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nEDL TRANSFER 

iHmiiii 

HN SKbU F 



Kpi'''t'\<='i'i 




WILLIAM KING RICHARDSC^ 



260 BLBB8INGT0N (Marffuerite Ck>untesa of;, . 
Literary Life and Correspondence of, by R. 
R. Madden, M.R.I. a., with lithographic portraits 
of the Countess and Count tPOrsay by R. J. Lane, 
and Monument, 3 vols. 8vo. new J^, polished crim- 
son Levant morocco extra, uncut, top edges gilt 
(SCARCE), £2. \0s 1855 

* Infinitely more atnanlng than many a better book.'— 
Norik BritUk Revitm. 




(. y. 'f /. rV< y.' 




THE 



LITEEARY LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE 



OF 



THE COUNTESS OF BLESSINGTON. 



R. R. M A D D E N, M.R.I.A. 



AUTHOR OF 

' TRAVELS IN THE EAST," " INFIRMITIES OP GENIUS," " THE MUSSULMAN," 
" SH&INEa AND sepulchres/' *'THE LIFE OF SAVONAROLA," ETC. 



' L'homme marcbc Ten le tombcau, trainant apres lui, la chaiue de sea experiences 

SECOND EDITION. 
VOL. I. 



LONDON : 
T. C- NEWBY, PUBLISHER, 30, WELBECK STREET, 
CAVENDISH SQUARE. 
1855. 



Kfi^'?^)^' 



cO 



HARVA: 

UNiv;-; : 

LIB '■ 

Ob' 



■a) 



1, BILLmO, PTimTER, 
WOKUCO, SXJllKEY. 




CONTENTS OF VOL. I. 



INTRODUCTION. 

TAQM 

Early origin — Pedigree of the Sheehy family — Notice of maternal 
grandfather — Career of Kdmond Power — ^Marriage of Marguerite 
Power — Captain Fanner's death — Coroner's inquest, and ver- 
dict of the Jury . .1 

CHAPTER I. 

Notice of the Earl of Blessington — His origin, early career — First 
and second marriage, &c. . . .44 

CHAPTER n. 

Departure of the Blessingtons from London , on a Continental 
tour, September, 1822 . . . .74 

CHAPTER HI. 
Byron and the Blessingtons at Genoa . . . .82 

CHAPTER IV. 

The City and Bay of Naples — The Blessingtons, and their society 
in Naples, June, 1823, to February, 1826 . . .92 

CHAPTER V. 

Departure from Naples — Sojourn in Rome, Florence, Milan, 
Venice, and Genoa — Return to Paris — February, 1826, to June, 
1829. 112 




THE 



LITERARY LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE 



OF TH« 



COUNTESS OF BLESSINGTON. 



INTRODUCTION. 

The task of Biography is not comprised in a mere attempt 

to make a word-picture 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 account even of signal failures and successes ; to de- 

Imeate the features of the person described, and to make 

peculiarities of mind or form 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 

appearances, and accidental curcumstances, but of the interior 

being, and actual peace of mind of those of whom it treats. 

The great aim to be accomplished is to make the truthful 

VOL. I. B 



e 



2 INTRODUCTION. 

portraiture of the person we describe and present to the 
public, stand out in a distinct shape and form, distinguish- 
able from all other surrounding objects, an instructive, en- 
couraging, or admonitory representation of a character and 
career, as the case may be. The legitimate aim and end of 
that representation of a life will be gained, if the biographer, 
in accomplishing his task, makes the portraiture of the in- 
dividual described advantageous to the public ; renews old 
recollections agreeably, as well as usefully ; looks to the fu- 
ture in all his dealings with the past ; draws away attention 
from the predominant materialism of the present time ; vior 
lates no duty to the dead, of whom he treats; no obligation 
to the living, for whose benefit he is supposed to write ; if, 
without prejudice to truth or morals, he indulges his own feel- 
ings of kindness, and tenderness of regard for the memory of 
those who may have been his friends, and who have become 
the subjects of his 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 position, and, when the occasion calls for it, if he 
manfully puts forward his strength to pull down unworthy 
and ignoble pretensions, to unmask selfishness, to give all due 
honour to noble deeds and generous aims and efforts ; if he 
sympathises sincerely with struggling merit, and seeks ear- 
nestly 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 an exalted station, and would obtain the ob- 
ject I have referred to, he will have to speak freely and fear- 
lessly of the miseries and vexations of a false position, how- 
ever splendid it 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 solitude of the dressing-room, the 
stillness of which is often more intolerable than the desert 




INTRODUCTION. 3 

gloom and desolation of Mar Saba, or the silence of La 
Trappe. 

All this can be done without composing homilies on the 
chequered life of man, or pouring forth lamentations on its 
vicissitudes, andpr onouncing anathemas on the failings of 
those, on whose conduct we may perhaps be wholly in- 
competent or unqualified to sit in judgment. There is often 
matter for deep reflection, though requiring no comment from 
the biographer, 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 society, wreathed though it may be with smiles 
and blandishments, at the hoUowness of its friendships, and 
the futility of all eflbrts to secure happiness by dependence on 
them. I am much mistaken if this work can be perused 
without exciting feelings of strong conviction, that no amount 
of luxury, no entourage of wit and learning, no distinction 
m fashionable or literary life, no absorbing pursuits of author- 
ship, or ephemeral enjoyments in exclusive circles of haut 
toUy constitute happiness, or afford 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 confidence 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 Correspond- 
ence. 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 ser\'ice to the execution of it \n every 

B 2 



4 INTRODUCTION. 

literary point of view. But, m other respects, it was considered 
I might bring some advantages to this undertaking, one of 
no ordinar}' difficulty, and requiring no common care and 
circumspection to surmount The facilities I refer to, are 
those arismg from peculiar opportunities of knowing Lady 
Blessington at an early period of that literary career which it 
is intended to illustrate, and becoming acquainted with the 
antecedents of that position in literature which she occupied 
in London. 

The correspondence and other papers of Lady Blessington 
that have been made use of in these volumes, are connected 
by a slender thread of biographical iUustration, which may 
serve to give some idea of the characters 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 unmindful 
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, 
sentiments expressed in confidence to private persons that are 
calculated to hurt the feelings, or to injure the character of 
individuals, are wantonly, malevolently, or inconsiderately dis- 
closed. 

Such opinions 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 unpublished 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, 
&c." "Considering that the collection of letters and 
papers, referred to in this codicil, included the whole of his 
confidential correspondence for a period extending from the 




INTRODUCTION. 5 

year 1817 to the time of his decease, that during a con- 
siderable 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 correspondence would be interest- 
ing, and calculated to throw light upon the conduct and cha- 
racter of public men, and upon the political events of the times." 
Tbis was done in the full assurance that his trustees would 
so exercise the discretion given to them, that no honourable 
confidence should be betrayed, no private feelings be un- 
necessarily wounded, and no public interests injuriously 
affected. 

I think it is Sir Egerton Brydges who observes — " It is 
not possible to love literature and to be uncharitable or un- 
kind to those who follow its pursuits." Nothing would cer- 
tainly be 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, as if such 
badinage on paper, and escapades of sarcastic drollery in 
conversation, were deliberate expressions of opinion ; and not 
the smartness of the sayings, but the sharpness of the sting 
in them, was to be taken into account in judging 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 
m my hands, to encumber my pages with any trivialities of 
this kind, or the mere worthless tittle-tattle of epistolary con- 
versation. 

There is an abundance of thought-treasure in letters of 
people of exalted intellect, in this collection ; ample merits in 
their accounts of passing events, their references to current 
literature — the works of art of the day, the chances and 
changes of political life, the caprices of fashion of the time, 
and the vicissitudes in the fortune of the celebrities of all 



6 INTRODUCTION. 

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 acquaintance 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 gifled individuals, whose credulity has been taken advan- 
tage of, with a deliberate purpose of speculating on those fail- 
ings 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 defamed. The readiness of men to minister to the pre- 
vailing appetite for literary gossip, by violating the sanctity 
of private life, and even the sacred ties of friendship, is not 
only to be lamented, but the crime is to be denounced. I 
have given expressions to such opinions on those subjects at 
the onset of my career in literature, and they have undergone 
no change since the publication of them, upwards of twenty 
years 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 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 

♦ The Infirmities of Geiiiu8, &c., in 2 vols. 8vo., London, 1833. 




INTRODUCTION. 7 

sordid interests, when it looks into every infirmity of human na- 
ture through a medium, which magnifies small imperfections, 
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, and 
no confidence abused. 

" Consider," says a learned German, " under how many 
aspects greatness is scrutinized ; in how many categories 
curiosity may be traced, from the highest grade of inquisi- 
tiveness 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 cxiriosity 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 sympathy corrupts itself into envy, and the in- 
destructible interest we take in men's doings has become a 
joy over their faults and misfortunes ; this is the last and 
lowest stage — lower than this we cannot go." 

" Lower than this we cannot go !" says the German mo- 
ralist. But suppose we do more than exult in these failings 
and misfortunes ; that we not only sit in judgment on them, 
but judge not justly, using false weights and measures of 
justice, having one scale and standard of judicial 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 hypo- 
crisy, when those most deserving of pity have more to fear 
from pretenders to virtue, than fi^om religion itself We are 
told by a great writer, that 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. 



8 INTRODUCTION. 

It is not for the world to make any inquiries into the ante- 
cedents of such failings, whether they included the results of 
an unhappy home, the tyranny, profligacy, profusion and 
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, riotous 
displays of revelry and carousing in the same abode ; every- 
day morning gloom and wrangling, temporary shifts to meet 
inordinate expenses, tending to eventual ruin ; meannesses to 
be witnessed to postpone an inevitable catastrophe, and 
miserable shifts to be had recourse to in order to provide for 
the carousing of another night ; the feasting of military friends, 
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 par- 
take of hospitality, and to enjoy society, set off with such 
advantages as beauty, and mirth, and gaiety unrestricted 
can lend to it. 

It is not for the world to inquire into the circumstance 
that may have led to an unhappy union, or its unfortunate 
result ; whether the home was happy, the society that fre- 
quented the parental abode was safe and suitable for its 
young inmates; whether the father's example was edifying 
in his family — the care of his children was suflicient for 
their security — whether he watched over his daughters, as 
an anxious father should do, and treated them with kind- 
ness and affection, bearing himself quietly and amiably 
towards their mother and themselves; whether their youth 
and innocence were surrounded with religious influences, 
and the moral atmosphere in which they lived from child- 
hood and grew up to womanhood, was pure and wholesome ? 

It matters not, in such a worldly point of view, in the con- 
sideration of such results, whether their peace and happiness 
were made things of sale and barter by a worthless father ! 




INTRODUCTION. 9 

Whether io forcing them to give theur 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. 

But there are persons whose opinions are of the first 
importance, who will think the interests of religion, of truth 
and morality, do not require that we 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 fortunate in life and successful in society, 
or some particular pursuit, before the ashes of those dead 
celebrities are raked for error. Such tombs, indeed, are sel- 
dom ransacked unsuccessfully ; but those who sit in judgment 
on the failings of their fellow-creatures, are never more likely 
to be erroneous in their opinions, than when they are most 
harsh and uncharitable in their judgments. Those persons 
who stand highest 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 advantages of instruction and example, of position, and 
of favourable circumstances that have been thrown away, to 
account for, than the most spiritually proud of the complacent 
self-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 the early and incidental notices of his career), which 
a friendly biographer would have concealed, or at least silently 
passed over ; that 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 



10 INTRODUCTION. 

a 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 chequered and too 
fortuitous life. The skilful 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 instruc- 
tive. The biographer must form his narrative by selection. 
All things belonging to a subject are not worth the 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 acx;ount 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 faithfully imitated, of 
an indiscriminate development of facts, gratifying a not very 
honourable or healthy curiosity, with the minutest details of 
personal history, the eccentricities of social intercourse, and all 
the singularities of private life. The original work, however 
defective we may think it in its plan, derived 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 biographies of very moderate and obscure men; 
with cumbersome details of a life without interest, and cha- 
racter without talent, and a correspondence neither illuminated 
with spirit nor enriched with fact. * Vous me parlez,' says 




INTRODUCTION. 11 

D'Olivet, * d'un homme de lettres ; parlez moi done de ses 
Ulens, parlez moi de ses ouvrages, mais laissez moi ignorer 
ses foiblesses, et k plus forte raison ses vices/ '* * 

Those who are desirous to be acquainted with the parentage, 
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 affectionate 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 Introduction, with such additional 
matter of mine appended to them, as Lady Blessington's 
communications to me, both oral and written, and my own 
researches enable me to offer. 

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 
application 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 pro- 
bably better acquainted with it than any other person living. 
The whole of that history was communicated to me by Lady 
Blessington, 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. 

♦ Gent. Mag. March, 1837. Notice of Prior's Life of Goldsmith, 
p. 229. 



12 INTRODUCTION. 

Extracts from a Mkmoir of thb Countess of Blessinoton 
BY Miss Power, with additional matter in brackets 

INSERTED BY THE EdITOR OF THIS WORK. 

" Marguerite Blessington was the third child and second 
daughter of Edmond Power, Esq., of Knockbrit, near Clon- 
mel, in the county of Tipperary, and was bom on the Ist of 
September, 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 
[eight miles from Dungarvan], and descended from an ancient 
femily in the county of Watcrford. Her mother also be- 
longed to a very old Roman Catholic family, a fact of which 
she was not a little proud, and her genealogical tree was pre- 
served with a religious veneration, and studied until all its 
branches were as familiar as the names of her children : — 
' My ancestors, the Desmonds/ were her household gods, and 
their deeds and prowess her favourite theme." 

[Mr. Edmond Power, the father of Lady Blessington, 
married, at an early age, a daughter of an ill-fated gentleman, 
Mr. Edmond Sheehy, descended from one of the most re- 
spectable Roman Catholic families in the county 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 following 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 county 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 portion with his wife. 




INTRODUCTION. 13 

'' From the above Morgan Sheehy, was lineally descended 
Morgan Sheehy, of Ballyallenane. The said Morgan married 
E&en Buder, 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 Carthy, daughter to Donnough Mac Carthy-More, of 
Dunhallow, in the county of Cork ; and had issue, Morgan 
Sheehy, who married Joan, daughter of David, Earl of Barry- 
more, 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 Bally corrig, and of Elizabeth, daughter of Maurice, 
Earl of Desmond. He had issue, three sons, John, Edmond, 
and Roger, and five daughters. Of the daughters, Joan 
married Thomas Lord Southwell ; Ellen married Philip 
Magrath, of Sleady Castle, in the county of Waterford, Esq. ; 
Mary married Eustace, son of Sir John Brown, of Cammus, 
Bart. ; and Anne married Colonel Gilbrern, of Kilmallock. 

" Of the five daughters of the above Teige O'Brien, Cathe- 
rine married the above Morgan Sheehy, Esq. ; Honoria 
married Sir John FitzGerald, of Cloyne, Bart. ; Maudin mar- 
ried O'Shaughnessy, of Gort ; Julia married Mac Namara 
of Cratala ; and Mary married Sir Turlough Mac Mahon, 
of Cleana, in the county of Clare, Bart. 

" Of the three sons of Morgan Sheehy, Esq., and Cathe- 
rine O'Brien, John, the eldest, married Mary, daughter of 
James Casey, of Rathcannon, in the^county of Limerick, Esq. 
(It was in this John's time, about 1650, that Cromwell dis- 
possessed the family of their estates.) The said John had issue 
John Sheehy, who married Catherine, daughter of Donough 
O'Brien, of Dungillane, Esq. He had issue, Charles Sheehy, 
who married Catherine Ryan, daughter of Matthew Ryan, 



14 INTRODUCTION. 

Esq., and of Catherine FitzGerald, daughter of Sir John Fitz- 
Gerald, of Clonglish, Bart.^ and had issue John and William 
Sheehy, Esqs. of Spittal. The said John married Honoria 
O'Sullivao, maternal grand-daughter to MacBrien, of Bally 
Sheehan, and hkd 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 Eleanor 
married WiUiam Cranick, of Galbally, Esq., and had issue, 
Ellen, who married Timothy Quinlan, Esq., of Tipperary. 
Edmimd Sheehy,* Esq., son of the above-named William 
Sheehy, and brother to Eleanor and Ellen, married Margaret 
O'Sullivan, of Ballylegate, and had issue Robert and James 
Sheehy, and two daughters, Ellen and Mary. The said Ellen 
married Edmond Power, Esq., of Curragheen, in the County 
of Waterford ; and had issue, Anne, who died in her tenth 
year ; Michael, who died a Captain in the 2nd West India 
Regiment at St. Lucia, in the West Indies ; Marguerite, who 
married, firstly. Captain St. Leger Farmer, of the 47th 
Regiment, who died in 1817, and secondly, the Earl of 
Blessington ; Ellen, who married John Home Purves, Esq., 
son of Sir Alexander Purves, Bart., of Purves Hall, in the 
County of Berwick, and secondly, to Viscount Canterbury ; 
Robert, who entered the army young, and left it a Captain 
in the 30th Regiment of Foot, in 1823. The said Robert 
married Agnes Brooke, daughter of Thomas Brooke, Esq., 
first member of council at St. Helena; and Mary Anne, 
married in 1831, to Count de St. Marsault."t 

[In the Appendix will be found a detailed account of the 
persecutions of several members of the Sheehy family in 1 765 

* Executed in 1766 for alleged rebellion. Edmund Sheehy was 
called Buck Sheehy, and lived at Dawnfoime,, County Waterford. 

f Here ends the genealogical account of the Sheehy family, given 
me by Lady Bleiisington.— R. R. M. 




INTRODUCTION. 15 

and 1766. It commenced with the prosecution, conviction, 
and execution of a priest, Father Nicholas Sheehy, who was 
a cousin of Edmond Sheehy, the grandfather of Lady Bless- 
iogton. 

If ever affrighted justice might be said to " swing from 
her moorings," and, passion-driven, to be left at the mercy of 
the winds and waves of party violence, it surely was in the 
iaiquitous proceedings against the Sheehys ; for innocence, it 
might indeed be affirmed, there was no anchorage in the 
breast of a jury, in those times packed as it usually was for 
the purpose of conviction, or in the sanctuary of a court, 
surrounded by a military force to overawe its functionaries, 
and to intimidate the advocates and witnesses of the accused. 
The unfortunate Father Sheehy was found guilty of the 
murder of a man named John Bridge, and sentenced to be 
hanged, drawn, and quartered, and the sentence was carried 
into execution at Clonmel. The head of the judicially mur- 
dered priest was stuck on a spike, and placed over the porch 
of the old gaol, and there it was allowed to remain for up- 
wards of twenty years, till at length his sister was allowed to 
remove it. 

The next victim of the Sheehy family was the cousin of 
the priest, Edmond Sheehy, the grandfather of Lady Bless- 
ington ; and he, equaHy innocent, and far less obnoxious to 
suspicion of any misprision of agragrian outrage, was put to 
death a little later than his relative. 

Edmond Sheehy, the maternal grandfather of Lady Bless- 
ington, who perished on the scaffold in May, 1766, and was 
buried in Kilronan church-yard, left four children, Robert 
James, Ellen, and Mary. His eldest son Robert was mur- 
dered on his own" property in 1831, at Bawnfowne, in the 
parish of Kilronan ; his eldest daughter, Ellen, married Ed- 
mond Power, Esq. of Curragheen, in the county of Water- 
ford. This lady was not in anywise remarkable for her intel- 



1 6 INTRODUCTION. 

kN^tual qudiities. She wis a fdaiii, simple woman, of no 
pr^Dsions lo degmnce oi manners, refinement or gracefol- 
Qess, She died in Dublin, upwards of twenty years ago. 
l^e seoond son, James, went to America at an early age, and 
was neYer afterwards heard o{. The youngest daughter, Mary, 
luanried a Mr. John Colins, the proprietor of a newspaper in 
Olonmel. 

Robert Sheehy, who was murdered in 1831, left a son (Mr. 
Ji^hu Shet^hy, first cousin of Lady Blessington), whom I knew 
abi>ut two years ago in Clonmel, filling the situation of 
Master of Workhouse, (named Keyward Auxiliary Work- 
house). Shortly after his marriage, Mr. Power removed to 
Kuockbrit, a place about two miles from Cashel; and there, 
where he resided for many years, all his chQdren, with the 
exception of the youngest, were bom.] 

** Beauty, the heritage of the family, was, in her eariy youth, 
denied to Marguerite ; her eldest brother and sister, Michael 
and Anne, as wcU 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 
perceptions, and her extreme sensitiveness, all of which are 
so often r^;arded, 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 premature grave. 

** The atmosphere in which she lived was but little con- 
genial to such a nature. Her father, a man of violent tem- 
per, and little given to study the characters of his children, 
iutimidated 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 grati- 
tMxi him. Her mother, though she failed not to bestow the 
V^udiuvjit maternal care on the health of the little sufferer, 




INTRODUCTION. 1 7 

was not capable of appreciating her fine and subtle qualities, 
and ber brotbers and sisters, fond as they were of her, were 
not, in their high health and boisterous gaiety, companions 
suited to such a child. 

" During her earliest years, therefore, she lived 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, continually 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 ridi- 
cule among those who had hitherto been around the child. 
The development of this fine organization, and the aiding it 
to comprehend 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 
already begun to develop themselves. She would entertain 
her brothers and sisters for hours with tales invented as she 
proceeded ; and at last so remarkable did this talent become, 
that her parents, astonished at the interest and coherence of 
her narrations, constantly called upon her to improviser for 
the entertainment of their friends and neighbours, a task 
always easy to her fertile brain ; and, in a short time, the 
Dttle n^lected child became the wonder of the neighbour- 
hood. 

VOL. I. c 



18 INTRODUCTION. 

" The increasing ages of their children, and the difficulty of 
obtaining the means of instruction for them at Knockbrit, 
induced 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 almost unmingled regret. To leave the 
place of her birth, the scenes which her passionate love of 
nature had so deeply endeared to her, was one of the severest 
trials she had ever experienced, and was looked forward to 
with sorrow and dread. At last, the day airived, 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, yet fearing the ridicule of ihe other members of the 
family, she carefully concealed them in her pocket ; and with 
many tears and bitter regrets, was at last driven from Knock- 
brit, where, as it seemed to her, she left all happiness behind 
her." 

[The removal of the Powers from Knockbrit to Clonmel 
must have been previously to the year 1796 or 1797. Their 
house in Clonmel, which I lately visited, is a small incom- 
modious 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 
society of children of her o^n age, gradually produced their 
effect on her spirits; and though her love of reading and 
study continued rather to increase than abate, she became 
more able to join in the amusements of her brothers and 
sisters, wbo, delighted at the change, gladly welcomed her 
into their society, and manifested the afl^cction which hitherto 
they had little opportunity of displaying. 

" But soon it seemed as if the violent grief she had expe- 




INTRODUCTION. 19 

rienced 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, 
commenced a mode of living, and indulged in pleasures and 
hospitality, which his means, though amply suflScient to supply 
necessary expenses, were wholly inadequate to support. 

" In an evil hour he was tempted by the representations 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 counties of Tipperary and Waterford ; a position from 
which no pecuniary 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 onerous duties of his situation with a zeal which procured 
for him the animosity of the friends and relatives in the re- 
motest 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 hj^ store-houses, destroyed his 
plantations, and killed his cattle ; while for all of these losses 
he was repaid by the most flattering encomiums from his noble 
friend, letters of thanks from the Secretary for Ireland, ac- 
knowledging 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 ; whilst the latter, 

c 2 



20 INTRODUCTION. 

only too glad not to be pressed for their performance, con- 
tinued to lead on his dupe, and, instead of the valuable 
official appointment, &c. &c., proposed to him to set up a 
newspaper, in which his Lordship was to procure for him the 
publication of the government proclamations, a source of no 
inconsiderable profit. This journal was, of coiu^e, to advocate 
only his Lordship's political 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." 

[A school-fellow of one of the sons of Mr. Power, and well 
acquainted with the latter, informs me, " When Mr. Power 
came to Clonmel, be was about thirty years of age, a good- 
looking man, of gentlemanly appearance and manners. He 
engaged in the business of a corn-merchant and butter 
buyer.* Subsequently he became proprietor of the Clonmd 
Gazette, or Munster Mercury. The editor of it was the 
well-known Bernard Wright. The politics of the paper were 
liberal — Catholic politics — Power was a Catholic, though not 
a very' strict or observant one. The paper advocated the 
electioneering interests of tlie Landaff or Matthew family. 

Bernard Wright was the guardian of my informant. 
He was a man of wit, a poet, and an accomplished gentleman. 
He had been educated 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 

* It has been stated, very erroneously, that Mr. Power kept an inn 
in Clonmel ; and no less inaccurately has he been designated ** an 
obscure tradesman" of that town. 




INTRODUCTION. 2 1 

Fitzgerald, and the only one of those victims who made that 
ferocious man pay for his inhumanity after 1798. 

In January, 1844, when residing in Portugal, Mr. Jeremiah 
Meagher, a native of Clonmel, intimately acquainted with all 
the parties referred to in the preceding account, and the events 
of a later period in the career of Lady Blessington's father, 
informed me of many particulars relating to Wright, and 
also Mr. Edmond Power and his family, of much interest ; 
which account Lady Blessington subsequently confirmed 
when I visited her in London, and spoke of her early friend, 
the Vioe-Consul, in the warmest terms of affectionate regard. 

Mr. Meagher, in reference to Bernard Wright, said : " He 
used to furnish articles of a literary kind for Power's paper, 
and assisted in the management, but he had no political opi- 
nions of any kind. Of that fact he, Mr. Meagher, was quite 
certain." 

The newspaper concern was a ruinous affair to Mr. Power. 
Mr. Meagher says, " It was badly conducted, Mr. Power was 
a very illiterate man, of no business habits, of no fixed prin- 
ciples." 

Lady Blessington informed me, that " Her father's pursuits 
in carrying out the views of his patron, Lord Donoughmore, 
caused him to neglect his business. His affairs became de- 
ranged. To retrieve them, he entered into partnership, in a 
general mercantile way, with Messrs. Hunt and O'Brien, of 
Waterford. He expended 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 practised on them. 

" His violence," continued her Ladyship, " which had for- 
merly been of a political kind only, now became a sort of con- 
stitutional irascibility, his temper more and more irritable, his 
habits irregular and disorderly ; he was eventually a terror to 
his wife and children. He treated his wife with brutality. 



22 INTRODUCTION. 

he upbraided her frequently with her father's fate, and would 
often say to her, * What more could be expected from the 
daughter of a convicted rebel ?* 

" His mercantile career was unfortunate, his partners got 
rid of him after many fruitless remonstrances. He had over- 
drawn the capital he had put into the house, by several thou- 
sand pounds. His next speculation was a newspaper, called 
the Clonmel Gazette, which was set up by him at the instance 
of Lord Donoughmore, 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, by 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 libel written by Lord Donoughmore. But his Lordship 
left her father to bear the brunt 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 him- 
self up to dissipation, and his affairs had become involved in 
difficulties, even before the period of his setting up the paper, 
so much so, that she (Lady Blessington) and her sister Ellen, 
while at school, had often felt the humiliation of being de- 
barred from learning certain kinds of work, tambour em- 
broidery, &c., on account of the irregularity of the payment of 
their school charges." 

Mr. Power was a fair, though not a very favourable spe- 
cimen of the Irish country gentleman of some sixty years 
ago ; fond of dogs, horses, wine, and revelry, and very impro- 
vident and inattentive to all affairs of business. He was a 
good-looking man, of a lively, thoughtless aspect, showy in his 
appearance, and with something of an aristocratic air ; very 
demonstative of fnlls and ruffles, much given to white cravats, 
and the wearing of leather breeches and top boots. He was 
known to the Tipperar}' bloods as ** a Buck," as " Sliiver the 




INTRODUCTION. 23 

Frills," " Beau Power," and other appellations complimentary 
to his sporting character, rollicking disposition, and remark- 
able costume. 

When the times were out of joint, and preparations were 
making for rebellion, in the latter part of 1797, Mr. Power 
was one of those Catholic gentlemen who had been " overtaken 
with vehement suspicion of sundry misprisions of treason." 
He certainly was supposed to have sympathy with the dis- 
affected, and to be no stranger to their counsels. But a 
sudden and a happy change came over the spirit of his 
political opinions. For some years succeeding the disastrous 
epoch of 1798^ Mr. Power, having thrown himself into local 
politics, BDd becoming deeply engaged in public affairs, ac- 
quired the character of a terrorist, in the district that was the 
sphere of his magisterial duties. The hunting of suspected 
rebels, of persons thought to be disloyal in the late rebellion, 
even so long as eight and nine years after its complete sup- 
pression, became a favourite 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 made an at- 
tempt to arrest a young man whom he met on his route. The 
unfortunate man fled at the approach of the armed gentleman 
with his pistol levelled at him. Mr. Power shot the flying 
peasant, seized the wounded man, set him on a horse, and 
carried his dying prisoner first to his own house, and from 
thence to the gaol at Clonmel. The unfortunate man died. 
Mr. Power was tried for the murder, and 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 circum- 
stances referred to. 

The account given me by Lady Blessington in some re- 
spects differs from the others; but though it contradicts 
them in some minor details, it must be borne in mind, her 



24 ' INTRODUCTION. 

Ladyship's account is evidently derived from that put for- 
ward by her father in his defence. 

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 with 
him. After riding along the road for some time, he informed 
his son, he was going to apprehend a very desperate 
fellow in the neighbourhood,' whom none of the constables 
dare lay hands on. Michael Power, whose principles were 
siltogether opposed to the father's, was reluctant to go on 
this mission, but dared not refuse. The father, approaching 
the cabin of a 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 levelling a pistol 
at the man's head, called on him to surrender (but ex- 
hibited no warrant for his apprehension). The man (a 
tenant of Mr. Bagwell) flung a stone at his assailant, where- 
upon Mr. Powtr, taking deliberate aim, mortally wounded the 
man in the body. This was not sufficient ; he placed the 
wounded man on horseback behind his servant, had him 
bound to the servant, and thus conveyed him to town, and 
in the first instance to his own place of abode, and then to 
gaol." 

Lady Blessington added, that " she remembered with honor 
the sight of the wounded man mounted behind the servant, 
as the party entered the stable-yard of her father's house ; 
pale and ghastly, his head sunk on his breast, his strength 
apparently exhausted, his clothes steeped with blood, when in 
this condition he was brought into the court yard bound to 
the servant. The horror of this deed never left the mind of 
Michael Power ; it haunted him during his short career — he 




INTRODUCTION. '25 

died at an early age in St. Lucia, one of the most noble- 
minded and tender-hearted of human beings. Such was the 
influence of his amiable character over the unfortunate wounded 
man, that when he was dying, he besought his family to take 
DO steps against Mr. Power ; and this was solely in considera- 
tion of the humanity exhibited by the son.* The man died, 
and Bagwell, from animosity to her father, on account of his 
alliance with the Donoughmore interest, persuaded the family 
to prosecute Mr. Power. Proceedings were commenced against 
him, but the grand jury threw out the bills. A second bill was 
sent up subsequently, and found ; but Power fled to England, 
and returned in time to take his trial for murder. He was 
acquitted, but the judge, even in those unhappy times (it was 
in 1807 the act was committed), thought this was going a 
little too far with the system of terror ; he reprobated the 
conduct of Power, and had his name expunged from the ma- 
gistracy." 

Alderman H , of Clonmel, adverting to this act, ob- 
serves, that Mr. Power was what was called an " active ma- 
gistrate," and when patrolling the countr}', he shot a young 
man named Lonnergan, the son of a widow, a peasant. This 
poor fellow Power called a rebel, and had his dead body 
brought into town and hung out of a window of the old court- 
house, or, as the place was called long subsequently, the main 
guard." 

♦ In " The Dublin Erening Post," 23d September, 1806, we find 
he following account of a duel between Michael Power, Esq., and 
Lieutenant (now Colonel) Kettle well : — 

•* On the 19th September, 1806, a duel was fought near Two Mile 
Bridge, in the vicinity of Clonmel, between a Lieutenant Kettlewell 
(now Colonel Kettlewell), and Michael Power, Esq., the eldest son of 
Edmund Power ; when, after the discharge of two shots each, the affair 
was amicably settled by the interference of the seconds. Captain 
Armstrong, of the Artillery, was friend to Lieutenant Kettlewell ; and 
Mr. O'Connell, of Clonmel, was the second of Mr. Power.'* 



26 INTRODUCTION. 

This gentleman adds, " There the body was first seen by 
his mother after the boy's death ; and after she had gazed on 
the body for a few instants, she knelt down and cursed her 
son's murderer." 

A lady, upon whose accuracy every dependence can be 
placed, Mrs. R , a native of Tipperary (and nearly con- 
nected by marriage with Mr. J. O'C ), who remembered 

Lady Blessington when a child, (her father and Mr. Power 
being near neighbours,) states that Mr. Power sought to obtain 
local influence and distinction, by hunting down the peasantry 
at the head of a troop of mounted yeomanry, succeeded in 
being made a magistrate, and was in the habit of scouring 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 those scouring expeditions 
in his district, saw a young lad as he was going along the road, 
with a pitchfork in his hand, the son of an old widow wonuio, 
living on the property of Colonel Bagwell. Mr. Power, on 
seeing the lad, at once decided that he was a rebel, and his 
pitchfork was an evidence of treasonable intentions. The 
sight of the well-known terrorist and his troopers was 
sufficient to put the kid to flight — he ran into a field. Mr. 
Power fired at him as he was running ; the shot took effect, 

and death shortly afterwards was the result. Mrs. R 

states, the widow and her son were very quiet, harmless, 
honest, well-disposed people, much liked in the neighbourhood. 
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 shot by him. 
Before the poor lad had left the cabin, his mother subse- 
quently stated, that she had said to him, " Joe, dear, it's too 
late to go, maybe Mr. Power and the yeomen are out." The 
lad said, " Tivvvr mind, mother, I'll only leave the fork and 




INTRODUCTION. 27 

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 
inquiries 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 hanging up the mutilated body of a 
presumed traitor in front of the guard-house was gone through 
io 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 
living with her to help her, no one at home to mind her, and 

she was unable to mind herself. Mrs.R '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 have a rich inheritance in his memory to be proud 
of and thankful to God 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 paroxysm of despondency she 
attempted to put an end to her existence by cutting her throat. 

Strange to say, although the windpipe was severed, and she 
lost a great deal of blood, the principal vessels being unin- 
jured, with timely assistance, she partially recovered, and was 
restored, not only to tolerable bodily health, but to a com- 
paratively sound state of mind also. She died after a year or 
two. Scarcely any one out of R 's house, with one ex- 
ception, another son, living apart from her, 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.] 

" About this time," says Miss Power, " Anne, the eldest of 
the family, was attacked by a nervous fever, partly the result 



28 INTRODUCTION. 

of the terror and anxiety into which the whole of the family 
were plunged by the misfortunes which gathered round them, 
aggravated by the frequent and terrible outbreaks of rage to 
which their father, always passionate, now became more than 
ever subject. In spite of every effort, this lovely child, whose 
affectionate disposition and endearing qualities entirely pre- 
cluded any feeling of jealousy which the constant praises of 
her extreme 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, Edmond, the second son, also 
died. 

'' These successive misfortunes so impaired the health and 
depressed 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 members 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 board, and enabled his children to mix 
with the families around. Among those who visited at his 
house, were some whose names have been honourably known 
to their country. Lord Hutchinson and his brothers, Curran, 
the brilliant and witty Lysaght, Generals Sir Robert Mac 
Farlane, and Sir 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 capable of understanding and appreciating their 
superiority." 

[Among those also, in 1804, who were intimately ac- 
quainted with the Powers, were Captain Henry Hardinge,-of 
the 47 th Rt»gimcnt of Foot, Captain Archibald Campbell, 




INTRODUCTION. 29 

Major Eklward Blakeney, and Captain James Murray of the 
same Regiment.] 

'* At fourteen, Marguerite began to enter into the society of 
grown-up persons; an event which afforded her no small satis- 
faction, as that of children, with the exception of her brothers 
and sisters, especially Ellen, from whom she was almost insepar- 
able, had but little charm for her. Ellen, who was somewhat 
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 
stationed at Clonmel, and, according to the custom of country 
towns, particularly in Ireland, all the houses of the leading 
gentry 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 



30 INTRODUCTION. 

that of Captain Farmer excited nothing but minted fear 
and distaste. She hardly knew why ; for young, good-looking, 
and with much to win the good graces of her sex, be 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, offering his hand, with the most liberal proposals which a 
good fortune enabled him to make. In ignorance of an event 
which was destined to work so important a change in her 
destiny, Marguerite received a similar , proposal from Ci^tain 
Murray, who at the same time informed her of the course 
adopted by his brother officer, and revealed a fact which per- 
haps accounted 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 
certain wildness and abruptness of speech and gesture, which 
left the impression on her mind that he was insane.] 

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

'' Afew 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 enter- 
tained for the wishes of any of his family when contrary to 




INTRODUCTION. 31 

his own. Her mother, too, gave but little heed to what she 
coQsidered 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 gir' was com- 
pelled to yield to the commaods of her inexorable parents ; 
and at fourteen and a half, she was united to a man who in- 
spired her wi;:h nothing but feelings of terror and detesta- 
tion."* 

[Captain Maurice St Leger Farmer entered the army in 
February, 179S ; he had been on half pay in 1802, and ob- 
tained his company the 9th of July. 1803, in the 47th 
Regiment of Foot. In 1 805 he continued in the same regi- 
ment, but in 1 806 his name is not to be found in the Army 
list, neither of officers on full, or on half pay.] f 

" The result of such a union may be guessed. Her hus- 
band could not but be conscious of the sentiment she enter- 
tained towards him, though she endeavoured 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 trem- 
bled in his presence. It were needless to relate the details of 
the period of .misery, distress, and harrowing fear, through 
which Marguerite, 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 

* The groomsman of Captain Farmer was a Captain Hardinge, of 
the 47th Regiment. The Captain became a General, and is now 
Commander in Chief. 

t Vide Army LisU for 1804, 5, 6. 



32 INTRODUCTION. 

reluctantly 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, 1843. 

" Her father was in a ruined position at the time she 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. Her father told her, after some time, she was 
not to return to school — he had decided that she was to marry 
Captain Fiu*mer. This intelligence astonished her ; she burst 
out crying, and a scene ensued in which his menaces and her 
protestations against his detertnination terminated violently. 
Her mother unfortunately sided with her father, and even- 
tually, by caresses, entreaties, and representations of the ad- 
vantages her father looked forward to from this match with a 
man of Captain Farmer's affluence, she was persuaded to 
sacrifice herself, and to marry a man for whom she felt the 
utmost repugnance. She had not been long under her hus- 
band's roof when it became evident to her that her husband 
was subject to fits of insanity, and his own relatives informed 
her that her father had been acquainted by them, that Captain 
Farmer had been insane ; but this information had been con- 
cealed from her by her father. She lived with him about 
three months, and during this time he frequently treated her 
with personal violence ; he used to strike her on the face, pinch 
her till her arms were black and blue, lock her up whenever 
he went abroad, and often had left her without food till she felt 
almost famished. He was ordered at length to join his regi- 
ment, which was encamped on the Curragh of Kildare. Lady 
Blessington refused to accompany him there, and was even- 




INTRODUCTION. 33 

tually perniitted to return 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 a 
brother oflScer, he drew his sword on the former (who was his 
superior), and the result of this insane act (for such it was 
allcwexl to be) was, that he was obliged to quit the service, 
being permitted to sell his commission. The friends of Captain 
Farmer then ' 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 accuracy of the above report of that account I can 
vouch ; though, of course, I 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 imreservedly, that 
the account given by her Ladyship of the causes of the separa- 
tion, and those set forth in a recent communication of a 
brother of Captain Farmer, to the editor of a Dublin evening 
paper, are in several respects at variance.* 

Mr. John Sheehy, now residing in Clonmel, a cousin of 
Lady Blessington, informs me that " he has a perfect recol- 
lection of the marriage of Marguerite Power with Captain 
Farmer. His father considered it a forced marriage, and 
used to speak of the violence done to the poor girl by her 
father, as an act of tyranny. It was an unfortunate man iage," 
says Mr. Sheehy, ** and it led to great misfortunes. It was 
impossible 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 husband, and a separation 
was agreed on by the p:;rties. Mrs. Farmer found herself 
very unhappily circumstanced in her former home. Her 
falhir was unkind, abd sometimes more than unkind to her. 
She was looked on as an interloper in the house, as one who 

* See Appendix fur Report of Inquest. 
VOL. I. D 



34 INTRODUCTION. 

interfere with the prospects, and advancement in life, of her 
sisters. It was supposed that one of the military friends of 
Mr. Power, and a frequent visitor at his house, Captain 
Jenkins, then stationed at Tullow, had been 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, as far as Miss EUen 
Power was concerned, was an erroneous one. 

Captain Jenkins was brought up in the expectation of in- 
heriting a large fortune in Hampshire, and was ultimately 
disappointed in that expectation. For several years he 
had a large income, and having expended a great deal of 
money, upwards of £100,000, 'previously to his marriage, had 
been for many years greatly embarrassed. His embarrass- 
ments, however, did not prevent him from retaining the 
est(^em and regard of all who had known him in his more 
prosperous circumstances ; and amongst the rest, the Earl of 
Blessington, to whom he was indebted for assistance on a 
single occasion, and in one sum at that time, to the amount of 
£10,000. Captain Jenkins was a generous man, an amiable 

* The officer above referred to, was a Captain Thomas Jenkins, of 
the I Ith Light Dragoons ; a gentleman of a good family in Hampshire, 
and of very large expectations of fortune. He had a brother in the 
same regiment with him, who remained in Ireland some years subse* 
qnently to his departure for England. 

By the Army List we find this gentleman entered the army in De- 
cember, 1801. He held th'e rank of Lieutenant in the 11th Light Dra- 
goons 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. Farmer was then also residing in Dublin. In 1816 his name 
disappears from the Army Lists. He had an establishment at Sid- 
manton, in Hampshire, for three or four years previously to 1814. He 
served with his regiment in the latter part of the Peninsular cam- 
paign, and was absent from Sidmanton nearly two yean. — R. R. M. 




INTRODUCTION. 35 

and kindly-disposed person, of very prepossessing appearance, 
elegant manners, and pleasing address. He married, when 
rather advanced in years, the Baroness Calabrella — a sister of 
a gentleman of some notoriety in his day, Mr. Ball Hughes 
— the widow first of a Mr. Lee, and secondly of a Mr. De 
Blaquiere. This lady, who was possessed of considerable 
means, purchased a small property on the continent, with 
some rights of Seigniorage appertaining to it, from which the 
title is derived which she now bears. 

She resided for some years in Abbeville, up to a short period, 
I believe, of her second husband's death, which took place in 
Paris. 

This lady is the talented authoress of several remarkable 
productions, was long intimately acquainted with Lady Bless- 
ington, and held in very high estimation by her Ladyship. 

" The house of "Mr. Power," Mr. Sheehy states, " was 
made so disagreeable to Mrs. Farmer, that she might be said 
to have been driven to the necessity of seeking shelter else- 
where. 

" He remembers Mrs. Farmer residing at Tullow, in the 
county of Waterford, 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 he disapproved of her separation from Captain Farmer, 
and refused, on that account, to allow his daughters to visit 
her." 

" Previously to her marriage with Captain Farmer," he 
adds, " idle persons gossiped about her alleged love of ball- 
room distinction, and intimacy with persons remarkable 
for gaiety and pleasure. But there was no ground for the 
rumour." 

Another gentleman, well acquainted with the family, Alder- 
man H , says : ** Mrs Farmer lived for nearly three years 

with her husband at different places. After the separation, 

D 2 



36 INTRODUCTION. 

she sojourned for some time with her aunt, Mrs. Gleeson, the 
wife of Dr. Gleeson, and sister of her father, who lived at 
Ringville, near Dungarvan (and is still linng there). She re- 
sided also occasionally at her father's with her sister ESlen, 
sans reproche (hut not without great trials) ; her husband 
treated her badly." 

Mr. Jeremiah Meagher, British Vice-Consul at Lisbon, in- 
formed me that he was in the employment of Mr. Power, in 
connection with the Clonmel Gazette, in 1804, at the period 
of the marriage of Marguerite Power with Captain Farmer. 
That subsequently to it, he knew her when she was residing 
at Cahir. Another acquaintance of Lady Blessington in 
early life, remembers her and her sister Ellen residing, at the 
period referred to, in Felhard, and has a recollection of meet- 
ing them at the shop of a Mr. Byrne, in that town. 

Mr. Meagher speaks in terms of the strongest regard for 
her. " He never knew a person so inclined to act kindly to- 
wards others, to do anything that lay in her power to sen^e 
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 favourite." 

This is the testimony of a very honest and upright man 

Mr. Meagher says — " She resided at Cahir so late as 1 807. 
He thinks Captain Jenkins' intimacy with the Power familv 
commenced in 1807." And another informant, Mr. Wright, 
son of Bernard Wright, states that Mrs. Fanner, while re- 
siding at Cahir, visited frequently at Lord Glengall's. Other 
persons have a recollection of Colonel Stewart, of Killymoon, 
being a favourite guest at the house of Mr. Power, at many 
entertainments, between 1805 and 1807, and a supposed 
admirer of Miss Ellen Power. 

The Tyrone militia was stationed at Clonmel, or in its vici- 




INTRODUCTION. 37 

nity, 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, 11th of August, 1804). The Lieutenant- 
Colonel, Lord Mountjoy (date of appointment, 28th of Sep- 
tember, 1 804). His lordship was succeeded in the Lieutenant- 
Colonelcy by William Stewart, Esq., son of Sir J. Stewart, of 
• Kiilymoon (date of appointment, 16th of April, 1805), and 
continued to hold that rank from 1805 to 1812. As an in- 
timate friend of Miss Elllen Power and her sister, 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 re- 
ceived large grants from James I., after his accession to the 
British throne. Colonel Stewart's splendid mansion (built by 
Nash), and magnificent demesne of Kiilymoon, were hardly 
equalled, for elegant taste and beauty of situation and scenery, 
in the county of Tyrone. The library, the remains of which 
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 
hira the tastes and habits of an accomplished traveller, and a 
lover of Italian lore. His personal appearance and manners 
were remarkable for elegance, and were no less prepossessing 
and attractive than his mental qualities and accomplishments. 

Sir John Stewart, the father of the late Colonel Stewart, 
died in October, .825, at his seat, Kiilymoon. He had been 
a distinguished member of the Dungagnon volunteer con- 
vention. " Sir John had been returned six times for the 
county Tyrone, and had been a member of the Irish and Im- 
perial Parliament for forty years, during which time he was a 
steady, uniform, and zealous supporter of the constitution in 
clmrch and state. He filled the offices of counsel to the Re- 
venue Board, Solicitor- General, and Attorney-General; and 



3S INTRODUCTION. 

of him it was truly observed, by an aged statesman, * that he 
was one of the few men who grew more humble the lugher 
he advanced in political station.' Sir John was married in 
the year 1790, to Miss Archdale, sister of General Arcbdale, 
M.P. for the county of Fermanagh, by whom he had two 
sons and a daughter."* 

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

In 1807 she was living at Cahir, in the county Tipperary, 
separated from her husband ; in 1809 she was sojourning in 
Dublin ; a little later, she was residing in Hampshire ; in 1816, 
we find her established in Manchester Square, London ; and 
at the commencement of 1818, on the point of marriage with 
an Irish nobleman. 

The task I have proposed to myself does not render it ne- 
cessary for me to do more than glance at the fact, and to cite 
a few passages more from the Memoir of Miss Power ] 

*^ Circumstances having at last induced Mrs. Farmer to 
fix upon London as a residence, she established herself in a 
house in Manchester Square, where, with her brother, Robert 
(Michael had died some years previously), she remained for a 
considerable 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 occurrence of an event in 1817, which placed the des- 
tiny of Mrs. Farmer in her own hands, his Lordship's ad- 

* Annual Register, Appendix to Chronicle, 1825, p. 286. 




INTRODUCllON, 39 

miration was soon made knowo, and proposals of marriage 
were offered to her, and accepted by her in 1818. 

The event above referred to, was the death of Captain 
Fanner. Captain Farmer, subsequently to the separation 
about 1807, having left his regiment, still serving in Ireland, 
went to the East Indies, obtained employment, and remained 
there a few years. He returned to England about 1816, and 
being acquainted with persons involved in pecuniary embar- 
rassments, who had been thrown into prison, during their 
confinement within the rules of the Fleet, he visited them 
frequently, lived freely, and, I believe it may be added, riot- 
ously, with his imprisoned friends. 

On one occasion, of a festive nature, after having been 
regaled by them, and indulging in excess, in the act of en- 
deavouring to sally forth from the room where the entertain- 
ment had been given, he rushed out of the room, placed 
himself on the ledge of the window, to escape the importu- 
nities of his associates, fell to the ground in the court yard, 
and died of the wounds he received, a little later. 

From the ''Morning Herald" of October 28th, 1817, the 
following 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 
Maurice Farmer, who was killed by falling from a window, 
in the King's Bench Prison. The deceased was a captain in 
the army, upon half-pay ; and having received an appointment 
in the service of the Spanish Patriots, went, on Thursday week, 
to take leave of some friends, confined in the King's Bench 
Prison. The party drank four quarts of rum, and were all 
intoxicated. When the deceased rose to go home, his friends 
locked the door of the room to prevent him. Apprehensive 
that they meant to detain him all night, as they had done 
twice before, he threw up the window, and threatened to jump 



K) INTRODUCTION. 

out if they did not release him. Finding this of no avail, he 
got upon the ledge, and, whilst expostulating with them, lost 
his balance. He hung on for some minutes by his hands, 
but his friends were too much intoxicated to be able to relieve 
him. He consequently fell from the two pair, and had one 
thigh and one arm broken, and the violence with which his 
head came in contact with the ground, produced an effusion 
of blood on the brain. He was taken up in a state of in- 
sensibility, and conveyed to the Middlesex Hospital, where he 
died on Tuesday last. The deputy-marshal of the King's 
Bench Prison attended the inquest. He stated that the 
friends of the deceased had no intention of injuring him ; but, 
from tlie gross impropriety of their conduct, the marshal had 
committed them to Horsemonger Lane GjioI, to one month's 
solitar}' confinement. 

** The jury came to the following verdict : — ' The dec(*ased 
came to his death by accidentally fiJling from a window in the 
King's Bench Prison, when in a state of intoxication.' " 

In the statement made to me by Lady Blessington in 1843> 
to whieh I have previously referred, I was informed, ** In a 
few days after Captain Farmer's death. Perry, of the ' Morning 
Chronicle' (tlien unknown to Lord Blessington), addressed a 
note to Lord Blessington, enclosing a statement, purporting to 
be an account of the death of Captain Farmer, sent to him 
for insertion in his paper, throwing an air of mystery over 
the recent catastrophe, asserting things that were utterly un- 
founded, and entering into many particulars in connection 
with his marriage, and its antecedents. The simple state- 
ment of the facts on the part of Lord Blessington to Perry, 
sufficed to prevent the insertion of this infamous slander, and 
laid the foundation of a lasting friendship between Lord and 
Lady Blessington, and the worthy man who was then editor 
of the * Morning Chronicle/" 

Mr. Kdmond Power, of Clonmel, in the meantime, had 




INTRODUCTION. 41 

become a ruined man, broken down in fortune, and at 
a low ebb in domestic happiness. He removed with 
his wife to Dublm, and there, in Clarendon Street, Mrs. 
Power died, far advanced in years. Her husband married 
a second time, upwards 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 by his two daughters. Lady Blessington and 
Lady Canterbury, who jointly contributed towards his 
maintenance. He possessed no other means of subsistence 
having disposed of his interest in a small farm, called 
Stanley Lodge, in the vicinity of Cashel, at the time the 
arrangement was entered into by his daughters to cojitribute 
to his maintenance. 

The claims on Lady Blessington were more extensive than 
can be well conceived. One member of her family had an 
annual stipend paid monthly, from the year 1836 to 1839 
inclusive, 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 vouchers, amounted, in all, to the sum of seven 
hundred and eighty-four pounds. I have reason to believe 
the stipend was continued to be paid in 1848, which addi- 
tional sum would make the amount eight hundred and sixty- 
eight pounds devoted to the assistance of one relative alone, 
exclusive of other occasional contributions on particular oc- 
casions. 

Miss Mary Anne Power, the youngest sister of Lady 
Blessington, married in 1831, an old French nobleman of 
ancient family, the Count Saint Marsault. The disparity of 
years in this alliance was too great to afford much expectation 
of felicity. The Count returned to his own country, and his 
wife returned to her native land, preserving there, as else- 



42 INTRODUCTION. 

where, a character for some eccentricity, but one uniformly 
irreproachable. 

Mrs. Dogherty, to whom allusion is made in the letters 
of Lady Blessington, was a relative of Mr. Edward Quinlan, 
of Clonmel, an old gentleman of considerable means, who 
had been connected by marriage with Lady Blessington's 
mother (vide genealogical account of the Sheehy family). 
Mr. Quinlan died in November, 1836, leaving large fortunes to 
his daughters. On the occasion of the trial of Eklmond Power 
for the murder of the boy Lonergan, till Mr. Quinlan came 
forward with a sum of fifty pounds as a loan to Power, the 
latter was actually unable at the time to engage counsel for 
his defence. 

The Countess St. Marsault went to reside with her father 
on her arrival in Ireland, first at Arklow, afterwards in lodg- 
ings at No. 18, Camden Street, Dublin, and next at 5, Lower 
Dorset Street, where, in the latter part of October, 1836, 
Mr, Power was reduced to such a helpless state of bodily 
debility and suffering, that he was unable to make the 
slightest movement without the greatest agony. He was 
attended in Dublin by a relative of his, a Dr. Kirwan, a first- 
cousin. He appears to have died in the early part of 1837. 
On the 30th of January, 1837, the Countess of St. Marsault 
was no longer residing in Dublin, but was then domesticated 
at the abode of an old lady of the name of Dogherty, a rela- 
tive of hers, at Mont Bruis, near Cashel, in the county of 
Tipperary. There she remained for nearly a year. " After 
an absence of thirty years, she visited Clonmel." The date 
of this visit was April, 1837. She must then have quitted 
Clonmel in 1807-, in very early childhood. In 1839, she re- 
turned to England, and as she had previously done, declined, 
on more than one occasion, pressing invitations to take up 
her abode again with tier sister. Lady Blessington. 

Mr. Power, at the time of his decease, was seventy years 




INTRODUCTION. 43 

of age. A youth passed without the benefit of experience, 
had merged into manhood without the restraints of religion 
or the influences of kindly home affections, and terminated 
m age without wisdom or respect, and death without 
solemnity, or the semblance of much becoming fitness for 
its encounter. 

This brief outline brings us to the period of the marriage 
of Lord and Lady Blessington, at which it will be my pro- 
vince 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 favourite 
haunts and lightest amusements. There he is to be seen 
in the exact relation in which he stood to his children, 
his intimates, his acquaintances, and dependants, — the central 
figure, and the circle which surrounded it (Constable, the Bal- 
lantynes, Erskine, Terry, and a score or two besides), all 
drawn with such individuality of feature, and all painted in 
such vivid colours, that we seem not to be moving among 
the shadows of the dead, but to live with the men them- 
selves."* 

I hope, at least in one particular, it will be found I have 
endeavoured to follow, even at an humble distance, the ex- 
ample of Scott's biographer, in placing before my readers the 
subject of my work in a life-like truthful manner, as she was 
before the public, in her works and in her saloons, and also 
in her private relations towards her friends and relatives.] 

♦ Literary Gazette, February 16, 1^51. 



44 



CHAPTER I. 

NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESS INGTON — HIS ORIGIN, EARLY 
CAREER, FIRST AND SECOND MARRIAGE, ETC. 

The 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,* " was created Seneschal, or Lord 
High Stuart of Scotland, or Receiver of the Royal Revenues, 
from which office his family afterwards took and retained 
their surname of Stewart." This office and dignity were 
created by Malcolm the Third, of Scotland, afl;er the death of 
Macduffe, in 1057. The descendants of the Lord High Con- 
stable became the founders of the house of Lenox, and one 
of them, by intermarriage with the daughter of King Robert 
Bruce, the founder of many noble families in England and 
Ireland. The first Stewart of this race who settled in Ire- 
land, was Sir William Stewart, of Aughentean and of Newtown 
Stewart, in the county of Tyrone, and his brother, Sir Robert 
Stewart, of Culmore, knights, " both very active and able 
gentlemen, in the distracted times of King Charles the First." 
Sir Robert came into Ireland in the reign of James the First. 
He received from that monarch, for his Irish services, various 
grants of rectories and other church property in Leitrim, 
Cavan, and Fermanagh, and subsequently a large tract of 
country of the confiscated lands of Ulster were obtained 
by his brother William. In 1 64 1 , he raised and cora- 

* Iri^h Picra;;c, vol. ii. p. 196, ed. 8vo. 1754. 




NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSIN6TON. 45 

manded a troop of horse and a regiment of foot of one 
thousand men. He was made Governor of Derry in 1643, 
and in that year totally routed the Irish under Owen O'Neill, 
at Clones. He and his brother having refused to take the 
covenant, were deprived of their command, and sent by 
Monck's orders prisoners to London. After many vicissi- 
tudes, Sir Robert returned to Ireland, and was appointed 
Governor of the city and county of Derry in 1660. Sir 
William " being in great favour with James the First, became 
an undertaker for the plantation of escheated lands in Ulster," 
He was created a baronet in 1623. He assisted largely 
in the plantation of Ulster, and profited extensively by it. 
He was a member of the Privy Council in the time of 
King James the First and Charles the First. At the head of 
his regiment, he, with his brother's aid, routed Sir Phelim 
O'Neill at Strabane. He left many children ; his eldest son. 
Sir Alexander Stewart, sided with the Covenanters, in 1648. 
He was killed at the battle of Dunbar, in Scotland, in 1653. 
By his marriage with a daughter of Sir Robert Newcomen, 
he had issue Sir William Stewart, who was made Custos 
Rotvilonim of the county of Donegal, in 1678, and was ad- 
vanced to the dignity of Baron Stewart of Ramaltan, and 
Viscount Mountjoy, in 1682, being constituted at the same 
time Master-General of the Ordnance, and Colonel of a regi- 
ment of horse. 

William Stewart, first Viscount Mountjoy, was slain at the 
battle of Steinkirk, in Flanders, in 1692. He was suc- 
ceeded by his son, William, Viscount Mountjoy, who died in 
Bourdeaux, without issue.* 

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

The Right Honourable Luke Gardiner, Member of Parlia- 
ment and Privy Councillor, married, in 1711, Anne, sole 

* Exshaw's London Magazine, 1754, p. 259. 



46 MOnCB OF THE EARL OF BLB88INGTON. 

daughter and heiress of the Honourable Alexander Stewart, 
second son of William, first Viscount Mountjoy.* 

Lord Primate Boulter recommended Mr. Luke Gardiner 
as a fit and proper person to be made a Privy Councillor. 
His views of fitness for that high oflBce led him to look out 
for a sturdy parvenu of Irish descent, without regard to an- 
cestry, 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 " Hibemiores 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 aflfair 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 Councillor. 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 satisfied when you do us the honour to be with 
us. There is nobody here more against increasing the number 
of Privy Councillors than I am, who think they are by much 
too numerous ; but it is because many have been brought in 
without any knowledge of business, or particular attachment 

♦ Luke Qardiner's generally supposed origin and rise in the world 
from a menial station in the service of Mr. White, of Leixlip Castle* 
a descendant of Sir Nicholas White, the owner and occupier of the 
castle in 1666, were subjects of some satirical pasquinades and witti- 
cisms in the early part of the last century. In reference to hia alleged 
former servile situation, it was said that a noble friend of his in em- 
barrassed circumstances, once observed to him, on seeing him enter 
his carriage, ** How does it happen, Gardiner, you never make a mis. 
take, and get up behind ?" To which Gardiner replied, " Some people, 
my lord, who have been long accustomed to going in, remain at last 
on the outside, and can neither get in, nor up again.** 




NOnCB OP THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 47 

to his Majesty's service, merdy for being members of either 
house of ParliameDt, that we want such a one as Mr. Gar- 
diner to help to keep others in order, as he is most zealously 
attached to his Majesty by affection as well as by interest, 
and is a thorough man of business, and of great weight in 
the country."* 

The practice of making Jews officers of 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 femily ceased), succeeded to all the property of 
the late lord. He married in 1741, and at his death left 
several children. 

His eldest son, the Right Honoiu^ble Luke Gardiner, in- 
herited the Mountjoy estates. He was born in 1745, re- 
presented the city of Dublin in Parliament, was made a Privy 
Councillor, and held the rank of Colonel in the Dublin Volun- 
teers, and subsequently in the Dublin Militia. He held a 
command also in a volunteer corps in his native county. 
The Mountjoy title was renewed in his person. In 1789, he 
was created a baron, and in 1795 was advanced to the dig- 
nity 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. 

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

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

♦ Boulter's Letters. 



4S NOTICE OF THE EARL OP BLES8INGT0N. 

4thi Louisa, born in 1775, who married the Right Reve- 
rend Robert Fowler, D.D., Bishop of Droraore, and died in 
1848, aged seventy-three years. 

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

6th. Emily, who died in 1788. 

7th. Caroline, who died in 1782. 

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

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

9th. Margaret, born in 1796, married the Honourable Hely 
Hutchinson, died in 1825. 

The father of the late Earl of Blessington, the Right 
Honourable Luke Gardiner, Viscoimt Mountjoy, was an able 
and energetic man. In his zeal for the public weal, he was by no 
means unmindful 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 par- 
Hament. 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 
Mountjoy Forest estate, in the county of Mountjoy, 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 Ltjrd Mountjoy and a few soldiers of his regiment. Graham 




NOTICE OF THE EARL OP BLESSINGTON. 49 

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 
emolument. The two principal ones were hereditary. The 
caricaturists of his day devoted their sarcastic talents to the 
illustration of his supposed sinecurist propensities.^ 

The Right Honourable Charles John Gardiner, second 
Viscount and Bartm 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, Ox- 
ford, where he obtained the honorary degree of Master of 
Arts.t In 1803 he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the 
Tyrone Militia ; and in ! 807 a Deputy Lieutenant of the 
County of Tyrone ; in 1809, he was elected a representative 
peer for L-eland, and advanced to the Earldom of Blessington 
June 22nd, 1816. 

The origin of this latter title dates from 1673. 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 1071 was sworn one of the Lords Justices. 
In 1689 his house at Blessington was plundered by the Irish. 

* In one of these productions inquiry is made, '* Why a Gardener 
is the most extraordinary man in the world V* and the following reasons 
are assigned in reply to the query : 

** Because no man has more business upon earth, and he always 
chooses good grounds 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 eeiery every year, and it is a bad year indeed that does not bring him 
in ^plwm; he has more houghs than a minister of state, does not want 
Lomdon pride, rakes a little under the rose, but would be more sage to 
keep the Fox from his enclosures, to destroy the rotten Burroghs, and 
to avoid the blasts from the North, and not to Foster corruption, lest a 
Flood should follow." 

t Among Lord Blessington's cotemporaries at Christ Church, Oxford, 
in 1798, were the late Lord Dudley, Lord Ebrington, Bishop Heber, &c. 

VOL. I. E 



60 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINOTON. 

He died in 1 702, and was buried in St. Patrick's churdi. 
His eldest son, Murrough, by his second marriage with a 
daughter of Dermod, Eari 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, born in 1709. Charles, the second Viscount 
Blessington, was Member of Parliament for Blessington in 
the reigns of Queen Anne and George the First. The titk 
became extinct by his Lordship's death near Paris, withoat 
issue, in 1733. 

The Sir William Stewart, third Viscount Mountjoy abo?e 
mentioned, who married a daughter of Murrough, Viscount 
Blessington, had been advanced to the dignity of an earl by 
the title of Earl of Blessington, in 1745.* 

Few young noblemen ever entered life with greater advan* 
tages than the young Viscount 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 perception in the discernment of talents, and ability of any 
intellectual kind. He had a refined taste for literature and 
arts. In politics, he was a faithful representative of bis 
father's principles. From the commencement of his career 
to the close of it, he supported the cause of the Roman 
Catholics. 

The first time that Viscount Mountjoy spoke in the House 
of Lords, after having been elected a representative peer fiw 
Ireland in 1809, was in favour of a motion for the thanks d 
the Mouse to Lord Viscount Wellington, and the army under 
his command, for the victory of TalaVbra ; when Lord Mount- 
joy, in reply to the Earl of Grosvenor's opposition to the 

♦ Archdairs Peerage, vol. Ti. p. 256. 




NOTICB OF THB EARL OF BLESS1N6T0N. 61 

motion, said that ** no General was better skilled in war, none 
more enlightened than Lord Viscount Wdlington. 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 gratitude 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 opposmg the bill of pains 
and penalties, Lord Blessington spoke in vindication of the 
daracter 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 anything to do 
with the Milan commission." 

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

The young lord's manners and deportment 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 expec- 
tations — prided, courted, flattered and beset by evil influences, 
the loss of a father's care, his counsel and control at the 
very age when these advantages are most needful to youth 
and inexperience. 

The taste of all others which the young nobleman on 
coming into his ample fortune gave himself up to, was for 
the drama. 

He patronized it liberally, and was allured into all the 
pleasures of its society. The green-room and its affairs* — the 
interests, and rivalries, and intrigues of favourite actors and 
actresses, the business of private theatricals, the providing of 
oostiy 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 

E 2 



62 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLE88INGTON. 

the young nobleman too much, and gave a turn in the direc- 
tion of self-indulgence, to talents originally good, and tastes 
naturaUy inclined to elegance and refinement. 

In 1822, Byron thus spoke of Lord Blessington as he re- 
membered him in early life : — " Mountjoy (for the Gardiners 
are the lineal race of the famous Irish Viceroy* of that Dk) 
seems very good-natured, but is much tamed since I reooUect 
him in all the glory of gems and snuff*boxes, and uniforms 
and theatricals, sitting to Stroelling, the painter, to be depicted 
as one of the heroes 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 
gorgeous ornaments, gaudy dresses, theatrical costumes and 
military uniforms. At the period of the volunteering move- 
ment in Ireland, about 1788 or 1789, when the boy was not 
above six or seven years of age, his father had him equipped 
in a complete suit of volunteer uniform, and presented him 
thus to a great concourse of people with a diminutive sword in 
the poor cliild's hand, on the occasion of a grand review at 
Ncwtownstewart, at the head of the corps that was com- 
manded by his Lordship. 

Lord Blessington's passion for theatricals was an hereditary 
one. His father had his private theatricals in the Phoenix 
Park, when he filled the office of Ranger. " The Right 
Honourable Luke Gardiner, Member for the County of Dub- 
lin, and Keeper of the Phcenix Park, had a great love for 
the stage, and had erected a most el^ant theatre in the Park. 

* The famous Lord Deputy to whom Byron alludes, was a fierce 
marauder and conquUtador, in the good old times of raid and of rapine 
of Queen Bess. Morrison, an English writer on Irish affairs (fol. 43)« 
hays, *' Ijord Mountjoy (the Deputy) never received any to mercy but 
such as had drawn blood upon their fellow rebels. Thus McMahon 
and McArt both offered to submit, but neither would be received with- 
out the other's head.*' 




NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSIN6T0N. 53 

Captain Jephson's tragedy of ' Macbeth/ and the farce of 
*The Citizen/ were thrice performed there, to a most 
brilliant audience, in January, 1778, and the character of 
Macbeth was brilliantly supported by Captain Jephson/' The 
Captain died in 1803 ; he was the author of " The Count of 
Narbonne," " Braganza," " The Campaign," an opera ; " Love 
and War," " The Conspu^cy," " The Servant with Two Mas- 
ters,** " Two Strings to your Bow/' 

Lord Blessington 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 ; 
aod 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 
unrestrained profusion and extravagance, whenever the gra- 
tification 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 
resolution he had formed of marrying this lady, but the ob- 
stacles were removed ; and while means were being taken for 
their removal, and the marriage that w^as to follow it, War- 
wick 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 respec^tability, 
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 ; 



54 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLES8IN0T0N. 

where his son, Charles John, was born. In 1811, his Lotd- 
ship took a house in Manchester Square^and there his daughter, 
Emilie Rosalie, was bom. The following year he rcnaoved to 
Seymour Place, where he resided till the latter part of 18 IS. 

In 1812, the long expected death of Major Browne hav- 
ing taken place. Lord Mountjoy married " Mary Camp- 
bell, 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 seriously im* 
paired. His Lordship's friend and medical attendant, Mr. 
Tegart, of Pall Mall, recommended a young physician of high 
character to accompany the tourists ; and accordingly. Dr. 
Richardson (an old and valued friend of the author^s, and 
subsequently the travelling physician of Lord Belmore), pro- 
ceeded to France with them. 

The circumstances are to be kept in mind of thb marriage, 
the impediment to it, the waiting for the removal of it, the 
accomplishment of an object ardently desired, without refer- 
ence to future consequences, without any regard for public 
opinion, or care for the feelings of relatives ; the restlessness 
of his Lordship's mind, manifested in his many changes of 
abode, the sudden abandonment of his residence in London 
for the Continent, soon after he had married, and had gone 
to considerable expense in fitting up that place of abode, all 
his acts and peculiarities not only on that occasion, but another 
similar one, are worthy of notice. 

Lady Mountjoy did not long enjoy the honours of her ele- 
vated rank and new position. She died at St. Gennains, in 
France, the 9th of September, 1814. The legitimate issue 
of this marriage, was, first, Lady Harriet Anne Frances Gar- 
diner, born the 5th of August, 1812 (who married the 
Count Alfre<l D'Orsay, the 1st of December, 1829, and 




NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 55 

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, 1852 :* second, the 
Right Hon. Luke Wellington, Viscoimt Mountjoy, bom in 
1814, who died in 1823, at the age of nine years and six 
months. 

The children by this marriage, of whom mention is not 
made in the Peerage, were — 

First, Charles John, bom in Portman Square, London, the 
3rd of February, 1810, now surviving, who retains a small 
portion of the Mountjoy Forest estate (the income from which 
is about £600 a year) ; all that remains, with a trifling ex- 
ception, of the wreck of that once vast property of the Earl 
of Blessington. 

Secondly, Emily Rosalie, commonly called Lady Mary Gar- 
diner, born in Manchester Square, London, on the 24 th of 
June, 1811 (who married C. White, Esq., and died in Paris, 
without issue, about 1648). 

Lord Mountjoy's grief at the loss of his lady was mani- 
fested in a funeral pageant of extraordinary magnificence, on 
the occasion 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 London undertaker of eminence in the per- 
formance of state funerals, attended by six professional female 

* The Honourable Charles Spencer Cowper is *he youngest son of 
the late Earl Cowper, who married in 1850 the Honourable Emily 
Mary Lamb, eldest daughter of Penniston, first Viscount Melbourne. 
Lord Cowper died at Putney, in June, 1837. His widow married se- 
condly. Lord Palmerston, in 1839. The Honourable Charles Spencer 
Cowper, born in 1816, filled the office of Secretary of Legation in 
Florence. 



56 NOTICB OF THE EARL OF BLR88INQTON. 

mourners, suitably attired in mourning garments, and was 
laid out in a spacious room hung wi^i black doth, on an 
elevated catafalque covered with a velvet pall of the finest 
texture, embroidered in gold and silver, which had been pur- 
chased in France for the occasion, and had recently been iised 
at a public funeral in Paris of great pomp and splendour, that of 
Marshal Duroc. A large number of wax tapers were ranged 
round the catafalque, and the six professional female routes, 
during the time the body lay in state, remained 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 Blessington who presented themselves, to the place where 
the body was laid out, and as each person walked round the 
catafalque, and then retired, this official, having performed the 
lugubrious duties of master of the funeral solemnities, in alow 
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 £3000 
and £4000. 

The remains of the deceased lady were convey(*d 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 illustrious Lord President Mountjoy. 

One of the friends of Lord Blessington, who witnessed the 
gorgeous funeral spectacle, well acquainted with such pageants, 
informs mc the magnificence of it was greater than that of 
any similar performance of private obsequies he ever saw. 

But this great exhibition of extravagant grief, and the 
enormous outlay made for its manifestation, was in the bright 
and piilmy days of Irish landlordism, when potatoes flourished, 
and p<»ople who had land in Ireland lived like princes. The 




NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 57 

Scotch haberdasher who now lords it over a portion of the 
broad lands of the Moun^oys, will live, however, and bury 
his dead after a very different fashion. 

The once gorgeous coffin, covered with rich silk velvet and 
adorned with gilt mounting, in which the remains of the 
"Right Honourable 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, amongst 
whom were the Knight of Kerry, A. Hume, Esq., Thomas 
Moore, Sir P. C, Bart., James Corry, Esq.,* Captain Thomas 
Jeokins, of the 11th Light Dragoons, and one or two ladies. 
His Lordship on that occasion seemed to have entirely re- 
covered his spirits ; and to one of the guests, who had not 
been in the house or the room, then the scene of great festi- 
vity, since the funeral solemnities, which have been referred 
to, had been witnessed by him there, less than two years pre- 
viously, the change seemed a very remarkable one. Captain 

* James Corry, Esq., who figures a good deal in Moore^s Journals, 
was a barrister, whose bag had never been encumbered with many, I 
believe I might say with any, briefs. He was admitted to the bar in 
1796. For many years he filled the ofiice of Secretary to the Trustees 
of the Linen Manufacture, in their oflices in Lurgan Street. He was 
i man of wit and humour, assisted in all the private theatricals of his 
time, not only in Dublin but in the provinces, and particularly those 
at the abode of Lord Mountjoy at Rash, near Omagh. 



58 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLES8INGT0N. 

Jenkins left the company at an early hour, to proceed that 
evening to England, and parted with his friends not without 
very apparent feelings of emotion. 

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

The marriage of Lord and Lady Blessington took [dace by 
special license, at the church in Bryanston Square. There 
were present Sir W. P. Campbell, Baronet, of Marchmont, 
William Purves, Esq., Robert Power, Esq., and F. S. 
Pole, Esq. 

This work is not intended to be a biography of Lady 
Blessington, but to present a faithful account of her literary 
life and correspondence. 

From the period of her marriage with the Earl of Blessing* 
ton, that intercourse with eminent men and distinguished per- 
sons of various pursuits may be suld to date ; and from that 
period 1 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 upwards 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 181 G.* 

* There, in 1816, I am informed by one of the most eminent 
medical men in I^ndon, he had met Lord Blessington at dinner. I 
have likewise been informed by the late Mr. Arthur Tegart, of Pall 
Mall, then intimately acquainted with the parties, that he also had fre- 
quently met Lord Blessington at Mrs. Farmer's, but nerer unaccompa- 
nied by some mutual friend or acquaintance. Mr. Tegart, the intimate 




NOTICE OP THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 59 

Lord Mountjoy's second marriage was entered into after 
an acquaintance that had commenced many years previously 
io Ireland, and had been long interrupted. 

The lady of his love was then twenty-eight years of age, 
in the perfection of matured beauty — that bright and radiant 
beauty which derives its power not so much from harmony 
of features and symmetry of form, as from the animating 
influences of intelligence beaming forth from a mind full of 
joyous and of kindly feelings, and of brilliant fancies — that 
kiDd of vivid loveliness which is never found where some 
degree of genius is not. Her form was exquisitely moulded, 
with an inclination, to fulness; but no finer proportions 
could be imagined; her movements were graceful and na- 
tural 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 every feature, and each separate trait of her countenance, 
with the emotion of her mind, which any particular subject 
of conversation or object of attention might excite. The in- 
stant 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 
Kps, her cheerful looks; you heard it expressed in her 
ringing laugh, clear and sweet as the gay, joy-bell 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 humour, 
and of good naturi* in the smiles and laughter, and the sallies of 
the wit of this lovely woman in her early and her happy days 

and medical attendant of Curran, Grattan. and Ponsonby, a gentleman 
most highly reHpected by all who knew him, and by none more than 
the writer of these lines, died in 1 829, in his sixty-ninth year. 



60 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLE8SIN0T0N. 

(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. Thi 
influence of her attraction was of that kind described by tb 
poet: 

" When the 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 ex 
cellent thing in woman !" Its tones were always in bar 
monious concord with the traits of her expressive featurefl 
There was a cordiality, a dear silver-toned hilarity, a ooT' 
respondence in them, apparently with all her sensations 
that made her hearers feel '' she spoke to them witt 
every part of her being," and that their communicatioi 
was with a kindly-hearted, genial person, of womanly fediogi 
and sentiments. The girlish-like joyousness of her laugh 
the genuine gaiety of her heart, of her " petit ris foUatre^ 
the eclats of those Jordan-like outbursts of exuberaoi 
mirthfulness which she was wont to indulge in— contribute! 
not a little to her power of fascination. All the l)eauty ol 
Lady Blessington, without the exquisite sweetness of hei 
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 ol 
attraction : — 

'* When she talks, she is the art of pleasing personified 
Her eyes, her lips, her words, her gestures, are all prepossess- 
ing; her language is the language of amiableness; hei 
accents are the accents of grace; she embellishes a trifle 
interests upon nothing ; she softens a contradiction ; she takes 




NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINOTON. 61 

off the insipidity of a compliment, by turning it ele- 
gantly; and when she has a mind, she sharpens and 
polishes the point of an epigram better than all the women 
in the world. 

" Her eyes sparkle with pleasure ; the most delightful 
sallies flash from her fancy ; in telling a story she is inimit- 
able — the motions of her body and the accetits of her tongue 
are equally genteel and easy ; an equable flow of sprightliness 
keeps her constantly good-humoured and cheerful, and the 
only objects of her life are to pliase and be pleased. Her 
vivacity may sometimes approach to foUy, 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 ex- 
citation which roused up any spark of talent in the minds of 
those around her : — 

" She will draw out wit from a fool ; she strikes with such 
address the chords of self-love, that she gives unexpected 
vigour and agility to fancy, and electrifies a body that appears 
non-electric." * 

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

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

The union had been so far kept a secret, that many of 
Lord Blessington's friends were not aware of it at the time of 
his arrival in Dublin. He invited some of those with whom 

* Mirabeau* s Letters during his Residence in England, translated, 
in 2 vols. London, 1832. 



62 NOTICE OF THE EARL OP BLBS8INQT0N. 

he was most intimately acquainted, to a dinner at bis house 
in Henrietta Street. * 

Some of those friends of his were only made acquainted 
with the recent marriage, when Lord Blessington entered the 
drawing-room with a lady of extraordinary beauty, dressed in 
bridal costume, leaning on his arm, whom he introduced as 
Lady Blessington. 

Among the guests, there was one gentleman who had been 
in that room only a few 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. Stranger events and more striking con- 
trasts are often to be encountered in brilliant circles^ and in 
noble mansions too, than are to be met with in books of 
fiction. 

The Blessingtons proceeded from Dublin to the counfy of 
Tyrone. But preparations were previously made by his Lord- 
ship for the reception of his bride at Mountjoy Forest, of a 
most costly description. 

Speaking of these extravagant arrangements of her husband, 

* The Qardiner family owned the fee simple of the whole street, 
nearly, and the house No. 10 at the west end, and north side of Hen- 
rietta Street, which now constitutes the Queen's Inns Chambers, Ibr- 
merly held by the Right Honourable Luke Gardiner, Lord Moan^oj, 
and subsequently in the possession of the late Right Honourable Charles 
John, Earl of Blessington. The house was sold in 1837 to Tristram 
Kennedy, Esq., for £1 700. Immediately in front of Lord Blessington*! 
abode, the noted Primate Boulter erected his palace, which he makes 
mention of in his letters. The worthy primate wanted only the acholar- 
ahip and munificence of Wolsej, and the great intellectual powers and 
political wisdom of Richelieu, to have been a very distinguished tern- 
porally-minded churchman, a most astute and unspiritualized sacer- 
dotal statesman. 




NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSIN6T0N. 63 

Lady Blessington has observed, in one of her works, " The 
only complaint I ever have to make of his taste, is its too 
great splendour ; a proof of which he gave me when I went 
to Mountjoy Forest on my marriage, and found my private 
sitting-room hung with crimson Genoa silk velvet, trimmed 
with gold bullion fringe, and all the furniture of equal rich- 
ness — 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 been sold to pay oflF the incumbrances), but now living 
in penury, in wretched hovels, who remember the great 
doings in the house of their lord on the occasion of the visit 
above 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 was abundant proofs of, in the lavish 
expenditure, which Lady Blessington attributed to rather 
too great a taste for splendour. I consider these things as 
evidences of a state of insanity of Lord Blessington, par- 
tially developed, even at that early period, manifested sub- 
sequently on different occasions, but always pointing in one 
direction. The acts of Lord Blessington, on several occasions, 
in matters connected 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 al- 
lowed to obtain entire possession of his mind, and with 
respect to objects which he had devoted all his energies to 
attain, wholly irrespective of future consequences. 

At the time of Lord Blessington's marriage, his fortune 
was embarrassed to some extent, as he imagined, through the 
mismanagement of his agents, but, in point of fact, by his 

♦ The Idler in France, vol. i. p. 1 1 7. 



64 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 

LfOrdship's own extravagances, and the numerous incuoibraDoes 
with which he had already charged his estates. 

It was owing, in no small degree, to Lady Blessington's 
advice, and the active steps she had caused his Lordship to 
take for the retrieval of his affairs, that his difficulties were 
to some extent diminished. From £30,000 a year his rental 
had decreased to £23,000 or £24,000; but for two years 
previously to his departure from England, it rather exceeded 
the latter amount. 

I ^dsited several of the surviving tenants of Lord Blessing- 
ton, still living on the Mountjoy estate, near Omagh, in March, 
1 854. All concurred in one statement, that a better landlord, 
a kinder man to the poor, never existed than the late Lord 
Blessington. A tenant never was evicted by him, he never 
suffered the tenants 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 endeavour to obtain money on mortgage in 
London ; and Graham adds, the money his Lordship then re- 
quired was thus obtained by him. " He took after his father 
in this respect. He looked on his tenants as if he was bound 
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 op- 
posite side of the river, about a quarter of a mile from the 
cottage residence to which Lord Blessington subsequently 
removed. 




NOTICE OF THE EAEL OF BLESSINGTON. 65 

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

And here, also, prior to 1814, the late Lord Blessington 
redded when he visited his Tyrone estates; and about 1807, 
expended 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 majgnificent thea(;rical 
dresses for it. 

The professional actors and actresses were brought down by 
his Lordship, for the private theatricals at Mountjoy Forest, 
from 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 whether of a tragic or a comic nature, they cannot 
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 Lordship. 

The expenditure was profuse in the extreme for their en- 
tertainment, and the fitting up and furnishing of places of 
temporary accommodation for them during their brief sojourn. 
The dwelling-house of Rash was more a large cottage, 
with some remains of an older structure than a nobleman's 
mansion. 

Moore, in his Diary, September 11th, 1832, alludes to the 
theatricals of Lord Blessington, but without specifying time or 
place. He refers to a conversation with Corry about the 

VOL. I. F 



60 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLES8INGT0K. 

theatricals of his Lordship. " A set of mock resolutions, one 
of which was the following, chiefly levelled at Crampton« wbo 
was always imperfect in his part — 'That every gentleman 
shall be at liberty to avail himself of the words of the. author, 
in case his own invention fails him/ " 

These theatricals were at Rash, on the Mountjoy Estate. 

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 beard 
of them, nor was he the person alluded to in the mock rcso- 
lutions ; " he had neither hand, act, nor part in theatricals of 
any description." The observation might possibly allude, for 
any thing he knew to the contrary, to a brother, who had been 
dead many years. 

The taste for theatricals survived the theatre in Mountjoy 
Forest. In June, 1817, Lord Blessington took a leading part 
in the public enti»rtainment and testimonial given to John 
Philip Kerable, on his retirement from the stage. At the 
meeting, which took place at the Frc^emasons* Tavern, when 
a piece of plate was piesented to Kemble, Lord Holland 
presided ; on his right hand sat Mr. Kemble, and on his left 
the Duke of Bedford. Lords Blessington, Erskine, Mulgrave, 
Aberdeen, Essex, and many other noblemen were present; 
and among the littMary and artistic celebrities, were Moore, 
Campbell, Rogers, Croker, and the great French Tragedian 
Tidma. Lord Blessington assisted also in the well-known 
Kilkenny theatricals. He took parts which required to be 
gorgeously apparelled ; 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 re- 
mained for sev(?ral months. 

The period selected for the theatricals at Rash was usually 




NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 67 

the shooting season. But the guests were not confined to 
sportsmen ; the latter came occasionally accompanied by their 
ladies ; and what with their field sports and the stage amuse- 
ments, there was no dearth of enjoyments and gaiety for a 
-few weeks, in a place that all the rest of the year was a dull, 
solitary^ lifeless locality, in the midst of a forest, some four- 
score 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 
DO expense or sacrifice of any kind, to obtain, as soon as 
possiUe, the fullest enjoyment that could possibly be derived 
firom 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 pleasure were to be pursued, and no sooner 
grasped than relinquished for some newer objects of desire. 

The delights of the chase in Mountjoy Forest, and of the 
theatre at Rash, after a few years, became dull, tame, and tire- 
some amusements to the young lord. He went to England, 
oootracted engagements there, which led to his making London 
principally 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 Uve in. His Lord- 
ship 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 cidled " the Cottage," and the 
old residence at Rash was abandoned. 

When I visited the place recently, nothing remaliied but 
some vestiges of the kitchen and the cellars. The llRiitrc 

F 2 



68 NOTICE OF THE EARL OP BLBSSINOTOK. 

had utterly 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 vicinity. Here and 
there, trunks and branches, yet unremoved, were lying on the 
ground. The stumps of the felled trees, in the midst of tly 
debris of scattered timber, gave an unpleasant and unooofii 
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 
estate 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 remains. I was misled by those accoonta. 
and visited the vault, in the expectation of finding his remains 
there. But no interment had ever taken place in that vaulti 
although at his death orders had been sent down from Dublin 
to have the place prepared for his interment : these ordera. 
however, had been countermanded, for what reason I know 
not, i\\ d th ' remains of his Lordship were deposited in St 
Thomas's church, in Marlborough Street, Dublin, 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 
Mountjoy Forest. His first wife had been then dead neariy 
two years. lie brought down some friends of his from DubHn, 
and invited others from the neighbourhood of his estate, to 
come on a visit to " the Cottage.'* 




NOTICE OF TUB EARL OF BLESSINGTON. G9 

Among the guests, I was informed by tenant farmers on 
the estates, who have a recollection of these circumstances, 
were Mr. Cony, Major and Mrs. Purves, Colonel Stewart of 
KUlymoon, Mrs. Farmer, and also Captain Jenkins.* 

The most extravagant expense was gone into, in fitting up 
aad 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 cind 
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 neighbourhood were 
entertained. 

Among the vbitors was an old clergyman, Father O'Flag- 
herty, 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. 

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, 
enjoyed the full confidence and strong regard of Lord Bless- 
ington, and also of his lady. 

Lady Blessington, on her subsequent visit, was the means of 
procuring for her great favourite, Father O'Flagherty, a dona- 
tion fi-om his Lordship, that enabled the good priest either to 
repair or rebuild the Catholic place of worship of his parish. 
He continued to correspond with the Blessingtons when they 

• A Captain Montgomery, of the Navy, a very intimate friend of 
the Blessingtons, at some period was on a visit to the Cottage ; but 
the precise date I do not know. 



70 NOTICE OF THE EARL OP BLBSSIKOTON. 

resided in London, and for some time while they were on the 
Continent. 

In 1823 Lord Blessington, unaccompanied by Lady 
Blessington, visited his Tyrone estates ; he came to tlie cottage 
accompanied by Colonel Stewart of Killymoon. 

In 1825 his Lordship again, and for the last time, visited 
his Tyrone estates. He was accompanied then by Genend 
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 re- 
turned to London. The new-married lady having exchanged 
her abode in Manchester Square for the noble mansion in 
St. James's Square, found hc^rself suddenly, as if by the magic 
wand of an enchanter, surrounded by luxuries, gorgeous fiir- 
niture, glittering ornaments, and pomp and state almost regal. 
The transition was at once from seclusion and privacy, a 
moderate establishment and inexpensive mode of life, into 
brilliant society, magnificence and splendour — to a conditio, 
in short, little inferior to that of any lady in the land. 

The eclat of the beauty of Lady Blessington, her remark- 
a!)le mental qualities, and the rare gifts and graces with which 
she was so richly endowed, was soon extensively diffused over 
the metropolis. 

Moore, in his Diary of April, 1822, mentions visiting the 
Blessingtons in London, at their mansion in St. James's 
Square. The fifth of the mt)nth following, he says he caDed, 
with Washington Irving, at Lady Blessington's, ** who is 




NOnCB OP THB EARL OF BLESSINGTON. 71 

growing very absurd ! * I have felt very melancholy and ill 
an this day/ she said. ' Why is that ?' I asked. ' Don't 
you know ?* * 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 
opinions, and will not fail to discover in her observation, 
evidences of that peculiar turn for grave irony, which was 
one of her characteristics. I have seldom met a literary 
person so entirely free from all affectation of sentimentality 
as Lady Blessington. 

Ld the new scenes of splendour and brilliancy which her 
Ladyship had been introduced into, on her marriage with 
Lord Blessington, she seemed as if it was her own proper 
atmosphere, to which she had l)een accustomed from infancy, 
in which she now lived and moved. 

Greatness and magnificence were not thrust upon her — 
she seemed bom to them. In all positions, she had the 
great art of being ever perfectly at home. There was a 
naturalness in her demeanour, 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 Jill circles at her ease— -sure of pleasing, and easily 
amused by agreeable and clever people. 

In 1818, then. Lady Blessington was launched into fashion- 
able life, and all at once took her place, if not at the head of 
it, at least among the foremost people in it. 

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 poli- 
ticians, at the conversaziones of Lady Blessington. 

Charleville House, too, had its charms for well-established 



72 NOTICE OF THE EARL OF BLBSSmOTON. 

authors — for. blue-stocking ladies especially — ^for distinguished 
artists and noble amateurs — for foreign ministers and their 
attachl^s. 

But Lady Blessington had certain sovereign advantages 
over all Aspasian competitors in society — she was young and 
beautiful, witty, graceful, and good-humoured ; and these ad- 
vantages told with singular effect in the salon ; they tended 
largely to establish her influence in society, and to acqoire for 
her conversation in it, a character it might never otherwise 
have ol)tained. 

The Blessingtons' splendid mansion in St. James's Square 
in a short time became the rendezvous of the elite of London 
celebrities of all kinds of distinction ; the first literati, states- 
men, 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 Bless- 
ingtons in St. James's Square, in the latter part of 1821» or 
the commencement of 1822, were the Count de Grammont 
(the present Due de Guiche) and his brother-in-law, a young 
Frenchman of remarkable symmetry of form, and comeliness 
of face, and of address and manners singularly prepossessing, 
the Count Alfred D'Orsay, then in the prime of life, highly 
gifted, and of varied accomplishments, truly answering Byron's 
designation of him, a " cupidon dechaine" 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 acquaintance with the Blessingtons, 
one in many respects of great moment to them and to others 
connected with them ; an intimacy which terminated only in 
death.* 

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




NOTICX OF THE EARL OF BLE88IMGTON. 73 

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, Liord Castlereagfi, the 
Marquis of Liansdowne, Lords Palmerston and Russell, Burdet 
and Brougham, Scarlett and JekyU, Erskine and Curran, and 
many other celebrities, paid their devoirs there. Whig and 
Tory politicians and lawyers, forgetful of their party feuds, 
and professional rivalries for the nonce, came there as gentle 
pilgrims. Kemble, Mathews, Lawrence, Wilkie, Parr, 
Rogers, Moore, and Luttrell, 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 distin- 
guished persons who visited Lady Blessington, none were more 
devoted in their attachment to her, or ardent in their admi- 
ration of the talents and traits, intellectual and personal, of 
the fair lady, than the late Earl Grey. 



74 



CHAPTER 11. 

DEPARTURE OF THE BLBSSINGTONS FROM LONDON ON A 
CONTINENTAL TOUR, SEPTEMBER, 1822. 

The love of change and excitement, the necessity for dis- 
traction, novelty, and new effects not only in scenery, but in 
society — seem to have occasioned Lord Blessington's deter- 
mination to visit the continent, and to abandon his magnifi- 
cent 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 everything that could 
be desired by those who think such necessaries all that can be . 
desirable to make homes happy. 

But Lord Blessiiigton, 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 required new cordials, and 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 aristocratic life. Lord 
Blessington was palled and satiated with pleasure, and no 
kind of ^clat or of distinction in English society had now any 
charm for him. And yet this young nobleman, thus early 
blaze and exhausted, prematurely impaired in mental en- 




DEPABTURB OF THK BLESSINOTONS mOM LONDON. 76 

ergies, was fitted for better things, and was naturally amiable, 
and possessed many excellent 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, set out on a continental tour, and made their 
arrangements for an intended sojourn of some years in the 
south of Europe. 

Miss Mary Ann Power was then about one-and-twenty, 
bearing no resemblance to her sister in face or form ; but, 
nevertheless, 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 blueish 
laughing eyes, and altogether a piquant expression of coun- 
tenance, une petite mignon, pleasingly original and naive 
in her modes of thinking and acting, always courted and 
complimented in society, and coquetted with by gentlemen 
of a certain age, l>y humourists, in a state of single blessed- 
ness, like Gell, and by old married bachelors like Landor and 
the Duke Laval de Montmorency. 

Charles James Mathews, the son of the eminent comedian, 
it had been arranged should join the Blessingtons in Italy. 
Young Mathews 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 oflFered his 
father to take charge of the young man, and to afford him 
every facility of pursuing his professional studies in Italy. 
That offer was accepted, and for upwards of two years, 
young Mathews remained with the Blessingtons on the con- 
tinent, and was no slight acquisition to their party. A 



76 DBPARTURB OF THB BLBSSINGTON8 FROM LOMDOH. 

merrier maD, within the limits of becoming mirth, it would 
be difBcult to find. He was an adnurable mimic, had a mar- 
vellous facility in catching peculiarities of manners, piddng 
up the different dialects of the several parts of Italy he passed 
through. But with all his comic talents, love of fun and 
fi*olic, ludicrous fancies, and overflowing gaiety of heart, he 
never ceased to be a gentleman, and to act and fed like one. 

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

In her continental journals, Lady Blessington makes fre- 
quent 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 I what dangers may 
come, before I again sleep beneath its roof!" Many changes, 
indeed, came before she returned from the continent. She 
never beheld her husband beneath that roof again 1 

Lord Blessington's preparations in Paris, for the approach- 
ing touring campaign in Italy, were of a very formidaUe 
description. The commissariat department (including the 
culinary) was amply provided for ; it could boast of a bcUterie 
de cuisine on a most extensive scale, which had served an 
entire clul), and a cook who had stood fire in the kitchra of 
an emperor. No Irish nobleman, probably, and certainly 
no Irish king, ever set out on his travels with such a retinue 
of servants, with so many vehicles and appliances of all 
kinds, to ease, comfort, and luxurious enjoyment in traveL 

Byron's travelling equipage, according to Medwin, 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 Caesar would call his '' impe- 




DEPARTURE OF THE BLESSINGTONS FROM LONDON. 77 

dimenta," consisted 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 '' impedi- 
menta ;" but in his live stock, he had no bull-dogs, mastiflPs, 
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.'' 
Mention is made of two previous visits of tiers 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 country. 

In her Italian journal, of the 31st of August, 1822, she 
speaks of her " old friend, the baron ;" " a most amusing 
man ;" a " compound of savant and petit maitre ; one mo- 
ment descanting on Egyptian antiquities, and the next passing 
eulogiums on the joli 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 unfrequently turns from exhibiting some. 
marceau d* antiquite bien remarquabhy to display a cast of 
the exquisite head of Pauline Borghese."* 

September 1st, the diary opens with the words " my birth- 
day." Her Ladyship feels disposed to be melancholy, but is 
obliged to smile and seem joyful, at receiving the congratu- 
lations 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. 

* The Idler in Italy. Par. ed. 18S9, p. 8. 



78 DBPARTURB OF THE BLESSINGTONB FROM IXyNDOM. 

During the short sojourn of the Blessingtons in Puis, 
Tom Moore was frequently with them at a restaurateur's: 
Lady Blessington 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.* Lady 
Blessington descants on the agreeable excitement cvf the ex- 
treme velocity of this locomotive amusement ; but we need 
not marvel at Tom Moore's true zest in entering into it, 
accompanied by her Ladyship, when we find Dr. Johnaoa 
dwelling on the enjoyment of travelling fisist in a post-chaise, 
with a pretty woman, amongst the great pleasures of life. 

Perhaps it was in one of those rapid journeys on the 
" Montagne Russe," that Moore's conversation reminded her 
Ladyship " of the evolutions of some bird of gorgeous plu- 
mage, 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 re- 
fined taste and an intimate acquaintance with the light litera- 
ture 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 
feelings, in gazing on those glorious productions of nuister- 
minds, where genius has left its ineffaceable impress to bear 
witness to posterity of its achievements." 

The excellence of art, like every thing that is exquisite in 
* The Idler in Italy, vol. i. p. 28. 




lyiPAItTUBB or THE BLS8SINOTON8 FROM LONDON. 79 

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 cannot compre- 
hend." 

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

Poor Lady Blessington's " stern 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, sweet- 
ness, 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 
with the sublime and beautiful, in the most glorious works of 
the ancient masters, in the Louvre, and the gallery of Ver- 
sailles, my Lord was securing the services of the culinary 
artist of great celebrity, already referred to, who had been the 
cook of an Emperor, and providing a complete equipage of a 
cooking kind, en ambulance, for their Italian tour. 

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

The customary pilgrimages were made to Ferney, the many 
shrines at the base of Mount Jura, on the borders of the lake 
of Geneva, the birthplace and haunts of Rousseau, the homes 
for a time of Gibbon, Shelley, Byron, and de Stacl, then the 
place of abode of John Philip Kemble, and a little later — his 



80 DEPARTURE OF THE BLESSIN6TONS FROM LONDON. 

place of burial, in the cemetery of Lausanne. Several days 
were spent in visiting monuments and other marvek of 
Lyons, Vienne, Grenoble, Valence, Orange, and on the SOth 
of November they arrived at Avignon. Here they remained 
till the 12th of February, 1823, mixing a good deal in the 
fashionable circles of the town and its environs, making 
frequent excursions to the celebrated fountain of Vauduaeb 
the site of the Chateau of Laura, and visiting that of her 
tomb, in the ruins of the Church of the Cordeliers, ttiose of 
the Palace of the Popes, and the Inquisition with all its 
horrors. Lady Blessington speaks of the repugnance, Uie 
feelings of " a native of dear, free, happy England," at 
the sight of such a place, and in the heat of her abhorrenoe 
of the crimes committed in it, fancies herself a native of 
England. 

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

Due and Duchesse de C G . Madame was dame ' 

d'honneur to Marie Louise, and has all the air and manner at 
one accustomed to find herself at home in a court." 

