Evelina, by Fanny Burney

Letter xlvi

Evelina to the Rev. Mr. Villars

Holborn, June 17th.

YESTERDAY Mr. Smith carried his point of making a party for Vauxhall, consisting of Madame Duval, M. Du Bois, all the Branghtons, Mr. Brown, himself — and me! — for I find all endeavours vain to escape any thing which these people desire I should not.

There were twenty disputes previous to our setting out; first, as to the time of our going: Mr. Branghton, his son, and young Brown, were for six o’clock; and all the ladies and Mr. Smith were for eight; — the latter, however, conquered.

Then, as to the way we should go; some were for a boat, others for a coach, and Mr. Branghton himself was for walking; but the boat at length was decided upon. Indeed this was the only part of the expedition that was agreeable to me; for the Thames was delightfully pleasant.

The garden is very pretty, but too formal; I should have been better pleased, had it consisted less of straight walks, where

Grove nods at grove, each alley has its brother.

The trees, the numerous lights, and the company in the circle round the orchestra make a most brilliant and gay appearance; and had I been with a party less disagreeable to me, I should have thought it a place formed for animation and pleasure. There was a concert; in the course of which a hautbois concerto was so charmingly played, that I could have thought myself upon enchanted ground, had I had spirits more gentle to associate with. The hautbois in the open air is heavenly.

Mr. Smith endeavoured to attach himself to me, with such officious assiduity and impertinent freedom, that he quite sickened me. Indeed M. Du Bois was the only man of the party to whom, voluntarily, I ever addressed myself. He is civil and respectful, and I have found nobody else so since I left Howard Grove. His English is very bad; but I prefer it to speaking French myself, which I dare not venture to do. I converse with him frequently, both to disengage myself from others, and to oblige Madame Duval, who is always pleased when he is attended to.

As we were walking about the orchestra, I heard a bell ring; and, in a moment, Mr. Smith, flying up to me, caught my hand, and, with a motion too quick to be resisted, ran away with me many yards before I had breath to ask his meaning, though I struggled as well as I could, to get from him. At last, however, I insisted upon stopping: “Stopping, Ma’am!” cried he, “why we must run on or we shall lose the cascade!”

And then again he hurried me away, mixing with a crowd of people, all running with so much velocity, that I could not imagine what had raised such an alarm. We were soon followed by the rest of the party; and my surprise and ignorance proved a source of diversion to them all, which was not exhausted the whole evening. Young Branghton, in particular, laughed till he could hardly stand.

The scene of the cascade I thought extremely pretty, and the general effect striking and lively.

But this was not the only surprise which was to divert them at my expense; for they led me about the garden purposely to enjoy my first sight of various other deceptions.

About ten o’clock, Mr. Smith having chosen a box in a very conpicuous place, we all went to supper. Much fault was found with every thing that was ordered, though not a morsel of any thing was left; and the dearness of the provisions, with conjectures upon what profit was made by them, supplied discourse during the whole meal.

When wine and cyder were brought, Mr. Smith said, “Now let’s enjoy ourselves; now is the time, or never. Well, Ma’am, and how do you like Vauxhall?”

“Like it!” cried young Branghton; “why, how can she help liking it? she has never seen such a place before, that I’ll answer for.”

“For my part,” said Miss Branghton, “I like it because it is not vulgar.”

“This must have been a fine treat for you, Miss,” said Mr. Branghton; “why, I suppose you was never so happy in all your life before?”

I endeavoured to express my satisfaction with some pleasure; yet, I believe, they were much amazed at my coldness.

“Miss ought to stay in town till the last night,” said young Branghton; “and then, it’s my belief, she’d say something to it! Why, Lord, it’s the best night of any; there’s always a riot — and there the folks run about — and then there’s such squealing and squalling! — and, there, all the lamps are broke — and the women run skimper scamper. — I declare I would not take five guineas to miss the last night!”

I was very glad when they all grew tired of sitting, and called for the waiter to pay the bill. The Miss Branghtons said they would walk on while the gentlemen settled the account, and asked me to accompany them; which, however, I declined.

“You girls may do as you please,” said Madame Duval; “but as to me, I promise you, I sha’n’t go nowhere without the gentlemen.”

“No more, I suppose, will my cousin,” said Miss Branghton, looking reproachfully towards Mr. Smith.

This reflection, which I feared would flatter his vanity, made me most unfortunately request Madame Duval’s permission to attend them. She granted it; and away we went, having promised to meet in the room.

