Puslapio vaizdai

to his enchanted caftle. The twentieth mile-ftone was paffed, yet Atropos, though oft invoked, forbore to extend her mortal fhears, when an unexpected fource of confolation fuddenly prefented itfelf-not in the fhape of a knight armed cap-a-pié with fpear and buckle, nor in the more modern accoutrement of a fine gentleman with a brace of piftols'; and, to say the truth, though a rencontre with lord Jehu juft at this crifis might be a very popular incident, I am glad that fir William, for whose character I cannot help feeling a degree of regard, was not drawn into any military adventures. enjoy the idea of his respectable figure, perfectly fatisfied with his victory, riding compofedly by the fide of his chariot, and wondering if he might venture to get into it at the next ftage. Lady Powerscourt's confolations were derived from the philofophic temperament of her



own mind. She recollected that the fhould have it in her power to display fuch a wardrobe as had never before blazed on the aftonifhed inhabitants of Caernarvonshire: that Powerscourt was now converted into a perfect paradife, and she should reign the unrivalled Armida of the enchanting region, every part of which would announce her directing tafte. Prudence ftepped in alfo to the aid of Patience, and whispered that though she had been defeated in a conflict for fuperiority, yet, if the carefully kept her own fecret, fir William would never betray her, and she had only to fay that he was tired of London, which was in reality nearer the truth than the imagined. Perhaps a degree of remaining pique might fuggeft the refolution that, as fhe now perfectly underftood her husband's temper, it was only ftudying the art of tormenting instead


of the art of cajoling on any future occafion; and then, though she might not be able to triumph, she would at least make good her retreat.

These placable ideas fo happily prevailed, that when they stopped at St. Albans for refreshment, her ladyfship on alighting offered her hand to the baronet with the best grace in the world, and anticipated his inquiries how she had borne her journey, by declaring that he was quite right in fuppofing the country air would do her good, for that fhe already found herself much better. Sir William was equally delighted with: the change, and puzzled to guess at the means by which it had been effected.. Somebody or fomething was very much to blame; but for his life he could: hardly tell where the fault lay, whether in the contagious atmosphere of London, in his lady's caprice, or his own fufpi

[ocr errors]

fufpicions. However, he now found himself invefted with plenitude of power; and, like a prudent monarch, he began to confider in what way he fhould exert it; but his generous heart had been fo foftened by his lady's conceffions, that he positively refolved upon no further exercife of his prerogative, than that lady Powerscourt should pay her formal vifits by herself in future, and that he would never more wear his white and filver.

Peace and unanimity prevailed during the remainder of the journey. It was night when they entered the old manfion, and the examination of its beauties. was deferred till the next morning; but the tranquillity of the good baronet was then put to a fevere trial. The faloon was certainly fitted up in the most clegant manner; but the houfekeeper re--moved every idea of comfort by her information that the chimney fmoked fo violently,,

violently, that it was abfolutely impoffi ble to have a fire; and, confequently, that it must be useless nine months in the year. The afpect of the dining apartment was equally dreary; the prospect indeed was enchanting, but the fafhes started about an inch from the frames; and the warped doors were unfavourable either to a graceful exit or entrance, as it was only by means of kicking and pushing that any one could either advance or retreat; and as the chimney, the windows, and the doors, were all conftructed uniformly, any alteration was dangerous,, perhaps imprac-. ticable. The ready, invention of lady Powerscourt difcovered, that, as the fecould only be proper for fummer apartments, fome, little fnug parlour could be fitted up for general refidence; and they proceeded to the library. This was lofty and extenfive; but Mr. Outline's


« AnkstesnisTęsti »