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i.iri.li.t Liij-; A\v '. 'Miui>rONi»J"Ni .'i 



f\ '. 



:■^•iTi.)^. 



I' : ■» 



THE 



LITERARY LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE 



OF THE 



COUNTESS OF BLESSINaTON. 



R. R. MADDEN, M.R.I. A., 

AUTHOR OP 

"travels in the east," '*INFmMrnE8 OP OEXIU8," "TQE MUBSULSfAN/ 

*' SHRINES AKD 8EPT7LCHRES,'' "THE UFE OF SAVONAROLA,** ETC. 



' L*homme marohe vers le tombeau, trainant apr^ lui, la chaine de sea 
esperances trompees.** 

IN TWO VOLUMES. 

VOL. I. 



NEW YORK: 
HARPER <b BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS, 

3 29 <k 881 PEARL STREET, 
FRANKLin SQUARK. 

1855. 



/^v > -;. H ^)^ 



... -.aie 



DEDICATION. 



TO DOCTOR FREDERICK QUIN, M.D. 

I DEDICATE, my dear Quin, this work to you — one of the 
most intimate friends of that gifted lady- who is the subject 
of it, and whose entire confidence was possessed by you. 
I inscribe it to you in remembrance of old and happy days, 
of kind friends, and of many intimate acquaintances of our 
early days in Italy— of people we have met in joyous scenes 
and memorable places; some highly gifted, subsequently 
greatly distinguished, most of whom have passed away since 
you and I first became acquainted with the late Countess 
of Blessington in Naples, upward of thirty years ago. 

Perhaps these pages may recall passages in our young 
days which, in the turmoil of the cares and struggles of 
advanced years, it may be a sort of recreation to our wearied 
minds and jaded energies to have presented to us again in 
a Ufe-Uke form. 

In treading on this old Italian ground once more, and that 
portion of it especially best known to us — a fragment of 
some bright star dropped from heaven : 

"That, like a precious gem, Parthenop^ 
Smiles as of yore — the syren of the sea** — • 

• The Ileliotrope, or the Pilgrim in lUly, a Poem, by Dr. W. Beattio. 



iy DEDICATION. 

we may have many graves to pass, and memories, not only 
of dear friends, but of early hopes, to make us thoughtful. 

But I trust we shall have also some pleasing recollections 
renewed by these Memoirs, and our old feelings of affection- 
ate regard revived by them. 

I am, my dear Qum, faithfully yours, 

B. B. Madden. 

London, Nov. 1, 1854. 



CONTENTS OF VOL. I. 



INTRODUCTION. 



rA«u 



Early Origin. — Pedigree of the Sheehy Family. — Notice of maternal 
Grandfather. — Career of Edmund Power. — Marriage of Marguerite 
Power. — Captain Farmer's Death. — Coroner's Inquest and Verdict of 
the Jury 1 

CHAPTER I. 

Notice of the Earl of Blessington. — His Origin ; early Career. — First and 
second Marriage, &c 38 

CHAPTER n. 

Departure of the Blessingtons from London on a Continental Tour, Sep- 
tember, 1822 C3 

CHAPTER HI. 
Byron and the Blessingtons at Genoa G9 

CHAPTER IV. 

The City and Bay of Naples. — The Blessingtons, and their Society in 
Naples, June, 1822, to February, 182G 80 

CHAPTER V. 

Departure from Naples. — Sojourn in Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice, and 
Genoa. — Return to Paris. — February, 1826, to June, 1829 99 

CHAPTER VI. 

Return to Paris in June, 1828. — Residence there. — Death of Lord Bless- 
ington. — Departure of Lady Blessington for England in November, 
1830 115 

CHAPTER VII. 

Conversational Powers of distinguished Persons. — Scamore Place and 
Gore House. — Literary Circles. — Rival Salons of Holland House and 



VI CONTENTS. 

pags 

Reunion* at the Countess of Charleville*8. — Residence of Lady Bless- 
in^n at Seamore Place from 1832 to 1836 ; and Gore House, Ken- 
sington Gore, from 1836, to April, 1849 130 

CHAPTER Vin. 
The Break-up at Gore House 165 

CHAPTER IX. 

Arrival of Lady Blessington in Paris the middle of April, 1849. — Her 
last Illness and Death on the 4th of June following. — Notice of her 
Decease 181 

CHAPTER X. 
Notice of the Career, literary Tastes, and Talents of Lady Blessington. 192 

CHAPTER XI. 

.Notice of the Writings of Lady Blessington. — Connection with the An- 
nuals. — Results of her Literary Pursuits 214 

CHAPTER XII. 
Poetical Effusions addressed to I^ady Blessington by various Persons. . 251 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Notice of Count Alfred D*Orsay. — His Origin. — Some Account of his 
early Ufe. — The Close of his Career, and Observations on his Talents, 
and the Application of them 269 

CHAPTER XIV. 
Prelimmary Notice of the Correspondence of Lady Blessington 317 

CHAPTER XV. 
Sir William Cell 322 

CHAPTER XVI 
Letters of Sir William Gell to Lady Blessington 333 

CHAPTER XVII. 
LeUers of Sir William Gell to I^y Blessington 339 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
Tetters of Sir WUUam Gell to Lady Blessington 363 



CONTENTS. vu 

CHAPTER XIX. 



PACK 



Sir William Drummond.— The Abbe Campbell « 386 

CHAPTER XX. 
Charles Reilly, Esq., Surgeon R. N.— Dr. Quin.— Sir Ferdinand R. E. 
D. Acton.— Sir Frederick Faulkner. — The Duke dc Laval Montmoren- 
ci. — Miss Bathurst. — Piazzi. — Sir Augustus D'Este. — Captain Hesse. 
—Captain Garth 396 

CHAPTER XXI. 
The Hon. Richard Keppel Craven, and the Margravine of Anspach 409 

CHAPTER XXH. 
Thomas James Matthias, Esq., F.R.S., F.S.A. — James Millingen. — Ed- 
ward Dodwell.— The Archbishop of Tarento 422 

CHAPTER XXni. 
Count Matuschewitz. — Prince Schwartzenberg 43o 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
The Duke D*Ossuna 442 

CHAPTER XXV. 
Monsieur Eugene Sue. — Vicomte D'Arlincourt '146 

CHAPTER XXVI. 
Casimir Delavigne. — Alfred De Vigny. — Dwarkanauth Tajore. — Rich- 
ard Westmacott VrS 

CHAPTER XXVII. 
I^etter from John Auldjo, Esq., to Lady Blessington. — Dr. Polidori. — 
Sir W. Drummond*s Odin 466 



APPENDIX. 

No. I. 
Notice of Ijord and I^ady Canterbury, and of Mrs. Fairlie 476 

No. II. 
The Fate of the Sheehys in 1765 and 1766 . 484 



viii CONTENTS. 

No III. 

rAC* 

The Case of Bernard Wright, Elditor of Edmund Power^s Paper, the 
Clonmel Gazette 509 

No. IV 
Certificate of Marriage of Captain Farmer to Miss Marguerite Power. . . 613 

No. v. 
Notice of Captain Farmer's Letter in the Dublin Evening Packet 513 

No. VI. 
Proceedings on Inquest on the Body of Joseph Lonergan,. shot by Ed- 
mund Power, and Bill of Indictment and Information against Power . 515 

No. VII. 
Prosecution of Edmund Pbwer for Libel on Colonel Bagwell 520 

No. VIII. 
Certificate of Burial of Members of the Blcssington Family in St. Thom- 
as's Church, Dublin 523 

No. IX. 
Account of the Encumbrances on the Blessington Estates 524 

No. X. 
Rental of Blessington Estates, &c 528 

No. XI. 
Gore House 529 

No. XII. 
Count D'Grsay and the IMnce Louis Napoleon 529 

No. XIII. 
Theatrical Tastes of Lord Blessington^s Father 637 

No. XIV. 
Duel between Michael Power, Esq., and Captain Kettlcwcll 537 

No. XV. 
Precis of Trial — M*Carthy versus Solomon Watson. Banker, of Clonmel . 537 



A MEMOIR 

OF THE 

LITERARY LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE 

OP THE 

COUNTESS OF BLESSINGTON. 



INTRODUCTION. 

The task of Biography is not comprised only in an attempt to 
make a word — ^picture, and likeness of a person that can be 
identified by its resemblance to the original ; to narrate a series 
of striking passages in the life of an individual, whose career 
it is intended to illustrate ; to record dates of remarkable events, 
and particulars of important occurrences ; to give a faithful ac- 
count of signal failures and successes ; to delineate the fea- 
tures of the individual described, and to make deportment and 
demeanor, manner of thought, and mode of expression, clearly 
perceptible to those for whom we write or paint in words. 
These are essential things to be done, but they are not all that 
are essential in human life-history, which should be descriptive 
not only of external appearance and accidental circumstances, 
but of the interior being, dispositions, and actual peace of mind 
of those of whom it treats. The great aim to be accomplished is 
to make the truthful portraiture of the person we describe and 
present to the public, stand out in a distinct shape and form, dis- 
tinguishable from all other surrounding objects, an instructive, 
directive, suggestive, encouraging, or admonitory representation 

Vol. I.— a 



2 INTRODUCTION. 

of n character and career, as the case may be. The legitimate 
aim and end of that representation of a life will be gained if 
the bioj^rapher, in accomplishing his task, makes the portraiture 
of the individual described advantageous to the public, renews 
old recollections agreeably as well as usefully ; looks to the 
future in all his dealings with the past ; draws away attention 
from the predominant materialism of the present time ; vio- 
lates no duty to the dead, of whom he treats ; no obligation to 
the living, for whose benefit he is supposed to write ; if, with- 
out ]irejudice to truth or morals, he indulges his own feelings 
of kindness, and tenderness of regard for the memory of those 
who may have been his friends, and who have become the sub- 
jects of liis inquiries and researches ; if he turn his theme to 
the account of society at large, of literature also, and of its* 
living votaries ; if he places worth and genius in their true po- 
sition, and, when the occasion calls for it, if he manfully puts 
forward his strength to pull down unworthy and ignoble pre- 
tensions, to immask selfishness, to give all due honor to noble 
deeds and generous aims and efforts; if he sympathizes sin- 
cerely with struggling merit, and seeks earnestly for truth, and 
speaks it boldly. And if he has to deal with the career of one 
who has played an important part in public life or in fashiona- 
ble circles, and would attain the object I have referred to, he 
will have to speak freely and fearlessly of the miseries and 
vexations of a false position, however splendid that position 
may be — miseries which may not be escaped from by any efforts 
to keep them out of sight or hearing, either in the turmoil of 
a fashionable life, in the tumult of its pleasures, or in the soli- 
tude of the dressing-room, the stillness of which is often more 
intolerable than the desert-gloom, the desolation of Mar Saba, 
or the silence of La Trappe. 

All this can be done without composing homilies on the 
checkered life of man, or pouring forth lamentations on its vi- 
cissitudes, and pronouncing anathemas on the failings of indi- 
viduals, on whose conduct we may perhaps be wholly incompe- 
tent or unqualified to sit in judgment. There is often matter 
for deep reflection, though requiring no commeui from the biog- 



INTRODUCTION. 3 

rapher, to be found in a single fact seasonably noticed, in a 
passage of a letter, a sentence in conversation, nay, even at 
times in a gesture, indicative of weariness of mind in the midst 
of pomp and pleasure, of sickness of spirit at the real aspect of so- 
ciety, wreathed though it may be with smiles and blandishments, 
at the hollowness of its friendships, and the futility of one's 
efforts to secure their happiness by them. I am much mistaken 
if this work can be perused without exciting feelings of strong 
conviction, that no advantageousness of external circumstances, 
no amount of luxury, no entoun;^ of wit and learning, no dis- 
tinction in fashionable or literary life, no absorbing pursuits of 
authorship, or ephemeral enjoyments in exclusive circles of 
haul ton, constitute happiness, or afibrd a substitute for it, on 
which any reliance can be placed for the peace and quiet of 
one's life. 

An intimate acquaintance and uninterrupted friendship with 
the late Countess of Blessington during a period of twenty- 
seven years, and the advantage of possessing the entire confi- 
dence of that lady, are the circumstances which induced the 
friends of Lady Blessington to commit to me the task of editing 
an account of her Literary Life and Correspondence. To many 
other persons familiarly acquainted with her ladyship, eminent 
in different walks of literature and art, distinguished for abilities 
and acquirements, and well known in the world of letters, this 
task might have been confided with far more service to the ex- 
ecution of it in every literary point of view. But, in other re- 
spects, it was considered I might bring some advantages to this 
undertaking, one of no ordinary difficulty, and requiring no or- 
dinary care and circumspection to surmount. The facilities I 
refer to are those arising from peculiar opportunities enjoyed 
of knowing Lady Blessington at an early period of that literary 
career which it is intended to illustrate, and the antecedents of 
that position in literature and the society of intellectual celeb- 
rities which she occupied in London. 

The correspondence and other papers of Lady Blessington 
that have been made use of in these volumes aire connected by 
a slender thread of biographical illustration, which may serve 



4 INTRODUCTION. 

to give some idea of the charaoten and position, and prominent 
traits or peculiarities of those who are addressed or referred to 
in this correspondence, or by whom letters were written which 
are noticed in it. 

In doing this, I trust it will be found I am not immindful of 
the obligations I am under to truth and charity, as well as to 
friendship— obligations to the living as well as to the dead; 
but, on the contrary, that I am very sensible that literature is 
never more profaned than when, such claims being forgotten or 
unfelt, statements or sentiments expressed in confidence to pri- 
vate persons that are calculated to hurt the feelings, to injure 
the character, or prejudice the interests of individuals in any 
rank of life, are wantonly, malevolently, or inconsiderately dis- 
closed. 

Such sentiments seem to have been acted on by a late emi- 
nent statesman, and were well expressed in a codicil to his will, 
wherein he bequeathed to Lord Mahon and £. Cardwell, Esq., 
M.P., "all the impublished papers and documents of a public 
or a private nature, whether in print or in manuscript, of which 
he should, at the time of his decease, be possessed," kc. " Con- 
sidering that the collection of letters and papers referred to in 
this codicil included the whole of his confidential correspond- 
ence for a period extending from the year 1817 to the time of 
his decease, that during a considerable portion of that period he 
was employed in the service of the crown, and that when not 
so employed, he had taken an active part in parliamentary 
business, .it was highly probable that much of that correspond- 
ence would be interesting, and calculated to throw light upon 
the conduct and character of public men, and upon the political 
events of the times." This was done in the full assurance that 
his trustees would so exercise the discretion given to them, that 
no honorable confidence should be betrayed, no private feelings 
be unnecessarily wounded, and no public interests injuriously 
aficcted. 

I think it is Sir Egerton Brydges who observes, *' It is not 
possible to love literature and to be uncharitable or unkind to 
those who follow its pursuits." Nothing would certainly be 



INTRODUCTION. 5 

)more uncharitable and unkind to literary people than to publish 
what they may occasionally say in private of one another in the 
way of raillery, banter, or persiflage^ a ridicule-aiming turn, as 
if such badinage on paper, and escapades of drollery, with a 
dash of sarcasm, in conversation, were deliberate expressions 
of opinion, and not the smartness of the sayings, but the sharp- 
ness of the sting in them, was to be taken into account in judg- 
ing of the motives of those who gave utterance to things spoken 
in levity and not in malice. 

There is no necessity, indeed, with such materials as I have 
in my hands, to encumber my pages with any trivialities of this 
kind, or the mere worthless tittle-tattle of epistolary conversation. 

There is an abundance of thought-treasure in letters of peo- 
ple of exalted intellect in this collection ; ample beauties in 
their accounts of scenery and passing events, and in their refer- 
ences to current literature — the works of art of the day, the 
chances and changes of political life, the caprices of fashion of 
the tune, and the vicissitudes in the fortune of the celebrities 
of all grades in a great city — ^to furnish matter well worthy of 
selection and preservation ; matter that would perish if not thus 
collected, and published in some such form as the present. 

I have no sympathies with the tastes and pursuits of the 
hangers-on of men of genius in literary society, who crawl into 
the confidence of people of exalted intellect to turn their ac- 
quaintance with it to a profitable account ; to drag into notice 
failings that may have hitherto escaped attention, or were only 
suspected to exist, and to immortalize the errors of gifted indi- 
viduals, whose credulity has been taken advantage of with a 
deliberate purpose of speculating on those failings that have 
been diligently observed and drawn out. 

Censure, it is said, is the tax which eminence of every kind 
pays for distinction. The tendency of our times especially is 
to pander to a morbid taste, that craves continually for signal 
spectacles of failings and imperfections of persons in exalted 
stations, for exhibitions of eminent people depreciated or de- 
famed. The readiness of men to minister to the prevailing 
appetite for literary gossip, by violating the sanctity of private 



5 INTRODUCTION. 

life, and often eyen the sacred ties of friendBhip, ia not only to 
be lamented, but the crime is to be denounced. I have giren 
expreasion to luch opiniona on those subjects at the onset of 
my career in literature, and they have undergone no change 
since the publication of them, upward of twenty yean ago.* 

We naturally desire to know every thing that concerns the 
character or the general conduct of those whose productions 
have entertained or instructed us, and we gratify a laudable 
curiosity when, for the purposes of good, we inquire into their 
history, and seek to illustrate their writings by the general tenor 
of their lives and actions. But when biography is made the 
vehicle of private scandal, the means of promoting sordid inter- 
ests, and looks into every infirmity of human nature through a 
magnifying medium, which makes small imperfections seem to 
be large, and exaggerates large ones, it ceases to be a legitimate 
inquiry into private character or conduct, and no infamy is 
greater than the baseness of revealing faults that possibly had 
never been discovered had no friendship been violated, no con- 
fidence abused by exaggerated representations of failings and 
defects, which take away from the reputation of the living, or 
dim the bright fame of the illustrious dead. 

" Consider," says a learned German, " under how many as- 
pects greatness is scrutinized ; in how many categories curiosity 
may be traced, from the highest grade of inquisitivenesB down 
to the most impertinent, concerning great men ! How the 
world never wearies striving to represent to itself their whole 
structure, conformation outward and inward. Blame not the 
world for such curiosity about its great ones : this comes of the 
world's old-established necessity to worship. Blame it not ; 
pity it rather with a certain loving respect. Nevertheless, the 
last stage of human perversion, it has been said, is when sym- 
pathy corrupts itself into envy, and the indestructible interest 
we take in men's doings has become a joy over their faults and 
misfortunes : this is the last and lowest stage — Slower than this 
we can not go." 

** Lower than this we can not go !" says the German moralist. 
* The Inliimities of Genius, &c.. in 2 vols. 8to, London, 1833. 



INTRODUCTION. 7 

But suppose we do more than exult in these failings and mis- 
fortunes ; that we sit in judgment on them, and judge not justly, 
but in an unchristian manner — ^that is to say, with false weights 
and measures of justice, having one scale and standard of judi- 
cial opinion for the strong and the unscrupulous in evil doing, 
and another for the weak, and ill-directed, and unfortunately 
circumstanced ) lower then I say men can go in the downward 
path of hypocrisy, when those most deserving of pity have more 
to fear from pretenders to virtue than from religion itself. At 
the tribunal of public opinion, there are some failings for which 
there must be an acquittal on every count of the indictment, or 
a condemnation on all. 

With respect to them, it is not for the world to make any in- 
quiries into the antecedents of error ; whether they included 
the results of the tyranny, the profusion, the profligacy, and the 
embarrassments of an unworthy father, the constant spectacle 
of the griefs and wrongs of an injured mother, mournful scenes 
of domestic strife, of violence and outrage even at the domestic 
hearth, and riotous displays of ill-assorted revelry and carousing 
in the same abode, e very-day morning gloom and wrangling, 
temporary shifts to meet inordinate expenses tending to event- 
ual ruin, meannesses to be vtritnessed to postpone an inevitable 
catastrophe, and provide for the carousing of another night, the 
feasting of military Mends, of condescending lords and squireen 
gentlemen of high rank and influence, justices of the peace of 
fiery zeal in provincial politics, men of mark in a country town, 
ever ready to partake of hospitality and to enjoy society set 
ofl* with such advantages as beauty, and mirth, and gayety un- 
restricted can lend to it. 

It is not for the world to inquire into the circumstance that 
may have led pf%a unhappy union or its unfortunate result ; 
whether the home was happy, the society that frequented the 
parental abode was safe and suitable for its young inmates ; the 
father's example was edifying in his family — ^the care of his 
children sufficient for their security — ^his love and tenderness 
the crown of their felicity ; whether he watched over his daugh- 
ters as an anxious father should do, and treated them with 



^ INTRODUCTION. 

kindness and afiection, beaxing himself quietly and amiably to* 
ward their mother and themselves ; whether their youth and 
innocence were surrounded with religious influences, and the 
moral atmosphere in which they lived from childhood and grew 
up to womanhood was pure and wholesome ! 

It matters not, in the consideration of such results, whether 
their peace and happiness were made things of sale and barter 
by a worthless father ! whether, in forcing them to give their 
hands where they could not give their hearts, they had been 
sold for a price, and purchased for a consideration in which 
they had no share or interest ! 

Tlic interests of religion, of truth, and morality, do not require 
that wc should throw aside all considerations of this sort, and 
come to a conclusion on a single fact, without any reference to 
the influences of surrounding circumstances. 

The grave has never long closed over those who have been 
much admired and highly extolled in their day ; who have 
been in society formidable competitors for distinction, or in 
common opinion very fortxmate in life and successful in society, 
or some particular pursuit, before the ashes of those dead ce- 
lebrities arc raked for error. Those tombs, indeed, are seldom 
ransacked unsuccessfully ; but those who sit in judgment on the 
failings of their fellow-creatures are never more likely to be er- 
roneous in their opinions than when they are most harsh and 
uncharitable in their judgments. Those persons who stand 
liighest in the opinion of their fellow-men may rank very low 
in the estimation of the Supreme Judge of all ; and those for 
whose errors there is here no mercy, may have fewer advan- 
tages of instruction and example, of position, and of favorable 
circumstances that have been thrown away to account for, than 
the most spiritually proud of the complacent aalf-satisfied, self- 
constituted judges and arraigners of their fellow-creatures. 

It has been said that " a great deal has been told of Gold- 
smith (in tlie early and incidental notices of his career) which 
a friendly biographer would have concealed, or at least silently 
passed over ; he would have felt bound in duty to respect the 
character which he took on himself to delineate ; and while he 
withheld nothing: that could have enabled the public to form a 



INTRODUCTION. 9 

right estimate of the subject, he would not have drawn aside 
the curtain that concealed the privacy of domestic intercourse, 
and exposed to view the weakness and inconsistency of the 
thoughtless and confidential hours of a checkered and too for- 
tuitous life. The skillful' painter can preserve the fidelity of 
the resemblance, while he knows how to develop all becoming 
embellishments. In heightening what is naturally beautiful, in 
throwing a shade over the less attractive parts, he presents us 
with a work that is at once pleasing and instructive. The bi- 
ographer must form his narrative by selection. All things be- 
longing to a subject are not worth telling ; when the circle of 
information is once completed, it is often the wisest part to rest 
satisfied with the eflfect produced. Such, evidently, was the 
rule which guided Mason in the very elegant and judicious ac- 
count which he gave of his illustrious friend Gray ; and though 
later inquirers have explored and unlocked some channels which 
he did not wish to open, they have left the original sketch very 
little altered, and hardly at all improved. In this he followed, 
though with a more liberal allowance to rational curiosity than 
had before been granted, the general practice of all biographers ; 
but Boswell's Life of Johnson opened at once the floodgates of 
public desire on this subject, and set up an example, too faith- 
fully imitated, of an indiscriminate development of facts, grat- 
ifying not a very honorable or healthy curiosity, with the mi- 
nutest details of personal history, the eccentricities of social in- 
tercourse, and all the singularities of private life. The original 
work, however defective we may think it in its plan, denved 
a lustre from the greatness of its subject ; but it has been the 
cause of overwhelming literature with a mass of the most heavy 
and tiresome biooaphies of very moderate and obscure men ; 
with cumbersoflie details of a life without interest, and charac- 
ter without talent, and a correspondence neither illuminated 
with spirit nor enriched with fact. ' Yous me parlez,' says 
D'Olivet, ' d'un homme de lettres ; parlez moi done de ses talens, 
parlez moi de ses ouvrages, mais laissez moi ignorer ses foi- 
blesses, et k plus forte raison ses vices.' ^ 

* Gent. Mag.. March, 1837. Notice of Prior's Life of Goldmnitb, p. 229. 

A 2 



10 INTRODUCTION. 

Those who are desiroiig to be acquainted with the paientagey 
education, and incidents in the early career of the subject of this 
memoir, will find the information they require, gracefully given, 
and with a tender feeling of afiectionate regard for the memory 
of the deceased lady of whom this work treats, in a Memoir 
written by her niece, Miss Power. Extracts from that Memoir, 
by the kind permission of Miss Power, I have been allowed to 
avail myself of, and they will be found subjoined to this Intro- 
duction, with such additional matter of mine appended to them 
as Lady Blessington*s communications to me, both oral and writ- 
ten, and my own researches, enable me to ofier. 

The task I have undertaken is to illustrate the literary life 
of Lady Blessington. Her acquaintance with the literary men 
and artists of England, and foreign countries, dates from the 
period of her marriage with Lord Blessington, and her applica^ 
tion to literature, as a pursuit and an employment, from the time 
of the first continental tour, on which she set out in 1822. 

It is not necessary for me here, at least, to enter at large into 
her early history, though, with one exception, I am probably 
better acquainted with it than any other person living. The 
whole of that history was communicated to me by Lady Bless- 
ington, I believe with a conviction that it might be confided to 
me with safety, and, perhaps, with advantage at some future 
time to her memory. 

Extracts from a Memoir of the Countess of Blessington 
BY Miss Power, with additional matter in brackets in- 
serted BY the author of THIS WORK. 

^Marguerite Blessington was the third child and second 
daughter of Edmund Power, Esq., of Knockbxit, near Clonmel, 
in the county of Tipperary, and was bom on ibe first of Sep- 
tember, 1790. Her father, who was then a country gentleman, 
occupied with field-sports and agricultural pursuits, was the only 
son of Michael Power, Esq., of Curragheen, and descended from 
an ancient family in the county of Waterford. Her mother also 
belonged to a very old Roman Catholic family, a fact of which 
she was not a little proud, and her genealogical tree was pre- 



INTRODUCTION. U 

served with a religions veneration, and studied till all its branch- 
es were as familiar as the names of her children : ' My ancestors, 
the Desmonds,' were her household gods, and their deeds and 
prowess her favorite theme/' 

[Mr. Edmund Power, the father of Lady Blessington, was the 
son of a country gentleman of a respectable family, once in tol- 
erable circumstances. His father, Mr. Michael Power, left him 
a small property, eight miles distant from Dungarvan, called 
Ourragheen. 

He married, at an early age, a daughter of an ill-fated gen- 
tleman, Mr. Edmund Sheehy, descended from one of the most 
respectable Roman Catholic families in the county of Tipperary. 

In 1843 Lady Blessington presented me with an account of 
the Sheehy family, drawn up with great care, and from that 
document, in the handwriting of Lady Blessington, which is in 
my possession, the follovnng notice is taken verbatim. 

Pedigree of the Sheehy Family. 

" This ancient family possessed a large estate on the banks 
of the River Deel, in the coimty of Limerick, from the time that 
Maurice, the first Earl of Desmond's daughter, was married to 
Morgan Sheehy, who got the said estate from the earl as a por- 
tion with his wife. 

"From the above Morgan Sheehy was Hneally descended 
Morgan Sheehy, of Ballyallenane. The said Morgan married 
Ellen Butler, daughter of Pierce, Earl of Ormond, and the widow 
of Connor O'Brien, Earl of Thomond, and had issue, Morgan 
Sheehy. The said Morgan Sheehy married Catherine Mac Car- 
thy, daughter to Donnough Mac Carthy-More, of Dunhallow, in 
the county of Cork ; and had issue, Morgan Sheehy, who mar- 
ried Joan, daughter of David, Earl of Barrymore, in the county 
of Cork, and Lady Alice Boyle, eldest daughter of Richard, Earl 
of Cork; and had issue, Morgan Sheehy, and Meanus, from 
whom the Sheehys of Imokilly, and county of Waterford, are 
descended. The said Morgan married Catherine, the eldest of 
the five daughters of Teige O'Brien, of Ballycorrig, and of Eliza- 
beth, daughter of Maurice, Earl of Desmond. He had issue. 



X2 INTRODUCTION. 

three sons, John, Edmund, and Roger, and five daughters. Of 
the daughters, Joan married Thomas Lord Southwell; Ellen 
married Philip Magrath, of Sleady Castle, in the county of Wa- 
terford, Esq. ; Mary married Eustace, son of Sir John Brown, 
of Cammus, Bart. ; and Anne married Colonel Gilbrem, of Kil- 
mallock. 

" Of the five daughters of the above Teige O'Brien, Catherine 
married the above Morgan Sheehy, Esq. ; Honoria married Sir 
John FitzGerald, of Cloyne, Bart. ; Maudin married O'Shaugh- 
nessy, of Gort ; Julia married Mac Namara, of Cratala ; and 
Mary married Sir Thurlough Mac Mahon, of Cleana, in the coun- 
ty of Clare, Bart. 

" Of the three sons of Morgan Sheehy, Esq., and Catherine 
O'Brien, John, the eldest, married Mary, daughter of James Ca^ 
sey, of Rathcannon, in the county of Limerick, Esq. (It was in 
this John's time, about 1650, that Cromwell dispossessed the 
family of their estates.) The said John had issue John Sheehy, 
who married Catherine, daughter of Donough O'Brien, of Dun- 
gillane, Esq. He had issue Qharles Sheehy, who married Cath- 
erine Ryan, daughter of Matthew Ryan, Esq., and of Catherine 
FitzGerald, daughter of Sir John FitzGerald, of Clonglish, Bart., 
and had issue John and William Sheehy, Esqs., of Spittal. The 
said John married Honoria 'Sullivan, maternal grand-daughter 
to McBrien, of Sally Sheehan, and had issue one son and two 
daughters, viz., William Sheehy, Esq., of Bawnfowne, county 
Waterford, and Eleanor and Ellen. (Here there is an omission 
of any mention of William Sheehy 's marriage«) The said Ele- 
anor married William Cranick, of Galbally, Esq., and had issue 
Ellen, who married Timothy duinlan, Esq., of Tipperary. Ed- 
mund Sheehy,* Esq., son of the above-named William Sheehy, 
and brother to Eleanor and Ellen, married Margaret O'SuUivan, 
of Ballylegate, and had issue Robert and James Sheehy, and 
two daughters, Ellen and Mary. The said Ellen married Ed- 
mund Power, Esq., of Curragheen, in the county of Waterford ; 
and had issue, Anne, who died in her tenth year ; Michael, who 

* Executed in 1766 for alleged TebelUon. Edmund Sheehy was called Buck 
Sheehy. and lived at Bawnfowne. county WaterfoTd. 



INTRODUCTION. 



IS 



I 



k 



• Captain in the 2d West lucUa llegfiment at St. Litcia, ui 
the West Ijiiliea ; Marguerite, who married, firstly, Captain St, 

fer Farmer, of the 47th Regimeut, who died iii 1817, and 
idly» the Karl of Blessington ; Ellen, who married John 
Home Purves, Esq., Bon of iSir Alexander Purves^ Bart.» of Purves 
Hall, in the coimty of Berwick, and secondly, to Viseount Can- 
terbury ; Robert, who entered the army young, and left it a Cap- 
tain in the 30th Regiment of Foot in 1823. The laid Robert 
married Agnes Brooke, daughter of Thomas Brooke, Esq., first 
inember of council at St. Helena ; and Mary Anne, married, iji 
1831, to Count de St. Marsault/*' 

In the Appendix will be found a detailed account of the per^ 
tecutions of several members of the Sheehy family in 1765 and 
1760* It commenced with the prosecution, conviction, and ex- 
ecution of a priest, Fatlicr Nicholas iShcehy, who was a cousiu 
o( Edmmtd 8heehy, the grandfather of Lady Blessington. 

It* ever afirighted justice might be said to *^ swing from her 
moorings/* aiid« passion-tlriven, to be left at the mercy of the 
winds and waves of party violence, it surely was in those iniqui- 
tous pri>ceeding» ; and for imiocence it might indeed be ailirraed 
thai tlicro waa no anchorage in the breasts of a jur)% in those 
iim<*s, packed as it was for the purpose of conviction, or in the 
sanctuary uf a court, surrounded by a military force to overawe 
its functionaries, and to intiniidate the advocates and witnesses 
of the accused. The unfortuuaUe Father 8hcehy was found 
guilty of the murder of a man named John. Bridge, and sen- 
leneed to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, and the sentence 
was carried into execution at Clonmel. Thty head of the judi- 
olaUy murtl' * k on a spike, and placed over the 

pofch of th* ^ .J it was allowed to remain for up- 
ward of twenty years, till at length his sister, Mrs. Burke, wm 
allowi^d to remove it. 

The next victim of tlio Sheehy family was the cousin of the 
priest, Edmund Sheehy, the grand fat her of Lady Blessing; ton ; 
Atifl be, ec^uaily iunoeent, and far less obnoxious to sui^pieton nf 

• i1»i« mtd» 1S» ftoffdoiiosl MSOiiQt of th^ Sb^ehy finiily. sii^en m* by L«dy 



E M. 



14 INTRODUCTION. 

any misprision of agrarian outrage, was put to death a little later 
than his relative. 

Edmund Sheehy, the maternal grandfather of Lady Blessing- 
ton, who perished on the scafibld in May, 1766, and was huried 
in Kilronan church-yard, left four children, Robert, James, Ellen, 
and Mary. One of his sisters had married a Dr. Gleeson, of 
Cavchill, near Dungarvan. His eldest son, Robert, was mur- 
dered on his own property in 1631, at Bawnfowne, in the parish 
of Kilronan ; his eldest daughter, Ellen, married Edmund Power, 
Esq., of Curragheen, in the county of Waterford, This lady was 
not in anywise remarkable for her intellectual qualities. She 
was a plain, simple woman, of no pretensions to elegance of 
manners or remarkable cleverness. She died in Dublin up- 
ward of twenty years ago. The second son, James, went to 
America at an early age, and was never afterward heard of. 
His youngest daughter, Mary, married a Mr. John Colins, the 
proprietor of a newspaper in Clonmel. 

Robert Sheehy, who was murdered in 1831, left a son (Mr. 
John Sheehy, first cousin of Lady Blessington), whom I knew 
about two years ago in Clonmel, filling the situation of Master 
of the Au3dliary Workhouse (named Keyward Workhouse). 
Shortly after his marriage, Mr. Power removed to Knockbrit, a 
place about two miles from Cashel, and there, where he resided 
for many years, all his children were bom.] 

" Beauty, the heritage of the family, was, in her early youth, 
denied to Marguerite : her eldest brother and sister, Michael 
and Anne, as well as Ellen and Robert, were singularly hand- 
some and healthy children, while she, pale, weakly, and ailing, 
was for years regarded as little likely ever to grow to woman- 
hood ; the precocity of her intellect, the keenness of her percep- 
tions, and her extreme sensitiveness, all of which are so often 
regarded, more especially among the Irish, as the precursive 
symptoms of an early death, confirmed this belief, and the poor, 
pale, reflective child was long looked upon as doomed to a pre- 
mature grave. 

*' The atmosphere in which she lived was but little congenial 
to such a nature. Her father, a man of violent temper, and lit-; 



INTRODUCTION. 15 

tie giyen to study the characters of his children, intimidated and 
shook the delicate nerves of the sickly child, though there were 
moments — ^rare ones, it is true — ^when the sparkles of her early 
genius for an instant dazzled and gratified him. Her mother, 
though she failed not to hestow the tenderest maternal care on 
the health of the little snfierer, was not capahle of appreciating 
her fine and suhtile qualities, and her hrothers and sisters, fond 
as they were of her, were not, in their high health and boister- 
ous gayety, companions suited to such a child. 

" During her earliest years, therefore, she liyed in a world of 
dreams and fancies, sufficient, at first, to satisfy her infant mind, 
but soon all too vague and incomplete to fill the blank within. 
Perpetual speculations, restless inquiries, to which she could 
find no satisfactory solutions, perpetually occupied her dawning 
intellect ; and, until at last accident happily threw in her way 
an intelligence capable of comprehending the workings of the 
infant spirit, it was at once a torment and a blessing to her. 

'< This person, a Miss Anne Dwyer, a friend of her mother's, 
was herself possessed of talents and information far above the 
standard of other country women in those days. 

" Miss Dwyer was surprised, and soon interested by the re- 
flective air and strange questions which had excited only ridicule 
among those who had hitherto been around the child. The de- 
Telopment of this fine organization, and the aiding it to compre- 
hend what had so long been a sealed book, formed a study 
fraught with pleasure to her ; and while Marguerite was yet an 
infant, this worthy woman began to undertake the task of her 
education. 

•* At a very early age, the powers of her imagination had al- 
ready begun to develop themselves. She would entertain her 
brothers and sisters for hours with tales invented as she pro- 
ceeded ; and at last, so remarkable did this talent become, that 
her parents, astonished at the interest and coherence of her nar- 
rations, constantly called upon her to improtnser for the enter- 
tainment of their friends and neighbors, a task always easy to 
her fertile brain ; and, in a short time, the little neglected child 
became the wonder of the neighborhood. 



16 INTRODUCTION. 

" The increasing ages of their children, and the difficulty of 
obtaining the means of instruction for them at Knockbrit, in- 
duced Mr. and Mrs. Power to put into practice a design long 
formed, of removing to Clonmel, the county town of Tipperary. 
This change, which was looked upon by her brothers and sisters 
as a source of infinite satisfaction, was to Marguerite one of al- 
most unmingled regret. To leave the place of her birth, the 
scenes which her passionate love of nature had so deeply en- 
deared to her, was one of the severest trials she had ever expe- 
rienced, and was looked forward to with sorrow and dread. At 
last, the day arrived when she was to leave the home of her 
childhood, and sad and lonely she stole forth to the garden to 
bid farewell to each beloved spot. 

" Gathering a handful of flowers to keep in memory of the 
place, she, fearing the ridicule of the other members of the fam- 
ily, carefully concealed them in her pocket ; and with many 
tears and bitter regrets, was at last driven from Knockbrit, 
where, as it seemed to her, she lefl all of happiness behind her." 

[The removal of the Powers from Knockbrit to Clonmel must 
have been about the year 1796 or 1797. Their house in Clon- 
mel, which I lately visited, is a small, inconmiodious dwelling, 
near the bridge leading to the adjoining county of Waterford, at 
a place called Suir Island.] 

" At Clonmel, the improving health of Marguerite, and the so- 
ciety of children of her own age, gradually produced their eflect 
on her spirits ; and though her love of reading and study con- 
tinued rather to increase than abate, she became more able to 
join in the amusements of her brothers and sisters, who, delight- 
ed at the change, gladly welcomed her into their society, and 
manifested the afiection which hitherto they had little opportu- 
nity of displaying. 

" But soon it seemed as if the violent grief she had experi- 
enced at quitting the place of her birth, was prophetic of the 
misfortunes which, one by one, followed the removal to Clonmel. 

" Her father, with recklessness too prevalent in his day, com- 
menced a mode of living, and indulged in pleasures and hospi- 
tality, which his means, though amply sufficient to supply nec- 
essary expenses, were wholly inadequate to support. 



INTRODUCTION. 17 

"In an evil hour he was tempted by the representationB of a 
certain nobleman, more anxious to promote his own interest and 
influence than scrupulous as to the consequences which might 
result to others, to accept the situation of magistrate for the coun- 
ties of Tipperary and Waterford, a position from which no pecu- 
niary advantage was to be obtained, and which, in those times 
of trouble and terror, was fraught with difficulty and danger. 

" Led on by promises of a lucrative situation and hints at the 
probability of a baronetcy, as well as by his own fearless and 
reckless disposition, Mr. Power performed the painful and oner- 
ous duties of his situation with a zeal which procured for him 
the animosity of the friends and relatives in the remotest degree 
of those whom it was his fate, in the discharge of the duties of 
his office, to bring to punishment, and entirely precluded his 
giving the slightest attention to the business which had bid so 
fair to re-establish the fortunes of his family. His nights were 
spent in hunting down, with troops of dragoons, the unfortunate 
and misguided rebels, whose connections, in turn, burned his 
store-houses, destroyed his plantations, and killed his cattle ; 
while for all of these losses he was repaid by the most flatter- 
ing encomiums from his noble friend, letters of thanks from the 
Secretary for Ireland, acknowledging his services, and by the 
most gratifying and marked attention at the Castle when he 
visited Dublin. 

" He was too proud to remind the nobleman he believed to be 
his friend of his often-repeated promises, while the latter, only 
too glad not to be pressed for their performance, continued to 
lead on his dupe, and, instead of the valuable official appoint- 
ment, kc, icCj proposed to him to set up a newspaper, in which 
his lordship was to procure for him the publication of the gov- 
ernment proclamations, a source of no inconsiderable profit. 
This journal was, of course, to advocate only his lordship's po- 
litical views, so that, by way of serving his friend, he found a 
cheap and easy method of furthering his own plans. The result 
may be guessed ; Mr. Power, utterly unsuited in every respect 
to the conduct of such an undertaking, only became more and 
more deeply involved, and year by year added to his difficulties." 



IS INTRODUCTION. 

[Aldermaa H , of Clonmel, a lekoolfellow of one of the 

sons of Mr. Power, and well acquainted with the latter, informt 
me, '* When Mr. Power came to Clonmel, he was about thirty 
years of age ; he was a good-looking man, of gentlemanly ap« 
pearance and manners. He was then married. His first wife 
was a Miss Sheehy, of a highly respectable family. He en- 
gaged in the business of a corn-merchant and butter buyer. 
Subsequently he became proprietor of the Clonmel Guzette, or 
Munster Mercury. The editor of it was the well-known Ber^ 
nard Wright. The politics of the paper were liberal — Catholic 
politics — Power was then a Catholic, though not a very strict or 
observant one.* The paper advocated the electioneering inter- 
ests of the Landaffor Matthew family. 

" Bernard Wright," continues Alderman H , " the editor 

of the Clonmel Gazette, was my guardian. He was a man of 
wit, a poet, and an accomplished gentleman. He had been ed- 
ucated for the Church in France. He was the only member of 
his family who was a member of the Roman Catholic religion. 
He had to fly from Paris at the time of the French Revolution. 
In the Irish rebellion of 1798, he was one of the victims of the 
savagery of Sir Thomas Judkin Fitzgerald, and the only one of 
those victims who made that ferocious man pay for his inhu- 
manity after 1798." 

In January, 1844, when residing in Portugal, Mr. Jeremiah 
Meagher, Vice-consul at Lisbon, a native of Clonmel, and a 
clerk of Lady Blessington's father at the time the latter edited 
the Clonmel Gazette in that town, informed me of many par- 
ticulars relating to his connection with Mr. Power, and his great 
intimacy with Lady Blessington and her sister, which account 
Lady Blessington subsequently confirmed when I visited her in 
London, and spoke of my friend, the vice-consul, in the warmest 
terms of affectionate regard. 

* Power's family were Roman Catholics, but it seems that he had conformed 
to the Protestant religion, and had stipulated that his sons should be brought up 
in that faith, and had consented that his daughters should be of the religion of 
their mother, who was a Catholic. Mr. Power, however, when ho had nothing 
more to expect from his great patrons, came back to the old church, lived for many 
years in it, and died, it may be said with perfect truth, " arery unworthy member 

ofit*» 



INTRODUCTION 



19 



H far a 
■ Wtt0 




Mr. Meagher, in T^cfcrenco to the torture inflicted on Bernard 
^ht in 1798, said, *^* He was flogged severely for having a 
letter in the French langtmge in his pocket, which had been 
addressed to him by one of his friends, ho being a teacher of 
the French language. Foot Wright used to furnish articles of 
a literary kind for the paper* and assist in the management, but 
ho had no political opinions of any kind. Of that fact he, Mr* 
M«agheri was quite certain. In 1804, the paper was prosecntcd 
for a libel on Colonel Bagwell, written at the instigation of Mr. 
Watson, in the interest of Lord Donoughmoro. There was a 
iet against Power, and he was left to puy the costs." 

The newspaper concern was a ruinous aflair to Mr. Power. 
Mr* Heagher says, ** Of all the children of Mr, Power, Marguerite 
waa his favorite. He never knew a person naturally better dis- 
posed, or of such goodness of heart/* He knew her subsequently 
to her marriage m 1804^ when living at Cahir. 

Lady Blesaington inJormed me that " her father's purettits in 
Murying out the views of his patron, Lord Donoughmore, caused 
him to neglect his business. His aiTaini became deranged. To 
retrieve them, he entered into pa^rtnervhip, in a general mercan- 
tile way, with Messrs. Hunt and O'Brien, of Water ford. He 
expeaded a great deal of money there in building stores and 
warehouses. Those buildings, however, were burned by. the 
people (it was imagined), in revenge for the cruelties he had 
prmeticed on them* 

** Hi* violence," continued her ladyship, " which had formerly 
heen of a political kind only, now became a sort of constitution- 
al tmaeibility, his temper more and more irritable, his habits 
irregular ni —he became a terror to his wife and 

children, i s wife with hnitality, ho upbraided her 

frequently with her father's fate, and would often say to her, 
• What wwfif eett/ri ht txptctfidffom t}w daughter of a cfmmettd r^helf^ 

*^ Mis mereantile career was unfortunate ; his partnrrs got rid 
r many fniiticas rr^mnnBtranres. He had overtlrawn 
. he had put into the house by several thousand pound i. 
RU next apeculation was a newapaper* called the Clonmel Met^ 
, which was set up by him at the instance of Lord Bonougfi- 



20 INTRODUCTION. 

more, for the support of his lordship's electioneering interests in 
the county, and of his political opinions. Bernard Wright, the 
person who was flogged in 1798 hy Sir John Judkin Fitzgerald 
for having a French letter in his pocket, was for some time the 
manager and editor of that paper. The paper was at length 
prosecuted for a lihel written hy Lord Donoughmore ; hut his 
lordship left her father to hear the hrunt of the action, and to 
pay the expense of the suit and the damages. The paper then 
went to ruin ; Mr. Power for some years previously had given 
himself up to dissipation, and his aflairs had hecome involved 
in difficulties even previously to his settling up the paper, so 
much so, that she (Lady Blessington) and her sister Ellen, while 
at school, had often felt the humiliation of heing deharred from 
learning certain kinds of work, tamhour emhroidery, &c., on ac- 
count of the irregularity of the payment of their school charges." 

Mr. Power was a fair, though not, perhaps, a very favorahle 
specimen of the Irish country gentleman of some sixty years ago, 
fond of dogs, horses, wine, and revelry, and very improvident 
and inattentive to all aflairs of husiness. He was a flne-looking 
man, of an imposing appearance, showy, and of an aristocratic 
air, very demonstrative of frills and ruffles, much given to white 
cravats, and the wearing of leather hreeches and top hoots. 
He was known to the Tipperary hloods as " a huck," as " shiver 
the frills," " Beau Power," and other appellations complimenta- 
ry to his sporting character, rollicking disposition, and very re- 
markahle costume. 

When the times were out of joint in 1798, and for some years 
succeeding that disastrous epoch, Mr. Power, having thrown him- 
self into local politics, and hecoming deeply engaged in puhlic 
aflairs, acquired in a short time the character of a terrorist in 
the district that was the sphere of his magisterial duties. The 
hunting of suspected rehels, of persons thought to be disloyal in 
the late rebellion, even so long as four and five years after its 
complete suppression, became a favorite pursuit of Mr. Power. 
At length the energy of his loyalty went beyond the law. In 
scouring the country in pursuit of suspected rebels, he took it 
into his head to arrest a young man whom he met on the road. 



INTRODUCTION. 21 

The unfortunate man fled at the approach of the armed gentle- 
man with his pistol leveled at him. Mr. Power shot the flying 
peasant, seized the wounded man, set him on a horse, and car- 
ried his dying prisoner first to his own house, and from thence 
to the jail at Clonmel. The unfortunate man died. Mr. Power 
was tried for the murder, and was acquitted. 

The particulars of this frightful affair were given me in 
1843 by Lady Blessington, and more recently by other parties 
having a very intimate knowledge of the circumstances refer- 
red to. 

The account given me by Lady Blessington in some respects 
differs from the others ; but, though it contradicts them in some 
minor details, it must be borne in mind her ladyship's account 
is evidently derived from that put forward by her father in his 
defense. 

Though at the risk of being somewhat prolix, it seems best, 
in a matter of this kind, to give the several statements which 
seem deserving of attention separately. 

Lady Blessington, in speaking to me of this catastrophe, said, 

" On one occasion (when her father went out scouring the 
country for suspected rebels) he took his son Michael out with 
him. Afler riding along the road for some time, he informed 
the young man he was going to apprehend a very desperate fel- 
low in the neighborhood, whom none of the constables dare lay 
hands on. The son, whose principles were altogether opposed 
to the father's, was reluctant to go on this mission, but dared 
not refuse. The father, approaching the cabin of the suspected 
peasant, saw a person at work in an adjoining field. Mr. Power 
galloped into the field, attended by his son and a servant, and 
leveling a pistol at the man's head, called on him to surrender 
(but exhibited no warrant for his apprehension). The man flung 
a stone at his assailant, whereupon Mr. Power, taking deliber- 
ate aim, mortally wounded the man in the body. This was not 
sufficient ; he placed the wounded man on horseback behind his 
servant, and thus conveyed him to town, and in the first instance 
to his own place of abode, and then to jail." 

Lady Blessington added, that " she remembered with horror 



INTRODUCTION. 23 

sUl«s that Mr. Power, in the stormy period of 1798 and some 
suoceeding years, sought to obtain local influence and distinction 
by hunting down the peasantry at the head of a troop of mount- 
ed yeomanry. He succeeded in being made a magistrate. He 
was in the habit of scouxing the country for suspected parties 
around his residence. 

At a period when martial law was in full force throughout 
the country, Mr. Power, in one of his scouring expeditions in his 
district, met a young lad going along the road, with a pitchfork 
in his hand, the son of an old widow woman living on the prop- 
erty of Mr. Ryan's father. Mr. Power, on seeing the lad, at 
once decided he was a rebel, and his pitchfork was an evidence 
of treasonable intentions. The sight of the well-known terror- 
ist and his troopers was at once sufficient to put the lad to flight 
—he ran into a fleld. Mr. Power fired at him as he was run- 
ning ; the shot took efl^ct, and death shortly afterward was the 
result. Mrs. Ryan states, the widow and her son (her only 
child) were harmless, honest, well-disj^ed people, much liked 
in the neighborhood. The lad, having broken the prong of his 
fork, was proceeding to the smith's forge in the evening of the 
day referred to to get it mended, when he had the misfortune 
to fall in with Mr. Power at an angle of a road, and was mur- 
dered by him. Before the poor lad had left the cabin, his 
mother subsequently stated that she had said to him, '' Johnny, 
dear, it's too late to go : maybe Mr. Power and the yeomen are 
out." The lad said, " Never mind, mother, I'll only leave the 
fork and come back immediately ; you know I can't do without 
it to-morrow. The widow watched for her son all night long 
in vain. He returned to her no more. She made fruitless in- 
quiries at the smith's. She went into Clonmel in the morning, 
and there she learned her son had been shot by Mr. Power. 

The usual brutality of exposing the mutilated body of a pre- 
sumed rebel in front of the jail was gone through in this case. 
The widow recognized the remains of her only child. Her 
piercing shrieks attracted attention. They soon ceased ; some 
of the bystanders carried away the old creature senseless and 
speechless. She had no one now of kith or kin to help her, no 



24 INTRODUCTION. 

one at home to mind her, and she was unable to mind herself. 
Mrs. Ryan's father, a humane, good-hearted man, took pity on 
the poor old forlorn creature. He had her brought to his own 
home, and she remained an inmate of it to the day of her death. 
The children of this good man haye a rich inheritance in his 
memory to be proud of and thankful to (rod for. The old 
woman never wholly recovered the shock she had sustained ; 
she moped and pined away in a state of listless apathy, that 
merged eventually into a state of hypochondria, and in a par- 
oxysm of despondency she attempted to put an end to her ex- 
istence by cutting her throat. 

Strange to say, although the windpipe was severed, and she 
lost a great deal of blood, the principal arteries being uninjured, 
with timely assistance and the best medical care she partially 
recovered, and was restored, not only to tolerable bodily health, 
but to a comparatively sound state of mind also. She died after 
a year or two. Scarcely any one out of Ryan's house cared for 
her or spoke about her; nothing more was heard of her or hers, 
but the voice of her innocent son's blood went up to heaven. 

The ways and wisdom of heaven are inscrutable indeed. 
Mr. Power, who shed that innocent blood, lived for some years 
in the midst of revelry and riot, and eventually died in his bed, 
not wanting for any of the necessaries or comforts of life, with 
ample time, but with no disposition for repentance for an ill- 
spent life. 

But the eldest son of Mr. Power, Michael, a noble-minded, 
generous, kindly-disposed youth, who looked with horror on the 
acts of his father, and was forced to witness the last barbarous 
outrage of his, to which reference has been just made, who 
never spoke to his sister Marguerite of that terrible outrage 
without shuddering at its enormity — ^he died in a distant land, 
in the prime of life, suddenly, without previous warning or ap- 
prehension of his untimely fate.] 

" About this time," says Miss Power, " Anne, the eldest of 
the family, was attacked by a nervous fever, partly the result 
of the terror and anxiety into which the whole of the family 
were plunged by the misfortunes which gathered round them. 




IKTEODUCTION. 



25 



aggniTated by tho frequetit and terrible outbreaJcs of rage to 
which their father, always passionate, now became more than 
cTer subject. In spite of every eflbrt, this lovely child, Tvhose 
liTeetionate disposition and endearing qualities entirely preclud- 
ed any feeling of jealousy which the constant praises of her ex- 
tz«Qie beauty » to the disparagement of Marguerite, might have 
excited in the breast of the latter, fell a victim to the disease, 
and not long after, Edmund, the second son, also died.* 

** These successive misfortunes so impaired the health and 
^Aepfeflfod the spirits of the mother, that the gloom continued to 
fall deeper and deeper over the house. 

** Thus matters continued for some years, though there were 
moments when the natural buoyancy of childhood caused the 
younger roemberi! of the family to find relief from the cloud of 
sorrow and anxiety that hung over their home. The love of 
society still entertained by their father brought not unfrequent 
guests to his boards, and enabled his children to mix with the 
families around. Among those who visited at his house were 
some whose names have been honorably known to their coun- 
try* Lord Hutchinson and his brothers, Curran, the brLUiant 
and witty Lysaght, Generals Sir Robert Mac Farlane, and ^ir 
Colquhoun Grant — then lieutenant colonels — officers of various 
ranks, and other men of talent and merit, were among these 
visitors, and their society and conversation were the greatest 
delight of Marguerite, who, child as she was, was perfectly ca- 
pable of understanding and appreciating their superiority.'' 

[Among those alao, in 1804, who were intimately acquainted 
with th« Powers, were Captain Henry Hardinge^ o( the 47th 
Regiment of Foot, Captn " Amid Campbell, Major Edward 

BlakentH% and Captain . uirray of the same regiment.] 

**At fourteen. Marguerite began to enter into the society of 
growQ*tip pervons, an event which afforded her no small satis- 
faetiofi^ as that of cliildr4»n, with the exception of her brothers 
and sisterv, especially Ellen, from whom she was almost insepar- 
able, had but little charm for her. Kllcn, who was somewhat 

* lj»Af BI««atn|ton, iti Use teeouat of th« family f ivvn to me tvy Ket U4ytttip, 
m^km no ttcauoa of s too nMood Edmuad. — E R. M. 
Vol. L— B 



^ 




25 INTRODUCTION. 

more than a year her junior, shared the beauty of her family, 
a fact of which Marguerite, instead of being jealous, was 
proud, and the greatest affection subsisted between the sisters, 
though there was but little similarity in their dispositions or 
pursuits. In order that they might not be separated, Ellen, 
notwithstanding her extreme youth, was permitted to accom- 
pany her sister into the society of Tipperary, that is to say, to 
assemblies held there once a week, called Coteries. These, 
though music and dancing were the principal amusements, were 
not considered as balls, to which only girls of riper years were 
admitted. Here, though Ellen's beauty at first procured her 
much more notice and admiration than fell to the lot of her 
sister, the latter, ere long, began to attract no inconsiderable 
degree of attention. Her dancing was singularly graceful, and 
the intelligence of her conversation produced more lasting 
impressions than mere physical beauty could have won. 

*' About this period the 47th Regiment arrived, and was sta- 
tioned at Clonmel, and, according to the custom of country 
towns, particularly in Ireland, all the houses of the leading gen- 
try were thrown open to receive the officers with due attention. 

"At a dinner given to them by her father. Marguerite was 
treated with marked attention by two of them. Captain Mur- 
ray and Captain Farmer, and this attention was renewed at a 
juvenile ball given shortly after. 

" The admiration of Captain Murray, although it failed to 
win so very youthful a heart, pleased and flattered her, while 
that of Captain Farmer excited nothing but mingled fear and 
distaste. She hardly knew why ; for young, good-looking, and 
with much to win the good graces of her sex, he was generally 
considered as more than equal to Captain Murray in the power 
of pleasing. 

"An instinct, however, which she could neither define nor 
control, increased her dislike to such a degree at every succeed- 
ing interview, that Captain Farmer, perceiving it was in vain 
to address her personally, applied to her parents, unknown to 
her, ofiering his hand, with the most liberal proposals which a 
good fortune enabled him to make. In ignorance of an event 



INTRODUCTION. 27 

which was destined to work so important a change in her des- 
tiny, Marguerite received a similar proposal from Captain Mur- 
ray, who at the same time informed her of the course adopted 
by his brother officer, and revealed a fact which perhaps ac- 
counted for the instinctive dread she felt for him." 

[Captain Farmer was subject to fits of ungovernable passion, 
at times so violent as to endanger the safety of himself and 
those around him ; and at all times there was about him a cer- 
tain wildness and abruptness of speech and gesture, which left 
the impression on her mind that he was insane.] 

'^Astonishment, embarrassment, and incredulity were the feel- 
ings uppermost in the girl's mind at a communication so every 
way strange and unexpected. 

"A few days proved to her that the information of Captain 
Farmer's having addressed himself to her parents was but too 
true ; and the further discovery that these addresses were 
sanctioned by them, filled her with anxiety and dismay. She 
knew the embarrassed circumstances of her father, the desire 
he would naturally feel to secure a union so advantageous in 
a worldly point of view for one of his children, and. she knew, 
too, his fiery temper, his violent resistance of any attempt at 
opposition, and the little respect, or consideration, he entertain- 
ed for the wishes of any of his family when contrary to his own. 
Her mother, too, gave but little heed to what she considered 
as the foolish and romantic notions of a child who was much 
too young to be consulted in the matter. Despite of tears, 
prayers, and entreaties, the unfortunate girl was compelled to 
yield to the commands of her inexorable parents ; and, at four- 
teen and a half, she was united to a man who inspired her 
with nothing but feelings of terror and detestation."* 

[Captain Maurice St. Leger Farmer entered the army in 
February, 1795 ; he had been on half pay in 1802, and obtained 
his company the 9th of July, 1803, in the 47th Regiment of 
Foot.t In 1805 he continued in the same regiment, but in 1806 

♦ The brideman of Captain Fanner was a Captain Hardinge^ of the 47th Ref- 
iment. The captain became a general, and is now a lord. — ^R. R- M. 
t Vide Amy LisU for 1604, 5, S. 



28 INTRODUCTION. 

his name is not to be found in the Army List, neither of officers 
on full or on h&lf pay.] 

" The result of such a union may be guessed. Her husband 
could not but be conscious of the sentiment she entertained 
toward him, though she endeavored to conceal the extent of 
her aversion ; and this conviction, acting upon his peculiarly 
excitable temperament, produced such frequent and terrible 
paroxysms of rage and jealousy, that his victim trembled in his 
presence. It were needless to relate the details of the period 
of misery, distress, and harrowing fear through which Margue- 
rite, a child in years, though old in suffering, passed. Denied 
in her entreaties to be permitted to return to the house of her 
parents, she at last, in positive terror for her personal safety, 
fled from the roof of her husband to return no more." 

[There is a slight mistake in the passage above referred to. 
On Lady Blessington's own authority I am able to state, that 
she did return to her father's house, though she was very reluct- 
antly received there. The particulars of this unhappy marriage 
had best be given in the words of Lady Blessington, and the 
following is an account of it, furnished me by her ladyship on 
the 15th of October, 1853. 

** Her father was in a ruined position at the time Lady Bless- 
ington was brought home from school, a mere child, and treated 
as such. Among his military friends, she then saw a Captain 
Farmer for the first time ; he appeared on very intimate terms 
with her father, but when she first met him, her father did not 
introduce her to him ; in fact, she was looked on then as a mere 
school-girl, whom it was not necessary to introduce to any 
stranger. In a day or two her father told her she was not to 
return to school : he had decided that she was to marry Captain 
Farmer. This intelligence astonished her ; she burst out cry- 
ing, and a scene ensued in which his menaces and her protesta- 
tions against his determination terminated violently. Her 
mother unfortunately sided with her father, and eventually, by 
caressing entreaties and representations of the advantages her 
father looked forward to from this match with a man of Cap- 
tain Farmer's affluence, she was persuaded to sacrifice herself, 




I 
I 



INTRODUCTION. 



» 



sod to marry a man for whom she felt the utmost repugn&nee. 
She hml not heen long under her husband^s roof before it 
became evident to her that her husband wag subject to fits of 
insanity* and hb own relatives informed her that her father 
had been acquainted by them that Captain Farmer had been 
insane ; but this information had been concealed from her by 
h«r father. 8hc lived with him about three months, and dur- 
ing this time he frequently treated her with personal violence ; 
be used to stnlce her on the face, pinch her tiU her arms were 
blaek and blue, lock her up whenever he went abroad, and 
oflen has left her without food till she felt almost famished* 
He was ordered to join his regiment, which was encamped at 
the Curragh of Kildare. Lady Blessington refused to accom- 
pany him there, and was permitted to remove to her father's 
house» to remain there during his absence. Captain Farmer 
joined his regiment, and had not been many days with it, 
when, in a quarrel with his colonel, he drew his sword on the 
former, and the result of this insane act (for such it was 
allowed to be) was, that he was obliged to quit the service, 
being permitted to sell his commission. The friends of Captain 
Farmer now prevailed on him to go to India (I think Lady 
Blessington said in the Company's service) ; she, however, 
refused to go with him, and remained at her father's.** 

Such is the account given to me by Lady Blessington, and for 
the accurai*y of the above report of it I can vouch ; though, of 
course » 1 can offer no opinion as to the justice of her conclusions 
in regard to the insanity of Captain Farmer. But it must be 
stated fully and unreservedly that the account given by her la- 
dyship of the causes of the separation, and those set forth in a 
recent communication of a brother of Captain Farmer to the edi- 
tor of a DubUn evening paper are in some respects at variance. 

But in one important point the itatement of the brother of 

Captain Farmer, in contradiction of the account given by Lady 

Blfaiington*s niece of the habits of Captain Farmer, must be cr^ 

ill 'rig of the jury at the inquest held on his body, 

ai^ r tlio deputy marshal of the prison be correct. 

Ml. John Hheehy, now residing in Clonmel, the cousin of Lady 



30 INTROPUCTION. 

Blesflington, infoims me that '^ he has a perfect recoUectioii of 
the marriage of Lady Blessington with Captain Fanner. His 
father considered it a forced marriage, and used to speak of the 
Tiolence done to the poor girl hy her father as an act of tyranny. 
It was an unfortunate marriage," says Mr. Sheehy, *' and it led 
to great misfortunes. It was impossihle for her to live with 
Captain Farmer. She fled from him, and sought refuge in her 
father's house. 

'* She refused to return to her hushand, and a separation was 
agreed on hy the parties. Mrs. Fanner found herself very un- 
happily circumstanced in her former home. Her father was 
unkind, and sometimes more than unkind to her. She was 
looked on as an interloper in the house, as one who interfered 
with the prospects and advancement in life of her sisters. It 
was supposed that one of the military friends of Mr. Power's, 
and a frequent visitor at his house. Captain Jenkins, then sta- 
tioned at Tullow, had heen disposed to pay his addresses to Miss 
Ellen Power, and to have married her, and was prevented by 
other stronger impressions made on him by one then wholly 
unconscious of the influence exerted by her."* The supposition, 
however, was an erroneous one. 

Captain Jenkins was brought up in the expectation of inher- 
iting a large fortune in Hampshire, and was ultimately disap- 
pointed in that expectation. For several years he had a large 
income, and having expended a great deal of money previously 
to his marriage, had been for many years greatly embarrassed. 
His embarrassments, however, did not prevent him from retain- 

* The officer referred to by Mr. Sheehy was a Captain Thomas Jenkins, of the 
11th Light Dragoons, a gentleman of a good family in Hampshire, and of rery 
large expectations of fortune. 

By the Array List we find this gentleman entered the army in December, 1801. 
He held the rank of lieutenant in the 11th Light Dragoons in January, 1802. In 
December, 1806, he obtained a captaincy, and continued to hold the same rank 
in that regiment till after the peace in 1815. In 1809 he was domiciled in Dublin, 
in Holies Street, and Mrs. Parmer was then also residing in Dublin. In 1116 his 
name disappears from the Army Lists. He had an establishment at Sidmanton, 
in Hampshire, for three or four years previously to 1814. He served with his 
regiment in the latter part of the Peninsular campaign, and was absent from Sid- 
maaton nearly two y<Mn^— Jt. R. M. 



rNTRO0UCTlUN 



91 



inf file ojitoem and regard uf all who had ktiowu him in hiA 
more protpiaoua circumstanced, lie was a generona man, aja 

inble aud high-xuiuded gentleniaa, of elegant maiuiers and 
pleajiiug address. lie married) whea rather advanced in years* 
tho BaroncM Calahrella — a eUtcr of a gcutleraaii of sorae noto- 
riety in liia day, Mr. Ball Huehea — the widow first of a Mr. Lee, 
and lecoadly of a Mr. Do Blaqtiicre. This lady, who was pos- 
tered of couaiderable mcaus, purchased a amall property on the 
C4>ntineot, with some rights of seigniorage appertaining to it, 
from which the title is derived wiuch she now bears. 

She resided for some years in Abbeville, np to a short period, i 
believe* of her second husband *s death, which took place in Pads. 

This htdy is the talented authoress of several rejnarkable pro- 
ductions^ wa« long intii i luted with Lady Blesaing- 
%>ii, and held in very h\ i by her ladyship. 

^* The bouse of Mr. Power,' Mr. 6»hechy states, "^^ was made so 
disagreeable to Mrs. Farmer, that she might be said to have been 
driven to the necessity of seeking shelter elaewheR*. 

** He remembers Mrs. Farmer residing at TuUow, in the county 
of Watcrford, four miles from Lismore. His own family was 
then living at Cappoquin, within seven miles of Tullow. Mrs, 
Farmer wrote to her uncle and his daughters, but ho disap- 
proved of her separation from Captain Farmer, and refused on 
omit to allow his daughter to vihit her. 
fe*« Pkoviottsly to her marriage with Gaptaui Farmer/* he adda^ 
" idle peraoni gossiped about her alleged love of baU«room dii- 
ttiietion and intimacy with persons remarkable for gayety and 
plefteure. But thera wa« no ground for the rumor.** 

Another gentleman well acquainted with tlie fajuily. Alder* 

man H , says : " Mrs. Fanner lived for nearly three years 

with her httsbaml at diU'crent places. After the separation, she 
ici ' M>me time with her aunt, Mrs.H' ihe wife 

>( , wbo Lived at Eingville, near J n. 8h«* 

reii4p^ also occasionally at her father's with h^r i^isier Ellen, 
Mims rtpr<f€ih€ (but nut without great trials) ; her htisband *'«'i»t.*»l 
her badly.** 

Mr* Jeremiah Meagher, British Vice-Consnl at Lisbon, iniorm- 



32 



INTRODUCTION. 



ed me that he was in the employment of Mr. Power, in connec- 
tion with the Clonmel Gazette, in 1804, at the period of the 
marriage of Marguerite Power with Captain Farmer ; that sub- 
sequently to it he knew her when she was residing at Cahir. 

Mr. Meagher speaks in terms of the strongest regard for her. 
** He never knew a person so inclined to act kindly toward oth- 
ers, to do any thing that lay in her power to serve others ; he 
never knew a person naturally better disposed, or one possessing 
so much goodness of heart. He knew her from childhood to the 
period of her marriage, and some years subsequently to it ; and 
of all the children of Mr. Power, Marguerite was his favorite." 

This is the testimony of a very honest and upright man. 

Mr. Meagher says : " She resided at Cahir so late as 1807. 
He thinks Captain Jenkins' intimacy with the Power family 
commenced in 1807." And another informant, Mr .Wright, son 
of Bernard Wright, states that Mrs. Farmer, while residing at 
Cahir, visited frequently at Lord Glengall's. Other persons have 
a recollection of Colonel Stewart, of Killymoon, being a favorite 
guest at the house of Mr. Power at many entertainments between 
1806 and 1807. 

The Tyrone militia was stationed at Clonmel or in its vicin- 
ity about the period of Captain Farmer's marriage with Miss 
Power, or not long after that event. 

The colonel of this regiment was the Earl of Caledon (date 
of appointment, 1 1th of August, 1804). The lieutenant colonel, 
Lord Mountjoy (date of appointment, 28th of September, 1804). 
His lordship was succeeded in the lieutenant colonelcy by Will- 
iam Stewart, Esq., son of Sir J. Stewart, of Killymoon (date of 
appointment, 16Ui of April, 1805), and he continued to hold that 
rank from 1805 to 1812. As an intimate friend of Lady Bless- 
ington and her sister. Lady Canterbury, a few words of Colonel 
Stewart may not be out of place. 

He was a descendant of the junior branch of the Stewarts of 
Ochiltree, who were related to the royal line, and who received 
large grants from James I. afler his accession to the British 
throne. Colonel Stewart's splendid seat and magnificent de- 
mesne of Killymoon were hardly equaled, for elegant taste and 



tNTRODUCTION. 



I 



I 



of iituation and Boenory, in the county of Tyrone. The 
library, the remains of w^uch I saw immediately after the sale 
of the property in 1850, was one of the richest in Ireland in 
Italian literature. The colonel had been much in Italy, and 
had carried back with hitn the taster and habits of an accom- 
pUsbed traveler, and a lover of Italian lore. His personal ap- 
pearance and manners were remarkable for elegance, and were 
no less prepossessing and attractive than his mental qualities 
and accomplishments. 

Sir Jolm iStewart, the father of the late Colonel Stewart, died 
in October, 1825, at his seat, Killymoon. He had been a distin- 
guished member of the Dungannon volunteer convention. ** Sir 
John had been returned six times for the county Tyrone, and 
had been a member of the Irish and Imperial Parliament for 
forty years, during which time he was a steady, uniform, and 
zealous supporter of the Constitution in church and Btate« Ho 
filled the offices of counsel to the Revenue Board, Solicitor Gen- 
eral, and Attorney General ; and of him it was truly observed 
by an aged statesman, * that he was one of the few men who 
grew more humble the higher he advanced in political station.* 
Sir John was manied in tlie year 1790 to Miss Archdale, sistei 
of General Archdale, M J. for the county of Fermanaght by whom 
he had two sons and a daughter/'* 

In the several notices of Lady Blessingfton that have been 
published* there is a hiatus in the account given thai leaves a 
period of about nine years unnoticed. 

In 1 807 she vras living at Cahir, in the county Tipperary, sep- 
ted from her husband ; in 1809 she was sojourning in Dub- 
lin ; a little later she was residing in Hampshire; in 1816, W9 
find her established in Manchester Square, London ; and at the 
oommencement of 1818, on the point of marriage with an Irish 
nobleman. 

The task I have proposed to myself does not render it neoes- 
•aiy for tno to do more than glance at the fact, and to ciio a few 
piMagea more from the Memoir of Miss Power.] 

1^ Ciremiiitiiieet hmTtsg »! last induced Mrs. Farmer to fix 
• aaimi] R#fi»t#ir. AppMidtx to CKmnicU, \BiX p «« 



J 



34 INTRODUCTION. 

upon London as a reiidence, she ettablished benelf in a honse 
in Manchester Square, where, with her brother Robert (Michael 
had died some years previoosly), she remained for a considera- 
ble period. 

"Notwithstanding the troublous scenes through which she 
had passed, the beauty denied in her childhood had gradually 
budded and blossomed into a degree of loveliness which many 
now living can attest, and which Lawrence painted, and Byron 
sung." 

[Among the visitors at her house, we are told by Miss Power, 
was the Earl of Blessington, then a widower. And on the oc- 
currence of an event in 1817 which placed the destiny of Mrs. 
Farmer in her own hands, his lordship's admiration was soon 
made known, and proposals of marriage were offered to her, and 
accepted by her, in 1818. 

The event above referred to was tho death of Captain Far- 
mer. Captain Farmer, subsequently to the separation about 
1807, having left his regiment, still serving in Ireland, went to 
the East Indies, obtained an employment there, and. remained 
in it a few years. He returned to England about 1816, and be- 
ing acquainted with persons involved in pecuniary embarrass- 
ments, who had been thrown into prison during their confine- 
ment within the rules of the Fleet, he visted them frequently, 
lived freely, and, I believe it may be added, riotously, with his 
imprisoned friends. 

On one occasion, of a festive nature, after having been regaled 
by them, and indulging to excess, in the act of endeavoring to 
sally forth from the room where the entertainment had been 
given, he rushed out of the room, placed himself on the ledge 
of the window to escape the importunities of his associates, fell 
to the ground in the court-yard, and died of the woimds he re- 
ceived a little later. 

From the " Morning Herald" of October 28th, 181 7, the foUow- 
ing account is taken of the inquest on Captain Maurice Farmer : 

*' An inquisition has been taken at the Bear and Rummer, 
Wells Street, Middlesex Hospital, on the body of Captain Mau- 
rice Fanner, who was killed by falling from a window in the 



fNTKODCCTlON 



w 



Kitig*n Bench Prisoa. Tli <1 wan a captain in the army, 

upon haiJ pay ; and haviii ^1 an appointment in the aenr- 

ice uf the Spanish Patriots* went, on TueiSilay week, to take leave 
of some frtcndii coniined in the King^s Bench Prison. The party 
il/ank lour qnartji of rum* and were all intoxicated. When the 
deccaAod roi^o to go home, his triends locked the door of the 
room to prevent him. Apprehensive that they meant to detain 
him aU night, a9 they had done twice before, he threw up the 
window and threatened to jump out if they did not release him. 
Finding thi» of no avail« he got upon tlie ledge, and, whilo ex- 
postulating with them» lost his balance. He hung on for some 
tninut^s by bis hands, but bis friends were too much intoxicated 
to bo able to relieve him. He consequently fell from the two 
pair, and had one tliigh and one arm broken, and the violence 
with which his head eame in contact with the ground produced 
an eHusion of blood on the brain. He was taken up in a state 
of iiimyuiibiiity, and conveyed to the MiddJeaex Hospital, where 
he died on Tuesday last. The deputy marshal of the King^a 
Bi'i' * ' " ited that the friend| 

ol 1 - him; but, from the 

gro9S impropriety of their conduct, the marshal had comniitted 
thetn to HorBMismonger Lane Jail, to one month's solitary con- 
finement. 

"The jury came to the follow' Uct: * The deceased 

caxod to his death by accidentally t _ ^ om a window m the 
J£iiig*i Bench Prison when in a state of intoxication.* '" 

In that statement made to nie by Lady Blcs^ington in 1843, 
to which 1 have previously referred, 1 was informed, ** In a few 
days after Captain Planner's death. Perry, of the Morning Chron- 
icle (then unknown to Lord Blessington), aildressed a note to 
Lord Biessington, inclosing a statement, purporting to bo an ae- 
com ' ' ' ' r Captain Farmer, sent to him for insertion 
in i i^^ an air of mystery over the recent catas- 
trnjihe, things that were utterly unJbunded,and enter- 
ing intu , ^,jjrticulars in coimoetiou with hin marriage- The 

simple statement of the facU on the part of Lanl Ulossuigtoti to 
Peny suliiced to prevent the insertion of this ininmi^* *Uuid«, 



35 INTRODUCTION. 

and laid the foimdation of a lasting friendship between Lord 
and Lady Blessington, and the worthy man who was then editor 
of the ' Morning Chronicle.' " 

Mr. Power, in the mean time, had become a ruined man, bank- 
rupt in fortune, character, and domestic happiness. He removed 
to Dublin from Clonmel, and there, in Clarendon Street, Mrs. 
Power died, far advanced in years. Her husband married a sec- 
ond time, upward of twenty years ago, a Mrs. Hymes, widow of 
a brewer of Limerick. This lady, whose maiden name was 
Vize, was a native of Clonmel. He had been supported for a 
great many years previously to his death hy his two daughters. 
Lady Blessington and Lady Canterbury, who jointly contributed 
the sum of one hundred and twenty pounds a year toward his 
maintenance. He possessed no other means of subsistence, hav- 
ing assigned over to his son a small farm which he possessed 
in the county of Waterford at the time the arrangement was en- 
tered into by his daughters to contribute each sixty pounds a 
year for his maintenance. 

The claims on Lady Blessington were more extensive than 
can be well conceived. One member of her family had an an- 
nual stipend paid monthly, from the year 1836 to 1839 inclu- 
sive, of five pounds a month. In 1840 it was increased to eight 
pounds a month. From 1841 to 1847, inclusive, it was seven 
pounds a month. These payments, for which I have seen vouch- 
ers, amounted, in all, to the sum of seven hundred and eighty- 
four pounds. I have reason to believe the stipend was contin- 
ued to be paid in 1848, which additional sum would make the 
amount eight hundred and sixty-eight pounds devoted to the as- 
sistance of one relative alone, exclusive of other occasional con- 
tributions on particular occasions. 

Miss Mary Anne Power, the youngest sister of Lady Blessing- 
ton, married, in 1831, an old French nobleman of ancient fam- 
ily, the Count Saint Marsault. The disparity of years in this al- 
liance was too great to afibrd much expectation of felicity. The 
count returned to his own country, and his wife returned to her 
native land, preserving there, as elsewhere, a character for some 
eecentrieity, but one uniformly irreproachable. 



INTRODUCTION. 



I 



I 



IB. Dogherty, to whom allusloti ia made in the letters of 
La4f Biesaiiigtoti, wa« a relative of a Mr. Edward Uuinlan, of 
ClonmeK an old gentleman of considerable means, who had been 
connected by marriage with Lady Blesfiingtons mother (vide 
genealogical account of the SSheehy family). Mr. QpUinlan died 
in November, 1836| leaving large fortunes to his daughters. On 
the ocoMion of the trial of Edmund Power for the murder of the 
boy Lonergan, till Mr. Cluinlan eamo forward with a sum of 
Btif pounds as a loan to Power, the latter was actually unable 
at the time to engage counsel for his defense. 

The Countess Bt. Massault went to reeidc with her father on 
her arrival in Ireland, iirst at Arklow, afterward in lodgings at 
No. 18 Camden Btreet, Dublin, and next at 5 Lower Dorset 
Street, where, in the latter part of October, 1836, Mr. Power wai 
reduced to such a helpless state of bodily debility and j^uilenngy 
he waa *^ unable to make the slightest movement without 
and groaning with agony." He was attended in Dub- 
lin by a relative of his, a Dr. Kirwan, a first cousin. He ap- 
pears to have died in the early part of 1837. On the 30th of 
January, 1837, the Countess of 8t. Marsault was no longer re- 
siding in Dublin, but waa then domesticated at the abode of an 
old lady of the name of Dogherty, a relative of hers» at Mont 
Bruis, near Cashel, in the county of Tipperary. There she re- 
mained for nearly a year. •* After an absence of thirty years 
she visit4«d Clonmel.** The date of this visit was April, 1837. 
SSke must then have quitted Clonmel in 1807, in very early 
chiMhoud. In 1839 she returoed to England. 

Mr. Power, at the time of his decease, was seventy yean of 
age* A youth passed without the benefit of experience, had 
aerg-ed into manhood without the restraints of rehgion, or the 
i&floeaccs of kindly home affections, and terminated in age with- 
out wisdom, or honor, or respect, and death without solemnity. 
Of the semblance of any becoming fitness for its encounter- The 
day before he died, the only thing he could boast of to a friend 
who visited him was, that he had been able to take his four or 
five tumblers of punch the evening before. 

This brief outline brings us to the period of the marriaee of 



38 ]SOTIC£ OF THE EABL OF BLESSINGTON. 

Lord and Lady BleMington, at which it will be my province to 
commence the history of the literary career of her ladyship. 

Of Lockhart's '' Life of Scott," it has been observed, " There 
we have the author and the man in every stage of his career, 
and in every capacity of his existence — Scott in his study and in 
court — ^in his family and in society — ^in his favorite haunts and 
lightest amusements. There he is to be seen in the exact rela- 
tion in which he stood to his children, his intimates, his ac- 
quaintances, and dependants — ^the central figure, and the circle 
which surrounded it (Constable, the Ballantynes, Erskine, Ter- 
ry, and a score or two besides), all drawn with such individual- 
ity of feature, and all painted in such vivid colors, that we seem 
not to be moving among the shadows of the dead, but to live 
with the men themselves."* 

I hope, at least in one particular, it will be found I have en- 
deavored to follow, even at an humble distance, the example of 
Scott ^8 biographer, in placing before my readers the subject of 
my work in a life-like, truthful manner, as she was before the 
public iu her works and in her saloons, and also in her private 
relations toward her friends and relatives.] 



CHAPTER I. 

NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON HIS ORIGIN, EARLY CA- 
REER, FIRST AND SECOND MARRIAGE, ETC. 

Thk first Earl of Blessington was a descendant of the Walter 
Stewart, or Steward, who, " on account of his high descent, and 
being the nearest branch of the royal family of Scotland," we 
are told by Lodge ,t " was created Seneschal, or Lord High Stu- 
art of Scotland, or Receiver of the Royal Revenues, from which 
office his family afterward took and retained their surname of 
Stewart." This office and dignity were created by Malcolm the 
Third, of Scotland, after the death of Macduffe, in 1057. The 
descendants of the Lord High Constable became the founders of 

* Literary Gazette, February 15, 1851. 

t Irish Peerage, vol. ii., p. 196, ed. 8to, 1754. 



NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINGTOK, 



39 



I 



inx.and one ofthem, by intermru- ftb the 

iiair - Robert Bruce, the founder oi" HLi . fam- 

ilies m Knglauii and Ireland. The first Stewart ol this race who 
settled in Ireland wn« Sir Willittm Stewart, of Aughentean and 
of Ncw^town Stewart, in the county of Tyrone, and his brother, 
Sir ' f'.^wan, of Culmorc, knights, ** both rery active and 

abli '^ uien in the di^raeted times of King Charles tJio 
First." Sir Eobert came into Ireland in the reign of James the 
Firnt* He received from that monarch, for his Irish services, 
various grmats of rectories and other Church property in Lcitrira, 
Cavan, and Fermanagh, and Bubsequently a large tract of coun- 
try of the coniiscated landi of Ulster was obtained by his broth- 
er William. In \GM he raised and commanded a troop of horse 
and a ro^imeut of foot of one thousand men. He was made 
Governor of Ilerry in 1013, and in that year totally routed the 
Irish un<ler Owen O'Neill at Clones, He and his brother, hav- 
, ing r»siii«ed to take the Covenant, were deprived of their com- 
mand, and sent, by Moock'i orders, prisoners to London. At\er 
many vi <, Sir Robert returned to Ireland, and was ap- 

pointed r of the city and county of Derry in 1660, Sir 

William, ** being in great favor with James tlie First, became 
an itttdertaker for the plantation of escheated lands in Ulster/* 
l« wmt created a baronet in 1623. He assisted largely in the 
plantation of Ulster, and protited exton»iveiy by it. He was a 
member of tlio Privy Council in the time of King James tha 
Fifst and Charies the First. At the head of his regiment, hOi 
with his brotliers aid, runted Sir Phelim O'Neill at Strabane. 
He Icll many children; hif> eldest son, Sir Alexander Stewart, 
sided with the Covenanters in 1648. He was killed at the bat- 
tle of Duubar, in Scotland, in 1653. By his marriage with a 
danirhter of Sir Robert Nowcomcn, he had issue Sir William 
'> wTis made Custos Rotulorum of the county of Don* 
-. and was advanced to the dignity of Baron Stewart 
af Ramaltan. and Viscount Mountjoy, in 1682. being constituted 
tl ^^ -" time Master General of the Ordnance and colonel 

OC III of horse. 

\\ liUaift Stewart, first Viscotint Mountjoy, wan Rloia ml the 



I 



40 NOTICE OF THE EAKL OP BLE88IMGTON. 

battle of Steinkizkf in FlandeiB, in 1692. He was succeeded by 
his son William, Yiflcount Mountjoy, who died in Bordeaux, 
without iMue.* 

Alexander, brother of the preceding William, died during the 
lifetime of his brother, leaying an only daughter. 

The Right Honorable Luke Gardiner, member of Parliament 
and privy councilor, married, in 1711, Anne, sole daughter and 
heiress of the Honorable Alexander Stewart, second son of 
William, first Viscount Mountjoy .f 

Lord Primate Boulter recommended Mr. Luke Gardiner as a 
fit and proper person to be made a privy councilor. His views 
of fitness for liiat high office led him to look out for a sturdy 
parvenu of Irish descent, without regard to ancestry, who was 
capable of curbing the degenerate lords of the English Pale, and 
gentlemen in Parliament descended from English undertakers, 
too influential to be easily managed, who had become '* Hibemi- 
ores quam Hibemis ipsis ;" in a few words, '* such a one as Mr. • 
Gardiner, to help to keep others in order" in the Privy Council. 

Primate Boulter, in a communication to the English minister 
recommending Mr. Gardiner, said : 

*' There is another aflair which I troubled the Duke of Dorset 
about, and which I beg leave to lay before your grace, which is 
the making Mr. Gardiner a privy councilor. He is deputy to 
the vice-treasurer of this kingdom, and one of the most useful 
of his majesty's servants here, as your grace will be fully satis- 
fied when you do us the honor to be with us. There is nobody 
here more against increasing the number of privy councilors 
than I am, who think they are by much too numerous ; but it 

* Ezshaw*8 London Magazine, 1754, p. 259. 

t Luke Gardiner's generally supposed origin and rise in the world from a me« 
nial station in the senriee of Mr. White, of Leizlip Castle, a descendant of Sir 
Nicholas White, the owner and occupier of the castle in 1666, were subjects of 
some satirical pasquinades and witticisms in the early part of the last century. 
In reference to his alleged former senrile situation, it was said that a noble friend 
of his, in embarrassed circumstances, once obsenred to him, on seeing him enter 
his carriage, " How does it happen, Gardiner, you never make a mistake and get 
up behind V* To which Gardiner replied, ** Some people, my lord, who have been 
long accustomied to going in, remain at last on the outside, and can neither get in 
nor up < 



NOTICE OF THE EARL OP BLE88INOTON. 41 

is because many have been brought in withoat any knowledge 
of buBiness or particular attachment to his majesty's service, 
merely for being members of either house of Parliament, that 
we want such a one as Mr. Gardiner to help to keep others in 
order ; as he is most zealously attached to his majesty by affec- 
tion as well as by interest, and is a thorough man of business, 
and of great weight in the country."* 

The practice of nutking Jews officers in the Inquisition was 
thought to have worked well in Spain, and to have served to 
keep the grandees in order. 

Luke Gardiner died at Bath in 1753, and was succeeded in 
his estates by his son, Charles Gardiner, who, on the demise of 
his maternal grandfather (when the male line of the Stewart 
family ceased), succeeded to all the property of the late lord. 
He married in 1741, and at his death left several children. 

His oldest son, the Bdght Honorable Luke Gardiner, inherited 
the Mountjoy estates. He was bom in 1745, represented the 
city of Dublin in Parliament, was made a privy councilor, and 
held the rank of colonel in the Dublin volunteers, and subse- 
quently in the Dublin militia. He held a command, also, in a 
volunteer corps in his native county. The Mountjoy title was 
JGBnewed in his person. In 1789 he was created a baron, and 
in 1795 was advanced to the dignity of Viscount Mountjoy. 
He married, in 1773, the eldest daughter of a Scotch baronet, 
Sir William Montgomery, and sister of Anne, Marchioness of 
.Townsend, by whom he had issue two sons, Luke and Charles 
John, and several daughters. 

1st. Luke, who died in 1781, in infancy. 

2d. Charles John, who succeeded his father, second Viscount 
Mountjoy, the late Earl of Blessington, bom the 19th July, 1782. 

3d. Florinda, who died in 1786, aged twelve years. 

4th. Louisa, bom in 1775, who married the Right Reverend 
Robert Fowler, D.D., Bishop of Dromore, and died in 1848, 
aged seventy-three years. 

5th. Harriet, bom in 1776, died in 1849, aged seventy-three 
years. 

* BoaU«r*8 Lctten. 



42 NOTICE OP THE EAAL OF BLESBINGTON. 

6th. Emily, who died in 1788. 

7th. Caroline, who died in 1782. 

8th. Elizabeth, who died in 1791, aged eight years. 

His lordship mairied, secondly, in 1793, Margaret, the eldest 
daughter of Hector Wallis, by whom he had issue, 

9th. Margaret, bom in 1796, married the Honorable Hely 
Hutchinson, died in 1825. 

The father of the late Earl of Blessington, the Right Honor- 
able Luke Grardiner, Viscount Mountjoy, was an able and ener- 
getic man. In his zeal for the public weal, he was by no means 
immindful of his own interests. He advocated warmly the 
claims of the Roman Catholics ; he was one of the earliest and 
most zealous champions of their cause in the Irish Parliament. 
He took a very active and prominent part in the suppression of 
the rebellion of 1798 ; and on the 5th of June of that disastrous 
year, fell at the head of his regiment at the battle of New Ross. 

Mr. John Graham, a small farmer, still living on the Mount- 
joy Forest estate, in the county of Tyrone, now in his eighty- 
sixth year, informs me the first Lord Mountjoy, in the year 1798, 
induced him to join his lordship's regiment, and to accompany 
him to Wexford. He was close to his lordship, at Three Bullet 
Gate, at the battle of New Ross, when the king's troops were 
attacked by a party of rebels, who lay in wait for them in the 
ditches on either side of the road, and commenced a heavy fire, 
which threw the troops into complete disorder. The general 
who was there in command ordered the troops to retreat ; and 
they did retreat, with the exception of Lord Mountjoy and a few 
soldiers of his regiment. Graham saw his lordship fall from his 
horse mortally wounded, and when he next saw him he was dead, 
pierced by several balls and with many pike-wounds also. 

Lord Mountjoy enjoyed several sinecures of considerable emol- 
ument. The two principal ones were hereditary. The carica- 
turists of his day devoted their sarcastic talents to the illustra- 
tion of his supposed sinecurist propensities.* 

* In one of these productions, inquiry is made " why a gardener is the most 
extraordinary man in the world," and the following reasons are assigned in reply 
to the query : 



NOTICE OP THE EARL OF BLESSINOTON. 43 

The Bight Honorable Charles John Gardiner, second Viscount 
and Baron Mountjoy, in the county of Tyrone, at the time of his 
father's death in 1798, was in his seventeenth year. He was 
educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford, where he ob- 
tained the honorary degree of Master of Arts.* In 1803 he was 
appointed lieutenant colonel of the Tyrone militia, and in 1807 
a deputy lieutenant of the county of Tyrone ; in 1809 he was 
elected a representative peer for Ireland, and advanced to the 
Earldom of Blessington, June 22d, 1816. 

The origin of this latter title dates from 1763. Michael, 
Archbishop of Armagh (of the family of Boyle, Earl of Cork 
and Orrery), in 1665 was constituted Lord High Chancellor of 
Ireland, and in 1671 was sworn one of the lords justices. In 
1689 his house at Blessington was plundered by the Irish. He 
died in 1702, and was buried in St. Patrick's church. His eldest 
son, Murrogh, by his second marriage with a daughter of Der- 
mod. Earl of Inchiquin, was created Lord Viscount Blessington, 
in the county of Wicklow, by patent, in 1673. He died in 1718, 
and was succeeded by his son Charles. One of the daughters 
of the preceding Viscount, Anne, in 1696, married Sir William 
Stewart, third Viscount Mountjoy, bom in 1709. Charles, the 
second Viscount Blessington, was member of Parliament for 
Blessington in the reigns of Clueen Anne and George the First. 
The title became extinct by his lordship's death near Paris, 
without issue, in 1733. 

The Sir William Stewart, third Viscount Mountjoy above 
mentioned, who married a daughter of Murrogh, Viscount Bless- 
ington, had been advanced to the dignity of an earl by the title 
of Earl of Blessington in I745.f 

'* Because no man has more business upon earth, and he always chooses good 
grtmnd$ for what he does. He turns his thyme to the best account. He is master 
of the mint, and fingers penny royal ; he raises his celery every year, and it is a 
bad year, indeed, that does not bring him in a fltmi ; he has more bought than a 
minister of state, docs not want London pride, rakes a little under the rote, but 
would be more sage to keep the Fojc from his inclosures, to destroy the rotten 
Btarroghtj and to avoid the blasts from the North, and not to Foster corruption, 
lest a FUod should follow." 

♦ Among Lord BIessington*s contemporaries at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1798, 
were the late Lord Dudley, Lord Ebrington, Bishop Heber, &c. 

t Archdairs Peerage, vol. vi., p. 256. 



44 NOnCB OP THE EARL OF BLE88INGTON. 

Few young noblemen ever entered life with greater advan- 
tages than the young Yiscount Mountjoy ; he was possessed of 
a fine fortune at the time of his coming of age ; he had received 
an excellent education, was possessed of some talents, and a 
great deal of shrewdness of observation, and quickness of per- 
ception in the discernment of talents and ability of any intel- 
lectual kind. He had a refined taste for literature and arts. In 
politics he was a faithful representative of his father's princi- 
ples. From the commencement of his career to the close of it, 
he supported the cause of the Roman Catholics. 

The first time that the Yiscount Mountjoy spoke in the House 
of Lords, after having been elected a representative peer for 
Ireland in 1809, was in favor of a motion for the thanks of the 
House to Lord Yiscount Wellington, and the army under his 
command, for the victory of Talavera ; when Lord Mountjoy, in 
reply to the Earl of Grosvenor's opposition to the motion, said 
that *' no general was better skilled in war, none more enlight- 
ened than Lord Yiscount Wellington. The choice of a position 
at Talavera reflected lustre on his talents ; the victory was as 
brilliant and glorious as any on record. It was entitled to the 
unanimous approbation of their lordships, and the eternal grat- 
itude of Spain and of this country." 

His lordship seldom attended his Parliamentary duties, and 
very seldom spoke. 

On the queen's trial in 1820, in opposing the bill of pains and 
penalties, Lord Blessington spoke in vindication of the character 
of Mr. Powell (who had been engaged in the Milan commission, 
and was assistant solicitor for the bill), *' and expressed much 
regret that that person had any thing to do with the Milan com- 
mission." 

John Allan Powell, Esq., was an intimate acquaintance of the 
Blessingtons. 

The young lord's manners, deportment, and demeanor were 
all in keeping with the qualities of his mind and the amiability 
of his disposition. That calamity was his, than which few 
greater misfortunes can befall a young man of large expecta^ 
tions — ^prided, courted, flattered and beset by evil influences, 




^ 



NOTICE OK THK KARL OF BLESSmGTON. 45 

%h9 loM of a fmher'a care, hie counsel and control at the very 
age when these advaatages are most needful to youth and iu- 
cxj>rricnce. 

The taate of all otbeiB which the young nobleman , on coming 
mto KiB ample fortune, gave himself up to, was for the drama. 

He patronized it liberally, and was allured into all the pleas- 
ures of its society. The green-room and its atfairs — the inter- 
esta, and rivalries, and intrigues of favorite actors and actresses, 
the buBiBess of private tlieatricals, the providing of costly dresses 
for them, the study of leading parts for their performance (for 
his lordship was led to believe his talents were of the first order 
for the stage), engaged the attention of the young nobleman too 
much, and gave a turn in the direction of self-indulgence to 
talents originally good, and tastes naturally inclined to elegance 
and reiinement. 

In 1822^ Byron thus spoke of Lord Blessington as he remem- 
bered him in early life r ** Mountjoy (for the Gardiners are the 
bneal race of the famous Irish vicertoy* of that ilk) seems very 
good-natured, but \» much tamed since I recollect him in all the 
glory of gems and snuti-boxes, and uniforms and theatricals, 
sitting to Strolling, the painter, to be depicted as one of the he- 
roes of Agincourt.'' 

His father *s great fondness for him had contributed in some 
manner to the taste he had acquired in very early life for gor- 
geous ornaments, gaudy dresses, theatrical costumes, and milita- 
ry uniforms. At the period of tlie volunteering movement in 
It«Uiid« about 1768 or 1789, when the boy was not above six or 
••Ten years of age, his father had him equipped in a complete 
suit of volunteer uniform, and preseutcd him thus to a great 
concourse of people witli a diimnntive sword in the poor child*s 
hmnd, ou the occaaioii of a grand review at Newtown Stewart, at 
tlio head of Um9 oorpa that was commanded by liis lordslup. 

* Th« fanwKis Iof4 dapnif lo whom By'ron dluc)«a wiui & ficrrr nir^mntlrr nud 
ttadar tti thif fpml ttjil Um«« of rmid mnd oi rmiitno oft} <•• 

ion, iin EoftUth wfiinr on Iruh tkfttiin (fol, 43)^ sny*. " '■ '^^ 

Appmy) li«T«f rrrrir*<il unr In rnfrrr l*«t lUcU mm hiid ilr«wn bU»oU u^K^^y^ iUvn fcU 
low-mbaU. Tim* McM fclwm ****! M eAft bolh offered to tubmit, but ovttUfr wmjlj 

to rteslfAd wiUumt tk& M]t«t*i h^tiL'* 



46 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLB88INOTON. 

His lonbhip had been unfortunately allowed to think, almost 
from his boyhood, that no obstacle stood between him and the 
gratification of his desires that could not be removed ; and the 
result was what might be expected. 

This evil tendency to self-indulgence impeded the growth of 
all powers of self-control, and nourished a disposition to unre- 
strained profusion and extravagance, whenever the gratification 
of the senses or allurements of pleasure were in question. 

His lordship, in the latter part of 1808 or the beginning of 
1809, made the acquaintance of a lady of the name of Browne 
(n6e Campbell), remarkable for her attractions, and indebted to 
them chiefly, if not solely, for her distinction. 

The young lord found some difficulties in the way of the res- 
olution he had formed of marrying this lady, but the obstacles 
were removed ; and while means were being taken for their 
removal and the marriage that was to follow it, Warwick House 
in Worthing was taken by his lordship for her abode, and there 
she resided for several months. 

Mrs. Browne belonged to a Scotch family of respectability, of 
the name of Campbell, and, as I am informed, a brother of hers 
represented in Parliament the borough in which his native place 
was situated, and was connected with a baronet of the same 
name. 

While the residence was kept up at Worthing, another place 
of abode was occasionally occupied in Portman Square, where 
his son Charles John was bom. In 1811, his lordship took a 
house in Manchester Square, and there his daughter Emilie 
Rosalie was bom. The following year he removed to Seymour 
Place, where he resided till the latter part of 1813. 

In 1812, the death of Major Browne (long expected) having 
taken place, Liord Mountjoy married '* Mary Campbell, widow 
of Major Browne," as we are informed by the Peerage. 

Lord Mountjoy had not long resided in Seymour Place when 
he determined on going on the Continent. The health of Lady 
Mountjoy must have been at that period impaired. His lord- 
ship^s friend and medical attendant, Mr. Tegart, of Pall Mall, 
recommended a young physician of high character to accom- 



NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINOTON. 47 

pany the tourists ; and accordingly Br. Richardson (an old and 
valued firiend of the author's) proceeded to France with them. 

The circumstances are to be kept in mind of thi& marriage, 
the impediment to it, the waiting for the removal of it, the ac- 
complishment of an object ardently desired, without reference 
to future consequences, without any regard for public opinion, 
or feelings of relatives ; the restlessness of his lordship's mind, 
manifested in changes of abode, and the abandonment of his resi- 
dence in London for the Continent soon after he had married, and 
had gone to considerable expense in fitting up thatplace of abode. 

Lady Mountjoy did not long enjoy the honors of her elevated 
rank and new position. She died at St. Germain's, in France, 
the 9th of September, 1814. The legitimate issue of this mar- 
riage was, first, Lady Harriet Anne Frances Gardiner, bom the 
5th of August, 1812 (who married the Count Alfred D'Orsay the 
1st of December, 1829 ; and, secondly, the Hon. Charles Spencer 
Cowper, third son of the late Earl Cowper, the 4th of January, 
1853, the Count D'Orsay having died the 4th of August, 1 852) ;• 
second, the Right Hon. Luke Wellington, Viscount Mountjoy, 
bom in 1814, who died in 1823, at the age of nine years and 
six months. 

The children of whom mention is not made in the Peerage 
were : 

First, Charles John, bom in Portman Square, London, the 3d 
of February, 1810, now surviving, who retains a small portion 
of the Moimtjoy Forest estate (the income from which is about 
jeeOO a year) ; all that remains, with a trifling exception, of the 
wreck of that once vast property of the Earl of Blessington. 

Second, Erailie Rosalie, commonly called Lady Mary Gardiner, 
bom in Manchester Square, London, on the 24th of June, 1811 
(who married C. White, Esq., and died in Paris without issue 
about 1848). 

* The Honorable Charles Spencer Cowper is the youngest son of the late Earl 
Cowper, who married in 1805 the Honorable Emily Mary Lamb, eldest daufrhter 
of Penniston, first Viscount Melbourne. Lord Cowper died at Putney in June, 
1837. His widow married secondly Lord Palmerston, in 1830. The Honorable 
Charles Spencer Cowper, bom in 1816, filled the oflScc of SecrcUry of Legation 
in Florenot. 



48 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLE8SINOTON. 

Lord Mountjoy's grief at the loss of his lady was manifested 
in a funeral pageant of extraordinary magnificence -on the occa- 
sion of the removal of her remains to England, and from thence 
to Ireland. One of the principal rooms in his lordship's Dublin 
residence, in Henrietta Street, was fitted up for the mournful 
occasion at an enormous cost. The body, placed in a coffin, 
sumptuously decorated, had been conveyed to Dublin by a Lon- 
don undertaker of eminence in the performance of state funer- 
als, attended by six professional female mourners, suitably at- 
tired in mourning garments, and was laid out in a spacious room 
hung with black cloth, on an elevated catafalque, covered with 
a velvet pall of the finest texture, embroidered in gold and sil- 
ver, which had been purchased in France for the occasion, and 
had recently been used at a public funeral in Paris of great pomp 
and splendor, that of Marshal Duroc. A large number of wax 
tapers were ranged roimd the catafalque, and the six profes- 
sional female mutes, during the time the body lay in state, re- 
mained in attendance in the chamber in becoming attitudes, 
admirably regulated ; while the London undertaker, attired in 
deep mourning, went through the dismal formality of conducting 
the friends of Lord filessington who presented themselves to the 
place where the body was laid out ; and as each person walked 
roimd the catafalque, and then retired, this official, having per- 
formed the lugubrious duties of master of the funeral solemni- 
ties, in a low tone expressed a hope that the arrangements were 
to the satisfaction of the visitor. 

They ought to have been satisfactory ; the cost of them (on 
the authority of the late Lady Blessington) was between i^3000 
and i:4000. 

The remains of the deceased lady were conveyed with great 
pomp to St. Thomas's Church, Marlborough Street, Dublin, and 
were deposited in the family vault of Lord Blessington, and are 
now mingled with the dust of the latest descendants of the il- 
lustrious Lord President Moi|ntjoy. 

One of the friends of Lord Blessington, who witnessed the 
gorgeous funeral spectacle, well acquainted with such pageants, 
informs me the magnificence of it was greater than that of any 
similar p$ff&rmane€ of private obseqtdes he ever saw* 



NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 49 

But this great exhibition of extravagant grief, and the enor- 
mous outlay made for its manifestation, was in the bright and 
pahny days of Irish landlordism^ when potatoes flourished, and 
people who had land in Ireland lived like princes. The Scotch 
haberdasher who now lords it over a portion of the broad lands 
of the Mountjoys will live, however, and bury his dead after a 
very difierent fashion. 

The once gorgeous coffin, covered with rich silk velvet and 
adorned with gilt mounting, in which the remains of the " Right 
Hon. Mary Campbell, Viscountess Mountjoy," were deposited, is 
still recognizable by its foreign shape from the other surrounding 
receptacles of noble remains above it and beneath it. But the 
fine silk velvet of France, and the gilt mountings of the coffin of 
the Viscountess Mountjoy, have lost their lustre. Forty years of 
sepulchral damp and darkness have proved too much for the costly 
efforts of the noble Earl of Blessington to distinguish the remains 
of his much-loved lady from those of the adjacent dead. 

About the latter part of 1815 Lord Blessington was in Ireland. 
He gave a dinner-party at his house in Henrietta Street, which 
was attended by several gentlemen, among whom were the 
Knight of Kerry, A. Hume, Esq., Thomas Moore, Sir P. C, Bart., 
James Corry, Esq.,* Captain Thomas Jenkins, of the 11th Light 
Dragoons, and one or two ladies. His lordship, on that occasion, 
seemed to have entirely recovered his spirits ; and to one of the 
guests, who had not been in the house or the room, then the 
scene of great festivity, since the funeral solemnities which have 
been referred to had been witnessed by him there less than two 
years pi^viously, the change seemed a very remarkable one. 
Captain Jenkins left the company at an early hour, to proceed 
that evening to England, and parted with his friends, not with- 
out very apparent feelings of emotion. 

* James Corry, Esq., who figures a good deal in Moore's Journals, was a bar- 
rister, whose bag had nerer been encnmbered with many,' I believe I might say 
with any, briefs. He was admitted to the bar in 1796. For many years he filled 
the office of Secretary to the Trustees of the Linen Manufacture, in their offices 
in Luxgan Street. He was a man of wit and humor, assisted in all the private 
tbeatrieals of his time, not only in Dublin, but in the provinces, and pAitiookrly 
thon tt th» abodB of Loid MooB^oy tl Rtib, aMsr f 

Vol. I.-^ 



50 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLE8SINOTON. 

Lord Mountjoy did not long rem&in a widower. His lady died 
in September, 1814, and on tho 16th of February, 1818, his 
lordship was united to a lady of the name of Farmer, who had 
become a widow four months previously — in 1817. 

Tho marriage of Lord and Lady Blessington took place by spe- 
cial license, at the church in Bryanston Square. There were 
present Sir \V. P. Campbell, Baronet, of Marchmont, William 
Purv'es, Esq., Robert Power, Esq., and F. S. Pole, Esq. 

This work is not intended to bo a biography of Lady Blessing- 
ton, but to present a faithful account of her literary life and cor- 
respondence. 

From the period of her marriage with the Earl of Blessington, 
that intercourse with eminent men and distinguished persons of 
various pursuits may be said to date ; and from that period I 
profess to deal with it, so far as the information I have obtained, 
and the original letters and manuscripts of her ladyship in my 
hands, will enable me to do. 

Mrs. Farmer had been separated from her husband, Captain 
Maurice St. Leger Farmer, of Poplar Hall, county Kildare, for 
upward of twelve years, resided much in England, at Sidmanton, 
in Hampshire, for several years previously to the termination of 
the war, and in the latter part of 1815 had made London her 
place of residence, and had a house taken for her in Manchester 
Square in 1816.* 

Lord Mountjoy 's second marriage was entered into after an 
acquaintance that had commenced may years previously in Ire- 
land, and had been long interrupted. 

The lady of his love was then twenty-eight years ©f age, in 
the perfection of matured beauty — that bright and radiant beauty 
which derives its power not so much from harmony of features 

* There, in 181C, I am informed by one of the most eminent medical men in 
London, he had met Lord Blessington at dinner. I have likewise been informed 
by the late Mr. Ajthur Tegart, of Pall Mall, then intimately acquainted with the 
parties, that he also had frequently met Lord Blessington at Mrs. Farmer's, but 
never unaccompanied by some mutual friend or acquaintance. Mr. Tegart, the 
intimate and medical attendant of Curran, Grattan, and Ponsonby, a gentleman 
most highly respected by all who knew him, and by none more than the writer of 
these lines, died in 1890, in hit Mxty-ninth yew. 



NOTlC£ OF THE EAJELL OF BLES8IMOTOI«. 51 

and symmetry of form, as from the animating influences of in- 
telligence beaming forth from a mind full of joyous and of kindly 
feelings and of brilliant fancies — ^that kind of vivid loveliness 
which is never found where some degree of genius is not. Her 
form was exquisitely moulded, with an inclination to fullness ; 
but no finer proportions could be imagined ; her movements 
were graceful and natural at all times, in her merriest as well 
as in her gravest moods. 

The peculiar character of Lady Blessington's beauty seemed 
to be the entire, exact, and instantaneous correspondence of ev- 
ery feature, and each separate trait of her countenance, with the 
emotion of her mind, which any particular subject of conversa- 
tion or object of attention might excite. The instant a joyous 
thought took possession of her fancy, you saw it transmitted as 
if by electrical agency to her glowing features ; you read it in 
her sparkling eyes, her laughing lips, her cheerful looks ; you 
heard it expressed in her ringing laugh, clear and sweet as the 
gay, joy-beU sounds of childhood's merriest tones. 

There was a geniality in the warmth of her Irish feelings, an 
abandonment of all care, of all apparent consciousness of her 
powers of attraction, a glowing sunshine of good humor, and 
of good nature in the smiles and laughter, and the sallies of the 
wit of this lovely woman in her early and her happy days (those 
of her Italian life, especially from 1823 to 1826), such as have 
been seldom surpassed in the looks, gesture, or expression of any 
other person, however beautiful. The influence of her attrac* 
tion was of that kind described by the poet : 

^ When tbfl loveliest expression to features are joined. 
By nature's most delicate pencil designed, 
And blushes unbidden, and smiles without art, 
Speak the softness and feeling that dwell in the heart." 
Her voice was ever sweetly modulated and low — " an excellent 
thing in woman !" Its tones were always in harmonious concord 
with the traits of her expressive features. There was a cordial- 
ity, a clear, silver-toned hilarity, a correspondence in them, ap- 
parently with all her sensations, that made her hearers feel 
" she spoke to them with every part of her being," and that 



52 NOTICE OF THE EABL OF BLE88INGTON. 

their communication was with a kindly-hearted, genial person, 
of womanly feelings and sentiments. The girlish-like joyous- 
ness of her laugh, the genuine gayety of her heart, of her ^* petit 
risfoUatre,^ the iclats of those Jordan-like outbursts of exuber- 
ant mirthfulness which she was wont to indulge in— contribu- 
ted not a little to her power of fascination. All the beauty of La- 
dy Blessington, without the exquisite sweetness of her voice, 
and the witchery of its tones in pleasing or expressing pleasure, 
would have been only a secondary attraction. 

Mirabeau, in one of his letters, descants on the perfections of a 
French lady — une dame spirituelle, of great powers of attraction : 

" When she talks, she is the art of pleasing personified. Her 
eyes, her lips, her words, her gestures, are all prepossessing ; 
her language is the language of amiableness ; her accents are 
the accents of grace ; she embellishes a trifle ; interests upon 
nothing; she soflens a contradiction; she takes off the insipid- 
ity of a compliment by turning it elegantly ; and when she has 
a mind, she sharpens and polishes the point of an epigram bet- 
ter than all the women in tlie world. 

" Her eyes sparkle with pleasure ; the most delightful sallies 
flash from her fancy ; in telling a story she is inimitable — ^the 
motions of her body and the accents of her tongue arc equally 
genteel and easy ; an equable flow of sprightliness keeps her 
constantly good-humored and cheerful, and the only objects of 
her life are to please and be pleased. Her vivacity may some- 
times approach to folly, but perhaps it is not in her moments of 
folly she is least interesting and agreeable." 

Mirabeau goes on enlarging on one particular faculty which 
she possessed, and for which she was remarkable, beyond all 
comparison with other women — a power of intellectual excita- 
tion which roused up any spark of talent in the minds of those 
around her: 

" She will draw wit from a fool ; she strikes with such address 
the chords of self-love, that she gives unexpected vigor and agil- 
ity to fancy, and electrifies a body that appears non-electric.'^ 

* Mirmbeau*! Letten during his residence in EngUnd, translated, in 2 vols. 
London, 1833. 




NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 53 

Lady Blessington might have sat for the portrait of the spir- 
itual French woman that Miraheau has sketched with so much 
animation ! 

Soon after their marriage, Lord Blessington took his hride 
over to Ireland, to visit his Tyrone estates ; hut that was not 
the first occasion of the lady's visit to Mountjoy Forest. 

The marriage had heen so far kept a secret that many of 
Lord Blessington's friends were not aware of it at the time of 
his arrival in Buhlin. He invited some of those with whom he 
was most intimately acquainted to a dinner at his house in 
Henrietta Street.* 

Some of those first mentioned were only made acquainted with 
the recent marriage when Lord Blessington entered the drawing- 
room with a lady of extraordinary heauty, and in hridal costume, 
leaning on his arm, whom he introduced as Lady Blessington. 

Among the guests, there was one gentleman who had heen 
in that room only four years before, when the walls were hung 
in black, and in the centre, on an elevated platform, was placed 
a coffin, with a gorgeous velvet pall, with the remains in it of a 
woman, once scarcely surpassed in loveliness by the lady then 
present — radiant in beauty, and decked out in rich attire — all in 
white, in bridal costume. Stranger events and more striking 
contrasts are often to be encountered in brilliant circles and in 
noble mansions than are to be met with even in books of fiction. 

The Blessingtons proceeded from Dublin to the county of Ty- 
rone ; but preparations were previously made by his lordship 
for the reception of his bride at Mountjoy Forest of a most costly 
description. 

* The Gardiner family owned the fee simple of the whole street nearly, and 
the house No. 10, at the west end, and north side of Henrietta Street, which now 
constitutes the Queen's Inns Chambers, formerly held by the Right Honorable 
Luke Gardiner, Lord Mountjoy, and subsequently in the possession of the late 
Right Honorable Charles John, Earl of Blessington. The house was sold in 1837 
to Tristram Kennedy, Esq., for £1700. Immediately in front of Lord Blessing- 
ton's abode, the noted Primate Boulter erected his palace, which he makes men- 
tion of in his letters. The worthy primate wanted only the scholarship and mu- 
nificence of Wolsey, and the great intellectual powers and political wisdom of 
Richelieu, to be a very distinguished temporally-minded churchman, and unspir- 
ituslised sacerdotal statesman. 



54 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLES8INOTON. 

Speaking of these extraTagant arrangements of her husband, 
Lady Blessington has observed in oiie of her works, '* The only 
complaint I ever have to make of his taste is its too great splen- 
dor ; a proof of which he gave me when I went to Monntjoy 
Forest on my marriage, and found my private sitting-room hnng 
with crimson Genoa silk velvet, trimmed with gold bullion 
fringe, and all the furniture of equal richness — a richness that 
was only suited to a state-room in a palace."* 

Some of the frieze-coated peasantry of the Mountjoy Forest 
estate, still surviving on the wrecked property (that has lately 
gone through the Encumbered Estates Court), but now living in 
penury in wretched hovels, who remember the great doings in 
the house of their lord on the occasion referred to, speak of ^ the 
wonderful doings" of his lordship, and of *' the terrible waste of 
money," and " the great folly of it," that was witnessed by them. 

Folly, indeed, there were abundant proofs of, in the lavish 
expenditure, which Lady Blessington attributed to rather too 
great a taste for splendor. I consider these things as evidence 
of a state of insanity of Lord Blessington, partially developed, 
even at the early period referred to, manifested subsequently on 
different occasions, but always pointing in one direction. The 
acts of Lord Blessington on several occasions, in matters con- 
nected with both his marriages, it always appeared were the 
acts of a man of an unsound judgment, that is to say, of a man 
insane on subjects which he had allowed to obtain entire pos- 
session of his mind, and with respect to objects which he had 
devoted all his energies to attain, wholly iirespective of future 
consequences. 

At the time of Lord Blessington 's marriage, his fortune was 
embarrassed to some extent, as he imagined, through the mis- 
management of his agents, but, in point of fact, by his lordship's 
own extravagances, and the numerous encumbrances with which 
he had already charged his estates. 

It was owing, in no small degree, to Lady Blessington's ad- 
%nce, and the active steps she had caused his lordship to take for 
the retrieval of his affairs, that his difficulties were to some ex- 
* The Idler in France, vol. i., p. 117. 



NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 55 

tent diminished, and his rental increased considerably. From 
je30,000 a year it had decreased to £23,000 or i:24,000 ; but 
for two years previously to his departure from England it rath- 
er exceeded that amount. 

I visited several of the surviving tenants of Lord Blessington, 
still living on the Mountjoy estate, near Armagh, in March, 1845. 
All concurred in one statement, that a better landlord, a kinder 
man to the poor, never existed than the late Liord Blessington. 
A tenant was never evicted by him ; he never suffered the ten- 
ants to be distressed by an agent, however much in need he 
might stand of money ; he would not suffer them to be pressed 
for rent, to be proceeded against, or ejected. Graham, one of 
the oldest and most respectable tenants on the estate, says he 
is aware of his lordship, at a period when he was in great want 
of money, having written to the agent not to press the tenants 
too much, even for arrears that had been long due ; that, rather 
than they should be dealt harshly with, he would endeavor to 
obtain money on mortgage in London ; and Graham adds, the 
money his lordship then required was thus obtained by him. 
" He took after his father in this respect. He looked on his ten- 
ants as if he was hound to see they suffered no injury at the hands 
of any person acting for him on his estate. ^^ 

The residence of the father of the late Lord Blessington, on 
the Mountjoy Forest estate in Tyrone, was on the town land of 
Rash, near the " Church of Cappagh," on the opposite side of 
the river, about a quarter of a mile from the cottage residence 
to which Lord Blessington subsequently removed. 

The Dowager Lady Mountjoy resided at Rash for some years 
after the death of her husband in 1798. 

And here, also, prior to 1814, the late Lord Blessington re- 
sided when he visited his Tyrone estates ; and about 1807, ex- 
pended a great deal of money in enlarging the offices, building 
an extensive kitchen and wine-cellars, and erecting a spacious 
and elegantly decorated theatre, and providing '* properties," 
and a suitable wardrobe of magnificent theatrical dresses for it. 

The professional actors and actresses were brought down by 
his lordship, for the private theatricals at Mountjoy Forest, from 



56 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLES8INOTON. 

Dublin, and some even from London. But there were amateur 
performers also, and two of the old tenants remember seeing his 
lordship act '* some great parts ;" but what they were, or wheth- 
er of a tragic or a comic nature, they can not say ; they only 
know ** he was thought a fine actor, and the dresses he wore 
were very grand and fine." 

The ladies who acted were always actresses from the Dublin 
theatres, and during the performances at Rash, his lordship had 
them lodged at the house of the school-mistress, in the demesne 
near the avenue leading to the house. 