The persons indicated by the initials C G— ; — 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 &mily in the 
Avignon society of the Blessingtons, yet there was one who 
was an object of some interest to the party. 

After a prolonged stay of two months and upwards, at 
Avignon, Lady Blessington says in her diary, ** It is strange 
how soon one becomes habituated to a place. I reaUy fed 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, 
previously known in England, lately met with in Paris, and 
subsequently at Valence and Avignon, now a compagnon de 



DEPARTURE OF THE BLESSINGTONS FRO^T LONDON. ^> I 

voyage, set out for Italy, via Marseilles, Toulon, and Nice ; 
and on the 31st of March, they arrived at Genoa. 

In the diary of that day, the uppermost thought in Lady 
Blessington's mind, is thus recorded : — '' And am I indeed in 
the same town with Byron ! And to-morrow I may perhaps 
behold him r 

There are two works of Lady Blessington's, '* the Idler in 
Italy,*** and " the Idler in France,"! ^ which an account is 
given of her tours, and her observations on the society, man- 
ners, scenery, and marvels of all kinds of the several places 
she visited and sojourned in. 

^ The Idler in Italy, in 3 vols. 8vo., was published in 1839, and is 
descriptive of her visit to Paris, and sojourn there from the 1st of 
September to the 12th of the same month, 1822 ; her route through 
Switzerland, and tour in Italy, extended over a period of five years, the 
greater portion of which was spent in Naples. 

t The Idler in l^nce, 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 commonplace-books, there are 
also frequent references to persons whom she had met with in her 
tnvels, and observations on places she had visited, several of which 
•re almost identical with passages in *' the Idlers," 



VOL. I 



I 



82 



CHAPTER III. 

fiYRON AND THE BLESSINGT0N8 AT GENOA. 

The 1st of April, 1823, Lady Blessington's strong desire 
gratified — she saw Byron. But the lady was disappotntedi 
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 interview, taken by sur- 
prise, and not so highly gratified by it as might have been 
expected, when the agremens and personal attractions of the 
lady are taken into consideration. 

Lady Blessington's expression of disappointment has a 
tincture of asperity in it, which is seldom indeed to be found 
in her observations. There are very evident appearances of 
annoyance of some kind or another in the account given by 
her of this interview, occasioned either by the receptioii 
given her by Byron, or at some eccentricity, or absence of 
mind, that was unexpected, or apparent want of homage OQ 
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 Lady- 
ship is described as having been sought by Lord Byron. It 
is more than probable, however, a little ruse was practised on 
his Lordship to obtain it. Lord Blessington having been 
admitted at once, on presenting himself at Byron's door, wis 
on the point of taking his departiu*e, apologizing for the 
briefness of the visit, on account of Lady Blessington being 




BTKON AMD THE BLESSINGTONS AT GENOA. 63 

kft in an open carriage in the courf-yard, the rain then 
&ning, when Byron immediately insisted on descending with 
Lord Blessington, and conducting her Ladyship into his 
bouse. 

** When we arrived," says Lady Blessington, " at the gate 
of the court-yard of the Casa Saluzzo, in the village o 
Albano,* where he resides, Lord Blessington and a gentle^ 
man of our party left the carriage, and sent in their names, f 
Tbey were admitted immediately, and experienced a very 
cordial reception from Lord Byron, who expressed himself 
ddighted to see his old acquaintance. Byron requested to 
be presented to me ; which led to Lord Blessington's avow- 
ing that I was in the carriage at the gate, with my sister, 
Byron immediately hurried out into the court, and I, who 
beard the sound of steps, looked through the gate, and be- 
bdd him approaching quickly towards 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 whicli 
the visit had afforded 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 conversation. 

In a previous notice of this interview, which bears some 
internal evidence of having been written long after the period 
it refers to — ^lamenting over the disappointment she felt at 
finding her beau ideal of a poet by no means realized, her 

• About a mile and a half from Genoa. — R. R. M. 
t The gentleman's name will be found in a letter of Byron to Mooie, 
dated 2nd April, 1823, 

G 2 



84 BYRON AND THE BLESSINGT0N8 AT GENOA. 

Ladyship observes : " Well, 1 never will allow myself to form 
an ideal of any person I desire to see ; for disappointment 
never fails to ensue." 

Byron, she admits, had more thanusual personal attractioiMi 
^' but his appearance nevertheless had fallen short of her ei- 
pectations." There is no commendation, however, without t 
concomitant effort at depreciation. For example, her Lady- 
ship observes — '' His laugh is musical, but he rarely indulged 
in it during our interview ; and when he 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 manner, I should pronounce it to be a flippancy 
incompatible with the notion we attach to the author of Cbilde 
Hareld and Manfred ; and a want of self-possession and dig- 
nity, that ought to characterise a man of birth and genius. 
Notwithstanding this defect, his manners are very fasdnatiDg 
— more so, perhaps, than if they were dignified : but he is 
too gay, too flippant for a poet."* 

Lady Blcssington was accompanied on this occasion by her 
sister. Miss Mary Anne Power, now Comtesse de St. Marsault 
Byron, in a letter to Moore, dated April 2nd, 1823, thus refers 
to this interview : 

" Your other allies, whom 1 have found very agreeable per- 
sonages, are Milor Blessington and epouse, travelling 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 d^chaine', and is one of the few 
specimens 1 have seen of our ideal of a Frenchman before 
the Revolution, an old friend with a new face, upon whoie 
like I never thought that we should look again. Miladi seems 
highly literary, to which, and your honour's acquaintance with 
the family, I attril)ute the pleasure of having seen them. She 
is also very pretty, even in a morning, — a species of beauty 
♦ Idler in Italy, p. 392. 




BTRON AND THE BLCS8IK6TON8 AT GENOA. 85 

on which the sun of Italy does not shine so frequently as the 
cbanddier. Certainly English women wear better than tbdr 
continental neighbours of the same sex. Moun^y seems 
Tery good-natured, but is much tamed since I recollect him 
in all the glory of gems and snuff-boxes, and uniform, 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 de- 
picted as one of the heroes of Agincourt, ' with his long 
sword, saddle, bridle, Whack M de, &c. &c." 

We thus find, from the letter of Byron to his firimd 
Moore, that the Blessingtons were accompanied by the Count 
Alfired 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 jour- 
ney 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 continued to live on the most 
iDtimate terms, we are told by Lady Blessington, during the 
stay of the latter at Genoa; and that intimacy had such 
a happy influence on the author of Childe Harold, that he 
began to abandon 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, 



8(5 BYROK AND THE BLESSINGTONS AT OBNOA. 

did not exceed five or six at the utmost ; and that Byron 
vras by no means disposed to afford the opportunities that he 
believed were sought, to enable a lady of a literary turn to 
write about him. But D'Orsay, she adds, at the first inter- 
view, 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 affected to be nothing that 
he was not." 

Byron sat for his portrait to D'Orsay, that portrait jdtiA 
subsequently appeared in the New Monthly Magazine, and 
afterwards as a frontispiece of her Ladyship's work, *^ CSon* 
versations with Lord Byron." 

His Lordship suffered Lady Blessington to lecture him in 
prose, and what was worse — in verse. He endeavoured to 
persuade Lord Blessington to prolong his stay in Genoa, and 
to take a residence adjoining his own, named '^ H Paradisow* 
And a rumour of his intention to take the place for himself, 
and some good-naturned friend observing — 'Ml diavdo i 
ancora entrato in Paradise," 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 apple should grieve, 
WhsLt mortal would not play the devil ? 

But the original conceit was not in poetry. 

Lady Blessington informed me, that on the occasion of i 
masked ball, to be given in Genoa, Byron stated his intention 
of going there, and asked her Ladyship to accompany him : 
en badinant 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.*' 




BTRON AND THB BLES8INGT0NS AT GENOA. 87 

Shortly before her departure from Genoa, Lady Blessington 
requested Byron to write some lines in her album, and ac- 
oordingly, he composed the five stanzas for her, which will 
be found elsewhere. 

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 
Byron by Lady Blessington during this intimacy, was that 
half reviving of his old regard for his wife, and the check which 
she contrived to place upon the composition of Don Juan, and 
upon the continuation of its most glaring immoralities. He 
spoke of Ada ; her mother, he said, * has feasted on the 
smiles of her infancy and growth, but the tears of her ma- 
turity shall be mine.' Lady Blessington told him, that if he 
80 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 undivided 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 dis- 
like 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 re- 
questing the portrait, and in refuting the report, he addressed 
the following letter to Lady Blessington — 

« ' May 8, 1828. 
"'Dear Lady Blessington, 

" * My request would be for a copy of the miniature of 



88 BYRON AND THE BLESSINGTONS AT GENOA. 

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.9 as all her letters were in her own possession before I left 
England — and we have had no correspondence since — ftt leatt 
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 wi«h 
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 1 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 anything be done, as hx 
as 1 am concerned, but in strict conformity with Lady B.*s own 
wishes and intentions — left in what manner she thought proper. 
Believe mc, dear Lady B., your obliged, &c.' " 

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

" On the evening before the departure of his friends. Lord 
nnH Lady Blessington, from Genoa, he called upon them for 
the purpose of taking leave, and sat conversing for some time. 
He was evidently in low spirits, and after expressmg his regret 
that they should leave Genoa before his time of sailing, 
proceeded to speak of his own iotonded voyage in a tone full 
of despondence. * Here,* said he, * we are all now together 
— but when, and where, shall we meet again i^ I have a sort 
of boding that we see each other for the last time ; as some- 
thing ti^lls me I shall never again return from Greece.* 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 unoon* 
trollal)le feeling. Though he had been talking only with 
liady Biessingtnn, all who were present in the room observed, 
and were affected by his emotion, while he himself, apparently 




BYRON AND THE BLESSIN6T0NS AT GENOA. 89 

ashamed of his weakness, endeavoured to turn off attention 
from it by some ironical remark, spoken with a sort of hys- 
terical laugh, upon the effects of nervousness. He had, pre- 
vious to this conversation, presented 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 Blessington a copy of 
his Armenian Grammar, which had some manuscript remarks 
of his own on the leaves. In now parting with her, having 
begged, as a memorial, some trifle which she had worn, the 
kdy gave him one of her rings ; in return for which, he took 
a pin from his breast, containing a small cameo of Napoleon, 
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 : — 

^''Albaro, June 2, 1823. 
" ' My dear Lady BLESsiyoxoN, 

" I am superstitious, and have recollected that memorials 
with a point are of less fortunate augury : I will, therefore, re- 
quest you to accept, instead of the pin, the enclosed 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 
from Venice. At Genoa, they have none of the same kind. I 
also enclose a ring, which I would wish Alfred to keep ; it is 
too large to wear ; but it is formed of lava, and so far adapted 
to the fire of his years 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 con- 
tinue to flourish.* " 

Some fourteen years only had elapsed since that criticism 
appeared in the Edinburgh Review, on his (Byron's) juvenile 



90 BYRON AND THE BLESSINGTONS AT GBNOA« 

poems, which began with these words — " The poesy of this 
young Lord belongs to the dass 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 ci 
the visit of the Blessingtons to Oenoa in June 1823, and hb 
departure for Greece a little later, the poesy of the young 
Lord manifested to the world that it belonged to a dass, which 
all the powers of criticism could not decry or crush. A few 
months only had elapsed since Byron parted with Lady Bless- 
ington, and bade adieu to Italy — and the career of the poet 
was near its close in Greece. 

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

Perhaps the same observation might be made with respect 
to Moore's. 

Campbell's sentiments 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 
literary men, who ever had any acquaintance with Byron, or 
sympathy with his literary pursuits, would have avoided en- 
tering into a controversy, and espousing the views of his 
opponents, Campbell with avidity seized an opportunity of 
rushing into print to wound the memory of one whose 
reputation fame during his life-time he might not with im- 
pimity have assailed. 

Lord Byron's yacht, "the Bolivar," was purchased by 
Lord Blessington, previously t(^ 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 inconside- 




BTBOIV AND THE BLB88IKGTOKS AT GENOA. 91 

rate expenditure, and his incongruity of action in regard to 
money matters, states that he gave £1000 for a yacht, which 
he sold for £300, and yet refused to give the sailors their 
jackets. 

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



92 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE CITY AND BAY OP NAPLES. THE BLESSINGTONS AND 
THEIR SOCIETY IN NAPLES. JUNE, 1823, TO FEBRUARY, 
1826. 



June 2nd (1823), the Blessingtons left Genoa, and 
through Lucca, where they stayed a few days, and arrived in 
Florence on the 8th of the same month. Here they remained 
till the 1st of July. Lady Blessington spent her whole time 
visiting monuments of antiquity, churches, galleries, villas, 
and palaces, associated with great names and memories. In 
no city of Italy did she find her thoughts carried back to the 
past so forcibly 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 different localities of celebrity in the noUe 
city, the grandeur and beauty of which far surpassed her ex- 
pectations. After a sojourn 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 S(|uare. 

As they entered the city, the lone mother of dead empires, 
all appeared wnipt 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. 




THB CITY AND BAT OF NAPLES. 93 

occupied by gaily dressed ladies, and thronged with cavaliers 
on prancing steeds riding past them. Nothing could surpass 
the gaiety 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 
ancient Rome, are frequently spoken of by Lady Blessington. 

I cannot help thinking they were of too mournful a cha- 
racter for her Ladyship to make that city of the dead, of shat- 
tered 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 Blessing- 
ton, than might have been expected by those acquainted with 
her refined tastes and literary acquirements. 

The gloom of the sombre monumental city seemed oppres- 
sive to her spirits ; the solemn aspect of the sites of places 
renowned of old, and those sermons in stones, of cnunbling 
monuments, and all the remaining vestiges of a people, and 
their idols of long past ages, speaking to the inmost soul of 
decay and destructibility, 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 appropriate locality for an elysium that was to 
last for ever, and for any sojourn of English tourists of haut 
ton, that was intended to be prolonged for the enjoyment 
of Italian skies and sunshine, scenery, 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. 1 have no fears of the 
effect of either for myself, but I dare not risk them for 
others." 
There were other circumstances besides those referred to. 



94 THX cmr and bay oi kaflu. 

in all probability, which determined the predpitate deportun 
from Rome. All the appliances to comfort, or rather to lux- 
ury, which had become necessary to Lady Blessingtcm, had not 
been found in Rome. Her Ladyship had become ezoeedu^y 
fastidious in her tastes. The difficulties of pleasing her in 
house accommodation, in dress, in cookery especially, had be- 
come so formidable, and occasioned so many inconvenienoes, 
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 
fullest appreciation of the many good qualities that belonged 
to her, it cannot be denied that whether discoursing in her 
salons, or talking with pen in hand on paper in her joumals, 
she occasionally aimed at something like stage effects in her 
diaries, as well as in society, and at times assumed opinions, 
which she abandoned a little later, or passed off appearanoes 
for realities. This was done with the view of acquiring esteem 
—strengthening her position in the opinion of persons of ex* 
alted 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 preseot 
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 de» 
lightful 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 vsaes. 
The sea was seen sparkling through the opening of the trees, 
with numbers of boats gliding along the shore. Li the 




THE Cmr AXD BAT OF KAPUS. 95 

" Idler in Italy/' Lady Blessiiigton thus speaks of the delight- 
ful climate and its cheering influences. 

*^ How light and dastic is the air ! Respiration is carried 
on unconsdoosly, and existence becomes a positive pleasure in 
such a climate. Who that has seen Naples, can wonder that 
her children are idle» and luxuriously disposed ? To gaze on 
the cloudless sky and blue Mediterranean, in an atmo^here 
so pure and balmy, is Plough to make the veriest plodder who 
ever courted Flutiss, 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 dime and site and scenery, 
for upwards of three years. 

The city of Naples retains no vestiges of Greek or Roman 
antiquity. It occupies the site of two ancient Greek towns, 
Palaeopolis 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 unrivalled. Its 
cirding beach extends from the promontory of Pausilippo to 
Sorento, 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 sur- 
rounding hills and grounds thickly planted in the vicinity, 
backed by the Apennines, well deserves its poetical designa- 
tion, " Un pezzo di cielo caduto in terra.'' Naples, it is truly 
said, " viewed by moonlight is enchanting. The moon pour- 
ing out an effulgence of silvery light, from a sky of the 
deepest azure, through a pure and transparent atmosphere, 
places all the prominent buildings in strong rdief ; and whilst 
it makes every object distinctly visible, it mellows each tmt, 
and blends the innumerable details into one vast harmonious 
* The Idler in Italy, p. 244. Ed. Par. 1839. 



9 6 THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 

whole, throwiog a bewitching and indescribable softness and 
repose 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 situation, and excellence of its dimate, 
became the favourite 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— K)f many of the most 
illustrious sages and philosophers of Rome. For some cen- 
turies 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 ultimatdy 
by Gerinans, 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 
modern vicissitudes, it is hardly necessary to refer to. 

The Castello del 'Ovo, standing on a projecting insulated 
rock, commands the entire of the two semicircular bays on 
which the city stands. In one direction extends the long line 
of shore on which are the Chiatamone, the Marino and 
Chiaja, with numerous 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 
Vomero : and still farther westward, the promontory of Piiu- 
silippo terminates the land view, and in this vicinity lie the 
beautiful little islands of Ischia and Procida. In the other 
direction, to the eastward of the Castello del 'Ovo, are semi- 
circular clusters of houses, convents, and churches, with the 
mole, the lighthouse and harbour, the quay of Santa Luda, 
surmounted by the Palace of Capo di Monte, and the emi- 
nence of Capo di Chino, and in the distant back-ground the 




THB CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 97 

Des of the Apennines, with their tints of purple^ vary- 
the atmosphere, and presenting a different aspect 
several changes of the setting sun. Still further, by 
n shore, is the Ponte Madelena, leading to Portici and 
[ Graeoo, the sites and ruins of Pompeia and Hercu- 
and rising up in the vicinity, in the plains of the 
la Felice, Vesuvius of portentous aspect, sombre and 
with all its associations of terror and destruction, and 
ionary horrors of its history, from those of 79 A.D. 
est eruptions of signal violence in 1821, are recalled 
)roach its base, or ascend the dreary foot-path in the 
f molten lava, or ragged scoriae and masses of huge 

have been torn from the sides of the crater in some 
itions. 

other along the shore, to the south-east, stands Cas- 
, a place of resort noted for its coolness and refi^h- 
ireezes, the site of the ancient Stabia, the summer 
' the elite of Naples. A little further is the delightful 
f Monte S. Michel, Sorrento, the birth-place of Tasso; 
>ape Campanello, the ancient Athenaeus, or promon- 
inerva, terminates the land view to the eastward. At 
nee to the bay, where the expanse is greatest between 
m and western shore, in a southern direction, is the 
Capri, the ancient Capreae, eighteen miles distant from 
site extremity of the bay of Portici, about four miles 
nearest shore. The extreme length of the island is 
ur miles, its breadth two miles. The peak of die 

mountain of the island is about 2000 feet high, 
ruins, supposed to be of palaces of the imperial 
Tiberius, exist on this island. 

xtreme length of Naples is from the Ponte Madelena 
lipo, along the sea shore, a distance of about four 
The breadth is unequal ; at the west end it is con- 
letween the hills of the Vomero and the Belvidere and 
I. H 



98 THE CITY AND BAY OP NAPLXS. 

the sea side, and in the interval there are only three or four 
streets. Towards the centre it extends from the CasteDo del 
'Ovo northward to the Capo di Monte and Monte di ChiiM^ 
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 eminences of Capo di Monte and Capo di ChiiM^ 
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 prin- 
cipal shops of the city. The population amounts to about 
380,000 inhabitants ; there are upwards of 300 churches ; the 
lazzaroni are estimated at 40,000, the clergy, monks, and 
nuns, at 7800. 

The Castello del 'Ovo is built on a rock, which projects into 
the sea from the Chiatamone, which separates it from Pizzo 
Falcone. It was formerly called Megera, then LucuDanum. 
The last of the Roman Emperors, Romulus Augustulanus, is 
said to have been imprisoned here in 476. The fortress coi^ 
sists now of a confused mass of buildings, ancient and modem. 
In one of the old gloomy apartments, the Queen 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. 

The bay of Naples, long after the departure of Lady Bless- 
ington from its shores, ceased not to be a favourite 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 
publications, ** The Lottery of Life." 

THE BAY OF NAPLES, 
In the Summer of 1824. 

** It is evening, and scarcely a breeze ruffles the cahn bosom 




THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 99 

rf* the beautiful bay, which resembles a vast lake, reflecting on 
te glassy surface the bright sky above, and the thousand stars 
irith which it is studded. Naples, with its white colonnades 
ieen amidst the dark foliage of its terraced gardens, rises like 
la amphitheatre : lights stream from the windows, and fall on 
iie sea beneath like columns of gold. The castle of St. Elmo 
atlwniDg the centre ; Vesuvius, like a sleeping giant in grim 
lepose, whose awakening all dread, is to the left, and on the 
-ight are the vine-crowned heights of the beautiful Vomero, 
mtii their palaces and villas peeping forth from^the groves that 
surround them ; while rising above it the convent of Camaldoli 
ifts its head to the skies. Resina, Portici, Castelamare, and the 
kmely shores of Sorrento, reach out from Vesuvius as if they 
tried to embrace the isle of Capri, which forms the central 
object ; and Pausilipo 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 fragrance 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 ad- 
vances ; 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 pageant ; the music falls more dis- 
&ictly on the charmed ear, and one sees that its dulcet sounds 
are produced by a band of glittering musicians, clothed in 
royal liveries. This illuminated barge is followed by another, 
with silken canopy overhead, and the curtains drawn back 
to admit the balmy air. Cleopatra, when she sailed down the 
Cydnus, boasted not a more beautiful vessel ; and, as it glides 
over the sea, it seems impelled by the music that precedes it, 

11 2 



100 THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 

SO perfectly does it keep time to its enchanting sounds, 
leaving a bright trace behind, like the memory of departed 
happiness. But who is he that guides this beauteous barkf 
His tall and slight figure is curved, and his snowy locks, fidHog 
over ruddy cheeks, show that age has bent, but not broken 
him ; he looks like one bom to command — a hoary Neptune, 
steering over his native element ; — all eyes are fixed, but bk 
follow the glittering barge that precedes him. And who is she 
that has the seat of honour at his side ? Iler fair^ large, and 
unmeaning face wears a placid smile ; and those light bhie 
eyes and fair ringlets, speak her of another land; her lips, too, 
want the fine chiselling which marks those of the sunny 
clime of Italy ; and the expression of her countenance basin 
it more of earth than heaven. Innumerable boats filled with 
lords and ladies follow, but intrude not on the privacy of this 
royal bark, which passes before us like a vision in a dream. 
He who steered was Ferdinand, King of the Sicilies, and she 
who was bt'side him, Maria Louisa, Ex-Empress of France." 

Many a glorious evening have I passed with the Blessing- 
tons, in 1823 and in the early part of 1824, sailing in the 
bay of Naples, in their yacht, the Bolivar, which had be- 
longed to Lord Byron ; and not unfrequently, when the weather 
w as particularly fine, and the moonlight gave additional beauty 
to the shores of Portici and Castelamare, Sorrento, and Pkusi- 
lipo, the night has been far advanced before we returned to 
the Mole. 

The furniture of the cabin of the Bolivar remindc-d one of 
its former owner. The table at which he wrote, the soft on 
which he n^lined, w^re in the places in which they stood when 
he owned the yacht. Byron was very partial to this vessid. 
It iiad been built for him expressly at Leghorn. On one 
occasion I was of the party, when having dined on board, sad 
skirted along the shores of Castelamare and Sorrento, the 
wind fell about dusk, and we lay becalmed in the bay till two 




' THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 101 

or three o'clock in the morning, some six or eight miles from 
the shore. The bay was never more beautiful than on that 
ddightfiil night ; the moonlight could not be more brilliant. 
The pale blue sky was without a doud, the sea smooth and 
shining as a mirror, and at every plash of an oar glittered 
with phosphorescent flashes of vivid light. But all the beau- 
ties of the bay on that occasion wasted their loveliness on the 
weary eyes of Lady Blessington in vain. 

" Captain Smith," capitaine par complaisance, a lieutenant 
of the navy, who had the command of the Bolivar, was a 
very great original ; on that, as well as many other occasions, 
he served to relieve the tedium of those aquatic excursions, 
which were sometimes 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 obvious hoaxing. It was a great delight to hor to 
discover a prevailing weakness, vanity, absurdity, prejudice, or 
an antipathy, in an extravagant or eccentric person, and then 
to draw out that individual, throwing out catch words and 
half sentences to suggest the kind of expression she desired, 
or expected to elicit, and then leading the party into some 
ridiculous display of oddity, vanity, or absurdity. 

But this was done with such singular tact, finesse, and de- 
licacy of humour, that pain never was inflicted by the mysti- 
fication, for the simple reason that the badinage was never 
suspected by the party on whom it was practised, even when 
carried to the very utmost limit of discretion. This taste for 
drawing out odd people, and making them believe absurd 
things, or express 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 off 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 



102 THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLB8. 

wonderful quickness of perception of the ridiculous, where?fr 
it existed, also possessed this taste for mystifying and eliciting 
absurdity 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 SmithV 
anxiety for promotion, and his high sense of fitness for the 
most exalted position in his profession, furnished the principsl 
subjects for a 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 season, on the subject of posting. The Admiralty were 
regularly lugged into every argument, and it invariably ended 
with an inquiry — " 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 patronage for merit." •* He ought 
to have been posted fifteen years ago." " Half the post-cap^ 
tains in the navy were his juniors, though all got posted, 
because they had patrons." " But the Lords of the Admiralty 

never posted a man for his service, and" . The dis* 

concerted lieutenant would then be interrupted by D'Orsay, 
with some such good-natured suggestion as the following, 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 
posted you." 

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

In July, 1823, the Blessingtons established themselves at 
the Palace or Villa Belvidere, on the Vomero, one of the most 
beautiful residences in Naples, surrounded by gardens over- 
looking the bay, and commanding a most enchanting view of 




THE CITY AND BAY OF NAPLES. 103 

its exquisite features. Though the palace was furnished suit- 
ably for a Neapolitan prince, Lady Blessington found it re- 
quired a vast number of comforts, the absence of which could 
not be compensated by beautifully decorated walls and ceilings, 
marble floors, pictures and statues, and an abundance of an- 
tiquated sofes, and chairs of gigantic dimensions, carved and 
gfli. The Prince and Princess Belvidere marvelled when 
they were informed ah upholsterer's services would be re- 
quired, and a variety 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 site 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 Bel- 
videre, leads through a pleasure ground, 6Iled 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 fountain 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 
OD three sides by a marble balustrade, and enclosed on the 
fourth by a long gallery, filled with pictures, statues, and alti 
and bassi-relievi. 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 paved with marble. This 
pavilion commands a most enchanting prospect of the bay, 
with the coast of Sorrento on the left ; Capri in the centre, 
with Nisida, Procida, Ischia, and the promontory of Misenium 
to the right ; the fore-ground filled up by gardens and vine- 
yards. The odour of the flowers in the grounds around this 



104 SOCIETY OF THE BLESSINGTONS AT NAPLES. 

pavilion, and the Spanish jasmine and tuberoses that cover 
the walls, render it one of the most delicious retreats io the 
world. The walls of all the rooms are literally covered with 
pictures ; the architraves of the doors of the principal rooms 
are oriental alabaster and the rarest marbles ; the tables 
and consoles are composed of the same costly materials ; and 
the furniture, though in decadence, bears the traces of its pris- 
tine splendour. Besides five salons de reception on the prin- 
cipal floor, the palace contains a richly decorated chapel and 
sacristy, a large salle de billiard, and several suites of bed and 
dressing rooms."* 

Never did English lady of refined tastes make a sojourn in 
the neighbourhood of Pompeii and Herculaneum, visit the 
various localities of Naples and its vicinity, carry out re- 
searches of antiquarian intere.st, and inquire into the past amid 
the ruins of Pajstum and Bencventum, Sorrento, Amalfi, 
Salerno, Ischia, and Proscida, <ini Capri, under such advan- 
tageous circumstances as Lady Blessington. 

When she visited Herculaneum, she was accompanied by 
Sir William Gell ; when she examined museums, and galleries 
devoted to objects of art, ancient or modem, she was aooom- 
panicd by Mr. Uwins, the painter, or Mr. Richard Westnm- 
cott, the sc\ilptor, or Mr. Millengen, the antiquarian, who 
" initiated her into the mysteries of numismatics." If she 
made an excursion to P^stum, it was with the same erudite 
cicerone, or the present Lord Carlisle ; or when she had an 
evening visit to the Observator}', it was in the company of 
Mr. Hei-schel (now Sir John), or the famous Italian astro- 
nomer, Piazzi. Or if she went to Bencventum, or the Torre 
di Patria, the sight of the ancient Litemum, it was in the 
agreeable society of some celebrated savant. 

The vibit to Pompeii, with Sir William Gell as cicerone^ 
has been memorialized by Lady Blessington, in some wdl- 
♦ The Idkr ill Italy, p. 247. Par. Ed. 1839. 




SOCIETY OF THB BLB88IN6T0NS AT NAPLES. 105 

written stanzas, the first and last of which I present to my 

readers: 

** Lonely city of the dead ! 
Body whence the soul has fled. 
Leaving still upon thy face 
Such a mild and pensive grace 
As the lately dead display. 
While yet stamped upon frail clay, 
Bests the impress of the mind, 
That the fragile earth refined. 



Farewell, city of the dead ! 
O'er whom centuries have fled. 
Leaving on your buried fiuse 
Not one mark time loves to trace ! 
Dumb as Egypt corpses, you 
Strangely meet our anxious view, 
Shewing to the eager gaze. 
But cold still shades of ancient days." 

Among the papers of Lady Blessington, I found some 
beautifuDy written verses on the ruins of Psestum, a prize 
poem, written by the present Earl of Carlisle. 

Her Ladyship visited Psestum in May 1824, accompanied 
by Mr. Millengen, Mr. C. Mathews, and his Lordship (then 
the Hon. George Howard, those lines were given to her, by the 
latter, on that occasion. 

PJESTUM. 

" '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 far away. 
Single in ruin, mighty in decay ! 
Between the mountains and the neighb'ring main. 
They claim the empire of the lonely plain. 



106 SOCIETY OF THE BLE88IKGTON8 AT NAFLX8. 

In solemn beauty, through the dear blue light. 

The Doric columns rear their awful height ! 

Emblems of strength untamed 1 yet conquering time 

Has mellowed half the sternness of their prime ; 

And bade the richer, mid their ruins grown, 

Imbrown with darker hues the vivid stone. 

Each channelled pillar of the fane appears 

Unspoiled, yet softened by consuming years. 

So calmly awful ! so serenely fair ! 

The gazers wrapt still mutely worship there. 

Not always thus, when full beneath the day, 

No fairer scene than Psestum's lovely bay ; 

When her light soil bore plants of every hue. 

And twice each year her beauteous roses blew ; 

While bards her blooming honours loved to sing. 

And Tuscan zephyrs fanned th' eternal spring. 

"VVTien in her port the Syrian moored his fleet, 

And wealth and commerce filled^thc peopled street; 

AVhile here the trembling mariner adored 

The seas* dread sovereign, Posidonia's lord ; 

With native tablets decked yon hallowed 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 ; 

While 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 toils of art, the charms of nature fail. 
And death triumphant rules the tainted gale. 
From the lone spot, the affrighted 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 Caesar's throne. 
Ere yet proud Rome's all-conquering name was known, 




SOCIBTT OF THE BLBS8INGT0NS AT NAPLES. 107 

They stood^ and fleeting centuries in vain 
Have poured their fury o'er the enduring fane. 
Such long shall standi proud relics of a clime 
Where man was glorious, and his works sublime ; 
While in the progress of their long decay. 
Thrones sink to dust, and nations pass away."* 

I accompanied Lady Blessington and her party on the oc- 
casion, I think, of their first visit to Mount Vesuvius. The 
account in the " Idler in Italy," of the ascent, is given with 
great liveliness and humour ; but the wit and drollery of some 
of the persons who were of this party, contributed to render 
the visit one of the merriest, perhaps, that ever was made to 
a Yolcano ; and to the joyousness of the expedition altogether, 
I think her Ladyship has hardly done justice. 

I had previously made an excursion to Vesuvius, accom- 
panied by a blind gentleman. Lieutenant Holman, the cele- 
brated traveller, who used to boast of his having come fi^m 

* '* On entering the walls of Paestum (says Forsyth), 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 commands 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 Nea- 
politan antiquaries. Pelegrino, Capaccio, and Sanfelice, wrote volumes 
on the beaten tracks of topography, but they never travelled. 

" 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 monu- 
ments, monuments the most simple, sage, austere, energetic, to a race 
the most opposite in character. Because the Psestan 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." Things 
were in this state when I visited Paestum in 1 823, accompanied by 
Mr. Greenough, one of the Vice Presidents of the Geographical Society, 
and Mr. Burton, the architect. 



103 SOCIETY OF THE BLESSINOTONS AT NAPLES. 

England expressly to see an eruption. He was certainly 
recompensed for his pains, by having an opportunity afforded 
him, during his sojourn in Naples, of hearing the bellowii^ 
of a volcano, of the greatest violence that had occurred in 
recent times, that of June, 1821. 

We ascended Vesuvius the evening on which the violence 
of the eruption was at its greatest height. Lieut. Holman 
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 Naples about five o'dodc 
in the afternoon, as my blind companion says in his work, 
** with the view of seeing the mountain by moonlight.'* 
Passing through Portici, we reached Resina about seven 
o'clock, and at the base of the mountain took a conductor 
from the house of Sal va tori. Visitants usually ascend on 
asses, two- thirds of the way towards the summit, but my 
blind friend preferred walking, " to sec 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 
upwards from the hermitage, and the road or path, at all 
times difficult, was now doubly so from the heavy dust and 
scoriae, interspersed with fragments of stone, which lay aU 
along it. The shower of ashes was succeeded, as we ascended, 
by torrents of red-hot lava, that streamed over the edge of 
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 gradually, in a 
great broad stream, perhaps sixty or eighty feet wide, towards 
the sea to the east of Resina. We proceeded along the edge 
of this stream for some distance, and my blind friend formed 
his notions of its consistence, rate of flowing, and temperature, 
by poking his staff in this stream of lava, and fedmg the 




SOCIETY OP THE BLESSIN6TONS AT NAPLES. 109 

charred stick when he removed it. The great crater was 
then ia repose. At length we reached the spot where a vast 
fissure, somewhat lower than the crater, was emitting torrents 
of lava and sulphureous vapours. My blind friend would not 
be persuaded to remain behind, when the guide conducted us 
to any spot particularly perilous, and especially to one where 
fire and ashes were issuing from clefts in the rock on which 
we walked. He insisted on walking over places where we could 
hear the crackling effects of the fire on the lava beneath our 
feet, and on a level with the brim of the new crater, which was 
thea pouring forth showers of fire and smoke, and lava, and 
occasionally masses of rock of amazing dimensions, to an enor- 
mous height in the air. > A change of wind must inevitably 
have buried us, either 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 often obliged us to shift our position. Our guide 
conducted us to the edge of a crater, where a French gentle- 
man had thrown himself in, about two months previously. 
He had written some lines in the travellers' book at the her- 
mitage on his ascent, indicative 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 
the summit of Vesuvius on a beautiful moonlight night, with- 
out a doud in the sky, such as we had the good fortune to 
enjoy, was almost magic in its effect ; 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 volcano, and the frightful bellowings of the burning moun- 
tain on which we stood. 

I should have observed, there are, properly speaking, two 
summits, one westward, called Somma, the other south, Ve- 
suvius. 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. 



110 SOCIBTY OF THE BLKSSINQT0N8 AT NAPLR8. 

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

Lady Blessington has given some account of her '^ desoeot 
ipto the graves of buried cities." In one of those visits ti 
the remains of Herculaneum, I had the pleasure of acoom 
panying her, when the admirable and erudite cioerone of be 
Ladyship was Sir William Gell.* 

Among the English who frequented the Palazzo Belvidcn 
the following may be enumerated as the elite^ or most highl; 
esteemed of the visitors there : — Sir William Drummond, S 
William Gell, the Honourable Keppel Craven, Mr. WiDiso 
Hamilton, the British minister to the Neapolitan court 
Colonel Chaloner Bisse, the Honourable R. Grosvenor, Caj^ 
Gordon, brother of Lord Aberdeen ; Mr. Matthias, the autho 
of " The Pursuits of Literature ;" Lord Guilford, Count (no^ 
Prince) Paul Lieven, Lord Ashley, Mr. Evelyn Denison, Mi 
Richard Williams, Signer Salvaggi, a distinguished littiratewr 
the Due de Rocco Romano, Marchese Guiliano, Due de Ci 
zarano. Lords Dudley and Ward, Lord Howden, and his so; 
Mr. Cradock ; later, if I mistake not, Colonel Caradoc, th 
Honourable Greorge Howard, the present Lord Carlisle, Mi 
Millengen, the eminent antiquarian ; Mr. Charles Mathem 
the son of the celebrated comedian ; Lord Ponsonby, Princ 
Ischitelli, Mr. J. Strangways, the brother of Lord Ucbester 
Mr. H. Baillie, Mr. Herschel, the present Sir John Herscbe 
the astronomer ; Mr. Henry Fox (now Lord Holland), Mr. J 

* Herculaneum was founded a.m. 2757, sixty years before the aieg 
of Troy, about 3092 years ago. It was destroyed by the same emptio 
of Vesuvius, in the year 79 a.d., which buried PompeiL 

The buried cities remained undiscovered till 1641 years after thei 
destruction. 

Herculaneum had been successively ruled by the Etruscans, Osctaai 
Samnites, Greeks, and, when destroyed, by the Romans. The origiiM 
founder was said to be the Theban Hercules. Portici and Rmib 
arc built over the buried city. 




SOCIBTT OF THE BLB8SIN6T0NS AT NAPLES. Ill 

Townsend (now Lord Sydney), CouDt de Camaldole, General 
Church, General Florestan Pepe, Mr. Richard Westmacott, 
the Due de Fitz-James^ Cassimir Delavigne, Filangiere 
(Prince Satriani), son of the well-known writer on jurispn^- 
dence; Mr. Bootle Wilbraham, jun., the Abb^ Montice.li, an 
eminent geologist ; the Archbishop of Tarento, Sir Andrew 
Barnard, Signor Fiazzi, a celebrated astronomer, the discoverer 
of the planet Ceres. 

The situation of the villa Belvidere — the lovely prospect from 
the terrace that communicated with the |xincipal saloon — the 
dassic beauty of the house, the effect of the tasteful laying out 
of the grounds — the elegance of the establishment, and the 
precious objects of modem art, of an ornamental kind, of 
Ujouterie, porcelain, ivory, gems of great rarity, and vases of 
exquisite form and workmanship, and relics too of antiquity, 
of great value, collected by Lady Blessington throughout 
Italy, or presented to her by connoisseurs and dilettanti like 
Gell, Millengen, 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 ad- 
mirable 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 forget the scene, the hostess and the circle, that imparted 
to the villa Belvidere some of the Elysian characteristics that 
poetry has ascribed to a neighbouring locality ? 

Difficulties with the proprietor of this mansion obliged the 
Blessingtons to quit their Neapolitan paradise on the Vomero, 
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. 



112 



CHAPTER V. 

DEPARTURE FROM NAPLES. SOJOURN IN ROME, FLORENCE, 
MILAN, VENICE, AND GENOA. RETURN TO PARIS. FEBRU- 
ARY 1826 TO JUNE 1829. 

The Blessingtons and their party having made Naples their 
head-quarters for upwards of two years and a half, took their 
departure the end of February, 1826, and arrived at Roma 
the beginning of March following. 

The departure for 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 begin- 
ning 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 iohi- 
bitants with theatricals. They remained in Florence nearly 
nine months. In December they were once more at GeDOt* 
but he who had made their previous sojourn there so agree- 
able, was then numbered with the dead. Before the dose of 
the month, we find them established at Pisa, where they hid 
the pleasure of meeting the Due and Duchesse de Guiche. 

Lady Blessington had met Lord John Russell in Genoa. 
She had known his lordship in England, and thought vei^ 
highly both of his intellectual powers and the amiability of hk 
disposition. With the exception of the Duke of York, who 



SOJOURN IN ROM". I ! .*) 

was an especial favourite of her Ladyship — Lord Grey, and 
perhaps Lord Durham, none of the persons who frequented 
the abode of the Blessingtons 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 ex- 
ceedingly well read, and has a quiet dash of humour, that 
renders his observations very amusing. When the reserve 
peculiar to him is thawed, he can l>e very agreeable ; and the 
society of his Genoese friends having had this eflfect, he ap- 
pears here to much more advantage than in London Good 
sense, a considerable power of discrimination, a highly culti- 
y^ted mind, and great equality of temper, are the characteris*- 
tics 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 
rf personal attachment, rarely accorded, except to those 
whose uniform friendly demeanour excites and strengthens it ; 
and without this attraction, it is difficult, if not impossible, 
for a statesman, whatever may be the degree of esteem enter- 
tained for his character, to have devoted friends and par- 
tisans, accessories so indispensable for one who would fill a 
distinguished role in pul)1ic life. 

" Lord John Russell dined with us again yesterday, and 
nobody could be more agreeable. He should stay two or 
three years among his Italian friends, to wear off for ever the 
reserve that shrouds so many good qualities, and conceals so 
many agreeable ones ; and he would then become as popular 

♦ The Idler in Italy, Par. Ed. 1839, p. 370. 
VOL. 1. I 



114 SOJOURN IN FLORBNCE. 

as he deserves to he. But he will return to England, be agtii 
thrown into the clique, which political differences keep apti 
from that of their opponents, become as cold and distant i 
formerly ; and people will exclaim at his want of cordialit; 
and draw back from what they consider to be his haughl 
reserve." 

The Blessing tons remained in Pisa till the latter part < 
June, 1827. We find them again in Florence, from July i 
the November following. 

At Florence, in 1826 and 1827, Lady Blessington was ai 
quainted with Demidoff, " the Russian Croesus," witti Loi 
Dillon, the author of an epic poem, *' Eccelino, the Tyrai 
of Padua," a production more complacently read aloud I: 
his lordship on various oc<;asions, than often patiently listeoc 
to by his hearers ; the Prince Borghese, a " noble Roonan, 
remarkable for his obesity, the number and size of his go! 
rings, and the circumstance of his being the husband of tl 
sister of Napoleon — " La petite et Mignonne Pauline ;" Li 
martine, ' very good-looking and distinguished in his appeal 
ance, who dressed so perfectly like a gentleman, that one ne?f 
would suspect him to be a poet ;" Comte Alexandre de J 
Borde, and his son M. Leon de la Borde ; Mr. Jerninghan 
the son of Lord Stafford ; Henry Anson, " a fine young roai 
on his way to the East " (and never destined to return froc 
it) ; Mr. Strangways, in the absence of Lord Burghersh, off 
ciating as Charg6 d' Affaires ; Mr. Francis Hare, •* ga] 
clever, and amusing ;" and, in May, 1827, Walter Savag 
Landor, ** one of the most remarkahle writers of his day, a 
well as one of the most remarkable and original of men. 
Tliis was the first time of meeting with Mr. Landor, an 
during the sojourn of the Blissingtons in Florence, thei 
were few days they did not see him. The strongest attack 
ment that comes within the legitimate limits and bonds c 




SOJOURN IN FLORENCE. 115 

literary friendshipSy was soon formed between Lady Blessington 
and the celebrated author of " Imaginary Conversations." 

Id the Athenaeum of the 17th of February, 1856, Mr. 
Landor makes the following reference to his first acquaintance 
with Lady Blessington : " I will now state my first acquaint- 
tnoe with her Ladyship. Residing in the Palazzo Medici at 
Florence, the quinsey, my annual visitant for fifty seasons, 
confined me to my room. At that time my old friend, Francis 
Hare, who had been at Pisa on a visit to Lord and Lady Bless- 
ington, said at breakfast that he must return instantly to 
Florence. Lord and Lady B. joked with him on so sudden 
a move, and insisted on knowing the ti-ue reason for it. 
When he mentioned my name and my sickness, Lord Bless- 
ington said, * You don't mean Walter Landor !' ' The very 
man/ replied Hare. His Lordship rang the bell, and ordered 
his horses to be put instantly to his carriage. He had gone 
to Pisa for his health, and had rented a house on a term of 
six months, of which only four had expired. The next 
morning my servant entered my inner drawing-room, where I 
was lying on a sofa, and announced Lord Blessington. I 
said 1 knew no such person. He immediately entered, and 
said, * Come, come, Landor ! 1 never thought you would re- 
fuse to s6e an old fiiend. If you don't know Blessington, 
you may remember Mountjoy.' Twenty years before, when 
Lord Mountjoy ,was under the tuition of Dr. Randolph, he 
was always at the parties of Lady Belaiore, at whose house 1 
visited, more particularly when there were few besides her own 
family. I should not have remembered Lord Mountjoy. In 
those days he was somewhat fat for so young a man ; he had 
DOW become emaciated. In a few days he brought his lady 
* to see me and make me well again.' They remained at 
Florence all that year, and nearly all the next. In the spring, 
and until the end of autumn, 1 went every evening from my 
villa and spent it in their society. Among the celebrities I 

I 2 



116 SOJOURN IN FLORENCE. 

met there was Pocrio, and, for several weeks, the Count d 
Camaldoli, who had been Prime Minister of Naples, the Duk< 
de Richeliea too, and D'Orsay's sister, the Duchess de Guiche 
beside a few of the distinguished Florentines. When I re 
turned to England, soon after Lord Blessington's death, m] 
first visit was to the Countess. Never was man treated witi 
more cordiality. Her parties contained more of remarkafalt 
personages than ever were assembled in any other house, ex 
cepting, perhaps, Madame de Stael's. In the month of tb 
coronation, more men illustrious in rank, in genius, and ii 
science, met at Gore House, either at dinner or after, thai 
ever were Jissembled in any palace." 

Hallam, the historian, the young Lord LifFord, ''formed fix 
tne dolce far niente of Italian life," with his imploring exprea 
sion ot^ — Laissez moi tranquille — in his good-natured face 
were then likewise residing at Florence ; and Lord and Ladj 
Normanby also were sojourning there in 1827. Lord Nor- 
manby was a frequent visitor at the Blessingtons. His tasti 
for theatricals was quite in unison with Lord Blessington'a 
while his taste for literature, his polished and fascinating 
manners, his desire to please, and disposition to oblige, and 
most agreeable conversation, furnished peculiar attractiont 
for Lady Blessington. Lord Normanby was then thirty 
years of age, in the incipient stage of fashionable authorship^ 
beginning to write novels, in the habit of contributing to d- 
bums, ambitious of politics, and exhibiting his turn for them 
by occasional prose articles for reviews and magazines. 

The Blessingtons, though they had retracted their steps 
towards the North, were now veering between Florence, Genoa, 
and Pisa, and seem to have seldom turned their thoughts 
homewards. St. James's Square was beginning to disappear 
from tlieir recollections. Tbose connected with Lord Bless- 
ington by the ties of blood, residing in his own country, were 




SOJOURN IN GENOA. 117 

seldom thought of; new scenes and new acquaintances appear 
to have taken fast hold of his tastes and feelings. 

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

His eldest daughter, Emily Rosalie Hamilton, commonly 
caDed Lady Mary Gardiner, bom in Manchester Square, the 
24th June, 1811, was then (in 1 822) eleven years of age. His 
legitimate daughter, the Hon. Harriet Anne Jane Frances, com- 
monly called Lady Harriet Grardiner, born in Seymour Place, 
the 5th of August, 1812, was then ten years of age: and his 
legitimate son, the Hon. Luke Gardiner, commonly called 
Lord Mountjoy, born 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 Blessington, 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 Mountjoy) 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 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 
legitimate son of Lord Blessington, and by his death his 

* In August, 1839, the Right Hon. Margaret Viscountess Mount- 
joy tliod in Dublin, at an advanced age. She was the second wife 
of the Right Hon. Luke Gardiner, Lord Viscount Mountjoy, father 
of the late Earl of Blessington, by a former marriage. She married 
Viicount Mountjoy iu 1793, and became a widow in 1798. She re- 
sided chiefly in Dublin for many years previous to her decease. 



118 SOJOURN IN GENOA. 

Lordship was enabled to make a disposition of his property^ 
of a very strange nature — a disposition of it, which it i» 
impossible to speak of in any terms except those of repre- 
hension, and of astonishment at the fatuity manifested ia 
the arrangements made by his Lordship — and in the con- 
templated 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 22nd of June, 1823, Lord Bless- 
ington signed a document purporting to be a codicil to a 
former will; making a disposition of his property, and a 
disposal of the happiness of one or other of his then two Ivnog 
daughters — an aiTangement at once imprudent, unnatural, 
and wanting in all the consideration 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 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 labouring under a parti- 
cular kind of insanity, manifested by an infatuation, and in- 
firmity of mind in his conduct with respect to his famfly 
affairs, though quite sane on every other subject — which un- 
fitted him to dispose of his children at that juncture, and had 
assumed a more decided appearance of monomania after that 
disposal was made. 

At Genoa, June the 22nd, 1823, Lord Blessington made 
a codicil to his will, wherein it is set forth thai General 
Albert D'Orsay (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 docu- 




LORD BLESSINGTON's WILL. 119 

ment, that it was then optionary with the Count to select 
either of the daughters of his Lordship. 

CODICIL. 

•' Genoa, June 2nd, 1823. 

" Having had the misfortune to lose my beloved son, Luke 
Wellington, and having entered into engagements with Alfred, 
Comte D'Orsay, that an alliance should take place between him 
and my daughter, which engagement has been sanctioned by 
Albert, Comte 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 
annum to my wife, Margaret, Countess of Blessington, subject 
also to that portion of debt, whether by annuity or mortgage, 
to which my executor and trustee, Luke Norman, shall consider 
them to be subjected), for his and her use, whether it be Mary 
(baptized Emily), Rosalie Hamilton, or Harriet Ann Jane 
Frances, and to their heirs, male, the said Alfred and said Mary, 
or Harriet, for ever in default of issue, male, to follow 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 sixteen, at which age I consider that they will be marriage- 
able. 

" 1 also bequeath to Luke Norman my estates in the county 
of Tyrone, &c., in trust for my son, Charles John, who 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 
annum 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 
hundred and twenty-three. 

*' Blessinoton." 



120 LORD blessington's will. 

1 find in tlie papers of Lady Blessington, a letter of a 
noble Lord, a great legal functionary, dated September 20th, 
1836, enclosing a copy of the codicil above-mentioned, «nt 
to him for an opinion, and the following reference to it : " En- 
closed is the opinion. I regret that it is not, and cannot be 
more favourable :" — 

'' I have read ttie statement^ will, and codicil^ and am of 
opinion 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 inten> 
tions, in respect to the marriage of one of his daughters, 
briefly expressed in the preceding codicil. This will %vas 
executed only two months later than the document above 
referred to ; and it merits attention, that the provision made 
for the Countess of Blessington, in the former codicil, of an 
annuity of £3000, inclusive of a preceding marriage settle- 
ment of £1000 a year, is reduced in the will of the 3 1st 
of August, to £2000 a year, including the marriage settle- 
ment of £1000 per annum ; so that in afler-years, when it 
Nvas generally believed that Lady Blessington had an income 
of £3000 a year, she in reality had only £2000.* 

EXTRACTED FROM THE REGISTRY OF HER MAJESTY's COURT 
OP PREROGATIVE, IN IRELAND. 

" This is the last will and testament of me, Charles Johni 
Earl of Blessington, of that part of the united kingdom called 
Ireland. I give Luke Norman, Esquire, for and during the 

* Landor in his Letter, published in "The Athenaeum/' of the 17th 
of February, 1855, says : '' Lord Blessington told me that he offerod 
her an addition of a thousand pounds to her jointure of three, and 
could not prevail on her to accept the addition.** 



LORD BLESSTXGTOn's WIJX 1-1 

time ho 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 
giTc unto each of them one thousand pounds. I give to Isa- 
bella Bimly, Michael McDonough, and John Bullock, one 
hundred pounds each. I give and devise my real and personal 
estate to said Alfred D'Orsay, Luke Norman, and Alexander 
Worthington, for the following purposes. First for the pay- 
ment of two thousand pounds, British, per annum, (inclusive 
of one thousand pounds settled on her at the time of my mar- 
riage), to my wife, Margarette, or Margaret, Countess of Bless- 
ington; and I give to her all her own jewels, requesting that 
she may divide my late wife*s jewels between my two daughters 
at the time of her decease. I give to Robert Power and Mary 
Anne Power one thousand pounds each. I give to my daughter, 
Harriet Anne Jane Frances, commonly called Lady Harriet, 
born at my house at Seymour Place, London, on or about the 
3rd day of August, 1812, all my estates in the county and city 
rf Dublin, subject to the following charge. Provided she in- 
termarry 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, Emily Rosalie Hamilton, generally called 
Lady Mary Gardiner, born in Manchester Square, on the 24th 
June, 1811, whom I now acknowledge and adopt as my daugh- 
ter, the sum of twenty thousand pounds. 

" In case the said Alfred D'Orsay intermarries with the said 
Emily, otherwise Mary Gardiner, 1 bequeath to her my estates 
in the county and city of Dublin. The annuity of two thou- 
sand pounds per annum, British, to be paid to my beloved wife, 
out of the said estates. I give to my son, Charles John, who 
1 desire may take the name of Stuart Gardiner, bom in Portman 
Square on the 3rd day of February, 1810, all my estates in the 
county of Tyrone, subject to the following charges ; also the 
reversion 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 



122 LORD blessington's will. 

daughter ; 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 ny 
debts. I give to my wife the lease of my honae in London, it 
the expiration of which the furniture, books, &c. &c, are to be 
removed to the intended residence at Mountjoy Forest ; and 
I direct 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, pan* 
phernalia, and plate. I give to my son, Charles John, my 
plate, wardrobe, swords, &c., &c., &c. I appoint Alfined D'Orssy 
guardian of my son, Charles John, until he arriyes at the age 
of twenty-five years, the settlement of twelve thousand pounds 
to be null and void on his obtaining the Tyrone estates. I-^»- 
point my beloved wife guardian of my daughter, Harriet Anne ; 
and I appoint my sister Harriet, guardian of my danghte, 
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 Campbell, Viscountess 
Mountjoy. I give to the National Gallery, intended to be 
formed in London, under royal protection, my picture of the 

* Three Graces,' by Sir Joshua Reynolds, with a desire that 

* the gift of Charles John, Earl 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 wiU and 
testament; In witness whereof, I have to this my last will, con- 
tained 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, IS2S, Blessington seal." 

The marriage, then, of Count D'Orsay with a daughter of 
Lord Blessington, we find determined on at Genoa, so eariy 
as the 2nd of June, 1823, and it was not till the Ist of 
December, IS27, four years and a half subsequently to 
that determination, that tlie long-contemplated event took 
place. 



RETURN TO ROME. 123 

In December, 1827, the Blessingtons returned to Rome 
from Florence, after a sojourn ih&e of upwards of four 
months. 

They engaged the two principal floors of the Palazzo Ne- 
groni, for six months certain, at the rent of 100 guineas a 
month (at the rate of 1200 guineas a year).* This abode, 
though nominally furnished, had to be further provided with 
lured ** meubleSf** the cost of which was about twenty pounds 
a month. The seeds of the Encumbered Estates Court were 
being sown in Italy, as well as in other Continental coimtries, 
pretty extensively some thirty years ago, by our Irish landed 
proprietors. 

In the month of March, 1828, on my return from the 
East, I visited the Blessingtons at the Palazzo N^oni, and 
Aere, for the first time, I beheld the recently married daughter 
of the Earl of Blessington. 

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

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

Their salons, as at Naples, were regularly filled every even- 
mg with the elite of the distinguished foreigners and natives, 
artists and literati of the Eternal City. 

The Count D'Orsay had been married the 1st of December, 
1327, to Lady Harriet Frances Gardiner, who was then fifteen 
years of age and four months. 

It was an unhappy marriage, and nothing to any useful 
purpose can be said of it except that Lord Blessington sacri- 
ficed his child's happiness, by causing her to marry, without 
consulting her inclinations or her interests. 
Taken firom school without any knowledge of the world, 

* While this enormous expenditure for house accommodation was 
going on in Italy, the noble mansion in St. James's Square, in London, 
wai still kept up by his Lordship. 



124 SOJOURN IN ROME. 

acquaintance with society, or its usages and forms, wholly in* 
experienced, transferred to the care of strangers, and naturally 
indisposed to any exertion that might lead to efforts to con- 
ciliate 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 arrival in Italy, where, within a few weeks of 
her first meeting with that foreign gentleman, she was des- 
tined to become his bride. 

Lady Harriet was exceedingly girlish-looking, pale and 
rather inanimate in expression, silent and reserved ; there was 
no appearance of familiarity with any one around her ; no air 
or look of womanliood, no semblance of satisfaction in her new 
position were to be observed in her demeanour or deportment 
She seldom or ever spoke, she was little noticed, she was 
looked on as a mere school-girl ; I think her feelings were 
crushed, repressed, and her emotions driven inwards, by a 
sense of slight and indifference, and by the strangeness and 
coldness of everything around her ; and she became indifferent, 
and strange and cold, and apparently devoid of all vivacity and 
interest in society, or in the company of any person in it. 
People were mistaken in her, and she perhaps was also mis- 
taken in others. Her father's act had led to all these miscon- 
ceptions and misconstructions, ending in suspicions, ani- 
mosities, aversions, and total estrangements. 

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, spirituelUt and intelli- 
gent, the reverse in all respects of what she was considered, 
where she was misplaa^d and misunderstood.* 

* Lady Harriet D'Ornay and her aunt, Miss Qardiner. risited the 
Continent in tho latter part of 1833, or beginning of 1834. In Sep. 
tern bur, 183.'), Lady Harriet and her sister, Miss Emily Oardiser, were 
in Dublin, residing with their aunt. Shortly after, the latter wa« 
married to a Mr. Charles White, who had travelled a good deal, prin- 
cipally in the East, written some works of light literature, and an 




SOJOURN IN ROME. 125 

A few days before I quitted Rome for England, I received 
a kind letter from Liord 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. 

«' Rome, March 6, 1828. 
" The bearer of this letter, Mr. Madden, is a gentleman of 
literary acquirement and talent. He has lately returned from 
the East, 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. 
«' John Gait, Esq.** *' Blessington." 

May the. 7th, 1828, Mr. Mills gave a farewell dinner to 
the Blessingtons at his villa Palatina, a day or two before their 
departure from Rome. A party of the friends of the Bless- 
ingtons were invited to meet them, and the final meeting and 
separation were anything but joyous. 

" Schemes of future meeting, too faintly spoken to cheat 
into hope of their speedy fulfilment, furnished the general 
topic ; and some were there already stricken with maladies, 
the harbingers of death — and they, too, spoke of again meet- 
ing ! Yet who can say whether the young and the healthy 
may not be summoned from life before those whose infirmities 
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 his- 
torian, the research of the antiquarian, and the reflections of 

account of his travels. As a gentleman of good education, agreeable 
manners and conversation, he was known to the frequenters of Gore 
House many years ago. He had resided in many parts of the Conti- 
nent, and latterly altogether in liclgium. Mrs. M'hite died in Paris 
'dbo\ii ten yearf^ ago. 



126 DEPARTURE FROM ROME. 

the philosopher — Sir William Gell and Mr. Dodwell ; both 
advanced towards the downward path of life, every step of 
which rapidly abridges the journey, and consequently reminds 
parting friends of the probability that each fareweU 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 Caesars. 
yet forgetful for the moment of the mutability of fortune, of 
which such striking memorials 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 siparation, but her rare beauty in no way dimmished by 
the sadness that clouded a face always lovely.'* 

Sir William Gell and Count Paul Esterhazy came to the 
Palazzo 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 be- 
dewed 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 pre- 
sentiment that she should see the Eternal City no more. She 
descants in her diary on the uncertainty of life, and especially 
in the case of those older or more infirm than ourselves, as if 
we were more exempt from danger and death than they. 
" Strange delusion ! that while we tremble for those dear to 
us, the conviction of the irrevocable certainty of our own 
dissolution is less vividly felt ! we picture our own death as 
remote, and consequently less to be dreaded ; and even when 
most impressed with the awful conviction that we, like aU 




DEPARTURE FROM ROME. 127 

other mortals, must pass away, though our reason acknow- 
ledges the truth, our hearts refuse to believe that the event 
may be near." 

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

From Rome, the Blessingtons proceeded to Loretto, 
where they visited the shrine of the Santa Casa. " The pious 
votaries of superstition/' the foDy of their munificence, wasting 
jewels " to decorate an 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 travellers, from Lady Blessington, the value of which, 
rf course, mainly depends on the sincerity of the reprover. 

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

From Loretto, the travellers proceeded to Ancona and 
Ravenna, and in the latter place a spectacle was witnessed 
which Lady Blessington has described in her published diary ; 
but one very striking 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 
cause of the desertion of the silent and solitary city through 
which we were pacing, and vainly did we look around in search 
of some one of whom to demand an explanation of it ; when 
on turning the comer of a larger street or place than we had 
hitherto passed, the mystery was solved in a manner that 
shocked our feelings not a little ; for we suddenly came al- 
most in personal contact with the bodies of three men hang- 
ing from bars erected for the purpose of suspending them. 
Never did I behold so fearful a sight ! The ghastly faces 
were rendered still more appalling by the floating matted locks 



128 VISIT TO PADUA. 

and long beards ; which, as the bodies were agitated] inj 
movement by the wind, moved backward and forward. Tl 
eyes seemed starting from their sockets, and the tongues pr 
truded from the distended lips, as if in horrid mockery. 
felt transfixed by the terrible sight, from which I could n 
avert my gaze ; and each movement of the bodies seemed I 
invest them with some new features of horror. A party • 
soldiers of the Pope guarded the place of execution, ai 
paced up and down with gloomy looks, in which fear m 
more evident than disgust. Within view of the spot stoc 
the tomb of Dante, whose * Inferno ' offers scarcely a mot 
hideous picture than the one presented to our contemphtioi 
The papal uniform, too, proclaiming that the deaths of tha 
unfortunate men had been inflicted by order of him who pi^ 
fessed to be the vicar of the Father of Mercy on earth, add< 
to the horror of the sight."* 

Lady Blessington informed me there was another perao 
who witnessed this horrid spectacle, and who was more strong! 
affected by it than any of the party. That person was a nob 
Marquis, of some celebrity in Ireland, who, traveUing tl 
same route as the Blessingtons, had left his own caleche, ac 
entered that of Liord and Lady Blessington ; and beholdii] 
the dead bodies suspended from the gallows, became dead 
pale, and almost insensible. 

Ferrara and Padua were next visited by the Blessingtoo 
on their route to Venice. In the latter city they fixi 
their residence for several weeks ; and the journals of Lai 
Blessington abound with evidence of the excellent use a] 
made of her time and talents, in visiting remarkable moo^ 
ments, and recording her observations. 

At Venice, the Blessingtons again made the acquaiotaiD 
of their old friend, Walter Savage Landor. Verona wi 
next visited by them, on their route to Milan. 
* The Idler in Italy, voL iii. p. 33. 




THE BLBSSINGTONS AT VENICE. 1^9 

In her diary, she speaks of having spent several hours in 
the Ambrosian library, conducted through it by the Abb^ 
Bentivoglio, a man of great erudition, whom Lady Bless- 
iDgton had known in Naples, a friend of the good Arch- 
bishop of Tarento. The library contains 50,000 volumest 
and 10,000 manuscripts; and among its treasures, the *' Vir- 
gil*' that had belonged to Petrarch, in which is his note to 
Laura. The next object that excited Lady Blessington's at- 
tention, was a lock of the golden hair of Lucretia Boi^gia, the 
daughter of Alexander the Sixth. Onoe before, she saw a 
lock of that same golden hair on the breast of Byron, consist- 
ing of about twenty fair hairs, resembling fine threads of gold, 
which he had obtained from the ringlet at the Ambrosian 
fibrary, and always wore. 

Nine or ten letters from Lucretia Borgia to the Cardinal 
Bembo 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, by the Abb^ Bentivoglio, of the 
Ambrosian library, a descendant of the Bembo famQy. 

There is a remarkable reference to the hair of Lucretia 
Borgia in the '* New Monthly Magazine :" — 

" Auburn is a rare and glorious colour, and I suspect will 
always be more admired by us of the North, where the fair 
complexions 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 external beauty, both seem to have preferred it to 
golden, notwithstanding the popular cry in the other's 
favour : unless indeed the hair they speak of is too dark in 
its ground for auburn. 

" Perhaps the true auburn is something more lustrous 
throughout, and more metillic than this. The cedar, with 
the bark stripped, looks more like it. At all events, that it is 

VOL. I. K 



130 THE BLESSINGTONS AT MILAN. 

not the golden bair 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 solitaiy hair 
of the famous Lucrctia Borgia, whom Ariosto has so praised 
for her virtues, and whom the rest of the world is so con- 
tented to call a wretch. It was given me by a wild aiv 
quaintance, who stole it from a lock of her hair presarved in 
the Ambrosian library at Milan. On the envelope he put a 
happy motto, — 

" * And bsauty draws us with a single 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 ap- 
pearance in the mass. Lucretia, beautiful in every respect, 
must have looked like a vision in a picture — an angd from 
the sun."* 

As an example of the happy style, and just views, and 
correct judgment of Lady Blessington, I may cite the foDow- 
ing passage, from her Italian Diary, in reference to a visit to 
the subterranean shrine of St. Carlo Borromeo, in the 
Duomo, the sarcophagus of rock cr}'stal 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 
disposed to underviduc the canonized saint, must fed a 
reverence for the memory of the man, whose patriotism, 
courage, and charity, entitle his name to the esteem of pos- 
terity. Elevated to the rank of Cardinal at the early age of 
twenty-two, his conduct justified the partiality of his unde, 
Pope Pius IV., who conferred this dignity on him. As a 
scholar, no less than as a divine, was this excellent man 

* New Monthly Magazine, part iii. 1825. 




ON THEIR WAY HOMEWARDS. 131 

distinguished ; but his courageous and uDceasing exertions 
during the plague that ravaged his country in 1576, are 
beyond all praise. These are remembered with a feeling of 
fivdy admiration, that the costly trappings and brilliant dia- 
monds 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 
monument of his virtues — the feme 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 sarco- 
phagus of rock crystal, to the glory of him, who, actuated by 
his deep fidth in it, was enabled to fulfil duties from which 
the less pious and charitable shrank back in terror." 

From Milan the Blessingtons turned their steps at length 
in a homeward direction, at least, towards Paris, and at the 
dose of 1828, once more found themselves in their old 
quarters at Genoa. 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 remembered to have seen him, dis- 
tinctly recalled him to her memory. 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." 

" I sat on the chair," she observes, " 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 
graphic description of the scene when, becalmed in the gulf of 
Genoa, the day he sailed for Greece, he returned and walked 
through the rooms of his deserted dwelling, filled with me- 
lancholy forebodings. He had hoped to have found in it her 

K 2 



132 ON THEIR WAT HOMEWARDS. 

whom he was destined never more to behold, that fair 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, bad 
been placed in a travelling carriage, while almost in a state of 
insensibility, and was journeying towards Bologna, little con- 
scious that he whom she would have given all that she pos- 
sessed to see once more, was looking on the chamber she had 
left, and the flowers she had loved ; his mind filled with t 
presentiment that they should never meet again. 

" Such is one of the bitter consequences resulting from 
the violation of ties, never severed without retrUmtion"* 

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, in an extraordinary de- 
gree, Byron, 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 Bless! ngton. 

One episode more in the Italian journals is narrated, and 
we come to the concluding line ; — " We have bidden £arewdl 
to our old and well-remembered haunts at Genoa ; and to* 
morrow we leave it, and perhaps for ever !" 

Here ends the second phase in the career 1 have before 
referred to — the Italian life of Lady Blessington. 

* Tlie Idler in Italy, vol. iii. p. 365. 




133 



CHAPTER VI. 

RETURN 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 
expiration 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." 

The Blessingtons took up their abode in the Hotel de 
Terasse, Rue de Rivoli. After some time, they rented the 
splendid mansion of the Marechal Ney, in the Rue de 
Bourbon, the principal apartments of which looked on the 
Seine, and commanded a delightful view of the Tuillerie 
Gardens. This hotel was a type of the splendour 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 splendour 
of its decorations and furniture, was oh a scale of magni- 
ficence more commensurate with the income of a prince, of 
some vielle cour, than with that of an Irish landlord. 

With the aid of "those magicians," the French uphol- 
sterers, the Hotel Ney soon assumed a wonderful aspect of 
renewed splendour. The principal drawing-room had a carpet 
of dark crimson, with a gold-coloured border, with wreaths of 
flowers of brightest hues. The curtains were of crimson 



134 RESIDENCE IN PARIS. 

satin, with embossed borders of gold-colour, and the sofas, 
bergeres, fauteuils, and chairs, were richly carved tod gilt, 
and covered with satin, to correspond with the curtuDS. 
Gilt consoles^ and chiffonieres, on which marble tops were 
placed wherever they could be disposed ; large mirrors, gor- 
geous 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 
splendour 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 

splendour We feel like children with a new plaything 

in our beautiful 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 anything like the Hotel Key."* 

At length, "the scheme laid by Lord Blessington" to 
surprise his Lady — " for he delighted in such plans" — was 
revealed, on the doors of the chambre a coucher and dressing- 
room being thrown open. "The whole fitting up," says 
Lady Blessington, " is in exquisite taste ; and, as usual, when 
my most giJlant 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 sculp- 
tured that every feather is in alto-relievo, and looks as fleecy 
as those of tlie 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, pide blue silk curtains, lined with white, arc hung, 
which, when drawn, conceal the recess altogether." 
♦ Tlir Klkr in Franco, vol. i. p. 117. 




RESIDENCE IN PARIS. 135 

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 bergere. An escritoire occupies one panel, a book- 
stand the other, and a rich coffer for jewels forms a pendant 
to a dmilar 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 correspond with the decorations of the 
chamber, complete the furniture. The hangings of the 
dressing-room are of blue silk, covered with lace, and trimmed 
with rich frills of the same material, as are also the dressing 
stands and chaire longue, and the carpet and lamp are similar 
to those of the bed. A toilette-table stands before the win- 
dow, and small jardinieres are placed in front of each panel of 
looking-glass, but so low, as not to impede a fiill view of the 
person dressing, in this beautiful little sanctuary. The salle 
de bain is draped with white muslin, trimmed with lace ; and 
the sofa and the bergere are covered with the same. The 
bath is of marble, inserted in the floor, with which its surface 
is level. On the ceiling over is a painting of Flora, scat- 
tering flowers with one hand, while ifrom the other is sus- 
pended an alabaster lamp, in the form of a lotus." 

Poor Lady Blessington, summing up the wonderful effects 
of the various embellishments and decorations, the sensations 
|Ht)duced by such luxuriant furniture, coffers for jewels and 
India shawls, gorgeous hangings, and glittering ornaments 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 frame- 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 



136 RESIDENCE IN PARIS. 

the means were derived, that were squandered in luxury in 
foreign lands, luxury on a par with any oriental voluptuous- 
ness of which we read, in the adornment of palaces. 

Lord Blessington, when fitting up the Hotel Ney in this 
sumptuous 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 6tting 
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 Fontainbleau, soon after the abdi* 
cation of the Emperor, Ilaydon visited the palace, and thus 
describes the magnificence which was exhibited in the deco- 
ration and furniture of that recent sojourn of imperial great- 
ness : — 

**The chateau I found superb, beyond any palace near 
Paris. It was furnished with 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 
golden 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 magnificent mirror, and the room and 
ceiling were one mass of golden splendour. The panels of 
the sides were decorated in chiaroscuro 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 apart- 
ments." 

Shortly after the arrival of the Blessingtons in P^uris, a 
letter w^as received from Lord Rosslyn, urging the attendance 
of Lord Blessington in his place in parliament, and his sup- 
port of the Emancipation Act. 

Lord Blessington, on receipt of Lord Rosslyn*s letter, im- 




LORD BLESSINGTON SUPPORTS THE EMANCIPATION ACT. 137 

mediately proceeded from Paris to London, expressly to give 
his vote in favour 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 persona] comfort ; but never did he consider self when a 
duty was to be performed. I wish the question was carried, 
and he safely 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 ?"* 

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

I never saw him to more advantage, or more deeply inte- 
rested on any public matter, than he seemed to be in the 
measure he had come over to support, and which he deemed 
of the highest 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 country, and for his countrymen. 

The following statement of his opinions on the means of 
bettering the condition of the country, was made to me at 
Naples, four years previously to the period above-mentioned, 
in a postscript to a letter dated the 1 5th of August, 1824, 
accompanying one of introduction to Lord Strangford, the 
British Minister at Constantinople. However impracticable some 
of his proposed remedial measures may have been, the honesty 
of purpose in which they originated was beyond all doubt. 

" I wish you would, at Constantinople or Smyrna, turn 
your thoughts to the subject of Ireland ; but it is a difficult 
task to encounter, as you say, for an Irishman indignant at 
many acts 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 
* The Idler in France, toI. ii, p. 6. 



138 VIEWS ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF IRELAND. 

and talent. England has a superabundancy of the one, aDd a 
sufficiency of the other, if she will apply her materials to our 
good. Send the Parliament back to Dublin, and that dty 
will, perhaps, flourish again ; but I fear the same effect cx>iild 
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 Eng- 
land, the people would have cause for dissatisfaction ; and an 
Irishman's mode of expressing it, is, blows, and not words. 
Let the Roman Catholic Church of Ireland separate itself in 
toto from the Pope, and receive from the British Parliament 
a respectable revenue. Establish a better mode of educating 
the priesthood, take away the tithes, and pay the reformed 
church out of the public purse. Admit Catholics to the houses 
of parliament, and the bench, at the same time establishing 
throughout Ireland an extensive gendarmerie, not for political, 
but policial purposes. Make the nobility and gentry live on 
their estates, or sell them. Give a grant sufficient to cut 
canals in all directions. Establish colonics of industrious 
citizens in what are now barren districts. Let there be neither 
ribbonmen, freemasons, or orangemen. Let the offenders 
against the public peace, of whatever party, be sent to the 
colonies. Let the 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 cau de Melisse in water, and rode out, 
accompanied by his servant, in the heat of the day, abng 
the Champs Ellys^s. 

He had not proceeded far, when he was suddenly at- 
tacked by apoplexy, was carried home in a state of insensibi- 
lity, and all remedial means were resorted to in vain. 




LORD blessington's dbath. 189 

On the 23d of May, 1829, thus suddenly died Charles 
James Gardiner, second Lord Blessington, in his forty-sixth 
year. He was the only surviving son by the first marriage of 
Viscount Mountjoy. 

At the age of sixteen he succeeded his father, who was slain 
at New Ross, June 5, 1798. He was elected a representative 
Peer for Ireland about 1809, and was advanced to his Earl- 
dom June 22, 1816. 

Lord Blessington's remains were conveyed to Ireland, and 
deposited in the family vault, in St. Thomas's Church, 
Marlborough Street, where his father's were biuried ; those 
also of his first wife, of his son and heir, the Hon. Luke 
William Gardiner, of his sister Margaret, wife of the Hon. 
John Hely Hutchinson ; of his sister Louisa, wife of the Bight 
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 Blessington family. 

To the loved Memory 
Of the HONOURABLE MARGARET, Wife of 

JOHN HELY HUTCHINSON, Esq., 

Daughter of Luke Gardiner, Viscount Moimtjoy, 

Who fell at New Ross, m 1798, 

At the head of his Regiment : 

She died October 13, 1825, aged 29 years. 

The remains of the husband of this lady, the Eight Hon. 
John Hely Hutchinson, third Earl of Donoughmore, were 
deposited in the same vault, September 17, 1851. The Earl 
died in his sixty-fourth year. 

In one of Mr. Lander's unpublished " Imaginary Conver- 
sations," in which the discoursers are Lord Mountjoy, the 
father of the Earl of Blessington, and Lord Edward Fitz- 
grrald, there are two notes written in 1829, immediately after 



140 LORD BLESSINGTONS DEATH. 

the death of Lord Blessington. In the first note Mr. Laodor 
observes — 

" Lord Mountjoy was killed in the beginning of the b- 
surrection of 1798; he left an only son, the£arl of Bless- 
ington, who voted for the Union, in the hope that it would be 
beneficial to Ireland,* though the project had suspended the 
erection of several streets and squares on his estate in Dublin^ 
and it was proved to him, that he must lose by it tw*o-third& 
of his rent roll; he voted likewise in defence of Queea 
Caroline, seeing the insufficiency of the evidence against her, 
and the villany of the law officers of the Crown : be esteemed 
her little, and was personally attached to the King. For these 
votes, and for all he ever gave, he deserves a place, as weB as 
his father, in the memory of both nations." 

The second note thus refers to the recent death of Lord 
Blessington. 

" Scarcely is the ink yet dry upon my paper, when in- 
telligence reaches me of the sudden death of Lord Bless- 
ington. 

*' Adieu, most pleasant companion ! Adieu, most warm- 
hearted friend ! Often and long, and never with slight emo- 
tion, shall I think of the many hours we have spent toge- 
ther; the light seldom ending gravely; the graver always 
lightly. 

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

* The young Lord's name does not appear in the list of Peers who 
voted for the Union, either in Barrington's work, or the Reports of 
the Debates in Parliament of the time. Lord Moun^oy was then onljr 
eighteen years of age. 




LETTERS OF MR. LANDOfi. 141 

On the news of the death of Lord Blessington reach- 
ing Mr. Landor, he addressed the following lines to the 
Countess : — 

" Baths of Lucca, June 6. 
" Bear Lady Blessington, 
" If I defer it any longer, 1 know not how or when I shall 
be able to fulfil so melancholy a duty. The whole of this day 
I have spent in that torpid depression, which you may feel 
without a great calamity, and which others can never feel at all. 
Every one that knows me, knows the sentiments I bore towards 
that disinterested, and upright, and kind-hearted man,thanwhom 
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, 

" W. S. Landor." 

In another letter to Lady Blassington, Mr. Landor thus 
expressed himself on the same subject. 

" July 21, 1829. 
" Dear Lady Blessington, 
" Too well was I aware how great my pain must be in 
reading your letter. So many hopes are thrown away from us 
hy this cruel and unexpected blow. I cannot part with the one 
of which the greatness and .the justness of your grief almost 
deprives me, that you wiU recover your health and spirits. If 
they could return at once, or very soon, you would be un- 
worthy of that love which the ^kindest and best of human beings 
lavished on you. Longer life was not necessary for him to es- 
timate your affection for him, and those graces of soul which 
your beauty in its brightest day but faintly shadowed. He 
told me that you were requisite to his happiness, and that he 
could not live without you. Suppose then he had survived 



142 LETTER OF DR. RICHARDSON. 

you^ his departure in that case could not have been so etsy u 
it was, unconscious of pain, of giving it, or leaving it behind. 
I am comforted at the reflection that so gentle a heart re- 
ceived no affliction from the anguish and despair of those be 
loved. 

" You have often brought me over to your opinion after 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. Landoe.** 

Dr. Richardson, the Eastern traveller, and former ti»* 
veiling physician of Lord Blessington, in writing to Lady 
Blessington from Ramsgate, the 25th of April, 1832, on the 
death of her husband, says — 

^^ Your late Lord is never absent to my mind ; daring life 
he occupied the largest share of my affections, his friendship 
was my greatest honour 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 earthly things — till we meet again in another and a 
better world. 

" Yours, my dear Lady Blessington, 
" Very sincerely, 

" R. RiCHABDSON.** 

At the time of the decease of Lord Blessington, his aflbin 
were greatly embarrassed. The enormous expenditure in 
France and Italy, and in London also, previously to his de* 
parture for the Continent in 1822, was not met by the rental 
of his vast estates. 

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



THE BLESSINGTON ESTATES. 143 

the act was estimated, in 1846, at £22,718 14^. 7d. But 
when his Lordship succeeded to the title and estates, the rental 
TO about £30,000 a year. 

In 1814, he sold a valuable property, in the barony of 
Strabane, in the County of Tyrone, the rental of which was 
very considerable. The remaining estates, by mismanage- 
ment, constant changes of agents, the pressure of mortgages, 
aDd other causes of ruin, arising out of absenteeism, impro- 
vidence, and embarrassments, became much reduced. 

The extent of the Mountjoy territwy in Tyrone and Do- 
negal, into which Lord Blessington came to possession, may 
be imagined, when the extreme length of one of the Tyrone 
properties could be described as " a ride of several miles." 

The three estates of Lord Blessington, in Tyrone, were the 



1st. The Newtown Stewart estate, called Mountjoy Forest, 
on which property the residence of Lord Blessington, 
''the Cottage," was situated, which was sold in 1846 or 
1847. 

2d. The Mountjoy estate, near Killymoon, produced £5000 
or £6000 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 pro- 
perty," was sold four or five years ago. 

3rd. Aughertain estate, near Clogher, the first portion of 
the estreated Ulster lands which came into the possession 
of one of the earliest adventurers in Ireland of the Stewart 
fiunily, comprised fomieen town lands; it was sold for 
£98»00O. 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 anoth^ estate of the 
Mountjoy family, named " Conroy ;" but this valuable pro- 



144 LORD blessington's pecunury accommodations. 

perty had been sold long previously to the death of Lord 
Blessington. 

Id 1813, Lord Blessington obtained advances of money 
from the Globe InsurancM3 Company, for which he gave them 
an annuity of £526 for one young life. 

In 1813, he got money again from the same Company, for 
which he gave an annuity of £320 for the life of A. Mocatta^ 
a youth. 

In 1813, he got money from the Company, for whidi he 
gave an annuity of £510 for the life of William Coles. 

In 1813, he obtained money from the same Company, for 
which he gave an annuity of £527 for the life of A. Angelo 
Tremonando. 

In 1814, he obtained money from A. Tremonando and 
gave a life annuity for the same of £880. 

In 1814, for other pecuniary accommodation, he gave 
an annuity to Alexander Nowell, for the lives of Franca 
and Henry Josias Stracy, and Rev. T. Whittaker, of 
£1000. 

In 1816, he obtained money advances from Henry Faunt- 
leroy, for which he gave an annuity for the lives of John 
Fauntleroy, and William James Watson, of £500. 

In 1817, he borrowed largely money on mortgages, and 
in that year he raised on mortgage to Conyngham M' Alpine, 
Esq., £11,076. 

In 1S21, he borrowed from the Westminster Insurance 
Company, on mortgage, £25,000. 

In 1825, he borrowed from the same Company, on mort- 
gage, £5000. 

In 1323, he borrowed from Thomas Tatham, Esq.^'^OD 
mortgage, £4000. 

The following items give the principal amounts of an- 
nuities, mortgages, judgments, and other debts, legacies, sums 
of money, and incumbrances charged upon, or affecting the 




CHARGES ON THE ESTATES. 145 

estates of Charles John, Earl of Blessington, at the time 
of his decease. 

Mortgages from 1783 to 1823 inclusive, £47,846. 

L^acies of the late Earl, £23,353. 

L^acy to the Honourable Harriet Gardiner, to be raised 
only on certain contingencies set forth in the will, £9230. 

Setdement on marriage of Lady Harriet with Count 
FOrsay, £40,000. 

Judgments, £13,268. 

Bond debts, £10,357. 

Promissory notes, letters of acknowledgments and I. O. U.'s, 
from 1808 to 1828, £10,122. 

Simple contract debts due, or claimed to be due, to parties 
bjT the Earl of Blessington, £6878. 

Total of debts, incumbrances, and legacies of the Earl of 
Blessington, set forth in the fourth schedule, £161,044. 

But to this sum there is to be added, that of annuities given 
by Lord Blessington to various parties, bankers, Jews, and 
others, to the amount of £7887. 

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 £20,184. 

An act of Parliament (Vict. 9, cap. 1) was passed the 
l8th of June, 1846, " for vesting the real estates of the Eail 
of Blessington in Trustees for sale, for the payment of his 
debts, and for other purposes." 

The act sets out with reciting a deed of settlement, dated 
3rd 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 Faxmtleroy, the banker, was appointed a trustee 
ovCTall the Tyrone estates, for the purpose of seeming to Lord 
Blessington's son, Charles John Gardiner, a sum of £12,000 

VOL. I. L 



146 DEEDS OF SETTLEMENT. 

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 
February, 1S18, 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 marriage taking place ; which marriage even- 
tually took place the 16th February, 1818. 

The will of the Earl, dated 31st August, 1823, is next 
recited, bequeathing " £2000 British per annum to Lady 
Blessington (inclusive of £1000 settled on her at the time of 
his marriage), to Robert Power £1000, and to Mary Anne 
Power £1000 ; to his daughter, Lady Harriet, all his estales 
in the county of Dublin, subjected to certain chaiges," 
provided she inter-married with his " friend and intended soft- 
in-law, Alfred D'Orsay ;" and in the event of her refusal, 
he bequeathed to her only the sum of £10,000. To his 
daughter Emily Rosalie Gardiner, commonly called Latdj 
Mary Gardiner, whom he hereby acknowledged and ad(q>ted 
as his daughter, he lefl the sum of £20,000; but in ctsc 
she married Alfred D'Orsay, he bequeathed all his Dublio 
estates to her, chargeable, however, with the payment of the 
annuity before-mentioned to Lady Blessington. To his soi 
Charles John Gardiner, he left all his estates in Tyrone, subjed 
to certain charges, also the reversion of his Dublin estatea 
in case of failure of male issue, lawfully begotten, of sm 
daughters. 

[It is to be borne in mind, when this will was made, tb 
3 1st August, 1823, his Lordship's daughter Harriet, whoti 
marriage lie provided for, being bom the 3rd August, 1812 
was just (ileven years of age.] 

The act then goes on to recite a deed of settlement maA 
in contemplation of the marriage between Count and Counter 
D'Orsay, dated 2nd November, 1827. The parties to thii 




DEEDS OF SETTLEMENT. 147 

deed being Lord Blessington of the first part, Count D'Orsay 
of tbe second part. Lady Harriet Gardiner of the third part, 
the Due de Guiche, Lieutenant-General and Premier (ccuyer) 
of his Royal Highness the Dauphin, and Robert Power, for- 
Hiedy Captain of the 2nd Regiment of Foot, then residing at 
Moun^oy Forest, of the fourth* part. 

The deed is stated to be for the purpose of making a pro- 
vision for the said Alfred, Count D'Orsay, and Lady Harriet 
Gardiner, who is described as *^ then an infant of the age of 
ffUen years^ or thereabouts.*' 

Lord Blessington bound himself by this deed to pay, within 
twdve months after the solemnization of this marriage, the 
som of £20,000 British to the trustees, the Due de Quiche 
md Robert Power ; and bound his executors, within twelve 
months after his decease, to pay said trustees £20,000 more, 
to be invested in the funds, and the interest thereof to be 
paid to Count D'Orsay, and after his decease, to the said Lady 
Harriet during his life ; the principal at her death to go to any 
issue by that marriage, and in the event of failure of issue, 
to be held in trust 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 life-time of the said Earl, of 
there being no issue by that marriage, and of their being se- 
parated 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 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 Gardiner, had filed a bill against Lady Blessington, Count 

♦ The date of the deed of separation between the Count and Coun- 
tess D'Orsay, is the 15th and 16th February, 1838. 

L 2 



148 BEQUESTS OF LORD BLE8SIN6T0N. 

and Countess D*Orsay, in 1831 ; that the will was declared bj 
a decree in Chancery, well proven, and that the trusts therdn 
specified should be carried into execution, that receivers should 
be appointed, that Luke Norman should continue agent of 
the estates, and that an account should be taken of all dditi 
and incumbrances on the same; that the 18th June, 1834, 
the Master in Chancery reported on the charges and debts oo 
the estates, and on the 14th of July, 1834, an order was made 
directing a sum of £500 to be paid yearly to the Comit 
D'Orsay, and £450 to the Countess D'Orsay, for their miinp. 
tenance. 

Various bequests of his Lordship are recited in this docu- 
ment : to Lady Blessing ton he bequeathed the lease of his home 
in London (in St. James's Square) ; at the expiration of thft 
lease, the furniture, books, &c., were to be removed to Mount- 
joy Forest 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 para* 
phernalia and plate," he left also to his wife ; to bis son John 
" his plate, wardrobe, swords, &c. &c." He appointed Alfred 
D*Orsay guardian of his son Charles John Gardiner, till he 
came of age, the previous settlement of £12,000 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 Harriet guardian of his daughter, ooin* 
monly called Lady Mary." To his sister, Miss Harriet Gar- 
diner, he left an annuity for life of £500. 

A deed of separation between the Coimt and Counten 
D'Orsay is referred to, setting forth that Count D'Orsay had 
granted several annuities for his life to his creditors, with 
power to repurchase the same, and had charged the interest 
on the two sums of £20,000 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 £23,600. 




ACT FOR SALE OF BLBSSINGTON ESTATES. 149 

That Countess D'Orsay had also incurred some debts, and 
leqoired a sum of £10,000, or thereabouts, to discharge the 
flune ; that Charles John Gardiner had incurred some debts, 
aecured by judgments on the Tyrone estates, amounting to 
£10,000 ; and that Countess D'Orsay had entered into an 
agreement to purchase all the interests and claims of the 
several parties to whom bequests were made, and debts were 
due, and that to pay off said incumbrances and liabilities, a 
sum of £120,500, applicable to the purchase of Count 
iyOrsay*s annuities, and some other purposes, would be re- 
quired. By a subsequent agreement the latter sum was raised 
to £180,000, " and such other sums as might be found ne- 
cessary," among other objects for securing to Count D'Orsay, 
witiun a period of ten years, a sum of £42,000. 

Eventually, by two orders of the Court of Chancery, one 
of the 6th February, 1845, and another the 13th February, 
1846, it was decreed, the trustees, when the sanction of an 
act should be prociu-ed, would be empowered to make sales of 
several estates to the amount of £350,000, to pay off all in- 
cumbrances and claims. 

The act for the sale of the Blessington estates was passed 
io 1846. Its provisions have been duly carried into execution. 
Of the vast estates of the Mountjoys there remains a small 
remnant of landed property in Tyrone, to be still disposed of. 

Lord Blessington by his will put an end to the wealth, 
honour, and territorial greatness of the ancient race of the 
Mountjoys. 

Thus passes away the glory of " the English Pale" in 
Ireland. 



150 



i 



CHAPTER VII. 

CONVERSATIONAL POWERS OF DISTINGUISHED PEBSOliS— 
SEAMORE PLACE AND GORE HOUSE LITERARY CIRCL0-* • 
RIVAL SALONS OF HOLLAND HOUSE, AND REUNIONS |T I 
THE COUNTESS OF CHARLEVILLE's — RESIDENCE OF LAW 
BLESSINGTON AT SEAMORE PLACE FROM 1832 TO 183^, 
AND AT GORE HOUSE, KENSINGTON GORE, FROM 18S6 
TO APRIL, 1849. 

About twenty years ago there were three circles of fashiombk 
society in London, wherein the intellectual celebrities of the 
tin)c did chiefly congregate. Three very remarkable wonM 
presided over them ; the Countess of Blessington, the Coua- 
tess of Charleville, and Lady Holland. The qualities, meotal 
and personal, of the ladies, differed very much : but thflir 
tastes concurred in one particular ; each of them sou^t to 
make society in her house as agreeable as possible, to bring 
together as much ability, wit, and intellectual acquirements, aft 
could be assembled and associated advantageously — and eo- 
deavourcd, in her circle, to make men of letters, art, or science, 
who had been previously unacquainted, or estranged, or dis^ 
posed to stand aloof from their fellows, think kindly 9JdA 
favourably of one another. I am not quite sure, howevtfi 
that a very kindly feeling towards each other prevafled among 
the rival queens of London literary society. 

The power and influence of Lady Blessington's inteDectuil 
qualities consisted chiefly in her conversational taloats. K 
would bo difficult to point out any particular excellence, and 




LADT BLBSSINGTON's INTELLECTUAL QUALITIES. 161 

to say that one constituted the peculiar charm of her con- 
versation. 

It was something of frankness and archness, without the 
least mixture of ill nature, in everything she said, of enjoue- 
maU in every thought she uttered, of fullness of confidence 
in the outspeaking of her sentiments, and the apparent 
absence of every arriere pens^e in her mind, while she 
Inched out unpremeditated ideas, and hon mots spontaneously 
clidted, in such joyous tones, that it might be said she seldoin 
tdked without a smile — at least on her lips; it was something 
of felicity in her mode of expression, and freedom in it from 
d reserve, superadded to the e£fect produced by singular 
kivdiness of face, expressiveness of look and gesture, and 
gracefulness of form and manner, that constituted the peculiar 
duurm of the conversation of Lady Blessington. 

She seldom spoke at any length, never bored her hearers 
with disquisitions, nor dogmatized on any subject, and very 
iirely played the learned lady in her discourse. She con- 
versed with all around her in ''a give and take" mode of 
interchange of sentiments, that reminded one of Luttrell's 
description of the talk of his hero, Charles, in '' Advice to 
Julia:" 

" Seldom embarrassed, never slow, 
His maxim always * touch and go ;* 
From grave to gay, he ran with ease. 
Secure alike, in both to please." 

She expressed her opinions in short, smart, and telling sen- 
tences ; brilliant things were thrown off with the utmost ease; 
one hon mot followed another, without pause or effort, for a 
Qunute or two, and then, while her wit and humour were 
producing their desired effect, she would take care, by an apt 
word or gesture, provocative of mirth and conamunicativeness, 
to draw out the persons who were best fitted to shine in 



152 LADY BLESSINGTON's INTELLECTUAL aUALTTIES. 

company, and leave no intelligence, however humble, without 
affording it an opportunity and an encouragement to inab 
some display, even in a single trite remark, or tdling obMr- 
vation, in the course of conversation. 

How well Lady Blessington understood the exceDencMi 
and art of brilliant and effective conversation, may be notieed 
in the following observation : — 

'' The conversation of Iiamartine," says Lady BlessiDgtoa» 
'* is lively and brilliant. He is, I am persuaded, as amiibk 
as he is clever, with great sensibility, which is indicated h 
his countenance, as well as it is proved in his woriu; he 
possesses sufficient tact to conceal, in general society, evojf 
attribute peculiar to the poetical temperament, and to appor 
only as a well-informed, well-bred, sensible man of the iroiU. 
This tact is probably the result of his diplomatic career, whiobi 
compelling a constant friction with society, has induced the 
adoption of its usages.'** 

We are told that " books which make one think," are inoii 
valued by people of high intelligence ; but conversation whicfc 
makes one think, I do not imagine was the descriptioD ol 
discourse which would tell best in the salons, even of Gon 
House, when it was most frequented by eminent literary men 
artists, and state politicians. Conversation, which makes oiK 
laugh, which tickles the imagination, which drives rapid!} 
pleasantly, and lightly over the mind, and makes no deep im 
pression on the road of the understanding — which produce 
c)l)livion of passing cares, and amuses for the time being — i 
the enjoyment in reality that is sought in what is called tb 
luiUiant circles of literature and of art — h-la-mode : 

" "NVTicrc — while men sneered, or quizzed, or flirted. 
The world — half angry, was diverted." 

How does the conversation of such circles tally with the tast 
f >r reading referred to in the following passage ? — 
* The Mlrr in Italy, Par. ed. p. 372. 1839. 




LADY BLBSSINGTON'S INTELLECTUAL QUAUTIBS. 153 

" I, for my owd part/* says Archdeacon Hare, " have ever 
gained the most profit, and the most pleasure also, from the 
books which have made me think the most ; and when the 
difficulties have once been overcome, these are the books 
which have struck the deepest root, not only in my memory 
•Qd understanding, but likewise in my affections. If you 
would fertilize the mind, the plough 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 reading, that is, of reading hastily, 
thoughtlessly, indiscriminately, unfruitfuUy, when most books 
are forgotten as soon as they are finished, and very many 
Mooer, 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 arouse and attract the stronger, and 
iocrciise 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 be studiously difficult, and to tie 
bots 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 their way through obstacles 
which would have dammed them in. Tacitus could not 
write like Caesar. Niebuhr could not write like Gold- 
smith."* 

Goldsmith's conversation, however, was not calculated to 
make men in society either think or laugh much. 

" Mr. Fox," wc are told, in a recent biography, " declared 
that he learnt more from conversation than all the books he 
had ever read. It often happens, indeed, that a short remark 
in conversation contains the essence of a quarto volume."t 
♦ Guesses at Truth. f Moore's Memoirs. 



151 LADY BLESSINGTON's 1NTELX.ECTUAL QUALmSS. 

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 condeDsing 
thoughts, and producing them in terse, vigorous, and happQy- 
selected terms, but she made a study of saying memoraUe 
things in short smart sentences, of conveying in a remark some 
idea of the import, essence, and merits of an entire book. 

Lord John RusseU, in his Preface to the fifth volume of 
Moore's " Memoirs," makes an observation, very just and sin- 
gularly felicitous in its expression, in reference to the conver- 
sational 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 conversatioib 
The one is like a rocket in a dark air, which shoots at onoe 
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 colour to many forms and many hues. 

'^The great delight of Sidney Smith was to produce a 
succession of ludicrous images ; these followed each other 
with a rapidity that scarcely left time to laugh ; he himsdf 
laughing louder and with more enjoyment than any one. 
This electric contact of mirth came and went with the occa- 
sion ; it cannot be repeated or reproduced ; anything 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 best informed. A most competent judge in this matter 
has said, ' Till subdued by age and iUness, his conversation 
was more brilliant and instructive than that of any human 
being I ever had the good fortune to be acquainted with/ 
His stores of learning were vast, and of those kinds which, 
both in serious and in light conversation, are most available/' 




LADY BLESSINGTON's INTSLLECTUAL QUAUTIE8. 155 

It would be idle to compare the conversatioDal talents of 
Lady BlessiDgton with those of Sidney Smith or Sir Jame 
Mackintosh, in any respect but one, namely, the power of 
making light matters appear of moment in society, and dull 
thii^ brilliant. 

The perfection of conversational talent is said '' to be able 
to say something on any subject that may be started, without 
betraying any anxiety or impatience to say it." The Prince 
de Ligne, a great authority in conversational matters, said, 
"Ce qui coute le plus pour j^ire, c'est de cacher que Ton 
s'eonuie. Ce n'est pas en amusant qu'on plait. On 
n'amuse pas mSme si Ton s'amuse ; c'est en faisant croire 
que Ton s'amuse." 

Madame de Stael spoke of conversation emphatically as an 
art: — 

" To succeed in conversation, we must possess the tact of 
perceiving clearly, and at every instant, the impression made 
on those with whom we converse ; that which they would 
fain conceal, as well as that which they would willingly ex- 
aggerate — the inward satisfaction of some, the forced smiles 
of others. We must be able to note and to arrest half- 
formed censures as they pass over the countenance of the 
listeners, by hastening to dissipate 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 conversa- 
tion."* 

Of all the women of our age, Madame de Stael was the 
most eminently intellectual. With genius, and judgment, 
and powers of mental application of the highest order, she 
was imbued with poetry and enthusiasm, she was of a sanguine, 
impulsive nature, wonderfully eloquent, chivalrous, patriotic, 
a lover of liberty and glory, and withal womanly in her feel- 

* L'Allemagne. 



