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Henry, on the other hand, conscious of the fragility of new-formed refolutions, was prevented from attending to the attractions of Mifs Evans by a fcrupulous watchfulness over his own heart, left it fhould deviate from thofe limits which he had prefcribed, in order to prevent lady Monteith from occupying more of his thoughts than common admiration justified. He found, upon this vifit, that her wit and beauty were her least attractions. As a wife, as a mother, how admirable !-how enchanting as the prefiding directress of a large family!-how intelligent in her plea-. fures!-how prudent in her benevolence! Lord Monteith was uncommonly attentive to him, and fhewed a strong defire to contract a friendly intimacy. He talked of the pleasures of the chafe, of the agreeable society of many gay careless fouls with whom he spent several
Good heavens! could the husband of Geraldine relifh fuch low amufements, and be worthy of her? This thought kept Henry awake one whole night, and the next morning he determined to fet off on a tour to the Hebrides. Lord Monteith earnestly preffed him to take his caftle in his return, and tempted him by offering to introduce him to a party who propofed fpending a month in hunting the red deer among the Grampian hills. Mr. Powerfcourt determined to avoid every opportunity of drawing comparisons dangerous to his integrity, and proposed going to Ireland in his way back, with an intention of paying a long-intended vifit to a particular friend.
The attachment of the Monteiths to their northern refidence feemed to increase. My lord was fometimes reluctantly forced by the unavoidable preffure
preffure of parliamentry bufinefs to vifit London, and the countefs generally embraced that opportunity of paying her duty at Powerscourt. She once accompanied her lord to London, where lady Arabella, who was ftill aspiring to the character of a first-rate toaft, was terrified at the appearance of rivalry with which the undiminished charms of her lovely fifter threatened her, even in her own demain. Probably this vifit would have proved fatal to all the fond terms of affection which lady Arabella's letters had conftantly expreffed, had not family harmony been preserved by the alarming illness of lady Monteith's eldest daughter who was left in Scotland, which fummoned the affrighted mother from the haunts of pleasure to the bed of pain. The child foon recovered under her watchful eye, and, though not infenfible to the blandishments of adulation and VOL. II.
the feductions of pleasure, the grateful heart of Geraldine forgot the lofs of promised amusement in the tranfporting idea of the restoration of her dar ling.
She was by this time the mother of three daughters, all promifing and lovely. The repeated disappointment of having male iffue fomewhat difconcerted her lord, yet the chagrin was not fo predominant as to caufe any diminution in his attachment to his lady. Experience taught him that her unvaried sweetness was neceffary to his happiness; and it never occured to him, that his peculiar pleasures and purfuits were any impediments to hers. With too little reflection ever to attend to his own defects, and too little judgment to appreciate Geraldine's refined excellence, he gave an unqualified affent to the affertions of his acquaintance, and believed himself not only
only a very happy, but also a very excellent husband: and who among the lords of the creation will controvert that opinion, when they hear that his lady never contradicted him, and never found fault?
I fhall leave to the fentimental part of my readers the task of commenting on the selfishness and inelegance of lord Monteith's character; for, doubtless, they have long ago obferved, that his mind was caft in too grofs a mould to form the proper counterpart of Geraldine's; and I am ready to allow, that the diffimilarity must be fatal to that pure felicity, the refult of a perfect congeniality in tafte and fentiment, which is always the reward of heroes and heroines, and is fometimes realized on the stage of life. Such marked difproportion affords an unanswerable argument to diffuade a young lady of ftrong feeling