Fanny Burney, Evelina : Vol. 1, Ch. 30

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Letter XXX


THE die is thrown, and I attend the event in trembling! Lady Howard has written to Paris, and sent her letter to town, to be forwarded in the ambassador's packet; and, in less than a fortnight, therefore, she expects an answer. O, Sir, with what anxious impatience shall I wait its arrival! upon it seems to depend the fate of my future life. My solicitude is so great, and my suspense 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 proposed. Methinks it cannot end to my satisfaction: for either I must be torn from the arms of my more 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, 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 whenever 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 perpetually: one moment, I am embraced by a kind and relenting parent, who takes me to that heart from which I 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 I will not afflict you with the melancholy phantasms of my brain; I will endeavour to compose my mind 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