The " quality" who came down and remained at Rash during 
the performances, which generally lasted for three or four weeks 
each year, were entertained with great hospitality by his lord- 
ship. 

The expenditure was profuse in the extreme for their enter- 
tainment, and the fitting up and furnishing of places of tempo- 
rary accommodation for them during their brief sojourn. 

The dwelling-house of Rash was more a large coUage, with 
some remains of an older structure, than a nobleman's mansion. 

Moore, in his Diary, September 1 1th, 1832, alludes to the the- 
atricals of Lord Blessington, but without specifying time or place. 
He refers to a conversation with Corry about the theatricals of 
liis lordship. " A set of mock resolutions, one of which was the 
following, chiefly leveled at Crampton, who was always imper- 
fect in his part — * That every gentleman shall be at liberty to 
avail himself of the words of the author in case his own inven- 
tion fails him.* " 

These theatricals were at Rash, in Tjrrone. 

To an inquiry addressed to Sir P. C on the subject of 

these theatricals, I received a note informing me he had never 
heard of any theatricals in Dublin got up by the Blessingtons, 
and that, if there had been any such there, he must have heard 
of it, nor was he the person alluded to in the mock resolutions ; 
" he had neither hand, act, nor part in theatricals of any descrip- 
tion." The observation might possibly allude, for any thing ho 
knew to the contrary, to a brother, who had been dead many 
years. 



NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 57 

The taste for theatricals survived the theatre in Mountjoy 
Forest. In June, 1817, Lord Blessington took a leading part in 
the public entertainment and testimonial given to John Philip 
Kemble on his retirement from the stage. At the meeting 
which took place at the Freemasons' Tavern, when a piece of 
plate was presented to Kemble, Lord Holland presided ; on his 
hght hand sat Mr. Kemble, and on his left the Buke of Bedford. 
Lords Blessington, Erskine, Mulgrave, Aberdeen, Essex, and 
many other noblemen were present ; and among the literary and 
artistic celebrities were Moore, Campbell, Rogers, Croker, and 
the great French tragedian, Talma. Lord Blessington assisted 
also in the well-known Kilkenny theatricals. He took parts 
which required to be gorgeously appareled ; on one occasion, 
he played the part of the Green Knight, in *' Valentine and Orson. " 

The theatricals at Rash lasted from 1808 to 1812. The first 
Lady Blessington was there during one season, and remained 
for several months. 

The period selected for the theatricals at Rash was usually 
the shooting season. But the guests were not confined to sports- 
men ; the latter came occasionally accompanied by their ladies, 
and what with their field-sports and the stage amusements, 
there was no dearth of enjoyments and gayety for a few weeks 
in a place that all the rest of the year was a dull, solitary, life- 
less locality, in the midst of a forest some fourscore miles from 
the metropolis. 

The second Lady Blessington did not visit Mountjoy Forest 
during the period of the theatricals. It was the peculiarity of 
Lord Blessington to throw himself with complete abandon into 
any passion or pursuit that came in his way, and to spare no ex- 
pense or sacrifice of any kind to obtain, as soon as possible, the 
fullest enjoyment that could possibly be derived from it ; and 
no sooner was the object so ardently desired accomplished, the 
expense encountered, and the sacrifice made for its attainment, 
than the zest for its delight was gone ; other phantoms of pleas- 
ure were to be pursued, and no sooner grasped than to be relin- 
quished for some newer objects of desire. 

The delights of the chase in Mountjoy Forest, and of the the- 



58 NOTICE OF THE EASLL OF BLEB8INOTON. 

atre at Rash, after a few yean, became dull, tame, aad turesome 
amusements to the yoimg lord. He went to England, contract- 
ed engagements there which led to his making London princi- 
pally his place of abode, and Mountjoy Forest and the theatre 
at Rash were allowed to go to ruin. 

The Dowager Lady Mountjoy had left Rash, and fixed her 
abode in Dublin prior to 1807. The house became in a short 
time so dilapidated as to be unfit to live in. His lordship gave 
directions to have extensive repairs and additions made to a 
thatched house of middle size, about a quarter of a mile distant 
from Rash. The furniture was removed to this place, which 
Lord Blessington called ''the Cottage," and the old home at 
Rash was left to go to ruin. 

AAlien I visited the place recently, nothing remained but some 
vestiges of the kitchen and the cellars. The theatre had utter- 
ly disappeared, and nothing could be more desolate than the site 
of it. The grounds and garden had been broken up, the trees 
had been all cut down in the vicinit}\ Here and there, trunks 
and branches, yet unremoved, were lying of^ the ground. The 
stumps of the felled trees, in the midst of the debris of scattered 
timber, gave an unpleasant and uncouth aspect to a scene that 
had some melancholy interest in it for one who had known the 
noble owner of this vast property. 

The extent of the estate appears almost incredible ; I am told 
its extreme length exceeded ten miles. 

But though the theatre erected by Lord Blessington on his es- 
tate has wholly disappeared, one structure on it exists : a vault 
beneath the chancel of the church of Cappagh, on the estate, 
which he intended for his tomb, and which, in several notices of 
his lordship's death, and some memoirs of Lady Blessington, is 
erroneously stated to have been the place of sepulture of his re- 
mains. I was misled by those accounts, and visited the vault, 
in the expectation of finding his remains there. But no inter- 
ment had ever taken place there, though it was constructed by 
his lordship with the intention above-mentioned; and at his 
death, orders had been sent down from Dublin to have the vault 
prepared for hii interment : these orders, however, had been 



NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLE8SINGT0N. 59 

countermanded, for what reason I know not, and the remains of 
his lordship were deposited in St. Thomas's Church, in Marl- 
borough Street, along with the remains of his father. 

It has been also erroneously stated that the remains of his 
lordship's first wife were deposited in the vault beneath the 
chancel of Cappagh Church ; such, however, is not the fact. 

In September, 1816, Lord Blessington visited his estate of 
Mouoitjoy Forest. His first wife had been then dead nearly two 
years. He brought down some friends of his from Dublin, and 
invited others from the neighborhood of his estate to come on a 
visit to " the Cottage." 

Among the guests, I was informed by tenant farmers on the 
estates who have a recollection of these circumstances, were 
Mr.<3orry, Mc^or and Mrs. Purvis, Colonel Stewart of Killymoon, 
Mrs. Farmer, and also Captain Jenkins.* 

The most extravagant expense was gone into in fitting up 
and decorating the Cottage for some weeks previously to the 
arrival of his lordship and his guests. 

The walls were hung with costly drapery. The stairs and 
passages were covered with fine baize. Nothing could exceed 
the elegance of the decorations, and furnishing of an abode that 
was destined only for a residence of a few weeks. 

During the sojourn of Lord Blessington and his friends at the 
Cottage, several gentlemen of the neighborhood were enter- 
tained. 

Among the visitors was an old clergyman, Father O'Flagher- 
ty, parish priest of Cappagh, a simple-minded, good man, who 
was the dispenser of the bounty of Lord Blessington among the 
poor of the estate, long subsequently to this visit, to a very large 
amount. 

Lord Blessington had no sectarian feelings — it never entered 
his mind what the religion of a man was by whom: assistance 
was needed ; - and his worthy Roman Catholic almoner, although 
a man by no means highly cultivated, polished in his manners, 
or peculiarly happy in his style of epistolary correspondence, en- 

♦ A Capt. Montgomery, of the Navy, a very intimate friend of the Blcssingtons, 
at some period was on a visit to the Cottage, hut the precise date I do not know. 



50 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLE88INOTON. 

joyed the full confideiice and strong regard of Lord Bl^saington, 
and also of his lady. 

Lady Blessington, on her subsequent visit, was the means of 
procuring for her great favorite, Father OTlagherty, a donation 
from his lordship that enabled the good padre either to repair 
or rebuild the Catholic place of worship of his parish. He con- 
tinued to correspond with the Blessingtons when they resided 
in London, and for some time while they were on the Continent, 
and the epistles of the good old man were very great literary 
curiosities. 

In 1823, Lord Blessington, unaccompanied by Lady Blessing- 
ton, visited his Tyrone estates ; he came to the Cottage accom- 
panied by Colonel Stewart of Killymoon. 

In 1825, his lordship again and for the last time visited his 
Tyrone estates. He was accompanied then by General Count 
D'Orsay, the father of the Count Alfred D'Orsay, and also by a 
young French nobleman, the Count Leon. 

From some cause or other. Lady Blessington appeared to have 
formed a strong antipathy, on the occasion of her last visit, to 
Mountjoy Forest as a place of residence even for a few weeks. 
She prevailed on Lord Blessington to return to London, perhaps 
earlier than he had intended, and expressed her determination 
never again to return to Mountjoy Forest, if she could help it. 

After a few weeks spent in Tyrone, the Blessingtons returned 
to London . The new-married lady, having exchanged her abode 
in Manchester Square for the noble mansion in St. James's 
Square, found herself suddenly, as if by the magic wand of an 
enchanter, surrounded by luxuries, gorgeous furniture, glittering 
ornaments, and pomp and state almost regal. The transition 
was at once from seclusion and privacy, a moderate establish- 
ment, and inexpensive mode of life, into brilliant society, mag- 
nificence, and splendor — to a condition, in short, little inferior to 
that of any lady in the land. 

The eclat of the beauty of Lady Blessington and of her re- 
markable mental qualities, of the rare gif^s and graces with 
wliich she was so richly endowed, was soon extensively diffused 
over the metropolis. 



NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINOTON. 61 

Moore, in his Diary of April, 1822, mentioiis visiting the Bless- 
ingtons in London at their mansion in St. James's Square. 
The fifth of the month following, he says he called, with Wash- 
ington Irving, at Lady Blessington's, " who is growing very ab- 
surd ! ' I have felt very melancholy and ill aU this day,' she 
said. * Why is that ?' I asked. * Don't you know V ' No.' * It 
is the anniversary of my poor Napoleon's death.' " 

Any one acquainted with Lady Blessington will perceive in 
this remark a great want of knowledge of her character and opin- 
ions, and will not fail to discover in her observation evidences 
of that peculiar turn for grave irony which was one of her char- 
acteristics. I have seldom met a literary person so entirely free 
from all affectation of sentimentality as Lady Blessington. 

In the new scenes of splendor and brilliancy which her lady- 
ship had been introduced into on her marriage with Lord Bless- 
ington, she seemed as if it was her own proper atmosphere, to 
which she had been accustomed from infancy, in which she now 
lived and moved. 

Greatness and magnificence were not thrust upon hei: — she 
seemed born to them. In all positions she had the great art of 
being ever perfectly at home. There was a naturalness in her 
demeanor, a grace and gentleness in her mind and manner — a 
certain kindliness of disposition and absence of all affectation — 
a noble frankness about her, which left her in all circles at her 
ease — surQ of pleasing, and easily amused by agreeable and 
clever people. 

In 1818, when Lady Blessington was launched into fashiona- 
ble life, and aU at once took her place, if not at the head of it, 
at least among the foremost people in it, she was twenty-eight 
years of age. 

For three years, her mansion in St. James's Square, nightly 
thronged by men of distinction, was the centre of social and 
literary enjoyments of the highest order in London. Holland 
House had its. attractions for the graver spirits of the times, but 
there was no lack of statesmen, sages, scholars, and politicians 
at the conversaziones of Lady Blessington. 

Charleville House, too, had its charms for weU-established au- 



62 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINaTON. 

thors — for blueHBtocking ladies especially, of all lines of author^ 
ship — for distinguished artists and noble amateurs, for foreign 
ministers and their attaches. 

But Lady Blessington had certain advantages over all Aspa- 
Stan competitors in society — she was young and beautiful, witty, 
graceful, and good-humored ; and these advantages told with 
singular effect in the salon ; they tended largely to establish her 
influence in society, and to acquire for her conversations in it a 
character it might never otherwise have obtained. 

The Blessingtons' splendid mansion in St. James's Square in 
a short time became the rendezvous of the Slile of London ce- 
lebrities of all kinds of distinction ; the first literati, statesmen, 
artists, eminent men of all professions, in a short time became 
habitual visitors at the abode of the new-married lord and lady. 

Among the distinguished foreigners who visited the Blessing- 
tons in St. James's Square in the latter part of 1621 or the 
commencement of 1822, were the Count de Grammont (the pres- 
ent Due de Guiche) and his brother-in-law, a young Frenchman 
of remarkable symmetry of form and comeliness efface, and of 
address and manners singularly prepossessing, the Count Alfred 
D'Orsay, then in the prime of life, highly gif^d, and of varied 
accomplishments, truly answering Byron's designation of him, a 
^*nipidon dechain^.^^ The count's sojourn in London at that time 
was short ; but the knowledge he seems to have gained of its 
society, if the account given of his diary be true, must have been 
considerable. This was the beginning of an intimate acquaint- 
ance with the Blessingtons, one in many respects of great mo- 
ment to his lordship and to others — an intimacy which termi- 
nated only in death.* 

Two royal English dukes condescended, not unfrequently, to 
do homage at the new shrine of Irish beauty and intellect in St. 
James's Square. Canning, Lord Castlereagh, the Marquis of 
Lansdowne, and Lords Palmerston and Russell, Burdett and 
Brougham, Scarlett and JekyU, Erskine, and mauy other celeb- 
rities, paid their devoirs there. Whig and Tory politicians and 

* This acquaintance did not commence, as it has been generally asserted, by 
accident, in a French hotel, when the BleMingtont were on their way to Italy. 



DEPARTURE OF THE BLE88INGTONS FROM LONDON. 63 

lawyers, forgetful of their party feuds and professional rivalries 
for the nonce, came there as gentle pilgrims. Kemble and Mat- 
thews, Lawrence and Wilkie — eminent divines too. Dr. Parr and 
others. Rogers, Moore, and Luttrel were among the votaries 
who paid their vows in visits there, not angel-like, for theirs 
were neither " few nor far between." But among all the dis- 
tinguished persons who visited Lady Blessington, none were 
more devouSs in their attachment, or ardent in their admiration 
of the talents and traits, intellectual and personal, of the fair 
lady, than the late Earl Grey. 



CHAPTER n. 

DEPARTURE OF THE BLESSINOTONS FROM LONDON OH A CON- 
TINENTAL TOUR, SEPTEMBER, 1822. 

The love of change, of travel, of excitement— the necessity 
for distraction, for novelty, and new effects, not only in scenery, 
but in society, seems to have led to Lord BlessingtoQ's determ- 
ination to abandon his magnificent abode in St. James's Square 
at a time when nothing appeared wanting that wealth, beauty, 
and brilliant society could supply, to render that abode every 
thing that could be desired by those who think such necessar 
ries all that can be desirable to make homes happy. 

But Lord Blessington, although yet a young man, had drained 
his cup of pleasure and enjoyments of every kind to the dregs, 
and the taste of the draught that remained on his palate re- 
quired new cordials, and other stimulants of increasing strength 
continually, to keep down the loathing he already felt for all the 
allurements of fashion, the follies of the day, the foil and tinsel 
glories of the green-room, and the life behind the scenes of the 
drama, and of that other theatre of society, with its tableaux 
vivants, and its varied performances by the real actors on the 
stage of aristooratio life. Lord Blessington was palled and sa- 
tiated with pleasure, and no kind of iclat or of distinction in 
English society had now any charm for him. And yet this 
young nobleman, thus early blasS and exhausted, prematurely 



64 DEPARTURE OF THE BLESSINGTON8 FROM LONDON. 

impaired in mental energies, was fitted for better things, and 
was naturally amiable, and possessed many eminent qualities 
which might have rendered him, under other circumstances of 
education and position, a most estimable and a very useful man 
to his country and to society. 

The 22d of August, 1822, the Blessingtons, accompanied by 
Miss Mary Ann Power, the youngest sister of Lady Blessington, 
and Mr. Charles James Matthews, the only son of the celebrated 
comedian, set out on a Continental tour, and made their arrange- 
ments for an intended sojourn of some years in the south of 
Europe. 

Miss Mary Ann Power was then about one-and-twenty, bear- 
ing no resemblance to her sister in face or form, but, neverthe- 
less, far from unattractive. She was remarkably slight, rather 
of low stature, of small, regular features, good complexion, light 
brown hair, always tastefully arranged ; an extremely pretty 
and girlish-looking young lady, with bluish laughing eyes, and 
altogether a piquant expression of countenance, tin^^/i/e mignon, 
pleasingly, original and naive in her modes of thinking and act- 
ing, always courted and complimented in society, and coquetted 
with by gentlemen of a certain age, by humorists in single 
blessedness, especially like Gell, and by old married bachelors 
like Landor and the Duke Laval de Montmorency. 

Charles Matthews could hardly then have been twenty years 
of age. He had been intended for the profession of an archi- 
tect, and was articled to a person of eminence in London in that 
profession. Lord Blessington had kindly offered his father to 
take charge of the young man, and to afibrd him every facility 
of pursuing his professional studies in Italy. That offer was 
accepted, and for upward of two years young Matthews remain- 
ed with the Blessingtons on the Continent, and was no slight 
acquisition to their party. A merrier man within the limits of 
becoming mirth it would be difficult to find. He was an ad- 
mirable mimic, had a marvelous facility in catching peculiari- 
ties of manners, picking up the dificrent dialects of the several 
parts of Italy he passed through. But with all hb comic tal- 
ents, love of fun and frolic, ludicrous fancies, and overflowing 



DEPAETUEE OF THE BLESSINGTONS FROM LONDON. 65 

gayety of heart, he never ceased to be a gentleman, and to act 
and feel like a man well-bred, well-disposed, and well-principled. 

The writer's reminiscences of Charles Matthews are of an old 
date — upward of thirty years ; but they are of too pleasurable a 
kind to be easily efiaced. 

In her journals Lady Blessington makes frequent allusions to 
her " happy home" in St. James's Square, and at the moment 
of departure, of " the almost wish" she was not going from it ; 
and some dismal forebodings take the form of exclamations: 
'^ What changes ! what dangers may come before I again sleep 
beneath its roof!" Many changes, indeed, came before she re- 
turned from the Continent. She never beheld her husband be- 
neath that roof again ! 

Lord Blessington 's preparations in Paris for the approaching 
touring campaign in Italy were of a very formidable description. 
The commissariat department (including the culinary) was am- 
ply provided for ; it could boast of a batteric de cuisine on a most 
extensive scale, which had served an entire club, and a cook 
who had stood fire in the kitchen of an emperor. No Irish no- 
bleman, probably, and certainly no Irish king, ever set out on 
his travels with such a retinue of servants, with so many vehi- 
cles and appliances of all kinds to ease, comfort, and luxurious 
enjoyment in travel. 

Byron's traveling equipage, according to Med win, when he 
arrived in Florence, accompanied by Rogers, consisted of seven 
servants, five carriages, five horses, a monkey, a bull-dog, and 
a mastiff, nine live cats, three pea-fowls, and some hens ; his 
luggage, or what CsBsar would call " his impedimenta," consist- 
ed of " a very large library of modem books, a vast quantity of 
furniture," with trunks and portmanteaus of apparel — of course 
to correspond to the other parts of the equipage. 

Lord Blessington set out with an abundance of" impediments ;" 
but in his live-stock he had no bull-dogs, mastifis, monkeys, cats, 
pea-fowls, or hens. 

On her arrival in Paris, Lady Blessington mentions in her 
diary receiving a visit from her old friend the Baron Denon, and 
finding " all her French acquaintances charmed to see her." 



66 DEPARTURE OF THE BLESSINOTONB FROM LONDON. 

Mention is made of two previous visits of hers to Paris. Her 
former sojourn there must have been of some duration, and 
previously to her second marriage ; in her letters of this period 
we find a familiarity with French idiom, and the conversational 
terms of French society, which could only have been acquired 
by a good deal of intercourse with French people in their own 
countr}'. 

In her Italian journal of the 31st of August, 1822, she speaks 
of her '* old friend the baron," *' a most amusing man," *' a com- 
pound of savant and peiU maitre, one moment descanting on 
Eg}'ptian antiquities, and the next passing eulogiums on the joU 
chapeau, or robe of his female visitors, who seems equally at 
home in detailing the perfections of a mummy, or in describing 
' le mignon pied d' une charmante femme,' and not unfrequent- 
ly turns from exhibiting some marceau <f * antiquite bien remarqua" 
ble to display a cast of the exquisite head of Paulino Borghese."* 

September Ist, the diary opens with the words "my birth- 
day." Her ladyship could be sad and sentimental, but is obliged 
to smile and seem joyful at receiving the congratulations of her 
friends that she had added another year to her age, and at a 
period of woman's life, too, when one had passed thirty. 

During the short sojourn of the Blessingtons in Paris, Tom 
Moore was frequently with them at a restaurateur's : Lady 
Blcssington descended " La Montague Russe ;" but then Tom 
Moore often visited the spot, and greatly enjoyed her descent, 
and it was pleasant to observe with what a true zest he entered 
into every scheme of amusement, though the buoyancy of his 
spirits and resources of his mind rendered him so independent 
of such means of passing time.f Lady Blessington descants on 
the agreeable excitement of the extreme velocity of this loco- 
motive amusement ; but we need not marvel at Tom Moore's 
true zest in entering into it, accompanied with her ladyship, 
when we find Dr. Johnson dwelling on the enjoyment of travel- 
ing fast in a post-chaise with a pretty woman among the great 
pleasures of life. 

Perhaps it was one of those rapid journeys on the " Montagne 
♦ The Idler in Italy, Par. ed., 1839, p. 8. f Ibid., p. 28. 



DEPARTURE OF THE BLESSINGTONS FROM LONDON. 67 

Russe," that Moore's converBation reminded her ladyship " of 
the eTolutions of some bird of gorgeous plumage, each varied 
hue of which becomes visible as he carelessly sports in the air." 

In her observations on art, literature, and society, there are 
ample evidences of originality of mind, of true feeling, of refined 
taste, and an intimate acquaintance with the light literature of 
France and Italy. Many of her passing remarks have the merit 
of those short and memorable sayings which get the name of 
maxims and apothegms. Speaking of the Louvre, which she 
had visited " at least thirty times," and that was her third visit 
to Paris, she found, " like fine music, fine sculptures and fine 
pictures gain by long acquaintance." 

'* There is something that stirs the soul and elevates the feel- 
ings in gazing on those glorious productions of master minds, 
where genius has left its inefiaceable impress to bear witness 
to posterity of its achievements." 

The excellence of art, like every thing that is exquisite in 
workmanship and spiritual in conception, is to be appreciated 
by an intuitive sense, that gives a true perception of the sub- 
lime and beautiful ; " it is to be felt, and not reasoned upon." 

In the galleries of the Louvre, she sickens of the "cant of 
criticism," she turns away from the connoisseurs, "to meditate in 
silence on what others can talk about, but can not comprehend." 

" Here Claude Lorraine seems to have imprisoned on canvas 
the golden sunshine in which he bathes his landscapes. There 
Raphael makes us, though stem Protestants, worship a Madonna 
and child, suoh is the innocence, sweetness, and beauty with 
which ho has imbued his subjects." 

Poor Lady Blessington's " stem Protestantism" is lugged in, 
head and shoulders, into a criticism which really stood in no 
need of the intrusion of any religious opinions. Her faith in 
Raphael's perfections required no apology. In qualifying her 
admiration of the exquisite portraiture of innocence, sweetness, 
and beauty of the Virgin and child, it must have been rather 
painful to her (not a Protestant) to have to descend to the cant 
of criticism, which was so justly odious to her. 

While the fair countess was absorbed in art, and occupied 



68 DEPARTURE OF THE BLESSINGTONS FROM LONDON. 

with the sublime and beautiful, in the most glorious works of 
the ancient masters in the Louvre and the gallery of Versailles, 
my lord was securing the services of the culinary artist of great 
celebrity, already referred to, who had been the cook of an em- 
peror, and providing a very extensive batterie de cuisine — a com- 
plete equipage of a cooking kind, en ambulance, for their Italian 
tour. 

After a sojourn of twelve days in Paris, the Blessingtons and 
their party set out for Switzerland. 

The customary pilgrimages were made to Femey, the many 
shrines at the base of Mount Jura, on the borders of the Lake 
of Geneva, the birth-place and haunts of Rousseau, the homes 
for a time of Gibbon, Shelley, Byron, and De Stael, then the 
place of abode of John Philip Kemble, and a little later, his 
place of burial in the cemetery of Lausanne. Several days were 
spent in visiting monuments and other marvels of Lyons, Vienne, 
Grenoble, Valence, Orange, and on the 20th of November they 
arrived at Avignon. Here they remained till the 12th oT Feb- 
ruary, 1823, mixing a good deal in the fashionable circles of the 
town and its environs, making frequent excursions to the cele- 
brated fountain of Vanclure, the site of the chateau of Laura, 
and visiting that of her tomb, in the ruins of the Church of the 
Cordeliers, those of the Palace of the Popes, and the Inquisition 
with aU its horrors. Lady Blessington speaks of the repug- 
nance, the feelings of " a native of dear, free, happy England," 
at the sight of such a place, and in the heat of her abhorrence 
of the crimes committed in it, fancies herself a native of England. 

In her diary of the 20th of December, Lady Blessington says, 
" Spent last evening at Madame de C.'s ; met there the Due 

and Duchess de C G . Madame was dame d'honneur 

to Marie Louise, and has all the air and manner of one accus- 
tomed to find herself at home in a court." 

The persons indicated by the initials C Gr were the 

Due and Duchesse de Caderousse Grammont, who then resided 
in their chateau in the vicinity of Avignon. But no mention is 
made of any other member of their family in the Avignon so- 
ciety of the Blessingtons, though there was one who was an ob- 
ject of some interest to the party. 



mrSON AND THE BLESSINGTON8 AT GENOA. 69 

After a prolonged stay of two months and upward at Avig^ 
non. Lady Blessington says in her diar}*, '* It is strange how soon 
one becomes habituated to a place. I really feel as much at 
home at Avignon as if I had spent years there." 

On the 12th of February, 1823, Lady Blessington and her 
party, increased by a young Frenchman of a noble family, pre- 
viously known in England, lately met with in Paris, and subse- 
quently at Valence and Avignon, now a compagnon de voyage, 
set out for Italy, via Marseilles, Toulon, and Nice, and on the 
31 St of March they arrived at Genoa. 

In the diary of that day, the uppermost thought in Lady Bless- 
ington's mind is thus recorded : *' And am I, indeed, in the same 
town with Byron ! And to-morrow I may perhaps behold him !" 
There are two works of Lady Blessington *s, " the Idler in It- 
aly*** and " the Idler in France,"! in which an account is given 
of her tours, and her observations on the society, manners, sce- 
nery, and marvels of all kinds of the several places she visited 
and sojourned in. 



CHAPTER III. 

BTROX AXD THE BLESSIXOTOXS AT GEXOA. 

The 1st of April, 1823, Lady Blessington's strong desire was 
gratified — she saw Byron. But the lady was disappointed, and 
there is reason to believe that the lord, always indisposed abroad 
to make new acquaintances with his countrymen or women, 
was on the occasion of this iuteniew taken by surprise, and not 
Be highly gratified by it as might have been expected, when the 

* The Idler in luly, in 3 vols. 8vo, was published in 1839, and is descriptive of 
her visit to Paris, and sojourn there from the first of September to the 12th of the 
aamo month, 1822 ; her route through Switzerland, and extensive tour in Italy, ex- 
tended over a period of five years, the greater portion of which was spent in Naples. 

t The Idler in France, subsequently published, is descriptive of her residence 
in Paris for a period of two years and a half, from the autumn of 1828 to the end 
of November, 1830, when she returned to England. 

In her manuscript memoranda and conunonplace books there are also frequent 
n-'fercnces to persons whom she had met with in her travels, and obeervaiiona on 
places she had visited, several of which are almost identical with paMH^ » 
"theldlMS." 



70 BYRON AND THE BLESSINGTONS AT GENOA. 

agremens and personal attractions of the lady are taken into con- 
sideration. 

Lady Blessington's expression of disappointment has a tincture 
of asperity in it which is seldom, indeed, to he found in her oh- 
servations. There are very evident appearances of annoyance 
of some kind or another in the account given hy her of this in- 
terview, occasioned either by the reception given her by Byron, 
or at some eccentricity, or absence of mind, that was imexpect- 
ed, or apparent want of homage on his part to her beauty or 
talents on this occasion, to which custom had habituated her. 

It must also be observed, that the interview with her ladyship 
is described as having been sought by Lord Byron. It is more 
than probable, however, a little ruse was practiced on his lord- 
ship to obtain it. It is stated by one who has a good knowledge 
of all the circumstances of this visit, that a rainy forenoon was 
selected for the drive to Byron's villa ; that shelter was neces- 
sitated, and that necessity furnished a plea for a visit which 
would not have been without some awkwardness under other 
circumstances. Lord Blessiugton, having been admitted at once 
on presenting himself at Byron's door, was on the point of tak- 
ing his departure, apologizing for the briefness of the visit on 
account of Lady Blessington being lefl in an open carriage in 
the court-yard, the rain then falling, when Byron immediately 
insisted on descending with Lord Blessington, and conducting 
her ladyship into his house. 

" When we arrived," says Lady Blessington, " at the gate of 
the court-yard of the Casa Saluzzo, in the village of Albano,* 
where he resides. Lord Blessington and a gentleman of our party 
left the carriage and sent in their names.f They were admit- 
ted immediately, and experienced a very cordial reception from 
Lord Byron, who expressed himself delighted to see his old ac- 
quaintance. B3rron requested to be presented to me, which led 
to Lord Blessington's avowing that I was in the carriage at the 
gate, with my sister. Byron immediately hurried out into the 

♦ About a mile and a half from Genoa. — R. R. M. 

t The gentleman*! name will be found in a letter of Byron to Moore, dated 2d 
April, 1823. 



BYRON AND THE BLESSINGT0N8 AT GENOA. 71 

court, and I, who heard the sound of steps, looked through the 
gate, and beheld him approaching quickly toward the carriage 
without his hat, and considerably in advance of the other two 
gentlemen." 

The visit was a long one ; and many questions were asked 
about old friends and acquaintances. Lady Blessington says 
Byron expressed warmly, at their departure, the pleasure which 
the visit had afibrded him — and she doubted not his sincerity; 
not that she would arrogate any merit in her party to account 
for his satisfaction, but simply because she could perceive that 
Byron liked to hear news of his old associates, and to pass them 
en revue, pronouncing sarcasms on each as he turned up in con- 
versation. 

In a previous notice of this interview, which bears some in- 
ternal evidence of having been written long afler the period it 
refers to, lamenting over the disappointment she felt at finding 
her beau ideal of a poet by no means realized, her ladyship ob- 
serves : " Well, I never will allow myself to form an ideal of 
any person I desire to see, for disappointment never fails to en- 
sue." 

Byron, she admits, had more than usual personal attractions, 
" but his appearance nevertheless had fallen short of her expect^ 
ations." There is no commendation, however, without a con- 
comitant efibrt at depreciation. For example, her ladyship ob- 
serves, " His laugh is musical, but he rarely indulged in it dur- 
ing our interview ; and when ho did, it was quickly followed 
by a graver aspect, as if he liked not this exhibition of hilarity. 
Were I asked to point out the prominent defect of Byron's man- 
ner, I should pronounce it to be a flippancy incompatible with 
the notion we attach to the author of Childe Harold and Man- 
fred, and a want of self-possession and dignity that ought to 
characterize a man of birth and genius. Notwithstanding this 
defect, his manners are verj' fascinating — more so, perhaps, than 
if they were dignified ; but he is too gay, too flippant for a 
poet."* 

Lady Blessington was accompanied on this occasion by her 

• Idler in Italy, p. 392. 



72 BYRON AND THE BLESSIN6T0N8 AT GENOA. 

sister, Miss Mary Anne Power, now ComteBse de St. Marsault. 
Byron, in a letter to Moore, dated April 2d, 1823, thus refers to 
this interview : 

" Your other allies, whom I have found very agreeahle per- 
sonages, are Milor Blessington and epouse^ traveling with a very 
handsome companion in the shape of a ' French count ' (to use 
Farquhar's phrase in the Beaux Stratagem), who has all the air 
of a Cupidon dechainSy and is one of the few specimens I have 
seen of our ideal of a Frenchman hefore the Revolution, an old 
friend with a new face, upon whose like I never thought that 
we should look again. Miladi seems highly literary, to which, 
and your honor's acquaintance with the family, I attribute the 
pleasure of having seen them. She is also very pretty, even in 
a morning — a species of beauty on which the sun of Italy does 
not shine so frequently as the chandelier. Certainly English 
women wear better than their Continental neighbors of the same 
sex. Mountjoy seems very good-natured, but is much tamed since 
I recollect him in all the glory of gems and snufi-boxes, and uni- 
form, and theatricals, and speeches in our house — * I mean of 
Peers' — I must refer you to Pope, whom you don't read and 
won't appreciate, for that quotation (which you must allow to 
be poetical) — and sitting to Stroelling, the painter (do you re- 
member our visit, with Leckie, to the German ?),.to be depicted 
as one of the heroes of Agincourt, 'with his long sword, saddle, 
bridle, Whak fal de," kc, &c. 

We thus find, from the letter of Byron to his friend Moore, 
that the Blessingtons were accompanied by the Count Alfred 
d'Orsay in their visit to his lordship, and that he was one of the 
party on their arrival and at their departure from Genoa. 

It is probable that the arrangements for the count's journey 
to Italy with the Blessingtons had been made in Paris, though 
he did not accompany them from that city, but joined them first 
at Valence on the Rhone, and subsequently at Avignon. 

D'Orsay, who had been attached to the French army of the 
pretended expedition against Spain, abandoned his profession 
in an evil hour for the career of a mere man of pleasure and of 
fashion. 



BYRON AND THE BLESSINGTONS AT OENOA. 73 

Byron and the Blessingtons continued to live on the most in- 
timate terms, we are told by Lady Blessington, during the stay 
of the latter at Genoa ; and that intimacy had such a happy in- 
fluence on the author of Childe Harold, that he began to aban- 
don his misanthropy. On the other hand, I am assured by the 
Marquise de Boissy, formerly Countess of Guiccioli, that the 
number of visits of Byron to Lady Blessington during the entire 
period of her sojourn in Genoa did not exceed five or six at the 
utmost, and that Byron was by no means disposed to afford the 
opportunities that he believed were sought, to enabla a lady of 
a literary turn to write about him. But D'Orsay, she adds, at 
the first interview, had struck Byron as a person of considerable 
talents and wonderful acquirements for a man of his age and 
former pursuits. " Byron from the first liked D*Orsay ; he was 
clever, original, unpretending ; he afiected to be nothing that he 
was not." 

Byron sat for his portrait to D'Orsay, that portrait which sub- 
sequently appeared in the New Monthly Magazine, and after- 
ward as a frontispiece of her ladyship's work, " Conversations 
with Lord Byron." 

His lordship sufiered Lady Blessington to lecture him in prose, 
and, what was worse, in verse. He endeavored to persuade 
Lord Blessington to prolong his stay in Genoa, and to take a 
residence adjoining his own named " II Paradise." And a ru- 
mor of his intention to take the place for himself, and some 
good-natured friend observing, " II diavolo h ancora cntrato in 
Paradiso," his lordship wrote the following lines : 

Beneath Blessington^s eyes 

The reclaimed Paradise 
Should be free as the former from evil ; 

But if the new Eve 

For an ^ple should grieve, 
What mortal would not play the devil ! 

But the original conceit was not in poetry. 

Lady Blessington informed me that, on the occasion of a mask- 
ed ball to be given in Genoa, Byron stated his intention of going 
there, and asked her ladyship to accompany him : tn hadiimif^tg^ 

Vol. T.— D 



74 BYRON AND THE BLESSINGTONS AT GENOA. 

about the character she was to go in, some one had suggested 
that of Eve — ^Byron said, " As some one must play the devil, I 
will do it." 

Shortly before her departure from Genoa, Lady Blessington 
requested Byron to write some lines in her album, and, accord- 
ingly, he composed the following stanzas for her : 

TO THE COUNTESS OF BLESSINGTON. 

1. 
You have ask^d for a verse : the request 
* In a rhymer Uwere strange to deny ; 

Bat my Hippocrene was bul my breast, 
And my fecliogs (its fountain) are dry. 

2. 
Were I now as I was, I had sung 

"What Lawrence has painted so well ; 
But the strain would expire on my tongue. 

And the theme is too soft for my shelL 

3. 
I am ashes where once I was fire, 

And the bard in my bosom is dead ; 
Wliat I loved I now merely admire, 

And my heart is as gray as my head. 

4. 
My life is not dated by years — 

There are moments which act as a plow ; 
And there is not a furrow appears, 

But is deep in my soul as my brow. 

5. 
Let the young and the brilliant aspire 

To sing what I gaze on in vain ; 
For sorrow has torn from my lyre 

The string which was worthy the strain. 

Moore speaks of the happy influence of Lady Blessington's 
society over the mind of Byron : 

" One of the most important services conferred upon Lord By- 
ron by Lady Blessington during this intimacy was that half re- 
viving of his old regard for his wife, and the check which she 
contrived to place upon the composition of Don Juan, and upon 



BYRON AND TH£ BLESSINGTONS AT GENOA. 75 

the continuation of its most glaring immoralities. He spoke of 
Ada ; her mother, he said, 'has feasted on the smiles of her in- 
fancy and growth, but the tears of her maturity shall be mine.' 
Lady Blessington told him that if he so loved his child, he should 
never write a line that could bring a blush of shame to her cheek, 
or a sorrowing tear to her eye ; and he said, * You are right ; I 
never recollected this. I am jealously tenacious of the undi- 
vided sympathy of my daughter ; and that work (Don Juan), 
written to beguile hours of tristesse and wretchedness, is well 
calculated to loosen my hold on her affections. I will write no 
more of it — would that I had never written a line.' In this 
gentler mind, with old loves, old times, and the tenderest love 
that human heart can know, all conducing to soothe his pride 
and his dislike of Lady Byron, he learned that a near friend of 
her ladyship was in Genoa, and he requested Lady Blessington 
to procure for him, through this friend, a portrait of his wife. 
He had heard that Lady Byron feared he was about to come to 
England for the purpose of claiming his child. In requesting 
the portrait and in refuting the report, he addressed the follow- 
ing letter to Lady Blessington : 

" • May 3, 18«8. 
" * Dear Ladt Blessinotoit, — ^My request would be for a copy of the min- 
iature of Lady B. which I have seen in possession of the late Lady Noel, as 
I have no picture, or indeed memorial of any kind of Lady B., as all her let- 
ters were in her own possession before I left England, and we have had no 
correspondence since — at least on her part. My message with regard to the 
infant is simply to this effect, that in the event of any accident occurring to 
the mother, and my remaining the survivor, it would be my wish to have her 
plans carried into effect, both with regard to the education of the child, and 
the person or persons under whose care Lady B. might be desirous that she 
should be placed. It is not my intention to interfere with her in any way on 
the subject during her life ; and I presume that it would be some consolation 
to her to know (if she is in ill health, as I am given to understand), that in no 
case would any thing be done, as far as I am concerned, but in strict con- 
formity with Lady B.'s own wishes and intentions; left in what manner she 
thought proper. Believe me, dear Lady B., your obliged,' '' dec. 

At length, in the early part of June, 1823, the Blessingtons 
took their departure from Genoa, and Moore tells us how the 
separation affected Byron : 



76 BYRON AND THE BLESSINGTONS AT OBMOA. 

*' On the evening before the departure of hit friends. Lord and 
Lady Blessington, from Genoa, he called upon them for the pur^ 
pose of taking leave, and sat conversing for some time. He was 
evidently in low spirits, and after expressing his regret that they 
should leave Genoa before his own time of sailing, proceeded to 
speak of his own intended voyage in a tone full of despondence. 
' Here,' said he, ' we are all now together ; but when, and 
where, shall we meet again ? I have a sort of boding that we 
see each other for the last time ; as something tells me I shall 
never again return from Grreece.' Having continued a little 
longer in this melancholy strain, he leaned his head upon the 
arm of the sofa on which they were seated, and, bursting into 
tears, wept for some minutes with uncontrollable feeling. 
Though he had been talking only with Lady Blessington, all 
who were present in the room observed, and were afiected by, 
his emotion, while he himself, apparently ashamed of his weak- 
ness, endeavored to turn off attention from it by some ironical 
remark, spoken with a sort of hysterical laugh, upon the effects 
of nervousness. He had, previous to this conversation, present- 
ed to each of the party some little farewell gift — a book to one, 
a print from his bust by Bartolini to another, and to Lady Bless- 
ington a copy of his Armenian Grammar, which had some man- 
uscript remarks of his own on the leaves. In now parting with 
her, having begged, as a memorial, some trifle which she had 
worn, the lady gave him one of her rings ; in return for which 
he took a pin from his breast, containing a small cameo of Napo- 
leon, which he said had long been his companion, and presented 
it to her ladyship. The next day Lady Blessington received 
from him the following note : 

** < AJbut). Jane 9, 1823. 
" 'My dear Ladt Blbsbinoton, — I am tuperstiiums, and have recollected 
that memoriala with a poinl are of less fortunate augury : I will, therefore, 
request you to accept, instead of the pin, the inclosed chain, which is of so 
slight a value that you need not hesitate. As you wished for something worn, 
I can only say that it has been worn oftener and longer than the other. It is 
of Venetian manufacture, and the only peculiarity about it is that it could only 
be obtained at or (rom Venice. At Grenoa they have none of the same kind. 
I also inclose a ring, which I would wish Alfred to keep ; it is too Urge to 



BYRON AND THE BLES8INOTONS AT GENOA. 77 

wear; but it is fonned of Utvaj and so &r adapted to the fire of his yean and 
character. You will perhaps have the goodness to acknowledge the receipt 
of this note, and send back the pin (for good luck's sake), which I shall value 
much more for having been a night in your custody. 

" * Ever faithfully your obliged, &c. 
" * P.S. — I hope your nerves are well to-day, and will continue to fionrish.* " 

Some fourteen years only had elapsed since that criticism ap- 
peared in the Edinburgh Review on his (Byron's) juvenile po- 
ems, which began with these words : " The poesy of this young 
lord belongs to the class which neither gods nor men are said 
to tolerate." 

And in the interval between the date of the publication of 
" English Bards and Scotch Reviewers'' in 1809, and that of 
the visit of the Blessingtons to Genoa in June, 1823, and his 
departure "for Greece a little later, the poesy of the young lord 
manifested to the world that it belonged to a class which all the 
powers of criticism could not decry or crush. A few months 
only had elapsed since Byron parted with Lady Blessington and 
bade adieu to Italy, and the career of the poet was near its 
close in Greece. 

In 1828, again at Genoa, Lady Blessington, alluding to Byron's 
death, writes : " I sat on the chair where I had formerly been 
seated next him; looked from the window whence he had 
pointed out a beautiful view ; and listened to Mr. Barry's graph- 
ic description of the scene, when,J)ecalmed in the Gulf of Genoa, 
the day he sailed for Greece, he returned and walked through 
the rooms of his deserted dwelling, filled with melancholy fore- 
bodings. He had hoped to have found in it A^ whom he was 
destined never more to behold — that fair and young Italian lady, 
the Contessa Guiccioli — whose attachment to him had triumphed 
over every sentiment of prudence and interest, and by its devotion 
and constancy half redeemed its sin. But she, overwhelmed by 
grief at the sad parting, had been placed in a traveling carriage 
while almost in a state of insensibility, and was journeying to- 
ward Bologna, little conscious that he whom she would have 
given all she possessed on earth to see once more was looking 
on the chamber she had left and the flowers she had loved, his 



78 BYRON AND THE BLE8SINGTONS AT GENOA. 

mind filled with a presentiment that they should never meet 

again. 

"/SmcA is one of the bitter consequences resulting from the viola' 
tion of ties never severed without retribution,^^ 

Lady Blessington's feelings of regard for Byron's memory were 
by no means such as might have been desired. 

Moore's sentiments with respect to the reputation of his de- 
parted friend were not altogether those which might have been 
expected. 

Campbell's feelings in relation to the fame of a brother bard, 
who had only recently been a living rival, were those which 
some who knew him well always feared they would prove ; 
they were something more than merely cold and unkindly — ^they 
were passionately inimical. At a period when most other lit- 
erary men who ever had an acquaintance with Byron, or sym- 
pathy with his literary pursuits, would have avoided entering 
into a controversy with his enemies, and espousing the views of 
his opponents, Campbell with avidity seized an opportunity of 
rushing into print to wound the reputation of a brother bard, 
whose fame during his lifetime he might not with impunity have 
assailed. A periodical of the time, commenting on this ill-ad- 
vised proceeding, observed : " This strange matter has now as- 
sumed another and a darker shade from the interference of Mr. 
Campbell, who, assuming to be the personal champion of Lady 
Byron, has stepped forward to throw the most odious imputations 
upon the character of Lord Byron which can possibly bo left to 
the worst imaginations to conceive. Against this course we pro- 
test, in the name of all that is honorable in human nature, y^e 
were the undeviating ccnsurers of the poet's injurious produc- 
tions during his lifetime ; but we can not do otherwise than con- 
demn, in far stronger terms, any attempt, ai^r he is laid in his 
grave, to blast him forever by mysterious and voiceless whis- 
perings. Of what monstrous crime was he guilty ? for, unless 
he was guilty of some monstrous crime, a foul wrong is done to 
his memor}'. His accusers are bound by every moral and sacred 
tie to be definite in their charge : against such there is a possi- 
* The Idler in Italy, vol. iii., p. 3C5. 



BYRON AND THE BLESSINGTONS AT GENOA. 79 

bility of defense ; but there can be no shield against the horri- 
bly vague denunciation which has been so iutemperately hurled 
at the unprotected and unanswcring dead. And what called this 
forth ? A very slight surmise by Mr. Moore against the parents 
of Lady Byron ; to repel which, she comes rashly out with a 
statement that damns the husband of her bosom ; and, as if this 
were not enough, the zeal of Mr. Campbell advances to pqivr ad- 
ditional suspicion and ignominy upon his mouldering ashes. The 
fame of a Byron is public property ; and, after what has passed, 
it is imperative on his adversaries either to fix some eternal 
brand upon it, such as can justify their language, or confess that 
they have used expressions which no conduct of his could au- 
thorize. And we are persuaded that they must do the latter; 
for it is incredible that any woman of the spirit and honor of 
Lady Byron could have lived an hour with a man whom she 
knew to be a detested criminal, and far less that she should 
have corresponded with him in playful and soothing letters. 
The plea of insanity itself can not reconcile this with any thing 
like the atrocious guilt now by circumstance imputed ; and we 
do earnestly trust that an explanation will be vouchsafed, which 
will set this painful discussion at rest in a manner more satis- 
factory to the world. Having, in these few remarks, grappled 
with the main point at issue, we abstain from saying a syllable on 
minor afiairs ; and we do not deem ourselves in a condition to 
blame any one of the parties wo have been obliged to name."* 

Lord Byron's yacht, " the Bolivar," was purchased by Lord 
Blessington previously to his departure from Genoa, and it was 
subsequently considered by Lady Blessington that the poet drove 
a hard bargain with her husband. 

Medwin, however, as a proof of Byron's lavish and inconsid- 
erate expenditure, and his incongruity of action in regard to 
money matters, states that he gave J^IOOO for a yacht which he 
sold for jC300, and yet refused to give the sailors their jackets. 

The 2d of June, 1823, the Blessingtons set out from Genoa 
for Naples, via Lucca, Florence, Vienna, and Rome ; took their 
departure from the Eternal City the 13th of the same month, 
and arrived at Naples on the 17th. 

♦ Literary Gazette. 



80 THE CiTY AND BAY OP NAPLES. 



CHAPTER rV. 

THE ^ITT AND BAY OF NAPLES. THE BLES8INOTON8 AND THEIR 

SOCIETY IN NAPLES. JUNE, 1823, TO FEBRUARY, 1826. 

June 2d (1823), the Blessingtons led Genoa, and passed 
through Lucca, where they stayed a few days, and arrived in 
Florence on the 8th of the same month. Here they remained 
till the Ist of July. Lady Blessington spent her whole time vis- 
iting monuments of antiquity, churches, galleries, villas, and pal- 
aces, associated with great names and memories. In no city in 
Italy did she find her thoughts carried hack to the past so forci- 
bly as at Florence. A thousand recollections of the olden time 
of the merchant princes, the Medici, and the Pazzi — of all the 
factions of the republic, the Neri and Bianchi, the Guelphs and 
Ghibellines, recurred to memory in her various visits to the dif- 
ferent localities of celebrity in the noble city, the grandeur and 
beauty of which far surpassed her expectations. After a so- 
journ of about three weeks in Florence, the party set out for 
Rome. On the 5th of July, the first view of the Eternal City 
burst on the pilgrims from St. James's Square. 

As they entered the city, the lone mother of dead empires, all 
appeared wrapped in silent solemnity, not wanting, however, in 
sublimity. " Even the distant solitude of the Campagna," says 
Lady Blessington, " was not divested of the latter. But in the 
evening the Corso was crowded with showy equipages, occu- 
pied by gayly-dressed ladies, and thronged with cavaliers on 
prancing steeds riding past them. Nothing could surpass the 
gayety of the evening scene, or contrast more strangely with the 
gloom of the morning aspect of the sombre suburbs." 

The mournful contemplations awakened by the ruins of an- 
cient Rome are frequently spoken of by Lady Blessington. 

I can not help thinking they were of too mournful a charac- 
ter for her ladyship to make that city of the dead, of shattered 



THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 81 

thrones and temples, of shrines and sepulchres, a place of abode 
congenial to her feelings, tastes, and predilections. 

The Eternal City and its everlasting monuments appear to 
have made less impression on the mind of Lady Blessington 
than might have been expected by those acquainted with her 
refined tastes and literary acquirements. 

The gloom of the sombre monumental city seemed oppressive 
to her spirits ; the solemn aspect of the sites of palaces renown- 
ed of old, and those sermons in stones of crumbling monuments, 
and all the remaining vestiges of a people, and their idols of 
long past ages, speaking to the inmost soul of decay and de- 
structibility, were not in accordance with her turn of mind, and 
her natural taste for objects and scenery that exhilarated the 
senses, and communicated joyousness to every faculty. Naples, 
in Lady Blessington's opinion, and not Rome, was the appropri- 
ate locality for an elysium that was to last forever, and for any 
sojourn of English tourists of haul ton that was intended to be 
prolonged for the enjoyment of Italian skies i^nd- sunshine, scen- 
ery and society. 

On the 14th of July, nine days after her arrival in Rome, 
Lady Blessington writes in her diary, '' Left Rome yesterday, 
driven from it by oppressive heat, and the evil prophecies dinned 
into my ears of the malaria. I have no fears of the eiSect of 
either for myself, but I dare not risk them for others." 

There were other circumstances besides those referred to, in 
all probability, which determined the precipitate departure from 
Rome. All the appliances to comfort, or rather to luxury, which 
had become necessary to Lady Blessington, had not been found 
in Rome. Her ladyship had become exceedingly fastidious in 
her tastes. The difficulties of pleasing her in house accommo- 
dation, in dress, in cookery especially, had become so formida- 
ble, and occasioned so many inconveniences, that the solicitude 
spoken of for the safety of others was only one of the reasons 
for the abrupt departure referred to. 

With the strongest regard for Lady Blessington, and the full- 
est appreciation of the many good qualities that belonged to her, 
it can not be denied that, whether discoursing in her salons, or 

D2 



82 THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 

talking with pen in hand on paper in her joumalB, she occasion- 
ally aimed at something like stage efiects, acted in society and 
in her diaries, and at times assumed opinions, which she aban- 
doned a little later, or passed ofi* appearances for realities. This 
was done with the view of acquiring esteem, strengthening her 
position in the opinion of persons of exalted intellect or station, 
and directing attention to the side of it that was brilliant and 
apparently enviable, not for any unworthy purpose, but from a 
desire to please, and perhaps from a feeling of uncertainty in 
the possession of present advantages. 

The first impressions of Lady Blcssington of the beauty of the 
environs of Naples, the matchless site of the city, its glorious 
bay, its celebrated garden, the Villa Reale, its delightful climate, 
and exquisite tints of sea and sky, and varied aspect of shore 
and mountain, of isles and promontories, are described by her, 
in her diaries, in very glowing terms. 

Her hotel, the Gran Bretagna, fronted the sea, and was only 
divided from it by the garden of the Villa Reale, filled with 
plants and flowers, and adorned with statues and vases. The 
sea was seen sparkling through the openings of the trees, with 
numbers of boats gliding along the shore. In the " Idler in Ita- 
ly," Lady Blcssington thus speaks of the delightful climate and 
its cheering influences : 

" How light and elastic is the air ! Respiration is carried on 
unconsciously, and existence becomes a positive pleasure in such 
a climate. AVho that has seen Naples can wonder that her chil- 
dren are idle, and luxuriously disposed ? To gaze on the cloud- 
less sky and blue Mediterranean, in an atmosphere so pure and 
balmy, is enough to make the veriest plodder who ever courted 
Plutus abandon his toil, and enjoy the delicious dolcefar' niente 
of the Neapolitans."* 

A few words of this epitome of Paradise may be permitted to 
one who enjoyed its felicity of clime, and site, and scenery for 
upward of three years. 

The city of Naples retains no vestiges of Greek or Roman an- 
tiquity. It occupies the site of two ancient Greek towns, Palie- 

♦ Th« Idler in Italy, p. 241. P«r. cd.. Ifl39. 



THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. gg 

opolis, founded by Farthenope, and Neapolis, or the New Town. 
Eventually they merged into one city, which became a portion 
of the Roman Empire, and obtained the name of Neapolis. The 
Bay of Naples, for the matchless beauty of its situation and its 
surrounding scenery, is unrivaled. Its circling beach extends 
from the promontory of Pausilippo to Sorrento, a line of moro 
than tliirty miles of varied beauty and magnificence. This city, 
with its churches, palaces, villas, and houses, luxuriant gardens 
and vineyards, with the surrounding hills and grounds thickly 
planted in the vicinity, backed by the Apennines, well deserves 
its poetical designation, " Un pezzo di cielo caduto in terra.^* Na- 
ples, it is truly said, " viewed by moonlight, is enchanting. The 
moon, pouring out an eflulgence of silvery light from a sky of 
the deepest azure, through a pure and transparent atmosphere, 
places all the prominent buildings in strong relief; and while 
it makes every object distinctly visible, it mellows each tint, 
and blends the innumerable details into one vast harmonioas 
whole, throwing a bewitching and indescribable softness and re- 
pose on the scene." 

From the time that this city and territory fell under the power 
of the Romans, to the period of the destruction of Pompeii in the 
year of our Lord 79, Neapolis, on account of the beauty of its sit- 
uation and excellence of its climate, became the favorite place 
of residence in the winter season, and the chosen sojourn for a 
continuance of several of the magnates of the Eternal City, of 
the Emperor Tiberius for the last years of his iniquitous reign — 
of many of the most illustrious sages and philosophers of Rome. 
For some centuries subsequently to the destruction of Pompeii, 
Naples shared the calamitous fate of the other Italian cities : 
it was ruled, harassed, pillaged, and devastated successively 
by Goths, Vandals, Saracens, Lombards, and Parmans, and ulti- 
mately by Germans, French, and Spaniards. The flight of the 
King of Naples in 1799 — the short reign of Joseph Bonaparte — 
the rule of Murat — his deposition, execution — and other modem 
vicissitudes, it is hardly necessary to refer to. 

The Castcllo dell Novo, standing on a projecting insulated 
rock, commands the entire of the two semicircular bays on which 



■ -"? .--^ --f j: snore 
i-:: - ^i -. wiih nu- 

.:> -izi... -r.wr.eii by 
11- .■^■: ;: v i::;aldo!e, 
:i:.':r; . izi «TiIl t^r- 

■'-• Tir:_z.i:e* :he laud 
: T--: >.i^ i j o f i fohia 

• 'i^-^-LTi ::* :J:'* Cas- 
:■.>>. .-:iLT:'-:5. and 
i-:-;. Mr:c:. ;'::: quay 
• "ij.- i. >!:-:?. anil 

' . -.ii^i: :jL:'£^r.n;ud 

!• - 1 1 ^ -■:' y-j.r.-'.^ va- 
i:r s i. frr-'L." i*yeot 

-;.:• > . .ir/.f: by 

.• .M. M ■ >•. :r.- ■.:!!- 



. - ..."...■ -.'..anil the tra- 
■i '.■ A.lMothc latest 
* 'j-.-M a? we approach 
, •>. .• ravines of inolton 
^ ^x'k that have boon 

•.u< i-nu»lions. 
».:! Ls: *:anvls Castella- 
11-^ i.f.: ririrvshinsr soa- 
. ^.Tr*. ,-r ri'troat of tlic 
- • ^■.'.'.■..:- *oenon' of 
; •;ts*i.\ And the Cape 
..... ^.,. ■.,..-% ot* Minen'a, 



THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 95 

in breadth it is about two miles. The peak of the southern 
mountain of the island is about 2000 feet high. Several ruins, 
supposed to be of palaces of the imperial monster Tiberius, exist 
on this island. 

The extreme length of Naples is from the Ponte Madelena 
to Pausilippo, along the sea-shore, a distance of about four miles. 
The breadth is unequal ; at the west end it is contracted be- 
tween the hiUs of the Yomero and the Belvidere and the sea- 
side, and in the interval there are only three or four streets. 
Toward the centre it extends from the CasteUo dell Novo north- 
ward to the Capo di Monte and Monte di Chino, and in this 
direction the breadth of this most ancient part of the city, and 
most densely populated from the quay of St. Lucia to the emi- 
nences of Capo di Monte and Capo di Chino, is about two miles. 
The main street, Strada del Toledo, runs nearly parallel with 
the shore. It is broad, and fronted with large houses, five or 
six stories high, in which are the principal shops of the city. 
The population amounts to about 380,000 inhabitants ; there are 
upward of 300 churches ; the lazzaroni are estimated at 40,000 ; 
the clergy^ monks, and nuns, at 7800. 

The Castcllo dell Novo is built on a rock, which projects into 
the sea from the Chiatamone, which separates it from Pizzo Fal- 
cone. It was formerly called Megera, then Lucullanum. The 
last of the Roman Emperors, Romulus Augustulanus, is said to 
have been imprisoned here in 476. The fortress consists now of 
a composed mass of buildings, ancient and modern. In one of 
the old gloomy apartments, the Clueen Joanna was for some time 
confined. Its venerable commandant in 1822-4, and for many 
years previously, was a brave old Irish officer. General Wade. 

Willis has happily sketched the Bay of Naples in a few 
words, not destitute of poetry or of graphic talent. 

" The bay is a collection of beauties, which seems to me more 
a miracle than an accident of nature. It is a deep crescent of 
sixteen miles across, and little more in length, between the 
points of which lies a chain of low mountains, called the island 
of Capri, looking from the shore like a vast heap of clouds brood- 
ing at sea. In the bosom of the crescent lies Naples. Its pal- 



^^« K-Ir\ \M> BAY OF NAPLES. 

. v.H«L aW\o U, tha convent of Camaldoli lifts its 

^ V « <>.. Kx'AiiiA, rortici, Castelamare, and the lonely 

V «\«««\s i\SAoh out i'roni Vesuvius as if they tried to 

l^ x«v vvt \'a|»n, wltioh forms the central object; and 

^ , X ^a Uui^uuiit, whioh, in the distance, seemed joined 

\. .^ Mk^i kjH'UiAi ndviiitoit to meet the beautiful island on 

^ I. iho AUt as it IttuvoH the shore, is laden with fra- 

.. . avuu k\w \MnuH(^*tr(u«« and jasmine, so abundant round 

\«« \ « . 4^^ U^o iiol\ tiuislo of i\\t^ f(uitar, or lively sound of the 

^• ■.V•^uuu^ iMi^ikUiH Oio brUk movements of the tarantella, 

.lA ^;m vui sUy\ «tm llui hnrk I a rioh stream of music, silencing 

^ i \>lU^ii, \% \\^^^^^\\^ Hud a );oUleu Imr^re advances ; the oars keep 

«.4uu> ivi \i\\\ \\\\\m\\\^\M\\\ oacb utrt^ko of thorn sends forth a silver}^ 

t^ki . uuiu\u««Mai Ihi^^m atlHohi^i to the Umt give it, at a little 

iUti.4u«-«^ \\\\^ •i|«|k\'AiHUoo \^( a vMHt sht«U of topaz Hoating on a 

IV -^ vi( y.«|i|thiu» .\o.uov aud iionn'r draws tliis splendid pa- 

141 "iuV, \U\^ \k\\\*\s^ lUlU hu«iv dintiiiotly on the charmed car, and 

\'kv^i '4(>ir4 Ou( \\m dulool NomuU uro pnutuood by a baud of glitter- 

\u.4 uu(iUmu« (dt'lliod \\\ ivyal livorioH. This illuminated barge 

vt iuUii\s\v\i by auiMhor with a silken canopy overhead, and the 

\iu^l,iuu d(*«N\u )M«ok t(i admit the balmy air. Cleopatra, when 

^U^' »K\\\'\\ \\\*\\\\ (tio (\viliiuH, btmntcd not a more beautiful ves- 

%\{ . ^\\\\, A* U Mlidrs over tlic Hca, it seems impelled by the 

M^u«U' Out lUVOodcH it, HO perfectly does it keep time to its en- 

\<W*4U^^U4 MsiuudH, hwiviug a bright trace behind, like the memory 

\^i \Kvv>4iU>d happiness. Hut M'ho is he that guides this beau- 

liMu« Vt-^^k *• Mis tnll and sliglit tigun^ is curved, and his snowy 

\\\\\*. tHlbuM «*ver nubly ehceks, sliow that age has bent, but not 

bioki*u \\\\\i I he looKs like one born to command — a hoary Nep- 

iuuo MleetuiM over his native element; all eyes are iixed, but 

Ku loUow (ho Mhtteriug barge that precedes him. And who is 

«ho ih<a \\vk* (he neat ol* h(»nor at his side ? Her fair, large, and 

uume.uuu)^ luoo wears a placid smile, and those light blue eyes 

and (Ku imHietM speak her of another land ; her lips, too, want 

(lie (tue ehmeliMH which marks those of the sunny clime of 

lial\ , uud the expresMion of her countenance has in it more of 

eaith than heaven, huuimerable boats, Ailed with lords and 



TH£ CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. gg 

Iftdiefl, follow, but intrnde not on the privaey of this royal hark, 
which passes before us like a vision in a dream. He who steer^ 
ed was Ferdinand, King of the Sicilies, and she who was beside 
him Maria Louisa, ex-Empress of France^" 

Many a glorious evening have I passed with the Blessingtons 
in 1823 and in the early part of 1824, sailing in the Bay of Na- 
ples, in their yacht, the Bolivar, which had belonged to Lord 
Byron ; and not unfrequently, when the weather was particular- 
ly iine, and the moonlight gave additional beauty to the shores 
of Portici and Castelamare, Sorrento, and Pausilippo, the night 
has been far advanced before we returned to the Mole. 

The furniture of the cabin of the Bolivar reminds one of its 
former owner. The table at which he wrote, the sofa on which 
he reclined, were in the places in which they stood when he 
owned the yacht. Byron was very partial to this vessel. It 
had been built for him expressly at Leghorn. On one occasion 
I was of the party, when, having dined on board, and skirted 
along the shores of Castelamare and Sorrento, the wind fell 
about dusk, and we lay becalmed in the bay till two or three 
o'clock in the morning, some six or eight miles from the shore. 
The bay was never more beautiful than on that delightful night ; 
the moonlight could not be more brilliant. The pale blue sky 
was without a cloud, the sea smooth and shining as a mirror, 
and at every plash of an oar glittering with phosphorescent 
flashes of vivid light. But all the beauties of the bay on that 
occasion wasted their loveliness on the weary eyes of poor Lady 
Blessington that long night in vain. 

" Captain Smith," capitaine par complaisance , a lieutenant of 
the navy, who had the command of the Bolivar, a very great 
original, on fhat as well as many other occasions served to re- 
lieve the tedium of those aquatic excursions, which were some- 
times a little more prolonged than pleased Lady Blessington. 
Her ladyship had a great turn and a particular talent for grave 
banter, for solemn irony, verging on the very borders of obvi- 
ous hoaxing. It was a very great delight to her to discover a 
prevailing weakness, vanity, absurdity, prejudice, or an antipa- 
thy in an extravagant or eccentric, vain or peculiar person, and 



M THfi CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 

Umu to draw out that individual, and seem to read his thoughts, 
throwing out catch-words and half sentences to suggest the kind 
of expression she desired or expected to solicit, and then lead- 
hig tlio party into some ridiculous display of oddity or vanity, 
and exceedingly ahsurd ohservations. 

But this was done with such singular tact, finesse, and deli- 
cacy of humor, that pain never was inflicted hy the mystifica- 
tion, for the simple reason that the hadinage was never sus- 
pected by the party on whom it was practiced, even when carried 
to the very utmost limit of discretion. This taste for drawing 
out odd people, and making them believe absurd things, or ex- 
press ridiculous ones, was certainly indulged in, not in a vulgar 
or coarse manner, but it became too much a habit, and tended, 
perhaps, to create a penchant for acting in society, and playing 
ofl* opinions, as other persons do jokes and jests, for the sake of 
the fun of the performance. 

The Count D'Orsay, who was a man of genuine wit and won- 
derful quickness of perception of the ridiculous wherever it ex- 
isted, also possessed this taste for mystifying and eliciting ab- 
surdity to a very great extent, and rendered no little aid to Lady 
Blessington in these exhibitions of talent for grave irony and 
refined banter, which ever and anon, of an evening, she was 
wont to indulge in. In Naples, poor " Captain Smith's" anxi- 
ety for promotion, and high sense of fitness for the most exalted 
position in his profession, furnished the principal subjects for 
the display of this kind of talent. 

The poor captain was " fooled to the very top of his bent." 
He was drawn out in all companies, in season and out of sea- 
son, on the subject of posting. The Admiralty were regularly 
lugged into every argument, and it invariably endal with an in- 
quiry "why he was not posted. ^^ The same observations in 
reply were always produced by an allusion to the Lords of the 
Admiralty ; and the same replies, with unerring precision, were 
sure to follow the inquiry about post rank. " There was no pat- 
ronage for merit." " He ought to have been posted fifteen years 
ago." " Half the post-captains in the navy were his juniors, 
though all got posted because they had patrons." *^ But the 



THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 91 

Lordi of the Admiralty never posted a man for hu serviee, 
and — ** The disconcerted lieutenant would then be interrupted 
by D'Orsay with some such good-natured suggestion as the fol- 
lowing, in his broken English : *' Ah, my poor Smid, tell miladi 
over again, my good fellow ; once more explain for Mademoiselle 
Power, too, how it happens Milords of the Admirals never post- 
ed you ?" 

Then would the lieutenant go over the old formula in a queru- 
lous tone, without the slightest change of voice or look. 

In July, 1823, the Blessingtons established themselves at the 
Palace or Villa Belvidere, on the Yomero, one of the most beau- 
tiful residences in Naples, surrounded by gardens overlooking 
the bay, and commanding a most enchanting view of its exqui- 
site features. Though the palace was furnished suitably for a 
Neapolitan prince. Lady Blessington found it required a vast 
number of comforts, the absence of which could not be com- 
pensated by beautifully decorated walls and ceilings, marble 
floors, pictures, and statues, and an abundance of antiquated so- 
fas, and chairs of gigantic dimensions, carved and gilt. The 
Prince and Princess Belvidere marveled when they were in- 
formed an upholsterer's services would be required, and a vari- 
ety of articles of furniture would have to bo procured for the 
wants of the sojourners who were about to occupy their mansion 
for a few months. The rent of this palace was extravagantly 
high ; but nothing was considered too dear for the advantage of 
its sight and scenery. 

Lady Blessington thus describes her now abode : " A long 
avenue, entered by an old-fashioned archway, which forms part 
of the dwelling of the intcndente of the Prince di Belvidere, 
leads through a pleasure ground filled with the rarest trees, 
shrubs, and plants, to the palazzo, which forms three sides of a 
square, the fourth being an arcade that connects one portion of 
the building with the other. There is a court-yard and fount- 
ain in the centre. A colonnade extends from each side of the 
front of the palace, supporting a terrace covered with flowers. 
The windows of the principal salons open on a garden formed 
on an elevated terrace, smrrounded on three sides by a marble 



g2 THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 

talking with pen in hand on paper in her journals, she occasion- 
ally aimed at something like stage effects, acted in society and 
in her diaries, and at times assumed opinions, which she aban- 
doned a little later, or passed off appearances for realities. This 
was done with the view of acquiring esteem, strengthening her 
position in the opinion of persons of exalted intellect or station, 
and directing attention to the side of it that was brilliant and 
apparently enviable, not for any unworthy purpose, but from a 
desire to please, and perhaps from a feeling of imcertainty in 
the possession of present advantages. 

The first impressions of Lady Blessington of the beauty of the 
environs of Naples, the matchless site of the city, its glorious 
bay, its celebrated garden, the Villa Reale, its delightful climate, 
and exquisite tints of sea and sky, and varied aspect of shore 
and mountain, of isles and promontories, are described by her, 
in her diaries, in very glowing terms. 

Her hotel, the Gran Bretagna, fronted the sea, and was only 
divided from it by the garden of the Villa Realc, filled with 
plants and flowers, and adorned with statues and vases. The 
sea was seen sparkling through the openings of the trees, with 
numbers of boats gliding along the shore. In the " Idler in Ita- 
ly," Lady Blessington thus speaks of the delightful climate and 
its cheering influences : 

" How light and elastic is the air ! Respiration is carried on 
unconsciously, and existence becomes a positive pleasure in such 
a climate. Who that has seen Naples can wonder that her chil- 
dren are idle, and luxuriously disposed ? To gaze on the cloud- 
less sky and blue Mediterranean, in an atmosphere so pure and 
balmy, is enough to make the veriest plodder who ever courted 
Plutus abandon his toil, and enjoy the delicious dolcefar^ niente 
of the Neapolitans."* 

A few words of this epitome of Paradise may be permitted to 
one who enjoyed its felicity of clime, and site, and scenery for 
upward of three years. 

The city of Naples retains no vestiges of Greek or Roman an- 
tiquity. It occupies the site of two ancient Greek towns, Palae- 
• Tht Idler in Italy, p. 244. P»r. ed., lfl3D. 



THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 93 

opolis, founded by Parthenope, and Neapolis, or the New Town. 
Eventually they merged into one city, which became a portion 
of the Roman Empire, and obtained the name of Neapolis. The 
Bay of Naples, for the matchless beauty of its situation and its 
surrounding scenery, is unrivaled. Its circling beach extends 
from the promontory of Pausilippo to Sorrento, a line of more 
than thirty miles of varied beauty and magnificence. This city, 
with its churches, palaces, villas, and houses, luxuriant gardens 
and vineyards, with the surrounding hills and grounds thickly 
planted in the vicinity, backed by the Apennines, well deserves 
its poetical designation, " Unpezzo di cielo ccuiuto in terra " Na- 
ples, it is truly said, " viewed by moonlight, is enchanting. The 
moon, pouring out an efiulgence of silvery light from a sky of 
the deepest azure, through a pure and transparent atmosphere, 
places all the prominent buildings in strong relief; and while 
it makes every object distinctly visible, it mellows each tint, 
and blends the innumerable details into one vast harmonious 
whole, throwing a bewitching and indescribable softness and re- 
pose on the scene." 

From the time that this city and territory fell under the power 
of the Romans, to the period of the destruction of Pompeii in the 
year of our Lord 79, Neapolis, on account of the beauty of its sit- 
uation and excellence of its climate, became the favorite place 
of residence in the winter season, and the chosen sojourn for a 
continuance of several of the magnates of the Eternal City, of 
the Emperor Tiberius for the last years of his iniquitous reign — 
of many of the most illustrious sages and philosophers of Rome. 
For some centuries subsequently to the destruction of Pompeii, 
Naples shared the calamitous fate of the other Italian cities : 
it was ruled, harassed, pillaged, and devastated successively 
by Goths, Vandals, Saracens, Lombards, and Parmans, and ulti- 
mately by Germans, French, and Spaniards. The flight of the 
King of Naples in 1799 — the short reign of Joseph Bonaparte — 
the rule of Murat — his deposition, execution — and other modem 
vicissitudes, it is hardly necessary to refer to. 

The Castello dell Novo, standing on a projecting insulated 
-rock, commands the entire of the two semicircular bays on which 



gu| THB CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 

the city stands. In one direction extends the long line of shore 
on -which are the Chiatamone, the Marino and Chiaja, with nu- 
merous ascending terraces of streets behind them, crowned by 
Fort St. Elmo and Castello Nuovo, the convent of Camaldole, 
the Palazzo Belvidere, and the hill of the Yomero ; and still far^ 
ther westward, the Promontory of Pausilippo terminates the land 
yiew, and in this vicinity lie the beautiful little islands of Ischia 
and Procida. In the other direction, to the eastward of the Cas- 
tello dell Novo, are semicircular clusters of houses, convents, and 
churches, with the mole, the light-house, and harbor, the quay 
of Santa Lucia, surmounted by the Palace of Capo di Monte, and 
the eminence of Capo di Chino, and in the distant background 
the bold outlines of the Apennines, with their tints of purple va- 
rying with the atmosphere, and presenting a different aspect 
with tlie several changes of the setting sun. Still farther by 
the eastern shore is the Ponte Madelena leading to Portici and 
Torro del (xrieco, the sites and ruins of Pompeii and Hercula- 
neum, and rising up in the vicinity, in the plains of the Cam- 
pagna Felice, Vesuvius of portentous aspect, sombre and majes- 
tic, with all its associations of terror and destruction, and the tra- 
ditionary horrors of its history, from those of 79 A.D. to the latest 
eruptions of signal violence in 1821, are recalled as we approach 
its base or ascend the dreary foot-path in the ravines of molten 
lava or ragged scorisB and masses of huge rock that have been 
torn from the sides of the crater in some past eruptions. 

Still farther along the shore to the southeast stands Castella- 
marc, a place of resort noted for its coolness and refreshing sea- 
breezes, the site of the ancient Stabia, the summer retreat of the 
elite of Naples. A little farther is the delightful scenery of 
Monte S. Michel, Sorrento, the birth-place of Tasso, and the Cape 
Campanello, the ancient Athenseus, or Promontory of Minerva, 
terminate the land view to the eastward. At the entrance to 
the bay, where the expanse is greatest between the eastern and 
western shore, in a southern direction, is the island of Capri, the 
ancient Capreoe, eighteen miles distant from the opposite ex- 
tremity of the Bay of Portici, about four miles from the nearest 
shore. The extreme length of the island is about four miles ; 



THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 35 

in breadth it is about two miles. The peak of the southern 
mountain of the island is about 2000 feet high. Several ruins, 
supposed to be of palaces of the imperial monster Tiberius, exist 
on this island. 

The extreme length of Naples is from the Ponte Madelena 
to Pausilippo, along the sea-shore, a distance of about four miles. 
The breadth is unequal ; at the west end it is contracted be- 
tween the hills of the Yomero and the Belvidere and the sea- 
side, and in the interval there arc only three or four streets. 
Toward the centre it extends from the Castello dell Novo north- 
ward to the Capo di Monte and Monte di Chino, and in this 
direction the breadth of this most ancient part of the city, and 
most densely populated from the quay of St. Lucia to the emi- 
nences of Capo di Monte and Capo di Chino, is about two miles. 
The main street, Strada del Toledo, runs nearly parallel with 
the shore. It is broad, and fronted with large houses, five or 
six stories high, in which are the principal shops of the city. 
The population amounts to about 380,000 inhabitants ; there are 
upward of 300 churches ; the lazzaroni are estimated at 40,000 ; 
the clergy, monks, and nuns, at 7800. 

The Castello dell Novo is built on a rock, which projects into 
the sea from the Chiatamone, which separates it from Pizzo Fal- 
cone. It was formerly called Megera, then Lucullanum. The 
last of the Roman Emperors, Romulus Augustulanus, is said to 
have been imprisoned here in 476. The fortress consists now of 
a composed mass of buildings, ancient and modem. In one of 
the old gloomy apartments, the Clueen Joanna was for some time 
confined. Its venerable commandant in 1822-4, and for many 
years previously, was a brave old Irish officer. General Wade. 

Willis has happily sketched the Bay of Naples in a few 
words, not destitute of poetry or of graphic talent. 

" The bay is a collection of beauties, which seems to me more 
a miracle than an accident of nature. It is a deep crescent of 
sixteen miles across, and little more in length, between the 
points of which lies a chain of low mountains, called the island 
of Capri, looking from the shore like a vast heap of clouds brood- 
ing at sea. In the bosom of the crescent lies Naples. Its pal- 



86 THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 

aces and principal buildings cluster around the base of an abrupt 
bill crowued by the castle of St. Elmo, and its half million of 
inhabitants have stretched their dwellings over the plain to- 
ward Vesuvius, and back upon Posilippo, bordering the curve 
of the shore on the right and left with a broad white band of 
city and village for twelve or fourteen miles. Back from this, 
on the southern side, a very gradual ascent brings your eye to 
the base of Vesuvius, which rises from the plain in a sharp cone, 
broken in at the top ; its black and lava-streaked sides descend- 
ing with the evenness of a sand-hill, on one side to the disin- 
terred city of Pompeii, and on the other to the royal palace of 
Portici, built over the yet unexplored Hcrculaneum. In the 
centre of the crescent of the shore, projecting into the sea by a 
bridge of two or three hundred feet in length, stands a small 
castle, built upon a rock, on one side of which lies the mole 
with its shipping. The other side is bordered, close to the 
beach, with the gardens of the royal villa, a magnificent prom- 
enade of a mile, ornamented with fancy temples and statuary, 
on the smooth alleys of which may be met, at certain hours, all 
that is brilliant and gay in Naples. Farther on, toward the 
northern horn of the bay, lies the Mount of Posilippo, the ancient 
coast of BaiaB, Cape Misenum, and the mountain isles of Procida 
and Ischia ; the last of which still preserves the costumes of 
Greece, from which it was colonized centuries ago. The bay 
itself is as blue as the sky, scarcely ruffled all day with the wind, 
and covered by countless boats fishing or creeping on with their 
picturesque lateen sails just filled ; while the atmosphere over 
sea, city, and mountain is of a clearness and brilliancy which 
is inconceivable in other countries. The superiority of the sky 
and climate of Italy is no fable in any part of this delicious land ; 
but in Naples, if the day I have spent here is a fair specimen, 
it is matchless even for Italy. There is something like a fine 
blue veil of a most dazzling transparency over the mountains 
around, but above and between there seems nothing but view- 
less space — nothing like air that a bird could rise upon. The 
eye gets intoxicated almost with gazing on it."* 
» PcncilingJi by the Way, p. 32. 



THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 87 

** I can compare standing on the top of Yesuvius and looking 
down upon the bay and city of Naples to nothing but mounting 
a peak in the infernal regions overlooking Paradise. The larger 
crater encircles you entirely for a mile, cutting off the view of 
the sides of the mountain ; and from the elevation of the new 
cone, you look over the rising edge of this black field of smoke 
and cinders, and drop the eye at once upon Naples, lying asleep 
in the sun, with its lazy sails upon the water, and the green hills 
inclosing it clad in the indescribable beauty of an Italian at- 
mosphere. Beyond all comparison, by the testimony of every 
writer and traveler, the most beautiful scene in the world — 
the loveliest water and the brightest land lay spread out before 
us. 'With the stench of hot sulphur in our nostrils, ankle deep 
in black ashes, and a waste of smouldering cinders in every 
direction around us, the enjoyment of the view certainly did not 
want for the heightening of contrast."* 

The Bay of Naples, long after the departure of Lady Blessing- 
ton from its shores, ceased not to be a favorite theme both in 
conversation and composition with her ladyship. 

The sketch of its beauties appeared in the " Book of Beauty" 
for 1834, and again came out, retouched, in one of her later pub- 
lications, " The Lottery of Life." 

THE BAY OF NAPLES 
In the Summer of 1824. 

" It is evening, and scarcely a breeze ruffles the calm bosom 
of the beautiful bay, which resembles a vast lake, reflecting on 
its glassy surface the bright sky above, and the thousand stars 
with which it is studded. Naples, with its white colonnades 
seen amid the dark foliage of its terraced gardens, rises like an 
amphitheatre : lights stream from the windows and fall on the 
sea beneath like colums of gold ; the castle of St. Elmo crown- 
ing the centre ; Vesuvius, like a sleeping giant in grim repose, 
whose awakening all dread, is to the left ; and on the right are 
the vine-crowned heights of the beautiful Vomero, with their 
palaces and villas peeping forth from the groves that surround 

♦ PencilingB by th« Way. p. 43. 



88 THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 

them ; while riling above it, the convent of Gamaldoli lifts its 
head to the skies. Resina, Portici, Castelamare, and the lonely 
shores of Sorrento, reach out from Vesuvius as if they tried to 
embrace the isle of Capri, which forms the central object ; and 
Pausihpo and Misenum, which, in the distance, seemed joined 
to Procida and Ischia, advance to meet the beautiful island on 
the right. The air, as it leaves the shore, is laden with fra* 
grance from the orange-trees and jasmine, so abundant round 
Naples ; and the soft music of the guitar, or lively sound of the 
tambourine, marking the brisk movements of the tarantella, 
steals on the ear. But hark ! a rich stream of music, silencing 
all other, is heard, and a golden barge advances ; the oars keep 
time to the music, and each stroke of them sends forth a silvery 
light ; numerous lamps attached to the boat give it, at a little 
distance, the appearance of a vast shell of topaz floating on a 
sea of sapphire. Nearer and nearer draws this splendid pa- 
geant, the music falls more distinctly on the charmed ear, and 
one sees that its dulcet sounds are produced by a band of glitter- 
ing musicians clothed in royal liveries. This iUuminated barge 
is followed by another with a silken canopy overhead, and the 
curtiiins drawn back to admit the balmy air. Cleopatra, when 
she sailed down the Cydnus, boasted not a more beautiful ves- 
sel ; and, as it glides over the sea, it seems impelled by the 
music that precedes it, so perfectly does it keep time to its en- 
chanting sounds, leaving a bright trace behind, like the memor)' 
of departed happiness. But who is he that guides this beau- 
teous bark 1 His tall and slight figure is curved, and his snowy 
locks, falling over ruddy cheeks, show that age has bent, but not 
broken him ; he looks like one bom to command — a hoary Nep- 
tune steering over his native element ; all eyes are fixed, but 
his follow the glittering barge that precedes him. And who is 
she that has the seat of honor at his side ? Her fair, large, and 
unmeaning face wears a placid smile, and those light blue eyes 
and fair ringlets speak her of another land ; her lips, too, want 
the fine chiseling which marks those of the sunny clime of 
Italy ; and the expression of her countenance has in it more of 
earth than heaven. Innumerable boats, filled with lords and 



THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 89 

ladies, foUow, but intrude not on the privacy of this royal bark, 
which passes before us like a vision in a dream. He who steer- 
ed was Ferdinand, King of the Sicilies, and she who was beside 
him Maria Louisa, ex-Empress of France^" 

Many a glorious evening have I passed with the Blessingtons 
in 1823 and in the early part of 1824, sailing in the Bay of Na- 
ples, in their yacht, the Bolivar, which had belonged to Lord 
Byron ; and not unfrequently, when the weather was particular- 
ly fme, and the moonlight gave additional beauty to the shores 
of Portici and Castelamare, Sorrento, and Pausilippo, the night 
has been far advanced before we returned to the Mole. 

The furniture of the cabin of the Bolivar reminds one of its 
former owner. The table at which he wrote, the sofa on which 
he reclined, were in the places in which they stood when he 
owned the yacht. Byron was very partial to this vessel. It 
had been built for him expressly at Leghorn. On one occasion 
I was of the party, when, having dined on board, and skirted 
along the shores of Castelamare and Sorrento, the wind fell 
about dusk, and we lay becalmed in the bay till two or three 
o'clock in the morning, some six or eight miles from the shore. 
The bay was never more beautiful than on that delightful night ; 
the moonlight could not be more brilliant. The pale blue sky 
was without a cloud, the sea smooth and shining as a mirror, 
and at every plash of an oar glittering with phosphorescent 
flashes of vivid light. But all the beauties of the bay on that 
occasion wasted their loveliness on the weary eyes of poor Lady 
Blessington that long night in vain. 

" Captain Smith," capitaine par complaisance, a lieutenant of 
the navy, who had the command of the Bolivar, a very great 
original, on that as well as many other occasions served to re- 
lieve the tedium of those aquatic excursions, which were some- 
times a little more prolonged than pleased Lady Blessington. 
Her ladyship had a great turn and a particular talent for grave 
banter, for solemn irony, verging on the very borders of obvi- 
ous hoaxing. It was a very great delight to her to discover a 
prevailing weakness, vanity, absurdity, prejudice, or an antipa- 
thy in an extravagant or eccentric, vain or peculiar person, and 



90 THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 

then to draw out that individual, and seem to read hia thoughtSy 
throwing out catch-words and half sentences to suggest the kind 
of expression she desired or expected to solicit, and then lead- 
ing the party into some ridiculous display of oddity or vanity, 
and exceedingly ahsurd ohservations. 

But this was done with such singular tact, finesse, and deli- 
cacy of humor, that pain never was inflicted by the mystifica- 
tion, for the simple reason that the badinage was never sus- 
pected by the party on whom it was practiced, even when carried 
to the very utmost limit of discretion. This taste for drawing 
out odd people, and making them believe absurd things, or ex- 
press ridiculous ones, was certainly indulged in, not in a vulgar 
or coarse manner, but it became too much a habit, and tended, 
perliaps, to create a penchant for acting in society, and playing 
oir opinions, as other persons do jokes and jests, for the sake of 
the fun of the performance. 

The Count D'Orsay, who was a man of genuine wit and won- 
derful quickness of perception of the ridiculous wherever it ex- 
isted, also possessed this taste for mystifying and eliciting ab- 
surdity to a very great extent, and rendered no little aid to Lady 
Blessington in these exhibitions of talent for grave irony and 
refined banter, which ever and anon, of an evening, she was 
wont to indidge in. In Naples, poor " Captain Smith's" anxi- 
ety for promotion, and high sense of fitness for the most exalted 
position in his profession, furnished the principal subjects for 
the display of this kind of talent. 

The poor captain was " fooled to the very top of his bent." 
He was drawn out in all companies, in season and out of sea- 
son, on the subject of posting. The Admiralty were regularly 
lugged into every argument, and it invariably ended with an in- 
quir)' " why he was not posted" The same observations in 
reply were always produced by an allusion to the Lords of the 
Admiralty ; and the same replies, with unerring precision, were 
sure to follow the inquiry about post rank. " There was no pat- 
ronage for merit." " He ought to have been posted fifteen years 
ago." " Half the post-captains in the navy were his juniors, 
though all got posted because they had patrons." '* But the 



THB CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 91 

Lords of the Admiralty never posted a man for his service, 
and — ** The disconcerted lieutenant would then he interrupted 
hy D'Orsay with some such good-natured suggestion as the fol- 
lowing, in his hroken English : '* Ah, my poor Smid, tell miladi 
over again, my good fellow ; once more explain for Mademoiselle 
Power, too, how it happens Milords of the Admirals never post- 
ed you ?" 

Then would the lieutenant go over the old formula in a queru- 
lous tone, without the slightest change of voice or look. 

In July, 1823, the Blessingtons estahlished themselves at the 
Palace or Villa Belvidere, on the Yomero, one of the most heau- 
tiful residences in Naples, surrounded hy gardens overlooking 
the hay, and commanding a most enchanting view of its exqui- 
site features. Though the palace was furnished suitahly for a 
Neapolitan prince. Lady Blessington found it required a vast 
numher of comforts, the ahsencc of which could not he com- 
pensated hy beautifully decorated walls and ceilings, marble 
floors, pictures, and statues, and an abundance of antiquated so- 
fas, and chairs of gigantic dimensions, carved and gilt. The 
Prince and Princess Belvidere marveled when they were in- 
formed an upholsterer's services would be required, and a vari- 
ety of articles of furniture would have to be procured for the 
wants of the sojourners who were about to occupy their mansion 
for a few months. The rent of this palace was extravagantly 
high ; but nothing was considered too dear for the advantage of 
its sight and scenery. 

Lady Blessington thus describes her new abode : *' A long 
avenue, entered by an old-fashioned archway, which forms part 
of the dwelling of the intendente of the Prince di Belvidere, 
leads through a pleasure ground filled with the rarest trees, 
shrubs, and plants, to the palazzo, which forms three sides of a 
square, the fourth being an arcade that connects one portion of 
the building with the other. There is a court-yard and fount- 
ain in the centre. A colonnade extends from each side of the 
front of the palace, supporting a terrace covered with flowers. 
The windows of the principal salons open on a garden formed 
on an elevated terrace, surrounded on three sides by a marble 



92 SOCIETT OF THE BLE8SINGTON8 AT MAPLES. 

balastrade, and inelosed on the fonxth by » long galleij, filled 
with pictures, stataes, and alii and bassi relieTi. On the top 
of this gallery, which is of considerable length, is a terrace, at 
the extreme end of which is a pavilion, with open arcades, and 
payed wiih marble. This pavilion commands a most enchant- 
ing prospect of the bay, with the coast of Sorrento on the left ; 
Capri in the centre, with Nisida, Procida, Ischia, and the prom- 
ontory of Misenum to the right; the foreground filled up by 
gardens and vineyards. The odor of the flowers in the grounds 
around this pavilion, and the Spanish jasmine and tuberoses that 
cover the walls, render it one of the most delicious retreats in 
the world. The walls of all the rooms are literally covered with 
pictures ; the architraves of the doors of the principal rooms are 
of Oriental alabaster and the rarest marbles ; the tables and con- 
soles are composed of the same costly materials ; and the furni- 
ture, though in decadence, bears the traces of its pristine splen- 
dor. Besides five salons de reception on the principal floor, the 
palace contains a richly-decorated chapel and sacristy, a large 
saile de billard, and several suites of bed and dressing rooms."* 

Xever did English lady of refined tastes make a sojourn in 
the neighborhood of Pompeii and Uerculaneum, visit the various 
localities of Naples and its vicinity, carry out researches of an* 
tiquarian interest, and inquire into the past amid the ruins of 
Psestum and Beneventum, Sorrento, Amalfi, Salerno, Ischia, and 
Procida, and Capri, under such advantageous circumstances as 
Lady Blessington. 

When she visited Herculaneum she was accompanied by Sir 
William Gell ; when she examined museums and galleries de- 
voted to objects of art, ancient or modem, she was accompanied 
by Mr. Uwins, the painter, or Mr. Richard Westmacott, the sculp- 
tor, or Mr. Millingen, the antiquarian, who " initiated her into 
the mysteries of numismatics." If she made an excursion to 
PiEstum, it was with the same erudite cicerone ; or when she 
bad an evening visit to the Observatory, it was in the company 
of Mr. Herschel (now Sir John), or the famous Italian astrono- 
mer Piazzi. Or if she went to Beneventum, or the Torre di 

♦ The Idler in Italy, p. 247. Par. etl., 1839. 



SOCIETY OF THE BLE8SINOTON8 AT NAPLES. 93 

Patria, the site of the ancient Litemmn, it was in the agreeable 
society of some celebrated savant. 

The visit to Pompeii, with Sir William Gell as cicerone, has 
been immortalized by Lady Blessington in some admirable stan- 
zas, the first and last of which I present to my readers : 
" Lonely city of the dead ! 

Body whence the eoal has fled, 

IjcaTing fftill upon thy face 

Such a mild and pensive grace 

As the lately dead display, 

While yet stamped upon frail clay, 

Rests the impress of the mind, 

That the fragile earth refined. 

# • • • • 

<* Farewell, city of the dead ! 

0*er whom centuries have fled. 

Leading on your buried flice 

Not one mark time lores to trace ! 

Dumb as Egypt corpses, you 

Strangely meet our anxious view ; 

Showing to the eager gaze 

But cold still shades of ancient days.'* 

Among the papers of Lady Blessington, I found some beauti- 
fully written verses on the ruins of Pesstum, without name or 
date, which appear to have been sent to her by the author of 
them. 

Her ladyship visited Psstum in May, 1824, accompanied by 
Mr. Millingen, Mr. C. Matthews, and Lord Morpeth ; and prob- 
ably these lines may have been composed by one of her com- 
panions on that occasion. 

P^STUM. 
** 'Mid the deep silence of the pathless wild, 
Where kindlier nature once profusely smiled, 
Th' eternal temples stand ; unknown their age. 
Untold their annals in historic page ! 
All that around them stood, now £u away, 
Single in ruin, mighty in decay ! 
Between the mountains and the neighboring main, 
They claim the empire of the lonely plain. 
In solemn beauty, through the clear blue light. 
The Dwic edhmuis rear their awftU height? 



94 SOCIETY OF THE BLES8INOTON8 AT NAPUSS. 

•ppihijwna of atrength untamed ! yet eoDqaering time 

Has mellowed half the stenmess of their prime ; 

And bade the richer, mid their niins grown, 

Imbrown with darker hues the vivid stone. 

Each channeled pillar of the fiuie iqppears 

Unspoiled, yet softened by consuming years. 

So calmly awful ! so serenely &ir ! 

The gazers rapt still mutely worship there. 

Not always thus, when full beneath the day. 

No fiurer scene than PBstum*s lovely bay ; 

When her light soil bore plants of every hue. 

And twice each year her beauteous roses blew ; 

While baids her blooming bcmors loved to sing, 

And Tuscan zephyrs &nned th* eternal spring. 

Wlien in her port the Syrian moored his fleet, 

And wealth and commerce filled the peopled street ; 

Mliile here the trembling mariner adored 

The seas' dread sovereign, Posidonia^s lord ; 

With native tableta decked yon haUowed walls. 

Or sued for justice in her crowded halls ; 

There stood on high the white-robed Flamen, there 

The opening portal poured the choral prayer ; 

'NMiile to the searching heaven swelled loud the sound. 

And incense blazed, and myriads knelt around. 

Tis past ! the actors of the plain are mute, 
E*en to the herdsman's call, or shepherd's flute ! 
The t(Hls of art, the charms of nature &il, 
And death triumphant rules the tainted gale. 
From the lone spot the affiighted peasants haste, 
A wild the garden, and the town a waste. 

But they are still the same : alike they mock 
The invader's menace and the tempest's shock ; 
And ere the world had bowed at Cesar's throne, 
Ere yet proud Rome's all-conquering name was known. 
They stood, and fleeting centuries in vain 
Have poured their fury o'er the enduring fane. 
Such long shall stand, proud relics of a clime 
Where man was glorious, and his works sublime ; 
While in the progress of their long decay. 
Thrones shrink to dust, and nations pass away."* 

* I visited Paestam in company with Mr. Greenough, one of the Vice Presi- 
dcntt of the Geographical Society, and Mr. Burton, the architect, ia 1833, a short 



SOCIETY OF THE BLESSJNOTONS AT NAPLES. 95 

I accompanied Lady Blessington and her party on the occa- 
sion, I think, of their first visit to Mount Vesuvius. The account 
in the " Idler in Italy" of the ascent is given with great liveli- 
ness and humor, hut the wit and drollery of some of the persons 
who were of this party contrihuted to render the visit one of 
the merriest, perhaps, that ever was made to a volcano, and to 
the joyousness of the expedition altogether I think her ladyship 
has hardly done justice. 

I had previously made a very singular excursion to Vesuvius, 
accompanied hy a hlind gentleman, who used to hoast of his 
having come from England expressly to see an eruption. He 
was certainly recompensed for his pains by having an opportu- 
nity afforded him, during his sojourn in Naples, of hearing the 
bellowing of the disemboguing volcano, of the greatest violence 
that had occurred in recent times. 

The great eruption of June, 1821, was witnessed by me. I 
accompanied to the mount the celebrated blind traveler. Lieu- 
tenant Holman, the evening on which the violence of the erup- 
tion was at its greatest height. He has given an account of our 
night ascent, and adventures by no means free from peril, in his 
"Narrative of a Journey in France, Italy, Savoy, &c., in the 
years 1819, 1820, and 1821,'' page 234. We set off from Na- 
ples about five o'clock in the afternoon, as my blind companion 
says in his work, " with the view of seeing the mountain by 

time only Ijefore the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Hunt in that vicinity. No trareler 
has said so much to the purpose of PaBstum in so few words as Foreyth. 

** On entering the walls of Pwslum I felt all the religion of the place. I trod 
as on sacred ground. I stood amazed at the long obscurity of its mighty ruins. 
They can be descried with a glass from Salerno, the high road of Calabria com- 
mands a distant view, the city of Capaccio looks down upon them, and a few 
wretches have always lived on the spot ; yet they remain unnoticed by the best 
Neapolitan antiquaries. Pelegrino, Capaccio, and Sanfelice wrote volumes on 
the beaten tracks of topography, but they never traveled. 

" I will not disturb the dreams of Paoli, who can see nothing here but the work 
of Tuscans and the Tuscan order ; nor would I, with other antiquaries, remount to 
the Sybarites, and ascribe these monuments — monuments the most simple, sage, 
austere, energetic — to a race the most opposite in character. Because the Pestan 
Doric differs in all its proportions from that of the exaggeration of mass which 
awes every eye, and a stability which, from time unknown, has sustained in the 
air these ponderous entablatures. The walls are fallen, and the columns stand ; 
the solid has failed, and the open resists.*' 



96 SOCIETY OF THE BLES8INOTON8 AT NAPLES. 

moonlight." Passing through Fortioi, we reached Resina about 
seven o'clock, and at the base of the mountain took a conductor 
from the house of Salvatori. Visitants usually ascend on asses 
two thirds of the way toward the summit, but my blind friend 
preferred walking, " to see things better with his feet." We 
reached the hermitage by eight or nine o'clock, where we supped, 
and did great justice to the hermit's fare. The eruption was 
chiefly of light ashes, when we proceeded upward from the 
hermitage, and the road or path, at all times difficult, was now 
doubly so from the heavy dust and scoris, interspersed with 
large and dark stones, which lay all along it. The shower of 
ashes was succeeded, as we ascended, by torrents of red-hot lava, 
that streamcfd over the crater in the direction of the wind, and, 
like a river of molten lead, as it descended, and lost its bright 
red heat, flowed down not impetuously, but slowly and gradu- 
ally, in a great broad stream, perhaps sixty or eighty feet wide, 
toward the sea to the east of Resina. We proceeded along the 
edge of this stream for some distance, and my blind friend form- 
ed his notions of its consistence, rate of flowing, and tempera- 
ture by poking his staff in this stream of lava, and feeling the 
charred stick when he removed it. The great crater was then 
in repose. At length we reached the spot where a great fissure, 
somewhat lower than the crater, was emitting torrents of lava 
and sulphurous vapors. My blind friend would not be persua- 
ded to remain behind when the guide conducted us to any spot 
particularly perilous, and especially to one where fire and ashes 
were issuing from clefls in the rock on which we walked. He 
insisted on walking over places where we could hear the crack- 
ling effects of the fire on the lava beneath our feet, and on a 
level with the brim of the new crater, which was then pouring 
forth showers of fire and smoke, and lava, and occasionally 
masses of rock of amazing dimensions, to an enormous height in 
the air. A change of wind must inevitably have buried us, ei- 
ther beneath the ashes or the molten lava. The huge rocks 
generally fell back into the crater from which they issued. The 
ground was glowing with heat under our feet, which of^en 
obliged us to shift our position. Our guide conducted us to the 



SOCIETY OF THE BLE88INOTONS AT NAPLES. 97 

edge of a crater, where a French gentleman had thrown him- 
self in about two months previously. He had written some 
lines in the travelers' book at the hermitage on his ascent, in- 
dicative of the old fact that " the course of true love never did 
run smooth." 

The view of the Bay of Naples and of the distant city from 
Hie summit of Vesuvius on a beautiful moonlight night, without 
a cloud in the sky, such as we had the good fortune to enjoy, 
was almost magic in its efiect ; such serenity, and repose, and 
beauty in perfect stillness, formed a striking contrast with the 
lurid glare of the red-hot masses that were emitted from the vol- 
cano, and the frightful bellowings of the burning mountain on 
which we stood. 

I should have observed that there are, properly speaking, two 
summits, one westward, called Somma, the other South Vesuvius. 
In 1667, an eruption had added two hundred feet to the crater's 
elevation. But in the present eruption a very large portion of 
this crater had fallen in. 

We got back to Portici at three o'clock in the morning, and to 
Naples at four. 

Lady Blessington has given some account of her " descents 
into the graves of buried cities," and her ascent also to the sum- 
mit of Mount Vesuvius. In some of these visits and excursions 
I had the pleasure of accompanying her, when the admirable 
and erudite cicerone of her ladyship was Sir William Gell.* 

Among the English who frequented the Palazzo Belvidere, 
the following may be enumerated as the &tte, or most highly 
esteemed of the visitors there : Sir William Drummond, Sir 
William GeU, the Honorable Keppel Craven, Mr. William Ham- 

* Herculaneam was founded A.M. 2757, sixty yean before the siege of Troy, 
about 9092 yean ago. It was destroyed by the same eruption of Vesuvius, in the 
year 79 A.D., which buried Pompeii. Scarcely any more than a mere reference 
to the fact of the destmction of either city is to be found in Pliny, or any ancient 
author. 

The buried cities remained undiscorered till 1641 yean after their destruction. 

Hereulaneum had been successively ruled by the Etruscans, Oscians, Sam- 
nites, Greeks, and, when destroyed, by the Romans. The original founder was 
said to be the Theban Hercules. Portici and Resina are built orer the buried city. 
Vol. I.— E 



98 SOCIETY OF THE BLESSIN6T0NS AT NAPLES. 

llton, the British minister to the Neapolitan court ; Colonel Char 
loner Bisse, the Honorable R. Grosvenor, Captain Gordon, broth- 
er of Lord Aberdeen ; Mr. Matthias, the author of *' the Porsaits 
of Literature ;" Lord Guilford, Count (now Prince) Paul Lieven, 
Lord Ashley, Mr. Evelyn Denison, Mr. Richard Williams, Signor 
Salvaggi, a distinguished litterateur ; the Due de Rocco Romano, 
Marchese Guiliano, Due de Cazarano, Lord Dudley and Ward, 
Lord Howden, and his son Mr. Cradock ; later, if I mistake not. 
Colonel Caradoc, the Honorable George Howard, the present 
Lord Morpeth, Mr. Millingen, the eminent antiquarian ; Mr. 
Charles Matthews, the son of the celebrated comedian ; Lord 
Ponsonby, Prince Ischitelli, Mr. J. Strangways, the brother of 
Lord Uchester ; Mr. H. Baillie, Mr. Herschel, the astronomer ; 
Mr. Henry Fox (now Lord Holland), Mr. J. Townsend (now Lord 
Sydney), Count de Camaldole, General Church, General Flores- 
tan Pepe, Mr. Richard Westmacott, the Due de FitzJames, Cas- 
imir Delavigne, Filangiere (Prince Satriani), son of the well- 
known writer on jurisprudence ; Mr. Bootle Wilbraham, Jun., 
the Abbd Monticelli, an eminent geologist; the Archbishop of 
Tarento, Sir Andrew Barnard, Signor Piazzi, a celebrated as- 
tronomer, the discoverer of the planet Ceres. 

The situation of the villa Belvidere — ^the lovely prospect from 
the terrace that communicated with the principal saloon — the 
classic beauty of the hoyse, the effect of the tasteful laying out 
of the grounds — the elegance of the establishment, and the pre- 
cious objects of modern art, of an ornamental kind, of bijouterie, 
porcelain, ivory, gems of great rarity, and vases of exquisite form 
and workmanship, and relics too of antiquity, of great value, col- 
lected by Lady Blessington throughout Italy, or presented to her 
by connoisseurs and dilettante like Gell, and Millingen, and 
Dodswell, and Drummond — it would be difficult to exaggerate 
the merits of, or to describe adequately the effects of, so many 
excellences were combined in the admirable tout ensemble of that 
villa, when it was the abode of the Countess of Blessington. 

Who ever enjoyed the pleasures of her elegant hospitality in 
that delightful abode, and the brilliant society of the eminent 
persons by whom she was habitually surrounded there, and can 



SOJOURN IN ROIfE. gg 

forget the scene, the hostess and the ciicle, that imparted to the 
villa Belvidere some of ^e Elysian characteristics that poetry 
has ascribed to a neighboring locality ? 

Difficulties with the proprietor of this mansion obliged the 
Blessingtons to quit their Neapolitan paradise on the Yomero 
for the villa Gallo, situated on another eminence, that of Capo 
di Monte, the end of March, 1825, and there they remained till 
February the following year. 



CHAPTER V. 



DEPARTT7RE FROM NAPLES, SOJOURN IN ROME, FLORENCE, MILAN, 

VENICE, AND GENOA. RETURN TO. PARIS. FEBRUARY, 1826, 

TO JUNE, 1829. 

The Blessingtons and their party havingimade Naples their 
head-quarters for upward of two years and a hal^took their de- 
parture the end of February, 1826, and arrived at Rome the be- 
ginning of March following. 

The departure from Naples was sudden, and the cause for that 
suddenness is not explained in the journals of Lady Blessington. 

The Blessingtons arrived in Rome from Naples the l>eginning 
of March. They remained in* Rome till about the middle of the 
month, and then set out for Florence. 

We find them in the month of April in that city, where Lord 
and Lady Normanby were then entertaining the inhabitants 
with theatricals. They remained in Florence neariy nine 
months. In December they were once more at Genoa, but he 
who had made their previous sojourn there so agreeable was 
then numbered with the dead. Before the close of the montii 
we find them established at Pisa, where they had the. pleasure 
of meeting the Due and Duchesse.de Giiiche. . 

Lady Blessington had met Lord John Russell in Grenoa. She 
had known his lordship in England, and thought very htghly 
both of his talents and the amiability of his disposition. With 
the exception of the Duke of York, who was an especial favorite 
of her ladyship, Lord Grey, and perhaps Lord Durham, none of 



XOO SOJOURN IN ROXB. 

the peTsonB who frequented the ahode of the Blessingtoiui in St. 
James's Square were spoken of in such warm terms of regard 
and esteem by Lady Blessington as Lord John Russell. She 
thus speaks of him in her Naples diary : 

*' He came and dined with us, and was in better health and 
spirits than I remember him when in England. He is exceed- 
ingly well read, and has a quiet dash of humor, that renders his 
observations very amusing. When the reserve peculiar to him 
is thawed, he can be very agreeable ; and the society of his Ge- 
noese friends having had this effect, he appears here to much 
more advantage than in London. Good sense, a considerable 
power of discrimination, a highly-cultivated mind, and great 
equality of temper, are the characteristics of Lord John Russell ; 
and these peculiarly fit him for taking a distinguished part in 
public life. The only obstacle to his success seems to me to 
be the natural reserve of his manners, which, by leading people 
to think him- cold and proud, may preclude him from exciting 
that warm sentiment of personal attachment rarely accorded, 
except to those whose uniform friendly demeanor excites and 
strengthens it ; and without this attraction, it is difficult, if not 
impossible, for a statesman, whatever may be the degree of es- 
teem entertained for his character, to have devoted friends and 
partisans, accessories so indispensable for one who would fill a 
distinguished role in public life. 

*' Lord John RusseU dined with us again yesterday, and no- 
body could be more agreeable. He should stay two or three 
years among his Italian friends, to wear off forever the reserve 
that shrouds so many good qualities, and conceals so many agree- 
able ones ; and he would then become as popular as he deserves 
to be. But he will return to England, be again thrown into the 
clique which political difierences keep apart from that of their 
opponents, become as cold and distant as formerly ; and people 
will exclaim at his want of cordiality, and draw back from what 
they consider to be his haughty reserve.*** 

The Blessingtons remained in Pisa till the latter part of June, 
1827. We find them again in Florence from July to the No- 
vember following. 

* Th^ Idl^r in Italy. Par cd., 1839, p. 370 



SOJOURN IN FLORENCE. iQl 

At Florence, in 1826 and 1827, Lady Blessington was ac- 
quainted with Demidoff, " the Russian Crcssus ;" with Lord Dil- 
lon, the author of an epic poem, '* Eccelino, the Tyrant of Padua," 
a production more complacently read aloud by his lordship on 
various occasions than often patiently listened to by his hear- 
ers ; the Prince Borghese, a *' noble Roman," remarkable for his 
obesity, the number and size of his gold rings, and the circum- 
stance of his being the husband of the sister of Napoleon — *' La 
petite et Mignonne Pauline ;" Lamartine, *' very good-looking 
and distinguished in his appearance, who dressed so perfectly 
like a gentleman that one never would suspect him to be a 
poet ;" Comte Alexandre de la Borde, and his son M. Leon de 
la Borde ; Mr. Jemingham, the son of Lord Stafford ; Henry 
Anson, *' a fine young man, on his way to the East" (and never 
destined to return from it) ; Mr. Strangways, in the absence of 
Lord Burghersh officiating as Charge d 'Affaires ; Mr. Francis 
Hare, " gay, clever, and amusing ;" and in May, 1827, Walter 
Savage Landor, " one of the most remarkable writers of his 
day, as weU as one of the most remarkable and original of 
men." This was the first time of meeting with Mr. Landor, and 
during the sojourn of the Blessingtons in Florence there were 
few days they did not see him. The strongest attachment that 
comes within the legitimate limits and bonds of literary friend- 
ships was soon formed between Lady Blessington and the cel- 
ebrated author of " Imaginary Conversations.'' 

Hallam, the historian, the young Lord Lifford, " formed for 
the dolee far nietUe of Italian life," with his imploring expres- 
sion of Laisses mat tranquiUe in his good-natured face, were 
then likewise residing there ; and Lord and Lady Normanby 
also were still sojourning there in 1827. Lord Normanby, dur- 
ing his sojourn there, was a frequent visitor at the Blessingtons'. 
His taste for theatricals was quite in unison with Lord Blessing- 
ton's, while his taste for literature, his polished and fascinating 
manners, his desire to please, and disposition to oblige, and 
most agreeable conversation, furnished peculiar attractions for 
Lady Blessington. Lord Normanby was then thirty years of 
age, in the incipient stage of fashionable authorship, beginning 



102 SOJOURN IN FLORENCE. 

to write noTelB, in the habit of contributing to nlbunig, ambi- 
tious of politics, and exhibiting his torn for them by occasional 
prose artiotes for reviews and magazines. 

The Blessingtons, though thej had retraced their steps to- 
ward the North, were now veering between Florence, Genoa, 
and Pisa^and seem to have seldom turned their thoughts home- 
ward. St. James's Square was beginning to disappear firom 
their recollections. Those connected with Lord Blessington by 
the ties of blood residing in his own country were seldom 
thought of; new scenes and new acquaintances appear to have 
taken fast hold of his tastes and feelings. 

When Lbrd Blessington quitted England in September, 1822, 
he had four children ; his eldest son, Charles John Gardiner, 
bom in Portman Square, London, the 3d of February, 1810, was 
then twelve years of age. 

His eldest daughter, Emilie Rosalie Hamilton, commonly call- 
ed Lady Mary Gardiner, bom in Manchester Square the 24th 
of June, 1811, waa then (in 1822) eleven years of age. His 
legitimate daughter, the Hon. Harriet Anne Jane Frances, com- 
monly called Lady Harriet Gardiner, bom in Seymour Place the 
5th of August, 1812, was then ten years of age ; and his legiti- 
mate son, the Hon. Luke Gardiner, commonly called Lord Mount- 
joy, bom in 1813, was then nine years of age. The eldest son, 
Charles John Gardiner, had been placed at school ; the two 
daughters and the young Lord Mountjoy had been left under 
the care of Lady Harriet Gardiner, the sister of Lord Blessing- 
ton, who was then residing in Dublin, at the house of the Bishop 
of Ossory, the brother-in-law of Lord Blessington, in Merrion 
Square, South. 

The Dowager Lady Mountjoy (the second wife of the first 
Lord Moun^oy) was then also living in Dublin.* 

The 6th of April, 1823, Lady Blessington mentions in her diary 
at Genoa the news, having just reached Lord Blessington by 

* In August, 1839, the Right Hon. Margmret VisoounteM Monntjoj died in 
Dublin at an advanced age. She was the sJbond wife of the Right Hon. Lake 
Gardiner, Lord Viscount Mountjoy, father of the late Earl of Blessington by a 
former marriage. She married Viscount Mountjoy in 1793, and became a widow 
in 1798. 8M randed chiefly in Dublin for many yean ynrwoM to her doceaao. 



SOJOURN IN GENOA. 103 

courier from London, of the death of his son and heir, the young 
Lord Mountjoy, on the 26th of March preceding. 

The boy was only in his tenth year. He was the only legiti- 
mate son of Lord Blessington, and by his death his lordship was 
enabled to make a disposition of his property of a very strange 
nature — a disposition of it which it is impossible to speak of in 
any terms except those of reprehension, and of astonishment at 
the fatuity manifested in the arrangements made by his lord- 
ship, and in the contemplated disposal of a daughter's hand 
without reference to her inclinations or wishes, or the feelings 
of any member of her family. 

Within a period of three months from the time of the death 
of his only son, on the 22d of June, 1823, Lord Blessington sign- 
ed a document purporting to be a codicil to a former will, mak- 
ing a disposition of his property and a disposal of the happiness 
of one or other of his then two living daughters — an arrange- 
ment at once imprudent, unnatural, and wanting in all the con- 
sideration that ought to have been expected at the hand of a 
father for the children of a deceased wife. Partial insanity 
might explain the anomalies that present themselves in the 
course taken by Lord Blessington in regard to those children ; 
and my firm conviction, the result of my own observation, is, 
that at the period in question, when this will was made. Lord 
Blessington could not be said to be in a state of perfect sanity 
of mind ; but, on the contrary, was laboring under a particular 
kind of insanity, manifested by an infatuation and infirmity of 
mind in his conduct with respect to his family affairs, though 
quite sane on every other subject, which unfitted him to dispose 
of his children at that juncture, and had assumed a more de- 
cided appearance of monomania after that disposal was made. 

At Genoa, June the 22d, 1823, Lord Blessington made a codi- 
cil to his will, wherein it is set forth that General Albert D'Or- 
say (the father of the Count Alfred) had given his consent to 
the union of his son with a daughter of his lordship. But it is 
evident, from the terms of this document, that it was then op- 
tional with the count to select either of the daughters of his 
lordship. 



104 SOJOURN IN GENOA. 

CODICIL. 

*<OK]iOA,JiiiieSd,18S8. 

« Having had the miBfortane to lose my beloved son Luke 
Wellington, and having entered into engagements with Alfired, 
Comte D'Onay, that an alliance should take place between him 
and my daughter, which engagement has been sanctioned by 
Albert, Count D'Orsay, general, &c., in the service of France, 
this is to declare and publish my desire to leave to the said 
Alfred D'Orsay my estates in the city and county of Dublin 
(subject, however, to the annuity of three thousand per annum, 
which sum is to include the settlement of one thousand per an- 
num to my wife, Margaret, Countess of Blesinton, subject also 
to that portion of debt, whether by annuity or mortgage, to which 
my executor and trustee, Luke Norman, shaU consider them to 
be subjected), for his and her use, whether it be Mary (baptized 
Emilie) Rosalie Hamilton, or Harriet Anne Jane Frances, and 
to their heirs male, the said Alfred and said Mary, or Harriet, 
forever in default of issue male, to foUow the provisions of the 
will and testament. 

*' I make also the said Alfred D'Orsay sole guardian of my son 
Charles John, and my sister, Harriet Gardiner, guardian of my 
daughters, until they, the daughters, arrive at the age of siicteen, 
at which age I consider that they will be marriageable. 

" I also bequeath to Luke Norman my estates in the county 
of Tjrrone, &c., in trust for my son, Charles John, whom I desire 
to take the name of Stewart Gardiner, until he shall arrive at 
the age of twenty-five, allowing for his education such sums as 
Alfred D'Orsay may think necessary, and one thousand per an- 
num from twenty-one to twenty-five. 

" Done at Genoa, life being uncertain, at eight o'clock on the 
morning of Monday, June the second, one thousand eight hund- 
red and twenty-three. Blesinton." 

I find in the papers of Lady Blessington a letter of a noble 
lord, dated September 20th, 1836, inclosing a copy of the codicil 
above mentioned, sent to him for an opinion, and the following 
reference to it of the great legal authority. " Inclosed is the 



LORD BLESSINOTON'S WILL. 105 

opinion. I regret that it is not, and can not be more favor- 
able: 

*' I have read the statement, will, and codicil, and am of opin- 
ion that the legatee is liable for the rent and taxes, and subject 
to all the covenants of the lease.'' 

At the date of this letter, Lord Blessington had been dead 
about six years. 

On the 31st of August, 1823, Lord Blessington executed his 
last will and testament, formally carrying out the intentions, in 
respect to the marriage of one of his daughters, briefly express- 
ed in the preceding codicil. This will was executed only two 
months later than the document above referred to ; and it mer- 
its attention, that the provision made for the Countess of Bless- 
ington, in the former codicil, of an annuity of J&3000, inclusive 
of a preceding marriage settlement of J^IOOO a year, is reduced 
in the will of the 31st of August to j^OOO a year, including the 
marriage settlement of £1000 per annum ; so that in after 
years, when it was generally believed that Lady Blessington had 
an income of jETSOOO a year, she in reality had only jEr2000. 

EXTRACTED FROM THE REGISTRY OF HIS MAJESTY's COURT OF 
PREROGATIVE IN IRELAND. 

" This is the last will and testament of me, Charles John, Earl 
of Blessington, of that part of the united kingdom called Ireland. 
I give Luke Norman, Esquire, for and during the time he shall 
continue agent of my estates, in the county and city of Dublin, 
and in the county of Tyrone, twelve hundred pounds per annum, 
in lieu of receivers' fees. I appoint Alfred D'Orsay, Count of 
[ ], in France, Luke Norman, Esquire, and Alexander 

Worthington, Esquire, my executors ; and I give unto each of 
them one thousand pounds. I give to Isabella Birnly, Michael 
McDonough, and John Bullock, one hundred pounds each. I 
give and devise my real and personal estate to said Alfred D'Or- 
say, Luke Norman, and Alexander Worthington, for the follow- 
ing purposes : First, for the payment of two thousand pounds, 
British, per annum (inclusive of one thousand pounds settled on 
her at the time of my marriage), to my wife Margarette, or 

E2 



105 LORD BLBSSINOTON'S WILL. 

Margaret, Countess of Blessington ; and I give to her all her own 
jewels, requoBting that she may divide my late wife's jewels 
between my two daughters at the time of her deoeaae. I give 
to Robert Power and Mary Anne Power one thousand pounds 
each. I give to*my daughter Harriet Anne Jane Frances, com- 
monly called Lady Harriet, bom at my house at Seymour Place, 
London, on or about the 3d day of August, 1812, all my estates 
in the county and city of Dublin, subject to the following charge. 
Provided she intermarry with my friend, and intended son-in- 
law, Alfred D'Orsay, I bequeath her the sum of ten thousand 
pounds only. I give to my daughter Emilie Rosalie Hamilton, 
generally called Lady Mary Gardiner, bom in Manchester Square, 
on the 24th June, 181 1, whom I now acknowledge and adopt as 
my daughter, the sum of twenty thousand pounds. 

