DUBLIN: Printed (for the Author) by S. COLBERT, No. 136, Caple-street, opposite Abbey-street.




I COULD not get time till this day, to answer my Louisa's very agreeable favour, of the 1st instant, as some old friends of my mother's have been with us these ten days, and I could not leave them long enough to compose an epistle, for we were always engaged either in [Page 6]conversation or cards, as I happened to please the old ladies; and besides that, they played whist, and could not make a party without me.

I had a letter from Charles yesterday; he had settled his affairs to his satisfac­tion, and was returned to London, where, he says, his stay will be but short, though he has made some agreeable acquaint­ances, and is engaged in a perpetual round of amusements; but adds, he has so little relish for them when I am absent, that he shall quit them very soon without the least regret, and hasten to Dublin, where he hopes to meet me. Though I have not the least doubt of his affection, I do not think myself bound to give credit to all he says on the subject; espe­cially as the liveliness of his stile contra­dicts what he says of not having a relish for amusement; I dare say, he enjoys them with a very good goût, nor am I so weak as to expect he should not have any satisfaction but when I am present.

Poor Gertrude! Indeed I think she must have a good deal of resolution, if she can keep up her spirits tolerably on the approaching change in her condition; for there is something very melancholy in the idea, of leaving ones friends and country for ever: I shall be extremely sorry if they go before I get to town; though to be sure she will come over now and then to see us all, and no doubt you will some­times pay her a visit; if I can prevail on my mother to undertake it, we will make a party to spend two or three months at Montpellier; and I think she would be the better of it.

Gertrude's cousins are fine girls, I hope she will provide agreeable young men for their partners: Harry Maunsell, without doubt, will be a bride's-man, but we all know who will be the object of his atten­tion. You say there is very few to whom your example should be recommended; and I will venture to assert, there is very few indeed who would chuse to follow it; for notwithstanding the many pretenders to sentiment in both sexes, there is not [Page 8]one in a thousand that has really such re­fined notions, as to be capable of consi­dering love in any other light than as a passion; so you need not be the least apprehensive that any of the Misses will bring themselves into danger, by at­tempting to adopt your ideas on the subject: for I must confess you have a singularity in your opinions, that is per­fectly adapted to your situation; or, I believe, it will be rather more proper to say, you have adapted your situation to your sentiments; for it is certainly of your own chusing. You are a cha­racter, my dear Louisa, an amiable one, every body acknowledges, but at the same time, very uncommon for so young a person. I wish I was just such another, for I do not know any body so happy.

You are very severe on fine feelings, and I cannot but say, the ladies you hint at have left you great room to be so; however, I think it can be only an af­fectation of sensibility, when one feels only for themselves; but weak nerves are so fashionable, there is no being a fine lady without them.

I have got my poor woman removed to her new habitation, and presented her with your generous donation; part of which she will apply to the purposes you mention, when she is able to attend to those matters; as yet she is very weak, though surprizingly recovered since she has had proper care and nourishment; where she is now all her neighbours will assist her, till she is well enough to do her own work; and I am sure they will al­ways be kind to her, for they know it will oblige me; and besides that, the natural disposition of our country people, is compassionate in a high degree: even the poor creatures she lived near, when I met with her, shared their scanty provi­sion with her; I gave them all some little matter, and will do more for them here­after. I need hardly tell you what prayers were put up for your hap­piness, when I gave her your present; one may easily see the woman has known better days, she has such de­cent notions.

I shall be dull on the 10th, with the recollection of all the amusement I lose by being here. I shall expect you will write to me next day, and will long for the arrival of the post.

I think it is quite right in Emily to discourage any declaration from James till she has changed her mourn­ing, at least; there is something very indelicate in a woman listening to a lover, while in her weeds; even though she had no reason to lament her hus­band: but in a proper time I hope she will lay aside her reserve, and that her father will not object, though James has but a thousand a year, and she has four, besides all the money he can give her; yet the qualities of his mind ought to be considered. I shall be much concerned if he is dis­appointed.

My mother joins me in wishing Ger­trude all the happiness she can expect or desire; as well as in affectionate regards to you.

I am, Dear Louisa,
Unalterably your's, ELIZA FITZGERALD.


IT was a most unconscionable task you imposed on me, Eliza, to write the day after a wedding, when all the folks are crouding to pay their compli­ments, and I as mistress of the house ought to be ready to receive them; how­ever as I feared the disappointment might be too much for you, I have left the bride to do the honours to her own com­pany, with Mrs. Rochfort to assist her: and I assure you, Gertrude looks very matronly to-day, and becomes her title extremely. I have quite provoked her, by saying, her ladyship when I spoke of her, or to her; you may think it was to [Page 13]make her laugh I did it, as you know I am not much dazzled by titles: but I must tell you about yesterday; for to hear of a wedding is the delight of all females, from fifteen to fifty. Gertrude, by my advice, was dressed early, and in the drawing-room before the company came, as I thought it would distress her less than coming in where they were all assembled; she had only a white sattin night-gown and petticoat, trimmed with ermine, gauze apron, and blond cap, and robbins, with a very fine net tippet, no jewels, except three brilliant pins in her cap, which there was no being with­out, but she wore as few as possible, be­cause she did not wish to be glittering. My gown was off the same piece, trimmed also like hers, but I had a lay-lock sattin petticoat, elegantly quilted; the rest of my dress quite in her stile, except I had a beautiful painted gauze shawl, instead of a tippet: her cousins were as fine as hands could make them, in white and silver, and a profusion of diamonds in their hair.

Captain St. George, and Mr. Fitz­maurice were bride's-men, as were Mr. Fitzgerald, and Harry Maunsell.

The Count had a suit of pearl colour tabbinet, with a slight pattern of silver, and he really looked very handsome; but I have seen Gertrude look better than she did; she was rather pale, and kept up her spirits very indifferently: a woman cannot appear to advantage at her own wedding, unless she is very thoughtless indeed.

The company were all assembled at seven o'clock, and the instant the tea­table was removed, the bride-groom stept forward, and leading out the bride, the ce­remony was immediately performed, and she went through it much better than I expected, but was very near fainting when it was over; she soon recovered herself, and when cake and wine was handed about, we all sat down to cards, till supper, except Mr. O'Neil, and your [Page 15]cousin James, who retired into another room, and played back-gammon till ten o'clock, when the old gentleman went home, but as a very particular compli­ment to Gertrude and me, permitted his wife to stay as long as she pleased; and I assure you, that was a very great favour to us, and a remarkable indulgence to her; had I been his wife, it is an indul­gence I would take without his leave, for I should not submit to be treated like a child.

Supper passed over chearfully, and about twelve, Mrs. Ponsonby, (being the oldest matron in company) rose to withdraw, and was followed by all the ladies: Gertrude, indeed, would have encreased her own confusion, by being the last to move, only I perceived her slowness, and pretending her chair was on my gown, obliged her to rise, and putting her forward amongst the bride­maids, hurried her off, before the gentle­men had time to observe her; when the young ladies had got garter and pins to dream on, all the women went home, [Page 16]and the Count quitting his company soon after, they were all gone by one o'clock. To-day we had several morn­ing visitors, and the young folks that were at the marriage, are to spend the evening with us. This week will be in­tirely taken up in receiving compliments, and the next in returning them; for as Gertrude's stay here will be very short, it is necessary for her to get that piece of ceremony over as soon as possible: I shall be heartily glad when it is over, for I am fatigued with the bustle we have had this while past; you know I am no friend to a continual round of dissipation. I have not time now to take notice of your last, nor does it require any particular answer. I give you joy of hearing from Charles, and hope I shall soon see you both in Dublin.

Farewell, dear Eliza,
Affectionately your's, LOUISA MORTIMER.



I HAVE been about three weeks in this centre of Amusements, and so borne down by the torrent of dissipati­on with which people here are over­whelmed, that I could not find time to perform my promise of writing to you, till this day, that a violent cold has ob­liged me to stay at home and nurse my­self; I got it by walking home late from a Tavern.

To confess the truth, raking does not agree with me, but it is scarce possible to withstand the temptations that are con­tinually thrown in one's way, in a place where vice puts on the most alluring form, and covers her deformity with the spacious appearance of pleasure, which one must be almost insensible to resist; at least, till experience has taught us wisdom.

You cautioned me against Sharpers, and I was on my guard; but you did not tell me, I might be in as much danger from those whose birth intitled them to be called Gentlemen; but perhaps you never met with such, I would hardly be­lieve it myself, if I had not purchased my knowledge at the extravagant rate of two thousand pounds. I did not at first suspect, but latterly I perceived the cheat, and rising, gave the gentleman a draft on my Banker for the money, in­forming him at the same time, I did not [Page 19]chuse to play any longer with one who understood all the game; and instantly quit the room, expecting he would fol­low to demand an explanation, as there was a deal of company present, who all heard what I said.

It happened as I thought, for I had not gone ten yards when he came up with me, and asking what my words meant, I answered, the meaning was so very obvious it could scarely be mistaken; on which he drew his sword, and bid me defend myself: I did it so effectually, that in less than a minute I wounded him in the sword arm, and the weapon drop­ped from his hand; as he bled fast, I advised him to return to the house we had just left, and send for a Surgeon; then bidding him good night, stepped into a Chair I met, and went home very much dissatisfied with myself.

I had no apology for playing so deep, because my fortune is already too large to receive any advantage from winning [Page 20]that sum, and though the loss is no way material to me, yet since I had it to spare, I might have disposed of it in a way that would have made several happy: the event too, might have been fatal, and duelling, you know, I greatly dis­approve; but when his unfair practices were so plain, that I must see it, I should have been looked on either as a fool or a coward, if I had not taken notice of it.

I took great care, however, not to wound him in a dangerous place, for I soon perceived he had very little skill: he is recovering fast, but I shall always chuse to avoid his company, as I must dislike the man; besides, I am deter­mined never to play again, but for a few guineas, which will not be worth any one's while to cheat for.

My intercourse with the other Sex has been more agreeable; for affairs of Gallantry have offered every day without [Page 21]my seeking. I should be sorry my love­ly Eliza knew how I have been led astray, though they were only venial transgres­sions, in which the heart was no way concerned, and indeed, the man must be void of all passion that could with­stand such temptations.

The women have such a fund of vi­vacity, that they are the most agreeable mistresses in the world; but for a wife, I would prefer the more reserved chear­fulness of my pretty country-women. That, perhaps, may be prejudice; for it is likely an English-man would think them insipid.

I have paid pretty high for my amuse­ments in this way, though I assure you, it was not with those who set their charms to sale; but presents must be made, and of value according to the rank of the fair one.

In all my dealings here, I find money is the Idol of the place, and the whole [Page 22]force of the people's genius is turned towards the different methods of obtain­ing it.

I often think if a medium could be struck between the English and the Irish, it would just produce a proper standard whereby to regulate our oeconomy; for one loves Gold too much for their eter­nal welfare, the other too little for their temporal peace; as their total disregard of it keeps their domestic affairs in con­tinual embarrassment: I speak of the general character of the two nations; for I know there are many exceptions in each.

I made an acquaintance in Sussex, with a Miss Freeman, who was in a vi­sit with a family where I was intimate; she lives in London, and when she was coming to town, a few days before me, gave me an invitation to her aunt's house in Jermyn-street, where she lives. I availed myself of it, and have passed several agreeable evenings there.

They are genteel people, and very pleas­ing. Miss Freeman is a pretty lively girl, about nineteen; her aunt's daughter something younger, and handsomer, but more serious than her cousin. I find the former has a large fortune at her own disposal: I believe the aunt gave me that hint with some view, but my heart is already fixed, and if Eliza's sentiments remain unaltered at my return, I have nothing more to wish for, except being at age, as I cannot marry till then; but I have a very short time to wait for that.

I shall not expect to hear from you, since I mean to set out for Ireland in less than a week, and hope to find you and all those I most wish to see, in Dublin.

My best compliments to Miss Morti­mer, but do not tell her I am indisposed, for I shall write to Eliza this post, and will not mention it, lest she should be uneasy.

Tell Fitzgerald, I have just received his letter, and will answer it if I have time, before I quit London.

Adieu, dear Maunsell:


I HAD the pleasure of my dear Loui­sa's letter, with an account of the wedding, and beg you will make my mother's compliments of congratulation, with mine, acceptable to Madame La Comtesse. Seriously, no one can wish her happier than we do; and I hope to have an opportunity of telling her so in person, before she leaves Ireland, as we [Page 26]are to set out for Dublin in ten days, which has raised my spirits more effectu­ally, than a large dose of ASSA-FAE­TIDA. Indeed there is no one induce­ment here, to make me wish to stay; for though the place is beautiful in Sum­mer, at this season I can find nothing pleasing in the country, especially when every one is gone to town, except a few old ladies and gentlemen, that are kept prisoners by the Gout, or else are past all inclination for amusement; and them you may think cannot be very agreeable companions for me.

Mr. Boyle, who returned a few days ago, is the only one that keeps us alive; he left his daughters in Dublin, and brought me a letter from the eldest, re­questing, if I was not to be in town very soon, I would give her some excuse to make you a visit; for she longs of all things to be acquainted with you: and though she could be easily introduced, by some who visit you, yet, as an inti­macy [Page 27]is what she wishes for, she says, that would be sooner accomplished if she brought her credentials from me; these are her own words.

I have wrote, to inform her, I shall soon be in town, when I shall perform the part of Sir Clement Cottrel, and in­troduce her to your presence. Mean time, if you should meet her in compa­ny, as probably you may, I flatter my­self, you will, on my recommendation, make some advances towards an ac­quaintance; and I am very sure you will like her, and her sister too, though not so well, for the reasons I mention­ed. She is equally desirous of being ac­quainted with you.

Their father will be in town again shortly.

I have not heard from Charles since. Little as he says he relishes amusements, I find they engage a good deal of his attention, else he might have wrote to me more than once, since he has been in London.

