had his share of her filiai tenderness. Yet she had a profound respect not only for age, but also for rank. When she feit entremely awkward at her first ball owing to her ignorance of the manners of polite society, her timidity was greatly increased by hearing that her partner was a lord.
"In a short time we were joined by Miss Mirvan, who stood next couple to us. But how was I startled when she whispered me that my partner was a nobleman! This gave me a new alarm: how will he be provoked, thought I, when he finds what a simple rustic he has honoured with his choke! one whose ignorance of the world makes her perpetually fear doing something wrong!
"That he should be so much my superior every way, quite disconcerted me." 1
Her respect for rank k obvious in thk passage. However, it is not a blind admiration, for soon afterwards she says: "It was then I saw that the rank of Lord Orville was hk least recommendation, his understanding and his manners being far more distinguished", while afterwards persons of rank such as Sir Clement Willoughby and Lord Merton are severely critkized. It is interesting to see Fanny's opinion on the subject at this period, compared with her views in later life when she sometimes went beyond the bounds of reason in her blind admiration for royalty.
In spite of Evelina's usual timidity, she could act with spirit and firmness if necessary, as for example in the scène when Mr. Macaröiey wants to commit suicide.2 Mr. Villars gives hk (we might as well say Fanny Burney's) opinion on the subject;.:.
"The pistol scène made me shudder; the courage with which you pursued this desperate man, at once delighted and terrified me. Be ever thus, my dearest Evelina, dauntless in the cause of distress! let no weak fears, no timid doubts.
1 Evelina, Letter XI. » Op. cit. Letter XLIII.