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In the parish of which Dr. Freeman was Rector, one of the principal inhabitants was Mr. Montagu, who, from a diseased constitution, a taste for literature and the elegant arts, and the constant society of two interesting daughters, led a life approaching almost to seclusion. Possessed of considerable property, and inhabiting a mansion, which, from the spacious grounds surrounding it, had all the advantages of the country, he seldom quitted it for more than a few weeks in the spring of the year, when he visited the metropolis. With the exception of the interchange of a few occasional visits with some of the families of the county, his daughters rarely left their home; and unless for the purpose of attending the service of the church, they as unfrequently entered the Town. Indeed, though partially acquainted with the chief re
sidents, they were upon terms of intimate acquaintance with none but the Rector. This sprung from no false motive of pride, for they were accessible to all.
In the company of those who were upon an equality, or superior to them in rank, they were animated in conversation, and fascinating in manners; whilst with those who were their inferiors, their affability and openness were such as to remove all distance between them. With minds highly cultivated, and graced by every accomplishment that can adorn the female character, their attention was uniformly directed to the care of their father's declining health, which was such as to make it apparent that his days were numbered ;' while he, impressed with the assurance that the sand of life was nearly run out, seemed alone anxious to apply the energies of his once powerful mind, to render his existence serviceable, and his memory endeared, to those in whom all his earthly joys were centred. The fresh bloom and beauty of youth, the uniform mildness and suavity of temper, indications of souls attuned to Heaven,' and an elegance of personal deportment, alike characterised the sisters; and as the clustering