been much raised, cannot fail to be disap-
pointed on their first arrival. Its real beauties
are to be found in the environs; or, as our
friend, Lord Blaney, would say, " Spa is de-
lightful when you are out of it." But what
natmvilly much enhances the charms of its sur-
rounding scenery, and gives, even to the village
itself, an ideal beauty, is, that no place affords
pleasanter means for the enjoyment of society,
or gives greater facilities for carrying on a
little innocent flirtation.
At the time of Mrs. Lovaine*s arrival, the
VOL. I. H
1^6 TttE SCHOOL OF FASHION.
Spa season had commenced, and when they
had estabhshed themselves in their hotel, and
were beginning to wish for society, they fortu-
nately met with one or two families whom they
had known elsewhere on the Continent ; be-
sides the Count Povolowski, a Polish noble-
man, who had been very popular in Rome
during the preceding winter, and whose ad-
miration of Elinor had been sufficient to create
feelings of jealousy on the part of some of the
" elega/Ues,'^ a circumstance which much en-
hanced the value of his attentions in the eyes
of Mrs. Lovaine, and had induced her to en-
courage them) more than would have been
deemed prudent by that true John Bull, Mr.
Wheii Elinor was well enough to dance,
and her mother had ascertfiined it was the
right thing to do, they made their appearance
Ttee^ SCHOOL e^ l^ASHldN. NT
alt one of the weekiy balls held at the Redoute.
They had not Icwig be^ft in the room before
Elinor's attention was attracted by the beauty
of a youBg lady*, wiw sat so nearly opposit-e to
her that she could, without rudeness, observe
her countenance and manner. She was talking
and listening with eagerness to a middle-aged
man, who was sitting by her side^ but whose
appearance and manner forebade the idea that
there existed between them any greater topic
of interest than that of an argument, on no
very grave or important subject?, or the recital
of some amusing anecdote.
Her complexion was blooming with youth
and health ; her hair brown, but not of quite
so dark a hue as her eye-brows and eye-liashes,
which aftbrded a shade, and gave a character
to her countenance, that could not pass un-
observed ; her features were rather small, and
148 THE SCHOOL OF FASHION.
not perfectly regular, but there was an anima-
tion and a joyousness in their expression,
tempered with softness and modesty, that pro-
duced in the tout-ensemble^ an indescribable
charm. Her figure was round and beautifully
formed ; her stature was in neither way remark-
able; and when she moved, it was with an air
of dignity and grace, combined with perfect
ease and activity, that gave a just idea of her
refinement and cheerfulness.
When she quitted the gentleman with whom
she was conversing upon Elinor's entrance, it
was to dance with the Count Povolowski.
There was nothing in her dancing that shewed
how diligently she had worked with the danc-
ing-master. No hattements performed under
the folds of an ample garniture, and known
only to exist by the trembling of the agitated
gown. No jumping to shew her activity, or
THE SCHOOL OF FASHION. 149
Strange attitudes to display her grace ; it was
not a feat that took your admiration by storm,
but of which you rather felt the superiority by
the comparison with other performers in the
The dance over, she returned to the chape^
roimge of a lady who, from her age and slight
resemblance to the young lady in question, ap-
peared to be her mother. Never had Elinor
been more captivated by the air of any young
person, and her first question to the Count
Povolowski, after accepting his hand for the
next dance, was, the name of the girl with
whom she had been so fascinated.
" Mais comment ! vous ne connoissez pas son
nom, etcependant elle est Anglaise /" replied the
Count, who thought it very extraordinary she
should not know a compatriote. " Mais c*est
i50 THS SCHOOL OF FASHION.
Mademoiselle de Clifford ; elk est pttillante d'e9^
prit d, belle comme un ange ! elie est rempHe de
talens aiLssi a ce quHon dit'^ But, notwithstanding
his great admiration of his late partner, as the
Count had not forgotten his penchaTit for Miss
Lovaine, he took care to say as inany flattering
riens as possible to her, lest she should be
jealous of his praise of Miss De Clifford, a
feeling which, to do Elinor justice, she was as
incapable of entertaining towards any one,
as she was unconscious of ever exciting in
The ball was not more than half over, when
a young man of about twenty-five years of age
desired a common acquaintance to introduce
him to Mrs. Lovaine. The introduction was
instantly forwarded by the mother to the
daughter, and " Elinor, my dear, Eord Golds-
THE SCHOOL OF FASHION. 151
borough/* with the pi'oper accompaniment of
bow and curtsey, were performed without loss
Lord Goldsborough was the eldest son and
heir-apparent to the Earl of Reading. He had
been, from the moment of his birth, impressed
by his parents with a sense of his own import-
ance. He was sent to Eton for two reasons that
are usually given for the preference of that col-
lege above all other seminaries of learning ;