** In case the said Alfred D'Orsay intermarries with the said 
Emilie, otherwise Mary Gardiner, I bequeath to her my estates 
in the county and city of Dublin. The annuity of two thousand 
pounds per annum, British, to be paid to my beloved wife out 
of the said estates. I give to my son Charles John, who I de- 
sire may take the name of Stewart Gardiner, bom in Portman 
Square, on the 3d day of Febmary, 1810, all my estates in the 
county of Tyrone, subject to the following charges ; also the re- 
version of my Dublin estates, in case of male issue of said 
daughters. In case of male issue, lawfully begotten, I leave 
these estates to the second son of Alfred D'Orsay and my daugh- 
ter ; or if only one son, to him, in case of failure to male issue, 
to go to the male issue of my other daughter. My estates are 
to be subject in the first instance to the payment of my debts. 
I give to my wife the lease of my house in London, at the ex- 
piration of which the furniture, books, &c., &«., are to be re- 
moved to the intended residence at Mountjoy Forest ; and I di- 
rect that the said house be built according to the plan now laid 
down, and do empower my said executors to borrow money for 
the said purpose. I give to my wife all my carriages, her para- 
phernalia and plate. I give to my son Charles John my plate, 
wardrobe, swords, &c., &c., &c. I appoint Alfred D'Orsay 
guardian of my son Charles John until he arrives at the age of 



RETURN TO BOM£. IQJ 

twenty-five yean, the settlement of twelve thousand pounds to 
be null and void on his obtaining the Tyrone estates. I appoint 
my beloved wife guardian of my daughter Harriet Anne ; and 
I appoint my sister Harriet guardian of my daughter commonly 
called Lady Mary. I give to Isabella McDougal, of Perth, one 
hundred pounds per annum for her life, it being bequeathed her 
by my first wife, Mary CampbeU, Viscountess Mountjoy. I give 
to the National Gallery, intended to be formed in London un- 
der royal protection, my picture of the * Three Graces,' by Sir 
Joshua Reynolds, with a desire that ' The gift of Charles John, 
£arl of Blessington,' may be affixed to the said picture, as an 
encouragement to others to contribute to the said collection. I 
give to my sister, Harriet Gardiner, five hundred pounds per 
annum for her natural life. I revoke all other wills by me 
made, and declare this to be my last will and testament. In 
witness whereof, I have to this my last will, contained in five 
sheets of paper, set to the first four my hand, and to this, the 
fifth and last, my hand and seal, this 31st day of August, 1823. 
Blessington seal." 

The marriage, then, of Coimt D'Orsay with a daughter of Lord 
Blessington we find determined on at Genoa so early as the 2d 
of June, 1823 ; and it was not till the Ist of December, 1827, 
four years and a half subsequently to that determination, that 
the long-contemplated event took place. 

In December, 1827, the Blessingtons returned to Rome from 
Florence, after a sojourn there of upward of four months. 

They engaged the two principal floors of the Palazzo Negro- 
ni, for six months certain, at the rent of 100 guineas a month 
(at the rate of 1200 guineas a year).* This abode though nom- 
inally furnished, had to be further provided with hired " meu- 
Ues^ the cost of which was about twenty pounds a month. The 
seeds of the Encumbered Estates Court were being sown in Ita- 
ly, as well as in other Continental countries, pretty extensively 
some thirty years ago by our Irish landed proprietors. 

♦ "^Tiile this enonnous expenditure for house aceomnMxlation wat going on in 
Italy, the nolile mansion in St. James's Square, in London, and the Irish resi- 
dence, Mountjny Iloune. on tho Tyrone osUtr, won* krpt up by I'ord Blensington. 



1Q8 SOJOURN IN ROME. 

In the month of Maich, 1828, on mj retom from the East, I 
visited the Blesaingtons at the Palazzo Negroni, and there, for 
the first time, I beheld the recently manied daughter of the 
Earl of Blessington. 

Had I been a member of their family, I could not have been 
receiyed with greater kindness and warmth of feeling. 

During my stay in Rome, I dined with them most days, and 
passed every evening at their conversoMumes. 

Their salons, as at Naples, were regularly filled every even- 
ing with the 6lite of the distinguished foreigners and natives, 
artists and Uterati of the Eternal City. 

The Count D'Orsay had been married the 1st of December, 
1827, to Lady Harriet Frances Grardiner, who was then fifteen 
years of age and four months. 

It was an unhappy marriage, and nothing to any useful pur- 
pose can be said of it except that Lord Blessington sacrificed his 
child's happiness by causing her to marry, without consulting 
her inclinations or her interests. 

Taken from school without any knowledge of the world, ac- 
quaintance with society, or its usages and forms, whoUy inexpe- 
rienced, transferred to the care of strangers, and naturally in- 
disposed to any exertion that might lead to efibrts to conciliate 
them, she was brought from her own country to a distant land, 
to wed a man she had never seen up to the period of her arri- 
val in Italy, where, within a few weeks of her first meeting with 
that foreign gentleman, who had been on terms of intimacy with 
her father, she was destined to become his bride. 

Lady Harriet was exceedingly girlish-looking, pale and rather 
inanimate in expression, silent and reserved ; there was no ap- 
pearance of familiarity with any one around her ; no air or look 
of womanhood, no semblance of satisfaction in her new position 
were to be observed in her demeanor or deportment She sel- 
dom or never spoke, she was little noticed, she was looked on 
as a mere school-girl ; I think her feelings were crushed, re- 
pressed, and her emotions driven inward by the sense of slight 
and indifierence, and by the strangeness and coldness of every 
thing around her ; and she became indifierent, and strange and 



SOJOURN IN ROME. 109 

cold, and apparently devoid of all viyacity and interest in gocie- 
ty, or in the company of any person in it. People were mistaken 
in her, and she, perhaps, was also mistaken in others. Her fa- 
ther's act had led to all these misconceptions and misconstruc- 
tions, ending in suspicions, animosities, aversions, and total es- 
trangements. 

In the course of a few years, the girl of childish mien and 
listless looks, who was so silent and apparently inanimate, be- 
came a person of remarkable beauty, spiritueUey and intelligent, 
the reverse in all respects of what she was considered where 
she was misplaced and misunderstood.* 

A few days before I quitted Rome for England, I received a 
kind letter from Lord Blessington to his friend John Gait, which 
I never had an opportunity of delivering. This letter of his 
lordship was dated Rome, March, 6, 1828. 

«*Romt,Mueh6, 1818. 
" Mt dbae Galt, — ^The bearer of this letter, Mr. Madden, ia a gentleman 
of literary acquirement and talent. He haa lately returned from the Eaat, and, 
besides an account of deserts and Arabs, Turks and Greeks, he will be able 
to give you an account of your old friends at Rome. 

*' Believe me, yours most truly, Blkssxnoton. 

«<Jblkii Gab, Esq." 

May the 7th, 1828, Mr. Mills gave a farewell dinner to the 
Blessingtons at his villa Palatina, a day or two before their de- 
parture from Rome. A party of the friends of the Blessingtons 
were invited to meet them, and the final meeting and separa- 
tion were any thing but joyous. 

" Schemes of future meeting, too faintly spoken to cheat into 
hope of their speedy fulfillment, furnished the general topic ; and 
some were there, already stricken with maladies, the harbin- 
gers of death — and they, too, spoke of again meeting ! Yet who 

* Lady Harriet D'Orsaj and her aunt. Miss Gardiner, visited the Continent in 
the latter part of 1833 or beginning of 1834. In September, 1835, Lady Harriet 
and her siater. Miss Emily Gardiner, were in Dublin, residing -with their aunt. 
Shortly after, Miss Emily Gardiner was married to a Mr. Charles White. Mr. 
White some years ago traveled a good deal, principally in the Eaat, wrote some 
works of light literature, and an account of his travels. As a gentleman of good 
education, agreeable manners and conversation, he was knovm to the frequenters 
of Gore House many years ago. He had resided in many parts of the Continent, 
and latterly altogether in Belgium. Mrs. White died in Paris about ten years ago. 



110 SOJOURN IN BOMJB. 

can say whether the young and the healthy may not be «nm- 
moned from life before those whose infirmitiefl alarm us for their 
long continuance in it? 

"And there were with me two persons, to whom every ruin 
and every spot in view were ' familiar as household words ;' 
men who had explored them all, with the feelings of the histo* 
rian, the research of the antiquarian, and the reflections of the 
philosopher — Sir William Gell and Mr. Dodwell ; both advanced 
toward the downward path of life, every step of which rapidly 
abridges the journey, and consequentiy reminds parting friends 
of the probability that each farewell may be the last. There 
was our host, seated in a paradise of his own creation, based on 
the ruins of the palace of the Cassars, yet, forgetful for the mo- 
ment of the mutability of fortune of which such striking memo- 
rials were before his eyes, thinking only that we were on the 
eve of parting. Mrs. Dodwell was there, her lustrous eyes often 
dimmed by a tear of regret at our separation, but her rare beau- 
ty in no way diminished by the sadness that clouded a hx^e al- 
ways lovely." 

Sir William Gell and Count Paul Esterhazy came to the Pa- 
lazzo Negroni to see the Blessingtons take their departure. 
" Poor Gell !" says Lady Blessington in her diary, '* I still seem 
to feel the pressure of his hand, and the tears that bedewed 
mine, as he pressed it to his lips, and murmured his fears that 
we should meet no more. 

'* * You have been visiting our friend Drummond's grave to- 
day,' said he, ' and if you ever come to Italy again, you will find 
me in mine.' " 

This was in the early part of May, 1828, and in the month of 
April, 1836, the accomplished, witty, ever jocund and facetious 
Sir William Gell was in his grave. 

Lady Blessington, quitting Rome, speaks of her sad present- 
iment that she should see the Eternal City no more. She de- 
scants in her diary on the tmcertainty of life, and especially in 
the case of those older or more infirm than ourselves, as if toe 
were more exempt from danger and death than they. " Strange 
delusion ! that while we tremble for those dear to us, the con- 



DKPABTUKE FEOM HOME, 



111 



victioa of the irrevocalilo certainty of our own (lUsolutiou is less 
▼ividly fcitf wo picture out own death as remote, nud conse- 
i|tteiilly lees to be dreaded; and even when most impresBed with 
the awiul conviction that we, like all other mortals, must pass 
away, though our reason acknowledges the truth, our hearts re- 
fuse to believe that the event may be near," 

The '* event** was then twenty-one years distant from her own 
door of life. 

From Eome the Blessingtons proceeded to Loretto, where they 
iriftted tha shnjie of the 8&nta Casa. ** The pioua votaiies of 
superstition,^* the folly of their munificence, wasting jewels " to 
decorate lui idol/* the tawdry appearance of ** the glittering toy- 
shop/* ** the heterogeneous mixture of saints and sybils," of 
pagan rites and superstitious practices, came in for a pretty large 
share of the customary reprehension of English travelers from 
Lady Bi ti, the value of which, of course, mainly depends 

on the - of the reprover. 

In the present instance, however, Lady Blessington was cer- 
tainly not so much procljiiming her own sentiments as writing 
up to the readable mark of those who were to be her public. 

From Loretto the travelers proceeded to Anc^na and Ravenna, 
and in the latter place a spectacle was witnessed which Lady 
Blessington has described in her published diary ; but one very 
atiiking circumstance connected with it is not mentioned in the 
diary, but was told to me by her ladyship. 

** Various were the conjectures we formed as to the probable 
eau»o of the desertion of the silent and solitary city through 
which we were pacing, and vainly did we look around in search 
of tame one of whom to demand an explanation of it ; when, on 
turning tlie comer of a larger street or place than we had hith- 
erto passed, the mystery was solved in a manner that shocked 
oor feelings not a little, for we suddenly cama almost in per- 
•cmai contact with the bodies of three men hanging from ban 
erected for them. ^ '1 I be- 

hold aofcnr. tiLces wcr I'd still 

more appalling by the Boating matted locks and long beards, 
which, as the bodies wero agitated into movement by the wind. 



i 



1 12 VISIT TO PADUA AND YBSONA. 

moved backwaid and forward. The eyes seemed atartmg from 
tkeir sockets, and the tongues protruded from tke distended lips, 
as if in horrid mockery. I felt transfixed by the terrible sight, 
firom which I could not avert my gaze ; and each movement of 
the bodies seemed to invest them with some new features of 
horror. A party of soldiers of the Pope guarded the place of 
execution, and paced up and down wi^ ^oomy looks, in which 
fear was more evident than disgust. Within view of the spot 
stood the tomb of Dante, whose ' Inferno' ofiers scarcely a more 
hideous picture than the one presented to our contemplation. 
The papal unifozm, too, proclaiming that the deaths of these 
unfortunate men had been inflicted by order of him who pro- 
fessed to be the vicar of the Father of Mercy on earth, added 
to the horror of the sight."* 

Lady Blessington infonned me there was another person who 
witnessed this horrid spectacle, and who was more strongly af- 
fected by it than any of the party. That person was a noble 
marquis, of some celebrity in Ireland, who, traveling the same 
route as the Blessingtons, had left his own caliche, and entered 
that of Lord and Lady Blessington ; and beholding the dead 
bodies suspended from the gallows, became deadly pale and 
almost insensible. 

Ferrara and Padua were next visited by the Blessingtons on 
their route to Venice. In the latter city they fixed their res- 
idence for several weeks ; and the journals of Lady Blessington 
abound with evidence of the excellent use she made of her time 
and talents in visiting remarkable monuments and recording 
her observations. 

At Venice the Blessingtons again made the acquaintance of 
their old friend, Walter Savage Landor. Verona was next vis- 
ited by them on their route to Milan. 

In her diary she speaks of having spent several hours in the 

Ambrosian Library, conducted through it by the Abb^ Bentivo- 

glio, a man of great erudition, whom Lady Blessington had 

* known in Naples, a friend of the good Archbishop of Tarento. 

The library contains 50,000 volumes and 10,000 manuscripts; 

• Tlw Idler in luly. toI. iii., p. 33. 



THE BLE88IN6T0N8 AT MILAN. II3 

and among its treasures, the '* Virgil" that had belonged to Pe- 
trarch, in which is his note to Laura. The next object that ex- 
cited Lady Blessington's attention was a lock of golden hair of 
Lucretia Borgia, the daughter of Alexander the Sixth. Once 
before she saw a lock of that same golden hair on the breast 
of Byron, consisting of about twenty fair hairs, resembling fine 
threads of gold, which he had obtained from the ringlet at the 
Ambrosian Library, and always wore. 

Nine or ten letters from Lucretia Borgia to the Cardinal Bem- 
bo are placed in a casket, with the lock of hair she sent to him. 
Lady Blessington makes no mention in her journal of having 
been given a small tress of this golden hair of the too celebrated 
Lucretia ; but that precious gift came into my hands among the 
other papers of Lady Blessington ; and in her hand-writing of 
the envelope that incloses it, it is stated, that the hair in ques- 
tion was given to her by the Abb6 Bentivoglio, of the Ambrosian 
Library, a descendant of the Bembo family. 

There is a remarkable reference to the hair of Lucretia Bor- 
gia in the '* New Monthly Magazine :" 

" Auburn is a rare and glorious color, and I suspect will al- 
ways be more admired by us of the North, where the fair com- 
plexions that recommend golden hair are as easy to be met 
with as they are difficult in the South. Ovid and Anacreon, 
the two greatest masters of the ancient world in painting ex- 
ternal beauty, both seem to have preferred it to golden, not- 
withstanding the popular cry in the other's favor : unless, in- 
deed, the hair they speak of is too dark in its ground for auburn. 

" Perhaps the true auburn is something more lustrous through- 
out, and more metallio than this. The cedar, with the bark 
stripped, looks more like it. At all events, that it is not the 
golden hair of the ancients has been proved to me beyond a 
doubt by a memorandum in my possession, worth a thousand 
treatises of the learned. This is a solitary hair of the famous 
Lucretia Borgia, whom Ariosto has so praised for her virtues, and 
whom the rest of the world is so contented to call a wretch. It 
was given me by a wild acquaintance, who stole it from a lock 
of her hair preserved in the AmbrcMuan Library at Milan. On 
the envelope he put a happy motto, 



114 THE BUBSSINGTONS AT llfLAM. 

" * And beauty draws tui with a aingle hair.* 

<' If ever hair was golden, it is this. It is not red, it is not 
yellow, it is not auburn ; it is golden, and nothing else ; and, 
though natural-looking too, must have had a surprising appear- 
ance in the mass. Lucretia, beautiful in every respect, must 
have looked like a vision in a picture — an angel from the sun.*^ 

As an example of the happy style, and just views, and cor- 
rect judgment of Lady Blessington, I may cite the following pas- 
sage, in reference to a visit to the subterranean shrine of St. 
Carlo Borromeo, in the Duomo, the sarcophagus of rock crystal 
which preserves the mortal remains of the renowned prelate in 
pontifical attire : 

^ Carlo Borromeo was one of the most remarkable men to 
whom Italy has ever given birth ; and those who might be dis- 
posed to undervalue the canonized saint, must feel a reverence 
for the memory of the man, whose patriotism, courage, and char- 
ity entitle his name to the esteem of posterity. Elevated to 
the rank of cardinal at the early aga of twenty-two, his conduct 
justified the partiality of his uncle. Pope Pius IV., who conferred 
this dignity on him. As a scholar no less than as a divine was 
this excellent man distinguished ; but his courageous and un- 
ceasing exertions during the plague that ravaged his country in 
1576 are beyond all praise. These are remembered with a 
feeling of lively admiration, that the costly trappings and brill- 
iant diamonds which decorate his remains might fail to awaken 
for the saint ; and we turned from the crystal sarcophagus and 
its glittering ornaments to reflect on the more imperishable mon- 
ument of his virtues — ^the fame they have left behind. 

'* I could not contemplate the crucifix borne by this good and 
great man in the procession during the fearful plague without 
a sentiment of profound reverence. It is carefully preserved 
under a glass case, and, I confess, appears to me to be a far 
more befitting monument than the costly sarcophagus of rock 
crystal to the glory of him who, actuated by his deep faith in 
it, was enabled to fulfill duties from which the less pious and 
charitable shrank back in terror."t 

* New Monthly Ma^., part iu., laSS. f Tha Idler in Italy, vol. iii., p. 299. 



RBSIDENCS IN PARIS. 115 

Fxom Milan the BieisiiLgtons tamed their steps at length in 
a homeward direction, at least toward Paris, and at the close of 
1828 once more found themselves in their old quarters at Ge- 
noa. Five years previously, Byron often stood conversing with 
Lady Blessington on the balcony of her hotel, or walked about 
the gardens of it with her. The several spots where she re- 
membered to have seen him distinctly recalled him to her mem- 
ory. She again seemed to look upon him, to see his features, 
to perceive his form, ^ to hear the sound of that clear, low, and 
musical voice, never more to be heard on earth." But one day, 
while these sweet and bitter fancies were presenting themselves 
to her imagination, she saw a young lady, an English girl, who 
resembled Byron in an extraordinary degree, accompanied by 
an elderly lady. That English girl was " Ada, sole daughter 
of my house and heart," and the elderly lady was her mother, 
the widow of Lord Byron. 

The City of Palaces had few attractions on this last visit for 
Lady Blessington. 

One episode more in the Italian journals is narrated, and we 
come to the concluding line : " We have bidden farewell to our 
old and well-remembered haunts at Genoa, and to-morrow we 
leave it, and perhaps forever!" 

Here ends the second phase in the career I have before refer- 
red to-*the Italian life of Lady Blessington. 



CHAPTER VI. 

RETT7RN TO PARIS IN JUNE, 1828. RESIDENCE THERE. DEATH 

OF LORD BLESSINGTON. DEPARTURE OF LADY BLESSINGTON 

FOR ENGLAND IN NOVEMBER, 1830. 

In June, 1828, the Blessingtons arrived in Paris, at the ex- 
piration of six years from the period of their former sojourn 
there. Their first visitors were the Due and Duchesse de 
Guiche ; the latter " radiant in health and beauty,'* the Due 
looking, as he always did, ** more distingue than any one else — 
the perfect beau ideal of a gentleman." 



115 BB8IDENCE IN PAKI8. 

The BleBsingtfmB took up their abode in the Hotel de Tenaae, 
Rue de Eivoli. After some time they rented the splendid man- 
sion of the Marechal Ney, in the Rue de Bourbons, the princi- 
pal apartments of which looked on the Seine, and commanded 
a delightful view of the Tuilleries Gardens. This hotel was a 
type of the splendor that marked the dwellings of the imperial 
noblesse. 

The rent of this hotel was enormously high, and the expense 
which the new inmates went to in adding to the splendor of its 
decorations and furniture was on a scale of magnificence more 
commensurate with the income of a prince of some vielie eaur 
than with that of an Irish landlord. 

With the aid of *' those magicians," the French upholsterers, 
the Hotel Ney soon assumed a wonderful aspect of renewed 
splendor. The principal drawing-room had a carpet of dark 
crimson, with a gold-colored border, with wreaths of flowers of 
brightest hues. The curtains were of crimson satin, with em- 
bossed borders of gold color, and the sofas, bergeres, fcnUeuils, 
and chairs, were richly carved and gilt, and covered with satin, 
to correspond with the curtains. Gilt consoles and ehiffonieres, 
on which marble tops were placed wherever they could be dis- 
posed ; large mirrors, gorgeous buhl cabinets, costly pendules of 
bronze, magnificent candelabras, abounded in the long suite of 
salons, boudoirs, and sitting-rooms. The furniture of the bed- 
room was kept a secret by Lord Blessington till quite completed, 
in order to give a surprise to her ladyship — when its surpassing 
splendor was to burst upon her all at once— at the first view of 
this apartment. " The only complaint I ever have to make of 
his taste," observes her ladyship, " is its too great splendor. . . 
.... We feel like children with a new plaything in our beau- 
tiful house ; but how, after it, shall we ever be able to reconcile 
ourselves to the comparatively dingy rooms in St. James's 
Square, which no furniture or decoration could render any thing 
like the Hotel Ney?"* 

At length, " the scheme laid by Lord Blessington" to surprise 
his lady — ^** for he delighted in such plans'* — was revealed on 
• The Idler in France, toI. i., p. 117. 



RESIDENCE IN PARIS. 117 

the doors of the ehambre h eoueher and dreBsing-ioom being 
thrown open. *' The whole fitting up," says Lady Blessington, 
** is in exquisite taste ; and, as usual, when my most gallant of 
all gallant husbands that it ever fell to the happy lot of woman 
to possess interferes, no expense has been spared. The bed, 
which is silvered instead of gilt, rests on the backs of two large 
silver swans, so exquisitely sculptured that every feather is in 
alto-relievo, and looks as fleecy as those of the living bird. 
The recess in which it is placed is lined with white fluted silk, 
bordered with blue embossed lace ; and from the columnS'that 
support the frieze of the recess, pale blue silk curtains, lined 
with white, are hung, which, when drawn, conceal the recess 
altogether." 

In one of her letters she enlarges on this subject. 

" A silvered sofa has been made, to fit the side of the room 
opposite the fire-place, near to which stands a most inviting her- 
gere. An escritoire occupies one panel, a book-stand the other, 
and a rich coflier for jewels forms a pendant to a similar one for 
lace or India shawls. A carpet of uncut pile, of a pale blue, a 
silver lamp, and a Psyche glass ; the ornaments, silvered, to cor- 
respond with the decorations of the chamber, complete the fur- 
niture. The hangings of the dressing-room are of blue silk, 
covered with lace, and trimmed with rich frills of the same ma- 
terial, as are also the dressing-stands and chaire longue, and the 
carpet and lamp are similar to those of the bed. A toilet-table 
stands before ^e window, and smtall jardinieres are placed in 
front of each panel of looking-glass, but so low as not to impede 
a full view of the person dressing in this beautiful little sanc- 
tuary. The salle de bain is draped with white muslin, trimmed 
with lace ; and the sofa and the hergere are covered with the 
same. The bath is of marble, inserted in the floor, with which 
its surface is level. On the ceiling over it is a painting of Flora, 
scattering flowers with one hand, while from the other is sus- 
pended an alabaster lamp in the form of a lotus." 

Poor Lady Blessington, summing up the wonderful efiects of 
the various embellishments and decorations, the sensations pro- 
duced by such luxuriant furniture, cofllers for jewels and India 



118 RBSIDENCE IN PABIB. 

shawls, gorgeous hangings, imd glittering omaments of every 
kind, observes : *' The effect of the whole is chastely beautiful, 
and a queen could desire nothing better for her own private 
apartments." 

The gilt firame-work of the bed, resting on the backs of the 
large silver swans, it does not do to think of when visiting the 
Mountjoy Forest estate in Tyrone, that did belong to the late 
Earl of Blessington, when one enters the cabin of one of the 
now indigent peasantry, from the sweat of whose brow the 
means were derived that were squandered in luxury in foreign 
lands, luxury on a par with any Oriental voluptuousness of which 
we read in the adornment of palaces. 

Lord Blessington, when fitting up the Hotel Ney in this sump- 
tuous manner, was co-operating very largely indeed with others 
of his order, equally improvident and profuse, in laying the 
foundation of the Encumbered Estates' Court Jurisdiction in 
Ireland. 

We are reminded, by the preceding account of the fitting up 
of the Hotel Ney for the Blessingtons, of the imperial pomp of 
one of the palaces of Napoleon, a short time only before his 
downfall. At Fontainebleau, soon after the abdication of the em- 
peror, Haydon visited the palace, and thus describes the mag- 
nificence which was exhibited in the decoration and furniture 
of that recent sojourn of imperial greatness : 

" The chateau I found superb, beyond any palace near Paris. 
It was furnished vrith fine taste. Napoleon's bed hung with 
the richest Lyons green velvet, with painted roses, golden fringe 
a foot deep ; a footstool of white satin, with gold stars ; the top 
of the bed gilt, with casque and ostrich plumes, and a golden 
eagle in the centre grappling laurel. Inside the bed was a mag- 
nificent mirror, and the room and ceiling were one mass of gold- 
en splendor. The panels of the sides were decorated in chiaro- 
scuro with the heads of the greatest men. 

** No palace of any sultan of Bagdad or monarch of India ever 
exceeded the voluptuous magnificence of these apartments." 

Shortly before the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act, 
Lady Blessington received at Paris a letter from Lord Rosslyn, 



VIEWS ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF IRELAND. 119 

urging the attendance of Lord Blessington in his place in Par- 
liament, and his support of the Emancipation Act. 

Lord Blessington, on receipt of Lord Rosslyn's letter, imme- 
diately proceeded from Paris to London, expressly to grive his 
vote in favor of the great measure of Emancipation. 

'* His going to England," observes Lady Blessington, '' at this 
moment, when he is far from well, is no little sacrifice of per- 
sonal comfort ; but never did he consider self when a duty was 
to be performed. I wish the question was carried, and he safe- 
ly back again. What would our political friends say if they 
knew how strongly I urged him not to go, but to send his proxy 
to Lord Rosslyn r '• 

While Lord Blessington remained in London, I had the pleas- 
ure of seeing him on several occasions. A day or two before 
his departure from London, I breakfasted with him at his resi- 
dence at St. James's Square. 

I never saw him to more advantage, or more deeply interest- 
ed on any public matter, than he seemed to bo in the measure 
lie had come over to support, and which he deemed of the high- 
est importance to the true interests of Ireland. 

Whatever the defects may have been in his character, in one 
respect he was certainly faultless : he had a sincere love for his 
coimtry and for his countrymen. 

The following statement of his opinions on the means of bet- 
tering the condition of the country was made to me four years 
previously to the period above-mentioned, when presenting me 
with a letter of introduction to the British minister at Constan- 
tinople .f 

" I wish you would, at Constantinople or Smyrna, turn your 
thoughts to the subject of Ireland ; but it is a difficult task to 

♦ The Idler in France, toI. ii., p. 6. 

t " NaplM, Angnsc 15th, 1834. 

*'Mt dear Sir, — I send you the letter for Lord Strangford, which I hope maj 
be useful to you. I trust the experiment you are about to make will be success- 
ful. You will hare the advantage, at least, of seeing the world ; and a medical 
roan has Tery great opportunities of seeing the interior of Turkish modes of life. 
Wishing you health and prosperity, I remain, yours very truly, 

<*BLKsBiNaToir. 

"R.R. Madden, E0q.» 



120 VIEWS ON THS IMPROVEMENT OF IRELAND. 

encounter, as you say, for an Irishman indignant at many aets 
of former oppression and injustice. Upon the subject of repeal 
of the Union, I fear it would be worse than a negative measure. 
We are impoverished in money and talent. England has a su- 
perabundancy of the one, and a sufficiency of the other, if she 
will apply her materials to our good. Send the Parliament back 
to Dublin, and that city will, perhaps, flourish again ; but I fear 
the same effect could not be produced through the kingdom ; 
and if, to forward the views which I think absolutely necessary 
for Ireland, the Commons imposed heavy taxes, being refused 
aid from England, the people would have cause for dissatisfac- 
tion, and an Irishman's mode of expressing it is blows, and not 
words. Let the Roman Catholic Church of Ireland separate it- 
self in toto from the Pope, and receive from the British Parlia- 
ment a respectable revenue. Establish a better mode of edu- 
cating the priesthood, take away the tithes, and pay the Reform- 
ed Church out of the public purse. Admit Catholics to the 
houses of Parliament and the Bench, at the same time establish- 
ing throughout Ireland an extensive gendarmerie, not for polit- 
ical, but policial purposes. Make the nobility and gentry live 
on their estates or sell them. Give a grant sufficient to cut ca- 
nals in all directions. Establish colonies of industrious citizens 
in what are now barren districts. Let there be neither Ribbon- 
men, Free-masons, or Orangemen. Let the offenders against 
the public peace, of whatever party, be sent to the colonies. 
Let Uie middling classes be taught that public money is levied 
for the public good, and not for individual advantage, and then 
Ireland will be, what it should be from its situation and with its 
natural advantages, a gem in the ocean." 

His lordship had returned from London only a few days, when, 
one forenoon, feeling himself slightly indisposed, he took some 
spoonfuls of eau do Melisse in water, and rode out, accompa- 
nied by his servant, in the heat of the day, along the Champs 
Elys^es. 

He had not proceeded far when he was suddenly attacked by 
apoplexy, and was carried home in a state of insensibility, where 
all means were resorted to in vain for his relief. 



LORD BLKSSINOTON'S DEATH. 



121 



-0n the 23d of May, 1829, thui suddenly died Charles James 
Gardiuer, gecond Lord Blessingtoti, in his forty-gixth year. He 
was the only aurviving «on of the first marriage of Viscount 
Mouatjoy. 

Xi the age of sixteen he succeeded his father, who was slaiu 
at Ro»i, Juno 5th, 1798, Ho wag elected a representative Peer 
£or Ireland about 1809, and was advanced to his earldom, June 
23d, 1816. 

Lord Blessington's remains were conveyed to Ireland, and de- 
|tositcd in the family vault, in St. Thomas's Church, Marlbor- 
ough Street, where his father's remains were buried, and alao 
those of his first wife ; of his son and heir, the Hon. Luke Will- 
iam Gardiner ; of his sister Margaret, the wife of the Hon. John 
Hely Hntchinaon ; of his sister Louisa, wife of the Right Rev- 
Dr. Fowler, Lord Bishop of Ossory ; and of his sister, the Hon. 
Harriet Gardiner, In the church there is only one mural tablet 
bearing an inscription in memory of any member of the Bless- 
ington family* 

To ih© loved Mcmofv 
Oflh« HONORABLE MARGARET, Wife of 

JOHN HELY HUTCHINSON, Esq , 

Daughter of Luko Gardiner, VLBctmnt Mountjoy. 

Who fell at New Roes, in 1798, 

Al the head of his Regiment : 

She diisd October 13, 1825, ag«d 29 yean. 

The remains of the husband of this lady, the Eig:ht Hon, John 
Hely Hutchinson, third Earl of Donoughraore. were di-posited in 
the same vault, September 17, 1851 . The earl died in his sixty- 
fourth year. 

In one of Mr. Lander's unpublished ** Imaginary Conversa- 
tions,'' in which the discoursers are Lord Mountjoy, the father of 
the Barl of Bleisington, and Lord Edward Fitzgerald, there are 
written in 1829, immediately after the death o{ Lord 
on. In the first note Mr. Landor observer : 

^ Lord Mountjoy was killed in the boginiiing of the insurrec- 
tion of 1798; he left an only son, the Earl x>{ Bl^asington, who 
voted for the L'oion in the hope that st would hm beneitcial to 

V6L. L— P 




ri^A 



122 UBTTER OF USL LAMI>OB. 

Ireland,* though the project had suspended the ereeiion of sev- 
eral streets and squares on his estate in Dublin, and it was proved 
to him that he must lose by it two thirds of his rent-roll ; he 
voted likewise in defense of Q^ueen Caroline, seeing the insuffi- 
ciency of the evidence against her, and the villainy of the law 
officers of the crown : he esteemed her little, and was person- 
ally attached to the king. For these votes, and for all he ever 
gave, he deserves a place, as well as his father, in the memory 
of both nations." 

The second note thus refers to the recent death of Lord Bless- 
ington. 

" Scarcely is the ink yet dry upon my paper, when intelligence 
reaches me of the sudden death of Lord Blessington. 

'* Adieu, most pleasant companion ! Adieu, most warm-heart- 
ed friend ! Often and long, and never with slight emotion, shall 
1 think of the many hours we have spent together ; the light 
seldom ending gravely ; the graver always lightly. 

" It will be well, and more than I can promise to myself, if 
my regret at your loss shall hereafter be quieted by the assur- 
ance which she, who best knew your sentiments, has given me, 
that by you, among the many, I was esteemed and beloved among 
the few." 

On the news of the death of Lord Blessington reaching Mr. 
Landor, he addressed the following lines to the countess : 

" Baths of Lucca, June 6. 
" Dear Lady Blessington, — If I defer it any longer, I know not how or 
when I shall be able to fulfill so melancholy a duty. The whole of this day I 
have spent in that torpid depression, which you may feel without a great ca- 
lamity, and which others can never feel at all. Every one that knows me 
knows the sentiments I bore toward that disinterested, and upright, and kind- 
hearted man, than whom none was ever dearer or more delightful to his 
friends. If to be condoled with by many, if to be esteemed and beloved by all 
whom you have admitted to your society, is any comfort, that comfort at least 
is yours. I know how inadequate it must be at such a moment, but I know 
too that the sentiment will survive when the bitterness of sorrow shall have 
passed away. Yours very faithfully, \V. S. Landor." 

* Mr. Landor b mistaken. Lord Bletsington did not rote for the Union.— 
R. R. M. 



LETTERS. 1*^3 

In another letter to Lady Blessington, Mr. Landor thus ex- 
pressed himself on the same subject : 

**JulySl,iae9. 

** Dbar Lady Blesbixoton, — Too well was I aware how ^at my pain 
must be in reading your letter. So many hopes are thrown away from us by 
this cruel and unexpected blow. I can not part with the one, of which the 
greatness and the justness of your grief almost deprives me, that you will re- 
ecyver your health and spirits. If they could return at once, or very soon, you 
would be unworthy of that love which the kindest and best of human beings 
lavished on you. Longer life was not necessary for him to estimate your af- 
fection for him, and those graces of soul which your beauty in its brightest 
day but fiuntly shadowed. He told me that you were requisite to his happi- 
ness, and that he could not live without you. Suppose, then, he had survived 
you, his departure, in that case, could not have been so easy as it was, uncon- 
scious of pain, of giving it, or leaving it behind. I am comforted at the re- 
flection that so gentle a heart received no affliction from the anguish and de- 
spair of those he loved. 

'* You have often brought me over to your opinion aflcr an obstinate rather 
than a powerful contest ; let me, now I am more in the right, bring you over 
by degrees to mine. 

" And believe me, dear Lady Blessington, your ever devoted servant, 

"W. S. Landor." 

Dr. Richardson, the Eastern traveler, and former traveling 
physician of Lord Blessington, in writing to Lady Blessington 
from Ramsgate, the 25th of April, 1832, on the death of her 
hushand, says, 

" YouB late lord is never absent from my mind ; during life he occupied the 
largest share of my affections, his friendship was my greatest honor and pride, 
and his memory is the dearest of all in the keeping of my heart. I feel his 
loss every day of my life, and shall never cease to feel it till my eyes close on 
all this scene of things till wo meet again in another and a better world. 

" Yours, my dear Lady Blessington, very sincerely, 

" R. Richardson." 

At the time of the decease of Lord Blessington, his afiairs 
were greatly emharrassed. The enormous expenditure in 
France and Italy, and in London also, previously to his departure 
for the Continent in 1822, was not met hy the rental of his vast 
estates. 

It will he seen by the schedules appended to the act of Par- 
liament for the sale of the Blessington estates (to be found in 
the Appendix), that the rental of the properties referred to in 



124 "TOE BLSS81NOTON ESTATES. 

the acft was estimated, in 1846, at iS22,718 14^. Id. But when 
his lordship succeeded to the title and estates, the rental was 
about i:30,000 a year. 

In 1814 he sold a valuable property in the barony of Stra- 
bane, in the county of Tyrone, the rental of which was very con- 
siderable. The remaining estates, by mismanagement, constant 
changes of agents, the pressure of mortgages, and other causes 
of ruin, arising out of absenteeism, improvidence, and embar- 
rassments, became much reduced. 

The extent of the Mountjoy territory in Tyrone and Donegal, 
into which Lord Blessington came to possession, may be imag- 
ined, when the extreme length of one of the T3rrone properties 
could be described as " a ride of several miles." 

The three estates of Lord Blessington in Tyrone were the fol- 
lowing: 

1st. The Newtown Stewart estate, called Mountjoy Forest, 
on which property the residence of Lord Blessington, *^ the Cot- 
tage," was situated, which was sold in 1846 or 1847. 

2d. The Moimtjoy estate near Killymoon produced jC5000 
or JC6000 a year. The demesne, comprising one thousand nine 
hundred acres, according to Mr. Graham's account, *' the largest 
demesne in Europe of any private gentleman's property," was 
sold four or five years ago. 

3d. Aughertain estate, near Clogher, the first portion of the 
estreated Ulster lands which came into the possession of one of 
the first adventurers in Ireland of the Stewart family, comprised 
fourteen town lands ; it was sold for jC98,000. The produce 
of the sale of a large portion of the territory of the O'Neil of 
the Red Hand went to pay the debts of.a French count to the 
Jews and money-lenders of London. 

In the county of Donegal there was another estate of the 
Mountjoy family, named " Conroy ;" but this valuable property 
had been sold previously to the death of Lord Blessington. 

In 1813 Lord Blessington obtained advances of money from 
the Globe Insurance Company, for which he gave them an an- 
nuity for one young life. Amount of annuity, X526. 

In 1813 he got money again from the same company, for 



CHABOES UN THE fiSTATBS. 125 

which he gave an annuity for the life of A. Mooatta, a« youth, 
ofi:520. 

In 1813 he got money from the company, for which he gave 
an annuity for the life of William Coles, of jC510. 

In 1813 he obtained money from the same company, for 
which he gave an annuity for the life of A. Angelo Tremonan- 
do, of i:527. 

In 1814 he obtained money from A. Tremonando, and gave 
a life annuity of jC880. 

In 1814, for other pecuniary accommodation, he gave an an- 
nuity to Alexander Nowell, for the lives of Frances and Henry 
Josias Stracy, and Rev. T. Whittaker, of jClOOO. 

In 1816 he obtained money advances from Henry Fauntleroy, 
for which he gave an annuity for the lives of John Fauntleroy, 
and William and James Watson, of jC5(K). 

In 1817 Lord Blessington borrowed largely money on mort- 
gages. In that year ho raised on mortgage to Conyngham 
M*Alpine, Esq., jCI 1,076. 

In 1821 he borrowed from the Westminster Insurance Com- 
pany, on mortgage, X25,000. 

In 1825 he borrowed from tlie same company, on mortgage, 
JC5000. 

In 1823 he borrowed from Thomas Tatham, Esq., on mort- 
gage, jCiOOO. 

The following items give the principal amounts of annuities, 
mortgages, judgments, and other debts, legacies, sums of mon- 
ey, and incumbrances charged upon or aiiecting the estate of 
Charles John, Earl of Blessington, at the time of his decease : 

Mortgages from 1783 to 1823 inclusive, X'47,846. 

Legacies of the late carl, jC23,353. 

Legacy to the Honorable Harriet Gardiner, to be raised only 
on certain contingencies set forth in the will, jC9230. 

Settlement on marriage of Lady Harriet with Count D'Orsay, 
jC40,000. 

Judgments, jCl 3,268. Bond debts, jC10,357. 

Promissory notes, letters of acknowledgments, and 1. 0. U.'t, 
from 1808 to 1828,X10,122. 



126 DBED8 OF SETTLEMEHT. 

Simple ecmtnet debts due, or claimed to be due, to parties by 
the Earl of Blessington, jE:6878. 

Total of debts, incambrances, and legacies of the Earl of 
Blessington, set forth in the fourth schedule, j£161,044. 

But to this sum there is to be added that of annuities given 
by Lord Blessington to various parties, bankers, Jews, and oth- 
ers, to the amount of J^887. 

By the fifth schedule appended to the act, it appears the 
mortgages and sums of money which had been charged by the 
Count D'Orsay on the estates of Lord Blessington from 1837 to 
1845 amounted to i:20,184. 

An act of Parliament (Vict. 9, cap. 1) was passed the 18th of 
June, 1846, **for vesting the real estates of the Earl of Bless- 
ington in trustees for sale, for the pa3rment of his debts, and for 
other purposes." 

The act sets out with reciting a deed of settlement, dated 3d 
of August, 1814, made shortly after the first marriage of the 
earl. 

By this deed, Josias Henry Stracey, Esq., of Bemers Street, a 
partner of Fauntleroy, the banker, was appointed a trustee over 
all the Tyrone estates, for the purpose of securing to Lord Bless- 
ington^s son, Charles John Gardiner, a sum of jC12,0(K) on his 
coming of age, and the interest of that sum till he had obtained 
the age of twenty-one. 

The next deed recited is one of lease and release, dated 16th 
of February, 1818, on the occasion of the intended marriage of 
the earl with Margaret Farmer, of " Manchester Square, widow," 
settling one thousand a year on that lady in the event of that 
marriap:e taking place ; which marriage eventually took place 
the 16th of Februan-, 1818. 

The will of the earl, dated 31st of August, 1823, is ne3rt re- 
cited, bequeathing "JC2000 British per annum to Lady Blessing- 
ton (inclusive of jClOOO settled on her at the time of his mar- 
riage), to Robert Power JCIOOO, and Mar}- Anne Power JCIOOO 
each. To his daughter. Lady Harriet, all his estates in the 
county of Dublin, subjected to certain charges," provided she 
intermarried with his *' friend and intended son-in-law, Alfred 



DEEDS OF SETTLEMENT. 127 

D'Onay ;" and in the event of her refusal, he bequeathed to her 
only the sum of J^l 0,000. To his daughter Emilie Rosalie 
Gardiner, commonly called Lady Mary Gardiner, whom he here- 
by acknowledged and adopted as his daughter, he left the sum 
of jC20,000; but in case she married Alfred D'Orsay, he be- 
queathed all his Dublin estates to her, chargeable, however, 
with the payment of the annuity before mentioned to Lady 
Blessington. To his son, Charles John Gardiner, he left all his 
estates in Tyrone, subject to certain charges, also the reversion 
of his Dublin estates in case of failure of male issue, lawfully 
begotten, of said daughters. 

[It is to be borne in mind, when this will was made, the 31st 
of August, 1823, his lordship^s daughter Harriet, whoso mar- 
riage he provided for, being born the 3d of August, 1812, was 
just eleven years of age.] 

The act then goes on to recite a deed of settlement made ia 
contemplation of the marriage between Count and Countess 
D'Orsay, dated 2d of November, 1827 ; the parties to this deed 
being Lord Blessington of the first part. Count D'Orsay of the 
second part. Lady Harriet Gardiner of the third part, the Due de 
Guiche, lieutenant general and premier (ecuyer) of his royal 
highness the Dauphin, and Robert Power, formerly captain of 
the 2d Regiment of Foot, then residing at Mountjoy Forest, of 
the fourth part. 

The deed is stated to be for the purpose of making a provi- 
sion for the said Alfred, Count D'Orsay, and Lady Harriet Gar- 
diner, who is described as ** then an infant of the age of fifteen 
years or thereabouts ^ 

Lord Blessington bound himself by this deed to pay, within 
twelve months after the solemnization of this marriage, the sum 
of jC20,000 British to the trustees, the Due de Guiche and Rob- 
ert Power ; and bound his executors, within twelve months afler 
his decease, to pay said trustees jC20,000 more, to be invested 
in the funds, and the interest thereof to be paid to Count D*Or- 
say, and after his decease to the said Lady Harriet during her 
life ; the principal at her deatli to go to any issue by that mar- 
riage ; and in the event of failure of issue, to be held in tniat 



128 BEQUESTS OF LORD BLfiSSlNOTON. 

for the executor and administrator of the said Alfred, Count 
D'Orsay. 

Then the act recites the marriage of the Count D'Orsay with 
Lady Harriet during the lifetime of the said earl, of there being 
no issue by that marriage, and of their being separated in the year 
1831, and having lived wholly separate from that time.* 

The death of the earl is then mentioned, having occurred on 
the 25th of May, 1829, and the fact of the will being duly 
proved in the Prerogative Court ; and it is also stated that his 
lordship was possessed of estates in Kilkenny which were not 
devised by his will ; that his lordship's son, Charles John Gar- 
diner, had filed a bill against Lady Blessington, Count and 
Countess D'Orsay, in 1831 ; that the will was declared by a de- 
cree in Chancery well proven, and that the trusts therein speci- 
fied should bo carried into execution ; that receivers should be 
appointed ; that Luke Norman should continue agent of the es- 
tates, and that an account should be taken of all debts and in- 
cumbrances on the same ; that the 18th of June, 1834, the Mas- 
ter in Chancery reported on the charges and debts on the estates, 
and on the 14th of July, 1834, an order was made directing a 
sum of jC500 to be paid yearly to the Count D'Orsay, and jC450 
to the Countess D'Orsay, for their maintenance. 

Various bequests of his lordship are recited in this document : 
to Lady Blessington he bequeathed the lease of his house in 
London (in St. James's Square) ; at the expiration of the lease, 
the furniture, books, &c., were to be removed to Mountjoy For- 
est estate in Tyrone, where a house was to be built according 
to plans then laid down, empowering executors to borrow money 
for the purpose. ** All his carriages, her paraphernalia and 
plate,'' he left also to his wife ; to his son John " his plate, 
wardrobe, swords," kc, kc. He appointed Alfred D'Orsay 
guardian of his son Charles John Gardiner till he came of age, 
the previous settlement of jC12,000 to be null and void on his 
obtaining the Tyrone estates. '' He appointed his beloved wife 
guardian of his daughter Harriet Anne, and appointed his sister 

** The date of the deed of separation between the Coant and Conntess D'Orsay 
is the 15th and 16th of Febraary, 1838. 



DEED OF SEPABATION. 129 

Harriet guardian of his daughter commonly called Lady Mary." 
To his sister, Miss Harriet Gardiner, he left an annuity for life 
o££500, 

A deed of separation between the Count and Coimtess D'Or- 
say is referred to, setting forth that Count D*0r8ay had granted 
several annuities for his life to his creditors, with power to re- 
purchase the same, and had charged the interest on the two 
sums of jC20,000 settled on him at the period of his marriage 
by Lord Blessington, and that he required a sum to redeem the 
same amounting to about j^3,500. 

That Countess D'Orsay also had incurred some debts, and re- 
quired a sum of JETI 0,000, or thereabouts, to discharge the same ; 
that Charles John Gardiner had incurred some debts, secured 
by judgments on the Tyrone estates, amounting to £\ 0,000 ; 
and that Countess D'Orsay had entered into an agreement to 
purchase all the interests and claims of the serera] parties to 
whom bequests were made and debts were doe, and that to pay 
off said incumbrances and liabilities a ram of jCI 20,500, ap- 
plicable to the purchase of Count D^Orsay's annuities and some 
other purposes, would be required. By a subsequent agree- 
ment, the latter sum was raised to irim,O00, ''and soeh other 
sums as might be found necessary*' among other objeels for se- 
curing to Count D'Orsay, within a perio^l of ten years, a sarn of 
^42,000. 

Eventually, by two orders of the Court of Chaneery, one of the 
6th of February, 1845, and another the 13th of February, \H46, 
it was decreed the trustees, when the sanction of an airt should 
be procured, would be empowered to make sales of several es* 
tates to the amount of jC350,000, to pay ofl'all in/rurnbranr^ 
and claims. 

The act for the sale of the Blessington estates was passed in 
1846. Itsprovisionshavebeenduly carried into execution. Of 
the vast properties of the Mountjoys, there remains a r^ntthui 
of them, producing about ir6000 a year, to be still dis[K>s«"l of. 

Lord Blessington by his will put an end l/> the w^-alth, honor, 
and territorial greatness of the ancient race of the Moiintjoyn. 

Thus passes away the glory of** tbe KnglUh Psie* in \rf\nn4 



lao THREE REHARXABLE WOMEN. 



CHAPTER Vn. 

CONVERSATIONAL POWERS OF DISTINGUISHED PERSONS.- 

MORE PLACE AND GORE HOUSE LITERARY CIRCLES. RIVAL SA- 
LONS OF HOLLAND HOUSE, AND REUNIONS AT THE COUNTESS 

OF CHARLEVILLE's. RESIDENCE OF LADV BLESSINOTON AT 

8EAMORE PLACE FROM 1832 TO 1836, AND AT GORE HOUSE, 
KENSINGTON GORE, FROM 1836 TO APRIL, 1849. 

About twenty years ago there were three circles of fashion- 
able society in London, wherein the intellectual celebrities of 
the time did chiefly congregate. Three very remarkable wom- 
en presided over them : the Countess of Blessington, the Count- 
ess of Charleville, and Lady Holland. The qualities, mental 
and personal, of the ladies, differed very much ; but their tastes 
concurred in one particular : each of them sought to make so- 
ciety in her house as agreeable as possible, to bring together as 
much ability, wit, and intellectual acquirements as could be as- 
sembled and associated advantageously ; to elicit any kind, or 
any amount, however small, of talent that any individual in 
that society might possess, and to endeavor to make men of let- 
ters, art, or science, previously unacquainted, or estranged, or 
disposed to stand aloof, and to isolate themselves in society, think 
kindly and favorably of one another. I am not quite sure, how- 
ever, that a very kindly feeling toward each other prevailed 
among the rival queens of London literary society. 

The power and influence of Lady Blessington's intellectual 
qualities consisted chiefly in her conversational talents. It would 
be difficult to point out any particular excellence, and to say that 
one constituted the peculiar charm of her conversation. 

It was something of frankness and archness, without the least 
mixture of ill nature, in every thing she said, of enjouement in 
every thought she uttered, of fullness of confidence in the out- 
speaking of her sentiments, and the apparent absence of ever}' 



LADY BLE8SINOTON*8 INTELLECTUAL QUALITIES. 131 

arriere pensSe in her mind, while she laughed out unpremeditat- 
ed ideas, and bon mots spontaneously elicited, in such joyous 
tones, that it might be said she seldom talked without a smile 
at least on her lips ; it was something of felicity in her mode 
of expression, and freedom in it from all reserve, superadded to 
the effect produced by singular loveliness of face, expressiveness 
of look and gesture, and gracefulness of form and carriage, that 
constituted the peculiar charm of the conversation of Lady Bless- 
ington. 

She seldom spoke at any length, never bored her hearers with 
disquisitions, nor dogmatized on any subject, and very rarely 
played the learned lady in discourse. She conversed with all 
around her in " a give and take" mode of interchange of senti- 
ments. She expressed her opinions in short, smart, and telling 
sentences ; brilliant things were thrown off' with the utmost 
ease ; one bon mot followed another, without pause or effort, for 
a minute or two, and then, while her wit and humor were pro- 
ducing their desired effect, she would take care, by an apt word 
or gesture, provocative of mirth and communicativeness, to draw 
out the persons who were best fitted to shine in company, and 
leave no intelligence, however humble, without affording it an 
opportunity and an encouragement to make some display, even 
in a single trite remark or telling observation in the course of 
conversation. 

How well Lady Blessington understood the excellencies and 
art of brilliant and effective conversation, may be noticed in the 
following observation : 

" The conversation of Lamartine," says Lady Blessington, " is 
lively and brilliant. He is, I am persuaded, as amiable as he is 
clever, with great sensibility, which is indicated in his counte- 
nance as well as it is proved in his works ; he possesses sufficient 
tact to conceal, in general society, every attribute peculiar to the 
j)oetical temperament, and to appear only as a well-informed, 
well-bred, sensible man of the world. This tact is probably the 
result of his diplomatic career, which, compelling a constant 
friction with society, has induced the adoption of its usages."* 
• The Idler in Ilily, Par. ed.» p. 372. 1839. 



132 LADY BLS88INOTON'8 INTELLECTUAL QUAUTIBS. . 

We are told that "l>ooks whioh make one think" aie moit 
valued by people of high intelligence ; but conTersation which 
makes one think I do not think is the description of discourse 
-which would tell best in the salons, even of Gore House, when 
it was most frequented by eminent literary men, artists, and 
state politicians. Conversation which makes one laugh, which 
tickles the imagination, which drives rapidly, pleasantly, and 
lightly over the mind, and makes no deep impression on the 
road of the understanding, which produces oblivion of passing 
cares, and amuses for the time being, is the enjojrment in real- 
ity that is sought in what is called the brilliant circles of litera- 
ture and of art, d la mode. How does the conversation of such 
circles tally with the taste for reading referred to in the follow- 
ing passage ? 

" 1, for my own part," says Archdeacon flare, " have ever 
gained the most profit, and the most pleasure also, from the 
books which have made me think the most ; and when the dif- 
ficulties have once been overcome, these are the books which 
have struck the deepest root, not only in my memory and under- 
standing, but likewise in my afiiections. If you would fertilize 
the mind, the plow must be driven over and through it. The 
gliding of wheels is easier and rapider, but only makes it harder 
and more barren. Above all, in the present age of light read- 
ing, that is, of reading hastily, thoughtlessly, indiscriminately, 
unfniitfuUy, when most books are forgotten as soon as they are 
finished, and very many sooner, it is well if something heavier 
is cast now and then into the midst of the literary public. This 
may scare and repel the weak ; it will rouse and attract the 
stronger, and increase their strength by making them exert it. 
In the sweat of the brow is the mind as well as the body to eat 
its bread. Are writers, then, to bo studiously difficult, and to tie 
knots for the mere purpose of compelling their readers to untie 
them ? Not so. Let them follow the bent of their own minds. 
Let their style be the faithful mirror of their thoughts. Some 
minds are too rapid, and vehement, and redundant to flow along 
in lucid transparence ; some have to break over rocks, and to 
force a way through obstacles which would have dammed them 



LADY BLESSINOTON'S INTELLECTUAL QUAUTIES. 1 33 

in. TaeitOB eoold not write like Cesar. Niebuhr could not write 
like Goldsmith."* 

Goldsmith's conversation, however, was not calculated to 
make men in society either think or laugh much. 

" Mr. Fox," we are told, in a recent biography, "declared that 
he learned more from conversation than all the books he had 
ever read. It often happens, indeed, that a short remark in con- 
versation contains the essence of a quarto volume. "f 

Lady Blessington had a particular turn for cramming a vast 
deal of meaning into an exceeding small number of words. She 
not only had a natural talent for condensing thoughts, and pro- 
ducing them in terse, vigorous, and happily-selected terms, but 
she made a study of saying memorable things in short, smart 
sentences, of conveying in a remark some idea of the import, 
essence, and merits of an entire book. 

Lord John Russell, in his Preface to the fifth volume of Moore's 
"Memoirs," makes an observation, very just and singularly fe- 
licitous in its expression, in reference to the conversational 
powers of Sir James Mackintosh and Sidney Smith : 

" There are two kinds of colloquial wit which equally con- 
tribute to fame, though not equally to agreeable conversation. 
The one is like a rocket in a dark air, which shoots at once into 
the sky, and is the more surprising from the previous silence 
and gloom ; the other is like that kind of fire-work which blazes 
and bursts out in every direction, exploding at one moment, and 
shining brightly in its course, and changing its shape and color 
to many forms and many hues. 

" The great delight of Sidney Smith was to produce a suc- 
cession of ludicrous images ; these followed each other with a 
rapidity that scarcely left time to laugh ; he himself laughing 
louder and with more enjoyment than any one. This electric 
contact of mirth came and went with the occasion ; it can not 
be repeated or reproduced ; any thing would give occasion to 
it 

" Of all those whose conversation is referred to by Moore, Sir 
James Mackintosh was the ablest, the most brilliant, and the 
» Oueiscs at Tnith. t Moore** M emoirw. 



134 LADY BL£SSINOTON*8 INTELLECTUAL QUALITIES. 

best informed. A most competent jndge in this matter has said, 
< Till subdued by age and illness, his conversation was more 
brilliant and instructive than that of any human being I ever 
had the good fortune to be acquainted virith.' His stores of 
learning were vast, and of those kinds which, both in serious 
and in light conversation, are most available." 

It would be idle to compare the conversational talents of Lady 
Blessiiigton with those of Sidney Smith or Sir James Mackin- 
tosh in any respect but one, namely, the power of making light 
matters appear of moment in society, dull things brilliant, and 
bright thoughts, given utterance to even in sport, contribute to 
the purposes of good humor, tending to enliven, amuse, and ex- 
hilarate people's minds in society when sought for amusement 
and relaxation. 

The perfection of conversational talent is said " to be able to 
say something on any subject that may be started, without be- 
traying any anxiety or impatience to say it.'* The Prince de 
Ligne, a great authority in conversational matters, said, *'' Ce qui 
coute le plus pour plaire, c'est de cacher que V on s'eunuie. Ce 
n'est pas en amusant qu'on plait. On n'amuse pas meme si 
Ton s'ainusc ; c 'est en faisant croire que Ton s'amuse." 

Madame do Stael spoke of conversation eiuphatically as an 
art: 

" To succeed in conversation, we must possess the tact of per- 
ceiving clearly, and at every instant, the impression made on 
those with whom we converse ; that which they would fain con- 
ceal, as well as that which they would willingly exaggerate — ^the 
inward satisfaction of some, the forced smiles of others. We 
must be able to note and arrest half-formed censures as they 
pass over the countenance of the listeners, by hastening to dis- 
sipate them before self-love be engaged against us. There is 
no arena in which vanity displays itself under such a variety of 
forms as in conversation."* 

Of all the women of our age, Madame de Stai'l was the most 
eminently intellectual. With genius, and judgment, and powers 
of mental application of the highest order, she was imbued with 
^ L'Allemagne. 



BYRON'S OPINION OF MADAME DE STA£:L. 135 

poetry and enthnsiasm, she was of a sanguine, impulsive nature, 
wonderfully eloquent, chivalrous, patriotic, a lover of liberty and 
glory, and, withal, womanly in her feelings and affections. She 
delighted in society ; with her large heart, and well-stored head, 
and remarkable powers of conversation, it is no wonder the cir- 
cles of a metropolis that was in that day the great centre of civ- 
ilization should have peculiar attractions for her ; Paris, with 
its brilliant society, where her literary reputation had its birth, 
became her world. She gloried in society, and was the chief 
grace, glory, and ornament of it. 

Byron said to Lady Blessington that " Madame de Stael was 
certainly the cleverest, though not the most agreeable woman 
he had ever known ; she declaimed to you instead of convers- 
ing with you, never pausing except to take breath ; and if, during 
that interval, a rejoinder was put in, it was evident that she did 
not attend to it, as she resumed the thread of her discourse as 
though it had not been interrupted." 

His lordship went on to say that she was in the habit of losing 
herself in philosophical disquisitions, and although very eloquent 
and fluent when excited in conversation, her language was some- 
times obscure, and her phraseology florid and redundant. 

Lady Blessington's love for London and its celebrities was of 
the same all-absorbing nature as that of Madame de Stael for 
Parisian society. 

The exile of the illustrious baroness from the French capital 
was " a second death" to her, we are told in a recent admirable 
memoir. 

" It appears strange that banishment from Paris should thus 
have been looked upon by Madame de Stael as an evil, and 
cause of suffering almost beyond her endurance. With her 
great intellectual resources, her fine heart, capable of attaching 
itself to whatever was lovable or excellent, and the power she 
possessed of interesting others, and of giving the tone to what- 
ever society she entered, one would have supposed that she, of 
all people, ought not to have depended for her happiness upon 
any clique or association, however brilliant. But, though she 
viewed with deep interest and philosophical curiosity every form 



136 MADAME DE 8TAEL. 

of human society, she only seems to hare loved that to which 
she had been accustomed, and to have felt herself at home only 
in the midst of the bustle and excitement among which her life 
had begun. She was not yet fully alive to the beauties of na- 
ture. Like Charles Lamb, she preferred the ' sweet security of 
streets' to the most magnificent scenery the world contained, 
and thought, with Dr. Johnson, that there was no scene equal to 
the high tide of human existence in the heart of a populous 
city. When guests who came to visit her at Geneva were in 
ecstasies with its lovely scenes, 'Give me the Bue de Bac,' she 
said : * 1 would rather live in Paris in a fourth story, and with a 
hundred a year. I do not dissemble : a residence in Paris has 
always appeared to me, under any circumstances, the most de- 
sirable of all others. French conversation excels nowhere ex- 
cept in Paris, and conversation has been, since my infancy, my 
greatest pleasure."* 

One who knew her peculiar talents and characteristics well 
has observed of her in later years : *' Ah over-stimulated youth, 
acting on a temperament naturally ardent and impassioned, had 
probably aggravated these tendencies to a morbid extent ; for in 
the very prime of her life, and strength of her intellect, it would 
have seemed to her almost as impossible to dispense with the 
luxury of deep and strong emotions, as with the air which sus- 
tained her existence." 

Madame de Stael had this advantage over all the learned and 
literary women of her time — she was bom and bred in the midst 
of intellectual excitement, conversational exhibitions, triumphs 
of imagination, and all the stirring scenes of a grand drama, 
which opened with bright visions of freedom, and renewed vigor 
and vitality for the human race, though it terminated in a ter- 
rible denouement of revolution and widely-extended phrensy. 

Madame de Stael lacked one great source of influence and 
power in conversation, namely, beauty. Her features were 
flexible, but strongly marked and somewhat masculine ; but 
her eyes were full of animation, vivacity, and expression, and 
her voice was finely modulated and harmonious, peculiarly touch- 
ing and pleasing to the ear, while her raovementfi were grace- 



HOLLAND HOUSE. 137 

ful and dignified. She entered on life at the beginning of a 
mighty revolution, with lofty aspirations and glorious inspira- 
tions, animated by enthusiastic feelings of love of liberty, of hu- 
manity, of glory, and exalted virtue. There was no affectation 
in these heroic sentiments and chivalrous imaginings : they 
were bom with her ; they were fostered in her ; the times iu 
which her lot was cast developed them most fully. 

It would be vain to look for intellectual power in the literary 
women of other lands, of our time, that could have produced 
"Thoughts on the French Revolution," "Ten Years of Exile," 
" Sophia, or Secret Sentiments," " On the Influence of Passions 
in Individuals and National Happiness," " Literature, consider- 
ed in its connection with Social Institutions," " Delphine," " Co- 
rimie," " Germany," &c., &c., &c. 

The labor of her great works on the French Revolution, after 
her return to her beloved Paris, at the period of the restoration 
of Louis the Eighteenth, contributed, it is supposed, to the 
breaking down of her health, after a short but memorable ca- 
reer of wonderful literary toil and application of the mental fac- 
ulties. She died in 1817, at the age of fifty-one years. 

Of Holland House society, Mr. Macauley, in an article in the 
" Edinburgh Review," has commemorated tho brilliancies ; and 
Lord John Russell has likewise recorded its attractions in terms 
worthy of a man of letters and a lover of the amenities of liter- 
ature. In his preface to the six volumes of" Moore's Memoirs," 
ho seems to revel in the short snatches of literary occupation 
which he has indulged in, at the expense of politics and affairs 
of state, when ho describes the conversational powers of Lord 
Holland, and the display of them in those circles which his lord- 
ship and his friend Moore were in the habit of frequenting. He 
characterizes the charms of Lord Holland's conversation as com- 
bining a variety of excellencies of disposition, as well as of men- 
tal endowments, generous sentiments and principles, kindliness 
of nature, warmth of feeling, remarkable cheerfulness of dispo- 
sition, toleration for all opinions, a keen sense of the ridiculous, 
good memory, an admirable talent for mimicry, a refined taste, 
an absence of all formality, a genial warmth and friendliness of 



138 HOLLAND HOUSE. 

intercooTBe in society. " He won," says Lord John, " without 
seeming to court, he instructed "without seeming to teach, and 
ho amused without laboring to be witty. But of the charm 
which belonged to Lord Holland's conversation future times can 
form no adequate conception : 

** * The pliant muscles of the vaiying face, 

The mien that gave each simtence strength and grace, 
The tunefiil Toice, the eye that spoke the mind, 
Ajo gone, nor leave a single trace behind/ "^ 

I find among the papers of Count D'Orsay a few slight but 
graphic sketches of Lord Holland and some of his contempora- 
ries worthy of the writer, and possibly these may be all that 
now remain of those delineations of London celebrities by the 
count which Byron refers to in his letters. 

'* It is impossible," says the count, '* to know Lord Holland 
without feeling for him a strong sentiment of afiection ; he has 
so much goodness of heart, that one forgets often the superior 
qualities of mind which distinguish him ; and it is difficult to 
conceive that a man so simple, so natural, and so good, should 
be one of the most distinguished senators of our days." 

Holland House was the well-known place of reunion of the 
most eminent men of the time for nearly a century ; the scene 
of innumerable wit combats, and keen encounters of intelligence 
and talent. 

The late Lord Holland's reputation for classical attainments 
and high intelligence, fine tastes and cultivated mind, his en- 
couragement of art and literature, conversational talents, and 
elegant hospitality, are not belter known than his amiability of 
disposition, kindliness of heart, and genial, noble, loving nature, 
prompting him ever to generous conduct, and liberal, and some- 
times even heroic acts of benevolence. 

One evidently well acquainted with Lady Holland thus speaks 
of the brilliant circles over which she so long presided, and of 
the qualities of heart and mind which enabled her to give to the 
reunions of men of letters, M'it, art, and science, the attractions 
which characterized them. 

♦ Moore*s Memoirs, vol. r. 



HOLLAND HOUSE. 139 

" Beyond any other hostess we ever knew, and very far be- 
yond any host, she posseeaed the tact of perceiving and the pow- 
er of evoking the various capacities which lurked in every part 
of the brilliant circles she drew around her. To enkindle the 
enthusiasm of an artist on the theme over which he had achieved 
the most facile mastery ; to set loose the heart of the rustic poet, 
and imbue his speech with the freedom of his native hills ; to 
draw from the adventurous traveler a breathing picture of his 
most imminent danger, or to embolden the bashful soldier to 
disclose his own share in the perils and glories of some famous 
battle-field ; to encourage the generous praise of friendship 
when the speaker and the subject reflected interest on each 
other, or win the secret history of some effort which had aston- 
ished the world, or shed new lights on science ; to conduct those 
brilliant developments to the height of satisfaction, and then to 
shift the scene by the magic of a word, were among her daily 
successes. And if this extraordinary power over the elements 
of social enjoyments was sometimes wielded without the entire 
concealment of its despotism — if a decisive check sometimes re- 
buked a speaker who might intercept the variegated beauty of 
Jeffrey's indulgent criticism, or the jest announced and self-re- 
warded in Sidney Smith's delighted and delighting chuckle, the 
authority was too clearly exerted for the evening's prosperity, 
and too manifestly impelled by an urgent consciousness of the 
value of those golden hours which were fleeting within its con- 
fines, to sadden the enforced silence with more than a moment- 
ary regret. If ever her prohibition, clear, abrupt, and decisive, 
indicated more than a preferable regard for livelier discourse, it 
was when a depreciatory tone was adopted toward genius, or 
goodness, or honest endeavor, or when some friend, personal or 
intellectual, was mentioned in slighting phrase. 

" Habituated to a generous partisanship by strong sympathy 
with a great political cause, she carried the fidelity of her devo- 
tion to that cause into her social relations, and was ever the tru- 
est and fastest of friends. The tendency, often more idle than 
malicious, to soflen down the intellectual claims of the absent, 
which so insidiously besets literary conversation, and teaches a 



140 BOUUiKD HOUSE. 

superficial insincerity eTen to substantial esteem and regard, 
found no favor in her presence ; and hence the conversations 
over which she presided, perhaps beyond all that ever flashed 
with a kindred splendor, were marked by that integrity of good 
nature, which might admit of their exact repetition to every 
living individual whose merits were discussed without the dan- 
ger of inflicting pain. 

" Under her auspices, not only all critical, but all personal talk 
was tinged with kindness ; the strong interest which she took 
in the happiness of her friends shed a peculiar sunniness over 
the aspects of life presented by the common topics of alliances, 
and marriages, and promotions ; and not a promising engage- 
ment, or a wedding, or a promotion of a friend's son, or a new 
inteUectual triumph of any youth with whose name and history 
she was familiar, but became an event on which she expected 
and required congratulation as on a part of her own fortune. 

" Although there was naturally a preponderance iu her soci- 
ety of the sentiment of popular progress, which oucc was cher- 
ished almost exclusively by the party to whom Lord Holland 
was united by sacred ties, no expression of triumph in success, 
no virulence in sudden disappointment, was ever permitted to 
wound the most sensitive ear of her conservative guests. It 
might be that some placid comparison of recent with former 
time spoke a sense of peaceful victory, or that on the giddy edge 
of some great party struggle, the festivities of the evening might 
take a more serious cast as news arrived from the scene of con- 
test, and the pleasure be deepened with the peril ; but the feel- 
ing was always restrained by the present evidence of perma- 
nent solaces for the mind which no political changes could dis- 
turb. If to hail and welcome genius, or even talent which re- 
vered and imitated genius, was one of the greatest pleasures of 
Lord Holland's life, to search it out and bring it within the 
sphere of his noble sympathy was the delightful study of hers. 
How oilen, during the last half century, has the steep ascent of 
fame been brightened by the genial appreciation she bestowed, 
and the festal light she cast on its solitude ! How often has the 
assurance of success received its crowning delight amid the ge- 



CHARLEVILLE UOUSK. 14| 

nial lozuiy of her circle, where renown itself hrns been realixed 
in all its sweetness !'** 

CHARLETILLE HOUSE, CAVENDISH SQUARE. 

The late Dowager Lady CharlevlUe was a remarkable person, 
eminently gifted, and highly accomplished. The author had 
the honor of knowing her ladyship intimately about twenty 
years ago. Few women possessed sounder judgment, or were 
more capable of forming just opinions on most subjects. 

Dublin and its society at the time of the Union, and for some 
years before, as well as af\er that measure, was a frequent sub- 
ject of conversation with her. All the Irish celebrities of those 
times were intimately known by her; Clare and Castlereagh, 
young Wesley and Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Lord Moira, and 
the Bcresfords, cum multis aliis, of most dissimilar political ele- 
ments. Throughout her whole career, it seemed to be a settled 
plan of hers to bring persons of worth, of opposite opinions, to- 
gether, and to endeavor to get them to think justly and favora- 
bly of one another, as if she considered one of the chief causes 
of half the estrangements and animosities that exist was the 
groundless misapprehensions of unacquainted people of the same 
class, pursuits in life, or position in society. 

The Countess Dowager of Cork, at the same period that Ladies 
Blessington, Holland, and Charleville collected round them their 
peveral celebrities of fashion and literary eminence, was the 
centre of a brilliant circle of London celebrities. From 1820 
to 18-10 was frequently to bo seen at the London theatres this 
genuine representative, in all but one respect, of the celebrated 
Ninon de I'Enclos. 

The Right Hon. Mary, Countess Dowager of Cork and Derry, 
resided for a great many years in New Burlington Street. Her 
ladyship's soirhs were not on so extensive a scale as those of 
Lady Blessington and Lady Holland, but still they were crowd- 
ed with fashionable and distinguished people. Lady Cork, ^ ^ 
Miss Monckton, was one of Dr. Johnson's favorites. ** I^ talk 
ity," we are told, " exhilarated the sage ;" and thoy ^*^„icir /' 

• Remirks <m tht eh«raet»T rf l-«4y Hollaad, in the " Mof»i«« 



142 8£AM0RE PLACE. 

together with all imaginable ease. Frequent mention of her is 
made by Boswell. She was bom in 1746 ; her father was John 
Moncktou, first Viscount Gal way. In 1784 she married the 
Earl of Cork. For a large portion of her life she occupied a 
conspicuous place in London society. Her residence in New 
Burlington Street was a rendezvous of wits, scholars, sages, and 
politicians, and has bleux of celebrity. *' Her social reputation 
dates from her attempts, the first of the kind (in England), to in- 
troduce into the routine and formation of our high life some- 
thing of the wit and energy which characterized the society of 
Paris in the last century. While still young, she made the house 
of her mother, Lady Galway, the point of rendezvous where 
talent and genius might mingle with rank and fashion, and 
the advantages of intellectual endowments be mutually inter- 
changed." 

The endeavors of Miss Moncktou to give a higher tone to the 
society in which she found herself in the latter part uf the last 
century had the beneficial efiect of thinning the crowds round 
the faro-tables, then the nightly excitement of both sexes. Uer 
Sunday parties were the first that were attempted without this 
accompaniment. Her ladyship, to the last enjoying society ; 
" ready for death, but not wishing to see him coming,'' died at 
the age of ninety-four, in her house in Burlington Street, the 
20thof May, 1840. 

SEAMORE PLACE. 

Lady Blessington, in one of her novels, " The Victims of So- 
ciety," wherein abundance of sarcasm was bestowed on the lion- 
izing tendencies of English fashionable society, refers to " the 
modern Mecsenases of May-fair*' (in which locality her ladyship 
resided when this novel was written by her), ** who patronise 
poets and philosophers, from association with whom they expect 

to derive distinction A few of the houses, with the most 

pretensions to literary taste, have their tame poets and petits 
litterateurs, who run about as docile and more parasitical than 
lap-dogs ; and, like them, are equally well fed, ay, and certainly 
equally spoiled. The dull pleasantries, thrice-told anecdotes. 



SEAMORE PLAC£. 143 

and resmnh of the Bcandal of each week, served up rechauffes 
by these pigmies of literature, are received most graciously by 
their patrons, who agree in opinion with the French writer, 
" * Nul n*auia de Tespht, 
Hon nous et nos amis.* '* 

Not even, we may add, in Seamore Place or Kensington Gore, 
where the experience was chiefly gained -which enabled poor 
Lady Blessington to delineate '* The Victims of Society." 

Lady Blessington returned to London from the Continent in 
November, 1830. In the latter part of 1831 she took up her 
abode in Seamore Place, May Fair. The mansion in St. James's 
Square, which had been bequeathed to her by Lord Blessington, 
was far too expensive an establishment to be kept up by her on 
an income of two thousand a year. Having disposed of her in- 
terest in it, she rented the house in Seamore Place from Lord 
Mountford, and fitted it up in a style of the greatest magnifi- 
cence and luxury.* Here, in the month of March, 1832, 1 found 
her ladyship established. The Count and Countess D'Orsay 
were then residing with her. The salons of Lady Blessington 
were opened nightly to men of genius and learning, and persons 
of celebrity of all climes, to travelers of every European city of 
distinction. Her abode became a centre of attraction for the 
beau mondo of the intellectual classes, a place of reunion for re- 
markable persons of talent or eminence of some sort or another, 
and certainly the most agreeable resort of men of literature, art, 
science, of strangers of distinction, travelers, and public charac- 
ters of various pursuits, the most agreeable that ever existed in 
this country. 

Perhaps the agremens of the Seamore Place society surpassed 
those of the Gore House sotrcea. Lady Blessington, when resid- 

* The house in St. James's Square, which hod been bequeathed to Lady Bless- 
ington by her husband, it was expected, would have added iJ500 a year to her in- 
come for the few years of the unexpired term of lh« lease. The head rent, how- 
erer, wa.^ verj- high, £840 a year. It had been let to the Windham elub, furnish- 
ed, for £1350 a year; but the mode in which the property in the furniture had 
been left by Lord Blessington, and the eonditions imposed by the will w>»h ri»- 
spect to its ultimate transfer to Ireland, and the fault, moreov<'r, found ^' >c 
bad state of it, had led to such difficulties, that eventually she »^^'iS^'^tigto '^ 
riffht and interest in the house to the exeeutor-, Messrs. Norman and W «n. 



144 8EAMORE PLACE. 

ing in the fonner stzeet, had not then long commenced the ea* 
reer of authorship as a pursuit and a speculation. 

In the twelfth letter of ''the Pencilings," dated 1834, Mr. 
"Willis gives an account of his first Tisit to Lady Blessington in 
London, then residing in Seamore Place, certainly more graphic 
than any other description of her reunions that has heen given : 

*' A friend in Italy had kindly given me a letter to Lady Bless- 
ington, and with a strong curiosity to see this celehrated author- 
ess, I called on the second day after my arrival in London. It 
was ' deep i' the afternoon,' hut I had not yet learned the full 
meaning of town hours. ' Her ladyship had not come down to 
breakfast.' I gave the letter and my address to the powdered 
footman, and had scarce reached home, when a note arrived in- 
viting me to call the same evening at ten. 

" In a long library, lined alternately with splendidly-bound 
books and mirrors, and with a deep window, of the breadth of 
the room, opening upon Hyde Park, I found Lady Blessington 
alone. The picture, to my eye, as the door opened, was a very 
lovely one — a woman of remarkable beauty, half buried in a 
fauteuil of yellow satin, reading by a magnificent lamp suspend- 
ed from the centre of the arched ceiling ; sofas, couches, otto- 
mans, and busts arranged in rather a crowded sumptuousness 
through the room ; enamel tables, covered with expensive and el- 
egant trifles in every comer, and a delicate white hand relieved 
on the back of a book, to which the eye was attracted by the 
blaze of its diamond rings. As the servant mentioned my name, 
she rose and gave me her hand very cordially ; and a gentleman 
entering immediately after, she presented me to Count D'Orsay, 
the well-known Pelham of London, and certainly the most splen- 
did specimen of a man, and a well-dressed one, that I had ever 
seen. Tea was brought in immediately, and conversation went 
swimmingly on. 

" Her ladyship's inquiries were principally about America, of 
which, from long absence, I knew very little. She was ex- 
tremely curious to know the degrees of reputation the present 
popular authors of England enjoy among us, particularly Bul- 
wer and D'Israeli (the author of * Vivian Grey'). ' If you will 



SEAMORE PLACE. I45 

come to-morrow night/ she said, ' you will see Bulwer. I am 
delighted that he is popular in America. He is envied and 
abused — for nothing, I believe, except for the superiority of his 
genius, and the brilliant literary success it commands ; and 
knowing this, he chooses to assume a pride which is only the 
armor of a sensitive mind afraid of a wound. He is to his 
friends the most frank and noble creature in the world, and open 
to boyishness with those who he thinks understand and value 
him. He has a brother Henry, who is also very clever in a 
different vein, and is just now publishing a book on the present 
state of France. 

" * Do they like the D'Israelis in America V 

" I assured her ladyship that the * Curiosities of Literature,* 
by the father, and * Vivian Grey* and * Contarini Fleming,' by 
the son, were universally known. 

*' ' I am pleased at that, for I like them both. D'lsraeli the 
elder came here with his son the other night. It would have 
delighted you to see the old man's pride in him, and the son's 
respect and affection for his father. D 'Israeli the elder lives in 
the country, about twenty miles from town ; seldom comes up 
to London, and leads a life of learned leisure, each day hoarding 
up and dispensing forth treasures of literature. He is courtly, 
yet urbane, and impresses one at once with confidence in his 
goodness. In his manners, D'Israeli the younger is quite his 
own character of " Vivian Grey ;" full of genius and eloquence, 
with extreme good nature, and a perfect frankness of character.' 

" I asked if the account I had seen in some American paper 
of a literary celebration at Canandaigua, and the engraving of 
her ladyship's name with some others upon a rock, was not a 
quiz. 

" * Oh, by no means. I was much amused by the whole af- 
fair. I have a great idea of taking a trip to America to see it. 
Then the letter, commencing, ** Most charming Countess — for 
charming you must be, since you have written the * Conversa- 
tions of Lord Byron'" — oh, it was quite delightful. I have 
shown it to every body. By-the-way, I receive a great mahy 
letters from America from people I never heard of, written in 

VoL.I.—G 



146 SXAMORE PLACS. 

the most eztimoidinary style of compliment, apparently in per* 
feet good faith. I hardly know what to make of them.' 

** I accounted for it hy the perfect seclusion in which great 
numbers of cultivated people Uto in our country, who, having 
neither intrigue, nor fashion, nor twenty other things to^ occupy 
their minds, as in England, depend entirely upon hooks, and 
consider on author who has given them pleasure as a friend. 
* America,' I said, * has probably more literary enthusiasts than 
any country in the world ; and there are thousands of romantic 
minds in the interior of New England who know perfectly 
every writer on this side of the water, and hold them all in 
aiTectionate veneration, scarcely conceivable by a sophisticated 
European. If it were not for such readers, literature would be 
the most thankless of vocations ; I, for one, would never write 
another line.' 

" ' And do you think these are the people which write to me ? 
If I could think so, I should be exceedingly happy. A great 
proportion of the people of England are refilled down to such 
heartlessness ; criticism, private and public, is so much influ- 
enced by politics, that it is really delightful to know there is a 
more generous tribunal. Indeed, I think many of our authors 
now are beginning to write for America. We think already a 
great deal of your praise or censure.' 

*' I asked if her ladyship had known many Americans. 

'''Not in London, but a great many abroad. I was with 
Lord Blessington in his yacht at Naples when the American fleet 
was lying there ten or eleven years ago, and we were constantly 
on board your ships. I knew Commodore Creighton and Cap- 
tain Deacon extremely well, and liked them particularly. They 
were with us frequently of an evening on board the yacht or 
the frigate, and I remember very well the bands playing always 
" God save the King" as wo went up the side. Count D'Orsay 
here, who spoke very little English at the time, had a great pas- 
sion for " Yankee Doodle," and it was always played at his re- 
quest.' 

*" The count, who still speaks the language with a very slight 
accent, but with a choioe of words that shows him to be a man 



SEAMORS PLACE. I47 

of tmeommoii ttet and elegance of mind, inquired after seyeral 
of the officers, whom I have not the pleasure of knowing. He 
seems to remember his visits to the frigate with great pleasure. 
The conversation, after running upon a variety of topics, turned 
very naturally upon Byron. I had frequently seen the Countess 
Guiocioli on the Continent, and I asked Lady Blessington if she 
knew her. 

•* * Yes, very well. We were at Genoa when they were living 
there, but we never saw her. It was at Rome, in the year 1 828, 
that I first knew her, having formed her acquaintance at Count 
Funchal's, the Portuguese embassador/ 

" It would be impossible, of course, to make a full and fair 
record of a conversation of some hours. 1 have only noted one 
or two topics which I thought most likely to interest an Amer- 
ican reader. During all this long visit, however, my eyes were 
very busy in finishing for memory a portrait of the celebrated 
and beautiful woman before me. 

" The portrait of Lady Blessington in the ' Book of Beauty' is 
not unlike her, but it is still an unfavorable likeness. A picture 
by Sir Thomas Lawrence htmg opposite me, taken, perhaps, at 
the age of eighteen, which is more like her, uid as captivating 
a representation of a just matured woman, full of loveliness and 
love, the kind of creature with whose divine sweetness the 
gazer's heart aches, as ever was drawn in the painter's most 
inspired hour. The original is no longer dans sa premiere jeu» 
nesse. Still she looks something on the sunny side of thirty. 
Her person is full, but preserves all the fineness of an admira- 
ble shape ; her foot is not pressed in a satin slipper, for which 
a Cinderella might long be sought in vain ; and her complexion 
(an unusually fair skin, with very dark hair and eyebrows) is 
of even a girlish delicacy and freshness. Her dress, of blue 
satin (if I am describing her like a milliner, it is because I have 
here and there a reader in my eye who will be amused by it), 
was cut kw, and folded across her bosom, in a way to show to 
advantage the round and sculpture-like curve and whiteness of 
a pair of exquisite shoulders ; while her hair, dressed close to 
her head, and parted simply on her forehead with a lich feronicr 



148 SEAMORS PLACE. 

of taTquoise, enTeloped in clear outline a head with which it 
would be difficult to find a fault. Hei' featnies are regular, and 
her mouth, the most expresaiye of them, has a ripe fullness and 
freedom of play peculiar to the Irish physiognomy, and express- 
iTe of the most unsuspicious good-humor. Add to all this a 
voice merry and sad by turns, but always musical, and manners 
of the most unpretending elegance, yet even more remarkable 
for their winning kindness, and you have the prominent traits 
of one of the most lovely and fascinating women I have ever 
seen. Remembering her talents and her rank, and the unenvy- 
ing admiration she receives from the world of fashion and ge- 
nius, it would be difficult to reconcile her lot to the * doctrine 
of compensation.' * 

^ In the evening I kept my appointment with Lady Blessing- 
ton. She had deserted her exquisite library for the drawing- 
room, and sat, in full dress, with six or seven gentlemen about 
her. I was presented immediately to all ; and when the con- 
versation was resumed, I took the opportunity to remark the dis- 
tinguished coterie with which she was surrounded. 

'* Nearest me sat Smith, the author of ' Rejected Addresses' — 
a hale, handsome man, apparently fifty, with white hair, and a 
very nobly-formed head and physiognomy. His eye alone — 
small, and with lids contracted into an habitual look of drollery, 
betrayed the bent of his genius. He held a cripple's crutch in 
his hand, and, though otherwise rather particularly well-dressed, 
wore a pair of large India-rubber shoes — ^the penalty he was pay- 
ing, doubtless, for the many good dinners he had eaten. He 
played rather an aside in the conversation, whipping in with a 
quiz or witticism whenever he could get an opportunity, but 
more a listener than a talker. 

*' On the opposite side of Lady Blessington stood Henry Bul- 
wer, the brother of the novelist, very earnestly engaged in a 
discussion of some speech of O'Connell's. He is said by many 
to be as talented as his brother, and has lately published a book 
on the present state of France. He is a small man; very slight 
and gentlemanlike ; a little pitted with the small-pox, and of 
* Penciling by the Way, p. 356, 356. 



8EAH0&E PLACE. I49 

very winning and persuasive manners. I liked him at the first 
glance. 

" A German prince, with a star on his breast, trying with all 
his might — ^but, irom his embarrassed look, qtiite unsuccessful- 
ly — to comprehend the drift of the argument ; the Duke de Rich- 
elieu ; a famous traveler just returned from Constantinople ; and 
the splendid person of Count D'Orsay, in a careless attitude upon 
the ottoman, completed the cardan, 

" I fell into conversation after a while with Smith, who, sup- 
posing I might not have heard the names of the others in the 
hurry of an introduction, kindly took the trouble to play the dic- 
tionary, and added a graphic character of each as he named 
him. Among other things, he talked a great deal of America, 
and asked me if I knew our distinguished countryman, Wash- 
ington Irving. I had never been so fortunate as to meet him. 
'You have lost a great deal,' he said, * for never was so delight- 
ful a fellow. I was once taken down with him into the country by 
a merchant to dinner. Our friend stopped his carriage at the gate 
of his park, and asked us if we would walk through his grounds 
to the house. Irving refused, and held me down by the coat, 
so that we drove on to the house together, leaving our host to 
follow on foot. * I make it a principle,' said Irving, ' never to 
walk with a man through his own grounds. I have no idea of 
praising a thing whether I like it or not. You and I will do 
them to-morrow morning by ourselves.' The rest of the com- 
pany had turned their attention to Smith as he began his story, 
and there was a universal inquiry after Mr. Irving. Indeed, 
the first question on the lips of every one to whom I am intro- 
duced as an American is of him and Cooper. The latter seems 
to me to be admired as much here as abroad, in spite of a com- 
mon impression that he dislikes the nation. No man's works 
could have higher praise in the general conversation that fol- 
lowed, though several instances were mentioned of his having 
shown an unconquerable aversion to the English when in En- 
gland. Lady Blessington mentioned Mr. Bryant, and I was 
pleased at the immediate tribute paid to his delightful poetry 
by the talented circle around her. 



X50 SBAXORE PLACE. 

** Toward twelve o'cloek Mr. Lytton Bnlwer wm annmineed, 
and enter the author of 'Pelham.' I had made up my mind 
how he should look, and, hetween prints and descriptionB, thought 
I could scarcely he mistaken in my idea of his person. No two 
things could he more unlike, however, than the ideal of Mr. 
Bulwer in my mind and the real Mr. Bulwer who followed the 
announcement. I liked his manners extremely. He ran up to 
Lady Blessington with the joyous heartiness of a hoy let out of 
school ; and the * how d'ye, Bulwer ?' went round, as he shook 
hands with every hody, in the style of welcome usually given to 
*• the hest fellow in the world.' As I had hrought a letter of in- 
troduction to him from a friend in Italy, Lady Blessington intro- 
duced me particularly, and we had a long conversation ahout 
Naples and its pleasant society. 

*' Bulwer's head is phrenologically a fine one. His forehead 
retreats very much, hut is very hroad and weU masked, and the 
whole air is that of decided mental superiority. His nose is 
aquiline. His complexion is fair, his hair profuse, curly, and of 
a light auburn. A more good-natured, habitually -smiling ex- 
pression could hardly be imagined. Perhaps my impression is 
an imperfect one, as he was in the highest spirits, and was not 
serious the whole evening for a minute — ^but it is strictly and 
faithfully my impression. 

" I can imagine no style of conversation calculated to he more 
agreeable than Bulwer's. Gay, quick, various, half-satirical, and 
always fresh and different from every hody else, he seemed to 
talk because ho could not help it, and infected everj' body with 
his spirits. I can not give even the substance of it in a letter, 
for it was in a great measure local or personal. 

" Bulwer's voice, like his brother's, is exceedingly lover-like 
and sweet. His playful tones are quite delicious, and his clear 
laugh is the soul of sincere and careless merriment. 

" It is quite impossible to convey in a letter, scrawled literally 
hetween the end of a late visit and a tempting pillow, tHe eva- 
nescent and pure spirit of a conversation of wits. I must con- 
fine myself, of course, in such sketches, to the mere sentiment 
of things that concern general literature and ourselves. 



SEAMOR£ PLACE. 151 

*' * The Rejected Addresses' got upon his crutches about three 
o'clock in the morning, and I made my exit with the rest, thank* 
ing Heaven that, though in a strange country, my mother tongue 
was the language of its men of genius. 

" Letter June 14, 1834. I was at Lady Blessington's at eight. 
Moore had not arrired, but the other persons of the party — a 
Russian count, who spoke all the languages of Europe as well 
as his own ; a Roman banker, whose dynasty is more powerful 
than the Pope's ; a clever English nobleman, and the *' observed 
of all observers,' Count D'Orsay, stood in the window upon the 
park, killing, as they might, the melancholy twilight half hour 
preceding dinner. 

*' Dinner was announced, the Russian handed down * miladi,' 
and I found myself seated opposite Moore, with a blaze of light 
on his Bacchus head, and the mirrors with which the superb 

octagonal room is paneled reflecting every motion The soup 

vanished in the busy silence that beseems it, and as the courses 
commenced their procession. Lady Blessington led the conversa- 
tion with the brilliancy and ease for which she is remarkable 
over all the women I ever met .... 

^ O'Connell was mentioned. 

*' ' He is a powerful creature,' said Moore ; ' but his eloquence 
has done great harm both to England and Ireland. There is 
nothing so powerful as oratory. The faculty of *' thinking on his 
legs^ is a tremendous engine in the hands of any man^ There 
is an undue admiration for this faculty, and a sway permitted 
to it which was always more dangerous to a country than any 

thing else. Lord A is a wonderful instance of what a man 

may do wUhtntt talking. There is a general confidence in him — 
a universal belief in his honesty, which serves him instead. 
Feel is a fine speaker, but, admirable as he had been as an Op- 
positionist, he failed when he came to lead the House. O'Con- 
nell would be irresistible, were it not for the two blots on his 
character — ^the contributions in Ireland for his support, and his 
refusal to give satisfaction to the man he is still willing to at- 
tack. They may say what they will of dueling : it is the great 
preserver of the decencies of society. The old school, whioh 




152 8EAMORE PLACE. 

made a man responBible for his worda, was the better. I mnst 
confess I think so. Then, in O'Connell's case, he had not made 
his vow against dueling when Peel challenged him. He ac- 
cepted the challenge, and Peel went to Dover on his way to 
France, where they were to meet ; and O'Connell pleaded his 
wife's illness, and delayed till the law interfered.* Some other 
Irish patriot, about the same time, refused a challenge on ac- 
count of the illness of his daughter, and one of the Dublin wits 
made a good epigram on the two : 

'* Some men, with a horror of slaughter, 
Improve on the Scripture conmiand, 
And * honor their* wife and their daughter, 
* That their days may be long in the land.' " 

The great period of Ireland's glory,' continued Moore, * was be- 
tween '82 and '98, and it was a time when a man almost lived 
with a pistol in his hand. Grattan's dying advice to his son 
was, " Be always ready with the pistol ! " He himself never hes- 
itated a moment ' 

" Talking of Grattan, is it not wonderful, with all the agitation 
in Ireland, we have had no such man since his time 1 You can 
scarcely reckon Shiel of the calibre of her spirits of old, and 
O'Connell, with all his faults, stands alone in his glor}'. 

"The conversation I have given is a mere skeleton, of course . . . 

" This discussion may be supposed to have occupied the hour 
af^r Lady Blessington retired from the table ; for with her van- 
ished Moore's excitement, and every body else seemed to feel 
that light had gone out of the room. Her excessive beauty is 
less an inspiration than the wondrous talent with which she 
draws from every person around her his peculiar excellence. 
Talking better than any body else, and narrating, particularly, 
with a graphic power that I never saw excelled, this distin- 
guished woman seems striving only to make others unfold them- 
selves ; and never had diffidence a more apprehensive and en- 

♦ There arc many statements made and opinions expressed by Mr. Willis in 
the extracts abore given, with regard to which, silence, it is hoped, will not bo 
taken for acquiescence in their justice. — R, R. M. 



SEAMORE PLACE. 153 

couraging listener. But this is a subject with which I should 
never be done. 

" We went up to coffee, and Moore brightened again over his 
chasse-caje, and went glittering on with criticisms on Grisi, the 
delicious songstress now ravishing the world, whom he placed 
above all but Pasta ; and whom he thought, with the exception 
that her legs were too short, an incomparable creature. This 
introduced music very naturally, and with a great deal of dif- 
ficulty he was taken to the piano. My letter is getting long, 
and I have no time to describe his singing. It is well known, 
however, that its effect is only equaled by the beauty of his 
own words ; and, for one, I could have taken him into my heart 
with my delight. He makes no attempt at music. It is a kind 
of admirable recitative, in which every shade of thought is syl- 
labled and dwelt upon, and the sentiment of the song goes 
through your blood, warming you to the very eyelids, and start- 
ing your tears, if you have a soul or sense in you. I have heard 
of women's fainting at a song of Moore's ; and if the burden of 
it answered by chance to a secret in the bosom of the listener, 
I should think, from its comparative effect upon so old a stager 
as myself, that the heart would break with it. 

"We all sat around the piano, and after two or three songs 
of Lady Blessington's choice, he rambled over the keys a while, 
and sang 'When first I met thee' with a pathos that beggars 
description. When the last word had faltered out, he rose and 
took Lady Blessington's hand, said good-night, and was gone 
before a word was uttered."* 

In a former edition of " the Pencilings," there are some refer- 
ences to one of the literary men of distinction he met on the oc- 
casion above referred to which do not exist in the later edition. 
In these references there are some remarks, intended to be smart 
sayings, exceedingly superficial and severe, as well as unjust ; 
but there are other observations which are no less true than 
happily expressed, especially with regard to the descriptive and 
conversational powers of one of the most highly gifted of all the 
celebrities of Gore House society. 

♦ Pencilings by the Way, p. 360 to 307. 
H2 



154 SSAMORK FLAGS. 

^ Disraeli liad tniTed before me at Lady BlesimgtoaHi, and 
sat in the deep window, looking out upon Hyde Park, with the 
last rays of daylight reflected from the gorgeous gold flowers 
of a splendidly embroidered waistcoat. Patent leather pumps, 
a white stick, with a black cord and tassel, and a quantity of 
chains about his neck and pockets, served to make him, even in 
the dim light, rather a conspicuous object. B'Israeli has one 
of the most remarkable faces I oyer saw. He is lividly pale, 
and, but for the energy of his action and the strength of his 
lungs, would seem a Tictim to consumption. His eye is black 
as Erebus, and has the most mocking and lying-in-wait sort of 
expression conceivahle .... 

*' His hair is as extraordinary as his taste in waistcoats. A 
thick, heavy mass of jet black ringlets falls over his left cheek 
almost to his collarless stock, while on the right it is parted 
and put away with the smooth carefulness of a girl's, and shines 
most omctuously 

" * With thy incomparable oil, Macassar.* 

D'Israeli was the only one at table who knew Beckford, and the 
style in which he gave a sketch of his habits and manners was 
worthy of himself. I might as well attempt to gather up the 
foam of the sea as to convey an idea of the extraordinary lan- 
guage in which he clothed his description. There were at least 
five words in every sentence that must have been very much as- 
tonished at the use they were put to, and yet no others appar- 
ently could so well have conveyed his idea. He talked like a 
race-horse approaching the winning post, every muscle in ac- 
tion, and the utmost energy of expression flung out in every 
burst. Victor Hugo and his extraordinary novels came next 
under discussion ; and Disraeli, who was fired with his own 
eloquence, started ofi*, apropos des bottes, with a long story of 
impalement he had seen in Upper Egypt. It was as good, and, 
perhaps, as authentic as the description of the chow-chow-tow 
in * Vivian Grey.' The circumstantiality of the account was 
equally horrible and amusing. Then followed the suflerer's 
history, with a score of murders and barbarities, heaped to- 



BRkUORE PLACE, 



135 



gotber, like Martiu*^ feiui of Belshas^ar* with a mixture of hor* 
ror and spleodor that wa^ unparalleled in my experience of im- 
provisation. No mystic pneet of thcj t'oiybiwites could have 
worked hinuelf up into a tiuer phxensy of laufruai^e.'' 

My recoileclion of the scene to which I think Mr. WiUi« al- 
lyde» is of a very difiercnt kind, ao far a^ relates to the impres* 
Bion made by tins truly extraordinary powers of deacription of 
Mr. D'kraeli. 

Uaydon, in bis diary, 27th of February, 1835, writea, ** Went 
to Lady Bleaaington*s in the evening ; every body goes to Lady 
^leaaiogton. 8he had the iir&t news of every tbinicr, luid every 
body aeems delighted to tell her. No woman will he inure 
misaod, She ig the centre of more talent and gayoty than any 
other woman of fashion in London/'* 

In the summer of 1833, Lady Blessington met with a severe 
loss. Her house in Seamorc Plaeo woi broken into at night by 
tliievea, and plate and jewelry to tlic valne of about J^IC 
were carried off, and never afterw'ard recovered. This wii« th 
lirst disaster in tlie way of losti of property that occurred to her, 
A few years later, she was destined to eee every thing swept 
away she wa:* aceuetonied to set a store on, every object of lux- 
ury that had become a neeessity to the splendid misery of her 
mode of life — costly furniture, maguifiecnt mirrors, adornments 
of aalons, valuable pictures* portraits by the first masters, all the 
literary baubles of tbo hmidoir and precious umaments of tfa 
person, rarities from every land, books elegantly bound, and pe 
haps more prized than all bcr other treasures. 

Lady Blessington removed from 8eamore Place to the morri 
apacious and elegant mansion of Gore Houie^ KensiAgpton Gore, 
the former abode of William Wilbcrforce, in Uie early part n\' 
1836. And here her iadymhip remained till the 14th of April, 
ld4d. 



ooftE iiotras. 



MpAay pcnoa ae^iuaiiited with Lady Blcasm^n when teMkng 

' ii tka villa B^lvidam at Naples, the Palaiexo Nefn^ne at Eome, 

* MeaKHn »( B. K. Hajrtlm. roL iti^, 71. IS. 



156 OORE HOUSE. 

her delightful residence at 'Seamore Place in London, and her 
latest English place of abode in Gore House, must have ob- 
served the remarkable changes that had come over her mind at 
the difierent epochs of her career in intellectual society and in 
fashionable life from 1823 to 1849. 

In I^aples,the charm of Lady Blessington's conversation and 
society was indescribably effective. The genial air, the beau- 
tiful scenery of the place, and all the *' influences of the sweet 
South," seemed to have delighted, soothed, and spiritualized her 
feelings. A strong tendency to fastidiousness of taste, to weari- 
ness of mind in the enjoyment of any long-continued entertain- 
ment or amusement, to sudden impulses of hastiness of temper 
(as distinguished from habitual ill-humor), had been subdued 
and softened by those changes of scenery and '' skiey influ- 
ences ;'' and, above all, there was observable in her animal spir- 
its a flow of hilarity, a natural vivacity, such as those who knew 
her in early life were well aware had belonged to her childhood, 
and which, having been restrained and checked to some extent, 
had resimied, in the south of Italy, its original character of out- 
bursting gtute du cctur. The ringing laugh of joyous girlhood, 
which Mrs. Jordan used to act to such perfection, was a reality 
with Lady Blessington in those merry moods of hers in Naples, 
which were then, indeed, neither " few nor far between." 

In society Lady Blessington was then supremely attractive ; 
she was natural and sprightly, and spirituelle in proportion to 
lier naturalness, and utter absence of all appearance of an efibrt 
to be cfiectivc in conversation. 

At the distance of a period of three years from the time of 
my departure from Naples, when I next met Lady Blessington 
at Rome, that vivacity to which 1 have referred seemed to me 
to have been considerably impaired. She had become more of 
a learned lady, a queen regnant in literary circles, expected to 
speak with authority on subjects of art and literature, and less 
of the agreeable woman, eminently graceful, and full of gayety, 
whom I had parted with in Naples in 1824. But she was at 
all times attractive and triumphant in her eflbrts to reign in the 
society she moved in ; and she was, moreover, at all times kind- 
ly dif»not»ed and faithful in her friendships. 



GORE HOUSE. 



157 



After an interval of nearly five years, I renewed my acquaint- 
ance with Lady BiesHington in fc>eamore Place. It was evident 
that another great *' change had come over the spirit of her 
dfeam" of liie since I had last seen her. Cares, and troubles, 
and trials of various kinds had befallen her, and left, ii' not vis- 
ible external traces^ at least perceptible internal evidence of 
their effects. 

After a lapae of two or three yeara, my acquaintance wit>i 

if Bleasington was renewed at Gore House. The new estab- 
liffbment was on a scale of magnificence exceeding even tliat of 
jE^eajuoro iUace. 

The brilliant society by which she was surrounded did not 
seem to have contributed much to her felicity. There wa^a no 
happiness in the circles of Gore House comparable to that of 
the Palazzo Belvidere in Naples. There was manifestly a great 
intellectual elibrt made to keep up the charm of that society, 
and no less manifest was it that a great pecuniary cirort was 
making to meet the hirge expenditure of the establishment that 
was aM«ntial for it. That society was felt by her to be a ne- 
cessity in England, It had been a luxury in Italy, and had been 
eiyoyed there without anxiety for cost, or any experience! of the 
wear and t^ar of life that is connected with arduoua exertions 
to maintain a position in London haul tan society^ acquired with 
diihcuity, and often supported under continually increasing em- 
barrassments. 

But, notwitlistanding the symptoms of care and anxiety that 
were noticeable in Lady Bleasi&gion^s appearance and conver- 
sation at that period of her Gore House celebrity^ her powers 
of attraction and of pleasing had lost none of their iiiHuences. 
There were a higher class of men of great intellect at her smrhs 
than were formerly wont to congregate about her. Lady Bless- 
ingion no longer spoke of books and bookish men with difB* 
dtfoce, or any marked deference far the opinions of other per- 
sons : she laid down the law of her own sentiments in convcr^ 
sation ratiier dogmatically ; she aimed more at saying smart 
things than heretofore, and seemed more desirous of congrega- 
tbig celebrities of distinction in her salons than of gathering 



15a QORB HOU8K. 

imud Imt pt<q^o adlely for the agrmmu of tiusir aociety, or any 
l^uUaiiliet in their charmcters or acquirements. 

There was more of gravity and formality in her amoersazumes 
than there had heen wont to he, and the conTersation generally 
was no longer of that gay, enliTening, cheerful character, abound- 
ing in drollery and humor, which made the great charm of her 
thuMons in the villa Belvidere, and in a minor degree in Sea- 
more Place. 

In Grore House society. Lady Blessington had given herself a 
mission, in which she labored certainly with great assiduity and 
wonderful success — ^that of bringing together people of the same 
pursuits, who were rivals in them for professional distinction, 
and inclining competitors for fame in politics, art, and literature, 
to tolerant, just, and charitable opinions of one another. This, 
most assuredly, was a very good and noble object, and in her 
efforts to attain it she was well seconded by Count D'Orsay. 

The count, indeed, not only devoted his talents to this object, 
but extended his aims to the accomplishment of a purpose cal- 
culated to do a great deal of good ; to remove the groundless 
misapprehensions of iwacquainted intellectual people of neigh- 
boring countries, the fruitful cause of national jealousies and an- 
tipathies ; to remove the prejudices which had raised barriers 
even in the best societies between English people and foreign- 
ers, to level distinctions on account of difference of country, and 
to unite the high intelligences of various nations in bonds of 
social intercourse. 

The party warfare that is waged in art, literature, and politics, 
it seemed to be the main object of the mistress of Gore House, 
in the high sphere in which she moved, to assuage, to put an 
end to, and, when interrupted, to prevent the recurrence of. It 
was astonishing with what tact this object was pursued ; and 
those only who have seen much of the correspondence of Lady 
Blessington can form any idea of the labor she imposed on her- 
self in removing unfavorable impressions, explaining away dif- 
ferences, inducing estranged people to make approaches to an 
accommodation, to meet and to be reconciled. These labors 
were not confined to people of the studio or of literary pursuits ; 



GOBS UOU8S. 150 

grave politieuuis and loleiiin statesmen, great legal fbnetioBa- 
ries, and even divinesy have been largely indebted to them. Sbe 
threw hereelf into those labors with an earnestness which seem- 
ed almost incredible to those who were aecnstomed to the re- 
serve and absence of all demonstrativeness of feeling that is sup- 
posed to characterize the huU Ion of English society. 

Mackintosh, in his beautifnl ^ Life of Sir Thomas More,* en- 
forcing the virtue of moderation and tolerance of opinim, and 
reprobating the vulgar brutality of ^ hating men lor their opin- 
ions," said, '^ All men, in the fierce contests of eontending fac- 
tions, should, from such an example, learn the wisdom to fear, 
lest in their most hated antagonist they may strike down a 8ir 
Thomas More ; for assuredly virtue is not so narrowed as to be 
confined to any party, and we have in the case of More a sigail 
example, that the nearest approach to perfect excellence does 
not exempt men from mistakes which we may jnstly deem mis- 
chievous. It is a pregnant proof that we should beware of hat- 
ing men for their opinions, or of adopting their doctrines beeanse 
we love and venerate their virtues." ' 

But the high purposes to which I have referred as actuating 
Lady Blessington and the Count I>X>rsay, namely, of bringing 
together eminent and estimable people of similar pnrsnits, isrho 
had been estranged from one another, at variance, or on bad 
terms, did not interfere occasionally with the exercise of the pe- 
culiar talents and inclinations of both for drawing out absord or 
eccentric people for the amusement of their visitors. 

One of the visitors who firequented Gore House about 1837 
and 1838 was a very remarkable old French gentleman, then 
upward of seventy years of age, whom I had known intimately 
both in France and England — ^' Monsienr Jnlien ie jenna de 
Paris,'' as he styled himself. 

He had &g}ired in the great French Bevolntion — had been 
patronised by Robespierre, and employed by him in Paris and 
in the south of France in the Reign of Terror. It was generally 
asserted and believed that he had voted for the death of Louis 
the Sixteenth. That, however, watf not the fact. It was Mon- 
sieur Julien I'ain^ ndio gave his voice for the execution oi Us 



160 OCRS HOUSE. 

Boyereign. I believe, moreorer, that Monsieur Julien le jeune, 
though employed under Robespierre, and at one time even act- 
ing as his secretary, ivas not a man of blood de son grey though 
a very ardent Republican at the period of the regime of terror. 

If my poor friend. Monsieur Julien le jeune, w&b for some time 
a minister of that system, he certainly repented of it, and made 
all the atonement, as he thought, that could be made by him, by 
his connection with a number of philanthropical societies, and 
the advocacy of the abolition of the punishment of death, the 
slave-trade, and slavery, and also by the composition of various 
works of a half moral, part political and polemical kind, and a 
considerable quantity of lachrymose poetry, chiefly devoted to 
the illustration of the wrongs and persecutions he had sufiered 
for his country and his opinions. His pieces on this subject, 
which were extremely lengthy and doleful, he called " Mes Cha- 
grins Politiques" 

Julien had commenced ** patriotic declamation" at a very 
early period of his career, on the great stage of the Revolution 
of 1789. Touchard la Fosse, in his " Souvenirs d'un demi si^cle," 
makes mention of him at Bordeaux, at the time that Tallien, one 
of the leading Terrorists, was there on his mission of extermina- 
tion, seeking out the last remains of the fugitive Girondists. 
The future Madame Tallien, an enchantress of the Corinne 
school, daughter of the Spanish banker Monsieur Cabarrus, then 
bearing the name of Madame Fontenay, was also at Bordeaux, 
at that time " in the dawn of her celebrity.'* 

" It was one day announced," says Touchard la Fosse, " that 
a beautiful citizeness had composed a wonderfully patriotic ora- 
tion, which would be delivered at the club by a young patriot 
named Julien (who subsequently, during the Empire, held sev- 
eral important posts in the military administration, and who, 
since the Restoration better known as Julien de Paris, was, in 
conjunction with the estimable Amaury Duval, the founder of 
the * Revue Encyclopedique'). 

" The following decade was the time fixed for the delivery of 
liis discourse. The club Was full. All eyes were bent upon a 
young woman dressed in a riding habit of dark blue kerseymere 



Qomm HocsB. ici 




faced and ^inmmmA wUh red TelTci. Upoa ha WiiMlifai Uack 
hair, cropped a la TUus, then a pei£e€tiy new iaaukni. wa* iijxs^ 
ly set, on one side, a ■carlet eap trimmed vitb im. Mmdun^ 
Fontenay is said to hare been most bemtafnl in iJEus astm. 

** The oration, admirably well read by Citizem JnJiieB. nsrivic 
wonderful admiration. Its eommonplare yMXnxfOK decjJDBaxmi* 
lighted up by a reflection of the admiration feet im tbe amLcff. 
gained it the utmost praise. Ui 
address of the president, honors of the i 
remunerations of popular aasemUiea, '^ 
beautiful patriot." 

'' Le Cher Julien" thus, we find, had eoDunewMd kif mtUtr <tf 
patriotic recitations some forty-three or four yean prericMu^ lo 
his exhibitions in Seamore Place. The first peiiMuianoe was 
in the presence of a Tcry eelebrated French encimjitRaf . wW 
reigned in Revolutionary circles, and the htteA was in llbe pf«a» 
ence of an Irish enchantress, who reigned orer htetarj CudhMi- 
able society in London. 

At the period oi his sojourn in London his h«ad was £2i«d 
with these '' Chagrins." As recnhuly as he pRsented hznueif 
in the eyenings at the salons of Lady Bleacington, he br^yagtct 
with him, on each occasion, a roll of paper in faij side podbet, 
consisting of some sheets of foolscap filled with his ** Chaininf ^ 
which would be seen projecting from the Weaat of his oMct, 
when, on entering the room, he would stoop to kiss the hand of 
Lady Blessington, after the manner of the potiahed eomtien id 
la VieUe Cour ; for Monsieur Julien le jeune, in his old age at 
least, was a perfect specimen of French conrtesy, and preserr<!<l 
very little of the burly bearing, or the sturdy manners or opin- 
ions of a Republican. 

Poor Julien le jeune, like D'Alembert, had the gift of shea- 
ding tears at pleasure, to iHiich i2m de larmes of D^AJ^mbert, Ja 
Harpe was indebted for the mee^M of one of his diai/iatic pie^^* . 

*' C'est k ce don de larmes que La Uarpe dut ie wtyi^n d^ ta 
Melanie. L'etiquette vonhut qu*on ent pieur*^ k *:^ 'ir^fn'u 
D'Alembert ne manqnait jamais d'aecompagner \a Harp«r, h 
prenait un air sMenx et compose, qui fixait d'abord raUention. 



102 ®<>*B HOV8B. 

An premier aote il faitftit remarquer les apex^aee philoeophiqiies 
de rouTrage ; en snite profitant du talent qu'il avait pour la pan* 
tomine, il plenrait tonjours anx mSmes endroits, ce qui imposait 
aux femmes la n^ssit^, de s'attendrir — et comment auraient 
elles eu lea yeux sees lorsqu'un philosophe fondait en laimes ?" 
Tom. ii., 10. 

It used to be a icene that it was most difficult to witness with 
due restraint^ and certainly not without great efforts at external 
composure, when Monsieur Julien le jeune, all radiant with 
smiles and overflowing with urbanity, having paid his devoirs 
to her ladyship, would be approached by Count DHDrsay, and 
with the eyes of the whole circle fixed on him (duly prepared 
to expect amusement), the poor old man would be entreated to 
favor Lady Blessington with the recital of another canto of his 
political afflictions. Then Julien would protest he had read all 
that was worth reading to her ladyship, but at length would 
yield to the persuasions of Lady Blessington with looks and ges- 
tures which plainly said, " lufandum Regina jubes renovare do- 
lorem." 

On the first occasion of my witnessing this scene, Julien had 
just gone through the usual formula of praying to be excused, 
and had made the protestation above referred to, when D'Orsay, 
with a gravity that was truly admirable, and surprising how it 
could be maintained, overcame all the reluctance assumed by 
poor old Julien le jeune to produce the poem expressly brought 
for recital, by renewed supplications, and on a novel plea for the 
reading of it. 

Thero was one present, the count observed, who had never 
heard the ^* Chagrins," long and earnestly as he desired that 
gratification, " N'est pas Madden vous n'avez jamais entendu les 
Chagrins Politiques de notre cher ami Monsieur Julien?*' 

All the reply that could be given was in a single word, 
"Jamais." 

" Aliens mon ami," continued D'Orsay. " Ce pauvre Madden 
a bicn besoin d'entendre vos chagrins politiques — ^il a les siens 
aussi — (I had been recently reviewed and reviled in some pe- 
riodicals) — II a soufiert — oui — il a des s3nnpathios pour les 



<KnS HOVSS. 1C3 

bleifl^ il fiutk dooner eetta triste pkkiT-— N'cat m pu Mad- 
den?" 

Another dire efibxt to respoad ia tlie affiraiatxTe, '^ Cm, Mob- 
Bieur le Comtc." 

Monsieur Jolien, after playim|^ off lor mmae mtmrtya all ike dif- 
fident airs of a bashful young lady dying to nag aad pioteitiag 
she can not, placed hinuelf at the upper cad of the bh 
a table with wax lights, pulled the idU of paper from kis I 
pocket, and began to recite his ** Chagnas Politiyiea* in a Boat 
lugubrious tone, like Mademoiselle Ducheaiois — aree les pliiiii 
dans la Toix. The saloon was crowded with distiafuished 
guests. On the left hand of the tender4ieasted poet aad meat 
doleful reciter of his own sorrows — this ywndam s cene t art ef 
Robespierre — ^was Lady Blessington, in her well-knowayeateail, 
looking most intently, and with ^yparent aaTioos selieitade, (oil 
in the face of the dolorous reciter. Bot it wonkl not do loir ame 
listening to the ^ Chagrins" to look too cmioiidy iate the eyes 
of that lady, lest he might pereetre any twiakiii^f theie iadiea^ 
tive of internal hilarity of a coammnicatiTe kiad. On die odier 
side of Monsieur Julien,but somriHut in frosrt of htnir sat Covat 
D'Orsay , with a handkerdiief oeeasioBaUy lilted to kis eyes ; 
and ever and anon a plandit or an exdamation of patn was wS^ 
tered by him at the recital of some particular ^ Chagrin.^ At 
the very instant when the aeeents of the reciter weie Wreomiag 
most exceedingly lugubrious and faadicions, and the diffieulty ef 
refraining from laughter was at its height, DH>nay was keaal 
to whisper in a soUo eoe«, as he leaned his head orer the baidk 
of the chair I sat on, '^ Pleurez done!" 

Doctor Ctuin, who was present at this scene, oae ef ike ri^ 
est, certainly, I erer witnessed, during the reettal cestribuled 
largely to its effect. Whenerer DX^rsay would seize on some par* 
ticular passage, and exclaim, ** Ah ^oe e'est bean !* then would 
(cluin's «' magnifique !" ""superber ^'▼raiemeiit beau!" be in- 
tonated with all due solemnity, and a call t>r that moving passage 
over again would be preferred and kindly complied witii, so that 
there was not one of Monsieur Julien's ** Chagrins Folitiqttss'' 
which was not reeeiTod with the most marked attenttoa and ap. 
plaiiffp. 



IM GORB HOUSE. 

At the conelttflion of each " Chagrin," poor Julien's eyes were 

always sure to be bathed with tears, and as much so at the 
latest recital of his oft-repeated griefs as at the earliest delivery 
of them. 

It was always in this melting mood, at the conclusion of a re- 
cital, he was again conducted by the hand to the fauteuil of Lady 
Blessington by D'Orsay, and there bending low, as the noble 
lady of the mansion graciously smiled on him, he receiyed com- 
pliments and consolations, most liberally bestowed on his '' Cha- 
grins Politiques." 

Of one of those displays of D'Orsay's peculiar power in draw- 
ing out absurd, eccentric, or outre people of a similar kind, one 
of the most distinguished writers of his time thus writes in 
April, 1838: 

" Count D'Orsay may well speak of an evening being a happy 
one to whose happiness he contributed so largely. It would be 
absurd, if one did not know it to be true, to hear Dickens tell, as 
he has done ever since, of Count D'Orsay's power of drawing 
out always the best elements of the society around him, and of 
miraculously putting out the worst. Certainly 1 never saw it 
so marvelously exhibited as on the night in question. I shall 
think of him hereafter unceasingly, with the two guests that sat 
on either side of him that night. But it has been impossible 
for me to think of him at any time since I have known him but 
with the utmost admiration, affection, and respect, which genius 
and kindness can suggest to every one." 

The last time I met Monsieur Julien was at a breakfast given 
by Colonel Leicester Stanhope, on which occasion many remark- 
able persons were assembled. Julien, at that period, had aban- 
doned his ** Chagrins Politiques," and adopted a new plan of 
attracting attention. He exhibited a small dial, on the circum- 
ference of which, in opposite directions, moral and evil tenden- 
cies were marked, and to these a movable index pointed, show- 
ing the virtue to be cultivated when any particular defect in 
character was referred to. This instrument Monsieur Julien 
called his " Horloge Moral." The old man was lapsing fast into 
second childhood, but with his senility a large dash of charlo' 



THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE 



165 



ianme was very obviously combined. On the occasion I allude 
to, a brother of Napoleon, one of the ex*kiiig& of the Bonaparte 
family, was present lor a Bhort time, but on seeing Monsieur 
Julicn he immediately departed. Poor L. E. L., who was one 
of the guesta, was singled out by Julicn for special instruction 
in the use of the ** Horloge Moral/' and she allowed herself to 
be victimized with moat exemplary patience and good humor, 
while Monsieur Julicn was showing off' the latest product of 
hia ethical and inventive faculties. 



