Puslapio vaizdai

The manner in which fir William uttered thefe expreffions was too much marked by dignified benevolence to admit of ridicule; and the unfortunate lord would have been compelled to give up his London journey from the mere want of arguments to defend its expediency, had not accident favoured him with a convenient reafon for putting his defigns in execution, which even fir Wil liam allowed to be indisputable.


So mourn'd the dame of Ephesus her love.

On the marriage of lord Monteith, an exprefs was dispatched to Kinloch castle, to inform lady Arabella Macdonald and lady Madelina Frazer, of the joyful event. The meffenger on his arrival found the caftle attired in the most fombrous weeds of woe, owing to the death of its oftenfible mafter, fir Simon Frazer, who, after having exifted for seve ral years in a state of complete inanity, expired at the patriarchal age of ninetytwo, to the great grief of his inconfol able confort.

As lady Madelina was too much abforbed in woe publicly to take an active part in the concerns of the family, the dispatches were opened by lady Arabella,


who acted as miftrefs during the feclufion of her aunt. She read her brother's account of his marriage to the most excellent and beautiful of women, and, after cafting a fide glance at the chimney-glafs which reflected her own figure, The proceeded to open a letter from her new fifter, which expreffed a hope that the endearing tie of friendship would foon be added to that of kindred; but what appeared to the reader to be the moft fignificant part of the epiftle was that where lady Monteith added a preffing invitation to their house in London, and an affurance that the fhould rejoice in the opportunity of exerting all her abilities to promote the happiness of any of her lord's friends.

The general etiquette of Kinloch castle had established a rule of decorum which extended to the most trivial occurrences. Every motion was to be


grave and confequential; and a run could only be justified by one wing of the house being on fire, or by the appearance of an enemy on the coast. ftrict were these injunctions, that lady Madelina herself could not difpense with them even upon the affecting incident of fir Simon's death; for, on being informed that if fhe wifhed to see him alive she must come immediately, the rofe with her ufual majefty, and, throwing her train into its proper graceful folds, moved with flow and stately steps to the door of the apartment, where she found, to her deep regret, that she was come too late; a circumftance the more to be lamented as he went off in a fit, and had nobody with him but his old valet, who was lame with the rheumatifm. These obfervations will more clearly point out the grofs impropriety of lady Arabella's conduct, who with a joyful

joyful exclamation of "O! my brother "is married, and I will go to London," fet off full speed to her aunt's apartment.


The forrows of that lady, though of too deep a caft to admit more than one narrow stripe of daylight, were not fo wholly fublime, as not to require now and then a few adventitious fupports. The room in which fir Simon lay in ftate was contiguous to her own. vifited it every day, and was moft fedulously exact in having the emblazonment completed in the highest style of heraldry. In a remote country, where few events occur to excite the attention of the curious, a feudal laird lying in ftate in his own caftle was an agreeable novelty; and as the relict was not averse to the exhibition, fir Simon became a much more interefting, object after he was dead, than ever he had been when

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