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Full text of "Evelina, or, The history of a young lady's introduction to the world"

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II E> R.AR.Y 

OF THE 

UN IVLRSITY 

Of ILLINOIS 

323 

Arle 
1810 
V. 1 



EVELINA 

A NOVEL 



VOLUME THE FIRST 



Pnoiecl by T. C. UANEARO, Petcrboiry Court, iieet-sirest, U)VM)V. 



EVELINA 

OR 

THE HISTORY 

A YOUNG LADFs 

INTRODUCTION 

TO 

THE WORLD 



A J^^EW EDITIOJV* 

IW TWO VOLUMES 

VOL I 



Sontion 

pRiNTiD FOR W. LOWNDES 38 Bedford street 

ISIO 



\^\o 

Oh, Author of my being ! — far more dear 
To me than light, than nourishment, or rest, 

Hygeia's blessings, Rapture^s burning tear. 
Or the life-blood that mantles in ray breast ! 

If in my heart the love of Virtue glows, 
^Twas 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 powers 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. 

'\3 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. 



VOL. I. 



TO THE 

AUTHORS 

OF THE 

MONTHLY AND CRITICAL REVIEWS. 



Gentlemen, 
The liberty which I take in addressing to yea 
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 ray temerity ; lest, 
by a premature exercise of that patience which I 
hope will befriend me, I should lessen its benevo- 
lence, 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 ? 

B 2 



4 DEDICATION. 

The extensive plan of your critical observations, 
—which, not confined to works of utility or inge- 
nuity, is equally open lo those of frivolous amuse- 
ment, — ard, yet worse than frivolous, dullness — 
encourages rue lo seek for your protection, since, — 
periiaps for my sins ! — it intitles me to your anno- 
tati.;n5!. To resent, therefore, this offering, how- 
ever insignificant, would ill become the universa- 
lity of your undertaking; though not to despise it 
may, alas ! be out of your power. 

The language of adulation, and the incense of 
fiatttry, though the natural inheritance, and con- 
pant resource, from time immemorial, of the De- 
dicator, 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 exiol your judgment, would seem the 
effect of art, and to celebrate your impartiality, be 
attributed 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 impar- 
tiality, and to which your suffrages should carry 
the marks of pure, dauntless, irrefragable truth — 
to appe.il for 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 — 



DEDICATION. 5 

U 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 cal- 
lous to criticism, here braves your severity ;— nei- 
ther 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 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 re- 
collecting 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 dis- 
grace, 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 in- 
ferior passions, and by which the too timid mind is 
B ^ 



6 DEDICATION, 

betrayed into a servility derogatory to the dignity 
of human nature; yet is it a virtue of no necessity 
in a situaiion such as mine ; a situation which re- 
moves even from cowardice itself, the sting of igno- 
miny ; — for surelj^ that courage may easily be dis- 
pensed with, which would rather excite disgust 
than admiration ! Indeed, it is the peculiar privi- 
lege of an author, to rob terror of contempt, and 
pusillanimity of reproach. 

Here let 77ie rest — and snatch ra5^self, w^hile I yet 
am able, from the fascination of Egotism : — a mon- 
ster 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 individu- 
al, his influence is universally disallowed, his power 
universally contemned, and his worship, even by 
his followers, never mentioned but with abhorrence. 

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, 

4t** * * * * 



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 nume- 
rous but less respectable. 

Yet, while in the annals of those few of our pre- 
decessors, to whom this species of writing is in- 
debted for being saved from contempt, and rescued 
from depravity, we can trace such names as Rous- 
seau, Johnson,* Marivaux, Fielding, Richardson, 
and Smollett, no man need blush at starting from 
the same post, though many, nay, most men, may 
^igh at finding themselves distanced. 

The following letters are presented to the Public 
—•for such by novel writers, novel readers will be 
called,^witha very singular mixture of timidity and 
confidence, resulting from the peculiar situation of 

* 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 Ras- 
st'las and Eloise as Novelists. 



8 l>REFACE. 

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 se- 
cluded retirement, makes, at the age of seventeen, 
her first appearance upon the great and busy stage 
of life ; with a virtuous mind, a cultivated under- 
standing, 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 pro- 
gression of the life of a young woman of obscure 
birth, but conspicuoHS beauty, for the six months 
after her Entrance into the world. 

Perhaps, were it possible to effect the total ex- 
tirpation 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 con- 
tagion 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 Expe- 
rience; surely all attempts to contribute to the 



PREFACE. 

number of those which may be read, if not with ad- 
vantage, at least without injury, ought rather to b« 
encouraged than contemned. 

Let me, therefore, prepare for disappointment 
those who in the perusal of these sheets enter- 
tain the gentle expectation of being transported to 
the fantastic regions of Romance, where Fiction is 
coloured by all tiie gay tints of luxurious Imagina- 
tion, 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 sim- 
plest 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 em- 
ploy 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 al- 
most equally attainable with the meanest. In books, 
therefore, imitation cannot be shunned too sedu- 
lously; for the very perfection of a model Vvhich is 
frequently seen, serves but more forcibly to mark 
the inferiority of a copy. 



m PREFACE. 

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 exhilarated by the wit of Fielding 
and humour of Smollett; I yet presume not to at- 
tempt 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 imper- 
tinence to doubt, and to their indulgence I am sen- 
sible 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 to be im- 
puted to an opinion of mjr 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. 



EVELINA. 



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 re- 
ceiver 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 ; sh« 
seem5 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 thos^ 
misfortunes for which she alone is answerable. Her 
letter is violent, sometimes abusive, and that of 
you ! — 1/ou, to whom she is under obligations which 
are ;^reater even than her faults, but to whose ad- 
vice she wickedly imputes all the sufferings of her 
much injured daughter, the late Lady Belmont. 
Th( chief purport of her writing 1 will acquaint 
y^ii. with ; the letter itself is not worthy your notice. 
>he tells me that she has, for many years past, 
boen in continual expectation of making a journey 
to England, which prevented her writing for infor- 
mation concerning this melancholy subject, by giv- 
ing her hopes of making personal inquiries; but fa- 
mily occurrences have still detained her in France, 
v'hich country she now sees no prospect of quitting. 
i?^he has, therefore, lately usedher utmost endeavours 



12 EVELINA. 

to obtain a faithful account of whatever related to 
her ill-advised daughter; the result of which giving 
her sofjie reason to apprehend, that, upon her death- 
bed, she bequeathed an infant orphan to the worid, 
she most graciously says, that if i/ou with whom she 
understands the child is placed, will procure authen- 
tic proofs of its relationship to her, you may send it 
to Paris, where she will properly provide for it. 

This woman is undoubtedly, at length, self-con- 
victed of her most unnatural behaviour: it is evi- 
dent from her n-riting, that she is still as vulgar and 
illiterate as when her tirst husband, Mr. Evelyn, had 
the weakness to marry her; nor does she at all apo- 
logize for addressing herself to me, though 1 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 protec- 
tion 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 cwiferring, where she most oives obli- 
gation. 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 todo; but I am much con- 
cerned at the trouble and uneasiness which this un- 
worthy woman may occasion you. 

My daughter and my grandchild join with me 
in desiring to be most kindly remem.bered to the 
ajniible girl, and they bid me remind you, that 



EVELINA. IS 

the annual visit to Howard Grove, which we were 
formerly promised, has been discontinued for more 
than four years. 

J am, dear Sir, with great regard. 

Your most obedient friend and servant, 

M. HOVVARa 



LETTER II. 

MR. VILLARS TO LADY HOWARD. 

Berry-Hill, Dorsetshire. 
YoLR Ladyship did but too well foresee the per- 
plexity and uneasiness of which Madame Duval's, 
letter has been productive. However, I ojght ra- 
ther to be thankful that I have so many years re- 
mained unmolested, than repine at my present em- 
barrassment, 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 olfend Ma- 
dame Duval ; but that I have weighty, nay unan- 
swerable reasons for detaining her grand-daughter 
at present in England ; the principal of which is, 
that it w as the earnest desire of one to vvhose will 
she owes implicit duty. Madame Duval may be 
assured, that she meets with the utmost attention 
and tenderness ; that her education, how^ever 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, 1 am sure, be surprised 
at this answer. Madame Duval is by no means a 

VOL. I. c 



14 EVELINA. 

proper companion or guardian for a young woman : 
she is at once uneducated and unprincipled ; un- 
gentle in temper, and unamiable in her manners. 
I have long known that she has persuaded herself 
to harbour an aversion for me — Unhappy vvoman ! 
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 
hers. 

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 fol- 
lowing note : 

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



EVELINA. 15 

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

Mr. Evelyn left to me a legacy of a thousand 
pounds, and the sole guardianship of his daughter'* 
person till her eighteenth year, conjuring me, in 
the most affecting terms, to take the charge of hef 
education till she was able to act with propriety for 
herself; but, in regard to fortune, he left her 
wholly dependant on her mother, to whose tender* 
ness 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 which> 
from her own child, were certainly her due ; but, 
unhappily, it never occurred to him that the mo* 
ther, 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 sup- 
ported by me, the misery and disgrace which await- 
ed her might perhaps have been avoided. But, to 
be brief — Madame Duval, at the instigation of her 
husband, earnestly, or rather tyrannically, endea- 
r. 2 



16 EVELINA. 

voured to effect an 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 un- 
kindness, and threatened her with poverty and ruin. 

Miss Evelyn, to wiiom wrath and violence had 
hitherto been strangers, soon grew weary of such 
usage, and rashly, and without a witness, consent- 
ed to a private marriage with Sir John Belmont, a 
very profligate young man, who had but too suc- 
cessfully found means to insinuate himself into her 
favour. He promised to conduct her to England — 
he did. — O, Madam, you know the rest ! — Disap- 
pointed of the fortune he expected, by the inexor- 
able 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 mix- 
ed 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 guilt- 
less tenor of her unspotted youth, and from the 
known libertinism of her barbarous betrayer. Yet 
her suflerings were too acute for her tender 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 



EVELINA. 17 

date of lier 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 che- 
rished, succoured, and supported her, from her ear- 
liest infancy to her sixteenth year; and so amply 
has she repaid my care and idlection, that my fond- 
est wish is now circumscribed l)y the desire of be- 
stowing 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, daughier, 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, 1 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 barljarous 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, with- 
out exciting apprehensions and terrors which al- 
most overpower me. Such, Madam, is my tender- 
ness, 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 seyerity. 
c 3 



18 EVELINA. 

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 in. 

[Written some months after the last.] 
LADY HOWARD TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS. 

BEAR AND REV. SIR, Howafd Grovc, March 8. 

Your last letter gave me infinite pleasure : after so 
long and tedious an illness, how grateful to your- 
self and to your friends must be your returning 
health ! You have the hearty wishes of every in- 
dividual of this place for its continuance and in- 
crease. 

Will y©u not think I take advantage of your ac- 
knowledged 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 meet again the friend 
of her infancy; and, for my own part, it is very 
strongly my wish to manifest the regard 1 had for 
the unfortunate Lady Belmont, by proving ser- 
viceable 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 1 have formed, in consequence of your 
restoration to health. 

I would not frighten you ; — but do you think you 



EVELINA. \S 

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 grand-child will accompany her: 
I^'ow, my good iriend, 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 pro- 
perly, 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 es- 
teemed as Mr. Villars, by 

His most faithful, humble seryant, 

M. HOWARD. 



LETTER IV. 



MR. VILLAINS TO LADY HOWARD. 

Berry Hill, March 12, 
I AM grieved. Madam, to appear obstinate, and I 
blush to incur the imputation of selfishness. In de- 
taining my young charge thus long with mytelf in 



20 EVELINA. 

the country, I consulted not solely my own inclina- 
tion. Destined, in all probability, to possess a very 
moderate fortune, 1 wished to contract her views to 
something wi'hin it. The mind is but too naturally 
prone to pleasure, but too easily yielded to dissipa- 
tion : it has been my study to guard her against 
their delusions, by preparing her ^o expect — and to 
despise them. But the time draws on for experi- 
ence and observation to take place of instruction : 
if I have, in some measure, rendered her capable of 
using o)ie with discretion, and making the other 
with iiuprovement, I shall rejoice myself with the 
assurance of having largely contributed to her wel- 
fare. She is now of an nge 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 satis- 
fied 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 Lady- 
ship 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 ex- 
pectation is to increase enjoyment. I apprehend 
nothing more than too much raising her hopes and 
her views, which the natural vivacity of her dispo- 
sition would render but too easy to effect. The 
t®wn-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 



EVELINA. 21 

loo little wealth to be sought with propriety by men 
<)f the fashionable world. 

Consider, Madam, the peculiar cruelty of her 
situation. Only child of a wealth)'^ Baronet, whose 
person she has never seen, whose character she has 
reason to ablior, 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 ov\n her? And while he continues to 
perseveie in disavowing his marriage with Miss 
Evelyn, she shall never, at the expense of her mo- 
ther'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 of two large fortunes, must 
owe all her rational expectations to adoption and 
friendship. Yet her income will be such as may 
make her hnppy, if she is disposed to be so in private 
life f 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 th.e 
splendor of high lile ; 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 vvill 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 Ma- 
dame 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 



22 EVELINA. 

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 
AnviJle, and reported in this neighbourhood that her 
father, my intimate friend, left her to my guardian- 
ship ; yet I have thought it necessary she should 
herself be acquainted with the melancholy circum- 
stances attending her birth : for though I am very 
desirous of guarding her from curiosity and imper- 
tinence, 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 ; 1 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. 

DEAR MADAM, March 18. 

This letter will be delivered to you by my child, — 

the child of my adoption, — my affection ! Unblest 



EVELINA. 23 

with one natural friend, she merits a thousand. I 
send her to you innocent as an angel, and artless at 
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 grati- 
tied. 

A. VILLARS. 



LETTER VI. 

LADY HOWARD TO THE REV. MR. VILLAHS. 
DEAR AND REV. SIR, Howard Grove. 

The solemn manner in which you have committed 
your child to my care, has in some measure damped 
the pleasure which 1 receive from the trust, as it 
makes me fear that you suffer from your compli- 
ance, in which case I shall very sincerely blame 
myself for the earnestness with v.hich I have re- 
quested 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 mj^ most refined ideas 

of complete beauty : and this, though a subject of 

praise less important to you or to me thanaiiy other, 

is yet so striking, it is not possible to pass it unno- 

4 



24 EVELINA. 

ticed. Had I not known from whom she received 
her education, I should, at first sight of so perfect a 
face, liave been in pain for her understanding : 
since it ha<i been long and justly remarked, that 
folly has ever sought alliance with beaut3^ 

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 htrwith an excellent 
understanding and great quickness of parts, she has 
a certain air of inexperience and inrrocency that is 
extremely interesting. 

You have no 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 af- 
fection 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 hap- 
piness, and in returning our sincere thanks for the 
favour you have conferred on us. 
I am, dear Sir, 

Your most faithful servant, 

M. HOWARD. 



EVELINA. 25 

LETTER VII. 

LADY HOWARD TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS. 

Howard Grove, March 26. 
Be not alarmed, my worthy friend, at my so spee- 
dily troubling you again; I seldom use the cere- 
mony of waiting for answers, or writing with any 
regularity, and I have at present immediate occa- 
sion for begging your patience. 

Mrs. Mirvan has just received a letter from her 
long absent husband, containing the welcome news 
of his houing to reach London by the beginnmg of 
next week. My daughter and the captain hav« 
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 ; 1 giieve that her mother cannot. 

And now, my good Sir, I almost blush to pro- 
ceed ; — but, tell me, may I ask — will you permit — 
tliat your child may accompany them? Do not 
think us unreasonable, but consider the many in- 
ducements which conspire to make London the 
Lapp:«st place at present she can be in. The joyful 
occasion of the journey; the gaiety of the whole 
pa. ty, opposed to the dull life she must lead, if left 
here with a solitary old woman for her sole compa- 
nion, while she so well knows the cheerfulness and 
felicity enjoyed by the rest of the family, — are cir- 
cumscances 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 Cap- 
tain, who hates London, will be eager to revisit 
Howard Grove ; and INIaria is so very earnest in 

VOL. I. D 



26 EVELINA. 

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 retn*ed 
manner, as that cannot be fairly expected. But 
you have no reason to be uneasy concerning Ma- 
dame 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 ex- 
cursion, so short a time as a week or less spent in 
town upon so particular an occasion, though pre- 
vious 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 com- 
mission 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 possibly 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 VHI. 

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 
i> 2 



EVELINA. 27 

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, MissMirvan is mak- 
ing caps ; every body so busy ! — such flying from 
room to room ! — so many orders given and retracted, 
and given again, nothing but hurry and perturba- 
tion. 

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 writ- 
ing i — 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 pleasure* 
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 parry ! Yet I am not vtry eager to accompany 
them : at least I shall he contented to remain where 
I am, if you desire that I should. 

Assured, my dearest Sir, of j^our 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 suspence, perhaps I may Aopc; but I am most 
cer.ain, that when you have once determined 1 shall 
not rejjine. 

Ttjey tell me that London is now in full splendour. 

Two play-houses are open, — the Opera-house, — 

Ranelagh, — and the Pantheon. — You see 1 have 

learned all their names. However, pray don't sup- 

D 2 



28 EVELINA. 

pose that I make any point of going, for I shall 
hardly sigh, to see them depart without me, though 
J shall probably never meet with such another op- 
portunity. 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 1 would not be urgent; but n)y 
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 moie 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 dis- 
pleasure may cause. You will not, I am sure, send 
a refusal without reasons unanswerable, and there- 
fore 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 2S. 
To resist the urgency of intreaty, is a power which 
I have not yet acquired : I aim not at an authority 



EVELINA. 29 

which deprives you of liberty, yet I would faia 
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 colours 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 1 daily 
ofter 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 e\es in 
the arras 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. lam quite inecstacy. So isMiss 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 w^e are to sit in 
some obscure pb.ce that she may not be seen. As 
to me, I should be alike unknown in the most con- 
spicuous or most private part of the house. 

I can write no more now. I have hardly time to 
D 3 



30 EVELINA. 

breathe — only just this, the houses and streets are 
not quite so superb as I expected. However, I have 
seen nothing yet, £0 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 tlianks 
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 univer- 
sally admired — I had not any idea of so great a 
performer. 

Such ease ! such vivacity in his manner 1 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 melodio.us, yet so wonderfully 
various in its tones ! — Such animation ! — every look 
speaks ! 

I would have given the world to have had the 
whole playacted 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 wonH 
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 th« 
sweetest girl in the world. 

I shall write to you every evening all that passei 
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 



EVELINA. 3 1 

afterwards we walked in the Mall of St. James's 
Park, which by no means answered my expecta- 
tions : 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 sur- 
prised. 

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 be- 
fore. I looked about for some of rny acquaintance, 
but in vain; for 1 saw not one person that I 
knew, which is very odd, ior 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 Gar- 
dens; but really, if you had seen how much every 
body was dressed, you would not think that pos- 
sible. 

