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the pelisse, nor was she to see him till she met him on the race ground. And he would be so disappointed if she was not well dressed! True, she night take the pelisse on trust; but then she was sure her father would be highly incensed at her extravagance, if she spent twelve guineas, and gave away nine pounds at the same time; therefore she knew she must either give up doing a generous action, or give up the pelisse, that is, give up the gratification of her father's pride and her own vanity.
“ No, I dare not, I cannot do it,” thought Julia,“ my own vanity I would willingly mortify; but not iny father's -No, the poor man must go!"
During this mental struggle the by-standers had eagerly watched her countenance; and thinking that she was disposed to pay the sum required, they cominunicated their hopes to the poor people themselves, and as Julia turned her eyes towards them, the wretched couple looked at her with such an imploring look. But she was resolved—“I am sorry, I am very sorry," said she, “ that I can do nohing for you; however take this.” So saying, she gave them all the loose money she had in her pocket, amounting to a few shillings, and then, with an aching heart, walked rapidly away: but as she did so, the sobs of the poor woman, as she leaned on her husband's shoulder, and the cries of the little boy, when his father, struggling with grief, bade him a last farewell, reached her, and penetrated to her heart.
“ Poor creatures,” she inwardly exclaimed; " and nine pounds would change these tears into gladness, and get
I withhold it! And is it for this that heaven has blest, me with opulence for this, to be restrained by the fear of being reproved for spending a paltry sum, from doing an action acceptable in the eyes of iny Creator! No; I will pay the inoney. I will enjoy the delight of serving afflicted worth, and spare myself from, perhaps, eternal self-reproach!"
She then, without waiting for further consideration, turned back again, paid the money into the poor man's hand; and giving the remaining four pounds to the woman, who, though clean, was miserably clad, desired her to lay part of it out in clothes for herself and children.
The next moröiag was the inorning for the races. The sun shone bright, and every thing looked cheerful but Julia. She had scarcely spirits to dress herself. It was very cold; therefore she was forced to wear her faded purple pelisse; and now it looked shabbier than usual, and still
shabbier from the contrast of a very smart new black velvet bonnet.
Mr. Beresford was there before her ; but what was his mortification when his daughter appeared pale, dejected, the worst dressed and most dowdy looking girl in the compaoy! Insupportable! scarcely could he welcome her, though he had not seen her for some days; and he seized the very first opportunity of asking her if she had received the notes.
“ Yes, I thank you, Sir," replied Julia.
“ Then why did you not buy what I bade you? It could not be gone; for, if you did not buy it, nobody else could, I am sure.”
“I-I-I thought I could do withont it-and"
“There now, there is perverseness !-when I wished you not to have it, then you wanted it; and now-I protest if I do not believe you did it on purpose to mortify me; and there's those proud minxes, the Miss Traceys, whose father is not worth half what I am, are dressed out as fine as princesses. I vow, girl, you look so shabby and ugly, I, cannot bear to look at you!"
What a trial for Julia !, her eyes filled with tears; and at this moment Sir Frederic Mortimer approached her, and hoped she had not been ill; but he thought she was paler than usual.
“ Paler !" cried her father: "why, I should not have known ber, she has inade such a fright of herself.”
“ You may say so, Sir," replied the Baronet, politely, though he almost agreed with him; “ but no other man can be of that opinion."
At length, to Julia's great relief, they were summoned to the race ground; the Baronet taking Miss Hanner under one arm and the elder Miss Tracey under the other. " So," cried Beresford, seizing Julia roughly by the band, "I must lead you, I see; for who will take notice of such a dowdy? Well, girl, I was too proud of you, and you bave contrived to humble me enough."
There was a mixture of tenderness and resentment in this speech, which quite overcame Julia, and she burst into tears. “There, - now she is going to make herself worse, by spoiling her eyes.-But coine, tell me what you did with the inoney ; I insist upon knowing."
“1-1-gave it away,” sobbed out Julia.
to you again for a month.” So saying, he left her, and carefully avoided to look at, or speak to her again.
The races began, and were interesting to all but Julia ; but at length they finished, and with them she flattered. herself would finish her mortification ; but in vain. The company was expected to stay to partake of a cold collation, which was to be preceded by music and dancing; and Julia was obliged to accept the unwelcome invitation.
As the ladies most of them were very young, they were not supposed to have yet forgotten the art of dancing minuets, an art now of so little use; and Mr. Hanmer begged Sir Frederic would lead out his daughter to show off in a minuet. The Baronet obeyed; and then offered to take out Julia for the same purpose; but she, blushing, refused to comply. “ Well
, what is that for?” cried Beresford, angrily, who knew that Julia was remarkable for dancing a good minuet. “ Why cannot you dance when you are asked, Miss Beresford ?"_" Because," replied Julia in a faltering voice," I have no gown on, and I cannot dance a minuet, in my-in my pelisse.”
