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time recovered so far as to glance a momentary look of approbation at our filent hero, which faid to him--but where is the commentator that will help me to a construction of what it faid, in words that will not debase the sense of the original ? It is enough that Henry underftood it.
Hearts easily impressed with sudden palfions are generally communicative; Fanny Claypole's was of this fort; prone to love at first sight, and not in the practice of supprefsing her emotions, she had given Henry pretty clearly to understand that he was not indifferent to her. This she contrived to convey to him, during their conference in the corner, through the channel of more senses than one, and though they were not all just then in the clearest state of apprehension, none were so disabled as to lose their functions. The fondness of a fine woman never can, nor ever ought to be treated with indifference and contempt; neither was it in the present instance. This gallantry, so indifpensible on the part of Henry, confirmed her in the full persuasion, that the impression was reciprocal, so that when her uncle afterwards took' occasion, as they were passing to the fupper room, civilly to submit to her in a whisper,
if she was not a little too particular with a new acquaintance, she answered him in the true spirit of independence, that he need not concern himself about appearances, she and her new acquaintance, as he called him, perfectly understood each other. This, though something more than she was warranted to say, was no more than she thought prudent to affert, by way of check to any objections, which she was prepared to expect from that cautious quarter. For Isabella she had another language; from her she expected no opposition, and dreaded no rivalship; but there was an innate delicacy of character in that amiable young lady, which made it necessary for Fanny to conform to it,, in appearances at least, and she was sensible that the levity of her behaviour stood in need of fome foftening and apology, for she had not been so totally engrossed by her own purfuits, as not to perceive that Isabella did. not entirely, approve her proceedings" in the corner. She followed her therefore into her dressing room, when they retired for the night, and as soon as Susan was sent away, the ensuing conversation took place:
"I can see by your looks,” said Fanny, o that I am out of favour.with you; you think : · M6
I have behav'd like a fool, and expos’d myself, I know you do; but, dear fweet soul, don't turn that grave countenance upon me, but hear, and pity me, and be my friend. I confess to you, I never was fo taken by surprise in all my life. I know what young men in general aré, and how 'cautious we ought to be in our behaviour towards them; but you never told me that I was to behold what I did not believe was in nature, and so my poor heart, being caught in an unguarded moment, and not be ing made of either fint or steel, cou'd not stand the shock, but, alas for me! was overthrown in the end; not at first, do you mark mé; for, handsome as he is, if he had been only that, I could have look'd upon him as one does upon a picture, and thought no more about him; but the misfortune is, he is so irresistibly engaging withal, that it requires either more insensibility, or more hypocrisy than I am mistress of, to prevent his finding out how agreeable he is to me: now I dare say you see him with other eyes than I do, and think all this very silly, and perhaps it is not very wise; but upon my life, my dear, I find it very natural.”
" Whether I see Henry exactly with the fame eyes that you do," replied Isabella,“ is 4
more than I can answer for ; but if it is on the goodness of his chara&ter that you found your regard for him, we certainly do not differ in opinion as to tháť,">" Oh, you chilling creature !” exclaimed Fanny, with an affected kind of shriek;'“ that is so like you, so guarded, and so precise : the goodness of his character indeed! why 'tis an expression for an attorney; and then, my regard for him truly! there's a freezing word! regard for such a man as Henry! I much doubt if I have any such sensation belonging to me; 'tis á mere icicle 'compar'd to what I feel. Pray, my dear Isabella, let me ask you one plain question, and honestly resolve me, if you do not think him positively and without compare the finest young fellow in creation ?” .
The lovely Isabella paused upon this queftion; she drew up, and with a somewhat stronger tint of the rose in her cheeks than was natural to her, said I never think or speak in such a rapturous strain of any man, neither do I call them familiarly fellows; it may be the fashionable name for them, but I have not yet brought my lips to the style of it.”—" In your own style then,” replied Fanny, “ and without any trespass on the purity of your im
maculate expressions, tell me, if you please whether you consider a tender sentiment for a young man like Henry, as a violation of the laws of modesty, as a. sin against the delicacy of the sex ; but understand me rightly, I do not put the case as applying to you but to myself."-" That's a little hard, methinks,” said Isabella, “ to put a question of conscience to me, that does not respect myself. If I was apt to talk of other people's conduct you might have a just excuse for tying me down to my words, but as I promise you I shall in no time to come pass a censure on your actions, I think, dear Fanny, I may be excus'd from pronouncing upon them before hand."
« Well,” answer'd she, “ you are always : too wise for me ; and yet I am persuaded, if you saw me in any danger, you have too much good nature not to guard me against it. If man was such a monster as some old maids make him to be, you, who are far enough out of his reach, wou'd not suffer me to be devour'd by him. If Love. be not harmless, why do they describe him as a child ?" « When I have been taught Love's catechism,” quoth Isabella, “I may be able to answer your question ; at present I know nothing about it;