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actor, whose gentlemanly manners and enlightened conversation rendered him an ornament to the profession, that she would make a conquest of the prince.
These slight particulars do not deserve to be preserved farther than as they are transcripts of the mind of an interesting and unfortunate female. As Mr. Smith had foretold, the prince was captivated by the charms of the fair Perdita, and honoured her with every mark of attention that so public a scene as the theatre would permit. Not to follow Mrs. Robinson's narrative too closely, it may be sufficient to remark that in a few days Lord Malden (now Earl of Essex), one of the attendants of the Prince of Wales, waited on her by desire of his royal highness, and delivered a letter full of gallantry, addressed to Perdita, and signed Florizel. This was the first overture on the part of the prince, and Mrs. Robinson ingenuously confesses that it was flattering to her vanity to know that the most admired and most accomplished prince in Europe was devotedly attached to her. No immediate interview followed, owing in all probability to the restraint in which his royal highness was kept, but almost daily letters were conveyed to her from the prince through the agency of Lord Malden. Mrs. Robinson, who was an excellent judge of literary composition, as well as a most fascinating woman, speaking of this epistolary correspondence, says :-" There was a beautiful ingenuousness in his language, a warm and enthusiastic adoration expressed in every letter, which interested and charmed me."
An interview at length took place between Mrs. Robinson and her royal lover. As she has left an account of this interesting meeting herself, written some years afterwards will unreserva and openness to a liend, it may not be unacceptable to the reader to find it here in her own words. It deserves attention in another point of view, as presenting us with a more faithful portrait of the namnets and accomplishiments of the Prince of Wales at this period of his life than is any where else to be met with.
" At lengtly," says Dirs. Robinson, “ an evening was fixed for this lorg dreaded interview. Lord Malden and myself dined at the inn on the island between Kew and Brentford. We waited the signal for crossing the river in a boat which had been engaged for that purpose. Litaven can witness how many conflicts my agitated heart endured at this most important moment! I ail: ired the prince; I felt grateful for his ailection. The was the
most engaging of created beings. I had corresponded with him during many months, and his eloquent letters, the exquisite sensibility which breathed through every line, his ardent professions of adoration had combined to shake my feeble resolution. The handkerchief was wayed on the opposite shore; but the signal was by the dusk of the evening rendered almost imperceptible. Lord Malden took my hand, I stepped into the boat, and in a few minutes we landed before the iron gates of old Kew palace. The interview was but of a moment. The Prince of Wales and the Duke of York (then Bishop of Osnaburg) were walking down the avenue. They bastened to meet us. A few words, and those scarcely articulate, were uttered by the prince, when a noise of people approaching from the palace startled us. The moon was now rising, and the idea of being overheard, or of his royal highness been seen out at so unusual an hour, terrified the whole group. After a few more words of the most affectionate nature, uttered by the prince, we parted, and Lord Malden and myself returned to the island, The prince never quitted the avenue, nor the presence of the Duke of York, during the whole of this short meeting. Alas! my friend, if my mind was before influenced by esteem, it was now awakened to the most enthusiastic admiration. The rank of the prince no longer chilled into awe that being who now considered him as the lover and the friend. The graces of his person, the irresistible sweetness of his smile, the tenderness of his inelodious yet manly voice, will be remembered by me till every vision of this changing scene shall be forgotten.