give us notice—it tells us that they are all coming up to town directly, on Mrs. Churchill’s account—she has not been well the whole winter, and thinks Enscombe too cold for her—so they are all to move southward without loss of time.”

“Indeed!-from Yorkshire, I think. Enscombe is in Yorkshire?”

“Yes, they are about 190 miles from London. A considerable journey.”

“Yes, upon my word, very considerable. Sixty-five miles farther than from Maple Grove to London. But what is distance, Mr. Weston, to people of large fortune?—You would be amazed to hear how my brother, Mr. Suckling , sometimes flies about. You will hardly believe me-but twice in one week he and Mr. Bragge went to London and back again with four horses.”

“The evil of the distance from Enscombe,” said Mr. Weston, “is, that Mrs. Churchill, as we understand, has not been able to leave the sopha for a week together. In Frank’s last letter she complained, he said, of being too weak to get into her conservatory without having both his arm and his uncle’s! This, you know, speaks a great degree of weakness-but now she is so impatient to be in town, that she means to sleep only two nights on the road.—So Frank writes word. Certainly, delicate ladies have very extraordinary constitutions, Mrs. Elton. You must grant me that.”

“No, indeed, I shall grant you nothing. I always take the part of my own sex. I do indeed. I give you notice-You will find me a formidable antagonist on that point. I always stand up for women-and I assure you, if you knew how Selina feels with respect to sleeping at the inn, you would not wonder at Mrs. Churchill’s making incredible exertions to avoid it. Selina says it is quite horror to her-and I believe I have caught a little of her nicety. She


always travels with her own sheets; an excellent precaution. Does Mrs. Churchill do the same?”

“Depend upon it, Mrs. Churchill does everything that any other fine lady ever did. Mrs. Churchill will not be second to any lady in the land for”—

Mrs. Elton eagerly interposed with,

“Oh! Mr. Weston, do not mistake me. Selina is no fine lady, I assure you. Do not run away with such an idea.”

“Is not she? Then she is no rule for Mrs. Churchill, who is as thorough a fine lady as any body ever beheld.”

Mrs. Elton began to think she had been wrong in disclaiming so warmly. It was by no means her object to have it believed that her sister was not a fine lady; perhaps there was want of spirit in the pretence of it;—and she was considering in what way she had best retract, when Mr. Weston went on.

“Mrs. Churchill is not much in my good graces, as you may suspect—but this is quite between ourselves. She is very fond of Frank, and therefore I would not speak ill of her. Besides, she is out of health now; but that indeed, by her own account, she has always been. I would not say so to every body, Mrs. Elton, but I have not much faith in Mrs. Churchill’s illness.”

“If she is really ill, why not go to Bath, Mr. Weston?—To Bath or to Clifton?”

“She has taken it into her head that Enscombe is too cold for her. The fact is, I suppose, that she is tired of Enscombe. She has now been a longer time stationary there, than she ever was before, and she begins to want change. It is a retired place. A fine place, but very retired.”

“Aye—like Maple Grove, I dare say. Nothing can stand more retired from the road than Maple Grove. Such an immense plantation all round it! You seem shut out from everything—in the most