Mrs. (Jane) West.

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in the morning:, alarmed nim no more than Fitz-
ofborne's efcorting her in a correl'pondent drefs
to lady Fiilagree's fancy-ball. He. recounted the
events which had taken place in the debate with
too much eairernefs to liften to the iwrrative of
her adventures. He only heard with pleafure,
that Vernon paid no attention to her, and that
{he was perfecfly in charity with her cec'tjhso.
So many agreeable occurrences made him readily
confent to her propofal of paying her annual vi-
fit to CaernarvonAire immediately; and he was
too fincere a friend not to enter with eaoiernefs
into her plan of rendering Edward fome pecunia-
ry fervices. rlis late difplay of oratorical ability
,feemed to enfu re fijccefs; " for," faid he, " though
" I want nothing from Gevernment, why fhould
*' not my friends reap fome advantage from the
" fatigue which I endure in the fervice of my
" country ? Do you think that they dare refufe
** me, Geraldme, when they know how much
<"' I am cou^ed by Oppoution :" He concluded
by obferving, that Edvvard'S talents would do
honour to any adminiilration. His appearir.g in
?. ^confpicuous line would alfo mortify Arabella,
and convince her that ihe ought to have refpecSted
her brother's deeper knowledge of maniie-s and
^iiaraclers, and not have difmiiTsd a iover who
vvas inhiiitely too good for her.




Meanwhile, by Pleafure's fophiftry allurM,

From the bright fun and Hving breeze ye flray:
And, far in London's gloomy haunts immur'd,
Brood, o'er your fortune's, freedom's, health's
decay ;
O blied cf choice, and to yourfelves untrue !

The young grove (hoots, their bloom the fields
The manfion ail<s its lord, the fwains their friend ;
While he does riot's orgies haply fhare,
Or tempt the gameller's dark deftroying fnare,
Or to feme courtly (hrlne with lavifh incenfe beni.


V HILE the carl of Monteith, with all the

bluiit finceritv of hi*^ r.rdent charadter, purfued his
friendly bui unfiiccefsful defigii of ferving Fitz-
ofborne, the polite c ircles were very merry at his
loidihip's cxpcnce, every one woi^.dering that he
could not (rj^ what was fo extremely viiible to
every body elfe. As lady Monteith had by re-
tirement fubdu(^d the acrimony of competition,
even the candour of her livals returned, and the
tide of popular opinion grew ftill ftronger in her
favour. Large allowances were made for a little
vanit} and a little indifcretion. Moft people fin-
cerely believed that, aftej all, her marked pretli-
ledtion tor Fitzofborne was nothing more than a
harmlels flirtation, perhaps entered into out of
frolic, or with a view 10 mortify Arabella.—
Thefe delicate extenuations were generally con-


t-luded by a laugh at his lordthip's flaying in
town to vindicate her characf^er, and a f^ar, that
■fuch uncommon good-huiriour on his part might
^encourage her to go greater lengths in her mirth
than fhe at tirft intended.

The annihilation of domeftic happinefs open-
ing the faireft views for Fitzofborne's fuccefs, he
determined to employ every engine for its de-
"f}ru6tion. The gunrded honour of Geraldine
^had hitherto reje6i:ed his infinuations tothedifad-
•vantageof her lord with the warmth of confirmed
affection, and the indignation vihith aconfciouf-
nefs of the infeparable union between his leputa-
tion and her own muft infpire. But various in-
ftances had convinced him, that this " God of
" her Idolatry" was vulnerable in a thoufand
-points ; eafily deceived, eafily feduced, foon ir-
ritated, and as q^uickly pacified. The prefence
of the counters, her fuperior judgment, and the
refpedfc for the decencies of life, which his flron.o-
attachment to her had infpired, had hitherto pre-
ler\ed him from any grofa acls of immorality,
and given a decorum to his conduct which jufli-
fied the confidence (he always placed in his beha-
viour. Fitzofoorne too plainly faw that there
was no innate principle to preferve Monteirh In
. rthehour oi temptation, when his guardian an^el
was abfent from her charge. Thofe temptations
he relolved to iupplv : he doubted not his owq
ability to environ him with fnares, from v\hich
-e\en a firmer virtue would find it difficult to ef-
cape ; and yet at the farce time to conceal his in-
ftdious interference, and to cover his machina-
tions Vvith the proftituted names of friendiliJp,
fenriment and morality. Though lady Aion-
teith's enlarged underi'tiinding had fufHcient dif-
cernment to difcover calumiiv, and to treat un-


