Cecilia, by Fanny Burney

Chapter 13

A Solution.

During the ride to town, not merely Cecilia, but Delvile himself attended wholly to Mrs Harrel, whose grief as it became less violent, was more easy to be soothed.

The distress of this eventful night was however not yet over; when they came to Portman-square, Delvile eagerly called to the coachman not to drive up to the house, and anxiously begged Cecilia and Mrs Harrel to sit still, while he went out himself to make some enquiries. They were surprised at the request, yet immediately consented; but before he had quitted them, Davison, who was watching their return, came up to them with information that an execution was then in the house.

Fresh misery was now opened for Mrs Harrel, and fresh horror and perplexity for Cecilia: she had no longer, however, the whole weight either of thought or of conduct upon herself: Delvile in her cares took the most animated interest, and beseeching her to wait a moment and appease her friend, he went himself into the house to learn the state of the affair.

He returned in a few minutes, and seemed in no haste to communicate what he had heard, but entreated them both to go immediately to St James’s-square.

Cecilia felt extremely fearful of offending his father by the introduction of Mrs Harrel: yet she had nothing better to propose, and therefore, after a short and distressed argument, she complied.

Delvile then told her that the alarm of his mother, at which he had already hinted, proceeded from a rumour of this very misfortune, to which, though they knew not whether they might give credit, was owing the anxiety which at so late an hour, had induced him to go to Vauxhall in search of her. They gained admittance without any disturbance, as the servant of young Delvile had been ordered to sit up for his master. Cecilia much disliked thus taking possession of the house in the night-time, though Delvile, solicitous to relieve her, desired she would not waste a thought upon the subject, and making his servant shew her the room which had been prepared for her reception, he begged her to compose her spirits, and to comfort her friend, and promised to acquaint his father and mother when they arose with what had happened, that she might be saved all pain from surprise or curiosity when they met.

This service she thankfully accepted, for she dreaded, after the liberty she had taken, to encounter the pride of Mr Delvile without some previous apology, and she feared still more to see his lady without the same preparation, as her frequent breach of appointment. might reasonably have offended her, and as her displeasure would affect her more deeply.

It was now near six o’clock, yet the hours seemed as long as they were melancholy till the family arose. They settled to remain quiet till some message was sent to them, but before any arrived, Mrs Harrel, who was seated upon the bed, wearied by fatigue and sorrow, cried herself to sleep like a child.

Cecilia rejoiced in seeing this reprieve from affliction, though her keener sensations unfitted her from partaking of it; much indeed was the uneasiness which kept her awake; the care of Mrs Harrel seemed to devolve upon herself, the reception she might meet from the Delviles was uncertain, and the horrible adventures of the night, refused for a moment to quit her remembrance.

At ten o’clock, a message was brought from Mrs Delvile, to know whether they were ready for breakfast. Mrs Harrel was still asleep, but Cecilia carried her own answer by hastening down stairs.

In her way she was met by young Delvile, whose air upon first approaching her spoke him again prepared to address her with the most distant gravity: but almost the moment he looked at her, he forgot his purpose; her paleness, the heaviness of her eyes, and the fatigue of long watching betrayed by her whole face, again, surprised him into all the tenderness of anxiety, and he enquired after her health not as a compliment of civility, but as a question in which his whole heart was most deeply interested.

Cecilia thanked him for his attention to her friend the night before, and then proceeded to his mother.

Mrs Delvile, coming forward to meet her, removed at once all her fears of displeasure, and banished all necessity of apology, by instantly embracing her, and warmly exclaiming “Charming Miss Beverley! how shall I ever tell you half the admiration with which I have heard of your conduct! The exertion of so much fortitude at a juncture when a weaker mind would have been overpowered by terror, and a heart less under the dominion of well-regulated principles, would have sought only its own relief by flying from distress and confusion, shews such propriety of mind as can only result from the union of good sense with virtue. You are indeed a noble creature! I thought so from the moment I beheld you; I shall think so, I hope, to the last that I live!”

Cecilia, penetrated with joy and gratitude, felt in that instant the amplest recompense for all that she had suffered, and for all that she had lost. Such praise from Mrs Delvile was alone sufficient to make her happy; but when she considered whence it sprung, and that the circumstances with which she was so much struck, must have been related to her by her son, her delight was augmented to an emotion the most pleasing she could experience, from seeing how high she was held in the esteem of those who were highest in her own.

