Abbildungen der Seite
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

No royal feast could exceed the mag- || attract all eyes; every person present suc nificence of the luxurious banquet which | cessively pressed forward to pay a complipresented itself. The chamber in which ment to her acting, or to the taste displayit was spread glowed with a thousand led in the ducal theatre. In short, she ra. crystal lamps blazing froin amidst the most ther seemed treated as a queen than as a superb draperies of gold and silver tissued subject. And, indeed, Lord Castledowne hangings. The tables, of which there whispered me, as he held my arm in his :were several, were covered with vases of “ See, my dear Miss Wellwood, the caprice the most precious materials, from which ) and power of fashion! When that same issued aromatic flowers or fragrant burning || Duchess was Louisa Amniral, I have seen jucense. Every rarity of the season, and her passed by in a room with the utmost indeed of every country, was there to woo contempt by those very women of rank the appetite. The first wines of France || who are now thronging about her with poured from the various mouths of mumer- | the solicitude of courtiers. The men now ous crystal fountains which graced the adulating her to deification used to call boards under the shade of fairy orange and her a little pretty fool angling for hearts myrtle groves. Fruits of every crime oc she could never catch. In short, until the cupied golden baskets of a thousand grace- || Duke placed his coronet on her brows, she full forms; there was nothing aliseut that was universally regarded as nobody ; but the most voluptuous or delicate taste could now, behold the reverse! she sets the desirc.

models in dress, she leads the ton in parThe lovely Duchess, still in her simple tics, she is the standard of literary taste, but elegant theatrical attire, stood at the the stamper of fashion on man, woman, and higher end of the room talking with one l child. No stranger, of whatever rauk or of the French Princes as the Duke of Sans | merit, is regarded with notice till he or she Souci approached l:er leading forward Lady has been received at Sans Souci." Castledowne. The Duchess greeted her “ But I do not understavd liow this hapLadyship with an aniinated delight which pens," replied I. " Is she really so acseemed to speak the language of peculiar complished and irresistibly charming as to esteem. Lady Castledowne replied to her deserve and excite this homage! For I ardent greeting with the strictest polite- see that even women of her own quality ness, but it was so petrifying cold that I salute her as if they derived honour from could not but be astonished to find it had her smiles." no chilling effect on the Duchess, who “I will tell you the reason," whispered still continued to utter an eloquent wel-Sir Bingham Courtown; “there is no come to the wife of her husband's friend.

woman in the three kingdoms gives such I was then presented to her Grace. She sumptuous presents as the Duchess of Sans received me with a bewitching smile, said

Souci, or spreads so pleasurable a scene a few words respecting the pleasure she before her friends. When the Duchess of bened I had received in the comedy, and Gretna-Green presented the last of her without waiting my answer turned again marriagable daughters at Court, the pretty to the Duke de

Lady Kate was decorated with a suit of The exquisite beauty of the enchanting pearls, the gift of the Duchess of Sans tristress of the splendid scene secmeri to Suuci. When the Duchess of Faro sene her maid to pawn her jewels to pay a large || secuted a conversation in which he seemed play debt, the Duchess of Sans Souci heard much interested with great ardour. of thetransaction from herown woman, who Lord Castledowne sighed and gently happened to be sister to the other Abigail; touched my hand as he observed the direcand the kind accommodating Duchess had tion of my eyes :-“ I see by your looks, the jewels intercepted in their way to the my sweet Hymenæa," said he in a low voice, Three Golden Balls, and accompanying “ that you are struck by the iudelicate conthem with the money wanted, sent them duct of the Duchess of Sans Souci to that back to their disconsolate mistress, In unfortunate Prince. Were he not unforshort, the young Duchess of Sans Souci is

1 tunate how different would have been the so old in the science of the world, that she l conduct of that same capricious lady! We knows how to bind men and women of all all know that the splendour of the French ranks and dispositions to her feet. The Court far exceeded ours; we all know riches of the Duke allow her to forge as that our Royal Dukes live in comparative many golden fetters as she pleases; and penury compared with what was the mag. you see what a herd of illustrious slaves || nificence and power of a French Prince. throng around her steps."

