Mrs. (Jane) West.

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Neriiia's bower, vvhtre I might fit and w«=ep.

Mason's English Garden.

Wind, fragrant woodbine ! round Nerina's bower :
Clematis, deepen the umbrageous fhadc ;

And. mingling with the jas'mine's peniTle flower,
P'ulfil the wiflies of the mourning maid.

Kere oft, when evening finks in foft repofe,

Shall Mafovi's numbers wake the {lumbering
^ gr-jve ;

Here, gentle Lucy fhull recite the woes
Of orphan beauty and unhappy love.

As tadtful fympalhy enioys the theme,
Fancy, the local landli ape fiiall extend ;

Bid Grtcian fanes in dim perfpedtive beam,
And Gothic arches mid ttie pine -trees bcuj.

Ye fportive fays, ye fine etherial forms,

Nymphs of the iun-bcam, fyiphlds of the breeze ;

Defend their foliage from untimely ftorms,
From blailing mildew fuve thefe votive trees.

Here, on this verdant turf, the tuneful qu.=en
With attic grace ber deathlefs f(;ng renews ;

And native virtues corifecrate the fcene.
Sacred to Lucy's talle, and Mafon's mufe.

The chl iings of a fincere lover are rarely for-
midable ; and Mifs Evans had an excufe to plead,
which would have difarmed a fiercer refeijtnienc
than ever glowed upon any occafion in Henry's
bread. in :he fame moment he forgave her
fiight, applauded, her nioaves, aiid promifed to



afTiH: her clcfigns. " I knew Fitzofbcrne while
" I was in Italy," faid he \ " cur rxquaintance
" was but flight, yet 1 dilcovcreJ enough to be
" convinced that he inuft be a dangerous inmate
" in any family."

But though Powcrfcourt pcfTcfied fufncicnt
penetration to read the chara6ler of a mafked vil-
lain, Edward's profoun I difcernment had for
once led him to form an erroneous conclufjon.
The fociety in which he had met Henry was com-
pofed of peifons whom tlie latter dcfpifed for
their folly, or detefted for their impiety ; and
convinced, that even the argumentative powers
of the unrivalled Crichton would be in vain ex-
erted againu wilful error, he determined, by not
treating them with a difpute, to fufFer them to
enjoy their fading poppy-garlands uncontetled.
Fi'z:>fborne had c^nicluded, that the rcafoncfhis
countfvman's filence was his h?^v:i)2 ncthi.i'- to
fay ; and he hailed the ai rival (jf an antagonift at
Aionteiih, v.'hcftr fpeedy def> - ac would add to the
already-exalted reputation which his fcrentific abi-
lities had acquired amoiig the rural efquires, feu-
dal lairds, and ol'Hcers in quarter?, v.'ho frequent-
ed the ear! of Monteith's table.

When Gerakiine acquairited her friend with
her coufiii's expected arrival, his Itile of com-
mendation exprc-fied his idea of his ciiaradter.
" Q, HuMV Povv'erfcourt ! I was acquainted
" with him abroad. A very honell, duvvnright
" foul, v/;th true Mnghlh riotions ; he fecmed
" alwavs afraid of mixinjr v/ith ft rangers. I
'' liiall be very happy to fee him again, for I en-
" joyed his fnicerity."

" He is an exception then to the general ob-
" fer vation ; for he is rr.oft honoured by thofe
" who beft know hin^.," faid the counrefs. " IVe

" tlleeni


*' edcein him a good fchobr, and a vcrv fenfible
*' intelligent conipap.ioii.''

" A great deal, ir^y dear madam, depends up-
" or. our confinino-ourrdves to the ftricl defini-


tion.of word?, or ejfe our iiucntiojis are air.-

biguous. I perceive that by my neglccl: of
*' this rule, v^u have miftaken mine. Mr.
^' PovverfcGurt has indifputably a very good plain
" underilanding, ar:d i dare iay he is an excel-
'•^ leiU clafiicai ibholar. But pardon me if 4 hy
'' he has ne'ver Ihpped cut of the hea;tn track,
*' nor atrendcd to what I Oiciild ca 1 the cor.cate-
" nation of deduclions, or confccutive eilcci of
" given populate? ; and from this want of ar-
" rar.gemefjt in his mental facuit-ts, it follows,
" of coiirfe, that he takes things as tiiey are,
" without examiinng from what caufes the di-
" feafes in the m.oral and natural world 0M'":nate,
" or how thev may be remedied."