Mrs Delvile then, with the utmost cordiality, began to talk of her affairs, saving her the pain of proposing the change of habitation that now seemed unavoidable, by an immediate invitation to her house, which she made with as much delicacy as if Mr Harrel’s had still been open to her, and choice, not necessity, had directed her removal. The whole family, she told her, went into the country in two days, and she hoped that a new scene, with quietness and early hours, would restore both the bloom and sprightliness which her late cares and restlessness had injured. And though she very seriously lamented the rash action of Mr Harrel, she much rejoiced in the acquisition which her own house and happiness would receive from her society.

She next discussed the situation of her widowed friend, and Cecilia produced the packet which had been entrusted to her by her late husband. Mrs Delvile advised her to open it in the presence of Mr Arnott, and begged her to send for any other of her friends she might wish to see or consult, and to claim freely from herself whatever advice or assistance she could bestow.

And then, without waiting for Mr Delvile, she suffered her to swallow a hasty breakfast, and return to Mrs Harrel, whom she had desired the servants to attend, as she concluded that in her present situation she would not chuse to make her appearance.

Cecilia, lightened now from all her cares, more pleased than ever with Mrs Delvile, and enchanted that at last she was settled under her roof, went back with as much ability as inclination to give comfort to Mrs Harrel. She found her but just awaking, and scarce yet conscious where she was, or why not in her own house.

As her powers of recollection returned, she was soothed with the softest compassion by Cecilia, who in pursuance of Mrs Delvile’s advice, sent her servant in search of Mr Arnott, and in consequence of her permission, wrote a note of invitation to Mr Monckton.

Mr Arnott, who was already in town, soon arrived: his own man, whom he had left to watch the motions of Mr Harrel, having early in the morning rode to the place of his retreat, with the melancholy tidings of the suicide and execution.

Cecilia instantly went down stairs to him. The meeting was extremely painful to them both. Mr Arnott severely blamed himself for his flight, believing it had hastened the fatal blow, which some further sacrifices might perhaps have eluded: and Cecilia half repented the advice she had given him, though the failure of her own efforts proved the situation of Mr Harrel too desperate for remedy.

He then made the tenderest enquiries about his sister, and entreated her to communicate to him the minutest particulars of the dreadful transaction: after which, she produced the packet, but neither of them had the courage to break the seal; and concluding the contents would be no less than his last will, they determined some third person should be present when they opened it. Cecilia wished much for Mr Monckton, but as his being immediately found was uncertain, and the packet might consist of orders which ought not to be delayed, she proposed, for the sake of expedition, to call in Mr Delvile.

Mr Arnott readily agreed, and she sent to beg a moment’s audience with that gentleman.

She was desired to walk into the breakfast-room, where he was sitting with his lady and his son.

Not such was now her reception as when she entered that apartment before; Mr Delvile looked displeased and out of humour, and, making her a stiff bow, while his son brought her a chair, coldly said, “If you are hurried, Miss Beverley, I will attend you directly; if not, I will finish my breakfast, as I shall have but little time the rest of the morning, from the concourse of people upon business, who will crowd upon me till dinner, most of whom will be extremely distressed if I leave town without contriving to see them.”

“There is not the least occasion, Sir,” answered Cecilia, “that I should trouble you to quit the room I merely came to beg you would have the goodness to be present while Mr Arnott opens a small packet which was last night put into my hands by Mr Harrel.”

“And has Mr Arnott,” answered he, somewhat sternly, “thought proper to send me such a request?”

“No, Sir,” said Cecilia, “the request is mine; and if, as I now fear, it is impertinent, I must entreat you to forget it.”

“As far as relates merely to yourself,” returned Mr Delvile, “it is another matter; but certainly Mr Arnott can have no possible claim upon my time or attention; and I think it rather extraordinary, that a young man with whom I have no sort of connection or commerce, and whose very name is almost unknown to me, should suppose a person in my style of life so little occupied as to be wholly at his command.”

“He had no such idea, Sir,” said Cecilia, greatly disconcerted; “the honour of your presence is merely solicited by myself, and simply from the apprehension that some directions may be contained in the papers which, perhaps, ought immediately to be executed.”

“I am not, I repeat,” said Mr Delvile, more mildly, “displeased at your part of this transaction; your want of experience and knowledge of the world makes you not at all aware of the consequences which may follow my compliance: the papers you speak of may perhaps be of great importance, and hereafter the first witness to their being read may be publickly called upon. You know not the trouble such an affair may occasion, but Mr Arnott ought to be better informed.”

