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Letter 21
Evelina In Continuation
I HAVE a volume to write of the adventures of yesterday. In the afternoon,-at
Berry Hill I should have said the evening, for it was almost six o'clock,-while Miss
Mirvan and I were dressing for the opera, and in high spirits from the expectation
of great entertainment and pleasure, we heard a carriage stop at the door, and
concluded that Sir Clement Willoughby, with his usual assiduity, was come to
attend us to the Haymarket; but, in a few moments, what was our surprise to see
our chamber door flung open, and the two Miss Branghtons enter the room! They
advanced to me with great familiarity, saying, "How do you do, Cousin?-so we've
caught you at the glass!-well, I'm determined I'll tell my brother of that!"
Miss Mirvan, who had never before seen them, and could not at first imagine who
they were, looked so much astonished, that I was ready to laugh myself, till the
eldest said, "We're come to take you to the opera, Miss; papa and my brother are
below, and we are to call for your grand-mama as we go along."
"I am very sorry," answered I, "that you should have taken so much trouble, as I
am engaged already."
"Engaged! Lord, Miss, never mind that," cried the youngest; "this young lady will
make your excuses I dare say; it's only doing as one would be done by, you
"Indeed Ma'am," said Miss Mirvan, "I shall myself be very sorry to be deprived of
Miss Anville's company this evening."
"Well, Miss, that is not so very good-natured in you," said Miss Branghton,
"considering we only come to give our cousin pleasure; it's no good to us; it's all
upon her account; for we came, I don't know how much round about to take her
"I am extremely obliged to you," said I, "and very sorry you have lost so much
time; but I cannot possibly help it, for I engaged myself without knowing you
would call."
"Lord, what signifies that?" said Miss Polly, "you're no old maid, and so you
needn't be so very formal: besides I dare say those you are engaged to a'n't half
so near related to you as we are."
"I must beg you not to press me any further, for I assure you it is not in my power
to attend you."
"Why, we came all out of the city on purpose: besides, your grand-mama expects
you;-and, pray, what are we to say to her?"
"Tell her, if you please, that I am much concerned,-but that I am pre-engaged."
"And who to?" demanded the abrupt Miss Branghton.
"To Mrs. Mirvan,-and a large party."
"And, pray, what are you all going to do, that it would be such a mighty matter for
you to come along with us?"
"We are all going to-to the opera."
"O dear, if that be all, why can't we go altogether?"