? I
dare not even to you, nor would I, could I help it, to myself,
acknowledge all that I might think; for, indeed, I have sometimes
sentiments upon this rejection, which my strongest sense of duty can
scarcely correct. Yet, suffer me to ask-might not this answer have
been softened?-was it not enough to disclaim me for ever, without
treating me with contempt, and wounding me with derision?

But while I am thus thinking of myself, I forget how much more he is
the object of sorrow than I am! Alas! what amends can he make himself
for the anguish he is hoarding up for time to come! My heart bleeds
for him, whenever this reflection occurs to me.

 What is said of you, my protector, my friend, my benefactor! I dare
 not trust
myself to comment upon. Gracious Heaven! what a return for goodness
so unparalleled!

 I would fain endeavour to divert my thoughts from this subject;
 but even that
is not in my power; for, afflicting as this letter is to me, I find
that it will not be allowed to conclude the affair, though it does
all my expectations; for Madame Duval has determined not to let it
rest here. She heard the letter in great wrath, and protested she
would not be so easily answered; she regretted her facility in having
been prevailed upon to yield the direction of this affair to those
who knew not how to manage it, and vowed she would herself undertake
and conduct it in future.

It is in vain that I have pleaded against her resolution, and
besought her to forbear an attack where she has nothing to expect but
resentment: especially as there seems to be a hint, that Lady Howard
will one day be more openly dealt with. She will not hear me: she is
furiously bent upon a project which is terrible to think of;-for she
means to go herself to Paris, take me with her, and there, face to
face, demand justice!


How to appease or to persuade her, I know not; but for the universe
would I not be dragged, in such a manner, to an interview so awful,
with a parent I have never yet beheld!


Lady Howard and Mrs. Mirvan are both of them infinitely shocked at
the present state of affairs, and they seem to be even more kind to
me than ever; and my dear Maria, who is the friend of my heart, uses
her utmost efforts to console me; and, when she fails in her design,
with still greater kindness she sympathises in my sorrow.


I very much rejoice, however, that Sir Clement Willoughby had left
us before this letter arrived. I am sure the general confusion of
the house would otherwise have betrayed to him the whole of a tale
which I now, more than ever, wish to have buried in oblivion.


Lady Howard thinks I ought not to disoblige Madame Duval, yet she
acknowledges the impropriety of my accompanying her abroad on such
an enterprise. Indeed, I would rather die than force myself into his
presence. But so vehement is Madame Duval, that she would instantly
have compelled me to attend her to town, in her way to Paris, had
not Lady Howard so far exerted herself, as to declare she could by no
means consent to my quitting her house, till she gave me up to you,
by whose permission I had entered it.


She was extremely angry at this denial; and the Captain, by his sneers
and raillery, so much increased her rage, that she has positively
declared, should your next letter dispute her authority to guide me
by her own pleasure, she will, without hesitation, make a journey to
Berry Hill, and teach you to know who she is.


Should she put this threat in execution, nothing could give me greater
uneasiness: for her violence and volubility would almost distract you.


Unable as I am to act for myself, or to judge what conduct I ought
to pursue, how grateful do I feel myself, that I have such a guide
and director to counsel and instruct me as yourself!


Adieu, my dearest Sir! Heaven, I trust, will never let me live to be
repulsed, and derided by you, to whom I may now sign myself, wholly
your EVELINA.


LETTER XXXVII

MR. VILLARS TO EVELINA Berry Hill, May 21.


LET not my Evelina be depressed by a stroke of fortune for which
she is not responsible. No breach of duty on your part has incurred
the unkindness which has been shown you; nor have you, by any act of
imprudence, provoked either censure or reproach. Let me intreat you,
therefore, my dearest child, to support yourself with that courage
which your innocency ought to inspire: and let all the affliction
you allow yourself be for him only who, not having that support,
must one day be but too severely sensible how much he wants it.


The hint thrown out concerning myself is wholly unintelligible to me:
my heart, I dare own, fully acquits me of vice; but without blemish,
I have never ventured to pronounce myself. However, it seems his
intention to be hereafter more explicit; and then,-should anything
appear, that has on my part contributed to those misfortunes we lament,
let me at least say, that the most partial of my friends cannot be
so much astonished as I shall myself be at such a discovery.


The mention, also, of any future applications I may make, is equally
beyond my comprehension. But I will not dwell upon a subject, which
almost compels from me reflections that cannot but be wounding to a
heart so formed for filial tenderness as my Evelina's. There is an
air of mystery throughout the letter, the explanation of which I will
await in silence.


The scheme of Madame Duval is such as might be reasonably expected from
a woman so little inured to disappointment, and so totally incapable
of considering the delicacy of your situation. Your averseness
to her plan gives me pleasure, for it exactly corresponds with my
own. Why will she not make the journey she projects by herself? She
would not have even the wish of an opposition to encounter. And then,
once more, might my child and myself be left to the quiet enjoyment
of that peaceful happiness, which she alone has interrupted. As to
her coming hither, I could, indeed, dispense with such a visit; but,
if she will not be satisfied with my refusal by letter, I must submit
to the task of giving it her in person.


My impatience for your return is increased by your account of Sir
Clement Willoughby's visit to Howard Grove. I am but little surprised
at the perseverance of his assiduities to interest you in his favour;
but I am very much hurt that you should be exposed to addresses, which,
by their privacy, have an air that shocks me. You cannot, my love,
be too circumspect; the slightest carelessness on your part will be
taken advantage of by a man of his disposition. It is not sufficient
for you to be reserved: his conduct even calls for your resentment;
and should he again, as will doubtless be his endeavour, contrive
to solicit your favour in private, let your disdain and displeasure
be so marked, as to constrain a change in his behaviour. Though,
indeed, should his visit be repeated while you remain at the Grove,
Lady Howard must pardon me if I shorten yours.


Adieu, my child. You will always make my respects to the hospitable
family to which we are so much obliged.


LETTER XXXVIII

MR. VILLARS TO LADY HOWARD Berry Hill, May 27.


Dear Madam,


I BELIEVE your Ladyship will not be surprised at hearing I have had
a visit from Madame Duval, as I doubt not her having made known her
intention before she left Howard Grove. I would gladly have excused
myself this meeting, could I have avoided it decently; but, after so
long a journey, it was not possible to refuse her admittance.


She told me, that she came to Berry Hill, in consequence of a letter
I had sent to her grand-daughter, in which I forbid her going to
Paris. Very roughly she then called me to account for the authority
which I had assumed; and, had I been disposed to have argued with
her, she would very angrily have disputed the right by which I used
it. But I declined all debating. I therefore listened very quietly,
till she had so much fatigued herself with talking, that she was glad,
in her turn, to be silent. And then, I begged to know the purport of
her visit.


She answered, that she came to make me relinquish the power I had
usurped over her grand-daughter; and assured me she would not quit
the place till she succeeded.


But I will not trouble your Ladyship with the particulars of this
disagreeable conversation; nor should I, but on account of the result,
have chosen so unpleasant a subject for your perusal. However, I will
be as concise as I possibly can, that the better occupations of your
Ladyship's time may be less impeded.


When she found me inexorable in refusing Evelina's attending her to
Paris, she peremptorily insisted that she should at least live with
her in London till Sir John Belmont's return. I remonstrated against
this scheme with all the energy in my power; but the contest was vain;
she lost her patience, and I my time. She declared, that if I was
resolute in opposing her, she would instantly make a will, in which
she would leave all her fortune to strangers, though, otherwise,
she intended her grand-daughter for her sole heiress.


To me, I own, this threat seemed of little consequence; I have long
accustomed myself to think, that, with a competency, of which she is
sure, my child might be as happy as in the possession of millions;
but the incertitude of her future fate deters me from following
implicitly the dictates of my present judgement. The connections she
may hereafter form, the style of life for which she may be destined,
and the future family to which she may belong, are considerations
which give but too much weight to the menaces of Madame Duval. In
short, Madam, after a discourse infinitely tedious, I was obliged,
though very reluctantly, to compromise with this ungovernable woman,
by consenting that Evelina should pass one month with her.


I never made a concession with so bad a grace, or so much regret. The
violence and vulgarity of this woman, her total ignorance of propriety,
the family to which she is related, and the company she is likely to
keep, are objections so forcible to her having the charge of this dear
child, that nothing less than my diffidence of the right I have of
depriving her of so large a fortune, would have induced me to listen
to her proposal. Indeed we parted, at last, equally discontented;
she at what I had refused, I at what I had granted.


It now only remains for me to return your Ladyship my humble
acknowledgments for the kindness which you have so liberally shown
to my ward; and to beg you would have the goodness to part with her
when Madame Duval thinks proper to claim the promise which she has
extorted from me.  I am, Dear Madam, &c.  ARTHUR VILLARS.


LETTER XXXIX

MR. VILLARS TO EVELINA Berry Hill, May 28.


WITH a reluctance which occasions me inexpressible uneasiness, I
have been almost compelled to consent that my Evelina should quit the
protection of the hospitable and respectable Lady Howard, and accompany
Madame Duval to a city which I had hoped she would never again have
entered. But alas, my dear child, we are the slaves of custom, the
dupes of prejudice, and dare not stem the torrent of an opposing
world, even though our judgements condemn our compliance! However,
since the die is cast, we must endeavor to make the best of it.


You will have the occasion, in the course of the month you are to
pass with Madame Duval, for all the circumspection and prudence you
can call to your aid. She will not, I know, propose any thing to you
which she thinks wrong herself; but you must learn not only to judge
but to act for yourself; if any schemes are started, any engagements
made, which your understanding represents to you as improper, exert
yourself resolutely in avoiding them; and do not, by a too passive
facility, risk the censure of the world, or your own future regret.


You cannot too assiduously attend to Madame Duval herself; but I
would wish you to mix as little as possible with her associates, who
are not likely to be among those whose acquaintance would reflect
credit upon you. Remember, my dear Evelina, nothing is so delicate
as the reputation of a woman; it is at once the most beautiful and
most brittle of all human things.


Adieu, my beloved child; I shall be but ill at ease till this month
is elapsed.  A.V.


LETTER XL

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS London, June 6.


ONCE more, my dearest Sir, I write to you from this great
city. Yesterday morning, with the truest concern, I quitted the dear
inhabitants of Howard Grove, and most impatiently shall I count the
days till I see them again.  Lady Howard and Mrs. Mirvan took leave
of me with the most flattering kindness; but indeed I knew not how to
part with Maria, whose own apparent sorrow redoubled mine. She made
me promise to send her a letter every post: and I shall write to her
with the same freedom, and almost the same confidence, you allow me
to make use of to yourself.


The Captain was very civil to me: but he wrangled with poor Madame
Duval to the last moment; and, taking me aside, just before we got
into the chaise, he said, "Hark'ee, Miss Anville, I've a favour for
to ask of you, which is this; that you will write us word how the
old gentlewoman finds herself, when she sees it was all a trick;
and what the French lubber says to it, and all about it."


I answered that I would obey him, though I was very little pleased
with the commission, which, to me, was highly improper; but he will
either treat me as an informer, or make me a party in his frolic.


As soon as we drove away, Madame Duval, with much satisfaction,
exclaimed, "Dieu merci, we've got off at last! I'm sure I never desire
to see that place again. It's a wonder I've got away alive; for I
believe I've had the worst luck ever was known, from the time I set
my foot upon the threshold. I know I wish I'd never a gone. Besides,
into the bargain, it's the most dullest place in all Christendom:
there's never no diversions, nor nothing at all."


Then she bewailed M. Du Bois; concerning whose adventures she continued
to make various conjectures during the rest of our journey.


When I asked her what part of London she should reside in, she told me
that Mr. Branghton was to meet us at an inn, and would conduct us to
a lodging.  Accordingly, we proceeded to a house in Bishopsgate Street,
and were led by a waiter into a room where we found Mr. Branghton.


He received us very civilly; but seemed rather surprised at seeing
me, saying, "Why, I didn't think of your bringing Miss; however,
she's very welcome."


"I'll tell you how it was," said Madame Duval: "you must know I've
a mind to take the girl to Paris, that she may see something of the
world, and improve herself a little; besides, I've another reason,
that you and I will talk more about. But, do you know, that meddling
old parson, as I told you of, would not let her go: however, I'm
resolved I'll be even with him; for I shall take her on with me,
without saying never a word more to nobody."


I started at this intimation, which very much surprised me. But, I am
very glad she has discovered her intention, as I shall be carefully
upon my guard not to venture from town with her.


Mr. Branghton then hoped we had passed our time agreeably in the
country.


"O Lord, cousin," cried she, "I've been the miserablest creature in
the world!  I'm sure all the horses in London sha'n't drag me into
the country again of one while: why, how do you think I've been
served?-only guess."


"Indeed, cousin, I can't pretend to do that."


"Why then I'll tell you. Do you know I've been robbed!-that is,
the villain would have robbed me if he could, only I'd secured all
my money."


"Why, then cousin, I think your loss can't have been very great."


"O Lord, you don't know what you're a saying; you're talking in the
unthinkingest manner in the world: why, it was all along of not having
no money that I met with that misfortune."


"How's that, cousin? I don't see what great misfortune you can have
met with, if you'd secured all your money."


"That's because you don't know nothing of the matter: for there the
villain came to the chaise; and, because we hadn't got nothing to give
him, though he'd no more right to our money than the man in the moon,
yet, do you know, he fell into the greatest passion ever you see,
and abused me in such a manner, and put me in a ditch, and got a rope
o'purpose to hang me;-and I'm sure, if that wasn't misfortune enough,
why I don't know what is."


"This is a hard case, indeed, cousin. But why don't you go to Justice
Fielding?"


"O as to that, I'm a going to him directly; but only I want first to
see M. Du Bois; for the oddest thing of all is, that he has wrote to
me, and never said nothing of where he is, nor what's become of him,
nor nothing else."


"M. Du Bois! why, he's at my house at this very time."


"M. Du Bois at your house! well, I declare this is the surprisingest
part of all: However, I assure you, I think he might have comed for me,
as well as you, considering what I have gone through on his account;
for, to tell you the truth, it was all along of him that I met with
that accident; so I don't take it very kind of him, I promise you."


"Well, but cousin, tell me some of the particulars of this affair."


"As to the particulars, I'm sure they'd make your hair stand on end
to hear them; however, the beginning of it all was through the fault
of M. Du Bois: but, I'll assure you, he may take care of himself
in future, since he don't so much as come to see if I'm dead or
alive.-But, there, I went for him to a justice of peace, and rode
all out of the way, and did every thing in the world, and was used
worser than a dog, and all for the sake of serving of him; and now,
you see, he don't so much-well, I was a fool for my pains.-However,
he may get somebody else to be treated so another time; for, if he's
taken up every day in the week, I'll never go after him no more."


This occasioned an explanation; in the course of which Madame Duval,
to her utter amazement, heard that M. Du Bois had never left London
during her absence! nor did Mr. Branghton believe that he had ever
been to the Tower, or met with any kind of accident.


Almost instantly the whole truth of the transaction seemed to rush
upon her mind, and her wrath was inconceivably violent. She asked me
a thousand questions in a breath; but, fortunately, was too vehement
to attend to my embarrassment, which must otherwise have betrayed my
knowledge of the deceit.  Revenge was her first wish; and she vowed
she would go the next morning to Justice Fielding, and inquire what
punishment she might lawfully inflict upon the Captain for his assault.


I believe we were an hour at Bishopsgate Street before poor Madame
Duval could allow any thing to be mentioned but her own story; at any
length, however, Mr. Branghton told her, that M. Du Bois, and all
his own family, were waiting for her at his house. A hackney-coach
was then called, and we proceeded to Snow Hill.


Mr. Branghton's house is small and inconvenient; though his shop,
which takes in all the ground floor, is large and commodious. I
believe I told you before, that he is a silver-smith.


We were conducted up two pairs of stairs: for the dining-room,
Mr. Branghton told us, was let. His two daughters, their brother,
M. Du Bois, and a young man, were at tea. They had waited some time
for Madame Duval, but I found they had not any expectation that I
should accompany her; and the young ladies, I believe, were rather
more surprised than pleased when I made my appearance; for they seemed
hurt that I should see their apartment. Indeed, I would willingly
have saved them that pain, had it been in my power.


The first person who saw me was M. Du Bois, "Ah, mon Dieu!" exclaimed
he, "voila Mademoiselle!"


"Goodness," cried young Branghton, "if there isn't Miss!"


"Lord, so there is!" said Miss Polly; "well, I'm sure I should never
have dreamed of Miss's coming."


"Nor I neither, I'm sure," cried Miss Branghton, "or else I would not
have been in this room to see her: I'm quite ashamed about it;-only
not thinking of seeing any body but my aunt-however, Tom, it's all
your fault; for, you know very well I wanted to borrow Mr. Smith's
room, only you were so grumpy you would not let me."


"Lord, what signifies?" said her brother; "I dare be sworn Miss has
been up two pair of stairs before now;-ha'n't you, Miss?"


I begged that I might not give them the least disturbance; and assured
them that I had not any choice in regard to what room we sat in.


"Well," said Miss Polly, "when you come next, Miss, we'll have
Mr. Smith's room: and it's a very pretty one, and only up one pair
of stairs, and nicely furnished, and every thing."


"To say the truth," said Miss Branghton, "I thought that my cousin
would not, upon any account, have come to town in the summer-time;
for it's not at all the fashion ;-so, to be sure, thinks I, she'll
stay till September, when the play-houses open."


This was my reception, which I believe you will not call a very
cordial one.  Madame Duval, who, after having severely reprimanded
M. Du Bois for his negligence, was just entering upon the story of
her misfortunes, now wholly engaged the company.


M. Du Bois listened to her with a look of the utmost horror, repeatedly
lifting up his eyes and hands, and exclaiming, "O ciel! quel barbare!"
The young ladies gave her the most earnest attention; but their
brother, and the young man, kept a broad grin upon their faces during
the whole recital. She was, however, too much engaged to observe them;
but, when she mentioned having been tied in a ditch, young Branghton,
no longer able to contain himself, burst into a loud laugh, declaring
that he had never heard any thing so funny in his life! His laugh
was heartily re-echoed by his friend; the Miss Branghtons could not
resist the example; and poor Madame Duval, to her extreme amazement,
was absolutely overpowered and stopped by the violence of their mirth.


For some minutes the room seemed quite in an uproar; the rage of Madame
Duval, the astonishment of M. Du Bois, and the angry interrogatories
of Mr.  Branghton, on one side; the convulsive tittering of the
sisters, and the loud laughs of the young men, on the other,
occasioned such noise, passion and confusion, that had any one
stopped an instant on the stairs, he must have concluded himself in
Bedlam. At length, however, the father brought them to order; and,
half-laughing, half-frightened, they made Madame Duval some very
awkward apologies. But she would not be prevailed upon to continue
her narrative, till they had protested they were laughing at the
Captain, and not at her. Appeased by this, she resumed her story;
which by the help of stuffing handkerchiefs into their mouths, the
young people heard with tolerable decency.


Every body agreed, that the ill-usage the Captain had given her was
actionable; and Mr. Branghton said, he was sure she might recover
what damages she pleased, since she had been put in fear of her life.


She then, with great delight, declared, that she would lose no time
in satisfying her revenge, and vowed she would not be contented with
less than half his fortune: "For though," she said, "I don't put no
value upon the money, because, Dieu merci, I ha'n't no want of it,
yet I don't wish for nothing so much as to punish that fellow; for
I'm sure, whatever's the cause of it, he owes me a great grudge,
and I know no more what it's for than you do; but he's always been
doing me one spite or another ever since I knew him."


Soon after tea, Miss Branghton took an opportunity to tell me, in a
whisper, that the young man I saw was a lover of her sister's, that
his name was Brown, and that he was a haberdasher: with many other
particulars of his circumstances and family; and then she declared
her utter aversion to the thoughts of such a match; but added, that
her sister had no manner of spirit or ambition, though, for her part,
she would ten times rather die an old maid, than marry any person
but a gentleman. "And, for that matter," added she, "I believe Polly
herself don't care much for him, only she's in such a hurry, because,
I suppose, she's a mind to be married before me; however, she's very
welcome; for, I'm sure, I don't care a pin's point whether I ever
marry at all;-it's all one to me."


Some time after this, Miss Polly contrived to tell her story. She
assured me, with much tittering, that her sister was in a great fright
lest she should be married first. "So I make her believe that I will,"
continued she; "for I dearly love to plague her a little; though,
I declare, I don't intend to have Mr. Brown in reality;-I'm sure I
don't like him half well enough,-do you, Miss?"


"It is not possible for me to judge of his merits," said I, "as I am
entirely a stranger to him."


"But what do you think of him, Miss?"


"Why, really, I-I don't know."


"But do you think him handsome? Some people reckon him to have a
good pretty person;-but I'm sure, for my part, I think he's monstrous
ugly:-don't you, Miss?"


"I am no judge,-but I think his person is very-very well."


"Very well! -Why, pray Miss," in a tone of vexation, "what fault can
you find with it?"


"O, none at all!"


"I'm sure you must be very ill-natured if you could. Now there's Biddy
says she thinks nothing of him,-but I know it's all out of spite. You
must know, Miss, it makes her as mad as can be that I should have
a lover before her; but she's so proud that nobody will court her,
and I often tell her she'll die an old maid. But the thing is, she
has taken it into her head to have a liking for Mr. Smith, as lodges
on the first floor; but, Lord, he'll never have her, for he's quite a
fine gentleman; and besides, Mr. Brown heard him say one day, that he'd
never marry as long as he lived, for he'd no opinion of matrimony."


"And did you tell your sister this?"


"O, to be sure, I told her directly; but she did not mind me; however,
if she will be a fool she must."


This extreme want of affection and good-nature increased the distaste I
already felt for these unamiable sisters; and a confidence so entirely
unsolicited and unnecessary, manifested equally their folly and their
want of decency.


I was very glad when the time for our departing arrived. Mr. Branghton
said our lodgings were in Holborn, that we might be near his house,
and neighbourly. He accompanied us to them himself.


Our rooms are large, and not inconvenient; our landlord is an hosier. I
am sure I have a thousand reasons to rejoice that I am so little known:
for my present situation is, in every respect, very unenviable; and
I would not, for the world, be seen by any acquaintance of Mrs. Mirvan.


This morning, Madame Duval, attended by all the Branghtons, actually
went to a Justice in the neighborhood, to report the Captain's ill
usage of her. I had great difficulty in excusing myself from being of
the party, which would have given me very serious concern. Indeed,
I was extremely anxious, though at home, till I heard the result of
the application, for I dread to think of the uneasiness which such
an affair would occasion the amiable Mrs. Mirvan. But, fortunately,
Madame Duval has received very little encouragement to proceed in
her design; for she has been informed, that, as she neither heard
the voice, nor saw the face of the person suspected, she will find
difficulty to cast him upon conjecture, and will have but little
probability of gaining her cause, unless she can procure witnesses
of the transaction. Mr. Branghton, therefore, who has considered all
the circumstances of the affair, is of the opinion; the lawsuit will
not only be expensive, but tedious and hazardous, and has advised
against it. Madame Duval, though very unwillingly, has acquiesced
in his decision; but vows, that if she ever is so affronted again,
she will be revenged, even if she ruins herself. I am extremely glad
that this ridiculous adventure seems now likely to end without more
serious consequences.


Adieu, my dearest Sir. My direction is at Mr. Dawkin's, a hosier in
High Holborn.


LETTER XLI

EVELINA TO MISS MIRVAN June 7th


I HAVE no words, my sweet friend, to express the thankfulness I
feel for the unbounded kindness which you, your dear mother, and the
much-honoured Lady Howard, have shown me; and still less can I find
language to tell you with what reluctance I parted from such dear and
generous friends, whose goodness reflects, at once, so much honour
on their own hearts, and on her to whom it has been so liberally
bestowed. But I will not repeat what I have already written to the
kind Mrs. Mirvan; I will remember your admonitions, and confine to my
own breast that gratitude with which you have filled it, and teach my
pen to dwell upon subjects less painful to my generous correspondent.


O, Maria! London now seems no longer the same place where I lately
enjoyed so much happiness; every thing is new and strange to me; even
the town itself has not the same aspect.-My situation so altered!-my
home so different!-my companions so changed!-But you well know my
averseness to this journey.


Indeed, to me, London now seems a desert: that gay and busy appearance
it so lately wore, is now succeeded by a look of gloom, fatigue,
and lassitude; the air seems stagnant, the heat is intense, the
dust intolerable, and the inhabitants illiterate and under-bred;
At least, such is the face of things in the part of town where I at
present reside.


Tell me, my dear Maria, do you never retrace in your memory the time
we passed here when together? to mine it recurs for ever! And yet
I think I rather recollect a dream, or some visionary fancy, than
a reality.-That I should ever have been known to Lord Orville,-that
I should have spoken to-have danced with him,-seems now a romantic
illusion: and that elegant politeness, that flattering attention, that
high-bred delicacy, which so much distinguished him above all other
men, and which struck us with so much admiration, I now retrace the
remembrance of rather as belonging to an object of ideal perfection,
formed by my own imagination, than to a being of the same race and
nature as those with whom I at present converse.


I have no news for you, my dear Miss Mirvan; for all that I could
venture to say of Madame Duval I have already written to your sweet
mother; and as to adventures, I have none to record. Situated as
I now am, I heartily hope I shall not meet with any; my wish is to
remain quiet and unnoticed.


Adieu! excuse the gravity of this letter; and believe me, your most
sincerely Affectionate and obliged EVELINA ANVILLE.


LETTER XLII

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Holborn, June 9.


YESTERDAY morning we received an invitation to dine and spend the day
at Mr.  Branghton's; and M. Du Bois, who was also invited, called to
conduct us to Snow Hill.


Young Branghton received us at the door; and the first words he spoke
were, "Do you know, sisters a'n't dressed yet."


Then, hurrying us into the house, he said to me, "Come, Miss, you
shall go upstairs and catch 'em,-I dare say they're at the glass."


He would have taken my hand; but I declined this civility, and begged
to follow Madame Duval.


Mr. Branghton then appeared, and led the way himself. We went, as
before, up two pairs of stairs; but the moment the father opened
the door, the daughters both gave a loud scream. We all stopped;
and then Miss Branghton called out, "Lord, Papa, what do you bring
the company up here for? why, Polly and I a'n't half dressed."


"More shame for you," answered he; "here's your aunt, and cousin,
and M. Du Bois, all waiting, and ne'er a room to take them to."


"Who'd have thought of their coming so soon?" cried she: "I am sure
for my part I thought Miss was used to nothing but quality hours."


"Why, I sha'n't be ready this half-hour yet," said Miss Polly;
"can't they stay in the shop till we're dressed?"


Mr. Branghton was very angry, and scolded them violently: however,
we were obliged to descend, and stools were procured for us in the
shop, where we found the brother, who was highly delighted, he said,
that his sisters had been catched; and he thought proper to entertain
me with a long account of their tediousness, and the many quarrels
they all had together.


When, at length, these ladies were equipped to their satisfaction,
they made their appearance; but before any conversation was suffered
to pass between them and us, they had a long and most disagreeable
dialogue with their father, to whose reprimands, though so justly
incurred, they replied with the utmost pertness while their brother
all the time laughed aloud.


The moment they perceived this, they were so much provoked, that,
instead of making any apologies to Madame Duval, they next began to
quarrel with him.  "Tom, what do you laugh for? I wonder what business
you have to be always a laughing when Papa scolds us?"


"Then what business have you to be such a while getting on your
clothes?  You're never ready, you know well enough."


"Lord, Sir, I wonder what's that to you! I wish you'd mind your own
affairs, and not trouble yourself about ours. How should a boy like
you know any thing?"


"A boy, indeed! not such a boy, neither: I'll warrant you'll be glad
to be as young when you come to be old maids."


This sort of dialogue we were amused with till dinner was ready,
when we again mounted up two pairs of stairs.


In our way, Miss Polly told me that her sister had asked Mr. Smith
for his room to dine in, but he had refused to lend it; "because,"
she said, "one day it happened to be a little greased: however, we
shall have it to drink tea in, and then, perhaps, you may see him;
and I assure you he's quite like one of the quality, and dresses as
fine, and goes to balls and dances, and every thing, quite in taste;
and besides, Miss, he keeps a foot-boy of his own too."


The dinner was ill-served, ill-cooked, and ill-managed. The maid
who waited had so often to go down stairs for something that was
forgotten, that the Branghtons were perpetually obliged to rise
from table themselves, to get plates, knives, and forks, bread or
beer. Had they been without pretensions, all this would have seemed
of no consequence; but they aimed at appearing to advantage, and even
fancied they succeeded. However, the most disagreeable part of our
fare was that the whole family continually disputed whose turn it
was to rise, and whose to be allowed to sit still.


When this meal was over, Madame Duval, ever eager to discourse upon
her travels, entered into an argument with Mr. Branghton, and, in
broken English, M. Du Bois, concerning the French nation: and Miss
Polly, then addressing herself to me, said "Don't you think, Miss,
it's very dull sitting up stairs here? we'd better go down to shop,
and then we shall see the people go by."


"Lord, Poll," said the brother, "you're always wanting to be staring
and gaping; and I'm sure you needn't be so fond of showing yourself,
for you're ugly enough to frighten a horse."


"Ugly, indeed! I wonder which is best, you or me. But, I tell you
what, Tom, you've no need to give yourself such airs; for, if you do,
I'll tell Miss of-you know what-"


"Who cares if you do? you may tell what you will; I don't mind-"


"Indeed," cried I, "I do not desire to hear any secrets."


"O, but I'm resolved I'll tell you, because Tom's so very spiteful. You
must know, Miss, t'other night-"


"Poll," cried the brother, "if you tell of that, Miss shall know all
about your meeting young Brown,-you know when!-So I'll be quits with
you one way or other."


Miss Polly coloured, and again proposed our going down stairs till
Mr. Smith's room was ready for our reception.


"Aye, so we will," said Miss Branghton; "I'll assure you, cousin,
we have some very genteel people pass by our shop sometimes. Polly
and I always go and sit there when we've cleaned ourselves."


"Yes, Miss," cried the brother, "they do nothing else all day long,
when father don't scold them. But the best fun is, when they've
got all their dirty things on, and all their hair about their ears,
sometimes I send young Brown up stairs to them: and then there's such a
fuss!-There, they hide themselves, and run away, and squeal and squall,
like any thing mad: and so then I puts the two cats into the room, and
I gives them a good whipping, and so that sets them a squalling too;
so there's such a noise and such an uproar!-Lord, you can't think,
Miss, what fun it is!"


This occasioned a fresh quarrel with the sisters; at the end of which,
it was at length decided that we should go to the shop.


In our way down stairs, Miss Branghton said aloud, "I wonder when
Mr. Smith's room will be ready."

"So do I," answered Polly; "I'm sure we should not do any harm to
it now."

This hint had not the desired effect; for we were suffered to proceed
very quietly.

As we entered the shop, I observed a young man in deep mourning
leaning against the wall, with his arms folded, and his eyes fixed on
the ground, apparently in profound and melancholy meditation; but the
moment he perceived us, he started, and, making a passing bow, very
abruptly retired. As I found he was permitted to go quite unnoticed,
I could not forbear enquiring who he was.

"Lord!" answered Miss Branghton, "he's nothing but a poor Scotch poet."

"For my part," said Miss Polly, "I believe he's just starved, for I
don't find he has anything to live upon."

"Live upon!" cried the brother; "why, he's a poet, you know, so he
may live upon learning."

"Aye, and good enough for him, too," said Miss Branghton; "for he's
as proud as he's poor."

"Like enough," replied the brother; "but, for all that, you won't
find he will live without meat and drink: no, no, catch a Scotchman
at that if you can!  why, they only come here for what they can get."

"I'm sure," said Miss Branghton, "I wonder Papa'll be such a fool
as to let him stay in the house, for I dare say he'll never pay for
his lodging."

"Why, no more he would, if he could get another lodger. You know
the bill has been put up this fortnight. Miss, if you should hear
of a person that wants a room, I assure you it is a very good one,
for all it's up three pair of stairs."

I answered, that as I had no acquaintance in London, I had not any
chance of assisting them: but both my compassion and my curiosity
were excited for this poor young man; and I asked them some further
particulars concerning him.

They then acquainted me, that they had only known him three
months. When he first lodged with them, he agreed to board also;
but had lately told them he would eat by himself, though they all
believed he had hardly ever tasted a morsel of meat since he left
their table. They said, that he had always appeared very low-spirited;
but for the last month he had been duller than ever; and, all of a
sudden, he had put himself into mourning, though they knew not for
whom, nor for what; but they supposed it was only for convenience,
as no person had ever been to see or enquire for him since his
residence amongst them: and they were sure he was very poor, as he
had not paid for his lodgings the last three weeks: and, finally,
they concluded he was a poet, or else half-crazy, because they had,
at different times, found scraps of poetry in his room.

They then produced some unfinished verses, written on small pieces of
paper, unconnected, and of a most melancholy cast. Among them was the
fragment of an ode, which, at my request, they lent to me to copy;
and as you may perhaps like to see it, I will write it now.



         O LIFE! thou lingering dream of grief, of pain, And every
         ill that Nature can sustain,
            Strange, mutable, and wild!
         Now flattering with Hope most fair, Depressing now with
         fell Despair,
           The nurse of Guilt, the slave of Pride,
             That, like a wayward child,
           Who, to himself a foe,
         Sees joy alone in what's denied,
             In what is granted, woe!
         O thou poor, feeble, fleeting, pow'r, By Vice seduc'd, by
         Folly woo'd, By Mis'ry, Shame, Remorse, pursu'd; And as thy
         toilsome steps proceed, Seeming to Youth the fairest flow'r,
         Proving to Age the rankest weed,
             A gilded but a bitter pill,
         Of varied, great, and complicated ill!



These lines are harsh, but they indicate an internal wretchedness,
which I own, affects me. Surely this young man must be involved
in misfortunes of no common nature but I cannot imagine what can
induce him to remain with this unfeeling family, where he is, most
unworthily, despised for being poor, and most illiberally detested
for being a Scotchman. He may, indeed, have motives, which he cannot
surmount, for submitting to such a situation.  Whatever they are,
I most heartily pity him, and cannot but wish it were in my power to
afford him some relief.

During this conversation, Mr. Smith's foot-boy came to Miss Branghton,
and informed her, that his master said she might have the room now
when she liked it, for that he was presently going out.

This very genteel message, though it perfectly satisfied the Miss
Branghtons, by no means added to my desire of being introduced to this
gentleman; and upon their rising, with intention to accept his offer,
I begged they would excuse my attending them, and said I would sit
with Madame Duval till the tea was ready.

I therefore once more went up two pair of stairs with young
Branghton, who insisted upon accompanying me; and there we remained
till Mr. Smith's foot-boy summoned us to tea, when I followed Madame
Duval into the dining-room.

The Miss Branghtons were seated at one window, and Mr. Smith was
lolling indolently out of the other. They all approached us at our
entrance; and Mr.  Smith, probably to show he was master of the
department, most officiously handed me to a great chair at the upper
end of the room, without taking any notice of Madame Duval, till I
rose and offered her my own seat.

Leaving the rest of the company to entertain themselves, he very
abruptly began to address himself to me, in a style of gallantry
equally new and disagreeable to me. It is true, no man can possibly pay
me greater compliments, or make more fine speeches, than Sir Clement
Willoughby: yet his language, though too flowery, is always that of a
gentleman; and his address and manners are so very superior to those
of the inhabitants of this house, that, to make any comparison between
him and Mr. Smith, would be extremely unjust. This latter seems very
desirous of appearing a man of gaiety and spirit; but his vivacity
is so low-bred, and his whole behaviour so forward and disagreeable,
that I should prefer the company of dullness itself, even as that
goddess is described by Pope, to that of this sprightly young man.

He made many apologies that he had not lent his room for our dinner,
which he said, he should certainly have done, had he seen me first:
and he assured me, that when I came again, he should be very glad to
oblige me.

I told him, and with sincerity, that every part of the house was
equally indifferent to me.

"Why, Ma'am, the truth is, Miss Biddy and Polly take no care of any
thing; else, I'm sure, they should be always welcome to my room; for
I'm never so happy as in obliging the ladies,-that's my character,
Ma'am:-but, really, the last time they had it, every thing was made
so greasy and so nasty, that, upon my word, to a man who wishes to
have things a little genteel, it was quite cruel. Now, as to you,
Ma'am, it's quite another thing, for I should not mind if every thing
I had was spoilt, for the sake of having the pleasure to oblige you;
and I assure you, Ma'am, it makes me quite happy that I have a room
good enough to receive you."

This elegant speech was followed by many others so much in the
same style, that to write them would be superfluous; and as he did
not allow me a moment to speak to any other person, the rest of the
evening was consumed in a painful attention to this irksome young man,
who seemed to intend appearing before me to the utmost advantage.

Adieu, my dear Sir. I fear you will be sick of reading about this
family; yet I must write of them, or not of any, since I mix with
no other. Happy I shall be when I quit them all, and again return to
Berry Hill.


LETTER XLIII

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION

June 10th
THIS morning Mr. Smith called,
on purpose, he said, to offer me a ticket for the next Hampstead
assembly. I thanked him, but desired to be excused accepting it: he
would not, however, be denied, nor answered; and, in a manner both
vehement and free, pressed and urged his offer, till I was wearied to
death: but, when he found me resolute, he seemed thunderstruck with
amazement, and thought proper to desire I would tell him my reasons.

Obvious as they must surely have been to any other person, they
were such as I knew not how to repeat to him; and, when he found I
hesitated, he said, "Indeed, Ma'am, you are too modest; I assure you
the ticket is quite at your service, and I shall be very happy to
dance with you; so pray don't be so coy."

"Indeed, Sir," returned I, "you are mistaken; I never supposed you
would offer a ticket without wishing it should be accepted; but it
would answer no purpose to mention the reasons which make me decline
it, since they cannot possibly be removed."

This speech seemed very much to mortify him; which I could not be
concerned at, as I did not choose to be treated by him with so much
freedom. When he was, at last, convinced that his application to me
was ineffectual, he addressed himself to Madame Duval, and begged she
would interfere in his favour; offering at the same time to procure
another ticket for herself.

"Ma foi, Sir," answered she, angrily, "you might as well have had
the complaisance to ask me before; for, I assure you, I don't approve
of no such rudeness: however, you may keep your tickets to yourself,
for we don't want none of 'em."

This rebuke almost overset him; he made many apologies, and said that
he should certainly have first applied to her, but that he had no
notion the young lady would have refused him, and, on the contrary,
had concluded that she would have assisted him to persuade Madame
Duval herself.

This excuse appeased her; and he pleaded his cause so successfully,
that, to my great chagrin, he gained it, and Madame Duval promised
that she would go herself, and take me to the Hampstead assembly
whenever he pleased.

Mr. Smith then, approaching me with an air of triumph, said, "Well,
Ma'am, now I think you can't possibly keep to your denial."

I made no answer; and he soon took leave, tho' not till he had so
wonderfully gained the favour of Madame Duval, that she declared,
when he was gone, he was the prettiest young man she had seen since
she came to England.

As soon as I could find an opportunity, I ventured, in the most humble
manner, to intreat Madame Duval would not insist upon my attending
her to this ball; and represented to her, as well as I was able,
the impropriety of my accepting any present from a man so entirely
unknown to me: but she laughed at my scruples; called me a foolish,
ignorant country-girl; and said she should make it her business to
teach me something of the world.

This ball is to be next week. I am sure it is not more improper for,
than unpleasant to me, and I will use every possible endeavour to
avoid it.  Perhaps I may apply to Miss Branghton for advice, as I
believe she will be willing to assist me, from disliking, equally
with myself, that I should dance with Mr. Smith.


June 11th


O, my dear Sir! I have been shocked to death; and yet at the same
time delighted beyond expression, in the hope that I have happily
been the instrument of saving a human creature from destruction.

This morning Madame Duval said she would invite the Branghton family
to return our visit to-morrow; and, not choosing to rise herself,-for
she generally spends the morning in bed,-she desired me to wait upon
them with her message.  M. Du Bois, who just then called, insisted
upon attending me.

Mr. Branghton was in the shop, and told us that his son and daughter
were out; but desired me to step up stairs, as he very soon expected
them home. This I did, leaving M. Du Bois below. I went into the
room where we had dined the day before; and, by a wonderful chance,
I happened to seat myself, that I had a view of the stairs, and yet
could not be seen from them.

In about ten minutes time, I saw, passing by the door, with a look
perturbed and affrighted, the same young man I mentioned in my last
letter. Not heeding, as I suppose, how he went, in turning the corner
of the stairs, which are narrow and winding, his foot slipped and he
fell; but almost instantly rising, I plainly perceived the end of a
pistol, which started from his pocket by hitting against the stairs.

I was inexpressibly shocked. All that I had heard of his misery
occurring to my memory, made me conclude that he was, at that very
moment, meditating suicide! Struck with the dreadful idea, all my
strength seemed to fail me. He moved on slowly, yet I soon lost sight
of him; I sat motionless with terror; all power of action forsook me;
and I grew almost stiff with horror; till recollecting that it was
yet possible to prevent the fatal deed, all my faculties seemed to
return, with the hope of saving him.

My first thought was to fly to Mr. Branghton; but I feared, that an
instant of time lost might for ever be rued; and, therefore, guided
by the impulse of my apprehensions, as well as I was able I followed
him up stairs, stepping very softly, and obliged to support myself
by the banisters.

When I came within a few stairs of the landing-place I stopped;
for I could then see into his room, as he had not yet shut the door.

He had put the pistol upon a table, and had his hand in his pocket,
whence, in a few moments, he took out another: he then emptied
something on the table from a small leather bag; after which, taking
up both the pistols, one in each hand, he dropt hastily upon his knees,
and called out, "O, God!-forgive me!"

In a moment strength and courage seemed lent to me as by inspiration:
I started, and rushing precipitately into the room, just caught
his arm, and then, overcome by my own fears, I fell down at his side
breathless and senseless. My recovery, however, was, I believe, almost
instantaneous; and then the sight of this unhappy man, regarding me
with a look of unutterable astonishment, mixed with concern, presently
restored to me my recollection. I arose, though with difficulty;
he did the same; the pistols, as I soon saw, were both on the floor.

Unwilling to leave them, and, indeed, too weak to move, I leant one
hand on the table, and then stood perfectly still; while he, his eyes
cast wildly towards me, seemed too infinitely amazed to be capable
of either speech or action.

I believe we were some minutes in this extraordinary situation; but,
as my strength returned, I felt myself both ashamed and awkward, and
moved towards the door. Pale and motionless, he suffered me to pass,
without changing his posture, or uttering a syllable; and, indeed,



        He look'd a bloodless image of despair.-POPE.



When I reached the door, I turned round; I looked fearfully at
the pistols, and, impelled by an emotion I could not repress,
I hastily stepped back, with an intention of carrying them away:
but their wretched owner, perceiving my design, and recovering from
his astonishment, darting suddenly down, seized them both himself.

Wild with fright, and scarce knowing what I did, I caught, almost
involuntarily, hold of both his arms, and exclaimed, "O, Sir! have
mercy on yourself!"

The guilty pistols fell from his hands, which, disengaging from me,
he fervently clasped, and cried, "Sweet Heaven! is this thy angel?"

Encouraged by such gentleness, I again attempted to take the pistols;
but, with a look half frantic, he again prevented me, saying "What
would you do?"

"Awaken you," I cried, with a courage I now wonder at, "to worthier
thoughts, and rescue you from perdition."

I then seized the pistols; he said not a word,-he made no effort to
stop me;-I glided quick by him, and tottered down stairs ere he had
recovered from the extremest amazement.

The moment I reached again the room I had so fearfully left, I threw
away the pistols, and flinging myself on the first chair, gave free
vent to the feelings I had most painfully stifled, in a violent burst
of tears, which, indeed, proved a happy relief to me.

In this situation I remained some time; but when, at length, I lifted
up my head, the first object I saw was the poor man who had occasioned
my terror, standing, as if petrified, at the door, and gazing at me
with eyes of wild wonder.

I started from the chair; but trembled so excessively, that I almost
instantly sunk again into it. He then, though without advancing, and,
in a faultering voice, said, "Whoever, or whatever you are, relieve
me, I pray you, from the suspense under which my soul labours-and
tell me if indeed I do not dream?"

To this address, so singular, and so solemn, I had not then the
presence of mind to frame any answer; but as I presently perceived
that his eyes turned from me to the pistols, and that he seemed to
intend regaining them, I exerted all my strength, and saying, "O,
for Heaven's sake forbear!" I rose and took them myself.

"Do my sense deceive me!" cried he, "do I live-? And do you?"

As he spoke he advanced towards me; and I, still guarding the pistols,
retreated, saying, "No, no-you must not-must not have them!"

"Why-for what purpose, tell me!-do you withhold them?"-

"To give you time to think,-to save you from eternal misery; -and,
I hope, to reserve you for mercy and forgiveness."

"Wonderful!" cried he, with uplifted hands and eyes, "most wonderful!"

For some time he seemed wrapped in deep thought, till a sudden noise
of tongues below announcing the approach of the Branghtons, made
him start from his reverie: he sprung hastily forward, -dropt on one
knee,-caught hold of my gown, which he pressed to his lips; and then,
quick as lightning, he rose, and flew up stairs to his own room.

There was something in the whole of this extraordinary and shocking
adventure, really too affecting to be borne; and so entirely had I
spent my spirits, and exhausted my courage, that before the Branghtons
reached me, I had sunk on the ground without sense or motion.

I believe I must have been a very horrid sight to them on their
entrance into the room; for to all appearance, I seemed to have
suffered a violent death, either by my own rashness, or the cruelty
of some murderer, as the pistols had fallen close by my side.

How soon I recovered I know not; but, probably I was more indebted
to the loudness of their cries than to their assistance; for they
all concluded that I was dead, and, for some time, did not make any
effort to revive me.

Scarcely could I recollect where, or indeed what, I was, ere they
poured upon me such a torrent of questions and enquiries, that I
was almost stunned by their vociferation. However, as soon, and
as well as I was able, I endeavoured to satisfy their curiosity,
by recounting what had happened as clearly as was in my power. They
all looked aghast at the recital; but, not being well enough to enter
into any discussions, I begged to have a chair called, and to return
instantly home.

Before I left them, I recommended, with great earnestness, a vigilant
observance of their unhappy lodger; and that they would take care to
keep from him, if possible, all means of self-destruction.

M. Du Bois, who seemed extremely concerned at my indisposition, walked
by the side of the chair, and saw me safe to my own apartment.

The rashness and the misery of this ill-fated young man engross
all my thoughts. If indeed, he is bent upon destroying himself, all
efforts to save him will be fruitless. How much do I wish it were in
my power to discover the nature of the malady which thus maddens him
and to offer or to procure alleviation to his sufferings! I am sure,
my dearest Sir, you will be much concerned for this poor man; and,
were you here, I doubt not but you would find some method of awakening
him from the error which blinds him, and of pouring the balm of peace
and comfort into his afflicted soul.


LETTER XLIV

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION Holborn, June 13th.


YESTERDAY all the Branghtons dined here. Our conversation was almost
wholly concerning the adventure of the day before. Mr. Branghton said,
that his first thought was instantly to turn his lodger out of doors,
"Lest," continued he, "his killing himself in my house should bring
me into any trouble: but then I was afraid I should never get the
money that he owes me; whereas, if he dies in my house, I have a
right to all he leaves behind him, if he goes off in my debt. Indeed,
I would put him in prison,-but what should I get by that? he could not
earn anything there to pay me: so I considered about it some time,
and then I determined to ask him, point-blank, for my money out of
hand. And so I did; but he told me he'd pay me next week: however,
I gave him to understand, that though I was no Scotchman, yet, I did
not like to be over-reached any more than he: so he then gave me a
ring, which, to my certain knowledge, must be worth ten guineas, and
told me he would not part with it for his life, and a good deal more
such sort of stuff, but that I might keep it until he could pay me."

"It is ten to one, father," said young Branghton, "if he came fairly
by it."

"Very likely not," answered he; "but that will make no great
difference, for I shall be able to prove my right to it all one."

What principles! I could hardly stay in the room.

"I'm determined," said the son, "I'll take some opportunity to
affront him soon, now I know how poor he is, because of the airs he
gave himself when he first came."

"And pray how was that, child?" said Madame Duval.

"Why, you never knew such a fuss in your life as he made, because one
day at dinner I only happened to say, that I supposed he had never
got such a good meal in his life before he came to England: there, he
fell in such a passion as you can't think: but for my part, I took no
notice of it: for to be sure, thinks I, he must needs be a gentleman,
or he'd never go to be so angry about it. However, he won't put his
tricks upon me again in a hurry."

"Well," said Miss Polly, "he's grown quite another creature to what
he was, and he doesn't run away from us, nor hide himself, nor any
thing; and he's as civil as can be, and he's always in the shop, and
he saunters about the stairs, and he looks at every body as comes in."

"Why, you may see what he's after plain enough," said Mr. Branghton;
"he wants to see Miss again."

"Ha, ha, ha! Lord, how I should laugh," said the son, "if he should
have fell in love with Miss!"

"I'm sure," said Miss Branghton, "Miss is welcome; but, for my part,
I should be quite ashamed of such a beggarly conquest."

Such was the conversation till tea-time, when the appearance of
Mr. Smith gave a new turn to the discourse.

Miss Branghton desired me to remark with what a smart air he entered
the room, and asked me if he had not very much a quality look?

"Come," cried he, advancing to us, "you ladies must not sit together;
wherever I go I always make it a rule to part the ladies."

And then, handing Miss Branghton to the next chair, he seated himself
between us.

"Well, now, ladies, I think we sit very well. What say you? for my
part I think it was a very good motion."

"If my cousin likes it," said Miss Branghton, "I'm sure I've no
objection."

"O," cried he, "I always study what the ladies like,-that's my first
thought.  And, indeed, it is but natural that you should like best
to sit by the gentlemen, for what can you find to say to one another?"

"Say!" cried young Branghton; "O, never you think of that, they'll
find enough to say, I'll be sworn. You know the women are never tired
of talking."

"Come, come, Tom," said Mr. Smith, "don't be severe upon the ladies;
when I'm by, you know I always take their part."

Soon after, when Miss Branghton offered me some cake, this man of
gallantry said, "Well, if I was that lady, I'd never take any thing
from a woman."

"Why not, Sir?"

"Because I should be afraid of being poisoned for being so handsome."

"Who is severe upon the ladies now?" said I.

"Why, really, Ma'am, it was a slip of the tongue; I did not intend
to say such a thing; but one can't always be on one's guard."

Soon after, the conversation turning upon public places, young
Branghton asked if I had ever been to George's at Hampstead?

"Indeed, I never heard the place mentioned."

"Didn't you, Miss," cried he eagerly; "why, then you've a deal of
fun to come, I'll promise you; and, I tell you what, I'll treat you
there some Sunday, soon. So now, Bid and Poll, be sure you don't tell
Miss about the chairs, and all that, for I've a mind to surprise her;
and if I pay, I think I've a right to have it my own way."

"George's at Hampstead!" repeated Mr. Smith contemptuously; "how
came you to think the young lady would like to go to such a low
place as that! But, pray, Ma'am, have you ever been to Don Saltero's
at Chelsea?"

"No, Sir."

"No!-nay, then I must insist on having the pleasure of conducting
you there before long. I assure you, Ma'am, many genteel people go,
or else, I give you my word, I should not recommend it."

"Pray, cousin," said Mr. Branghton, "have you been at Sadler's
Wells yet?"

"No, Sir."

"No! why, then you've seen nothing!"

"Pray, Miss," said the son, "how do you like the Tower of London?"

"I have never been to it, Sir."

"Goodness!" exclaimed he, "not seen the Tower!-why, may be, you ha'n't
been o' top of the Monument, neither?"

"No, indeed, I have not."

"Why, then, you might as well not have come to London for aught I see,
for you've been no where."

"Pray, Miss," said Polly, "have you been all over Paul's Church yet?"

"No, Ma'am."

"Well, but, Ma'am," said Mr. Smith, "how do you like Vauxhall and
Marybone?"

"I never saw either, Sir."

"No-God bless me!-you really surprise me,-why Vauxhall is the first
pleasure in life!-I know nothing like it.-Well, Ma'am, you must
have been with strange people, indeed, not to have taken you to
Vauxhall. Why you have seen nothing of London yet. However, we must
try if we can't make you amends."

In the course of this catechism, many other places were mentioned,
of which I have forgotten the names; but the looks of surprise and
contempt that my repeated negatives incurred were very diverting.

"Come," said Mr. Smith, after tea, "as this lady has been with such
a queer set of people, let's show her the difference; suppose we go
somewhere to-night!-I love to do things with spirit!-Come, ladies,
where shall we go?  For my part I should like Foote's-but the ladies
must choose; I never speak myself."

"Well, Mr. Smith is always in such spirits!" said Miss Branghton.

"Why, yes, Ma'am, yes, thank God, pretty good spirits;-I have not yet
the cares of the world upon me;-I am not married,-ha, ha, ha!-you'll
excuse me, ladies,-but I can't help laughing!"

No objection being made, to my great relief we all proceeded to the
little theatre in the Haymarket, where I was extremely entertained
by the performance of the Minor and the Commissary.

They all returned hither to supper.


LETTER XLV

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION June 15th.

YESTERDAY morning Madame Duval again sent me to Mr. Branghton's,
attended by M. Du Bois, to make some party for the evening, because
she had had the vapours the preceding day from staying at home.

As I entered the shop, I perceived the unfortunate North Briton
seated in a corner, with a book in his hand. He cast his melancholy
eyes up as we came in; and, I believe, immediately recollected my
face-for he started, and changed colour. I delivered Madame Duval's
message to Mr. Branghton, who told me I should find Polly up stairs,
but that the others were gone out.

Up stairs, therefore, I went; and, seated on a window, with Mr. Brown
at her side, sat Miss Polly. I felt a little awkward at disturbing
them, and much more so at their behaviour afterwards; for, as soon
as the common enquiries were over, Mr. Brown grew so fond and so
foolish, that I was extremely disgusted. Polly, all the time, only
rebuked him with, "La, now, Mr. Brown, do be quiet, can't you?-you
should not behave so before company.-Why, now, what will Miss think
of me?"-While her looks plainly showed not merely the pleasure,
but the pride which she took in his caresses.

I did not by any means think it necessary to punish myself by
witnessing their tenderness; and therefore telling them I would see
if Miss Branghton were returned home, I soon left them, and against
descended into the shop.

"So, Miss, you've come again," said Mr. Branghton; "what, I suppose
you've a mind to sit a little in the shop, and see how the world goes,
hey, Miss?"

I made no answer; and M. Du Bois instantly brought me a chair.

The unhappy stranger, who had risen at my entrance, again seated
himself; and though his head leant towards his book, I could not help
observing, his eyes were most intently and earnestly turned towards me.

M. Du Bois, as well as his broken English would allow him, endeavoured
to entertain us till the return of Miss Branghton and her brother.

"Lord, how tired I am!" cried the former; "I have not a foot to stand
upon."  And, then, without any ceremony, she flung herself into the
chair from which I had risen to receive her.

"You tired!" said the brother; "why, then, what must I be, that have
walked twice as far?" And, with equal politeness, he paid the same
compliment to M.  Du Bois which his sister had done to me.

Two chairs and three stools completed the furniture of the shop;
and Mr.  Branghton, who chose to keep his own seat himself, desired
M. Du Bois to take another; and then seeing that I was without any,
called out to the stranger, "Come, Mr. Macartney, lend us your stool."

Shocked at their rudeness, I declined the offer; and, approaching
Miss Branghton, said, "If you will be so good as to make room for me
on your chair, there will be no occasion to disturb that gentleman."

"Lord, what signifies that?" cried the brother; "he has had his share
of sitting, I'll be sworn."

"And, if he has not," said the sister, "he has a chair up stairs;
and the shop is our own, I hope."

This grossness so much disgusted me, that I took the stool, and
carrying it back to Mr. Macartney myself, I returned him thanks as
civilly as I could for his politeness, but said that I had rather
stand.

He looked at me as if unaccustomed to such attention, bowed very
respectfully, but neither spoke nor yet made use of it.

I soon found that I was an object of derision to all present, except
M. Du Bois; and therefore, I begged Mr. Branghton would give me an
answer for Madame Duval, as I was in haste to return.

"Well, then, Tom,-Biddy, where have you a mind to go tonight? your
aunt and Miss want to be abroad and amongst them."

"Why, then, Papa," said Miss Branghton, "we'll go to Don
Saltero's. Mr. Smith likes that place, so may be he'll go along
with us."

"No, no," said the son, "I'm for White-Conduit House; so let's
go there."

"White-Conduit House, indeed!" cried his sister; "no, Tom, that
I won't."

"Why, then, let it alone; nobody wants your company;-we shall do as
well without you, I'll be sworn, and better too."

"I'll tell you what, Tom, if you don't hold your tongue, I'll make
you repent it,-that I assure you."