I expect you will answer this, as I have still ten days to stay here; and my next will be just to tell you, what day I set out for Dublin.

I am going with my mother to take an airing; must, therefore, conclude ab­ruptly.

Your's, affectionately, ELIZA FITZGERALD.
[Page 29]

I hope Gertrude has recovered her spi­rits, now the awful day is over.


MY dear Eliza's letter has given me infinite pleasure, by informing me I may soon hope to see her. Gertrude too, is quite joyful, for she began to fear she should be gone before you arrived.

Yes, she begins to lay aside her me­lancholy, except at times, when she thinks of leaving us; and I assure you, it is well you have had a letter from your Swain, who he supposes has left [Page 31]London ere this; but you will hear from him by this post, for he says, at the conclusion of his, to Harry, he was go­ing to write to you.

He mentions a Miss Freeman he is ac­quainted with there, and her cousin, as pretty agreeable girls; and says, he passes some of his hours very pleasingly with them; you need not, however, be alarmed, for he, in the same paragraph, speaks of you as the mistress of his heart.

Mr. Maunsell read all those extracts to me, but did not offer to shew me the letter, from which I guess he gives some account of his Adventures; and I believe the adventures of young men in London are not always fit for females to hear; so I would not ask to see it.

I hope this is the last I shall write to you for this season, as I expect the re­turn of the post will inform me that you [Page 32]set out in a day or two. What delight­ful news that will be!

Adieu, dear girl. Commend me to Mrs. Fitzgerald, who I hope will get well through her journey; and be assur­ed, I am,

my dear Eliza,
Affectionately your's, LOUISA MORTIMER.


I HAVE the pleasure to acquaint my dear Louisa, we shall begin our jour­ney the 24th; but as my mother is still weak, and cannot bear fatigue, we shall be four days on the road, so the 28th in the evening I expect to find you waiting for me, that we may lose no time, in once more enjoying each other's society.

The same post brought me your letter, and one from Charles; as you supposed he [Page 34]will not leave London till the 27th; and as he does not mean to travel post, I shall be in Dublin some days before him. He does not mention Miss Freeman to me, but I assure you, I am not a bit inclined to be jealous of her, or any other person; I am rather apt to fear my uneasiness will arise from Mr. Skeffington's having too much affection for me, than too little; but I hope his going more into the gay world than he used to do, will cure him of any little defect in his tem­per, for people who have confined them­selves much to their study, are apt to fall into some particularity, which they grow ashamed of when they see more of life.

I wish Mr. Maunsell had shewn you his letter, for his not doing it, makes me think there was something about me in it, that he was unwilling you should see: though upon consideration, I believe it is more likely to be as you imagine; for as Harry knows how much you interest yourself in my happiness, he would hardly conceal any thing that was mate­rial to it from you.

I am obliged to you for your intention of taking notice of the Miss Boyles, if you meet them before I arrive, I would not request it of you, but I am sure you will find them agreeable, and I expect we shall be very happy together, while they stay in town, which I dare say will be till the Parliament is up, for their aunt stays till then.

I have no doubt but you will cure Harriet of her affectation, for I never met with any one that had the art of making one ashamed of their own foibles, without giving offence, equal to you; your raillery is so void of satire, that it both pleases and instructs.

I do think it is best for Mr. Maunsell to be absent from you; for though I have no idea he can ever cease to love you, since his attachment is of so long a stand­ing, yet I dare say, variety of objects will amuse his mind, and keep it from dwelling so incessantly on a subject that [Page 36]must distress him, as he has not the most distant hope to support his spirits with; and I agree with you, that some variation of place and company, is absolutely ne­cessary to make life pleasing: a love of society is natural to us, and without en­joying it in a moderate degree, every one must sink into gloominess, and, like your friends, will grow peevish and dis­satisfied, for it is impossible that three or four people, living constantly together, retired from the rest of the world, can always find a fund of conversation or en­tertainment in each other. I know it by experience, when I am in the country with my mother and Charles, who I need not tell you, are two of those I love best; yet when we are any time without com­pany, or going abroad, I find myself grow stupid, and tired of every thing about me; to tell truth, I am at this in­stant in the very state I am describing, as I think my letter will convince you.

I am very glad I do not belong to the comfortable family you mention; what a treat your company must be to the young [Page 37]people, for I suppose they are not much delighted with the comforts of being shut up from society, though their pa­rents may have out-lived all taste for earthly enjoyments; very thankful am I that my mother is not of that disposition.

Farewell till the 28th, when I shall have the happiness of telling you in per­son, how affectionately I am



THE receipt of my dear Gertrude's letter, relieved me from great un­easiness, which I suffered by not getting an account of your arrival in France; but the round you took, and all the visits you made to the Count's relations, on your journey, is sufficient reason for my not hearing from you sooner. I am happy to find they all received you so kindly; for politeness alone would be only what you had a right to expect; one wishes to meet with something more from the family they go into; and it gives me much satisfaction, that you [Page 39]have met with that tenderness and affec­tion, which I am sure you will merit from them.

Your departure made us all melan­choly; and each morning when Emily and I met at breakfast, we renewed each other's concern, by observing how lonely we were without poor Gertrude; and in­deed, if I was inclined to forget you, Wilson would not let me, for she laments you daily, when she comes to take my orders, and brings her accounts for my inspection, always observing how good you were, to spare me that trouble; and I must acknowlege I have a loss of you in that respect, though she is so careful and exact, that I find it less disagreeable than it would be, if I had a different sort of person in her place; but she is faithful and honest, and I esteem such a servant to be invaluable.

I have had several letters from Harry, since you left him in London, and think he is recovering his usual chearfulness; the [Page 40]first to be sure was filled with lamentati­ons and regrets, and all the etcetera's of soft nonsense; but I have absolutely pro­hibited that subject, on pain of returning his letters unanswered: he murmured a little at my cruelty, but was obliged to comply with the restriction; and now he writes like a rational creature, and is a very pleasing correspondent. Your CARO-SPOSO did him no good, for he encouraged him in all his romance and folly, and only for this fortunate call to England, I should have had him sighing, and dying at my feet, till both for his sake, and my own, I would have been under a necessity of quarrelling with him; when he goes to France, I beg you will not indulge him in talking of certain cir­cumstances, that had better be for­got.

Mr. Hamilton has been in town this month; Charles and he are on the most friendly terms, without any appearance of the suspicions his presence formerly raised; so you may judge how happy Eliza is: I suppose matters will soon be [Page 41]brought to a conclusion there, as Mr. Skeffington will be at age early in June, and then I think there will be nothing to prevent it.

Miss Freeman, that you heard him mention, has been in Dublin some weeks, and I have a strong idea, that it is an at­tachment to Charles has brought her over. She says, she was ordered sea­sickness for a disorder in her stomach; and as she had a desire to see Dublin, she thought she might as well come here as any where; the story is plausible, and I fancy is believed by every one but me: however, if she was ill, the remedy has been very effectual, for she has not the least remains of any complaint whatever; besides, I think it very extraordinary, that her friends would let her come to a strange country, in such ill health, without any companion but her waiting-maid.

She has brought letters of introduction to some genteel families here, who of course pay great attention to her; but I [Page 42]observe she takes great pains to cultivate an intimacy with Eliza, who went to visit her, on account of the civility she and her aunt had shewn Mr. Skeffington, for she sent to him the day after she arrived, and had first fixed herself in a lodging next street to him.

Eliza gave her a general invitation, to come to them whenever she was disen­gaged, and she avails herself of it in a manner that shews she means to be quite on free terms with her; all these things make me very observant of her, as I fear she has some scheme of supplanting Eliza in Charles's affections; I do not, how­ever, think that would be easily done, unless she should discover that tincture of jealousy in his temper, by which he might he wrought upon.

She is rather pretty, and uncommonly lively. In my opinion, if her vivacity was a little tempered with discretion, she would be much more agreeable, for at present it borders upon levity.

I know the English women are of a more sprightly disposition than the Irish; but I never met any of them that could not set some bounds to it, but this young lady, who quite over-powers me with her amazing volubility, and you know I have a downright horror of being talked to death. One happiness to her hearers is, she does not talk nonsense, and though I am not much delighted with her, she is generally thought agreeable.

I can perceive I am no great favourite with her, notwithstanding she effects an esteem for me to Eliza; but I am sure she would not wish I was so often at that house, for she has said (more than once) she believed I had a deal of penetration.

I have said perhaps too much on sur­mise, (for I acknowlege it is nothing more) except so far as relates to her liking Charles, which I have no doubt about; but my suspicions arose from [Page 44]observations I have made on her beha­viour.

I shall, however, be well pleased to lose my character for penetration in this particular.—Mr. Fitzgerald has declared himself in form to Mrs. Roch­fort; and she has positively refused to listen to him again on that subject, du­ring the first year of her widow-hood; a pretty hint that, for him to renew it at the expiration of that time. When she told me what passed between them, I said, very seriously, (but with a significant look) it was really kind of her to limit his time of probation. She had not been aware of the inference I would draw, and it threw her into the utmost confu­sion; when she could speak, she said, no one would think of such a thing but my­self: if, said I, Mr. Fitzgerald does not think of it, he is more dull of apprehen­sion than any lover I ever heard of; but do not be uneasy, for you know widows are privileged to give a modest hint of their intentions. She blushed so exces­sively, and seemed so distressed, that I [Page 45]pitied her, though I could not help laughing at her being so affected; but she has an uncommon degree of bash ful­ness: I relieved her, by saying, I owed her that teizing for her reserve to me on that affair; for she constantly denied her partiality for James, though it was very visible, and I was determined to mortify her for it.

I allow it is not delicate to make open declaration of our favourable opinion of a man, however worthy he may be; but to deny it so positively to a particular friend, that one was living in the house with, looks, I think, either like prudery, or distrust.

When she found I had taken it amiss, she apologized, by assuring me, it pro­ceeded only from a wish to conceal her sentiments from every body, (even herself if possible) till she knew if her father would approve of Mr. Fitzgerald, as she meant to be guided by him. I could not help saying, I thought it would be carrying [Page 46]her obedience too far; though I have as high a notion of the duty we owe our parents as most people; but as she had once made herself unhappy to oblige him, I did not think it necessary to con­sult his caprice in a second choice, when we knew his love of money, and that inequality of fortune, was the only ob­jection could be made in the present case. She certainly ought to inform her father of the affair, but if he objected merely on the grounds I mention, I did not think she was under any obligation to comply with an unreasonable hu­mour, considering she was now her own mistress: if she was still under her parents authority, I should think her right extended no farther than to refuse a person she could not be hap­py with, but not to marry any one against their consent.

She seemed to join in my opinion, but said she had been used to obey so implicitly, and besides was of such a timid disposition, she doubted if she [Page 47]would have resolution to follow her own inclinations.

I hope she will not be put to the trial, as Mr. O'Neil professes a most violent friendship for James, and sets him up as a pattern for all young men that he knows.

I shall continue to write to you an account of all our proceedings here, without the formality of waiting for an answer, since the war prevents a re­gular intercourse between the two coun­tries.

The Miss Boyles and I are become intimate; you were prejudiced in their favour by the little you had seen of them before you left us, and if you had known more of them, you would like them still better, as they improve on an acquaintance; particularly Har­riet, whose good sense is a little ob­scured by affectation, which however [Page 48]she is throwing off very fast; you can­not think how much I made her a­shamed of it, so much, that it is only long habit makes her ever practise it, and the least look from me corrects her.

I think Mr. Hamilton begins to at­tach himself to Miss Boyle, but I do not find it is observed by any one else, nor am I quite sure of it, but I wish it may be so, since it would remove all causes of uneasiness from Charles, as he is the only one he ever seemed to fear would rival him.

Mr. Boyle is my CE CISBEO, and flirts most delightfully, considering he is old enough to be my father. I am a prodigious favourite of his, and indeed I return the compliment, for I think him the most chearful, pleasing man, I ever met with; of an elderly one, I mean.

You must suppose a million of com­pliments and good wishes, from all your friends and acquaintances here, for it would fill a sheet of paper to enumerate them.—Do not be jealous that I desire my love to your husband. Are not you shocked at such an obsolete epithet?

Believe me, Affectionately your's, .LOUISA MORTIMER.


SINCE my arrival in this metropolis, I have wrote three letters to my dear Charlotte, and have received but one from her; but as the packets are kept out by contrary winds, I take it for grant­ed, your answers to my other two are detained by that means, and shall pro­ceed to give you an account of my Irish acquaintances.

I have already informed you of the polite, or, I may rather say, kind recep­tion I met with, from every family to whom I brought letters; and I have now to tell you, their civility rather increases every day; indeed I think there is no end to the attention a stranger meets with in this land of hospitality, which has in spite of all my prejudices, reconciled me to a people of whom we are taught to entertain the most unjust ideas; for I as­sure you, I find them the very reverse of every thing our country folks usually imagine them to be: and I begin to see, it is very illiberal to suppose merit is con­fined to any one particular clime or king­dom.

I told you Miss Fitzgerald, (Skeffing­ton's intended) had paid me a visit, and given me a genteel invitation to go to their house, whenever I was not other­wise engaged, as they live in the next street, for I took care to fix myself near them. She has since shewed, she meant more than mere compliment, for she [Page 52]came herself several times and took me with her, after taking me airing, or to such places in the town, as she thought worth my seeing; so we were now as free as if we had been acquainted this twelve month.