156 BYRON's opinion of MADjLME OB 8TAEL. 

ings and affections. She delighted in society ; with her laige * 
heart and well-stored head, and remarkable powers of conver- 
sation, it is no wonder the circles of a metropolis that was in 
that day the great centre of civilization, should have peculiar 
attractions for her ; Paris, with its brilliant society, where her 
literary reputation had its birth, became her world. She 
exulted in its society, and was the chief grace, glory, and 
ornament of it. 

Byron said to Lady Blessington, that '' Madame de StSd 
was certainly the cleverest, though not the most agreeable 
woman he had ever known ; she declaimed to you instead of 
conversing 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 veiy 
eloquent and fluent, when excited in conversation, her lan- 
guage was sometimes 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 StSel 
for Parisian society. 

The exile of the iUustrious 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 suficring, almost beyond her endurance. With her 
great intellectual resources, her fine heart capable of attaching 
itself to whatever was loveable or excellent, and the power she 
possessed of interesting others, and of giving the tone to 
whatever society she entered ; one would have supposed that 
she, of all people, ought not to have depended for her happi- 




MADAME DB 8TAEL. J 57 

ness upon any clique or association, however brilliant. But 
though she viewed with deep interest and philosophical curi- 
osity every form of human society, she only seems to have 
loved that to which she had been accustomed, and to have 
felt herself at home only in the midst of the bustle and ex- 
citements among which her life had begun. She was not yet 
folly alive to the beauties of nature. 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 Rue de Bac,' she said ; ' I 
would rather live in Paris in a fourth story, and with a hun- 
dred a-year. I do not dissemble : a residence in Paris has 
always appeared to me, under any circumstances, the most 
desirable of all others. French conversation excels nowhere 
except 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 her later years : " An overstimulated 
youth acting on a temperament naturally ardent and im- 
passioned, had probably aggravated these tendencies to a mor- 
bid 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 sustained her existence," 

Madame de Stael had this advantage over all the learned 
and literary women of her time ; — she was born 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 re- 
newed vigour and vitality for the human race, though it ter- 



I 



158 HOLIAND H0U8B. 

minated in a terrible denouement of revolutioDy and widd 
extended frenzy. 

Madame de Stael lacked one great source of influenoe an 
power in conversation, namely, beauty. Her features wei 
flexible, but strongly marked, and somewhat masculine ; b 
her eyes were full of animation » vivacity, and expresuon, an 
her voice was finely modulated and harmonious, pecufiar 
touching and pleasing to the ear ; while her movements we 
graceful and dignified. She entered on life at the beginnii 
of a mighty revolution, with lofty aspirations, and glorious ii 
spirations, animated by enthusiastic feelings of love, of libert; 
of humanity, of glory, and exalted virtue. There was i 
afiectation in these heroic sentiments and chivalrousimagimng 
they were born with her, they were fostered in her, the tim 
in which her lot was cast developed them most fully. 

It would be vain to look for intdlectual power in tl 
literary women of other lands, of our time, that could ha* 
produced " Thoughts on the French Revolution," " T< 
Years of Exile," " Sophia, or Secret Sentiments," " On tl 
Influence of Passions in Individuals and National Happiness 
'' Literature, considered in its connection with Social Instit 
tions," " Delphine," '* Corinne," " Germany," &c. &c. &a 

The labour of her great works on the French Revohitio 
after her return to her beloved Paris, at the period of the n 
toration of Louis the Eighteenth, contributed, it is suppose 
to the breaking down of her health, after a short but mem 
rable career of wonderful literary toil, and application of ti 
mental faculties ; she died in 1817> at the age of fifty-oi 
years. 

Of Holland House society, Mr. Macauley, in an artide 
the " Edinburgh Review," has commemorated the brilliancM 
and Lord John Russell has likewise recorded its attractio 
in terms worthy of a man of letters, and a lover of t 
amenities of literature. In a prefatory notice to one of t 




HOLLAND HOUSE. 169 

Tolumes of " Moore's Memoirs/' he seems to revel in the short 
soatches of literary occupation which he has indulged in, at 
the expense of politics and affairs of state, when he describes 
the conversational powers of Lord Holland, and the display of 
them, in those circles which his Lordship and his friend 
Moore were in the habit of frequenting. He characterises 
the charms of Lord Holland's conversation, as combining a 
variety of exceUencies of disposition, as well as of mental en- 
dowments, 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 friend- 
liness of intercourse in society. " He won," says Lord John, 
'^without seeming to court, he instructed without seeming to 
teach, and he amused without labouring to be witty. But of 
the charm which belonged to Lord Holland's conversation, 
fiiture times can form no adequate conception : 

" * The pliant muscles of the varying face. 

The mien that gave each sentence strength and grace, 
The tuneful voice, the eye that spoke the mind. 
Are gone, nor leave a single trace behind.' "* 

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 attain- 
ments and high intelligence, fine tastes and cultivated mind, 
his encouragement of art and literature, conversational talents, 
and elegant hospitaUty, are not better known than his ami- 
ability of disposition, kindness of heart, and genial, noble- 
loving nature, prompting him ever to generous conduct, and 
liberal, and sometimes even heroic acts of benevolence. 
* Moore's Memoirs, vol. v. 



160 HOLLAND HOUaS. 

One evidently well acquainted with Lady Holland, thiu 
speaks of the brilliant circles over which she so long pre- 
sided, and of the qualities of heart and mind which enabkd 
her to giv^ to the reunions of men of letters, wit, art, anc 
science, the attractions which characterized them. 

" Beyond any other hostess we ever knew, and very far be* 
yond any host, she possessed the tact of perceiving, and Um 
power of evoking the various capacities which lurked in evei] 
part of the brilliant curdes she drew around her. To enkindli 
the enthusiasm of an artist on the theme over which he hac 
achieved the most facile mastery ; to set loose the heart of thi 
rustic poet, and imbue his speech with the freedom of hi: 
native hills ; to draw from the adventurous traveller a breathinf 
picture of his most imminent danger, or to embolden thi 
bashful soldier to disclose his own share in the perils anc 
glories of some famous battle-field ; to encourage the generoui 
praise of friendship, when the speaker and the subject re 
fleeted interest on each other, or win the secret iiistoiy o 
some effort which had astonished the world, or shed nev 
lights on science ; to conduct those brilliant developments U 
the height of satisfaction, and then to shift the scene by th( 
magic of a word, were among her daily successes. And i 
this extraordinary power over the elements of social enjoy* 
ments was sometimes wielded without the entire concealmeol 
of its despotism ; if a decisive check sometimes rebuked i 
speaker who might intercept the variegated beauty of Jefl&vy*t 
indulgent criticism, or the jest announced and self-rewarded ii 
Sidney Smith's delighted and delighting chuckle, the authoritj 
was too clearly exerted for the evening's prosperity, and toi 
manifestly impelled by an urgent consciousness of the value o 
those golden hours which were fleeting within its confines^ U 
sadden the enforced silence with more than a momentary re 
grct. If ever her prohibition, dear, abrupt, and deciaive 
indicated more than a preferable regard for livelier discourar 




HOLLAND HOUSE. 161 

it was when a depreciatory tone was adopted towards genius 
or goodness, or honest endeavour, or when some friend, per- 
sonal or inteUectual, was mentioned in slighting phrase. 
^ *' Habituated to a generous partizanship by strong sympathy 
with a great political cause, she carried the fidelity of her de- 
votion to that cause into her social relations, and was ever the 
truest and fastest of friends. The tendency, often more idle 
dno malicious, to soflen down the intellectual claims of the 
absent, which so insidiously besets literary conversation, and 
teaches a superficial insincerity even to substantial esteem and 
regard, found no favour in her presence ; and hence the con- 
versations over which she presided, perhaps beyond all that 
ever flashed with a kindred splendour, were marked by that 
iotegrity of good nature, which might admit of their exact 
repetition to every li\ing individual, whose merits were dis- 
cussed, without the danger 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 
engagement or a wedding, or a promotion of a friend's son, or 
a new intellectual triumph of any youth with whose name and 
history she was femiliar, 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 in her 

society, of the sentiment of popular progress, which once was 

cherished almost exclusively by the pa? ty 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 

VOL. I. M 



162 CHARLEYILLS H0U8S. 

on the giddy edge of some great party struggle, the festivitia 
of the eveDing might take a more serious cast, as oews ar 
rived from the scene of contest, and the pleasure be deepenec 
with the peril ; but the feeling was always restrained by tibi 
present evidence of permanent solaces for the mind which ni 
political changes could disturb. If to hail and wdcomi 
genius, or even talent, which revered and imitated genhii 
was one of the greatest pleasures of Lord Holland's life, ti 
search it out and bring it within the sphere of his noble sym 
pathy, was the delightful study of hers. How often, duriii( 
the last half century, has the steep ascent of &me beei 
brightened by the genial appreciation she bestowed, an 
the festal light she cast on its solitude ! How often has tb 
assurance of success received its crowning delight amid tf» 
genial luxury of her circle, where renown itself has beo 
realized in all its sweetness !"* 

CHARLEVILLE HOUSE, CAVENDISH SQUARS. 

The late Dowager Lady Charleville was a very remarkahli 
person, intellectual, and highly accomplished. The autbo 
had the honour of knowing her ladyship intimately, aboQ 
twenty years ago. Few women possessed sounder judgment 
or were more capable of forming just opinions on most subjecti 

Dublin and its society at the time of the Union, and to 
some years before, as well as an;er that measure, was a frequen 
subject of conversation with her. All the Irish celebritiet o 
those times were intimately known by her ; Clare and Castle 
reagh, young Wellesly, and Lord Edward RtSEgerald, Lon 
Moira, and the Beresfords, cum multis aliis, of most difl 
similar political elements. Throughout her whole career, i 
seemed to be a settled plan of hers, to bring persons of wortl 
of opposite opinions, together, and to endeavour to get thee 

* Remarks on the character of Lady HoUand, in the ** Motali 
Chronicle." 




CHARLEVILLE HOUSE. 103 

to think justly and favourably of one another, as if she con- 
sJdered one of the chirf causes of half the estrangements and 
uumosities that exist, was the groundless misapprehensions of 
uoaoquainted people of the same dass, pursuits in life, or 
position in society.* 

^ The late Dowager Lady Charleville was the daughter of Thomas 
Tomlins Dawson, Esq., a member of the family emiobled in the person 
of the first Lord Cremome. She was educated chiefly in France, and, 
thoagh a Protestant, received the best part of her education in a 
French convent, previously to the French revolution. Soon after her 
return to Ireland, she was married to James Tisdale, Esq., of the county 
Louth. He died in 1797, and one daughter by this marriage, Maria 
riidtle, who married Dean Marlay, survived both her parents, and 
berhnsband also. In 1798, she married Charles William, Lord Tul- 
lamore, who, in 1800, was created Viscount Tullamore, and, in 1806, 
Earl of Charleville. Prior to her marriage, in the early part of 1798, 
her name was disagreeably connected with a translation of Voltaire's 
" Pucelle D'Orleans," made and printed for private circulation some 
time previously to her second marriage, by Lord Tullamore. 

Her co-operation in the translation was intimated in a satirical poem, 
published in 1804, entitled, " A Familiar Epistle to Frederick Jones, 
Esq., manager of the Theatre Royal Dublin ; ascribed to an Irish 
banister, briefless, but not brainless, now a Privy Councillor, an 
Admiralty official, a renowned and a redoubtable Quarterly Reviewer.** 
In a recent number of '* The Gentleman's Magazine," it is stated — 
that in a note to the satire above referred to. Lord Tullamore' s £«n. 
glish version of the '' Pucelle," was said to be indebted to *' lawn 
sleeyes and gauze petticoats." The lawn sleeves being understood to 
belong to the late Bishop Marlay, and the petticoats to Lady Charle- 
ville. Lady Charleville invariably denied having had anything what- 
ever to do vrith the work referred to. 

She had lost the use of her lower extremities for a great many years 
before her death ; and though she weut into society, and frequently 
rtxle out, she had to be carried to her chair or carriage, or moved 
tbout her apartment in a sort of Bath chair at her soirees and conver- 
zationes ; which, at the period I had the honour of her acquaintance, 
frwn 1833 to 1835, were hardly exceeded by any in London, for 
their agreeableness and the brilliancy of intellectual enjoyments that 
were found in them. She died in London in 1851. 
The £arl of Charleville died in October, 1 835, reduced to a state of 

M 2 



164 CHARLEVILLE HOUSE. 

The Countess Dowager of Cork, at the same period thai 
Ladies Blessington, Holland, and CharleviUe coUected roon^ 
them their several celebrities of fashion and literary embcnoe 
was the centre of a brilliant circle of London celebrities. Fron 
1820 to 1840, was frequently to be seen at the Londoi 
theatres this genuine representative, in all but one respect^ o 
the celebrated Ninon D'Enclos. 

The Right Hon. Mary, Countess Dowager of Cork anc 
Derry, resided for a great many years in New Burliogtoi 
Street. Her Ladyship's soirees were not on so extensive i 
scale as those of Lady Blessington and Lady Holland, bo 
still they were crowded with fashionable and distinguishei 
people. Lady Cork, when Miss Monckton, was one of Dr 
Johnson's favourites. " Her vivacity," we are told, " exhi 
larated the sage ;" and they used to talk together with al 
imaginable ease. Frequent mention of her is made b; 
Boswell. She was born in 1746; her father was Johi 
Monckton, first Viscount Galway. In 1784 she maniei 
the Earl of Cork. For a large portion of her life, sb 
occupied a conspicuous place in London society. He 
residence in New Burlington Street was a rendezvou 
of wits, scholars, sages, and politicians, and das bleux o 
celebrity. " Her social reputation dates from her attempts 
the first of the kind (in England), to introduce into tb 
routine and formation of our high life, something of tb 
wit and energy which characterized the society of Paris i 
the last century. While still young, she made the house c 
her mother. Lady Galway, the point of rendezvous, where talen 
and genius might mingle with rank and feshion, and the ad 

helplessness, by disease of a paralytic nature, for many years befor 
his death. He was a generous and a kind-hoarted man, addicted t 
literature, and partial to the society of literary men. — ^Vide ** Gentk 
man's Magazine," Part i. p. 429. 




8BAM0RB PLACE. 165 

-Tantages of intellectual eodowmeDts be mutually inter- 
changed." 

The endeavours of Miss Monckton to give a higher tone to 
the society in which she found herself in the latter part of 
the last century, had the beneficial effect of thinning the 
crowds round the faro-tables, then the nightly excitement of 
both sexes. Her Sunday parties were the first that were 
attempted without this accompaniment. Her ladyship to the 
last enjoying society, wrapt up in its eujoyments and the phi- 
losophy that finds all its comforts in them ; " ready for 
death, but not wishing to see him coming ;" — died at the 
age of ninety-four, in her house in Burlington Street, the 20th 
of May, 1840. 

SEAMORE PLACE. 

Lady Blessington, in one of her novels, " The Victims of 
Society," wherein abundance of sarcasm was bestowed on the 
lionizing tendencies of English fashionable society, refers to 
" the modern Mecaenases of May Fair," (in which locality her 
Ladyship resided when this novel was written by her,) ** who 
patronize 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 plea- 
santries, thrice-told anecdotes, and resumes of the scandal 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*aura de Peeprit, 
Hors nous et nos amis.' " 

Not even, we may add, in Seamore Place or Kensington Gore, 



166 SEAMORE PLACE. 

where the experience was chiefly gained, which enabled poof 
Lady Blessington to delineate " The Victims of Society," was 
that opinion held heretical. 

Lady Blessington returned to London fix»m the contineot 
in November, 1830. In the latter part of 1831, she took 
up her abode in Seamore Place, May Fair. The mansioD in 
St. James's Square, which had been bequeathed to her by 
Lord Blessington, was fiir too expensive an establishment to 
be kept up by her on an income of two thousand a year. 
Having disposed of her interest in it, she rented the hooie 
in Seamore Place from Lord M ountford, and fitted it up in a 
style of the greatest magnificence and luxury.* Here, in the 
month of March, 1832, I found her Ladyship established. 
The Count and Countess D'Orsay were then residing with 
luT. The salons of Lady Blessington were opened nightly to 
men of genius and learning, to celebrities of all dimes, 
to travellers of every European countr}'. Her abode be- 
came a centre of attraction for the beau monde of the iiw 
tellectual classes, u place of reunion for remarkable persons 
of talent or eminence of some sort or another ; and cer- 
tainly the most agreeable resort of men of literature^ art, 
and science, people of distinction, and public characters of 
various pursuits, that ever existed in this country. 

Perhaps the agrcinens of the Seamore Place society snr- 

* The house in St. James's Square, which had been bequeathed to 
I^dy Blessington by her husband, it was expected would have added 
^500 a-year to her income for the few years of the unexpired term of tbe 
lease. The head rent, however, was very high, ^840 a year. It had 
been let to the Windham club, furnished, for j(>1360 a-year; but the 
mode in which the property in the furniture had been left by Lord 
Blessington, and the conditions imposed by the will with respect to 
its ultimate transfer to Ireland, and the fault, moreover, found with the 
bad state uf it, hud led to such diflicultics, that eventually she relin* 
(luishtd lior right and inttresi in tlie iiou^jt to the executors, Messrs. 
Norman ;»ntl Wortliinpton. 




U^LMORE PLACB. 167 

passed those of the Gore House soirees. Lady Blessington, 
when residing in the former street, had not then long com- 
menoed the career of authorship as a pursuit and a speculation. 
Id the twelfth letter of "the Pencillings," dated 1834, 
Mr. Willis gives an account of his first visit to Lady Bless- 
iogtoD, in Jjondon, then residing in Seamore Place, certainly 
more graphic than any other description of her reunions that 
has been given : — 

" A friend in Italy had kindly given me a letter to Lady 
Blessington ; and with a strong curiosity to see this celebrated 
authoress, I called on her the second day after my arrival in 
LoDdon. It was * deep i' the aflemoon/ but I had not yet 
kamed 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, inviting me to call the same evening at ten. 

** In a long library, lined alternately with splendidly-bound 
books and mirrora, and with a deep window of the breadth of 
the room, opening upon Hyde Park, I found Lady Bless- 
ington alone. The picture to my eye, as the door opened, 
was a very lovely one ; a woman of remarkable beauty, half 
buried in ^fauteuil of yellow satin, reading by a magnificent 
lamp suspended from the centre of the arched ceiling ; sofas, 
couches, ottomans, and busts arranged in rather a crowded 
sumptuousness through the room; enamel tables, covered 
with expensive and elegant trifles, in every corner ; and a 
deticate 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 splendid specimen 
of a man, and a well-dressed one, that I had ever seen. Tea 



168 SEAMORE PLAOB. 

was brought iu immediately, and conversation went swim* 
mingly on. 

" Her Ladyship's inquiries were principally about America^ 
pf which, from long absence, I knew very little. She was 
extremely curious to know the degrees of reputation the 
present popular authors of England enjoy among us, parti- 
cularly Bulwer, and D'lsraeli (the author of ' Vivian Grqr')- 
• If you will come to-morrow night,' she said, ' you will see 
Bulwer. 1 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 literaiy success it 
commands ; and knowing this, he chooses to assume a pride 
which is only the armour of a sensitive mind afraid of a 
wound. He is to his friends the most frank and noUe 
creature in the world, and open to boyishness mth those 
whom he thinks understand and value him. He has a 
brother, Henry, who also is ver}' clever in a different vein, and 
is just now publishing a book on the present state of Fraiioe.' 

'* * Do they like the Disraelis in America ?' 

'' I assured her Ladyship that the * Curiosities of Litera- 
tures' by the father, and ' Vivian Grey' and * Contarini 
Fleiuing,' by tlie son, were universally known. 

" ' 1 am pleased at that, for I like them both. D'Israeli 
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 n^pect and affection for his father. D'Israeli the elder 
lives in the countr}', 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 
gonius and eloquence, with extreme good nature, and a perfect 
franknrss of rharacter.' 




8BAM0RE PLACE. 169 

" I asked if the account I had seen in some American 
paper of a literary celebration at Canandaigua, and the en- 
graving of her Ladyship's name with some others upon a 
rode, was not a quiz ?' 

" ' Oh, by no means. I was much amused by the whole 
afiair. 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 * Conversations of Lord Byron' '—oh, it was quite de- 
lightful. I have shown it to everybody. By the way, I 
receive a great many letters from America, from people I 
ncvCT heard of, written in the most extraordinary style of 
oomplimenty apparently in perfect good faith. I hardly know 
what to make of them.' 

" I accounted for it by the perfect seclusion in which great 
Dumbers of cultivated people live in our country, who, having 
neither intrigue, nor fashion, nor twenty other things to 
occupy their minds, as in England, depend entirely upon 
books, and consider an 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 affectionate veneration, scarcely conceivable 
by a sophisticated European. If it were not for such readers, 
literature wouU 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 in England are refined down 
to such heartlessness ; criticism, private and public, is so 
much influenced 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 Ame- 



170 SEAMORE PLACE. 

rica. We think already a great deal of your praise or 
censure.' 

" I asked if her Ladyship had known many Americans t 

'' ' 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. 1 knew Commodore Creigh- 
ton and Captain Deacon extremely well, and liked them par- 
ticularly. 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 we went up the 
side. Count D'Orsay here, who spoke very little English at 
the time, had a great passion for ' Yankee Doodle^* and it 
was always played at his request.' 

'* The Count, who still speaks the language with a veiy 
slight acc^^nt, but with a choice of words that shows him to 
be a man of uncommon tact and elegance of mind, inquired 
after several of the officers, whom I have not the pleasure rf 
knowing. He seems to remember his visits to the frigate 
with great plt^asure. The conversation, after running upon a 
variety of topics, turned very naturally upon Byron. I had 
frequently seen the Countess Guiccioli 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 1828, that I first knew her, having formed her ao- 
(|uaintancc at Count Funchal's, the Portuguese Ambassadoi^s. 

" It would be impossible, of course, to make a full and fair 
record of a conversation of some hours. I have only noted 
one or two topics which I thought most likely to interest an 
American reader. During all this long visit, however, my 
eyes were very busy, in finishing for memory a portrait of 
the a'lebrated and Ix^autiful woman before me. 

'* The portrait of Liidy Ble.ssington in the * Book of Beauty' 




SE4MORS PLACE. 171 

is not unlike her, but it is still an unfavourable likeness. 
A picture by Sir Thomas Lawrence hung opposite me, taken, 
perhaps, at the age of €%kteeii, which is more like her, and as 
captivating a representation of a just matured woman, luH of 
lovdiness and love, the kind of creature with whose divine 
sweetness the gazer's heart aches, as ever was drawn in the 
punter's most inspired hour. The original is no longer 
dans sa premiere jeunesse. Still she looks something on 
the sunny side of thirty. Her person is full, but preserves 
an the fineness of an admirable shape; her foot is not 
pressed in a satin slipper, for which a Cinderella might long 
be sought in vain; and h^ complexion (an unusually 
fcir 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 low, 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 rich 
feronier of turquoise, enveloped in clear outline a head with 
which it would be difficult to find a fault. Her features 
are regular, and her mouth, the roost expressive of them, has 
a ripe fulliiess and freedom of play peculiar to the Irish 
physiognomy, and expressive of the most unsuspicious good- 
humour. 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, 
Md 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 unenvying admiration she re- 
wives from the world of fashion and genius, it would be difficult 
tortconcile her lot to the * doctrine of compensation.''** . . • 
* Pcncillings by the Way, pp. 355, 356. 



172 SEAMOBE PLACE. 

" In the evening I kept my appointment with Lady Blesi- 
ington. 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 ooo- 
versation was resumed, I took the opportunity to remark the 
distinguished coterie with which she was surrounded. 

'^ Nearest me sat Smith, the author of ^ Rejected Ad- 
dresses' — 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 liabitual 
look of drollery — betrayed the bent of his genius. He held a 
cripple's crutch in his hand, and, though otherwise rather par- 
ticularly wcU-dressed, wore a pair of large India-rubber shoes 
— the penalty he was paying, doubtless, for the many good 
dinners he had eaten. He played rather an aside in the .con- 
versation, whipping in with a quiz or witticism whenever he 
could get an opportunity, but more a litener than a talker. 

'' On the opposite side of Lady Bit ssington, stood Henry 
Bulwer, the brother of the novelist, very earnestly engaged in 
a discussion of some speech of O'Connell's. He is said fay 
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 gentleman-like ; a little pitted with the smafl* 
pox, and of ver}' 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, from his embarrassed look, quite unsuo- 
a^sfuUy — to comprehend the drift of the argument ; the Duke 
de Richelieu; a famous traveller just returned from Cod* 
stantinople, and the splendid person of Count D'Orsay in a 
careless attitude upon the ottoman, completed the cordon. 

*' I fell into conversation after a while with Smith, who^ 
supposing I might not have heard the names of the others^ in 
th(* liurry of an introduction, kindly took the trouble to play 




SEAMORB PLACE. 173 

ihe dictionary, 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 country- 
man, Washington Irving. I had never heen so fortunate as 
to meet him. ' You have lost a great deal/ he said, ' for 
never was so delightful 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 
ns 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 
oompany had turned their attention to Smith as he began 
his story, and there was an universal inquiry after Mr. 
Irving. Indeed, the first question on the lips of every one to 
whom I am introduced as an American, is of him and Cooper. 
The latter seems to me to be admired as much here as abroad, 
io spite of a common inopression that he dislikes the nation. 
No man's works could have higher praise in the general con- 
VOTsation that followed, though several instances were men- 
tioned of his having shown an unconquerable aversion to the 
English when in England. Lady Blessington mentioned Mr. 
Bryant, and I was pleased at the immediate tribute paid to his 
delightful poetry by the talented circle around her. 

" Toward twelve o'clock, Mr. Lytton Bulwer was an- 
nounced, and enter the author of ^ Pelham.' I had made up 
my mind how he should look, and, between prints and de- 
scriptions, thought I could scarcely be mistaken in my idea of 
his person. No two things could be 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 



174 SEAMORB PLACE. 

extremely. He ran up to Lady Blessington with the joyous 
heartiness of a boy let out of school ; and the * how d'ye, 
Bulwer ?' went round, as he shook hands with every body.in the 
style of welcome usually given to ^ the best fellow in the world.* 
As I had brought a letter of introduction to him from a firiend 
in Italy, Lady Blessington introduced me particularly, and we 
had a long conversation about Naples and its pleasant society. 

'' Bulwer's head is phrenologically a fine one. His forehead 
retreats very much, but is very broad and well 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, habituaDy- 
smiling expression 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 be 
more agreeable than Bulwer's. Gay, quick, various, half-sa- 
tirical, and always fresh and different from every body else, he 
seemed to talk because he could not help it, and infeded 
every body with his spirits. I cannot 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 dear 
laugh is the soul of sincere and careless merriment. 

'' It is quite impossible to convey in a letter scrawled lite- 
rally between the end of a late visit and a tempting pillow, the 
evanescent and pure spirit of a conversation of wits. I must 
confine myself, of course, in such sketches, to the mere senti- 
ment of things that concern general literature and oursdves. 

'* ' The Rejected Addresses ' got upon his crutches about 
three o'clock in the morning, and I made my exit with the 
rest, thanking Heaven, that, though in a strange countiy, my 
mother-tongue was the language of its men of genius. 




SBAMORB PLACE. 175 

" Lettor.June 14» 1834. I was at LadyBlessington's at eight. 
Moore had not arrived, 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 obsorers,' 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 ' mi- 
ladi,' 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 panelled reflecting every motion.... 
The soup vanished in the busy silence that beseems it, and 
as the courses commenced their procession, Lady Blessington 
led the conversation 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 elo- 
quence has done great harm both to England and Ireland. 
There is nothing so powerful as oratory. The faculty of 
* thinking on his legSy^ 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 dan- 
gerous to a country than any thing else. Lord A is 

a wonderful instance of what a man may do without talking. 
There is a general confidence in him — a universal belief in 
bis honesty, which serves him instead. Peel is a fine speaker, 
but, admirable as he had been as an Oppositionist, he failed 
when he came to lead the House. O'Connell would be irre- 
sistible, 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 attack. They 
inay say what they will of duelling : it is the great preserver 
of the decencies of society. The old school, which made a 



176 SEAMORE PLACE. 

man responsible for his words, was the better. I must confess 
I think so. Then, in O'Connell's case, he had not made his 
vow against duelling when Ped challenged him. He accepted 
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 account 
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 command. 
And ' honour their* —wife and their daughter — 
* That their days may be long in the land.' 

* The great period of Ireland's glory,' continued Moore, * was 
between '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 himsdf 
never hesitated a moment. . . . 

" Talking of Grattan, is it not wonderful, with all the agita- 
tion in Ireland, we have had. no such man since his time? 
You can scarcely reckon Shiel of the calibre of her spirits of 
old, and O'Connell, with all his faults, stands alone in his glory. 

'' The conversation I have given is a mere skeleton, rf 
course 

'* This discussion may be supposed to have occupied the 
hour after Lady Blessington retired from the table ; for, with 
her, vanished Moore's excitement, and every body else seemed 
to feel that light had gone out of the room. Her excessive 
beauty is less an inspinition than the wondrous talent with 
which she draws, from every person around her, his peculiar 
excellence. Talking better than any body else, and narrating, 

* There are many 8tatements made, and opinions expressed by Mr. 
Willis in the extracts above given, with regard to which, silence it ii 
hoped, will not be taken for acquiescence in their justice.— R. R. M. 




SEAMORE PLACE. 177 

particularly, with a graphic power that I never saw excelled, 
tlus distinguished woman seems striving only to make others 
unfold themselves ; and never had' diffidence a more appre- 
hensive and encouraging 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-caf^i and went glittering on with critidsms on Grisi, 
the delicious songstress now ravishing the world, whom he 
placed above all but Pasta ; and whom he thought, with the 
excq)tion that her legs were too short, an incomparable crea- 
ture. This introduced music very naturally, and with a great 
deal of difficulty 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 equalled 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 syllabled and dwelt upon, and the senti- 
ment of the song goes through your blood, warming you to 
&e very eyelids, and starting 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 round the piano, and after two or three songs 
of Lady Blessington's choice, he rambled over the keys awhile, 
and sang ' When first I met thee,' with a pathos that beg- 
gars 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 Pencillings," there are some re- 
ferences to one of the literary men of distinction he met on 

♦ Pencillings by the Way, pp. 360 to 367. 
VOL. I. N 



178 SEAMORE PLACE. 

the occasion above referred to, which do not exist in the later 
cilition. In these references there are some remarks, intended 
to be smaii; sayings, exceedingly superficial and severe, as weD 
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. 

" Disraeli had arrived before me at Lady Blessington's, and 
sat in the deep window, looking out upon Hyde Park, with 
the last rays of day-light 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 
Disraeli has one of the most remarkable faces I ever saw. 
He is lividly pale, and, but for the energy of his action and 
the strength of his lungs, would seem a victim to consumptkni. 
His eye is black as Erebus, and has the most mocking and 
lying-in-wait sort of expression conceivable. . . . 

'' His hair is as extraordinary as his taste in waistcoats. A 
tliick 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 unctuously, 

" * With thy incomparable oil. Macassar.' 

Disraeli 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 
language in whicli he clothed his description. There were, 
at least, five? words in everj' sentence that must have been very 
much astonished at the use they were put to, and yet no 
others apparently could so well have conveyed his idea. He 




SEAMORB PLACE. 179 

talked like a raoe-horse approaching the winning post, every 
muscle in actioo, 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 off, apropos des botteSy 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 fol- 
lowed the sufferer's history, with a score of murders and 
barbarities heaped together like Martin's feast of Belshazzar, 
with a mixture of horror and splendour that was unparalleled 
in my experience of improvisation. No mystic priest of the 
oorybantes could have worked himself up into a finer frenzy 
of language." 

My recollection of the scene to which I think Mr. Willis 
alludes, is of a very different kind so far as relates to the im- 
pression of horror supposed to be made by the truly extra- 
ordinary powers of description of Mr. Disraeli. 

Haydon, in his diary, 27th February, 1835, writes, " Went 
to Lady Blessington's in the evening; everybody goes to 
Lady Blessington. She has the first news of everything, 
and everybody seems delighted to tell her. No woman will 
be more missed. She is the centre of more talent and gaiety 
than any other woman of fashion in London."* 

In the summer of 1833, Lady Blessington met with a 
severe loss. Her house in Seamore Place was broken into 
at night by thieves, and plate and jewellery to the value of 
about £1000, were carried off, and never afterwards recovered. 
This was the first disaster, in the way of loss of property, 
that occurred to her. A few years later, she was destined 
to see every thing swept away she was accustomed to set 
a store on, every object of luxury that had become a neces- 

* Memoirs of B. R, Haydon, vol. iii. p. 12. 

N 2 



180 GORE HOUSE. 

sity to the splendid misery of her mode of life ; costly fiiroi- 
ture, magnificent mirrors, adornments of salons, valuaUe 
pictures, portraits by the first masters, all the literary baubles 
of the boudoir, and precious ornaments of the person, rarities 
from every land, books c4egantly bound, and perhaps more 
prized than all her other treasures. 

Lady Blessington removed from Seamore Flaoe to the more 
spacious and elegant mansion of Gore House, Kensington 
Gore, the former abode of William Wilberforoe, in the early 
part of 1836. And here her Ladyship remained till the 14th 
of Aprfl, 1849. 

GORE HOUSE. 

Any person acquainted with Lady Blessington, when re- 
siding at the Villa Belvidere at Naples, the Palazzo Negrone 
at Rome, her delightful residence at Seamore Place in London, 
and her latest English place of abode, in Gore House, must 
have obseiTed the remarkable changes that had come over her 
mind at the different epochs of her career in intellectual society 
and in fashionable life, from 1823 to 1849. 

In Naples, the charm of Lady Blessington's convereatioa 
and society was indescribably effective. The genial air, the 
beautiful scenery of the place, and all the " influences of the 
sweet south," seemed to have delighted, soothed, and spirit- 
ualized her feelings. A strong tendency to fastidiousness of 
taste, to weariness of mind in the enjoyment of any long 
continued entertainment or amusement, to sudden impulses of 
hastiness of temper (as distinguished firom habitual ill-humour), 
had been subdued and softened by those changes of scenoy 
and *' skiey influences ;" and above all, there was observaUe 
in her animal spirits a flow of hilarity, a natural vivadly, 
such as those who knew her in early life, were well aware had 
belonged to her childhood, and which having been restnunsd 
and checked to some extent, had resumed, in the sooth of 




GORE HOUSE. 181 

Italy, its original character of out-bursting gaite du cceur. 
The ringing laugh of joyous girlhood, which a celebrated 
actress used to act to such perfection, was a reality with Lady 
Bkssington, in those merry moods of hers in Naples, which 
were indeed neither '* few nor far between." 

In society Lady Blessington was then supremely attractive ; 
she was natural and sprightly, and spirituelle in proportion 
to h^ naturalness, and utter absence of all appearance of an 
effort to be effective 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 I 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 
gaiety, whom I had parted with in Naples in 1824. But 
she was at all times attractive and triumphant in her efforts 
to reign in the society she moved in ; and she was, moreover, 
at all times kindly disposed and faithful in her friendships. 

Afler an interval of nearly five years, I renewed my acquaint- 
ance with Lady Blessington in Seamore Place. It was evident 
that another great '' change had come over the spirit of her 
dream " of life since I had last seen her. Cares and troubles, 
and trials of various kinds, had befallen her, and left, if not 
visible external traces, at least perceptible internal evidence of 
&eir effects. 

After a lapse of two or three years, my acquaintance with 
Lady Blessington was renewed at Gore House. The new 
establishment was on a scale of magnificence exceeding even 
that of Seamore Place. 

The brilliant society by which she was surrounded, did not 
seem to have contributed much to her felicity. There was 
no happiness in the circles of Gore House, comparable to 



182 GORE HOUSE. 

that of the Palazzo Belvidere in Naples. There was manifestly 
a great intellectual effort made to keep up the charm of that 
society, and no less manifest was it that a great pecuniary 
effort was making to meet the large expenditure of her new 
establishment. That society was felt by her to be a neces- 
sity in England. It had been a luxury in Italy, and had been 
enjoyed there without anxiety for cost, or any expenence of 
the wear and tear of life that is connected with arduous ex- 
ertions to maintain a position in London haut ton society, 
acquired with difficulty, and often supported under continually 
increasing embarrassments. 

But notwithstanding the symptoms of care and anxiety 
that were noticeable in Lady Blessington's appearance and 
conversation, at that period of her Gore House celebrity, her 
powers of attraction and of pleasing had lost none of their 
influences. There were a higher class of men of great in- 
tellect at her soirees, than were formerly wont to congr^ate 
about her. Lady Blessington no longer spoke of books and 
bookish men with diffidence, or any marked deference for the 
opinions of other persons : she laid down the law of her 
own sentiments in conversation rather dogmatically, she aimed 
more at saying smart things than heretofore, and seemed more 
desirous of congregating celebrities of distinction in her salons, 
than of gathering round her people solely for the agremens^ 
their society or any peculiarities in their characters or acquirs- 
ments. 

There was more of gravity and formality in her cofiverjsn- 
tiones than there had been wont to be, and the conversation 
generally was no longer of that peculiarly gay, enlivening, 
cheerful character, abounding in drollery and humour, which 
made the great charm of her reunions in the Villa Belvidere, 
and in a minor degree in Seamore Place. 

In Gore llousi* society. Lady Blessington had given herself 
a mission, in whieh she laboured certainly with great assiduity 




GORE HOUSB. 188 

and wonderful success — that of briDging together people of the 
same pursuits, who were rivals in them, for professional disi- 
tiodion ; 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 weU seconded 
by Count D'Orsay. 

The Count, indeed, not only devoted his talents to this ob- 
ject, but extended his aims to the accomplishment of a pur- 
pose calculated to do a great deal of good ; to remove the 
groundless misapprehensions of unacquainted intellectual 
people of neighbouring countries, the fruitful cause of national 
jealousies and antipathies ; to remove the prejudices which had 
mised barriers even in the best societies between English people 
and foreigners, 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, 
io 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 that object was pursued ; and 
those only who have seen much of the correspondence of 
Lady Blessington, can form any idea of the labour she im- 
posed on herself in removing unfavourable impressions, ex- 
plaining away differences, inducing estranged people to make 
approaches to an accommodation, to meet and to be reconciled. 
These labours were not confined to people of the studio, or of 
literary piu^uits ; grave politicians, and solemn statesmen, 
great legal functionaries, and even divines, have been largely 
indebted to them. She threw herself into those labours with 
an earnestness which seemed almost incredible to those who 
were accustomed to the reserve and absence of all demonstra- 



184 GORE HOUSE. 

tiveness of feeling that is supposed to characterize the had 
ton of English society. 

Mackintosh, in his beautiful " Life of Sir Thomas More," 
enforcing the virtue of moderation and tokranoe of opnion, 
and reprobating the vulgar brutality of '* hating men for ibeir 
opinions," said, '' All men, in the fierce contests of contending 
factions, should, from such an example, learn the wisdom to 
fear, lest in their most hated antagonist they may strike down 
a Sir 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 signal example, that the nearest approach to perfect 
excellence, does not exempt men from mistakes whidi we 
may justly deem mischievous. It is a pregnant proof that 
wc should beware of hating men for their opinions, or of 
adopting their doctrines because we love and venerate their 
virtues." 

But the high purposes to which I have referred, as actaai- 
ing Lady Blessington and the Count D*Orsay, namely, of bring- 
ing together eminent and estimable people of similar pursuitSi 
who had been estranged from one another, at variance, or on 
bad terms, did not interfere occasionally with the exercise of 
the peculiar talents and inclinations of both, for dra¥dng out 
absurd or eccentric people for the amusement of their visitorBw 

One of the visitors who had frequented Seamore Place, 
and continued to visit Gore House, about 1837 and 1838, 
wiis a very remarkable old French gentleman, then upwards 
of seventy years of age, whom I had known intimately both 
in France and England. *' Monsieur Julien le Jeune de Paris," 
as he styled himself. 

He had figured in the great French Revolution — had 
been patronised by Robespierre, and employed by him in Pkrii 
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, was not the fact. It 




GORE HOUSE. 186 

was Monsieur Julien Tain^ who gave his voice for the execution 
of his sovereign. I believe, moreover, that Monsieur Julien 
k Jeune, though employed under Robes^nerre, and at one time 
even acting as his secretary, was not a man of blood de 
$9n gre^ though a very ardent republican at the period of the 
regime of terror. 

If my poor friend, Monsieur Julien le Jeune, was Tor 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 com- 
position 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 su£fered for his country and his opinions. 
His pieces on this subject, which were extremely lengthy and 
dolefiil, he called " Mes Chagrins 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 
siede," makes mention of him at Bordeaux, at the time that 
Tallien, one of the leading terrorists, was there on his mission 
of extermination, 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 wondeiiully 
patriotic oration, which would be delivered at the club by a 
young patriot named Julien, (who subsequently, during the 
Empire, held several important posts in the military adminis- 
tration, and who since the restoration is better known as Julien 



186 GORE HOUSE. 

de Paris, was in conjunction with the estimable Amaury DutiI, 
the founder of the * Revue Encydopedique/) 

'' The following decade was the time fixed for the defiToy 
of his discourse. The dub was full. All eyes were bent 
upon a young woman dressed in a riding habit of dark Uae 
kerseymere, faced and trimmed with red velvet. Upon her 
beautiful black hair, cropped a la Titus, then a perfectly new 
fashion, was lightly set, on one side, a scarlet cap trimmed 
with fur. Madame Fontenay is said to have been most beu- 
tiful in this attire. 

" The oration, admirably well read by dtizen JulieD, ei- 
cited wonderful admiration. Its common-place patriotic d^ 
daroation, lighted up by a reflection of the admiration fdt far 
the author, gained it the utmost praise. Unanimous applauie, 
a flattering address of the President, honours of the sittingi 
in short, all the remunerations of popular assemblies wort 
launched upon this beautiful patriot." 

** Julian le Jeune" thus, we find, had commenced his metier 
of patriotic recitations some forty-three or four years pre- 
^aously to his exhibitions in Seamore Place. The first per- 
formance was in the presence of a very celebrated Frendi 
enchantress, who reigned in revolutionary cirdes, and the 
latest was in the presence of an Irish enchantress, who reigned 
over hterary fashionable society in London. 

At the period of his sojourn in London his head was filled 
with these " Chagrins." As regularly as he presented him- 
self in the evenings at the salons of Lady Blessington, he 
brought with him, on each occasion, a roll of paper in his side 
pork(*t, consisting of some sheets of foolscap filled with his 
'* Chagrins," which would be seen projecting from the breast 
of his coat, when, on entering the room, he would stoop to 
kiss the hand of Lady Blessington, after the manner of the 
polished courtiers of la Vielle Cour ; for Monsieur Julien k 
Jrun(», in his old age at least, was a perfect specimen of French 




GORE HOUSE. 187 

courtesy, and preserved very little of the burly bearing, or 
the sturdy manners or opinions of a Republican. 

Poor Julien Ic Jeune, like D'Alembert, had the gift of shed- 
diog tears at pleasure, to which don le larmes that belonged 
to D'Alembert, La Harpe was indebted for the success of one 
of his dramatic pieces. 

" C'est k ce don de larmes que La Harpe dut le succ^ de 
sa Mdanie. L'etiquette voulait qu'on eut pleurd ^ ce drame. 
D'Alembert ne manquait jamais d'accompagner La Harpe. 
Ilprenait un'air sdrieux et compost, qui fixait d'abord I'at- 
tention. Au premier acte U faisait remarquer les apercues 
philosophiques de Touvrage ; en suite profitant du talent qu'il 
mit pour la pantomine, il pleurait toujours aux mSmes en- 
droits, ce qui imposait aux femmes la n^cessitd, de s'attendrir 
*-et comment auraient elles eu les yeux sees lorsqu'un phi- 
losophe fondait en larmes?" — Tom. ii. 10. 

It used to be a scene, 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 
D*Orsay, and with the eyes of the whole circle fixed on him 
(duly prepared to expect amusement), the poor old man 
would be entreated to favour 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 gestures which plainly said, 
" Infandum Regina jubas renovare dolorem." 

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 re- 



188 GORE H0U8B. 

luctance assumed by poor old Julien, to produce the ] 
expressly brought for recital, by renewed suppUcatkms, and 
on a novel pka for the reading of it. 

There was one present the Count observed, who had nenr 
heard the *' Chagrins," long and earnestly as he desired tint 
gratification — '^ N'est ce pas Madden, vous n'avez jamaii 
entendu les Chagrins politiques de notre cher ami Monsieor 
Julian?" 

All the reply that could be given to the inquiry was— 
" Jamais." 

" Aliens mon ami," continued D'Orsay. " Ce paufR 
Madden a bien besoin d'entendre vos chagrins politiques-*! 
a les siens aussi — (I had recently suffered at the hands of 
some reviewers) — D k souffert — ^lui — il a des sympathies pour 
les blessds, il faut le donner cette triste plaisir — ^N'est oe ptf 
Madden ?" 

Another dire effort to respond in the affirmative — ** Oit 
Monsieur le Comte." 

Mons. Julien, after playing off for some minutes all the 
diffident airs of a bashful young lady dying to sing and pro- 
testing she cannot, placed himself at the upp^ end of ths 
room, near a table with wax lights, puUed the roll of paper 
from his breast pocket, and began to recite his ** Chi^grint 
Politiques" in a most lugubrious tone, like Mademoisdk 
Duchesnois — avec des pleurs dans sa voix. The saloon wis 
crowded with distinguished guests. On the left hand of 
the tender-hearted poet and most doleful reciter of his own 
sorrows — this quondam secretary of Robespierre — was Lady 
Blessington in her well-known fauteuilj looking most in* 
tently, and with apparent anxious solicitude, full in the ftee 
of the dolorous reciter. But it would not do for one listen- 
ing to the " Chagrins," to look too curiously mto the eyes of 
that lady, lest he might perceive any twinkling there indica* 
tive of internal hilarity of a communicative kind. On the 




GORE HOUSE. 189 

other dde of Mods. Julien, but somewhat in front of him^ sat 
Count D'Orsay, with a handkerchief occasionally lifted to his 
eyes; and ever and anon, a plaudit or an exclamation of pain 
was uttered by him at the recital of some particular *' Cha- 
pin." At the very instant when the accents of the reciter 
were becoming most exceedingly lugubrious and ludicrous, 
ind the difficulty of refraining from laughter was at its 
height, D'Orsay was heard to whisper in a sotto voce, as he 
leaned his head over the back of the chair I sat on — *' Pleurez 
done!" 

Doctor Quin, who was present at this scene, one of the 
ridiest, certainly, I ever witnessed, during the recital, contri- 
buted largely to its eflFect. Whenever D'Orsay would seize 
on some particular passage, and exclaim, '^ Ah que c'est 
beau !" then would Quin's " magnifique I" " superbe !" 
'^ yraiement beau !" be intonated with all due solemnity, and 
a call for that moving passage over again would be preferred, 
and kindly complied with, so that there was not one of Mons. 
Jolien's '* Chagrins Politiques " which was not received with 
the most marked attention and applause. 

At the conclusion of each " Chagrin," poor Julien's eyes 
woe always sure to be bathed with tears, and as much so, at 
the latest recital of his oft-repeated griefs, as at the earliest 
ddivery of them. 

It was always in this melting mood, at the conclusion of a 
recital, 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 re- 
ceived compliments and consolations, most literally bestowed 
on his " Chagrins Politiques." 

Of one of those displays of D'Orsay's peculiar power in 
drawing out absurd, eccentric, or oufr/ people, of a similar 
kind, one of the most distinguished writers of his time thus 
writes, in April, 1838: 



190 GORE HOUSE. 

" Count D'Orsay may well speak of an evening being 
happy one, to whose happiness he contributed so largely, 
would be absurd if one did not know it to be true, to he 
Dickens tell, as he has done ever since, of Count D'Orsaj 
power of drawing out always the best elements of the socie 
around him, and of miraculously putting out the worst. Cf 
tainly I never saw it so marvellously exhibited as on the nigl 
in question. I shall think of him hereafler unceasingly, wit 
the two guests that sat on either side of him that night. Bt 
it has been impossible for roe to think of him at any tio 
since I have known him, but with the utmost admiratioi 
affection, and respect, which genius and kindness can sugge 
to every one." 

The last time I met Monsieur Julien was at a bniakfii 
given by Colonel Leicester Stanhope, on which occasion mai 
remarkable persons were assembled. Julien, at that { 
riod, had abandoned his '' Chagrins Politiques," and adopt 
a new plan of attracting attention. He exhibited a sm 
dial, on the circumference of which, in opposite directioi 
moral and evil tendencies were marked, and to these a um 
able index pointed, shewing the virtue to be cultivated wl 
any particular defect in character was referred to. This 
strument Monsieur Julien called his " Horloge Moral " 1 
old man was lapsing fast into second childhood, but with 
senility, a large dash of charlatanerie was very obviously CQ 
bincd. On the occasion I allude to, a brother of Napole 
one of the Ex-Kings of the Buonaparte fiimQy, was pres 
for a short time, but on seeing Monsieur Julien he imi 
diately departed. On the same occasion, L. £. L., who y 
one of the guests, was singled out by Julien for special 
struction in the use of the '' Horloge Moral," and she aUoi 
herself to be victimized with most exemplary patience f 
good humour, while Monsieur Julien was shewing off t 
latest product of his ethical and inventive facidties. 




IW 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 

OR Lady Blessington, when she launched into the enormous * 
leoditure of her magnificent establishments, first in Seamore 
oe, next in Kensington Gore, had little idea of the diflS- 
ics of her position in the fashionable world, with a jointure 
E2000 a year, to meet all the extensive and incessant claims 
her resources, and those claims on them also of at least seven 
eight persons, members of her family, who were mainly de- 
dent on her. Little was she aware of the nature of those 
rary pursuits, and the precariousness of their remuneration, 
m which she imagined she could derive secure and perma- 
it emolument, that would make such an addition to her 
ioary income as w^ould enable her to make head against the 
t expenditure of her mode of life ; an expenditure which the 
6t constant anxiety to reduce within reasonable limits, by 
economy of the most rigid kind in small household 
liters, was wholly inadequate to accomplish.* 
A lady of quality, who sits down in fashionable life to get a 
elihood by literature, or a large portion of the means ne- 
isary to sustain her in that position, at the hands of pub- 

* Lady Hlessington's punctuality and strictness in examining ac- 
ants, at regular periods, inquiring into expenditure by servants, 
iers given to tradesmen, and the use made of ordinary articles of 
nsumption, were remarkable. She kept a book of dinners, in 
lich the names of all persons at each entertainment were set down ; 
^ register of guests served a double purpose, as a reference for 
^ and a check on the accounts of her maitre d'hotel. 



192 THE BREAK-UP AT QORE HOUSE. 

Ushers, had better build any other description of casi 
air, or if she must dream of *' chateaus en Espagoe, 
of fabrics somewhat less visionary as to the foundati 

Charles Lamb, the inimitable quaint teDer of solei 
in amusing terms, in a letter to Bernard Barton, thi 
poet, in 1823, thus speaks of ^^ literature as a callin 
a livelihood." 

" What ! throw yourself on the world without an 
plan of support, beyond what the chance of emplq 
booksellers would afford you ? Throw yoursdf n 
dear Sir, from the steep Tarpeian rock, slap-dash, 
down upon iron spikes. 

" I have known many authors want bread ; some 
others enjoying the sweet security of a spunging b 
agreeing they had rather have been tailors, weavers, i 
rather than the things they were. I have kno 
starved — some go mad— one dear friend literally d] 
workhouse. 

" O ! you know not, may you never know the 
of subsisting by authorship ! Tis a pretty iqipc 
situations like yours or mine, but a slavery worse 
slavery, to be a bookseUer's dependant : to drudge y 
for pots of ale and breasts of mutton ; to change 
thoughts and voluntary numbers, for ungracious \ 
The booksellers hate us." 

If Lamb had been an Irishman, one might ima 
the '^ h " in the penultimate word was an interpolatio 
sarcastic copyist, who had been infelicitous in authoi 
that we should read — afe, and not hate. Elmolun; 
literature must have been looked to by Lady Blessic 
in the sense of Lamb's pretty appendage to his situ 
as a main resource, to meet an expenditure which he 
income could not half suffice for. 

The establishment of Gore House, and the indd 



THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 193 

peoditure of its noble mistress, could not have been less than 
£4000 a year. Lady Blessington's jointure was only £2000. 
But then it must be borne in mind, a very large portion of 
that expenditure was incurred for aid and assistance given 
to members of her family ; and that she frequently stated iu 
her letters, particularly in those to Mr. Landor, that 
nothing would induce her to continue her literary labours, but 
to be enabled to provide for those who were dependent on 
her. 

There is a passage in a letter of Sir Walter Scott, in re- 
ference to the costly efforts made by a lady of bookish tastes 
to maintain a position m intellectual society, or rather to be 
the centre of a literary circle, which well deserves attention. 

In his diary while in Italy, Sir Walter makes mention of 
"Lydia White." " Went to poor Lydia White's, and found 
her extended on a couch, frightfully swelled, unable to stir, 
rouged, jesting, and dying. She has a good heart, and is 
really a clever creature ; but, unhappily, or rather, happily, 
she has set the whole staff 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. She can always make up 
her circle, and generally has some people of real talent and 
distinction. She is wealthy, to be sure, and gives petits 
diners^ but not in a style to carry the point a force d* argent. 
la her case the world is good-natured, and perhaps it is more 
frequently so than is generally supposed."* 

Of the false position of distinguished women in society, 
it has been very justly observed, in a notice of the life of 
Madame de Stael : — 

" The aspect of ill-will makes women tremble, however 
distinguished they may be. Courageous in misfortune, they 
we timid against enmity. Thought exalts them, yet their 
character remains feeble and timid. Most of the women in 

♦ Lockhart*8 Life of Sir W. Scott. 
VOL. I. O 



194 THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 

whom the possession of high faculties has awakened the 
desire of fame, are like Erminia in her warlike aocoutrementi. 
The warriors see the casque, the lance, the shining plume ; 
they expect to meet force, they attack with yiolence, and with 
the first stroke reach the heart." 

Troubles and afflictions of various kinds had fallen oa 
Lady Blessington, in quick succession, from the year 1843. 
The loss of fortune, and the loss of friends, trials of different 
kinds, pecuniary difficulties, and humiliations, had followed 
each other with little intermission of late years. In the latter 
part of 1845, the effects of the potato blight, and tiie 
famine in Ireland, made themselves felt in the magnificent 
salons in London and on the continent, in all the highest 
places of sojourn of the Irish aristocracy. The sumptooos 
apartments of Gore House were made intimately acquainted 
with them. 

By the robbery of plate, jewellery, and other valuaUes, 
that was committed in Lady Blcssington's house, in Seamore 
Place, a loss of upwards of £1000 had been sustained. By 
the failure of Charles Heath, the engraver, she incurred s 
loss of £700. 

The difficulties of Count D'Orsay had contributed also not 
in a small degree to the derangement of her affiiirs ; and 
those difficulties had commenced at a very early period of hi^ 
career in London, while Lady Blessington was residing id 
Seamore Place, and the Count in a small house in Cnrtan^ 
Street, nearly opposite Lord Chesterfield's. The Count wa* 
arrested, soon after his arrival in England, for a debt of £309 
to his boot-maker in Paris, Mr. M'^Henry, and was onl;^ 
saved from imprisonment by the acceptance, on the part o€ 
his creditor, of bail on that occasion.* 

* I have been informed by Mr. M^Henry, that he had iUovmI 
that debt to remain unsettled for many years, and had consented to 
accept t)ie security finally offered to him, on account of the very large 




THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 395 

Id October, 1846, when diflSculties were pressing heavily 
OQ Lady Blessington, she received a letter (in the hand- 
miting of a lady, who signs herself M. A.)> from which the 
Mowing extract is taken : — 

" Well may it be said, * Sweet are the uses of adversity,' 
which like the toad, ugly and venomous, bears yet a precious 
jewd 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 acquaintances would probably fill the church ; and 
be was quite certain that his friends, at the most, would only 
fill the pulpit. Thus many may say, and those too who 
may have expended thousands in entertaining selfish and 
cdd-hearted men, who would not render them a real service, 
if they wanted one, or give a sigh to their memory on hearing 
of their decease." 

Poor Lady Blessington's mind was ill at ease when she 
«t down the following observations in her common-place 
book: — 

" Great trials demand great courage, and all our energy 
is called up to enable us to bear them. But it is the minor 
cares of life that wear out the body, because singly, and in 
detail, they do not appear sufficiently important to engage 

^to rally our force and spirits to support them Many 

minds that have withstood the most severe trials, have been 
broken drown by a succession of ignoble cares." 

obligations he felt under to the Count ; moreover it was acknowledged 
Ibat the mere fact of its being known in Paris, that Count D'Orsay's 
Wtg were made by M'Henry, had procured for him the custom of all the 
tip-top exquisites of Paris. Similar obligations existed in London, with 
limilar relations between the debtors and the indebted ; and similar 
Tesolts in London between the Count and his tradesmen, but some- 
times not of a nature so agreeable, frequently took place. 

o 2 



196 TUB BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 

How much bitter experience roust it have required to 
say so much, in so few words ? '* When the sun shines oi 
you, you see your friends. It requires sunshine to be se^ hj 
them to advantage. While it lasts, we are visible to them; 
when it is gone, and our horizon is overcast, they are in* 
visible to us." 

And elsewhere, another ^* Night Thought " is to a simihr 
effect :• — 

" 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 piid 
as a knowledge of the world ; and no one ever became an 
adept in it, except at the expense of a liardened or a wounded 
heart." 

" M. B." 

Lady Blcssington makes reference to '' a friend of kng 
standing, and deeply interested in her welfare," who had been 
consulted by her at the period of her most serious ember- 
rassments, and who had addressed the following letter to her 
Ladyship, without date or name, but probably written in 
1848:— 



" My Dearest Friend, 
*' You do not do me more than justice in the belief, tbat 
I most fully sympathize with all your troubles, and I shall be 
only too happy if my advice can in any way assist you. 

*' First. As to your jointure, nothing in law is so indir 
putable, — as that a widow's jointure takes precedence of etery 
other claim on an estate. The very first money the agent or 
steward receives from the property, should go to the discharge 
of this claim. No subsequent mortgages, annuities, encum' 
branccs, law-suits, expenses of management, &c., can be pef 
mittcd to interfere with the payment of jointure; and a»# 
whatever the dis^tress of the tenants, or the embarrassments 




THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 197 

of the estate^ it is clear that some rents must have come in half- 
yearly; so, on those rents you have an indisputable right; 
udy I think, on consulting your lawyer, he will put you in a 
▼ay, 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 be- 
come liable to immediate litigation. I am here presuming 
that you but ask for the jointure, due quarterly or half-yearly, 
and not in advance, which, if the a£fairs are in chancery, it 
would be illegal to grant. 

** Secondly. With respect to the diamonds, would it be pos- 
uUe or expedient, to select a certain portion (say half) which 
you least value on their own account ; and if a jeweller him- 
self falls too short in his offer, to get him to sell them on com- 
mission ? You must remember, that every year, by paying 
interest on them, you are losing money on them : so that in a 
lew 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 for those articles than jewellers ; and if you 
know Anthony Kothschild, and would not object to speak to 
Um, 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 in- 
terests of the illustrations. You have apparently some idea 
w to the plan and conception. I fancy that illustrations of our 
most popular writers might be a novelty. Illustrations from 
Shakespeare — not the female characters only, but scenes from 
4e Plays themselves — by good artists; and the letter-press 
Wing upon the subject, might make a very saleable and 
»tandard work. Again (and I think better), in this day, illus- 
trations from English scenery, ruins, and buildings, might be 
^ery popular ; in fact, if you could create a national interest in 
the subject in the plates, your sale and profit would be both 
Wger and more permanent on the first demand, and become 
* source of vearlv income. 



198 THE BREAK-UP AT GORB HOU8B. 

*^ You do perfectly right not to diminish your incon 

loans ; will wait your time ; and I am sure, that 

proper legal advice, you can ensure the regular payma 
your jointure in future. 

" I think I have thus given you the best hints I can o 
different points on which you have so kindly consulted m 
know well how, to those accustomed to punctual payments 
with a horror of debt, pecuniary embarrassments prey 
the mind. But I think they may be borne, not only with 
but some degree of complacency, when connected with 
generous devotion and affectionate services as those which 
console you amidst all your cares. In emptying your ] 
you have at least filled your heart with consolations, i 
will long outlast what I trust will be but the trouUes 



In April, 1849, the damours and importunate dec 
of Lady Blessington's creditors harassed her, and ma 
evident that an inevitable crash was coming. She had j 
bills to her bankers, and her bond likewise, for va 
advances, in anticipation of her jointure, to an amouE 
preaching to £1500. Immediately after the sale, the ba 
acknowledged having received from Mr. Phillips, the 
tioneer, by her order, the sum of £1500, leaving a bi 
only, in their hands, to her credit, of £11. She ha< 
necessity of renewing bills frequently as they became 
and on the 24th of April, 1849, she had to renew a I 

hers, to a Mr. M , for a very large amount, y 

would fall due on the 3Qth of the following month of 1 
four days only before " the great debt of all debts " was 
paid by her. 

In the spring of 1849, the long-menaced break-up o 
establishment of Gore House took place. Numeroiu 
ditors, bill discounters, money lenders, jeweDers, lace rci 
tax collectors, gas company agents, all persons ha\nng c 




THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 199 

to urge, pressed them at this period simultaneously. An 
execution for a debt of £4000 was at length put in by a house 
largely engaged in the silk, lace, India shawls and fancy jewellery 
business. Some arrangements were made, a life insurance 
was effected, but it became necessary to determine on a sale of 
the whole of the eflFects for the interest of all the creditors.* 
Several of the friends of Lady Blessington urged on her pe- 
cuniary assistance, which would have prevented the necessity 
of breaking up the establishment. 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 difficulties and embarrassments daily augmenting, worried 
with incessant claims, and tired to death with demands she 

* For about two years previous to the break-up at Gore House 
Lady Blessington lived in the constant apprehension of executions 
being put in,]and unceasing precautions in the admission of persons had 
to be taken both at the outer gate and hall-door entrance. For a con- 
siderable period too, Count D*Orsay had been in continual danger of 
arrest, and was obliged to confine himself to the house and grounds, 
except on Sundays, and in the dusk of the evening on other days. All 
those precautions were, however, at length baffled by the ingenuity of 
a sheriff's officer, who effected an entrance in a disguise, the ludi- 
eroosuess of which had some of the characteristics of farce, which con- 
trasted strangely and painfully with the denouement of a very serious 



Lady Blessington was no sooner informed, by a confidential servant, 
of the fact of the entrance of a sheriff* s officer, and an execution 
being laid on her property, than she immediately desired the mes- 
senger to proceed to the Count's room, and tell him that he must im- 
mediately 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 bah ! followed each sen- 
tence of the account given him of the entrance of the sheriff^s officer. 
At length, after seeing Lady Blessington, the necessity for his imme- 
diate departure became apparent. The following morning, with a 
single "portmanteau, attended by his valet, he set out for Paris ; and 
^hu8 ended the London life of Count D'Orsay. 



ICOO THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 

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 celebrity 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 
m-adness of remaining in the glare and turmoil of such an 
existence, and yet unable to stir hand or foot to extricate her- 
self from its obvious dangers and distresses. 

The public sale of the precious articles of a boudoir, of the 
bijouterie and beautiful objects of art of the salons of a lady 
of fashion, awakens many reminiscences identified with the 
vicissitudes in the fortunes of the late owners, and the frte of 
those to whom these precious things had belonged. Lady 
Blessington, in her '' Idler in France," alludes to the influence 
of such painful feelings, when she went the round of the 
curiosity shops on the Quai D'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 
those shops, I often think of their probable histories, and of 
those to whom thi7 belonged. Each seisms to identify itself 
with the former owner, and conjures up in my mind a little 
romance.'* " Vases of exquisite workmanship, chased goM 
etuis, enriched with oriental agate and brilliants that had once 
probably belonged to some grandes dames of the Court: 
pendules of gilded bronze, one with a motto in diamonds on 
the liack — * vous me faites oublier les heures' — a nuptial gift : 
a flagon of most delicate workmanship, and other articles of 
bijouterie bright and beautiful as when they left the hands of 
the jewelltT ; the gages d'amour are scattered all around. But 
tlie givers and receivers, where are they ? Mouldering in the 
grave, long years ago. 




THB BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 201 

" 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 cus- 
tody of some avaricious vender, 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 plea- 
sure, will probably be scattered abroad, and find their resting- 
places not in gilded salons, but in the dingy coffers of the 
wily brocanteurs, whose exorbitant demands will preclude their 
finding piwchasers."* 

The property of Lady Blessington offered for sale was thus 
eloquently described in the catalogue, composed by that eminent 
author of auctioneering advertisements, Mr. Phillips. 

*• Costly and elegant cflFects, comprising all the magnificent 
furniture, rare porcelain, sculpture in marble, bronzes, and 
an assemblage of objects of art and decoration, a casket of 
valuable jewellery and bijouterie, services of rich chased silver 
and silver-gilt plate, a superbly fitted silver dressing-case ; col- 
lection of ancient and modern pictures, including many por- 
traits of distinguished persons ; valuable original drawings and 
fine engravings, framed and in the portfolio ; the extensive and 
interesting library of books, comprising upwards of 5000 
volumes ; expensive table services of china and rich cut glass, 
and an infinity of valuable and useful effects ; the property of 
the Right Hon. the Countess of Blessington, retiring to the 
Continent." 

On the 10th of May, 1849, 1 visited Gore House for the last 

time. The auction was going on. There was a large assemblage 

of people of fashion: Every room was thronged ; the well-known 

library saloon, in which the conversaziones took place, was 

* The Idler in France, vol. ii. p. 53, 



202 THB BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 

crowded, but not with guests. The arm-chair in which the 
lady of the mansion was wont to sit, was occupied by a stoutt 
coarse gentleman of the Jewish persuasion, busily engaged in 
examining a marble hand extended on a book — the fingers c^ 
which were modelled from a cast of those of the absent mistress 
of the establishment. 

People as they passed through the room poked the fur- 
niture, pulled about the precious objects of art, and ornaments 
of various 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 humourist, a facetious man— one of the editors 
of '' Punch ;" but he had a heart, with all his customary drol- 
lery 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 shewed 
he felt how very different indeed they were. I took my leave 
of Mr. Albert Smith, thinking better of the class of facetious 
persons who are expected to amuse society on set occasions, 
as well as to make sport in print 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 Madise, 
innumerable 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 Palazza Negrone, 
the Hotel Nov, St^amorc Place, and Gore House, in quick sue- 




THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 203 

cession, were brought to the hammer. One whom I had 
known in most of those mansions, my old friend^ Dr. Quin, I 
met in this apartment. 

This was the most signal ruin of an establishment of a 
p»son of high rank I ever witnessed. Nothing of value was 
saved from the wreck, with the exception of the portrait of 
Lady Blessington, by Chalon, and one or two other pictures. 
Here was a total smash, 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 honour of Lady Bless- 
ington be it mentioned, she saved nothing, with the few 
exceptions I have referred to, from the wreck. She might 
have preserved her pictures, objects of virtu, bijouterie, &c. 
of considerable value ; but she said all she possessed should 
go to her creditors. 

There have been very exaggerated accounts of the produce 
of the sale of the effects and furniture of Lady Blessington 
at Gore House. 

I am able to state, on authority, that the gross amount 
of the sale was £13,385, and the net sum realized was 
£11,985 4s. 

When it is considered that the furniture of this splendid 
mansion was of the most costly description, that the eflfects 
comprised a very valuable library consisting of several thou- 
sand volumes, bijouterie, ormolu candelabras and chandeliers, 
porcelain and china ornaments, vases of exquisite workman- 
ship, a number of pictures by first-rate modern artists, the 
amount produced by the sale will appear by no means large. 

The portrait of Lady Blessington, by Lawrence, which 
cost originally only £80, I saw sold for £336. It was pur- 
chased for the Marquis of Hertford. The portrait of Lord 
Blessington, by the same artist, was purchased by Mr. Fuller 
for £68 5s. 

The admirable portrait of the Duke of Wellington, by 



204 THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 

Count D'Orsay, was purchased for £189, for the Marquis of 
Hertford.* 

Landseer's celebrated picture of a spaniel sold for £ 1 50 10«. 

Landseer's sketch of Miss Power was sold for £57 10*. 

Lawrence's pictures of Mrs. Inchbald were sold for £48 6s. 

The following letter from the French valet of Lady Bless- 
ington, giving an account of the sale at Gore House, contaios 
some passages for those who make a study of human nature, 
of some interest : — 

*' Gore House, Kensington, 
May 8th, 1849. 
" My Lady, 

" J'ai rega votre lettre hier, et je me serais empresse d'y 
repondre Ic mCme jour, mais j*ai ete si occup^ etant le premier 
de la vcntc qu'il m'a et^ impossible de le faire. J'ai vu Mr. 

P dans I'apres midi. II avait un commis ici pour prendre 

le prix dcs differcnts objots vendu le 7 Mai, et que tous avei 
snns doutc recu maintenant, au dire des gens qui ont assist^ a 
la ventc. Les choscs se sont vendue avantageusement, et je doii 
ajouter que Mr. Phillips n*a rien neglig^ pour rendre la ventc 
intercssante a toute la noblesse d'ici. 

^' Lord Hertford a achcte plusicurs choses, et ce n^est que di- 
manclie dernier fort tard dans Taprc^s midi, qu'il est venu voir 
la maison, en un mot je pense sans exageration, que le nombre 
dc personncs qui sont venus a la maison pendant les 5 joun 
quelle a cte en vuc, que plus de 20,000 personnes y sont entr^ 

* Tlils picture was D'Orsay's chef-d' cntvre. The Duke, I wm in- 
formed by the Count, spoke of this portrait as the one Le would wi»k 
to be remembered by in future year:*. He u^ed frequently, when it 
was in progress, to come of a morning, in full dress, to Oore Hou*e, 
to give the artist a sitting. If there was a crease or a fold in any 
part of the dress which he did not like, he would insist on iu being 
altered. To use D*Orsuy*8 words, the Duke was so hard to be pleaded, 
it was most difRcult to make a good portrait of him. When Le cou- 
rented to have any thing dnne for him, he would have it done in the 
host way ]iosvlble. 




THE BR£AK-UP AT GOBE HOUSE. 205 

une tres grande quantity de Catalogues out et6 Tendu^ et nous en 
Tendons encore tous les jours, car vous le savez, pcrsonnes n*est 
admis sans cela. Flusieurs des personnes qui frequentent la 
maison sout venus les deux premiers jours. 

" Je vous parle de cela my Lady parceque j'ai su que Mr. Dick 
arait dit a un de ses amis dans le salon qu'il y avait dans la 
maison une quantity d'articles envoye par Mr. Phillips, et com- 
me j etais certain du contraire, je me suis address^ a Mr. Guthrie, 
qui etait en ce moment dans le salon, et qui lui meme s'en est 
plaint a Mr. Dick. II a nie le fait, mais depuis j'ai acquit la 
certitude qu'il avait avanc6 ce que je viens de vous dire. Je 
n'ai pas hesite a parler tres haut dans le salon, persuad6 que je 
desabuserait la foule qui s'y trouvait. 

" Le Dr. Quin est venu plusieurs fois ct a paru prendre le 
plus grande interet a ce qui se passait ici. M. Thackeray est 
▼enu aussi, et avait les larmes aux yeux en partant. CTest pent 
etre la seule personne que jai vu riellement affecti en voire depart. 

" J'ai rhonneur d'etre. My Lady, 

" Votre trtis humble serviteur, 

" F. AVILLON." 

One of Lady Blessingtou's most intimate friends, in a note 
to her Ladyship, dated May 19, 1849, (after the break-up 
at Gore 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 pre-occupying 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 cannot but be en- 
livened 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 
forward to 1 One becomes absolutely sick, wondering what is 
to be the end of it all. I could fill books with tales which one 



206 THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 

new courier after another brings of dismay and misery, and of 
breaking-up abroad." 

On the same sad subject came two letters, worthy of the 
kind and noble-hearted person who wrote them. 



From Mrs. T- 



Chesham Place, Friday, April, 1849. 



" My dearest - 

• « ♦ * * 

" Is it true that you are going to Paris ? If so, I hope I 
shall see you before you go, for it would grieve me very maeh 
not to bid you good-bye by word of mouth, for who can tdl 

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 Iriih 
estates not paying, and told me to-day, that a rumour had reached 
her to this effect. If it be true, I need not say how it grierei 
me. You have so often come forward in our poor deareit 
mother's difficulties, so often befriended her, and us thrcmgk A<r, 
that it goes to my heart to think you are harassed as she was, and 
that I am so poor that I cannot act the same generous part you 

did, by her. But, 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 with me, but in case I re- 
ceive my money (£1600) down, do make uscof m«. Remember 

I am your own , and believe me, I am not ungrateful, but 

love you dearly, and cannot bear to think of your being in trouUe. 

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 mc, and consider me intrusive. Probably there is no 
truth in the rimiour. If so, forget that I have ever seemed in- 
trusive, and only rest assured of my affection. May God bleu 
you, my dearest . 



•* Ever your most affectionate - 
'^ Mauguebitb 




THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 207 

From Mrs. T . 

'' AprU 38, 1849. ^ 

''I was very glad to receive your affectionate note^ my 

arest , and to know you are not offended with mine to 

u. I wrote to you from my heart, and one is seldom misin- 

preted at those times. Whilst I live, dearest , I shall 

re a heart to care for you, and feel a warm interest in your 
)pmess ; you must never let any thing create a doubt of this, 
ill you promise me this ? 

' I doubt not you will be happier in Paris. It saddens me, 
rever, to feel that, perhaps, we shall never meet again ; and I 
ven/y very sorry not to have seen you, and bade you at^least 
d-bye. 

^ I cannot say how much I have thought of you, and felt for 
., dearest ■, breaking up your old house. I know how 

r dearest mamma felt it, when such was her lot ; and you 
;mble each other in so many things. Every one says you have 
jd most admirably, in not any longer continuing to run the 
Qce of not receiving your annuity duly, but selling off, so as to 

all you owe, and injure no one. I think there is some little 
ifort in feeling that good acts are appreciated, so I tell you this. 

n half ashamed of my little paltry offer. Dearest , I am 

flad you were not affronted with me, for I know you would 
e done the same over and over again for me ; but then you 
ijs confer, and never accept ; and I have much to thank you 

as well as my sisters, for you have been a most unselfish 

tid to each and all of us. 

* * * * * 

I should so like to know what is become of poor old Comte 
— . I wrote to him at the beginning of the year, but have 
51 had an answer. If you meet him, do be kind to him, 
r old man, in spite of his deafness and blindness, which make 
neglected by others, for he is a very old friend of ours, and 
si an interest in the poor old man, knowing so many good 

kind acts of his. 

" Ever, dearest, 

" Yours most affectionately, 
'* Marguerite." 



20S THE BREAK-UP AT GOaE HOUSE. 

Lady Blcs&ington and the two Miss Powers left 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 maintaiDed i 
position almost queenlike in the world of intellectual distinc- 
tion, in fashionable literary society, reigning over the best 
circles of London celebrities ; and reckoning among her ad- 
miring friends, and the frequenters of her salons, the most 
eminent men in England, in every walk of literature, art, and 
science, in statesmanship, in the military profession, and eray 
learned pursuit. For nineteen years she had msdntained es- 
tablishments in London seldom surpassed, and still more 
rarely equalled, in all the appliances to a state of soddy, 
brilliant in the highest degree, but, alas ! it must be acknow- 
ledged at the same time, a state of splendid misery, foragreit 
portion of that time, to the mistress of those elegant and 
luxurious establishments. 

And now, at the expiration of those nineteen years, we find 
her forced to abandon that position, to relinquish all those 
elegancies and luxuries by which she had been so long sur- 
rounded, to leave her magnificent abode, and all the cherished 
works of art and precious objects in it, to become the propertf 
of strangers, and, in fact, to make a departure from the scene 
of all her former triumphs, which it is in vain to deny, was i 
flight effected with privacy, most painful and humiliating to 
this poor lady to be compelled to have recourse to. 

Lady Blessington began her literary career in London, in 
1822, with a small work, in one vol. 8vo., entitled, " Sketdics 
of Scenes in the Metropolis." It commences with the acoount 
of the ruin of a large establishment in one of the fashionahk 
squares of the metropolis, and of an auction in the house c^ 
the late proprietor, a person of quality, the sale of all the 
magnificent furniture and effects, costly ornaments, precioui 
objects of art, and valuable pictures. 




THE BREAK-UP AT GORE HOUSE. 209 

And strange to say, as if there was in the mind of the 
writer a sort of prevision of events of a similar nature occur- 
ring in her own home at some future period, she informs us 
the name of the ruined proprietor of the elegant mansion 
in the fBishionable square, the effects of which were under sale, 
was B. The authoress says, sauntering through the gilded 
aloQS crowded with fashionables, brokers, and dealers in 
bjjoaterie, exquisites of insipid countenances and starched 
neddoths, elderly ladies of sour aspects, and simpering dam- 
ds, all at intervals in the sale, occupied with comments, jocose, 
ceosorious, sagacious, or bitterly sarcastic, on the misfortunes 
tod extravagance of the poor B.'s ; she heard on every side 
flippant and unfeeling observations of this kind : '* Poor 
Mrs. B. will give no more balls ;" " I always thought how it 
would end ;" " The B.'s gave devilish good dinners though ;" 
"Capital feeds indeed ;" " You could rely on a perfect supreme 
ii volaille " (at their table) ; " Where could you get such 
wtellettes des pigeons a la champagne ? " " 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 dinners should be ruined ;" " A short cam- 
paign 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 follies, errors, and extravagancies of Mrs. B." " Mr. B. , 
though foolish and extravagant in some things, had consider- 
able taste and judgment in some others ; for instance, his 
books were excellent, well chosen, and well bought ;" ** His 
busts, too, are verj- fine;" " Give me B.'s pictures, for they 
VOL. I. P 



• 10 THE B3X1LS-UP AT GOKB HOUSE. 

1^ ^:-^aii3 ."" - Tbit zr:^-:p, so exquisitdy ocdoiired and » 
zrzc zc ZiirwT^, xcli iilj r« prxiuoed by the inimitable peDcfl 

" Ai.d :^ is iz x::;:d:!i !" says the auJiorcss at the endof 
ie £ri: iktcch iz. i:-»r £r5« work. " A scene," she contmiNi» 
" iz^i Lis be:c >: c:: n the resort of the young, the griTe, 
xni izk riy, is niw czjt where those who have partaken of 
r::e b:scL:alir7 zi the c:>x opulent owner of the mansion, now 
ccccfc ro wini^ss his downfall. reg:irdless of his misfortune, or 
tise to eiult in their own contrasted prosperity.'* • 

This skiftch wcdd indeed have answered for the auctioo 
scene at Gore House in 1S49, &iven-and>twenty years after it 
had been penned by Lady Blessiugton. 

Her Ladysaip thus commenoed her litenury career in 181^ 
wich a descripdon of the ruin of an extravagant person of 
quahty in one of our tashionaUe squares in London, with IB 
account of the break-up of his establishment, and the auction 
of his effects ; and a similar career terminates in the uttar 
smash aiid the sale at Gore House in 1849. There m 
many stranger things 'twixt heaven and earth than m 
dreamt of in the philosophy of our Horatios of iashionaUB 
societ}*. 

• The *' Magic Lantern/* Sec. pp. 1, 2, 3. London, Longman, UJl 




211 



CHAPTER IX. 

lL of lady BLESSINGTON in PARIS, THE MIDDLE OF 

[L, 1849 HER LAST ILLNESS, AND DEATH, ON THE 

OF JUNE FOLLOWING NOTICE OF HER DECEASE. 

Blessington and her nieces arrived in Paris in the 

of April, 1849. She had a suite of rooms taken for 
the Hotel de la Vdle d'Eveque, and there she remained 

3rd of June. The jointure of £2000 a- year was now 
e dependence of her Ladyship, and the small residue of 
oduce of the sale of her effects at Gore House, after 

the many large claims of her creditors and those of 

D'Orsay. 

Q after her arrival in Paris, she took a moderate-sized 
mdsome appartement in the Rue du Cirque, close to 
iamps Elysees, which she commenced furnishing with 

taste and elegance ; her preparations were at length 
5ted — but they were destined to be in vain. In the 
iterval between her arrival in Paris and her taking pos- 
i of her new apartment on the 3rd of June, she received 
its of many of her former acquaintances, and seemed 
;er spirits than she had been for a long time previously 

departure from London. 

5 kindness she met with in some quarters, and especially 
I hands of several members of the Grammont family, 
t once agreeable and encouraging. But the coolness 
J accueil of other persons who had been deeply in- 

p 2 



21*2 AARIVxL Off LADT ZLESSTSGTOS IS PABIS. 

de':Cr«i c: li*^r hi:>pi:alltv in former times, was somewhat i 
chi'.^ing i-i:: see had t?xpet:t5d to find, and the warm fed 
c: her r-^c.^mis heart and noble nature revolted at it. 

Pru^rt Li'iia Xap-jIeiDn. on Ladv Blessington's arrin 
P.ir:.^, r^^i ^'^e^tcd her to cr.me to the palace of the Elysee» w 
he thru p:s:ii.d : she went, accompxmied by Count D*0 
arid th : ::v :• MUs Powers. He subsequently inrited tha 
(iir.aer He had been one of the most constant and intir 
guests ri: Gjre H^use, both b^^fore and after his imprisonn 
at Hifn. He uied to dine there whenever there were 
diitin^uislA'd persons, whether Elnglish or foreign. He 
en the m j<t familiar and intimate terms with Lady BlessiDf 
ar*d her circle, j: iriing them in parties to Greenwich, RichoM 
&c. ; all his friends, as well as himself, were made wdoo 
and on his escape from Ham, he came to Gore House stn 
on his arrival in London, giving Lady Blessington the 
intimation of his escape. 

On that occasion, at Count D'Orsay*s advice, he w: 
at once to Monsieur St. Aulaire, then ambassador in LoDi 
stating that he had no intention of creating any fermen 
di>turbance, but meant to reside quietly as a private indirit 
in London. Lady Blessington proffered some pecuniaiy 
sistance to the Prince, and both Lady Blessington and Cc 
D'Orsay manifested their earnest desire and wiUingnen 
aid him in any way they could be made serviceable to i: 
While he needed their services, and influence, and hospital 
the Prince expressed himself always most grateful for t 
kindness. But with the need — the sense of the obligati 
ceased . 

There is no doubt on the minds of some of the fric 
even, of Prince Louis Napoleon, but that the active 
unceasing exertions and influence of Count D*Orsay and 
friends and connections in Paris, went far to aid his dec 
as President. D^Orsay rallied to his party Emile dc Girar 




ARRIVAL OP LADY BLESSINGTON IN PARIS. 213 

one of the ablest and boldest journalists of the day, but who 
subsequently for a time became a formidable opponent. The 
dicf 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 
Um ; a fear which has induced him to surround his person 
irith men of mean intellect and of servile dispositions, pliant, 
iodigeDt, and unscrupulous followers, of no station in society, 
or character for independence or integrity of principle. 

Lady Blessington began to form plans for a new literary 
cweer — she engaged her thoughts in projecting future works, 
k making new arrangements for the reception of the beau- 
wmde. She employed a great deal of her time daily, in 
loperintending the furnishing of her new apartment ; in the 
way of embellishments or luxuries, or comforts, some new 
wants had to be supplied every day. The old story of un- 
utisfied desires ever seeking fulfilment and never contented 
with the fruition of present enjoyments, applies to every 
phase in life, even the most chequered : 

" Like our shadows, 
Our wishes lengthen, as our sun declines." 

The sun of Lady Blessington's life was now declining 
tut ; and even when it had reached the verge of the horizon. 
Us going down was unnoticed by those around her, and the 
suddenness of its disappearance occasioned no little surprize, 
and gave rise to many vague surmises and idle rumours. 

There were some striking coincidences in the circumstances 
attending the deaths of Lord and Lady Blessington. 

In May, 1829, Lord Blessington returned to Paris from 
England, purposing to fix his abode there for some months 
at least ; and on the 23rd 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 



214 LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH. 

by apoplexy, while riding on the Champs ElysA*, and 
the s.ame day, in a state of insensibility. 

Twenty years from that date, Lady Blessington arriv 
Paris, from London, purposing to fix her abode there ; 
on the 4 th of June, having made all suitable preparatioi 
a long residence in Paris, and after a sojourn there of i 
five weeks, without previous warning or indisposition, shi 
suddenly attacked by an apoplectic malady, complicated 
disease of the heart, and was carried off by that seizu 
her abode adjoining the Champs Elysee, being quite ui 
scious, during the brief period of the struggle, of the 
issue that was about to take place. 

A few weeks before that event, a British peeress, wht 
have had the pleasure of meeting at Gore House in ft 
days, wrote to Lady Blessington at Paris, reminding hfr 
promise, that had been extorted from her, and entreatno 
her to rememl)er her religious duties, and to attend to tl 

Poor Lady Blessington always received any communic 
made to her on this subject with respect, and even w 
feeling of gratitude for the advice given by her. She : 
on it solely on one or two occasions, in Paris, when 
accompanied the Duchess de Grammont to the churdi o 
Madeleine on the Sabbath. 

But no serious idea of abandoning the mode of life sli 
had been entertained by her. Yet she had a great fear of d 
and som(»tirn( s spoke of a vague determination, whenere 
shnuld be released from the chief cares of her career — the 
and anxieties of authorship, the turmoil of her life in salon 
intellectual circles — that she would turn to religion, and i 
amtMids for her long neglect of its duties, by an old ^ 
retirement from soi^iety, and the withdrawal of her thoi 
and afi^ections from the vanities of the world. But the 
pi)sed time for that (*hange was a future which was n 
come ; and the present time was ever to her a pfik 




LA6T ILLNESS AND DEATH. 215 

which all thoughts of death were to be precluded, and every 
amusiog and exciting topic was to be entertained which was 
capable of absorbing attention 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 
detailed account of her last illness and death : — 

*' Rue de la Ville, I'Eveque, No. 38. 
;. " February 18, 1850. 

^ "On arriving in Paris, my aunt adopted a mode of 

\ life differing considerably from the sedentary one she had for 
I »uch a length of time pursued ; she rose earlier, took much 
I exercise, and, in consequence, lived somewhat higher than was 
her wont, for she was habitually a remarkably small eater ; this 
appeared to agree with her general health, for she looked well, 
and was cheerful ; but she began to suffer occasionally (espe- 
cially in the morning) from oppression and difficulty of breath- 
ing. These symptoms, slight at first, she carefully concealed 
from our knowledge, having always a great objection to 
medical treatment; but as they increased in force and fre- 
quency, she was obliged to reveal them, and medical aid was 
immediately called in. Dr. L^on Simon pronounced there 
was * energie du coeur,' but that the symptoms in question pro- 
ceeded probably from bronchitis — a disease then very prevalent 
ia Paris — that they were nervous, and entailed no danger, and 
as, afler the remedies he prescribed, the attacks diminished 
perceptibly in violence, and that her general health seemed 
litde affected by them, he entertained no serious alarm. 

" On the 3rd of June, she removed from the hotel we had 
occupied during the seven weeks we had passed in Paris, and 
entered the residence which my poor aunt had devoted so much 
pains and attention to the selecting and furnishing of, and that 
same day dined en famille with the Due and Duchesse de 
Guiche (Count D'Orsay's nephew). On that occasion, my aunt 
seemed particularly well in health and spirits, and it being a 
lovely night, and our residences lying contiguous, we walked 
home by moonlight. As usual, I aided my aunt to undress. 



210 LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH. 

— she never allowed her maid to sit up for her — and left her a 
little after midnight. She passed, it seems, some most restless 
hours (she was habitually a bad sleeper), and early in the 
morning, feeling the commencement of one of the attacks, she 
called for assistance, and Dr. Simon was immediately sent for, 
the symptoms manifesting themselves with considerable violencei 
and in the mean time, the remedies he had ordered— sitting 
upright, rubbing the chest and upper stomach with ether, ad- 
ministering ether internally, &c. — were all resorted to without 
effect ; the difficulty of breathing became so excessive, that the 
whole of the chest heaved upwards at each inspiration, which 
was inhaled with a loud whooping noise, the face was swoDen 
and purple, the eyeballs distended, and utterance almost wholly 
denied, while the extremities gradually became cold and livid, 
in spite of every attempt to restore the vital heat. By degree*, 
the violence of the symptoms abated ; she uttered a few words ; 
the first, * The violence is over, I can breathe freer ;' and soon 
after, ' Qu'elle heure est il V ITius encouraged, we deemed 
the danger past; but, alas! how bitterly were we deceived; 
she gradually sunk from that moment, and when Dr. Simon 
who had been delayed by another patient^ arrived, he »w 
that hope was gone ; and, indeed, she expired so easily, so 
tranquilly, that it was impossible to perceive the moment when 
her spirit passed away. 

" The day but one following, the autopsy took place, when il 
was discovered that enlargement of the heart to nearly doable 
the natural size, which enlargement must have been progressing 
for a period of at least twenty-five years, was the cause of 
dissolution, though incipient disease of the stomach and liver 
had complicated the symptoms. The body was then embalmed 
by Dr. Ganal, and deposited in the vaults of the Madeleine, 
while the nionunient 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 daguerreotj'pe taken 
of the place, a drawing of which we shall have forwarded to 
you. 

** The mausoleum is a pyramid of granite, standing on a square 
platform, on a level with the surrounding ground, but divided 




MONUMENT TO HER MEMORY. 217 

it by a deep fosse, whose sloping sides are covered with 
turf and Irish ivy — transplanted from the garden of the 
where she was born. It stands on a hill-side, just above 
llage cemetery, and overlooks a view of exquisite beauty 
amense extent, taking in the Seine winding through the 
valley, and the forest of St. Germain ; plains, villages, 
X distant hills ; and at the back and side it is sheltered by 
iut-trees of large size and great age ; — a more picturesque 
\ is difficult to imagine. 

'• M. A. Power.'* 

\m Mrs. Romer's account of this monument, the follow- 
issages are taken : — 

olid, simple, and severe, it combines every requisite in 
my with its solemn destination ; no meretricious oma- 
, no false sentiment, mar the purity of its design. 
;enius which devised it has succeeded in cheating the 
of its horrors, without depriving it of its imposing 
y. The simple portal is surmounted by a plain 
ire cross of stone, and a door, secured by an open-work 
)nze, leads into a sepulchral chamber, the key of which 
Jen confided to me. All within breathes the holy calm 
mal repose ; no gloom, no mouldering damp, nothing 
all the dreadful images of decay. An atmosphere of 
appears to per\'ade the place, and 1 could almost fancy 
I voice from the tomb whispered, in the words of 
's Beatrice : — 

" ' lo sono in pace !* 

he light of the sun, streaming through a glazed aper- 
bove the door, fell like a ray of heavenly hope upon the 
il of man's redemption — a beautiful copy, in bronze, of 
el Angelo's crucified Saviour — which is affixed to the 
acing the entrance. A simple stone sarcophagus is 
on either side of the chamber, each one surmounted 
3 white marble tablets, encrusted in the sloping w^iUs." 



21 S NOTICE OF HER DECEASE. 

The monument was visited by me a few weeks before tb 
death of Count D'Orsay. It stands on a platform , or mound 
carefully trenched, adjoining the church-yard, and approadiec 
from it. The sepulchral chamber is on a level with tin 
platform from which you enter. Within are two stone sar 
cophagi (side by side), and in one of these is deposited the coffin 
containing 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 Corn- 
wall, the other — that which has led to a correspondence. 

The first inscription, above referred to, is in the foHowing 
terms : — 

" IN MEMORY OP 

MARGUERITE, COUNTESS OF BLESSINGTON, 

WHO DIED ON THE 4rH OF JUNE, 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 paintersi 

Of her own country. 

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 life, and now lament her most, 

Have raised this tributary marble 

Over the place of her rest." 

Babrt CoillVWAtX. 




INSCRIPTIONS TO HER MEMORY. 219 

The other inscription, altered from one written by Walter 
Savage Landor, is as follows: — 

" Hie est depositufn 
Quod superest mulieris 
Quondam pulcherrimje 
Benefacta celare potuit 
Ingonium suum non potuit 
Perigrinos quoslibet 
Grata hospitalitate convocabat 
Lutetiae Parisiorum 
Ad meliorum vitam abiit 
Die IV mensis Junii 

MDCCCXLIX/' 

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 sepvltvin est id omne qvod sepeliri potest 

mvlicris qvondam pvlcherrima*. 

Ingenivm svvm svmmo stvdio colyit, 

aliorvm pari adjvvit. 

Benefacta sva celare novit ; ingenivm non ita. 

£rga omnis erat larga bonitate 

peregrinis eleganter hospitalis. 

Venit Lvtetiam Parisiorvm Aprili mense': 

qvarto Jvnii die svpremvni svvm obiit." 

The following English version of the above inscription has 
been given by Mr. Landor : — 

TO THE MEMORY OF MARGUERITE, COUNTESS OF 
BLESSINGTON. 

" Underneath is buried all that could be buried of a 
woman once most beautiful. She cultivated her genius with 
the greatest zeal, and fostered it in others with equal as- 
siduity. The benefits she conferred she could conceal, — her 



220 INSCRIPTIONS TO HER MEMORY. 

talents not. Elegant in her hospitality to strang^^, 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 
Dryden, who died in 1712, and was buried in Kiel church, 
in Staffordshire — (see "Monumenta Anglicana," p. 154) — 
where some expressions occur, somewhat similar to those 
which Mr. Landor has taken exception to, in the substituted 
inscription. It runs thus : — 

" Haec quo erat, fcrma et gcnere illustrior» 
eo se humiliorem prajbuit maritum honorando 

familiam praecipue Liberos fovendo 

pauperes sublevando, peregrinos omnes decor^ 

proximosque et vecinos humaniter excipiendo^ 

ut neminem reperisses decidentum : 

non prius de vine turn, mira hujus 

et honesta morum suavitatc." 

The age of Lady Blessington has been a subject of some 
controversy. She was born, we are informed by her tiiece 
(on the authority, T have reason to believe^ of her aunt), the 

* On the subject 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 epitaphs have 
certain qualities in common ; for instance, all are encomiastic. The 
main difference and the main difHculty lie in the expression, since 
nearly all people are placed on the same level in the epitaph as in the 
grave. Hence, out of eleven or twelve thousand Latin ones, ancient 
and modern, I find scarcely threescore in which there is originalitj or 
elegance. Pure latinity is not uncommon, and is perhaps as little 
uncommon in the modern as in the ancient, where certain forms ex- 
clude it, to make room for what appeared more venerable. Nothing is 
now left to be done but to bring forward in due order and just pro- 
portions the better peculiarities of character composing the features of 
the dead, and modulating the tones of grief. 

'' Walteb Satagk Lanimiil" 




HER AGE. 221 

1st of September, 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 Blessington had been married the 7th of March, 
1804. She must then have been about fifteen years of age ; 
but, according to the former account, she would have been 
only fourteen years of age the 1st of September, 1804.* 

Lady Blessington stated to me that when she was married 
in 1804, she was then under fifteen years of age. Had she 
been born on the 1st of September, 1789, she would not have 
been fifteen years of age till 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 younger sister), in the account 
of her death, in " the Annual Register," is stated to have 
died in her fifty-fourth year, the 16 th of November, 1845. 
From this, it would appear that she was born in the latter 
part of 1791. 

Mary Ann, Countess St. Marsault, the youngest of all the 
children of Edmond Power, I am informed was fifteen years 
younger than Lady Blessington. If this be the case, and 
Lady Blessington was born in 1789, the Countess of St. 
Marsault must have been born in 1804, and would be now 
fifty-one years of age. 
But if I might hazard an opinion on so delicate a subject 

* A person intimately acquainted with Lady Blessington's family 
is the editor of a Clonmel paper, in which the following paragraph 
appeared : — 

** A Dublin solicitor has just been in Clonmel, for the purpose of 
exactly ascertaining the age of the late Countess of Blessington, in 
reference to an insurance claim. She was not so old at her death as 
the newspapers said, having been married in 1804, at the early age of 
fifteen years, so that slie was only sixty years old at her decease.*' 



222 COUNT d'orsay's grief. 

as a lady's age, I would venture to set down the date of thai 
event as 1801, and not 1804. 

In a letter from Miss Power, dated 12th of July, 1649 
then residing at Clmmbourcy Pr^s de St. Germain-en-Layt 
(the seat of the Duchess de Grammont, the sister of Coud) 
D'Orsay), the loss of Lady Blessington is thus referred to:— 

" Count D'Orsay would himself have answered your letter 
but had not the nerve or the heart to do so ; although thi 
subject occupies his mind night and day, he cannot speak o 
it but to those who have been his fellow- sufferers ; it is liki 
an image ever floating before his eyes, which he has got, as ii 
were, used to look upon, but which he cannot yet bear to gras| 
and feel that it is real : much that she was to us, we cannot bu^ 
feel that to him she was all ; the centre of his existence, rounc 
which his recollections, thoughts, hopes, and plans turned ; anc 
just at the moment she was about to commence a new modi 
of life, one that promised a rest from the occupation an( 
anxieties that had for some years fallen to her share, deatl; 
deprived us of her." 

On D'Orsay 's first visit to the tomb where the remains oi 
Lady Blessington had been deposited, his anguish is said tc 
have been most poignant and heart-rending. He seemed 
almost frenzied at times, bewildered and stupified ; and 
when awakened to a full consciousness of the great cala- 
mity that had taken place, he would lament the loss he 
had sustained as if it occurred only the day before. His stat« 
of mind might be described in the words of an Arabic 
poem: 

" Tom from lov'd friends, in Death's cold caverns laid, • 
I sought their haunts with shrieks that pierced the air ;— 
• ^V^lere are they hid ? oh ! where V I wildly said ; 
And Fate, with sullen echo, mocked — * Oh where V "• 

* Tian>lation from an Arabic poet* by the late Sir William Jonet. 




NOTICE OF HER DEATH. 223 

A notice of the death of Lady Blessington appeared in 
" the Athenseum," of June 9th, 1849, written by one who 
appears to have known her well, and to have appreciated 
fiilly her many excellent qualities : — 

"Only a fortnight since, the journals of London were laying 
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 
pleasurable recollection to many persons distinguished in lite- 
rature 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 Paris, 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 by more regrets than 
^iD be that of this brilliant and beautifU woman, in the circle 
to which her influences have been restricted. It is unneces- 
sary to sum up the writings published by Lady Blessington 
within the last eighteen years, commencing by her * Conver- 
sations with Lord Byron,' 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 fugitive verses, — since these are too recent to 
caD for enumeration. 

