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CHAP. XXV.

We

Te are too delicate,
And when we grasp the happiness we wish
We think it wit to argue it away:
A plainer man would not feel half your pains,
But some have too much wisdom to be happy.

YOUNG

POSSESSED of proofs of actual disa obedience, and such suspicions of spurious birth as would unsettle a mind delicate even to fastidiousness, Paulina hoped to eradicate from Lord Avondel's heart every remaining sentiment of esteem for his unfortunate wife. She took care that at his next visit he should

surprise her in tears.

Unlike the majority of her sex, Paulina had recourse to this mode of attack only on extraordinary occasions, and by the rareness of its use made the mancuvre irresistible; and at the same time impressed her infatuated lover with a high idea of her fortitude, as contrasted with the undesigning and artless, but too frequent sorrows of Emily.

These unusual signs of distress alarmed Avondel. He inquired if it proceeded from the illness of her son ? She answered her Sydney was well, but she was in so melancholy an humour, that she doubted whether any event which secured him from feeling the sure attendants of protracted life ought to afflict her. “I allude," said she,“ not to physical but moral ills, Tis weakness and folly to complain of the common infirmities of disease, the inclemency of the seasons, or the vi

cissitudes of fate and fortune. But there are miseries which the generous heart is most prone to feel, against which wisdom, valour, virtue, every distinguishing quality of the mind, every acquired accomplishment”-Here she turned her eyes on the earl, and then averting them with a sort of agonized compassion, exclaimed, “O my friend, I have heard such a tale, but I dare not trust my own prudence and plighted confidence. Let me in- . treat you to leave me lest I betray myself and make you wretched."

The earl answered with great firmness, that among the duties of that sacred character with which she had honoured him, one was not to leave her when she appeared to want advice or consolation. “Nor am I," said he, "rendered so callous by the reiterated wounds of disappointment and sorrow as to be insensible of the impend

ing evil which you seem to intimate now points at me."

“ And you have really suffered, really endured the pangs of blasted hope and undeserved aflliction? Godlike man ! Every interview discloses new excellencies. This is the first time I have ever heard you complain of the injustice of fortune. By the serenity and constant elevation of your mind, I should have characterized you as dignified Content reposing on the lap of Prosperity.”

To make a compliment palatable, we should aim at discovering what the complimented wishes to be thought, rather than what he really is. As Lord Avondel preserved in public a lofty reserve respecting his own expectations, he was not aware that he so far relaxed in private that scarcely a day passed without his permitting himself ta unbosom his wrongs and disap

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pointments to his confidential friends, But as he piqued himself on the cha. racter of patient magnanimity, and despised that of an habitual grumbler, he did not, while listening to Paulina's eulogy, recollect that ill-founded praise is biting satire.

My inestimable friend," said he, apparently intoxicated with the sweet beverage his Circe had prepared with so much skill, " the world in its best point of view affords little to gratify a refined and intelligent mind, espe-. cially if its early visions were devoted to the contemplation of imaginary perfection.” The deep sigh which accompanied this remark, though it proved Emily's incapacity to realize the romantic dreams of his youthful fancy, told. Paulina the unwelcome truth, that all her blandishments and all her graces had not obliterated the indelible impression of Selina's pure

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