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nevolence and hospitality, his lady was ruminating on the poffibility of being at Chefter races; and, contrary to the opinion of her matronly friends, fhe refolved on the hazardous expedient of a too early appearance in public. A fevere cold was the immediate confequence; and the neglect of the first maternal duty, joined to inattention to her own fafety, was foon obferved to have occafioned a total change in her conftitution. Years of ill health, confinement, and fevere fuffering, proved the melancholy forerunner of premature death.

From the account I have already given of lady Powerfcourt, the reader will not fuppofe that patience tempered the bitter cup of woe with its lenient fweets. Her mind was deftitute of natural ftrength, her temper poffeffed no native gentlenefs, her education taught her rather




to conceal than to fubdue the irritability of her difpofition; and, being folely confined to the acquirement of a few external accomplishments, no mental treasures were laid up in ftore against the bitter day of adverfity. The lofs of health and beauty at five-and-twenty may certainly be confidered as a fevere deprivation; and when to those evils lamenefs and occafionally fevere fuffering were added, it could only be a composed and elevated mind that could patiently support the fevere conflict. Lady Powerscourt's ideas of pleasure had been adjusted to the limited model which fashion and fortune present to their narrow-minded votaries: what confolations could they provide to mitigate the horrors of a fick chamber, when the foul can only divert the prefent gloom by confolatory retrospects of its past conduct,


duct, or exhilarating anticipations of its future reward?

The paffive fpirit of interefted dependance could scarcely support the wearifome petulance of the unhappy fufferer; and though fir William's philanthropy and habitual eafinefs made him exert more forbearance than generally belongs to the character of a husband, his gentleness sometimes proved unequal to the arduous conflict, and he felt a depreffing inquietude which even the fmiles of his little girl could not constantly divert. Though calamity renders the felfish mind ftill more callous to the forrows of others, it stimulates benevolence to increased exertions. Lady Powerscourt was juft relieved from one of her feverest attacks, when her fervant brought her a letter, which, after a flight perufal, the toffed contemptuously upon the table.

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"You feem disturbed, my dear," said fir William, who happened to be prefent.

"No wonder," returned her lady ship;

furely I have troubles enough of my "own without being peftered with "other people's: but it is like the usual "inconfiftency of that thoughtless crea"ture's character."

"Whom do you mean?" faid the benevolent baronet, whofe attention was roused at the idea of fomebody being in distress.

"I mean a very imprudent, but a << very diftant relation of mine, who

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flung herself away in marriage with "lord Milford's tutor, a little before I " became lady Powerfcourt; and she is now, as he might have foreseen, "starving."

"Poor foul!" said fir William, reaching the letter. When, finding by the perufal

ufal, that it contained an appeal not only to the humanity but alfo to the honour of his lady, he fixed his eyes upon her with fome degree of refentment, and exclaimed, "How came you to forget "the poor woman? Why, you pro"mifed to do fomething for her huf"band !"

"She interprets general expreffions "too largely," refumed her ladyfhip: "I have done her a great many fa"vours, and fhould have done her "many more; but I found out that the was base, ungrateful, and not worthy " of my notice."

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"I am forry for it with all my heart," replied fir William ; "The really.

"writes like a fenfible woman and a "good Christian.”

"Most people with whom I happen "to difagree, are fo in your opinion," "My

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