first, because the youth's father had been there
before him ; and secondly, because, if he learnt
nothing else, he would at least there learn to
be " a gentleman." For precisely the same rea-
sons he finished his education at Christ Church,
That many men who are thus educated are
what is called " very gentlemanlike," we are
most willing to allow ; but, that it is the na-
152 THE SCHOOL OF FASHIOK.
tural consequence of being an Etonian, or a
Christ-Church man, we are far less willing to
admit ; for when we consider how large a pro-
portion of the students, at either place, do in
no respect answer to the title of a gentleman,
we are a little inclined to doubt their infalli-
bility in causing so good an effect.
Lord Goldsborough travelled on the Conti-
nent for a whole year after leaving college,
and was considered by his family and himself,
on his return home, as polished a young noble-
man as could be found in the rising generation
of the English aristocracy. Although he had
uniformly made less progress in knowledge
than his younger brothers, and was (as truth
compels us to own) exceedingly backward in
his book-learning, yet Lady Reading had al-
ways been so fully impressed with the idea that
" Goldsborough was not to live by his wits,"
THE SCHOOL OF FASHION. 153
tbat his ignorance (had she discovered it) would
have been no more a source of annoyance to
her than to her daughters, who, when pitying
the lot of " poor Bob and Charles," because
they were obliged to do something, never failed
to comment upon the superior good fortune of
Goldsborough who did nothing.
Perhaps, amongst the numerous fallacies that
Herbert Lovaine discovered in popular opi-
nions, there is none that has struck us as more
glaring, or less defensible, than the idea that
a man who is born to be a legislator for his
country, and who is also, by the inheritance of
riches, the inheritor of some power, requires
less cultivation and instruction than one whose
duties lie in the more limited sphere of what
is called " a profession." The whole classifi-
cation of society is founded on expediency,
and those who willingly pay dearly to be well
IM THE SCHOOL OF FASHIOIC.
governed, hare a right to expect iÂ» return the
best endeavours of their goveraors to perform
their part of the compact. Indeed, we have
always been surprised that those who are deaf
to the calls of duty, should also be so blind to
their own interest as not to perceive, that in-
asmuch as knowledge gives command, they
stand a fair chance of losing that superiority
(to which they perhaps vainly think they have
an inherent right) by ignorance, and negli-
gence of the talent committed to their care.
" To whom much is given, of him much wnll
be required," is a truth which cannot be too
early, or too strongly impressed, on the mind
of every Lord Goldsborough, lest he should
flatter himself, that to whom much is given, to
him more must necessarily be added, and from
him less be necessarily expected.
But we must return to the JRedoute. Lord
THE SCHOOL OF FASHION. 155
Goldsborough naturally asked Miss Lovaine
to dance : but as he was engaged for the qua-
drille which was just beginning, he hoped to
have the honour of being her partner for the
next. Elinor had, however, unluckily ac-
cepted a second engagement with the Count
Povolowski, and therefore was under the neces-
sity of declining. Lord Goldsborousfh exer-
cised his dancing powers with Miss De Cliiford,
who chanced to be disengaged.
" My dear Elinor," whispered Mrs. Lovaine
when Lord Goldsborough left them, I thought
you* had already danced with Monsieur Povo-
lowski this evening."
" Yes, Mamma, but only once; and you
know at Rome I often danced three times with
" I think once a night is quite sufficient,"
returned Mrs. Lovaine.
156 THE SCHOOL OF FASHION.
Poor Elinor was a little perplexed to make
out the reason of her mother being displeased
at her having accepted the Count for the se-
cond time, now she was at Spa, when she had
never raised the slightest objection, at Rome,
to his being her cavalier two, or even three
times, in the course of the evening.
