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Evelina

Letter 19
Evelina In Continuation Saturday Morning, April 16
MADAM DUVAL was accompanied by Monsieur Du Bois. I am surprised that she
should choose to introduce him where he is so unwelcome: and, indeed, it is
strange that they should be so constantly together, though I believe I should have
taken notice of it, but that Captain Mirvan is perpetually rallying me upon my
grandmama's beau.
They were both received by Mrs. Mirvan with her usual good-breeding; but the
Captain, most provokingly, attacked her immediately, saying, "Now, Madame,
you that have lived abroad, please to tell me this here: Which did you like best,
the warm room at Ranelagh, or the cold bath you went into afterwards? though I
assure you, you look so well, that I should advise you to take another dip."
"Ma foi, Sir," cried she, "nobody asked for your advice, so you may as well keep
it to yourself: besides, it's no such great joke to be splashed, and to catch cold,
and spoil all one's things, whatever you may think of it."
"Splashed, quoth-a!-why I thought you were soused all over.-Come, come, don't
mince the matter, never spoil a good story; you know you hadn't a dry thread
about you-'Fore George, I shall never think on't without hollooing! such a poor
forlorn draggle-tailed-gentlewoman! and poor Monseer French, here, like a
drowned rat, by your side!-"
"Well, the worse pickle we was in, so much the worser in you not to help us; for
you knowed where we were fast enough, because, while I laid in the mud, I'm
pretty sure I heard you snigger: so it's like enough you jostled us down yourself;
for Monsieur Du Bois says, that he is sure he had a great jolt given him, or he
shouldn't have fell."
The Captain laughed so immoderately, that he really gave me also a suspicion
that he was not entirely innocent of the charge: however, he disclaimed it very
peremptorily.
"Why then," continued she, "if you didn't do that, why didn't you come to help
us?"
"Who, I?-what, do you suppose I had forgot I was an Englishman, a filthy, beastly
Englishman?"
"Very well, Sir, very well; but I was a fool to expect any better, for it's all of a
piece with the rest; you know, you wanted to fling me out of the coach-window,
the very first time ever I see you: but I'll never go to Ranelagh with you no more,
that I'm resolved; for I dare say, if the horses had runn'd over me, as I laid in that
nastiness, you'd never have stirred a step to save me."
"Lord, no, to be sure, Ma'am, not for the world! I know your opinion of our nation
too well, to affront you by supposing a Frenchman would want my assistance to
protect you. Did you think that Monseer here, and I had changed characters, and
that he should pop you into the mud, and I help you out of it? Ha, ha, ha!"
"O very well, Sir, laugh on, it's like your manners; however, if poor Monsieur Du
Bois hadn't met with that unlucky accident himself I shouldn't have wanted
nobody's help."
 
 
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