Just then Mr. Smith came into the shop, which he seemed to intend
passing through; but when he saw me, he stopped, and began a most
courteous enquiry after my health, protesting, that, had he known I
was there, he should have come down sooner. "But, bless me, Ma'am,"
added he, "what is the reason you stand?" and then he flew to bring
me the seat from which I had just parted.

"Mr. Smith, you are come in very good time," said Mr. Branghton,
"to end a dispute between my son and daughter, about where they shall
all go to-night."

"O, fie, Tom,-dispute with a lady!" cried Mr. Smith. "Now, as for me,
I'm for where you will, provided this young lady is of the party;-one
place is the same as another to me, so that it be but agreeable to
the ladies.-I would go any where with you, Ma'am," (to me) "unless,
indeed, it were to church; -ha, ha, ha!-You'll excuse me, Ma'am; but,
really, I never could conquer my fear of a parson;-ha, ha, ha!-Really,
ladies, I beg your pardon for being so rude; but I can't help laughing
for my life!"

"I was just saying, Mr. Smith," said Miss Branghton, "that I should
like to go to Don Saltero's;-now, pray, where should you like to go?"

"Why, really, Miss Biddy, you know I always let the ladies decide; I
never fix any thing myself; but I should suppose it would be rather
hot at the coffee-house:-however, pray, ladies, settle it among
yourselves;-I'm agreeable to whatever you choose."

It was easy for me to discover, that this man, with all his parade of
conformity, objects to every thing that is not proposed by himself:
but he is so much admired by this family for his gentility, that he
thinks himself a complete fine gentleman!

"Come," said Mr. Branghton, "the best way will be to put it to the
vote, and then every body will speak their minds. Biddy, call Poll
down stairs. We'll start fair."

"Lord, Papa," said Miss Branghton, "why can't you as well send
Tom?-you're always sending me of the errands."

A dispute then ensued, but Miss Branghton was obliged to yield.

When Mr. Brown and Miss Polly made their appearance, the latter
uttered many complaints of having been called, saying, she did not
want to come, and was very well where she was.

"Now, ladies, your votes," cried Mr. Smith; "and so, Ma'am (to me),
we'll begin with you. What place shall you like best?" and then, in
a whisper, he added, "I assure you, I shall say the same as you do,
whether I like it or not."

I said, that as I was ignorant what choice was in my power, I must
beg to hear their decisions first. This was reluctantly assented to;
and then Miss Branghton voted for Saltero's Coffee-house; her sister,
for a party to Mother Red Cap's; the brother for White-Conduit House;
Mr. Brown, for Bagnigge Wells; Mr. Braughton, for Sadler's Wells;
and Mr. Smith, for Vauxhall.

"Well now, Ma'am," said Mr. Smith, "we have all spoken, and so you
must give the casting vote. Come, what will you fix upon?"

"Sir," answered I, "I was to speak last."

"Well, so you will," said Miss Branghton, "for we've all spoke first."

"Pardon me," returned I, "the voting has not yet been quite general."

And I turned towards Mr. Macartney, to whom I wished extremely to
show that I was not of the same brutal nature with those by whom he
was treated so grossly.

"Why, pray," said Mr. Branghton, "who have we left out? would you have
the cats and dogs vote?"

"No, Sir," cried I, with some spirit, "I would have that gentleman
vote,-if, indeed, he is not superior to joining our party."

They all looked at me, as if they doubted whether or not they had
heard me right: but, in a few moments, their surprise gave way to a
rude burst of laughter.

Very much displeased, I told M. Du Bois that if he was not ready to
go, I would have a coach called for myself.

O yes, he said, he was always ready to attend me.

Mr. Smith then, advancing, attempted to take my hand, and begged me
not to leave them till I had settled the evening's plans.

"I have nothing, Sir," said I, "to do with it, as it is my intention
to stay at home; and therefore Mr. Branghton will be so good as to
send Madame Duval word what place is fixed upon, when it is convenient
to him."

And then, making a slight courtesy, I left them.

How much does my disgust for these people increase my pity for poor Mr.
Macartney! I will not see them when I can avoid so doing; but I am
determined to take every opportunity in my power to show civility to
this unhappy man, whose misfortunes with this family, only render him
an object of scorn. I was, however, very well pleased with M. Du Bois,
who, far from joining in their mirth, expressed himself extremely
shocked at their ill-breeding.

We had not walked ten yards before we were followed by Mr. Smith,
who came to make excuses, and to assure me they were only joking, and
hoped I took nothing ill; for if I did, he would make a quarrel of it
himself with the Branghtons, rather than I should receive any offense.

I begged him not to take any trouble about so immaterial an affair,
and assured him I should not myself. He was so officious, that he
would not be prevailed upon to return home, till he had walked with
us to Mr. Dawkins's.

Madame Duval was very much displeased that I brought her so little
satisfaction. White-Conduit House was at last fixed upon; and,
notwithstanding my great dislike of such parties and such places,
I was obliged to accompany them.

Very disagreeable, and much according to my expectations, the
evening proved.  There were many people all smart and gaudy, and so
pert and low-bred, that I could hardly endure being amongst them;
but the party to which, unfortunately, I belonged, seemed all at home.


LETTER XLVI

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Holborn, June 17th.

YESTERDAY Mr. Smith carried his point of making a party for Vauxhall,
consisting of Madame Duval, M. Du Bois, all the Branghtons, Mr. Brown,
himself,-and me!-for I find all endeavours vain to escape any thing
which these people desire I should not.

There were twenty disputes previous to our setting out; first, as to
the time of our going: Mr. Branghton, his son, and young Brown, were
for six o'clock; and all the ladies and Mr. Smith were for eight;-the
latter, however, conquered.

Then, as to the way we should go; some were for a boat, others for
a coach, and Mr. Branghton himself was for walking; but the boat
at length was decided upon. Indeed this was the only part of the
expedition that was agreeable to me; for the Thames was delightfully
pleasant.

The garden is very pretty, but too formal; I should have been better
pleased, had it consisted less of straight walks, where

        Grove nods at grove, each alley has its brother.

The trees, the numerous lights, and the company in the circle round
the orchestra make a most brilliant and gay appearance; and had I been
with a party less disagreeable to me, I should have thought it a place
formed for animation and pleasure. There was a concert; in the course
of which a hautbois concerto was so charmingly played, that I could
have thought myself upon enchanted ground, had I had spirits more
gentle to associate with. The hautbois in the open air is heavenly.

Mr. Smith endeavoured to attach himself to me, with such officious
assiduity and impertinent freedom, that he quite sickened me. Indeed
M. Du Bois was the only man of the party to whom, voluntarily, I
ever addressed myself. He is civil and respectful, and I have found
nobody else so since I left Howard Grove. His English is very bad;
but I prefer it to speaking French myself, which I dare not venture
to do. I converse with him frequently, both to disengage myself from
others, and to oblige Madame Duval, who is always pleased when he is
attended to.

As we were walking about the orchestra, I heard a bell ring; and,
in a moment, Mr. Smith, flying up to me, caught my hand, and, with a
motion too quick to be resisted, ran away with me many yards before I
had breath to ask his meaning, though I struggled as well as I could,
to get from him. At last, however, I insisted upon stopping: "Stopping,
Ma'am!" cried he, "why we must run on or we shall lose the cascade!"

And then again he hurried me away, mixing with a crowd of people,
all running with so much velocity, that I could not imagine what had
raised such an alarm. We were soon followed by the rest of the party;
and my surprise and ignorance proved a source of diversion to them
all, which was not exhausted the whole evening. Young Branghton,
in particular, laughed till he could hardly stand.

The scene of the cascade I thought extremely pretty, and the general
effect striking and lively.

But this was not the only surprise which was to divert them at my
expense; for they led me about the garden purposely to enjoy my first
sight of various other deceptions.

About ten o'clock, Mr. Smith having chosen a box in a very conpicuous
place, we all went to supper. Much fault was found with every thing
that was ordered, though not a morsel of any thing was left; and the
dearness of the provisions, with conjectures upon what profit was
made by them, supplied discourse during the whole meal.

When wine and cyder were brought, Mr. Smith said, "Now let's enjoy
ourselves; now is the time, or never. Well, Ma'am, and how do you
like Vauxhall?"

"Like it!" cried young Branghton; "why, how can she help liking
it? she has never seen such a place before, that I'll answer for."

"For my part," said Miss Branghton, "I like it because it is not
vulgar."

"This must have been a fine treat for you, Miss," said Mr. Branghton;
"why, I suppose you was never so happy in all your life before?"

I endeavoured to express my satisfaction with some pleasure; yet,
I believe, they were much amazed at my coldness.

"Miss ought to stay in town till the last night," said young Branghton;
"and then, it's my belief, she'd say something to it! Why, Lord,
it's the best night of any; there's always a riot,-and there the folks
run about,-and then there's such squealing and squalling!-and, there,
all the lamps are broke,-and the women run skimper scamper.-I declare
I would not take five guineas to miss the last night!"

I was very glad when they all grew tired of sitting, and called for
the waiter to pay the bill. The Miss Branghtons said they would walk
on while the gentlemen settled the account, and asked me to accompany
them; which, however, I declined.

"You girls may do as you please," said Madame Duval; "but as to me,
I promise you, I sha'n't go nowhere without the gentlemen."

"No more, I suppose, will my cousin," said Miss Branghton, looking
reproachfully towards Mr. Smith.

This reflection, which I feared would flatter his vanity, made me most
unfortunately request Madame Duval's permission to attend them. She
granted it; and away we went, having promised to meet in the room.

To the room, therefore, I would immediately have gone: but the sisters
agreed that they would first have a little pleasure; and they tittered
and talked so loud, that they attracted universal notice.

"Lord, Polly," said the eldest, "suppose we were to take a turn in
the dark walks!"

"Aye, do," answered she; "and then we'll hide ourselves, and then
Mr. Brown will think we are lost."

I remonstrated very warmly against this plan, telling them it would
endanger our missing the rest of the party all the evening.

"O dear," cried Miss Branghton, "I thought how uneasy Miss would be
without a beau!"

This impertinence I did not think worth answering; and, quite by
compulsion, I followed them down a long alley, in which there was
hardly any light.

By the time we came near the end, a large party of gentlemen,
apparently very riotous, and who were hallooing, leaning on one
another, and laughing immoderately, seemed to rush suddenly from
behind some trees, and meeting us face to face, put their arms at
their sides, and formed a kind of circle, which first stopped our
proceeding, and then our retreating, for we were presently entirely
enclosed. The Miss Branghtons screamed aloud, and I was frightened
exceedingly; our screams were answered with bursts of laughter, and
for some minutes we were kept prisoners, till at last one of them,
rudely seizing hold of me, said I was a pretty little creature.

Terrified to death, I struggled with such vehemence to disengage
myself from him, that I succeeded, in spite of his efforts to detain
me; and immediately, and with a swiftness which fear only could have
given me, I flew rather than ran up the walk, hoping to secure my
safety by returning to the lights and company we had so foolishly
left: but before I could possibly accomplish my purpose, I was met
by another party of men, one of whom placed himself so directly in
my way, calling out, "Whither so fast, my love?"-that I could only
have proceeded by running into his arms.

In a moment both my hands, by different persons, were caught hold of,
and one of them, in a most familiar manner, desired, when I ran next,
to accompany me in a race; while the rest of the party stood still
and laughed.

I was almost distracted with terror, and so breathless with running,
that I could not speak; till another, advancing, said, I was as
handsome as an angel, and desired to be of the party. I then just
articulated, "For Heaven's sake, gentlemen, let me pass!"

Another then rushing suddenly forward, exclaimed, "Heaven and
earth! What voice is that?-"

"The voice of the prettiest little actress I have seen this age,"
answered one of my persecutors.

"No,-no,-no-" I panted out, "I am no actress-pray let me go,-pray
let me pass-"

"By all that's sacred," cried the same voice, which I then knew for
Sir Clement Willoughby's, "'tis herself!"

"Sir Clement Willoughby!" cried I. "O, Sir, assist-assist me-or I
shall die with terror!"

"Gentlemen," cried he, disengaging them all from me in an instant,
"pray leave this lady to me."

Loud laughs proceeded from every mouth, and two or three said
Willoughby has all the luck! But one of them, in a passionate manner,
vowed he would not give me up, for that he had the first right to me,
and would support it.

"You are mistaken," said Sir Clement, "this lady is-I will explain
myself to you another time; but, I assure you, you are all mistaken."

And then taking my willing hand, he led me off, amidst the loud
acclamations, laughter, and gross merriment of his impertinent
companions.

As soon as we had escaped from them, Sir Clement, with a voice of
surprise, exclaimed, "My dearest creature, what wonder, what strange
revolution, has brought you to such a place as this?"

Ashamed of my situation, and extremely mortified to be thus recognized
by him, I was for some time silent; and when he repeated his question,
only stammered out, "I have,-I hardly know how,-lost from my party-"

He caught my hand, and eagerly pressing it, in a passionate voice said,
"O that I had sooner met with thee!"

Surprised at a freedom so unexpected, I angrily broke from him, saying,
"Is this the protection you give me, Sir Clement?"

And then I saw, what the perturbation of my mind had prevented my
sooner noticing, that he had led me, though I know not how, into
another of the dark alleys, instead of the place whither I meant to go.

"Good God!" I cried, "where am I?-What way are you going?"

"Where," answered he, "we shall be least observed!"

Astonished at this speech, I stopped short, and declared I would go
no further.

"And why not, my angel?" again endeavouring to take my hand.

My heart beat with resentment; I pushed him away from me with all my
strength, and demanded how he dared treat me with such insolence?

"Insolence!" repeated he.

"Yes, Sir Clement, insolence; from you, who know me, I had a claim
for protection,-not to such treatment as this."

"By Heaven," cried he, with warmth, "you distract me;-why, tell
me,-why do I see you here?-Is this a place for Miss Anville?-these
dark walks!-no party!  no companion!-by all that's good I can scarce
believe my senses!"

Extremely offended at this speech, I turned angrily from him: and,
not deigning to make any answer, walked on towards that part of the
garden whence I perceived the lights and company.

He followed me; but we were both some time silent.

"So you will not explain to me your situation?" said he, at length.

"No, Sir," answered I, disdainfully.

"Nor yet-suffer me to make my own interpretation?-"

I could not bear this strange manner of speaking; it made my very
soul shudder,-and I burst into tears.

He flew to me, and actually flung himself at my feet, as if
regardless who might see him, saying, "O, Miss Anville,-loveliest of
women,-forgive my,-my,-I beseech you forgive me;-if I have offended-if
I have hurt you-I could kill myself at the thought!-"

"No matter, Sir, no matter," cried I; "if I can but find my friends,-I
will never speak to-never see you again!"

"Good God!-good Heaven! My dearest life, what is it I have done?-what
is it I have said?-"

"You best know, Sir, what and why: but don't hold me here,-let me be
gone; and do you!"

"Not till you forgive me!-I cannot part with you in anger."

"For shame, for shame, Sir!" cried I, indignantly, "do you suppose I
am to be thus compelled?-do you take advantage of the absence of my
friends to affront me?"

"No, Madam," cried he, rising: "I would sooner forfeit my life than
act so mean a part. But you have flung me into amazement unspeakable,
and you will not condescend to listen to my request of giving me
some explanation."

"The manner, Sir," said I, "in which you spoke that request, made,
and will make, me scorn to answer it."

"Scorn!-I will own to you, I expected not such displeasure from
Miss Anville."

"Perhaps, Sir, if you had, you would less voluntarily have merited it."

"My dearest life, surely it must be known to you, that the man does
not breathe who adores you so passionately, so fervently, so tenderly
as I do!-Why, then, will you delight in perplexing me?-in keeping me
in suspense?-in torturing me with doubt?"

"I, Sir, delight in perplexing you!-you are much mistaken.-Your
suspense, your doubts, your perplexities,-are of your own creating;
and believe me, Sir, they may offend, but they can never delight
me:-but as you have yourself raised, you must yourself satisfy them."

"Good God!-that such haughtiness and such sweetness can inhabit the
same mansion!"

I made no answer; but quickening my pace I walked on silently and
sullenly, till this most impetuous of men, snatching my hand, which he
grasped with violence, besought me to forgive him with such earnestness
of supplication, that, merely to escape his importunities, I was forced
to speak, and in some measure to grant the pardon he requested; though
it was accorded with a very ill grace: but, indeed, I knew not how
to resist the humility of his intreaties: yet never shall I recollect
the occasion he gave me of displeasure, without feeling it renewed.

We now soon arrived in the midst of the general crowd; and, my own
safety being then insured, I grew extremely uneasy for the Miss
Branghtons, whose danger, however imprudently incurred by their own
folly, I too well knew how to tremble for. To this consideration all
my pride of heart yielded, and I determined to seek my party with the
utmost speed; though not without a sigh did I recollect the fruitless
attempt I had made after the opera, of concealing from this man my
unfortunate connections, which I was now obliged to make known.

I hastened, therefore, to the room, with a view of sending young
Branghton to the aid of his sisters. In a very short time I perceived
Madame Duval, and the rest, looking at one of the paintings.

I must own to you honestly, my dear Sir, that an involuntary repugnance
seized me at presenting such a set to Sir Clement,-he who had been used
to see me in parties so different!-My pace slackened as I approached
them,-but they presently perceived me.

"Ah, Mademoiselle!" cried M. Du Bois, "Que je suis charm-e; de vous
voir!"

"Pray, Miss," cried Mr. Brown, "where's Miss Polly?"

"Why, Miss, you've been a long while gone," said Mr. Branghton;
"we thought you'd been lost. But what have you done with your cousins?"

I hesitated,-for Sir Clement regarded me with a look of wonder.

"Pardi," cried Madame Duval, "I shan't let you leave me again in
a hurry. Why, here we've been in such a fright!-and all the while,
I suppose, you've been thinking nothing about the matter."

"Well," said young Branghton," as long as Miss is come back, I don't
mind; for as to Bid and Poll, they can take care of themselves. But
the best joke is, Mr. Smith is gone all about a looking for you."

These speeches were made almost in a breath: but when, at last,
they waited for an answer, I told them, that, in walking up one of
the long alleys, we had been frightened and separated.

"The long alleys!" repeated Mr. Branghton, "and pray, what had you
to do in the long alleys? why, to be sure, you must all of you have
had a mind to be affronted!"

This speech was not more impertinent to me, than surprising to Sir
Clement, who regarded all the party with evident astonishment. However,
I told young Branghton, no time ought to be lost, for that his sisters
might require his immediate protection.

"But how will they get it?" cried this brutal brother: "if they've
a mind to behave in such a manner as that, they ought to protect
themselves; and so they may for me."

"Well," said the simple Mr. Brown, "whether you go or not, I think
I may as well see after Miss Polly."

The father then interfering, insisted that his son should accompany
him; and away they went.

It was now that Madame Duval first perceived Sir Clement; to whom,
turning with a look of great displeasure, she angrily said, "Ma foi,
so you are comed here, of all the people in the world!-I wonder, child,
you would let such a-such a person as that keep company with you."

"I am very sorry, Madam," said Sir Clement, in a tone of surprise,
"if I had been so unfortunate as to offend you; but I believe you
will not regret the honour I now have of attending Miss Anville,
when you hear that I have been so happy as to do her some service."

Just as Madame Duval, with her usual Ma foi, was beginning to
reply, the attention of Sir Clement was wholly drawn from her, by
the appearance of Mr.  Smith, who, coming suddenly behind me, and
freely putting his hands of my shoulders, cried, "O ho, my little
runaway, have I found you at last? I have been scampering all over
the gardens for you, for I was determined to find you, if you were
above ground.-But how could you be so cruel as to leave us?"

I turned round to him, and looked with a degree of contempt that I
hoped would have quieted him: but he had not the sense to understand
me; and, attempting to take my hand, he added, "Such a demure-looking
lady as you are, who'd have thought of your leading one such a
dance?-Come, now, don't be so coy; only think what a trouble I have
had in running after you!"

"The trouble, Sir," said I, "was of your own choice,-not mine." And
I walked round to the other side of Madame Duval.

Perhaps I was too proud;-but I could not endure that Sir Clement,
whose eyes followed him with looks of the most surprised curiosity,
should witness his unwelcome familiarity.

Upon my removal he came up to me, and, in a low voice, said, "You
are not, then, with the Mirvans?"

"No, Sir."

"And pray,-may I ask you,-have you left them long?"

"No, Sir."

"How unfortunate I am!-but yesterday I sent to acquaint the Captain
I should reach the Grove by to-morrow noon! However, I shall get away
as fast as possible. Shall you be long in town?"

"I believe not, Sir."

"And then, when you leave it-which way-will you allow me to ask,
which way you shall travel?"

"Indeed,-I don't know."

"Not know!-But do you return to the Mirvans any more?"

"I-I can't tell, Sir."

And then I addressed myself to Madame Duval, with such a pretended
earnestness, that he was obliged to be silent.

As he cannot but observe the great change in my situation, which
he knows not how to account for, there is something in all these
questions, and this unrestrained curiosity, that I did not expect
from a man who, when he pleases, can be so well-bred as Sir Clement
Willoughby. He seems disposed to think that the alteration in my
companions authorises an alteration in his manners. It is true, he
has always treated me with uncommon freedom, but never before with
so disrespectful an abruptness. This observation, which he has given
me cause to make, of his changing with the tide, has sunk him more
in my opinion than any other part of his conduct.

Yet I could almost have laughed when I looked at Mr. Smith, who no
sooner saw me addressed by Sir Clement, than, retreating aloof from
the company, he seemed to lose at once all his happy self-sufficiency
and conceit; looking now at the baronet, now at himself; surveying,
with sorrowful eyes, his dress; struck with his air, his gestures,
his easy gaiety, he gazed at him with envious admiration, and seemed
himself, with conscious inferiority, to shrink into nothing.

Soon after, Mr. Brown, running up to us, called out, "La, what,
i'n't Miss Polly come yet?"

"Come," said Mr. Branghton; "why, I thought you went to fetch her
yourself, didn't you?"

"Yes, but I couldn't find her;-yet I daresay I've been over half
the garden."

"Half? but why did not you go over it all?"

"Why, so I will: but only I thought I'd just come and see if she was
here first."

"But where's Tom?"

"Why, I don't know; for he would not stay with me, all as ever I
could say: for we met some young gentlemen of his acquaintance,
and so he bid me go and look by myself; for he said, says he, I can
divert myself better another way, says he."

This account being given, away again went this silly young man;
and Mr.  Branghton, extremely incensed, said he would go and see
after them himself.

"So, now", cried Madame Duval, "he's gone too! why, at this rate,
we shall have to wait for one or other of them all night!"

Observing that Sir Clement seemed disposed to renew his enquiries,
I turned towards one of the paintings, and, pretending to be very much
occupied in looking at it, asked M. Du Bois some questions concerning
the figures.

"O! Mon Dieu!" cried Madame Duval, "don't ask him; your best way is
to ask Mr. Smith, for he's been here the oftenest. Come, Mr. Smith,
I dare say you can tell us all about them."

"Why, yes, Ma'am, yes," said Mr. Smith: who, brightening up at this
application, advanced towards us with an air of assumed importance,
which, however, sat very uneasily upon him, and begged to know what he
should explain first: "For I have attended," said he, "to all these
paintings, and know every thing in them perfectly well; for I am
rather fond of pictures, Ma'am;  and, really, I must say, I think, a
pretty pictures is a-a very-is really a very-is something very pretty-"

"So do I too," said Madame Duval; "but pray now, Sir, tell us who
that is meant for," pointing to a figure of Neptune.

"That!-why, that, Ma'am, is,-Lord bless me, I can't think how I
come to be so stupid, but really I have forgot his name;-and yet,
I know it as well as my own too:-however, he's a General, Ma'am,
they are all Generals."

I saw Sir Clement bite his lips; and, indeed, so did I mine.

"Well," said Madame Duval, "it's the oddest dress for a general ever
I see!"

"He seems so capital a figure," said Sir Clement, to Mr. Smith,
"that I imagine he must be Generalissimo of the whole army."

"Yes, Sir, yes," answered Mr. Smith, respectfully bowing, and highly
delighted at being thus referred to, "you are perfectly right;-but I
cannot for my life think of his name;-perhaps, Sir, you may remember
it?"

"No, really," replied Sir Clement, "my acquaintance among the generals
is not so extensive."

The ironical tone of voice in which Sir Clement spoke entirely
disconcerted Mr. Smith; who again retiring to an humble distance,
seemed sensibly mortified at the failure of his attempt to recover
his consequence.

Soon after, Mr. Branghton returned with his youngest daughter, who
he had rescued from a party of insolent young men; but he had not
yet been able to find the eldest. Miss Polly was really frightened,
and declared she would never go into the dark walks again. Her father,
leaving her with us, went in quest of her sister.

While she was relating her adventures, to which nobody listened more
attentively than Sir Clement, we saw Mr. Brown enter the room. "O,
la!" cried Miss Polly, "let me hide myself, and don't tell him
I'm come."

She then placed herself behind Madame Duval, in such a manner that
she could not be seen.

"So Miss Polly is not come yet!" said the simple swain: "well,
I can't think where she can be! I've been looking, and looking,
and looking all about, and can't find her all I can do."

"Well, but, Mr. Brown," said Mr. Smith, "sha'n't you go and look for
the lady again?"

"Yes, Sir," said he, sitting down; "but I must rest me a little bit
first. You can't think how tired I am."

"O fie, Mr. Brown, fie," cried Mr. Smith, winking at us, "tired of
looking for a lady! Go, go, for shame!"

"So I will, Sir, presently; but you'd be tired too, if you had walked
so far: besides, I think she's gone out of the garden, or else I must
have seen something or other of her."

A he, he he! of the tittering Polly, now betrayed her, and so ended
this ingenious little artifice.

At last appeared Mr. Branghton and Miss Biddy, who, with a face of
mixed anger and confusion, addressing herself to me, said, "So, Miss,
so you ran away from me! Well, see if I don't do as much by you some
day or other! But I thought how it would be; you'd no mind to leave
the gentlemen, though you run away from me."

I was so much surprised at this attack, that I could not answer her
for very amazement; and she proceeded to tell us how ill she had
been used, and that two young men had been making her walk up and
down the dark walks by absolute force, and as fast as ever they could
tear her along; and many other particulars, which I will not tire you
with relating. In conclusion, looking at Mr. Smith, she said, "But to
be sure, thought I, at least all the company will be looking for me;
so I little expected to find you all here, talking as comfortably as
ever you can. However, I know I may thank my cousin for it!"

"If you mean me, Madam," said I, very much shocked, "I am quite
ignorant in what manner I can have been accessary to your distress."

"Why, by running away so. If you'd stayed with us, I'll answer for
it Mr.  Smith and M. Du Bois would have come to look for us; but I
suppose they could not leave your ladyship."

The folly and unreasonableness of this speech would admit of no
answer. But what a scene was this for Sir Clement! his surprise was
evident; and I must acknowledge my confusion was equally great.

We had now to wait for young Branghton, who did not appear for some
time; and during this interval it was with difficulty that I avoided
Sir Clement, who was on the rack of curiosity, and dying to speak
to me.

When, at last, the hopeful youth returned, a long and frightful quarrel
ensued between him and his father, in which his sisters occasionally
joined, concerning his neglect; and he defended himself only by a
brutal mirth, which he indulged at their expense.

Every one now seemed inclined to depart,-when, as usual, a dispute
arose upon the way of our going, whether in a coach or a boat. After
much debating, it was determined that we should make two parties,
one by the water and the other by land; for Madame Duval declared
she would not, upon any account, go into a boat at night.

Sir Clement then said, that if she had no carriage in waiting, he
should be happy to see her and me safe home, as his was in readiness.

Fury started into her eyes, and passion inflamed every feature, as she
answered, "Pardi, no-you may take care of yourself, if you please; but
as to me, I promise you I sha'n't trust myself with no such person."

He pretended not to comprehend her meaning; yet, to waive a discussion,
acquiesced in her refusal. The coach-party fixed upon, consisted of
Madame Duval, M. Du Bois, Miss Branghton, and myself.

I now began to rejoice, in private, that at least our lodgings
would be neither seen nor known by Sir Clement. We soon met with a
hackney-coach, into which he handed me, and then took leave.

Madame Duval having already given the coachman her direction, he
mounted the box, and we were just driving off, when Sir Clement
exclaimed, "By Heaven, this is the very coach I had in waiting for
myself!"

"This coach, your honour!" said the man; "no, that it i'n't."

Sir Clement, however, swore that it was; and presently, the man,
begging his pardon, said he had really forgotten that he was engaged.

I have no doubt but that this scheme occurred to him at the moment,
and that he made some sign to the coachman, which induced him to
support it; for there is not the least probability that the accident
really happened, as it is most likely his own chariot was in waiting.

The man then opened the coach-door, and Sir Clement, advancing to
it, said "I don't believe there is another carriage to be had, or
I would not incommode you; but, as it may be disagreeable to you to
wait here any longer, I beg you will not get out, for you shall be
set down before I am carried home, if you will be so good as to make
a little room."

And so saying, in he jumped, and seated himself between M. Du Bois
and me, while our astonishment at the whole transaction was too great
for speech. He then ordered the coachman to drive on, according to
the directions he had already received.

For the first ten minutes no one uttered a word; and then, Madame
Duval, no longer able to contain herself, exclaimed, "Ma foi, if this
isn't one of the most impudentest things ever I see!"

Sir Clement, regardless of this rebuke, attended only to me; however I
answered nothing he said, when I could possibly avoid so doing. Miss
Branghton made several attempts to attract his notice, but in vain,
for he would not take the trouble of paying her any regard.

Madame Duval, during the rest of the ride, addressed herself to M. Du
Bois in French, and in that language exclaimed, with great vehemence,
against boldness and assurance.

I was extremely glad when I thought our journey must be nearly at an
end, for my situation was very uneasy to me, as Sir Clement perpetually
endeavoured to take my hand. I looked out of the coach-window, to see
if we were near home: Sir Clement, stooping over me, did the same;
and then, in a voice of infinite wonder, called out, "Where the d-l
is the man driving to?-Why we are in Broad Street, St. Giles's!"

"O, he's very right," cried Madame Duval, "so never trouble your
head about that; for I sha'n't go by no directions of your's, I
promise you."

When, at last, we stopped at an hosier's in High Holborn,-Sir Clement
said nothing, but his eyes, I saw, were very busily employed in
viewing the place, and the situation of the house. The coach, he
said, belong to him, and therefore he insisted upon paying for it;
and then he took leave. M. Du Bois walked home with Miss Branghton,
and Madame Duval and I retired to our apartments.

How disagreeable an evening's adventure! not one of the party seemed
satisfied, except Sir Clement, who was in high spirits: but Madame
Duval was enraged at meeting with him; Mr. Branghton, angry with his
children; the frolic of the Miss Branghtons had exceeded their plan,
and ended in their own distress; their  brother was provoked that there
had been no riot; Mr. Brown was tired, and Mr. Smith mortified. As to
myself, I must acknowledge, nothing could be more disagreeable to me,
than being seen by Sir Clement Willoughby with a party at once so
vulgar in themselves, and so familiar to me.

And you, too, my dear Sir, will, I know, be sorry that I have met him;
however, there is no apprehension of his visiting here, as Madame
Duval is far too angry to admit him.


LETTER XLVII.

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS.  Holborn, June 18th.


MADAME DUVAL rose very late this morning, and, at one o'clock, we had
but just breakfasted, when Miss Branghton, her brother, Mr. Smith,
and Monsieur Du Bois, called to enquire after our healths.

The civility in young Branghton, I much suspect, was merely the result
of his father's commands; but his sister and Mr. Smith, I soon found,
had motives of their own. Scarce had they spoken to Madame Duval,
when, advancing eagerly to me, "Pray, Ma'am," said Mr. Smith, "who
was that gentleman?"

"Pray, cousin," cried Miss Branghton, "was not he the same gentleman
you ran away with that night at the opera?"

"Goodness! that he was," said young Branghton, "and, I declare,
as soon as ever I saw him, I thought I knew his face."

"I'm sure, I'll defy you to forget him," answered his sister, "if once
you had seen him: he is the finest gentleman I ever saw in my life,
don't you think so, Mr. Smith?"

"Why, you won't give the lady time to speak," said Mr. Smith.-"Pray,
Ma'am, what is the gentleman's name?"

"Willoughby, Sir."

"Willoughby! I think I have heard the name. Pray, Ma'am, is he
married?"

"Lord, no, that he is not," cried Miss Branghton; "he looks too
smart by a great deal for a married man. Pray, cousin, how did you
get acquainted with him?"

"Pray, Miss," said young Branghton, in the same breath, "what's
his business?"

"Indeed I don't know," answered I.

"Something very genteel, I dare say," added Miss Branghton, "because
he dresses so fine."

"It ought to be something that brings in a good income" said Mr. Smith;
"for I'm sure that he did not get that suit of clothes he had on
under thirty or forty pounds; for I know the price of clothes pretty
well.-Pray, Ma'am, can you tell me what he has a-year?"

"Don't talk no more about him," cried Madame Duval, "for I don't
like to hear his name: I believe he's one of the worst persons in the
world; for though I never did him no manner of harm, nor so much as
hurt a hair of his head, I know he was an accomplice with the fellow,
Captain Mirvan, to take away my life."

Everybody, but myself, now crowding around her for an explanation,
a violent rapping at the street-door was unheard; and, without
any previous notice, in the midst of her narration, Sir Clement
Willoughby entered the room. They all started; and, with looks of
guilty confusion, as if they feared his resentment for having listened
to Madame Duval, they scrambled for chairs, and in a moment were all
formally seated.

Sir Clement, after a general bow, singling out Madame Duval, said
with his usual easiness, "I have done myself the honour of waiting
on you, Madame, to enquire if you have any commands to Howard Grove,
whither I am going to-morrow morning."

Then, seeing the storm that gathered in her eyes, before he allowed her
time to answer, he addressed himself to me;-"And if you, Madam, have
any with which you will honour me, I shall be happy to execute them."

"None at all, Sir."

"None! -not to Miss Mirvan!-no message! no letter!"

"I wrote to Miss Mirvan yesterday by the post."

"My application should have been earlier, had I sooner known your
address."

"Ma foi," cried Madame Duval, recovering from her surprise, "I believe
never nobody saw the like of this!"

"Of what, Madam?" cried the undaunted Sir Clement, turning quick
towards her; "I hope no one has offended you!"

"You don't hope no such a thing!" cried she, half choked with  passion,
and rising from her chair. This motion was followed by the rest;
and in a moment, every body stood up.

Still Sir Clement was not abashed; affecting to make a bow
of acknowledgment to the company in general, he said, "Pray-I
beg-Ladies,-Gentlemen,-pray don't let me disturb you, pray keep
your seats."

"Pray, Sir," said Miss Branghton, moving a chair towards him, "won't
you sit down yourself?"

"You are extremely good, Ma'am:-rather than make any disturbance-"

And so saying, this strange man seated himself, as did, in an instant
every body else, even Madame Duval herself, who, overpowered by his
boldness, seemed too full for utterance.

He then, and with as much composure as if he had been an expected
guest, began to discourse on the weather,-its uncertainty,-the heat
of the public places in summer,-the emptiness of the town,-and other
such common topics.

Nobody, however, answered him; Mr. Smith seemed afraid, young Branghton
ashamed, M. Du Bois amazed, Madame Duval enraged, and myself determined
not to interfere. All that he could obtain, was the notice of Miss
Branghton, whose nods, smiles, and attention, had some appearance of
entering into conversation with him.

At length, growing tired, I suppose, of engaging every body's eyes,
and nobody's tongue, addressing himself to Madame Duval and to me,
the said, "I regard myself as peculiarly unfortunate, Ladies, in
having fixed upon a time for my visit to Howard Grove, when you are
absent from it."

"So I suppose, Sir, so I suppose," cried Madame Duval, hastily rising,
and the next moment as hastily seating herself;-"you'll be wanting of
somebody to make your game of, and so you may think to get me there
again;-but, I promise you, Sir, you won't find it so easy a matter
to make me a fool; and besides that," raising her voice, "I've found
you out, I assure you; so if ever you go to play your tricks upon me
again, I'll make no more ado, but go directly to a justice of peace;
so, Sir, if you can't think of nothing but making people ride about
the country at all hours of the night, just for your diversion, why,
you'll find I know some justices as well as Justice Tyrrell."

Sir Clement was evidently embarrassed at this attack; yet he  affected
a look of surprise, and protested he did not understand her meaning.

"Well," cried she, "if I don't wonder where people can get such
impudence! if you'll say that, you'll say anything: however, if you
swear till you're black in the face, I sha'n't believe you; for nobody
sha'n't persuade me out of my senses, that I'm resolved."

"Doubtless not, Madam," answered he with some hesitation; "and I hope
you do not suspect I ever had such an intention; my respect for you-"

"O, Sir, you're vastly polite all of a sudden! but I know what it's
all for!  it's only for what you can get!-You could treat me like
nobody at Howard Grove; but now you see I've a house of my own,
you're mind to wheedle yourself into it; but I sees your design,
so you needn't trouble yourself to take no more trouble about that,
for you shall never get nothing at my house,-not so much as a dish
of tea:-so now, Sir, you see I can play you trick for trick."

There was something so extremely gross in this speech, that it even
disconcerted Sir Clement, who was too much confounded to make any
answer.

It was curious to observe the effect which his embarrassment, added to
the freedom with which Madame Duval addressed him, had upon the rest
of the company. Every one, who before seemed at a loss how or if at
all, to occupy a chair, how filled it with the most easy composure:
and Mr. Smith, whose countenance had exhibited the most striking
picture of mortified envy, now began to recover his usual expression
of satisfied conceit. Young Branghton, too, who had been apparently
awed by the presence of so fine a gentleman, was again himself, rude
and familiar: while his mouth was wide distended into a broad grin,
at hearing his aunt give the beau such a trimming.

Madame Duval, encouraged by this success, looked around her with an
air of triumph, and continued her harangue. "And so, Sir, I suppose
you thought to have had it all your own way, and to have comed here
as often as you pleased, and to have got me to Howard Grove again,
on purpose to have served me as you did before; but you shall see I'm
as cunning as you; so you may go and find somebody else to use in that
manner, and to put your mask on, and to make a fool of; for as to me,
if you go to tell me your stories about the Tower again, for a month
together, I'll never  believe 'm no more: and I'll promise you, Sir,
if you think I like such jokes, you'll find I'm no such person."

"I assure you, Ma'am,-upon my honour,-I really don't comprehend-I
fancy there is some misunderstanding-"

"What, I suppose you'll tell me next you don't know nothing of the
matter?"

"Not a word, upon my honour."

O, Sir Clement, thought I, is it thus you prize your honour!

"Pardi," cried Madame Duval, "this is the most provokingest part of
all! why, you might as well tell me I don't know my own name."

"Here is certainly some mistake; for I assure you, Ma'am-"

"Don't assure me nothing," cried Madame Duval, raising her voice;
"I know what I'm saying, and so do you too; for did not you tell me
all that about the Tower, and about M. Du Bois?-why M. Du Bois wasn't
never there, nor nigh it, and so it was all your own invention."

"May there not be two persons of the same name? the mistake was
but natural-"

"Don't tell me of no mistake, for it was all on purpose: besides,
did not you come, all in a mask, to the chariot-door, and help to get
me put in that ditch?-I'll promise you, I've had the greatest mind
in the world to take the law of you ever since; and if ever you do
as much again, so I will, I assure you!"

Here Miss Branghton tittered, Mr. Smith smiled contemptously, and young
Branghton thrust his handkerchief into his mouth to stop his laughter.

The situation of Sir Clement, who saw all that passed, became now
very awkward even to himself, and he stammered very much in saying,
"Surely, Madam-surely you-you cannot do me the-the injustice to
think-that I had any share in the-the-the misfortune which-"

"Ma foi, Sir," cried Madame Duval, with increasing passion, "you'd
best not stand talking to me at that rate: I know it was you; and
if you stay there, a provoking me in such a manner, I'll send for a
constable this minute."

Young Branghton, at these words, in spite of all his efforts, burst
into a loud laugh; nor could either his sister or Mr. Smith, though
with more moderation, forbear joining in his mirth.

Sir Clement darted his eyes towards them with looks of the most angry
contempt; and then told Madame Duval, that he would not now detain
her to make his vindication, but would wait on her some time when
she was alone.

"O Pardi, Sir," cried she, "I don't desire none of your company;
and if you wasn't the most boldest person in the world, you would
not dare look me in the face."

The ha, ha ha's! and he, he, he's! grew more and more uncontrollable,
as if the restraint, from which they had burst, had added to their
violence. Sir Clement could no longer endure being the object who
excited them; and, having no answer ready for Madame Duval, he hastily
stalked towards Mr. Smith and young Branghton, and sternly demanded
what they laughed at?

Struck by the air of importance which he assumed, and alarmed at the
angry tone of his voice, their merriment ceased as instantaneously
as if it had been directed by clock-work; and they stared foolishly,
now at him, now at each other, without making any answer but a simple
"Nothing, Sir."

"O pour le coup," cried Madame Duval, "this is too much! Pray, Sir,
what business have you to come here a ordering people that comes to
see me? I suppose next nobody must laugh but yourself!"

"With me, Madam," said Sir Clement, bowing, "a lady may do any thing,
and consequently there is no liberty in which I shall not be happy
to indulge you: -but it has never been my custom to give the same
licence to gentlemen."

Then, advancing to me, who had sat very quietly on a window during
this scene, he said, "Miss Anville, I may at least acquaint our
friends at Howard Grove that I had the honour of leaving you in
good health." And then, lowering his voice, he added, "For Heaven's
sake, my dearest creature, who are these people? and how came you so
strangely situated?"

"I beg my respects to all the family, Sir," answered I, aloud;
"and I hope you will find them well."

He looked at me reproachfully, but kissed my hand; and then, bowing
to Madame Duval and Miss Branghton, passed hastily by the men, and
made his exit.

I fancy he will not be very eager to repeat his visit; for I should
imagine he has rarely, if ever, been before in a situation so awkward
and disagreeable.

Madame Duval has been all spirits and exultation ever since he
went, and only wishes Captain Mirvan would call, that she might do
the same by him.  Mr.  Smith, upon hearing that he was a baronet,
and seeing him drive off in a very beautiful chariot, declared that
he would not have laughed upon any account, had he known his rank;
and regretted extremely having missed such an opportunity of making
so genteel an acquaintance.  Young Branghton vowed, that if he had
known as much, he would have asked for his custom:  and his sister
has sung his praises ever since, protesting she thought all along he
was a man of quality by his look.


LETTER XLVIII.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  June 21st.


THE last three evenings have passed tolerably quiet, for the Vauxhall
adventures had given Madame Duval a surfeit of public places: home,
however, soon growing tiresome, she determined to-night, she said,
to relieve her ennui by some amusement; and it was therefore settled,
that we should call upon the Branghtons at their house, and thence
proceed to Marybone Gardens.

But, before we reached Snow Hill, we were caught in a shower of
rain: we hurried into the shop, where the first object I saw was
Mr. Macartney, with a book in his hand, seated in the same corner where
I saw him last; but his looks were still more wretched than before,
his face yet thinner, and his eyes sunk almost hollow into his head. He
lifted them up as we entered, and I even thought that they emitted a
gleam of joy: involuntarily I made to him my first courtesy; he rose
and bowed with a precipitation that manifested surprise and confusion.

In a few minutes were joined by all the family, except Mr. Smith,
who fortunately was engaged.

Had all the future prosperity of our lives depended upon the good
or bad weather of this evening, it could not have been treated
as a subject of greater importance. "Sure, never anything was so
unlucky!"-"Lord, how provoking!"-"It might rain for ever, if it
would hold up now."-These, and such expressions, with many anxious
observations upon the kennels, filled up all the conversation till
the shower was over.

And then a very warm debate arose, whether we should pursue our plan,
or defer it to some finer evening. The Miss Branghtons were for the
former; their father was sure it would rain again; Madame Duval, though
she detested returning home, yet dreaded the dampness of the gardens.

M. Du Bois then proposed going to the top of the house, to examine
whether the clouds looked threatening or peaceable: Miss Branghton,
starting at this proposal, said they might go to Mr. Macartney's room,
if they would, but not to her's.

This was enough for the brother; who, with a loud laugh, declared he
would have some fun; and immediately led the way, calling to us all
to follow. His sisters both ran after, but no one else moved.

In a few minutes young Branghton, coming half-way down stairs, called
out, "Lord, why don't you all come? why, here's Poll's things all
about the room!"

Mr. Branghton then went; and Madame Duval, who cannot bear to be
excluded from whatever is going forward, was handed up stairs by
M. Du Bois.

I hesitated a few moments whether or not to join them; but, soon
perceiving that Mr. Macartney had dropped his book, and that I
engrossed his whole attention, I prepared, from mere embarrassment,
to follow them.

As I went, I heard him move from his chair, and walk slowly after me.
Believing that he wished to speak to me, and earnestly desiring myself
to know if, by your means, I could possibly be of any service to him,
I first slackened my pace, and then turned back. But, though I thus
met him half-way, he seemed to want courage or resolution to address
me; for, when he saw me returning, with a look extremely disordered,
he retreated hastily from me.

Not knowing what I ought to do, I went to the street-door, where I
stood some time, hoping he would be able to recover himself; but,
on the contrary, his agitation increased every moment; he walked
up and down the room in a quick but unsteady pace, seeming equally
distressed and irresolute; and, at length, with a deep sigh, he flung
himself into a chair.

I was so much affected by the appearance of such extreme anguish,
that I could remain no longer in the room: I therefore glided by him
and went up stairs; but, ere I had gone five steps,   he precipitately
followed me, and, in a broken voice, called out "Madam!-for Heaven's
sake-"

He stopped; but I instantly descended, restraining, as well as I was
able, the fulness of my own concern. I waited some time, in painful
expectation, for his speaking: all that I had heard of his poverty
occurring to me, I was upon the point of presenting him my purse;
but the fear of mistaking or offending him deterred me. Finding,
however, that he continued silent, I ventured to say, "Did you,-Sir,
wish to speak to me?"

"I did," cried he with quickness, "but now-I cannot!-"

"Perhaps, Sir, another time,-perhaps if you recollect yourself-"

"Another time?" repeated he mournfully; "alas! I look not forward
but to misery and despair!"

"O, Sir," cried I, extremely shocked, "you must not talk thus!-If
you forsake yourself, how can you expect-"

I stopped. "Tell me, tell me," cried he, with eagerness, "who you
are?-whence you come?-and by what strange means you seem to be
arbitress and ruler of the destiny of such a wretch as I am?"

"Would to Heaven," cried I, "I could serve you!"

"You can!"

"And how? Pray tell me how?"

"To tell you-is death to me! yet I will tell you.-I have a right to
your assistance,-you have deprived me of the only resource to which
I could apply,-and therefore-"

"Pray, pray speak," cried I, putting my hand into my pocket; "they
will be down stairs in a moment!"

"I will, Madam.-Can you-will you-I think you will!-may I then-" he
stopped and paused; "say, will you"-then, suddenly turning from me,
"Great Heaven, I cannot speak!" and he went back to the shop.

I now put my purse in my hand, and following him, said, "If,
indeed, Sir, I can assist you, why should you deny me so great a
satisfaction? Will you permit me to-"

I dared not go on; but with a countenance very much softened,
he approached me and said, "Your voice, Madam, is the voice of
compassion!-such a voice as these ears have long been strangers to!"

Just then young Branghton called out vehemently to me to come up
stairs. I seized the opportunity of hastening away: and therefore
saying, "Heaven, Sir, protect and comfort you!" I let fall my purse
upon the ground, not daring to present it to him, and ran up stairs
with the utmost swiftness.

Too well do I know you, my ever honoured Sir, to fear your displeasure
for this action: I must, however, assure you, I shall need no fresh
supply during my stay in town, as I am at little expense, and hope
soon to return to Howard Grove.

Soon, did I say! when not a fortnight is yet expired of the long and
tedious month I must linger out here!

I had many witticisms to endure from the Branghtons, upon account
of my staying so long with the Scotch mope, as they call him; but
I attended to them very little, for my whole heart was filled with
pity and concern. I was very glad to find the Marybone scheme was
deferred, another shower of rain having put a stop to the dissension
upon this subject; the rest of the evening was employed in most
violent quarrelling between Miss Polly and her brother, on account
of the discovery made by the latter of the state of her apartment.

We came home early; and I have stolen from Madame Duval and M. Du Bois,
who is here for ever, to write to my best friend.

I am most sincerely rejoiced, that this opportunity has offered for my
contributing what little relief was in my power to this unhappy man;
and I hope it will be sufficient to enable him to pay his debts to
this pitiless family.


LETTER XLIX.

MR. VILLARS TO EVELINA.  Berry Hill.


DISPLEASURE? my Evelina!-you have but done your duty; you have but
shown that humanity without which I should blush to own my child. It
is mine, however, to see that your generosity be not repressed by
your suffering from indulging it; I remit to you, therefore, not
merely a token of my approbation, but an acknowledgment of my desire
to participate in your charity.

O my child, were my fortune equal to my confidence in thy benevolence,
with what transport should I, through thy means, devote it to the
relief of indigent virtue! yet let us not repine at the limitation
of our power; for while our bounty is proportioned to our ability,
the difference of the greater or less donation can weigh but little
in the scale of justice.

In reading your account of the misguided man, whose misery has so
largely excited your compassion, I am led to apprehend that his unhappy
situation is less the effect of misfortune than of misconduct. If he
is reduced to that state of poverty represented by the Branghtons, he
should endeavour, by activity and industry, to retrieve his affairs,
and not pass his time in idle reading in the very shop of his creditor.

The pistol scene made me shudder; the courage with which you pursued
this desperate man, at once delighted and terrified me. Be ever thus,
my dearest Evelina, dauntless in the cause of distress! let no weak
fears, no timid doubts, deter you from the exertion of your duty,
according to the fullest sense of it that Nature has implanted in
your mind. Though gentleness and modesty are the peculiar attributes
of your sex, yet fortitude and firmness, when occasion demands them,
are virtues as noble and as becoming in women as in men: the right
line of conduct is the same for both sexes, though the manner in which
it is pursued may somewhat vary, and be accommodated to the strength
or weakness of the different travellers.

There is, however, something so mysterious in all you have seen
or heard of this wretched man, that I am unwilling to stamp a bad
impression of his character upon so slight and partial a knowledge
of it. Where any thing is doubtful, the ties of society, and the laws
of humanity, claim a favourable interpretation; but remember, my dear
child, that those of discretion have an equal claim to your regard.

As to Sir Clement Willoughby, I know not how to express my indignation
at his conduct. Insolence so insufferable, and the implication of
suspicions so shocking, irritate me to a degree of wrath, which I
hardly thought my almost worn-out passions were capable of again
experiencing. You must converse with him no more: he imagines, from
the pliability of your temper, that he may offend you with impunity;
but his behaviour justifies, nay, calls for your avowed resentment;
do not, therefore, hesitate in forbidding him your sight.

The Branghtons, Mr. Smith, and young Brown, however ill-bred and
disagreeable, are objects too contemptible for serious displeasure;
yet I grieve much that my Evelina should be exposed to their rudeness
and impertinence.

The very day that this tedious month expires, I shall send Mrs. Clinton
to town, who will accompany you to Howard Grove. Your stay there will,
I hope, be short; for I feel daily an increasing impatience to fold
my beloved child to my bosom! ARTHUR VILLARS.


LETTER L.

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS.  Holborn, June 27th.


I HAVE just received, my dearest Sir, your kind present, and still
kinder letter. Surely, never had orphan so little to regret as your
grateful Evelina! Though motherless, though worse than fatherless,
bereft from infancy of the two first and greatest blessings of life,
never has she had cause to deplore their loss; never has she felt the
omission of a parent's tenderness, care, or indulgence; never, but
from sorrow for them, had reason to grieve at the separation! Most
thankfully do I receive the token of your approbation, and most
studiously will I endeavour so to dispose of it, as may merit your
generous confidence in my conduct.

Your doubts concerning Mr. Macartney give me some uneasiness. Indeed,
Sir, he has not the appearance of a man whose sorrows are the effect
of guilt. But I hope, before I leave town, to be better acquainted
with his situation, and enabled, with more certainty of his worth,
to recommend him to your favour.

I am very willing to relinquish all acquaintance with Sir Clement
Willoughby, as far as it may depend upon myself so to do; but, indeed
I know not how I should be able to absolutely forbid him my sight.

Miss Mirvan, in her last letter, informs me that he is now at Howard
Grove, where he continues in high favour with the Captain, and is
the life and spirit of the house. My time, since I wrote last, has
passed very quietly, Madame Duval having been kept at home by a bad
cold, and the Branghtons by bad weather. The young man, indeed, has
called two or three times; and his behavior, though equally absurd,
is more unaccountable than ever: he speaks very little, takes hardly
any notice of Madame Duval, and never looks at me without a broad
grin. Sometimes he approaches me, as if with intention to communicate
intelligence of importance; and then, suddenly stopping short, laughs
rudely in my face.

O how happy shall I be, when the worthy Mrs. Clinton arrives!


June 29th.

Yesterday morning, Mr. Smith called to acquaint us that the Hampstead
assembly was to be held that evening; and then he presented Madame
Duval with one ticket, and brought another to me. I thanked him for
his intended civility, but told him I was surprised he had so soon
forgotten my having already declined going to the ball.

"Lord, Ma'am," cried he, "how should I suppose you was in
earnest? come, come, don't be cross; here's your Grandmama ready to
take care of you, so you can have no fair objection, for she'll see
that I don't run away with you.  Besides, Ma'am, I got the tickets
on purpose."

"If you were determined, Sir," said I, "in making me this offer,
to allow me no choice of refusal or acceptance, I must think myself
less obliged to your intention than I was willing to do."

"Dear Ma'am," cried he, "you're so smart, there is no speaking to
you;-indeed you are monstrous smart, Ma'am! but come, your Grandmama
shall ask you, and then I know you'll not be so cruel."

Madame Duval was very ready to interfere; she desired me to make no
further opposition, said she should go herself, and insisted upon my
accompanying her. It was in vain that I remonstrated; I only incurred
her anger: and Mr.  Smith having given both the tickets to Madame
Duval with an air of triumph, said he should call early in the evening,
and took leave.

I was much chagrined at being thus compelled to owe even the shadow
of an obligation to so forward a young man; but I determined that
nothing should prevail upon me to dance with him, however my refusal
might give offence.

In the afternoon, when he returned, it was evident that he purposed
to both charm and astonish me by his appearance: he was dressed in a
very showy manner, but without any taste; and the inelegant smartness
of his air and deportment, his visible struggle against education to
put on the fine gentleman, added to his frequent conscious glances
at a dress to which he was but little accustomed, very effectually
destroyed his aim of figuring, and rendered all his efforts useless.

During tea entered Miss Branghton and her brother. I was sorry
to observe the consternation of the former, when she perceived
Mr. Smith. I had intended applying to her for advice upon
this occasion, but had been always deterred by her disagreeable
abruptness. Having cast her eyes several times from Mr.  Smith to me,
with manifest displeasure, she seated herself sullenly in the window,
scarce answering Madame Duval's enquiries; and when I spoke to her,
turning absolutely away from me.

Mr. Smith, delighted at this mark of his importance, sat indolently
quiet on his chair, endeavouring by his looks rather to display,
than to conceal, his inward satisfaction.

"Good gracious!" cried young Branghton, "why, you're all as fine as
a five-pence! Why, where are you going?"

"To the Hampstead ball," answered Mr. Smith.

"To a ball!" cried he. "Why, what, is aunt going to a ball? Ha,
ha, ha!"

"Yes, to be sure," cried Madame Duval; "I don't know nothing need
hinder me."

"And pray, aunt, will you dance too?"

"Perhaps I may; but I suppose, Sir, that's none of your business,
whether I do or not."

"Lord! well, I should like to go! I should like to see aunt dance
of all things! But the joke is, I don't believe she'll get ever
a partner."

"You're the most rudest boy ever I see," cried Madame Duval, angrily:
"but, I promise you, I'll tell your father what you say, for I've no
notion of such vulgarness."

"Why, Lord, aunt, what are you so angry for? there's no speaking a
word, but you fly into a passion: you're as bad as Biddy, or Poll,
for that, for you're always a-scolding."

"I desire, Tom," cried Miss Branghton, "you'd speak for yourself,
and not make so free with my name."

"There, now, she's up! There's nothing but quarrelling with the women;
it's my belief they like it better than victuals and drink."

"Fie, Tom," cried Mr. Smith, "you never remember your manners before
the ladies: I'm sure you never heard me speak so rude to them."

"Why, Lord, you are a beau; but that's nothing to me. So, if you've
a mind, you may be so polite as to dance with aunt yourself." Then,
with a loud laugh, he declared it would be good fun to see them.

"Let it be never so good, or never so bad," cried Madame Duval,
"you won't see nothing of it, I promise you; so pray don't let
me hear no more of such vulgar pieces of fun; for, I assure you,
I don't like it. And as to my dancing with Mr. Smith, you may see
wonderfuller things than that any day in the week."

"Why, as to that, Ma'am," said Mr. Smith, looking much surprised,
"I always thought you intended to play at cards, and so I thought to
dance with the young lady."