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-shoppirig 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 



32 EVELINA. 

room to room with so much ceremony, that at first 
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 1 was almost ashamed 
I could not. 

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

The dispatch with which they work in these great 
shops is an^azini:, for they have promised me a com- 
plete suit of linen against the evening. 

I have just had my hair dressed. You can't 
think how oddly my head fVels; full of powder and 
black pins, and a grtat cushion on the top of it. I 
believe you wouM har<ily know me, for my face 
looks quite Jilferent to what it did before my hair 
was dressed. Wlien I shall be able to make use of 
a comb for myself 1 cannot tell ; for my hair is so 
much entangled, fnzzkd they call it, that I fear it 
wiil be very dithcult. 

I am half afraid of this ball to-night; for, you 
know, 1 have nevt^r danced but at school : however 
Miss Mn-van says there is nothing in it. Yet I wish 
it was over. 



EVELINA. S:* 

Adieu, my deiuSir; prav^ excuse the wretched 
stuli'l write ; perhaps I may improve by being in 
this town, and then my letters will be less unworthy 
your reading. Mean time, lam, 

Your dutiful and alfectionate, 
though unpolished, 

EVELINA. 
Poor Miss Mirvan cannot wear one of the caps sh« 
made^ because thev dress her hair too lari:i;cfor ihem. 



LETTER XI. 



EVELINA IN CONTINUATION. 



Queen-Ann-Street, April 5, Tuesday Morning. 
I HAVE a vast deal to say, ?ntl shall give all thii 
morning to mj^ pen. As lo 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 began my letters after them, I could 
not go to bed at ail. 

Vv e past a most extraordinary evening. A pri- 
vate 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 vrorld ! Two very largtf 
rooms were full of company ; in one w^ere cards lor 
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 ai careless 



34 EVELINA. 

indolent manner, as if with a view to keep us in 
suspence. I don't speak of this in regard to Miss 
Mirvan and myself only, but to the ladies in gene- 
ral : and I thought it so provoking, ihat I deter- 
mined in my own niiud that, far from humouring 
such airs, I would rather not dance at all, than with 
any one who should 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 looke(i at us with a kind of negligent imperti- 
nence, advanced on tiptoe towards me; he had a 
set smile on his lace, and his dress was so foppish, 
that I really believe he even wished to be stared at; 
and yet he was very ugly. 

Bowing almost to the ground with a sort of swing, 
and wavnig 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 break- 
in*^ otf t'very half moment, the honour and happi- 
ness — if I am not so unhappy as to address j^ou too 
late — tu have the happiness and honour — 

Again he would have taken my hand ; but bow- 
ing my h'^ad, 1 beiged to be excused, and turned 
to Miss Mirvun to conceal my laughter. He then 
desired to know if I had already engaged myself to 
some mo]-? fortunate man ? I sa-d No, and that I 
believed I should not dance at all. He would keep 
himself, he told mo, disengaged, in hopes I should 
relent; and then, ui.ering 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 convers- 
ing with the lady of the house. And very soon 



EVELINA. 35 

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, thonj^h I am 
sure I know not what honour he could rec jive from 
me ; but these sort of expre>sions. 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 laie by the milliners making us wait for 
our things. 

He seemed very desirous of entering into conver- 
sation 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 miiid prevented 
my returning to my seat, and declining to dance 
at all. 

He appeared to be surprised at uiy tenor, which 
I believe was but too apparent : however, he asked 
no questions, though I fear ha 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 senr^ible and spirited ; his 
air and address were opea and noble ; his manners 
gentle, attentive, and infrviteiy engaging ; his per- 
son is all elegance, and his countenance the most 
Climated and expressive I have ever seen. 



56 fiVELINA. 

In a short time we were joined by Miss Mii'vaiij, 
who stood next couple to us. But how was I start- 
led 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 
tear doing something wrong ! 

That he should be so much my superior every 
way, quite disconcerted me ; and you will suppose 
uiy 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, 1*11 sit down till the ntxt. 

So will i loo, then, ciied I, for I am sure I can 
hardly stand. 

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

But, unfortunately for rne. Miss Mirvan soon 
after sallered herself to be prevailed upon to at- 
tempt the dance; and just as she rose to go, she 
cried. My dear, yonder is your partner, Lord Or- 
ville, 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 woHd to havoi 
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. 



EVELINA. 37 

My confusion increased when I observed that he 
was every where seeking me, with apparent per- 
plexity 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 tov»'-ards the card-room, resolv- 
ing to stay with Mrs. Mirvan the rest of the even- 
ing, 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 com- 
mands to her? 

O, by no means ! 

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

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

If he had not been as swifc as lightning, I do'nt 
kno\Y whether I should not have stolen away again ; 

VOL. I. E 



38 EVELINA. 

but he returned in a moment. When I had drank a 
glass of lemonade, he hoped, he said, that I wouhl 
again honour him with my hand, as a new dance 
was just begun. 1 had not the presence ot 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 un- 
easiness ; for he intreated me to sit down again if 
dancing w^as disagreeable to me. But I was quite 
satisfied with the folly I had already shewn; and 
therefore declined hisolTer, though I was really scarce 
able to stand. 

Under such conscious disadvantages, 3'ou may 
easil}'^ imagine, my dear Sir, how ill 1 acquitted 
mvself. But, though I both expected and deverved 
tofind him very much mortified and displeased at 
his ill fortune in the choice he bad made ; yet, to 
my very great relief, he appeared to be even con- 
tented, and very much assisted and encouraged 
me. These people in high life have too much pre- 
sence 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 fed me to a seat, saying that he 
v^ould 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 
mii^ht I have been engaged ! it was then I saw that 
the rank ofL'^rd Orville was his least recommenda- 
tion, his understanding and his manners being far 
rncre distinguished, his remarks upon the com- 



EVELmA. 3<^ 

pany in general were bo apt, so just, so lively, I am 
almost surprised myselfthat they did nof 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 mIs pleasantry : so 
seif-compassion gave me feeling for othr-rs. Yet I 
had not the courage to attempt either to defend 
them, or fo rally ni my turn ; but listened to him in 
silent embari assment. 

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 dis- 
course 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 a great constraint upon my 
thoughts, that I was unable to go further than a 
monosyllable, and not even 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, 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 1 have 
the honour to offer — but — 

I interrupted nim — 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 
round 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. 
E 2 



40 EVELINA. 

I had not laughed before from the tirae I had left 
Miss Mh'van, and I had much better have cried 
then ; Lord Orville actually stared at me : the beau, 
I know not his name, looked quite enraged. Re- 
frain 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 at- 
tribute 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 1 was, that I had not once considered the 
impropriety of refusing one partner, and afterwards 
accepting another. I was thunderstruck at the re- 
collection : but v.hile 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 v/ith a grin the most malici- 
ous 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! 



EVELINA. 41 

Give me leare to see, answered he. I bowed and 
sat down, 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 pre- 
sently left us. I then told Mrs. Mirvan my disas- 
ters; 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 sa- 
tisfied with his pretty speech, and carry his resent- 
ment no farther. 

In a short time Lord Orville returned. I con- 
sented, with the best grace I could, to go down an- 
other dance, for I had had time to recollect myself; 
and therefore resolved to use some exertion, and, if 
possible, 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 mifortunate 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, ratfier, I fancied, he had been inqu'irmg %vho I was. 
This again disconcerted me ; and the spirits I had 
determmed to exert again failed me. Tired, 
ashamed, and mortified, 1 begged to sit down till we 
returned home, which I did soon after. Lord Or- 
ville 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 ! 
E 3 



43 EVELINA. 

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 of 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 pa- 
tience ! 

It must have passed while I was silting 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, shak- 
ing his head. 



EVELINA. 43 

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. Ad- 
dressing Lord Orvilie 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, im- 
possible ! that elegant face can never be so vile a 
mask ! 

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. 

1 was so w^holly ignorant, said Lord Orvilie grave- 
ly, of the provocation you might have had, that 1 
could not but be surprized at your singular resent- 
ment. 

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 passions. 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 man- 
ners. 

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 Orvilie j 



44 EVELINA. 

your Helen fast 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 pre- 
tend to determine; but certain it is she attended 
to alii could say to her, though I have really fatigued 
myself with fruitless endeavours to entertain her, 
with the most immoveable 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, though perhaps rather — rustic. 

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

Now, tell me, my dear Sir, did you ever know 
anything more provoking ? Apoorweak girl! ig- 
norant or vmchievous ! What mortifying words ! I 
am resolved, however, that I will never again be 
tempted to go to an assembly. I wish 1 had been in 
Dorsetshire. 

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

I would not live here for the world. I care not 
how soon we leave town. London soon grows tire- 
some. I wish the Captain would come. Mrs. Mir- 
van talks of the opera for this evening; however, I 
am very indifierent 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 



EVELINA. 45 

out in very ill humour, vvhieii 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. 1 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 di serious opera, 
as the comic hrst singer was ill. 

Toniglit 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 tome; 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 when- 
ever he chanced to meet my eyes, he condescended 
to bow. 

I cannot be but hurt at the opinion be entertains 
of me. It is true my own behaviour incurred it — • 
yet he is himself the most agreeable, and, seem- 
^^^Sb> ^^^ most amiable man in the world, and 



46 EVELINA. 

therefore it is that I am grieved to be thought ill 
of by him ; for of vvho^e esteem ought we to be am- 
bitious, if not of those who most merit our own r — 
But it is too late to reflect upon this now. Well, 1 
can't help it. — However, I think I have done with 
assemblies. 

This morning was destined for seeing sights, auc- 
tions, 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 un- 
willingly. They are all kindness. 

And now I am sorry I did not accompany then), 
for I know not what to do with myself. I had re- 
solved not to go to the play to-night ; but I believe 
I shall. In short, I hardly care whither 1 do or not. 
* -x- * * * * 

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

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 hav- 
ing 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 
surlv, vulgar, and disagreeable. 



EVELINA. 47 

Almost the same moment that Maria was pre- 
sented to him, he began some rude jests upon the 
bad shape of her nose, and called her a tall ill-form- 
ed thing. She bore it with the utmost good hu- 
mour ; 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. 1 cannot ima- 
gine why the family was so rejoiced at his return. 
If he had spent his whole life abroad, I should have 
iupposed 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 perform- 
ance, my eyes would have found me sufficient enter- 
tainment 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 on 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 Wednes- 
day we return to Howard Grove. The Captain 
says he won't stay here to be smoked xvith filth any 
longer ; but having been seven years smoked with a 
burning sun, he will retire to the country, and sink 
into a fair ii-:ather chap. Adieu my dear Sir. 



43 EVELINA. 

LETTER XIII. 

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION. 

MY DEAR SIR, Tuesday, April 11. 

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 nobody does. 
A terrible reverse of the order of nature I 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 man}^ objections to being of the party, accord- 
ing to the resolution I had formed. However, 
Maria laughed me out of my scruples, and so once 
again I went to an assembly. 

Miss Pvlirvan 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 desi- 
rable 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 ab- 
surdity, 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 



EVELINA. 4l> 

Mrs. Miivan's acquaintance ; for she had told us it 
was highly improper for young women to dance 
with strangers at an}^ 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 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 con- 
versation in the free style which only belongs to old 
and intimate acquaintance. But, what was most 
provoking, he asked me a thousand questions con- 
cerning the partner to zvho?n I zuas engaged. And at 
last he said. Is it really possible thai a man whom 
you have honoured with your acceptance can fail to 
be at hand to profit from your goodness ? 

1 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 sup- 
jposition, saying, I really was off my guard, from 
astonishment that any man can be so much and sq 

VOL. I. F 



50 EVELINA. 

uiiaccoiiiitably 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 j-ou are disconcerted. Ma- 
dam ; 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 T, quite terrified lest 
Mrs. Mirvan should attend to him ; for she looked 
very much surprised at seeing me enter into conver- 
sation 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 pa- 
tience on a monument, smile in the midst of disap- 
pointment ? — For my part, though I am not the of- 
fended person, my indignation is so great, that I 
long to kick the fellow round room ! — unless, in- 
deed, — (hesitating and looking earnestly at me,) 
unless, indeed, — it is a partner of your own creating ? 

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

jSut no ! cried he (again, and with warmlh,) It 



EVELINA. 5 1 

cannot be that you are so cruel ! Softness itself 'n 
panited 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 dis- 
gust. Mrs. IMirvan saw my confusion, but was per- 
plexed w^hat 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 1 could 
without observing him, he suddenly stamped his 
foot, and cried out in a passion. Fool I ideot ! 
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 slignt 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 vio- 
lent, and your injuries affect me ! 

I began to apprehend he was a roadman^ and 
stared at him wnth the utmost astonishment. I see 
you are moved. Madam, said he ; generous crea- 
ture! — but don't be alarmed, I am cool again, 1 am 
indeed, — upon my soul I am ; — 1 intreat 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 lan- 
guage and vour manners. 

F 2 



52 EVELINA. 

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 con- 
gratulate myself, he was again at my elbow. 

And could you really let me go, and not be 
sorry? — Can you see me suffer torments inexpressi- 
ble, and yet retain all your favour for that miscreant 
who flies you ? — Ungrateful puppy ! — I could basti- 
nado 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, saidthe man (who looked delighted, 
to Mrs. Mirvan,) you, I hope, will have the good- 
ness to speak for me. 

Sir, answered she gravely, I have not the plea- 
sure of being acquainted with you. 

I hope when you have. Ma'am, cried he, un- 
daunted, you will honour me with your approba- 
tion : 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 



EVELINA. .'iS 

do not at all mean. Sir, to doubt your being a gen- 
tleman, — but — 

But xvhat, Madam ? — that doubt removed, why a. 
hut? 

Well, Sir, said Mrs. Mirvan (with a good humour- 
ed smile,) I will even treat you with your own plain- 
ness, and try what eft'ect 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 ojice for all; 
no, if / have been too plain , and though a man, de- 
serve 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 pity he was ever thought of; but 
let us forget his existence. One dance is all I soli- 
cit. 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 bene- 
volence 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 intreaties, 

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 choose j 

F 3 



54 EVELINA. 

but this impetuous man at length prevailed, and 
I was obhged to consent to dance with him. 

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

During the dance, before we were too much en- 
gaged in it for conversation, he was extremely pro- 
voking 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 ob- 
vious. 

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 sup- 
pose, I was not much pleased to see him, in a few 
minutes after 1 was gone, walk towards ihe 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, 1 was has- 
tening away from him; but he stopt me, and said, 
that 1 could by no means return to my party with- 
out giving offence, before we had done our ditty of 
zvalking 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 hap- 
piness for this evening. 

Good Heaven! what is it I have done; — How 
have I merited this scorn ? 

You have tormented me to death j you have 



EVFXINA. 55 

forced me from ray 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 sym- 
pathy in the frankness of our dispositions. — And yet 
were you not an angel — how do you think I could 
brook 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 I 

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 acquaint- 
ed, 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 — 

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, hut for me, 
your partner would have appeared ? — poor fellow ! — 
and did my presence awe him? 

1 wish his presence, Sir, could aweyouf 
His presence ! — perhaps then you see him ? 
Perhaps, Sir, I do, cried I, quite wearied of his 

raillery. 

Where ? where ? — for Heaven's sake shew me 
the wretch ! 

Wretch, Sir ! 



56 EVELINA. 

O, a very savage ! — a sneaking, shame-faced, des- 
picable puppy ! 

I know not wliat bew^itched me — but my pride was 
hurt, and my spirits were tired, and — in short I had 
the folly, looking at Lord Orville, to repeat. Despi- 
cable, 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 teas- 
ing by his mistake. 

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

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

This quite confounded me. I dreaded lest this 
mischievous man, ignorant of his rank, should ad- 
dress 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 jDropose going down another 
dance, though I was ready to sink with shame 
while I spoke. 

But your partner. Ma'am ? said he, aflecting a 
very solemn air, perhaps he may resent my detain- 
ing you: if you will give me leave to ask his con- 
sent 

Not for the universe. 

Who is he. Madam ? 

I wished myself a hundred miles off. He repeat- 
ed 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 



EVELINA. 51 

public with a stranger, — with one whose name you 
are unacquainted with, — who may be a mere adven- 
turer,-— a man of no character ; consider to what im- 
pertinence you may expose yourself. 

Was ever any thing 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 ray gravity ; 
but what was my consternation, when this strange 
man, destined to be the scourge of my artifice, ex- 
claimed. Ha! my Lord Orville ! — I protest I did not 
know your Lordship. What can I say for my usur- 
pation! — 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 un- 
justifiable than unsafe. 

Lord Orville — well he might — looked all amaze- 
ment. 

The philosophic coldness of your Lordship, con- 
tinued this odious creature, every man is not endow- 
ed with. I have used my utmost endeavours to en- 
tertain this lady, though I fear without success ; and 
your lordship will not be a little flattered, if ac- 
quainted with the difficulty which attended my pro- 
curing the honour of only one dance. Then, turn- 
ing to me, who was sinking v>dth shame, while Lord 
Orville stood motionless, and Mrs. Mirvan astonished 
— he suddenly seized my hiind, 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 befora he 



5S EVELINA. 

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 ! — 1 must beg 

Will you honour me, Madam, with your coni' 
mands, cried my tormentor ; may / seek the 
lady's party r 

No, Sir, answered I, turning from him. 

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

Nothing, Ma'am ; — any thing, 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, deter- 
mining 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 permis- 
sion ; which, if now granted, will 1 am persuaded, 
set every thing right. 

I glowed with indignation. No, Sir — it is your 
absence, and that alone, can set every thing 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 1 burst into teais. 



EVELINA. 59 

They all seemed shocked and amazed. 

What is the matter, my dearest love ? cried Mrs. 
Mirvan, with the 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 j^ou ; 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, pes- 
tering 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 dis- 
pleasure. 

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 somew hat account 



60 EVELINA. 

for the strange, provoking, and ridiculous conduct 
of this Sir Clement last night; for Miss Mirvan says 
he is the ver}^ man with whom she heard Lord Or- 
ville 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 there- 
fore, I suppose, he concluded he might talk as much 
nonsense as he pleased to me: however, 1 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 1 — 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 ; 1 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 1 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 expence. 

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 tow^n, w^here every thing 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 there- 
fore 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 
m them. 



EVELINA. 6 1 

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 
?.nd diverted us all, except the Captain, who has a 
fixed and most prejudiced hatred of whatever is not 
Enpjlish. 

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 tcould you do ? cried the Captain. 

3Ia 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 dilficult to discover whether she was an Eng- 
lish 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. 

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

Mon Dieu ! exclaimed the stranger, what shall 
become of me ? Jesids au desespoir ! 

Dear Sir^ cried Miss Mirvan, pray let ws tak© 

VOL. I. G 



62 EVELINA. 

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 any thing 
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, re- 
turned he; but first let us know if she be going our 
way. 

Upon enquiry, we found that she lived in Oxford 
Road ; and, after some disputing, the captain surlily 
and w ith 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 quar- 
relling 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 car- 
riage 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 goto a 
public place without an Englishman ? 

