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Upon that sedio, there are very certainly both,” said Julia, smiling.
It was very easy to distinguish the strangers, in this assemblage, from those who were acquainted with the way of the house. The former sat wonder-struck, formal, and uncomfortable, while the latter formed themselves in unconcerned groups, and chatted away with as much easy freedom as if collected before dinner in the public rooms at Buxton, Matlock, or any similar place where each guest was to pay for his dinner.
“ Does not lady Gaythorn look beautiful asleep?" said Mrs. Hargrave.
Yes,” replied Julia; “ but I should admire her greatly more if awake she was."
Just at this moment the sleeping beauty opened her eyes, and the first object they encountered was Julia. Her ladyship started from her recumbent posture, and with a gracious smile beckoned our heroine, who instantly arose, and, with a timid grace peculiar to herself, approached lady Gaythorn, and Fitzroy's discourse with the sheriff again became confused and broken.
“ Take that seat,” said lady Gaythorn, pointing to a chair which was lying in an
oblique direction before the sofa, “ and do tell me who you came with here?”
“I did come with Mrs. Hargrave, madam, at whose house I stay,” replied Julia, in much astonishment at the cool ease and supineness of her ladyship's manner.
“Do tell me how you came to be at her house?”
“ With Mrs. Hargrave's sister I did come there." “ Mrs. Hargrave's sister!
Oh! I remember to have heard something about that woman. She married vastly beneath herself -some horrible mechanic-and is not producible.—5—0! you came to Z. with that woman?-Humph !” and her ladyship now sunk back into her former position, when seeing Julia about to rise and rejoin her party, she hastily exclaimed—“ Don't
I shall think of something else to say to you presently.”
At this instant Fitzroy approached.“ Miss De Clifford,” said he, “I have been very anxious to find a moment again to thank you for the important support of doctor Sydenham. My cause was going on but languidly until the good doctor voted; and then a tide turned in my favour, so great, it appeared almost miraculous.”
Julia was just beginning to declare, what her countenance had eloquently expressed, “ the great pleasure she experienced in having procured any advantage for him,” when lady Gaythorn suddenly starting from her intended slumber, called to Fitzroy to sit by her on the sofa, and then earnestly talked to him in a low voice; but the sounds were not so low as to escape being distinctly heard by Julia.-“ You know that fascinating creature ?” said her ladyship, “ I have that honour,” Fitzroy replied,
Honour !--nonsense! But, seriously, I am quite grieved that she has been brought to this election, to throw her in the way of observation, and of so many men of rank and fortune, none of whom will marry her; for, transcendently beautiful and highly fashioned as she is, she can be nobody, from the people she is come with; and I foretell her fate. By next winter we shall see her, glittering in gems, at public places, where"
My dear lady Gaythorn,” softly exolaimed Fitzroy, whilst his face was suffused with the deepest carmine tint, "you know not who she is that she cannot fall to that
degraded state your feeling heart has led you to apprehend. She is a De Clifford ; granddaughter to the fourteenth earl of Castlehaven; and by her mother's side, descended from the Di Montmorenci family.”
“ Indeed! then why is she with such people?”
“I cannot exactly tell you,” said Fitzroy ; “ but suppose-believe-nay, II think I know that is, I mean it is very possible some of her mother's relations some of those emigrant dukes and marquisses --not being overburthened with riches, may have placed her with Mrs. Goodwin.”
What for?” asked lady Gaythorn. “ Toto areto learn English. You find she still retains something of the foreign idiom."
But it would be an absolute crime to despoil her of that, it sounds so interesting, so innocent."
“ So I think too; but she might not always have spoken so bewitchingly when she understood loss of English."
But, learn English from a mechanie's wife!—The thing's impossible. Where did you become acquainted with Miss De Clifford ???
“ At lord Delamore's,” replied Fitzroy, unhesitatingly.
“ Indeed! Then I may notice her without impropriety."
At this moment lord Gaythorn (who had at last appeared) called Fitzroy out of the room, upon business ; and lady Gaythorn graciously requested the deeply-mortified Julia to sit on the sofa with her.
Our heroine, during the foregoing conversation, was most unpleasantly situated. Her first feelings would have instantly led her away, had not pride interposed, and commanded her to stay, and affect not to hear the humiliating conference. She therefore, although a novice in art, attempted to appear totally absorbed in admiration of some beautiful plants which were near her. She was very grateful for Fitzroy's kindness, in striving to raise her consequence, but felt hurt and grieved that he had stooped to the aid of a subterfuge to effect it.
Lord Francis Loraine now joined lady Gaythorn, and took Julia's just vacated chair, at the moment Mrs. Goodwin attracted her ladyship's attention.—"That's a gentlewoman,” said lady Gaythorn, “ simple and elegant in her appearance; and such