To the room, therefore, I would immediately have gone: but the sisters agreed that they would first have a little pleasure; and they tittered and talked so loud, that they attracted universal notice.

“Lord, Polly,” said the eldest, “suppose we were to take a turn in the dark walks!”

“Aye, do,” answered she; “and then we’ll hide ourselves, and then Mr. Brown will think we are lost.”

I remonstrated very warmly against this plan, telling them it would endanger our missing the rest of the party all the evening.

“O dear,” cried Miss Branghton, “I thought how uneasy Miss would be without a beau!”

This impertinence I did not think worth answering; and, quite by compulsion, I followed them down a long alley, in which there was hardly any light.

By the time we came near the end, a large party of gentlemen, apparently very riotous, and who were hallooing, leaning on one another, and laughing immoderately, seemed to rush suddenly from behind some trees, and meeting us face to face, put their arms at their sides, and formed a kind of circle, which first stopped our proceeding, and then our retreating, for we were presently entirely enclosed. The Miss Branghtons screamed aloud, and I was frightened exceedingly; our screams were answered with bursts of laughter, and for some minutes we were kept prisoners, till at last one of them, rudely seizing hold of me, said I was a pretty little creature.

Terrified to death, I struggled with such vehemence to disengage myself from him, that I succeeded, in spite of his efforts to detain me; and immediately, and with a swiftness which fear only could have given me, I flew rather than ran up the walk, hoping to secure my safety by returning to the lights and company we had so foolishly left: but before I could possibly accomplish my purpose, I was met by another party of men, one of whom placed himself so directly in my way, calling out, “Whither so fast, my love?”— that I could only have proceeded by running into his arms.

In a moment both my hands, by different persons, were caught hold of, and one of them, in a most familiar manner, desired, when I ran next, to accompany me in a race; while the rest of the party stood still and laughed.

I was almost distracted with terror, and so breathless with running, that I could not speak; till another, advancing, said, I was as handsome as an angel, and desired to be of the party. I then just articulated, “For Heaven’s sake, gentlemen, let me pass!”

Another then rushing suddenly forward, exclaimed, “Heaven and earth! What voice is that? —”

“The voice of the prettiest little actress I have seen this age,” answered one of my persecutors.

“No — no — no —” I panted out, “I am no actress — pray let me go — pray let me pass —”

“By all that’s sacred,” cried the same voice, which I then knew for Sir Clement Willoughby’s, “’tis herself!”

“Sir Clement Willoughby!” cried I. “O, Sir, assist — assist me — or I shall die with terror!”

“Gentlemen,” cried he, disengaging them all from me in an instant, “pray leave this lady to me.”

Loud laughs proceeded from every mouth, and two or three said Willoughby has all the luck! But one of them, in a passionate manner, vowed he would not give me up, for that he had the first right to me, and would support it.

“You are mistaken,” said Sir Clement, “this lady is — I will explain myself to you another time; but, I assure you, you are all mistaken.”

And then taking my willing hand, he led me off, amidst the loud acclamations, laughter, and gross merriment of his impertinent companions.

As soon as we had escaped from them, Sir Clement, with a voice of surprise, exclaimed, “My dearest creature, what wonder, what strange revolution, has brought you to such a place as this?”

Ashamed of my situation, and extremely mortified to be thus recognized by him, I was for some time silent; and when he repeated his question, only stammered out, “I have — I hardly know how — lost from my party —”

He caught my hand, and eagerly pressing it, in a passionate voice said, “O that I had sooner met with thee!”

Surprised at a freedom so unexpected, I angrily broke from him, saying, “Is this the protection you give me, Sir Clement?”

And then I saw, what the perturbation of my mind had prevented my sooner noticing, that he had led me, though I know not how, into another of the dark alleys, instead of the place whither I meant to go.

“Good God!” I cried, “where am I? — What way are you going?”

“Where,” answered he, “we shall be least observed!”

Astonished at this speech, I stopped short, and declared I would go no further.

“And why not, my angel?” again endeavouring to take my hand.

My heart beat with resentment; I pushed him away from me with all my strength, and demanded how he dared treat me with such insolence?

“Insolence!” repeated he.

“Yes, Sir Clement, insolence; from you, who know me, I had a claim for protection — not to such treatment as this.”

“By Heaven,” cried he, with warmth, “you distract me; — why, tell me — why do I see you here? — Is this a place for Miss Anville? — these dark walks! — no party! no companion! — by all that’s good I can scarce believe my senses!”