'J he countefs ur.d^rftt^od as much of tills
fpeech as the fpealccr intended (lie ihoiiid ; and
/ae Could op.'v lament her early inattention to
jygical itudies, which might have convinced iier,
as thcv had done Fnzoiborne. that creation Vv'ant-
eJ to he new-modelled; and that the prefent age
had n.cjre wild(>m than Al the precedinp' ones
taken coilcdtivrly.

The intended con.tatants now ftood, like Ho-
mer's heroes, " panting for the fi£.i"i^" and im-
patient for the iignal o.' engagen^eiit. Though
t le defire of vidory alone would not have induc-
ed Po<Kerfcourt '' to unlcck his lip« in fuch un-
" haiio-.ved air/' the prefervaiion of Geraldine
from the fnares «- f a feducer infpired him with a
zeal warm eve; as 'hat w^iich Lucy Evans prf-
feiied. But b'^ "g tempered by fuperior juig-
mcntj he determined to appcarj as if he rather



adopted an opinion from his obK-rvation of Fi.z-
cfborne's behaviour, than came with a predeter-
mined refolution ofdifliking what he wasexpecSt-
ed to admire.

Aware that It is much eafier to afTail the opi-
nions of others, than to bring forward a wrll-
digefted fyilem of your own, Fi:zofborne deter-
mined to commence the attack. An opportunity
faon offered for him to point fome of thofe con-
temiptible but blafphemous farcafms which pafs
for wit, againil the Old Teftament, which in-
fidelity is now pleaftd to term an indefenfible
outwork o[ the j")0pular theology. A fcandait us
tale of a married nobleman had found its way in-
to a public paper ; FiizofDorne pointed it out to
Mcnteith by a ilgniflcant glance, while he, with
the pleafure commion to offenders on difcovering
a cbmpanion in guilt, honoured the wretched je it
wiih Vv'hich the paragraph concluded v.ith ahearty

" What has entertained you, my lord," in-
quired the countefs. "-May v.'e not partaice of
''• yo^'J" rnirth :" Alonteith haftily replied, that it
would not amufe h.^r; and, Edward, toiling the
paper the oth^r publications of the d^y^
fagacif/Uay ob(erved, tliat the coi::du6l of the
prefent age correfponded more with the practices
recorded by the jewifn clr.fhcs than with the pre-
cepts of their auitere lawgiver. " Th'^ offences/'
continuc'd he, " which fccm to give eclat to
"• thcfe heroes who are recorded in the f >nps of
" their bards, are in their leg; fiat! vc code punifli'
" able with dearh, at leaft if v\e fuppole thefi;
" narrations literal. But we muil allow, that
<' the beft critics, coaiidering the all-gorifing
*' temper of thof- people, are led to believe, that
" the whole compafs o* their literature is faba-

*•• lous




^ lou5, and by no means pofieffing that cUini
^' of high antiquity to which it pretends."

Henry's heart throbbed with indign:uion ; but
he determined to wait his opportunity oi" inter-
poiing when his audacious adverfi'ry was thrown
off his guard. Warm with affectionate zea) for
thofe truths from which her father had (o often
drawn iiiftrucbive n^iOral leftons, and the moft
auguft views of fuperintending Providence gra-
dually unfolding its amazing delign^, Mifs Evans
-determined immediately to reply. " Ic cannot,'*
thought ihe, *' be any dereiiclion of female mo-
*' deliy and delicacy to ihow an infidel that
*' women may be courageous in a lac red cauie.
'' Even my father's avowed opinion, that we
■** ought to withdraw from controveriial topics,
" would change with the exigency of the prefent
" cafe, Vi'hich calls me to repel the attacks of
" profligacy and impiety united for the deflruc-
*' tion of my ur.fufpedting tncnd.'*

Determined by tntfe reflections ftie addreffed
Fitzofoorne : " How long, fir, have thelc fliga-
*' clous critics fucceeded in convincing the w^orid
" their ffiki of reafoning was jufl? Aly
" father has dtvA^d his viiole life to the attain-
" ment of fAcred learning -, and 1 have heard him
" (ay^ that the aitempts of fceptics ferved but to
" confiim the itao.lity of that heaven-ere6led
" ^.diriee which they fought to undermine."

