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"doms, unless other people put it in "her head."
Lord W. afked if the happy youth knew his envied destination.
Sir William did not like to be thus catechifed; he, however, answered in the negative. "I don't think it right," faid he, to have young men made "vain. He is a modest good lad now, "and will enjoy his fortune better, and "know how to do more good with it, "for having been without one when he "was young. I affure you, my lord,
་ you are the first perfon to whom I ever " mentioned my plan, though I formed "it as foon as my wife died, never in"tending to marry again. It is out of "refpect to lord Monteith that I men"tion it, because I would not have him "think that I refufe his addreffes in an << uncivil manner. But had I not better << write
"write a few lines to his lordship, as " he was fo polite as to write to me?"
Lord W. promifed to be a faithful reporter of what had paffed, and they feparated mutually diffatisfied, lord W. conceiving fir William to be the most extraordinary old quiz he ever converfed with; and fir William wishing the flashy young men would let his daughter alone, being certain that she was perfectly happy if they would not torment her.
While this scene paffed in the breakfaft-parlour, Geraldine was perufing her letter in the dreffing-room, commenting on its paffionate but respectful contents, and owning to her dear Lucy that it was impoffible to deny lord Monteith's merits. She could now repeat all the adventures of Chefter races; her account was lively and interefting, yet fufficiently fentimental to explain to Mifs Evans the reafon of her abfence and her fighs.
fighs. She waited her father's fummons with impatience, and flew to dinner with fo light a foot as would scarcely have preffed down
"That idles in the fummer's noon-tide air :" but it was obfervable, that the returned with
"Even ftep and muling gait,
I need not account in diffuse terms for the change. Sir William had informed her of his abfolute rejection of lord Monteith, in a manner which evidently proved that he expected fhe would be as well fatisfied with his conduct in this particular, as fhe had been in every preceding inftance, it never occurring to fir William that fhe could be at all interested in the addreffes of a stranger.
Though Mifs Powerfcourt had certainly acted with girlish precipitancy in attaching
attaching herself to the idol of her own imagination; and though, with the common philofophy of nineteen, fhe fuppofed nothing fo irretrievable as a wandering heart, he really was what fir William esteemed her to be, a very amiable and very fenfible girl. She not only loved her father's person, but she also venerated his character. The emphasis that he laid on the word ftranger induced her to reflect on the hazard of bestowing her hand upon a perfon with whom he was fo flightly acquainted; and though the continued to believe that lord Monteith poffeffed all the real virtues of which she had conjured up the resemblance, yet fhe thought there would be no impropriety in letting the latent excellencies expand. In fine, she was too refpectful as a daughter to establish an open oppofition to her father's intentions, and too delicate as a female to think of G 4
encouraging an addrefs which wanted the folemn fanction of paternal approbation. If lord Monteith's paffion was fincere, it would not be repreffed by difficulties; and if it ftood the trial, fhe knew the warmth of fir William's affection to her too well to fear his final rejection, when he fhould know that her happiness depended upon his affent.
If my readers think thefe refolutions too magnanimous to correfpond with the character of a young lady accuftomed even to that folicitous indulgence which prevents our wifhes, who never viewed the world but on its brightest fide, and who never faw
"Hard unkindnefs' alter'd eye
let it be remembered, that he had in Mrs. Evans a friend of a fuperior cast to what most heireffes can ever hope to poffefs; a friend who, having no