" As all who knew the writer will bear us out in saying, 
they faintly represent her gifts and graces — her command over 
anecdote, 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 Ufe 
of unselfish good ofEces and lively social intercourse. 

" From each one of the vast variety of men of all classes, 
aU creeds, all manner of acquirements, and all colour of 
political opinions whom Lady Blessington delighted to draw 



221 NOTICE OF HER DEATH. 

around her^ she had skill to gather the characteristic tra 
favourite object of interest, with a fineness of appreciati 
be exceeded only by the retentiveness of her memory. 

" Thus until a long series of family bereavements, ai 
pressure of uncertain health had somewhat dimmed the 
of her spirits, her conversation had a variety of reminis 
a felicity of apropos^ and a fascination of which her wi 
offer faint traces. In one respect, moreover, her talk d 
resemble the talk of other beaux esprits. With the • 
ness of a child she could amuse and persuade herself ! 
tirely as she amused and persuaded others. Among a 
brilliant women we have known, she was one of the 
earnest — earnest in defence of the absent, in protection 
unpopular, in advocacy of the unknown : and many are 
who can tell how generously and actively Lady Blesd 
availed herself of her widely extended connections throu 
the world to further their success, or to promote thdr plea 
In her own family she was warmly beloved as an inde&t 
friend, and eagerly resorted to as an unwearied coun 
How largely she was trusted by some of the most distingi 
men of the time, her extensive and varied correspcw 
will show, should it ever be given to the worid. lot 
causes which limited her gifts and graces within a nai 
sphere than they might have otherwise commanded, wc 
no commission to enter."* 

* The Athenaeum, June 9th, 1S49. 




225 



CHAPTER X. 

NOTICE OP THE CAREER, LITERARY TASTES, AND TALENTS 
OP LADY BLESSINGTON. 

With respect to the influence exercised in society over persons 
rf exalted intellect, by fascinating manners, personal attrac- 
tions, liveliness of fancy, quickness of apprehension, closeness 
of observation, and smartness of repartee, among the literary 
ladies of England, of the present or past century, it would be 
difficult to find one, with whom Lady Blessington can be fitly 
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 profession and pursuit, has been seldom surpassed in 
any country. 

It would not be difficult to point out ladies of celebrity as 
i<is hleus of far superior abilities as authoresses, of imagina- 
tions with richer stores of wit and poetry, of more erudition, 
and better cultivated talents. But we shall find none, who, 
for an equal length of time, maintained an influence of fasci- 
nation in literary and fashionable society, over the highest in- 
tellects, and exercised dominion over the feelings, as well as 
over the faculties of those who frequented her abode. 

Grimm, in his " Memoires Litt6raires et Anecdotaires," 
makes mention of a Madame Geoff^rin, the friend of D'Alem- 
bert, Marmontel, Condorcet, Morellet, and many other illus- 
VOL. 1. Q 



226 LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 

trious litt^raireSy whose charactor and mental qualities, agre- 
merits, espr it ^ finesse de Vart, bonte de cceur^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 Blessington. Those of Lady Mary 
Worthy, Lady Craven, Lady Holland, and Lady Morgan, 
present no such traits of resemblance, fitly to be compared 
with the peculiar graces, attractions, 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 " Memoircs 
Littdraires et Ilistoriques." We learn from it that Madame 
Geoffrin's salons were open nightly to the artists, literati, mi- 
nisters of state, grandees, and courtiers. Authors were not 
assured of the success of their new works, till they had been 
to Madame Geoffrin's soirees, and a smile and an encouraging 
expression of the sovereign of the salons set their hearts at 
ease on the subject of their productions. 

Helvetius, when he published his book "De TEsprit," felt 
no confidence in its reception by the public till he had ooi^ 
suited Madame : ce thermom^tre de Fopinion. 

*' Madame Geoffrin n'avoit guerre des ennemis que ptnni 
les femmes." She had all the tastes, we are told, of a sensi- 
tive gentle creature, of a noble and a loving nature. " Im 
passion de donner qui fat le besoin de sa t*i>, etoit nee avec 
elle et la foumienta pour ainsi dire de ses premieres annecs" 
She had aptly t:iken for her device, the words " Donner et 
pardonnery 

There was nothing brilliant in her talents, but she was an 
excellent sayer of good things in short sentences. She gaw 
dinners, and there was a great eclat in her entertainments — 
'* Mais ilfaut autres choses que des diners pour occvper dans 
le monde la place que cettefemme estimable s'y etait faite.** 

Monsieur MiJcbherbes was happily characterised by her — 




UTERARY CAREER OP LADT BLESSINGtTON. 227 

" rhotnme du monde le plus simplement simple^ She said, 
among the weaknesses of people, their vanity must be en- 
dured, 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 re- 
lied to. My friend, FonteneUe, who bears with them as I 
do, says they give his lungs repose. I derive another advan- 
tage from them ; their insignificant 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 me, take good care not to say 

anything to them of the little good you know of me. They 

vill hate me for it all the more. It will be a torment to 

them, and I have no wish to pain them." When this amiable 

and lovely woman died, D'Alembert uttered words very 

simikr to those which D'Orsay addressed to me on the first 

occasion of my meeting him after the recent loss of that 

friend, who had so many qualities of a kindred nature to those 

of Madame Geoffrin. " Her friendship," said D'Alembert, 

" was my consolation in all troubles. The treasure which was 

80 necessary and precious to me has been taken away, and in 

the midst of people in society, and the tilling up of the void 

of life in its circles, I 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 kind- 
ness and generosity, in all circumstances : — 
"la the midst of her triumphs, the goodness of her heart, 
♦ M^moires Lit. et Anecdotes, vol. ii. p. 64. 

Q 2 



228 LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 

and the fine qualities that had ever distinguished her, re- 
mained wholiy unimpaired. Generous to lavishness, charitable, 
compassionate, delicately considerate of the feelings of others ; 
sincere, forgiving, devoted to those she loved, and with a 
warmth of heart rarely equalled, 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 comfortably 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 mure dis- 
tant of her relatives, all profited by her benefits, assistanop, 
and interest." 

A lady of very distinguished literary talents, and highly 
esti^emed by Lady Blessington, well acquainted too with many 
of her benevolent acts, Mrs. A. M. HaD, thus wrote of her 
recently, in answ^er to some inquiries of the Editor. 

" Fir field, Addlestone, Surrey, June 7, 18M. 

" I never had occasion to appeal to Lady Blessington for aid 
for any kind or charitable purpose, that she did not at 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 particular situation, which I thought Lady Blessington 
could obtain. All the circumstances 1 have forgotten, but the 
chief point was, that he entreated employment, and had some 
riglit to it, in one department. Lady Blessington made the re- 
quest I entreated, and was refused ; her Ladyship sent me the 
refusal to read, and, of course, I gave up all idea of the matter, 
and only felt sorry that I had troubled her ; but she remem- 
bered it, and, in a month, accomplished the poor man^s object ; 
her lettt.T was indeed a sun-beam in his poor home, and he in 
time became prosperous and happy." 

In a subsequent communication of the 3rd of August, 
Mrs. Ilall adds: 




LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 229 

** When Lady Blesslngton left London, she did not forget the 
necessities of several of her poor dependents, who received 
regular aid from her after her arrival, and while she resided in 
Paris. She found time, despite her literary labours, 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-doing : and she never missed an oppor- 
tunity of doing a gracious act or saying a gracious word. My 
acquaintance with Lady Blessington was merely a literary one, 
eommencing 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 world said of 
tliis beautiful woman was true or false, but I am sure God in- 
tended her to be good, and there was a deep-seated good intent 
in whatever she did that came under my observation. 

*' Her sympathies were quick and cordial, and independent of 
worldliness ; her taste in art and literature womanly and refined ; 
1 say * womanly,' because she had a perfectly feminine appre- 
ciation of whatever was delicate and beautiful ; there was great 
satisfaction in writing for her whatever she required ; labours 
became pleasures, from the importance she attached to every 
little attention 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 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 dis- 
beUef in every thing I ever heard to her discredit. Her con- 
versation was not witty ^or wise, but it was in good tune and 
good tajite, mingled with a great deal of humour, 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 intelligent eyes with tears, and her beautiful mouth would 
l^reak into smiles and dimples at even the echo of wit or jest. 



£30 LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 

" The influence she exercised over her circle was unboundedi 
and it became a pleasure of the most exquisite kind to give her 
pleasure. 

*' I think it ought to be remembered to her honour, that with 
all her foreign associations and habits, she never wrote a line thai 
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 obser>'ation. 

" I once chanced to encounter a young man of good educt- 
tion and some literary taste, who with his wife and two children 
were in a state of absolute want. After some thought as to 
M'hat had best be done for him, I suggested a situation in die 
Post Office as a letter-carrier. He seized at the idea ; but beiog 
bettor aware than I was, of the difficulty of obtaining it, ex- 
pressed himself to that effect. 

*' I wrote to Lady Blessiugton, telling her the young mtn'i 
story, and asking if she could get him the appointment : next 
day I received a letter from her, enclosing one from the secretarji 
regretting his utter inability to meet her .wishes, such appoint- 
ments, although so comparatively insignificant, resting with tke 
lN)stmaster-(ieneral. 1 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 hisdelight, however, when 
the very next day there came to me another letter from Lady 
IHessington, enclosing one from the Postmaster-General, con- 
ferring 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. Halu** 

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 approbatioa 
in regard to it. 

She was by no means indiscriminate in her praise; one of 







LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 231 

the class whose judgment is to be distrusted on account of the 
lavish bestowal of encomiunoi : — " Defiez vous de ces gens 
qui sont i, tout le nnonde et ne sont k personne." Nor, 
on the other hand, did she belong to that ofiost despicable 
of all cliques, the sneering, depreciatory would-be aristocratic 
clique, of small intellectual celebrities in literature and art, 
whose members are niggards in acknowledgment of all 
worth and merit, which do not emanate from their own little 
drcle of pretentious cleverness. 

There is a sentiment of envy discoverable in the constrained 
reluctant recognition of the intellectual advantages of others 
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, sangui- 
neous and cerebral of that class of small celebrities, be they ar- 
tists, authors, savans, antiquarians, doctors, or divines, or 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 sneering, self- 
complacent superciliousness : a sense of superiority in their 
dealings with other's merits, or a conviction of their own in- 
feriority on such occasions that begets an indisposition to let it 
be perceived that they admit the existence of any ability which 
is not admii-ed in themselves. The most narrow-minded, the 
least highly gifted, in such circumstances, are those who ever 
find it most necessary to be on their guard not to be betrayed 
into any terms of commendation of an enthusiastic kind, that 
might lead people to suppose they acknowledged any excellence 
in others they were incapable of manifesting in their own 
words or works. 

A member of this clique, of a waspish mind, and an 
aspish tongue, is never more at home in it, than when he is 
most sneering and depreciatory in his remarks, and churlish 
^f praise in regard to the intellectual advantages of his fellows. 



232 LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTOK. 

He is unaccustomed to think favourably, or to speak well of 
his absent littTary neighbours. He is afraid of affording 
them a good word ; he would be ashamed to be thought 
easily pleased with his fellow-raen — having any bookish 
tastes ; he cannot hoar them eulogised without feeUng his 
own merits are overlooked. Or if he does chime in with* 
any current praise, the curt commendation and scanty ap- 
plause are coupled with a scoff, some ribald jest, or ridiculing 
look, or gesture, intended to depreciate or to give a ludicrous 
aspect, to a subject that might possibly tarn to the advantage 
of another, if it had beeii gravely treated. In fine, it is not 
in his nature to be just or generous to any man behind his 
bark, 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 
acknowledgment of worth or merit in other people of literary 
pursuits. 

Laly Blessington was !iatundly lively, good-humoared, 
inirtliful, full of drollery, and t^sily amused. Her perception 
of the ridiculous was quick and keen. If there was any- 
thing absurd in a subject presented to her, she was sure to 
seize on it, and to represent the idea to others, in the most 
ridiculous light possible. This turn of mind was not ex- 
hibitrd in society alone ; in private it was equally manifested: 
one of the cla^^s proverbially given to judge severely of those 
they come most closely into contact with, after a sen-ice 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, affectionate 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 




LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 233 

overpowered 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 often told me she had never been confined to her bed 
one whole day id her life. And her spirits would have con- 
.tinued good, but that she got so overwhelmed with care and 
expenses 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 — fto the family, in particular, of 
one poor lady, now dead some years, whom she loved very 
dearly). She did a great many charities; for instance, she 
gave very largely to poor literary people, poor artists ; some- 
thing yearly to old servants ; she contributed thus also to Miss 
Landon'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. 

" Labouring night and day at literary work, all her anxiety 
^s to be clear of debt. She was latterly constantly trying 
to curtail all her expenses in her own establishment, and con- 
stantly toiling to get money. Worried and harassed at not 
Wing 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 jointure irregular, and every succeeding 
y^ar more and more so, her difficulties increased, and, at last, 
H' and J put an execution in the house, which 



234 LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINOTON. 

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 weD ai. 
small. I cannot 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 aD tint 
I have done, and a great deal more." 

Queen Catherine's language to her attendant, might have 
been applied by 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 actions. 
To keep mine honour from corruption, 
But such an honest chronicler as GriflBth.*** 

It would occupy a considerable portion of this volume were 
all the charitable acts, the untiring efforts, of this truly geD^ 
rous-minded woman recorded, to bring her influence to beir 
on friends in exalted station, in behalf of people in unfortuoato 
circumstances, and of persons more happily situated, yet 
needing her servict^s — seeking employment or appointments 
of some kind or another for them. 

There was this peculiarity, too, in the active benevoknce 
of Lady Blessington ; —whether the person for whom sheiDt^ 
rested licrself was of the upper or the humbler class of so- 
ciety, her exertions in his behalf were equally strenuous tod 
unreinitting till they were successful. 1 have, on many occa- 
sions, seen her, after receiving a letter from some important 
ptTsonage in parliament, or perhaps some friend of hers ■ 

* Henry the Kighth, act iv. sc. 2. 




UTSRART CAREER OF LADY BLE88INGT0N. 235 

power, intimating the inability of the party to render the 
lenrice required by her for a protegi of hers, when, for a 
few moments, she would seem greatly disappointed and dis- 
eouraged. Then there would be a little explosion of anger, on 
account of the refusal or non-compliance with her application. 
' But this was invariably followed by a brightening up of her 
bob, a little additional vehemence of tone and gesture, but 
tcooinpanied with some gleams of returning good-humour 
ind gaiety of manner, mingled at the same time with an air 
of resolution, and then throwing herself back in her fauteuil, 
and planting her foot rather firmly on the foot-stool, still 
hdding the letter that annoyed her rolled up tightly, 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 fiiends or family 
were counting on her efforts, and they should not be dis- 
appointed. 

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 glowing words, spoken with such pathos, 
and in accents of such sweetness, that an impression was 
generally sure to be made, and the object she had in view was 
cither directly or indirectly attained. 

The embarrassments of Lady Blessington for some years 
before 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 perpetual study of concealing. The cares, anxiety, 
and secret sorrows of such a situation it is easier to conceive 



23() LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 

than to describe. Suffice it to say, they served to embitter her 
career, and latterly, to give a cynical turn to her thoughts in 
relation to society, and a taste for the writings of those who 
have dealt with its follies, as philosophers, without faith in 
God or man, which tended by no means to her peace of mind, 
though she attached great importance 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 Roch^ 
foucault, for remedies for the wear and tear of litcrar)* life ; 
the weariness of mind, depression of physical energies, oca- 
sioned by long-continued literary labours, and the anxieties, 
cares, and contentions of authorship. The depressioD of 
spirits consequent on disappointments in the struggle for dis- 
tinction, the sinking of the heart at the failure of arduous efforts 
to obtain success, the blankness of life's aim after the coolii^ 
down of early enthusiasm ; for these ills, the remedies thai 
will soothe the sick at heart are not to be found in the phi- 
losophy of moralists, who are materialists, professing Chrisli-' 
anity. There is a small book, ascribed to a religious-miadcd 
man, named Thomas h Kempis, which, in all probabilitT, 
Lady Blessington never saw, in which there are germs of 
greater thoughts, and fraught with more consoling influences, 
than are to be discovered in the writings of Rochefoucault or 
Montaigne, and from which better comfort and more abun- 
dant consolation are to be derived, than from any of Ihe 
most successful efforts of the latter in laying bare the surfece 
and sounding the depths of the selfishness of the human 
heart. 

Rochefoucault deems selfishness the primum mobile of aH 
humane and generous actions. Humanity, in the opirjoD of 
this philosopher, is like physic in the practice of empirics. 
They admit of no idiosyncrasies ; no controlling influence in 




LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 237 

; no varieties of character determined by temperament, 
3US circumstances, external impressions, alteration or 
ty of organization. Yet the knowledge of human 

is a science to which no general rules can be applied, 
is no certainty in regard to the law that is laid down 
government, no uniformity of action arising from its 
ion, no equality of intellect, passion, disposition, in in- 
als, to make its general application just or possible. 
;, granting that all men feel only for the distresses of 

from selfish motives — from a sense of the pain they 

feel if they suffered like those with whom they sym- 
e — still their sympathy with misfortune or misery is 
3ial to others and themselves. 

s exceedingly painful to observe the undue importance 
Lady Blessington attached to the writings of Roche- 
ilt, and the grievous error she fell into of regarding 
as fountains of truth and wisdom — of deep philosophy, 

were to be resorted to with advantage on all occasions 
iitating reflection and inquiry. Satiated with luxuries, 

with the eternal round of visits and receptions, and 
ainments of intellectual celebrities, fatigued and worn 
dth the frivolous pursuits of fashionable literary life, 
jlfy sensible of the worthlessness of the blandishments 
iety and the splendour of its salons, she stood in need 
me higher philosophy than ever emanated from mere 
ly wisdom. 

erature and art have their victims, as well as their 
es, and those who cater for the enjoyments of their 
y, and aspire to the honour (ever dearly purchased by 
in) of reigning over it, must count on many sacrifices, 
xpect to have to dejil with a world of importunate pre- 
)ns, of small ambitions, of large exigencies, of unbounded 
y, of unceasing flatteries, of many attachments, and of 
riendships. 



233 LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLES8INGTON. 

The sick at heart, and stricken in spirit, the jaded and tb 
palled in this society, have need of other philosophy thai 
that whicli the works of Rochefoucault can supply. Thi 
dreariness of mind, of those over-worked, thought-wearid, 
intellectual celebrities is manifest enough to the obserrant, 
in their works and in their conversation, even when they ap- 
pear in the midst of the highest enjoyments, with bright 
thoughts flashing from their eyes, with laughter on their lip% 
and with sallies of wit, sarciism, 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 (k- 
press 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 nature, and uplifts his spirit It is the destructioD of 
all the illusions, without the hopes which should replace them. 
Rochefoucault, in a word, has only taken from Christianity 
the fall of man ; he left there the dogma of the Redemptioa 
. Rochefoucault believes no more in piety than be 
does in wisdom ; 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 mantk of 
the cynic philosopher. Rochefoucault permits himself to be 
a Christian, only in order to pursue the emotions of the heart 
into their last intrencliments. He condescends to seem to be 
a Christian only to poison our joys, and cast a deadly shade 
on the most cherished illusions of life's dreams. Whal 
remains for man then '? For those resolute minds, there 
remains nothing but a cold and daring contempt of all thii^ 
human and divine — an arid and stoical contentment in coo- 
fronting — annihilation : for others differently constituted, 
there remains despair or abandonment to the enjoyment of 




LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 239 

dng pleasures, as the only aim and ultimate object of 

re remains for women of cultivated minds, and of ele- 
lotions of a literary kind, women who are the disciples 
hefoucault, a middle course to pursue, which Monsieur 
y has not noticed : and that course is to shine in the 

of intellectual people. The pursuit indeed is a soul- 
ig one, but there is a kind of glory in it that dazzles 

and makes them exceedingly eager for it. 
se to whom amusement becomes a business, the art of 
g — a drudgery that is daily to be performed, pass from 
:itement of society, its labours and its toils, into the re- 
Qt and privacy of domestic life, in exhaustion, languor, 
leness, and ennui : and from this state they are roused 

efforts in the salons, by a craving appetite for notice 
r praise. 

'* Their breath is admiration, and their life, 
A storm whereon they ride." 

y Blcssington had that fatal gift of pre-eminent attrac- 
ts in society, which has rendered so many clever women 
.iiished and unhappy. The power of pleasing people 
iminately, in large circles, is never long exercised by 
1 with advantage to the feminine character of their fas- 
>ns. 

5 facility of making one's self so universally agreeable in 
y salons, as to be there " the observed of all observers," 
admired of all admirers, " the pink and rose " of the 
ate — of literature, a la mode, " the glass of fashion and 
ould of form," becomes in time fatal to naturalness of 
iter, singleness and sincerity of mind. Friendship, that 
les so diffusive as to admit of as manv ties as there are 
1 of literary talents to notice in society, and to be con- 
i available for all intimacies with remarkable persons and 
ns with intellectual celebrities — must be kept up by 



240 LITERARY CARCER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 

constant administrations of cordial professions of kindness and 
affection, epistolary and conversational; and frequent inter- 
change of compliments and encomiums, that tend to invigo- 
rate sentiments of regard, that would fade away without such 
restoratives. " On ne hue d'ordinaire que pour ette lout!* 
The praiscr and the praised have a nervous appreheDsion of 
depreciation ; and those who live before the public, in Uten- 
ture or society, get not unfrequently into the habit of lavishing 
eulogies, less with referenc;^ to the deserts of those who ire 
commended, tlian 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 
admiration, and to gain dominion over admirers. 

In eff*ccting this object, it was the triumph of her heart to 
render 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 seem. 
Lady Blessington w^is very conscious of possessing the beaiti 
of her audience. She had become accustomed to an atmo- 
sphere of adulation, and the plaudits of those friends which 
were never out of her ears, at last became a necessity to her. 
Her abode was a tom|)le, and she — the Minerva of theshriof, 
wham all the votaries of literature and art worshipped. 

The swinging of the censer before her fair face never oetaod 
in those salons ; the soft accents of homage to her beauty and 
her talents seldom failed to be whispered in her ear, whOe aha 
sat enthroned in that well-known fauteuil of hers, hoMiiig 
high court, in queen-like state — " the most gorgeous Lady 
Blessington."* The desire for this sort of distinction ct a 

♦ Dr. Parr was introduced to Lady Hles^inglon by Mr. Pettigft«i 
and shortly after that introduction, the Doctor, writing to Mr. PMi 
grow, Rpokc of her Ladyship as " the most gorgeous Ladj Bk»" 

in;rton." 




LITERARY CAREER OP LADY BLESSINQTON. 241 

beautiful woman, bookishly given — in other words, " <Ae co^ 
fuitterie d'un dame des salons litteraires" — in many respects 
is similar to that common sort of female ambition, of gaining 
the admiration of many, without any design of forming an 
attachment for one, which Madame de Genlis characterizes — 
*• (Vjue les hommes m^prisent et qui les attire.^' 

But in one respect, the intellectual species of coquetry is of 
a higher order than the other ; it makes the power of beauty, 
offescination, of pleasing manners, auxiliary only to the in- 
fioence of intellect, and seeks for conquests over the mind, 
even while it aims at gaining an ascendancy 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 disposition. 
She must become an actress there, she must adapt her manners, 
fashion her ideas, accommodate 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, 
calculated to draw momentary attention to them. She must 
become a slave to the caprices, envious feelings, contentions, 
rivalries, selfish aims, ignoble artifices, and exigeants preten- 
sions of literati, artists, and all the notabilities of fashionable 
cirdes, les amis des hommes des lettres, ou les amants ima- 
jmaires des dames d'esprit. 

In a word, she must part with all that is calculated to make 
I woman in this world happy ; peace of mind, the society of 
i\ie friends, and pursuits which tend to make women loved 
tnd cherished ; the language of sincerity, the simplicity and 

VOL. I. R 



242 UTER\RY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINOTON. 

endearing satisfaction of home enjoyments. And what 
she gain when she has parted with all these advantage! 
has attained the summit of her ambition ? — a name i 
world of fashion ; some distinction in literary circles ; he 
and admiration, so long as prosperity endures, and 
means are to be found for keeping up the splendour of ; 
establishment and its brilliant circles. 

And when the end of all the illusion of this sti 
splendid miser}' comes at last, the poor lady who has Iii 
it so long, awakens from it as from a dream, and the 
delirium of it becomes manifest to her. She has tli 
away fortune, time, and talents, in obtaining distinctic 
surrounding herself with clever people, in patronizing an 
tertaining artists and literati. She has sacrificed healtl 
spirits in this pursuit. Her establishment is broken 
nothing remains to her of all its treasures — she has to : 
another country, and, after a few weeks, she is sudded] 
ried off, leaving some persons, who knew her well and 
to lament that one so generous, kindly disposed, nati 
amiable and noble minded — so highly gifted, clever, an 
lented, should have been so unfortunately circumstano 
early life, in more advanced years, as well as at the dosec 
existence, so little at her ease ; that she should have 
placed so long in a false position ; in a few words, thi 
whole course of her life should have been infelicitous. 

The wear and tear of literary life, leave very unmistak 
evidence of their operation, on the traits, thoughts, and en 
of bookish people. Like the eternal rolling of the sto 
Sisyphus, the fruitless toiling up the hill, and the ooni 
failure of each attempt, at coming down, are the oeai 
struggles for eminence, of authors, artists, and those who i 
be surrounded by them in society as their patrons or adn 
and would obtain their homage for so being. 

Like those unceasing and unavailing efforts, are the 




LITSRARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTOK. 243 

its of literati, treading on the heels of one another day 
lay, tugging with unremitting toil at one uniform task 
obtain notoriety, to overcome competition, to supplant 
; in public favour, and having met with some success, 
tintain a position in inteUectual society at any cost, with 
ninence of which, perhaps, some freak of fortune may 
had more to do, than any intrinsic worth, or superior 
of their own. And then at last, they must end the 
"S which have consumed their health and strength, 
tit deriving from them any solid advantage, in the way of 
dition to their happiness, a security to their peace of 
or a conviction that those labours have tended materially 

real good of mankind, or the promotion of the interests 
itb, justice, and humanity. 

no spirit of unkindness towards the memory of Lady 
ngton, or forgetfulness of the many estimable qualities and 
ent talents which she possessed, let us ask, did her 
y career, and position in literary society, secure for her 
r those advantages which have been just referred to, 
sre they attended with any real benefits to those 
interests which transcend all others in this world in 
tance? 
d most assuredly, if the question be asked, was her life 

? the answer to that inquiry must be, it was not 

the height of her success, in the most brilliant period of 
ondon life, in St. James's Square, in Seamore Place, in 
House, in the midst of the luxuries by which she was 
mded, even at the period of her fewest cares — in Italy 
ranee — the present enjoyments were never unaccom- 
i with reminiscences of the past that were painful, 
t who could imagine that such was the case, who knew 
[ily in crowded salons, so apparently joyous, animated and 
rated by the smiling looks and soft accents of those 

R 2 



214 LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 

who paid such flattering homage to her beauty and her talent; 
fully conscious as she was of the admiration she excited, and 
so accustomed to it, that it seemed to have become essential 
to her being ? 

Ample evidence of those facts 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 observations. 

WRONGS AND WOES OF WOMEN. 

'* Men can pity the wrongs inflicted by other men on the 
gentler sex, but never those which they themselves inflict (on 
women)." 

'' Quelle destin^e que cette de la femme I A Tetre le phv 
foible le plus entour^ des seductions, le plus mal elcve,pourIri 
resister, les juges les plus severes, les peines les plus, durea li 
vengeance la plus inflexible. Quand le ciel chassa de son Fiuradii 
notre pere et notre mere coupables, la glaive de I'ange les frappi 
tons deux : pour tons deux son feu impitoyable brula dcvant b 
porte du lieu des delices, sans que la femme fut plus puni,|dBl 
malheureux que I'homme. Si elle eut les douleurs de b 
maternity, son compagnon d'infortunecutlessueursdu tnTiil 
et les horribles angoisses qui accompagnent le sp«>ctade del 
soufl^rances de celle qu'on aime. II n'y eut point entre cox 
un inegal partnge de punition, et Adam ne put pas k I'ei* 
elusion d*Eve rentrer dans ce jardin qui lui fermait It ooKn 
du ciel ! Hommes vous vous etes faits pour nous plus fl> 
flexible que Dieu, et quand nous sommes tombdespar voiUii 
cause de vous, pour vous seules brille Tep^ qui met hors ih 
monde, hors de Thonneur, hors de Testime et qui nous cm- 
peche a jamais d y rentrer." ! ! ! Brisset. 

•* The whole system of female education is to teach womn 




UTERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 245 

\o allure and not to repel, yet how much more essential is 
the latter." 

" England is the only country in Europe where the loss of 
one's virtue superinduces the loss of all. I refer to chastity. 
A woman known to have violated this virtue, thoMgh she 
possess all the other virtues, is driven with ignominy from 
lodety, into a solitude, rendered insupportable by a sense of 
Ae injustice by which she is made a victim to solitude, 
which often becomes the grave of the virtues she brought to 
it" 

" Passion ! Possession ! Indifference ! What a history is 
comprised 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 — indiflference ! 
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 in- 
terest of the aged of their own sex." 

"Women who have reached old age should look with 
affectionate interest on those of their own sex, who are still 
travelling the road scattered with flowers and thorns, over 
which they have already passed themselves ; as wanderers who 
have journeyed 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, maybe likened 



246 LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINOTON. 

to those fair but rootless flowers which float in streams, drive 
by every breeze." 

** Whenever we make a false step in life, we take more paii 
to justify it, than would have saved us from its commissioc 
and yet we never succeed in convincing others, nay mor 
ourselves, that we have acted rightly." 

" The happiness of a woman is lost for ever, when her hu 
band ceases to be its faithful guardian. To whom else a 
she confide the treasure of her peace, who will not betray tl 
trust ? and it is so precious, that unless carefully guarded it 
soon lost." 

" Love-matches are made by people who are content for 
month of honey, to condemn themselves to a life of vinegar 

" There are some chagrins of the heart which a friei 
ought to try to console, without betraying a knowledge of the 
existence : as there are physical maladies which a physidi 
ought to seek to heal, without letting the su£Ferer know th 
he has discovered their extent." 

*' In some women modestv has been known to survive cbu 

if 

tity, and in others, chastity to survive modesty. The h 
example is the most injurious to the interests of society, Ix 
cause they who believe, while they preserve chastity invioltti 
they may throw aside the feminine reserve and delicacy wbid 
ought to be its outward sign and token, give cause for tai 
picions, and off'end the purity of others of their sex with whoi 
they are brought in contact, much more than those who» &i 
ing in chastity, preserve its decency and decorum." 

" The want of chastity is a crime against one's self, but tk 
want of modesty is a crime against society." 

'' A chaste woman may yield to the passion of her Io*c 
but an unchaste woman gives way to her own."* 

* Some of the sentiments expressed in these observations. I do > 
think true or ju.st, in a moral or religious point of view. 




LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 247 

Lines on various subjects, from the " Night Thought Book" 
of Lady Blessington. 

NIGHT. 
1. 

*^ Yes^ Night I I love thy silence and thy cahn, 
That o'er my spirits sheds a soothing bakn. 
Lifting my soul to brighter, purer spheres. 
Far, far removed from this dark vale of tears. 

2. 

" 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." 

FLOWERS. 
** Flowers are the bright remembrances of youth ; 
They waft back, with their bland and odorous breath. 
The joyous hours that only young life knows. 
Ere we have learned that this fair 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 faded one by one, 
'Till nought 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 fade 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 laboured or have sorrowed lie. 
Learning from slumber how 'tis sweet to die — 
I love my vigils of the heart to keep ; 



248 LITERARY CAREER OF LADY BLESSIMOTON. 

For then fond Memory unlocks her store, 

WTiich 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, 

Tho' 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 ai 
alterations, in the hand-writing of Lady Blessingion, ap[ 
rently 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. 
Amidst the shades of pensive twilight gray. 
Yet has this heart not ceased to thrill with pain, 
Tiio' joy can make its pulses beat no more; 
Its wish to reach indifference is vain, 
And will be, till life's fitful fever's o'er. 
And it has reached the dim and silent shore, 
A\Tiere. sorrow it shall never know again. 
Like to a stream whose current's frozen o'er, 
Yet still flows on beneath its icy . . . ." 



On the same sheet of paper as that on which the preo 
ing lines are written, there are the following fragments 
verse, evidently composed in the same thoughtful mood as 
previous lines of a retrospective character. 

" But tho* the lily root in earth, 
Lies an unsightly thing, 



mi 



T^ 



LITERARY CAREER OF LAlY B_Ii5:NG7:N .. -= .-^ 

Yet thence the flow'ret hath it^ birth. 

And into light will spring. 
So when this form is in the dost,^ 

Of mortals all, the lot. 
Oh may my sonl its prison harst. 

Its errors all fcn-got !** 

Other lines unfinished, in a MS. book of Lady Blessii^toD, 
io her hand- writing. 

" The smile that plays around the Ups 
When sorrow preys upon our hearts. 
Is like the flowers with which we deck 

The youthful corpse, ere it departs 
For ever, to the silent grave. 
From tho9e who would have died to save." 

A fragment in pencilling, in another oommoo-place book of 
Lady BIcssington, in her Ladyship's hand-writing, but no date 

or signature. 

" Pardon, oh Lord ! if this too sinful heart, 

Ingrate to thee, didst 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. 
Thou only. Lord of mercy, now hath power 

To bid repose and hope again be mine. 
Chase from this fond and too long tortured breast. 

Thoughts that intrude to steal my soul from thee ; 
Aid me within a cloister to find rest. 

When I from sin and passion shall be free." 



No one who ever knew Lady Blessington would, and perhaps 
[2s3| ^^^ persons who may chance to read those pages, will refine 
to say, " Amen, to that sweet prayer." 

* A line has here been erased. 



250 



CHAPTER XI. 

NOTICES OP THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLESSINGTON9 

It would be absurd to lay claim for Lady BlessiDgton, 
great attributes of first-rate intellectual exceDencey 01 
creative, and inventive genius of a high order, oom 
vigour of mind, strength of imagination, and depth of f 
and displaying its mastery in graphic powers of delic 
and description ; giving a vivid look and life-like appe 
to every thing it paints in words. 

It would be a folly to seek in the mental gifts and 
of Lady Blessington, for evidences of the divine inspii 
of exalted genius endowed with all its instincts and k 
favoured with bright visions of the upper regions of 
and fiction, with glimpses of ethereal realms, people 
shadowy forms and spiritualized beings with glorious 
butes and perfections, or to imagine we are to discover 
writings sublime conceptions of the grand, the beautii 
chivalrous, or supernatural. The realization of great 
without encumbering the representation of ideal objed 
material images and earthly associations, belongs only to 
of the first order ; and between that power and mere g 
talent, fine taste, shrewdness of mind, and quickness 
prehension, there is a great difference, and there are 
degrees of intellectual excellence. 

It is very questionable if any of the works of Lady 
ington, with the exception of the " Conversations witl 
Byron," and perhaps the ** Idler in Italy," will m 




NOnCES OP THE WRITINQS OF lADT BLES8INGTON. 251 

a permaneDt position in English misctllaDeous literature. 
The interest taken in the writer was the main source of the 
temporary interest that was felt in her literary performances. 

The master-thinker of the last century has truly observed 
— " An author bustling in the world, shewing himsdf in 
public, and emerging occasionally from time to time into 
iK>tice, 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 autliorsh^) in 
1822. Her first work, entitled, "* The liagic 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 inexperi- 
enced in the ways of authorship. There were obvious marks 
in it, however, of cleverness, quickness of perception, shrewd- 
ness of observation, and of kindly feelings, though occasion* 
ally sarcastic tendencies prevailed over them. There were 
endences in that production, moreover, of a natural turn for 
humour and droller}', strong sensibility also, and some gra- 
phic powers of description in her accounts of affecting in- 
cidents. 

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 draft of a preface in her Lady- 
^ps hand-writing, intended for this edition, among her 
papers, with the following lines : — 

" If some my Magic Lantern should offend. 
The fault's not mine, for scandal's not my end ; 

♦ Dr. Johnson. Life of Mallet. 



252 NOTICES OP THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 

'Tis vice and folly that I hold in view. 

Your friends — not I — find likenesses to you." 

It is very questionable if more indications of talent are doI 
to be found in the first work written by Lady BlessingtoD 
" The Magic Lantern," than in the next production, or indeec 
in any succeeding performance of hers, though she looked si 
unfavourably on " The Magic Lantern " in her latter yean 
as seldom or ever to make][any reference to it 

" Sketches and Fragments," the second work by Lad; 
Blessington, was also published by Longman in 18 22, in ODi 
small 12 mo. volume. The preface to it is dated June IS 
1822. The contents of this volume are the following : — 

Blighted Hopes — Marriage — the Ring — Journal of a wed 
of a Lady of Fashion — an Allegory — Fastidiousness of Tasi 
— Coquetry — Egotism — Reflections — Sensibility — Friendshi] 
— Wentworth Fragments. 

In the " Sketches and Fragments," Lady Blessington begai 
to be somewhat affected and conventional, to assume a cha 
ractcr of strait-laced propriety and purism, that made it in 
cumbent on her to restrain her natural thoughts and feelings 
and to adopt certain formulas in phraseology expressive of ver 
exalted sentiments, and of a high sense of the duties she hac 
imposed on herself as a censor of society, its manners, moreh 
and all externals affecting the dec9rum of its character. Th 
fact is, Lady Blessington was never less effective in her wii 
tings than when she ceased to be natural. And with resprc 
to her second production, though in point of style and ski! 
in composition it was an improvement on her former worl 
in other respects it was hardly equal to it. 

Lady Blessington received no remuneration from cither c 
the works just mentioned. From the produce of the sale c 
the second work, after defraying all the expenses of publici 
tion, there was a small sum of £20 or £30 available, whic 




NOTICES OP THE WRITINGS OP LADY BLESSINQTON. 253 

was applied, by her Ladyship's directions, to a charitable 
purpose. 

The necessity of augmenting her income by turning her 
literary talents to a profitable account, brought Lady Blessing, 
ton before the public as a writer of fashionable novels. The 
peculiar talent she exhibited in this style of composition was 
' in lively description of persons in high life, in some respect 
or other outre or ridiculous, in a vein of quiet humour, which 
ran throughout her writings; a common-sense, and ge- 
nerally an amiable way of viewing most subjects ; a pleasant 
mode of effecting an entente cordiale 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 sati- 
rical, 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 
dose, and making the denouement the result that ought to be 
expected from the incidents of the story throughout its 
progress. 

The characters of her mere men of fashion are generally 
^ell 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 ser\'ices 
of " gorgons, hydras, and chimseras dire." She had no taste 
for horrors of that kind ; and if she had ventured into the 
delineation of them, the materiel of her imagination would 
not have enabled her to deal with them sucessfuUy. 

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 
flours rather too dark to be true to nature, or even just to 
n^r own sex. But she always professed to have a great 



254 NOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OF LADT BLESSINGTIW. 

dislike to works of fiction in which humanity was depleted 
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, m mixture d 
good and evil, and seldom, except in " the Victims of Society," 
evidence of unmitigated^ unredeemable baseness and viDanj 
in the character of any person she writes of. Books that give 
pain, and are disagreeable to think of after they have been 
read, she had a strong objection to. One of her literary cor- 
respondents, in 1845, writing to her, referring to a reoeni 
work, which gave a painful and disagreeable portraiture oi 
several characters, said, " It is a sin against art, which is de- 
signed to please even in the terrors which it evokes. But the 
highest artists, Sophocles, Shakspeare, and Goethe, have de- 
parted from that general rule on certain occasions, and for 
certain ends. I should have compromised with the guik 
depicted, if I had abated the pain the contemplation of such 
guilt sliould occasion. It is in showing by what process the 
three orders of mind, which, rightly trained and regulated, 
produce the fairest results of humanity, may be depraved, to 
its scourge and pestilence, that I have sought the analysis of 
truths, which, sooner or lat(T, wiU vindicate their own mofil 

utilities. The calculating intellect of , which shooM 

have explored science, the sensual luxuriance and versatility of 

., which should have enriched art ; the conjuDctioDof 

earnest passion, with masculine understanding, in ^i 

which should have triumphed for good and high ends in odJN 
practical life, are aU hurled down into the same abyss of iri^ 
trievable guilt — from want of the one supporting prindpfe--* 
brotherhood and sympathy with others. They are incams- 
tions of egotism pushed to the extreme. And I suspect tboso 
most indignant at the exposition, are those who have besn 
startled with the likeness of their own hearts. They may not 
have the guilt of the hateful three, but they wince from tk* 




KOnCBS OF THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLBSSINGTON. 255 

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 vin- 
dicatioQ may be deferred till it can only be rendered to dust — 
a stone and a name." 

In 1832, in "Colburn's New Monthly Magazine," Lady 
Blessington's " Journal of Conversations with Liord Byron " 
made their 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 unex- 
aggerated a sketch as any that has been ever published — if 
a secret feeling of pique, and, perhaps, the recollection of some 
8%ht, had not stolen into her ** Conversations." 

The " Journal " was published in one vol. 8vo., a little 
later, and had a very extensive sale. 

" Grace Cassidy, or the Repealers," in three vols., the first 
and worst novel of Lady Blessington, was published by 
Bendey, in 1833. 

From all Irish political novels, including " The Repealers," 
the English public may pray most earnestly to be delivered. 

"The ingenious device" of representing real living cele- 
brities under names and titles that only differ firom their own 
by a single letter, or the substitution of the designation of an 
^tate, or a family name for a title, has been adopted in this 
work. Thus we find Earl Grey disguised as Lord Rey ; Lord 
Meath, as Lord Leath ; Mr. Shiel, as Mr. Thiel ; Hon. Mrs. 
Anaon, as Mrs. Pranson. 

" Meredyth," a novel, in 3 vols., was published by Long- 
naan, 1833. 

In October, 1833, Mr. William Longman wrote to Lady 
Blessington, stating that " Meredyth " had not hitherto had 
the success that had been anticipated. £45 had been spent 



256 NOTICES OP THE WRITINGS OP LADY BLESSINGTON. 

in advertising, and only 380 copies sold, 300 of which had 
been subscribed. 

" The Follies of Fashion, or the Beau Monde of Londoo, 
in 1835," — appeared in one of the periodicals of the time. 

" The BcUe of the Season," a much later production, ns 
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, appeared in 1835. If the delineation of high life 
given in this work be correct, the experience which quaUSed 
the author to produce such a performance was very terribk 
If it be not true, the wholesale pulling-down process, the utter 
demolition of the reputation of people in fashionable society, 
of women as well as men, in this work, is to be regretted. 

*' The Confessions of an Elderly Lady," came out in one 
vol., 1838. — " The Governess," a novel, in 3 vols., followed 
in 1839. — "Desultory Thoughts and Reflections," in one 
thin 16mo. vol., appeared in 1839.*— "The Idler in Italy' 
was published in 2 vols. 8vo., Colburn, in 1839 ; the mod 
successful and interesting of all the works of Lady Blesnng- 
ton. — " The Idler in France" appeared in 2 vols. Svo,, Long- 
man, in 1841.— "The Lottery of Life, and other Tales," 
in 3 vols., appeared in 1842. 

" Strathem, or Life at Home and Abroad," a stwy of tfce 
present day. This novel appeared first in " The Sunday 
Times ;" afterwards, it was published by Colburn, in 1843, 
in 4 vols. Between the two publications. Lady Blessington 
is said to have realized nearly £600. It was the molt 
read of all her novels, as she imagined ; yet the puUisbe^ 
in a letter to Lady Blessington, several months after puhlitf- 
ion, complained that he only sold 400 copies, and had kit 

* To the liberality of the publishers, Mesars. Longman, I tin i*- 
dcbtcd for the use I have made of this work. 




lOTTCES OP THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 257 

)y the publication, and that he must decline a new work 
sed by her. In this work, the writer drew, as in her 
novels, her illustrations of society from her own times ; 
ler opportunities of studying human nature in a great 
f of its phases, but particularly in what is called ** the 
liable world," enabled her to give faithful pictures of a 
portion of its society. These portraitures in " Strath- 
are graphic, vivid, and not without a dash of humour 
arcastic drollery in her delineation especially of fashion- 
ife abroad. But the representation is certainly not 
xceedingly unfavourable to the class she puts en scene 
me, Naples, Paris, and London, but very unpleasing on 
lole, though often amusing, and sometimes instructive, 
the " Memou^ of a Femme de Chambre," a novel, in 
$., published by Colburn and Bentley, in 1846, Lady 
Qgton availed herself of the privileges of an imaginary 
t maid, to penetrate the inner chambers of temples of 
1, to discover and disclose the arena of aristocratic 
The follies and foibles of persons in high life, the trials 
*art-sicknesses of unfortunate governesses, and the vi- 
des in the career of ladies'-maids, and in particular in 
f one femme de chambre, who became the lady of a 
1 nabob, are the subjects of this novel, written with 
animation, and the usual piquancy and liveliness of style 
writer. 

ionel Deerhurst, or Fashionable Life under the Regency," 
ablished by Bentley, 1846. 

[armaduke Herbert," a novel, was published in 1847. 
is work, a very eminent literati wrote in the following 
to Lady Blessington, May 22d, 1847 : — 
i seems to me, in many respects, the best book you have 
n. 1 object to some of the details connected with the 
error,* but the management of its effects is marked by 
L. I. s 



258 NOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLESSIMOTOS 

a very high degree of power ; and the analytical subtlet; 
skill displayed throughout the book struck me very muc 
" I sincerely and warmly congratulate you on what 
certainly extend your reputation as a writer." 

" Country Quarters," a novel, first appeared in the coh 
of a London Sunday paper, in 1848, and was publ 
separately, and edited by Lady Blessington's niece, 
Power, after her Ladyship's death, in 3 vols. 8vo., She 
1850. 

" Country Quarters," the last production of Lady I 
ington, is illustrative of a state of society, and of scenes in 
life, in provincial towns, in which young English mfl 
Lotharios, and tender-hearted Irish heroines, speculatire 
sentimental, are the chief performers ; for the delineatio 
which Lady Blessington was far more indebted to her r 
lection than to her imagination. There is no eviden 
exhausted intellect in this last work of Lady BlessiDgt 
But the drollery is not the fun that oozed out from cr 
rant vivacity in the early days of her authorship; i 
forced, strained, "written up," for the occasion; and 
there is an air of cheerfulness about it, which, to 
knowing the state of mind in which that work was wrii 
would be very strange, almost incredible, if we did not n 
lect the frame of mind in which the poem of John Gi 
was written by Cowper. 

The literary friends of Lady Blessington were in the h 
of expressing to her Ladyship their opinions of her peift 
ances as they appeared, and of sometimes making vciy bs 
suggestions to her. 

The general tone of opinions addressed to authors by t' 
fritnds must, of course, be expected to be laudatory; i 
those, it must be admitted, of many of Lady 
friends were no exc(*ption to the rule. 




NOTICES OF THE \^R1T1KGS OF LADY BLESSl^GTON. 259 

Of " The Repqalers," a very distinguished writer thus wrote 
to the authoress. 

"My dear Lady Blessington, J have read your * Repealers ;' 
you must be prepared for some censure of its politics. I 
have been too warm a foe to the Coercive Bill, to suffer so 
iommdable a combatant as you to possess the field without 
ehalleDge. 1 like many parts of your book much, but, will 
you forgive me ? you have not done yourself justice. Your 
haste is not evident in style, which is pure, fluent, and remark- 
ably elegant, but in the slightness of the story. You have 
praised great ladies and small authors too ^uch ; but that is 
the fault of good nature. Let your next book, I implore you, 
be more of passion, of sentiment, and of liigh 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 appli- 
cation. 

" Forgive all this frankness ; 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 a more 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 pas- 
ttow 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 
abetter ' Admiral's Daughter;' both being works that depend 
solely on passion for their charm. You have all the tact, 
truth, and grace of De Sta<^l, and have only to recollect that 
^hile she wrote for the world, the world vanished from her 
doset. In writing, we should see nothing before us but our 



2C)0 NOTICES OF Til£ WLUTINGS OF LADY BLESSIKGTON. 

uwn 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 receot 
novel of hers : 

'* People often say to me, I shall write a novel : if I ques- 
tion them, * on what rule ?' they state they know of no ruhs. 
They write history, epic, the drama, criticism, by rules ; and 
for the novel, which comprises all foiu", they have no rules: 
no wonder there is so much of ttdent manque in half the 
books we read. In fact, we ought to do as the sculptors do; 
gaze upon all the great masterpieces, till they sink into ns, 
till their secrets penetrate us, and then we write according to 
rules without being quite aware of it. 

'' I have been trying to read some fashionable French bookL 
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 tnish makes common sense too plain and 
simple to be true." 

Of " The Victims of Society," a friendly critic writes: 

" I have finished the whole of * The Victims of Society.' 
The characters are drawn with admirable tact and prediioBi 
and a knowledge of human nature, that is only too fine Ar 
the obtuse. You are, indeed, very severe in the second 
volume, more so than I had anticipated; but it is severe titA j 
finely conceived, boldly attempted, and consummately eifr 
cuted. You have greatly retrieved and fined down Min 
Montresor^s character, by her touches of penitence and remont 
Lord C. is perfect. W — , an English dandy throughout 1 
cannot conceive that you have anything to dread. You bus 
attacked only persons whom the general world like to Imt 
attacked ; the few who wince, will. pretend not to undentttd 
the apjjlication." 




KOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 2G1 

Of " The Idler in Italy," one of her most distinguished 
friends 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 
resting on pillar swans,' and the ' terrace that is to be turned 
into a garden:' your observations on men and things are, as 
usual, excellent. All the account of the Revolution is highly 
animated and original ; I am sure the work will be univer- 
sally liked." 

On the appearance of " The Two Friends," Lady Blessing- 
ton received the following notice of it from one of her lite- 
rary acquaintance : — 

" I have just finished your work, ' The Two Friends,' and 
I may congratulate you on a most charming publication, 
which cannot fail to please universally, and to increase your 
reputation. It is true that there is nothing exaggerated in 
it, but it is written in a thoroughly good tone and spirit, very 
elegant, and sastained with great knowledge of character, 
noany dramatic situations ; abounding with profound observa- 
tions, and much playful wit. The happiest and newest cha- 
racter of the kind I know, is the Count de Bethune. He is 
admirable. His bearing his griefs like ' a man and a French- 
man,' his seeing to his dinner and reproving his daughter for 
her want of feeling in disturbing his digestion, are exquisite 
f traits of character, and remind us of the delicate touches of 
Manzoni, in * I Promessi Sposi.' Lord Scamper is very humo- 
rous, and I laughed heartily at some of the scenes in which 
he appears, though in one part his verisimilitude is a little 
injured by your making him talk sense about the Revolution. 
Your politics there, by-the-by, are shockingly Tory, and will 
please Lord Abinger. There are some beautiful discriminative 
reflections not dragged in per force — nor tedious and extra- 
neous, but natural and well timed. In your story, you have 



262 NOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLESSINQTON. 

improved prodigiously since * The Repealers ;* it is more syste- 
matic and artful. Altogether, you have exceeded my hopes, 
and may reckon here on complete success. L:idy Walmer is 
very harsh, but a very true portrait. Cecile is charming, smi 
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 aDow 
for the fears of a woman ; sit all events, such prudence wiD 
make you more popular. There is no doubt of your harin; 
greatly excelled * The Repealers.' " 

Another novel of her Lndyship's called forth the following 
observations from another quarter : — 

" 1 have received your book ('Marmaduke Herbert'), and 1 
must candidly tell you that I think you have outdone yourself, 
in this most interesting and effective work. It has a grave, 
sustained solemnity of power about it, of which I cannot speik 
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 kag 
ago, that you could have made so fine a thing of it. The fini 
volume and a half arc extremely thrilling, and without effort. 

" The IJelle of the Season" brought several letters to Li*f 
Blessington. The* following one is most deserving of being 
ei:ed : — 

" I rejid your * Belle of the Season' with sincere admin- 
tion ; tlie very lightness of the subject makes the treatmedi 
so (iirlicult, and it is surprising how much actual interest ynti 
have given to the story, while the versification is so skiUiil, 90 
graceful, and easy, as to be a model in its way. 

'* I was ('harmed from the first few lines, and indeed the 
oprning n( tlie stnry is one of the happiest parts. 




NOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 263 

" The whole partakes of the character of the subject, and is 

a true picture of what a London season is to a young lady — 

opening those views that are new to her of life and society. A 

London season wears different faces to different classes ; the 

politician, the author, the actor, the artist, the tradesman, the 

{ttckpocket, the boy who wants to ' old your oss' — 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 
original. I do not remember any specimen of the * Rambler' 
like it. 

" I then went from poetry to prose, and read your * Go- 
verness ;' 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 
dass of literature, very caricature. To this class, I think the 
Mondens, and some of the scenes at Mr. V. Robinson's, 
belong. But they are amusing, and will, no doubt, please 
generally. 

" I am delighted to see that ybu 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 sub- 
ject, 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 colouring of the rest, it would 
be a perfect gem in composition, as it is now in sentiment 
and conception." 



2G4 NOTICES OF TUE WRITINGS OF LADY BLESSINGTOK. 

THE ANNUALS. 

The late Frederick Shoberl, Esq., who died in Maidi, 
1853, originated in 1823, in conjunction with the late Mr. 
Ackermann, the first of the English annuals, " The FoiTgct-me- 
not." For several 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 iUustrated works that have 
since issued from the press. 

These luxuries of literature were got up especially for the 
entertainment of ladies and gentlemen of fashionable drdei, 
but not exclusively for the elite of English society. The 
tastes of belles and beaux of the boudoirs of aU grades as- 
piring to distinction were to be catered for, and the oontri- 
butors, 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])le amateur authorship with the sparkling gems of genius, 
with more regard to brilliancy of talent than to advantages of 
ancestry, and these adventitious aids of professional litmti 
were very largely paid for. 

In 1828, Moore makes mention of the editor of " Hw 
Keepsake" offering him £600 for 120 lines of either prose or 
poetry ; which he declined. 

Persons known as popular writers, had likewise to be cm- 
j)li>yed as editors of those periodicals, and were Lurgely paid io 
general ; some for their name iJonc. and others for their 
services. 

In those pidmy days of annual periodicals, when the name 
of a literary notability as editor was so important to suooosi 
we find " The Scenic Annual," for 1838, edited by Thoiitti 
Campbell. 

*• The Keepsake," fur 1833, was edited by F. Mansel Rey- 
luAds. The contributors were— The Countess of BlessingtOD 




NOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 265 

Lord Dover, Leitch Ritchie, Esq., John Carne, 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, Craddock, author of " Hajji Baba ;" Arch- 
deacon Spencer, Miss L. E. Landon, &c. &c. 

"The Court Journal," for 1833, was edited by the Hon. 
Mrs. Norton. 

" Heath's Book of Beauty," for the same year, was edited 
by L. K L. 

" Portraits of the Children of the Nobility," was edited by 
Mrs. Fairlie, in 1838 ; and, in the same year, " The Pictu- 
resque Annual," by Leitch Ritchie. 

Fisher's "Drawing-Room Scrap-Book," for i838, was 
ediU'd by L. E. L. 

" Flowers of Loveliness," with poetical illustrations by 
L. E. L., also appeared in the same year. 

Finden's '* Tableaux ; or, Picturesque Scenes of National 
Character, Beauty, and Costume," edited by Mary Russell 
Mitford, was published in 1838. The poetical contributions 
Were by Mr. Kenyon, Mr. Chorley, and Barry Cornwall. 

The greatest and first promoter, in his day, of illustrated 
annuals, was Mr. Charles Heath. 

This eminent engraver was the son of Mr. James Heath, a 
distinguished artist also, whose' engravings have been the 
studies on which the two Findens are 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 Ilhistrations turned out 

advantageous, but in their other speculations they were less 

fortunate. Mr. William Finden's ** Gallery of British Art " 



260 NOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLESSINQTON. 

proved a ruinous undertaking ; he died in ^'ery poor drcum- 
stances, Sept. 20, 1852, in his sixty-fifth year. 

Mr. Charles Heath had, like the Findens, entered on the 
publication of periodicals illustrated by him, and with the 
same unfortunate result. He excelled in small plates, and in 
his hands that sort of artistic talent exhibited in the embel- 
lishment of annuals reached its greatest perfection. 

Heath's " Book of Beauty" for 1834, edited by theCoun- 
tess of Blessington, contained nine pieces by her Ladyship.* 

* The following are the contents of this Yolame, and the namei or 
signatures of the authors : 

1. The Choice of Phylias, a tale. Sir E. L. B. 

2. Francesca, a poem. Dr. William Beattie. 

3. Margaret Carnegie, a tale. Vittcount Castlereagh. 

4. The Phantom Quest, a poem. Anon. 

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 B. 

S. Wortlcy. 

10. An Irish Fairy Fahle, a tale. Mrs. S. C. Hall. 

11. Phcche, or my Grandmamma West, lines. James Smith. 

12. Imaginary Conversations, Khadamistus and Zenobia. W. ^ 

Lander. 
10. To Memory, stanz;ifl. The Countess of Blessington. 

14. The Desert, lines. John Gait, Esq. 

1 5. Bianca Vanczzi, lines. Dudley West, Esq. 

16. Rosalie, lines. Countess of Blessington. 

17. Epochs, lines II. L. Bulwer, Esq. 

IS. Imaginary Conversations, Philip IL and Donna Juanm Cod^ 

W. S. Landor. 
10. The Coquette, a tale. The Countess of Blessington. 

20. The Deserted Wife, lines. R. Bemal, Esq. M.P. 

21. Farewell for ever, lines. J. H. I/)wther, Esq. 

22. The Bay of Naples in the summer of 1824, a sketch. ^ 

Countess of Blessington. 
2;j. To Matilda 'sketching, lines. The Counters of Blessing i 




U&tlCt^ 07 THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLBSSINOTON. 267 

As one of the most favourable specimens of those illus- 
trated works, the following notice of " the Book of Beauty '* 
for 1836, 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 Mar- 
chioness of Abercorn," by E, Landseer ; " Lucilla," by 
Parris ; " Nourmahal," by Meadows ; ** Habiba,*' by Chalon. 
The gem of the volume is " Juliet," by Bostock. 

Among the contributors we find the distinguished literary 
names of Viscount Strangford, Sir William Gell, Ei L. Bulwer, 
M.P., Lord Nugent, the Hon. K. R. Craven, Lady Emme- 
line S. Wordey, Lord Albert Conyngbam, R. Bernal, M.P., 
Lady Charlotte Bury, Lord William Lennox, Miss Louisa H. 
Sheridan, IL L. Bulwer, M.P., Sir Aubrey de Vere, Bart., 
Hon, G. Berkley, Hon. J. Lester, Sir William Somerville, 
Bart., Hon. K. Talbot, Mr. Serjeant Talfourd, M.P., &c., &c. 
The fair editress contributed a lively and graceful illustra- 
tion of an excellent plate, named " Felicity," by M'Clise, re- 
presenting a pretty pert lady's maid trying on a fine dress be- 
fore the glass, and looking perfectly satisfied with the result. 

FELICITfe. 

BY THE COr^'TESS OF BLESSINGTON. 

*' Oh ! would I were a lady. 
In costly silks to shine; 
Who then could stand beside me ? 
What figure match with mine ? 

" Who'd rave about my mistress, 
With her pale and languid face. 
If they could see my pink cheeks. 
Edged round with Brussels' lace ? 



24. Rebecca, a tale. Anon. 

25. To Lncy reading, lines. The Countess of Blessington. 

26. What art thou, Life ? stanzas. Idem. 



263 NOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OP LADY BLE8SINGT0K. 

" How well her cap becomes me ! 
With what a jaunty air 
I've placed it off my forehead. 
To shew 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 cost 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 well it shows my waist. 

" I must run down one minute. 
That Mr. John may see. 
How silks, and lace, and ribands 
Set off^ a girl like me. 

" Yet all of these together. 

Ay, pearls and diamonds too. 
Would fail to make most ladies look 
As well as — I know who." 

Another of these periodicals edited by her Ladyship firoi* 
1835 to 1840, was entitled "Gems of Beauty, designs tV 
E. T. Parris, Esq., with fanciful illustrations in verse by th^ 
Countess of Blessington." 

Ilcr Ladyship was gifted with a great facility for versifica- 
tion, but the git\ of poetry of a high order was certainly not heis. 
She could throw great vivacity, much humour, and some pi- 
thos into her vers de societe\ and many of her small published 
pieces in verse were quite ecjual to the ordinary run of ** bouU 




NOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OF LADY BLESSINOTON. 269 

hpii^es,'* in the literature of annuals, and some far superior 
) the latter. But it must be observed, Lady Blessington's 
oetry derived considerable advantage from the critical care, 
ipervision, and correction of very eminent literary men, some 
'Jtainly the most eminent of their day. Of this fact there 
•e many evidences, and some proofs of extensive services of 
lis sort. 

"The Book of Beauty for 1843," edited by the Countess 
' Blessington, contained only two pieces by her Ladyship.* 

* 1. On a Picture of Her Majesty and Children, lines. Dr. W. 
Beattie. 

2. An Episode in Life, a tale. Sir E. L. Bulwer, Bart. 

3. On Portrait of Princess Esterbazy, lines. Lady 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. Anon. 

9. Medora, a fragment. C. G. H. 

10. On Portrait of Mrs. Kynaston, lines. Anon. 

11. Ministering Angels, lines. Adelaide. 

12. Poets die in Autumn, lines. Mrs. C. 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 a Portrait of Miss Dormer, lines. Miss Power. 

17. In Midland Ocean, a sketch. B. D*Israeli, Esq., M.P. 

18. William of Ripperda, lines. Anon. 

19. Third Imaginary Letter, Earl of Chesterfield to his daughter. 

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. Railroads and Steamboats, a sketch. Lady Blessington. 

24. On the Civic Statue of the Duke of Wellington, Latin lines. 

Marquis WcUesley. 

25. On Portrait of the Hon. Mrs. Spalding. A. H. Plunkett. 

26. Ye Gentlemen of England. Sir. J. Hanmer, Bart., M.P. 



270 NOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OF ULDY BLB6SIMGTON. 

For several years Lady Blessington coDtiDued to edit both 
periodicals, " the Keepsake" and " the Book of Beauty." This 
occupation brought her into contact with almost every literary 
man of eminence in the kingdom, or of any forei^ oounti]', 
who visited England. It bvolved her in enormous expenie, 
far beyond any amount of remuneration derived from the 
labour of editing those works. It made a necessity (or enter* 
taining continually persons to whom she looked fur contribu- 
tions, or from whom she had received assistance of that kind 



27. Her I dearly love, lines. R. Bernal, £i»q., M.P. 

28. The Teacher, a hketch. Mrs. S. C. HalL 

29. Ellen, a tale. Major Mundy. 

30. The Great Oak, lines. Lord Leigh. 

3 1 . Night Breezes, lines. Miss Ellen Power. 

.32. Death, song. Lady Emmeline Stuart Wortley. 

33. Edward Clinton, a tale. Sir Hesketh Fleetwood, Bart. 

34. On Portrait of Mrs. C. Coape. Anon. 

35. A Children's Fancy Ball, lines. Lady Stepney. 

36. Imaginary Conversation, Vittoria Colonna and M. A. Baoni- 

rotti, hy W. S. Landor. 

37. On Portrait of Miss Burr, lines. Camilla Tuulmin. 

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, £^* 

42. Morna, Adieu, hues. Hon. Grantley F. Berkeley, M.P. 

43. Claudia, a tale. Virginia Murray. 

41. Oil Portrait of Miss Belle w, lines. A. Hume Plunkett. 

45. Yes, peace should be there, lines. A. H. T. 

40. The Stone-cutter Boy, a sketch. Miss Grace Agailar. 

47. The Cfosed Gate, lines. Marchioness of Hastings. 

48. I love the Oak, lines. Sir. W. Somerville, Bart., M.P. 
40. Lines on Portrait of Mrs. G. Wingfield. Miss Power. 

50. The two Soldier!), a sketch. Barry Cornwall. 

51. The Song of a Bird, lines to Mi<ts E. Power. Anon. 

52. Sleeping and waking Dreams, lines. Mrs. Abdy. 

53. An agreeable T^te-d-tSte, sketch. Isabella F. RoBMr. 

54. Field Flowers, lines. Miss E. Scaife. 




NOTICES OF THE WRITINGS OF LADY, BLESS1N6T0N. 271 

It involved her, moreover, in all the drudgery of authorship, 
in all the turmoil of contentions with publishers, communicar 
tions with artists, and never-ending correspondence with con- 
tributors. In a word, it made her life miserable. 

In 1848, Heath died in insolvent circumstances, heavily in 
debt to Lady Blessington, to the extent of nearly £700. His 
failure had taken place six or seven years previously. From 
that 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 
difficulty 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 per- 
petual glorification even of beauty had become a bore. The 
periodical poeans sung in honour of the children of the nobility, 
ceased to be amusing. Lords and Ladies and Right Honour- 
ables, ready to write on any subject at the command of 
fashionable editors and editresses, there was no dearth of, but 
readers were not to be had 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 sources. 

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 literary services of Lady Blessington were solicited for it 
in January, 1846. Her Ladyship was to contribute, in con- 
fidence, '* any sort of intelligence she might like to communi- 
cate, of the sayings, doings, memoirs, or movements in the 
fa.shionable world." Her contributions were supposed to con- 
sist of what is called " Exclusive Intelligence." 



2r2 NOTICES OF TUE WRITINGS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 

Lady Blessington estimated the value of the services re- 
quired of her at £800 per annum ; the managers, however, 
considered the amount more than could he well devoted to 
that hranch 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 arrange 
ment was carried into eflFect. 

In May. 1846, Lady Blessington wrote to the managers^ 
stating " 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 io 
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 writingiof 
Forster and D'.ckens, in a letter of Lady Blessington on literaiy tub- 
jects, addressed to a very dear friend and a very distinguished wiitCTi 
which are deserving of notice. ** I have read with delight the artide 

of F on the * Life of Churchill.' It is the most masterly Wfiew 

I ever read, and places Churchill in a so much better point of view, u 
to excite a sympathy for him. Every one is speaking of this review. 
All the papers have taken it up. It is generally attributed to MaeaoUj, 
and is said to be the best of his articles. F has crushed Took 

by the dexterous exposure of his mistakes, ignorance, and want of 
comprehension. I assure you that Count D*Orsay and I are u pnad 
of the praises we hear on this article of every side, as if we had a ihin 

in it. F 's notice of * The Chimes' is perfect. It takes thehigk 

tone it ought for that book, and ought to make those ashamed «1m 
cavil, because its great author had a nobler task in Tiew than wiiting 
to amuse Sybarites, who do not like to have their selfish pleasora di^ 
turbed by hearing of the miseries of the poor. You will smile to mt 
me defending our friend Mr. Dickens from charges of wishing to ds- 
grade the aristocracy. I really have no patience with auch itupidiKj* 
I now clearly perceive that the reading world of a certain diM 
imagine that an author ought to have no higher claim than tlwir 
amusement, and they account as a personal insult any attempt to in* 
blruct them." 




WAIFS AND STRAYS OF THOUGHTS, ETC. 273 

r. Jerdan, formerly editor of the " Literary Gazette," who 
Dtiinately acqu^nted with the publishiDg afiairs of Lady 
ingtoD, thus speaks, in his '* Autobiography," of the ia 
she derived from her literary labours : — 
ks an author and editor of ' Heath's Annual' for some 
-Lady Blessington received considerable sums. I have 
D her to enjoy from her pen an amount somewhere 
ay between £2000 and £3000 per annuna, and her title, 
U as talents, had considerable influence in * ruling high 
;,' as they say in Mark Lane and other markets. To this, 
her well-arranged parties with a publisher now and then, 
«t folks of a style, unusual to men in business, contri- 

their attractions ; and the same society was in reality of 
value towards the production of such publications as the 
lis, the contents of which were provided by the editor 
it entirely from the pens of private friends, instead of 
dearly bought from the ' Balaam ' refuse of celebrated 
»." 
i this subject. Miss Power says — 

never heard her say the exact amount of her literary 
8 any particular year. I believe that for some years she 
, on an average, somewhat about a thousand a year ; some 
a good deal above that sum." 

•8 AND STRAYS OF THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS 
ODDS AND ENDS OF IMPRESSIONS AND REFLEC- 
•NS, FROM LADY BLESSINGTON'S UNPUBLISHED 
?ERS, VERSES, A^D MEMORANDA, IN COMMON-PLACE 
)KS. 

dy Blessington was in the habit for some time of writing 

her thoughts and observations at the close of every day, 

(he retired from her drawing-room; and the book in which 

dcord was made of her reflections on the passing events 

I day, the conversations of the evening, the subjects of her 

\g or research, she called her " Night Book." The ear- 

L. I. T 



274 . WAIFS AND STRAYS OP THOUGHTS, ETC. 

licst of these books commences with an entry of the 21st of 
March, 1834 ; the second of them with the year alone, 1833. 

The following extracts from these books, in which the 
pensees are given as they were written (word for word, and 
signed with the initials, M. B.)} will clearly shew that her 
Ladyship's extensive ac(|uaintance with society, her quickness 
of perception, acumen, and felicitous mode of compressiog 
her ideas, and giving expression to them in laconic, piquant, 
and precise terms, enabled her to give an epigrammatic turn 
to sentiments, which could only be similarly done by one tho- 
roughly conversant with the writings of Rochefoucault and 
Montaigne. 

The reader will hardly fail to notice in these pensees^ evi- 
dent relationship between the ideas of many cynics of cele- 
brity of France, the images too of several of our own most 
popular poetical writers, and the smart short sayings of her 
Ladyship, with all the air of originality, neatness of attire, 
and graceful liveliness of language which she has given 
them. 

But the " Night Book " gives only a very poor and inacfc- 
quiitc idea of the thoughts which were productive of sodi 
effect, when givc^n expression to, by her Ladyship, with aD 
that peculiar charm of naivete^ natural turn for irony, 
admii-able facility of expression, clearness of intonation ind 
distinctness of enunciation, joyousness of spirits, beaming in 
those beautiful features of hers, (when lit up by animated con- 
versation, the consciousness of the presence of genius, and 
contact with exalted intellect), that spontaneous out-pouring 
of felicitous thoughts and racy observations ever acooropuied 
with an exuberant good humour, often supplying the plaoe d 
wit, but never degenerating into coarseness or vulgarity, win 
characterised lier conversational powers, and, in f.ict» 
tuted the chief fascination of her societv. 




PROM PAPERS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 275 
GENIUS AND TALENT. 

" Genius 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." 

TALENT. 

" Talent, like beauty, to be pardoned, must be obscure or 
. unostentatious." 

GREAT INTELLECTUAL POWERS. 

" In many minds, great powers of thinking slumber on 
through life, because they never have been startled by any inci- 
dent calculated to take them out of the common routine of 
every-day occurrence." 

CLEVER WOMEN ENVIED. 

" It is less difficidt, we are told by Brissot, for a woman to 
obtain celebrity by her genius, than to be pardoned for it." 

EFFECTS OF CONTACT WITH GENIUS. 

" 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 
action, and original thoughts are often struck out ; but if any 
inferiority 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 
intelligence." 

T 2 



276 WAIFS AND STRAYS OF THOUGHTS, ETC, 

LITERATURE AND LITERATI. 

^' On reading a^work, of how many faults do we accuse the 
author, when they are only to be found in ourselves. If the 
story is melancholy, and yet we feel not the sadness of it, we 
lay the blame of our insensibility on the author's want d 
pathos. If it be gay, and yet it fails to amuse us, we call in 
question the writer's want of power." 

JUDGMENT OF BOOKS. 

" The frame of mind in which we read a work, oftea in- 
fluences our judgment upon it. That which for the moment 
predominates in our minds, colours all that we read : and we 
are afterwards surprised, on a re-perusal of works of this kind^ 
under circumstances, and with different feelings, to find no 
longer the merit we formerly attributed to them." 

SUPPOSED CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE WRITINGS OF 
AUTHORS AND THEIR LIVES. 

"The world is given to indulge in the very eironeoiii 
supposition, that there exists an identity between the writings 
of authors and their actual lives and characters. 

"Men are the slaves of circumstances, in the mass: M 
men of genius, from the excitability of thdr temperament, 
arc peculiarly acted on by surrounding influences. How many 
of them, panting after solitude, are compelled to drag on e^ 
istence in crowded cities ; and how many of them, sighing for 
the excitement of busy life, and the friction of exalted intdf 
ligence with kindred intellect, pass their lives in retimnnt, 
because circumstances, which they were too indolent or too 
feeble to control, had thrown them into it. Such mm in 
their writings will have the natural bias of their feeUngs tad 
tastes frequently mistaken by those around them. Thewndd 
judges falsely, when it forms an estimate of an author from 
the life of the man, and the life and conduct of the man froa 




FROM PAPERS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 277 

the writings of the author ; and finding discrepancies between 
them, may often bring forward accusations of insincerity 
making comparisons between their works and lives." 

POETS AND POETRY. 

" Poets make a book of nature, wherein they read lessons 
unknown 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 every-day thoughts, and, alas ! neither influence us 
as they ought. We should be wiser and happier (for wisdom 
is happiness) if their harmonizing eflFects were permitted more 
to pervade our being." 

WIT AND CENSORIOUSNESS. 

" Half the reputations for wit that pass current in fashion- 
able 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 personne 
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 inten- 
tional malice. They deserve to be expelled from the society 
of enlightened people, because they are likely to give annoy- 
ance to all who are not of their own level in it." 



278 WAIFS AND STRAYS OF THOUGHTS, ETC. 

MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS. 

" Borrowed thoughts, like borrowed money, only shew the 
poverty of the borrower." 

'' A poor man defended himself, when charged with steallDg 
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 inspire it." 

" 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 Second, with equal justice, nigbt 
be denominated the wife." 

'' Memor}' seldom fails, when its office is to shew us the 
tombs of our buried hopes."* 

*' It would be well if virtue was never seen unaccompaiued 
by charity, nor vice 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 
belief 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 

* Younp*R ideas sometimes furnish matter for Lady Blessingtoo' 
*' Night Thoughts." 

*' Tliought — busy thought — too busy for my peace 
Through the dark postern of Time long elapsed, 
Led softly by the stillness of the night, 
r.cd like a murderer — 

Moots ihc ghosts 

Of my dcpnrtcd joys.* 




FROM PAFERS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 279 

sympathize, while memory is still recalling what they once 
were to each other." 

ENGLISH RESERVE. 

" Distrust is the most remarkable characteristic of the En- 
g^h 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 the scrutinizing glances 
of this policy of suspicion ; and those by whom it is car- 
ried out, seldom fail to discover cause for distrust and avoid- 
ance in all that they will not or cannot comprehend. But on 
the poor thdr suspicions M — if not with all their malice — 
at least with all their uncharitableness. Hence they are 
ahunned and regarded as dangerous, or doubtful neighbours, 
by the sons and daughters of prosperity.** 

WORLDLY WISDOM, SOCIETY, ETC. 

" Society seldom forgives those who have discovered the 
emptiness 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 
dever man will appear to have less esprit than those around 
him who possess least — because he is displaced in their com- 
pany." 

"Those who are formed to win general admiration, are 
seldom calculated to bestow individual happiness. 

" Hdf the ill-natured things that are said in society, are 
spoken not so much from malice, as from a desire to display 
^e quickness of our perception, the smartness of our wit, 
^nd the sharpness of our observation." 



2S0 WAIFS AND STRAYS OF THOUGHTS, ETC. 

" A man with common sense may pass smoothly through 
life without great talents, but all the talents in the world viD 
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 civilizatioD, ue 
like lepers in the outskirts of cities, who have been repulsed 
from society with disgust." 

*' There is a diflFerencc between the emotions of a lorer 
and those of a husband : the lover sighs, and the hushutd 
groans." 

" There are some persons who hesitate not to inflict piia 
and suffering, though they shrink from witnessing its effects. 
In the first case it is another who suffers — in the second, the 
suffering being presented to the sight, is thus brought home 
to the feelings 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 pithf 

lines :— 

* The reason why I cannot tell, 
I do not like thee. Dr. Fell.' 

And yet all feel, in a greater or less degree, what none cid 
adequately describe or define. A dog knows by instinct that 
certain herbs in a field will relieve him in sickness, and he 
devours them. We know that certain physiognomies rq)el or 
attract us, and we avoid or seek them : and this is all we koo* 
of the matter." 

ALL THE world's A STAGE, ETC. 

" The great majority of men are actors, who prdfar in ••" 
sumed part to that which nature had assigned them. VifJ 
seek to be something, or to appear something which tbcy n* 
not, and even stoop to the affei^tation of defects, father 4* 
display real estimable qualities which belong to them." 




FROM PAPERS OF LADY BLESSINCTTOK; 281 

"A German writer observes: — 'The noblest characters 
Aj shew themselves in their real light All others act 
medy vnih their feUow-men even unto the grave/ ** 
** Men's &ults will always be better known than their vir- 
tes: because their defects will find more persons capable of 
Fining a judgment of them than their noble qualities — ^per* 
HIS fit to comprehend and to appreciate them/' 

COLDNESS OF MANNER. 

** There are some persons in the world who never permit 
s to love them except when they are absent ; as when pre* 
eat they chill our affection, by shewing a want of appred- 
tktt of it." 

" Coldness of manner does not always proceed from cold- 
less of heart, but it frequently produces that effect in others." 

CONSCIENCE. 

" Conscience is seldom heard in youth, for the tumultuous 
hrobbing of the heart, and the strong suggestions of the 
aasions, prevent its still small voice from being audible; 
mt in the decline of life, when the heart beats languidly, 
ind the passions slumber, it makes itself heard, and on its 
whispers depend our happiness or misery." 

fiEAUTY AND FEMININE PERFECTIONS* 

" Even as a fountain, in whose dear waters are seen the re« 

lection of the bright stars of heaven, so in *s face was 

^fleeted the divine spirit that animated it and shone through 
ts pure lineaments." 

** A young woman ought, like an angel, to pardon the 
aults she cannot comprehend, and an elderly woman like a 
aint, because she has endured trials." 

" One of the old painters always painted the object of his 
t>ve as a Goddess." 



282 WATFS AND STRAYS OF THOUGHTS, ETC. 

" People are seldom tired of the world till the world is 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 heart,' says 
Pascal, ' has ks 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 victory 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 115, 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 wonderful.' " 

*' It is not sufficient for legislators to dose the avenues to 
crime, unless th(»y open those which lead to virtue." 

A POET TRULY CRACKED. 

" Jeremy Taylor finds a moral in the fable that iEsdjylus 
sat beneath the walls of his abode with his bald head un^ 
covered, when an eagle hovering over the house, unfortuoateiT 
mistook the sliining cranium for a large round stone, and let 
fall a tortoise he had just seized, to break the sheU, but cracked 
the skull of the poor poet instead of the shell of the tor- 
toise." 

THE DISLIKED MISUNDERSTOOD. 

** The moment we are not liked, we discover that wc are 

* Once for all, I may observe, in many of the writings of Lady Bl»»* 
ington there arc but too many evidenced of the undue importaaoe al- 
tachcd to Reason, as a power all-sufficient for the repreuion of vice, 
the support of virtue, and consolation of affliction ; and prooft of la 
absence of all reliance on religion for the objects in question* 



J 




FROM PAPERS OF LADT BLESSINOTON. 283 

not understood ; when probably the dislike we have excited, 
proceeds 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 rained." 

LOVE AND JEALOUSY. 

'^ Love often re-iUumes his extinguished flame at the torch 
of jealousy." 

A FALSE POSITION. 

"A false position is sustained at a price enormously ex* 
penisive. Sicard truly said : ' Une fausse position coute enor- 
mement, car le society fait payer fort cher aux gens, le tort, 
qu*ils ont, de ne pas etre d'accord avec eux.* " 

JESTERS FUNNY PEOPLE. 

" We never respect persons who condescend to amuse us. 
There is a vast difference 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." 

SELF-DEPENDENCE. 

" We acquire mental strength by being left to our own re- 
^urces ; but when we depend on others, like a cripple who 
'ccustoms himself to a crutch, we lose our own strength, and 
^ rendered dependent on an artificial prop." 



II 



?84 WAIFS AND STRAYS OF THOUGHTS, ETC. 

GENEROSITY AND SELFISHNESS. 

** A generous mind identifies itself with all around it, bat 
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 fed 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. 

" Those who give abundant dinners. 
Arc never deemed by guests great sinners." 

" Your bon vivants, who are such * good livers/ make very 
bad diers" 

*' Shiel 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 rush-light on the summit** 

" Those who judge of men of the world from a distRIlO^ 
are apt to attach an undue importance to them ; while those 
who are in daily contact with them, are prone to undemte 
them." 

" We are never so severe in dealing with the sins of otben» 
as when we are no longer capable of committing them our- 
selves." 

" Extremes of civilization and of barbarism approadi verf 
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 organizatMi 
whose power is dreaded by them." 

" The chief requisites for a courtier are a flexible conacieiies^ 
and an inflexible politeness." 

" The genius and talents of a man may generaDy be judged 




FROM PAPERS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 285 

of by the large number of his enemies, and his mediocrity by 
that of his friendsJ' 

THE YOUNG TO BE KINDLY TREATED. 

" Childhood should not be a season of care and constant 
attention, incessant teaching and painful acquisition : — Puisque 
lejour pent lui manquer bient6t, laissons le un peu jouir de 

IWore/' 

SPARTAN MORALISTS. 

" Society, in its Spartan morality, punishes its members 
severely for the detection of their vices, but crime itself has 
nothing but detection to apprehend at its hands." 

" Some people seem to consider the severity of their cen- 
sures 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 victims, 
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 
icquire a knowledge of ourselves." 

SHORT NOTICES OF NOTABILITIES. 

" 's conversation resembles a November fog — dense, 

•ppressive, bewildering, through which you never can see your 
/ay." 

** The poetry of is like a field with wild flowers, many 

f them beautiful and fragrant." 

" The poetry of resembles a bouquet of artificial 



286 WAIFS AND STRAYS OF THOUGHTS, ETC. 

flowers, destitute of odour, and possessing none of the fresh- 
ness of nature." 

" It was said of , that his conversation was a tissue of 

bon mots, and was overlaid by them : a few spangles may 
ornament 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 

thunderbolt." 

" The difference between the minds of and is 

this : the one is introspective, and looks into the vast recesses 
of its intcUigence for the treasures of deep thought: the 
other looks behind the shelves of others' thoughts, and vf- 
propriates all he finds there. The intellect of one is profound 
and solid, that of the second, sparkling and versatile." 

" Tlie works of do not exhibit the overflowings of i 

full mind, but rather the dregs of an exhausted one.** 

" When I see Lady 's wrinkles daubed with roup, 

and her borrowed ringlets wreathed with flowers, I am re- 
mindtd of the efiigies of the dead, which in ancient times 
were introduced at festivals, to recall the brevity of Ufe, lod 
giv(» a keener zest to the pleasures of existence." 

BIGOTRY AND FANATICISM. 

" Men who would ptTsecute others for religious ojrinkw 
prove the errors of their own." 

** In fighting for the church, religion seems generally to be 
cjuite lost sight of." 

SUPERSTITION. 

*' Superstition is but the fear of belief; religion is the cofr 
fidence." 







FROM PAPERS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 287 

SCEPTICS. 

"Sceptics, like dolphins, change when dying." 

" We render ourselves the ministers of the fatality which 

ir weakness imagines." 

" It is difficult to decide whether it is most disagreeable to 

'e with fanatics, who insist on our believing all that they be- 

rve ; or with philosophers, who would have us doubt every 

ing of which they are not convinced themselves." 

INJURIES AND FORGIVENESS. 

" Forgiveness of injuries in general draws on the forgiver 
repetition of wrongs — as people reason thus: as he has 
rgiven so much, he can forgive more." 
" If we thought only of others, we might be tempted never 
' pardon injuries ; but when we wish to preserve our own 
?ace, it is a most essential step towards insuring it." 
" It is easier to pardon the faults than the virtues of our 
lends, because the first excite feelings of self-complacency in 
>; the second, a sense of humiliation." 
*' Great injuries pardoned, preclude the enjoyment of friend- 
ip on the same happy terms of equality, of benefits re- 
ived and conferred, and of kindly feehngs, that subsisted 
eviously to the interruption of amity between the parties 
»o had been linked together in the bonds of mutual love, 
le friend who pardons a great wrong, acquires a superiority 
It wounds the self-love of the pardoned man : . and however 
i latter may admire the generosity of the forgiver, he can 
'e as he had previously done — no more." 

AMBITION. CHANGE. 

" Those who are content to follow, are not formed to 
d : for the ambition which excites a man to put himself 
ward, is, in general, the attribute of the strong mind, how- 



288 WAIFS AND STRAYS OF THOUGHTS, ETC. 

ever beset by difBculties, resolved to effect an object muc: 

desired." 

'^ Time and change, what are they but the same ? 
For change is but for time another name." 



" A French writer says : 

" ' Nos liens s'elongcnt quclquefois, mais 
lis ne se rompent jamais/ " 

" IIow like Goldsmith's line : — 

" ^ And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.'** 



'' The tide of life is continually ebbing and flowing, aod 
myriads of human beings pass away to the ocean of etemihr, 
succeeded by others, as do the ripples of a stream that flows 
on to the sea, continually disappearing and renewed." 



Unfinished lines of Lady Blcssington 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, wc are the stars of earth. 
And tho' wc homage pay to ye on high, 
Lifting our fragile heads to view your brightness ; 
Are ye not forced to let your shining eyes 
Dwell on us denizens of the favoured earth? 
Formed by the 8«ame Almighty cause of all, 
Yc look down on us, from your azure fields, 
And wc from ours of green look up to you.** 



1 

J 




FROM PAPERS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 289 

' And thou art gone from earth, like some fair dream, 
Beheld in slumber^ leaving nought behind 
But memory, to tell that thou hast been ; 
And there for evermore shall be enshrined. 

' As ships that sail upon the boundless deep, 

Yet leave no trace ; or onwards 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 nought remains 
To tell us they have been, but aching hearts 
And pallid traits which memory retains.'* • 



UNEQUAL MARRIAGES. 

* Oh, wise was he, the first who taught 
This lesson of observant thought, 
That equal fates alone may dress 
The bowers of nuptial happiness : 

That never where ancestral pride 
Inflames, or affluence rolls its tide. 
Should love's ill-omened bond entwine 
The offspring of an humble line.'* 



^o Sir Wm. Massy Stanley, Baronet, on receiving a present 
woodcocks. 

At a season when dunning the mind with dread fills, 
You send me the only acceptable bills ; 
And their length, unlike others, no gloom can inspire, 
Tho', like many long bills, they're consigned to the fire ; 
And we never discuss them unless with a toast. 
Washed down by a bumper to Hoolen's good host." 



OL. I. U 



290 WAIFS AND STRAYS OP THOUGHTS, BTC. 

Lines in pencilling in a common-place book of Lady Bks^ 
ington. 

" Ye gods, what is it that I see ? 
Oh, who a grandfather would be ! 
Behold the treasure-store of years. 
Sole objects of my hopes and fears, 
Collected from far distant lands. 
Become a prey to vandal hands ; 
Bare manuscripts that none could read. 
Symbols of each religious creed ; 
Missals with reddest colours bright, 
Black-lettered tomes long shut from light ; 
Medals defaced, with scarce a trace 
Of aught resembling human face ; 
All in chaotic ruin hurled. 
The fragments of a by-gone world. 
And you, unpitying girl, who knew 
The mischief of this urchin crew. 
How could you let them thus destroy. 
What to collect did years employ ? 
Away, ye wicked elves !— ah me ! 
Who e'er a grandfather would be V* 



TRIALS AND AFFLICTIONS. 



" My heart is like a frozen fountain, over which the ice is 
too hard to allow of the stream beneath flowing with vigov, 
though enough of vitality remains to make the chilling nn- 
part that divides its waters from light and air insupportable."* 

'' A knowledge of the nothingless of life is seldom attaineii 
except by those of superior minds." 

" The first heavy affliction that falls on us, rends the Tcflof 
life, and lets us see all its darkness." 

* This entry is in the early pnrt of the Night Thoughts Book, inUfi 
2l8t Oct. IS34. 



J 




FROM PAPERS OF LADY BLESSINGTON. 291 

" Desperate is the grief of him whom prosperity has har- 
sned, and who feels the first arrow of affliction strike at his 
eart, through the life of an object dearest to him on earth." 

" The separation of death is less terrible than the moral 
ivorce of two hearts which have loved, but have ceased to 
fmpathize, with memory recalling what they once were to 
ach other." 

" Religion converts despair, which destroys, into resignation 
^hich submits. 

'^ Sorrow in its exaltation seemes to have an instinctive 
ympathy with the sufferings of others. Brissot observes, 
Lame exalt^e par la douleur se monte au diapason d'un autre 
me bless^e, aussi facileixient que la violon qui, sans etre 
>uch^ se met a I'acord de Tinstrument qu'on fait vibrer loin 
elui.'" 

" How many errors do we confess to our Creator, which 
^e dare not discover to the most fallible of our fellow- 
reatures !" 

" Fatality is another name for misconduct." 



u 2 



202 



CHAPTER XII. 

LINES ADDRESSED TO LADY BLESSIN6T0N BT VARIOUS 
PERSONS. 

Lines vrritten by Walter Savage Landor to Lady 
iDgton : — 

'* What language^ let me think, is meet 

For you, well called the Marguerite. 

The Tuscan has too weak a tone. 

Too rough and rigid is our own ; 

The Latin — no — it will not do. 

The Attic is alone for you." 

Latin version of the above lines by Mr. Landor. 
** Quonam carmine te alloquar decenter 
Vero nomine dicta Margarita ! 
Sermo est durior Anglicanus : atqui 
Tuscus displicet : est enim vigoris 
Expers : aptior est quidem latinus 
Atque non satis est mihi tibique 
Te sermo Atticus unic^ deceret" 



'' February 28, 1848. 
"Dear Lady Blessinoton, 

*' The earthquake that has shaken all Italy and Sicily, I 
alone been able to shake a few cindery verses out of me. Yv^ 
terday there was glorious intelligence from France, and y^^ 
will find, on the other side, the efiect it produced on me with^^ 
the hour. No ! there will not be room for it Here are \ 
lines which I wrote when I was rather a younger man- 
them fifty years back. 

" Ever yours most tmlj, 

W. S. L4MD0I 




LINES ADDRESSED TO LADY fiLESSINGTON. 293 

" The fault is not mine if I love you too much — 
I lov'd you too little, too long ; 
Such ever your graces, your tenderness such. 
The music so sweet of your tongue. 

** The time is now coming, when Love must be gone. 
Though he never abandoned me yet ; 
Acknowledge our friendship, our passion disown. 
Not even our follies forget." 



Lines of Walter Savage Landor, on a postscript of a letter 
rom Florence, dated April 25, 1835 : — 

" Out of thy books, O Beauty ! I had been 
For many a year. 
Till she who reigns on earth thy lawful queen, 
Replaced me there." 



In one of the letters addressed to Lady Blessington, are 
the following beautiful lines, written by W. Savage Landor, 
after perusing a passage in a letter :— 

*'I have not forgotten your favourite old tune; will you hear it F" 

'* Come sprinkle me that music on the breast. 
Bring me the varied colours into light. 
That now obscurely on its marble rest ; 

Shew me its flowers and figures &esh and bright. 

•'Waked at thy voice and touch, again the chords 
Restjre 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 Arno gleam'd below. 
And over sylvan Massa late 
Hung Cynthia's slender bow. 



294 LINES ADDRESSED TO LADY BLE8SINQT0M 

'* Years after years have past away. 
Less light and gladsome ! Why 
Do those we most implore to stay. 
Run ever swiftest by ?•' 

Not signed, but in the hand-writing of W. S. Landor. 



The reply of an octogenarian (the elder D'laraeli) t 
beautiful lady, who wrote him some verses on his birth-« 
May 11, 1845. 

" A wreath from a muse^ a flower from a grace. 
Are visions of fancy which memory can trace. 
Though sightless^ and braving my dungeon around m^ 
How is it vain phantoms of glory surround me ? 
The enchantress with flattery's thrice-potent rhime 
Reopens the hours which I loved in my prime ; 
From my eightieth dull year to my fortieth I rise. 
And cherish the shadows her genius supplies/* 



Addressed to Lady Blessington at Genoa by Lord Byn>¥ 

'* You have asked for a verse, the request 
In a rhyme it were strange to deny ; 
But my Hippocrene was but my breast. 
And my feelings (its fountain) are dry. 
" Were I now as I was — I had sung 

What Lawrence has pencilled so well ; 
But the strain would expire on my tongue. 
And the theme is too soft for my skill 
" I am ashes where once I was fire. 

And the Bard in my bosom is dead ; 
What I loved I now merely admire. 
And my heart is as grey as my head. 

** My life is not dated by years. 

There are moments which act as a ploug' 
And there is not a furrow appears. 
But is deep in my heart as my brow. 




BY* VARIOUS PERSONS. 295 

"Let the young and the brilliant aspire 
To sing, while I gaze on in vain ; 
For sorrow has torn from my lyre 

The string which was worthy the strain." 



cswer by Lady Blessington. 

" When I asked for a verse, pray believe 
*Twas not vanity urged the desire ; 
For no more can my mirror deceive. 
No more can I poets inspire. 

" Time has touched with rude fingers my brow. 
And the roses have fled from my cheek ; 
And it surely were folly, if now 

I the praise due to beauty should seek. 

" And as pilgrims who visit the shrine 
Of some saint, bear a relic away ; 
I sought a memorial of thine, 

As a treasure, when distant I stray, 

** Oh ! say not that lyre is imstrung. 

Whose chords can such rapture bestow. 
Or that mute is that magical tongue 
From which music and poetry flow. 

" And though sorrow, ere youth yet has fled. 
May have altered thy locks* jetty hue ; 
The rays that encircle thy head. 

Hide the ravaging marks from our view,** 



nes of Lord Erskine, for an inscription for a collar of a 
Dg of the Countess of Blessington : — 

*' Whoever finds and don't forsake me. 
Shall have nought in way of gains ; 
But let him to my mistress take me. 
And he shall see her for his pains." 



296 LINES ADDRESSED TO LADY BLESSINGTON 

Note accompanying lines to Lady Blessington, by Thomii 

Moore: — 

" Sloperton, Feb. 19, 18S4 

** My dear Lady Blessinoton, 
" When persons like you condescend <o to ask, bow arc poor 
poets to refuse ? At the same time, I confess I have a honor 
of Albumizing, Annualizing , and Periodicalizing, which mj ote 
inglorious surrender (and for base money too) to that Triton of 
literature, Marryat, has but the more confirmed me in. At 
present, what with the weather and my history, I am chilled 
into a man of mere prose. But as July approaches, who knows 
but I may throw into song, and though — as O'ConneU has a 
vow registered in heaven against pistols, so / have againit pe- 
riodicals ; yet there are few, I must say, who could be more 
likely to make a man break this (or any vow) than younelf, H 
you thought it worth your while. 

*' And so with this gallant speech, which from a friend of • 
quarter of a century*s date is not, I flatter myself, to be despi ie ^ j 
" I am, my dear Lady Blessington, 

'' Most truly yours, 
•' Thomas MooaB.*"* 

To the Countess of Blessington : — 

*' What shall I sing thee ? shall I tell 
Of that bright hour, remembered well 
As though it shone but yesterday — 
When, as I loitered in the ray 
Of the warm sun, I heard o'erhead 
My name, as by some spirit, said. 
And looking up, saw two bright eyes 
Above me from a casement shine— 

'^ Dazzling the heart with such surprise 
As they, who sail beyond the Line, 
Feel, when new stars above them rise ! 
And it was thine— the voice that spoke. 
Like Ariel's, in the blue air then ; 
And thine the eyes, whose lustre broke. 

Never to be forgot again ! ■** 




BY VARIOUS PERSONS. 297 

" What shall I sing thee ? shall I weave 
A song of that sweet summer eve, 
(Summer, of which the sunniest part 
Was that which each had in the heart) 
When thou, and I, and one like thee 
In life and beauty, to the sound 
Of our own breathless minstrelsy,* 
Danced till the sunlight faded roiind^ 
Ourselves the whole ideal ball — 
Lights, music, company, and all !" 



irses for an album, written at the request of the Countess 
lessington, by George Colaian. 

** August 1, 1819. 
1. 

" How have I sworn — and sworn so deep, 
No more to put my friends to sleep. 

By writing crambo for *em ! 
Rhymes my amusement once I made, 
When Youth and Folly gave me aid. 
But since they have become my trader 
I must, of course, abhor *em. 



" Entirely generous Mr. Thrale, 

Who sold brown stout, and haply ale. 

Was always fond of giving. 
Of whom Sam Johnson said one day, 
* Thrale would give any thing away. 
Rather than porter, I dare say. 

By which he makes his living.' 

3. 

" Yet the allusion holds not here — 
Mine is but Poetry's small beer, 

I believe it was to a piper ; but it sounds more poetital to say, 
own singing." — T. M. 



29S LINES ADDRESSED TO LADY BLBSSINGTON 

And every line will shew it : 
Thrale brewed more potent stuff I ween. 
From Thames, than I from Hippocrene — 
So there's no parallel between 

The Brewer and the Poet. 

4. 

" Still, why again be scribbling ? List ! 
There is a Pair I carCi resist, 

'Tis now no drudging duty, 
The Blessingtons demand my strain. 
And who records against the grain. 
His sparkling converse and champagne. 

And her more sparkling beauty ? 

5. 

" But hold ! I fear my prudence sleeps— 
Her Ladyship an Album keeps. 

Whose leaves, though I ne'er spied 'em. 
Are graced with verse from wits profest. 
Bards by Apollo highly blest ; 
No doubt they've done their very best. 

How shall I look beside 'em ? 

6. 

" Dare I, in lame and silly pride. 
Hobble where Rogers loves to glide ? 

Whose sweetly simple measures 
Make enviers of Genius mad, 
Delight the moral, soothe the sad. 
Give Human life a zest, and add 

To Memory^s greatest Pleasure$. 

7. 

" Or, if I venture, cheek by jowl. 
With the Anacreontic soul. 

That master, to a tittle, 
Of elegant erotic lore. 
Then they, who my weak page explore. 
Will reckon me much less than More, 
Not half so Great as Little. 




BY VARIOUS PBRSOHS. 299 

8. 

*' Well, well, no matter, still I feel 
My talent's dearth supplied by zeal ; 

Away then, base dejection ! 
This scrawl, whatever its want of wit. 
If Lady Blessington think fit 
So very much to honour it. 

May rest in her recollection." 



he charms, mental and personal, of Lady Blessington 
i fully appreciated by another literary celebrity, as we learn 
I the following lines, terminating some others, descriptive of 
frivolous amusements of belles wholly devoted to the vary- 
mode, and each recurring change in the empire of feshion. 

