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LA BELLE ASSEMBLÉE;
For MARCH, 1811. .
à New Series.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES.
The Seventeenth tumber.
FERDINAND VII: KING OF SPAIN, AND HIS SISTER,
In our last, we gave a short account || whom he might one day 'expect to govern, of the present dethroned King and Queen | at a time of life when he could have no of Spain, whose melancholy listory so im possible influence in the administration of mediately connects itself with, and is in their affairs.--Sanguine in their hopes from fact, the foundation of the equally ca- | the abundant promise of his youth, they lamitous sufferings of their children, that || paid him, by anticipation, the richest tri. it is difficult to divide our narrative, or bute which subjects have to bestow. separate their misfortunes.
The choice which the Spanish Cortes The disgrace and imprisonment of the made of Ferdinand for their King, the imroyal children is a natural shoot from the
prisonment of that Prince in an obscure preseut stock of misfortune.
castle, in a remote province in France, the With respect to Prince Ferdinand, it is war now carrying on in Spain almost with worthy of observation, that though edu- the sole view of Ferdinand's restoration, cated in the most corrupt and effeminate | are events so familiar to all our readers, court, and under a governor of desperate that it would be tiresome to repeat them.and atrocious wickedness (we meay the || Suffice it to observe, that the coninfamous Manuel Godoy), such was the nection of the cause of Spanish freedom natural excellence of his character, and the || with the restoration of the Bourbon dy vigorous growth of his virtue, that he |nasty, in the person of Ferdinand, has been, escaped all infection; that, in the midst | we think (and perhaps with some proof the worst examples, he became a Prince | priety), the prevailing inducement with of the best promise in Europe, and at- || the British Government to embark largely tracted the esteem and love of the people in the affairs of that peninsula.
HYMENEA IN SEARCIL OF A HUSBAND.
(Continued from Page 70.)
On entering the ball of Suns Souci|| Miss Wellwood, read the inscription on the House, Lord Castledowne made mel pedestal, and you will learn the real design pause a little upon its inarbled floor, that of this stälue and its jewelled appendage of I might look around, and observe the Aurora." superb embellishments of the walls and l I obeyed; and found on approaching cieling. It was not the baronial trophies nearer to the pedestal that a festoon was of an old English warrior I beheld, but omitted on one of its sides; and in its the fantastic decorations of fashionable place was a white entablature with gold whim. The pride of martial fame was letters; the inscription was written in most absurdly mingled with the vanity of ll choice Italian, and to this effect:-“ Her femalo chaims; and exhibited an assem- | Grace the Most Noble Louisa Augusta, blage of desigus in sculptor and on canvas | Duchess of Sans Souci, and Baroness of which nothing less than a seif-deifying Baton, of the most valiant and most victocoquet and an enamoured dotard could rious Kingdom of Prussia, is here sculptured have tolerated. In the centre of the floor ll in the character of the Goddess Aurora. stood a pedestal of beautiful porphyry, ll This Stalue was executed by Guido Phicornuted with gold, from whence pended ll diacci, at the command of her Majesty the festoons of flowers stained so as to resemble Queen of the Sicilies, who presented it to his the colours of nature. On this altar was || Grace the Most Noble John Duke of Sans stationed a female figure, cut exquisitely | Souci, and Baron of Baton, with the brilin parian marble; her attributes were those liant Star now on the head of Aurora, as of the Goddess Aurora; and indeed it an emblem of the Morning Star of his hapwould have been difficult for me to mis- ll piness, namely, her Grace the Most Noble take it, for in the centre of the forehead || Louisa Augusta, Duchess of Sans Souci, blazed a star of real diamonds.
ll and Baroness of Baton." " What an extraordinary ornament for “ Poor tbing !" exclaimed I, in an ina marble statue !" exclaimed I, turning to voluntary tone of pity, when I had read Lady Castledowne; “it is surely, though this foolish secord of vanity. a splendid thing itself, a very absurd ap- Lord Castiedowne laughed.—“Was that pendage to a Goddess of stone."
