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and anxiety fcarcely fubfided till thofe of the modern couple generally begin; I mean, when the fair one promises at the altar to be her good man's unalienable property "till death do them "part." But though I disapprove of the renunciation of this decorous feverity in most inftances, I am inclined to permit a little latitude when the lover acts with the integrity of a Henry Pow erfcourt, and the lady poffeffes the unaffected prudence of a Lucy Evans. To terminate my diffufe account of this correfpondence, Lucy repreffed her lover's hopes of a speedy union by ftating her previous refolution of fpending the following autumn in Scotland.

"No, my love," faid the countefs, whofe attention appeared to be roused by the conclufion of her friend's epiftle, "I will not allow you to make fuch a

facrifice. Dearly as I prize your fo


ciety, you shall be just to prior "claims. I fhall not be wretched, I

" mean dull, without you. I will fit "under my favourite beeches, and me"ditate on that fair portrait of connu"bial happiness which you and your "Henry will present. He has been "long depreffed in his fortunes and "croffed in his hopes. How fhall I "rejoice in the idea of his being at "laft poffeffed of the independence that "he fo well deferves, and of the hap

pinefs which his difpaffionate judg"ment best approves! You too, my "Lucy, rich in every domeftic excel"lence! my heart rejoices at the pro"spect of your virtues expanding in a "larger sphere; of your fortitude and "quiet heroifm receiving its merited "reward. I will not be the means of

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delaying this aufpicious union a single « hour."


"But as my fwain fays nothing upon "the score of an early day, or fond "impatience, am I to give him a hint "that I expect fuch flourishes? No in"deed; I think I have been quite frank "enough already, and fet him more at "eafe than any lover (I mean except "himself) ought to be. His father's "death is very recent; and I know "his fenfe of propriety will prevent " him from propofing marriage at pre"fent. Let me then, by fhowing that "I do not expect it, convince him that "I can imitate the virtues I revere. "What! but one faint fmile, Geral"dine, at that declaration? I expected "to have heard fome pretty allufion "to fir Charles Grandifon, or to "the Phoenix, that fole bird.' Can"not you recollect fome little fhade in "Henry's character? his purple coat, " for inftance, which diverted you fo "much

"much two years ago. But perhaps you trust to time to abate the ro❝mance of my fentiments, or men"tally quote the answer to your own "conundrum," why marriage is like a "microscope?'- because it discovers "little blemishes.'

"It is happy," faid the countess, "when there are only little blemishes "to discover. I will no longer refufe

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your fociety, my dear playful friend; "but I accept it upon one condition, "that I may put a poftfcript to your "letter to Henry."

"If you will promise to say nothing as coming from me."

The countefs gave her word to the contrary, and then added the following lines:

"I have confented to take your "dearer felf to Scotland, in hopes that "the strong attraction will compel you


"to give us the additional pleasure of your company. I would tell you how "I rejoice at your proposals to my "Lucy, but words are fo inadequate to "my feelings that I muft refer you to

your knowledge of my character to "eftimate the fincerity of my tranf

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ports. May you be as happy as your "mutual virtues deferve, bleffed with "health, peace, and every worldly com "fort! There is an event (O how my "filial heart abjures the impending " evil!) which will enable me to give

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my valued friend ftronger marks of "efteem and gratitude than ineffectual "wishes, by fulfilling a promise ever "facred to


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