" But thy bright mind eclipsing e'en thy face, 
The Muse with justice claims thee from the grace. 
Thought gives the gems which love in beauty set. 
And every fairy at thy cradle met. 
From the dull world around escaped awhile, 
I breathe the air which brightens in thy smile : 
Ah ! half already of that gift possess'd. 
Which, conquering space, is destined to the blessed. 
How little thought — this gaoler flesh can bar 
Our souls how rarely, where our bodies are." 



lote, accompanying lines to Lady Blessington, by F. Mills,. 

'' 67, Audley Street. 
" My dear Lady Blessington, 

I send you my verses ; they were written for you, but I was 
illing to present them, in the fear that you would not pass 
threshold of the title. That you may not do now ; but 
, as they are registered in my book as having been com- 
id at your request, I think it right that you should see them, 
ve no better excuse for myself. If you will not read them, 
>dy else will. 

" Ever yours, sincerely, 

" F. Mills." 



300 LINES ADDRESSED TO LADY BLBSSINGTON 

CHABACTERISTIC— THE BOSS OB 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, from 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 lov'd, 'twas in the soil, or clime. 
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 seem'd to bloom as bright. 

" And tho* 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 Anglia'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. 

" And tho' its bloom may pass away. 
Or fade beneath the coming hour, 
'Twill still be fragrant in decay. 

Not rankle, like that hrxn&ei. flower ** 




BY VAKIOUS PERSONS. 801 

A note, most idolatrously complimentary, written by some 
lodera Pagan gentleman, whom the gods had made poetical 
id hyperbolical in his amatory heathenism, addressed to 
ady Blessington, without name or date, accompanying lines 
on leaving Naples," and said to be " translated into French." 

" Si ce n*etait pas un culte uniquement reserve a Dieu que 
'US adorons, de bruler de Tencens sur ses autels ; Punivers 
smpresserait de t'ofirir ces honneurs. Alors nuit et jour j*en- 
'tiendrais ce feu de mes mains, et un nuage 6pais de parfum 
leverait jusqu'aux cieux. Mais puisque cela m'est interdit 
3 je puisse^ au moins t'offirir cet en9ens sacr6^ que je brulerais 
U" toi, si j'etais payen. 

TRADUCTION. 

Adieu terre classique, adieu ciel sans nuages, 

Adieu dignes amis, vous dent le souvenir 

Vient s'unir dans mon coeur aux charmes de ses rivages, 

Je songe avec douleur ! helas ! qu'il faut partir 

Doux amis ! doux climat que j'aime et que j 'admire 

Quel enivrant tableau vous formez reunis 

L'un et Tautre h I'envi semblez me sourire ; 

Mais le sort me Tordonne. .il le faut. .je vous fuis 

La Syrene, disais-je, un moment abregee 

Vit Naples et mourut, et j'envirais son sort 

Mais plaignons la plutot, jamais apr^s sa mort. 

A-t-elle pout trouver un plus doux Elis6e ? 

Vous enchantez encore les sens du voyageur, 

Parthenope en ce jour a plus d'une Syr6ne, 

Que de fois les accens de Lisette et d'lr^ne, 

Ont charme mes instants, ont enivre mon coeur 

Adieu tendres amis ! dans ma froide patrie 

L'image du bonheur qu'en ces tems j'ai gout6 

Viendra toujours s'ofFrir a mon ame attendrie 

Avec le pur eclat de ce ciel enchant^." 



302 LINES ADDRESSED TO LADY BLESSINGTOK 

Lines, by James Smith, in a letter addressed to h 
Blessington, dated Nov. 10, 1836. 

GORE HOUSE — AN IMPROMPTU. 

*' Mild Wilberforce, by all belored. 
Once own'd this hallow'd spot. 
Whose zealous eloquence improved 
The fetter'd Negro's lot ; 
Yet here still slavery attacks 
When Blessington invites ; 
The chains from which he freed the Blacks^ 
She rivets on the Whites. 

" 27, Craven Street, Tuesday." 



Note accompanying lines to Lady Blessington, by Jam 
Smith :— 

" 27, Craven Street, Friday, Dec. 9, 18S 
" Dear Lady Blessington, 
^' ' Gore House ' has awakened another (anonymous) muM 
I wonder who it can be ? 

" Your Ladyship's faithful and devoted servant, 

'' Jamkb Smitb." 

A more deliberate reply to the Impromptu : — 
" No, not the chains which erst he broke, 
Does Blessington impose ; 
Light is her burden, soft her yoke. 
No pain her captive knows. 

" The slave by galling fetters bruised, 
By force his will subdued ; 
Obedience of the mind refused. 
With hate his tyrant viewed. 

" On willing hearts her bonds are thrown. 
Her charms her empire prove ; 
Pleased with their fate, the captives own 
No power but that of love." 




BY VARIOUS PERSONS. SOS 

Lbes to the Countess of Blessington, by James Smith : — 

''July 11, 188*. 
" The Bird of Paradise, that flies 
O'er blest Arabia's plains. 
Devoid of feet, forbears to rise, 
And where she rests, remains. 

" Like her of footing reft, I fain 

Would seek your blest dominions. 
And there content, till death, remain, 
But ah ! I lack the pinions." 



" Admiralty, May 6, 1820. 
" Dear Lady Blessington, 
*' I have received from Lord Blessington your commands for 
B third time. I beg pardon for having been so tardy ; but 
3 enclosed will shew that I have, at last, implicitly and lite- 
ily obeyed you. 

" I have the honour to be, dear Lady Blessington, 

" Your very faithful servant, J. W. Croker." 

" You've asked me three times. 
For four lines with two rhymes ; 
Too long I've delayed ; 
But at last you're obeyed !" 



Letter of T. Stewart, Esq., enclosing lines written in Naples, 
dressed to Lady Blessington : — 

" Palais Belvedere, Naples, Monday. 
" My dear Madam, 
•' Although these lines can only prove the good wishes and 
tentions of their author, I hope you will not be displeased at 
ceiving them. 

*' My uncle* refused your kind invitation with great regret 
sterday, but he is so lame at present, that he can scarcely 
alk. He is likewise, in some degree, alarmed about himself. 
" With my best wishes to Miss Power, and to D'Orsay, 
" I remain, your Ladyship's most sincerely, 

'' T. Stewart." 
♦ Sir William Drummond. 



304 LINES ADDRESSED TO LADY BLES8INGT0N 

Lines addressed to Marguerite, Countess of BlesaiDgtoD* 
on her leaving Naples, spring, 1826, in oonsequenoe of the 
climate injuring her health : 

1. 
" 'Tis vain that the rose and the myrtle are twining. 
In wreaths that the Graces intended for thee ; 
For thou wilt he far when their blossom is pining, 
Unseen in the grove, and unculled 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. 
Yet 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 vale. 
The flower that is fairest is secretly fading. 
For sickness is wafted to thee on the gale. 
4. 
'' Alas ! that in climes where all Nature is gladdest. 

Her charms, like the visions of youth, should deceive ; 
Of the tears at thy parting, those tears will be saddest 
That grieving for thee, we for Nature must grieve.*** 



Lines enclosed in a letter of Mr. N. P. Willis to \sir^ 
Blessington, April 2, 1840 : — 

" The music of the waken'd lyre 

Dies not within the quivering strings. 
Nor burn'd alone the minstrel's fire, 

Upon the lip that trembling sings ; 
Nor shines the moon in Heaven unseen. 
Nor shuts the flower its fragrant cells. 
Nor sloops the fountain's wealth I ween ; 
For ever in its sparry wells, 
* For the unhappy fate of the amiable and accomplished writsroftlM 
above lines, and the connection of that catastrophe with the bsbm of 
an Italian of recent notoriety, see Appendix to this volume. 




BY VARIOUS PERSONS. 805 

The charms of the enchanter lie. 

Not in his own lone heart — his own rapt ear and eye. 

' I gaze upon a face as fair 

As ever made a lip of Heaven 
Falter amid its music — prayer ; 

The first lit star of summer even 
Springs scarce so softly on the eye, 

Nor grows with watching half so bright, 
Nor mid its sisters of the sky 

So seems of heaven the dearest light. 
Men murmur where that shape is seen, 
* My youth's angelic dream was of that form and mien.' 

Yet, tho' we deem the stars are blest, 

And envy in our grief the flower 
That bears but sweetness in its breast, 

And praise the enchanter for his power. 
And love the minstrel for the spell 

He winds from out his lyre so well ; 
The starlight doth the wanderer bless. 

The lyre the listener's tears beguile. 
And, lady, in the loveliness 

Doth light torday that radiant smile, 
A lamp is lit in Beauty's eye, 
That souls, else lost on earth, remember angels by !" 



Copy of verses, signed Fitzgerald. Addressed to Lady 

iessington, on Literary Taste. 

'' Dec. 19, I8I8. 
" Through wide Creation's ample round, 
AVhere'er her varying fonns are found. 
The landscape deck'd with nature's dyes, 
The boundless sea, o'er- arching skies. 
The waving wood, the winding shore. 
The tranquil lake or torrent's roar. 
The modest valley, far withdrawn, 
Or the proud cliff or laughing lawn ; 
These all can please, yd none to me 
Such soothing charm conveys as minds refin d and free. 
VOL. I. X 



306 LINES ADDRESSED TO LADY BLE8SINGT0N 

" Let goblets sliine on festal board. 
And lavish Art exhaust her hoard. 
To raise the soul or warm the heart. 
And a new zest to life impart ; 
How vain the pomp, the wealth how poor. 
Worthless as gold on Indian floor. 
Unless the grace of mind preside. 
To soften down the glare of pride ; 
With magic touch, the feast refine. 
Wreathe baysround pleasure's cup, to nectar turn hiswr Luc. 

" 'Mid darker scenes, in sorrow's hour, 
► Taste comes with softly soothing pow'r ; 
Sheds a mild radiance thro* the gloom, 
And shades with silver wings the tomb ! 
Strews roses o'er the waste of time. 
And lulls the anguish of his crime 
'Gainst love and hope, whose precious buda 
He cuts and casts them on the floods ! 
So drops an anodyne t* endure 
Those deep and trenchant wounds which it can neier c:::^ "^^ 

** 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 blest the happy pow'r we prove I 
Then bright Minerva shines in Blessington^ with lovr." 

Verses enclosed in a letter of John Kcnyon, Esq., to \^J 
Blessington, Paris, June 15, 1840. 

ITALY. 
" Fair blows the breeze, depart ! depart ! 
And tread with nie the Italian shore. 
And feed thy soul with glorious art, 
And drink iiErain of classic lore. 




BY VARIOUS PERSONS. 807 

Nor haply wilt thou deem it wrong, 

When not in mood too gravely wise. 
At idle length to lie along. 

And quaff a bliss from bluest skies. 

Or pleased more pensive joy to woo. 

At falling eve, by ruin grey. 
Move o'er the generations who 

Have passed, as we must pass, away. 

Or mark o*er olive tree and vine. 

Steep towns uphung, to win from them 

Some thought of Southern Palestine, 
Some dream of old Jerusalem." 

J. K. 



written by R. Bemal, Esq. 

TO LADY BLESSINGTON. 

" When wintry winds in wild career 
Howl requiems for the by-gone year. 
And thought, responding 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, 
Hopcy warmth, and energy decay ; 
What mortal harm can then impart 
A ray of sunshine to the heart. 
And by its healing balm dispense 
New vigour to each failing sense ? 
On one bright charm alone depend. 
The feeling of a genuine friend, 
\\Tiose ready sympathy 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 from my pen refinement steal : 

X 2 



308 LINES ADDRESSED TO LADT BLE8S1NGT0K 

Should language fail me to express 
The grateful thanks I would confess. 
Believe me that the words of truth 
Bear in themselves perpetual youtk." 

B. Bernal, January i, IS 



From J. H. Jesse, Esq., March 20, 1840. 

** In your gay favoured leaves I am ordered to write, 
Where wit on poetical verdure reposes ; 
But I fear I shall prove, in those pages so bright. 
To use the Count's phrase, like a pig among roses. 
" Should this lay, in your book, with the verses entwii 
Of painters, bards, sculptors, blue-ribbons, and earl 
Instead of the pearls being thrown among swine, 
I fear that the swine will be thrown among pearls. 
*^ But should you find room, in your splendid parterre 
Of fancy and wit, for a slave so devout ; 
Though a pig among flow'rs is a sight rather rare. 
At least he's an excellent hand at a rout. 

'^ In pity accept this nonsensical lay. 

Instead of my promised historical lore ; 
I but wish to escape from the grave to the gay. 
Lest the pig, to your sorrow, should turn out a boar 
" But your ' wonderful pig ' must give over his feats, 
And endeavour to quench his poetical fire ; 
Lest striving to enter a garden of sweets. 
In the end he should find himself sunk in the mire.* 

J. H. Jb 

The Countess of Blessinoton's Soiree. 

" By genius enlivened, here splendidly bright 
Are the rays which adorn and embellish her * night !' 
Whilst ' the nine ' shed their influence down from abot 
To unite taste and wit with the charms of * the Grove.' 
Mount Radford, Exeter. Octooekai 

* The writer occasionally signed his letters to Lady Blesiiiiglo 




BT VARIOUS PERSONS. S09 

Impromptu. — On a small volumb of poems bbh^g placed 
IN THE Library of Ladt Blbssington. 

" What * earthly ' was before, is now ' dirine ;* 
Minerva's priestess placed it in her siriMt.*^ 
^^eter, September 16, 1842. Octogekarius. 



^ioes addressed to Lady Blessington (oo name or date). 
" Some dear Mend a present has made me^ 
Of an instrument armed like a dart ; 
But the warning of witches forbad me 
To use it secundum the art. 

** It may be by some fairy 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 !** 



^ ^closed in a letter of Dr. W. Beattie. 

THE CLOSING TEAR. 

" Cosi trapassa — a'l trapassar' d'un giomo." 

" Could time contract the heart. 
As time contracts our years ; 
Vd weep to see my days depart. 
In undissembled tears. 

" But no ! the mind expands. 
As Time pursues his 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. 

his numerous poetical effusions, ** Pilgrim." Mount Radford, I think, 
near Exeter, was the name of a property of one of the Barings, some 

thirty years ago. 



310 LINES ADDRESSED TO LADY BLESSIKGTON 

" But no ! while I can cheer 
One sad or stricken heart, 
Unrcckoned, let my days appear — 
Unmourned, let them depart ! 

" Time— 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 — 
A\Tien dead to human woes — 
Then drop the curtain ! — close my eyes. 
And leave mc to repose !** 
December, 30, 1840. 

P.S. 
" Such, Lady ! is the creed 
Thy gifted pen has taught ; 
And well the daily-practised deed 
Gives body to the thought! 

" Thy mind's an intellectual fount. 
Where Genius plumes his wing ; 
And fancy's flowers, like Eden's bowers. 
Enjoy perennial spring !" 



Lines of Dr. \Vm. Beattie to the Countess of Blessing*^ 
on perusing " The Book of Beauty," for 1839. 

*' As Dian, 'mid yon isles of light, 
A\'ith starry train illumes the region ; 
So, Lady ! here, with eyes as bright, 
Tliou Icad'st abroad thy starry legion. 
All marshalled in thy brilliant Book, 
AN'hat fascinations fix the reader ! 
Ah ! when had stars so bright a look ? 
( )r when had Beauty such a leader ? 

** And, gazing on that starry train. 
In each, methinks, I see the token 
Of conquests won — of suitors slain — 
Of liracK tin y'vr lurnrd, «ind hearts thc^yVc brokeB- 




BT VARIOUS PERSONS. 811 

Lady ! thy task is nobly done ! 
Who el^e could have performed the duty ? 
Where find, unless in Blessington, 
The synonyme for wit and beauty ?" 
7th, 18S8. 



iS '' A L'Arabe/' to Lady Blessington, by an £astem 
er. 

'* If e'er the price of tinder rise. 
To smoking as I'm given, 
I'll light my pipe at your bright eyes. 
And steal my fire from heaven. 

" In Paynim climes, when forced to sip 
Cold water thro' devotiofi, 
I'd think the cup had touched your lip. 
To nectarize my potion. 

" If dread simoom swept o'er my tent, 
I'd call back scenes enchanting : 
On blissful hours in Naples spent. 
And your abode descanting. 

" In dread Eclipse like that which threw 
Half Naples into terror, 
'Twould seem to me perhaps that you 
Had breathed upon your mirror. 

" In Antres vast and desert wild, 

With jackals screaming round me, 
I'd dream of you when toil and fright 
' In slumber's chain had bound me.' 

*^ I'd fancy beauty^s Queen, arrayed 
In smiles, was watching o'er me. 
And waking, find the picture laid 

Of Lady B before me." 

Feb. 1828. R. R. M. 



312 LINES ADDRESSED TO LADY BLE8SINGTON 

From Mrs. P s to Lady Blessington, St. James's Squar 

'* In this frigid season of stupified spleen, 
October, when nothing goes down but the Queen,* 
(Tho' lately her Majesty seems to get up. 
So oft 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 philosophers 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 rcwArr, 
It is not Sir Isaac the vessel that surges, 
Tho' certainly Eyes Ache when looking on surges : 
Des cartes sounds more like it : for Gallican art 
Moves over the waves by assistance JDes-cartes : 
No ! now I remember : the man who by toil 
Of noddle, and midnight consumption of oil, * 
First hit upon steam, was I'hilosopher Boyle. 

" This learned discussion has made me to forget, 
Proceed we to sing of our voyage from Margate. 
As the clock sounded eight, I myself and my maiden, 
(Having cofFce'd at Bro.idstairs) with band-boxes laden, 
Both spurning the pier, and the coast out of reach of, 
(If spurning a Peer should be privilege breach of, 
Keep this to yourself, and if sworn on the Bible, 
licst the Lords, in a rage, should commit for the libelj- 
Kmbark'd on the main, which erst tranquil and steadji 
Soon hcav'd, like the tragical chest of Macready. 
One ]Mr. Mac Donald on board also came, 
(Related Pni 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. 
I straight introduced both these voyagers with 
* Mr. Smith, Mr. Mac : xMr. Mac, Mr. Smith;* 

* The Queen Caroline. This poetical Epistle is not dated; brt« 
I^dy Blessington \va» not Uving in St. James's Square after 1821a" 
previous to 1819, the epistle must have been written in the inteniL 




BY VARIOUS PERSONS. 813 

We then talk'd a trio, harmonious together, 

Of Naples, and Spain, and the Queen and the weather. 

Of Margate, its windmills, its balls, and of raffles. 

Of Misses in curls, and of donkies in snaffles : j 

In gay sprightly pace, tho* I sing it in dull verse. 

Then pass'd the two steeples they call the Reculvers, 

When finding Dan Phcebus preparing to unshine. 

We entered the cabin and ordered a luncheon. 

But ere we went down, I forgot to inform 

Yoiir Ladyship, Jupiter pour'd down a storm. 

Smith raised his umbrella, my kid leather shoes, 

Unused to such scenes, were beginning to ooze. 

When a German, who look'd at me, all in a float, 

Most civilly lent me his wrapping great coat. 

Thus muffled, while Iris poured rain from her window, 

I looked like a Sylph keeping watch on Belinda. 

I laugh'd at the tempest this tunic of drab in, 

Uut laid it aside when we enter 'd 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 look'd rather genteel. 

Smith sat with each leg on the side of a column. 

Which check'd him in eating and made him look solemn. 

So, hastily quitting our seats when we all had 

Sufficient cold lamb, beef, potatoes, and 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 

That floats, red and white, from the stern of the steamer : 

This form'd 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 ! 

When 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 devil's tattoo. 

Of one of our minstrels, an Irish Pandwan, 

I asked if that ocean was calPd the iEgcan ; 



314 LINES ADDRESSED TO LADT BLESSINGTON. 

If it was not, old Guthrie was bom to confound me. 
For ril swear that the cyc-lades* circled around me. 
We pass'd on our left the four hanging Lascars, 
Who peep at the moon and keep watch at the stars ; 
Just opposite South-end, we plump'd on a porpus. 
Uncommonly like Stephen Kemble in corpus— 
In temper like Geraid, whose surname is Noel, 
In swimming like Twiss, and in colour 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 cabk, 
The mixture of voices out-babeling Babel — 
What scrambling for band-boxes, handkerchiefs, caskets, 
Trunks, carpet bags, brown paper parcels, and baskets, 
While the captain stood quietly whetting his whistle^ 
Must all be reserved for another Epistle, 
For my paper scrawled o'er is of no further service. 

Adieu, your affectionate ever, 

Ellen P s." 

♦ Two sick ladies. 




315 



CHAPTER XIII. 

NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAY : HIS ORIGIN SOME 

ACCOUNT OF HIS EARLY LIFE, THE CLOSE OF HIS CAREER, 
AND OBSERVATIONS ON HIS TALENTS AND THE APPLICATION 
OF THEM.* 

*^i-PRED GuiLLAUME Gabriel Comte D'Orsay was bom the 
•^ th of September, 1801. His father, Albert Comte D'Orsay, 
vvho was considered one of the finest-looking men of his 
^^nie, early entered the army, and served with great distinc- 
tion under Napoleon, who was wont to say of him, that he 
^^as " aussi brave que beau.'' His mother, a woman no less 
^^markable for her wit and noble and generous disposition 
^han for her beauty, was a daughter of the King of Wur- 
^omburg by a marriage which was good in religion, though 
^ot in law. The family of D'Orsay was a very ancient one, 
*Uid formerly held large possessions, both in Paris and in the 
provinces. The grandfather of the late Comte D'Orsay was 
One of the most liberal patrons of art of his day. His col- 
U^ction of pictures and statues was singularly fine and valua- 
ble. Several of the latter, which were seized in the first 
^'evolution, that disastrous period, when he lost nearly the 
whole of his fortune, now form a part of the statuary which 

'-* For a large portion of the details of this Memoir, extending to 
the poriod of D'Orsay's last sojourn in Paris, I am indebted to a lady 
Vi;ry intimately acfiuainted with the Count in his brighter days, as well 

^' in hi'- latrst moments. 



3i6 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAT. 

decorates the Place Louis Quinze, and the gardens of the 
Tuilleries. The fact of their belonging to the house tS 
D'Orsay was admitted by subsequent governments. Loub 
Philippe, only a short time before his expulsion fipom Franoe, 
was in treaty with Comte D'Orsay to pay an annual sum to 
retain the statues in their present places, having refiised 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 
fiimily consisted of two children, Alfred, and a daughter, Ida, 
the present Duchesse de Grammont, a year younger than her 
brother. From his earliest years, Alfred D'Orsay was p&- 
markable not only for comeliness, but quickness of ap|nehea- 
sion. As a child and boy, his superior strength and adroit- 
ness in all exercises, ready wit, high spirit, the frankness of 
his nature, and chivalrous generosity of his disposition, made 
him a general favourite with young and old. 

At a very early age he entered the army, and somewhat 
later, and unwillingly, the garde du corps of the restored 
Bourbon sovereign. All his sympathies during the whole of 
his life were with the Bonaparte family. The ardent eothu* 
siasm inspired 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 canied, that at the entrance of 
the Bourbons into Paris, though but a mere boy, he betook 
himself to a retired part of the house, that he might not aee 
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 ra- 
gime. When in the army, he was greatly beloved by the 
men, whose comforts and interests he looked to with the 
utmost care. Tl)eir aif(*ction for his person was equalled 
only by the admiration excited by iris feats of strength, and 
s\iperiority over his comrades in all manly exercises. 




NOTICE OP COUNT ALFRED b*ORSAY. 317 

Some of the traits of his garrison life, though trifling in 
themselves, are too characteristic to be left unnoticed. At 
the provincial balls, where his repute as a man of fashion, of 
&mily, and of various accomplishments had made itself 
known, and rendered him a leading object of attention ; he 
used to be jeered by his brother officers, for his apparent pre- 
dilection for persons not remarkable for their personal attrac- 
tions, 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 neglected 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 robust man of a violent temper, and of considerable 
bodily strength, was in the habit of treating his mother and 
sisters with brutality. Comte D'Orsay, one day, while in his 
room, hearing a tumult in the apartments of his hostess and 
her daughters, on the ground floor, descended to ascertain the 
cause, and finding the young man offering acts of violence 
to his mother, fell upon him, and inflicted such severe chas- 
tisement on him, that quarter was soon called for. The 
Count then, with his characteristic quietude of manner, in the 
midst of any excitement or turmoil, ended the scene, by as- 
suring the subdued bully, that any repetition of his violence 
on his family, would meet with punishment far exceeding in 
severity that which he 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 emi- 
gration, had been educated and brought up in England, had 
sen^d in an English regiment (of dragoons), and who had a 



318 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAT. 

sister married to the Viscount Ossulston, now Earl of Tan- 
kerville ; consequently the Duke de Guiche already held a 
position in English society, calculated to ensure the best re- 
ception for his brother-in-law in the first circles of Londcm 
society.* 

In that visit, which was but brief, the young Count, accus- 
tomed to manners and customs of a world of fashion differing 
very materially from that of London, formed that hasty judg- 
ment of English society, erroneous in the main, but in its ap- 
plication to a portion of it, not without a certain basis of 
truth. Byron's eulogistic expressions, on the perusal of the 
journal, could not fail to be very gratifying to the writer of it. 
But the riper judgment, and later experience of the Count, 
led to the formation of other opinions, and induced him to 

* Count D'Orsay^s first visit to England. — The Count Marcellut^ who 
was French Chargti d'Atfaircs at the (-ourt of London, during the 
ministry of Chateaubriand, in his work ** Politique de la Restaoratioo 
en 1822 et 1823" (Paris, 1853), makes mention of n ball he gave in 
London at the period of the invasion of Spain by the legitimiats, when 
the London mob had made an attack on the hotel of the French 
minister. The ball, he says, was attended by the Duke of Wellington* 
various representatives of the Congress of Verona — all the world of 
fashion wore there — and ** lastly, D'Or^ay brought in his train the 
ordinary circle of dandies who made his escort.*' 

Tills is the earliest mention I have seen, in any published work, of 
D'Orsay's sojourn in London previously to the return of Lady Blets- 
ington from tlic continent in 1831. At the time of his vi>it to Eng- 
land, his brother-in-law, the Duke de Grammont (then Due de Guiche), 
who, durin<; his exile from France, had served in the English army 
(in the tenth dragoons), was sojourning in London, and D'Orsay'i 
visit on that ocr iMon was to liis sister and her husband. 

At tlie ptriod of Cuunt I)*Orsay's second visit to London, some 
months after the French revolution of 1830, the Marshal Sebattiani 
(wlio had married a sister of the present Due de Grammont) was am- 
bassador at the court of St. Jameses, and his being there was one of 
the inducements which hrid led D'Orsay to take up his abode in Lon- 
don at that time. 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D*ORSAT. 819 

destroy the diary, and the reason gtvexi 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 April 2, 1823, thus refers to the arriral at 
Genoa of the Blessingtons, and Count lyOrsay, a French 
Count, " who has all the air of a cupidon dechaine, 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 5th, 1823. 
" My dear Lord, 
" How is your gout? or rather how are you ? I return the 
Count D'Orsay's journal, which is a very extraordinary pro- 
duction, and of a most melancholy truth in all that regards high 
life in England. I know, or knew personally, most of the per- 
sonages 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 ex- 
ceptions, which I will mention by and bye. The most singular 
thing is how he should have penetrated not the facts, but the 
mystery of the English ennui, at two and twenty. I was about 
the same age when I made the same discovery, in almost pre- 
cisely 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, Ilfaut etre Francais 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 1 could have wished that he had been at a dinner 
in town, which I recollect at Lord Cowper's — small, but select, 
and composed of the most amusing people . . . Altogether, 
your friend's journal is a very formidable production. Alas ! 
our dcarly-bclovcd countrymen have only discovered that they 



320 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAT. 

are tircd^ 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 won't say so, whatever I may think. I 
showed it (I hope no breach of confidence) to a young Italian 
lady of rank^ tres instruite, also ; and who passes, or passed, fer 
being one of the most celebrated belles in the district of Italy, 
where her family and connections resided in less troublesone 
times as to politics (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 
Stacl's metaphysical disputations on the same subject, in her 
work on the Revolution. I beg that you will thank the young 
philosopher, and make my compliments to Lady B. and her 
sister. 

" Believe me, your very obliged and faithful, 

" Bybox." 

In subsequent letters to Lord Blessington, Bjtod repeatedk 
returns to the subject of the Count's English journal. One 
written on the 6th of April (the very day after that befeie 
quoted), to condole with the Earl of Blessington on the death 
of his only son, thus concludes : " I beg my compliments to 
Lady Blessington, Miss Power, and to your Alfred. I think, 
since his Majesty of the same name, there has not been such 
a learned sun-eyor of oiu* Saxon society." Again, on the 9th, 
** I salute the illustrious Chevalier Count D^Orsay, who, I 
hope, will continue his History of his Own Times. There 
are some strange coincidences between a part of his remaikii 
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 miB 
may do in London with impunity, while he is a-la^mode.*' 
And in a letter which Mr. Moore did not print at length, 
Byron said of D^Orsiiy, '* He seems to have all the qualitin 
requisite to have figured in his brother-in-law's anoestor'i 
Memoirs'' — alluding to the famous Memoirs of Grammont 




NOnCE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAY. 821 

Byron's approbation of D'Orsay*s diary was given in the 
>Ilowing characteristic terms : 

"April 22, 1823.— My dear Count D'Orsay (if you will 
ermit me to address you so familiarly), you should be content 
rith writing in your own language, like Grammont, and suc- 
seding in London as nobody has succeeded since the days of 
Charles the Second, and the records of Antonio Hamilton, with- 
ut deviating into our barbarous language, — which you under- 
hand and write, however, much better than it deserves. * My 
pprobation,' as you are pleased to term it, was very sincere, 
ut perhaps not very impartial ; for, though I love my country, 
do not love my countrymen — at least, such as they now are. 
ind besides the seduction of talent and wit in your work, I 
Jar that to me there was the attraction of vengeance. I have 
een and felt much of what you have described so well. I 
ave. known the persons and the reunions described, — (many of 
hem, that is to say,) and the portraits are so like, that I can- 
ot but admire the painter no less than his performance. But 
am sorry for you ; for if you are so well acquainted with 
fe at your age, what will become of you when the illusion is 
tin more dissipated ?" 

The illusion was wholly dissipated, but only a few months 
efore D'Orsay's death. 

On the 6th of May following, his Lordship writes to Lady 
llessington : 

" I have a request to make my friend Alfred (since he has 
Dt disdained the title), viz. that he would condescend to "add 
cap to the gentleman in the jacket — it would complete his 
)stume, and smooth his brow, which is somewhat too in- 
Bterate a likeness of the original, God help me !" 

The diary of Count D'Orsay, illustrative of London fashion- 
l)le life, which was pronounced by such competent authority to 
e equal to anything Count de Grammont has left us about 

VOL. I. Y 



322 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D*OR8AY. 

cotemporary frivolity, is said by others to have surpassed the 
memoirs of the latter in genuine wit and humour. 

The Duchesse de Grammont has the papers of Count 
D'Orsay, and a portion of the eflfects ; most of the latter were 
sold to pay debts. His journal was burnt by himself some 
years back.* 

It was on the occasion of D'Orsay's first visit to Londoo, 
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 aooom* 
pany them to Italy, that he abandoned the intention of join- 
ing the expedition to Spain, there being no question of his 
doing so at the period of that visit. 

At the earnest desire of Ijord and Lady Blessington, tiie 
young Frenchman became one of the party in their tour 

* In the Athenaeum of. February 3, 18.55, the following notice of 
this diary is to be found : — " Brilliant and shrewd any journal keptbj 
Count D^OrAay must have been ; though, possibly, in his compUmcBtife 
Byron may have somewhat exaggerated his admiration, according tD 
his usage ; but the author of the ' Literary Life ' before us givei A 
deatli-blow to curiosity, by stating that Count D'Orsay's Diary exiili 
no more, having been burnt by its writer some years since. If this be 
the case, it should have been added, that the MS. was destroyed in bo 
fit of spleen (for never was diarist, to the last, less splenetic than CoiiK 
D'Orsay) ; but out of gentlemanly regard for the society in which, loog 
after the journal of a passing stranger was written, its writer mde 
himself at home. Yet more, it cannot have been burnt without cogent 
temptations offered to its writer to adopt the contrary course. Wc 
believe that during the later part of Count D'Orsay 'a residciies ii 
England, when his embarrassments were notorious, he might agiiasBA 
again have coined money on the pages of a MS. reputed (on no ksB tt 
autliority than Byron's) to be so piquant. We have heard him sftaii 
and again declare that he never woidd * sell the people at whose hosNi 
he had dined !* and think it possible that the diary may hare ben d^ 
stroyed by himself, in order to render all temptation impossihb 

•' * What's done we partly can compute. 
But know not what's resisted.* '* 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAY. 323 

;h France and Italy. During their journey and pro- 
sojourn in the latter country, the companionable 
es, and that peculiar power of making himself agree- 
rhich he possessed to a degree almost unequalled, so 
ed him to his English friends, that a union was at length 
ed by Lord Blessington between the Count and one of 
lighters, both of whom were then in Ireland, with Lady 
4 Gardiner, the sister of Lord Blessington. 
s proposition meeting the approval of the Count's family, 
finally decided that Lady Harriette, the younger daugh- 
ould become his wife, and she was accordingly sent for 
y, where the marriage was celebrated.* 
3r a long continental tour, and a sojoiun of some years 
ly. Lord and Lady Blessington, with the Count and 
ess D'Orsay, came to reside in Paris, where, in 1829, 
blessington died of apoplexy. 

ring the revolution of 1830, the events of which are 
1 by Lady Blessington in the " Idler in France," Count 
ay, during the most dangerous moments, was con- 
' in the streets; and on more than one occasion, 
recognized, though known to be the brother-in-law of 
uc de Guiche, one of the staunchest of the legitimists, 
J greeted by the people with the shouts of " Vive le 
• D'Orsay /" such was the influence which his mere 
ce produced. One of the proofs of the effect on others 

e find in the " Annual Register" for 1827, an account of the mar- 
3remony having been performed at Naples, by the chaplain of the 
Ambassador. " At Naples, in December 1 827, Counl AlfredD*Or- 
ly son of General Count D'Orsay, to the Lady Harriette Anne 
B Gardiner, daughter of the Right Hon. the Earl of Blessington.'' 
I unhappy marriage an account has been given in the preceding 
r, and the sentiments of the author in regard to it have been ez- 
l there. Of the greatness of the calamity of that union, and 
gvous wrong done by it to one almost a child in years, experi- 
nd understanding, the author has nothing more to say than hat 
[ready said by him, on that painful subject.— R. R. M. 

Y 2 



824 NOTICE OP COUNT ALFRED D*ORSAT. 

of his insinuating manners and prepossessing appearance, wai 
the extreme affection and confidence he inspired in childm, 
of whom he was very fond, but who usually seemed as if they 
were irresistibly drawn towards him, even before he attempted 
to win them. The shyest and most reserved were no more 
proof against this influence than the most confiding. Chil- 
dren who in general would hardly venture to look at a stranger, 
would steal to his side, take his hand, and seem to be quite 
happy and at ease when they were near him. The sime 
power of setting others perfectly at their ease in his prettnee^ 
extended to his influence over grown-up persons. 

In society he was ajrreeable, attentive, kind, and considetite 
to all ; no one was too humble, too retiring, too little au/att 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 a* 
merit, devising means of drawing out any peculiar talent the 
person might possess, or of discovering some topic of iDtaRit 
to the party, on which he could get into conversation witli 
him. Men of all opinions, classes, and positions, found them* 
Slaves at home with him on some particular question or other; 
and this not from any etfort, or any unworthy conoesioB 
on his part, but from a natunil facility of adapting himsdfto 
the poc\iliariti(*s of those around liim. His active mind aoogfal 
and found abundant occupation in such conversational exerciiCi 
He often said that *' he had never known the meaning of the 
word etinui" 

No matt(T where or with whom he might be, be fiwad 
means to employ his n)ind and his time, more or less uscfuSj 
or agreeably. Tlie dullest country town had for him asmao/ 
resources as Paris or London. Wherever he went, he im 
disposed to And everything interesting and good in its fnft 
and everybody capable of being made amusing and agiedbk 
To the last, when time, grief, and disappointment, thekaif 



NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'ORSAY. 325 

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 remained unimpaired as in his early youth. 
Arrogance and affectation, and purse-proud insolence, alone 
fouDd him severe and satirical ; on these his keen wit and re- 
markable powers of raillery were not unfrequently set, and 
perhaps 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 
Blessington and the Count and Countess D'Orsay returned 
to England. 

Shortly before the death of Count D'Orsay's mother, who 
entertained feelings of strong attachment for Lady Blessing- 
ton, the former had spoken with great earnestness of her ap- 
prehensions for her son, on account of his tendency to ex. 
travagance, 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 embarrass- 
ments, 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 Bless- 
ington. On her return to London, Lady Blessington took a 
house in Seamore 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 dwell- 
ing 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 Miss Powers, shortly after his 



35() NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAT. 

arrival, and in the following month of June he met in thekM 
of Lady Blcssington, an affliction from the effects of which he 
never thoroughly recovered. 

The ensuing year he realized a plan he had formed and 
oilen spoken of in happier days. He hired an immense studio, 
with some smaller rooms connected with it^ attached to tbi 
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, &c.), and with the extn- 
ordinary taste and talent for arrangement that constituted one 
of his gifts, a large waste room, with naked loft, becaaie tnn»* 
formed into one of the most elegantly fitted up and winat' 
ably disposed studios of Paris, and at the same time, a habitihb 
salon of great beauty, combining requisites for a museom 
en miniaiufe, and objc^cts of virtu and art suflident to for- 
nish a small gallery. In this salon he might be said to be 
domiciled. Here he lived, here he daily received the visitiof 
some of the greatest celebrities of Europe ; statesmen, pofi- 
tlcians, diplomatists, men of letters, and artists, were his con- 
stant visitors and frequent guests. 

The ex-roi Jerome continued to be one of the most fiuthfid 
and attached of his fiiends. The paternal affection of the 
irood old man, with the warm regard of his son, the Prince 
Napoleon, formed a remarkable contrast to the conduct of 
others, which fully bore out the obsen'ation : — *^ There lie 
some beni^tits so great, that they can only be paid by the 
blackest inj^ratitude." The ex-king Jerome never swerved 
in his atfeetion for ('ount D'()i*say, and his earnest desire ml 
to see him eh^vatt^I to a past w*orthy of bis posidoQ and 
talents. This hope, however, was destined to be defrnled. 
The President of tlie Republic had nothing in oommoa wMi 
tin* exile and the prisoner of Ham ; he who had long ni 
liiifrely served, eouiisclled, and aided, in various ways* tb 
l:itter, thrnnuh good report and evil report, had been afiithM 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAT. 327 

BieQd to him, was looked on with coldness and aversion ; 
ivlien he proved too independent and high-spirited to be 
i mere servile, opinionless partizan of the most astute as 
rell as successful conspirator of modern times, and his presence 
ecalled obligations in private life, he became an object of 
Mloosy, his services a disagreeable souvenir. The poor Count 
fined away, long expecting an appointment, but expecting it 
a vain. His health broke down, and when it was completely 
imied, Louis Napoleon conferred on his friend of former 
lays, already struck by the hand of death, the nominal post of 
>irector of Fine Arts, the duties of which office he was no 
onger able to perform. The Prince imagined, by this tardy 
i€t of kindnesss, he had screened himself from the just re- 
Hoaches of all who knew their former connection. 

Count D'Orsay was struck to the heart by the ingratitude 
)f Louis Napoleon, but his generous nature was incapable of 
sitterness, 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 
^ed him. 

From the period of Lady Blessington's death, the Count 
bad given up general society, and during the last two years of 
bis 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 companions 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, son of 
the celebrated Madame Tallien, and the well-known Mon- 
sieur Ouvrarcl, Madame de C , the Comtesse of D , 

were among the; last in whose constant society he found re- 
pose and pleasure, when that of others had lost its charm. 

In the spring of 1852, the spinal malady which finally 



338 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'gRSAT. 

proved fatal, declared itself, and then commeDoed a long 
series of sufferings, which ended but with his life ; sufferiop 
endured with fortitude and gentleness, and consideratioD ftr 
those attending on him, which none but those whose punlid 
task it was to watch by his bed-side could form any idea ot 

In the month of July he was ordered to Dieppe, as a ht 
resource, and thither he was accompanied by Liady Bksuf- 
ton's nieces. From the time of his arrival in Dieppe, he sank 
rapidly ; at the end of the month he returned to Pkris, dyings 
and on the 4 th of August, 1832, breathed his last, surrounded 
by those whose unremitting care had been the last 
of his declining days. 

During his illness, he had more than once been 
by the excellent Archbishop of Paris, though a oomparatiTdf 
late acquaintance, who entertained for him a warm regard. 

Two days previous to his decease, the archbishop hid i 
long conversation with him, and at parting, embraced hiffl, 
assuring him of his friendship and affectionate regard.* The 
following day, the last of his existence, he received the oooio- 
lations of religion from the cure of Chambourcy. For the 
church of tliis good priest he had done a great deal : he had 
restored many of the pictures, and bestowed the original pic- 
ture of the Mater Dolorosa, which had been painted by him- 
self expressly for the church, the lithograph of whidi is iwD 
known, and is sold under 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 existeaee 
of this highly-gifted man, when hardly beyond the prime rf 
life. 

An innate love of all that was beautiful in nature and es- 
cellent in art, a generous, chivaLx)us nature, strong •ynpt- 

♦ " J*ai pour vous plus que dc ramitit, j'ai de raffection," ««« 

the archbialiop's words. 



J 




'^ NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAT. 329 

lies with suffering, ardent fedings, a kindly disposition, 
egant tastes, and fine talents, capable of being turned in 
most any pursuit to an exoeUent account, these were the 
sdnguishing characteristics of Count Alfred D'Orsay. 

Many gifts and advantages, natural and intellectual, were 
Doted in him. To remarkable personal comeliness were 
Ided great strength and courage which nothing could daunt, 
id an adroitness which enabled him to excel in every thing 
9 attempted. He was one of the best horsemen, the best 
lots, the best fencers, and the best boxers of his day. 
[is talents as a painter and sculptor, though wanting cul- 
vation and study, were of the first order ; he had an excel- 
nt ear, and some taste for music, with a tolerable tenor voice, 
hich, however, he very rarely exercised. His wit was keen 
dd brilliant, his taste in all matters of dress, furniture, and 
]uipage, as well as in art, excellent. In his mind and his 
lanners there was a singular mixture of refinement, sim- 
licity, warmth, and frankness, very productive of strongly 
leasing impressions. Generous to lavishness, frank to in- 
iscretion, unsuspicious to credulity, disinterested to impru- 
ence, his defects were, in the eyes of his ardent friends, the 
xcesses of his noble qualities. He has been often heard to 
ay, that he would prefer being deceived a hundred times, 
ither than suspect another unjustly. He had a great horror 
f scandal, and possessed chivalrous feelings, which led him 
Iways to take the part of those who were violently assailed, 
bsent or present, known to him, or utter strangers. 

During his residence at Grore House, he was a generous 
lenefactor to those of his nation who required assistance, 
ncouragement, the exercise of influence in high quarters, 
Qtroductions, or hospitality. From Louis Napoleon to 
he poorest exile, his services were rendered with a frank, 
*amcst good-will, and a considerate delicacy and sympathy 
'or misfortune, that increased the value of his assistance. 



330 NOTICE OP COUNT ALFRED D'oRSAT. 

He founded the Societe de bienfaisance^ stUl existing in 
London, for the benefit of his distressed countrymen ; dot 
was his aid ever withheld from the poor or suflferiDg of his 
adopted country, for his admiration for England ended only 
with his life. 

In his temper, either in sickness or in healthy he was never 
irritable nor morose. Those who were about him, and in it- 
tendancc 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 demeanour and carriage of 
a very marked character ; the lofly bearing, and strong eneigj 
of a high-spirited man, were mingled with the gentleness^ 
sensibility, and tenderness of a woman's nature. Frank aod 
open in all his dealings, the idea of deceiving or condescend* 
ing to stoop to any sophistry in conversation, never entered 
his mind. This ingenuousness of mind and natural exod- 
lence of disposition were admirably associated with external 
advantages, and set oif by an appearance of no ordinary 
comeliness, which in its perfections united excellence of form, 
colouring, and expression. Wit, genius, and generosity, thus 
gracefully presented, and graciously recommended in his per- 
son to observation, it may not be much wondered at, verc 
admired ; nor need we doubt that Alfred D'Orsay was P^ 
gardcd 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 &ults 
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 
Ills last moments ; one who had known him long and wdl, in 
the tiill force and vij^our of life and health in happier times, in 
the brilliant circle in which he moved, " the glass of fashion 
and the innuhl of form ;" who had seen him in gay salons, 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'ORSAY. 331 

the delight of all around him, and in splendid equipages, 
witching the world of fashion in Hyde Park, " with noble 
horsemanship," — " the observed of all observers," there and 
everywhere he came. They were written by one who had seen 
him in a few months reduced from a high position, surrounded 
with all the luxuries of life, from health and happiness to 
comparative obscurity and indigence, 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 we may fairly presume, 
however truthful the account may be which is given to us of 
the many excellent qualities of this gifted man, that he had 
his faults and imperfections ; and happy may it be for him, 
and most men, if the amount of evil is counterbalanced to 
some extent by that of good. 

The nearest and dearest living relation of Count D'Orsay, 
who cherishes his memory as one of the objects in this world 
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 temptation to play arising from it, the reckless extrava- 
gance into which he entered, not so much to minister to his 
own pleasures, as to gratify the feelings of an inordinate gene- 
rosity nf disposition, 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 appeals for pecuniai'y assistance — w^ere 
very (grievous faults, and great defects in his character. In 
other respects it eannot be denied, that great wrongs were in- 
liictt d on one entitled to protection from him : the public 



332 NOTICE OP COUNT ALFRED D'oBSAT. 

opinion was outraged by that career in London, which furnished 
slander with so many plausible themes: and, however ground- 
less may be the innumerable rumours prejudicial to character, 
that had been industriously propagated in relation to them, 
that great imprudence had been committed^ and grave sos- 
picions had been incurred by that imprudence. 

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 puUic 
view, like the late Count D'Orsay. But before they eiult 
over-much, in the fullness of their sense of superiority over 
others less perfect than themselves, and in the abundance of 
their self-complacency, give thanks to God they are not like 
those other frail and erring people ; let them be well satis- 
fied they have no frailties themselves, of a different descriptioo, 
and quite sure also, that they are in possession of all the good 
qualities that may have belonged, even to their erring brothers; 
let them be well assured that had their own position in eiriy 
life, and at the commencement of their career in society, been 
surrounded by such unfavourable circumstances and evil in- 
fluences as those of the persons who are condemned by them 
may have been, that their own virtue was of such exalted ex- 
cellence that it would have triumphed over all those unfor- 
tunate circumstances and influences, which had militated 
against the happiness and good repute of others. 

The following facts need no comments, and render iny 
further statements unnecessary on the subject I have refened 
tu, of lavish extravagance. 

Soon after tlie Count separated from his wife, an agreement 
was executed, in 1838, whereby he n^inquished all his interest 
in the Blessington estates, in consideration of certain annuitiei 
amounting to £2467 being redeemed, or allowed to renaain 
charged upon the estates (the sum then necessary to redeem 
th< m wars calculated at £23,500), and also in consideration of a 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'ORSAY. 333 

sum of £55,000 to be paid to him; £13,000, part thereof, as 
soon as it could be raised, and the remaining £42,000 within 
ten years. These latter sums were not paid until the estates had 
been sold, namely, in 1 85 1, when with interest they amounted to 
ibout £80,000, 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 
3f the estates was upwards of £103,500. During his resi- 
dence in England he had an allowance from the Court of 
Chancery in Ireland of £550, and Lady Harriet £400 a-year. 
D'Orsay's embarrassments, from the years 1837 and 1838 
io the close of his career, were continuous. In 1841 some 
jfforts were made by his friends to extricate him from them. 
I was the honourable motive of tm-ning his talents to a pro- 
itable account, which subsequently led him to devote himself 

art with the idea of ultimately increasing his income by 
lis pursuits as a sculptor and a painter, and to cultivate the 
riendship of artists, with the view of deriving advantage from 
heir several excellencies in their pursuits. 

Most of his works of art are well known. His portrait of 
^''eilington, who had so great a regard for him that it was 
ufficient to mention Count D'Orsay's name to ensure his at- 
ention and interest even when otherwise occupied, was, he 
)elieves, the last for which the Duke ever sat. At its com- 
)letion his Grace warmly shook hands with the noble artist, 
^claiming, " At last I have been painted like a gentleman ! 
'11 never sit to any one else." In Paris he executed a splen- 
lid bust of Lamartine, on which the poet wrote some fine 
rerses ; one of Emile de Girardin, the boldest, the ablest, and 
he last open supporter of liberty against oppression ; one of 
Napoleon Bonaparte, the son of Jerome ; a picture of Sir 
tlobert Peel ; various other sketches and medallions ; and 
ihortly before his death, he had completed the small model of 

1 full-sized statue of the ex-king Jerome, ordered by govern- 



334 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAY. 

mcnt for the Salle des Mar^chaux de France, and had com- 
menced a colossal statue of Napoleon. 

The following article respecting the merits of Couut 
D'Orsay as an artist, appeared in the " Presse" newspaprr 
of the 10th of November, 1850 (written by Monsieur A. Dc 
La Gucrronniore), 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 the celebrated poet. 

Le Buste de M. De Lamartine, vers A. M. Le Comte 

D'Orsay. 

" M. le comte d'Orsay est un amateur de I'art plutot qu*an 
artiste. Mais qu'est-cc qu'un amateur ? C'est un volontairt 
parmi les artistes ; ce sont souvent les volontaires qui font les 
coups d'eclat dans I'atelier comme sur les champs de battaille. 
Qu'cst ce qu'un amateur ? C'est un artiste dont le g^nieseul 
fait la vocation. II est vrai qu'il ne regoit pas dans son en- 
fimce et pendant les premieres anne^s de sa vie ectte Education 
du metier, d'oii sort Michel Ange, d'oii sort Raphael. Dsuit 
mains les procMes, les traditions, les secrets pratiques de son 
art ; mais s'il doit moins au maitre, il doit plus k la nature. 
II est son auvre. C'est elle qui a mis le ciseau et le maiHei 
du sculpteur entre les mains ^^gantes et aristocratiques de 
Mme. de Lamartine, de Sernesie, de M. de Nerewerkerke e( 
de M. le comte d'Orsay. 

" M. d'Orsay est d'une famille ou Ton doit avoir, plus que 
dans toute autre, le culte du beau dans I'art. II est le fik d'lm 
g6n6rd] de nos annees heroiques, aussi c^ibre par sa beautt 
que par ses faits d'arm^es. 11 est le fr^re de cette bdb 
Duchesse de Grammont, dont le nom rappelle toutes les gnM 
et toutes los d(^licatesses d'esprit de la cour de Louis XIV. 
Lui-mrme, avant d'avoir la c^l^brite d'artiste et d'homme 
letr^, cut I'illustration de la nature : il fut un type de noUeMe 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAY. 335 

et de dignity dans les traits. II exer^a dans les salons de 
Paris et de Londres la dictature Athenienne du goAt et de 
I'flegance. C'est un de ces hommes qu'on aurait cm pr^- 
3ccup6 de succ^s futiles, — parce que la nature semble les avoir 
3r^& uniqueraent pour son plaisir, — mais qui trompent la 
mature, et qui, apr^s avoir recueilli les l^g^res admirations des 
eunes gens et des femmes de leur age, ^chappent k cette atmos- 
)h^re de legeret^ avant le temps oil ils laissent ses idoles dans 
B vide, et se transforment par I'^tude et par le travail en hommes 
louveaux, en hommes de merite acquis et s^rieux. M. d'Orsay 
habite longtemps TAngleterre ou il donnait Texemple et le ton 
cette societe aristocratique,un peu raide et deforme,qui admire 
iirtout ce qui lui manque, la grace et I'abandon des mani^res. 
lais il s'y fetait rendu recommandable aussi et surtout par le 
atronage intelligent et infatigable qu'il exergait envers les 
'rancais de toutes les classes d^nu^s de ressources dans ce d^- 
*rt de Londres. Une des plus admirables institutions de sc- 
aurs pour les Fran^ais ses compatriotes, lui doit son nom et 
\ prosperite. 

" Depuis cette epoque, il commen^a k jouer avec Targile, le 
)arbre, le ciseau. Li^ par un attachement devenu une parent^ 
'esprit, avec une des plus belles et des plus splendides femmes 
e son epoque, il fit son buste pendant qu'elle vivait ; il le fit 
l&d et plus touchant apr^s sa mort. II moule en formes 
pres, rudes, sauvages, de grandeur fruste, les traits paysanes- 
ues d'O'Connell. II sculpta la viellesse toujours verte et 
alme de Lord Wellington. Ces bustes furent a I'instant vul- 
arises en millieres d*exemplaires en Angleterre et k Paris. 
Tetaint des creations neuves. Rien de factice ; rien de con- 
enu ; rien de Tart, except^ le souverain art, celui qu'on ne 
ent pas et qui ne laisse sentir que Thomme. 

" Ces premiers succ^s lui en presageaient de plus complets. 
1 cherchait un visage. II en trouva un. Lord Byron, dont 
I fut Tami et avec Icqucl il voyagea en Italie, n'^tait plus qu'un 



336 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'ORSAT. 

souvenir ami^ dans son coeur. II retrouva ailleurs le g^Qie de 
la poesie uni a la grandeur du caractdre et & la noblesse du 
courage. U fit le bustc de Lamartine. II le fit de m^raoire, 
sans que le module lui-mdme en fiit instruit. C'est devint 
ce buste, bientot expose au salon, que nous ^crivons oes ligoei, 
on demandant pardon h M. Theophile Gautier, notre'spirituel 
collaborateur, d'anticiper sur sa critique, et de venir dans son 
gracieux domaine, nous profanes, qui sommes des pionDien 
de la politique dans un champ si rude a labourer... 

'' Le buste de Lamartine ^tait trds difficile a sculpter, sekm 
nous dira t-on. Scs traits sont simples, reguliSres, calmes, 
vastes ; cela est vrai. — Mais c'est que, dans leur simplicity, 
dans Icur regularite, dans leur calme, lis ont des expressions 
fugitives et tres diverses. Or, comment 6tre a la fois «ii et 
divers, pour un artiste qui se donne la t^che de reproduire ce 
type ? Lk ^tait Ic problemc. Le comte d*Orsay I'a resolu. 

'^ La nature, qui ne sc plie pas h nos dissections, fait quel- 
quefois des hommes que nous pourrions appeler des homnHS 
multiples. EIlc en faisait bicn davantage dans Tantiquit^ qui 
n'avait pas nos sottes jalousies, nos ridicules pr^jug^s i oet 
6gard, et q\n permcttait h un hommc d'etre d la fois,— ri 
Dieu Tavait iait tel, — une po^tc, un orateur, un sbldat, im 
hommc d'etat, un historicn, un philosophe, un homme de 
lettres. Atli^nes et Rome sont remplies de ces hommes-li 
depuis Solon, jusqu'i Pericles et Alcibiade, dcpuis CiotroB 
jusqu'^ Cesar. 11 n'y avait point alors ce systdme de cMie 
dans rintelligencc et dans le caract^re, qui d^end aujourdliid 
on Franco, commc cela est dfifendu dans I'lnde, d'exoicff 
plusieurs metiers, ou plusieurs g^nies, ou plusieurs cand£ni 
h la fois. 

" Voici Lamartine posant dcvant M, D'Orsay ! Evidemmnk 
il y ^ lc\ plusieurs Lamartine. Lequel choisira le sculpteurf 
Est-ce le Lamartin(» dt»s Mcdilations poetiques^ des Harnumki 
religieuses et de Jocelyn ? Est-ce Lamartine de b tribune f 



NOTICE OF COUNT AI FRED :«'?.?.V ::. 

Est-ce le Lamartine de rH6tcl-de-ViIle haraDguant les mala- 
tudes pour d^sanner la Revolution du dnpeau de la Terreor, 
la poitrine d^couverte, baletant, les habits d^cfaires ? Est-ce 
k Lamartine ^rivant THistoire des Girondins ? Est-ee le La- 
martine k cheval et au feu des joum^ de mai et de join, 
siarchant k la tSte des colonnes de la garde mobile et de la 
garde nationale, contre la place de Gr^ve ou oontre les bar- 
ricades des faubourgs insurges ? Est-ce Lamartine vainco, 
d^sarmd de son pouvoir et de sa popularity, se refbgiant de la 
politique dans les lettres, et demandant k son travail solitaire, 
et k la larope de ses nuits des travaux qui 6puisent la jeunesse 
d'un ^crivain ? Eh bien ! non, ce n'est ni celui-d, ni celui-la que 
M. le Comte D'Orsay a voulu choisir. II n'a pas choisi ; fl 
a mieux fait : Q a fait le Lamartine de la nature, le Lamar- 
tine tout entier. Celui des po^es, celui de la tribune, celui 
de Thistoire, celui de lUdtel-de-Ville et celui de la rue, cehii 
de la retraite et du travail 

" Voili pour nous et pour I'avenir Tincomparable superiority 
de cette ceuvre. Ce n'est pas tel ou tel homrae, telle ou telle 
partie de la vie de cet homme, c'est I'homme, Thomme divers, 
I'bomme multiple, Thomme comme la nature et le hasard des 
orconstances Font fait. . . . 

" Au reste, il paraSt que le module lui-ra6mc a kti pressionn^ 

par son image, car cette impression lui a rendu sa voix de 

po^te qui s'est tue dupuis si longtemps au tumulte d'autres 

peDs^es et d'autres actes. En recevant k Macon, il y a 

qudques jours ce buste qui lui ^tait envoy^ par le statuaire, il 

^ adress^, et comme improvise dans Tinstant mdme a M. le 

Comte D'Orsay, les strophes suivantes que nous devons a 

lobligeance de celui qui les a revues. Nos lectiu'es y retrou- 

Veront la voix qui nous remuait dans notre jeunesse, et que le 

temps, au lieu de la briser, a rendu plus virile, plus grave et 

plus p^n^trante que jamais : — 

VOL. I. s 



338 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'ORSAT. 

"A Monsieur Le Comtb D'Orsat. 
I. 

" Quand Ic bronze ecumant dans ton moule d'argile, 
Leguera par ta main mon image fragile 
A I'ceil iudifierent des hommes qui naitront, 
£t que, passant leurs doigts sur ces tempes ridecs, 
Commc un lit devast^ du torrent des Hies, 
Pleins de doutc^ ils diront entre eux : De qui ce front? 

II. 

" Est-ce un Soldat debout frapp^ pour la patrie ? 
Un poete qui chante, un pontife qui prie ? 
Un orateur qui parle aux flots seditieux ? 
Est-ce un tribun de paix souleve par la bouUei 
OfTrant, le coeur gonfle^ sa poitrine h la foule. 
Four que sa liberty remont&t pure aux cicux ? 

III. 
" Car dans ce pied qui lutte, et dans ce front qiu vibre, 
Dans ces Incurs de feu qu*entr'ouvre un souffle libre. 
Dans ce cceur qui bondit, dans ce geste serein, 
Dans cctte arche du flanc que Textase souleve, 
Dans ce bras qui commando et dans cet oeil qui ri^t, 
Phidias a pctri sept ames dans I'airain. 

IV. 

'* Sept ames, Phidias ! et je n*en ai plus une I 
De tout cc qui vecut je subis la fortune. 
Arme cent fois brisee entre les mains du temps, 
Je seme des trames dans ma route rers la tombe, 
Et Ic si^clc hebete dit : ' Voyez comme tombe 
A moitie du combat chacun des combattans !* 

V. 

" Cclui-la chanta Dieu, les idoles le tuent ! 
Au mepris des pctits, les grands le prostituent : 
Notre sang, discnt-ils pourquoi I'epargnas-tu ? 
Nous en aurions tache la griffe populaire ! 
Et le lion couche lui dit avec colore : 
Pourquoi m'as-tu calm^ ? Ma force est ma TertiL 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'ORSAY. 839 

VI. 
" Va, brise, 6 Phidias^ ta dangereuse ^preuve ; 
Jettes-en les debris, dans le feu, dans le fleuve, 
De peur qu'un foible coeur, de doute confondu, 
Ne dise en contemplant ces aSronts sur ma joue, 
* Laissons aller le monde h son courant de boue, 
Et que faut d'un coeur un si^cle soit perdu !' 

VII. 
'' Oui, brise, 6 Phidias ! derobe ce visage 
A la posterite, qui ballotte une image 
De rOlympe a I'egout, de la glorie a oubli. 
Au pilori du temps n'expose pas mon ombre ! 
Je suis las des soleils, laisse mon urne k I'ombre. 
Le bonheur de la mort, c'est d'etre enseveli ! 

VIII. 
'' Que la feuille d'hiver au vent des nuits sem^e, 
Que du coteau natal, Targile encore aimee 
Couvrent vite mon front moulfe sous son linceul. 
Je ne veux de vos bruits, qu'un souffle dans la brise, 
Un nom inacheve dans un coeur qui se brise ; 
J'ai vecu pour la foule, et je veux dormir seul. 

" A. Dk Lamartinb." 

here are some excellent remarks on D'Orsay's talents as 
rtist, though a little too eulogistic perhaps, in an article in 
le New Monthly Magazine," for August, 1845. 
Whatever Count D*Orsay undertakes, seems invariably 
? well done. As the arbiter elegantiarum he has reigned 
eme in matters of taste and fashion, confirming the 
npts of others by his approbation, or gratifying them by 
xample. To dress, or drive, to shine in the gay world 
Count D'Orsay, was once the ambition of the youth of 
land, who then discovered in this model no higher attri- 
i. But if Time, who * steals our years away,' steals also 
pleasures, he replaces them with others, or substitutes a 
T thing ; and thus it has befallen with Count D'Orsay. 

z 2 



340 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSIT. 

" If the gay equipage, or the well-apparelled man, be Jss 
frequently seen than formerly, that which causes more lasting 
satisfaction, and leaves an impression of a far more exalted 
nature, comers day by day into higher relief, awakening oo^ 
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 ?' 

" But we are glad to see that they are hidden no more, 
and that the accomplished Count seems disposed to show the 
world of how much he is really capable. His croquis desodili 
had long charmed his friends, and his great skill in modeDing 
was bruited abroad, when the world began to ask, Ms it true 
that in the man of fashion exists the genius of the sculptor 
and the painter ?' Evidence was soon given that such sur- 
mises were true. 

" Count D'Orsay's statuettes of Napoleon and the Duke of 
Wellington, and his portraits of Dwarkanauth Tagore and 
Lord Lyndhurst, exhibited capabilities of the first order, and 
satisfied every inquiry. Additional proof of his powers has 
been aff'orded by the publication of the engraving of his po^ 
trait of Lord Byron. 

'' It is certainly a highly interesting work of art, and, in 
point of ri semblance, we are assured that one who knew him, 
perhaps best of all, has declared that until now there never 
existed a likeness which completely satisfied the mind. Certun 
traits of tliat thoughtful and intelligent countenance were want- 
ing in other portraits, but in this they arc all happily united. 

" Count D'Orsay has represt^nted the noble bard wheit 
most he loved to be, on the deck of his own vessel. He is 
sittmg in sailor's costume, leaning on the rudder, with his 
right hand under his chin, and his head elevated. In hisfiae 
large eyes is an expn^ssion of deep thought, and a panic 
cliaracter marks his firm but fi;mininely-cut mouth, fiv 




NOTICE OP COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAY. 341 

noble expanse of forehead, and fine contour of head, are 
drawn with a free and vigorous 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 en- 
graved by Lewis. 

** We understand that his Grace the Duke of Wellington 
is so well pleased with the statuettes to which we have alluded, 
copies of which he has given an order to be executed in silver, 
that he is now sitting to the Count for his portrait also. We 
therefore look forward with a very pleasant anticipation to ano- 
ther likenessof the hero of a hundred fights — and pictures too." 

Haydon, in his Diary, 31 June, 1838, makes mention of 
D'Orsay : — " About seven, D'Orsay called, whom I had not 
seen for long. He was much improved, and looking the 
glass of fashion and the mould of form ; really a complete 
Adonis, not made up at all. He made some capital remarks, 
aU of which must be attended to. They were sound impres- 
sions, and grand. He bounded into his cab, and drove off 
like a young Apollo, with a fiery Pegasus. I looked after him. 
1 like to see such specimens."* 

Again, in his Diary, 10 July, 1839, Haydon observes: — 
" D'Orsay called, and pointed out several things to correct in 
the horse (the Duke's Waterloo charger), verifying 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 
lowered the hind quarters, by bringing over a bit of the sky. 
Such a dress — white great coat, blue satin cravat, hair oiled 
and curling, 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 hogtool, and immortalized Copenhagen 
(the charger), by touching the sky."t 

* Memoirs of B. R. Hay Jon, vol. iii. p. 86. f I^i^> ^^l- ii^- P- ^^^- 



842 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'ORSAT. 

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 
deceased roan of fiishion, claims more than the usual curt obito- 
ary. It were unjust to class him with the mere Brummeli» 
Mildmays, Alvanleys, or Pierrepoints of the Regencyp with 
whom, in his early life, he associated, much less the modern 
men about town who have succeeded them ; equally idle wen 
the attempt to rank him with a Prince de Ligne, an Admirsbk 
Crichton, or an Alcibiades ; yet was he n singularly gifted wod 
brilliantly accomplished personage." 

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 accompEih- 
ments. His literary compositions were lively and imagiu- 
tive. His profile portraits of his friends (of which many hsTS 
been published in lithography) are felicitous and characUm- 
tic, and his statuettes are not only graceful, but possess gretter 
originality 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 polite- 
ness, but by great amiability. He was kind and charitable 
to his distressed countrymen, and one of the most assiduous 
supporters of the Society dc Bienfaisance. 

" In England, the Count became acquainted with Prinoe 
Louis Napoleon, and soon after the arrival of the Prinoe in 
France, he tixed his own residence in Paris. His name wis 
designated several times for diplomatic office, but it was ru- 
moured, and generally believed, that the Prinoe was too 
dependent upon his personal advice and assistance, to vput 
his society. We are now told (by M. Girardin, in * La Fkesse^i 
that * before the 2nd of December, nobody made greater or 
more reiterated efforts for a policy of a different course and 
of the high«'st a.spirations ; after the 2nd of December, no 




NOTICE or COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAY. 343 

man exerted himself more to assiiage the stroke of pro- 
scription. The President of the Republic had not a more 
devoted and sincere friend than 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 for ever."* 

Count D'Orsay's connections with English families of dis< 
tinction, 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 Bless- 
ingtans. 

In 1828, Lady Blessington speaks of the General and 
Countess D'Orsay, as having taken up their abode in Paris, 
and their recent arrival from their Chateau in Franche Comte. 

No mention, however, is made in that portion of her 
Journal, nor, indeed, in any previous part of " The Idler in 
France," of their son. Count Alfred D'Orsay. *' The Coun- 
tess D'Orsay," Lady Blessington observes, " had been a cele- 
brated beauty, and though a grandmother, still retains consi- 
derable traces of it. Her countenance is so spirituelle and 
piquant, that it gives additional point to the clever things she 
perpetually utters ; and what greatly enhances her attractions, 
is the perfect freedom from any of the airs of a belle esprit, 
and the total exemption from affectation that distinguishes her. 

" General D'Orsay, known from his youth as Le Beau 
D'Orsay, still justifies the appellation, for he is the handsomest 
man of his age that I ever beheld. It is said, that when 
the Emperor first saw him, he observed, * that he would make 
an admirable model for a Jupiter,' so noble and commanding 
was the character of his beauty. There is a calm and 
dignified simplicity in the manner of General D'Orsay, that 
harmonizes with his lofty bearing."! 

♦ This appointment was announced only a few days before his death. 
f The Idler in France, vol. i. p. 238. 



844 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAT. 

Elsewhere, Lady Blessington observes : — " I know no such 
brilliant talker as she (the Countess D'Orsay) is. No matter 
what may be the subject of conversation, her wit flasha 
brightly on all, and without the slightest appearance of effort 
or pretension. She speaks from a mind overflowing with 
general information, made available by a retentive memoiyi i 
ready wit, and inexhaustible good spirits.* 

The customary transmission of intellectual power in the 
maternal line, and of striking traits of physical confonnatioo 
from sire to children, were not deviated from in the case of 
the children of the brilliant Counters and the Beau D'Omy. 

The mother of the Countess D'Orsay, Madame Crawfivd, 
was a person of singular endowments. The King ci Wu^ 
temberg had been privately married to this lady ; but on the 
legal marriage of the king with a royal personage, which hit 
former wife considered as an act of injustice to herself and her 
children (a son who died young, though grown up, and i 
daughter, afterwards Madame D'Orsay), she went to FVaooti 
and fixed her abode there. She subsequently married a Mr. 
O'Sullivan, an Irishman 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. 

Ill India, the personal attractions of this lady obtained ibr 
her the title of *' La Belle Sullivan." On her return, one o£ 
her countryman addressed the following jeu d* esprit : — 

ON 8E\DlN(i A SMALL BOITLK OF OITO OF R08B8 TO VISi 

SULLIVAN : — 

** Qiiand la ' belle Sullivan,* quitta PAsic, 
La Rose, amourcuscs de sea charmes, 
Pleura le depart de sa belle amie, 
Kt cc Hacoii coutieiit sos larmes.* ** 

♦ The Iilkr in France, vol. ii. p. 33. 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D*OESAY. 845 

Madame Crawford, in 1828, was residing in Paris. " Her 
hotel," says Lady Biessington, in her diary, " is a charming 
one, entre Cour et Jardin : and she is the most extraor- 
dinary person of her age I have ever seen. In her eightieth 
year, she does not look to be more than fifty-five, and pos- 
sesses all the vivacity and good humour 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 ap- 
pearance which the celebrated Ninon de L'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 grand- 
children and great-grand-children, all remarkable for their 
good looks, and affectionately attached to her, while she appears 
not a little proud of them." 

Lady Biessington, in referring to the fascinating powers of 
this elderly gentlewoman, and comparing them with those of 
Ninon de L'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 ever)' spring, for upwards of half a century. 

Ninon de L'Enclos, at the age of fifty-six, inspired the 
Marquis of Sevign^ with the tender passion. 

Bordering on her seventieth year, she inspired a Swedish 
nobleman, a bold Baron, with feelings of admiration and 
affection. 

Her last conquest was at the age of eighty ; " Monsieur 
TAbbe Gedouin tut sa derniere passion."' 

But the last-named Abb^, it would appear, was not the first 
Abbe vvho had felt the power of her attractions, even in her 
mature years. The Abb6 Chaulieu, descanting on the love- 
liness of this remarkable old woman, said, " L'amour s'est 
rotir^ jusque duns les rides de son front." 



346 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D*OR8AT. 

Ninon preserved, not only her beauty, but her sprightliness 
of fancy, in her advanced years. She had the art of 8a}'iDg 
good things promptly and appropriately on proper occasioDS» 
in a natural manner, and the good sense never to violate the 
decencies of life in conversation. She made no affectation o£ 
prudery, however, and even declaimed much against prudes. 
'' EUes etoient les Jansenistes de 1' Amour.'** 
We find frequent references in the letters and diaries o£ 
Lady Blessington to the family of the Grammonts, bto whidi 
the sister of Count D'Orsay had married. 

The titles to nobility of the house of Grammont go as &r 
back as the year 863, the period at which this family, ori- 
ginally from Arragon, made, at the time of the election of the 
King Sancho Garcia Eneco, its first appearance in the public 
affairs of the kingdom of Navarre, under the title of Rioos 
Hombrcs, or first grand Barons, equivalent in these days to the 
title of Grandee of Spain of the first class. 

The family of Grammont are allied by marriage to the 
royal blood of Arragon, of Navarre, to the ancient Counts of 
Foix, of Beam, and to the Orleans family. It belongs to the 
small number of the houses of sovereigns which form a part 
of the French nobility, and exercised its right of sovereignty 
in its principality of Bidache and Barnaclie, in Lower Na- 
varre, until the year 1789.t 

* Lcttres dc Ninon de L'Enclos, &c. Lon. 16mo. 1782, t i.p. SI. 

t La branche cadette est representee par : — 

Antoine Ku«;eiic Amable >Stanisla8 Agcnor de Oramont, Comte df 
Gramont D' Aster, ou comte Agcnor de Qramont, pair de France, fib 
d*Ant«nne Louis Raymond Genevieve de Oramont, Comte de OismoBt 
D' Aster et d' Amable de Cutelan d^cced^a. 

Les swurs sont : 

Antoinette Claire Am^lie Gabrielle Corisande de Gramont D'Afttff 
mariee k Roger Gab^I^on, Comte de Salmour en Pi^mont. 

Thcrbsc de Gramont D'Ahtcr, marine au Marquis D^ATersand dt 
TduIousc. 

Antoinette Marie Madeleine Amable Amedec de Oramont, 
au Comle Giavier dc Vergennc. — Ann, Binjf, 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAT. 847 

omte Philibert de Grammont, of notoriety in England 
le time of Charles the Second, was one of the latest cele- 
es of this distinguished family ; he died in ITO?, aged 
ty-six. 

ount Anthony Hamilton, the brother-in-law of Chevalier 
}rammont, and the writer of the Count's Memoirs, was 
I in Ireland, about 1646, and died at St. Germaine-en- 
3, in 1 720, aged seventy-four. Count Hamilton was spe- 
f qualified for the task imposed on him by his brother-in- 

He was to Grammont what Boswell was to Johnson, 
utoine Genevieve Heraclius Agenor de Grammont, present 
de Grammont, Prince de Bidache, &c., &c., was horn in 
9, married July 23, 1818, Anne Quintina Albertina Ida^ 
Comtesse D'Orsay, and had issue : 
. Antoine Alfred Agenor Grammont, Due de Guiche, 
I August 14, 1819, (an eleve de Tecole Poly technique, and 
er of the artillery,) married Emma Mary, daughter of 
\. MacKinnon, Esq., M.P., now an eminent Diplomatist. 
. Antoine Phillibert Leon, Count de Grammont, Due de 
)arre, bom July 1, 1820 (an eleve of the ecole Militaire de 
3yr, and an officer of cavalry), married June 4, 1844, 
ie, daughter of Vicomte de Segur. 
. Antoine Alfred Onerius Theophile de Grammont, Comte 
irammont, born June 2, 1823, (an officer of infantry), 
ried November 21, 1848, Louisa de Choiseul Praslin. 
. Antonia Armandine Aglae de Grammont, born October 
826, married November 26, 1850, Theodore, Duke de 

. Antonia Gabrielle Leontine de Grammont, born March 2, 
9.— [See Almanack de Gotha, Paris, 1854, p. 114.] 
he father of the present Duke de Grammont is described 
-.iidy Blessington as a ** fine old man, who has seen much 
he world, without having been soured by its trials. Faith- 
to his sovereign during adversity, he is affectionately 



848 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D*ORSAT. 

cherished by the whole of the present royal family^ who re-' 
spect and love him, and his old age is cheered by the un- 
ceasing devotion of his children, the Duke and Duchcsse de 
Guiche, who are fondly attached to him."* 

The parents of the present Duke of Grammont accom- 
panied the royal family in their exile to Scotland. The mothrr 
of the Duke died in Holyrood House in 1803. 

In October, 1825, "the remams of the Duchess of Gram- 
mont, which had lain in the royal vault of the chapd of Holy- 
rood since the year 1 803, were transported in a hearse, from 
the palace to Newhaven, to be embarked on board a French 
corvette at anchor in the roads. The Lord Provost -aiid 
magistrates, the Lord Advocate, the Lord Chief Baron, Sir 
Patrick Walker, Sir Henry Jardine, &c., attended, and followed 
the hearse in mourning coaches to the place of embarcation, 
as a testimony of respect for the memory of the illustrioia 
lady, who died while sharing the exile of the royal family of 
France. The original shell had previously been enclosed in a 
coffin of a very superb description, covered with crimson 

* The celebrated Duchcsse de Grammont, who periahed on tliflicaf- 
fold in the French Revolution, was the sister of the famous miniitcr, 
the Duke de Choiseul. In 1751, we find the Duchesae de Gnnunont 
thus described, by one of her cotemporaries : — " She nerer ditsemUei 
her contempt or dislike of any man, in whatever degree of elevidoB. 
It is said she might have supplied the place of Madame de PompadoaTf 
if she had pleased. She treats the ceremonies and pageanU of conrti 
as things beneath her. She possesses a most uncommon share of u- 
derstanding, and has very high notions of honour and repatatum." 
This celebrate:! lady possessed a very uncommon share of eoarage and 
magnanimity, which she was called on some thirty years later to ci- 
hibit — not in gilded salons or brilliant circles of wit and faahion, bat 
before the Revolutionary tribunal, and on the scaffold. The DachesM, 
when brought before the judges of that murderous tribunal, with n 
energy and eloquence that even struck the judicial assasains of tkt 
iniquitous court with surprise, pleaded for the life of her dear friea^ 
the Duchcsse du Chatelet, but pleaded for it in rain. They disd sa 
the same scaffold. 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'ORSAY, 849 

rdvet, and gorgeously ornamented. The plate bore the fol- 
owing inscription : — 

'* Louise Francoise Gabrielle Aglae 

De Polignac, 

Duchesse de Grammont^ 

nee a Paris le 7 Mai, 

1763; 

morte le 30 Mars, 

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 at- 
traction at court. The Duke de Berri, before his alliance with 
a Neapolitan princess, wished much to marry Mademoiselle 
de Grammont. On the downfall of the elder branch of the 
Bourbons, her family having suffered severely in the revolution, 
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 
Tankerville, the 28th of July, 1826, married Armandine 
Sophie Corisande de Grammont, daughter of Antoine, Due 
de Grammont, and Aglae de Polignac. 

Another sister of the present Duke de Grammont, Aglae 
Angelique Gabrielle de Grammont, married first, General De- 
midoff, and secondly. General, afterwards Marshal Sebastiani, 
who, though an habitual invalid, was sagaciously chosen by 
the King of the Barricades to represent the armed majesty of 
France at the court of St. James, immediately after the " three 
glorious days" of 1830.t 

♦ Annual Register, 1825, p. 148. 

f Byron speaks of meeting General Count Sebastiani, " a cousin of 
Napoleon," in London, in 1816. ** Sebastiani," he observed^ is " a fine 
foreign villanous-looking, intelligent, and very agreeable man." ^ 



350 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D*OR8AT. 

He was a man of profound reflection, though of no fre- 
tensions to talent of any kind. He had the art of exerting 
influence without exciting envy or raising opposition. At an 
inten'^al of thirty years he had married two ladies of the 
highest rank in France — a Coigny and a Grammont.* 

In a letter of the Due de Grammont, then Due de Guiche, 
(without date) to Lady Blessington, he says, " My sister is 
gone to London as embassadrice de Ls. Pe. Is it not strange? 
But what will appear to you still more so, is, that this extraor- 
dinary change at their time of life is the operation of love, by 

* Marshal Count Sebastiani wan a natire of Corsica, of an andoit 
family, connected with the Buonapartes. He entered the French $xmj 
at an early age, and took a distinguished part in the Italian campaigni 
and Peninsular war. He married a sister of the present Due de Gnm- 
mont — the widow of an eminent Corsican in the serrice of Rosiia, 
connected likewise with the Buonaparte family — General Demidoif. Ift 
the Peninsular war. Marshal Sebastiani distinguished himself particu- 
larly in the reformation of ecclesiastical abuses connected with the 
possession of property. 

*' In Spain he was notorious for ransacking convents with mercilcii 
avarice, and for mutilating: or destroying the airy tracery in the tint- 
honoured halls of the Alhambra. The glorious building was conmtid 
by Sebastiani into stables for his horses, and barracks for his d^ 
bauched dragoons." 

He was the unfortunate father of the ill fated Duchess de PradiD. 

** Infclicis patris — infeliz proles." 

The Marshal died at Paris, in July, 1851, in his eightieth year. T^ 
Comtesse de Sebastiani had died in 1842. The funeral rites of 
the Marshal were performed with extraordinary pomp at the diarch of 
the Invalids, and were attended by the President of the Repnblie, tke 
Marshals of France, all the principal generals, the corps diploiaatiye, 
and a great number of the principal inhabitants of Paris. 

•* When the solemn service was proceeding in the church, out of tk 
wax tapers placed round the catafalque fell against the Mack AA 
drapery, and, in a moment, the wliole of the decorations wcie k > 
blaze. Great fears were entertained for the building, and mere mafh 
diutely fur the military trophies suspended in it : but eventiullj oi^ 
a few of the latter were destroyed." 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oBSAT. 351 

vvhich influence no couple of sixteen have been ever more sub- 
dued. I, who feel daily old age creeping on, I hope that some like 
occurrence 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 refue, and that 
people will remember the Comtesse Sebastiani est nee Gram- 
mont. Believe me, my dear Lady Blessington, ever faithfully 
your attached friend, (signed,) Guiche." 

Count D'Orsay was a year younger than his sister, the pre- 
sent Duchess of Grammont. Shortly after the death of the 
Count, by the desire of that lady, I visited her at her seat at 
Chambourcy, near St. Germain en Laye. Her resemblance to 
her brother is striking. A more dignified and commanding, but 
withal amiable-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 there of sur- 
passing loveliness and beauty, and in her conversation there 
were ample evidences of a high order of intellect, and of 
exalted sentiments of a religious kind. Five-and-twenty years 
previously, she was described by Lady Blessington as the most 
striking-looking woman she ever beheld. Tall and graceful, 
her commanding figure at once dignified and perfectly sym- 
metrical, was in harmony with her noble features, their lofty 
expression of superior intelligence, 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 beau 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 studio, reception room, and sleeping apartment. He 



352 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRSD d'oRSAT. 

burst out cr}'ing when I entered the rooiD, and continued for 
a length of time so much affected that he could hardly speak 
to me. Gradually he became composed, and talked about Ladj 
Blessington's death, but all the time with tears pouring down 
his pale wan face, for even then his features were death-strickeo. 

He said with marked emphasis, '* In losing her I lost everjf 
thing in this world — she was to me a mother ! a dear^ dear 
mother ! a true loving mother to me /" Whfle he uttmd 
these words, he sobbed and cried like a child. And referriog 
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, (/or 
his words sounded in my ears like those of a dying man,) which 
led me to believe he was seeking to deceive himself or roe. 

I turned his attention to the subject I thought most im- 
portant to him. I said, among the many objects which 
caught my attention in the room, I was very glad to see i 
crucifix placed over the head of his bed ; men living b the 
world, as he had done, were so much in the habit of forgetting 
all early religious feelings. D*Orsay seemed hurt at the ob- 
servation. 1 then plainly said to him, '' The fact is, I imagined, 
or rather I supposed, you had followed Lady Blessington's ex- 
ample, if not in giving up your own religion, in seeming to 
conform to another more in vogue in England." D'Omy 
rose up with considerable energy, and stood erect and 6nn, 
with obvious exertion, for a few seconds, looking like himself 
again, and pointing to the head of the bed, he said, '* Do yoa 
sec those two swords ?" pointing to two small swords (which 
were hung over the crucifix crosswise ;) ** do you see that 
sword to the right ? With that sword I fought in defence of 
my religion. I had only joined my regiment a few daySi whea 
an officer at the mess-table used disgusting and impious lan- 
guage in speaking of the Blessed Virgin. I called on him to 
desist ; he repeated the foul language he had used; I threw i 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAT. 368 

of spinach across the table in his face ; a challenge en- 
; we fought that evening on the ramparts of the town, 
have kept that sword ever since/* 
hatever we may think of the false notions of honour, or 
nroneous ones of religion which may have prompted the 
inter, I think there is evidence in it, of early impressions 
religious nature having been made on the mind of this 
lar man, and of some remains of them still existing at 
eriod above named, however strangely presented. 
1 this occasion, Count D'Orsny informed me that Lady 
ington never ceased " in her heart" to be a Catholic, 
igh she occasionally attended the church of another per- 
m ; and that while she was in Paris, she went every 
ay to the Madeleine, in company with some member of 
imily. 

id here I may obser\'e, that, on one occasion, when I 
i Lady Blessington on a Sunday, after her return from 
h, I found her with several visitors, discussing the merits 
e sermon she had just heard preached. Her Ladyship 
jhed strongly against the sermon, and the style of preach- 
1 England. 

young man obser\'ed, he should hardly have expected 
severe censures on their pulpit, from a person of such 
church principles as her Ladyship. 
jiy Blessington said, very calmly and more deliberately 
usual, " The doctrines of the Protestant church never 
ired to me better than those of the Catholic church. I 
iducated in the doctrines of that church. When I mar- 
[ got into the habit of accompanying my husband to his 
ih, and I continued to go there from the force of habit 
or convenience, but never from conviction of its doctrines 
; better than those of the Catholic church." 
hink there were seven or eight persons present when this 
ing avowal was made. 

»L. I. A A 



854 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAY. 

But perhaps I ought to have observed, fiilly two or three 
years before that period, I had taken the liberty of an old and 
privileged friend to write a letter to her Ladyship, venturing 
to remind her of the faith she had been bom in, to point out 
the hollowncss 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 reli- 
gion was of more importance than all the fame, or gloiy, or 
delight that ever was obtained by intellectual powers, or en- 
joyed 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 Presse," 
edited by Emile Girardin, of the 5th of August, 1852: — 

"Lc Comtc Alfred D'Orsay est mort ce mlatin k trois heuRS. 

" La douleur et le vide de cette mort seront vivement res- 
scntis par tous les amis qu'il comptait en si grand nombre n 
France et en Angleterre, dans tous les rangs de la society, «t 
sous tous les drapeaux de la politique. 

** A Londres,les salons de Gore House furent toujoursourerts 
k tous les proscrits politic|ues, qu'ils s'appelassent Louis Bona- 
parte ou Louis Blanc, k tous les nauirag^s de la fortune et i 
toutes les illustrations de I'art et de la science. 

'' A Paris, il n'avait qu'un v<iste atelier, mais ou quioonqoe 
allait frapp(T au nom d*un malheur k secourir ou d'un piD- 
gr^s i\ encourager, ^tait toujours assurd du [dus affable aocud 
et du plus cordial concours. 

" Avant Ic 2 Decembre, nul ne fit d'efforts plus rfit66 
pour (|uc la politique suivit un autre cours et s'€lev&t auz phs 
hautcs aspirations. 

** Aprils le 2 Decembre, nul ne s'employa plus activement 
pour amortir li\s coups de la proscription : Pierre Dupont hs 
sait et pent h certifier. 

'' Le Pr{*i>idciit do la Republique n'avait pas d'ami il k fiii 







NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAY. 355 

plus devoue et plus sincere que le Comte D'Orsay ; et c'est 
quand il veoait de le rapprocher de lui par le litre et les foDc- 
tions de surintendant des beaux-arts qu'il le perd pour toujours. 

" C'est une perte irreparable pour I'Art et pour les artistes, 
mais c'est une perte plus irreparable encore pour la V^rite et 
pour le Pr&ident de la Republique, car les palais n'ont que 
deux portes ouvertes k la V^rite : la porte de FAmitie et la 
porte de Tadversit^, de Tamitie qui est k Tadversit^ ce que 
r^clair est a la foudre. 

" La justice indivisible, la justice egale pour tous, la justice 
dont la mort tient les balances compte les jours quand elle ne 
mesure pas les dons. Alfred D'Orsay avait ete comble de 
trop de dons — grand cceur, esprit, un gout pur, beaut^ an- 
tique, force athletique, adresse incomparable k tous les exer- 
cices du corps, aptitude incontestable k tous les arts auxquek 
il s'^tait adonn6 : dessin, peinture, sculpture — Alfred D'Orsay 
avait ete combl^ de trop de dons pour que ses jours ne fussent 
pas parcimonieusement comptes. La mort a et6 inexorable, 
mais elle a ^te juste. Elle ne I'a pas traite en homme vul- 
gaire. Elle ne I'a pas pris, elle I'a choisi." 

Among those who attended the funeral of Count D'Orsay, 
were Prince Napoleon Bonaparte, Count de Montaubon, Count 
de Latour du Pin, the Marquis du Prat, M. Emile de Girardin^ 
M. Clesinger, the sculptor ; M. Charles Lafitte, M. Bixio, M. 
Alexandre Dumas, jun., M. Hughes Ball, and several other 
English gentlemen. The Duke de Grammont, brother-in-law 
of Count D'Orsay, being confined to his bed by illness, Count 
Alfred 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 
present was great, and the sadness of the scene was increased 
by the appearance of the Duchess de Grammont, sister of the 
deceased, who, with her husband, had assiduously attended 
him during his illness. 

A A 3 



856 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAT. 

" The Bulletin de Paris says, ' Wlien the news of the death 
of Count D'Oisay was communicated to the Prince President, 
he exclaimed, that he had lost ' his best friend.' The same 
journal states, that the large model of the statue of Napoleon, 
which Count D'Orsay was making from a small one, executed 
by Mortimer, which was seen at the London Exhibition, wm 
nearly terminated at the time of his death, and that M. Q^ 
singer was formally charged by him to finish his marble statue 
of the ex-King Jerome."* 

The Prince President, we arc told, exclaimed, when he heird 
of the death of Count D'Orsay, that he had lost " his hot 
friend." The Prince President mav have said these wonk 
and the day may come when he will feel that Count D'Omy 
was one of his very best and truest friends, when be raiaed 
his voice, not once or twice, but frequently, it is asserted, 
against the meditated act of treason to the government 1n^ 
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 fisishioo in 
London — the intimate friend of statesmen of all parties, of 
political peo|ile of great eminence in Parliament, of editors of 
newspapers, mighty men of influence of " the fifth estate of 
the realm ;" of the foreign ministers at the Court of St 
James, and the secretaries of the several legations, and though 
last, not least in importance, the intimate and confidentiil 
friend of the lady at whose re-unions in Gore House of the 
celebrities of all political parties, and of all intellectual puisuiH 
in London — and the proscribed Prince Louis Napoleon, the 
twice-discomtited conspirator, and still conspiring refiigce in 
England, were such as might have been expected ; thej mn 
most intimate, cordial, and confiding. To those rdations^ it 
may be truly said, without exaggeration or fear of contndie- 
tion, the proscribed conspirator was indebted for the podtkm 

* Gentleman's Magazine, September, 1852, p. 806. 



J 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAY. 857 

in society, the opportunities of acquiring influence, of obtaining 
an early and timely knowledge of passing events in foreign 
courts, and especially in the court of France, and in the diplo- 
matic circles in London ; and also of promoting his views in 
France, by the co-operation of Count D'Orsay's immediate 
friends and influential connections, which ultimately secured 
for him the Presidency of the French Republic* 

But the coup d'etat^ which was accomplished at the ex- 
pense of personal honour, and the cost of perjury and blood, 
put an end to the relations of amity that had subsisted hitherto 
between Count D'Orsay and Prince Louis Napoleon. D'Orsay, 
with all his faults, was a man of chivalrous notions, as to the 
obligations of solemn promises and sacred oaths ; he believed 

* On the 9th of April, 1849, 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 succ^s de M. le President 
de la R^publique. Tout tend vers la permanence de la paix de T Europe 
qui est necessaire pour le bonheur de chacun. Votre ami tr^s devout 

'* Wellington.** 

This singular letter of one of the most clear-sighted, far-seeing men 
of modern times was written after the election of Louis Napoleon 
to the Presidency of the Republic. Not after the coup d'etat of Decern' 
her, 1851. A few dates of remarkable occurrences in the latter part 
of the career of Louis Napoleon, will enable us to form a better idea 
of the views expressed in the communication above referred to. 

Louis Napoleon was elected President of the Republic, the 10th of 
December, 1848. His coup d*etat, the arrest of the leading members 
of the Chamber 'f Deputies, and the downfall of the Republic, took 
place the 2nd of December, 1851. His presidential powers were pro- 
longed for ten years, the 20th of December, 1851. He was proclaimed 
Emperor the 2nd December, 1852, then in his forty-fourth year, being 
bom the 20th 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, 1352, there was an interval of about four years and a 
half. 



358 NUTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'oRSAY. 

the President of the Republic had violated those obligations, and 
D'Orsay was not a man, for any consideration on earth, to 
rcfruin from expressing his opinion of the dishonour of such 
a violation. Very shortly after the coup d'etat, a friend of 

mine, Monsieur du P , dined in Paris, at the house of a 

French nobleman of the highest rank, where Count D'Orsay 
was present. There were about twenty or two and twenty 
persons present, persons of distinction and of various politiol 
sentiments. The all-important topic of the coup d'etat was 
discussed for some time with all due prudence and reserve. 
D'Orsay at length coming out with one of his customary notes 
of preparation, " a bcui r made short work of the reserve 
and prudence of the discussion. He expressed his opinion m 
English in a deliberate manner, speaking in a loud tone, but 
emphatically and distinctly, the.se words, " // is the greatest 
political swindle that has ever been practised in the world T 

My friend, who was deeply interested in the wd&re of 
D'Orsay, was dismayed at ** the indiscretion of this explosion 
of opinion." It was like a bomb-shell in the circle. There 
were persons present who might be supposed to have to ad- 
vance tlieir fortunes by the Prince's favour, 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 influenee and importance in Paris. 

It must be borne in mind tliat D'Orsay at that time was 
wholly dependent on the favour of the Prince for his fiitint 
position in liis own country. He had letl Elngland utteriy 
ruined in his circumstances, and came to France counting on 
the frirndship and gratitude of his former friend at the head 
of the French Republic, to whose elevation he had certainly 
very largely contributed. He was well received by the Prince^ 
and pruHVrs of public eni|)loyment adequate to his expectation! 
and his talents were made to him. But after the period of tiie 



J 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAY. 359 

I 

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 even- 
tually to zero. The man with the heavy eyelids, and the 
leaden hand of care and calculation pressing them down, when 
he imposed on himself the weight of empire, could not see 
his former friends without looking 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 labouring under the 
illness which soon after consigned him to an early grave, al- 
lowed himself to be persuaded, by urgent and pressing friends 
of the poor Count, that his former friend had some claim on 
him. The Emperor deigned to recognize the claim. His 
Imperial Majesty appointed Count Alfred D'Orsay "Director 
of Fine Arts." Of all things it cannot be said truly " better 
late than never." This thing, that was meant to look like an 
act of kindness and of gratitude, was too late to be of any 
use. No one was bettered or deceived by it. 

I spoke with some surprise of similar acts of the same ex- 
alted personage to Lamennais, not long before his death ; the 
Abbe, with the quiet look, the cold, unimpassioned expression 
of the bright clear grey eyes of his, observed, " Voyez vous 
mon cher Monsieur Madden, cette homme la, n'a pas le senti- 
ment ni du bien, ni du mal — il n'a pas de sentiment, que de 
soi raeme." English history, as well as French, will yet have 
to ratify the opinion of the Abb^ Lamennais. 

Among the papers of Lady Blessington I find some very 
remarkable lines by a very remarkable man, one of the master- 
spirits of original mind of his age, the venerable Walter 
Savage Landor, lines which might be read with advantage 
by all *' Swimmers in the stream of Politics." 



360 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D*OR8AY. 

'' Some additional lines for a pobu, one of the THtscn 
OF which is the Quest of Honoue. 

'' The swimmers in the stream of Politics, 

That keep each other down where none float high 
But who are rotten, shouted in my ear, 
' Come hither ! here is honour, on this side ; 
He hates the other.* 

I past on, nor look't, 
Knowing the voices well : they troubled me 
Vociferating : I searched for willow wand 
To scourge and silence the importunates. 
And turned me round : lo ! they were all upon 
The further bank, and basking in the sun 
Mowed at me, and. defied me to cross o'er. 
And broke their cakes and gave their curs the crumbs, 
Weary with wanderings." 

In bringing this sketch of the career of Count Alfied 
D'Orsay to a ck)se, a summary notice of his most remarkibk 
qualities, his talents, and the application of them is given, thit 
will enable the reader to form a just estimate of his charadrr 
and abilities. 

One was reminded not unfrequently, by the wit combats at 
Gore House, of the days of the Chevalier de Grammont, when 
Dorset, Sedley, Ethelridge, Denham, Killigrew, " and all tlie 
whole band of wits,"* diverted the beau monde with ftoitiROft, 
sarcastic repartees, quaint observations, humorous sallies, and 
sharply pointed epigrams, brought to bear on striking peeo- 
liarities of absent acquaintances, or well-known penons of 
quality within the category of ** precieuses ridicules." 

" The wits" of the age of Horace Walpole were pretty modi 
the same as those of the time of Holland House and Koh 
sington Gore intellectual gladiatorship. The wit combatili 
of both in tlie arena of fashionable literar}' circlet areoompoMl 

* Memoirs of Orammont, p. 189. 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAY. 861 

of various grades of competitors for celebrity and pretenders 
to distinction, and success in sprightly conversation, in lively 
correspondence, and occasional written drolleries in prose and 
verse ; — the eflforts of all are to amuse and to be distinguished, 
and for these ends they must exhibit a keen perception of the 
ridiculous, 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 the 
vivacity of mind and liveliness of imagination, by the patronage 
of people a-la-mode, or a favoured position in society ; they 
must submit to the necessity, in short, of amusing its mag- 
nates, by a felicitous expression of quaint, jocund, and striking 
thoughts opportunely brought forth and without apparent 
effort. In this strife of highly excited intellectuality, mere 
pleasant conversationalists jostle against story-tellers and re- 
tailers of anecdotes of more or less celebrity, humourists 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 compose vers de societe on the spur of the 
occasion, previously expected or anticipated, furnish parodies 
and burlesques to order, conveyed in an invitation to dinner, and 
sit down deliberately to prime and load their memories in pri- 
vate, with malice in their wit aforethought, and come charged 
into company with sarcastic epigrams, to be fired off in public 
at the peculiarities of absent friends, or the failings or absur- 
dities of the celebiities of other circles. In this sharp en- 
counter of keen wits, the mere punster, endowed with great 
natural powers of impudence, and a large stock of animal 
spirits, whose whole laborious leisure is devoted to the amuse- 
ment of playing upon words, is to be met cheek by jowl at 
the same tournament with one like Curran, not always, how- 
ever, to be found in the most brilliant circles of fashion, or 



3C2 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAT. 

salons of ladies of literature a-la-mode^ whose wit is " as keeo 
as his sword, but as polished as the scabbard/' which relies 
OD its success neither on flippant sarcasms nor vulgar scoffing 
in society at high prin(*4ples or heroic actions, or sneering, 
humorous obser\'Htions on sacred or on serious subjects, but 
on its own bright light of concentrated intellectuality, that 
when called into action, irradiates every subject on which 
it glances even for a moment. 

When the mind of genius is charged with intellectual elec- 
tricity, we have sparkles of intelligence flashing from the assi- 
milation of dissimilar ideas, which have been suddenly, and 
apparently accidentally, brought into collision ; 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 
condensed intellectuality, as we have of atmospheric meteors, 
in all the varied forms of electrical phenomena. 

