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whim he had, of never coming near an open door or window without instantly thrusting his head into it, and setting up a most discordant bray. Celestina, well remembering this propensity, and out of humour at Miss Penrose's worrying her with such incessant practice, resolved to be malicious —first deriving much amusement from having gulled her friend into practising duets to sing with this foreigner; and then from the finale so according with her expectations. She had ordered the donkey to be brought to a convenient distance for her project; and when Miss Penrose began, what this young torment knew she considered her chef-d'oeuvre, she sallied forth, and conducted her auxiliary to the nearest open window, in due time to perform his part.
In the midst of this general confusion, the ladies Gaythorn, Landgrave, and Strictland, unexpectedly arrived ; and Miss Penrose had to begin and sing all her best songs over again. This, lord Francis could by no means stand; and entreating Charles to accompany him, took refuge in the grounds. Lord Gaythorn, chagrined at his wife's coming to throw a damp upon his projected
vivacious agrémens at supper, instantly resolved to mortify her, by paying the most marked and flattering attention to Miss Penrose, and in being in enthusiastic tures at her performance : for lady Gay. thorn had the weakness (although she hated and despised her husband) to experience real pain and humiliation at being deprived of those attentions which, though her heart valued not from him, her vanity still wished him to pay her. His lordship now sueceeded in perfectly disconcerting his better half; who, in revenge, audibly yawned in the most flourishing parts of one of Miss Penrose's brauvra songs; and, soon as it was ended, carelessly declared "it had been sung prettily enough :" and then asked Mr. Strictland " if Miss De Clifford had sung herself out?
“ Miss De Clifford has not sung at all.”
“How has that happened ?” exclaimed her ladyship.
Upon account of Miss De Clifford's late ill state of health, my sister requested me not to ask her to sing," replied Mrs. Hargrave:
“ Miss De Clifford herself made no ob VOL. I.
jection to sing when I asked her, last night, and we were only deprived of the pleasure of hearing her, by the unopportune return of the tormenting men from the castle," said lady Gaythorn, convinced that Julia's now declining arose solely from a consciousness of inferiority to Miss Penrose : and feel ing disposed to be angry with, and malicious to, our heroine, for bringing to public view (though innocently) her want of charity (as lady Gaythorn was now fully acquainted with the whole of the toothpickcase adventure), she resolved that she should sing; and now rather overstepped the bounds of politeness, in the peremptory manner in which she seemed more to issue a command, than make a request, to Julia, to sing, who, with all the mild dignity of good breeding, gently, yet determinately excused herself.
"Why certainly, as you are so agreeably engaged,” said her ladyship, glancing at Fitzroy, “I ought not to wonder, or feel hurt, at your refusing to oblige me.”
Julia was much distressed her delicacy was pained by her ladyship's inuendo; and she blushed the deepest tint of vermilion: conscious, too, that she was beginning to
feel a newly-awakened interest in the conversation of Fitzroy. She shrunk from the idea of seeming to sacrifice every politesse to others, for the gratification of monopolizing the attentions of her lover; and her pure heart recoiled from subjecting herself to the unrestrained and bold freedoms of lord Gaythorn, whose manual attentions to Miss Penrose, during this evening, which she had beheld with indignation, she knew she could not submit to, and her resentment would betray them to Fitzroy, whose strongly-marked displeasure in the morning she trembled again to awaken, and she was now agitated and perplexed.
Fitzroy, attentive only to Julia, saw the conflict in her mind, and well divined its source. All these thoughts, which disturbed her bosom, and passed through Fitzroy's mind, were but the rapid work of a moment; and after a pause, scarcely long enough to be remarked, he replied to lady Gaythorn-“I am confident Miss De Clifford has no pleasure superior to obliging; and could your ladyship develop the motive that now actuates her refusal to your request, you would perhaps cease to urge it.”
“I can develop the motive, sir; and wonder not that you are too much flattered not to applaud it,” returned her ladyship, sarcastically.
“ But as it is your friends only, Miss De Clifford,” said doctor Sydenham, hurt at Julia's embarrassment, and wishing to ex. tricate her from it, now advancing to her, with a benignant smile," and not your physicians, who have laid any restrictions upon you, a compliance with lady Gay, thorn's ardent and persevering desire, I should hope, might not materially injure you."
Julia, at once comprehending that doctor Sydenham conceived there would be less of indelicacy in subjecting herself to the disgusting freedoms of lord Gaythorn, than to remain under the now universally-awakened belief that her refusal was solely actuated by her wish to sit by, and listen to her lover, instantly arose, and gave her hand to doctor Sydenham to lead her to the instrument,
1" Oh, Miss De Clifford!” said Fitzroy. reproachfully, to her, “ and does your heart, then, shrink from the supposition of your