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were benighted on Finchley-common, could either Rhætian or Carpathian Alps fix a more appropriate ftation for the haunts of a banditti? Though in a former publication I have unwarily announced my age and order, Betty, for aught the world knows, may be young and beautiful; nay, fhe may be an orphan foundling, the heiress of fome diftinguished family; and I may, if I choose, after a long feries of adventures, unite her in the hymeneal bond with fome all-accomplished youth, who had previously rescued us from the robbers after a moft bloody engagement. I begin to fufpect that I have chofen the lefs promifing, or rather the lefs lucrative plan; but I entreat my readers to believe, that it is not because I want powers for the terrific and the romantic, that I continue to pursue the moral and the probable. Something must be allowed to my defire
of fupporting that character of firmnefs ascribed to my fifterhood, and which, though it fimply confifts in choosing to have our own way, the wits are apt to call pertinacity. I will alfo candidly own, that, fince the fuperior ftation in this walk is already occupied by real genius, I have too much prudence to enter into a competition, where I fhall be fure to meet with a defeat; and too much pride to enlift among a herd of fervile imitators, who mistake confufion for defcription, and fancy that what is horribly impoffible, must be interefting and grand. But, as my days of dotage are not far diftant, if lady Monteith should be unfortunate in her appeal for attention, I and Betty may appear upon the scene; even my cat too may be introduced in an epifode. I have feen a fubject equally unpromifing worked up to an astonishing effect, and really admired by readers
who had been fome years out of the nursery - But, instead of terrifying the world with a denunciation of what I may do, let me haften to fulfil my prefent promife.
IT is now more than ten years fince Powerscourt House exhibited a fcene of feftivity and hofpitality unrivalled in modern times, and which might serve to recall to the mind of the fpectator the fplendid fêtes of Kenilworth, where the lady of the lake welcomed the approach of majesty, and the cruel diffolute earl of Leicester fought to divert general attention from his vices, by a captivating difplay of elegance and amusement. The motives of the venerable baronet who inhabited Powerfcourt were widely different from those of the haughty favou rite of Elizabeth. His life was too inoffenfive to fear cenfure; his heart never panted for court-favour; and the praise
of magnificence or refined taste presented no attractions to his unobtrusive and benevolent mind. He called all the country together, and ftrove to make them very happy, because he was very happy himself; and the occafion of this exuberant joy was the union of his only daughter and heiress, Geraldine Powerscourt, with James earl of Monteith, a young nobleman who had juft attained complete majority, and acceded to all the fplendid titles and fortune of the house of Macdonald.
Befide all the beauty and fashion of North Wales, these distinguished nuptials were honoured by the presence of two deities, generally supposed to be abfolutely inimical to each other. Cupid and Plutus, forgetting ancient enmity, agreed jointly to light the Hymeneal torch. It was impoffible to fuppofe a union contracted under a more perfect coinci
coincidence of harmonious equality. The families on both fides might be faid to lose themselves in the clouds; for their claims to pre-eminence, advancing far beyond the limit of authentic history, foared into regions which no prudent antiquary would dare to explore. The lineal honours of thefe illuftrious families refted upon a furer bafis than mere oral tradition. Sir William Powerscourt could point out the spot of ground where his Ordovician ancestor harangued his vaffals before he mounted his fcythearmed car, and led them to join the British forces affembled at Caradoc: and an aunt of lord Monteith's preserved the beak of the galley, which conveyed Donald king of the Ifles from Illa, when he paid a vifit of ceremony to his contemporary Fergus, fome hundred years. prior to the invafion of the Romans. It is true, that fome incredulous critics, whom nothing