Extremely offended at this speech, I turned angrily from him: and, not deigning to make any answer, walked on towards that part of the garden whence I perceived the lights and company.

He followed me; but we were both some time silent.

“So you will not explain to me your situation?” said he, at length.

“No, Sir,” answered I, disdainfully.

“Nor yet — suffer me to make my own interpretation? —”

I could not bear this strange manner of speaking; it made my very soul shudder — and I burst into tears.

He flew to me, and actually flung himself at my feet, as if regardless who might see him, saying, “O, Miss Anville — loveliest of women — forgive my — my — I beseech you forgive me; — if I have offended — if I have hurt you — I could kill myself at the thought! —”

“No matter, Sir, no matter,” cried I; “if I can but find my friends — I will never speak to — never see you again!”

“Good God! — good Heaven! My dearest life, what is it I have done? — what is it I have said? —”

“You best know, Sir, what and why: but don’t hold me here — let me be gone; and do you!”

“Not till you forgive me! — I cannot part with you in anger.”

“For shame, for shame, Sir!” cried I, indignantly, “do you suppose I am to be thus compelled? — do you take advantage of the absence of my friends to affront me?”

“No, Madam,” cried he, rising: “I would sooner forfeit my life than act so mean a part. But you have flung me into amazement unspeakable, and you will not condescend to listen to my request of giving me some explanation.”

“The manner, Sir,” said I, “in which you spoke that request, made, and will make, me scorn to answer it.”

“Scorn! — I will own to you, I expected not such displeasure from Miss Anville.”

“Perhaps, Sir, if you had, you would less voluntarily have merited it.”

“My dearest life, surely it must be known to you, that the man does not breathe who adores you so passionately, so fervently, so tenderly as I do! — Why, then, will you delight in perplexing me? — in keeping me in suspense? — in torturing me with doubt?”

“I, Sir, delight in perplexing you! — you are much mistaken. — Your suspense, your doubts, your perplexities — are of your own creating; and believe me, Sir, they may offend, but they can never delight me:— but as you have yourself raised, you must yourself satisfy them.”

“Good God! — that such haughtiness and such sweetness can inhabit the same mansion!”

I made no answer; but quickening my pace I walked on silently and sullenly, till this most impetuous of men, snatching my hand, which he grasped with violence, besought me to forgive him with such earnestness of supplication, that, merely to escape his importunities, I was forced to speak, and in some measure to grant the pardon he requested; though it was accorded with a very ill grace: but, indeed, I knew not how to resist the humility of his intreaties: yet never shall I recollect the occasion he gave me of displeasure, without feeling it renewed.

We now soon arrived in the midst of the general crowd; and, my own safety being then insured, I grew extremely uneasy for the Miss Branghtons, whose danger, however imprudently incurred by their own folly, I too well knew how to tremble for. To this consideration all my pride of heart yielded, and I determined to seek my party with the utmost speed; though not without a sigh did I recollect the fruitless attempt I had made after the opera, of concealing from this man my unfortunate connections, which I was now obliged to make known.

I hastened, therefore, to the room, with a view of sending young Branghton to the aid of his sisters. In a very short time I perceived Madame Duval, and the rest, looking at one of the paintings.

I must own to you honestly, my dear Sir, that an involuntary repugnance seized me at presenting such a set to Sir Clement — he who had been used to see me in parties so different! — My pace slackened as I approached them — but they presently perceived me.

“Ah, Mademoiselle!” cried M. Du Bois, “Que je suis charme de vous voir!”

“Pray, Miss,” cried Mr. Brown, “where’s Miss Polly?”

“Why, Miss, you’ve been a long while gone,” said Mr. Branghton; “we thought you’d been lost. But what have you done with your cousins?”

I hesitated — for Sir Clement regarded me with a look of wonder.

“Pardi,” cried Madame Duval, “I shan’t let you leave me again in a hurry. Why, here we’ve been in such a fright! — and all the while, I suppose, you’ve been thinking nothing about the matter.”

“Well,” said young Branghton,” as long as Miss is come back, I don’t mind; for as to Bid and Poll, they can take care of themselves. But the best joke is, Mr. Smith is gone all about a looking for you.”

These speeches were made almost in a breath: but when, at last, they waited for an answer, I told them, that, in walking up one of the long alleys, we had been frightened and separated.

“The long alleys!” repeated Mr. Branghton, “and pray, what had you to do in the long alleys? why, to be sure, you must all of you have had a mind to be affronted!”