Mafoi, Sir, answered she, because none of my 
acquaintance is in town. 

Why then, said he, Fll tell you what, your best 
way is to go out of it yourself. 

Fardi, Blonsicur, returned she, and so I shall; for, 
I promise you, I think the English a parcel of brutes : 
and Ell go back to France as fast as I can, for I would 
not live among none of you. 



EVELINA. 63 

Who wants you ? cried the Captain ; do you sup- 
pose. 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 na- 
tion under the sun can beat the English for ill-polite- 
ness : for my part, I hate the very sight of tbem ; 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 toge- 
ther, for that's the fittest voyage for the French and 
the quality. 

We'Utake 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 dis- 
pute the point with you ; you and the quality may 
have the devil all to yourselves. 

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

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

To Howard Grove ! exclaimed the stranger, why 
Mo7i Dieu, do you know Lady Howard ? 

Why^ what if we do } answered he ; that's no- 
thing to you ; she's none of i/our quality, Fll pro- 
mise you. 

Who told you that? cried she ; you don't know 
nothing about the matter ! besides, you're theill- 
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. 
G 2 



64 EVELIKA. 

The Captain, swearing terribly, said, with great 
fary. 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 al- 
ready. 

Paupers, Mister ! — no more a pauper than your- 
self, nor so much neither; — but you are a low, 
dirty fellow ! and I shan't stoop to take no more no- 
tice of yon. 

Dirty fellow! exclaimed the Captain, seizing 
both her wrists, hark you, Mrs. Frog, youM 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 
iisage. I'm no common person, I assure you ; and, 
mafoi, 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 an't Duval. 

I heard no more : amazed, frightened, and un- 
speakably shocked, an involuntary exclamation ot 
Gracious Heaven ! escaped me, and, more dead than 
alive, I sunk into Mrs. Mirvan's arms. But let me 



EVELINA. 65 

draw a veil over a scene too cruel for a heart so 
compassionately tender as yours; 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 be- 
come of me, were it not for you, my protector, my 
friend, and my refuge ? 

My extreme concern, and Mrs. Mirvan's surprize, 
immediately betrayed me. But I will not shock 
you with the manner of her acknowledging me, or 
the bitterness, the grossness — I cannot otherwise ex- 
press myself, — with which she spoke of those un- 
happy 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 me- 
mory, thit 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 es- 
poused my cause to satisfy his own pique, though an 
awkward apology had passed between them) she 
Mas 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 
G 3 



66 EVELINA. 

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 meet- 
ing 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 un- 
grateful 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 de- 
clared was the worst hus^band 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, 
1 



EVELINA. 67 

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. 

J 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 DuvaPs wrath, by a very polite invitation 
to drink tea, and spend the evening here. Not 
without great ditficulty 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 dis- 
cov^ered that Madame Duval was in it ; and to have 
staid here solely under her protection — Mrs. Mir- 
van, 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 no* 
thing more to fear. Adieu, my ever dear and most 
honoured Sir ! I shall have no happiness till I am 
again with you. 



68 EVELINA. 

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 arri- 
val 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 conse- 
quence ; to claim you seems naturally to follow 
acknowledging you. I am VAell 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 provision 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 defe- 
rence due to so near a relation, remembering al- 
ways, that the failure of duty on her part, can by 
no means justify any neglect on yours. Indeed, 
the more forcibly you are struck with improprieties 
and misconduct in another, the greater should be 
your observance and diligence to avoid even ihe 
shadow of similar errors. Be careful, therefore, 
1 



EVELINA. 69 

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 unhappy 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 1 hear of your safe arrival at Howard Grove, 
for which place 1 hope you will be preparmg at the 
time you receive this letter. 

I cannot too much thank you, my best Evelina, 
for the minuteness of your communications. Con- 
tinue to me this indulgence, for 1 should be misera- 
ble if in ignorance of your proceedings. 

How new to j^^ou 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 fu- 
ture tranquillity. — Yet I will hope every thing 



iO EVELINA. 

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 Lhe 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 Wil- 
loughby, whose conversation and boldness are ex- 
tremely 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 YILLARS, 



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 sur- 
prise, 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 desert. 

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 dis- 



EVELINA. 71 

pleased ; and after a short silence, very sternly said 
to Madame Duval, Pray, who asked you to bring 
that there spark with you ? 

Oh, cried she, I never go no where without 
him. 

Another short silence ensued, which was termi- 
nated by the Captain's turning roughly to the fo- 
reigner, 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 endeavoured to divert the Captain's 
ill-humour, by starting new subjects : but he left to 
her all the trouble of supporting them, and leaned 
hack in his chair in gloomy silence, except when 
any opportunity offered of uttering sopje sarcasm 
upon the French. Finding her efforts to render the 
evening agreeable were fruitless, Mrs. Mirvan pro- 
posed a party to Ranelagh. Madame Duval joy- 
fully 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 en- 
quiring after all our healths, and entered the room 
with the easy air of an old acquaintance ; though 
Mrs. Mirvan confesses that he seemed embarrassed 
when he found how coldly he v/as 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 down stairs 
till I was called to tea. He was then deeply engag* 



72 EVELINA. 

ed in a discourse upon French manners with Ma- 
dame 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 ad- 
vanced 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 him- 
self upon his successful discernment. 

As soon as he saw me, he made a most respect- 
ful bow, and hoped I had not suffered from the fa- 
tigue 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 ad- 
miring his address, though 1 condemned his sub- 
tlety. Mrs. Mirvan, dreading such violent anta- 
gonists, attempted frequently to change the sub- 
ject : 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 trem- 
bled 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 



EVELINA. 75 

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 oiY. Mrs. IMirvan oflered Ma- 
dame 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 lor INIonsieur 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 Ma- 
dame 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 Wil- 
loughby, we should not have been able to procure 
a box (which is the name given to the arched re- 
cesses that are appropriated for tea-parties) till half 
the company had retired. As we were taking pos- 
session of our places, some ladies of Mrs. Mirvan's 
acquaintance stopped to speak to her, and persuaded 
her to take a round \\'\th 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 
^ea with us ; which, to my no small consternation, 
he accepted. 

VOL. I. H 



74 EVELINA. 

I felt a confusion unspeakable at again seeini:^'- 
him, from the recollection of the ridotto adventure; 
nor did my situation lessen it ; i'or I was seated be- 
tween Madainc Duval and Sir Clement, who seemed 
as little as my.'_elf to desire Lord Orville's presence. 
Indeed, the c( ntinual wrangliniT 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, Irom ditlerent motives, gave an uni- 
versal restraint to every body. What his own rea- 
sons were for honouring us with his company, lean- 
not imagine; unless, indeed, he had a curiosity to 
know whether 1 should invent any new imperti- 
nence 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, 
Avhcre there is beauty, they only serve to shade it; 
and, where there is none, to excite a most unavail- 
ing curiosity. I fancy they were originally worn 
by some young and whimsical coquette. 

More likely, answered the Captain, they were 
hivented by some wrinkled old hag, who'd a mind 
for to keep the young fellows in chace, let them be 
75 ever s,o ^^ car}'. 

I dcn'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. 



EVELINA. TJ 

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 tools 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 Djval, 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 ihem. 

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. 
H 2 



76 EVELINA. 

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

But ivhat, what do they do, these hmous Monseers ? 
demanded the Captain; can't you tell us? do they 
ganje? — or drink? — or fiddle? — or aretheyjockeys ? 
—or do they spend all their time in flummering old 
women ? 

As to that. Sir — but indeed I shan't trouble my- 
self to answer such a parcel of low questions, so 
don't ask me no more about it. And then, to my 
gre^t 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. 

1 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 mav very wrll 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 iic keep company wiih r 
cried the Captain ; what, 1 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 vou make out that, hev. Madam ? 



EVELINA. ^7 

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 pow- 
der, and daub, and make myself up, like some other 
folks ? 

I would have you to 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 Englisli 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 hair- 
dresser, 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 
putf 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 this 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 
u 3 



rS EVI-.LINA. 

been highly agreeable: — but, as to myself, I \vm 
so eagerly desirous of making some apology to Lord 
Orvilie, 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 1 had so ter- 
ribly 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 pos- 
sibly misconstrue whatever 1 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 embar- 
rassment? I am sure that, if I do, I shall deserve yet 
greater mortification 

We were not joined by the rest of the party till 
we had taken three or four turns round the room : 
and then they were so quarrelsome, that Mrs. 
Mirvan complained of being fatigued, and proposed 
going home. No one dissented. Lord Orvilie 
joined another parly, having first made an ofter 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 re- 
turn to town in the same manner we came to Ra- 
nelagh; 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; fur 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 
/disponed of as before ; but no sooner did the Captain 



EVELINA. 19 

hear lli is account, than, without any ceremony, he 
Avas 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 them- 
selves. 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 vviih only 
the foreigner, or Sir Clement. 

never uiind the oUI beldame, cried the Cap- 
tain, she'-s weather-proof, I'll answer for her ; and 
besides, as we tire all, 1 hope, English, why, she'll 
meet with no worse than she expects from us. 

1 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 horn, a fdthy Englishman. 

BIrs. Mirvan, however, prevailed ; and we all 
got out of the coach, to wait till INIadame Duval could 
meet with some better carriage. VVe found her, at- 
tended 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 raillerj' to ac- 
cept it. We waited some time, but in vain ; for 
no hackney-coach could be procured. The Cap- 
tain, at last, was persuaded to accompany Sir Cle- 
ment himself, and we four females were handed into 
Mrs. Mirvan's carriage, though not before Madame 



8 EVELINA. 

Duval had insisted upon our making room for Mon- 
sieur 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 ar- 
rangement 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 sup- 
pose 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 sud- 
denly 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 
bark 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 equal- 
ly 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 mo- 



EVELINA. 8 1 

iiieiit, 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 oi 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 in- 
clination. 

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 op- 
portunity 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 1 tell you honestly what encouraged me 

He stopt, but I said nothing; for I thought in- 
stantly of the conversation Miss Mirvan had over- 
heard, and supposed he was going to tell me himself 
what part Lord Orville had borne in it; and really 
I did not w^ish 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 ex- 
pose 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 
^errant, and I had the pleasure of seeing the Cap- 
tain, Mrs. and Miss Mirvan, enter the room. 

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



82 EVELINA, 

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

With liie ! No, — thank God. 

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

We waited some time without any tidings, and 
were soon the only party in the room. My unea- 
siness 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 ! — entire- 
ly covered v*^ith mud, and in so great a rage, it was 
with difficulty she could speak. We all expressed 
our concern, and oflered our assistance — except the 
Captain, who no sooner beheld her than he burst 
out into a loud laugh. 

We endeavoured, by our enquiries and condole- 
ments, to prevent her attending to him ; and she 
was for some time so wholly engrossed by her anger 
and her distress, that w^e succeeded without much 
trouble. We begged her to inform us how this ac- 
cident had 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 



EVELINA. 83 

with those of Madame Duval, and who, wet, shiver- 
ing, and disconsolate, had crejjt 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 no 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 w^e 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, ibr aught 
you all cared ; nobody never came near us. 

This recital put the Captain into an ecstacy ; 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 strenu- 
ously by the hand, wished him joy of having touched 
English ground ; and then he held a candle to Ma- 
dame 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 unspeak- 
able ; she dashed the candle out of his hand, stamp- 
ed upon the floor, and, at last, spit 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 
o 



g4 EVELINA. 

fear : for be put his hands upon her shoulders, ami 
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 expostu- 
lated 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 per- 
mit the woman who has the charge of the ladies 
cloaks to assist in drying her clothes; she consent- 
ed, and we did what was possible to save her from 
catching cold. We were obliged to wait in thi* 
disagreeable situation near an hour before a hack- 
ney-coach could be found ; and then we were dis- 
posed in the same manner as before our accident. 

I am going this morning to see poor Madame Du- 
val, 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 



EVELINA. 85 

Monsieur Du Bois was in the chamber ; which so- 
much astonished me, that I was, involuntarily, re- 
tiring, without considering how odd an appearance 
my retreat would have, v\hen 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 brutalitx/ of that felloiu 
the Captain, and the horrible ill-breeding of the Eng- 
lish in general ; declaring, she should make her es- 
cape with all expedition from so beast!]/ a nation. 
But nothing can be more strangely absurd, than to 
hear politeness recommended in language so repug- 
nant to it as that of Madame Duval. 

She lamented, very mournfully, the fate of her 
Lyons silk ; and protested she had rather have part- 
ed with all the rest of her wardrobe, because it wa* 
the first gown she had bought to wear upon leaving 
oft" her weeds. She has a very bad cold, and Mon- 
sieur Du Bois is so hoarse, he can hardly speak. 

She insisted upon my staying w ith her all day ; 
as she intended, she said, to introduce me to someot 
my own relations. 1 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 or> 
mine, filled up all the time we passed together. Her 
curiosity was insatiable ; she enquired into every 
action of my life, and every particular that had fal- 
len under my observation in the lives of ail I knew. 
Again, she w^as so cruel as to avow the most invete- 
rate rancour against the sole benefactor her deserted 
child and graml-child have metwith ; 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, absoiute- 

VOL. I. I 



86 EVELINA. 

ly forbad 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 sub- 
ject is started. 

She talked very much of taking me to Paris, and 
said I greatly wanted the polish of a French educa- 
tion. She lamented that I had been brought up in 
the country, which, she observed, had given me a 
very bumpkinish air . However, she bad me not des- 
pair, 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 chan- 
dler'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 qua- 
lity. 

The relations to whom she was pleased to intro- 
duce me, consisted of a Mr. Branghton, who is her 
nephew, and three of his children, the eldest of 
whom 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 mor 
ney ; 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 ridi- 
culing his sisters ; who in return, most heartily des- 
pise him. 



EVELINA. 87 

P»Iiss Branghton, the eldest daughter, is by no 
means ugly; but looks proud, ill-tempered, and con- 
ceited. She hates the city, though without know- 
ing why ; for it is easy to discover she has lived no 
where else. 

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

The first half-hour was allotted to making iheni- 
sehes comfortable; for they complained of having 
had a very dirty walk, as they came on foot from 
Snow-Hill, where Mr. Branghton keeps a silver- 
smith's shop ; and the yoimg 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 no- 
tice of it to her: for, indeed, as to that, my own 
poor daughter was'nt 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"*!! 
talk o' somewhat else, for Miss looks very uneasy- 
like, 

I 2 



SS EVELINA. 

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 waf 
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 ano- 
ther, they were extremely quarrelsome ; the bro- 
ther insisted upon their measurin g/afr, and not with 
heads and heels; but they would by no means con- 
sent to lose those privileges of our sex ; and there- 
fore the young man was ca.s^, as shortest; though 
he appealed to all present upon the injustice of the 
decree. 

This ceremony over, the young ladies began, 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 itnpertinenr, 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. 

They then asked me how I liked London ? and whe- 
ther I should not think the country a very dull place y 
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 pul)lic places, or rather the 
theatres, for they knew of no other; and the merits 
and defects of all the actors and actresses were dis- 
ru'jsed ; tb.e vouno^ man here took the lead, and seem- 



EVELINA. 89 

ed 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 enter- 
taining Mr. Branghton with all the most secret and 
cruel particulars of my situation ! The eldest daugh- 
ter was soon drawn to them by the recital ; the 
voungest and the son stiil kept their places ; intend- 
ing, I believe, to divert me, though the conversation 
was all their own. 

In a few minutes, Miss Branghton, coming sud- 
denly 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, not- 
withstanding 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 ex- 
traordinary, that she can put me in situations so 
shocking, and th^n wonder to find me sensible of 
any concern ? 

Mr. Branghton junior now inquired of me, whe- 
ther I had seen the Tower, or St. Paul's church ? 
and upon my answering in the negative, they pro- 
posed making a party to shew them to me. Among 
other questions, they also asked, if I had ever seen 
such a t/trn^ 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 
'seex)ne, if f-Jive here as much longer. 
I 3 



90 EVELINA. 

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 iis very vulgar, said Miss Brangh- 
ton, 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 so doing. 

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

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

1 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 Ihave 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 — LordOrville! 

He was quiie alone, for the family had not as- 
sembled to breakfast. He inquired first of mine, 
then of the health of Mrs. and Miss Mirvan, with z 



EVELINA. 51 

degree of concern that rather surprised lue, till he 
said that he had just been infoimed of the accident 
we had met \^itii at Ranelagh. He expressed his 
sorrow upon the occasion with the utmost politeness, 
and lamented that he had not been so Ibrtunale 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. 

lie 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 vte ! 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 coun- 
try? 

We merely came to town, my Lord, to meet Cap- 
tain Mirvan. 

And does Miss Anville feel no concern at the 
idea of the many mourners her absence will occa- 
sion? 

O my Lord, — Fm sure you don't think — I stopl 
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 sur- 
prised me, that I could not speak; but felt my£«lf 



92 EVELINA. 

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 ail on the stairs, and returned with 
them to breakfast. 

I have since been extremely angry with myself 
for neglecting so excellent an opportunity of apolo- 
gizing for my behaviour at the ridotto : but, to own 
the truth, that atfair never once occurred to me 
during the short tete-d-tete which we had together. 
But, if ever we should happen to be so situated 
again, I will certainly mention it; for I am inex- 
pressibly 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 it not 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 particu- 
lar. 

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 delight- 
ful. His manners are so elegant, so gentle, so un- 
assuming, 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 with- 
out any pretensions to his merit, he is most assidu- 
ously 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 conscious- 
ness. 



^VtLlNA. 9 5 

I could Hisb thatj/ow, my dearest Sir, knew Lord 
Orville, because 1 am sure you would love liim; 
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, per- 
haps, 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. Lut 1 must not expatiate 
upon this subject. 

When Lord Orville was gone, — and he made but 
a very short visit, — 1 was preparing, most reluc- 
tantly, 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 wlio is 
openly determined to make her his sport. But she 
has very few acquaintance; and, I fanc}', 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 ill which her undeserving husband engages, 
is productive of pain and uneasiness to herself; of 
this 1 am so sensible, that I even besought her not 
to send to Madame Duval; but she declared sini 
couid not bear to have me pass all my time, while 
in town, with her only. Lideed she could not b? 
more kind to me, were she your daughter. 



94 EVELINA. 

LETTILR XIX. 

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION. 

Saturday Morning, April 16. 
Madame 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 constant- 
ly together ; though I believe I should not have 
taken notice of it, but that Captain Mirvan is per- 
petually rallying me upon my grand-mama* s beau. 

