Delia set out without any other inclination, than to escape from intreaties that were become in the highest degree disagreeable to her. She was addressed no longer upon a topic, of which she wished never to hear. Her eye was no longer wounded with the sight of her insolent admirer. This had an immediate and a favourable effect upon her. The conversation of Miss Fletcher was lively and unflagging, and the simplicity of her remarks proved an inexhaustible source of entertainment to our heroine.
They travelled leisurely and visited a variety of parks and seats of noblemen which lay in their way. The taste of Delia was delicate and refined. A continual succession of objects; gardens, architecture, pictures and statues soothed her spirits, and gradually restored her to that gaiety and easiness of temper, which had long rendered her the most lovely and engaging of her sex.
At length they arrived at Windsor. The simple dignity of the castle, its commanding situation, and the beautiful effects of the river from below, rendered it infinitely the most charming spot our heroine had yet seen. Her spirits were on the wing, she was all life and conversation, and the most constant heart, that nature had ever produced, for a moment, forgot her hopes, her fears, her inclinations, and her Damon.
She was now standing at a window that commanded the terrace. The evening was beautiful, and the walk crouded. There were assembled persons of all sexes and of different ranks. All appeared gaiety and splendour. The supple courtier and the haughty country gentleman seemed equally at their ease. There was thoughtless youth and narrative old age. The company passed along, and object succeeded object without intermission.
One of the last that caught the eye of Delia, was that of two gentlemen walking arm in arm, and seeming more grave than the rest of the company. They were both tall and well shaped; but one of them had somewhat more graceful and unembarrassed in his manner than the other. The latter was dressed in black, the former in colours, with much propriety and elegance.
As they turned at the end of the walk the eye of Delia caught in the latter the figure of Damon. She was inexpressibly astonished, she trembled in every limb, and could scarcely support herself to a seat. Miss Fletcher had caught the same object at the same moment, and, though she probably might not otherwise have been clear in her recollection, the disorder of Delia put her conjecture out of doubt. She therefore, before our heroine had time to recollect herself, dispatched her brother, who had attended them in their journey, to inform Damon that a lady in the castle was desirous to speak with him.
In an instant our hero and his companion, escorted by young Fletcher, entered the room. The astonishment of Damon, at being so suddenly introduced to a person, whom he had never expected to see again, was immeasurable. He rushed forward with a kind of rapture; he suddenly recollected himself; but at length advanced with hesitation. There was no one present beside those we have already named. The castle was probably familiar to every person except Delia and her companions. Every one beside was therefore assembled upon the terrace.