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coachman to drive at once to Lady Lyphook's. Her ladyship was luckily at home, and leaving me in the carriage, Lady Eustace entered the house. In about half an hour she returned, looking more vexed than I had ever beheld her. As soon as we had driven away, Lady Eustace said, “It was most fortunate that I took you to the review this morning, or you might for a long time have remained in ignorance of the character of the person who calls herself Mrs. Maynard. She is no other than the mistress of the person you saw this morning, and whom she is almost ruining by her extravagance. I have spoken very strongly to Lady Lyphook upon the cruelty of having attempted to introduce you into the companionship of such a woman. I never was intimate with Lady Lyphook, and now I shall take care never to have any thing more to say to her. I have insisted upon her informing her friend, Mrs. Maynard, that I shall not suffer you to keep your engagement."
I never came under the notice of Lady Eustace but she showed me some fresh favour, or did me some real service; and this last instance of her protecting care contributed, if possible, to make me more grateful to her than ever.
I remained with this true friend three weeks, and her affectionate kindness did much to restore me to a proper frame of mind, for I had received a severe shock from my late encounter with the Duke of Beaulieu.
“What angel shall Bless this unworthy husband ? He cannot thrive, Unless her prayers, which heav'n delights to hear, And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath Of greatest justice.”
BEFORE I quitted the shelter of my dear friend's roof, I accepted a fresh situation under the Viscountess Kilcromar, an acquaintance and countrywoman of Lady Eustace. When I was first introduced to the viscountess, I saw with a glance that I should like her. She was a fair and lovely woman, but it was impossible not to perceive that grief was making sad havoc with her beauty. She had been married six years but had no family, and lived, as I understood, a very retired life. I was nearly a fortnight with her before I saw Lord Kilcromar, as he was absent all that time. My first encounter with his lordship did not give me a very favourable opinion of him. I was one day running down stairs, when I met him on the landing, followed by his valet. On seeing me, his lordship asked the man who I was. Upon being told, he said, “ She is a deuced fine woman ;” then turning to me, exclaimed, “ You and I must be better acquainted, my dear!”
I looked, I suppose, as I felt- astonished; when he laughed and passed on.
He was a tall, bold, fashionable-looking man, about eight-and-thirty.
I was not long in discovering why his lady looked so unhappy. His lordship was scarcely ever with her, and when he was, treated her with marked indifference, and often with harshness, whilst he spent most of his time in prosecuting low intrigues.
I avoided as much as possible encountering this most profligate person, but he contrived now and then to way-lay me, and pay me
the most fulsome compliments. One day, when his lady was out for a drive, he marched into my sitting-room, where I was at work, and placing himself in a chair close to mine, began to annoy me by his odious flatteries. I got up and attempted to leave the room without replying, but he held me back, and in spite of my anger and remonstrances, made me proposals which filled me with indignation. Extricating myself with difficulty from his grasp, I rushed downstairs to the housekeeper, to whom I made my complaints, and stated my resolution of leaving the house that very day.
The good woman endeavoured to appease my irritated feelings; and assuring me that her poor lady would almost die under this fresh discovery of her husband's profligacy, persuaded me for her sake to remain a while longer and conceal his conduct to myself.
The housekeeper, whom I found to be a very worthy person, and much attached to her unhappy lady, informed me that Lord Kilcromar had at this moment the late attendant of his wife in splendid lodgings, and that he spent