Puslapio vaizdai

fpirit, uniformly benignant, bleffed and forgave his involuntary murderer, a thoufand fatal indifcretions rose to her remembrance, and, feen through the medium of their effects, they no longer appeared pardonable levities. She who had afpired to give delight and comfort to all around her, had brought difgrace on her husband, infamy on her children, and death to her father. The pious confolations of Mr. Evans alleviated the horrors of her firft defpair; but mining grief confirmed the ravages which fatigue and terror had made in her delicate frame. Each rifing morning feemed to announce fome faded charm. Uniform dejection ufurped the place of her fafcinating fmile. Feeblenefs and melancholy alike restrained her fportively graceful movements; and inftead of the corufcations of her fprightly wit, forrow unfeign'd and

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humiliation deep' fpoke in all her ac


Yet the heirefs of fir William Powerfcourt's fortunes muft ftill poffefs fufficient charms to allure a mercenary heart; and Fitzofborne (whom cowardice and chicane had preferved from the vengeance which lord Monteith's pardonable fury firft prompted him to require for his injured honour) encou raged the audacious hope, that the legal procefs which the frantic husband immediately commenced to vindicate his wrongs would terminate in the accomplifhment of all his wifhes, by putting him in poffeffion of a wealthy and admired wife. Milled by his own falfe maxims, which had taught him to believe that a woman pardons every

infult when he loves the infulter,' he ventured on the atrocious crimes which made him master of lady Monteith's perfon,

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perfon, while he knew her uncontami nated foul revolted at the idea of conjugal infidelity. He was now perfuaded, that she must feel anxious to repair her tarnished honour and being convinced that grief and shame never proved fatal to youth and beauty, when its return to reputation and happiness seemed not only poffible, but certain, he determined to make my drooping Heroine, what he called, an honourable offer. In the letter which he addreffed to her upon this occafion, he explained his fentiments with more explicit freedom than he had dared to do while Geraldine, proud in confcious innocence, felt no neceffity of applying for confolation to the fubterfuges of fophifm. But he now thought her predominant love of fame and horror of reproach would induce her to extricate herfelf from the difgrace in which his infamous artifices and.

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and her own credulity had plunged her,
by adopting thofe excufes which were
invented to enfeeble virtue, and to fanc-
tify vice. He knew, indeed, that she
had a tale to tell, which would harrow
up the hearer's foul; but he well un-
derstood the laws by which public opi-
nion is regulated, and the delicacy of
her fentiments. These reasons con-
vinced him that he would never ex-
pose her defence to a doubtful belief.
I fhall now fubjoin his letter, written
about two months after fir William's
death, with her reply.


"When I reflect upon the melancholy event which has recently hap"C pened at Powerfcourt, I feel that an "additional odium devolves upon me, " which reflection and candour muft


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"own I have not deferved. Could I poffibly have forfeen, that when I "felt the power of your irresistible "charms, I was preparing the grave "of your worthy father! No, love"lieft, and moft-adored of women! "whatever of imperfection and frailty "may be attached to my character, it "is pure from the approach of deliberate <<< cruelty.

"I hear, with inexpreffible concern, "that your too fufceptible mind finks "under the inconveniences of your "prefent fituation. Suffer me, madam, "to remove the veil of forrow which "now clouds your reafon, and per"mit me to direct your view to "future profpects. Inconfideration "like mine (for I, in juftice, claim

that the blame fhould be folely con"fined to myfelf) is too frequent in "this age to excite indignation; and


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