They were both received by Mrs. Mirvan with 
her usual good-breeding ; but the Captain, most 
provokingly, attacked her immediately, saying. 
Now, Madam, you that have lived abroad, please to 
tell me this here : Which did you like best, the 
war77i room at Ranelagh, or the cold hath 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: be- 
sides it's no such great joke, to be splashed, and to 
catch cold, and spoil all ©ne'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 hallooing ! such a 
poor forlorn draggletailed — gentlezcoman .' and poor 
Monseer French, here, like a drowned rat, by your 
side ! — 

Well, the worse pickle we was in, so much the 
w^orser 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 



EVELINA. 95 

it's like enough you jostled us down yourself; for 
Monsieur Du Bois saj^s, 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 en- 
tirely innocent of the charge : however, he dis- 
claimed 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 afTront 
you by supposing a Frenchman would want my as- 
sistance to protect you. Did you think that Mon- 
seer 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 man- 
ners ; 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. Madam, 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, Mon~ 
seer 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 r 



56 EVELINA. 

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

In the midst of this dialogue. Sir Clement Wil- 
loughby 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. Jndeed, 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 mat- 
ter of a dispute between this here gentlewoman 
and I ; do you know she has been trying to per- 
suade me, thai she did not above half like the duck- 
ing Monseer gave her t'other night. 

I should have hoped, said Sir Clement with the 
utmost gravity, that the friendship subsisting be- 
tween that lady and gentleman, would have guarded 
them against any actions professedly 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 Fm 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 



EVELINA. 9*7 

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 otiend 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 suftered,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 me- 
mory, aver, that this 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 Mafoi, if I wouldn^t give 
fifty guineas only to know who gave us that shove ! 

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

Sir Clement Willoughby, in our w^alk round the 
room, asked me what my opinion was of this brilli- 
ant spectacle! 

It is very fine, and very ingenious, answered I; 
and yet — I don't know how it is — but I seem to jniss 
something. 

VOL. I. K 



<)8 EVELINA. 

Excellently answered! cried he; you have ex- 
actly 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 
expence of your understanding. 

Parcli, cried Madame Duval, I hope you two is 
difficult enough ! I'm sure it you don't like this you 
like nothing; tor 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 r it's like enough, 
for it's all kickshaiu work. But pr'ythee, fiiend, 
turning to the person who explained the devices, 
will you tell me the use of all this ? for I'm not 
enough of a conjurer to find it out. 

Use, indeed ! repeated Madame Duval disdain- 
fully ; Lord, if every thing's to be useful ! — 

Why, Sir, as to that, said our conductor, the in- 
genuity of the mechanism — the beauty of the work- 
manship — the — undoubtedly, Sir, any person of 
taste may easily discern the utility of such extraor- 
dinary performances. 

Why then. Sir, answered the Captain, your per- 
son of taste must be either a coxcomb, or a French- 
man ; 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 Duvai, this is prettier than all the 
rest ! I declare in all my travels, 1 never see nothing 
cleganter. 

Hark ye, friend, said the Captain, hast never ano- 
ther pine-apple ? 

Sir t 

Because if thou hast, pr'ythee give it us without 
the birds; for, d'ye see, 1 am no Frenchman, and 
should relish something more substantial. 



EVELINA. 99 

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 extasies; and the Captain flung him- 
self 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 aflfecting to beat time, and uttering many ex- 
pressions 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 sur- 
prise 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 quar- 
rel ; but the only effect her anger had on the Cap- 
tain, was to increase his diversion. Indeed, he laughs 
and talks so terribly loud in public, that he fre- 
quently 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 : 'owever, she had a bad 
cold and chose to nurse it. I was sorry for her in- 
disposition ; 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. 



K 2 



100 EVELINA. 

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 ihe stage-box, came to us ; 
and he honoured us with his company all the even- 
ing; Miss Mirvan and I both rejoiced that Madame 
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 
W'Ould have made very little alteration ; for so 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 1 shall 
never see it represented again ; for it is so extreme- 
ly indelicate — to use the softest word I can — that 
Miss Mirvan and I were perpetually out of counte- 
nance, and could neither make any observations our- 
selves, nor venture to listen to those of others. This 
was the more provoking, as Lord Orville was in ex- 
cellent spirits, and exceedingly entertaining. 

When the play was over, I flattered myself I 
should be able to look about me with less re.-traint, 
as we intended to stay the farce; but the curtain 
had hardly dropped, when the box-door opened, 
and in came Mr. Lovel, tlie man by whose foppery 
and impertinence I was so much teazed at the ball 
where 1 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 coai- 



EVELINA. IGl 

pliments to Lord Orville and Sir Clement Willough- 
by, 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 whh you — however, I 
mean the honour of seeing you dance ? 

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

After a short silence he again called my attention, 
by sajing, in an easy negligent w^ay, 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 very little resemolance 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 ever since thought 
my vexation both stimulated and delighted him. 

The air we breathe here, however. Ma'am, con- 
tinued 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, {{health were the only 
cause of a lady's bloom, my ej^e, 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 
still to lessen it. 

K 3 



102 EVELLVA. 

■'Pon honour, Madam, returned he, you wrong 
me ; 1 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 flushmg — anger — mauvaise home — and so 
forth, that I never dare decide to \vhich it may be 
owing. 

As to such causes as them there, cried the Cap- 
tain, they must belong to those that they keep com- 
pany with. 

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

No, tiuiy, returned the Captain : for now here's 
me, why 1 look like any olher 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 hioh colour as any 
painted Jezebel in all tiiis piace, be she never so 
bedaubed. 

But, said Lord Orville, the difference of natural 
and of artificial colour seems to me very easily dis- 
cerned ; that of nature is mottled^ and varjn'ng ; that 
of mt 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 ^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. 

Pry'thee, a truce with atl 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 



EVELINA. lOS 

subject. Pray, ladies, how have you been enter- 
tained 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 vvilh their approbation. 

What, I suppose it is not sentimental enongh ! 
cried the Captain, or else it is too good for them ; 
for ril 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, 1 confess I sel- 
dom listen to the players ; one has so much to do, 
jn 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 wastlie play to- 
night ? 

Why, what the D — 1, cried the Captain, do you 
come to the play without knowing what it is ? 

O yes. Sir, yes, very frequentl}^ ; 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 under ground before I'd be at that expence 
for 'em. Howsomever, — this here you may take 
from me — they'll find you out fast enough if yoii 
have any thing to give 'em. — And so you've been 
here all this time, and don't know what the play 
was ? 

W^hy, really. Sir, a play requires so much atten- 
tion, — it is scarce possible to keep awake if one 
listtns ;— for, indeed, by the time it is evening, ont 



104. EVELINA. 

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 I — 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 h^<^fob'd you off with a scrap- 
ing of fiddlers, or an opera ? — Ha, ha, ha ! — Why 
now I should have thought you might have taken 
some notice of one Mr. Tatlk ilmt is in this play r 

This sarcasm, which caused a general smile, made 
him colour: but turning to the C'aptain with a look 
of conceit, which injplied 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 con- 
tempt, 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 manilest 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 ! mnis, apparemment ce n'est qu' une fuqon dt par- 

hr ? — though I should beg your pardon, forprobably 

you do not understand French? 

I made no ansAver, for I thoujj;ht his rudeness in- 



EVELINA. 105 

tolerable; but Sir Clement, with great warmth, said, 
I am surprised that ^'ou can suppose such an object 
as Miss Prue would engage the attention of Miss 
Anville even for a moment. 

O, 8ir, 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, lia^ ha ! — 'tis most admirably hit otF 'pon 
honour ! 

I could almost have cried, that sucli impertinence 
should be levelled at me; and yet, chagrined a.s 1 
was, I could never behold Lord Orville and this man 
at the same lime, and feel any regret for the cause 1 
had given of displeasure. 

The only female in the play, said Lord Orville, 
worthy of being mentioned to these ladies is An- 
gelica. 

Angelica, cried Sir Clement, is a noble girl ; she 
tries her lover severely, but she rev.ards iiim ge- 
nerously. 

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 JNIrs, Mir- 
van's, added Lord Orville, I will venture to sav, 
that Angelica bestows her hand rather with the air 
ot"a benefactress, than with the tenderness of a mis- 
tress. 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, how- 
ever, be owned, that uncertainly is not the tun 
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 ue now 
are most «hy and backward. 



106 EVELINA. 

The curtain then drew up, and our conversation 
ceased. Mr, Level, 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 crea- 
ture to talk to me in such a manner 1 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 re- 
sent his supposed ill-usage, I am really quite afraid 
of him. 

The entertainment was. The Deuce is in him ; 
which Lord Orville observed to be the most finished 
and e\eg?int petite piece that was ever written in Eng- 
lish. 

In our way home, Mrs. Mirvan put me into some 
consternation by saying, it was evident, from the re- 
sentment which this Mr. Lovel harbours of my con- 
duct, that he would think it a provocation sufficient- 
ly important for a duel, if his courage equalled his 
wrath. 

I am terrified at the very idea. Good Heaven ! 
that a man so weak and frivolous should be so re- 
vengefull However, if bravery would have excited 
him to aiiront Lord Orville, how much reason have 
I to rejoice that cowardice makes him contented 
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 w^as speaking to me so cava- 
lieHy, Lord Orville regarded him with great indig- 
nation. 



EVELINA. 107 

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

To-night Ave 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 XXL 



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 Hay market ; but, in a few mo- 
ments, 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 deter- 
mined ril 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. 



108 EVELINA. 

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 th« 
youngest; this young lady will make your excuses 
I dare say ; it's oidy 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 Eranghton, considering we 
only come to give our cousin pleasure ; it's no 
good to us ; it's ail 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 en- 
gaged to a' n't half so near related to you as we are. 

1 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 en 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 1 am pre-engaged. 

And who to ? demanded the abrupt Miss Brangh- 
ton. 

To Mrs. Mirvan,-^ — and a large party. 

And, pray, what are you ail going to do, that it 
would be such a mighty matter for you to come along 
w ith us ? 



EVELINA. 109 

We are all going to — to the opera. 

dear, if that be all, why can't we go all to- 
gether ? 

1 was extremely disconcerted at this forward and 
ignorant behaviour, and yet their rudeness very 
much lessened my concern at refusing them. In- 
deed, their dress was such as would have rendered 
their scheme of accompanying our party imprac- 
ticable, even if I had desired it; and this, as they 
did not themselves find 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 jMiss 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 explain- 
ed 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 so 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 has- 
tened away without listening to me ; and I could 
not follow them down sta^s, because I was not 
dressed. The last words I heard them say were. 
Well, her grand- mamma will be ia a fine passion, 
that\<i one good thing. 

VOL. I. L 



no EVELINA. 

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

Soon after. Sir Clement actually came, and w^e all 
Vi^ent down stairs. Mrs. Mirvan ordered tea: and 
we were engaged in a very lively conversation, when 
the servant announced Madame Duval, who instant- 
ly 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. 

Every body but Miss Mirvan seemed in the utmost 
astonishment ; and the Captain rising and approach- 
ing 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 sha'n't be called to no 
account by you, I assure you. 

There you're out. Madam Fury, returned he ; for 
you must know, I never suffer any body 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, with- 
out 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 mo- 
ment, 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 



EVELINA. 1 1 1 

unused, that I almost thought I should h^ve fainted. 

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

Miss Mirvan took my hand, and most kindly en- 
deavoured to raise my spirits. Sir Clement, too, ap- 
proached 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 con- 
tempt; she can have no right, 1 imagine, to lay her 
commands upon you, and I only wish that you would 
allow vie 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. 

Sir I 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 de- 
serves ? 

1 then found that his aim was to discover the na- 
ture of her connection with me ; but 1 felt so much 
ashamed of my near relationship to her, that I could 
not persuade myself to answer him, and only intreat- 
ed 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 buen't 
I. 2 



112 EVELINA. 

Tve 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 plea- 
sure any where this evening. 

Sir Clement began a very warm expostulation 
and intreaty, that I would not go ; but 1 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 chtxo as she goes along. 

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

Heyday, Madame, cried the Captain, (prancing 
forward, with a look of great glee) what, a'n't you 
got cut 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 v.'ith you at Rane- 
lagh, 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. 



EVELINA. 1 1 3 

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 show you the door. 

She changed colour, and saying, Pardi, I can 
shew it myself, hurried out of the room, and I fol- 
lowed 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 agree- 
able in the world ; indeed, it would be difficult to 
Bay which v/as least pleased, Madame Duval or me, 
though the reasons of our discontent were so differ- 
ent : however, Madame Duval soon got the start of 
me; for w^e 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 I 
he! he!— 

Madame Duval instantly darted forward, and 
gave him a vioknt blow on the face ; Take that 
back for your answer, sirrah, cried she, and learn 
to grin at your betters another time. Coachman, 
drive on ! 

The servant was in a violent passion, and swore 
terribly ; but w^e w^ere 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 
L 3 



114 EVELINA. 

have returned to his house, purposely to reproach 
him, which she repeeitedly 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 tlie coach that Miss had. 

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

I then interfered, and begged that I might myself 
be allowed to pay the fare, as the expence was in- 
curred upon my account ; they all said no, and pro- 
posed that the same coach should carry us to the 
opera. 

While this passed, the Miss Branghtons were ex- 
amining my dress, which, indeed, was very impro- 
per for my company; and as I was extremely un- 
willing to be so conspicuous amongst them, I re- 
quested 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 car- 
riage ; but when we arrived at the opera-house, I 
contrived to pay the coachman. They made a 



EVELINA. 115 

great many speeches ; but Mr. Branghton*s reflec- 
tion 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 igno- 
rance 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, with- 
out knowing w hich w ay to turn : they did not 
choose to apply to me, though I w as the only per- 
son of the party who had ever before been at an 
opera; because they were unwilling to suppose that 
their coiintri/ cousin, 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, w^e arrived at one of the 
door-keeper's bars. Mr. Branghton demanded for 
what part of the house they took money ? They an- , 
swered, 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. 

Tavo tickets of admission were given to him. 

Mr. Branghton, in his turn, now stared at the 
door-keeper, and demanded what he meant by giv- 
ing 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. 



1 1 6 EVELINA. 

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 ofV 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 play-house. 

I knew well enough what the price was, said the 
son ; but I M^ould not speak, because I thought per- 
haps 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 o^ people's 
abating any thing at a public place ? 

I don't know whether I have or no, 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. 



EVELINA. 117 

The usual price, Sir, said the man. 

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

For how many, Sir ? 

Why — let^s see, for six. 

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

Bui a guinea ! why, how much would you have ? 
I suppose it i'n't haU'-a-guinea a piece here too } 

No, Sir, only five shillings. 

Mr. Branghton again took up his unfortunate 
guinea, and protested he would submit to no such 
imposition. I then proposed that we should re- 
turn 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 de- 
sired 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. 

Vv^ell, 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 amaze- 
ment 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, 
answ^ered he, to pay. I was never so fooled out 
of my money before, since the hour of my birth. 



1 1 8 EVELINA . 

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 lite ; — why, it's as high — we 
sha'ntsee 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 crincum cran- 
kum or other for our money ; but I find it's as ar- 
rant 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 pea$ 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 lan- 
guage, 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 sufiered me to listen, I 
should have forgotten every thing unpleasant, and 
felt nothing but delight in hearing the sweet voice 
ofSignor Millico, the first singer; but they tor- 
mented me with continual talking . 

What a jabbering they make ! cried Mr. Brangh- 
ton, there's no knowing a word they say. Pray, 
what's the reason they can't as well sing ia 



EVELINA. 119 

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, whoever 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 any thing ! 

Lord, so they are, crijd 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 gal- 
lery, where 1 suppose he concluded that we were 
seated ; how^ever, before the opera was over, I have 
reason t > believe that he had discovered me, high 
and distant as I was from him. Probably he dis- 
tinguished 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 ex- 
pressed 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 j— but here. 



120 EVELINA. 

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 furtlier cere- 
mony. 

However, so determined he was to be dissatis- 
fied 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 Milli- 
go'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 lean'd my head forward to 
avoid hearmg their observations, that I might listen 
without interruption : but, upon turning round, 
when the song was over, 1 found that I was the ob- 
ject of general diversion to the whole party ; for 
the Miss Branghions were tittering, and the two 
gentlemen making signs and fices at me, implying 
their contempt of my atfectation. 

This discovery determined me to appear as inat- 
tentive as themselves; but I was very much pro- 
voked 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, s-iid 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 



EVELINA. 121 

singing till he^s in better cue : it's out of all nature 
for a man to be niping when he's in distress. For 
my part, I never sing but when I'm merry j yet I 
love a song as well as most people. 

When the curtain dropt they all rejoiced. 

How do j/oM like it ? — and how do you like it? 
passed from one to another with looks of the utmost 
contempt. As for me, said Pvlr. 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 be- 
ginning to end. 

If I had been in the pit, said Madame Duval, I 
should have liked it vastly, for music is my pas- 
sion ; but sitting in such a place as this, is quite un- 
bearable. 

Miss Branghton, looking at me, declared, that she 
was not gented 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 ob- 
jection 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 any where. And real- 
ly I had already been so much chagrined that Sir 

VOL. I. M 



1 22 EVELINA. 

Clement had been a witness of Madame Duvars 
power over me, that I could not b^ar to be exposed 
to any further mortification. 

As the seats cleared, by parties going away. Sir 
Clement approached nearer to us. The Miss Brangh- 
tons 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 at- 
tract 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 imme- 
diate 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 hum- 
ble attendant, and therefore I am come to oiFer 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 turn- 
ed to Madame Duval, and said. As our party is 
so large. Madam, if you will give me leave, I will 
go down to Mrs. Mirvan, that 1 may not crowd you 
in the coach. 

And then without waiting for an answer, I suffer- 
ed 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 can- 
not be surprised : but Mr. Branghton, I am sure, 
will easily comfort himself, in having escaped the 
additional coach-expence 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. 
2 



EVELINA. 123 

My intention was to join Mrs. Mirvan, and ac- 
company her home. Sir Clement was in high spi- 
rits and good humour; and all the way we 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 he almost impossible to find her, an- 
swered he; but you 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 with- 
out Mrs. Mirvan. 

But how can we meet wiih 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 si- 
lenced me. Yet, as soon as I could recollect my- 
self, 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, Avith 
several ladies and gentlemen, con:iing 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 has- 
M 2 



1 24. EVELINA. 

tened 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 
ah'eady gone home ! 

I was inexpressibly distressed ; to suffer Lord 
Orville to think me satisfied with the single protec- 
tion 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 exclaim- 
ing. Good Heaven, what can I do ! 

Why, my dear Madam, cried Sir Clement, should 
you be thus unea<y ? — 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 ^:iss Anvil le will honour me 
with for them. I shall myself go home in a chair, 
and therefore 

How grdteful did I feel for a proposal so conside- 
rate, and made with so much delicacy ! I should 
gladly have accepttd it, had I been peniiitted, but 
Sir Clement wouiil not lethim even finish his speech; 
he interrupted him with evident displeasure, and 
said. My Lord, my own chariot is now ai the door. 

And just then the servant came and "oid 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, 1 can^t — I can't in- 
deed ! pray, go by yourself — and as to me, let me 
have a chair. 

Impossible, cried he with vehemence, I cannot 
think of trusting you wiih strange chairmen, — lean- 
not answer it to Mrs. Mirvan ; — come, dear Ma- 
dam, we shall be home in five minutes. 

