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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 142 pages of information about Barford Abbey.

Lady Elizabeth, and her amiable sister Sophia strive to hide every perfection they possess;—­yet these I have just mention’d, with all others, will on proper occasions, make their appearance through a croud of blushes.—­This timidity proceeds partly from nature,—­partly from the education they have received under the best of mothers, whose tenderness for them would not suffer her to assign that momentous task to any but herself; fearing, as she has often told me, they would have had a thousand faults overlook’d by another, which her eye was ever on the watch to discover.  She well knew the most trivial might be to them of the worst consequence:—­when they were call’d to an account for what was pass’d, or warn’d how to avoid the like for the future, her manner was so determin’d and persuasive, as if she was examining her own conscience, to rectify every spot and blemish in it.

Though Lady Hampstead’s fondness for her daughters must cause her to admire their good qualities, like a fine piece of perspective, whose beauties grow upon the eye,—­yet she has the art not only to conceal her admiration, but, by the ascendency her tenderness has gain’d, she keeps even from themselves a knowledge of those perfections.—­To this is owing the humility which has fortified their minds from the frequent attacks flattery makes against the unstable bulwarks of title and beauty.

Matchless as these sisters appear, they are to be equalled in their own, as well as the other sex.—­I hope you will allow it in one, when you see Lord Hallum:  he is their brother as much by virtue as birth.—­I could find in my heart to say a thousand things of this fine youth;—­but that I think such subjects flow easier from a handsome young woman than a plain old one.—­Yet don’t be surpriz’d;—­unaccountable things happen every day;—­if I should lend a favourable ear to this Adonis!—­Something whispers me I shall receive his proposals.—­An excuse, on these occasions, is never wanting; mine will be a good one:—­that, at my death, you may be left to the protection of this worthy Lord.—­But, first, I must be assured you approve of him in that light;—­being so firmly attach’d to my dear Fanny, to your happiness, my Love, that the wish of contributing to it is the warmest of your ever affectionate

M. SUTTON.

LETTER XXI.

Lord DARCEY to the Hon. GEORGE MOLESWORTH.

Barford Alley.

Five days more, and I am with you.—­Saturday morning!—­Oh that I may support the hour of trial with fortitude!—­I tremble at the thought;—­my blood freezes in my veins, when I behold the object I am to part from.—­

I try in vain to keep out of her sight:—­if I attempt to leave the room where she is, my resolutions are baffled before I reach the door.—­Why do I endeavour to inflict so hard a penance!—­Because I foolishly suppose it would wean me.—­Wean me from what?—­From virtue.—­No, Molesworth, it is not absence;—­it is not time itself can deaden the exalted image;—­it neither sickens or dies, it blooms to immortality,

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