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praifes of Mr. Fitzofborne. To the "manners and the exterior of the most "finished gentleman, he adds the in"formation of the fcholar and the pro
fundity of the philofopher. Perhaps "his ardent love of truth may urge him "to too great a contempt for established "rules; and you know, Lucy, we must "not expect fuperior minds to pay a fcrupulous attention to the little "punctilios which cuftom exacts from "ordinary characters. He is actuated
by the most exalted views, and his "life is the nobleft comment upon his " opinions."
The limited obfervation of Mifs Evans had never difcovered fuch a being as lady Monteith defcribed; and The regarded the delineation of its diftinguished properties with fomewhat of the fame kind of fcrupulous curiofity with which we perufe the defcription of
the unicorn and the kraken; not abfolutely denying that fuch things may exift, but wishing to have their reality more clearly identified. Her with was foon gratified, and this human phoenix was introduced at Powerfcourt by an event in which chance (the modern term for Providence) had a smaller fhare than oftenfibly appeared.
The poft always arrived at fir William's in the afternoon: and though the good baronet had nothing of the bafhaw in his character, and was by no means an adept in the fcience of politics, he conftantly exercised an unlimited authority over the newspaper; the contents of which he regularly recited, in an audible voice, to the party affembled round his hofpitable board. The journal of paffing occurrences which found admiffion at fir William's, was generally uncontaminated by private flander, party
abufe, or fulfome panegyric, and fimply a plain narrative of the events of the day. It happened, however, that after lady Monteith had fpent about four months at her father's, the following paragraph found admittance:
"It is rumoured in the polite circles, "that a certain minifterial nobleman in "the vicinity of P******d Place, finds "fufficient attractions in the beautiful "Mrs. Harley to confole him for his "recent difgrace; while a fair incon"ftant is trying, whether the keen air "of the C*********shire mountains
may not be beneficial to a confump"tive reputation. It is faid, that lord " M*******'s fettlements on his new " flame are uncommonly liberal."
Sir William was not yerfed in the language of initials and afterifks; and was not in poffeffion of the deciphering. gloffary which a knowledge of polite
fcandal fupplies. After two or three attempts to unravel the enigma, he delivered it to his daughter, with a request that the would tell him what it meant. A crimson blush and a dying paleness alternately took poffeffion of her face while the perused the paragraph. After coolly obferving, that it was fome very ill-natured nonsense, fhe complained of faintnefs from the heat of the room, a circumftance which her fituation, being near her fourth confinement, might render oppreffive. Mifs Evans's arm was ready to lead her to her own apartinent, at the door of which the intreated her friend to leave her, and to fuperintend the backgammon party in her room, as the much feared fhe fhould not be able to rejoin them that evening.
No alarm was excited that night by this circumftance. Sir William's communications had been too confufed to
convey. any explanation to his auditors; and any future appeal to the newspaper for information was impoffible, for it had fuddenly disappeared during the buftle occafioned by lady Monteith's faintnefs. But fince the butler and the housekeeper were both very great politicians, and very anxious to inspect the conduct of administration, this circumftance too frequently happened to bear at this time any myfterious air.
Geraldine's indifpofition wore next morning a more serious afpect. Her maid owned, that he had been extremely restlefs and agitated all night, and her pulfe indicated confiderable fever. Sir William's parental tendernefs took alarm. The most eminent medical affiftance which the country afforded was called in, and an exprefs was dispatched to town to fummon her hufband.