founded fufpiclons with contempt, cculd /lie re-
fift the evidence of truth ? or could her feeliiig
heart fuppori that cruel i.odifference which a di/Ti-
pated hufband always affecls to fnew to the amia-
ble v/ife whom he injures by his vices ? Her
flrong fufceptibility at eveiy clrcumrtance which
threatentii the diminution of their mutual regard
convinced him that fhp could not. And furely
the refcntmeiit which a vo*jig and beautiful wo-
man mufi" feel at fuch injurious negligence would
render her an eafy prey to the wiles of a fcducer.
To fupn( fe tne contrary, was a paradox 'Ahich
his knos^ iedge of the human chara6ter would not

It is not my intention to pollute my page by
a defcriptioi- '^t rhofe fuccefsful plans of iniquity
by v<hich Ficzcfborne lubverted the principles of
the who rci. Iv loved him, and felt anxious
to 'fnder him eilential fervices. Unhappily, the
world picfeiits too cften the fpe6iacle ot one im-
mortal being alluring another to inebriety, or
plunging it in depravitv, for me to excite fur-
prife by adding, that iuch actions are not deemed
incompatible ultn the facred title of a friend.
Thefe feducers have not indeed always the deeper
jnotives whic ii 1 afcribe to r* itzofborne ; but let it
be remembered, that the principles he profsfled
gave a Czn&'io^ to his more monflrous atrocity.
Private vrces are public benefits. It is not a ge-
neral advantage, tiiar property fhould be trans-
ferred from an indolent fenfualift to an active in-
telligent enlerprifin^ citizen, v/ho would turn it
to beneficiai purpoles ? Monteiih would be juft
as happy v\itn his dogs andhorfes, the only fphere
of enjoyment which his limited underilanding
feemed capable of relifhing, though his beautiful
wife, and the fair poifeffiojts widi whicb Ibe was



tndovved, were refigned to fome cL-ver fellow
who had wit enougli to acquire them. Suppofing
the reftraint of confcience coiivt^iiientiy lilenccd
by thatfccpticifm which is now edeemed fo libe-
ral, what other principle will you fubftirute to
prevent fuch practices r Succefs foon reconciles
the world to the profpcrous villain. A little d^-
clan^.aiion will fatisfy fentiment, and even the
watchful dragon of honour may be charmed to
fleep by honied words. Cxratitude, which ufed to
rank next to integrity in the (icvle of virtues, is
row, like its immediate predecciTor, d^^gradjd
from its proud pre-eminence. Refinement has
(lifcovered, that the giver beilows not from bene-
volent motives, nor from afFeftion to the receiver,
but merely to relieve himfelf from the pain of an
uneafy em.otion ; and it has taught us to infer
from thefe premifes, that it would be weaknefs to
feel obligation for benefits which wholly proceed
from the all-invigorating principle of felf-love.

Entangled in the mazts ot an illicit amoiir, be-
gun in a moment of inebriety, and purfueu from
want of courage to be finoular, and want of ener-
gy to be firm, the unhappy Monceith beheld his
prefent fituation with horror, and contcn.piaccd
his palt happinefs widi vain regret. His little
daughters, his Geraldine, his domestic tranquiiUty,
his rural afi'iufements, — how forcible was the
contraft between thofe guiltlefs pleafures, ar.d the
clamour of a Bacchanalian revel, tne corrociniT
inquietude cf a gaming-table, and the venal al-
lurements of a couriezjtn.

