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tressor — handsome, clever, and accomplished; but with a freedom of manner, and peculiar expression of countenance, that prepossessed me most unfavourably against her, before I had been an hour in her society. Instead of betraying any sympathy in the feelings of her youthful friend, she brusqued her to a certain degree; nay, more, I frequently caught her eyes fixed on her, with an expression of contemptuous pity for the weakness, as her looks seemed to imply, of which Lady Augusta was guilty. She was very assiduous in her attentions to Annandale, and seemed, at a glance, to discover what we have long known; namely, that he is a vain man, and likes flattery. He was loud in her praises, and has invited her to spend the season in town with them. What an ill-chosen associate for so young and inexperienced a woman as Lady Annandale! I hope he may not have cause to repent his invitation; and that her levity and freedom of manner may not entail on his wife any of the illnatured animadversions in which the cliques of London are so prone to indulge, and for which Miss Montressor seems so well disposed to furnish cause.
A bold woman is, to me, one of the most offensive objects on earth. I have always felt disgust for such ; though it has often been mitigated by recollecting in how many instances their husbands have been conducive to this fault, by their want of delicacy, or by the improper associations they have allowed them to form. But, when an unmarried woman emancipates herself from all the constraint that modesty and propriety prescribe, my disgust is unmitigated by pity. I am one of the few who maintain that modesty may survive the virtue it was meant to guard; but that virtue rarely, and only then, by chance, or calculation, outlives modesty.
go hence in a day or two, on a visit to the Delawards, who reside in this county. I have staid here to console Lord and Lady Vernon, who were intrusted to the tender mercies of Miss Montressor for consolation; and they are to come to Delaward Park, as soon as they have left Miss Montressor with her aunt. They are the most primitive people you ever saw ; full of goodness and warmth of heart, and knowing almost as little of the world as does their daughter, whom they love with all the blind idolatry peculiar to parents who, having married late in life, have only one object on which to lavish all their affection. To be
able to appreciate the natural superiority of a creature, who could be so idolised, and
by such excellent people, without being wholly spoiled, one ought to have seen her as I did, during the last three days ; when, though oppressed by the deepest melancholy, her con
sideration for the happiness of others was always apparent.
I could discover strong feeling, and no little portion of self-command, in the yet unformed character of this lovely woman; who, though little more than sixteen, displays the embryo of qualities which, if rightly directed, might render her as great an ornament to her sex, by her conduct, as she is at present, by her matchless beauty. I cannot think of her in the hands of our good-natured, but worldlyminded friend, An. nandale, and the not good-natured, and more worldly-minded Miss Montressor (two beings totally incapable of comprehending her), without trembling for her fate.
The day of the nuptials the disconsolate old couple returned to their now gloomy mansion, the sunbeam that illumed it having fled. My feelings were in unison with theirs, and they were evidently sensible of my sympathy, VOL. I.
which seemed to comfort them: while even
the assiduities of Miss Montressor partook so much of the hardness and bantering tone that pervades her character; that they shrank from the commonplace consolations she offered.
At any other period I might have smiled at the guests assembled to do honour to the bridal feast; for a more strange assortment of indigenous specimens of the gentry of a remote province, I never saw. Cruikshank would have made a fortune hy representing them as illustrations of all the maladies to which senility is heir. But, when one heard the praises, “ loud and deep,” of the bride, that fell from their lips, even while regaling on the dainties before them, it was impossible, for me at least, to smile.
No feeling of this nature checked the malicious smiles of Miss Montressor: she is, I am quite convinced, a very heartless woman.