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"prefs fuch intentions to me, I must "be as firm in refufing my hand where "I cannot beftow my heart, as I now "am in rejecting your addreffes while "he difapproves of them."
"Most admirable of all human crea"tures!" exclaimed Monteith, "I will "patiently commit my destiny to the "care of a lady whofe exalted ideas in"créafe my esteem for her at every in"terview; yet permit me to add one "more inquiry. Might I venture, ma- . "dam, to hope, should I have been too prefumptuous in hoping, that if I had "been honoured by fir William's approbation, I should not have encoun"tered the terrors of your refufal ?”
Mifs Powerscourt's reply was confufed and inarticulate; yet the deep crimfon which flushed her half-averted face, and the foftness of her accent, did not reduce him to despair. She perceived
A TALE OF THE TIMES.
140 A TALE OF THE TIMES.
it did not; and as foon as she had recollected herself, fhe added, " I know the "goodness of my father's heart; I know "his unbounded affection for me; and I "am confident that he will perfift in no << plan that would make me miferable. "But let me entreat you, my lord, not "to purfue a method of addreffing me "which muft either make me mean "in my own eyes, or diminish my "refpect for your character." His lordship bowed, and, protesting inviolable obedience and unaltered love, rode off just at the inftant that John found the key which enabled Mifs Powerf court to pursue her expedition. Her conduct in this interview did not leffen her in her lover's affections, for he vowed to lord W. that fhe was an angel in a human form, and that he was determined either to die or obtain her.
Nor did the Evans's, to whom Mifs Powerscourt impartially related this incident and that of the letter, feel any diminution of the love and efteem which the many amiable qualities of their charming young friend had long excited. On the contrary, Mrs. Evans bestowed warm encomiums on the marked propriety of her conduct, and Lucy's eyes fhone with that humid luftre which the praises of her dear Geraldine always called forth. Sir William's fcheme for the intended difpofal of his daughter's hand excited general furprise, mingled with fome share of difapprobation; and, though uniform refpect for his character prevented Mrs. Evans from expreffing any doubt of the propriety or practicability of the project, the heartless openhearted Lucy was fo ftrongly perfuaded of its impropriety, that the moment Mifs Powerscourt retired, fhe could not avoid reprobating
reprobating the abfurdity of allowing her friend fo little influence in an affair fo infinitely momentous to her own happiness.
"It is certainly wrong," replied Mrs. Evans," and may be added to the <inftances I have frequently repeated "to convince you of the neceffity of "conforming a little to the notions of "other people; for I have often obferved, my dear girl, that you have "more tenacity of opinion than one ge"nerally meets with in a young woman " of nineteen. Do not fuffer fingula"rity to creep upon you; for though "it only now appears in wearing your "hair fmooth, while all your acquaint
ance have theirs curled, or in ex"preffing your diflike to mufic when all "the world is mufical, it may twenty "or thirty years hence induce you to lay more abfurd fchemes for the
"marriage of my grandchildren than " even fir William's fo much reprobated 66 plan."
Lucy replied laughing, "I will put my hair in rollers this very evening, " which will, I trust, remove your ap"prehenfions refpecting the prepofter"ous matches of your grandchildren."
"If you, my dear," continued Mrs. Evans, recollect the circumstances "of fir William's life, and analyze his "character, his prefent defign will ap"pear the natural refult of both. The "virtues which spread profperity and
joy all around him are not the result "of thofe refined feelings, those elegant "fufceptibilities, which ufurp the place "of folid virtues in the estimation of "too many. They are the effect of "reflection, of principle, of chriftian
principle, my dear, that firmeft found"ation for all that is truly excellent