Thoufand after tnouiand vanifhed at thefe
midnight orgies. 7 he image of his injured v/ife
and lupplicarii^g infants con lantly roie to his
view ; but they only came to increafe his defpe-
ration, not to icftrain his inadncfo. T'he woids,

Vol. II. C




*' one more bottle, and another fong ! "What,
" Monreith a flincher? Come, my lord, luck
" muft change ; make one more fpirited effort :'*
and, " C?.n the deareft of men, for whom I
" have refufed fuch liberal offers, defert me ?"
Such exprefuons formed the magic fpells whofe
powerful incantations enthralled a mind, reduced
to the deplorable ftjte of adling the part it ab-
horred, and adopting the vices it defpifed, left the
votaries of diffipation ftiouldfufpecl that he want-
ed courao;e to be wicked.

Fitzofbornc did not expofe his untainted repu-
tation by appearing in thefe fcenes of depravity.
Fie contenied himfelf with j^ointing out parties
which he entreated his avoid, or with
mentioning inflances of iurprifmg turns of luck
at the guming-table v.hich it would be folly in
any one to expect:. He exclaimed againft Mr^.
Harley's infimy, but acknowledged that fhe was
in the highcft faihion ; that (he had rejected a
much larger fettlement than what fhe now folU
cited from Monteith, which he hoped his lord-
fliip would htwe refolution to refule ; and yet,
after all, as the flrong. bias of the paflions feemFd
to point 'out that fuch temporary engagements
were con b^enial to our natures, their criminality
muft wholly depend upon the circumfcribed, and
perhaps er.roneou?, fy items of political jurifpru-
cence. He always concluded thefe powerful dif^
fnalions by urgiiig the peculiar fc-verity of lady
r.Ionteiih's principles, and the confequcnt necel-
fity of concealijig his mircondu6i: from her. He
conjured him to hallen to Powerfcourti and thea
sdded, what he knew would negative the piopo-
f.i], " How^ will you fupport the tears and the
'' reproofs of that injured woman? For I fear,
^' mj frieiid, that in Ipite of every prudent pre-

>' caution.


'« caution, your pale deje6led looks, embarrafied
<* manner, and conftrained vivacity, cannot fail
<^ of attracting her apprehenfive obfervation."

While the cruel machinations oF Fitzofborne
thus afliulcd the honour of Cieraldine by vitiating
the mind of her hufband, the deftined vi6lim of
his worfe than murdeious defigns enjoyed the
Toothing confolation of pouring her forrow into
the attentive ear of friendfhip. Ignorant of the
Severer trials which immediately awaiied her, the
tranqui'.iitv of rural fcenes, the benevolent fim-
pliciiy of her revered father, the dignified refig-
nation of Mr, Evans, and the interefting fweet-
nefs of the amiable Lucy, confpircd to calm that
painful conflidl which uncieferved calumny and dif-
appointed 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 freihnefs of the evening zephyr, the va-
rious delights which the country affords,, and the
attractive limplicity of its uncontaminated inha-
bitants, infpired lady Monteith %vith ftrong in-
dignation againft that failidious taife wnich,
while it degrades the majei" ic operations of Na-
ture with the epitnets of ordinary and vulgar, or
pafTes them with ftapid infenhbility, puriues the
celebrity required by the conftruclion of a car-
riacre or the adjuftment of a robe. Her cenfures
ao-ainft this petty ambition were, however, too
warm to be the dictates of cool judgment, and
evidently proved, that the fair declaimer had been
once included In the frivolous groupe who pay a
blind idojatry to popular efteem. Diiappoint-
ment infpired other notions; and, guided by this
newimpulfe, (be appeared once in her convcrfa-
tions with Mifs E/ans to lean to the dangerous
doctrines of EiLZwibo:ne. ** Wnen I [qH^.C:,"'

C 2 laid


faicl {he, " en the evinefccnt nature cf reputa-
*■*' rion ; that it is ?rqiiired vvirhout folicitude, and
'' loft 'without g;uilt; that it is the fport of ca-
" lumny, and the battery from which envy mor-
*' tally wounds the peace of innocence, 1 feel
" convinced that it is beneath the attention of a
'' welkgoverned minr^."

The converfnrion h^d b?en previouflv con-
fined to the reprice? c f f^fh'on, and Alifs Kvans
was furprifed that it ihould produce fuch aferious
concluGon ; for to this genuine <:hild of .nature
the eclat annexed to the invention of a becomincr
turban, or even the honour of an innumerable
party, feemed unworthy of a moment's anxietv.
She therefore fixed her intelligent eyes upon her
friend, and aiked her to what (he alluded in this
refleiiion ?