Cecilia, making another apology for the error which she had committed, was in no small confusion, quitting the room; but Mr Delvile, perfectly appeased by seeing her distress, stopt her, to say, with much graciousness, “For your sake, Miss Beverley, I am sorry I cannot act in this business; but you see how I am situated! overpowered with affairs of my own, and people who can do nothing without my orders. Besides, should there hereafter be any investigation into the matter, my name might, perhaps, be mentioned, and it would be superfluous to say how ill I should think it used by being brought into such company.”

Cecilia then left the rooms secretly vowing that no possible exigence should in future tempt her to apply for assistance to Mr Delvile, which, however ostentatiously offered, was constantly withheld when claimed.

She was beginning to communicate to Mr Arnott her ill success, when young Delvile, with an air of eagerness, followed her into the room. “Pardon me,” he cried, “for this intrusion — but, tell me, is it impossible that in this affair I can represent my father? may not the office you meant for him, devolve upon me? remember how near we are to each other, and honour me for once with supposing us the same!”

Ah who, or what, thought Cecilia, can be so different? She thanked him, with much sweetness, for his offer, but declined accepting it, saying “I will not, now I know the inconveniencies of my request, be so selfish as even to suffer it should be granted.”

“You must not deny me,” cried he; “where is the packet? why should you lose a moment?”

“Rather ask,” answered she, “why I should permit you to lose a moment in a matter that does not concern you? and to risk, perhaps, the loss of many moments hereafter, from a too incautious politeness.”

“And what can I risk,” cried he, “half so precious as your smallest satisfaction? do you suppose I can flatter myself with a possibility of contributing to it, and yet have the resolution to refuse myself so much pleasure? no, no, the heroic times are over, and self-denial is no longer in fashion!”

“You are very good,” said Cecilia; “but indeed after what has passed —”

“No matter for what has passed,” interrupted he, “we are now to think of what is to come. I know you too well to doubt your impatience in the execution of a commission which circumstances have rendered sacred; and should any thing either be done or omitted contrary to the directions in your packet, will you not be apt, blameless as you are, to disturb yourself with a thousand fears that you took not proper methods for the discharge of your trust?”

There was something in this earnestness so like his former behaviour, and so far removed from his late reserve, that Cecilia, who perceived it with a pleasure she could hardly disguise, now opposed him no longer, but took up the packet, and broke the seal.

And then, to her no small amazement, instead of the expected will, she found a roll of enormous bills, and a collection of letters from various creditors, threatening the utmost severity of the law if their demands were longer unanswered.

Upon a slip of paper which held these together, was written, in Mr Harrel’s hand, To be all paid to-night with a BULLET.

Next appeared two letters of another sort; the first of which was from Sir Robert Floyer, and in these words:

Sir — As all prospects are now over of the alliance, I hope you will excuse my reminding you of the affair at Brookes’s of last Christmas. I have the honour to be, Sir, yours R. FLOYER.

The other was from Mr Marriot.

Sir — Though I should think £2000 nothing for the smallest hope, I must take the liberty to say I think it a great deal for only ten minutes: you can’t have forgot, Sir, the terms of our agreement, but as I find you cannot keep to them, I must beg to be off also on my side, and I am persuaded you are too much a man of honour to take advantage of my over-eagerness in parting with my money without better security. I am, Sir, your most humble servant, A. Marriot.

What a scene of fraud, double-dealing, and iniquity was here laid open! Cecilia, who at first meant to read every thing aloud, found the attempt utterly vain, for so much was she shocked, that she could hardly read on to herself.

Last of all appeared a paper in Mr Harrel’s own hand-writing, containing these words.

For Mrs Harrel, Miss Beverley, and Mr Arnott.

I can struggle no longer, the last blow must now be struck! another day robs me of my house and my liberty, and blasts me by the fatal discovery of my double attempts.

This is what I have wished; wholly to be freed, or ruined past all resource, and driven to the long-projected remedy.

A burthen has my existence been these two years, gay as I have appeared; not a night have I gone to bed, but heated and inflamed from a gaming table; not a morning have I awaked, but to be soured with a dun!

I would not lead such a life again, if the slave who works hardest at the oar would change with me.

Had I a son, I would bequeath him a plough; I should then leave him happier than my parents left me.

Idleness has been my destruction; the want of something to do led me into all evil.

