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Letter 14
Evelina In Continuation. Queen Ann Street, April 13
HOW much will you be surprised, my dearest Sir, at receiving another letter, from
London, of your Evelina's writing! But, believe me, it was not my fault, neither is it
my happiness, that I am still here: our journey has been postponed by an
accident equally unexpected and disagreeable.
We went last night to see the Fantoccini, where we had infinite entertainment
from the performance of a little comedy in French and Italian, by puppets, so
admirably managed, that they both astonished and diverted us all, except the
Captain, who has a fixed and most prejudiced hatred of whatever is not English.
When it was over, while we waited for the coach, a tall elderly woman brushed
quickly past us, calling out, "My God, what shall I do?"
"Why, what would you do?" cried the Captain.
"Ma foi, Monsieur," answered she, "I have lost my company, and in this place I
don't know nobody."
There was something foreign in her accent, though it was difficult to discover
whether she was an English or a French woman. She was very well dressed; and
seemed so entirely at a loss what to do, that Mrs. Mirvan proposed to the Captain
to assist her.
"Assist her!" cried he, "ay, with all my heart;-let a link-boy call her a coach."
There was not one to be had, and it rained very fast.
"Mon Dieu!" exclaimed the stranger, "what shall become of me? Je suis au
"Dear Sir," cried Miss Mirvan, "pray let us take the poor lady into our coach. She
is quite alone, and a foreigner-"
"She's never the better for that," answered he: "she may be a woman of the town,
for anything you know."
"She does not appear such," said Mrs. Mirvan; "and indeed she seems so much
distressed, that we shall but follow the golden rule, if we carry her to her
"You are mighty fond of new acquaintance," returned he; "but first let us know if
she be going our way."
Upon inquiry, we found that she lived in Oxford Road; and, after some disputing,
the Captain surlily, and, with a very bad grace, consented to admit her into his
coach; though he soon convinced us, that he was determined she should not be
too much obliged to him, for he seemed absolutely bent upon quarrelling with
her: for which strange inhospitality I can assign no other reason, than that she
appeared to be a foreigner.
The conversation began, by her telling us, that she had been in England only two
days; that the gentlemen belonging to her were Parisians, and had left her to see
for a hackney-coach, as her own carriage was abroad; and that she had waited
for them till she was quite frightened, and concluded that they had lost