Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

FOL. 4.]

Sketches of English Manners.

261

tio of civilization; and as it is evideot dal, and female authors.”—Speaking that, in many respects, we retrograde of these, the same author says :-" The with regard to the latter, it is but right books written by a man are generally that we sbould gain ground towards the better than himself; a woman, on the former. We shall be no losers by the contrary, is always more deserving bargain ; for I have studied the age than her publications. A hook and a we live in, and have only found it afford- ball are, for a woman, two public reped two supports to human kindness, viz. resentations; and it is no more possisleep and dress; this last especially, ble for her to make her appearance in which, monopolizing all the leisure the one with the style of her mind, hours of the savage tribes, secures them than at the other with her natural comal once against ainbition, ennui, sean- plexion."

From the Literary Gazette.
» THE HERMIT IN LONDON,

OR
SKETCHES OF ENGLISH MANNERS.
No. VIII.

when, leaning over the horse of his peaTHE WATERLOO PANORAMA. sant guide, and discerning the columns He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

of Prussians advancing like a cloud in the Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named, horizon, he exclained, Tout est perdu.' And rouse him at the naine- Shakspeare. “ So charmed was my Uncle, that I Their Infantry, embattel'd square and close,

actually began to fear that we should March firmiy or, to fill the middle space ; have to pass the night on the field of Cover'd by their advancing Cavalry.

battle, or to bivouack somewhere in the By Heaven! 'tis beauteous Horror. DRYDEN. The British Worthy."

neighbourhood. So much, however,

do I respect my elders, and above all, Then this is the deciding day, to fix

the brave defenders of iny country, that Great Britain's Sceptre in Great Arthur's hand.

I did not presume to interrupt inim in Idem.

his progress over the gory field ; but And Harold stands upon this place of skulls,

striking iny repeater, as if by accident, The grave of France, the deadly Waterloo.

be perceived that it was six o'clock, and Iu pride of place here lase the eagle flew, that we were not dressed for diover. Tben tore with bloody talon the rent plain He therefore made some general obser

vations, and we withdrew. But I shall The day Battle's magnificently stern array.

say no more on the subject. I advise The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent you to go and see it: it is well worth The Earth is covered thick with other clay, your while ; and I trust that the scene Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent, will have interest for a Briton a century Rider and horse,-friend, foe,-in one red burial blent.

BYRON. Hence, when we, and when ours are no

more. Our heroes have gathered their “ I HAVE just returned with my laurels in vain, unless the dews of im

1 uncle, the General, froin the Pan- mortality, falling from on high, preserve orama of Waterloo,” said Lady Mary, thein : the brave but sleep, the coward “ He described the action so well, that perishes and is forgotten." Here a glow I really could see the Cuirassiers charge of heroisın lit up her countenance, and three distinct times, could in return bear she appeared to me soinething more the Scottish Royals and the immortal than woman, Greys shou: • Scotland for ever !' and I now prepared to follow her advice; hew in pieces the steel-clad warriors of and I went directly to the Panorama. France; could see Napoleon's coun- The room was crowded with company, tenance change at the operations of and the representation was just what • Ces terrible chevuu.c gris,' and could she had described. Luckily for me, I bebold ils expressio: of consternation, sell in with an Officer of the intrepid

Scots Greys, who gave me much infor- cant countenances, staring at nothing mation on the subject : that corps cov- but the company :-in one place, a fat ered itself with glory; and, of course, Citizen come in merely to rest biniself; no one was better able to describe the and, in another, a pretty brunette, of the battle than one who had so much con- second class, whose only business was tributed to its renown.

to meet my Lord. In a third corner I When the Officer had concluded his could see a happy couple enjoying the observations, I retired to a corner, in short space previous to a permanent union, order to observe the company. In all and who also came here for fashioo's assemblages of people, a spectator may sake, or to be alone in the world, and learn much. The following is a roughly thus to escape the attention of a smaller sketched outline of whatstruck me most. circle ; for there exists a certain retire

