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ing and pronouncing monosyllables which might be construed any way.

“ Locked up! Dear me! no--not locked up:

I am always riding, or driving, or walking. It is your own fault if you don't see me:" and she looked significantly at Mr. Carlton.

“That's true enough,” whispered Lady Clara Reeves to another envious old maid who was listening with curious ears to the incense offered up at a shrine that she never had called her own, and inveighing against yielding to temptations wherewith she had never been tempted.

“Frances," said 'Lord Bellamont, his fine, tall, commanding figure towering above the insignificants who surrounded her, “the carriage waits.”

6 Come, don't be so very young,” whispered Mr. Carlton in her he observed she was about to obey the summons.

66 What? afraid of a curtain lecture! well, I thought you had been a cleverer person than not to know how to put an end to such torment.”

“ I am not inclined, Lord Bellamont, to go home yet," was her reply: “ but pray do not

ear,

as

you are

put yourself to inconvenience for me take the carriage and” (looking about the room, her eye sparkled as she caught Lady Dashwood's figure,)“ there's my friend Lady Dashwood just come in, she will set me home.”

“ I am glad to see you have recovered your fatigue,” said Lord Bellamont, turning away, pale and mortified, as Lady Frances passed him to go to her friend.

66 When a man is married to a flirt of a wife," observed Mr. Altamont to Mrs. Neville, who happened to have witnessed this scene,“ how very easy it is for her to place him in an awkward and ridiculous point of view.”

“ Well to be sure, it is beyond belief how Lord Bellamont can suffer it. He certainly wants proper spirit, and he is not only losing his own happiness, but his wife's character; hunch! hunch! it never will turn out wellnever; they must both come to misery!”

Only observe," said Mr. Altamont, with melancholy discernment, “ the great intimacy which appears now to subsist between Lady · Frances and Lady Dashwood. See, how she

66

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talks to that latter Lady; but the friendship of such women is hollowness." And could Mr. Altamont have overheard that conversation, how indignantly would he have remarked upon its tenour, and how easily have foretold its end.

My dear Lady Dashwood,” said Lady Frances, flying up to her and whispering in her ear,“ how delighted I am to see youwhy there was nothing in the room one could endure to look at of female kind, before you came in. You know, Lady Ellingsby is a grave gone-by sort of personage-nothing but a few wits and old-fashioned Dowagers ever come here. I wonder what brought me, only you know it is so dull to stay at home; and poor Bellamont does get so tired when he has no place to go to; but now you are come, you are such a favourite, that all will seem delightful to him. I am so charmed that he should be under such a good influence as yours," she continued, assuming a face of proper matronly interest in her husband's welfare; “ for really he has a vastly good heart, and does not at all, as some people suppose, want for sense; but, you

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know, before he married, he never lived in the world ; that is to say, what is really to be called the world, and I am quite grieved to see that he hardly knows any young men of his own rank in life, and this gives him such a forsaken appearance. Do, my dear friend, discipline him a little, if you please, and he will become a different creature under

your

tuition.” “ I would do any thing in the world for you, my dearest Lady Frances," replied Lady Dashwood; and with a tender look of intelligence they separated, to play their several games.

Lady Dashwood accosted Lord Bellamont with a “ Well, Lord Bellamont, to be sure you have reason to be proud of Lady Frances— how very much more handsome she is than any one else! I declare I think she looks better this year than she did the last.”

“Do you really think so ?” said Lord Bellamont, affecting indifference.

“Yes, I do; and, if you were not her husband, you would think so too; but you know you are in love with her, nevertheless : obsolete as the idea is of being in love with one's wife. You see I can read your heart.”

66. You can do any thing you wish, doubtless," replied Lord Bellamont; “ but if you read my heart

once, I am sure you will never do so again, for you will only read such a melancholy page, as will fill you with ennui.”

“ You astonish and grieve me. Miserable ! Lord Bellamont, miserable !" (with a look in which tenderness and sorrow were blended) “ Who then can be happy? I am astonishedshocked beyond measure; but if it is any consolation to you to pour out your sorrows in the ear of a true friend, confide in me. We are observed; our conversation is too suivie for public society; call on me to

morrow morning; I shall be alone; and with what interest shall I receive your confidence !" Then, speaking aloud to some third person

who was a little way off, she remarked, “ Dear me, what has happened to Lady Frances's head-dress? Mr. Carlton seems to be undertaking the trade of coiffeur: did you ever see any thing so graceful, Lord Bellamont, as the manner in which

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