I gladly seized this opportunity to make my declaration, that I should
not dance at all.

"Not dance at all!" repeated Miss Branghton; "yes, that's a likely
matter truly, when people go to balls."

"I wish she mayn't," said the brother; "'cause then Mr. Smith will
have nobody but aunt for a partner. Lord, how mad he'll be!"

"O, as to that," said Mr. Smith, "I don't at all fear of prevailing
with the young lady, if once I get her to the room."

"Indeed, Sir," cried I, much offended by his conceit, "you are
mistaken; and therefore I beg leave to undeceive you, as you may be
assured my resolution will not alter."

"Then, pray, Miss, if it is not impertinent," cried Miss Branghton,
sneeringly, "what do you go for?"

"Merely and solely," answered I, "to comply with the request of
Madame Duval."

"Miss," cried young Branghton, "Bid only wishes it was she, for she
has cast a sheep's eye at Mr. Smith this long while."

"Tom," cried the sister, rising, "I've the greatest mind in the world
to box your ears! How dare you say such a thing of me!"

"No, hang it, Tom, no, that's wrong," said Mr. Smith, simpering;
"it is indeed, to tell the lady's secrets.-But never mind him, Miss
Biddy, for I won't believe him."

"Why, I know Bid would give her ears to go," returned the  brother;
"but only Mr. Smith likes Miss best,-so does every body else."

While the sister gave him a very angry answer, Mr. Smith said to me in
a low voice, "Why now, Ma'am, how can you be so cruel as to be so much
handsomer than your cousins? Nobody can look at them when you are by."

"Miss," cried young Branghton, "whatever he says to you don't mind
him for he means no good; I'll give you my word for it, he'll never
marry you; for he has told me again and again, he'll never marry as
long as he lives; besides, if he'd any mind to be married, there's
Bid would have had him long ago, and thanked him too."

"Come, come, Tom, don't tell secrets; you'll make the ladies afraid
of me: but I assure you," lowering his voice, "if I did marry, it
should be your cousin."

Should be!-did you ever, my dear Sir, hear such unauthorised freedom? I
looked at him with a contempt I did not wish to repress, and walked
to the other end of the room.

Very soon after Mr. Smith sent for a hackney-coach. When I would have
taken leave of Miss Branghton, she turned angrily from me, without
making any answer. She supposes, perhaps, that I have rather sought,
than endeavoured to avoid, the notice and civilities of this conceited
young man.

The ball was at the long room at Hampstead.

This room seems very well named, for I believe it would be difficult
to find any other epithet which might with propriety distinguish it,
as it is without ornament, elegance, or any sort of singularity,
and merely to be marked by its length.

I was saved from the importunities of Mr. Smith, the beginning of the
evening, by Madame Duval's declaring her intention to dance the first
two dances with him herself. Mr. Smith's chagrin was very evident;
but as she paid no regard to it, he was necessitated to lead her out.

I was, however, by no means pleased, when she said she was determined
to dance a minuet. Indeed, I was quite astonished, not having had
the least idea she would have consented to, much less proposed,
such an exhibition of her person. She had some trouble to make her
intentions known, as Mr. Smith was rather averse to speaking to the
master of the ceremonies.

During this minuet, how much did I rejoice in being surrounded only
with strangers! She danced in a style so uncommon; her age, her showy
dress, and an unusual quantity of rouge, drew upon her the eyes, and I
fear the derision, of the whole company. Whom she danced with, I know
not; but Mr.  Smith was so ill-bred as to laugh at her very openly,
and to speak of her with as much ridicule as was in his power. But I
would neither look at, nor listen to him, nor would I suffer him to
proceed with any speech which he began, expressive to his vexation
at being forced to dance with her. I told him, very gravely, that
complaints upon such a subject might, with less impropriety, be made
to every person in the room than to me.

When she returned to us, she distressed me very much, by asking what I
thought of her minuet. I spoke as civilly as I could; but the coldness
of my compliment evidently disappointed her. She then called upon
Mr. Smith to secure a good place among the country dancers; and away
they went, though not before he had taken the liberty to say to me
in a low voice, "I protest to you, Ma'am, I shall be quite out of
countenance, if any of my acquaintance should see me dancing with
the old lady!"

For a few moments I very much rejoiced at being relieved from this
troublesome man; but scarce had I time to congratulate myself, before
I was accosted by another, who begged the favour of hopping a dance
with me.

I told him that I should not dance at all; but he thought proper to
importune me, very freely, not to be so cruel; and I was obliged to
assume no little haughtiness before I could satisfy him I was serious.

After this, I was addressed much in the same manner, by several other
young men; of whom the appearance and language were equally inelegant
and low-bred; so that I soon found my situation was both disagreeable
and improper, since, as I was quite alone, I fear I must seem rather
to invite than to forbid the offers and notice I received; and yet,
so great was my apprehension of this interpretation, that I am sure,
my dear Sir, you would have laughed had you seen how proudly grave
I appeared.

I knew not whether to be glad or sorry, when Madame Duval and Mr. Smith
returned. The latter instantly renewed his tiresome intreaties, and
Madame Duval said she would go to the card-table; and as soon as she
was accommodated, she desired us to join the dancers.

I will not trouble you with the arguments which followed. Mr. Smith
teased me till I was weary of resistance; and I should at last have
been obliged to submit, had I not fortunately recollected the affair
of Mr. Lovel, and told my persecutor, that it was impossible I should
dance with him, even if I wished it, as I had refused several persons
in his absence.

He was not contented with being extremely chagrined; but took the
liberty, openly and warmly, to expostulate with me upon not having
said I was engaged.

The total disregard with which, involuntarily, I heard him, made him
soon change the subject. In truth, I had no power to attend to him;
for all my thoughts were occupied in re-tracing the transactions
of the two former balls, at which I had been present. The party-the
conversation-the company-O how great the contrast!

In a short time, however, he contrived to draw my attention to himself,
by his extreme impertinence; for he chose to express what he called
his admiration of me, in terms so open and familiar, that he forced
me to express my displeasure with equal plainness.

But how was I surprised, when I found he had the temerity-what else
can I call it?-to impute my resentment to doubts of his honour:
for he said, "My dear Ma'am, you must be a little patient; I assure
you I have no bad designs, I have not upon my word; but, really,
there is no resolving upon such a thing as matrimony all at once;
what with the loss of one's liberty, and what with the ridicule of all
one's acquaintance,-I assure you Ma'am you are the first lady who ever
made me even demur upon this subject; for, after all, my dear Ma'am,
marriage is the devil."

"Your opinion, Sir," answered I, "of either the married or the single
life, can be of no manner of consequence to me; and therefore I would
by no means trouble you to discuss their different merits."

"Why, really, Ma'am, as to your being a little out of sorts, I must
own I can't wonder at it; for, to be sure, marriage is all in all with
the ladies; but with us gentlemen it's quite another thing! Now only
put yourself in my place;-suppose you had such a large acquaintance
of gentlemen as I have,-and that you had always been used to appear a
little-a little smart among them-why, now could you like to let your
self down all at once into a married man?"

I could not tell what to answer; so much conceit, and so much
ignorance, both astonished and silenced me.

"I assure you, Ma'am," added he, "there is not only Miss Biddy,-though
I should have scored to mention her, if her brother had not blab'd,
for I'm quite particular in keeping ladies' secrets,-but there are
a great many other ladies that have been proposed to me;-but I never
thought twice of any of them, that is, not in a serious way:-so you
may very well be proud," offering to take my hand; "for I assure you,
there is nobody so likely to catch me at last as yourself."

"Sir, "cried I, drawing myself back as haughtily as I could, "you are
totally mistaken, if you imagine you have given me any pride I felt
not before, by this conversation; on the contrary, you must allow me
to tell you, I find it too humiliating to bear with it any longer."

I then placed myself behind the chair of Madame Duval: who, when she
heard of the partners I had refused, pitied my ignorance of the world,
but no longer insisted upon my dancing.

Indeed, the extreme vanity of this man, makes me exert a spirit which
I did not, till now, know that I possessed: but I cannot endure that
he should think me at his disposal.

The rest of the evening passed very quietly, as Mr. Smith did not
again attempt speaking to me; except, indeed, after we had left the
room and while Madam Duval was seating herself in the coach, he said,
in a voice of pique, "Next time I take the trouble to get any tickets
for a young lady, I'll make a bargain before-hand, that she shan't
turn me over to her grandmother."

We came home very safe; and thus ended this so long projected and
most disagreeable affair.


LETTER LI.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.


I HAVE just received a most affecting letter from Mr. Macartney. I
will inclose it, my dear Sir, for your perusal. More than ever have
I cause to rejoice that I was able to assist him. Mr. Macartney to
Miss Anville.


Madam,

IMPRESSED with deepest, the most heartfelt sense of the exalted
humanity with which you have rescued from destruction an unhappy
stranger, allow me, with humblest gratitude, to offer you my fervent
acknowledgments, and to implore your pardon for the terror I have
caused you.

You bid me, Madam, live: I have now, indeed, a motive for life,
since I should not willingly quit the world, while I withhold from
the needy and distressed any share of that charity which a disposition
so noble would otherwise bestow upon them.

The benevolence with which you have interested yourself in my affairs,
induces me to suppose you would wish to be acquainted with the cause
of that desperation from which you snatched me, and the particulars
of that misery of which you have so wonderfully been a witness. Yet,
as this explanation will require that I should divulge secrets of a
nature the most delicate, I must intreat you to regard them as sacred,
even though I forbear to mention the names of the parties concerned.

I was brought up in Scotland, though my mother, who had the sole
care of me, was an English-woman, and had not one relation in that
country. She devoted to me her whole time. The retirement in which we
lived, and the distance from our natural friends, she often told me,
were the effect of an unconquerable melancholy with which she was
seized upon the sudden loss of my father, some time before I was born.

At Aberdeen, where I finished my education, I formed a friendship with
a young man of fortune, which I considered as the chief happiness
of my life:-but, when he quitted his studies, I considered it as my
chief misfortune; for he immediately prepared, by direction of his
friends, to make the tour of Europe. As I was designed for the church,
and had no prospect even of maintenance but from my own industry,
I scarce dared permit even a wish of accompanying him. It is true,
he would joyfully have borne my expenses: but my affection was as free
from meanness as his own; and I made a determination the most solemn,
never to lessen its dignity by submitting to pecuniary obligations.

We corresponded with great regularity, and the most unbounded
confidence, for the space of two years, when he arrived at Lyons in
his way home.

He wrote me thence the most pressing invitation to meet him at Paris,
where he intended to remain some time. My desire to comply with his
request, and shorten our absence, was so earnest, that my mother,
too indulgent to control me lent me what assistance was in her power,
and, in an ill-fated moment, I set out for that capital.

My meeting with this dear friend was the happiest event of my life: he
introduced me to all his acquaintance; and so quickly did time seem to
pass at that delightful period, that the six weeks I had allotted for
my stay were gone, ere I was sensible I had missed so many days. But
I must now own, that the company of my friend was not the sole subject
of my felicity: I became acquainted with a young lady, daughter of an
Englishman of distinction, with whom I formed an attachment, which I
have a thousand times vowed, a thousand times sincerely thought, would
be lasting as my life. She had but just quitted a convent in which
she had been placed when a child, and though English by birth, she
could scarcely speak her native language. Her person and disposition
were equally engaging; but chiefly I adored her for the greatness of
the expectation, which, for my sake, she was willing to resign.

When the time for my residence in Paris expired, I was almost
distracted at the idea of quitting her; yet I had not the courage to
make our attachment known to her father, who might reasonably form
for her such views as would make him reflect, with a contempt which
I could not bear to think of, such an offer as mine. Yet I had free
access to the house, where she seemed to be left almost wholly to
the guidance of an old servant, who was my fast friend.

But, to be brief, the sudden and unexpected return of her father,
one fatal afternoon, proved the beginning of the misery which has ever
since devoured me. I doubt not but he had listened to our conversation;
for he darted into the room with the rage of a madman. Heavens! what a
scene followed!-what abusive language did the shame of a clandestine
affair, and the consciousness of acting ill, induce me to brook! At
length, however, his fury exceeded my patience, he called me a
beggarly, cowardly Scotchman. Fired at the words, I drew my sword;
he, with equal alertness, drew his; for he was not an old man, but,
on the contrary, strong and able as myself.  In vain his daughter
pleaded;-in vain did I, repentant of my anger retreat-his reproaches
continued; myself, my country, were loaded with infamy, till no longer
constraining my rage,-we fought,-and he fell!

At that moment I could almost have destroyed myself! The young lady
fainted with terror; the old servant, drawn to us by the noise of the
scuffle, entreated me to escape, and promised to bring intelligence
of what should pass to my apartments. The disturbance which I heard
raised in the house obliged me to comply; and, in a state of mind
inconceivable wretched, I tore myself away.

My friend, whom I found at home, soon discovered the whole affair. It
was near midnight before the woman came. She told me that her master
was living, and her young mistress restored to her senses. The absolute
necessity for my leaving Paris, while any danger remained, was forcibly
argued by my friend: the servant promised to acquaint him of whatever
passed, and he to transmit to me her information. Thus circumstanced,
with the assistance of this dear friend, I effected my departure from
Paris, and, not long after, I returned to Scotland. I would fain have
stopped by the way, that I might have been nearer the scene of all my
concerns; but the low state of my finances denied me that satisfaction.

The miserable situation of my mind was soon discovered by my mother;
nor would she rest till I communicated the cause. She heard my
whole story with an agitation which astonished me:-the name of the
parties concerned seemed to strike her with horror:-but when I said,
We fought, and he fell; -"My son," cried she, "you have then murdered
your father!" and she sunk breathless at my feet. Comments, Madam,
upon such a scene as this, would to you be superfluous, and to me
agonizing: I cannot, for both our sakes, be too concise. When she
recovered, she confessed all the particulars of a tale which she had
hoped never to have revealed.-Alas! the loss she had sustained of my
father was not by death!-bound to her by no ties but those of honour,
he had voluntarily deserted her!-Her settling in Scotland was not
the effect of choice,-she was banished thither by a family but too
justly incensed.-Pardon, Madam, that I cannot be more explicit!

My senses, in the greatness of my misery, actually forsook me, and,
for more than a week, I was wholly delirious. My unfortunate mother was
yet more to pitied; for she pined with unmitigated sorrow, eternally
reproaching herself for the danger to which her too strict silence had
exposed me. When I recovered my reason, my impatience to hear from
Paris almost deprived me of it again; and though the length of time
I waited for letters might justly be attributed to contrary winds,
I could not bear the delay, and was twenty times upon the point of
returning thither at all hazards. At length, however, several letters
arrived at once, and from the most insupportable of my afflictions I
was then relieved; for they acquainted me that the horrors of parricide
were not in reserve for me. They informed me also, that as soon as the
wound was healed, a journey would be made to England, where my unhappy
sister was to be received by an aunt, with whom she was to live.

This intelligence somewhat quieted the violence of my sorrows. I
instantly formed a plan of meeting them in London, and, by revealing
the whole dreadful story, convincing this irritated parent that
he had nothing more to apprehend from his daughter's unfortunate
choice. My mother consented, and gave me a letter to prove the truth
of my assertions. As I could but ill afford to make this journey,
I travelled in the cheapest way that was possible. I took an obscure
lodging,-I need not, Madam, tell you where,-and boarded with the
people of the house.

Here I languished, week after week, vainly hoping for the arrival
of my family; but my impetuosity had blinded me to the imprudence
of which I was guilty in quitting Scotland so hastily. My wounded
father, after his recovery, relapsed, and when I had waited in the
most comfortless situation for six weeks, my friend wrote me word
that the journey was yet deferred for some time longer.

My finances were then nearly exhausted; and I was obliged, though most
unwillingly, to beg further assistance from my mother, that I might
return to Scotland. Oh, Madam!-my answer was not from herself;-it was
written by a lady who had long been her companion, and aquainted me
that she had been taken suddenly ill of a fever,-and was no more!

The compassionate nature of which you have given such noble proofs,
assures me I need not, if I could, paint to you the anguish of a mind
overwhelmed with such accumulated sorrows.

 Inclosed was a letter to a near relation, which she had, during
 her illness,
with much difficulty, written; and in which, with the strongest
maternal tenderness, she described my deplorable situation, and
intreated his interest to procure me some preferment. Yet so sunk was
I by misfortune, that a fortnight elapsed before I had the courage or
spirit to attempt delivering this letter. I was then compelled to it
by want. To make my appearance with some decency, I was necessitated
myself to the melancholy task of changing my coloured clothes for a
suit of mourning;- and then I proceeded to seek my relation.

I was informed he was not in town.

In this desperate situation, the pride of my heart, which hitherto
had not bowed to adversity, gave way; and I determined to intreat
the assistance of my friend, whose offered services I had a thousand
times rejected.  Yet, Madam, so hard is it to root from the mind
its favourite principles or prejudices, call them which you please,
that I lingered another week ere I had the resolution to send away
a letter, which I regarded as the death of my independence.

At length, reduced to my last shilling, shunned insolently by the
people of the house, and almost famished, I sealed this fatal letter;
and, with a heavy heart, determined to take it to the post office. But
Mr. Branghton and his son suffered me not to pass through their
shop with impunity; they insulted me grossly, and threatened me with
imprisonment, if I did not immediately satisfy their demands. Stung
to the soul, I bid them have but a day's patience, and flung from
them in a state of mind too terrible for description.

My letter which I now found would be received too late to save me from
disgrace, I tore into a thousand pieces; and scarce could I refrain
from putting an instantaneous, an unlicensed, a period to my existence.

In this disorder of my senses, I formed the horrible plan of turning
foot-pad; for which purpose I returned to my lodging, and collected
whatever of my apparel I could part with; which I immediately sold,
and with the produce purchased a brace of pistols, powder and shot. I
hope, however, you will believe me, when I most solemnly assure you,
my sole intention was to frighten the passengers I should assault
with these dangerous weapons; which I had not loaded but from a
resolution,-a dreadful one, I own,-to save myself from an ignominious
death if seized. And, indeed, I thought, that if I could but procure
money sufficient to pay Mr. Branghton, and make a journey to Scotland,
I should soon be able to, by the public papers, to discover whom I
had injured, and to make private retribution.

But, Madam, new to every species of villainy, my perturbation was so
great, that I could with difficulty support myself, yet the Branghtons
observed it not as I passed through the shop.

Here I stop:-what followed is better known to yourself. But no time
can ever efface from my memory that moment, when, in the very action
of preparing for my own destruction, or the lawless seizure of the
property of others, you rushed into the room and arrested my arm!-It
was indeed an awful moment!-the hand of Providence seemed to intervene
between me and eternity: I beheld you as an angel!-I thought you dropt
from the clouds!-The earth, indeed, had never presented to my view a
form so celestial!-What wonder, then, that a spectacle so astonishing
should, to a man disordered as I was, appear too beautiful to be human?

 And now, Madam, that I have performed this painful task, the more
 grateful
one remains of rewarding, as far as is in my power, your generous
goodness, by assuring you it shall not be thrown away. You have
awakened me to a sense of the false pride by which I have been
actuated;-a pride which, while it scorned assistance from a friend,
scrupled not to compel it from a stranger, though at the hazard of
reducing that stranger to a situation as destitute as my own. Yet,
oh! how violent was the struggle which tore my conflicting soul ere
I could persuade myself to profit by the benevolence which you were
so evidently disposed to exert in my favour!

By means of a ring, the gift of my much-regretted mother, I have for
the present satisfied Mr. Branghton; and, by means of your compassion,
I hope to support myself either till I hear from my friend, to whom
at length I have written, or till the relation of my mother returns
to town.

To talk to you, Madam, of paying my debt, would be vain; I never can!
the service you have done me exceeds all power of return: you have
restored me to my senses; you have taught me to curb those passions
which bereft me of them; and, since I cannot avoid calamity, to bear
it as a man!  An interposition so wonderfully circumstanced can never
be recollected without benefit. Yet allow me to say, the pecuniary
part of my obligation must be settled by my first ability.

I am, Madam, with the most profound respect, and heartfelt gratitude,
Your obedient, and devoted humble servant, J. MACARTNEY.


LETTER LII.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Holborn, July 1.-5 o'clock in the morning.


O SIR, what and adventure have I to write!-all night it has occupied
my thoughts, and I am now risen thus early to write it to you.

Yesterday it was settled that we should spend the evening in Marybone
Gardens, where M. Torre, a celebrated foreigner, was to exhibit some
fire-works. The party consisted of Madame Duval, all the Branghtons,
M. Du Bois, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Brown.

We were almost the first persons who entered the Gardens, Mr. Branghton
having declared he would have all he could get for his money, which,
at best, was only fooled away at such silly and idle places.

We walked in parties, and very much detached from one
another. Mr. Brown and Miss Polly led the way by themselves; Miss
Branghton and Mr. Smith followed; and the latter seemed determined
to be revenged for my behaviour at the ball, by transferring all
his former attention for me to Miss Branghton, who received it with
an air of exultation; and very frequently they each of them, though
from different motives, looked back, to discover whether I observed
their good intelligence. Madame Duval walked with M. Du Bois, and Mr.
Branghton by himself; but his son would willingly have attached
himself wholly to me; saying frequently, "come, Miss, let's you and
I have a little fun together: you see they have all left us, so now
let's leave them." But I begged to be excused, and went to the other
side of Madame Duval.

This Garden, as it is called, is neither striking for magnificence nor
for beauty; and we were all so dull and languid, that I was extremely
glad when we were summoned to the orchestra, upon the opening of
a concert; in the course of which I had the pleasure of hearing a
concerto on the violin by Mr. Barthelemon, who to me seems a player
of exquisite fancy, feeling and variety.

When notice was given us that the fire-works were preparing we hurried
along to secure good places for the sight; but very soon we were so
encircled and incommoded by the crowd, that Mr. Smith proposed the
ladies should make interest for a form to stand upon: this was soon
effected: and the men then left us to accommodate themselves better;
saying, they would return the moment the exhibition was over.

The fire-work was really beautiful; and told, with wonderful ingenuity,
the story of Orpheus and Eurydice: but, at the moment of the fatal
look which separated them for ever, there was such an explosion
of fire, and so horrible a noise, that we all, as of one accord,
jumpt hastily from the form, and ran away some paces, fearing that
we were in danger of mischief, from the innumerable sparks of fire
which glittered in the air.

 For a moment or two I neither knew nor considered whither I had run;
 but my
recollection was soon awakened by a stranger's addressing me with,
"Come along with me, my dear, and I'll take care of you."

I started; and then, to my great terror, perceived that I had outrun
all my companions, and saw not one human being I knew! With all the
speed in my power, and forgetful of my first fright, I hastened back
to the place I had left;-but found the form occupied by a new set
of people.

In vain, from side to side, I looked for some face I knew; I
found myself in the midst of a crowd, yet without party, friend,
or acquaintance. I walked in disordered haste from place to place,
without knowing which way to turn, or whither I went. Every other
moment I was spoken to by some bold and unfeeling man; to whom my
distress, which I think must be very apparent, only furnished a
pretence for impertinent witticisms, or free gallantry.

At last a young officer, marching fiercely up to me, said, "You are
a sweet pretty creature, and I enlist you in my service;" and then,
with great violence, he seized my hand. I screamed aloud with fear;
and forcibly snatching it away, I ran hastily up to two ladies,
and cried, "for Heaven's sake, dear ladies, afford me some protection!"

They heard me with a loud laugh, but very readily said, "Ay, let her
walk between us;" and each of them took hold of an arm.

Then, in a drawling, ironical tone of voice, they asked what had
frightened my little Ladyship?  I told them my adventure very simply,
and intreated they would have the goodness to assist me in finding
my friends.

O yes, to be sure, they said, I should not want for friends, whilst I
was with them. Mine, I said, would be very grateful for any civilities
with which they might favour me. But imagine, my dear Sir, how I must
have been confounded, when I observed, that every other word I spoke
produced a loud laugh!  However, I will not dwell upon a conversation,
which soon, to my inexpressible horror, convinced me I had sought
protection from insult, of those who were themselves most likely to
offer it! You, my dearest Sir, I well know, will both feel for and
pity my terror, which I have no words to describe.

Had I been at liberty, I should have instantly run away from them
when I made the shocking discovery: but, as they held me fast, that
was utterly impossible: and such was my dread of their resentment or
abuse that I did not dare make any open attempt to escape.

They asked me a thousand questions, accompanied by as many halloos,
of who I was, what I was, and whence I came? My answers were very
incoherent;-but what, good Heaven, were my emotions, when, a few
moments afterwards, I perceived advancing our way-Lord Orville!

Never shall I forget what I felt at that instant: had I, indeed,
been sunk to the guilty state which such companions might lead him
to suspect, I could scarce have had feelings more cruelly depressing.

However, to my infinite joy, he passed us without distinguishing me;
though I saw that in a careless manner, his eyes surveyed the party.

As soon as he was gone, one of these unhappy women said, "Do you know
that young fellow?"

Not thinking it possible she should mean Lord Orville by such a term,
I readily answered, "No, Madam."

"Why then," answered she, "you have a monstrous good stare, for a
little county Miss."

I now found I had mistaken her, but was glad to avoid an explanation.

A few minutes after, what was my delight to hear the voice of
Mr. Brown, who called out," Lord, i'n't that Miss what's her name?"

"Thank God," cried I, suddenly springing from them both, "thank God,
I have found my party."

Mr. Brown was, however, alone; and, without knowing what I did,
I took hold of his arm.

"Lord, Miss," cried he, "we've had such a hunt you can't think! some
of them thought you was gone home: but I says, says I, I don't think,
says I, that she's like to go home all alone, says I."

"So that gentleman belongs to you, Miss, does he?" said one of
the women.

"Yes, Madam," answered I, "and I now thank you for your civility;
but as I am safe, will not give you any further trouble."

I courtsied slightly, and would gave walked away; but, most
unfortunately, Madame Duval and the two Miss Branghtons just then
joined us.

They all began to make a thousand enquiries; to which I briefly
answered, that I had been obliged to these two ladies for walking
with me, and would tell them more another time: for, though I felt
great comparative courage, I was yet too much intimidated by their
presence, to dare be explicit.

Nevertheless, I ventured once more to wish them a goodnight, and
proposed seeking Mr. Branghton. These unhappy women listened to all
that was said with a kind of callous curiosity, and seemed determined
not to take any hint. But my vexation was terribly augmented when,
after having whispered something to each other, they very cavalierly
declared, that they intended joining our party! and then, one of
them very boldly took hold of my arm, while the other, going round,
seized that of Mr. Brown; and thus, almost forcibly, we were moved
on between them, and followed by Madame Duval and the Miss Branghton.

It would be very difficult to say which was greatest, my fright,
or Mr. Brown's consternation; who ventured not to make the least
resistance, though his uneasiness made him tremble almost as much
as myself.  I would instantly have withdrawn my arm: but it was held
so tight I could not move it; and poor Mr. Brown was circumstanced
in the same manner on the other side; for I heard him say, "Lord,
Ma'am, there's no need to squeeze one's arm so!"

And this was our situation,-for we had not taken three steps, when,-O
sir,-we again met Lord Orville!-but not again did he pass quietly by
us:-unhappily I caught his eye;-both mine immediately were bent to
the ground; but he approached me, and we all stopped.

I then looked up. He bowed. Good God, with what expressive eyes did
he regard me! Never were surprise and concern so strongly marked:-yes,
my dear Sir, he looked greatly concerned: and that, the remembrance of
that, is the only consolation I feel for an evening the most painful
of my life.

What he said I know not; for indeed, I seemed to have neither ears nor
understanding; but I recollect that I only courtsied in silence. He
paused for an instant, as if-I believe so,-as if unwilling to pass
on; and then, finding the whole party detained, he again bowed,
and took leave.

Indeed, my dear Sir, I thought I should have fainted; so great was
my emotion, from shame, vexation, and a thousand other feelings,
for which I have no expressions. I absolutely tore myself from the
woman's arms; and then, disengaging myself from that of Mr. Brown,
I went to Madame Duval, and besought that she would not suffer me to
be again parted from her.

I fancy-that Lord Orville saw what passed; for scarcely was I at
liberty, ere he returned. Methought, my dear Sir, the pleasure,
the surprise of that moment, recompensed me for all the chagrin I
had before felt: for do you not think, that his return manifests,
for a character so quiet, so reserved as Lord Orville's, something
like solicitude in my concerns? such at least was the interpretation
I involuntarily made upon again seeing him.

With a politeness to which I have been sometime very little used,
he apologized for returning; and then inquired after the health of
Mrs. Mirvan, and the rest of the Howard Grove family. The flattering
conjecture which I have just acknowledged, had so wonderfully restored
my spirits, that I believe I never answered him so readily, and with
so little constraint. Very short, however, was the duration of this
conversation; for we were soon most disagreeably interrupted.

The Miss Branghtons, though they saw almost immediately the
characters of the women to whom I had so unfortunately applied,
were, nevertheless, so weak and foolish, as merely to titter at
their behaviour. As to Madame Duval, she was for some time so
strangely imposed upon, that she thought they were two real fine
ladies. Indeed, it is wonderful to see how easily and how frequently
she is deceived. Our disturbance, however, arose from young Brown,
who was now between the two women, by whom his arms were absolutely
pinioned to his sides: for a few minutes his complaints had been only
murmured: but he now called out aloud, "Goodness, Ladies, you hurt
me like any thing! why, I can't walk at all, if you keep pinching my
arms so!"

This speech raised a loud laugh in the women, and redoubled the
tittering of the Miss Branghtons. For my own part, I was most cruelly
confused: while the countenance of Lord Orville manifested a sort of
indignant astonishment; and, from that moment, he spoke to me no more
till he took leave.

Madame Duval, who now began to suspect her company, proposed our taking
the first box we saw empty, bespeaking a supper, and waiting till Mr.
Branghton should find us.

Miss Polly mentioned one she had remarked, to which we all turned.
Madame Duval instantly seated herself; and the two bold women, forcing
the frightened Mr. Brown to go between them, followed her example.

Lord Orville, with an air of gravity that wounded my very soul,
then wished me good night. I said not a word; but my face, if it had
any connection with my heart, must have looked melancholy indeed:
and so I have some reason to believe it did; for he added with much
more softness, though no less dignity, "Will Miss Anville allow me
to ask her address, and to pay my respects to her before I leave town?"

O how I changed colour at this unexpected request!-yet, what was the
mortification I suffered in answering, "My Lord, I am-in Holborn!"

He then bowed and left us.

What, what can he think of this adventure! how strangely how cruelly
have all appearances turned against me! Had I been blessed with any
presence of mind, I should instantly have explained to him the accident
which occasioned my being in such terrible company:-but I have none!

As to the rest of the evening, I cannot relate the particulars of what
passed; for, to you, I only write of what I think; and I can think
of nothing but this unfortunate, this disgraceful meeting. These
two wretched women continued to torment us all, but especially poor
Mr. Brown, who seemed to afford them uncommon diversion, till we were
discovered by Mr. Branghton, who very soon found means to release us
from their persecutions, by frightening them away. We stayed but a
short time after they left us, which was all employed in explanation.

Whatever may be the construction which Lord Orville may put upon this
affair, to me it cannot fail of being unfavourable; to be seen-gracious
Heaven! to be seen in company with two women of such character!-How
vainly, how proudly have I wished to avoid meeting him when only
with the Branghtons and Madame Duval;-but now, how joyful should I
be had he seen me to no greater disadvantage!-Holborn, too! what a
direction! he who had always-but I will not torment you, my dearest
Sir, with any more of my mortifying conjectures and apprehensions:
perhaps he may call,-and then I shall have an opportunity of explaining
to him all the most shocking part of the adventure. And yet, as I did
not tell him at whose house I lived, he may not be able to discover me;
I merely said in Holborn; and he, who I suppose saw my embarrassment,
forbore to ask any other direction.

Well, I must take my chance!

Yet let me, in the justice to Lord Orville, and in justice to the high
opinion I have always entertained of his honour and delicacy,-let
me observe the difference of his behaviour, when nearly in the same
situation, to that of Sir Clement Willoughby. He had, at least,
equal cause to depreciate me in his opinion, and to mortify and sink
me in my own; but far different was his conduct:-perplexed, indeed,
he looked, and much surprised:-but it was benevolently, not with
insolence. I am even inclined to think, that he could not see a young
creature whom he had so lately known in a higher sphere, appear so
suddenly, so strangely, so disgracefully altered in her situation,
without some pity and concern. But whatever might be his doubts and
suspicions, far from suffering them to influence his behaviour, he
spoke, he looked with the same politeness and attention with which
he had always honoured me when countenanced by Mrs. Mirvan.

Once again, let me drop this subject.

In every mortification, every disturbance, how grateful to my heart,
how sweet to my recollection, is the certainty of your never-failing
tenderness, sympathy and protection! Oh, Sir, could I upon this
subject, could I write as I feel,-how animated would be the language
of your devoted EVELINA.


LETTER LIII.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Holborn, July 1st.


LISTLESS, uneasy, and without either spirit or courage to employ
myself, from the time I had finished my last letter, I indolently
seated myself at the window, where, while I waited Madame Duval's
summons to breakfast, I perceived, among the carriages which passed
by, a coronet-coach, and in a few minutes, from the window of it,
Lord Orville! I instantly retreated, but not I believe, unseen;
for the coach immediately drove up to our door.

Indeed, my dear Sir, I must own I was greatly agitated; the idea
of receiving Lord Orville by myself,-the knowledge that his visit
was entirely to me,-the wish of explaining the unfortunate adventure
of yesterday,-and the mortification of my present circumstances,-all
these thoughts, occurring to me nearly at the same time, occasioned me
more anxiety, confusion, and perplexity, than I can possibly express.

 I believe he meant to sent up his name; but the maid, unused to such
a ceremony, forgot it by the way, and only told me, that a great
Lord was below, and desired to see me; and, the next moment, he
appeared himself.

If, formerly, when in the circle of high life, and accustomed to its
manners, I so much admired and distinguished the grace, the elegance
of Lord Orville, think Sir, how they must strike me now,-now, when
far removed from that splendid circle, I live with those to whom even
civility is unknown, and decorum a stranger!

I am sure I received him very awkwardly: depressed by a situation
so disagreeable-could I do otherwise? When his first enquiries were
made, "I think myself very fortunate," he said, "in meeting with Miss
Anville at home, and still more so in finding her disengaged."

I only courtsied. He then talked of Mrs. Mirvan, asked how long I
had been in town, and other such general questions, which happily
gave me time to recover from my embarrassment. After which he said,
"If Miss Anville will allow me the honour of sitting by her a few
minutes (for we were both standing) I will venture to tell her the
motive which, next to enquiring after her health, has prompted me to
wait on her thus early."


We were then both seated; and, after a short pause, he said, "How to
apologize for so great a liberty as I am upon the point of taking,
I know not;-shall I, therefore, rely wholly upon your goodness,
and not apologize at all?"


I only bowed.


"I should be extremely sorry to appear impertinent,-yet hardly know
how to avoid it."


"Impertinent! O, my Lord," cried I, eagerly, "that, I am sure,
is impossible!"


"You are very good," answered he, "and encourage me to be ingenuous-"


Again he stopped: but my expectation was too great for speech. At
last, without looking at me, in a low voice, and hesitating manner,
he said, "Were those ladies with whom I saw you last night ever in
your company before?"


"No, my Lord," cried I, rising and colouring violently, "nor will
they ever be again."


He rose too; and, with an air of the most condescending concern, said,
"Pardon, Madam, the abruptness of a question which I knew not how
to introduce as I ought, and for which I have no excuse to offer but
my respect for Mrs. Mirvan, joined to the sincerest wishes for your
happiness: yet I fear I have gone too far!"


"I am very sensible of the honour of your lordship's attention,"
said I; "but-"


"Permit me to assure you," cried he, finding I hesitated, "that
officiousness is not my characteristic; and that I would by no means
have risked your displeasure, had I not been fully satisfied you were
too generous to be offended without a real cause of offence."


"Offended!" cried I, "no, my Lord, I am only grieved-grieved,
indeed! to find myself in a situation so unfortunate as to be obliged
to make explanations, which cannot but mortify and shock me."


"It is I alone," cried he, with some eagerness, "who am shocked, as
it is I who deserve to be mortified. I seek no explanation, for I have
no doubt; but in mistaking me, Miss Anville injures herself: allow me
therefore, frankly and openly, to tell you the intention of my visit."


I bowed, and we both returned to our seats.


"I will own myself to have been greatly surprised," continued he,
"when I met you yesterday evening, in company with two persons who
I was sensible merited not the honour of your notice: nor was it
easy for me to conjecture the cause of your being so situated; yet,
believe me, my incertitude did not for a moment do you injury. I was
satisfied that their characters must be unknown to you; and I thought,
with concern, of the shock you would sustain when you discovered their
unworthiness. I should not, however, upon so short an acquaintance,
have usurped the privilege of intimacy, in giving my unasked sentiments
upon so delicate a subject, had I not known that credulity is the
sister of innocence, and therefore feared you might be deceived. A
something which I could not resist, urged me to the freedom I have
taken to caution you; but I shall not easily forgive myself if I have
been so unfortunate as to give you pain."


The pride which his first question had excited, now subsided into
delight and gratitude; and I instantly related to him, as well as I
could, the accident which had occasioned my joining the unhappy women
with whom he had met me. He listened with an attention so flattering,
seemed so much interested during the recital, and, when I had done,
thanked me in terms so polite, for what he was pleased to call my
condescension, that I was almost ashamed either to look at or hear him.


Soon after the maid came to tell me, that Madame Duval desired to
have breakfast made in her own room.


"I fear," cried Lord Orville, instantly rising, "that I have intruded
upon your time;-yet who, so situated, could do otherwise?" Then,
taking my hand, "Will Miss Anville allow me thus to seal my peace?" he
pressed it to his lips, and took leave.


Generous, noble Lord Orville! how disinterested his conduct! how
delicate his whole behaviour! Willing to advise, yet afraid to
wound me!-Can I ever, in future, regret the adventure I met with at
Marybone, since it has been productive of a visit so flattering? Had
my mortifications been still more humiliating, my terrors still
more alarming, such a mark of esteem-may I not call it so?-from Lord
Orville, would have made me ample amends.


And indeed, my dear Sir, I require some consolation in my present
very disagreeable situation; for, since he went, two incidents have
happened, that, had not my spirits been particularly elated, would
greatly have disconcerted me.


During breakfast, Madame Duval, very abruptly, asked, if I should
like to be married? and added, that Mr. Branghton had been proposing
a match for me with his son. Surprised, and, I must own, provoked,
I assured her that in thinking of me, Mr. Branghton would very vainly
lose his time.


"Why," cried she, "I have had grander views for you myself, if once
I could get you to Paris, and make you be owned; but if I can't do
that, and you can do no better, why, as you are both my relations,
I think to leave my fortune between you; and then, if you marry,
you never need want for nothing."


I begged her not to pursue the subject, as, I assured her,
Mr. Branghton was totally disagreeable to me; but she continued her
admonitions and reflections, with her usual disregard of whatever
I could answer. She charged me, very peremptorily, neither wholly to
discourage, nor yet to accept Mr.  Branghton's offer, till she saw what
could be done for me: the young man, she added, had often intended
to speak to me himself, but, not well knowing how to introduce the
subject, he had desired her to pave the way for him.


I scrupled not, warmly and freely, to declare my aversion to this
proposal; but it was to no effect; she concluded, just as she had
begun, by saying, that I should not have him, if I could do better.


Nothing, however, shall persuade me to listen to any other person
concerning this odious affair.


My second cause of uneasiness arises, very unexpectedly, from M. Du
Bois; who, to my infinite surprise, upon Madame Duval's quitting
the room after dinner, put into my hand a note, and immediately left
the house.


This note contains an open declaration of an attachment to me;
which, he says, he should never have presumed to have acknowledged,
had he not been informed that Madame Duval destined my hand to young
Branghton,-a match which he cannot endure to think of. He beseeches
me earnestly to pardon his temerity; professes the most inviolable
respect; and commits his fate to time, patience, and pity.


This conduct in M. du Bois gives me real concern, as I was disposed
to think very well of him. It will not, however, be difficult to
discourage him; and therefore, I shall not acquaint Madame Duval of
his letter, as I have reason to believe it would greatly displease her.


LETTER LIV.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  July 3rd.


O SIR, how much uneasiness must I suffer, to counterbalance one short
morning of happiness!


Yesterday the Branghtons proposed a party to Kensington Gardens; and,
as usual, Madame Duval insisted upon my attendance.


We went in a hackney-coach to Piccadilly, and then had a walk through
Hyde Park; which in any other company would have been delightful. I
was much pleased with Kensington Gardens, and think them infinitely
preferable to those of Vauxhall.


Young Branghton was extremely troublesome; he insisted upon walking
by my side, and talked with me almost by compulsion; however, my
reserve and coldness prevented his entering upon the hateful subject
which Madame Duval had prepared me to apprehend. Once, indeed, when
I was accidentally a few yards before the rest, he said, "I suppose,
Miss, aunt has told you about-you know what?-ha'n't she, Miss?"-But
I turned from him without making any answer. Neither Mr. Smith nor
Mr. Brown were of the party; and poor M. Du Bois, when he found that
I avoided him, looked so melancholy, that I was really sorry for him.


While we were strolling round the garden, I perceived, walking with a
party of ladies at some distance, Lord Orville! I instantly retreated
behind Miss Branghton, and kept out of sight till we had passed him;
for I dreaded being seen by him again in a public walk with a party
of which I was ashamed.


Happily I succeeded in my design, and saw no more of him; for a sudden
and violent shower of rain made us all hasten out of the gardens. We
ran till we came to a small green-shop, where we begged shelter. Here
we found ourselves in company with two footmen, whom the rain had
driven into the shop. Their livery I thought I had before seen; and,
upon looking from the window, I perceived the same upon a coachman
belonging to a carriage, which I immediately recollected to be Lord
Orville's.


Fearing to be know, I whispered Miss Branghton not to speak my
name. Had I considered but a moment, I should have been sensible of the
inutility of such a caution, since not one of the party call me by any
other appellation than that of Cousin or of Miss; but I am perpetually
involved in some distress or dilemma from my own heedlessness.


This request excited very strongly her curiosity: and she attacked
me with such eagerness and bluntness of enquiry, that I could not
avoid telling her the reason of my making it, and, consequently,
that I was known to Lord Orville: an acknowledgment which proved
the most unfortunate in the world; for she would not rest till she
had drawn from me the circumstances attending my first making the
acquaintance. Then, calling to her sister, she said, "Lord, Polly,
only think! Miss has danced with a Lord!"


"Well," cried Polly, "that's a thing I should never have thought
of! And pray, Miss, what did he say to you?"


This question was much sooner asked than answered; and they both became
so very inquisitive and earnest, that they soon drew the attention of
Madame Duval and the rest of the party; to whom, in a very short time,
they repeated all they had gathered from me.


"Goodness, then," cried young Branghton, "if I was Miss, if I would
not make free with his Lordship's coach, to take me to town."


"Why, ay," said the father, "there would be some sense in that; that
would be making some use of a Lord's acquaintance, for it would save
us coach-hire."


"Lord, Miss," cried Polly, "I wish you would; for I should like of
all things to ride in a coronet-coach."


"I promise you," said Madame Duval, "I'm glad you've thought of it,
for I don't see no objection;-so let's have the coachman called."


"Not for the world," cried I, very much alarmed: "indeed it is
utterly impossible."


"Why so?" demanded Mr. Branghton: "pray, where's the good of your
knowing a Lord, if your never the better for him?"


"Ma foi, child," said Madame Duval, "you don't know no more of the
world that if you was a baby. Pray, Sir, (to one of the footmen)
tell that coachman to draw up, for I wants to speak to him."


The man stared, but did not move. "Pray, pray, Madame," said I,
"pray, Mr.  Branghton, have the goodness to give up this plan; I
know but very little of his Lordship, and cannot, upon any account,
take so great a liberty."


"Don't say nothing about it," said Madam Duval, "for I shall have
it my own way: so, if you won't call the coachman, Sir, I'll promise
you I'll call him myself."


The footman, very impertinently, laughed and turned upon his
heel. Madame Duval, extremely irritated, ran out in the rain, and
beckoned the coachman, who instantly obeyed her summons. Shocked
beyond all expression, I flew after her, and entreated her, with
the utmost earnestness, to let us return in a hackney coach:-but,
oh!-she is impenetrable to persuasion! She told the man she wanted him
to carry her directly to town, and that she would answer for him to
Lord Orville. The man, with a sneer, thanked her, but said he should
answer for himself; and was driving off; when another footman came
up to him, with information that his Lord was gone into Kensington
Palace, and would not want him for an hour or two.


"Why, then, friend," said Mr. Branghton (for we were followed by all
the party), "where will be the great harm of your taking us to town?"


"Besides," said the son, "I'll promise you a pot of beer for my
own share."


These speeches had no other answer from the coachman than a loud
laugh, which was echoed by the insolent footmen. I rejoiced at their
resistance; though I was certain that, if their Lord had witnessed
their impertinence, they would have been instantly dismissed his
service.


"Pardi," cried Madame Duval, "if I don't think all the footmen are
the most impudentest fellows in the kingdom! But I'll promise you
I'll have your master told of your airs; so you'll get no good by 'em."


"Why, pray," said the coachman, rather alarmed, "did my Lord give
you leave to use the coach?"


"It's no matter for that," answered she; "I'm sure if he's a gentleman,
he'd let us have it sooner than we should be wet to the skin; but
I'll promise you he shall know how saucy you've been, for this young
lady knows him very well."


"Ay, that she does," said Miss Polly; "and she's danced with him too."


Oh, how I repented my foolish mismanagement! The men bit their lips,
and looked at one another in some confusion. This was perceived by
our party; who, taking advantage of it, protested they would write
Lord Orville word of their ill behaviour without delay. This quite
startled them; and one of the footmen offered to run to the palace,
and ask his Lord's permission for our having the carriage.


This proposal really made me tremble, and the Branghtons all hung back
upon it; but Madame Duval is never to be dissuaded from a scheme she
has once formed. "Do so," cried she; "and give this child's compliments
to your master; and tell him, as we ha'n't no coach here, we should
be glad to go just as far as Holborn in his."


"No, no, no!" cried I; "don't go,-I know nothing of his Lordship,-I
send no message,-I have nothing to say to him!"


The men, very much perplexed, could with difficulty restrain themselves
from resuming their impertinent mirth. Madame Duval scolded me vary
angrily, and then desired them to go directly. "Pray, then," said
the coachman, "what name is to be given to my Lord?"


"Anville," answered Madame Duval; "tell him Miss Anville wants the
coach; the young lady he danced with once."


I was really in an agony; but the winds could not have been more deaf
to me, than those to whom I pleaded! and therefore the footman, urged
by the repeated threats of Madame Duval, and perhaps recollecting the
name himself, actually went to the palace with this strange message!


He returned in a few minutes; and, bowing to me with the greatest
respect, said, "My Lord desires his compliments, and his carriage
will be always at Miss Anville's service."


I was so much affected by this politeness, and chagrined at the
whole affair, that I could scarce refrain from tears. Madame Duval,
and the Miss Branghtons eagerly jumped into the coach, and desired me
to follow. I would rather have submitted to the severest punishment;
but all resistance was vain.


During the whole ride I said not a word: however, the rest of the party
were so talkative, that my silence was very immaterial. We stopped at
our lodgings; but, when Madame Duval and I alighted, the Branghtons
asked if they could not be carried on to Snow-Hill? The servants,
now all civility, made no objection. Remonstrances from me would,
I too well knew, be fruitless; and therefore, with a heavy heart,
I retired to my room, and left them to their own direction.


Seldom have I passed a night in greater uneasiness.-So lately to
have cleared myself in the good opinion of Lord Orville,-so soon to
forfeit it!-to give him reason to suppose I presumed to boast of his
acquaintance!-to publish his having danced with me!-to take with him
a liberty I should have blushed to have taken with the most intimate
of my friends!-to treat with such impertinent freedom, one who has
honoured me with such distinguished respect!-Indeed, Sir, I could
have met with no accident that would so cruelly have tormented me!


If such were, then, my feelings, imagine,-for I cannot describe,
what I suffered during the scene I am now going to write.


This morning, while I was alone in the dining-room, young Branghton
called. He entered with a most important air; and, strutting up to me,
said, "Miss, Lord Orville sends his compliments to you."


"Lord Orville!" repeated I, much amazed.


"Yes, Miss, Lord Orville; for I know his Lordship now, as well as
you.-And a very civil gentleman he is, for all he's a Lord."


"For Heaven's sake," cried I, "explain yourself."


"Why, you must know, Miss, after we left you, we met with a little
misfortune; but I don't mind it now, for it's all turned out for the
best: but, just as we were a-going up Snow-Hill, plump we comes against
a cart, with such a jogg it almost pulled the coach-wheel off. However,
that i'n't the worst; for, as I went to open the door in a hurry,
a-thinking the coach would be broke down, as ill-luck would have it,
I never minded that the glass was up, and so I poked my head fairly
through it.-Only see, Miss, how I've cut my forehead!"


A much worse accident to himself would not, I believe, at that moment
have given me any concern for him: however, he proceeded with his
account, for I was too much confounded to interrupt him.


"Goodness, Miss, we were in such a stew, us, and the servants, and all,
as you can't think; for, besides the glass being broke, the coachman
said how the coach wouldn't be safe to go back to Kensington. So we
didn't know what to do; however, the footmen said they'd go and tell
his Lordship what had happened. So then father grew quite uneasy like,
for fear of his Lordship's taking offence, and prejudicing us in our
business; so he said I should go this morning and ask his pardon,
cause of having broke the glass. So then I asked the footmen the
direction, and they told me he lived in Berkeley-square; so this
morning I went,-and I soon found out the house."


"You did!" cried I, quite out of breath with apprehension.


"Yes, Miss, and a very fine house it is.-Did you ever see it?"


"No."


"No!-why, then, Miss, I know more of his Lordship than you do,
for all you knew him first. So, when I came to the door, I was in
a peck of troubles, a-thinking what I should say to him: however,
the servants had no mind I should see him; for they told me he was
busy, but I might leave my message.  So I was just a-coming away,
when I bethought myself to say I came from you."


"From me!"


"Yes, Miss, for you know, why should I have such a long walk as that
for nothing? So I says to the porter, says I, tell his Lordship, says
I, one wants to speak to him as comes from one Miss Anville, says I."


"Good God," cried I, "and by what authority did you take such
a liberty?"


"Goodness, Miss don't be in such a hurry, for you'll be as glad as me,
when you hear how well it all turned out. So then they made way for
me, and said his Lordship would see me directly: and there I was led
through such a heap of servants, and so many rooms, that my heart
quite misgave me; for I thought, thinks I, he'll be so proud he'll
hardly let me speak; but he's no more proud than I am, and he was
as civil as if I'd been a lord myself. So then I said, I hoped he
wouldn't take it amiss about the glass, for it was quite an accident;
but he bid me not mention it, for it did not signify. And then he
said he hoped you got safe home, and wasn't frightened so I said yes,
and I gave your duty to him."


"My duty to him!" exclaimed I,-"and who gave you leave?-who desired
you?"


"O, I did it out of my own head, just to make him think I came from
you. But I should have told you before, how the footman said he was
going out of town to-morrow evening, and that his sister was soon to
be married, and that he was a-ordering a heap of things for that; so
it come into my head, as he was so affable, that I'd ask him for his
custom. So I says, says I, my Lord, says I, if your Lordship i'n't
engaged particularly, my father is a silversmith, and he'll be very
proud to serve you, says I; and Miss Anville, as danced with you, is
his cousin, and she's my cousin too, and she'd be very much obligated
to you, I'm sure."


"You'll drive me wild," cried I, starting from my seat, "you have
done me an irreparable injury;-but I will hear no more!"-and then I
ran into my own room.


I was half frantic, I really raved; the good opinion of Lord Orville
seemed now irretrievable lost: a faint hope, which in the morning I
had vainly encouraged, that I might see him again, and explain the
transaction, wholly vanished, now I found he was so soon to leave
town: and I could not but conclude, that, for the rest of my life,
he would regard me as an object of utter contempt.


The very idea was a dagger to my heart!-I could not support it,
and-but I blush to proceed-I fear your disapprobation; yet I should
not be conscious of having merited it, but that the repugnance I
feel to relate to you what I have done, makes me suspect I must have
erred. Will you forgive me, if I won that I first wrote an account of
this transaction to Miss Mirvan?-and that I even thought of concealing
it from you?-Short-lived, however, was the ungrateful idea, and sooner
will I risk the justice of your displeasure, than unworthily betray
your generous confidence.


You are now probably prepared for what follows-which is a letter-a
hasty letter, that, in the height of my agitation, I wrote to Lord
Orville.


        "My Lord,

        "I am so infinitely ashamed of the application made yesterday
        for your Lordship's carriage in my name, and so greatly
        shocked at hearing how much it was injured, that I cannot
        forbear writing a few lines, to clear myself from the
        imputation of an impertinence which I blush to be suspected
        of, and to acquaint you, that the request for your carriage
        was made against my consent, and the visit with which you were
        importuned this morning without my knowledge.


        "I am inexpressibly concerned at having been the instrument,
        however innocently, of so much trouble to your Lordship; but I
        beg you to believe, that the reading these lines is the only
        part of it which I have given voluntarily. I am, my Lord,


        "Your Lordship's most Humble servant, "EVELINA ANVILLE."


I applied to the maid of the house to get this note conveyed to
Berkley-square; but scarce had I parted with it, before I regretted
having written at all; and I was flying down stairs to recover it,
when the voice of Sir Clement Willoughby stopped me. As Madame Duval
had ordered we should be denied to him, I was obliged to return up
stairs; and after he was gone, my application was too late, as the
maid had given it to a porter.


My time did not pass very serenely while he was gone; however, he
brought me no answer, but that Lord Orville was not at home. Whether or
not he will take the trouble to send any,-or whether he will condescend
to call,-or whether the affair will rest as it is, I know not;-but,
in being ignorant, am most cruelly anxious.


LETTER LV.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  July 4th.


YOU may now, my dear Sir, send Mrs. Clinton for your Evelina with as
much speed as she can conveniently make the journey, for no further
opposition will be made to her leaving this town: happy had it perhaps
been for her had she never entered it!


This morning Madame Duval desired me to go to Snow-Hill, with an
invitation to the Branghtons and Mr. Smith to spend the evening with
her; and she desired M. Du Bois, who breakfasted with us, to accompany
me. I was very unwilling to obey her, as I neither wished to walk with
M. Du Bois, nor yet to meet young Branghton. And, indeed, another,
a yet more powerful reason, added to my reluctance;-for I thought it
possible that Lord Orville might send some answer, or perhaps might
call, during my absence; however, I did not dare dispute her commands.


Poor M. Du Bois spoke not a word during our walk, which was, I believe,
equally unpleasant to us both. We found all the family assembled in
the shop.  Mr. Smith, the moment he perceived me, addressed himself
to Miss Branghton, whom he entertained with all the gallantry in his
power. I rejoice to find that my conduct at the Hampstead ball has had
so good an effect. But young Branghton was extremely troublesome; he
repeatedly laughed in my face, and looked so impertinently significant,
that I was obliged to give up my reserve to M. Du Bois, and enter
into conversation with him merely to avoid such boldness.


"Miss," said Mr. Branghton, "I'm sorry to hear from my son that you
wasn't pleased with what we did about that Lord Orville: but I should
like to know what it was you found fault with, for we did all for
the best."


"Goodness!" cried the son, "why, if you'd seen Miss, you'd have been
surprised-she went out of the room quite in a huff, like-"


"It is too late, now," said I, "to reason upon this subject; but,
for the future, I must take the liberty to request, that my name may
never be made use of without my knowledge. May I tell Madame Duval
that you will do her the favour to accept her invitation?"


"As to me, Ma'am," said Mr. Smith, "I am much obliged to the old
lady, but I have no mind to be taken in by her again; you'll excuse
me, Ma'am."


All the rest promised to come, and I then took leave; but, as I left
the shop, I heard Mr. Branghton say, "Take courage, Tom, she's only
coy." And, before I had walked ten yards, the youth followed.


I was so much offended that I would not look at him, but began to
converse with M. Du Bois, who was now more lively than I had ever
before seen him; for, most unfortunately, he misinterpreted the reason
of my attention to him.


The first intelligence I received when I came home, was, that two
gentlemen had called, and left cards. I eagerly enquired for them,
and read the names of Lord Orville and Sir Clement Willoughby. I by
no means regretted that I missed seeing the latter, but perhaps I may
all my life regret that I missed the former; for probably he has now
left town,-and I may see him no more!


"My goodness," cried young Branghton, rudely looking over me, "only
think of that Lord's coming all this way! It's my belief he'd got
some order ready for father, and so he'd a mind to call and ask you
if I'd told him the truth."


"Pray, Betty," cried I, "how long has he been gone?"


"Not two minutes, Ma'am."


"Why then, I'll lay you any wager, "said young Branghton, "he saw
you and I a-walking up Holborn Hill."


