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FLIRTATION

CHAPTER I.

Oh! friend, to dazzle, let the vain design ;
To raise the thought, and touch the heart be thine ;
That charm shall grow, while what fatigues the ring,
Flaunts and goes down, an unregarded thing.

Pope.

THREE weeks had elapsed since the General arrived in London. Lady Emily had been taken to all the fashionable places of resort, introduced to many of those who frequented them, and initiated into a great variety of scenes and secrets that saddened and depressed her spirits. Upon the whole, though she was much admired, yet the reality of London delights, viewed through the medium of

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mere fashionable existence, fell far short of the enchantment in which she had pictured them to herself, or which she had heard her sister describe them to be. The day for Lady Frances's marriage was now fixed. It was shortly to take place; and she was at the height of good humour and complacency—that species of good humour which depends upon the fulfilment of its wishes. She had, indeed, sacrificed some inward feelings; but it was a sacrifice scarce acknowledged to herself; pride, and a spirit of vengeance, made her fancy herself indifferent. She had obtained her end in being made a great, and what she valued still more, a fashionable personage, and she now condescended to take her sister under her protection.

One day, as she was driving her to Blondell's, the milliner's, the sisters held the following colloquy. “Well, my dear Emily, I am happy to tell you, that upon the whole you have had very fair

Had you been under my auspices it might have been better ; but, take it altogether, you have been extremely admired; and if you will only follow my advice, I doubt not you may yet do very well, as well as myself.”

success.

“ Oh, that would be difficult !” said Lady Emily, smiling

“ There is Lepel, for instance," continued Lady Frances," an exceeding good judge, and a very kind good-hearted man, quite the person whose advice one ought to take, because he is intimate with all the young men of the day. Well, he vowed that you would be one of the finest creatures going, if you would only copy a little of my self-possession.—Why don't you, my dear Lady Frances, (he spoke quite in a confidential manner to me) — why don't you tell that charming sister of yours not to be always crying at the tragedies and laughing at the comedies, and in such preposterous ecstasies with the Zuchelli and the Rosalinda, just as if she had never been at an opera before in her lifetime, and did not know that people of the world never go into public to be affected by any thing. Really, Lady Emily's beautiful features are quite disfigured sometimes by all those violent commotions. It is very well for the housemaid and one's valet; but, indeed, even they know better now-a-days how to behave themselves. It is only permissible for a lady to suffer the cor

ner of her mouth just to turn, when the irresistible Mr. Liston is on the stage, and she may hold the corner of her pocket-handkerchief to the eye when Madame Pasta acts Medea. But really those sobbings and showerings—and then the laugh, which

may

be he heard in the next box! But do not look so ébahi, Emily—a little time will set all these things to rights. If you were not my sister, and that I should be ashamed of you

you went

if on so, believe me I would not take the trouble of telling you all this—for I hate a long prose; only this once I give you notice, that positively I cannot go out with you into society, if you continue to attract the attention of well-bred persons by your vulgarisms."

“ But how can I help it, Frances, dear? When I am diverted I always laugh, when I am touched, I cry."

“ But you must not be either the one or the other, my dear, I tell you; and if you feel that invincible rusticity of emotion so strong upon you, the only recipe I can give to counteract its effect, is to turn from the stage altogether."

« And talk to Captain Lepel, I suppose ?Oh that is enough to make any one grave I grant

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