Fanny Burney, Evelina : Vol. 2, Ch. 2

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"Run after him this instant!" cried she, "and be sure you bring him back. Mon Dieu! quelle aventure! que feraije?"

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

"Why nothing-nothing's the matter. O mon Dieu!"

And she rose, and walked about the room.

"Why, what,-has Monseer sent to you?" continued the Captain: "is that there letter from him?"

"No,-it i'n't;-besides, if it is, it's nothing to you."

"O then, I'm sure it is! Pray now, Madam, don't be so close; come tell us all about it-what does he say? how did he relish the horse-pond?-which did he find best, sousing single or double? 'Fore George, 'twas plaguy unlucky you was not with him!"

"It's no such a thing, Sir," cried she, very angrily; "and if you're so very fond of a horse-pond, I wish you'd put yourself into one, and not be always a thinking about other people's being served so."

The man then came in to acquaint her they could not overtake the boy. She scolded violently, and was in such perturbation, that Lady Howard interfered, and begged to know the cause of her uneasiness, and whether she could assist her.

Madame Duval cast her eyes upon the Captain and Sir Clement, and said she should be glad to speak to her Ladyship without so many witnesses.

"Well, then, Miss Anville," said the Captain, turning to me, "do you and Molly go into another room, and stay there till Mrs. Duval has opened her mind to us."

"So you may think, Sir," cried she, "but who's fool then? no, no, you needn't trouble yourself to make a ninny of me neither, for I'm not so easily taken in, I'll assure you."

Lady Howard then invited her into the dressing-room, and I was desired to attend her.

As soon as we had shut the door, "O my Lady," exclaimed Madam Duval, "here's the most cruelest thing in the world has happened!-but that Captain is such a beast, I can't say nothing before him,-but it's all true! poor M. Du Bois is tooked up!"

Lady Howard begged her to be comforted, saying that, as M. Du Bois was certainly innocent, there could be no doubt of his ability to clear himself.

"To be sure, my Lady," answered she, "I know he is innocent; and to be sure they'll never be so wicked as to hang him for nothing?"

"Certainly not," replied Lady Howard; "you have no reason to be uneasy. This is not a country where punishment is inflicted without proof."

"Very true, my Lady: but the worst thing is this; I cannot bear that that fellow the Captain should know about it; for if he does, I sha'n't never hear the last of it;-no more won't poor M. Du Bois."

"Well, well," said Lady Howard, "shew me the letter, and I will endeavour to advise you."

The letter was then produced. It was signed by the clerk of a country justice; who acquainted her, that a prisoner, then upon trial for suspicion of treasonable practices against the government, was just upon the point of being committed to jail; but having declared that he was known to her, this clerk had been prevailed upon to write, in order to enquire if she really could speak to the character and family of a Frenchman who called himself Pierre Du Bois.