Puslapio vaizdai

was an object of general contention. After having, in the space of two years, refused more unexceptionable offers than the most invincible heroine of modern romance can boaft, fhe was introduced to the earl of Monteith at Chester raceball, and at her chaperon's request accepted him for a partner. Their fimilitude in graceful beauty, age, fortune, and connexions, pointed them out to the whole company as a moft fuitable match; and a little policy was admitted, that the peerless pair might not be feparated the whole evening. The next morning his lordship appeared early upon the course, where difmounting without once difcuffing the merits of the racehorses, or attending to the weighing of the riders, he took his feat in the stand next to Mifs Powerfcourt, and during the whole morning feemed to forget that he had feveral thousands depending


upon the iffue of the courfe. In the evening he was again at the ball, again requested the hand of his former partner, and, without once spraining his ancle, or complaining of infufferable heat, danced till three o'clock the next morning. Every body was now fure that he was captivated, and the whole county were on the tip-toe of expectation.

On the very day of her return to Powerscourt, Geraldine fet out in search of her Lucy, and entreated that she would come and spend a little time with her at the manor. It was impoffible for Mifs Evans to avoid obferving, that her friend's account of the ball, the dreffes, and the manners of the company, was very much embarraffed, and deftitute of its ufual vivacity. On entering the dreffing-room, Geraldine locked the door, and, throwing her arms around her Lu'cy's neck, told her fhe had a fecret to divulge

divulge which was of the greatest importance. On receiving a promife of inviolable secrecy, Mifs Powerfcourt endeavoured to explain; but, after several ineffectual attempts to begin the difcovery, fhe faw fome company coming over the lawn, and, promifing her friend to be more explicit at another time, fhe unlocked the door, and haftened to receive her guests.

It was more than a week before Mifs Evans could find leifure from her domestic occupations to vifit Powerfcourthouse, in order that she might receive the facred truft. She now found her friend's lively fpirits still more fubdued; fhe was abfent, frequently fighed, played with her mother's picture, which hung fufpended by a pearl chain on her bofom, sketched figures upon the table with her netting needle, and, though unusually affectionate in her expreffions,


feemed lefs inclined to confide the ftory of her troubles than at their former interview. Neither Mifs Evans's difpofition nor education were in the leaft romantic; she could only perceive that her friend had met with fome great vexation, and fhe was too delicate to endeavour to pierce the veil which concealed those forrows; he therefore contented herself with fecretly wishing the painful anxiety speedily removed.

But, though Mifs Evans was thus fhort-fighted, my readers have probably discovered enough of the diforder to acquit me of introducing extraneous matter, though I should inftantly revert to lord Monteith. On dancing with Mifs Powerscourt the firft night, he publicly declared that the was the finest girl he had ever feen: the conversation in the stand convinced him that he was uncommonly clever; and at the inter

view the second evening fhe appeared with fuch captivating grace, that he loudly protested she was the most ele, gant woman in the world, and that Geraldine Powerscourt was almoft enough to induce any man to submit to the yoke of marriage. The friends to whom he uttered these rapturous exclamations reported them to their mothers and fifters, who repeated them to their acquaintance; but the rough masculine fentiment, when filtered through the organs of female delicacy, fpoke in a much fofter and more infinuating tone. All the ladies protested that the earl of Monteith was deeply enamoured with Mifs Powerscourt; that he thought her the divineft creature that ever exifted; that he was dying for an opportunity of throwing himself at her feet; and that his whole earthly happiness depended upon her. This high-flown language, repeated

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