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perfectly recollected. The Cambrian Abigail was not an adept in her profeffion; for on being queftioned how it came there, fhe neither affirmed that she faw a Cupid fly in with it at the window, nor even hinted that it might be conveyed there by fairies, or rife out of the table by the power of enchantment. She neither invoked goblin nor witch, but fimply owned that lord Monteith begged her to deliver it, and fhe thought there could be no harm in complying with the requeft of fuch an agreeable gentleman.
"If you do not know your duty to " my father, Bridget, I know mine: "return it immediately to his lordfhip; but ftay; I think I will add a "few words."
Mrs. Bridget bleffed her goodness, and began an harangue on his lordship's
virtues, which her mistress filenced with a look, and the retired.
The opener of Pandora's box was a gentleman. Let the gentlemen therefore behold one of the fex whom they brand with the ftigma of curiofity, fitting with a Pandora's box fealed before her, yet forbearing to lift the interdicted lid. She wrote a few lines which expreffed her abhorrence of a clandeftine correfpondence, without intimating perpetual enmity against the correspondent, and, inclofing his lordship's letter, rung her bell, and ordered it to be delivered by the very first opportunity. She refufed Mrs. Bridget's attendance that evening, and betook herself to the repose which confcious rectitude and felf-poffeffion can alone enjoy.
A prudent father,
By nature charg'd to guide and rule her choice,
LORD MONTEITH and his friend were forced to project fresh measures; for Mrs. Bridget was fo unwilling to offend. her dear generous young lady, that she refused to appear any more upon the stage, and yet her gratitude to the dear generous young gentleman induced her to consent still to take a part behind the fcenes. She fuggefted that her lady would foon pay a vifit to a neighbouring family; that she would go on horfeback, only accompanied by Mr. John the groom; that the road lay through a neigh
neighbouring coppice, but that lord W. as well as fir William had keys of the ridings; and she concluded with observing fignificantly, that Mr. John was a very well-behaved man, no listener, and too difcreet to fay any thing.
The excurfion was undertaken at the appointed time; but the inftant Mifs Powerscourt entered the wood, fhe faw a gentle man on horseback approaching, whom, in another inftant, fhe knew to be lord Monteith. Her firft intention was to turn back, but she was prevented by John's having dropped the key in the long grafs, juft as he had locked the gate. Anger was ufelefs, indeed unreasonable; for the poor man was endeavouring to repair his carelesness by looking for it very anxiously. Though fhe could not but fufpect that the rencontre was concerted, fhe had fufficient confidence in her own dignity to
overcome her firft agitation. Retreat was impoffible, and fhe advanced flowly to the dreaded interview.
On the gentleman's fide there was expreffed an infinitude of love, admiration, and defpair, blended with fome degree of refentful fenfibility at the idea of being compelled privately to folicit a bleffing to which he had thought himself entitled publicly to afpire. On the lady's there appeared a just fenfe of female decorum, and a steady refolution to reprefs any acrimonious obfervations on her father's conduct, But the most interesting part of the con verfation took place after lord Monteith had explained fir William's reasons for rejecting his addresses, and asked her if fhe would accept the lover he defigned to propose.
Affuredly I will not," was her anfwer. "Should my father ever ex