She is a pretty gentle soul, entirely composed of the tender passions, and has too much sensibility for her own peace of mind, which I am very sorry for, since there is a great deal of un­easiness in store for her; I wish it was otherwise, but I never was used to put any person's happiness in competition with my own; a stranger cannot there­fore expect that compliment from me; besides I really think I shall do them a service in separating them, for were two such quiet mortals as Skeffington and she, to go together, they would inevit­ably fall into a lethargy, by the perfect sameness of each other's temper: now if I take him, I believe I may engage to keep him from that disorder, by the continual variety of my disposition; not to say any thing of my spirit, which I [Page 53]flatter myself is sufficient to keep any man awake, for though I love him to dis­traction, and will go any lengths to obtain him, I do not mean to be the same turtle, when married, that his Eliza would be: it is necessary to rouse them sometimes, that they may set the higher value on your good temper, when you chuse to treat them with it.

There is a Miss Mortimer that stands very much in my way, for she is Eliza's bosom friend, and chief adviser, she is very civil to me, and asks me to her par­ties; but she has quick discernment, and, I think, observes me with a penetrating eye; for which reason I am in awe of her, and of course do not like her; but that I keep to myself, for I find she is a general favourite, even amongst the wo­men, though very much the taste of the men.—Is not this odd? She is not handsome, but has great expression in her countenance, and is by no means ugly; her disposition is exceedingly live­ly, and a vein of humour runs through her conversation, that makes it vastly [Page 54]pleasing; however, her vivacity never leads her into an impropriety, for her understanding is in the superior degree, and she conducts herself with the same prudence you might expect from her grand-mother. I have been particular in my description of her, because I think her rather an extraordinary cha­racter for a woman, not above four and twenty: but do you know, I hate those pieces of infallibility; their man­ners are a tacit reproach on us, who are too volatile to be restrained by dull rules of decorum.

The women here, would, in general suit your taste better than mine; for though very chearful, they have a se­dateness in them, that would be just the thing for you, who are a good deal in that stile yourself.

I have this instant got a piece of intel­ligence, that is of the utmost importance to me: Skeffington has a spark of jealousy in his bosom, which if I do not [Page 55]blow into a flame, I deserve to lose him. It never broke out till within these few months; the person who raised it is a Mr. Hamilton, a most accomplished young man; he is at present in town; is very intimate at Mrs. Fitzgerald's, and seems to be on the most friendly terms with Charles; however since he once looked on him as a rival, there can be no great difficulty in placing him in the same light again, for suspicions of that na­ture may be revived with very little address.

Letty, whom I ordered to make an ac­quaintance with Miss Fitzgerald's maid, got this information from her; but as she is not in her mistress's secrets, she could not tell how he was convinced there was no cause for his fears; it was from some unguarded expressions of his own, she discovered his foible; she said she told her lady of it at the time, who bid her not mention it, and she never heard more of it after, though she per­ceived her very low-spirited at times, till of late she seems quite easy: be that as it [Page 56]may, I think I cannot fail of succeeding, now I know his weak side, as I shall di­rect all my attack against that; but how I shall proceed, I cannot at present in­form you, since my operations must be determined by the circumstance of the moment.

I never gave you a more convincing proof of the confidence I place in you, than by letting you into my intention of going such lengths to accomplish my wishes, since I know you will not ap­prove of it; but I also know, your affec­tion for me, will prevent your taking any steps to frustrate my designs, as your knowledge of my disposition must tell you, such a measure would inevita­bly be attended with fatal consequences.

Whatever I do, must be done soon, for he will be at age in a few weeks, and they are to be married as soon after, as he can go through some necessary forms of law, to enable him to make proper settlements; for notwithstanding they [Page 57]have loved, and been intended for each other from their infancy, she has pa­tiently waited till all these matters could be done regularly.

So important do the ladies here esteem the security of their fortunes, that a girl who would marry without that precau­tion, would be looked on as a prodigy of imprudence, while we give away thousands, without asking any return but love. Surely the Irish women must have very cold constitutions, or very great command of their passions, else their reason could not act so powerfully.

What has reason and love to do with each other! The association is unnatu­ral, and never entered into a breast truly occupied by that tender passion, as I can vouch from experience.

I would not venture to speak so open­ly, but that I know your mother cannot be returned to town yet; if you should [Page 58]find she means to come sooner than we expected, let me know, as I would not for the world one of my letters should fall into her hands: no doubt she was greatly astonished when you informed her I was gone to Ireland.

You must not expect I shall write fre­quently now as I have done, because my mind will be otherwise employed.

Adieu, Dear Charlotte,


I HAVE a whole packet of my dear Charlotte's letters now before me; and as Skeffington and the Fitzgeralds are gone to dine a few miles from town, I take the opportunity of answering them, for when they are at home, I am generally with, or expect them to call on me.

Chance has been favourable to my design, and put it in a train, that perhaps my own ingenuity could not have so easily brought about: Miss Fitzgerald, and Mr. Hamilton have accidentally met at my lodgings, on morning visits, two or three different times, when by the greatest good fortune that could happen, Charles luckily called in, and sound them there; the first time, he did not seem to mind it; but the second I saw, made an impression on him; and the last, which was yesterday, they all looked embarrass­ed. Hamilton soon took leave; (you must know I encouraged an intimacy with him, in hopes it would some way answer my purpose) Charles and Eliza sat a while, and then I went home with them, being engaged to pass the day there.

He continued very serious, and she very badly affected chearfulness: in the evening, however, we were set a little to rights; two Miss Boyles, who are fre­quently there, came into tea, which roused them from their thoughtfulness, [Page 61]and when tea was over, we all went to the Rotunda, where we were joined by Mr. Hamilton; but as he attached himself to the eldest Miss Boyle, whom I think he admires, Charles's good humour rather encreased; the music too, of which he is very fond, seemed to compose his spirits, and he went home much easier in mind than he had been all day; but as this meeting by chance affects him so much, I shall take the hint, and improve upon it: I cannot now be more explicit as my plan is not thoroughly digested.

You ask how I can be so barbarous as to make an amiable girl wretched, who has shewed me such friendship? I an­swer, because my own happiness is dearer to me than that of any other person; and as to the civility she has shewn me, she would do the same to any other stranger that was introduced to her; it is the natural disposition of the people here, therefore I do not esteem it any particular compliment to me; so my conscience is easy on that head, and I beg I may have no more of your preaching; [Page 62]it comes mighty ill from a girl of eigh­teen.

My aunt, you tell me, is much dis­pleased at my expedition; I guessed she would, which was the reason I took the opportunity to come off while she was in the country; I was determined, and there was no use in having an argument upon it. If she knew my purpose, I suppose she would come over express to prevent it; and if she was not two hun­dred miles from London, and likely to be detained there, till as I hope my bu­siness will be accomplished, I would not have given you the smallest item of it; but I caution you to dread the conse­quence of betraying me.

If I can but succeed, in making a quarrel between Skeffington and his fair cousin, I have no doubt but I shall easily obtain her place in his heart, and then you shall▪ see how good, how religious, and all that, I will be the rest of my life.

I wish I was rid of this Miss Mor­timer for a while; I think she per­fectly keeps guard over Eliza, and there is no having her to one's self, long enough to get into her confidence, which I am sure I would have done long since, if her friend was out of my way; and that would be of great use to forward my scheme, for I am sure I could draw her into things that would confirm his suspicions, if she was without the advice of one who is so well acquainted with her disposi­tion, and so interested in her happi­ness; besides that, I have reason to think she suspects my attachment to Skeffington, and is therefore more anxious, to prevent Eliza from being too open in her communications to me; for neither of them has ever dropped the least hint of his jealousy: however, I believe all her wisdom and precau­tion, will be insufficient to obstruct the success of my plan, which I look upon as certain, now that the knowledge [Page 64]of his temper gives me such a sure foundation to work upon.

You ask me of Miss Mortimer's fa­mily, and situation, and seem won­derfully taken with her character; she is descended from one of the old­est families in England, and I think values herself on her pedigree, though she is at the same time exceedingly complaisant and affable to every one. Her father and mother are dead; but I suppose her fortune must be quite easy, since she has a house elegantly furnished; visits, and is visited by all the fine folks here, and is treated with all that respect and attention that is usu­ally paid to those who are totally in­dependant: in short, she ranks in the upper class of life, but will not be a slave to particular forms, and empty ceremonies, which, she says, is the very reverse of true politeness; how she manages, I do not know, but every thing she does pleases, and she is set [Page 65]up as a pattern to all young ladies, as soon as they are brought into com­pany; and as I told you, much ad­mired by the men. To all that I have ever seen with her, she behaves with such perfect equality, that I cannot guess which of them she pre­fers; yet it is scarcely probable that she has not some attachment: besides I have heard hints among them that convinces me she has, but I believe there is some mystery in it, that I cannot fathom; and the ladies here are very reserved on those subjects: I am dying to find it out too, for I should have great satisfaction in know­ing she had an imprudent intangle­ment; but no matter, I shall tri­umph over her sagacity yet, not­withstanding all her endeavours to watch me, for I see plainly her sus­picions of me encrease.

When, you hear from me next, probably something decisive will be [Page 66]done, for the time advances fast.—Till then farewell.

Believe me, Ever your's, CAROLINE FREEMAN.


Dear Charlotte,

I HAVE separated them I hope, for ever; but it has produced a conse­quence I was not prepared for; he went off to England in the first transports of his jealousy, and I fear he may take the fancy of going abroad to amuse his mind; but I am hastening after him, and if I can but keep him in England, his going [Page 68]there will be much to my advantage, be­cause it will effectually prevent their coming to any explanation, and baffle all Miss Mortimer's cleverness.

I write while Letty is packing my things, and you may expect me in a day or two after you receive this, when I will tell you how I brought the matter about.

Your's, in a violent hurry, CAROLINE FREEMAN.


WHAT poor weak mortals you men are! borne away by every gust of passion, and with all your boasted wisdom, incapable of conducting your­selves with propriety, in the common occurrences of life!—Any girl just escaped from the nursery, can, if she sets her wits to work, make you believe improbabilities.

Excuse me Harry; I have no reason to accuse you of those follies, but I am angry with the whole sex, and vexed to death, that it should be in the power of any of you to make my poor Eliza unhappy.

Your friend Mr. Skeffington, is flown off to England in a fit of jealousy; and upon the credit of an anonymous scrawl he received, has accused the sweet girl (whose heart he has possessed from her infancy) of inconstancy, and I know not what nonsense. Mr. Hamilton is still the object of his suspicions, though he is ac­tually paying his addresses to Miss Boyle, and that any body might see, that did not chuse to shut their eyes against con­viction. He will certainly avoid you, and I do not wish you to seek him out; it could be of no use at present, besides our pride forbids it.

I am certain that Miss Freeman he mentioned to you, is at the bottom of it [Page 71]all; I told you she was here, and that I thought she liked Charles; every day convinced me I was right, and I have now no doubt of it, for she set off for England this morning, which was as soon as she could go, after she heard of his departure, and she had never menti­oned her intentions before. She lives with her aunt, a Mrs. Vernon, in Jer­myn-street, and I should be glad you would keep a watch on the house, to see if he goes or sends there; he has taken Will Lacky with him; the fellow you know is his foster-brother, and I am sure has his master's happiness at heart; so if your James could meet with him, I dare say he would give some intelligence how he means to dispose of himself.

I do not suppose he will continue in England, unless that little witch contrives some stratagem to detain him; and I would wish to know where he is, or is likely to be, because Mrs. Fitzgerald, who loves him nearly as well as she loves Eliza, is quite miserable about him; be­sides [Page 72]one would chuse to know his mo­tions, as something may yet happen to set matters right again, and make him ashamed of a weakness that causes so much unhappiness to those, whose felicity I know he would wish to promote.

I make no apology for the employment I give you, as I know your regard for the parties concerned, exclusive of the pleasure you will have in obeying my commands.—You see I have said that for you, just to save you the trouble of repeating what you have so often told me.



I PROMISED to give my dear Ger­trude, an account of all the occur­rences among us that were worth relating, and I have now to inform you of one that I believe will give you much con­cern; Charles Skeffington departed ab­ruptly for England, four days ago, in a paroxism of jealousy, which I am certain has been roused by the machinations of that Miss Freeman, of whom I hinted [Page 74]my suspicions in my last; they are con­firmed by her setting out for England as soon as she found he was gone, on a pretence of being wrote for on material business, though there had not a packet arrived in the time; for as I suspected her, I sent to enquire.

Eliza bears it surprisingly; she is hurt by his behaviour, and her pride supports her for the present, but I fear that will not continue long; she is too gentle, and loved him too well, not to regret her disappointment. I do my best to keep up her resentment, but I know it will not do; tender recollections will obtrude themselves on her mind, and interrupt, if not totally destroy her happiness.

Her mother too is greatly to be pitied, for she loved Charles as if he had been her own son, and you cannot imagine how much his present conduct affects her: add to that, she has terrible appre­hensions for Eliza's health, which indeed, [Page 75]I think, likely to suffer from the shock she has received.

I shall advise them to go to Montpel­lier; changing the scene may be of use to her, and as you mean to leave Paris this month, you will be at Rousillon be­fore they could reach it, and I am sure would contribute all in your power to amuse the dear girl; if I possibly can, I will accompany them, but that is at pre­sent uncertain.

It is time for me to tell you how the affair happened, at least as much as I know of it: I told you in my last, I was sure Miss Freeman liked Charles; as I observed her closely, I was every day more convinced of it, as well as that she must have some scheme in coming over; for which reason, I gave her as few op­portunities of being alone with Eliza as possible; for being extremely artless her­self, I feared she would be too unreserved, and lay herself open to the other's cun­ning to take advantage of.

I was constantly uneasy for her, though I did not know precisely what to fear; and was much more so when I found Mr. Hamilton and Eliza had met by ac­cident, at Miss Freeman's lodgings seve­ral times; Charles had found them there, and shewed strong symptoms of returning jealousy; when Eliza told me what had happened, I mentioned my suspicions of Miss Freeman, and cautioned her to guard against her artifices, and not to go to her without Charles. She promised she would not, but seemed to think I wronged the girl very much, who she said, was too volatile to manage any deep laid plot. She however look my advice, and seldom went to her, but invited her to their house as usual. Matters were in this way when Mrs. Rochfort got a vio­lent cold which confined her, and you may think I would not leave her.

