Puslapio vaizdai

ways devoted the time the spent there to the amusements of hunting, and shooting groufe.

Having received information that the improvement of Powerfcourt had advanced so far as to defy the poffibility of their being completed, or indeed comprehended, by any perfon but the projector, fhe became very anxious that fir William fhould look a little after his eftate, and at leaft be there in time to attend the approaching audit. But the worthy baronet was by this time become very uneasy about the ftability of poffeffions more fragile than the wide domains of which his ancestors had left him unrivalled lord. His good sense taught him the wide diffimilarity between his own manners and thofe of the gay fantastic train who conftantly hovered round his lady whenever fhe appeared in public. He was certain that the monkeys


(for he honoured them with that appella→ tion) would be pert enough to laugh at his way when his back was turned; and he had seen so many strange things in this world, that if he returned to Wales inftead of accompanying his lady to town, they might fill her head with stranger notions than somehow or other the poor thing had already acquired. Her prefent fituation rendered contradiction very difficult; but if he fhould like her behaviour in town no better than he had done at Bath, he resolved, when once his fon and heir was fafe in the world, to tell her very plainly, that fhe was welcome to make herself as happy as fhe could at Powerscourt, but that he never would agree to any more journeys of pleasure. Solacing himself with this scheme of future refiftance, he yielded to the prefent torrent; and, affuring her that he had no wish to return to Wales without



without her, they fet off for Berkeleyfquare.

I would not recommend the countenances of the Powerfcourts on their arrival in London, as models to a painter who wished to embody the fair idea of connubial happinefs. Though the lady's might derive a few lively traits from the hope that he was entering upon a scene of conqueft, yet the apprehenfion that fir William was projecting fecret hoftilities placed her exactly in the fituation of a general, whofe movements are carefully watched by a strong army of obfervation, which it would be imprudent openly to attack. Sir William's dislike of the journey increased every step he took, and he entered London with a firm expectation that the place and the people would prove equally difagreeable. In lieu of the tafte and elegance with which lady Powerfcourt was every where

fafcinated, he faw nothing but impertinence and frippery. The late hours were infufferable to a man who rose at fix, dined at three, and difmiffed his household with family prayers at ten. He was fhocked at the refinement which banifhed ferious difcuffion from polished circles; and he never could fully comprehend the duties of laborious idlenefs, the arcana of modern vifiting, the vanity of univerfal acquaintance, or thofe restraints upon the emotions of genuine nature which fashion prefcribes and infipidity adopts. Every thing fir William heard and faw had to him an air of the marvellous. He could fcarcely believe that the admirer of vertù, who piqued himself upon his knowledge of Greek and Roman ruins, might be ignorant of the architectural magnificence of the capital of the British empire. He thought the pure honour of a peer or a fenator

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fenator must be fullied by condescending to admit a profeffed sharper to be the companion of his convivial hours. He never could reconcile Sunday routs with his notion of a steady well-regulated family; and he abfolutely interdicted lady Powerscourt from affociating with what was then termed the first circle, when he came to know that fome of its fair members occafionally difpenfed with the fanc tions of female decorum.

This way of thinking was certainly very fingular; but fir William's prejudices in these and a variety of other instances were not to be vanquished by the light artillery of raillery, which was frequently played off against him in public, or by the more formidable battery of fighs, tears, and faintings, by which his gentle lady ftrove to induce him to speak and look like other people. Even the tender argument, that a man who

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