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her child should adopt such an obsolete idea as to blame a woman, who was rather stricken in years, for a few peccadillos.
The Duke of Kersbruch, a nobleman whose ancestors came from Germany, was handsome, learned, and possessed of every requisite to form the finished gentleman. He was at that period of life, which, when it is not impaired by a too eager and invariable pursuit after pleasure, is, of all others, the most desirable in man; he was forty and some odd years ; but he had so wasted his days and patrimony in continued excess, that, though he still preserved his beauty, he was older in constitution than some men at sixty.
He had been unhappy in his marriage, though united to a virtuous and lovely woman, because, as is too often the sia tuation of greatness, inclination bore no part in the union.
- Wan naturally inconstant.
Long before this marriage, he had attached himself to a Mrs. O'Meara, the beautiful widow of an Irish officer. She was much older than the Duke*, but so mentally as well as personally endowed, that he entirely devoted himself to her. The nature of man is naturally prone to love variety; and the Duke of Kersbruch, always fond of the sex, could not remain entirely constant to this cherished female; though she was yet lovely in her person, and the charms of her conversation were
* Mrs. O'M... is of the most agreeable tem. per, and gentle manners; and we apprehend that she was the toast of the day, by the three F's, Fat, Fair, and Forty. Some dry commentators on the age of women, some ladies of the old school who are so fond of lending to others the concealed superflus of their years, are of opinion that the bewitching eye of the lovely Countess had then stared her fiftie eth birth-day in the face. But it is all mere suppo sition, and whatever may be the date of her birth, she is a full confirmation of this saying--Non sene. scit ingenium.
A determined taste for Old Women.
so fascinating, that the Duke began to fancy there must be something peculiarly attractive in the possession of old women !
He therefore attached himself for some time to the old Countess of Harborough, to the great grief of Mrs. O'Meara ; she, however, had soon the happiness of recalling the wanderer, and he became more firmly her captive than ever; but the demon of caprice soon raised up another and more powerful rival in the Marchioness of Westbourn ; for her mental charms were united to personal in an imminent degree, and Lady Westbourn, though past fifty, gained a complete triumph over the wayward heart of the amorous Duke.
The course of love,' a learned writer remarks, is never to run smooth. The town rang with an event, which had recently taken place, and, as a scandalous
An English Ninon.
anecdote was ever welcome at the Duchess of Pyrmont's breakfast table, her favourite emigré Count had given it to her, with several embellishments; and the Duchess called Lord Westbourn a brute, while Lady Charlotte blushed at the conduct of his lady. The truth was literally thus..
The Duke of Kersbruch, enraptured with the attractions of the Marchioness of Westbourn, followed her like her shadow, was incessantly at the countryhouse of the Marquis, where he had very seldom been before ; till at length, Lord Westbourn, having, it is imagined, seen some little liberties taken with his venerable moilie, which he did not altogether approve, in as polite terms as he could to a man of the Duke's high rank, gave him to understand that his visits would be easily dispensed with in future ; but this English Ninon, was not so easily given up by her enamoured lover ; and
at the superb town mansion, in one of the fashionable squares, the husband found this highly-favoured cicisbeo in a situation with his wife, which he conceived no man had a right to appear in but himself.
Without any respect to precedency of rank, my Lord instantly, ordered the stoutest of his servants to turn the Duke out of doors; who, hastening to his carriage, narrowly escaped a good flagella- ' tion, which they were prepared to give him in case of resistance.
This affair was soon buzzed through the metropolis ; much to the affliction of Mrs. O'Meara, and to the triumph of the Duke's enemies; it added besides new seeds of discord to the menage of the Marquis and Marchioness.
Soon after the Duchess of Pyrmont had completed her toilette, the hopes of the