That very exile, now unobserved by all While Sir Bingham was speaking, I ob- li but true nobility, a few years ago conserved a little bustle extraordinary at the manded a train of followers like a sovelower end of the room, and presently I reign. His smile was then valued at thousaw the gay Duchess (who had just given sands; his wealth and his smiles were alher hand with a sweet familiar smile to the ways companions. He was generous as the French Duke to lead her to licr seat at the day, he was beneficent as illustrious, he top of the supper table) turn abruptly from was brave as his most valiant ancestors, her roval companion to receive a gentle and faithful to the sacrifice of all but his man who now approached. Sir Bingham own honour." whispered -" That is one of our Royal “ And that is the man," exclaimed I Dukes; and you will soon see how the with indignation, “ that is treated with faded lilies of France will shrink in that caprice by such a trifler as the Duchess of lady's eyes before the yet blooming rose Sans Souci. Oh, were I in her place, of England !"

there is no prince on his throne who I The Duchess verified the prediction of would receive with greater respect than the Baronet; she gave yet sweeter smiles one of the unfortunate family of the mar.. to the English Prince, she laughed, she tyred Louis!" talked, she gave him her hand, and he led “I believe you, my lovely friend," reher to the seat; and at her request took plied the Earl; “ but your heart is of difthe chair next her, which she had before | ferent materials from that of most young designed for the Prince of the house of women of fashion. Nay, why should I Bourbon.

confine the reproach to them alone? It is During the repast she seemed to have too much the disposition of the world in eyes and ears for none present but her | general to apportion respect, not in proporroyal partner. The Duke de , was as tion to the merit of the object, but to its much neglected as if he had been the son 1 power of administering to our wishes. It of a valet de chambre; and with a sym-1 matters not to those selfish spirits the dig. pathy at my heart which robbed the scene inity of your birth, the virtues of your life, of all its gaiety, I contemplated the noble li the depths of your misfortunes, nor the demeanor of the illustrious exile as he sat, il magnanimity with which you sustain the unconscious of the feelings he had excited, reverse. They know no essential in great. discoursing calmly, at a considerable dis- | ness but wealth and station ; bereft of the tance from the top of the table, with the Earl | one, or hurled from the other, is sufficient of Cape de Verd, one of our gallant Admi- to deprive you of all interests in their hearts rals : Lord Fitzguy, an animated fine old | but that of curiosity. Once gratify that, man, sat on the other side of him, and pro- and the most illustrious fugitive under hea.

veu may, for what they care, perish be- || the Duke de --, which must much in. neath the inclement elements without a fluence his attentions." roof to shelter him."

| Lord Castledowne smiled.-" That may “ Nay, my Lord," observed Mr. Cour- || be one cause of the deference which the town, “ you are severe in this; do we not Earl pays to greatness in ruins," replied his make the most benevolent subscriptions for Lordship; “ but the worthy descendant of the relief of foreiguers?"

the heroes of the race of Fitzguy has a “All subscriptions, my good Courtown,” || nobler spring for his sympathies. It is to returned the Earl, “are not set on foot | the memory of the virtuous ancestors of the from a spirit of benevolence. It is not the | Duke de “ , that he now makes his money we give to the distressed that shews | obeisances it is reverence to the Duke's benevolence, but the manner of giving it. il personal good qualities; it is homage to Ostentation is a prodigal almoner, but it the magnanimity with which he bears a fails to extract the bitter drop froni the cup i reverse of fortune which, in the minds of of dependance. True benevolence alters the great vulgar, levels him with any other not its demeanor to the unfortunate, un- || victim of calamity.” less their misfortunes be the result of their l " My dear Miss Wellwood," cried Lady own misconduct. I know that the pamel Castledowne, " we are so thoroughly a of the Duchess of Sans Souci is down in the mercantile nation that the spirit of comlist of subscriptions for emigrants, for one merce has even taken possession of our of the longest sums subscribed; but you higher orders; and only in a few instances, see that she can treat one of their most like Lord Fitzguy and my Earl, do we see illustrious Princes with marked neglect, an exception. Esteem, civilities, are now when a greater glory cometh in to dim the merely matters of traffic; and if you canless, when preseut power approaches to il not give feasts and patronage in return, to eclipse the star of departed royalty! It is Lords, Ladies, and their retainers, it is in not to the personal worth of our Britistii vain you pretend to all the blood of the Prince that the Duchess gives her dis- 1 Cæsars, and all the virtues of the Catos." course and smiles, it is because the regal i “Take warning by this lesson, fair lady," honours yet flourish round his house; but rejoined Mr. Courtowo); “ and never, if to such a woman as her Grace, a fallen ll you hope for the world's worship, bestow descendant of our Plantagenets would be that gentle hand on other thau a first Lord as little respected as the poorest of the l of the Treasury," house of Bourbon.”

