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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 fafcinate in more than one form. I readily. affent to the fuggeftion; but the pre-. fence 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 instead of being peculiarly brilliant, her determination to avoid being fingular could not prevent her from being uncommonly referved.
Henry, on the other hand, confcious of the fragility of new-formed refolutions, was prevented from attending to the attractions of Mifs Evans by a scrupulous watchfulness over his own heart, left it fhould deviate from those limits which he had prescribed, in order to prevent lady Monteith from occupying more of his thoughts than common admiration juftified. He found, upon this vifit, that her wit and beauty were her leaft attractions. As a wife, as a mother, how admirable !-how enchanting as the prefiding directress of a large family-how intelligent in her plea-. fures!-how prudent in her benevolence! Lord Monteith was uncommonly attentive to him, and fhewed a strong defire to contract a friendly intimacy. He talked of the pleasures of the chase, of the agreeable fociety of many gay carelefs fouls with whom he spent several
Good heavens! could
the husband of Geraldine relifh fuch low amufements, and be worthy of her? This thought kept Henry awake one whole night, and the next morning he determined to fet off on a tour to the Hebrides. Lord Monteith earnestly preffed him to take his caftle in his return, and tempted him by offering to introduce him to a party who propofed fpending a month in hunting the red deer among the Grampian hills. Mr. Powerfcourt determined to avoid every opportunity of drawing comparisons dangerous to his integrity, and proposed going to Ireland in his way back, with an intention of paying a long-intended vifit to a particular friend.
The attachment of the Monteiths to their northern refidence feemed to increase. My lord was fometimes reluctantly forced by the unavoidable preffure
preffure of parliamentry business to vifit London, and the countefs generally embraced that opportunity of paying her duty at Powerscourt. She once accompanied her lord to London, where lady Arabella, who was ftill aspiring to the character of a first-rate toaft, was terrified at the appearance of rivalry with which the undiminished charms of her lovely fifter threatened her, even in her own demain. Probably this vifit would have proved fatal to all the fond terms of affection which lady Arabella's letters had constantly expreffed, had not family harmony been preserved by the alarming illness of lady Monteith's eldest daughter who was left in Scotland, which fummoned the affrighted mother from the haunts of pleasure to the bed of pain. The child foon recovered under her watchful eye, and, though not infenfible to the blandishments of adulation and VOL. II.
the feductions of pleasure, the grateful heart of Geraldine forgot the lofs of promised amusement in the transporting idea of the restoration of her darling.
She was by this time the mother of three daughters, all promising and lovely. The repeated disappointment of having male iffue fomewhat difconcerted her lord, yet the chagrin was not fo predominant as to cause any diminution in his attachment to his lady. Experience taught him that her unvaried sweetness was neceffary to his happiness; and it never occured to him, that his peculiar pleasures and pursuits were any impediments to hers. With too little reflection ever to attend to his own defects, and too little judgment to appreciate Gerald ne's refined excellence, he gave an unqualified affent to the affertions of his acquaintance, and believed himself not