The following morninoj it was settled that
Elinor, chaperoned by the lady who had, on
the preceding evening, presented Lord Golds-
borough to her mother, should belong to a
riding party; and accordingly at two o'clock
Lady Melrose called for Miss Lovaine, and
they forthwith joined, at the place of rendez-
vous, a troop of equestrians, who still, how-
ever, waited for the arrival of some other
absentee. Elinor at last discovered, at a little
distance, a lady and three gentlemen on horse-
back, hastening towards them ; and in a few
THE SCHOOL OF FASHION. 157
seconds she found they were joined by Lord
Goldsborough, Miss De Clifford, the gentle-
man to whom Elinor had observed her talking
when she first entered the ball-room, and a
tall young man, w^ho too much resembled Miss
De Clifford, to leave any doubt as to its being
a brother, to whose protection she was com-
" INIy dear Miss De Clifford, we had almost
given you up," said Lady Melrose, who was
the female commander-in-chief for the day,
" but nobody seemed inclined to sally forth
without you, so I was obliged, you see, to be
" I beg you ten thousand pardons," replied
Miss De Clifford, " for though I am not quite
so credulous, as to suppose that my arrival was
of consequence to any but such a kind chaperon
as yourself, dear Lady Melrose, yet I am
158 TWE SCHOOL OF FASHION'.
shocked, indeed, at having kept you so long ;"
and, as she finished this sentence, she gave her
brother a glance, to see if she might say more.
** Well, Emily, I suppose you want me to
tell the truth, so I had better confess at once
that I am the guilty person. I was bent upon
ridinor with vou all to-dav, and could not a^et a
horse at the hour I ordered it, and that was
the cause of our being so late."
" Don't you think it would be more to the
pui'pose if we v;ere to gallop for the first two
miles, to make up for lost time, than stand
here trying to cure what we can only endure ?"
said Mr. Mordaunt, for such was the name of
the middle-aged gentleman who accompanied
Emily De Clifford ; and though, aufatid^ a very
good-natured, kind-hearted man, was some-
times apt to be a little test}', and whose pecu-
liar countenance and manner often gave an
THE SCHOOL OF FASHION. 159
appearance of sourness, which was far from be-
longing tx) his disposition. He would rail at
things, in general, with the bitterness of a
cynic or misanthropist, but was, in reality, less
addicted than most people to be severe on in-
dividuals. He never indulged in the propaga-
tion of gossip ; and if he did sometimes com-
ment on the failings of others, there was
generally that sort of good-nature in his ill-
nature, that, though he amused by his censure,
he never gave an unjust, and very seldom an
unfavourable, impression of its object.
Mr." Mordaunt was verj^ fond of Emily De
Clifford, with whom he had been acquainted for
some time, because, in addition to many other
charms, she added that of shewing great plea-
sure in his society. She was not a coquette,
and never cared for, or tried to inspire, feel-
ings which she could not return. She had a
160 THE SCHOOL OF FASHION.
good opinion of Mr. Mordaunt's character,
and she was entertained by his cleverness; he
had not, therefore, the mortification of seeing
every dandy preferred to himself, merely be-
cause he was a young coxcomb who might be
in love with her.
The riding party had not proceeded far, when
Lady Melrose informed Elinor that Mr. Wil-
liam De CUfFord was anxious to make her ac-
quaintance ; and soon after, when the narrow-
ness of the road obliged the equestrians to go
only two and two abreast (a circumstance, by-
the-bye, which occurs so often in the neigh-
bourhood of Spa, that, at a little distance, one
might suppose Noah and his family were again
processing into the ark,) Elinor and her new
acquaintance found themselves riding cheek-by-
" Did you enjoy the ball last night ?" in-
THE SCHOOL OF FASHION. 161
quired Mr. De Clifford, " my sister told me
you were there."
Miss Lovaine had been so much delighted
with Miss De Clifford's appearance, that she
felt pleased at the idea of not having passed
unobserved by her in return.
" Miss De Clifford is then your sister ? I
asked who she was the moment I came into
the room : but how did she know my name ?"
" I understood by inquiring of one, who said
much more concerning you than your name."
" Whom do you mean ?" replied Elinor
slightly blushing at finding she had been a topic
" Count Povolowski."
The recollection of Mrs. Lovaine's observa-
tion upon the Count's attentions flashed across
her mind upon hearing this, and she blushed
again. Mr. De Clifford perceived her em-
162 TKE SCHOOL OF FASHION.
ta'mssment, and, instantly remembering- the
slightness of their acquaintance, he felt he had
no right to touch upon any subject which
might, by possibility, be of a delicate nature :
therefore turning the conversation immediately,
he said, " My sister is so anxious to know you,
that I hope you will have no objection to my
inti'oducing her to you in the course of our
Elinor acquiesced with the pleasure she
really felt, and when they quitted the narrow
pass, so favourable to tite-d-t^tes^ the ceremony
of introduction was perfoiTned ; and never had
Elinor been better pleased than during the
two miles she rode in company with Mr. and
Miss De Oiffoiti,
At the end of that time. Lord Goldsborough
joined them, and the convei^ation took a dif-
ferent,^ but we doubt if a more agreeable turn.
