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Letter 34
Evelina In Continuation
Howard Grove, May 15.
THIS insatiable Captain, if left to himself, would not, I believe, rest, till he had
tormented Madame Duval into a fever. He seems to have no delight but in
terrifying or provoking her; and all his thoughts apparently turn upon inventing
such methods as may do it most effectually.
She had her breakfast again in bed yesterday morning: but during ours, the
Captain, with a very significant look at Sir Clement, gave us to understand, that
he thought she had now rested long enough to bear the hardships of a fresh
His meaning was obvious: and, therefore, I resolved to endeavour immediately to
put a stop to his intended exploits. When breakfast was over, I followed Mrs.
Mirvan out of the parlour, and begged her to lose no time in pleading the cause
of Madame Duval with the Captain. "My love," answered she, "I have already
expostulated with him; but all I can say is fruitless, while his favourite, Sir
Clement, contrives to urge him on."
"Then I will go and speak to Sir Clement," said I, "for I know he will desist if I
request him."
"Have I care, my dear!" said she, smiling: "it is sometimes dangerous to make
requests to men who are too desirous of receiving them."
"Well, then, my dear Madam, will you give me leave to speak myself to the
"Willingly: nay, I will accompany you to him."
I thanked her, and we went to seek him. He was walking in the garden with Sir
Clement. Mrs. Mirvan most obligingly made an opening for my purpose, by
saying, "Mr. Mirvan, I have brought a petitioner with me."
"Why, what's the matter now?" cried he.
I was fearful of making him angry, and stammered very much, when I told him, I
hoped he had no new plan for alarming Madame Duval.
"New plan!" cried he; "why, you don't suppose the old one would do again, do
you? Not but what it was a very good one, only I doubt she wouldn't bite."
"Indeed, Sir," said I, "she had already suffered too much; and I hope you will
pardon me, if I take the liberty of telling you, that I think it my my duty to do all in
my power to prevent her being again so much terrified."
A sullen gloominess instantly clouded his face, and, turning short from me, he
said, I might do as I pleased, but that I should much sooner repent than repair my
I was too much disconcerted at this rebuff to attempt making any answer: and
finding that Sir Clement warmly espoused my cause, I walked away, and left
them to discuss the point together.
Mrs. Mirvan, who never speaks to the Captain when he is out of humour, was
glad to follow me, and with her usual sweetness made a thousand apologies for
her husband's ill-manners.