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of fupporting that character of firmness ascribed to my fifterhood, and which, though it fimply confifts in choofing to have our own way, the wits are apt to call pertinacity. I will alfo candidly own, that, fince the fuperior ftation in this walk is already occupied by real genius, I have too much prudence to enter into a competition, where I fhall be fure to meet with a defeat; and too much pride to enlift among a herd of fervile imitators, who mistake confufion for defcription, and fancy that what is horribly impoffible, must be interefting and grand. But, as my days of dotage are not far diftant, if lady Monteith fhould be unfortunate in her appeal for attention, I and Betty may appear upon the scene; even my cat too may be introduced in an epifode. I have feen a fubject equally unpromifing worked up to an astonishing effect, and really admired by readers. who
who had been fome years out of the nursery - But, instead of terrifying the world with a denunciation of what I may do, let me haften to fulfil my prefent promise.
IT is now more than ten years fince Powerscourt House exhibited a scene of festivity and hofpitality unrivalled in modern times, and which might ferve to recall to the mind of the spectator the fplendid fêtes of Kenilworth, where the lady of the lake welcomed the approach of majesty, and the cruel diffolute earl of Leicefter fought to divert general attention from his vices, by a captivating difplay of elegance and amusement. The motives of the venerable baronet who inhabited Powerscourt were widely different from those of the haughty favourite of Elizabeth. His life was too inoffenfive to fear cenfure; his heart never panted for court-favour; and the praise
of magnificence or refined tafte presented no attractions to his unobtrusive and benevolent mind. He called all the country together, and ftrove to make them very happy, because he was very happy himfelf; and the occafion of this exuberant joy was the union of his only daughter and heiress, Geraldine Powerscourt, with James earl of Monteith, a young nobleman who had just attained complete majority, and acceded to all the fplendid titles and fortune of the house of Macdonald.
Befide all the beauty and fashion of North Wales, thefe diftinguished nuptials were honoured by the prefence of two deities, generally supposed to be abfolutely inimical to each other. Cupid and Plutus, forgetting ancient enmity, agreed jointly to light the Hymeneal torch. It was impoffible to fuppofe a union contracted under a more perfect
coincidence of harmonious equality. The families on both fides might be faid to lose themselves in the clouds; for their claims to pre-eminence, advancing far beyond the limit of authentic history, foared into regions which no prudent antiquary would dare to explore. The lineal honours of thefe illuftrious families refted upon a furer bafis than mere oral tradition. Sir William Powerscourt could point out the spot of ground where his Ordovician ancestor harangued his vaffals before he mounted his fcythearmed car, and led them to join the British forces affembled at Caradoc: and an aunt of lord Monteith's preferved the beak of the galley, which conveyed Donald king of the Ifles from Illa, when he paid a vifit of ceremony to his contemporary Fergus, fome hundred years. prior to the invasion of the Romans. It is true, that fome incredulous critics, whom nothing
nothing can convince, doubted whether the feudal cuftoms, with which Sir William embellished his narrative, existed at that remote period; and I have heard a whisper, that the venerable relic which lady Madelina fo carefully preferved, was nothing more than the remains of a great gilded dragon, originally fufpended over a Chinese temple belonging to her lady fhip's maternal great-grandfather, though fo happily executed, that, like Hamlet's cloud, you might fay it was equally like a "camel, or an oufel, or a whale."
But though these veftiges of remote fuperiority might rather excite the doubts than fix the conviction of the obferver of coftume, the Macdonalds and Powerfcourts preferred unquestionable claims to the honours of antiquity,-extenfive influence and ample poffeffions. It fometimes happens, that close attention to adventitious