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• caunot help fondly recalling (as Emilia in the no• vel says) those halcyon days of friendship and feli• city.'
When her Ladyship’s answer arrived, I found her clearly of opinion that I ought to accept of my aunt's invitation. She was very jocular on the manners which she supposed I should find in that lady's family; but she said I might take the opportunity of making some acquirements, which, though London alone could perfect, Edinburgh might, in some degree, communicate. She concluded her letter with requesting the continuation of my correspondence, and a narrative of every thing that was passing in town, especially with regard to some ladies and gentlemen of her acquaintance, whom she pointed out to my particular observation.
To Edinburgh, therefore, I accompanied my aunt, and found a family very much disposed to make me happy. In this they might, perhaps, have succeed. ed more completely, had I not acquired, from the instructions of Lady , and the company I saw at her house, certain notions of polite life with which I did not find any thing at Mr. — 's correspond. It was often, indeed, their good-hu. mour which offended me as coarse, and their happi. ness that struck me as vulgar. There was not such a thing as hip or low spirits among them, a sort of finery which, at
I found a person of fashion could not possibly be without.
They were at great pains to shew me any sights that were to be seen, with some of which I was really little pleased, and with others I thought it would look like ignorance to seem pleased. They took me to the play-house, where there was little company, and very little attention. I was carried to the concert, where the case was exactly the same. I - found great fault with both; for though I had not much skill, I had got words enough for finding fault from my friend Lady
i upon which they made an apology for our entertainment, by telling me, that the play-house was, at that time, managed by a fiddler, and the concert was allowed to manage itself.
Our parties at home were agreeable enough. I found Mr. 's and my aunt's visitors very different from what I had been made to expect, and not at all the cocknies my Lady - and some of her humorous guests, used to describe. They were not, indeed, so polite as the fashionable company I had met at her Ladyship’s; but they were much more civil. Among the rest was my uncle-in-law's partner, a good-looking young man, who, from the first, was so particularly attentive to me, that my cousins jokingly called him my lover; and even my aunt sometimes told me she believed he had a serious attachment to me; but I took care not to give him any encouragement, as I had always heard my friend Lady talk of the wife of a bourgeois as the most contemptible creature in the world.
The season at last arrived, in which, I was told, the town would appear in its gaiety, a great deal of good company being expected at the Races. For the Races I looked with anxiety, for another reason: my dear Lady was to be here at that period. Of this I was informed by a letter from my sister. From her Ladyship I had not heard for a considerable time, as she had been engaged in a round of visits to her acquaintance in the country.
The very morning after her arrival (for I was on the watch to get intelligence of her), I called at her lodgings. When the servant appeared, he seemed doubtful about letting me in ; at last, he ushered me into a little darkish parlour, where, after waiting about half an hour, he brought me word, that his Lady could not try on the gown I had brought then, but desired me to fetch it next day at eleven. I now perceived there had been a mistake as to my person; and telling the fellow, somewhat angrily, that I was no mantua-maker, desired him to carry to his Lady a slip of paper, on which I wrote with a pencil the well-known name of Leonora. On his going up stairs, I heard a loud peal of laughter above, and soon after he returned with a message, that Lady was sorry she was particularly engaged at present, and could not possibly see me. Think, Sir, with what astonishment I heard this message from Hortensia. I left the house, I know not whether most ashamed or angry; but afterwards I began to persuade myself, that there might be some particular reasons for Lady 's not seeing me at that time, which she might explain at meeting; and I imputed the terms of the message to the rudeness or simplicity of the footman. All that day, and the next, I waited impatiently for some note of explanation or inquiry from her Ladyship, and was a good deal disappointed when I found the second evening arrive, without having received any such token of her remembrance. I went, rather in low spirits, to the play. I had not been long in the house, when I saw Lady
enter the next box. My heart Auttered at the sight; and I watched her eyes, that I might take the first opportunity of presenting myself to her notice. I saw them, soon after, turned towards me, and immediately curtsied with a significant smile to my noble friend, who being short-sighted, it would seem, which, however, I had never remarked before, stared at me for some moments, without taking notice of my salute, and at last was just putting up a glass to her eye, to point it at me, when a lady pulled her by the sleeve, and made her take notice of somebody on the opposite side of the house. She never afterwards happened to look to that quarter where I was seated.
Still, however, I was not quite discouraged, and, on an accidental change of places in our box, contrived to place myself at the end of the bench next her Ladyship’s, so that there was only a piece of thin board between us. At the end of the act, I ventured to ask her how she did, and to express my happiness at seeing her in town, adding, that I had called the day before, but had found her particularly engaged. Why, yes,' said she,.Miss Homespun, “I am always extremely hurried in town, and have
time only to receive a very few visits; but I will be
glad if you will come some morning and breakfast • with me—but not to-morrow, for there is a morn• ing concert; nor next day, for I have a musical o party at home. In short, you may come some • morning next week, when the hurry will be over, 6 and, if I am not gone out of town, I will be happy
to see you.' I don't know what answer I should have made ; but she did not give me an opportunity; for, a gentleman, in a green uniform coming into the box, she immediately made room for him to sit between us. He, after a broad stare full in my face, turned his back my way, and sat in that posture all the rest of the evening.
I am not so silly, Mr. Mirror, but I can under. stand the meaning of all this. My Lady, it seems, is contented to have some humble friends in the country, whom she does not think worthy of her notice in town ; but I am determined to shew her, that I have a prouder spirit than she imagines, and shall not go near her, either in town or country. What is more, my father shan't vote for her friend at next election, if I can help it.
What vexes me beyond every thing else is, that I had been often telling my aunt and her daughters of the intimate footing I was on with Lady and what a violent friendship we had for each other; and so, from envy, perhaps, they used to nick-name me the Countess, and Lady Leonora. Now that they have got this story of the mantua-maker and the play-house (for I was so angry I could not conceal it), I am ashamed to hear the name of a lady of quality mentioned, even if it be only in a book from the circulating library. Do write a paper, Sir, against pride and haughtiness, and people forgetting their country friends and acquaintance, and you will very much oblige
ELIZABETH HOMESPUN. P.S. My uncle's partner, the young gentleman I mentioned above, takes my part when my cousins joke upon intimates with great folks : I think he is a much genteeler and better bred man than I took him for at first.
N° 54. SATURDAY, JULY 31, 1779.
Among the letters of my Correspondents, I have been favoured with several containing observations on the conduct and success of my paper. Of these, some recommend subjects of criticism as of a kind that has been extremely popular in similar periodical publications, and on which, according to theni, I