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... ô quantum est in rebus inane:
Lady Frances Stuart was the daugh. ter of the Earl of Benfield, who was much more famous for his military achievements, than for the fairness of his private character : in the field, few equalled him for valour or skill: io his house and family few could come in competition with him for cruelty to a
inost amiable wife, and neglect of daugh• ters who promised, in their early days
of childhood, to be patterns of loveliness and grace.
Virtuous, prudent, and as resigned, as far as is possible for humanity to be, the suffering Countess bore the repeated indignities her unworthy husband loaded her with, for a length of time; so that her forbearance astonished even the most apatheļic characters. In concurrence,
Portrait of Lady Sunbury.
however, with the wishes of all her friends, she obtained a separation, having it agreed to retain her daughters with her.
Lady Frances, the youngest, was extremely beautiful: gay, volatile, early accustomed to receive the adulation of man; like the unconscious rose, she suf· fered the butterflies to hover round her: noxious insects will however mingle with the innocent; and the wasp-like stings of calumny endeavoured to depreciate the innocent Frances : she might, it was true, be a little of the coquette, but she was no inore than a little; and envy and slander were obliged to own their invectives groundless.
The health of the Countess of Benfield obliged her to quit England, and, accompanied by her family, she departed, to try the more genial and tempered air of Italy.
A proficient in the fine and elegant arts, here Lady Frances passed her delighted hours under the mild influence of an unclouded sky, and amongst a people unaccustomed to view a chasteued freedom of polished manners in an improper light, Lady Frances reigned among them like a little goddess; and her beneficent mind was rendered completely happy by the happiness she imparted to others.
She had hitherto lived in that tranquil indifference, which, pleased with general attention, exacts it not from one alone : at Bath, in London, at every fashionable summer resort, she had been followed by crowds of lovers; but her young mind and care-repelling heart, had never yet formed an attachment : an accomplished man of fashion was as indifferent to her, if he helped her to mount or dismount her horse, as her mother's footman would be when performing the same office :
Her meeting with Lord Francis Sunbury
and when she was dancing, an exercise of which she was very fond, in vain the enamoured partner gave her the tender and meaning pressure, as he led her by the fair hand through the dance; ono partner, if he danced well, was the same to her as another.
She was now residing in the land of love; where love is the constant theme of conversation; where the soft-hearted Italian girl lends a willing ear to her lover, whose enthusiasm finds,
“A mistress or a fane in every grove." A modern Adonis arrived in this delightful land; and he came from England, from the native country of Frances. A fine person, elegance and accomplishments, then united all their delusive attractions in Lord Francis Sunbury. The fair insensible found herself no longer the same: the similiarity of their tastes, the vivacity of their manners and congeniality of thor ghts, soon gave birth to a mutual
A few Questions to the Heart.
attachment. Music's divinest strains in the very region of harmony, the sublimest efforts of the sculptor's and painter's skill, called forth those remarks from them, which evinced to each other their feeling, taste, and genius: whilst the evening's walk, where the orange blossom and jessamine of Calabria, the rose of Pæstum, and the crocus of the Sabine fields, strove for the mastery of fragrance, soon tempted Lord Francis to offer his hand and fortune to the consenting Frances. Why should such delightful moments of life be ever forgot? Why does not the recollection of them act as a stimulus to decaying affection, and rekindle the languid torch of love ? remembrance cannot sleep over moments, where the mind has held the chief ascendancy, and vitiated must bethat mind, that seeks to repel those dear intrusions of memory! When these
delighted young people wandered through *: the labyrinths of romance, and when
Sunbury found in the similarity of their