sigh and commiserating ejaculation meant “ Truly absurd," returned her Lady- for the Duke or his Duchess? You cership; “ but it is the fashionable taste to Lainly cannot mean to insinuate that the put all just taste at defiance. Furniture, li lady of this apotheosis, or the mortal she personal ornaments, all are to be as dis- || blesses with her charms, can be an object cordant as possible; Grecian couches, ll of compassion." Egyptian tables, Chinese stools, French || “I pity them both," replied I; “her windows, all are mobbed together in the for placing honour and happiness on such same house as the ne plus ultra of the ton; l uostable grounds as the pleasures of riches and for the lady who presides there, it is and the adulation of the world; and him not surprising to see her with the boddice ll for having sacrificed his respectability to of Queen Elizabeth, the transparent gar- | the blandishments of unfeeling vanily." ments of a Heathen Goddess, and the “Can it be of the divine Duchess that chastely braided hair of the Christian Ma- this lady is now speaking?" demanded a dona.--caprice is the only rule in our pre- ! gay male voice directly behind me, and scut modes,"
| addressing itself to Lord Custledowne. I :. But more than caprice is here,'"' in- looked round, and beheld two gentlemen terrupied Lord Casiledowne. “ Pray, leaning on each other's arm, and close to
our party. The one who spoke to Lord | my own mind that this elegant young man, Castledowne was handsome in his person, i and his fashionable brother, would take me but possessed that negligence of air and for some aukward country cousin of Lady deportment which spoke the man of de-Castiedowne's, with a profusion of blushes clared fashion; bis voice was loud, clear, I which increased rather than diminished and animated; and he passed his eyes my apprehensions of being deemed an uncarelessly over my form from head to foot, I polished rustic, I received the introduce as with a good humoured laugh he waited tion of Sir Bingham Courtown, and his for the Earl's reply.--Lord Castledowne | brother Mr. Courtown. smiled : “ Sir Bingham Courtown does
| Sir Bingham immediately planted him. not shew by his apparel, at least, that he self by my side; and learning from Lady bas any just pretensions to the privileges | Castledowne that I had never been before of a father confessor; and therefore he in Sans Souci House, with a no inconsider. must not be surprized if I do not sufferable degree of wit and humour, as he led Miss Wellwood to shrive before his chair."
me through the hall, and along the various At the mention of my name, I was a apartments and gallery which intervened little struck by perceiving that a sudden | between the grand entrance and the glow rushed over the face of the gay Ba theatre, he pointed out and descanted on ronet; I had never seen him before, and the mingled attributes of love and war and therefore could not guess the cause of his | the drama scattered about in most gro. colouring. He drew nearer to me, and tesque but glittering profusion all over the dropping the arm of the gentleman who building. The Duchess was the prime Icaned upon it, again addressed Lord figure in every design ; in one pannel she Castledowne:-"Well, if your Lordship was Venus, with the Duke as Mars at her will not permit me to assume the honours feet; they sat on a Grecian couch in an of sacerdotal celibacy, will you dispense | arbour of roses ; and at the feet of Mars lay me an honour that is in your own power, il a map of the Rhine, a truncheon with a and by presenting me to Miss Wellwood,
plan of the battle of Molwitz wrapped make me the envy of every man in the around it, and two or three large volumes theatre to-night?"
on the ground, which were labelled with “I cannot consent to be the author of the words--The Works of Frederick the so much evil,” replied the Earl in the same || Great. spirit of lively badinage ; "and therefore !!
" That picture," cried Sir Bingham, until you can assure me that I sball not be cost my Lord Duke five hundred guineas: guilty of awakening the baneful passion of and it is well worth the money if you will envy in every man's breast this evening, examine the bounty of the painter to his by introducing you to iny fair Ilyinenæa, Grace. Observe what a handsome pair of I must decline your petition."
l legs he has given to Duke Mars; we nei“ Allow me," interrupted the other ther recognise in one or the other the gentleman, who had bitherto stood silent, ll spindle shank nor wooden support of the though he regarded me with a yet more | war-beaten original. It was the Duchess's attentive eye than his friend ; “ allow me | move, I believe, out of doating tenderness to share the introduction with my brother; I to her husband's complexional charms, to and then, enjoying the same happiness | bave his face turned to her, and his back to with him, I can affirm that envy will be the company, so we cannot judge what banished from at least one breast."
