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The state of affairs, both at the park and at fir William's, foon underwent a furprising revolution. The lovely GeFaldine, with fteps once more light as the wood-nymph's, flew to communieate to her dear Lucy the intelligence which her sparkling eyes, and the smiles that played around her fascinating face, had already anticipated. Lord Monteith had renewed his addreffes in the moft paffionate but refpectful terms;, and fir William, contrafting fuch strong attachment with Henry's cold refufal, had declared, that as his own plans were fruftrated, he should have no longer any objection to his lordship, provided some peculiar conditions were granted, with which Monteith joyfully complied. "Felicitate me, Lucy," added Mifs Powerscourt, "upon the happy "change in my fituation. I fcorn the " mean affectation of keeping a gene
"rous heart in fufpenfe. I have owned "to my father, that I regretted his re"jection of lord Monteith. Nay," added fhe, leaning her blushing face on Mifs Evans's fhoulder, "I have confeffed "that my affections are irrevocably fixed Сс upon the most conftant, the moft ge"nerous of men."
I will truft that the active imaginations of my readers will delineate all the fcenes of joyous congratulation, courtship, and preparation, which intervened between fir William's acceptance of lord Monteith's offers, and the nuptial folemnity; and will only premise, that, as the principal figures on the canvass were people of elevated rank and deeply in love, the execution fhould be mafterly. An enamoured earl must certainly exprefs his fentiments in more dignified periods than an enamoured viscount; and if this obfervation be ex
tended through all the "privileged orders," my prudence in fhrinking from the hazardous attempt of recording the loftier flights of heroic love is worthy of fome credit; particularly in these times, when every novelift permits his plain Williams and Richards to address their mistreffes in terms that would formerly have been allowed only to an Archduke or a Count Palatine, except indeed the hero was a profeffed knighterrant, to whom the use of extravagant hyperbole has belonged from time im
Let it then be supposed, that after the noble lover had many times repeated his injunctions to Phoebus to "gallop apace his fiery-footed steeds," and had chided creeping Time for not "fpeeding on the lagging hours," the auspicious morning at last arrived, and the lovely pair, attended by many of the neigh
bouring gentry, and a numerous cavalcade, compofed of fir William's, tenants, proceeded to the parish church, where Mr. Evans.joined their hands, amid the acclamations of hundreds, whom the unrefined but liberal hofpitality of the worthy baronet had affembled on this joyful occafion,
Though female delicacy would gladly have escaped the oppreffive ftate of public celebration, yet Geraldine was determined not to oppofe her father's known predilection for all those anti, quated cuftoms which were derived from the feudal barons, whom he gloried in imitating. Gratified in the object of her choice, lady Monteith prefided with unaffected sweetness and polished grace at thofe feftal entertainments by which fir William ftrove to diffufe on all around him the overflowing fatisfaction of his own heart.
I fhall here perhaps be asked, how his general diflike to lords and love-matches, his plans in favour of Henry, and his wishes to perpetuate his own name and family, could be fo foon forgotten. This laft objection is anfwered by obferving, that a clause in the marriage-fettlement fecured the inheritance of fir William's fortune to the fecond fon of this marriage, who was expreffly enjoined to receive the name of his maternal grandfather; or, in cafe of no fecond fon, the eldest daughter was to convey the Powerfcourt honours to her husband. A difpofition like fir William's, though prone to pursue a favourite fpeculation with eagerness, will not renounce every future good, because its primary wish has proved impracticable, but will speedily return to that harmonized trans quillity which best accords with its natural feelings. When the doating fa