A good wife perhaps might have saved me — mine, I thank her! tried not. Disengaged from me and my affairs, her own pleasures and amusements have occupied her solely. Dreadful will be the catastrophe she will see to-night; let her bring it home, and live better!

If any pity is felt for me, it will be where I have least deserved it! Mr Arnott — Miss Beverley! it will come from you!

To bring myself to this final resolution, hard, I confess, have been my conflicts: it is not that I have feared death, no, I have long wished it, for shame and dread have embittered my days; but something there is within me that causes a deeper horror, that asks my preparation for another world! that demands my authority for quitting this! — what may hereafter — O terrible! — Pray for me, generous Miss Beverley! — kind, gentle Mr Arnott, pray for me! —

Wretch as Mr Harrel appeared, without religion, principle, or honour, this incoherent letter, evidently written in the desperate moment of determined suicide, very much affected both Cecilia and Mr Arnott, and in spite either of abhorrence or resentment, they mutually shed tears over the address to themselves.

Delvile, to whom ‘every part of the affair was new, could only consider these papers as so many specimens of guilt and infamy; he read them, therefore, with astonishment and detestation, and openly congratulated Cecilia upon having escaped the double snares that were spread for her.

While this was passing, Mr Monckton arrived; who felt but little satisfaction from beholding the lady of his heart in confidential discourse with two of his rivals, one of whom had long attacked her by the dangerous flattery of perseverance, and the other, without any attack, had an influence yet more powerful.

Delvile, having performed the office for which he came, concluded, upon the entrance of Mr Monckton, that Cecilia had nothing further to wish from him; for her long acquaintance with that gentleman, his being a married man, and her neighbour in the country, were circumstances well known to him: he merely, therefore, enquired if she would honour him with any commands, and upon her assuring him she had none, he quietly withdrew.

This was no little relief to Mr Monckton, into whose hands Cecilia then put the fatal packet: and while he was reading it, at the desire of Mr Arnott, she went up stairs to prepare Mrs Harrel for his admission.

Mrs Harrel, unused to solitude, and as eager for company when unhappy to console, as when easy to divert her, consented to receive him with pleasure: they both wept at the meeting, and Cecilia, after some words of general comfort, left them together.

She had then a very long and circumstantial conversation with Mr Monckton, who explained whatever had appeared dark in the writings left by Mr Harrel, and who came to her before he saw them, with full knowledge of what they contained.

Mr Harrel had contracted with Sir Robert Floyer a large debt of honour before the arrival in town of Cecilia; and having no power to discharge it, he promised that the prize he expected in his ward should fall to his share, upon condition that the debt was cancelled. Nothing was thought more easy than to arrange this business, for the Baronet was always to be in her way, and the report of the intended alliance was to keep off all other pretenders. Several times, however, her coldness made him think the matter hopeless; and when he received her letter, he would have given up the whole affair: but Mr Harrel, well knowing his inability to satisfy the claims that would follow such a defection, constantly persuaded him the reserve was affected, and that his own pride and want of assiduity occasioned all her discouragement.

But while thus, by amusing the Baronet with false hopes, he kept off his demands, those of others were not less clamorous: his debts increased, his power of paying them diminished; he grew sour and desperate, and in one night lost £3000 beyond what he could produce, or offer any security for.

This, as he said, was what he wished; and now he was, for the present, to extricate himself by doubling stakes and winning, or to force himself into suicide by doubling such a loss. For though, with tolerable ease, he could forget accounts innumerable with his tradesmen, one neglected debt of honour rendered his existence insupportable!

For this last great effort, his difficulty was to raise the £3000 already due, without which the proposal could not be made: and, after various artifices and attempts, he at length contrived a meeting with Mr Marriot, intreated him to lend him £2000 for only two days, and offered his warmest services in his favour with Cecilia.

The rash and impassioned young man, deceived by his accounts into believing that his ward was wholly at his disposal, readily advanced the money, without any other condition than that of leave to visit freely at his house, to the exclusion of Sir Robert Floyer. “The other £1000,” continued Mr Monckton, “I know not how he obtained, but he certainly had three. You, I hope, were not so unguarded —”

“Ah, Mr Monckton,” said Cecilia, “blame me not too severely! the attacks that were made — the necessity of otherwise betraying the worthy and half ruined Mr. Arnott —”

“Oh fie,” cried he, “to suffer your understanding to be lulled asleep, because the weak-minded Mr Arnott’s could not be kept awake! I thought, after such cautions from me, and such experience of your own, you could not again have been thus duped.”