"God forbid!" cried I, impatiently; and, too much chagrined to bear
with any more of his remarks, I ran up stairs; but I heard him say
to M. Du Bois, "Miss is so uppish this morning, that I think I had
better not speak to her again."


I wish M. Du Bois had taken the same resolution; but he chose to
follow me into the dining-room, which he found empty.


"Vous ne l'aimez donc pas, ce garcon, Mademoiselle!" cried he.


"Me!" cried I, "no, I detest him!" for I was sick at heart.


"Ah, tu me rends la vie!" cried he; and, flinging himself at my feet,
he had just caught my hand as the door was opened by Madame Duval.


Hastily, and with marks of guilty confusion in his face, he arose; but
the rage of that lady quite amazed me! Advancing to the retreating
M. Du Bois, she began, in French, an attack, which her extreme
wrath and wonderful volubility almost rendered unintelligible; yet
I understood but too much, since her reproaches convinced me she had
herself proposed being the object of his affection.


He defended himself in a weak and evasive manner; and, upon her
commanding him from her sight, very readily withdrew: and then,
with yet greater violence, she upbraided me with having seduced his
heart, called me an ungrateful, designing girl, and protested she
would neither take me to Paris, nor any more interest herself in my
affairs, unless I would instantly agree to marry young Branghton.


Frightened as I had been at her vehemence, this proposal restored all
my courage; and I frankly told her, that in this point I never could
obey her.  More irritated than ever, she ordered me to quit the room.


Such is the present situation of affairs. I shall excuse myself from
seeing the Branghtons this afternoon: indeed, I never wish to see them
again. I am sorry, however innocently, that I have displeased Madame
Duval; yet I shall be very glad to quit this town, for I believe
it does not now contain one person I ever wish to again meet. Had
I but seen Lord Orville, I should regret nothing: I could then have
more fully explained what I so hastily wrote; yet it will always be
a pleasure to me to recollect that he called, since I flatter myself
it was in consequence of his being satisfied with my letter.


Adieu, my dear Sir; the time now approaches when I hope once more
to receive your blessing, and to owe all my joy, all my happiness,
to your kindness.


LETTER LVI.

MR. VILLARS TO EVELINA.  Berry Hill, July 7th.


WELCOME, thrice welcome, my darling Evelina, to the arms of the truest,
the fondest of your friends! Mrs. Clinton, who shall hasten to you
with these lines, will conduct you directly hither; for I can consent
no longer to be parted from the child of my bosom!-the comfort of my
age!-the sweet solace of all my infirmities! Your worthy friends at
Howard Grove must pardon me that I rob them of the visit you proposed
to make them before your return to Berry Hill, for I find my fortitude
unequal to a longer separation.


I have much to say to you, many comments to make upon your late
letters, some parts of which give me no little uneasiness; but I
will reserve my remarks for our future conversations. Hasten, then,
to the spot of thy nativity, the abode of thy youth, where never yet
care or sorrow had power to annoy thee.-O that they might ever be
banished this peaceful dwelling!


Adieu, my dearest Evelina! I pray but that thy satisfaction at our
approaching meeting may bear any comparison with mine!  ARTHUR VILLARS.


LETTER LVII.

EVELINA TO MISS MIRVAN.  Berry Hill, July 14th.


MY Sweet Maria will be much surprised, and I am willing to flatter
myself, concerned, when, instead of her friend, she receives this
letter;-this cold, this inanimate letter, which will but ill express
the feelings of the heart which indites it.


When I wrote to you last Friday, I was in hourly expectation of
seeing Mrs.  Clinton, with whom I intended to have set out for Howard
Grove. Mrs. Clinton came; but my plan was necessarily altered,
for she brought me a letter,-the sweetest that ever was penned,
from the best and kindest friend that ever orphan was blessed with,
requiring my immediate attendance at Berry Hill.


I obeyed,-and pardon me if I own I obeyed without reluctance: after
so long a separation, should I not else have been the most ungrateful
of mortals?-And yet,-oh, Maria! though I wished to leave London,
the gratification of my wish afforded me no happiness! and though
I felt an impatience inexpressible to return hither, no words,
no language, can explain the heaviness of heart with which I made
the journey. I believe you would hardly have known me;-indeed,
I hardly know myself. Perhaps, had I first seen you, in your kind
and sympathizing bosom I might have ventured to have reposed every
secret of my soul;-and then-but let me pursue my journal.


Mrs. Clinton delivered Madame Duval a letter from Mr. Villars, which
requested her leave for my return; and, indeed, it was very readily
accorded: yet, when she found, by my willingness to quit town that
M. Du Bois was really indifferent to me, she somewhat softened in my
favour; and declared, that, but for punishing his folly in thinking
of such a child, she would not have consented to my being again buried
in the country.


All the Branghtons called to take leave of me; but I will not write
a word more about them: indeed I cannot, with any patience, think of
that family, to whose forwardness and impertinence is owing all the
uneasiness I at this moment suffer!


So great was the depression of my spirits upon the road, that it was
with great difficulty I could persuade the worthy Mrs. Clinton I was
not ill; but, alas! the situation of my mind was such as would have
rendered any mere bodily pain, by comparison, even enviable!


And yet, when we arrived at Berry Hill,-when the chaise stopped at this
place,-how did my heart throb with joy!-and when, through the window,
I beheld the dearest, the most venerable of men, with uplifted hands,
returning, as I doubt not, thanks for my safe arrival,-good God! I
thought it would have burst my bosom!-I opened the chaise-door myself;
I flew,-for my feet did not seem to touch the ground,-into the parlour:
he had risen to meet me; but the moment I appeared he sunk into his
chair, uttering, with a deep sigh, though his face beamed with delight,
"My God, I thank thee!"


I sprung forward; and, with a pleasure that bordered upon agony, I
embraced his knees, I kissed his hands, I wept over them, but could not
speak: while he, now raising his eyes in thankfulness towards heaven,
now bowing down his reverend head, and folding me in his arms, could
scarce articulate the blessings with which his kind and benevolent
heart overflowed.


O, Miss Mirvan, to be so beloved by the best of men,-should I not be
happy?-Should I have one wish save that of meriting his goodness?-Yet
think me not ungrateful; indeed I am not, although the internal
sadness of my mind unfits me, at present, for enjoying as I ought
the bounties of Providence.


I cannot journalize, cannot arrange my ideas into order.


How little has situation to do with happiness! I had flattered
myself, that, when restored to Berry Hill, I should be restored
to tranquillity: far otherwise have I found it, for never yet had
tranquillity and Evelina so little intercourse.


I blush for what I have written. Can you, Maria, forgive my
gravity? but I restrain it so much, and so painfully, in the presence
of Mr. Villars, that I know not how to deny myself the consolation
of indulging it to you.


Adieu, my dear Miss Mirvan.


Yet one thing I must add: do not let the seriousness of this letter
deceive you; do not impute to a wrong cause the melancholy I confess,
by supposing that the heart of your friend mourns a too great
susceptibility: no, indeed!  believe me it never was, never can be,
more assuredly her own than at this moment. So witness in all truth,
Your affectionate, EVELINA.


You will make my excuses to the honoured Lady Howard, and to your
dear mother.


LETTER LVIII.

EVELINA TO MISS MIRVAN.  Berry Hill, July 21st.


YOU accuse me of mystery, and charge me with reserve: I cannot doubt
but I must have merited the accusation; yet, to clear myself,-you
know not how painful will be the task. But I cannot resist your kind
entreaties;-indeed I do not wish to resist them; for your friendship
and affection will soothe my chagrin. Had it arisen from any other
cause, not a moment would I have deferred the communication you
ask;-but as it is, I would, were it possible, not only conceal it
from all the world, but endeavour to disbelieve it myself. Yet since
I must tell you, why trifle with your impatience?

I know not how to come to the point; twenty times have I attempted
it in vain;-but I will force myself to proceed.

Oh, Miss Mirvan, could you ever have believed, that one who
seemed formed as a pattern for his fellow-creatures, as a model of
perfection,-one whose elegance surpassed all description,-whose
sweetness of manners disgraced all comparison;-oh, Miss Mirvan,
could you ever have believed that Lord Orville, would have treated
me with indignity?

Never, never again will I trust to appearances;-never confide in my
own weak judgment;-never believe that person to be good who seems
to be amiable! What cruel maxims are we taught by a knowledge of the
world!-But while my own reflections absorb me, I forget you are still
in suspense.

I had just finished the last letter which I wrote to you from London,
when the maid of the house brought me a note. It was given to her,
she said, by a footman, who told her he would call the next day for
an answer.

This note,-but let it speak for itself.

         "To Miss Anville.


         "With transport, most charming of thy sex, did I read
         the letter
        with which you yesterday morning favoured me. I am sorry the
        affair of the carriage should have given you any concern,
        but I am highly flattered by the anxiety you express so
        kindly. Believe me, my lovely girl, I am truly sensible
        to the honour of your good opinion, and feel myself deeply
        penetrated with love and gratitude. The correspondence you
        have so sweetly commenced, I shall be proud of continuing;
        and I hope the strong sense I have of the favour you do me
        will prevent your withdrawing it. Assure yourself, that I
        desire nothing more ardently than to pour forth my thanks at
        your feet, and to offer those vows which are so justly the
        tribute of your charms and accomplishments. In your next
        I intreat you to acquaint me how long you shall remain in
        town. The servant, whom I shall commission to call for an
        answer, has orders to ride post with it to me. My impatience
        for his arrival will be very great, though inferior to that
        with which I burn to tell you, in person, how much I am,
        my sweet girl, your grateful admirer, "ORVILLE."


What a letter! how has my proud heart swelled every line I have
copied! What I wrote to him you know; tell me, then, my dear friend,
do you think it merited such an answer?-and that I have deservedly
incurred the liberty he has taken?  I meant nothing but a simple
apology, which I thought as much due to my own character as to his;
yet by the construction he seems to have put upon it, should you not
have imagined it contained the avowal of sentiments which might indeed
have provoked his contempt?

The moment the letter was delivered to me, I retired to my own room
to read it; and so eager was my first perusal, that,-I am ashamed
to own,-it gave me no sensation but of delight. Unsuspicious of
any impropriety from Lord Orville, I perceived not immediately the
impertinence it implied,-I only marked the expressions of his own
regard; and I was so much surprised, that I was unable for some time
to compose myself, or read it again:-I could only walk up and down
the room, repeating to myself, "Good God, is it possible?-am I then
loved by Lord Orville?"

But this dream was soon over, and I awoke to far different
feelings. Upon a second reading I thought every word changed,-it did
not seem the same letter,-I could not find one sentence that I could
look at without blushing: my astonishment was extreme, and it was
succeeded by the utmost indignation.

If, as I am very ready to acknowledge, I erred in writing to Lord
Orville, was it for him to punish the error? If he was offended,
could he not have been silent? If he thought my letter ill-judged,
should he not have pitied my ignorance? have considered my youth,
and allowed for my inexperience?

Oh, Maria! how have I been deceived in this man! Words have no
power to tell the high opinion I had of him; to that was owing the
unfortunate solicitude which prompted my writing; a solicitude I must
for ever repent!

Yet perhaps I have rather reason to rejoice than to grieve, since this
affair has shown me his real disposition, and removed that partiality
which, covering his every imperfection, left only his virtues and
good qualities exposed to view. Had the deception continued much
longer, had my mind received any additional prejudice in his favour,
who knows whither my mistaken ideas might have led me? Indeed I fear I
was in greater danger than I apprehended, or can now think of without
trembling;-for, oh, if this weak heart of mine had been penetrated
with too deep an impression of his merit,-my peace and happiness had
been lost for ever.

I would fain encourage more cheerful thoughts, fain drive from my
mind the melancholy that has taken possession of it; but I cannot
succeed: for, added to the humiliating feelings which so powerfully
oppress me, I have yet another cause of concern;-alas, my dear Maria,
I have broken the tranquillity of the best of men!

I have never had the courage to show him this cruel letter; I could
not bear so greatly to depreciate in his opinion, one whom I had, with
infinite anxiety, raised in it myself. Indeed, my first determination
was to confine my chagrin totally to my own bosom; but your friendly
enquiries have drawn it from me: and now I wish I had made no
concealment from the beginning, since I know not how to account for
a gravity, which not all my endeavours can entirely hide or repress.

My greatest apprehension is, lest he should imagine that my residence
in London has given me a distaste to the country. Every body I see
takes notice of my being altered, and looking pale and ill. I should
be very indifferent to all such observations, did I not perceive
that they draw upon me the eyes of Mr. Villars, which glisten with
affectionate concern.

This morning, in speaking of my London expedition he mentioned Lord
Orville. I felt so much disturbed, that I would instantly have changed
the subject; but he would not allow me, and, very unexpectedly,
he began his panegyric; extolling in strong terms, his manly and
honourable behaviour in regard to the Marybone adventure. My cheeks
glowed with indignation every word he spoke;-so lately as I had myself
fancied him the noblest of his sex, now that I was so well convinced
of my mistake, I could not bear to hear his undeserved praises uttered
by one so really good, so unsuspecting, so pure of heart.

What he thought of my silence and uneasiness I fear to know; but I
hope he will mention the subject no more. I will not, however, with
ungrateful indolence, give way to a sadness which I find infectious to
him who merits the most cheerful exertion of my spirits. I am thankful
that he has forborne to probe my wound; and I will endeavour to heal
it by the consciousness that I have not deserved the indignity I
have received. Yet I cannot but lament to find myself in a world so
deceitful, where we must suspect what we see, distrust what we hear,
and doubt even what we feel!


LETTER LIX.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Berry Hill, July 29th.


I MUST own myself somewhat distressed how to answer your raillery:
yet, believe me, my dear Maria, your suggestions are those of fancy,
not of truth. I am unconscious of the weakness you suspect; yet, to
dispel your doubts, I will animate myself more than ever to conquer
my chagrin, and to recover my spirits.

You wonder, you say, since my heart takes no part in this affair,
why it should make me so unhappy? And can you, acquainted as you
are with the high opinion I entertained of Lord Orville, can you
wonder that so great a disappointment in his character should affect
me? Indeed, had so strange a letter been sent to me from any body,
it could not have failed shocking me; how much more sensibly, then,
must I feel such an affront, when received from the man in the world
I had imagined least capable of giving it?

You are glad I made no reply; assure yourself, my dear friend, had this
letter been the most respectful that could be written, the clandestine
air given to it, by his proposal of sending his servant for my answer,
instead of having it directed to his house, would effectually have
prevented my writing.  Indeed, I have an aversion the most sincere to
all mysteries, all private actions; however foolishly and blameably,
in regard to this letter, I have deviated from the open path which,
from my earliest infancy, I was taught to tread.

He talks of my having commenced a correspondence with him: and
could Lord Orville indeed believe I had such a design? believe me
so forward, so bold, so strangely ridiculous? I know not if his man
called or not; but I rejoice that I quitted London before he came,
and without leaving any message for him. What, indeed, could I have
said? it would have been a condescension very unmerited to have taken
any, the least notice of such a letter.

Never shall I cease to wonder how he could write it. Oh, Maria! what,
what could induce him so causelessly to wound and affront one who
would sooner have died than wilfully offended him? -How mortifying
a freedom of style! how cruel an implication conveyed by his thanks
and expressions of gratitude! Is it not astonishing, that any man
can appear so modest, who is so vain?

Every hour I regret the secrecy I have observed with my beloved
Mr. Villars; I know not what bewitched me, but I felt at first a
repugnance to publishing this affair that I could not surmount;-and
now, I am ashamed of confessing that I have any thing to confess! Yet
I deserve to be punished for the false delicacy which occasioned my
silence, since, if Lord Orville himself was contented to forfeit
his character, was it for me, almost at the expense of my own, to
support it?

Yet I believe I should be very easy, now the first shock is over,
and now that I see the whole affair with the resentment it merits,
did not all my good friends in this neighbourhood, who think me
extremely altered, tease me about my gravity, and torment Mr. Villars
with observations upon my dejection and falling away. The subject
is no sooner started, than a deep gloom overspreads his venerable
countenance, and he looks at me with a tenderness so melancholy,
that I know not how to endure the consciousness of exciting it.

Mrs. Selwyn, a lady of large fortune, who lives about three miles from
Berry Hill, and who has always honoured me with very distinguishing
marks of regard, is going, in a short time, to Bristol, and has
proposed to Mr.  Villars to take me with her for the recovery of my
health. He seemed very much distressed whether to consent or refuse;
but I, without any hesitation, warmly opposed the scheme, protesting
my health could no where be better than in this pure air. He had
the goodness to thank me for this readiness to stay with him; but he
is all goodness! Oh, that it were in my power to be indeed what, in
the kindness of his heart, he has called me, the comfort of his age,
and solace of his infirmities!

Never do I wish to be again separated from him. If here I am grave,
elsewhere I should be unhappy. In his presence, with a very little
exertion, all the cheerfulness of my disposition seems ready to return;
the benevolence of his countenance reanimates, the harmony of his
temper composes, the purity of his character edifies me! I owe to
him every thing! and, far from finding my debt of gratitude a weight,
the first pride, the first pleasure of my life, is the recollection
of the obligations conferred upon me by a goodness so unequalled.

Once, indeed, I thought there existed another,-who, when time
had wintered o'er his locks, would have shone forth among his
fellow-creatures with the same brightness of worth which dignifies
my honoured Mr. Villars; a brightness how superior in value to that
which results from mere quickness of parts, wit, or imagination! a
brightness, which, not contented with merely diffusing smiles,
and gaining admiration from the sallies of the spirits, reflects a
real and a glorious lustre upon all mankind! Oh, how great was my
error! how ill did I judge! how cruelly have I been deceived!

I will not go to Bristol, though Mrs. Selwyn is very urgent with
me;-but I desire not to see any more of the world! the few months I
have already passed in it, have sufficed to give me a disgust even
to its name.

I hope, too, I shall see Lord Orville no more: accustomed, from my
first knowledge of him, to regard him as a being superior to his race,
his presence, perhaps, might banish my resentment, and I might forget
his ill conduct; for oh, Maria!-I should not know how to see Lord
Orville -and to think of displeasure!

As a sister I loved him;-I could have entrusted him with every
thought of my heart, had he deigned to wish my confidence: so steady
did I think his honour, so feminine his delicacy, and so amiable his
nature! I have a thousand times imagined that the whole study of his
life, and whole purport of his reflections, tended solely to the good
and happiness of others: but I will talk,-write,-think of him no more!
Adieu, my dear friend!


LETTER LX.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Berry Hill, August 10th.


YOU complain of my silence, my dear Miss Mirvan;-but what have I to
write?  Narrative does not offer, nor does a lively imagination supply
the deficiency. I have, however, at present, sufficient matter for
a letter, in relating a conversation I had yesterday with Mr. Villars.

Our breakfast had been the most cheerful we have had since my return
hither; and when it was over, he did not, as usual, retire to his
study, but continued to converse with me while I worked. We might,
probably, have passed all the morning thus sociably, but for the
entrance of a farmer, who came to solicit advice concerning some
domestic affairs. They withdrew together into the study.

The moment I was alone my spirits failed me; the exertion with which
I had supported them had fatigued my mind; I flung away my work, and,
leaning my arms on the table, gave way to a train of disagreeable
reflections, which, bursting from the restraint that had smothered
them, filled me with unusual sadness.

This was my situation, when, looking towards the door, which was open,
I perceived Mr. Villars, who was earnestly regarding me. "Is Farmer
Smith gone, Sir?" cried I, hastily rising, and snatching up my work.

"Don't let me disturb you," said he, gravely; "I will go again to
my study."

"Will you, Sir?-I was in hopes you were coming to sit here."

"In hopes!-and why, Evelina, should you hope it?"

This question was so unexpected, that I knew not how to answer it; but,
as I saw he was moving away, I followed, and begged him to return. "No,
my dear, no," said he, with a forced smile, "I only interrupt your
meditations."

Again I knew not what to say; and while I hesitated, he retired. My
heart was with him, but I had not the courage to follow. The idea
of an explanation, brought on in so serious a manner, frightened
me. I recollected the inference you had drawn from my uneasiness,
and I feared that he might make a similar interpretation.

Solitary and thoughtful, I passed the rest of the morning in my own
room. At dinner I again attempted to be cheerful; but Mr. Villars
himself was grave, and I had not sufficient spirits to support a
conversation merely by my own efforts. As soon as dinner was over, he
took a book, and I walked to the window. I believe I remained near an
hour in this situation. All my thoughts were directed to considering
how I might dispel the doubts which I apprehended Mr. Villars had
formed, without acknowledging a circumstance which I had suffered so
much pain merely to conceal. But while I was thus planning for the
future, I forgot the present; and so intent was I upon the subject
which occupied me, that the strange appearance of my unusual inactivity
and extreme thoughtfulness never occurred to me. But when, at last,
I recollected myself, and turned round, I saw that Mr. Villars, who
had parted with his book, was wholly engrossed in attending to me. I
started from my reverie, and, hardly knowing what I said, asked if
he had been reading?

He paused a moment, and then replied, "Yes, my child;-a book that
both afflicts and perplexes me."

He means me, thought I; and therefore I made no answer.

"What if we read it together?" continued he, "will you assist me to
clear its obscurity?"

I knew not what to say; but I sighed involuntarily from the bottom of
my heart. He rose, and approaching me, said, with emotion, "My child,
I can no longer be a silent witness of thy sorrow,-is not thy sorrow
my sorrow?-and ought I to be a stranger to the cause, when I so deeply
sympathize in the effect?"

"Cause, Sir!" cried I, greatly alarmed, "what cause?-I don't know,-I
can't tell-I-"

"Fear not," said he, kindly, "to unbosom thyself to me, my dearest
Evelina; open to me thy whole heart,-it can have no feelings for
which I will not make allowance. Tell me, therefore, what it is that
thus afflicts us both; and who knows but I may suggest some means
of relief?"

"You are too, too good," cried I, greatly embarrassed; "but indeed
I know not what you mean."

"I see," said he, "it is painful to you to speak: suppose, then,
I endeavour to save you by guessing?"

"Impossible! impossible!" cried I, eagerly; "no one living could ever
guess, ever suppose-" I stopped abruptly; for I then recollected I
was acknowledging something was to be guessed: however, he noticed
not my mistake.

"At least let me try," answered he, mildly; "perhaps I may be a better
diviner than you imagine: if I guess every thing that is probable,
surely I must approach near the real reason. Be honest, then, my love,
and speak without reserve;-does not the country, after so much gaiety,
so much variety, does it not appear insipid and tiresome?"

"No, indeed! I love it more than ever, and more than ever do I wish
I had never, never quitted it!"

"Oh, my child! that I had not permitted the journey! My judgment
always opposed it, but my resolution was not proof against persuasion."

"I blush, indeed," cried I, "to recollect my earnestness;-but I have
been my own punisher!"

"It is too late now," answered he, "to reflect upon this subject;
let us endeavour to avoid repentance for the time to come, and
we shall not have erred without reaping some instruction." Then,
seating himself, and making me sit by him, he continued, "I must now
guess again: perhaps you regret the loss of those friends you knew
in town;-perhaps you miss their society, and fear you may see them
no more?-perhaps Lord Orville-"

I could not keep my seat; but, rising hastily, said, "Dear Sir,
ask me nothing more!-for I have nothing to own,-nothing to say;-my
gravity has been merely accidental, and I can give no reason for it
at all.-Shall I fetch you another book?-or will you have this again?"

For some minutes he was totally silent, and I pretended to employ
myself in looking for a book. At last, with a deep sigh, "I see,"
said he, "I see but too plainly, that though Evelina is returned,-I
have lost my child!"

"No, Sir, no," cried I, inexpressibly shocked, "she is more your's
than ever!  Without you, the world would be a desert to her, and
life a burthen:-forgive her, then, and,-if you can,-condescend to be,
once more, the confidant of all her thoughts."

"How highly I value, how greatly I wish for her confidence," returned
he, "she cannot but know;-yet to extort, to tear it from her,-my
justice, my affection both revolt at the idea. I am sorry that I was
so earnest with you;-leave me, my dear, leave me, and compose yourself;
we will meet again at tea."

"Do you then refuse to hear me?"

"No, but I abhor to compel you. I have long seen that your mind has
been ill at ease, and mine has largely partaken of your concern:
I forbore to question you; for I hoped that time and absence, from
whatever excited your uneasiness, might best operate in silence:
but, alas! your affliction seems only to augment,-your health
declines,-your look alters!-Oh, Evelina, my aged heart bleeds to see
the change!-bleeds to behold the darling it had cherished, the prop it
had reared for its support, when bowed down by years and infirmities,
sinking itself under the pressure of internal grief!-struggling to
hide what it should seek to participate!-But go, my dear, go to your
own room; we both want composure, and we will talk of this matter
some other time."

"Oh, Sir," cried I, penetrated to the soul, "bid me not leave
you!-think me not so lost to feeling, to gratitude-"

"Not a word of that," interrupted he: "it pains me you should think
upon that subject; pains me you should ever remember that you have not
a natural, an hereditary right to every thing within my power. I meant
not to affect you thus,-I hoped to have soothed you!-but my anxiety
betrayed me to an urgency that has distressed you. Comfort yourself,
my love; and doubt not but that time will stand your friend, and all
will end well."

I burst into tears: with difficulty had I so long restrained them; for
my heart, while it glowed with tenderness and gratitude, was oppressed
with a sense of its own unworthiness. "You are all, all goodness!"
cried I, in a voice scarce audible; "little as I deserve,-unable as
I am to repay, such kindness,-yet my whole soul feels,-thanks you
for it!"

"My dearest child," cried he, "I cannot bear to see thy tears;-for
my sake dry them: such a sight is too much for me: think of that,
Evelina, and take comfort, I charge thee!"

"Say then," cried I, kneeling at his feet, "say then that you
forgive me! that you pardon my reserve,-that you will again suffer
me to tell you my most secret thoughts, and rely upon my promise
never more to forfeit your confidence!-my father!-my protector!-my
ever-honoured,-ever-loved-my best and only friend!-say you forgive
your Evelina, and she will study better to deserve your goodness!"

He raised, he embraced me: he called me his sole joy, his only
earthly hope, and the child of his bosom! He folded me to his heart;
and, while I wept from the fulness of mine, with words of sweetest
kindness and consolation, he soothed and tranquillised me.

Dear to my remembrance will ever be that moment when, banishing
the reserve I had so foolishly planned, and so painfully supported,
I was restored to the confidence of the best of men!

When at length we were again quietly and composedly seated by each
other, and Mr. Villars waited for the explanation I had begged him
to hear, I found myself extremely embarrassed how to introduce the
subject which must lead to it. He saw my distress; and with a kind of
benevolent pleasantry, asked me if I would let him guess any more? I
assented in silence.

"Shall I, then, go back to where I left off?"

"If-if you please;-I believe so,-" said I, stammering.

"Well, then, my love, I think I was speaking of the regret it was
natural you should feel upon quitting those from whom you had received
civility and kindness, with so little certainty of ever seeing
them again, or being able to return their good offices. These are
circumstances that afford but melancholy reflections to young minds;
and the affectionate disposition of my Evelina, open to all social
feelings, must be hurt more than usual by such considerations.-You
are silent, my dear. Shall I name those whom I think most worthy the
regret I speak of? We shall then see if our opinions coincide."

Still I said nothing, and he continued.

"In your London journal, nobody appears in a more amiable, a more
respectable light than Lord Orville; and perhaps-"

"I knew what you would say," cried I, hastily, "and I have long feared
where your suspicions would fall; but indeed, Sir, you are mistaken:
I hate Lord Orville,-he is the last man in the world in whose favour
I should be prejudiced."

I stopped; for Mr. Villars looked at me with such infinite surprise,
that my own warmth made me blush.

"You hate Lord Orville!" repeated he.

I could make no answer; but took from my pocket-book the letter,
and giving it to him, "See, Sir," said I, "how differently the same
man can talk and write!"

He read it three times before he spoke; and then said, "I am so much
astonished, that I know not what I read. When had you this letter?"

I told him. Again he read it, and, after considering its contents
some time, said, "I can form but one conjecture concerning this most
extraordinary performance: he must certainly have been intoxicated
when he wrote it."

"Lord Orville intoxicated!" repeated I: "once I thought him a stranger
to all intemperance;-but it is very possible, for I can believe any
thing now."

"That a man who had behaved with so strict a regard to delicacy,"
continued Mr. Villars, "and who, as far as occasion had allowed,
manifested sentiments the most honourable, should thus insolently,
thus wantonly, insult a modest young woman, in his perfect senses,
I cannot think possible. But, my dear, you should have inclosed
this letter in an empty cover, and have returned it to him again:
such a resentment would at once have become your character, and have
given him an opportunity, in some measure, of clearing his own. He
could not well have read this letter the next morning without being
sensible of the impropriety of having written it."

Oh, Maria! why had I not this thought? I might then have received
some apology; the mortification would then have been his, not
mine. It is true, he could not have reinstated himself so highly in
my opinion as I had once ignorantly placed him, since the conviction
of such intemperance would have levelled him with the rest of his
imperfect race; yet my humbled pride might have been consoled by
his acknowledgments.

But why should I allow myself to be humbled by a man who can suffer
his reason to be thus abjectly debased, when I am exalted by one who
knows no vice, and scarcely a failing, but by hearsay? To think of his
kindness, and reflect upon his praises, might animate and comfort me
even in the midst of affliction. "Your indignation," said he, "is the
result of virtue; you fancied Lord Orville was without fault-he had
the appearance of infinite worthiness, and you supposed his character
accorded with appearance: guileless yourself, how could you prepare
against the duplicity of another?  Your disappointment has but been
proportioned to your expectations, and you have chiefly owed its
severity to the innocence which hid its approach."

I will bid these words dwell ever in my memory, and they shall
cheer, comfort, and enliven me! This conversation, though extremely
affecting to me at the time it passed, has relieved my mind from much
anxiety. Concealment, my dear Maria, is the foe of tranquillity:
however I may err in future, I will never be disingenuous
in acknowledging my errors. To you and to Mr. Villars I vow an
unremitting confidence.

And yet, though I am more at ease, I am far from well: I have been
some time writing this letter; but I hope I shall send you soon a
more cheerful one.

Adieu, my sweet friend. I intreat you not to acquaint even your dear
mother with this affair; Lord Orville is a favourite with her, and
why should I publish that he deserves not that honour?


LETTER LXI.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Bristol Hotwells, August 28th.


YOU will be again surprised, my dear Maria, at seeing whence I date my
letter: but I have been very ill, and Mr. Villars was so much alarmed,
that he not only insisted upon my accompanying Mrs. Selwyn hither,
but earnestly desired she would hasten her intended journey.

We travelled very slowly, and I did not find myself so much fatigued
as I expected. We are situated upon a most delightful spot; the
prospect is beautiful, the air pure, and the weather very favourable
to invalids. I am already better, and I doubt not but I shall soon
be well; as well, in regard to mere health, as I wish to be.

I cannot express the reluctance with which I parted from my revered
Mr. Villars: it was not like that parting which, last April, preceded
my journey to Howard Grove, when, all expectation and hope, though I
wept, I rejoiced, and, though I sincerely grieved to leave him, I yet
wished to be gone: the sorrow I now felt was unmixed with any livelier
sensation; expectation was vanished, and hope I had none! All that I
held most dear upon earth I quitted; and that upon an errand, to the
success of which I was totally indifferent, the re-establishment of my
health. Had it been to have seen my sweet Maria, or her dear mother,
I should not have repined.

Mrs. Selwyn is very kind and attentive to me. She is extremely clever:
her understanding, indeed, may be called masculine: but, unfortunately,
her manners deserve the same epithet; for, in studying to acquire
the knowledge of the other sex, she has lost all the softness of
her own. In regard to myself, however, as I have neither courage nor
inclination to argue with her, I have never been personally hurt at her
want of gentleness; a virtue which, nevertheless, seems so essential
a part of the female character, that I find myself more awkward, and
less at ease, with a woman who wants it, than I do with a man. She is
not a favourite with Mr. Villars, who has often been disgusted at her
unmerciful propensity to satire: but his anxiety that I should try
the effect of the Bristol waters, overcame his dislike of committing
me to her care. Mrs. Clinton is also here; so that I shall be as well
attended as his utmost partiality could desire.

I will continue to write to you, my dear Miss Mirvan, with as much
constancy as if I had no other correspondent; though, during my
absence from Berry Hill, my letters may, perhaps, be shortened on
account of the minuteness of the journal which I must write to my
beloved Mr. Villars: but you, who know his expectations, and how
many ties bind me to fulfil them, will I am sure, rather excuse any
omission to yourself, than any negligence to him.


LETTER LXII.

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS.  Bristol Hotwells, Sept. 12th.


THE first fortnight that I passed here was so quiet, so serene, that
it gave me reason to expect a settled calm during my stay; but if I
may now judge of the time to come, by the present state of my mind,
the calm will be succeeded by a storm, of which I dread the violence!

This morning, in my way to the pump-room with Mrs. Selwyn, we were
both very much incommoded by three gentlemen, who were sauntering by
the side of the Avon, laughing and talking very loud, and lounging so
disagreeably, that we knew not how to pass them. They all three fixed
their eyes very boldly upon me, alternately looking under my hat,
and whispering one another. Mrs. Selwyn assumed an air of uncommon
sternness, and said, "You will please, gentlemen, either to proceed
yourselves, or to suffer us."

"Oh! Ma'am," cried one of them, "we will suffer you with the greatest
pleasure in life."

"You will suffer us both," answered she, "or I am much mistaken:
you had better, therefore, make way quietly; for I should be sorry
to give my servant the trouble of teaching you better manners."

Her commanding air struck them, yet they all chose to laugh; and one
of them wished the fellow would begin his lesson, that he might have
the pleasure of rolling him into the Avon; while another, advancing to
me with a freedom which made me start, said, "By my soul, I did not
know you!-but I am sure I cannot be mistaken;-had not I the honour
of seeing you once at the Pantheon?"

I then recollected the nobleman, who, at that place, had so much
embarrassed me. I courtsied without speaking. They all bowed, and
making, though in a very easy manner, an apology to Mrs. Selwyn,
they suffered us to pass on, but chose to accompany us.

"And where," continued this Lord, "can you so long have hid
yourself? do you know I have been in search of you this age? I could
neither find you out, nor hear of you: not a creature could inform me
what was become of you. I cannot imagine where you could be immured. I
was at two or three public places every night, in hopes of meeting
you. Pray, did you leave town?"

"Yes, my Lord."

"So early in the season!-what could possibly induce you to go before
the birth-day?"

"I had nothing, my Lord, to do with the birth-day."

"By my soul, all the women who had, may rejoice you were away. Have
you been here any time?"

"Not above a fortnight, my Lord."

"A fortnight!-how unlucky that I did not meet you sooner! but I have
had a run of ill luck ever since I came. How long shall you stay?"

"Indeed, my Lord, I don't know."

"Six weeks, I hope; for I shall wish the place at the devil when
you go."

"Do you, then, flatter yourself, my Lord," said Mrs. Selwyn, who
had hitherto listened in silent contempt, "that you shall see such
a beautiful spot as this, when you visit the dominions of the devil?"

"Ha, ha, ha! Faith, my Lord," said one of his companions, who still
walked with us, though the other had taken leave, "the lady is rather
hard upon you."

"Not at all," answered Mrs. Selwyn; "for as I cannot doubt but his
Lordship's rank and interest will secure him a place there, it would
be reflecting on his understanding, to suppose he should not wish to
enlarge and beautify his dwelling."

Much as I was disgusted with this Lord, I must own Mrs. Selwyn's
severity rather surprised me: but you, who have so often observed
it, will not wonder she took so fair an opportunity of indulging
her humour.

"As to places," returned he, totally unmoved, "I am so indifferent
to them, that the devil take me if I care which way I go! objects,
indeed, I am not so easy about; and, therefore, I expect, that those
angels with whose beauty I am so much enraptured in this world, will
have the goodness to afford me some little consolation in the other."

"What, my Lord!" cried Mrs. Selwyn, "would you wish to degrade the
habitation of your friend, by admitting into it the insipid company
of the upper regions?"

"What do you do with yourself this evening?" said his Lordship,
turning to me.

"I shall be at home, my Lord."

"O, -e;-propos,-where are you?"

"Young ladies, my Lord," said Mrs. Selwyn, "are no where."

"Prithee," whispered his Lordship, "is that queer woman your mother?"

Good Heavens, Sir, what words for such a question!

"No, my Lord."

"Your maiden aunt then?"

"No."

"Whoever she is, I wish she would mind her own affairs: I don't know
what the devil a woman lives for after thirty: she is only in other
folk's way. Shall you be at the assembly?"

"I believe not, my Lord."

"No!-why then, how in the world can you contrive to pass your time?"

"In a manner which your Lordship will think very extraordinary,"
cried Mrs.  Selwyn, "for the young lady reads."

"Ha, ha, ha! Egad, my Lord," cried the facetious companion, "you are
got into bad hands."

"You had better, Ma'am," answered he, "attack Jack Coverley here,
for you will make nothing of me."

"Of you, my Lord," cried she, "Heaven forbid I should ever entertain
so idle an expectation! I only talk, like a silly woman, for the sake
of talking; but I have by no means so low an opinion of your Lordship,
as to suppose you vulnerable to censure."

"Do, pray, Ma'am," cried he, "turn to Jack Coverley; he's the very
man for you;-he'd be a wit himself if he was not too modest."

"Prithee, my Lord, be quiet," returned the other; "if the lady is
contented to bestow all her favours upon you, why should you make
such a point of my going snacks?"

"Don't be apprehensive, gentlemen," said Mrs. Selwyn, drily, "I am not
romantic;-I have not the least design of doing good to either of you."

"Have not you been ill since I saw you?" said his Lordship, again
addressing himself to me.

"Yes, my Lord."

"I thought so; you are paler than you was, and I suppose that's the
reason I did not recollect you sooner."

"Has not your Lordship too much gallantry," cried Mrs. Selwyn,
"to discover a young lady's illness by her looks?"

"The devil a word can I speak for that woman," said he, in a low voice;
"do, prithee, Jack, take her in hand."

"Excuse me, my Lord," answered Mr. Coverley.

"When shall I see you again?" continued his Lordship; "do you go to
the pump-room every morning?"

"No, my Lord."

"Do you ride out?"

"No, my Lord."

Just then we arrived at the pump-room, and an end was put to our
conversation, if it is not an abuse of words to give such a term to
a string of rude questions and free compliments.

He had not opportunity to say much more to me, as Mrs. Selwyn joined
a large party, and I walked home between two ladies. He had, however,
the curiosity to see us to the door.

Mrs. Selwyn was very eager to know how I had made acquaintance with
this nobleman, whose manners so evidently announced the character of
a confirmed libertine. I could give her very little satisfaction, as
I was ignorant even of his name: but, in the afternoon, Mr. Ridgeway,
the apothecary, gave us very ample information.

As his person was easily described, for he is remarkably tall,
Mr. Ridgeway told us he was Lord Merton, a nobleman who is but lately
come to his title, though he has already dissipated more than half his
fortune; a professed admirer of beauty, but a man of most licentious
character; that among men, his companions consisted chiefly of gamblers
and jockeys, and among women he was rarely admitted.

"Well, Miss Anville," said Mrs. Selwyn, "I am glad I was not more
civil to him. You may depend upon me for keeping him at a distance."

"O, Madam," said Mr. Ridgeway, "he may now be admitted any where,
for he is going to reform."

"Has he, under that notion, persuaded any fool to marry him?"

"Not yet, Madam, but a marriage is expected to take place shortly:
it has been some time in agitation; but the friends of the lady
have obliged her to wait till she is of age: however, her brother,
who has chiefly opposed the match, now that she is near being at her
own disposal, is tolerably quiet. She is very pretty, and will have
a large fortune. We expect her at the Wells every day."

"What is her name?" said Mrs. Selwyn.

"Larpent," answered he: "Lady Louisa Larpent, sister of Lord Orville."

"Lord Orville!" repeated I, all amazement.

"Yes, Ma'am; his Lordship is coming with her. I have had certain
information.  They are to be at the Honourable Mrs. Beaumont's. She is
a relation of my Lord's, and has a very fine house upon Clifton Hill."

His Lordship is coming with her! -Good God, what an emotion did those
words give me! How strange, my dear Sir, that, just at this time, he
should visit Bristol! It will be impossible for me to avoid seeing him,
as Mrs. Selwyn is very well acquainted with Mrs. Beaumont. Indeed,
I have had an escape in not being under the same roof with him, for
Mrs. Beaumont invited us to her house immediately upon our arrival;
but the inconvenience of being so distant from the pump-room made
Mrs. Selwyn decline her civility.

Oh that the first meeting were over!-or that I could quit Bristol
without seeing him!-inexpressibly do I dread an interview! Should
the same impertinent freedom be expressed by his looks, which
dictated this cruel letter, I shall not know how to endure either
him or myself. Had I but returned it, I should be easier, because
my sentiments of it would then be known to him; but now, he can only
gather them from my behaviour; and I tremble lest he should mistake my
indignation for confusion!-lest he should misconstrue my reserve into
embarrassment!-for how, my dearest Sir, how shall I be able totally
to divest myself of the respect with which I have been used to think
of him?-the pleasure with which I have been used to see him?

Surely he, as well as I, must recollect the letter at the moment
of our meeting; and he will, probably, mean to gather my thoughts
of it from my looks;-oh that they could but convey to him my real
detestation of impertinence and vanity! then would he see how much
he had mistaken my disposition when he imagined them my due.

There was a time when the very idea that such a man as Lord Merton
should ever be connected with Lord Orville would have both surprised
and shocked me; and even yet I am pleased to hear of his repugnance
to the marriage.

But how strange, that a man of so abandoned a character should be
the choice of a sister of Lord Orville! and how strange, that, almost
at the moment of the union, he should be so importunate in gallantry
to another woman! What a world is this we live in! how corrupt! how
degenerate! well might I be contented to see no more of it! If I
find that the eyes of Lord Orville agree with his pen,-I shall then
think, that of all mankind, the only virtuous individual resides at
Berry Hill.


LETTER LXIII.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Bristol Hotwells, Sept. 16th.


OH, Sir, Lord Orville is still himself! still what, from the moment
I beheld, I believed him to be-all that is amiable in man! and your
happy Evelina, restored at once to spirits and tranquillity, is no
longer sunk in her own opinion, nor discontented with the world;-no
longer, with dejected eyes, sees the prospect of passing her future
days in sadness, doubt, and suspicion!-with revived courage she
now looks forward, and expects to meet with goodness, even among
mankind:-though still she feels, as strongly as ever, the folly of
hoping, in any second instance, to meet with perfection.

Your conjecture was certainly right; Lord Orville, when he wrote that
letter, could not be in his senses. Oh that intemperance should have
power to degrade so low, a man so noble!

This morning I accompanied Mrs. Selwyn to Clifton Hill, where,
beautifully situated, is the house of Mrs. Beaumont. Most uncomfortable
were my feelings during our walk, which was very slow; for the
agitation of my mind made me more than usually sensible how weak I
still continue. As we entered the house, I summoned all my resolution
to my aid, determined rather to die than give Lord Orville reason to
attribute my weakness to a wrong cause. I was happily relieved from my
perturbation, when I saw Mrs. Beaumont was alone. We sat with her for,
I believe, an hour without interruption; and then we saw a phaeton
drive up to the gate, and a lady and gentleman alight from it.

They entered the parlour with the ease of people who were at home.
The gentleman, I soon saw, was Lord Merton: he came shuffling into
the room with his boots on, and his whip in his hand; and having
made something like a bow to Mrs. Beaumont, he turned towards me. His
surprise was very evident; but he took no manner of notice of me. He
waited, I believe, to discover, first, what chance had brought
me to that house, where he did not look much rejoiced at meeting
me. He seated himself very quietly at the window, without speaking
to any body.

Mean time the lady, who seemed very young, hobbling rather than walking
into the room, made a passing courtsy to Mrs. Beaumont, saying,
"How are you, Ma'am?" and then, without noticing any body else,
with an air of languor she flung herself upon a sofa, protesting,
in a most affected voice, and speaking so softly she could hardly be
heard, that she was fatigued to death. "Really, Ma'am, the roads are
so monstrous dusty,-you can't imagine how troublesome the dust is to
one's eyes!-and the sun, too, is monstrous disagreeable!-I dare say
I shall be so tanned: I shan't be fit to be seen this age. Indeed,
my Lord, I won't go out with you any more, for you don't care where
you take one."

"Upon my honour," said Lord Merton, "I took you the pleasantest ride
in England, the fault was in the sun, not me."

"Your Lordship is in the right," said Mrs. Selwyn, "to transfer the
fault to the sun, because it has so many excellencies to counterbalance
partial inconveniences that a little blame will not injure that in
our estimation."

Lord Merton looked by no means delighted at this attack; which
I believe she would not so readily have made, but to revenge his
neglect of us.

"Did you meet your brother, Lady Louisa?" said Mrs. Beaumont.

"No, Ma'am. Is he rode out this morning?"

I then found, what I had before suspected, that this lady was Lord
Orville's sister: how strange, that such near relations should be so
different to each other! There is, indeed, some resemblance in their
features; but, in their manners, not the least.

"Yes," answered Mrs. Beaumont, "and I believe he wished to see you."

"My Lord drove so monstrous fast," said Lady Louisa, "that perhaps
we passed him. He frightened me out of my senses; I declare my head
is quite giddy. Do you know, Ma'am, we have done nothing but quarrel
all the morning?-You can't think how I've scolded; have not I, my
Lord?" and she smiled expressively at Lord Merton.

"You have been, as you always are," said he, twisting his whip with
his fingers, "all sweetness."

"O fie, my Lord," cried she, "I know you don't think so; I know you
think me very ill-natured;-don't you, my Lord?"

"No, upon my honour;-how can your Ladyship ask such a question? Pray
how goes time? my watch stands."

"It is almost three," answered Mrs. Beaumont.

"Lord, Ma'am, you frighten me!" cried Lady Louisa; and then, turning
to Lord Merton, "why now, you wicked creature you, did you not tell
me it was but one?"

Mrs. Selwyn then rose to take leave; but Mrs. Beaumont asked if she
would look at the shrubbery. "I should like it much," answered she,
"but that I fear to fatigue Miss Anville."

Lady Louisa, then, raising her head from her hand, on which it had
leant, turned round to look at me; and having fully satisfied her
curiosity, without any regard to the confusion it gave me, turned
about, and, again leaning on her hand, took no further notice of me.

I declared myself very able to walk, and begged that I might
accompany them.  "What say you, Lady Louisa," cried Mrs. Beaumont,
"to a stroll in the garden?"

"Me, Ma'am!-I declare I can't stir a step; the heat is so excessive,
it would kill me. I'm half dead with it already; besides, I shall
have no time to dress. Will any body be here to-day, Ma'am?"

"I believe not, unless Lord Merton will favour us with his company."

"With great pleasure, Madam."

"Well, I declare you don't deserve to be asked," cried Lady Louisa,
"you wicked creature you!-I must tell you one thing, Ma'am,-you
can't think how abominable he was! do you know we met Mr. Lovel in
his new phaeton, and my Lord was so cruel as to drive against it?-we
really flew. I declare I could not breathe. Upon my word, my Lord,
I'll never trust myself with you again,-I won't indeed."

We then went into the garden, leaving them to discuss the point at
their leisure.

Do you remember a pretty but affected young lady I mentioned to
have seen, in Lord Orville's party, at the Pantheon? How little did
I then imagine her to be his sister! yet Lady Louisa Larpent is the
very person. I can now account for the piqued manner of her speaking
to Lord Merton that evening, and I can now account for the air of
displeasure with which Lord Orville marked the undue attention of
his future brother-in-law to me.

We had not walked long, ere, at a distance, I perceived Lord Orville,
who seemed just dismounted from his horse, enter the garden. All
my perturbation returned at the sight of him!-yet I endeavoured to
repress every feeling but resentment. As he approached us, he bowed to
the whole party; but I turned away my head to avoid taking any share
in his civility. Addressing himself immediately to Mrs. Beaumont, he
was beginning to enquire after his sister: but, upon seeing my face,
he suddenly exclaimed, "Miss Anville!-" and then he advanced, and made
his compliments to me,-not with an air of vanity or impertinence, nor
yet with a look of consciousness or shame;-but with a countenance open,
manly, and charming!-with a smile that indicated pleasure, and eyes
that sparkled with delight!-on my side was all that consciousness;
for by him, I really believe, the letter was, at that moment,
entirely forgotten.

With what politeness did he address me! with what sweetness did
he look at me!  the very tone of his voice seemed flattering! he
congratulated himself upon his good fortune in meeting with me;-hoped
I should spend some time in Bristol, and enquired, even with anxiety
enquired, if my health was the cause of my journey; in which case
his satisfaction would be converted into apprehension.

Yet, struck as I was with his manner, and charmed to find him such
as he was wont to be, imagine not, my dear Sir, that I forgot the
resentment I owe him, or the cause he has given me of displeasure;
no, my behaviour was such, as I hope, had you seen, you would not
have disapproved: I was grave and distant; I scarce looked at him
when he spoke, or answered him when he was silent.

As he must certainly observe this alteration in my conduct, I think it
could not fail making him both recollect and repent the provocation
he had so causelessly given me; for surely he was not so wholly lost
to reason, as to be now ignorant he had ever offended me.

The moment that, without absolute rudeness, I was able, I turned
entirely from him, and asked Mrs. Selwyn if we should not be late
home? How Lord Orville looked I know not, for I avoided meeting his
eyes; but he did not speak another word as we proceeded to the garden
gate. Indeed, I believe, my abruptness surprised him, for he did not
seem to expect I had so much spirit.  And, to own the truth, convinced
as I was of the propriety, nay, necessity, of showing my displeasure,
I yet almost hated myself for receiving his politeness so ungraciously.

When we were taking leave, my eyes accidentally meeting his, I could
not but observe that his gravity equalled my own; for it had entirely
taken place of the smiles and good humour with which he had met me.

"I am afraid this young lady," said Mrs. Beaumont, "is too weak for
another long walk till she is again rested."

"If the ladies will trust to my driving," said Lord Orville, "and
are not afraid of a phaeton, mine shall be ready in a moment."

"You are very good, my Lord, "said Mrs. Selwyn, "but my will is yet
unsigned, and I don't choose to venture in a phaeton with a young
man while that is the case."

"O," cried Mrs. Beaumont, "you need not be afraid of my Lord Orville,
for he is remarkably careful."

"Well, Miss Anville," answered she, "what say you?"

"Indeed," cried I, "I had much rather walk-." But then, looking at
Lord Orville, I perceived in his face a surprise so serious at my
abrupt refusal, that I could not forbear adding, "for I should be
sorry to occasion so much trouble."

Lord Orville, brightening at these words, came forward, and pressed
his offer in a manner not to be denied;-so the phaeton was ordered! And
indeed, my dear Sir,-I know not how it was;-but, from that moment, my
coldness and reserve insensibly wore away! You must not be angry,-it
was my intention, nay, my endeavour, to support them with firmness:
but when I formed the plan, I thought only of the letter,-not of Lord
Orville!-and how is it possible for resentmen to subsist without
provocation? yet, believe me, my dearest Sir, had he sustained the
part he began to act when he wrote this ever-to-be-regretted letter,
your Evelina would have not forfeited her title to your esteem,
by contentedly submitting to be treated with indignity.

We continued in the garden till the phaeton was ready. When we parted
from Mrs. Beaumont, she repeated her invitation to Mrs. Selwyn to
accept an apartment in her house; but the reason I have already
mentioned made it be again declined.

Lord Orville drove very slow, and so cautiously, that, notwithstanding
the height of the phaeton, fear would have been ridiculous. I supported
no part in the conversation; but Mrs. Selwyn extremely well supplied
the place of two. Lord Orville himself did not speak much; but the
excellent sense and refined good-breeding which accompany every word
he utters, give value and weight to whatever he says.

"I suppose, my Lord," said Mrs. Selwyn, when we stopped at our
lodgings, "you would have been extremely confused had we met any
gentlemen who have the honour of knowing you."

"If I had," answered he, gallantly, "it would have been from mere
compassion at their envy."

"No, my Lord," answered she, "it would have been from mere shame,
that, in an age so daring, you alone should be such a coward as to
forbear to frighten women."

"O," cried he, laughing, "when a man is in a fright for himself,
the ladies cannot but be in security; for you have not had half the
apprehension for the safety of your persons, that I have for that
of my heart." He then alighted, handed us out, took leave, and again
mounting the phaeton, was out of sight in a minute.

"Certainly," said Mrs. Selwyn, when he was gone, "there must have
been some mistake in the birth of that young man; he was, undoubtedly,
designed for the last age; for he is really polite!"

And now, my dear Sir, do not you think, according to the present
situation of affairs, I may give up my resentment, without imprudence
or impropriety? I hope you will not blame me. Indeed, had you, like
me, seen his respectful behaviour, you would have been convinced of
the impracticability of supporting any further indignation.


LETTER LXIV.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Bristol Hotwells, Sept. 19th.


YESTERDAY morning Mrs. Selwyn received a card from Mrs. Beaumont,
to ask her to dine with her to-day: and another, to the same purpose,
came to me. The invitation was accepted, and we are but just arrived
from Clifton Hill.

We found Mrs. Beaumont alone in the parlour. I will write you
the character of that lady, in the words of our satirical friend
Mrs. Selwyn. "She is an absolute Court Calendar bigot; for, chancing
herself to be born of a noble and ancient family, she thinks proper to
be of opinion, that birth and virtue are one and the same thing. She
has some good qualities; but they rather originate from pride than
principle, as she piques herself upon being too high-born to be
capable of an unworthy action, and thinks it incumbent upon her
to support the dignity of her ancestry. Fortunately for the world
in general, she has taken it into her head, that condescension is
the most distinguishing virtue of high life; so that the same pride
of family which renders others imperious, is with her the motive of
affability. But her civility is too formal to be comfortable, and too
mechanical to be flattering. That she does me the honour of so much
notice, is merely owing to an accident, which, I am sure, is very
painful to her remembrance; for it so happened, that I once did her
some service, in regard to an apartment at Southampton; and I have
since been informed, that, at the time she accepted my assistance,
she thought I was a woman of quality; and I make no doubt but she was
miserable when she discovered me to be a mere country gentlewoman:
however, her nice notions of decorum have made her load me with
favours ever since. But I am not much flattered by her civilities,
as I am convinced I owe them neither to attachment nor gratitude;
but solely to a desire of cancelling an obligation, which she cannot
brook being under, to one whose name is no where to be found in the
Court Calendar."

You well know, my dear Sir, the delight this lady takes in giving
way to her satirical humour.

Mrs. Beaumont received us very graciously, though she some what
distressed me by the questions she asked concerning my family;-such
as, Whether I was related to the Anvilles in the North?-Whether some
of my name did not live in Lincolnshire? and many other inquiries,
which much embarrassed me.

The conversation next turned upon the intended marriage in her
family. She treated the subject with reserve; but it was evident
she disapproved Lady Louisa's choice. She spoke in terms of the
highest esteem of Lord Orville, calling him, in Marmontel's words,
"Un jeune homme comme il y en a peu."

I did not think this conversation very agreeably interrupted by the
entrance of Mr. Lovel. Indeed I am heartily sorry he is now at the
Hot Wells. He made his compliments with the most obsequious respect
to Mrs. Beaumont, but took no sort of notice of any other person.

In a few minutes Lady Louisa Larpent made her appearance. The same
manners prevailed; for, courtsying, with "I hope you are well, Ma'am,"
to Mrs.  Beaumont, she passed straight forward to her seat on the
sofa; where, leaning her head on her hand, she cast her languishing
eyes round the room, with a vacant stare, as if determined, though
she looked, not to see who was in it.

Mr. Lovel, presently approaching her, with reverence the most profound,
hoped her Ladyship was not indisposed.

"Mr. Lovel!" cried she, raising her head, "I declare I did not see you:
have you been here long?"

"By my watch, Madam," said he, "only five minutes,-but by your
Ladyship's absence as many hours."

"O! now I think of it," cried she, "I am very angry with you;-so go
along, do; for I sha'n't speak to you all day."

"Heaven forbid your La'ship's displeasure should last so long! in
such cruel circumstances, a day would seem an age. But in what have
I been so unfortunate as to offend?"

"O, you half killed me the other morning, with terror! I have not yet
recovered from my fright. How could you be so cruel as to drive your
phaeton against my Lord Merton's?"

"'Pon honour, Ma'am, your La'ship does me wrong;-it was all owing
to the horses,-there was no curbing them. I protest I suffered more
than your Ladyship, from the terror of alarming you."

Just then entered Lord Merton; stalking up to Mrs. Beaumont, to
whom alone he bowed, he hoped he had not made her wait; and then,
advancing to Lady Louisa, said, in a careless manner, "How is your
Ladyship this morning?"

"Not well at all," answered she; "I have been dying with the head-ache
ever since I got up."

"Indeed!" cried he, with a countenance wholly unmoved, "I am very
unhappy to hear it. But should not your Ladyship have some advice?"