There were groups of all classes, and ment or solitude in crowds, known only feelings of as many descriptions:- The to the few. This couple took as much man and woman of quality, proud to interest in the Battle of Waterloo as in distinguish on the canvas some hero who the Fire of London. added lustre to their name the female Atthe entrance weresome jealous painof sensibility, who heaved the thick sigh ters looking out for defects in the piece; for some relative or bosom- friend, in the door-way, was a covey of beauties, shrouded in the mould of glory; and surrounded by fashionables, who seemwho, tho' distant the place and period, ed scarcely to know why they came could scarcely check the falling tear— there, and enjoying nothing but their the military spectator, who had been an own conversation. “What a squeeze actor in the scene, and who, pride at the Dowager's last night !” drawis beaming in his countenance, yet wrapt out a male coquette. "Moostrous pleasin silence, looked on the representation ant party at Lord Foppington's ! lispe of that awful and eventful reality-or another epicene looking thing; ' if,' the garrulous but worthy veteran, who continued it, the fat Countess had saw his own deeds of arms live in the less rage for waltzing, and the old Daopictured story; and who, bereft of an die would give up sailing through a arm, or of a leg, and leaning on a friend, quadrille ;'-“Or” (observed in a lively indulged in the gratifying account of key, a Britisb lady, clad in every thing what his country owed him, whilst from France, and as much covered witb

clothes-with circles of ribbons or tucks, Thrice he routed all his foes, * And thrice he slew the slain."

with tiers over tier of flounces, with

quillings of laces, and puttings of all There also was the Exquisite mili- sorts, as I bave formerly known our uire, youthful and blooming, affected fair opes stinted in drapery, and sewed and vain, lounging with an air of sans up in their thin flimsy garment--not to souci, a tooth-pick or a violet in his forget her waist, which ended where it mouth, a quizzing-glass either suspend- once begun, and the hump betwixt her ed round his neck, or fixed to the sock- shoulders, so thick with wadding, that et of his eye, seeming to disdain taking it must be nearly bomb proof- )“ or," an interest in the thing, yet lisping out, exclaimed she, “the Duchess's proud “ Upon my thoul, it's d--d like, d-d daughter, who seemed to doze through like, indeed, -yelh, that's just the place the figure of the dance, and to look upwhere we lothi tho many men,-it's on all possible partners as beneath her, quite rediculouth bow like it ill," had been absent.” What a contrast! So much valour, Not so with Lady Evremont,' exyet so much feminine conceit, starch claimed a disdainful woman of quality, and perfume, whalebone and paste- whose short upturned nose, step di lu board! It is, however, not less true, francaise, rapid delivery in discourse, that these fops, who take so much care and fiery eye, bespoke heat of temper of their pretty persons out of the field, and swelling of pride,-not so with took no care of them in it.

her Ladyship ! she thought herself the Here were idlers looking at the ac- very loadstone of attraction, and contion merely as a picture; and there were sidered dancing as a loss of time. I

vol. 4.] Woman, or Minor Maxims ; a New Novel.

263 am sure if I were ber husband'“You sickened at any thing which lowered would," interrupted an elderly Exquis. France, avec ses armees victorieuses, ite, of sickly composure, but of satirical, which so long gave laws to the greater dissatisfied aspect, —" you would do part of Europe, but could never dictate just what her husband does, namely, them to us. As much was said by the not care sixpence about her, but leave French about their Legion d'honneur her to herself.” This produced a gen- and Napoleon's Invincibles, as ever aneral laugh, but in the moderate key of cient history has trumpeted concerning fashionable mirth ; for the whole circle the sacred Battalion commanded by was composed of ber enemies.- Why? Pelopidas. Because she is beautiful.

I left the Panorama more of a Bri“ What brought you bere, Sir George ?” ton than ever. I had on many occasighed out a languid looking widow of sions considered myself as a cosmopofashion. The attraction of your beau- lite, but upon this one I confessed inyty!' “ Stuff!” exclaimed the Widow, self to be wholly an Englishman, and I in a more animated tone, biting her lips was proud of the title. Divers ideas of foot spitefully, but playfully,) and my country's glory rushed on my brain twiokling her eyes. “And you, Ma- at the same instant; and, as I was jor?” • A shower of rain,' replied the sauntering along the pavé of London, Hibernian. “Oh! then I have noth- so eulogized by Voltaire as an emblem ing to do with your coming." • Noth- of our constitution, and formed equally ing, except (recovered Pat,) that whilst for the little and for the great, I caught it rains without, you reign within, in myself in a reverie, and was actually every heart and every mind.' “ None of muttering, your ponsense ! ” cried the Widow, “ Soldiers, stand form!"exclaim'd the Chief putting her hand on his lips. “I hate “ England shall tell the fight.” Aattery-blarney, I believe you call it.” From this brown study I was asak• Just what you please ; truth is truth ened by the ringing of a bell, aud the still, in English, Irisb, or even in Dutch,' cry of “ Dust, ho !” It was a good concluded be. The lady appeared de- lesson of humility, and brought me to a Hghted ; but, turoing round to a board- sense of my own nothingness; but it ing school cousin, bid her satisfaction, was a very unwelcome one to me, in the saying, “ I do hate so many compli- heroics in wbich it found ine, aud ill ments." I extricated myself from this suited the present temper of my mind. buz of high life, giving and receiving Ab! well, said I to myself-Dust, Ho! acknowledgments from those of my ac- we must all be dust at last; yes, we must quaintance who formed a part of the all come to that. The fellow rung bis circle ; and op my exit I perceived bellagain :ithad a more solemn sound; some wry faces, and some discontented it put me in low spirits ; and I could looks at ihe door. These were French almost have wished him at Waterloo people, come over here, all with a view himself. of gain in some shape or other, but who