THE SCHOOL OF FASHION. 163
Lord Goidsborough hoped the young ladies
did not find the sun too hot : and though the
horses constantly stopped, without consulting
the convenience of theii' riders, to get rid of
the flies, he hoped the insects were not trou-
blesome ; and he trusted that Lady Harriet De
Clifford and Mrs. Lovaine were not tired -with
the exertions of the preceding evening ; and
he hoped â€” and supposed â€” and trusted â€” many
other very uninteresting little facts; and felt
pleased v/ith himself, when he reached his
home, at the thoughts of how well-bred and
agreeable he had been.
In a short time an opportunity occurred for
making Mrs. Lm*aine and Lady Harriet ac-
quainted ; and Elinor accompanied her mother
to the De Clifiord's hotel, for the purpose of
making a morniner visit.
164 THE SCHOOL OF FASHION.
Lady Harriet De Clifford was about five-
and-forty years of age ; her manners and coun-
tenance were soft and winning, though not
without the languor usually attendant on ill
health, for she had, for many years, been more
or less of an invalid. She was accustomed to
bodily suffering, but the devoted attentions of
her husband and children afforded her such
mental happiness, that though she was often
far from sanguine as to her recovery, she com-
plained but little. She had had a very large
family, five of whom were alive, and the rest
had died young.
When Mrs. Lovaine and her daughter were
announced, Lady Harriet was alone, and she
rose to receive them with a manner that could
not fail to please by its affability and absence
of all pretension to patronize. In a short time
THE SCHOOL OF FASHION. 165
Mrs. Lovaine inquired if Miss De ClifFord was
at home? as Elinor had been in hopes of
" She is in the next room, I believe, with
the children ; and will, I am sure, be most
happy to see Miss Lovaine, if she will either
take the trouble of calling her, or paying her a
visit in her owii little hole."
The latter proposition was joyfully accepted,
and Elinor knocked at the door of the room,
which was only separated from that she had
left by a landing-place, with those mixed feel-
ings -of pleasure and annoj'ance, which are
always consequent upon the doubt of being
able to impart as much pleasure as you are
certain of receiving. In other words, whether
your visit may be perfectly acceptable, or con-
sidered rather intrusive.
The slow and incorrect pei-formance on the
166 THE SCHOOL OF FASHIOK.
piano-forte, of '^ Ah ! vous dirai-je, Mamaii,"
prevented Emily from hearing the prudent
little knock of her new acquaintance, and
Elinor was obliged to make her entry un-
Miss De Clifford was seated by the side of a
child eight or nine years old, with a pencil in
her hand, and apparently in the act of giving
her a lesson in music. In the corner of the
room was a little boy, of about six years of
age, sitting on a footstool, learning v/ith the
utmost diligence how to spell all the hard
words he was sure not to encounter, or want,
till he had come to man's estate !
" I fear I shall interrupt you," said Miss
'' Oh ! by no means, I assure you. Neither
Mary or I mind a little repose from our deep
studies: do we, my darling?" she said, pat-
THE SCKOOX OF FASHION. 167
ting her little sister's cheek, and giving her a
Miss De Clifford was not, however, inter-
rupted for any great length of time, as Elinor
was soon summoned to accompany her mother,
to pay other and less agreeable visits. She
had, however, during her visit to Emily, been
both charmed and amused; for though she
never originated fun herself, she had great en-
joyment of it in others ; and Miss De Ciiiford
had such a fund of humour, and such a flow
of spirits, that she seldom failed to entertain, as
well-as captivate, all who knew her.
168 THE SCHOOL OF FASHION.
The following day another riding party was
proposed by Lady Melrose, and joyfully ac-
cepted by Elinor. The addition to their former
party consisted of Count Povolowski and Mr.
Gordon, the only son of Lord and Lady
Melrose. The day was sultry, and they se-
lected a ride which, though woody, was un-
fortunately not shady, inasmuch as the wood
was principally underwood, and there was
scarcely a tree that reached so high as the
equestrians' heads ; a circumstance which drew
forth from Mr. Mordaunt (who had a par-
ticular antipathy to personal discomfort) such
observations as, " This, I believe, Miss De
THE SCHOOL OF FASHION. 169
Clifford, is considered happiness, is it not?
