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Letter 25
Evelina To The Rev. Mr. Villars Howard Grove, April 25
NO, my dear Sir, no: the work of seventeen years remains such as it was, ever
unworthy your time and your labour; but not more so now-at least I hope not,-
than before that fortnight which has so much alarmed you.
And yet I must confess, that I am not half so happy here at present as I was ere
I went to town: but the change is in the place, not in me. Captain Mirvan and
Madame Duval have ruined Howard Grove. The harmony that reigned here is
disturbed, our schemes are broken, our way of life is altered, and our comfort is
destroyed. But do not suppose London to be the source of these evils; for, had
our excursion been any where else, so disagreeable an addition to our
household must have caused the same change at our return.
I was sure you would be displeased with Sir Clement Willoughby, and therefore I
am by no means surprised at what you say of him; but for Lord Orville-I must own
I had greatly feared that my weak and imperfect account would not have
procured him the good opinion which he so well deserves, and which I am
delighted to find you seem to have of him. O, Sir, could I have done justice to the
merit of which I believe him posessed;-could I have painted him to you such as
he appeared to me;-then, indeed, you would have had some idea of the claim
which he has to your approbation!
After the last letter which I wrote in town, nothing more passed previous to our
journey hither, except a very violent quarrel between Captain Mirvan and
Madame Duval. As the Captain intended to travel on horseback, he had settled
that we four females should make use of his coach. Madame Duval did not come
to Queen Ann Street till the carriage had waited some time at the door; and then,
attended by Monsieur Du Bois, she made her appearance.
The Captain, impatient to be gone, would not suffer them to enter the house,
but insisted that we should immediately get into the coach. We obeyed; but were
no sooner seated, than Madame Duval said, "Come, Monsieur Du Bois, these
girls can make very good room for you; sit closer, children."
Mrs. Mirvan looked quite confounded; and M. Du Bois, after making some
apologies about crowding us, actually got into the coach, on the side with Miss
Mirvan and me. But no sooner was he seated, than the Captain, who had
observed this transaction very quietly, walked up to the coach door, saying,
"What, neither with your leave, nor by your leave?"
M. Du Bois seemed rather shocked, and began to make abundance of excuses:
but the Captain neither understood nor regarded him, and, very roughly, said,
"Look'ee, Monseer, this here may be a French fashion for aught I know,-but give
and take is fair in all nations; and so now, d'ye see, I'll make bold to show you an
English one."
And then, seizing his wrist, he made him jump out of the coach.
M. Du Bois instantly put his hand upon his sword, and threatened to resent this
indignity. The Captain, holding up his stick, bid him draw at his peril. Mrs. Mirvan,