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answered. These hopes broke out in a little civil triumphing ; a little complimentary comparison of her own ways of education when opposed to those of Lady Stanton, rounded off with the candid acknowledgment, that “every body know their own concerns best ;' and that “ nobody could deny but that Lady Stanton as earnestly desired the establishment of her children as any body in the world could; but the issue would be seen.”
This prophecy was now upon the point of being accomplished. Isabella descended from the school room, and entered the arena where her cousin had been skirmishing for the last three years
with so little success; and now the great problems of each of these relative, but rival families were, “ whether Isabella would be established in her first season,"
or, “whether Lady Charlotte would be established at all."
“I would not marry her, 'though she was endowed
with all that Adam had left him before he transgressed.” SHAKESPEARE.
Nothing could be more opposite than the characters of Isabella and Lady Charlotte. Isabella brought up under the strictest discipline, with the whole weight of parental authority unceasingly pressing on her imagination, - accustomed to have her performances severely criticised, and being scantily fed with praise, even when it was beyond the power of criticism to find fault, was diffident of her own powers, and cautious of bringing into open day either her inclinations or her opinions, yet acute, and endued with the most genuine and lively feelings, she felt more than she expressed, and knew more than she displayed.
Lady Charlotte, the spoiled Child, or a self-willed Mother, the victim at once of violence and indulgence, unconscious of the very meaning of selfgovernment, estimating herself highly, confident, with fiery passions, and a cold heart, was quick to conceive, and ready to exhibit; but her acquirements were wholly superficial : it was, the reputation, and not the acquisition of knowledge that was her aim. The mortification of others was the aliment of her happiness; the mortification of Isabella was peculiarly so : the indiscreet emulations of education had already established a rivalry between
them, and however stoutly Lady Charlotte might deny it to others, she could not conceal from herself, that her three years' seniority had not secured to her even the simple advantage over Isabella of being farther advanced in the various lessons that had been imposed upon each ; she knew that Isabella excelled her in most of the shewy parts of education, to which she made the most pretence, and that in spite of the impediments that the modesty and feeling of Isabella threw in the way of its manifestation, her superiority would make itself felt whenever a comparison was instituted between them. Hence she had always both hated and feared her. Their personal attractions partook of the difference of their characters. Lady Charlotte was a Goddess.- Isabella was a Grace : passion flashed from the dark eyes of Lady Charlotte, love beamed from the
intelligent azure of Isabella's--the soft voluptuousness of Lady Charlotte's browner tint intoxicated the senses, the modest purity of Isabella's fairness gave repose to affection : Lady Charlotte might make a man mad; Isabella could only make him happy.
The moment was now arrived when the
powers. of each were to be tried by competition.
The gloss of novelty was something worn off from Lady Charlotte -- she had been seen ; — she had been criticised ; - she had been appreciated, and -she had not been chosen !-she felt this. She felt it the more when the garland which had not been offered to her acceptance, might any moment be placed on the brow of Isabella. They were relations, they were intimate acquaintance, they were nominally friends, and Lady Charlotte made use of the prerogatives of the latter character to