Mrs. Fitzgerald was also indisposed; so that I had not seen Eliza for three days, when I was much surprised at re­ceiving a note from her at twelve o'clock, [Page 77]Monday night, requesting I would go to her immediately, and prepare for staying till morning, as an accident had happen­ed which greatly affected her; to prevent delay she sent the carriage for me.

I shewed the note to Emily, in whose chamber I was sitting, begging she would excuse me, if I should not be at home at breakfast, and ordering Jenny to put my night cloaths into the chariot, went off, very much alarmed, as both Emily and I had concluded it to be something relative to Charles.

When I stepped into the hall, the ser­vants all looked sad and silent, Kitty met me, with her eyes quite red from crying, as she was lighting me up stairs, Kitty, said I, what ails your mistress? Oh! ma'am, Mr. Skeffington; and bursting into tears, was unable to say more, but conducted me in silence to Mrs. Fitz­gerald's bed-chamber, who sat in her easy chair weeping. When she saw me, you are very good, Miss Mortimer, says [Page 78]she; my poor girl wanted such a friend to comfort her, looking towards Eliza, who sat leaning her elbow on the dres­sing table, her hand supporting her head, in the other she had two letters open, which she held out to me, saying, read them Louisa; they will explain our pre­sent situation better than I am able to do, and be my excuse for bringing you out at this late hour. I took them, and read as follows:


When you receive this, I shall for ever have quitted a house, where once my chief happiness was centered. I will not endeavour to raise your compassion, by describing what I feel at parting; for since I have lost your affection, I will try to set myself above your pity, and will, at least, convince you, your felicity is infi­nitely dearer to me than my own, by relieving you from that restraint, which my presence must have laid you [Page 79]under, and leaving you at liberty to give your hand to him, whose shining qualities, I am not all surprised, should rob me of your heart. It is not in woman, to withstand such perfections, and I have no right to expect a mira­cle should be wrought in my favour.

To shew you I am not actuated by mere suspicion, I inclose a letter that was put into my hand this morning, as I was stepping into my carriage; I followed the writer's directions, went to the Rotunda, and was convinced of your inconstancy.

As you wished to deceive me, you should have been cautious who you trusted with your secret; no doubt you will know the hand, and remove that person from your family.

I know, and grieve for what my aunt will feel on this occasion; but I hope Mr. Hamilton, will, by his attention, recon­cile [Page 80]her to the event, and make you as happy as I would have rejoiced in doing, had the pleasing task fallen to the lot of your still

Very sincere friend, C. SKEFFINGTON.

The letter alluded to, was badly wrote, and worse spelt, it contained the fol­lowing lines:


Knowing how long, and tenderly you have loved Miss Fitzgerald, and that you are now flattering yourself, with the [Page 81]pleasing hope of being soon united to her; I could not bear to see you any longer deceived; and therefore (from a perfect knowlege of her intentions) assure you, she only wishes to stand fair with you, during her mother's life, which from her ill health, she thinks cannot be long.

You soon perceived the growing at­tachments between her and Mr. Hamil­ton; but so high was your opinion of her, you persuaded yourself to discredit the evidence of your own senses, rather than think she could be guilty of so much baseness.

If you chuse to be convinced of the truth of this information, go to the Ro­tunda, about nine o'clock to-night, where (though you fancy she is confined to her mother's apartment) you will find her in company with the present object of her affection. She thinks herself secure, as you were to stay at Lucan till to-morrow, [Page 82]but I presume, this will be sufficient to bring you back.

I remain, Sir, Your humble servant, An unknown FRIEND.

You will observe, this was calculated to make him suppose it wrote by some one in his own family; accordingly his sus­picions fell on Kitty, for she says, when he was quitting the house, he called for her, and giving her the letter for Eliza, put five guineas into her hand, saying, he believed he was under an obligation to her; though if her mistress confided in [Page 83]her, she did wrong to betray her secrets. He forgot he had once endeavoured to tempt her to do the very same thing, he now disapproved. The girl did not know what he meant; she must be innocent of it, for she could not possibly tell her mis­tress would go to the Rotunda, before she knew it herself: that could only be told by the person who was determined to take her there.

Having read the letters, I asked Eliza, had she been at the Rotunda that even­ing? she answered yes; but begged I would not condemn her, till I heard her story. She then proceeded to tell me, that in the morning Miss Freeman had come to breakfast, as she often did, but would not stay the day, though much pressed, alledging, she was geting a beautiful fancy trimming on a gown, and must go home to shew her maid how to put it on, for she would not let the man­tua-maker do it, lest it should not be to her taste; but said if it was done, she [Page 84]would come in the evening, as she knew Charles would be out of town.

She left us soon after, and we heard no more of her till six in the after-noon, Letty came seemingly in a great hurry, with a request from her mistress, that I should go drink tea with her; I answered, she knew I could not leave my mother. Ah, ma'am! she bid me tell you, she is in the utmost distress, for Mr. Harman is come to tea, and she does not think it prudent to entertain gentlemen at her lodgings, without having some other lady with her, and she cannot make so free with any one but you, as to expect they would come on such short notice.

As Mr. Harman is reputed to be an admirer of Miss Freeman's, my mother was charmed with her discretion, and in­sisted I should go, saying, she was now well enough to amuse herself by reading. I therefore told the girl, I would follow her as soon as the horses could be put to, [Page 85]which I did. Miss Freeman met me on the stairs, and in her own rattling way, said I was the best girl in the world; if I had not come she would have been ruin­ed, for there was two of them with her now; but bid me not say any thing of being just sent for. We had by this time reached the drawing-room, where I found the gentleman already mentioned, and Mr. Hamilton; I would rather he had not been there, but as Charles was not likely to know of it, I was the less concerned; be it as it would, I would not go away again. We had tea immedi­ately; and a great deal of wit and repar­tee passed between Miss Freeman and her admirer, who seemed to think it in­cumbent on him to follow her lead, and she was remarkable lively, even for her that you know is always so.

All of a sudden, she proposed going to the Rotunda, which I readily assented to, thinking it more eligible than staying at home; the evening was so fine, we agreed to walk, and I ordered the car­riage there at ten. It was very full, and [Page 86]rather warm, so between the acts we walked in the garden; when we re­turned to the room, Miss Freeman com­plained of fatigue and thirst; the forms were all filled; but the gentlemen pro­posed going into a recess, and having coffee; which she accepted, saying, she was choaked with dust, and we went into one that a set of company had just quitted. Coffee and several other refresh­ments were soon brought, and we were sitting making our observations on the variety of figures that were moving in a circle before us, when Miss Freeman cried in a tone of astonishment, there is Mr. Skeffington; instantly he turned his head, and when he saw it was us, stepped in; I said, I was surprised to meet him there, as I did not expect him to town; he answered, I am sure you did not, and seemed to lay a particular emphasis on his words; I hope, says I, nothing ex­traordinary has happened; yes, madam, said he, something very extraordinary.

I was silent, perceiving at once what he meant, though I could not conceive how he got intelligence of my being there: the gentlemen pressed him to take coffee, but he declined, saying, he had some material business to transact, and had only called in to look for a per­son he had heard was there.

He cast a look full of indignation at me, and bowing to the company, with­drew, leaving us all looking at each other, as if we did not know whether we should take notice of his behaviour or not; till Miss Freeman said, laughing, she thought we looked as if we had got an­ger, and were afraid to speak.

To be sure Mr. Skeffington's temper was much ruffled at something, or he would not have behaved so odd: then turning to me, he will make an agreea­ble husband, my dear, if he has frequent returns of those humours.—I was con­fused at her directing the speech to me, but answered, the woman would deserve [Page 88]to be unhappy, that knowingly subjected herself to such caprice.

Mr. Hamilton, whom I saw, guessed he was the cause of what had passed, looked concerned and serious; but as for me, I was so full of resentment, that it kept up my spirits, and I was deter­mined to speak to him when I came home, and put a final end to the affair; for since he has no confidence in my af­fection, it is impossible we could be happy.

It seems he was of the same senti­ments, for he was gone before I came in. Kitty gave me a letter, saying, Mr. Skeffington left it for me, when he was going away.—Away where? she an­swered to England, ma'am. I asked no more questions, but came to my mother's chamber, who I found so chearful, that I knew she had not heard of it; so I went to my dressing-room, (as if to undress) and there I read the letters. I immedi­ately ordered the carriage to go for you, [Page 89]and then returned to my mother, and broke the matter to her as gently as I could, by telling her of the first com­mencement of Charles's jealousy, which I never mentioned before, wishing to save her from uneasiness, and still hoping a little reflection would cure him of that weakness; the hope I find was vain, ad­ed she, sighing, but my greatest concern at present is, to see my mother so much afflicted by his ingratitude. She wanted me to send after him, as he could not have got down to the packet when I came home; but I begged her not to insist on it, as I never would condescend so far, to a man, who upon such slight foundation could suspect my sincerity; I said, I thought her right, for it would probably be to no purpose, since he did not now seem capable of using his reason; it was therefore better to let him alone, till time and circumstances might open his eyes to conviction.

Mrs. Fitzgerald agreed with me, saying, she had not considered the matter properly at first. I asked them [Page 90]had they no suspicion of the author of that letter? Eliza said, she had no doubt it was Miss Freeman had it wrote; per­haps by her maid, but the words she was sure were her own, as the stile did not suit the writing and spelling, which were both of the vulgar kind. She said, she had not asked any particulars about his going, but would call Kitty now, for she had heard the chariot return since I came in.

When Kitty came, she was asked where John had left his master? she an­swered, he had staid to see him in the wherry, and the sailors said, the wind was so fair, he would be at the Head to breakfast. I then asked her, what had passed before he left the house; she said, the servants told her, for she was not be­low, that he came in soon after nine, which surprised them, as they did not expect him that night; he went to his study, and called for Will, who found him walking back and forward in great discomposure; he took no notice of him for some minutes, then bid him pack up [Page 91]all his things, with what haste he cou'd, for he was setting off immediately for England; and Will, if you chuse to come, you may pack up your own things too; but probably I shall not return these twoor three years, therefore take your choice. Will said, to be sure he would attend his honour, as long as he would give him leave, and went to do as he was ordered, but first stepped into the hall to tell the servants the news.

Mr. Skeffington came down in about half an hour; desired one of the men to call me, and when I came, bid me de­liver that letter to my mistress; she then repeated what he had said to her; ad­ding, he charged her not to mention his departure to his aunt; her young lady would tell it when she returned. He left directions for Will to follow with the trunks, as soon as possible, and drove off, leaving them all in great consternati­on; and for her, she said, she had been crying almost ever since, for though she did not know directly what the words meant, she guessed some mischief was [Page 92]between him and her mistress, and that he suspected her to be the cause of it; Eliza bid her not be uneasy, for she was convinced of her innocence, and then dismissed her.

We all retired to bed soon after, but I cannot say to rest, for Eliza and I talked over the affair the remainder of the night, which was already far advanced; and I took care to place his treatment of her, in such a light, as should raise her resent­ment, for I found her several times in­clined to melt into tears. We determined if Miss Freeman came next day, to say Charles was gone to England on business of importance, and watch her looks and behaviour, to see if they would confirm our suspicions, which in my opinion did not want confirmation, since it is impos­sible any one but her could know Eliza, and Mr. Hamilton would be at the Ro­tunda together, as it was by her means the thing happened.

She came as we expected, in the fore­noon, just as sprightly, and to all appear­ance as thoughtless as usual; but she is not what she seems to be in that respect: she had not sat long before she asked for Charles; and Eliza made the answer we agreed on; she looked astonished; and exclaimed, to England! you quite sur­prise me. Why should it surprise you, says I, that Mr. Skeffington, who has a large estate in England, should have bu­siness there? she was disconcerted at first, but recovered quick enough, and replied, because ma'am, I thought a certain event, (looking towards Eliza) was to take place so soon, that he would defer every other business till that was over. Eliza blush­ed, and was silent; but I made answer, Miss Fitzgerald was in no hurry about that affair. Here the subject dropped, and we talked of indifferent things till she left us, which she did very shortly, saying, she had a hundred visits to pay.

I went home to see Emily, and tell her what had happened, but returned again to stay the day with them; it passed [Page 94]over very well, as several friends had called in to see Mrs. Fitzgerald, and the Miss Boyle's came to tea; they always come early, so we had a good deal of time for chat; and I thought it best to tell them the real truth in regard to Char­les's sudden departure, for it will be certainly talked of, and reserve to them was unnecessary. They immediately fixed on Miss Freeman as the cause; and I found Mr. Hamilton had told them what passed at the gardens. We were still talking it over, and had sat down to tea, when Miss Freeman arrived; she told us, she was come to take leave, for since she saw us in the morning, she had received a letter with some news, which made it necessary for her to go home di­rectly, and she meant to sail in the next packet; we all cast a look at each other; and I said, it was a sudden call indeed, that put her in such a hurry; she made no reply to that, but chatted away in her usual stile about two hours, and then took leave, making a profusion of ac­knowlegements to Mrs. Fitzgerald, and Eliza, for the many civilities she had re­ceived from them; which provoked me [Page 95]so much, I could scarce forbear giving her a hint of my suspicions; but I con­sidered it best, to say nothing, as it could not answer any purpose, since she certainly would not own it.

After she was gone, we agreed there could be no doubt of what was taking her back; and I mentioned to the Boyle's what had been my opinion of her all along, and my reasons for it.

Eliza said, she would never dispute my penetration again; but she had thought her too giddy to be so designing. I have wrote to Harry Maunsell an account of Mr. Skeffington's behaviour, and begged him to have a watch on Miss Freeman, perhaps something will come out that will be of use to us, for I think, if his eyes were effectually opened, by a disco­very of her artifice, it would cure him of his foible, and they might yet be happy.