“ Řot your pelisse !” exclaimed Beresford, forgetting all decency and decorum, and turning to the window to hide his angry emotions, while Julia hung her head, abashed; and the Baronet led out Miss Tracey, who throwing off the cloak which she had worn before, having expected such an exhibition would take place, displayed a very fine form, set off by the most becoming gown possible.
“Charming ! admirable? what a figure! what grace!" was murmured throughout the room. Mr. Beresford's proud heart throbbed almost to agony; while Julia, though ever ready to acknowledge the excellence of another, still felt the whole scene so vexatious to her, principally from the mortification of her father, that her only resource was again thinking on the family rescued from misery by her.
Reels were next called for ; and Julia then stood up to dance; but she had not danced five minutes, when, exhausted by the various emotions which she had undergone during the last eight and forty hours, her head became so giddy, that she could not proceed, and was obliged to sit down.
“ I believe the girl is bewitched,” muttered Mr. Beresford; and to increase her distress, Julia overheard him.
In a short time the dancing was discontinued, and a con
“ Though you
cert begun; Miss Hanmer played a sonata, and Miss Tracey sung a bravura song with great execution. Julia was thea called upon to play, but she timidly answered, that she never played lessons.
“ But you sing?" said Miss Hanmer. “ Sometimes, but I beg to be excused singing now.” “What! you will not sing neither!" said Mr. Beresford.
“ I cannot sing now, indeed, Sir, I am not well enough, and I tremble so much that I have not a steady note in my voice."
“ So, Miss,” whispered Mr. Beresford, “and-this is what 1 get in return for having squandered so much money on your education !"
The Miss Traceys were then applied to; and they sung, with great applause, a difficult Italian duo, and were complimented into the bargain on their readiness to oblige.
“ You see, Miss Beresford, how silly and contemptible you look,” whispered Beresford, “ while those squalling Misses run away with all the admiration.”
Julia's persecutions were not yet over. are not well enough, Miss Beresford, to sing a song,” said Mr. Hanmer," which requires much exertion, surely you can sing a ballad without music, which is, I am told, your forte.”
« So I have heard,” cried Sir Frederic; “do, Miss Beresford, oblige us.”
“ Do,” said the Miss Traceys; “ and we have a claim on you."
" I own it,” cried Julia, in a voice scarcely audible; “ but you, who are such proficients in music, must know, that to sing a simple ballad requires more self-possession and steadiness of tone than any other kind of singing, as all the merit depends on the clearness of utterance, and the power of sustaining the notes."
" True; but do try.”
“ Indeed, I cannot ;” and shrugging up their shoulders, the ladies desisted from further importunities. “ I am so surprised," said one of them to the other, leaning across two or ihree gentlemen; “ I had heard that Miss Beresford was remarkably good humoured and obliging, and she seems quite sullen and obstinate; do not you think so ?”
" Oh dear, yes! and not obliging at all.”
“ No indeed!” cried Miss Hanmer, “she seems to presume on her wealth, I think; what think you, gentlemen" But the gentlemen were not so hasty in their judgments, two of them only observed, that Miss Beresford was in no respect like herself that day.
" I do not think she is well,” said the baronet.
“ Perhaps she is in love," said Miss Tracey, laughing at the shrewdness of her own observation.
“ Perhaps so," replied Sir Frederic, thoughtfully.
The concert being over, the company adjourned to an elegant entertainment, set out in an open pavilion in the park, which coinmanded a most lovely view of the adjacent country.
Julia seated herself near the entrance ; the baronet placed himself between the two lovely sisters; and Beresford, in order to be able to vent his spleen every now and then in his daughter's ear, took a chair beside her.
The collation had every delicacy to tempt the palate, and every decoration to gratify the taste, and all, except the pensive Julia, seemed to enjoy it; when, as she was leaning from the door to speak to a lady at the head of the table, a little boy, about ten years' old, peeped into the pavilion, as if anxiously looking for some one.
The child was so clean, and so neat in his dress, that a gentleman near him patted his curly head, and asked him what he wanted.
“ A lady."
“ But what lady? here is one, and a pretty one too,” shewing the lady next him; “will not she do?'
“ Oh, no! she is not my lady,” replied the boy:
At this moment Julia turned round, and the little boy, clapping his hands, exclaimed, “Oh, that's she, that's she?" Then running out, he cried, “ Mother, mother ! father, father! here she is, we have found her at last !" and before Julia, who suspected what was to follow, could leave her place, and get out of the pavilion, the poor man and woman whom she had relieved, and their now well clothed happy-looking family, appeared before the door of it.
“ Whar does all this mean:" cried Mr. Hanmer. “Good people, wuom do you want:”
« Wecome, Sir," cried the man, “in search of that young lady,” pointing to Julia, “ as we could not go from the neighbourhood without coming to thank and bless her ; for she saved me from going for a soldier, and my wife and children from a workhouse, Sir, and made me and nine as comfortable as you now see us.