Puslapio vaizdai

" certain evidence that the dead are

permitted to become objects of our fenfes, I have long rejoiced in the "hope that our departed friends are "the agents employed by over-ruling "Providence to perform offices of care "and tenderness to their furviving con"nexions. This thought has moft fre

quently occured to me, as I have "bent over my fleeping children, and I "have fancied glorified beings watched

our unconscious hours with fimilar "attention. When I was once threat"ened with the lofs of my eldeft darling, "I found fenfible confolation in the idea "of its becoming a guardian cherub to "fuftain the innocence of its fifters "through a dangerous world, and to "receive my parting fpirit at the hour "of my diffolution."

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While the countefs fpoke, her radiant eyes were fuffused with tears. Fitzol



lapfed into his old misfortune of want of leifure; and Fitzofborne would have found it more difficult to avoid than to felect opportunities for private conver fation with Geraldine.



In difcourfe more fweet-
Others apart fat on a hill retir'd,

In thoughts more elevate, and reafon'd high
Of Providence, fore-knowledge, will, and fate,
Fix'd fate, free will, fore-knowledge abfolute,
And found no end, in wandering mazes loft.
Of good and evil much they argued, then,
Of happiness and final mifery,
Paffion and apathy, glory and fhame,
Vain wifdom all, and falfe philofophy.


READING was one of Lady Monteith's conftant amusements; and among her favourite writers the moral pages of Johnfon held a diftinguifhed pre-eminence. His inftructive romance of Raffelas occupied her one morning. She ftopped at the part which feemed to intimate the author's belief in the poffibility of spectral appearances. The idea ftrongly engroffed her imagination. She 1 6 1 rumi


ruminated on the arguments which might be adduced on either fide, and continued in a profound reverie when Fitzofborne entered the room.

After a pause, in which lady Monteith was trying to difengage her ideas from the train of reflection which they had pursued, Edward politely expreffed his fears that he had interrupted an agreeable study; and, with an intimation that he would immediately withdraw, inquired what fubject occupied her attention. She delivered to him the unclofed volume without any comment. He read the paffage to which her finger referred, and restored it with an obfervation, that the British cenfor was perfectly confiftent. Geraldine, miftaking this remark for approbation, replied, that he had ever thought him fo, and therefore ftrove to form her mind by the exalted ftandard his works prescribed. "I agree

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"I agree with you," faid Fitzofborne. "His writings do indeed prefcribe an "exalted ftandard of morality. A gigantic one, I fhould rather fay, utterly inadequate to the prefent ftate of the "world. His views and writings are, " however, all uniform. An enemy to levity and fimplicity, a lover of difcipline and fyftem, averfe to thofe rights "which man inherently poffeffes, tena"cious of those bulwarks which fociety forms, he is repulfive in his politics, uncomplying in his morality, and " auftere in his religion."


It was only the laft obfervation which convinced the countefs that this exordium was defigned to cenfure her favourite author, and fhe began his defence by making fome preliminary conceffions. In extenuation of that air of difcontent and depreffion which ever pervades his works when he refers to


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