This speech was not more impertinent to me, than surprising to Sir Clement, who regarded all the party with evident astonishment. However, I told young Branghton, no time ought to be lost, for that his sisters might require his immediate protection.

“But how will they get it?” cried this brutal brother: “if they’ve a mind to behave in such a manner as that, they ought to protect themselves; and so they may for me.”

“Well,” said the simple Mr. Brown, “whether you go or not, I think I may as well see after Miss Polly.”

The father then interfering, insisted that his son should accompany him; and away they went.

It was now that Madame Duval first perceived Sir Clement; to whom, turning with a look of great displeasure, she angrily said, “Ma foi, so you are comed here, of all the people in the world! — I wonder, child, you would let such a — such a person as that keep company with you.”

“I am very sorry, Madam,” said Sir Clement, in a tone of surprise, “if I had been so unfortunate as to offend you; but I believe you will not regret the honour I now have of attending Miss Anville, when you hear that I have been so happy as to do her some service.”

Just as Madame Duval, with her usual Ma foi, was beginning to reply, the attention of Sir Clement was wholly drawn from her, by the appearance of Mr. Smith, who, coming suddenly behind me, and freely putting his hands of my shoulders, cried, “O ho, my little runaway, have I found you at last? I have been scampering all over the gardens for you, for I was determined to find you, if you were above ground. — But how could you be so cruel as to leave us?”

I turned round to him, and looked with a degree of contempt that I hoped would have quieted him: but he had not the sense to understand me; and, attempting to take my hand, he added, “Such a demure-looking lady as you are, who’d have thought of your leading one such a dance? — Come, now, don’t be so coy; only think what a trouble I have had in running after you!”

“The trouble, Sir,” said I, “was of your own choice — not mine.” And I walked round to the other side of Madame Duval.

Perhaps I was too proud; — but I could not endure that Sir Clement, whose eyes followed him with looks of the most surprised curiosity, should witness his unwelcome familiarity.

Upon my removal he came up to me, and, in a low voice, said, “You are not, then, with the Mirvans?”

“No, Sir.”

“And pray — may I ask you — have you left them long?”

“No, Sir.”

“How unfortunate I am! — but yesterday I sent to acquaint the Captain I should reach the Grove by tomorrow noon! However, I shall get away as fast as possible. Shall you be long in town?”

“I believe not, Sir.”

“And then, when you leave it — which way — will you allow me to ask, which way you shall travel?”

“Indeed — I don’t know.”

“Not know! — But do you return to the Mirvans any more?”

“I— I can’t tell, Sir.”

And then I addressed myself to Madame Duval, with such a pretended earnestness, that he was obliged to be silent.

As he cannot but observe the great change in my situation, which he knows not how to account for, there is something in all these questions, and this unrestrained curiosity, that I did not expect from a man who, when he pleases, can be so well-bred as Sir Clement Willoughby. He seems disposed to think that the alteration in my companions authorises an alteration in his manners. It is true, he has always treated me with uncommon freedom, but never before with so disrespectful an abruptness. This observation, which he has given me cause to make, of his changing with the tide, has sunk him more in my opinion than any other part of his conduct.

Yet I could almost have laughed when I looked at Mr. Smith, who no sooner saw me addressed by Sir Clement, than, retreating aloof from the company, he seemed to lose at once all his happy self-sufficiency and conceit; looking now at the baronet, now at himself; surveying, with sorrowful eyes, his dress; struck with his air, his gestures, his easy gaiety, he gazed at him with envious admiration, and seemed himself, with conscious inferiority, to shrink into nothing.

Soon after, Mr. Brown, running up to us, called out, “La, what, i’n’t Miss Polly come yet?”

“Come,” said Mr. Branghton; “why, I thought you went to fetch her yourself, didn’t you?”

“Yes, but I couldn’t find her; — yet I daresay I’ve been over half the garden.”

“Half? but why did not you go over it all?”

“Why, so I will: but only I thought I’d just come and see if she was here first.”

“But where’s Tom?”

“Why, I don’t know; for he would not stay with me, all as ever I could say: for we met some young gentlemen of his acquaintance, and so he bid me go and look by myself; for he said, says he, I can divert myself better another way, says he.”

This account being given, away again went this silly young man; and Mr. Branghton, extremely incensed, said he would go and see after them himself.

“So, now”, cried Madame Duval, “he’s gone too! why, at this rate, we shall have to wait for one or other of them all night!”

