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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 taste 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
from accepting an otherwife unexceptionable offer; but fince no law, either human or divine, permits it to diffolve the marriage-bond, it cannot be urged as an excufe for married wretchedness, unless fome moral defect or painful peculiarity in temper be fuperadded. Senfibility may wish that the stock of mutual happiness may receive every agreeable addition; but judgment will look abroad, and, eftimating its own real fituation by adverting to the lot of others, will find reafons for content, particularly if humility whisper fomewhat of its own confcious deficiencies. I fpeak of general wretchedness, not of a momentary pang; of a confirmed train of thinking, not of a fudden reflection which reafon examines and rejects.
Long before the period of which I am now treating, lady Monteith had abandoned the impracticable scheme of arraying
arraying Acteon in the veftments of Apollo. The difcovery was painful to her vanity, which had taught her credulity to believe, that love and beauty are the true alchymifts that can tranfmute the baseft metals into the pureft gold. But the fanguine hopes of youth do not fink under one difappointment. Her lord poffeffed many good qualities, and the uncontrolled power which he gave her over his fortune allowed her to execute every scheme that her liberality. fuggefted, and purfue her own tafte in its fullest extent, provided fhe spared him the irksome task of being obliged to pay attention to her plans. As to any idea of being impeded in the execution of his own, the yielding gentleness of lady Monteith preferved her from making the mad attempt, which could only have been compared to "drinking 66 up Eifel, or eating a crocodile."
If the fuggeftions of latent pride, or, to call it by its fofter name, conscious fuperiority, fometimes led her to think that fhe might have made a more congenial choice, returning tenderness bade her start from the injurious fuggeftion, and fly to her colony or her plantations, which, prefenting the idea of her lord's indulgence, never failed to inspire complacency. The future was an ample field for hope, and the filled it with the moft agreeable images. She deter mined, by strictly attending to the edu cation of her daughters, to bend their ductile minds to fuch purfuits as would enable her to find thofe colloquial pleafures in her maternal character, which had been withheld from her connubial portion.
Her thoughts were fometimes diverted from her favourite employment of framing fuch a plan of education as
fhould infure fuccefs, to the contemplation of her Lucy's approaching happiness, which every day rendered more probable. Henry now generally refided at Powerscourt. His filial attentions and agreeable manners enlivened fir William's declining years; and his frequent opportunities of obferving Mifs. Evans convinced the countess that her beloved friend would gradually make the conqueft fo important to her repose, in the manner which her ftrict fenfe of delicacy and propriety required.
Bending under the enfeebling load of time, but ftill tranquil, focial, and benevolent, the vifits of his beloved daugh ter feemed to renew fir William Powerfcourt's frail exiftence. Her counte nance always bespoke happiness, and he forgave the negligent inadvertencies visible in lord Monteith's behaviour to himself. "Old men and young lords," faid