CHAPTEE rah 



THE £REAK*UP AT GORE HOUaS* 

Pooa Lady BlessingtonT when she launched into the enormooi 
expenditure of her magnificent establishments, first in Seamorc 
Place, next in Keasin^^on Gore, had little idea of the ditficultieo 
of her position in tlie fashionable world, with a jointure of 
iTUOOO a year, to meet aJi the extensive and incessant claims on 
her resources, and those claims on them also of at least seven 
or eight persons, members of her family, who were mainly de- 
pendent on her. Little was she aware of the nature of those 
literary pursuits^ and the precariousnesa of their remuneration, 
from which she imagined she could derive secure and perma- 
nent emolument, that would make such an addition to her ordi- 
nary income as would enable her to make head against the vast 
expenditure of her mode of life — an expenditure which the most 
constant anxiety to reduce within reasonable limits, by an econ- 
omy of the most rigid kind in small household matters, Wi 
wholly inadequate to accomplish.* 

A lady of quality, who sits down in fashionable life to g< 
livelihood by literature, or a large portion of the means nec< 

* Lftdy Btet^infUiTi*« f unetUAlity and strictn«flii in examining ftccotrnte ml rrg- 

aad Ilia ' M<i>tioii, wr r r^*» 

wrre jwrt r^fiftrr of §ut*%i^ , uriko^e, u s ftfereaee for 

dMti, ifi^t I tlw apCQWiia of L : I 



I 



X66 'WB BKBAK-UP AT OORX HOUSE. 

saiy to sufltiin her in tliat position, at the hands of pnblisheis, 
had better build any other description of castles in the air, or, if 
ghe must dream of " chateans en Eqiagne," let it be of some 
order of architecture less Tisionary. 

Charles Lamb, the inimitable quaint teller of solemn truths, 
in amusing terms, in a letter to Bernard Barton, the Cluaker 
poet, in 1823, thus speaks of '^ literature as a caUing to get a 
lirelihood." 

^ What ! throw yourself on the world without any rational plan 
of support beyond what the chance of employment of booksell- 
ers would afibrd you ? Throw yourself rather, my dear sir, from 
the steep Tarpeian rock slap-dash, headlong down upon iron 
spikes. 

" I have known many authors want bread : some repining, 
others enjoying the sweet security of a spunging house ; all 
agreeing they had rather have been tailors, weayers, what not, 
rather than the things they were ! I have known some starved 
— some go mad — one dear friend literally dying in a work-house. 

" ! you know not, may you never know, the miseries of sub- 
sisting by authorship ! Tis a pretty appendage to situations like 
yours or mine, but a slavery worse than all slavery to be a book- 
seller's dependent; to drudge your brains for pots of ale and 
breasts of mutton ; to change your free thoughts and voluntary 
numbers for ungracious task-work ! The booksellers hate us." 

If Lamb had been an Irishman, one might imagine that the 
" h** in the penultimate word was an interpolation of some sar- 
castic copyist, who had been infelicitous in authorship, and that 
we should read ate, and not hate. Emolument from literature 
must have been looked to by Lady Blessington, not in the sense 
of Lamb's pretty appendage to his situation, but as a main re- 
source, to meet an expenditure which her ordinary income could 
not half suffice for. 

The establishment of Gore House, and the incidental expendi- 
ture of its noble mistress, could not have been less than i^4000 
a year. Lady Blessington's jointure was only i^OOO^ But 
then it must be borne in mind, a very large portion of that ex- 
penditure was incurred for aid and asaistance given to mombers 



THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 



167 



of her fftinily, and that she frequently stated in her letters, par- 
ticularlj^ in those to Mr, Landor^ that nothinjE: would induce her 
to continue her litcrar)' labors but to be eno^bled to provide tor 
those who were dependent on her. 

There is a passage in a letter of Hit Walter Scott, in reference 
to the costly eiTortft inado by a lady of literary tastes iu maintain 
a position in literary society, or rather to be the centre of a Ut^ 
erary circle, which well deserrcs attention. 

In his diary while in Italy, {^ir Walter makes mention of ** Lyd- 
ia White.** »* Went to poor Lydia White*», and found her ex- 
tended on a couch » frightfully swelled, unable to sttr» rouged. 
jig^ and dying. Hhe has a good hearty and is really a clever 
ratnre ; but unhappily, or rather happily, she has set the 
I ^whole ttafl* of her life in keeping literary society about her. The 
world has not neglected her ; it is not always so bad as it is 
called, 8he can always make up her circle, and generally has 
some people of real talent and distinction. 8he is wealthy, to 
iW sure, and gives petits diners^ but not in a style to carry the 
vnt ^ fi>r€9 d*argmt. In her case the world is good-natured, 
perhaps it is more frequently so than ta generaUy sup- 
f^sed/-* 

Of the fake position of dbtingiushed women in society, it has 
Veen very justly observed, in a notice of the life of Madame de 
Ftael : 

" The aspect of ill-will makes women tremble, however dis~ 

^tingnished they may be. Courageous in misfortune, they arc 

« timid against enmity. Thought ex.alts tliem, yet tlieir character 

Temains feeble and timid. Most of the wotneu in whom the 

i^|>otsession of high faculties has awakened the desire of fame, 

sre like Erminia in her warlike accoutrements. The warriors 

sec the casque, the lance, the shining plume ; they expect to 

meet force, they attack with violence, and with the first stroke 

reach the heart.'* 

Troubles and adlictions of %'ariou8 kinds had fallen on Lady. 
Blessington, in quick succession, from the year 1843. The 
of fortune And the loss of friends, trials of difierent kinds, 
• LeoklMtt's U§t oi Sif W §0011 



1^ THE BKSAK-UP AT GORE HOU8S. 

cuniaiy difficulties, and humiliatioiiB, had followed each other 
with little intermission of late years. In the latter part of 1845, 
the effects of the potato blight and the famine in Ireland made 
themselves felt in the magnificent salons in London and on the 
Continent, even in the place of sojourn of the Irish aristocracy. 
The sumptuous apartments of Gore House were made intimately 
acquainted with them. 

By the robbery of plate, jewelry, and other valuables, that 
was committed in Lady filessington's house in Seamore Place, a 
loss of upward of J^IOOO had been sustained. By the failure 
of Charles Heath, the engraver, she incurred a loss of J^700. 

The difficulties of Count D'Orsay had contributed also not in 
a small degree to the derangement of her affidrs ; and those dif- 
ficulties had commenced at a very early period of his career in 
London, while Lady Blessington was residing in Seamore Place, 
and the count in a small house in Curzon Street, nearly opposite 
Lord Chesterfield's. The count was arrested, soon after his ar- 
rival in England, for a debt of JETSOO to his boot-maker in Paris, 
Mr. McHenry, and was only saved from imprisonment by the 
acceptance, on the part of his creditor, of bail on that occasion.* 

In October, 1846, when difficulties were pressing heavily on 
Lady Blessington, she received a letter (in the handwriting of 
a lady who signs herself M. A.), from which the following ex- 
tract appears to have been taken : 

" Well may it be said, * Sweet are the uses of adversity,' which, 
like the toad, ugly and venomous, bears yet a precious jewel in 
its head ! ! and its chief advantage is, that it enables us to 
judge our real friends from false ones. Rowland Hill on one 
occasion (preaching to a large congregation on men's trust in 
the friendship of the world) observed, that his own acquaint- 

* 1 have been informed hy Mr. McHeno' that he had allowed that debt to re- 
main unsettled for many years, and had consented to accept the security finally 
offered to him on account of the ver>' large obli{rations he felt under to the count ; 
for the mere fact of its being known in Paris that Count D^Orsay's boots wore 
made by McHcnry, had procured for him the custom of all the tip-top exquisites 
of Paris. Similar obligations existed in London, with similar relations between 
the debtors and the indebted ; and similar results there between the count and his 
tradesmen, but sometimes not of a nature so agreeable, frequently took place. 



THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE 



169 



ancet would probably fill the church ; and he was quite certaia 
that his friends^ at the most, would only fill tho pulpit. Thus 
many may say, and those, too, who may have expended thou- 
•aadg la entertaining selfiah and eold-hearted men, who would 
not render them a real aervice if they wanted one« or give a 
aigh to their memory on hearing of their decease." 

Poor Lady Blcsslngton^s mind was ill at ease when she set 
down the following observations in her commonplace book : 

*^ Great trials demand great courage, and all our energy is 
called up to enable us to bear them. But it ts tho minor cares 
of life that wear out the body, because, singly and in detail, they 
do not appear sufficiently important to engage us to rally our 
force and spirits to support them* , . - , . Many minds that have 
withstood the most severe trials have been broken down by a 
aucceseion of ignoble cares," 

How much bitter experience must it have required to say so 
much in so few words ? *' When the sun shines on you, you 
see your friends. It requires sunshine to be seen by them to 
Advantage. WhUc it lasts, we are visible to them ; when it la 
gone, and our horizon is overcast, they are invisible to us/* 

And elsewhere, another *' Night Thought" is to a similar ef- 
fect: 

" Friends are the thermometers by which we may judge the 
* temperature of our fortunes/* 

" There is no knowledge for which so great a price is paid as 
a knowledgi^ of the world ; and no one ever became an adept in 
it except at the expense of a hardened or a woonded heart. 

•*M. B/' 



Lady Bleuington makes reference to " a &icnd of long stand 
ing, and deeply interested in her welfare," who had been con- 
sulted by her at the period of her most serious embarrassments, 
and who had addressed the following letter to her ladyship, with- 
out date or name, but probably written in 1848 : 

** My dsabbst FBis]ti»> — Vou do tioi do m* nmfw tliati jiMtipii m lb* heUti 
Uat I mod AiUy lynipaduMi with all jour iroiiblct, ood I dball li» only ttio 
liAppj If my adTioe can in mnj way aMist jou. 
Vol, r,— H 



170 1*H£ BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 

'* Fint Ai to your jointure, nothing in law is so indisputable as tliat a 
widow*s jointure takes precedence of every other claim on an estate. The 
Teiy first money the agent receives from the property should go to the dis- 
charge of this claim. No subsequent mortgages, annuities, encumbrances, 
law-suits, expenses of management, &c., can be permitted to interfere with 
the payment of jointure ; and as, whatever the distress of the tenants or the 
embarrassments of the estate, it is clear that some rents must have come in 
half-yearly, so, on those rents, you have an indisputable right ; and I think, 
on consulting your lawyer, he will put you in a way, either by a memorial to 
Chancery or otherwise, to secure in future the regular payment of this life- 
charge. Indeed, on property charged with a jointure, although the rents are 
not paid for months after the proper dates, the jointure must be paid on the 
regular days ; and if not, the proprietor would become liable to immediate lit- 
igation. I am here presuming that you but ask for the jointure, due quarterly 
or half-yearly, and not in advance, which, if the afiairs are in Chancery, it 
would be illegal to grant. 

'* Secondly. With respect to the diamonds, would it be possible or expedi- 
ent to select a certain portion (say half), which you least value on their own 
account, and, if a jeweler himself falls too short in his offer, to get him to sell 
them on commission 1 You must remember that every year, by paying in- 
terest on them, you arc losing money on them, so that in a few years you 
may thus lose more than by taking at once less than their true value. There 
are diamond merchants, who, I believe, give more than jewelers ; and if you 
know Anthony Rothschild, and would not object to speak to him, he might 
help you. 

** Thirdly. With respect to an illustrated work, I like your plan much ; and 
I think any falling off is to be attributed to a relaxation in Heath himself, of 
proper attention to the interests of the illustrations. You have apparently, 
some idea as to the plan and conception. I fancy that illustrations of our 
most popular writers might be a novelty. Illustrations from Shakspeare — not 
the female characters only, but scenes from the plays themselves — by good 
artists, and the letter-press bearing upon the subject, might make a very sale- 
able and standard work. Again (and I think better), in this day, illustrations 
from English scenery, ruins, and buildings might bo very popular ; in fact, 
if you could create a rational interest in the subject in the plates, your sale 
and profit would be both larger and more permanent on the first demand, and 
become a source of yearly income. 

'* You do perfectly right not to diminish your income by loans ; 

will wait your time, and I am sure that, with proper legal advice, you can in- 
sure the regular payments of your jointure in future. 

*' I think I have thus given you the best hints I can on the different points 
on which you have so kindly consulted me. I know well how, to those ac- 
customed to punctual payments, and with a horror of debt, pecuniary embar- 
rassments prey upon the mind. But I think they may be borne, not only with 



THK DREAJk-UP AT GORE llUUSE. 



171 



«a«e, but Willi iome degree of complacency^ wlion connected with luch gener- 
«li« devotions Aod affectioosle aervicea as those which must console you amid 
ah jfiur caros. In emptying your puTse, jou have at least Ulled your heart 
with conaolatiotiif which will long outloat what 1 trust will be but the troub- 
lea of a aeaaon.*'* 

In AprU, 1849, tlie clamors and importunate demanda of 
Lady Blessing^ton's creditora harassed her, and made it evident 
that an inevitable cra»h waa coming. Bho had given bills to 
her bankers, and her bond Hkewiie^ for varioua advances, in 
anticlpntion of her jmntnrc, to an amount approaching to -£1500* 
Immediately after the eale, tho bankers acknowlcdj^rd having 
received from Mr, Phillips, the auctioneer, by her order, the sum 
of JETI 500, leaving a balance only in their hands to her credit of 
£1 1 . She had the necessity of renewing bills frequently as they 
became due, and on the 24th of April, 1849, she had to renew 

a bill of hers to a Mr. for a very large amount, which 

would fall due on (hf 30th af the following month of May, fou? 
days only before ** the great debt of all debts'* was to be paid 
by her. 

In the spring of 1849, the long-menaced break-up of the 
tablishment of Gore House took place. Numerous creditJ 
bill-discounters, money-lenders, jewelers, laee- venders, tax-col- 
lectors, gas-company agents, all persons having claims to urge, 
pfessed them at this period simultaneously. An execution for 
a debt of i:4000 was at length put in by a house largely en- 
gaged in the silk, lace, India shawl, and fancy jewelry busi- 
ness. Borne arrangements were made, a life insurance was 
effected, but it became necessary to determine on a sate of the 
whole of the effects for the interest of all the creditors.* 8erT- 

* For aiMiot two yrant pit* nous to thn Wak^up at Oorw Houae, Lady Blesa* 
inftoQ liv*d in th« cotistant apprehfixiaioD of exocntioaa beiag put in, asid m 
lag pfikeatttions m the admisiioo of persons had to be taken both at ihfi o«iUr 
and hall-dt^r rtitranx:**. For a cisnuirliTmlile period, l«o, Count D^Oriay had 
in I ' 'in^cf t»f 3rr<*«t, ajiid was oMigrd lo ronliae him>iplf lo tJio houae 

gfi A on Sundays* and in the duak of the f^TCDiiig on other days AH 

IhiiAi 1 II <uis were, howerirr, at kngtb ba^fllcd by the ingenuity of a shrntTa 

Olfii - -, 'Atl.. < tTcct«d aa et)lrmoe« m a ditf^ise, the ludirrous&csa *>f wHirh had 
•oiD^^ ot liic characttristtea of farc«, which cotitmted atrao^ely aadpailiMly with 
Ih* dwiKHB^inmt of a ircry aonotis drama. 

tiidy SlanlAitoa wat iw^aooogf iafofm»dttyatqpfidM <i iiIs»f»Mi.«f Ibsfept 




172 THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE 

eral of the friends of Lady BlessingtCMi urged on her peconiary 
assistance, which would have prevented the necessity of hreak- 
ing up the estahlishment. But she declined all offers of this 
kind. The fact was, that Lady Blessington was sick at heart, 
worn down with cares and anxieties, wearied out with difficul- 
ties and emharrassments daily augmenting, worried with inces- 
sant claims, and tired to death with demands she could not 
meet. For years previously, if the truth was known, she was 
sick at the heart's core of the splendid misery of her position — 
of the false appearances of enjoyment in it — of the hollow 
smiles hy which it was surrounded— of the struggle for celeb- 
rity in that vortex of fashionable life and luxury in which she 
had been plunged, whirling round and round in a species of 
continuous delirious excitement, sensible of the madness of re- 
maining in the glare and turmoil of such an existence, and yet 
unable to stir hand or foot to extricate herself from its obvious 
dangers. 

The public sale of the precious artices of a boudoir, the bijou- 
terie and beautiful objects of art of the salons of a lady of fash- 
ion, awakens many reminiscences identified with the vicissitudes 
in the fortunes of former owners, and the fate of those to whom 
these precious things belonged. Lady Blessington, in her " Idler 
in France," alludes to the influence of such lugubrious feelings, 
when she went the round of the curiosity shops on the QrUai 
B'Orsay, and made a purchase of an amber vase of rare beauty, 
said to have belonged to the Empress Josephine. 

'' When I see the beautiful objects collected together in these 
shops, I often think of their probable histories, and of those to 
whom they belonged. Each seems to identify itself with the 
former owner, and conjures up in my mind a little romance." 

of the entrance of a sheriff's officer, and an execution being laid on her property, 
than she immediately desired the messenger to proceed to the count's room, and 
tell him that he must immediately prepare to leave England, as there would be no 
safety for him, once the fact was known of the execution having been levied. The 
count was at first incredulous — bah ! after hah ! followed each sentence of the ac- 
count given him of the entrance of the sheriff's officer. At length, after seeing 
Lady Blessington, the necessity for his immediate departure became apparent. 
The following morning, with a single portmanteau, attended by his valet, he set 
out for Paris, and thus ended the Lon^n life of Count D*Onay. 



TSB BKEAK.UP AT GORE HOUSE. 173 

" Yases of exquisite woikmanBhipy ehased gold etuisy enriched 
with Oriental agate and brilliants that had once probably be- 
longed to some grandes dames of the court ; pendules o£ gilded 
bronze, one with a motto in diamonds on the back — ^ Yous me 
faites oublier les heures' — a nuptial gift ; a flacon of most del* 
icate workmanship, and other articles of bijouterie, bright and 
beautiful as when they left the hands of the jeweler. The gages 
d'amour are scattered all around ; but the givers and receivers, 
where are they ? Mouldering in the grave long years ago. 

*' Through how many hands may these objects have passed 
since death snatched away the persons for whom they were 
originally designed ! And here they are, in the ignoble custody 
of some avaricious vendor, who, having obtained them at the 
sale of some departed amateur for less than their first cost, now 

expects to extort more than double the value of them ! 

'And so will it be when I am gone,' as Moore's beautiful song 
says ; the rare and beautiful bijouteries which I have collected 
with such pains, and looked on with such pleasure, will proba- 
bly be scattered abroad, and find their resting-places, not in gild- 
ed salons, but in the dingy cofiers of the wily brocanteurs^ whose 
exorbitant demands will preclude their finding purchasers."* 

The property of Lady Blessington ofiered for sale was thus 
eloquently described in the catalogue composed by that eminent 
author of auctioneering advertisements, Mr. Phillips : 

'* Costly and elegant efifects, comprising all the magnificent 
furniture, rare porcelain, sculptures in marble, bronzes, and an 
assemblage of objects of art and decoration, a casket of valuable 
jewelry and bijouterie, services of rich chased silver and sil- 
ver-gilt plate, a superbly-fitted silver dressing-case, collection 
of ancient and modem pictures, including many portraits of dis- 
tinguished persons ; valuable original drawings and fine engrav- 
ings, framed and in the portfolio ; the extensive and interesting 
library of books, comprising upward of 5000 volumes ; expen- 
sive table-services of china and rich cut glass, and an infinity 
of valuable and useful efiects, the property of the Eight Honor- 
able the Countess of Blessington, retiring to the Continent." 
* liie Idler in France, roi. u., p. 53. 



174 THE BREAK-UP AT OORE HOUSE. 

On the 10th of May, 1849, 1 viBited Gore House for the last 
time. The auction was going on. There was a large assem- 
blage of people of fashion. Every room was thronged ; the well- 
known library-saloon, in which the conversaziones took place, 
was crowded, but not with guests. The arm-chair in which the 
lady of the mansion was wont to sit w'as occupied by a stout, 
coarse gentleman of the Jewish persuasion, busily engaged in 
examining a marble hand extended on a book, tiie fingers of 
which were modeled from a cast of those of the absent mistress 
of the establishment. 

People, as they passed through the room, poked the furniture, 
pulled about the precious objects of art and ornaments of vari- 
ous kinds that lay on the table ; and some made jests and ribald 
jokes on the scene they witnessed. 

It was a relief to leave that room : I went into another, the 
dining-room, where I had frequently enjoyed, " in goodly com- 
pany," the elegant hospitality of one who was indeed a " most 
kind hostess." I saw an individual among the crowd of gazers 
there who looked thoughtful and even sad. I remembered his 
features. I had dined with the gentleman more than once in 
that room. He was a humorist, a facetious man — one of the 
editors of " Pimch ;" but he had a heart, with all his customary 
drollery, and penchant for fun and raillery. I accosted him, and 
said, " "We have met here under different circumstances." Some 
observations were made by the gentleman, which showed he 
felt how very different indeed they were. I took my leave of 
Mr. Albert Smith, thinking better of the class of facetious per- 
sons who are expected to amuse society on set occasions, as 
well as to make sport for the public at fixed periods, than ever 
I did before. 

In another apartment, where the pictures were being sold, 
portraits by Lawrence, sketches by Landseer and Maclise, in- 
numerable likenesses of Lady Blessington by various artists ; 
several of the Count D'Orsay, representing him driving, riding 
out on horseback, sporting, and at work in his studio ; his own 
collection of portraits of all the frequenters of note or mark in 
society of the villa Belvidere, the Palazzo Negroni, the Hotel 



THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 



175 



Ney, Seamore Place, and Gore House, in quick succesflioni were 
brought to the hammer. One whom I had known in most ol' 
thoflo manfiions* my old iHend Dr. Gtuin, I met in thii apart- 
ment. 

ThU was the most signal ruin of an establishment of a person 
of high rank I eTcr witnessed. Nothing of Talus was saved 
from the wreck, with the exception of the portrait of Lady Bless- 
iiigt(.)ti by Chalon^ and one or two other pictures. Here was a 
total smashy a crash on a grand scale of ruin, a compulsory sale 
in the house of a noble lady, a sweeping clearance of all its 
treasures. To the honor of Lady Blessington be it mentioned, 
she saved nothing, witli the few exceptions I have referred to, 
from the wreck. She might have preser\*ed her pictures, ob- 
jects of i;jrf//, bijouterie, 4f Cm of considerable value, but she said 
all she possessed should go to her creditors. 

There have been very exaggerated accounts of tbt? produce 
of the sale of the elTecta and furniture of Lady Blessington at 
Gore House. 

I am able to state, on authority, that the gross amount of the 
tale was i^l 3,385, and the net sum realized was JCI 1,985 4^. 

When it is considered that tlie funiiture of this splendid man* 
tion Wft« of the mo§t costly description — that the eflecta com- 
prised a very valuable library, consisting of several thousand 
Totumes, bijouterie^ ormolu candelabras and chandeliers, porce- 
lain and china ornaments, vases of exquisite workmanship, a 
number of pictures by iirst-ratc modern artists, the amount pro- 
duced by the sale will nppcar by no means large. 

The portrait of Lady Blessington, by Lawrence, which cost 
originally only jC80, I saw sold for X336. It was purchased for 
the Marquis of Hertford. The portrait of Lord Blessington, by 
tlie same artist, was puiehasod by Mr. Fuller fur £GB 5s, 

The admirable portrait of the Duke of Wellington, by Count 
B'Orsay, was purchased for J^189« for the Marquis of Hertford.* 

• Thit pirlMfi* wnM D*Oni»y*« thff-d'mttrt. Tbo iliikr, I w%» inf 
emintf •poki' of thin jKiftrnil M lUc one lio wtiutcl wmh tu be fcmcinl > 
ttiffr fc%n. lie a«<*d (fccjuendy. vrhcn ' 
in ia\] 6r»»%, to Gore lIottS9« to gir<i th« 

in any pmrt of tho droM whieH he *-. . m.-. ..«.. . ... -, 



tim*i til u nitirniUK. 

r<i wu m^trvmrn or 
inaiit on il» tmng 



176 THB BREAK-UP AT OORE HOUSE. 

LandBeer's celebrated picture of a spaniel sold for i?150 10#. 

Landseer's sketch of Miss Power was sold for jC57 lOs. 

Lawrence's pictores of Mrs. Inchbald were sold for jC48 6s. 

The following letter, from the French valet of Lady Blessing- 
ton, giving an account of the sale at Grore House, contains some 
passages, for those who make a study of human nature, of some 
interest. 

•* Can Boom, Keiwiastoii, Mmy BQx, 1840. 

** Mr LjlDT, — J'ai xe^ TOCn kttn hiar, et je me senus empresae d'y repon- 
die le meme jour, mais j*ai ete n oocape etant le premier de la Tente qu'il m'a 

ete impoerible de la hire, J'ai m Mr. P dana Tapi^ midi. D aTait on 

oommia id pour prendre le prix dea dlffinenta objeta vendu le 7 May, et qae 
Tona ares aana donte re^ maintenant, an dire dea gena qui ont aaaiate a la 
▼ante. Lea choaea ae aoot Tendna aTantageuaement, et je dob ajouter que 
Mr. Phillipa n*a rien neglige poor leodie la Tente intereaaante a tonte la no- 
blesae d*icL 

** Lord Hertford a achate phirieaTa choaea, et ce n'eat que dimanche dernier 
fort taid dana Taprte midi, qa'il eat Tenn Totr la maiaon, en nn mot je pense 
aana exageration, que le nomine de penonnea qui aont Yenua a la maison pen- 
dant lea 5 joara quelle a ete en vue, que plus de 20,000 personnea j aont cn- 
tieea une trea grande quantite de catalogue ont ete Yendu, et nous en vendons 
encore tout lea jours, car vous le savez, personnes n'est admis sans cela. 
Plusieurs dea personnes qui frequantent la nudaon aont Tenua lea deux pre- 
miers jours. 

" Je Toua parle de cela my la^ paioeque j*ai su que Mr. Dick avait dit a un 
de aea amis dana le salons qu*il y avait dans la maison une quantite d'articlea 
envqye par Mr. Phillipa, et comme j*etab certain du contraire, je me suis ad- 
dreaae a Mr. Guthrie, qui etait en ce moment dana le salon, et qui lui memo 
8*en est plaint a Mr. Dick. II a nie le fait, mais depuis j'ai acquit la certitude 
qu*il avait arance ce que je Tiens de vous dire. Je n*ai pas hesite a parier trea 
haut dans le salon, persuade quo je desabfuseiait la foule qui s*y trouvait. 

*^ Le Dr. Quin est venu plusieurs ibis et a para prendre le plus grand in- 
teret a ce qui se passait ici. M. Thackeray est venu aussi, et avait les larmes 
aux yeux en paitant C*ett peut etre la seule personne que fai vu rcellement 
tffecte en voire depart. 

"* J^ai l*honneur d'etre, my lady, votre tr^ humble serviteur, 

" F. AVILLOW." 

One of Lady Blessington's most intimate friends, in a note to 
her ladyship, dated the 19th of May, 1849 (after the hreak-up at 

altered. To use D*Orsay*s words, the duke was so hard to be pleased, it was 
most difficult to make a good portrait of him. When he consented to have any 
thing done for him, he would have it done in the best way possible. 



THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 177 

Grore House and departure from London), writes, " I have not 
been without an instinct or an impression for some time that 
you were disturbed by those preoccupying anxieties which make 
the presence of casual visitors irksome 

" But, now that the change is once made, may it yield you all 
that I hope it will. I trust now that what there is of pain will 
remain for those who lose you. You can not but be enlivened 
by those new objects and scenes of your new place of abode, 
turbulent as it is. When that charm is done, you will come 
back to us again. Meanwhile, what a time to be looking for- 
ward to ! One becomes absolutely sick wondering what is to be 
the end of it all. I could fill books with tales which one new 
courier after another brings of dismay, and misery, and of break- 
ing-up abroad." 

On the same sad subject came two letters, worthy of the kind 
and noble-hearted person who wrote them. 

Prom Mrs. T ; 

"< ClMriitm PlMe, FHday, AFril. 18i9. 

"My DElMEBT , 

" la it trae that yoa are going to Paris ? If 00, 1 hope I shall see you be- 
fore yoQ go, for it would grieve me very much not to bid you good-by by word 

of mouth, for who can tell when we may meet again ! Dearest , I 

hardly like to say it, because you may think it intrusive, but M told me 

some time ago that you were in difficulties, owing to the Irish estates not pay- 
ing, and told me to-day that a rumor had reached ber to this effect. If it be 
true, I need not say how it grieres me. You have «o often come forward in 
our poor dearest mother's ^Siculties, so often befriended her, and us through 
hety that it goes to my heart to think you are harassed as she was, and that I 
am so poor that I can not act the same generous part you did by her. Bat, 

dearest , I am at this moment in communication with Mr. P , 

through another lawyer, on the subject of the money left me by my mother. 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Dearest , do not be offended wWi me, but in case I re- 
ceive my money (£1600) down, do make use of me. Remember I am your 

own , and believe me I am not ungratefii], but love you deariy, and can 

not bear to think of your being in trouble. I am offering what, alas ! Mr. 

P may create a difficulty about, but I trust he will not, and that you will 

not be angry or mistrust me, and consider me intmsiye. Possibly there is no 
truth in the rumor. If so, forget that I hare ever seemed intrusive, and only 

rest assured of my a&cHon. May Ood bless yoo, my dearest . 

" Ever your amrt aifiKtioiiate , MABovnrrs ' ■. " 

H2 



178 'I'HB BRBAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 
From Mrs. T : 

'MA April, 1840. 

*• I WM Yeij gild to ncehre your aflbekkmaie note, 1117 deanst , and 

to know yoa are not offanded with mine to yoa. I wrote to joa firam my 
heait, and one is seldom misinterpreted at those times. While I hte, dearest 

» I shall ha?e a heart to care for yon, and feel a waim interest in your 

happiness ; yoa most never let any thing create a doubt of this. Will yoa 
promise me thisi 

" I doabt not yoo will be hmfpUr in Pteis. It saddens me, however, to fed 
that, periu^ we shall never meet again, and I am very, very aonj not to have 
seen yoo, and bid yoa at least good-by. 

*' I can not say how moch I have thought of yoa, and felt for yoa, dearest 

, breaking op yoor old hoase. I know how poor dearest mamma felt 

it, when sach was her lot ; and yoa resemble eadi other in so many things 1 
Every one says yoa have acted most admiraUy in not any longer oontinaing 
to ran the chance of not receiving year annoity daly, bat selling ofi^ so as to 
pay all you owe and injare no one. I think there b some little comfort in 
feeling that good acts are appreciated, so I teD you this. I am half ashamed 

of my little paltry ofier. Dearest , I am so glad you were not afionted 

with me, for I know you would have done the same over and over again by 
me ; but then you always confer and never accept, and I have much to thank 
you for, as well as my sisters, for you have been a most unscyuh friend to each 
and all of us. 

" I should so like to know what is become of poor old Gomte S . I 

wrote to him at the beginning of the year, but have never had an answer. If 
you meet him, do be kind to him, poor old man, in spite of his deafness and 
blindness, which make him neglected by others, for he is a very old friend of 
ours, and I feel an interest in the poor old man, knowing so many good and 
kind acts of his. 

" Ever, dearest, yours most affectionately, Masouksite/' 

Lady Blessington and the two Misses Power led Gore House 
on the 14th of April, 1849, for Paris. Count D'Orsay had set 
out for Paris a fortnight previously. 

For nineteen years Lady Blessington had maintained a posi- 
tion almost queenlike in the world of intellectual distinction, in 
fashionable literary society, reigning over the best circles of 
London celebrities, and reckoning among her admiring friends 
and the frequenters of her salons the most eminent men of En- 
gland, in every walk of literature, art, and science, in statesman- 
ship, in the military profession, and every learned pursuit. * For 



THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 



179 



nmctccMi yeara she had moiiiiiiiiipd csttLblishmenta In London 
ieldoni fiurpadjicd, and still more rarely equaled in all the appli* 
ancca to a state of society brilliaiit in the highest degree ; but» 
alas I it must be acknowledged at the eame timet a state of 
splendid xnisery, for a great portion of that time, to the mistress 
of those cK'gant and luxurious estabhshments, 

And now, at the expiration of those nineteen years, we find 
her forced to abandon that position, to relinquish all those ele* 
gancies and luxuries by which she had been so lonr^ surrounded, 
to leave her magnidcent abode, and all the cherished work* of 
art and precious objects in it, to become tlic property of strangers, 
and, in fact, to make a departure from the scene of all her for- 
mer triumphs, which it is in vain to deny was a iXight clfcctcd 
with pri\'acy, most paLnful and huiuiliating to this poor lady to 
be compelled to have recourse to. 

Lady Bh'ssington began her literary career in London in 1823, 
witli a small work in one vol. 8vo, entitled '' Sketches of iScenea 
in the Metropolis.*^ It commences with an account of the ruiii 
of a large establishinent in one of the fashionable sqaarea of the 
metropolis, and of an auction in the house of the late proprietor, 
a person of quality, the sale of all the magnificent furniture and 
•fibcts, costly ornaments, precious objects of art and valuahle 
fiicttiret. 

And, strange to say, as if there was in ih<* mmd of the writ4?r 
a sort of prevision of fnture events of a similar nature occurring 
in her own home at some future period, she informs us the name 
of the ruined proprietor of the elegant mansion in the fashiona- 
ble square, the edects of which were under salej was B , 

The authoress so ring through the gilded salons, crowd- 

ed with ianhion^i acrs, and dealers in bijouterie, exquis- 

ites of Insipid countenances and starched neckcloths, elderly 
ladies of sour aspects, and simpering damsels, all at intervals in 
the sale occupied witli comments. Jocose, censorious, sagacioui^. 



ot 



bitterly 



sarca!= 



and extravagance of 
flippant ami unfoeL 
I will givo no morf 



obiervationa of iliit kind : '^ Poor Mrs. B 

balls r ** I always thought how it would end ;*' ** The 



180 THIS BREAK-UP AT GORS HOUSE. 

gave devilish good dinnera, though ;" *' Capital feeds, indeed ;** 
^ You could rely on a perfect siqpreme de voUdUe" (at their table) ; 
** Where could you get such coieUeties des pigtons d la Cham- 
pagne V* " Have you any idea of what has become of B ?" 

*' In the Bench, or gone to France, but (yawning) I really forget 
all about it ;*• " I will buy his Vandyke picture ;" " It is a pity 
that people who give such good dinneis should be ruined ;" ''A 
short campaign and a brisk one for me ;** ^ Believe me, there is 
nothing like a fresh start, and no man, at least no dinner^giving 
man, should last more than two seasons, unless he would change 
his cook every month, to prevent repetition of the same dishes, 
and keep a regular roaster of his invitations, with a mark to each 
name, to prevent people meeting twice at his house the same 
season." The elderly ladies were all haranguing on *' the fol- 
lies, errors, and extravagances of Mrs. B— — ." " Mr. B— — , 
though foolish and extravagant in some things, had considera- 
ble taste and judgment in some others ; for instance, his books 
were excellent, well chosen, and well bought ;" '* His busts, too, 
are very fine ;" " Give me B— — 's pictures, for they are exquis- 
ite ;" '^ That group, so exquisitely colored and so true to nature, 
could only be produced by the inimitable pencil of a Lawrence.** 

*' And this is an auction !** says the authoress, at the end of 
the first sketch in her first work ; '' a scene," she continues, 
*' that has been so often the resort of the young, the grave, and 
the gay, is now one where those who have partaken of the hos- 
pitality of the once opulent owner of the mansion now come to 
witness his downfall, regardless of his misfortune, or else to 
exult in their own contrasted prosperity."* 

This sketch would indeed have answered for the auction 
scene at Gore House in 1849, seven-and-twenty ^^ears after it 
had been penned by Lady Blessington. 

Her ladyship thus commenced her literary career in 1822 
with a description of the ruin of an extravagant person of qual- 
ity in one of our fashionable squares in London, with an account 
of the break-up of his establishment and the auction of his ef- 
fects, and a similar career terminates in the utter smash and the 
* The *' Magic Lantern." &c., p. 1, 2, 3. London : Longman, 1822. 



AEEIVAL OF LADY BLESS IN GTON IN PARIS 



lai 



lale fl.t Gure in 184d. There &re many etrati^er things *twixt 
h«Aven And earth than are dreamed ol in the philosophy of our 
Hor&liot of fftahionable iociety. 



CHAPTER XL 



, ^IBAITAL OF LADY BLESeLNOTON IN FARIS THE MIDDLE OP APRIL, 

1649.^ BT.R LA0T ILLNESS, AND DEATH ON THE 4tH OF JUNE 

FOLLOWINO. NOTICE OF HER DECEABE. 

Ladv Blessington and her nieces arrived in Paris in the 
middle of Aprils 1849. She had a suite of rooms taken for her 
in tlie Hotel de la Villc d'Eveque, and there she reiii4isi«d till 
the 3d of June* The jointure of X2000 a year was now the 
•olo dependeiiee of her ladyship, and the small residue of the 
produce of the sale of her efiects at Gore House, a^ iig 

the many large claims of her creditors and those of Coti 1 1 ly. 

Soon after her arrival in Paris, she took a moderate-sized but 
hftndioiiie appatiemeni in the Rue du Cerq, close to the Champs 
flljfl^it wUeli she eommenced furnishing with much taste and 
elegance ; her preparations were at Icnglii completed, but they 
were destined to be in vain* In the brief interval between her 
nnrval in Paris and her taking possession of her new apartment 
on the 3d of June, she received the visits of many of her former 
aequaintanccB, and seemed in better spirits tlian ghe had been 
for a long time previously to her departure from London. 

The kindness she met with in some quarters, and especially 
at the hands of several members of the Granimoot faniiiy, was 
at once agreeable and encoura^ng. But the coolness of the 
oermii of other persons who had been dcejdy indebted to her 
hospitality in former times was somewhat more chilling than 
she bad expected to find, and the warm feelings of her gener- 
ooa heart and noble nature revolted at it« 

PHtioe Louis Napoleon, on Lady Blesaington s arrival in Paris, 
requested her to come to the palace of the Elys^e, where he then 
resided \ she went, aocompanied by Count D*(>riay and the two 
Miteea Power. He snbaeqiMiitly invited them to dinner. Ho 




182 ARRIVAL OF LADY BLESSINOTON IN PARIS. 

had been one of the most constant and intimate guests at Gore 
House, both before and after his imprisonment at Ham. He 
used to dine there whenever there were any distinguished per- 
sons, whether English or foreign. He was on the most familiar 
and intimate terms with Lady Blessington and her circle, join- 
ing them in parties to Greenwich, Richmond, &c. ; and all his 
friends, as well as himself, were made welcome, and on his es- 
cape from Ham he came to Gore House straight on his arrival 
in London, giving Lady Blessington the first intimation of his 
escape. 

On that occasion, at Count D'Orsay's advice, he wrote at once 
to Monsieur St. Aulaire, then embassador in London, stating that 
he had no intention of creating any ferment or disturbance, but 
meant to reside quietly as a private individual in London. Lady 
Blessington proffered some pecuniary assistance to the prince, 
and both Lady Blessington and Count D'Orsay manifested their 
earnest desire and willingness to aid him in any way they could 
be made serviceable to him. While he needed their services, 
and influence, and hospitality, the prince expressed himself al- 
ways most grateful for them. But with the need, the sense 
of the obligations ceased. 

There is no doubt on the minds of some of the friends even 
of Prince Louis Napoleon but that the active and unceasing 
exertions and influence of Count B'Orsay and his friends and 
connections in Paris went far to aid his election as President. 
D'Orsay rallied to his party Emile do Girardin, one of the ablest 
and boldest journalists of the day, but who subsequently became 
a formidable opponent. The chief cause of his ingratitude to 
Count D'Orsay was believed to have been his apprehension of 
being supposed to be advised or influenced by any one who had 
been formerly intimate with him ; a fear which has induced 
him to surround his person with men of mean intellect and of 
servile dispositions, pliant, indigent, and unscrupulous follow- 
ers, of no station in society, or character for independence or 
integrity of principle. 

Lady Blessington began to form plans for a new literary ca- 
reer : she engaged her thoughts in projecting future works, in 



LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH. 183 

making new arr&ngements for the reception of the beau numde. 
She employed a great deal of her time daily in superintending 
the furnishing of her new apartment ; in the way of embellish- 
ments, or luxuries, or comforts, some new wants had to be sup- 
plied every day. The old story of unsatisfied desires ever seeking 
fulfillment, and never contented with the fruition of present en- 
joyments, applies to every phase in life, even the most checkered : 

** like OUT shadows, 
Oar wishes fengthen as our sun decBnes.'* 

The sun of Lady Blessington*s life was now declining fast ; 
and even when it had reached the verge of the horizon, its going 
down was unnoticed by those around her, and the suddenness 
of its disappearance occasioned no little surprise, and gave rise 
to many vague surmises and idle rumors. 

There were some striking coincidences in the circnmstaneet 
attending the deaths of Lord and Lady Blessington. 

In May, 1829, Lord Blessington returned to Paris firom En- 
gland, piirposing to fix his abode there for some months at least ; 
and on the 23d of the same month, a few weeks after his arrival, 
without previous warning or indisposition, '* appearing to be in 
good health," he was suddenly attacked by apoplexy, while 
riding on the Champs d'Elys^e, and died the same day, in a 
state of insensibility. 

Twenty years from that date. Lady Blessington arrived in 
Paris from London, purposing to fix her abode there ; and on 
the 4th of June, having made all suitable preparations for a long 
residence in Paris, and after a sojourn there of about five weeks, 
without previous warning or indisposition, she was suddenly at- 
tacked by an apoplectic malady, complicated with disease of the 
heart, and was carried ofi* suddenly, at her abode adjoining the 
Champs d'Elys^e, being quite unconscious, during the brief period 
of the struggle, of the fatal issue that was about to take place. 

A few weeks before that event, a British peeress, whom I 
have had the pleasure of meeting at Gore House in former days, 
wrote to Lady Blessington at Paris, reminding her of a promise 
that had been extorted from her, and entreating of her to re- 
member her religions duties, and to attend to them. 



Xg4 '•^^^T ULLSEQH AND OEATBL 

Poor Lady Blessiiigtoii always received any commnnieation 
made to her on thk subject with respect, and even with a feel- 
ing of gratitude for the advice given by her* She acted on it 
solely on one or two occasions, in Paris, when she accompanied 
the Duchess de Grammont to the Ghuich of the Madeleine on 
the Sabbath. 

But no serious idea of abandoning the mode of life she led 
had been entertained by her. Yet she had a great fear of death, 
and sometimes spoke of a vague determination, whenever she 
should be released from the chief cares of her career — ^the toils 
and anxieties of authorship, the turmoil of her life in salons and 
intellectual circles — that she would turn to religion, and make 
amends for her long neglect of its duties by an old age of retire- 
ment from society, and the withdrawal of her thoughts and af- 
fections from the vanities of the world. But the proposed time 
for that change was a future which was not to come ; and the 
present time was ever to her a period in which all thoughts of 
death were to be precluded, and every amusing and exciting 
topic was to be entertained which was capable of absorbing at- 
tention for the passing hour. 

An extract of a letter from Miss Power to the author, on the 
death of Lady Blessington, will give a very accurate and de- 
tailed account of her last illness and death : 

" Rue de la Vffle rEreqae, No. 38, Fetevvy IBth, 1650. 
'* On arrhring in Puis, my aunt adopted a mode of life differing ooneidera- 
blj from the eedentaiy one ahe had for audi a length of time ponned ; she 
roee earlier, took mudi exercise, and, in consequence, lived somewhat higher 
than was her wont, for she was habitually a small eater. This appeared to 
agree with her general health, for she looked well, and was cheerful ; but she 
began to suffsr oecasionaily (especially in the morning) from oppression and 
difficulty of breathing. These symptoms, slight at first, she carefully concealed 
from our knowledge, having always a great objection to medical treatment ; but 
as thej increased in fince and frequency, she was obliged to rereal them, and 
medica* aid was inmiediatoly called in. Dr. Leon Simon pronounced there was 
' energie du coeur,' but that the symptoms in question proceeded probably from 
bronchitis — a disease then rerj preralent in Paris ; that they were neirous, 
and entailed no danger ; and as, after the remedies he prescribed, the attacks 
diminished peicsptiblj in Tiolenoe, and that her general health seemed little 
affected by Uiem, he eoteitainsd no serious alann. 



LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH. 



185 



" On the 3d of Juiw ilid removed from the hotel we had occupied during the 
fcvcn woeke we hid paeeed in Parifl, and entered the reiidence which m j poor 
aunt had devoted so much pains and attention to the aelocting and fumiahin^ 
of, and that aame day dined enfamtUe with the Due and Ducliesse de Giiiclie 
(Count D'Orsaj'n nephew). On that occasion, my aunt seemed pojliculnrly 
wcU in health and spirits, and it being a IotcIj night, and our residences lying 
contignouA, we walked hooM bj moaidigfat As usual, I aided mj aunt to 
undress — she never allowed her maid to sit up for her — and left her a iiti 
after midnight, Sho passed, it seems, some moat restless hours (she was 
hituallj A bad sleepeT)^ and early in the morning, feeling the commencement 
of one of the attacks, she called for assistance, and Dr. Simon was immediately 
•ent for, the symptoms manifesting themselves with considerable violence; 
and, in the mean time, the remedies he had ordered — sitting upright, nibbing 
the chest and opper stomach with ether, administering ether internally, dec- 
were all resorted to without effect. The difficulty of breathing became so ex- 
oeMive,that the whole of the chest heaved upward at each in^pirstioni which 
WIS inhaled with a loud whooping noise^ the face was swollen and purple, the 
cjeballs distended, and utterance almost wholly denied, while the extremities 
gradually became cold and livid, in spite of every attempt to restore the vital 
biftt. By degrees, the vtotenoe of tb9 sympComfl abated ; ahe uttered a few 
words : the first, *■ The violonee is o?er, I can breathe freer ;' and soon afteri 
' Qtt*«Ue heare est-il V Thus encouraged, we deemed the danger past ; but, 
ski ! how bitterly were we deceived ; she gradually sunk from that moment ; 
and when Dr, Simon, who had been delayed by another patient, arrived, he 
•aw that hope was gone ; and, indeed, she expired so eaaUy, so tranquilly, 
that it was impossible to perceive the moment when her sptrtt passed away. 

** The day but one following, the autopsy look place, when it was discov- 
ered that etilargement of the heart to nearly double the natural si^e, which en- 
largement must have been progressing for a period of at least twcnty-fivo 
ynin, was the cause of diaaolnftion, though incipient disease of the stomach 
and liver had complicated the symiHome. The body was then emt>aLmcd by 
Dr. Ganali and depoeited in the vaults of the Madeleine, while the monument 
was being constructed, a task to which Count D'Orsay devoted the whole of 
his time and attention. He bids me to say that he is about to have a dn- 
guerreotype taken of the place, a drawing of which we shall have forwarded 
toyoa* 

** The mausoleum is a pynaid of granite, standing on a square platfonn, on 
a Level with the surrounding groiuid* hot divided from it by a deep imtn*^ whose 
aloptag sidas m covered with green torf and Irish ivy« transplanted from the 
gafden of the house where she was bom. It stands on a bill-side, just ahova 
ilia vUlage cemetery, and overlooks a view of exquisite beauty and immrnse 
esleTit. taking in the Seine, winding through the fertile valley and the lorest 

* Prom that dagmmmtyp*, the sketch given in this work has been rxaciJy 
nopiedkyaa 



186 IfONUlfENT TO HER MEMORY. 

of St Gennain ; pUim, TilIagM, and fiu-disteiit hilb ; and at the back and 
side it is sheltered by chestnat-trees of large siie and great age : a more pio- 
toresqae spot it is difficult to imagine. M. A. Powu.'* 

From Mn. Romer's account of thia monument the following 
passages are taken : 

" Solid, simple, and severe, it combines every requisite in har- 
mony with its solemn destination ; no meretricious ornaments, 
no false sentiment, mar the purity of its design. The genius 
which devised it has succeeded in cheating the tomb of its hor- 
rors, without depriving it of its imposing gravity. The simple 
portal is surmounted by a plain massive cross of stcme, and a 
door, secured by an open-work of bronze, leads into a sepulchral 
chamber, the key of which has been confided to me. All within 
breathes the holy calm of eternal repose ; no gloom, no mould- 
ering damp, nothing to recall the dreadful images of decay. An 
atmosphere of peace appears to pervade the place, and I could 
almost fancy that a voice from the tomb whispered, in the words 
of Dante's Beatrice, 

" * lo sono in pace !* 

'' The light of the sun, streaming through a glazed aperture 
above the door, fell like a ray of heavenly hope upon the sym- 
bol of man's redemption — a beautiful copy, in bronze, of Michael 
Angelo's crucified Savior — which is affixed to the wall facing 
the entrance. A simple stone sarcophagus is placed on either 
side of the chamber, each one surmounted by two white marble 
tablets, incrusted in the sloping walls." 

The monument was visited by me a few weeks before the 
death of Count D'Orsay. It stands on a platform or mound, 
carefully trenched, adjoining the church-yard, and approached 
from it. The sepulchral chamber is on a level with the plat- 
form from which you enter. Within are two stone sarcophagi 
(side by side), and in one of these is deposited the coffin con- 
taining the remains of Lady Blessington, covered with a large 
block of granite. On the wall above (on the left hand side of 
the vault) are the two inscriptions ; one by Barry Cornwall, the 
other — that which has led to a correspondence. 

The first inscription above referred to is in the following terms : 



INSCRIPTIONS TO HER MEMORY. IS7 

" nr MBM oiT or 
MARGUERITE, COUNTESS OF BLESSINGTON, 

WHO DIKD ON THK 4tR OF JCNB, 1849. 



In her lifetime 

She was loved and admired 

For her many graceful writings, 

Her gentle manners, her kind and generous heart 

Men, famous for art and science 

In distant lands. 

Sought her friendship : 

And the historians and scholars, the poets, and wits, and painters. 

Of her own countiy. 

Found an unfailing welcome 

In her ever hospitable home. 

She gave cheerfully to all who were in need. 

Help, and sympathy, and useful counsel ; 

And she died 

Lamented by her friends. 

They who loved her best in Ufe, and now lament her most, 

Have raised this tributaiy marble 

Over the place of her rest." 

Bakky Cokitwall. 

The other inscription, altered from one written by Walter 
Savage Landor, is as follows : 

" Hie est deposUum 
Quod superest mulieris 
Quondam pulcherrime 
Bene&cta celare potuit 
Ingenium suum non potuit 
Peregrinos quoMlibet 
Graid hospUalitaU eotwoeabat 
Lutetis Parisiorum 
Ad meliorem vitam abiit 
Die XV mensis Junii 

MDCCCXLDC." 

The original inscription, by W. S. Landor, is certainly, in all 
respects but one, preferable to the substituted ; and that one is 
the absence of all reference to a future state : 

** Infra sepvltvm est id onme qvod sepeliri potest 

mvlieris qvondam pvlcherrima. 

' Ingenivm swm svmmo stvdio colavit, 



188 INSCSIPnONS TO HEE MSMORY. 

aliorrm ptri mdjrnt, 

Bme&cU sra celan norit ; ingenivm naa ita. 

Eigaonmii ent larga booitate 

peregrinifl eleginter hocpitalia. 

Venit LTtetiam Fuisiovnn Aprili mense : 

qraito Jviiii die sTpicnivm smn obiit** 

The following English version of the ahove inscription has 
been given by Mr. Landor : 

TO THE MEMORY OF MAROUERITB, COUNTESS OF BLESSINOTON. 

" Underneath is buried all that could be buried of a woman 
once most beautiful. She cultivated her genius with the great- 
est zeal, and fostered it in others with equal assiduity. The 
benefits she conferred she could conceal — her talents not. Ele- 
gant in her hospitality to strangers, charitable to all, she retired 
to Paris in April, and there she breathed her last, on the 4th of 
June, 1849.'** 

There is an epitaph on the tomb of a daughter-in-law of Dry- 
den, who died in 1712, and was buried in Kiel Church, in Staf- 
fordshire — (see " Monumenta Anglic," p. 154) — where some ex- 
pressions occur somewhat similar to those which Mr. Landor has 
taken exception to in the substituted inscription. It runs thus : 

" Hsc quo ent, lomia et genere ilhiBtrior, 
eo M humilioram pnebuit maritom honorando 

ftmiliam prscipae Liberos fovendo 
paoperes sabterando, peregrinos omneB decoid 

* On the Bulfject of this inscription, Mr. Landor addressed a long letter to the 
" Athenaeum,^ complaining of the alterations which had been made in the Latin 
lines he had written, from which I will only extract the concluding paragraphs. 

"It may be thought superfluous to remark that epiuphs have certain qualities 
in common ; for instance, all are encomiastic. The main difference and the main 
difficulty lie in the expression, since nearly all p>eople arc placed on the same level 
in the epit^h as in the grave. Hence, out of eleven or twelve thousand Latin 
ones, ancient and modem, I find scarcely threescore in which there is originality 
or elegance. Pure latinity is not uncommon, and is perhaps as little uncommon 
in the modem as in the ancient, where certain forms exclude it, to make room for 
what appeared more venerable. Nothing is now left to be done but to bring for- 
ward in due order and just proportions the better peculiarities of character com- 
posing the features of the dead, and modulating the tones of grief. 

"WjJLTBB SaTAOB LaNDOX.** 



HER A0£. 189 

prozimoflqua et Tecinos humaniter ezdpieiido, 
ut neminem reperiasea deddentum : 
non prius deTinctum, mira higus 
et honesta morum suayitate.*' 

The age of Lady Blessington has heen a guhject of Bozne con- 
troversy. She was bom, we are informed by her niece (on the 
authority, I have reason to believe, of her aunt) the Ist of Sep- 
tember, 1790. She died the 4th of June, 1849 ; hence it would 
appear her age was fifty-eight years and nine months. From 
inquiries that were made by me in Clonmel, and examination 
of the marriage registry, it was ascertained that Lady Blessing- 
ton had been married the 7th of March, 1804. She must then 
have been about fifteen years of age ; but, according to the first 
account, she would have been only fourteen years of age the 
1st of September, 1804.* 

Lady Blessington stated to me that she was married in 1804, 
and was then under fifteen years of age. Had she been bom 
the 1st of September, 1789, she would have been fifteen years 
of age on the 1st of September, 1804. 

The probability then is that she was bom in 1789, and not in 
1790, and was therefore sixty years of age, less by two months, 
when she died. 

Ellen, Lady Canterbury (her youngest sister), in the account 
of her death in " the Annual Register," is stated to have died 
in her fifty-fourth year, the 16th November, 1845. From this 
it would appear that she was bom in the latter part of 1791. 

Mary Anne, Countess St. Marsault, the youngest of all the 

children of Edmund Power, I am informed was fifteen years 

younger than Lady Blessington. If this be the case, and Lady 

Blessington was bom in 1789, the Countess of Marsault must 

Jiave been bom in 1604, and would be now fifty years of age. 

But if I might hazard an opinion on so delicate a subject as 

* A person intimately acqaainted with Lady Blessington's family is the editor 
of a Clonmel paper, in which the following paragraph appeared : 

" Trk latb Lady Blbssikotok. — A Dublin solicitor has just been in Clon-. 
mel, for the purpose of exactly ascertaining the age of the late Countess of Bless- 
ington, in reference to an insurance claim. She was not so old at her death as 
the newspapers said, baring been married in 1804, at Ihe early age of fifteen years, 
so that she was only sixty yeats old at her decease.** 



190 COUNT iraRSAVS GSIBF. 

a lady's age, I would Tenture to set down the date of that event 
as 1801, and not 1804. 

In a letter from Miss Power, dated 12th of July, 1849, then 
residing at Chamhourcy Pr^s de St. Germain-en-Iiaye (the seat 
of the Duchesse de Grammont, the sister of Count D'Orsay), the 
loss of Lady Blessington is thus referred to : 

*' Count D'Orsay would himself have answered your letter, hut 
had not the nerve or the heart to do so ; although the subject 
occupies his mind night and day, he can not speak of it but to 
those who have been his fellow-sufierers ; it is like an image 
ever floating before his eyes, which he has got, as it were, used 
to look upon, but which he can not yet bear to grasp and feel 
that it is real : much as she was to us, we can not but feel that 
to him she was all ; thfe centre of his existence, round which 
his recollections, thoughts, hopes, and plans turned ; and just at 
the moment she was about to commence a new mode of life, one 
that promised a rest from the occupation and anxieties that had 
for some years fallen to her share, death deprived us of her." 

On D'Orsay 's first visit to the tomb where the remains of 
Lady Blessington had been deposited, his anguish is said to have 
been most poignant and heart-rending. He seemed almost phren- 
sied at times, bewildered and stupefied ; and then, as if awaken- 
ed suddenly to a full consciousness of the great calamity that 
had taken place, he would lament the loss he had sustained as 
if it had occurred only the day before. His state of mind might 
be described in the words of an Arabic poem, translated by Sir 
William Jones : 

** Tom from loved friends, in Death's cold cavenis laid, 
I sought their haunts with shrieks that pierced the air ; 
' Where are they hid 1 oh ! where V I wildly said ; 
And Fate, with sullen echo, mocked, * O where V "♦ ^ 

A notice of the death of Lady Blessington appeared in " the 
Athena5um" of June 9th, 1849, written by one who appears to 
. have known Lady Blessington well, and to have appreciated 
fully her many excellent qualities. 

" Only a fortnight since, the journals of London were laying 
* Translation from an Arabic poet, by the late Sir William Jones. 



NOTICE OF HER DEATH. 191 

open to public gaze the relics of a house which for some dozen 
years past has been an object of curiosity, and a centre of pleas- 
urable recollection to many persons distinguished in literature 
and art, abroad and at home. 

" The Countess of Blessington, it appears, lived just long 
enough to see her gates closed and her treasures dispersed ; for 
on Tuesday arrived from Pans tidings that, within a few hours 
after establishing herself in her new mansion there, she died 
suddenly of apoplexy on Monday last. 

** Few departures have been attended with more regrets than 
will be that of this brilliant and beautiful woman in the circle 
to which her influences have been restricted. It is unnecessary 
to sum up the writings published by Lady Blessington within 
the last eighteen years, commencing by her ' Conversations with 
Lord Byron,' and including her lively and natural French and 
Italian journals, half a score of novels, the most powerful among 
which is ' The Victims of Society,' detached thoughts and fugi- 
tive verses, since these are too recent to call for enumeration. 

" As all who knew the writer will bear us out in saying, they 
faintly represent her gifts and^graces, her command over anec- 
dote, her vivacity of fancy, her cordiality of manner, and her 
kindness of heart. They were hastily and slightly thrown off 
by one with whom authorship was a pursuit assumed rather 
than instinctive — in the intervals snatched from a life of unself- 
ish good offices and lively social intercourse. 

" From each one of the vast variety of men of all classes, all 
creeds, all manner of acquirements, and all color of political 
opinions, whom Lady Blessington delighted to draw around her, 
she had skill to gather the characteristic trait, the favorite ob- 
ject of interest, with a fineness of appreciation to be exceeded 
only by the retentiveness of her memory. 

'* Thus, until a long series of family bereavements and the 
pressure of uncertain health had somewhat dimmed the gayety 
of her spirits, her conversation had a variety of reminiscence, a 
felicity of a propos, and a fascination, of which her writings of- 
fer faint traces. In one respect, moreover, her talk did not re- 
semble the talk of other beaux esprtts. With the eagerness of a 



192 LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLS88INOTON. 

child, she oould amuse and penoade herself as entirely as she 
amused and persuaded others. Among all the hrilliant wom- 
en we have known, she was one of the most earnest — earnest 
in defense of the absent, in protection of the unpopular, in ad- 
vocacy of the unknown ; and many are those who can tell how 
generously and actively Lady Blessington availed herself of her 
widely-extended connections throughout the world to further 
their success or to promote their pleasures. In her own family 
she was warmly beloved as an indefatigable friend, and eagerly 
resorted to as an unwearied counselor. How largely she was 
trusted by some of the most distinguished men of her time, her 
extensive and varied correspondence will show, should it ever 
be given to the world. Into the causes which limited her gifts 
and graces within a narrower sphere than they might otherwise 
have commanded, we have no commission to enter.*^ 



CHAPTER X. 



NOTICE OF THE CAREER, LITERARY TASTES, AND TALENTS OF 
LADY BLESSINGTON. 

With respect to the influence exercised in society over per- 
sons of exalted intellect by fascinating manners, personal at- 
tractions, liveliness of fancy, quickness of apprehension, close- 
ness of observation, and smartness of repartee, among the liter- 
ary ladies of England of the present or past century, it would 
be difficult to find one with whom Lady Blessington can be fit- 
ly compared. The power of pleasing, of engaging attention, of 
winning, not only admiration, but regard and friendship, which 
the latter lady possessed, and long and successfully exerted over 
men of genius and talents of the highest order, and of every pro- 
fession and pursuit, has been seldom surpassed in any country. 

It would not be difficult to point out ladies of celebrity as bas 
blcus of far superior abilities as authoresses, of imaginations 
with richer stores of wit and poetry, ormore erudition, and bet- 
ter cultivated talents ; but we shall find none who, for an equal 
length of time, maintained an influence of fascination in litera- 
* The Athensom, June 9th, 1849. 



LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 193 

ry and fashionable society over the highest intellects, and exer- 
cised dominion over the feelings as well as over the faculties 
of those who frequented her abode. 

Grimm, in his " M^moires Litt^raires et Anecdotaires," makes 
mention of a Madam Geofinn, the friend of D'Alembert, Mar- 
montel, Condorcet, Morellet, and many other illustrious litti- 
rcnres, whose character and mental qualities, agrements, esprit, 
finesse de Vart, bant6 de cotur^ et habitudes de bienfaisance, would 
appear, from his account of them, very remarkably en rapport 
with the qualities of mind and natural dispositions of Lady Bless- 
ington. Those of Lady Mary Wortley, Lady Craven, Lady 
Holland, and Lady Morgan, present no such traits of resem- 
blance fitly to be compared with the peculiar graces, attrac- 
tions, and kindly feelings of Lady Blessington. 

D'Alembert has consecrated some lines of homage to his 
friend and benefactress, in a letter published in the " M^moires 
Litt^raires et Historiques," We learn from it that Madam 
Geofirin's salons were open nightly to the artists, literati, minis- 
ters of state, grandees, and courtiers. Authors were not assured 
of the success of their new works till they had been to Madam 
Geofirin's soir6es, and a smile and an encouraging expression of 
the sovereign of the salons set their hearts at ease on the sub- 
ject of their productions. 

Helvetius, when he published his book " De TEsprit," felt no 
confidence in its reception by the public till he had consulted 
Madam : ce thermomctre de I'opinion. 

" Madam Geofirin n'avoit guerre des ennemis que parmi les 
femmes." She had all the tastes, we are told, of a sensitive, 
gentle creature, of a noble and a loving nature. ** La passion 
de donner qui fut le besoin de sa vie, etoit n^e avec elle et la 
tourmenta pour ainsi dire de ses premieres ann^es." She had 
aptly taken for her device the words " Donner et pardonner." 

There was nothing brilliant in her talents, but she was an ex- 
cellent sayer of good things in short sentences. She gave din- 
ners, and there was a great Sclat in her entertainments : ''Mais 
ilfaut autre choses que des diners pour occuper dans le monde la 
place que cettefemme estimable s^y etait faite^ 

Vol. I.— I 



194 UTE&ARY CAREER OF LADY BLE88INGTON. 

Monsieur Malesherbes was happily characterized by her, 
<^ Vhomme du monde le plus simplement sin^pleJ'^ She said, among 
the weaknesses of people, their vanity must be endured, and 
their talk, even when there was nothing in it. *' I accommodate 
myself," she said, " tolerably well to eternal talkers, provided 
they are chatterers, and that only, who have no idea of any 
thing but talking, and do not expect to be replied to. My friend 
Fontenclle, who bears with them as I do, says they give his 
lungs repose. I derive another advantage from them ; their in- 
significant gabble is to me like the tolling of bells, which does 
not hinder one from thinking, but often rather invites thought." 

When her friends spoke of the enmity to her of some persons, 
and made some allusion to her many generous acts, she turned 
to D'Alembert and said, " When you find people have feelings 
of hatred to mo, take good care not to say any thing to them of 
the little good you know of me. They will hate me for it all 
the more. It will be a tonnent to them, and I have no wish to 
pain them." When this amiable and lovely woman died,D'Alem- 
bert uttered words very similar to those which D'Orsay ad- 
dressed to me on the first occasion of my meeting him after the 
recent loss of that friend, who had so many qualities of a kin- 
dred nature to those of Madame Geofirin. " Her friendship," 
said D'Alembert, "was my consolation in all troubles. The 
treasure which was so necessary and precious to mc has been 
taken away, and in the midst ef people in society, and the fill- 
ing up of the void of life in its circles, 1 can speak to none who 
will understand me. I spent my evenings with the dear friend 
I have lost, and my mornings also. I no longer have that friend ; 
for me there is no longer evening or morning."* 

It has been truly said of Lady Blessington's uniform kindness 
and generosity under all circumstances, 

" In the midst of her triumphs, the goodness of her heart, and 
the fine qualities that had ever distinguished her, remained 
wholly unimpaired. Generous to lavishness, charitable, com- 
passionate, delicately considerate of the feelings of others, sin- 
cere, forgiving, devoted to those she loved, and with a warmth 
* M^moires Lit. et Anecdotes, vol. ii., p. 64. 



LITERABY CAREER OF LADY BLES8INOTON. 195 

of heart rarely equsded, her change of fortune was immediately 
felt by every member of her family. The parents whose cruel 
obstinacy had involved her in so much misery, but whose ruined 
circumstances now placed them in need of her aid, were com- 
fortably supported by her up to the period of their deaths. Her 
brothers and sisters (the youngest of whom, Marianne, she 
adopted and educated), and even the more distant of her rela- 
tives, all profited by her benefits, assistance, and interest." 

A lady of very distinguished literary talents, and highly es- 
teemed by Lady Blessington, well acquainted, too, with many 
of her benevolent acts, Mrs. A. M. Hall, thus wrote of her very 
recently, in answer to some inquiries of the author : 

*<FiTfleld, Addlestone, Surrey, June 7, ISM. 

'* I nerer had occasion to appeal to Lady Blestington for aid for any kind 
or charitable purpoae that she did not ai once, with a grace peculiarly her 
own, come forward cheerfully, and * help* to the extent of her power. 

*^ I remember one particular instance of a poor man who desired a partiim- 
lar situation which I thought Lady Blessington could obtain. All the cir- 
cumstances I have forgotten ; but the chief point was, that he entreated em- 
ployment, and had some right to it in one department. Lady Blessington 
made the request I entreated, and was refused. Her ladyship sent me the re- 
fusal to read, and, of course, I gave up all idea of the matter, and only felt sor- 
ly that I had troubled her ; but she remembered it, and in a month accom- 
plished the poor man's object ; her letter was indeed a sunbeam in his poor 
home, and he, in time, became prosperous and happy." 

In a subsequent communication of the 3d of August, Mrs. 
HaU adds : 

" When Lady Blessington left London, she did not forget the necessities 
of several of her poor dependents, who received regular aid firom her after her 
arrival, and while she resided in Paris. She found time, despite her literary 
labors, her anxieties, and the claims which she permitted society to make upon 
her time, not only to do acts of kindness now and then for those in whom she 
felt an interest, but to give what seemed perpetual thought to their well-do- 
ing ; and she never missed an opportunity of doing a gracious act or saying 
a gracious word. My acquaintance with Lady Blessington was merely a lit- 
erary one, commencing when, at my husband's suggestion, she published much 
about Lord Byron in the pages of the * New Monthly Magazine,' which at 
that time he edited. That acquaintance continuing till her death, I wrote 
regularly for her Annuals, and she contributed to those under our care. 

'^ I have no means of knowing whether what the worid said of this beautiful 
woman was true or false, but I am sure God intended her to be good, and 



196 LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 

there was a deep-eeated good intent in wliaterer the did that came under my 
observation. 

" Her sympathies were quick and cordial, and independent of woridliness ; 
her taste in art and literature womanly and refined — I say * womanly/ because 
she had a perfectly feminine appreciation of whatever was delicate and beau- 
tiful. There was great satisfection in writing for her whatever she required ; 
labors became pleasures, firom the importance she attached to every little at- 
tention paid to requests which, as an editor, she had a right to command. 
Her manners were singularly simple and graceful ; it was to me an intense 
delight to look at beauty, which, though I never saw it in its full bloom, was 
charming in its autumn time ; and the Irish accent, and soft, sweet Irish 
laugh, used to make my heart beat with the pleasures of memory. I always 
left her with an intense sense of enjoyment, and a perfect disbelief in every 
thing I ever heard to her discredit Her conversation was not witty not wise, 
but it was in good tune and good taste, mingled with a great deal of humor, 
which escaped every thing bordering on vulgarity. It was surprising how a 
tale of distress or a touching anecdote would at once suffuse her clear, intel- 
ligent eyes with tears, and her beautiful mouth would break into smiles and 
dimples at even the echo of wit or jest. 

" The influence she exercised over her circle was unbounded, and it became 
a pleasure of the most exquisite kind to give her pleasure. 

" I think it ought to be remembered to her honor that, with all her foreign 
associations and habits, she never wrote a line that might not be placed on 
the book-shelves of any English lady. 

"Yours sincerely, A. M. Hall." 

From Mr. Hall I have received the following account of an 
act of kindness and beneficence of Lady Blessington which fell 
under his own observation : 

" I once chanced to encounter a young man of good education and some 
literary taste, who, with his wife and two children, was in a state of absolute 
want. After some thought as to what had best be done for him, I suggested 
a situation in the Post-office as a letter carrier. He seized at the idea, but, 
being better aware than I was of the difficulty of obtaining it, expressed him- 
self to that effect. 

" I wrote to Lady Blessington, telling her the young man's storv, and ask- 
ing if she could get him the appointment. Next day I received a letter firom 
her, inclosing one from the secretary, regretting his utter inability to meet her 
wishes ; such appointments, although so comparatively insignificant, resting 
with the Postmaster General. I handed this communication to the young 
man, who was by no means disappointed, for he had not hoped for success. 
What was my surprise and his delight, however, when, the very next day, 
there came to me another letter from Lady Blessington, inclosing one from 



LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 197 

the Postmaster General, conferring the appointment on the young man. This 
appointment I believe he still holds — at least, he did so a year or two ago. 

" S. C. Hall." 

Lady Blessington was quick to discover talent or worth of any 
kind in others, sure to appreciate merit, and generous in her 
sentiments, and ardent in the expression of approbation in re- 
gard to it. 

She was by no means indiscriminate in her praise ; one of 
the class whose judgment is to be distrusted on account of the 
lavish bestowal of encomium : " Defiez vous de ces gens qui 
sont a tout le monde et ne sont a personne." Nor, on the other 
hand, did she belong to that most despicable of all cliques, the 
sneering, depreciatory, would-be aristocratic clique of small in- 
tellectual celebrities in literature and art, whose members are 
niggards in acknowledgment of all worth and merit which do 
not emanate from their own little circle of pretentious cleverness. 

There is a sentiment of envy discoverable in the recognition 
of intellectual advantages in such circles not confined to low or 
vulgar people, a sense of something burdensome in the claims 
to commendation of other people, which seems to oppress the 
organs pulmonary, sanguineous, and cerebral of that class of 
small celebrities, be they artists, authors, savans, doctors, or di- 
vines, or patronesses in literary society, when merit that has any 
affinity with the worth supposed or self-estimated of the parties 
present is brought to the notice of that clique. There is a " je 
ne sais quoi" of an indisposition to let it be perceived that they 
admit the existence of any ability superior to their own. The 
most vulgar-minded, the least highly-gifted, are sure to be most 
on their guard not to be betrayed into any terms of commenda- 
tion of an enthusiastic kind that might lead people to suppose 
they acknowledged any excellence in others they were incapa- 
ble of manifesting in their own works, words, or writings. 

A member of this clique, of a waspish mind and an aspish 
tongue, is never more entertaining in it than when he is most 
sneering in his remarks, and churlish of praise in dealing with 
the intellectual advantages of other people. He is unaccustom- 
ed to think favorably or to speak well of his absent literary 



198 UTESAKT CAREER OF LADY BLBSSINOTON. 

neighbors. He is afraid of afibrding them a good word ; he 
would be ashamed to be thought easily pleased with his fellow- 
men — ^haying any bookish tastes ; he can not hear them eulogized 
without feeling that his own merits are overlooked. Or, if he 
does chime in with any cnrrent praise, the curt commendation 
and scanty applause are coupled with a sneer, a scoff, some ribald 
jest, or ridiculing look or gesture, intended to depreciate or to 
give a ludicrous aspect to a subject that might turn to the ad- 
vantage of another if it had been gravely treated. In fine, it is 
not in his nature to be just or generous to any man behind his 
back who has any kindred tastes or talents with his own. 

The subject of this memoir was not of the clique in question, 
or of their way of dealing with literary competitors in the ac- 
knowledgment of worth or merit in other people of literary pur- 
suits. 

Lady Blessington was naturally lively, good-humored, mirth- 
ful, full of drollery, and easily amused. Her perception of the 
ridiculous was quick and keen. If there was any thing absurd 
in a subject or object presented to her, she was sure to seize on 
it, and to represent the idea to others in the most ridiculous as- 
pect possible. This turn of mind was not exhibited in society 
alone ; in private it was equally manifested. One of the class 
proverbially given to judge severely of those they come most 
closely> into contact with, after a service of fifteen years, thus 
speaks of the temper and disposition of her former mistress. 
Lady Blessington ; 

" Every one knew the cleverness of this literary lady ; but few, 
very few knew all the kindness of heart of the generous, affec- 
tionate woman, but those who were indebted to her goodness, 
and those who were constantly about her as I was — who saw 
her acts, and knew her thoughts and feelings. 

" My lady's spirits were naturally good ; before she was over- 
powered with difficulties and troubles on account of them, she 
was very cheerful, droll, and particularly amusing. This was 
natural to her. Her general health was usually good ; she oflen 
told me she had never been confined to her bed one whole day 
in her Ufe ; and her spirits would have continued good, but that 



LITERABT CAREER OF LADY BLE88IKGTON. 199 

she got BO overwhelmed with eaie and expense! of all kinds. 
The calls on her for assistance were from all quarters. Some 
depended wholly on her (and had a regular pension quarterly 
paid)— her father and mother for many years before they died ; 
the education of children of friends fell upon her. Now one 
had to be fitted out for India — now another to be provided for. 
Constant assistance had to be given to others (to the family, in 
particular, of one poor lady, now dead some years, whom she 
loved very dearly). She did a great many charities ; for in- 
stance, she gave very largely to poor literary people — poor art- 
ists; something yearly to old servants; she contributed thus 
also to Miss Lander's mother — ^in fact, to several, too many to 
mention ; and from some whom she served, to add to all her 
other miseries, she met with shameful ingratitude. 

*' Laboring night and day at literary work, all her anxiety was 
to be clear of debt. She was latterly constantly trying to car- 
tail all her expenses in her own establishment, and constantly 
toiling to get money. Worried and harassed at not being able 
to pay bills when they were sent in — at seeing large expenses 
still going on, and knowing the want of means to meet them, 
she got no sleep at night. She long wished to give up Gore 
House, to have a sale of her furniture, and to pay off her debts. 
She wished this for two years before she left England ; but 
when the famine in Ireland rendered the payment of her joint- 
ure irregular, and every succeeding year more and more so, her 
difficulties increased, and at last H and J put an ex- 
ecution in the house, which proved the immediate cause of her 
departure from England in 1849. 

" Poor soul ! her heart was too large for her means. Oh ! the 
generosity of that woman was unbounded ! I could never tell 
you the number of persons she used her influence with her 
friends to procure situations for — great people as well as small. 
I can not withhold my knowledge of these things from you, one 
of Lady Blessington's particular friends ; nor would I say so 
much, but knowing that her ladyship esteemed you so highly, 
she would not have scrupled to have told you all that I have 
done, and a great deal more." 



200 LITERARY CAREER OP LADY BLE88IN0TON. 

Clueen Catherine 's language to ^ honest Griffith" might have 
heen applied hy Lady Blessington to the person from whom I 
have received the preceding communication : 

* '* After my death I wish no other herald, 

No other speaker of my living actioiu^ 
To keep mine honor from cormption. 
But auch an honest chronicler as Griffith"* 

It would occupy a considerahle portion of this volume were 
all the charitahle acts, the untiring efforts of this truly generous- 
minded woman recorded, to hring her influence to hear on friends 
in exalted station in hehalf of people in unfortunate circum- 
stances, and of persons more happily situated, yet needing her 
services, seeking employment or appointments of some kind or 
another for them. 

There was this peculiarity, too, in the active henevolence of 
Lady Blessington : whether the person for whom she interested 
herself was rich or poor, of the upper or the humhle class of 
society, her exertions were equally strenuous and unremitting 
till they were successful. I have on many occasions seen her, 
after receiving a letter from some important personage in Par- 
liament, or perhaps some friend of hers in power, intimating the 
inability of the party to render the service required by her for 
a protege of hers, when, for a few moments, she would seem 
greatly disappointed and discouraged. Then there would be a 
little explosion of anger on account of the refusal or non-com- 
pliance with her application. 

But this was invariably followed by a brightening up of her 
looks, a little additional vehemence of tone and gesture, but ac- 
companied with some gleams of returning good-humor and gay- 
ety of manner, mingled at the same time with an air of resolu- 
tion ; and then throwing herself back in her fauteuil, and plant- 
ing her foot rather firmly on the footstool, still holding the letter 
that annoyed her rolled up tiglitly, and apparently grasped some- 
what energetically, she would declare her firm determination, in 
spite of the refusal she had met with, that her application should 
be successful in some other quarter. The poor person's friends 
* Henry the Eighth, Act iv., Sc. 2. 



LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLE8SINGT0N. 201 

or family were counting on her efibrts, and they should not be 
disappointed. 

The subject from that time would be uppermost in her mind, 
whoever the people were who were about her. But when any 
influential person entered the salon, many minutes would not 
elapse before he would be put in possession of all the worth of 
the individual to be served, and all the wants of the poor family 
dependent on him ; and this would be done with such genuine 
eloquence of feelings strongly excited, finding expression in glow- 
ing words, spoken with such pathos, and in accents of such sweet- 
ness, that an impression was generally sure to be made, and the 
subject in view was either directly or indirectly ^promoted or at- 
tained. 

The embarrassments of Lady Blessington for some years be- 
fore her departure from England had made her life a continual 
struggle with pecuniary difficulties, which, for the maintenance 
of her position, it was necessary to conceal, and to make a per- 
petual study of concealing. The cares, anxiety, and secret sor- 
rows of such a situation it is easier to conceive than to describe. 
Suffice it to say, they served to embitter her career, and, latterly, 
to give a turn to her thoughts in relation to society, and a taste 
for the writings of those who have dealt with its follies, as phi- 
losophers, without faith in God or man, which tended by no 
means to her peace of mind, though she attached great import- 
ance to that sort of worldly wisdom which teaches us how to lay 
bare the heart of man, but leaves us in utter ignorance of all 
things appertaining to his immortal spirit. 

It is in vain to seek, in the worldly wisdom of B/Ochefoucault, 
for remedies for the wear and tear of literary life ; the weari- 
ness of mind, the depression of physical energies, occasioned by 
long-continued literary labors, and the anxieties, cares, and con- 
tentions of authorship. The depression of spirits consequent on 
disappointments in the struggle for distinction, the sinking of 
the heart at the failure of arduous efforts to obtain success, the 
blankness of life's aim after the cooling down of early enthu- 
siam — for these ills, the remedies that will soothe the sick at 
heart are not to be found in the philosophy of moralists who 

12 



202 LITERABT CAREER OF LADT BLES8IN6T0N. 

are matehalists profeBsing Chiistianity. There is a small book 
ascribed to a religious-minded man, named Thomas k Kempis, 
which, in all probability, Lady Blessington nerer saw, in which 
there are germs of greater thoughts, and fraught with more con- 
soling influences, than are to be discorered in the writings of 
Rochefoucault or Montaigne, and from which better comfort and 
more abundant consolation are to be derived than from any of 
their most successful eflfbrts in laying bare the surface and sonnd- 
ing the depths of the selfishness of the human heart. 

Rochefoucault deems selfishness the primum tnobile of all hu- 
mane and generous actions. Humanity, in the opinion of this 
philosopher, is like physic in the practice of empirics. They ad- 
mit of no idiosyncrasies ; no controlling influence in nature ; no 
varieties of character determined by temperament, fortuitous cir- 
cumstances, external impressions, alteration or diversity of or- 
ganization. Yet the knowledge of human nature is a science 
to which no general rules can be applied. There is no certainty 
in regard to the law that is laid down for its government, no 
uniformity of action arising from its operation, no equality of 
intellect, passion, disposition, in individuals, to make its general 
application just or possible. 

But, granting that all men feel only for the distresses of others 
from selfish motives — from a sense of the pain they would feel 
if they suflered like those with whom they spmpathize — still 
their sympathy with misfortune or misery is beneficial to others 
and themselves.* 

* In a discussion on the subject of *' the selfishness of the motives of benero- 
lent actions," the following anecdote was related, in opposition to the advocates 
of the theory of Rochefoucault : 

*' A poor woman, with three children, dressed in black, was observed in Regent 
Street, standing at the edge of the flags, not asking, but silently standing there, 
for alms. A lady in deep mourning (widow's weeds), of the middle class, a 
coarse, hard-featured, and even unfeminine-looking person, passed on ; but after 
she had gone nearly to the end of the street, she turned back, took out her purse, 
and, with some evident appearances of feeling, gave money to the poor woman. 
There can be little doubt but that the black gown of the pauper had reminded the 
passenger in widow's weeds of her bereavement, and made her feel for one, in all 
probability, deprived like herself of a husband. But, however much of feelings 
of self, and for self, might enter into her emotions, there was sympathy shown 
with the sorrows of another that were like her own. And what mattered it to the 



LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 203 

It is exceedingly painful to observe the undue importance that 
Lady Blesaington attached to the writings of Eochefoucault, and 
the grievous error she fell into of regarding them as fountains 
of truth and wisdom — of deep philosophy, which were to be re- 
sorted to with advantage on all occasions necessitating reflection 
and inquiry. Satiated with luxuries, weary with the eternal 
round of visits and receptions, and entertainments of intellectual 
celebrities, fatigued and worn out with the frivolous pursuits of 
fashionable literary life, and fully sensible of the worthlessness 
of the blandishments of society and the splendor of its salons, 
she stood in need of some higher philosophy than ever emanated 
from mere worldly wisdom. 

Literature and art have their victims as well as their votaries, 
and those who cater for the enjoyments of their society, and 
aspire to the honor (ever dearly purchased by women) of reign- 
ing over it, must count on many sacrifices, and expect to have 
to deal with a world of importunate pretensions, of small ambi- 
tions, of large exigencies, of unbounded vanity, of unceasing flat- 
teries, of many attachments, and of few friendships. 

The sick at heart and stricken in spirit, the weary and the 
palled in this society, have need of other philosophy than that 
which the works of Rochefoucault can supply. The dreariness 
of mind of those jaded intellectual celebrities is manifest enough 
to the observant ; in their works and in their conversation, even 
when they appear in the midst of the highest enjoyments, with 
bright thoughts flashing from their eyes, with laughter on their 
lips, and with sallies of wit, sarcasm, or drollery coming from 
their tongues. 

It has been observed of Rochefoucault by a French writer. 
Monsieur de Sacy, in a review of that author's works : 

** His moral has every thing in it that can humble and depress 
the heart of man, that is to be found in the rigorous doctrine of 
the Gospel, with the exception of that which exalts man's na- 

poor woman, who wmi relieyed by h«r, how that sympathy wa» associated ? and 
to herself, was it of no adrantage to be reminded of being subject to the same sor- 
rows as the beggar in her taUered weeds, with her fatherless children beside her 
in the street 1" 



204 LITERABY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINOTON: 

ture and uplifts his spirit. It is the destmctioii of all the illu- 
sions, without the hopes which should replace them. Roche- 
foucault, in a word, has only taken from Christianity the fall of 
man ; he left there the dogma of the Redemption . . . 
Rochefoucault belieres no more in piety than he does in wis- 
dom ; no more in God than he does in man. A penitent is not 
more absurd in his eyes than a philosopher. Every where pride 
— every where self^ under the hair shirt of the monk of La 
Trappe, as well as under the mantle of the cynic philosopher. 
Rochefoucault permits himself to be a Christian only in order 
to pursue the emotions of the heart into their last intrenchments. 
He condescends to scorn to be a Christian only to poison our 
joys, and cast a deadly shade on the most cherished illusions of 
life's dreams. What remains for man then ? For those reso- 
lute minds, there remains nothing but a cold and daring con- 
tempt of all things human and divine — an arid and stoical con- 
tentment in confronting — annihilation: for others differently 
constituted, there remains despair or abandonment to the enjoy- 
ment of brutalizing pleasures as the only aim and ultimate ob- 
ject of lile." 

There remains for women of cultivated minds and of eleva- 
ted notions of a literary kind — women who are the disciples of 
Rochefoucault — a middle course to pursue, which Monsieur de 
Sacy has not noticed ; and that course is to shine in the society 
of intellectual people. The pursuit, indeed, is a soul-wearying 
one, but there is a kind of glory in it that dazzles people, and 
makes them exceedingly eager for it. 

Those to whom amusement becomes a business, the art of 
pleasing a drudgery that is daily to be performed, pass from the 
excitement of society, its labors and its toils, into the retire- 
ment and privacy of domestic life, in exhaustion, languor, irk- 
someness, and ennui ; and from this state they are roused to 
new efibrts in the salons by a craving appetite for notice and for 
praise. 

*• Their breath is admiration, ami their life 
A Rtorm whereon they ride." 

Lady Blessington had that fatal gift of pre-eminent attractive- 



LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSIN6T0N. 205 

nesB in society which has rendered so many clever women dis- 
tinguished and unhappy. The power of pleasing people indis- 
criminately, in large circles, is never long exercised hy women 
with advantage to the feminine character of their fascinations. 

The facility of making one's self so universally agreeahle in 
literary salons as to he there "the ohserved of all ohservers," 
'* the admired of all admirers," " the pink and rose" of the fair 
state — of literature, a la made, " the glass of fashion and the 
mould of form," becomes in time fatal to naturalness of charac- 
ter, singleness and sincerity oi mind. Friendship that becomes 
so difiusive as to admit of as many ties as there are claims of 
literary talents to notice in society, and to be considered avail- 
able for all intimacies with remarkable persons and relations 
with intellectual celebrities, must be kept up by constant admin- 
istrations of cordial professions of kindness and afiection, epis- 
tolary and conversational, and frequent interchange of compli- 
ments and encomiums, that tend to invigorate sentiments of re- 
gard that would fade away without such restoratives. ^^*0n ne 
hue cPordinaire que pour etre loue," The praiser and the praised 
have a nervous apprehension of depreciation ; and those who 
live before the public in literature or society get not unfre- 
quently into the habit of lavishing eulogies, less with reference 
to the deserts of those who are commended than with a view to 
the object to be gained by flattery, namely, the payment in its 
own coin, and with good interest, of the adulation that has been 
bestowed on others. 

Lady Blessington exercised the double influence of beauty 
and intellectuality in society, in attracting attention, to win ad- 
miration, and to gain dominion over admirers. 

In efiecting this object, it was the triumph of her heart to ren- 
der all around not only pleased with her, but pleased with 
themselves. She lived, in fact, for distinction on the stage of 
literary society before the foot-lights, and always en scene. Lady 
Blessington was very conscious of possessing the hearts of her 
audience. She had become accustomed to an atmosphere of 
adulation, and the plaudits of those friends, which were never 
out of her ears, at last became a necessity to her. Her abode 



206 LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLES8INOTON. 

was a temple, and she the Minerva of the shrine, whom all the 
votaries of literature and art worshiped. 

The swinging of the censer before her fair face never ceased 
in those salons, and soft accents of homage to her beauty and 
her talents seldom failed to be whispered in her ear, while she 
sat enthroned in that well-known fauteuil of hers, holding high 
court in queen-like state — ^''the most gorgeous Lady Blessing- 
ton."* The desire for this sort of distinction of a beautiful wom- 
an bookishly given — ^in other words, '* the coquetterie d*un dams 
des solans litteraires" — in many respects is similar to that com- 
mon sort of female ambition, of gaining the admiration of many 
without any design of forming an attachment for one, which 
Madam de Genlis characterizes, " Ce que Us kammes mepriseni ei 
qui les attire J" 

But, in one respect, the intellectual species of coquetry is of 
a higher order than the other ; it makes the power of beauty, 
of fascination, of pleasing manners, auxiliary only to the influ- 
ence of intellect, and seeks for conquests over the mind, even 
while it aims at gaining an ascendency over the feelings of the 
heart. The chief aim of it, however, is to achieve triumphs 
over all within its circle, and for this end, the lady ambitious 
of reigning in literary society must live to be courted, admired, 
homaged by its celebrities. The queen-regnant in its salons 
must at length cease to confide in the natural gifts and graces 
which belong to her — the original simplicity of her character or 
sweetness of her (Ksposition. She must become an actress 
there, she must adapt her manners, fashion her ideas, accommo- 
date her conversation to the taste, tone of thought, and turn of 
mind of every individual around her. 

She must be perpetually demonstrating her own attractions 
or attainments, or calling forth any peculiarities in others calcu- 
lated to draw momentary attention to them. She must become 
a slave to the caprices, envious feelings, contentions, rivalries, 
selfish aims, ignoble sacrifices, and exigeants pretensions of lite- 

* Dr. Parr was introduced to Lady Blessington by Mr. Pettigrew, and shortly 
after that introduction, the doctor, writing to Mr. Pettigrew, spoke of her ladyship 
as ** the most gorgeous Lady Blessington.** 



LITERARY OAREER OF LADY BLESSINOTON. 207 

rati, artists, and all the notabilities of fashionable circles, les 
amis des hommes des lettres, on les amants imaginaires des dames 
d*esprie. 

In a word, she must part with all that is calculated to make 
a woman in this world happy — peace of mind, the society of 
true friends, and pursuits which tend to make women loved and 
cherished ; the language of sincerity, the simplicity and endear- 
ing satisfaction of home enjoyments. And what does she gain 
when she has parted with all these advantages, and has attain- 
ed the summit of her ambition ? a name in the world of fash- 
ion, some distinction in literary circles, homage and admiration 
so long as prosperity endures, and while means are to be found 
for keeping up the splendor of a vast establishment and its 
brilliant circles. 

And when the end of all the illusion of this state of splendid 
misery comes at last, the poor lady who has lived in it so long 
awakens from it as from a dream, and the long delirium of it 
becomes manifest to her. She has thrown away fortune, time, 
and talents in obtaining distinction, in surrounding herself with 
clever people, in patronising and entertaining artists and lite- 
rati. She has sacrificed health and spirits in this pursuit. Her 
establishment is broken up — ^nothing remains to her of all its 
treasures ; she has to fly to another country, and, after a few 
weeks, she is suddenly carried off, leaving some persons that 
knew her well and long to lament that one so generous, kindly 
disposed, naturally amiable and noble-minded, so highly gifted, 
clever, and talented, should have been so unhappily circum- 
stanced in early life and in more advanced years, as well as at 
the close of her existence, and that she should have been placed 
so long in a false position ; in a few words, that the whole 
course of her life should have been infelicitous. 

The wear and tear of literary life leave very unmistakable 
evidence of their operation on the traits, thoughts, and energies 
of bookish people. Like the eternal rolling of the stone of Sis- 
yphus, the fruitless toiling up the hill, and the conscious failure 
of each attempt on coming down, are the ceaseless struggles 
for eminence of authors, artists, and those who would be sur- 



208 LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON; 

rounded by them in society as their patrons or influential ad* 
mirers, and would obtain their homage for so being. 

Like those unceasing tantalizing efibrts on which the ener- 
gies of Sisyphus were expended in vain, are the tiring pursuits 
of the literati, treading on the heels of one another day after 
day, tugging with unremitting toil at one uniform task — ^to ob- 
tain notoriety, to overcome competition, to supplant others in 
public favor, and, having met with some success, to maintain a 
position at any cost, with the eminence of which perhaps some 
freak of fortune may have had more to do than any intrinsic 
worth or superior merit of their own. And then they must 
end the labors which have consumed their health and strength 
without any solid advantage in the way of an addition to their 
happiness, a security to their peace of mind, or a conviction that 
those labors have tended materially to the real good of mankind, 
and thereby to the glory of God, and of His cause on earth, 
namely, the promotion of the interests of truth, justice, and hu- 
manity. 

In no spirit of unkindness toward the memory of Lady Bless- 
ington, in no cynical mood, or momentary forgetfulness even, 
of the many estimable qualities and excellent talents which she 
possessed, let us ask, did her literary career, and position in lit- 
erary society, secure for her any of those advantages which have 
been just referred to, or was that position attended with any sol- 
id benefits to those high interests which transcend all others in 
this world in importance ? 

Or, apart from her literary career, if the question be asked. 
Was her life happy ? assuredly the answer must be, It was not 
happy. 

In the height of her success, in the most brilliant period of her 
London life, in St. James's Square, in Seamore Place, in Gore 
House, in the midst of the luxuries by which she was surround- 
ed, even at the period of her fewest cares — in Italy and France 
— the present enjoyments were never unaccompanied with reminis- 
cences of the past that were painful. 

But who could imagine that such was the case who knew 
her only in crowded salons, so apparently joyous, animated, and 



UTERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINQTON. <^9 

exliilarated by the smiling looks and soft accents of those who 
paid such flattering homage to her beauty and her talent, fully 
conscious as she was of the admiration she excited, and so ac- 
customed to it that it seemed to have become essential to her 
being? 

Ample evidence is to be found in the detached thoughts of 
Lady Blessington, scattered through her papers or among those 
records of reflection to which she gave the appropriate name of 
'* Night Thought Books." The following extracts from them 
may serve to show the truth of the preceding observation. 

WRONGS AND WOES OF WOMEN. 

« Men can pity the wrongs inflicted by other men on the gen- 
tler sex, but never those which they themselves inflict (on wom- 
en)." 

" Gluelle destin^e que cette de la femme ! A I'etre le plus foi- 
ble le plus entour^ des seductions, le plus mal elev^, pour les 
resister, les juges les plus severes, les peines les plus dures la 
vengeance la plus inflexible. Cluand le ciel chasse de son Pa- 
radis notre pere et notre mere coupables, la glaive de Tange les 
frappa tons deux : pour tons deux son feu impitoyable brula de- 
vant la porte du lien des delices, sans que la femme fut plus 
puni, plus malheureux que I'homme. Si elle eut les douleurs 
de la matemite, son compagnon d'infortune eut les sueurs du 
travail et les horribles angoisses qui accompagnent le spectacle 
des Bouflrances de celle qu'on aime. II n'y eut point entre eux 
un inegal partago de punition, et Adam ne put pas k I'exclusion 
d'Eve rentrer dans ce jardin qui lui fermait la colere du ciel ! 
Hommes vous vous etes faits pour nous plus inflexible que Dieu, 
et quand nous sommes tombdes par vous, k cause de vous, pour 
nous seules bnlle I'ep^e qui met hors du monde, hors de I'hon- 
neur, hors de I'estime, et qui nous empSche k jamais d'y ren- 
trer." ! ! \—Briss€t, 

** The whole system of female education is to teach women to 
allure and not to repel, yet how much more essential is the lat- 
ter?" 

" England is the only country in Europe where the loss of 



210 LITE8ART CAREER OF LADY BLESSlNeTON. 

one's virtue superinduces the loss of all. I refer to chastity. 
A woman known to have violated this virtue, though she pos« 
sesB all the other virtues, is driven with ignominy from society 
into a solitude rendered insupportable by a sense of the injus- 
tice by which she is made a victim to solitude, which often be- 
comes the grave of the virtues she brought to it.** 

** Passion ! Possession ! Indifference ! What a history is com- 
prised in these three words ! What hopes and fears succeeded 
by a felicity as brief as intoxicating — ^followed in its turn by the 
old consequence of possession — indifference! What burning 
tears, what bitter pangs, rending the very heart-strings — ^what 
sleepless nights and watchful days form part of this every-day 
story of life, whose termination leaves the actors to search again 
for new illusions to finish like the last !" 

" A woman who exposes, even to a friend, her domestic un- 
happiness, has violated the sanctity of home and the delicacy of 
affection, and placed an enduring obstacle to the restoration of 
interrupted domestic peace and happiness.^ 

" The youth of women is entitled to the affectionate interest 
of the aged of their own sex." 

" Women who have reached old age should look with affec- 
tionate interest on those of their own sex who are still travel- 
ing the road scattered with flowers and thorns over which they 
have already passed themselves, as wanderers who have jour- 
neyed on through many dangers should regard those who are 
still toiling over the same route." 

BEAUTY WITHOUT THE SECURITY OF FIXED PRINCIPLE. 

" A beautiful woman without fixed principles may be likened 
to those fair but rootless flowers which float in streams, driven 
by every breeze." 

" Whenever we make a false step in life, we take more pains 
to justify it than would have saved us from its commission, and 
yet we never succeed in convincing others — nay, more, ourselves 
— that we have acted rightly." 

"The happiness of a woman is lost forever when her hus- 
band ceases to be its faithful guardian. To whom else can she 



LITERABY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 211 

confide the treasure of her peace who will not betray the trust ? 
and it is so precious, that, unless carefully guarded, it is soon 
lost." 

«< Love-matches are made by people who are content, for a 
month of honey, to condemn themselves to a life of vinegar." 

'' There are some chagrins of the heart which a friend ought 
to try to console without betraying a knowledge of their exist- 
ence, as there are physical maladies which a physician ought 
to seek to heal without letting the sufierer know that he has 
discovered their extent." 

" In some women modesty has been known to survive chas- 
tity, and in others chastity to survive modesty. The last exam- 
ple is the most injurious to the interests of society, because they 
who believe, while they preserve chastity inviolate, that they 
may throw aside the feminine reserve and delicacy which ought 
to be its outward sign and token, give cause for suspicions, and 
ofiend the purity of others of their sex with whom they are 
brought in contact much more than those who, failing in chas- 
tity, preserve its decency and decorum." 

*' The want of chastity is a crime against one's self, but the 
want of modesty is a crime against society." 

" A chaste woman may yield to the passion of her lover, but 
an unchaste woman gives way to her own."* 

Lines on various subjects, from the " Night Thought Book" 
of Lady Blessington : 

NIGHT. 

1. 
** Yes, night ! I love thy silence and thy cabn, 

That o'er my spirits abed a soothing bahn, 

Lifting my soul to brighter, purer spheres, 

Far, far removed from this dark vale of tears. 
3. 
** There is a holiness, a blessed peace 

In thy repose, that bids our sorrow cease ; 

That stills the passions in the hallowed breast, 

And lulls the tortured feelings into rest.'* 

♦ Some of the sentimonts expressed in these obncnrations I do not think true 
or juxt, in a moral or religious point of yiew.—R. R. M. 



212 UTBRARY CAREER OF LADY BLS88INOTON. 

FLOWERS. 
" Flowers an the bright lemembrances of youth ; 
They waft back, with their bland and odoioaa Ineath, 
The joyous hours that only young life knows, 
Ere we have learned that this &ir earth hides graves. 
They bring the cheek that*s mouldering in the dust 
Again before us, tinged with health's own rose ; 
They bring the voices we shall hear no more. 
Whose tones were sweetest music to our ears ; 
They bring the hopes that &ded one by one. 
Till naught was left to light our path but faith. 
That we, too, like the flowers, should spring to life, 
But not, like them, again e*er fiide or die." 

Lines of Lady Blessington, unfinished, written on the back of 
a letter of Lord Durham, very much injured and defaced, dated 
July 28,1837: 

** At midnight^s silent hour, when hushed in sleep. 

They who have labored or have sorrowed lie. 

Learning from slumber how 'tis sweet to die, 

I love my vigils of the heart to keep ; 

For then fond memory unlocks her store, 

Which in the garish noisy 

Then comes reflection, musing on the lore 

And precepts of pure, mild philosophy. 

Sweet voices — silent now, 

Bless my charmed ear ; sweet smiles are seen, 

Though they who wore them long now dwell on high. 

Where I shall meet them, but with chastened mien, 

To tell how dull was life where they were not, 

And that they never, never were forgot." 

Unfinished lines in pencil, with numerous corrections and al- 
terations, in the hand-writing of Lady Blessington, apparently of 
a recent date : 

" And years, long, weary years have rolled away. 
Since youth with all its sunny smiles has fled. 
And hope within this saddened breast is dead, 
To gloomy doubts and dark despair a prey. 
Turning from pleasure's flow'ry path astray. 
To haunts where melancholy thoughts are bred, 
And meditation broods with inward dread 
Amid the shades of pensive twilight gray. 



LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSIKGTOIC. 213 

Yet has this heart not ceased to thriD with pain* 
Though joy can make ita pulaea beat no mofe ; 
Ita wiah to reach mdifiereiice ia Tain, 
And will be, till life's fitful finrer*s o'er. 
And it has reached the dim and silent shore, 
VThere sorrow it shall nerer know again. 
Like to a stream whose current's frozen o'er. 

Yet still flows on beneath its icy '" 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

On the samo sheet of paper as that on which the preceding 
lines are written, there arc the following fragments of verse, 
evidently composed in the same thoughtful mood as the previous 
lines of a retrospective character : 

" But though the lily-root in earth 

Lies an unsightly thing, 
Yet thence the flow'ret had its birth. 

And into light will spring. 
So when this form is in the dust,** 

Of mortals all, the lot. 
Oh, may my soul its prison burst. 

Its errors all forgot !" 

Other lines tmfinished, in a MS. hook of Lady Blessington, in 
her ladyship's hand- writing : 

" The smile that plays around the lips 

When sorrow preys upon our hearts. 
Is like the flowers with which we deck 

The youthful corpse ore it departs 
Forever to the silent grave, 
From those who would have died to save.** 

A fragment in penciling, in another commonplace hook of 
liody Blessington, in her ladyship's hand- writing, hut no date or 
signature : 

" Pardon, O Lord ! if this too sinful heart, 

Ingrate to thee, did for a mortal feel 
Love all too pure for earth to have a part. 

Pardon — for lowly at thy feet I kneel : 
Bowed to the dust, my heart, like a crushed flower, 

Yields all remaining sweetness at thy shrine. 

♦ A line has here been erased. 



214 NOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLES8INOTON. 

Them only, Lord ofmenj, now hath power 

To hid repose and hope again be mine. 
Chase from this fond and too long tortured breast 

ThoughU that intrude to steal my soul firom thee ; 
Aid me within a cloister to find rest. 

When I from sin and passion shall be free." 

No one who ever know Lady Blessington, and perhaps few 
persons who may chance to read these pages, would refuse to 
say '^ Amen" to that sweet prayer. 



CHAPTER XI. 

NOTICES OP THE WRITINGS OF LADV BLE8SINOTON, ETC. 

It would he ahsurd to lay claim for Lady Blessington to the 
great attributes of first-rate intellectual powers, creative and in- 
ventive, namely, concentrativeness, originality, vigor, and ele- 
vation of mind, genius of the highest order, combining intensity 
of thought, strength of imagination, depth of feeling, combina- 
tive talents, and mastery of intellect in delineation and descrip- 
tion ; excellence, in short, in literature, that serv'cs to give a vivid 
look and life-like appearance to every thing it paints in words. 

It would be a folly to seek in the mental gifts and graces of 
Lady Blcssington for evidences of the divine inspirations of ex- 
alted genius, endowed with all its instincts and ideality, favored 
with bright visions of the upper regions of poetry and fiction, 
with glimpses of ethereal realms, peopled with shadowy forms 
and spiritualized beings, with glorious attributes and perfec- 
tions, or to imagine we are to discover in her keen perception 
of the ridiculous the excellent in art, literature, or conversation, 
or in her ideas of the marvelous or admirable in striking eflTects, 
sublime conceptions of the grand, the beautiful, the chivalrous, 
or supernatural. The power of realization of great ideas, with- 
out encumbering the representation of ideal objects with mate- 
rial images and earthly associations, belongs only to genius of 
the first order, and between it and graceful talent, fine taste, 
shrewdness of mind, and quickness of apprehension, there are 
many degrees of intellectual excellence. 



NOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. ^15 

It is very questionable if any of the works of Lady BlesWng- 
ton, with the exception of the " Conversations with Lord By- 
ron," and perhaps the " Idler in Italy," will maintain a perma- 
nent position in English miscellaneous literature. The interest 
taken in the writer was the main source of the temporary inter- 
est that was felt in her literary performances. 

The master-thinker of the last century has truly observed : 
" An author bustling in the world, showing himself in public, 
and emerging occasionally, from time to time, into notice, might 
keep his works alive by his personal influence ; but that which 
conveys little information, and gives no great pleasure, must soon 
give way, as the succession of things produces new topics of 
conversation, and other modes of amusement."* 

Lady Blessington commenced her career of authorship in 1822. 
Her first woric, entitled " The Magic Lantern ; or. Sketches of 
Scenes in the Metropolis," was published by Longman in that 
year, in one volume 8vo. 

The work was written evidently by one wholly inexperienced 
in the ways of authorship. There were obvious marks in it, 
however, of cleverness, quickness of perception, shrewdness of 
observation, and of kindly feelings, though occasionally sarcastic 
tendencies prevailed over them. There were evidences in that 
production, moreover, of a natural turn for humor and drollery, 
strong sensibility also, and some graphic powers of description 
in her accounts of affecting incidents. 

The sketches in the " Magic Lantern" are the Auction, the 
Park, the Tomb, the Italian Opera. 

A second edition of the ** Magic Lantern" was published soon 
after the first. There is a draught of a preface, in her lady- 
ship's hand-writing, intended for this edition, among her papers, 
with the following lines : 

" If sonio my Magic Lantern should offend, 
Tho ikuH^s not mme, for scandal's not my end ; 
'Tis vice and folly that I hold in view : 
Your friends, not I, find likenesses to you." 

It is very questionabto if more indications of talent are not to 
* Dr. Johnson. Life of Mallet. 



216 NOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLE88INOTON. 

be found in the first work written by Lady Blessington, " The 
Magic Lantern," than in the next production, or, indeed, in any 
succeeding performance of hers, though she looked bo unfavor- 
ably on " The Magic Lantern" in her later years as seldom or 
never to make any reference to it. 

" Sketches and Fragments," the second work by Lady Bless- 
ington, was also published by Longman in 1822, in one small 
12mo volume: The preface to it is dated June 12, 1822. The 
contents of this volume are the following : 

Blighted Hopes, Marriage, the Ring, Journal of a Week of a 
Lady of Fashion, an Allegory, Fastidiousness of Taste, Coquet- 
r}% Egotism, Reflections, Sensibility, Friendship, Wentworth 
Fragments. 

In the '^ Sketches and Fragments," Lady Blessington began to 
be somewhat affected and conventional, to assume a character 
of strait-laced propriety and purism, that made it incumbent on 
her to restrain her natural thoughts and feelings, and to adopt 
certain formulas expressive of very exalted sentiments, and of a 
high sense of the duties she had imposed on herself as a censor 
of society — its manners, morals, and all externals affecting the 
decorum of its character. The fact is. Lady Blessington was 
never less efficctive in her writings than when she ceased to bo 
natural. And with respect to her second production, though in 
point of style and skill in composition it was an improvement 
on her former work, in other respects it was hardly equal to it. 

Lady Blessington received no remuneration from either of the 
works just mentioned. From the produce of the sale of the sec- 
ond production, after defraying all the expenses of publication, 
there was a small sum of JC20 or JC30 available, which was ap- 
plied, by her ladyship's directions, to a charitable purpose. 

The necessity of augmenting her income by turning her lit- 
erary talents to a profitable account brought Lady Blessington 
before the public as a writer of fashionable novels. The pecul- 
iar talent she exhibited in this style of composition was in lively 
descriptions of persons in high life, in some respect or other 
outre or ridiculous, in a vein of quiet humor, which ran through- 
out her writings — a common-sense, and generally an amiable 



N0TICJB9 OF THE WEITINOS OF UADY BLK88INQT0N. 217 

way of Yiewing most subjects ; a pleasant mode of efiecting an 
entente eardiaU with her readers, an air of good-nature in her 
observations, and an apparent absence of malice or malignity in 
the smart sayings, sharp and satirical, which she delighted in 
giving utterance to. 

The great defect of her novels was want of creative power, 
and constructive skill in devising a plot, and carrying on any 
regularly planned action from the beginning of a work to its 
close, and making the denauSment the result that ought to be ex- 
pected from the incidents of the story throughout its progress. 

The characters of her mere men of fashion are generally well 
drawn. Many of her sketches of scenes (in one of the French 
acceptations of the word) in society, not of scenes in nature, are 
admirably drawn. 

Lady Blessington, in novel-writing, discarded the services of 
" gorgons, hydras, and chimsDras dire." She had no taste for 
horrors of that kind ; and if she had ventured into the delinea- 
tion of them, the materiel of her imagination would not have en- 
abled her to deal with them successfully. 

The characters of her women are generally naturally deline- 
ated, except when in waging war with the follies or vices of 
fashionable society. She portrayed its female members in col- 
ors rather too dark to be true to nature, or even just to her own 
sex. But she always professed to have a great dislike to works 
of fiction in which humanity was depicted in a revolting aspect, 
and individuals were represented without any redeeming trait 
in their characters. We find in several of her novels, in the 
character of the personages, a mixture of good and evil, and 
seldom, except in " the Victims of Society," evidence of unmit- 
igated, unredeemable baseness and villainy in the character of 
any person she writes of. Books that give pain, and are disa^ 
grceable to think of after they had been read, she had a strong 
objection to. One of her literary correspondents in 1845, writ- 
ing to her, referring to a recent work which gave a painful and 
disagreeable portraiture of several characters, said, ** It is a sin 
against art^ which is designed to please even in the terrors which 
it evokes. But the highest artista-r-Sopbocleft 8h«k«peMm Md 

Vol. L— K 



218 Noncfira of ths writtoos of ladt BLSssuforoH. 

Goethe— have departed fimn that rule on eertam ooeaiiom aad 
for certain ends. I shonld have compromited with the gnih 
depicted if I had abated the pain the contemplation of soeh 
guilt shonld occasion. It is in showing by what process ^e 
three orders of mind, which, rightly trained and regulated, pro- 
duce the fairest results of humanity, may be depraved to its 
scourge and pestilence, that I have sought the analysis of 
truths which, sooner or later, will vindicate their own moni 

utilities. The calculating intellect of D , which shonld 

have explored science; the sensual luxuriance and versatility 

of V , which should have enriched art ; the conjunction of 

earnest passion with masculine understanding in L , which 

should have triumphed for good and high ends in active prac' 
tical life, are all hurled down into the same abyss of irretriev- 
able guilt, from want of the one supporting principle — broth- 
erhood and sympathy with others. They are incarnations of 
egotism pushed to the extreme. And I suspect those most 
indignant at the exposition are those who have been startled 
with the likeness of their own hearts. They may not have the 
guilt of the hateful three, but they wince from the lesson that 
guilt inculcates. The earnestness of the author's own views 
can alone console him in the indiscriminate and lavish abuse, 
with all its foul misrepresentations, which greets his return to 
literature, and, unless he is greatly mistaken, the true moral of 
his book will be yet recognized, though the vindication may 
be deferred till it can only be rendered to dust — a stone and 
a name." 

In 1832, in " Colbum's New Monthly Magazine," Lady Bless- 
ington's " Journal of Conversations with Lord Byron" made its 
first appearance. The Journal contains matter certainly of the 
highest and most varied interest, and would convey as just an 
account of Byron's character, and as unexaggerated a sketch as 
any that has been ever published, if some secret feeling of 
pique and sense of annoyance were not felt by her, and had not 
stolen into her " Conversations." 

The " Journal" was published in one vol. 8vo, a little later, 
and had a very extensive sale. 



NOTIGBa OF THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLE8SINOTON. 219 

" Giaoe Gastidy, or the Eepealen," a novel in 3 voU., was 
publiahed by Bentley in 1833. 

From all Irish political novels, including '^ The Repealers," 
the English public may pray most earnestly to be delivered.* 

" Meredyth," a novel in 3 vols., was published by Longman, 
1833. 

In October, 1833, Mr. William Longman wrote to Lady Bless- 
ington, stating that '* Meredyth" had not hitherto had ^e suc- 
cess that had been anticipated. £45 had been spent in ad- 
vertising, and only 380 copies sold, 300 of which bad been sub- 
scribed. 

♦ KEY TO THE REPEALERS. 

(written xw 1833.) 
]>ache88 of HeariUnd — Duchess of Northumberland. 
Marehioaess of Bowood — ^Marchioness of Lansdows* 
Countess of Grandison — Countess of Grantham. 
Lord Albany — Lord Alvanley. 
Lord Elsinore — Lady Tullamore. 
Lady Rodney — Lady Sidney. 
Duke of Lismore — Duke of Devonshire. 
Mrs. Grantley — Mrs. Norton. 
Countess of Guernsey — Countess of Jersey. 
Lord Rey— Earl Grey. 

Marchioness of Stewartrille — Marchioness of Londondeny. 
Lord Montague — Lord Rokeby. 
Duchess of Lennox — Duchess of Richmond. 
Marchioness of Burton — Marchioness of Conyngham. 
Marquess of Mona — Marquess of Anglesey. 
Lady Augusta Jaring — Lady Augusta Baring. 
Marchioness of Glanricarde — Marchioness of Clanricarde* 
Lady E. Hart BurUey— Lady E. S. Wortley. 
Lady Yesterfield— Lady Chesterfield. 
Mrs. Pranson— Hon. Mrs. Anson. 
Lady Lacre — Lady Dacre. 
Lady Noreley — Lady Moreley. 
Mr. Manly— Mr. Stanley. 
Sir Robert Neil— Sir Robert Peel. 
Mr. Hutter Serguson— Mr. Cutlar Ferguson. 
Mr. Enice— Mr. Edward Elliee. 
Mr. Theil— Mr. R. L. SheiL 
Lord Refton— Lord Seftoo. 
Lady Castlemont^Lady Charlemont. 
Lord Leath^Lord MaaA. 
Poka sal Duoh^m of OttlMm--lllAyo a^ 



220 NOTICES OF THE WRITINOS OF LADT DLESSmeTDlf.- 

*< The Follies of Fashion, or the Beau MotA of Lottdon in 

1835" — a sketch by Lady Blessington, appeared in one of the 
periodicals of the time. 

*' The Belle of the Season,'' a much later production, was a 
lively sketch of an episode in fashionable society. 

" The Two Friends," a novel in 3 vols., was published by 
Saunders and Ottley in 1835. 

"The Victims of Society," a novel in 3 vols., Saunders and 
Ottley, published in 1837. If the delineation of high life given 
in this work be correct, the experience which qualified the au- 
thor to produce such a performance was very terrible. If it be 
not true, the wholesale pulling-down process, the utter demoli- 
tion of the reputation of people in fashionable society, of wom- 
en as well as men, in this work, is much to be regretted. 

" The Confessions of an Elderly Lady," in one vol., Longman, 
1838. 

" The Governess," a novel in 3 vols., Longman, 1839. 

" Desultory Thoughts and Reflections," in one thin 16mo vol., 
appeared in 1839, published by Longman. 

" The Idler in Italy" was published in 2 vols. 8vo, Colburn, in 
1839 ; the most successful and interesting of all the works of 
Lady Blessington. 

" The Idler in France" appeared in 2 vols. 8vo, Longman, in 
1841. 

" The Lottery of Life, and other Tales," in 3 vols., appeared 
in 1842. 

" Strathem, or Life at Home and Abroad," a story of the pres- 
ent day. This novel appeared first in ** The Sunday Times ;" 
afterward it was published by Colburn, in 1845, in 4 vols. Be- 
tween the two publications, Lady Blessington is said to have 
realized nearly JC600. It was the most read of all her novels, 
as she imagined ; yet the publisher, in a letter to Lady Bless- 
ington, several months after publishing, complained that he only 
sold 400 copies, and had lost JC40 by the publication, and that 
he must decline a new work proposed by her. In this work, 
the writer drew, as in her other novels, her illustrations of so- 
cioty from her own times ; and hor opportunitiei of studying 



KOnOBB OF THB WRITINGS OF LADY BUB88IK0T0N. ^i 

human nature in a great variety of its phases, but particularly 
in what is called *' the fashionable world," afforded her ample 
means of giving faithful portraitures of its society. These por- 
traitures in '' Strathem'' are graphic, vivid, and not without a 
dash of humor and sarcastic drollery in her delineation of fash- 
ionable life at home and abroad. But the representation is cer- 
tainly not only exceedingly unfavorable to the class she puts en 
scene in Rome, Naples, Paris, and London, but very unpleasing 
on the whole, though often amusing, and sometimes instructive. 

In " The Memoirs of a Femme de Chambre," a novel in 3 vols., 
published by Colbum and Bentley in 1846, Lady Blessington 
availed herself of the privileges of an imaginary servant-maid to 
penetrate the inner chambers of temples of fashion, to discover 
and disclose the arena of aristocratic life. The follies and foibles 
of persons in high life, the trials and heart-sicknesses of unfor- 
tunate governesses, and the vicissitudes in the career of ladies'- 
maids, and, in particular, in that of one femme de chombre, who 
became the lady of a bilious nabob, are the subjects of this nov- 
el, written with great animation, and the usual piquancy and 
liveliness of style of the writer. 

'* Lionel Deerhurst, or Fashionable Life under the Regency," 
was published by Bentley, 1846. 

" Marmaduke Herbert," a novel, was published in 1847. Of 
this work, a very eminent litterateur wrote in the following terms 
to Lady Blessington, May 22d, 1847 : 

*^ It seems to me, in many respects, the best book you have 
written. I object to some of the details connected with the 
* fatal error,' but the management of its efiects is marked by a 
very high degree of power ; and the analytical subtlety and skill 
displayed throughout the book struck me very much. 

*^ I sincerely and warmly congratulate you on what must cer- 
tainly extend your reputation as a writer." 

'^ Country Quarters," a novel, first appeared in the columns 
of a London Sunday paper in 1848, and was published separ- 
ately, and edited by Lady Blessington's niece. Miss Power, aft- 
er her ladyship's death, in 3 vols. 8vo, Shoberl, 1850. 

" Country CUarteii," the last ptroduotioa of Lady Bleiaington, 



NX>tlCm OP THB WRITINOll OF LADY BL3BBBm«TOll. 

in fll«*«*»^^ *^ * •***® ®^ iociety and of ■eoMs ia Mml fifii in 
^yjrtt»<A> towns, in which young English military Lolliarios and 
iY^i<«*r*hi»arlcd Irish heroines, speculative and sentimental, an 
^}s^ \A\M* performers, for the delineation of which Lady Bleaa- 
SW^%\^^x was far more indebted to her recollection than to her im- 
AHliiniion. There is no evidence of exhausted intellect in this 
U«t work of Lady Blessington's. But the drollery is not the fan 
that oozed out from exuberant yivacity in the early days of Lady 
Blessington's authorship ; it is forced, strained, *' written up" for 
occasion ; and yet there is an air of cheerfulness about it, which, 
to one knowing the state of mind in which that work was writ- 
ten, would be very strange, almost incredible, if we did not call 
to mind the frame of mind in which the poem of John GUpiii 
was written by Cowper. 

