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opponents to his iniquitous defigns. He was, therefore, peculiarly careful to conceal from them thofe nefarious principles which he fancied he had fufficiently enveloped to escape the confufed apprehenfion of the good baronet. He was, however, completely mistaken. Sir William's ruminations on Edward's affertions discovered confequences which were at first unperceived; and, his uneafiness increafing, he determined to dif close it to his good friend the rector, with a hope of being re-affured by his fuperior learning.
At the conclufion of an unsuccessful rubber at backgammon, by way of apology for bad play, he frankly owned, that he had been thinking of fomething elfe all the time. "It is certainly very < wrong in me," faid he, " but I "almost doubt of the truth of what
"Solomon tells us, that there is no(c thing
"thing new under the fun." He then repeated Fitzofborne's theory, and added, "Is it not a new way of punishing a "man for using one wife ill, by giving "him leave to marry another?"
Many years had elapfed fince Mr. Evans's knowledge of the great world had been folely derived from the limited information of books and newfpapers. The dafhing fpirits with whom he had been formerly acquainted fought celebrity by high phaetons, Pomona-green coats, and Artois buckles; and feldom ventured upon more profound difquifitions than what were neceffary to determine the height which the younger Veftris could jump, or the diftance that Eclipfe could gain on a dray-horse in a course of five minutes. The elegant tutor was now changed into the rural divine, and in common with all lovers of literature, he rejoiced to hear, that the
the frivolity of fashionable manners was yielding to a spirit of deep research and difcriminating curiofity. Suppofing that Philofophy ftill retained her character of being the handmaid of Truth, he felt inclined to pardon a few extravagancies in her admirers; and, believing the fountain pure, he repeated the popular couplet :
A little draught intoxicates the brain, But drinking largely fobers us again. Neither the general philanthropy of Mr. Evans's character, nor the prepoffeffing impreffions which lady Monteith's warm encomiums on Fitzofborne had made upon his mind, could induce him to give a favourable interpretation to a prepofition that threatened to sever the grand link which unites correct morals and focial happiness. His candour could only point to one conclu
fion, which was, that the natural imbecility of his revered patron's understanding increased with his years, and that the conciufion he had drawn from the arguments which Edward had ufed, was directly contrary to what the orator intended.
The answer which he returned to fir William was of a temporizing kind. But, after revolving the conversation in his own mind, he determined to apply to that confidant to whom fince deprived of a ftill dearer friend, he had been accustomed to intruft all his perplexities. He was concerned to find that Lucy's opinion of Mr. Fitzosborne was not in unifon with the fentiments of the countess. She expreffed her diflike of the mysterious air which he generally affected; and obferved, that Geraldine, who knew his difpofition thoroughly, apologized for the eccentricity
tricity of fome of his fentiments by urging his foreign education, and affirming that he knew he poffeffed the beft heart in the world. " Perhaps he "does," continued Mifs Evans; "but people who wifh well to any cause "feldom attempt to break down the "bulwarks that defend it." Her alarmed father eagerly inquired, if the suspected any thing deistical in his principles.
"Thank God," returned Lucy, "none of my acquaintance are deifts; "therefore I do not know in what man"ner they would act. But furely, my dear fir, when religious truths are impreffed deeply upon a cultivated "mind, they must give a tincture to "our ordinary converfation. Subjects <<< which we efteem facred are not dragged into table-talk controversy; "and the narratives of holy writ are