*' Tne honour of an argumen: v-ith Mifs
*' Evans," returned Edward U;jvvmg, '* h too
*' great a novelty for me to dechne embracing it ;
" and I cannot but lament that I have not been
" previoufiy prepared for the conteir, by having
*' obtained u knowledge of the ar^,umencs by
" winch tne fuperior jud2;ment of Mr. Evans was
" decided. I a^n myfelf a fmcere friend to reli-

VoL. a, F " gion,


" gion, anxious for its real rit-htS ^'""''^ j^^^'^'^'-'S
*' of its t7-ue honour ; and as fuch i have been
" teinpred to wifli that fl.:)me untenable points
" v/ere fairly given up, and that the profound
" theologiftsof th:- prefent day would felecl: thofe
" pa[ra2;ts which bear If ronger marks of infpira-
^' tion. I confefs that i have often felt mortified
'^ at feeing the pbiiities of the order exerted in
" the defence of thofe parrs of the fyftem which
*^ were n^iore prudently abandoned by candid d-if-
" putant^.'.'

" And Ij" faid Lucy, " have been morticed
" too, when 1 have {zK^n |religion degraded by a
" mock defence."

Mr. Pov/erfcoiirt cTcuUed in the blufn of honed
irdi conation which glowed on his Lucy's cheek,
and enjoyed the temporary confulion of her ad-
veriarv. Fitzofborne f::>on recovered ; but, too
much piqued to preferve the ufual politenefs of
his m.annerf, he begged Mifs Kvans to have the
r^oodnefs to repeat her father's obfervations. T*ney
would, he was fare, be entitled to refpect ; per-
haps ,mi<7ht operate to his convi6tion. Were
the)' drawn from his perfect acquaintance with
the Greek and Hebrew ianguags,?, or had he ftu-
clicd Syriac literature ?

'' I do .not know," faid Lucy, fenfible that this
attaci: was defigncd to expofe her.

• '' From chronology, natural philofophy, or hif-
*' tory ? Eat 1 bdieve, madam, you are yourfilf
*• millrels of ih<<^ fciences."

'i^\l'fs F:lvans'5 colour heighter^ed with every in-
terrogatory. I'h^re was a large party prefenc,
' and ^iH^ feir the crueliy of thus hoJdi ng her out
to oreneral ridicule. She blamed her ovA-n tenvj-
riiy in havhig attacked a i^rotews who could hide
his nati/i; deformity in a thouiand f^jrms.



Henry felt her embarrdlfment too llrongly noc
^o relieve it. " Do not ciiPrrcf? yf^urfelF, Mils
*' Evans," (aid he, " by endeavouring to recoU
( " le(£t your father's exprelTions. 1 h id the hap-
^' pinefs of beinjT educated under ijis aufpices, and
'' i know the value of his opinion too well to
*' withhold it from thofe who dcfire information. '»

'^ You were of Oxford, 1 think, fir," faiJ
Fitzofborne, difconcerted by the determined
coolnefs of Henry's manner. " Several of my
*' friends muft have been your cotemporaries."
He then enumerated a.long lil^ in which he took
care to include the mod" confpicuous young men
of the ape.

" i\lv time," faid Henry, " was chiefly de-
•<« voted to ftudy, and I formed few connection<>.
« Suppollng myfelf dellined for orders, i appli-
<' ed clofelv to the Greek and Hebrew ianguagcF,
« and I made fome progrefs in the Syriac. I at-
" tended all the le6iures on natural philofophy,
"and am not urjacquainted with hiftt>ry and
"chronology." Hii. enumeration of the very
topics on which Fitzofborne had quellioned Lucy
was rendered more fignihcant by the modulation
of his v^ice.

Fitzofborne bowed, and expr'-fTed an earned
wilh to culuvafe his a(X|uaiiitance. T^iie bov/
wcs returned. " I thought, (ir," added Henry,
" that you were folicitou^ to receive a little infor-
" mation rtfpccSting thofe arguments which in-
" duced Mr. Fvans to affirm, that mveftigation
" had proved of inconccivahle uf^ in eitr.bliining
'•' the aucnenticity of the Oid I eliament."

