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defign upon Lady Bridget Autumn's eftate, or the jointure of the duchefs dowager of Witherington, fhould refuse the young, lovely, fafcinating Geraldine, when offered to him by her father, with the immediate poffeffion of three thoufand a year, and a certain affurance of an additional five thousand per annum on his death.-I think I have been too diffident in only challenging my contemporaries in the circle of the Belles Lettres to rival me in the non-natural. I might also call upon the philofophers of the new school, and afk the illuftrious fophifts if they can form a paradox more perfectly incomprehenfible.

But, notwithstanding my paffionate love of fame compels me to adopt the most fashionable, that is, the certain method of obtaining it, I cannot quite conquer the common foible of old people, that of looking back to the

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times I have feen, and thinking them fomewhat better than the prefent days. Indeed, now and then I am rude enough to conjecture that the modern Parnaffus is feated very near that "windy fea of land," which Milton names the Limbo of Vanity, the refidence of

"All th' unaccomplish'd works of Nature's hand "Abortive, montrous, or unkindly mix'd."

Regretting that fimple elegance and rational amusement fhould be facrificed to high founding phrafes and inconceivable wonders, fignifying nothing, I fometimes invoke the fhades of Addifon, Goldfmith, and Fielding; and, after having contemplated the forms of nature or morality which their antiquated pages prefent, I in vain endeavour to be amufed with ghofts and dungeons, incident without character, or character without effect. These laft fentences recal

recal my wandering pen, by suggesting to me that criticism may be as jejune and irrelative as the novel or poem which it condemns; and that the fatirift of the tafte and morals of others muft from prudence avoid exhibiting any thing reprehenfible in her own.

Taught by that "warning voice" fhun the rock of digreffion, I must inform my readers, that the abfurdity of my plan may be rather apparent than real. Henry Powerscourt might have fome private reafons for his extraordinary conduct. He might have a pre-engagement; and no lover under twenty would hefitate to offer a few annual thousands on the shrine of Cupid. He might be enamoured of academic fhades, and think, like Shakespeare's Henry VI.

"Marriage! alas, my years are yet too young,
"And fitter is my study and my books :”


Or the vivacity of Geraldine might intimidate him às much as Beatrice's did Benedict, and induce him to offer "to << go on an embaffy to Prefter John, or "the Antipodes, rather than encounter "that lady's tongue."-What his real reasons were must not now be developed; but, knowing the pain of curiofity, I cannot help owning, notwithstanding my usual reserve, that I know them, and that they shall be explained in their proper place.

The reader must remember that I have left fir William in rather an awkward fituation. Some little hope that there might be a mutual misunderstanding induced him to repeat the offer; and, in a tone that indicated not only furprize but difpleasure, he asked Henry if this was what he meant to refuse? The embarraffed youth gave a hefitating "Yes,"


and turned afide to conceal the strong
emotion of his agitated heart.
"are not ignorant, Henry," faid fir
William," that my fortune is entirely
" at my own disposal, and that all your
"inheritance is an eftate of your father's,
"somewhat under a hundred a year."

"I know it, fir," anfwered Henry in a voice scarce audible; "I know too "how infinitely I am beholden to your "bounty, and that I could sacrifice my "life to prove my gratitude."

"Pho! pho!" said sir William, « a "fiddle-ftick about gratitude and fuch "nonfenfe; talking about these things " is not to the purpose: I meant to "have been a greater friend to you than "I have been; but I fuppofe you have "some reasons for your behaviour, and "fo I fhall only add that I wish you a "better offer."


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