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Bath. The Countess is too much indisposed to see Migs Llewellen before her departure."
Clare tore the note in small pieces, with a smile of contempt, and scattered them over the room : then she rang the bell. Louise appeared.
"Louise,” she said, “ I should be obliged if you would assist me to pack up some of my clothes-I intend leaving this house to-night.”
Louise looked astonishment; but Clare was decided. Under her directions, Louise packed up her boxes, all of which Clare, in the fulness of her excitement, would fain have left behind her ; for she hated the idea of carrying away things that had been given her by her aunt; but she must have necessary apparel. Her ball dresses, and such-like attire, however, she left in their wardrobes. Her jewels, with the exception of such trinkets as had been
présented by her friends, she gave into Louise's care, with directions to remit them to her aunt, when she was gone. Her money she knew she should want, and she, therefore, collected every farthing she possessed.
The packing was performed in a few hours. She then told Louise to order the carriage to be ready at daybreak, to convey her as far as Bristol, from whence she was resolved to proceed alone. She did not wish to asperse her aunt's character by leaving her house in a manner unsuitable to her niece, but further than this, she would accept no benefit at her hands. She then wrote a few brief lines of cold leavetaking, respectfully worded, but nothing more, which she gave to Louise.
The poor girl was in tears. She did not know what to make of these proceedings. Clare had been ever very kind to her, but had never made her a confidante, therefore she dared not, even on the present occasion, be inquisitive. She could only
entreat to be made of service, but received a gentle but firm assurance, that she could be of none further than to assist her young lady in packing.
Clare did not sleep or even lie down that night. At eight o'clock the next morning, she found herself in a hotel at Bristol. No persuasions that the faithful coachman could urge would induce her to retain the carriage. He took and paid her passage, saw her on board a steamer, committed her with a handsome fee to the care of the captain, and left her for the first time in her life, alone, and wholly abandoned to her own resourses.
Oh! we are querulous creatures ! little less
It may be imagined that when Clare was left alone in the vessel, her condition was not very comfortable. She had never before travelled without a protector, and she knew not which way to turn for support. She began to regret that she had not inade her journey by land, which would have been a more respectable, if not so expeditious a mode. But it was too late to repent. She had taken her passage, and she must bear the consequences of her imprudence. She was evidently an object of attention, for when she went on deck, feeling sick, and harassed, and longing for the fresh air, the eyes of all the passengers were , turned upon her. She had recourse to a small ladies' cabin, which she was fortunate in having, for some time, to herself; but by degrees the few females who were on board joined her. She felt nervous and agitated; her head ached with the excitement she had gone through; and the changes that had so suddenly occurred in her existence, as well as her present position, seemed like a dream.