Puslapio vaizdai

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 charms 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 short her happiest days. She is fo attached to me, that I am fure it will be almoft "death for her to leave me; but as the " is my only child, I must marry her "to keep up my family. I affure your lordship, he is a very fenfible girl,

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Lord W. asked if the happy youth knew his envied deftination.

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 modeft 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 refuse 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 fcene 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 reason of her absence and her fighs.


fighs. She waited her father's fummons with impatience, and flew to dinner with fo light a foot as would fcarcely have preffed down

"The goffamer

"That idles in the fummer's noon-tide air :" but it was obfervable, that the returned with

"Even ftep and mufing gait,

"Sober, ftedfast, and demure."

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 she 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, fhe really was what fir William esteemed her to be, a very amiable and very fenfible girl. She not only loved her father's perfon, but she also venerated his character. The emphafis that he laid on the word ftranger induced her to reflect on the hazard of bestowing her hand upon a person with whom fhe 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 refemblance, yet fhe thought there would be no impropriety in letting the latent excellencies expand. In fine, fhe 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

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