I smiled at this address from the young “ How I despise such venal souls !" ex- ll student, and was ready to laugh when the claimed l; “I almost feel degraded at | Baronet, with a raised colour, whispered sitting at her board; and, methinks, that Il to me:-“ If I can read that fair counter French Prince ought to feel as I do, and nance, it worships not at the shrine of never again honour her with his pre Plutus ; a soul of honour, and a heart of sence."

love, would be the objects of its elet, “ So he would, if he thought about it,” || tion?" returned the Earl; “but his mind is so far | He laid his hand on his breast as he above the common incidents of hourly re- || spoke, and threw an expression of amatory turn, that he does not observe who smiles | devotion into his eyes that I could not or frowns on him; and his present dis- ll mistake. I now guessed the cause of the course with our brave Admiral of Cape de || sudden flush which started into his face Verde, and the truly noble Earl of Fitz-|| when he first heard my name, and did not gry, is more than an equivalent pleasure want a wizard to tell me that-Miss Wellfor what he loses in the gay repartee of wood, the heiress, was the stimulus to all the fickle Duchess."

Il this sentiment and compliment. I turned “ Lord Fitzguy," rejoined Mr. Cour- | from him with an air of perfect indiffer. towu, “ being of so old a house of nobility, llence, and addressing Lady Castledowné, and not over rich, has a sympathy with: inquired the name of a fine woman sitting

directly opposite to us, at another table, liostacles to gain the ultimatum of your own who was talking with great vehemence to desires. That woman, who gives herself a crowd of young men, who stood bowing the airs of a princess, was originally the and laughing at her wit behind her chair. || daughter of a country attorney. Her faHer dress was profusely covered with dia- | ther gave her the education of a Circassian mouds; and an immense cross of the same || nymph, and nature had endowed her with costly gems attracted the eye to the display || a vanity which seconded his ambition to of a bosom wlose colour and form might see her greatly married. She was displayed have shamed the most perfect model of || at one or two county balls, and in her Greece. Her full and polished arms were | third season of exhibition married Sir Ednaked to the shoulder, excepting where the ward Woodford, a client of her father's. brilliant clasp of jewellery marked their Sir Edward was an amiable young man most graceful swells. Her eyes were large who doated on his wife, and loved to live and full of animated fire; and the bright with her, and the sweet children she had rouge on her cheek finished her air of fa- brought him, in the bosom of an elegant shion,

retirement. Lady Woodford did not con“That lady,” replied the Countess look cur heartily in this plau; but pleased with ing grave, and drawing up with an air of her dignity, for several years she seemed offended dignity,“ ought not to have been coutent with her way of life, visits in the in this circle; but some strange and repre-neighbourhood, and being the most adhensible caprice admits her almost every mired at the county balls. where. She is the wife of that Marquis “A general election threw all her huswho sits on the left hand of the Duchess band's house into a tumult. The Marof Sans Souci, and she was the wife of that quis of Cyprus came down to support the Baronet who now stands a few yards from

interest of a friend he was anxious to bring her, discoursing with one of her adulatory

in as one of the representatives. He was beaux !"

introduced at Woodford-Hall. Its beauI was thunderstruck at this reply:

teous lady became his warm coadjutor. " Surely, Lady Castledowne, you cannot

The election was gained; and the Mar

The mean that I see a divorced woman in this quis carried his new member, and his fair society? I do not behold the shame of friend's heart, with him to town together. her sex received with equal honour as the