Mr. Hamilton's marriage with Miss Boyle, when that takes place, must go a good way towards undeceiving him.

Mr. Fitzgerald does not abate the least bit in his attention to our lovely widow, and she receives them very gra­ciously.

When I freed my heart from its fond prepossession, I thought I had done with love, and all its attendant perplexities, but I find I was mistaken, for I am now as much affected with the soft distresses of my friends, as I could possibly be with my own; I think rather more so, because if any of the follows took such airs with me, I should discard them at once, with­out a moment's pain. I wish I could in­spire Eliza with a little of my spirit, for it is such tender souls as you and she are, that make the men so saucy.

Do not call this a letter, it is quite a volume; by the time you have got through it, perhaps you may hear from me again.

The best wishes of your friends here, waits on the Compte, and your lady­ship. —None more sincerely, than those of my

Dear Gertrude's, Very Affectionate, LOUISA MORTIMER.


I DEFERED acknowleging the receipt of my dear Miss Mortimer's favour, till I could give some satisfactory account of my unhappy friend; unhappy I call him, though I think him blameable, but I must feel for him, since I too well know what he suffers, who loses all hopes of being united to the object of his fondest wishes. But I forget myself, and am transgressing against your cruel com­mands, [Page 99]not to mention that subject, which is, and will ever be nearest my heart; yet surely Louisa, you will par­don me, as you must at least allow there is some merit in my endeavours to obey you, when I find the task is so difficult.

I was under the necessity of letting James into the whole secret, as I should want his assistance, and have no doubt of his fidelity, I then gave him proper in­structions, and sent him to Jermyn­street, where he took a lodging, nearly opposite Mrs. Vernon's, so that he must see who went in and out there: it was in the evening, and as his landlady keeps a shop, he bought some tea, and begged leave to try it in her apartment, and sent for cakes to treat her and the chil­dren; she was much pleased with his ci­vility, which made her very communi­cative, and in the course of conversation she gave him the history of every family in the street, and told him all the genteel female servants frequented her shop, and often made parties to drink tea there, and be merry, just to help her, because [Page 100]she was a poor widow. James requested she would introduce him to some of them, as opportunity offered, which she promised; telling him, Miss Vernon's maid was the prettiest girl in the street, and she would invite her next evening: it was the very thing he wanted; so giving her to understand, he would provide the entertainment; he took his leave, telling her he should sleep there next night, and came to inform me of his proceedings.

I was well pleased at such a beginning, not doubting but he would so manage matters with the pretty damsel, as to get into the secrets of the young ladies, so far as would be useful to us. I sent him next day, that he might watch if Mr. Skeffington went there, and told him I should not expect to see him that night again.

Accordingly, he did not return till morning, when he informed me, he had the greatest hopes of succeeding to my wishes; for the girl he had been intro­duced to, was sister to Miss Freeman's maid; that she told him, that young lady had met with an accident by the overturning of the carriage, on her road from Ireland, which rendered her unable to travel, and her young lady was to go to her in a day or two, to stay with her till she recovered.

Finding he was an Irishman, she en­quired if he knew Mrs. Fitzgerald's fa­mily; being answered in the affirmative, she asked several questions about them and Charles in a manner that convinces him she knows the whole affair.

I have therefore laid a plan by which I think we shall come at the truth.

James is a well-looking lad, and the girl seemed pleased with his company; by treating her with a little gallantry, it is [Page 102]more than probable he will learn all she can tell him. He is already become a favourite, and is frequently with her, for her mistress is gone to attend her cousin, who still remains too ill to be moved; and Mrs. Vernon has been out of town some time, by which means he'll have great opportunities of getting into her con­fidence.

As you guessed, Charles did not come near me, but I made private enquiries, and found he was at his house in Sussex; however, I could get no knowlege of his intentions till yesterday, James luckily met Will Lacky, who had been sent to town on business; they were rejoiced to see each other, and stepped into a public house to take a glass; where William told him his master had some unfortunate misunderstanding with Miss Fitzgerald, and had left Dublin in a huff, was de­termined not to return this long time, and was now preparing to go abroad, he believed to Germany, and from thence to Italy.

He lamented greatly what had happen­ed, saying, he was sure the young mis­tress was not to blame, but his master would not hear reason.

James expressed his sorrow on the oc­casion, and having obtained a promise from Will to keep up a constant cor­respondence, they parted, and James came to tell what he had heard; and that he proposed corresponding, that I might have always intelligence of Mr. Skeffing­ton's movements, which it seems he did not intend to make any of his friends ac­quainted with.

I approved what he had done, and commended him highly for his attention to the business.

I hope my proceedings will meet the approbation of my lovely Louisa, and obtain her good opinion of one, at least, [Page 104]of that sex, against which she is so justly incensed by the folly and ingratitude of another.

I sincerely wish your fair friend had some share of that fortitude of which you exhibit such an example on all trying oc­casions: indeed, I should do well to wish for it myself too, since I have even more need of it than Miss Fitzgerald; because it is most likely resentment will keep her from repining; but I have not that to support me, and am, I think, more un­happy than if I had been ill used by the woman I adore.

Why will these ideas perpetually re­cur? I shall not fail to inform you of every thing material that passes, and have no doubt but matters will yet take a happy turn, if Mr. Hamilton marries Miss Boyle. Sure that alone will be suf­ficient to convince Charles of his error.

I will not now give you room to laugh at me by repeating what you have alrea­dy anticipated; so shall only say, I wish you may ever retain that charming viva­city which so exceedingly becomes you.

Adieu, my dear Miss Mortimer. As­sure yourself I shall always be,
Unalterably your's, HENRY MAUNSELL.


TWO days after I wrote to my dear Miss Mortimer, I received a short letter from Mr. Skeffington, apologizing for not calling on me, as his mind was in too distracted a state since he came to England, to make him a pleasing com­panion to any one; before that would reach me, he said, he should have set off with an intention of quitting these king­doms, [Page 107]till the memory of some late events, which no doubt I had heard of, were so far worn out, as to enable him to return to his own country with some degree of satisfaction, when he hoped we should renew that friendship which had ever afforded him so much pleasure.

James same time received a note from William, informing him, they were just setting out for Harwick, there to embark for Helvoetsluys; and promising to write to him from the first place, where he should find they were likely to make any stay: if he keeps his word, we shall not be at a loss where to find him; and as I am to go to France, I shall certainly make whatever place he is in my way, if he is not lost to reason.

I have now such a proof as must con­vince him the whole plan was laid by Miss Freeman; but I think it best he should suffer a-while; as the torments he feels from jealousy, will, when he [Page 108]finds how groundless it has been, be the most probable means of effecting his cure: and if Mr. Hamilton is married be­fore I leave England, it will be a strong testimony in our favour.—But to the most material point; James conti­nued his visits to Mrs. Betty, but quit his lodging, informing her, his master was returned from Ireland, where he had said I went on business; and that he found I had heard something very particular about Mr. Skeffington, who she had been speak­ing of, and who was his master's very particular friend.

This raised the girl's curiosity, and she made it a point that he should find out what it was; her young ladies were ex­pected in a few days, and I suppose she was desirous of having what intelligence she could against they came.

James told me what had passed, and we agreed he should not go to her for two or three days; he then paid his visit with [Page 109]a face of great concern, and when she questioned him in regard to what he had heard from me, he evaded answering, and seemed unwilling to enter on the sub­ject, which made her more anxious to know, till at length he suffered himself with great difficulty to be prevailed on to tell her, I had by some means disco­vered that there was mischief made be­tween Mr. Skeffington and the lady he was going to marry, by a scheme of Miss Freeman's; that Mr. Skeffington was gone abroad in consequence of it, but he found I was determined to lay the whole matter before Mrs. Vernon, and insist on her using her authority with her daugh­ter, (who he knew was privy to the af­fair) to produce all her cousin's letters from Dublin, by which means he said, I hoped to effect a reconciliation between the parties concerned; and concluded by saying, he flattered himself she had no­thing to do in it, for if she had, she would certainly lose her place, besides being greatly exposed, as they all would, who had entered into such a wicked plot,

The girl was terrified, and said it would be the ruin of both her and her young lady, if his master should acquaint Mrs. Vernon of the affair; though she de­clared, neither of them had any farther to do with it, than by knowing there was such a plan, and how it was carried on; of which her sister constantly inform­ed her by letter, as Miss Freeman, she was sure, did her mistress; for she had often heard her wish, her cousin had ne­ver gone to Ireland, as she feared it would have bad consequences.

She then asked him, could he think of any way to prevent his master telling Mrs. Vernon; for if it was done, she did not see how either her mistress or she could stand the anger they would get for not discovering it at first; for her part, she was determined to run away, though she did not know where to go, since she had neither father nor mother living, [Page 111]and must earn her own bread; here she cried bitterly, and James affected much uneasiness for her, she pressing him all the time to think of some expedient that would save them from being exposed to the old lady's wrath.

After much pretended consideration, he told her he had just thought of one, which if she consented to, he believed would not fail of satisfying me, as all I wanted was to lay open to Mr. Skeffing­ton and Miss Fitzgerald, the art that had been used to separate them, and if that could be done without applying to Mr. Vernon, he was sure I would at once give that up.

She was earnest to know what she could to do; and he said, if her sister's letters to her contained sufficient infor­mation, and that she would part with them, he was certain he could prevent all farther enquiries, and perhaps obtain a reward for her besides; as he could put [Page 112]her behaviour in the best light to his master.

Betty who was most hearty, readily complied with his proposal, making no other terms than those, that he should get my promise never to make the affair known to Mrs. Vernon; for she was sure them letters contained every thing I wished to know, and she believed more than Miss Freeman's.

She delivered a parcel of letters to him, which he brought in triumph to me, mightily elated with his success. I im­mediately sat down to examine them, and found a long account of her mistress's attachment to Mr. Skeffington, and her Intention to seize the first opportunity of creating a quarrel between, him and his intended bride; and says in one of them, she had discovered by Miss Fitzgerald's maid, that he had been jealous of a Mr. Hamilton; and her mistress had given her a silk gown for the information: she observes, the girl that told her meant no [Page 113]harm; but she was a simple innocent body, and was not aware of the conse­quence.

The last letter is however the most material, as it contains the whole plan, which was to be put in execution the day after it was dated, and mentions her having wrote that note, dictated by her mistress, that was to be deliver­ed to Mr. Skeffington just when he was going out of town.

The whole collection is wretchedly spelt and wrote, so that I could scarce decypher some of them; however as it was the same hand wrote the anony­mous note which Charles gave such credit to, I think he must believe his own eyes when he compares them to­gether, for I hope that is not destroy­ed.

I sent the girl a few guineas by James, and my promise not to mention the transaction except to those it con­cerned; for I find by her sister's letters, she advised her not to have any thing to do with such a wicked scheme, and had great scruples of conscience about it.

The young ladies are come to Town, but Miss Freeman is confined to her chamber after the journey: the hurt she got was in her head, and the effect will not, (as the surgeons say) be speedi­ly removed.

She ought to have remained where she was, at least a fortnight longer; but her impatience to get home in hopes of finding Charles, was so great, she could not listen to advice; and she now makes herself worse with fretting, lest he should go from England before she is able to see him.

At present she supposes he is in Sus­sex, as Betty tells James, and she on her own account does not pretend to know any thing about him.

I am exceedingly happy in being able to dive so far into this contrivance, as will I think bring matters to a pleasing conclusion between our friends, at least, my endeavours shall not be wanting for such a desirable purpose.

I hope to be favoured with a line on the receipt of this; and am,

My dear Louisa's, Most devoted servant, HENRY MAUNSELL.


I Cannot express how much you have obliged me by interesting yourself so heartily in the affair I mentioned to you; and Eliza to whom I communi­cated your success, is quite ashamed at the trouble you have had, attended with some expence; she is however a good deal pleased that the truth will be [Page 117]brought to light; for though she has not now a thought of marrying Mr. Skeffington, she wishes to be cleared of the imputation of jilting him; which she looks on, (and so to be sure does every one of common delicacy) as a most scan­dalous blot in a female character; in­deed I who know every secret of her heart, can venture to affirm she never had the smallest tendency to any kind of levity.

The anonymous epistle is safe in my possession; and you will shortly have the happiness of receiving it from my fair hand—now I know you are overwhelmed with joy and surprise, and can scarce believe you have read it right; but you may, for so it is.

I have promised to accompany Mrs. Fitzgerald and Eliza to Montpellier; the late shock they received, has had a bad effect on their spirits, and I ad­vised them to this jaunt, but they would [Page 118]not go without me; so I have consent­ed to be of the party; for beside the pleasure I shall have in being with them, I long to see Gertrude, and I know she and her agreeable Count are now at Roussillon; I shall write by this post to inform her of our intention, and get her to secure accommodations for us in the town.

Now I mention that, will you be so good to take a lodging for us for a week, against we reach London, where we stop merely to rest, for this is not a season for making any stay there: two floors will do us.

We mean to set out in two days, and will go to you when we arrive, to know where you have fixed us.

But pray now moderate your trans­ports, when we meet; for positively those raptures, which were pretty enough [Page 119]when we were eighteen, are mighty silly at four-and-twenty.

Mr. Hamilton and Miss Boyle are certainly to be married.—Farewell till I see you,



I Believe my dear Gertrude will hear with pleasure that I shall set out in two days from this date on my way to Montpellier, in company with Mrs. Fitzgerald and Eliza, whom I have pre­vailed on to take the journey, which [Page 121]I hope will recruit both their health and spirits, at present very much affected by Mr. Skeffington's beha­viour.

I must trouble you to secure apart­ments for us in the most agreeable part of the town; our family will consist of ourselves, Eliza's waiting damsel, and mine, one man servant we take with us, and we must certainly get a French valet de chambre for the time we stay, so you will provide accommodations ac­cordingly.