compliments the generous painter might I do not know how it was, but there was not have paid to his martial features." something so prepossessing in the manner “ If the Duchess be as beautiful as that with which this good-humoured accom- l picture," observed Mr. Courtown, “ she modation to his brother's wish was pro. must have no rival in the British court." nounced, that I, almost unconsciously, “So I thought," replied Sir Bingham, curtseyed to him as he ceased to speak. smiling gaily, and bowing to me, “ until The moment I had done so I felt that I had this moment." acled very gauche; and setting it down in | I felt as if I had rather that this compli. ment had been paid by his brother; and ll the house I thanked my friends and bis hardıy aware of what influenced my taste. Grace, with as much composure as I could I coldly corned to Lady ('astledowne, and issume, for the services I had received. in a whisper said that I did not think the But so distressed was I at the confu ion I picture of the Duchess so very handsome. had occasioned, and so ashamed at having
"We shall see the orijinal in a few il manifested such weakness on so compara. minutes," replied she; "and then you will || tively trifting an occasion, that, having judge."
hastily declared my gratitude, I whispered We were now got into à prodigious || to the Countess my desire to return home. crowd, who were pressing along the gallery " Impossible, my sweet young lady,'' to reach the thea re doors, which had just cried the Duke, who overheard me; “after been thrown oven. I felt myself so hurried what you have suffered, to share in the away by the stream, that I was absolutely | amusement my Augusta has prepared for raised off my feet by the eager muititude, | me, I cannot consent that you shali go away and should have been separated from my ll without tasting the pleasures as well as he party in spite of all my struggles to the lains f Sans Souci Theatre. Resign yourcontrary, had not Sir Bingham, rather 100 | self to remain, and I will promise you a familiarly perhaps, thrown his arm round | balm for all your hurts this evening in the my waist, and plucked down from my neck lively sallies of les corps dramatique of my the elbow of a gentleman who, in pressing || charming Duchess!" forward, negligent of whom he pushed Sir Bingham and Mr. Courtown added against, almost suffocated me. I was nearly their entreaties that, as I seemed better, fainting when my gay champion brou.ht I would stay; and as Lord and Lady Castleme to the side of Lord and Lady Castle-duwo joined their persuasions, I determin. downe; on reaching them, the pleasure of led to shake off my embarrassment, and as being again safe, and the hurry of my ll politely as I could to yield to the kind sospirits, made me lose all command of my- | licitations of the Duke. sell, and half swooning, half hysterical, 1 I His Grace cordially shook his old acburst into a violent fit of tears. The kindl quaintance, Castledowne, by the hand, and Countess folded me in her arms, and there |himself led the way by a back passage to was presently so great a bustle around our || the theatre.--" Our young invalid," said groupe that Lady Castledowne, afraid that he, “must not again be exposed to the my disorder would be increased, desired ll fashionable crowd in the gallery, who in her Lord to open a door which she descried
those cases are as rude as the most vulgar; behind us. I was immediately taken within
neither shall she endure the pressure in the it, and Sir Bingham preventing any curi- public seats. Your party, my Lord, shall ous followers, i presently found myself, on
have the box my wife has built for the raising my head from the bosum of the Prince of W ; his Royal Highness does Countess, in a spledis apartment lying on not honour us to-night with his presence, a sofa.
so an old friend and his welcome party, A crowd was near me bes des my own || shall occupy it to my infinite pleasure. I party, but they were of a differen' descrip- must not interrupt her Grace now that she tion from them I had left in the gallery; l is in her Green-room, but when the perthese were evidently domestics of the house. || formance is over I know how delighted she All sorts of restoratives were presented to will be at my arrangement." ide; and when I turned to thank the Coun | Lord Castledowne would have made tess for her kind attention, my eyes met some objection to our being placed in so not only her amiable featuies, but the distinguished a situation in a theatre to be compassionate and anxious countenauce of || filled with an audienee of the first quality. an old gentleman looking over her shoulder 11 “ Shall we not cause jealousy amongst the upon me.