"I am quite sick of advice," answered she, "Mr. Ridgeway has but just
left me,-but he has done me no good. Nobody here knows what is the
matter with me, yet they all see how indifferent I am."

"Your Ladyship's constitution," said Mr. Lovel, "is infinitely
delicate."

"Indeed it is," cried she, in a low voice, "I am nerve all over!"

"I am glad, however," said Lord Merton, "that you did not take the
air this morning, for Coverley has been driving against me as if he
was mad: he has got two of the finest spirited horses I ever saw."

"Pray my Lord," cried she, "why did not you bring Mr. Coverley with
you? he's a droll creature; I like him monstrously."

"Why, he promised to be here as soon as me. I suppose he'll come
before dinner's over."

In the midst of this trifling conversation Lord Orville made his
appearance. O how different was his address! how superior did he look
and move, to all about him! Having paid his respects to Mrs. Beaumont,
and then to Mrs.  Selwyn, he came up to me, and said, "I hope Miss
Anville has not suffered from the fatigue of Monday morning?" Then,
turning to Lady Louisa, who seemed rather surprised at his speaking
to me, he added, "Give me leave, sister, to introduce Miss Anville
to you."

Lady Louisa, half-rising, said, very coldly, that she should be glad
of the honour of knowing me; and then, abruptly turning to Lord Merton
and Mr.  Lovel, continued, in a half-whisper, her conversation.

For my part, I had risen and courtsied, and now, feeling very foolish,
I seated myself again: first I blushed at the unexpected politeness
of Lord Orville, and immediately afterwards at the contemptuous
failure of it in his sister. How can that young lady see her brother
so universally admired for his manners and deportment, and yet be
so unamiably opposite to him in hers!  but while his mind, enlarged
and noble, rises superior to the little prejudices of rank, hers,
feeble and unsteady, sinks beneath their influence.

Lord Orville, I am sure, was hurt and displeased: he bit his lips, and,
turning from her, addressed himself wholly to me, till we were summoned
to dinner. Do you think I was not grateful for his attention?  yes,
indeed, and every angry idea I had entertained was totally obliterated.

As we were seating ourselves at the table, Mr. Coverley came into the
room; he made a thousand apologies in a breath for being so late,
but said he had been retarded by a little accident, for that he
had overturned his phaeton, and broke it all to pieces. Lady Louisa
screamed at this intelligence, and, looking at Lord Merton, declared
she would never go into a phaeton again.

"O," cried he, "never mind Jack Coverley; for he does not know how
to drive."

"My Lord," cried Mr. Coverley, "I'll drive against you for a thousand
pounds."

"Done!" returned the other; "name your day, and we'll each choose
a judge."

"The sooner the better," cried Mr. Coverley; "to-morrow, if the
carriage can be repaired."

"These enterprises," said Mrs. Selwyn, "are very proper for men
of rank, since 'tis a million to one but both parties will be
incapacitated for any better employment."

"For Heaven's sake," cried Lady Louisa, changing colour, "don't talk
so shockingly! Pray, my Lord, pray, Mr. Coverley, don't alarm me in
this manner."

"Compose yourself, Lady Louisa," said Mrs. Beaumont, "the gentlemen
will think better of the scheme; they are neither of them in earnest."

"The very mention of such a scheme," said Lady Louisa, taking out
her salts, "makes me tremble all over! Indeed, my Lord, you have
frightened me to death!  I sha'n't eat a morsel of dinner."

"Permit me," said Lord Orville, "to propose some other subject for
the present, and we will discuss this matter another time."

"Pray, brother, excuse me; my Lord must give me his word to drop the
project,-for I declare it has made me sick as death."

"To compromise the matter," said Lord Orville, "suppose, if both
parties are unwilling to give up the bet, that, to make the ladies
easy, we change its object to something less dangerous?"

This proposal was so strongly seconded by all the party, that both
Lord Merton and Mr. Coverley were obliged to comply with it; and it was
then agreed that the affair should be finally settled in the afternoon.

"I shall now be entirely out of conceit with phaetons again," said
Mrs. Selwyn, "though Lord Orville had almost reconciled me to them."

"My Lord Orville!" cried the witty Mr. Coverley, "why, my Lord Orville
is as careful,-egad, as careful as an old woman! Why, I'd drive a
one-horse cart against my Lord's phaeton for a hundred guineas!"

This sally occasioned much laughter; for Mr. Coverley, I find, is
regarded as a man of infinite humour.

"Perhaps, Sir," said Mrs. Selwyn, "you have not discovered the reason
my Lord Orville is so careful?"

"Why, no, Ma'am; I must own I never heard any particular reason
for it."

"Why, then, Sir, I'll tell it you; and I believe you will confess it to
be very particular; his Lordship's friends are not yet tired of him."

Lord Orville laughed and bowed. Mr. Coverley, a little confused, turned
to Lord Merton, and said, "No foul play, my Lord! I remember your
Lordship recommended me to the notice of this lady the other morning,
and, egad, I believe you have been doing me the same office to-day."

"Give you joy, Jack!" cried Lord Merton, with a loud laugh.

After this the conversation turned wholly upon eating, a subject
which was discussed with the utmost delight; and, had I not known
they were men of rank and fashion, I should have imagined that Lord
Merton, Mr. Lovel, and Mr.  Coverley, had all been professed cooks;
for they displayed so much knowledge of sauces and made-dishes,
and of the various methods of dressing the same things, that I am
persuaded they must have given much time, and much study, to make
themselves such adepts in this art. It would be very difficult to
determine, whether they were most to be distinguished as gluttons or
epicures; for they were, at once, dainty and voracious, understood the
right and the wrong of every dish, and alike emptied the one and the
other. I should have been quite sick of their remarks, had I not been
entertained by seeing that Lord Orville, who, I am sure, was equally
disgusted, not only read my sentiments, but, by his countenance,
communicated to me his own.

When dinner was over, Mrs. Beaumont recommended the gentlemen to the
care of Lord Orville, and then attended the ladies to the drawing-room.

The conversation, till tea-time, was extremely insipid; Mrs. Selwyn
reserved herself for the gentlemen, Mrs. Beaumont was grave, and Lady
Louisa languid.

But, at tea, every body revived; we were joined by the gentlemen,
and gaiety took the place of dullness.

Since I, as Mr. Lovel says, am Nobody, I seated myself quietly at a
window, and not very near to any body: Lord Merton, Mr. Coverley,
and Mr. Lovel, severally passed me without notice, and surrounded
the chair of Lady Louisa Larpent. I must own, I was rather piqued at
the behaviour of Mr. Lovel, as he had formerly known me. It is true,
I most sincerely despise his foppery; yet I should be grieved to meet
with contempt from any body. But I was by no means sorry to find,
that Lord Merton was determined not to know me before Lady Louisa,
as his neglect relieved me from much embarrassment. As to Mr.
Coverley, his attention or disregard were equally indifferent to
me. Yet, altogether, I feel extremely uncomfortable in finding myself
considered in a light very inferior to the rest of the company.

But when Lord Orville appeared, the scene changed: he came up stairs
last; and, seeing me sit alone, not only spoke to me directly, but
drew a chair next mine, and honoured me with his entire attention.

He enquired very particularly after my health, and hoped I had already
found benefit from the Bristol air. "How little did I imagine,"
added he, "when I had last the pleasure of seeing you in town, that
ill health would in so short a time have brought you hither! I am
ashamed of myself for the satisfaction I feel at seeing you,-yet,
how can I help it?"

He then enquired after the Mirvan family, and spoke of Mrs. Mirvan
in terms of most just praise. "She is gentle and amiable," said he,
"a true feminine character."

"Yes, indeed," answered I: "and her sweet daughter, to say every
thing of her at once, is just the daughter such a mother deserves."

"I am glad of it," said he, "for both their sakes, as such near
relations must always reflect credit or disgrace on each other."

After this he began to speak of the beauties of Clifton; but,
in a few moments, he was interrupted by a call from the company,
to discuss the affair of the wager. Lord Merton and Mr. Coverley,
though they had been discoursing upon the subject some time, could
not fix upon the thing that satisfied them both.

When they asked the assistance of Lord Orville, he proposed that every
body present should vote something; and that the two gentlemen should
draw lots which, from the several votes, should decide the bet.

"We must then begin with the ladies," said Lord Orville; and applied
to Mrs.  Selwyn.

"With all my heart," answered she, with her usual readiness; "and,
since the gentlemen are not allowed to risk their necks, suppose we
decide the bet by their heads?"

"By our heads?" cried Mr. Coverley. "Egad, I don't understand you."

"I will then explain myself more fully. As I doubt not but you are
both excellent classics, suppose, for the good of your own memories,
and the entertainment and surprise of the company, the thousand pounds
should fall to the share of him who can repeat by heart the longest
ode of Horace?"

Nobody could help laughing, the two gentlemen applied to excepted;
who seemed, each of them, rather at a loss in what manner to receive
this unexpected proposal. At length Mr. Coverley, bowing low, said,
"Will your Lordship please to begin?"

"Devil take me if I do!" answered he, turning on his heel, and stalking
to the window.

"Come, gentlemen," said Mrs. Selwyn, "why do you hesitate? I am sure
you cannot be afraid of a weak woman? Besides, if you should chance to
be out, Mr. Lovel, I dare say, will have the goodness to assist you."

The laugh now turned against Mr. Lovel, whose change of countenance
manifested no great pleasure at the transition.

"Me, Madam!" said he, colouring; "no, really I must beg to be excused."

"Why so, Sir?"

"Why so, Ma'am!-Why, really-as to that,-'pon honour, Ma'am, you
are rather-a little severe;-for how is it possible for a man who
is in the house, to study the classics? I assure you, Ma'am, (with
an affected shrug) I find quite business enough for my poor head in
studying politics."

"But, did you study politics at school, and at the university?"

"At the university!" repeated he, with an embarrassed look; "why,
as to that, Ma'am,-no, I can't say I did; but then, what with
riding,-and -and-and so forth,-really, one has not much time, even
at the university, for mere reading."

"But, to be sure, Sir, you have read the classics?"

"O dear, yes, Ma'am!-very often,-but not very-not very lately."

"Which of the Odes do you recommend to these gentlemen to begin with?"

"Which of the Odes!-Really, Ma'am, as to that, I have no very
particular choice;-for, to own the truth, that Horace was never a
very great favourite with me."

"In truth I believe you!" said Mrs. Selwyn, very drily.

Lord Merton, again advancing into the circle, with a nod and a laugh,
said, "Give you joy, Lovel!"

Lord Orville next applied to Mrs. Beaumont for her vote.

"It would very agreeably remind me of past times," said she, "when
bowing was in fashion, if the bet was to depend upon the best made
bow."

"Egad, my Lord," cried Mr. Coverley, "there I should beat you hollow,
for your Lordship never bows at all."

"And pray, Sir, do you?" said Mrs. Selwyn.

"Do I, Ma'am?" cried he; "why, only see!"

"I protest," cried she, "I should have taken that for a shrug, if
you had not told me 'twas a bow."

"My lord," cried Mr. Coverley, "let's practise;" and then, most
ridiculously, they pranced about the room, making bows.

"We must now," said Lord Orville, turning to me, "call upon Miss
Anville."

"O no, my Lord," cried I; "indeed I have nothing to propose." He would
not, however, be refused; but urged me so much to say something, that
at last, not to make him wait any longer, I ventured to propose an
extempore couplet upon some given subject. Mr. Coverley instantly
made me a bow, or, according to Mrs. Selwyn, a shrug, crying,
"Thank you, Ma'am; egad, that's my forte!-why, my Lord, the Fates
seem against you."

Lady Louisa was then applied to; and every body seemed eager to
hear her opinion. "I don't know what to say, I declare," cried she,
affectedly; "can't you pass me?"

"By no means," said Lord Merton.

"Is it possible your Ladyship can make so cruel a request?" said
Mr. Lovel.

"Egad," cried Mr. Coverley, "if your Ladyship does not help us in
this dilemma, we shall be forced to return to our phaetons."

"Oh!" cried Lady Louisa, screaming; "you frightful creature, you,
how can you be so abominable?"

I believe this trifling lasted near half an hour; when at length,
every body being tired, it was given up, and she said she would
consider against another time.

Lord Orville now called upon Mr. Lovel; who, after about ten minutes'
deliberation, proposed, with a most important face, to determine the
wager by who should draw the longest straw!

I had much difficulty to forbear laughing at this unmeaning scheme;
but saw, to my great surprise, not the least change of countenance in
any other person: and, since we came home, Mrs. Selwyn has informed me,
that to draw straws is a fashion of betting by no means uncommon. Good
God! my dear Sir, does it not seem as if money were of no value or
service, since those who possess, squander it away in a manner so
infinitely absurd?

It now only remained for Lord Orville to speak; and the attention of
the company showed the expectations he had raised; yet, I believe, they
by no means prevented his proposal from being heard with amazement;
for it was no other, than that the money should be his due, who,
according to the opinion of the judges, should bring the worthiest
object with whom to share it!

They all stared, without speaking. Indeed, I believe every one, for a
moment at least, experienced something like shame, from having either
proposed or countenanced an extravagance so useless and frivolous. For
my part, I was so much struck and affected by a rebuke so noble to
these spendthrifts, that I felt my eyes filled with tears.

The short silence and momentary reflection into which the company was
surprised, Mr. Coverley was the first to dispel, by saying, "Egad,
my Lord, your Lordship has a most remarkable odd way of taking things."

"Faith," said the incorrigible Lord Merton, "if this scheme takes, I
shall fix upon my Swiss to share with me; for I don't know a worthier
fellow breathing."

After a few more of these attempts at wit, the two gentlemen agreed
that they would settle the affair the next morning.

The conversation then took a different turn; but I did not give it
sufficient attention to write any account of it. Not long after,
Lord Orville, resuming his seat near mine, said, "Why is Miss Anville
so thoughtful?"

"I am sorry, my Lord," said I, "to consider myself among those who
have so justly incurred your censure."

"My censure!-you amaze me!"

"Indeed, my Lord, you have made me quite ashamed of myself for having
given my vote so foolishly, when an opportunity offered, if, like your
Lordship, I had had the sense to use it, of showing some humanity."

"You treat this too seriously," said he, smiling; "and I hardly know
if you do not now mean a rebuke to me."

"To you, my Lord!"

"Nay, who are most deserving of it; those who adapt their conversation
to the company, or those who affect to be superior to it?"

"O, my Lord, who else would do you so little justice?"

"I flatter myself," answered he, "that, in fact, your opinion and
mine, in this point, are the same, though you condescended to comply
with the humour of the company. It is for me, therefore, to apologize
for so unseasonable a gravity, which, but for the particular interest
that I now take in the affairs of Lord Merton, I should not have been
so officious to display."

Such a compliment as this could not fail to reconcile me to myself;
and with revived spirits, I entered into a conversation, which he
supported with me till Mrs. Selwyn's carriage was announced; and we
returned home.

During our ride, Mrs. Selwyn very much surprised me, by asking, if
I thought my health would now permit me to give up my morning walks
to the pump-room, for the purpose of spending a week at Clifton? "for
this poor Mrs. Beaumont," added she, "is so eager to have a discharge
in full of her debt to me, that out of mere compassion, I am induced
to listen to her. Besides, she has always a house full of people;
and, though they are chiefly fools and cox-combs, yet there is some
pleasure in cutting them up."

I begged I might not, by any means, prevent her following her
inclination, as my health was now very well established. And so, my
dear Sir, to-morrow we are to be actually the guests of Mrs. Beaumont.

I am not much delighted at this scheme; for, greatly as I am flattered
by the attention of Lord Orville, it is not very comfortable to
be neglected by every body else. Besides, as I am sure I owe the
particularity of his civility to a generous feeling for my situation,
I cannot expect him to support it so long as a week.

How often do I wish, since I am absent from you, that I was under the
protection of Mrs. Mirvan! It is true, Mrs. Selwyn is very obliging,
and, in every respect, treats me as an equal; but she is contented with
behaving well herself, and does not, with a distinguishing politeness,
raise and support me with others. Yet I mean not to blame her, for I
know she is sincerely my friend; but the fact is, she is herself so
much occupied in conversation, when in company, that she has neither
leisure nor thought to attend to the silent.

Well, I must take my chance! But I knew not, till now, how requisite
are birth and fortune to the attainment of respect and civility.


LETTER LXV.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Clifton, Sept. 20th.


HERE I am, my dear Sir, under the same roof, and an inmate of the
same house as Lord Orville! Indeed, if this were not the case, my
situation would be very disagreeable, as you will easily believe,
when I tell you the light in which I am generally considered.

"My dear," said Mrs. Selwyn, "did you ever before meet with that
egregious fop, Lovel?"

I very readily satisfied her as to my acquaintance with him.

"O, then," said she, "I am the less surprised at his ill-nature,
since he has already injured you."

I begged her to explain herself; and then she told me, that while
Lord Orville was speaking to me, Lady Louisa said to Mr. Lovel,
"Do you know who that is?"

"Why, Ma'am, no, 'pon honour," answered he, "I can't absolutely say
I do; I only know she is a kind of a toad-eater. She made her first
appearance in that capacity last spring, when she attended Miss Mirvan,
a young lady of Kent."

How cruel is it, my dear Sir, to be thus exposed to the impertinent
suggestions of a man who is determined to do me ill offices! Lady
Louisa may well despise a toad-eater; but, thank Heaven,
her brother has not heard, or does not credit, the mortifying
appellation. Mrs. Selwyn said, she would advise me to pay my court
to this Mr. Lovel; "for," said she, "though he is malicious, he is
fashionable, and may do you some harm in the great world." But I
should disdain myself as much as I do him, were I capable of such
duplicity as to flatter a man whom I scorn and despise.

We were received by Mrs. Beaumont with great civility, and by Lord
Orville with something more. As to Lady Louisa, she scarcely perceived
that we were in the room.

There has been company here all day, part of which I have spent most
happily: for after tea, when the ladies played at cards, Lord Orville,
who does not, and I, who cannot play, were consequently at our own
disposal; and then his Lordship entered into a conversation with me,
which lasted till supper-time.

Almost insensibly, I find the constraint, the reserve, I have been wont
to feel in his presence, wear away; the politeness, the sweetness,
with which he speaks to me, restore all my natural cheerfulness,
and make me almost as easy as he is himself;-and the more so, as,
if I may judge by his looks, I am rather raised, than sunk of late
in his opinion.

I asked him how the bet was, at last, to be decided? He told me that,
to his great satisfaction, the parties had been prevailed upon to
lower the sum from one thousand to one hundred pounds; and that they
had agreed it should be determined by a race between two old women,
one of whom was to be chosen by each side, and both were to be proved
more than eighty years of age, though, in other respects strong and
healthy as possible.

When I expressed my surprise at this extraordinary method of spending
so much money, "I am charmed," said he, "at the novelty of meeting
with one so unhackneyed in the world, as not to be yet influenced
by custom to forget the use of reason: for certain it is, that the
prevalence of fashion makes the greatest absurdities pass uncensured,
and the mind naturally accommodates itself even to the most ridiculous
improprieties, if they occur frequently."

"I should have hoped," said I, "that the humane proposal made yesterday
by your Lordship, would have had more effect."

"O," cried he, laughing, "I was so far from expecting any success,
that I shall think myself very fortunate if I escape the wit of
Mr. Coverley in a lampoon! yet I spoke openly, because I do not wish
to conceal that I am no friend to gaming."

After this, he took up the New Bath Guide, and read it with me till
supper-time. In our way down stairs, Lady Louisa said, "I thought,
brother, you were engaged this evening?"

"Yes, sister," answered he, "and I have been engaged." And he bowed
to me with an air of gallantry that rather confused me.  Sept. 23rd.


Almost insensibly have three days glided on since I wrote last, and so
serenely, that, but for your absence, I could not have formed a wish.
My residence here is much happier than I had dared expect. The
attention with which Lord Orville honours me, is as uniform as it
is flattering, and seems to result from a benevolence of heart that
proves him as much a stranger to caprice as to pride; for, as his
particular civilities arose from a generous resentment at seeing me
neglected, so will they, I trust, continue, as long as I shall, in
any degree, deserve them. I am now not merely easy, but even gay in
his presence: such is the effect of true politeness, that it banishes
all restraint and embarrassment. When we walk out, he condescends
to be my companion, and keeps by my side all the way we go. When we
read, he marks the passages most worthy to be noticed, draws out my
sentiments, and favours me with his own. At table, where he always
sits next to me, he obliges me by a thousand nameless attentions;
while the distinguishing good-breeding with which he treats me,
prevents my repining at the visibly-felt superiority of the rest of
the company. A thousand occasional meetings could not have brought
us to that degree of social freedom, which four days spent under
the same roof have, insensibly, been productive of: and, as my only
friend in this house, Mrs. Selwyn, is too much engrossed in perpetual
conversation to attend much to me, Lord Orville seems to regard me
as a helpless stranger, and, as such, to think me entitled to his
good offices and protection. Indeed, my dear Sir, I have reason to
hope, that the depreciating opinion he formerly entertained of me is
succeeded by one infinitely more partial.-It may be that I flatter
myself; but yet his looks, his attentions, his desire of drawing
me into conversation, and his solicitude to oblige me, all conspire
to make me hope I do not. In short, my dearest Sir, these last four
happy days would repay me for months of sorrow and pain!


LETTER LXVI.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Clifton, Sept. 24th.


THIS morning I came down stairs very early; and supposing that the
family would not assemble for some time, I strolled out, purposing
to take a long walk, in the manner I was wont to do at Berry Hill,
before breakfast: but I had scarce shut the garden-gate, before I
was met by a gentleman, who, immediately bowing to me, I recollected
to be the unhappy Mr. Macartney. Very much surprised, I courtsied,
and stopped till he came up to me. He was still in mourning, but
looked better than when I saw him last, though he had the same air
of melancholy which so much struck me at first sight of him.

Addressing me with the utmost respect, "I am happy, Madam," said he,
"to have met with you so soon. I came to Bristol but yesterday,
and have had no small difficulty in tracing you to Clifton."

"Did you know, then, of my being here?"

"I did, Madam; the sole motive of my journey was to see you. I have
been to Berry Hill, and there I had my intelligence, and, at the same
time, the unwelcome information of your ill health."

"Good God! Sir,-and can you possibly have taken so much trouble?"

"Trouble! O, Madam, could there be any, to return you, the moment I
had the power, my personal acknowledgments for your goodness?"

I then enquired after Madame Duval and the Snow-Hill family. He told
me they were all well, and that Madame Duval proposed soon returning
to Paris. When I congratulated him on looking better, "It is yourself,
Madam," said he, "you should congratulate; for to your humanity alone
it may now be owing that I exist at all." He then told me, that his
affairs were now in a less desperate situation; and that he hoped, by
the assistance of time and reason, to accommodate his mind to a more
cheerful submission to his fate. "The interest you so generously took
in my affliction,"  added he, "assures me you will not be displeased to
hear of my better fortune; I was therefore eager to acquaint you with
it." He then told me that his friend, the moment he had received his
letter, quitted Paris, and flew to give him his personal assistance and
consolation. With a heavy heart, he acknowledged, he accepted it; "but
yet," he added, "I have accepted it; and therefore, as bound equally
by duty and honour, my first step was to hasten to the benefactress
of my distress, and to return" (presenting me something in a paper)
"the only part of my obligations that can be returned; for the rest,
I have nothing but my gratitude to offer, and must always be contented
to consider myself her debtor."

I congratulated him most sincerely upon his dawning prosperity, but
begged he would not deprive me of the pleasure of being his friend;
and declined receiving the money, till his affairs were more settled.

While this point was in agitation, I heard Lord Orville's voice
inquiring of the gardener if he had seen me? I immediately opened the
garden gate; and his Lordship, advancing to me with quickness, said,
"Good God! Miss Anville, have you been out alone? Breakfast has been
ready some time, and I have been round the garden in search of you."

"Your Lordship has been very good," said I; "but I hope you have
not waited."

"Not waited!" repeated he, smiling: "Do you think we could sit down
quietly to breakfast, with the idea that you had run away from us? But
come," (offering to hand me) "if we do not return, they will suppose
I am run away too; and they very naturally may, as they know the
attraction of the magnet that draws me."

"I will come, my Lord," said I, rather embarrassed, "in two
minutes." Then, turning to Mr. Macartney, with yet more embarrassment,
I wished him good morning.

He advanced towards the garden, with the paper still in his hand.

"No, no," cried I, "some other time."

"May I then, Madam, have the honour of seeing you again?"

I did not dare take the liberty of inviting any body to the house
of Mrs.  Beaumont, nor yet had I the presence of mind to make an
excuse; and, therefore, not knowing how to refuse him, I said,
"Perhaps you may be this way again to-morrow morning,-and I believe
I shall walk out before breakfast."

He bowed, and went away; while I, turning again to Lord Orville,
saw his countenance so much altered, that I was frightened at what I
had so hastily said. He did not again offer me his hand; but walked,
silent and slow, by my side. Good Heaven! thought I, what may he not
suppose from this adventure?  May he not, by my desire of meeting
Mr. Macartney to-morrow, imagine it was by design I walked out to
meet him to-day? Tormented by this apprehension, I determined to
avail myself of the freedom which his behaviour, since I came hither,
has encouraged; and, since he would not ask any questions, begin
an explanation myself. I therefore slackened my pace to gain time;
and then said, "Was not your Lordship surprised to see me speaking
with a stranger?"

"A stranger?" repeated he; "is it possible that gentleman can be a
stranger to you?"

"No, my Lord," said I, stammering, "not to me -but only it might
look-he might seem-"

"No, believe me," said he, with a forced smile, "I could never suppose
Miss Anville would make an appointment with a stranger."

"An appointment, my Lord?" repeated I, colouring violently.

"Pardon me, Madam," answered he, "but I thought I had heard one."

I was so much confounded that I could not speak: yet, finding he walked
quietly on, I could not endure he should make his own interpretation
of my silence: and therefore, as soon as I recovered from my surprise,
I said, "Indeed, my Lord, you are much mistaken, Mr. Macartney had
particular business with me-and I could not-I knew not, how to refuse
seeing him;-but indeed, my Lord-I had not,-he had not,-" I stammered
so terribly that I could not go on.

"I am very sorry," said he, gravely, "that I have been so unfortunate
as to distress you; but I should not have followed you had I not
imagined you were merely walked out for the air."

"And so I was!" cried I, eagerly, "indeed, my Lord, I was! My meeting
with Mr.  Macartney was quite accidental; and, if your Lordship thinks
there is any impropriety in my seeing him to-morrow, I am ready to
give up that intention."

"If I think!" said he, in a tone of surprise; "surely Miss Anville
cannot leave the arbitration of a point so delicate to one who is
ignorant of all the circumstances which attend it?"

"If," said I, "it was worth your Lordship's time to hear them,-you
should not be ignorant of the circumstances which attend it."

"The sweetness of Miss Anville's disposition," said he, in a softened
voice, "I have long admired; and the offer of a communication, which
does me so much honour, is too grateful to me not to be eagerly
caught at."

Just then Mrs. Selwyn opened the parlour window, and our conversation
ended. I was rallied upon my passion for solitary walking; but no
questions were asked me.

When breakfast was over, I hoped to have had some opportunity of
speaking with Lord Orville; but Lord Merton and Mr. Coverley came in,
and insisted up his opinion of the spot they had fixed upon for the
old women's race. The ladies declared they would be of the party;
and accordingly we all went.

The race is to be run in Mrs. Beaumont's garden; the two gentlemen
are as anxious, as if their joint lives depended upon it. They
have at length fixed upon objects; but have found great difficulty
in persuading them to practise running, in order to try their
strength. This grand affair is to be decided next Thursday.

When we returned to the house, the entrance of more company still
prevented my having any conversation with Lord Orville. I was
very much chagrined, as I knew he was engaged at the Hotwells in
the afternoon. Seeing, therefore, no probability of speaking to him
before the time of my meeting Mr. Macartney arrived, I determined that,
rather than risk his ill opinion, I would leave Mr. Macartney to his
own suggestions.

Yet, when I reflected upon his peculiar situation, his poverty, his
sadness, and, more than all the rest, the idea I knew he entertained
of what he calls his obligations to me, I could not resolve upon a
breach of promise, which might be attributed to causes, of all the
others the most offensive to one whom misfortune has made extremely
suspicious of slights and contempt.

After the most uneasy consideration, I at length determined upon
writing an excuse, which would, at once, save me from either meeting
or affronting him.  I therefore begged Mrs. Selwyn's leave to send
her man to the Hotwells, which she instantly granted; and then I
wrote the following note:

          "To Mr. Macartney.


         "SIR,

         "As it will not be in my power to walk out to-morrow morning,
         I would
        by no means give you the trouble of coming to Clifton.  I hope,
        however, to have the pleasure of seeing you before you quit
        Bristol.  I am, Sir, your obedient servant, "EVELINA ANVILLE."



I desired the servant to enquire at the pump-room where Mr. Macartney
lived, and returned to the parlour.

As soon as the company dispersed, the ladies retired to dress. I then,
unexpectedly, found myself alone with Lord Orville; who, the moment
I rose to follow Mrs. Selwyn, advanced to me, and said, "Will Miss
Anville pardon my impatience, if I remind her of the promise she was
so good as to make me this morning?"

I stopped, and would have returned to my seat; but before I had time,
the servants came to lay the cloth. He retreated, and went towards
the window; and, while I was considering in what manner to begin,
I could not help asking myself what right I had to communicate the
affairs of Mr. Macartney: and I doubted whether, to clear myself from
one act of imprudence, I had not committed another.

Distressed by this reflection, I thought it best to quit the room,
and give myself some time for consideration before I spoke; and
therefore, only saying I must hasten to dress, I ran up stairs,
rather abruptly I own; and so, I fear, Lord Orville must think. Yet
what could I do? Unused to the situations in which I find myself, and
embarrassed by the slightest difficulties, I seldom, till too late,
discover how I ought to act.

Just as we were all assembled to dinner, Mrs. Selwyn's man, coming
into the parlour, presented to me a letter, and said, "I can't find
out Mr. Macartney, Madam; but the post-office people will let you
know if they hear of him."

I was extremely ashamed of this public message; and, meeting the
eyes of Lord Orville, which were earnestly fixed on me, my confusion
redoubled, and I knew not which way to look. All dinner-time he was
as silent as myself; and the moment it was in my power I left the
table, and went to my own room. Mrs.  Selwyn presently followed me;
and her questions obliged me to own almost all the particulars of
my acquaintance with Mr. Macartney, in order to excuse my writing to
him. She said it was a most romantic affair, and spoke her sentiments
with great severity; declaring that she had no doubt but he was an
adventurer and an impostor.

And now, my dear Sir, I am totally at a loss what I ought to do;  the
more I reflect, the more sensible I am of the utter impropriety, nay,
treachery, of revealing the story, and publishing the misfortunes and
poverty of Mr.  Macartney; who has an undoubted right to my secrecy and
discretion, and whose letter charges me to regard his communication as
sacred.-And yet, the appearance of mystery,-perhaps something worse,
which this affair must have to Lord Orville,-his seriousness,-and
the promise I have made him, are inducements scarce to be resisted
for trusting him with the openness he has reason to expect from me.

I am equally distressed, too, whether or not I should see Mr. Macartney
to-morrow morning.

Oh, Sir, could I now be enlightened by your counsel, from what anxiety
and perplexity should I be relieved!

But now,-I ought not to betray Mr. Macartney, and I will not forfeit
a confidence which would never have been reposed in me, but from
a reliance upon my honour, which I should blush to find myself
unworthy of. Desirous as I am of the good opinion of Lord Orville,
I will endeavour to act as if I was guided by your advice; and,
making it my sole aim to deserve it, leave to time and to fate my
success or disappointment.

Since I have formed this resolution, my mind is more at ease. But I
will not finish my letter till the affair is decided.

Sept. 25th.


I rose very early this morning; and, after a thousand different plans,
not being able to resolve upon giving poor Mr. Macartney leave to
suppose I neglected him, I thought it incumbent upon me to keep my
word, since he had not received my letter; I therefore determined
to make my own apologies, not to stay with him two minutes, and to
excuse myself from meeting him any more.

Yet, uncertain whether I was wrong or right, it was with fear
and trembling that I opened the garden-gate;-judge then, of my
feelings, when the first object I saw was Lord Orville!-he, too,
looked extremely disconcerted, and said, in a hesitating manner,
"Pardon me, Madam,-I did not intend,-I did not imagine you would
have been here so soon-or-or I would not have come."-And then, with
a hasty bow, he passed me, and proceeded to the garden.

I was scarce able to stand, so greatly did I feel myself shocked; but,
upon my saying, almost involuntarily, "Oh, my Lord!"-he turned back,
and, after a short pause, said, "Did you speak to me, Madam?"

I could not immediately answer; I seemed choaked, and was even forced
to support myself by the garden-gate.

Lord Orville, soon recovering his dignity, said, "I know not how
to apologize for being, just now, at this place;-and I cannot,
immediately-if ever -clear myself from the imputation of impertinent
curiosity, to which I fear you will attribute it: however, at
present, I will only intreat your pardon, without detaining you any
longer." Again he bowed, and left me.

For some moments I remained fixed to the same spot, and in the same
position, immoveable, as if I had been transformed to a stone. My first
impulse was to call him back, and instantly tell him the whole affair;
but I checked this desire, though I would have given the world to
have indulged it; something like pride aided what I thought due to
Mr. Macartney, and I determined not only to keep his secret, but to
delay any sort of explanation till Lord Orville should condescend to
request it.

Slowly he walked; and, before he entered the house, he looked back,
but hastily withdrew his eyes, upon finding I observed him.

Indeed, my dear Sir, you cannot easily imagine a situation more
uncomfortable than mine was at that time; to be suspected by Lord
Orville of any clandestine actions wounded my soul; I was too much
discomposed to wait for Mr. Macartney, nor in truth, could I endure to
have the design of my staying so well known. Yet I was so extremely
agitated, that I could hardly move; and I have reason to believe
Lord Orville, from the parlour-window, saw me tottering along; for,
before I had taken five steps, he came out, and, hastening to meet
me, said, "I fear you are not well; pray, allow me (offering his arm)
to assist you."

"No, my Lord," said I, with all the resolution I could assume; yet
I was affected by an attention, at that time so little expected,
and forced to turn away my head to conceal my emotion.

"You must," said he, with earnestness, "indeed you must,-I am sure
you are not well;-refuse me not the honour of assisting you;" and,
almost forcibly, he took my hand, and, drawing it under his arm,
obliged me to lean upon him.  That I submitted was partly the effect of
surprise, at an earnestness so uncommon in Lord Orville, and, partly,
that I did not just then dare trust my voice to make any objection.

  When we came to the house, he led me into the parlour, and to a
  chair, and
begged to know if I would not have a glass of water.

"No, my Lord, I thank you," said I, "I am perfectly recovered;" and,
rising, I walked to the window, where, for some time, I pretended to
be occupied in looking at the garden.

Determined as I was to act honourably by Mr. Macartney, I yet most
anxiously wished to be restored to the good opinion of Lord Orville;
but his silence, and the thoughtfulness of his air, discouraged me
from speaking.

My situation soon grew disagreeable and embarrassing, and I resolved
to return to my chamber till breakfast was ready. To remain longer I
feared might seem asking for his enquiries; and I was sure it would
ill become me to be more eager to speak, than he was to hear.

Just as I reached the door, turning to me hastily, he said, "Are you
going, Miss Anville?"

"I am, my Lord," answered I; yet I stopped.

"Perhaps to return to-but I beg your pardon!" He spoke with a degree
of agitation that made me readily comprehend he meant to the garden;
and I instantly said, "To my own room, my Lord." And again I would have
gone; but, convinced by my answer that I understood him, I believe he
was sorry for the insinuation: he approached me with a very serious
air, though at the same time he forced a smile, and said, "I know
not what evil genius pursues me this morning, but I seem destined to
do or to say something I ought not: I am so much ashamed of myself,
that I can scarce solicit your forgiveness."

"My forgiveness! my Lord?" cried I, abashed, rather than elated by
his condescension; "surely you cannot-you are not serious?"

"Indeed, never more so! yet, if I may be my own interpreter, Miss
Anville's countenance pronounces my pardon."

"I know not, my Lord, how any one can pardon, who never has been
offended."

"You are very good; yet I could expect no less from a sweetness of
disposition which baffles all comparison: you will not think I am an
encroacher, and that I take advantage of your goodness, should I once
more remind you of the promise you vouchsafed me yesterday?"

"No, indeed; on the contrary I shall be very happy to acquit myself
in your Lordship's opinion."

  "Acquittal you need not," said he, leading me again to the window;
  "yet I
own my curiosity is strongly excited."

When I was seated, I found myself much at a loss what to say; yet,
after a short silence, assuming all the courage in my power, "Will you
not, my Lord," said I, "think me trifling and capricious, should I own
I have repented the promise I made, and should I entreat your Lordship
not to insist upon my strict performance of it?"-I spoke so hastily,
that I did not, at the time, consider the impropriety of what I said.

As he was entirely silent, and profoundly attentive, I continued to
speak without interruption.

"If your Lordship, by any other means, knew the circumstances attending
my acquaintance with Mr. Macartney, I am most sure you would yourself
disapprove my relating them. He is a gentleman, and has been very
unfortunate;-but I am not-I think,-at liberty to say more: yet I am
sure, if he knew your Lordship wished to hear any particulars of his
affairs, he would readily consent to my acknowledging them;-shall I,
my Lord, ask his permission?"

"His affairs!" repeated Lord Orville; "by no means, I have not the
least curiosity about them."

"I beg your Lordship's pardon,-but indeed I had understood the
contrary."

"Is it possible, Madam, you could suppose the affairs of an utter
stranger can excite my curiosity?"

The gravity and coldness with which he asked this question very
much abashed me. But Lord Orville is the most delicate of men! and,
presently recollecting himself, he added, "I mean not to speak with
indifference of any friend of yours,-far from it; any such will always
command my good wishes: yet I own I am rather disappointed; and though
I doubt not the justice of your reason, to which I implicitly submit,
you must not wonder, that, when upon the point of being honoured
with your confidence, I should feel the greatest regret at finding
it withdrawn."

Do you think, my dear sir, I did not, at that moment, require all my
resolution to guard me from frankly telling him whatever he wished
to hear?  yet I rejoice that I did not; for, added to the actual wrong
I should have done, Lord Orville himself, when he had heard, would,
I am sure, have blamed me. Fortunately, this thought occurred to me;
an I said, "Your Lordship shall yourself be my judge; the promise
I made, though voluntary, was  rash and inconsiderate; yet, had it
concerned myself, I would not have hesitated in fulfilling it; but
the gentleman, whose affairs I should be obliged to relate-"

"Pardon me," cried he, "for interrupting you; yet allow me to assure
you, I have not the slightest desire to be acquainted with his affairs,
further than what belongs to the motives which induced you yesterday
morning-" He stopped; but there was no occasion to say more.

"That, my Lord," cried I, "I will tell you honestly. Mr. Macartney
had some particular business with me, and I could not take the liberty
to ask him hither."

"And why not?-Mr. Beaumont, I am sure-"

"I could not, my Lord, think of intruding upon Mrs. Beaumont's
complaisance; and so, with the same hasty folly I promised your
Lordship, I much more rashly promised to meet him."

"And did you?"

"No, my Lord," said I, colouring, "I returned before he came."

Again, for some time, we were both silent; yet, unwilling to leave him
to reflections which could not but be to my disadvantage, I summoned
sufficient courage to say, "There is no young creature, my Lord,
who so greatly wants, or so earnestly wishes for, the advice and
assistance of her friends, as I do: I am new to the world, and unused
to acting for myself;-my intentions are never willfully blameable,
yet I err perpetually!-I have hitherto been blessed with the most
affectionate of friends, and, indeed, the ablest of men, to guide
and instruct me upon every occasion:-but he is too distant, now,
to be applied to at the moment I want his aid:-and here,-there is
not a human being whose counsel I can ask."

"Would to Heaven," cried he, with a countenance from which all coldness
and gravity were banished, and succeeded by the mildest benevolence,
"that I were worthy,-and capable,-of supplying the place of such a
friend to Miss Anville!"

"You do me but too much honour," said I, "yet I hope your Lordship's
candour,-perhaps I ought to say indulgence,-will make some allowance,
on account of my inexperience, for behaviour so inconsiderate:-May I,
my Lord, hope that you will?"

 "May I," cried he, "hope that you will pardon the ill-grace with
 which I have
submitted to my disappointment? And that you will permit me (kissing
my hand) thus to seal my peace?"

  "Our peace, my Lord!" said I, with revived spirits.

"This, then," said he, again pressing it to his lips, "for our peace:
and now,-are we not friends?"

Just then the door opened, and I had only time to withdraw my hand,
before the ladies came in to breakfast.

I have been, all day, the happiest of human beings!-to be thus
reconciled to Lord Orville, and yet to adhere to my resolution,-what
could I wish for more?-he too has been very cheerful, and more
attentive, more obliging to me than ever. Yet Heaven forbid I should
again be in a similar situation, for I cannot express how much
uneasiness I have suffered from the fear of incurring his ill opinion.

But what will poor Mr. Macartney think of me? Happy as I am, I much
regret the necessity I have been under of disappointing him.

Adieu, my dearest Sir.


LETTER LXVII.

MR. VILLARS TO EVELINA.  Berry Hill, Sept. 28th.


DEAD to the world, and equally insensible to its pleasures or its
pains, I long since bad adieu to all joy, and defiance to all sorrow,
but what should spring from my Evelina,-sole source, to me, of all
earthly felicity. How strange, then, is it, that the letter in which
she tells me she is the happiest of human beings, should give me most
mortal inquietude!

Alas, my child!-that innocence, the first, best gift of Heaven,
should, of all others, be the blindest to its own danger,-the most
exposed to treachery,-and the least able to defend itself, in a world
where it is little known, less valued, and perpetually deceived!

Would to Heaven you were here!-then, by degrees, and with gentleness,
I might enter upon a subject too delicate for distant discussion. Yet
is it too interesting, and the situation too critical, to allow of
delay.-Oh, my Evelina, your situation is critical indeed!-your peace
of mind is at stake, and every chance for your future happiness may
depend upon the conduct of the present moment.

Hitherto I have forborne to speak with you upon the most important of
all concerns, the state of your heart:-alas, I need no information! I
have been silent, indeed, but I have not been blind.

Long, and with the deepest regret, have I perceived the ascendancy
which Lord Orville has gained upon your mind.-You will start at the
mention of his name,-you will tremble every word you read;-I grieve
to give pain to my gentle Evelina, but I dare not any longer spare her.

Your first meeting with Lord Orville was decisive. Lively, fearless,
free from all other impressions, such a man as you describe him
could not fail of exciting your admiration; and the more dangerously,
because he seemed as unconscious of his power as you of your weakness;
and therefore you had no alarm, either from his vanity of your own
prudence.

Young, animated, entirely off your guard, and thoughtless of
consequences, Imagination took the reins; and Reason, slow-paced,
though sure-footed, was unequal to the race of so eccentric and flighty
a companion. How rapid was then my Evelina's progress through those
regions of fancy and passion whither her new guide conducted her!-She
saw Lord Orville at a ball,-and he was the most amiable of men! -She
met him again at another,-and he had every virtue under Heaven!

I mean not to depreciate the merit of Lord Orville, who, one mysterious
instance alone excepted, seems to have deserved the idea you formed
of his character; but it was not time, it was not the knowledge of
his worth, obtained your regard: your new comrade had not patience
to wait any trial; her glowing pencil, dipt in the vivid colours
of her creative ideas, painted to you, at the moment of your first
acquaintance, all the excellencies, all the good and rare qualities,
which a great length of time and intimacy could alone have really
discovered.

You flattered yourself that your partiality was the effect of esteem,
founded upon a general love of merit, and a principle of justice;
and your heart, which fell the sacrifice of your error, was totally
gone ere you expected it was in danger.

A thousand times have I been upon the point of showing you the
perils of your situation; but the same inexperience which occasioned
your mistake, I hoped, with the assistance of time and absence, would
effect a cure: I was, indeed, most unwilling to destroy  your illusion,
while I dared hope it might itself contribute to the restoration of
your tranquillity; since your ignorance of the danger, and force of
your attachment, might possibly prevent that despondency with which
young people, in similar circumstances, are apt to persuade themselves,
that what is only difficult, is absolutely impossible.

But, now, since you have again met, and have become more intimate
than ever, all my hope from silence and seeming ignorance is at an end.

Awake then, my dear, my deluded child, awake to the sense of your
danger, and exert yourself to avoid the evils with which it threatens
you:-evils which, to a mind like yours, are most to be dreaded; secret
repining, and concealed, yet consuming regret! Make a noble effort for
the recovery of your peace, which now, with sorrow I see it, depends
wholly upon the presence of Lord Orville. This effort may indeed be
painful; but trust to my experience, when I assure you it is requisite.

You must quit him!-his sight is baneful to your repose, his society
is death to your future tranquillity! Believe me, my beloved child,
my heart aches for your suffering, while it dictates its necessity.

Could I flatter myself that Lord Orville would, indeed, be sensible
of your worth, and act with a nobleness of mind which should prove
it congenial to your own, then would I leave my Evelina to the
unmolested enjoyment of the cheerful society, and increasing regard,
of a man she so greatly admires: but this is not an age in which we
may trust to appearances; and imprudence is much sooner regretted
than repaired. Your health, you tell me, is much mended:-Can you then
consent to leave Bristol?-not abruptly, that I do not desire, but in a
few days from the time you receive this? I will write to Mrs. Selwyn,
and tell her how much I wish your return; and Mrs. Clinton can take
sufficient care of you.

I have meditated upon every possible expedient that might tend to
your happiness, ere I fixed upon exacting from you a compliance which
I am convinced will be most painful to you; but I can satisfy myself
in none. This will at least be safe; and as to success,-we must leave
it to time.

I am very glad to hear of Mr. Macartney's welfare.

Adieu, my dearest child! Heaven preserve and strengthen you! A.V.


LETTER LXVIII.

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS.  Clifton, Sept. 28th.


SWEETLY, most sweetly, have two days more passed since I wrote:
but I have been too much engaged to be exact in my journal.

To-day has been less tranquil. It was destined for the decision of
the important bet, and has been productive of general confusion
throughout the house. It was settled that the race should be run
at five o'clock in the afternoon. Lord Merton breakfasted here, and
staid till noon. He wanted to engage the ladies to bet on his side,
in the true spirit of gaming, without seeing the racers. But he could
only prevail on Lady Louisa, as Mrs. Selwyn said she never laid a wager
against her own wishes, and Mrs. Beaumont would not take sides. As for
me, I was not applied to. It is impossible for negligence to be more
pointed than that of Lord Merton to me, in the presence of Lady Louisa.

But, just before dinner, I happened to be alone in the drawing-room,
when his Lordship suddenly returned; and, coming in with his usual
familiarity, he was beginning, "You see, Lady Louisa,-" but stopping
short, "Pray, where's every body gone?"

"Indeed I don't know, my Lord."

He then shut the door; and, with a great alteration in his face
and manner, advanced eagerly towards me, and said, "How glad I am,
my sweet girl, to meet you, at last, alone! By my soul I began to
think there was a plot against me, for I've never been able to have
you a minute to myself." And very freely he seized my hand.

I was so much surprised at this address, after having been so long
totally neglected, that I could make no other answer, than staring
at him with unfeigned astonishment.

"Why now," continued he, "if you was not the cruellest little angel
in the world, you would have helped me to some expedient: for you
see how I am watched here; Lady Louisa's eyes are never  off me. She
gives me a charming foretaste of the pleasures of a wife! However,
it won't last long."

Disgusted to the greatest degree, I attempted to draw away my hand;
but I believe I should not have succeeded if Mrs. Beaumont had not
made her appearance. He turned from me with the greatest assurance,
and said, "How are you, Ma'am?-how is Lady Louisa?-you see I can't
live a moment out of the house."

Could you, my dearest Sir, have believed it possible for such
effrontery to be in man?

Before dinner came Mr. Coverley, and, before five o'clock, Mr. Lovel
and some other company. The place marked out for the race, was a
gravel-walk in Mrs.  Beaumont's garden, and the length of the ground
twenty yards. When we were summoned to the course, the two poor old
women made their appearance. Though they seemed very healthy for
their time of life, they yet looked so weak, so infirm, so feeble,
that I could feel no sensation but that of pity at the sight. However,
this was not the general sense of the company; for they no sooner came
forward, than they were greeted with a laugh from every beholder, Lord
Orville excepted, who looked very grave during the whole transaction.
Doubtless he must be greatly discontented at the dissipated conduct and
extravagance of a man, with whom he is soon to be so nearly connected.

For some time, the scene was truly ridiculous: the agitation of the
parties concerned, and the bets that were laid upon the old women,
were absurd beyond measure. Who are you for? and whose side are you
of? was echoed from mouth to mouth by the whole company. Lord Merton
and Mr. Coverley were both so excessively gay and noisy, that I soon
found they had been free in drinking to their success. They handed,
with loud shouts, the old women to the race-ground, and encouraged
them by liberal promises to exert themselves.

When the signal was given for them to set off, the poor creatures,
feeble and frightened, ran against each other: and, neither of them
able to support the shock, they both fell on the ground.

Lord Merton and Mr. Coverley flew to their assistance. Seats were
brought for them; and they each drank a glass of wine. They complained
of being much bruised; for, heavy and helpless, they had not been
able to save themselves, but fell with their whole weight upon the
gravel. However, as they seemed equal sufferers, both parties were
too eager to have the affair deferred.

Again therefore they set off, and hobbled along, nearly even with each
other, for some time; yet frequently, to the inexpressible diversion of
the company, they stumbled and tottered; and the confused hallooing of
"Now, Coverley!" "Now, Merton!" run from side to side during the
whole affair.

Not long after, a foot of one of the poor women slipt, and with great
force she came again to the ground. Involuntarily, I sprung forward to
assist her; but Lord Merton, to whom she did not belong, stopped me,
calling out, "No foul play! No foul play!"

Mr. Coverley then, repeating the same words, went himself to help
her, and insisted that the other should stop. A debate ensued; but
the poor creature was too much hurt to move, and declared her utter
inability to make another attempt. Mr. Coverley was quite brutal:
he swore at her with unmanly rage, and seemed scarce able to refrain
even from striking her.

Lord Merton then, in great rapture, said it was a hollow thing;
but Mr.  Coverley contended, that the fall was accidental, and time
should be allowed for the woman to recover. However, all the company
being against him, he was pronounced the loser.

We then went to the drawing-room, to tea. After which, the evening
being remarkably warm, we all walked in the garden. Lord Merton was
quite riotous, and Lady Louisa in high spirits; but Mr. Coverley
endeavoured, in vain, to conceal his chagrin.

As Lord Orville was thoughtful, and walked by himself, I expected that,
as usual, I should pass unnoticed, and be left to my own meditations:
but this was not the case; for Lord Merton, entirely off his guard,
giddy equally from wine and success, was very troublesome to me;
and, regardless of the presence of Lady Louisa, which hitherto has
restrained him even from common civility, he attached himself to me,
during the walk, with a freedom of gallantry that put me extremely
out of countenance. He paid me the most high-flown compliments;
and frequently and forcibly seized my hand, though I repeatedly,
and with undissembled anger, drew it back. Lord Orville, I saw,
watched us with earnestness; and Lady Louisa's smiles were converted
into looks of disdain.

I could not bear to be thus situated; and complaining I was tired,
I quickened my pace, with intention to return to the house;  but
Lord Merton, hastily following, caught my hand, and saying the day
was his own, vowed he would not let me go.

"You must, my Lord," cried I, extremely flurried.

"You are the most charming girl in the world," said he, "and never
looked better than at this moment."

"My Lord," cried Mrs. Selwyn, advancing to us, "you don't consider,
that the better Miss Anville looks the more striking is the contrast
with your Lordship; therefore, for your own sake, I would advise you
not to hold her."

"Egad, my Lord," cried Mr. Coverley, "I don't see what right you have
to the best old, and the best young woman too, in the same day."

"Best young woman!" repeated Mr. Lovel; "'pon honour, Jack, you have
made a most unfortunate speech; however, if Lady Louisa can pardon
you,-and her Ladyship is all goodness,-I am sure nobody else can;
for you have committed an outrageous solecism in good manners."

"And pray, Sir," said Mrs. Selwyn, "under what denomination may your
own speech pass?"

Mr. Lovel, turning another way, affected not to hear her: and
Mr. Coverley, bowing to Lady Louisa, said, "Her Ladyship is well
acquainted with my devotion;-but, egad, I don't know how it is,-I
had always an unlucky turn at an epigram, and never could resist a
smart play upon words in my life."

"Pray, my Lord," cried I, "let go my hand! Pray, Mrs. Selwyn, speak
for me."

"My Lord," said Mrs. Selwyn, "in detaining Miss Anville any longer
you only lose time; for we are already as well convinced of your
valour and your strength, as if you were to hold her an age."

"My Lord," said Mrs. Beaumont, "I must beg leave to interfere: I know
not if Lady Louisa can pardon you; but as this young lady is at my
house, I do not choose to have her made uneasy."

"I pardon him!" cried Lady Louisa; "I declare I am monstrous glad to
get rid of him."

"Egad, my Lord," cried Mr. Coverley, "while you are grasping at a
shadow, you'll lose a substance; you'd best make your peace while
you can."

"Pray, Mr. Coverley, be quiet," said Lady Louisa, peevishly; "for I
declare I won't speak to him. Brother," taking hold of Lord Orville's
arm, "will you walk in with me?"

"Would to Heaven," cried I, frightened to see how much Lord Merton
was in liquor, "that I too had a brother!-and then I should not be
exposed to such treatment."

Lord Orville, instantly quitting Lady Louisa, said, "Will Miss Anville
allow me the honour of taking that title?" and then, without waiting
for any answer, he disengaged me from Lord Merton; and, handing me to
Lady Louisa, "Let me," added he, "take equal care of both my sisters;"
and then, desiring her, to take hold of one arm, and begging me to
make use of the other, we reached the house in a moment. Lord Merton,
disordered as he was, attempted not to stop us.

As soon as we entered the house, I withdrew my arm, and courtsied my
thanks, for my heart was too full for speech. Lady Louisa, evidently
hurt at her brother's condescension, and piqued extremely by Lord
Merton's behaviour, silently drew away hers; and biting her lips,
with a look of infinite vexation, walked sullenly up the hall.

Lord Orville asked her if she would not go into the parlour?

"No," answered she, haughtily, "I leave you and your new sister
together:" and then she walked up stairs.

I was quite confounded at the pride and rudeness of this speech. Lord
Orville himself seemed thunderstruck: I turned from him, and went into
the parlour: he followed me, saying, "Must I now apologize to Miss
Anville for the liberty of my interference?-or ought I to apologize,
that I did not, as I wished, interfere sooner?"

"O, my Lord," cried I, with an emotion I could not repress, "it is
from you alone I meet with any respect;-all others treat me with
impertinence, or contempt!"

I am sorry I had not more command of myself, as he had reason just
then to suppose I particularly meant his sister; which, I am sure,
must very much hurt him.

"Good Heaven," cried he, "that so much sweetness and merit can fail
to excite the love and admiration so justly their due! I cannot,-I
dare not express to you half the indignation I feel at this moment!"

"I am sorry, my Lord," said I, more calmly, "to have raised it;
but yet,-in a situation that calls for protection, to meet only with
mortifications,-indeed, but I am ill formed to bear them!"

"My dear Miss Anville," cried he, warmly, "allow me to be your friend;
think of me as if I were indeed your brother; and  let me intreat you
to accept my best services, if there is any thing in which I can be
so happy as to show my regard,-my respect for you!"

Before I had time to speak, the rest of the party entered the parlour;
and, as I did not wish to see anything more of Lord Merton, at least
before he had slept, I determined to leave it. Lord Orville, seeing
my design, said, as I passed him, "Will you go?" "Had not I best,
my Lord?" said I. "I am afraid," said he, smiling, "since I must now
speak as your brother, I am afraid you had; -you see you may trust me,
since I can advise against my own interest."

I then left the room, and have been writing ever since. And, methinks,
I can never lament the rudeness of Lord Merton, as it has more than
ever confirmed to me the esteem of Lord Orville.


LETTER LXIX.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Sept. 30th.


OH, Sir, what a strange incident have I to recite! what a field of
conjecture to open!

Yesterday evening we all went to an assembly. Lord Orville presented
tickets to the whole family; and did me the honour, to the no small
surprise of all here, I believe, to dance with me. But every day
abounds in fresh instances of his condescending politeness; and he
now takes every opportunity of calling me his friend and his sister.

Lord Merton offered a ticket to Lady Louisa; but she was so much
incensed against him, that she refused it with the utmost disdain:
neither could he prevail upon her to dance with him; she sat still the
whole evening, and deigned not to look at or speak to him. To me her
behaviour is almost the same: for she is cold, distant, and haughty,
and her eyes express the greatest contempt. But for Lord Orville,
how miserable would my residence here make me!