Again I stood suspended. With what joy would 



EVELINA. 125 

I then have compromised with my pride, to have 
been once more with Madame Duval and the 
Eranghtons, provided I had not met with Lord Or- 
ville ! 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 ser- 
vices in the presence of Sir Clement Willoughby 
would be superfluous ; but I hope I need not assure 
INiiss Anvil le how happy it would make me to be of 
the least use to her. 

I courtesied my thanks. Sir Clement, with great 
earnestness, pressed me to go ; and while I was thus 
uneasily deliberating what to do, the dance, I sup- 
pose, finished, for the people crowded down stairs. 
Had Lord Orville then repeated his offir^r, I would 
have accepted it, notwithstanding Sir Clement's re- 
pugnance; hut 1 fancy he thought it would be im- 
pertinent. In a very few minutes I heard Madame 
Duva'^s voice, as she descended from the gallery. 
Well, cried 1 hastily, if I must go — I stopt ; but 
Sir Clement immediately handed me into his cha- 
riot, 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 Cle- 
ment 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 
M 3 



1 26 EVELINA. 

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 th's, nor to a 
great many other equally fine speeches with which 
he ran on ; though I would fain have withdrawn my 
hand, and made almosi continual attempts; bu' m 
va.U;, 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 ad- 
dressing himself to me. How oft< n, how a-^siduously 
have 1 sought an opportunity of sj-; aking to you, 
without the presence of that brute, Cap'am Mirvan ! 
Fortune has now kindly favfured 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 un- 
expected 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 counte- 
nance be so totally opposite? Can the sweet bloom 
upon those charming cheeks, ^vhich appears as 
much the result of good-humour as of beauty — 

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

What 1 then said, my sweet reproarher, was the 
cftect of a mistaken, a profme idea, that your un- 
derstanding held no competition with your beauty ; 
but now, now that I find you equally incomparable in 



EVELINA. J 27 

both, all words, all powers of speech, are too feeble 
to express the admiration I feel of your excellences. 

Indeed, cried I, if your thoughts had any con- 
nection with your language, you would never sup- 
pose that I could give credit to praise so very much 
above my desert. 

This speech, which 1 made very gravely, occa- 
sioned still stronger protestations ; which he con- 
tinued to pour forth, and I continued to disclaim, 
tijl I began to wonder that we were not in Queen- 
Ann-Street, and begged he would desire the coach- 
man 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, an- 
swered 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 
th:it I should counteract its indulgence ? 

I now began to apprehend that he had himself or- 
dered 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 
suJden etfbrt 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 v. ill get out 
mys6lf 

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



128 EVELINA. 

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 r — 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 greqit earnestness, endeavoured 
to appease and compose me: Jf you do not intend 
to murder me, cried 1 ; for mercy's, for pity's sake, 
let me get out ! 

Compose your spirits, my dearest life, cried he, 
and I will do every thing you would have me. 
And then he called to the man himself, and bid him 
make haste to Queen- Ann-street. This stupid fel- 
low, continued he, has certainly mistaken my or- 
ders; but I hope you are now fully satisfied. 

I made no answer, but kept my head at the win- 
dow, 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 protesta- 
tions of honour, and assurances of respect, intreat- 
ing my pardon for having offended me, and beseech- 
ing my good opinion : but I was quite silent, hav- 
ing too much apprehension to make reproaches, and 
too much anger to speak without. 

In this manner v\e 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 



EVELINA. I2« 

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 Mirvans. 

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 pro- 
mise, but trust wholly to your generosity. 

This rather softened me; which advantage he no 
sooner perceived, than he determined to avail him- 
self 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 parti- 
cular care never to be again alone with him. 

\yhen, at last, we arrived at our hou^e, 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. 3Iiss 

Mirvan ran out to meet me ; and who should I 

see behind her, but lord Orville ! 

All my joy now vanished, and gave place toshame 
and contusion ; 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. 



130 EVELINA. 

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 Orviile that I was not with 
Madame Duval. Sir Clement, in an affected pas- 
sion, said, that his booby of a servant had misunder- 
stood 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 disdain- 
ed to confirm a tale in which I had myself no be- 
lief. 

Lord Orviile, with great politeness, congratu- 
lated me, that the troubles of the evening had so 
, happily ended ; and said, that he had found it im- 
possible 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 discon- 
certed me, that I could not sleep all niglit. I am 
under the most cruel apprehensions lest Lord Or- 
viile 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 any 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 ap- 
peared extremely anxious, nay, uneasy and impatient 
ibr my return. If I did not" fear to flatter myself, I 
should think it not impossible but that \\q had a 



EVELINA. 131 

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 yes- 
terday. I fear that to-day I shall myself be the 
principal object of her displeasure ; but I must sub- 
mit patiently, for I cannot defend myself. 

Adieu, my dearest Sir. Should this letter be pro- 
ductive of any uneasiness to you, more than ever 
shall I repent the heedless imprudence which it 
recites. 



LETTER XXIL 

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 iady 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 



152 EVELINA. 

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 tak^n in interfering; but that, as 
he regarded himself in the light o^ 2^ 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 par- 
ticulars 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 w^hat had passed 
at Mrs. Stanley's assembly. 

Mrs. Mirvan expressed her satisfaction at this con- 
clusion, 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 in- 
violably secret : but 1 thought it incumbent upon 
me, as the young lady is under your protection, to 
assure both you and her of Mr. Lovel's future re- 
spect. 

Had I known of this visit previous to Lord Or- 
ville'.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 ac- 
count. 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, 



EVELINA, 133 

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 pre- 
sence. 

Madame Duval, as I expected, was most terribly 
angr}'^ yesterday : she scolded me for I believe two 
hours, on account of having left her ; and protested 
she had been so much surprised at mj^ going with- 
out 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 sub- 
ject of our leaving London. Madame Duval said 
she should stay a month or two longer. The Cap- 
tain told her she was welcome, but that he and his 
family should go into the country on Tuesday morn- 
ing. 

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 ihere- 
tbre made so many gross and rude speeches, all of 
which she retorted, that, in conclusion, she vowed 

VOL. T. N 



1 34 EVELINA. 

she would sooner go to law in right of her relation- 
ship, 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 belter. 

Mrs. Mirvan is now writing to Lady Howard, to 
excuse bringing this unexpected guest, and prevent 
the disagreeable surprise which must otherwise at- 
tend 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 

•X- * * * * *. 

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 v\iil thuik of us this 
second ; however, the Pantheon this evening will 
probably be the last public place which 1 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, in- 
deed, cherished under your roof, the happy object 
of your constant indulgence, how could I have 
borne to become the slave of her tyrannical hu- 
mours ? — Pardon me that I speak so hardly of her ; 
but whenever the idea of passing my days with her 



EVELINA. 135 

occurs to me, the comparison which naturally fol- 
lows, 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 entire- 
ly 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 otler for me, the utmost ambi- 
tion 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 even- 
ing. 



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. How- 
ever, 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^cIock we went to the Pantheon. 
I was extremely struck with the beauty of the 
building, which greatly surpassed whatever I could 
N 2 



136 EVELINA. 

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 magni- 
ficence of the room, 1 felt that 1 could not be as gay 
and thoughtless there as at Ranelagh ; for there is 
something in it which rather inspires awe and so- 
Jemnity, than mirth and pleasure. However, per- 
haps it may only have this efiect upon such a novice 
as myself. 

I should have said, that our party consisted only 
of Captain, Mrs. and Miss Mirvan, as Madame Du- 
val 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 ad- 
venture ; but, to my great amazement, I observed 
that he looked at 7ne without the least apparent dis- 
composure, 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 goc'J concert, but too 
much talking to hear it w^ell. 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 gen- 
tlemen attending them, I perceived Mr. Level. 

I was extremely irresolute whether or not I ought 



EVELINA. 137 

to make any acknowledgments to Lord Orville for 
his generous conduct in securing me from the iuture 
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 perh \ps, suppose me ungrateful if 
silent : however, I might have spared myself the 
trouble of deliberating, as I never once had the 
shadow of an oppoiiuiiity of speaking unheard by 
Sir Clement. On the contrary, he was so exceed- 
ingly 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 lookt d at him, and would not have spoken 
to him on any account. 

Indeed, Mrs. Mirvan herself, though unacquaint- 
ed with the behaviour of Sir Clement after the 
opera, says it is not right for a young woman to be 
seen so frequent y in public with (he same gentle- 
man ; and if oui sray 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 eu.mi€ss, could not be so 
eternally of our parties, if the Captain w^as less fond>^ 
of his company. 

At the same table with Lord Orville sat a gentle- 
man, — I call him so only because he ivas at the same 
table, — who, almost from the moment I was seated, 
fixed his eyes stedfastly on my face, and never once 
removed them to any other object during tea-time, 
notwithstanding my dislike of his siaring must, I am 
sure, have been very evident. I was quite surprised, 
that a man, whose boldness was so oflensive, 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 
N 3 



138 EVELINA. 

thought my idea was indubitably confirmed, when I 
heard him say to Sir Clement Willoughby, in an au- 
dible vjhisper, — which is a mode of speech very dis- 
tressing and disagreeable to by-standers, — For 
Heaven s sake, Willoughby, who is that lovely 
creature r 

But what was my amazement, when listening at- 
tentively for the answer, though my head was turn- 
ed another way, I heard Sir Clement say, I am sor- 
ry 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 
compan}'^ 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 ex- 
ceeded 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 tliey'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 
2 



EVELINA. 139 

in looking at dead walls or statues, when such hea- 
venly living objects as I now see demand all their 
-admiration. 

O, certainlvj said Lord Orville, the lifeless sym- 
metry of architecture, however beautiful the de- 
sign 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 re- 
galed at the same time, and in one view, with all 
the excellence of art, and all the perfection of na- 
ture, I cannot think that either suffer by being seen 
together. 

1 grant, my Lord, said Sir Clement, that the cool 
eye of unimpnssioned philosophy may view both 
with equal attention, and equal safety ; but where 
the heart is not so well guarded, it is apt to inter- 
fere, 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 e3^e here, and your eye 
there, and, for the matter of that, to be sure you have 
two, — hut 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 
drawsandattracts 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 belter 
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. 



140 EVELINA. 

Half-a-guinea ! exclaimed that same Lord, I would 
give half I am worth for a sight of only one, pro- 
vided I make my own choice. And, prithee, how 
can m )ney 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 Ciement, 1 think he has 
a fair claim to the forgiveness of all. 

Then you depend very much, as T doubt not but 
you n>ay, said Lord Orville, upon ihe general sweet- 
ness of the sex ; — but, as to the ladies of the Cap- 
tain'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 "vHo has iiad, long ago, his full of face- hunting ? 

E^erv body laughed, but nobody spoke. 

Why, look you there now, continued the Cap- 
tain, you're all at a dead stand ! — not a man among 
you can answer that there question. Wh}'", then, 
1 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 manu- 
factory. 

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. 

U 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 ? 



EVELINA. 141 

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 j^ou're alive, he 
asked what the play was ! Ha, ha, ha ! 

Sir, said Mr. Lovel, colouring, it" you were a? 
much used to a town-life as I am, — which I pre- 
sume, is not precisely the case, — I fancy you would 
not tind 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 j'^our publit places, d'ye see, if 
they were all put tof^^ether, I would n't give that for 
'em ! (snapping his fingers.) And now we're talk- 
ing 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 an- 
swered, seemed by no means to think the Captain 
worthy an argument, upon a subject concerning 
which he had neither knoAvledge n')r feeling : but, 
turning to us, he said, The ladies are silent, and 
we seem to have engrossed the conversation to our- 
selves, in which we are much more our own enemies 
than theirs. But, addressing himself to Miss Mir- 
van and me, I am most desirous to hear the opi- 
nions 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. 



142 EVELINA. 

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 'era. 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 sliame 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 return- 
ing 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 betw een 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? 



EVELINA. 143 

Think ! — said he, why I think as how it i'n't 
worth thinking about. 1 like no s,\ichje}}icracks. 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 
ingenious ; 1 am sorry it is turned to no better ac- 
count ; but its purport is so frivolous, so very re- 
mote from all aim at instruction or utility, that the 
sight of so fine a show only 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 ashamf^'. to shew his face. 
T'other day they got me to a ridutto ; but I believe, 
it will be long enough before they get me to ano- 
ther. I knew no more what to do with myself, than 
if my ship's company had been metamorphosed into 
Frenchmen. 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 echjed 
from mouth to mouth ; and all the ladies, as if of one 
accord, regarded the Captain with looks of cne 
most ironical contempt. 

As to Ranelagh, said Mr. Lovel, most indubitably, 
though the price is plebeian, it is by no means 
adapted to the plebeian taste. It requires a certain 
acquaintance with high life, and-^-and — and some- 
thing of — ^of — something d'unvrai gout, to be really 
sensible of its merit. Those whose— whose con- 
aections, and so forth, are not among Us gens comme 



144 EVELINA. 

ilfaiit, can feci 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 tan, you sha'nH 
talk so ; T knovv what you are going to say ; 
but positively^ I wo^n't sit by you, if you're so 
wicked. 

And how can one sit by you, and be good r said 
he, when only to look at you is enough to make one 
wicked — or wish to be so r 

Fie, my Lord ! returned she, you are really in- 
sufferable. 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 con- 
tented with telling me you will not speak to me 
fifter 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 
yon please. Til promise to agree to your time. 

You know, dear Madam, said he, sipping his tea, 
you know I only live in j^our 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. Madam, 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 1, cried the Captain, lean- 
ing fcrward with both his arms on the table, are you 
going to Ranelagh at this time of night. 



EVELINA. 145 

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 

Every body now stood up ; and the stranger Lord 
coming round to me, s?L\d,you go, I hope ? 

No, my Lord, I believe not. 

O you cannot, must not be so barbarous. And 
he took my hanti, and ran on, saying such fine 
speeches and compliments, that I might almost have 
supposed myself a goddess, and him a pagan pay- 
ing 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, notwithstanding 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 ii ivas tearing his heart out to go 
without me. 

During this conversation Mr. Lovelcame forward, 
and assuming a look of surprise, made me a bow, 
and enquired how I did, protesting upon his honour, 
that he had not seen me before, or would sooner 
have 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 persua- 
sions of accompanying them to Ranelagh, was quite 

VOL. I. o 



146 EVELINA. 

in a passion at the proposal, and vowed he would 
sooner go to the Black-hole 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 all be proud of the 
honour of attending them. 

May be so, said the Captain, but Til 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 very ready to go 
home. 

It is not for yourselves that we petition, said 

Lord , but for ms ; 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 Cap- 
tain, 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, perliaps, 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 dori'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 1 was a 
Frenchman, and I believe; in my heart there i'n't a 



EVELINA. 147 

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 gentleman ot 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 them- 
selves, 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 so I wish you 
goodnight. 

The ladies, who were very impatient to be gone, 
made their courtesies, and tripped away, followed by 
all the gentlemen ot their party, except the lord be- 
fore mentioned, and Lord Orville, who staid to 
make inquiries of Mrs. Mirvan concerning oar leav- 
ing 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 hearmg distinct- 
ly 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 car- 
riage, I walked, and could not possibly avoid it, be- 
tween this nobleman and Sir Clement Willcughby ; 
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 
o 2 



14S EVELINA. 

do characters and manners differ ! Lord Oiville, 
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 
fme speeches, seems to me an intire stranger to 
real good-breeding : whoever strikes his fancy, en- 
grosses his whole attention. He is forward and 
bold ; has an air of haughtiness towards men, and a 
look of libertinism towards women ; and his con- 
scious 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 spirit- 
ed. The evening's entertainment had displeased the 
Captain ; and his displeasure, I believe, disconcert- 
ed 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 
his concern in such terms — so polite, so flattering, 
so serious — that I could hardly forbear being sorry 
myself. Were 1 to go immediately to Berry Hill, 
I am sure I should feel nothing but joy ; — but, now 
we are joined by this Captain and by Madame Du- 
Tal, I must own I expect very little pleasure at 
Howard Grove. 

Before Lord Orville went, Sir Clement Willough- 
by 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 



EVELINA. 143 

my account. But I wasnot 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 hira 
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 Orrille 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 hi:^ assiduous en- 
deavours 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 think upon this sub- 
ject without inexpressible uneasiness ; and yet I caa 
think of nothing else. 

Adieu, my dearest Sir. Pray write to me immedi- 
ately. 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 re- 
counted, can you, and with unabated kindness, suffer 
me to sign myself. 

Your dutiful and most affectionate 

EVELINA > 



O 3 



150 EVELINA. 

LETTER XXIV. 

MR. VILLARS TO EVELINA. 

Berry Hill, April 21'. 
How much do I rejoice that I can again address 
my letters to Howard Grove ! My Evelina would 
havegrievrd had she known the anxiety of my mind 
during her residence in the great world. INIy appre- 
hensions have been inexpressibly alarming ; and 
your journal, at once exciting and relieving my 
fear.^, lias almost wholly occupied me since the time, 
of your dating it from London. 

Sir Clement Willoughby must be an artful design- 
ing 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, con- 
vinces 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 indis- 
cretion 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 j'^ou met at the Pantheon, bold and 
forward as you describe him to be, gives me no ap- 
prehension ; a man who appears so openly licen- 
tious, and who makes his attack with so little regard 
to decorum, is one who, to a mind such as my Eve- 
lina'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 



EVELINA. 1 5 I 

of intentional evil. He is far more dangerous, be- 
cause more ariful : 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 Avhich I fear 
he has formed. 

Lord Orville appears to be of a better order of 
beings. His spirited conduct to the meanly imper- 
tinent Love), and his anxiety for you after the opera, 
prove him to be a man of sense and of feeling. 
Doubtless he thought there was much reason to 
tremble for your safety while exposed to the power 
of Sir Clement : and he acted wiih a regard to real 
honour, that will always incline me to think well of 
him, in so immediately acquainting the Mirvan fa- 
mily with your situation. Many men of this age, 
from a false and pretended delicacy to a friend, 
would have quietly pursued their own aftairs, and 
thought it more honourable to leave an unsuspect- 
ing 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 artlessness of your nature, 
and the simplicity of your education, ahke unfit you 
for the thorny paths of the great and busj'^ world. 
The supposed obscurity of your birth and situation, 
makes you liable to a thousand disagreeable adven- 
tures. Not only my views, but my hopes for your 
future life, have ever centred in the country. 
Shall I own to you, that, however I may differ from 
Captain Mirvan in other respects, yet my opinion 



152 EVELINA, 

of the town, its manners, inhabitants, and diversions, 
is much upon a level with his own ? Indeed it is 
the general harbour of fraud and of tolly, of dupli- 
city and of impertinence ; and I wish few things 
more fervently, than that you may have taken a 
lasting leave ot'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 ihe ornament of her 
neighbourhood, and the pride and delight of her 
family ; 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 ex- 
pectations. Disappoint them not, my beloved 
child; but cheer me with a few lines, that may as- 
sure 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 re- 
mains such as it was, ever unworthy your time and 
your labour ; but not more so now-— at least I hope 
not,— than before tliat fortnight which has so much 
alarmed you. 