“I thought so too,” answered she, “but yet when the trial came on — indeed you know not how I was persecuted.”

“Yet you see,” returned he, “the utter inutility of the attempt; you see, and I told you beforehand, that nothing could save him.”

“True; but had I been firmer in refusal, I might not so well have known it; I might then have upbraided myself with supposing that my compliance would have rescued him.”

“You have indeed,” cried Mr Monckton, “fallen into most worthless hands, and the Dean was much to blame for naming so lightly a guardian to a fortune such as yours.”

“Pardon me,” cried Cecilia, “he never entrusted him with my fortune, he committed it wholly to Mr Briggs.”

“But if he knew not the various subterfuges by which such a caution might be baffled, he ought to have taken advice of those who were better informed. Mr Briggs, too! what a wretch! mean, low, vulgar, sordid! — the whole city of London, I believe, could not produce such another! how unaccountable to make you the ward of a man whose house you cannot enter without disgust!”

“His house,” cried Cecilia, “my uncle never wished me to enter; he believed, and he was right, that my fortune would be safe in his hands; but for myself, he concluded I should always reside at Mr Harrel’s.” “But does not the city at this time,” said Mr Monckton, “abound in families where, while your fortune was in security, you might yourself have lived with propriety? Nothing requires circumspection so minute as the choice of a guardian to a girl of large fortune, and in general one thing only is attended to, an appearance of property. Morals, integrity, character, are either not thought of, or investigated so superficially, that the enquiry were as well wholly omitted.” He then continued his relation.

Mr Harrel hastened with his £3000 to the gaming table; one throw of the dice settled the business, he lost, and ought immediately to have doubled the sum. That, however, was never more likely to be in his power; he knew it; he knew, too, the joint claims of Cecilia’s deceived admirers, and that his house was again threatened with executions from various quarters:— he went home, loaded his pistols, and took the methods already related to work himself into courage for the deed.

The means by which Mr Monckton had procured these particulars were many and various, and not all such as he could avow: since in the course of his researches, he had tampered with servants and waiters, and scrupled at no methods that led but to discovery.

Nor did his intelligence stop here; he had often, he said, wondered at the patience of Mr Harrel’s creditors, but now even that was cleared up by a fresh proof of infamy: he had been himself at the house in Portmansquare, where he was informed that Mr Harrel had kept them quiet, by repeated assurances that his ward, in a short time, meant to lend him money for discharging them all.

Cecilia saw now but too clearly the reason her stay in his house was so important to him; and wondered less at his vehemence upon that subject, though she detested it more.

“Oh how little,” cried she, “are the gay and the dissipated to be known upon a short acquaintance! expensive, indeed, and thoughtless and luxurious he appeared to me immediately; but fraudulent, base, designing, capable of every pernicious art of treachery and duplicity — such, indeed, I expected not to find him, his very flightiness and levity seemed incompatible with such hypocrisy.”

“His flightiness,” said Mr Monckton, “proceeded not from gaiety of heart, it was merely the effect of effort; and his spirits were as mechanical as his taste for diversion. He had not strong parts, nor were his vices the result of his passions; had oeconomy been as much in fashion as extravagance, he would have been equally eager to practice it; he was a mere time-server, he struggled but to be something, and having neither talents nor sentiment to know what, he looked around him for any pursuit, and seeing distinction was more easily attained in the road to ruin than in any other, he gallopped along it, thoughtless of being thrown when he came to the bottom, and sufficiently gratified in shewing his horsemanship by the way.”

And now, all that he had either to hear or to communicate upon this subject being told, he enquired, with a face strongly expressive of his disapprobation, why he found her at Mr Delvile’s, and what had become of her resolution to avoid his house?

Cecilia, who, in the hurry of her mind and her affairs, had wholly forgotten that such a resolution had been taken, blushed at the question, and could not, at first, recollect what had urged her to break it: but when he proceeded to mention Mr Briggs, she was no longer distressed; she gave a circumstantial account of her visit to him, related the mean misery in which he lived, and told him the impracticability of her residing in such a house.

Mr Monckton could now in decency make no further opposition, however painful and reluctant was his acquiescence: yet before he quitted her, he gave himself the consolation of considerably obliging her, and softened his chagrin by the sweetness of her acknowledgments.

