It is well Lady Elizabeth stands portress at the door of my heart:—there is such bustling and pushing to get in;—but, notwithstanding her Ladyship’s vigilance, Miss Powis has slipp’d by, and sits perch’d up in the same corner with Darcey.
If you go back to Lady Mary’s dressing-room, you will find nobody there:—but give a peep into the dining-parlour, and you will see us just set down at dinner;—all smiling,—all happy;—an inexhaustible fountain of pleasure in every breast.
I will go down to Slope Hall;—give Lady Dorothy a hint that she has it now in her power to make one man happy;—a hint I believe she never had before.—A snug twenty thousand added to my present fortune,—the hand of Lady Elizabeth,—and then, Risby, get hold of my skirts, and you mount with me.
Next Tuesday prepare, as governor of the castle, for a warm siege.—Such a battery of eyes,—such bundles of darts,—such stores of smiles,—such a train of innocence will be laid before the walls, as never was withstood!—No; I shall see you cap-a-pee open the gates to the besiegers.—Away goes my pen.—I write no more positively.
Miss DELVES to Mrs. DELVES.
Are you well, Madam? Is my dear father well? Tell me you are, and never was so happy a creature as your daughter. I tremble with pleasure,—with joy,—with delight:—but I must—my duty, my affection, every thing says I must sit down to write.—You did not see how we were marshall’d at setting out:—I wish you could have got up early enough:—never was there such joyous party!
All in Lady Mary’s dining-room by seven;—the fine equipages at the door;—servants attending in rich new liveries, to the number of twenty;—Lord Darcey and his heavenly bride that is to be,—smiling on each other,—smiling on all around;—Lady Mary Sutton—yes, she is heavenly too;—I believe I was the only earthly creature amongst them;—Lord and Lady Hampstead,—the angelic Ladies Elizabeth and Sophia,—Mr. Molesworth,—the generous, friendly, open-hearted Mr. Molesworth,—Lord Hallum.—But why mention him last?—Because, Bessy, I suppose he was last in your thoughts.—Dear Madam, how can you think so?
In Lady Mary’s coach went her Ladyship, Lord Darcey, Mrs. and Miss Powis:—in Lord Hampstead’s, his Lordship, Lady Hampstead, Lady Elizabeth, and Mr. Molesworth:—in Lord Darcey’s, Lady Sophia, Mr. Powis, Lord Hallum, and your little good-for-nothing:—in Mr. Powis’s, the women-servants.—We lay fifty miles short of the Abbey, and the next evening reach’d it at seven.
We reach’d Barford Abbey, I say—but what shall I say now?—I cannot do justice to what I have seen of duty,—of affection,—of joy,—of hospitality.—Do, dear Madam, persuade my father to purchase a house in this neighbourhood.