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Letter 36
Evelina To The Rev. Mr. Villars Howard Grove, May 18
WELL, my dear Sir, all is now over! the letter so anxiously expected is at length
arrived, and my doom is fixed. The various feelings which oppress me, I have not
language to describe; nor need I-you know my heart, you have yourself formed it-
and its sensations upon this occasion you may but too readily imagine.
Outcast as I am, and rejected for ever by him to whom I of right belong-shall I
now implore your continued protection?-No, no;-I will not offend your generous
heart, which, open to distress, has no wish but to relieve it, with an application
that would seem to imply a doubt. I am more secure than ever of your kindness,
since you now know upon that is my sole dependence.
I endeavour to bear this stroke with composure, and in such a manner as if I
had already received your counsel and consolation. Yet, at times, my emotions
are almost too much for me. O, Sir, what a letter for a parent to write! Must I not
myself be deaf to the voice of nature, if I could endure to be thus absolutely
abandoned without regret? I dare not even to you, nor would I, could I help it, to
myself, acknowledge all that I might think; for, indeed, I have sometimes
sentiments upon this rejection, which my strongest sense of duty can scarcely
correct. Yet, suffer me to ask-might not this answer have been softened?-was it
not enough to disclaim me for ever, without treating me with contempt, and
wounding me with derision?
But while I am thus thinking of myself, I forget how much more he is the object of
sorrow than I am! Alas! what amends can he make himself for the anguish he is
hoarding up for time to come! My heart bleeds for him, whenever this reflection
occurs to me.
What is said of you, my protector, my friend, my benefactor! I dare not trust
myself to comment upon. Gracious Heaven! what a return for goodness so
I would fain endeavour to divert my thoughts from this subject; but even that is
not in my power; for, afflicting as this letter is to me, I find that it will not be
allowed to conclude the affair, though it does all my expectations; for Madame
Duval has determined not to let it rest here. She heard the letter in great wrath,
and protested she would not be so easily answered; she regretted her facility in
having been prevailed upon to yield the direction of this affair to those who knew
not how to manage it, and vowed she would herself undertake and conduct it in
It is in vain that I have pleaded against her resolution, and besought her to
forbear an attack where she has nothing to expect but resentment: especially as
there seems to be a hint, that Lady Howard will one day be more openly dealt
with. She will not hear me: she is furiously bent upon a project which is terrible to
think of;-for she means to go herself to Paris, take me with her, and there, face to
face, demand justice!