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'Unkind Miss Villars !' returned he; ' it is your partiality to Lord Gray makes you refuse doing justice to me-to yourself; for my fortune equals his my passion none can equal. What else could keep me ten months resident at an inn, where I knew every one that came to the convent must leave their horses; and by that means I might learn your family, or see yourself if you returned to your own country ??~ Believe me, Sir,' said I, 'the friendship I have for Lady Melville, and her amiable daughter, are alone the occasion of what you call partiality to her son; or if I did esteem him, I think it needs no apology: but as a friend, who is now my conductress home, is not apprised of my ever being out of the convent, you will grant me a favor by not noticing your having seen me before.'— Hard as that condition must be,' said he,' to any one acquainted with Miss Villars, I acquiesce; but I have already seen your governess, whom I contrived to be introduced to last night; from her I learned she came to fetch home a young lady named Villars, who had resided in this convent something more than twelve years; which, she said, from the time of her entering, she bad never quitted; by that, my charming girl, I found she was unacquainted with your visits to Lady Melville; consequently, your secret was safe in my bosom,
being strikingly agreeable; or an extreme color, which spread over her face, and the corpulence of her shape, which took from her every appearance of delicacy, perhaps made me judge too hastily.
“She received Mr. Danvers with the freedom of an old acquaintance; and the evening, between them, passed joyously. For my part, my utter ignorance of what she termed life, though it might prevent my shining in their conversation, saved me from comprehending several witticisms inconsistent with the sense allotted to man, and derogatory to the modesty of woman; at least their loud laughs and significant looks, made me judge this was the species of wit, dignified by the name of double entendre. In the course of the evening, Mr. Danvers said he was obliged to return to England in a few days, and entreated permission to see us safe across the water. As Mrs. Masters did not seem to understand the language of denial, leave was soon obtained; for I was too insignificant to be consulted.
“ The following day we went to Calais, and the next I trod on my native land; and, notwithstanding' my long absence, and that before I had knowledge of countries, a pleasing veneration seized me on entering it; every thing gave pleasure; nor did I see a face, except my conductors, but on which, to my thoughts, I could delineate benevolence and virtue.
" Mrs. Masters had constantly declared her aversion to having any one sleep with her, but permitted me to lay in the same chamber; on the night of our stay at Dover, we could not procure a room with two beds, as they assured us they were all occupied, but I might have a chamber very near my conductress's: for her, she was so taken up with the attention paid her by Mr. Danvers, that she seemed to forget propriety in her own conduct no wonder she neglected it to me.
" It was proposed we should rise early, it we might reach London next day; at which place, Mrs. Masters informed me, she should remain one day, and then continue her journey to the north of England; there,' said she, 'I shall resign my charge. Though I had no bright idea of my guardian, yet was any thing, I thought, to be preferred to her. For Danvers, I began to look on him as one of those men of whom I had read, that suddenly transfer violent passions from one object to another, and pleased myself I was quit of his importunity
“ When we parted for the night, Mrs. Masters desired me to be ready by six at latest; 'for,' .continued she, 'we will go sixteen miles before breakfast; hy that means we shall be in town early.'
"On returning to my chamber, I locked my
LOUISA. door, and examined every place very carefully; for, though I had hopes Danvers had given me up, I could not cease to fear him.
Uneasy thoughts, ever busy when our heads press the pillow, obtruded themselves, and prevented my sleeping; always used to the profoundest tranquillity, the continual bustle and noise of an inn did not a little assist in disturbing me; and I counted the clock strike two, ere I closed my eyes. I slept perfectly sound, till the maid, by a gentle tap, informed me it was time to rise : as it was
the month of November, and the morning exceeding dark, she brought a light, which as she gave to my hand, she desired me to speak low, for
lady was very sick in the next room; 'and,' continued she, 'the gentlewoman that came with you has been very angry with me for letting you sleep so long; she is dressed, and already below.'
“ I made as much haste as possible, and went down to the parlour : Mr. Danvers's servant was standing at the door; “Mrs. Masters is already in the chaise, Miss,' said he, and my master on horseback' (the way he travelled). I jumped into the chaise, begging pardon of Mrs. Masters, who, wrapped up in her long cloke and calash, appeared either half asleep or violently out of humour. As she made no answer to my apologies, I remained silent for near half an hour, when I was shook from
my inattention by a church clock at some
distance striking five. Bless me, Madam,' said I, 'I thought you did not intend to set out till six; it is now only five. She still made no answer: a kind of horror seized me.-For God's sake, Madam, if I have offended you, pardon and speak to me.' In my energy I caught hold of her hand, 'It is impossible to keep silence, when so beautiful a pleader sues,' said the voice of Danvers; whom, to my extreme confusion, I now found to be my companion."