We were joined in the ball-room by Mr. Coverley, Mr. Lovel, and Lord
Merton, who looked as if he was doing penance, and sat all the evening
next to Lady Louisa, vainly endeavouring to appease her anger.

Lord Orville began the minuets: he danced with a young lady who
seemed to engage the general attention, as she had not been seen here
before. She is pretty, and looks mild and good-humoured.

"Pray, Mr. Lovel," said Lady Louisa, "who is that?"

"Miss Belmont," answered he, "the young heiress: she came to the
Wells yesterday."

Struck with the name, I involuntarily repeated it; but nobody heard me.

"What is her family?" said Mrs. Beaumont.

"Have you not heard of her, Ma'am?" cried he; "she is only daughter
and heiress of Sir John Belmont."

Good Heaven, how did I start! the name struck my ear like a
thunderbolt. Mrs.  Selwyn, who immediately looked at me, said,
"Be calm, my dear, and we will learn the truth of all this."

Till then I had never imagined her to be acquainted with my story;
but she has since told me, that she knew my unhappy mother, and was
well informed of the whole affair.

She asked Mr. Lovel a multitude of questions; and I gathered from
his answers, that this young lady was just come from abroad with Sir
John Belmont, who was now in London; that she was under the care of
his sister, Mrs. Paterson; and that she would inherit a considerable
estate.

I cannot express the strange feelings with which I was agitated during
this recital. What, my dearest Sir, can it possibly mean? Did you ever
hear of any after-marriage?-or must I suppose, that, while the lawful
child is rejected, another is adopted?-I know not what to think! I
am bewildered with a contrariety of ideas!

When we came home, Mrs. Selwyn passed more than an hour in my room
conversing upon this subject. She says, that I ought instantly to
go to town, find out my father, and have the affair cleared up. She
assures me I have too strong a resemblance to my dear, though unknown,
mother, to allow of the least hesitation in my being owned, when once
I am seen. For my part, I have no wish but to act by your direction.

I cannot give any account of the evening; so disturbed, so occupied
am I by this subject, that I can think of no other. I have entreated
Mrs. Selwyn to observe the strictest secrecy, and she has promised
that she will. Indeed, she has too much sense to be idly communicative.

Lord Orville took notice of my being absent and silent; but I ventured
not to intrust him with the cause. Fortunately, he was not of the
party at the time Mr. Lovel made the discovery.

Mrs. Selwyn says, that if you approve my going to town, she will
herself accompany me. I had a thousand times rather ask the protection
of Mrs.  Mirvan, but, after this offer that will not be possible.

Adieu, my dearest Sir. I am sure you will write immediately, and I
shall be all impatience till your letter arrives.


LETTER LXX.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Oct. 1st.


GOOD God, my dear Sir, what a wonderful tale have I again to
relate! even yet, I am not recovered from my extreme surprise.

Yesterday morning, as soon as I had finished my hasty letter, I was
summoned to attend a walking party to the Hot Wells. It consisted only
of Mrs. Selwyn and Lord Orville. The latter walked by my side all the
way; and his conversation dissipated my uneasiness, and insensibly
restored my serenity.

At the pump-room I saw Mr. Macartney; I courtsied to him twice ere
he would speak to me. When he did, I began to apologize for having
disappointed him; but I did not find it very easy to excuse myself, as
Lord Orville's eyes, with an expression of anxiety that distressed me,
turned from him to me, and me to him, every word I spoke. Convinced,
however, that I had really trifled with Mr. Macartney, I scrupled not
to beg his pardon. He was then not merely appeased, but even grateful.

He requested me to see him to-morrow; but I had not the folly to
be again guilty of an indiscretion; which had already caused me so
much uneasiness; and therefore I told him frankly, that it was not
in my power at present to see him but by accident; and, to prevent
his being offended, I hinted to him the reason I could not receive
him as I wished to do.

When I had satisfied both him and myself upon this subject, I turned to
Lord Orville, and saw, with concern, the gravity of his countenance. I
would have spoken to him, but knew not how; I believe, however, he
read my thoughts; for, in a little time, with a sort of serious smile,
he said, "Does not Mr.  Macartney complain of his disappointment?"

"Not much, my Lord."

"And how have you appeased him?" Finding I hesitated what to answer,
"Am I not your brother?" continued he, "and must I not enquire into
your affairs?"

"Certainly, my Lord," said I, laughing. "I only wish it were better
worth your Lordship's while."

"Let me, then, make immediate use of my privilege. When shall you
see Mr.  Macartney again?"

"Indeed, my Lord, I can't tell."

"But,-do you know that I shall not suffer my sister to make a private
appointment?"

"Pray, my Lord," cried I earnestly, "use that word no more! Indeed
you shock me extremely."

"That would I not do for the world," cried he, "yet you know not how
warmly, how deeply I am interested, not only in all your concerns,
but in all your actions."

This speech-the most particular one Lord Orville had ever made to me,
ended our conversation at that time; for I was too much struck by it
to make any answer.

Soon after, Mr. Macartney, in a low voice, intreated me not to deny
him the gratification of returning the money. While he was speaking,
the young lady I saw yesterday at the assembly, with the large party,
entered the pump-room.  Mr. Macartney turned as pale as death, his
voice faultered, and he seemed not to know what he said. I was myself
almost equally disturbed, by the crowd of confused ideas that occurred
to me. Good Heaven! thought I, why should he be thus agitated?-is it
possible this can be the young lady he loved?-

In a few minutes we quitted the pump-room; and, though I twice wished
Mr.  Macartney good morning, he was so absent he did not hear me.

We did not immediately return to Clifton, as Mrs. Selwyn had business
at a pamphlet shop. While she was looking at some new poems, Lord
Orville again asked me when I should see Mr. Macartney?

"Indeed, my Lord," cried I, "I know not, but I would give the universe
for a few moments' conversation with him!" I spoke this with a simple
sincerity, and was not aware of the force of my own words.

"The universe!" repeated he, "Good God, Miss Anville, do you say this
to me?"

"I would say it," returned I, "to any body, my Lord."

"I beg your pardon," said he, in a voice that showed him ill pleased,
"I am answered."

"My Lord," cried I, "you must not judge hardly of me. I spoke
inadvertently; but if you knew the painful suspense I suffer at this
moment, you would not be surprised at what I have said."

"And would a meeting with Mr. Macartney relieve you from that
suspense?"

"Yes, my Lord, two words might be sufficient."

"Would to Heaven," cried he, after a short pause, "that I were worthy
to know their import!"

"Worthy, my Lord!-O, if that were all, your Lordship could ask nothing
I should not be ready to answer! If I were but at liberty to speak, I
should be proud of your Lordship's enquiries: but, indeed, I am not-I
have not any right to communicate the affairs of Mr. Macartney;-your
Lordship cannot suppose I have."

"I will own to you," answered he, "I know not what to suppose;
yet there seems a frankness even in your mystery-and such an air of
openness in your countenance, that I am willing to hope,-" He stopped
a moment, and then added, "This meeting, you say, is essential to
your repose?"

"I did not say that, my Lord; but yet I have the most important
reasons for wishing to speak to him."

He paused a few minutes; and then said, with warmth, "Yes, you shall
speak to him!-I will myself assist you!-Miss Anville, I am sure,
cannot form a wish against propriety: I will ask no questions, I
will rely upon her own purity, and, uninformed, blindfold as I am,
I will serve her with all my power!" And then he went into the shop,
leaving me so strangely affected by his generous behaviour, that I
almost wished to follow him with my thanks.

When Mrs. Selwyn had transacted her affairs, we returned home.

The moment dinner was over, Lord Orville went out, and did not come
back till just as we were summoned to supper. This is the longest
time he has spent from the house since I have been at Clifton; and
you cannot imagine, my dear Sir, how much I missed him. I scarce knew
before how infinitely I am indebted to him alone for the happiness
I have enjoyed since I have been at Mrs.  Beaumont's.

As I generally go down stairs last, he came to me, the moment the
ladies had passed by, and said, "Shall you be at home tomorrow
morning?"

"I believe so, my Lord."

"And will you then receive a visitor for me?"

"For you, my Lord?"

"Yes:-I have made acquaintance with Mr. Macartney, and he has promised
to call upon me to-morrow about three o'clock."

And then, taking my hand, he led me down stairs.

O, Sir!-was there ever such another man as Lord Orville?-Yes, one
other now resides at Berry Hill!

This morning there has been a great deal of company here; but at the
time appointed by Lord Orville, doubtless with that consideration,
the parlour is almost always empty, as every body is dressing.

Mrs. Beaumont, however, was not gone up stairs when Mr. Macartney
sent in his name.

Lord Orville immediately said, "Beg the favour of him to walk in. You
see, Madam, that I consider myself as at home."

"I hope so," answered Mrs. Beaumont, "or I should be very uneasy."

Mr. Macartney then entered. I believe we both felt very conscious to
whom the visit was paid: but Lord Orville received him as his own
guest; and not merely entertained him as such while Mrs. Beaumont
remained in the room, but for some time after she had left it, a
delicacy that saved me from the embarrassment I should have felt,
had he immediately quitted us.

In a few minutes, however, he gave Mr. Macartney a book,-for I,
too, by way of pretence for continuing in the room, pretended to be
reading,-and begged he would be so good as to look it over, while he
answered a note, which he would dispatch in a few minutes, and return
to him.

When he was gone, we both parted with our books; and Mr. Macartney,
again producing the paper with the money, besought me to accept it.

"Pray," said I, still declining it, "did you know the young lady who
came into the pump-room yesterday morning?"

"Know her!" repeated he, changing colour, "Oh, but too well!"

"Indeed!"

"Why, Madam, do you ask?"

"I must beseech you to satisfy me further upon this subject; pray
tell me who she is."

"Inviolably as I meant to keep my secret, I can refuse you, Madam,
nothing;-that lady-is the daughter of Sir John Belmont!-of my father!"

"Gracious Heaven!" cried I, involuntarily laying my hand on his arm,
"you are then-" my brother, I would have said, but my voice failed me,
and I burst into tears.

"Oh, Madam," cried he, "what does this mean?-what can thus distress
you?"

I could not answer, but held out my hand to him. He seemed greatly
surprised, and talked in high terms of my condescension.

"Spare yourself," cried I, wiping my eyes, "spare yourself this
mistake,-you have a right to all I can do for you; the similarity of
our circumstances-"

We were then interrupted by the entrance of Mrs. Selwyn; and
Mr. Macartney, finding no probability of our being left alone, was
obliged to take leave, though, I believe, very reluctantly, while in
such suspense.

Mrs. Selwyn, then, by dint of interrogatories, drew from me the state
of this affair. She is so penetrating, that there is no possibility
of evading to give her satisfaction.

Is not this a strange event? Good Heaven! how little did I think
that the visits I so unwillingly paid at Mr. Branghton's would have
introduced me to so near a relation! I will never again regret the
time I spent in town this summer: a circumstance so fortunate will
always make me think of it with pleasure.  * * * * * *


I have just received your letter,-and it has almost broken my
heart!-Oh, Sir!  the illusion is over, indeed! how vainly have I
flattered, how miserably deceived myself! Long since, doubtful of
the situation of my heart, I dreaded a scrutiny;-but now, now that I
have so long escaped, I began, indeed, to think my safety insured, to
hope that my fears were causeless, and to believe that my good opinion
and esteem of Lord Orville might be owned without suspicion, and felt
without danger;-miserably deceived, indeed! His sight is baneful to
my repose;-his society is death to my future tranquillity! Oh, Lord
Orville! could I have believed that a friendship so grateful to my
heart, so soothing to my distresses, a friendship, which, in every
respect, did me so much honour, would only serve to embitter all my
future moments!-What a strange, what an unhappy circumstance, that
my gratitude, though so justly excited, should be so fatal to my peace!

Yes, Sir, I will quit him;-would to Heaven I could at this
moment! without seeing him again,-without trusting to my now conscious
emotion!-Oh, Lord Orville, how little do you know the evils I owe to
you! how little suppose that, when most dignified by your attention,
I was most to be pitied,-and when most exalted by your notice, you
were most my enemy!

You, Sir, relied upon my ignorance;-I, alas, upon your experience;
and, whenever I doubted the weakness of my heart, the idea that you
did not suspect it, reassured me,-restored my courage, and confirmed
my error!-Yet am I most sensible of the kindness of your silence.

Oh, Sir! why have I ever quitted you? why been exposed to dangers to
which I am so unequal?

But I will leave this place, leave Lord Orville,-leave him, perhaps,
for ever!-no matter; your counsel, your goodness, may teach me how
to recover the peace and the serenity of which my unguarded folly
has beguiled me. To you alone do I trust,-in you alone confide,
for every future hope I may form.

The more I consider the parting with Lord Orville, the less fortitude
do I feel to bear the separation;-the friendship he has shown me,-his
politeness,-his sweetness of manners,-his concern in my affairs,-his
solicitude to oblige me,-all, all to be given up!-

No, I cannot tell him I am going,-I dare not trust myself to take
leave of him,-I will run away without seeing him:-implicitly will I
follow your advice, avoid his sight, and shun his society!

To-morrow morning I will set off for Berry Hill. Mrs. Selwyn and
Mrs. Beaumont shall alone know my intention. And to-day-I will spend
in my own room. The readiness of my obedience is the only atonement
I can offer for the weakness which calls for its exertion.

Can you, will you, most honoured, most dear Sir! sole prop by which
the poor Evelina is supported,-can you, without reproach, without
displeasure, receive the child you have so carefully reared,-from
whose education better fruit might have been expected, and who,
blushing for her unworthiness, fears to meet the eye by which she has
been cherished?-Oh, yes, I am sure you will!  Your Evelina's errors
are those of the judgment; and you, I well know, pardon all but those
of the heart!


LETTER LXXI.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Clifton, October 1st.

I HAVE only time, my dearest Sir, for three words, to overtake my
last letter, and prevent your expecting me immediately; for, when I
communicated my intention to Mrs. Selwyn, she would not hear of it,
and declared it would be highly ridiculous for me to go before I
received an answer to my intelligence concerning the journey from
Paris. She has, therefore, insisted upon my waiting till your next
letter arrives. I hope you will not be displeased at my compliance,
though it is rather against my own judgment: but Mrs. Selwyn quite
overpowered me with the force of her arguments. I will, however, see
very little of Lord Orville; I will never come down stairs before
breakfast; give up all my walks in the garden; seat myself next to
Mrs. Selwyn; and not merely avoid his conversation, but shun his
presence. I will exert all the prudence and all the resolution in
my power, to prevent this short delay from giving you any further
uneasiness.

Adieu, my dearest Sir. I shall not now leave Clifton till I have
your directions.


LETTER LXXII.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  October 2nd.


YESTERDAY, from the time I received your kind, though heart-piercing
letter, I kept my room,-for I was equally unable and unwilling to
see Lord Orville; but this morning, finding I seemed destined to
pass a few days longer here, I endeavoured to calm my spirits, and to
appear as usual; though I determined to avoid him to the utmost of my
power. Indeed, as I entered the parlour, when called to breakfast,
my thoughts were so much occupied with your letter, that I felt as
much confusion at his sight, as if he had himself been informed of
its contents.

Mrs. Beaumont made me a slight compliment upon my recovery, for I
had pleaded illness to excuse keeping my room: Lady Louisa spoke
not a word; but Lord Orville, little imagining himself the cause
of my indisposition, enquired concerning my health with the most
distinguishing politeness. I hardly made any answer; and, for the
first time since I have been here, contrived to sit at some distance
from him.

I could not help observing that my reserve surprised him; yet he
persisted in his civilities, and seemed to wish to remove it. But I
paid him very little attention; and the moment breakfast was over,
instead of taking a book, or walking in the garden, I retired to my
own room.

Soon after, Mrs. Selwyn came to tell me, that Lord Orville had been
proposing I should take an airing, and persuading her to let him
drive us both in his phaeton. She delivered the message with an
archness that made me blush; and added, that an airing, in my Lord
Orville's carriage, could not fail to revive my spirits. There is no
possibility of escaping her discernment; she has frequently rallied
me upon his Lordship's attention,-and, alas!-upon the pleasure with
which I have received it! However, I absolutely refused the offer.

"Well," said she, laughing, "I cannot just now indulge you with any
solicitation; for, to tell you the truth, I have business to transact
at the Wells, and am glad to be excused myself. I would ask you to
walk with me; -but since Lord Orville is refused, I have not the
presumption to hope for success."

"Indeed," cried I, "you are mistaken; I will attend you with pleasure."

"O rare coquetry!" cried she, "surely it must be inherent in our sex,
or it could not have been imbibed at Berry Hill."

I had not spirits to answer her, and therefore put on my hat and
cloak in silence.

"I presume," continued she, drily, "his Lordship may walk with us."

"If so, Madam," said I, "you will have a companion, and I will stay
at home."

"My dear child," cried she, "did you bring the certificate of your
birth with you?"

"Dear Madam, no!"

"Why then, we shall never be known again at Berry Hill."

I felt too conscious to enjoy her pleasantry; but I believe she was
determined to torment me, for she asked if she should inform Lord
Orville that I desired him not to be of the party?

"By no means, Madam; but, indeed, I had rather not walk myself."

"My dear," cried she, "I really do not know you this morning,-you
have certainly been taking a lesson of Lady Louisa."

She then went down stairs; but presently returning, told me she had
acquainted Lord Orville that I did not choose to go out in the phaeton,
but preferred a walk, tete-e-tete with her, by way of variety.

I said nothing, but was really vexed. She bad me go down stairs,
and said she would follow me immediately.

Lord Orville met me in the hall. "I fear," said he, "Miss Anville is
not yet quite well?" and he would have taken my hand, but I turned
from him, and courtsying slightly, went into the parlour.

Mrs. Beaumont and Lady Louisa were at work: Lord Merton was talking
with the latter; for he has now made his peace, and is again received
into favour.

I seated myself, as usual, by the window. Lord Orville, in a few
minutes, came to me, and said, "Why is Miss Anville so grave?"

"Not grave, my Lord," said I, "only stupid;" and I took up a book.

"You will go," said he, after a short pause, "to the assembly
to-night?"

"No, my Lord, certainly not."

"Neither then will I; for I should be sorry to sully the remembrance
I have of the happiness I enjoyed at the last."

Mrs. Selwyn then coming in, general enquiries were made to all but me,
of who would go to the assembly? Lord Orville instantly declared he
had letters to write at home; but every one else settled to go.

I then hastened Mrs. Selwyn away, though not before she had said to
Lord Orville, "Pray, has your Lordship obtained Miss Anville's leave
to favour us with your company?"

"I have not, Madam," answered he, "had the vanity to ask it."

During our walk, Mrs. Selvyn tormented me unmercifully. She told me,
that since I declined any addition to our party, I must, doubtless, be
conscious of my own powers of entertainment; and begged me, therefore,
to exert them freely. I repented a thousand times having consented
to walk alone with her; for though I made the most painful efforts
to appear in spirits, her raillery quite overpowered me.

We went first to the pump-room. It was full of company; and the moment
we entered, I heard a murmuring of, "That's she!" and, to my great
confusion, I saw every eye turned towards me. I pulled my hat over my
face, and, by the assistance of Mrs. Selwyn, endeavoured to screen
myself from observation, nevertheless, I found I was so much the
object of general attention, that I entreated her to hasten away. But
unfortunately she had entered into conversation, very earnestly,
with a gentleman of her acquaintance, and would not listen to me;
but said, that if I was tired of waiting, I might walk on to the
milliner's with the Miss Watkins, two young ladies I had seen at Mrs.
Beaumont's, who were going thither.

I accepted the offer very readily, and away we went. But we had not
gone three yards, before we were followed by a party of young men,
who took every possible opportunity of looking at us, and, as they
walked behind, talked aloud, in a manner at once unintelligible and
absurd. "Yes," cried one," 'tis certainly she!-mark but her blushing
cheek!"

"And then her eye -her downcast eye!"-cried another.

"True, oh most true," said a third, "every beauty is her own!"

"But then," said the first, "her mind,-now the difficulty is, to
find out the truth of that, for she will not say a word."

"She is timid," answered another; "mark but her timid air."

During this conversation, we walked on silent and quick; as we knew
not to whom it was particularly addressed, we were all equally ashamed,
and equally desirous to avoid such unaccountable observations.

Soon after we were caught in a shower of rain. We hurried on; and
these gentlemen, following us, offered their services in the most
pressing manner, begging us to make use of their arms; and, while I
almost ran, in order to avoid their impertinence, I was suddenly met
by Sir Clement Willoughby!

We both started; "Good God!" he exclaimed, "Miss Anville!" and then,
regarding my tormentors with an air of displeasure, he earnestly
enquired, if any thing had alarmed me?

"No, no;" cried I, for I found no difficulty now to disengage myself
from these youths, who, probably, concluding from the commanding air
of Sir Clement, that he had a right to protect me, quietly gave way
to him, and entirely quitted us.

With his usual impetuosity, he then began a thousand enquiries,
accompanied with as many compliments; and he told me, that he
arrived at Bristol but this morning, which he had entirely devoted
to endeavours to discover where I lodged.

"Did you know, then," said I, "that I was at Bristol?"

"Would to Heaven," cried he, "that I could remain in ignorance of your
proceedings with the same contentment you do of mine! then should I not
for ever journey upon the wings of Hope, to meet my own despair! You
cannot even judge of the cruelty of my fate; for the ease and serenity
of your mind incapacitates you from feeling for the agitation of mine!"

The ease and serenity of my mind! alas, how little do I merit those
words!

"But," added he, "had accident brought me hither, had I not known
of your journey, the voice of fame would have proclaimed it to me
instantly upon my arrival."

"The voice of fame!" repeated I.

"Yes, for yours was the first name I heard at the pump-room. But
had I not heard your name, such a description could have painted no
one else."

"Indeed," said I, "I do not understand you." But just then arriving
at the milliner's our conversation ended; for Miss Watkins called me
to look at caps and ribbons.

Sir Clement, however, has the art of being always at home; he was very
soon engaged, as busily as ourselves, in looking at lace ruffles;
yet he took an opportunity of saying to me, in a low voice, "How
charmed I am to see you look so well! I was told you were ill;-but
I never saw you in better health,-never more infinitely lovely!"

I turned away to examine the ribbons, and soon after Mrs. Selwyn made
her appearance. I found that she was acquainted with Sir Clement;
and her manner of speaking to him convinced me that he was a favourite
with her.

When their mutual compliments were over, she turned to me, and said,
"Pray, Miss Anville, how long can you live without nourishment?"

"Indeed, Ma'am," said I, laughing, "I have never tried."

"Because so long, and no longer," answered she, "you may remain
at Bristol."

"Why, what is the matter, Ma'am?"

"The matter!-why, all the ladies are at open war with you,-the whole
pump-room is in confusion; and you, innocent as you pretend to look,
are the cause.  However, if you take my advice, you will be very
careful how you eat and drink during your stay."

I begged her to explain herself: and she then told me, that a copy
of verses had been dropped in the pump-room, and read there aloud:
"The beauties of the Wells," said she, "are all mentioned, but you
are the Venus to whom the prize is given."

"Is it then possible," cried Sir Clement, "that you have not seen
these verses?"

"I hardly know," answered I, "whether any body has."

"I assure you," said Mrs. Selwyn, "if you give me the invention of
them, you do me an honour I by no means deserve."

"I wrote down in my tablets," said Sir Clement, "the stanzas which
concern Miss Anville this morning at the pump-room; and I will do
myself the honour of copying them for her this evening."

"But why the part that concerns Miss Anville?" said Mrs. Selwyn;
"Did you ever see her before this morning?"

"O yes," answered he, "I have had that happiness frequently at
Captain Mirvan's. Too, too frequently!" added he, in a low voice, as
Mrs. Selwyn turned to the milliner: and as soon as she was occupied
in examining some trimmings, he came to me, and almost whether I
would or not, entered into conversation with me.

"I have a thousand things," cried he, "to say to you. Pray where
are you?"

"With Mrs. Selwyn, Sir."

"Indeed!-then, for once, chance is my friend. And how long have you
been here?"

"About three weeks."



"Good Heaven! what an anxious search have I had, to discover your
abode, since you so suddenly left town! The termagant, Madame Duval,
refused me all intelligence. Oh, Miss Anville, did you know what I
have endured! the sleepless, restless state of suspense I have been
tortured with, you could not, all cruel as you are, you could not
have received me with such frigid indifference?"

"Received you, Sir!"

"Why, is not my visit to you?" Do you think I should have made this
journey, but for the happiness of again seeing you?"

"Indeed it is possible I might,-since so many others do."

"Cruel, cruel girl! you know that I adore you! you know you are the
mistress of my soul, and arbitress of my fate!"

Mrs. Selwyn then advancing to us, he assumed a more disengaged air,
and asked, if he should not have the pleasure of seeing her in the
evening at the assembly?

"Oh, yes," cried she, "we shall certainly be there; so you may bring
the verses with you, if Miss Anville can wait for them so long."

"I hope then," returned he, "that you will do me the honour to dance
with me?"

I thanked him, but said I should not be at the assembly.

"Not be at the assembly?" cried Mrs. Selwyn, "Why, have you, too,
letters to write?"

She looked at me with a significant archness, that made me colour;
and I hastily answered, "No, indeed, Ma'am!"

"You have not!" cried she, yet more drily; "then pray, my dear,
do you stay at home to help,-or to hinder others?"

"To do neither, Ma'am," answered I, in much confusion; "so, if you
please, I will not stay at home."

"You allow me, then," said Sir Clement, "to hope for the honour of
your hand?"

I only bowed,-for the dread of Mrs. Selwyn's raillery made me not
dare refuse him.

Soon after this we walked home: Sir Clement accompanied us; and the
conversation that passed between Mrs. Selwyn and him was supported
in so lively a manner, that I should have been much entertained,
had my mind been more at ease: but, alas! I could think of nothing
but the capricious, the unmeaning appearance which the alteration
in my conduct must make in the eyes of the Lord Orville! And much
as I wished to avoid him, greatly as I desire to save myself from
having my weakness known to him,-yet I cannot endure to incur his ill
opinion,-and, unacquainted as he is with the reasons by which I am
actuated, how can he fail contemning a change to him so unaccountable?

As we entered the garden, he was the first object we saw. He advanced
to meet us; and I could not help observing, that at sight of each
other both he and Sir Clement changed colour.

We went into the parlour, where we found the same party we had
left. Mrs.  Selwyn presented Sir Clement to Mrs. Beaumont; Lady Louisa
and Lord Merton he seemed well acquainted with already.

The conversation was upon the general subjects, of the weather,
the company at the Wells, and the news of the day. But Sir Clement,
drawing his chair next to mine, took every opportunity of addressing
himself to me in particular.

I could not but remark the striking difference of his attention, and
that of Lord Orville: the latter has such gentleness of manners, such
delicacy of conduct, and an air so respectful, that, when he flatters
most, he never distresses; and when he most confers honour, appears
to receive it! The former obtrudes his attention, and forces mine;
it is so pointed, that it always confuses me, and so public, that it
attracts general notice. Indeed I have sometimes thought that he would
rather wish, than dislike to have his partiality for me known, as he
takes great care to prevent my being spoken to by any but himself.

When at length he went away, Lord Orville took his seat, and said,
with a half smile, "Shall I call Sir Clement,-or will you call me
an usurper for taking this place?-You make me no answer?-Must I then
suppose that Sir Clement-"

"It is little worth your Lordship's while," said I, "to suppose any
thing upon so insignificant an occasion."

"Pardon me," cried he;-"to me nothing is insignificant in which you
are concerned."

To this I made no answer; neither did he say any thing more, till the
ladies retired to dress: and then, when I would have followed them,
he stopped me, saying, "One moment, I entreat you!"

I turned back, and he went on, "I greatly fear that I have been so
unfortunate as to offend you; yet so repugnant to my very soul is the
idea, that I know not how to suppose it possible I can unwittingly have
done the thing in the world that, designedly, I would wish to avoid."

"No, indeed, my Lord, you have not," said I.

"You sigh!" cried he, taking my hand, "would to Heaven I were
the sharer of your uneasiness, whencesoever it springs! with what
earnestness would I not struggle to alleviate it!-Tell me, my dear Miss
Anville,-my new-adopted sister, my sweet and most amiable friend!-tell
me, I beseech you, if I can afford you any assistance?"

"None, none, my Lord!" cried I, withdrawing my hand, and moving
towards the door.

"Is it then impossible I can serve you?-Perhaps you wish to see
Mr. Macartney again?"

"No, my Lord." And I held the door open.

"I am not, I own, sorry for that. Yet, oh! Miss Anville, there is a
question,-there is a conjecture,-I know not how to mention, because I
dread the result!-But I see you are in haste;-perhaps in the evening
I may have the honour of a longer conversation.-Yet one thing, will
you have the goodness to allow me to ask?-Did you, this morning,
when you went to the Wells,-did you know whom you should meet there?"

"Who, my Lord?"

"I beg your pardon a thousand times for a curiosity so unlicensed;-but
I will say no more at present."

He bowed, expecting me to go;-and then, with quick steps, but
a heavy heart, I came to my own room. His question, I am sure,
meant Sir Clement Willoughby; and had I not imposed upon myself the
severe task of avoiding, flying Lord Orville, with all my power, I
would instantly have satisfied him of my ignorance of Sir Clement's
journey. And yet more did I long to say something of the assembly,
since I found he depended upon my spending the evening at home.

I did not go down stairs again till the family was assembled to
dinner. My dress, I saw, struck Lord Orville with astonishment; and
I was myself so much ashamed of appearing whimsical and unsteady,
that I could not look up.

"I understood," said Mrs. Beaumont, "that Miss Anville did not go
out this evening."

"Her intention in the morning," said Mrs. Selwyn, "was to stay at
home; but there is a fascinating power in an assembly, which, upon
second thoughts, is not to be resisted."

"The assembly!" cried Lord Orville; "are you then going to the
assembly?"

I made no answer; and we all took our places at table.

It was not without difficulty that I contrived to give up my usual
seat; but I was determined to adhere to the promise in my yesterday's
letter, though I saw that Lord Orville seemed quite confounded at my
visible endeavours to avoid him.

After dinner, we all went into the drawing-room together, as there
were no gentlemen to detain his Lordship; and then, before I could
place myself out of his way, he said, "You are then really going to
the assembly?-May I ask if you shall dance?"

"I believe not,-my Lord."

"If I did not fear," continued he, "that you would be tired of the same
partner at two following assemblies, I would give up my letter-writing
till to-morrow evening, and solicit the honour of your hand."

"If I do dance," said I, in great confusion, "I believe I am engaged."

"Engaged!" cried he, with earnestness, "May I ask to whom?"

"To-Sir Clement Willoughby, my Lord."

He said nothing, but looked very little pleased, and did not address
himself to me any more all the afternoon. Oh, Sir!-thus situated,
how comfortless were the feelings of your Evelina!

Early in the evening, with his accustomed assiduity, Sir Clement came
to conduct us to the assembly. He soon contrived to seat himself
next me, and, in a low voice, paid me so many compliments, that I
knew not which way to look.

Lord Orville hardly spoke a word, and his countenance was grave and
thoughtful; yet, whenever I raised my eyes, his, I perceived, were
directed towards me, though instantly, upon meeting mine, he looked
another way.

In a short time, Sir Clement, taking from his pocket a folded paper,
said, almost in a whisper, "Here, loveliest of women, you will
see a faint, an unsuccessful attempt to paint the object of all my
adoration! yet, weak as are the lines for the purpose, I envy beyond
expression the happy mortal who has dared make the effort."

"I will look at them," said I, "some other time." For, conscious
that I was observed by Lord Orville, I could not bear he should see
me take a written paper, so privately offered, from Sir Clement. But
Sir Clement is an impracticable man, and I never succeeded in any
attempt to frustrate whatever he had planned.

"No," said he, still in a whisper, "you must take them now, while
Lady Louisa is away;" for she and Mrs. Selwyn were gone up stairs to
finish their dress, "as she must by no means see them."

"Indeed," said I, "I have no intention to show them."

"But the only way," answered he, "to avoid suspicion, is to take
them in her absence. I would have read them aloud myself, but that
they are not proper to be seen by any body in this house, yourself
and Mrs. Selwyn excepted."

Then again he presented me the paper, which I now was obliged to take,
as I found declining it was vain. But I was sorry that this action
should be seen, and the whispering remarked, though the purport of
the conversation was left to conjecture.

As I held it in my hand, Sir Clement teazed me to look at it
immediately; and told me, the reason he could not produce the lines
publicly was, that among the ladies who were mentioned, and supposed
to be rejected, was Lady Louisa Larpent. I am much concerned at
this circumstance, as I cannot doubt but that it will render me more
disagreeable to her than ever, if she should hear of it.

I will now copy the verses, which Sir Clement would not let me rest
till I had read.

         See last advance, with bashful grace,
           Downcast eye, and blushing cheek,
         Timid air, and beauteous face,
           Anville,-whom the Graces seek.
         Though ev'ry beauty is her own,
           And though her mind each virtue fills,
         Anville,-to her power unknown,
           Artless strikes,-unconscious kills.



I am sure, my dear Sir, you will not wonder that a panegyric such
as this should, in reading, give me the greatest confusion; and,
unfortunately, before I had finished it, the ladies returned.

"What have you there, my dear?" said Mrs. Selwyn.

"Nothing, Ma'am," said I, hastily folding, and putting it in my pocket.

"And has nothing," cried she, "the power of rouge?"

I made no answer; a deep sigh, which escaped Lord Orville at that
moment, reached my ears, and gave me sensations-which I dare not
mention!

Lord Merton then handed Lady Louisa and Mrs. Beaumont to the latter's
carriage. Mrs. Selwyn led the way to Sir Clement's, who handed me in
after her.

During the ride I did not once speak; but when I came to the assembly
room, Sir Clement took care that I should not preserve my silence. He
asked me immediately to dance; I begged him to excuse me, and seek
some other partner.  But on the contrary, he told me, he was very
glad I would sit still, as he had a million of things to say to me.

He then began to tell me, how much he had suffered from absence;
how greatly he was alarmed when he heard I had left town; and how
cruelly difficult he had found it to trace me; which, at last, he
could only do by sacrificing another week to Captain Mirvan.

"And Howard Grove," continued he, "which, at my first visit,
I thought the most delightful spot upon earth, now appeared to me
the most dismal: the face of the country seemed altered; the walks,
which I had thought most pleasant, were now most stupid: Lady Howard,
who had appeared a cheerful and respectable old lady, now appeared
in the common John Trot style of other aged dames: Mrs. Mirvan,
whom I had esteemed as an amiable piece of still-life, now became so
insipid, that I could hardly keep awake in her company: the daughter,
too, whom I had regarded as a good-humoured, pretty sort of a girl,
now seemed too insignificant for notice: and as to the Captain,
I had always thought him a booby,-but now he appeared a savage!"

"Indeed, Sir Clement," cried I, angrily, "I will not hear you speak
thus of my best friends."

"I beg your pardon," said he, "but the contrast of my two visits was
too striking not to be mentioned."

He then asked what I thought of the verses?

"Either," said I, "they are written ironically, or by some madman."

Such a profusion of compliments ensued, that I was obliged to propose
dancing, in my own defence. When we stood up, "I intended," said he,
"to have discovered the author by his looks; but I find you so much the
general loadstone of attention, that my suspicions change their object
every moment.  Surely you must yourself have some knowledge who he is?"

I told him no. Yet, my dear Sir, I must own to you, I have no doubt
but that Mr. Macartney must be the author; no one else would speak
of me so partially; and, indeed, his poetical turn puts it, with me,
beyond dispute.

He asked me a thousand questions concerning Lord Orville; how long he
had been at Bristol?-what time I had spent at Clifton?-whether he rode
out every morning?-whether I ever trusted myself in a phaeton? and
a multitude of other enquiries, all tending to discover if I was
honoured with much of his Lordship's attention, and all made with
his usual freedom and impetuosity.

Fortunately, as I much wished to retire early, Lady Louisa makes a
point of being the first who quit the rooms, and therefore we got
home in very tolerable time.

Lord Orville's reception of us was grave and cold: far from
distinguishing me, as usual, by particular civilities, Lady Louisa
herself could not have seen me enter the room with more frigid
unconcern, nor have more scrupulously avoided honouring me with any
notice. But chiefly I was struck to see, that he suffered Sir Clement,
who stayed supper, to sit between us, without any effort to prevent
him, though till then, he had seemed to be even tenacious of a seat
next mine.

This little circumstance affected me more than I can express; yet
I endeavoured to rejoice at it, since neglect and indifference from
him may be my best friends.-But, alas!-so suddenly, so abruptly to
forfeit his attention!-to lose his friendship!-Oh, Sir, these thoughts
pierced my soul!-scarce could I keep my seat; for not all my efforts
could restrain the tears from trickling down my cheeks: however,
as Lord Orville saw them not, for Sir Clement's head was constantly
between us, I tried to collect my spirits, and succeeded so far as
to keep my place with decency, till Sir Clement took leave; and then,
not daring to trust my eyes to meet those of Lord Orville, I retired.

I have been writing ever since; for, certain that I could not sleep,
I would not go to bed. Tell me, my dearest Sir, if you possibly
can, tell me that you approve my change of conduct,-tell me that
my altered behaviour to Lord Orville is right,-that my flying his
society, and avoiding his civilities, are actions which you would
have dictated.-Tell me this, and the sacrifices I have made will
comfort me in the midst of my regret,-for never, never can I cease
to regret that I have lost the friendship of Lord Orville!-Oh, Sir,
I have slighted,-have rejected,-have thrown it away!-No matter, it
was an honour I merited not to preserve; and now I see,-that my mind
was unequal to sustaining it without danger.

Yet so strong is the desire you have implanted in me to act with
uprightness and propriety, that, however the weakness of my heart
may distress and afflict me, it will never, I humbly trust, render
me wilfully culpable. The wish of doing well governs every other,
as far as concerns my conduct,-for am I not your child?-the creature
of your own forming!-Yet, Oh Sir, friend, parent, of my heart!-my
feelings are all at war with my duties! and, while I most struggle to
acquire self-approbation, my peace, my happiness, my hopes,-are lost!

'Tis you alone can compose a mind so cruelly agitated: you, I well
know, can feel pity for the weakness to which you are a stranger;
and, though you blame the affliction, soothe and comfort the afflicted.


LETTER LXXIII.

MR. VILLARS TO EVELINA.  Berry Hill, Oct. 3rd.


YOUR last communication, my dearest child, is indeed astonishing;
that an acknowledged daughter and heiress of Sir John Belmont should
be at Bristol, and still my Evelina bear the name of Anville, is to me
inexplicable; yet the mystery of the letter to Lady Howard prepared
me to expect something extraordinary upon Sir John Belmont's return
to England.

Whoever this young lady may be, it is certain she now takes a place
to which you have a right indisputable. An after-marriage I never
heard of; yet, supposing such a one to have happened, Miss Evelyn was
certainly the first wife, and therefore her daughter must, at least,
be entitled to the name of Belmont.

Either there are circumstances in this affair at present utterly
incomprehensible, or else some strange and most atrocious fraud has
been practiced; which of these two is the case it now behoves us
to enquire.

My reluctance to this step gives way to my conviction of its propriety,
since the reputation of your dear and much-injured mother must
now either be fully cleared from blemish, or receive its final and
indelible wound.

The public appearance of a daughter of Sir John Belmont will revive
the remembrance of Miss Evelyn's story in all who have heard it,-who
the mother was, will be universally demanded,-and if any other Lady
Belmont should be named, the birth of my Evelina will receive a stigma,
against which, honour, truth, and innocence may appeal in vain!-a
stigma, which will eternally blast the fair fame of her virtuous
mother, and cast upon her blameless self the odium of a title, which
not all her purity can rescue from established shame and dishonour!

No, my dear child, no; I will not quietly suffer the ashes of your
mother to be treated with ignominy! her spotless character shall be
justified to the world-her marriage shall be acknowledged, and her
child shall bear the name to which she is lawfully entitled.

It is true, that Mrs. Mirvan would conduct this affair with more
delicacy than Mrs. Selwyn; yet, perhaps, to save time, is of all
considerations the most important, since the longer this mystery
is suffered to continue, the more difficult may be rendered its
explanation. The sooner, therefore, you can set out for town, the
less formidable will be your task.

Let not your timidity, my dear love, depress your spirits: I shall,
indeed, tremble for you at a meeting so singular and so affecting,
yet there can be no doubt of the success of your application: I
enclose a letter from your unhappy mother, written, and reserved
purposely for this occasion: Mrs.  Clinton too, who attended her in
her last illness, must accompany you to town.-But, without any other
certificate of your birth, that which you carry in your countenance,
as it could not be affected by artifice, so it cannot admit of a doubt.

And now, my Evelina, committed at length to the care of your real
parent, receive the fervent prayers, wishes, and blessings, of him
who so fondly adopted you!

May'st thou, O child of my bosom! may'st thou, in this change of
situation, experience no change of disposition! but receive with
humility, and support with meekness the elevation to which thou
art rising! May thy manners, language, and deportment, all evince
that modest equanimity, and cheerful gratitude, which not merely
deserve, but dignify prosperity! May'st thou, to the last moments of
an unblemished life, retain thy genuine simplicity, thy singleness
of heart, thy guileless sincerity! And may'st thou, stranger to
ostentation, and superior to insolence, with true greatness of soul
shine forth conspicuous only in beneficence!  ARTHUR VILLARS.


LETTER LXXIV.  [Inclosed in the preceding Letter.]

LADY BELMONT TO SIR JOHN BELMONT.


IN the firm hope that the moment of anguish which approaches will
prove the period of my sufferings, once more I address myself to Sir
John Belmont, in behalf of the child, who, if it survives its mother,
will hereafter be the bearer of this letter.

Yet, in what terms,-Oh, most cruel of men!-can the lost Caroline
address you, and not address you in vain? Oh, deaf to the voice of
compassion-deaf to the sting of truth-deaf to every tie of honour-say,
in what terms may the lost Caroline address you, and not address you
in vain!

Shall I call you by the loved, the respected title of husband?-No, you
disclaim it!-the father of my infant?-No, you doom it to infamy!-the
lover who rescued me from a forced marriage?-No, you have yourself
betrayed me!-the friend from whom I hoped succour and protection?-No,
you have consigned me to misery and destruction!

Oh, hardened against every plea of justice, remorse, or pity! how,
and in what manner, may I hope to move thee? Is there one method I
have left untried?  remains there one resource unessayed? No! I have
exhausted all the bitterness of reproach, and drained every sluice
of compassion!

Hopeless, and almost desperate, twenty times have I flung away my
pen;-but the feelings of a mother, a mother agonizing for the fate
of her child, again animating my courage, as often I have resumed it.

Perhaps when I am no more, when the measure of my woes is completed,
and the still, silent, unreproaching dust has received my sad
remains,-then, perhaps, when accusation is no longer to be feared,
nor detection to be dreaded, the voice of equity and the cry of nature
may be heard.

Listen, Oh Belmont, to their dictates! reprobate not your child,
though you have reprobated its mother. The evils that are past,
perhaps, when too late, you may wish to recal; the young creature
you have persecuted, perhaps, when too late, you may regret that
you have destroyed;-you may think with horror of the deceptions
you have practised, and the pangs of remorse may follow me to the
tomb:-Oh, Belmont, all my resentment softens into pity at the thought!
what will become of thee, good Heaven, when, with the eye of penitence,
thou reviewest thy past conduct!

Hear, then, the solemn, the last address, with which the unhappy
Caoline will importune thee.

If when the time of thy contrition arrives,-for arrive it must!-when
the sense of thy treachery shall rob thee of almost every other,
if then thy tortured heart shall sigh to expiate thy guilt,-mark the
conditions upon which I leave thee my forgiveness.

Thou knowest I am thy wife!-clear, then, to the world the reputation
thou hast sullied, and receive, as thy lawful successor, the child
who will present thee this, my dying request!

The worthiest, the most benevolent, the best of men, to whose consoling
kindness I owe the little tranquillity I have been able to preserve,
has plighted me his faith, that, upon no other conditions, he will
part with his helpless charge.

Should'st thou, in the features of this deserted innocent, trace the
resemblance of the wretched Caroline,-should its face bear the marks
of its birth, and revive in thy memory the image of its mother, wilt
thou not, Belmont, wilt thou not therefore renounce it?-Oh, babe of my
fondest affection! for whom already I experience all the tenderness of
maternal pity! look not like thy unfortunate mother,-lest the parent,
whom the hand of death may spare, shall be snatched from thee by the
more cruel means of unnatural antipathy!

I can write no more. The small share of serenity I have painfully
acquired, will not bear the shock of the dreadful ideas that crowd
upon me.

Adieu,-for ever!-

Yet, Oh!-shall I not, in this last farewell, which thou wilt not read
till every stormy passion is extinct, and the kind grave has embosomed
all my sorrows,-shall I not offer to the man, once so dear to me, a
ray of consolation to those afflictions he has in reserve? Suffer me,
then, to tell thee, that my pity far exceeds my indignation,-that I
will pray for thee in my last moments, and that the recollection of
the love I once bore thee, shall swallow up every other!

Once more, adieu! CAROLINE BELMONT.


LETTER LXXV.

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS.  Clifton, Oct. 3rd.


THIS morning I saw from my window, that Lord Orville was walking in
the garden; but I would not go down stairs till breakfast was ready:
and then, he paid me his compliments almost as coldly as Lady Louisa
paid hers.

I took my usual place, and Mrs. Belmont, Lady Louisa, and Mrs. Selwyn,
entered into their usual conversation.-Not so your Evelina:
disregarded, silent, and melancholy, she sat like a cypher, whom,
to nobody belonging, by nobody was noticed.

Ill brooking such a situation, and unable to suport the neglect of
Lord Orville, the moment breakfast was over I left the room, and
was going up stairs; when, very unpleasantly, I was stopped by Sir
Clement Willoughby, who, flying into the hall, prevented my proceeding.

He enquired very particularly after my health, and entreated me to
return into the parlour. Unwillingly, I consented, but thought any
thing preferable to continuing alone with him; and he would neither
leave me, nor suffer me to pass on. Yet, in returning, I felt not a
little ashamed at appearing thus to take the visit of Sir Clement to
myself. And, indeed, he endeavoured, by his manner of addressing me,
to give it that air.

He stayed, I believe, an hour; nor would he, perhaps, even then have
gone, had not Mrs. Beaumont broken up the party, by proposing an
airing in her coach.  Lady Louisa consented to accompany her; but
Mrs. Selwyn, when applied to, said, "If my Lord, or Sir Clement,
will join us, I shall be happy to make one;-but really a trio of
females will be nervous to the last degree."

Sir Clement readily agreed to attend them; indeed, he makes it his
evident study to court the favour of Mrs. Beaumont. Lord Orville
excused himself from going out; and I retired to my own room. What
he did with himself I know not, for I would not go down stairs till
dinner was ready: his coldness, though my own change of behaviour
had occasioned it, so cruelly depresses my spirits, that I know not
how to support myself in his presence.

At dinner, I found Sir Clement again of the party. Indeed, he manages
every thing his own way; for Mrs. Beaumont, though by no means easy
to please, seems quite at his disposal.

The dinner, the afternoon, and the evening, were to me the most
irksome imaginable: I was tormented by the assiduity of Sir Clement,
who not only took, but made opportunities of speaking to me,-and
I was hurt,-Oh, how inexpressibly hurt!-that Lord Orville not only
forebore, as hitherto, seeking, he even neglected all occasions of
talking with me!

I begin to think, my dear Sir, that the sudden alteration in my
behaviour was ill-judged and improper; for, as I had received no
offence, as the cause of the change was upon my account, not his,
I should not have assumed, so abruptly, a reserve for which I dared
assign no reason,-nor have shunned his presence so obviously, without
considering the strange appearance of such a conduct.

Alas, my dearest Sir, that my reflections should always be too late to
serve me! dearly, indeed, do I purchase experience! and much, I fear,
I shall suffer yet more severely, from the heedless indiscretion
of my temper, ere I attain that prudence and consideration, which,
by foreseeing distant consequences, may rule and direct in present
exigencies. Oct. 4th.


Yesterday morning every body rode out, except Mrs. Selwyn and myself;
and we two sat for some time together in her room; but, as soon as
I could, I quitted her, to saunter in the garden; for she diverts
herself so unmercifully with rallying me, either upon my gravity, or
concerning Lord Orville,-that I dread having any conversation with her.

Here I believe I spent an hour by myself; when, hearing the
garden-gate open, I went into an arbour at the end of a long walk,
where, ruminating, very unpleasantly, upon my future prospects, I
remained quietly seated but a few minutes, before I was interrupted
by the appearance of Sir Clement Willoughby.

I started; and would have left the arbour, but he prevented me. Indeed,
I am almost certain he had heard in the house where I was, as it is
not, otherwise, probable he would have strolled down the garden alone.

"Stop, stop," cried he, "loveliest and most beloved of women, stop
and hear me!"

Then, making me keep my place, he sat down by me, and would have
taken my hand; but I drew it back, and said I could not stay.

"Can you, then," cried he, "refuse me the smallest gratification,
though, but yesterday, I almost suffered martyrdom for the pleasure
of seeing you?"

"Martyrdom! Sir Clement."

"Yes, beauteous insensible! martyrdom: for did I not compel myself
to be immured in a carriage, the tedious length of a whole morning,
with the three most fatiguing women in England?"

"Upon my word, the ladies are extremely obliged to you."

"Oh," returned he, "they have, every one of them, so copious a share
of their own personal esteem, that they have no right to repine at
the failure of it in the world; and, indeed, they will themselves be
the last to discover it."

"How little," cried I, "are those ladies aware of such severity from
you!"

"They are guarded," answered he, "so happily and so securely by their
own conceit, that they are not aware of it from any body. Oh, Miss
Anville, to be torn away from you, in order to be shut up with them,-is
there a human being, except your cruel self, could forbear to pity me?"

"I believe, Sir Clement, however hardly you may choose to judge of
them, your situation, by the world in general, would rather have been
envied than pitied."

"The world in general," answered he, "has the same opinion of them
that I have myself: Mrs. Beaumont is every where laughed at, Lady
Louisa ridiculed, and Mrs. Selwyn hated."

"Good God, Sir Clement, what cruel strength of words do you use!"

"It is you, my angel, are to blame, since your perfections have
rendered their faults so glaring. I protest to you, during our whole
ride, I thought the carriage drawn by snails. The absurd pride of
Mrs. Beaumont, and the respect she exacts, are at once insufferable
and stupifying; had I never before been in her company, I should
have concluded that this had been her first airing from the herald's
office,-and wished her nothing worse, than that it might also be the
last. I assure you, that but for gaining the freedom of her house,
I would fly her as I would plague, pestilence, and famine. Mrs.
Selwyn, indeed, afforded some relief from this formality, but the
unbounded license of her tongue-"

"O, Sir Clement, do you object to that?"

"Yes, my sweet reproacher, in a woman I do; in a woman I think it
intolerable.  She has wit, I acknowledge, and more understanding
than half her sex put together; but she keeps alive a perpetual
expectation of satire, that spreads a general uneasiness among all who
are in her presence; and she talks so much, that even the best things
she says weary the attention. As to the little Louisa, 'tis such a
pretty piece of languor, that 'tis almost cruel to speak rationally
about her,-else I should say, she is a mere compound of affectation,
impertinence, and airs."

"I am quite amazed," said I, "that, with such opinions, you can behave
to them all with so much attention and civility."

"Civility! my angel,-why I could worship, could adore them, only to
procure myself a moment of your conversation! Have you not seen me pay
my court to the gross Captain Mirvan, and the virago Madame Duval? Were
it possible that a creature so horrid could be formed, as to partake of
the worst qualities of all these characters,-a creature who should have
the haughtiness of Mrs.  Beaumont, the brutality of Captain Mirvan,
the self-conceit of Mrs. Selwyn, the affectation of Lady Louisa,
and the vulgarity of Madame Duval,-even to such a monster as that I
would pay homage, and pour forth adulation, only to obtain one word,
one look from my adored Miss Anville!"

"Sir Clement," said I, "you are greatly mistaken if you suppose this
duplicity of character recommends you to my good opinion. But I must
take this opportunity of begging you never more to talk to me in
this strain."

"Oh, Miss Anville, your reproofs, your coldness, pierce me to the
soul! look upon me with less rigour, and make me what you please;-you
shall govern and direct all my actions,-you shall new-form, new-model
me:-I will not have even a wish but of your suggestion; only deign
to look upon me with pity-if not with favour!"

"Suffer me, Sir," said I, very gravely, "to make use of this occasion
to put a final conclusion to such expressions. I entreat you never
again to address me in a language so flighty and so unwelcome. You
have already given me great uneasiness; and I must frankly assure
you, that if you do not desire to banish me from wherever you are,
you will adopt a very different style and conduct in future."

I then rose, and was going, but he flung himself at my feet to prevent
me, exclaiming, in a most passionate manner, "Good God! Miss Anville,
what do you say?-is it, can it be possible, that, so unmoved, that,
with such petrifying indifference, you can tear from me even the
remotest hope!"

"I know not, Sir," said I, endeavouring to disengage myself from him,
"what hope you mean, but I am sure that I never intended to give
you any."

"You distract me," cried he, "I cannot endure such scorn;-I beseech
you to have some moderation in your cruelty, lest you make me
desperate:-say, then, that you pity me,-O fairest inexorable! loveliest
tyrant!-say, tell me, at least, that you pity me!"

Just then, who should come in sight, as if intending to pass by
the arbour, but Lord Orville! Good Heaven, how did I start! and he,
the moment he saw me, turned pale, and was hastily retiring;-but I
called out "Lord Orville!-Sir Clement, release me,-let go my hand!"

Sir Clement, in some confusion, suddenly rose, but still grasped
my hand. Lord Orville, who had turned back, was again walking away;
but, still struggling to disengage myself, I called out "Pray, pray,
my Lord, don't go!-Sir Clement, I insist upon your releasing me!"

Lord Orville then, hastily approaching us, said, with great spirit,
"Sir Clement, you cannot wish to detain Miss Anville by force!"

"Neither, my Lord," cried Sir Clement, proudly, "do I request the
honour of your Lordship's interference."

However, he let go my hand, and I immediately ran into the house.

I was now frightened to death, lest Sir Clement's mortified pride
should provoke him to affront Lord Orville: I therefore ran hastily to
Mrs. Selwyn, and entreated her, in a manner hardly to be understood,
to walk towards the arbour. She asked no questions, for she is quick
as lightening in taking a hint, but instantly hastened into the garden.

Imagine, my dear Sir, how wretched I must be till I saw her
return! scarce could I restrain myself from running back: however,
I checked my impatience, and waited, though in agonies, till she came.

And now, my dear Sir, I have a conversation to write, the most
interesting to me that I ever heard. The comments and questions with
which Mrs. Selwyn interrupted her account I shall not mention; for
they are such as you may very easily suppose.

Lord Orville and Sir Clement were both seated very quietly in the
arbour: and Mrs. Selwyn, standing still, as soon as she was within
a few yards of them, heard Sir Clement say, "Your question, my Lord,
alarms me, and I can by no means answer it, unless you will allow me
to propose another."

"Undoubtedly, Sir."

"You ask me, my Lord, what are my intentions?-I should be very happy
to be satisfied as to your Lordship's."

"I have never, Sir, professed any."

Here they were both, for a few moments, silent; and then Sir Clement
said, "To what, my Lord, must I then impute your desire of knowing
mine?"

"To an unaffected interest in Miss Anville's welfare."

"Such an interest," said Sir Clement, drily, "is indeed very generous;
but, except in a father,-a brother,-or a lover-"

"Sir Clement," interrupted his Lordship, "I know your inference;
and I acknowledge I have not the right of enquiry which any of those
three titles bestow; and yet I confess the warmest wishes to serve
her and to see her happy. Will you, then, excuse me, if I take the
liberty to repeat my question?"

"Yes, if your Lordship will excuse my repeating, that I think it a
rather extraordinary one."

"It may be so," said Lord Orville; "but this young lady seems to
be peculiarly situated; she is very young, very inexperienced,
yet appears to be left totally to her own direction. She does not,
I believe, see the dangers to which she is exposed, and I will own
to you, I feel a strong desire to point them out."

"I don't rightly understand your Lordship,-but I think you cannot
mean to prejudice her against me?"

"Her sentiments of you, Sir, are as much unknown to me, as your
intentions towards her. Perhaps, were I acquainted with either,
my officiousness might be at an end: but I presume not to ask upon
what terms-"

Here he stopped; and Sir Clement said, "You know, my Lord, I am not
given to despair; I am by no means such a puppy as to tell you I am
upon sure ground; however, perseverance-"

"You are, then, determined to perservere?"

"I am, my Lord."

"Pardon me, then, Sir Clement, if I speak to you with freedom. This
young lady, though she seems alone, and, in some measure, unprotected,
is not entirely without friends; she has been extremely well educated,
and accustomed to good company; she has a natural love of virtue,
and a mind that might adorn any station, however exalted: is such
a young lady, Sir Clement, a proper object to trifle with?-for your
principles, excuse me, Sir, are well known."

"As to that, my Lord, let Miss Anville look to herself; she has an
excellent understanding, and needs no counsellor."