The literary friends of Lady Blessington were in the habit of 
expressing to her ladyship their opinions on her performances 
as they appeared, and sometimes of making very useful suggos- 
tions to her. 

The general tone of opinions addressed to authors by their 
friends, must, of course, be expected to be laudatory ; and those, 
it must be admitted, of many of Lady Blessington's friends were 
no exception to the rule. 

Of " The Repealers," a very distinguished writer thus wrote 
to the authoress : 

** My dear Lady Blessington, I have read your * Repealers ;' 
you must be prepared for some censure of its politics. I have 
been too warm a friend to the Coercive Bill to suffer so formi- 
dable a combatant as you to possess the field without a chal- 
lenge. I like many parts of your book much ; but — ^will you for- 
give me ? — ^you have not done yourself justice. Your haste is 
not evident in style, which is pure, fluent, and remarkably 
elegant, but in the slightness of the story. You have praised 
great ladies and small authors too much ; but that is the fault 
of good nature. Let your next book, I implore you, be more of 
passion, of sentiment, and of high character. You are capable 
of great things, of beating many of the female writers of the day 
in prose, and you ought to task your powers to the utmost ; your 
genius is worthy of application. 



NOTIOBS OF THE WRITIN08 OF LADY BLS88INGT0N. ^28 

** Foifive all this frankneM ; it is from one who admires you 
too much not to be sincere, and esteems you too highly to fear 
that you will be offended at it." 

Another eminent literary writer writes to her on the subject 
of another recent production of hers : 

'* You have only to write passions instead of thoughts in order 
to excel in novel writing. But you fear too much ; you have the 
prudes before you ; you do not like to paint the passions of love, 
you prefer painting its sentiment. The awe of the world chills 
you. But perhaps I am wrong, and in ' The Two Friends' I 
shall find you giving us another * Corinne' or a better * Admi- 
ral's Daughter,' both being works that depend solely on passion 
for their charm. You have all the tact, truth, and grace of De 
8tael, and have only to recollect that while she wrote for the 
world, the world vanished from her closet. In writing, we 
should see nothing before us but our own wild hearts, our own 
experience, and not till we correct proofs should we remember 
that we are to have readers." 

One fully authorized to speak on the subject of authorship 
thus writes to her ladyship on the appearance of a recent novel 
of hers : 

^ People often say to me, I shall write a novel ; if I question 
them ' on what rule V they state they know of no rules. They 
write history, epic, the drama, criticism, by rules ; and for the 
novel, which comprises all four, they have no rules ; no wonder 
that there is so much of talent mon^^ in half the books we read. 
In fact, we ought to do as the sculptors do, gaze upon all the 
great master-pieces till they sink into us, till their secrets pene- 
trate us, and then we write according to rules without being 
quite aware of it. 

" I have been trying to read some fashionable French books. 
Sue and Balzac seem most in vogue, but the task is too heavy. 
Rant run mad, and called, God wot, philosophy ! I feel as if 
these writers had taken an unfair advantage of us, and their 
glittering trash makes common sense too plain and simple to be 
true." 

Of « The Victims of Society," a friendly oritie writes : 



324 NOTI0B8 OF THE WBITmOB OF UIDT BLESnNGTON. 

•< I have finished ike whole of* The Yktiins of Soeietf .' The 
charaetera are drawn with admirable tact and preciaiony and a 
knowledge of human nature that is only too fine for the obtnae. 
You are, indeed, Tery severe in the second volume, more so 
than 1 had anticipated ; but it is severe trath, finely conceived, 
boldly attempted, and consummately executed. You have 
greatly retrieved and fined down Miss Montresor's character by 

her touches of penitence and remorse. Lord C5 is perfect. 

W , an English dandy throughout. I can not conceive that 

you have any thing to dread. Yon have attacked only persona 
whom the general world like to hear attacked ; the few who 
wince will pretend not to understand the application." 

Of " The Idler in Italy," one of her most distinguished firienda 
says : 

" I have already nearly finished the two volumes of ' The 
Idler in Italy,' and am delighted with the sparkling and grace- 
ful ease. You interest us in every thing, even in the ' bed rest- 
ing on pillar swans/ and the * terrace that is to be turned into a 
garden :' your observations on men and things are, as usual, ex- 
cellent. All the account of the Revolution is highly animated 
and original ; I am sure the work will be universally liked." 

On the appearance of " The Two Friends," Lady Blessington 
received the following notice of it from one of her literary ac- 
quaintance : 

" I have just finished your work, ' The Two Friends,' and I 
may congratulate you on a most charming publication, which 
can not fail to please universally, and to increase your reputa- 
tion. It is true that there is nothing exaggerated in it, but it is 
written in a thoroughly good tone and spirit, very elegant, and 
sustained with great knowledge of character, many dramatic 
situations, abounding with profound observations and much 
playful wit. The happiest and newest character of the kind I 
know is the Count de Bethune. He is admirable. His bearing 
his griefs like * a man and a Frenchman,' his seeing to his din- 
ner, and reproving his daughter for her want of feeling in dis- 
turbing his digestion, are exquisite traits of character, and re- 
mind us of the delicate touches of Manzoni in ' I Promessi Sposi.' 



fiOncmB OF THS WRITINOS OF UlU^ BLSflMNOTON. 225 

Lord Scamper is very humorous, and I laughed heartily at some 
of the scenes in which he appears, though in one part his verisi- 
militude is a little injured hy your making him talk sense ahout 
the Revolution. Your politics there, hy-the-hy, are shockingly 
Tory, and will please Lord Abinger. There are some beauti- 
ful discriminative reflections, not dragged in per force, nor te- 
dious and extraneous, but natural and well timed. In your 
story you have improved prodigiously since * The Repealers ;' it 
is more systematic and artful. Altogether, you have exceeded 
my hopes, and may reckon here on complete success. Lady 
Walmer is very harsh, but a very true portrait. Cecile is charm- 
ing, and pleases me more than Lady Emily, I scarcely know 
why. The only fault I see in your book is, that it is a little too 
prudent. But perhaps you are quite right, and a man does not 
allow for the fears of a woman ; at all events, such prudence 
will make you more popular. There is no doubt of your having 
greatly excelled ' The Repealers.' " 

Another novel of her ladyship'^ called forth the following ob- 
servations from another quarter : 

'' I have received your book (' Marmaduke Herbert'), and I 
- must candidly tell you that I think you have outdone yourself in 
this most interesting and eflective work. It has a grave, sus- 
tained solemnity of power about it, of which I can not speak too 
highly. 

'^ It reminds me greatly of Godwin's earlier writings. The 
same minute and faithful analysis of feeling, the same patience 
in building up the interest, and the same exhibition of strength 
and weakness in one motley volume. 

'' I did not think, when you spoke to me of the story long ago, 
that you could have made so fine a thing of it. The first vol- 
ume and a half are extremely thrilling, and without eflbrt." 

'' The Belle of a Season" brought several letters to Lady 
Blessington. The following one is most deserving of being 
cited : 

" I read your ' Belle of the Season' with sincere admiration ; 
the very lightness of the subject makes the treatment so difficult, 
and it is surprising how:muoh actual interast yon have gximn to 

K2 



236 NOTICEB OF THE WRITINGS OF IJLDT BLKSBDCGTON. 

the story, while the Terifieation is bo dulUuly so gnoefnl aai 
easy, as to be a model in its way. 

'* I was charmed from the first few lines, and indeed tiie open- 
ing of the story is one of the happiest parts. 

^* The whole partakes of the character of the subject, and is a 
true picture of what a London season is to a young lady — open- 
ing those views that are new to her of life and society. A Lon- 
don season wears different faces to different classes ; the politi- 
cian, the author, the actor, the artist, the tradesman, the pick- 
pocket, the boy who wants to " 'old your *08s', each has his own 
London season. But no doubt the happiest of all, for a year or 
two, is the young lady's, beginning with court, and ending 
with a fancy ball, to say nothing of the declaration, for that is 
the drop scene. 

'* Your style is peculiarly fluent and appropriate, and very orig^ 
inal. I do not remember any specimen of the ' Rambler' like it. 

" I then went from poetry to prose, and read your ' Govern- 
ess.' The story is very interesting, and the character of the poor 
child so exquisite a sketch, that I regret much that it was not 
more elaborate ; it alone would have furnished matter for three 
volumes. The Williamsons are extremely well hit off, and so 
are the Manwarings ; the poets, and characters I like best, are 
those which belong to what is now the popular class of litera- 
ture, very caricature. To this class I think the Mondens, and 
some of the scenes at Mr.Y. Robinson's, belong. But they are 
amusing, and will, no doubt, please generally. 

" I am delighted to see that you improve and mature in your 
charming talent with every new work. I never saw a more 
striking improvement in any writer since the date, not a long 
one, of the ' Repealers.' I ought, as I am on the subject, to add 
how much I was struck with the little tale of the Dreamer ; if 
a very few lines, a little too English and refined, were toned 
down into the Irish coloring of the rest, it would be a perfect 
gem in composition, as it is now in sentiment and conception." 

THE ANNUALS. 
The lata Frederick Shoberl, Esq., who died in Mavch, 1853, 



NOTIOB8 or THS WRirmOB OF LADT BLEBBINeTON. 327 

originated in 1823, in conjunction with the late Mr. Ackerinann, 
the first of the English annuals, ''The Forget-me-not." For sev- 
eral years he was the editor of it. The last of these annuals 
was the volume for 1834. This periodical paved the way for 
the numerous illustrated works that have since issued from the 
press. 

These luxuries of literature were got up especially for the en- 
tertainment of ladies and gentlemen of fashionahle circles, hut 
not exclusively for the Slite of English society. The tastes of 
belles and beaux of the boudoir of all grades aspiring to distinc- 
tion were to be catered for, and the contributors, in general, were 
sought for among the aristocracy, not in the republic of letters. 

It was necessary, however, to enliven a little dullness of no- 
ble amateur authorship with the sparkling gems of genius, with 
more regard to brilliancy of talent than to advantages of ances- 
try, and these adventitious aids of professional literati were v^exy 
largely paid for. 

In 1828, Moore makes mention of the editor of ''The Keep- 
fiake" offering him £600 for 120 lines of either prose or poetry, 
which he declined. 

Persons known as popular writers had likewise to be employ- 
ed as editors of those periodicals, and were largely paid in gen- 
eral ; some for their name alone, and others for their services. 

In those palmy days of annual periodicals, when the name of a 
literary notability as editor was so important to success, we'fiud 
"The Scenic Annual" for 1838 edited by Thomas Campbell. 

" The Keepsake" for 1833 was edited by F. Mansel Reynolds. 
The contributors were the Countess of Blessington, Lord Doirer, 
Leitch Ritchie, Esq., John Came, Esq., J. H. Louther, Esq.,M.P., 
Hon. Grantley Berkley, Hon. W. Liddell, Ralph Bemal, Esq., 
M.P., Lord Morpeth, James Boaden, Esq., Lord Mahon, Mrs. C. 
Gore, Colley Grattan, Esq., Mrs. Shelley, Hon. H. Craddook, au- 
thor of " Hajji Baba ;" Archdeacon Spencer, Miss L. E. Landon, 
^., Ico. 

" The Court Journal" for 1833 was edited by the Hon. Mrs. 
Norton. 

" Heath*s Book «f BiWiity" for the wmt year wns isditid by 
L. E. L. 



228 NOnCSB OF THE WRITINOS OF LADT BL3B8BINQTON. 

" Fortnits of the Ghildien of the Nohilitj" wm edited by Mn. 

Fairlee in 1838, and in the same year, *' The PictozeaqQe An- 
nual" by Leitch Ritchie. 

Fisher's " Drawing-Room Scrap-Book" for 1838 was edited 
by L. E. L. 

*' Flowers of Loveliness," with poetical illustrations by L.E.L., 
also appeared the same year. 

Finden's '^ Tableaux ; or, Picturesque Scenes of National Char- 
acter, Beauty, and Costume," edited by Mary Eussell Mitford, 
was published in 1 838. The poetical contributions were by Mr. 
Kenyon, Mr. Chorley, and Barry Cornwall. 

The greatest and first promoter, in his day, of illustrated an* 
nuals, was Mr. Gharlet Heath. 

This eminent engraver was the son of Mr. James Heath, a 
distinguished artist also, whose engravings have been the stud- 
ies on which the two Findens arc said to have employed days 
and nights. 

The success of the Findens in working for the booksellers in 
the illustration of periodicals and popular publications did not 
satisfy themselves. They became the publishers of their own 
works, and the works of those whose productions were illustrated 
by them. Their Byron Illustrations turned out advantageous, 
but in their other speculations they were less fortunate. Mr. 
William Finden's " Gallery of British Art" proved a ruinous un- 
dertaking ; he died in very poor circumstances, September 20, 
1852, in his sixtj'-fifth year. 

Mr. Charles Heath had, like the Findens, entered on the pub- 
lication of periodicals illustrated by him, and with the same un- 
fortunate result. He excelled in small plates, and in his hands 
that sort of artistic talent exhibited in the embellishment of an- 
nuals reached its greatest perfection. 

Heath's *'Book of Beauty" for 1834, edited by the Countess 
of Blessington, contained nine pieces by her ladyship. The fol- 
lowing are the contents of this volume, and the names or signa- 
tures of the authors : 

1. The Choice of Phylias, a tale. Sir E. L. B. 

2. Fraooesca, a poem. Dr. William Beattie. 



NOnCSa OF TKB writings of LADT BLESOLNOTON. 2229 

3. Margaret Carnegie, a tale. Yifcoiint Castlereagh. 

4. The Phantom Guest, a poem. Anonymous. 

5. Mary Lester, a tale. Countess of Blessington. 

6. To a Jasmine Tree, lines. Viscount Morpeth. 

7. Amy, lines. Countess of Blessington. 

8. The Friends, a tale. Henry Lytton Bulwer, Esq., M.P. 

9. On the Portrait of Lady C. A. W, Villiers, lines. Lady E. 

S.Wortley. 

10. An Irish Fairy Fable, a tale. Mrs. S. C. Hall. 

11. Phoebe, or my Grandmamma West, lines. James Smith. 

12. Imaginary Conversations, Rhadamistus and Zenobia. 

W. S. Landor. 

13. To Memory, stanzas. The Countess of Blessington. 

14. The Desert, lines. John Gait, Esq. 

15. Bianca Vanezzi, lines. Dudley West, Esq. 

16. Rosalie, lines. Countess of Blessington. 

17. Epochs, lines. H. L. Bulwer, Esq. 

18. Imaginary Conversations, Philip II. and Donna Juana 

Coelho. W. S. Landor. 

19. The Coquette, a tale. The Countess of Blessington. 

20. The Deserted Wife, lines. R. Bemal, Esq., M.P. 

21. Farewell forever, lines. J. H. Lowther, Esq. 

22. The Bay of Naples in the summer of 1824, a sketch. 

The Countess of Blessington. 

23. To Matilda sketching, lines. The Countess of Bless- 

ington. 

24. Rebecca, a tale. Anonymous. 

25. To Lucy reading, lines. The Countess of Blessington. 

26. What art thou, life ? stanzas. Idem. 

As one of the most favorable specimens of those illustrate^ 
works, the following notice of "the Book of Beauty" for 1835, 
under the editorship of Lady Blessington, may not be out of 
place. The principal beautiful celebrities of whom engraved 
portraits are given in this volume are "The Marchioness of 
Abercom," by E. Landseer ; " Lucilla," by Parris ; " Nourma- 
hal," by Meadows ; « Habiba," by Chalon. The gem of the vol- 
ume is " Juliet," by Bostook. 



290 NOTIOB0 OF THB WIUTINOB OF LdUnr BLBSaorOTOll. 

Among the oontnbutnn we find the distingniihed litenury 
names of Viscount Strangford, Sir William Grell, £. L. Bnlwer, 
M.P., Lord Nugent, the Hon. K. R. Craven, Lady Emmeline S. 
Wortley, Loid Alhert Conyngham, R. Bemal, M JP., Lady Char- 
lotte Bury, Lord William Lennox, Miss Louisa H. Sheridan, H. 
L. Bulwer, M.P., Sir Auhrey de Vere, Bart., Hon. G. Berkely, 
Hon. J. Lester, Sir William Somerville, Bart., Hon. K. Talhot, 
Mr. Sergeant Talfourd, M.P., &c., kc. 

The fair editress contrihuted a lively and graceful illustration 
of an excellent plate, named ^ Feliei^," hy M^Clise, represent- 
ing a pretty pert lady's maid tr3ring on a fine dress hefoie the 
glass, and looking perfectly satisfied with the result. 

FELICITE. 
BT THX COUICTBSS OF BLK88INOTON. 

"Oh! would I were a lady, 
In costly nlks to shine ; 
\^lio then could stand beside me ! 
What figure match with mine t 

^ Who'd rave about my mistress, 
With her pale and languid &oe, 
If they could see my pink cheeks, 
Edged nmnd wiUi Brussels lace ! 

" How well her cap becomes me ! 
With what a jaunty air 
Fve placed it off my forehead. 
To show my shining hair ! 

" And I declare, these ribands 
Just suit me to a shade ; 
If Mr. John could see me, 
My fortune would be made. 

** Nay, look ! her bracelets fit me. 
Though just the least too tight ; 
To wear what costs so much, must 
Afford one great delight. 

*' And then this pretty apron. 

So bowed, and frill'd and laced— 
I hate it on my mistress, 
Though weU it shows my waist. 



WOnOni OF THB WRITINGS OF LADY BLBS8IN6TON. 2^1 

<* I muit run down one minute, 
That Mr. John may aee 
How silks, and lace, and ribands 
Set off a girl like me. 

*< Y^ all of these together, 

Ay, pearls and diamonds too, 
Woold fail to make most ladies look 
As well as — I know who." 

Ajiother of these periodicals, edited by her ladyship from 1835 
to 1840, was entitled " Gems of Beauty, designs by £. T. Farris, 
Esq., with fanciful illustrations in verse by the Countess of 
Blessington." 

Her ladyship was gifted with a great facility for versification ; 
poetry of a high order hers certainly was not. But she could 
throw great vivacity, much humor, and some pathos into her 
vers de societe, and many of her small published pieces in verse 
were quite equal to the ordinary run of *' bouts rkymees*^ in the 
literature of annuals, and some far superior to them. But it 
must be observed. Lady Blessington 's poetry derived consider- 
able advantage from the critical care, supervision, and correc- 
tion of very eminent literary men, some certainly the most emi- 
nent of their day. Of this fact there are many evidences, and 
some proofs of extensive services of this sort. 

" The Book of Beauty for 1843," edited by the Countess of 
Blessington, contained only two pieces by her ladyship. 

1 . On a Picture of Her Majesty and Children, lines. Br. W. 

Beattie. 

2. An Episode in Life, a tale. Sir E. L. Bulwer, Bart. 

3. On Portrait of Princess Esterhazy, lines. Countess of 

Blessington. 

4. Love, lines. Mrs. Edward Thomas. 

5. To , lines. A. Baillie Cochrane, Esq., M.P. 

6. Inez de Castro, a sketch. Lord William Lennox. 

7. Mens Divinior, lines. Barry Cornwall. 

8. On Portrait of Mrs. Craven, lines. Anonymous. 

9. Medora, a fragment. C. G. H. 

10. On Portrait of Mrs. Kynaston, lines. Anonymous. 



232 NOT1GS8 OF THE WRITIN08 OF hASfY BLBB8IK€TaH. 

11. MiniBtermg Angels, linei. Adelaide. 

12. Poets die in Antumn, lines. Mrs. G. B. Wilson. 

13. A sketch in the Tuilleries. Hon. George Smythe, Esq. 

14. On the 25th of January, 1842, lines. Lord John Manners. 

15. The Venetian Glass, a tale. Baroness de Calabrella. 

16. On Portrait of Miss Dormer, lines. Miss Power. 

17. In Midland Ocean, a sketch. B. D'Israeli, Esq., M.P. 

18. William of Ripperda, lines. Anonymous. 

19. Third Imaginary Letter, Earl of Chesterfield to his daugh- 

ter. Viscount Powerscourt. 

20. The Fairy Ring, lines. Miss A. Savage. 

21. On Portrait of Miss Meyer, lines. Miss Power. 

22. The Two Flowers, lines. Miss M. H. Acton. 

23. Rail-roads and Steam-hoats, a sketch. Lady Blessingtaii. 

24. On the Civic Statue of the Duke of Wellington, Latin lines. 

Marquis Wcllesley. 

25. On Portrait of the Hon. Mrs. Spalding. A. H. Plunkett. 

26. Ye Gentlemen of England. Sir J. Hanmer, Bart., M.P. 

27. Her I dearly love, lines. R. Bemal, Esq., M.P. 

28. The Teacher, a sketch. Mrs. S. C. Hall. 

29. Ellen, a tale. Major Mundy. 

30. The Great Oak, lines. Lord Leigh. 

31. Night breezes, lines. Miss Ellen Power. 

32. Death, song. Lady Emmeline Stuart Wortley. 

33. Edward Clinton, a tale. Sir Hesketh Fletwood, Bart. 

34. On Portrait of Mrs. C. Coape. Anonymous. 

35. A Children's Fancy Ball, lines. Lady Stepney. 

36. Imaginary Conversation, Vittoria Colonna and M. A. Bu- 

onarotti, by W. S. Landor. 

37. On Portrait of Mrs. Burr, lines. Camilla Toulmin. 

38. To Leonora, lines. Mrs. Torre Holme. 

39. Can I e'er cease to love thee ? lines. J. D'Oyley, Esq. 

40. Gratitude, a sketch. Captain Marryatt. 

41 . On the launching of a Yacht, lines. Richard Johns, Esq. 

42. Moma, Adieu, lines. Hon. Grantley F. Berkeley, M.P. 

43. Claudia, a tale. Virginia Murray. 

44. On Portrait of Miss Bellew, lines. A. Hnme Plunk#»tt. 



N0TICB8 OF THS WRITINM OF LADY BLB8SINOTON. 238 

45. Yes, peace should be there, lines. A. H. T. 

46. The Stone-cutter Boy, a sketch. Miss Grace Aguilar. 

47. The Closed Gate, lines. Marchioness of Hastings.*- 

48. I love the Oak, lines. Sir W. Somerville, Bart., M.P. 

49. Lines on Portrait of Mrs. G. Wingfield. Miss Power. 

50. The two Soldiers, a sketch. Barry Cornwall. 

51. The Song of a Bird, lines to Miss £. Power. Anonymous. 

52. Sleeping and waking Dreams, lines. Mrs. Abdy. 

53. An agreeable Tete-h-tete, sketch. Isabella F. Romer. 

54. Field Flowers, lines. Miss E. Scaife. 

For several years Lady Blessington continued to edit both pe- 
riodicals, " the Keepsake" and " the Book of Beauty." This oc- 
cupation brought her into contact with almost every literary 
man of eminence in the kingdom, or of any foreign country, who 
visited England. It involved her in enormous expense, far be- 
yond any amount of remuneration derived from the labor of ed- 
iting those works. It made a necessity for entertaining contin- 
ually persons to whom she looked for contributions, or from whom 
she had received assistance of that kind. It involved her, more- 
over, in all the drudgery of authorship, in all the turmoil of con- 
tentions with publishers, commimications with artists, and never- 
ending correspondence with contributors. In a word, it made 
her life miserable. 

In 1848, Heath died in insolvent circumstances, heavily in 
debt to Lady Blessington, to the extent nearly of jC700. His 
failure had taken place six or seven years previously. From 
^at time the prosperity of the annuals was on the wane, and 
Lady Blessington's receipts from them became greatly reduced. 
The prices she received for her novels had likewise been much 
diminished. In fact, of late years it was with the utmost diffi- 
culty she could get a publisher to undertake, at his own risk, the 
publication of a work of hers. 

The public were surfeited with illustrated annuals. The taste 
for that species of literature had died out. The perpetual glori- 
fication even of beauty had become a bore. The periodical pae- 
ans sung in honor of the children of the nobility ceased to be 
amusing. Lords, and ladies, and right honorables, ready to write 



234 NOnCBII OF THE WRITINOB OP LADT BLSBBRfGTOBr. 

on any Bubject at the command of fiuhionable editon and ed- 
itresses, there was no dearth of, but readers were not to be kad 
at length for love or money. 

When Lady Blessington's income from the annuals and her 
novels began to fall off largely, she hoped to be able to derive 
some emolument from other souroes. 

In 1845, a newspaper project on a grand scale was entered 
into by the eminent printers, Messrs. Bradbury and Evans, with 
the co-operation of some of the most distinguished literary men 
of England. The '' Daily News" was established, and the lit- 
erary services of Lady Blessington wero solicited for it in Jan- 
uary, 1846. Her ladyship was to contribute, in confidence, ** any 
sort of intelligence she might like to communicate, of the aay- 
ings, doings, memoirs, or movements in the fashionable world.** 
Her contributions were supposed to consist of what is oalled 
'' Exclusive Intelligence." 

Lady Blessington estimated the value of the services required 
of her at ^£^800 per annum ; the managers, however, considered 
the amount more than could be well devoted to that branch of 
intelligence. They proposed an arrangement at the rate of 
£500 a year for the term of half a year, but at the rate of £400 
a year for a year certain ; and the arrangement was carried 
into efTect. 

In May, 1846, Lady Blessington wrote to the managers, stat- 
ing '^ it was not her intention to renew her engagement with 
the* Daily News.'" 

The sum of ^£^250 for six months' services was duly paid by 
the proprietors. 

Mr. Dickens retired from the management of the paper in 
July, 1846, and was replaced by Mr. Forster, who gave up the 
management in November following.* 

• There are some observations that have reference to the writings of Forster 
and Dickens, in a letter of Lady Blessington on literary subjecU, addressed to a 
very dear friend and a very distinguished writer, which are deserving of notiee. 

** I have read with delight the article of F on the ' Life of Churchill.* It 

is the most masterly review I ever read, and places Churchill in a so much better 
point of view as to excite a sympathy for him. Every one is speaking of this !«• 
view. All the papers have taken it up. It is generally attributed to Maeanky. 



KOTIOn OF THB WSITIN68 OF LADY BLB8MNOTON. 935 

Mr. Jevdaiiy fonnerly editor of the ** Literary Gazette," who 
wai intimately acquainted with the publishing afiairs of Lady 
Blessington, thus speaks in his "^ Autobiography" of the income 
■he derived from her literary labors : 

** As an author and editor of ' Heath's Annual' for some years, 
Lady Blessington received considerable sums. I have known 
her to enjoy from her pen an amount somewhere midway be- 
tween JC2000 and j6^3000 per annum, and her title, as well as 
talents, had considerable influence in * ruling high prices,' as 
they say in Mark Lane and other markets. To this, also, her 
well-arranged parties with a publisher now and then, to meet 
folks of a style unusual to men in business, contributed their at- 
tractions ; and the same society was in reality of solid value to- 
ward the production of such publications as the annuals, the con- 
tents of which were provided by the editor almost entirely from 
the pens of private friends, instead of being dearly bought from 
the ' Balaam' refuse of celebrated writers." 

On this subject Miss Power says : 

** I never heard her say the exact amount of her literary prof- 
its any particular year. I believe that for some years she made, 
on an average, somewhat about a thousand a year ; some years 
a good deal above that sum." 

WAIPS AND STRAYS OF THOUGHTS AND OBSBRVATIONS ; OR, ODDS AND 
SND8 OP IMPRESSIONS AND REFLECTIONS, FROM LADY BLESSING- 
TON'S UNPUBLISHED PAPERS, VERSES, AND ICEMORANDA, IN COMMON- 
PLACE BOOKS. 

Lady Blessington was in the habit for some time of writing 

and ii said to be the best of his articles. F has crashed Tooke by the dez- 

tnHis exposure of his mistakes, ignorance, and want of comprehension. I assure 
yoQ that Count D'Orsay and I are as proud of the praises we hear of this article 

on erery side, as if we had a share in it. F 's notice of ' The Chimes' is 

perfect. It tdtes the high tone it ought for that book, and ought to make those 
ashamed who earil because its great author had a nobler task in riew than writ- 
ing to amuse Sybarites, who do not like to have their selfish pleasures disturbed 
by hearing of the miseries of the poor. You will smile to see me defending our 
friend Mr. Dickens from charges of wishing to degrade the aristocracy. I really 
have no patience with such stupidity. I now clearly pereeire that the reading 
world of a ceruin class imagine that an author ought to have no higher aim than 
their amusement, and they account as a personal insult any attempt to instruct 
them." 



336 WJLIFB <AKD 8TIUY8 OF THOUOHTS» BTO, 

down her thoughts and observationf at the dote of orory day» 
after she retired from her drawing-room, and the book in which 
this record was made of her reflections on the passing events of 
the day, the conversations of the evening, the subjects of her 
reading or research, she called her " Night Book." The earliest 
of these books commences with an entry of the 21st of March, 
1834 ; the second of them with the year alone, 1835. 

The following extracts from these books, in which the penwke* 
are given as they were written (word for word, and signed with 
the initials M. B.), will clearly show that her ladyship's extenr 
sive acquaintance with society, her quickness of perception, acu- 
men, and felicitous mode of compressing her ideas, and giving 
expression to them in laconic, piquant, and precise terms, ena- 
bled her to give an epigrammatic turn to sentiments, which 
could only be similarly done by one thoroughly conversant with 
the writings of Rochefoucault and Montaigne. 

The reader will hardly fail to notice in these pensies evident 
relationship between the ideas of many cynics of celebrity of 
France, the images too of several of our own most popular poet- 
ical writers, and the smart short sayings of her ladyship, with 
all the air of originality, neatness of attire, and graceful liveli- 
ness of language which she has given them. 

But the " Night Book" gives only a very poor and inadequate 
idea of the thoughts which were productive of such efiect, when 
given expression to by her ladyship with all that peculiar charm 
of naivete, natural turn for irony, admirable facility of expression, 
clearness of intonation and distinctness of enunciation, joyous- 
ness of spirits, beaming in those beautiful features of hers (when 
lit up by animated conversation, the consciousness of the pres- 
ence of genius, and contact with exalted intellect), that sponta- 
neous outpouring of felicitous thoughts and racy observations, 
ever accompanied with an exuberant good humor, of\en supply- 
ing the place of wit, but never degenerating into coarseness or 
vulgarity, which characterized her conversational powers, and, 
in fact, constituted the chief fascination of her society 



FROM UNlPVBUSRKD PAPERS OF LADY BLE88INGT0N. 287 

OSmUS AND TALENT. 

"Genkis is the gold in the mine, talent is the miner who 
works and brings it out/' 

'* Genius may be said to reside in an illuminated palace of 
crystal, unapproachable to other men, which, while it displays 
the brightness of its inhabitant, renders also any blemishes in 
her form more visible by the surrounding light, while men of 
ordinary minds dwell in opaque residences, in which no ray of 
brightness displays the faults of ignoble mediocrity." 

TALKNT. 

" Talent, like beauty, to be pardoned, must be obscure and 
unostentatious . ' ' 

GREAT INTELLECTUAL POWERS. 

" In many minds, great powers of thinking slumber on through 
life, because they never have been startled by any incident cal- 
culated to take them out of the common routine of every-day 
occurrence." 

CLEVER WOMEN ENVIED. 

^ It is less diffieult, we are told by Brissot, for a woman to 
obtain celebrity by her genius than to be pardoned for it.** 

EFFECTS OF CONTACT WITH QENIU8. 

" It is doubtful whether we derive much advantage from a 
constant intercourse with superior minds. If our own be of 
equal calibre, the contact is likely to excite the mind into ac- 
tion, and original thoughts are often struck out ; but if any in- 
feriority exists, the inferior mind is quelled by the superior, or 
loses whatever originality it might have possessed by uncon- 
sciously adopting the opinions and thoughts of the superior in- 
telligence." 

tlTEB^TURE AND LITERATI. 

'* On reading a work, of how many faults do we accuse the 



338 WAIP8 AND 8TRAY8 OF THOUeBTB» STC 

author when they are only to be found in ouraelTes. If the 
gtory is melancholy, and yet we feel not the sadness of it, we 
lay the blame of our insensibility on the author's want of pathos. 
If it be gay, and yet it fails to amuse us, we call in questioa th» 
writer's want of power." 

JUDOXENT OF BOOKS. 

" The frame of mind in which we read a work often influ- 
ences our judgment upon it. That which for the moment pre- 
dominates in our minds colors all that we read : and we are aft- 
erward surprised, on a repcrusal of works of this kind, imder 
other circumstvices and with different feelings, to find no lon- 
ger the merit we formerly attributed to them." 

SUPPOSED CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE WRITINGS OF AU- 
THORS AND THEIR LIVES. 

" The world is given to indulge in the very erroneous supposi- 
tion that there exists an identity between the writings of au- 
thors and their actual lives and characters. 

" Men are the slaves of circumstances in the mass ; but men 
of genius, from the excitability of their temperament, are pecu- 
liarly acted on by surrounding influences. How many of them, 
panting after solitude, are compelled to drag on existence in 
crowded cities, and how many of them, sighing for the excite- 
ment of busy life, and the friction of exalted intelligence with 
kindred intellect, pass their lives in retirement, because circum- 
stances, which they were too indolent or too feeble to control, 
had thrown them into it. Such men in their writings will have 
the natural bias of their feelings and tastes frequently mistaken 
by those around them. The world judges falsely when it forms 
an estimate of an author from the life of the man, and the life 
and conduct of the man from the writings of the author, and 
finding discrepancies between them, may often bring forward 
accusations of insincerity, making comparisons between their 
works and lives." 



FROM UNPCBU8HSD PAPERS OF LADY BLE88INOTON. 239 

POETS AND POETRY. 

** Poets make a book of nature, wherein they read lesBona un- 
known to other minds, even as astronomers make a book of the 
heavens, and read therein the movements of the planets. 

** The poetry in our souls is like our religion, kept apart from 
our e very-day thoughts, and, alas ! neither influence us as they 
ought. We should be wiser and happier (for wisdom is happi- 
ness) if their harmonizing efiects were permitted more to per- 
vade our being." 

WIT AND CSNSORIOUSNEflS. 

" Half the reputations for wit that pass current in fashionable 
life are based on ill-natured sayings of persons who would have 
found it difficult to have obtained any notice in society, except 
by censorious observations ; they are of the class of whom 
mention is made in the French verse : 

« < S*il n^eut mal parle de penonne 
On n'eut jamais parle de lui.* *' 

PLAIN-SPEAKING GENTLEMEN. 

" Your plain speakers are usually either of obtuse intellect or 
ill-natured dispositions, wounding the feelings of others from 
want of delicacy of mind and sensibility, or from intentional 
malice. They deserve to be expelled from the society of en- 
lightened people, because they are likely to give annoyance to 
all who are not of their own level in it." 

MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS. 

"Borrowed thoughts, like borrowed money, only show the 
poverty of the borrower." 

" A poor man defended himself when charged with stealing 
food to appease the cravings of hunger, saying, the cries of the 
stomach silenced those of the conscience." 

*' A woman should not paint sentiment till she has ceased to 
inspins it." 



240 WAira AND STRAYS OF THOUGHTS. XTCn 

'' A woman's head is always influenced by her heart, but a 
man's heart is always influenced by his head. 

'* Catherine the First of Russia was called the mother of her 
people ; Catherine the iSecond, with equal justice, might be de» 
nominated the wife." 

^^ Memory seldom fails when its office is to show us the 
tombs of our buried hopes."* 

*' It would be well if virtue was never seen unaccompanied 
by charity, nor vioe divested of that grossness which displays it 
in its most disgusting form, for the examples of both would then 
be more beneficial." 

" Some good qualities are not unfrequently created by the be- 
lief of their existence, for men are generally anxious to justify 
the good opinion entertained of them." 

THE WORST OF SEPARATIONS. 

'* The separation of friends by death is less terrible than the 
divorce of two hearts that have loved, but have ceased to sym- 
pathize, while memory is still recalling what they once were 
to each other." 

ENGLISH RESERVE. 

" Distrust is the most remarkable characteristic of the English 
of the present day. None but the acknowledged wealthy are 
exempted from the suspicions of our society. The good, the 
wise, the talented, are subject to tbe scrutinizing glances of this 
policy of suspicion ; and those by whom it is carried out sel- 
dom fail to discover cause of distrust and avoidance in all that 
tliey will not or can not comprehend. But on the poor their 
suspicions fall, if not with all their malice, at least with all 
their uncharitableness. Hence they are shunned, and regarded 

* Young's ideas sometimes furnish the matter of Lady DlcMington's ** Night 
Thoughts.** 

" Thought— busy thought— too busy for my peace. 
Through the dark postern of Time long elapsed. 
Led softly by the stillness oTthe night- 
Led like a murderor— 

BCoQCs Uw gboBto 
OTmydeimrtdd io^.^' 



FROM UNPUBLISHED PAPERS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 241 

as dangerous or doubtful neighbors by the sons and daughters 
of prosperity." 

WORLDLY WISDOM, 80CIETV, ETC. 

'* Society seldom forgives those who have discovered the emp- 
tiness of its pleasures, and who can live independent of it and 
them." 

" Great men direct the events of their times ; wise men take 
advantage of them ; weak men are borne down by them." 

" In the society of persons of mediocrity of intellect, a clever 
man will appear to have less esprit than those around him who 
possess least, because he is displaced in their company." 

" Those who are formed to win general admiration are seldom 
calculated to bestow individual happiness." 

" Half the ill-natured things that are said in society are spo- 
ken, not so much from malice as from a desire to display the 
quickness of our perception, the smartness of our wit, and the 
sharpness of our observation." 

" A man with common sense may pass smoothly through life 
without great talents ; but all the talents in the world will not 
enable a man without common sense to do so." 

" expends so much eulogy on himself, that he has 

nothing but censure and contempt to bestow on others." 
" " The poor, in their isolation in the midst of civilization, are 
like lepers in the outskirts of cities, who have been repulsed 
from society with disgust." 

'* There is a difierence between the emotions of a lover and 
those of a husband : the lover sighs, and the husband groans'." 

*' There are some persons who hesitate not to inflict pain and 
sufTering, though they shrink from witnessing its effects. In the 
first case it is another who suffers ; in the second, the sufl*ering 
being presented to the sight, is thus brought home to the feel- 
ings of those who inflict it." 

SYMPATHIES AND ANTIPATHIES. 

" On sympathies and antipathies, how much might be written 
without defining either any better than by the pithy lines — 
Vol. I.— L. 



242 WAIFS AND STRAYS OF THOUGHTS, ETO^ 

*' * The maon why I can nol tell, 
I do not like thee, Dr. Fell* 

And yet all feel, in a greater or less degree, what none can ad- 
equately describe or define. A dog knows by instinct that cer- 
tain herbs in a field will relieve him in a sickness, and he de- 
vours them. We know that certain physiognomies repel or 
attract us, and we avoid or seek them ; and this is all we know 
of the matter." 

ALL THE world's A STAGE, ETC. 

" The great majority of men are actors, who prefer an as- 
sumed part to that which Nature had assigned them. They 
seek to be something, or to appear some^ng which they are 
not, and even stoop to the afiectation of defects rather than dis- 
play real estimable qualities which belong to them." 

" A German writer observes : • The noblest characters only 
show themselves in their real light. All others act comedy 
with their fellow-men even unto the grave.' " 

" Men's faults will always be better known than their vir- 
tues, because their defects will find more persons capable of 
forming a judgment of them than their noble qualities — persons 
fit to comprehend and to appreciate them." 

coldness of manner. 

" There asc some persons in the world who never permit us 
to love them except when they are absent ; as, when present, 
they chill our affection by showing a want of appreciation of it." 

" Coldness of manner does not always proceed from coldness 
of heart, but it frequently produces that effect in others." 

CONSCIENCE. 

" Conscience is seldom heard in youth, for the tumultuous 
throbbing of the heart and the strong suggestions of the pas- 
sions prevent its still small voice from being audible ; but in 
the decline of life, when the heart beats languidly and the pas- 
sions slumber, it makes itself heard, and on its whispers depend 
our happiness or misery." 



FROM UNPUBLISHED PAPERS OF LADY BLESSINOTON. 343 
BEAUTY AND FEMININE PERFECTIONS. 

** Even as a fountain, in whose clear waters are seen the zt- 
flections of the bright stars of heaven, so in 's face was re- 
flected the divine spirit that animated it and shtme through its 
pure lineaments." 

** A young woman ought, like an angel, to pardon the faults 
she can not comprehend, and an elderly woman like a saint, 
because she has endured trials." 

'' One of the old painters always painted the object of his 
love as a goddess." 

" People are seldom tired of the world till the world are tired 
of them." 

** If over-caution preserves us from many dangers, of how 
much happiness may it not deprive us, by closing our hearts 
against the sympathy which sweetens life. ' The hearty' says 
Pascal, * has its arguments as well as the understanding.' " 

STRONG PASSIONS. 

'* Strong passions belong only to strong minds, and terrible is 
the struggle that Reason has to make to subdue them. The vic- 
tory is never a bloodless one, and many are the scars that attest 
the severity of the conflict before her opponents are driven from 
the field."* 

'* In the * Memoirs of Mackintosh,' page 1 15, we find a passage 
from the MS. Lectures on the Law of Nature and Nations : * It 
was his course to make wonders plain, not plain things wonder- 
ful.' " 

*' It is not sufiicient for legislators to close the avenues to 
crime, unless they open those which lead to virtue." 

A POET TRULY CRACKED. 

*' Jeremy Taylor finds a moral in the fable that iBschylus sat 

* Onc« for all, I may obserre, in many of the writingi of Lady Blessington 
there are but too many eTideneet of the undue importance a t t ac h ed to Rmutm^ aa 
a power all-sufficient for the repression of Tice, the support of virtue, and conso- 
lation of affliction ; and proofs of an absence of all reliance on religion fdr the ob 
jects in question. 



944 WAIF8 AND STRAYS OF THOUGHTS, ETC., 

beneath the walk of his abode with his bald head uncoveied, 
when an eagle, hovering over the house, unfortunately mistook 
the shining cranium for a large round stone, and let fall a tor- 
toise he had just seized to break the shell, but cracked the 
ikull of the poor poet instead of the shell of the tortoise." 

THE DISLIKED MISUNDERSTOOD. 

*' The moment we are not liked, wo discover that we are not 
understood ; when probably the dislike we have excited pro- 
ceeds altogether from our being perfectly understood." 

THE IDOLS OF THE HEART. 

** We make temples of our hearts, in which we worship an 
idol, until we discover the object of our love was a false god, 
and then, when it falls, it is not the idol only that is destroyed — 
the shrine is ruined.** 

LOVE AND JEALOUSY. 

'* Love often reillumes his extinguished flame at the torch of 
jealousy." 

A FALSE POSITION. 

" A false position is sustained at a price enormously expens- 
ive. Sicard truly said, 'Une fausse position coute cnormement 
car Ic society fait payer fort cher aux gens, le tort, qu'ils ont, de 
no pas etre d'accord avec eux.' " 

JESTERS FUNNY PEOPLE. 

" We never respect persons who condescend to amuse us. There 
is a vast difierenco between those we call amusing men and 
others we denominate entertaining. We laugh with the former, 
we reflect with the others." 

COURAGE, PHYSICAL AND MORAL. 

** We find in all countries multitudes of people physically 
brave, but few persons in any land morally courageous." 



FROM UNPUBLISHED PAPERS OF LADY BLESSINOTON. 245 



SELF-DEPENDENCE. 

'* We acquire mental strength by being lefl to our own re- 
sources ; but when we depend on others, like a cripple who ac- 
customs himself to a crutch, we lose our own strength, and are 
rendered dependent on an artificial prop." 

OENEUOSITY AND SELFISHNESS. 

'* A generous mind identifies itself with all around it, but a 
selfish one identifies all things with self. The generous man, 
forgetting self, seeks happiness in promoting that of others. 
The selfish man reduces all things to one — ^his own interest." 

'* The good and generous, who look most closely into their 
own hearts and scrutinize their own defects, will feel most pity 
for the frailties of others." 

** Advice, like physic, is administered with more pleasure than 
it is taken." 

ESTIMATION OF MEN OF THE WORLD. 

" ThoM who give abundant dinners, 
Are never deemed by guests great sinners." 

" Your ban vivcmts, who are such * good livers,' make very bad 
diers." 

*' Sniel describes one of our statesmen as a man who united 
the maximum of coldness with the minimum of light ; ' he was 
an iceberg with a farthing rushlight on the summit.' " 

'* Those who judge of men of the world from a distance are 
apt to attach an undue importance to them, while those who 
are in daily contact with them are prone to underrate them." 

'* We are never so severe in dealing with the sins of others as 
when we are no longer capable of committing them ourselves." 

'* Extremes of civilization and of barbarism approach very 
nearly — ^both beget feelings of intense selfishness." 

*' Inferior minds have as natural an antipathy to superior 
ones, as insects have to animals of a higher organization, whose 
power is dreaded by them." 

" The chief requisites for a courtier are a flexible conscience 
and an inflexible politeness." 



j|4e Wim AND VnULYB OF THOmOVra* VTft, 

** The genius and talents of a man may genenJly be judged 
of by the large number of bis enaniest and bis medkxnity by 
that of bis fiiends.* 

THB YOUNQ TO BB KINDLT T&XATBD, 

" Childhood should not be a season of eare and eonstant at* 
tention, incessant teaching and painful acquisition : Puisque le 
jour pent lui manquer bientdt, laissons le un pen jouir de I'aa* 



SFUITAH MORALISTS. 

** Society, in its Spartan morality, pmusbes its membeis se* 
▼erely for the detection of their Tices, but crime itself has noth* 
ing but detection to apprehend at its hands." 

" Some people seem to consider the soTerity of their eensurea 
on the failings of others as an atonement for their own.* 

THE VICTIMS OF SOCIETY. 

" Society is like the sea monster to which Andromeda was 
devoted by the oracle. It requires for its worship many vic- 
tims, and the fairest must be occasionally given to its devouring 
jaws. But we now find no Perseus in its circles for the rescue 
of the doomed ones ; and the monster is not converted into a 
rock, though we might show him many gorgons hideous enough 
to accomplish the transformation." 

*' In society we learn to know others, but in solitude we ac- 
quire a knowledge of ourselves." 

SHORT NOTICES OF NOTABILITIES. 

'' 's conversation resembles a November fog--<dense, op- 
pressive, bewildering, through which you can never see your 
way." 

" The poetry of is like a field with wild flowers, many 

of them beautiful and fragrant." 

" The poetry of ■ resembles a bouquet of artificial flow- 

ers, destitute of odor, and possessing none of the freshness ci 
nature." 



FROM UNPUBU8HED PAPERS OF LADY BLES8INOTON. 247 

'* It was said of that his conversation was a tissue of 

ban tnotSj and was overlaid by them : a few spangles may orna- 
ment a garment, but if the texture of it is wholly covered by 
them, the dress is spoiled." 

" formed few friendships in life, but he cultivated many 

enmities." 

" in his old age might be said to resemble a spent thun- 
derbolt." 

" The difference between the minds of and is this : 

the one is introspective, and looks into the vast recesses of its 
intelligence for the treasures of deep thought ; the other looks 
behind the shelves* of others' thoughts, and appropriates all he 
finds there. The intellect of one is profound and solid, that of 
the second sparkling and versatile." 

'* The works of do not exhibit the overflowings of a full 

mind, but rather the dregs of an exhausted one." 

" When I see Lady 's wrinkles daubed with rouge, and 

her borrowed ringlets wreathed with flowers, I am reminded of 
the effigies of the dead, which in ancient times were introduced 
at festivals, to recall the brevity of life, and giv^ a keener zest 
to the pleasures of existence." 

BIGOTRY AND FANATICISM. 

''Men who would persecute others for religious opinions, 
prove the errors of their own." 

'' In fighting for the Church, religion seems generally to be 
quite lost sight of." 

SUPERSTITION. 

'' Superstition is but the fear of belief ; religion is the confi- 
dence." 

SKEPTICS. 

*' Skeptics, like dolphins, change when dying." 
<' We render ourselves the ministers of the fatality which our 
weakness imagines." 

'' It is difficult to decide whether it is most disagreeable to 



348 WAIFS AND STftATS OF THOUOVN* RTU 

liTe with fimrtkai, who imiit on our beUering mil they bellBTiBy 
or with philotophen, who would Iulto qs doaht orerj thing of 
which they are not oonTinced themBehres.** 

INJU&IS8 JLND FononrufSM. 

" ForgiYoneu of injuries in general draws on the forgiTor a 
repetition of wrongs — as people reason thus : as ho has forgiven 
BO much, he can forgive more.'* 

** If we thought only of others, we might he tempted never 
to pardon injuries; hut when we wish to preserve our own 
peace, it is a most essential step toward insuring it." 

'* It is easier to pardon the faults than «the virtues of our 
friends, hecause the first excite feeHngs of self-complaeenoy in 
us, the second a sense of humiliation.'' 

** Great injuries pardoned preclude the enjo3naQent of firiend- 
ship on the same happy terms of equality of benefits received 
and conferred, and of kindly feelings that subsisted previously 
to the interruption of amity between the parties who had been 
linked together in the bonds of mutual love. The fiiend who 
pardons a great wrong acquires a superiority that wounds the 
self-love of the pardoned man ; and however the latter may ad- 
mire the generosity of the forgiver, he can love as he had pre- 
viously done — no more." 

AJIBITION. CHANGE. 

'' Those who are content to follow are not formed to lead ; for 
the ambition which excites a man to put himself forward is, in 
general, the attribute of the strong mind, however beset by dif- 
ficulties, resolved to effect an object much desired." 

'* Time and change, irhpt are they but the samet 
For change is but for time another name.** 

" No8 liens s'elongent quelquefoiiy mais 
lis ne se rompent jamais.** 

" How like Goldsmith's line : 

" ' And drags at each remove a lengthening ehain.' " 
" The tide of life is continually ebbing and flowing, and myr- 



FROM UNPUBLISHED PAPERS OF LADY BLESSINOTON. 249 

iads of human beings pass away to the ocean of eternity, suc- 
ceeded by others, as do the ripples of a stream that flows on to 
the sea, continually disappearing and renewed." 



Unfinished lines of Lady Blessington in a memorandum-book: 

** The snow-drop looks as if it were a tear of winter, 
Shed before it parts, touched by its icy breath. 
Which doth become a flower, 
Springing from snow — as souls emerge from death.*' 

THE FLOWER TO THE STARS. 
** Despise us not ; we are the stars of earth. 
And though we homage pay to yon on high, 
Lilting our fragile heads to view your brightness. 
Are ye not forced to let your shining eyes 
Dwell on us denizens of the fiivored earth ? 
Formed by the same Almighty cause of all. 
Ye look down on us from your aiure fields. 
And we from ours of green look up to you.'* 



^ And thou art gone from earth, like some fair dream 
Beheld in slumber, leaving naught behind 
But memory, to tell that thou hast been, 
And there for evermore to be enshrined. 

** As ships that sail upon the boundless deep. 
Yet leave no trace ; or onward in their flight, 
As birds which cleave the blue and ambient air. 
Leave no impress, and soon are lost to sight, 

** So those who to eternity do pass. 

Like shadows disappear, and naught remains 
To tell us they have been, but aching hearts 
And pallid traits which memoiy retains." 

UNEQUAL MARRIAGES. 
** Oh wise was he, the first who taught 
This lesson of observant thought, 
That equal fiites alone may dress 
The bowen of nuptial hiqfipiness : 
That never where ancestral pride 
Inflames, or affluence rolls its tide. 
Should love's iU-omened bond entwine 
The oflspring of an humble line.** 
L2 




SM WAmjun>vrBAT8orTHoii^mii«rcu 

To 8ir WiUittn Haaiij Bttalsj, Buowt, on noniiaf % [^m- 
eat of voodcoeikt : 

YoQ MDd me the only i 

Aad tlwir length ma^km etheii, ao ^ ,__, 

Though, lifce miny long biUe, they*ie conwgped to the few; 
And we newer dieeuM thani voleei wtth a toeet, 
Wadied down Ij a honper to Hoolen*e good ImmC** 

Lines in penciling in a commonplAee book of Lady Bletnng- 
ton: 

- Ye god% whit is il that I see 1 
Oh, who a gnundfiithar woold he ! 
Behold the tnesniMrtoie of jem^ 
Soleoljeets oiwj hopee endfiMn^ 
GoUeeted fiom ftr diatni knde, 
Become a fvpj to vandal heade ; 
Raienuouiecivte that none ooidd rBed» 
Symbole of each leligioiu creed ; 
MiMals with reddest colon bright, 
BUck-lettered tomoB loDg ihut from 11^; 
Medale defioed, with ecarce a treoe 
Of anght leeemWing human &ce ; 
All in chaotic rain hailed. 
The firagments of a bj-gone woild. 
And jon, unpitjiug giil, who knew 
The miechief of this nrdiin crew, 
Iiow oonld yon let them tfaos destroy 
"What to coDeet did jeers emploj! 
Away, ye wicked ehee ! Ah me ! 
Who e'er a grandfather would her 

TmiALfl AND AFFLICTIONS. 

" My heart is like a frozen fountain, oyer which the ice is too 
hard to allow of the stream beneath flowing with vigor, though 
enough of vitality remains to make the shilling rampart that di- 
vides its waters from light and air insi^portable.'^ 

" A knowledge of the nothingness of life is seldom attained 
except by those of superior minds." 

* This entiy is in the eerly pert of Ike NisktTboeght Book, dated Slst of Oc- 
tober, 1834. 



FROM UNPUPUSHSD PAPERS OF LADY BLES8IN0T0N. 251 

** The first heavy affliction that ffdls on us rends the veil of 
life, and lets us see all its darkness." 

" Desperate is the grief of him whom prosperity has harden- 
ed, and who feels the first arrow of affliction strike at his heart 
through the life of an ohject dearest to him on earth." 

" The separation of death is less terrihle than the moral di- 
vorce of two hearts which have loved, but have ceased to sym- 
pathize, with memory recalling what they once were to each 
other." 

'' Religion converts despair, which destroys, into resignation, 
which submits." 

'* Sorrow in its exaltation seems to have an instinctive sym- 
pathy with the sufferings of others. Brisset observes : ' L'ame 
exalt^e par la douleur se monte au diapason d'une autre ame 
bless^e, aussi facilement que le violon qui, sans ^tre touch^ se 
met k I'accord de Finstrument qu'on fait vibrer loin de lui.' " 

'* How many errors do we confess to our Creator which we 
dare not discover to the most fallible of our fellow-creatures !" 

'< Fatality is another name for misconduct." 



CHAPTER Xn. 

LINES ADDRESSED TO LADY BLE88INGTON BY VARIOUS PERSONS. 

Lines written by Walter Savage Landor to Lady Blessington : 

" What language, let me think, is meet 
For you, well called the Marguerite. 
Hie Tuscan has too weak a tone. 
Too rough and rigid is our own ; 
The Latin — no, it will not do,. 
The*^ Attic is akme lor you.*' 

«F6braar7S8th,1848. 
" DsAR Ladt BLE88nfOT0ir,-*I1ie eaithquake that has shaken all Itoly and 
Sicily has alone heen able to shake a lew oindaiy yenes out of me. Tester- 
day there was glorious intelligence from FriBce, and you will find, on the 
other side, the effect is produced on me within the hour. No ! there will not 
be room for it. Here are some lines that I wrote when I was rather a young- 
er man— date tlvem fifty years back. 

" Ever yous most tnily, W. S. Lakdor." 



afi2 LINES ADDEBBBKD TO hADY BUWBINOTON 

<« TIm fridt » not nind if I love yoa too nub^ 
I loved yoa too fitUe too long; 
Such ever yoor greoee, your tandemfioe eodit 
Hie mniiB eo ewoet of jour toogoe. 

**Tb0 time is now coming iHmq lore nmet be gone. 
Though he nerer ebondoned me yet ; 
Acknowledge OPT fiifflidiiiip, our pearion diiown, 
Noi eren our fiilfies finrget** 

Lines of Walter Savage Lander on a postaciipt of a letter from 
Florence, dated April 2dth, 1835 : 

*'0lltofth7booiu^ OBeanty! I had been 
For many a year. 
Till ahe who reigns on eaith thy lawibl qaeen 
Replaoed me tbeie.*' 

In one of the letters addressed to Lady Blessington are the 
following beautifol lines, written by W. Savage Landor after 
pemsing a passage in a letter : 

"/ have noi forgotten yoitr fwDoriU eld tune : will yon hour it V* 
" Come sprinkle me that music on the breast. 
Bring me the varied colors into light. 
That now obscurely on its marble rest ; 

Show me its flowers and figures fresh and bright 

" Waked at thy voice and touch, again the chords 
Restore what envious years had moved away ; 
Restore the glowing cheeks, the tender words. 
Youth's vernal noon, and pleasure*s summer day." 

TO THE COUNTESS OF BLESSINGTON. 

*' Since in the terrace-bower we sate, 

While Amo gleamed below, 

And over sylvan Massa late 

Hung Cynthia*s slender bow, 

** Years after years have passed away, 
I^ss light and gladsome ! Why 
Do thoee we most implore to stay. 
Run ever swiftly by V 

Not signed, bnt in the handwriting of W. S. Landor. 

The reply of an octogenarian (the elder D'lsraeli) to a beauti- 
ful lady who wrote him some verses on his birth-day, May 1 1 , 
1845: 



BY VARIOUS PERSONS. 253 

** A wreath firom a mnM, a flower fiom a grue. 
An ▼iiuHie of fimcj whieh memoiy can trace. 
Though aightlese, and braYmg m j dungeon around me, 
How is it vain phantcime of gloiy miroiind me? 
The enchantreaa with flatteiy*a thrice potent ifayme 
Reopena the honra which I hnred in my prime ; 
From my eightieth doll year to my fortieth I riee. 
And cherish the shadows her genins anppEea.** 

Addressed to Lady BlessingtoiL at Genoa by Lord Byron : 
«t Yon have asked for a Terae : the request 
In a rhymer Hwere strange to deny ; 
But my Hippocrene was but my breast, 
And my feelings (its fountain) are dry. 

"Were I now as I waa, I had sung 

What Lawrence has penciled so well ; 
But the strun would expire on my tongue. 
And the theme is too soft for my shelL 
Mj aoi ashes where once I was fire. 
And the bard in my bosom is dead ; 
What I loved I now merely admire. 
And my haaiC is as gray as my head. 

''My fifo is not dated by years — 

There are moments which act as a plow ; 
And there is not a furrow appears 
But is deep in my heart as my brow. 
'* Let the young and the brilUant aspire 
To sing, while I gaze on in Tun ; 
For sorrow has torn from my lyre 
The string which was worthy the stram.** 

Answer by Lady Blessington : 

** When I asked for arerse, pray belieTO 
*Twa0 not nmity urged the desiro ; 
For no more can my mirror deeeife, 
No more can I poets inspire. 

''Time has toudbed with rude fingers my brow, 
And the roses have fled ficom my diedL, 
And it surely were foDy if now 
I the praise doe to beauty should seek. 

*' And as palgrims who visit the shrine 
Of some fafait bear a relic away. 



^M UNB8 ADDKMSJBP TO hM>y ]i|«Pi8INOT01l 






Or tiwk note ifl tiwk BMgieal tiMigM 
Fkm wbioh iwkt widl podLry flow. 

*'A]|dt]i0iighaoffrow, en jouth jflt liu lled» 
Mii^hava altered tliy kckt' jetty hue. 
The nj* that enciicle ftl^ liaad 
1Mb the nvaging maika Cram oar wiew/* 

LineB of Lord Enldne for an iuoription for a collar of a lap- 
dog of the Countess of Blessington : 

•" Whoever findi and doD*t fimake me, 
ShaUhsfe nanght in waj of game ; 
But let bhn to my miatreaa take me^ 
And he ahall see her for hie paina.** 

Note accompanying lines to Lady Blessington, by Thomas 
Moore : 

«*Slopertoii, Feteury IMi, 18M. 

" Mt dear Ladt BuissiireTON, — ^When penons like you condeacend «o to 
aak, how are poor poeta to refdaet At the aame time, I wmSwi I have a hor- 
ror of alhumizing^ mnamaUzmg, feriodiuiUxiugf which my one inglorioua anr- 
render (and for baae money too) to that Triton of literature, Manyatt, haa but 
the more confirmed me in. At preaent, what with the weather and my hia- 
tory, I am chilled into a man of mere proae. But aa July approachea, who 
knowa but I may thaw into a<mg? and though — aa O^Gonnell haa a tow 
registered in heaven againat piatola, ao /have againat periodicals, yet there 
are few, I must aay, who ooold be more likely to make a man break this (or 
any other) vow than youraelf, if you thought it worth your while. 

" And BO, with this gallant speech, which, firom a friend of a quarter of a 
century's date, is not, I flatter myaelf, to be deapiwd, I am, my dear Lady 
Bleaaington, most truly youra, Thomas Moore." 

"Whatahalllaingtheel ShaU 1 1^ 
Of that blight hour, remember'd wett 
Aa thoo^ it ahone hot yeateidqrt 
When, aa I loitered in the n^ 
Of the wann aun, I heard o'eihead 
My name, as by aome aptrit, aaid. 
And looking up, aaw two bri^ eyes 
Above me from a caaement ahine. 



Sr FAKIOU8 PEISOVa 35ft 




Fed, when ] 
Andil wasi 

Like AaeTa. B dw Um «r I 

And Unne thg mfm, mhttm h 

Never to IwiKfBt^Hi! 

^WkatAaflli 
A Mogof tfni sweet I 
(SmMBer, ofwUch Ae I 
Was that wludb eadi ked in Ae Wenrfl. 
When thou, and I, and one fike tee 
In life and beantj, to tke aaod 
Of oor own bnathleai MwitiJij,* 





ewhela Ideal WU- 

Yenes for an album, written at the leanest of iJie drnmUm 
of Blessington, by Greoige Colmaa. 

1- 
" How hsM I Mrom-«iid awwB aa deapw 
No more to pat bj fiifloda to iiacf 

Bj writing CHMbo fe 'eai ! 
Rajnea nqr aaniMBMBt osea I SMdew 
When Yontk and FoBf fBfv toe aid. 
But ainoe Hmj have heeese fajr iBnad^ 
I mnat, of cocree, aboof cbl. 
3. 
^^ Entirely g ener o oa Ifr. Thalc^ 
Who sold brown atool, and haplf ala^ 

Waa alwaya find of gitiBfr 
Of whom Sam Tohnann aud one dij, 
* Thnda wosld fhra aaj thiof aaraj. 
Rather than poftor, I dam aay. 
By which he makea hia livinf.' 
3. 
*' Yet the aDomi htUfl not hoe— 
MhM ia hot PeetiyV amaO beer. 

And eraiy line will ahow it : 
Thrale brewed mofa potent etoli; I wees, 

♦ ** I believe it WM to a piper; bvt it aoonde awre poetical t/^ •aT* t^M>ro«'" 
tiiifinf." 



866 UNBB ADDRXaSBD TO LADY BLS88INOTON 



IVomTkMMiy tiuii I froni ] 
So tlMn*0 no panIM betirMn 
Tho 1«0w«r and the poet. 
4. 

^Stm^wlqragunbeBeriUifiiig! liHt 
TiMie ie a pair I emCt redet, 

Tb DOW no drodlgiDf do^, 
Hie BKcMuylPM demand my atiain» 
And who leonde againat the gnm, 
HiB ipaiUing convene and champagns^ 
And her more i^aiUing beantj 1 
6. 
^Buthold! I frar B^ pnidenee deepe, 
Herhdjahipan Albmnkeepe, 

Whoee kavee, though I ne'er apied 'eon. 
Are graced with veiee from wite peofeea'dy 
Baida by ApoUo hi^ilj bleee'd ; 
No doobi they're done their Toy beet. 
How ahall I look beaide 'em 1 
6. 
** Dare I, in kme and silly pride. 
Hobble where Rogen knrea to giSde! 

Whose sweetly simple measare 
Make envieis of Genius mad. 
Delight the moral, soothe the sad, 
Gire Imman lift a lest, and add 
To Memonf9 greatest jUagwrtM. 

7. 
**0r if I yentore, chedL by jowl, 
With the Anacreontic aool. 

That master, to a tittle, 
Of elegant erotic kne, 
Then they, who aiy weak page ezplote, 
Will redcon me nraeh less than More, 
Not half 80 Great aa Little. 

8. 
«*WeU, well, no matter; still, I feel 
My talent's dearth soppBed by seal ; 

Away, then, base dejection ! 
This scrawl, whate'er its want of wit. 
If Lady Blessington think fit. 
So Toy mnch to honor it,. 
May rest in her collection.'* Ist Angnst. 1819. 



BY VARIOUS PERSONS. 257 

Note accompanying lines to Lady Blessington, by F. Mills, 
Esq. : 

" 57 AQdley Street. 

" My dear Lady Blessington, — I send yoQ my venes ; they were written 
for you, but I was unwilling to present them, in the fear that you would not 
pass the threshold of the title. That you may not do now ; but still, as they 
are registered in my book as having been composed at your request, I think 
it right that you should see them. I have no better excuse for myself. If 
you will not read them, nobody else will. 

" Ever yours sincerely, F. Mills.'* 

CHARACTERISTIC— THE ROSE OR THE VIOLET. 
A cause pleaded in Italy. 

*' I saw a violet droop its head ; 

'Tis strange, and yet it seem*d in grief. 
And there, firom nature's book, I read 
A tale of sorrow in the leaf. 

** A tear as in the eye would stand, 
The cheek was of a livid hue ; 
The form was bow*d by some rude hand, 
And for its fragrance bruised too. 

" There was a canker in that cell, 
The secret source of many a woe. 
Of deep remorse those lips would tell. 
Or — ^never had they quivered so. 

** She loved, 'twas in the soil or cUme, 
In every flower, in every field — 
Her earliest lesson, only crime ; 

And one so soft was form'd to yield. 

'* But near her, late transplanted there, 
A rose was glittering in the light ; 
It grew not in its native air. 
And yet it seemed to bloom as bright 

'* And though it played with every wind 
As willing as the blushing mom. 
Who thought to gather it would find 
Twas always guarded by a thorn. 

'* 'Twas AngUa's boast, and well I trow, 
A badge for which her sons had bled, 
Had many a life's spring caused to flow. 
And widow'd many a bridal bed. 



358 LINES ADDBB88ED TO LADY BLB88INGT0N 

^^ And tkoQgh its Uoom may pan awi7» 
Or fade beneath the coming hour. 
Twill still be flagrant in decay. 

Not zanUe, like that bruised /otoer.** 

A note, rather idolatrously complimentary, addressed to Lady 
Blessington. No signatnre, no date, with lines written on leav* 
ing Naples, and said to he " translated into French :" 

TRADUCTION. 
'* Si ce n^etait pas mi colte uniqiiement reserre an Dieu que nous adonms, 
de bmler de Tencens sur ses autels ; rmiiTeis s^empresserait de t*ofl&ir ces 
honneors. Alors nuit et jour j^entretiendrais oe fen de mes mains, et on 
nuage epais de parfom s'elererait jusqa'aiiz deux. Mais pais<iiie cela m'est 
interdit, que je pmsse, au moins t'offinr eet enoens sacie, que je bruleiaii poor 
toi, si j'etais payen. 

TRADUCTION. 
*' Adieu terre dassique, adieu ciel sans nuages. 

Adieu digues amis, toos dont le souvenir 

Vient s'unir dans men coeur aux channes de aes riTages* 

Je songe avec douleur ! helas ! qu*il faut partir 

Doux anus ! doux climat que j'aime et que j'admiie. 

Quel euiTiant tableau tous formiez reunis 

L'un et Tautre k Tenvi sembliez me sourire ; 

Mais le sort me Tordonne . . il le &ut . . je tous fuis 

La Sjrrene, disais-je, un moment abregee 

Vit Naples et mourut, et j'envinds son sort 

Mais plaignons la plutot, jamais api^ sa mort 

A-t-elle pent trouver un plus doux Elisee ? 

Vous enchantez encore les sent du voyageur, 

Parthenope en ce jour a plus d*une Syrene, 

Que de fois les accens de lisette et d'Irene, 

Out charme mes instants, out enivre mon cceur. 

Adieu tendres amis ! dans ma froide patrie 

L'image du bonheur qu'en ces tems j'ai goute 

Viendra toojours s*ofirrir k mon ame attendrie 

Avec le pur eclat de ce ciel enchante." 

Lines by James Smith, in a letter addressed to Lady Bless- 
ington, dated November 10, 1836 : 

GORE HOUSE— AN IMPROMPTU. 
"Mild MUberforce, by all beloved. 
Once own'd this hallowed spot. 



BT TABIOC0 

The fiettflr a Ncgm's ifl ; 
Yet here etiU daverjr ettadv 

When BleangCMi iBfitia; 
Thecfaams Crom wfakh he fireed ffce Bhdcs, 

flOie riveU m dw WUtcL 

Note aoeompmnying lines to Lady Bleisington, bj Ju. gmltli : 

•" f7 Cnv«a emet, Fitf^, P»g^ir 9, 18». 
" DvAR Ladt Blbssinoton,*-* Gove Hooee* has ■mti— 11 aaotker {itmrnj- 
mouB) muee ; I wonder who it can be. 

Toor ladjdiip's &ithfiil and demted aervaat. Jambs Smm.** 

A more deliberate reply to the Imprompta : 
** No, not the chains which ent he brake 
Does Blessington impose, 
Light 'iM her harden, soft her y<^, 
No pain her c^ytive knows. 

''The slave by galling fetters braised, 
By force his will sobdoed ; 
Obedience of the mind refused, 
"^^th haste his tyrant viewed. 

"On willing hearts her bonds arte thrown. 
Her charms her empire prore ; 
Pleased with their fate, the captives own 
No power but that of love." 

Lines to the Countess of Blessington, by James Smith : 

*< Jnly 11, 183S. 
" The Bird of Paradise, that flies 
0*er blest Arabians plains. 
Devoid of feet, forbears to rise. 
And where she rests, remains. 

*^ Like her of footing reft, I fain 

Would seek your blessed dominions, 
And there content, till death, remain. 
But ah ! I lack the pinions." 

** Admiralty, May 6, 1890. 

** Dkab Ladt BLissiiroTOir, — ^I have received from Lord Blessington your 
commands for the third time. I beg pardon for having been so tardy ; but 
the inclosed will show that I have, at last, implicitly and literallj obeyed you. 

" I have the honor to be, dear Lady Blessington, your very faithful serv- 
ant. J- W. Cbokbb." 



jMO LINES ADDRESSED TO LADY BLB8SINQTON 



«« ToaW* ariud me time 1 
For firar lines with two xliysiee ; 



Too long Pre deUrfed, 
But at Uet joa^ie obejed 



•w 



Letter of T. Stewart, Esq., indoung linei written in Naples, 
addressed to Lady Blessington : 

• •'PalidsBtividntiNiiilH.Maiidiy. 
** Mr DBA! MiLDAM^-— Altlioiigh tbese linee can onlj piore the good wiahee 
and intentione of tlieir antlior, I hope yoa will not be diepleaaed at recehring 



"My mide* leftieed jomr kind invitation with great xegrat yeeteidaj, bat 
he ia 00 lame at present that he can scaredy walk. He is likewise, in some 
degree, alanned about himsfttf 

'* Wath my best wishes to Miss Power and to D'Orsay, I remam your lady- 
ship's, most sincerely, T. Stbwabt.*' 

Lines addressed to Marguerite, Countess of Blessington, on 
her leaving Naples, spring, 1826, in consequence of the climate 
injuring her health : 

1. 
** 'Tis rain that the rose and the myrtle are twining 
In wreaths that the Gnces intended for thee ; 
For thoa wilt be far when their blossom is pining, 
Unseen in the grore, and nncnlled on the tree. 

2. 
" The light step of spring o*er the mountains is bounding, 
The nymphs are returned to the fountains again ; 
The woods with the nightingale*s notes are resounding, 
Tet sadness through all thy lone precincts shall reign. 

3. 

** Though forests of citron the mountains are shading, 
Though hues like the rainbow's enamel the Tale, 
The flower that is &irest is secretly fisiding, 
For sickness is wafted to thee on the gale. 

4. 

** Alas ! that in climes where all nature is gUddest, 

Her charms, like the Tisions of youth, should deceive ; 
Of the tean at thy parting, those tears will be saddest. 
That, grieving for thee, we for nature must griere.'* 

•Sir William Gell. 



BT TXKIOC* 



Lines inclosed in a >ser cf Mz. S. f. W^lia n 
ington, April 2, I&IO : 

•«Tbe BMC «^ihe wwkm'l Jks 

Nor bazB'd aiaac 1^ ; 

Upoa tbe Bp ihiS 
NordBKHt^aHB 

KorAgp«t^r 11 •» iiM 1 
Forever in its i 

Not in bis own kM 

-Iff 

As( 
Faher 

Tbefintfiftiurori 
Springs flCBee 

Nor gmn widk vMKtap Uf j» i 
Nor mid its mIcd ol'ife liaf 

SoSMBSftf] 




!aBp«n 





And,bd7,in4 
DodiiglKSSM^i 
AfannniiKni 




ington, on Litengj Tacte, 



?;t »v -J 



i0^ A i*f^ 




203 LINES ADDRAMKD TO LADY BLB88IMGTON 

Th« modest ^mSkj^ Ut witUmwa, 

Or the proud cliff or langluiig lawn ; 

These all can pleaae, jet none to me 

Such soothing charm conveys as minds refined and fieeu 

«< Let gobleU shine on lestal boaid» 
And laTidi art exhaust her hosid 
To raise the soul or warm the heart, 
And a new sest to life impart; 
How rain the pomp, the wealth how poor» 
Worthless as gold on Indian llooiv 
Unless the grace of mind pnsido. 
To soften down the glare of pride ; 
With magic Urach the feast refine, 
Wreathe hays round pleasure's eop, to nectar torn his wine. 

** 'Mid darker scenes, in sorrow's hour, 
Taste comes with softly soothing pow^ ; 
Sheds a mild radiance throogfa the gloom, 
And shades with silver wings the tomh ! 
Strews roses o*er the waste of time. 
And lulls the anguish of his crime 
'Gainst lore and hope, whose precious hods 
He cots, and casts them on the floods ! 
So drops an anodyne t' endure 
Those deep and trenchant wounds which it can nermr cure ! 

" Oh ! thus amid the dream of joy, 
Or trance of grief^ can taste employ 
Those hours that else to riot run. 
Or waste in sadness with each sun ! 
Should Beauty lend her smile to Wit, 
And Learning by her star be lit, 
As gems beneath the solar ray 
Are ripened and enriched with day ; 
How bless'd the happy pow'r we prove ! 
Then bright Minerva shines in BUsstngtan with love." 

Verses inclosed in a letter of John Kenyon, Esq., to Lady 
Blessington, Paris, 15th June, 1840 : 

ITALY. 
'* Fair blows the breeze : depart ! depart ! 
And tread with me the Italian shore. 
And feed thy soul with glorious art. 
And drink again of classic lorp 



BY VARIOUS PERSONS. 263 

** Nor hi^y wilt thou deem it wrong, 
When not in mood too gravely wise. 
At idle length to lie along, 

And quaff a bUss from bluest skiee. 

'^ Or pleased more pensive joy to woo, 
At falHng ere, by ruin gray. 
Move o'er the generations who 

Have passed, as we must pass, away. 

** Or mark, o'er oHre-tree and vine, 

Steep towns uphung, to win from them 
Some thought of Southern Palestine, 
Some dream of old Jerusalem. J. K." 

Lines written by R. Bemal, Esq. : 

TO LADY BLBSSINOTON. 
" When wintry winds in wild career 
Howl requiems for the by-gone year, 
And thought, respoUding to the blast. 
With sighs reviews the gloomy past ; 
Where every sorrow leaves its trace, 
And joy obtains no resting-place ; 
When, sickening from the dull survey, 
Hope, warmth, and energy decay. 
What mortal charm can then impart 
A ray of sunshine to the heart. 
And by its healing balm dispense 
New vigor to each failing sense ! 
On one bright charm alone depend, 
The feeling of a genuine fiiend. 
Whose ready sympa&y sincere, 
The graces of her mind endear 
To those who are allowed to share 
Her kindly thoughts, her gen'rous care 
Dear lady ! cruel time, I feel. 
May firom my pen refinement steal : 
Should language fail me to express 
The grateful thanks I would confess. 
Believe me that the words of tnith 
Bear in themselves perpetual youth." 

R. Bkrnai., January 2d, 1849. 

From J. H. Jesse, Esq., 20th March, 1840: 



264 UNS8 ADDBB88BO TO ULDY BUB88UIQTON 



**Lijoiirg^fiTOndlMfMl am ovtoad to write, 
When wit on poetieal THdnie npoMt ; 
But I fear 1 111011 piofo, in tlMMO pogM M Iniglit, 
To use tlio oo«iiit*o j/bnm^ like o pig among naea. 
^Shoold thio bj, in jonr book, with tho Twae o entwine 
Of painten, baida, aeulpton, bhie^ilibona, and earis, 
lutead of tho peaib being thrown among owine, 
I fear that tho npnw win be thrown among pnria. 
" But ahonld jon find room in jonr ^lendid paiteno 
Of fimcj and wit fiNTO slave sodovont, 
Thon^ o pig among fiow*ks is o sight zathor ran, 
At least he's an ozeellent hand at o rouL 
**|n pity accept this nonsensical lay 

Insfosd of my prntmsed mstoncal Ion; 
Ibnt wish to escape fin»n the gmve to the gay. 
Lest the pig, to yoor sorrow, should torn out a botur. 
** But your 'wonderfiil pig* must gin orer his feats. 
And endesTor to quench his poetical fire. 
Lest, stirring to enter a garden of sweets, 

In the end he should find himself sunk in the mire. 

"J. H. Jessk.'' 

THK COUNTESS OF BLESSINOTON'S SOIREE. 
** By genius enliToned, hero splendidly bright 
An the rays which adorn and embellish her ' night I* 
While * the nine* shed their influence down from above, 
To unite taste and wit with the charms of ' the grore.' 

"OcTOOKNABIUS.* 

«' Mount RttUbrd, Ezeier.*' 

UtPROMPTU.— ON A SMALL VOLUME OF POEMS BEING PLACED IN THE 
LIBRARY OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 

** What * earthly' was befon, is now 'dirine ;* 

Minerra's priestess placed it in her Mhrine. 

« OcTooiNAiros. 
•'Exeter, September 18th, 18IS.'* 

Lines addressed to Lady Blcssington (no name or date) : 
'* Some dear firiend a present has made me 
Of an instrument armed like a daxt ; 
But the warning of witches forbade me 
To use it secundum the ait. 

* The writer occasionally signed his letters to Lady Bletsington, and his nu- 
merous poetical effusions, " Pilgrim.** Mount Radford, I think, near Exeter, was 
the name of a property of one of the Barings some thirty years ago. 



BY VARIOUS PERSONS. 265 

** It maj be by some &uy designed, 

A blow aimed through my lips at my heart ; 
Ah ! my heart has already resigned, 

And my lips claimed their share of the smart !** 

Inclosed in a letter of Dr. W. Beattie : 

THE CLOSING YEAR. 
*' Coei trapaasa^al trapassar* d'an giorno.*' 
" Coald time contract the heart 
As time contracts our years, 
I'd weep, to see my days depart. 
In undissembled tears. 

'* But no ! the mind expands 
As time pursues its flight, 
And sheds upon our ebbing sands 
A sweeter, holier light. 

''If time could steel the breast 
To human weal or woe. 
Then would I long to be at rest. 
And deem it time to go. 

" But no ! while I can cheer 
One sad or stricken heart, 
Unreckoned let my days appear, 
Unmoumed let them depart. 

"Hme, reckoned by our deeds, 
And not by length of days, 
Is often blessed where it speeds — 
Unblessed where it delays. 

'* But oh ! when deaf to human sighs. 
When dead to human woes. 
Then drop the curtain ! close my eyes, 

And leave me to repose \ 
" December 30, 1840." 

P.S. 

" Such, lady, is the creed 

Thy gifted pen has taught. 

And well the daily-practiced deed 

Gires body to the thought. 

" Thy mind's an intellectual fount 
"Wlieie genius plumes her wing, 
And fancy's flowers, like Eden's bowers. 
Enjoy perennial spring !" 
Vol. T.— M 



268 LINES ADDIS888D TO JJJPt BLI881N0TON 

Lines of Dr. Wm. Beattie to the Coumtem of Blessington, on 
perusing " The Book of Beauty" for 1839 : 

" Aj Dian, 'mid yon lales of light, 
With stany tnin iilmnes the region. 
So, lady, here, with eyes as height, 
Thoa lead'at abroad thy stany legion. 
All mamhaied in thy brilUant book, 
"What faadnationB fix the reader ! 
Ah ! when had atan ao bright a look. 
Or when had beauty anch a leader ! 

** And gazmg en thai stany train. 

In each methinka I aee the token 

Of conqneeta won, of soiton alain. 

Of heads theyNre tomed, and hearts theyVo broken. 

Lady, thy tadL is nobly done ; 

Who elae conld ha^e perfonned the duty ! 

Where find, unless in Blessington, 

The synonym for wit and beauty ? 
*• Nor. 7ih, 1838.*' 

Lines ** "A TArabe," to Lady Blessington, by an Eastern trav- 
eler: 

" If e*cr the price of tinder rise, 
To smoking as Pm given, 
ril light my pipe at your bright eycB, 
And steal my fire from hearen. 

<* In Paynim climes, when forced to sip 
Cold water through deTotion, 
Pd think the cup had touched your lip, 
To nectarize my potion. 

" If dread simoom swept o*cr my tent, 
Pd call bock scenes enchanting : 
On blissful hours in Naples spent. 
And your abode descanting. 

** In that eclipse which lately throw 
Half Naples into terror, 
Wlicn it was very clear that you 
Had breathed upon your mirror ; 

** In antres vast and desert wild, 

With jackals screaming round me, 
Pd dream of you when toil and fright 
* In sluuiber*s chain had bound me.' 



BY VARIOUS PERSONS. 367 

" rd fancy beauty's queen, arrayed 
In smiles, was watching o*er mo ; 
And, waking, find the picture laid 

Of Lady B before me. R. R. M. 

-Rome, Feb., 1828." 



From Mrs. P s to Lady Blcssington, St. James's Square : 

*" In this frigid season of stupefied spleen, 
October, when nothing goes down but the queen* 
(Though lately her majesty seems to get up), 
So od is the slip 'twixt the lip and the cup, 
Methinks it were proper, of one of my trips 
By sea, in the steam vessel call'd the Eclipse, 
I with pen, ink, and paper, and table and chair, 
Indite to my who lives in the square. 

*' Oh say what philosopher found out in steam. 
That wonderful property stemming a stream : 
It could not be Locke, for a lock dams the splasher ; 
It could not be Bacon^ that makes sailors rather. 
It is not Sir Isaac the vessel that urges, 
Though certainly eyes ache when looking on surges : 
Descartes sounds more like it ; for Galilean art 
Moves over the waves by assistance des cartes : 
No ! now I remember : the man who by toil 
Of noddle, and midnight consumption of oil, 
First hit upon steam, was Philosopher Beyle. 

''This learned discussion has made roc forget: 
Proceed we to sing of our voyage from Margate. 
As the clock sounded eight, I myself and my maiden 
(Having coffee*d at Broadstairs), with bandboxes laden, 
I3oth spuming the pier, and the coast out of reach of 
(If spuming a Peer should be privilege breach of. 
Keep this to yourself, and if swom on the Bible, 
Lest the Lords, in a rage, should commit for the libel), 
Embarked on the main, which, erst tranquil and steady, 
Soon heaved, like the tragical chest of Macieady. 
One Mr. MacDonald on board also came 
(Related, I*m told, to the lord of that name), 
And Smith, christened James : of the whole of the crew, 
These twain were the only two people I knew. 

♦ The Queen Caroline. Tkis poetical epistle is not dated ; but, as Lady Bless- 
ington was not living in St. James's Square after 1822, nor previous to 1816, the 
epistle must have been written in the interval. 



jMS UN£8*ADDSK88ED TO LADY BLB88IMGTON. 

I itnig^ intniuuodd DoCiitBtMi vop^pMs widi 
«Mr. SllliU^ Mr. Mm>— Hi. Mae,Mr. Snuth ;' 
We then talk*d a tiio» humoniiNM together. 
Of Naples, and Spain, and the queen, and the weather. 
Of Maigate, its windmills, its balls, uid of raffles. 
Of misses in curls, and of donkeys in snaffles : 
In gay iprif^y pace, though I sing it in dull verse. 
Then passed the two steeples they call the Reculvers, 
When, finding Ban Fhcehus preparing to nnsUne, 
W^e entered the eainn and ordered a hmdieon. 
But ere we went down, 1 forgot to uuofui 
Tour ladyship, Jupiter pour'd down a stonn. 
Smith raised his umbrella, my kid leather shoes, 
Unused to such scenes, were beginning to ooze, 
When a Geiman, who look'd at me, all in a float, 
Most civilly lent me his wrapping great^coot 
Thus muffled, while Iris pouied rain from her window, 
I kx^ed like a sylph keeping watch on Belinda. 
I laugh*d at the tempest thu tunic of drab in. 
But laid it aside when we entered the cabin. 
There hanging my straw bonnet up on a peg. 
Sitting down on a stool with a rickety leg, 
And doffing my shawl to sit down to my meal, 
I flatter myself I looked rather genteel. 
Smith sat with each leg on the, side of a column. 
Which checked him in eating, and made him look Rolrnrm. 
So, hastily quitting our seats when we all ha() 
Sufficient cold lamb, beef, potatoes, an^ salad, 
I went upon deck, and when seated upon it, 
I put on again my drab wrapper and bonnet. 
A woman and daughter had borrowed the streamer 
Tliat floats, red and white, from the stem of the Kteamcr ; 
This formed a deck-tent^ and from Jupiter*s thunder it 
Guarded us safely ; 'twas nothing to wonder at, 
For ' non mi ricordo* that any slept under it ! 
Wlien qualms (not of conscience) seized one of the crew. 
To a berth near the chimney I quickly withdrew, 
And beat with my right foot the dcA-il^s tattoo. 
Of one of our minstrels, an Irish Pandsan, 
I asked if that ocean was called the ^gean ; 
If it was not, old Guthrie was bom to confound me. 
For /// swear that the cyc-lades* circled around me. 
We pass*d on our left the four hanging I^ascars, 
Who peep at the moon and keep wateh at the stars ; 
* Two sick ladies. 



NOnOE OP COUNT ALFRED D»ORSAY. 269 

Jast opposite South-end we plumped on a poipoise, 
Uncommonly like Stephen Kemble in corpus ; 
In temper like Gerard, whose surname is Noel, 
In swimming like Twiss, and in color like Powell. 
And when we were properly soak'd, at the hour 
Of five, anchored safely athwart of the Tower. 

" The scene that ensued when we swung by a cable. 
The mixture of Yoices out-babeling Babel — 
What scrambling for bandboxes, handkerchiefs, caskets. 
Trunks, carpet bags, brown paper parcels, and baskets, 
While the captain stood quietly wetting his whistle, 
Must all be reserved for another epistle. 
For my paper scrawled o'er is of no further service. 

'* Adieu, your affectionate ever, E. P s." 



CHAPTER XIII. 

NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAY : HIS ORIGIN. SOME AC- 
COUNT OF HIS EARLY LIFE, THE CLOSE OF HIS CAREER, AND OB- 
SERVATIONS ON HIS TALENTS AND THE APPLICATION OF THEM.* 

Alfred Guillaume Gabriel Comte D'Grsay was born the 
4th of September, 1801. His father, Albert Comte D'Orsay, 
who was considered one of the finest-looking men of his time, 
early entered the army, and served with great distinction under 
Napoleon, who was wont to say of him that he was " aussi brave 
que heau^ His mother, a woman no less remarkable for her 
wit, and noble and generous disposition, than for her beauty, was 
a daughter of the King of Wurtemberg by a marriage which was 
good in religion, though not in law. The family of D'Orsay was 
a very ancient one, and formerly held large possessions both in 
Paris and in the provinces. The grandfather of the late Comte 
D'Grsay was one of the most liberal patrons of art of his day. 
His collection of pictures and statues was singularly fine and 
valuable. Several of the latter, which were seized in the first 
revolution, that disastrous period when he lost nearly the whole 
of his fortune, now form a part of the statuary which decorates 

* For a large jKirtion of ihe details of this memoir, rxtcndini; to tlu^ period of 
D'Orsay's last sojourn in Paris, I am indebted to a lady very intimately acquainted 
with the count in his brighter days, as well as in his latest moments. 



SfO MoncB or count alfbkd i^ouat. 

thellAoeLoaiiCbiiiiiseuidihagaideBtefliieTulleries. TI10 
{act of their belonging to the honae of DX)nmy was admitted by 
subsequent govenunents. Louis Philippe, only a short time be- 
fore his expulsion ficom France, was in treaty with Comte DX)r- 
say to pay an annual sum to retain the statues in their present 
places, haTing refused to restore them. After the abdication of 
Napoleon, General D*Orsay entered the service of the Bourbons. 

The eldest son of the general having died in infancy, the fam- 
ily consisted of two children — ^Alfred and a daughter, Ida, the 
present Duchesse de Grammont, a year younger than her brother. 
From his earliest infancy, Alfred DK)riiay gave token of the re- 
maikable physical and mental superiority which distinguished 
his manhood. As a child and boy, his remarkable comeliness, 
strength, and adroitness in all exercises, ready wit and intelli- 
gence, facility of acquiring knowledge, high spirit, the frankness 
of his nature, tho chivalrous generosity of his disposition, made 
him a general favorite with young and old. 

At a very early age ho entered the army, and somewhat later, 
very unwillingly, the garde du corps of the restored Bourbon 
sovereign. All his sympathies during the whole of his life 
were with the Bonaparte family. Tho ardent enthusiasm in- 
spired in his boyish mind by Napoleon (whose page he was to 
have been) kept possession of his mind in after years. So far 
was the feeling carried, that at the entrance of tho Bourbons 
into Paris, though but a mere boy, he betook himself to a retired 
part of the house, that he might not sec or hear the rejoicings 
that were made for the downfall of Napoleon and his empire, 
and gave vent to his feelings in tears and strong expressions of 
repugnance to the new regime. AVhen in the army, he was 
greatly beloved by the men, whose comforts and interests he 
looked to with the utmost care. Their affection for his person 
was equaled only by the admiration excited by his feats of 
strength and superiority over his comrades in all manly exer- 
cises. 

Some of the traits of his garrison life, though trifling in them- 
selves, are too characteristic to be left unnoticed. At the pro- 
vincial balls, where his repute as a man of fashion, of family, 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAY. 271 

and of various accomplishments had made itself known, and ren- 
dered him a leading object of attention ; he used to be jeered 
by his brother officers for his apparent predilection for persons 
not remarkable for their personal attractions, as he made it a 
practice to single out the plainest girls present to dance with, 
and to pay the greatest attention to those who seemed most neg- 
lected or unnoticed. There was no affectation of any kind about 
him ; whatever he did that appeared considerate or amiable was 
done simply from natural kindness of disposition. 

On one occasion, living out of barracks, he lodged at the house 
of a widow with a son and two daughters ; the son, a young, ro- 
bust man of a violent temper and of considerable bodily strength, 
was in the habit of treating his mother and sisters with brutal- 
ity. Comte D'Orsay, one day while in his room, hearing a loud 
noise and tumult in the apartments of his hostess and her daugh- 
ters on the ground floor, descended to ascertain the cause, and 
finding the young man ofiering acts of violence to his mother, 
fell upon him, and notwithstanding the powerful resistance of 
his formidable opponent, whose rage had been turned against 
him, inflicted such severe chastisement on him that quarter was 
soon called for. The count then, with his characteristic quie- 
tude of manner in the midst of any excitement or turmoil, ended 
the scene by assuring the subdued bully that any repetition of 
his violence on his family would meet with punishment far ex- 
ceeding in severity that which ho had the trouble of bestowing 
on that occasion. 

Comte D'Orsay's first visit to England was in the year 1821 
or 1822. He came in company with his sister and her husband, 
then Due de Guiche, who, in the previous emigration, had been 
educated and brought up in England, had served in an English 
regiment (of dragoons), and who had a sister married to the 
Viscount Ossulston, now Earl of Tankerville ; consequently, the 
Duke de Guiche already held a position in English society cal- 
culated to insure the best recepfion for his brother-in-law in the 
first circles of London society. 

In that visit, which was but brief, the young count, accustom- 
ed to manners and customs of a world of fashion difi'ering very 



S73 NOTICE or COUITT AUSE0 VOBB AY. 

matezially from fliAt of London, fonned that hastf judgment of 
l^pgliRh Bocietyy enroneous in the main, but in its application to 
a portion of it not without a certain baais of truth. Byion'i eu- 
logistio expressions on the perusal of the journal could not fail 
to be very gratifying to the writer of it. But the riper judg^ 
ment and later experience of the count led to the formation of 
other opinions, and induced him to destroy the diary, and the 
reason given for its destruction was " lest at any time the ideas 
there expressed should be put forth as his matured opinions." 
Byron, in a letter to Moore, dated Apiil 2, 1823, thus refers to 
the arrival at Genoa of the Blessingtons and the Count D*Orsay, 
a French count, ** who has all the air of a eupidon d^haini, and 
is one of the few specimens I have ever seen of our ideal of a 
Frenchman before the Revolution." 

To Lord Blessington his lordship writes : 

« April Sell, 18S3. 
** My dkab Lobd, — How is your gout 1 or, rather, how aro you ? I return 
the Count D'Orsay's journal, which i» a vciy extraordinary production, and of 
a most melancholy truth in all that regards high life in England. I know, or 
knew personally, most of the personages and societies which he describes ; 
and after reading his remarks, have the sensation fresh upon me as if I had 
seen them yesterday. I would, however, plead in behalf of some few excep- 
tions, which I will mention by-and-by. The most singular thing is, how he 
should have penetrated, noi the factM, but the nysiery of the English ennuis at 
two-and-twenty. I was about the same age when I made the same discov* 
ery, in almost precisely the same circles — for there is scarcely a person whom 
I did not see nightly or daily, and was acquainted more or less intimately with 
most of them-— but I never could have discovered it so well, Jlfaui itre Fran- 
ks to effect this. But he ought also to have been in the country during the 
hunting season, with a * select party of distinguished guests,* as the papers 
term it. He ought to have seen the gentlemen after dinner (on the hunting 
days), and the soiree ensuing thereupon, and the women looking as if they 
had hunted, or rather been hunted ; and I could have wished that he had been 
at a dinner in town, wluch I recollect at Lord Cowpor's — small, but select. 

and composed of the most amusing people Altogether, your friend's 

journal is a very formidable production. Alas ! our dearly beloved country- 
men have only discovered that they are tired, and not that they are tiresome ; 
and I suspect that the communication of the latter unpleasant verity will not 
be better received than truths usually are. I have read the whole with great 
attention and instruction — I am too good a patriot to say pleasure — at least I 
wonH say so, whatever I may think. I showed it (I hope no breach of confi- 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAY. 273 

dence) to a young Italian lady of rank, tres instruite also ; and who pastes, 
or passed, for being one of the most celebrated belles in the district of Italy 
where her family and connections resided in less troublesome times as to pol- 
itics (which is not Genoa, by-the-way), and she was delighted with it, and 
says that she has derived a better notion of English society from it than from 
all Madame de Staers metaphysical disputations on the same subject in her 
work on the Revolution. I beg that you will thank the young phibsopher, 

and make my compliments to Lady B and her sister. 

** Believe me, your very obliged and faithful, Btbon." 

Li subsequent letters to Lord Blessington, Byron repeatedly 
returns to the subject of the count's English journal. One writ- 
ten on the 6tb. of April (the very day after that before quoted), 
to condole with the Earl of Blessington on the death of his only 
son, thus concludes : " I beg my compliments to Lady Blessing- 
ton, Miss Power, and to your Alfred, I think, since his majesty 
of the same name, there has not been such a learned surveyor 
of our Saxon society." Again, on the 9th, *' I salute the illus- 
trious Chevalier Count D'Orsay, who, I hope, will continue his 
History of His Own Times. There are some strange coinci- 
dences between a part of his remarks and a certain work of 
mine now in MS. in England (I do not mean the hermetically- 
sealed memoirs, but a continuation of certain cantos of a certain 
poem), especially in what a man may do in London with impu- 
nity while he is a la mode" And in a letter which Mr. Moore 
did not print at length, Byron said of D'Orsay, ** He seems to 
have all the qualities requisite to have figured in his brother-in- 
law's ancestor's Memoirs" — alluding to the famous Memoirs of 
Grammont. 

Byron's approbation of D'Orsay's diary was given in the fol- 
lowing characteristic terms : 

"April 22, 1823.— My dear Count D'Orsay (if you will per- 
mit mc to address you so familiarly), you should be content with 
writing in your own language, like Grammont, and succeeding in 
London as nobody has succeeded since the days of Charles the 
Second, and the records of Antonio Hamilton, without deviating 
into our barbarous language, which you understand and write, 
however, much better than it deserves. * My approbation,' as 
you arc pleased to term it, was very sincere, but perhaps not 

M 2 



274 HOnOK OP OOUNT ALTEED IWMAT. 

Twyimiwilul; for,tiumgh I love my coi m tiy , I do not love my 
eoantrymen — at least, such as they now are. And besides the 
seduotion of talent and wit in your work, I fear that to me there 
was the attraction of vengeance. I have sem madfeU mneh of 
what you have described so well. I have known the penons 
and the rtenions descxibed (many of them, that is to say), and 
the portraits are so like, that I can not but admire the painter 
no less than his performance. But I am sorry for you ; for if 
you are so well acquainted with life at your age, what will be- 
eome of you when the illusion is still more dissipated ?" 

The illusion was wholly dissipated, but only a few months 
before DX)nay's death. 

On the 6th of May following, his lordship writes to Lady 
Blessington: 

** I have a request to make my friend Alfred (since he has not 
disdained the title), viz., that he would condescend to add a cap 
to the gentleman in the jacket — ^it would complete his costume, 
and smooth his brow, which is somewhat too inveterate a like- 
ness of the original, God help me !" 

The diary of Count D'Orsay, iUustrative of London fashion- 
able life, which was pronounced by such competent authority to 
be equal to any thing Count de Grammont has left us about con- 
temporary frivolity, is said by others to have surpassed the me- 
moirs of the latter in genuine wit and humor. 

The Duchesse de Grammont has the papers of Count D'Or- 
say, and a portion of the effects ; most of the latter were sold to 
pay debts. His journal was burned by himself some years back. 

It was on the occasion of D'Orsay 's first visit to London that 
he made the acquaintance of Lord and Lady Blessington, not in 
garrison in France, as has generally but erroneously been stated ; 
neither is the assertion true that it was to accompany them to 
Italy that he abandoned the intention of joining the expedition 
to Spain, there being no question of his doing so at the period 
of that visit. 

At the earnest desire of Lord and Lady Blessington, the young 
Frenchman became one of the party in their tour through France 
and Italy. During their journey and prolonged sojourn in tho 



NOTICE OP COUNT ALFRED D'QRSAY. 275 

latter ooimtry, the companionable qualities, and that peculiar 
power of making himself agreeable, which he possessed to a 
degree almost unequaled, so endeared him to his English friends, 
that a union was at length proposed by Lord Blessington be- 
tween the count and one of his daughters, both of whom were 
then in Ireland with Lady Harriet Gardiner, the sister of Lord 
Blessington. 

This proposition meeting the approval of the count's family, 
it was finally decided that Lady Harriette, the younger daugh- 
ter, should become his wife, and she was accordingly sent for to 
Italy, where the marriage was celebrated.* 

After a long Continental tour, and a sojourn of some years in 
Italy, Lord and Lady Blessington, with the Count and Coimtess 
D'Orsay, came to reside in Paris, where, in 1829, Lord Blessing- 
ton died of apoplexy. 

During the Revolution of 1830, the events of which are related 
by Lady Blessington in the " Idler in France," Count D'Orsay, 
during the most dangerous moments, was constanjtly abroad in 
the streets ; and on more than one occasion, when recognized, 
though known to be the brother-in-law of the Due de Guiche, 
one of the staunchest of the Legitimists, he was greeted by 
the people with shouts of " Vive le Comte D^Orsay .'" Such was 
the influence which his mere presence produced. One of the 
proofs of the eflect on others of his insinuating manners and pre- 
possessing appearance was the extreme affection and confidence 
he inspired in children, of whom he was very fond, but who 
usually seemed as if they were irresistibly drawn toward him, 
even before he attempted to win them. The shyest and most 
reserved were no more proof against this influence than the 

♦ Wc find in the " Annual Register" for 1827 an account of the marriage cere- 
mony haring been performed at Naplea by the chaplain of the British embassa- 
dor. *'At Naples, in December 1627, Count Alfred D'Orsay, only son of General 
Count D^Orsay, to the Lady Harriette Anne Frances Gardiner, daughter of the 
Right Hon. the Earl of Blessington." Of this unhappy marriage an account has 
been given in the preceding memoir, and the sentiments of the author in regard 
to it have been expressed there. Of the greatness of the calamity of that union, 
and the grievous wrong done by it to one almost a child in years, experience, and 
understanding, the author has nothing more to say than has been already said by 
him on that painful subject. — R. R. M. 



276 NOnCn OF COUNT ALFRED DK>BflA.T. 

most oonfiding. ChiMienirlio in gqicial woold hMwPy Tw i t o re 
to look at a ttiaager, woald steal to his side, take his hand, and 
seem to be quite happy and at ease when they were near him. 
The same power of setting others perfectly at their ease in his 
presence extended to his inflaence orer grown-np persons. 

In society he was agreeable, attentiTe, kind, and considerate 
to all ; no one was too hnmble, too retiring, too little amfaU in 
the modes of living, acting, and thinking of those among whom 
he might be accidentally thrown, to be beneath his notice, or 
beyond the reach of his extraordinary power of finding ont mer- 
it, devising means of drawing out any peculiar talent the per- 
son might possess, or of discovering some topic of interest to the 
party on which he could get into conversation with him. If en 
of all opinions, classes, and positions, found themselves at home 
with him on some particular question or other ; and this not 
from any effort or any unworthy concession on his part, but 
from a natural facility of adapting himself to the peculiarities of 
those around him. His active mind sought and found abundant 
occupation in such conversational exercise. He often said that 
'^ he had never known the meaning of the word ennuiJ* 

No matter where or with whom he might be, he found means 
to employ his mind and his time more or less usefully or agree- 
ably. The dullest coimtry-town had for him as many resources 
as Paris or London. Wherever he went, he was disposed to 
find every thing interesting and good in its way, and every body 
capable of being made amusing and agreeable. To the lost, 
when time, grief, and disappointment, the loss of fortune, friends, 
and nearly all he loved best on earth, might well be supposed to 
have soured his disposition, this happy turn of mind yet remain- 
ed unimpaired as in his early youth. 

Arrogance, and affectation, and purse-proud insolence alone 
found him severe and satirical : on these his keen wit and re- 
markable powers of raillery were not unfrequently set, and per^ 
haps his only enemies were those who had fallen under his lash, 
or who were jealous of the superiority of his talents. 

Some months after the death of Lord Blessington, Lady Bless- 
ington and the Count and Countess D'Orsay returned to England. 



NOTIOE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAY. 277 

Shortly before the death of Count D'Orsay's mother, who en- 
tertained feelings of strong attachment for Lady filessington, the 
former had spoken with great earnestness of her apprehensions 
for her son, on account of his tendency to extravagance, and of 
her desire that Lady Blessington would advise and counsel him, 
and do her utmost to counteract those propensities which had 
already been attended with embarrassments, and had occasioned 
her great fears for his welfare. The promise that was given on 
that occasion was often alluded to by Lady Blessington, and, 
after her death, by Count D'Orsay. 

A variety of painful circumstances, which have no place in 
the present memoir, led to a break-up of the establishment of 
Lady Blessington in Paris, after the death of Lord Blessington. 
On her return to London, Lady Blessington took a house in Sea- 
more Place, and Count D'Orsay one in Curzon Street; from 
thence they removed to Kensington Gore — ^Lady Blessington to 
Gore House, Count D'Orsay to a small dwelling adjoining it ; 
but finally they both occupied the former place of abode till the 
break-up of that establishment in April, 1849. 

The count returned to his native country after a residence 
of nineteen years in London. In Paris he was joined by Lady 
Blessington and her nieces, the Misses Power, shortly after his 
arrival ; and in the following month of June he met, in her loss, 
an affliction, from the efiects of which he never thoroughly re- 
covered. 

The ensuing year he realized a plan he had formed and often 
spoken of in happier days. He hired an immense studio, with 
some smaller rooms connected with it, attached to the house of 
M.Gerdin, the celebrated marine painter. Here he transported 
all his possessions (consisting chiefly of his own works of art, 
easels, brushes, paints, 5cc.), and with the extraordinary taste and 
talent for arrangement that constituted one of his gifts, a large 
waste room, with naked loft, became transformed into one of 
the most elegantly fitted up and admirably disposed studios of 
Paris, and, at the same time, a habitable salon of great beauty, 
combining requisites for a museum en miniature, and objects of 
virtu and art sufficient to furnish a small gallery. In this salon 



378 KOTICn OF OODNT ALTBEB DXmBMX. 

hemightbanidtobadoiiiieiled. Here ha Ihrad, Iwn 1m dsily 
xeeeiTad the Tiiits of some of the greateit edebxitiet df Europe; 
etatetmen, politidaafl, diplomatiBtSy men of letters, and arlirta, 
were his constant TiBitozB and fire^nent guests. 

The ex^ai Jezome eontinued to be one of the most faithful 
and attached of his friends. The paternal affection of the good 
old man, with the warm regard of his son, the Fkinoe Napdeoo, 
formed a remarkable eontiast to the oondnet of others, whieh 
folly bore oat the observation, ^ There are some benefits so 
great that they can only be paid by the blackest ingratitade." 
The ex-king Jerome never swerved in his affection for Coont 
B'Orsay, and his earnest desire was to see him elevated to a post 
worthy of his position, and talents. This hope, however, was 
destined to be defeated. The Freaident of the Repablic had 
nothing in common with the exile and piisoner of Ham ; he who 
had long and largely served, counseled, and aided in varions 
ways the latter, through good report and evil report had been a 
faithful friend to him, was looked on with coldness and aver- 
sion when he proved too independent and high-spirited to be 
a mere servile, opinionless partisan of the most astute as well 
as successful conspirator of modem times ; and as his presence 
recalled obligations in private life, he became an object of jeal- 
ousy, his services a disagreeable souvenir. The poor count 
pined away, long expecting an appointment, but expecting it in 
vain. His health broke down, and when it was completely 
broken down, Louis Napoleon conferred on his friend of former 
days, already struck by the hand of death, the nominal post of 
Director of Fine Arts, the duties of which office he was no longer 
able to perform. The prince imagined, by the tardy act of grat- 
itude, he had screened himself from the just reproaches of all 
who knew their former connection. 

Count D'Orsay was struck to the heart by the ingratitude of 
.Louis Napoleon, but his generous nature was incapable of bit- 
terness, and no sentiment of animosity was engendered by it ; 
he suffered deeply and long in silence, but the wound festered, 
and at times it was evident enough how much it galled him. 

From the period of Lady Blessington's death, the count had 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED ITORSAY. 279 

given up general society, and during the last two years of his 
life he confined himself almost altogether to the house, receiving 
in his studio-salon morning visits of his family and a very small 
circle of intimate friends. Lady Blessington's nieces, the com- 
panions of his happy and prosperous days, his attendants in 
those of sickness and sorrow, some members of his family, his 
beloved sister, the ex-roi Jerome and his son, Emile de Girardin, 
Dr. Cabarrus, his school-fellow, the son of the celebrated Mad- 
am Tallien, and the well-known Monsieur Ouvrard, Madam de 

C , the Comtesse of D , were among the last in whose 

constant society he found repose and pleasure when that of 
others had lost its charm. 

In the spring of 1852, the spinal malady which finally proved 
fatal declared itself, and then commenced a long series of suf- 
ferings, which ended but with his life — sufi^erings endured with 
fortitude, patience, uncomplaining gentleness, a manifest ab- 
sence of all selfishness, and consideration for those attending on 
him, which none but those whose painful task it was to watch 
by his couch could form any idea of. 

In the month of July he was ordered to Dieppe as a last re- 
source, and thither he was accompanied by Lady Blessington's 
nieces. From the time of his arrival in Dieppe he sunk rap- 
idly ; at the end of the month he returned to Paris dying, and 
on the 4th of August, 1852, breathed his last, surrounded by 
those whoso unremitting care had been the last consolation of 
his declining days. 

During his illness he had more than once been visited by the 
excellent Archbishop of Paris, though a comparatively late ac- 
quaintance, who entertained for him a warm regard. 

Two days previous to his decease, the archbishop had a long 
conversation with him, and at parting embraced him, assuring 
him of his friendship and afiectionate regard.* The following 
day, the last of his existence, he received the consolations of 
religion from the eurS of Chambourcy. For the church of this 
good priest he had done a great deal : he had restored many 

* *• J*ai pour Tous pln» qne de ramiti^, j*ai de raffeclion," were the archbish- 
op's words. 



280 NOnOl^ OF COUNT ALFBtib VQBBMY. 

of the piotniet, and bestowed the original pietore of tte 
Doiarosay which had been painted bj himself expxesslj for the 
church, the lithograph of which is well known, and is sold un- 
der the title of the Magdalen, though why thus called it would 
be difficult to say. « 

Thus terminated, at the age of fifty-one years, the existence 
of this highly-gifted man, when hardly beyond the prime of life. 

An innate love of all that was beautiful in nature and excel- 
lent in art, a generous, chiTalions nature, strong sympathies with 
sufiering, ardent feelings, a kindly disposition, elegant tastes, 
and fine talents, capable of being turned in almost any pursuit 
to an excellent account, these were the distinguishing charac- 
teristics of Oount Al&ed D'Orsay. 

Many gifts and advantages, natural and intellectual, were 
united in him. To remarkable personal comeliness were added 
great strength and courage, which nothing could daunt, and an 
adroitness which enabled him to excel in every thing he at- 
tempted. He was one of the best horsemen, the best shots, the 
best fencers, and the best boxers of his day. His talents as a 
painter and sculptor, though wanting cultivation and study, were 
of the first order ; he had an excellent ear, and some taste for 
music, with a tolerable tenor voice, which, however, he very 
rarely exercised. His wit was keen and brilliant, his taste in 
all matters of dress, furniture, and equipage, as well as in art, 
excellent. In his mind and his manners there was a singular 
mixture of refinement, simplicity, warmth, and frankness, very 
productive of strongly pleasing impressions. Generous to lav- 
ishness, frank to indiscretion, unsuspicious to credulity, disinter- 
ested to imprudence, his defects were, in the eyes of his ardent 
friends, the excesses of his noble qualities. He has been often 
heard to say that ho would prefer being deceived a hundred 
times rather than suspect another unjustly. He had a prreat 
horror of scandal, and possessed chivalrous feelings, which led 
him always to take the part of those who were violently assail- 
ed, absent or present, known to him or utter strangers. 

During his residence at Gore House he was a generous bene- 
factor to those of his nation who required alms, encouragement. 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D^RSAY. 281 

afisistance, intFodnctions, hospitality. From Louis Napoleon to 
the poorest exile, his services were rendered with a frank, earn- 
est good-will, and a considerate delicacy and sympathy for mis- 
fortune, that increased the value of his assistance. He founded 
the Socicte de Bienfaisance, still existing in London, for the bene- 
fit of his distressed countrymen, nor was his aid ever withheld 
from the poor or sufiering of his adopted country, for his admi- 
ration for England ended only with his life. 

In his temper, either in sickness or in health, he was never 
irritable nor morose. Those who were about him and in attend- 
ance on him said, " They never knew any one so easy to live 
with, so little given to find fault." 

But there was one thing in his demeanor and carriage of a 
very marked and distinguished character; the high bearing, 
proud spirit, and strong energy of a nobly constituted man were 
mingled with the gentleness, the sensibility, self-devotion, and 
tenderness of a woman's nature. Frank and open in all his deal- 
ings, the idea of deceiving or condescending to stoop to any 
sophistry in conversation never entered his mind. This in- 
genuousness of mind and natural excellence of disposition were 
admirably associated with external advantages, and set off by 
an appearance of no ordinary comeliness, which in its perfec- 
tions united excellence of form, coloring, and cxpressioi\, AVit, 
genius, and generosity, thus gracefully presented, and graciously 
recommended in his person to observation, it may not be much 
wondered at, were admired ; nor need we doubt that Alfred 
D'Orsay was regarded by many with sentiments of regard and 
esteem, and by some with stronger feelings of affection than 
may be easily reconcilable with the prevailing opinion of his 
faults and his defects. 

Many of the preceding observations have been written by one 
most intimately acquainted with Count D'Orsay, and devoted in 
her attentions to him in his last illness, and up to his last mo- 
ments ; one who had known him long and well in the full forc«» 
and vigor of life and health in happier times, in the brilliiint 
circle in which he moved, " the glass of fashion and the mould 
of form;" who had seen him in gay salons, the deliprht of all 



282 NOTIOS OF COUNT ALFESO OK>£8AY. 

axonnd him, and in tplandid eqoipagaf » witehing alio the wodd 
of fashion in Hjrde Park " with nohle honemanship," *' the ob- 
served of all observexB," theie and erery where he came. They 
were written hy one who had seen him in a few months ze- 
doced from a high positiony surrounded with all the luxnxies of 
life, from health and happiness to comparative obscurity and in- 
digence, to wretchedness and weariness of life, utterly broken 
down in health and spirits. They were written with the warm 
feelings of elevated kindness and of unfailing friendship of a 
woman's heart, ever most true and faithful when the object of 
its solicitude stands most in need of pity and of care. 

In this notice we must not look for a close and scrutinizing 
search for frailties and errors; and wo may fairly presume, 
however truthful the account may be which is given to us of 
the many excellent qualities of this gifled man, that he had hia 
faults and imperfections; and happy may it be for him and 
most men if the amount of evil is counterbalanced to some ex- 
tent by that of good. 

The nearest aud dearest living relation of Count D'Orsay, who 
cherishes his memory as one of the objects in this >vorld most 
precious to her, makes no concealment of her conviction that 
Count D^Orsay's ignorance of the value of money — the profuse 
expenditure into which he was led by that ignorance, the temp- 
tation to play arising from it, the reckless extravagance into 
which he entered, not so much to minister to his own pleasures 
as to gratify the feelings of an inordinate generosity of disposi- 
tion, that prompted him to give whenever he was called on, and 
to forget the obligations he contracted for the sake of others, and 
the heavy penalties imposed on his friends by his frequent ap- 
peals for pecuniary assistance, were very grievous faults, and 
great defects iu his character. In other respects, it can not be 
denied that great wrongs were inflicted on one entitled to pro- 
tection from him ; that public opinion was outraged by that ca- 
reer in London which furnished slander with so many plausible 
themes ; and, however groundless may be the innumerable ru- 
mors prejudicial to character that had been industriously prop- 
agated in relation to them, that great imprudence had been com- 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED I>X>R6AY. 283 

mitted, and grave Buspicions had been incurred by that impru- 
dence. 

Those who deal rigorously with the defects of other people 
may be very conscious of being exempt from the failings they 
discover in eminent persons filling a large space in the public 
view like the late Count D'Orsay ; but before they exult over- 
much in the fullness of their sense of superiority over others less 
perfect than themselves, and in the abundance of their self-com- 
placency give thanks to God they are not like those other frail 
and erring people, let them be well satisfied they have no frail- 
ties themselves of a different description, and that they are in 
possession of all the good qualities that may belong even to their 
erring brothers ; let them be well assured that, had their own 
position in early life, and at the commencement of their career 
in society, been surrounded by unfavorable circumstances and 
evil influences, as those of the persons who are condemned by 
them may have been, their own virtue was of such exalted ex- 
cellence that it would have triumphed over all those unfortu- 
nate circumstances and influences which had militated against 
the happiness and good repute of others. 

The following facts need no comments, and render any further 
statements unnecessary on the subject I have referred to, of lav- 
ish extravagance. . 

Soon after the count separated from his wife, an agreement 
was executed, in 1838, whereby he relinquished all his interest 
in the Blessington estates, in consideration of certain annuities 
amounting to £2ACi7 being redeemed, or allowed to remain 
charged upon the estates (the sum then necessary to redeem 
them was calculated at jC23,500), and also in consideratio9 of 
a sam of i:55,000 to be paid to him ; J^l 3,000, part thereof, as 
soon as it could be raised, and the remaining £42fi00 within 
ten years. These latter sums were not paid until the estates 
had been sold, namely, in 1851, when with interest they amount- 
ed to about jC80,000, and that entire amount was paid to parties 
to whom the count had given securities on the estates ; so that 
with the annuities, the actual amount paid to his creditors out 
of the estates was upward of ^£7103,500. During his residence 



384 NOnOK OF COUNT ALPSED D'OBSAY. 

in England he had an allowance from the Court of Chancerf in 
Ireland of J&550, and Lady Harriet J&400 a year. 

D'Orsay's embarraasmenta, from the years 1837 and 1838 to 
the close of his career, were continuous. In 1841, some efibrta 
jWere made by his friends to extricate him from them. It waa 
the honorable motive of turning his talents to a profitable ae- 
count which subsequentiy led him to devote himself to art with 
the idea of ultimately increasing his income by his pursuits aa 
^ a sculptor and a painter, and to cultivate the friendship of art- 

ists, with the view of deriving advantage from their several 
excellences in their pursuits. 

Most of his works of art are well known. His portrait of 
Wellington, who had so great a regard for him that it was suf- 
ficient to mention Count D^rsay's name to insure his attention 
f and interest even when otherwise occupied, was, he believeSt 

! tho last for which the duke ever sat. At its completion hia 

I grace warmly shook hands with the noble artist, exclaiming, 

I '* At last I have been painted like a gentleman ! rU never sit 

to any one else." In Paris he executed a splendid bust of Lam- 
artine, on which the poet wrote some fme verses ; one of Emile 
de Girardin, the boldest, the ablest, and the last open supporter 
of liberty against oppression ; one of Napoleon Bonaparte, tho 
son of Jerome ; a picture of Sir Robert Peel ; various other 
sketches and medallions ; and, shortly before his death, he had 
completed the small model of a full-sized statue of the ex-king 
Jerome, ordered by government for the Salle des Mar^chaux de 
France, and had commenced a colossal statue of Napoleon. 

The following article respecting the merits of Count D'Orsay 
as an artist appeared in the "Presse" newspaper of the 10th of 
November, 1850 (written by Monsieur de la Guerronnicre), on 
the occasion of the exhibition of a bust of Lamartine executed 
by the count. The lines which follow the article, composed by 
Lamartine, are not the least admirable of tlie celebrated poet. 

LE BUSTE DE M. DE LAMARTINE, VERS A. 31. LE COMTE d'oRSAY. 

