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lufion. Beauty will not contemplate the fixed rayless eye, left the recollection fhould obfcure the brilliancy of its own: youth and health refufe to be acquainted with the livid cheek, which preaches the importance of the paffing hours, and gaiety abjures all knowledge of the clay-cold reliques of the human form, left the fearful fentence of " fuch fhalt thou be" fhould palfy the graceful step, arreft the swift career of levity, and render the whisper of adulation uninterefting.
Lady Arabella's first tears flowed beneath her brother's roof; but her extreme susceptibility foon required a fresh afylum. Lady Monteith was the worst comforter in the world; and the was convinced that her poor fpirits would be quite overcome, if fhe did not get amongst people a little more like other folks. Geraldine indeed had performed
the office of a confoler to her Lucy with tolerable fuccefs; but the retired daught ter of a country clergyman, and a fashionable belle, are different characters: and either the fimplicity of the countess did not difcriminate, or fome fecret fpark of ill-nature prevented her from adopting the proper method of treating her prefent guest. She permitted lady Arabella's tears to stream without any admonition that they might dim her eyes or injure her complexion; and in the most violent paroxyfms of grief the ftrove to foften her emotions by leading the difcourfe to her dear aunt's affection for her, and anxious folicitude to promote her happiness. She had once the inhumanity to fuggeft the idea, that the feparated fpirit would be afflicted by witneffing the forrow of furviving friends; and that the violent indulgence of extreme regret might be conftrued to
proceed from a want of due fubmiffion to the Supreme Difpofer of events. She had indeed fuccefsfully expatiated on these topics to Mifs Evans. countenance of that artless girl affumed an angelic compofure whilft listening to the folemn fentiments; and her hands and eyes uplifted in meek refignation feemed to fay, "I will not impede the "beatitude of my mother, nor murmur "at the difpenfations of my God."
But in the prefent inftance the awful allufion produced very horrific effects. Lady Arabella's ideas of " things unfeen" were extremely confufed. She had never had time to inveftigate the fubje&t herfelf; and, from fome arguments which Mr. Fitzofborne had ufed, fhe was inclined to hope, that the vague notions which he had picked up in her early years were purely chimerical terrors, the effect of low prejudices. She, there
fore, replied to the confolatory argu ments of the countefs with a fhriek of apprehenfion; be fought her in future to avoid fuch fhocking expreffions; and, looking round her, as if in expectation of feeing lady Madelina's ghoft, fhe became fo fearful of having a vifionary attendant, that she durft not move from one room to another without being accompanied by a corporeal guard.
At Mr. Fitzofborne's next vifit fhe expatiated on the premeditated cruelty of lady Monteith, who chofe the very period of her being fo low that she could hardly fupport herfelf, to afflict her by ' naming fubjects that he never could bear. She was perfectly innocent, fhe faid; had never hurt any body, nor committed any crime in her life: and why need she be talked to about feparated fpirits, and religion, as if he were the greateft finner in the world? Lady Monteith
Monteith had even hinted, that there would be an indecorum in her going into public immediately after the interment of an aunt, who had to her fupplied the tenderness and protection of the maternal character; and fhe was certain that the funeral was delayed, not so much out of respect, as to keep her immured, and to make her break her heart, which was much too refined and tender to endure thofe forms of woe to which stronger minds might fubmit. In fine, the enjoined Fitzofborne to ftate to lady Monteith the impropriety of her conduct, and to convince her how wrong it was to talk about difagreeable things which fhe could not be fure were true. Ed. ward undertook the office, but advised lady Arabella not to be too fanguine of fuccefs. Prejudices, he faid, were stubborn things to contend with, and lady Monteith had unfortunately imbibed