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.But I fear the surgeon thinks him very bad! for he won't speak to us when we follow him down stairs.I am sadly ashamed to send this bad writing, but I dare not ask my brother for any help, because he would only be angry that I wrote any thing about him at all; but indeed I have seen too little good come of pride to think of imitating it; and as I have not his genius, I am sure there is no need I should have his defects: ill, therefore, as I write, you, madam, who have so much goodness and gentleness, would forgive it, I believe, if it was worse, almost.And though we are not in need of your kind offers, it is a great comfort to me to think there is a lady in the world that, if we come to be quite destitute, and if the proud heart of my poor unhappy brother should be quite broke down, will look upon our distress with pity, and generously help us from quite sinking under it.--I remain, Madam, with the most humble respect, your ever most obliged humble servant, HENRIETTA BELFIELD.Cecilia, much moved by the simplicity of this letter, determined that her very first visit from Portman-square should be to its fair and innocent writer.And having now an assurance that she was in no immediate distress, and that her brother was actually under Mr Rupil's care, she dismissed from her mind the only subject of uneasiness that at present had endeavoured to disturb it, and gave herself wholly up to the delightful serenity of [unalloyed] happiness.Few are the days of felicity unmixed which we acknowledge while we experience, though many are those we deplore, when by sorrow taught their value, and by misfortune, their loss.Time with Cecilia now glided on with such rapidity, that before she thought the morning half over, the evening was closed, and ere she was sensible the first week was past, the second was departed for ever.More and more pleased with the inmates of her new habitation, she found in the abilities of Mrs Delvile sources inexhaustible of entertainment, and, in the disposition and sentiments of her son something so concordant to her own, that almost every word he spoke shewed the sympathy of their minds, and almost every look which caught her eyes was a reciprocation of intelligence.Her heart, deeply wounded of late by unexpected indifference, and unreserved mortification, was now, perhaps, more than usually susceptible of those penetrating and exquisite pleasures which friendship and kindness possess the highest powers of bestowing.Easy, gay, and airy, she only rose to happiness, and only retired to rest; and not merely heightened was her present enjoyment by her past disappointment, but, carrying her retrospection to her earliest remembrance, she still found her actual situation more peculiarly adapted to her taste and temper, than any she had hitherto at any time experienced.The very morning that the destined fortnight was elapsed, she received a note from Mrs Harrel, with information of her arrival in town, and an entreaty that she would return to Portman-square.Cecilia, who, thus happy, had forgot to mark the progress of time, was now all amazement to find the term of her absence so soon past.She thought of going back with the utmost reluctance, and of quitting her new abode with the most lively regret.The representations of Mr Monckton daily lost their force, and notwithstanding her dislike of Mr Delvile, she had no wish so earnest as that of being settled in his family for the rest of her minority.To effect this was her next thought; yet she knew not how to make the proposal, but from the uncommon partiality of Mrs Delvile, she hoped, with a very little encouragement, she would lead to it herself.Here, however, she was disappointed; Mrs Delvile, when she heard of the summons from the Harrels, expressed her sorrow at losing her in terms of the most flattering regret, yet seemed to think the parting indispensable, and dropt not the most distant hint of attempting to prevent it.Cecilia, vexed and disconcerted, then made arrangements for her departure, which she fixed for the next morning.The rest of this day, unlike every other which for the last fortnight had preceded it, was passed with little appearance, and no reality of satisfaction: Mrs Delvile was evidently concerned, her son openly avowed his chagrin, and Cecilia felt the utmost mortification; yet, though every one was discontented, no effort was made towards obtaining any delay.The next morning during breakfast, Mrs Delvile very elegantly thanked her for granting to her so much of her time, and earnestly begged to see her in future whenever she could be spared from her other friends; protesting she was now so accustomed to her society, that she should require both long and frequent visits to soften the separation.This request was very eagerly seconded by young Delvile, who warmly spoke his satisfaction that his mother had found so charming a friend, and unaffectedly joined in her entreaties that the intimacy might be still more closely cemented.Cecilia had no great difficulty in according her compliance to those demands, of which the kindness and cordiality somewhat lessened her disturbance at the parting.When Mrs Harrel's carriage arrived, Mrs Delvile took a most affectionate leave of her, and her son attended her to the coach.In her way down stairs, he stopt her for a few moments, and in some confusion said "I wish much to apologize to Miss Beverley, before her departure, for the very gross mistake of which I have been guilty [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]