Observing that Sir Clement seemed disposed to renew his enquiries, I turned towards one of the paintings, and, pretending to be very much occupied in looking at it, asked M. Du Bois some questions concerning the figures.

“O! Mon Dieu!” cried Madame Duval, “don’t ask him; your best way is to ask Mr. Smith, for he’s been here the oftenest. Come, Mr. Smith, I dare say you can tell us all about them.”

“Why, yes, Ma’am, yes,” said Mr. Smith: who, brightening up at this application, advanced towards us with an air of assumed importance, which, however, sat very uneasily upon him, and begged to know what he should explain first: “For I have attended,” said he, “to all these paintings, and know every thing in them perfectly well; for I am rather fond of pictures, Ma’am; and, really, I must say, I think, a pretty pictures is a — a very — is really a very — is something very pretty —”

“So do I too,” said Madame Duval; “but pray now, Sir, tell us who that is meant for,” pointing to a figure of Neptune.

“That! — why, that, Ma’am, is — Lord bless me, I can’t think how I come to be so stupid, but really I have forgot his name; — and yet, I know it as well as my own too:— however, he’s a General, Ma’am, they are all Generals.”

I saw Sir Clement bite his lips; and, indeed, so did I mine.

“Well,” said Madame Duval, “it’s the oddest dress for a general ever I see!”

“He seems so capital a figure,” said Sir Clement, to Mr. Smith, “that I imagine he must be Generalissimo of the whole army.”

“Yes, Sir, yes,” answered Mr. Smith, respectfully bowing, and highly delighted at being thus referred to, “you are perfectly right; — but I cannot for my life think of his name; — perhaps, Sir, you may remember it?”

“No, really,” replied Sir Clement, “my acquaintance among the generals is not so extensive.”

The ironical tone of voice in which Sir Clement spoke entirely disconcerted Mr. Smith; who again retiring to an humble distance, seemed sensibly mortified at the failure of his attempt to recover his consequence.

Soon after, Mr. Branghton returned with his youngest daughter, who he had rescued from a party of insolent young men; but he had not yet been able to find the eldest. Miss Polly was really frightened, and declared she would never go into the dark walks again. Her father, leaving her with us, went in quest of her sister.

While she was relating her adventures, to which nobody listened more attentively than Sir Clement, we saw Mr. Brown enter the room. “O, la!” cried Miss Polly, “let me hide myself, and don’t tell him I’m come.”

She then placed herself behind Madame Duval, in such a manner that she could not be seen.

“So Miss Polly is not come yet!” said the simple swain: “well, I can’t think where she can be! I’ve been looking, and looking, and looking all about, and can’t find her all I can do.”

“Well, but, Mr. Brown,” said Mr. Smith, “sha’n’t you go and look for the lady again?”

“Yes, Sir,” said he, sitting down; “but I must rest me a little bit first. You can’t think how tired I am.”

“O fie, Mr. Brown, fie,” cried Mr. Smith, winking at us, “tired of looking for a lady! Go, go, for shame!”

“So I will, Sir, presently; but you’d be tired too, if you had walked so far: besides, I think she’s gone out of the garden, or else I must have seen something or other of her.”

A he, he he! of the tittering Polly, now betrayed her, and so ended this ingenious little artifice.

At last appeared Mr. Branghton and Miss Biddy, who, with a face of mixed anger and confusion, addressing herself to me, said, “So, Miss, so you ran away from me! Well, see if I don’t do as much by you some day or other! But I thought how it would be; you’d no mind to leave the gentlemen, though you run away from me.”

I was so much surprised at this attack, that I could not answer her for very amazement; and she proceeded to tell us how ill she had been used, and that two young men had been making her walk up and down the dark walks by absolute force, and as fast as ever they could tear her along; and many other particulars, which I will not tire you with relating. In conclusion, looking at Mr. Smith, she said, “But to be sure, thought I, at least all the company will be looking for me; so I little expected to find you all here, talking as comfortably as ever you can. However, I know I may thank my cousin for it!”

“If you mean me, Madam,” said I, very much shocked, “I am quite ignorant in what manner I can have been accessary to your distress.”

“Why, by running away so. If you’d stayed with us, I’ll answer for it Mr. Smith and M. Du Bois would have come to look for us; but I suppose they could not leave your ladyship.”

The folly and unreasonableness of this speech would admit of no answer. But what a scene was this for Sir Clement! his surprise was evident; and I must acknowledge my confusion was equally great.