Perhaps the highest order of wit exhibited in our times 
(the keenest wit combined with the greatest powers of do- 
(|uence), was that which was displayed by Curran, in public 
and in private. 

Of Curran's conversational powers, Byron, in his memo- 
randum book^ has spoken in terms of no stinted prause:— 
" Curran ! Curran ! the man who struck me most. Sudi 
imagination. Thrre never was any thing like it that I enr 
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 imagiiiatiun ; as some one said of Piron, that he was in 
epigrammatic machine."* 

Elsewhere^ in his memoranda, he said — " The riches rfhii 

(Curran's) Irish imagination were exhaustless. I have heard 

that man speak more poetry than I have ever seen writtOi 

though I saw him sehiom, and but occasionally. I saw hin 

* Mat)rc's LilV of Myron, p. 304, lid. Svo., 1838. 







NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAY. 363 

iresented to Madame de Stael. It was the great confluence 
between the Rhone and the Saone." 

The wits of Horace Walpole's day, Sir CJeorge Selwyn, 
)ir Hanbury Williams, Bubb Doddington, Charles Townsend, 
nd their associates, it is difficult to judge of at the distance 
f a century from their times. But it would appear their wit 
fas of the social, unpremeditated, conversational character, in 
fhich Sydney Smith, Talleyrand, Hook, and Barham, parti- 
ularly excelled in our times. 

For conversational humour and drollery in the composition 
f quizzical verses, Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, the pro- 
eg6 of Sir Robert Walpole (if his contemporaries speak truly of 
lim), can hardly have been excelled by any modem humourist, 
rhe social character of the clubs, taverns, or coflFee-houses of 
hose days was favourable to thedevelopment of conversational 
alent.* 

Selwyn, the man renowned for sociiJ wit, was utterly de- 
icient in the gift of oratory. He sat forty years in parlia- 
iient for Gloucester, and never spoke on any question. He 
»'as always torpid as well as silent in the House. 

Sir Hanbury Williams, the celebrated sayer also of bon mots, 
nd composer of pointed epigrams, a man of astounding 
udacity in turning sacred subjects into ridicule, and treating 
lie most solemn subjects with flippant jocularity and revolting 
■vity, sat in the House of Commons, a silent member, wrapt 
1 gloom, which terminated in insanity and suicide. 

" S;iyrrs of good things/' in general are not men of great 
owers of elo(|ueiice. Wits who can set the table in a roar, 
nd give utterance to bon mots of remarkable drollery, may be 

* Count D'Orsay was a member of Crockford's as long as it lasted, 
ntl afterwards of the Coventry. An attempt was made to get him into 

Wliite's ;*' but it was discovered there were some parties who were 
etermined to exclude him, and consequently his friends withdrew his 

ame before the buUut touk place. 



3d4 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED o'ORSAY. 

incapable of delivering twenty consecutive sentences on any 
serious subject, before a number of people prepared to listen 
to them. D'Orsay was no exception to the rule. He 
abounded in rich humour, and excelled in repartee. Then 
was an air of aristocratic nonchalance in the grave irony of 
his conversational sallies. He gave vent to his wit in the 
quietest tone, and with the most immoveable features pusrifak. 
He was an adept in the art of quizzing people who were il 
all ridiculous, with singular composure of mien and manners 
His performances in this line were gone through with ene 
and elegance ; but the gift of eloquence was not bestowed 
on him. 

Of D'Orsay's rich humour and repartee, it might be nid, 
like Selwyn's : 

" His social wit, which, never kindling strife. 
Blazed in the small, sweet courtesies of life ; 
Those little sapphires round the diamond shone. 
Lending soft radiance to the richer stone.** 

It would be difficult to convey in words any precise idea of 
D'Orsay's wit, and powers of facetiousness in oonversatioo. 
A mere report would be in vain, of the bon mots he utteredi 
without a^ faithful representation of his quiet, imperturfaibk 
manner — his arch look, tlie command of varied erophasii 
in his utterance, the anticipatory indications of coming droDoy 
in the expression of his countenance — the power of makiBf 
his entourage enter into his thoughts, and his success in pi^ 
facing his jeux d'esprit by significant glances and gestmcik 
suggestive of ridiculous ideas. 

The literary artist who could describe these peculiaritieii 
must be no ordinary word-painter. 

D'Orsay had made a study of the wit of Tall^rand; lad 
he became a proficient in that species of refined conversationil 
espritf combining terseness of language and neatness of a* 
pression, and certitude of aim, with the polish of the i 




KOnCB OP COUNT ALPEED D'oESAT. 365 

sharpness of the point of an inttJlectual weapon of 
Hence. 

facaronia of a century ago, the Bucks. Bloods, and 
r a later period, represented by the Fops, Exquisites, 
dies, — the inane exdusives, — the ephemeral Petits 
of our times, arc not the tribe which furnish men of 
f D'Orsay's stamp. D*Orsay was a fop in attire and 
ce, but his foppery was only a spice of vanity, super- 
superior intellectual powers, which condescended at 
assume a dandyish character. 

»ay's fine taste was particularly exhibited in the con- 
and turn out of those well-known, elegant vehicles 
id Lady Blessington, which used to attract so much 
in Hyde Park a few years ago. D'Orsay, like 
»nt, has left reminiscences of promenade achievements 
eval et en voiiure " — in that favoured locality, but 
f diflFerent character. 

e time of Grammont, " Hide Park, as every one 
vas the promenade of London." In 1659, it was 
cribed to a nobleman of France : — 
d frequently in the spring accompany my Lord N — 
3ld near the town, which they call Hide Park : the 
t unpleasant, and which they use as our course : but 
hing of that order, equipage, and splendour. Being 
assembly of wretched jades and hackney coaches, as, 
egiment of carr men, there is nothing approaching the 
ince. The Park, it seems, used by the late King 
3ility, for the freshness of the air and the goodly 

,"* &c 

ese latter days, Hyde Park makes a diflFerent figure 
iges of Mr. Patmore. The scene he describes is the 
id the writer of the sketch is supposed to be lounging 

laracter of England, as it was lately presented to a Nobleman 
5, 12mo. 1659, p. 64. Ap. Grammout's Mem. 



3C6 NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAY. 

there, gazing at the brilliant equipages as they pass, and the 
celebrities of fashion who figure there. 

" Observe that green chariot, just making the turn of the 
unbroken line of equipages. Though it is now advandog 
towards us, with at least a dozen carriages between, it is to 
be distinguished from the throng by the elevation of its driver 
and footman above the ordinary level of the line. As it 
comes nearer, we can observe the particular points which give 
it that perfectly distingu^ appearance which it bears above all 
others in the throng. They consist of the white wheds^ 
lightly picked out with green and crimson ; the high-step{NDg 
action, blood-like shape, and brilliant manege of its dark bay 
horses : the perfect style of its driver ; the height (six feet 
two) of its slim, spider-limbed, powdered footman, perked up, 
at least, three feet above the roof of the carriage, and occupy- 
ing his eminence with that peculiar air of accidental superiority, 
half petit-maitre, half plough-boy, which we take to be the 
ideal of footman-perfection ; and, finally, the exceedingly light, 
airy, and (if wc may so speak) the intellectual character of the 
whole set-out. The arms and supporters blazoned on the 
centre panels, and the small coronet beneath the window, in- 
dicate the nobility of station ; and if ever the nobility <tf na- 
ture was blazoned on the ' complement extern ' of humanity, 
it is on the lovely face within — lovely as ever, though it has 
been loveliest amon^ the lovely for a longer time than ve 
dare call to our own recollection, much less to that of the fair 
being before us. . . . 

" But, sec ! what is this vision of the age of chivalry, that 
comes careering towards us, on horseback, in the form of a 
stately cavalier, than whom nothing has been witnessed in 
modern timrs more noble in air and bearing, more splendid 
in person, more distingue in dress, more consummate ia 
equestrian skill, more radiant in intellectual expression, and 
altogether more worthy and fitting to represent one of 



I 

J 




NOTICE OP COUNT ALFRED d'ORSAT. 367 

knights of the olden time, who warred for truth and 
jT, beneath the banner of Occur de Lion. It is Count 
say, son-in-law of the late Lord Blessington, and brother 
\ beautiful Duchess de Guiche. Those who have the 
ire of being personally intimate with this accomplished 
ner, will confirm our testimony, that no man has ever 
more popular in the upper circles, or has better deserved 
so. His inexhaustible good spirits and good-nature, 
^ely wit, his generous disposition, and his varied acquire- 
;, make him the favourite companion of his own sex ; 
his unrivalled personal pretensions render him, to say 
ast, * the observed of all observers * of the other sex. 
d, since the loss of poor William Locke, there has been 
[y to even dispute the palm of female admiration with 
t D'Orsay."* 

Drsay's position in English fashionable society was not 
) rank, wealth, or connections, or to his generally admit- 
:cellence of taste in all matters appertaining to attire, 
ige, the adornment of saloons, "the getting up" of 
!S, the training of his tigers, or the turning out of cabs, 
ies, chariots, and other vehicles remarkable for elegance 
m, or lightness of construction. 

is very evident, that the individual was something more 
I mere fop and man of fashion, or " a compound even 
rcules and Adonis," who could count among his fiiends 
)uke of Wellington, Marquis Wellesley, the Lords 
jham, Lyndhurst, and Byron ; and such men as Landor, 
jr, D'lsraeli, the Bulwers, &c. 

e foreigner could be no ordinary person, who figured in 
iciety of the most eminent men of England for nearly 
y years ; and who, in circles where genius, as well as 
ton, had its shrines, " claimed kindred there, and had 
lim allowed." 
* My Friends and Acquaintances, &c. vol. i. p. 194. 



868 NOTICE OP COUNT ALFRED D^ORSAT. 

D'Orsay's celebrity was undisputed as a man of fiuhion— 
a noble-looking, classically-moulded, English mannered, JouDg 
Frenchman " of the vielle cour/* — ^a beau monde gendeman, 
at once graceful, dignified, frank, and debonnairet full of lift^ 
wit, humour, and originality — an " exquisite " of the fiitt 
water, in brilliant circles — an admirable rider, fit " to witch 
the world " of the Parks of London " with noble horseman- 
ship ;" a keen sportsman, a capital boxer for an amateur, a 
good swimmer, an excellent 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 commoditin 
of antiquity ;" at another time, a zealous partizan of a great 
conspirator, and great promoter of his plans to effect a itnk 
lution. 

Alfred D'Orsay figured, in his day, in all these characteis; 
but, alas ! of what avail to his memory is the celebrity be ol^ 
tained in any of them ? 

All the celebrity which his true friends may desire to bt 
coupled with his name, is that which he derived from die 
exercise of his fine talents as an artist, and of his kindly ftel- 
ings as a man naturally disposed to be benevolent, geoaou e , 
and open-hearted. 

In Dickens* "Household Words" (No. 176. p. 636), then 
are a few kind words spoken of poor D'Orsay, in 
sions made to the former occupants of ** the little 
houses " of Kensington Gore, contiguous to Lady 
ton's: — "At number 5, lived Count D'Orsay, whose 
is publicly synonymous with elegant and graceful aocomplUi- 
ments ; and who, by those who knew him well, is 
ately remembered and regretted, as a man whose great i 
might have raised him to any distinction, and whoee gcidi 
heart even a world of fashion left unspoiled/' 

Mr. Patmore, in his recent work, " My Friendi and Ae- 



j 




NOTICE OF COUNT ALFRED d'oRSAY. 369 

tances " (vol. i. p. 230), alluding to one of the chief 
ilties of Count D'Orsay's social position in England, and 
Qomalies in the constitution of fashionable society there, 
— " And yet it was in England, that Count D'Orsay, 

a mere boy, made the fatal mistake of marrying one 
iful woman, while he was, without daring to confess it 
to himself, madly in love with another, still more beau- 
whom he could not marry — because, I say, under these 
nstances, and discovering his fatal error when too late, 
parated himself from his wife almost at the church door, 
ks, during the greatest part of his social career in Eog- 
cut off from the advantages of the more fiistidious por- 
f high female society, by the indignant fiat of its heads 
saders." 

man in his twenty-seventh year can hardly be designated 
mere boy, nor can the circumstance of his separation 
his wife '^ almost at the church door," be accounted for 
f manner that will appear excusable to the friends of the 
r deserted wife, or the fastidious portion of high female 
y in England or elsewhere. This marriage was not only 
It misfortune for those who were married, but a great 

on the part of those who promoted that marriage, and 
consenting to it. 

any comment must be made on this unfortunate union 
:s results, might it not be better to summon courage, 
aking counsel of Montesquieu, to speak out a solemn 
, on an occasion that can be best dealt with by its bold 
jiation ? — 

Religion, good or bady is th^ only test we have for the 
ty of men'' 

lere is no dependence to be placed in probity or purity 
B, w^ithout the protection of religion. Human honour 
dequate to the security of either. There is an amount 
digence, at which honour, long resisting, will stagger in 
L. I. BB 



870 NOTICE OP COUNT ALFRED D'OBSAT. 

the end ; there is a degree of temptation^ at which Honour 
having heedlessly suffered vice to approach her in the guise of 
innocent freedom, will dally with it, till guilt itadf may be- 
come fioniliar to her bosom. But respectable folks, who figure 
in good society, solemn-foced sages and even intelkctual ccfe- 
brities, will say it is false, honour is alone sufficient to regohte 
the minds of educated men, and to prevent all disorden in 
society. It will be held to libel honour, to say that it is mf- 
ficiently strong, to bind respectable members without rdigion, 
and that the latter is only needful for the happmess of peopk 
in another world. Nevertheless, there are few who Bjpak 
thus, who do not know that their own experience will notbev 
out the opinion they profess to hold. The larger the expe- 
rience of life is, the more strong must be the conviction tint 
there is no dependence on any man's probity, or inj 
woman's virtue, whose reliance is not placed in religion. 

Nothing more can be said with profit or advantage <m tiiii 
subject, except that it is deeply to be lamented this maniige 
was forced on Count D'Orsay, and that he consented to con- 
tract a marriage with a young lady for whom he entertiinBd 
no sentiments of love or kindness. 

It would be very unjust to D'Orsay^ with all his crnx% to 
place him in the same category with his profligate ooontijDia 
De Grammont, and still more unjust to set him down <m dv 
same list with the Dukes of Buckingham, Wharton, mi 
Queensberry, and the more modem antiquated fibflrtiDe of 
exalted rank and vast possessions — the Marquia of Hot- 
ford. 

In one very essential matter he differed fix>m most of An; 
though practically not living in the world of feshion mder 
the restraints of religion, all the influences of an eaily mol- 
lection of its sacred character were not lost; and these wUA 
in the midst of a wild and thoughtless career, sufficed at M 
to shew that all respect for that character had not 




NOTICE OP COUNT ALFRED D'ORSAY. 371 

abandoDedy and that they were still faintly perceptible in some 
of the noble qualities possessed by him, at the close of life 
were strongly manifested, and made the mode of his departure 
from it, the best, the only consolation indeed, that could be 
g^ven, to a sister eminently good and spiritually 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 Queensberry 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 
debauchee had been offered 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 sympathy for the old liber* 
tine of enormous wealth, and still more enormous wicked- 
ness? 

Society suffers little from charity towards its erring mem- 
bers, but morality suffers a great deal, when habitual vice and 
dissoluteness of life, of persons in high places or regal station, 
evil courses which never have been abandoned, or repented of, 
find sycophants and slaves to pander to them, and people for- 
getfrd of the dignity of their position, or their pursuits, to 
lend theu- 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 Blessington three years and two months. His remains were 

B B 2 



872 NoncB OF count Alfred d'obsat. 

laid in the same sepulchral chamber in which hers were depo- 
sited. The monument erected to her memory at Cham- 
bourcy had been hardly finished, when it became the resting^ 
place of all that is left of the accomplished, highly-gifted, 
generous-hearted Alfred D'Orsay. 

Pulyis et umbra, nomen, nihil. 




878 



APPENDIX. 



No. I. 
CORRESPONDENCE OF COUNT D'ORSAT. 

LETTERS FROM COUNT d'oRSAY TO W. S. LANDOR, ESQ. 

" Rome, December 8, 1827. 
" MoN CHER Mr. Landor, 

'* Nous avons tous et6 obliges d'aller a Naples, pour faire 
le manage Protestant, car la premiere insinuation que Fon donna 
au Due de Laval, fut qu il etoit preferable que cela eut lieu 
avant la ceremonie Catholique, ainsi voiliL ce grand imb^ille 
de ministre confondu. Son ignorant ent^tement est prouve. 
Je viens de lui ^crire, pour lui dire que lorsqu'on est complfe- 
tement ignorant des devoirs de son ministfere, on doit alors en 
place d'entetement se rapporter h I'opinion des autres, et que 
malgr^ tout Tembarras que nous avions eu h cause de lui, 
d'entreprendre ce voyage, nous avions €t6 a m£me de juger de 
F — , qui comprend tout aussi bien les devoirs de son minist^re, 
que la mani^re de recevoir les personnes de distinction. 

" J'esp^re qu'il prendra mal ma lettre, car j'aurois grand 
plaisir, de lui couper le bout de son Bee. Je vous ecris ces de- 
tails car je sais m6me par Hare, qu'en veritable ami, vous avez 
pris chaudement notre parti ; je ne m*en ftonne pas, car il suffit 
de vous connaitre, et de pouvoir vous apprecier, pour Stre con- 
vaincu que tout ce qui n'est pas sincere, n'a rien de commun 
avec vous. Toute la famille vous envoye mille amities, nous 
parlous et pensons souvent de vous, 

" Votre tres afiectionn^, 

" D'Orsay." 



374 d'orsay's letters 

'' 74, Rue de Bourbon, September 4, 1828. 
'^ J'ai regu mon cher Mr. Landor, Totre lettre. EUe 
k fait le plus grand plaisir. Youa devriez 6tre plus que ooii« 
vaincu, que j'apprecirois particuli^rement une lettre de Tom^ 
mais il paroit que notre intimit^ de Florence, ne compte pour 
rien h vos yeux, si yous doutez du plaisir que tos nonrellei 
doivent produire dans notre int^rieur. Sitdt que je recerrai let 
tableaux je ferai votre commission avec exactitude. Je dftircroif 
bien que vous yeniez k Paris, car nous aTons de belles diotes i 
Yous moutrer ; surtout en fait de tableaux. A propo8.de ed^ 
je YOUS enyoye ci joint le portrait du Prince Borgh^ que Tom 
trouYerez j'esp^re ressemblant. Yous sayez que Francis Hue 
promene sa moitie sur le continent, il ira probablement k IIo- 
rence la laisser jouer sur le Theatre de Normanby. Car i 
tenant qu'elle a change de Yocation, Francis ne sera plus i 
strict. 

** Nous parlous ct pensons souyent de yous, il est assei cnrieoz 
que YOUS soyez en odeur de saintete dans cette fiunille, car ilne 
^emble que ce n'cst pas la chose dont yous yous piquez partica- 
li^rement d'etre. 

" Lady B. et toutes nos dames yous enyoyent mille amiti^ 

et moi je ne fais que renouyeller Tassurance de la sinc^rit^ de 

la micnnc. 

" D'Obsay.- 

'« Paris, Aout 2S, 1890. ' 
" II falloit un aussi grand 6y6nement pour avoir de fw 
nouYcUes. Le fait est que c'est dans ces grandes drconstuoei 
que Ics gens bien pensant se rctrouvent. Vous donner dn 
details dc tout Theroisme qui a 6t£ d6ploj6 dans ses joumtei 
m^morables et difficiles, il faudroit un Salluste pour lendrs 
justice, et d'^crirc ccttc plus belle page de l*histoire dcs teofs 
modcrnes. On nc sait qu' admirer de plus, de la Tslear dsM 
Paction, ou de la moderation apr&s la yictoire. Paris est trsB- 
quille comme la yeillc d'un jour de fete, il seroit injuste de din 
comme le Icndemain, car la reaction de la veille donne souTCBt 
une apparence unsettled, tandis qu'ici tout est digne et noUe, 
\v grand peupic sent sa puissance. Chaquehommesesentrdev^ 
i'l scs proprcs ycux, ct croiroit manquer k sa nation en < 



J 




TO W. S. LANDOR, ESQ. 875 

mettant le inoindre excds. Vous veritable philosophe seriez 
heureox de voir ce qu'a pu faire r^ducation en 40 annees ; voir 
oe people apres ou a Tepoque oii La Fayette le commanda 
poor la premiere fois, est bien different; 1790 — raccouche- 
ment laborieux de la libert6> eat des suites funestes, nudntenant 
Ton pent dire que la m^re et I'enfant se portent bien, Notre pre- 
sent Roi est le premier citoyen de son pays, il sent bien que 
les Rois sont faits pour les peuples, et non les peuples pour les 
Rois. Si Charles Dix eut pens£ de mSme, s'il eut ete moins 
J&uite, nous aurions encore cette Race Capetienne, ainsi comme 
il n'y a aucun moyen curatif comme pour gu^rir de cette mala- 
die, il est encore trds heureux qu'il ait donn£ I'excuse legale 
pour qu*on le renvoye. 

'* Vos Torys en Angleterre regrettent qu'il n*y ait pas eu 
d'exces commis pour tacher notre r6Yolution. Le fait est qu'ils 
sont jaloux de nous voir si grands. 

" La Comtesse et Lady B. ont 6t6 d'un courage sublime, elles 
se portent bien. 

" Ma soeur compte accompagner son mari, EUe se porte 
bien. 

<^D'Oesay." 

" February 7, 1842. 
" I read your admirable letter in the Examiner, and I am 
so delighted with it, that I must instantly thank you for it. 
Lieut. Elton has an ample consolation in the sympathy that he 
excites in every generous heart, and I hope that the House of 
Commons will unanimously condemn the atrocious sentence of 
that despicable court-martial. I am in a state of fury about this 
injustice, and I could have embraced you, with aU my heart, 
when I read your letter. I am assisting you in this, by keeping 
up a continual fire on the subject, and by enrolling members to 
vote according to your wishes and mine. My only regret now 
is, not to have been the guest of Elton, as I would have given 
the finest licking to Captain W. that a man ever received, you 
may tell him from me, if you meet him ever. 

" Au revoir, my dear Landor. 

" D'Orsay.*' 



376 d'oRSAY's LITTEM 

(No date.) 
" I think that Henry the Eighth was at Richmond-oii-tbe- 
Hill when Anne Boleyn was beheaded. They say that he isw 
the flag which was erected in London as soon as her head ML 
llierefore, as you make him staying at Epping Forest at that 
time, and as I am sure you hare some good reasons for it, I 
will thank you to give them to me. 

" We regretted much not to have seen you at Bath, and I 
was on the moment to write to you, like Henry the Fourth did 
to the brave Crillon, after the battle : 

** * Fends toi. Brave Landor, nous avons M ii Bath, et ta 
n'y 6toi8 pas ' 

'^ You will be glad to hear that the second son of my sister 
has been received at the Ecole of St. Cyr, after a ticklish ex- 
amination. 

"D'Orsat.- 

*' Gore House, January S, 1845. 
'' It is a fact, that my brave nephew has been acting ths 
part of Adonis, with a sacri cocfum, who nearly opened his leg ^ 
his presence of mind was great, he was on his lame leg in tine 
to receive the second attack of the inftiriated beast, and killed 
him on the spot, plunging a couteau de chaue through bii 
heart, — luckily the wild boar had one. The romantic scene would 
have been complete, if there had been another GabrieUe de 
Vcrgy looking at this modem Raoul de Courcy. We think 
and speak of you often, and are in hopes that you will pay in i 
visit soon. Poor Forster is ill, and miserable at the loss of Ui 
brother. I am sure that Forster is one of the best, honestot, 
and kindest men that ever lived. I had yesterday a letter tnm 
Eugene Sue, who is in rapture with Macready, as an actor and 
as a man. We saw lately that good, warm*hearted DicfccBS— 
he spoke of you very ^ectionately. 

"D'OmaAY." 

** Lady B. is quite well, writing away like a steal 

* An iilhision to an injury sustained by the Duke de Oaich^ 
an attack of a wild boar while hunting. 




TO W. S. LANDOR, BSQ. 877 

' Strathem * is very much praised by the Chronicle, &c. &c. 
There are some good scenes in it, with profitable reflections for 
those who can reflect. I am poetizing, modelling, &c. &c. In 
fact, I begin to believe that I am a Michael Angelo manque" 

" P.M. January 10, 1846. 
'* The verses are charming. I will send them to my sister. 
You have forgotten Proserpine, who flatters herself that she had 
a great deal to do with the resurrection of Adonis. 

" I find only one fault with your verses, that you never did 
address any to Lady B., your best friend amongst all your best 
friends. 

''D'Oesay.'* 

LETTERS FROM COUNT d'ORSAY TO JOHN FORSTER, ESQ, 

" Gore House, Sept. IS, 1844. 
** Pends toi Brave Forster, nous irons h Greenwich, et tu 
n*y seras pas. Merci pour l'H3rpocrite. Je vais I'envoyer k 
Sue. Nous esperons que vous viendrez diner ici Mardi. Nous 
arrangerons nos excursions avec mon neveu, et nos plans do 
campagne futures. 

" Voire tout d^voue, 

" D'Oksay." 

•' You promised to come with Maclise, therefore we expect 
you on Tuesday next. Pray don't disappoint us. You will meet 
Dr. Madden, who will interest you about Cape Coast Castle." 

" Gore House, October 81, 1844. 
** Je ne pouvois concevoir la raison de la lenteur de votre 
r^ponse. Je conjecturois que vous etiez parti pour Liverpool 
pour recevoir M.-— mais il paroit que votre diable de sant6 vous 
tourraente cruellement. Vous avez une patience ang^lique. Si 
Lord Shrewsbury I'apprend il vous prendra pour une seconde 
Estatica do Candellarigo, que dit done ce sacr^. ♦ ♦ ♦ 

" Oui, • le Constitutionnel * pretend qu'il y*a un G^n^ral 
Gomer, qui certainement est moins cel^bre que Mr. Poudrette 
rartificier dans Paul de Kock. Au surplus si notre homme n'est 
pas il vero Pulchinello, il auroit du Petre. ♦ ♦ ♦ 



378 d'orsay's letters 

'^ Que dites yous de la grande Burlesque de la cit£, le Lord 
Maire avec sa botte, les cHevaux de Ducrow dansant en dipit 
des aldermen, sitot qu'ils enteodirent la muaique, le Doc de 
Wellington, criant a tue tSte que sa statue €toit beautifiil, la 
Life Guards revenants ivres com de Templiers, la Beine en- 
nuyee et le montrant tout le monde. On dit que c'etoit r£d- 
lement tout ce qu'il y avoit de plus risible. Toiit Grore HoQie 
vous regrette beaucoup et yous attend aycc impatience.** 

''October 15, 1844. 
'^ Je yous renyoye la lettre du bon Maclise, ce TOjagelaifien 
grand bien, et je suis conyaincu . qu'il le prouyera Uentot 
Dites lui de yenir diner Mercredi, il me doit cela. Les ig- 
norants discutcnt et disputent sur Torigine da nom de GomcTi 
fregate du roL Un imbecille nomme le G£n6ral Bmnigm 
pretend que le nom est d'apr&s celui d'un G6n£ral d'ArtJUfrie 
assez inconnu. Cela rappelle I'histoire d'un G6n6nl Fran(aii 
qui n'enyisagait Moise que comme un bon G^n&ral d'Infimterie. 
Tous COS messieurs enyisagent tout sous le point de yue militaiiei 
La fregate Gomer a et^ nomm6 d'apr& Gomer fils de JapiwClif 
qui selon quelques auteurs ^toit p^re des Gaulois, et qui Tint 
dans la Gaule enyiron 2175 ans ayant la naissance de Jem 
Christ. Ceci, yous conyiendrez, est plus probable que k 
General d'Artillerie. 

^D'Obsay." 

" Gore House, October 25, 1844. 

^' II y a rdcUement un siecle depuis que yous €tiei abflent 
C'est unc mauvaise plaisanterie. Quand yiendrer yous done! 
II est yrai que Ic Temps, est tres tentant. — Old Gomer is pe^ 
fcctly well, he has created a great sensation. Mon nerea dt 
parti. Son dernier mot etoit de dire adiiu k Forster. 

" Macrcady m*avoit cnvojrfe un papier de Boston on j'ai h 
aycc grand intcrct son succis. Macbeth dans I'Egliae r^ipdb 
rilistoirc Napolitainc de ' £co il yero Policbinello.' Je M 
pas yu De la Roche Maclise. Dites lui mille amiti^. 

" Eugene Sue, dcvicnt de plus en plus admirable ; il fow 
in^'ne a la morale par des chemins tant soit peu pfrilleoz, naii 
unc fois arrive la, vous la trouvcz pure et belle. La fecondilB 




TO JOHN PORSTER, ESQ. 379 

de son imagination surpasse toos ses pr&^edens ouTrages, les 
J^suites sent enfonces^ les convents d^molisy et la classe 
ouvri^re va s'elever sur leurs debris. Amen. 

"lyORSAT.** 

"Janvier 29, 1846. 
•' Donnez nons de vos nouvelles. J'esp^re qn'elles seront 
meillenres. Quand anrons nons la chance de voos revoir. 

" J'ai toujours oubli^ de vous demander si vons aviez lu le 
grand papier que je vous ai envoy^ sur mes affidres d'Irlande. 
Je suis anxieux d'avoir votre opinion. Lady B. m'a charme en me 

raccontant Teffet du Chronicle sur ce cher . J'admire 

tellement la franchise de sa belle nature. XJn autre de nos 
wnaa auroit affecti, not to care a d — about it. 

'' Je cr^s que vous ayez cherche dans Mr. de Polignac* ce 
qu'il £toit impossible de trouver. Je voulois que vous jugiez 
des evenements de 1830, an point de vue de Charles Dix, et de 
Particle 14 de la Charte, et voyez s*il y avoit moyen de s'en re- 
tirer autremcnt que par les ordonnances. 

** J'etois, et je suis contre cette dynastie, qui selon m6i ^toit 
aussi us6e que vos Stuarts. J'etois contre les ordonnances, mais 
pourtant je confesse que le rapport de Mr. de Chantelange sur 
I'Etat de la France k cette epoque est admirable, et que Charles 
Dix n'avoit pas d'autre rcmedc. Amen. 

" D'Orsay." 

" L. P. va poser la premiere pierrc du Tombeau de Napolfon, 
et devroit prendre celle qui bouche la porte du chateau de Ham.'* 

" January, 1845. ^ 
'* We are really in despair to see what a martyr you are, 
and we hope to hear better accounts of yourself. Have you 
seen , and what are you doing ? 

" I send you some distractions, as you require them in bed. 
You will see that the wild boar is trotting in Lander's head. 
Proserpine will be jealous not to be included in the poem, as it 
was to her interference that Adonis came up again. I send you 
the tremendous case, which will be the real bore for you. 

" I am reading * Strathern,* and I am in the middle of the 

* This allusion is to a political memoir by M. de Polignac, defending 

his conduct in 1830. 



380 d'orsat's lbtters 

second volume. I think that the travelling scene between Hit 
warren and Knebworth is the most perfect one I erer resd. I 
could write an amplification of as many pages, to show the tnitt, 
the depth, and the moral of it I have just been complimentiBg 
Lady B. about it. I have a great deal to tell you about two 
sisters and another person. 

"D'Obsat." 

'« Sunday. 

'* Je suis trfes loin, d'etre offens^ de Tartide de ^, je 

Tai trouY^ trds amusant et tr^ iLpropos, and yery good natiind 
to me. 

'' Je I'aime beaucoup mieux que Particle de ^ qui m 

croit oblige de payer un mauvais compliment an Due de Wd* 
lington si cause de ma statue. 

'^ Je Yous felicite d^etre oblig^ de garder la maison^laSiberis 
doit ctre un joke en comparaison de ce payv, la tdrre de noire 
jardin est pass^ ^ Tetat de granite, c'est un additional chapCer 
pour Pauteur des * Vestiges of the Creation.' 

'^D'Obsat." 

*^ Gore House^ JendL 
'^ J'allois YOUS ^crire lorsque votre billet est arrir^, car je 
saYois que Plnfidel etoit all^ expr^ au bout de PAngletene 
pour nous desappointer. Nous remetterons cette paitie tt 
a Dimanche en huit. 

^' Mais si le temps est beau Dimanche prochain, il faudra que 
nous allions a Hampton Court ct que nous reyenions diner ict 
nous en parlcrons cc soir si nous yencz comme nous PesperoBi. 
'' Torpedo avoit lancd une GalYanic bruit i Lady B. liier,ioa 
postcript rcsscmblc u la queue d'une comite. Voos seres aim 
amuse d'apprcndre que nous ayions trouy6 dana le tempt ptMi 

I'immcnsc rcsscmblance de Negro avec , c*e«t une f^ 

table tfite d*Ogrc. 

"D'OntiY." 

<' Mercredi, June 18, 1845. 

'* J'ai pcnse dcpuis long temps qu*il seroit tr^ importint 
pour la bccurite publiquc dcs traYcllcrs sur Ic rail-road, qa'oB 
etabllsse uu siirvrillant sur Ic derri&re dc laderni&re voitoredi 




TO JOHN FORSTER, ESQ. 881 

rain, de mani^re, que par iin wire, qui communiqueroit avec 
'engine, il pourroit tii-er une cloche, qui indiqueroit qu*il y a 
[uelque chose out of order. Alors on pourroit arreter de suite, 
et accident du Great Western le prouve, car du moment que 
B sand a ^te jette en Pair, c'etoit souflSsant pour d^montrer au 
;arde de derri^re, qu'il y avoit une des voitures hors du rail. 

" Ecrivez un article je vous prie la dessus, m6me dans la forme 
*xme lettre venant de moi, car il faut attirer Tattention de tous 
28 directeurs des rail-roads sur un point, qu'il est si facQe d*am^- 
iorer. J'^tois un jour dans ma voiture, qui 6toit place sur le 
jemier truck dursdl; ma voiture avoit ^te smal ecurfe, j*6toifl 
git6 comme le fouet de Poste, d'un Postilion Frangais, je me 
entois comme le bout de la queue d'un serpent qui toaggoit hk 
nL A la fin, les courroies des vaches se sont d^tach^es d'un 
ot^ et je les aurois perdu si par bonheur je n'etois arriv6 sL la 
tation. C'est alors que je me suis dit, combien il 6toit neces- 
aire d'etre protege par derri^re, puisque les engineers ne pen- 
ent qu'en avant. L'accident d'hier est une bonne excuse pour 
a lettre. Ecrivez la et vous me ferez grand plaisir.* 

"D'Obbay." 

" Juillet 80, 1846. 

" II n*y a rien de tel que de poursuivre une bonne et 
haritable id6e. Ces sacr& directeurs de rafl-road ne veulent 
»as adopter mon idee par Economic, et vous voyez par Facci- 
lent ci joint qu*on auroit pu Peviter. F. est tout a fait de mon 
pinion qu'il faut les attaquer jusqii'a ce qu'ils pensent h la 
afety des passengers. 

" Voici done Poccasion. S'il y avoit eu un garde expris, 
►our la queue du train, il auroit eu soin d'avoir la lampe al- 
iunde, et il auroit entendu Pengine venir derriire lui ; c'est le 
as ou il devroit avoir une trompette, enfin un moyen de faire 
avoir dans la nuit qu'il est la, dans le cas qu'un engine le 
>oursuivre, et que la lampe soit ^teinte. C'est une precaution 
adispensable que de forcer ces directeurs k Tadopter. 

" D'Orsay." 

* Count D'Orsay's allusion is to a project which had engaged a great 
leal of his time and attention — a contrivance to effect instantaneous com- 
aunication between the guard of a railway train and the driver of an 
engine, on the approach of danger, or the occuxtence of any accident. 



382 d'orsat's letters 

''P.M. Angtuti, 1846. ' 
''Je 8ui8 determine de poarsuivre lea directear8,jiiiqa'« 
ce qu'ils adoptent mon plan, et si tous m*aidez nous r^oniroiiii 
ces accidents continuels, ont ^tablis un raw que noni asnisoB- 
nerons continuellement de Cayenne pepper, et la fin ill piCB- 
dront les r^els moyens de cicatriser la plaie. Mon id£e eit^ 
qu'il 7 ait un si^ge derri^re la demise Toiture de diaqv 
train, comme iin coachman des Hanson's cab. II sera en oon- 
munication avec Pengine, par une longoe corde qui passenk 
long du rodf des voitures, et sur le cot£, en tirant la corde n 
marteau frappera sur un gong pres de l*engine, et indiqnen 
qu'il faut de suite arreter. Ce garde s'occupera exdusiTeBMit 
des lampes de I'arriere garde, et on lui donnera de ces light 
d'artifice, qui dans un instant s'allument comme les lUnmetta 
chimique, et produissent une clart^, comme en plein jour, oela 
seroit dans le cas, qu'il seroit poursivi par un engine, par oe 
moyen il ^viteroit le caremboUage, si par accident la lampe de 
dessous s'etoit eteinte. Le garde deniere le train, pent trii 
bien entendre un engine qui le poursnit, tandis que dans touts 
autre situation du train on ne pourroit rien entendre. La de- 
pense de cette precaution ne sera rien, et donnera une grande 
s6curit^ morale et physique aux travellers, et ce n'estqi'a 
for9ant cela, avec un marteau dans la t£te des directeors que 
nous rdussirons. La corde passera dans un anneau sor le oole 
de chaquc voiture, cet anneau s'ouyrira par on spring, dun k 
cas qu'on veuille retirer une des voitures interm^diattes. Ia 
corde pcut s'allongcr et se raccourcir en proporticmde lalongur 
du train. Enfin alambignez toot cela, et soyei conTainca que 
vous rendrez un grand service k rhumanit^ Toyagease. 

/'D'OlSAY." 

'' On employe ces lights d'artifice pour decouTrir la nut, Itf 
poachers. On la frappe contre un arbre, cela a'allome et don* 
une clart^ blanche qui dure deux ou trois minates et mAmeplH. 
J'cn enverrai chercher pour vous les montrer*** 

<' MercKdi 11 

" Jc ne trouvc pas la r^ponse de ' Mechanicas' eondasatei 




TO JOHN FORSTERi ESQ. 383 

Premi^ement quand la corde sera us6e on en changera. Se- 
condement elle ne peut $entangler avec les bagages, puisqu'elle 
passe snr le toik du roof dans des annenx^ et troisiimement il 
ne peut pas 7 avoir line difference telle dans la longueur du 
train en montant et descendant^ puisque toutes les yoitures sont 
attaches les unes aux autres. Les buffers ne sont presses in^ 
wards que par un choc^ et non pas, par la simple pression d'un 
train descendant un inclined plane. II ne faut done pas lui laisser 
fluder la question, q\ii est d*avoir un garde derricJre, je ne tiens 
pas particulit^rement £t ma corde, mais je tiens a ce qu'on trouve 
le moyen soit in striking a large gong behind, or firing a large 
gun fixed on the last carriage de donncr avis qu'il faut arrdter. 

** ' Mechanicus' est probablement un directeur 6conome. Fensez 
Tous qu'il seroit bon que vous repondiez a cet article.. 

" D'Orsay." 

'' October 29, 1845. 

*' J*espferc que vous 6tes toujours sur le qui vive, k Pegard des 
accidents sur les rail-roads, et vous avez du voir que si on avoit 
suivi mon conseil Mr. Boteler seroit vivant. II est je crois 
necessaire de rafraichir la m^moire de MM. les Directeurs ; k 
force de frapper sur leurs tfites ils finiront par nous comprendre. 

" S*il y avoit eu un garde sur la demifere voiture avec une de 
nos fusees, il auroit pu donner le signal a temps. 

•* Quand viendrez vous diner pour que je fasse votre portrait 

dans le fameux costume. II y*a bien long temps que vous 

manquez k Gore House. 

"D*Orsay.*' 

" Viendredi. 
*' Je suis charme que vous trouviez comme moi, que * Me- 
chanicus,' est un presomptueux m^canicien, qui flude la ques- 
tion, arrangez le proprement Samedi. Je brule tous les soini 
dans le jar din, de ces allumettes d'artifice qui dclairent comme 
en plain jour pendant huit minutes. 

" J'ai dfecouvert la raison de la parfaite indiff&ence avec la 
quelle vous traitez vos bons amis de Gore House, Bobadil gave 

me the hint. 

" D'Oksay.** 



384 d'orsay*s letters 

'' Gore House, September 25, 1845. 
" I am sorry to tell you that Lady Blessington a re(u dei 
nouvelles tres alarmantes sur la sant6 de Lady Canterbury. 
Elle est positivement mourant graduellement, entour^e de gem 
qui aiment a Taveugler sur son ^tat. lis croiront qu'elleesttrb 
mal lorsqu'ellc sera morte. Ainsi je pense qu*il est mieox que 
Yous disiez k notre cher ami Dickens, car il faut abandonner noc 
projets pour le moment. J*aurois bien youlu aller avec you i 
Knebworth, nous arrangerons d'y aller ensemble lorsque j'ini 
au jour. 

'' Imaginez cette pauYre Lady Blessington perdant dani li 
peu de temps, sa niece, sa petite niece, son neyeu, son beta 
frere et sa soeur mourante. Et ce qu'il ya de plus triste c'eit, 
qu*clle sent tres YiYement, et retombe dans un autre chagrin ia 
moment qu'elle conmien9oit sL se rendre raison de lapertequ'elle 
Yenoit d'eprouYcr. 

" D»Or«at." 

'' Monday, 1848. 
" As we must see you, and as it is Yery ridiculous to itaj 
so long without seeing one's friends, come and dine here on 
Saturday, at scYcn o'clock . . . 

'^ Tommy Duncombe imagines that it must be oppoied. 
and is pledged, it appears, to his constituents to do it; but I 
think, que j'ai mis un peu d*eau dans son yin. ♦ ♦ • 

•* D'Orsay." 

" Fevr. 19. 1846. 

" Liscz cet article, et yous Ycrrez que si les directeurs de nil- 
road aYoicnt suiyi mon conscil cet accident auroit it6 iwiii. 

** J'etois sur le point de yous ^crire de la campagne, il y * 
quelque temps, pour yous dire que Lady C et Wy 

Sophie de V venoient de Derby par le rail-road, dta 

^toicnt dans Icur Yoiturc la demiftre du train. Une des eoia^ 
roies s'est cass^e, la Yoiture ^toit ballott^ i droite et i guacte 
aYcc ime telle Yiolence que ces deux malheureuses personiies m 
croyant perdus, se mircnt a fairc flotter leurs mouchoirs lutti ^ 




TO JOHN FORSTER, ESQ. 385 

la portiere. EUes cri^rent^ personne ne les vit, personne ne 
les entendit ; et Heureusement qu'elles arriv^rent k la station, 
car un peu plus tard, la voiture n'aurait pu r&ister. Vous 
Toyez done qu'un garde en pareil cas auroit encore 6te le pro- 
tecteur. Pensez vous qu'il est mieux que nous abandonnions le 
•ujet oii de la faire revivre. 

" Au revoir, brave Forster, 

"D'Orsay." . 

" Wednesday, 1846. 

" The best contradiction to the paragraph about Prince Na- 
poleon, will be this extract of the will of his father. Will you 
have the kindness to have it inserted ? 

•' Are you waiting for bad weather to come and see us ? Shall 
we go to the country one of these days ? What do you think 
of it ? I suppose that our friend is landed at Lausanne. How 
you would like Soliman Pacha ! He dined with us yesterday ; 
he is the type of the troupier de PErapire, who remained pure 
from having escaped the restoration. He went in 1815 to Egypt, 
and comes back as fresh in the French history as if we were in 
1816. His life in the East is a dream in a long Entre Acte. 

"D'Orsay." , 

"July, 1846. 
*' Many thanks, dear Forster ; the little article is perfect, and 
will give great pleasur-e to Prince Louis. 

" Most unfaithful of friends (as I know that you dine some- 
times with others) ! really, it is too ridiculous to see the attentats 
du Prefet de Police de Paris. 

" Your old friend, 

" Quand mCme, 

"D'Orsay.'* ' 

*' Monday night, March 16, 1847. 

" Prince Napoleon told me to-night at the French play, that 
He read in an evening paper, the ' Globe,' I think, an article 
Copied from an Irish paper, stating that I had made a statuette 
of O'Connell, and praising it, &c. I suppose that it is from 
Osborne Bernal, who is in Ireland. But I would be glad it 

VOL. I. C C 



886 d'orsay's letters 

were known that I have associated him in the composition widi 
the Catholic Emancipation, and also that I intend to make a 
present of the copyright to Ireland^ for the benefit of the wb* 
scription for the poor. 

" D'Omay." 

" Gore House, April f 6, 1848. 
" I send you one of the most remarkable pamphlets I ever 
read, giving the truest picture of the present deplorable state of 
France. I think it is calculated to effect much good, which cia 
only be done through the medium of the English press, ibr 
since the establishment of the republic in France, it would be 
difficult to find a paper courageous enough to speak of it. 

*• Yoxirs sincerely, 

" D'Orsat. 
" Don't forget we are to go to Mr. [ ] one of these dip, 
to see his bust of Milton." 

"May, 1848. 

'' I find that my friend would be capable to imagine that I 
have rendered him a bad service, by attracting attention to hii 
brochure to be attacked, although I agree with you in many 
passages of the article. He is not a legitimist, but a royalift, 
and don't know where to find a man to put on the throne, aa 
he is disgusted with the old Bourbons, and a great deal moxt 
with the new. I mean the Philippists. 

" D'OtSAT." 

'' Gore House, August 6, 1848. 

'* It will do admirably, and if this don't open the eyes of 
those blind directors, it won*t be our fault. We mtist hate aa 
angry introduction of your own, blaming them, and renderiag 
them responsible to the public, if they don't adopt the proposed 
plan at once. Even the last accident of yesterday conld hare 
been prevented, because the cold observator guard behind 
would have felt the tail of tlie train wagging by the extra ^cedi 
and would have given warning in time. 

'* My plan, you may be sure, will be adopted all over tfct 
world. Come and see us. ^ 

" D*OBiAT. 




TO JOHN FORSTER, ESQ. 387 

" Lady B. thought that derangement was better than disar- 
rangement. What do you think of it ? I think it is bonnet 
blancj blanc bonnet.*^ 

" Bournemouth, Hants, September 9, 1848. 

'* Nous sommes dans le plus joli endroit du monde, une espece 
de Wheendy Hill avec la mer : c'est a 3h de Southampton. 
Venez nous voir ! Vous en serez enchante, c'est parfait pour 
86 baigner, et le temps est superbe, c'est raccuraulation de I'ete. 
Que pensez vous de cet impudent robber ? Lisez Particle que 
Nelly vient de copier dans le * Times' d'hier. Ce Williams est 
un cool hand ! II me vole mon idee qu'il assaisonne un petit 
pen. Je compte sur vous, brave Forster, pour lui porter un 
coup de jarnac. 

*' Nous sortirons completement victorieux, et vous verrez que 
Tous serez la cause que nous sauverons la vie de beaucoup de 
Toyageurs. — Ces dames vous envoyent mille bonnes amiti&. 
Venez nous voir, quand cela ce seroit que pour deux oil trois 
jours. Vous serez enchante. 

" D'Orsay." 

" Gore House, Oct. 18, 1848. 

** Grand merci pour votre lettre. Je vous envoye celle de 
votre ami, qui est parfaitement sense et aimable. 

" Pauvre petit Louis Blanc ! dont on fait I'Hydre de Lerme, 
lui qui circule en Angleterre comme I'agneau Pascal, et qui met 
de la coquetterie a refuser toutes les invitations des Chartistes, 
qui veuleut rexploiter. Je I'ai vu ce matin, il n'ira pas en 
Ecosse. Les aflfaires en France se compliquent chaque jour*, il 
croit et ne' veut done pas trop s'eloigner de Paris. Dites aL 
Votre ami, que L. Blanc n'a eu aucune communication directe 
avec Cranstown, qui pourtant avoit charge une personne k Lon- 
dres d'offrir un appartement a L. Blanc, qui n'a pas m£me t6- 
pondu a cette invitation, et qui a refuse cinq personnes qui 
s'etoient offertes, pour 6tre ses cicerone k Edinburgh. 

" Quel admirable poeme de ce cher Procter ! 

" D'Orsay." 

c C 2 



388 d'orsat's letters. 

'' 38, Rue de la Ville TEreque, Paris, 
"Avril28, 1850. 

'^ Miss Power tous a bien exprim^, combien je Tout ainuni 
et combien de fois nous causions de tous. Le fait est que je 
vis entierement de mes souvenirs, et ils sont tellement melangfi 
de chagrins et de plaisirs, que je redoutois souTent d'^crire i 
ceux qui etoient Ics mieux calculus pour me compreiidKi 
Imaginez que jusqu'^ ce jour, je n'ai pas ^crit k Edward Bol* 
wer. Vous me comprendrez j'en suis conTaincn. Hier je 
dinois avec Lamartine et Victor Hugo chez Grirardin, et dm 
le courant de la conversation, Lamartine me dit qu'il venoit de 
lire un article faux ct abominable de L. Philippe d^uise lOQi 

la plume de . Je Ta engag^ de repondre de suite ttec 

sa plume d'aigle au Quarterly Review qui a si injustement in- 
sere cc tissus do faussetes ecritcs avec la plume de ce cocijparrwff. 

" Ne m'oublicz pas aupr^s de Foublanque. Dites milk 
amities pour moi a Dickens et a sa femme^ et embrassez moa 
fiUeul pour moi. Je compte aussi sur vous pour parler affiect* 
ueusement de moi a IMacready ct a sa femme, et k ce bon Maduei 
II me semble que je vous ai quitt^ hier, my recollections treio 
vivid, que c'est recllement du Daguerreotype du cceur que rien 
ne pent effdcer. J'adore ma vieille Angleterre et je trembled^ 
retourncr. Jamais homme n'a souficrt autant que moi psr k 
pcrte que j'ai eprouve* 

'' J*adinirc cos gens religcux qui adoptent la haute religioa 
pour Ics consoler trts vite. lis ne sentent pas, les imb&iOes, 
qu'il y a unc grandc et bicn plus grande religion dans on nti 
chagrin qui nc le cicatrise pas. 

" Adieu mon brave ami, comptez toujours rur men affection. 

" D'Orsat.'* 

" Unc autre fois je vous parlcrai politique, c'est trop d^goo- 
tant pour Ic moment. Lamartine me disoit hier, plus je foil 
des reprcsentants du peuple, plus j aime mes chicns.*' 

" May 8, 18Sa 

" Fancy the visit I had yesterday ! Old General Dtmss, d 
the Lady of Lyons, poor fellow, who lost his wife ! I vss 

* The above letter was written about ten months after Um dsstkof 
Lady Hlessington. 




CHARLES JAMES MATHEWS, ESQ. 889 

glad to see him, and he felt it. In fact, the English coining 
here, consider that I am their property ; and I feel proud to 
have been adopted by the good old John Bull. 

" When you write to Landor, tell him that I have adopted 
for the monument his last epitaph. I have been very much 
touched by his little poem that I saw lately in the ' Examiner ;' 
I felt so well what he described so feelingly. 

" In haste, 

'' D'Orsay. 

*^ P.S. — You saw, by the election of Eugene Sue, how right 
I was about public opinion here. It is extraordinary to see 
how power blinds the people/' 



CHARLES JAMES MATHEWS, ESQ. 

The only son and sole surviving child of the celebrated 
comedian, Charles J. Mathews, was born at Liverpool. At 
an early age, by the friendship of Sir John Silvester, the Re- 
corder, he was placed on the foundation of Merchant Tailors' 
school, and there received into the family of the Rev. Mr. 
Cherry, Head Master. Being of a very delicate constitution, 
the boy's health became seriously affected by close confine- 
ment, and with great reluctance, on the part of his family, he 
was taken away from that institution with all its advantages, 
present and future, when he had attained a very high position 
in the school. By the recommendation of Messrs. Charles 
Kemble, Young, Terry, and Liston, wliose sons were pupils 
of Mr. Richardson, of the Clapham Road, Charles was con- 
fided to that gentleman's care, and made such progress, that 
it was proposed, when his preparatory studies were completed, 
to send him to college. It had been his father's great object 
to educate his son for the church, and it was not without dis- 
appointment that he discovered his strong predilection for the 
profession of an architect. On his quitting school in 1819, 



890 C. J. MATBEWS, ESQ. 

he was established In the office of Mr. Pugin, the architec 
tural draughtsman, to whom he was articled for four yetn; 
during which period several of his architectural drawings 
were exhibited by his master, at Somerset House. 

In 1822, young Mathews appeared in a private tbeatricd 
performance at the English Opera House (the site of the 
present Lyceum), in the character of DorivaU in the Frendi 
vaudeville of the '' Com^diens d'Etampes** in professed imi- 
tation of the celebrated original actor in that part^ Peikt * 
and afterwards in '' TFer^er," in the burlesque of that name. 
The house was filled to overflowing. An audience of peopk 
of fashion and intellectual celebrities was collected by the in- 
terest in the hero of the night, and son of one of the most 
popular actors of his time. His remarkable success led to i 
general report that young Mathews had determined on rdin- 
quishing the profession of an architect for that of an actor, 
lie had no such intention, however, at that time, and only 
acted one night. 

In 1823, he accompanied the Earl of Blessington to 
Ireland, in his professional capacity ; liis Lordship having d^ 
tcrmined on building a mansion on hia Tyrone estate of 
Mountjoy Forest. 

After all the expense and trouble had been gone to, of 
taking an architect from England to the north of Irdand, 
making the necessary plans and specifications, his Lordsh^ 
abandoned the idea of building, and returned re tnfecta to 
London. His Lordship's powers of volition were so singn* 
larly weak, that he rarely was enabled to bring any matter 
whatever to an accomplishment, which he willed and under- 
took. On his return to London, he expressed hia dcaiie to 
tiike young Mathews to Naples, where he had left hia family 

* One of the flattering results of his performance of the FiiaA 
character, was an offer from the manager of the FVench thratiiii 

liondon, of an engagement. 




C. J. MATHEWS, ESQ. 391 

some weeks before, and to which place he was then returning. 
Consent being given by the parents of young Mathews, he 
took his departure for Naples with his patron, and remained 
with the Blessingtons for one year, at the Palace Belvedere, 
making from time to time excursions to various parts of the 
kingdom of Naples, wherever ancient monuments and old 
architectural remains were to be seen and studied with ad-* 
vantage. 

On the occasion of Lord Blessington's proposal to take 
young Mathews to Italy, the following letter was written by 
his father : — 

'' Highgate, September 2, 1823. 
" Indeed, indeed, my Lord, I cannot find language to 
convey the high sense I have of the honour and friendship you 
have conferred on me, in the person of Charles, nor of the gra- 
tification 1 feel that you deem him worthy of the proposed dis* 
tinction of residing with Lady Blessington and yourself during 
the winter. If I paused for one moment, in giving my assent 
to so obviously advantageous a proposal, it was purely from 
regard to a fond mother's feelings at parting from her son for 
so long a period ; but I find her willing, and am anxious to 
waive all selfish consideration, in order to give him the whole 
advantage of your Lordship's invaluable friendship ; and re- 
gardless of ought else, to insure his welfare in your continued 
kind feeling towards him. 

" With all thankfulness for so unexpected and great proof of 
it, she yields up Charles to your Lordship's and Lady Blessing- 
ton's entire direction, well assured and satisfied that, under such 
auspices and associations, he must acquire much, and improve 
in all things that can ensure him present delight and lasting 
honour. 

*' Charles Mathews." 

When I made the acquaintance of Charles Mathews at 
Naples, he was scarcely twenty years of age. He sketched 
admirably, made a study of his profession, was full of humour. 



892 COUNT d'orsay's correspondence with 

vivacity, and drollery, but genUemanlike withal ; marvel- 
lously mercurial, always in motion, and his mind ever as 
actively engaged as his body. But, with all his buoyaocy rf 
spirits, and in the very height of his drollery and merriment 
in the society of Belvedere Palace, where all the ^ite of f(H^ 
society were wont to congregate, he never forgot himself for a 
moment, or by the extraordinary vivacity of his humour, hii 
sudden sallies of sportiveness, in the way of epigrams, im- 
promptus, witticisms, all sorts of grotesque antics, and ridicii- 
lous pranks and gambols, gave offence to any human being. He 
was certainly one of the st eadiest, best-conducted, yet sprigbdiot 
persons of his age — one of the most innocently amusing and 
legitimately entertaining young men, in society, I ever met 
with. His talents as a draughtsman were far above medio- 
crity. In architectural drawings he excelled. A sketch of 
his, of the exterior of the Belvedere Palace, displaying the 
colonnade and verandah of the front facing the bay of Napkii 
possesses considerable merit and interest for all acquainted 
with the place, and the people who gave celebrity to it He 
displayed peculiar cleverness in catching the salient points and 
outr^ characteristics of remarkable Neapolitan personages^ 
who figured in the courts, as story tellers on the Mole,* ai 
Policinello in the theatre of San Carlino, as cantatrices oa 
the boards of San Carlo, and as street preachers holding 
forth in the evening, on stools and rickctty tables, to the Ltf- 
zaroni, on the pier at Naples. Of his talent for oompoiinf 

* Lady Blessington, in her Italian diary, thua speaka of Chuki 
Mathews' remarkable powers of mimicry : — " We returned to Saleno; 
the strangers, who joined our party at PoBstum, being no leM delisted 
than surprised by the extraordinary facility or felicity with which Mr. 
Charles Mathews personated different mendicants who had asiaikd « 
for alms on our route in the morning, and of whom he gave nA 
perfect imitations in the evening, that some of the party who had pn- 
Tiously bestowed their charity, reproached the supposed beggar Iff 
again demanding it on the same day.*' 




C. J. MATHEWS, ESQ. 893 

vers de societSy burlesque poetry, and epigrams, the frequent- 
ers of the Villa Belvedere in 1824 and 1825 must have a 
lively recollection. Several specimens of these were given to 
me in the former year, in Naples, by Mr. Mathews. In that 
year, an occurrence took place of an unpleasant nature be- 
tween Mathews and D'Orsay, attended with some grave 
results, and a correspondence that passed through my hands, 
and which, with the kind permission of Mr. Mathews, I will 
avail myself of at the end of this brief notice. I will only 
observe, in reference to the subject here, that I consented to 
interfere in this misunderstanding, with a determination, if 
possible, to bring it to a peaceful issue, and that I contem- 
plated then the possibility of an opposite result to a misunder- 
standing that became a subject of such an explanation, very 
differently to the way in which I now regard it — believing as 
I now do — that in a controversy between parties who disagree 
in opinion, and give expression to their opinions angrily, or 
offensively, recourse to pistols for the vindication of their 
sentiments, or on account of what others may think of them, 
is neither an evidence of the highest wisdom, the truest cou- 
rage, nor the firmest belief in Christianity itself. 

correspondence of c. j. mathews, esq., with count 

d'orsay. 

[Extracts from statement of Mr. Mathews, of an affair with 
Count D'Orsay.^ 

"Saturday, July 31. This evening the carriage was 
ordered for a drive to Posilipo, and Lady Blessington, Miss 
Power, Count D'Orsay, and myself, were to form the party. 
While they were dressing, and I was waiting their return, 
with my hat in my hand, Lord B., (who, after taking a 
little wine, was inclined to be quarrelsome) said to me, * So, 
Mr. Charles, I understand that there are sad complaints 



394 COUNT d'orsay's correspondence with 

against you on the score of idleness ; Count D'Orsay tdls me 
that you always take your sketch-book with you, but not 
always to make sketches.' 

'' * In that there must be some mbtake, since the Count ii 
perfectly aware I have been during that period engaged on my 
Paestum drawing, which he has almost constantly superin- 
tended.' I entered the carriage^ galled with the piquant man- 
ner in which Lord B. had mentioned it We had not gone 
many yards, before I, in a half-laughing way, said : * I have to 
thank you, Count D'Orsay, for the high character you have 
given me to Lord Blessington, with regard to my diligence.' 

" ' Comment ?' said the Count. 

*^ I saw the fire flashing in his eyes, and changed my tone; 
' I should have been more gratified had you mentioned to me, 
instead of to his Lordship, any thing you might liave ' 

'' * Vous £tes un mauvais blagueur, par Dieu, la plus 
GRANDE BETE, et BLAGUEUR que j'ai jamais rencontr^, et h 
premiere fois que vous me pailez comme 9a, je vous CASSERil 

LA TETE, et je vous JETTEREZ PAR LA PENETRE.' 

'' Such words as these, before two ladies and the servants, 
I did not conceive were answerable, and remained siknt 
Lady Blessington, in order to end the affair, said : 'Count 
D'Orsay, I beg you to remember I am present, and that such 
language is not exactly what I should have expected before 
me.' ' Pardieu,' .... said the Count, and I regret to sty, 
proci'cderl to lengths, in reply to her Ladyship, passing all I had 
believed possible. After walking in the garden with Lidy 
Blessington a short time, we entered the house, and each re- 
tired to his own room. In my room I received the foUowiog 
note from the Count. 

" Si vous aviez unc idee du Slonde — vous sauries qu*fl eit 
indispensable d'y connoitre sa place — ainsi done c*C8t tme choie 
qu'avant tout, vous devriez apprcndrc, vous vous ^viterics par ce 
nioycn hi peine d'appiendre que I'amitid qu'on a pour vons n'ecC 




C. J. MATHEWS, ESQ. S95 

pas une excuse pour prendre nn ton qa*on est oblige de rabaisser, 
surtout lorsqu'il s'adresse a une personne qui n'oublie pas ce 
qu'il est. 

" Avec un ton comme il faut yous eussiez appris qu'en con- 
Tersation avec Milady devant Milord — nous fimes Tobserradon 
que Yous aviez laisse ^chapper Poccasion de faire des esquisses 
h Capree — et qui plus est^ qu'il etoit dommage que yous ne 
pratiquiez pas davantage le dessin. Si dans ces mots yous trou* 
Yez de quoi etre offense^ je ne m'y connois plus^ et comme ces 
mots n'aYoient ete dits qu*en conversation par Milady a moi^ 
j'^tois loin de penser que yous en seriez fache. Au surplus sur 
aucun pointy yous n'avez le droit de prendre un air d'arrogance 
en me reprochant mes paroles sur un ton inconvenant, yous 
m'avez mis dans la cruelle necessite de yous remettre trop for- 
tement a votre place, mais yous auriez tout evite, en sachant h, 
qui Yous parliez." 

** This note I thought best to leave unanswered till the 
morning, fearing that I might, from the feeling of the moment, 
act against my sober judgment. In the morning I dispatched 
the note in answer, which I received back again enclosed in an 
envelope, with the letter that follows mine. 

To Count D'Orsay. 

" August 1, 1824. 
'* M. Le Comte, 
" J'ai dormi et reflechi sur votre lettre et sur les paroles dont 
vous m'avez honor e hier, et comme il me semble que ni la no- 
blesse, ni la force supcrieur vous donne le droit de m*insulter 
aussi for(cment devant dcs dames, et surtout devant des domes- 
tiques, j'espferc que vous ne me refusercz pas la satisfaction que 
je me trouve force a vous demander, 

" M. Lc Comte, j'ai I'honneur d'etre 
" Voire servitcur, 

" C. J. M." 

From Count D'Orsay. 

'* \ otrc lettre prouve encore le peu de connoissance que vous 



896 COUNT d'orsay's correspondence with 

avez du monde., car vous saurez qu'on ne finit pas ane lettre lur 
un ton aussi leger, et comme j*esp^re que toute cette qaerelle 
sera bon a quclque chosc^ profitez deja de cet avis. 

" Four la satisfaction que vous d^sircz, je vous la donnerai tant 
qu'il vous plaira, designez le lieu^ les armes, enfin tout ce que 
vous croirez le plus convenable h votre satisfaction personneUe. 
Je vous renvoye votre lettre parcequ'elle n'est pas sar un ton 
qui m'engage a la garder. 

" J*ai rhonneur de vous salner^ 
"Cte. D'Obsat." 

" I immediately set oflF to Naples, on receipt of this letter, 
to the house of Mr. Madden, who promised, before I made 
known the affair, or mentioned any names, to act as my second 
on the occasion. I then stated the circumstances, and he ad- 
vised me, in order that nothing might be suspected from the 
rest of the family, to return to Belvedere, while he conducted 
the business. On arriving, I found this precaution useless, 
for in my absence, Count D'Orsay had written to Lord B. to 
ask him to become his second. This Lord B. informed zne 
of, saying, of course, that he could have nothing of the sort 
to do with two of his guests, and all he could feel was sorrow, 
that the occurrence should have taken place. Finding the 
object of my return frustrated, and thinking it not quite agree- 
able to sit at table with the Count, I determined to stay in 
town till the affair was concluded. Almost as soon as I got 
there, I received the following note from Lord BlessiogtOD. 

" Sunday. 
** My dear Mathews, 
" I considered it proper to state to Count D'Orsay, that I 
could not take any part in the very disagreeable affair that hai 
taken place, except that of a mediator. I assured Count D*Onaj 
that you had no intention of speaking to him in an improper 
tone, or questioning him in an impetuous or disrespectful manner. 
The Count had imagined the contrary, and meant to express 
that if you did not change your tone towards him^ that he would 




C. J. MATHEWS, ESQ. 897 

have recourse to violence ; for the use of any words beyond the 
expression of sach intention, he says as follows, 'Si j'ai em- 
ploy^ plus de paroles qu'il etoit sufficant pour lui exprimer mes 
intentions j'en suis fache.' The Count says also, ' Je n'aipas ea 
I'idee de le rabaisser dans ses propres yeux.' The Count ac- 
knowledges to me his regret for the quarrel, and the violence of 
his temper. That violence has not yet sufficiently subsided to 
make him perceive fully to what improper lengths his violence 
has carried him ; but as you declared to me that you had no in- 
tention of speaking improperly, and the Count declares he spoke 
from misconception, and is sorry for language used in anger, 
and without intention of lowering you in your personal esteem, 
I should wish you to speak further on the subject to your friend 
before you take any steps which must make the breach wider. 

Having consulted Mr. , I am sure he will give you the 

best advice, and you can this evening let me know his sentiments. 

" I cannot conclude without repeating that you were highly 
to blame in speaking on the subject at all, however deeply I re- 
gret the consequences that have arisen from your ill-timed and 
injudicious appeal. 

" I wish I had sufficient influence over the Count to persuade 
him to say everything consoling to you ; but his having denied 
the intention of wounding your feelings, must be so far satis- 
factory, and * evil words hurt only the speaker.' 

" Believe me, yours very sincerely, 

" Blessington." 

" Excuse the haste of this scrawl ; you may guess why I hasten 
it." 

" Having handed this letter over to Madden, he told me 
that the note was all very well for Lord Blessington to write, 
but that he could not receive it as any thing regular from the 
Count, and that he did not consider my honour would be 
satisfied by it ; as, therefore, he did not imagine that it at all 
interfered with a letter he had written to the Count, he dis- 
patched the following instantly to him." 



39S COUNT d'orsay's correspondence with 

From R. R. Madden to the Count D'Orsay. 

'* Naples, August, 1824. 

" Monsieur le Comte, 

" On a subject of importance, I can hardly trust to my bad 
French, I therefore have recourse to the only language I can 
distinctly make myself understood in. 

'^ If I felt less embarrassed in addressing you on the subject of 
a late unhappy misunderstanding between you and Mr. Mathews, 
I should hope to be able to convince you that the character of 
an oiGcious man cannot be more disagreeable in your eyes than 
it is in mine, and that I have undertaken the office of mediator 
on the present occasion (though not without reluctance) not less 
from my friendship for Mr. M. than from my high respect fie 
you. I should have done so, indeed, even had I not stood com- 
mitted to Mr. M. by promise, before I was made acquainted 
with the name of his antagonist, when I considered that the 
expose to a stranger of this misunderstanding, might be pre- 
vented by the interference of a mutual acquaintance. 

'^ Pardon me. Monsieur le Comte, if I presume to offer a fev 
words in the way of counsel and observation. I have too high 
an opinion of your understanding, to fear you will be offended 
by receiving them, when honestly given, even from an humbler 
individual than myself. 

'' I can very well conceive some momentary annoyance (the 
cause of which might not be apparent to Mr. M.) extorting 
from you those expressions, which no gentleman should hear in 
the presence of a lady, although in a cooler moment^ in all pro- 
bability, by you forgotten or regretted. I can very well under- 
stand, in your observation about Mr. M.'s neglect with respect 
to drawing, &c., the friendliness of your intention ; but permit 
me to add, if what followed had been suppressed, the feelings ef 
Mr. M. had betn spared a severe trial! 

" Depend upon it, Monsieur le Comte, that persons of in- 
ferior rank are ever tremblingly alive, even to an inagiaary 
slight or insult from a superior ; and when you reflect that ths 
epithets that stand for limits of separation between mobk and 
plebeian, are but arbitrary dibtinctions between man and 




C. J. MATHEWS, ESQ. 899 

you will best consult the nobility of your nature^ by practising 
the honourable condescension of a brave man^ by making a 
trifling atonement for a hasty injury. 

" It is with a full knowledge of your manly spirit, that I de- 
mand an acknowledgment, on the part of Mr. M., of your 
haying been betrayed by anger into those hasty expressions, 
which only those who do not know you, could think of attribut- 
ing to intentional incivility. 

" I have the honour to be, Monsieur le Comte, with the high- 
est respect, 

" Your obedient, humble servant, 

" R. R. Madden." 

" Madden's letter I thought very coolly written, and if any 
thing could bring the Count to a sense of his being wrong, 
it was tliat ; though, to own the truth, I considered him of so 
hot and violent a temper, and so accustomed to swords and 
pistols from his quarrels in his regiment, that I was perfectly 
prepared for the event. In the evening came his answer, as 
follows ; — 

" MoN CHER Mr. Madden, 

" Je suis tres loin d*6tre fache que Mr. Mathews vous ait 
choisi pour son temoin, ma seule crainte eut ete qu'il en choisisse 
un autre. 

" Je suis aussi tres loin d'etre offenst d'un de vos avis, lorsque 
j'estime quelqu'un, son opinion est toujours bien regue. 

" L* affaire comme vous savez est trc^s simple dans le principe ; 
on me fit la question si Mathews avait dessine si Capre^, je dis 
que non, mais qu'il emportoit toujours ses crayons et son album 
pour ne rien faire, que cela 6toit dommage avec ses grandcs dis- 
positions. Lord Blessington n'a pas eu le courage de le lui repr^ 
senter sans y meler men nom — et Mathews a pris la chose avec 
moi sur un ton si haut que j'ai iii oblige de le rabaisser, apres 
lui avoir exprirae que ce n'etoit que par interet pour lui, que 
j'avois fait cette representation — il a continue sur le mSme ton, 
je lui dis alors que la premiere fois qu'il prendroit un ton sem- 
biable avec moi je le jetterois hors de la voiture Ct lui casserois 



400 COUNT d'orsay's correspondence with 

la t£te — je vous r^pete mot poor mot cette altercation, la seole 
difference que j'ai faite entre loi et an aatre, c'est qae je n*ai 
fait que dire que ce que j'aurois fait certainement yis-a-yis d*un 
autre qui prendroit ce ton ayec moi ; si j'ai accompagne men 
projet d'avenir, de mots offensants et inconrenants j'en snis aani 
fach6 pour lui que pour moi^ car c'est me manquer a moi-m£iiie 
que d'user des mots trop violents. 

'' Pour Totre observation sur la difference des rangs, elle est 
inutile, car jamais je n'attache d'importance au rang qui se troOTe 
souvent compromis par tant de b^tes, je juge lea personnes poor 
ce qu'ils sont, sans m'informer ce que c'etoient lears anc^treiyet 
si mon superieur eut employe la mcme manidrc de me reprocher 
qu'a pris Mathews j 'aurois s&rement fait, ce que je n*ai fait qoe 
dire a Mathews que j*airae beaucoup trop, poor le rabaister i 
scs proprcs ycux, et vous sentcz qu'il seroit ridicule si moidese 
pas avouer que j'ai tort de lui avoir dit des paroles trop feiteiv 
mais en m£me temps je ne veux pas nier mes paroles, c'est ii dire 
mon projet dc voiture, &c. Si Mathews veut satisfaction je loi 
docncroi tant qu'il lui plaira, tout en lui sachant bon gride voot 
avoir choisi pour son temoin. 

'^ Cette affaire est aussi desagr^able pour voQs, que poor nou 
tous, mais au moins elle n'altera pas Tamitie de 

" Votre tout iivoui 

" Cte. D'Ob«at.'* 

" This cleverly worded note, Madden handed to me, and 
I returned it to him without a word. I was determined that I 
would leave every thing to Madden, who I was oonvinoed, 
would not compromise mc in any way. When he had read 
it again, he wrote a fitting answer to the Count.* 

'' In the evening, Madden advised me to return to the Bd- 
vedere, und give my hand to Count D'Orsay. After thMlmig 
him for his friendship, I went home ; but finding the letter 
had not been delivered then, I waited in my own room till 
twelve o'clock, when, seeing that there was no chance of the 
Count's getting it till morning, I went to bed, 

* Tlic cop}' of this letter baa been lost. 




C. J. MATHEWS, ESQ. 401 

" Aug. 1 . — ^This morning I went as usual to the drawing- 
room, and, in a few minutes, the Count came in. I rose and 
gave him my hand, which he received very cordially, and 
said, ' J'espfere mon cher Mathews, que vous 6tes satisfait. 
Je suis bien fache pour ce que je vous ai dis, mais j'etais in 
colere et.' .... * Mob cher Comte,' said I, * n'en 
parlons plus, je vous en prie, je Tai tout-a-fait oublife.' He 
then put his arm round my neck, and 1 felt as happy at the 
noble manner in which he acknowledged his fault, as at the 
reconciliation. 

•* Aug. 4. — This morning, everything having gone on as 
usual, I entered the drawing-room, where Lady B. was lying 
on the sofa, very unwell. Miss Power was there, and Count 
D'Orsay near her. As I entered, I perceived the Count in 
tears, and as I approached, he said to me, * Mon cher Mathews, 
je vous demande encore bien pai'don, devant milady, pour ce 
que je vou ai dis Tautre jour, et je vous prie seulement une 
chose, c'est ce que vous Toublierez tout-k-fait. Vous me le 
promettez n'est ce pas.' I was quite affected at his manner, 
and assured him over and over again, that it had long been 
banished from my thoughts. 

" Thus ended this imhappy business, for which no one could 
be more sorry than myself; though I am quite convinced that 
Count D'Orsay, whenever he reflects upon it, will perfectly 
exculpate me from the charge of having taken one step bey ond 
what was necessary, or what he would himself have done 
under similar circumstances. — C. J. M." 

LETTERS FROM COUNT d'ORSAY TO CHARLES J. MATHEWS, 

ESQUIRE. 

'' Capo di Monte, December 31, 1824. 
" MoN CHER Charles, 

" II est inutile que je vous r^p^te combiens nous vous avons 
regrette vous vous en doutez bien. Au surplus qu'il vous suf- 
VOL. I. D D 



402 COUNT d'ohsat's correspondsncb with 

fise de savoir qu'il y a un grand vide &" votxe place que per- 
Bonne ne peut remplir. 

'' Depuis Totrc d^part^ Naples est a pea pr^ le mfiine, k Vex- 
ception que I'ardeur des curieux est un peu calm6 par lliorriUe 
^vdnemcnt arriv6 a Psestum. Yous aures sans doute appris par 
les Journaux que Mr. and Mme. Hunt y ont £t£ assassincsi 
bientot Ton sera oblig^ d'avoir une escorte pour aller h Pompda. 
II n'yl^a que les artistes qui sent iL Pabri de cea attaquet, car hi 
brigands savent qu'ils sont arm^s de Pied en cap, canifs, oonqMi. 
&c. Enfin malgr^ ces armes, je suis content de vous roir de 
retour de Peestum, car votre maison, ne me faisoit pas Tefit 
d'etre bien assure. Dans ce moment il y*a a Naples^ le Peintre 
du cabinet de S. M. le Roi de Prusse, cela ne veut pas dire 
grand chose. Mais malgr^ cela, cet bomme est arriv£ gonfl^de 
pretention, et enfl6 dc presomption. Le brave Gell, pr o t e cteor 
General des Humbugs s'est cru oblige de Tadopter. II ncwi 1^ 
present^ ainsi que ces dessins. Cet homme a paas^ deux wm 
dans I'interieur du Mus^e de Portici, et a ca^TnetouteslcaFciBr 
tures, et malgre son grand d^sir de les marquer, cela lui {toil 
impossible, car rien n'est aussi facile que de calquer avec da 
papier de soie. Eh bien, Gell, est enthousiasme, il pretend que 
c*e8t un prophete qui arrive dans ce pays pour sauverletaiti, 
et si certainemcnt I'homme etait r6ellement supArieuTj il dirait, 
oh, Tiasti/ boy vous voyez que Sir Willy, est toajours de oiAae. 
La description de votre voyage nous a beaucoap amiu£, ct a 
j'ai un conseil a vous donner pour imiter un Prtfet FnBcaii» 
c'cst de faire tout ce qu'il y a de plus ridicule^ vous tea Uei 
sur de ne pas manqucr le r61e. 

'' J*oubliois de vous parler du Capitainc S. qui eat CBCOie 
plus b£te, si cela 6toit possible. II a dans ce moment une pons 
de cocur depuis que je lui ai dit que cet cheveuz ^toient de Is 
premiere qualite pour faire un coussin. En outre il a one pons 
de jambes en sc r appelant que vous courres mieux que lui, ila'7 
a pas deux jours qu*il me rappellait, que vous £dei plus jeoae 
que lui, qui ^tait la seule raison. 

" Strangways est parti pour Smyme, Baily est ici, ct w pro- 
bablcment le suivrc, je suppose qu*il le rencontrera enTorqin^ 
dans tous les cas il trouvcroit sa t£te au destua de la pofte df 




C. J. MATHEWS, ESQ. 403 

aerail du Grand Seigneur, car dana ce pays lis yous coupent la 
tele sans grande c6r6monie. 

** Nous parlons souTent de tous, et plus souvent nous pensons 

i Tons, et si tous n*6te8 pas \m ingrat tous devez faire de mfime. 

** Adieu, mon cker Charles, ^crivez moi, car je vous assure 

qne jramiti^ que je tous porte est trop sinc^e pour la laisse,, 

passer sous silence. 

'* For ever your devoted, 

" CoMTE D'Orsay." 

"February 25, 1826. 

** ' God bless our souls,' — My dear Matthias y S— * is gone* 
et se troHve probablement dejit sur cette route de Kent (d'heu- 
xeuse memoire) son depart nous a tous attrist^ — pour un quart 
dlieure, car il avoit assaisonn^ son adieu d'une abondance de 
larmes qu'il avoit conserve dans son reservoir pour cette heu- 
reuse circonstance. Enfin il est parti le coeur gros, et les poches 
pleines, nous lui ^vons tous fait un cadeau et j'ai d^cid^ Lord 
Blessington de lui donner cet infortun6 Cachet Marin que Smith 
a re9u avec autant de plaisir que le commandement d'une fregate 
de seconde classe — Nous avons tous la m£me sensation qu'un 
malade au quel on a retir^ son empl&tre. 

*' Je vous conseille de craindre plus les faux pas de votre jument 
grise, (si du vit encore par consequence si elle tombe encore) 
que ceux que vous pr^tendez faire dans la langue fran9aise. 
Votre lettre etait trop bien, pour ne pas continuer, et vous savez 
combien nous vous aimons, et que Tabsence ne diminue rien, 
ainsi de temps en temps, envoyez une ^pitre fran9aise, elle sera 
tr^s bien re9u. 

" Je suis fach6 d'6tre oblige de vous parler d'un sujet tris 
triste mais il feut que vous sachiez qu' Elisabeth vient de man- 
quer la robe rouge de sweet Mary. A dater de ce moment la 
guerre civile a ^t^ d^clar^e et ce n'est qu'en sacrifiant Elisabeth 
pour reprendre Vincenza que les hostilitfes ont cesses. Vous 
voyez done que Mary se porte mieux, puis quil s'agit de combat 
de robes rouges, &c. j'oubliois de vous dire qu'il est d^fini* 

* Lieut. S , a retired naval officer, who had the command of 

Lord Blessington' 8 yacht, the Boliyar, 



404 COUNT d'orsay's correspondence wrra 

tivement connu que Vincenza porte perruqae^ Mary en a ea 
la prcuve en main dans un combat singulier. Je vous doime 
ces petits details pour que vous n'oubliez pas si vite notre in- 
terieur de famille. Ne parlez pas de cela i personne^ car sweet 
Mary seroit tr^s fachee. II paroit que Williams et Blaynej 
conservent partout leurs traits caracteristiques^ je parie que le 
dernier regardoit Folichinel pour savoir s'il £toit plus ridicok 
que lui. J'ai regu une lettre de Millengen qui umffl/t i Paris 
plus que jamais^ et je pense que scs Toisins I'ont fait ddloger^a 
cause de son souflement poulmonique, car il a k\lk oblige dialler 
du bruit dc Paris ou son asthme sera confondu avec les Toitoiet 
que passent continuellement, rue neuve des Petits Champs oail 
loge maintenantje crains que ce cher Antiquaire ne casse pas 
ses vieux os^ et surtout^ s'il apprend qu'il y a une conspiratifla 
formee centre lui, par un jcune tem^raire qui arriye sur ITwri- 
zon pour prouvcr que tout ce que James a &rit ne signifie rieiL 
Vous pcnsez bicn sans donte que Gell protege cet homme mail 
malgre tout, je pense que Millengen sortira victorieuxdcsalotte 
Etrusque. £t quoiqu'il soit d'un petit calibre ses boulets fimmt 
plus de breches que les bombes des aotres qui ^latent sansrien 
dedans. Au surplus s'il meurt je le ferais reduire en oendita 
et mettre dans notre lacrymatoire Etrusque^ il y a plus de 
places qu*il en faut, et c'est reellement un tombeaa digne d'm 
maigre Antiquaire: j'esp^re que vous n'ayez pas onUiA m 
complimenteur (cela veut dire un flattear frangais^ son nom crt 
Durand que vous avez vu au Belvedere bien decide i ne jsmaii 
quitter cdic qui fait son bonheur, qui le console de tonts aei 
pSches et le dedommage de tous ses chagrins dans ce monde id 
bas — c'est a dire sa collection. Eh bien M. Durand n'a rien ea 
dc plus presse en arrivant a Paris que de la yendre an Boi da 
France, pour une sommc bien capable de le consoler d'one pertc 
si cheri a son triste coeur — le voila done yeuf et d£cidi d'^pooacr 
des moniicsy cas il va se donner dans cette branche d'instmctioDi 
ou pour mieux dire dc commerce. 

" B , B , and Co. ont fait banqueroute. Adiea m^ 

dailies, cigurres, et autrcs agrements de society. L'Abbi perd par 
cettc faillitte, 700 guinecs, mais il est bien decide de les regsg- 
ncr par une route quelconque^ Medici yiscra son passeport cC 




C. J. MATHEWS, ESQ. 405 

Circelle le contresignera. P pretend que c'est un grand 

comfort que de ne pas faire banqueroute. D*abordil n*a jamais 
eu grande idee de la maison B — , il pense triis peu de F — et 
encore moins de Rothschild^ mais en revanche il pense beau- 
coup de D et de P . Dans ce moment M. G. se fait 

£iire des pantalons probablement sur le module des miens^ mais 
c'est un coup de politique c'est pour prouver aux tailleurs de la 

ville que sa maison tient bon, malgre que M ne met jamais 

le pied dans le bureau il me I'a encore certifie sur parole d'hon- 
neur la plus sacree foi de gentilhomme de Jersey et autres lieuz^ 
on a decouvert dans Pompeii des choses qui sont magnifiques et 
belles^ si on ne les veut pas trop vanter, nous devons aller les 
voir quand cette fureur d'etrangers sera calm^e — vous concevez 
qu'il est inutile d'aller i Pompeia pour voir tons les associes de 
Day and Martin, et de Barclay and Perkins. Vous n'avez pas 
d'idee de la figure des Anglais qui sont dans ce moment a Naples 
— ce sont r^ellement les Anglais pour rire — Je vous assure que 
si le Baron Stiiltz, de Clifford Street, arriva dans ce moment il 
fera une grande figure parmi ceux ci. 

** Je commence a m'apper9evoir que ma lettre avance, il me 
reste juste la place de vous souhaiter beaucoup d^instruction et 
de plaisir dans le bureau ou vous allcz entrer. J'esp^reunjour 
voir votre m^rite mis a execution, ne croyez pas que cela soit a 
batir des chateaux en Espagne car il y en a plus qu'il n'en faut. 
Enfin, men cher Charles, si tout lebonheur que je vous souhaite 
vous arrive vous ne pouvez manquer d'etre heureux. Lady B. 
vous envoye un million d'amities. Lord B — eternu dans ce mo- 
ment sans cela je suis persuade qu'il vous .enveroit au moins 
1500 choses aimables — pour Mary — elle vous dit tant de choses 
que je n'ai plus assez de place de les mettre — pour moi je vous 
assure de men amitit^ inalterable, et vous prie de pr&enter mes 
hommagcs a Madame votre mt^re ct mes compts a votre p6re. 

" Lady B. se rappelle au souvenir de votre mire qu*elle aime 
de tout son coeur. 

'* Adieu, et pour toujours votre, 

" Tres devout, 

" D'Orsay." 



406 COUNT d'orsat's correbpokdencb with 

'' NoTember 17, 18S1. ' 
'' MoN CHER Charles, 

'^ J'etois bien loinde penser lorsque jeTous ^criToii i BrightoBy 
que Yous seriez frapp6 aussitot, du coup d^pIonUe qui fiat 
Boufirir toute votre famille ainsi que tos amia. Mon ityle evl 
6t6 moins goi^ car la perte que tous yenei d'^proaver me iiX 
un rc}el chagrin, ce fidele serriteur (Nanini) ftoit teUemeat n- 
dessus de sa classe qu'on ne pouYcdt le Toir sans a*y attacher, ei 
je con9oi8 que dans Totre vie, un ^y^iement ausai imprm, 
devient une ^'poque bien sentible. 

** Je sais, mon cher Charles, ee qu'il en eat de perdre qnd- 
qu'un qu'on estime, ne regrettez pas de n*aToir pas assiste aoz 
demicrs moments du paurre Nanini ; c'eut 6tk une acraree k- 
tarissable de souvenirs encore plus p6nibles, et son image de- 
faite se repr^senteroit continuellement k Totre imaginatian, saas 
que ce souTenir puisse vous £tre d'aucune conBolatiQa pondYei 
J'ai perdu mon pauvre ami Blessington et ma mire dans Teqaes 
de deux mois ; ils sont morts dans mes bras, et lorsqu*ib m*CB- 
trent dans Tidee c'est toujours lenr demiers moments qui se pie* 
sentc de preference. Je voudrois me les representer daiM d'antres 
situations de la Tie, mais cela me derient difficile. CSonsertes 
done du pauvre Nanini, tout le souvenir de son slliilmirnt 
pour vous, tout le beau naturelle de son excellente natnze, st 
vous scntircz malgr€ vos regrets, que Totre sonyenir de Inif ^ 
portera toujours quelque chose d'agr&ible dans votre imaginatiflo. 
II 7 a peu de consolation k apporter k qnelqu'nn qui vientds 
fairc une perte irreparable, mais enfin il est dn devoir d*nn SHi 
sincere, de montrer sa simpathie, c'est ce qui m'a engagC i fom 
ecrire. 

** Votre affectionne« 

•* Alfred DOrsat." 

'* Londres, September 1. 

" Mon CHER Charles, 

" JV'tois trop li^ avec votre bon pire^ et trop ami anssi svec 

vous, pour fairc ce qu*on appele une visite de^condolence, siafl 

vous m'excusez pour n'etre pas alii m'attrister, plus que je M 

Totois par la perte que nous avons faite. J*ftois encore l^atie 




C. J. MATHEWS, ESQ. 407 

jour k Goodwood^ et je puis avouer en rertu de ma sino^rit^f 
que j'avois le cceur bien ulcer^, en etant sur le m£me spot, ou 
Fannie avant je plaisantoit avec votre cher p^re. Vous ne 
doutez pa8 mon cher Charles de tout Tint^rfit que j'eprouve pour 
tout ce qui vous conceme, et si j'ai commence par une preface 
si longue de mes sentiments, c'est poUr en venir k un sujet da 
quel depend la necessite de Tentreprise que vous arez sur les 
mains. Depuis le moment que j'ai su que vous arez pris I'Adel* 
phi j'ai decide avec Lord Worcester que nous ferions tout notre 
possible pour entrainer la soci^t^, en votre faveur, a force d'y 
penser et d*en parler. Je m'apper9ois, que premiferetoent le 

plan de Y — , est de vous faire succomber, il vous aban- 

donne personellement, pour tacher de vous fair sentir qu'il est 
indispensable, cette saison est un trial qu'il vous donne, esp^rant 
qu*en cas de failure vous rerjettiez tout entre ses maims. II faut 
done y remedier bon gre malgr^. Reeves aussi part pour I'Am^- 
rique. Mme. Honey est engage ailleurs, enfin la plupart des 
Tieilles associations de ce theatre se retirent. Je viens done 
vous conseiller d'entrer en arrangement avec le propri^taire du 
Queen's Theatre, qui transporteroit sa troupe avec la v6tre, 
Tunion feroit la for9e, et grace a vos talents vous triompherez 

completement du pi^ge que Y vous a tendu. Le Queen's 

Theatre a ete tr^s successful cette saison ; encore hier ils avoient 
£90 de recette, c'est extraordinaire pour la saison. Chester- 
field^ Worcester et moi, y avons une lege, et nous avons envie 
d'en avoir une a TAdelphi, et hier au soir en parlant de ce sujet 
k Bond, il m'a dit qu'il seroit enchante de reunir sa troupe ^ la 
votre, et de farmer par consequence le Queen's Theatre. Pen- 
sez a cela, voyez si vous pouvez y trouver votre avantage, et 
dites le moi. 

" Soyez mon interprete pres de votre m^re, de tons mes sen- 
timents les plus affectionn6s et croyez moi. 

" Votre ami sincere, 

" Ctb. D'Obsay." 

" Mon CHER Charles, 
" J'ai un tres bel habit tout brod^ du quel j'ai un pen groton 
out j'ai pense que vous seriez bien aise de TaVoir, car un clever 
tailleur pourra arranger de mani^re que vous ^tonniez et TOljon- 



403 COUNT d'orsay's correspondence with 

pic avec, venez le chercher car je voas le donne — ^il eit toot 
neuf. " Yotre affectionnft, 

''D'Oesat." 
" My best love to the dear mother." 

'' MoN CHER Charles, 
'' J'aime beaucoup votre nouveUe pi&ce, et Tons Pafei Uk 
bien jou£, il faut prier Torchestre de voas accompagner on peo 
plus basy car le Tintamare qu*ils ont fait ont empechA que Ton 
puisse comprendre le quart de Totre grand Aria. Yous tan 
bicn aussi selon moi, de retranchcr deux couplets du Welik 
song. Voire French lady est par&ite^ c*est la meilleare qa oa 
ait encore represent^ sur un Theatre Anglais. Usea de votre 
influence pour faire mettre de suite, une Perruqae noire & Ox- 
berry il sera Timage de George Wombwell, il en a le costane 
et les mani^res dans la perfection et cela fera un effet complet, 
Wombwell n'cn sera pas fach^ au cantridre, et je pense que 
Liston ayant profite de moi, on pent tr^s bien prendre cette petite 
liberie, qui profitera aussi beaucoup. Done ^tablissei une petite 
])crruque moire bien curU avec deux petits faroris sur les cotei 
du bout du menton d'Eco, 

" Au revoir, cher Charles, 

" Votre affectionn^y 

"DOrsat.'' 

Young Mathews, in a diary he kept in Italy, October 16, 
speaks of the mode of life of the Blessington party at the 
Villa Belvedere, in Naples, " a paradise of a place, about a mik 
'* and a half out of Naples, situated on an elevaUon, enjoyiog 
" a most splendid view of the Mediterranean and surroundiiig 
" mountains, Vesuvius in the centre. Nothing can be more 
" delightful than the exterior and interior. Lady B. 
'' charming than ever. This is the place, vrith all its i 
'' tions, to draw out the resources of her roind — to discover 
<* the superiority of her talents, and to be captivated by theoi. 
" Miss Power is very much improved. Count D'Omy is a 
" man not (miy of the finest form and most elrgnnt manaciii 




C. J. MATHEWS, ESQ. 409 

'' but he is a most kind and amiable being, of a noble dispo- 
" sition, and the bravest of the brave, and yet quite a boy. 
" Our evenings are charming ; we have each of us a table in 
" the same room, at which we prosecute our various studies, 
" writing, drawing, reading, &c. All our conversations, which 
" are frequent, are upon improving subjects : the classics, the 
" existing antiquities around us. We write essays on various 
" subjects proposed, which are read in the evening, opposed, 
" and defended. I am treated as one of the family ; I make 
" all my drawings in the same room with them, and am going 
'* to instruct Lady Blessington in architecture. It is proposed, 
" as all of us desire to improve ourselves in Italian, that we 
'' should learn in a class, devoting an hour each day to that 
" study. With respect to antiquarian research, we have all 
" the ancient authors here to refer to and consult. In short, 
" there never were any people so perfectly happy as we are. 
" Whenever any excursion is proposed, the previous evening 
" is employed in reading and informing ourselves thoroughly 
" with what we are going to see." 

After a residence of about a year with the Blessingtons in 
Naples, Charles Mathews returned to England and to his 
profession. In 1826, he was appointed architect to a Mining 
Company in Wales, where he made his first professional essay 
in the superintendence over works of considerable magnitude, 
and the constructing of storehouses and tram-ways. 

While he was thus employed in Wales, he wrote his after- 
wards popular ballad of " Jenny Jones," and a portion also of 
his father's well-known monologue "At Home." In 1827 
he again quitted England for Italy, but on a professional tour 
that time, accompanied by Mr. James D'Egville, with whom 
he had been associated in Mr. Pugin's office. They visited 
Milan, Rome, Venice, &c., examined the ancient monuments 
of those places, and exhibited their architectural drawings in 
each of those celebrated academies. At Milan, Venice, and 



410 C. J. BIATHEWS, KSO. 

Rome, Mathews was elected a member of the several aeip 
demies. At the former place some drawmgs of bis» of the 
Duomo D^OssoIa, and other sketches, are still exhibited. 

In 1829 they visited Florence, where Lord Nonnanby wu 
then residing, and was entertaining the Florentines with pmate 
theatricals. Young Mathews (with his father's permissioD) 
appeared, at his Lordship's request, in the following characten : 
Risk, in '' Love Laughs at Locksmiths ;" Dogberry, in ** Much 
Ado about Nothing;" Tony Lumpkin, in " She Stoops to Con- 
quer ;" Adam, in " the Iron Chest ;" Buskin, in ^ Killing no 
Murder ;" Simpson, in "Simpson and Co.;" Falstaff, in ''King 
Henry the Fourth," &c. &c. &c. 

At the theatre " San Clemente," the actors in the above play% 
among others, were Lord and Lady Normanby (reaUyadmhabk 
performers), Sir Hedworth and Lady Williamson, Lewd Fitz- 
harris, Lord Albert Conyngham, Messrs. Craven, Nigfatingik, 
Dundas, Aubry, Phipps, Bligh, Antrobus, TheUuaon, SitweD, 
St. John, E. Yilliers, Mrs. Dalton, Miss Augusta Stephenson, 
Miss Geraldine de Courcy, Miss Sitwell, La Rrindpessa Bd- 
giojoso, La Marchesa di Pucci.* 

Mathews also performed Sir Benjamin Backbite in '*tfae 
School for Scandal," on the single occasion of the comedy bemg 
performed at Lord Burghersh's,then ambassador at the court of 
Tuscany ; on which occasion Lady Teazle was played by Luly 
Burghersh, Joseph Surface by the Marquis of Douro (the 
present Duke of Wellington), and Charles Surfieuse by Lord 
Burghersh. 

In July, 1830, Mathews and his companion revisited 
Rome, with a view to the acquisition of diplomas from 
St. Luke's Academy, which had been promised to 
During their stay, a walking tour was organixed and 
menced; but Mathews was seized with the fever of Chs 

* Mathews, while at Florence, built Lord Nonnanby m small thettit. 

and paint I'd a drop 8ccnc fur it. 



C. J. MATHEWS, ESQ. 41 1 

country, which nearly proved fatal to him. He made an 
effort to return to Venice, where he had friends. Ultimately 
he lost the use of all his limbs ; despairing of deriving any 
advantage from medical aid, he resolved, as he intimated to 
one of bis friends, **to return home to die/' He traveDed day 
and night in a carriage with a bed, frt>m Italy to England, 
attended by an Italian valet, Nuiini, whose name will be found 
mentioned in this correspondence, who lifted him about like an 
infant, and on his reaching home, bore him on his back into the 
house of his parents, a most afflicting spectacle to them. In 
this helpless state he remained — ^for the most part in bed-- 
twelve months, and for one year was only able to hobble about 
on crutches; so that he may be said to have lost two of the 
most valuable years of his youth. At length, the sad effects 
of his long illness gradually disappeared, and he resumed his 
professional studies. 

In 1832, desirous of showing his friends that he was still 
in earnest in the profession he had diosen (which some seemed 
inclined to doubt), he presented himself as a candidate for the 
appointment of District Surveyor of Bow and Bethnal Green 
(then vacant), and was elected by a large majority. This 
situation he retained until he appeared on the stage, when he 
entirely relinquished his previous profession. 

Previously, however, in the intervals of study, he amused 
himself in writing for the stage; and in the year 1832, he 
produced at the Haymarket theatre two very successful pieces, 
" The Wolf and the Lamb," and " The Court Jester ;'' and 
in 1833 two other popular dramas, *' My Wife's Mother/' 
and '' Pyramus and Thisbe." In the Christmas of the same 
year, while on a visit to the Duke and Duchess of Bedford, 
at Wobum Abbey, some private theatricals were projected, in 
which he took a very prominent part in January, 1834,* 

* The performance *' under the patronage of the Marchioneis of 

Abercom." 



412 C. J. MATHEWS, BSQ. 

when he was announced in the bill of fare as " the odebnted 
Mr. Charles Mathews, from the Theatre Royal * San Clemente,' 
Florence." 

He " opened" as Peter Simpson, in the &rce of ** Simpson 
and Co. ;" Her Grace the Duchess of Bedford performiog 
Mrs. Simpson. His characters were, in addition to the abwr, 
Gradus in " Who's the Dupe ?" Buckskin in " The Man 
and his Tiger." 

The " company " consisted of the Duchess, the Baroness 
de Clifford, Lady Georgiana Russell, Lady Rachel Russdl, 
Lord C. J. F. Russell, Lord Francis Russell, Lord Chailps 
Russell, and Captain Townsend, E.N., &c. &c. &c 

In 1835, having during his father's absence studied pamting, 
in October he sent a view of the Lake of Perugia to the Somer- 
set House exhibition, which was accepted, although in in 
unfinished state. He had hurried it for exhibition, in order to 
surprise and gratify his father on his return from America; 
but his father never saw it ! 

