Fanny Burney, Evelina : Vol. 1, Ch. 23

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The ladies, who were very impatient to be gone, made their courtsies, and tripped away, followed by all the gentlemen of their party, except the lord before mentioned, and, Lord Orville, who stayed to make inquiries of Mrs. Mirvan concerning our leaving town; and then saying, with his usual politeness, something civil to each of us, with a very grave air he quitted us.

Lord - remained some minutes longer, which he spent in making a profusion of compliments to me; by which he prevented my hearing distinctly what Lord Orville said, to my great vexation, especially as he looked-I thought so, at least-as if displeased at his particularity of behaviour to me.

In going to an outward room, to wait for the carriage, I walked, and could not possibly avoid it, between this nobleman and Sir Clement Willoughby, and, when the servant said the coach stopped the way, though the latter offered me his hand, which I should much have preferred, this same lord, without any ceremony, took mine himself; and Sir Clement, with a look extremely provoked, conducted Mrs. Mirvan.

In all ranks and all stations of life, how strangely do characters and manners differ! Lord Orville, with a politeness which knows no intermission, and makes no distinction, is as unassuming and modest as if he had never mixed with the great, and was totally ignorant of every qualification he possesses; this other lord, though lavish of compliments and fine speeches, seems to me an entire stranger to real good-breeding; whoever strikes his fancy, engrosses his whole attention. He is forward and bold; has an air of haughtiness towards men, and a look of libertinism towards woman; and his conscious quality seems to have given him a freedom in his way of speaking to either sex, that is very little short of rudeness.

 When we returned home, we were all low-spirited. The evening's
 entertainment
had displeased the Captain; and his displeasure, I believe,
disconcerted us all.

And here I thought to have concluded my letter; but, to my great surprise, just now we had a visit from Lord Orville. He called, he said, to pay his respects to us before we left town, and made many inquiries concerning our return; and, when Mrs Mirvan told him we were going into the country without any view of again quitting it, he expressed concern in such terms-so polite, so flattering, so serious-that I could hardly forbear being sorry for myself. Were I to go immediately to Berry Hill, I am sure I should feel nothing but joy;-but, now we are joined by this Captain, and Madame Duval, I must own I expect very little pleasure at Howard Grove.

Before Lord Orville went, Sir Clement Willoughby called. He was more grave than I had ever seen him; and made several attempts to speak to me in a low voice, and to assure me that his regret upon the occasion of our journey was entirely upon my account. But I was not in spirits, and could not bear to be teased by him. However, he has so well paid his court to Captain Mirvan, that he gave him a very hearty invitation to the Grove. At this he brightened,-and just then Lord Orville took leave.

No doubt but he was disgusted at this ill-timed, ill-bred partiality; for surely it was very wrong to make an invitation before Lord Orville in which he was not included! I was so much chagrined, that, as soon as he went, I left the room; and I shall not go down stairs till Sir Clement is gone.

Lord Orville cannot but observe his assiduous endeavours to ingratiate himself into my favour; and does not this extravagant civility of Captain Mirvan give him reason to suppose that it meets with our general approbation? I cannot thimk upon this subject without inexpressible uneasiness; and yet I can think of nothing else.

Adieu, my dearest Sir. Pray write to me immediately. How many long letters has this one short fortnight produced! More than I may probably ever write again. I fear I shall have tired you with reading them; but you will now have time to rest, for I shall find but little to say in future.

 And now, most honoured Sir, with all the follies and imperfections
 which I
have thus faithfully recounted, can you, and with unabated kindness,
suffer me to sign myself Your dutiful and most affectionate EVELINA?