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opposite window, and seemed only occupied in playing with her favourite Italian greyhound, while her father was circumspectly examining the feal of the packet, and decyphering the armorial honours of the Macdonalds.
"Here is a letter too for you, Geraldine," faid fir William. She turned to receive it; but encountering the eyes of lord W. the livelieft confufion was imprinted on her countenance. She would have given the world to escape the explanation, which, but a moment before, The was impatient to hear. Luckily a fervant announced the arrival of Mifs Evans, and the haftened to receive her friend, while lord W. as he attended her to the door, politely whifpered that her triumph was complete, and entreated her to be as merciful as she was invincible.
Sir William had by this time perufed his letter, and funk into a profound reverie, from which he was roused by the eulogium which lord W. pronounced on the rank, talents, fortune, and connexions of his noble friend, the warmth of his. attachment, and the uncommon excellencies of Mifs Powerfcourt.
Though fir William liftened with the moft delighted attention to the panegyric on his daughter, he discovered great uneafinefs during the defcription of lord Monteith's paffion; and, as foon as lord W. had ended his harangue, he expreffed his hopes that the account was not quite true. His noble guest took fire at the imputation of exaggeration, and confirmed every thing he had before afferted with violent protestations.
"Then I beg your lordship's par"don," faid fir William; " and I do "affure you, that I had not the smallest
defign of offending; for, I dare fay,
you never told me more than what you thought was truth; and very pof"fibly lord Monteith may think fo too. Young men and women are apt to suppose themselves in love, and I hope it is no more in the prefent cafe; " for I fhould be very forry to have my girl make a worthy gentleman. "miferable."
Lord W. pleaded that his noble friend was certainly one of the first matches in the kingdom.
"Undoubtedly," replied fir William; "and yet, no difparagement to the Mac
donalds, the Powerfcourts are quite "as ancient and refpectable. But, to tell you the truth, I am not very fond of "lords, at least not for fons-in-law. Ge"raldine will have enough if her husband "has not a fhilling, and I would rather "she should beftow herself upon fome << worthy
worthy man who would keep up my "family, than fink my name and fortune " in that of any peer in the three king"doms."
Lord W. obferved, that by a fuitable arrangement in the marriage-writings the family name might be preserved.
Sir William rather fretted at these
expedients. "I have told you, my
"lord," said he, " that I think very well "of the Macdonalds; it is an antient "name, and an honourable family; it "has given birth to a great many true "lovers of their country; but I hope "lord Monteith will not be offended "with me, if I fay that I prefer my own. "In fhort, my lord, there is a young man "whom I think of for Geraldine; and "a great bleffing, let me tell you, fhe "will be to him."
Lord W. recollected a young man of the name of Powerfcourt, whofe educa
tion had been defrayed at fir William's expence, and who occafionally vifited at the manor; but as he was known to be entirely dependent upon his patron's bounty, no one fuppofed him the deftined husband for the heiress of Powerfcourt. His lordship's aftonishment was fo great that he could not help afking, whether the lady affented to this extraordinary difpofal of charm's which might add honour to a dukedom.
"I have not yet told her my plans," faid fir William; "fhe is very young at "prefent, and I would not cut fhort her happiest days. She is fo attached to me, that I am fure it will be almost "death for her to leave me; but as the " is my only child, I muft marry her "to keep up my family. I affure your lordship, he is a very fenfible girl, " and will have no notion about duke