" M. le Comtc D'Orsay est un amateur de Tart plutot qu'un 
artiste. Mais qu'est-ce qu'un amateur? C'est un volontaire 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED DX>B8AT. 285 

parmi let artiBtes ; ce sont soareiit les rolontaiies qui font les 
coups d 'eclat dans I'atelier comme rar les champs de bataille. 
Clu'est ce qu'an amateur ? C'est on artiste dont le g^nie seal 
fait la vocation. II est Trai qnll ne re^oit pas dans son enfance 
et pendant les premieres annees de sa rie eette location dn 
metier d'ou sort Michel Ange, d'ou sort BaphaeL U snit molns 
les procM^s, les traditions, les secrets piatiqnes de mm. ait; 
mais s'il doit moins au maitre, il doit phis a la nature. U est 
son oeuvre. C'est elle qui a mis le cisean et le maiilet da scnlp- 
teur entre les mains ^^gantes et aristocratiqnies de lime, de 
Lamartine, de Semesie, de M. de Nerewerkerke et de M. le 
Comte D'Orsay. 

'' M. D'Orsay est d'une famille 06 Ton doit aroir, pins que 
dans toute autre, le culte du beau dans Tart. II est le &1m d'un 
g^n^ral de nos annees h^roiques, anssi c^bre par sa beaate qne 
par ses faits d 'armies. II est le fr^ de eette belle Xioehesse 
de Grammont, dont le nom rappelle tontes les gnees et toates 
les delicatesses d'esprit de la eonr de Louis XIV. LoiHoein^, 
avant d'avoir la c^brite d'artiste et dliomme lettr^, <ntt lUae* 
tration de la nature : il fut nn tjrpe de noblesse et de d'i^^*^^ 
dans les traits. II exen^ dans les salons de Paris et de L^mdi^% 
la dictature Athenienne du go6t et de Tel^ganee. Cest on de 
ces hommes qu'on aurait cm preoccupe de sueees f nti*es — parf:e 
quo la nature semble les avoir erees nniqueriMrat p^^or Mm p;aU#r 
— mais qui trompent la nature, et qui, apres avoir reeyeliil >.% 
Mg^res admirations des jeunes gens et des femrnes de ieur 4ge, 
cchappent k eette atmosphere de U^eret*^ avant le tem^x #>»a iin 
laissent ses idoles dans Ic vide, et se transfurment pat i'etiide et 
par le travail en hommes nouveaox, en hoonnes de m^te a^ 
quis et serieux. M. D'Orsay a habite longtemps TAngletnTe im 
il donnait Texemple et le ton \ eette societe arisUj«rratiqoe, un 
pcu raide ct deforme, qui admire surtoot ee qoi lui xr«anqae, U 
grace ct I'abandon des manihres. Mais il n'j etalt reod^i ro- 
commandablc aussi et sortont par le patronage 'm*jii.\v".ux *'X tu- 
fatigable qu'il cxergait envers les Vnui^jM de V/uV * i*;* tu'^P¥*^ 
donues de ressources dans ee desert de ij^jwU^^n. ^lu*-. ti'-n pi'JH 
admirables institntions de seconrs pour les Fran^^ais irefi c//f#ipa- 
triotes, lui doit son nom et sa prosp^riVr. 



288 KonOB OF COTJNT ALntSD VOUMOr. 

**De oette itpoqat, il eonnnea^a k jonier airao rugil«» !• 
marbre, le ciiean. lAh par nn attaohement devena une paientt 
d^esprit, aveo une det plas bellei et des plus splendideB feminaa 
de 0on 6poqae, il fit boh buste pendant qa'elle yivait ; il le fit 
id6al et plus tonckant apr^s la mort. II monle en fonnet api^ 
rades, sauTageSy de grandeur fruite, lea traits payaaneaqnea 
dXyConnell. II aonlpta la yielleaae tonjouia verte et calme d^ 
Lord Wellington. Cea buatea furent a I'inatant Yulgaiiaea en 
millierea d'exemplairea en Angleterre et k Paria. C'^taint d«a 
er^ationa neuToa. Bien de factiee ; rien de convenu ; rien d« 
I'art, excepts le aouverain art, celui qn'on ne aent paa et qni na 
laiaae aentir que lliomme. 

** Cea premiera aucc^s lui en preaageaient de plua oompleta. 
II cherchait un visage. II en trouva un. Lord Byron, dont il 
fut I'ami et avec lequel il vo3ragea pendant deux ana en Italie, 
n'6tait plus qu\in souvenir aim6 dans son ccBur. II retrouva ail» 
leurs Ic g^nie de la po^ie uni a la grandeur du caract^re et k la 
noblesse du courage. II fit le buste de Lamartine. II le fit de 
m4moire, sans que le module lui-meme en fut instruit. C'eat 
devant cc buste, bicntOt expos^ au salon, que nous ^rivons cea 
ligncs, en demandant pardon k M. Theophile Gautier, notre spir- 
ituel collaborateur, d'anticiper sur sa critique, et de venir dana 
son gracieux domaine, nous profanes, qui sommes des pionniem 
de la politique dans un champ si rude k labourer 

** Le buste de Lamartine ctait tr^s difficile a sculptor, selon 
nous dira t-on. Ses traits sent simples, reguli^res, calmea, 
vastes ; cela est vrai. Mais c'est que, dans leur simplicite, dana 
leur regularity, dans leur calme, ils ont des expressions fugi- 
tives ot tr^s diverses. Or, comment etre k la fois tin et divers^ 
pour un artiste qui se donne la tache de reproduirc cc type ? 
Lk otait le probl^me. Le Comte D'Orsay I'a resolu. 

" La nature, qui no se plie pas k nos dissections, fait quclque- 
fois des hommcs que nous pourrions appeler des hommes mul- 
tiples. £lle en faisait bien davantage dans I'antiquite, qui 
ii'avait pas nos sottes jalousies, nos ridicules prejuges k cct 
^gard, et qui permettait k un homme d'etre k la fois — si Dieu 
I'avait fait tel — un po^te, un oratcur, un soldat, un homme 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED ITORSAT. 287 

d'etat, nn lustorien, nn philosophe, tm homme de lettres. 
Athdnes et Rome sont remplies de eet hommes-li, depois So- 
lon, jnsqn^ Pencil et Aldbiade, depou Cieeron jtuqn^ Cesar. 
II n*y avait point alon ce ajBikme de caste dans 1 IntelligeDce et 
dans le caract^re, qui defend anjonrd'hiii en France, eomme cela 
est d^fendu dans Tlnde, d'exofrcer plnsieoiB metieiB, on plnsieori 
g^nies, on plusienrs caracteres k la fois. Cette castration morale 
de rhomme n'6tait pas inTent^. Voili poorqaoi les hommes 
de COB temps nous paraissent si grands. C'est qnlls sont en- 
tiers ? Anjourdlmi ce n'est plus cela. Si roos etcz toucU 
une lyre dans votre jeunesse, il vons sera defenda de toncher ^ 
unc ^p^e plus tard. Yous serez range, bon gr6 mal gre, dans la 
caste des pontes. Si vous avez rev^u on nniforme, il Tons 
sera interdit d'etre mi 6crivain. Si vons arez ete nn oratenr, il 
vons sera impossible de revetir nn nniforme et de commander 
une arm^e. Si vous avez ecrit Thistoire, il vons sera reproch^ 
de toucher aux choses qui seront lliistoire k &cme par d'anbres 
un jour. C'est notre loi. C'est ce que nous appelons la ditisUm 
du travail, C'est ce j'appellerai pins justement la mntilation 
des facult^s humaines. Mais enfin, il n'y a rien k dire k cela 
chez nous. C'est un fait; c'est convenu. 

" Or, il arrive quelquefois que la nature se revolte eontre ces 
distinctions arbitraires de notre sociih^ et de notre temps, et 
qu'elle donne k un meme bomme des facult^s tr^s diverses quoi- 
que tr^s compl^s. 

'' Voici Lamartine posant devant M. D'Orsay ! Evidemment 
il y a la plusieurs Lamartine. Leqnel cboisira le sculpteur? 
Est-ce le Lamartine des Meditations pottiques, des Harmonies rC" 
ligieuses et de Joeclyn ? Est-ce Lamartine de la tribune ? Est- 
ce le Lamartine de I'HOtel de Ville harangnant les multitudes 
pour desarmer la Revolution du drapeau de la Terrenr, la poi- 
trinc dccouverte, baletant, les habits d^chir^s ? Est-ce Ic Lam- 
artine ecrivant VHistoire des GirondinsT Est-ce le Lamartine 
k cheval et au feu des joum6es de mai et de juin, marchant k la 
tete des colonnes de la garde mobile et de la garde nationab;, 
eontre la Place de Gx^ve ou centre les barricades des faubour^M 
insurg^s ? Est-ce Lamartine vaincu, d^sarm^ de son pouvoir (*t 



268 NOnCK OF COUNT ALFEBO DH>B8AT. 

de sa popnluittfy 86 refngiant de It politaqne dans let l6ttiM,at 
demandant k eon travail eoUtaize et k la lampe de eea nniU dea 
travaux qui ^niient la jeoneese d'lm 4criTain ? Eh bien I non, 
ee n'est ni oelni-oi, ni celoi^Ia que H. le Gomte D'Oreaj a vonla 
choisir. II n'a pas choiBi ; il a mieaz fait : il a fait le Lamar* 
tine de la nature, le Lamartine tout entier. Celui det poduea» 
celui de la tribune, eelui de Hustoire, celui de I'Hdtel de Yille 
et celui de la rue, celui de la retraite et du travail. 

** Yoilk pour noua et pour Tavenir I'inoomparable 8updrioEit6 
de oette oravre. Ce n'eit pas tel ou tel homme, telle ou telle 
partie de la vie de cet homme, c'est lliomme, Thomme diven, 
lliomme multiple, I'homme comme la nature et le hasard dea 
circonstanceB I'ont fait. 

*' On jugera de cette omvre de vie au salon. On pourra exi* 
tiquer tel ou tel coup de ciaeau, tel ou tel muscle, telle ou telle 
ligne du bronze ou du marbre. Mais on verra vivre im homme. 
On dira ce ^u'un de nos amis a dit en voyant pour la premiere 
fois cette epreuve : Ccst le buste de feu sojcrk. Beranger, si 
grand jugc, est sorti plein d'admiration dc cet atelier. Ami du 
modulo il lui appartenait plus qu'^ personne de prononcer sur 
le talent du sculpteur. 

" Au reste, il parait que le module lui-memo a iXJ^ prcssionn^ 
par son image, car cette impression lui a rendu sa voix de po^te 
qui s'est tue dupuis si longtemps au tumulte d'autrcs pens^ea 
et d'autres actes. En recevant \ Macon, il y a quelques joura 
ce buste qui lui ^tait envoye par le statuaire, il a adrcss^, et 
comme improvisd dans Tinstant m^me k M. le Comte D'Orsay, 
les strophes suivantcs que nous devons k I'obligeance de celui 
qui les a revues. Nos lectures y retrouveront la voix qui nous 
rcmuait dans notre jcunesse, et que le temps, au lieu de la bri- 
ser, a rendu plus virile, plus grave et plus pdnetrante que ja- 
mais : 

"A MONSIEUR LE COMTE UORSAY. 
I. 
" Quand le bronze ccumant dans ton moule d^argile, 
Legurra par ta main mon image fragile 
A Toeil indifferent det hommct qui naitront, 
£t que, passant leurs doigts but ces tempes ridces, 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAY. 289 

Comme on lit devaste du torrent des idees, 

Pleins de doute, ils diront entre eoz : De qui co front 1 
II. 
" Est-ce un soldat deboat firappe pour la patrie 1 

Un po^te qui chante, un pontife qui prie 1 

Un orateur qui parle aux flots seditieux 1 

£st-ce un tribun de paix souleve par la honlle, 

Offrant, le cceur gonfle, sa poitrine ii la foule, 

Pour que sa liberty remontat pure aux cieux 1 
m. 
" Car dans ce pied qui lutte, et dans ce front qui Tibre, 

Dana ces lueurs de feu qu^entr'ouvre un souffle Ubre, 

Dans ce coeur qui bondit, dans ce geste serein, 

Dans cette arcbe du flanc que I'extase souleve, 

Dans ce bras qui commando et dans cet ceil qui rere, 

Phidias a petri sept ames dans Tairain. 

IV. 

" Sept ames, Phidias ! et je n'en ai plus one ! 
De tout ce qui vecut je subis la fortune. 
Arme cent fois brisee entre les mains du temps, 
Je sdme des trames dans ma route vers la tombeaux 
Et le si^Ie hebete dit : * Vojez comme tombe 
A moitie du combat chacun des combattans !' 

V. 

** Celui-R chanta Dieu, les idoles le tuent ! 
Au mepris des petits, les grands le prostituent : 
Notre sang, disent-ils pourquoi Tepargnas-tu 1 
Nous en aurions tach^ la grifTe populairo ! 
Et le lion couche lui dit avec colore : 
Pourquoi m'as-tu calm^ ? Ma force est ma vertu. 

VI. 

**ya, brise, o Phidias, ta dangereuse epreove; 
Jettea-en Les debris, dans le feu, dans le fleuve, 
De peur qu*un foible coeur, de doute confondu, 
Ne dise en contemplant ces affronts sur ma joue, 
' Laissons aller le monde h, son courant de boue, 
Et que faut d*un coeur un si^e soit perdu !' 

VII. 

'* Qui, briae, o Phidias ! derobe ce visage 
A la posterite, qui ballotte une image 
De rOlympo ii Tegout, de la gloire k ToubU. 
Au pilori du temps unexpose pas mon ombre ! 
Je suis las des soleils, laisse mon ume it, Tombre. 
Le bonheur de la mort, c'est d'etre enseveli ! 
YoT.. T.— N 



290 wmxm OP oomiT alfksd trotma. 



<« Que la taak dliiver an Tnt d 
Qoe da eoCMn naUl Tngile micon aimie 

GoOTMnt Tlta IMA fiponi BOOU PfHU MO lillBOTll 

Je ne veoz do tm bniits qpi'im Miifle diM k1iiiM» 
Un nom inadievi dflM nn esBV ^ w lariM ; 
Pai Tiea poor la fimk, •! J6 WK dotmir MoL 

*< A. 91 liJUUsmB." 

** n y a enicoie une strophe plus touchante et aiuud gnre que 
les autres. Mais noiu na nous oroyoiui pas peimii de la copito. 
L'auteur ne lea ^criTait pas poor le piiblio» mala poor on eorar. 
Nona obdiBsoiia k la diBczetion qull noiu await sans doate de- 
mand^e. 

" On est henrenx de pooToii inipiier de paxeila Ten ! Fliis 
heureux aana doute d'ayoir pn les dciire en qnelqnes minnteSy aa 
milieu des pr^occupationB des afifdres et des diffienlt^s dn temps. 
NouB en fc^citons M. D^Onay etM.de Lamartine. L'nn a nne 
belle page en vera ; I'autre a une belle page en marbre. Da 
sent quittes Tune envers I'autre. Mais nous ne le sommes paa 
envers eux, car nous leur doTons une double Amotion, et nos 
lecteurs la partageront avec nous. 

"A. DE LA GtJERONNIERE." 

There are some excellent remaiks on I^Orsay's talents as an 
artist, though a little too eulogistic perhaps, in an article in 
'' The New Monthly Magaadne" for August, 1845. 

" Whatever Goimt D'Orsay undertakes seems invariably to be 
well done. As the arbiter elegantiarum, he has reigned supreme 
in matters of taste and fashion, confirming the attempts of oth- 
ers by his approbation, or gratifying them by his example. To 
dress or drive, to shine in the gay world like Count D'Orsay, 
was once the ambition of the youth of England, who then dis- 
covered in this model no higher attributes. But if time, who 
*• steals our years away,' steals also our pleasures, he replaces 
them with others, or substitutes a better thing ; and thus it has 
befallen with Count D'Orsay. 

" If the gay equipage or the well-appareled man be less fre- 
quently seen than formerly, that which causes more lasting sat- 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSaY. 291 

isfaction, and leaves an imprcBsion of a far more exalted nature, 
comes day by day into higher relief, awakening only the regret 
that it should have been concealed so long. When we see what 
Count D'Orsay's productions are, we are tempted to ask, with 
Malvolio's feigned correspondent, ' Why were these things hid V 

'* Bat we are glad to see that they are hidden no more, and 
the accomplished count seems disposed to show the world of 
how much he Ib really capable. His croquis de socUtS had long 
charmed his friends, and his great skill in modeling was bruited 
abroad, when the world began to ask, ' Is it true that in the man 
of fashion exists the genius of the sculptor and the painter ?' 
Eyidence was soon given that such surmises were true. 

"Count D'Orsay's statuettes of Napoleon and the Duke of 
Wellington, and his portraits of Dwarkanauth Tagore and Iiord 
Lyndhurst, exhibited capabilities of the first order, and satisfied 
every inquiry. Additional proof of his powers has been afibrd- 
ed by the publication of the engraving of his portrait of Lord 
Byron. 

'* It is certainly a highly interesting work of art, and, in point 
of resemblance, we are assured that one who knew* him, per- 
haps best of all, has declared that, tmtil now, there never exist- 
ed a likeness which completely satisfied the mind. Certain 
traits of that thoughtful and intelligent countenance were want- 
ing in other portraits, but in this they are all happily united. 

'' Count D'Orsay has represented the noble bard where most 
he loved to be, on the deck of his own vessel. He is sitting in 
sailor's costume, leaning on the rudder, with his right hand un- 
der his chin, and his head elevated. In his fine large eyes is 
an expression of deep thought, and a pensive character marks 
his firm, but femininely-cut mouth. His noble expanse of fore- 
head and fine contour of head are drawn with a free and vigor- 
ous pencil. If we did not know whose likeness was intended, 
we should still call this portrait an exceedingly fine study ; but 
our interest in it is increased by the fidelity of the resemblance. 
The portrait is well engraved by Lewis. 

" We understand that his grace the Duke of WeUington is so 
well pleased with the statuettes to which we have alluded, cop- 



393 NOnOS OF COUNT AIJPRIO PMIMT. 

ies of which ]m has giTan ui older to he exeeoted in diver, ttet 
he is now sitting to the coont for his portndt also. We there- 
fore look forward with a Tory pleasant anticipation to another 
likeness of the hero of a hundred fif^ts— and pictores too.* 

Haydon, in his Diaiy, 31st of June, 1838, makes mention of 
D'Orsay : ** Ahout seren DK)rsay called, whom I had not seen 
for long. He was much improTod, and looking the glass of 
fashion and the mould of fbnn ; really a complete Adonis, not 
made up at alL He made some capital remarks, all of which 
must be attended to. They were sound impressions and grand. 
He hounded into his cab, and drove off like a young Apollo with 
a fiery Pegasus. I looked after him. I like to see such speci- 
mens."* 

Again, in his Diary, 10th of July, 1839, Haydon obserres : 
'* D'Orsay called and pointed out several things to correct in the 
horse (the Duke of Wellington's charger), verifiying Lord Fitz- 
roy's criticism of Sunday last. I did them, and he took my 
brush in his dandy gloves, which made my heart ache, and low* 
ered the hind-quarters by bringing over a bit of the sky. Such 
a dress — ^white greatcoat, blue satin cravat, hair oiled and curl- 
ing, hat of the primest curve and purest water, gloves scented 
with eau de Cologne or eau de jasmine, primrose in tint, skin 
in tightness. In this prime of dandyism he took up a nasty, 
oily, dirty hog-tool, and immortalized Copenhagen (the charger) 
by touching the sky.^f 

A friend of D'Orsay's, in a notice of the count's death in the 
" Globe" newspaper, has truly observed : 

*' Unquestionably one of the celebrities of our day, the de- 
ceased man of fashion, claims more than the usual curt obituary. 
It were unjust to class him with the mere Brummels, Mildmays, 
Alvanleys, or Pierreponts of the Regency, with whom, in his 
early life, he associated, much less the modem men about town 
who have succeeded him; equally idle were the attempt to 
rank him with a Prince de Ligne, an Admirable Crichton, or an 
Alcibiades ; yet was he a singularly gifted and brilliantly ac- 
complished personage." 
* Memoin of B. R. Hajrdon, rol. iii., p. 86. f Ibid., toL iii., p. 105. 



NOTICE OF COVNT ALFRED D*ORSAY. 293 

A writer in the " Annual Register," in another notice of the 
count's death, thus speaks of his talents and acquirements : 

"Few men in his position have shown greater accomplish- 
ments. His literary compositiong were lively and imaginative. 
His profile portraits of his friends (of which many have heen 
published in lithography) are felicitous and characteristic, and 
his statuettes are not only graceful, but possess greater original- 
ity of conception than is evinced by the majority of professional 
artists. In his general intercourse with society, Count D'Orsay 
was distinguished not merely by true politeness, but by great 
amiability. He was kind and charitable to his distressed coun- 
trymen, and one of the most assiduous supporters of the Society 
de Bienfaisance. 

" In England the count became acquainted with Prince Louis 
Napoleon, and soon after the arrival of the prince in France, he 
fixed his own residence in Paris. His name was designated 
several times for diplomatic office, but it was rumored, and gen- 
erally believed, that the prince was too dependent upon his per- 
sonal advice and assistance to spare his society. We are now 
told (by M. Girardin, in * La Presse') that, before the 2d of De- 
cember, nobody made greater or more reiterated efibrts for a 
policy of a difierent course and of the highest aspirations ; after 
the 2d of December, no man exerted himself more to assuage 
the stroke of proscription. The President of the Republic had 
not a more devoted and sincere friend than the Count D'Orsay, 
and it is at a moment when the prince had attached him to his 
person by the title and functions of Superintendent of the Beaux 
Arts that he has lost him forever."* 

Count D'Orsay 's connections with English families of distinc- 
tion, and relations with eminent persons of his country residing 
in England, had made him well acquainted with London and its 
society before his intimacy with the Blessingtons. 

In 1828, Lady Blessington speaks of the General and Count- 
ess D'Orsay as having taken up their abode in Paris, and their 
recent arrival from their chateau in Franche Camte. 

No mention, however, is made in that portion of her journal, 
♦ This appointment was announced only a few day* before his death. 



394 Harm or oouht altisb mxwuv. 

noTy indeed, ia any pieYioui peiC of the * Idler ia Fwie," cf 
their Mm Couiit Alfred D'Oiwy. ^'The CooBteii DKhny," Lidf 
BleMingtoii olMerrefly '* luid been a eekbreted beaotjy end thoii^ 
agrandmotlier, itill retMne eon«deraMe traeee of iL Hen 
tenaneeifl aoigMrtliMlIt and piquant that it giTes additifloal] 
to the oleTer thinga ahe perpetnally utloa ; and what gieallj 
enhanoea her attiaetiona ia the perfect freedom from any of the 
aira of a hdU •tprU^ and the total exemption from affeetation that 
diitingniahes her. 

^General DXhaay, known fipom hia yoath aa Le Bean I^Ov- 
aay, still jnatifiea the i^ppellationy for he ia the handaomeat man 
of hia age that I oTor beheld. It ia aaid that when the enqpenir 
fint saw him, he observed that * he would make an admirable 
model for a Jupiter/ so noble and oommanding waa the oharae- 
ter of his beauty. There ia a calm and dignified simplioity ia 
the manner of General D'Orsay that harmonizes with his lofty 
bearing."* 

Elsewhere Lady Blessington obsenres, '^I know no such 
brilliant talker as she (the Countess D'Orsay) is. No matter 
what may bo the subject of conTersatLon, her wit flashes bright- 
ly on all, and without the slightest appearance of effort or pre* 
tension. She speaks from a mind overflowing with general in- 
formation, made available by a retentive memory, a ready wit, 
and inexhaustible good spirits."! 

The customary transmission of intellectual power in the ma^ 
temal line, and of striking traits of physical conformation from 
sire to children, were not deviated from in the case of the chil- 
dren of the brilliant countess and the beau D'Orsay. 

The mother of the Countess D'Orsay, Madame Crawford, was 
a person of singular endowments. The King of Wurtemberg 
had been privately married to this lady ; but on the legal mar- 
riage of the king with a royal personage, which his former wife 
considered as an act of injustice to herself and her children (a 
son who died young, though grown up, and a daughter, after- 
ward Madame D'Orsay), she went to France, and fixed her abode 
there. She subsequently married a Mr. O 'Sullivan, an Irishman 
* The Idler in France, toI. i., p. 238. f Ibid.. toI. ii., p. 33. 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAY. 295 

of large fortune in India, and after his death, Mr. Crawford, a 
member of an ancient Scotch family, and also possessed of large 
property. She survived him, and died at the age of eighty-four. 
In India, the personal attractions of this lady obtained for her 
the title of '* La Belle Sullivan." On her return, one of her 
countrymen addressed the following ^'eu d'esprit: 

ON SENDING A SMALL BOTTLE OF OTTO OP ROSES TO MRS. SULLIVAN. 
" Quand la ' belle Solivan/ qoitta PAsie, 
La Rose, amouieuse de sea channes, 
Pleura le depart de sa belle amie, 
Et ce flacon contient see larmes.*' 

Madame Crawford, in 1828, was residing in Paris. " Her ho- 
tel," says Lady Blessington in her diary, '* is a charming one, 
entre Cour et Jardin ; and she is the most extraordinary person 
of her age I have ever seen. In her eightieth year, she does 
not look to be more than iiflty-five, and possesses all the vivacity 
and good humor peculiar only to youth. Scrupulously exact in 
her person, and dressed with the utmost care as well as good 
taste, she gives me a notion of the appearance which the cele- 
brated Ninon de I'Enclos must have presented at the same age, 
and has much of the charm of manner said to have belonged to 
that remarkable woman. It was an interesting sight to see her 
surrounded by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all 
remarkable for their good looks, and affectionately attached to 
her, while she appears not a little proud of them." 

Lady Blessington, in referring to the fascinating powers of 
this elderly gentlewoman, and comparing them with those of 
Ninon de I'Enclos some seven-and-twenty years later, might 
have found an elderly gentlewoman verging on sixty, nearer 
home, possessing the extraordinary attractions she alluded to 
in the case of the old French lady, who had a violent attack of 
youth every spring for upward of half a century. 

Ninon de TEnclos, at the age of fifty-six, inspired the Marquis 
of Sevign^ with the tender passion. 

Bordering on her seventieth year, she inspired a Swedish no- 
bleman, a bold baron, with feelings of admiration and affection. 



296 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED IWRBAY. 

Her last conquest was at the age of eighty : " Monsieiir I'AbW 
Gedouin fat la demiere passion." 

But the last-named abb^, it would appear, was not the fint 
abb^ who had felt the power of her attractions, even in her ma- 
ture years. The Abb6 Chaulieu, descanting on the loTelineas 
of this remarkable old woman, said, "L'amour s'est retizd 
jusquo dans lea rides de son front." 

Ninon preserved not only her beauty, but her sprightliness 
of fancy in her advanced years. She had the art of saying good 
things promptly and appropriately on proper occasions in a nat- 
ural manner, and the good sense never to violate the decencies 
of life in conversation. She made no affectation of prudery, 
however, and even declaimed much against prudes. ''SUes 
etoient les Jansenistes de I'amour."* 

The late Duke de Grommont, father of the present duke 
(brother-in-law of Count Alfred DHDrsay), is described by Lady 
Blessington as " a fine old man, who has seen much of the world, 
without having been soured by its trials. Faithful to his sov- 
ereign during adversity, he is afiectionately cherished by the 
whole of the present royal family, who respect and love him, 
and his old age is cheered by the unceasing devotion of his 
children, the Duke and Duchessc de Quiche, who are fondly at- 
tached to him."! 

* Lettres do Ninon de TEnclos, &c.y avcc sa Vic, IGnio, London, 1782, tomv 
i.. p. 31. 

t The celebrated Duchcsse de Grammont, who perished on the scaffold in the 
French Revolution, was the sister of the famous minister, the Duke de Choiseul. 
In 1751 we find the Duchcsse de Gnunmont thus described by one of her colem- 
poraries : ** She never dissembles her contempt or dislike of any man, in what, 
cvfr decree of elevation. It is said she might have supplied the place of Madame 
de Pompadour if she had pleased. She treats the ceremonies and pageants of 
courts as things beneath her. She }>ossesscs a most uncommon share of under- 
stajiding, and has very high notions of honor and reputation.** This celebrated 
lady possessed a vcrj' uncommon share of courage and magnanimity, which she 
was called on some thirty years later to exhibit— not in gilded talons or brilliant 
circles of wit and fashion, but before the Revolutionary tribunal and on the scaf- 
fold. The duchosse, when brought before tlio judges of that murderous tribunal, 
with an energy and eloquence that even struck the judicial assassins of that ini- 
quitous court with surprise, pleaded for the life of her dear friend, the Duchesse 
de Chatelet, bat plead for it in vain. They died on the same scaffold. 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D*0R8AY. 297 

The parents of the present Dnke of Grammont accompanied 
the royal family in their exile to Scotland. The mother of the 
duke died in Holy rood House in 1803. 

In October, 1825, ** the remains of the Duchess of Grammont, 
which had lain in the royal vault of the chapel of Holyrood since 
the year 1803, were transported in a hearse from the palace to 
Newhayen, to be embarked on board a French corvette at an- 
chor in the roads. The lord provost and magistrates, the lord 
advocate, the lord chief baron. Sir Patrick Walker, Sir Henry 
Jardlne, &c., attended, and followed the hearse in mourning 
coaches to the place of embarkation, as a testimony of respect 
for the memory of the illustrious lady, who died while sharing 
the exile of the royal family of France. The original shell had 
previously been inclosed in a coffin of a very superb description, 
covered with crimson velvet, and gorgeously ornamented. The 
plate bore the following inscription : 

" Looiee Fran^oise Gabrielle Aglae 

De Polignac, 

Dachesse de Grammont, 

nee h Paris le 7 Mai, 

1763; 

morte le 30 XIan, 

1803."» 

Lady Tankerville, sister of the present Duke of Grammont, is 
a native of Paris. Her position in early life, belonging to one 
of the first families in France, and one of those the most devoted 
to the Bourbons, added to her great beauty, rendered her in the 
old regime an object of general attention and attraction at court. 
The Duke de Berri, before his alliance with a Neapolitan prin- 
cess, wished much to marry Mademoiselle de Grammont. On 
the downfall of the elder branch of the Bourbons, her family 
having suffered severely in the Eevolution, she came to England, 
and during her residence in this country in quasi exile, married 
the Earl of Tankerville. This lady possesses all the vivacity of 
her nation, and graceful, sprightly manners. 

Charles Augustus, Lord Ossulston, the present Earl of Tank- 

* Annual Register, 1885, p. 148. 

N2 



396 MOnOS OF COVKT ALFBEO'D-eBSAY. 

eTvi]]«» the 2801 of Jiilf , 1826, muiied Chirinade de (3^^ 
dmnghter of Antoine, Duo de Ghnunmonty and Aglae de Poligiifto. 

Another sister of the present Duke de Chrunroont muzied 
General, afterward Marshal, Sehastlani, who* thongh aa halilt- 
nal inTalid, was sagadonsly chosen hy the King of the Bani- 
eades to represent the aimed majesty of France at the cooit of 
St. James, immediately after the ** three glorious days" of 1830.* 

He was a man of profound reflection, thongh of no p ntt m a i e ms 
to talent of any kind. He had the art of exerting influence witlfc- 
ont exciting enry or raising opposition. At an interval of thirty 
years he married two ladies of the highest rank in France > 
Coigny and a Grammont. 

In a letter of the Due de Ghrammont, then Due de Gnichtt 
(without date), to Lady Blessington, he says, " My sister is gone 
to London as embassadrice de Ls. Pe. Is it not strange ? Bat 
what will appear to you still more so is, that this extraordinary 
change at their time of life is the operation of love, by which 
influence no couple of sixteen have been ever more subdued. 
I, who feel daUy old age creeping on, I hope that some like oc- 
currence will in twenty years' time set me up again. I, how- 
ever, trust that, through our numerous acquaintances and con- 
nections with English society, she will be bien re^ue, and that 
people will remember the Comtesse Sebastiani est nee Grammont. 
BelieYC me, my dear Lady Blessington, ever faithfully your at- 
tached friend, (Signed), Guiche." 

Count D'Orsay was a year younger than his sister, the present 
Duchess of Grammont. Shortly after the death of the count, 
by the desire of that lady I visited her at her seat at Chambour- 
cy, near St. Germain en Laye. Her resemblance to her brother 
is striking. A more dignified and conmianding, but, withal, ami- 
able-looking lady I have seldom met. Though her face and 
noble form had been touched but recently by the hand of sorrow 
and of sickness, the remains were still liiere of surpassing love- 
liness and beauty, and in her conversation there were ample evi- 

* Byron speaks of meeting General Count Sebastiani, " a cooain of Napoleon," 
in London, in 1816. " Sebastiani,** he obsenrea, is ** a fine, foreign, Tillainous* 
looking, intelligent, and very agreeable nan.** 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAY. 299 

dences of a high order of intellect, and of exalted sentimentB of 
a religious kind. Five-and-twenty years previously she was 
described by Lady Blessington as the most striking-looking wom- 
an she ever beheld. Tall and graceful, her commanding figure, 
at once dignified and perfectly symmetrical, was in harmony 
with her noble features, their lofty expression of superior intel- 
ligence, and the imposing character of her conversational powers. 

With respect to Count D'Orsay's sentiments on the subject of 
religion in the latter part of his life, I have a few words to add. 

I visited my poor friend a few weeks before his death, and 
found him evidently sinking, in the last stage of disease of the 
kidneys, complicated with spinal complaint. The wreck only 
of the bectu D'Orsay was there. 

He was able to sit up and to walk, though with difficulty and 
evidently with pain, about his room, which was at once his stu- 
dio, reception room, and sleeping apartment. He burst out cry- 
ing when I entered the room, and continued for a length of time 
so much afiected that he could hardly speak to me. Gradually 
he became composed, and talked about Lady Blessington's death, 
but all the time with tears pouring down his pale, wan face, for 
even then his features were death-stricken. 

He said with marked emphasis, *' In losing her I lost every 
thing in this world — she was to me a mother ! a deary dear mother! 
a true, loving mother to me .'" While he uttered these words, he 
sobbed and cried like a child. And referring to them, he again 
said, " You understand me, Madden/* I understood him to be 
speaking what he felt, and there was nothing in his accents, in 
his position, or his expressions (for his words sounded in my 
ears like those of a dying man) which led me to believe he 
was seeking to deceive himself or me. 

I turned his attention to the subject I thought most important 
to him. I said, among the many objects which caught my at- 
tention in the room, I was very glad to see a crucifix placed over 
the head of his bed ; men living in the world, as he had done, 
were so much in the habit of forgetting all early religious feel- 
ings. D'Orsay seemed hurt at the observation. I then plainly 
said to him, " The fact is, I imagined, or rather I supposed, you 



900 Honos or goumt alfbbd ] 

Ittd fiilk>w«d Lady BlMaagtonli emiiple,if not in gmng ny 
yoor own leligion, in Meming to oonfonn to 
Togne in Englmnd." DXhiay lose np with eonaidonUe < 
and stood eieet sad film wiUi obrions ozertion for a few i 
l^yilriiig like himtielf again, and pointing to the head of the hed, 
he said,'* Do yon see those two swords ?" pointing to two small- 
swords (whidi were hung orer tiie orooifix crosswise); ^doyoa 
see that sword to the ri^t With that sword I fonf^ in de» 
fense of my religion. I had only joined my regiment a Urn 
days, when an officer at the mess-taUe need disgosting and im^ 
pioQs language in qpeaking of the Blessed Virgin. I called on 
him to desist ; he repeated the foul language he had used ; I 
threw a plate of spinach across the table in his face ; a chal* 
lenge ensned ; we fonght that erening on the rampart of the 
town, and I have kept that sword ever since.*' 

WhatcTer we may think of the false notions of honor, an the 
erroneous ones of religion which may have prompted the en* 
comiter, I think there is evidence in it of early impressions of a 
religious nature having been made on the mind of this singnlar 
man, and of some remains of them still existing at the period 
above named, however strangely presented. 

On this occasion. Count DX}r8ay informed me that Lady Bless- 
ington never ceased '^ in her heart" to be a Catholic, although 
she occasionaUy attended the church of another persuasion ; and 
that while she was in Paris, she went every Sunday to the Mad- 
eleine, in company with some member of his family. 

And here I may observe, that on one occasion, when I visited 
Lady Blessington on a Sunday, afVer her return from church, I 
found her with several visitors, discussing the merits of the ser- 
mon she had ju^t heard preached. Her ladyship inveighed 
strongly against the sermon, and the style of preaching in En- 
gland. 

A young man observed, he should hardly have expected such 
severe censures on their pulpit from a person of such high 
church principles as her ladyship. 

Lady Blessington said, very calmly, and more deliberately than 
usual, " The doctrines of the Protestant Church never appeared 



NOnOE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAT. 301 

to me better than those of the Catholic Church. I was educated 
in the doctrines of that church. When I married I g^ot into the 
habit of accompanying my husband to his church, and I contin- 
ued to go there from the force of habit and for convenience, but 
never from conviction of its doctrines being better than those of 
the Catholic Church." 

I think there were seven or eight persons present when this 
startling avowal was made. 

But perhaps I ought to have observed, fully two or three years 
before that period, I had taken the liberty of an old and privi- 
leged friend to write a letter to her ladyship, venturing to re- 
mind her of the faith she had been born in, to point out the hol- 
lowness of the pleasures of that society in which she moved, of 
the insufficiency of them for her true happiness, of the day that 
must come, when it would be found that religion was of more 
importance than all the fame, or glory, or delight that ever was 
obtained by intellectual powers, or enjoyed in brilliant circles. 
And though that letter has no place among her papers, I have 
reason to know it did not pass altogether out of her memory. 

The death of D'Orsay was thus noticed by " La Presso," ed- 
ited by Emile Girardin, of the 5th of August, 1852 : 

" Le Comte Alfred D'Orsay est mort ce matin k trois heures. 

" La douleur et le vide de cctte mort seront vivement res- 
sentis par tons les amis qu'il comptait en si grand nombre en 
France et en Angleterre, dans tons les rangs de la soci^t6, et 
sous tous les drapeaux de la politique. 

'* A Londres, les salons de Gore House furent toujours ou verts 
k tous les proscrits politiques, qu'ils s'appelassent Louis Bona- 
parte ou Louis Blanc, k tous les naufrages de la fortune et k 
toutes les illustrations de I'art et de la spiencq. 

" A Paris, il n'avait qu'un vaste atelier, mais ou quiconqne 
allait frapper au nom d*un malheur k secourir ou d'un progr^s 
k enoouragcr, ^tait toujours assur6 du plus afiable accueil et du 
plus cordial concours. 

'* Avant le 2 D^cembre, nul ne fit d'efibrts plus r6it6r6B pour 
que la politique suivit un autre coun et s'61evit aux plus hautes 
aspirations 



303 MOnOB or GOUHT ALTBBD 

<■ Apite le 3 IMoembie, nnl ne ■'emploja pfau 
poor unortur les coups de la prowatiptioii : Kem Diqpoit le Hit 
et pent le eertifier. 

** Le PrMdent de la B^pnbliqiie n'aTsit pes d'and k la fins 
plnB d6Toa6 et plus nno^ que le Comte ITOnay; et e'eak 
qnand il venait de la nppzocher de lui par le titze et lee fiuw- 
tione de garintendant dee beaux-arts quH le perd pour toinoan. 

** C'est nne perte irvipantble poor l*ait et pour lea^arartea^ 
male c'est nne perte plus inr6panible encore pour la r€ntt et 
pour le President de la B^nblique, car les palais n'ont que denz 
portes ouTcrtes k la r6ni& : la porte de I'amiti^ et la porta da 
radversit^, de Tamiti^ qni est k PadTcndt^ ce que I'Mair est k 
la fondre. 

^La justice indivisible^ la justice ^gale pour tons, la justiea 
dont la mort tient les bslanees compte les jours quand elle na 
mesure pas les dons. Alfred D'Orsay ayait M combl6 de trap 
de dons — grand cceur, esprit, un godt par, beaute antique, force 
athl6tique, adresse incomparable k tous les exercices du corps, 
aptitude incontestable h tons les arts auxqucls il s'^tait adonn6 : 
dessin, peintore, sculpture — ^Alfred D'Orsay avait M coznble de 
trop de dons pour que ses jours ne fussent pas parcimonieuse- 
ment compte. La mort H^ a inexorable, mais ellc a 6t6 juste. 
Elle ne I'a pas traite en homme vulgaire. Elle ne I'a pas pris, 
elle Ta choisi." 

Among those who attended the funeral of Count D'Orsay 
were Prince Napoleon Bonaparte, Count de Montaubob, Count 
de Latonr du Pin, the Marquis du Pradt, M. Emile de Girardin, 
M. Clesinger, the sculptor ; M. Charles Laiitte, M. Bixio, M. Al- 
exandre Dumas, Jun., M. Hughes Ball, and several other En- 
glish gentlemen. The Duke de Grammont, brother-in-law of 
Count D'Orsay, being confined to his bed by illness, Count Al- 
fred de Grammont and the Duke de Lespare, nephews of the 
deceased, were the chief mourners. No funeral oration was 
pronounced over the body, but the emotion of the persons pres- 
ent was great, and the sadness of the scene was increased by 
the appearance of the Duchess de Grammont, sister of the de- 
ceased, who, with her husband, had assiduously attended him 
during hiR illness. 



NOTICE OP COUNT ALFRED D*ORSAY. 303 

« The Bulletin de Paris says, * When the news of the death 
of Count D'Orsay was communicated to the Prince President, he 
exclaimed that he had lost *' his best friend." ' The same jour- 
nal states that the large model of the statue of Napoleon, which 
Count D'Orsay was making from a small one, executed by Mor- 
timer, which was seen at the London Exhibition, was nearly 
terminated at the time of his death, and that M. Clesinger was 
formally charged by him to finish his marble statue of the ex- 
king Jerome.'** 

The Prince President, we are told, exclaimed, when he heard 
of the death of Count D'Orsay, that he had lost " his best friend." 
The Prince President may have said these words, and the day 
may come when he will feel that Count D'Orsay was one of his 
very best and truest friends, when he raised his voice, not once 
or twice, but frequently, it is asserted, against the meditated act 
of treason to the government he, the Prince President, had sworn 
to maintain. 

The relations that existed at Gore House between Count 
D'Orsay — something more than a mere leader of fashion in Lon- 
don — ^the intimate friend of statesmen of all parties, of political 
people of great eminence in Parliament, of editors of newspa- 
pers, mighty men of influence of" the fifth estate of the realm ;" 
of the foreign ministers at the court of St. James's, and the sec- 
retaries of the several legations ; and though last, not least in 
importance, the intimate and confidential friend of the lady at 
whose reunions in Gore House of the celebrities of all political 
parties and of all intellectual pursuits in London — and the pro- 
scribed Prince Louis Napoleon, the twice discomfited conspira- 
tor, and still conspiring refugee in England, were such as might 
have been expected ; they were most intimate, cordial, and con- 
fiding. To those relations, it may be truly said, without exag- 
geration or fear of contradiction, the proscribed conspirator was 
indebted for the position in society, the opportunities of acquir- 
ing influence, of obtaining an early and timely knowledge of 
passing events in foreign courts, and especially in the court of 
France, and in the diplomatic circles in London ; and also of 

* Gentleman't Magmzine, September, 1852, p. 906. 



3M MOniUB OF OOUKT AUtUKD S^OSMiT. 

pramotiiif hii Tfewt in Fnnee b j ihm oo-op«nlkii of OMuit 
lyOnay's immediate fnends and influential eonneetions, wkiok 
ultimately leeoxed for him the presidenoy of the Freneh Be- 
pnUio.* 

Bat the mnqi d'Hatp which was aooompliahed at the ezpenaa 
ofpenonalhimoryandihe coat of perjury and blood, put an end 
to the relationa ci amity that had subiiiated hitherto between 
Count D'Onay and Prince Louii Napoleon. B*Onay, with all 
his faults, was a man of chiYalrous notions as to the obligntioaa 
of solemn promises and sacred oaths ; he belioTed the President 
of the Republio had delated those obligations, and D'Orsay waa 
not a man, for any consideration on earth, to refirain Snm sod- 
pressing his opinion of the dishonor of such a violation. Yery 
ahortly after the eoi^ <2*Aat, a friend of mine. Monsieur dn P ^ 
dined in Paris at the house of a French nobleman of the high- 
est rank, where Count D'Orsay was present. There were about 
twenty or two-and-twenty persons present, persons of distinction 
and of various political sentiments. The all-important topic of 
the coup d'Siat was discussed for some time with all due pru- 
dence and reserve. D'Orsay at length coming out with one of 

* On the 9th of April, 1848, the Duke of Wellington wrote a letter to the Count 
D'Orsay, in which the following passage occurs : ** Je me rejouis de la prosperity 
de la France et du snccds de M. le Pr^ident de la lUpnblique. Tout tend rers 
la permanence de la paix de TEurope qui est neoessaire pour le bonheur de chacun. 
Votre ami tr^ deroue. Wbllinoton.** 

This singular letter of one of the most clear-sighted, far-seeing men of modem 
times, was written after the election of Louis Napoleon to the presidency of the 
republic. AW after tkt emtp ^etmt t^ December, 1851. A few dates of remarkable 
occurrences in the latter part of the career of Louis Napoleon will enable us to 
ibrm a better idea of the views expressed in the communication abore referred to. 

Louis Napoleon was elected President of the Republic the 10th of December, 
1848. His coup d*^tat, the arrest of the leading members of the Chamber of Dep- 
uties, and the downfall of the republic, took place the 2d of December, 1651. His 
presidential powers were prolonged for ten years the 20th of December, 1851. He 
was proclaimed emperor the 2d of December, 1852, then in his forty-third year, 
being bom the 20th of April, 1808. 

From the time of the Chartist demonstration in London in 1848, when the 
Prince Louis Napoleon (then in exile) was sworn in as a special constable for the 
preservation of the peace in the metropolis of England, to the period when he was 
proclaimed Emperor of the French in December, 1852, there was an interral of 
about four years and a half 



NOTICS OF COUNT ALFRED IVORSAY. 305 

his customary notes of preparation, "^ bos /" made short work 
of the reserve and prudence of the discussion. He expressed 
his opinion in English in a deliherate manner, speaking in a loud 
tone, but emphatically and distinctly, these words : ^^ It is the 
greatest political swindle that has ever been practiced in the toorldT' 

My friend, who was deeply interested in the welfare of D'Or- 
say, was dismayed at ** the indiscretion of this explosion of opin- 
ion." It was like a bomb-shell in the circle. There were per- 
sons present who might be supposed to have to advance their 
fortunes by the prince's favor ; there were several servants in the 
room at the time, moreover, and it might be reasonably feared at 
that period the police were not remiss in making themselves 
acquainted with the servants of all persons of political influence 
and importance in Paris. 

It must be borne in mind that D'Orsay at that time was wholly 
dependent on the favor of the prince for his future position in 
his own country. He had left England utterly ruined in hit cir- 
cumstances, and came to France counting on the friendship and 
gratitude of his former friend at the head of the French repub- 
lic, to whose elevation he had certainly very largely contributed. 
He was well received by the prince, and proffers of public em- 
ployment adequate to his expectations and his talents were made 
to him. But after the period of the coup d'etat and the dinner 
above referred to — post or propter that entertainment — the 
friendship of the prince for the count cooled down from blood 
heat to the freezing point, and eventually to zero. The man 
with the heavy eyelids, and the leaden hand of care and calcu- 
lation pressing them down, when he imposed on himself the 
weight of empire, could not see his former friends without look- 
ing down on them, and D'Orsay was not a man to be looked 
down on, or coldly at, even by an emperor. For eighteen months 
before his death his relations with Louis Napoleon had wholly 
ceased. 

The prince at last, when D'Orsay was laboring under the ill- 
ness which soon after consigned him to an early grave, allowed 
himself to be persuaded, by urgent«and pressing friends of the 
poor count, that his former friend had some claim on him I'he 



306 vonoB OF oomrr ALnuBD mmmav. 

cmpemr deigaiMJ to nwogirian flie ekinu 
iqi|Kmted Comt Alfred D'Oiwy'^Diieete of Fi^ Of 

all things it can not be nid tnily ^better late tliaa never." 
Thia thing* thatwas meant to look like an act of kiwdnew and 
of gzatitode, was too late to be of any me. No one waa W|> 
teied or deeeived by it. 

I spoke with eome soipiiae of nmilar aeto of the same ezak> 
ed pewonage to Tjamwinais, not long before hii death; the abb^ 
with the qniet look, the odd, nnimpanrioned ezpieenon of Ae 
bri^ty elear giay eyes of his, obserred, '^ Yoyex toos mon eher 
Monsieiir Madden, cette homme Ik, n'a pas le sentiment ni dn 
bien, ni da mal — il n'a pas de' sentiment ^e de soi mAme.** 
BngHsh histoiy, as well as French, will yet have to wtify ikm 
opinion of the Abb^ Lamennais. 

Among the papeis of Lady Blessington I find some veiy !«• 
maxkable Unes by a veiy lemaikable man, one of the master 
spirits of original mind of his age — ^Unes which might be read 
with advantage by all '' swimmers in the stream of politics." 

*• SOME ADDITIONAL LINES FOR A POEM, ONE OF THE THEMES OF Wmcai 
IS THE QUEST OF HONOR. 
*^ The swimmen in the atream of politics. 
That keep each other down wheie ncme float high 
Bat who are rotten, ahonted in my ear, 
* Come hither ! here is honor, on this side ; 
He hates the other.' 

I passed on, nor look'd. 
Knowing the voices well : they troubled me 
Vociferating : I searched for willow wand 
To scourge and silence the impoitonates. 
And turned me round : lo ! they were all npon 
The &rther hank, and, basking in the son, 
ICowed at me, and defied me to cross o^r, 
And broke their cakes, and gare their curs the cnnnbs, 
Weaiy with wanderings." 

In bringing this sketch of the career of Count Alfred D'Orsay 
to a close, a summary notice of his most remarkable qualiUes, 
his talents, and the application of them, is given, that the reader 
may be able to form a just estimate of his character and abilities. 

One was reminded not unfreqnently, by the wit combats at 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED IVORSAY. 307 

Gove House, of the days of the Cheyalier de Grammont, when 
Dorset, Sedley, Ethelridge, Denhsun, Killigrew, ^ and all the 
whole band of wits"* diverted the beau monde with bon snots, 
sarcastic repartees, quaint observations, humorous sallies, and 
sharply-pointed epigrams, brought to bear on striking peculiar- 
ities of absent acquaintances, or well-known persons of quality 
within the category of " precieuses ridicules." 

'* The wits" of the age of Horace Walpole were pretty much 
the same as those of the times of Holland House and Kensing- 
ton Gore intellectual gladiatorship. The wit combatants of both 
in the arena of fashionable literary circles are composed of va- 
rious grades of competitors for celebrity and pretenders to dis- 
tinction, and success in sprightly conversation, in lively corre- 
spondence, and occasional written drolleries in prose and verse ; 
the efibrts of all are to amuse and to be distinguished, and for 
these ends they must exhibit a keen perception of the ridicu- 
lous, a facility for catching salient points in conversation, and 
combining apparent similitudes of things ludicrous in them- 
selves with ideas of subjects naturally grave or serious ; they 
must evince a strong sense of the obligations imposed on vivacity 
of mind and liveliness of imagination by the patronage of people 
a la mode or a favored position in society ; they must submit to 
the necessity, in short, of amusing its magnates by a felicitous 
expression of quaint, jocund, and striking thoughts opportunely 
brought forth and without apparent effort. In this strife of high- 
ly-excited intellectuality, mere pleasant conversationalists jostle 
against story-tellers and retailers of anecdotes of more or less 
celebrity, himiorists at table after the cloth is taken away, and 
only then at home in broad and farcical jests, and in impromptu 
double entendres come in contact with the pet poets of the salons, 
who figure in albums, and'eompose vers de soditi on the spur 
of the occasion, previously expected or anticipated, furnish par- 
odies and burlesques to order, conveyed in an invitation to din- 
ner, and sit down deliberately to load their memories in private, 
and with malice in their wit aforethought, and come charged 
into company with sarcastic epigrams, to be fired off in public 
* Memoirs of Grammont, p. 180. 



a06 M OnOK OF COUNT ALFRED D^BSAy. 

at the peeolimxitiM of absent fxiends, or the fiolinga or abmupi- 
ities of the celebxitiea of other oiieles. In thia sharp enoonntar 
of keen wits, the mere punster, endowed with great natural 
powers of impndenee, and a large stock of animal spirits, whose 
whole laborions leisure is devoted to the amnsement of playing 
upon words, is to be met cheek by jowl at the same toumkment 
with one like Curran, not always, however, to be found in the 
most bxilliant circles of fashion, or salons of ladies of literature 
^ la mode^ whose wit is " as keen as his sword, but as polished 
as the scabbard," which relies on its success neither on flippant 
sarcasms, or vulgar scoffing in society at high principles or he- 
roic actions, or sneering humorous observations on sacred or on 
serious subjects, but on its own bright light of intellectnalityt 
condensed and capable, when called into action, of irradiating 
every subject on which it glances even for a moment. 

When the mind of genius is charged with intellectual eleo- 
tricity, we have sparkles of intelligence flashing from the as- 
similation of dissimilar ideas, which have been suddenly, and 
apparently accidentally, brought into coilision ; and these fitful 
gleams of bright thoughts, felicitously expressed, constitute what 
is called wit. 

But we have as many kinds of these bright emanations of in- 
tellectuality as we have of atmospheric meteors in all the va- 
ried forms of electrical phenomena. 

Perhaps the highest order of wit exhibited in our times (the 
keenest wit combined with the greatest powers of eloquence) 
was that which was displayed by Curran in public and in pri- 
vate. 

Of Curran 's conversational powers, Byron, in his memoran- 
dum-book, has spoken in terms of no stinted praise : " Curran * 
Curran ! the man who struck me most. Such imagination ! 
There never was any thing like it that I ever saw or heard of. 
His published life — ^his published speeches, give you no idea of 
the man — ^none at all. He was a machine of imagination ; as 
some one said of Firon,that he was an epigrammatic machine.*** 

Elsewhere in his memoranda he said, ''The riches of his 
* Moore*s Life of Byron, p. 304, 8to ed., 1838. 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAY. 309 

(Curran's) Irish imagination were exhaustless. I have heard 
that man speak more poetry than I have ever seen written, 
though I saw him seldom, and but occasionaUy. I saw him 
presented to Madam de Stael. It was the great confluence be- 
tween the Rhone and the Saone." 

The wits of Horace Walpole's day, Sir George Selwyn, Sir 
Hanbury Williams, Bubb Doddington, Charles Townsend, and 
their associates, it is difficult to judge of at the distance of a 
century from their times. But it would appear their wit was 
of the social, unpremeditated, conversational character, in which 
Sydney Smith, Talleyrand, Hook, and Barham particularly ex- 
celled in our times. 

For conversational humor and drollery in the composition of 
quizzical verses, Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, the protegd of 
Sir Robert Walpole (if his contemporaries speak truly of him), 
can hardly have been excelled by any modem humorist. The 
social character of the clubs, taverns, or coffee-houses of those 
days was favorable to the development of conversational talent.* 

Selwyn, the man renowned for social wit, was utterly defi- 
cient in the gift of oratory. He sat forty years in Parliament 
for Gloucester, and never spoke on any question. He was al- 
ways torpid as well as silent in the House. 

Sir Hanbury Williams, the celebrated sayer also of bon mots, 
and composer of pointed epigrams, a man of astounding audac- 
ity in turning sacred subjects into ridicule, and treating the 
most solemn subjects with flippant jocularity and revolting lev- 
ity, sat in the House of Commons a silent member, rapt in 
gloom, which terminated in insanity and suicide. 

" Sayers of good things," in general, are not men of great 
powers of eloquence. Wits who can set the table in a roar, and 
give utterance to bon mots of remarkable droUery, may be inca- 
pable of delivering twenty consecutive sentences on any serious 
subject before a number of people prepared to listen to them. 

* Count D'Oraay was a member of Crockford's as long as it lasted, and after- 
ward of the Coventry. An attempt was made to get him into *' White's," but it 
was discovered there were some parties who were determined to exclude him, 
and consequently his friends withdrew his name before the ballot took place. 



310 HonoB or count alfexd vmmar. 

jyOoBj mm no ezoaptioii to the mle. He abouded u lidi 
hnmor* and excelled in repartee. There wai aa air of aiiito* 
eratic nonchakaee in the grave irony of hii oonretfiationil nl« 
lies. He gave vent to hit wit in the quietest tone, aad in& 
the most immovable features possible. He was an adept in the 
art of quixaing people who were at all xidieolons wi& siwgnlar 
oomposnre of mien and manner. His performanoes in this fine 
were gone tlirongh with esse and elegance,.bat the gift of eio* 
qnenoe was not bestowed on him. 

Of D'Orsay's rieh humor and repartee, it mig^ be said, like 
Selwyn's : 

"ifit aodal wit, which, metet kindling ttrifb, 

Bkiad In the mall, twMlecHUtMMiofliib; 

Those Itttto s^phiies nmnd ths ^ainoiid shont^ 

Tiending woh ndiaace to the richer stone.*' 

It would be difficult to convey in words any precise idea ai 
D'Orsay's wit and powers of facetiousness in conversation. A 
mere report would be in vain of the ban mots he uttered, with- 
out a faithful representation of his quiet, imperturbable manner, 
his arch look, the command of varied emphasis in his utterance, 
the anticipatory indications of coming drollery in the expression 
of his countenance, the power of making his entourage enter into 
his thoughts, and his success in prefacing his jeu d*esprit by sig- 
nificant glances and gestures, suggestive of ridiculous ideas. 

The literary artist who could describe these peculiarities must 
be no ordinary word-painter. 

D'Orsay had made a study of the wit of Talleyrand, and he 
became a proficient in that species of refined conversational 
esprit, combining terseness of language, and neatness of expres- 
sion, and certitude of aim, with the polish of the shaft and the 
sharpness of the point of an intellectual weapon of rare excel- 
lence. 

The maearonis of a century ago, the bucks^ Hoods, and heaus 
of a later period, represented by the fops, exquisites, or dandies 
— ^the inane exclusives — ^the ephemeral petits maitres of our 
times, are not the tribe which furnish men of fashion of D*Or- 
say's stamp. D'Orsay was a fop in attire and appearance, but 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'OKAAY. 311 

big foppery was only a spice of vanity, superadded to superior 
intellectual powers, which condescended at times to assume a 
dandyish character. 

D'Orsay's fine taste was particularly exhibited in the con- 
struction and turn-out of those well-known, elegant vehicles of 
his and Lady Blessington, which used to attract so much atten- 
tion in Hyde Park a few years ago. D'Orsay, like Grammont, 
has left reminiscences of promenade achievements — " d cheval 
et en voiture^^ — ^in that favored locality, but of a very difierent 
character. 

In the time of Grammont, " Hyde Park, as every one knows, 
was the promenade of London." In 1659 it was thus described 
to a nobleman of France : 

" I did frequently, in the spring, accompany my Lord N 

into a field near the town, which they call Hide Park ; the place 
not unpleasant, and which tbity use as our course, but with 
nothing of that order, equipage, and splendor ; being such an 
assembly of wretched jades and hackney-coaches, as, next a 
regiment of carr men, there is nothing approaching the resem- 
blance. The Park was, it seems, used by the late king and no- 
bility for the freshness of the air and the goodly prospect,"* 
&c 

In these latter days Hyde Park makes a difierent figure in the 
pages of Mr. Patmore. The scene he describes is the ring, and 
the writer of the sketch is supposed to be lounging there, gaz- 
ing at the brilliant equipages as they pass, and the celebrities 
of fashion who fig%re there. 

" Observe that green chariot, just making the turn of the un- 
broken line of equipages. Though it is now advancing toward 
us, with at least a dozen carriages between, it is to be distin- 
guished from the throng by the elevation of its driver and foot- 
man above the ordinary level of the line. As it comes nearer, 
we can observe the particular points which give it that perfectly 
distinguS appearance which it bears above all others in the 
throng. They consist of the tuhite wheels, lightly picked out 

* A Character of England, as tt was lately presented to a Nobleman of France, 
12mo, 1650, p. 54. Ap. Grammont's Mem. 



313 , MOnOK OP COUNT ALFRED MttflAT. 

with green and erinuon ; the highnrtepping aotfon, blood<l]l» 
•hape, and brilliant wumige of ita dariL bay hones ; the perfeet 
styis of ita driver ; the height (six feet two) of ita dim, Bpidwr- 
limbed, powdered footman, periced up at leaat three feet abone 
the roof of the eaniage, and occupying hia eminence with that 
peculiar air of accidental superiority, half petit maiiret half 
plow-boy, which we take to be the ideal of footman perfectioa ; 
and, finally, the exceedingly light, airy, and (if we may ao speak) 
tile intellectual character of the whole set-out. The arms and 
Bupportem blazoned on the centre panels, and the small coronet 
beneath the window, indicate the nobility of station ; and if 
ever the nobility of nature was blasoned on the * compleawnl 
extern' of humanity, it is on the lovely face within — lovely aa 
ever, though it has been loveliest among the lovely for a longer 
time than we dare caU to our own recollection, much less to 
that of the fair being before us. 

" But, see ! what is this visioa of the age of chivalry, that 
comes careering toward us, on horseback, in the form of a stately 
cavalier, than whom nothing has been witnessed in modem 
times more noble in air and bearing, more splendid in person, 
more distingtU in dress, more consummate in equestrian skill, 
more radiant in intellectual expression, and altogether more 
worthy and fitting to represent one of those knights of the olden 
time, who warred for truth and beauty beneath the banner of 
CoBur de Lion. It is Count D'Orsay, son-in-law of the late Lord 
Blessington, and brother to the beautiful Duchesse de Guiche. 
Those who have the pleasure of being persoifklly intimate with 
this accomplished foreigner will confirm our testimony that no 
man has ever been more popular in the upper circles, or has 
better deserved to be so. His inexhaustible good spirits and 
good nature, his lively wit, his generous disposition, and his varied 
acquirements, make him the favorite companion of his own sex ; 
while his unrivaled personal pretensions render him, to say the 
least, ' the observed of all observers' of the other sex. Indeed, 
since the loss of poor William Locke, there has been nobody to 
even dispute the palm of female admiration with Count D'Or^ 
say."^ 

* My Friends and Aeqaaintances, dec, rol. i., p. 194. 



NOnCE OF COUNT ALFRED I>*0R8AY. 313 

D'Onay's position in English fashionable society was not due 
to rank, wealth, or connections, or to his generally admitted ex- 
cellence of taste in all matters appertaining to attire, equipage, 
the adornment of saloons, '' the getting up" of liveries, the train- 
ing of his tigers, or the turning out of cabs, tilburies, chariots, 
and other vehicles remarkable for elegance of form or lightness 
of construction. 

It is very evident that the individual was something more 
than a mere fop and man of fashion, or " a compound even of 
Hercules and Adonis," who could count among his friends the 
Duke of Wellington, Marquis Wellesley, the Lords Brougham, 
Lyndhurst, and Byron ; and such men as Landor, Forster, D 'Is- 
raeli, the Bulwers, &c. 

The foreigner could be no ordinary person who figured in the 
society of the most eminent men of England for nearly twenty 
years, and who, in circles where genius, as well as haut ton, had 
its shrines, '' claimed kindred there, and had his claim allowed." 

D'Orsay's celebrity was undisputed as a man of fashion — 
a noble-looking, classically-moulded, English-mannered young 
Frenchman "of the vielle cout'^ — a heau monde gentleman, at 
once graceful, dignified, frank, and debannaire, full of life, wit, 
humor, and originality — an " exquisite" of the first water in brill- 
iant circles — an admirable rider, fit " to witch the world" of the 
Parks of London " with noble horsemanship ;" a keen sports- 
man, a capital boxer for an amateur, a good swimmer, an excel- 
lent swordsman, a famous shot, a celebrated cricket-player ; at 
one time a great collector of classical rarities, " far gone (like 
Horace Walpole in his youth) in medals, lamps, idols, prints, 
and all the small commodities of antiquity ;" at another time a 
zealous partisan of a great conspirator, and great promoter of 
his plans to effect a revolution. 

Alfred D'Orsay figured, in his day, in all these characters ; 
but, alas ! of what avail to his memory is the celebrity ho ob- 
tained in any of them ? 

All the celebrity which his true friends may desire to bo 
coupled with his name is that which he derived from the ex- 
ercise of his fine talents as an artist, and of his kindly feelings 

Vol. I.— 



314 MOnOB or OOUNT ALFBBO VOMBMY. 

at a man natnially digp<aad to be baneTwntp | 
open-heaxted. 

In Dickens^ " Honsehold Woids" (No. 176, p. 536) thera an 
a few kind words epoken of poor D'Onay, in lome allnamna 
made to the ibrmer oconpanti of ** the little stnceoed hooaea" of 
Kensington Grore, contiguous to Lady Blessington's : *^ At number 
5 lived Count D'Orsay, whose name is publicly synonymona 
with elegant and graceful accomplishments ; and who, by thoao 
.who knew him well, is aSeetionately remembered and regretted 
as a man whose great abilities might have raised him to any 
distinction, and whose gentle heart oYon a world of fashion left 
unspoiled." 

Mr. Patmoro, in his recent work, " My Friends and Acquaint^ 
ances" (vol. i., p. 230), alluding to one of the chief difficulties 
of Count D'Orsay's social position in England, and the anomalies 
in the constitution of fashionable society there, says : " And yet 
it was in England that Count D'Orsay, while a mere boy, made 
the fatal mistake of marrying one beautiful woman, while ho 
was, without daring to confess it even to himself, madly in love 
with another still more beautiful, whom he could not marry — 
because, I say, uuder these circumstauces, and discoveriog his 
fatal error when too late, he separated himself from his wife al- 
most at the church door, lie was, during the greatest part of his 
social career in England, cut off from the advantages of the more 
fastidious portion of high female society by the indignant fiat 
of its heads and leaders. ** 

A man in his twenty-seventh year can hardly be designated 
as a mere boy, nor can the circumstance of his separation from 
his wife " almost at the church door'* be accounted for in any 
manner that will appear excusable to the friends of the young 
deserted wife, or the fastidious portion of high female society in 
England or elsewhere. This marriage was not only a great 
misfortune for those who were married, but a great crime on the 
part of those who promoted that marriage, and were consenting 
to it. 

If any comment must be made on this unfortunate union and 
its results, might it not be better to summon courage, and, taking 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAY. 315 

counsel of Montesquieu, to speak out a solemn truth on an oc- 
casion that can be best served by its enumeration ? 

" Religion, good or had, is the only test we have for the probity 
of men J* 

There is no dependence to be placed in probity or purity of 
life without the protection of religion. Human honor is inade- 
quate to the security of either. There is an amount of indi- 
gence at which honor, long resisting, will stagger in the end ; 
there is a degree of temptation at which honor will suffer vice 
to approach her in the mask of innocent freedom, and will dally 
with it till infamy itself becomes familiar to her bosom. But 
respectable folks, who figure in good society, solemn-faced sa- 
ges and literary celebrities, will say it is false : honor is alone 
sufficient to regulate the minds of educated men, and to prevent 
all disorders in society. It is to libel honor to say that it is suf- 
ficiently strong to bind respectable members without religion, 
and that the latter is only needful for the happiness of people 
in another world. Nevertheless, there is not one of those peo- 
ple who does not know in his own breast that such is not the 
case — that in his own character and conduct the assertion does 
not hold good, and in very few of those of the individuals with 
whom he is best acquainted. There is no dependence on any 
man's probity or any woman's virtue whose reliance is not 
placed in religion. 

Nothing more can be said with profit or advantage on this 
subject, except that it is deeply to be lamented this marriage 
was forced on Count D'Orsay, and that he consented to contract 
a marriage with a young lady for whom he entertained no sen- 
timents of love or kindness. 

It would be very unjust to D'Orsay, with all his errors, to 
place him in the same category with his profligate coimtryman 
De Grammont, and still more unjust to set him down on the 
same list with the Dukes of Buckingham, Wharton, and Clueens- 
berry, and the more modem antiquated libertine of exalted rank 
and vast possessions, the Marquis of Hertford. 

In one very essential matter he difiered from most of them. 
Though practically not living in the world of fashion under the 



816 MOnnOB OF OOUMT ALFIXD WMtSAT. 

restnintf of leligioii, all the inAaoaoM of «b Mudy reeoUeettan 
of its sacred okmneter were not lost, and these, which, in ttw 
midst of a wild and thoughtless career, soffioed at least to show 
that all respect for that character had not been wholljr mbaor 
doned, and that they were still faintly perceptible in some of the 
noble qnalities possessed by him, at the dose of life were strong- 
ly manifested, and made the mode of his departure from it tiie 
best, the only consolation taken that could be given to a sister 
eminently good and spiritnally minded. 

The close of that career, and the ministrations on it, form a 
strong contrast with the termination of a life of an English duke, 
and the attendance on a death-bed, of which Sir N. Wraxall, 
in his Memoirs, has left a remarkable description. 

** When Ctueensberry lay dying, in December, 1810, his bed 
was covered with billets and letters to the number of at least 
seventy, mostly, indeed, addressed to him by females of every 
description and of every rank, from duchesses down to ladies 
of easiest virtue. Unable, from his attenuated state, to open or 
peruse them, he ordered them, as they arrived, to be laid on his 
bed, where they remained, the seals unbroken, till he expired. ** 

If the sordid homage paid to the wealth of the expiring deb- 
auchee had been oftered only by the ladies of easiest virtue, 
there might be little to be surprised at ; but what is to be said 
or thought of the ladies of reputed virtue, of exalted rank, who 
manifested so much 8}'mpathy for the old libertine of enormous 
wealth, and still more enormous wickedness ? 

Society sufiers little from charity toward its erring members, 
but morality suffers a great deal when habitual vice and dis- 
soluteness of life of persons in high places or regal station, which 
never has been abandoned or repented of, find sycophants and 
slaves to pander to them, and people, forgetful of the dignity of 
their position or their pursuits, to lend their services to palliate 
them. 

Count Alfred D'Orsay died in Paris, the 4th of August, 1852, 
in his fifty-second year, having survived the Countess of Bless- 
ington three years and two months. His remains were laid in 
the same sepulchral chamber in which hers were deposited. 



PREUMINARY NOTICS, BTC. S17 

The monnment erected to her memory at Chambourej had been 
hardly finifihed, when it became the resting-place of all that is 
led of the accomplished, highly-gifted, generons-hearted Alfred 
©"Orsay ; 

''Piihis et umbn, nomeii, mhiL" 



CHAPTER XrV. 



PRELIMINARY NOTICE OF THE CORRESPONDENCE OF LADT 
BLE88INGT0N. 

There is one thing well worthy of observation, and that must 
strike every person who looks over the extensive correspondence 
of Lady Blessington, namely, the implicit trust that was put in 
her judgment and integrity by the most eminent men of her 
time in politics, literature, and art. Statesmen of great renown 
for wisdom, judges and grave lawyers, men of letters and sci- 
ence devoted to philosophical pursuits, seem to have had entire 
confidence in her honor, discretion, and common sense and kind- 
ness of heart. They communicated with her with the utmost 
freedom, and evidently with a firm conviction that their con- 
fidence would never be abused. In their letters it is plainly to 
be seen how fully sensible they were the only account that con- 
fidence would be ever turned to by Lady Blessington would be 
to promote peace where strife had sprung up ; to make people 
who had been estranged think less unkindly of one another ; and 
those who were at variance disposed to consider that the state 
of nature in their several pursuits was not a state of war. 

Lady Blessington's correspondents were not of one class, or 
country, or profession, or pursuit ; they were of all orders of 
high intelligence, of all lands, of all positions ennobled by gen- 
ius, of every science, art, or walk in literature, or in public life 
distinguished for talent, or deserving in her opinion to attain any 
distinction in it , and there were to be found among them like- 
wise persons who had no pretensions to intellectual gifts, or re- 
markable abilities of any kind, but who possessed amiable qual- 
Ltir^. honorable principles and kindly feelings, bookish people 



SIB nunjuiNAftT NonoB w 

not pedantle, uutran of art witfioiit tfie tin of MmimH ^ tmr- 
elen more at home ia a desert than a drawing-nom, who had 
■een outUmdish placet, and eoold be diaim out a little on the 
■nbject of their peregrinations on rare oceaaiona. 

Among the eorreapondenta of her ladjihip we find prineei 
and princesaeBy anthon and authoreaaea of all landa, rich and 
poor, generals and critics, poets and poUticians, pubUshers and 
diplomatista, play-actora, noreUrta, and ministers of state, lord 
chancellors and literary ladies, peers of the realm, nabobs of In- 
dia, nativea of Hindostan, hidalgos of Spain of ** thirteen grand* 
fathers," descendanta of ancient Irish kings, and gentlemen, in 
fine, of no ancestors at all, renowned in literatnre, art, or science. 

The lady who waa engaged in this extensive correspondence 
could be no ordinary person. It was carried on for a long series 
of years with many of the master-spirits, not only of England, 
but of the world. 

The qualities of mind and of disposition of this gifted lady, 
the influence of that goodness of heart that was diiiused over 
every act and word of hers, the fascination of her manners, and 
all the collateral allurements of her external beauty, could sure- 
ly be of no common order, that could procure for her not only 
the admiration and esteem of passing observation, but such long- 
enduring friendship and afiectionate regard as we see, by this 
correspondence, she enjoyed to the close of life at the hands of 
many of the most eminent persons of our age. 

There are many difficulties of an editorial kind to be dealt 
with in the present undertaking ; and one of the most serious 
that presented itself was that of the arrangement of the corre- 
spondence. 

The natural and usual course would be to introduce the let- 
ters generally in the order of their dates, and not those of each 
correspondent consecutively There was, however, a disadvant- 
age in such a course as this to be considered, and a very great 
difficulty to be surmounted. 

Lady Blessington's intercourse with eminent persons distin- 
guished in literature, art, science, and politics, and her literary 
career, had three phases : one of these was included in the pe- 



THE CORRESPONDENCE OF LADY BLESSINOTON. 319 

riod between her marriage and her departure for the Continent 
— her early London life from 1818 to 1822 ; another was the 
period of her Continental tour and sojourn chiefly in Naples — 
her Italian life from 1823 to 1829 ; and, lastly, that which in- 
cludes the period between her return to England, her residence 
in Seamore Place, and the break-up of her establishment at 
Gore House, from the end of 1831 to the spring of 1849, a few 
weeks before her decease in Paris — the period of her second Lon- 
don career of nearly nineteen years. 

Each of these phases in the life of Lady Blessington was dis- 
tinct from the other, in the composition of the society in which 
she moved, in the development of literary tastes, the progress 
of intellectual culture, the nature of her literary pursuits, at one 
time engaged in solely on account of the delight taken in them, 
at another for sake of distinction, and finally with a view to 
gain. 

Her correspondence partook of the nature of those differences 
and distinctions, and the value of it seemed to consist, to a great 
extent, in that distinct individualism which belonged to the let- 
ters, and the style and subjects of them in such numerous in- 
stances, that to separate and scatter the several letters of each 
writer over different portions of the work would have been to 
break up the interest taken in the several subjects, and the con- 
nection between matters frequently referred to in the letters of 
the same writers. 

The difficulty above referred to, in the way of arrangement 
according to dates, was, in fact, insuperable. Literary men and 
artists are singularly prone to forgetfulness in regard to dates 
and addresses in their correspondence. A vast number of the 
letters addressed to Lady Blessington are without date or place 
of residence ; a great many have the date of the week specified 
but not of the month, and where both are to be found the year 
is seldom mentioned. In many cases the dates are determined 
by the post-marks, but in many more, where the letters have 
been written prior to the general use of envelopes, there is no 
clew whatever to the date, and the period can only be approx- 
imately arrived at by knowledge of tlie place where Lady Bless- 



9S0 PIKLOIIMAKY NOTTIOX OT 



ingUm was twridiag at the time siidi letten wtte iMoivad I9 
her, or derived firom matten referred to in them* 

For the above-mentioned reasona, and some otheia which may 
readily suggest themselves to the reader, I have* as a general 
rule, inserted the letten of the different ooriespondents conseo* 
ntively, as they appear to have been addressed by Lady Bless- 
ington. 

In the notices prefixed to the letters, I have endeavored to 
bring before the readers of these volumes the correspimdents 
and friends of Lady Blessington, and the acquaintances eq>e- 
eially of her ladyship during her sojourn in Naples and Bome» 
in a way to make them recognizable, and to recall the particular 
traits of character which belonged to them.* 

In the letters of Lady Blessington, it will be in vain to seek 
for those excellencies in the art of epistolary correspondence, 
graces of style and compositioD, vivacity, esprit, and epigram* 
matic power of expression which are to be found in the corre- 
spondence of Madame de Sevigne, and more or less in that of the 
Marquise du Defiand, Madame GeofTrin, our own Lady Mary 
Wortley Montague, or Madame D*Arblay. 

But, in one respect, the letters of Lady Blessington were not 
inferior to those of any of the above-mentioned letter-writing 
celebrities, namely, the manifestation in her letters of kindly 
feelings, as ardently expressed, as generously and unselfishly 
entertained. The best actions of mankind are the worst recorded 
facts of history and biography. Of the many generous acts of 
Lady Blessington, wo find few records in her correspondence, 
but we shall find in her letters evidences enough (undesignedly 
furnished by her) of that natural and unaffected goodness of 
heart, which manifested itself in an afTectionate interest in the 
welfare of her friends, an enduring, unselfish regard, that was 
never influenced by any change in their position or accident of 

* The want of a slight thread of descriptive illustration of the position, charac- 
ter, or peculiarities of persons whose correspondence is introduced into the biog- 
raphies of well-known persons has been often felt and complained of. A. brief 
notice of the principal productions or characteristics, traits of originality or re- 
markable qualities of many of those whose letters form a part of this correspond- 
ence, will be found prefixed to the leUeni of several of the writers. 



THE CORRESPONDENCE OF LADY BLESSINOTON. 321 

fortune. It mattered not to her an iota, in her estimation of 
their worth and merits, however altered for the worse might be 
the condition of friends she had known long and well, however 
depressed by adverse circumstances, and fallen on that account 
in the opinion of the world, they were never forsaken by her — 
the feelings of Lady Blessington toward them were unaffected 
by any change in their fortunes. There was no *' feigning of 
generosity" in the uniform kindness of this steadfast friendship 
— the same in adversity as in prosperity — no affectation of benev- 
olence in this manifestation of genial feelings — these were part 
and parcel of a noble disposition naturally turned to goodness. 

It has been truly observed that, '* in addressing even a com- 
mon acquaintance (in a letter), there is a kindlier feeling, a cour- 
tesy, which tends to endear and to familiarize ; but in address- 
ing a friend, there is evidence that one never loves one's friends 
half BO well as when writing to them ! Every act of kindness, 
every amiable quality, rushes on the memory and the imagina- 
tion, softened by the real absence, and heightened by an ideal 
presence. 

" This constant sense of the presence of her correspondent is the 
greatest charm of that queen of letter-toriters, Madame de Sevigni, 
We feel throughout that every thought, every word, is addressed 
to one individual, and to one only — the daughter, the idolized 
daughter, who filled that warm heart."* 

Lady Blessington did not write to her friends for effect — she 
reserved that object for her conversation. She sat down in her 
dressing-room to talk on paper naturally and familiarly with 
good-natured familiar friends, as if it was a relief to her to give 
expression unreservedly to thoughts en deshabille, and to feelings 
for which no domino of affectation was required. She wrote to 
those friends carelessly and affectionately, as if she felt that 
every triffe would interest, every slight allusion would be under- 
stood, every sprightly fancy would amuse, every word of kind- 
ness would be appreciated, and every expression of pain or 
sorrow, or reference to her own cares or anxieties, would meet 
with sympathy. 

* New Monthly Magazine, vol. ii., 1821, p. 143. 
2 



33d 8IK WILLIAM OSLL. 

No attempt at fine writing is to be metirifh in Ai letteii of 
Lady Blesnngton. There was too much heart in her epistobucj 
eorrespondence, and too little disposition to enter into diBcaanons 
in letters to her Mends on any topics bnt those which related 
to her own immediate afitdrs, and which concerned the inteiesta 
cnr happiness of others, to giro a literary character to her corre- 
spondence in general that would interest the public in it. 

For this reason, out of a rast number of the letters, or rather 
notes of Lady Blessington, none hare been selected for publican 
tion except those which came within the limits of the last-named 
category. The number of her ladyship's letters is not large, but 
the few that are presented to the public will be found to give a 
faYorable opinion of the writer's sound common sense, dear con- 
ception, kindly feelings, and amiable disposition. 

I have rejected a vast number of letters of mere compliment 
on ordinary subjects of correspondence between friends, inquiries 
after health, references to private matters, intimations of intend- 
ed visits, and apologies for long silence, non-appearance at par- 
ties, &c. 

Sir William Jones, in one of his lectures, said, " For what I 
have produced I claim only your indulgence : it is for what I 
have suppressed that I am entitled to your thanks." 



CHAPTER XV. 

SIR WILLIAM CELL. 



The name of Gell will recall to many minds very pleasing 
reminiscences of Rome and Naples — ^his small classic house at 
Rome, fitted for a scholar's home, that might have served for 
the abode of Petrarch, with its adornments far from costly, but 
its arrangements elaborately tasteful, with its pleasant gardens 
and trellised walks ; his place of residence, too, at Naples in the 
latter years of his life — its picturesque locality, his drawing- 
room, library, studio, museum, all combined in one very mod- 
erately-sized apartment, with such a store of rarities, old folios 
in velhun, modem topography, and illustrated travels richly 



SIR WILLIAM OBLL. 323 

bound, oaficatures, charts, maps, and drawings ; the light guitar, 
which he had recourse to so often, in moments of torture, and 
for whose sweet remedial influences he had *' thrown physic to 
the dogs'* — ^not, however, to the well-bred animals of the canine 
species who had the entree of his salon, and the privilege of his 
best chairs and sofas — so many models, too, of ancient structures, 
so many curious things in so small a space, 

** that sUU folks wondered GeU 
Had one small room could hold so much so well" 

In 1814, when her royal highness, the Princess of Wales, left 
England, and proceeded to Milan, via Brunswick, her establish- 
ment consisted of Lady Charlotte Lindsay and Lady Elizabeth 
Forbes, maids of honor ; Mr. St. Legcr, Sir William Gell, and 
the Honorable Keppel Craven, chamberlains ; Captain Hesse, 
equerry, and Dr. Holland, physician. Mr. St. Leger remained 
at Brunswick. Shortly after her royal higness's arrival in Mi- 
lan, Bartholomew Bergami was taken into her service as cou- 
rier and valet. The princess and her suite set out for Rome and 
Naples the latter end of October, and arrived in the latter city 
on the 8th of November, 1814. King Joachim Murat was then 
sovereign of Naples. Her royal highness gave a fancy ball to 
his Neapolitan majesty, in which she appeared in three charac- 
ters ; first as a Neapolitan peasant, secondly as " The Genius 
of History," and thirdly as a Turkish peasant, in costumes by 
no means cumbersome, though not quite in accordance with the 
notions of some persons of her English suite. The princess re- 
mained in Naples till March, 1815. She then took her depart- 
ure for Rome, Genoa, and Milan, leaving four of her suite. Lady 
E. Forbes, Sir W. Gell, Mr. Craven, and Captain Hesse, in Naples. 
Lady Charlotte Lindsay had previously left her royal highness 
at Leghorn. At Genoa she was joined by Lady Charlotte Camp- 
bell, who remained with her only two or throe months. After 
her return from Palestine, Sir William Gell accompanied her 
from Naples to Rome, and continued with her there in attend- 
ance upon her as chamberlain while she remained in Rome. 

The following year he was again about three months in at- 
londaucp on hor at Frascati and Rufinello; and again, on the 



334 ^^ WILLIAM eSLL. 

oooftsioii of bar kit viiit to Bome, he attendod hi^fiwr i 
days. 

In his evidence on the trial before the House of Loida, Sir 
William swore that it was on account of an attack of gout he 
had quitted her royal highness's servioe ; and, " notwithstand* 
ing the opportunities he had of observing the oMidact of the 
queen and Bergami toward each other, never saw any impro* 
priety pass between them upon any occasion." 

Nevertheless, the opinion of Sir William of his royal mis» 
tress's habits, modes, and manners was not more favorable than 
those of Lord Malmesbury, of which he has left a eurioos ree- 
ord in his diary. 

In 1815 and 1816, we find Grell, in his letters, under various 
signatures— ''Blue Beard," "Adonis," "Anacharsis," "(rellins 
(Aulus)," and while still retaining the title, and occasionally fill- 
ing the office, of chamberlain to the Princess of Wales, indulg- 
ing in his sarcastic propensities — ^playing the part of a male gos- 
sip, conveying little bits of scandal in humorous passages, and 
making fun of his royal mistress for the sport of the fair Philis- 
tines who had once been maids of honor and friends of her roy- 
al highness. 

But even at that time Sir William was a martyr to gout and 
rheumatism. In December, 1816, he wrote from Bologna that 
he was then reduced to the necessity of confining himself to his 
fireside ; but, in giving the account of his ailments, he could not 
help having a fling at his royal lady's orthoinraphy : 

** To a person of my romantic disposition, reduit by di dinette 
of legs and now of arms to the fireside, it is a great comfort to 
have escaped from the land of wine, houses, and carts, and 
wooden shoes, and ncckless children (France), and to find one's 
self once more in Italy, and to be able to leave my painful Ictjf 
or arm for a moment out of bed without linJing it frostbitten."* 

Sir W. GcU and the Honorable Keppcl Craven are mentioned 
in Moore's diary of August, 1820, as beinp "on the way from 
Naples to England as witnesses for the queen.** "Gell slill a 
coxcomb, but rather amusing — said the Constitution of Naples 

* Pian- and Tim«'s of Georsre th** Fourth. ri>\ iv . p. latl 



SIR WILLIAM OELL. 325 

came in a gig (eorrieolo) — ^told Bome ludicrooA thingB about the 
Duchess of Devonshire's sway at Rome : her passion for Gon- 
salvo, her admiration for the purity of the Roman government." 
(Memoirs, vol. iii., p. 137.) Moore's compendious opinion of Gell 
as '^ a coxcomby rather amusing,^^ if relied on, would give not only 
a very unfavorable, but a very incorrect notion of his character 
and his acquirements. Ho was a man of much erudition and 
artistic talents, and of great humor. Sir William Gell's literary 
tastes were chiefly devoted to antiquarian researches. 

For the last twenty years, Naples was his head-quarters. 
There he was universally known and respected, and terminated 
his earthly career. 

Sir William Gell was a man of very amiable character, ex- 
tremely amusing and lively, fond of the society of young people, 
with much singularity of mind, and originality of character, 
manners, and ideas. 

His indolent easiness of temper had something in it of a phil- 
osophical calmness of an Epicurean character. The common 
objects of men's ambition to him were not worth the trouble 
of the pursuit. He was at once indiflerent, apathetic, and un- 
impassioned in the society of men struggling for wealth, glory, 
or exalted dignities. He smiled serenely at the inordinate 
trouble they gave themselves, at all their great cares for little 
ends, at all the great weaknesses of little men of large desires. 
And yet this pococurante gentleman had many difficulties to en- 
counter to secure for himself " les douceurs d'une vie priv6e 
et oisive," and many little harmless vanities and' weaknesses 
of his own to make him singular and eccentric, of which, how- 
ever, he was entirely unconscious. 

All his tastes were of a literary and artistic turn, and all were 
of a refined, scholar-like, and some of them rather of a Sybaritic 
kind. Like Sir William Temple, "he loved painting, and mu- 
sic, and statuary, and gardening," and embellishing buildings. 
Health, and ease, and fine weather were the constituents of his 
happiness: Temple wrote, "Le seul homme que j'envie dans 
le monde c'est Milord Falconbridge, que son embassade va con- 
duirc dans un si beau climat, ou il va gouter tons les charmes 



335 SIR WILUAlf OELL. 

attach^ anz delieatei et tpuritaelies eowwvam&eaam ffhaM. U 
trouvera les jonrs et les esprito egalemens pun et bxillants." 

Though a martyr to gout, Sir William Grell's natural gayetjr 
and good humor were little afiected by his natural sufieringB ; 
and with the most profound knowledge and information he eom- 
blned the utmost simplicity and playfulness. 

Some of his topogn^hieal books were illustrated by himself, 
as, for instance, his Pompeii, (xreece, and other descriptlYe pro- 
ductions of an antiquarian kind — woiks acknowledged to be the 
best of their sereral sorts and classes. 

In June, 1834, referring to a conversation at Lady Blessing- 
ton's, Willis, in his "Fencilings by the Way," 3d edition, Lon- 
don, 1849, refers to some valuable notices of Sir William Cell, 
illustrative of an interesting portion of the latter part of Sir 
Walter Scott's career : 

"She (Lady B.) had received from Sir William (roll, at Na- 
ples, the manuscript of a volume upon the last days of Sir Wal- 
ter Scott. It was a melancholy chronicle of weakened intellect 
and ruined health, and the book was suppressed ; but there were 
two or three circumstances narrated in its pages which were 
Interesting. Soon after his arrival at Naples, Sir Walter went 
with his physician and one or two friends to the great museum. 
It happened that on the same day a large collection of students 
and Italian literati were assembled in one of the rooms to dis- 
cuss some newly-discovered manuscripts. It was soon known 
that the * Wizard of the North' was there, and a deputation was 
sent immediately to request him to honor them by presiding at 
their session. At tliis time Scott was a wreck, with a memory 
that retained nothing for a moment, and limbs almost as help- 
less as an infant's. He was dragging about among the relics 
of Pompeii, taking no interest in any thing he saw, when their 
request was made known to him through his physician. ' No, 
no,' said he, * I know nothing of their lingo. Tell them I am 
not well enough to come.' He loitered on, and in about half an 
hour after he turned toi)r. H. and said, * Who was that you said 
wanted to see me V The doctor explained. ' 111 go,' said he ; 
*they shall see me, if they wish it;' ami, against the advice of 



SIR WILLIAM OBLL. 327 

his friends, who feared it would bo too much for his strength, he 
mounted the staircase, and made his appearance at the door. 
A burst of enthusiastic cheers welcomed him on the threshold ; 
and forming in two lines, many of them on their knees, they 
seized his hands as he passed, kissed them, thanked him in 
their passionate language for the delight with which he had fill- 
ed the world, and placed him in the chair with the most fervent 
expressions of gratitude for his condescension. The discussion 
went on , but, not understanding a syllable of their language, 
Scott was soon wearied, and his friends, observing it, pleaded 
the state of his health as an apology, and he rose to take his 
leave. These enthusiastic children of the South crowded once 
more around him, and, with exclamations of affection and even 
tears, kissed his hands once more, assisted his tottering steps, 
and sent after him a confused murmur of blessings as the door 
closed on his retiring form." 

The scene is described by Sir W. Gell as one of the most 
affecting he had ever witnessed 

His career of authorship commenced so early as 1804, when 
he published " The Topography of Troy," folio. Subsequently 
appeared "The Geography and Antiquities of Ithaca," 4to, 1808, 
**The Itinerary of Greece "—" Travels in the Morea"— "The 
Topography of Rome" — and, finally. Ids " Pompeiana," the most 
interesting and extensively known of all his works. 

Sir William resided in Italy since 1820 ; occasionally at Rome, 
but chiefly at his beautifully situated and elegantly arranged 
villa in Naples, in the society of his erudite friend. Sir William 
Drummond, and that of his old friend and amiable companion, 
the Hon. Keppel Craven. After the death of Sir William Drum- 
mond at Rome in 1828, his friendsliip with Craven appeared 
to have become more closely cemented than ever, and it went 
on increasing in strength to th/s period of his death. 

GelPs notions of authorship were of a very aristocratic nature. 
All his works were brought out on so large and extensive a scale 
as to be out of the reach of that class of readers for whom his 
topographical and antiquarian researches would have been espe- 
cially useful — ^for travelers in those countries whose remains 



388 VM WILLUK GSLL. 



were deaeiibad by him. Bnt it wu the midbrtuM tf tUi «i- 
lightened and accompluJied nuta to be an aiistocrat in all things, 
and to mar his attainments by htmkering after great people — 
" patricians bom to greatness," or parvenus having ^ greatness 
thrust upon them" — ^thrust on "good society," and admitted 
there par droit de riehesses ou lien de naissance. 

Sir William Gell, it must be admitted, frittered away his time 
and talents for upward of twenty years on the fiuhionable frib- 
bles of the little coteries of English traveling aristocracy that 
customarily wintered in Rome, and passed the spring or autumn 
in Naples or its vicinity. 

Every one delighted in his society ; in his oonversaticm and 
correspondence he was equally amusing and agreeable. 

l/Vhen Sir William Grell died. Lady Blessington might have 
truly said, *' J'ai perdu en lui mon meilleur canseur." 

There is an admirable sketch of Gell in a letter of James 
Ramsay, Esq., a resident merchant of Naples, an old and valued 
friend of mine, addressed to the Hon. Richard Keppel Craven in 
the spring of 183G, soon after the death of Sir William Gell, urg- 
ing on Mr. Craven the task of composing a biographical sketch 
of his deceased friend, and eventually signifying his intention 
of writing such a memoir : 

" I frequently urged," says Mr. Ramsay, " our inestimable 
friend to compose his biographical memoirs; to bequeath to 
posterity the 'personal narrative' of a career in which the pur- 
suits of science were so happily blended with the lighter occu- 
pations and brilliant attractions [distractions] of society. I said 
it would be a great pity if the rich fund of observation and anec- 
dote which he had accumulated should be lost with him, and 
that it might be screened from public view until the writer 
should be ' removed beyond the reach of criticism or of ridicule.' 
He sometimes appeared to be half inclined to adopt ray sugges- 
tion, and owned that he possessed materials sufficiently * piquant,' 
if he should determine to employ them. Will you forgive mc 
for insinuating that the task which he failed, or rather neglected 
to accomplish, seems naturally and gracefully, when time shall 
have in some degree moderated the more poignant emotions of 



SIR WILLIAM GELL. 3CJ 

regret, to devolve upon you ? upon you, his juvenile oompanion, 
the friend and fellow-traveler of maturer years, the depositary 
of his inmost sentiments, and probably of many of a series of 
letters in which events and opinions have been faithfully re- 
corded. 

" Though enjoying Sir William's acquaintance and intimacy 
during a considerable period, I can not presume to hope that I 
could furnish any important contributions toward such an under- 
taking, otherwise I should be most ready to co-operate with those 
who are so much better qualified. His correspondents would, 
I. dare say, willingly communicate his letters, or extracts from 
them, and the names of these correspondents are doubtless known 
to you. 

" There is a peculiar charm in the unguarded effusions of emi- 
nent persons, when, casting offf the artificial garb with which 
rank or other adventitious circumstances may have invested 
them, they paint their natural character and feelings without 
any other reserve or restraint than those which discretion pre- 
scribes. 

'' Hume and Gibbon have left us interesting, though very dif- 
ferent memorials of this description, and the familiar letters of 
Munro, of Collingwood, of Mackintosh, and of such as resemble 
them, will be fondly cherished when their public achievements 
are perused with historical indifference. But I beg pardon for 
detaining you with remarks so obvious. 

" If, on the one hand, it is to be regretted that Sir AVilliam 
did not fmish liis novel of 'Julia di Gonzaga,' it may, on the 
other, bo permitted to doubt whether or how far such a work 
would have added to his literary fame. Of liis powers of imagi- 
nation and invention I had no adequate opportunity of judging ; 
but, though the novel might have contained some lively scenes, 
some striking descriptions, some sparkling dialogue, I should be 
inclined to question — yet by no means conclusively — ^whether a 
profound knowledge of the human heart, of the intricate mazes 
and complicated workings of passion, and feeling, and sentiment, 
were among his distinguishing attributes. 

*^ He had not made a study of composition, and, in the confu- 



330 ^^ WILLIAM OELL. 

■ion of foreign laBgnftgM, the pimty of hii own bid itOll 
conuderably impaired. These observationB, dictated by an af- 
fectionate and jealous attachment to his memory, are haxaided 
with diffidence, as they are with deference sabmitted to yoor 
taste and judgment. 

** I am aware that the scope of the memoir would be chiefly 
limited to prirate cirenlation ; and at a time when the norel 
and the remance usurp, if not the honors, at least the emoluments 
of literature, the noble-minded author would seek and find his 
reward in another disinterested oflering on the altar of friend- 
ship. I am, &c. J. R." 



». 



A SKETCH OF THE CHARACTER OF SIR WILLIAM OELL, BY 
JAMES RAMSAY, ESQ. 

''The merits of Sir William Crell as an author, chiefly on sub- 
jects of antiquity and topography, are already sufliciently known 
and appreciated by the public. The fruits of much patient 
research, of ingenious conjecture, of great personal activity and 
industr\% with admirable graphic illustrations, his works are 
valuable helps to the student, and an accurate guide for the 
traveler. In attempting the more difficult task of delineating 
his general and private character, as deduced from an inter- 
course of many years, if I am conscious of any bias, it must be 
in favor of one with whom I have spent so many delightful 
hours, unalloyed by the recollection of even a passing cloud ; 
for to me he was uniformly kind and attentive. Yet I will 
endeavor to be impartial, though at the hazard of incurring the 
reproach of being rather severe. 

" Sir William started in life with the advantages of a hand- 
some person— of a fine, open, placid countenance — of a prepos- 
sessing manner— -of a remote ancestry, and of an extensive con- 
nection with the best society. He traveled at a period when 
travelers were rare, and thus early acquired a distinction which 
he continued to maintain. Possessing general, though superfi- 
cial information, both literary and scientific, including some ac- 
quaintance with the Oriental languages and hieroglyphics, he 
sketched beautifully, had a taste for and some knowledge of mu- 



SIR WILLIAM OELL. 331 

sic, and excelled as an easy, off-hand, unafiected correspondent ; 
indifierent, indeed insensible, to the graces of composition, yet 
universally courted for a style ofntnvetS * beyond the reach of art.* 
Although, however, led by the course of his studies into classical 
inquiry and reference, the character of a profound scholar will not 
be assigned to him, notwithstanding his general reading ; he had 
little taste for literature, and never seemed to feel the beauties of 
poetry. I should say, indeed, that, in other respects, his taste — 
meaning by this term a delicate and just perception of the beau- 
tiful — ^was far from being refined, and that that defect was ap- 
parent in all, even his personal decorations, by a preference for 
gay, gaudy colors, striking contrasts, and meretricious ornament. 

" To depth of thought Sir William would have no just pre- 
tensions. He rarely mode a general reflection or observation ; 
all his conclusions were particular. On many of the important 
questions by which the world is now agitated, he had no steady, 
fixed opinions ; he had neither the boldness to form, nor the 
courage to avow his sentiments, which were very liable to be 
temporarily influenced by the last speaker, the last writer. 

" In his political principles he was decidedly aristocratical, 
with a strong predilection for * rank, fortune, and fashion,' our 
besetting sin ! 

" But it is in a companionable, sociable point of view that the 
memory of Sir William Gcll will be most fondly cherished, his 
loss most deeply lamented by his surviving friends and acquaint- 
ances ; for there he shone without a rival, with a charm pecul- 
iarly his own. To a considerable share of wit and humor — to 
a natural tact and penetration, improved by a long intercourse 
with the great world, to the habits and bearing of a * high-bred 
gentleman,' Sir William added an unceasing flow of lively, play- 
ful language, sparkling dialogue, and brilliant repartee upon ev- 
ery topic which formed the subject of conversation, and this, his 
great forte both in company and teie-ft-tete, was endless. Plac- 
ing people of all classes on a footing of easy familiarity, and thus 
unlocking their confidence, he drew from them a perpetual sup- 
ply of materials for his own combination — * toujours varices 
toujours renaissantes' — his house became the resort of all ranks, 



332 SIR WILUAM OELL. 

ages, and sexes, and his mornings one continued levee. The 
equanimity of his temper under the pressure of bodily infirmity, 
often of acute sufiering, enhanced the value of a cheerful, hu- 
mane, benevolent, charitable disposition, and even the shafts of 
sarcasm and of ridicule, in which he occasionally indulged, left no 
sting, because it was felt that they were the ofispring of no 
malignant spirit. With all his resources, however. Sir William 
languished in solitude ; he breathed only in the atmosphere of 
society ; even his literary and other occupations were sometimes 
carried on in company, while conversing with those around him. 

*' Ho was fond of being looked up to as a patron and protector, 
and somewhat jealous of the ascendency which he thus sought 
to preserve. 

*' It has been said that, as in thinking, so in feeling, he was a 
stranger to any great depth ; and certainly he seldom betrayed 
much emotion, or even expressed much interest in the fate of 
others. It is a remark of his friend, Lady Blessington, in one 
of her books, that * persons the most remarkable for general 
kindness are those who have the least feeling.' 

** Emulous of fame, he aspired after notoriety and display ; 
and the latter was sometimes evinced by introducing subjects 
with which his auditors were very imperfectly conversant, in 
order, as it seemed, that he might excite their surprise and com- 
mand their applause. 

*' In an argument he was easily vanquished ; in a forward 
remark as easily checked ; by superior powers painfully eclipsed . 
Sir \Villiam liked to be the presiding genius. In his acquaint- 
ances, visitors, guests, with a few exceptions, he preferred va- 
riety, novelty ; and when these had lost the power of pleasing, 
he willingly resigned them, * like the last month's magazine,' 
for others more attractive. 

*' Hence ho was deemed by some people rather selfish, not 
quite sincere, and not sufficiently mindful of past favors ; but 
in endeavoring to exhibit the various traits of a distinguished 
character, we ought always to bear in mind that they include 
many from which no human being is entirely exempt. 

*' Amid a boundless acquaintance, it may be questioned wheth- 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM CELL. 993 

er Sir William Gell had many really and truly attached friends . 
his affections were infinitely subdivided, frittered away ; but 
he was a kind and indulgent master. 

" He seemed to bo a great favorite with the fair sex. They 
gathered — ^flocked around him ; they confided in — ^they confessed 
to — ^they consulted him as a superior being ! Yet all the youth, 
beauty, grace, accomplishments, whose homage he was constant- 
ly receiving, did rarely, in my hearing, call forth an admiring, 
never one enthusiastic, one impassioned sentiment. They might 
be * well-looking,' * well-mannered,' * a pleasing person,' that 
was all. I often asked him who was the most beautiful woman 
he remembered to have met with ? He replied that * he thought 
ho should say Lady Blessington.' Still, his behavior, attentions 
to, correspondence with ladies, were excellent, polite, and kind. 
In estimating character, we judge partly from what people do 
and say, and, which frequently escapes them, from what they do 
not do and say ! 

" In these peculiarities and other foibles we have, alas ! only 
to recognize the imperfections from which none are free ; but 
the verdict of an immense majority will decide in favor of the 
amiability, the charms of the character of Sir William Gell, and 
will confess he has left a blank which it will be difiicult, if pos- 
sible, to supply." 

•^* There are several busts of Sir William Gell, but none of 
them a good likeness. With the exception of a less aquiline 
nose, he bore a strong resemblance to the statue, said to be of 
Aristides, in the museum of Naples. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM CELL TO LADY BLESSINOTOX.* 

•• Naples. 
" My dear Lady Blkssinoton, — A most horrid alTair has taken place at 
Psstum, Mr. Hunt and his wife having been murdered by robbors. Three 

* The Blessingtons arrived in Naples in July, 1823. They established them- 
selves at the Villa Belvidert, on the Vomero, about the 23d of the same month. 



884 UBTTBU OF SIR WILUAM OHX. 



uBIBBS vvflsV Urn J^BBCB^V"'^bIIXBb ^SflDIQB SDH flHHflBBBKs ^DP UQHBn ■HB swHI^v 

of offieen firam* The ROTanfe.' Mw. Bwmm w— whwnmg to N^phi, and 
about two milea firom pBitiim met fimr lobben, who with threat! { 
and took all their mooej. Thej aeem not to have ill treated tlisDi < 
Un. Bemon gave the alaim at Salenio, and aent g€mM i^mrma. Ahoai a 
qnaiterofanhoiirafter eanw Mr. andMn.Hinitlrf tfai aame plaee. Tkij 
tore off the ▼ettmino and the aenrant from the box, and were ill treating the anw 
▼ant for having no more monej while Mr. Hont waa deacendiog from the cai^ 
nage. Mr. Himtaeema to bare remooatrated in violent tenna at thia, and one 
ofthe thieveaaud he would ahoot him if he continued. Mr. Hont aecma to 
have eontinaed, and to have aaid he dared not ahoot him : thia the enreged 
thief did with two balla, both of which p aa eed through hia body, and he M 
fromthaatepu One of the balb took a aide alant, and went throogfa the body 
and lungs of Mrs. Hunt alaa The tiuanrea, aeeing what thej had done, im* 
mediatelj fled without any booty. Hie hnihand and wife, the ^oniL afanoat ia- 
■enaible, were carried back to Psstum. The husband died at half past aevcn 
o'dock of the same day. The act took place about ono. Mrs. Hunt waa car- 
ried to Mr. Belelli's, a decent house, and aeemed for aome time better, and the 
officers, tending Mr. Thompson here for aaaistanoe, remained with her. Dr. 
Watson went last night, about twelve o^clock, to see if he could do any good. 
It is almost certain Mrs. Hunt can not live. I have written this in a great 
hurry, having merely had time to give you an outline, but a correct one^ of the 
focts, which I heard from Mr. Thompson himself I have sent certain docu- 
ments to Lord Blessington about Lady Falkiner, which the judge vrishes you 
to see, because he says you are the person who knows most about the busi- 
ness. With kindest regards to the count and the * Lady Julia,'* believe me 
most truly yours, dear Lady Blessington, W. Gbll. 

**^A sua EcceUenia la Contesaa di DlesMngton, Villa Bclriderv, Vomero.** 

"Naplen. 
»* Do your excellencies dine at home to-day ? If you do, I purpose an as- 
cent to the Belvidere. You are in danger of being rivaled with the arrh- 
bishopt by Mrs. Beaumont and her three daughters, for whom he has con- 
ceived a passion. Most truly yours, William Gbll." 

" Naples. 
" When I had read Lord Byron, which I found very interesting, but most 
particularly the revengeful poem, which must have been written after some 
conversation with you about his wife, I found myself rather forlorn ; but, rec- 
ollecting my charge of the letters, I thought for some time what I should do 

They remained there till March, 1825, and about the 25th of the Utter month re- 
moved to the Villa Gallo, where they remained till February, 1826, when they 
left Naples for Rome.— R. R. M. 

* The Lady Julia was Lady Blessington^s sister. Miss Maiy Anne Power. — 
R. R. M. t The vsnerable Archbishop of Taienio.--R. R. M. 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM CELL. 335 

with them, lo I took the liberty of going into the drawing-room, and, after 
some consideration, I put them carefully into a large red portfolio on the 
count's table, with a red ribbon, where pray go and take them, having made 
my i4>ology for taking such a liberty with him. I am sorxy Miss Power is 
angry with me, but I have nothing on my conscience. No Casorano came. 
I kiss your feet, and am ever yours, W. Gell." 

<* Naples. 
" The devil has upset his inkstand in the clouds, and I think it therefore 
better to postpone my visit, as you were kind enough to say I might, if the 
world went upside down. Dr. Doratt, having engaged me to write, sent also 
yesterday to say he had forgotten his engagement to the Hamiltons, brute 
that he is for his pains. I will come when the weather changes, and, not to 
disturb you, will send the same morning to ask if it suits you. Kind com- 
pliments to your party. Perhaps you have got another Museum or other 
book. William Gkll.'* 

"Naples. 

** I lost no time in consulting the doctor, all the way down the hill, and as 
far as he goes there would be no difficulty, except his engagement with Sir 
William Drummond. He said, at the same time, what a fbol he should look 
like if Sir William D. died in ten years, and he found himself without a shil- 
ling. It was resolved, therefore, to talk to Sir William, and the consequence 
was, a declaration that five years was to him the same as his whole life ; that 
he would give the other hundred a year which I stated to be necessary for the 
present, and that he had left Dr. Watson £200 and some other things.* 

" He said at the same time, that if Dr. Watson wished it, he was at liberty, 
and such a resolution should have no effect in changing his good intentions 
toward him. 

** However, of course, seeing that Sir William listened to the reason ot the 
case (which he always does when properly explained), the doctor would be 
very unwilling to give him any pain on the subject. 

" You see you have been the cause of good, so let us console ourselves, and 
pray believe me, most truly and affectionately, W. Gell." 

" Naples. 

" According to your orders, I have told Mr. Graven that he has to appoint 
an early day to go to the Belvidere, and he will come on Wednesday. 

'* That being fixed, I have to inform your ladyship that the weather seem- 
ingly consenting to relent, Dr. Watson and I have an idea of a trip to Pom- 
peii to-morrow, and having had a sort of half agreement with your amiable 
party, I think perhaps you may not be diiinclined to the excunion. 

* Dr. Watson, the medical attendant of Sir W. Drammond, one of the most em- 
inent liDguists of Europe. — R. R. M. 



•aae jurtrmn of bir williax '0siii«. 



DBtsinoarpodcBls, tad dins cittiv in the ^iiaiten ifc llw gnwi tahli» or Mj 
wiiera else aboot tluve or Ibiir, fiir kter it 11117 be ooU, bat aboot tbne wfll 
be ^erjr agreeable, Uie place being aoBiiyaDdriMllered. Yen em Aw eitlnr 
is tiie lilla at the end of the tombe, itttbe Tridimqm of die toodie, er eafl^ 
of Uie Action, in the centre of the town, orintheFonunfWbidilaatwfllbe 
eonnj and waim, jott as yon pleaae. If jron accede to these propoaitione, lei 
me knovr what cBsh or dishes I diall bring in mj pocket for the poblie good. 

*< Would yoa be so good as to ask Ooont D^Onay to let me hare my cam- 
en fadda, as wMioat that I am not fitted oot Ibr my labors. 

"WiLUAX Gbu. 

"I think I myself will begin at the soldiers' qnaiten, and so nanUe by de» 
greestowaid the Foram and the new ezearations there. Thns we shaU meet 
witfaont doubt or diffienky, even if yon bc^m fitxn the tombs, whidi is mndh 
the most striking, and eonseqpiently the best beginning. 

•« ▲. 8. E. lUdanlfdls M. A. P. A e«n del CoMi di BtosiiBgton, Palsno ] 



«* If I waited longer I might get a better piece of pi^per, but I have no pa- 
tience, 80 this is jufit to let you know, madam, that your carnival pranks have 
all been watched, and that I haTo obseived your tricks for the last five days. 

"Tremble, then, when you see the handwriting of your jealous 

" Lawful." 

"Rome, April 5ch,lS94. 

" I really did arrive at Rome on the 12th of last month, having quitted your 
city on the 8th, and having experienced on the way every possible misfortune 
except being overturned or carried into the mountains. In short, I know 
nothing to equal my journey except the ninety-nine misfortunes of Pulici- 
nclla in a Neapolitan puppet-show. I set out without my cloak in an open 
carriage ; my only hope of getting wanner at St. Agata was destroyed by an 
English family, who had got possession of the only chimney. I had a drrad- 
fiil headache, which, by-thc-by, recollecting to have lost at your house by 
eating an orange, I tried again with almost immediate effect. Next morning 
one of my horses fell ill at the moment of being put to the carriage, and has 
continued so ever since, so that I have had to buy another, which is so very 
(what they call) good that it is nearly as useless as the other, so that I never 
go out without risking my neck. "NMien, at length, I got to Rome in a storm 
of sleet, I found a bill of one hundred and fifty dollars against me for protect- 
ing useless lemon-trees against the frost of the winter, which, added to the 
expense of the new horse and the old one, have ever since caused the horrors 
of a jail to interpose themselves between me and every enjoyment, and so 
much for the ugly side of the question. 

*' In other respects I am in very good health and spirits, and go out every 
day to dinners, of which the chief givers have hitherto been Lady Maiy Deer- 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM GELL. 337 

burst, Mr. Morritt, of Rokeby, Ix>rcl Dudley, Lord Kinnaird, Torlonia, Mrs. 
Beaumont and Co., and others, besides tbe same company, Mr. Irving or Ir- 
vine, Mr. and Lady Selina Robinson, Lord C. Fitzroy, Lord Ashley, Captain 
SouthiU, His Highness the Prince of Mecklenburgh, Dr. Wilson, a most 
agreeable Scot, fresh from Egypt, Jerusalem, and all tbe East, and very talk- 
ative, Mr. Hare, Mr. Dodwell, and your humble servant, to wbicli lately vro 
add Sir William Drummond and Dr. Quin. Do not, therefore, imagine that 
in dinners or dinner company we are at all behind you at Naples, though all 
the strangers are supposed to have left this place, the Lord rest their souls. 
Since my arrival vre have had nothing but misfortunes ; first, the sad aflfair 
of Miss Bathurst,* and, secondly, the death of the Duchess of Devonshire. 
Miss Bathurst*s death really made every body unhappy, having been one of 
the principal delights of the society here while living, and really beloved by 
every body. Lord Aylmer does not appear to be recovered yet as to spirits, 
and it seems that the idea still recurs to him every instant : at first his ex- 
ertions in the water, and the agitation he underwent, seemed to threaten his 
senses for some days. 

" Mr. Mills has been of the greatest use to him, having at length succeed- 
ed in persuading him to talk about the &tal business till he acquired by de- 
grees a little calmness and fortitude. Mills eats his breakfast as usual, and 
desires your ladyship may be informed of the circumstance, adding, he will 
give you a breakfast at the Vigna Palatina, as he has done to Lord and Lady 
Aylmer almost every morning for the last fortnight. They go away in a day 
or two to meet the unhappy Mr. Bathurst at Genoa. 

'' The poor duchess had every possible consolation at her death. By the 
most lucky chance, the duke and Mrs. Ellis were here, and Dr. Quin, coming 
here for a frolic, sat up with her eight nights, so as to have hurt his own 
health. He describes her as dying in the most calm and amiable manner pos- 
sible, and the physicians having permitted her to see her friends when Uiey 
had no longer any hope, the duke, Mr. Ellis, the Due de Laval, and Mr. Ar- 
taud went to see her, tp take leave of her, as well as Dr. Nott or Knott, who 
had a conversation with her very satisfactoiy to him on matters of religion, 
showing that she did not die a Catholic, and would have taken the sacrament, 
but the doctors would not permit it on account of her weakness. Dr. Quin 
had been desired by the Duke of Devonshire to be present at the embalming 
of the body, which is to go by land to England. It was discovered that an 
ossification of the arteries had commenced, so that in a short time she would 
probably have died from that cause, had not an accidental cold, neglected by 
herself for too long a period, thus destroyed her. And now I will give you 
no more of the miseries of this life. I hope you have at length had better 
weather. Mr. Morritt says that for two months the thermometer has been 
seven degrees higher in London than Rome this winter. What will Lord 

* The lamentable death of Miss Bathunt, who was drowned in the Tiber m 
February, 1824.— R. R. M. 

Vol. I.— P 




OF Bin wnjEitfr Mnu.. 



Mj to M Wfan clfaMte ritw ttrfil l«t wtai I iwolial tetl 
Labtoteli niltim in»yl■ggii^iB^l^at^0B^^wy— awrfi 
pflllHpi^ t— ^fif the ii i iii m > I iludl nolbe aMHyponadad «hifr«ni i 
belter off I imiid twolrttanlhniLad]rW«irtnoNlMia,^iitefa 
got at Mdte iSaOO worth of tfdBfs prapned te Imt ^oji«v to Md is %j|l, 
wnsn ne wul p i wbipij HBtsr p>> I nsfv smiraiw bflr wni wif ^fwn pv^ 
joctf, but do not Dnld MiDc n en Uw mywi ti o tt . 

" in the mem tans, Umj watj Oie Fidift of Egypt has dedved Uaadfin- 
dependent; and odien eteto Uiit be it foiiif m pcnoB to altadc tiiB Mont, 
which luft b ■ UBjfkB nefCfwfll be gaStfcX, as Uie govenmieiil ofOoMtaB- 
tmople would thea catch him m a tnp. If he qoita the ooantiy, afiea to 
tmvdnig then, and ao aaja Ifr. WOkhiaon at Cano, from whom I have an- 
odier letter, aaymg the pariia haa nowSCMNIOmen armed and dl a c^ Bned m 
we European manner, with which eertamly ne might oiddcoanoe to the Iwti^ 
if the opinion or rangion of die monitnde be auffinently chan ged mr them to 
reaist an imperial order to Uy down their anna before the atandaid of dm 
Prophet. 

** Lord Bodley w3l eet oat finr Naplee the im fine day. 1 don*t know 
whether Dr. Watson has had anj success with the volume of Dr. Richaidaon 
lent to Sir William Drummond ; his illness and his usual careleaaneas seem 
to have been our great enemies. I don^t know what to do about it, except 
to pray that as Lord Dlessington had the goodness to send for a copj for me, 
he will possess himself of that, and leave the other at Naples. I am so much 
ashamed of my neighbor's conduct, that I never will be responsible for him 
again. Alas ! he is so accustomed to losing and destroying books, that he 
feels no shame himself on the occasion, and swears, though he conversed 
frequently about the book, he never aaw it in his life. Indeed, he never does 
read a book except for the first five miirates. He seems in very good heahh 
and spirits, and his trip to Rome has already done him good. I am quite 
sorry you all hate this place so much, for I find myself better amused in gen- 
eral than at Naples, where there is nothing but eternal Toledo, Chiaja, and San 
Cario. There can be no doubt that this is preferable for society ; but for me, 
I think one great motive of preference is a large and shady garden, where I 
can hobble among and under my own trees of my own planting. I have al- 
ready been on one, and I intend to go on several excursions to different parts 
of the country, where I make observations for the making of a map of the 
neighborhood. Every body seems inclined to go on these excursions, so my 
researches appear as if they would become the fashion in the shape of morn- 
ing rides and drives, with cold dinners brough} to the point of rendezvous. 1 
fear you see little or nothing of Craven, who seemed to me, when I left him, 
as if he was established for Iif<*, tacked to his mamma's apron, without benefit 
of clergy. 

** I hope you will let me hear how you all go on, and what you are all do- 
ing, and that you have given up that tour in Sicily, where you will hate more 



L0in»is OP »iR wim«iAii asi^. q^o 

tlMntlM iilO(inv«^iioe<>f Egypt, with iF«yy fi^ 

If the Egyptian JMUmejv o«n not be eontrived, I ^ve a Mrt of ftint idea of a 
toiirCoCoiBo,aiidtheiiortiieinItaBanliJuM. I Mm jour band and feet ; and 
with the kisdefet iegttvds to the eottiit and the gvent Mk th twa , beKeve Be, 
my dear Lady BleaeingtoD, your affectionate asad faitiifel 



CHAPTER XVn. 



LSTTSR8 OF 8IR WILLIAM OELL TO LADT BLEMINOTON. 

*<Roiiie,4tliJaly,I0S4. 

" I was gtnxig on in much too flonrbhing a state of health arid jack-ass 
riding when I reodTed an >inlncky letter from Dr. Watson, congrstnlating 
me en the sane, and singing the praises of Dr. Neiker, who he says has 
cured lum of his infionous headache. 