In short, my dear Miss Wellwood, the most virtuous ?"

coronet of a Marquis seemed a greater " You do see all this." answered the prize in her Ladyship's eyes than the Countess, “It happens that this fair Mar

crown of female honour-chastity. Her chioness has an effrontery equal to her

unhappy husband discovered the injury want of chastity. Her present Lord is a

that had been done him. He reproached man of commanding power and abilities. / mis

his faithless wife; she gloried in her shame, And how they have managed it I cannot and next morning set off in a post-chaise explain, but while the unhappy girl who and four to her paramour, Sir Edward falls a victim to tenderness and the seduc- immediately instituted a suit against the tions of a lover she believes almost her hus- / guilty pair; a divorce was issued; he reband, retires to grieve out her crime in the ceived five thousand pounds damages; the Magdalen, this unfaithful wife, this unna-Marquis married his mistress; apd, by the tural mother, this triumphant adulteress, laid of effroutery and strong friends (who thrusts herself into all societies, and dares regard him more than they did virtue), he to demand adulation as well as suffer-has forced her into almost every circle in auce!"

towu. “ The fact is," whispered the Earl, “ there l “ Poor Sir Edward sought to drown is no point you may not gain in this world the memory of his woes in wine; one if you have it in your power to administer dissipation induced another, and now he to the real or fictitious wauts of others, and is brought in chains to town by the beau. the impudence to break through all ob- tiful widow of a certain Duke, who, while

flattering his hopes with the idea that she , " that you deem such society pollution, will at length soothe his cares by marrying | It grows late, and we will therefore obey bim, is nightly winning from him at the your impulse to retire.” card-table, his estates, his respectability, ' “ To-morrow evening," said the Earl, and his peace.”

l“ we shall meet at Lady llexham's party; I believe I turned pale at this frightful and there, I can promise you, you will history; I know I shuddered to my inmost | meet with characters to redeem the disgust soul. By an unconscious motiou I rose ll of this hour." from my seat. “I perceive," cried Lady Castledowne, il

(To be continued.)


The following enigmatical letter was l be of any great bulk, and yet I understand actually sent not many years ago to a it has been valued at thirty thousand Right Reverend Dean :

pounds. “ Rev. Sir,-I am told there is a book “ It is pity so valuable a piece should which lies in your study in sheets; and all ever be lost; and the way to prevent this who have seen it adınire that it should is by increasing the copies of it. If the reinan so

u nd. I think it is author will give consent, and you will called

, or some license it, I will immediately put it into such name; but jest i slowl's pr 11,??, ** to the press. For my part I will spare no in the title, I will describe it as well as !!;Dis to embellish and adorn the whole cau.

with and Desst natural and lively figures; “ It is a fair and beautiful manuscript, | und I shans mon slespair of producing an the ink very black and shining, on the edition as beauutal in the eyes of all men whitest virziu v init l'int can be imagined. as the dear original is at present in mive. The characters are so nice and delicate as Methinks I could read it with pleasure to discover it to be the work of some mas- ll night and day. terly hand; and there is such symmetry i “ If therefore you will do me the favour and exact proportion in all its parts, and to let me have your company this evening, the features (if I may so l them) are so and bring this incomparable piece along just and true, that it puts that reader often with you, it will add to the entertainment in rapture in admiring the beauties of lot every one, but particularly of him who theni.

ll is always with great respect “ The book has an additional ornament,

“Yours, which it Hid not want-all the margini

«Elzevir." being flourished with gold. But that which commeuds it more is, that though. This letter was written by a gentleman it has been written full eighteen years, as who a few years before had lost a very I am informed, yet it is not sullied nor | amiable wife; and the intention of it was stained; in so much that one would think to invite the Dean and his company to at never was turned over by any man; || supper, particularly a young lady of the and indeed there is reason to believe the name of Marshal, about eighteen years of first leaves are as yet unopened and un- || age, with a fortune of £30,000, who was touched.

lodged in the Dean's study, his house The volume itself does not appear to being filled with visitors,

« ZurückWeiter »