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He then left the room, while the af flicted Henry, wretched at the idea that he had offended the perfon whom of all others he most revered and efteemed, funk upon a fofa, and fell into a painful reverie on his paft conduct., His motives appeared fo laudable, that he could not upon retrofpection wish the deed undone; he only feared that his voice, his looks, his words, or his manner, had not fufficiently indicated the deep veneration which he felt in his heart.
In a conversation which took place the fame morning between fir William and his daughter, the former animadverted on Henry's unaccountable conduct in terms more acrimonious than he had ever before ufed. As a proof of the uncommon fweetnefs of Mifs Powerfcourt's difpofition, fhe appeared not only to forgive the affront, but fhe even pleaded
pleaded for the bold refuser with all that enchanting eloquence by which the had ever been accuftomed to influence her father's mind.
"I cannot, my dear fir," faid fhe, " condemn Henry's behaviour; on the contrary, I think it proceeded from " that inviolable regard for honour and "fincerity which you tell me has been " from time immemorial the character
"iftic of our family. A mean inte"refted perfon would have thought that your predilection in his favour gave "him an abfolute right to treat me as he "pleased; he would never have confi"dered whether I was the wife he would "voluntarily have preferred. Looking
only at the greatnefs of my dowry, "he would at all times have filenced "the compunctions of his confcience, "by remembering that I was obtruded "upon his choice, when perhaps his
"heart felt a fecret preference for an"other."
While Miss Powerfcourt fpoke, her look, voice, and manner, were uncommonly beautiful and impreffive. Sir William gazed upon her with inexpreffible delight; and when she stopped, he only observed, that he thought there were few young men in the kingdom who would not have been overjoyed at fuch a propofal.
"Parental partiality," resumed Geraldine," muft not decide on such an important point; but let not my dear"eft father, through his fondness for "me, fwerve from that noble integrity "which has ever been the rule of his "actions. From motives of delicacy to "myself I must entreat that the events "of this morning may make no dif«ference in your opinion of Henry. "Indeed I fhould think that, as the
highly-liberal plan you had formed in
Speak no more, child, upon this fub"ject,” replied fir William; "nobody "fhall fay that I brought a young fel"low up, and then let him ftarve because he was not willing to marry "my daughter; but there is no necef
fity for chooling the very time of his "difobliging me to make him independ"ent, as you call it. I have been put "out of humour this morning, and I "will take a ride round my farm to get myself comfortable again. I don't "fee that Henry's ftaying here longer "is of any use, and I fhall tell him that " he may as well fet off for Oxford when "I come home."
Henry was roufed from his ftupor by a letter from Geraldine, which I fhall transcribe:
"TO HENRY POWERSCOURT, Efq. "Your conduct, my noble cousin, during the trying incidents of this morning, fuperadds to the esteem and confidence which I have ever "felt for you, the indelible tie of fer
vent gratitude. If I ever appear to forget your generous behaviour, add