Great pecuniary misfortunes had induced his father, Mr. C. 
Mathews, in the August of the previous year, to travel to 
America, in order to retrieve his losses ; but his health givii^ 
way on his arrival in the United States, after some painful at- 
tempts to fultil his undertaking, he returned to England in a 
hopeless state of health, and never reached home. He died 
at Plymouth, in June, 1833, leaving his affairs necessarilj 
much deranged and impaired. 

Charles now undertook the management of the Addphi 
Theatre, a property in which his father had purchased t share 
several years before, and which had hitherto been productive. 

He wrote a piece for the opening, called " Mandrm,* 
which succeeded ; but all the promising hopes of the aeasoo 
were destroyed by an unfortunate contingency. Mr. Osbtl* 
diston opened Covent Garden Theatre at the prices of the 
miiinr theatres ; and, although his speculation failed ultimatdj 




C. J. MATHEWS, ESa. 413 

to enrich himself^ it so fatoQy injured the Adelphi for a time, 
that after disbursing large sums to keep it open, it was 
deemed expedient to sell the property to the best bidder ; and 
this was done for a trifling consideration, rather than have the 
ruinous expense of upholding an almost deserted building. 
This temporary failure (for such only it proved) of the Adel- 
phi property, led Charles's advisers to consider how he could 
form an immediately remunerative plan of life — architecture 
being reserved for older heads to thrive on. 

In effect, many of his friends shared in the general opinion 
that he must turn actor ; and with great reluctance he at 
length determined to abandon his original profession, and to 
accept an engagement from one of the London theatres. The 
Olympic, from its moderate size and drawing-room style of 
entertainments, appeared to his advisers best calculated for a 
novice, whose unpractised powers might not be sufficiently 
effective in a wider sphere ; and after only a fortnight's pre- 
paration, he made his first appearance on a regular stage.* 
The very successful result of this experiment, and his sub- 
sequent career as actor and manager, are too well known at 
this time to need any comment in these pages. The opening 
of the Adelphi Theatre, in December, 1835, was heralded 
in the " John Bull " paper as follows : 

" Mathews the younger, in partnership with Yates, ascends 
the managerial throne. A new piece from his own pen is 
announced for to-morrow, and the son of our popular fa- 
vourite appears before the public in a varied character. As 
architect, he can build theatres; as artist, he can paint 
the scenery ; as author, he can write the pieces — if he choose ; 
as actor, could perform them." 

* In a short piece written by himself, and in a drama, prepared for 
the occasion, called " The Old and Young Stager." I was present at 
this d6hiit. 



414 COUNT d'oBSAT's CORBSSrONDENCE WTTH 

LETTERS FROM COUNT D*ORSAT TO DR. FREDERICK FORSTBI 

QUIN. 

'' Aout 8, 1831, 8, Seamore Place, May Fair. 

*^ Cher et estimable Quin, R^g^n^rateur de l*hnmamt£ souf- 
frante ! Nouveau Fropli^te dont lea disciples s'essooflent i chan- 
ter Ics louanges, et qui finiront par triompher comme la civili- 
sation regnante ; comment se fait il que reus ouhlieB entiiireaieBt 
Totre disciple Alfred, n'attendez pas en rain Parrive d'an ange de 
ciel pour m'eclairer, mais d&roulez vos Papyrus pour y graver let 
progres de la marche gigantesque de cette methodui mtdmdi^ qui 
jointe a votre intelligence vous assure pour votre vieillesse on 
ombrage de Lauriers dont P^paisseur permettroit a peine qae 
vous soyez encore plus ^claire par le rayon de gloire que leCiel 
dirigera sur vous — Maintenant que je vous ai dit ma fiujon de 
penser a votre ^gard^parlons de moi,dans un style mmi laeompe, 

" Depuis mon arriv^ dans ce pays il ^toit difficile de pouToir 
donner un Fair Trial, k la methode, ^tant toujours oblige a diner 
de boire un yerre de vin, avec tous ceux qui ont 8oi£ Ainsi je Tai 
abandonne trop tot pour me guerir mais toujours i temps, poor 
me p^n6trer, que jusqu'a ce jour le genre humain a y6g^ an liea 
de vivre — II faut done que je recommence malgr^ que je sooflie 
moins ; repenetrez vous de ma sant^, consnltez tob oracles^ ec 
voycz a me reprendre en main comme vous Paviei &iL Jc 
suivrai ponctuellement vos avis, et vous aurei au mcMoala^bm 
d*avoir gucri^ un des trompettes de la renommee de la methods, 
et un ami sincere. Detaillez bien la mani^re de prendre ks re- 
medes, et prescrivez non pas en paraboles, mais dans yotre style 
persuasif. Notre ami Baillie est parti pour la Pologne, fl veflt 
voir dc pri^s^ ces victoires dont on parle beaucoup, et qui &*ar- 
rivent jamais ; il sera probablement arretj dans sa route par la 
troupes dc votre ancien ami et maitre le R<h des Beiges. Qw 
dites vous de son id^e, d'avoir accept^ le tronc da la Bdgiqae. 
Comme son ancien m^decin vous avez sans doute prescrift qiiel- 
que remede pour Ic faire appreci^ par* * lea braves Bdgca* 
Adieu^ brave Quin. Je vous serre la main non pas da tootei 
mes forces^ mais de tout mon cccur. 

'' Votre d^voui et sinodre ami, 

"ALPBXDD'OBaAT.'' 




DR. QUIN. 416 

" Chsb Quin, " Crockford, Minuit. 

" Je passe ma vie ^ votre porte, et si le Diable voas empor- 
Lt^ il ne pourroit le faire mieux que yons ne le faites. Au- 
ordhui j'ai et^ de bonne heure chez vous pensant tous attrap- 
iT, mais c'est en yain. Je voulais savoir quelques details de 

►tre entrevue avec ; car quoique j'ai moins 

amid^ pour lui depuis sa conduite a men egard, il faut ponr- 
Qt que je cause encore de lui avec vous. Vous avez beau 
d^fendre^ c'est Thomme le plus froid que la mer du nord, ait 
I Jeter sur les cdtes d'Angleterre. Son indifference le rend 
mplet sous ce rapport. Vous m'^chauffez la bile en le defen- 
int commas vous le faites. Je vous repfite qu'il n'a plus 
amitie pour moi, et qu'il a transfer^ son attachment sur mes 
jrens en France^ dont il a recemment fait la connaissance. Je 
i rencontr^ I'autre jour en sortant de chez vous et il m'a re9Q 
one mani^re si refroidissante, que le vent d*£st ne m'a pas 
chauffe depuis plusieurs jours. Je I'ai vu a I'opera I'autre 
ir, oil il n'a pas daign^ toumer la t6te pour me regarder. Je 

li rencontr6 chez le peintre C , oA il m'a regn si comique- 

ent que Bouff6 auroit et^ jaloux de ce rdle. Je I'ai vu chez 

>tre ami le Due de B , oil il m'a donne une main morte, 

lorsque je I'ai regarde (tres peu a la verite), j'avois peine il 
'n9evoir que c'^toit le mCme bon camarade avec lequel vous 
moi avons passe de si bonnes soir^es^ et eu de si agr^ables 
spirituellcs conversations. Vous me dites que c'est ma faute 
le nous ne sommes plus amis, et vous me grondez de my 
in skiUf et bien, pour me conformer a vos desires j'ai 6t6 trois 

is & sa maison. II etait sorti avec son polichinelle de . 

ufin au milieu de tout cela je suis assur^ de bonne part qu'il 
donne les airs d'imaginer que je me suis conduit mal pour 
i. Con9evez vous cela, bon Quin, vous qui savez ce qu'il en 
t, et combien j'avois de Tamitie pour lui. Je disire done que 
»us lui parliez : tachez de le voir — cela sera pourtant une chose 
sez difficile — car il se croit maintenant homme d'etat, destine k 
nir le gouvernail des affaires de la Grande Bretagne ; de sorte 
I'il est toujours entour6 d'un tas de courtisans lesquela flattent 
n amour propre et I'erapechent de se servir de son bon sens. 
Dmme il se leve a 8 heures du matin pour aller dejeuner avec 
Premier et qu'il se couche a 1' heure la nuit pour rever poli- 



416 COUNT d'orsat's correspondence with 

tique, choisissez adroitement an entre-acte, le fait est, bon Qain, 
que je suis assure qu'il a bcaucoup plus d*amiti^ pour roiu 
que pour moi maintenant, chose qui incontestablement pronfe 
son esprit et son jugement eclair^ ; mais qui est neamnoins pes 
fiatteur pour 

" Alfred D'Oksat." 

'* P.S. — Vous avez mon cher une manie insupportable, celle 
de toujours defendre les absens. Ne savez vous pas qu'il j t 
un proverbe fran9ais qui dit ' qve les absens ont tomjaurs Utrt* 
Cette mode dure toujours, et que diable ! vous qui £tes le 
pink of fashion, devez suivre la mode." 

"MercredL 

'' Viens done, drop in h. 7| heurs, nous comprendrons alon, 
ce que Ces Dames ne peuvent pas comprendre. II est ctcmnant 
que rhomme que nous aimons le mieux au monde, soit a pea 
pr^s celui que nous voyons le moins. £h bien ! T. F. a lenoontre 
mes parens a Paris et les a tellement blagufe sur son sadldi et 
admiration pour moi, qu'ils se sont imaging que c*Aoit on 
attacliement d'enfance, que je les avois cach£, c*est poortant i 
toi que je dois ce succ^s parmi toutcs les choses que je te dois. 
Scelerat d'homme. 

" D'Ohsat." 

''Paris, MardL 

" Je puis bien dire que dans toute ma vie je n'ai jamsM 
ressenti un aussi grand chagrin que celui de perdre, pour on in- 
stant memcy I'illusion que vous etiez mon plus sinc&re ami, tous! 
un ami d'enfance presque. Car Quin, nous sommes amis depnii 
1815, vous a qui je dois tant,meme plus que la vie, et moi qui ae 
reve qu*apr6s le jour ou je pourrai vous donner les preaves d'aae 
affection plus que fraternelle. Le monde est bien michant et 
bien envieux pour aller jusqu'a vouloir faire croire qoe voui 
£tes infidel a I'amitie, je pense, et mfimej'insiste pour que voui 

allicz voir D et que vous lui demandiez de ma part qui t 

eu Timpudence de lui parler ainsi de vous. Vous direi i D— 
que je n'ai pas pris la peine d'ecrire a I'egard de L , or 

je n'y attache pas d'importance. Vous, c'cst un cas tout paiti- 
culier. D m'ecrivoit ne comptez pas trop sur tea aaui 




DR. QUIN. 417 

d'Angletcrre. II me mettoit m^me en garde centre A 

pr&^isement dans le moment que je recevois deux lettres de 
lui dans la m£me semaine. Je n'ai pas pris la peine de releyer 
ancune de ces insinuations mais pour tous c'^toit trop fort, celi 
m'alloit droit au ccBur, Voyez le done je vous en prie. 

" Alfred." 

" P.S. — J'ai obtenu pour Mr. de C une des meilleures 

places que I'on puisse obtenir en France^ 16^000 francs par an, 
qu*on ne pent jamais lui 5ter ; et retraite pour lui et sa veuve. 
Done le mariage se fera le 22 de ce mois." 

" Samedi, 1849. 
" Quin ! Blagueur imperturbable ! depuis que tu vis dans 
une espece de Vatican^ en Mount Street, tu te donnes des airs 
comme le successeur des Caesars ne s'en donnent pas ; et tu 
fcris que je ne fais que m'amuser lorsque je travaille 8 heures 
par jour. Pensez done, qu'en m'arr^tant a ta porte c'est mon 
coBur qui m'arr^te * malgr6' bon gre (comme dit la celfebre 

Step ), et que c'est une chance de hasard que je cherche pour 

te voir puisque tu as la petitesse de nous abandonner. Oh Quin ! 
Peusse tu cru ! ! Oui je te plains comme un ceuf, de n'avoir pas 
vu ces dames depuis si long temps, et je te felicite dene m'avoir 
pas rencontre, car entre mon amitie si demonstrative, et mon 
courroux si intempestif je t' aurois remodelle ce qui auroit pu 
produire pent ^tre une belle statuette pour la galerie de ton 
Palais Quirinale. 

** La Comtesse chaque jour dit comme refrain, comme c'est 
drole que Quin ne vient pas et qu'il donne pour excuse qu'il 
est oblig6 d'aller voir des malades h Kensington. 

** Relis cette lettre souvent elle te poignardera si Pendroit 
sensible, car tu as du coeur Quin, mais je crains qu*il n'engraisse 

" Ton vieux Pupille, 

" D'Orsay.*' 

" Octobre 6, 1846. 
" Cher Quin, aimable ami ne m'ecris pas si souvent, car 
r^ellement je n'ai pas le temps de repondre a toutes tes let- 

* D'Orsay was labouring under an erroneous impression when he 
wrote this letter. 

VOL. I. KB 



418 COUNT d'orsay's correspondence with 

tres que tu ne m'envois pas. All ! tu ne trouves pis six benrei 
de disponibles pour faire une partie de campagne avec iioiii» 
et tu te sauves pour des semaines, plantant tous tea cboleniy 
et tous tes malades et amis inconsolables : aurois to sniYil'exem- 

ple de L , et serois — ^tu parti poor te marier. S'il en itoit 

ainsi je te soubaite heures et Bonbeur — bbct6 yilain humbug, 

'' Ton ami malgr^ tout, 

«« Alfred." 

" Gallant Uomo, 

" Non Cognosco lo il cuoco. C'est, — ^ chi 

m'a dctto ch^ era un Stupendo Kipostiere cuociBsimo. Aisn 
addressez yous a lui et ne mc compromettez paa. Car je ne 
recommandc les gens qu'a coup sftr ; et si vous vonlei abso- 
lumeut Tous assurer du m^rite de ce cuisinier voos pouTes en 
donnant un diner cbez vous, et en m'invitant £tre assur^ que je 
vous dirai exactement ce qu'il en est. 

" D'Orsat.- 

" Ce Vendredi, Juillet SO, 

" De P annee trente quatre de I'Homoeopatbie. 
*' C'cst sans doute parceque Je me porta comme le Pont 
ncuf que tu ne passe plus cbez moi — Je t'en prie, fais moi k 
grace dc penscr moins a V HomoBopathie et un pen plus i Tamir 
tit — Jy gagnerai — sans quoi, Je serai oblige de retomber ma- 
lade expres pour avoir le plaisir de te voir— ce n'est, oertes, 
pas une raison parceque tes doses sout si r^duites, que tea Tillies 
doivcnt so ressentir de la metbode. Adieu, brave Quin. 

** Est cc que tu as jure de ne jamais plus diner cbes noni, 
il ya si long tems qu'on ne te voit plus, que mafois jecommenoe 
a Ic croire 

" Tout & toi 

" Alfred.- 

'' Le 2 d'Avril, Kensingtim Gore. 

" Mauvais farceur db Quin, 

" Comme tu te smoqu6 de moi bier i C H ! 

et m'as fais avaler des betises et fais rire tout le monde I 




DR. QUIN. 419 

mes d^pens. Je ne sais diable comment tu fais, mais pas un 
dans toute la grande Bretagne a le talent de me mettre dedans 
comme toi, ayee tes sacrees histoires et ta mine si Comique- 
ment serieuse. J'avoue J'etais fairly sold mauvais plaisant 
que tu es ! Mais mon bon Quin je t'en prie ne vas pas dire 
comme tu as fait hier — en riant c'est vrai — que je commence a 
baisser c'est a dire que je nai plus autant d'esprit qu'autrefois — 
vois tu, si on rep6te cela dans le monde comme venant de toi, 
diable m'importe si on ne le croira pas, et il ya un tas d*imb6- 
cilles qui seront enchantes de te citer comme I'ayant dit, et 
badinage a part cela ne me conviendra pas da tout. Je veux 
conserver non seulement la reputation de I'esprit que j'ai, mais 
bien plus, tout I'esprit qu'on me prfite — comprends tu cela? 
Sois done bon enfant sans quoi, Je dirai partout que I'homoeo- 
patbie ne vaut rien. 

" Cependant Ingrat que tu es 

" Je suis malgre tout aujourd'hui comme, 
" Toujours ton ami k la vie k la mort, 

" Alfred D'Orsay." 

" 38, Rue de la Ville rEvfique, 

*• Paris, Mardi (Avril, 1849). ^ 
" J'ai eu un depart impr^vu, heureusement que je suis 
safe de ce cote. II a fallu que je me decide de partir a. 3h de 
la nuit pour ne pas manquer le Dimanche. Ces dames vous 
raconteront qu'une de mes premieres pensees ici a 6t6 pour 
vous. Vous le voyez par ce pen de mots — aimez moi toujours 
de loin, car je vous aimais bien de pr^s. 

" Votre meilleur ami, 

'' Alprbd." 

LETTRE DE M. ALFRED DE VIGNY AU COMTE D'ORSAY. 

" Je partois pour Birmingham, cher ami, lorsque j'ai re9u 
livre et billet de ta part — me voici en pleine forge a present, 
observant les Cyclopes dans leur antre — et j*en ai dejales mains 
noires. J'oublie Fodeur du charbon en lisant le voyage de Lady 

£ E 2 



420 COUNT d'oRSAY's CORRE8PONDEKCB WITH 

Blessington et il me semble que je respire un beau bouquet 
arriy6 de Florence. Je vois passer bien des noms que je con- 
nois et je serai heureux d*en parler ayec Pauteur de ce charmant 
livre et de gracieuses fantaisies. 

'' C'est une aimable chose que cette galerie de portraits qui 
commence par celui de la voyageuse. J'ai le peintre et les 
tableaux avcc moi, cela me Mt bien plaisir, ^ j' 7 reyiendrsi 
tous les jours. 

" Comme la patrie nous fait toujoars. Lady Blessington au 
milieu de Yenise^ n'a pas r^sist^ au plaisir de peindre une Csm- 
pagne Anglaise — c'^est un paysago, c'est un tableau de genre 
d'une y^rite cbarmante et dont I'etendu, montre le plaisir qu*elle 
prend a cette promenade ideale qu'elle prei%re bien an red 
yoyagc. Et ce pauyre Byron je le retrouve partout, grace i eUe. 
que jc laremcrcie d*en parler encore et en yers si melancoliques. 
Jc crois en y^rit^ qu'il se promene et s*asseoit entre elle et toL 
Gore House est son Westminster Abbey. Que c'est bien, que 
c*est rare de sayoir se souyenir ainsi — que Ton m^te d*£tze 
aime pour cela. Gardez ce souyenir de bonheur toute ta Tie. 

'^ N'oublie pas ton ami, 

'* Alfred j>n Vioky." 

LETTERS OF COUNT D*ORSAY TO R. R. MADDEN, AND SOMB 
CORRESPONDENCE IN RELATION TO HIS STATUETTES. 

** You must have seen by the newspapers that I have com- 
pleted a great work^ which creates a revolution in the Duke of 
Wellington's own mind^ and that of his family. It is a sta- 
tuette on horseback of himself, in the costume and at the age 
of the Peninsular war. They say that it will be a fortune for 
me, as every regiment in the service will haye one, as the Duke 
says publicly, that it is the only work by which he desires to 
be known, physically, by portraits. They say that he is Ytrj 
popular in Portugal and Spain. I thought possibly that yoa 
could sell for me the copyright at LisboUi to some specalatOTi 
to whom I would send the mould. What do you think of it? 
Inquire. 

••D'OBaAY." 




R. R. MADDEN. 421 

" Gore House, May 9, 1845. 

'• My dear Madden, 

" I wish that you would protect, with all your strength, 
power, and eloquence, the contemplated project of a rail-road 
between Lisbon and Madrid. The name is Yaughan et Cic ; 
my nephew, the Duke de Guiche, is one of the directors, and 

Tom Duncombe and General B will be the active men 

with the Portuguese government, as that government owes him 
a great deal of gratitude for his services, and Palmella and 

M are of opinion that he will succeed in obtaining the 

concession, because governments are very generous when they 
can oblige without putting their hands into their own pockets. 

B is going very soon to Lisbon ; he will see you, and you 

must aid him, and I am sure that you will be glad to do it. We 
have received the Portuguese papers that you sent me, and what 
is very curious is, that, without knowing one word of that lan- 
guage, or Spanish, I could understand them perfectly well. 

** Lord H is a great friend of B ; in fact, he is a 

great favourite at Lisbon, which will aid the undertaking. The 
old Instituteur of the King, and who is his Chamberlain, is de- 
voted to B ; Mr. Deutz, I think, his name is. 

" Lady Blessington sends you her kindest regards.* 

" Believe me always, 

" Yours most faithfully, 

•* Count D'Orsay." 

* Count D*Orsay, in the difficulties of his position in 1845, vainly 
looked to various visionary speculations for the means of extricating 
himself from emharrassments that were, in fact, overwhelming and 
insurmountable. A schedule of his liabilities, which I have seen, was 
prepared by him in 1845, with a view to some arrangement with his 
creditors, whose claims then amounted to £107,000 (and these claims 
did not comprise many debts to private Mends, which were not likely 
to be pressed, or which could not be enforced, probably amounting to 
about £13,000 more). In the event of such expected arrangement 
being made, an idea was entertained of procuring for him ** the benefit 
of the act *' — in plain terms, of declaring him a bankrupt ; but there 
were difficulties in the way, of identifying him with some legitimate 
commercial or agricultural pursuit. One of the most remarkable illu- 
sions at the period above referred to, which took possession of his 



422 d'orsay's correspondence with 

" Gore House, Thorsdaj. 
'' I was far to believe that ydu had bolted at once to Ire- 
landy particularly without saying adieu* 

" I hope that you won't find a ship direct for Havre. 

*' Miss Power has communicated your letter to me. It wu 
precisely about Tojal* that I wanted to speak to you. I know 
his man of business in the city, who deals largely for him in the 
funds. He has, I think, £200^000 in the Portuguese, and never 
gave the slightest hint as to any chance of ducomfitmre in that 
market. Certainly he must be wide awake as to hb own in- 
terests^ and must be in a good position as to feel the pulse of 
the administration. Does he see only one side of the question ; 
or is he one of those men who like to be blind ? Let me baTc 
a resume of the letter you showed me. 

" CouKT D'Obsat." 

'' Paris, May — , 1852. 
" My dbar Madden, 
** You go to St. Germain by the half-past twelve o'clock 
train from the Bue St. Lazare. You find a carriage at the sta- 
tion at St. Germain, which will take you for three firancs to 
Chambourcy and back. 

'^ Go to the curate, Mr. Penon, and say you come firom me. 
Send for the beadle, who will take you to the tomb, 

" Yours ever, 

" D'OnsAy.-f 

mind, was the hope of making a vast and rapid fortune, bj su 
in the attempt of the alchemists of old, of converUng the 1 
into gold ! Some foreign schemers and impostors had persuaded tbs 
Count they had discovered the great arcana of alchemy, and aU thst 
was wanted was the necessary funds to set to work. The poor Gount 
lived to see the folly of this speculation ; like that of many other 
schemes suddenly adopted in his difficulties, they began briUiantly, 
and ended in a bubble. 

* The Minister of Finance in Portugal, in 1 845. 

t The above note, the last I received, was written to me while Oi s 
visit to Paris, in the latter part of May, 1852, a few weeks only 1 
the death of poor D*Orsay : with it I received the key of the i 
of that tomb, in which the remains of Lady Blessington were < 




R. R. MADDEN. 428 

LETTERS FROM R. R. MADDEN TO COUNT d'oRSAY. 

" (1841), Sloane Square. 
'' My dear Count, 

'' I suppose a man like your classical friend, who had made 
the grand tour, and had sojourned a long time especially in 
southern Italy — finding himself alone in a spunging house in 
London, might thus soliloquise : * I have been all over Italy, 
travelled in vetturinos, swam in gondolas, sailed in feluccas, rode 
on cuccias, performed divers pedestrian feats in Romagna and 
Liguria. I have seen St. Peter's, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Vesu- 
vius, sauntered through the Vatican, made pilgrimages to lovers* 
tombs, and the sites of poets' birth-places : I have wandered 
among ruins of shrines and temples, lost myself in gorgeous 
palaces and great Gothic wildernesses of cathedral churches. 
I have been dazzled with the glories of the rising and the 
setting sun, on the bay of Naples, the Lago Magiore, the Gulf 
of Spezzio, the sea of the Mediterranean. I have drank in 
odours, without stint or measure, of sweet and fragrant flowers. 
I have been inebriated in orange groves with the perfumed air 
3f those trellised walks, with the interwoven branches of the 
nne, and mingling rose-buds. I have lived in the sweet south, 
aind felt some influences thereof in waking dreams and reveries, 
feeling as if my senses were overpowered with the ecstacy of 
their enjoyments, and my soul gave itself up to the illusions of 
this Italian life, as if it would never awaken to encounter its 
realities in a gloomy spunging house, in a narrow street in 
Liondon, redolent with vapours of stale porter, English gin, and 
the fumes of tobacco ; a locality with boundless contiguity of 
jhade afforded by surrounding brick walls, surmounted by chim- 
ney pots in various degrees of dilapidation.' 

"R. R. Madden." 

*' The announcement of your completion of a statuette of 
the Emperor of Russia, gave me no pleasure. The tendencies 
of art towards hero worship are rather too strong already. 

** I would have been better pleased to have heard you had 
been devoting your fine talents to the representation of some 
living philosopher, if there be one alive, or some nobleman of 



424 COUNT d'or8a\'s 

nature of a literary turn, or some hero, of humanity, if any fach 
are lefl among us^ than chiselling the poor innocent marble into 
the hard traits and facial angles of any great fighting fellow. It 
would be a small ambition to swell the throng of the hero wor- 
shippers of our times^ the idolaters of the war principle, the 
glorifiers of the work of AVaterloo or Warsaw. Don't be angry, 
my dear Count. 

"R. R.M." 

WORKS OF AET OF COUNT D*ORSAY. 

The three works of art which D'Orsay prided himadf 
on most, were the statuettes of the Emperor of Rnssia, 
Napoleon, and the Duke of Wellington, upon whidi the fol- 
lowing critical observations, made at the time of their appor- 
ance, may be interesting : — 

COUNT d'oRSAY's STATUETTE OF THE EMPEROR OF RUSSIA. 

*' The peculiar merits of the accomplished and veraatik artist 
are displayed to great advantage in the dignified air and car^ 
riage, soldier-like attitude of the Emperor; and the strong 
resemblance to the original, despite the smallness of the scak, 
and the difficulties of the material. Great skill is manifested 
in concealing the disproportion so manifest in the living 
figure, the excessive length of the lower extremity in re* 
lation to the trunk. The bright colour of the bronze, ap- 
proaching to the fine faintly obscured golden hues of the dd 
Florentine bronze castings, adds not a little to the cffoct flf 
this admirable statuette." 

COUNT d'oRSAY's EQUESTRIAN STATUETTE OF NAFOLEON. 



" The taste of Count D'Orsay has long been i 
the most polished circles of English society. In dress be bf 
led the fashion, wliilst, as an artist, he has evidenced r degree 
of talent very seldom met with in an amateur. Of kte he 
has surprised the world by a farther manifestation of 




WORKS OF ART. 425 

He has become a sculptor ; and by a series of briUiant sta- . 
tuettes of well-knowD characters^ has given still another proof 
of the diversity of his genius. The statuette of Wellington 
was illustrated some time since — we are now enabled, by his 
kind permission, to engrave the companion work of art, the 
statuette of Bonaparte, from a sketch furnished by Count 
D'Orsay himself. It has been drawn upon the wood by 
Gilbert, and engraved by Mr. W. G. Mason. The original is 
now at the birth-place of the conqueror. The Prince Demi- 
doff having presented to the town of Ajaccio this statuette of 
Napoleon, it has been placed in the grand salle of the Hotel 
de Ville. The following account of the ceremony observed 
on the occasion, is quoted from ' The Journal de la Corse/ 
of the 14 th of September: — * The equestrian statuette of the 
Emperor, by the Count D'Orsay, completes the small Napoleon 
Museum, which we owe to the munificence of Cardinal Fesch, 
which excites the admiration of all foreigners.* "* 

COUNT d'oRSAY's EQUESTRIAN STATUETTE OF HIS GRACE THE 
DUKE OP WELLINGTON. 

" It seems as if the veritable war-horse of Job's exclamation 
stood before us, * pawing the earth with his foot, and snuffing 
the battle afar off.' But still he obtrudes not himself into 
the subject-matter of the testimonial, except as an effective 
foil, impressing more strongly the ideas to be conveyed by the 
whole. Cool, reflecting, and observant, the Duke sits like a 
general who perceives the game already in his hand ; but how 
much more sagacious calmness does the action of his restive 
horse convey, by the comparison of very opposite characters 
thus forced upon the attention of the spectator. Neither 
must it escape observation, how much the depressed head and 
arching neck of the animal assist in producing that classic 

♦ The Pictorial Times. 



426 COUNT d'orsay's works of art. 

unity of effect which is produced in a grouped scene, when 
a pyramidal outline has been successfully preserved. In fea- 
tures and form the Duke is represented as he was a quarter 
of a century ago. The costume also is adapted to the time 
to which the statuette refers, and which may naturally be 
presumed to be the year of Waterloo. The two greatest 
generals of the day had not previously been actually opposed 
in personal command ; and as Napoleon's statuette, it is to be 
hoped, will always accompany our present subject, it is but 
right and proper, therefore, that these rival heroes should be 
represented as they contemporaneously appeared on that occa- 
sion, especially as, in future history, they will ever be mutually 
suggestive of each other's career. The costume dtosen 
strongly indicates the simplicity and truth of exalted genius. 
No blanket-like toga, or stirrupless lower limbs, detract from 
the dignity or the feeling of what ought to be the appoint- 
ments and dress of an English field-marshal on active ser- 
vice ; and we defy all comparison, for real classical effect, with 
all or any of the many sculptured absurdities in Greek or 
Roman attire, which a wretchedly snobbish taste has suc- 
ceeded in erecting in some of the finest situations in the me- 
tropolis. We admire exceedingly the character of the friezed 
cocked hat of the rank Count D'Orsay has chosen for his 
Wellington."* 

*' One of the last of the late lamented Count D'Orsay's 
studies was a statuette of the Duke on horseback, the first 
copy of which, in bronze, was carefully retouched and polished 
by the artist. The work is remarkable for its mingled grace 
and sprightliness. The Duke, sitting firmly back in his 
saddle, is reining in a pawing charger, charmingly modelled, 
and a peculiar effect is obtained by the rider dividing the rems» 
and stretching that on the left side completely bade over the 
thigh. Tlie portrait is good, particularly that of the fiill free 
♦ The rictorial Times. 




DEDICATION TO d'ORSAY. 427 

and very carefully finished, and the costume is a characteris- 
tically closely-fitting military undress, with hanging cavalry 
sabre.* Altogether, indeed, the statuette forms a most agree- 
able memorial, not only of the Duke, but, in some degree, of 
the gifted artist."! 

DEDICATORY LETTER OF SIR E. B. LYTTON TO COUNT 
ALFRED d'oRSAY. 

" My DEAR Count D'Orsay, 

" When the parentage of Godolphin was still unconfessed 
and unknown, you were pleased to encourage his first struggles 
with the world. Now, will you permit the father he has just 
discovered to re-introduce him to your notice ? I am sorry to 
say, however, that my unfilial offspring, having been so long 
disowned, is not sufficiently grateful for being acknowledged 
at last : he says, that he belongs to a very numerous family, 
and, wishing to be distinguished firom his brothers, desires not 
only to reclaim your acquaintance, but to borrow your name. 
Nothing less will content his ambition than the most public op- 
portunity, in his power, of parading his obligations to the most 
accomplished gentleman of our time. Will you then, allow him 
to make his new appearance in the world under your wing, and 
thus suffer the son, as well as the father, to attest the kindness 
of your heart, and to boast the honour of your friendship ? 
" Believe me, my dear Count D'Orsay, 
" With the sincerest regard, 

" Yours, very faithfully and truly, 

" E. L. B." 

♦ Mr. Walesby, of 5, Waterloo Place, London, has published Count 
D'Orsay's smaller and last equestrian statuette of the Duke of Wel- 
lington, in bronze. The statuette is sixteen inches in height, on a 
black marble pedestal, eighteen inches in height by twenty in width 
at the base, surrounding the edges of which are reposing lions, and a 
richly foliated wreath in bronze. 

t Morning Chronicle, Dec. 23, 1852. 



428 MEMOEIANDUM OP LiLDY BLBSSINGTON 



MEMORANDUM OF LADY BLESSINOTON RESPECTING THE 
EXPECTED APPOINTMENT OF COUNT D'oRSAT. 

In 1 84 1 , an effort was made to have Count D^Orsay appoinfe- 
ed to the office of secretary of the French embassy in Lradon. 
All the influence of Lady Blessington was brought to beir 
on those persons with whom the appointment rested, espedaDy 
on the Count St. Aulaire, the French ambassador at the Court 
of St. James's. In opposition to these views, it was bdiered 
by Lady Blessington, that parties had represented to the 
British sovereign, the Count D'Orsay in so unfavouTBbk a 
light, that her Majesty had raye the Count's name, when a 
list of invitations to a ball had been presented to her. 

Among the papers of Lady Blessington, there is a memo- 
randum of hers, embodying the objections which had been 
raised to the proposed appointment, and her views in rdatioa 
to them. 

*' With regard to the inventions relative to our Count, thm 
is not even a shadow of truth in them. Alfred never was 
presented here at Court, and never would, though I. as wd 
as his other friends, urged it ; his motive (for declining) bant, 
never having left his name at any of the French ambaasadon 
of Louis Philippe, (not even at Count Sebastiani's, a ooo- 
ncction of his own), or at Marshal Soult's, also neariy ooo- 
nected with his family, he could not ask to be presented it 
Court by the French ambassador, and did not think it right 
to be presented by any one else. Prince Ernest he nefcr 
knew, and consequently could not be presented by him ; nd 
the etiquette of not having been engaged to meet the Queea 
unless previously presented at Court, is too well known to 
admit of any mistake. The Countess ^ the danghtv 

of Nesselrode, could not be invited to a ball given bj tb 




ON d'orsay's expected appointment. 429 

ieanforts, because she had not previously been presented at 
yourt. I enter into these details merely to shew the utter 
alsehoods which have been listened to against Alfred, 
^ow with regard to his creditors, his embarrassments have 
«en greatly exaggerated ; and when the sale of the northern 
states in Ireland shall have been effected, which must be with- 
Q a year, he will be released from all his difficulties. In the 
Dean time he has arranged matters, by getting time from his 
reditors. So that all the fuss made by the nomination being 
»nly sought as a protection from them, falls to the ground. 
There has been much hypocritical prudery in the affair. When 

he Due de D fled London, and was lodged in a spung- 

ag house, my old friend, the Due de Laval Montmorency^ 
»aid the debt, 100,000 francs, and released him. He then, 
ifter this public exposure of his embarrassment, got himself 
lamed as attache here, to protect himself; and Lord Aberdeen, 
hen, as now, at the Foreign Office, when appealed to on the 
ubject, said he would do all in his power to save him from 
nnoyance. I mention all these facts to shew how ill Alfred 
las been treated. If the appointment in London is still 
leemed impracticable, why should not they offer him the 
Secretaryship at Madrid, which is vacant ? 

" Alfred entrusted the affair (of the appointment) to M 

nd W . He received positive assurances from both that he 

vovld receive an appointment in the French Embassy here, and 
hat it was only necessary, as a mere matter of etiquette, that 
5t. Aulaire was to ask for his nomination to have it granted. 
The assurances were so positive that he could not doubt them, 
ind he accordingly acted on them. The highest eulogies on 
Ufred's abilities, and power of rendering service to the French 
rovernment, were voluntarily pronounced to St. Aulaire by 

Liord B , the Duke of B , and other persons of 

listinction. M. St. Aulaire, not satisfied with these honourable 
estimonies, consulted a coterie of foolish women, and listening 



430 d'obsat's portraits. 

to their malicious gossiping, he concluded that the nomini- 
tion would not be popular in London, and so was afraid to 
ask for it. 

'' It now appears that the Foreign Office at Pkuis is an in- 
quisition into the private affairs of those who have the mis* 
fortune to have any reference to it ; a bad plan when dem 
men are so scarce in France, and particularly those wdl bom 
and well connected : a government like the present sbouU be 
glad to catch any such that could be had. 

" Margt. Blbssimgton.'' 

COUNT d'oRSAT and RICHARD J. LANS. 

The most eminent of English lithographic artists, Richard 
J. Lane, Esq., was a very intimate friend of the Count. Tlie 
portrait drawings by the late Count D'Orsay, to the extent of 
one hundred and forty representations of the celebrities of the 
Villa Belvedere, the Palazzo Negroni, the Hotel Ney, So- 
more Place, and Gore House, were lithographed by Mr. Lue^ 
and published by Mr. Mitchell of Bond Street. This col- 
lection is so remarkable, and includes so many pcvtrsits of 
eminent persons which are in vain to be sought for elsewfacR, 
that it would appear desirable to have a correct list of thou 
admirably executed portraits laid before the public. 

count d'orsay's portraits. 

Mr. Mitchell of Bond Street has published a series of the 
portrait drawings, by the late Count D'Orsay, hitherto lunitod 
to private circulation : the entire series, with the ezoeptioD of 
about twenty, is now given to the public, and has been i^ 
ceived with general admiration. 

Lord Byron. Count Alfred Vidil. 

La Comtcssc Guiccioli. M. Liszt. 




D ORSAT S PORTRAITS. 



431 



Marquess of ConyngbaiiL. 
Earl of Durham. 
Rt. Hon. B. D'Israeli, M.P. 
Colonel Stanhope. 
Viscount Enfield. 
Count Matushevitz. (2)* 
Lord Allen. 

Sir William Massey Stanley. 
Theodore E. Hook, Esq. 
Thomas Carlyle, Esq. 
William Jerdan, Esq. 
Lord Dudley Stuart. 
R. M. Milnes, Esq., M.P. 
Tyrone Power, Esq. 
Sir C. Cunningham Fairlie. 
Sheridan Knowles, Esq. 
Albany Fonblanque, Esq. 
Alfred Montgomery, Esq. 
Lord Alfred Paget. (2) 
Captain Lock. 
Dr. Ferguson. 
Captain Home Purves. 
Countess of Chesterfield. 
Hon. Mrs. G. Anson. 
G. J. Guthrie, Esq. 
Earl of Malmesbury. 
Lord Fredk. Fitz-Clarence. 
Colonel Tyrwhitt. 
Viscount Powerscourt. 
Sir Philip Crampton. 
Sir Willoughby Cotton. 
Hon. William Cowper, M.P. 
Hon. James Macdonald. 
Hon. Major-Gen. Anson. 
Emperor Napoleon III. (2) 
The late Lord Canterbury. 



Ambrose Isted, Esq. 
Colonel John Lyster. 
Charles Standish, Esq 
Sir Harry Goodricke. 
George Herbert, Esq. 
Little Gilmour, Esq. 
Earl of Lichfield. 
The Count D'Orsay. (S) 
Marquees of Normanby. 
Earl of Chesterfield. 
Duke of Beaufort. 
Marquess of Worcester. (2) 
Duke of Wellington. 
Lord Anglesey. 
Earl of Enroll. 
Viscount Maidstone. 
Hon. C. Stuart Wortley. 
Hon. C. W. Forester. 
C. C. Greville, Esq. 
Sir G. WombwelL 
Marquess of Hastings. 
Earl of Wilton. 
Earl of Pembroke. (2) 
Sir Henry Mildmay. 
Captain Mildmay. 
Viscount Cantilupe. 
Earl of Bessborough. 
M. Eugene Sue. 
M. Berry er. 
Hon. Charles Gore. 
F. Sheridan, Esq. 
C. Sheridan, Esq. 
Countess of Tankerville. 
Due de Grammont. 
R. Knightley, Esq. 
Colonel Gurwood. 



* The number after the portrait denotes more than one drawing of 

the same person. 



432 



d'orsay's portraits. 



Lord Lyndhurst. 

Sir Edw. Lytton Bulwer, Bt. 

Lord Elphinstone. 

Lord Jocelyn. 

Trelawney, Esq. 

Walter Savage Landor, Esq. 

Major F. Mouatjoy Martyn. 

Count Kielroansegge. (£) 

Charles Dickens, Esq. 

Mr. Dowton. 

Hon. A. Villiers. 

Viscount Ossulston. 

Comte do Grammont. 

Due de Guiche. 

Comte Valentine Esterhazy. 

Miss Marguerite Power. 

Countess of Blessington. 

Marquess Wellesley. 

Dwarkanauth Tagore. ] 

The Hon. Captain Rous. 

Hon. John Spalding. 

Comte de Noailles. 

Dr. Quin. 

Dr. Currie. 

Vicomte d'Arlincourt. 

Baroness Calabrella. 



Hon. Spencer Cowpcr. 
Sir Henry L. Bulwer. 

A. B. Cochrane, Esq. 
Mr. W. Anderaon. 
M. J. Higgins, Esq. 
Ralph Osborne, Esq. 
Prince Moskowa. 
M. Sulemein* 
Count Bjomstjema. 
H. Lnttrell, Esq. 
John Bushe, Esq. 
Lord Clanricarde. 
John Listen, Esq. 
Hon. Frederick Byng. 

B. Lumley, Esq. 
Mrs. Romer. 
George Jones, Esq. 
Captain Marryatt. 
Colonel Hunter Blair. 
S. Ball Hughes, Esq. 
Mrs. Maberly. 

Lord George Bentinck. (2) 
Hon. G. Barrington. 
M. Girardin. 

Hon. Colonel C. B. Fhippt. 
Sir Edwin Landseer.* 



Knowing the great esteem and respect in which Mr. Lane 
was deservedly held by Count D'Orsay, on account of hb 
worth and probity, no less than on account of his great merit 
as an <artist and lithographer ; I addressed a note to him, 
stating I was aware how intimately acquainted he had long 
been with Count D'Orsay, and requesting such aid and infor- 
mation as might help to enable me to set D'Orsay belSnre die 
English public in a better light than that of a nnere man of 

* Each portrait may be had separately at Mr. Mitcheirs, price ^» 
but the work complete at As. each. Size — 14 inches high, 10^ i 
wide. 




LETTER PROM R J. LANE. 4S3 

shion, an arbiter elegantiarum of modish circles, a wit even 
a quasi artist, feeling he could jump into art with as much 
se and elegance as he could vault into his saddle. And as 
e world had plenty of evidence of that sort of eminence and 
;ility, I sought such testimony rather as might shew him to 
ive been something more and better than an exquisite or a 
lettanti ; — of his being an original thinking man, of some 
ble qualities, of a large heart, and a kindly, generous dis- 
sition. 

:TTER from RICHARD J. LANE, ESQ. TO R. R. MADDEN, ESQ. 

" 3, Osnaburgh Terrace, October 27, 1854. 
" Dear Sir, 
" The request that you have made, imposes on me a duty, 
lich I will endeavour to fulfil in a manner to do justice to the 
3mory of Count D'Orsay, on those points on which you have 
ked my opinion. 

" As a patron, his kind consideration for my interest, and 
ompt fulfilment of every engagement, never failed me for 
3Te than twenty years of my association with him ; and the 
endship that arose out of our intercourse, (and which I attest 
ith gratitude), proceeded at a steady pace, without the smallest 
eck, during the same period ; and remained unbroken, when 
I his final departure from England, he continued to give m*^ 
ch evidence of the constancy of his regard, as will be found 
nveyed in his letters. 

" In the sketches of the celebrities of Lady Blessington's 
Ions, which he brought to me, (amounting to some hundred 
id fifty or more), there was generally an appropriate expres- 
)n and character, that I found difficult to retain in the process 
' elaboration ; and although I may have improved upon them 

the qualities for which I was trained, I often found that the 
lal touches of his own hand alone made the work satisfactory. 
" Of the amount and character of the assistance of which the 
ount availed himself, in the production of his pictures and 

VOL. I. F P 



434 d'orsat's lettem 

models, I have a clear notion ; and I rejoice to think that you 
will make evident before your readers, what I beliere I hare 
already impressed on you. 

^' When a gentleman would rush into the practice of that 
which, in its mechanism, demands experience and instruction, 
he avails himself of the help of a craftsman, whose services are 
sought, for painting-in the subordinate parts and working out 
his rude beginnings. In the first rank of art, at this day, are 
others who, like the Count D'Orsay, have been unprepared, 
excepting by the possession of taste and genius, for the practice 
of art, and whose merits are in no way obscured by the assirt- 
ance which they also freely seek in the manipulation of their 
works ; and it is no less easy to detect, in the pictures of the 
Count, the precise amount of mechanical aid which he has re- 
ceived from another hand, than the graces of character and 
feeling that are superadded by his own. I have seen a rough 
model, executed entirely by himself, of such extraordinary - 
power and simplicity of design, that I begged him to have it 
moulded, and not to proceed to the details of the work, until he 
could place this first model side by side with the cast in day. 
to be worked up. He took my advice, and hia equestriaa 
statue of the first Napoleon may fairly justify my opinion. 

'' For art, he had a heartfelt sympathy, a searching eye, and 
a critical taste, fostered by habitual intercourse with ■omeof ovr 
first artists. 

'* I cheerfully place at your disposal one letter of his, espe- 
cially valued by me, of the 21st Feb. 1850, and another very 
remarkable letter, written from Paris, soon after the elevatioa 
of the Prince Napoleon Louis to the Presidency of the Frendi 
Republic. 

" I have the honour to remain, 
" Dear Sir, 
" Your very faithful servant, 

** RiCHABD J. LaVI.'' 

LETTERS FROM COUNT d'oRSAY TO RICHARD J, LAMB, IM 
" I rejoice to read your opinions of the Prince. I weQie- 




TO R. J. LANS, ESQ. 435 

member the circumstance you mention/ and his visits to you 
when you did my two lithographs of him.f. . . . 

"... .The last election was even more wonderful than the 
first, for then he had the whole army with him. llefy upon it, 
he will do more for France than any Sovereign has clone for the 
last two centuries f if only they give him time*^X 

" Paris, February 81, 1850. 
" My dear Lane, 
• " I cannot really express to you the extent of my sorrow 
about your dear and good family. You know that my heart is 
quite open to sympathy with the sorrows of others. But judge 
therefore, how it must be, when so great a calamity strikes a 
family like yours, which family I always considered one of the 
best I ever had the good fortune to know. What a trial for 
dear Mrs. Lane, after so many cares, losing a son like yours, 
just at the moment that he was to derive the benefit of the good 

* I reminded him that, on the morning of the day of the first elec- 
tion of the President, he came to my house before church time, and 
diverted me from graver duties, to listen to his confident anticipations 
of the result of that memorable day. ** Think," said he, *' what is the 
ordinary November weather in Paris : and here is a beautiful day. I 
have watched the mercury in my garden. I have seen where is the 
wind, and I tell you, that on Paris is what they will call the sun of 
Austerlitz. To-morrow you shall hear that, while we are now talking, 
they vote for him with almost one mind, and that he has the absolute 
majority." — R, J. L. 

t October, 1839. 

X D'Orsay's efforts to gain over public opinion in England for Louis 
Napoleon were as unceasing as his endeavours to inspire private friends 
with favourable sentiments in relation to the Prince and his pretensions. 
I have a letter of his now before me, dated the 18th of June, 1846, 
addressed to a literary man of great eminence, connected with one of 
the leading London newspapers, earnestly entreating of him to use his 
influence with some of the principal writers in the London journals, 
and editors of them, to get them to abstain from writing against Louis 

Napoleon. ** Do you think," (he says) ** you could prevent to 

write these atrocious, false nonsenses against Prince Napoleon ? The 

fact is, that is the ame (famn^ de Guizot and Louis Philippe, and 

the articles upon France are a great dealmore than ridiculous." — R. R. M, 

F F 2 



436 d'orsat's gore house picture. 

education yoa gave him. Poor Miss Power is very mnch af«« 
fected^ I assure you. There is no consolation to offer. The 
only one that I can imagine, is to think continually of the person 
lost^ and to make oneself more miserable by thinking. It is, mo* 
rally speaking, an homoeopathic treatment^and the only one which 
can give some relief. You cannot form an idea of the wulage^ 
ment that I found, in occupying myself in the conntry (at Cham- 
bourcy) in building the monument which I have erected to dear 
Lady Blessington's memory. I made it so solid and so fine, 
that I felt all the time that death was the reality, and life only 
the dream of all around me. When I hear any one making 
projects for the future, I laugh, feeling as I do now, that we 
may to-morrow, without five minutes' notice, have to follow 
those we regret. I am prepared for that, with a satisfiurtorj 
resignation. I am sure that you have those feelings. Give mj 
most afiectionate regards to your dear family, and believe me 
always — far or near, 

" Your sincere friend, 

" D'Orsat.- 

COUNT d'oRSAY's GORE HOUSE PICTURE. 

A garden view of Gore House, the residence of the lite 
Countess of Blessington, with portraits of the Duke ci Wd- 
lington. Lady Blessington, the Earl of Chesterfidd, Sir 
Edwin Landseer, Count D'Orsay, the Marquis of Douro (now 
Duke of Wellington), Liord Brougham, the Miss PowciSi 
&c. &c. 

In the foreground to the right are the Duke of WelUngtoB 
and the Countess of Blessington ; in the centre. Sir Edwin 
Landseer seated, who is in the act of sketching a fine oov, 
which is standing in front with a calf by its side, while Count 
D'Orsay, with two favourite dogs, is seen on the right of ibe 
group, and the Earl of Chesterfield on the left ; netrer ibe 
house, the two Miss Pow*ers (nieces of Lady Blessington) in 
reading a letter, a gentleman walking behind. Further lo the 
left appear Lord Brougham, the Marquis of Douro, &c., i 




GENERAL COUNT d'oRSAY's STATUARY, ETC. 487 

under a tree in conversation. On canvas^ three feet eight 
inches by three feet two inches, in a noble gilt frame. 

This interesting picture, one of the favourite productions of 
Count D'Orsay, was sold at the Gore House sale in 1849, 
and is now in the possession of Mr. Thomas Walesby, No. 5, 
Waterloo Place, London. 

Statuary, Vases, and Bronzes, the property of General Count 
D'Orsay, the father of Count Alfred, confiscated in 1793, 
and appropriated by the state ; claimed by the Count in 
July, 1844. 

CONSULTATION POUR M. LE COMTE d'oRSAY CONTRE LA 
LISTE CIVILE. 

" M. Pierre Gaspard Marie Grimed, Comte d'Orsay, d'Autrey, 
et Nogent-le-Rotrou, Baron de Rupt, Seigneur de la princi- 
paut^ souveraine de Delaine et autres lieux en Tranche Comte, 
Seigneur D'Orsay Courtaboeuf, laPlesse, les Villefeux, etc. etc., 
et qui comptait au nombre de ses aieux maternels le Due de* 
Sully, ministre et ami de Henri IV., ne put echapper aux me- 
sures revolutionnaires qui en 1793 mena9aient la noblesse 
Fran5aise. Attaint par les lois rendues contre les emigres, ses 
biens furent confisques par I'etat et mis sous le s^questre. 

" Lors de son emigration, M. le Comte d'Orsayetait propri6- 
taire, entre autres biens, de I'hdtel d'Orsay situ6 h Paris Rue 
de Varennes, Faubourg St. Germain, et de la terre seigneuriale 
d'Orsay pres de Palaiseau, arrondissement de Versailles, et dont 
depcndait un chateau considerable, et aussi c616bre par le luxe 
de sa construction que par les souvenirs historiques qui s'at- 
tachaient. 

" L'hotel et le chateau d'Orsay, les jardins et le pare qui en 
faisaient partie, contenaient une grande quantity de statues, de 
groupes, de bustcs, et de vases, en marbre et en bronze, d'une 
immense valeur, que la famille du Comte D'Orsay y avait reunis 
a grands frais, et que ce dernier avait augment^ encore par les 
nombreuses acquisitions qu'il avait faites en Italic en 1780, avec 
le goClt qui a toujours 6t6 Tapanage de cette illustre maison. 



438 GENERAL COUNT D'oRSAY's 

'* Maitre de cette collection pr&ieuse et unique, le GouTer- 
nement Fran9ai8 se garda bien de la vendre. U la oonserra 
avec le plus grand soin, et bientot apr^ en enrichit set mutfefl, 
ses palais, et leurs jardins. Flusieurs des statues, gnmpcs, 
bustes, vases qui se trouvent aujourdliui dans les palais et les 
jardins des Tuileries du Luxembourg et de St. Cloud, qui en 
font Pornement, et qui sont Tadmiration des artistes et des 
Strangers, out appartenu a la riche collection de M. Le Comte 
d'Orsay 

" Nous pensons done, qu'en fait comme en droit, M. le Comte 
Alfred d'Orsay, par r6pr&entation de M. le Lieutenant-G^fral 
Comte Albert d'Orsaj, son p^re, est fonde dans sa r^clamatioii 
contre la liste civile ou le domaine de TEtat, qui est en oe 
moment en possession des objets d*art confisquds pendant Is 
revolution sur M. Pierre Marie Gaspard Comte d'Orsay, son 
aieul. 

" D61ib^r6 & Paris le 7 JuUlet 1844 
*' Charles Lgdru, 

'' Avocat a la Cour Royale de Paris.* 

'' Catalogue des Statues, Croupes, Bustes, Yaaes, Fats de 
Colonnes, Gaines en Bronze et en Marbre, Appartenanb i 
Monsieur le Comte D'Orsay. 

" D'apres le Catalogue imprim^ qu'en avait fSsdt fiure M, le 
Comte D'Orsay pere, avant la Revolution en 1791 ; et Tindici- 
tion des lieux, &c., ou ces differents objets se trouvent plac6. 

** Ces divers objets d*art furent saisis dans THotel da Comte 
D'Orsay pendant la Revolution Francaise, et pla(^ dans ki 
Palais Nationauz. 

Bronzes. 

ApoUon du Belvedere, fondue a Rome par Villadier ; i Is 
Malmaison. — Antinoiis, fondue iL Rome par le m6me : Jardin 
des Tuileries. — Une Amazone; iL la Malmaison.-* Man ca 
Repos, fondue h, Rome par Villadier; aux Invalidet.— Deos 
Bustes, Tun de femmc ; k la Biblioth^ue MasarinA : I'aatre ca 
recherche. — Louis XV., donn£ h la section par an 




STATUARY, VASES, AND BRONZES. 439 

d'affaires de mon pere. — Deux Vases, restes dans rH6tel. — 
Deux Girandoles ; restees dans THotel. — Deux Girandoles ^ 
idem. — Neptune au Milieu d*un Rocher ; rest^ dans le Jardin 
de THdtel. — Un Casque ; en recherche. — ^Un Mascaron D'Eole 
qui soutenait le Mercurc, en bronze, qui a 6t6 vol^ dans le 
jardin de mon p^re ; au Museum. 

Figures et Groufes, en M arbres blancs et de 

COULEUR. 

Lucius Yerus, statue colossale antique ; au Museum, salle des 
fleuves. — ^Auguste Empereur, grande statue moderne ; Vestibule 
dtt Luxembourg. — Minerve, petite statue de 4 pieds en albatre 
Oriental antique ; en recherche. — L' Amour et Psych6, groupe 
moderne, fait h Rome par Belaitre, et son pi^destal ; Galerie 
des tableaux du Luxembourg. — Athalante et Hyppomfene, 
group en marbre; Jardin de St. Cloud. — Apollon et Marcias, 
groupe moderne en piedestal; Magasins du Luxembourg. — 
Castor et Pollux, groupe moderne; Jardin des Tuileries. — 
Bacchus et un Faune, groupe moderne ; Jardin des Tuileries. — 
Arfethuse et un autre groupe moderne. — Phedre et Hyppolite, 
groupe — N6ron grande statue antique ; au Museum. — Un Cen- 
taure sur son piedestal ; Jardin de St. Cloud. — Deux Petites 
Figures Antiques, Tune au musee, Tautre dans les Magasins du 
Mus6e.— L'Amiti6, statue (sous le No. 107) ; Galerie des^ Tab- 
leaux du Luxembourg. — Antinous petite statue antique; au 
Museum. — Apollon (petite statue) tenant la lyre, antique; 
Magasin du Musee. — Venus Anadiomfede antique ; Jardin du 
Luxembourg. — Bacchus statue antique ; en recherche. — C6r^s, 
statue moderne ; Jardin du Luxembourg. Achille, statue an- 
tique ; au Musee. — C^rfes une statue antique ; Jardin du Lux- 
embourg. — Coriolan, statue moderne ; idem. — Antinous, statue 
moderne. — C^res, statue moyenne antique ; au Musee. — Venus 
Victrix, statue moyenne antique ; idem. — Apollon, petite statue 
antique ; idem. — Venus de Mfedicis, copie. — Appoline. — V6nus 
Callipige. — Le Gladiateur Bless6 ; Jardin de St. Cloud. — 
Hercule Farn^se, petite statue. — Deux Prfitesses. — Deux Figures 
Modernes, une Bacchante et un Faune; Appartemens des 
Tuileries. — Deux Autres Figures Modernes, JSacchus et Flore; 



440 LORD AND LADY CANTERBUET. 

en recherche. — M^daillon D'Antinous; re8t6 dans THAteL— 
Deux Lions, modemes ; h, Tentr^e des Toileriefl dans le Jirdim 
— Deux Sphinx, vendus. 

84 Bustes de Marbre Blanc sur leors Gaines, Groupet eft 
Figures au Magasin de Louvre Magasin de Mus^e — anx 

Tuileries restes dans PHotel. 



Vases, Colonnes, et Piedestaux en Mabbrb. 

37 Vases Magasin de Luxembourg — au Musie aux Tuileries 
— rest& dans THdlel. 

*' Un Grand Vase, form de M^dids, avec un baa-relief, re- 
presentant le sacrifice du Minotaure, sur un fut de celonne 
Torse, le tout antique en marbre de Pares ou Pant^liqoe ; as 
Mus6e, vestibule au bas de I'escalier. 

*' II se trouve aussi dans le Musee trente-six fdts de colonnci 
cannel^s en marbre blanc vein^ qui peuvent valoir SOOf. piece. 

'^ Quarante-dcux gaines plaqu&^s en marbre de diflMrentef 
coulcurs qui peuvent valoir 150f. pidce. 

'^ II se trouve ^ Versailles une statue en marbre blanc dsu 
Tatelier du marbrier venant du ch&tean, et destinfei £tre placfc 
au tombeau de Madame la Comtesse D'Orsay, la m^re. 

" Portraits de famille a Versailles, entr'autes celui de Ma- 
dame la Comtesse D'Orsay, sa mfere. 

'' Plusieurs tableaux provenants du ch&teau D'Onay, ii 
Versailles. 



No. II. 

A BRIEF NOTICE OF LORD AND LADY CANTKRBURT. 

The Right Honourable Charles Manners Sutton, son of the 
most Reverend Charles Manners Sutton, Lord Archbishop of 
Canterbury, was born in 1780. Being destined for the pro- 
fession of the law, he was placed at an early age at Eton, 
where he passed some years, and completed his education it 




LORD AND LADY CANTERBURY. 441 

Trinity College, Cambridge, and having taken the degree of 
Bachelor of Arts in 1802, he entered as a student at Lin- 
coln's Inn, and was called to the bar in 1805. For some 
years he practised in the Court of King's Bench. He entered 
Parliament in 1807, for the borough of Scarborough, which 
he represented till 1832, when he was returned for the uni- 
versity of Cambridge. He was appointed Judge Advocate in 
1809. In 1817, he was chosen Speaker of the House of 
Commons, on the retirement of Mr. Abbott. A perfect know- 
ledge of the forms of the House, admirable capacity for busi- 
ness, fairness in the discharge of his duties acknowledged by 
all parties, a noble, prepossessing, and commanding appear- 
ance, a fine clear, sonorous voice, an air of hilarity, and appear- 
ance of bonhommie, and excellent temper, were the distin- 
guishing characteristics of the new speaker ; and with these 
advantages, and the possession of the respect and regard of all 
parties in the House, though chosen by a Tory parliament on 
two successive occasions, he was proposed by a Whig admi- 
nistration for the speakership. In November 2, 1830, on the 
meeting of the new parliament, the Duke of Wellington being 
Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Mr. Manners Sutton was 
again chosen speaker of the House of Commons. The celebrated 
Reform ministry. Lord Grey being first Lord of the Treasury, 
was installed in ofBce the 22nd of the same month. 

Mr. Sutton occupied his office from 1817 till 1835, when 
Mr. Abercromby was chosen by a majority of ten. 

A little later, he was called to the upper House, and shortly 
after appointed to the office of High Commissioner for ad- 
justing the claims of Canada, but resigned the office without 
entering on its duties. 

In 1811, Lord Canterbury married a daughter of John 
Dennison, Esq., of Ossington, Nottinghamshire (who died in 
1815), by whom he had issue: — 

1. Charles John, the present Viscount, born in 1812. 



442 LORD AND LADT CANT£RBUBT. 

2. John Henry Thomas (formerly Under-Secretarj of State 
for the Home Department), bom in 1814. 

3. Charlotte Matilda (who married Richard Sanderson, 
Esq., M.P., in 1833). 

His Lordship married secondly, the 6th of December, 
1828, Ellen, daughter of Edmond Power, and widow of 
John Home Purves, Esq., of Purves HaU, N. B., and by her 
had issue : — 

1. Frances Diana, bom in 1829. 

2. A son, born in 1831, who died in infimcy. 

His Lordship was seized with apoplexy, while travelling on 
the Great Western Railway, and conveyed to Paddingtoa 
in a state of insensibility. He was removed to the house of 
his younger son, in Southwick Crescent, where, having fin- 
gered in the same unconscious condition for three daya, he 
died, in his sixty-sixth year, in July, 1845. His remains 
were interred at Addington, with those of his father, the late 
archbishop. 

Probate of the will of the late Viscount Canterbury wn 
granted to his second son, the Hon. H. T. Manners Sutton, 
one of the executors, on the 16th Febmary, 1846. His Lord- 
ship directed at the death of the Viscountess (who sunrived 
him only four months), the sum of £20,000, the dividends 
of which constituted her jointure, should be divided in four 
parts ; his eldest daughter taking first therefrom £1000, ap- 
propriating to l)is two sons one-fourth part each, and the re- 
mainder to his youngest daughter. He directed also the sum 
of £75,000, settled on him for life on his first marriaget 
should be equally divided amongst his two sons and eldest 
daughter, the issue of that marriage. All other property 
not specially disposed of, to be divided into four parts between 
the Viscountess, the two sons, and youngest daughter. Of 
Lady Canterbury, a few words remain to be said. 

Ellen, the third daughter of Edmond Power, of Cunag* 




LORD AND LADY CANTERBURY. 448 

heeOy and' younger sister of Lady Blessington, was born ^ 
Knockbrit, in the county of Tipperary, in 1791. 

She was one year, at least, younger than her sister Margue- 
rite; and, in early life, surpassed the latter in beauty and 
gracefulness, though not in intellectual powers. Miss Ellen 
Power grew up to womanhood, surrounded by the same un- 
happy influences and unfavourable circumstances in her 
father's house as her sister had to contend with. 

In 1804, Mr. Edmond Power having been prosecuted by 
Mr. Bagwell, of Kilmore, for a libel published in the " Clon- 
mel Gazette," written by Solomon Watson, a Quaker mer- 
chant of Clonmel, in favour of the views and interests of Lord 
Donoughmore, a verdict was given against Pow^ for £400 
damages. This occurrence brought the embarrassed affairs of 
Power to the verge of ruin. 

Mr. Power's house had long been the resort of the yoimg 
squirearchy of the vicinity, the professional people of Clonmel, 
who were the adherents of the Hutchinson family and that of 
Lord Llandaff, and of the military officers stationed in the 
town. 

Miss Ellen Power's personal attractions had rendered her 
at a very early age an object of general admiration. She 
was in the habit of accompanying her, sisters to balk and par- 
ties in the town of Clonmel and its vicinity, and to a sort of 
subscription soirees, which were given at particular seasons in 
the town of Tipperary, and were called " Coteries." There 
are persons living who remember meeting the beautiful Miss 
Powers at those parties, and recall the pleasure they expe- 
rienced in dancing with them. 

A Mr. Scully has a vivid and pleasing recollection of the 
" Coteries," and his fair partners from Clonmel. Miss Mar- 
garet Power was an admirable dancer — the excellence of her 
taste and dress, and the elegance of her costume, were never 
equalled at the " Coteries," even by her sister. But Miss 



444 LORD AND LADY CANTERBURY. 

Ellen Power surpassed all the belles of those parties in the 
symmetry of her slight form, and the quiet, simple beauty of 
her calm marble-like features, which had all the repose and 
perfection of outline of a finely-sculptured bust of a Gredan 
divinity. 

Yet her sister Margaret, then far less beautiful, had the art 
of drawing attention, from all surrounding competitors fiir 
admiration. 

The difference in the manners of the two fair sisters is dfr> 
scribed as being remarkable, by persons who have a livriy 
recollection of them at the period referred to. Margaret 
always manifested that desire to please, which gave a piquant 
character of agreeable coquetry to her agremens of conversa- 
tion and deportment in after-life, and which reminds one of 
a distinction she drew in one of those aphorisms which she 
was in the habit of setting down in the •' Night Thought" 
books, between coquetry and a laudable desire to please : 

*' The desire to please half accomplishes its object, and is 
in itself praiseworthy, when self-gratification is not the aim 
or end of it. Yet has it often been mistaken for coquetiyi 
from which it totally differs. The first extends to our own 
sex as much as the other, while the second is addressed peca* 
liarly to the male. The woman who desires to please^ spreads 
a charm over the circle in which she moves : the coquette 
merely gratifies the vanity of men, by evincing her wish to 
attract them." 

And elsewhere, in one of the same MS. books : — 

" A desire to shine proceeds from vanity, but a desire to 
please proci^eds from bienviellance. Without the latter <&- 
position, no woman was ever loved, or man was ever populur.** 

Ellen Power manifested neither the de^re to shine, nor an 
anxious solicitude to please. She seemed conscious of being 
entitled to admiration, and in receiving it sometimes seemed 
as if it would have cost her no great effort to spurn iL 




LORD AND LADY CANTERBURY. 445 

AH persons who remember the daughters of Edmond 
Power from 1804 to 1807, concur in an observation, that it 
was surprising to see girls so little indebted to the advantages 
of education, rank, and fashion, in society, in their manners, 
carriage, and attire, appear on a par with ladies of the highest 
rank — " there was a natural gentility and refinement about 
them, which had no air of aflfectation whatsoever in it." 

Miss Ellen Power had no lack of admirers, however, and 
of oflFers of marriage, some of which had been declined by her, 
or by her family, about the period of her sister's separating 
from her husband. 

Among the admirers of Miss Ellen Power, was the Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel of the Tyrone Militia, Colonel William Stew- 
art, of Killymoon, near Cookstown, in the county of Tyrone, 
who had made her acquaintance between 1806 and 1807. 
The Colonel was a large landed proprietor, an intimate friend 
of the young Lord Mountjoy, whose Tyrone property was ad- 
jacent to the Killymoon estates.* But the Colonel was not 
a marrying man. He lived and died in single blessedness. 

When Mrs. Farmer was residing at Fethard, after her 
separation from her husband, and a residence of some months 
at her father's in Clonmel, Miss Ellen Power visited her sister, 
and remained with her at Fethard, but for how long a period 
I am unable to state. 

When Mrs. Farmer went to reside in England, she was 
also invited there by her sister; and while sojourning with 
her, about the year 1813, first made the acquaintance of John 
Home Purves, Esq., a Scotch gentleman of good family, and 
at one period an expectant of the baronetcy, at the death of 

* The same fate was reserved for the large properties of Colonel 
Stewart as for those of the Earl of Blessington. The estates of both 
have passed into the hands of strangers. The Colonel died in 1850. 
Killymoon and its noble mansion were sold in the Incumbered Estates 
Court, for upwards of £100,000. 



446 LORD AND LADY CANTBRBURT. 

his father, during the absence of an elder brother, who had 
been long absent from his native land. That acquaintanoe 
led to the union of the second daughter of Edmond Power, 
of Clonmel, with the son of the Scotch Baronet. 

Mr. John Home Purves was the son of Sir Alexander 
Purves, who succeeded to the baronetcy in 1761. Sir Aki- 
ander married four times ; by his first marriage he had issuCi 
one son and three daughters. By his second marriage he 
had issue, four sons and four daughters. By his third mar- 
riage he had issue, two sons and one daughter. By his fourth 
marriage he had issue, an only son. 

Sir Alexander Purves died in 1813, and was succeeded by 
his eldest son, Sir William, bom in 1767 (the step-brother 
of John Home Purves, Esq.). Sir William, who had as- 
sumed the additional surname of Campbell, died in 1833, 
leaving an only child, the present baronet, Sir Hugh Hume 
Campbell. 

Persons who have a remembrance of Mr. John Homo 
Purves, when on a visit at Mountjoy Forest, in the county of 
Tyrone, in 1816, speak of this gentleman as " Major Ptarre^" 
and several have an impression in their minds, that he hdd 
that rank in the Scots Greys, which I believe to be erroneoos.* 

Circumstances led to Mr. Purves separating himsdf from 
his country and his family, in the year 1823. He obtained 
the office of British Consul at Pensacok, and there he died, 
from the effects of the climate, in 1827. 

In the '' Gentleman's Magazine,'' for that year, part il 
p. 573, we find the following notice of his death: 

" At Pensacola, on the 20th of Sept. 1827, aged hrtj-tmo, 
John Home Purves, Esq., for the last four years Britiah Con- 

* A Lieutenant John Purves (Adjutant) of the Royal Waggon IMs* 
appears in the Army Lists from 1804 to 1809» when he^tptuilo 
have heen promoted, and continued in the rank of Captain ia tkil 
corps till 1812. 




LORD AND LADY CANTERBURY. 447 

sul at that place. He was the eldest son of Sir Alexander 
Purves, the fifth and late baronet of Purves Hall, in Berwick- 
shire, by his second wife, Mary, daughter of Sir James Home, 
of Blackadder, and was consequently half-brother to Sir 
William, the present Baronet of the Purves family, who as- 
sumed the names of Hume Campbell, on the death of the 
late Earl of Marchmont." 

Mrs. Purves, who had remained in England, was left with 
five children. 

1. Louisa, married to J. Fairlie, Esq., died in April, 1843, 
aged about thirty-three. 

2. Mary, died unmarried at Cheveley. 

3. Margaret, married Augustus Tollemache, Esq. 

4. John, an only son, unmarried. 

5. Ellen, married — Arkwright, Esq. 

In the latter part of 1828, Mrs. Purves married the 
Speaker of the House of Commons. The ''Annual Register" 
for that year thus records the marriage : " The 6th of De- 
cember, 1828, at St. George's church, Hanover Square, Mrs. 
Home Purves, widow of the late John Purves, Esq., to the 
Right Honourable Charles Manners Sutton, Spe^er of the 
House of Commons." 

Moore, in his " Diary," speaks of Mrs. Manners Sutton, 
and the Speaker's residence at Westminster : — " Amused to 
see her, in all her state, the same hearty, lively, Irishwoman 
still. Walked with her in the garden, the moonlight on the 
river, the boats gliding along it, the towers of Lambeth on 
the opposite bank, the lights of Westminster bridge gleaming 
on the left, and then, when one turned round to the house, 
that beautiful Gothic structure, illuminated ft*om within, and 
at that moment containing within it the council of the nation, 
all was most picturesque and striking."* 

The same ruin that at a later period came on the fortunes 
♦ Moore's Memoirs, vol. vi. p. 32. 



448 LORD AND LADY CANTERBURY. 

of the proprietors of Gore House, was destined for those of 
the mistress of the establishment, with all its state, at West- 
minster, which Moore refers to. 

Lord Canterbury held the office of Speaker for eighteen 
years. When he retired in 1835, on his retiring pension of 
£4000 a year, his circumstances were involved in difficulties 
of an extensive nature, and a very large portion of them 
were not created by him. 

The loss of the Speakership was poorly compensated by the 
pension and the peerage in 1835. Lord Canterbury's diffi- 
culties in a short time became overwhelming. The latter 
years of Lady Canterbury's life were disquieted and seriously 
troubled by those embarrassments, and the very straitened cir- 
cumstances which were the result of the loss of the Speaker's 
office and its large emoluments. But, to the honour of this 
lady, be it stated, no effort was left untried by her to adapt her 
mode of life to the altered circumstances of her husband, and 
with the utmost cheerfulness she gave up all those luxoiirs 
to which she had been accustomed ; nay,' even comforts that 
people in middle life deem almost necessary in their fiunilici. 
She laid down her carriage, parted with ornaments of valiKi, 
and objects precious in themselves, or from the reoolledion 
of those from whom they had been received, and lived only to 
cheer the drooping spirits, and to watch over the impaired 
health of her amiable and kind-hearted husband. 

Lady Canterbury survived her husband only four months; 
after a brief residence on the Continent, she had returned to 
England, quite broken down in health and spirits. Her sister, 
Lady Blessington, by whom she was tenderly loved, was fre- 
quently with her in her last illness, and at the moment of her 
death. An attached servant of Lady Blessington, a penon of 
respectability, excellent character, and superior inteUigeDoe,«ho 
had lived witii her Ladyship fifteen years, Mrs. Cooper, mi 
also in attendance on Lady Canterbury in her last 




LORD AND LADY CANTERBURY. 449 

She states that her Ladyship's strong sense of religion was 
manifested in the most edifying manner through her entire 
illness, and on many occasions hy earnest and fervent prayers 
that her sister Marguerite might be turned to the consideration 
of the thmgs of eternity, and that her thoughts might be 
taken away from the turmoil of the things of time, and the 
vanities of life by which she was surrounded. This amiable 
and once beautiful woman died at Clifton, in the fifty-fourth 
year of her age, on the 16th of November, 1845. The re- 
mains of Lady Canterbury were interred with those of her 
husband, in the crypt of Clifton chm'ch. 

The late Viscountess Canterbury by her will left a valuable 
service of porcelain china, formerly belonging to Archbishop 
Sutton, to the present Viscount : to her son, Captain J. Home 
Purves, of the Guards, all her plate which had belonged to her 
previous to her marriage with the late Viscount : and to her 
daughters Mary and Ellen, all the furniture and books, and 
to her daughter Frances the contents of her two jewel boxes 
deposited at her bankers. Bequests to the amount of £6000 
she left between her three daughters, Margaret Home Purves, 
Ellen Home Purves, and Frances D. Manners Sutton. The 
residue of her property, real and personal, she left to the same 
parties. Specific bequests were made to the Honourable Mrs. 
Sanderson, Lord Auckland, and her Ladyship's sister, the 
Countess of Blessington. 

MRS. FAIRLIE. 

The favourite niece of Lady Blessington — the eldest 
daughter of her sister Ellen — cannot fail to be well and ad- 
vantageously known to the correspondents of Lady Bless- 
ington, and those who enjoyed the friendship of that lady. 
Lady Blessington seemed to take a particular delight in speak- 
ing of Louisa Fairlie and her interesting child, " the beautiful 

VOL. I. GO 



450 MRS. FAIRLIE. 

mute/' whose mind it was the greatest of all Lady Blessing- 
ton's enjoyments to see gradually developed. 

Mrs. Fairlie had married at an early age a gentleman not of 
large fortune, John Fairlie, Esq. She endeavoured to add to 
those scanty resources by literary labours, and it is to be feared 
she impaired her delicate health by them. 

Mrs. Fairlie was a contributor to Lady Blessington's Annual, 
" the Keepsake," and to other similar periodicals, and even- 
tually became the editor of one of them, entitled " The Chil- 
dren of the Nobility." Many of her poetical pieces evince 
considerable talent, and all her compositions singular purity 
of mind, and unaffected religiousness of feeling. This dis- 
position to piety was manifested in her whole life and con- 
versation ; and in the few letters of hers which are given to 
the public, the feeling will be found expressed in such amiaUe, 
gentle, and graceful language, in all simplicity and naturalness, 
as cannot fail to render devotional sentiments powerful in in- 
fluence and effect. A few months before her decease, she lost 
a child of extraordinary intellectual powers, though deaf and 
dumb from lier birth. This interesting little g;irl was weD 
known to the distinguished literary people who frequented 
Mrs. Fairlie's, and Gore House, some twenty years ago, and 
was the theme of many admirable verses in praise of the 
loveliness and mental qualities of the beautiful mute. 

LINES OF B. D^ISRAELI, Esq. 

TO A BEAUTIFUL MUTB, 

THE ELDEST CHILD OF MRS. FAIRLIB. 

L 

*^ Tell mc the star from which she fell. 
Oh ! name the flower 
From out whose wild and perfumed bell. 

At witching hour. 
Sprang forth this fair and fairy maiden. 
Like a bee with honey laden. 




MRS. FAIRLIE. 451 



*' They say that those sweet lips of thine 

Breathe not to speak ; 
Thy very ears, that seem so fine. 

No sound can seek. 
And yet thy face beams with emotions, 

Kestless as the waves of ocean. 

3. 

'* *Tis well ; thy face and form agree. 

And both are fair. 
I would not that this child should be 

As others are ; 
I love to mark her in derision 

Smiling with seraphic vision, 

4. 

" At our poor gifts of vulgar sense, 
That cannot stain 
Nor mar her mystic innocence. 

Nor cloud her brain 
With all the dreams of worldly folly. 
And its creature melancholy. 

5. 

" To thee I dedicate these lines. 

Yet read them not. 
Cursed be the art that e'er refines 

Thy natural lot ; 
Kead the bright stars, and read the flowers. 

And hold converse with the bowers.'' 

Lady Blessington was greatly attached to her sister Lady 
Canterbury and her children, but her affection for Mrs. Fairlie 
was stronger, perhaps, than for any member of her family ; and 
the interest she took in that lady*s eldest daughter, Isabella, 
the singularly intellectually-gifted child, though deprived of 
the faculties of speech and hearing, can only be imagined by 
those who have heard her speak of her " darling Isabella." 

The following letters and lines of Mrs. Fairlie will give 

6 G 2 



452 MRS. FAIRLIB. 

some idea of the amiable character and spiritual mind of this 
accomplished and most excellent lady. 

Letter from Mrs. Fairlie, on the last illness of her 
daughter, Isabella, the subject of Disraeli's lines, " the Beau- 
tiful Mute." 

" My dearest Aunt, 

" How much longer it will last, God only knows ; she is 
yery patient, and she looks like herself. I have been with her 
all day yesterday. I said on my fingers, * Jesus wants you ! 
will you go V she nodded. 

'^ To-day she turned and said, * I want to die.' I fimcy she 
will live till near Thursday. Oh, this is indeed a trial 1 but 
God be praised, he supports me, as he promised in lus holy 
word. God bless you ! and do, dear aunt, think seriously, and 
turn to the Lord while he may be found.** 

From Mrs. Fairlie. 

** My dearest Aunt, 

'* I was in her room till near five yesterday, from ta 
in the morning. I came in to tea, and we saw no change; ilie 
dozed. At seven, being sadly fatigued, I went to bed, hearing 
she was the same. At about twenty minutes past seven, the 
told White she wished to be removed from the bed to the lofii, 
and John assisted to do this. Two minutes after, she was dying; 
John came and carried me in, and I saw my first-bom diepesce- 
fuUy — no groan, no struggle. She had lived to shew forth the 
power and glory of God, and she died, knowing that but fxa 
Jesus she could not be saved. 

** On Saturday morning, at five, John and Somerset poipoie 
leaving this, and tlie funeral will be at Marylebone Church it 
twelve, and they return by the half-past three train. 

*' I cut off Isabella's plaits, and send you one just as it ii. 
Oh, how mercifully God supports me 1 may you, my own dsr 
ling aunt, learn to feel the power of religion. 

''Your fond 

"LoUttA." 




MRS. FAIRLIE. 453 

From Mrs. Fairlie. 

" My dearest dear Aunt, " 1843. 

*' I was glad you were where I fain would have been 
yesterday ; you were mistaken in thinking I wished to deprive 
you wholly of the dear little note. I return it. I only wanted 
it yesterday ; the day week it was written, I have borne this 
wonderfully ; but God promises his strength, and he gives it. 

" I am not so well as I have been ; but still, no one could 
expect me to be half so well as I am. 

'* Auckland tells me he wanted to attend the funeral, and was 
at the church, but missed the hour, which we imderstand, as 
you were there an hour or more behind time. 

" How I bless God for the loan of that precious child, and 
for his aid in enabling me to train her in the ways of piety. 
How boldly she ever rebuked sin. Do you remember how it 
pained her that you should, in any way, profane the Lord's 
day by visitors, or driving out ? At her baptism, she was * signed 
with the cross, in token that she should not be ashamed to con- 
fess the faith of Christ crucified, but manfuUy fight under his 
banner against the devil, the world, and sin, and continue his 
faithful soldier and servant unto death.' She did so continue, 
God be praised ! ! ! 

'' If Johnnie comes this week, could you spare dear Elly 
for a few days ? Her address I enclose. That will be but a 
very short visit, but then, perhaps, Maggie will come and visit 
me. I am very tired now, so end all in a hurry. 

" Your own fond and most anxious 

'* Louisa." 

" I hope you will read the book I sent by White." 

The note of the dear child referred to in the preceding 
letter of Mrs. Fairlie : — 

" My dear Aunt, 

'^ I am so pain in my breast, and cough a deal. I thank 
you for a barley sugar and large cake. Papa gave me a flower 
paper. I am writing in bed, at night : how kind you are to 
bring what I want. Mamma send me large round barley-sugar, 
not like you give me. Give my love to Alfred, Margery, 
Ellen, from * I. L. F." 



464 MRS. FAIRLIE. 

ENDORSED. 

" Written by my blessed grand-niece^ Isabella Louisa Fairlie^ 
on Saturday night, the 28th of January, 1843. She expired 
on the 31st, at twenty minutes before eight in the eyening, re- 
signing her pure spirit without a groan or struggle. M. B." 

LINES WRITTEN BY MRS. FAIRLIE. 

^ May 12, 1842. 

'' I used to place my happiness 
In scenes of youthful mirth. 
And think that I could never tire 
Of this small speck of earth. 

" Then years flew on, I placed my heart 
On one well worth its love ; 
He and my babes had every thought. 
Instead of God above. 

" But now, oh thou long-suffering God ! 
Thou truly art ador'd ; 
Husband and babes are fondly loved. 
But more I love thee, Lord. 



L.F.' 



DIALOGUE. 
BY MRS. FAIBLIE. 



'^ Old man, thou art poor, and thy house of clay 
Must soon fall to ruin : Oh, hast thou, say. 

No friend who will cheer thy gloom T' 
'* Oh yes, gentle maid. I've a pow'rful friend. 
His patient affection will never end, 

It will last beyond the tomb." 

'* Then why does he never thy cottage cheer ? 
Old man, I have never seen him here. 

Docs he give thee fire or food ?" 
'* Oh, lady, my friend is my constant guest ; 
He counsels, upholds me, and gives me rest ; 

He*s long-suffering, gentle, good. 




MRS. FAIRUE. 456 

*' If I eat his food I shall never die, 
It will nourish me eternally ; 

And in his blest abode 
A place is prepared for me, and I long 
To join the blissful and ransom'd throng, 

Who surround the throne of God." 

** Old man, it now is made plain to me. 
What ever has been a mystery ; 

The cheerful look amidst pain. 
rU call on this friend, I will seek the Lord ** — 
" Do, lady, and trust thy Redeemer's word, — 
That none shall seek in vain." 

L. F., May 12, 1842. 

Mrs. Fairlie died at Cheveley, near Newmarket, in April, 
1843, after a protracted illness. She survived her beautiful 
and interesting child little more than two months. That 
sweet child had gone before her angelic mother, to a fitting 
home on high, the 31st of January, 1843. 



No. III. 

COPY OF MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE OF LADY BLESSINOTON WITH 
CAPTAIN MAURICE FARMER. 

Obtained by R. R. Madden from Mb. Lbggk, Parish Clerk and 
Registrar of Marriages in Clonmel^ the 8th August, 1854. 

1804. MARRIAGE solemnized at the Parish Church^ in the 
Parish of Clonmel, in the County of Tippbrary. 



When 
Married. 



Name & Surname. Rank or Profession. 



Residence at the 
Time of Marriage. 



1804. 
March 7. 



Maurice Farmer. Captain 47th Regt. 
Margaret Power. 



Clonmel. 
Clonmel. 



Married in the Parish Church, according to the Rites and Oeremoniea 
of the United Church of England and Ireland, by licence, by me, 
(Signed) Wm. Stbpheksoit. 



466 CAPTAIN MAURICE FARMER. 

No. IV. 
CAPTAIN MAURICE FARMER. 

Reference has been made in the Introduction^ to a letter 
published in a Dublin newspaper by a brother of Captain 
Farmer, denying certain statements made in a Memoir of 
Lady Blessington respecting Captain Maurice St L^er 
Farmer. In fairness to the friends of that gentleman, I fed 
myself bound to insert the letter at length, without any 
omissions whatsoever; although, without calling in question 
in the slightest degree the veracity of the writer, I must ob- 
serve, there are several statements in that communicatioD, of 
opinions which are entirely at variance with my impressioDS 
of facts, and some, I may add, at variance with the impressions 
of a gentleman who was present at the marriage of Captain 
Farmer with Miss Power. It is very natural for the brother 
of that gentleman, actuated as he must be by feelings of fia- 
ternal regard and affection, to form favourable opinions of 
one so nearly connected with him, and to entertain unfiivour- 
able sentiments regarding one whose relatives have publicly 
expressed sentiments which cannot be otherwise than dis- 
agreeable, and, in his opinion, imjust to the memory of his 
relative. 

But in all matters of this unfortunate kind, it is not from 
the immediate friends of the persons who have been disunited, 
that we ought to expect a fair and full statement of both sidrs 
of the question at issue — one that would do equal justice to 
each party, to the views of each, and the merits of the case oa 
either side. 

I feel once more bound to state my conviction that the 
following statement is not one which answers the expectatjooi 
I have just referred to ; and that if I felt myself mt JSbtttj 
to appeal to the recuUrctions of two very distinguished per- 




CAPTAIN MAURICB FARMBR. 457 

sonages who were present at that marriage, and well ac- 
quainted with the parties — one of those persons now Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the British army, and the other lately 
commander of the forces in Ireland — that conviction would 
be confirmed. 

to the editor op the evening packet. 

" Sir, 
■ '* I will gratefully feel your kindness, if you will give, in your 
paper, insertion to the accompanying reply to Miss Power's 
misstatements, in her opening review of Lady Blessington's life, 
as connected with my brother, the late Captain Farmer, 47th 
Foot, her first husband. 

" Walter Farmer, 

" 3, Heytesbury Street, 

" Lately of Poplar Hall, 

" Ballitore, county of Klildare." 
" Sir, 

" I have seen in your paper of the 11th instant, a statement, 
taken from a Memoir of the Countess of Blessington, contri- 
buted in the Preface to • Country Quarters,' by her niece. Miss 
Power, in which, to exculpate sundry matters in the conduct of 
her Ladyship, gross misrepresentations are made respecting her 
first husband. Captain Farmer. As the brother of that gentle- 
man, I hope I may be allowed to state my contradictions, as 
follows, and that you will kindly give them equal publicity : — 

" So far as my brother and Captain Murray having both paid 
their addresses to the lady, I believe to be true ; but that she 
preferred my brother is an undoubted fact, inasmuch as that it 
was in every sense a love-match between them, no settlement 
being made or promised by my brother or his family ; for my 
father, having seven other sons, considered that in the purchase 
of all his steps he had received his share, but the lady's father 
promised his daughter a fortune of £1000, a shilling of which 
was never paid; but, counting on it, the young couple contracted 
debts, and Captain Farmer, finding his inability to meet them, 
was obliged to sell his commission to pay said debts. He sub- 
sequently accepted a commission in the East India Company's 



45S CAPTAIN MAURICE FARMER. 

service^ and wished bis wife to accompany him there^ which she 
declined doing. With a view, however, to her independence 
and happiness in his absence, he divided with her the sorplui 
amount remaining after paying his debts — ^namely, £1000, that 
is, £500 each. Having been my brother's schoolfellow ind 
constant companion, I can assert that, as boy or man, he never 
showed any symptoms of insanity up to this period ; and such I 
can prove by many parties still alive, and particularly through 
the very respectable members of the Society of Friends, hving 
in and around Ballitore, in the county of Kildare, his native 
place, where my father resided. That such a statement might 
have been made by Captain Murray may be true, though cer- 
tainly without having had any effect on the lady or her parenti, 
for he at all times evinced great hostility to my brother ; and 
immediately after my brother sold out of the army, having met 
each other at ]31ackrock, near Dublin, warm words ensued, 
which caused Captain Murray, who was in uniform, Uyimr 
liis sword. My brother, having a stick, quickly disarmed him, 
and broke the sword ; the result was a duel with pistols, when 
Captain jMurray was seriously wounded. A considerable time 
afterwards, my brother went to India, and Mrs. Farmer csne 
to Ballitore. From the reports current as to her raiscondnct, 
of which Captain Farmer, from his absence, could not be awue, 
my father would not see her, and objected to my doing so. I 
called upon her notwithstanding, when she told me she had 
letters from my brother, pressing her to go out to India, ai he 
had made comfortable provision for her ; but she declined to do 
so, fearing the climate might disagree with her constitution^ 
thus by her own words disproving the charge now brought opi 
that their separation was caused by his insanity. I would rather 
not refer to her conduct from that period, nor do 1 think the 
memoir either should go farther ; but * * * • t 
It is a notorious fact that her conduct, coupled with the efliecti 
of a coup de soleil while in India, often induced my brother, 
when he went into company, to exceed, as was then too much 
the custom, and to such was his death to be attributed. Hit 
host, on this occasion, an old brother officer, having nnfbituBatrij 
locked the door on his company in their then state of mindymj 

t Sic in original published letter. 




CERTIFICATE OP BURIALS OF THE BLESSINGTONS. 459 

brother, in trying to get from the room, endeavoured to do so 

by the window, and fell, which was the cause of his death. A 

reference to ' The Times' newspaper of that day, containing the 

report of the coroner's inquest, ai^madverts strongly on the 

conduct of his brother officer for so acting, and regrets the loiss 

to the service of a brave and valiant officer, who had previously 

done good service for his country. 

" W. F." 



No. V. 

CERTIFICATE OF BURIALS OF MEMBERS OF THE BLESSINGTON 

FAMILY. 

Diligent search has been made in the Registry, Book of 
Burials in St. Thomas's Parish, Dublin, from 1769 to 1854. 
The following are recorded : — 

1769. Nov. 17. Right Hon. Charles Gardiner, Esq., aged 49 
years. 

1781. Sept. 21. Master Luke Gardiner, an infant. 

1783. Nov. 25. Mrs. Elizabeth Gardiner, aged 32 years. 

1786. Mar. 20. Florinda Gardiner, aged 12 years. 

1791. Feb. 1. Hon. Elizabeth Gardiner, aged 8 years. 

1798. June 15. Lord Viscount Mountjoy, aged 62 years. 

1814. Sept. 17. Kight Hon. Mary Campbell, Viscountess 
Mountjoy, aged 28 years. 

1823. Mar, 29. The Hon. Luke Wellington Gardiner, Vis- 
count Mountjoy, aged 9 years and 4 months. 

1839. June 20. Charles John, Earl of Blessington, aged 46 
years, Gardiner. 

1849. Mar. 27. The Hon. Harriet Gardiner, aged 73 years. 
Rutland Square. 



No. VI. 

The Annuities, Mortgages, Judgments, and other Debts, 
Legacies, Sums of Money, and Incumbrances, charged upon 



460 SCHEDULE OP MORTGAGES, ETC. 

or afFecting the Estates of the said Charles John, Earl of 
Blessington, at the Time of his Decease.* 

Mprtgages. 
From October 17, 1817, to January 1, 1823, £45,077. 

Legacies. 
Emily Bosalie Hamilton Gardiner, now the £ s. d. 

Wife of Charles Whyte, Esq. . . . 18,461 10 9 



To Count D'Orsay, Assignees of • 
Luke Norman, Esq., Executors of . 
Alexander Worthington, Esq. 
Robert Power, Assignees of . 
Mary Anne Power, Assignees of . 
Michael M^Donagh 
Isabella Binny .... 
John Bullock 



923 1 6) 

923 1 6} 

923 1 6 

923 1 6) 

923 1 6 

92 6 2 

92 6 2 

92 6 2 



23,353 16 Hi 

Legacy to the Hon. Harriet Gardiner, principal 
sum to be raised only in the event of her 
Marriage 9,280 15 4) 

1827. Nov. 2. Settlement executed by the Earl 
of Blessington on the Marriage of his Daugh- 
ter, Lady Harriet Anne Jane Frances Gar- 
diner, with Count D'Orsay .... 40,000 

AnnuitieB. 
Granted from March 25, 1811, to May 25, 1825, £7,887. 

Judgments. 
Easter Term, 1829, amount of, £13,268. 

Bond Debts. 
Amount of, £10,337. 
Promissory Notes, Letters of Acknowledgment, 1 IT*, IfC 
Including two items : — June 1, 1825, Assignees of Count 

* Fourth Schedule appended to the Act for the sale of tka Bki* 

sington Estates, 9 Vict. cap. 1. 




SCHEDULE OF MORTGAGES, ETC. 461 

D'Orsay, £1280. Sept. 11, 1828, Assignees of Count 
D'Orsay, £4000.— Total amount, £10,122. 

Simple Contract Debts due, or claimed to be due, by the 
said Charles John, Eart of Blessington. 
Including Claims of Countess of Blessington, £518 ; Ro- 
bert Power, Esq.,- £792; Count D'Orsay, £199; John 
Howell, £1723.— Total amount, £6712. 

The FIFTH SCHEDULE referred to in the foregoing Act ; 

CONTAINING 

The Mortgages and Sums of Money which have been charged 
by the Lady Harriet Anne Jane Frances, Countess D'Orsay, 
upon the Estates comprised in the Second and Third Sche- 
dules to this Act. 
1837. May 11. Mortgage to Miss Emily Rosalie £ s. d. 
Hamilton Gardiner, now the wife of 
Charles Whyte, Esq 6,500 

1839. Mar. 30. Mortgage to Simon Jacques 

Rochard 2,100 

1840. Mar. 25. Ditto to Messrs. Hopkinson and 

Co 2,500 

1840. Aug. 1. Ditto to John Williamson Fulton 6,000 

1843. April 24. Ditto to John March Case . . 1,500 

1843. Aug. 29. Ditto to Matthew Anderson . 1,250 
1842. Sept. 1. Ditto to Richard Philip Tighe . 434 

1844. July 7. Ditto to Joanna Dowling . . 600 

1845. July 17. Ditto to Charles Hopkinson . 700 
Ditto to James Fiddes . . 600 

G. F. Smith. 

RENTAL OF THE BLESSINGTON ESTATES. FROM THE SCHEDULES 
OF THE ACT OF PARLIAMENT FOR THE SALE OF THE 
ESTATES, OF JUNE 18, 1846. 

Estates situate in the county of Tyrone, in the manors of 
Newtownstewart and Rash, situate in the Baronies of Strabane 
and Omagh. Quantity in English acres, 30,221 acres 
Present rent (1846), £8265 16^. Zd. 



462 RENTAL OF THE BLB8SINGT0N ESTATES. 

Estates situate in the Barony of DuDgannon. held by lease 
from the Crown. Quantity in English acres, 2053 acra. 
Present rent (1846), £1066 158. lid. 

Estates situate in the county and the city of DubUn : — 

Part 1. — Comprising the Lordship of St. Mary*8 Abber, 
and Grange of Clonliffe, and other parcels of ground, »tuate 
in the county and the city of Dublin, held under lease. 
Present rent, £9730 12«, 6d. 

Part 2. — Comprising the Lordship of St Mary*s Abbey, 
and Grange of ClonlifFe, in the county and the city of DuUio, 
let to yearly tenants. Present rent, £1764 10*. Id. 

Part 3. — Comprising Barrack Street, Tighe Street, George's 
Quay, Mercer's Dock, Poolbeg Street, and North Strand, the 
Lands of Glasmainogue, and a Leasehold Interest. Pkresent 
rent, £1827 lo8. Id, 

SUMMARY OF THE BLESSINGTON ESTATES RENTAU 

All the Estates situate in the county and the city of 
Dublin. Yearly rent, £13,322 \%8. 8d. 

Property situate in the city of Kilkenny. Yearly rent, 
£62 3«. 9d. 

Total of rental of all the properties, including the Tynme es- 
tates above-mentioned, in 1846, estimated at £22,718 14«. 7i 



No. VIL 

GORE HOUSE. 

Gore House occupation has had many vicissitades. Tk 
predecessor of Wilberforce was a stingy, money-scnipiDgi 
government contractor, " who would not lay out a penny to 
keep his gardens" in order. The mammon-worsbii^wr, who 
meditated in those neglected grounds on the delights of par- 
simony, was succeeded by " the Saint," who thus spoke, in hb 




GOKB HOUSE. 463 

Diary, of his perambulatioiis in the vicinity of his new resi- 
dence : — " Walked from Hyde Park Comer, repeating the 
119th Psalm, in great comfort," (the Psalm of 176 verses), 
and who thus refers to the house itself: — " We are just one 
mile from the turnpike gate at Hyde Park Corner . . . having 
about three acres of pleasure-ground around my house, or 
rather behind it, and several old trees, walnut and mulberry, 
of thick foliage. I can sit and read under their shade, which 
I delight in doing, with as much admiration of the beauties 
of nature (remembering at the same time the words of my 
favourite poet, * Nature is but a name for an effect whose 
cause is God,') as if I were two hundred miles from the great 
city."* 

A new meditator, but not so much on the beauties of nature 
as those of art and literature, one who was more spirituelle 
in salons than spiritual in Wilberforce's sense of the word, 
" the gorgeous Lady Blessington," became the proprietor of 
Gore House. Illustrated annuals and fashionable novels 
were the result of her meditations in " those pleasure grounds" 
which served Wilberforce for solitudes, for meditations on 
Psalms. 

Lady Blessington was succeeded by Monsieur Soyer. 
Another species of composition was carried on at Gore House 
— sauces constituted the chief glory of it. The culinary line 
had replaced the literary ; and every one, during the Great 
Exhibition, had the entree of those salons^ once so celebrated 
for intellectual society, who had a few shillings to expend on 
a dinner a-la-mode. The glory of Soyer, and his soups and 
sauces, passed away in a short time, and Gore House was 
turned into a temporary, crowded receptacle of ornamental 
cabinet work, and studies from the School of Art. 

A new destination is now about to be given to Gore House 
and its pleasure-grounds. " The estate purchased by the 
* Dickens' Household Words, No. 178, p. 690. 