Mrs. Fitzgerald does not take her woman, because she has her town house­keeper, and being a trusty body, can be depended on to take charge of every thing in the house, and the furni­ture you know is very valuable; therefore Eliza's maid is to supply her place.

I know you would wish to have us at the Chateau; but it will be more agree­able to Mrs. Fitzgerald to have a lodg­ing in the town; besides there is too many of us to go to you, who are not in a house of your own; however, as we shall be so near you, we can be every day together.

Miss Freeman was, as I suspected, the author of all the disturbances I men­tioned to you in my last: Harry Maun­sell has letters in his possession that prove it past contradiction; how he came by them is (in the language of auction bills) too tedious to insert, as I have still several little things to do pre­paratory to my journey; but the story will serve us for conversation when we are traversing the shady walks of Rous­sillon together, which I hope we soon shall.

We mean to go through Holland, and make as little delay on the road as possible.

The first of August is fixed for the marriage of Mr. Hamilton and Miss Boyle; they are to set off for Belle Park next day, where they make a short stay, and then go to Hamilton Hall for the remainder of the summer, but will be in town every winter: he has taken an elegant house in Merrion­square: they will be an amiable couple, and I am pleased on every account they are to be so soon married.

Mrs. Herbert informs me her sister-in-law is just on the eve of matrimony with a young man of large fortune in that country; Patty is very happy on the occasion, as she feared her brother [Page 124]would absent himself a good deal from her house while Miss Herbert remained single; for as he knew her prepossession in his favor, and could not return it, it certainly would not be agree­able to him to be much in her com­pany, and she was frequently at her brother's.

Patty tells me Mr. Herbert is deter­mined to come to Dublin in about a year, their eldest girl will by that time want proper masters, and he is so fond of her, he cannot bear sending her to a boarding-school, nor does she much like that mode of education if it can be avoided; she chuses to have her daugh­ters under her own eye; but Mr. Herbert is so fond of the country, she feared he would never consent to liv­ing for any time in town; but to her great joy he made the proposal himself.

they have got a large addition to their fortune by the death of a distant rela­tion.

How happy shall I be to have this dear companion of my childhood set­tled near me once more; for to be sure, on the child's account, they'll stay in town at least six or eight months in the year.

Emily left me yesterday; she is gone with her father and mother to the coun­try, but they will all return early in the winter: Mr. O'Neil has taken a house, so Mrs. Rochfort must be there when next she comes to Dublin; but I fancy it won't be for any long time, as matters between her and Mr. Fitz­gerald are, I find, most likely to be concluded to the satisfaction of all par­ties, her father being quite content.

I have told you a deal of news, and reserved as much more for our meeting.—Till then adieu,

Believe me Sincerely your's, LOUISA MORTIMER.


AS I am persuaded my dear Emily is anxious to hear of our safe arrival, I seize the first leisure moment that has offered to inform you we per­formed our journey surprisingly well, and Mrs. Fitzgerald bore it to a mira­cle, scarce complaining of fatigue till the last day or two: We made but three days stay in London, for as she found herself quite able to proceed, [Page 128]there was no occasion for delay, nor did we stop longer than was necessary amongst the high and mighty Lords, so could make no material observations on the people, except those obvious ones of their cleanliness and industry, which are thread-bare themes, they have been so often expatiated on al­ready.

I think indeed they excel their En­glish neighbours in both those quali­ties; as for the former, they are down­right slaves to it, since they debar them­selves the use of their rooms for fear of dirtying them; which is carrying the point to excess, and excesses even in virtue border on vice.

We have been here some days, and are settled very agreeably in the midst too of acquaintances, for here are se­veral of our country people that we had some knowledge of, who paid us their compliments as soon as we were known [Page 129]to be here, and we are now quite so­ciable.

Gertrude, though prepared by my letter to expect us, was very near faint­ing when we met, her joy so far over­came her. She is somewhat increased in size since you saw her, and is nearly as much ashamed of it as if she was not married; it is surprising that she has not conquered her bashfulness in this country, where I believe she is herself the only example of it; but she seems not one bit altered in that respect.

The Count's affection is, I think, rather warmer than before she was his wife, and she says all his family treat her with the greatest tenderness, so that I have the satisfaction of seeing her happy; only she now and then wishes to be in Ireland amongst her own friends, but as she will come over some times to see us all, and will also see many of them here at times, she will [Page 130]by degrees be reconciled to the necessi­ty of living in France.

Next to my own country it is the place I would chuse; the disposition of the people here being very like the Irish in kindness and attention to strang­ers; and if their present Monarch goes on as he has begun, they bid fair to be restored to their natural rights, liberty I mean; for he is daily loosening the bands of oppression and slavery; while our Rulers are only studying how to rivet the chains with which they have been loading the people as long as I can remember.

Poor Eliza tries to be chearful, but her heart revolts against the attempt, and it does but make the settled languor that has overspread her countenance more visible; her forced smiles make my heart ach, and bring the tears into her mother's eyes, who anxiously watches every turn of her features.

I grieve that the dear girl cannot combat her tenderness for one who, I fear, would never make her happy, but I am not surprized at it, for in a temper so gentle as hers, that cannot long harbour resentment, one might expect ill usage would have just the effect it appears to have on her; you know it was what I feared, and was the the reason I wished she would change the scene; as every object at home would revive some idea it was necessa­ry she should forget.

I am in hopes that time, and the agreeable variety she meets with here, will in some degree restore her peace.

The letters Mr. Maunsell has are exactly in the same hand as the anony­mous one sent to Charles; therefore he must be convinced, when he sees them; but unless it could make an absolute change in his disposition, I would never [Page 132]advise her to marry him; for a jealous husband would be misery indeed.

Well, and how goes on your affair? Do you still keep up that matronly gravity with which you used to receive Mr. Fitzgerald's attentions? for I dare say he has paid you a visit in the coun­try before now; do tell me all about it, that I may amuse Eliza with the reci­tal. —You shall hear soon from me again; mean time, believe me,

Affectionately Your's, LOUISA MORTIMER.


Dear Emily,

I HAD the pleasure of yours within these few days; and am much ob­liged to you for writing, without wait­ing to hear from me; there is how­ever a letter of mine on its way to you, which I suppose you will soon receive, and which contains an ac­count [Page 134]of our health, and so forth, I am sorry I cannot tell you that Eliza is better, but indeed I cannot as yet perceive the least amendment, tho' I do not think she is any thing worse.

Mrs. Fitzgerald has received great benefit from the air and exercise she takes here, if Eliza was well I believe her mother wou'd have no com­plaint.

I hope little Emily is quite reco­vered from the small-pox, and con­gratulate you on her having it so fa­vourably, and while she is so young; it is best early, let the event be what it will: for if they recover, there is a deal of anxiety over; but if it plea­ses Heaven to take them, the affliction cannot be so heavy for an infant, as if they were taken from us at a later period of their lives.

I had yesterday a letter from Henry Maunsell; he tells me Miss Freeman's health is in a most dangerous state; she was pretty well, and sent down to Sussex to enquire about Charles, but when she received for answer that he was gone abroad, disappointment and vexation, threw her into violent hys­teric fits, which continued, with short intermissions, for two days, and have left her so weak and low that the phi­sicians apprehended a galloping con­sumption will be the consequence, as medicine seems to have little or no effect; to be sure it cannot have much, as the cause of her disorder lies in her mind, and not likely to be removed.

What a dreadful thing it is to be governed so absolutely by our passi­ons; for it brings on the worst kind of bodily complaints, which one would think sufficient to deter people from giving the reigns to their headstrong [Page 136]inclinations, supposing they have no regard to religious precepts, which however ought to be the first motive with a christian to correct the wild sallies of an impetuous disposition.

Nature had been liberal of her en­dowments to Miss Freeman, both as to person and understanding, which had she made a proper use of, would have enabled her to make a pleasing, if not a shining figure, in life; but by forsaking the path of moral rec­titude, she has lost both her health and her peace; the gentle heart of Eliza is grieved for her, tho' she is herself suffering from the unhappy girl's misconduct.

You cannot form an idea of any thing more beautiful than the situa­tion and improvements of Roussillon; I think the very air that blows there inspires one with the softest, most pleasing serenity imaginable, and I am [Page 137]not at all surprised that Gertrude should learn to love, and even be prevailed on to acknowledge it, in these de­lightful bowers; for doubtless external objects operate powerfully on the dis­position of the mind; especially of Women.

Place a pair of lovers on a barren rock, the wind and sea roaring round them, and I think the dreary pros­pect would extinguish every wish but that of finding shelter from the jar­ring elements; at least I will venture to answer for the damsel, that the tenderest eloquence would be lost on her in such a place; but change the scene, and place them in a blooming arbour, a gentle rivulet murmuring by, and all nature smiling round them, there let him tell his soft tale, and I think he need not doubt a kind reception; for me, I am so convinced of it, that I am arming my heart with all its insensibility against Harry Maunsell comes; for I think it will [Page 138]require no small degree of stoicism, to remain unmoved by the soft lan­guage of his speaking eyes, joined to the love-inspiring scene around me.

I fear if I was not fully prepared for the danger, I should, forgetful of my promise, and even of my own disinclination to matrimony, step to the next church and present him with my fair hand.

I think I hear you say, this girl's pen runs faster than her wit; but consider child, tho' I rattle a great deal, there is many a true word— pardon me, I had like to write a whole proverb, in defiance of Lord Chesterfield.

The old Compte and Comptese and their daughters arrived at the Chat­teau four days since; their son-in-law is to follow soon; they are most [Page 139]agreeable people; as for Madame St. Variolle I am quite charmed with her; and delighted to see the tender friend­ship that subsists between her and Gertrude; she is exceeding sprightly, but does not give into the gallantry that is usually practised here; I mean, she does not encourage any particu­lar gentleman to attend her; as to the men in general, the custom of the country permits a degree of fa­miliarity with them, that appears odd to us, whose manners are more reserved; it would throw us into the utmost confusion to have our male visitors ushered into our bedchambers before we were up, or to our toilet, while we were dressing: yet so powerful is custom; it is done here without the least idea of indelicacy by women who, I am convinced, are as perfect­ly virtuous as any woman in Ireland; and that I think is saying every thing for them: even amongst those married ladies who fall in with the fashion of having a particular admirer, (which most of them do) I am satisfied the [Page 140]greater number of them are as chaste as Lucretiā.

I know several of them, who from the justness of their sentiments, and the whole tenor of their conduct, I am persuaded, would not deviate from the right path, in so material a point; be it as it may, they are more refined in their gallantry than the English ladies, who are gross enough to stoop so low as their footmen and grooms, of which we have had several instances within these few years.

Gertrude cannot be brought to comply with any of the customs I have mentioned, and is a good deal rallied for her bashfulness, even by the Compte: I dare say, she will in a while admit gentlemen to her toi­let; it is almost impossible to avoid it, without being impolite and sin­gular.

We have thoughts of taking a trip to Paris, that is Eliza and I, accom­panied by Gertrude and her Lord, and Madame St. Veriolle, who has invited us to her house, and was in­deed the first proposer of the jaunt; I had it in contemplation before, as a thing that would amuse Eliza, but had not mentioned it: she seemed pleased when it was spoke of, and Mrs. Fitzgerald consented at once; saying, she could never want company, there were so many of our acquain­tances in town.

I fancy we shall set out in day or two; our stay will not be very long; so you need not expect to hear from me again, till after we return'; by that time, perhaps, I shall have some interesting intelligence from Henry, who I imagine is ere now on his way to Geneva, where he was in­formed Charles meant to make some stay.

We are going to dine at Roussil­lon, and I am yet to dress; I shall therefore bid you farewell, for I must take a little more time than usual, to make myself very lovely, as there are to be three or four young Dukes, and as many Marquisses (no­thing under to be met with here, who are all candidates for my fa­vour.

Do you know that I am the admiration of the French Men quite eclipse Eliza, who is acknow­ledged to be infinitely handsomer; they say, if she had Miss Morti­mer's vivacity, she would be but too charming; indeed I wish I could give her a little chearfulness; I would willingly share my conquests with her, if that would blot Charles from her memory—but it will not be.

Compliments to Mr. and Mrs. O'Neil:—believe me,

Affectionately Your's, LOUISA MORTIMER.


Dear Emily,

A Sudden illness which attacked Mrs. Fizgerald put a stop to our intended jaunt to Paris; for though she was well again in two days, we would not venture to leave her, as from the symptoms we fear­ed it was the gout in her stomach, which might return, and we could not have enjoyed ourselves under that [Page 145]apprehension, if we were three hun­dred and fifty miles from her: we there­fore contented ourselves with mak­ing short excursions of two or three leagues, and have visited several of the nobility and gentry, who are re­lations or friends of the Roussillon fa­mily, and were every where received with that pleasing attention and po­liteness, for which this nation is dis­tinguished, and which makes it such an agreeable residence for strangers.

The adjacent country is very de­lightful; but not near so populous as England or Ireland; it is impossible it should, if we consider the thou­sands of both sexes that are buried in Convents; besides their clergy be­ing condemned to perpetual celi­bacy.

I will not dispute about the piety of shutting up their youth from the world, though, in my opinion, our [Page 146]duty to God does not consist in se­cluding ourselves from society; but putting religion out of the question, it is certainly the most impolitic cus­tom, that was ever allowed by any government, since it must depopu­late, and consequently impoverish the country.

Spain and Portugal, where this reli­gious phrenzy is carried to the highest excess, are melancholy proofs of it, for at least half of each kingdom lies un­cultivated and uninhabited, while their convents and monasteries are crammed with people, who, were they exercising their different talents in the world, might be useful members of the com­munity.

France is not so bad in this respect, as there are some bounds set here to su­perstition, and I think some limitation to the number of those houses; they begin to see how destructive these insti­tutions [Page 147]are to the prosperity of the king­dom in general.

