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well, attacking, with the finest compliments, that witch, - lady James Stawell ; yet no one could, in reality, be less to his taste. He, all wit, life, and gaiety; she, all languor, sentiment, and romance !" ;
" And don't you sometimes find,” asked Geraldine, unthinkingly, “that we feel attracted by the strongest partiality towards those characters that least resem ble our own ?"
“Oh, certainly, certainly !" answered: O’Melvyl, with a slight and graceful bend of acknowledgment, as if for an implied compliment.
This startled Geraldine, as she had been far from intending one; but the soft, halfrepressed smile, that undulated his lip, a conscious air of mingled self-sufficiency and embarrassment, and a blush of pleasurable emotion, revealed to her that he had applied her remark to his own confession of instability, and her avowed opposition of sentiment, in the earlier part of their conversation. Instantly she experi
terrifying them with her sybilline knowledge of secret history, which was to be gathered from Matilda, and that makking gazette, Miss O'Reilly, undertook the sole conduct of a couple of dancing dogs, one of which her brother Cobham was to personate; but Miss Southwell's pride had theen too recently offended by the impertinences:af that young gentleman, to allow of her admitting him into any of her projeats of amusement." I do not support my plan,” she said coldly, w in which
Mr. Cobham Pendenmis is included. He - is not fit for any thing.”
“ Not even for a dancing dog ? asked Diana, in a deprecating tane; “ surely, dear Miss South well, you will allow poor Cobham is fit for a dancing dog, or a dameing bear, and one or other he shall represent in our party."
k Oh, that indeed!" repeated Miss O'Reilly. "I do think Mr. Cobham Pendennis would perform the part of dancing dog to admiration.” So between railery
and persuasion, they at length got Miss Southwell to agree, that, in case no better substitute could be procured, Cobham should be admitted to make his first
appearance in that character.
Every one now being a little more composed, Miss Southwell asked Diana how she had left her friends at Mount Parnassus?
"Oh, bad enough, Missy--bad enough," she replied, resuming her foreign tone and tragicomic face. "My poor uncle, at the recommendation of my sainted sister Bridget, was tempted, in a backless hour, to supply Cobham's place by the reverend Zephaniah Toplofty, who has been lately at Glenartrey,'on a mission among the natives. Whether he thinks he may do more good by disseminating his principles among the rising generation, or whether he was attracted by that filthy dross against which he declaim's so eloquently, I wiH not take upon me to determine; but certain it is, he accepted my uncle's
posal with eagerness, and the school has fallen off, in consequence, considerably.”
Fatigued with all the nonsense of the morning, Geraldine did not experience, in reflection, that relief which she had formerly experienced from it; she had not felt pleased with her own conduct since her excursion to the Scalp, and the result of a diligent self-examination was only an increase of repentance.—“How is this to end?” she asked herself.“ Is it customary for men to repose in males, like me, the confidence of friendship; and if it be aught else, why is not O'Melvyl's conduct, in other respects, different from what it is? But would he have ex. pressed himself to me in the way he did, if my manner had not, unconsciously, invited it ? Was such my conduct to lord Templemore? Is it that dissipation has already altered even me, or that lord O'Melvyl is so different from all others.? What do I wish—what do I expect? I. will consult lady Louisa, for this new
feeling of self-reproach is intolerable-Miserable!” she résumed, as she recollected the solemn promise of secrecy extorted from her by O'Melvy." He has bound me with a chain, invisible indeed, yet allpowerful -- he has separated me, by a viewless line; from my truest friend and monitress. I may not ask her advice in the most critical circumstance of my life, and to what have I trusted in exchange? To a soft smile, an insinuating voice, a tale of sufferings, perhaps real, perhaps imagined. Unhappy. Geraldine ! The woman, who, under the fallacious guise of friendship, encourages the sentimental and ambiguous attentions of a man of whose principles and character she is ignorant, has gone the first step towards the ruin of her peace of mind. Oh, thou, Eternal Searcher of Hearts !" she exclaimed, “thou - to whom alone I now dare open mine, as
sist, guide, protect, my orphan, inexperienced youth!” These expressions of selfpity, if I may be allowed the term, led to