Puslapio vaizdai

vexations by which the increased irritability of lady Powerfcourt's temper contrived to cloud every enjoyment in which she could no longer partake. It seemed as if her example was intended as an awful warning to the pride of beauty and the pride of wealth. She lived to be disgusting and dependant, but she did not live to feel and acknowledge that her faults required the righteous chaftisement.

Sir William's deportment at her death was marked by that decent propriety which characterized all his actions. He did not affect to be inconfolable, but he treated her memory with becoming refpect. He fubmitted to the inconvenience of the little parlour and the fummer apartments, because it would look like unkindness to his poor wife to reftore things to their old ftate again. From the fame motive he kept the temples

temples and ftatues in good repair, though he either forgot their names or miftook their fituations; and though he rather disliked dogs, he permitted an old black spaniel to be his conftant companion, because it feemed to be the only thing to which the fhewed any attachment. Yet bitter remembrance would fometimes extort from him, in the company of very particular friends, the confeffion," that the poor woman "had very odd ways, but people who "are always ill are apt to be whimsical."

It was the general opinion of the country, that the good baronet would never more engage in a matrimonial connexion, and this feemed to be the more extraordinary, as it was known he ardently wished to tranfmit his fortune and honours to a lineal defcendant of his own name. Whether influenced by delicacy arifing from paft happiness, or cor


roded by the recollection of paft forrows, it is certain he never appeared perfectly at eafe when love or marriage was the topic of conversation; and though remarkable for uniform civility, the words, "fine feeling," and "acute fenfibility," when used in their general import, always drew from him an emphatical " Non" sense !"


She was fair beyond your brightest bloom,
(This Envy owns, fince now her bloom is fled,)
Fair as the forms that, wove in Fancy's loom,
Float in light vifion round the poet's head.
Whene'er with foft ferenity fhe fmil'd,

Or caught the orient blush of quick surprize,
How fweetly mutable, how brightly wild
The liquid luftre darted from her eyes!

Each look, each motion, wak'd a new-born grace,
That o'er her form its tranfient glory cast:
Some lovely wonder soon ufurp'd the place,
Chas'd by a charm ftill lovelier than the last.


My readers, whom I introduced in the beginning of my fecond Chapter to the marriage of Geraldine Powerfcourt with the earl of Monteith, will perhaps complain of the intervening circumstances which retard my account of the events immediately subsequent to those aufpi

cious nuptials. They will probably blame me for beginning in the middle, and then going back to the first part; but I have not even yet quite unravelled the clue which led to that event, and muft entreat their patience a little longer. Nothing is fo impofing upon the generality of the world as an air of superior information and felf-confidence; I fhall therefore, instead of acknowledging myfelf to have been in an error, proceed to ftate, that this apparent inconfiftency is the effect of defign, and fanctioned by authority.

I can plead the example of many ingenious authors, who folely owe their reputation to a skilful generalfhip in the arrangement of their plans. Some have chofen to make a fecond volume take precedence of the first; others have objected to the formality of a beginning; and a third set have difdained the pe



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