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pressed his hand between both her's ; she did not speak, but the action was elo. quent; and the Duchess relieved her, by saying, “upon my word, my dear Philip, I feel greatly obliged by your explanation; which has discovered to me the great impropriety of admitting, as a guest, so dangerous, though insignificant, a being: I was, equally with Charlotte, prepossessed in his favour, and I had built not a little on his forming an agreeable acquisition to our evening coteries; but now, all advances on his part, towards an intimacy, must be discouraged, and indeed rejected on our's.”,“ Certainly,” said Lady Charlotte, “ for I will not, for a moment, doubt my brother's information, since he has pledged his veracity for its authenticity; and, with me, I thank God, it has hitherto been sufficient to be shewn worthlessness, and to shun it: yet I cannot help thinking it strange, that a character, which with all its subtlety, must, in a great degree,
have become notorious, should be received into polished and respectable circles ! No one can dispute either the virtue or nobility of the Dowager Lady Clairville; and about eight months since, her Ladyship spoke of Sir William Featherington, to me, in the highest terms: and does he not visit at the two maiden cousins, Lady Turnabout and Miss Snargate ? and as to the moral widow, Lady Duffledown, she declares him a pattern of piety and prudence; and acknowledges openly, that she has been much edified by his Sunday evening parties. What, there: fore, have we to say ?” . . . .
“ Pray Philip,” said the Duchess, «Where have you gathered all these anecdotes ? for upon my word, the subjects and extent of your knowledge both amuse and surprise me !” “ From no less a source, my dear Duchess, than the evidence of my own ocular powers ;?! gaily answered his Lordship. “ You
Variety of Opinions
well know, that, on some occasions, some persons, who wish to have their rooms filled at any rate, are accustomed to send cartes-blanches to their several friends : now, this fashion, was practised by the Marchioness of Railton, the sister of the impoverished and profligate Lady Buckswarden, Sir Willian's friend and puffer. Now, as this said Marchioness really gives tolerable concerts and pleasant petits soupers, I took the arm of Charles Mordaunt, one evening, intending to amuse myself at one of her parties for half an hour: there I met, and was actually introduced to, the celestial Sir William Featherington, by the Marchioness, who was eloquent in his praises; which were echoed, with increased warmth, by her sister, the Lady Buckswarden. “ No one, I believe,” said the Marchioness, “ ever blended the duties of his profession, with tlie urbanity and grace of polished life, like Sir William Featherington!”
concerning Sunday Evening Parties.
She then spoke of the propriety of his Sunday evening parties; and offered me a seat in her barouche on the next Sabbath. “ They are the pleasantest things in the world,” said the Lady Buckswarden, “and quite uniques, I assure you, my Lord Marquis ; you will be really much amused.”
As I certaivly did imagine they would be, at least, diverting, I determined to accept the invitation offered me by the Marchioness. I accordingly accompanied her, on the following Sunday, to the sanctuary of Sir William; and the result of my observations are given in the detail before you. ,
Though the Marchioness did not quit the party immediately after coffee, yet she did not stay during the whole of the farce ; but I, who was led there chiefly by curiosity, was resolved to sit it out; and as I joined in the Christmas games,
and took care to have plenty of forfeits, I received for my pains several salutes from lips not uninviting, and from females not unwilling! Then rolled I home, smiling at the oddity of the business, and blessing myself, that no female relatives of mine were to be found edifying at Sir William's SUNDAY EVENING PARTIES !
• Now, will you Charlotte, that I close my narrative ?... For if not, I give you warning, what I shall further relate is not one particle more to the credit of Sir William than the statement already given : and, indeed, as some portion of the sequel is by no means fit for the female ear, I feel rather inclined to shut the book !"
. « No, dear Brother,” replied Lady Charlotte, “rather let us turn over a few more pages, with the hope of finding some good passages, to recompence us for the disagreeable ones already encountered