" My ovv-n fad ffory," faid Geraldine, " is
*' ever j^redon.inant in mv m.ind. Even while I
am. enj<^ying the dt lights of thefe beloved
peaceful fcenes, 1 cannot for one moment for-
get that I am now a mark f'^r public lidicule.;
and I am endeavouring to derive fom>e confola-
*' tion trom rhofe f^ntiniejits \- h'ch a gent'emaii,
" a very fenfible mp.n, and a friend of lord iVlon-
teith's, has frequently fi^iggeOed;"
" Thev can only apply," faid Lucy, " to the
cafe ct' rhofe v ho pkce theii ulti?nate hopes in
the applaufe of the world. They have n(>thing
*•' to do uith the well-grounded mind, which,
" v'hile it purines the ifeady path of duty, is
'' pleafed with being encouraged on its journey
" by the modefi: v<<ice ot v.ell-earned praife-
*' Far be it from mzy my Geraldine, to feck to
*' diminiih vour confiJa^ions. tnnocenceallcus
" you t'.^ poll jiS a very fupevior one ; and whal.^
" your lite difpro\es accuf^rions, you have no

" c*ufe




'^ caitfe to be depreiled. Yet the watchfu] f-jU
*' ceptibilitv of femai? hfmonr cannot but ftcl
*' everv attack upon its charatSler ; and it rroft
" impatiently longs to refuse rhe cenfures whicii
" its purity abhors. Lo:d Monteith's friejid, I
" fuppofe, only made general obfervstion^. I lo
" could not allude to vour particular 0-orv/'

" Thev were the obfervaiions of Fitz-fborne,'*
faid ladv iVlonteith gravely.

" Of Fitzofborne ? inrerr">geted Lucy. " I
" have heard vou defcribe him as one of the moit
*' enlightened, uncorrupted, and amiable of men :
" the perfon,^ too, refpsclin^ whom your c sa-
'* dudl is cenfjred,"

*' It is exat:tly as you defcribe. Hs is thus uc-
" ferving, and I am fo accufed."

" Does a fixed contempt forthe qood-wlll of
" tharmafs of his fallow-creatures which is c^Ueil
*' the world, imply this fuperior merit ? Th^
" world, I have heard my dear father often fay
" judges right, but from wrong pr^mifes. It is
" haily and rafh, not difpa>rionate and refiecftino.
" It kindles into indi^)nation at a fpeci-c\is tale : it
" loads a fufpected character with opprobrium ;
" but however falfe it? inference, however mif-
" taken ics judf^m.ent, its errors always lean to
" the fjde of jirftice^ atid virtue. And [ am the
" more inclined to pay a deference to my father's
" opinion, becaufe 1 hud his ideabf thi: ag^rc-
'' gate bcdy of which I am an individual con-
*" firmed bv my own feelings.*'

" I (hall only join the general decifion of the
" world, which you fo reverence," replied the
coun'-efs, " when I found the praifcs of Mr!
" Fitzofborne. To the manners and the exte-
" rior of the moll finiCied gentleman, he adds
*' the information of the fcholar, rnd the prcfun-

" dity


" dity of the phllofopher. Perhaps his ardent
*' love of truth may urge him to too great a con-
'' tempt for eftablifhed rules; and you know,
** Lucy, we muft not expe6t fuperior mincis to
" pay a fcrupulous attention to the litrle pun6li-
" lios which cuftom exa61:s from ordinary cha-
" railers. He is ai^uated by the moft exalted
" views, and his life is the nohlefl: comment up-
** on his opinions.'*

T^he limited obfervation of Mifs Evans had ne-
ver dif'covered fuch a being as lady Monteith de-
fcribed ; and ihQ regarded the delineation of its
diftinguiihed properties with fomewhat of the
fame kind of fcrupulous curiofity with which we
perufe th? cif^cription of the unicorn and the kra-
ken ; not abfolutely uenyins; that fuch things may
exiit, but v\'i!ning to have their rsali(y more
cieariy identified. Her wifh was foon gratified,
and this human phoenix was introduced at Pow-
erfcourt by an event in which chance (the modern
term for Providence) had a fmalier (hare than
cjhnfibly appeared.

