Puslapio vaizdai


practices? Succefs foon reconciles the world to the profperous villain. little declamation will fatisfy fentiment, and even the watchful dragon of honour may be charmed to fleep by honied words. Gratitude, which used to rank next to integrity in the fcale of virtues, is now, like its immediate predeceffor, degraded from its proud pre-eminence. Refinement has difcovered, that the giver bestows not from benevolent motives, nor from affection to the receiver, but merely to relieve himself from the pain, of an uneafy emotion; and it has taught us to infer from thefe premifes, that it would be weakness to feel obligation for benefits which wholly proceed from the all-invigorating principle of felflove.

Entangled in the mazes of an illicit amour, begun in a moment of inebriety, and purfued from want of cou

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rage to be fingular and want of energy to be firm, the unhappy Monteith beheld his prefent fituation with horror, and contemplated his paft happiness with vain regret. His little daughters, his Geraldine, his domeftic tranquillity, his rural amufements,-how forcible was the contraft between thofe guiltless pleafures, and the clamour of a Bacchanalian revel, the corroding inquietude of a gaming-table, and the venal allurements of a courtezan.

Thousand after thousand vanished at thefe midnight orgies. The image of his injured wife and fupplicating infants conftantly rofe to his view; but they only came to increase his desperation, not to reftrain his madness. The words, " One "more bottle, and another fong! What,

Monteith a flincher? Come, my lord; "luck must change; make one more fpirited effort:" and, "Can the dear

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"eft of men, for whom I have refused "fuch liberal offers, defert me?" Such expreffions formed the magic fpells whofe powerful incantations enthralled a mind, reduced to the deplorable ftate of acting the part it abhorred, and adopting the vices it defpifed, left the votaries of diffipation fhould fufpect that he wanted courage to be wicked.

Fitzofborne did not expofe his untainted reputation by appearing in these fcenes of depravity. He contented himself with pointing out parties which he entreated his lordship to avoid, or with mentioning inftances of surprising turns of luck at the gaming-table which it would be folly in any one to expect. He exclaimed against Mrs. Harley's infamy, but acknowledged that he was in the highest fashion; that she had rejected a much larger fettlement than what the now folicited from Monteith, which

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which he hoped his lordship would have refolution to refufe; and yet, after all, as the ftrong bias of the paffions feemed to point out that fuch temporary engagements were congenial to our natures, their criminality muft wholly depend upon the circumfcribed, and perhaps erroneous, fyftems of political jurifprudence. He always concluded the fe powerful diffuafions by urging the peculiar feverity of lady Monteith's principles, and the confequent neceffity of concealing his mifconduct from her. He conjured him to haften to Powerfcourt; and then added, what he knew would negative the propofal, "How "will you fupport the tears and the reproofs of that injured woman? For I fear, my friend, that in fpite of every prudent precaution, your pale dejected looks, embarraffed manner, and "conftrained vivacity, cannot fail of "attract



"attracting her apprehenfive observa"tion."

While the cruel machinations of Fitzofborne thus affailed the honour of Geraldine by vitiating the mind of her hufband, the deftined victim of his worfe than murderous defigns enjoyed the foothing confolation of pouring her forrow into the attentive ear of friendship. Ignorant of the feverer trials which immediately awaited her, the tranquillity of rural scenes, the benevolent fimpli city of her revered father, the dignified refignation of Mr. Evans, and the interesting sweetness of the amiable Lucy, confpired to calm that painful conflict which undeferved calumny and difappointed hope had excited in her foul. The early carol of the lark, the dying fall of the nightingale, the kindling glory of a fummer's morning, the reviving freshness of the evening zephyr, 0 6


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