'^ I ib-iil effeem it a particular favour if you

" would infoim nic," replied Fitzofbirn^^. " Csn

*'vou give me your compa^iy in the hbrarv i(-r

" that p'jrpoie fo-morrow morning r The Ldies

F 2 '- vVill


'' u 111 thnnk lis for adjourning the debate for
" the prefcnt."

" I fnouiu conceive, fir," faid Powerfccurt?
" that the ladies are interefted in the authent'c ty
'' of their bihle'^ ; and when any doubts are ftart-
" ed, explanations ihouid follow cf courfe. By
" your calling forth a larly to debate thefe points,
'' you inufi: certainly join in my opinion, that the
^' cnufe of infpi ration ^is perfectly fare in the hands
'* of that fcx, who are accuilomed to argue from
" the fecli 'gs of an unvitiated heart, rather than
" from the cold dedictions of the underftand-


'^ No one," refurr:ed the evaHve Fitzofborne,
* can have a greater rerpcct for female excel-
lence thnn mylelf; and before you profefs
yourfelf the .champion of fentiinent, as oppof-^
*' ed to aroTmentative dedudlions, \ou (hould
" foften the aipevity which appears \n your man-
" ner, by remembering thai 1 never attacked the
" fair."

" Not in a direcl vi'av, I believe," faid Flenry
in a moft animated voice, and at the lame time
leadinji the eye cf his ani;:gom(i: to the comUtrfs,
\vkf» fat ncttino- near them, feernin^ly enoirofTcd
t V j'(;me country vifitois^ but really attentive to
C:h converfation.

Edward .felt fcriick ashy an fle£lrical {!:( ck.
FL^bitual -efeive could not prevent a fudden crim-
fon from hufhing his facej and his quickly Vvith-
d:avvn eye toid a tiidh wiiieh he would vviilingjy
i:'ave concealed; nriin.ely, that he undeiiload
Po\A'erfcc;urt's allulion,

Unnble to purfuc a then-e v%here difcovery -me-
naced every v*.ord, and precluded from tae'j.y;b-
tcifuee whicli availed him in his former difpwce
with Air. Lv..;ib ^i a:eun a reference of toe argu-



rrient to Tome future time, which it depended
Upon himfelf to procraninatc, ) FlizorDoriie mull?'
either have waited for Henry's att«ick on deiflical
principles, or have renewed his ovvn charge a^>-ainft
the authenticity or the fcriptures. He chofe the
latter. He began ro lead back the converfition
By fome fiouriiliing connpliments on the peculiar
faitability cf religion to the female chara6tcr.;
and ihe iiTipreiTion which every thing fupernatu-
ral and elevated always ma.le upon the delicate
organs of their imaginations. His zeal to cor-^
YeSl the facred text— (he ufeil the term con- eel
upon the prefent occafion, in preference to his
ufual expredions of reform or i'rnprove)'-—-pTo-
ceeded from a lincere pv-rfuafion of tlie merits
of feveral pans of the received caiion, and a
wlfli to expunge from it whatever might cor-
rupt the delicacy of female readers, or hnrdea
their exquifite fsnfibility of the narran'on of fom3
a£la of more than favage brutality.

* The fimple manners and anrefmed language

* of the earlier age?,' replied Henry, 'are re-
« corded by their faithful hiftorians in characlers
' of undifguifed veracity. Our ideas of decorum

< vary with the cuRoms of the time and country;
' but vice and virtue are (lationary. It may be a
' fubje6^ of regret, that trar.fiators who render
' authors of very rem.ote antiquity (liould think:

< themfelves compelled to give a verbal tranfcnpc
' cf pafiages which might be fafely paraphrafed ;

< yet, with refpecl to the bible, 1 obferve, that
' fome of thofe interpreters who profefs to avoid
' the faults which many years obfervation have
' difcovered in our prefent copy, have fubftituted
' a fort of gay licentioufnefs in the place of the
^ objeitional groflnef?, much more ofrenfive to

* the pm-ity of the heart. Refpedlng your fe-

' cond


' cond cbfervation, as I do not recollect anv in-

* ftance in which the vindi61ive fpii'it of the Jevrs

* is pointed out to the imitntion cffucceedingageF,

* I fhouid fuppofe their hiftory might be iiudied

* even in a critical or hiftoricaJ point of view as

* an authentic monument of ages but for infpira-
' tion vvh'^lly obliterated, with lefs danger of rsn-
^ dermg the feelings obdurate, than the page of

* Homer, or even the epic labours of that cham-

* pion of antichriftian liberality, Volraire."

