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much, as she thought, beyond all natural attainment. But there was no mystery in the instruction that Lady Rachel had to give; yet she seemed to Isabella to be a sefter-forth of “strange doctrine," when she talked of lowliness of mind, “ whence each esteemed others better than themselves;" of
charity that seeketh not her own," as the only sure foundation of “
of mind,” of “joy unfeigned,” and of “ rejoicing evermore."
Yet all was easy of comprehension, compared with her absolute prohibition that she should hate Lady Charlotte.
Dear, dear Lady Rachel, how can I help it?" said Isabella.
By pitying her,” replied Lady Rachel ; " and there is not a more pitiable object to be seen than Lady Charlotte. The favourite of nature and of fortune, she wants nothing but goodness to be as happy as consists
with mortality; and yet be assured that your eye scarcely ever rests on a more miserable creature. To be revenged on a man, who had not, however, injured her, she has made herself the property of another, whom she equally hatés and despises ;--torn by passions, which are but the more ravenous the more they are fed, she subsists on poison, and nourishes a worm within, which is even now corroding her beauty, her good name, her temporal and eternal felicity." Isabella shuddered.
6 And I was about to have engaged in the same career!" said she, with anguish in her tone.
" You were," replied Lady Rachel, * but with less excuse than Lady Charlotte. She is by nature ardent and daring,-you gentle and diffident;
in her first transgressions she followed but the impulses of an impe
tuous temperament; when you began to go wrong you had to struggle against the restraints of timidity, the shackles of modesty; – all within, pushed her forward in the course; with you
all withheld you! Learn to pity Lady Charlotte, and to be grateful for yourself."
“ I shall certainly be more happy if I can pity Lady Charlotte," replied Isabella ;“ for certainly I have not had an easy moment since I first tried to excel her. My mind has been in such tumults, my temper has been so easily ruffled! I have felt so vehemently! I really think that I have hated Lady Charlotte more than I have loved Mr. Willoughby."
“ Pour the oil of humility on the raging waves of vanity and envy,” said Lady Rachel, “ and you will find that a virtuous love, even when unrequited, is a source of pleasure. It will enable
you to look down (to use a phrase of your old school) upon Lady Charlotte; it will give you dignity in your own eyes ;
it will make you less diffident; and all this lofty structure will be grounded on humility.”
“ Ah! dear Lady Rachel,” said Isabella,“ do you not speak parables ? How can I be less diffident when I am more humble ?"
- Diffidence is not humility,” said Lady Rachel.
“ You were diffident because you were anxious to excel : you will be humble because you will be content to be excelled.”
All this was new to Isabella, but it was very soothing. The tumult of her mind abated; and, without the change of any one outward circumstance in her favour since she had quitted her own house, she returned to it calmed, at peace with herself, and hopeful, even beyond what Lady Rachel had