« AnkstesnisTęsti »
changed into certainty, to animate that hope which her boafted power could never clearly difcover without divine guidance. Why fear to drive the mean diffimulator from the affected decency. of deifm into the bold audacity of atheism, by asking, how animated duft and afhes can presume to question the power which called it into existence, demanding, "Why haft thou made "me what I am?" How intelligence confeffedly finite can charge the counfels of that mind which pervades infinitude, and extends through eternity, with inconsistency in prescribing a rule of action to probationary beings, without at the fame time compelling obfervance? Why forbear to inquire how his favourite free-will can confift with fuch a fcheme of government? Nay, bid him not stop at the moral world; but fay, why earth is not heaven, and man
an incorporeal effence, fuch as we believe the bleffed inhabitants of that better region. Reftrained by the growing attachment which, though confined within the flricteft bounds that the fpecious affectation of Platonic affection could impofe, and unacknowledged even to herself, certainly made Fitzofborne's approbation of confequence to her peace, lady Monteith forbore to oppose where fhe dreaded to offend; and fhe contented herself with wishing the mind of the most amiable of men to be relieved from thofe doubts which his converfations fometimes transfused into her own bosom.
Why, I can fmile, and murder while I smile;
And cry," Content," to that which grieves my heart;
THE difpute which occupied the preceding chapter was not the only inftance of the triumph of manly sense and found principle over fophiftry, declamation, and hypocrify. Conscious of his advantage, Mr. Powerfcourt, at every opportunity pursued infidelity into its retreats of falsehood. He expofed the credulity of disbelief, the inconfift ency of scepticism, and the inconclufive futility of every argument which dared to set up Nature in oppofition to its Author.
It was not with a hope of effecting any change in Fitzofborne that Henry thus continued to dare him to the "keen encounter of their wits;" he knew from incontestable authority," that those who love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil," muft conftantly refift the elucidating ray of truth. It was the fituation of the Monteiths which urged him to this continual warfare. He plainly faw the predilection of the countefs, and the infatuation of her lord; and he vainly wifhed for that "warning voice" which might aroufe them to a consciousness of their danger, He was not without hope too, that Edward's pride, mortified by repeated defeats, might provoke him to quit a refidence which continual oppofition must render difagreeable; and ftimulated by the enterprifing warmth of fincere friendship, he fcarcely cal culated
culated the chance of his being called out by a man, who, on fome previous occafions, had proved himself to be Jealous of honour, fudden and quick in quarrel; Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth.
But the patience and humility which Edward exercifed upon this occafion was as wonderful as his perfeverance. Let not the Reader conclude that I give him credit for thofe virtues; for it cannot be fuppofed that he would adopt qualities which he efteemed to be weak imperfections. He ufed them only as the means which were sanctified by the propofed end. Taught by his recent defeat to abstain from attack, he contented himself with barely attempting a defence, when Powerscourt preffed him with fome powerful inference: always taking care that fomething in his expreffion, look, or manner,