Damon met with the same success. Lord Martin received him with perfect serenity. “Bless us,” cried he, “and is Miss Delia gone? I never was more astonished in my life. I do not know what to do,” and he took a pinch of snuff. “Mr. Villiers,” said he, with the utmost gravity, “I have all possible respect for you. Blast me! if I am not willing to forget all our former rivalship. Tell me, sir, can I do you any service?” Damon had every reason to be satisfied with his behaviour, and flew out of the house in a moment.
Sir William Twyford did not however meet with the person he went in quest of. Miss Savage informed him, that her brother, not two hours ago, had received a letter, and immediately, without informing her of his design, which indeed he very seldom did, ordered his best hunter out of the stable. She added, that she had imagined, that he had received a summons to a fox-chace early the next morning.
Such was the account brought by sir William to the anxious and distracted Damon. “Alas,” cried he, “it is but too plain? She is by this time in the hands of that insensible boor. Oh, who can bear to think of it! He is perhaps, at this moment, tormenting her with his nauseous familiarities, and griping her soft and tender limbs! Oh, why was I born! Why was I ever cheated with the phantom of happiness! Wretch, wretch that I am!”
With these words he burst out of the house, and flew along with surprising rapidity. Sir William, having hastily ordered everything to be prepared for a pursuit, immediately followed him. He found him, wafted, spent, and almost insensible, lying beside a little brook that crossed the road. The baronet raised him in his arms, and, with the gentlest accents that friendship ever poured into a mortal ear, recovered him to life and perception.
“Where am I?” said the disconsolate lover. “Who are you? ah, my friend, my best, my tried friend! I know you now. How came I here? Has any thing unfortunate happened? Where is my Delia?” “Let us seek her, my Villiers,” said the baronet. “Seek her! What! is she lost? Oh, yes, I recollect it now; she is gone, snatched from my arms. Let us pursue her! Let us overtake her Oh that it may not be too late.”
He now leaned upon the shoulder of his friend, and returned with painful and irregular steps. His disorder was so great, that sir William thought it best to have him immediately conveyed to a chamber. He was so much exhausted, that this was easily accomplished, without his being perfectly sensible what was done. The baronet, with three servants mounted on horseback, immediately pursued the road towards London.—Having thus related the confusion and grief that were occasioned by her sudden disappearance, we will now return to our heroine.