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They followed the man through a long gloomy passage into a parlour tolerably well furnished; but, as Louisa thought, very different from what might be expected in a house of the Countess of Delville's. A certain air of desolation seemed to reign around, and as she cast her eyes into the garden to which the room she was now in looked, she observed




persons walking separately, whose countenances, she fancied, were in unison with the scene around.

She felt a chilling sensation of horror creep through her veins; her spirits, lately so exhilarated, were suddenly depressed, and her whole frame shook with the apprehension of approaching evil.

The man having left the room, Louisa turned to Miss Freeman for the purpose of asking her some question that would relieve the dread she felt so unaccountably pervade her mind ; and to her utter dismay beheld the exultation which sat on her countenance, and which she was now no longer anxious to conceal.

“ It is time,” said she, “now to undeceive you ; you are not in the house of the Countess of Delville, neither does she know any thing of you ; but believes you capable of crimes that justly expose you to her neglect and resentment; thesame opinion is entertained by both those families who you have been so weak as to believe would interest themselves in your favour; therefore you need not take the trouble again to apply to them, as, I can assure you, it is to no purpose. When you recollect the provocation you have given Lady Belmour, you will perhaps not be surprised to hear that you are in a place where you cannot repeat your offence, and from which not all the art you possess will be able to release you.

Mr. Melford will probably tell you more in a few days: till then I leave


to the consolation which, no doubt, your very superior virtues will afford you.

She then retired, and Louisa, who felt stupified by this sudden reverse of fortune, was unable to stop her, or to inquire where or why she was thus betrayed.

The person whom she had first seen now returned with a fat vulgar looking woman, who, he informed Louisa, would attend to her wants, and be kind to her, if

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she was tractable, and did not attempt to break through any of the rules laid down by him; but if she did, the most rigid confinement would be the consequence.

Louisa, more astonished, inquired what was expected from her, and why she should be treated in a manner so incomprehensible? But the man only smiled contemptuously on her, and repeating something to the woman which Louisa did not hear, left her to the care of her new attendant, in whose countenance she could see nothing conciliating to induce her to enter into conversation, or to ask her any questions as to the nature of the confinement she was compelled to submit to.

The woman at length proposed that she should retire for the night; a permission Louisa rejoiced at, as she wished for solitude, that she might indulge in unrestrained grief.

In the room to which she was conducted she found a trunk belonging to herself, which contained every necessary article

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