' You forget," fa id Fitzofborne triumphantly,
' th.e niefit annexed to the extirpation of the
< Canasn'ites, and the extinction of Amalek. Such
' pretended injun6lions from the beneficent Pa-
' rent of the univerfe are with me a conclufive

* proof againft the entire infpiration of the Old
' Teftament."

' I read in thofe commands," replied Powerf-
court, 'an inconteftable mark of Divinity. I
' recolle6l the ftate of fociety at that time, and I
' venerate the merciful feverity. which imprinted
' upon the minds of a finali portion of mankind
' a renev/ed abhorrence of that cruel and dcgrad-
' ing idolatry prohibited by one of the firft com-
, * mands v.hich was imparted to the father cf the
' Poftdiluvian world. Surely, _)'<72/, fir, forget the
' maxim of a poet whofe mifdire6led mufe is of-

* ten quoted by our prefect deifts to eftahlifli
' principles from which he would have fhrunk
' with horror. If

The great firfl canfe

" A£i8 not by partial but by general laws ;

' he is not bound bv thofe rules of condu6l which
' determine the equity of the a6lions of imperfecSb,
' jfaort- lighted, perilhable man. He, in whofe
*" hands are the ilFues of life and death, cannot
' • 'be


be called upon bv hiscreatures to anfvver for the
operations of any of his inllruments of punifn-
menr, be they famine, pelUlence, or war. [ o
fulfil fome valt defign, perfected perhaps cen-
turies after its formation, the Jevviih babe {v,a\-
bleed at Bethlehem, or the Calabrian infant be
inguiphed with its parents by the defolaiin^
earthquake, without iittpeding the judice of tlr.:
Creator, with whom a thoufand vears are buc
as a day.- W^e finite creatures, {landing upoti
a little fpecic of time, cannot comprehend rh-^
plans of infinitude, which extend to eternicv.
Admit a future (fate, and every idea of particu-
lar feverity vanillies. He who exius for ever
can recompence the unott'ending children of th>3
idolatrous worfhippers of Molocb with an hap-
py immortality. He who knows the heart caw
crown with perpetual blifs the ccnfcleutious
afl'eitors of a declining perfuaiion^ whom tj>e
more pellilent fanaticifirj of infidelity iminolat-
ed upon the banks of the Loire. The giver of
eternal life can reward the patience he exerci{ef,
?=nd amply repay (he pren-iature piivation of
temporal exiiic-nce.'
' The company liibened v\ith profound attention^
roufeJ l)y the fo!cnin enero-y with which Mr,
Powtrfcourt delivered thefe fentim.ents. Mifs
Evans enjoyed the unafFcCLed applaufe vAhich ap-
peared on every countenance. That of the loveiv
countefs v/as lighted ud by a m.oit exhilarating
fmile, and her exulting heart whifpered; ' £d-
' ward fought conviction ; furely he cannot renfl:
' the heavenly energy of Henry's heartfelt expref-
' fions.' The converfation was not continued
on this fubjecSf.

Eager to know if Firzofborne's opinion of
Powcrfcourt had been changed by tliis dilpnte,



Geraluiac feizeil the eailieil: opportunity of affe-
iiig him, if file had over-rared her kinfmaii's

' Not in the lead,* was the reply. ' He is

* certainly very eloquent, and he polTefTes fome

* comirand of temper, a virtue rarely found

* among youi keen difputants. But I need not,

* lady iVionteith, explain tu vour fagacitv the ex-
' acl point in which 1 could have prelTed him,.

* if politenefs wotild have permitted me to have

* con inufd the are;ument. His whole reference
^ is to iiihnitude and eternity, terms of which we
*- vAi) lorm no clear ideas. He gives no pofi-

* live proof, no mathematical demonftration cf

* the infpiration which he tries to infer from con-
' tefced pofitions ; and till this is given by our
' fchoolm.en, deifm may always reply, that in-

* attention to thofe duties which are merely pre-

* fcribed by revelation, admits of fome excufe, if

* we confider the extreme doubt which attaches
' to thcfe fabjecls; for, if our prefent code of
' religion may be true, it may alfo be falfe.'

