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finifter views, had no occafion for fervility or flattery;-a friend, who to an exalted turn of mind united the courage to enforce unpleasant truths, and generofity to overlook cafual errors.
We have feen that gratitude to fir William reconciled Mrs. Evans to the painful task of attending lady Powerfcourt during her long illness. When death terminated what the conceived to be her duty in that particular, the confidered the fituation of his daughter. Young, amiable, idolized, poffeffed of fuperior beauty and uncommon vivacity, by what more noble method could fhe evince her gratitude to the father, than by showing the unwary girl the fhoals and quickfands which abound in the voyage of life?
Mrs. Evans's early knowledge of what is called the great world convinced her, that though refinement may interpofe G 5
its fimfy veil, the unamiable paffions prevail in the higher circles as much as in the cottage; and that the pilgrim who wishes to pursue a fafe course must unite the serpent with the dove. While, therefore, she strongly recommended to Mifs Powerscourt the extirpation, not the concealment, of every ungenerous, violent, and selfish principle, as the happieft means of enfuring internal peace, fhe taught her to apprehend external danger from the violence and felfishness of others, however concealed by the fair appearance of polished manners, or even by profeffions of attachment. But, above all, the strongly imprinted on her pupil's mind a veneration for her father's character. She not only pointed out his active benevolence, patient gentleness, and firm integrity, but led her to confider the general propriety of his opinions upon any fubject with which
he was thoroughly acquainted; and though his reclufe habits had caft an air of fingularity over his natural good fenfe, yet his plain firm ftile of thinking was not only better but wifer than that flexible judgment which bends, contracts, or expands, as the world, that is, as caprice determines. Nothing could be more judicious than these instructions. Mifs Powerfcourt's parts were lively and brilliant, quick in difcovering the ridiculous, and powerful in expofing it. Though virtue, benevolence, and fond indulgence, must have obtained the warm affection of her grateful heart, her refpect for fuch a father could only be founded on the perfuafion which he had imbibed in her early youth of the natural fuperiority of his uncultivated understanding.
The consciousnefs of yielding to a weakness which Mrs. Evans would difG 6
approve, had kept her from informing Lucy of the state of her heart prior to lord Monteith's declaration, and the fame fentiment forbade her discovering any strong uneafinefs at her father's rejection of his addreffes. In relating the affair fhe only observed with a fuppreffed figh, that he thought his lordship infinitely the most amiable and deferving of any of her fuitors; but fince her father difapproved the connexion, fhe fhould acquiefce in his decifion, and heartily wish the earl happy with fome other lady: in which with, however, it may be queftioned whether fhe did not make a little ufe of the long bow.
The enamoured earl was not at this time in fo quiefcent a ftate. He was quite in a humour for
"Moving accidents by flood and field;"
For hair breadth 'fcapes in th' imminent "deadly breach."
One time he refolved to ftorm the castle and free the lady from durance; at another time decided to ftretch his rival in the bloody duft. The probability of the fair one's being offended by the first project foon made him abandon that; and there seemed fo much cruelty in killing a man who did not even know that he was an impediment to his happiness, that his lordship's cooler judgment pronounced that the latter would be too fanguinary. After confidering all the plans which antient and modern romance supplies, the old scheme of Jupiter and the shower of gold was preferred. But it was not to Danaë that the Caledonian Jupiter defcended in that form; it was to Danaë's waiting maid.
The very evening after this phenomenon had taken place, Mifs Powerscourt faw a letter upon her dreffing-table, fuperfcribed in characters which the