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I protest she is quite a woman.' Remembering how I displeased her, in her last visit, I accosted her with the greatest respect; which made her observe I was much improved in my manners as well as person; that it was entirely in her power to leave me in the convent three years longer, or take me back to England with her; that, as I seemed to know how to behave myself, she believed, she should do the latter. Madame du Saint mentioned the Countess's desire of having me with her; adding I should be equally her care with her own daughter.
'I do not know what answer to give,' said Mrs. Masters,' but will name it to the young lady's guardian; if he approve it, we can inform the lady on our return. For you, Miss Villars, prepare yourself to leave the convent to-morrow morning; as I shall call for you at that time, and indeed must return to England as soon as I can a little recover my fatigue.' A bow of obedience was all the answer in my power; but when I saw her depart, my tears found way. 'Alas!' said I, ́ ́ where is this woman going to take me? You see, Madam, there is no hope of her letting me be with Lady Melville; nay, she fears you esteem me; which makes her determined to hurry my departure. Good God! to what secret horrid place am I going? Would to heaven I could die, and escape both her and him she calls my
guardian; for my idea of him is equal to the dislike I have to her.'
'You are unjust, my dear child, to form rash conjectures of those you never saw, by the beha~ viour of a low-bred woman, who, I dare say, is nothing more than a servant: think how, in your infant years, the Almighty placed you where you have ever been happy; what have you done to doubt his protection? be virtuous, and you have no cause to fear.'' Their secret manner of behaviour, my dear Madam,' returned I, is what alarms me; why should even their names be concealed? If their deeds were fit to see the light, I am apt to think they would not be so darkly transacted.'
"You know, my dear Louisa, the Countess of Melville will always be happy to give you an asylum, should you want it; nay more, to calm your fears, if any thing should happen, to render that inconvenient, return to this peaceful habitation; though not greatness, here you shall meet with content. For the present, you must prepare yourself to attend Mrs. Masters; a visible reluctance to go with her, at all events, must injure you in her opinion: appearances are often deceitful; you may be very differently situated to what you expect; and here, my dear Louisa,' continued she, giving me a small paper from her pocket-book, 'is an English note I received in payment some time since; at all events,
it will enable you to reach either the Countess or me.'
"It is needless, my dear Madam, to repeat to you my thanks to the Abbess, or my sorrow at parting from her; for Mrs. Masters was true to her time. My tears, on seeing myself shut on the outside of the convent gate, amazed my conductress, who exclaimed 'Well, bless me, but this is surprising; a girl of seventeen crying to leave a nunnery! sure you have something more engaging than the company of women, and those old ones?'-' Yes, Madam,' said I, piqued at her manner of treating me, 'we have peace, harmony, and confidence in each other.'' And you have not much in me? but, Miss, let me tell you, after what has been done for you, a different mode of behaviour would better become the education bestowed on you; if you were going with your Lady Melville, there would not be all this crying, I suppose.'-'I have the honor to be perfectly acquainted with Lady Melville, Madam,' returned I, ' and with you, to whom I owe the maintenance of so many years, I have not that pleasure.''Well, well, if that be all, we shall be better acquainted by and bye; but dry your eyes, for we are almost at our home.' Mrs. Masters resided at the most capital inn in the town; I carefully avoided mentioning I had been out before, for fear of giving her offence. A genteel dinner was provided for us; of which Mrs, Masters, after
eating heartily, and drinking more wine than I thought became a woman, protested she was still much fatigued, and, if I would excuse it, could take a nap. I entreated I might not prevent her that with her permission, I would take a walk the while in a garden I saw from the window. 'Go, child;' said she, 'I shall not sleep long.' I obeyed, directing my steps to the garden; which, had they been left to their natural instinct, would have returned to the convent."
LOUISA'S STORY CONTINUED.
How will my bosom swell with anxious joy
"AN arbour terminated my walk; on the bench of which, throwing myself, I gave vent to the feelings of my heart; till suddenly the sound of feet interrupted me, and the moment after presented to my astonished eyes Mr. Danvers.
'Am I so happy,' said he, 'once more to enjoy the pleasure of seeing Miss Villars? without which, I was determined never to quit France! For ten months painful watching, how greatly am I overpaid!"I had hoped, Sir,' replied I, when Lady Melville informed you, your affections were so ill placed, as want of birth and fortune must make them, you would have forgot a passion, the object of which can only think respectfully of your generosity,'