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"his temper requires can only be vi"fible to others by its effect."
"For what purpose fhould Edward "wifh for this afcendancy over lord "Monteith?" inquired the countess.
"In my opinion for the most dia"bolical purpose to alienate his "heart from you, and to induce him "to treat you with fuch unkindness, " as may fubvert, in your mind, those "fentiments of affection and efteem << which, next to the principles of duty "and honour, form the ftrongest
"guards of female purity. "me one moment more. Every au"dacious whisper which he utters "against your husband, every look of "artificial tenderness by which he dares "to recommend himself, are employed "to batter down the fame defence," << while his atheistical infinuations tend "to reprefs the compunctions of con"science,
science, and to weaken that principle "of religion upon which your fafety principally depends."
"Before you draw fuch harsh con"clufions, Mifs Evans," faid the offended countess, "you should describe "what parts of my conduct will, in cc your opinion expofe me to the in"dignity of a licentious addrefs. I "must also add, that as your judgment " of Mr. Fitzofborne feems to be too "decided to be the mere result of fuf"picion, I have a right to bid you prove, that he feels for me a bolder "fentiment than pity or esteem. If he "is what you describe, instead of being "the ornament of fociety he is its dif"grace."
"Do recollect," replied Lucy," that "I give him credit for the deepest con"trivance, the most profound artifice. "I am not in his confidence. The "only
only pofitive proofs which I can bring "against him are, your present wretch"edness, his influence both over lord "Monteith and yourself, and his avowed "infidelity."
"You and Mr. Powerfcourt have "ever given that harsh name to a fin"gularity of opinion which your can"did father only fufpected of leaning to "deifm. All doubt with you appears "to be a crime, and a diffent from your notions on fome important but mysterious point fubjects your ill"fated opponent to the moft confirmed "imputation of the blackeft guilt, even though his whole previous conduct " evinces a courfe of almost unfinning "rectitude and exemplary virtue."
"O my Geraldine! I will urge you "but this once more. Is it from him"felf that you hear of this unfinning"rectitude and fhining virtue? His "character
"character is comparatively unknown "in his own country. Abroad it was "efteemed to be far from immaculate. "His conftant affociates were men of "loose principles and profligate manners.'
"Is it from Henry Powerscourt that "you learned this catalogue of vices ?" inquired Geraldine with a refentful air.
"It is," returned Lucy. "It is "from that Henry Powerscourt whom "we both fo tenderly esteem; the << dear companion of our early happy << years, thofe years thofe years of confidence, "tranquillity, and mutual affection. "O lady Monteith! how exquifitely painful is that reflection now. Hear "me yet on my bended knees; hear my folemn request. Mine is no
display of officious zeal, "louring of a hollow heart.
no falfe coIf I have
"erred, it is from a mistaken judg"ment; and punish me as that crime "deferves. Yet, my ever beloved "friend! do not let your confidence "in your own difcernment lead you "into danger. It is not because I fuf"pect your virtue that I thus im<6 preffively warn you; but it is because "I confider you to be furrounded with "fnares which, without divine protection, no mortal can efcape; and "to that protection I commend you in 66 my most earnest prayers."
Vanquished by this affectionate appeal, Geraldine raised her Lucy, and folded her in her arms. The reconciliation was as fincere as it was affecting. The countefs protefted, that though she could not adopt her opinions of a man whom fhe had ftudied with unremitting attention, fhe yet gave entire credit to the fincerity of her moK 4