Mr. Hartley had breakfasted and walked out in the fields, before Delia appeared. She had scarcely begun her morning repast, ere Miss Fletcher, the favourite companion and confidante of Delia, entered the room. “My dearest creature,” cried the visitor, “how do you do? Had not we not a most charming evening? I vow I was fatigued to death: and then, lord Martin, I think he never appeared to so much advantage. Why he was quite covered with diamonds, spangles, and frogs.” “Ah!” cried Delia, “but the young stranger.” “True,” answered Miss Fletcher, “I liked him of all things; so tall, so genteel, and so sweetly perfumed.—I cannot think who he is. I called upon Miss Griskin, and I called upon Miss Savage, nobody knows. He is some great man.” “When did he come to town?” said Delia, “Where does he lodge?” “My dear, he came to town yesterday in the evening, and went away again as soon as the ball was over. But do not you think that Mr. Prattle’s new suit of scarlet sattin was vastly becoming? I vow I could have fallen in love with him. He is so gay and so trifling, and so fond of hearing himself talk. Why, does not he say a number of smart things?” “It is exessively strange,” said Delia. (She was thinking of the stranger.) But Miss Fletcher went on—“Not at all, my life. Upon my word I think he is always very entertaining. He cuts out paper so prettily, and he has drawn me the sweetest pattern for an apron. I vow, I think, I never showed you it.” “What can be his name?” said Delia; “His name, my dear; law, child, you do not hear a word one says to you. But of all things, give me the green coat and pink breeches of Mr. Savage. But did you ever hear the like? There will be a terrible to do—Lord Martin is in such a quandary—He has sent people far and near.” “I wish they may find him,” exclaimed Delia. “Nay, if they do, I would not be in his shoes for the world. My lord vows revenge. He says he is his rival. Why, child, the stranger did not make love to you, did he?” “Mercy on us,” cried Delia, “then my dream is out.” “Oh, bless us,” said Miss Fletcher, “what dream, my dear?” Her curiosity then prevailed upon her to be silent for a few moments, while Delia related that with which the reader is already acquainted.
In return, Delia requested of her friend to explain to her more intelligibly what she hinted of the anger of lord Martin. “Why, my dear, his lordship has been employed all this morning in writing challenges. They say he has not writ less than a dozen, and has sent them by as many messengers, like a hue and cry, all over the county—my lord is a little man—but what of that—he is as stout as Hercules, and as brave as what-d’ye call’um, that you and I read of in Pope’s Homer. He is in such a vengeance of a passion, that he cannot contain himself. He tells it to every body he sees; and his mother and sister run about the house screaming and fainting like so many mad things.”