EVELINA J 53 

And yet I raust 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 disturb- 
ed, our schemes are broken, our way of life is al- 
tered, 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 disagree- 
able an addition to our household must have caused 
the same change at our return. 

I was sure you would be displeased with Sir Cle- 
ment Willoughby, and therefore I am by no means 
surprised at what you say of him ; but for Lord Or- 
ville — I must own 1 had greatly feared that my 
weak and imperfect account would not have pro- 
cured him the good opinion which he so well de- 
serves, 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 possessed ; — 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, no- 
thing more passed previous to our journey hither, 
except a very violent quarrel between Captain Mir- 
van 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 obey- 
ed ; but were no sooner seated, than Madame Du- 



3 54 EVELINA. 

val 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 crowd- 
ing 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 nei- 
ther understood nor regarded him, and, very rough' 
ly, 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, FJl 
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, bad 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 — 1, do you suppose I can't manage a French- 
man ? 

Mean time, Madame Duval called out to M. Du 
Bois, Eh, laissez-le, mon ami, ne le corrigcz pas; c'est 
un vilain bete qui rCen vaut pas la peine. 

Monsieur le Capiiaine, cried M. Du Bois, voulez* 
vous bien me demander pardon ? 

O ho, you demand pardon, do you ? said the 
Captain, 1 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. 



EVELINA. [55 

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 aiFront? — I warrant Monseei^ knows what he is 
about ; — don^t you Monseer ? 

M. Du Bois, not understanding him, only said, 
plait-U, 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. 

Parhlcu, je n'entends rien, moi .' cried M. Du Bois, 
shrugging up his shoulders, and looking very dismal. 

Mrs. Mirvan then advanced to hmi, and said in 
French, that she was sure the Captain had not any 
intention to aftront him, and begged he would de- 
sist from a dispute which could only be productive 
of mutual misunuerstanding, 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 jour- 
ney ; but the turbulent Captain would not yet per- 
mit us. He approached Madame Duval wirh an 
exulting air, and said. Why, how's this. Madam ? 
what, has your champion deserted \ ou ? 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 con- 
sequence what you thought; far a person who can 
behave in such a low way, may think what he 
pleases for me, for I shan't mind. 

Why then. Mistress, since you must needs make 



156 EVELINA. 

so free, cried he, please to tell me the reason why 
you took the liberty for to ask any of your follow- 
ers into my coach without my leave ? Answer me 
to that. 

Why, then, pray Sir, returned she, tell me the 
reason why you took the liberty to treat the gen- 
tleman in such an unpolite way, as to take and pull 
him neck and heels out ? Tm sure he hadn't done 
nothing to atlVont 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 bur 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 I for they've never carried 
nobody half so good. 

Why, look'ee. Madam, if you must needs pro- 
voke me, I'll tell you a piece of my mind: you 
must know, I can see as far into a millstone ag 
another man ; and so, if you thought for to fob me 
off with 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 mounled his horse and we drove 
off. And I could not but think, with regret, of the 
I 



EVELINA. 157 

different feelings we experienced upon leaving Lon- 
don, 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 dis- 
course. 

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 al- 
ways remembered me to whoever has made any in- 
quiry concerning me. 



LETTER XXVL 

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS. 

Howard Grove, April 27, 
O MY dear Sir, I now wTite in the greatest uneasi- 
ness ! 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 after- 
noon 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, 
Tve got some very good news to tell you : soraethmg 
that will surprise you. Til 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 

VOL. T. ? 



1 58 EVELINA. 

be ;a fine lady; and that she had long, and upon 
several occasions, blushed Tor me, though she must 
own the fault was none of mine: for nothing bet- 
ter 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, vt^ithout much impatience, to hear what 
this preface led to; but I was soon awakened to 
more lively sensations, when she acquainted 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 ex- 
treme 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 ad- 
vantages 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 1 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 re- 
ceive 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 con- 
cealment, and every body enquired into the cause, 
I would fain have waved the subject, but Madame 
Duval was determined to make it public. She told 
them that she had it in her head to make something oi 



EVELINA. 159 

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 How- 
ard 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 acquainted with some particu- 
lars of the conversation by Miss Mirvan; who told 
me that Madame Duval informed them of her plan 
with 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 to- 
day, first mentioned the proposal. She declared 
that she would have nothing to do with any rounds 
about 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 Brangh- 
tons, to interfere thus in my concerns ! You can hard- 
ly imagine what a disturbance this plan has made in 
the fami'y. The Captain, without enquiring into any 
particulars of the affair, has peremptorily declared 
himself against it, merely because it has been pro- 
posed by Madame Duval; and they have battled 
the point together with great violence. Mrs. Mir- 
van says, she will not even think till she hears your 
opinion. But Ladv Howard, to my great surprise, 
p 2 



160 EVELINA. 

openly avows her approbation 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 1 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 banish- 
ed for ever; — while, on the other side, I have but 
too well known and felt the propriety of the separa- 
tion. And yet, you may much better imagine, than 
1 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, sweet- 
ly, 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. 

DEAR SIR, Howard Grove. 

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. 



£VELINA. 161 

upon a subject concerning which you have so just 
a claim to act for your-tlf : but I know you have too 
unafiected a love ot justice, to be partially tenacious 
of yf^ur own judgment. 

IVladame Duval has been proposing a scheme 
which has put us all in commotion, and against 
whi( h, at first, in common with the rest of my fami- 
ly, I exclaimed : but, upon more mature considera- 
tion, I own my objections have almost wholly va- 
nished. 

This scheme is no other than to commence a law- 
suit with Sir John Belmont, to prove the validity of 
his marriage with Miss Evelyn; the necessary con- 
sequence 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 pre- 
judices, or to opposing any important cause on ac- 
count 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. Na- 
ture 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 hi- 
therto 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 re- 
p 3 



162 EVELINA. 

spect 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 w^ould have had the most splendid 
oflers, 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 intitled, and 
which you have prepared her to support and to use 
so nobly ? To despise riches may, indeed, be phi- 
losophic; 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 dura- 
tion ; and when too late, we may regret that some- 
thing was not sooner done ; for it will be next to im- 
possible, after he is gone, to settle or prove any thing* 
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 in- 
different 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. 



EVELINA. 163 

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 lady- 
ship ; nor, indeed, can I, but by arguments which I 
believe will rather rank me as an hermit, ignorant 
of the world, and fit only for my cell, than as a pro- 
per guardian, in an age such as this, for an accom- 
plished young woman. Yet, thus called upon, it be- 
hoves 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 villainy of Sir 
John Belmont, — w as 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 ho- 
nour ! On the fatal day that her gentle soul left its 
mansion, and not many hours ere she ceased to 
breathe, 1 solemnly plighted my faith. That her child 
if it lived, should know no father but myself, or her ac^ 
knowledged hushand. 

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 Ami, who had so basely betrayed 
the mother, the helpless and innocent offspring, who, 
born in so much sorrow, seemed intitled to all the 
compassionate tenderness of pity. 

For many years, the name alone of that man, acci- 



164 EVELINA. 

dentally spoken in my hearing, almost divested me 
of my Christianity* and scarce could I forbear to exe- 
crate him. Yet I sought not, neither did I desire, 
to deprive him of his child, had he with any ap- 
pearance of contrition, or, indeed of humanity, en* 
deavoured 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 per- 
ceive 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 de-.nanded, 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 
proteci.on. Alas! she had no sooner quitted it 
herself, than she was plunged into a gulph of mi- 
sery, that iwallowed up her peace, reputation, and 
life. 

During the childhood of Evelina, I suggested a 



EVELINA. 165 

thousand plans for the security of her birth-right ; — 
but I as oftentimes rejected them. I was in a per- 
petual conflict, between the desire that she should 
have justice done her, and the apprehension that, 
while I improved her fortune, 1 should endanger her 
mind. However as her character began to be form- 
ed, and her disposition to be displayed, my per- 
plexity 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 disinterest- 
ed as herself, and that her heart was open to every 
impression with which love, pity, or art might as- 
sail 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 in vitably encircling a house of which 
the master is dissipated and unprincipled, without 
the guidance of a mother, or any prudent and sensi- 
ble 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 mere- 
ly 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 tranquillity, cheerfulness, 
and good-humour, untainted by vice, folly, or am- 
bition. 

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 result- 
ed from them. It now remains to speak of the time 
to come. 

And here, indeed, I am sensible of difficulties 



166 EVELINA. 

which 1 almost despair of surmounting according to 
my wishes. I pay the highest deference to your La- 
dyship's opinion, which 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 oifer such ar- 
guments 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 per- 
suasions can I make use of, with any prospect of 
success, to such a woman as M.idame Duval ? Her 
character and the violence of her disposition, in- 
timidate me from making the attempt : she is too ig- 
norant for instruction, too obstinate for intreaty, and 
too weak for reason. 

I win not, therefore, enter into a contest from 
which 1 have nothing to expect but altercation and 
impertinence. As soon rvould 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 
tmruly and illiberal passions. Unused as she is to 
control, persuasion would but harden, and opposi- 
tion incense her. 1 yield, therefore to the necessity 
which compels my reuctant 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 



EVELINA. 1 67 

tiolent, 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 ivrongs not guilt, by which 
she suffered, I proposed, nay attempted, a similar 
plan : but thta 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 con- 
jecture, ami 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. Ma- 
dam, 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 irre- 
trievably 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 consola- 
tion was withheld from her ! 

Let milder measures be adopted : and — since it 
must be so — let application be made to Sir Joha 
Belmont : but as to a law suit, I hope, upon thi? sub-^ 
ject, never more to hear it mentioned. 



16S EVELINA. 

With Madame Duval, all pleas of delicacy would 
be ineffectual ; her scheme must be opposed by ar- 
guments 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 commen- 
ced, and even should the cause be gained. Sir John 
Belmont would still have it in his power, and, if ir- 
ritated, 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 ani- 
miosity between her and Sir John will make her in- 
terference 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 post- 
humous letter, which his much injured lady left to 
be presented to him, if ever such a meeting shoulcjl 
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 in- 
duce Madame Duval to settle her own upon them- 
selves. In this, however, they would probably be 
mistaken j for little minds have ever a propensity 
to bestow their wealth upon those who are already 



EVELINA. 169 

in affluence ; and, therefore, the less her grand- 
child 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 herself, must be in- 
violably adhered to. 

J am, dear Madam, with great respect. 
Your Ladyship's most obedient servant, 

ARTHUR VILLARS. 



LETTER XXIX. 

MR. VILLAUS TO EVELINA. 

Berry Hill, May 2. 
IIow sincerely do I sympathize in the uneasines.-* 
and concern which my beloved Evelina has so 
much reason to feel ! The cruel scheme in agita- 
tion 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 recal you to myself, and never more con- 
sent to your being separated from me ; but the 
manners and opinion of the world demand a diffe- 
rent conduct. Hope, however, for the best, and be 
satisfiedyou shall meet with no indignity ; if you are 
not received into your own fam.ily 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 VILLAES. 



VOL. 



no EVELINA. 

LETTER XXX, 

EVELINA TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS. 

Howard Grove, May 6, 
The die is thrown, and I attend the event in trem- 
bling ! Lady Howard has written to Paris, and sent 
her letter to town, to be forwarded in the embassa- 
dor's packet; and, in less than a fortnight, there- 
fore, she expects an answer. O, Sir, with what anx- 
ious impatience shall I wait its arrival ! upon it 
seems to depend the fate of my future life. My so- 
licitude is so great, and my suspence 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 propo- 
sed. Methinks it cannot end to my satisfaction : for 
either I must be torn from the arms of my ?fiore 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; a 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 when- 
ever 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 perpe- 
tually : one moment, I am embraced by a kind and 
relenting parent, who takes me to that heart from 
which 1 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 1 
will not afflict you with the melancholy phaQta&m& 



EVELINA. 171 

of my brain ; I will endeavour to compose my «nin<l 
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. 

sia, Howard Grove, May 5. 

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 1 mean to treat. My regard 
for Mr. Evelyn, and his amiable daughter, was 
well known to you : nor can I ever cease to be in- 
terested in whatever belongs to their memory or fa- 
mily. 

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 neilher torment you 
nor myself with punctilious ceremonies, but proceed 
instantly and openly to the business which occasions 
my giving you this trouble. 

J presume. Sir, it would be superfluous to tell you, 
a 2 



172 EVELINA. 

that your cliild resides still in Dorsetshire, and is 
still under the protection of the Reverend Mr. Vil- 
lars, 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 for- 
borne to make them. It only remains, therefore, to 
tell you, that your daughter is now grownup ; that 
she has been educated with the utmost care, and the 
utmost success ; and that she is now a most deserv- 
ing, accomplished, and amiable young woman. 

Whatever may be your view for her future desti- 
nation 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 : al- 
low me, therefore, to say, and be not oftended at my 
freedom, that the memory of that excellent lady has 
but too long remained under the aspersions of ca- 
lumny ; 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 f 

The venerable man who has had the care of her 
education, deserves your warmest acknowledgments, 
for the unremitting pains he has taken, and the at- 
tention he has shewn in the discharge of his trust. 
Indeed she has been peculiarly fortunate in meeting 



EVELINA. 173 

xvith such a friend and guardian ; a more worthy- 
man, or one whose character seems nearer to perfec* 
tion, does not exist. 

Permit me to assure you, Sir, she will amply re- 
pay 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 ar- 
rival of a London visitor; and the necessity I have 
been under of concealing the uneasiness of mv 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, occu- 
pied by one only subject 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 nar- 
rowness 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 Willoughbv. He dismounted j and ap- 
Q 3 



174 EVELINA. 

proaching us with the reins in his hand, |>resently 
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 
bad the good luck to see the country in such per- 
fection. 

Has not almost every body left town. Sir ? said 
Miss Mirvan. 

I am ashamed to answer you. Madam — but in- 
deed 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 L 

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 
liim, 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 



EVELINA. 175 

oil 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 wnth 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, rd 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 contriv- 
ing some scheme, which, he says, is to play the old 
Dowager off ; and so eager and delighted is he at the 
idea, that he can scarcely restrain his raptures suffi- 
ciently to conceal his design even from herself. I 
wish, however, since I do not dare put Madame Du- 
val upon her guard, that he had the delicacy not to 
acquaint me with his intention. 



176 EVELINA. 

LETTER XXXUI. 

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION. 

May 1.3th. 
The Captain's operations are begun,— and I hope, 
ended ; for, indeed, poor Madame Duval has alrea- 
dy but too much reason to regret Sir Clement's visit 
to Howard Grove. 

Yesterday morning, during breakfast, as the Cap- 
tain was reading the newspaper, Sir Clement sud- 
denly 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 in- 
formed 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, addiessing himself to the Captain, yet 1 
could not help pitying the poor wretch, because he 
did not know enough of English to make his de- 
fence ; however, 1 found it impossible to assist him ; 



EVELINA. 117 

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 Captam. 
Something of that sort, answered he. 
So much the better! so much the better ! cried 
the Captain, an impudent French puppy ! FU 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, didn't nobody know who this poor gentleman 
was ? 

Why I did hear his name, answered Sir Cle- 
ment, 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 Cap- 
tain, that's Monseer Slipptry, 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, Madam. 

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 Avith poor MoU' 
seer ? 



nS EVELIXA. 

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 sort 
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 agi- 
tation ; she started from her chair, repeating, with 
a voice half-choaked. 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 gentle- 
men 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 hazard- 
ous expedition, having undertaken to convoy a 
crazy vessel to the shore of Mortification ; so, d'ye 
see, if any of you have any thing to propose that 
will forward the enterprise, — why speak and wel- 
come ; 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 inter- 



EVELINA. 179 

larded 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 fre- 
quently make of writing some of the Captain's con- 
versation, 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 pro- 
bable 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 in- 
flam.^d by these disappointments, that she threaten- 
ed to set out for town on foot; and it was with diffi- 
culty that Lady Howard dissuaded her from this 
mad scheme. 

The whole morning was filled up with these in- 
quiries. But when we were all assembled to din- 
ner, she endeavoured to appear perfectly uncon- 
cerned, 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, af- 
fected to be of her opinion ; but, at the same time 
that he pretended to relieve her uneasiness, by say- 
ing that he doubted not having mistaken the name» 
he took care to enlarge upon the danger to which 
the tmkHOv;n gentletnan was exposed, and expresseci 
great concern at his perilous situation. 



180 EVELINA. 

Dinner was hardly removed, when a letter vras 
delivered to Madame 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. 3Ion Dieu ! quel avanturc ! 
queferui-je ? 

What's the matter? what's the matter.? said 
the Captain. 

Why nothing — nothing's the matter. mon 
Dieu ! 

And she rose, and walked about the room. 

Why, what, — has Monseer sent to you ? con- 
tinued 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, Madame, 
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 s/zi^/e or double? 'Fore 
George, 'twas plaguy unlucky you was not with 
him 1 

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 inter- 
fered, and begged to know the cause of her uneasi- 
ness, 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, turn- 
ing to me, do you and Molly go into another room. 



EVELINA. ISl 

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 Madame Duval, here's the most cruellest 
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. Da 
Bois. 

Well, well, said Lady Howard, show 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 commit'.ed to jail ; but 
having declared that he was known to her, this clerk 
had been prevailed upon to write, in order to en- 
quire if she really could speak to the character and 

yoL. T. R 



182 EVELINA. 

family of a Frenchman who called himself Pierre 
Dii Bois. 

When I heard the letter, I was quite amazed at 
its success. So improbable did it seem, that a fo- 
reigner should be taken before a country justice of 
peace, for a crime of so dangerous a nature, that 1 
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 con- 
firm 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 ac- 
quainted with his schemes ; by which means she 
at once avoids quarrels, and supports her dignity. 

While she was considering what to propose, Ma- 
dame Duval begged to have the use of her Lady- 
ship's chariot, that she might go immediately to the 
assistance of her friend. Lady Howard politely as- 
sured her, that it should be extremely at her ser- 
vice ; 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. Ladv 



EVELINA. 183 

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 con- 
ference. In an instant we were joined by Sir Cle- 
ment. A thousand inquiries were then made con- 
cerning 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 de- 
tained me, to ask some frivolous question, to the 
answer of which he must be totally indifferent. At 
length, however, I broke from them ; thej^ retired 
into the parlour, and I executed my commission. 

The carriage was soon ready ; and Madame Du- 
val, 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 TyrelTs, 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 
R 2 



1S4. EVELINA. 

knew him to be so much M. Du Bois^s enemy, tliat 
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 ri- 
diculous an affair, and could only think of the ab- 
surd appearance we should make upon our arrival 
• at Mr. Tyrell's. 

When we had been out near two hours, and ex- 
pected every moment to stop at the place of our 
destination, I observed that Lady Howard's servant, 
who attended us on horseback, rode on I'orvvard 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 secresy, 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 ine 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 then gave me the note; which informed her, 
that she need not trouble herself to go to Mr. 
TyrelPs, as the prisoner had had the address to es- 
cape, I congratulated her upon this for.tunate inci- 
dent; but she was so much concerned at having 
rode so far in vain, that she seemed 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. - ' 



e-vt:lina. i§5 

The carriage turned about ; and we journeyed so 
quietly tor near an hour, that I began to flatter my- 
self we should be suffered to proceed to Howard 
Grove without further molestation, when suddenly, 
the footman called out, John, are we going right ? 