Just trees enough to remind us how pleasant it
would be to have two yards of shade, instead of
being baked to death by the sun ! But it is all
for pleasure, so of course nothing signi-
Emily could hardly help smiling at the tone
of bitter enthusiasm with which he said this :
she tried to console him by saying, she believed
they would be less exposed to the heat when
they took the right-hand path,
" Yes," he replied, " that is the nearest way
home, I believe ; and when we reach Spa, I
make no doubt our expedition will receive the
usual stamp of all parties of pleasure."
" What do you mean ?"
" The grateful exclamation of each of its
members â€” ' Thank God, it's over!'"
Emily, however, well knew Mr. Mordaunt's
VOL. I. I
J 70 THE SCHOOL OF FASHION.
ways, and soon succeeded in softening his
anger at this trifling inconvenience.
Mr. WilKam De Chfford had joined Elinor
when they first set out ; and both appearing to
be well amused, Count Povolowski thought it
would be all the pleasanter, for all parties, if
he joined them. The conversation did not,
however, appear to flourish better in conse-
quence of the addition of another talker. Mr.
De Clifford had no doubt of the feelings en-
tertained by the Count towards Miss Lovaine ;
and the recollection of her blushes, when he
told her of the strain in which he had spoken
of her to his sister, made him suspect the pos-
sibility of Count Povolowski's penchant being
so far returned, as to make the society of a
third person rather a gine than an agrement ;
he therefore became gradually more silent,
and soon took advantage of the first nar-
tHE SCHOOL OF FASHION. 171
row lane, to drop behind and join Lady Mel-
The tite-a-tete was, however, soon inter-
rupted by Lord Goldsborough, who, after his
usual inquiries respecting the health of Elinor,
and the degree of benefit which she derived
from the Spa waters, addressed her in French,
that the Count might have the benefit also of
hearing all he had to say. The Count, how-
ever, was much better pleased not to have him
at all: for though, as we before mentioned, he
had often excited jealousy in others, he was
far from being free himself from unpleasant
sensations of the same kind, and he was apt
to fancy rivalry when no competition was in-
tended. Lord Goldsborough had been abroad
before, it is true, but he was rather infirm in
his French ; therefore, finding the Count un-
wiUing to profit by his good breeding, he
1T2 THE SCHOOL OF FASHION".
began to feel awkward, though he was con-
fident he never appeared so.
Elinor talked a little in French, and a little
in English ; conscious that they were all un-
usually dull, and that something did not go
right, though she did not perceive the reason
w^hy something went wrong. Lord Goldsbo-
rough, however, soon satisfied himself that
Miss Lovaine was not quite well, and that the
presence of the Count obliged him to talk
French, and that therefore it would be more
agreeable to join Miss De Clifford; and thus
were Elinor and the Count again left, hon gre
inalgre^ to amuse each other.
Elinor had known her companion longer
than any other person there, and had been so
much accustomed to hear Mrs. Lovaine des-
cant upon his powers of conversation, that
though she was entirely free from such feelings
THE SCHOOL OF FASHION. 173
towards him as Mr. De Clifford was disposed to
impute to her, she never objected to his society.
Upon her return home, Elinor was naturally
questioned by her mother concerning her ride :
a circumstance by no means disliked or dread-
ed by Elinor, who was always open as the day,
when she was asked to be so ; but who, from
timidity of character, would never have had
courage to talk of herself, or mention who had
talked to her, unasked.
The route having been described, and the
company named, Mrs. Lovaine inquired,
" And who rode with you, my love ?"
" Oh, Mamma ! different people ; sometimes
we all rode together, and sometimes in threes
and twos. Mr. De Clifford and Lord Goldsbo-
rough, and our old ally Count Povolowski
were the oftenest my riding partners."
"Lord Goldsborough is a very superior
174- THE SCHOOL OF FASHION.
young man ! I dare say you found him veiy
agreeable ?" '^
Elinor hesitated for a moment, wondering
that she had not found out his charms.
" He seems very good-natured, Mamma,"
was therefore her equivocal reply.
Â« And how do you like Mr. De Clifford ?"
continued Mrs. Lovaine.
" Oh ! so very much," Elinor said, with
unwonted warmth : " I am sure he is such a
good personâ€” he seems so fond of his family;
and he is going into the church, by his own
Mrs. Lovaine, like all good mothers, natu-
rally thought much of her daughter's matri-
monial prospects; and though she felt con-
fident that, by giving her every advantage
that Europe coidd furnish, she must secure her
ultimately making a good match ; yet, of
THE SCHOOL OF FASHION. 175
course, the sooner so desirable an end was