« AnkstesnisTęsti »
feems fevere to afcribe it to levity of difpofition. Exifting in the midst of a dying world, we fhould rather employ our faculties in extracting improvement from fcenes of mortality, than wafte them in unavailing regret. The bond of friendship is not, indeed, diffolved by death; yet it does not impofe incef fant woe on the furvivor, who muft foon journey through the fame dark valley which the lamented object has juft explored.
Srengthened by fuch confiderations, ftill farther enforced by the precepts and example of her father, Mifs Evans's grief gradually fubfided into the tranquil cheerfulness which naturally belonged to her character. Her affection for her mother fhewed itfelf in a tender attachment to her memory, and to every fubject connected with it; in a fteady imitation of her virtues, and a faithful observance
fervance of her precepts. The high heroic tone of her mind would have been wounded by a fuppofition, that love was more invulnerable than filial grief; and the certainly fo far fubdued her early preference as to render it very little trouble fome either to herself or her friends. It did not incapacitate her for any duties, nor did it abforb any of her agreeable properties. She vifited Monteith in a few months. after her mother's death, and delighted all who faw her with her good fenfe and agreeable vivacity. She even met Mr. Powerscourt without betraying her fecret emotion to the most fcrutinizing eye. She received him without either discovering ftrong transport or adopting an artificial referve: and the bade him adieu with a voice fo little tremulous, that even lady Monteith could fcarcely detect her latent emotion.
It may be for the advantage of all Jove-fick young ladies, who fit under woodbine bowers or fhady beeches, or who walk by moonlight to hear nightingales and waterfalls, to learn by what means Mifs Evans was enabled to make fo refpectable a defence against the purblind archer. In the first place, she was conftantly employed; in the fecond, fhe never indulged in the dangerous. pleasure of dwelling on the name and merits of her beloved, either in her converfation or in her letters, nor did the ever allow herfelf to complain of her hard lot. To prevent fuch repining, she often visited the abodes of real mifery, and her attention was directed to that courfe of ftudy which is the reverfe of fentimental refinement.
Mr. Powerfcourt's fhort refidence at Monteith did not indicate a revival of that ftrong attachment to his lovely coufin
coufin which had given him fo much unhappiness. He had found abfence a grand fpecific. Change of scene, and interesting objects of purfuit, had counteracted the effect of love upon a mind, which, though naturally calm and contemplative, was remarkably fufceptible of deep impreffions, and addicted to a penfive caft of thought. He had derived ftill farther advantages from his travels. His capacious understanding was eminently difpofed to receive all the improvement which an extenfive view of men and things could afford. Habits of fociety wore off his natural referve; and, as his youthful awkwardnefs was owing to uncommon diffidence, the fame circumftances which inspired a modeft confcioufnefs in his own powers, gave grace to his perfon and elegance to his addrefs. Thus improved, Mifs Evans might have found her deter
mined ftoicifm an ineffectual defence, if it had been long expofed to fo powerful an, affailant. It may, on the other hand, be asked, if Mifs Evans's merit was not equally calculated to convince Henry, that female attractions may fascinate in more than one form. I readily affent to the fuggeftion; but the prefence of lady Monteith did not admit the fair display of Lucy's powers; and that young lady contributed to her own defeat, by continually fufpecting that her friend led the difcourfe to fuch a topic purposely to call her out, and that fuch or fuch an amufement was projected with a defign to leave her tête-à-tête with Mr. Powerfcourt. Her indignation at these ideas was fo warm, that inftead of being peculiarly brilliant, her determination to avoid being fingular could not prevent her from being uncommonly referved.