Why, I a'n't sure, said the coachman, but Tni 
afraid we turned wrong. 

What do you mean by that, sirrah ? said Ma- 
dame Duval : why, if you lose your way, we shall 
be all 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. 

Mafoi, cried Madame Duval, we^-e 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, so you'd better find the way. 

Let's try this lane, said the footman. 

No, said the coachman, that's the road to Canter- 
bury ; 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 sha'n'tget home 
to-night ! 

Let's go back to the public-house, said the foot- 
man, 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, T 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 1 Ten to one but they'll 
©verturn us next 1 

R 3 



186 EVELINA. 

After much debating, they at length agreed to g« 
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 luinutes he returned, and told us we 
might proceed, for that he had procured a direction : 
But, added he, it seems there are some thieves here- 
abouts ; ana so the best way will be for you to 
leave your watches and purses with the farmer, 
whom I know very well, and who is an honest man, 
and fi tenant of my Lady's. 

Thieves ! cried Mada\ne Duval, looking aghast : 
the Lord help us ! I've no doubt but we shall be all 
murdered I 

The farmer came up to us, and we gave him all we 
w^ere w;»nh, and ihe servants followed our example. 

We tiien proceeded ; and Madame Duval's anger 
so entirelv subsideil, that, in the mildest manner im- 
agiudbie, she intreated th«'m to make haste, and pro- 
mised to tell their Lady how diligent and oliliging 
they had been. IShe perpetually stopped them, to 
ask if they apprehended any danger ; and was at 
length so much overpowered by her fears, that she 
made the fooiman fasten his horse to the back of the 
carriage, and then come and seat himself within it. 
My ende iV0u:s to encourage htr were fruitless ; she 
sat in tlie 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 for- 
bore 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 foot- 
man, he was evidently in torture from restraining 
his laighler ; and I observed that he was frequently 
obliged to make most horrid grimaces, from pre- 
tended fear, in or'^er to conceal his risibility. 



EVELINA. 187 

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 Madam, said I, don't be 
alarmed, — you are in no danger, — you are quite 
safe, there is nothmec 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, 1 shrieked 
involuntarily, although prepared for the attack : one 
of them held me fast, while the other tore poor Ma- 
dame Duval out of the carriage, in spite ©f her cries, 
threats, and resistance. 

I was really frightened, and trembled exceeding- 
ly. My angel ! cried the man who held me, 
you catinot 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 dis- 
engaged 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. 



I S3 EVELINA. 

—how rniich I dread your displeasure, — and how 
cruelly I am affected by your coldness ! 

G, Sir, this is no time lor 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 1 speak to you, if not now ? — Does 
the Captain suffer me to breathe a moment out of 
his sight r and are not a thousand impertinent 
people for ever at your elbow ? 

Indeed, Sir Clement, you must change your 
vstyle, or I will not hear you. The imperdntnt 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, INIiss Anville, point but 
out to me how, in what manner, 1 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 oppos- 
ed it : though, 1 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 
4- 



EVELINA. 18y 

Duval, at least suffer we 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 Aiiville, how cruel, how pierc- 
ing to ray soul is that icy word ! — Indeed I cannot 
«ndure 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 aveise 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, Fve done for 
her ! — the old buck is safe : — but we must sheer off 
directly, or we shall be all agrouiid. 

Sir Clement instantly left me, mounted his horse, 
and rode off. The Captain having given some di- 
rections 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 
shew me which way she was gone; he pointed with 
his finger by way of answer, and I saw that he dar- 
ed not trust his voice to make any other. I walk- 
ed on a very quick pace, and soon, to my great con- 
sternation, perceived the poor Lady seattd upright 
in a ditch. I flew to her with unfeigned concern at 
her situation. She was sobbing, nay, almost roar- 
ing, and in the utmost agony of rage and terror. 
As soon as she saw me, she redoubled l.er cries ; but 
her voice was so br. ken, I could not understand a 
word she said. I was so much shocked, that it was 



190 EVELINA. 

with difficulty I forbore exclaiming against the 
cruelty of the Captain for thus wantonly ill treating 
her; and I could not forgive myself for having pas- 
sively sufl'ered the deception. I used my utmost 
endeavours to comfort her, assuring her oi' our pre- 
sent safety, and begging her to rise and return to 
the chariot. 

Ahnost bursting with passion, she pointed to her 
feet, and with frightful violence she actually tore 
the ground with her hands. 

1 then saw that her feet were tied together with a 
strong rope, which was fastened to the upper branch 
ofa 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 DuvaPs 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 re- 
proaches, which, though almost unintelligible, con- 
vinced me that she imagined I had voluntarily de- 
serted 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 suffired her to rave with- 
out making any answer ; but her extreme agitation, 
and real suffering, soon dispelled my anger, which 
all turned into compassion. 1 then told her, that I 
had been fo/-cibly detained from following her, and 
assured her of my real sorrow at her ill usage. 

She began to be somewhat appeased ; and I agiiu 



EVELINA. 191 

intreated her 1o 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 their master, hold 
her in derision : however, the disgrace was una- 
voidable. 

The ditch, happily, was almost quite dry, or she 
must have suffered still more seriously ; yet so for- 
lorn, so miserable a figure, I never before saw. 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 perpetu- 
ally slipping off. She was covered w^ith dirt, weeds, 
and filth, and her face w as 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 rouire, 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 remonstran- 
ces 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 rowed 
they would shoot him if he moved an inch, and that 
one of them had staid to watch the chariot, while 
the other carried her ofl) 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 ; 



192 EVELINA. 

and really imagined that her want of money had 
irritated the pretended robbers to treat her with 
such cruelty. I determined; therefore, to be care- 
fully upon my guard not to betray the imposition, 
which could now answer no other purpose, than 
occasioning an irreparable breach between her and 
the Captain. 

Just as we were seated in the chariot, she disco- 
vered the loss which her head had sustained, and 
called out. My God ! what is become of my hair ? 
— wliy, 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 a 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 
w^ouldn'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 cere- 
mony 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 liere, 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 : — on'y look 
at me, — I was never so bad off in my life before. 
Purdi, if I'd knovv'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. 



EVELINA. 193 

Finding her now somewhat pacified, I ventured 
to ask an account of her adventure, which I will en- 
deavour 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 iPd 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 b«»at 
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 ever I could, he took no more notice of it than 
nothing at all ; but 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 mur- 
dered 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 re- 
solved I'll never leave my purse behind me again^ 

VOL. I, s 



194 EVELINA. 

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 
shouIdn^t swear to his voice; however, that sha'n't 
save him, for Fli swear to him any day in the year, 
if I can but catch him. So when I told him 1 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 me to 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 nobody 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 oft' 
my cap, and, without saying nothing, got on his 
horse and left me in that condition ; thinking, I sup- 
pose, 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, — spoTt, 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 Eois 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 



EVELINA. U!5 

go out, because I've got no curls, and so he'll be es- 
caped 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 could have pinned them up well 
enough for tlie country. 

Perhaps Lady Howard may be able to lend you a 
xrap that will wear without them. 

Lady Howard, indeed ! why, do j'-qu think I'd 
wear one of her dowdies? Nc, I'll promise you, I 
sba'ii't put on no such disguisement. It's the un- 
Juckiest thing in the world that I did not make the 
man pick up ihe curls again ; but he put me in such 
a pasi,ion, i could not think of nothing. I know I 
can't get none at Howard Grove for love nor mo- 
ney ; for of all the stupid places ever I see, that 
Howard Grove is the worst; there's never no get- 
ting nothing one wants. 

This sort of conversation lasted till we arrived at 
our journey's end ; and then a new distress occur- 
red : Madame Duval was eager to speak to Lady 
Howard and Mrs. Mirvan, and to relaie her misfor- 
tunes ; but she could not endure that Sir Clement or 
the Captain should see her in such disorder ; for 
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-berl, 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 Mir- 



196 EVELINA. 

van and I retired to our own room^ where I was 
very glad to end the troubles of the day in a com- 
fortable conversation. 

The Captain's raptures, during supper, at the suc- 
cess of his planj were boundless. I spoke after- 
wards 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 the subject ; but said 
he was at present so much elatec', 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 defence,much sooner. 

She has kept her bed all day, and declares she is 
almost bruised to death. 

Adieu, my dear Sir. What a long letter have I 
wriiten! I could almost fancy I sent it you from 
London I 



LETTER XXXIV. 

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION. 

Howard Grove, May 15. 
This insatiable Captain, if left to himself, would 
nor, 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 me- 
thods as may do it most effectually. 

She had her breakfast again in bed yesterday 
morning; bur during ours, the Captain, with a very 
significant look at Sir Clement, gave us to under- 



EV^ELINA. 197 

gtaad, that he thought she haJ now rested long 
enough to bear the hardships of a fresh campaign. 

His meaning was obvious; and therefore, I re- 
solved to endeavour immediately to put a stop to 
his intended exploits. When breakfast was over, I 
followed Mrs. Mirvan out of the parlour, and beg- 
ged her to lose no time in pleading the cause of 
Madame Duval with the Captain. My love, an- 
swered she, I have already expostulated with him; 
but all I can saj^ 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 a 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 hini. 

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 stam- 
mered very much, when 1 told him, 1 hoped he had 
no new plan for alarming Madame Duval. 

New plan I 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 has already suffered too 
much; and I hope you will pardon me, if I take the 
liberty of telling you, that I think it my duty to do 
all in my power to prevent her being again so much 
terrified. 

s 3 



198 EVELINA. 

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 at- 
tempt 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 apo- 
logies for her husband's ill-manners. 

When I left her, 1 went to Madame Duval, who 
was just risen, and employed in examining the 
clothes she had on the day of her ill usage. 

Kerens a sight ! cried she. 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 had 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 unluckinesses 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 
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 



EVELINA. ID 9 

sieen 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 gauze handkerchief pinned over her head as a 
hood, and saying she had the tooth-ach. 

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 dis- 
tress; and, I declare, I'd rather be done any thing 
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 Madame 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 per- 
sons, or obtain any redress. 

Madame Duval, in telling me this, extremely la- 
mented 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 



200 EVELINA. 

nothing at all of tying people ir) ditches, and such 
things as that: however, I shall consalt with M. Du 
Bois, as soon as I can ferret out where he's hid him- 
self. Fm sure I've a right to his advice, for it's all 
along of his gaping about at the Tower that I've 
Knet with these misfortunes. 

M. Du Bois, said I, will, I am sure, be very sorry 
when he he,irs what has happened. 

And what good will that do now r — that won't 
unspoil all my clothes; I can tell him, I a'n'tmuch 
obliged to him, though it's no fault of his; — yet it 
i'n't the less provokinger for that. I'm sure, if be 
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 
Home. 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 dis- 
cover him. 

Pardi, if I do, I'll hang him, as sure as fate Irr? 
but what's the oddest, is, that he should take such a 
special spite against we 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 m9,nner : I'm sure I hadn't given him 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 ad- 
just her head-dress, but could not at all please her- 
self. 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. 



EVELINA. 201 

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 con- 
versation 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 it 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 un- 
willing 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 impene- 
trable : — 1 have therefore determined to make a pre- 
tence 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 1 then. Miss 
Anville, mu;»t I tjuit 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 a half 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 
Jj can I part with you r — will no other method 



202 EVELINA. 

O, Sir, do you so soon repent the goad pOiice you 
liad planned for Madame Duval ? 

For Madame Duval! — cruel creature, and will 
you not even sufter me to place to your account the 
sacrifice I am about to make f 

You must place it. Sir, to what account yoij 
please ; but I am too much in haste now to stay here 
any longer. 

And then I w^ould have left him ; but he held me, 
and rather impatiently said, If, then, I cannot be 
so happy as to oblige you Miss Anviile, 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 siknt; I 
was really unwilling he should give up a plan which 
would so efiectually break into the Captain's de-^ 
signs, and, at the same time, save me the pain of 
disobliging him ; and I should instantly and thank- 
fully have accepted his oii'ered civility, had no^ 
Mfs. Mirv^n'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 up stairs. 

Soon after Miss Mirvan told me that Sir Clement 
had just received a letter, which obliged him in- 
stantly to leave the Grove, and that he had actually 
ordered a chaise. I then acquainted her with the 
real state of the alfair. Indeed, I conceal nothing 
from her; she is so gentle and sweet-tempered, that 



EVELINA. 203 

it gives me great pleasure to place an entire confi- 
dence in her. 

At dinner, I roust own, we all missed him; for 
though the flightiness of his behaviour to me, w^hen 
we are by ourselves, is very distressing;' yet, in 
large companies, and general conversation, he is ex- 
tremely entertaining and agreeable. As to the Cap- 
tain, he has been so much chagrined at his departure, 
that he has scarce spoken a word since he w-ent, but 
Madame Duval, who made her first public appear- 
ance 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 al- 
ready very much perplexed, at having received a let- 
ter 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 in- 
tercepted. 

Kot one opportunity could I meet with, while 
Sir Clement w^as here, to enquire after his friend 
Lord Orville: but I think it was strange he should 
never mention him unasked. Indeed, I rather won- 
der that Mrs. Mirvan herself did not introduce 
the subject, for she always seemed particularly at- 
tentive to him. 

And now, once more, all my thoughts involim- 
tarily 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 
' tery glad he made it at this time. Adieii, my 
dear Sir, 



20 1 KVELIXA. 

LETTER XXXV. 

SIR JOHN BELMONT TO LADY HOWARD. 

MADAM, Paris, May 11. 

I HAVE this moment the honour of your Lad yship*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 wnthout blemish; or that another, 
though reviled as a devil, is really without huma- 
nity. 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 oblig- 
ingly 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 oi 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, 
than 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 XXXVL 

fiVELINA 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 



EVELINA. 20.5 

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 ^'oz^r 
continued protection; — No, no; — I wili not oftend 
your generous heart, which, open to distress, has no 
wisli 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 my- 
self, acknowledge all that 1 think : for indeed, I 
have sometimes sentiments upon this rejection, 
which my strongest sense of duty can scarcely cor- 
rect. 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 thiuking of myself, I forget 
how much more he is the object of sorrow than I 
am ! Alas, wtiat amends can he make himself for 
the anguish he is hoarding up for time to come ! My 
heart bleeds for him, whenever this reflection oc- 
curs to me. 

What is said of you, my protector, my friend, my 
benefactor! I dare not trust myself to comment up- 
on. Gracious Heaven! what a return for goodness 
so unparalleled ! 

VOL. I. T 



206 EVELINA. 

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 an- 
swered ; 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 reso- 
lution, and besought her to forbear an attack where 
she has nothing to expect but resentment : especi- 
ally 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,/ace 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 situation 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 kind- 
ness she sympathizes 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 buritd 
in oblivion. 



EVELINA. 207 

Lady Howard thinks I ought not to disoblige Ma- 
dame f)uval, yet she acknowledges the impropriety 
of iny accompanying her abroad upon such an enter- 
prise. Indeed, I would rather die than force myself 
into his presence. But so vehement is Madame Du- 
val, 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 
liouse, till she gave me up to you, by whose per- 
mission I had entered it. 

She was extremely angry at this denial ; and the 
Captain, by his sneers and raillery, so much increas- 
ed 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 knoio 
vj/io 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 XXXVU. 

MR. VILLABS TO EVELINA. 

Berry Hill, May 2L 
Let not my Evelina be depressed by a stroke of 
fortune for which she is not responsible. No breach 
T 2 



208 tVELINA. 

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 re- 
proach. Let me intreat you, tlierefore, 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 ivithout blemish I have never 
ventured to pronounce myself. However, it seems 
his intention to be hereafter more explicit; and 
then, — should any thing appear that has on my part 
contributed to those misfortunes we lament, let me 
at least say, that the most partial of my friends can- 
not 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 com- 
pels from rae reflections that cannot but be wound- 
ing to a heart so formed for filial tenderness as mv 
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 expec ted from a woman so little in- 
ured to disappointment, and so totally incapable of 
considering the delicacy of your situation. Your 
averseness to her plan gives me pleasure, for it ex- 
actly 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 encoun- 
ter. And then, once more, might my child and 
myself be left to the quiet enjoyment of that peace- 



EVELINA. 209 

ful 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 resent- 
ment ; and should he again, as will doubtless be 
his endeavour, contrive to solicit your favour in pri- 
vate, 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 re- 
main at the Grove, Lady Howard must pardon me if 
I shorten yours. 

Adieu, my child. You will always make my re- 
spects to the hospitable family to which we are so 
much obliged. 



LETTER XXXVIIL 

MR. VILLARS TO LADY HOWARD. 
. DEAR MADAM, Berry Hill, May 27. 

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. 1 would gladly have 
T 3 



210 EVELINA. 

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 con- 
sequence of a letter I had sent to her grand-daugh- 
ter, in which I had 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 relin- 
quish 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 Eve- 
lina's attending her to Paris, she peremptorily in- 
sisted that she should at least live with her in Lon- 
don 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 pa- 
tience, and I my time. She declared, that if 1 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. 



EVELINA. 211 

To me, I own, this threat seemed of little conse- 
quence; 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 mil- 
lions; but the incertitude of her future fale deters 
me from following implicitly the dictates of my pre- 
sent judgment. The connections slie 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, IVfadam, 
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 like- 
ly 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 Lady- 
ship 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 this 
promise which she has extorted from me. I am, 

Dear Madam, &c. 
ARTHUR VILLARS. 



212 EVELINA. 

LETTER XXXIX. 

MR. VILLARS TO EVELINA. 

Berry Hill, May 28. 
With a reluctance which occasions me iuexpres- 
pible vineasiness, I have been almost compelled to 
consent that my Evelina should quit the protection 
(if 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 
judgments condenm our compliance ! however, 
since the die is cast, we must endeavour to make the 
best of it. 

You will have 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 im- 
proper, exert yourself resolutely in avoiding thera ; 
and do not, by a too passive facility, risk the cen- 
sure of the world, or your own future regret. 

You cannot too assiduously attend to Madame 
puval 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, njy dear Evelina, no- 
, thing is so delicate as the reputation of a woman ; it 
is at once the most beautiful and most brittle of all 
human things. 



EVELINA. 21 S 

• 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. 

liOndon, 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. Mir- 
van took leave of me with the most flattering kind- 
ness, 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 free- 
dom 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 mo- 
ment ; and, taking me aside, just before we got into 
the chaise, he said, Hark'ee, Miss Anvilie, Tve 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, Dku inerci, we've 
got off at last ! Vui sure I never desire to see that 



214 EVELINA. 

place again. It's a wonder I've got awa}- aliTc ; 
for I believe I've had the worst lack ever waa 
known from the time I set my foot upon the thresh- 
hold. 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 no- 
thing at all. 