We had now to wait for young Branghton, who did not appear for some time; and during this interval it was with difficulty that I avoided Sir Clement, who was on the rack of curiosity, and dying to speak to me.

When, at last, the hopeful youth returned, a long and frightful quarrel ensued between him and his father, in which his sisters occasionally joined, concerning his neglect; and he defended himself only by a brutal mirth, which he indulged at their expense.

Every one now seemed inclined to depart — when, as usual, a dispute arose upon the way of our going, whether in a coach or a boat. After much debating, it was determined that we should make two parties, one by the water and the other by land; for Madame Duval declared she would not, upon any account, go into a boat at night.

Sir Clement then said, that if she had no carriage in waiting, he should be happy to see her and me safe home, as his was in readiness.

Fury started into her eyes, and passion inflamed every feature, as she answered, “Pardi, no — you may take care of yourself, if you please; but as to me, I promise you I sha’n’t trust myself with no such person.”

He pretended not to comprehend her meaning; yet, to waive a discussion, acquiesced in her refusal. The coach-party fixed upon, consisted of Madame Duval, M. Du Bois, Miss Branghton, and myself.

I now began to rejoice, in private, that at least our lodgings would be neither seen nor known by Sir Clement. We soon met with a hackney-coach, into which he handed me, and then took leave.

Madame Duval having already given the coachman her direction, he mounted the box, and we were just driving off, when Sir Clement exclaimed, “By Heaven, this is the very coach I had in waiting for myself!”

“This coach, your honour!” said the man; “no, that it i’n’t.”

Sir Clement, however, swore that it was; and presently, the man, begging his pardon, said he had really forgotten that he was engaged.

I have no doubt but that this scheme occurred to him at the moment, and that he made some sign to the coachman, which induced him to support it; for there is not the least probability that the accident really happened, as it is most likely his own chariot was in waiting.

The man then opened the coach-door, and Sir Clement, advancing to it, said “I don’t believe there is another carriage to be had, or I would not incommode you; but, as it may be disagreeable to you to wait here any longer, I beg you will not get out, for you shall be set down before I am carried home, if you will be so good as to make a little room.”

And so saying, in he jumped, and seated himself between M. Du Bois and me, while our astonishment at the whole transaction was too great for speech. He then ordered the coachman to drive on, according to the directions he had already received.

For the first ten minutes no one uttered a word; and then, Madame Duval, no longer able to contain herself, exclaimed, “Ma foi, if this isn’t one of the most impudentest things ever I see!”

Sir Clement, regardless of this rebuke, attended only to me; however I answered nothing he said, when I could possibly avoid so doing. Miss Branghton made several attempts to attract his notice, but in vain, for he would not take the trouble of paying her any regard.

Madame Duval, during the rest of the ride, addressed herself to M. Du Bois in French, and in that language exclaimed, with great vehemence, against boldness and assurance.

I was extremely glad when I thought our journey must be nearly at an end, for my situation was very uneasy to me, as Sir Clement perpetually endeavoured to take my hand. I looked out of the coach-window, to see if we were near home: Sir Clement, stooping over me, did the same; and then, in a voice of infinite wonder, called out, “Where the d — l is the man driving to? — Why we are in Broad Street, St. Giles’s!”

“O, he’s very right,” cried Madame Duval, “so never trouble your head about that; for I sha’n’t go by no directions of your’s, I promise you.”

When, at last, we stopped at an hosier’s in High Holborn — Sir Clement said nothing, but his eyes, I saw, were very busily employed in viewing the place, and the situation of the house. The coach, he said, belong to him, and therefore he insisted upon paying for it; and then he took leave. M. Du Bois walked home with Miss Branghton, and Madame Duval and I retired to our apartments.

How disagreeable an evening’s adventure! not one of the party seemed satisfied, except Sir Clement, who was in high spirits: but Madame Duval was enraged at meeting with him; Mr. Branghton, angry with his children; the frolic of the Miss Branghtons had exceeded their plan, and ended in their own distress; their brother was provoked that there had been no riot; Mr. Brown was tired, and Mr. Smith mortified. As to myself, I must acknowledge, nothing could be more disagreeable to me, than being seen by Sir Clement Willoughby with a party at once so vulgar in themselves, and so familiar to me.

And you, too, my dear Sir, will, I know, be sorry that I have met him; however, there is no apprehension of his visiting here, as Madame Duval is far too angry to admit him.


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:51