The HERMIT IN LONDON.

WOMAN OR MINOR MAXIMS.

From the Literary Gazette, Oct 1818. TT is not one of the least pleåsing mind in every town, village and hamlet I evidences of the improvement wbich in the island, now occasionally proceed is gradually taking place in general works of a very opposite tendencyknowledge, that from those very presses works calculated to excite in those into which have for so many years poured whose hands they may fortunately fall, forth the most insipid, nay sometimes a moral and an intellectual taste, which the most offensive publications—publi- we are persuaded will not perinit cations which, diffused by mears of in- them to return with their former relish qumerable circulating libraries, have to the trash by which their imaginations stultified and taiated the young female have been bitberto bealed and corrupiach Of this description is the book under excitements of the animating and gratiour consideration ; the merits of which fying feelings of her benevolent beart. justly entiile its fair author (whoever In sooth to say, there were no periods she inay be) to rank with those ableand of stagnation io her breast; yet the amiable benefactors of their sex, and, current of sensibility rap not impetuously through their sex, of ours, by whom the --now turbulent and irresistible, dispresent age has been so happily distin- torting by its violence every reflected guished.

image, now rushing from the rapid The story of “ Woman," bas in it no torrent to a still, waveless pool-Do, it very remarkable feature. Alibough sufli- equably moved, as the gentle but everciently interesting for its purpose, it bas flowing stream, mildly but incessantly apparently not engaged much of the at- impulsed." tention of the author; and is merely tbe But, with the tenderness and benevothread which sustains the pearls—the lence of this character, is united a firme vehicle for the admirable exposition of ness that enables it to repel every encharacter, and the still more admirable deavour to tempt it from the path of inferences from that exposition with rectitude. The discomfiture of an atwhich these two little volumes abound, tempt to seduce Helena from her conIt is one of their most powerful charins, jugal fidelity, is thus narrated; it is a that Virtue is not depicted with that tine picture of a Brilish wife. austerity of visage by whicb so many “The coxcomb sought by every conmoral painters have calumniated her trivance art could devise, by every beauty, and have qualified her to take blandishment Mattery could suggest, to the place of her antagonist in the distich win that easy prey-a woman's beart. of the poet :

He sighed or smiled, as she looked

grave or gay-moulded bis movements * Vice is a monster of such hideous mien, As to be hated needs but to be seen.

to every graceful attitude, modula ted

his voice to every varied feeling, talked Candour and good temper are the of domestic happiness with rapture, qualities most strongly insisted on; and deprecated the forms of society with in the domestic incidents, and mutual asperity, and sometimes ventured to intercourse of several neighbouring but hint the delights of love returned. How contrasted families, are found the ineaos be managed it we know not; but he of showing the inestimable value of evidently rather lost than gained ground those qualities. Without enumerating by his assiduities, and had the misery all the dramatis persone, or attempting of finding most of bis best speeches mis. to enter into any thing like an analysis coostrued. There was a calm sobriety of the work, we shall quote, for the gra- in the manner, a steady good sense in tification of our readers, a few of the the language, ao intelligent expre-sion passages which appear to us to be the in the eye of Mrs. Egerton, that baffled most striking.