"Her understanding is indeed excellent; but she is too young for
suspicion, and has an artlessness of disposition I never saw equalled."

"My Lord," cried Sir Clement, warmly, "your praises make me doubt
your disinterestedness, and there exists not the man, whom I would
so unwillingly have for a rival as yourself. But you must give me
leave to say, you have greatly deceived me in regard to this affair."

"How so, Sir?" cried Lord Orville, with equal warmth.

"You were pleased, my Lord," answered Sir Clement, "upon our first
conversation concerning this young lady, to speak to her in terms by
no means suited to your present encomiums; you said she was a poor,
weak, ignorant girl, and I had great reason to believe you had a most
contemptuous opinion of her."

"It is very true," said Lord Orville, "that I did not, at our first
acquaintance, do justice to the merits of Miss Anville; but I knew
not then how new she was to the world; at present, however, I am
convinced, that whatever might appear strange in her behaviour, was
simply the effect of inexperience, timidity, and a retired education;
for I find her informed, sensible, and intelligent. She is not,
indeed, like most modern young ladies, to be known in half an hour:
her modest worth, and fearful excellence, require both time and
encouragement to show themselves. She does not, beautiful as she is,
seize the soul by surprise, but, with more dangerous fascination,
she steals it almost imperceptibly."

"Enough, my Lord," cried Sir Clement, "your solicitude for her welfare
is now sufficiently explained."

"My friendship and esteem," returned Lord Orville, "I do not wish to
disguise; but assure yourself, Sir Clement, I should not have troubled
you upon this subject, had Miss Anville and I ever conversed but as
friends. However, since you do not choose to avow your intentions,
we must drop the subject."

"My intentions," cried he, "I will frankly own, are hardly known
to myself. I think Miss Anville the loveliest of her sex; and,
were I a marrying man, she, of all the women I have seen, I would
fix upon for a wife: but I believe that not even the philosophy of
your Lordship would recommend me to a connection of that sort, with
a girl of obscure birth, whose only dowry is her beauty, and who is
evidently in a state of dependency."

"Sir Clement," cried Lord Orville, with some heat, "we will discuss
this point no further; we are both free agents, and must act for
ourselves."

Here Mrs. Selwyn, fearing a surprise, and finding my apprehensions
of danger were groundless, retired hastily into another walk, and
soon after came to give me this account.

Good Heaven, what a man is this Sir Clement! So designing, though so
easy; so deliberately artful, though so flighty! Greatly, however, is
he mistaken, all confident as he seems; for the girl, obscure, poor,
dependent as she is, far from wishing the honour of his alliance,
would not only now, but always have rejected it.

As to Lord Orville,-but I will not trust my pen to mention him,-tell
me, my dear sir, what you think of him?-tell me if he is not
the noblest of men?-and if you can either wonder at, or blame my
admiration?

The idea of being seen immediately by either party, after so singular
a conversation, was both awkward and distressing to me; but I was
obliged to appear at dinner. Sir Clement, I saw, was absent and
uneasy; he watched me, he watched Lord Orville, and was evidently
disturbed in his mind. Whenever he spoke to me, I turned from him
with undisguised disdain, for I am too much irritated against him,
to bear with his ill-meant assiduities any longer.

But, not once,-not a moment, did I dare meet the eyes of Lord
Orville! All consciousness myself, I dreaded his penetration, and
directed mine every way-but towards his. The rest of the day I never
quitted Mrs. Selwyn.

Adieu, my dear Sir: to-morrow I expect your directions, whether I am
to return to Berry Hill, or once more to visit London.


LETTER LXXVI.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Oct. 6th.


AND now, my dearest Sir, if the perturbation of my spirits will allow
me, I will finish my last letter from Clifton Hill. This morning,
though I did not go down stairs early, Lord Orville was the only
person in the parlour when I entered it. I felt no small confusion
at seeing him alone, after having so long and successfully avoided
such a meeting. As soon as the usual compliments were over, I would
have left the room, but he stopped me by saying, "If I disturb you
Miss Anville, I am gone."

"My Lord," said I, rather embarrassed, "I did not mean to stay."

"I flattered myself," cried he, "I should have had a moment's
conversation with you."

I then turned back; and he seemed himself in some perplexity: but,
after a short pause, "You are very good," said he, "to indulge my
request; I have, indeed, for some time past, most ardently desired
an opportunity of speaking to you."

Again he paused; but I said nothing, so he went on.

"You allowed me, Madam, a few days since, you allowed me to lay
claim to your friendship,-to interest myself in your affairs,-to call
you by the affectionate title of sister;-and the honour you did me,
no man could have been more sensible of; I am ignorant, therefore,
how I have been so unfortunate as to forfeit it:-but, at present,
all is changed! you fly me,-your averted eye shuns to meet mine,
and you sedulously avoid my conversation."

I was extremely disconcerted at this grave, and but too just
accusation, and I am sure I must look very simple;-but I made no
answer.

"You will not, I hope," continued he, "condemn me unheard; if there
is any thing I have done,-or any thing I have neglected, tell me,
I beseech you, what, and it shall be the whole study of my thoughts
how to deserve your pardon."

"Oh, my Lord," cried I, penetrated at once with shame and gratitude,
"your too, too great politeness oppresses me!-you have done nothing,-I
have never dreamt of offence-if there is any pardon to be asked it
is rather for me, than for you to ask it."

"You are all sweetness and condescension!" cried he, "and I flatter
myself you will again allow me to claim those titles which I find
myself so unable to forego. Yet, occupied as I am, with an idea
that gives me the greatest uneasiness, I hope you will not think
me impertinent, if I still solicit, still intreat, nay implore, you
to tell me, to what cause your late sudden, and to me most painful,
reserve was owing?"

"Indeed, my Lord," said I, stammering, "I don't,-I can't,-indeed,
my Lord,-"

"I am sorry to distress you," said he, "and ashamed to be so
urgent,-yet I know not how to be satisfied while in ignorance,-and
the time when the change happened, makes me apprehend,-may I, Miss
Anville, tell you what it makes me apprehend?"

"Certainly, my Lord."

"Tell me, then,-and pardon a question most essentially important
to me;-Had, or had not, Sir Clement Willoughby any share in causing
your inquietude?"

"No, my Lord," answered I, with firmness, "none in the world."

"A thousand, thousand thanks!" cried he: "you have relieved me from a
weight of conjecture which I supported very painfully. But one thing
more; is it, in any measure, to Sir Clement that I may attribute the
alteration in your behaviour to myself, which, I could not but observe,
began the very day after his arrival at the Hot Wells?"

"To Sir Clement, my Lord," said I, "attribute nothing. He is the last
man in the world who would have any influence over my conduct."

"And will you, then, restore to me that share of confidence and favour
with which you honoured me before he came?"

Just then, to my great relief,-for I knew not what to say,-Mrs.
Beaumont opened the door, and in a few minutes we went to breakfast.

Lord Orville was all gaiety; never did I see him more lively or more
agreeable. Very soon after, Sir Clement Willoughby called, to pay
his respects, he said, to Mrs. Beaumont. I then came to my own room,
where, indulging my reflections, which, now soothed, and now alarmed
me, I remained very quietly, till I received your most kind letter.

Oh, Sir, how sweet are the prayers you offer for your Evelina! how
grateful to her are the blessings you pour upon her head!-You commit
me to my real parent,-Ah, Guardian, Friend, Protector of my youth,-by
whom my helpless infancy was cherished, my mind formed, my very life
preserved,-you are the Parent my heart acknowledges, and to you do
I vow eternal duty, gratitude, and affection!

I look forward to the approaching interview with more fear than hope;
but, important as is this subject, I am just now wholly engrossed
with another, which I must hasten to communicate.

I immediately acquainted Mrs. Selwyn with the purport of your
letter. She was charmed to find your opinion agreed with her own,
and settled that we should go to town to-morrow morning: and a chaise
is actually ordered to be here by one o'clock.

She then desired me to pack up my clothes; and said she must go
herself to make speeches and tell lies to Mrs. Beaumont.

When I went down stairs to dinner, Lord Orville, who was still in
excellent spirits, reproached me for secluding myself so much from
the company. He sat next me,-he would sit next me,-at table; and he
might, I am sure, repeat what he once said of me before, that he
almost exhausted himself in fruitless endeavours to entertain me;
-for, indeed, I was not to be entertained: I was totally spiritless
and dejected; the idea of the approaching meeting,-and Oh, Sir,
the idea of the approaching parting,-gave a heaviness to my heart
that I could neither conquer nor repress. I even regretted the half
explanation that had passed, and wished Lord Orville had supported
his own reserve, and suffered me to support mine.

However, when, during dinner, Mrs. Beaumont spoke of our journey,
my gravity was no longer singular; a cloud instantly overspread the
countenance of Lord Orville, and he became nearly as thoughtful and
as silent as myself.

We all went together to the drawing-room. After a short and
unentertaining conversation, Mrs. Selwyn said she must prepare for
her journey, and begged me to see for some books she had left in
the parlour.

And here, while I was looking for them, I was followed by Lord
Orville. He shut the door after he came in, and, approaching me with
a look of anxiety, said, "Is this true, Miss Anville, are you going?"

"I believe so, my Lord," said I, still looking for the books.

"So suddenly, so unexpectedly must I lose you?"

"No great loss, my Lord," cried I, endeavouring to speak cheerfully.

"Is it possible," said he gravely, "Miss Anville can doubt my
sincerity?"

"I can't imagine," cried I, "what Mrs. Selwyn has done with these
books."

"Would to Heaven," continued he, "I might flatter myself you would
allow me to prove it!"

"I must run up stairs," cried I, greatly confused, "and ask what she
has done with them."

"You are going, then," cried he, taking my hand, "and you give me not
the smallest hope of your return!-will you not, then, my too lovely
friend!-will you not, at least, teach me, with fortitude like your own,
to support your absence?"

"My Lord," cried I, endeavouring to disengage my hand, "pray let
me go!"

"I will," cried he, to my inexpressible confusion, dropping on one
knee, "if you wish to leave me!"

"O, my Lord," exclaimed I, "rise, I beseech you, rise!-such a posture
to me!-surely your Lordship is not so cruel as to mock me!"

"Mock you!" repeated he earnestly, "no I revere you! I esteem and
I admire you above all human beings! you are the friend to whom my
soul is attached as to its better half! you are the most amiable,
the most perfect of women! and you are dearer to me than language
has the power of telling."

I attempt not to describe my sensations at that moment; I scarce
breathed; I doubted if I existed,-the blood forsook my cheeks,
and my feet refused to sustain me: Lord Orville, hastily rising,
supported me to a chair, upon which I sunk, almost lifeless.

For a few minutes, we neither of us spoke; and then, seeing me recover,
Lord Orville, though in terms hardly articulate, intreated my pardon
for his abruptness. The moment my strength returned, I attempted to
rise, but he would not permit me.

I cannot write the scene that followed, though every word is
engraven on my heart; but his protestations, his expressions, were
too flattering for repetition: nor would he, in spite of my repeated
efforts to leave him, suffer me to escape:-in short, my dear Sir,
I was not proof against his solicitations-and he drew from me the
most sacred secret of my heart!

I know not how long we were together; but Lord Orville was upon his
knees, when the door was opened by Mrs. Selwyn!-To tell you, Sir,
the shame with which I overwhelmed, would be impossible;-I snatched
my hand from Lord Orville,-he, too, started and rose, and Mrs. Selwyn,
for some instants, stood facing us both in silence.

At last, "My Lord" said she, sarcastically, "have you been so good
as to help Miss Anville to look for my books?"

"Yes, Madam," answered he, attempting to rally, "and I hope we shall
soon be able to find them."

"Your Lordship is extremely kind," said she, drily, "but I can by
no means consent to take up any more of your time." Then looking on
the window-seat, she presently found the books, and added, "Come,
here are just three, and so like the servants in the Drummer, this
important affair may give employment to us all." She then presented
one of them to Lord Orville, another to me, and taking a third herself,
with a most provoking look, she left the room.

I would instantly have followed her; but Lord Orville, who could not
help laughing, begged me to stay a minute, as he had many important
matters to discuss.

"No, indeed, my Lord, I cannot,-perhaps I have already stayed too
long."

"Does Miss Anville so soon repent her goodness?"

"I scarce know what I do, my Lord,-I am quite bewildered!"

"One hour's conversation," cried he, "will, I hope, compose your
spirits, and confirm my happiness. When, then, may I hope to see you
alone?-shall you walk in the garden to-morrow before breakfast?"

"No, no, my Lord; you must not, a second time, reproach me with making
an appointment."

"Do you then," said he, laughing, "reserve that honour only for
Mr. Macartney?"

"Mr. Mccartney," said I, "is poor, and thinks himself obliged to me;
otherwise-"

"Poverty," cried he, "I will not plead; but, if being obliged to you
has any weight, who shall dispute my title to an appointment?"

"My Lord, I can stay no longer,-Mrs. Selwyn will lose all patience."

"Deprive her not of the pleasure of her conjectures,-but tell me,
are you under Mrs. Selwyn's care?"

"Only for the present, my Lord."

"Not a few are the questions I have to ask Miss Anville: among them,
the most important is, whether she depends wholly on herself, or
whether there is any other person for whose interest I must solicit?"

"I hardly know, my Lord, I hardly know myself to whom I most belong."

"Suffer, suffer me, then," cried he, with warmth, "to hasten the time
when that shall no longer admit a doubt!-when your grateful Orville
may call you all his own!"

At length, but with difficulty, I broke from him. I went, however, to
my own room, for I was too much agitated to follow Mrs. Selwyn. Good
God, my dear Sir, what a scene! surely the meeting for which I shall
prepare to-morrow cannot so greatly affect me! To be loved by Lord
Orville,-to be the honoured choice of his noble heart,-my happiness
seemed too infinite to be borne, and I wept, even bitterly I wept,
from the excess of joy which overpowered me.

In this state of almost painful felicity I continued till I was
summoned to tea. When I re-entered the drawing room, I rejoiced much
to find it full of company, as the confusion with which I met Lord
Orville was rendered the less observable.

Immediately after tea, most of the company played at cards,-and
then-till supper time, Lord Orville devoted himself wholly to me.

He saw that my eyes were red, and would not let me rest till he
made me confess the cause; and when, though most reluctantly, I had
acknowledged my weakness, I could with difficulty refrain from weeping
again at the gratitude he expressed.

He earnestly desired to know if my journey could not be postponed! and
when I no, entreated permission to attend me to town.

"Oh, my Lord," cried I, "what a request!"

"The sooner," answered he, "I make my devotion to you in public,
the sooner I may expect, from your delicacy, you will convince the
world you encourage no mere danglers."

"You teach me, then, my Lord, the inference I might expect, if
I complied."

"And can you wonder I should seek to hasten the happy time, when
no scruples, no discretion will demand our separation? and the most
punctilious delicacy will rather promote, than oppose, my happiness
in attending you?"

To this I was silent, and he re-urged his request.

"My Lord," said I, "you ask what I have no power to grant. This
journey will deprive me of all right to act for myself."

"What does Miss Anville mean?"

"I cannot now explain myself; indeed, if I could, the task would be
both painful and tedious."

"O, Miss Anville," cried he, "when may I hope to date the period of
this mystery? when flatter myself that my promised friend will indeed
honour me with her confidence?"

"My Lord," said I, "I mean not to affect any mystery,-but my affairs
are so circumstanced, that a long and most unhappy story can alone
explain them.  However, if a short suspense will give your Lordship
any uneasiness,-"

"My beloved Miss Anville," cried he, eagerly, "pardon my
impatience!-You shall tell me nothing you would wish to conceal,-I
will wait your own time for information, and trust to your goodness
for its speed."

"There is nothing, my Lord, I wish to conceal,-to postpone an
explanation is all I desire."

He then requested, that, since I would not allow him to accompany
me to town, I would permit him to write to me, and promise to answer
his letters.

A sudden recollection of the two letters which had already passed
between us occurring to me, I hastily answered, "No, indeed, my Lord!-"

"I am extremely sorry," said he, gravely, "that you think me too
presumptuous.  I must own I had flattered myself, that, to soften the
inquietude of an absence, which seems attended by so many inexplicable
circumstances, would not have been to incur your displeasure." This
seriousness hurt me; and I could not forbear saying, "Can you indeed
desire, my Lord, that I should, a second time, expose myself, by an
unguarded readiness, to write to you?"

"A second time! unguarded readiness!" repeated he; "you amaze me!"

"Has your Lordship then quite forgot the foolish letter I was so
imprudent as to send you when in town?"

"I have not the least idea," cried he, "of what you mean."

"Why then, my Lord," said I, "we had better let the subject drop."

"Impossible!" cried he, "I cannot rest without an explanation!"

And then, he obliged me to speak very openly of both the letters: but,
my dear Sir, imagine my surprise, when he assured me, in the most
solemn manner, that, far from having ever written me a single line,
he had never received, seen, or heard of my letter!

This subject, which caused mutual astonishment and perplexity to us
both, entirely engrossed us for the rest of the evening; and he made
me promise to show him the letter I had received in his name to-morrow
morning, that he might endeavour to discover the author.

After supper, the conversation became general.

And now, my dearest Sir, may I not call for your congratulations upon
the events of this day? a day never to be recollected by me but with
the most grateful joy! I know how much you are inclined to think well
of Lord Orville; I cannot, therefore, apprehend that my frankness to
him will displease you.  Perhaps the time is not very distant, when
your Evelina's choice may receive the sanction of her best friend's
judgment and approbation,-which seems now all she has to wish!

In regard to the change in my situation which must first take place,
surely I cannot be blamed for what has passed! the partiality of Lord
Orville must not only reflect honour upon me, but upon all to whom
I do, or may belong.

Adieu, most dear Sir, I will write again when I arrive at London.


LETTER LXXVII.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Clifton, Oct. 7th.


YOU will see, my dear Sir, that I was mistaken in supposing I should
write no more from this place, where my residence now seems more
uncertain than ever.

This morning, during breakfast, Lord Orville took an opportunity to
beg me, in a low voice, to allow him a moment's conversation before
I left Clifton; "May I hope," added he, "that you will stroll into
the garden after breakfast?"

I made no answer, but I believe my looks gave no denial; for, indeed,
I much wished to be satisfied concerning the letter. The moment,
therefore, that I could quit the parlour, I ran up stairs for my
calash; but, before I reached my room, Mrs. Selwyn called after me,
"If you are going to walk, Miss Anville, be so good as to bid Jenny
bring down my hat, and I'll accompany you."

Very much disconcerted, I turned into the drawing-room, without making
any answer, and there I hoped to wait unseen, till she had otherwise
disposed of herself. But, in a few minutes, the door opened, and Sir
Clement Willoughby entered.

Starting at the sight of him, in rising hastily, I let drop the letter
which I had brought for Lord Orville's inspection, and, before I could
recover it, Sir Clement, springing forward, had it in his hand. He
was just presenting it to me, and, at the same time, enquiring after
my health, when the signature caught his eye, and he read aloud,
"Orville."

I endeavoured, eagerly, to snatch it from him, but he would not permit
me; and, holding it fast, in a passionate manner exclaimed, "Good God,
Miss Anville, is it possible you can value such a letter as this?"

The question surprised and confounded me, and I was too much ashamed to
answer him; but, finding he made an attempt to secure it, I prevented
him, and vehemently demanded him to return it.


"Tell me first," said he, holding it above my reach, "tell me if you
have since received any more letters from the same person?"


"No, indeed," cried I, "never!"


"And will you also, sweetest of women, promise that you never will
receive any more? Say that, and you will make me the happiest of men."


"Sir Clement," cried I, greatly confused, "pray give me the letter."


"And will you not first satisfy my doubts?-will you not relieve me
from the torture of the most distracting suspense?-tell me but that
the detested Orville has written to you no more!"


"Sir Clement," cried I, angrily, "you have no right to make any
conditions,-so pray give me the letter directly."


"Why such solicitude about this hateful letter? can it possibly
deserve your eagerness? tell me, with truth, with sincerity tell me,
does it really merit the least anxiety?"


"No matter, Sir," cried I, in great perplexity, "the letter is mine,
and therefore-"


"I must conclude, then," said he, "that the letter deserves your
utmost contempt,-but that the name of Orville is sufficient to make
you prize it."


"Sir Clement," cried I, colouring, "you are quite-you are very much-the
letter is not-"


"O, Miss Anville," cried he, "you blush!-you stammer!-Great Heaven! it
is then all as I feared!"


"I know not," cried I, half-frightened, "what you mean; but I beseech
you to give me the letter, and to compose yourself."


"The letter," cried he, gnashing his teeth, "you shall never see
more! You ought to have burnt it the moment you had read it!" And in
an instant he tore it into a thousand pieces.


Alarmed at a fury so indecently outrageous, I would have run out of
the room; but he caught hold of my gown, and cried, "Not yet, not yet
must you go! I am but half-mad yet, and you must stay to finish your
work. Tell me, therefore, does Orville know your fatal partiality?-Say
yes," added he, trembling with passion, "and I will fly you for ever!"


"For Heaven's sake, Sir Clement," cried I, "release me!-if you do not,
you will force me to call for help."


"Call then," cried he, "inexorable and most unfeeling girl; call,
if you please, and bid all the world witness your triumph;-but could
ten worlds obey your call, I would not part from you till you had
answered me. Tell me, then, does Orville know you love him?"


At any other time, an enquiry so gross would have given me
inexpressible confusion; but now, the wildness of his manner terrified
me, and I only said, "Whatever you wish to know, Sir Clement, I will
tell you another time; but, for the present, I entreat you to let
me go!"


"Enough," cried he, "I understand you!-the art of Orville has
prevailed;-cold, inanimate, phlegmatic as he is, you have rendered
him the most envied of men!-One thing more, and I have done:-Will he
marry you?"


What a question! my cheeks glowed with indignation, and I felt too
proud to make any answer.


"I see, I see how it is," cried he, after a short pause, "and I
find I am undone for ever!" Then, letting loose my gown, he put his
hand to his forehead, and walked up and down the room in a hasty and
agitated manner.


Though now at liberty to go, I had not the courage to leave him:
for his evident distress excited all my compassion. And this was our
situation, when Lady Louisa, Mr Coverley, and Mrs. Beaumont entered
the room.


"Sir Clement Willoughby," said the latter, "I beg your pardon for
making you wait so long, but-"


She had not time for another word; Sir Clement, too much disordered to
know or care what he did, snatched up his hat, and, brushing hastily
past her, flew down stairs, and out of the house.


And with him went my sincerest pity, though I earnestly hope I shall
see him no more. But what, my dear Sir, am I to conclude from his
strange speeches concerning the letter? Does it not seem as if he was
himself the author of it? How else should he be so well acquainted
with the contempt it merits?  Neither do I know another human being
who could serve any interest by such a deception. I remember, too,
that just as I had given my own letter to the maid, Sir Clement came
into the shop: probably he prevailed upon her, by some bribery, to
give it to him; and afterwards, by the same means, to deliver to me an
answer of his own writing. Indeed I can in no other manner account for
this affair. Oh, Sir Clement, were you not yourself unhappy, I know not
how I could pardon an artifice that has caused me so much uneasiness!


His abrupt departure occasioned a kind of general consternation.


"Very extraordinary behavior this!" cried Mrs. Beaumont.


"Egad," said Mr. Coverley, "the baronet has a mind to tip us a touch
of the heroics this morning!"


"I declare," cried Miss Louisa, "I never saw any thing so monstrous
in my life! it's quite abominable;-I fancy the man's mad;-I'm sure
he has given me a shocking fright!"


Soon after, Mrs. Selwyn came up stairs with Lord Merton. The former,
advancing hastily to me, said, "Miss Anville, have you an almanack?"


"Me?-no, Madam."


"Who has one, then?"


"Egad," cried Mr. Coverley, "I never bought one in my life; it would
make me quite melancholy to have such a time-keeper in my pocket. I
would as soon walk all day before an hour-glass."


"You are in the right," said Mrs. Selwyn, "not to watch time, lest
you should be betrayed, unawares, into reflecting how you employ it."


"Egad, Ma'am," cried he, "if Time thought no more of me than I do of
Time, I believe I should bid defiance, for one while, to old age and
wrinkles; for deuce take me, if ever I think about it at all."


"Pray, Mr. Coverley," said Mrs. Selwyn, "why do you think it necessary
to tell me this so often?"


"Often!" repeated he; "Egad, Madam, I don't know why I said it now;-but
I'm sure I can't recollect that ever I owned as much before."


"Owned it before!" cried she, "why, my dear Sir, you own it all day
long; for every word, every look, every action proclaims it."


I now not if he understood the full severity of her satire, but he
only turned off with a laugh: and she then applied to Mr. Lovel,
and asked if  he had an almanack?


Mr. Lovel, who always looks alarmed when she addresses him, with
some hesitation answered, "I assure you, Ma'am, I have no manner of
antipathy to an almanack,-none in the least,-I assure you;-I dare
say I have four or five."


"Four or five!-pray, may I ask what use you make of so many?"


"Use!-really, Ma'am, as to that,-I don't make any particular use of
them; but one must have them, to tell one the day of the month:-I'm
sure, else I should never keep it in my head."


"And does your time pass so smoothly unmarked, that, without an
almanack, you could not distinguish one day from another?"


"Really, Ma'am," cried he, colouring, "I don't see anything so
very particular in having a few almanacks; other people have them,
I believe, as well as me."


"Don't be offended," cried she, "I have but made a little
digression. All I want to know is, the state of the moon;-for if it
is at the full, I shall be saved a world of conjectures, and know at
once to what cause to attribute the inconsistencies I have witnessed
this morning. In the first place, I heard Lord Orville excuse himself
from going out, because he had business of importance to transact at
home;-yet have I seen him sauntering alone in the garden this half
hour. Miss Anville, on the other hand, I invited to walk out with
me; and, after seeking her every where round the house, I find her
quietly seated in the drawing-room. And, but a few minutes since,
Sir Clement Willoughby, with even more than his usual politeness,
told me he was come to spend the morning here;-when, just now,
I met him flying down stairs, as if pursued by the Furies; and far
from repeating his compliments, or making any excuse, he did not even
answer a question I asked him, but rushed past me, with the rapidity
of a thief from a bailiff!"


"I protest," said Mrs. Beaumont, "I can't think what he meant; such
rudeness, from a man of any family, is quite incomprehensible."


"My Lord," cried Lady Louisa to Lord Merton, "do you know he did the
same by me?-I was just going to ask him what was the matter; but he
ran past me so quick, that I declare he quite dazzled my eyes. You
can't think, my Lord, how he frightened me; I dare say I look as
pale-don't I look very pale, my Lord?"


"Your Ladyship," said Mr. Lovel, "so well becomes the lilies, that
the roses might blush to see themselves so excelled."


"Pray, Mr. Lovel," said Mrs. Selwyn," if the roses should blush,
how would you find it out?"


"Egad," cried Mr. Coverley, "I suppose they must blush, as the saying
is, like a blue dog,-for they are red already."


"Prithee, Jack," said Lord Merton, "don't you pretend to talk about
blushes, that never knew what they were in your life."


"My Lord," said Mrs. Selwyn, "if experience alone can justify
mentioning them, what an admirable treatise upon the subject may we
not expect from your Lordship!"


"O, pray, Ma'am," answered he, "stick to Jack Coverley,-he's your only
man; for my part, I confess I have a mortal aversion to arguments."


"O, fie, my Lord," cried Mrs. Selwyn, "a senator of the nation! a
member of the noblest parliament in the world!-and yet neglect the
art of oratory!"


"Why, faith, my Lord," said Mr. Lovel, "I think, in general, your House
is not much addicted to study; we of the Lower House have indubitably
most application; and, if I did not speak before a superior power
(bowing to Lord Merton) I should presume to add, we have likewise
the most able speakers."


"Mr. Lovel," said Mrs. Selwyn, "you deserve immortality for that
discovery!  But for this observation, and the confession of Lord
Merton, I protest that I should have supposed that a peer of the realm,
and an able logician, were synonymous terms."


Lord Merton, turning upon his heel, asked Lady Louisa if she would
take the air before dinner?


"Really," answered she, "I don't know;-I'm afraid it's monstrous
hot; besides (putting her hand to her forehead) I an't half well;
it's quite horrid to have such weak nerves!-the least thing in the
world discomposes me: I declare, that man's oddness has given me such
a shock,-I don't know when I shall recover from it. But I'm a sad,
weak creature;-don't you think I am, my Lord?"


"O, by no means," answered he, "your Ladyship is merely delicate,-and
devil take me if ever I had the least passion for an Amazon."


"I have the honour to be quite of your Lordship's opinion," said
Mr. Lovel, looking maliciously at Mrs. Selwyn; "for I have an
insuperable aversion to strength, either of body or mind, in a female."


"Faith, and so have I," said Mr. Coverley; "for egad, I'd as soon
see a woman chop wood, as hear her chop logic."


"So would every man in his senses," said Lord Merton, "for a
woman wants nothing to recommend her but beauty and good-nature; in
everything else she is either impertinent or unnatural. For my part,
deuce take me if ever I wish to hear a word of sense from a woman as
long as I live!"


"It has always been agreed," said Mrs. Selwyn, looking round her with
the utmost contempt, "that no man ought to be connected with a woman
whose understanding is superior to his own. Now I very much fear,
that to accommodate all this good company, according to such a rule,
would be utterly impracticable, unless we should choose subjects from
Swift's hospital of idiots."


How many enemies, my dear Sir, does this unbounded severity
excite! Lord Merton, however, only whistled; Mr. Coverley sang; and
Mr. Lovel, after biting his lips, said "'Pon honour, that lady-if
she was not a lady-I should be half tempted to observe,-that there
is something,-in such severity,-that is rather, I must say,-rather
oddish."


Just then a servant brought Lady Louisa a note upon a waiter, which
is a ceremony always used to her Ladyship; and I took the opportunity
of this interruption to the conversation to steal out of the room.


I went immediately to the parlour, which I found quite empty; for I
did not dare walk in the garden, after what Mrs. Selwyn had said.

In a few minutes a servant announced Mr. Macartney; saying, as he
entered the room, that he would acquaint Lord Orville he was there.


Mr. Macartney rejoiced much at finding me alone. He told me he had
taken the liberty to enquire for Lord Orville, by way of pretext for
coming to the house.


I then very eagerly enquired if he had seen his father.


"I have, Madam," said he, "and the generous compassion you have shown
made me hasten to acquaint you, that, upon reading my unhappy mother's
letter, he did not hesitate to acknowledge me."


"Good God," cried I, with no little emotion, "how similar are our
circumstances! And did he receive you kindly?"


"I could not, Madam, expect that he would; the cruel, transaction,
which obliged me to fly to Paris, was recent in his memory."


"And,-have you seen the young lady?"


"No, Madam," said he, mournfully, "I was forbid her sight."


"Forbid her sight!-and why?"


"Partly, perhaps, from prudence,-and partly from the remains of a
resentment which will not easily subside. I only requested leave
to acquaint her with my relationship, and to be allowed to call her
sister;-but it was denied me!  'You have no sister,' said Sir John,
'you must forget her existence.' Hard and vain command!"


"You have-you have a sister!" cried I, from an impulse of pity, which
I could not repress; "a sister who is most warmly interested in your
welfare, and who only wants opportunity to manifest her friendship
and regard."


"Gracious Heaven!" cried he, "what does Miss Anville mean?"


"Anville," said I, "is not my real name; Sir John Belmont is my
father,-he is your's,-and I am your sister!-You see, therefore, the
claim we mutually have to each other's regard; we are not merely bound
by the ties of friendship, but by those of blood. I feel for you,
already, all the affection of a sister; I felt it, indeed, before
I knew I was one.-Why, my dear brother, do you not speak?-do you
hesitate to acknowledge me?"


"I am so lost in astonishment," cried he, "that I know not if I
hear right!"-


"I have, then, found a brother," cried I, holding out my hand,
"and he will not own me!"


"Own you!-Oh, Madam," cried he, accepting my offered hand, "is it
indeed possible you can own me? -a poor, wretched adventurer! who so
lately had no support but from your generosity?-whom your benevolence
snatched from utter destruction?-Can you,-Oh, Madam, can you, indeed,
and without a blush, condescend to own such an outcast for a brother?"


"Oh, forbear, forbear," cried I, "is this language proper for a
sister? are we not reciprocally bound to each other?-Will you not
suffer me to expect from you all the good offices in your power?-But
tell me, where is our father at present?"


"At the Hot-Wells, Madam; he arrived there yesterday morning."


I would have proceeded with further questions, but the entrance of
Lord Orville prevented me. The moment he saw us, he started, and
would have retreated; but, drawing my hand from Mr. Macartney's,
I begged him to come in.


For a few moments we were all silent, and, I believe, all in equal
confusion.  Mr. Macartney, however, recollecting himself said "I hope
your Lordship will forgive the liberty I have taken in making use of
your name."


Lord Orville, rather coldly, bowed, but said nothing.


Again we were all silent, and then Mr. Macartney took leave.


"I fancy," said Lord Orville, when he was gone, "I have shortened Mr.
Macartney's visit?"


"No, my Lord, not at all."


"I had presumed," said he, with some hesitation, "I should have seen
Miss Anville in the garden;-but I knew not she was so much better
engaged."


Before I could answer, a servant came to tell me the chaise was ready,
and that Mrs. Selwyn was enquiring for me.


"I will wait on her immediately," cried I, and away I was running;
but Lord Orville, stopping me, said, with great emotion, "Is it thus,
Miss Anville, you leave me?"


"My Lord," cried I, "how can I help it?-perhaps, soon, some better
opportunity may offer-"


"Good Heaven!" cried he, "do you take me for a Stoic! what better
opportunity may I hope for?-is not the chaise come?-are you not
going? have you even deigned to tell me whither?"


"My journey, my Lord, will now be deferred. Mr. Macartney has brought
me intelligence which renders it at present unnecessary."


"Mr. Macartney," said he, gravely, "seems to have great influence;-yet
he is a very young counsellor."


"Is it possible, my Lord, Mr. Macartney can give you the least
uneasiness?"


"My dearest Miss Anville," said he, taking my hand, "I see, and I
adore the purity of your mind, superior as it is to all little arts,
and all apprehensions of suspicion; and I should do myself, as well as
you, injustice, if I were capable of harbouring the smallest doubts of
that goodness which makes you mine forever: nevertheless, pardon me,
if I own myself surprised,-nay, alarmed, at these frequent meetings
with so young a man as Mr. Macartney."


"My Lord," cried I, eager to clear myself, "Mr. Macartney is my
brother."


"Your brother! you amaze me!-What strange mystery, then, makes his
relationship a secret?"


Just then Mrs. Selwyn opened the door. "O, you are here!" cried she:
"Pray, is my Lord so kind as to assist you in preparing for your
journey, or in retarding it?"


"I should be most happy," said Lord Orville, smiling, "if it were in
my power to do the latter."


I then acquainted her with Mr. Macartney's communication.


She immediately ordered the chaise away: and then took me into her
own room, to consider what should be done.


A few minutes sufficed to determine her; and she wrote the following
note.


         "To Sir John Belmont, Bart."


        "MRS. SELWYN presents her compliments to Sir John Belmont;
        and, if he is at leisure, will be glad to wait on him this
        morning, upon business of importance."



She then ordered her man to enquire at the pump-room for a direction;
and went herself to Mrs. Beaumont to apologize for deferring her
journey.


An answer was presently returned, that Sir John would be glad to
see her.


She would have had me immediately accompany her to the Hot-Wells; but
I entreated her to spare me the distress of so abrupt an introduction,
and to pave the way for my reception. She consented rather reluctantly,
and, attended only by her servant, walked to the Wells.


She was not absent two hours; yet so miserably did time seem to
linger, that I thought a thousand accidents had happened, and feared
she would never return.  I passed the whole time in my own room,
for I was too much agitated even to converse with Lord Orville.


The instant that, from my window, I saw her returning, I flew down
stairs, and met her in the garden.


We both walked to the arbour.


Her looks, in which both disappointment and anger were expressed,
presently announced to me the failure of her embassy. Finding that
she did not speak, I asked her, in a faltering voice, whether or not
I had a father?


"You have not, my dear!" said she abruptly.


"Very well, Madam," said I, with tolerable calmness, "let the chaise
then be ordered again;-I will go to Berry Hill;-and there, I trust,
I shall still find one!"


It was some time ere she could give, or I could hear, the account of
her visit; and then she related it in a hasty manner; yet, I believe
I can recollect every word.


"I found Sir John alone. He received me with the utmost politeness. I
did not keep him a moment in suspense as to the purport of my
visit. But I had no sooner made it known, than, with a supercilious
smile, he said, 'And have you, Madam, been prevailed upon to revive
that ridiculous old story?'  Ridiculous, I told him, was a term which
he would find no one else do him the favour to make use of, in speaking
of the horrible actions belonging to the old story he made so light of;
'actions' continued I, 'which would dye still deeper the black annals
of Nero or Caligula.' He attempted in vain to rally; for I pursued him
with all the severity in my power, and ceased not painting the enormity
of his crime till I stung him to the quick, and, in a voice of passion
and impatience, he said, 'No more, Madam,-this is not a subject upon
which I need a monitor.' 'Make then,' cried I, 'the only reparation
in your power.-Your daughter is now at Clifton; send for her hither;
and, in the face of the world, proclaim the legitimacy of her birth,
and clear the reputation of your injured wife.' 'Madam,' said he,
'you are much mistaken, if you suppose I waited for the honour of this
visit before I did what little justice now depends upon me, to the
memory of that unfortunate woman: her daughter has been my care from
her infancy; I have taken her into my house; she bears my name; and
she will be my sole heiress.' For some time this assertion appeared
so absurd, that I only laughed at it: but, at last, he assured me,
I had myself been imposed upon; for that very woman who attended
Lady Belmont in her last illness, conveyed the child to him while
he was in London, before she was a year old. 'Unwilling,' he added,
'at that time to confirm the rumour of my being married, I sent the
woman with the child to France: as soon as she was old enough, I put
her into a convent, where she has been properly educated, and now
I have taken her home. I have acknowledged her for my lawful child,
and paid, at length, to the memory of her unhappy mother a tribute
of fame, which has made me wish to hide myself hereafter from all
the world.' This whole story sounded so improbable, that I did not
scruple to tell him I discredited every word. He then rung his bell;
and, enquiring if his hair-dresser was come, said he was sorry to
leave me; but that, if I would favour him with my company to-morrow,
he would do himself the honour of introducing Miss Belmont to me,
instead of troubling me to introduce her to him. I rose in great
indignation; and assuring him I would make his conduct as public as
it was infamous-I left the house."


Good Heaven, how strange the recital! how incomprehensible an
affair! The Miss Belmont then who is actually at Bristol, passes
for the daughter of my unhappy mother!-passes, in short, for your
Evelina! Who she can be, or what this tale can mean, I have not
any idea.


Mrs. Selwyn soon after left me to my own reflections. Indeed they were
not very pleasant. Quietly as I had borne her relation, the moment
I was alone I felt most bitterly both the disgrace and sorrow of a
rejection so cruelly inexplicable.


I know not how long I might have continued in this situation, had
I not been awakened from my melancholy reverie by the voice of Lord
Orville. "May I come in," cried he, "or shall I interrupt you?"


I was silent, and he seated himself next me.


"I fear," he continued, "Miss Anville will think I persecute her:
yet so much as I have to say, and so much as I wish to hear, with so
few opportunities for either, she cannot wonder-and I hope she will
not be offended-that I seize with such avidity every moment in my
power to converse with her. You are grave," added he, taking my hand;
"I hope the pleasure it gives to me, will not be a subject of pain to
you? -You are silent!-Something, I am sure, has afflicted you:-would
to Heaven I were able to console you!-Would to Heaven I were worthy
to participate in your sorrows!"


My heart was too full to bear this kindness, and I could only answer by
my tears. "Good Heaven," cried he, "how you alarm me!-My love, my sweet
Miss Anville, deny me no longer to be the sharer of your griefs!-tell
me, at least, that you have not withdrawn your esteem!-that you do
not repent the goodness you have shown me!-that you still think me
the same grateful Orville, whose heart you have deigned to accept!"


"Oh, my Lord," cried I, "your generosity overpowers me!" And I wept
like an infant. For now, that all my hopes of being acknowledged
seemed finally crushed, I felt the nobleness of his disinterested
regard so forcibly, that I could scarce breathe under the weight of
gratitude which oppressed me.


He seemed greatly shocked; and, in terms the most flattering, the
most respectfully tender, he at once soothed my distress, and urged
me to tell him its cause.


"My Lord," said I, when I was able to speak, "you little know what
an outcast you have honoured with your choice!-a child of bounty,-an
orphan from infancy,-dependant, even for subsistence, dependent, upon
the kindness of compassion!-Rejected by my natural friends,-disowned
for ever by my nearest relation,-Oh, my Lord, so circumstanced,
can I deserve the distinction with which you honour me? No, no,
I feel the inequality too painfully;-you must leave me, my Lord;
you must suffer me to return to obscurity; and there, in the bosom
of my first, best, my only friend,-I will pour forth all the grief
of my heart!-while you, my Lord, must seek elsewhere-"


I could not proceed; my whole soul recoiled against the charge I
would have given, and my voice refused to utter it.


"Never," cried he, warmly, "my heart is your's, and I swear to you an
attachment eternal!-You prepare me, indeed, for a tale of horror, and
I am almost breathless with expectation;-but so firm is my conviction,
that, whatever are your misfortunes, to have merited them is not of the
number, that I feel myself more strongly, more invincibly devoted to
you than ever!-Tell me but where I may find this noble friend, whose
virtues you have already taught me to reverence,-and I will fly to
obtain his consent and intercession, that henceforward our fates my be
indissolubly united;-and then shall it be the sole study of my life to
endeavor to soften your past,-and guard you from future misfortunes!"


I had just raised my eyes to answer this most generous of men, when
the first object they met was Mrs. Selwyn.


"So, my dear," cried she, "what, still courting the rural shades!-I
thought ere now you would have been satiated with this retired seat,
and I have been seeking you all over the house. But I find the
only way to meet with you,-is to enquire for Lord Orville. However,
don't let me disturb your meditation; you are possibly planning some
pastoral dialogue."


And, with this provoking speech, she walked on.


In the greatest confusion I was quitting the arbour, when Lord Orville
said, "Permit me to follow Mrs. Selwyn;-it is time to put an end to
all impertinent conjectures; will you allow me to speak to her openly?"


I assented in silence, and he left me.


I then went to my own room, where I continued till I was summoned to
dinner; after which, Mrs. Selwyn invited me to hers.


The moment she had shut the door, "Your Ladyship'" said she, "will,
I hope, be seated."


"Ma'am!" cried I, staring.


"O the sweet innocent! So you don't know what I mean?-but, my dear,
my sole view is to accustom you a little to your dignity elect, lest,
when you are addressed by your title, you should look another way, from
an apprehension of listening to a discourse not meant for you to hear."


Having, in this manner, diverted herself with my confusion, till her
raillery was almost exhausted, she congratulated me very seriously
upon the partiality of Lord Orville, and painted to me, in the
strongest terms, his disinterested desire of being married to me
immediately. She had told him, she said, my whole story, and yet
he was willing, nay eager, that our union should take place of any
further application to my family. "Now, my dear," continued she,
"I advise you by all means to marry him directly; nothing can be
more precarious than our success with Sir John; and the young men of
this age are not to be trusted with too much time for deliberation,
where their interests are concerned."


"Good God, Madam," cried I, "do you think I would hurry Lord Orville?"


"Well, do as you will," said she, "luckily you have an excellent
subject for Quixotism;-otherwise this delay might prove your ruin;
but Lord Orville is almost as romantic as if he had been born and
bred at Berry Hill."


She then proposed, as no better expedient seemed likely to be
suggested, that I should accompany her at once in her visit to the
Hot-Wells to-morrow morning.


The very idea made me tremble; yet she represented so strongly the
necessity of pursuing this unhappy affair with spirit, or giving it
totally up, that, wanting her force of argument, I was almost obliged
to yield to her proposal.


In the evening we all walked in the garden; and Lord Orville, who
never quitted my side, told me he had been listening to a tale, which
though it had removed the perplexities that had so long tormented him,
had penetrated him with sorrow and compassion. I acquainted him with
Mrs. Selwyn's plan for to-morrow, and confessed the extreme terror
it gave me. He then, in a manner almost unanswerable, besought me
to leave to him the conduct of the affair, by consenting to be his
before an interview took place.


I could not but acknowledge my sense of his generosity; but I told him
I was wholly dependent upon you; and that I was certain your opinion
would be the same as mine; which was, that it would be highly improper
I should dispose of myself for ever, so very near the time which must
finally decide by whose authority I ought to be guided. The subject of
this dreaded meeting, with the thousand conjectures and apprehensions
to which it gives birth, employed all our conversation then, as it
has all my thoughts since.


Heaven only knows how I shall support myself, when the long
expected-the wished-yet terrible moment arrives, that will prostrate
me at the feet of the nearest, the most reverenced of all relations,
whom my heart yearns to know, and longs to love!


LETTER LXXVIII.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Oct. 9th.


I COULD not write yesterday, so violent was the agitation of my
mind;-but I will not, now, lose a moment till I have hastened to
my best friend an account of the transactions of a day I can never
recollect without emotion.


Mrs. Selwyn determined upon sending no message, "Lest," said she,
"Sir John, fatigued with the very idea of my reproaches, should
endeavour to avoid a meeting. He cannot but see who you are, whether
he will do you justice or not."


We went early, and in Mrs. Beaumont's chariot; into which Lord Orville,
uttering words of the kindest encouragement, handed us both.


My uneasiness, during the ride, was excessive; but, when we stopped at
the door, I was almost senseless with terror! the meeting, at last,
was not so dreadful as that moment! I believe I was carried into
the house; but I scarce recollect what was done with me: however,
I know we remained some time in the parlour before Mrs. Selwyn could
send any message up stairs.


When I was somewhat recovered, I intreated her to let me return home,
assuring her I felt myself quite unequal to supporting the interview.


"No," said she; "you must stay now: your fears will but gain strength
by delay; and we must not have such a shock as this repeated." Then,
turning to the servant, she sent up her name.


An answer was brought, that he was going out in great haste, but
would attend her immediately. I turned so sick, that Mrs. Selwyn was
apprehensive I should have fainted; and, opening a door which led to
an inner apartment, she begged me to wait there till I was somewhat
composed, and till she had prepared for my reception.


Glad of every moment's reprieve, I willingly agreed to the proposal;
and Mrs.  Selwyn had but just time to shut me in, before her presence
was necessary.


The voice of a father -Oh, dear and revered name!-which then, for the
first time, struck my ears, affected me in a manner I cannot describe,
though it was only employed in giving orders to a servant as he came
down stairs.


Then, entering the parlour, I heard him say, "I am sorry, Madam,
I made you wait; but I have an engagement which now calls me away:
however, if you have any commands for me, I shall be glad of the
honour of your company some other time."


"I am come, Sir," said Mrs. Selwyn, "to introduce your daughter
to you."


"I am infinitely obliged to you," answered he; "but I have just had
the satisfaction of breakfasting with her. Ma'am, your most obedient."


"You refuse, then, to see her?"


"I am much indebted to you, Madam, for this desire of increasing
my family; but you must excuse me if I decline taking advantage of
it. I have already a daughter, to whom I owe everything; and it is
not three days since that I had the pleasure of discovering a son: how
many more sons and daughters may be brought to me, I am yet to learn;
but I am already perfectly satisfied with the size of my family."


"Had you a thousand children, Sir John," said Mrs. Selwyn, "this
only one, of which Lady Belmont was the mother, ought to be most
distinguished; and, far from avoiding her sight, you should thank your
stars, in humble gratitude, that there yet remains in your power the
smallest opportunity of doing the injured wife you have destroyed,
the poor justice of acknowledging her child!"


"I am very unwilling, Madam," answered he, "to enter into any
discussion of this point; but you are determined to compel me to
speak. There lives not at this time the human being, who should
talk to me of the regret due to the memory of that ill-fated woman;
no one can feel it so severely as myself; but let me, nevertheless,
assure you, I have already done all that remained in my power to
prove the respect she merited from me: her child I have educated,
and owned for my lawful heiress: if, madam, you can suggest to me
any other means by which I may more fully do her justice, and more
clearly manifest her innocence, name them to me; and, though they
should wound my character still deeper, I will perform them readily."


"All this sounds vastly well," returned Mrs. Selwyn; "but I must own
it is rather too enigmatical for my faculties of comprehension. You
can, however, have no objection to seeing this young lady."


"None in the world."


"Come forth, then, my dear," cried she, opening the door; "come forth
and see your father!" Then, taking my trembling hand, she led me
forward. I would have withdrawn it and retreated; but, as he advanced
instantly towards me, I found myself already before him.


What a moment for your Evelina-an involuntary scream escaped me, and,
covering my face with my hands, I sunk on the floor.


He had, however, seen me first; for, in a voice scarce articulate,
he exclaimed, "My God! does Caroline Evelyn still live!"


Mrs. Selwyn said something, but I could not listen to her; and in a
few minutes he added, "Lift up thy head-if my sight has not blasted
thee!-lift up thy head, thou image of my long lost Caroline!"


Affected beyond measure, I half arose, and embraced his knees, while
yet on my own.


"Yes, yes," cried he, looking earnestly in my face, "I see, I see thou
art her child! she lives-she breathes,-she is present to my view!-Oh,
God, that she indeed lived!-Go, child, go," added he, wildly starting,
and pushing me from him: "take her away, Madam,-I cannot bear to look
at her!" And then, breaking hastily from me, he rushed out of the room.


 Speechless, motionless myself, I attempted not to stop him; but
 Mrs. Selwyn,
hastening after him, caught hold of his arm: "Leave me, Madam," cried
he, with quickness, "and take care of the poor child:-bid her not
think me unkind; tell her, I would at this moment plunge a dagger in
my heart to serve her: but she has set my brain on fire; and I can see
her no more!" Then, with a violence almost frantic, he ran up stairs.


 Oh, Sir, had I not indeed cause to dread this interview?-an
 interview so
unspeakably painful and afflicting to us both! Mrs. Selwyn would have
immediately returned to Clifton; but I entreated her to wait some time,
in the hope that my unhappy father, when his first emotion was over,
would again bear me in his sight. However, he soon after sent his
servant to enquire how I did; and to tell Mrs. Selwyn he was much
indisposed, but would hope for the honour of seeing her to-morrow,
at any time she would please to appoint.


 She fixed upon ten o'clock in the morning; and then, with a heavy
 heart, I
got into the chariot. Those afflicting words, I can see her no
more! were never a moment absent from my mind.


 Yet the sight of Lord Orville, who handed us from the carriage,
 gave some
relief to the sadness of my thoughts. I could not, however, enter
upon the painful subject; but, begging Mrs. Selwyn to satisfy him,
I went to my own room.


 As soon as I communicated to the good Mrs. Clinton the present
 situation of
my affairs, an idea occurred to her which seemed to clear up all the
mystery of my having been so long disowned.


 The woman, she says, who attended my ever-to-be-regretted mother in
 her last
illness, and who nursed me the first four months of my life, soon
after being discharged from your house, left Berry Hill entirely,
with her baby, who was but six weeks older than myself. Mrs. Clinton
remembers, that her quitting the place appeared, at the time, very
extraordinary to the neighbours; but, as she was never heard of
afterwards, she was by degrees quite forgotten.


 The moment this was mentioned, it struck Mrs. Selwyn, as well as
 Mrs. Clinton
herself, that my father had been imposed upon; and that the nurse, who
said she had brought his child to him, had, in fact, carried her own.


 The name by which I was known, the secrecy observed in regard to
 my family,
and the retirement in which I lived, all conspired to render this
scheme, however daring and fraudulent, by no means impracticable; and,
in short, the idea was no sooner started, than conviction seemed to
follow it.


 Mrs. Selwyn determined immediately to discover the truth or mistake
 of this
conjecture; therefore, the moment she had dined, she walked to the
Hot Wells, attended by Mrs. Clinton.


 I waited in my room till her return; and then heard the following
 account of
her visit:


 She found my poor father in great agitation. She immediately informed
 him of
the occasion of her so speedy return, and of her suspicions of the
woman who had pretended to convey to him his child. Interrupting her
with quickness, he said he had just sent her from his presence; that
the certainty I carried in my countenance of my real birth, made him,
the moment he had recovered from a surprise which had almost deprived
him of reason, suspect, himself, the imposition she mentioned. He
had therefore sent for the woman, and questioned her with the utmost
austerity; she turned pale, and was extremely embarrassed; but still
she persisted in affirming, that she had really brought him the
daughter of Lady Belmont. His perplexity, he said, almost distracted
him: he had always observed, that his daughter bore no resemblance
to either of her parents; but, as he had never doubted the veracity
of the nurse, this circumstance did not give birth to any suspicion.


 At Mrs. Selwyn's desire, the woman was again called, and interrogated
 with
equal art and severity; her confusion was evident, and her answers
often contradictory; yet she still declared she was no impostor. "We
will see that in a minute," said Mrs. Selwyn; and then desired
Mrs. Clinton might be called up stairs. The poor wretch, changing
colour, would have escaped out of the room; but, being prevented,
dropt on her knees, and implored forgiveness. A confession of the
whole affair was then extorted from her.


 Doubtless, my dear Sir, you must remember Dame Green, who was my
 first nurse.
The deceit she has practised was suggested, she says, by a conversation
she overheard; in which my unhappy mother besought you, that, if her
child survived her, you would take the sole care of its education;
and, in particular, if it should be a female, you would by no means
part with her in early life. You not only consented, she says, but
assured her you would even retire abroad with me yourself, if my
father should importunately demand me.  Her own child, she said,
was then in her arms; and she could not forbear wishing it were
possible to give her the fortune which seemed so little valued for
me. This wish once raised was not easily suppressed; on the contrary,
what at first appeared a mere idle desire, in a short time seemed
a feasible scheme. Her husband was dead, and she had little regard
for any body but her child; and, in short, having saved money for
the journey, she contrived to enquire a direction to my father;
and, telling her neighbours she was going to settle in Devonshire,
she set out on her expedition.


 When Mrs. Selwyn asked her how she dared perpetrate such a fraud, she
protested she had no ill designs; but that, as Miss would be never
the worse for it, she thought it pity nobody should be the better.


 Her success we are already acquainted with. Indeed everything
 seemed to
contribute towards it: my father had no correspondent at Berry Hill;
the child was instantly sent to France; where, being brought up in
as much retirement as myself, nothing but accident could discover
the fraud.


 And here let me indulge myself in observing, and rejoicing to
 observe, that
the total neglect I thought I met with was not the effect of
insensibility or unkindness, but of imposition and error; and that,
at the very time we concluded I was unnaturally rejected, my deluded
father meant to show me most favour and protection.


 He acknowledges that Lady Howard's letter flung him into some
 perplexity: he
immediately communicated it to Dame Green, who confessed it was
the greatest shock she had ever received in her life; yet she had
the art and boldness to assert, that Lady Howard must herself have
been deceived: and as she had, from the beginning of her enterprise,
declared she had stolen away the child without your knowledge, he
concluded that some deceit was then intended him; and this thought
occasioned his abrupt answer.


 Dame Green owned, that, from the moment the journey to England
 was settled,
she gave herself up for lost. All her hope was to have had her
daughter married before it took place; for which reason she had so
much promoted Mr.  Macartney's addresses; for though such a match was
inadequate to the pretensions of Miss Belmont, she well knew it was
far superior to those her daughter could form after the discovery of
her birth.


 My first enquiry was, if this innocent daughter was yet acquainted
 with the
affair? "No," Mrs. Selwyn said; nor was any plan settled how to divulge
it to her. Poor unfortunate girl! how hard is her fate! She is entitled
to my kindest offices, and I shall always consider her as my sister.


 I then asked whether my father would again allow me to see him!


 "Why, no, my dear, not yet," answered she; "he declares the sight
 of you is
too much for him: however, we are to settle everything concerning
you to-morrow; for this woman took up all our time to-day."


 This morning, therefore, she is again gone to the Hot Wells. I am
 waiting in
all impatience for her return; but, as I know you will be anxious
for the account this letter contains, I will not delay sending it.


LETTER LXXIX.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  October 9th.


 HOW agitated, my dear Sir, is the present life of your Evelina! every
 day
seems important, and one event only a prelude to another.


 Mrs. Selwyn, upon her return this morning from the Hot Wells,
 entering my
room very abruptly, said, "Oh, my dear, I have terrible news for you!"


 "For me, Ma'am!-Good God! what now?"


 "Arm yourself," cried she, "with all your Berry Hill philosophy;-con
 over
every lesson of fortitude or resignation you ever learnt in your
life;-for know,-you are next week to be married to Lord Orville!"


 Doubt, astonishment, and a kind of perturbation I cannot describe,
 made this
abrupt communication alarm me extremely; and, almost breathless,
I could only exclaim, "Good God, Madam, what do you tell me!"


 "You may well be frightened, my dear," said she, ironically;
 "for really
there is something mighty terrific in becoming, at once, the wife of
the man you adore,-and a Countess!"


