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perfectly elegant and fuitable for a young lady of the first fashion.

I have already mentioned the mournful incidents which in her feventeenth year banished the lovely Arabella from London, and confined her within the fecluded walls of Kinloch. The fame event put a stop to her improvements and her pleasures. The confined education of her prefent protectress, lady Madelina, had not even paced the narrow circle of female accomplishments; and her observations had been wholly limited to the neighbourhood where her local pre-eminence allowed her to reign. undifputed fovereign. No wonder, therefore, that he conceived her niece to be a miracle of erudition, because she could speak French with tolerable volubility or that her jejune performances in music and painting fhould meet with unbounded celebrity among the vifitants


at the castle, where few understood, and none dared to cenfure. But, exclufive of the pleasure which even grofs adulation bestowed, the three years which fhe spent in Scotland formed one continued period of mortification and regret.

Lady Madelina's recollection of those early difficulties which had at last influenced her to reward fir Simon's long and generous attachment, determined her to rescue her niece from fimilar trials by adopting her for her heiress to thofe ample poffeffions which her uxorious hufband had alienated from his own family. But upon becoming perfonally acquainted with her, and finding that all the beauty and all the vir tues of the race from old Donald to the prefent times were centered in the peerless Arabella, fhe grew paffionately fond of her, or rather blindly partial to what

what the fancied the fummit of all human excellence. To banish her chagrin, and to weaken reciprocal attachment, fhe treated her with unbounded indulgence; but as indulgence always defeats its aim, it neither made the young lady grateful nor happy. On the contrary, The grew every day more capricious, vain, and wretched. She could not love or respect a person who neither checked her faults nor ftrengthened her virtues. She foon learned the art of turning her aunt's weakness to her own advantage, and confidered the favours the received as a tribute rather than an obligation. Without one fenfible friend to enlighten her judgment, without one correct model by which to form her character, she miftook affectation for elegance, and faftidioufnels for delicacy.

Nor did her diflike of retirement proceed from a relish for polifhed fociety


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and refined pleasures. She only thought that the power of her charms was limited to too narrow a sphere; and she wished, like the fair Phaeton of the last age, to" obtain the chariot for a day," that "fhe might fet the world on fire."


Though an invitation to London had at first inspired a heartfelt complacency for her new fifter, her reported graces had foon obliterated that idea, and ingrafted in its ftead the baneful germ of envy. Had the lovely Geraldine entertained fimilar ideas, their first interview might rather have been called the battle of the beauties, than an attempt to conciliate sisterly affection and reciprocal regard.

Proteus, the poets tell us, could affume a thousand refemblances; but, whether he feemed a lion or a fawn, he was Proteus ftill. Like him, lady Arabella could tack an infinitude of modes

modes on her natural habit; but, whether it was the manner of the dove or the magpie, fhe was ftill at heart the vain, cold, felfish Arabella. After a long confultation fhe had determined, that the brilliant would be beft fuited to her intention of intimidating her rival; and having arranged her dress in a manner better adapted to the magnificence of a court-ball than to the ease of a private party, the burst upon her aftonished fifter-in-law, who in vain attempted to trace a remote refemblance of that artless wild fimplicity which her creative imagination had affigned to the unknown" Highland laffie."

The introductory compliments were now dispatched in a manner diametrically the reverse of the dry reserve of the former converfation. Lady Arabella was in ecftafy. The carelefs fimplicity of the bride's travelling habit could not pretend

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