Puslapio vaizdai

ence gradually introduce; but certainly Age might remember the sentiments that it once felt.

The above obfervation, though pro'foundly true in general, is, I confefs, irrelevant to the cafe before us; for fir William Powerfcourt had exactly the fame opinion of love at the time I am treating of, as he had forty years before; and Mrs. Evans was of fo fingular a tafte, and had fo thorough a contempt for a "fet of features and complexion," that, like Defdemona, fhe faw her husband's "features in his mind;" for when the selected Mr. Evans, who had no perfonal graces to boaft of, fhe not only encountered embarraffed circumstances, but difpleafed her relations by rejecting a rich and hand fome, but abandoned admirer.

A few days after the events related in my preceding Chapter had taken place,

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 sweetheart; but Roger fomehow thought, though he knew that fecond-handed gentlemen in London dreffed as fine as their mafters, 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 mafter, cordially agreed.

Previous to thefe communications of faithful Roger, fir William had felt a confiderable fhare of uneafiness. He

[blocks in formation]

recollected that lady Powerfcourt was very fond of relating long narratives of refiftless beauties, who, by their unrelenting cruelty, had compelled their defperate 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 Goose, his anxiety for Geraldine reminded him, that if lord Monteith had ever happened to hear any of thefe ftories, they might have put fomething in his head which he would not otherwise 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 feemed quite at a loss 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

[blocks in formation]

the fmall 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 Powerfcourt's vivacity found continual employment during her coufin's vifits in what fhe 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


« AnkstesnisTęsti »