* But is there not a great difficulty, if not a

* total impofubility, of giving the f^uisfaflory

* proofs which you dy are required ?'

' There, madam,* faid Edward, ^ is unhap-
' pily the flrong hold of fcepticifm, of which all
' the pov/ers of orthodoxy have not been able to
' difpofiefs it. It is pleaded, and certainly with
' an air of reafon, that if divine intelligence real-
' ]y di6lated v/hat we call revelation, it would
' carry with it inconteftable proofs of its origin
' by filencino; eveiy objection, and enforcing

* conviction upon every mind.'

Cowardly lady Monteith I why, retrained
by a fear of offending determined depravity, for-
bear affirming, that the gift of rcsihn was never



intended to fuperfede the pra6lice of chriftian
graces ? It was intended to confirm and afTure that
faith which fliall one day be changed into certainty,
to animate that hope which her boafted power
could never clearly difcover without divine guid-
ance. Why fear to drive the mean diilimulator
from the affe6led decency of deifm into the bold
audacity of atheifm, byafking, how animated duil
and afhes can prefume to qucftion the power
which called it into exiftence, demanding, ' Whv
' haft thou made me what I am V Kow intel-
ligence confefl'edly finite can charge the coun-
feis of that mind v.hich pervades infinitude and
extends through eternity, with inconfiftencv in
prefcFibuig a ruleof acHon to proharionary being?,
V. ithout at the fame time compelling obfervance ?
Why forbear to inquire how his favourite free-
will can confift with fuch a fcheme of govern-
ment r Nay, bid him r.ot ftcp at the mor^.!
world; but fay, v. hy earth is not -heaven, and
man an incorportrd tficiice, fuch l-s we believe
the blelTcd inhabitants of that better region, Re-
fti ained by the growing attachment which, though
confined within the ftrivSlefc bounds that th^ ipc-
cious-.afFe6fation of Platonic affection conld im -
pofe5-and unacknowledged even to herf^lf, cer-
tainly made Fitzolborne's approbation of conie«
quence to her peace, lady Monteith forbore to
oppofe where the dre^^ded tooflend i 2nd (he con-
tented herfclt with vvifhing the miiid of the nioic
amiable of men to be.rtlieved from thofe crabtr^
which his converfatioas- fomelimes transtiUed
iiito her own bofom.




Wliy, I can fmile, and murder while I fmlle ;
And cry, * Conteist' to that which grieves my heart;
And wet my creek with artilicial tears;
And frame my face to all occafions.


A H E difpute which occupied the preceding
Chapter was not the only in (lance of the tri-
vmph of manly fenfe and found principle over
Jrphiliry, declamation, and hypocriiV' Con-
iiious of his advantafje, Mr. Pov erlcourt at
every opportunity purfued infidelity into its re-
treats of fahehood. He expofed the creduHiy
of diibelief, the ineonfiliency of fccptitirrn,
und the inconclufive futility of every argument
which dared to fet up Nature in. oppolition to
ks Author.

It was not with a hope of eftecling any
change in FitzofDorne that Henry ihu'; conrini>
ed to dare him to the < keen encounter of their

< wits \ he knew from inconteiiable authority,

* that thofe who love darknefs rather than light,

< bewiufe thek deeds are evil,* muft conftantly
Tefiil the elucidating ray of trutli. It was the
iUuation of the Monteiths which urged him to
this continual warfare. He plainly faw the
j'tedileftion of the countefp, and the infatuation
of her lord ; and he vainly wilhed for that

* warning voice' which might arcufe tliem to a
^onfciuufuefs of their danger. He was not



without hope too, that Edward's pride, morti-
fied by repeated defeats, might provoke him to
qmt a refulence which continual oppofitiou
mud render dif^igreeable ; and, Simulated by
the enterprizing warmth of fincere friendfhip,
he fcarcelv calculated the chance of beino- call-
ed out by a man, who, on fome previous occa-
ilons, had proved himfelf to be

Jealous of honour, fudden and quick in quarrel :;
Seeking the bubble reputation
tiven in the cannon's n^outh.

But the patience and humility which Edward
exercifed upon this cccaGon was as wonderful
as his perfeverance. Let ant the reader con-
clude that I give him credit for thofe virtues^
for it cannot be fuppofed that he would adont

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