I have given you a dissertation upon Convents, as it is a subject England or Ireland does not afford us, and I thought you would expect something new from France.

I have had a letter from Harry Maunsell; he is yet at Geneva, and ledged at the same house with Mr. Skessington.

The first night he arrived he stayed at the house where he set up; but you shall have it in his own words as fol­lows:

I went next day to a Coffee-house, where I thought it likely I should meet him: He was not there when first I went, [Page 148]but there were several Gentlemen of the town, with whom I had been acquaint­ed when on my travels, who all came up to compliment me, and I had been conversing with them about half an hour, when Charles came in; his coun­tenance shewed his mind was not at ease, for he appeared pale and languid, and much altered for the worse since last I saw him. He spoke to some Gentle­men near him, and then took a seat, without once perceiving me, and seem­ed so lost in thought, that when I went up to him, the sound of my voice made him start.

He however expressed great plea­sure at seeing me, and asked was I go­ing to Montpellier, as he knew I in­tended? Having answered him in the affirmative, he said he should be glad to accompany me, if I would wait till he got letters from England.

You may guess this proposal was instantly complied with on my part, as he could not have made a more agreeable offer.

At his request I then walked to his lodgings, and as we went he apo­logized for leaving England without seeing me, saying, he was at that time in a situation of mind not to be de­scribed; he was now better, and hoped time and proper reflexion would re­store his peace; but added, sighing, it is hard to break the cord of affection that has been for years twining itself round the heart; I believe, Harry, that is a truth your own feelings will make you acknowledge. He touched a ten­der string; I too sighed assent to his observation, and the ideas it raised kept us both silent till we were seated in his apartments.

He then insisted I should dine with him; and said if I was not al­ready [Page 150]fixed, I could be accommodat­ed in that house, and it would make him very happy.

I soon agreed about it, and send­ing James with my Trunks, took im­mediate possession of my chambers.

In the evening we went out to pay some visits, and did not return until late, so that nothing farther passed that night on the material subject; but I determined to intro­duce it the first convenient offer he gave me, as I thought it necessary the af­fair should be thouroghly discussed before he and Miss Fitzgerald met.

But I do not mean to tell him she is at Montpellier; shame would certainly prevent his going there, for he has declared he never can bear to see her, after the unpardonable [Page 151]folly he has been guilty of, as he cannot expect forgiveness▪

I had soon an opportunity of en­tering on the subject, by his men­tioning Miss Freeman.

You are possessed of a happy in­sensibility, Charles, said I, that can speak with so much indifference of a woman that is dying for you.

He looked very serious, and said, he was not now in a disposition for joking: I assured him I did not mean it as a joke, then replied he, excuse me Mr. Maunsell, if I disapprove of your seriously affirming such an in­delicate story of a young lady I highly esteem; though I am not coxcomb enough to suppose she loves me.—If, answered I, you really did not see her partiality to you, which I find other people did, I am [Page 152]not surprised you should be displeas­ed at my mentioning it, as a wo­man's delicacy ought to be sacred; but when she herself departs from it, and goes such unwarrantable lengths to gratify her passion, surely she has no right to expect others will speak of her with much tenderness.

He looked astonished, and saying, he did by no means comprehend me, begged I would explain myself.

I immediately went for a small box, in which I kept the letters, and lay­ing it on the table, told him, he would find in that a full explanation of the matter, and also of some disa­greeable circumstances, which I be­lieved would appear to him in a quite different light, after he had read those papers, from what they had done.

Being engaged for the evening, I left him to peruse them at his leisure, and make his own reflections on them.

I did not return until late, so went directly to my chamber, though James told me, Mr. Sheffington was not in bed, but had been walking about his room for some time, as if under an agitation; but as that was not an hour to enter on the topic, I retired to rest, and did not see him until we met at breakfast.

He looked embarrassed, and con­tinued silent, seemingly at a loss how to begin the subject, until I led the way, by asking, had he looked over the letters? he replied, I have, and am ashamed of my own folly and in­gratitude in affronting, by my unjust suspicions, the sweet girl who was in­capable of giving me any real cause for them, though I have been so in­dustrious [Page 154]in seeking out imaginary ones; but, said he, I have suffered se­verely for it, and shall continue to suffer even more from reflecting on the happiness I have wantonly flung from me.

I expressed a hope that matters might still be made up between him and Miss Fitzgerald; but he declared he could never bring himself to ap­pear before her; or if he did, to what purpose would it be, for though the gen­tleness of her disposition might prevent her harbouring any violent resentment against him, yet he could not expect she would hazard her peace by unit­ing herself to a man who had given such proofs of a jealous temper; for notwithstanding I feel myself perfectly cured of that foible, how shall I con­vince her that it would not break out again: No, Maunsell, she never can so far forget the unkind treatment she has met with from me; and I must [Page 155]bid adieu to all the felicity I once promised myself.

He ceased speaking, and was so much affected, that I was moved at his affliction, especially as I thought his fears were well founded, and that it is very probable, though Miss Fitz­gerald may pit and forgive, she will not marry him; unless she can be brought to believe, (as I really do) that he will never again yield to a passion which caused him so much uneasiness.

It was not for some time that he thought of asking how I came pos­sessed of those letters? I told him James had some how got acquainted with Miss Vernon's Maid, who let him into the secret, and he knowing how much I was interested for your happiness, persuaded her to give him these papers, which would lay the whole scheme open; but I must tell [Page 156]you, Charles, your friends saw at first there was a plot in it, and as Miss Freeman immediately followed you to England, concluded it was concerted between you; till your going abroad, and the intelligence James gave me of the effect it had on the lady's health, convinced us, it was all her own con­trivance.

He said he had no right to com­plain of our suspicions, since he must own appearances were much against him, especially to Eliza, who was con­scious of her own innocence.

I took occasion from thence to preach to him on the folly of trust­ing to appearances, and not giving our own reason fair play; it was that has­tiness in judging had caused all this misunderstanding, and interrupted his own peace as well as that of his dearest friends.

He acknowledged the justice of my observation, and said, he was so perfectly sensible of his error, that he hoped he was quite secure from falling into it again.

Indeed I hope and believe so too; if my Louisa should be of that opi­nion, will she not become his advo­cate with her fair friend? I have since told him all I had heard of the ac­cident Miss Freeman met with on the road, and the very precarious state she is now in; for when I left England there was very little hopes of her: but I did not think it necessary to tell him it was I employed James to dive into the affair, since he did not seem to suspect it.

He made some pertinent remarks on the impropriety of the young lady's conduct, as well as her ingratitude to his [Page 158]Eliza, who had shewn her so much friendship.

We are now only waiting for the letters he expects from England, which I hope will not detain us much longer; as I have the utmost impatience till I again view that enchanting face, and hear the music of those accents, which vibrate to my heart, and cause such pleasing sensations, as none but those who love as I do can feel."

So far Harry Maunsell; you see I have given you the conclusion of his epistle, least you should imagine he was so stupid as not to be affected by our approaching meeting, or so impo­lite as not to tell me so:—Besides, I know young widows like to hear soft nonsense, whether said to themselves or others; not but I suppose you have sufficient entertainment of that sort from your own swain, now that all impedi­ments are removed.

I charge you do not think of marry­ing till I return, for I intend the same day shall serve for you and Eliza, and then I can perform the part of bride-maid to you both; as I foresee my me­diation will not be necessary to bring about a reconciliation in that quarter.

Harry knows little of the matter, if he thinks his friend has need of an ad­vocate; but I do not mean to tell him so; for it gives these men such conse­quence in their own eyes, when they find their influence is so powerful over our fond hearts.

Instead of pleading for the offender, I am endeavouring to fortify Eliza with resolution to keep up some degree of dignity on their meeting, and to take at least a few days before she suffers herself to be persuaded to sign his abso­lute pardon.

But I fear all my good lessons will be forgot, when the loved youth appears; unless the sense of his own demerits may make him too humble to ask a compleat restoration to her favour.

Harry's letter threw her into the prettiest agitation imaginable, when she found they were coming to Montpel­lier; but the idea of Charles's suffer­ings melted her to tears; in short, she was quite fluttered, and affected a hun­dred different ways; but that I am not surprized at, for her mother was not much better, though the affection she bears him is only that of a parent, while her daughter's are of a much ten­derer kind.

Her health mends apace, and her countenance begins to wear its usual serenity; even the country seems to have new beauties for her; at least she [Page 161]had hitherto passed them over unnotic­ed; so true is that line of the song,

" We only can taste when the heart is ease.

Well, these sensitive plants may boast of their exquisite feelings, but for me, I am content to be only moderately happy, on condition of never being supremely miserable; and for that pur­pose took pains to suppress those violent sensibilities that would not be controuled by reason, and are therefore always dangerous, and frequently fatal, to the person who possesses them.

A letter from Harriet Boyle to Eliza, informs her of her sister's nuptials with Mr. Hamilton; I wonder how Charles will look when he hears of it; for Har­ry does not say he had mentioned any thing of that to him.

Mrs. Fitzgerald begins to long for home; however we shall not leave this for some time yet; it would be foolish to make so short a stay, after so long a journey.

I shall not write to you again till I can inform you how matters are accom­modated between Charles and Eliza.



I AM sure my dear Emily will be full of impatience to know how our lovers quarrel has ended; why, as all love quarrels do end; in an encreased affection for each other.

As I foretold, she signed an act of oblivion, as soon as he could assume resolution enough to ask it, which was [Page 164]not for two days, such a just sense had he of his high crimes and misde­meanors.

I am provoked that she could think more lightly of them than he did; I would have taken one little week's be­seeching, at least, before I would have suffered myself to be prevailed on; a pardon so easily obtained may encou­rage him to farther transgressions; but Eliza has no art, and as her heart for­gave, she could not keep her tongue from acknowledging it: to tell truth, I believe she will have no cause to re­pent; for he seems so perfectly con­vinced of his fault, that I think it im­possible he can ever fall into it again— But I must tell you how matters were conducted to bring them together.

Harry never gave the smallest hint of our being here, and contrived not to come in till night, least they should by any accident meet us or our ser­vants; [Page 165]he then made some excuse for going out, and came himself to inform me of their arrival.

Fortunately Eliza was in her mother's chamber; and it was agreed between him and me he should bring Charles in the morning, as if to visit a friend of his; and I was to prepare the ladies for the interview.

When he left me, which was not till I positively insisted on his going, I went to Mrs. Fitzgerald's room to commu­nicate the matter to them, having first bid Kitty withdraw; but I was soon obliged to recal her; for I had but just said Mr. Maunsell was with me, when Eliza dropt on the floor in a fainting fit, which put us all into a hurry and confusion for some minutes, when she began to revive, and soon after, by proper applications, was perfectly re­covered.

Her spirits, which were always weak, have been still weaker this while past, and sunk under the sudden mention of Harry's arrival, knowing who accom­panied him.

When we were once more left to ourselves, I told her, if she had not resolution to support the idea of seeing Mr. Skeffington, I feared she would never stand a meeting next morning, so I had better write a note to forbid his coming, as such another fit might have a bad effect on her health.

She begged I would not teaze her, but tell her was he really to come, since she found some preparation would be necessary to enable her to receive him with any degree of composure.

I then informed her how we had set­tled it, and advised her to retire to rest, [Page 167]and try to conquer the flutter she had thrown herself into, else Charles must have a physician for his gentleman-usher; as I supposed his palpitations would be as great as her's, some of the faculty should certainly be at hand to apply proper re­storatives.

I was obliged to talk nonsense, to prevent her making such a serious mat­ter of it, and when I had set her and her mother laughing, at the ridiculous description of what I suppose their meet­ing would be, I bid them good night, and went to my bed, where I slept very comfortably, till disturbed by Eliza, who, I dare say, had not closed her eyes.

I arose, and was but just dressed, when our French Valet informed me two gentlemen enquired for me.—I instantly went to them, and soon as I entered the room, Mr. Skeffigton ap­proached with a rueful countenance, [Page 168]and with great humility kissing my hand, said, will Miss Mortimer receive a pe­nitent, and deign to intercede with her lovely friend for a man who has so high a sense of his faults, that he is inca­pable of pleading his own cause!

I told him, smiling, his sex were seldom so humble; therefore, as I lov­ed to encourage good dispositions, and had beside a proper state of the case laid before me by Mr. Maunsell, I had ventured to become his advocate, and had so far succeeded, that his aunt and cousin had promised to receive him as a friend that had been absent, without any retrospect to former disagreeable occurrences, which I believed it would be best not to mention as yet.

He was full of acknowledgments for my kindness; and I conducted him to his audience.

His colour went and came as he ap­proached, and his voice faultered so, he could not articulate a word, which Mrs. Fitzgerald observing, stept for­ward to meet him, and kindly taking his hand, said, my dear child, I rejoice to see you, (indeed she loves him as if he was he own) then turning to Eliza, will not you welcome your cousin my love? The dear girl, who was little less agitated than he, held out her hand, which he pressed to his lips, and then ventured to salute her; while she was utterly unable to speak, as a tear stood trembling in her eye, which would have overflowed its bounds on the least at­tempt at speech: their silence however was sufficiently eloquent, since it plain­ly discovered how their hearts stood affected to each other.

I thought it high time to put an end to the pantomine, which was likely to become too distressing, so hurried them into the breakfast room where Harry [Page 170]was; who, advancing to pay his com­pliments, relieved them all from a very aukward situation.

The conversation then became gene­ral, till the gentlemen left us, to pay a visit at Roussillon; being first invited to dinner by Mrs. Fitzgerald.

Harry told me after, he had inform­ed Mr. Skeffington, when he got him near our hotel, who he was to meet, and it was with the greatest difficulty he could prevail on him to proceed; not till he assured him, I would interest myself in his favor, and knowing my influence over Eliza he had no doubt of my success.