** This was a sort of triumph old Nick could not allow, so the same day, 
having invited Dodwett to dine under the trees in mygarden in older to con- 
cert an expedition to Soracte, dtc., which would have taken up three days, 
after which I meant inmiediately to throw myself at your feet, I was obliged 
to be carried to my post, and have never, since the 27th of June, made a single 
pace en my own feet, nor till this evening in any other manner. In ^tte mean 
time I have really very little pain, though I have been so bewildered that I 
could not even sit up for two days — a great inconvenience, as it deprives one 
of so many amusements. At present I am better, or the scene is shifting, 
which it makes no scruple of doing between both feet, both knees, and a 
dozen or two of the elbows and fingers ; and thus you have had a long end 
dull account of my enemy and myself. 

'' I have been, since I wrote last to your ladyship, doing nothing but living 
in the country houses of the Renins. We had a week at Tivoli, at the Villa 
Santa Crocc, after we returned from Bracciano. We next borrowed the palace 
of the Duke of Tagerok> of that ilk, and thought that though the thieves were 
already strong in the field, a population of four or five thousand souls, with 
the ducal palace in the centre, would render the neighborhood safer ibr us ; 
and indeed so we found it, having the good fortune to dttify all over the 
country in all directions unassailed. Lady Mary Deerhurst, who is the lady 
of the castle on all these excursions, carries the whole household, children, 
tutor, governess, dogs, and the test of the ioyal family, so that we made some 
show even in the largest of these mansions, that at Zagarolo being really a 
magnificent pile, and the place where the pope of those days sent the learned 
men to consult on the best Catholic edition of the Bible, since published, and 
called the Vulgate. Here we were joined for some days by Lords Kinnaiid 
and Dudley, and Mr. Hare, to say nothing of Mrs. Dalton, and two beaux, 
Mr. Bacon and Mr. StevenMn, whom Lady Mary found out one day by < 



940 UrrTRBS OF SIR WILUAM mUL 



I tluoogh Yafanoiilone, the whofe puty Mid I hd»n9 thiM 
caziufw hanng only mwtikmi thwr wj a little, end txembd tbmi^ the 
wlKik tenitoiy tif the thieves bj Ifente Gmiwi, tUiikiiig th^f w^ 
the Teffeeiiia loed, mnch as the knrelj Best CeUwett went helf wij to Vienne 
in her way firam Bniiaele to JE^uie. 

''When we had seen every thing in that country we letnnied again to 
Rome, whence we fitted oat aeveral little ei pe dition e for the day, and discov- 
ered aevend dties with good old GredL-looldng waOs of large blocks, wludi 
the wags and antiquaries had no idea o£ 

'' Probably the lost cities taken by Romnlns and the Tarqoins will all be 
fiMmd in time, if we all live and are well, which, as yon veiy wieely observe, 
bdoobtfiiL 

*' I diall only give yon one more of omr toors in search of Coiee, the ancient 
dty of the Sabines, whence came BIr. Smith's cousin, IQng Tathis,and all the 
Qnirites to Rome. We foond the piece, though there are biit> Ibw remains, 
near the modem village and river Correse, a dbarming trout stream, ranning 
through the most beontifiil coontiy we had ever seen. Between the high 
range of Monte Orennaio (Locretili according to Mathews) and the Tiber is 
a ooantiy perhaps eight miles in width, interspersed with villages at short 
distances, perched on the most romantic spots, perfectly defended by nature, 
bat beautifully picturesque, with the remains of the ancient fortifications of 
the baronial houses. We had the palace of Prince Sierra at Monte Libretti, 
one of those villages, and though we had it not enough to ourselves to be veiy 
comfortable, we managed to make our excursions with effect. Nothing can 
give you an idea of the infinite beauty of the country, which, generally speak- 
ing, seems an eternal forest of oaks and spina Christi ; yet every now and 
then, and just when you wish it, opening into a little cultivation, either in 
com, fiax, or gardens. Eveiy half mile, in crosung the direction of the great 
mountains which bound the whole, you have a descent by a precipice into a 
deep woody dell, with its little stream, sometimes with a patch of cultivation, 
and forcing its way through the rocks ; but I will say no more, lest you should 
think the gout is got into my head. How sorry you will all have been for 
Lord Byron. We have a little medal here of him, but it might as well have 
been of Cesar, to my eye. They should have sent to Count D*Orsay for a 
profile. It is really a sad loss to literature, and an immense deficit of interest 
from the Greek cause. I am afraid the said cause is not very flourishing, as 
we begin to receive letters from ruined families of the Greeks, saying that, 
having lost almost all they had by the revolution, and no law existing, they 
fled with the little remainder, and now solicit your ezoellency^s support. In 
the mean time. Lady Westmoreland, who had been neariy famished during the 
late scarcity of * cases,' is quite set up again by Mr. Battier's case, and the 
death of Lord Byron before he had time to reform ; and with these two she is 
now exercising her eloquence, first at Venice, and since at Viccnza, and other 
towns in the north of Italy, where Mr. Craven met her. Craven writes from 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM GELL. 341 

the Lake of Wallentee on the 1 6th, and Munich the 17th of June. He finds 
no attempt at pease, or even salad. At Wallensee several patches of snow 
down to the water's edge. The elder flowers not come out. The apple-trees 
yet in early hloom, and a sharp firost every evening. Two days before, he was 
eating over-ripe cherries in Italy. 

** I wish I could send you a good account of the robbers, but nothing has 
been heard of them lately, except that they are living like fifty prodigal sons 
at Montellano on the product of the last ransom. When that is spent, of 
course they will send for more ; and if I get well by the time they begin to 
infest the road, I must really take the liberty to escape by sea, for to be l^ten 
to death because I can not walk into the mountains, or, being taken on an ass, 
to have to pay the greater part of my fortune for a ransom, would neither of 
them be advisable cases. I hope, at least, the earl now likes the Belvidere 
better than in the winter, when the window curtains sometimes insisted on 
becoming part of the dinner company at the table. Speaking of a gun, do 
any of you want a groom, named Crispin, who has been all over this country 
with Lady Mary, but which Lady Mary is now gone to Leghorn with only an 
English groom for her riding-horses, and, in consequence, the man is left in 
my hands to dispose of? Now for a description. Crispin is of middle stature, 
slim, active, intelligent, and much in appearance like a real slang English 

groom ; in feature like a baddish caricature of K C put into an oven 

till his hair was singed. Bom at Viterbo, aged about thirty, and I suspect 
concerned in divers serenades, sung in a high key, and not remariuible for 
precision, which I sometimes hear in the street. If any of the family of Bel- 
videre want for themselves, or can dispose to their neighbors of a person 
so eminently qualified, he is now to be had cheap. I hope you will be able 
to read my writing, as it has only just occurred to me that I am obliged to 
sit in a posture which I can not do myself, vrith my feet in the air. I have 
no news from England. A friend wrote to me in the greatest haste to help 

him to a peerage, that of Darcy of .* I gave him his answer, and told 

him Darcy of Navan was what he had a claim to, and no other of that name. 
Yet I have had no answer, so conclude he has died of it, as it is now above 
three months ago. They say the Aberdeens are coming here, instigated, if 
true, I suppose, by Captain Gordon. We have long been without a single 
milord of any sort or kind, but I believe there yet remain many of a tribe of 
both sexes, who are in want of money to go away the next day to England 
with a very pitiful story, which they take round every winter, without ever 
quitting for an instant the Holy City. 

" We have yet had not a hint on the subject of the learned *Faustus.' I 
hope and trust she has been exorcised long ago, and does not mean to be ill 
any more, but to be a nice little neat sort of a tidy discreet old sort of a body 
as usual, when fate allows me to come clumping like a parrot into her pres- 

♦ Woid illegible.— R. R. M. 



342 LETTBR8 OF SIR WILLIAK ORl«U 

enee. I kisi the hemB of your gaxments. I salnto Um whiob odnftuij, and 
am moflt afiectionaAely and faithfiillj, W. Q." 

•« RiMM, Oecabev Id, 18M. 
*' I am sitting in my garden, under the ahada. of ny own vines asd figs, my 
dear Lady BJcaaingUw, where I have been lookiBg ai the people gaihering 
the grapes, whieh axe to pxoduee six banels of what I suspect will peore very 
bad wiaa; and ail this sounds very weU till I tell you that I am positiTely sit- 
ting in a whteeRmixow, whieh I foond the only mMuis of conveying my cxasy 
person into the garden. Don't laugh. Miss Power, The fact is, that all those 
feeUnge which I had for two days at your house most kindly contrived to re- 
solve themselves inAo a fit of the gout on the very morning of mj departure, 
so that I got into the carriage in torture, and was obliged to be borne oui by 
two portevs at Capua, since whieh time till to-day I have never put a foot to 
the ground. I considered, at Ci^Mia, that if I let Sir W. Drummond turn hafik, 
as he wanted to do, it was most probable he would fall ill before I was well, 
and he would be thus disaf^kointed of his tour, so I was carried again to the 
coach, and, after a drive of thirty-five miles to San Germane with the same 
horses, through a most beautiful country, and not very bad road, we found 
ourselves compelled at sunset to mount two wretched asses, and climb by a 
steep zigzag road for an hour and a half to the monastery of Monte Casino. 
All this, with a fit of the gout, was certainly rather an undertaking, but I was 
carried by some very good people of the jackasses up five hundred steps and 
forty corridors, and laid upon a bed, where the holy fathers, the very nicest of 
Thingumberrys in the world, were so kind to rao that I could have been no- 
where better. They gave us a fine supper in the next room, as I found by 
the number of good plates they brought, and tried to persuade me to eat. Sir 
William Drummond seemed quite pleased with them, and talked till a late 
hour, and they, on their parts, seemed equally delighted with him. The next 
morning, Tuesday, they took him to see their library, which is very good, and 
their archivio, or rooni of manuscripts ; and finding I was not in a movable 
state, they were se kind as to send five or six of their most curious MSS. to 
me. Among them was the MS. Virgil, which has all the lines filled up (by 
the Lord knows who) which Virgil had left unfinished in his hurry to die. 
\Vc remained there till Saturday, when I descended the mountain in a sedan 
chair, and we renewed our journey. On Friday, the fathers insisted on my 
seeing their wonders in the said sedan ; and I went into the church to hear 
the celebrated organ, which, in the shattered state of my nerves, only served 
to make me cry. The church is really the most beautiful thing ever seen. 
It is entirely incrusted with the finest marbles, and neither stone nor mortar 
appears in any part of it. The pilasters are inlaid in beautiful arabesques of 
verd-antique, porphyry, and serpentino ; and the whole so clean, so new, and 
so polished, that, till I had seen it, I had no idea of the efTect which might bo 
produced by colored marbles. The floor is also equally beautiful and simple. 



LETTERS OF SIR WILUAMiGELL. 343 

and the ceiling gilt and painted in the gayest and moat elegant maimer. Un- 
der the dome is the abbot's throne, and in the chancel the stalls are of carved 
oak, of the most elaborate and astonishing workmanship. When the first 
efiect of the organ had passed off, I found it was really more ]ik» an orchestra 
than any thing I had over heard, and the organist was never tired of playing, 
and oi setting it oft to the best advantage. These pe<^e are really learned 
monks, and we found, out of ten, three or foof who were good scholars, and 
had even got as far as the Hebrew. In former times they had great revenues, 
and more than one hundred residents. They have now 16,000 docats, or 
about jCSOOO per annum. Nothing could exceed their kindness to us, and we 
did our best to repay it, by showing them the sextant, camera lucida, and all 
we possessed, which might be new to them in science, or literature. Quitting 
these good souls, we began our adventures, intending to go to Rome by the 
nearest way. We set out, therefore, with a vetturino for Ceprano, the first 
town in the Roman States. We found, near St. Germano, the remains of an 
amphitheatre ; and we spun along a fine new road, past Aquino to below 
Rooca Secca, for two hours or more, with the greatest success, and there met 
with the River Melfa, almost diy^ but at the bottom of a deep, rocky dell, over 
which a bridge is building — to get over the stream ; it was therefore neces- 
sary to diverge to the right, and in about twenty minutes we regained the 
good road, only to quit it forever on the left, and wander for the rest of the 
day in the wilds and vineyards, without roads or any fixed direction. It ap- 
pears that, if ever five miles of the road be made, there will be no difficulty in 
reaching Ceprano in a direct line. As it is, however, the fine road runs to 
the right to Sara, and we were condemned to hunt our fortune in a large coach 
and four, and at last to make nine or ten miles out of the five. There were 
few absolute dangers, particularly as the weather had been dry, but it began 
to rain in the afternoon, and we passed a sort of devil's bridge between two 
piecipices of slippery earth, which was not quite agreeable. We reached at 
length the little village of Isolatta, and soon after got into the Roman States, 
where we found a road, and a very good new bridge over the Liris, by which 
we entered the little town of Ceprano. Here we lodged at the house of a 
surgeon, to whom our friends of Monte Casino had reconmiended us, and we 
were treated as well as, under a very humble roof, we could expect. In the 
morning of Sunday we set out again, and, passing by a very decent but tire- 
some road, eternally mounting and descending, but in a well-cultivated and 
pretty country, through Frosimme, Ferentino, and Anagni, cities of Latium, 
with great remains of antiquity, we arrived at night at Valmontane, having 
gone forty-four miles with the same horses from Ceprano. As we came late, 
though the inn is very large, it was occupied, and, after a good deal of waiting 
and trouble, we got two corn-chambers, with damp beds to sleep in. Sir Will- 
iam could not sleep, but in the morning we proceeded to the Holy City, twenty- 
five miles, and arrived at two o'clock, having performed our journey through 
the whole of the thieves* country without any sinister accident. Lord Kin- 



344 LBTTBBS OF SIR WILLIAM OXLL. 

naiid we mw on our aiiifal. Mid Bfr. Milk emw the sum dqr. Mr. MilfiD- 
gtnwasalsoheieyUidbgoiieoiitoPuU. 'LeiifMnj'DmAma^cmmtym- 
tndsj, and I earpaot her in mj guden every nmwte. Gnten anifee to-mev- 
nm, end the merfieiTine ie hoorty espeeled : e meet wonderfiil fn k nM uu m 
oftnt^en. Myeon^emonvelednietooefaif toeceov|MiijhiintoABMno^ 
where ha thinke ha ie foing to ride ehont on the moantein, eo I em aent to 
gieee fiw e km daye et woj ofwn ceeino on the QmiineL I ezpeet in leee 
then a week to he e ui i imoned to Albeno, end eo to letmn to Nt plee^ when, ee 
I elreedj hegin to hobUe, I earpeet to be ^pnte weD^-in mj way, end where I 
hope to hear of yon en my aixiTal ; fiv I will not let yon write, ae I em meet 
moeitain in my motione. I tlunk I em the only peiaon who eete ovt ek the 
beginning of a fit of the gout on a party of pleaeiire, but I thfaik it hee eoe- 
eeeded,ee I ehoold not have bam well eny where; endleeneaythat^exaept 
etarting, the pein of the gout eeeme to have veiy nmch worn iteelf ant, or to 
have been oonqnered by Dr. Nelker. Yon will know poor Miae Bethnret'e 
bodywaefbondthadeyweanived. A food eeeme to have remofed the eend- 
benk which had covered it, neer the eeene of the aoddent Having been el- 
wajra nndervrater, Uie fleeh had beeome like epennaoeti, and the hat, veil, dee., 
were perfect ; even the moath was recognizable. I beg my kindeet regarda 
to the earl, coant, Mousey, Mathews, and all your party. W. Gxll." 

** Naplfls (18M). 

" * The doughty Douglass* could not come because he was going away so 
soon, but will wait upon you in St. Jameses Square. 

** I intend to come to-day, and will bring a specimen of the Royal Letters, 
and Mademoiselle Demont'e journal, if you will be at home.* Your shtve, 

"W. G«LL." 

* On the qaeen*s trial in 1820, Louisa Demont was examined. Said she was 
a natirc of Switzerland, of the Pays do Vaud, a Protestant ; engaged with her 
royal highness as first femme de chambre at Lausanne. Her testimony was the 
most damaging to the princess of all the evidence of the crown witnesses. Sep- 
tember 1st, 1820, on her cross-examination, said she had been in England thirteen 
months, and could not speak English. Was discharged by the princess in 1817 
for saying something which was, in fact, untrue. Did not go into other service, 
bccaase in Switzerland she had funds of her own sufficient to live upon. 

A letter of hers, after her departure, was read to her sister, another servant of 
the princess, named Mariette, dated 8th Feb., 1818, in which this passage occurs : 
** You can not think, Mariette, what a noise my little jcunud has made." In this 
letter she says she spoke in her journal in the highest tenns of the princess. The 
whole evidence of this witness showed her to be a very unscrupulous, intriguin^r, 
cunning, clever person, not deficient in education. Lord Brougham said of her, 
'* This woman was the most perfect specimen, the most finished model of the com- 
plete waiting-maid.** — R. R. M. 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM OELL. 345 

" Naples. 
" I ha¥e been thinking of your learning Italian, and think at last I could 
teach you in two houra to read ; and as you are professor of Pausanias al- 
ready, would willingly have a set-to at a little bit of it with you ; there can be 
no doubt that no modem language is equal to it, and when you have it, Latin, 
Spanish, and Portuguese (to read) will be easy. I shall therefore bring Pau- 
sanias on Sunday and hope you will not have company who will prevent my 
lesson. With kindest regards to the count and Laidy Julia, 

"William Gell." 

In a letter of Sir William Gell's, addressed to Lady Blessing- 
ton, 1824, at the Villa Belvidere, the following observations on 
mythological emblems, ornaments, instruments, and vesture are 
inserted, in the hand-writing, I think, of Mr. Craven, probably 
transmitted in compliance with the wishes of Lady Blessington, 
communicated to Gell : 

" Certain wreaths were peculiarly given as rewards to the winners in par- 
ticular games. Wild olive was the recompense in the Olympic games, laurel 
in the Pythian, parsley in the Nemean, and pine twigs in the Isthmic games. 
The diadem or fillet, called Credemnon, was among the gods reserved for Ju- 
piter, Neptune, Apollo, and Bacchus, and among men it was regarded as the 
peculiar mark of royalty. The radiated crown, formed of long sharp spikes, 
emblematic of the sun, and represented as issuing from the head of that deity, 
was first worn only on the tiaras of the Armenian and Parthian kings, and 
afterward became adopted by the Greek sovereigns of Egypt and of Syria. 
A wreath of olive-branches was worn by ordinary men at the birth of a son, 
and a garland of flowers at weddings, on festivals, and at feasts ; in order 
that th#8cent might be more fully enjoyed, the wreath was often worn round 
the neck. As a symbol of power, gods, sovereigns, and heralds carried the 
sceptre, or Juuta, terminated by the representation of some animal or flower 
instead of a point. As the emblem of their mission, Mercury and all messen- 
gers bore the caduceus twined round the serpent. 

** The car of each Grecian deity was drawn by some peculiar kind of animal 
or bird : that of Juno by peacocks, of Apollo by griffins, of Diana by stags, of 
Venus by swans or turtle-doves, of Mercury by rams, of Minerva by owls, of 
Cybele by lions, of Bacchus by panthers, of Neptune by sea-horses. The Gor- 
gon^s head, with its round chaps, wide mouth, and tongue drawn out, emble- 
matic of the full moon, was regarded as an amulet against incantations and 
spells, and is for that reason found not only on the formidable egis of Jupiter 
and of Minerva, as well as on cinerary urns and in tombs, but on Grecian 
shields and breast-plates, at the pole-ends of chariots, and in the most conspic- 
uous parts of every other instrument of defense or protection to the living or 
the dead. The prows of Greek galleys or ships of war were ornamented with 

P2 



346 irnmmm^ormmwnAAJkMrOVLu 

tlM dbMwaM, fnqneiitlj ibniied like tbB liead 

thi poop with tiw lyJitrtriMW, Aipaii Hto a ■«»> ef hiwij wrtli Two laige 
«9M wwB gmMtnXtf vepnooBledBMur Oie praw» aa if to mhi 4h» waael liko 
aMk» to MO ito.waj tlueogk OiewwiM. I» tdi^ow pneaHiMM of tU 
Gnokfl, nub won UMd as wdl as in tlMiff thwOMi, tad ti orfOT to 1 
ae&t<lieafttoiidaiitaortliBgodiPtewaa wonbi^od. TlMw,iftl 
pvoeeedeu (the ondhoa aofejeeta of aacMnl baaiaM aJ i anl patolag^ Hm 
finma, aatyra, and oAer monaUtia baiofi aia odhf finaain inditidaak aaak- 
ad; aiidininitiatM)iiaaDdmjrteriaa,tliBwiiigadgaiiiiaieint]i«aaBiapiadi^ 
ament ; and the dacqiCkm moat havo bean the greater, aa the ancient maika 
weie made to eover the whole head. Of thaae madka, wUeh, together with 
di elae that bdoBged to Oie Ihaatra, weaa eeMeeiatod to Baodme, thete waa 
an infinito Tariety. Sane wp eea anl a d abiiiaU ftaiingB or chaiacteia. anch 
aa joj, grie( hmi^ter, digwty, vn^^ritj, naiaked hi the eoaBie, tiagie, and 
aatjrkn)uuiw>othcnollmdpoiiiaitaofiealindindaala,|mi^^ The 

thyzana, ao fieqaentlj introdoead, waa only a apear, of whidi the point waa 
atocfc in a pine oone, or woond roond with rrj learea. Afterward, to render 
the blowa gifan with It during d mnkennea a h a iMlea a, it waa made of the reed 
called /mOa. 

"Of muaied inatnmients, the phomunXf or large Ijre, waa dadicatad to 
ApoUo, and waa played upon with an ivory inatnmient called pUdmm. It 
waa uaually faatened to a belt hung acroaa the aboulder, and eometimfa ana- 
pendedfirom the wriat of the left hand, while played upon with the right. The 
ciikttra, or emaller lyre, waa dedicated to Mereuiy, and when the body waa 
formed of tortoiae-ahell, and the anna compoaed of a goat'a home, it waa call- 
ed cAe/y#. Thia waa played upon by the fingera. The iamklet waa a much 
longer inatramant, and emitted a graver aoond. The trigtmiMm, or triangle, 
an inatrument borrowed by the Greeka from Eaatem nationa, much reaem- 
bledtheharp. Beaidea theaeinatrumento with chofda, the Greeka hillMveral 
wind inatrumenta, principally the double fluto and the ayn'wr, or Pan'a flnto. 
To theae may be added a certain inatrument for producing noiae, the <yaipaium, 
or tambourine, chiefly used in the featival of Baochua and of Cybele : the crem- 
hala, or cymbals, formed of metal cupa, and the erotaU, ot caataneta, formed 
of wood, shaped like shells. 

** In attire, the cklamyM^ a short cloak, was a garment of geda and heroca, 
fiurtened over the aboulder or upon the chest. Such is the mantle of the ApoHo 
Bdridere, and many of the statues of Mercury. Wreathe of oak leavea were 
oensecrated to Jupiter, laurel leaves to Apollo, ivy and vine to Baodina, pop- 
lar to Herculea, wheat ears to Ceres, gold or myrtle to Venna, fir twiga to the 
fiuma and aylvana, and reeds to the river gods. 

** The peplum was a sort of mantle worn by the Graeka; the tmie a looee 
robe. Venua ia the only one of the goddeaaea that ia raptwiintod wilhoni a 
peplum, and Diana is generally repreaented with here ftuMi aad i 
o<ver the ahonlden and roond the waiat, fonning a giNtor iMi4M-4 



LETTERS OF SIR WILUAM GE^LL. 347 

ing down in front. The peplum had small metal points attached to its cor- 
ners, in order to make them hang more straight and even." 

" Room, 23d Msrcb, 1825. 
*' I shall never have the pleasure of * whipping the family all round most 
severely* again, if it be true that poor old Parr is really dead, as I see it an- 
nouncc»d in the newspapers. I am always for those living longest who con- 
trive to be content with the world, and endeavor to make the best of it ; and 
he was really one of those. I conclude he was by no means y^fing, but it is 
a pity that two such scholars as he and Person should have departed without 
having left something of more consequence behind them to perpetuate their 
fame. I continued to mend in my hobbling as I approached the Holy City, 
and for some days after my arrival ; but, as fate would have it, all my friends 
lived up one hundred and fifty stairs, and I ruined myself by my premature 
activity so effectually, that, though without pain, I have been forced to be car- 
ried by two people, one of whom is the great Pasquale, till three days ago. 
It would be natural that I should have therefore seen very few persons, but 
the good Lady Manvers, who protects me most especially, is so popular, that, 
seated in her wheeling chair, I have seen almost all the good company at Rome, 
Lady Bute excepted, who threatens me with a visit in my garden to-day, as 
she does not attempt stairs. I have no doubt Dr. Neiker could cure her of 
that also. We have Sir George Talbot, who gives great and good dinners as 
I am told, for I was not well enough to go when invited. We have Lady 
Davy, who lives in the right horn of the moon, in the Valdombrino palace, up 
five hundred steps, who gives agreeable little dinners neither great nor good. 
We have Anna Maria Starke, who gives parties and misereres, if you are fond 
of music ; Lady Qeorge Seymour, who has a very pretty daughter, and a very 
nice girl ; Mr. Rose, the man of Greek inscriptions ; a rich Mr. Ferguson, 
with one or two others, last firom Persepolis and Bogdat ; a Baron Uxscull 
or OxscuU, from Finland, last from Egypt and Syria, with a collection of draw- 
ings ; William Burrell, vrith a new waistcoat and neck-handkerchief of real 
Cashmere (or do you spell it Cashemire) shawl for every day in the year, and 
a gold toilet ; Mr. Dodwell, who has just cut open a mummy in public, and 
found it to be a lady of fashion three thousand years old, and his pretty wife, 
who has a party every Sunday, and I dine with them to remain at it ; Mrs. 
Singleton, nee Upton, and Miss Upton, uiunarried ; Mr. and Mrs. Lucas, very 
nice people, from Ireland ; Dr. and Mrs. and Miss Hall, the Dean of Durham, 
from Naples, who seem good people, and a variety of others, fathers and moth- 
ers unknown. A little while ago, every body was engaged in companies, like 
Ang]»-Mexiean nuners, to make excavations in secret ; as nobody got any 
good by these speculations, the taste seems at present all gone into the mise- 
rere line, and there really are arrived many pilgrims, and even prelates, who 
do penance, moeh as I think I could do it myself, by arriving here in a coach- 
and-four, and under their oiMoth dross and cockle-shells arc clothed in real 



348 LBmOM OF SIR WILLIAM OBLL. 

doth of gold and fiMliaan. I bdwro tU Diika of Lnoea b alao a pUfiim, 
aii4 in ■Lot, from iHwt I imdeiirtaiid, tU plofc begM 
eit ofRometobo pec^ML I can not hdp tfainknig ilwoaU onlflrtaiii you 
mil esreeedingljr to mako a tap for « weak, paztacnlaily aa holj yean do not 
ooeor evoy day of oiie*a lifi^ and wo afaall wmd with an iHrniriaafinn and fiie- 
woika of the moat brilUant kmd. 

** I wiah I coold aay I would h>dge,ciiotho, and feed yon if yon wooMoome ; 
but fer amnaement, the people, the qnaiBtnaea ofoveiy thing, andthaairof 
ganerd decadenoe, aie, after the biMtle of Napba, thinga to ponder 1lpol^ and 
could not fell to Btnka yoa at the time, and to prove a aooieeofzeootteetiooa 
and leilectiopa aftwwaid, not to mention the qicar thingayon would pick up 
fer the ad t eolui e a in your new romanee. I wiah yon would engage me in 
thatto4)o-ceIebntedwoik. Ha¥oyoazeadtha*TkavekKa,'abookwithaome 
aoch name, with aneedotee of all the robbeiiea, real or anppoee d, in the way 
between Rome and N^deel Have yon got 'the Inheiitanee,' by the author 
of<Mazriage1' It ia ezeellent, and TOiy intereating. Think of poor Colonel 

S hanging himaelf, and the ahocking aflbir of Lord ShaftedHuy'a aon at 

Eton. The world ia gone crai^. Lady Mary Beerhoxat I aee often, and ahe 
will come to Naples in May. She wants to send her aon to achool in En- 
gland. Oar spring is very backward, but nevextheless I find my garden, which 
is fiill of evergreens, in considerable beaaty. When the weather is wamier 
I shall begin my geographic excursions with Lady Mary and Messrs. Graham 
and Dodwell. We paipose going up Mount Soracte among other things, and 
to hire all the diligence, and go in it to Civita Vecchia, and thence to Cometo 
or Tarquinium. You will most likely think us all very crazy, but as Lady 
Charlotte Campbell aaid, if it be not right, it is at least veiy agreeable. Lord 
Kinnaird is by no means well, and it is supposed he most quit Rome. I hope 
Mesdames Lucrezia and Letizia continue to be the omamenta of their profes- 
sion, and to draw the great coach with success. I beg to be moat kindly re- 
membered to my lord and ^Lady Julia.* Pray tell the count his particular 
friend Dr. Wilson has sent Lady Mary also some oranges, so he must not 
think the protection oxdusive. I don*t hear whether he called her * Mary* in 
his letter, or added her title. I kiss your hands. William Gell.** 

" Drummond has given his word of honor to close his gates to the abbot,* 
and told Craven.and Scarfs to announce it to the worid. Ci^>tain Scarfs was 
a witness, and Craven says, quite eloquent, and without compliments. 

** There does not appear to be any sympathy for the abbot at present any 

where. Reilly seems a sort of helper, and S-- in the worst scnpe as to 

the figure he makes, for he has unsaid and haa to reunaay. Moat truly and 
sincerely, - W. Qbll.*' 

* The well-known Abbe Csmphell.— R. R. M. 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM OELL. 349 

'* Naples. 

** I could not answer jour lait kind letter, as I waa wofuUy beset by bank- 
er's business at the moment, but I intended to have sent a letter this morning, 
when your man arrived. I must come to-morrow, as I don't like to refuse 
Craven at this moment, just after the tidings of Lord Craven's death. I will 
come on Wednesday to dinner, and at seven, if I do not hear that your hour 
is changed, if you can see me, and think then, with assistance, I shall be able 
to do without my chair, as to-day I can stand alone. I am quite well, but 
with such legs (in their best state), I am long in recovering the little use of 
them which remains. 

** A nasty man, Mr. R : he has gone and bought a house in Piccadilly, 

on which I had £4000, or rather an annuity of £400 a year, which has thrown 
my money, or rather the interest of it, into a sad state. 

*' With kind regards to the Lady Julia and the count, 

" William Gell." 

"Naples. 
" How do you do after your star-gazing 1 and have you got your treasures 
safe, and has the count been angry at me for slipping them into his portfolio 1 
for I am anxious to know all these circumstances. After waiting some time, 
I recollected that Lord Blessington said you were to wait for the moon, and 
that I might have remained many centuries listening for the wheels of your 
chariot ; so I departed, hoping that I should meet you somewhere on the road 
to the studio, where you turned off to the observatory. I doubled up my note 
as curiously as I could, that no one might dare to open it, and learn where I 
had placed the letters, and I hope I succeeded. 

" VSBSBS BY PAYNE KNIOHt's 0H08T TO MB. SOTHBBY I 

" Dear Botherby, let mo alone, 

For as aaaes still scratch one another. 
Every mortal that hears of your moan 

Will imagine that 1 was a brother. 
Bad verses I wrote, but no cant ; 

Was a scholar and wit, as you know it ; 
While, in spite of pretension and rant, 

You're a qnack and a prig, bat no poet. 

«* Most truly yours, W. Gbll." 

•'Naples. 
" It is so many centuries since I heard of you from yourself, that I have 
thought it better to vmte than to go on longer in darkness. I have heard, 
however, that poor Miss Faustus* is going on well, from Dr. Doratt ; pray let 
me hear how she is to-day. It is so cold for the last three days that I think 
of giving up the ghost myself, and Sir William Drummond is not yet quite 

♦ One of the numerous appellations Sir William was in the habit of giving his 
fair friend Miss Power.— R. R. M. 



aso iMif>oR*awiijii4afci 



I fiMur joQ wUl ]»m also miflbnd fiom tlw wnitary which, in y o^ 
t«p, MMt hw> h iga « <w ■■«» thun }mn. N«««thdM, I 



^^^^ #411 ft^BalvM iV ^MMt- I AK^^^A £hM^^ ftlk^^^HM^ flV^^^^^ ^^^A l^ia -. — ^ ■ w ■ il 

with diakgJtj ftan hfci cwMtJUfKi, tht .attiw t lUim, Jir l^y w yiito 
llijhMdiputn8,nd«xpielaoiiifli9good|iBnifiCi.. l4i47l>mimond 
I with « miriM biU» nd Mn. 0M»ilMn vitik aMlbH^ ^ th« en^ 
flfthimoakh. IL Do 8«i»gjmJ^h«Ulhw«vtDiiH[»aaiGonAJ«^^ 
ii j— t M fcl M WW •aw.Ui0 l t fiitf»ftmi <if hw hhw d, a n mrfin f t» Jka» Calil- 
w«U, girea anothar in a few dayi. I diall eeitainly he iJtfpil yrifti off a^r 
bfi. What da joa think oC mgr dinaNT ^v>>t^ ^ aNhbiabop jailai^ay, al 
what ha calb thM% and not eadinff tiU aaffa% which bm^ vm. al n^ ap- 
pear like twelYol He.had two new dandjcoantafrvoiSwediiv one of which 
wae a Connl HamiUfon* le dauMTt apd I look the Angoll* with me to ehow 
hjapttciona aralptmee. The arehbiahop aaya yoa are all moat crael people 
to eome like an appaiitiont and then, after awearing eternal friendihip, to 
cooM no more ; however, he haa tamed off the Beaumont giria, and aayi he 
wiMdeiwer himaelf nptoyoii,bodjaiidaoiil,if yoaaie inclined to xetam to 
jiia embiacefl and charitieB. In the middle of dinner the Angell pot down hie 
hand by a r cide nt , which was immediately aeiaed and aciatched by the great 
black cat * Othello,* who liea watching lor such opportunitka. He onLy 
dimbed upon my knee once by eetting hie claw« into my pantaloons. 

'« I fear we shall end by felling into the arms of Mr. aiid Mrs. Montetiore, 
Mr. Rothschild*s brother and sister-in-law, for our Egyptian Toyage. They 
are now waiting at Rome, and mean to get a ship from England ia Septem- 
ber. 

** Pray let me hear how you all do ; and with best regards to the earl, the 
count, and all the party, AVilliax Gell.*' 

"Naples, August Cth. 
" I really don't think it would bo fair to attack you a third time by tho post, 
having already, as you ordered, first addressed you at Turin, and then at 
Geneva, particularly as, before this arrives at Florence, you will probably bo 
in Ireland. First, his lordship was very kind and very gracious about the 
map, which I wrote him word I accepted with pleasure, and his name, as the 
Meccnas, is already inscribed in the title ; and I wrote by the same post to 
put off Lady Ruthven, who was likely to have been the map's protectress. 
Moreover, I wrote to his lordship again to say that, as he told me, I had, 
through Torionia, made a sort of draft on Messrs. Ransom at a long date-r-I 
think three months — as the map was almost finished. I have put down in the 
title at once that his mnnificence wae the cause of the publication, tor it 
eeems better to write the real truth. So it begins, 'Mnnificentia Ezc. Viri 
Gaielua Johannes Comitis Blessington,* and set forth properly in capitals. 
* Mr. Angell was an eminent English architect. — R; R. M. 



LXTTBRfr OF SIR WILLIAM GSLL. 3^1 

Nobody can be offim d ed at tbs pii£^ and hia lotdihip'a modnity will nai^ and 
can not be alarmed. I have aiao twice written to aay my d — d £1000, 
whieh I hare in London, ianet yet cleared ftam ceztain honaea on which it 
la aecuxed ; and ainee then I have fmm Graven a letter, to aay the time ia by 
no meana fixed when it will be forthcominf ^ 

'* Ye goda, how hot it ia ! Mf. Lambton*a veaael ia here, and the aailots 
wanted te take the Neapotilan frigate, where it waa lauaehed the other day, 
because the Engttah flag waa p}eoed the loweat, exoeyt the Aigenne. There 
is spirit for you ! W. G." 

•* Napiea, 15th Apnl, 1810. 

* ' If waa very ailly of me not to ask one of y out to aend me one line ftwn Floi^ 
ence, aa I have been thiiddng ever ainee of the diapleaaure I should receive 
fifom losing a letter to you. However, I wiU pvoceed on the supposition that 
you are really gone on to Venice, unaeduced by the wiles of Messrs. Strang- 
vrays and Go. to detain you at Florence. Oh, what pena and paper one meets 
with in DodwelFs house ! but I have mended it, for there I am waiting for 
dinner at four o'clock on the I5th day of April, 1836. 

" You left us in great tribulation at your departure, and the next day it 
seemed aa if you had been gone a week, ao heavify did the time paaa. I im- 
mediately fell to map-making with great vigor, and it ia poeitively engraving 
on a great plate of copper weighing thirty-six pounds, and coating the Loid 
knows what. The said plate arrived when I waa out, and Squintibus, te 
whom I had mentioned my wish to put a metal plate behind the fiie, mistook 
it for that, and was on the point of sacrificing my new copper to that purpoae. 
I made the tour proposed with Measrs. Dodwell and Nibby, and the Gonte di 
Monte Vecehio, last Monday ; but, having wisely selected the only rainy day 
ever seen, we did nothing but fence off the bad weather with und>rellaa, and 
after getting up at five to set out at seven, we. dined at twelve in a cottage, 
at a place called Buccea, twelve miles fieom Rome, and returned without being 
much the wiser for our pains. 

" On Tuesday next we set out for Antium — that is, Dodwell, Mills, and I, in 
two carriages ; as Milla goes on a plant expedition only, and we go to flatter 
ourselves in vain, we shall find Gorrioli with Gaius Marcius and John Kem- 
ble on the wall. Sir William Dry arrived the day before yeaterday, having de- 
luded Lady D to stay a fortnight longer in Ni4ples. I have noteeen him 

yet, but go to-night at eight, after dining at Dodwell's. He has brought Dr. 
Watson to take care of him, for he ia by no means rights having a hind leg 
out of order ; but he is getting well. They don*t know how long they stay, 
or whither they are bound, except that diey think Paris will be somewhere in 
their journey. I have a letter to-day firom Ghampollion, who has found treas- 
ures at Leghorn, in Salt's collection, which the French govemm^it have 
sent him to examine and pack up. He haa found, among other thinga, the 
great Queen of Egypt, NHoerle— 4iot that of Babylon — and is very ingenioas 



352 LSTTBIB OF 8IR WUJJAM OKLL. 



MM. Mnatlio* or TJwtwUhiiM , I fiiffBt whidi, wtif tlw name Nito- 
eriuBMiit Um vietotiiMM hUamm; m> ChnDpoUmi'b qaata btgiM with the 
rigM €f N«itl^ tlw goddflM iMWMif to IfiMm, and of Um 
Mton after ^eit Of Neith ha miikM the woid netoiy m Ooplw, of wl^ 
Ktfa etmy wmd (lika a gooaa, yon will mfy and quita wonSi^ the knowl- 
adfo imited with tho taknt ha poenHeiL Ha Mja he will eome hare on the 
Uth of lli7, and oMrtaodj wm be a gnat aeqouitiQn to ma-- 



** IGu Power haa long ago left the room, I ooDdoda; hot, aa aha doea not 
jet know CfaampoUion, ahe can only call him a boie. Moore ia really gone 
toNaplaa, and ao ia ovaiy hody I erar haaid o( axoapt the lioantioaa people 
whogolij a ▼ettttiino to Viannato meet'niy lawftiL' My naa^ fiiand haa 
ended by decUring that ha can not giva the £400 ha pnaniaad me two yeara 
ago, and I have yet £1600 of my capital which my fiianda hava not diapoaed 
of at Naplea, and which giiareth the finanrial boaa of my oawihellmn fall aore. 

" I waa aent for liy Princeaa Gerac^ aa I qnittad your honaa, and ahe told 

me waa zeatcoed to Nelly ; hut I fear ' not no good won*t come of iL' 

The Sagan woman waa moat uncommonly ciTil to Nelly, and laat Saturday 
set out for Vienna with the Potocka girl. I «aw for a moment the maigra- 
▼ine*s memoin at Torionia*B. In the middle of them is a long eaaay on Etrus- 
can art, written by the editor, Mr. Brett, out of Winkleman, a book I have oft- 
en seen in lus hands. The said lady has ordered G never to invite Lut- 

trell to dinner again, because he never spoke to her. Mills says he is glad 
the receipt is at last discovered. Please to tell Miss Power that the Mr. £>e- 
metri, her friend, I have at last found out to be a person whom I never saw 
but once in my life for a moment, and not a bit a certain Athenian that I re- 
ally did know. Mrs. Dodwell has agreed to take a box at the Theatre de Bu- 
ratini, or Theatre of Puppets, next Saturday. This has long been a fashion- 
able amusement at Rome ; but they have now got up, with splendid scenery 
and dresses, Iphigenie in Tauris, and other heroic pieces, whidi are said to be 
very entertaining, particularly when the machinery goea wrong, and the he- 
roes, instead of striking a blow with their swords, thrust them through the 
train of their own robes. This operation is so long deferred on account of 
their journey to Antium, about which you have heard so much, and prob- 
ably care so little. This letter is concluded the 16th of April, when I have 
had a long tea-party with Sir William Drummond, and very long discussions 
on divers points of history, and particularly that of Rome, by Niebuhr, the 
ez-Pruasian minister here, which if you ever meet with in French, pray get 
it, as it is very curious. Yon have probably been overtaken by * Puss in 
Boots* at Florence; at all events, last Friday he determined to set ofi^ but I 
think my letter may overtake liim yet, as he goes by a vetturino. The world 
is grown very wide— I mean, there is quite room enough for those remaining 
in Rome — and to-day I have seen no one but Dr. Watson. Nibby. Mr. Petre. 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM GELL. 353 

and Mr. Sjkes, the first boand for Naples, and the latter for England, where 
Paaaey will wend for the sake of baying horses. 

« I have now sent you a very long and vezy ugly letter ; but Lady West- 
moreland says little queer letters are the only ones which arrive safe. I have 
neither announced myself in France or Portugal yet, in the persons of their 
embassadors, not having had time, or perhaps the courage which sound legs 
inspire ; but I vrill do so next week, that I may not be in that dinnerless con- 
dition described by Hare at Florence, which, in the present dearth of compa- 
ny, seems not impossible. By thb time Miss Power may be returned, hoping 
my dull letter may be finished ; but no, you have yet the loves of the Con- 
tessina Dodwell, who says you are all sympathetic— sympatica ; of Mills, who 
loves you tenderly ; and Dodwell, who eagerly asks every day for information 
I can not give him. Pray let me hear firom you ere long, not a letter, but a 
line to say how you all are, and whither bound. Dr. Robeitson came a day 
or two after you went, and seemed sorry not to have caught you. I salute 
you all with a kiss a little warmer than Dr. Parr's holy kiss on the stairs. 
" Your ladyship's slave, W. Gbll." 

" Rome, June 7, 1887. 
*< I am gone to bed at nine, having a dozen gouts and as many agues, be- 
sides swelled glands, and eveiy other species of agreeable sensation. It rained 
yesterday furiously, on account of which Lady Westmoreland gave a fete in 
a villa at Rome. Now I had no idea that Lord B was with the rest of 
the family, imagining that he had departed some fortnight ago for the purpose 
of appearing in Parliament ; and, on this supposition, I ventured to ask the 
count whether the mention of the map would be an imprudence or not. His 
lordship has solved my doubts in a very agreeable manner ; so I shall, accord- 
ing to his order, consider him as the Mecenas of my map, and he must figure 
away with arms, coronet, and supporters, with a sort, I think, of Latin dedi- 
cation in one comer, according to the custom of the modem Modes and Per- 
sians, which altereth not. Depend upon it I will contrive the thing in a few 
words, saying the troth, that his lordship is the cause of its appearance, by 
his munificent protection of the engraving. What I wish him to do is to tell 
the Ransoms to answer my drafts for a sum not exceeding 400 dollars (and 
I hope not 300), which was the way settled with Lord Kinnaird by his own 
desire ; and let me beg of him not to think of dying as he did, for it puts me 
in a fright, now the map is nearly engraved, quite indescribable. The next 
thing is the business of the j£lOOO. Last year I was in high quest of a per- 
son to whom I might lend on annuity that or somewhat a larger sum ; but it 
was disposed of to a certain Signore Pietro, lord of the manor of Porto, and, 
after Torlonia, the greatest proprietor here, who pays one twelve per cent, for 
the same ; and £500 more I lent to a friend on the same terms, that is, when 
I die, adieu to my rent. Now I have another j£l000 in London, settled on 
houses for three lives at ten per cent., but I can leave that in my will ; more- 




■ffiar— that is, ha owM ma 



ijliiippiliililti 




^«aati4»baya^ia^MiiJmH|iii ai*»#«rfl 
jta»ta< 
^^AKhafaapia^llNa fi^ i 
»aid.^MrT 

|tD. Awinl 0a;aiiaty 
; I hMo^ th a tw ii i 4>f Ib tioir a dHB i g aaAiaiHugb mmfkimmamk nd pfa^i^ 

affiii4iiytitf»t**»i*^>^*^«°<^^'*^<W««*' UtiBK^aiMlHiim. 
nMigwrina, goea to Naplaa to«mRO«^ aad liid^I^^ 
lUodaidi, in afrita of Sk Wll]iall^ who wiota to her not to eoDia baeaiiM 
BO dnll. The laat of the Neapolitan world are gone to Gastelamare. 

'* Roeca Romano ia, I belksTe, conatant, but haa made up matteia with 

. He live* a good deal in tha country. Oaaerano ia atiil at FthaamK 

Mfa. Dodwell not quite ao handaome, but more Mrere ; and hamg haariof 
^Hiat "ti&at book contained agamat her, vowed ahe would never again enter an 
Bngiiah house. She and her huaband, who haa the gout in hia toe, daaize 
kind rememfafaneea to all your &mify, and they aay they love, theook merely 
through fear. Tou will be gone when' Jilills arrives, though, he haatened hia 
journey on puipoae. Lord B ahould come haie- aa embassador, not to 

FtMDsnee, which I believe u infra dig. for you, though not to an eldaal son. 

**The Pope will now be content to receive him aa deputed to a temporal 
monarch, without talking of his divinity. Manage that, and you ahaU be my 
MagnuB ApoUo. 

** Dr. Goodall, the Provost of Eton, is iiere, and we are anek friends that 
he sends me Latin verBes on myself, which I ahall put I don- 1 know where to 
be seen, they are so flattering. When you aee the Gait* do ask him what he 
can do about hooka, and when yoo. have time let ma know. W. Gau,/' 

"Some, 9Mi Jane. 
** Most Illdstbiovs, — ^I wrote according to your oidsia to Turin, but as it 
is by no meana impossible that by delaying your jouneyi or changing your 
route, you may forget that my letter exists at Turin for you, ao I ahall re- 
capitulate the marrow and pith of the same. First, I have cauaed his excel- 
lency's name tobeinacribedonthe.mapinawaythatcanno|offsndhianiod- 
eety, being only the ajmpla troth in daasioal 1«ngnHge» which mna awnehow 
thua: 



LBTTERS OF SIR WILLIAM OBLL. 355 

MUNIPICENTIA EXC. VIRL 

Oomitis Blesnngton, 
Hoe TentameA Greogimphicum^ 
Exlubens 
I^kthma Yetam £t Hodiemum, &c., &c., te. 
RooMB Kid. Sezti Anno. MDCcozzTn., 
■bowing thai bis lordsbip's munificence ie tbe cause of tbe ptodiietion of tbe 
map. Please to tell Messrs. Ransom about it as soon as you can, so tbat 
wben I diaw tbroogb Torlonia, it may be aU rigbt. Now for tbe second 
proposition about tbe £1000 and tbo annuity. I bare no money at tbis mo- 
ment not disposed of, but I expect j£1000 to be paid me by a certain Mr. Bax^ 
ter, settled on bouses in Carmartben Street WbencTor it comes, I will fire 
you a line ; but I am not at all certain wben that may be, yet I sboukl say 
soon. Most truly and affectionately yours, W. Gbll.'* 

**Itoiiie,Jiui6«th, im. 

** Any decent person — I mean, ai^ person with deeent legs— would bave got 
up and got a good sbeet of x>aper, instead of writing to you on two leaTCs of 
a book of MS. sermons. But I bave given my people so mucb trouble in set- 
ting out tbe break&st for two German professors, wbo bave just brougbt me 
a diploma, creating me member of tbe Academy of Thuringia, tbat I don't 
wisb to call tbem again. 

" Wbere tbe deuce is 'niuiingia ! say you. Wby, I baldly know myself 
except tbat in tb* diploma I see it is in Saxony, and, if literally translated, it 
would seem tbe employment of tbe society sboukl be digging up tbe graves 
of tbeir ancestors, to see wbat sort of fellows tbey were. I beg you would 
bave and feel a proper respect, in common witb * my lawliil,' for my new and 
budding bonors. Moieover, the Prussian Academy has sent to say tbey thank 
me for my book on Walls, and will take care it shall be published with due 
care and honor. 

** Now wbat have you all been doing in tbe mean time ? I have been twice 
or thrice ill, and between tbe acts to tbe Tor kmias, at Castell Gandolfo, and 
tbe Gomptons at Frescati. 

" I bave got by Gavaliere Bunsen, tbe Prussian minister, just returned (and 
worth all tbe rest put together), tbe Hare and the ThirlwaU's translation of 
Niebubr's History of Rome. There is a good deal of InfiMrmatioa in the work, 
and several jokes and vulgarities not proper for history ; but that is tbe au- 
thor's fault ; the translators seem to bave been two Frenchmen. What think 
you of this 1 * It were a great thing if I might be able to scatter, for those 
who read me, the cloud tbat lies on this most excellent portion of ancient sto- 
ry, and to spread a clear light over it.' Pray set * my lawful' to turn it into 
English, with her well-known grammatical accuracy. One can make out 
what it means, but scatter instead of disperse is not pretty, and Julius Hirsu- 
tus* can never have revised lue work. 

♦ Mr. Julius Hare.— R. R. M. 



356 LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM OELL. 

** Poor Mn. B has lost her son, which I fear will go nigh to lose her, 

poor soul ! She got the news before she reached England, where or whither 
she was going post haste. Lady Mary is going on the 10th to Naples, over 
the mountains— of China ; so that Dodwell and I shall have the town to our- 
selves, as well as the Villa Borghese. But Bess Caldwell, by the way, who 
has been to see an old place which she calls by a name which she mistakes 
for castellated, is to replace all deserters. Craven writes that he leaves En- 
gland soon. 

" I have a letter from Black Fox, at Naples, to-day ; he has been hunting 
antiquities in Samnium with great success. I wish, when you get to Paris, 
you would desire the count to send for Champollion, in my name, to dine with 
you. He may say, by way of introduction, that I have charged him to an- 
nounce that I have received from Cairo for him Burton's * Excerpta Hiero- 
glyphica,' which I will send by the first opportunity. He is a great friend of 
mine, certainly one of the most marked men of the time, and agreeable in 
many ways, and lively in society, and I know they will be mutually glad to 
have seen each other. I never know whether my letters reach you. Cover 
the people with affectionate kisses for me, not forgetting my dear tormentor, 
who I am sure will find no one to make such silly faces, say such foolish 
things, or sing without knowing the words or having a voice, so readily as 
their slave in the Negroni, W. G. 

'* P.S. — I have found a i^reat resource in Mr. Manning, the Chinese schol- 
ar, since you went ; he knows every thing by sheer study. Imagine that he 
does not know a note on any instrument, but has studied music out of a book 
— Chambers' Dictionary. I make him sing from the notes backward and for- 
ward, base and treble, at sight. I tried him in a difficult canzon, and he sung 
it all right the first time, singing la la instead of words, which he had never 
tried — a most curious instance of application ; but he must have a good ear. 
The Barings at Florence have brought him for the summer. I hope with him 
I shall have concluded the Chinese museum for Naples. Since you went also. 
I have entirely painted my room, and you will think me crazy when I tell you 
that people really come to see it — I mean, people I don't know. I have done 
it in all the bright staring colors I could get, a sort of thing between Etrus- 
can and Pompeii ; and the son of the Duca di Sermoneta, much the most 
clever and agreeable person in Rome, but whom I never got an opportunity o! 
introducing at Blessington Castle, has had the patience, kindness, and abili- 
ty to come and stand on the steps of a ladder till he had finished, with much 
spirit, a frieze of one hundred men, women, horses, and chariots round the 
apartment. 

" I beg to say few people possess rooms adorned by the hands of a duke, de- 
scended from the Lombanl conquerors of Italy, or with an estate ten miles 
long by fifteen, producing twopence a year. • Adieu, my duck,' says the 
Moore ; love to you all. 

*' Once more, ever yours, W. G." 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM GELL. 357 

The following letter, signed E., inclosed in a letter of Sir W. 
Gell to Lady Blessington, is thus addressed : 

"from the best berkely hundred cheesemaker. 

" Naples, 4th April. 
" La d»a Con 8OLATBICE, — Your poetry w the best I hare ever seen, and 
made ub all laugh, while I admired the style. I am much better than I was, 
but not quite well, nor shall I be till these barbarous March winds are over, and 
I have taken some baths. Keppel has a bad cold. It is quite a disagreeable 
thing to have you at Rome while I am here. I jieard last night at the Opera 
that Baily goes off for Rome to-morrow, and so I shall send this. I hope you 
have better health than we have, and better pens ; this is the sixth new one 
I try to write with. Yours most affectionately, E."* 

« Naples, July 5th (1828). 

" I am resolved to write to you, though my hand refuse its office, and will 
probably be shared by its less practiced fellow before I have filled my sheet. 
I have been attacked with an abominable rheumatism, beginning in the shoul- 
der, and, having well established itself in the neck, so as to produce the most 
excruciating pains, sending a colony to establish itself in the elbow, vnrist, and 
hand in the shape of the gout, that I have passed an entire week in purga- 
tory, whence I am now only beginning to escape, with the loss of the little 
remaining hair, known by its * couleur mouchicidef^ as the count used to say 
of it. Let ' my lawful,' therefore, prepare her spirits for the reception of her 
bald admirer, and no longer expect those beautiful ringlets which Lord Bless- 
ington so well remembers. Bless me ! I have given you a whole page of my 
own misfortunes, when I only intended to say I have been and still am ill, but 
in the mean time have taken the measures for removing the remains of my 
person to the Holy City, to partake of the comer of the heterodox at the pyr- 
amid of Caius Cestius. 

" Sol have stolen from myself, therefore, the necessary money for the jour- 
ney, and in wishing to lend my house to a most excellent person and friend of 
mine. Miss Whyte, in my absence, have found a tenant who insists upon pay- 
ing rent whether I will or not, and with whom I can leave my goods and 
chattels all at sixes and sevens, just as they are, without any trouble or prep- 
aration. The gentleman Lord Blessington calls the training groom has the 
politeness to be just as ill, or rather worse than I am, all the time ; so that, 
having been forced to give up going out, we are obliged to dine at home, much 
assisted by the frequent appearance of Fox, who, having found out that the 
groom knows a trick or two besides training, has long courted his society. 

'* I am sometimes astonished by the wonderful knowledge of my companion 

♦ It is possible this letter, signed E., in the hand-writing of a very aged person, 
is the production of the Margravine of Anspach, whose Christian name was Eliz- 
abeth.— R. R. M. 



896 LSmM OP 91B WILLIAM= 

on allpolitiod iiijacti, tmi^ net dt/ptad «miy tfini j«ifnit,frfaieii h— 
not been ezeicieed that way, but on that of Fox, who k in evwjr lespeet o»- 
peblo. I fear I ahall loee my said Iriend at Roma, and than Lord Bleaaing- 
ton wiU not ha;fo tho traahU of beiuf chil, thongh, if yon conti— o to repeat 
the kkid thii^tho groom haa aaid of Loid B------, that may pethapa efiect a 

change. The news hero ia, that the Holy City ia ao Aill «f frctkraa and fiac- 
tiona John and Ifaiy Balk, that tka wimle haidia afdit into ter or fire aeo- 
tkno, and oner paityahjvas the atfaar. 11» aaiwMl complaint is, howoYei^ 
that there an two hflosM so rnneh moi» pisoaaat than tfaa vast, that the gan- 
tlsmsn of taate and iatsMect won't go to the cthcm, wfcidi aic compamtitriy 
dsBSitsd, and ttcca hsnsss ale yonia and Ladjy Maiy%.* Hera you have the 
smn and snbstanes of ail the kttcBa ficm Rome to fiisndc at Napiea, and pcv- 
hapa this may give yon the fiist idea of what yon am doiqg, which I dare amy 
yon were not aware of I have a letter from Miw Agnes Beny at Paris, with 
snow and sleet, and the other ' agremens* of the s ea so n, and they return to 
England to be with poor Mm. Donsf^ wham they think fisAing, and w 
them, otherwise they woold have been at Rome with the Hardwiokea. They 
write that they mean to be at Lnoea baths with Lsdy Charlotte Lindsay in the 
sttmmer, and vow I shall go, whether I will or not ; while I, like agoose, feel 
more than half inclhied. 

** Matthias desires kind things to you — * God bless my soul !*t I bare just 
got a letter from Egypt, where my friend Wilkinson has found at lliebes a 
whole list of kingt not yet known, painted and carved on three sides of the 
room. He announces twenty-seven queens, ladies of high &shion in their 
time, two of whom were black, and one very ill-tempered. How he finds out 
their dispontion I can not tell. My nephew is, I find, arrived at Room, and 
I conclude will be in scrapes, if he ccui not get some body to take care of him. 
I fear he would be of little use to you ; but if you shouki feel compassion for 
his youth and innocence, order him to wait upon you, and say I did it, but I 
will not force him on your charities, ^\llen I have settled my affairs, I shall 
let you know the day when, after breakfasting at Aibano, I shall hope to re- 
joice in the sunshine of your eyes once more. W. Gkll. 
*' ^A siia EeoeUensa U Signora Contcnsm di BleasiDfUHi, PaUzio Negroni, Roma." 

*< Naples, DeoembarSOth. 1820. 
** I have put off vrriting to you so long, day afler day, that I almost feel 
ashamed at last of addressing you. One of the causes was the delay of* my 
unfaithful spouse,' who has been for six months in my debt a ktter ; and an- 
other, that where no good can be done, one feels averse to mentioning the 
many subjects you must have encountered of an unpleasant and afiKcting na- 
ture. I beg only to assure you that, though absent and distant, I have never 
ceased to think of yon with regard and alfection, and to have most anxious- 

* The hoose of Lady Mary Deerfaanit.— R. R. M. 

t A favorites exclamation of poor old Matthias, the author of the Pursuits of Lit- 
erature.— R. R. M. 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM OELL. 359 

I7 inquired of all travden from France concerning your welfiire andprooeed- 
ingi. 

** Nererthelets, till the unexpected arriTal of Colonel Stewart, I had nerer 
been able to make out any thing satisfactoiy about you ; for, though Mills 
teema to have known, yet a tour which he made to England seemed to put an 
end to his power of writing ; and even Craven, who was in the habit of hear- 
ing from h^» heard no more. Lately, I have an account of you from Mr. 
Hamilton, who sent mo a Mr. Chester, to whom I was to give certain intro- 
ductions to persons in Egypt. Since I saw you, I have, I think, written two 
or three books, none of which have as yet appeared in public. One is a Httio 
treatise on the waHs and military aidiitectare of the Greeks, with a view to the 
question about Cyclopean walls, vrith about thirty plates, which I have dedicated 
and given to the Royal Society of Berlin, out of gratitude for their unsought 
protection and election of myself when I was as yet young and unknown. 

** This, I believe, they are pnbliriiing at Beriin. The other is a second 
series of Pompeiana, which was thought of when you were in Italy, but whidi 
is now enlarged to more than eighty plates, and is in the hands of Mr. Jen- 
nings, a bookseller in London, who begins to publish it in the spring. In the 
mean time, I recommended to him the propriety of sending me £600, which 
he says he was very glad to do, and which I regret is now in a fair way of 
dissipation, having, however, stopped in its progress the mouths of my credit- 
ors, occasioned by Mr. Fauntleroy. I shall request that you will accept a copy 
of the new work on Pompeii, as a companion to that which used to be on your 
Ubie. 

"I suppose we shaU soon hear some advertisement on the subject, so pray 
do not send for it if you feel so disposed, as I will order you to be served with 
one of my own copies. I did not much like the account I sent Count D'Orsay 
about his Sicilian money. The people are such thorough-bred cheats, that 
they have made a roundabout plot to throw it upon the riioulders of the gov- 
ernment, who are not troubled with a propensity to payment. We have fewer 
milords than usual this year, and at Rom^ there is also a de6ciency. 

** The Normanby plays at Florence seem to make that place the &vored 
residence. Here we have the Langford, Brookes, and Townley Parkers of 
Cheshire, very admirable people, and I don't know that I ever remember the 
society so pleasant as it has been for the last two years. Bess Caldwell was 
at Rome last year, and she seemed very much taken up with going every day 
to examine the Duke of Buckingham's exhalations. It is supposed she meant 
excavations. Wlien she heard of poor Sir William Dmmmond's death, she 
asked whether that was not the man &at died writing a history of oranges ; 
by which she meant * Origines.' She is a great loss, but T suppose you will 
have her at Paris this year. I was pleased and displeased to see by the pa- 
pers that the count had won a race. I am always in a fright at all sorts of 
sporting for money; and often one aoMil sum won causes the lois of thou- 



360 LCTTBB8 OF SIR WILLIAM OKLL. 

** I fiMur joa wiU noiM of yoa 0fOT eooie into Itafy afun, iDileM 
tnw9 to rain yowMhrM. The Roman dbtubaneot an ended, and even Isij 
JSandwieh haa been to dine with Ladj llaiy. What geeae people aie» to my 
no won« of the trfing to poll all one*8 neighboia down to get into their piaeea. 
The poor aidibiahop ia hj no meana right ; he haa loat hia &vorite Annette, 
which ia a aeveie blow to him, poor man ! in hia ei^ikf-flizth jear. Othaf- 
wiae, I don*t think he waa more dianged than hia age would warrant. He 
ahri^ aaka veiy kindly ahont yon alL 

"^laawthe FQangiera the other night; he told me hia woonda weie bieak- 
ing out afireah, and giving him pain. The RieciaidiB apend thmr Uvea in goi- 
tingnp pbja, hat aa it haa runed three montha, and now begina to anow, wlio 
cangotothemi I mnet ^pologiae far my horrid paper, the ba aenaai of whiA 
I did not detect till it waa too late to letract. Do yon know old La Chevalier, 
the author of the Toyage to the Troadi He waa formally a great finand of 
mine, aa waa Barinede Bocage,the Bari»er ofthe Grove, hot he is dead, and, 
I foar. La Chevalier ia by thia time grown old ; but he ia a vary good man, 
and ofthe old acfaooL 

" My health ia, I think, much the aame, or peihapa, on the whole, improved. 
Pray let me hear all about yonraelf^ and remember me most kindly to the (at 
doctor. Sir Manly, and the count — most kindly, poor little souls ! to those two 
children. W. Gbll." 

** Sir William Drummond*s book goes on slowly, on account of the writing. 
As to such drawings as you are kind enough to admire, they cost but little 
trouble, and have no value ; but being taken from the antique, or being of 
places difficult of access, as you say, we shall be bound in calf together, with 
great eclat Speaking of art, M. Temite has at length seen the new pictures 
at Pompeii, and says of that of Achilles and Briseis, * Ah, c*est unique.' 
Moreover, he swears that, compared to it, all that modem painters have ever 
done are, in comparison, daubs. I really believe I shall be old fool enough to 
see it before I go to Rome, which must take place, whether I will or no. 1 

fear the poor abbe has lost £500 by the &ilure of B and Company. 

"W. Cell." 

** Naples, Mareh SOtb, 1839. 

'* You have been on my conscience for at least the last six months, that is, 
I have been purposing to myself to write to you for at least ao long a time ; 
but I have been ao much occupied in writing like a steam-engine for my bread, 
that I have been obliged to neglect every thing else, till I could finish a work 
on the Roman Topography, in which there is nothing about Rome, but a great 
deal about the country, and which the Society of Dilettanti are undertaking, 
and for which I now expect, perhaps in vain, at least X500, to satisfy the 
claima ofthe Toiloniaa, who give one enough of credit to be one*a ruin. 

'* Among the misfortunes ofthe age, cholera, reform, and robellion, the poor 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM GELL. 361 

dear old Countess Ricdardi, of Camaldoli, has been a terrible loss to her fam- 
ily and friends ; she had the measles (which the Italian doctors do not know 
how to treat, when of the kind called confluent) ; and just as the poor Princess 
of Butera died a year ago, our poor friend was killed, by the disease being 
thrown inward by some imprudent exposure to air, and the total want of 
knowledge of the doctors. She died about two days ago. The unhappy hus- 
band left the house, and retired to that of Goriati, whose daughter married one 
of the Ricciardi's sons. I can not tell you any more of the consequences, but 
oveiy body was sorry for her, poor soul ! and regretted her loss. You re- 
member Mr. H 's sudden attachment to her, and they have continued great 

friends ever since, and seen one another often, as he lives at the Belvidere. 
He is only yesterday returned from Persano, where he was pretending to 
shoot, by way of getting over the fetes of the Carnival. We have had a very 
bad winter — that is, it has never been very cold, but always too cold, and it has 
rained much more than usual. Even now it is not at all the climate for en- 
joyment, and the spring is three weeks later than it is in general. I hope 
you got, and continue to get, the new work on Pompeii ; if not, let me know, 
I beg, that I may arm you with full powers against the publisher, Mr. Jennings. 

" The world here is much altered since you left it. I should say, the socie- 
ty last year was better than ever, but I was prevented, by the probability of 
the Trastoverini sacking Rome, from going there. I intend to go thb year, 
if they do not get up another riot between the French and Austrians, which 
seems not unlikely. In the mean time, the world is grown much more luxu- 
rious and expensive, for one is asked every day to dinners of sixteen and 
twenty, instead of ten and twelve, and there seems to be a ball, even in Lent, 
nearly every night, only not with fiddles. 

** Yesterday I was invited to three dinners. Lord Hertford, Lady Drummond, 
and Sir George Talbot, and to an assembly at the two first, and another at 
Count Lebrettem*s, the Austrian minister, so that the world here is really 
going on swimmingly. We are to have an omnibus expedition to Pompeii' 
on Monday next, under the auspices of Lord Hertford. It carries twenty- 
four, and I think so great will be its fall, that I intend going in a carriage of 
my own, if I can. You know we have Sir Walter, and he is in much better 
health ; in short, I should say recovered, and all the better since his arrival 
here. I took him to Miss Whyte^s, in the way to Pestum, and I see him al- 
most every day, and dine with him to-morrow. He is very agreeable in a 
drive or tlte-d'tSUy but lost in parties of twenty, to which he is invited. I took 
him to the archbishop's* to dine, and aim to go again this week. The arch- 
bishop is quite well, except an inflamed eye, which Dr. Hogg says they are 
treating ill, and which might be cored in a few hours ; but he has recommend- 
ed a proper cure to the canonico, who will, I hope, persuade the Neapolitan 
doctor to apply it. Sir Granville Temple told me last night Champollion was 
dead. It is* a great loos, as I believe he has no successor, unless Rosellini of 
* The Archbishop of Tarento. 
Vol. I.— a 



362 LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM GELL. 

Pin niAy be ao called. Our last accounts of your London cholera are alaim- 
ing, but I tnist untrae. Pnij remember me kindlj to the comit, and all who 
are &ithftil to you — to your sister of the long eyeUshes, the Contessa ^ 

ibr I never can remember the name, pray also remember me. On the whole, 
Italy is quiet and uncholeric for the present, and I can not bat think yon would 
be at least as happy here as among the Uubolencies of Lord Grey and Co. 

"W. G. 
'* P.S. — ^Among the curiosities, I was delighted to see Miss Skeene, who is 
the *Bfiss Pratt' of the norel called* Inheritance.' Ton remember, she comes 

to Lord ^*s house in a hearse. I asked Sir Walter, before I saw her, 

if the rhancter was like. He said, ' Well, I beliere it may be, with a little 
in natore added to her:* She seems the Teiy person. I was near calling her 
NBss Plratt twenty times.** 



CHAPTER XVin. 

LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM OELL TO LADY BLES8IN0T0N. 

** Naples, October SOCh, 18M. 
*' I am become so much of a cofTee-house, that I really have been two days 
beginning to write to you, and even now I begin with two people talking to 
me, so that it is not likely I should indite any thing coherent. You arc right 
in saying I have been long obeying your order to write. The besetting vice, 
after vanity of this worid, is putting off, just as hell is said to be paved with 
good intentions. I have certainly put ofl* writing for the last three months, 
having all the time suflcred my duty to sit as an incubus upon my conscience. 
I have now, however, received your kind present and your beautiful picture. 
Without compliment, it is a most lovely portrait, and, except the expression, 
is like you ; there is something about the mouth which is not you ; and what 
is singular is, that most of the people who see it on my table exclaim at the 
likeness to I^y .\ugU8ta Coventry, who is grown up into a beautiful girl, 
and makes many conquests among the heathen. The picture by Mr. Uwins 
is, I think, like me, but it is a little more unhappy than the original. Never- 
theless, I must have a melancholy cast of countenance, for a Mr. Uwins, at 
Rome, has taken a small waxen profile of me, which has the same character; 
and it would not be extraordinary, aAer thirty-two years of illness, if some 
twinges had taken a permanent lodging in some of my features. I am, how- 
ever, except the loss of most of my hair, not so much worse than when you 
quitted Italy as might have been expected, and Lord Hertford's plan has 
saved me for the last eighteen months from the same degree of torment which 
I have suffered for the last ten years. I was in hopes your letter would have 
told me when you intended to revisit these countries ; but your house, as 
Craven tells me, is so exquisite in all respects, that he thinks it impossible 
any thing can ever tempt you to move again. Mr. Powell, who seems a 



L£TT£K8 OF SIR WILLIAM Ofi^L. 363 

most agreeable person, I have already seen twice, and am to. meet to-morrow 
at dinner at Craven's. He gives a good account of yourself, and tells n»e 
that the affairs of Count Alfred will soon be arranged to his satisfaction. I 
am delighted to see that the spirit of order which you always possessed, and 
which has done so much good on other occasions, has enabled you to take 
care of such of your friends as have leas foresight than yourself My preach- 
ing has the peculiar advantage of coming from a person who is always in 
debt, and always in the last stage of poverty himself Either the cholera or 
the reform has so fettered the booksellers in London, that, though the Dilet- 
tanti Society have engraved a map for me at their own expense, yet £300, 
which I want to get for the book accompanying it, from a bookseller, do not 
seem at the moment to be easily forthcoming. You say Mr. Uwins has given 
you my picture. Bo you mean that you have not got my last Pompeiana, 
second scries 1 If not, it is not my fault, but your own, for decidedly Messrs. 
Chaplin and Jennings, in Fleet Street, have long ago put down your name as 
one of my copies serU. Pray send immediately about it, for I dare say all the 
booksellers will fail on the first opportunity. I am sure I sent you the order 
very long ago. By-the-by, I wish there were any means of seeing your By- 
romana here, where nothing ever arrives till five years after its birth. You 
are probably, by this time, an arbiter of the fate of more than one bookseller. 
Jennings told Craven that nothing sold but what would go into one of the 
annuals. It is very disagreeable to a poor author to write without a certain 
way of disposing of his works. I have at present about seventy pamtings 
from Pompeii, d:c., which are colored from the originals, and form a very 
beautiful and useful history of the art among the ancients. I wish I could 
find a bookseller to undertake it. Should you see any means of furthering 
my interest with your man of books, pray nail the said bookseller, if you can 
do it without inconvenience to yourself. I think I could make an interesting 
work on the Arabs of Spain, interspersed with translations of some of their 
poetry, which would suit one or any of the annuals, but I must have intro- 
duced some views of the Alhambra, to make it more interesting. 

** If I ever conu of age, and am not obliged to write for money, I shall cer- 
tainly, at all events, give the public an account of the Moors, with the Alham- 
bra as an embellishment, as the last and most exquisite of their works. I 
have got notes without end on the subject, which I think would make a very 
interesting book. Our mountain goes on burning, and, I think, seems inclined 
to continue ejecting lava, till a little cone, which has grown out of the centra 
of the crater, you remember, shall be as high as the highest peak of the hill. 

** November 2d. I dined at Craven*B with Mr. Powell and his companion, 
Mr. Harcourt They arc going, under the protection of Lord William Fitz- 
gerald, to Cums, on Saturday, and I was asked to meet them at dinner on 
^heir return. In short, they go about sight-seeing, and they seem to have 
little occasion for any assistance from me. I shall try to get them a footing 
at Lady Coventry's, who keeps open house every evening both here and at 



364 inrnts of bib wiuxik bevu 

RiMM, and ante whoM inapfeM 0Mjiii^M0 aU the irarid widio^ 
I bsw afawidj told yim Lady Angiula ia gxovni op ona of tha prectieat giria 
poMttda, and ona of tha beM adncitad ai^ wall-iiilbiBad, and mamma haa 
takanhartoconit; and, in ahort, aha is eona imtv and tfaa Iioaaa ia on a bat- 
ter fcoting, and haa mora eompan j in eonaaq(iianea. Wa have Loid Ponaon- 
by anhrod aa mimatar, bat Mr. Hm la jat al tha BaMdere on the y ooMio, ftr 
Loid Berwick ia axpeetad not to aorma taranty-feor bonxa. It ia traa ha 
ralliea peipetnally , but by the tame tUa raaehea yon, yoa may eonaidar Mr. 
Hill to have beeome Loid BarwidL Too waiavaiy kind in remembering mj 
aarvanta, and Aey were ireiy nnidi atrack with jonr goodneaa wlien I told 
tham, and deeired to Uaa your hand. Cimven deairea alao a thon a and kU 
rBmembraneaa. HaiBinbadbamor»aahatfainkaha iamoredeafthaaiiBiialt 
but I think it only imagination. Neraithdeaa, ha would aoon baooma a aoit 
of heimit if ha had not aoma one to keep him ahn^ in agitation. Tba 
yoimg ci^ytain aaema diapoaed to keep him in hot water areiy now and tfMB ; 
bat it ia a veiy agreeabla, gented yooth, and ha acta qidta withoot a rival both 
in French and Engliah. We are to have private theatricab thia winter, and 
I dare say ahaU do very well for company, thoogh the diaractera aoppoaed to 
be coming from Engluul are, as yet, not named. A &nii!y of C<^nel Vyaa 
have settled in the Palazzo Patemo, one of the most agreeable that ever came 
to Naples, in my opinion. They are nmnerous, but seem to be rich, ao as to 
have all in dne proportion. It is said many are come to Rome, but I can leani 
no names. The Torioniaa go on just as usual. You would acaicely know 
the &ther was defunct, except that you don't hear his tremendous coagh 
when you go there. I suspect my financea are, however, arrived at that state 
which will render my visits to Rome more rare and more difficult Mrs. Dod- 
well is at last by no means so ill off as we feared ; in abort, every thing con- 
aidered, I hope she will be in a better state of finance than nine tenths of the 
Roman nobility. Mr. Milla, who u gone to Sicily, and myself were left her 
trustees, and I think, between coaxing and scoldhig, her affairs are in a fiur 
way of being settled, insomuch that we hare relinfluished the business, oar 
agency being no longer required. Pray remember me most kindly to Colonel 
Stewart, who haa been expected here for the last three years by many. For 
my part, I conceive that Dr. Potter, who hates Naples, will not bring him here 
again. I hear of the ex-Lady Gell, La Comtessa di St. Maraanh,* aittlng with 
a disdainful air in a high fly-cap in a comer of the room. My bleaaing upon 
her. The archbishop, who has got your picture, and is defightedwith it, has 
been ill, but is now flourishing, aged ninety. Matthias ia younger than ever, 
and more discontented. 

'*TheRicciardi8lwilloeeoraendyourmeasageto,withallBpeed. They 
have not recove r ed their loaa. My dog fiunily consists of TVeaii, who is my 
companion, hia son and heir, Motuu Qao, a youth of promising talenU. I • 

* The countess was the yooxifest sister of Lady Blessington, lately the Miss 
Maiy Asne Power whom Oell used to call ** my lavrfol.**— R. R. M. 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM 6ELL. 365 

have also a white terrier, Monsu Bo, of CraTen breed. My house is really 
become quite pretty at the expense of £100 two years ago, and when finish- 
ed, and I called for the account, I found it had been paid by Lord de Ros ; Sir 
Charles Monck also gave me a fine organ, so you would not know the place. 
My kind regards to Count Alfred, and pray continue to belieye me very affec- 
tionately yours, W. G. 

'* P.S. — Ladies are so used to writing criss-cross, that perhaps you will not 
be displeased at this for your Byronian, and may put it in your own terms if 
my short note suits you. Lord Byron had once a vis-a-vis ; I used frequent- 
ly to drive out with him in it. One day, passing the Alfred Club, he asked 
if I were a member. I said some one had put mo down, but as I had never 
been there, I was going to take my name out. ' Oh,' says he, * on no account 
take out your name.' ' Why V said I. * Because there are nine hundred can- 
didates waiting for admission, and I should have taken out my own name, but 
that I found it would make one of these expectants happy. Only imagine,' 
said he, * if you took yours off also, there would be two of these wretches de- 
lighted, and that would be really too much.' He then, as we had no auditors, 
laughed at his own affected misanthropy, which was only put on for the pur- 
pose of making the worid in general believe there was something extraordi- 
nary about him, and which he found for many years a great recommendation 
in that sort of highly-refined society, which is in perpetual want of new and 
extraordinary excitation. I believe I mean excitement. Adieu. W. G. 

'* I fear my letter is stupid, and has too much parish business, but I hope 
my next will be more entertaining." 

*« Naples, April 4Ui, 1883. 

" I scarcely know why I have been so long in answering your amiable let- 
ter, and thanking you for your kind attention about books and booksellers ; 
for, though I have been frequently ill, and have passed the winter, which has 
been here remarkably cold, rather comfortably, I have somehow or other writ- 
ten a great deal, and when your letter arrived had just been employing myself, 
by the desire of the family, in writing those veiy same memoirs of Sir Walter 
Scott*s residence in Italy which you recommended to my attention. I have 
made use of the letter from the bookseller you had spoken to so fiir as to di- 
rect Mr. Hamilton's attention to him with regard to the disposal of my * Ro- 
man Topography,' but I have not as yet heard the result. Not that I have, 
indeed, any great hopes of any thing fiivorable, for he writes that the book- 
sellers are absolutely ruined, and that even [ ] has been twice in danger 

of bankruptcy. M , however, ofiers to print my book, and to give me 

half the profits, which is not what I want, as such profits, though guaranteed 
by the Society of Dilettanti, are never likely to be great to an author abroad. 
The odd circumstance is, that though the book was written at the desire of 
the said society, and they profess high satisfaction at its execution, they do 
not offer me the £300 which I want, and take the profits to themselves as 
they arise. Miss Scott wrote to me, by the desire of Mr. Lockhart, to beg I 



866 LBTTEB8 OF SIR WILUAX OELL. 

^nmld MBd him mr reminSioeiices of Sv Walter, becmoM I was * the Uat of 
his friends.* The &ct ie, that I had generally the can of him while he was 
in Italy, and thoagfa I thought I was going to write only a page or two, I soon 
limnd myeelf writing my twentieth and thirtieth pages, without approaching 
tiie end of niy materials, which finally reached a fiftieth page, and, consider- 
ing all ciicumstances, the whole is by no means so barren of interest as I 
dioaght it would haTe been when I begun the narrative. It contains, eren to 
• eeftain degree, information as to his fixture literary projects, which could 
Bol have been xeeorded, I believe, by any other means. 

■* I shall send you a fittle bit of it with regard to Lord Byron, wluch I for- 
gol lo send you before, and yon can mention it or not, as it suiu your pur- 
pose. Tour house at the Belvidere is just become vacant by the retreat of 
Lord BerwidL, who is going to England. He wishes to buy it, and the price 
is only about £3000, so it is quite wonderfiil it is not already sold, as the win- 
dows have been renewed. The dowager queen has bought and beautifiilly 
fitted up your Villa Gallo, and the Duke of Gallo himself died some two months 
ago, having left his fonuly not ill provided for. It is hoped Diego PignatelU 
will marry the widow. Of the Ricdardis, there is nothing new ; they are 
well, and alTrays ask roost kindly about you. Naples has the advantage of 
Rome this year in point of company ; but aflcr the Holy Week we are to 
change sets. To-day is the holy Thursday, when carrla^s are not permitted 
in Naples, so I am going on an ass to dine with Lonl Hertford at the next 
house to the Patema, and I hear he has either juggles or phantasmagoria at 
night. My pension as vice-chamberlain seems about to be granted, under the 
protection of tho lord chancellor — that is, it would seem so, for the claim is 
established, and he promises his assistance ; but I am not to l>e deluded by 
appearances, and Lady Charlotte Lindsay, who says slie backed her applica- 
tion with a roasted turkey and a bottle of well-iced champagne, says she is 
aware, like Lord Duberley, that *finc words butter no parsnips.* The ac- 
knowledgment of my claim proves that I ought to have arrears, and if they 
did not acknowledge my claims, it might in the end bo worse for their own 
people, and would serve as a precedent to cut them off. Nevertheless, I shall 
only believe in my pension when I sec it. I have written all this while 
obliged to talk to company, who sit upon me, a penance to which I am verj' 
much subjerled ; and my house is really become so pretty by the expenditure 
of only £100 upon it, which has built a portico, and made all the rooms com- 
municate in a suite, besides a fine organ which Sir Charles Monck gave me, 
that I am become a sort of coflee-housc for the idle and the nothing-to-^oarians 
of the place. I believe I shall not get to Rome this year, as my journey de- 
pended on the £300 for my book arriving, and that seems cut off. 

" Now for Sir Walter : I accompanied him to the convent of La Trinita 
della Cava, and in going he repeated to me the poem or ballad of Jock of Ha- 
sledean. In returning I desired him to let me hear it again, and on express- 
ing my surprise at the clearness of his recollection, ho told me he had a most 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM GELL. 367 

remarkable memory, and had astoniahed many by it. On his first introduc- 
tion to Lord Byron, some one (whose name I forget) was looking on with 
wonder at the apparent correctness with which he spoke, and the singular 
changes in Lord Byron's countenance as he proceeded. He was repeating to 
the great poet the whole of the poem of Hardyknute, which he then knew by 
heart, and which proved so highly interesting to his lordship. My notes also 
refer to a conversation I had with Sir Walter as to why he had left off writ- 
ing poetry. When I asked this question, he said, * Because I fotmd Byron 
beat mc ; but I shall now ti;y again.' These anecdotes, which may amuse 
some, are all found in my contribution, which I have sent to Hamilton to give 
to Mr. Lockhart ; for as the family had requested them of me, I could not 
well dispose of them to my own advantage, which I was told I might easily do. 

" I keep a copy, however ; and if Mr. Lockhart does not use my materials, 
which I think he can hardly reject, as I have taken care to give due honor to 
his hero, they may appear hereafter separately. I have lately been veiy idle 
as to writing ; for the penny magazines afford no encouragement to booksell- 
ers, nor they, in consequence, to me. I hear I am made a member of the 
French Institute, and so is Millingen, who is just come into my room, and 
sends his best respects to you. I hear of Count Alfred in the newsps^ra as 
hunting in Leicestershire : pray give my kindest regards to him. I have also 
lately seen a print of him on horseback, which is good. Lady Augusta Cov- 
entry and Henry Fox are to be united in the holy bands of matrimony imme- 
diately, at Florence, whence they proceed northward. She is become a very 
pretty girl, and he has at present a very bad fit of the gout at Rome. The 
houses at Castelamare are already taken for the summer. Lord Ponsonby 
was on the point of embarking for Constantinople in the Acteon, when, the 
day before yesterday, so violent a storm arose that he is yet on shore. 

** My servants, who all cherish your memory, hearing me ask about the 
means of sending this letter to you, desire to kiRs your hands, according to 
the custom of the country. My dogs, hordes, and every thing else, remain 
just as you left them, except that I inherited the margravine's landau, which 
is more convenient for my disabled legs. My kind regards to the Contessa 

de St. M i whom I have heard of sitting silent in a comer in a high cap. 

" William Gell." 

9 " Najdes, Nov. lOtb, 1833. 
" Your friend, Mr. Bulwer, I have received safe, with his friends ; but not 
so your book, which, in a box with several things of their own, they have 
contrived to lose on the way ; so I must put off the gratification I should have 
hod in reading it till somebody here gets it, which may not be for months to 
come, for books are ages before they arrive in this country. Mr. Bulwer 
6CCI118, indeed, all you have described ; for, though he has only been hero 
some three or four days, yet we have contrived to get very well acquainted in a 
very short time. I asked them to breakfast the morning after I received your 



368 UBTTBB8 OF SIR WUJJAM OEUk 



latter, and ibvfhnia^ me cna at tha aune tima fiam Lady S at RooWr 

IjiHiidilfiNiiiatli^waialaiidof doga; ao thai the fint thing Iheaidii^ 
mj outer loom, and befina I aaw anj paiaon, waa tiba a xd a maH o n, * Oh, yea 
dear guatimj !' aJdiBaaBd to my dog, who went to eee who waa come. We 
got on my weD, and they ote maocaioni with gieat anoeeaa, and poaitiTely 
bought a dog of the aame apeciee aa mine befina they went home, of a Uack 
eolor, whidi they dniatenadLiiaio^ and eanied off to their lodginga. I have 
had a nolo fiom eadi of them ainoe, and on Sonday I am to meet them at 
dinner al Mr. Craven'a, ftr whom I beBeve yon gave them abo a letter. I 
haive alao told Lady Dnmunond to invito them to dinner, which ahe haa pMm- 
imdtodo; and thna, ao ftr, I hope they willled aaliafied with nqr fitHe at- 
taBthm% beetowed aoeording to your adar. 

**1 have made eveiy inqiiiiy aa to the aale of hooka by a bookaeUer hen, 
and, not tniating to niy own ezeitiona, I have employed aodi of my lii e uda 
aa are moat fitted lor the pnrpoee. There ia nothhig in the ah^ie of boofc- 
eeDiiigin thia town; Aa Ubmriea are onfyjoat tolaated, and their ownen 
can hardly eziat No bookaeller here haa a coireapondent in London, that I 
can find ; nor do I hear of any porehaae of aadi a booh aa yoma, ezo^ the 
Bake of Oassorano, in the whole city. He immediately thought of making 
aach a book himself^ and filling it with princesses of Centola, Tie Goee, Monte 
Yago, &c., dec. ; but he could give me no assistance, and certainly Naples ie 
not a place for the advancement of literature, so I am unable to execute your 
commands. Tou had heard that I was in bad health, and so I am certainly ; 
but I think not much worse than when you were in Italy, only that my hair 
is &llen off) and I shall be reduced to baldness or a wig in the course of an- 
other year, if I live so long. Here is Teirick Hamilton just arrived, but going 
shortly to Rome. He is well and merry ; but when I meet him at dinners, 
where I die of cold, he is always complaining of heat, and is very amiable. 

Here, also, is Dr. M*G , author of ^e last novel I read, called ' The Par- 

aon*s Daughter.' At this moment I received a little work of a few pages from 
the archbishop upon cats, on the occasion of a cat's mummy brought for him 
from Egypt by a friend of mine. Dr. Hogg, who is just come from that coun- 
try. The good old soul is really very little altered since you saw him, though 
he is now ninety>two ; but I can not imagine how the machine is to go on 
much longer. Ho desires one thousand loves to you, and I am to take the 
Bulwer to dine with him shortly, though I fear, if he is not quick at Italian, 
he will scarcely become veiy^ intimate, as I observed Walter Scott and Mon- 
aignore did not make it out very well together, for the archlnshop will not 
take the trouble to talk much or long together in French. By-the-by, I ob- 
served to you that my life of Walter Scott in Italy, which I wrote by the desire 
of Miss Scott, was very entertaining in its way, and I sent it to Mr. L. by Mr. 
Hamilton. He has never, however, thanked me for it, nor even acknowl- 
edged the receipt of it, nor sent me Sir Walter's works, which he ordered for 
m«» with almost the In^t Fontrncc ho uttered that was intclliinblc ; and if it 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM OELL. 369 

does not appear in the work, it will be really worth publlihing, and I shall 
send it to you. 

" November 27th. I went with the Bulwer to the archbishop's to dine yes- 
terday. The good old man would be very polite, which I told him to submit 
to. He showed us scTeral curiosities, and put off the dinner till four by so 
doing. We coaxed his cats, and Bulwer seemed much pleased with him, as 
he seemed with Bulwer. There was nobody but Gavaliere Venorio, the chief 
of the botanbts here ; and he seemed, also, to get on very well with the Bul- 
wer, who is this day gone to Pompeii, luckily with fine weather. At this 
moment, in comes the Baron de Billing, the French secretary of embassy, who 
wishes to know Mr. Bulwer, and I have given him a note of introduction, as 
I promised. The Baron de Billing has been ten years in London, and is a 
very clever person, and I think it probable you know him. The Craven's 
mother has bought and fitted up beautifully your old Villa Gallo, but your oth- 
er house, the Belvidere, remains untenanted since Lord Berwick departed, 
and will want repairs, as I hear, before it can be habitable again. It is to be 
sold for only £3000, and Lady Drummond has given over £10,000 for the 
villa, or cake house, of Mr. Dupont, on the Capo di Monte. We have three 
or four of the Yacht Club liere, with their ships, which help to enliven the 
scene, and we expect Lord Anglesey with his. I have seen Lady Harriet and 
her sister, as also, another day, her aunt ; she is so altered since I knew her 
as a girl that I really should not have known her. They live at Brettagna, 
but in such retirement that I have never seen any of them out. The Acton 
Palace is so far finished that they receive company, and give dinners and balls 
with great success. It is quite astonishing how many people come to Na- 
ples, and how the people, whom I knew when I was a young man in London, 
appear yet unexhausted, so that I have very often my whole morning taken 
up by visitors. Matthias, aged eighty-one, is rather younger than ever, but 
complains that he sees nobody. Craven had him to dinner, and remarked how 
clever he was at contriving to ask questions without ceasing, yet never to 
profit in the least by the answer. The canonico is well and merry, and the 
Ricciardi in a good state. Cariati and Casarauo desire mille chotes to you. 

"W. G." 

" Naples, Janoarr 32, 1834. 
** I am now roasting myself dose to a large fire in my own house, waiting 
dinner for Dr. Hogg, a portentous name, you will say, but belonging to an ex- 
ceedingly benevolent and amiable physician, who, after residing here for some 
years, is just returned from a tour in Syria and Egypt, with your friend Mr. 
Baillie. Though I am roasting, the necessity for it is only produced by my 
own cold nature, for a finer summer's day was never seen than this has been, 
and Doctor Watson, who is just arrived from Paris, where he has been five 
or six years, says he had no idea of the difference till he found himself again 
in Italy. He says that, except the three ' glorious days/ he has never se<>ti 

0.2 



jTO iM9kMS o^ atsi ifhiAaJ^ (BfBijL' 



» Am rinoo 1m kft N^plM. But dnl wm not tt all the Udng 
I intended to mj. My fiist oljeet wm to tell yon thai my mm, GemuriDOb 
tvho u enlyJQit mcfed fay An £nglUi doetom from death, haa been twice to 
aw the boy fai qoeatiaB, and that he ia qoita well and happy. He haa finoi 
Iq^it-coioied hair, which eoold icaicny be eeon mr uie magnificent cap, made 
m^itwifal, wfaidi he wow cp hie heed. He iqppWrt about nx or aeven yean 
old, and 18 Teiy Kvaly, and <hey mj ynaj de^er, and leana enry thing wift 
quiiliiiiaa He la^ ni weo re r , wmmtoMy dean and wdl dothed, and, aa Gen- 
nasino aay% ie tieated quite like a Migwon H fMlte e jMrb fVeiieeer, and m 
eo weO aatidbd wiA Ua praoBBt tmteent, and widi Aoae who haifo tim cave 
OK him, flnt he ran away and Ud hfanedf when he wond nie inqninea wen 
made inr Mwantf, finr Ibar flnt niy nmn mi^it be eent to take him away. 
Than ie alwaya a^ drawback to eveiy itoiy, and it jppeen mat the httle boy 
hear aome eoit of deiset in one leg, wfaidi may be patliapa in the hip joint, bait 
ie caned fai the feat, and it iaaaid that liddai^ateiii win onre him. Ioonleaa» 
iSrtmi the aoooont, the enre aeona to me donbtftd, but m the mean time tibe 
boy ia perfectly weQ in health, and hj meana of a ahoe vdth a thidLor aole, 
' fetio dd megUo acarpayo di Napolx con moHa cnra,* he nma about jaat aa 
well aa any other boy of his age. Aa fiur as cdfe goes, therefore, he has all 
yoQ can wish, and his health is perfect. A letter is jost arrired for hia moth- 
er from the family, which I shall direct and send, as the letters sent before had 
probably failed from want of superscription. 

** So much, therefore, for your commisrion, which I hope you will find sat^ 
iafiietoiy. I hare consulted Caaarano about the sale of your book here, and 
I find any attempt would be quite useless, aa nobody has any money for books 
in the whole kingdom, nor will any one buy a book of any kind. I have heaid 
only of four persons any where who read or buy. Two live in the mountains 
of the frontier, and thus smuggle into the state the few books they can ob- 
tain ; the third is a Neapolitan cavaliere, who receiyes books of daaric learn- 
ing from Germany ; and the fourth is the pref^ of a provincial town, who 
longs in vain for books, but is forced to go without them. I shall keep a 
sharp look-out for Colonel Hughes, who, I suppose, is one of Lord Dinoiben*s 
family. 

" You have done me a great kindness by sending me the * ConvenBations,* 
of which I have Utherto seen only detached portions, which, by-the-by, are 
so full of talent and of shrewd observation, that I can not help congratulating 
the memoiy of Lord Byron on the fortunate circumstance which left his ideas 
in such good keeping, that they have been matured and perfected before they 
aaw the light There were brave men before, as a Roman poet obaerves, but 
no Homer to celebrate them. The truth is, you see things in a much better, 
and fairer, and juster light yourself than Byron ; you know more of the world 
than he did ; and, moreover, it is not part of your system to make yoursdf 
aeem in ill humor when you are not so. 

" I beg to observe that, in * The Cooversationa,* I reverence yon infinitehr 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM GELL. 371 

more than the poet ; indeed, as I have more respect for Homer than for .iga- 
memnont I have had this in my mind whensoeYor I have read the extracts from 
your work, but you have probably had the same feeling repeated many times, 

and better explained by a hundred literary admirers. As to Mr. L , I fear 

much that he is not good for much, and I am certain he got the work, for I 
sent it to Mr. William Hamilton, who gave it with a request that he would not 
omit a word of it in printing. I kept a copy of it, however, and I vnll send it 
to you. There are no remarks except such as tend to explain away and ren- 
der less ridiculous the total want of classical taste and knowledge of the hero, 
in a situation full of classical recollections, and which I have added, that I 
might not seem insensible to his real merits. They were written for the fam- 
ily, and by the desire of Miss Scott herself and therefore nothing offensive 
could have been inserted ; and when I had finished the anecdotes, I was sur- 
prised myself at the number of circumstances I had recollected, and perceived 
that the account of the last days of so distinguished a person was really inter- 
esting, when told with strict regard to truth. The circumstances of his ill- 
ness having changed his mind, or deprived it of its consistency, which I my- 
self much doubt, might be judged of from his way of treating the subjects of 
conversation which present themselves, and this alone would be of conse- 
quence to his numerous friends. 

" I think it scarcely possible that any of those most attached to him could 
be displeased at my manner of representing him, and, at all events, I have re- 
peated what he said, and related what he did in Italy, in a way that satisfied 
every one here who was the witness of his sayings and doings. However, I 

shall send the copy to you, and if the Life is published by the said L , 

without use and acknowledgment of my papers, the best way will be to sell 
it to the bookseller, and to let it come before the public. I will affix, or 

rather prefix. Miss S *s request that I would write it, and will suppose 

that the original has been lost or mislaid, in consequence of her premature de- 
cease. In this case, I shall beg of you to make the most advantageous bar- 
gain you can for a poor author under your protection. 

** My book on Roman Topography, which will, I am persuaded, if it ever 

sees the light, gain me credit, still continues unsold and unprinted. M 

is calculating the expense, Hamilton and Co. and Vyse are interesting them- 
selves, and the University of Cambridge ofifers to take one hundred copies, but 
I hear of no results at present. Mr. Bnlwer has written to his man of book- 
selling in London, after having read my work, to reconmiend it, but the an- 
swer is not yet returned. The times are bad, or, as my royal mistress would 
have expressed it, * O trumpery, O Moses,* for * O tcmpora,' &c. I go on 
scribbling at you to the end of my paper, which you must rejoice to see ar- 
rived. 

" I dine with the archbishop to-day, who is well and merry, and sends his 

love. Lady H is leaving Naples for Rome immediately. I suppose, at 

the end of March, I shall see her again at Rome. William Gbll. 



873 LBTTBR8 OP 8IA WiLUAM OKLL. 



««lfsi. Dodwdl ht imDj beeome Cauatam Sptm^ or Spukcr, nd is Baf»> 
lin JbMnMldk and is to be miiikler •! Rona. She wiU now hi:v« a Mr 
linfife; her hflbubeBdwasqiiitaenifdaiiDf the latter p^ 



"Ntptaa, Wk JenMiy. lOL 

'*! hife aenDify had time to oierioak a eopgr of mj Beottiana befeva Ifr. 
r aeta out Ibr Englaiid. It ia written bj the Stiediiiii mentioned than- 
in, who doee not anderatand Engliah, and Aeieftte I fear bhmdeia may haire 
eaBi|»ed me end him. I hate an a homhiaMe heada ch e , eo that I can acagwiy 
■t np to write, and I can aay fittle mora tlian what oeeoia to me aa ri|^ 

** With xegaxd to the MS., if Mr. L haa got the original, and haa need 

It enMjfai hie life ofSir Walter, nothing la to be done, I anppoae; bnttf 
he haa not got it, haa loat it, and doee not pobKah it inatantar, I am te aaOii^f 
it to the higheat bidder. In mj own copy I have the portrait, moat faidd^ 
fike, in a good aenae, and two Roman caricatorae mentioned. 

"The Galeia, which I took when then with yon ; a view of the CaaUeof 
Bnodano, ^hieh I took while aitting talking with Lord Blemington ; a riew 
ftom the window of the lake, which I took while talking with Sir Walter ; and 
the stair-case in tho court, which I did for him :^it these I do not send, as I 
hear London booksellers can no longer deal with plates. 

" I am too headachy to write more. William Gbll. 

** Lady Harriet is gone to Rome." 

" Napks, March Mk, 1834. 

** I feel as if I were going to write yoa a long letter, and to become Yeiy 
troublesome. Since you wrote to me on the 17th of February, you will haTo 
received from Mr. Bulwer the MS. of the notee on Sir Walter Scott, and may 
hare, perhaps, disposed of it to some bookseller in London, so that it no kmg^ 
er rests with me to decide on what should be its fate. I was asked, on the 

day I sent the original, why I sent it to Mr. L 1 and I answered, because 

Miss S had asked mc to write it ; but that I was totally unacquainted 

with the gentleman, or he with me, and we had no friend in common. 

" The truth is, that he ought to have been thankful for tho information, and 
as the conversations chiefly took place in a carriage, these circumstances can 
not possibly have been learned from any other quarter. I dare say he thanked 
Mr. Hamilton, but as he thinks he has better information elsewhere, it is doing 
him no harm to keep my information for my own use ; and when I consider 
that the whole about Rhodes can only have been said to me, and that I am the 
only person who could h^ve given Sir Walter the information he wanted on 
that subject, I must think that interesting, and I could mention many other 
things in the MS. that could only be related by myself 

" However, I will beg of you to make a few changes, which I will write on 
a separate sheet, for I do not wish to offend any body, begging of you to wafer 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM CELL. 373 

into the MS. at the proper places the few words about the publication at the 
beginning and end, and a few anecdotes which have recurred to my memory 
since the notes were written. I can not but imagine that you will be disap- 
pointed on reading the work, because it will be found so much shorter thaii 
you expected, the whole being purposely as much condensed as. possible. 
Yon will therefore not be surprised if it does not produce in the market the 
respectable sum you have imagined as its value. I am not at all surprised at 
the wish to print it as if firom another supposed hand, for I have seldom, out 
of the sixteen or seventeen publications I have made of maps and books, suc- 
ceeded in securing to myself the fame of any merit they may possess. 

" You would be surprised at the catalogue of literary thefts by which I have 
suffered. Yet, * per grazia del cielo,* I find myself veiy frequently cited, both 
in England and on the Continent, wherever the subjects I have discussed are 
touched upon ; and so much for that business. One shall be a great man 
among the little boys some years after one's death. 

" Mr. Craven, with whom and the Patemo, and the Satriano Filangicris, 
&c., I have been to dine with Miss Whyte to-day at Portici, says he will get 
ready for you by the time appointed a story for your ' Book of Beauty.' Pray 
tell me whether a translation of a veiy queer old Portuguese book, * The Travels 
of the Infante Don Pedro to the Seven Quarters of the Globe,' would not do 
for your worii! It is veiy strange, and quite original, and the prince goes, 
among other places, to the court of Prester John of Abyssinia. It might be 
divided, perhaps, into two or three parts, if it be too long, which I really think 
it is. Would you like some of the old Spanish Moorish ballads translated 1 
for example, any addressed to the ' beautiful Zayda,' as yours is a * Book of 
Beauty V 

" I had once an idea of publishing such things when I was younger and 
more romantic, before age and infirmity had put an end to all poetic illusions. 

" Mr. Rothwcll, by-tho-by, the great painter who was sent to me by Lord 
S , and whom I have sent in a letter to you this morning, says, on look- 
ing over my book of the Alhambra, that a Moorish Annual or Album would 
be one of the prettiest things in the world, and might, with good engravings, 
become a successful work ; and in such a case, the Moorish ballads would 
come in well. Nothing, certainly, would be half so picturesque or so beautiful ; 
but, like every thing of the kind, it could not be carried on with interest for 
more than two or three years. I shall see, in your ' Book of Beauty,* what 
sorts of subjects are fitted for it, and hope to be able to do something in some 
way or other to suit it. A little bit of an adventure, a journey in Asia Minor, 
would perhaps not be amiss ; but we shall see. I don't think myself capable 
of exciting much interest without having recourse to the pencil to aid my 

muse, whether poetic or historic. Lady H is gone, but it is possible I 

may see her at Rome, where I think of being on the 1st of April, and of re- 
maining till the 1st of June. My house there is let to the 25th of March to 
Mr. Brooke Greville, who is perhaps known to you. We have floods of com- 



374 LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM CELL. 

panjy and loiiiatimes, between L«dy Stradian and Lady Acton, two private 
plays in a week. We had three Italian comedies, like the French TaiideTilleSt 
last night at Lady Acton's, and they were got up by Neapolitans with reiy 
great success. 

** The young Duke of St. Theodoro, as a shy lorer, won great applause, and 
Donna Olympia Colonna, and the mistress of the house, the Duchess of Bfi- 
landa, and the Duchess of C^aneOo, with many others, showed much talent 
in the French plays. CraTen is the only Englishman engaged, but his son ia 
expected soon. The family of La Feronays, as usual, fonn the heroes and 
heroines of all the French pieces, and sing and act in perfection. 

** The king and all the court generally come to all these great entertainments, 
and, beudes being reiy ezpenshre, they last till about two hours after midnight. 
Besides those amusements, we haTe tremendous dinners at Lady Drummond*s 
and Lord Hertford's, with aasemblies in the evening, to most of which I go fat 
my wheeling chair, by way of seeing the world in my old age, and must nj 
I find every one as Idnd and compassionate as one can have either right or 
hopes to expect in these hard times. Craven, as you know, has bought • 
large convent in the mountains, near Salerno, which he has fitted up with 
eveiy sort of convenience, and where he receives in the summer all comers, 
four or five ladies at a time, with gentlemen to matchf and is really very hos- 
pitable both to strangers and natives. If you ever return to this countr}-, you 
will be amused by a trip to his valley. 

" I have sent you, as I said before, Mr. Rothwell, the new Sir Thomas 
Lawrence, and I think a very clever person ; so much so, that he is quite big 
enough to help himself in the world. But I mean to send you a most benevo- 
lent and good sort of person, not much known to fame, with the ugly name 
of Dr. Hogg, who has been here some years, and is just returned from Egypt 
and the Holy Land, * where saints did live and die.* He makes the most won- 
derful faces, and has the strongest action with his hands you ever saw, and 
Mr. Hill used to ask him to dinner to witness them ; but he will tell you how 
the world goes on here better than most people, and as you have round you 
many men of rank and fashion, you will not dislike, for a change, to see a 
traveler without pretensions, whose merit consists in a kind heart, and a very 
benevolent disposition to do all ho can for the benefit of his fellow-creatures. 
Speaking of which, Gennarino is become a great friend of the family, and the 
child in Strada di Chiaja, and sees them almost every day. He says they are 
all very well, and seem pleased at his coming to see how well the boy is taken 
care of I forgot to say that Doctor Hogg will not torment you much, as ho 
is only going to England for a short time on business. Our Duke of Derby- 
shire is in Sicily, and very much recovered from his lameness. He is very 
kind-hearted, and is the only person I have seen for years who knows any 
thing of my family, which I don*t believe flourishing. My nephew, that hope- 
ful youth, is at Milan, and, as Count Metri told me at the archbishop's (who 
is quite well, and salutes you), he is not very flourishing. How glad you must 



LETTERS OE SIR WILLIAM GELL. 375 

be my paper U ended, for curiosity will lead you to read the whole of my let- 
ter. So, with kind regards to the count, and thanks to Lord Durham, 6lc., 

** Anacharsis. 

** Lady Blessington is requested to insert in my MS., after the last of the 
notes on Rhodes, the following record of a conversation with Sir Walter re- 
specting the Stone of Odin : 

" On our return to the Palazzo Caramanico, we passed Mr. L^g Mason in 
the street, and this brought to Sir Walter's mind the refutation of the antiquity 
of Macpherson^s Ossian by Mr. Laing, who had shown that the names of the 
heroes were taken from the map, I think, of the channel between the Isle of 
Skye and the main land. * One of these names,* said he, * happens to have 
been given in the last century, and the date of that is well known.' Mr. Laing 
knew those countries well, and his proof was striking and satisfactoiy. I think 
he said Mr. Laing came originally from Orkney, and he added, ' I once went 
to see him, and carried over in my boat a fagot of sticks for the peas in his 
garden, which were reckoned there a great curiosity.' He said, however, that 
elders would grow, and that the face of the country might be improved by them. 
From this he was led to compare the once flourishing state of those islands 
with their present forlorn appearance, and observed that, * to a people from 
the farthest north, these might perhaps have seemed the abodes of the blessed. 
They were certainly,' said he, * esteemed holy, and there was a great circular 
building like Stonehenge not far firom Kirkwall, which proved the importance 
of the place.' Saying this, he searched for and presented to me a pencil draw- 
ing of the temple, wblch I preserve, and highly value. It is entitled, * Stand- 
ing Stones of Stenhouse in Orkney,' and has on the back inscribed the name 
of J. Eeene, Esq., by whom it was probably drawn. Sir Walter mentioned 
another pillar, called the Stone of Odin, which is perforated, and aflerward 
descanted on the ordeal by which persons accused of crime were deemed in- 
nocent if capable of passing through this species of aperture in very remote 
ages. 

** Lady B. is requested to insert the following passage where Sir Walter 
has been speaking of his acquaintance here : 

" Before Sir Walter Scott quitted Naples, he made the acquaintance of Mr. 
Ball, a gentleman advantageously known to the society of that city as the au- 
thor of two poems, of which the baronet was pleased to express his approba- 
tion. His amiable feeling, on every occasion, led him to assist and encourage 
all younger authors, and he seemed totally devoid of every spark of that little- 
ness and jealousy which sometimes actuates even the most illustrious and es- 
Ublished literati." 

" March 10 (1834). 
*' I have just received a letter from Mr. Bulwer, who writes that his first 
visit in London was to Ottley and Saunders, booksellers, and that he has suc- 
ceeded in selling them my vrark, called * Roman Topography.' How very good- 



376 UBTTJBB9 OF SIR WILLUV OSUi. 



natmndofliimto hmra attoBded to nqr wute befim be had MttM 1 
sndieatodfimiitlM fttigUMof his joomey. H« wntas me a kind latter to 
tfaankmafainylittlaattaiitiDPaatNiylaa. IdidteUmwhatjoa adend— 
that JMf aat him > gohig, hj prnawifing lum to the beat paopla, or pnuaing hjai 
aa he daaarrad ; after whidi he made hia own w^, of ooorae, with aooeeaa. 
I wiah my meana peimitted me to be mora naefiiL By-the-bj, a Mr. R«y«- 
Bolda aeni bj yon aeema very angiy with me, but I can not help it I have 
no lege to go a miting, and never go oot but home by two aerranta. 80^ if 
yon aend me any one in a letter, piay tell than that I am a cripple, and can 
only be uaeM to them if they win take the trooUe of oonung to my hooae, aa 
I can not make calla. Itonlymakea coemiea, if the people will not leeoOeet 
that I am lame. I have got another paaaage, which, I think, ought not to bo 
omitted, about Sir Waher, and dan*t be angiy at all the trooUe I give yoa. 
I beUere I can aay that Cittven baa already begim aooielhmg in vesM ftr yov 
woik. He will, I bare no doobt, do it vrell aa to eiieentiop, and aa to aloiy, 
be knows the histoiy of all the odd thinga wlndi have happened in Italjy Unmi 
the most lemoto period of the daziwet agea. I have jnat d ia eov er e d tibat I 
most have a little separate alip of paper for my last Scott anecd o te, aa the fiat 
aboat Odin*s Stone does not come at the end. 

** March 12. Your maid's child is well and meny, but is to be taken to le- 
diia in the summer for this defect in the joints ; he is rexy well taken care o^ 
and delighted to see Gennaro. The archbishop is quite well, and not a day 
older than when you left him. W. G.** 

"Nsples,JvMld,1894. 

"Here I am again, just returned from Rome, and agreeably surprised to 
find a long letter from you, which I expected the lees, as I had not answered 
that which Messrs. Errington and Lyne Stevens, or Stephens, brought for me 
to the Holy City ; for there I have done all that could be done under the ex- 
isting circumstances, when all the * milords' and * my ladies' were disappear- 
ing, and leaving Rome and the Colosseum to their own resources. The best 
thing I could do for them was to sell them to Lady Coventiy, vrith a request 
that they might be treated on a par with the most favored nations, and to see 
that she executed her part of the treaty. I believe they will tell you I vras aa 
good as a grandmother to them, and I think it ended by their becoming guests 
* at Coventiy' ahnost every day in the week. Moreovw, I dare say Lady 
Goodwin will arrive at Naples in a few days, and take them again under her 
protection here, and as she keeps open house at both i^acea, they find her a 
very useful and a very agreeable acquaintance. 

" I told you it had not rained for three months at Rome, and till the last few 
days I spent there, every thing was as yellow and burned up as if it had been 
August instead of May. 

" I find this lungdom quite green, and every thing in a most flourishing con- 
dition, after that worn-out, misgoverned, unfortunate repreeentative of the 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM 6ELL. 377 

miftreiB of the world. I found here Craven, on the point of setting out for 
his conTent of Penta ; and I have scarcely seen any of my acquaintance yet, 
though Mr. Temple invited me for to-day, and I shall dine with the archbishop 
to-morrow. I have been so perpetually ill at Rome, that I am inclined to de- 
sert it, and as books will no longer sell in my line, it will be quite as well for 
my finances. 

"You have had a great deal of trouble in fishing for a decent escape from 

the business of Mr. L , and I thank you for it. I do not wish myself to 

do any thing disagreeable to the family, but I think it very ill-judged of them 
not to place every thing in its true light, especially when I had suppressed 
every thing which might have been put in a ludicrous light, out of respect and 
regard to Sir Walter. They can not revoke his two last novels, so it will be 
out o( their power to get rid of the &cts, while they lose all the merit they 
might claim for stating the case as it was. Besides, the whole philosophy of 
the business becomes tainted by that want of candor which spoils their book, 
without hiding the truth. They have shown the man as he was in his glory 
(we will suppose) ; it was equally their duty to the public and to posterity to 
show him in his decline. Hie whole is a dull piece of affected piety, which 
vitiates whatever they may publish of him ; but, as far as I am concerned, I 
only care about it as having taken the trouble to recollect and write down 
what was so little worth recollecting or writing, except as the sequel to some- 
thing of more consequence, and the winding up of the stoiy. I believe I dis- 
covered, during the time I was writing, that any biography of any contempo- 
rary must be amusing. And this brings to my mind your recommendation to 
write an autobiography of Sir William Gell. There is no doubt, if one dared 
to write all one knew and all one had witnessed, the book would indeed sell, 
and be a great favorite for a time ; but I doubt whether the author would find 
himself in a very agreeable position in society after the publication. By liv- 
ing partly in London and partly abroad, I have certainly met with, and have 
known a great variety of personages, not to mention Dr. Parr, and the queen, 
of whose life and manners I could certainly make very good fun and much 
amusement ; but I must treat them in a very different manner to that which 
I measured my account of Sir Walter for the inspection of his family. I have 
a neighbor who often desires me, and urges me, to write my life, but I really 
do not see the possibility of making it true and entertaining without commit- 
ting half my acquaintance. I have some sixty or seventy letters of her most 
gracious majesty. Queen Caroline ; and, * Mein Gott !* what curious things 
they are, and how rightly it would serve the royal family, supposing they had 
not quarreled with her, to publish their wife and cousin's correspondence, as 
they have cheated me out of my pension. By no means, however, publish my 

' Scottiana,' as you seem to think that L is inclined to behave well about 

it, though his reasoning is poor, and false, and inconclusive, as a history of 
Rome would be which finished at the Antonius*s, or one of Bonaparte which 
ended at the taking of Berlin. Speaking of which, I dined in company with 



378 LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM GELL. 

the Prince of Musignano, at Home, the other day, who married a cousin, a 
Miss Bonn •arte, which wife seemed as dull as the prince himself seemed an- 
imated and interested in every subject. And so my paper is ending before I 
have finished my story. I will find a Spanish, or Arabian-Moorish historico- 
romantic ballad for you, and I will set about Matthias to-morrow, who will dis- 
claim all knowledge of poetry in Italian, but who will most probably end by 
sending you what you want. I forgot to tell you that Mr. Errington and Ck>. 
are here, for they overtook me at Mola, as they traveled post, and I with my 
own horses. So we dined together, and set out together the next morning ; 
but as my said horses had only been at Naples some twelve hours before, they 
have been indulged in rest, and I have not seen your friends here yet. Mr. 

Errington said he had written to you. Lady H I saw at Rome with Lord 

B *s aunt. Our warlike king has taken the city by capitulation, and has 

spared the sacking of it, which would have taken place had it been taken by 
storm. Mr. Mills I lefl at Rome, but going to the lakes of Lombardy. Not 
a soul, except AVilliam Petre, will be left at Rome. 

" The Torlonias arc well. Kind regards to the count, and pray believe me 
affectionately yours, ArLus (Gellius). 

** P.S. — I don't know whether you knew poor Mr. Coote, a young man of 
Wiltshire, and son of Sir Eyre. He had a yacht here, and is just returned 
from a voyage to Greece. After this, he would steer his ship in a storm of 
rain to Pa?stuni, and then dine in his wet clothes ; the consequence of which 
was, that he died in a few days," 

" Naples, July, 1634. 

" Your two books of Byron and of Beauty arc at length arrived, and I re- 
turn you my most hearty thanks for the kind present. 

** I see by the book that the ladies are sometimes only ver>' slenderly attach- 
ed to the letter-press, like the unpaid attacht's of an embassy, so that as far 
as that goes, one of my Arab or Spanish ballads may be attached to the next 
lady you have in an Oriental costume, who may be called Zayda, as well as 
by any other name equally sweet-smelling. Tliis reflection gives me some 
hopes that what I have written may be of use to you, though it is terribly 
prosaic, because I want to prove that the world is deceived in calling the whole 
of that a romance which is in great part true, and of which the circumstances 
are very pecuhar. I think I have proved what I wished, and that, as it all 
ends in specimens of Spanish and Arab poetr}-, it is not too hea\-y for your 
work. It is also verj* poor in style ; but if you knew how many people that 
have nothing to do call upon me in a day, so that the prose is all written in 
talkative company, and the verse with a pencil, as one takes an evening drive 
in a carriage on the Strada Xuora, you would pity rather than condemn the 
most humble of your slaves. Besides thi.';, I am scarcely a day in tolerable 
health Iwtween gout and headache, though my spirits keep up most mar\el- 
ously, and I am just as merry as my more fortunate neighbors. I know not 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM GELL. 379 

when my letter was began, but this day, July 15th, I have finished all I mean 
to write for you, and given three or four romances in limping verse, and I end 
with an anecdote about a king who sent his enemy with a letter of recom- 
mendation, which authorized the receiver to cut off the bearer's hands and 
feet, and to bury him alive. 

*' If I had thought it sufficiently serious, I would have terminated by a par- 
allel passage in my own life which I suggested. I received a letter thus : 

* Dear Gell, I send you my fnend Mr. ; you will find him the greatest 

bore and the most disputations brute you ever knew. Pray ask him to din- 
ner, and get any one you know of the same character to meet him.* This 
was brought me by the man himself, and I found him in every way answer- 
ing to the character. Pray add or subtract any thing you like from what I 
send you. I see plainly that it is not quite right, though the intention is good, 
and I have given a full proportion of love, mixed with a proper degree of blood- 
shed, which the genius of the time requires. Pray also correct in the verse, 
according to the fashion of the day, the words opprest or oppressed, and such 
like words, to your taste, and if you think it all a bore, as very likely you may 
find it, you may put it in the fire altogether, with my compliments. 

'* I have no doubt, however. Craven will send you some sort of Italian stoiy 
of the Middle Ages worth having. He is at Penta, his countiy house, and can 
have nothing else to do, when tired of gardening. I have written to him to 
have it ready, and my chief object in writing this, and sending it by the post, 
is, that you may know that you are sure of some thirty pages of my little 
scribble, and something from Craven also. 

" Mr. Temple being with the count for some days at Palermo, 1 have no 
means of sending you so largo a packet as my Arabo- Spanish lucubrations 
will make, so I only send this to apprise you that wo have executed your 
commands. Young Craven vows a contribution from himself or his wife, 
Mdlle. Pauline la Feronays, but he is so much engaged in making love that 
I dare say he will write nothing. They are to be married in September, or 
sooner, if possible. As to that gay man,. Matthias, now in his ninety-third 
year, he is as obstinate as twenty pigs, and vows he will never write another 
line, as it is time, he says, to leave off making himself a fool in public. I 
thought at first I could persuade or bully him into it, but he is too resolved for 
the present. If he relents, he will put his sonnet into the ' Book of Beauty' 
for the year 1867, when Mr. Irving says the millennium is to begin. Here 
is my neighbor Mr. Ramsay, who writes much, but it is all on the corn-laws 
and political economy, so he can not help us much. They say Don Miguel 
is coming here, .but in the mean time is consoling himself by feasting and 
making merry with the Duke of Lucca. I have been forced to give up my 
Roman establishment, as I could afiford it no longer, and I believe Dr. Watson 
is going to live there instead of at Paris. You remember how it amused you 
that I had begun to take the necessary steps when I thought I was ruined by 
the hanging of Fauntleroy, since which my finances have always kept me in 
a state of alarm. 



