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place, fir William's bailiff begged his Honor's leave to tell him fomething that made him unhappy. It was, that he had twice feen a very fine gentle man whif pering with Mrs. Bridget in Ellis's temple, in the dark hour. The groom, he added, feemed to know fomething about it, for he laughed, and faid Bridget had got a London fweetheart; but Roger fomehow thought, though he knew that fecond-handed gentlemen in London dreffed as fine as their masters, that this looked to be another guife kind of body. Sir William thanked Roger for his fidelity, fhook his head, and obferved that the world grew worfe and worse every hour; to which obfervation Roger, who was of the fame age with his master, cordially agreed.
Previous to these communications of faithful Roger, fir William had felt a confiderable fhare of uneafiness, He
recollected that lady Powerfcourt was very fond of relating long narratives of refiftless beauties, who, by their unrelenting cruelty, had compelled their desperate lovers to carry them off in chariots and fix, furrounded by armed footmen, maugre all their tears and cries; and though fir William had always confidered these tales to be entitled to an equal degree of credibility with thofe of Mother Goofe, his anxiety for Geraldine reminded him, that if lord Monteith had ever happened to hear any of these stories, they might have put fomething in his head which he would not otherwife. have thought of. He determined therefore to inform Henry Powerfcourt of his defigns in his favour, and to confign his daughter to a husband's protection fome years fooner than he had intended.
That young gentleman paffed the college vacations at Powerfcourt, and excited the esteem of every intelligent obferver by his ingenuous diffidence, unaffected gentleness, and a thousand unequivocal proofs of a generous, grateful heart. His countenance was open, and his features agreeable, though they had no pretenfions to beauty; his figure was naturally good, but he seemed quite at a lofs how to manage it to the best advantage. He was faid to poffefs very respectable literary talents, but the perpetual raillery of the lively Geraldine against pedants, made him profoundly filent upon topics which he was best qualified to difcufs. Of the world he was totally ignorant; and he seemed, like his refpectable kinfman, to be not very anxious to be initiated into its myfteries. Afraid of being abfurd, he never ventured to trifle; ignorant of H 6 the
the small talk of the day, too ftudious and retired during his college refidence to enrich his mind with alma-mater anecdote, or to learn the art of practical joking; confcious of his dependant fituation; folicitous to avoid intrusion; and ever fearful of offending; he certainly appeared with a referve and gravity unusual at his age; and he might in a mixed company juftify Geraldine's obfervations, that he looked like perpetual prefident of the club of the humdrums.
Mifs Powerscourt's vivacity found continual employment during her coufin's vifits in what he called teaching him the graces, and rubbing off college ruft. But though an exuberant flow of youthful fpirits made her fometimes purfue these topics further than her good nature would have permitted, had the known that it gave pain to the object of
of her raillery, fhe felt for him the tenderness of a fifter, and treated him with the confidence of a friend. Her heart was truly generous: I do not fpeak of that light, tranfient, and fome-. times affected difregard for money which young people, who have never experienced its utility, often carelessly display; but of that real liberality which could circumfcribe its own defires to increase the comforts of thofe around it. Far, therefore, from regretting the fums which fir William expended in Henry's education and fupport, or viewing the progrefs which he made in the good baronet's affections with envy or jealousy, fhe continually urged him immediately to bestow upon the valuable oddity, as the tiled him, that independence which his noble mind richly deserved. "I even tell him," fhe would fay to her Lucy," that in fo doing he will make 8