Puslapio vaizdai

"marriage of my grandchildren than " even fir William's fo much reprobated plan."

Lucy replied laughing, "I will put my hair in rollers this very evening, << which will, I trust, remove your ap"prehenfions refpecting the prepofter"ous matches of your grandchildren."

"If you, my dear," continued Mrs. Evans, "recollect the circumftances " of fir William's life, and analyze his "character, his prefent defign will ap

pear the natural refult of both. The "virtues which spread profperity and joy all around him are not the refult "of thofe refined feelings, thofe elegant fufceptibilities, which ufurp the place " of folid virtues in the estimation of "too many. They are the effect of "reflection, of principle, of chriftian principle, my dear, that firmest found"ation for all that is truly excellent "in


"in man. But though his idea, that "the gifts of fortune are only an ac"countable stewardship, makes him "uniformly and perfeveringly upright "and generous, it does not fupply those "nicer touches of the heart which na"ture never originally bestowed.


"clufive of what he feels for Geral"dine, I question whether his heart "ever acknowleged any fentiment live"lier than univerfal benevolence."

"How came he to marry then?" inquired Lucy. The air of naïveté with which the fpoke would have diverted Mrs. Evans at another time; but when applied to the prefent fubject it recalled painful fenfations. "It was not "a love-match," faid fhe, after a long pause;" and I fear lady Powerscourt "did not study to excite those fenti"ments of efteem and attachment in "fir William's mind, which her en



gaging attentions would have inspired. Though I believe he never "felt a ftronger tie than what arose "from habit and compaffion, his na"tural goodness made him behave to

her, during the trial of a long fick"ness, with so much tenderness, that "he was univerfally accounted a most "excellent husband. You know, Lucy, "he is not apt to make observations

on people or incidents which do not "immediately affect himself. The world "flides by unnoticed, if it do not el"bow him; and though this may con"duce to the tranquillity of his mind,

"it prevents him from enlarging his "ftock of information. Can you, "however, wonder, from what he has "felt and from what he has obferved, "that he should fuppofe mutual attach"ment unneceffary in a union between "two worthy people? and you will



<<< allow

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

"allow Mifs Powerfcourt and her cou"fin answer that defcription."

"Most certainly they have the best "hearts in the world; but is not lord "Monteith too a moft worthy charac"ter, and, in point of rank and for"tune, a more defirable match ?"

"Fortune, my dear, though in most "marriages a very neceffary ingredient, "is of little confequence in the difpofal "of Miss Powerfcourt; for her here"ditary affluence is fo great, that she

may poffefs every indulgence the can "wish for, without the neceffity of « her husband's adding any thing to "the paternal stock. I am not one of "those who flight the advantages of " rank; I allow it to be desirable: but "if you balance against it the apparent juftice of beftowing a rich heiress on her father's nearest male relation,

[ocr errors]

" who is educated in the fame princi


ples, and will refide upon the fame fpot where his ancestors have flou"rifhed, who will most probably con"tinue to diffufe the fame noble bene"volence and patriarchal hofpitality; I

protest, when I think of these advan

tages, I can condemn nothing but fir "William's characteristical indifference "to the state of his daughter's affec❝tions. But I obferve, Lucy, that of "late you always feem uneafy and filent "when we talk of Henry Powerscourt; " are not you and your old friend and playfellow upon as good terms as " ufual?"

[ocr errors]

"Yes, quite fo.

"Then fhould you not rejoice at the profpect of his good fortune?" "So I do ; but poor lord Monteith"I cannot help just now thinking of "him. I am forry at my very heart " that

H 2

« AnkstesnisTęsti »