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Angelina; Or, L’amie Inconnue
by [?]


“But, my dear Lady Di., indeed you should not let this affair prey so continually upon your spirits,” said Miss Burrage, in the condoling tone of a humble companion–“you really have almost fretted yourself into a nervous fever. I was in hopes that change of air, and change of scene, would have done every thing for you, or I never would have consented to your leaving London; for you know your ladyship’s always better in London than any where else. And I’m sure your ladyship has thought and talked of nothing but this sad affair since you came to Clifton.”

“I confess,” said Lady Diana Chillingworth, “I deserve the reproaches of my friends for giving way to my sensibility, as I do, upon this occasion: but I own I cannot help it.–Oh, what will the world say! What will the world say!–The world will lay all the blame upon me; yet I’m sure I’m the last, the very last person that ought to be blamed.”

“Assuredly,” replied Miss Burrage, “nobody can blame your ladyship; and nobody will, I am persuaded. The blame will all be thrown, where it ought to be, upon the young lady herself.”

“If I could but be convinced of that,” said her ladyship, in a tone of great feeling; “such a young creature, scarcely sixteen, to take such a step!–I am sure I wish to Heaven her father had never made me her guardian. I confess, I was most exceedingly imprudent, out of regard to her family, to take under my protection such a self-willed, unaccountable, romantic girl. Indeed, my dear,” continued Lady Diana Chillingworth, turning to her sister, Lady Frances Somerset, “it was you that misled me. You remember you used to tell me, that Anne Warwick had such great abilities!”–

“That I thought it a pity they had not been well directed,” said Lady Frances.

“And such generosity of temper, and such warm affections!” said Lady Di.–

“That I regretted their not having been properly cultivated.”

“I confess, Miss Warwick was never a great favourite of mine,” said Miss Barrage; “but now that she has lost her best friend–“

“She is likely to find a great number of enemies,” said Lady Frances.

“She has been her own enemy, poor girl! I am sure I pity her,” replied Miss Burrage; “but, at the same time, I must say, that ever since she came to my Lady Di. Chillingworth’s, she has had good advice enough.”

“Too much, perhaps; which is worse than too little,” thought Lady Frances.

“Advice!” repeated Lady Di. Chillingworth: “why, as to that, my conscience, I own, acquits me there; for, to be sure, no young person, of her age, or of any age, had ever more advice, or more good advice, than Miss Warwick had from me; I thought it my duty to advise her, and advise her I did from morning till night, as Miss Burrage very well knows, and will do me the justice, I hope, to say in all companies.”

That I shall certainly make it a principle to do,” said Miss Burrage. “I am sure it would surprise and grieve you, Lady Frances, to hear the sort of foolish, imprudent things that Miss. Warwick, with all her abilities, used to say. I recollect–“

“Very possibly,” replied Lady Frances; “but why should we trouble ourselves to recollect all the foolish, imprudent things which this poor girl may have said?–This unfortunate elopement is a sufficient proof of her folly and imprudence. With whom did she go off?”

“With nobody,” cried Lady Diana–“there’s the wonder.”

“With nobody!–Incredible.–She had certainly some admirer, some lover, and she was afraid, I suppose, to mention the business to you.”

“No such thing, my dear: there is no love at all in the case: indeed, for my part, I cannot in the least comprehend Miss Warwick, nor ever could. She used, every now and then, to begin and talk to me some nonsense about her hatred of the forms of the world, and her love of liberty, and I know not what; and then she had some female correspondent, to whom she used to write folio sheets, twice a week, I believe; but I could never see any of these letters. Indeed, in town, you know, I could not possibly have leisure for such things; but Miss Burrage, I fancy, has one of the letters, if you have any curiosity to see it. Miss Burrage can tell you a great deal more of the whole business than I can; for you know, in London, engaged as I always was, with scarcely a moment ever to myself, how could I attend to all Anne Warwick’s oddities? I protest I know nothing of the matter, but that, one morning, Miss Warwick was nowhere to be found, and my maid brought me a letter, of one word of which I could not make sense: the letter was found on the young lady’s dressing-table, according to the usual custom of eloping heroines. Miss Burrage, do show Lady Frances the letters–you have them somewhere; and tell my sister all you know of the matter, for I declare, I’m quite tired of it; besides, I shall be wanted at the card-table.”