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a very little exertion, you could behave as if nothing had happened.” “Your partiality makes you suppose me capable of a great deal more than I am equal to,” answered her Ladyship, with a real hysteric sob. “It is not every one who is blessed with the spirits of Mrs. Downe Wright.” “What woman can do, you dare; who dares do more, is none P” said the General, bowing with a delighted air at this brilliant application. Mrs. Downe Wright charitably allowed it to pass, as she thought it might be construed either as a compliment or a banter. Visitors flocked in, and the insufferable Mrs. Downe Wright declared to all, that her Ladyship was astonishingly well; but without the appropriate whine, which gives proper pathos, and generally accompanies. this hackneyed speech. Mrs. Finch indeed laboured hard to counteract the effect of this injudicious cheerfulness, by the most

orthodox sighs, shakes of the head, and confidential whispers, in which “wonderful woman!”—“prodigious exertion!”—“perfectly overcome !”—“ suffer for this afterwards,’—were audibly heard by all present; but even then Mrs. Downe Wright's drawn up lip, and curled nose, spoke daggers. At length, the tormentor recollected an engagement she had made elsewhere, and took leave, promising to return, if possible, the following day. Her friend, in her own mind, took her measures accordingly. She resolved to order her own carriage to be in waiting, and if Mrs. Downe Wright put her threat in execution, she would take an airing. True, she had not intended to have been able for such an exertion for at least a week longer; but, with the blinds down, she thought it might have an interesting effect. The enemy fairly gone, Lady Matilda seemed to feel like a person suddenly re'lieved from the night-mare; and she was beginning to give a fair specimen of her scenic powers, when Lady Emily, seeing the game was up with Mrs. Downe Wright, abruptly rose to depart. “This has been a trying scene for you, my sweet young friends !” said her Ladyship, taking a hand of each. “It has indeed!” replied Lady Emily, in a tone so significant as made Mary start. “I know it would—youth is always so full of sympathy. I own I have a preference for the society of my young friends on that account. My good Mrs. Finch, indeed, is an exception; but worthy Mrs. Downe Wright has been almost too much for me.” “She is too much " said the Duke. “She is a great deal too much s” said the General. a “She is a vast deal too much s” said Mrs. Finch. “I own I have been rather overcome by her!” with a deep-drawn sigh, which her

visitors hastily availed themselves of to make their retreat. The Duke and the General handed Lady Emily and Mary to their carriage. “You find my poor sister wonderfully composed,” said the former. “ Charming woman, Lady Matilda " ejaculated the latter; “her feelings do honour to her head and heart '' Mary sprung into the carriage as quick as possible to be saved the embarrasment of a reply; and it was not till they were fairly out of sight, that she ventured to raise her eyes to her cousin's face. There the expression of ill humour and disgust was so strongly depicted, that she could not longer repress her risible emotions, but gave way to a violent fit of laughter. “How !” exclaimed her companion, “is this the only effect ‘Matilda’s moan' has produced upon you? I expected your taste for grief would have been highly gratified by this affecting representation.”

“My appetite, you ought rather to say,” replied Mary; “taste implies some discrimination which you seem to deny me.” “Why, to tell you the truth, I do look upon you as a sort of intellectual goule— you really do remind me of the lady in the Arabian Nights, whose taste or appetite, which you will, led her to scorn everything that did not savour of the church-yard.” “The delicacy of your comparison is highly flattering,” said Mary; “but I must be duller than the fat weed, were I to give my sympathy to such as Lady Matilda Surface.” “Well, I’m glad to hear you say so; for I assure you, I was in pain lest you should have been taken in, notwithstanding my warning to say something larmoyante—or join the soft echo-or heave a sigh—or drop a tear--or do something, in short, that would have disgraced you with me for ever. At one time I must do you the justice to own, I thought I saw you with difficulty repress

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