Then she bewailed M. Du Bois; concerning 
\Ahose 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 lodg- 
ing. Accordingly, we proceeded to a house in 
Bishopsgate-street, and were led by a waiter into a 
room where we fomid 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 ol' the world, and im- 
prove 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 sur- 
prised 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 



EVELINA. 215 

horses in London sha'n't drag me into the country 
again .of one while : why, how do you think Tve 
been served ? only guess. 

Indeed, Cousin, I can^'t pretend to do that. 

Why, then Til tell you. Do you know Fve 
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 are a-saying; 
you're talking in the unthinkingest manner in the 
world : why, it was all along of not having no mo- 
ney 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 w'asn'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 poor 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 be- 
come 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 



216 EVELINA. 

you, I think he might have corned for me, as well a* 
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, Fm 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 him- 
self 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 ail 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 dur- 
ing 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, wi)ich 
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. 



EVELINA. 217 

I belieye we were an hour at Bishopsgate-street 
before poor Madame Duval could allow any thing 
to be mentioned but her own story ; at 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 be- 
fore that he is a silver-smith. 

We were conducted up two pair 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.' Tb.ey had waited some 
time for Madame Duval, but 1 found they had not 
any expectation that I should accompany her ; and 
the young ladies, I believe, were rather more surpris- 
ed 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, voild Mademoiselle / 

Goodness, cried young Branghton, if there isn't 
Miss ! 

Lord so there is, said Miss Polly ; well, Vm 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 rjuite ashamed about it ; — only not think- 
ing 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 youw^ould not let me. 

Lord, what signifies ? said the brother j I dare be 

VOL. I. u 



218 EVELINA. 

sworn Miss hasbeen up two paic of stairs before now ; 
— ha'n't you. Miss ? 

I begged that I might not give then* the least dis- 
turbance ; 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 nice- 
ly 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, ^^ as just entering upon the story of 
her misfortunes, now wholly engaged the company. 

M. Du Bois listened to her with a look of the ut- 
most horror, repeatedly lifting up his eyes and 
hands, and exclaiming, del ! quel barbare ? Th« 
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 con- 
strain 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 amaze- 
ment, was absolutely overpowered and stopped by 
the violence of their mirth. 

For some minutes the room seemed quite in an 



EVELINA. SIS' 

uproar ; the rage of Madame Duval, the astonish- 
ment of M. Du Bois, and the angry interrogatories 
of Mr. Branghtcn, on one side; the convulsive titter- 
ing 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 musthave concluded himself in Bed- 
lam. At length, however, the father brought them 
to order ; and, half-laughing, half-irightened, 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 slulTing 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, said she, 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, Fm 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 
other ever since I knew him. 

Soon after tea. Miss Branghton took an oppor- 
tunity 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 ^ 
u 2 



220 EVELINA. 

and then she declared her utter aversion to tlie 
thoughts of such a match ; but added, that her sis- 
ter 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 wel- 
come ; for, I'm sure, I don't care a pin's point whe- 
ther 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, Vv'ith much tittering, 
that her sister was in a great fright lest she should 
be married first. vSo I make her believe that I will, 
continued she ; for I love dearly to plngue her a 
little ; though, I declare, I don't intend to have IMr. 
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 3/0^, Miss r 

I am no judge, — but I think his person is very — 
very well. 

Very well ! Why, pray Miss, in a tone of vexa- 
tion, 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 T 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 



EVELmA. 221 

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, thta 
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 unarai- 
able sisters ; and a confidence so entirely unsolicit- 
ed 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 neigh- 
bourly. He accompanied us lo 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 unenvia- 
ble ; 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 neigh- 
bourhood, to report the Captain's ill usage ol her. 
I had great difficulty in excusing myself from be- 
mg 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 appli- 
cation, for I dread to think of the uneasiness which 
such an affair would occasion the amiable Mrs. Mir- 
van. But, fortunately, Madame Duval has re- 
u 3 



222 EVELINA. 

ceived verj'^ little encouragement to proceed in her 
design; for she bris been informed, that, as she nei- 
ther heard the voice, nor saw the face of the per- 
son suspected, she will find difficulty to cast him 
upon conjecture, and will have but little probability 
of gaining her cause, unless she can procure wit- 
nesses of the transaction. Mr. Branghton, there- 
fore, who has considered all the circumstances of the 
affair, is of opinion, that the law-suit will not only 
be expensive, but tedious and hazardous, and has ad- 
vised against it. Madame Duval, though very un- 
willingly, has acquiesced in his decision ; but vows, 
that it ever she is so afrlxnted again, she will be re- 
venged, even if she ruins herself. I am extremely 
glad that this ridiculous adventure seems now likely 
to en<l without more serious consequences. 

Adieu, my dearest Sir. My direction is at Mr. 
Dawkin^s, a hosier in High Hoiborn. 



LETTER XLI. 

EVELINA TO MISS MIRVAN. 

June 7tb. 
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 shewn me ; and still less can I 
find language to tell you with wnat reluctance f 
parted from soch 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 
liberal ty bestowed. But I will not repeat what I 
have aheady w^ritten to the kind Mrs. Mirvan ; I 
will remember your admonitions, and confine lo 
my own breast that gratitude with which you have 



EVELINA. 22:5 

filled it, and teach my pen to dwell upon subjects 
kss 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 ddlerent ! — my compa- 
nions so changed ! — But you well know my averse- 
ness 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 lassi- 
tude ; the air seeins 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 the town where I at present 
reside. 

Tell me, my clear Maria, do you never retrace in 
your memory the time we passed here when to- 
gether r 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 Orvillc, — 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 U3 with such 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 Du- 
val I have already written to your sweet mother; 
and as to adventures, Lhave none to record. Situ- 
ated as I now am, I heartily hope I shall not m^et 



224 EVELINA. 

with any ; my wish is to remain quiet and un- 
noticed. 

Adieu ! excuse the gravity of this letter ; and be- 
lieve 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 Siiow-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 up stairs 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 pair of stairs; 
but the moment the father opened the door, the 
daughters both gave a loud scream. We all stop- 
ped ; and then Miss Branghton called out, I^rd, 
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 ? 



EVELINA. 245 

cried she : I am sare for ray 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; caii^t they stay in the shop till we're 
dressed ? 

Mr. Branghton was very angry, and scolded 
them violently : however, we were obliged to de- 
scend, and stools were procured for us in the shop, 
wdiere we found the brother, who was highly de- 
lighted, 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 sutFered to pass betw^een 
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 ut- 
most pertness, while theirbrother all the time laughed 
aloud. 

The moment they perceived this, they were so 
much provoked, that, instead of making any apolo- 
gies to Madame Duval, they next began a quarrel 
with him. Tom, what do you laugh for ? I wonder 
what business you have to be always a laughing 
when Papa scolds us r 

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 3/our own aftairs, and not trouble your- 
self about ours. How should a boy like you know 
any thing ? 

A boy, indeed! not such a boy, neither: V\\ 
warrant you'll be glad to be as young when you 
come to be old maids. 



226 EVELINA. 

This sort of dialogue we were amused with till 
dinner was ready, when we again mounted up two 
pair 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 hap- 
pened 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-ma- 
naged. 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 dis- 
agreeable 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 Eng- 
lish, 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 want- 
ing to be staring and gaping; and I'm sure you 
needn't be so fond of shewing yourself, for you're 
ugly enough to frighten ahorse. 

Ugly, indeed ! I wonder which is best, you or 



EVELINA. 227 

me. But, I tell you what, Tom, you've no need to 
give yourself such airs; for, if you do. Til 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 Fm 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 wiih 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, some- 
times I send young Brown up stairs to them : and 
then there's such a fuss ! — There they hide them- 
selves, and run away, and squeel 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 thinks 
Miss, what fun it is! 

This occasioned a fresh quarrel with the sisters ; 
at the end of which, it was at length decided thak 
we should go to the shop. 

In our way down stairs. Miss Branghton said aloud, 
I wonder when Mr. Smith's room vi'ill be ready. 

So do I, answered Polly j I'm sure we should not 
do any harm to it now. 



228 EVELINA. 

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, appa- 
rently 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 hehas any thing 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 I 
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. Mis?, 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 Lon- 
don, 1 had not any chance of assisting them : but 
both my compassion and my curiosity w^ere 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 



EVELINA. 229 

told them he would eat b}^ 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 
momh 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, writ- 
ten on small pieces of paper, unconnected, and of a 
most melancholy cast. Among them was the frag- 
ment of an ode, which, at my request, they lent 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 waj'ward 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 wco'd, 
By Mis'ry, Shame, Remorse, pursu'dj 
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 ! 
VOL. I. X 



230 EVELINA. 

These lines are harsh, but they indicate an inter- 
nal wretchedness, which I own, afiects 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 situa- 
tion. 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 
ofTer, I begged they would excuse my attending 
them, and said I would sit with Madame Duval till 
tlie tea was ready. 

I therefore once more went up two pair of stairs 
with young Branghton, who insisted upon accom- 
panying me ; and there we remained till Mr. Smith's 
foot-boy summoned us to tea, when I followed Ma- 
dame 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 apartment, most officiously handed me to a great 
chair at the upper end of the room, without taking 
any notice of Madame Duvai, till I rose and offered 
her my own seat. 

Leaving the rest of the company to entertain 



EVELINA. 231 

themselves, he very abruptly began to address him- 
self to me, in a stile 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 sprig/it- 
lij young man. 

He made many apologies that he had not lent his 
rot)m for our dinner, which he said, he should cer- 
tainly have done, had he seen me first: and he as- 
sured me, that when 1 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 Bidder and 
Polly take no care of any thing ; else, Fm sure, 
they should be always welcome to my room ; for 
Tm 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. 

X 2 



232 EVELINA. 

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 mo- 
ment to speak to any other persen, the rest of the 
evening was consumed in a painful attention to this 
irksome young man, who seemed to intend appear- 
ing 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 
shall I 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 ofler me a ticket for the next Hampstead as- 
sembly. 1 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 1 knew not how to 
repeat to him: and, when he found I hesitated, he 
said. Indeed Ma'am, j^ou are too modest; I as- 
sure 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 ofVer a ticket without 



EVELINA. 233 

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, 

Thi« 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 Ma- 
dame Duval, and begged she would interfere in his 
favour; offering at the same time to procure ano- 
ther ticket for herself. 

Mafoi, 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 rude- 
ness : however, you may keep your tickets to your- 
self, for we don't want none of *em. 

This rebuke almost overset him; he made mnny 
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 Du- 
X 3 



234 EVELINA. 

val vvoultl 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 young man so entirely unknown to me : but she 
laughed at my scruples; called me a foolish, igno- 
rant 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. Per- 
haps I may apply to Miss Branghton for advice, as 
I believe she will be willing lo assist me, from dis- 
liking, equally with myself, that I should dance with 
Mr. Smith. 

July 11th. 

O, my dear Sir! I have been shocked to death; 
and yet at the same time delighted be3^ond expres- 
sion, in the hope that I have happily been the in- 
strument of saving a human creature from destruc- 
tion. 

This morning Madame Duval said she would in- 
vite 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 attend- 
ing 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 so 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 



EVELINA. 235 

young man 1 mentioned in my last letter. Kot 
heeding, as I suppose, how he went, in turning the 
corner ot" 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. 

1 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, medi- 
tating suicide ! Struck with the dreadful idea, all my 
strength seemed to fail me. He moved on slowly, 
yet 1 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 1 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 v\'as able I followed 
him up stairs, stepping very softly, and obliged to 
support myself by the bannisters. 

When I came within a few stairs of the landing- 
place I stopped ; for I could then see into his room, 
EvS 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 has- 
tily upon his knees, and called out, O, God! — for- 
give me ! 

In a moment strensfth and courage seemed lent to 
me as by inspiration : I started, and rushing pre- 
cipitately into the room, just caught his arm, and 
then, overcome by my own fears, 1 fell down at his 



236 EVELINA. 

side breathless and senseless. My recovery, how- 
ever, 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 leaned one hand on the table, and then 
stood perfectly still ; while he, his eyes cast wildly 
towards me, seemed too infinitely amazed to be ca- 
pable of either speech or action. 

I believe we were some minutes in this extraor- 
dinary 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, 
wuth an intention of carrying them away : but their 
wretched owner, perceiving my design, and recover- 
ing 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 your- 
self! 

The guilty pistols fell from his hands, which, dis- 
engaging from me, he fervently clasped, and cried. 
Sweet Heaven ; is this thy angel r 

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? 



EVELINA. 237 

Awaken you, I cried, with a courage I now won- 
der 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 ghded 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 feel- 
ings 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 exces- 
sively, that I almost instantly sunk again into it. 
He then, though without advancing, and, in a faul- 
tering voice, said. Whoever, or whatever you are, 
relieve me, I pray you, from the suspence 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 say- 
ing, O, for Heaven's sake forbear ! 1 rose and took 
them myself. 

Do my senses deceive me I cried he, do / live — ? 
and do you ? 

As he spoke he advanced towards me ; and I, still 
guarding the pistols, retreated, saying. No, no — vow 
must not— must not have them 1 



238 EVELINA, 

Why — for what purpose, tell me ! — do you with- 
hold them? 

To give you time to think; — to save you from eter- 
nal 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 an- 
nouncing the approach of the Branghtons, made 
him start from his reverie : he sprung hastily for- 
ward, — 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 extra- 
ordinary and shocking adventure, really too affect- 
ing 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 ap- 
pearance, 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 ivhere^ or indeed what, I 
was, ere they poured upon me such a torrent of 
questions and inquiries, that I was almost stunned 
with their vociferation. However, as soon, and as 
well as I was able, I endeavoured to satisfy their 
curiosity, by recounting what had happened as 



EVELINA. 2"0 

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 alle- 
viation to his sufferings! I am sure, ray dearest Sir, 
you will be much concerned for this poor man ; and, 
were you here, 1 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 ad- 
venture 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 



240 EVELINA. 

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 any thing there to pay me: sol consider- 
ed 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 heM 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 then he 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 stuffs, but that I might keep it till 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. 

Fm determined, said the son, I'll take some oppor- 
tunity to affi-ont him soon, now I know how poor 
he is, because of the airs he gave himself to me 
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 hap- 
pened 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. 



EVELINA. 241 

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-tia^e, 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 an- 
other } 

Say 1 cried young Branghton ; O, never you 
think of that, they'll find enough to say, I'll be 

VOL. I. Y 



242 EVELINA. 

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, rd 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 notu ? 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 
youS'e a deal of fun to come, I'll promise you ; 
and, I tell you what, I'll treat you there some Sun- 
day 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 Tve 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 Sal- 
tero's at Chelsea ? 

No, Sir. 

No ! — nay, then I must insist on having the plea- 
sure of conducting you there before long. I assure 
you, Ma^am, many genteel people go, or else, I 
give you my word, / should not recommend it. 



EVELINA. 245 

Pray, cousin, said Mr. Branghton, have you been 
at Sadler's Wells yet? 

No, Sir. 

No ! why then you've seen nothing I 

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 Mo- 
nument, neither ? 

No, indeed, I have not. 

Why, then, you might as well not have come 
to London for ought 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 Mary bone ? 

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 ijce 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. 
Y 2 



2'H EVELINA. 

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 notmarried, — 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 Hay-market, 
where I was extremely entertained by the perform- 
ance of the Minor and the Commissary. 

They all returned hither to supper. 



LETTER XLV. 

EVELINA IN CONTINUATION. 

June 15. 
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 stay- 
ing 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 de- 
livered 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 inquiries were over, Mr. Brown 
grew so fond and so foolish, that I was extremely 



EVELINA. 245 

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 shewed 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 1 would see if Miss Brangh- 
ton were returned home, I soon left them, and again 
descended into the shop. 

So, Miss, you've come again, said Mr. Brangh- 
ton ; 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 en- 
trance, again seated himself; and, though his head 
leaned 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 re- 
turn 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 furni- 
ture of the shop ; and Mr. Branghton, who chose to 
keep his own seat himself, desired M. Du Bois to 
lake another ; and then seeing that I was without 
Y 3 



246 EVELINA. 

any, called out to the stranger. Come, Mr. Macart- 
ney, lend us your stool. 

Shocked at their rudeness, I declined the offer ; 
and, approaching Miss Branghton, said, II" 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 unaccust<^med to such at- 
tention, 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 to night ? 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, Vm 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, whicb^ 



EVELINA. 247 

he seemed to intend passing through; but when he 
saw me, he stopped, and began a most courteous in- 
quiry 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 fhey shall all go to-night. 

fie, Tom, — dispute with a lady ! cried Mr. 
Smith. Now, as for me, I'm for \yhere you will, 
provided this young lady is of the party; — one place 
is the same as another to me, so that it be but agree- 
able 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 ! 

1 was just saying, Mr. Smith, said Miss Brangh- 
ton, that I should like to go to Don Saltero's ; — now 
pray where should 3^0^ 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 cofiee- 
house : — however, pray Ladies settle it among your- 
selves ; — I'm agreeable to whatever you choose. 

It w as easy for me to discover, that this man, with 
all his parade of conformiti/ , objects to every thing 
that is not proposed by himself: but he is so much 
admired by this family for h\s gentility, that he thinks 
himself a complete fine gentleman 1 

Come, §aid 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. 



24S EVELINA. 

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 Branghlon was 
obliged to yield. 

When Mr. Brown and Miss Polly made their ap- 
pearance, 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 
sOj Ma'am (to me), we'll begin wdth you. What 
place shall you like best ? and then, in a whisper, 
he added, 1 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 
Brangliton voted for Saltero's Coffee-house ; her 
sister, for a party to Mother Red Cap's; the brother 
for Whitp-Conduit House ; Mr. Brown, for Bag- 
nigge Wells ; Mr. Branghton, 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 lust. 
Well, so you will, said Miss Branghton, for we've 
all spoke first. 

P)rdon me, returned I, the voting has not yet 
been quite general. 

And I looked towards Mr. Macartney, to whom I 
wished extremely to show that 1 was not of the same 
brutal nature wiih those by whom he was treated so 
grossly. 

Why pray, said Mr. Branghton, who have we 
left out r would you have the cats and dogs vote .? 
No, Sir, cried I, with some spirit, I would have 



EVELINA. 249 

ihat gentleman vote, — if, indeed, he is not superior to 
joining our party. 

They all looked at me, as if they doubted whe- 
ther 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. 

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 plan. 

1 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 Du- 
val word what place is fixed upon, when it is conve- 
nient to him. 

And then, making a slight courtesy, I left them. 

How much does my disgust for these people in- 
crease 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 mis- 
fortunes, with this family, only render him an ob- 
ject 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 fol- 
lowed 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 offence. 

I begged him not to take any trouble about so 
immaterial an affair, and assured him I should not 



250 EVELINA. 

myself. He was so officious, tUat 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 
lovv-lDred, that I could hardly endure being amongst 
them ; but the party to which, unfortunately, I be- 
longed, seemed all at home. 



END OF VOL. 1. 



T. C. Hansard, Printer, Peterborough-court, Fleet-street, London. 



UNIVERSITY OF ILLIN0I9-URBANA 



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