I'he poft alv/ays arrived at fir William's in the
afternoon ; and tliough the good baronet had no-
thing of the bafhaw in his character, and was by
no means an adept in the fcience of politics, he
conflantly exercii'ed an unlimited authority over
the newfpaper, the contents of which he regu-
larly recited, in an audible voice, to the party
affembled round his hofpitable board. The jour-
nal ofpafTing occurrences which found adm.fiion
at fir William's, was generally uncontaminated
by private flander, party abufe, or fulfome pane-
gyric, and fimply a plain narrative of the events
£)[ the day. It happened however, that after lady
Monteith had fpent about four months at her fa-


^^.er*s, the following paragraph found aGniit-
tanre :

'' It is rumoured in the poliie circles, that a
^' certain miiiiilerial nobleman, in the vicinity of
tc p******tj Place, finds fufficient attradlions
" in the beautiful Mrs. Plarley to confole him
'* for his recent diigrace ; while a fair incon-
" ilisHt is trying, v-'hether the keen air of the
« c*********fhire mountains triay not he
'^ beneficial to a confumptive reputation. It is
" faid, that lord M*******'s fettlements on hi^
" new flame are uncommonly liberal.'*

Sir William was not verfed in the languac»;e c-f
initials and ailerifks ; and was not in pcfieirion of
the decvpherins: ^lolTarv which a knowledge of
polite fbandal (upplies. Aft-, r two or tliree at-
tempts to uniavel the enigma, he delivered it to
h\i daughter, with a requcil that ih:? wo-vild tell
jiim what it ujeant. A crirnfon blufh J^nd a dy-
ing palentfs alternately took pnffeflion of her fare
while {he pernfed the paragraph. After v.ocl!yob-
ferving, that it wasfome very ill-natured nonfenffy
l"he complained of fairunefs f:om the heat of the
roomj a circumilance which her fituaiion, being
near her fourth conHncirient, fnight render op.
j>reilive. Mifs Evans's arm was ready to lead
her to her own apartment, at the door of which
{lie entreated her friend to leave her, and to (11-
perintend the backgammon party in her roon^,
as (he much feared (he ihould not be able to re-
join theai that evening.

No alarm was excited that night by this cir-
cumilance. Sir Williim's communications had
been too confufed to convey any explanation to
his auditors, and any future appeal to the newi-
paper for information was impofTihle, for it had
fudienly dif;;ippeared during the buftie cccafioned



by ^a.^v Montelth's faintncfs. But fmce the but-
Jer and the hoiife keeper were both very great pc-
Jiticians, and very anxious to in^ptr^l the conduce
of adminiitrarion, this einiumifance too freauena-
ly lii!pp<rned to bear at this time any myfterious

Geralcline's 'ndifpofition wore nex< morning a
more ferious afpecSt. Her maid ov/ned, that fh-e
liad been extremely reftlefs and agitated a'l niehr,
and her yxjlfe indicated confiderable fever. S>r
Wiliiim's parenral tendernefs took alarm. The
rr;ol^ eminent medical afn fiance which the cou5>-
t' y affbided was called in, and an exprefs was
cir>«r<.hcd to to'vn to fiiirmon her hulband.

The pe;trifyirg povvtr ci' vice requires tiiTK;
befure it can render the heart completely callous.
Lord Monteith had not yet forgot his inimitable
Geraldine, the mother of his pretty little girls,
the founder cf James-town, and the benign
enchantrefs .\vhore ma^ic powers had converted
the wild unfreo^uented ihores of Loch Lomond
into the refidejice cf plenrvj elegance, and hsp-
pinef?. His iecoHe(inon of the guiltle/s pleafures
oj\ce enj( ved in her fociety aggravated his fears
jor her fafety ; nor coj'.d a thoufand MrF. Mar-
leys detain him from her bediide. Lndeavoiiring
by the fpeed of his return to arone for the cri-
minality of his abfencc, relays of horfes vi'ere
ordereJ upon the road, and the exertions of the
podboys were itimulated by addition?! douceurs.
But lord Monrcirh is not the onlv furious driver
that ha? found it impoflible to travel from him-
felf. New to the fu2:'^c;{]:ions of rcmorfe, yet
unable to divert the pain of its fcorpion-iting by
the fallacious jultification of comparing his own
cotiduct v.'iih that of other men of falhion, his
troubled imagination continually placed before



his eyes the frightful Image of an amiable wif;i
murdeicd by his vicious irn.iifierence ; and his
thoughts were alternately occupied by curhng
his own folly, and frantickly addrelling Heaven
to fpare a life which he now felt to be inhniiely
dearer than his own.