380 URTBB8 OF 8IE WILLUM OBUU. 

•< Mr. IGB0 k gOM toinod SwitMriud fiir t^ MB^ 
now CountMi Sptw, and Bctiiian niiniitur at Bune, is Jnst brooglil to boi 
widi m fine boj ti Albttio. I bef joa wOl fOMnbor mo ommI knidljr to tlw 
eoont, who, I bope, did not Iom b» own mcMMyt tnit tbat of bis n dgbboty aft 
m lAootfaig matcb, wbidi I taw an aoeoont of tbe otber day in tbe naw afi ^ 
per. I can not make oot aa yet wbo brougbt your two bodka, fiir wbidi I 

tbank yon. Mr. Lyno Stqihena ia gone, but baa left Mr. £ in tbe good 

gracaa of Miaa M ^ ao Ibat tbey go gallrranting all over tbe ooontiy. I 

bave not aeen tfaem lately. I bope yoor ftienda will tell yon tbat I aet tbBB 
a going witb an ny mi^ ^Hmo tbflj firat iqppeaied. Tbey aie Teiy amiable 
cbildreB. Love to yoor aiater tbe oontearina. W. Gbll.** 

** I bave written to yon ao often lately tbat yoa will begin to tbink nw n 
mnaance. Bat I now write on boaineaa, to intxodnce to yon my little Eeaay 
on tbe 'Romantk: Hiatory of Spain,' wbidi wiD, I beliere, be preaented ty nqr 
friend Jobn AnMjo, Eaq., eelebrated lor bia ezenrnon to tbe aommit of Mont 
Blanc, and aa mucb celebrated ibr tbe intereating and unaffectrf aoeoont wbiA 
be has pablished of bis ascent and descent, wbich makes you tbink yon know 
the mountain as well as he does. He will give you an account of all that ia 
going on at Naples, what we arc doing, and who is going to be married. The 

Riociardi send their loves to you. I saw the two girls at old mother R ^"a, 

at the Villa Rugina, on the Vomero, the other night, where they sang, and 
two nights ago I saw them again, and had a long conversation with their la- 
ther at a hall, concert, and supper, given by Dominico Catalano, tbe great law- 
yer, on St Dominic's day, at which all Naples was present. There Madame 
Nicolas, who yet seemed to retain all her beauty, sang, but with perhaps lesa 
voice than formerly. The other sister has become a regular large dowager, 
and did not sing ; so I conclude her voice has departed like a mist on the hilla 
of Morven. The whole world came from Palermo the other day — the St The- 
odoros. Actons, kings, princes, and queen ; so that Naples, which had been 
deserted, begins to be inhabited again ; and at Catalano*s there seemed to be 
between three and four hundred persons, many of whom jigged away just as 
if the thermometer had not been up to eighty, and afterward ate as if there had 
been no fear of an hereafter. Coriali, Pepe, FUangieri, are well and merry. 

" Torlonia, now Duca di Ceri, was to have been married to a granddaugh- 
ter of the Patemo, a Mdlle. de Moncada, but they quarreled, and broke off 
the match. Craven is living at Penta, and receiving company, having estab- 
lished a house with twenty beds, stables, and all that tends to reception. I 
have been there once this summer, and am going again with* Lady Coventry. 
The archbishop is very well, perhaps better than usual, but paler and more 
bent, and desires loves to you. I go and dine there about once in ten days. 

" The Actons have finished their house, and live very hospitably and agree- 
ably in it, and give balla, dinners, and plays. Young Craven marries MdUo. 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM GELL. 381 

Pauline la Feronays on th6.28th of August. The happy couple have each 
a rent-roll of troU mille francs, but K. Craven will give £600 a year, so they 
will have about £900 to begin with, and I hope they will contrive and be pru^ 
dent with it. Your old Belvidere is to be sold, and the queen will, if you 
like also, sell you the Villa Gallo : the Belvidere for about £3000. I could 
find no earlier method of sending you the Spanish Arabic article, but I hope 
it will be in time. I have got a most beautiful lady really, the Princess of 
Monte Vago, in Sicily, who would do for Zayda's picture, if you wanted a 
new face for your book, and if you are in want I would contrive to send it for 
engraving. Mr. Auldjo has in his Constantinople journal a beauty or two of 
that country, whose faces he copied with an instrument, and they are not only 
good in themselves, but very different from any thing European, and might 
consequently be very useful in your book, and prevent a sort of nationality 
that will be observed when all the artists are firom one country. Lady Cov- 
entry gave the archbishop a copy of your ' Book of Beauty,* which delighted 
him much. 

" You may cut down my dissertation or print it all, just as you like ; change, 
bum, or otherwise destroy what you don^t like, or the whole together, and put 
my name, or that of any one else, just as you find it convenient. I lent it to 
Captain Basil Hall to review, and he says it should have my name ; but judge 
for yourself. Craven has got an Italian story for you, and I am sure you will 
have it soon. Augustus Craven has something else, and I should not won- 
der if one of the Stewarts sent you something also. What is become of that 
most amiable Stewart^ the colonel of KUlymoonl Not to intrude more on your 
time, and having the gout myself, I must stop, but with love to La Comtessa 
de St. Marsault and Count Alfred. Yours, dec, William Gell. 

" Gennaro sees your maid^s child very often, and he is well" 

" Penta, June 23d, 1835. 

'* It was not so much because I had been ill myself, as because I had heard 
that you were ill, that I have delayed writing so long. I trusted that I should 
get some fresh intelligence about you, and firom day to day put ofif writing ac- 
cordingly. I conclude, from your silence on the subject, that you have not 
been much indisposed ; though it is not for me, who have been six months 
laid up, to glory in the strength of my constitution, which broke up, like the 
ice on the Neva, about the middle of November last, and lefl me a prey to all 
the diseases into which gout has been known to resolve itself when it is fair- 
ly tired out with the common symptoms and pains. Among these, dropsy is 
generally the most prominent and the most fatal ; and the next is asthma, with 
which two agreeable companions I have, since November, passed my time ; 
sometimes sufifering firom one, and often both the complaints united. 

" I found my talent for sleeping in company much improved, and I can give 
you no better specimen of it than these two last lines, where you will observe 
the words united and very much disguised by having fallen asleep thicd 



383 uem^n qf.bu wimjMqm^ 



timM trlnlt I wm wiUfaBf th* loDowing MOUfpM: M hud tma&ivgf tbn, 
dwrtMt iMd to Praia.' 

"« I will let U ituid M it is, iir it will espbin; to joa wlqr I ooold not wiito 
bofinop and wlqr I migiit at weQ not have writtoa now. I eoaae wiilinf . or 
wBto nonwmoa, or the pen goee on eeiibbliiig, Imt I can not guide It. I wi|. 
now begin agun, time home bier. Well, the sy miHi imeof ailhmaenddwy» 
qr eon^med, and I eoold hot lie down horiiootalfy ior fear of wiffocatinh. 
Nevoitheleee, widi fear doeton— Dr. Stmge, Dr. HeaUi, Jh. Knight, and De. 
Wateon — I am alive, and one mi^ almoet eaj reeofering, at feat atp n e t i b le , 
fiom the phytic and the dbeate. The oMMt enrioiit tymplomt are the going 
dead atleap all at onee, and the dreaming, when wide awake, aboot eatinj^ 
and hdping mj fiienda to eatablet I gave Lord Aberdeen a laige iKee of 
cold ham ^ moniing aboot fere o*clocl^ but when I came to repeat it, I feond 
he had no plate. I rung the bell, and by the time the tervant really cam^ I 
wat tentJMe there wat neither ham nor any other eatable in the bed. Tfaie. 
tort of tlung happent twen^ timet in the twen^-feor hooxt, and tomelimw 
prodocet the moot lUBcoloot oomlnnationt. Howerer, the other day I was 
alone at Mr. Temple't, looking, at I bdiered, at tome printt in a book, when, 
felling atleep, I paEed orer my chair in tiying to tave niy tel( and fell on the 
pavement in a manner which maket the idea of a repetition of my gambda 
frightful. Not having had time to save myself with my hands, I fell with mj 
weight on the floor — a most abominable crash — and the hip-bone, of comae, 
and all that side, sofiered most severely ; nor am I well of that accident, which, 
has much retarded the cure of the original illness. The only wonder wat 
that it was no worse. 

" I wat ordered to move about a little, which I do with grief and pain ; and 
am now at Craven's, at Penta, thirty-five miles from Naples, to which place 
I came on a sort of trading voyage, beginning with a visit of four days to Lady 
Barbara, who is at Castelamare. I stay here four days, and then take two 
more with the Ponsonbys, and then, after some four days at Naples, shall do 
the same over again, changing Lady F. Barbara for Mrs. Locke or her daugh- 
ter, perhaps at Castelamare. I give you the history of my life, as it it 

a good way of letting you judge of my health. You see that I might do toI« 
crably well were my one hundred and forty diseases curable. Dr. Heath, who 
is with the Ponsonbys, seems, I think, to be satisfied that I shall shortly be 
better, and possibly much better than usual ; and that my grand climacteric, 
which usually falls at the age of sixty-three, has been hastened by length of 
illness, and frdlen upon me at fifty-eight instead, after which the constitution 
might change for the better. I thought, till now, that the age of sixty-three 
was required for the change, but ho says no. So you see, my dear Lady 
Blessington, I have given you a long statement of my case, and the results, at 
far as we know them. You tell me of your bad weather, and if this be in 
due proportion, you ought yet to be in Siberia, for I have at this moment a 
tolerable fire, by which I am too cold ; and without, it is raining cats and dogs, 



LETTERS OF SIR WILLIAM GELL. 383 

and seems likely to continue to do so. The consequence is, the most wonder- 
ful verdure I ever beheld, the vines in unusually large leaf, and the Indian com, 
flax, and hemp shooting into thickets below them. I never saw any thing so 
verdant as the world is here, whenever we have an hour or two of sun to enjoy 
so green and beautiful a scene. What is become of the English I knpw not ; 
the spring was forgotten, the season for summer is half over, and the winter 
yet remains, and the milords seem to have forgotten to come to Italy. There 
may be three families of no note at Sorrento, and about as many threaten 
to come to Castelamare for the month of July, so that the houses are for the 
present empty. The Salsa has, however, worked herself into Dorchester 
House, as the papers say ; and as far as her own account of things goes, she 
finds no dilTerence, but all goes on well ; at all events, she is not the person 
to cry stinking fish, and would say that harmony existed as long as possible. 

" We have at Craven's a tremendous large old convent, with cells for as 
many as can be got to fill them ; and Craven himself, out of perverseness, is 
as hospitable and as open to all comers here, as he sometimes appears the 
contraiy at Naples, where society might be had without the trouble or expense 
of maintaining it. I am glad you have seen Dr. Hogg ; he writes remarka- 
bly well, and will, I doubt not, make a pretty book from vexy scanty materi- 
als. When he was here he used to go crazy on the subject, which, I hope, 
will not be the case in London. Pray order him to return here directly, and 
tell him that he would find plenty of room to practice, if so disposed. 

" Mr. '\^^Ikinson I am glad you admire, for he must by this time be one of 
the most learned men in ChristendooL 

*' You say people speak kindly of me. I assure you, since I have been so 
ill, I have found great consolation in observing how far the world in general 
exceeds in kindness what one had any right to expect from it. 

" As to that ugly old abbot, I suppose he had imbibed a fidse impression, 
and never could get rid of it.* 

" My romance has not advanced a step. I thought, during my illness, I 
could at least have written that ; but that is hUtoria, and requires facts and 
dates ; and I never could guide my pen, as you will have said many times be- 
fore you get to the end of this long and dull letter. A thousand kindnesses 
to Count Aifired, and the young lady, your sister. I hope your young friend 
will return pleased with Naples. Faithfully yours, VJ". Gell. 

** I got both your novels by Mr. Stanley, and thank you much. I think I 
was most entertained with the ' Repealers,' and you certainly speak out. 
Poor Matthias is very well, but is querulous and old, and thinks himself de- 
serted — ^so much so, that nobody can imdertake his society, he is so discon- 
tented and curious. 

" The archbishop is as well as ever, and dined with me a few days ago 
when he laughed and was as gay as ever. 

* The Abb^ Campbell, I presume, is alluded to. — R. R. M 



u 



lETTERS OF Sm WILLIAM GMJ^ 
am (Soing welL alao/^* 



m 



• Tins iwiidLdaa kltw WM Am Ia«l» I bdief*. triikk Sir Win^ 

i to LMjr BUMriBgtoB. 11m dite oT It it abovl iiiM moadM befiMii lii ' 
Tli> magaktmBtma^ oifimbntkmg vp of hk — t»l pdww, irftiM —it^^ 
I of thoir fcaBiOt mdof Ifcooo mteg #■■■■■ of hio-^iffcenlM iiBigiB«<b 
kiMdf in tiio oooioty of old lliio^^ tiMB £» diotatt, «ftd friiei«d hiBM^ 
MiWiilg widi liMni m Ulikaif wmm pntont— is poinMly iatonotuw. BdKwM 
tildflf leoro of poor OoU, porinpo » loltor of iatiodnetim^ oddiened to te J^^ 
«lmloftiioEOTtinioot,of h^aadoao Toiy dionictomtie of him, whidi W' 
k I WM Mttiac 0(01 fi)r te Soit la 18M, will not bo f 



FIIOK MB W. 0VLL TO TVS OMAVB ASIfimAI. OV THB BOTPTIAir WVtmWZ 

"NofoH^Mi 
"Xio Cabo Amoo Gbabb^ AmiBJuouo bi* Bomor-CoB qovu T. : 

Brio, fl SpHIO IMiBB, cMn^iB, a flBB tiiMttO» I 4Mto TO Vli«i^^ 

o knivo 09 iiBMi Brib opraioBO 41 cMnB|lou Tiuiuoio 09 tEfiit rooflBnloBi MBit ob^ 
pBoo, • teas, liBooBM^rt bsmbo tmi bhAiI mb poaUHtei dl wi dikunl om^pHlB 
dgaawdigniBdoBflltlBaoBB AIBbm ttPlMioit gBto p» tanm o — lo. DbbjmiiI 
pnfo oMer qmnto poctte Biite danata la aaa dlaMta adla tevra dd MaanlBMB. 

** Peaaal totto qoeat' aono Ikre a Tiagglo d'Efttto, ma flra naootena ddla gaana oob 
A](iflri,lagaerTaGreca,eda bop avere batiawnto tAcmo per trajyortaaaii ad Alnaaaudiia 
di Misir, aoao qoi per ora, e Terameote non redo mesxi, al momento, a ftre il trafetto oob 
ooomiodo e aiccarezza, ad eaaendo Zoppo, ed alqoanto in recchiaio doppo 11 noatxo oelefara 
TiaggJk> adla roatra flregata L*Aflica, Don rale per me la pena rlaggiare ae non eon eonn 
owdo e aiecoressa. HograndealderioandaTeperqaaleliegiome aOeniMdemmeedapaa- 
Mie l*tBTemo In Bgttto ae aboa Oooh ed il I>iaTolo me permetteaaero, ma qnaado qnesto 
aaranonao. 

'* Se arete roeeaggiODe e aapeta di qnalehe baatimento the viene in qneiti paeai ri piafo 
aeriTermi e ftr me aapexe eomo ▼anno gli affkri Toalri e qneDl d*Egitto pereh^ da Tero qal 
ra ne aono eeite Tolte deUe eonte ed iatorie fUal, die non d pCTmettooo nqwie il Tero. 

** Non 80 ae il llglio lesta anchora in Malta altrimentri da lai petrel lo r a fl c rer e una roo- 
tialettara. SperoebeToirioaeita lnognicoaaelieTitoeeaperaonalmente,eeiieauetagia 
diTentato 11 pin rieeo dellalhmi(Ua di GIblaclitar. Non ao ae arete in compagnia fln om 11 
▼oatro ftdde Tnreomanno, ma ai^ponzo cbe H Tenrate Oaman non reeu pin in rorta eqai- 
pacgio. Haasan Bey di Rbodi aento eaaer morto. Mi fbra grandiaaimo piaeere qaei gi<»-> 
no ebe poaao riTederal. 

** Spero al fine Tedami, an altra toIu in qoaato mondo, aiecome non tieeendo Torco il 
Toatro grand Profeta non permette cbe lo andarae al eettiidb eielo nel altro. 

** Wilkinson be fetto gnnde p rogre eai neDo atndio ddle antiebiu d'Egitto. Sento cbe 
la povera citti di Atene e tatu diatrat U e tvtti qnami gli amid miei moiti tanti Grad qoanti 
Tnrebi, Oaman MoDabTbrabimAgae Compagnia. Vi pregofkttalapaeeenonmaxsataplii 
gente, e trattau I Toatii prigiooert eon demenxa per Tamor di Dio a aa ProOta. 

"CiadelaBil aempia, eariaaimo Amaraglio, amico e OBrrttota Toatio ftdrtiaaimo, 

"Gell." 



Sm WILLIAM OAUMMONP. 335 



CHAPTER XIX. 



In the preceding letters of Sir William Gell there are some 
persons referred to, of whom a more detailed account may be 
desirable than can be given in the limits of foot-notes. Of some 
of these persons, moreover, frequent mention is made in the Di- 
aries and Letters of Lady Blessington, which have reference to 
her sojourn in Naples, and the acquaintances she formed there 
and in Rome. 

The brief notices now introduced will enable the reader to 
comprehend more easily and fully observations on passing oc- 
currences, only slightly glanced at in those letters, and allusions 
to persons which may only suffice to excite curiosity, and leave 
a desire to know something more in relation to them. 

SIR WILLIAM DRUMMOND. 

The Right Honorable Sir William Drummond, a Privy Coun- 
cilor, formerly H. B. M.'s Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plen- 
ipotentiary to the King of the Two Sicilies, and subsequently at 
the Ottoman Porte, died at Rome the 29th of March, 1828. 

His first work was published in 1794, " A Review of the Gov- 
ernments of Sparta and Athens," 8vo. In 1798 he published 
"The Satires of Persius," translated; in 1805, "Academical 
Cluestions," 4to ; in 1810, in conjunction with Robert Walpole, 
" Herculanensia," &c., containing a MS. found at Pompeii ; in 
1811, in 4to, " An Essay on a Punic Inscription found in the Isl- 
and of Malta f in 1818, in 4to, " Odin," a Poem ; and in 1824, 
" Origines, or Remarks on the Origin of several Empires, States, 
and Cities," 2 vols. 8vo. Ho also printed, but not for sale, a re- 
markable work, entitled " CEdipus Judaicus," of very anti-Chris- 
tian tendencies, reducing Scriptural histories to mere astronom- 
ical allegories. 

In 1811, Byron, in a letter to his friend Hodgson, says: "I 
have gotten a book by Sir William Drummond, printed but not 

Vol. I.— R 



386 HB WILUAM DEVMHOirD. 

published, entitled * GSdipna Jndaieiu,* in which he attenipte to 
proTe the greater p&rt of the Old Testament an allegory, partien- 
lariy Grenesb and Joshua. He professes himself a Theist in the 
preface, and handles the literal interpretation rery rou^y."* 

Bjrron was then in his twenty-third year, and no doubt the 
▼eteran Theist's erudition was not thrown away on the young, 
impressible mind of Byron. How much unhappiness may not 
the author of the erudite infidel woric of this accomplished wxiteir 
have to answer for, eyen in the single instance I refer to? 

Lady Blessington makes frequent mention in her letters and 
diaries of Sir William Drummond as a profound scholar, whoae 
classical lore was united with scientific knowledge of Tarioua 
kinds in modem literature, mineralogy, chemistry, and astxon- 
omy. His conyersation was not only erudite, but brilliant and 
playful. He had the imagination of a man of original poetical 
genius ; a capacity fit for a philosopher, a statesman, or a meta- 
physician. He was a polished, high-minded gentleman, more- 
over, with all the politesse de la vielle cour. 

Sir 'William Drummond and his lady were of very opposite 
tastes. He passed his days, and the greater portion of his nights, 
in reading or writing. The tables, chairs, sofas, and even the 
floors were loaded with books. " He seldom saw Lady Drum- 
mond except at dinner," says Lady Blessington, '* surrounded by 
a large party. She passed, as she passes still, her time in the 
duties of an elaborate toilet, paying or receiving visits, and play- 
ing with her lap-dog. A strange wife for one of the most in- 
tellectual men of his day ! and yet this dissimilarity produced 
no discord between them ; for she was proud of his acquire- 
ments, and he was indulgent to her less spiritucUe tastes y\ 

It might be a question difficult to answer whether " the most 
intellectual man of Europe" benefited his species more by eru- 
dition turned against Christianity, than the lady " of less spirit- 
uelle tastes," though occupied occasionally with the duties of an 
elaborate toilet, but habitually devoted to works of charity, pro- 
fuse in her liberalit}', and making use of her vast wealth, as she 

♦ Moore^s Life of Lord Bttod, p. 157, 8ro ed., 1838. 
f The Idler m Frtace, toI. i., p. 148. 



SIR WILUAM DRUMMOND. 387 

did in Naples, for the relief of the poor and the distressed, 
served her fellow-creatures. 

When Lady Blessington met Sir William for the last time at 
Rome, he was then evidently verging fast toward the close of 
his career. Ill as he was, however, he came to see her at her 
hotel. His death-stricken, pallid features, the utter feehleness 
and extraordinary emaciation of his frame, shocked her. He 
was taken from his carriage in a chair hy his servants ; and as 
he was thus conveyed into her scdon^ she was forcibly reminded 
of the sitting statue of Voltaire, executed shortly before his 
death, which is placed in the vestibule of the Theatre Fran^ais 
at Paris. His mental faculties remained unimpaired. His con- 
versation was the same as ever — delightful to listen to. 

" He is conscious," says her ladyship, " that the King of Ter- 
rors is fast approaching, and awaits his presence with all the dig' 
nified composure of a philosopher of old. He spoke to me of his 
approaching end with calmness ; said he should have liked to 
have had time to finish the work in which he is engaged ; and 
observed that it was a blessing for which he was penetrated 
with gratitude to the Most High, that his mind still survived the 
wreck of his body, and enabled him to bear, if not to forget, the 
physical sufierings entailed by disease. 

" Speaking of his approaching end, he said, ' There is some- 
thing in Rome, with its ruins, and the recollections with which 
it is fraught, that reconciles one to decay and death. The in- 
evitable lot of all things seems here so strongly brought before 
one, that the destiny of an individual is merged in that of the 
scene around him.' "* 

It was not long before Lady Blessington's fears for her friend 
were realized. In May, 1828, she visited his grave in the En- 
glish burying-ground in Rome. The massive pyramid of Caius 
Sextus cast its shadows over the resting-places of Shelley, Keats, 
and Drummond ; but the remains of Drummond were to be re- 
moved to Scotland in the course of a few months. The fair pil- 
grim who visited his grave thought of the happy hours passed 
in his society, the brilliant conversation of that highly-gifted 
^ The IdUr in Italy, Par. ed., 1830, p. 391. 



mam^ the daep rafleetjcmi die had heud finom thoM ^mi iIhkI 

were now silent forerer. 

/ 

THE ABBE CAMPBELL. 

''The Bni^idi in Italj," fimm 1820 to 1839, aeqnainted wi& 
Naples, the leaident Imgkai of Naples e^eoiall j, ean not fail to 
lemember the celehrated Mai^ an ecdesiastie not renowned fcr 
his learning, remaxiatble for amenity of manners, or agieeaMo- 
nessofappeaianoe or address; not venerated much for sanetitj, 
or sought af^ for the ezoellenee of his example, ^m polity of 
his morals, and the inflnenoe of his life and eonveraation befim 
men in his spiiitnal ehazaeter, hot distingnyhed fxx a aort of 
mysterioQS jH««^g«-*an apprehension of his power orer peo^ 
in high places, in sereral courts, and in Tarioos Cmitinental cap- 
itals — a nondescript influence seldom exercised for an j good-aa^ 
tured purpose, and courted even in the host society on account 
of the fear with which the unbridled license of his tongue in- 
spired it. The abb^ had to be petted, caressed, abundantly fed, 
and propitiated with good dinners by all new-comers of distinc- 
tion and of discretion. 

In Naples particularly, and in some other Continental courts 
of absolute princes, be was without a rival among paroemu and 
hangers-on of great men in power or authority. 

There was nothing in his education, his natural position, his 
antecedents, or his habits, to conciliate men's favorable <^inion 
of his companionable qualities. In the latter part of 1 82 1 , when 
1 first met him, he was, I think, upward of sixty-eight years of 
age, low of stature, exceedingly bulky, unwieldy, and ungainly 
in bis movements. His features were large and heavy, coarse 
and vulgar; his complexion was of an obfuscated, lurid red, 
with a predominance of the purple of the grape in it. The ex- 
pression of his CEtce was all animal. His look was cunning, and 
there was a leering, frolicksome twinkle always in it after din- 
ner, that contrasted unpleasantly with his age and dilapidated 
appearance. His head was enormously large ; and his neck, 
extremely short and thick, was always buried in a profuse quan- 
tity of cravat of a dingy hue. The head and trunk merging into 



TH£ ABB£ CAMPBELL. 389 

one, with bo little of intervening neck, reminded one of the con- 
formation of some of the larger lizards. His clothes, generally 
bedaubed with snuff, hung on his large person as if they had 
been pitched about him casually and carelessly by an old serv- 
ant of his — Pococurante, as great an oddity as his master. 

In Naples, his intimate relations of friendship with the min- 
ister Medici, and the terms of acquaintance on which he was 
with the old king Ferdinand, gave an importance to his '* unde- 
fined and undefinable position in society," which contributed 
very much to an influence exercised over it by him that was 
certainly one more of fear than love. The abb6 was said to 
have a pension from the Neapolitan government, and an annual 
stipend also from some official source in England, and for some 
public services that were of a very private nature. 

He had been, at a very early age, a chaplain to a Neapolitan 
embassador in London about the time of the marriage of the 
Prince Regent with Mrs. Fitzherbert, and rumor assigned the 
perilous duty of the performance of the marriage ceremony to 
the young chaplain of the Neapolitan embassador. 

I have heard this rumor mentioned in the presence of the 
abb^, and it remained not only uncontradicted by him, but so 
far acquiesced in, at least, as to leave an impression that he knew 
the priest by whom the marriage was celebrated.* 

In the second volume of ^ The Memorials and Correspondence 
of Charles James Fox," by Lord John Russell, we have the prin- 
cipal circumstances related of the Prince of Wales's marriage 
with Mrs. Fitzherbert. First comes a letter of Mr. Fox to the 
prince, in the strongest terms dissuading him from the rumored 
intention of the marriage, dated Dec. 10, 1785 ; next follows a 
reply of " the true prince" and truth-loving heir-apparent, dated 
the 19th of the same month, solemnly denying the rumor that 
" there not only is, but never was, any ground for these reports 
which have of late been so maUeiously eireulatedJ** Then comes 
Lord John Russeirs statement, that ten days only after this sol- 
emn averment his royal highness had married Mrs. Fitzherbert. 

♦ When M«. Fitzheibert wm married in 1785, the abbe, who waa bom about 
17M, most haT« bMii rather mote tbfta thirty yean of ag«. 



390 THE ABBE CAMPBELLw 

The maniaget it it itatad by Lend John, was perfomied ia 
priY&te by a dergjrman of the Church of England, in the man* 
nei prescribed by the Book of Common Prayer, and the oertifi- 
eate, dated December 21, 1785, was atteitad by two witneaaea. 
ThiB is only half the trath. It would have been no latiafaetioa 
to Mn. Fitdierbert'a ■cruples to hare had the marriage cere* 
mony performed by a clergyman not belonging to her ohnieb, 
unless the ceremony had been preriously performed by a Bomaa 
Catholic clergyman ; and I have been assured by the late Mr. 
Thomas Savory, of Sussex Place, Regent's Paric, the confideB:* 
tial and long-loved friend of the Duke of Sussex, that he knew 
of a certainty that the ceremony had been performed by a B<k 
man Catholic priest who was connected with one of the fereiga 
embassies in London, and who thought it prudent to fly the 
country after the marriage ceremony had been performed. 

Lord Brougham, in his ** Historical Sketches" (Greorge IT.), 
says, " Mrs. Fitzherbert was a Roman Catholic ; sincerely at- 
tached to the religion of her forefathers, she refused to purchase 
a crown by conforming to any other ; and the law declared that 
whoever married a Catholic should forfeit all right to the crown 
of these realms, as if he were naturally dead. This law, how- 
ever, was unknown to her, and, blinded by various pretenses, 
she was induced to consent to a clandestine marriage, which is 
supposed to have been solemnized between her and the prince 
beyond the limits of the English dominions, in the silly belief, 
perhaps, entertained by him, that he escaped the penalty to 
which his reckless conduct exposed him, and that the forfeiture 
of his succession to the crown was only denoimced against such 
a marriage if contracted within the realm." 

And his lordship adds, in a note, '* Some affirm that it was 
performed in London at the house of her uncle. '^ 

The abba's recollections were no less vivid than entertaining, 
and some gravely interesting, of Lord Nelson and of Lady Ham- 
ilton, of his social intercourse with the latter, and of the admi- 
rable old port (rarely to be met with in Naples), which gave a 
particular charm to her dinners, the pleasures of which were 
* Historical Sketches of Strntesmen of the Time of George III., p. 28S. 



THE ABBE CAMPBELL. 391 

generally of a prolonged description, and extended sometimes 
far into the night. 

The abbe was at Naples at the time of the execution of Car- 
raccioli and his associates, and was cognizant of many of the cir- 
cumstances relating to that infamy — the court intrigues, the 
connection with them of Lady Hamilton, and the unhappy in- 
fluence that lady brought to bear on Nelson.* 

The abbe stated that some days after the execution (which 
he spoke of, to his credit, with reprehension, though all his sym- 
pathies were with CardinAl Rufib and his party), the body of 
one of the persons executed, said to have been that of Carracci- 
oli, was found floating under the stem of Nelson's frigate, and 
was visible to the admiral from his cabin windows. On one 
occasion of a controversy on this subject, the abb6 said, He knew 
for a certainty that Nelson had seen one of the bodies of the exe- 
cuted men, some days after the execution, floating near the stem of 
his ship, with the face upward, and he knew that Nelson was shocked 
at the spectacle, and well he might be. 

The abb6 was on terms of close intimacy with the late King 
of Hanover and with the Duke of Cumberland, and seldom vis- 
ited England that he did not enjoy the duke's hospitality. 

It was something more than amusing to hear this old man, 
of an obscure origin and humble rank, of no very prepossessing 
appearance or courtly manners, vaunting of his intimacy and 
terms of familiar intercourse with kings, and princes, and min- 
isters of state : " My friend Cumberland ;" ** My old acquaint- 
ance, the King of Sardinia ;" " Mio Caro Amico Medici," &c. 

In Naples, after the abortive attempts at revolution in 1821, 
there was a very strict surveillance of the police over foreign- 
ers, especially the English, in Naples. Their letters were opened 

* ** The 20th of April, 1709, Cardinal Ruffo, at the head of the Neapolitan Roy- 
alists and some Russian auxiliaries, entered Naples. Soon after, a confederate 
force of English, Russians, Italians, Portuguese, and Turks, entered the port un- 
der a convoy of Lord Nelson, and invested the Castle of St. Elmo ; Capua and 
Gaeta were afterward taken by the assistance of the English. A severe ven- 
geance was afterward indicted, in contravention of a solemn treaty, on the Nea- 
politan patriots, with the culpable connivance of Nelson, acting under the influ- 
ence of the profligate wife of the English embassador, Sir William Hamilton."— 
British Chrnuo'ntrv, l.y W:i!#.. od. 1«<39, n. fil5. 



398 tm ABBB OAMPBByU 

ud tT*T!>^~>^ at the pottH»ffiee by antfaoiilj. The i 
an Englishman, or of some one well acquainted with the Bii|^Ual| 
language, were required for thia piiTate duty of foreign oone- 
■pondence examination, and on more than one occaiion the ahM 
waa openly charged with the performance of thia duty. Saeieta 
became known to him which could only be obtained ficrai tfai« 
■ouree of information. They might certainly have been com* 
mnnicated to him by hia confidential frioid Medici, and tha 
direct duty of opening the lettera might haye been perfiumed 
by iome other peraon. Hy own ojdnion ia that aueh waa tha 



Sir William Gell for aome time adopted a formula for the num 
speedy transmission of his lettera through the post-office ; tha 
following words, in larger charactera than the rest, were uanaUy 
written at the top of the page of every letter of his : *^Wkm ike 
Abb6 CampibtU has read this prwaU eommemcoHon^ and replaced 
the broken seal, he is requested to send on the letter to its destinet^ 
tion^ 

This was a dear joke to Gell ; it was the cause of a deadly 
feud in English society in Naples, a feud in which, on one side, 
was ranged the redoubtable abb^, and occasionally, and at a 
convenient distance, an ally worthy of a better cause, Charles 
Reilly, the well-known surgeon of the Chiaga ; and, on the other. 
Sir William Drummond, Sir William Gell, Keppel Craven, the 
Count D'Orsay, Dr. Watson, the celebrated linguist, and, on the 
confines of the field of battle, Ridgeway, the secretary of Sir 
William, and " the Master of the Horse" of Lady Drummond. 

Ridgeway was a man of worth and integrity, of a remarkably 
staid and solemn aspect. He had the soul of a " gentleman 
usher of the time of Elizabeth," penetrated with solemn convic- 
tion of the grave importance of old ceremonials, and set formu- 
las, and stately etiquettes. 

In flinging dirt, the Abbe Campbell was an incomparable bel- 
ligerent. There was nothing in the shape of an offensive mis- 
sile too foul or too heavy for his hands. The abb6 was a fero- 
cious hater, savagely sarcastic, and strangely jocular in his furi- 
bond movements. There was something terrible in his rancor 



THE ABBE CAMPBELL. 393 

when he was drunk with passion, and in his revelry, when he 
was inebriated, as he was '* wont to be of an afternoon," with 
wine. 

Few people could tell the place of birth, parentage, or ante- 
cedents of the abb^. He passed for an Englishman with En- 
glishmen, a Scotchman with Scotchmen, and any thing but an 
Irishman with Irishmen in general. To Reilly and myself, Dr. 
Gluin, and one or two more, he was known to be an Irishman, 
a native of the north of Ireland. 

He was pleased to promise me, on divers occasions, when in 
'' the superior condition," the inheritance of his papers, and, 
among the rest, some fragments of a Memoir of his Life, which 
he had written some years previously, and had condenmed to 
the flames — ^no doubt very judiciously, when the Carbonari had 
got the upper hand in Naples. 

In attempting to destroy the MS. in a place suitable enough 
for it, a sudden puff of wind scattered the burning papers about 
the abb^, and, according to his humorous account of this €nUo' 
da-fi of his Memoirs, he was in danger of sufiering death by his 
own life. 

The few pages that were unconsumed the abb6 was obliged 
to carry off, and to take beyond the frontier with his own valu* 
able person. 

Lady Blessington observes, " It is not easy to imagine how 
the abba's influence is acquired, for his talents are of a very 
mediocre kind, his manners coarse, and his reputation not hon- 
orable ; mais n'importe, he preserves his ground, and is received, 
though abused, in every great house in Naples. 

'* This is one of the many extraordinary instances one ofVen 
witnesses of a man rising from a low station without one qual- 
ity to justify his ascent or maintain it, yet whose presence is 
tolerated by those who decry him."* 

The '* German prince," Puckler Muskau, whose travels in 

Germany, Holland, and England were published in 1831, makes 

mention of a celebrated wit of a sarcastic turn, " once a patentee 

of puns," whom he had met in one of the first circles of fashion- 

* Tk* Idtor in luaj. 

R2 



3M '™^ ^BE CAMraBLI.. 

able life in London, whose ereiy woid was extnmgully ad- 
mired and extolled, thoni^ the liking for the iaeetiona cynio waa 
feigned and pretended to, out of fear of the waipiih tongue of 
the saieastie humorist. *" I have a mortal hate," says die priBce. 
^ for the whole' tribe of such wits, especially when, like this per- 
son, they combine a repulsire exterior with gall and saretsm un- 
redeemed by grace of any kind. In human society they appear 
as poisonous insects, whom people, out of a pitiful weaknesa, 
help to nourish with the blood of others to save their own.** 

The abb6's head-quarters at Naples, in the latter years of hia 
life, were on an eminence called Capo di lionte, and oceaatoa- 
ally at the Albergo di Crocelle, in the Chiatamone. He made 
yearly joumejTs to Eng^d, and sometimes more frequently ▼!«- 
ited London, and during his stay there (often a rery prolonged 
one) installed himself in the house of my old friend, Thomaa 
Field Savory, in Sussex Place, Regent's Park. On one occasion 
of a yisitation there he had dined out, and done ample justice 
to the viands and the wines of his entertainer. He sallied forth 
at a late hour, after some unsuccessful attempts to procure a 
hackney-coach for him. He had ordered a vehicle, which was 
not to be found. There was a large party at a house adjoining 
his entertainer's, and there was a long line of carriages in front 
of the house, and among them a solitary sedan chair, of large 
dimensions. The drivers of the coaches and the bearers of the 
sedan chair were probably regaling themselves. It was a wet 
night in every sense of the term. The unfortunate abb6 no 
sooner espied the sedan chair than some unaccountable impulse 
sent his great bulk of body bundling into the ancient vehicle, 
and no sooner had he plopped down and was seated than he 
fell fast asleep, snoring loudly. 

The bearers, on their return, found a fat snoring gentleman in 
the sedan, whom it was impossible to rouse or to eject by any 
exertion of their lungs or efforts of their arms. A crowd col- 
lected : among them, some mischievously-minded individual, an 
anticipator of the hydropathic system, pointed to a spout, from 
which torrents of water were pouring down from the roof of a 
* TnTels of a Gemuui Prine*. 



THE ABBE CAMPBELL. 395 

neighboring house. In an instant the poles were thrust into 
their places ; the sedan chair, with its enormous burden, was up- 
lifted, borne to the spot, and placed under the spout ; the head 
"^as then lifted, and the abb6 was suddenly awakened, drench- 
ed, bewildered, and dismayed, imagining the end of the world 
was come, and another deluge was taking place. 

A compassionate jarvey, seeing the prospect of getting a good 
fare, contrived to elicit from the thoroughly-soaked gentleman 
his address. He was conveyed home, cool, but not comfortable, 
and not in a very seraphic state of mind. 

The abb^, on various occasions, had given Savory to under- 
stand that nearly all he possessed should go to him (Savory) at 
his death. He held out solemn promises also to the nephew 
of that gentleman, Mr. John Savory, that he would find his 
name had not been forgotten in the disposition of the property 
of Henry Campbell. 

He broke all his promises to the elder Savory, to whom, for 
many years, he had given a vast deal of trouble about his pe- 
cuniary and other private aflairs ; but he kept faith with Mr. 
John Savory (the present head of the firm of Savory and Moore, 
of Bond Street). A short time before he left London for the 
last time, and about three or four months previous to his death, 
in the early part of 1830, having made some arrangement of 
his affairs, he called on Mrs. Savory, and with some signs of 
emotion, and marked solemnity of manner, placed a small pack- 
age in her hands, and spoke of his tender regards for her hus- 
band. He went away very much afiected, and never was seen 
more by his kind friends. The small but precious package was 
opened with all due care when he was gone, and some twenty 
yards of old Mechlin lace were taken from the paper and laid 
on the table. 

The next news from Naples brought the intelligence of the 
abba's death ; and a very lamentable account it was of the close 
of a career that was in keeping with the whole of its bad course. 
While the wealthy, friendless, dying man was still conscious of 
what was passing around him, his servants were plundering his 
house, ransacking the room, even where he lay dying, for ob- 
jects of any value that he kept there. 



IM OHAUiBS EBIUiY. 

At hk deatfi, hii nioiuiy.iru ioqnd lodged ia i 
with bftnken tad othen. He had left no regnlmr aoooimti show 
ing how his property wai placed. Mr. Thoouui Field EhtTorj die- 
eorered that there were seTeral thoiuand pounds of his lodged la 
the bank of Messrs. Wright, of Henrietta Street, whieh his rep- 
resentatives ha4 no knowledge of . A young gentleman who had 
been acknowledged by the abb^ to be his nephew inherited the 
whole of his property — abont i:i6,000 — and in a few yean maa- 
aged, I beliere, to get through the greater portion of it 



CHAPTER XX. 



CHAaLSS REILLT, ESQ., SUROBON, R. N. 

Or all the medical men in Naples of the faresiieri^ Chadee 
BeUly, a native of Ireland, a retired medical surgeon, who had 
accompanied the Oxford family to Naples in the capacity of 
traveling medical attendant, and had settled down in practice 
in that city in the time of King Joachim, was in the highest 
repute when I was there, in the latter part of 1821, 1822, and 
1823, and the spring of 1824. 

Reilly was, in every sense of the term but one, a thorough 
Irishman. He was full of humor, jocose, good natured, with 
something of a lachrymose expression in his serious, business- 
like, corrugated features, tUl some odd fancy would flash across 
his mind, or some ridiculous object present itself to his eye, or 
droll expression meet his ear, and then that lugubrious physi- 
ognomy, with all its deep traces of worldliness, would brighten 
up as if by magic, and beam with hilarity, that literally made 
every feature of his face glow with joyousness. Reilly 's hu- 
mor and gayety were peculiarly Irish, and as " racy of the soil" 
ho had abandoned some twenty or thirty years previously to 
the period I refer to as if he had only quitted it the day be- 
fore. 

Reilly was not only funny himself, but he was the cause of 
fun in others. He was as essential to the joUity of the old Abb^ 
Campbell as the jolly abb^ was indispensable to Reilly when- 



CHARLES BBILLY. 397 

ever he exeroiBod the lights of hospitality, which was seldom 
less than twice a week. On these festive occasions, Reilly was 
to the abh^ what Boswell was to Johnson, in some respects. 
He tickled the great bear, and jumped with his humor. He 
bore with an odd growl from him, and an occasional cuff of his 
big paw, as if he was complimented by the notice of the great 
animal he had the care of. 

The abbe loved Reilly as much as it was in his nature to love 
any body. He never failed to perform his awkward gambols at 
those weekly entertainments. Gulosity and gayety went hand 
in hand at them. 

Some years before Reilly's arrival in Naples with Lady Ox- 
ford's family, while serving as assistant surgeon on board a ves- 
sel of war at Lisbon, an adventure occurred in the vicinity of 
that city of a very profligate nature, which was attended with 
calamitous results. A first lieutenant, of the name of S— , 
and the surgeon of the ship, made the acquaintance of two ladies 
in a convent at Belem, adjoining the city, who consented to leave 
their nunnery, the means of escape having previously been de- 
vised and prepared for them. 

The first lady, who descended from a window by a rope lad- 
der to the street beneath, reached the groimd without accident, 
and was carried off by the lieutenant. That lady I was in com- 
pany with about ten years later, at a ball in Naples, the wife of 
the officer just referred to — then a post-captain in the navy ; and 

Mrs. S , the mother, at that time, of three or four children, 

bore the character of a most exemplary wife and mother. 

But the other lady, who attempted escape on the same night, 
had fallen from the frail ladder to the ground from a consider- 
able height and broken her leg. The cries of the unfortunate 
person were heard in the convent ; people came to the spot ; 
she was discovered, and carried back to the convent. The gen- 
tlemen who had occasioned this disaster fled to the boat that was 
in waiting for them, a little way below the convent, and effected 
their escape, leaving the wretched victim to her doom, what- 
ever it might be. 

Reilly's acquaintance with Naples in the time of Murat, when 



3M CHAXLES BEILLT. 

Lady Qzfoid and her lorely daogbtonP weze dui Mglit aten 
round which rovolyed, not only the fashion, but the jMlitioal in- 
trigues of King Joachim's court, was fraught with i 
highly interesting, and was a neyer^lailing subject of ( 
tion with him. 

Having ceased to be the trayeling medical attendant of the 
Oxford family, he commenced practice in Naples, and proved 
BO eminently successful in it as to have realized a very laxge for- 
tune so early even as 1821. 

He had married in Naples an English woman in a£9uent cir- 
cumstances, a very thrifty and money-making person, but with- 
al amiable and kindly disposed, the widow of the maitn d*hft- 
tel of the Duke de Grallo. This lady, far advanced in years, had 
two children — a son named Marzio, a young man of good tal- 
ents, a fiery temperament, and ungovernable disposition, and a 
daughter, an amiable and pretty girl, who grew up to woman- 
hood a highly-accomplished and attractive person (the belle of 
the Chiaja), who eventually became the bride of a young English 
surgeon, the successor of Reilly in his professional business. 

Reilly and his wife (and his daughter, I believe), a second 
wife also, whom he had married about ten years ago, all have 
passed away ; and of the English, Irish, and Scotch — not a few 
remarkable persons, I may add — ^whom I remember in the habit 
of frequenting that pleasant and hospitable house of his, with 
two exceptions — ^those of Dr. duin, now established in his pro- 
fession in London, and my worthy old friend, Mr. Ramsay, living 
in Mordaunt College, Blackheath — none, I believe, are in being. 

* The Right Hon. Edmund Harley, fifth earl of Oxford, born in 1773, married, 
in 1794, a daughter of the Rev. J. Scott, vicar of Ichcn, near Southampton, and 
had issue three sons and four daughters. 1. Edmund, Lord Harley, bom in 1800, 
died in 1828. 2. Alfred, Lord Harley (the present earl), bom in 1809, married 
Miss Nugent in 1831. 3. Jane Elizabeth, married, in 1835, to Henry Bicker- 
steth, now Lord Langdon. 4. Charlotte Mary, married to Colonel (now Gener- 
al) Bacon, a distinguished officer in the service of Don Pedro, of Portugal. 5. 
Anne, married, in 1835, to an Italian gentleman, the Cavmliere San Giorgio. 6. 
Frances, married, the tame year, Heniy Vernon Haiooazt, Esq. 7. Madeleine, 
who died in infancy. 



DR. QUIN. 399 

DR. QUIN. 

In 1821 my acquaintance with Dr. Clain commenced in Na- 
ples. He was then a young, rising medical practitioner, in 
great vogue with all fashionable English visitors and sojourners 
in Naples, full of life and spirits, of excellent address, with a 
keen perception of the ridiculous, and a great zest for merri- 
ment. But duin had solid worth and good sound sense to bring 
to the aid of his professional talents, though some of the inva- 
lids of Naples, accustomed to grave, lugubrious doctors, seemed 
to think the philosophy of Heraclitus was more becoming phy- 
sicians than that of Democritus. We are told by old Burton, 
that when Hippocrates came to Abdera, he found Democritus 
" busy in cutting up several beasts to find out the cause of mad- 
ness and melancholy." And while he pursued his studies, he 
laughed ever and anon, and the public thought he was mad. 
But when Hippocrates conversed with him, he discovered there 
was a great deal of philosophy in his laughter. And he told 
the Abderites, though the little man laughed more profusely than 
other people, " that Abdera had not a wiser, a more learned, a 
more honest man, and they were much deceived to say that he 
was mad." 

" Thus Democritus was esteemed (drolly) of the world in his 
time ; and this was the cause of his laughter, and good cause 
he had. 

" OHm jure quidem, nunc plut Democritei ride 
Quin rides uita hsc nunc mage ridicula est."* 

Three-and-thirty years have had little e fleet in subduing Dr. 
duin's high spirits, or making inroads on his vigor of body or 
vivacity of mind. The same quickness of apprehension and 
observation, unfailing humor, ready wit and repartee, charac- 
terize the most eminent homoeopathic physician of London of 
the present day, that distinguished the young traveling physi- 
cian of the Duchess of Devonshire in those early days of his 
and mine, which I look back to with feelings of pleasure, and 

* Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, ed. 1827, vol. i., p. 34. 



400 ML QUIIL 



recall amoag tike vendaiMeiioee of 1 
agreeable of my life. 

lalua jmbmLaa Jh. Qmn, is Eoalom mmiiiam^t/tfWdmUak 
of ike aanetity of Aue aiok ekamber, aiad of Aue oWigartiKa H^kt^ 
poaeaontbej^yaieiaii. In pdTate life he wina and ; 
confidenoe andeateem of thoaeiritfa whom he beeomea i 
ed. Hiapraotioeia chiefly among the aziatoeraey. The] 
King of Aua Belgiaoa repoMd tho hig^at e^mfidenoe ift hia ddIL 
Hie lale Duke of Cambridge left no measa imtried to indoee 
kim to aooept the poat of pkyaieiaiL to kia ftmily on aIlopa;tkfe 
pdBciplea, but tkoae effiurto were in Tain. Yet I remember 
wken the doctor made a hmim of Hahnemann and the infiid- 
toauaal doae aystom. At an eady peiiod of hia career in Nft> 
plea, piofeaaing to write againat homfBopathy, he went to Qbp- 
many to inquire into the system ; and he who went to aooff re- 
mained to study, and to become a convert to the new theory of 
medicine. 

Those persons are not likely to forget Dr. Ctoin who remem- 
ber Naples and its society in the time of Sir William Drummond, 
Sir William Gell, the Honorable Keppel Craven, Sir Frederick 
Faulkner, the Margravine of Anspach, the well-known Abb^ 
Campbell, the Blessingtons, Sir Richard Acton and his lady ; Dr. 
Watson, the celebrated linguist ; Ramsay, the Scotch merchant, 
with his elegant tastes and classic lore ; Cottrell, the wine mer- 
chant, of Falemian celebrity, renowned for his lackrymaekruti^ 
and his efibrts to rival Francis, and to render Horace into better 
English than all previous translators ; Reilly, the true Hiber- 
nian ; Dr. Milne, the skillful Scot and accomplished gentleman 
of the Chiatamone ; old Walker, of the Largo Castello, the ex- 
patriated Manchester reformer, who, in the good old times of 
William Pitt and George HI., was tried for sedition, and nar- 
rowly escaped the fate of his reforming brethren, Muir and 
Palmer ; and, though last, not least deserving of remembrance 
and of honorable mention in the list of worthies from foreign 
lands who figured in Neapolitan society some thirty years ago, 
the venerable commandant of the Castello D'Ovo, General Wade, 
the old Irish warrior, one of the brave old souls of the Brigade, 



8IS FREDERICX FAULKNEIL 401 

renowned for his hospitality, and beloved by all who knew him, 
English, Irish, and Italian.* Maurice Cluiil should have lived 
in Naples in those days, and Lever should have recorded all the 
extraordinary scenes and ridiculous occurrences, the reminis- 
cences of which are connected with the names of BeiUy and 
the abb6, Ctuin, Mahon, the redoubtable Milesian ; Thornton, 
the Irish tutor of the Duchess of Eboli ; Ridgeway, the secretary 
of Lady Drummond ; young Edward Molyneux and his friend, 
the incipient surgeon, in those days of nature not unfit for 
scenes of gayety and humor, nor imfamiliar with them, 

SIR FERDINAND RICHARD E. D. ACTON. 
One of the celebrities" of Neapolitan society in 1623 and 
1824 was Sir Ferdinand Bdchard Edward Dalberg Acton, the 
seventh baronet of Aldenham Hall, in Salop. He was the eld- 
est son of Sir John Francis Edward, the sixth baronet, for some 
years prime minister of the King of Naples, by Mary Anne, 
daughter of Joseph Edward Acton, Esq. Sir Ferdinand Rich- 
ard, in his tenth year, succeeded to the title in 1811 (in which 
year his father died at Palermo). He married in Paris, in 1832, 
the only child and heiress of the Due de Dalberg, by which 
marriage he obtained large possessions in Austria. He died in 
Paris, aged thirty-five, in January, 1837. 

SIR FREDERICK FAULKNER. 

Those who were acquainted with Naples about thirty years 

* Oenenil Wade, in all probability, was a member of a Westmeath family of 
that name, which gave a field manhal to the British army in the reign of King 
William. That diatingoishcd officer had gained his first military honors at the 
battle of Aughrim, in 1691, and commanded in the Highlands, as a general officer, 
firom 1726 to 1737, during which period he had caused roads to be made through 
mountainous districts prerioosly impassable for troops, for which works he was 
immortalized by a Scotch poet in the Terse, 

" Had yon trareled these loads befiire they were made, 
Yoa'd lift op your hands and bless General Wade.** 
The grandfather of the field marshal had considerable grants of land in the neigh- 
borhood of Tyrrell's Pass, conferred on him by Cromwell in 1653. The field 
marshal of Westmeath, who died in 1748, aged seventy-fire, reposes in West- 
minster Abbey. The field marshal of Meath, who died in 1852, resu, after the 
labors of eighty-four years, in St. Paul's. 



402 ''^ FRBDBRIOK FAULKHSE. 

ago will xemember ui Irish gentleman, tall and portly, a £00 
specimen of one of the old school of Hibernian gentility, of pre- 
possessing appearance and elegant manners, degagSes et Mom^ 
notrvf , and free from all restraint ; who was exceedingly poor, 
and might haye been extremely rich ; who lived from day to 
day by borrowing from all his friends, and yet made an appear- 
ance in society ; dined out a great deal, and passed for an Irish 
landlord ever on the brink of prosperity, sure to get rents which 
never came to hand, and in daily expectation of remittaneeo 
which were always coming, but, alas! which came not. Sir 
Frederick Faulkner was this unhappy gentleman — a person 
abounding in anecdote, most agreeable in society, and singularly 
inconsistent in his character. 

Gell talked of founding a hospital at Rome for genteel per- 
sons of decayed purses, and discontented, disappointed, agree- 
able people. 

Sir Frederick would have been a most agreeable inmate of 
such an institution. 

Nothing could induce Sir Frederick to violate his public prin- 
ciples, but in private life his principles were violated every day ; 
his poverty, but not his will, consented to the violation. He 
borrowed daily, without any prospect of being able to pay what 
was lent him. He made solenm promises day after day, which 
were invariably broken by him. 

For many years previous to the Union this gentleman was a 
member for the county of Dublin,* and one of the most strenu- 
ous opponents of that measure, though in very straitened cir- 
cumstances, and having had divers overtures made to him of a 
very tempting nature for his support. He terminated a career 
rendered miserable by pecuniary embarrassments, in Naples, by 
suicide, in 1822. Sir Frederick married, in 1798, Miss Anne 
Frances Gardiner, daughter of Sackville Gardiner, second son of 
the Right Hon. Luke Gardiner, the grandfather of the late Earl 
of Blessington. 

* In 1607, at the general election, we read in the papers of Mr. Frederick John 
Faulkner, the former member for the county of Dublin, being defeated by Mr. Tal- 
bot, of Malahide. 



DUKE DE LAVAL MONTMORENCI.— MISS BATHURST. 403 

THE DUKE DE LAVAL MONTMORENCL 

This antique remnant of the ancient aristocracy of France 
was embassador at the court of Rome in 1825, when Lady Bless- 
ington had taken up her abode in the Palazzo Negrone. The 
duke, whom I had subsequently met in Rome, on several occa- 
sions, at their abode, was a remarkable person in society. Oc- 
casionally lively and spiritual, frequently and suddenly somno- 
lent, and always, when awake, extremely gallant and compli- 
mentary to the ladies. But his compliments and eulogies were 
generally mal'apropos. All his senses, and a few of his facul- 
ties, were defective ; some impaired by age, one naturally im- 
perfect. In these particulars he resembled an old Chancery bar- 
rister, Bell, whom Lord Eldon used to commend, though he could 
neither talk, walk, think, or write like any other man. 

The duke's talent for diplomacy was said to have outlived all 
his other capabilities. He was respected, however, by all who 
knew him, for his sterling worth and his generous conduct, es- 
pecially to Pius Vn. when in France, whose wants were liber- 
ally supplied by him. 

The name of this gentleman is connected with a very melan- 
choly occurrence, frequently referred to in Lady Blessington's 
Journal and Correspondence, which took place in Rome in the 
month of February, 1824. 

MISS BATHURST. 
Miss Bathurst was a granddaughter of the late venerable and 
excellent Bishop of Norwich. Her father, some years previous- 
ly to the calamity above referred to, in his travels in Germany, 
unaccompanied by his family, had disappeared, and was never 
more heard of by them, leaving a young widow and two infant 
daughters to deplore his loss. Miss Bathurst, the subject of this 
brief notice, grew up to womanhood — a lovely girl, strikingly 
beautiful. She was traveling in Italy, and sojourning in Rome, 
in 1824, with her uncle and aunt. Lord and Lady Aylmer. She 
had gone out, on one occasion, on horseback, escorted by Lord 
and Lady Aylmer and the French embassador, the Duke de 



404 mn BATHinurr. 

LaTal Montaioraiiei. The gioom of Mijm Bslhiait liad been 
■e&t back to Lord Aylmer's on some message, and when they 
approached the Font Motte, over the Tiber, ike Doke de Lftval 
took them by a path he was in the habit of riding akng on th» 
banks of the Tiber. Finding this path diffienlt, the party were 
in ike act of retracing their steps, when Miss Bathnrst, in torn* 
ing her horse, approached too near the edge of the bank, and, 
in an instant, horse and rider were plunged into the river. Lord 
Aylmer made two ineffeetoal attempts, though unable to swim, 
to rescue the young lady.* The Duke de Laval was incapable 
of afibrding any assistance. Hiss Bathurst managed to keep 
her seat after the horse fell into the river till his violent plunge 
ing caused the girths to burst, and then she lost her seat and 
sunk, but rose once more to ike surface, and then disappeared 
to rise no more. The remains were not discovered for months ; 
they were interred in the English place of burial in Rome, 
where the ashes of Shelley and of Keats are deposited. The 
vast sepulchral pile that stands there in honor of the memory 
of Caius Cestius excites less interest than the small marble mon- 
ument, of snowy whiteness, well fitted to recall the purity of 
that fair creature, whose melancholy fate it commemorates. 
The monument erected to the memory of Miss Bathurst is the 
work of Sir Richard Westmacott, and alike worthy of the mourn- 
ful subject and of the skillful sculptor. 

From W. S. Landor, in relation to the death of Miss Bathurst : 

" Dear Lady Blessinotox, — I have just requested Mrs. Paynter to let me 
send your ladyship what Ix>rd Ayhner says about the drowning of Miss Ba- 
thurst, which shows that Mills is not quite correct. I>OTd Aylmer is remark- 
ably so on all occasions, and is a most amiable and most intelligent man, 
greatly (of course) hated and injured by the people in power. 

" W. S. Landoe. 

" Kindest regards to Miss Power and Count D'Orsay." 

EXTRACT FROM A LETTER OF LORD AYLMER REGARDIXG THE 
DEATH OF MISS BATHURST. 

" Allien at Bath, it did not occur to me to mention to Mr. Landor an error, 
* Lord Aylmer died in 1850, in his serenty-fifth year. 



PLLZZL— IVESTE. 405 

into wludi Lsdj Bletiingtoii has been led, in her < Idler in Italy/ when de- 
scribing a certain dreadful event at which Louisa and I were present at 
Rome. 

" She sajs that I was prevented by Louisa from rendering any assistance 
to that poor girl who there perished, to oar indescribable anguish ; whereas 
you know I made iujo distinct attempts to save her, and was very nearly drovm- 
ed myself in doing so, more especially in the last, when I gave myself up as 
lost. Do you think it worth while to mention this to Mr. Landor, who is, I 
believe, in habits of intimacy with Lady Blessingtoni Aylmeb." 

PL^ZZI, 
THE DI8COTERER OF THE PLANET CERES. 

Joseph Piazzi, President of the Royal Society of Sciences of 
Naples, of whom mention is made in Lady Blessington's Italian 
Journals, died at Naples in July, 1825, in his eightieth year. 
He was horn in the Yalteline in 1746. He entered into the 
order of Theatines in 1764 ; and after enjoying the professor- 
ship of Astronomy at Malta, he was made professor at Palermo 
in 1781. In 1787 he made several ohservations, in conjunction 
with Lalande, at the Parisian ohservatory ; and afterward he 
visited England to purchase instruments. It was on the 1st of 
January, 1801, that he discovered the planet Ceres, which led 
to the discovery of Pallas, Juno, and Vesta. In 1814 he print- 
ed a catalogue of 7500 stars, a work which gained for him the 
medal founded by Lalande. In 1816 he published at Milan 
the first volume of the " History of Sicilian Astronomy," and 
completed his "Elements of Astronomy."* 

SIR AUGUSTUS D'ESTE. 
The Duke of Sussex, in 1793, married the Lady Au^sta Mur- 
ray in Rome. A few months later, the marriage was resol- 
emnized in London, and the year following, in 1794, it was de- 
clared invalid in the Court of Arches, being contrary to the 
Royal Marriage Act. The union, however, was uninterrupted 
till the year 1806, when a separation took place, and the ill-used 
lady took the name of Madame de Ameland, and the two chil- 
dren by this marriage took the name of D'Este, after that of the 
* Annual Register, Appen., 1626, p. 309. 



406 CAPTAIN HS88B. 

illustxioiu fiunily of Feinim, wbixik wu wsmAf eonnaoloi wUki 
the hoose of Brunswick. 

The eldest child, Sir Augnstiu D'Este, entered the anny, and 
obtained a commission in the Royal Fnsileeii ; he aerrad at 
New Orleans in 1814, and at length obtained the rank of colo- 
nel. He retired on half pay in 1GE24. In 1830 he was appoint- 
ed Knight Commander of the Bath by King William, and in the 
same year he claimed succession to the titles and honors of hia 
father, the Dnke of Sussex. He had previously memorialised 
the king on the subject. The matter was brought before tha 
House of Lords, and a judicial committee finally decided against 
his claim. Sir Augustus trayeled extensiTely on the Gcmtinant, 
and m 1828 was sojourning in Florence, in very impaired health, 
where I had the honor of making his acquaintance. He died, 
unmarried, in 1849. 

His sister. Miss Ellen Augusta D'Este, married Sergeant 
Wilde in 1845. 

CAPTAIN HESSE. 

The following account is given by Lady Blessington of a young 
military officer, of much notoriety in Naples, as a man of gal- 
lantry and extraordinary adventures in royal circles, at the pe- 
riod of my residence there some thirty years ago. 

This account is taken verbatim from one of the commonplace 
books of Lady Blessington, entitled '' Night Thoughts," which I 
have had occasion already to refer to. 

It may be well to observe that Captain Hesse was one of the 
gentlemen attached to the household of Clueen Caroline, who 
left her majesty's service and remained in Naples after the de« 
parture of the queen in 1820. 

" Captain Hesse," says Lady Blessington, " was the son of a 
Prussian merchant, who acquired great wealth by various con- 
tracts, and more especially for clothing the Russian army. 

'* When a youth he was sent to England, to be educated un- 
der the auspices of the Margrave of Anspach, then residing in 
this country. Being a good-looking, lively youth, he was taken 
much notice of by the margrave and margravine (formerly the 



CAPTAIN HESSE. 407 

celebrated Lady Craven), and was invited to pass his short vaca- 
tion with them. His education being completed, he returned to 
Berlin, where his father, then become a banker, lived in consid- 
erable splendor, and was expected to leave his son a large for- 
tune. Napoleon's campaign against Prussia blighted these pros- 
pects ; for the banker Hesse having contracted to clothe the 
Prussian army, their defeat, and its consequent result, precluded 
the king from paying Hesse, and occasioned his ruin. Under 
these circumstances, young Hesse was sent to England, in the 
hope that, through the influence of the margravine (the mar- 
grave was then dead), some situation or provision could be ob- 
tained for him. A letter, detailing the ruin of the family, and 
entreating the commiseration of the margravine, was dispatched 
to her ; and, with great good-nature, she received young Hesse 
beneath her roof, and so successfully used her influence in his 
favor, that the Duke of York granted him a cometcy in a dra- 
goon regiment (I think the 18th), and the margravine and her 
son, the Honorable Keppel Craven, fitted him out for joining his 
regiment in a suitable manner. 

" The Duchess of York, herself a Prussian, and knowing his 
family, felt interested for her youthful countryman, and spoke 
in his favor to her kind-hearted husband. Meeting, at the mar- 
gravine's, the most distinguished persons, young Hesse was re- 
ceived into good society. Gay, amusing, good-looking, a good 
horseman, and with an easy address and manner, he soon ren- 
dered himself conspicuous by a certain coxcombry in dress, orig- 
inating in his besetting and only sin — vanity. This weakness 
induced him, when scandalous reports assisted to account for his 
good fortune in England, to allow it to be believed that he was 
the son of the margrave and the margravine previous to their 
marriage, rather to encourage than discountenance the rumors. 
The calibre of his mind could not be better proved than by his 
preferring to have it believed that he was the illegitimate child 
of persons of high rank rather than the legitimate son of a re- 
spectable banker at Berlin. His dashing appearance, and his 
desire to attract the attention of the fair sex, drew him into no- 
tice ; and when sent with a portion of his regiment to the neigh- 



406 CIAPTAIK RSBMC. 

boiliood of Bogaor, trhera the Piiiieeii OhaifeCto tf Wiloi tPM 
then Btoying, he attneted ker attentioii by xiding c amttn t ly & 
ftont of her window, until the yondifnl and aelf-wined gU. <Mq^ 
tivatedhy his appeazanee and honemanship, condeaeeBded irtC 
fo how to him, and then to- write to him. The coneipo p denee 
was supposed to he eaxried on thiongh the mediom of the Ooont- 

ess de F ^ then Miss M. E., though afterward sereial lettsia 

were conreyed to the pxineess through General Garth, who wna 
imposed on, and led to belioTe they were from the mo&er of 
the princess. Portndts were exchanged, and jfrmg Hesse, Tarn. 
and devated, was peihaps less cautious than he ought to hmfm 
been, and the matter got talked of, and reached the ears of dui 
royal family. 

** The princess was scolded, watched, and guarded. HeMe 
was sent to Spain with his regiment, where he was wounded ; 
and it being discoTered that he still possessed the letters and 
portrait of the princess, an awkward ^ing, when her marriage 
with some princely suitor might soon be looked for, the mar- 
gravine and Mr. Keppel Craven were applied to to use their in- 
fluence with Mr. Hesse to have the letters and portrait return* 
ed : the application came from the princess. The margraTine 
and Mr. Keppel Craven, justly offended at Hesse's having en* 
couraged the false reports of his being the son of the former — 
a report which their great kindness had given a color to — ^had 
marked their displeasure to him, and more especially as the 
romantic interest attached to his position as the supposed son 
of a prince and an English countess had greatly influenced the 
girlish fancy of the Princess Charlotte in his favor. Hesse, when 
applied to, was very reluctant to return the letters and portrait, 
but at length yielded to the representation of Mr. Keppel Craven 
on the impropriety of retaining letters which the writer reclaim- 
ed ; he sent Mr. Craven an order to have the sealed box con- 
taining them (which had been left with a friend, with injunc- 
tions that, should Hesse die, the box and its contents, unopened, 
should be consigned to the flames) delivered to Mr. Craven. 
The latter gentieman living out of England, the box was trans- 
ferred to the Countess de F , in whose possession the letters 

still are, as that lady assured Mr. K. Craven a year ago. 



CAPTAIN HESSE.— CAPTAIN GARTH. 409 

" Gratified by HesBe's surrender of the letters, the margravme 
and Mr. K. Craven, when he returned from Spain, overlooked 
his former folly, and received him into favor. The Princess 
Charlotte, at a ball at Carlton House, saw the unmarried sister 
of Mr. K. Craven, whom she had never previously met, and walk- 
ing up close to her, said, * I am glad of an opportunity of seeing 
you, and I request you will tell your brother, Mr. Keppel Craven, 
how truly obliged I feel to him. He will know to what my ob- 
ligation refers.' 

" This, with Hesse's after-scrapes at Naples in royal circles, 
was told me at my house, on the evening of the 31st of August, 
1846, by the Honorable Keppel Craven. M. B." 

CAPTAIN GARTH. 

General Garth, the father of Captain Thomas Garth, Colonel 
of the 1st or Royal Regiment of Dragoons, was a grand-nephew 
of the celebrated Sir Samuel Garth, physician in ordinary to 
George the First. Some imfortunate circumstances, about thirty 
years ago, made the marriage of General Garth with a royal 
princess of the house of Hanover a matter of notoriety. The 
issue of that marriage was Captain Thomas Garth. The general 
died in London in 1830, in his eighty-fifth year. 

Captain Garth was one of the foreign celebrities of Naples 
about 1821 and 1822, and made his sojourn there sufficiently 
remarkable. 



CHAPTER XXI. 



THE HONORABLE RICHARD KEPPEL CRAVEN, AND MARGRAVINE 
OP ANSPACH. 

Mr. R. K. Craven was the third son of William, sixth Baron 
Craven, by his marriage, on the 18th of May, 1767, with Eliz- 
abeth, daughter of Augustus, fourth Earl of Berkeley (born in 
1750), by whom he had issue several children. 

Lady Craven separated from her husband in 1781. In the 
" Dictionary of Living Authors," published in 1816, it is stated 

Vol. F.— 8 



410 ^nu BON. KBmCL OUmDI, ' • 

that Lftdj CiftTM had been lo eruelly tieefted bf tetl 

that her ineiids were obliged to interfeie to eflbot a i 

This event took plaoe in 1781. The sooeeeding ten yeata wmm 

■pent by Lady GniTen on the Continent and in the Lemt. Lc 

1789 she published, in 4to, ^ A Jonmey ihiong^ the CUnum to 

Constantinople." 

Horace Walpole, in Norembery 1786, wrote to Lady OukTMi, 
then Bconnng the Continent and the Lerant, 9kitrrfmg awwtt 
Italy, Grennany, Poland, Enssia, Turkey, and G^eee, on the di£» 
fieoHies she had occasioned her fidends by the rapidity of her 
morements, and the impossibility of finding ont ''in what qiia^ 
ter of the known or unknown world she might be resideBt nt 
existent at any particular time.'* On receiving a note fitom hmr 
at Strawbeny Hill, ofiering to call on her for a moment, he tells 
her, " A whirlwind, I suppose, was waiting at your door to eaixy 
you to Japan, and as balloons have not yet any settled post-offioe 
in the air, you could not, at least did not, give me any direction 
where to address you, though you did kindly reproach me with 
my silence." In his justificatiou he observes, *' I heard from 
you from Venice, then from Poland, and then, having whisked 
through Tartary, from Petersburgh, but still no directions. I 
said to myself, I wUl write to Constantinople, which will prob- 
ably be her next stage. Nor was I totally in the wrong, for there 
came a letter from Constantinople with a design mentioned in 
it of going to the Greek Islands, and orders to you at Vienna, but 

with no banker or other address specified You had been 

in the tent of the Cham of Tartary ! and in the harem of the 
Captain Pacha, and, during the navigation of the ^gean, were 
possibly in the terrible power of corsairs. How could I sup- 
pose that so many despotic infidels would part with your 
charms ?" 

Shortly after Lord Craven's decease, his lady, in 1791, married 
the Margravine of Anspach and Bayrouth. This prince, some 
years after he had gained the hand of the English lady, disposed 
of his German principality to the King of Prussia, and retired to 
England, where he died in 1806, at Brandenburg House, Ham- 
mersmith. The festivities and fashionable dwcrtissemensfolUUres 



AND MARGRAVINE OF AN8PA0H. 41I 

of Brandenburg House attracted no little notice iu their day.* 
A private theatre was fitted up in this palace of pleasure, and 
many dramatic pieces, written by the margravine, were produced 
on this stage. Some of these had been written previously to 
her separation from Lord Craven. 

"The Sleepwalker," a comedy, printed at the Strawberry 
Hill press in 1778, and "The Miniature Picture," a comedy, 
written in 1781. "Nourjad," a French comedy, was written 
by her ladyship during her residence in Anspach, and printed 
there in 1787. She published a translation of Gibber's comedy 
of " She would and she would not." Also a very singular com- 
position, a satirical piece, in 1779, in 12mo, entitled "Modem 
Anecdotes of the Family of ELinkvervantotsdarsprakengotch- 
dems," a tale. 

The letters of Lady Craven addressed to her son, translated 
into French, are noticed in Grimm's Memoirs (of the year 1788.)t 
Grimm observes that " a superior intelligence, and sentiments 
the most just and delicate, are obvious in the lessons which this 
enlightened mother gave to her son, with regard to the consider- 
ation due to the sensibility of the sex." 

In 1802 she published also "The Soldier of Dierstcin," an 
Austrian story, in 8vo. 

Boswell speaks of Johnson's " dining with the beautiful, gay, 
and fascinating Lady Craven." Ah ! if the admiring lexicog- 
rapher could have looked at the same lady through a telescope 
of sixty years' power of looking into futurity, how he would have 
been astounded at the haggard old woman, wrinkled and with- 
ered as she was in her latter days, retaining nothing of the for- 
mer belle but the sprightliness of her nature, tod that vivacity 
contrasting very painfully with the wreck of pristine beauty and 
comeliness. 

During the latter years of her life the margravine resided 
altogether in Naples. 

* The margraTine, in her Antobiography, allading to the magnificence of her 
establishment at Brandenburg House, says, ** We had thirty servants in livery, 
with grooms, and a set of sixty horses. Our expenses were enormous, though I 
curtailed them with all possible economy." 

t Memoires par le Baron le Grimm, vol. iv., p. 164, 8to, London, 1813. 



412 'niE HON. KEPPEL CRAVEN, 

Her well-known villa in the vicinity of Paiinlip|K»y on the 
Strada Nuova, was furnished with taste and elegance ; the 
pounds were laid out with great care under the immediate 
direction of the margravine. 

I have seen her, a few years before her death, workings in 
her garden, spade in hand, in very coarse and singular attire, a 
desiccated, antiquated piece of mortality, remarkable for vivacity, 
realizing the idea of a galvanized Egyptian mummy, or one of 
the weird sisters working at " a charm of powerful trouble." 
She died in Naples in June, 1828, in the seventy-ninth year of 
her age. 

Lord Charles Murray, who had known the margravine in En- 
gland, was in Naples in 1822. A short time previously to my 
first acquaintance with him in that year, he had been 'seized 
with fever in Sicily, which malady was followed by temporary 
insanity. He was brought to Naples, and there a great im- 
provement took place in his health of mind and body. When 
his lordship was beuinning to rocovcr, he was in the habit of 
makinir (.'xcursions, suitably attended, in the vicinity of thi* city. 

Lord Charles, on one occasion, had begjrcd me to accompany 
him to the residence of the Margravine of Anspach, as he was 
desirous of i)aying his respects to the old lady, whom he had 
formerly known in London. Unfortunately, the manrravine did 
not receive us in her house, or in such costume as ladies usual- 
ly receive visits in. Indeed, her costume and appearance would 
have suited admirably for tli<» character of one of the weird sis- 
ters in the scene of Macbeth, where the witches are introduced 
performing incantations dire. 

AA'e were conducted to her in the garden, where she was- in 
the act of diiriiinir, and we found her attired in a manner not 
calculated to encourage gravity, or keep an excited person's 
mind lonir in an undisturbed condition. For a few minutes aft- 
er introduction and recognition, things went on very agreeably. 
The margravine made many iiKpiiries after old friends, and Lord 
Charles answered them with all possible courtesy. 

But at length a cloud besran to gather on his brow, when he 
surveyed tht» poor old lady, in her sinirular costume, from head 



AND M ARGRATINE OF AK8PAOH. 413 

to foot. I endeavored to hasten our departure for Naplei, but 
all my efibks were in vain ; Lord Charles burst out into a per- 
fect hurricane of reprehension, calling up reminiscences of a dis- 
agreeable nature, rumors of strange occurrences in various quar- 
ters of the globe, on which he enlarged with extraordinary ve- 
hemence and volubility, to the great amazement of the margra- 
vine, till such time as I found an opportunity of explaining the 
unhappy illness under which his lordship had been lately labor- 
ing. It was with no small difficulty I brought the unpleasant 
interview, at length, to a termination. 

The margravine accompanied us to the gate of the villa, and 
there a new scene was in store for her. Lord Charles insisted 
on showing her a new mode of entering a carriage, which he 
recommended her particularly to adopt ; he then made a rush 
toward the carriage door, and, putting his hand on the window 
frame, made a jump of that kind which harlequins and clowns 
are wont to make in pantomimes, through panels representing 
clocks, and fairly launched the upper part of his body through 
the window, leaving his long legs on the outside, kicking furi- 
ously in all directions. 

The consternation and astonishment of the margravine was 
beyond description. I succeeded, with a great deal of trouble, 
by opening the opposite dl^or of the carriage, to get his lordship's 
legs dragged in where the rest of his person was sprawling ; 
and, not without a great deal of violence on his part, ending in 
the demolition of all the glass in the vehicle, managed to get 
him back to Naples. 

That access of mania appeared to me to have been produced 
mainly by the margravine's strange aspect and apparel. I 
thought I could read Banquo's inquiry in poor Lord Charles's 
searching gaze when he first set his eyes on her : 

** What are these, so withered, and so wild in their attire. 
That look not like the inhabitants of earth. 
And yet are on*t1 Live you, or are you aught 
That man may question t You seem to understand mo 
By each at once her chapping fingers lying 
Upon her skinny lips."* 
* Poor Lord Charles perfectly rocoTered his reason ; about two years later I 



TIm pnMBt Dowaftf Dnehen of AIM ^VMjIip | 
two chiUron» Lady Cathexine, who died yoiqig^ aad LoidcQIuidiy 
Mnnsyy who, having Toluateered in the oaiuo of G»ok,i»joip 
pendence, died at Gastonini, in Gxeeoe, Angnit llth» 18SI4, an|l 
twenty-five. The oixeumfttanoes of hit deeeaie axe xeoetdadL j|^ 
Tol. zciv., p. 465, of the '' New Monthly Magaxine." The £oir 
lowing partionlan axe taken fxom a later number of the aaaM 
pexiodicaL 

"Loxd Charlea Mnxxay, an amiable and benevoLent yom^ 
man, who had been bred up in lozoxy and eaae, nnderwent et^ 
eryapeoiei of {atigne,andaiibmittedto every poaaible pdiTatiaa, 
in Older to eneourage the Grxeeki by hia example, and to be aUa 
to fnxniah them with meana fiom hia far too limited ^"'^^rtm, 
Nothing aeemed to him degrading that oould contribute a mifeo 
to the caoae, and the noble aon of a lofty Scottiah Thane has 
been aeen, day after day, giving leaaona of the broad-aword to. a 
pack of ragged Greeks ! So active waa this young nobleman'a 
charity, so little did he care for self, that, after an inflammatory 
disorder, brought on by his constant exposure to an unhealthy 
climate, and under a burning sun, he expired on a solitary pal- 
let, far from all his friends and connections. An Englishman, 
who had arrived just in time to close his eyes, on takhig an in- 
ventory of his effects, found them t^^consist of nothing more 
than two old shirts, a pair or two of stockings, a brace of pia- 
tols, a sabre, and a Bible. Every thing had gone to assist the 
impoverished Greeks and the distressed Frank volunteers in 
their ranks. The gentleman who had paid him the last sad of- 
fices had, a few months before, owed him his life. Lord Charles, 
though at tlie time a perfect stranger, waited unremittingly, with 
the care of an affectionate brother, at his bedside, until he saw 
him rise from it with recovered health." 

Some interesting particulars of Mr. Craven's early history arc 
given in a publication to which literary men who have to treat 
of their contemporaries are more largely indebted than to all 
other periodicals of their times — " The Gentleman's Magazine." 

met him at Marseilles, quite restored. He was then aboat to embvk for Greece 
where he died a little Uter. 



TH£ HON. KEPPEL CRAYEN. 415 

"When Keppel Craven was about three years old, his father 
took leave of Lady Craven, never to see her more ; and when 
she shortly afterward returned to France, she was allowed to 
take Keppel (being her youngest child) with Jier, but it was 
under a promise to return him to his father when ho was eight 
years of age. This condition was not fulfilled ; but she after- 
ward placed him at Harrow, imder a feigned name. 

" * While Keppel was at Harrow,' says his mother, • a lady 
saw him in the master's private library, and when she was 
stepping into her coach, she asked the master who the boy was. 
He answered, " A German." " It is the image of Lady Craven," 
she said. Keppel, who at this time was about thirteen years 
old, spoke English perfectly, without any accent, although he 
had been so much abroad. The lady's remark struck the mas- 
ter forcibly, who went back to the child immediately, and told 
him he suspected he was Lord Craven's son, and it was better 
that his uncle, Lord Berkeley, who was left to direct his brother, 
then at Eton, should know where he was ; and, after his first 
confusion was over, the child consented to it.' In consequence, 
Keppel passed the next vacation with his brother Berkeley, in 
Dorsetshire. 

" Mr. Keppel Craven, however, was not, by this incident, per- 
manently estranged from his mother, who shortly after came 
to reside in this country with the Margrave of Anspach, to whom 
she had been married in 1799. After the margrave's death in 
1805, he fixed his residence with her at Naples."* 

When her royal highness, the Princess of Wales, set out in 
1814 on her foreign tour, she was accompanied by several En- 
glish gentlemen and two English ladies in her suite. The prin- 
cess quitted Naples in March, 1815 ; her two chamberlains, Sir 
William Gell and Mr. Craven, and her only remaining maid of 
honor. Lady Elizabeth Forbes, stayed behind, as did likewise her 
royal highness's equerry. Captain Hesse. 

Mr. Craven, in his examination on the queen's trial in 1820, 
said he was in the queen's service as one of her chamberlains 
in 1814, but left it at the expiration of six months, in conformity 
* Tho Gentleman'i Magaxine, October, 1851, p. 498. 



41^ TOM HOWv WSBVML OUf 



with fnwimm amngmante; was ai 

qpy fram Kngiand, whoM busmeaa it waa to ' 

c^ the qnaen. He law no impropxietf in the ooninatof &a 

queen at Milan or Naples, or improper familiaiity an fha 

of Bergami. He(witaieM) left her at Naple% and pmeaedad i 

Bnalaiiid- 

Mr. Crayen, haTing fiiied hia abode in Naple% 1 
mately aeqnainted \rith Sir William G;ell. 

Their taatei, habits, ponmita, and indinatioiie were icl 
There never were fidends more miited in sentiment and i 

Mr. CraTen waa a good elassical soholar, had an 
taste for drawing, waa a great lorer of books, uid had all ' 
feelings, refined manners, and the gentle, winning, easy i 
of an accomplished gentlemu. 

One of the earliest and most highly-esteemed acqnaintanaaa 
made by Lady Blessington on her aixival in Vaples in July, 1833. 
was the Honorable R. Keppel Graven. 

Mr. Craven (says Lady Blessington) possesses a highly-cnlti- 
vated mind, manners at once dignified and graceful, and exer- 
cises an elegant hospitality, that renders his house the most at* 
tractive hero. 

She speaks of him in her letters and diaries of 1823 and 1824 
as " one of the most agreeable persons in Naples,** '' a person 
of the greatest versatility of knowledge," " a scholar," " a musi- 
cian," '' a draughtsman of much merit," *' a comic actor of con- 
siderable ability." 

In 1821, Mr. Craven published in 4to, "A Tour through the 
Southern Provinces of the Eongdom of Naples," to which is sub- 
joined an Account of the Revolution. This work is embellish- 
ed with views from his own sketches. 

Mr. Craven's principal work is " Excursions in the Abmzzi 
and the Northern Provinces of Naples," in 2 vols., published in 
1837. In that excellent work, worthy of the taste for art and 
antiquarian lore of his old friend and companion. Sir William 
Gell, there is one description, which alone would render the 
^ Excursions" of no ordinary value ; the detailed and most in- 
teresting account of the Benedictine monastery of Monte Casino 



THB HON. KEPPEL CRAVEN. 417 

(the original foundation of St. Benedict), and its valuable library, 
and precious archives, diplomas, chronicles, and monastic rec- 
ords, and its innumerable documents illustrative of the early 
history in those regions of the Lombards and Normans ; the 
original copies of Leo Ostienscs and Richard of San Germane, 
as well as rare manuscripts of the works of Homer, Virgil, and 
Dante ; and, lastly, the celebrated vision of Alberica, a monk of 
this fraternity, from which that poet is supposed to have taken 
the first idea of the ^^Divina Commedia.^* 

Mr. Craven died at Naples in June, 1851, aged seventy-two, 
the last of a triumvirate of English literati, scholars, and gen- 
tlemen of refined taste in art and excellence in antiquarian pur- 
suits, who resided for so many years in Naples in the closest 
bonds of friendship — Drummond, Gell, and Craven. 

The respect and affectionate care paid by Mr. Craven through- 
out his whole life to his mother was one of the most remarka- 
ble and amiable traits in his character. No amount of eccen- 
tricity, or waywardness, or restlessness on the part of the mar- 
gravine made the slightest diEcrence in the undeviating and 
uniform dutifulness and tender devotion to her of this favorite 
child of hers. 

She was fully sensible of this kindness, and returned her son's 
affection to some extent. I have never observed, except in a 
single instance — that of the filial homage, affectionate regard, 
and dutifulness of Sir Moses Montcfiore to his venerable mother 
— ^the same deference, honor, and child-like love shown by a 
man advanced in years to a parent, as was exhibited by Keppel 
Craven to his mother. And in this particular case the merit 
of the son's conduct was certainly enhanced by a great deal of 
eccentricity on the part of her whose happiness and comfort 
were the chief objects of his care. 

Mr. Augustus Craven, the only son of the Honorable R. Kep- 
pel Craven, was attached to the mission at Naples in the latter 
part of 1830, and to that at Frankfort in 1833 ; was appointed 
paid attache at Lisbon in 183G, at Brussels in 1839 ; was made 
secretary of legation at Stuttgardt in 1843.* Ho acted, for a 
* Foreign Office Li«t for 1854, p. 54. 
S2 



418 LETTERS FROM THE HON. KEPPEL CRAVEN. 

Hhort tinio, as privato Bccrotary to the Marquis of Nonnanby at 
rurU ill IH 1(>, iiiul roHi^ned his post at Stuttgardt in 1852. A 
littlo lator, hu waH a candidate, on the liberal interest, for the 
ro]M-t*Nrntatiun of the county of Dublin, and was defeated. 

l.KTTKUH TO l.ADY 11LK88INGT0N FROM THD HON. KEPPEL CRAVEN. 

"Pente, near Salerno, August SOita, ]839l 
** Viuir la«t kind loiter, and tho very flattering expressions it contaiDed, 
out* hi to h.-\vi> rpoeivotl an oarlicr answer than I have bestowed upon it, bat 
t iiin not tho Iohh grateful ; and you will admit the validity of an excuse ibr 
mIoui'o wlion 1 infonn you that it has been protracted from a desire of giving 
\ou a InMtor aocouni of our friend Gell than I could have done two mantiis 
iii^t) Thou, indootl, hin Rtatc of health was such as to excite oonsidenble 
ahum, hut aUnit tho U^^iinnin^ of Auf^st a crisis appears to have taken place, 
nuil a iMUitidorahlo impnwoniont has been the consequence ; he is now here, 
wlion* ho hail In^on stavinf; a week; but that would prove nothing in &Tor 
ol \\\n »nion«lo«1 o*M^dition, as even at iu worst period his courage and activity 
t»f uuuil novor ilnvijM^I, nml ho wont out just as usual. 

■' 1 \\\r>li I oould add to tins that I am free from all apprehension; but as 
l.m,7 an n tondiJi.-y to h»»jnnolonry continues, the only symptom which has 
ii.ii ,Ii-.ip|MMn'd. 1 tVol iiniMhv. This airoction is considerably diminished, 
ih;ii I!*. »ni»«hin*il in its torm and poritxls, but still it exists to a dogrrc that 
nui'i un«li'r^;i» ;!w*at aUor.'ttion Ix'foro his friends ran find their minds totally 
n-aMiiH'tl \N nil n';;ard to tho ronsequ<*nco.s ; that this may occur I am .issured 
h\ 111"* |»h\uic"ians is prohahlo, an<I Heaven kn()\V8 1 am but too well disposed 
l.t In lii'\o them. In addition to this fund of uneasiness, I have had some oc- 
.ujiiiitMis of an annoying nature in the uncertainty which arose and hung 
oM\ u\\ tiona departure, who, with his wife, is gone to France for some 
iiiitiithn 'I'his had boon decided some time back, but the approach of the 
I'linliKi Ht»uthwanl ur^retl them to anticipate their intended dej)arture. for fear 
til lihilni^ themselves hhut in to the north* of Italy, and surrounded on all sides 
xMlli s.inilary cordi)ns. 

•• I hiixe just heanl fnun them in date <^f Milan, and there seemed no ob- 
»,l.uli' to their Iiaving reached Switzerland in safety, so their dilliculties are at 
iiM imh! W'itli reirard to the malady itself, there seems no doubt that it has 
tierl.irrd itself at Nice, C.Jenoa, ('orsi, and Le^honi, but it has not l»cen wry 
\i.ilent,and seems just now to l>e suspended. Measures are taking in this 
kuijMloin to present obstacles (if that is possible) to its approach, and to attend 
to It in the nu>st ellcctual manner if it does eonie ; but the panic it had caused 
At ilrNt appears to have subsided, aTul its elTccts seem confined to the inn- 
kti pers and laquais dc places. w]u> foresee a sterile winter for them, as it is 
ni»l prulnlile that, as long as any lurking remains of the malady are supposed 
to exjsi ill any part of It.ily. strangers will voluntarily select it for their next 



LETTERS FROM THE HON. KEPPEL CRATEN. 419 

winter's residence ; at present there are very few, who will most likely 
soon depart. I have been Btaying here ever since the beginning of June, oc- 
cupied much as usual, with additions and improvements, which, however, have 
somewhat changed their form, as I begin to reap the enjoyments of past la- 
bors instead of undertaking new ones. I have had some visitors, enough to 
break upon the unwearied tenor of my usual habits, but not too frequently to 
prevent the resumption of them. The summer has been variable, therefore, 
for this climate, cool ; and now, heavy rains and thunder-storms seem to give 
us a foretaste of the equinox a month before its natural time. 

" I ought before this to have thanked you for your offer of assistance with 
regard to the publication of my last journey, a proposal which I should most 
gratefully avail myself of should circumstances £Eivor its appearance ; it is 
now colnpleted, and copied out in a fair, legible hand, therefore accessible to 
the inspection of any bookseller, who, of course, will choose to examine it be- 
fore any stipulations are made. I will seek an opportunity of forwarding it 
to England, and if I find one, will take the liberty of addressing it to you as 
its guardian ; in the mean while, I may as well state the nature of the woik 
and its contents, which are the result of various excursions in the northern 
provinces of this kingdom, that is, the Abruzzi ; to these are added others less 
extended, in the district of Samnium and Basilicata, and other less remote 
parts, but certainly not better known. The whole would form a quarto vol- 
ume about the size of the last I published relative to the South, and, as for as 
I can judge, written in the same manner — that is, in that of an Itinerary, prin- 
cipally useful to such as are inclined to examine those regions, but not arriv- 
ing at any details of science or statistics. There are some drawings annex- 
ed, but I would leave the expediency of adding them to the work to the pub- 
lisher's decision, though I think they would add considerably to the effect, as 
they are selected from many, represent spots entirely unknown, and of some 
interest, as well from their locality as their picturesque accompaniments, all 
which I state, in case any previous inquiry should be made as to the general 
nature of the work. Gell, in whose room I am now writing, requests his 
kindest regards to you ; may I beg you will add mine to Count D*Orsay, and 
believe me, dear Lady Blessington, yours most obliged and sincerely, 

"KKbppkl Craven." 

**N^)l6S,Aprai7, 18S0. 
*' I hope you will not judge of the impression your last kind letter produced 
upon me by the tardiness I have observed in replying to it ; but for this I 
shall offer no apology ; acquiescing in all your friendly expressions regazding 
the loss I have sustained* is but a poor way of denoting my thanks, and I 
deferred offering them till I could at the same time inform you with some cer- 
tainty of my intended movements for the summer, which I now can do, hav- 

* The death of Sir William Oell.— R. R. M. 



rmAfimfh^i 



^mmtk§9iKimgmmm 



■III. nHing nnlj ■ ffnr Trnnkf it Fim mn thif T hnyt In hi fa 
lint wsflk of Jmw, whm I ne^d not mj yo« win ba vhj Aa^a^ 
■granml I bna bam vny Imgr in anngmf tki mmhkUs I 
oar aaedlant firind, aa aa to hMa than aoiiilnilf loite ■ 
faiow tluit tbcm aia Tuiaw wqra af indmg idK vUdk 
tha d^paaitMm and habits afdia nffimr m smibr eMat, and I 
in^ fiponiy Of daotiajnif afarj 
not appoar (ta aa at but) an 

r it doaa noC la^oapi men tuD^puB ■MBonlaaa off dipaitM 
lona ofan iiMiiadiia bw^tkiagviclioii ofiHiidiwil 
all tfaaM, and ttmigh avny filwitmfii of aodol ar aoBfany Mfit> 
Migimand dia booka of wUdi I bm 
thatBoayabiitaiinBendrtiet; andthaja 
to,dia apaitiu a ut I abwya inbabit 



i«^ 





Tm 




Ttaveb in Giaeea,' iHiidi I 



bawiriiadtabafi 




British MiiMiim ; thaoo aia all fai oaa ciaa, wilh hia mitMla» ari at ny d 
■haU ba ramoved to that daotinitiop, mora worthy, paihapa, of thdr anrfla 

than their preient podtion, but not mora honored hj the ownar. 

" We had a beautiful month of March, which has been followed bj an April 
reminding us of Januaiy, the rigor of which still endures in the shape of eold 
winds, stormy showers, melted snow, and other irragularities, as ill saitad to 
the seas<m as to the latitude. 

" Thera an numerous arriTals from Rome, but few of name or note. S. 
Carlo is closed altogether, and the season mora than usually dull in evaiy ro- 
spect I fear your friend. Count Matnschewitz must be singularly a^oek 
with it, but he seems in high good humor,* and does not complain ; ba baa 
iaTored me with his company to dinner a jfew times, and I find him evaiy 
thing you describe; he has taken the Palaxso Femandina, and is getting it 
up. Thera could not be a better selection, and I have no doubt he iriU find it 
so ; but he is still at the inn, the house not being yet ready for hiuL The 
king is at present enjoying the honon of a camp composed of about a third 
of hu forces, near Salerno ; this is an amusement he was much inclined to in 
his early days of celibacy, but latterly his growing attachment to his poor 
young wifo appeared to bavo absorbed his attention ; bowerer, after threo 
months* mouxning, ho has had recourse to ihi* object, either to rasnme hia 
bachelor's avocations, or perhaps by way only of a little ditsipatiim Thain 
ara already nports of his having^ the intention of traveling to seek a wor- 
thy successor of the Uta queen ; and they ara not without piobalality. To 
the questions yon pot, and which appear to me but too natuiml, respecting 
GelPs last days, or rather weeks, I find it rather difficult to ratum a positive 
answer, mora especially as to his own feelings respaeting his state. I think 



LETTERS FROM THE HON. KEPPEL CRAVEN. 421 

that at times he was qaite aware that his system had received a blow from 
which it could never recoveri and that as far back as this time twelvemonth ; 
but he had continued so many months under the impression of repeated som- ^ 
nolence, of somnolence totally free from bodily suffering, that I don't appre- 
hend he considered himself worse at the end of the year than last spring. He 
was not aware of his increasing debility ; and as the functions of his stomach 
continued unimpaired until within but two days before the sad event, when a 
general and rapid decay of all the vital functions occurred,! don't think that 
his reflections dwelt upon his dissolution as being veiy near. Nevertheless, 
his last will, about which he was veiy anxious, was executed little more than 
a week before his decease, and occasionally he would allude to the event itself 
in an indirect manner ; for on receiving some books about a month before it 
happened, and my asking him to lend some to me, he said, ' You had better 
read them when they are your own — and you are not likely to wait long.' I 
find in his daily journal, in which he noted observations on his health, about 
Christmas, these words — * May consider myself well.* He had rallied to what 
appeared a very improved condition about three weeks before the catastro- 
phe ; but it was principally in the su^ension of the lethargic affections which 
had so long oppressed him that this was evident, and the consequence was, 
that, having much longer intervals of clear consciousness and reflection, he 
was undoubtedly more awake to his situation, both morally and physically ; 
for he then complained of bodily ailings much more than during bis whole 
malady, though to all appearance they had ceased. He never ceased, I don't 
say for an hour, but an instanty to have a book open before him ; and though 
he sometimes could not fix his eyes for two minutes at a time on its contents, 
he nevertheless understood it, and could afterward talk of the woik in a man- 
ner which proved that, while his mental powers were awake, they were as 
strong as ever — more especially his memory ; but the state he was in caused 
much confusion in his ideas of time and distance, of which he was aware, 
end complained of 

** I cannot end my letter without thanking you for your very kind offer of 
receiving me at Gore House, and conferring on me the many advantages such 
a residence must insure ; but I fear my stay in England will be too short to 
allow mo to accept them more extendedly than in as frequent visits as it vnll 
allow me to pay. Toward these I look forward with real satisfaction and an- 
ticipated gratitude. * R. K. Ceavbn.'' 


** Monday evaniag, Jims fTth, 18M. 
<* You have my best thanks for the two nmnbers of the ' Athencum' you 
were so good as to send me ; the article you so obligingly bestowed is the 
same I had read in its most valuable parts ; the other having only some ad- 
ditions relative to our friend's descendants and family. I feel very thankful 
for what you have stated of me, though I flatter myself it is no more than the 
strict tmth in all that regards my affection for one so deserving of it. By 



TTSU 



fai tki IM* coBfliM Hid 7«i di* iM* «k|nll BHMr. 



CHAPTBR XHL * "' 

THOMAS JAMBS MATTHIAS, BSQ., F.EJI.y F^JL 

Mr. Matthias took ihe degree of B JL. in Tnnity Oellegeb 
CsmbndgOy in 1774. The fbUowing yesr he gained die nem* 
ben' prise for Ae best dissertation in Latin pxose; tko amet 
year he gained one of the prises as senior bachelor. gh mUy 
after taking fhe degree of MJV.., he. quitted ooUegOy and oblaiBi 
ed an office at the court, that of deik to the queen's trriswim, 
and subsequently that of treasurer of her nuyesl^'s hoosehold. 
The rampant Toryism which proTailed about the orart of Oeoigia 
the Third soon and strongly infected the young Cantab **^fiii 
He became a political satirist and a poetical politician^ and de- 
voted to party the noble talents which were g^ven for mankind. 

In 1781 he published *' Runic Odes," imitated from the Norse 
tongue, in 4to. 

In the controversy concerning the authenticity of the Rowley 
poems, assisted by Dr. Glynn, he espoused the cause of Chatter- 
ton, and expended a great deal of energy in vindicating the 
young literary impostor in a brochure " On the Evidences, in- 
ternal and external, relating to the Poems attributed to Thomas 
Rowley," in 8vo, in 1783. 

In 1794 he published the first part of an anonymous poem, 
*' The Pursuits of Literature," which was eventually compiled 
in four parts. 

This work attracted universal notice, chiefly on account of the 
l^xtensive and erudite notes, which abounded with evidences of 
varied learning and scholastic attainments, combined with a bit- 
ter spirit of sarcastic criticism, arrayed against every thing lib- 
eral in politics or religion, under the guise of a constitutional 
and Christian zeal against revolutionary principles, and infidel 
or unorthodox opinions. 

The leading Whigs of the times were castigated by Mr. If at- 



THOMAS JAMES MATTHIAS, ESQ. 423 

thias with merciless rancor, but with signal ability. The chiefs 
of Toryism, on the other hand, were incensed, till the atmos- 
phere around them reeked with eulogistic vapor, and the swing 
of the censer became monotonously wearisome and ennuyant. 
Several other works appeared in succession from 1794 to 1832.* 

Matthias had some peculiarities of an amusing character, or 
petits ridicules, -whicYi Lady Blessington has duly recorded in her 
Italian diaries. His memory was peculiarly tenacious at din- 
ner-time in regard to dates, of early productions of vegetables, 
, the first appearance of certain meats in the season ; he was re- 
minded, at the first sight of green peas on the table, of the par- 
ticular day on which he had partaken of them the preceding 
year. It was the same with spring fowl, game, asparagus ; and 
as each entremet was offered to him, ho invariably exclaimed, 
''God bless my soul! what a delicious dish! God bless my 
soul!" 

Another of poor Mr. Matthias's peculiarities was a terror that 
had got possession of his mind of being driven over by the cor- 
ricolos which dash along the streets of Naples. 

He has been often seen posted at the comers of streets for a 
considerable time, anxiously looking out for a favorable oppor- 
tunity to make a dart across the street with security to his per- 
son, trying to muster courage to make the dreaded rush, or wait- 
ing for some charitable passenger to give an arm to him ; and 
frequently, when half across, he has been known to make a sud- 

* In 1794 he published anonymously, ** The Imperial Epistle from Kien Long 
to George the Third ;*" in 1795, ** The Political Dramatist of the House of Com- 
mons ;** in 1796, '* Letter to the Marquis of Buckingham, phicily on the subject of 
the numerous French Emigrant Priests,^' by a Layman ; in 1798, ** The Shade of 
Alexander Pope on the Banks of the Thames," a satirical poem, occasioned chiefly, 
but not wholly, by the residence there of the Right Hodorable Heniy Grattan ; in 
1798, ** Odes, English and Latin" (new edition) ; in 1802, ** Componimcnti lyrici 
di pia illustri Poctici d'ltalia," in 3 toIs. 12mo ; in 1802, " Conunentari intomo 
air Istoria della Poesia Italiani," per Crcscimbeni, 3 vols. 12mo ; in 1805, " Can- 
zoni e prosa Toscano ;" in 1608, " Agguinta al oomponimenti lyrici de pue illus- 
tri Poeti d'ltalia," 3 vols, small 8vo ; in 1809, '* Saffa— Drama lyrica tradotto deir 
Inglese de Mason," in 8to ; in 1812, '* Licidi, de Giovanni Milton, tradotta dal In- 
glcsc," in 8vo. Mr. Matthias edited in 1803, Tiraboschi, ** Storia dclla Poesia 
Italiana;" in 1806, ** Delia Ragion Poetica, di Gravina;" in 1814, "The Works 
of Thomas Gray, with his Life, and additions." 



4M vm&na jAxm liaWMSimk^ 




den TetaiDgndd memmuA, uid to hvm ^tarliant> 
of his comer, ezduming, ** Ood bless 1117 sold!'' 

To Sir William Gell the pUUs HdUrnks of MstddM 
rahiable foundatioiis for ludicrous aneodolea. Oa one 1 
lie dined in a restaurateur's in companj wMi KatfldaSyiiteii'ii 
▼eiy heavy shower of rain was pattering agidnst the Toieftiar 
blinds; and observing a cat and a dog making their appeanuada 
in ihe salon, GkU exolaimed, ''It is raining cats and dogsf 
Whereupon Matthias, catching a glimpse of the aniiiials tfiat 
had just entered, said gravely, ** God bless my soul ! so it doe*! 
so it does ! 811 n*etait pas vrai au moins c'est bien trouvC* 

The anther of the •* Pursuits of lateiature," &e translafear of 
several of the pieces of our first authors into Italian, the eosi^ 
poser of many original Italian sonnets, and author finally of th« 
elegant little collection of poems entitled *' Lyrio Poetry* (a nefW ' 
edition), privately printed in 1832, comprising the latest of Ida 
compoBitions, for the last twenty yean of his life resided wh<^y 
in Naples. Those who remember that city in 1821 , 1822, 1823, 
and 1824, as the writer of these notices remembers it in those 
years, will not readily forget the literary recluse of the old pal- 
ace of the Pizzofalcone, the distinguished scholar and elegant 
writer, then verging on old age, not yet absolutely in the sesff 
and yellow leaf of life, but with that air and aspect of senility 
which bookish habits of an inveterate nature, and their influ- 
ence on health, seldom fail to impart to mien and manner of 
men of literary pursuits. 

Mr. Matthias was a man of small stature, of fine, intelligent 
features, but of a sarcastic expression. Had he been more at- 
tenuated, more animated, yet somewhat paler and more thought^ 
ful, his eyes larger and more fit for reserving light to flash out 
in the excitement of animated conversation, he might be said to 
resemble Lamennais — at least, as the abb^ looked for the last 
ten or twelve years of his life. 

The climate and the literature of Italy had become indis- 
pensable enjoyments to Mr. Matthias ; he lived by himself and 
lor himself in those enjoyments. Those who knew him well 
held him in something approaching to esteem ; those who did 



JAMES MILLIN6EN, ESQ. 425 

not, looked on him, in the literaiy and elegant foreign society 
of Naples, in which he allowed himself occasionally to be drawn 
from his old Italian books and poetic reveries, as an ungenial 
old man (for he had the look of age at fifty), with no kindness in 
his nature, and no sympathies with his fellow-men who were 
not devoted to Italian literature, and familiar with his '* pursuits" 
in it. 

Mr. Matthias died in Naples in August, 1835. 

LETTERS OF THOMAS JAMES MATTHIAS, ESQ., TO LADT BLESS- 
INOTON. 

** 74 Monte dlddlo, Pizso Falcone, May 13, ISSSw 
** Mt dkar Madam, — ^As I have heard lately that yon have given much ap- 
plication to the language of Italy, I am induced to hope that you will oblige 
me by accepting a little volume lately printed in Naplei. You are well ac- 
quainted with ' The Minstrel' of Dr. Beattie, and he is now desirous of claim- 
ing your ladyship's attention in a Tuscan instead of his Highland dress. 

" Believe me, my dear madam, your ladyship's sincere and obedient serv- 
ant, T. J. Matthias." 

** Naples, November 3. 
" I hope to do myself the pleasure of accompanying Sir W. Gell, on Sun- 
day next, to dine with you. I should have written before, but I understood 
that you would have the goodness to expect me if I said nothing to the con- 
trary. I am sorry, however, that I did not write. T. J. Matthias." 

«* Naples, Febvtrary 7. 
** The inclosed little volume has just been printed in Naples, and I have a 
pleasure in thinking that your ladyship will do me the favor to accept it as a 
mark of the regard with which I am, my dear madam, dee., 

•*T. J. Matthus." 

JAMES MILLINGEN, ESQ. 

This celehrated classical antiquary died at Florence the Ist 
of Octoher, 1845. Mr. Millingen was the eldest son of Mr. M. 
Millingen, formerly of dueen's Square, Westminster. From ear- 
ly life he distinguished himself among aroheeologists, and was 
particularly fitted for his antiquarian pursuits by his intimate 
acquaintance with Greek literature and history, his critical acu- 
men, and refined taste, and solid judgment. He published nu- 
merous works on fictile vases — **^ Ancient Unedited MonumentSr" 



410 liETTEBfl nun A 

<*PklBiad Gieek Tum," "^Tlia MedaUe ] 
and on *^ Kumiimatie Bnbjeeti eo n naoted irifli 1 
iin,"<'6nBcin Magna,'' &0. Mr. Millingm a^oyad n amall jaa 
sum of XlOO a year firom the Briftiah gOTanunant. Ha laft ta» 
aona; one of than, foimexij phyrioiaa to Loid Bynui aft IBai^ 
longhi, was recently phynoiaa to the Saltan; the otikar ia ok 
the retired liat of the medical department of the East 
Company. 

For several yean this eminent antiquarian carried on liia j 
▼orite pnrsmts in Some, Naples, and Florence. His ; 
knowledge of nmnismatics, and of antique gems, and '. 
Tases, had rendered him the first authority in his day in 
matters. When I had the pleasure of knowing him in Napla^ 
in 1821 and 1822, he was far adranced in years — a mild, ganb- 
tiemanly, accomplished person, eonrted in all ciides of lifeenuj 
and refined people, whether Bngliwh or Italian. 

LETTERS FROM JAMES MILLINOEN, ESQ. 

" Florenoe, OetolMr Sl^ ISM. 

*' I met with an acddent on tho road, and etcaped being robbed and cairifld 
up to the monntaini. Though safe for a time, I should adriae, however, toy 
person to take great precaution between Naples and Rome, as the banditti, 
who are now desperate, and concealed vexy much, make an attack when least 
expected. 

«« You have heard, without doubt, of the discovery of the unfoitonate IGm 
Bathurst's body ; it was the general subject of conversation lor two or three 
days, and one not at all calculated to dispel my disposition to gloomtDeaa. 

" What a contrast betwe^ its state at the moment of the &tal »^^*^*«i*i#t 
and that to which it was reduced by remaining so long in the water — ox 
months and ten days ! It would, perhaps, have been better for her parents 
and friends if the discoveiy had not been made, as it renews all their grie£ 

** It is surprising how much interest the Romans of all classes expressed od 
the occasion. It was, in Act, an event highly deplorable and tragkaL 

" Pray tell Alfred that I saw Mr. A at Rome, who will be meet happy 

to show him every possible attention on his arrival ; he lettrflects having 
seen him, when a very fine child, at his grandmother*a. 

" With regard to your books, he says that the best mode would be to take 
those that are prohibited in your carriage, and to send the others, espedallj 
the English, to Mr. C5 , by the proeaccio wagon. 

" Previously to my quitting Rome, I left with Mr. Freeborn a copy of mj 
woik on vases, which I beg yoa will have the goodness to aeoept, and honor 



EDWARD DODWELL, E8Q. 427 

Trith a place in your libraiy. I hope the label on the book may tometiniea 
catch your eye, and recall me to your recollection. 

" I never can express to you, my dear lady, how much I am sensible of all 
the kindness which I have received from you since I had the happiness to 
make your acquaintance, nor can I ever forget the agreeable moments I passed 
in your society. I regret much that I could not enjoy them longer. I must 
go to England : I have hopes of seeing you. J. Millinobn." 

«<Palas»> Calalirena, Friday morning. 

** I do not know how to thank your ladyship sufficiently for your kind note, 
and for the interest you are so good as to take in my convalescence. 

" I am quite confused at your eulogies of my productions, and must aacribe 
them solely to your indulgence and kindness. As such, they are highly 
grateful to me. J. Millinokn.'' 

EDWARD DODWELL, ESQ. 

This eminent and erudite topographer and traveler, having 
spent a large portion of his life in traveling, took up his perma- 
nent abode in Rome, and in 1826 was enjoying there his liter- 
ary ease and leisure in a very dignified manner, surrounded with 
all the elegances of modern luxury, and a great many of the 
rarities of ancient art. Mr. Dodwell is known principally in the 
literary world by his " Travels in Greece," a work of consider- 
able erudition and research. 

Mr. Dodwell, at about the age of sixty, married a young Ro- 
man lady of a noble family, of great beauty, who was young 
enough, in common parlance, to be his daughter. The old En- 
glish antiquarian and his blooming Italian bride were no less 
disproportioned in age than dissimilar in tastes ; but they lived 
most happily together. Lady B— , on one occasion, when he 
was descanting with enthusiastic ardor on the rare perfections 
of an Egyptian mummy of some princess, whose flesh had blood 
in it, and her bones marrow in them upward of three thousand 
years ago, could not help giving a glance at his beautiful young 
wife standing by him, " offering in her own person one of the 
most faultless models of loveliness ever beheld, while the arch 
smile that played round her lips seemed to say that living beau- 
ties might be found to compete with the dead ones." 

Mr. Dodwell ended his career in Rome in 1832, while en- 
gaged in his favorite aichsological pursuits, making researches 



428 I'HE ARCHBISHOP OF TARENTO. 

among the ruins of tho Eternal City on the subject of Cydopeaa 

architecture. 

LETTER FROM EDWARD DODWELL, ESQ., TO LADY BLE88INOTON. 

" Friday waning. 

" Mt dear Lady Blessington, — I am Teiy sony I shall not be able to hare 
tho pleasure of dining with you to-day, as I have got an eruption of Vesuvius 
on my forehead, which is not only painful, but unseemly, and Miss Power 
would never admire my beauty again, were she to see me with snch a patch, 
and in such a plight. 

« Delicre me, moet truly and fiiithfully yours, Edward Dodwrll.** 

THE ARCHBISHOP OF TARENTO. 

This venerable prelate is well described by Mr. Willis in his 
" Pencilings by the "Way :" 

"A friend, whom I met at tho same house, took me to see the 
Archbishop of Tarento yesterday. This venerable man, it is 
well known, lost his gown for his participation in the cause of 
the Carbonari (the revolutionary conspirators of Italy). He has 
always played a conspicuous part in the politics of his time, and 
now, at the age of ninety, unlike the usual fate of meddlers in 
troubled waters, he is a healthy, happy, venerated old man, sur- 
rounded in his i)alace with all that luxury can give him. The 
lady who presented me took the privilege of intimate friend- 
ship to call at an unusual hour, and we found the old church- 
man in his slippers, over his breakfast, with two immense tor- 
toise-shell cats, upon stools, watching his hand for bits of bread, 
and purring most affectionately. He looks like one of Titian's 
pictures. His face is a wreck of commanding features, and his 
eye seems less to have lost its fire than to slumber in its deep 
socket. His hair is snowy white ; his forehead of prodigious 
breadth and height ; and his skin has that calm, settled, and yet 
healthy paleness, which carries with it the history of a whole 
life of temperance and thought. 

" The old man rose from his chair with a smile, and came for- 
ward with a stoop and a feeble stop, and took my two hands as 
my friend mentioned my name, and looked mo in tho faoe very 
earnestly. * Your countr}',' said he, in Italian, ' has sj)rung into 
existence like Minerva, full-grown and armed. "We look for the 



LETTERS OF THE ARCHBISHOP OF TARENTO. 429 

result.' He went on with some comments upon the dangers of 
republics, and then sent me to look at a portrait of Queen Gio- 
vanna, of Naples, by Leonardo da Vinci, while he sat down to 
talk with the lady who brought me. His secretary accompanied 
me as a cicerone. Five or six rooms, communicating with each 
other, were filled with choice pictures, every one a gift from 
some distinguished individual. The present King of France 
had sent him his portrait ; dueen Adelaide had sent a splendid 
set of Sevres china, with the portraits of her family ; the Clueen 
of Belgium had presented him with her miniature and that of 
Leopold ; the Ring and Clueen of Naples had half furnished his 
house ; and so the catalogue went on. It seemed as if the 
whole Continent had imited to honor the old man."* 

Lady Blessington speaks in enthusiastic terms of the arch- 
bishop's comeliness of person, the imposing aspect of this beau 
ideal of a venerable father of the Church — ^his pallid, thoughtful 
face ; his eyes soft, and full of sensibility, like those of a woman ; 
his long white hair and attenuated figure ; the suavity of coun- 
tenance and address, benevolence of disposition, attractiveness 
of manner, and refined politeness. 

He appeared to regard GcU with the afiection of a brother. 
He took the warmest interest in his antiquarian pursuits, and in 
all matters relating to literary or scientific subjects. 

This venerable prelate died about 1839. 

LETTERS FROM THE ARCHBISHOP OF TARENTO TO LADY BLESS- 
INGTON. 

" Potrei sperare, mia cara contessa, di fetteggiare Tanno noreUo Giovedi 
prossimo f La mia gran fcsta sarebbe di pranzare colle due sorelle, e col mio 
Alfredo, e se vi piasesse anche col braro medico. L*ora destinata sarebbe la 
Toetra aolita, do e dopo le dnqae, poicbe io prendo quakhe doze medicinale 
oon una zuppa verao il mezzo giorao e quindi nulla aoffiro fino a quel momento. 
Cbo ne dite 1 Yolcte aeUeTare— H Tostra Vbcchio Tarxnto. 

" Dal Vecehio Tarenlo." 

" lo eon sicuio mia can conteeea, che voi mi amaie e per do yi direi cbo 
la raia solute potrcbbe risentime danno nel venire al Vomero con questo caldo, 

v*m TOf^lioy direst^, non voglto, 

♦ Willis's Pfmcilings, &c., p. 40. 



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daU* ottimo I)dMa ai da^ diiigsem i FkDgi urn notiBa di 
fuala abbe paita ^nal bnto Bttanto. 



CHAPTER XXm. 

OOUKT If ATU8CHBWITS* 



Count Matuschewitz played an important part in the great 
diplomatic performances of the northern powers some thirty 
years ago. He was a brother actor of Count Pozzo di Borg^o, 
Prince Paul Esterhazy, Mettemich, and the Baron Bnlow, on 
some memorable occasions at a later period. 

On the accomplishment of the French Revolntion of 1830, 
which came like a thunder-clap on the courts of Europe, the 
capital of England became the head-quarters of the cooneils 
of the diplomatic representations of the principal great powers 
With a view to the restoration of the balance of power, or the 
regulation at least of the recent disturbance of the European 
system, Talleyrand, Pozzo di Borgo, Esterhazy, Matusohewits, 
and others, occasionally met at Baron Bulow's, whose opinions, 
it is said, ultimately prevailed in the diplomatic councils, which 
a little later took the title of the Hollando-Belgian Conferences 

Count Matuschcwitz was a native of Poland, of noble birth, 
who had been educated in France, and was a distinguished pupil 
of the Polytechnic School. When the Emperor Alexander and 
Napoleon were on terms of amity, the former requested the 
services of two of the pupils of the Polytechnic of most merit. 



LETTERS OF COUNT MATUSCHEWITZ. 43] 

Matusohewitz was one of the two pupils chosen by Napoleon 
to correspond to the wishes of the autocrat. 

In the Russian civil service he here out fully the high repu- 
tation he had gained at the Polytechnic, not only as a distin- 
guished scholar and proficient especially in the abstract sciences, 
but in diplomacy. But he was a lover of pleasure, and his rul- 
ing passion is said to have been for the chase. He Bometimes, 
at the iseat even of diplomatic conferences, made his appear- 
ance on horseback, uniting in his costume and character the 
modem Nimrod with the Russian Nestor of diplomacy. 

In the diplomatic career which this gentleman pursued in the 
service of the Emperor of Russia at the court of Stockholm, his 
reputation for astuteness, penetration, tact, and ability stood ex- 
tremely high with the other European ministers. He had spent 
much time in England, and acquired the tastes, habits, and man- 
ners of an Englishman. He is said to have largely enjoyed the 
confidence of the Emperor of Russia, to have been deeply versed 
in the secrets of Russian policy, an^ in all great emergencies of 
state in which relations with foreign powers were concerned to 
have been consulted by the autocrat. Bearing in mind the po- 
sition he occupied, and the advantages it bestowed on him, his 
letters will be read with interest. The high character ot the 
count for honorable principles and integrity, his easy manners 
and gentlemanlike deportment, his cultivated mind and tastes, 
made him a welcome guest in the best society of every country 
he visited. 

LETTERS FROK COUNT MATUSCHEWITZ TO LADY BLESSINOTON-. 

** Stoekhoim, Nor. ft, 1839. 
" How kind and amiable of you not to have allowed Alfred's letter to depart 
vrithout the addition of a few tinea in your hand-writing, to satisfy me that I 
still Uve in your friendly recollection. Depend upon it, your xemembrance is 
not thrown away on me. I should consider it the climax of ingratitude were 
I not most anxious and impatient to revisit good old England, and to find my- 
self once more under the roof of Gore House, that hospitable roof^ under which 
I am certain to receive a hearty welcome, and to meet a most instructiTe va- 
riety of eminent characters, who move round you as it were by magic, each 
happy, each communicative, each contributing his quota to a general conver- 
sation and harmony which, I betieve, was never known to exist among them 




4SI IiRTIMKIP QOmfV 

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