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I WRITE BUT OF FAMILIAR STUFFE,
BECAUSE MY STILE IS LOWE ;
Printed by John Stark.
BY THE AUTHOR OF MARRIAGE.
Si la noblesse est vertu, elle se perd par tout ce qui n est pas vertueux ; et
IN THREE VOLUMES.
THE SECOND EDITION.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD, EDINBURGH:
Quoique ces personnes n'aient point d'interêt à ce qu'ils disent, il ne faut pas conclure de la absolument qu'ils ne mentent point.
MR LYNDSAY was neither a weak nor a vain man, and he was too well acquainted with the nature of Miss Pratt, to attach much credit to anything she said. He was aware, that, without absolutely speaking falsehood, she very rarely spoke truth that, like many other people, she failed in repeating precisely what she heard, not so much from design as from confusion of brain, redundancy of fancy, imperfect organic construction, or, in short, some one or all of the causes, which seem to render simple repetition infinitely more difficult
than the most compound multiplication or addition. Much might be said upon this subject, but few readers are fond of digressions, especially when of a moral or didactic nature; the cause of Miss Pratt's observations must, therefore, be left to the construction of the world, which is seldom disposed to be over charitable in its conclusions.
Mr Lyndsay, indeed, was little in the habit of attending to her words, being possessed of that enviable power of mental transmigration, which placed him, when even within her grasp, quite beyond the influence of her power. He had, however, been struck with the mystical fragments of speech she had bestowed on him the preceding evening—he was aware how little dependence was to be placed upon them, but, like the spider, her webs, even though wove out of her own intellectual resources, must still have something to cling to, and he resolved to lose no time in demolishing those cobwebs of her imagination. He therefore accosted her the following morning, as, according to custom, she stood airing herself at the hall-door, and, without allowing her time to - spread her wings and fly off in any of her discursive flights, he gravely begged to know the mean