 I entreated her to spare her raillery, and tell me her real
 meaning. She
could not prevail with herself to grant the first request, though
she readily complied with the second.


 My poor father, she said, was still in the utmost uneasiness: he
 entered upon
his affairs with great openness, and told her, he was equally
disturbed how to dispose either of the daughter he had discovered,
or the daughter he was now to give up; the former he dreaded to trust
himself with again beholding, and the latter he knew not how to shock
with the intelligence of her disgrace. Mrs. Selwyn then acquainted
him with my situation in regard to Lord Orville: this delighted him
extremely; and, when he heard of his Lordship's eagerness, he said he
was himself of opinion, the sooner the union took place the better;
and, in return, he informed her of the affair of Mr. Macartney.  "And,
after a very long conversation," continued Mrs. Selwyn, "we agreed,
that the most eligible scheme for all parties would be, to have both
the real and the fictitious daughter married without delay. Therefore,
if either of you have any inclination to pull caps for the title of
Miss Belmont, you must do it with all speed, as next week will take
from both of you all pretensions to it."


 "Next week!-dear Madam, what a strange plan!-without my being
consulted,-without applying to Mr. Villars,-without even the
concurrence of Lord Orville!"


 "As to consulting you, my dear, it was out of all question;
 because, you
know, young ladies' hearts and hands are always to be given with
reluctance;-as to Mr. Villars, it is sufficient we know him for your
friend;-and as for Lord Orville, he is a party concerned."


 "A party concerned!-you amaze me!"


 "Why, yes; for, as I found our consultation likely to redound to his
advantage, I persuaded Sir John to send for him."


 "Send for him!-Good God!"


 "Yes; and Sir John agreed. I told the servant, that if he could not
 hear of
his Lordship in the house, he might be pretty certain of encountering
him in the arbour.-Why do you colour, my dear?-Well, he was with us in
a moment: I introduced him to Sir John; and we proceeded to business."


 "I am very, very sorry for it!-Lord Orville must himself think
 this conduct
strangely precipitate."


 "No, my dear, you are mistaken; Lord Orville has too much good sense.
Everything was then discussed in a rational manner. You are to be
married privately, though not secretly, and then go to one of his
Lordship's country seats: and poor little Miss Green and your brother,
who have no house of their own, must go to one of Sir John's."


 "But why, my dear Madam, why all this haste? why may we not be
 allowed a
little longer time?"


 "I could give you a thousand reasons," answered she, "but that I
 am tolerably
certain two or three will be more than you can controvert, even with
all the logic of genuine coquetry. In the first place, you doubtless
wish to quit the house of Mrs. Beaumont: to whose, then, can you with
such propriety remove as to Lord Orville's?"


 "Surely, Madam," cried I, "I am not more destitute now than when
 I thought
myself an orphan."


 "Your father, my dear," answered she, "is willing to save the
 little impostor
as much of the mortification of her disgrace as is in his power;
now, if you immediately take her place, according to your right,
as Miss Belmont, why, not all that either of you can do for her,
will prevent her being eternally stigmatized as the bantling of Dame
Green, wash-woman and wet nurse, of Berry Hill, Dorsetshire. Now such
a genealogy will not be very flattering, even to Mr. Macartney, who,
all-dismal as he is, you will find by no means wanting in pride and
self-consequence."


 "For the universe," interrupted I, "I would not be accessary to the
degradation you mention; but surely, Madam, I may return to Berry
Hill?"


 "By no means," said she; "for though compassion may make us wish to
 save the
poor girl the confusion of an immediate and public fall, yet justice
demands you should appear henceforward in no other light than that
of Sir John Belmont's daughter. Besides, between friends, I, who know
the world, can see that half this prodigious delicacy for the little
usurper is the mere result of self-interest; for, while her affairs
are hushed up, Sir John's, you know, are kept from being brought
further to light. Now the double marriage we have projected obviates
all rational objections. Sir John will give you immediately L.30,000;
all settlements, and so forth, will be made for you in the name of
Evelina Belmont:-Mr. Macartney will at the same time take poor Polly
Green; and yet, at first, it will only be generally known that a
daughter of Sir John Belmont is married."


 In this manner, though she did not convince me, yet the quickness
 of her
arguments silenced and perplexed me. I enquired, however, if I might
not be permitted to again see my father, or whether I must regard
myself as banished his presence for ever?


 "My dear," said she, "he does not know you: he concludes that you
 have been
brought up to detest him; and therefore he is rather prepared to
dread than to love you."


 This answer made me very unhappy: I wished, most impatiently, to
 remove his
prejudice, and endeavour, by dutiful assiduity, to engage his kindness;
yet knew not how to propose seeing him, while conscious he wished to
avoid me.


 This evening, as soon as the company was engaged with cards,
 Lord Orville
exerted his utmost eloquence to reconcile me to this hasty plan;
but how was I startled when he told me that next Tuesday was the day
appointed by my father to be the most important of my life!


 "Next Tuesday!" repeated I, quite out of breath, "Oh, my Lord!-"


 "My sweet Evelina," said he, "the day which will make me the
 happiest of
mortals, would probably appear awful to you, were it to be deferred
a twelvemonth. Mrs. Selwyn has, doubtless, acquainted you with the
many motives which, independent of my eagerness, require it to be
speedy; suffer, therefore, its acceleration, and generously complete
my felicity, by endeavouring to suffer it without repugnance."


 "Indeed, my Lord, I would not wilfully raise objections, nor do I
 desire to
appear insensible of the honour of your good opinion;-but
there is something in this plan-so very hasty-so unreasonably
precipitate:-besides, I shall have no time to hear from Berry
Hill;-and believe me, my Lord, I should be for ever miserable,
were I, in an affair so important, to act without the sanction of
Mr. Villars's advice."


 He offered to wait on you himself: but I told him I had rather write
 to you.
And then he proposed, that, instead of my immediately accompanying him
to Lincolnshire, we should first pass a month at my native Berry Hill.


 This was, indeed, a grateful proposal to me, and I listened to it with
undisguised pleasure. And, in short, I was obliged to consent to
a compromise in merely deferring the day till Thursday! He readily
undertook to engage my father's concurrence in this little delay;
and I besought him, at the same time, to make use of his influence
to obtain me a second interview, and to represent the deep concern
I felt in being thus banished his sight.


 He would then have spoken of settlements; but I assured him I
 was almost
ignorant of the word.


 And now, my dearest Sir, what is your opinion of these hasty
 proceedings?
Believe me, I half regret the simple facility with which I have
suffered myself to be hurried into compliance; and, should you start
but the smallest objection, I will yet insist upon being allowed
more time.


 I must now write a concise account of the state of my affairs
 to Howard
Grove, and to Madame Duval.


 Adieu, dearest and most honoured Sir! everything at present depends
 upon your
single decision; to which, though I yield in trembling, I yield
implicitly.


LETTER LXXX.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Oct. 11th.


 YESTERDAY morning, as soon as breakfast was over, Lord Orville went
 to the
Hot Wells, to wait upon my father with my double petition.


 Mrs. Beaumont then, in general terms, proposed a walk in the
 garden. Mrs.
Selwyn said she had letters to write; but Lady Louisa rose to
accompany Mrs.  Beaumont.


 I had had some reason to imagine, from the notice with which her
 Ladyship had
honoured me during breakfast, that her brother had acquainted her with
my present situation: and her behaviour now confirmed my conjectures:
for, when I would have gone up stairs, instead of suffering me,
as usual, to pass disregarded, she called after me with an affected
surprise, "Miss Anville, don't you walk with us?"


 There seemed something so little-minded in this sudden change
 of conduct,
that, from an involuntary motion of contempt, I thanked her with a
coldness like her own, and declined her offer. Yet, observing that
she blushed extremely at my refusal, and recollecting she was sister
to Lord Orville, my indignation subsided; and, upon Mrs. Beaumont
repeating the invitation, I accepted it.


 Our walk proved extremely dull: Mrs. Beaumont, who never says much,
 was more
silent than usual; Lady Louisa strove in vain to lay aside the
restraint and distance she has hitherto preserved; and, as to me, I
was too conscious of the circumstances to which I owed their attention,
to feel either pride or pleasure from receiving it.


 Lord Orville was not long absent: he joined us in the garden with
 a look of
gaiety and good humour that revived us all. "You are just the party,"
said he, "I wished to see together. Will you, Madam (taking my hand),
allow me the honour of introducing you, by your real name, to two of
my nearest relations?  Mrs. Beaumont, give me leave to present to
you the daughter of Sir John Belmont, a young lady who, I am sure,
must long since have engaged your esteem and admiration, though you
were a stranger to her birth."


 "My Lord," said Mrs. Beaumont, graciously saluting me, "the young
 lady's rank
in life, your Lordship's recommendation, or her own merit, would, any
one of them, have been sufficient to have entitled her to my regard;
and I hope she has always met with that respect in my house which is
so much her due; though, had I been sooner made acquainted with her
family, I should doubtless have better known how to have secured it."


 "Miss Belmont," said Lord Orville, "can receive no lustre from family,
whatever she may give to it. Louisa, you will, I am sure, be happy to
make yourself an interest in the friendship of Miss Belmont, whom I
hope shortly (kissing my hand, and joining it with her Ladyship's)
to have the happiness of presenting to you by yet another name,
and by the most endearing of all titles."


 I believe it would be difficult to say whose cheeks were, at that
 moment, of
the deepest dye, Lady Louisa's or my own; for the conscious pride
with which she has hitherto slighted me, gave to her an embarrassment
which equalled the confusion that an introduction so unexpected
gave to me. She saluted me, however; and, with a faint smile said,
"I shall esteem myself very happy to profit by the honour of Miss
Belmont's acquaintance."


 I only courtsied, and we walked on; but it was evident, from the
 little
surprise they expressed, that they had been already informed of the
state of the affair.


 We were soon after joined by more company: and Lord Orville then,
 in a low
voice, took an opportunity to tell me the success of his visit. In the
first place, Thursday was agreed to; and, in the second, my father,
he said, was much concerned to hear of my uneasiness; sent me his
blessing; and complied with my request of seeing him, with the same
readiness he should agree to any other I could make. Lord Orville,
therefore, settled that I should wait upon him in the evening, and,
at his particular request, unaccompanied by Mrs.  Selwyn.


 This kind message, and the prospect of so soon seeing him, gave
 me sensations
of mixed pleasure and pain, which wholly occupied my mind till the
time of my going to the Hot Wells.


 Mrs. Beaumont lent me her chariot, and Lord Orville absolutely
 insisted upon
attending me. "If you go alone," said he, "Mrs. Selwyn will certainly
be offended; but if you allow me to conduct you, though she may give
the freer scope to her raillery, she cannot possibly be affronted:
and we had much better suffer her laughter, than provoke her satire."


 Indeed, I must own, I had no reason to regret being so accompanied;
 for his
conversation supported my spirits from drooping, and made the ride
seem so short, that we actually stopped at my father's door, before
I knew we had proceeded ten yards.


 He handed me from the carriage, and conducted me to the parlour,
 at the door
of which I was met by Mr. Macartney. "Ah, my dear brother," cried I,
"how happy am I to see you here!"


 He bowed, and thanked me. Lord Orville, then, holding out his hand,
 said,
"Mr. Macartney, I hope we shall be better acquainted; I promise myself
much pleasure from cultivating your friendship."


 "Your Lordship does me but too much honour," answered Mr. Macartney.


 "But where," cried I, "is my sister? for so I must already call,
 and always
consider her:-I am afraid she avoids me;-you must endeavour, my
dear brother, to prepossess her in my favour, and reconcile her to
owning me."


 "Oh, Madam," cried he, "you are all goodness and benevolence! but
 at present
I hope you will excuse her, for I fear she has hardly fortitude
sufficient to see you: in a short time perhaps-"


 "In a very short time, then," said Lord Orville, "I hope you will
 yourself
introduce her, and that we shall have the pleasure of wishing you both
joy:-allow me, my Evelina, to say we, and permit me, in your name,
as well as my own, to entreat that the first guests we shall have
the happiness of receiving may be Mr. and Mrs. Macartney."


 A servant then came to beg I would walk up stairs.


 I besought Lord Orville to accompany me; but he feared the displeasure
 of Sir
John, who had desired to see me alone. He led me, however, to the
foot of the stairs, and made the kindest efforts to give me courage:
but indeed he did not succeed; for the interview appeared to me in
all its terrors, and left me no feeling but apprehension.


 The moment I reached the landing-place, the drawing-room door was
 opened: and
my father, with a voice of kindness, called out, "My child, is it you?"


 "Yes, Sir," cried I, springing forward, and kneeling at his feet,
 "it is your
child, if you will own her!"


 He knelt by my side, and, folding me in his arms, "Own thee,"
 repeated he,
"yes, my poor girl, and Heaven knows with what bitter
contrition!" Then, raising both himself and me, he brought me into the
drawing-room, shut the door, and took me to the window; where, looking
at me with great earnestness, "Poor unhappy Caroline!" cried he; and,
to my inexpressible concern, he burst into tears. Need I tell you,
my dear Sir, how mine flowed at the sight?


 I would again have embraced his knees; but, hurrying from me, he flung
himself upon a sofa, and, leaning his face on his arms, seemed for
some time absorbed in bitterness of grief.


 I ventured not to interrupt a sorrow I so much respected; but
 waited in
silence, and at a distance, till he recovered from its violence. But
then it seemed in a moment to give way to a kind of frantic fury;
for starting suddenly, with a sternness which at once surprised and
frightened me, "Child," cried he, "hast thou yet sufficiently humbled
thy father?-if thou hast, be contented with this proof of my weakness,
and no longer force thyself into my presence!"


 Thunderstruck by a command so unexpected, I stood still and
 speechless, and
doubted whether my own ears did not deceive me.


 "Oh go, go!" cried he, passionately; "in pity-in compassion,-if
 thou valuest my senses, leave me,-and for ever!"


 "I will, I will," cried I, greatly terrified; and I moved hastily
 towards the
door: yet, stopping when I reached it, and, almost involuntarily,
dropping on my knees, "Vouchsafe," cried I, "Oh, Sir, vouchsafe
but once to bless your daughter, and her sight shall never more
offend you!"


 "Alas," cried he, in a softened voice, "I am not worthy to bless
 thee!-I am
not worthy to call thee daughter!-I am not worthy that the fair
light of Heaven should visit my eyes!-Oh God! that I could but call
back the time ere thou wast born,-or else bury its remembrance in
eternal oblivion!"


 "Would to Heaven," cried I, "that the sight of me were less terrible
 to you!
that, instead of irritating, I could soothe your sorrows!-Oh Sir, how
thankfully would I then prove my duty, even at the hazard of my life!"


 "Are you so kind?" cried he, gently; "come hither, child;-rise,
Evelina:-Alas, it is for me to kneel,-not you;-and I would kneel,-I
would crawl upon the earth,-I would kiss the dust,-could I, by such
submission, obtain the forgiveness of the representative of the most
injured of women!"


 "Oh, Sir," exclaimed I, "that you could but read my heart!-that you
 could but
see the filial tenderness and concern with which it overflows!-you
would not then talk thus,-you would not then banish me your presence,
and exclude me from your affection!"


 "Good God," cried he, "is it then possible that you do not hate
 me?-Can the
child of the wronged Caroline look at,-and not execrate me? Wast thou
not born to abhor, and bred to curse me? Did not thy mother bequeath
thee her blessing on condition that thou should'st detest and avoid
me ?"


 "Oh no, no, no!" cried I; "think not so unkindly of her, nor so
 hardly of
me." I then took from my pocketbook her last letter; and, pressing
it to my lips, with a trembling hand, and still upon my knees, I held
it out to him.


 Hastily snatching it from me, "Great Heaven!" cried he, "'tis her
writing-Whence comes this?-who gave it you-why had I it not sooner?"


 I made no answer; his vehemence intimidated me, and I ventured not
 to move
from the suppliant posture in which I had put myself.


 He went from me to the window, where his eyes were for some time
 rivetted
upon the direction of the letter, though his hand shook so violently
he could hardly hold it. Then, bringing it to me, "Open it,"-cried
he,-"for I cannot!"


 I had myself hardly strength to obey him: but when I had, he took
 it back,
and walked hastily up and down the room, as if dreading to read it. At
length, turning to me, "Do you know," cried he, "its contents?"


 "No, Sir," answered I, "it has never been unsealed."


 He then again went to the window, and began reading. Having hastily
 run it
over, he cast up his eyes with a look of desperation; the letter fell
from his hand, and he exclaimed, "Yes! thou art sainted!-thou art
blessed!-and I am cursed for ever!" He continued some time fixed in
this melancholy position; after which, casting himself with violence
upon the ground, "Oh wretch," cried he, "unworthy life and light,
in what dungeon canst thou hide thy head?"


 I could restrain myself no longer; I rose and went to him; I did
 not dare
speak; but, with pity and concern unutterable, I wept and hung
over him.


 Soon after, starting up, he again seized the letter, exclaiming,
 "Acknowledge
thee, Caroline!-yes, with my heart's best blood would I acknowledge
thee!-Oh that thou could'st witness the agony of my soul!-Ten thousand
daggers could not have wounded me like this letter!"


 Then, after again reading it, "Evelina," he cried, "she charges me
 to receive
thee;-wilt thou, in obedience to her will, own for thy father the
destroyer of thy mother?"


 What a dreadful question!-I shuddered, but could not speak.


 "To clear her fame, and receive her child," continued he, looking
 stedfastly
at the letter, "are the conditions upon which she leaves me her
forgiveness: her fame I have already cleared;-and Oh, how willingly
would I take her child to my bosom, fold her to my heart,-call upon
her to mitigate my anguish, and pour the balm of comfort on my wounds,
were I not conscious I deserve not to receive it, and that all my
affliction is the result of my own guilt!"


 It was in vain I attempted to speak; horror and grief took from me
 all power
of utterance.


 He then read aloud from the letter, "Look not like thy unfortunate
 mother!"
"Sweet soul, with what bitterness of spirit hast thou written!-Come
hither, Evelina: Gracious Heaven! (looking earnestly at me) never
was likeness more striking!-the eyes-the face-the form-Oh, my child,
my child!" Imagine, Sir,-for I can never describe my feelings, when
I saw him sink upon his knees before me! "Oh, dear resemblance of
thy murdered mother!-Oh, all that remains of the most injured of
women! behold thy father at thy feet!-bending thus lowly to implore
you would not hate him.-Oh, then, thou representative of my departed
wife, speak to me in her name, and say that the remorse which tears
my soul tortures me not in vain!"


 "Oh, rise, rise, my beloved father," cried I, attempting to assist
 him; "I
cannot bear to see you thus; reverse not the law of nature; rise
yourself, and bless your kneeling daughter!"


 "May Heaven bless thee, my child!-"cried he, "for I dare not." He
 then rose;
and, embracing me most affectionately, added, "I see, I see that thou
art all kindness, softness, and tenderness; I need not have feared
thee, thou art all the fondest father could wish, and I will try to
frame my mind to less painful sensations at thy sight. Perhaps the
time may come, when I may know the comfort of such a daughter;-at
present I am only fit to be alone: dreadful as are my reflections,
they ought merely to torment myself.-Adieu, my child;-be not angry,-I
cannot stay with thee;-Oh, Evelina! thy countenance is a dagger to
my heart!-just so thy mother looked,-just so-"


 Tears and sighs seemed to choak him;-and, waving his hand, he would
 have left
me;-but, clinging to him, "Oh, Sir," cried I, "will you so soon
abandon me?-am I again an orphan!-Oh, my dear, my long-lost father,
leave me not, I beseech you! take pity on your child, and rob her
not of the parent she so fondly hoped would cherish her!"


 "You know not what you ask," cried he; "the emotions which now rend
 my soul
are more than my reason can endure; suffer me then, to leave
you;-impute it not to unkindness, but think of me as well as thou
canst. Lord Orville has behaved nobly;-I believe he will make thee
happy." Then, again embracing me, "God bless thee, my dear child,"
cried he, "God bless thee, my Evelina!-endeavour to love,-at least
not to hate me,-and to make me an interest in thy filial bosom,
by thinking of me as thy father."


 I could not speak; I kissed his hands on my knees: and then, with
 yet more
emotion, he again blessed me, and hurried out of the room,-leaving
me almost drowned in tears.


 Oh, Sir, all goodness as you are, how much will you feel for your
 Evelina,
during a scene of such agitation! I pray Heaven to accept the tribute
of his remorse, and restore him to tranquillity!


 When I was sufficiently composed to return to the parlour, I
 found Lord
Orville waiting for me with the utmost anxiety:-and then a new scene of
emotion, though of a far different nature, awaited me; for I learned
by Mr.  Macartney, that this noblest of men had insisted the so-long
supposed Miss Belmont should be considered, indeed, as my sister,
and as the co-heiress of my father; though not in law, in justice, he
says, she ought ever to be treated as the daughter of Sir John Belmont.


 Oh! Lord Orville!-it shall be the sole study of my happy life,
 to express,
better than by words, the sense I have of your exalted benevolence
and greatness of mind!


LETTER LXXXI.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Clifton, Oct. 12th.


 THIS morning, early, I received the following letter from Sir Clement
Willoughby:


         "To Miss Anville.


          "I HAVE this moment received intelligence that preparations
          are actually making for your marriage with Lord Orville.


          "Imagine not that I write with the imbecile idea of
          rendering those
        preparations abortive. No, I am not so mad. My sole view is
        to explain the motive of my conduct in a particular instance,
        and to obviate the accusation of treachery which may be laid
        to my charge.


          "My unguarded behaviour, when I last saw you, has, probably,
          already
        acquainted you, that the letter I then saw you reading was
        written by myself. For your further satisfaction, let me have
        the honour of informing you, that the letter you had designed
        for Lord Orville, had fallen into my hands.


          "However I may have been urged on by a passion the most
          violent that
        ever warmed the heart of man, I can by no means calmly submit
        to be stigmatized for an action seemingly so dishonourable;
        and it is for this reason that I trouble you with this
        justification.


          "Lord Orville,-the happy Orville, whom you are so ready to
        bless,-had made me believe he loved you not;-nay, that he
        held you in contempt.


          "Such were my thoughts of his sentiments of you, when I got
        possession of the letter you meant to send him. I pretend
        not to vindicate either the means I used to obtain it, or
        the action of breaking the seal; but I was impelled, by an
        impetuous curiosity, to discover the terms upon which you
        wrote to him.


          "The letter, however, was wholly unintelligible to me,
          and the
        perusal of it only added to my perplexity.


          "A tame suspense I was not born to endure, and I determined
          to clear
        my doubts at all hazards and events.


          "I answered it, therefore, in Orville's name.


          "The views which I am now going to acknowledge, must,
          infallibly,
        incur your displeasure;-yet I scorn all palliation.


          "Briefly, then, I concealed your letter to prevent a
          discovery of
        your capacity; and I wrote you an answer, which I hoped would
        prevent your wishing for any other.


          "I am well aware of every thing which can be said upon
          this subject.
        Lord Orville will, possibly, think himself ill-used; but I am
        extremely indifferent as to his opinion; nor do I now write
        by way of offering any apology to him, but merely to make
        known to yourself the reasons by which I have been governed.


          "I intend to set off next week for the Continent. Should his
        Lordship have any commands for me in the mean time, I shall
        be glad to receive them. I say not this by way of defiance,-I
        should blush to be suspected of so doing through an indirect
        channel; but simply that, if you show him this letter, he
        may know I dare defend, as well as excuse, my conduct.
          "CLEMENT WILLOUGHBY."



 What a strange letter! how proud and how piqued does its writer
 appear! To
what alternate meanness and rashness do the passions lead, when reason
and self-denial do not oppose them! Sir Clement is conscious he has
acted dishonourably; yet the same unbridled vehemence, which urged
him to gratify a blameable curiosity, will sooner prompt him to risk
his life, than, confess his misconduct. The rudeness of his manner of
writing to me, springs, from the same cause: the proof which he has
received of my indifference to him, has stung him to the soul, and he
has neither the delicacy nor forbearance to disguise his displeasure.


 I determined not to show this letter to Lord Orville, and thought
 it most
prudent to let Sir Clement know I should not. I therefore wrote the
following note:


          "To Sir Clement Willoughby.


         "SIR,


         "The letter you have been pleased to address to me, is
         so little
        calculated to afford Lord Orville any satisfaction, that you
        may depend upon my carefully keeping it from his sight. I will
        bear you no resentment for what is past; but I most earnestly
        intreat, nay implore, that you will not write again, while in
        your present frame of mind, by any channel, direct or indirect.


         "I hope you will have much pleasure in your promised
         expedition; and
        I beg leave to assure you of my good wishes."



Not knowing by what name to sign, I was obliged to send it without any.


The preparations which Sir Clement mentions, go on just as if your
consent were arrived: it is in vain that I expostulate; Lord Orville
says, should any objections be raised, all shall be given up; but
that, as his hopes forbid him to expect any, he must proceed as if
already assured of your concurrence.


We have had, this afternoon, a most interesting conversation, in
which we have traced our sentiments of each other from our first
acquaintance. I have made him confess how ill he thought of me upon
my foolish giddiness at Mrs.  Stanley's ball; but he flatters me
with assurances, that every succeeding time he saw me, I appeared to
something less and less disadvantage.


When I expressed my amazement that he could honour with his choice a
girl who seemed so infinitely, in every respect, beneath his alliance,
he frankly owned, that he had fully intended making more minute
inquiries into my family and connections; particularly concerning
those people he saw me with at Marybone, before he acknowledged his
prepossession in my favour: but seeing me again, put him quite off
his guard; and, "divesting him of prudence, left him nothing but
love." These were his words; and yet, he has repeatedly assured me,
that his partiality has known no bounds from the time of my residing
at Clifton.  * * * * * *


Mr. Macartney has just been with me, on an embassy from my father. He
has sent me his kindest love and assurances of favour; and desired
to know if I am happy in the prospect of changing my situation,
and if there is any thing I can name which he can do for me. And, at
the same time, Mr. Macartney delivered to me a draught on my father's
banker for a thousand pounds, which he insisted that I should receive
entirely for my own use, and expend in equipping myself properly for
the new rank of life to which I seem destined.


I am sure I need not say how much I was penetrated by this goodness:
I wrote my thanks, and acknowledged, frankly, that if I could see
him restored to tranquillity, my heart would be without a wish.


LETTER LXXXII.

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION.  Clifton, Oct. 13th.


THE time approaches now when I hope we shall meet;-yet I cannot
sleep;-great joy is a restless as sorrow,-and therefore I will continue
my journal.


As I had never had an opportunity of seeing Bath, a party was formed
last night for showing me that celebrated city; and this morning, after
breakfast, we set out in three phaetons. Lady Louisa and Mrs. Beaumont
with Lord Merton; Mr. Coverley, Mr. Lovel, and Mrs. Selwyn; and myself
with Lord Orville.


We had hardly proceeded half a mile, when a gentleman from the
post-chaise which came gallopping after us, called out to the
servants, "Holla, my lads!-pray, is one Miss Anville in any of them
thing-em-bobs?"


I immediately recollected the voice of Captain Mirvan; and Lord
Orville stopped the phaeton. He was out of the chaise, and with us
in a moment. "So, Miss Anville," cried he, "how do you do? So I hear
you're Miss Belmont now;-pray, how does old Madame French do?"


"Madame Duval," said I, "is, I believe, very well."


"I hope she is in good case," said he, winking significantly, "and
won't flinch at seeing service: she has laid by long enough to refit
and be made tight. And pray how does poor Monseer Doleful do? Is he
as lank-jawed as ever?"


"They are neither of them," said I, "in Bristol."


"No!" cried he, with a look of disappointment; "but surely the old
dowager intends coming to the wedding! 'twill be a most excellent
opportunity to show off her best Lyons silk. Besides, I purpose to
dance a new fashioned jig with her. Don't you know when she'll come?"


"I have no reason to expect her at all."


"No!-'Fore George, this here's the worst news I'd wish to hear!-why
I've thought of nothing all the way, but what trick I should serve
her."


"You have been very obliging!" said I, laughing.


"O, I promise you," cried he, "our Moll would never have wheedled
me into this jaunt, if I'd known she was not here; for, to let you
into the secret, I fully intended to have treated the old buck with
another frolic."


"Did Miss Mirvan, then, persuade you to this journey?"


"Yes, and we've been travelling all night."


"We!" cried I: "Is Miss Mirvan, then, with you?"


"What, Molly?-yes, she's in that there chaise."


"Good God, Sir, why did you not tell me sooner?" cried I; and
immediately, with Lord Orville's assistance, I jumped out of the
phaeton, and ran to the dear girl. Lord Orville opened the chaise
door; and I am sure I need not tell you what unfeigned joy accompanied
our meeting.


We both begged we might not be parted during the ride; and Lord
Orville was so good as to invite Captain Mirvan into his phaeton.


I think I was hardly ever more rejoiced than at this so seasonable
visit from my dear Maria; who had no sooner heard the situation of
my affairs, than with the assistance of Lady Howard, and her kind
mother, she besought her father with such earnestness to consent
to the journey, that he had not been able to withstand their united
intreaties; though she owned that, had he not expected to have met with
Madame Duval, she believes he would not so readily have yielded. They
arrived at Mrs. Beaumont's but a few minutes after we were out of
sight, and overtook us without much difficulty.


I say nothing of our conversation, because you may so well suppose
both the subjects we chose, and our manner of discussing them.


We all stopped at a great hotel, where we were obliged to enquire for
a room, as Lady Louisa, fatigued to death, desired to take something
before we began our rambles.


As soon as the party was assembled, the Captain, abruptly saluting me,
said, "So, Miss Belmont, I wish you joy; so I hear you've quarrelled
with your new name already?"


"Me!-no, indeed, Sir."


"Then please for to tell me the reason you're in such a hurry to
change it?"


"Miss Belmont!" cried Mr. Lovel. Looking around him with the utmost
astonishment: "I beg pardon;-but, if it is not impertinent,-I must
beg leave to say I always understood that lady's name was Anville."


"'Fore George," cried the Captain, "it runs in my head, I've seen you
somewhere before! And now I think on't, pray a'n't you the person
I saw at the play one night, and who didn't know, all the time,
whether it was a tragedy or a comedy, or a concert of fiddlers?"


"I believe, Sir," said Mr. Lovel, stammering, "I, had once,-I think-the
pleasure of seeing you last spring."


"Aye, and if I live an hundred springs," answered he, "I shall never
forget it; by Jingo, it has served me for a most excellent good joke
ever since.  Well, howsomever, I'm glad to see you still in the land
of the living," (shaking him roughly by the hand.) "Pray, if a body
may be so bold, how much a night may you give at present to keep the
undertakers aloof?"


"Me, Sir!" said Mr. Lovel, very much discomposed; "I protest I never
thought myself in such imminent danger as to-really, Sir, I don't
understand you."


"O, you don't! why then I'll make free for to explain myself. Gentlemen
and Ladies, I'll tell you what; do you know this here gentleman,
simple as he sits there, pays five shillings a-night to let his
friends know he's alive!"


"And very cheap too," said Mrs. Selwyn, "if we consider the value of
the intelligence."


Lady Louisa being now refreshed, we proceeded upon our expedition.


The charming city of Bath answered all my expectations. The
Crescent, the prospect from it, and the elegant symmetry of the
Circus, delighted me. The Parades, I own, rather disappointed me;
one of them is scarce preferable to some of the best paved streets
in London; and the other, though it affords a beautiful prospect,
a charming view of Prior Park and of the Avon, yet wanted something
in itself of more striking elegance than a mere broad pavement,
to satisfy the ideas I had formed of it.


At the pump-room, I was amazed at the public exhibition of the ladies
in the bath; it is true, their heads are covered with bonnets; but
the very idea of being seen, in such a situation, by whoever pleases
to look, is indelicate.


"'Fore George," said the Captain, looking into the bath, "this would
be a most excellent place for old Madame French to dance a fandango
in! By Jingo, I wou'dn't wish for better sport than to swing her
round this here pond!"


"She would be very much obliged to you," said Lord Orville, "for so
extraordinary a mark of your favour."


"Why, to let you know," answered the Captain, "she hit my fancy
mightily; I never took so much to an old tabby before."


"Really now," cried Mr. Lovel, looking also into the bath, "I must
confess it is, to me, very incomprehensible why the ladies choose
that frightful unbecoming dress to bathe in! I have often pondered
very seriously upon the subject, but could never hit upon the reason."


"Well, I declare," said Lady Louisa, "I should like of all things
to set something new a-going; I always hated bathing, because one
can get no pretty dress for it! now do, there's a good creature,
try to help me to something."


"Who, me!-O, dear Ma'am," said he, simpering, "I can't pretend to
assist a person of your Ladyship's tastes; besides, I have not the
least head for fashions.-I really don't think I ever invented above
three in my life! But I never had the least turn for dress,-never
any notion of fancy or elegance."


"O fie, Mr. Lovel! how can you talk so?-don't we all know that you
lead the ton in the beau monde? I declare, I think you dress better
than any body."


"O, dear Ma'am, you confuse me to the last degree! I dress well!-I
protest I don't think I'm ever fit to be seen! I'm often shocked to
death to think what a figure I go. If your Ladyship will believe me,
I was full half an hour this morning thinking what I should put on!"


"Odds my life," cried the Captain, "I wish I'd been near you! I warrant
I'd have quickened your motions a little; Half an hour thinking what
you'd put on; and who the deuce do you think cares the snuff of a
candle whether you've any thing on or not?"


"O pray, Captain," cried Mrs. Selwyn, "don't be angry with the
gentleman for thinking, whatever be the cause, for I assure you he
makes no common practice of offending in that way."


"Really, Ma'am, you're prodigiously kind," said Mr. Lovel, angrily.


"Pray now," said the Captain, "did you ever get a ducking in that
there place yourself?"


"A ducking, Sir!" repeated Mr. Lovel: "I protest I think that's rather
an odd term!-but if you mean a bathing, it is an honour I have had
many times."


"And pray, if a body may be so bold, what do you do with that
frizle-frize top of your own? Why, I'll lay you what you will, there
is fat and grease enough on your crown to buoy you up, if you were
to go in head downwards."


"And I don't know," cried Mrs. Selwyn, "but that might be the easiest
way; for I'm sure it would be the lightest."


"For the matter of that there," said the Captain, "you must make
him a soldier, before you can tell which is lightest, head or
heels. Howsomever, I'd lay ten pounds to a shilling, I could whisk
him so dexterously over into the pool, that he should light plump
upon his foretop and turn round like a tetotum."


"Done!" cried Lord Merton; "I take your odds."


"Will you?" returned he; "why, then, 'fore George, I'd do it as soon
as say Jack Robinson."


"He, he!" faintly laughed Mr. Lovel, as he moved abruptly from the
window; "'pon honour, this is pleasant enough; but I don't see what
right any body has to lay wagers about one without one's consent."


"There, Lovel, you are out," cried Mr. Coverley, "any man may lay
what wager about you he will; your consent is nothing to the purpose:
he may lay that your nose is a sky-blue, if he pleases."


"Ay," said Mrs. Selwyn, "or that your mind is more adorned than your
person;-or any absurdity whatsoever."


"I protest," said Mr. Lovel, "I think it's a very disagreeable
privilege, and I must beg that nobody may take such a liberty with me."


"Like enough you may," cried the Captain;" but what's that to the
purpose?  Suppose I've a mind to lay that you've never a tooth in
your head-pray, how will you hinder me?"


"You'll allow me, at least, Sir, to take the liberty of asking how
you'll prove it?"


"How?-why, by knocking them all down your throat."


"Knocking them all down my throat, Sir!" repeated Mr. Lovel, with a
look of horror; "I protest I never heard any thing so shocking in my
life! And I must beg leave to observe, that no wager, in my opinion,
could justify such a barbarous action."


Here Lord Orville interfered, and hurried us to our carriages.


We returned in the same order we came. Mrs. Beaumont invited all
the party to dinner, and has been so obliging as to beg Miss Mirvan
may continue at her house during her stay. The Captain will lodge at
the Wells.


The first half-hour after our return was devoted to hearing Mr. Lovel's
apologies for dining in his riding-dress.


Mrs. Beaumont then, addressing herself to Miss Mirvan and me, inquired
how we liked Bath?


"I hope," said Mr. Lovel, "the ladies do not call this seeing Bath."


"No!-what should ail 'em?" cried the Captain, "do you suppose they
put their eyes in their pockets?"


"No, Sir; but I fancy you will find no person-that is-no person of
any condition-call going about a few places in a morning seeing Bath."


"Mayhap, then," said the literal Captain, "you think we should see
it better by going about at midnight?"


"No, Sir, no," said Mr. Lovel, with a supercilious smile, "I perceive
you don't understand me;-we should never call it seeing Bath, without
going at the right season."


"Why, what a plague, then," demanded he, "can you only see at one
season of the year?"


Mr. Lovel again smiled; but seemed superior to making any answer.


"The Bath amusements," said Lord Orville, "have a sameness in them,
which, after a short time, renders them rather insipid; but the
greatest objection that can be made to the place, is the encouragement
it gives to gamesters."


"Why, I hope, my Lord, you would not think of abolishing gaming,"
cried Lord Merton, "'tis the very zest of life! Devil take me if I
could live without it."


"I am sorry for it," said Lord Orville, gravely, and looking at
Lady Louisa.


"Your Lordship is no judge of this subject," continued the other;
"but if once we could get you to a gaming-table, you'd never be happy
away from it!"


"I hope, my Lord," cried Lady Louisa, "that nobody here ever occasions
your quitting it."


"Your Ladyship," said Lord Merton, recollecting himself, "has power
to make me quit any thing."


"Except herself," said Mr. Coverley. "Egad, my Lord, I think I've
helpt you out there!"


"You men of wit, Jack," answered his Lordship, "are always ready;-for
my part, I don't pretend to any talents that way."


"Really, my Lord?" asked the sarcastic Mrs. Selwyn; "well, that is
wonderful, considering success would be so much in your power."


"Pray, Ma'am," said Mr. Lovel to Lady Louisa, "has your Ladyship
heard the news?"


"News!-what news?"


"Why, the report circulating at the Wells concerning a certain person."


"O Lord, no: pray tell me what it is?"


"O no, Ma'am, I beg your La'ship will excuse me; 'tis a profound
secret, and I would not have mentioned it, if I had not thought you
knew it."


"Lord, now, how can you be so monstrous? I declare, now, you're a
provoking creature! But come, I know you'll tell me;-won't you now?"


"Your La'ship knows I am but too happy to obey you; but, 'pon honour,
I can't speak a word, if you won't all promise me the most inviolable
secrecy."


"I wish you'd wait for that from me," said the Captain, "and I'll
give you my word you'd be dumb for one while. Secrecy, quoth-a!-'Fore
George, I wonder you an't ashamed to mention such a word, when you
talk of telling it to a woman. Though, for the matter of that, I'd
as lieve blab it to the whole sex at once, as to go for to tell it
to such a thing as you."


"Such a thing as me, Sir!" said Mr. Lovel, letting fall his knife
and fork, and looking very important; "I really have not the honour
to understand your expression."


"It's all one for that," said the Captain; "you may have it explained
whenever you like it."


"'Pon honour, Sir," returned Mr. Lovel, "I must take the liberty to
tell you, that I should be extremely offended, but that I suppose
it to be some sea-phrase; and therefore I'll let it pass without
further notice."


Lord Orville, then, to change the discourse, asked Miss Mirvan if
she should spend the ensuing winter in London?


"No, to be sure," said the Captain, "what should she for? She saw
all that was to be seen before."


"Is London, then," said Mr. Lovel, smiling at Lady Louisa, "only to
be regarded as a sight?"


"Why, pray, Mr. Wiseacre, how are you pleased for to regard it
yourself?-Answer me to that."


"O Sir, my opinion, I fancy, you would hardly find intelligible. I
don't understand sea-phrases enough to define it to your
comprehension. Does not your La'ship think the task would be rather
difficult?"


"O Lard, yes," cried Lady Louisa; "I declare I'd as soon teach my
parrot to talk Welsh."


"Ha! ha! ha! Admirable;-'Pon honour, your La'ship's quite in luck
to-day; but that, indeed, your La'ship is every day. Though, to be
sure, it is but candid to acknowledge, that the gentlemen of the ocean
have a set of ideas, as well as a dialect, so opposite to our's, that
it is by no means surprising they should regard London as a mere show,
that may be seen by being looked at. Ha!  ha! ha!"


"Ha! ha!" echoed Lady Louisa; "Well, I declare you are the drollest
creature."


"He! he! 'Pon honour, I can't help laughing at the conceit of seeing
London in a few weeks!"


"And what a plague should hinder you?" cried the Captain; "do you
want to spend a day in every street?"


Here again Lady Louisa and Mr. Lovel interchanged smiles.


"Why, I warrant you, if I had the showing it, I'd haul you from
St. James's to Wapping the very first morning."


The smiles were now, with added contempt, repeated; which the Captain
observing, looked very fiercely at Mr. Lovel, and said, "Hark'ee my
spark, none of your grinning!-'tis a lingo I don't understand; and
if you give me any more of it, I shall go near to lend you a box o'
the ear."


"I protest, Sir," said Mr. Lovel, turning extremely pale, "I think
it's taking a very particular liberty with a person, to talk to one
in such a style as this!"


"It's like you may," returned the Captain: "but give a good gulp, and
I'll warrant you'll swallow it." Then, calling for a glass of ale, with
a very provoking and significant nod, he drank to his easy digestion.


Mr. Lovel made no answer, but looked extremely sullen; and, soon after,
we left the gentlemen to themselves.


I had then two letters delivered to me; one from Lady Howard and
Mrs. Mirvan, which contained the kindest congratulations; and the
other from Madame Duval;-but not a word from you,-to my no small
surprise and concern.


Madame Duval seems greatly rejoiced at my late intelligence: a violent
cold, she says, prevents her coming to Bristol. The Branghtons, she
tells me, are all well; Miss Polly is soon to be married to Mr. Brown;
but Mr. Smith has changed his lodgings, "which," she adds, "has made
the house extremely dull.  However, that's not the worst news; pardi,
I wish it was! but I've been used like nobody,-for Monsieur Du Bois
has had the baseness to go back to France without me." In conclusion,
she assures me, as you prognosticated she would, that I shall be sole
heiress of all she is worth, when Lady Orville.


At tea-time, we were joined by all the gentlemen but Captain Mirvan,
who went to the hotel where he was to sleep, and made his daughter
accompany him, to separate her trumpery, as he called it, from his
clothes.


As soon as they were gone, Mr. Lovel, who still appeared extremely
sulky, said, "I protest, I never saw such a vulgar, abusive fellow
in my life, as that Captain: 'pon honour, I believe he came here for
no purpose in the world but to pick a quarrel; however, for my part,
I vow I wo'n't humour him."


"I declare," cried Lady Louisa, "he put me in a monstrous fright;-I
never heard any body talk so shocking in my life!"


"I think," said Mrs. Selwyn, with great solemnity, "he threatened to
box your ears, Mr. Lovel;-did not he?"


"Really, Ma'am," said Mr. Lovel, colouring, "if one was to mind every
thing those low kind of people say, one should never be at rest for
one impertinence or other; so I think the best way is to be above
taking any notice of them."


"What," said Mrs. Selwyn, with the same gravity, "and so receive the
blow in silence!"


During this discourse, I heard the Captain's chaise stop at the door,
and ran downstairs to meet Maria. She was alone, and told me that
her father, who, she was sure, had some scheme in agitation against
Mr. Lovel, had sent her on before him. We continued in the parlour
till his return, and were joined by Lord Orville, who begged me not to
insist on a patience so unnatural, as submitting to be excluded our
society. And let me, my dear Sir, with a grateful heart let me own,
I never before passed half an hour in such perfect felicity.


I believe we were all sorry when the Captain returned; yet his
inward satisfaction, from however different a cause, did not seem
inferior to what our's had been. He chucked Maria under the chin,
rubbed his hands, and was scarce able to contain the fullness of his
glee. We all attended him to the drawing room; where, having composed
his countenance, without any previous attention to Mrs. Beaumont,
he marched up to Mr. Lovel, and abruptly said, "Pray, have you e'er
a brother in these here parts?"


"Me, Sir?-no, thank Heaven, I'm free from all encumbrances of that
sort."


"Well," cried the Captain, "I met a person just now so like you,
I could have sworn he had been your twin brother."


"It would have been a most singular pleasure to me," said Mr. Lovel,
"if I also could have seen him; for, really, I have not the least
notion what sort of a person I am, and I have a prodigious curiosity
to know."


Just then the Captain's servant, opening the door, said, "A little
gentleman below desires to see one Mr. Lovel."


"Beg him to walk up stairs," said Mrs. Beaumont. "But, pray what is
the reason William is out of the way?"


The man shut the door without any answer.


"I can't imagine who it is," said Mr. Lovel: "I recollect no little
gentleman of my acquaintance now at Bristol,-except, indeed the Marquis
of Charlton;-but I don't much fancy it can be him. Let me see, who
else is there so very little?"


A confused noise among the servants now drew all eyes towards the
door: the impatient Captain hastened to open it; and then, clapping
his hands, called out, "'Fore George, 'tis the same person I took
for your relation!"


And then, to the utter astonishment of every body but himself, he
hauled into the room a monkey, full-dressed, and extravagantly -e;
la mode!


The dismay of the company was almost general. Poor Mr. Lovel seemed
thunderstruck with indignation and surprise: Lady Louisa began a
scream, which for some time was incessant; Miss Mirvan and I jumped
involuntarily upon the seats of our chairs; Mrs. Beaumont herself
followed our example; Lord Orville placed himself before me as a guard;
and Mrs. Selwyn, Lord Merton, and Mr. Coverley, burst into a loud,
immoderate, ungovernable fit of laughter, in which they were joined by
the Captain, till, unable to support himself, he rolled on the floor.


The first voice which made its way through this general noise was that
of Lady Louisa, which her fright and screaming rendered extremely
shrill. "Take it away!" cried she, "take the monster away;-I shall
faint, I shall faint if you don't!"


Mr. Lovel, irritated beyond endurance, angrily demanded of the Captain
what he meant?


"Mean?" cried the Captain, as soon as he was able to speak; "why
only to shew you in your proper colours." Then rising, and pointing
to the monkey, "Why now, ladies and gentlemen, I'll be judged by you
all!-Did you ever see any thing more like?-Odds my life, if it wasn't
for this here tail, you wouldn't know one from t'other."


"Sir," cried Mr. Lovel, stamping, "I shall take a time to make you
feel my wrath."


"Come now," continued the regardless Captain, "just for the fun's sake,
doff your coat and waistcoat, and swop with Monseer Grinagain here;
and I'll warrant you'll not know yourself which is which."


"Not know myself from a monkey!-I assure you, Sir, I'm not to be used
in this manner, and I won't bear it-curse me if I will!"


"Why, hey-day!" cried the Captain, "what, is master in a passion?-well,
don't be angry:-come, he shan't hurt you;-here, shake a paw with
him:-why, he'll do you no harm, man!-come, kiss and be friends!"


"Who, I?" cried Mr. Lovel, almost mad with vexation; "as I'm a living
creature, I would not touch him for a thousand worlds!"


"Send him a challenge," cried Mr. Coverley, "and I'll be your second."


"Ay, do," said the Captain; "and I'll be second to my friend, Monseer
Clapperclaw here. Come to it at once!-tooth and nail!"


"God forbid!" cried Mr. Lovel, retreating, "I would sooner trust my
person with a mad bull!"


"I don't like the look of him myself," said Lord Merton, "for he
grins most horribly."


"Oh, I'm frightened out of my senses!" cried Lady Louisa, "take him
away, or I shall die!"


"Captain," said Lord Orville, "the ladies are alarmed; and I must
beg you would send the monkey away."


"Why, where can be the mighty harm of one monkey more than
another?" answered the Captain: "howsomever, if its agreeable to the
ladies, suppose we turn them out together?"


"What do you mean by that, Sir?" cried Mr. Lovel, lifting up his cane.


"What do you mean?" cried the Captain, fiercely, "be so good as to
down with your cane."


Poor Mr. Lovel, too much intimidated to stand his ground, yet too
much enraged to submit, turned hastily round, and, forgetful of
consequences, vented his passion by giving a furious blow to the
monkey.


The creature darting forwards, sprung instantly upon him; and,
clinging round his neck, fastened his teeth to one of his ears.


I was really sorry for the poor man; who, though an egregious fop,
had committed no offence that merited such chastisement.


It was impossible now to distinguish whose screams were loudest,
those of Mr.  Lovel, or of the terrified Lady Louisa, who I believe,
thought her own turn was approaching: but the unrelenting Captain
roared with joy.


Not so Lord Orville: ever humane, generous, and benevolent he quitted
his charge, who he saw was wholly out of danger, and seizing the monkey
by the collar, made him loosen the ear; and then with a sudden swing,
flung him out of the room, and shut the door.


Poor Mr. Lovel, almost fainting with terror, sunk upon the floor,
crying out, "Oh, I shall die, I shall die!-Oh, I'm bit to death!"


"Captain Mirvan," said Mrs. Beaumont, with no little indignation,
"I must own I don't perceive the wit of this action; and I am sorry
to have such cruelty practised in my house."


"Why Lord, Ma'am," said the Captain, when his rapture abated
sufficiently for speech, "how could I tell they'd fall out so?-By
jingo, I brought him to be a messmate for t'other."


"Egad," said Mr. Coverley, "I would not have been served so for a
thousand pounds."


"Why, then, there's the odds of it," said the Captain; "for you
see he is served so for nothing. But come," turning to Mr. Lovel,
"be of good heart, all may end well yet, and you and Monseer Longtail
be as good friends as ever."


"I'm surprised, Mrs. Beaumont," cried Mr. Lovel, starting up, "that
you can suffer a person under your roof to be treated so inhumanly."


"What argufies so many words?" said the unfeeling Captain; "it is but
a slit of the ear; it only looks as if you had been in the pillory."


"Very true," added Mrs. Selwyn; "and who knows but it may acquire
you the credit of being an anti-ministerial writer?"


"I protest," cried Mr. Lovel, looking ruefully at his dress, "my new
riding suit's all over blood!"


"Ha, ha, ha," cried the Captain, "see what comes of studying for an
hour what you shall put on!"


Mr. Lovel then walked to the glass; and, looking at the place,
exclaimed, "Oh heaven, what a monstrous wound! my ear will never be
fit to be seen again!"


"Why then," said the Captain, "you must hide it;-'tis but wearing
a wig."


"A wig!" repeated the affrighted Mr. Lovel; "I wear a wig?-no, not
if you would give me a thousand pounds an hour!"


"I declare," said Lady Louisa, "I never heard such a shocking proposal
in my life!"


Lord Orville, then, seeing no prospect that the altercation would
cease, proposed to the Captain to walk. He assented; and having given
Mr. Lovel a nod of exultation, accompanied his Lordship down stairs.


"'Pon honour," said Mr. Lovel, the moment the door was shut, "that
fellow is the greatest brute in nature! he ought not to be admitted
into a civilized society."


"Lovel," said Mr. Coverley, affecting to whisper, "you must certainly
pink him: you must not put up with such an affront."


"Sir," said Mr. Lovel, "with any common person I should not deliberate
an instant; but really with a fellow who has done nothing but fight
all his life, 'pon honour, Sir, I can't think of it!"


"Lovel," said Lord Merton, in the same voice, "you must call him
to account."


"Every man," said he, pettishly, "is the best judge of his own affairs;
and I don't ask the honour of any person's advice."


"Egad, Lovel," said Mr. Coverley, "you're in for it!-you can't possibly
be off!"


"Sir," cried he, very impatiently, "upon any proper occasion I should
be as ready to show my courage as any body; but as to fighting for
such a trifle as this-I protest I should blush to think of it!"


"A trifle!" cried Mrs. Selwyn, "good Heaven! and have you made this
astonishing riot about a trifle?"


"Ma'am," answered the poor wretch, in great confusion, "I did not
know at first but that my cheek might have been bit; but as 'tis no
worse, why, it does not a great deal signify. Mrs. Beaumont, I have
the honour to wish you a good evening; I'm sure my carriage must be
waiting." And then, very abruptly, he left the room.


What a commotion has this mischief-loving Captain raised! Were I
to remain here long, even the society of my dear Maria could scarce
compensate for the disturbances which he excites.


When he returned, and heard of the quiet exit of Mr. Lovel, his triumph
was intolerable. "I think, I think," he cried, "I have peppered him
well! I'll warrant he won't give an hour tomorrow morning to settling
what he shall put on; why, his coat," turning to me, "would be a most
excellent match for old Madame Furbelow's best Lyons silk! 'Fore
George, I'd desire no better sport than to have that there old cat
here to go her snacks!"


All the company the, Lord Orville, Miss Mirvan, and myself excepted,
played at cards; and we -oh, how much better did we pass our time!


While we were engaged in a most delightful conversation, a servant
brought me a letter, which he told me had by some accident been
mislaid. Judge of my feelings when I saw, my dearest Sir, your revered
hand-writing! My emotions soon betrayed to Lord Orville whom the
letter was from; the importance of the contents he well knew; and,
assuring me I should not be seen by the card-players, he besought me
to open it without delay.


Open it, indeed, I did-but read it I could not;-the willing, yet
awful consent you have granted-the tenderness of your expressions-the
certainty that no obstacle remained to my eternal union with the loved
owner of my heart, gave me sensations too various, and, though joyful,
too little placid for observation. Finding myself unable to proceed,
and blinded by the tears of gratitude and delight, which started into
my eyes, I gave over the attempt of reading till I retired to my own
room; and, having no voice to answer the enquiries of Lord Orville,
I put the letter into his hands, and left it to speak both for me
and itself.


Lord Orville was himself affected by your kindness: he kissed the
letter as he returned it; and, pressing my hand affectionately to
his heart, "Your are now," said he, in a low voice, "all my own! Oh,
my Evelina, how will my soul find room for its happiness?-it seems
already bursting!" I could make no reply, indeed I hardly spoke
another word the rest of the evening; so little talkative is the
fulness of contentment.


O, my dearest Sir, the thankfulness of my heart I must pour forth at
our meeting, when, at your feet, my happiness receives its confirmation
from your blessing; and when my noble-minded, my beloved Lord Orville,
presents to you the highly-honoured, and thrice-happy Evelina.


A few lines I will endeavour to write on Thursday, which shall be
sent off express, to give you, should nothing intervene, yet more
certain assurance of our meeting.


Now then, therefore, for the first-and probably the last time I
shall ever own the name, permit me to sign myself, Most dear Sir,
your gratefully affectionate, EVELINA BELMONT.


Lady Louisa, at her own particular desire, will be present at the
ceremony, as well as Miss Mirvan and Mrs. Selwyn: Mr. Macartney will,
the same morning, be united to my foster-sister; and my father himself
will give us both away.


LETTER LXXXIII.

MR. VILLARS TO EVELINA.


EVERY wish of my soul is now fulfilled-for the felicity of my Evelina
is equal to her worthiness!


Yes, my child, thy happiness is engraved in golden characters upon
the tablets of my heart; and their impression is indelible: for,
should the rude and deep-searching hand of Misfortune attempt to
pluck them from their repository, the fleeting fabric of life would
give way; and in tearing from my vitals the nourishment by which they
are supported, she would but grasp at a shadow insensible to her touch.


Give thee my consent?-Oh thou joy, comfort, and pride of my life, how
cold is that word to express the fervency of my approbation! Yes, I do
indeed give thee my consent; and so thankfully, that, with the humblest
gratitude to Providence, I would seal it with the remnant of my days.


Hasten then, my love, to bless me with thy presence, and to receive
the blessings with which my fond heart overflows!-And oh, my Evelina,
hear and assist in one only, humble, but ardent prayer, which yet
animates my devotions: That the height of bliss to which thou art
rising may not render thee giddy, but that the purity of thy mind may
form the brightest splendour of thy prosperity!-and that the weak
and aged frame of thy almost idolizing parent, nearly worn out by
time, past afflictions, and infirmities, may yet be able to sustain
a meeting with all its better part holds dear; and then, that all the
wounds which the former severity of fortune inflicted, may be healed
and purified by the ultimate consolation of pouring forth my dying
words in blessings on my child!-closing these joy-streaming eyes in
her presence, and breathing my last faint sighs in her loved arms!


Grieve not, oh child of my care! Grieve not at the inevitable
moment! but may thy own end be equally propitious! Oh, may'st thou,
when full of days, and full of honour, sink down as gently to rest!-be
loved as kindly, watched as tenderly, as thy happy father! And mayest
thou, when thy glass is run, be sweetly, but not bitterly, mourned by
some remaining darling of thy affections-some yet surviving Evelina!
ARTHUR VILLARS.


LETTER LXXXIV.

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS.


ALL is over, my dearest Sir; and the fate of your Evelina is
decided! This morning, with fearful joy and trembling gratitude,
she united herself for ever with the object of her dearest, her
eternal affection.


I have time for no more; the chaise now waits which is to conduct
me to dear Berry Hill, and to the arms of the best of men.  EVELINA.
THE END.





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