: all his effrontery; and really, to do tim Mrs. Egerton, the heroine of the tale, justice, Adam Wronghead, Esq. had is thus described :

no small share of that quality. In short, “Helena was one of those who be- at the end of a few weeks, the geotlelieved that such innumerable affections man wied:ompelled to beat a retreat, to were engrafted in the human heart--not rescue himself from the disgrace of cap. to wither, unknowo and upexerted, but itulation ; instead of being the conquerto bestow the purest joys of life. She or, he found himself the conquered ; was bound on all sides to her fellow instead of having to boast bis power, be creatures--hy pity, by esteem, by grati- bad to feel her mercy ; instead of gaintude, by love: every social incident ing her heart, he found he had lost his called forth her friendly emotions ; the own. It was ever afterwards amusing to wants of a poor neighbour, the atten- see the discomfited beau in the presence tions of a rich one, the sorrows of the of the woman whose light love he had so unfortunate, the joys of the prosperous, confideotly anticipated to gaio-his eye the visit of an acquaintance, the letter sioking beneath her calm glance, his of a friend-each and all were so many cheek reddened at her slightest comment.

vol. 4.]

Woman : or Minor Maxims.

265

The reflections which immediately of a darling child, and the faithful tenfollow are full of important matter for derness with which, oppressed with fafemale meditation :

tigue and anxiety, she perseveres in “Mrs. Egerton is no favourite of ours, performing all the kind offices to which as may readily be supposed ; her taine affection prompts, are delightfully porvirtues being more calculated to embel- trayed : lish the spiritless scenes of domestic life, « Mr. Knowlesdon had been adthan to gild the pages of a novel. She mitted to the inva!id once for a few did nothing worthy publicity--(othing moments, at the commencement of his that could be talked of; her favourite disorder, and had retired so overpowmotto was, “ Privacy is the sphere of 'ered by the shock of beholding his woman."—Her conduct, therefore, to- emaciated figure, and of listening to bis wards Adam Wronghead Esq. we can incoberent plainings, that it was long neither applaud nor justify; for what ere he could muster courage to repeat harm can possibly arise from a wife the visit; yet was Mr. Knowlesdon a giving gracious encouragement to the man of oo common fortitude-of athinnocent familiarities of her bachelor letic frame, vigorous perves, strong acquaintance-lolling on the arm of one, sense. After a protracted interval of aod striking another with her fan-look-' refreshment from cheerier scenes, he ing grave when no barm is intended, to again entered the sick man's apartment. show she was thinking of what might Mrs. Egerton was in her accustomed have been intended ; and laughing at place at the side of the invalid, unceaspalpablerudeness, to prove her forgiving ingly employed in performing every goodnature, with a laudable disdain of office of attentive kindness-adjustiog the maxim ascribed to Cæsar—" It is the pillows, offering the cordial, chafing not enough for a woman to be virtuous; the cold hand, and sustaining the achshe must also appear so."—We can re- ing brow, whispering hope, and smiling collect only two rather disagreeable consolation,-Mrs. Egerton, a feeble consequences likely to ensue from such woman, rendered yet more feeble by petty trifling. First, the chance of give watching and anxiety-her slender ing pain to a husband and what wo- form made yet more slender by fatigue man of spirit cares for that? Nay, if the and abstinence-with no interruptions silly man chooses to be jealous, this is but those of deepened affliction, no the best way to cure him ; for since change of scene to revive, no retrospecjealousy cannot exist without love, the tions to gladden-herself the most indeuce is in it if by destroying his love terested in the apprehended catastrophe. he will not also be cured of bis jealou- “Mr. Knowlesdon watcbed, in mute sy.--Secondly, the general opinion that admiration, the incessant, the noiseless the most abandoned profligate will not labours of the uncouscious Helenapresume to violate a female's delicacy the recollection and promptitude of her by a look, a word, an act, of undue numerous arrangements for ber husfreedom, if that female does not, by the band's comfort: his applauding reverie before-mentioned levity, give license was closed by the soft tones of her and encouragement to bis folly. Hence voice, as, kneeling at the feet of Monsuch pretty triling is deemed too often tague, she looked up to ask whether she the precursor of deeper error ; and the bad rightly adjusted his footstool. Her woman who hegins with excusing levi- dress was negligent; her beauty was ty, too often finishes by participating faded; no rose blushed on her cheek; guilt.— Perhaps it is as well for her to no cherry glowed on her lips, no sparavoid both these chances; the risk -- kle irradiated her eye-sickness and of her husband's peace and attachment glooin surrounded her figure, and sor--of her own virtue and bappiness !” row and languor marked every move

The dangerous illness of her beloved ment; yet never, in the season of bushand exhibits Mrs. Egerton as a brightest loveliness, in every embellish· ministering angel.” Her fortitude, ment of gracefui attire-never, in the agonized as she is by the recent death midst of festivity and elegance. Aever

2K ATHENEU M. Vol. 4.

« ZurückWeiter »