public benches ?" demanded his Lordship His silver hair, and numerous stars and of the Duke. “There are many who have ribbons, informed me that I had been higher claims in precedence than an Irish brought into the presence of the master of
“That may be, in the Court Calendar," the fair Hymenæa boldeih up her fan and replied the Duke; “but in the calendar exclaimeth-Onen Sesame!" of friendship, the old friend of Jack Gorget " And then treasures, I fear," rejoined must ever be considered as first on the list the Countess archly, “will not be dis. with the Duke of Sans Souci."
covered.". I did not hear the Earl's reply to this il The Baronet laughed at this, but, shakgraceful response of the Duke's; but it had ling his head, would not break lis promised an effect on me not very favourable to the silence. beautiful Duchess, who could have the I then turned to examine the minutiæ heart, by her follies, to set so gracious a of a view whose coup d'æil had struck me spirit in so contemptible a light.
as so splendid, The Duke at this mornept threw open a | The theatre was built in the form of a green baize door, studded with giided nails Grecian lyre. The ceiling was a universal in the form of the Prince of W 's interlacement of coloured lamps, incrown and feathers, and ushered us into U terwoven in beautiful figures, and yet his Royal Highness's box.
so combined and clustered, that they On looking around, I confess myself | seemed one immense dome of glowing much struck with the coup d'ail of this gems of every hue, consolidated by enducal theatre. His Grace observed the chantment into a complete mass of variesurprise and pleasure of my countenance. Il gated light. The effect it is impossible to “ You perceive, my sweet young lady,” || describe. From several parts of this said he (for such was the appellation with galaxy of stars, seemed to issue infant which he chose to honour me), " you | Cupids, suspended from their native perceive that I have not placed you so heaven by chaios so lost in the blaze of the singularly as my Lord Castledowne sup mingling rays, that they appeared to hang posed. My dear Augusta chose to have absolutely in air. Some held fans of this range of boxes on each side of her | ostrich feathers in their lands, and others own box, for her particular friends, and, sparkling crystal vases. in theatrical fashion, she calls them private ll “ What can they be for:" cried I, turnboxes. The tier below, and those benches lling round; but instead of meeting the eye beneath, like a pit, are of equal respecta- ll of Sir Bingham, mwe by chance met that bility, and free to our audience in general. ll of his brother. Mr. Ccurtown instantly I beg your pardon,” cried he, hastily in replied:-" They Aling from their crystal terrupting bimself; “I see my Duchess llurns the vesper dew!" beckoning to me from the peep in the cur " An invasion, Ned, by Heaven !" extain. I shall have the happiness to see il claimed Sir Binghan; “ you have no - you again after the play; meanwhile I
right to break in with your scraps froin the commission my friend Sir 'Bipgham, who || Pleasures of Hope here. I was to be the is well acquainted with the geography of Cicerone of this place to la belle Wellwood; my house and theatre, to describe to whom I and may I be doomed to he borrors of demy private boxes are appropriated." spair, if I suffer any college book-worn to
Sir Bingham nimbly stepped into the keep a padlock on my tongue while he vacant chair wbich the Duke left between runs off with my prize." Lady Castledowne and me; and, almost “Prize! Sir Bingham," interrupted I, before bis Grace had made his excuses to ll with offer ded dignity. the Earl and left the box, the animated Il “Not as gloomy Dis gathered the fair Baronet would have begun bis detail. Proserpine!" returned the Baronet, re
“First," cried Lady Castledowne, "allow covering himself with a softened smile from us to look around us. When we have made the momentary asperity with which he had the tour with our eyes we shall then have addressed his brother. “The gallant Duke leisure to follow. your annotations with our I gave you to be my pupil for the night; to ears."
l initiate you into all the dramatic mysteries " Shall it be so, Miss Wellwood ?" asked l of Sans Souci House; and surely you would Sir Binghain. I smiled and bowed. “My ll not have me be so ungallant, so ungrate. fat!" cried he; “ dumb is the word, till ful to my good fortune, as to relinquishi