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written by "Brunton, Mary"
...d endeavouring to gain courage for a petition to some other of my acquaintance. I at last fixed upon a young lady of fortune with whom I had contracted some intimacy; and, under pretence of exhibiting my box, beckoned her towards me, and requested her to lend me the money. With an aspect of profound amazement, she exclaimed, 'La, my dear! how can you think of such a thing? I have not ten pounds in the world. I never have. It is always spent before I can lay a finger on it.'—'Indeed! I was in hopes you were in cash just now, for I thought I observed you bid for this box.'—'Oh, one must bid now and then for a little amusement! But I assure you I had no thoughts of buying such a splendid affair. I must leave that to those who have more money than they know what to do with.' I could perceive a tincture of malice in the smile which accompanied these words; and turning from her, resumed my conversation with Lady St Edmunds. Her Ladyship rallied me unmercifully upon what she called my prudery; asking me, in a very audible whisper, what sort of interest I expected Lord Frederick to exact, which made me so afraid of becoming his debtor. Lord Frederick himself joined in the raillery; and, laughing, offered to recommend me to an honest Jew, if I preferred such a creditor. Their manner of treating the subject made me almost ashamed of having refused Lord Frederick's assistance, especially as I was certain that the obligation might be discharged in an hour. I suspected, indeed, though I was but imperfectly acquainted with the state of my funds, that they were insufficient for this demand; but I knew that Miss Arnold had money, because I had divided my quarterly allowance[77] with her, and had not since observed her to incur any serious expense. Besides, I was convinced that my father would permit me to draw upon him in advance, so that at all events I should be able to discharge my debt on the following day. I therefore half playfully,...

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