Puslapio vaizdai

firm. He had long confidered them as rational creatures, and he could not haftily renounce that opinion: befide, he was fond of farming, and deeply engaged in fchemes of agricultural improvement; and if he flayed fo little at home, he must either be the dupe of impofition, or renounce thofe pursuits. Here his obliging confort hinted, that fince he was fo engaged in rural purfuits, bufinefs allowed him a fair excufe for abfence, and fhe would be willing occafionally to difpenfe with his attendance. Sir William was not remarkably quick of apprehenfion; and, certainly, most bridegrooms in his fituation would have been inclined to refer the lady's propofal rather to the exuberant defire of gratifying his peculiar inclination, than to any latent wish of being deprived of his fociety. He faw it quite in that point of view; and though he made no answer


at the time, yet a retrospective confideration of the ineffable condefcenfion which prompted her to give up what she had repeatedly declared to be the greatest bleffing of her exiftence, his dear converfation, rather than tear him from scenes to which he was attached, convinced him that he ought to make some facrifice to reward fuch felf-denying complacency. One journey to Bath was therefore promifed, an annual vifit to London had been before tacitly agreed to, and I am not certain whether the overflowings of gratitude might not have compelled the good baronet to fubmit to be whirled about eighty miles a-day along rough roads by way of taking an autumnal tour, had not his lady, inftead of rewarding his compliance by a gentle fimile, affumed fomething of a mortified afpect when he announced his defign of accompanying her. He was willing to attribute this


fudden change to her defire of having the magnificent plans that fhe had just formed for the improvement of Powerf court carried into execution under her own inspection; and this hope reconciled him to fchemes which had at firft met with fome oppofition. He had objected to her defign of cutting down the long avenue of oaks which led to the houfe, and converting the ground into a fweeping lawn, dotted with lilacs and Jaburnums, interfperfed with Chinese temples and leaden ftatues. He was equally averfe to the removal of his fraight yew hedges; for, though all the world was against him, he conceived them more natural than the fharp angles of that modern embellishment, a ferpentine walk. He thought too that the ftag's horns and cross-bows were as proper internal ornaments as papier-machee decorations; and many a bitter figh did it


coft him, when his lady's mamma and fifter's joined in protesting, that, unless the dark Gothic windows and hideous tapeftry hangings were removed from the drawing-room, and light fafhes and India paper fubftituted in their stead, they fhould fall into hyfterics every time they went into the room; but his tranfport at the idea that these propofed alterations had tended to attach his wife to a fpot which would be honoured with fuch indubitable proofs of her tafte and genius, determined him to be a paffive fpectator of every propofed alteration.

It was in the month of September that fir William was made the happiest of men. Two months were allotted to ceremonious vifitings, during which the nuptial retinue moved over every mountain, dale, forest, and glen, which the temerity of the coachman pronounced paffable. Sir William had the gallantry


always to accompany his lady; he heard. all her wedding paraphernalia univerfally admired, and his own brown and gold pronounced immenfely becoming, while his point ruffles were cried up as the very fummit of elegance. Unaccuftomed,, however, to the duties of the toilet, he grew weary of white gloves and powdered perukes; and, recollecting with pleasure that all his vifits were paid, he refumed his drab frock and brown bob with fingular complacency. He was meditating a quiet ride round his farm, when my lady, entering, interrupted his agreeable reverie by informing him, that he had received a letter from lady Morgan, who was then at Bath, and infifted upon it that they must come there immediately. The most divine actor was juft come out, who infinitely tranfcended Garrick when in the meridian of his powers; befide, all the world was there, and her


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