They continued on these terms for two days, not a hint of past transac­tions dropping from either party; when being all engaged to pass the day at the Chateau, every one, as is usual there, [Page 171]disposed of themselves as they found most agreeable.

Eliza, it seems, had retired to that arbour, where the Compte first declar­ed his passion to Gertrude, and was followed by Charles, who had observed where she went.

I also was straying in the garden, and passing in sight of the place; she came out and joined me, not thinking I saw him there: but if I had not, the blush still mantling on her cheek would have betrayed her: I just patted it say­ing, well Eliza, that blush is not for nothing; Charles has pleaded his cause more effectually than the ablest ad­vocate could do; is it not so, she said, I was a provoking girl, and she would not tell me; she knew I would blame her, and she could not help it now.

Indeed, Eliza, you wrong me; I ne­ver blame any one for consulting their own happiness; and I suppose, my dear, you are the best judge of what will con­stitute your's.

Fie Louisa, said she; there is no standing your looks, no more than your expressions, when you chuse to be teiz­ing.—Just then, to her great relief, we were joined by Madame de St. Veriolle, which prevented our pursuing the subject.

I am sure she was heartily glad of the interruption, for I dare say, she could not have brought herself to tell me, she had consented to give her hand to Charles as soon after our return to Ireland, as matters could be settled for the purpose; which I was informed of by Henry, the first opportunity he had of speaking to me alone.

He was full of joy at his friend's success; and asked if Eliza had told me; no, I replied; but I knew some­thing of the kind had been the conse­quence, when I saw she had been with him in the arbour, for arbours are of all other places the most dangerous to female resolution; he laughed at the idea; and clasping me to his bosom, wished, if that was the case, he could find me in one.—When we get home, you will be all marrying and giving in marriage; I only shall remain in the singular case.

I don't however find myself a bit uneasy at the reflection: the epithet of old maid, is not at all formidable to me; for as I at present meet as much respect as most of the matrons I know, I suppose that will not be lessened, when encrease of years makes me wiser and better than I am now.—I tell you, Emily, I shall retain my good humour, [Page 174]when you and Eliza are fretting over your squalling Infants.

Charles means to set off in a few days, as he had a good deal of business to do, preparatory to making settle­ments, and so forth; and wishes to be in Dublin before November.

We shall remain here till the latter end of October, and Mr. Maunsell stays to be Eliza's Cecisbo: as for me, I have about a dozen lively Frenchmen at command, amongst whom I dispense my smiles so equally, that one cannot be jealous of another, and I reign sole Empress of them all.

Eliza's ideas are so totally engrossed by one object that she can find no amusement in the agreeable gallantry she would receive here, without their having the least design on her heart; but she would not take it on her con­science [Page 175]to encourage it, fearing least any of them should think her serious, and be hurt when he found she was engaged.

I cannot perswade her that those things are mere matters of course here, and meant only as politeness; it is im­possible to argue her out of romantic notions.

Harry takes up his abode at Rous­sillon as soon as Charles goes, accord­ing to invitation, the old Compte and Comptesse return soon to Paris, and their son-in-law accompanies them: their daughter stays till Gertrude and her lord goes, which will be immedi­ately after we leave this; as she would shortly be unfit for travelling.

You need not expect to hear from me again; for I do not intend writing any more while I am here: and I hope [Page 176]to find you, and most of my friends, in Dublin, by the time I get there.

You are very idle, or rather you have more agreeable amusement pour passer le tempts, their writing to me; I have had but one letter from you yet: Had I thought of that sooner, I would not have said a word about Charles and Eliza, and that would mortify you.

Perhaps you will say, it would be no loss since I have so bad a hand at des­cribing love scenes; true, but I have given you the outlines, and as I dare say you are now pretty conversant in them, you may supply the deficiency by the power of your own imagination. —And so, in the true royal stile, we bid you

Heartily farewell, LOUISA MORTIMER.
[Page 177]

P. S. I forgot to tell you the news of Mr. Hamilton's marriage, which I took an opportunity to mention, seem­ed to strike Charles with great surprise; and when I observed to him, it was a thing guessed at by most of their ac­quaintance, before he left Ireland; he looked in some confusion, and said, indeed, Miss Mortimer, I think I was under infatuation, for many circum­stances now come into my mind, that might have convinced me it was so, if I had not been blinded by that unhap­py passion.—But I hope it is for the best; as the misery I have endured, has most effectually cured me, and since my gentle Eliza pardons me, I am once more happy.


HERE we are, my dear Gertrude, after four months ramble, enjoy­ing ourselves under our own vines, and under our own fig-trees: No, that will never do in a city.—But what is far more comfortable at this season, and in our climate, we are snug at our [Page 179]fire-sides, talking over the pleasing hours we spent with our kind friends at Roussillon.

As I wrote to you on our arrival at Harwick; I have taken a little time to rest since I came home, before I would take up the pen again; for I assure you, our journey from London was very fatiguing and disagreeable; the wea­ther being extremely severe; at least we found it so, we had been so long used to the mild air of Montpellier, where none but gentle breezes fan the rosy bowers,

While we were in London, James brought us the account of Miss Free­man's death—she had languished in a wretched state, from the time she heard that Charles was gone abroad, mostly delirious, in which way she died, a martyr to her own ungovernable pas­sions.

There is something▪ shocking in a woman's so far departing from the de­licacy of her sex, and all the rules of decorum, as this unhappy girl did, I think her friends may rejoice that she is no more; for had she lived, with so little regard to religion, or rectitude, as appeared in her conduct, it is more than probable, she would have brought a reproach on herself and them.

I found Mr. and Mrs. Herbert in town, and all their little ones; they have five lovely children; and the best behaved babies I ever saw.

Their mother, without any harshness, has let them see they must obey her, therefore it is a point they never dis­pute, and a grave look from her, is more effectual, than correction from one who only indulges or chides her children rather according to her own caprice than their deserts.

Mr. Herbert is very partial to his eldest girl, though Patty frequently re­monstrates against it as unjust; and in her own behaviour, takes care to shew equal affection to them all, when they equally deserve it, which prevents their little hearts from being filled with jealousy and animosity against each other.

You may guess how happy it makes me, to have Patty once more in the fame street with me, as she now is we call to remembrance a thousand plea­sing circumstances that occurred in our childish days, and enjoy over again our early friendship.

Harry, who tenderly loves his sister, and has, as you know, some small re­gard for your humble servant, is quite delighted to get us together, and joins in recollecting past pleasures: but then he is too apt to dwell on those inci­dents [Page 182]that made the deepest impression on his heart; however, his tranquillity seems restored, which adds much to my satisfaction.

It is quite distressing to see our friends repining at disappointments that cannot be remedied; and refusing the happi­ness within their reach, because some one thing they wish for is with-held; perhaps if it was granted, the acquisi­tion might make them miserable, a thing we have frequent examples of: yet we are not to be convinced that Pro­vidence is wiser than we are.

Mrs. Rochfort is come to town with her father and mother; her marriage is fixed for the 16th; Eliza's the day after.

She insisted on Emily taking the lead, as she was determined to be bride­maid; I would not say any thing against [Page 183]it, because I was glad to see her in such good spirits; but I have a notion she will repent placing herself in such a con­spicuous light, the day before her own wedding. She must probably stand many jokes on the occasion, but that to be sure has never occurred to her.

She looks, and is as well as ever I saw her; the cause of her illness, which was uneasiness of mind, being remov­ed, the effect has ceased.

Mr. Skeffington has given James Grady fifty guineas as a reward for the part he took in bringing those let­ters to light; and I find this en­crease of fortune has encouraged him to offer his hand to my Jenny; (his heart has long been her's) and Jenny has condescended to accept it, with my approbation.—You may be sure I shall make some addition to her portion; and I assure you, she has saved a good deal in my service.

They mean to go into business, linen and haberdashery they have fixed on.

I shall certainly countenance them; for I think it but right to promote the in­terest of servants who have been honest and faithful; though I totally disap­prove of making them confidants, or allowing them any influence over us: their education renders them unfit for advisers, and we often see the bad ef­fects of young ladies placing confidence in their waiting-maids, who always en­courage them in whatever they know to be their inclination, as they are sure of being rewarded for any assistance they lend; or even where they mean well, ignorance often leads them into errors; they do not foresee the bad consequences that may attend their re­peating what they hear, as was the case with Eliza's Kitty; for I am sure the girl loves her mistress; yet Charles in­cautiously betraying his temper to her, [Page 185]was near proving fatal to the peace of the whole family.

Eliza has talked to her a great deal on the subject, and intimated an inten­tion of parting with her, lest her in­discretion might hereafter create distur­bance; for as she exposed the only de­fect she had discovered in Mr. Skeffing­ton's disposition to a stranger, she was no longer to be trusted.

Poor Kitty came in great woe, to request my interest with her mistress not to discharge her, promising never to commit such a fault again; and she is accordingly reinstated in Eliza's fa­vour.

You shall hear from me when the weddings are over. I am anxiously ex­pecting an account of your being safe and well; faite me baisemens a Monsieur La. Compte: and pray present my best [Page 186]respects to all his agreeable family, par­ticularly his amiable sister.

Your friends here joint in the most affectionate wishes for your health and happiness, none more sincerely than



At length, my dear Gertrude, Eli­za's novel is concluded, like most other novels, with the serious catastrophe, matrimony.

The ceremony was performed yester­day evening, in what we call a private [Page 188]manner; that is, quite in the family way; but in such a family as theirs, you know what a croud they make when gathered together on these oc­casions.

Eliza did not behave quite as well as your ladyship in the same circum­stances; for it was with the utmost dif­ficulty she could say, "I will" loud enough to be heard by the Clergyman, and as to the rest, we could only per­ceive her lips moved to the words; the good man, however, who saw her heart was consenting, took the will for the deed, else I think she would still have remained a maiden; indeed he espoused the cause of his sex so far, as to insist on her pronouncing the word obey, pretty audibly: now had I been in her place, that of all words never should have passed my lips; I whisper­ed that to Harry first opportunity; he replied, smiling, he would venture to take me even on them terms, if I would say I loved: No, said I, for if you [Page 189]would dispense with my promising obe­dience, I should fear you meant to en­force the doctrine by some more power­ful argument: he called me some fond name, saying, he must be a brute in­deed that would desire me to comply with any thing that was disagreeable to me.

How mild and gentle those men talk before marriage, and how soon they change their tone after; yet you can produce one that continues the same stile, and I have some little idea that Harry would have been like him.

I wish he could conquer an attach­ment that promises so little satisfaction; for I want to make up a match between him and Harriet Boyle, whose heart seems perfectly disengaged, and she has wholly laid aside her affectation—but it is in vain to think of it, for he is quite determined.

How I wander from my subject: to return to it then—Charles's behaviour was tender and attentive, but delicate­ly so, endeavouring all he could to keep up her spirits, in which Harry and I assisted him; for the rest of the young folks were more inclined to amuse themselves at her expence.

Cards however relieved her from their raillery, beside some share of it was directed to Emily and her bride-groom, who, as I told you, were mar­ried the night before, and a good many of the same company had been at their wedding.

She too was much affected; though she had gone through all the ceremony before; but her heart was now con­cerned, and she was agitated by all the hopes and fears, so natural to those who love.

Doubtless the unhappiness she had already experienced in the state, must have caused some disagreeable sensa­tions, when she reflected on the possibi­lity of being again subject to the same, though there is all the reason in the world to believe she has nothing of that kind to fear from her present choice, as there does not appear to be the least defect in his temper, and she, you know, is all sweetness.

They are to accompany Charles and his bride to Castle Skeffington; as will all the bride men and maids; of which number are Mr. Maunsell, and your Louisa.

We spend the christmas there; then pay a visit, by invitation, to Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton, and return from thence to Dublin.

I forgot to tell you Mr. Fitzgerald looked a little cool on Charles when first they met, after our return from France, and not very cordial on Eliza; he was displeased with him for his be­haviour, and with her for not resenting it; till I laid the true state of the affair before him, which reconciled him to them both, else it might have had un­pleasing consequences, as he would have certainly told Mr. Skeffington his mind, who would probably have been too high spirited to enter into any ex­planation of the matter.

The prevalence of that most horrid custom, duelling, makes one tremble at the prospect of warm words between men.

Eliza, who observed her cousin's cool­ness, was very apprehensive, till I un­dertook to remove it: I was happpy in [Page 193]succeeding; and they are now just as usual.

We shall leave town, the 20th, do not expect another epistle till I come back; for I know we shall live in a perpetual hurry of company while we remain in the country; as all the peo­ple will croud to pay their compliments to the two new married couple.

Mrs. Fitzgerald is, I suppose, the happiest creature now in the kingdom, in seeing her two darlings united, after the great danger there was of their be­ing separated for ever.

She has forgot all her complaints, and is as young as any of us: I hope she will long continue to enjoy her pre­sent satisfaction, which nothing can add to, except living to see half a dozen grand-children playing about her.

I expect my next will be a congratu­lation on the birth of a little Monsieur or Madamoiselle; be it which it will I beseech you, Gertrude, do not dress it in the French stile till it's childish years are somewhat passed.

I think the children in France, so be powdered, and curled, have just the appearance of a race of dwarfs; do let yours look like infants while they are so; for you cannot make them like any thing half so pleasing.

The time employed in writing this, I have stolen from the hours of rest; finding it impossible to obtain a mo­ment for the purpose during the day, I am so entirely engaged with the wed­ding folks, who will not excuse my ab­sence.

They all desire me to assure you and the Compte of their kindest regards.

I kiss your hands: And am, My dear Gertrude's Very affectionate LOUISA MORTIMER.

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I. EMELINE: a Moral Tale: By an IRISH LADY,

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‘"These Letters describe se­veral characters and relate many interesting events in a [Page iii]new and agreeable manner. Throughout them are inter­spersed many generous senti­ments and noble observations that do honour to the heart and head of the Writer." REVIEWERS.

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