Such a fituation called for the ameliorating of-
fices of friendfhip, and the kntimental, difpai-
fionate Fitzofborne had claimed that pious ta(k.
To abate the reader's indii^-uatlon asainit that
gentleman's conduci, I m.utt affirm, that it was
afterwards fatisfadtorily proved, that the fatal pa-
ragraph which I have quoted was not communi-
cated to the newfpapcr editor in a liand-writing
that bore the leajl refemblance to Edward's. I
will alto own, tiiat his emotions during thejour-
ney to Po^^verlcDUi't were aumoit ab poignantly
diltrefling as thcfe of his fellow-traveller. Con-
Icieiitc, mdeed,^ was lefs loud in her accufations,
becaule her lenfibility had by frequerit icprefTioa
been rendered more callous. But the probable
diiappointment ot thofe plans of a2;grandivemeiiC
vvtncn h.; had j^iurfued wiiii fuch wicii.ed diligence,
haraffed his apprehenfion ; and he regretred, that
iriuman fcience nad not yet reacned its fu:nnii:
of perfeclion, by prefcntmg co him tlie imnK*; -
talifing elixir that would enable iiim to diipu'.e
with death for the pofleilion of the vidim whf)iTi
he had marked fo; a more dreadful dtil:iuitio;i.

C ^ CdAP.



Dang'roux conceits are In their natures poifons.
Which, at the firil, are fcarce ft)und to diftafte ;
But, with a little ^ti upon ti.e blood,
I3urn like the mines of fulphur.


X HE appearance of lord Montcith, when the
carriage flopped at Povvei fcoui t, was fufficient-
}v ceploraMe to excite commiftTation even in
ihofe bofcms v\h;ch felt the flroneefl abhorrcjice
of his former conduiSl. Pale, and trembling with
spprehcnfion, he afked if his lady were ftili alive.
On receiving an anfwcr in the affirmative, he
iiew 10 her apartment, not rcfledling upon the
^-fFctfl which his fudden return n^ight have.
Fitzofoorne, pofTefTcd of a greater command of
his own feelings, {topped him at the door, and,
dragging hini into an adjoining room, whiipered
to him, that prudence and compofure were high-
ly necefi'ary. " If you fee lady Alonteith in
'^ your prefent perturbation of fpiriiF," faid he,
*' you will certainly become your own accufer,
'^ and perhaps lay the foundation for much fu-
'^ ture niifery. Remember, pcfllbly flie knov/s
*' nothing of Mrs. Harlty's affair. Forfhame !
^' my friend, how you unman yourfelf by thefe
" eniojioD'^^."

'*• She lives,'' faid Monteith, lifting up his
eyes, wijich, to the extreme mortification of
Filzofborne, were fufiufcd with tears. " Jf (lie
♦' h«d died, murdered by my infidelity, I would
" not haveXurvived her."



" Can you tell how her illnefs and your inli-
" ddity can pofTibly be connecied ? If it pro-
" ceeds from her knowledge of your weakncfs,
" you have certainly caufe to dread feeing her.
" I muft entreat you, if you regard your repu-
" tation as a man of the world, or your autho-
" rity as the mailer of a family, do not let even
" your valet witnefs your diforder/'

He was prevented from proceeding by the ap-
pearance of fir William Povverfcourt, whole be-
nevolent heart had been deeply penetrated by a
defcription of his fon-in-law's dXtrefs, though his
paternal pride had prcvioully Simulated to refenr.
the abfence which even his unfufpicious [em|>er
had confidered to be a i.egiecl: of his brieve'.:

" Be compoftd, my lord." faid tr? good ha-'
ronet, fliaking him affectionately -by iPit hand;

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