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hend he should be assaulted from that quarter, the earl, in his letters to Lime Grove, stated the affectionate welcome which General Monthermer had received from his wife, the perfect cordiality which subsisted between them, her retirement from company, and every circumstance which indicated real reformation. I need not add, that this account was dispatched previously to the interview described in the last chapter; and till then he really hoped that disappointment had taught Paulina contrition. A clearer insight into the disposition of this enterprizing and unprincipled woman, induced Selina from the first to doubt the reality of this instantaneous conversion, this entire change of opinions, affections, and habits, which might indeed be useful to carry on a design, but which a proud unconvinced offender never sincerely adopts. That she designed

to blind the general, and to shut his ears against every report to her disadvantage, was obvious. But Selina also suspected another purpose, and feared the great and generous Avondel was the premeditated victim intended to cement with his blood the discordant union of credulity and falsehood. Her anxiety to expedite the intend. ed removal of the Avondels from London now became extreme; but as she knew that by strongly insisting on the danger of the earl's stay she should rather retard than accelerate her purpose, she urged him to recollect, that, after having devoted so large a portion of his life to the service of the public, the rich inheritance which his wife possessed called upon him to change the statesman and the legislator into the country gentleman, the beneficent nobleman, the enlightened considerate landlord, the friend and feudal benefactor of the fair do. main, which claimed his presence and needed a superintending understanding liberal and discriminating as his, to repair the injuries which waste, neglect, and good intentions, unassisted by vigorous intellect, had caused. She spoke of the repose his mind required after the painful conflicts it had sustained. She mentioned various plans of improvement and schemes of beneficence' which Emily wished to establish at the seat of her ancestors, and that her health and that of his son would be improved by the balsamic air of Devonshire. Lastly, she reminded him, that though she had no doubt of the sincerity of his intentions, yet the same command which, founded on a knowledge of human weakness, taught us to pray

for

supernatural aid against temptation enjoined us to flee from it: that our prayers

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were also precepts, and it was a solemn mockery to contradict our requests by our actions. “ The history of our unhappy parents,” said she, " is a dreadful warning to teach us not to trust in our own strength, and as I am convinced Paulina's affection for you has been most violent, I know your generous mind will feel it to be a duty to leave her to cherish her returning sense of fidelity to her husband, without exposing her virtue, while unconfirmed by habit, to the danger of contrasting the man she has loved with the inferior qualities of him to whom she is bound, and to whom

you

tell me she is now heroically devoting her undivided attentions."

To arguments so cogent Lord Avondel could only oppose one reason for delay. A motion was expected to be made in the house of lords in which he

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thought the honour of his sovereign and the national prosperity were deeply involved. It was a scheme of the opposition to gain popularity. He had detected its mischievous tendency, and he resolved to oppose it with all the

power of his eloquence, and the weight of his name. In, unravelling the sophistry of these pseudo patriots, he had often lost sight of those painful impressions of degradation which were inseparably united with Paulina's image, and with this great effort to defend his country he determined to close his public career, to bid adieu to cities, courts, and camps, and to pursue the plan Selina prescribed. In the enjoyment of her pure and instructive friendship, in the gentle tenderness of his amiable wife, in the delightful employment of forming the mind, and manners of his son, and in all those generous and social offices which

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