He enquired how much money in all she had now taken up of the Jew; and hearing it was £9050, he represented to her the additional loss she must suffer by paying an exorbitant interest for so large a sum, and the almost certainty with which she might be assured of very gross imposition: he expatiated, also, upon the injury which her character might receive in the world, were it known that she used such methods to procure money, since the circumstances which had been her inducement would probably either be unnoticed or misrepresented: and when he had awakened in her much uneasiness and regret upon this subject, he offered to pay the Jew without delay, clear her wholly from his power, and quietly receive the money when she came of age from herself.

A proposal so truly friendly made her look upon the regard of Mr Monckton in a higher and nobler point of view than her utmost esteem and reverence had hitherto placed it: yet she declined at first accepting the offer, from an apprehension it might occasion him inconvenience; but when he assured her he had a yet larger sum lying at present useless in a Banker’s hands, and promised to receive the same interest for his money he should be paid from the funds, she joyfully listened to him; and it was settled that they should send for the Jew, take his discharge, and utterly dismiss him.

Mr Monckton, however, fearful of appearing too officious in her affairs, wished not to have his part in the transaction published, and advised Cecilia not to reveal the matter to the Delviles. But great as was his [ascendancy] over her mind, her aversion to mystery and hypocrisy were still greater; she would not, therefore, give him this promise, though her own desire to wait some seasonable opportunity for disclosing it, made her consent that their meeting with the Jew should be at the house of Mrs Roberts in Fetter-lane, at twelve o’clock the next morning; where she might also see Mrs Hill and her children before she left town.

They now parted, Cecilia charmed more than ever with her friend, whose kindness, as she suspected not his motives, seemed to spring from the most disinterested generosity.

That, however, was the smallest feature in the character of Mr Monckton, who was entirely a man of the world, shrewd, penetrating, attentive to his interest, and watchful of every advantage to improve it. In the service he now did Cecilia, he was gratified by giving her pleasure, but that was by no means his only gratification; he still hoped her fortune would one day be his own, he was glad to transact any business with her, and happy in making her owe to him an obligation: but his principal inducement was yet stronger: he saw with much alarm the facility of her liberality; and he feared while she continued in correspondence with the Jew, that the easiness with which she could raise money would be a motive with her to continue the practice whenever she was softened by distress, or subdued by entreaty: but he hoped, by totally concluding the negociation, the temptation would be removed: and that the hazard and inconvenience of renewing it, would strengthen her aversion to such an expedient, till, between difficulties and disuse, that dangerous resource would be thought of no more.

Cecilia then returned to Mrs Harrel, whom she found as she had left, weeping in the arms of her brother. They consulted upon what was best to be done, and agreed that she ought instantly to leave town; for which purpose a chaise was ordered directly. They settled also that Mr Arnott, when he had conveyed her to his country house, which was in Suffolk, should hasten back to superintend the funeral, and see if anything could be saved from the creditors for his sister.

Yet this plan, till Cecilia was summoned to dinner, they had not the resolution to put in practice. They were then obliged to be gone, and their parting was very melancholy. Mrs Harrel wept immoderately, and Mr Arnott felt a concern too tender for avowal, though too sincere for concealment. Cecilia, however glad to change her situation, was extremely depressed by their sorrow, and entreated to have frequent accounts of their proceedings, warmly repeating her offers of service, and protestations of faithful regard.

She accompanied them to the chaise, and then went to the dining parlour, where she found Mr and Mrs Delvile, but saw nothing more of their son the whole day.

The next morning after breakfast, Mrs Delvile set out upon some leave-taking visits, and Cecilia went in a chair to Fetter-lane: here, already waiting for her, she met the punctual Mr Monckton, and the disappointed Jew, who most unwillingly was paid off, and relinquished his bonds; and who found in the severe and crafty Mr Monckton, another sort of man to deal with than the necessitous and heedless Mr Harrel.

As soon as he was dismissed, other bonds were drawn and signed, the old ones were destroyed; and Cecilia, to her infinite satisfaction, had no creditor but Mr Monckton. Her bookseller, indeed, was still unpaid, but her debt with him was public, and gave her not any uneasiness.

She now, with the warmest expressions of gratitude, took leave of Mr Monckton, who suffered the most painful struggles in repressing the various apprehensions to which the parting, and her establishment at the Delviles gave rise.

She then enquired briefly into the affairs of Mrs Hill, and having heard a satisfactory account of them, returned to St James’s-square.

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Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:32