464 COUNT D'oRSAT and the prince LOUIS NAPOLEON. 

commissioners for the site and grounds of the new Natioiiil 
Gallery, includes those just desmbed, which consists of about 
twenty acres, and it will probably, when completed, appnndi 
to a hundred." 



No. VIII. 

COUNT d'oRSAY and THE PRINCE LOUIS NAPOLEON. 

The intimate relations that subsisted between the present 
Emperor of the French, when a refugee and a proscribed ood- 
spirator in England, and the Count D'Orsay, in the palmy 
days of his London fashionable life, may render a brief notice 
of the family and fortunes of Louis Napoleon of come interest 
in connection with a memoir of the Count D'Orsay. 

In March, 1828, Lady Blessington made the acquaintance, 
at Rome, of Madame Hortense, ex-Queen of Holland — the 
Duchesse de St. Leu. 

Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie had two children by her 
first marriage with Greneral AlexanderVicomte de Beauharoais, 
who was guillotined in 1794. Of the two children, Priooe 
Eugene, the subsequent Viceroy of Italy, and later Duke of 
Leuchtenberg, born in 1781, died in Munich in 1824; the 
second, Hortense — perhaps the only being whom Ni^okoo 
could be said to have truly loved — was married to the brother 
of Napoleon, Louis, King of Holland, and after many vicissi- 
tudes, died in 1838, greatly love^ and r^retted. Tliis hdf 
was highly gifted and accomplished, and alike on the throne 
and in private life, her enlightenment, varied talents, and bene- 
volent disposition, shed a lustre around her» and rendend 
her at once the most fascinating and amiable of womea 
Her marriage, however, was an unhappy one ; she lived apirt 
from her husband, except at three very long intervals^ for a 




COUNT d'oRSAY and PRINCE LOUIS NAPOLEON. 465 

very short term on each occasion of a sort of reconciliation, 
that was not destined to be of long duration. They finally 
separated in 1807. 

Lady Blessington, while residing in Italy, makes frequent 
mention of this illustrious lady in her letters. 

The time, she says, always passed away rapidly, and most 
delightfully, while listening to her conversation, and hearing 
her sing those charming Httle French romances, which were 
written and composed by herself. She was equally fascinating 
in her manners and appearance, though not beautiful. She 
was of the middle stature, slight and delicate, and well formed ; 
her carriage graceful, and of imposing deportment and ad- 
dress. Her complexion was fair, and the expression of her 
countenance mild and pensive, but when she entered into con- 
versation her features were full of life and vivacity ; she was 
quick of apprehension, possessed a clear insight into charac- 
ter, and regulated her conversation and bearing towards people 
in society by the opinions she formed, and usually with excel- 
lent judgment and good sense. She was highly accomplished, 
a good artist, highly skilled in drawing, spoke several languages, 
was well versed in history and the literature of various coun- 
tries. But for more than all her accomplishments. Lady Bless- 
ington admired the ex-Queen of Holland for her kindly dis- 
position, her generous and noble nature. This amiable woman 
lived much in Italy in her latter years. 

The contrast which Lady Blessington drew in some of her 
letters, between the ex- Queen Hortense and the ex-Queen 
Maria-Louisa, was not very favourable to the latter.* 

♦ The ex-Empress Maria Louisa, Archduchess of Parma, formerly 
wife of the Emperor Napoleon, died at Parma, December 17, 1848, 
aged fifty-six. In 1810, when "this Princess was in her nineteenth 
year, she became the bride of the great soldier-sovereign of France, 
Italy, Holland, and Belgium. 

The scandalous repudiation of the generous-minded, noble-hearted 
Josephine, never appears to have disturbed the apathj of the Austrian 

VOL. I. H H 



466 COUNT d'ORSAT and prince LOUIS VAVOlXXm. 

January the 1 1th, 1838, the funeral ceremonies in memonr 
of the late Duchesse de St. Leu, ex-Queen of Holland, wen 
performed in the church of Reuil, near Paris, with great mag- 
nificence and solemnity. Three months later, in April, 1838, 
the Duke de St. Leu, ex-King of Holland, was married is 
Florence to the Signora Strozzi. The church of Reufl, 
on the occasion of the obsequies of the ex-Queeu of HoDaDd, 
was crowded to overflowing. Seats were occupied by the Com- 
tesse de Lipona (ex-Queen of Naples, the widow of Munt), 
the Prince of Musignano (son of Lucien Bonaparte), tbe 
venerable Marquis de Beauhamais, brother to the first hus- 
band of Josephine, General Count Tascher de la Pagerie (onoe 
Governor-General of Frankfort), cousin to Queen Horteose, 
and other distinguished persons. A catafalque was raised 
near the tomb of the deceased's mother, the Empress Jose- 
pbine, whose statue of marble was covered with a black veQ. 
The pall was borne by the Marquis de Beauhamais and Count 
de Tascher. The attendance of the clergy was very numerouSi 
and detachments of troops of the line, and national guanb 
of Reuil, added to the pomp of the scene. Many of the per- 
sons involved in the prosecution for the attempt at Strasbuig; 
were present.* 

Louis Bonaparte, ex-King of Holland, latterly bearing the 
title of Count of St. Leu, the father of the present Empenr 
of the French, was bom at Ajacio, in 1778. He entered tbi 
princess. Four yeara of imperial graadeur shared with thm Empenr 
of France — the tie of a child, bom to her in that period, aad the 
claims of that child*8 father on her affection, or the cold feelings eva 
of duty, were matters of no consideration, when Napoleon*s star wai 
waning. Maria-Louisa sought not to share the fortunes of lier hat* 
band in the mild banishment of Elba. She left her eon a hostage ii 
the hands of her father — she left her husband a captive in the 1 
of his enemies, to entertain his fate alone. 

The body of the Archduchess M aria- Louisa was conTejed to Vie 
and deposited in the imperial vault, in the church of the < 
by the side of that of her son, the Duke of Reichsta^t* 

* The Athenopum, Jan. 20, 1858. 




COUKT V^OMJlY and PRI5CB LOUIS NAPOLSOK. 467 

French armj at an early age, and accompanied his brother, 
Napoleon, to Italy and Egypt. He was aide-de-camp to Na- 
poleon when the latter, seizing a standard, rushed upon the 
bridge of Areola, on which occasion Louis placed himself in 
firont of his brother, and between him and the fire of the 
enemy. From that period he was employed by his brother 
hi several diplomatic and confidential employments of high 
impOTtance to Napoleon's interest and designs. In 1802, 
he married, " rnalgr^ hii," Hortense Fanny de Beauhamais^ 
daughter of the Empress Josephine. After various honours, 
dignities, and high offices, had been conferred on him, in 1806, 
he was placed, '' malgr^ lui," on the throne of Holland, by 
Napoleon. In 1810, he abdicated his crown fi^m a sense 
of duty to his subjects, refusing to be the tool of his brother's 
tyranny in respect to the commerce and trade of the Dutch 
people. Holland became then united to the empire. Louis 
retired to Gratz, in Styria, where he resided for three years in 
honourable self-imposed exile, resisting all pecuniary offers, 
an apanage, either for himself or his children, made by the 
Emperor of France. 

In 1813, when France was menaced with invasion, he 
offered his services to the Emperor, by whom they were ac- 
cepted ; but notwithstanding their acceptance, having pro- 
ceeded to Switzerland, he remained there unemployed. After 
the restoration of the Bourbons, he retired to the Papal States, 
and there devoted himself chiefly to literature and antiquarian 
pursuits. He published several works — a Novel, Historic 
Documents on Holland, a Treatise on Versification, an 
Opera, a Tragedy, a collection of Poems, and some Comments 
on Sir W Scott's History of Napoleon. He died at Leghorn, 
the 23rd June, 1846, leaving a request that his body and 
that of his son, who was killed at Forli, in 1831, in the insur- 
rection of Romagna, might be taken to France, and buried 
at St. Leu, near Enghien, with the remains of his fother 

H H 2 



468 COUNT d'oRSAY and prince LOU18 NAPOLEON. 

and his first sod, who had been buried there, which wish was 
fulfilled in September 1847, with great pomp, and an at 
tendance (very significant) of upwards of ten thousand per- 
sons from Paris, a distance of about eighteen miles from St. 
Leu. Five hundred of the veteran soldiers of the empire, 
wearing the uniforms of the old guard, were present, and several 
other corps, brought together on that occasion to attend the 
fimeral. Among the attendants were Jerome Bonaparte, ex- 
King of Westphalia, '' and Doctor Conneau, the friend of Louis 
Napoleon Bonaparte, who was confined in Ham."* 

The third son of Louis Bonaparte, King of HoDind, 
the Prince Louis Bonaparte, who died in 1831« left a 
widow, the Princess Charlotte Bonaparte, daughter of Joseph 
Bonaparte, ex-King of Spain, who died at Florence, the 
3fl of March, 1839. The sister of this lady married Charles 
Lucien Bonaparte, a son of the Prince de Canino. 

In March, 1828, when Lady Blessington made the acquaint- 
ance of the ex-Qucen of Holland, her second son, Prince Louis 
Napoleon Bonaparte (now Emperor of the French), then Uving 
with his mother, was in his twentieth year. Lady Blessington 
says she never witnessed a more devoted attachment than sub- 
sisted between them. " He is a fine high-spirited youth,** she 
obsorvTs in one of her letters, " admirably well educated and 
finely accomplished, uniting to the gallant bearing of a sddier 
all the politeness of a preux chevalier ; hut how could he be 
otherwise, brought up with such a mother? Priooe Louis 
Bonaparte is much beloved and esteemed by all who know 
him, and is sairi to resemble his uncle, the Prince Eugene 
Beauhamais, no less in person than in mind ; possessiog his 
generous nature, personal courage, and high sense of honour." 

Prince Louis Napoleon was born in Paris, in April, 1808. In 
1831, both he and his elder brother took part in the Italian in- 
surrection, which had for its aim the establishment of a rqNiUic^ 

* Annual Register for 1847, p. 634. 




COUNT D'ORSAT and PRINXE LOUIS NAFOLBON. 469 

and the downfall of the papal goverameDt. His eldest brother 
was killed, and he himself narrowly escaped the same fitte. 
Five years later, the Prince made an attempt to overthrow the 
government of Louis Philippe — failed, and was captured at 
Strasbourg — ^was pardoned, and conveyed to America. He 
wrote a letter extolling the generosity of the King, and his 
gratitude for it. Four years had not elapsed, when he made 
another attempt against Louis Philippe's throne and govern- 
ment. The 6th of August, 1840, he made a descent on 
Boulogne with about sixty followers, disguised as Fronch sol- 
diers, who were very much the worse for excessive tossing the 
previous night ; the Prince fired a single shot at an officer, 
wounded another person, and then fled. 

The fugitive prince was taken, tried by the Chamber of 
Peers, and condemned to perpetual imprisonment. He was 
confined in the fortress of Ham for five years, and finally 
escaped from it disguised as a stone-mason, and sought refiige 
in England in 1845. During his captivity, the prince com- 
posed some works that manifested sympathy with the labour- 
ing classes and the progress of industrial pursuits. 

In the various political escapades which made it necessary 
for the prince to seek a refuge in England, the house of Lady 
Blessington — her much-needed, but most ill-requited hospi- 
tality — her most useful influence in his favour with the persons 
of the first importance in political circles and in the govern- 
ment — the unfailing friendship of CountD'Orsay — hisuntiring 
exertions for the prince and his cause — in the press, in the 
clubs, in all quarters where an impression was to be made for 
him — were to be counted on, and were made use of by this 
refugee. The return which Louis Napoleon made for these 
generous services will be found noticed elsewhere in this work ; 
and in the minds of many, his ungrateful and ungracious con- 
duct to D'Orsay in his latter days, when the Count had lost 
fortune, friends, health and spirits — will appear as darkastaia 



470 COUNT d'oRSAY and prince LOUIS NAPOLBON. 

on his private character as any that attaches to his public 
conduct, except that which has been left by blood. 

In February, 1848, Louis Philippe's throne was swept away, 
the Republic substituted for the Monarchy of 1830; andamoDg 
the foremost to hail the young giant of deoEiocnicy was the 
Prince Louis Napoleon. In the following September he wis 
elected a deputy, took his seat in the National Assembly, not 
without much distrust of his intentions, and abundant cause 
for suspicion in his speeches and public communicatioDS. 

The 20th December, 1848, the Constituent Assembly of 
the French Republic dcdared Prince Charles Louis Napoleon 
Bonaparte duly elected President of the Republic from that 
date until the second Sunday in May, 1852. 

On that momentous occasion, a solemn oath was sworn, 
with all due solemnity and sacred form, in these words : — " In 

THE PRESENCE OF GoD AND BEFORE THE FeENCH PBOFLB 
REPRESENTED BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, I 8WSAE TO 
REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC, ONE AKD 
INDIVISIBLE, AND TO FULFIL ALL THE DUTIES IMPOSED OM 

ME BY THE CONSTITUTION." 

The new President, not content with the oath he had just 
taken, added to it a voluntary declaration of fealty to the 
Republic : he addressed the Assembly, and the last sentence 
of his speech was to this effect : — " / shall regard as tke 
enemies of the country^ all who seek to change bg iUegel 
means, that which entire France has established.** 

Ttie tirw constitution to which the President swore fiddBty, 
guaranteed the inviolability of the persons of representatives 
of the people, and declared it to be high treason for the 
President to abrop:ate, annul, or suspend the privileges and 
functions of the National Assembly. In three years, less by 
tliree weeks or thereabouts, on the 2nd of December, 1851, 
the Prince Prrsident absolved himself from his oath, dissohred 
the Assembly and Council of State, arrested the priodpel 
deputies, substituted a military' government, administared fay 




COUNT d'oRSAT and PRINCE LOUIft NAPOLSDH. 471 

himself, for that of the Republic, under the regime of a 
popular representation. 

Two days later, the Prince President at the Elys^ pronounced 
these decisive words to General Roquet : ** Q*wm execute mee 
ordres^*' to put an end to all hesitation or remonstrance on 
the part of his generab ; and, on the 4th December, when 
barricades began to be thrown up in some parts of the city, 
eight hundred people were butchered by his orders, in cold 
blood, in the streets of Paris, by the troops of the Republic ; 
and the great majority of the slain were persons who had 
taken no part whatever in the barricades, while a vast number 
of people were slaughtered in their own houses— old men, 
women, and children, who were indiscriminatdy sabred and 
shot down. 

This man-mystery, the depths of whose duplicity no 
CEdipus has yet sounded, is a problem even to those who 
surround him. I watched his pale, corpse-like, imperturbable 
features, not many months since, for a period of three hours. 
I saw eighty thousand men in arms pass before him, and I 
never observed a change in his countenance, or an expression 
in his look which would enable the bystander to say whether 
he was pleased or otherwise at the stirring scene that was 
passing before him, on the very spot where Louis XVI. 
was put to death. He did not speak to those around him, 
except at very long intervals, and then with an air of noncha- 
lance, of ennui, and eternal occupation with self: he rarely 
spoke a syllable to his uncle, Jerome Bonaparte, who was on 
horseback somewhat behind him. It was the same with his bril- 
liant staff. All orders came from him — all command seemed 
centred in him. He gave me the idea of a man who had a 
perfect reliance on himself, and a feeling of complete control 
over those around him. But there was a weary look about him, 
an aspect of excessive watchfulness, an appearance of want of 
sleep, of over -work, of overindulgence too, that gives an air 
of exhaustion to face and form, and leaves an impression on 



472 COUNT d'oBSAY and prince LOUIS NAPOLBON. 

the mind of a close observer, that the machine of the body 
will break down soon, and suddenly — or the mind will give 
way — under the pressure of pent-up thoughts and energies 
eternally in action, and never suffered to be observed or 
noticed by friends or followers. 

The man who had the shrewdness and discretion to profit by 
the stupidity of democracy when in power, to avoid the blonder 
of associating republicanism, >vith hatred to priests and hos- 
tility to religion, who had the astuteness to bear in mind that 
the masses of the people believe in their religion, that the 
sacerdotal power was a great element of influence in a state, 
however disregardless he may be of the true interest of &ith 
and morals, and of the church it is essential for him to make 
a shew of upholding ; it is in vain, I say, to represent as a 
" vulgar, common-place personage, puerile, theatrical, and 
vain," as ouq " who loves finery, trinkets, feathers, embroil 
dery, spangles, grand words, and grand titles — the sounding, 
the glittering, all the glass-ware of power."* 

I should be more disposed to regard Louis Napoleon as a 
man, originally well-intentioned and well-disposed, of good qua- 
lities, wrongly directed in his studies, strongly imbued with feel- 
ings of veneration for his imperial uncle, taught to conceal them 
in the times of the reverses of his family ; in his tender years^ 
trained to dissimulation — who had grown up to manhood, t 
tomed to silence, secrecy, and self-communion — ^eu 
stratif, an ambitious, moody, self- communing man, with a dash 
of genius in the composition ofhismind, and a tinge of super* 
stition in his credence, in the connection of his fortune with the 
dispensations of divine Providence, that give a permanent colour 
of fatalism to his opinions, in keeping with the impulses of 
an immoderate ambition, which may have perturbed to some 
extent his imagination. But perhaps the strongest evideooe 
of that perturbation is not to be discovered in the prafisuDd 
conviction on his mind that constitutional governments may 
♦ Napoleon Ic Pdtit. 




COUNT d'oRSAY and PRINCE LOUIS ^NAPOLEON. 473 

become mere systems of organized hypocrisy, administered by 
potent oligarchies, for the interest of a class, under the forms 
of a representative regime. Convictions, however, are no 
excuse for perjuries or necessities created for shedding blood. 
Churches, at all events, should stand aloof from the actors in 
such dramas ; for when the tide of reaction sets in, the potent 
patron and the obsequious prot^g^ are borne down by it 

A man whose life is all interior (not spiritually so, but whoDy 
worldly minded), who lives for himself, in himself, and by him- 
self, whether in a state prison, or on a throne, cannot long 
remain in a state of mind either safe for himself or the 
confidence that others may place in his stability of purpose, 
policy, or promises. 

The author of a work on artillery, which Victor Hugo even 
acknowledges ** well compiled ;" of several remarkable treatises* 
written either in prison or in exile, on " The Extinction of Pau- 
perism" " The Analysis of the Sugar Question" — " Histo- 
rical Fragments," " Political Reveries," cannot with justice be 
regarded as a person of ordinary abilities or acquirements* 
He is a man of considerable talent, of measureless ambi- 
tion, and of no moral principles, of one fixed idea — a 
belief in the destiny of his elevation to supreme power, and 
the sufficiency of his own abilities to maintain himself in it — 
a fatalist working out a destiny that is desired by him — a 
projector on a grand scale of plans for the promotion of selfish 
objects, wrapped up in traditions of the Empire and it^ glory, 
without sympathies with other men, without confidence in 
any man, a speculator on the meanness, the imbecility, and 
sordid dispositions of all around him, silent, self-sufficient, self- 
confident, self-opiniated, self-willed — in the words to me, of one 
of the deepest thinkers and closest observers of France : — " A 
man of no convictions of good or evil — all wrapped up in self." 

L(^t us see how he allows himself to be spoken of by an 
able writer, who is within reach of his commissaries of police. 



474 COUNT d'orsat and prince lou» napolbok. 

The following is the character of the President of the 
French Republic, as drawn by M. de la Grueronnierey late 
editor of " La Presse," and now editor of the " Pays :" — 

" Louis Napoleon is a superior man, but with that supe- 
riority which conceals itself under a doubtful exterior. His 
life is altogether internal — his words do not indicate his in- 
spiration — his gesture does not shew his audacity — his glaooe 
does not intimate his ardour — his demeanour does not rereal 
his resolution. All his moral nature is, in a certain maoDer. 
kept under by his physical nature. He thinks, and does not 
discuss — he decides, and does not deliberate — he acts, and 
does not make much movement — he pronounces, and does not 
assign his reasons. His best friends do not know him — ^he 
commands confidence, and never seeks it. The day before the 
expedition to Boulogne, General Monthdon had promised him 
to follow wherever he led. Every day he presides in sikiice 
at his Council of Ministers — he listens to everything that is 
said, speaks but little, and never yields — with a phrase, brief 
and clear as an order of the day, he decides the most dis- 
puted questions. And that is the reason why a Parliamentaiy 
Ministry is almost impossible by his side. A Pariiamentary 
Ministry would want to govern, and he would not consent to 
abdicate. But with that inflexibility of will there is nothing 
abrupt or absolute in the form. Queen Hortense used to aH 
him the mildly obstinate ; and that judgment of the mother 
is completely true. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte possesses that 
goodness of heart which tempers and often conceals the 
workings of the mind. The somewhat English stiffness of 
his person, manners, and even language, disappears under an 
affability, which, with liim, is only the grace of sentiment 
Many are deceived by that appearance, and take his goodnesi 
for weakness, and his afl^ability for insincerity. At bottom he 
is complet(>ly master of himself ; and his kindest niovements 
enter into his actions only according to the tXBdt measure he 
has determined on. Easily roused, he cannot soon be led 




COUNT D'oRSAT and PRINCE LOUIS MAfOLBOM. 475 

away ; he calculates everything, even his enthusiasm and hb 
acts of audacity ; his heart is only the vassal of his head. 
Does that inflexible judgment constitute an actiTe will? I 
hesitate not to reply, no ; and it is here that I have to touch on 
one of the shades the most essential and most ddicate of his 
character. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte is endowed with an in- 
contestable power of resistance — of vis inertug ; but what he 
wants, in the very highest degree, is the power of initiation. 
He believes too much that the emfnre is to be, and is apathetic. 
He is not sufficiently impressed with the maxim that the head 
of a Government is bound not only to resist the impulse of the 
parties which desire to lead him away, but that to jnoperij 
fulfil all his mission he ought to have an impulse of his ownt 
to march firmly forward, and to make himself the guide of the 
public mind. In closely examining the acts of the President 
of the Republic since he has been in power, we perceive that 
he has freed himself from every one, but led no one afler him. 
It would seem that he must become an instrument in the 
hands of this man or of that. But he has served no ambi- 
tion, and has very adroitly withdrawn from all the conjoint 
responsibilities which impeded or constrained him. All would 
have been exceedingly well if, after having had sufficient 
energy to achieve his personal independence, he had possessed 
sufficient resources to constitute his political importance^ and 
to connect his individuality with a great movement of opi- 
nion. It is that which he has not done. Louis Napoleon 
Bonaparte is at present the free and incontestable head of the 
Government ; but he is not the head of public opinion ; he 
has, without doubt, behind him many reminiscences which his 
name arouses, much enthusiasm which his blood produces, 
many sympathies generated by his character and many interests 
reassured by his government ; but he has not under his hand 
those great currents of opinion which men of real strength 
produce and direct, which carry their fortune with that of the 
country. Is that his fault ? I am inclined to think it is." 



476 PROCEEDINGS ON INQUEST ON THE 

No. IX. 

PROCEEDINGS ON INQUEST ON THE BODY OP JOSEPH LONNSB- 
GAN (shot by EDMOND POWER, ESQ., J.P., THE 21ST OP 
APRIL, 1807). EVIDENCE AND PINPINO OP JURY — 5W0BN 
INFORMATIONS, ETC. 

Copied verbatim from the original documents ezistiog ia tLe Crowa 

office of Clonmel. 

County of Tipperary — To Wit. — The names of the juiy to 
try and enquire how, and in what maDoer, Joseph Loqdo^, 
late of MuUough, in said county, farmer, came by his death. 
Taken before Richard Needham, Esq., D. Mayor of CloniDd, 
and Edmund Armstrong, one of the coroners of said county, 
at the gaol of Clonmel, April 23, 1807. 

Wm. Sargeant, 1. John Farrdl, 7. 

John Lindop, 2. Peter Hinds, 8. 

Wm. Harvey, 3. Dennis Maddin, 9. 

Patt Phelan, 4. John Mulcahy, 10. 

Joseph Hudson, 5. James Mara, II. 

Henry Julian, 6. Bernard Wright,! 2.* 
Gentlemen, your issue is to try, and enquire how, and in 
what manner, Joseph Lonnergan, now lying dead in the 
gaol of Clonmel, was killed, and by whom, when, and wheie, 
and upon what occasion. 

We find that Joseph Lonnergan came to his death by a 
gun-shot wound, and from circumstances, we believe that aud 
shot might have been fired by Edmond Power, as magbtrate 
of this county, in his own defence, and the execution of hii 
office, and under the authority of the Secretary of the Lord 
Lieutenant. 

Signatures of the jury follow. 

* Bernard Wrijjht was the editor of Mr. Power^s Paper« " Tbt 
rioTiincl Gazcite," Uie naiuc person who was floggtd by Sir Joka 
Judkin Fitzgcnild.— B. K. M. 




BODY OF JOSEPH LONNEROAN. 477 

Evidence taken on an inquest held on the body of Joseph 
Lonnergan, on April 23, 1 807, in the gaol of Clonmel. 

First witness, John R. Phillips, of Clonmel, surgeon, de- 
poseth and saith, that he was called upon about five or six 
o'clock on the evening of the 21st of April instant, and saith 
that in about a quarter of an hour after, deponent examined 
Joseph Lonnergan, the deceased, in the gaol of Clonmel, and 
saith, he found he had received a gun-shot wound, which 
wound was the occasion of his death, and saith, that the said 
Lonnergan died about eleven o'clock on the ensuing morning. 
John R. Phillips, surgeon. 
Richard Needham, D. Lieut. Clonmel. 
Edward Armstrong, Coroner. 
Second witness, Mary Kirwan, deposeth and saith, that she 
saw a shot fired at the deceased Joseph Lonnergan, but does 
not know who fired it, but it was fired by a gentleman on horse- 
back ; saith she saw the deceased after the shot was fired 
stretched on the ground, saw a good many people gathered 
at the place where the shot was fired ; saith, the person who 
fired the shot was on a small road, and the deceased was at 
the other side of the ditch ; saith, the deceased did not throw 
a stone, and that he could not without deponent seeing him ; 
the gentleman was standing on a ditch at the opposite side of the 
place where the first shot was fired, when he fired the second 
shot. Saw a gun in his hand, and saw him charge the gun 
after the second shot was fired. 

Mary Kirwan, X her mark. 
Truly read by me, Eldward Armstrong, Coroner. 
Richard Needham, D. L. 
Darby Dwyer, of Gananey, third witness, deposeth and saith 
he knew Joseph Lonnergan, the deceased : deponent saith, he 
does think that the person who fired the shot was not on 
horseback ; did not see any one fire the shot, but deponent 
heard it ; saw the above-named Mary Kirwan at the place be- 



478 PROCBBDINGS ON INQUEST ON THE 

fore deponent went for Mr. Power's horse, and saw Mr. Power 
there ; deponent is not related to the deceased, nor is Mary 
Kirwan : heard only one shot, does not know who the first 
shot was fired by ; saw a gun in Mr. Power's hand. 

Darby Dwyer, X his mark. 

Truly read by Edward Armstrong. 

Richard Needham. 
Bridget Hannahan, widow, of Mullough, fourth witness : — 
Deponent saith, she heard a shot fired, on which deponent 
came up and saw a man on the ditch with a gun in his hand, 
and saw Joseph Lonnergan lying on the day ; saith, she does 
not know Mr. Power, and being called upon to identify his 
person, said, she could not do so ; saith the person who had 
the gun in his hand said he would shoot her if she came 
farther ; and saith that the man on the ditch was forty yards 
from the deceased, when deponent came up and saw no cvther 
person with a gun. 

Bridget Hannahan, X her mark. 

Truly read by Edward AnnstroDg. 

Richard Needham. 
John Everard, of Mullough, jfanqer, fifth witness, deposeth 
and saith, he knew Joseph Lonnergan, the deceased : saith, 
he was not present at the beginning of the transaction, but 
came up a good while afterward, and deponoit met Mr. 
Power, who came up towards the place where deponent wa^ 
and deponent and Mr. Power met each other; suth, he saws 
shot fired by Mr. Power, at which time Joseph Lonnergan, the 
deceased, was running away from Mr. Power, and deponent 
asked Mr. Power why he fired at the deceased, and he an- 
swered witness, that the villain had thrown a stone at him, 
upwards of two pounds weight, which Mr. Power produced 
to witness ; and that he hit him with the stone ; the d^ 
ceased got into the house of Mr. William Lonnergan, of 
Mullough, and Mr. Power asked Lonnergan if the i 




BODY OP JOSEPH LONNEROAM. 479 

he fired bad hit him ; he, LonnergaD, siud it did not ; on which 
Mr. Power said, '^ I am glad of it, for it was at your hack I 
fired, and if it hit you, it would have killed you.'' I- know 
that Mr. Power is a magistrate for the county of Tipperary. 
Heard that after the prisoner was taken away, there was a mob 
collected ; saith, he believes that Mr. Power, upon the occa- 
sion aforesaid, was acting in the capacity of a magistrate for 
said county. John Everard. 

Richard Needham. 

Edward Armstrong, Coroner. 

Mr. Jephson, sixth witness, saith, he is a magistrate of the 
county of Tipperary, and saith, there were informations sworn 
before deponent, as a magistrate of the county of Waterford, 
against the deceased, for a capital felony, which informations 
were lodged by a person in the gaol of Waterford, who turned 
approver, and saith, that the crime was so very serious, and 
the parties concerned therein notorious, that deponent wrote 
to the Lord Lieutenant and Secretary, who by letter informed 
deponent that he might offer a reward of £100 for the appre- 
hension of any of the gang concerned, and saith the deceased 
was at the head of the gang ; deponent saith, that he gave 
Mr. Power the information to copy, with direction to him to 
act under them, and to apprehend any one of the said gang, 
particularly three of them, one of whom was the deceased. 

L. H. Jephson. 

Richard Needham, D. L. 

Edward Armstrong, Coroner. 

information of patrick lonnergan (brother op the 

deceased). 

County of Tipperary — To wit. By one of his Majesty's 
Justices of the Peace for the said County. 

The information of Patrick Lonnergan, of Mullough, in 
the western division of the barony of Ifh and Offa, and parish 



480 INFORMATIOX OP PATRICK LOMKERGAN. 

of Mullough, in the said county, farmer, who came before roe 
this day, and being duly sworn and examined on the Holy 
Evangelists, deponent saith, he was in the employment of 
William Lonnergan, of Mullough aforesaid, Esq., on the 21st 
day of April instant, where deponent's brother, Joseph Lon- 
nergan, late of Mullough, deceased, had been, and that he 
was also on the lands of Mullough aforesaid, and in the actual 
act of doing the business carefully appointed for him on said 
day, by William Lonnergan aforesaid, with this deponent, 
when then and there Edmond Power, of Clonmel, in said 
county, Esq., came on horseback, and on seeing the said 
Joseph Lonnergan, deceased, in distance from him about 
thirty-three yards, did instantly, wilfully, and feloniously, pre- 
sent a gun directed at the said Joseph Lonnergan, deceased, 
and discharged the contents thereof, with design to kill the 
said Joseph Lonnergan, and did hit him with a ball, which 
was the cause of the said Joseph Lonnergan's death ; depo- 
nent saith, he also ssiw the said Edmond Power dischaige a 
second shot at the deceased Joseph Lonnergan ; deponent 
saith, said Edmond Power, Michael Power, and another man, 
whose name is yet unknown to deponent, did unroercifuDy 
take the deceased Joseph Lonnergan, and him then bleeding 
in his wounds, put him on horseback, and carried and 
guarded him to the gaol of Clonmel, in the said county; 
deponent saith, he did not know any cause that commissioned 
said Edmond Power to kill or murder the deceased, or commit 
him to the gaol of Clonmel, wherein the said Joseph Lonner- 
gan died on the morning of Wednesday, the 22iid instant; 
also saith, the said Joseph Lonnergan, deceased, made no 
defence, opposition, resistance, or rescue, against any authoritv 
or order then in the hands or power of said Edmond Pbwcr 
against him the said Joseph Lonnergan, deceased ; deponenl 
saith, it was the aforesaid shot which he the said EdrnwiJ 
Power fired on him caused his death ; thereupcm desires jai- 




INFORMATION OF PATRICK LONNERGAN. 481 

ticey and at trial he will make more fully appear. Sworn* 
before me, this 29th day of April, 1807* 

Thomas Penderoast. 

Informant bound to the King in the trust sum of £20 
to prosecute the above information at the next General As- 
sizes to be holden at Clonmel, for said Court. 

Patrick ^ Lonnergan. 
His mark. 

We certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of 
the information, &c , in the case of the Queen v. Edmond 
Power, tried at the Summer Assizes, 1807, for the wilful 
murder of Joseph Lonnergan. Dated this 9th day of 
August, 1854.* 

Pedder and Carmichael, 
Per M. Harvey, 
Clerk of the Crown, County Tipperary, L. R. 

substance of the bill of indictment against edmond 

power, ESQ., J.P., OF CLONMEL, FOR MURDER OF JOSEPH 

lonnergan. 

Set forth that Edmond Power, of Clonmel, m the county of 
Tipperary, Esq., one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace fop 
said county, wilfully, feloniously, and of his malice prepense, 
assaulted Joseph Lonnergan and inflicted a gun-shot wound 
on the right side of the body, near the right breast of the said 
Joseph Lonnergan, of the length of two inches, and of the 
depth of three inches, of which said mortal wound he the said 
Joseph Lonnergan languished, and languishing lived, from the 
said twenty-first day of April until the day next foUowing, and 

* There is an error in the date of the trial aboTe mentioned. It 
took place at the Springy Assizes of 1S08, March the 16th, and is briefly 
reported in the Waterford Mirror of the 19th of March. 

VOL. I. I I 



4S2 REMARKS ON PROCEEDINGS AGAINST 

then, oil the tweDty-second day of April, in the said forty- 
seventh year of the reign of our said Lord the King, at 
Clonmel, died, and so the jurors aforesaid do say and present, 
that the said Edmond Power, in manner and form aforesaid, 
did kill and murder the said Joseph Lonnergan. 
True Bill for self and fellow jurors, 

J. A. Prittie. 

The discovery of the above-mentioned documents, was 
made subsequently to the account given in the Introduction 
of this work of the occurrence they refer to. 

On perusing these official documents, it can hardly fail to 
strike the reader with surprise, how little variance there is 
between the accounts of a transaction which occurred forty- 
eight years ago, derived from the recollection of various par* 
ties, and the judicial records above referred to in relation to it 

The only discrepancies between them, of any importance, I 
have to notice, are the following : — 

By the depositions, it appears that the deceased Joseph 
Lonnergan had a brother, who was present when Mr. Power 
fired at the former, not once but twice, taking delibotite aim 
at him, when he was in the act of running away from his as- 
sailant ; that no provocation had been given by the deceased, 
but that he was employed, at the moment he was fired at by 
Mr. Power, on his lawful business. 

By the evidence of Mr. Everard, of MuIIough, firmer, it 
appeared, immediately after he saw the shot fired by Mr. Power 
at Lonnergan, who was in the act of running awaj,^ the de- 
ponent asked Mr. Power why he fired at the deceased, and 
Mr. Power replied, " The villain had thrown a atone at him 
two pounds weight." 

Mr. L. H. Jephson, the brother magistrate of Mr. Power, 
who was produced at the inquest, deposed to infonnatioDS 
sworn before deponent against the deceased for a capitil ftloiiy 
(but Mr. Jephson did not state what the felony was) ; toAoie 




EDMOND POWER, ESQ. 4S3 

informations being sworn by a person in the gaol of Water- 
ford, who had turned approver (but the name of the party was 
not given) ; to the fact of writing to the government on the 
subject of them, and being authorized to offer a reward for 
any of the gang concerned^ and subsequently, to directions 
given to Power to apprehend any one of the said parties, par^ 
ticularly three of them, one of whom was the deceased. 

The simple facts of the case were these : — Mr. Jephson 
refers to a communication he made to the government, stating 
some outrage which was said to have been committed in his 
neighbourhood. It is very plain that neither he nor the go* 
vernment knew who the offenders were, for the government 
found it necessary to offer a reward of £100 for the discovery 
of them, " for any of the gang concerned.*' 

Mr. Jephson having been thus authorized, obtained some 
information which caused him to instruct Mr. Power to take 
measures for the arrest of some persons of the name of Lon- 
nergan suspected to be of the gang concerned. And Mr. 
Power's act having rendered it necessary for him to attach 
suspicion to the unfortunate young man, whom in his frenzied 
recklessness he shot, had evidently given such reasons for 
those suspicions to his brother magistrate, that Mr. Jephson 
at the period of the inquest was satisfied, that the deceased 
was one of the suspected parties belonging to the gang C(m* 
cerned in the unspecified outrage he referred to. But it is 
quite dear if the evidence of the farmer Everard can be relied 
on, that Power's sole complaint against Lonnergan was that 
the latter had thrown a stone at him. 

From the report of the trial, it appears that the aged father 
of Joseph Lonnergan was not dead at the time of the young 
man's murder, but the old man's death must have occurred 
immediately after that catastrophe, for the mother is invariably 
mentioned by those who speak of their remembrance of the 
inquest and trial — as the widow Lonnergan. 

I I 2 



484 THE FATE OF THE SHBEHTS 

No. X. 

THE FATE OF THE 8HEEHYS IN 1765 AND 1766. 

The maternal grandfather of the Countess of Blessington, t 
Roman Catholic gentleman of an andent fiunSy in Tipperary, 
and in comfortable circumstances, Ekimond Sheehy, Esq., was 
one of the victims of the murderous spirit of religious ranoour 
which prevailed in Ireland about the middle of the eighteenth 
century. Young Mr. Sheehy was persecuted to the death fay 
the Terrorists of Tipperary of those times, on a diai^ of 
Whiteboyism, and executed at Clogheen, near Clonroel, on 
that charge, the 3rd of May, 1766. A cousin of his, the 
Rev. Nicholas Sheehy, was likewise sacrificed at the same 
period, on a charge of Whiteboyism, with one of murder 
superadded. 

The Rev. Mr. Sheehy was a man of unblemished diarao- 
ter ; a pious, zealous clergyman, earnest in his endeavours to 
promote religion and justice in his parish, and to protect lus 
parishioners from the extortion of tithe proctors and diurch- 
rate collectors. In the parish of Newcastle, he had denounoed 
some rapacious proceedings of the extortionist farmera of tbeM 
imposts ; and for this crime of interference between the pec^ 
and their exacting masters, he was soon a ** marked nuOi" 
and in due time a persecuted one 

** The Dublin Gazette," March 16, 1765, anDOunooB that, 
*' About eight o'clock on Wednesday night, Nicholaa Sheehy, 
a popish priest, charged with being concerned in several tna> 
sonable practices to raise a rebellion in this kingdom, for the 
apprehending of whom, government oflPered a reward of £800, 
was brought to town guarded by a party of light horsey and 
lodged by the Provost in the Lower Castle Yard." It was 
not till the 10th of February, in the followii^ year, that he 
was brought to trial in the Court of King's Bench. Hm 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 485 

Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, then, was the Right 
Honourable John Gore; second Justice, Mr. Christopher 
Robinson ; third Justice, William Scott, Esq. The indictment 
charged the prisoner with acting as a leader in a treasonable 
conspiracy, exercising men under arms, swearing them to alle- 
giance to the French king, and inciting them to rebellion. 
The witnesses produced were, a man of the name of John 
Toohy, a prisoner in Kilkenny gaol, committed on a charge of 
horse-stealing — a woman of the name of Mary Butler, and a 
yagrant boy named Lionnergan. 

It would be difficult to comprehend the nature or extent 
of the wickedness exhibited in these proceedings, without re- 
ferring to the circumstances which rendered Sheehy and 
others more obnoxious to the magisterial conspirators than the 
persons of his persuasion in the neighbourhood, who had the 
good fortune to escape being similarly implicated. The en- 
closing of commonage in the neighbourhood of Clogheen, in 
the winter of 1761-2, had inflicted much injury on the pa- 
rishioners of Father Sheehy. 

About that time, the tithes of two Protestant clergymen, 
Messrs. Foulkes and Sutton, in the vicinity of Ballyporeen, 
were rented to a tithe proctor of the name of Dobbyn. The 
tithe farmer instituted in 1762, a new claim on the Roman 
Catholic people in his district, of five shillings for every mar- 
riage celebrated by a priest. This new impost was resisted 
by the people, and as it fell heavily on the poor of the parish 
of Father Sheehy, it was publicly denounced by him. The 
first '' risings" in his neighbourhood were connected with 
resistance to this odious tax. 

The various informations and indictments framed against 
the obnoxious priest, show plainly enough, differing as they 
do, in the most material particulars, yet concurring in one 
pointy the influence of Sheehy over his parishioners, that his 
prosecutors were casting about them at random, for evidence 



486 THE FATE OF THE SlIEKHYS 

of any kind or character, that might rid them of the annoy- 
ance of a man of an independent mind, and by his iroplicatioD 
give additional colour to the pretended Popish plot 

For several months previous to Mr. Sheehy*s surrender, 
he had been in concealment, flying from house to house of 
such of his parishioners as he could confide in. He had been 
frequently obliged to change his abode, to avoid the rigonnis 
searches that were almost daily made for him. At length, 
terror and corruption had exerted such an influence over his 
own flock, that he hardly knew whom to trust, or in whose 
house to seek an asylum. Indeed, it is impossible to wade 
through the mass of informations sworn to against him by 
persons of various grades, without wondering at the extent 
and successfiilness of the villany that was practised against 
him. His last place of refuge at Clogheen was in the house 
of a small farmer, a Protestant, of the name of Grifliths, ad- 
joining the churchyard of Shandrahan, where his remains now 
lie. The windows of this house open into the churdiyani, 
and there Father Sheehy was concealed for three days, hid 
during the day in a vault in the latter place, and during the 
night in the house, when it was necessary to keep up a 
large fire, so benumbed with cold he used to be when brought 
at nightfall from the place that was indeed his living tomb. 
The house is still standing, and inhabited by the grandson of 
his fnithful friend, and one not of his own creed, it is to be 
remembered. 

The last service rendered to him at Clogheen, was likewise 
by a Protestant, a gentleman in the commission of the peace, 
Mr. Cornelius O'Callaghan, and to whom he. surrendered 
himself. This gentleman gave him one of his horses to con- 
vey him to Dublin, and the sum of ten guineas to bear his 
expenses. 

Mr. 0*Callaghnn's high rank, his character for loyalto, his 
position in society, were not sufiiciont to secure him firom the 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 4S7 

maligDtty of the magistmal conspirators. Mr. (yCallaghaii 
was denounced by Justice BagweD as a suspected person ; Lord 
James Cahir, the ancestor of Lord Gkngall, was likewise 
declared to be on the black list of this gentleman, and of his 
assodate, the Rev. J. Hewetson. Both these gentlemen had 
to fly the country to save their lives ; and the noblemen who 
are their successors, would do wdl to remember how necessary 
it is to keep the administration of justice in pure hands, that 
rapacious villany may be discomfited in its attempts to promote 
its interests by the inculpation of men, who have broad lands 
and local influence to be deprived of by convictions and con* 
fiscations. 

One of the earliest charges of Whiteboyism brooght against 
Father Sheehy, stands thus recorded in the indictment and 
information book in the Crown Office :♦ — 

'' Nicholas Sheehy, biuled in £2000; Denms Keane, 
£1000; Nicholas Doherty, £1000. A true bill. Clonmel 
General Assizes, May 23, 1763, before Right Hon. Warden 
Flood and Hon. William Scott. Nicholas Sheehy, a popish 
priest, bound over in court last assizes, trial then put off by 
the court, indicted for that he, with divers others, ill-disposed 
persons and disturbers of the peace, on the second day of 
March, in the second year of the reign of George III., at 
Scarlap, did unlawfully assemble and assault William Ross, 
and did wickedly compel him to swear that he would never 
discover anything to the prejudice of the Whiteboys, &c. 
William Ross bound over in £100, estreated; James Ross, 
£100, estreated." 

At Clonmel Summer Assizes of 1764, Nicholas Sheehy 
was again indicted, and seven other persons, out on bail, were 
included in the same indictment, wherein it set forth, " That 

* The above document, and all the others of a similar kind, which 
are here given, were collected by myself, and copied from the original 
official documents in the Crown Office of Clonmel, many years ago. 



488 THE FATE OF THE SHEEHTS 

they on the 6th of January, in the fourth year of the king's 
reign, at Shanbally, did assault John Bridge, against the 
peace." 

At the same assizes, a true bill was found against Edward 
Meehan, Nicholas Sheehan, Nicholas Lee, John Magan, John 
Butler, and Edmund Burke, chargmgthem with '* oonnpaanig 
rebellion at Clogheen, on the 7th March and 6th October, 
second year of the king, and unlawfuUy assemfaliDg in white 
shirts, in arms, when they did traitorously prepare, ordab, and 
levy war against the king ;" and bound to ^ipear as witnesKi, 
Michael Guynan, Thomas Lonergan, and Mary Butkr. 

On the 19th November, 1764, Denis Brien,of BaDyporeen, 
was bound over before Mr. Cornelius O'Callagfaan, to 
at the following assizes, '' to answer aU tking$ brought aj 
him by Michael Guynan, John Bridge, or any other penon^ 
concerning the late disturbances.'* 

The number of informations sworn to against all the lead- 
ing Catholic gentry of the county, by the Lonergana^ Gaynan, 
Toohy, a horse-stealer, and two abandoned women, of the 
names of Butler and Dunlay, between the yean 1763 and 
1767, would fill a good-sized volume. The namea of the 
magistrates before whom these informations, in almost evoj 
instance, were sworn, were John Bagwell, Thomas Maude^and 
the Rev. J. Hewetson. 

At the General Assizes held at Clonmel, the 16th March, 
1765, before Chief Baron Willes and Mr. Justice Tcnnisoiii 
the following bills found at the former assizes, were braogbt 
before the Grand Jury. Some of the trials were put off^ all 
the parties admitted to bail, or allowed to rtand out oo 
hea\7 recognizances ; and the names of the peraons who bailed 
the prisoners are deserving of notice ; for it will be fboBd, 
that to enter into sureties for a man marked out fiar ndn faf 
the Clonmel conspirators, was to draw down the vcngmce of 
these conspirators on those who dared to come fimranl as 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 4S9 

witnesses, and stand between the victims and their perse- 
cutors. 

I doubt if anything more terribly iniquitous than the pro* 
ceedings which I have traced in these official records, is to be 
met with in the history of any modem conspiracy. 

The High Sheriff in 1 765 was Sir Thomas Maude ; the 
foreman of the grand jury, Richard Pennefather, Esq. The 
following are the persons named, as having been formerly in- 
dicted and held to bail : — 

'' Edmond Burke, of TuUow, bail £500 ; his sureties, John 
Hogan and Thomas Hickey, of Frehans. 

'' John Buder, innkeeper, Clogheen, bail £500 ; his sure- 
ties, George Everard, of Lisheenanoul, and James Butler, of 
Gurranne, county Cork. 

*' Edward Meehan, Clogheen, £500 ; his sureties, Pierce 
Nagle,of Flemingstown; John Butler, of Mitchektown ; James 
Hickey, of Frehans ; John Bourk, of Rouska. 

^' Nicholas Sheeby, surrendered ; James Buxton, Patrick 
Condon, and Patrick Boar, out." 

The preceding details sufficiently explain the views and 
objects of the prosecutors, and their temporary defeat by the 
terms entered into by Father Sheehy with government, by 
which a trial in Dublin was secured to him. 

The trial, which took place on the 10th of February, 1766, 
in the Court of King's Bench, was impartially conducted ; 
the conduct of the *' managers," who got up the evidence, at 
every turn of the testimony, bore on its &ce the evident marks 
of subornation of perjury. The vile witnesses broke do¥m, 
and after a trial of fourteen hours' duration, the persecuted 
priest was honourably acquitted. He had redeemed his pledge 
to the government, he had given himself up, stood his trial 
and proved his innocence. But no sooner was the verdict 
pronounced, than the faith of Government was broken with 
him. The unfortunate man was informed by the Chief Jus- 



490 THE PATE OF THE SHEEHTS 

tice, that a charge of murder was brought agaiDst him, and 
on this charge he must be committed to Newgate. He was 
accordingly taken from the dock, removed to the prison, and, 
after two or three days' imprisonment, was put into the hands of 
his merciless persecutors, to be forthwith conveyed to Cbnmd. 

The first intimation of the new charge against him was 
given to him in Dublin, a few days previously to his trial, by a 
person named O'Brien, who had accompanied him from 
Clogheen. Martin O'Brien, on account of his intdligence 
and prudence, had been chosen by the friends of the priest to 
accompany him to Dublin ; and he gave some pnxrf' of bis 
fitness for his appointment, by strongly urging on him, a few 
days previously to his trial, to quit the kingdom. Father 
Sheehy was then at large ; he had been confined, for a few 
days after his surrender, in the provost in the casde-yard. He 
was placed under the charge of Major Joseph Sirr, then town- 
major, and father to the person of less enviaUe notoriety in 
the same office at a later period. His innocence was so 
manifest to Mr. Secretary Waite and to Major Sirr, that he 
was relieved from all restraint, and the latter held himself re* 
sponsible for his appearance at the time appointed for his trial 

While he was at large, he was informed by O'Brien that a 
person had brought him an account fit)m Clonmd, that no 
sooner had the news of Father Sheehy's surrender been re- 
ceived, than a rumour got abroad that a charge of murder 
was to be brought against him. He recommended Father 
Sheehy not to lose a moment in getting out of the kingdom, 
and urgently pressed him to put himself the saoie day on 
board a packet for England. 

O'Brien several years afterwards stated to my informant, 
that Sheehy smiled at the proposal. He said, the rumour of 
Bridge's death was raised only to frighten him oat of die 
cx)untry, but he would not gratify his enemies; and if they 
bro\ight s\irh a monstrous charge against him, he oouM cisilj 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 491 

disprove it. Sheehy's arrival in Dublin, it is to be borne in 
mind, was only five months after the alleged murder, and at 
the time of his departure from Clogheen, it is positively 
affirmed by Magrath, on the authority of O'Brien, that Father 
Sheehy had then no knowledge of the murder ; and the pro* 
bability is, that it was in Dublin a fugitive named Mahony, 
when about quitting the kingdom, had made the revelations 
to him. 

Sheehy was conveyed on horseback, under * a strong mili- 
tary escort, to Clonmel, his arms pinioned, and his feet tied 
under the horse's belly. While in confinement in the gaol 
of Clonmel, he was double bolted, and treated in every respect 
with the utmost rigour. In this condition he was seen by 
one of his old friends ; and while this gentleman was condoling 
with him on his unfortunate condition, he pointed to his 1^, 
which were ulcerated by the cords he had been bound with on 
his way from Dublin. He said, laughing, " Never mind, we 
will defeat these fellows ;" and he began humming a verse of 
the old Irish song of " Shaun na guira" 

On the 12th of March, 1766, Sheehy was put on his trial, 
at Clonmel, for the murder of John Bridge. Most of the 
witnesses who gave evidence on the former trial were pro- 
duced on this occasion. 

Nicholas Sheehy was indicted on the charge of having been 
present at and aiding and abetting Edmund Meighan in 
the murder of John Bridge. Mr. Sheehy had a sister, 
who resided in Shanbally, in the vicinity of Clogheen ; and 
at this placC) according to the evidence, the murder of 
Bridge, Lord Carrick, Mr. John Bagndl, Mr. William Bag- 
nell, and other persons obnoxious to them was first proposed 
by Mr. Sheehy to a numerous assemblage of Whiteboys ; and 
by him, all those present were sworn to secrecy, fidelity to the 
French king, and the commission of the proposed murders, 
and subsequently the murder was committed by one of the 



492 THE PATE OP THE SHEEHTS 

party, named Edmund Meighan, of Grange, in the month of 
October, 1764. 

Sheehy and Meighan were tried separately. The nine 
evidence for the prosecution was produced on both trials. 
The notes of one of the jurors, taken at the trial of the latter, 
were communicated to the editor of '^ The Geodeman'a and 
London Magazine," with a view to establish the guilt of 
the accused parties ; and, therefore, the account la to be 
taken as one, the leaning of which was certainly towards 
the prosecutors, and in suppport of the finding of the jury.* 
There is evidence, however, on the face of this report of die 
innocence of the prisoners. John Bridge, the man alleged 
to have been murdered, was a simple, harmless creature, of 
weak intellect, and was accustomed to go about the county 
amongst the small farmers, with whom he was a favourite, 
and was looked on by them as a good-natured poor fidlow, 
who, having no friends or relatives, had some daim to their 
kindness. When the head-quarters of the Eail of Dro^ieda 
were at Clogheen, he had been taken up on naspkiaa ef 
Whiteboyism, or for the purpose of obtaining infbmiatioD 
from him; he was flogged with great severity, and under 
that torture made disclosures, which were supposed sofiU 
cient to implicate several persons in the neighbourhood of 
Clogheen. 

The discovery of the remains of a man alleged to have 
been murdered, on the trial of the persons charged wiA fab 
murder, it might have been imagined would have been a 
matter of some importance. But the fad, of the parties who 
swore they had been present at the mturder, and interment of 
the body, having failed to substantiate the latter part of their 
statement, by the discovery of bis remains, was of no 
tage to the accused. 

Dr. Curry, in his pamphlet, ''the Candid Enquiry," 
* Gentleman's and London Magazine, June, 1766; pagv S70. 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 408 

to a letter which Sheehy wrote to Major Sirr the day before 
his execution, wherein he admitted that the murder of Bridge 
had been revealed to him in a manner he could not avafl him- 
self of for his own preservation ; and that the murder had 
been committed by two persons, not by those sworn to by the 
witnesses, and in a different manner to that described by 
them. Curry admits this letter was written by Sheehy, but 
he does not insert it ; and in his subsequent work, " The 
Review of the Civil Wars," there is no mention at all made 
of it, in his account of these proceedings. Having obtained 
a copy of this letter, the first point to ascertain was, if the 
letter was written by Sheehy, or fabricated by his enemies. 
The result of my enquiries was to convince me that the ktter 
was genuine. It was declared to be so, by the successor of 
Father Sheehy in the parish of Clogheen (Mr. Keating), to 
Mr. Flannery, another clergyman, living in the same place, at 
a later period. Dr. Egan, who then administered the diocese, 
had likewise declared it to be genuine. The present parish 
priest of Clogheen, a relative of Edmond Sheehy, believes it 
to be genuine. One of the Roman Catholic dei^men of 
Clonmel, who takes the deepest interest in the fate of Father 
Sheehy, has no doubt of its authenticity. Every surviving 
relative of either of the Sheehys with whom I have commu- 
nicated entertains the same opinion ; and lastly, I may observe^ 
the document bears the internal evidence of authenticity in its 
style and tone. 

The following is a literal copy of this document : — 

''to JOSEPH SIRR, ESQ., DUBLIN. 

'' Clonmel, Friday morning, March 14^ 1766. 

" Dear Sir, 

'' To-morrow I am to be executed, thanks be to the Almighty 

God, with whom I hope to be for evermore : I woidd not change 

my lot with the highest now in the kingdom. I die innocent 

of the facu for which I am sentenced. The Lord have mercy 



494 THE PATE OP THE 8HEBHY8 

on my soul 1 I beseech the great Creator that for year benevo- 
lence to me he will grant you grace to make such use of your 
time here that you may see and enjoy him hereafter. Bemem- 
ber me to Mr. Waite, the Lord Chancellor^ Speaker, and the 
Judges of the King's Bench ; may Grod bless them ! Becom- 
mend to them, all under the same charge with me ; they are 
innocent of the murder ; the prosecutors swore wrongfoUy and 
falsely ; God forgive them. The accusers and the aocosed are 
equally ignorant of the fact, as I have been informed, but afier 
such a manner I received the information that I camiot make 
use of it for my own preservation ; the fact is, that John Bridge 
was destroyed by two alone, who strangled him on Wednesday 
nighty the 24th October, 1764. I was then from home, and only 
returned home on the 28th, and heard that he had disappeared. 
Various were the reports, which to believe I could not pretend 
to, until in the discharge of my duty one accused himaelf of the 
said fact. May God grant the guilty true repentance, and pre- 
serve the innocent I I recommend them to your care. I have 
relied very much on Mr. Waite's promise. I hope no OKire 
priests will be distressed for their religion, and that the Boman 
Catholics of this kingdom will be countenanced by the Grorem- 
ment, as I was promised by Mr. TVaite woidd be the case if I 
proved my innocence. I am now to appear before the IKvine 
tribunal, and declare that I was unacquainted with Mary Butler, 
alias Casey, and John Toohy, never having spoken to or seen 
either of them, to the best of my memory, before I taw them in 
the King's Bench last February. May God forgive themt and 
bless them, you, and all mankind, are the earnest and fierrent 
prayers of, 

" Dear Sir, 

" Tour most obliged, humble servant, 

" Nicholas Shbbht.** 

The witnesses stated that the murder was oommitted the 
28th October, 1 764. Father Sheeby says it was on the 94th. 
The number of persons implicated in it by the fonner was 
considerable, by the latter two only were concerned in it In 
the mode of committing it the discrepancy of the *^?f*wmtt is 
no less obvious. 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 495 

The question arises, when was this confession made to 
Father Sheehy, and with what object ? Amyas Griffith speaks 
of the disclosure thus made under the veil of confession, as 
'' no new method of entrapping credulous priests/* 

Curry treats the disclosure as a snare laid by the enemies 
of Sheehy for their own purposes. The purposes to be served 
by having recourse to the infamous proceeding of deceiving 
the unwary priest, and of making the functions of his sacred 
office subservient to the designs of his enemies, could only be 
the following. If resorted to previously to trial, by the dis- 
closure of the alleged murder to deter him from adducing 
evidence of the man's existence ; or, if subsequently to it, to 
leave it out of his power to make any declaration of his igno- 
rance of the fact of his alleged death. 

The attempt for the accomplishment of either object was 
not too unimportant for the character of the prosecutors ; 
nor can it be deemed too infamous to be beyond the compass 
of their wickedness, when we find them holding out offers of 
pardon to their three next victims, on condition of their 
making a declaration that ** the priest" in his last solemn pro- 
testation of innocence *' had died with a He in his mouth.'' 

Bridge had been sought out, at the commencement of the 
persecution of the Sheehys, as a fit person to be worked 
upon by the influence of terror and the infliction of corporal 
judgment. 

This man, having been tortured, made whatever disdosuret 
were suggested to him, or required of him ; and he was 
bound over to appear as a witness when called on. He made 
no secret of the punishment he had received, or the disclo- 
sures he had made, and some of the peopb implicated by him 
were desirous to get him out of the country ; others, in his 
own rank of life, there is reason to believe, distrusted his in- 
tention to leave the country, and contrived a nefarious plot to 
get rid of his testimony, by implicating him in a felony. 



496 THS FATE OP THE SHBEHY8 

The church plate, dialice, &c., of a small Roman Catholic 
place of worship at Carrigvistail, near Ballyporeen, iisuallj 
kept for better security at the house of an innkeepor of the 
name of Sherlock, adjoining the chapel, were stokn, or said 
to be so, and concealed on the premises, with the knowledge, 
it is alleged, of the owner of the house. The (acts now men- 
tioned have not been published heretofore, and the importance 
of their bearing on the character of these proceedings, ren- 
dered it necessary to be well assured of the grounds there 
were for attaching credit to them, before coming to a deter- 
mination to give them publicity. The authority on which 
they are now given, there are good grounds for rdying on. 
The result of these inquiries as to the truth of the statement 
of one main fact respecting the fate of Bridge, coincides 
with the opinion of every surviving friend and relative of 
the Sheehys, and the other innocent men who suffered in 
this business, with whom I have communicated on the 
subject. 

The rumour of the stolen church plate was soon cirualatfd 
in the country, and Bridge being in the habit of frequenting 
Sherlock's house, was pointed out as the person suspected of 
having stolen it. The double infamy now attached to Bridge's 
character, of being an informer and a sacrilegious penon. He 
was advised to leave the country ; and at length he made pr^ 
parations to do so. On their completion, he took loava of 
his acquaintances; and the last time he was seen by them 
was on his way to the house of an old friend of his, i 
Francis Bier, for the purpose of taking leave of him. It ' 
known that he intended calling on another of his i 
ances, named Timothy Sullivan, a slater. Sullivan and a 
man of the name of Michael Mahony, better known in kb 
neighbourhood by the name, in Irish, for ** wicked 
lived at Knockaughrim bridge ; he fell into their i 
was murdered by them. No other human being had act or 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 497 

|>art in this foul deed. Mahony's flight, and his reasons for 
h, were known for a long time only to his friends. The body 
of the murdered man was thrown into a pond at Shanbally. 

Mahony fled the country ; Sullivan remained, and lived and 
(tied, unsuspected by the authorities, though not unknown as 
the murderer to one individual at Clogheen ; an innkeeper of 
the name of Magrath, who had been one of the innocent per- 
sons sworn against by Mary Dunlea, and had undergone a 
long imprisonment in Clonmel gaol. 

Sullivan was a Protestant ; Mahony, a CathoUc. If the 
crime was perpetrated and revealed by either, the disclosure 
must have been made by Mahony. 

From the time of Bridge's disappearance till this disclosure 
in the Confessional, Father Sheehy states that various rumours 
were afloat, but which of them to believe he knew not. In 
concluding this part of the subject, I have only to observe, if 
the shadow of a doubt remains respecting the fete of Bridge, 
none whatever can be entertained of the innocence of those 
who were the victims of one of the foulest conspiracies on 
record. 

" On the day of his (Sheehy's) trial," we are told, "aparfy 
of horse surrounded the court, admitting and excluding whom 
they thought proper ; while others of them, with a certain 
Baronet (Sir Thomas Maude) at their head, scampered the 
streets in a formidable manner ; forcing into inns and private 
lodgings in the town ; challenging and questioning all new 
comers; menacing the friends, and encouraging the ene- 
mies of the priest. Even after sentence of death was pro* 
nounced against him, which one would think might have 
fully satisfied his enemies, Mr. S w (Sparrow), his attor- 
ney, declares that he found it necessary, for his safety, to steal 
out of the town by night, and with all possible speed to escape 
to Dublin."* 

* Candid Enquiry, &c. pp. 9 and 10. 
VOL. I. K K 



498 THE FATE OF THE 8HEEHTS 

The prisoner was found guilty of the murder of John 
Bridge, and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered; 
and on the 1 5th the sentence was carried into execution at 
Clonmel. The head of the persecuted priest was stuck on a 
spike, and placed over the porch of the dd gaol, and there it 
was allowed to remain for upwards of twenty yeara, till at 
length his sister was allowed to take it away, and bury it 
with his remains at Shandraghan. 

Beside the ruins of the old church of Shandraghan, the 
grave of Fathcy Sheehy is distinguished by the beaten path, 
which reminds us of the hold which his memory haa to this 
day on the affections of the people. The inscriptiona on the 
adjoining tombs are effaced by the footsteps of the pilgrims 
who stand beside his grave, not rarely or at stated feativab^ but 
day after day, as I was informed on the spot, while the neg- 
lected tomb of the ancestors of the proud persecutor, WiDiam 
Bagnell, lies at a little distance, unhonoured and unnoticed by 
them. The inscription on the tomb of Father Shediy is in 
the following terms : " Here lieth the remaina of the Rev. 
Nicholas Sheehy, parish priest of Shandraghan, Ballyahedian, 
and Templeheny. He died March 16tb, 1 766, aged 38 yean. 
Erected by his sister, Catherine Burke, alias Sheehy/' 

An attempt on a large scale was now made to impiifate tiie 
leading Roman Catholic gentry of Tipperaiy in the alleged 
Popish Plot of 1766, after the necessary anangementa had 
been completed for the disposal of Father Sheehy. 

The rescue of some prisoners in the county of Kilkflnny, 
and the murder of a soldier (as in Keating'a oaae, at a pr^ 
vious period), was the principal charge on which l^^*"MMMi 
Sheehy, James Farrell, and James Buxton, wore firat arreeted. 
They were sent to Kilkenny, to be tried at the aaaina; but 
after they had been arraigned, the nature of the 
affording no grounds for expecting a conviction, the 
ings were stopped, and they were sent back to GlonnMl gaol^ 




IN 1766 AND 1766. 499 

OD the 4th of April, where Dew charges were to be preferred 
against them at the Special Assizes, which opened on the 8th 
of May, 1766. 

Edmond Sheehy, a second or third cousin of Father Shediy, 
was a gentleman of moderate independence, connected with 
several of the most respectable Catholic families in the oouoty, 
of a generous disposition, of social habits, and had lived on 
good terms with the Protestant gentry of his neighbourhood. 
His personal appearance was remarkably prepossessing. Per- 
sons still living have a vivid recollection of his frank, expres- 
sive features, his fine athletic form, of his intrepid demeanour 
on his trial ; and on his way to execution, they speak of his 
personal appearance as that of a man in the prime of life, 
and the maturity of manly vigour. He was a married man, 
and had five children, the youngest under two years of age. 
He was well known in the country as " Buck Sheehy,'' a term 
which at that time was commonly applied to young men of 
figure, whose means were good, and who were looked on in 
the country as sporting charact^^. 

Buxton was a man in good circumstances, the poor man's 
friend in his neighbourhood, popular with the lower orders, 
and, as a matter of course, disliked by thejr oppressors. 

Farrell was a young gentleman in affluent circumstances, 
who moved in the best society, and, on his mother's side, 
was connected with Lord Cahir. He was about thirty years 
of age, had but recently married, and, like his friend Shediy, 
his taste for field sports had procured for him the appdlation 
of one of the bucks of Tipperary. 

The fiiends and relatives of the imfbrtunate priest, Sheehy, 
appear to have been especially marked out for ruin. The 
design of corroborating the guilt of Father Shediy, by in- 
volving his immediate friends and relatives in the crime they 
laid to his charge, is evident, not only in these proceedings, 
but in others, which were adopted at a later period. 

K K 2 



500 THE FATE OF THE SHEEHTS 

True bills having been found against Edmond Sheehy, 
James Farrell, and James Buxton, they were put on their 
trials, before the Right Honourable Chief Justice Clayton 
and two assistant judges. They were tried separately. 

Edmond Sheehy was tried on the 1 1th of April, on a simi- 
lar indictment to that on which Buxton and Farrell were 
tried on the two following days. 

The substance of the indictment, which I have taken from 
the Crown book, contains six counts, setting forth, the 
murder of John Bridge and various acts of Whiteboyism. 

The same wretches who were produced as witnesses on the 
former trial, John Toohy, Mary Brady, alia$ Dunlea, and John 
Lonnergan, were brought forward on their trials ; and two new 
approvers, Thomas Bier and James Herbert, to support the 
sinking credit of the old witnesses.* Herbert was Uie man 
who had come to the former assizes to give evidence for the 
priest, and who, to prevent his appearance, had been arrested 
on a charge of high treason, lodged in gaol, and by the 
dextrous management of the prosecutors, was now trans- 
formed into a Crown witness. 

Bier was included in the indictment of the prisoners, but 
had saved his life by turning approver. Previously to the 
arrests of Edmond Sheehy, Buxton, and Farrell, he sent 
notice to them that their lives were in danger, and he reoom- 
mended their making their escape. They had the temeri^-, 
however, to rely on their innocence, and they paid, with thdr 
lives, the penalty of their folly. The evidence for the prase* 
cution in no material respect differs from that brought fhrward 

* It is somewhat startling to find that one of the principal wit- 
nesses against Father Sheehy and also Edmond Sheehy (the gnnd* 
father of Lady Blcbsington), on whose evidence (mainly reficd on) 
their lives were taken, wan a vagrant hoy of the name of Lonncrgui ; 
and forty years later, in the same locality, we find the life taken of a 
hoy of the name of Lonnergan, hy the husband of a daughter of 
Edmond Sheehy. 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 601 

on the trials of Meehan and Nicholas Sheehy. A detailed 
narrative of it will be found in the " Gentleman's and London 
Magazine" for April, 1766. It is needless to weary the 
reader with its febrications. It is sufBdent to say, the evi- 
dence of these witnesses was all of a piece, a tissue of per* 
juries clumsily interwoven, without a partide of truth, or a 
pretext for regarding the reception of it as the result of an 
imposition practised on the imderstanding of the jurors. 

The prindpal witness, whose testimony Mr. Sheehy relied 
on for his defence, was a Protestant gentleman, Mr. James 
Prendergast, "perfectly unexceptionable,'' says Curry, "in 
point of character, fortune, and religion."* This gentleman 
deposed, " That on the day and hour on which the murder 
was sworn to have been committed — about or between the 
hours of ten or eleven o'clock on the night of the 28th of 
October, 1764 — ^Edmond Sheehy, the prisoner, was with 
him and others, in a distant part of the country. That they 
and their wives had, on the aforesaid 28th of October, dined 
at the house of Mr. Joseph Tennison, where they continued 
till after supper, which was about eleven o'dock, when he and 
the prisoner left the house of Mr. Tennison, and rode a con- 
siderable way together, on their return to their respective 
homes. That the prisoner had his wife behind him, and 
when they parted, he (Mr. Prendergast) rode direct home, 
where, on his arrival, he had looked at the dock, and found 
it was twelve exactly. That as to the day of their dining 
with Mr. Tennison (Sunday, the 28th), he was positive, from 
this circumstance, that the day following was to be the fair of 
Clogheen, where he requested that Mr. Sheehy would dispose 
of some bullocks for him, he (Mr. Prendergast) not being 
able to attend the fair."f This was the evidence of Mr. 
Prendergast. Another witness for the prisoner, Pkul Web- 

♦ Review of the Civil Wars. — Cunry, vol. ii. p. 279. 
f A Candid Enquiry, p. 13. 



502 THE FATE OF THE 8HBEHTS 

ber, of Cork, butcher, swore that he saw Mr. Sheehy at the 
fair of Clogheen, on the 29th of October^ 1784, and con- 
versed with him respecting Mr. Prendergast's bullodo, which 
he subsequently bought of Mr. Prendergaat, in oonaequenee 
of this conversation with Mr. Edmond Sheehy. Another 
witness, Thomas Mason, shepherd to the prisoner, oonfirmed 
the particulars sworn to by Mr. Prendergast, as to the night 
and the hour of Mr. Sheehy's return home from Mr. Tenni- 
son's house. 

Bartholomew Griffith swore, that John Toohy, his nefdiew, 
had falsely sworn, on the trial, that the clothes he wore on the 
trial had been given to him by him (Grriffith). That Toohy, 
on the 28th and 29th of October, 1764, was at his house at 
Cullen. 

One of the grand jury, Chadwick, volunteered his evidence 
to blunt the testimony of Griffith. He swore diat Griffith, 
" on that occasion, was not to be believed on his oatiL" Tlie 
next witness swore that Toohy lived with his master, Brooke 
Brazier, Esq., six weeks, where he behaved veiy UL BIr. 
Brazier, another of the grand jury, was then caDed, and he 
declared, that Toohy was not known to him, but that a person 
was in his family for that time, and was of a very bad cha- 
racter. The managers of the prosecution had Mr. Tenmson 
then examined by a Crown lawyer. This gentleman swore, 
'' that Sheehy had dined at his house in October, 1764 ;" but 
" he was inclined to think it was earlier in the month 
the 28 th." This evidence was received as a triumphant 
tradiction of Prendergast's testimony. 

Now, as far as character was concmned, that of Shediy's 
witness stood fully as high as that of Mr. Tennison. But iriA 
respect to the statement of the particular fiust of the pr ia on a 
having dined on the particular day specified by Sheehy's wit- 
ness, with Tennison, the evidence of Prendergast went posi- 
tively to the affirmative, while that of Tennison amounted only 




IN 1766 AND 1766. 50S 

to a supposition, that it was on an earlier day in the month 
than that specified that the prisoners dined at his house. 
" He was" only ** inclined to think'' that it was earlier in the 
month ; but Prendergast '^ was positive," from a particular 
circumstance, that it was on the Sunday, the day before the 
fidr at Clogheen, he dined there. There was no other wit- 
ness produced to corroborate the suspicion of Mr. Tennison. 
There were two witnesses called to confirm the positive state- 
ment of Prendergast with regard to the particular night and 
hour of Sheehy's return from Tennison's house. So much 
for the evidence. It is now necessary to show that it was not 
relied on alone for the conviction of the prisoners. 

The managers who had on the previous trial surrounded 
the court with a military force, on this occasion crammed it 
with their adherents, whose minds had been inflamed by 
public advertisements previous to the trial, in which the 
leniency of the former measures of government was repro- 
bated. 

'' The baronet (Sir Thomas Maude) before mentioned, pub- 
lished an advertisement, wherein he presumed to censure the 
wise and vigilant administration of our last chief governors, 
and even to charge them with the destruction of many of his 
Majesty's subjects, for not having countenanced such measures 
with respect to these rioters, as were manifestiy repugnant to 
all the rules of prudence, justice, and humanity. Nor did his 
boldness stop here ; for, naming a certain day in said adver. 
tisement, when the following persons of credit and substance, 
namely, Sheehy, Buxton, and Farrell, and others, were to be 
tried by commission at Clonmel, for the aforesaid murder-— 
as if he meant to intimidate their judges into lawless rigour 
and severity, he sent forth an authoritative kind of summons, 
' to every gentleman of the county, to attend that commis- 
sion.'"^ With such arrangements for inflaming the public 
* A Candid Enquiry, &c p. 10, 



504 THE FATS OF THE SHBBHT8 

mind, for influencing the jury, for intimidating the judgeSi 
the doom of the prisoners was sealed before they were put 
into the dock. 

The unfortunate Edmond Sheehy was convicted, and sen* 
tence of death, with its usual barbarous concomitanta in these 
cases, drawing and quartering, was pronounced upon him. 
His wife was in the Court when that dreadful sentence was 
pronounced, and was carried from it in a swoon. The two 
other acts of the judicial drama were duly petfbrmed ; the 
packed juries discharged the duties required or expected of 
them by the managers of the prosecutions. Buxton and 
Farrell were found guilty, and were sentenced, with Shediy, 
to be executed on the 3d of May. 

Eight other persons were placed at the bar, who wot 
charged with the same crime as the prisoners who had been 
convicted. Another Sheehy was on the list of the maoageiii 
but the jury were instructed to acquit the prisoners, Rogtr 
Sheehy, Edmond Burke, John Burke, John Butler, B. Kcn- 
nelly, William Flynn, and Thomas Magrath ; but no sooner 
were they acquitted, than several of them were called on to 
give bail to appear at the ensuing assizes, to answer to other 
charges of high treason. 

A memorial was drawn up by Edmond Shediy, and ad- 
dressed to the Judges who presided at the trial ; and the fbl* 
lowing copy is taken from the original drafk : — 

" To the Right Honourable Lord Chief Justice Clayton, 

the Honourable Edmund Malone, and Godfrey HiD, 

Esq., 
" The humble petition of Edmond Sheehy, an unhappy 

prisoner, under sentence of death, in his Majeaty'a gaol 

at Clonmel ; 

** Most humbly shcweth, 
** That at the last Commission of Oyer and Terminer and 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 50(i 

gaol delivery, held at Clonmely the 11th of April inst., your 
petitioner was convicted of the murder of John Bridge, and 
accordingly received sentence to be executed on the drd of 
May next. 

'' That yoiu* petitioner was transmitted from the city of 
Kilkenny to Clonmel, on Friday, the 4th of April inst., four 
days only before the said commission of gaol delivery was 
opened. 

'' That from the short time your Petitioner had to prepare 
for his trial, which he apprehended was by order postponed 
until the next summer assizes, and the confusion he was in, 
he was not able to procure all his material witnesses to attend 
on said trial, or to make that just defence that he would have 
been able to make, if he had more time to prepare for it, 
which is manifest from the want of recollection in Travers, the 
butcher, produced on behalf of yow Petitioner, who, on the 
very next day after the trial, perfectly recollected, and is now 
ready to swear he saw your Petitioner and the bullocks at the 
fair of Clogheen. Nor had Mr. Tennison sufficient time to 
recollect himself, supposing him quite free from the influence 
of those who managed the prosecution, who were the sdd 
Tennison's allies ; circumstances that did not appear to your 
Lordship and Honours, of whose mercy, humanity, and justice 
your Petitioner has a due sense, which he shall retain unto 
death, whatever his fate may be. 

'* That your Petitioner has a wife and five small children, 
the eldest about nine years old, who, together with an aged 
father and three sisters, principally depend upon your Peti- 
tioner's industry as a farmer for support. 

** That your Petitioner forbears stating the nature and cir- 
cumstances of the evidence which appeared upon your Peti- 
tioner's trial, but refers to your Lordship and Honours* recol- 
lection thereof. However, from the nature of your Petitioner's 
defence, in part supported by the positive evidence of James 



506 THE PATE OF THE SHBBHT8 

Prendergast, Esq., who is a gentteman of unexoeptionablegood 
character, and of a considerable fortune, notwitiistandiog the 
prejudices that were entertained by some against the penons 
who were to be tried ; your Petitioner, from the evidenoe and 
a consciousness of his own innocence, entertamed hopes that 
he would have been acquitted. But in regard that he wis 
found guilty, 

" Your Petitioner most humbly implores your Lordship and 
Honours to take his unhappy case and the chanuster of the 
several witnesses into consideration, and to make sncfa fiivour- 
able report of your Petitioner and his famfly's case to his 
Excellency the Lord Lieutenant as to your Lordahip and 
Honours shall seem meet. 

'' And he will pray, 

" Edmond Shbeht." 

*' Notwithstanding," Curry states, ** that frequnt and ear* 
nest solicitations were made by several persons of quality in 
favour of the prisoners ; who, being persuaded of their in- 
nocence, hoped to obtain for them, if not a pardoD« it Isist 
some mitigation of their punishment, by transportifcion or 
reprieve ; the chief and most active of these worthy penonaget 
was the Right Honourable Lord Taafe, whose great goodnos 
of heart, and unwearied endeavours, on all occasions, to save 
his poor countrymen, add new lustre to his nobility, and will 
be for ever remembered by them with the warmest and moat 
respectful gratitude ; — it is no wonder that their soIidtatioDi 
were vain, for the knight (baronet), so often mentioiied (Sir 
Thomas Maude), Mr. -— — , &c., had been before with the 
Lord Lieutenant, and declared that^ if any favour were shown 
to these people, they would follow the exam[de of a nofale peer, 
and quit the kingdom in a body. The behaviour of the pri* 
soners at the place of execution was cheerful, but devout, and 
modi*st, though resolute. It was impossible for any one in 




IN 1766 AND 1766. 607 

their circumstances to counterfeit that resignation, serenity, 
and pleasing hope which appeared so strikingly in all their 
countenances and gestures. Consdous of their innocence, 
they seemed to hasten to receive the reward prepared in the 
next life, for those who suffer patiently for its aake in this.*'* 

In the '' Gentleman's and London Magazine " of May, 
1766, Uiere is ** an authentic narration of the death and exe* 
cution of Messrs. Sheehy, Buxton, and FarreD, with their 
declarations attested and carefully compared with those in the 
hands of Mr. Butler, sub-sheriff of the county Tipperary, who 
received them from these unfortunate people at the place of 
execution." 

These documents I have likewise compared with copies of 
the same declarations, furnished me by some of the surviving 
friends of these unfortunate gentlemen ; and, except in the 
omission of a few names, I find no material difference. 

The following is the narrative given in the ^^ Gentleman's 
Magazine" for May, 1766, Appendix, p. 113:— 

" The sheriff, who proceeded with decency, called upon the 
prisoners early in the morning of the 3rd instant, so as to 
leave the gaol of Clonmel for Clogheen about six o'dock, to 
which place he was attended by the r^ment of light dragoons, 
commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Harcourt, and two com- 
panies of Armiger's foot : these the commander had previously 
made ready for the purpose, by an order fix)m Government. 
Edmond Sheehy and James Buxton were put on the same 
car, James Farrell on the next, and the executioner on another, 
with his apparatus, and the gallows so contrived as to be im- 
mediately put together ; they thus proceeded in awful procea- 
sion to Clogheen, where they arrived about twelve o'clock, the 
distance being above eleven miles. 

*' In the most open part of the village the gallows was 
erected, and that in a very short time, while the prisoners re- 
* A Candid Enquiry, pp. 13, 14. ^ 



508 THE FATB OF THE 8HEEHTS 

maincd at a small distance in devotion with their priest, for 
about two hours, when it was thought necessary to executa 
the sentence the law of their country had doomed them to 
suffer. They were then all three put upon one car, and drawn 
under the gallows, where, after remaining some time, they 
were tied up, and in that situation each read his declaration, 
and afterwards handed it to the sheriff. 

'' Sheehy met his fate with the most undaunted ooorage, 
and delivered his declaration with as much composure of 
mind as if he had been repeating a prayer ; when this awfbl 
scene was finished, they were turned off, upon a signal given 
by Sheehy, who seemed in a sort of exultation, and sprang 
from the car ; he was dead immediately ; and after the cri- 
minals had hung for some time, they were cut down, and the 
executioner severed their heads from their bodies, which wen 
delivered to their respective friends.* 

** Sheehy's intrepid behaviour, set off by an engaging per« 
son, attracted much pity and compassion from all present ; 
but the most oppressive part of this tragic scene yet remains 
to be told, when I say that Sheehy has left a widow with five 
children to bemoan his unhappy fate, Buxton three, and 
Farrell, who had not been married more than three months, 
has left his wife pregnant. They were all buried the evening 
of that day, as particularly requested by themselves, where we 
hope they rest, having made atonement for their crimes ; and 
let not the imputation of the fathers' misfortunes be remem- 
bered to the prejudice of their families. 

" Your constant reader, && 

"Cashel, May 28, 1766." 

" THE DYING DECLARATION OF MR. EDMOND SHSBHT : — 

'' As I am shortly to appear before the great tribunal of 

* The Btatcment is incorrect with respect to the head* of Biutoa 

and P'arrcll. 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 509 

Gody where I expect, through the passion and sufferings of 
my Redeemer, to be forgiven the many crimes and offences 
which I have committed against ^ great and merciful a Grod, 
I sincerely forgive the world, I forgive my judges, jury, pro- 
secutors, and every other who had a hand in spilling my inno- 
cent blood ; may the great God forgive them, bless them, and 
may they never leave this world without sincerely repenting, 
and meriting that felicity which I hope, through the wounds 
of Christ, soon to enjoy. 

'' I think it incumbent, as well for the satisfaction of the 
public as the ease of my own mind, to declare the truth of 
every crime with which I was impeached, from the bq^inning 
to the day of my conviction. 

''First. As to the meeting at Kilcoran, sworn by James 
Herbert, and the murder of John Bridge, sworn to by him» 
and the rest of the informers. 

'' Second, The meeting at Ardfinan, sworn by Guinan in 
October, 1763, and several other meetings and treasonable 
practices, at all which I was sworn to be present as the prin- 
cipal acting person. 

*' Third. That I had a hand in burning John Fearise's 
turf, and extirpating his orchard, taking arms from soldiers^ 
burning Joseph Tennison's com^ levelling waUs, and many 
other atrocious crimes against the peace and tranquillity of the 
present happy constitution. 

" First. I now solemnly declare, that I did not see a White- 
boy since the year 1762, and then but once or twice; and 
that I never was present at the levelling at the Rock of 
Cashel, or any other wall, or commons, in my life, nor evea 
gave counsel or advice to have it done, or ever had any pre- 
vious knowledge of such intentions, nor do I know to this 
minute, any one man that was at the levelling of the said 
wall. 

'* 2ndly. I declare that I never saw Herbert until the day 



510 THE FATE OF THE 8HBEHTS 

of my trial, and that I never was at a meeting at Kilooran ; 
never heard an oath of allegiance proposed nor administered 
in my life to any sovereign, king, or prince ; never knew any 
thing of the murder of Bridge, until I heard it puUidy meo- 
tioned ; nor did I know there was any such derign on fboti 
and if I had, I would have hindered it, if in my power. 

^* Srdly. As to the battle of Newmarket, for which I was 
tried — I declare I never was at Newmarket, nor do I know 
there was a rescue intended ; nor do I believe did any man in 
the county of Tipperary. 

'' 4thly. I declare that I never meant or intended rebelEon, 
high treason, or massacre, or ever heard any such widced 
scheme mentioned or proposed, nor do I believe there was any 
such matters in view, and if there was, that I am whoDy 
ignorant of them. 

" 5thly. I declare that I never knew of either Freodi or 
Spanish officers, commissions, or money, paid to those poor 
ignorant fools called Whiteboys, or of a man held in the light 
of a gentleman being connected with them. 

" I was often attacked during my confinement in KiUcenny, 
by the Rev. Lawrence Broderick and the Rev. John Hewson, 
to make useful discoveries, by bringing in men of wejghl and 
fortune, that there was an intended rebellion and maasicn, 
French officers, commissions, and money paid, and by ao 
doing, that would procure my pardon, difficult as it was. 

" The day after my trial, Edmond Bagwell came to me 
from the grand jury, and told me if I would put those ] 
in a dear light, that I would get my pardon. I mad 
that I would declare the truth, which would not be heud 
Sir William Barker's son and Mr. Matthew Bunbuiy came 
to me the same evening, with words to the same purpose^ Is 
which I replied as before. Nothing on this occasion wonU 
give sufficient content, without my proving the abovSi and 
that the priest died with a lie in his mouthy whidi WM the 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 511 

phrase Mr. Hewson (Hewetson) made use of. I sent for Sir 
Thomas Maude the day of my sentence, and declared to him 
the meeting at Drumlemmon, where I saw nothing remark- 
able, but two or three fellows who stole hay from Mr. John 
Keating, were whipped, and sworn never to steal to the value 
of a shilling during life. I saw Thomas Bier thej-e, which I 
told Sir Thomas and Mr. Bunbury, and begged of them never 
to give credit to Herbert, who knew nothing of the matter 
except what Bier knew. 

" I do declare I saw Bier take a voluntary oath more than 
once, in the gaol of Clonmel, that he knew nothing of the 
murder ; nor do I believe he did. May God forgive him, 
and the rest of those unhappy informers, and all those who 
had a hand in encouraging them .to swear away innocent lives. 

" I further declare, that I have endeavoured, as much as 
was in my power, to suppress this spirit of the Whiteboys, 
where I thought or suspected the least spark of it to remain. 

*^ The above is a sincere and honest declaration, as I expect 
to see God ; nor would I make any other for the universe, 
which must be clear to the gentlemen who offered me my life 
if I would comply. May the great God forgive them, and 
incline their hearts to truth, and suffer them not to be biassed, 
nor hurried on by party or particular prejudices, to persevere 
any longer in falsely representing those matters to the best of 
kings, and to the humanest and best of governments, which 
I pray God may long continue. 

" I die, in the 33rd year of my age, an unworthy member: 
of the Church of Rome : the Lord have mercy on my soul ! 
— Amen ! Amen ! 

** I was informed that Mr. Tennison's com was burnt by 
one of his own servants, but accidentally, and that since my 
confinement ; I thought so always. 

" Signed by me this 2nd of May, 1766. 

'' Edmond Shesht. 

** Present — James Buxton, James Farrell." 



512 THE FATE OF THE SHEBHY8 

"A COPY OF THE DYING DECLARATION OF JAMES BUXTON, 
OF KILCORAN, IN THE COUNTY OF TIPPBRARY, 

tried for the alleged murder of one John Bridge ; John Toohjr 
and Thomas Bier, prosecutors ; God forgive them. Whereas I, 
the said James Buxton, was arraigned at my trial, for having 
aided and assisted, and committed many flagrant crimes against 
his Majesty's law and government since the rise of the White- 
boys, upon the information of Michael Guinan and John 
Toohy. 1 thought it proper to disabuse the public, by this 
declaration, which I make to God and the world oonoeming 
my knowledge of these matters. 

** First, as to the murder of John Bridge, I solemnly declare 
in the presence of God, before whose holy tribunal I shortly 
expect to appear, that I neither consulted nor advised, uded 
nor abetted, nor had I the least notion of any one that didi 
to the killing of John Bridge ; nor did my prosecutor, John 
Toohy, ever serve me an hour since I was bom ; neither did 
I ever, to the best of my knowledge, lay my eyes on him but 
one night, on the 18th September last, when he lay at my 
house, and went by the name of Lucius O'Brien. He was 
pursued next morning by one William O'Brien, of donmd, 
whom he robbed of some clothes two days before, and was 
taken in Clogheen for the same robbery, and sud O'Brien's 
clothes and other things were found upon him, for which he 
was committed to gaol, and then turned approver. 

*' As to every other thing that Michael Guinan mod nid 
Toohy swore against me, I further solemnly declare, b the 
presence of my gre^t God, that I neither did any aodi thing 
nor was at any such meeting or levelling as they awore \ 
me, except Drumlemmon, and upon the word of a dyii^i 
neither of them was there. Nor was any man, upon the 
same word of a dying man, that was yet apprehended or mf- 
fered, in my belief concerned in the murder of Bridge : and 
thut I verily believe and am persuaded that no proaecutor that 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 613 

yet appeared was present, or any way concerned in that mur- 
der, though Thomas Bier, God forgive him, swore that he 
and I were within two yards of John Bridge when he 
was murdered by Edmund Meehan with a stroke of a bill- 
hook. 

^^ Secondly. I solemnly declare iind protest, in the presence 
of my great God, that I never heard or ever learned of a re* 
hellion intended in this kingdom, nor ever heard of, nor ever 
saw any French officers, or French money coming into this 
country, nor ever heard that any merchants supplied or in- 
tended to supply any money for the Whiteboys or for any 
other purpose ; nor ever saw, heard, or could discover, that 
any allegiance was sworn to any prince or potentate iA the 
world, but to his present majesty, King George the Third ; 
and I further declare, on my dyii\g words, that I never knew 
nor discovered, nor even imagined, that any massacre what- 
soever was intended against any person or persons in this 
kingdom. And I declare, in the presence of the Almighty 
God, that I positively believe and am persuaded, that if any 
of the foregoing treacherous or treasonable combinations were 
to be carried on, I would have learned or heard something of 
them. 

** Thirdly That last Lent Assizes, in Kilkenny, vfh&re I 
stood indicted and was arraigned for the battle of Newmarket, 
that the Rev. John Hewetson and Rev. Laurence Broderick 
tampered with me for six hours and more, setting forth thd 
little chance I had for my life there at Kilkenny ; and though 
I should, that I would have none at all in Clonmel, but that 
they would write to Lord Carrick immediately to procure my 
freedom, if I would turn approver, and swear to an intended 
rebellion, treasonable conspiracies, and a massacre against thd 
principal Popish clergy and gentlemen of my county, whose 
names they had set down in a long piece of paper; but 
wanted me particularly to swear against Squire Wyse, Philip 

VOL. I. L L 



514 THE FATE OF TUB SHEEHYS 

Long, Dominick Farrell, Martin Murphy, Doctor Creagh, and 
Michael Lee, and that I should also swear the Priest Sheehy 
died with a lie in his mouth. Likewise, that I was at the 
battle of Newmarket, and received a letter from one Edmund 
Tobin to be at said battle, and this in order to ccHToborate 
the informer Toohy's oath and the oaths of three of the light 
horse, who swore they saw me there. One in particular 
swore he broke his firelock on my head. Now, as I expect 
salvation from the hands of God, I neither received a message 
or letter, nor heard or discovered that this battle of New- 
market was to occur, nor any circumstance regarding it until 
it was advertised. And I further declare, in the presence of 
my great God, that I never was nearer this place they caB 
Newmarket than the turnpike road that leads from DuUin to 
Cork, for I never was two yards eastwards of that road. .As 
to the schemes of the Whiteboys, as far as I could find oat 
in the parish of Tubrid, where I lived, I most solemnly de- 
clare before Almighty God nothing more was meant than the 
detection of thieves and rogues, which the said parish was ci 
late remarkable for; an agreement to deal for tithes with 
none but the dean or minister whose tithe was of his rar their 
immediate living ; as to levelling, that I never found out any 
such thing to have been committed in said parish of any con- 
sequence but one ditch belonging to John Gri£Bn, of Kilcoran ; 
nor was I ever privy to any wall or ditch that ever was levd- 
led by Whiteboys in the county of Tipperary or any other 
county. 

'* I also declare, that I never approved of the proceedings 
of levellers, and that my constant admonition to every person 
whom I thought concerned in such vile practices was to desist, 
for that the innocent would suffer for the guilty. 

" Givi^n under my hand this 2nd day of May, and the year 
1766. James Buxton. 

** Pjt'sent — Edmond Sheehy, James Farrell." 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 515 

THE DECLARATION OF JAMES FARRELL. 

" As I am shortly to appear before the great God, where I 
expect, through the passion of our dear Redeemer, to be for- 
given the many crimes and offences which I have committed 
against so great and just a God, I now sincerely forgive the 
world in general, and in particular them that have been the 
cause of wrongfully spilling my blood. 

" 1st. The crime for which I am to die, is the murder of 
John Bridge, and swearing at Kilcoran. 

" 2ndly. The burning of Joseph Tennison's com, John Fea- 
rise's turf, and all other things that belonged to the Whiteboys. 

" 3rdly. The battle of Newmarket, which I stood a trial for 
in Kilkenny ; — I now declare to the great tribunal, that I am 
as innocent of all the aforesaid facts which I have been im- 
peached with, as the child unborn, in either counsel, aiding, 
assisting, or knowledge of said facts. I therefore think it 
conscionable to declare what the following gentlemen wanted 
me to do, in order to spill innocent blood, which was not in 
the power of any man in the world to perform. 

** These are the gentlemen as follow: The Rev. John 
Hewetson, John Bagwell, Matthew Bunbury, Mr. Toler, Wil- 
liam Bagnell, Edmond Bagnell, and some of the light horse 
officers. The day I was condemned, they came along with 
me from the court-house to the gaol, where they carried me 
into a room, and told me it was in my power to save my life. 
I asked them how ? If I swore against the following persons, 
they told me they could get my pardon. 

" The people are as follow : Martyn Murphy and Philip 
Long, both of Waterford, and some other merchants of Cork; 
likewise Bishop Creagh, and Lord Dunboyne's brother, and a 
good many other clergymen ; likewise James Nagle, Robert 
Keating, John Purcell, Thomas Doherty, Thomas Long, John 
Baldwin, Thomas Butler, of Grange, and Nicholas Lee, with 
a great many others of the gentlemen of the county and re- 

L L 2 



616 THE FATE OF THE SREEDYS 

sponsible farmers, to be encouraging French oScen, enlisting 
men for the French service, to raise a rebellion in this king- 
dom, and to distribute French money. 

'' 4thly. If in case they should get a person to do all these 
things, it would not do without swearing to the murder of 
John Bridge, to corroborate with the rest of the informers^ 
and strengthen their evidence. 

" 5thly. I solemnly declare to his divine Majesty, I was 
never present at the levelling of a ditch or wall in my life, nor 
ever was at a meeting belonging to the Whiteboys in my lifiB. 

'' 6thly. I likewise declare, that I had neither hand, act, 
nor part, in bringing James Herbert from the county of 
Limerick, and also declare, to the best of my knowledge, he 
swore not one word of truth, and, in particular, what he swore 
against me was undoubtedly false. 

'' The great God bless all my prosecutors, and all other 
persons that had hand, act, or part, in spilling my blood in- 
nocently, which the Divine tribunal knows to be so. 

" Given under my hand, this 30th day of April, 1766. 

"James Farrell. 

" They also wanted me to swear against Thomas Butler, ^ 
Ballyknock, Edmond Doherty, and Philip Racket. 

*' In the presence of us : — Edmond Sheehy, James Buztoo, 
Catherine Farrell." 

The wife of Edmond Sheehy, immediately after his con- 
viction, proceeded to Dublin, with the hope of procuring 
a pardon for her husband. His enemies were, however, 
beforehand with her. Their pernicious influence was ex- 
erted in every department at the Castle to frustrate faff 
eflforts. They prevailed, as they had hitherto done tfaen^ 
whenever the favour or the anger of the Moloch of their 
faction was to be propitiated or appeased, by handing Ofer to 
thorn their defenceless persecuted victims. Some idee may 
be formed of the promptitude with which the foul p roceedings 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 617 

against these gentlemen were followed up, when it is borne in 
mind, that their separate trials commenced on the 11th of 
April ; and the following official notice is to be found in the 
record of these proceedings. " Crown warrant for Edmond 
Sheehy, James Farrell, and James Buxton, given to F. Butler, 
Sub-Sheriff, 15th April, 1766.'' 

Mrs. Sheehy, on her return to Clonmel, after a fruitless 
journey, had not even the melancholy satisfaction of finding 
her husband in prison. On her arrival there in the morning, 
she learned that he and his companions had been takra from 
the gaol a short time before, and were then on their way 
to Clogheen, the place of execution. Overwhelmed with 
affliction, and the shock she had received on her return, at 
finding her last hope of beholding her beloved husband, and 
of bidding him farewell, she had yet sufficient strength, or the 
kind of energy which arises from despair, to hurry after that 
mournful cortege. About half way between Clonmel and 
Clogheen, she overtook it, and rushing forward, passed through 
the soldiers, and threw herself into the arms of her husband. 

The spectacle was one which the few surviving friends of 
this unhappy couple speak of, as causing the very soldiers wha 
surrounded them to weep and sob aloud. This scene took 
place about two hours before the execution. Before they 
separated, Sheehy resumed his former apparently unmoved 
demeanour, and addressed a few words, expressive of his last 
wishes, with extraordinary firmness of tone and manner, to 
his distracted wife. He told her **to remember she had duties 
to perform to her God, to herself, to their children^ and to 
his memory/' and then praying that heaven might pour 
down all its blessings on her head, he tore himself from her 
embrace, and the procession moved on. The officers, soldiers, 
sub- sheriff, all around them were in tears during this melan- 
choly interview ; and at their separation, Sheehy himself, evi- 
dently struggling with his feelings, endeavoured to suppress 



518 THE FATE OF THE SHEBHTS 

any appearance of emotion, recovered his self-possession, and 
from that time seemed to be unmoved. 

The day before the execution, Mrs. Kearney, an aunt of 
Edmond Sheehy, applied to one of the officers who was to 
be on duty the next day, to save his unfortunate family the 
pain of seeing his head placed on a spike over the entrance 
to the gaol, in the High Street, in which it was situated. Her 
interference was not ineffectual : he told her he had no power 
to interfere with the civil authorities ; but when the head was 
separated from the body, if any person were in readiness to 
bear it off, the soldiers probably would not be over-zealous to 
prevent its removid. 

For this act it was wisely thought that the resolution and 
promptitude of a woman would be likely to prove moat sue- 
cessfid. Ann Mary Butler, a person devoted to the family, 
and in her attachment to it incapable of fear and insensible to 
danger, was selected for this purpose. The head of Edmond 
Sheehy was no sooner struck from the body, than this woman 
suddenly forced her way through the soldiers, threw her apron 
over the head, and fled with it, the soldiers as she approached 
opening a free passage for her, and again forming in line when 
the executioner and his attendants made an effort to pursue 
her, and thus the military prevented their so doing. 

The woman, at the place appointed at the cross-roads, near 
Clogheen, met the funeral (for the multilated body had been 
delivered over to the friends for interment), the head was put 
into the coffin, and was buried at a country churchyard, about 
three or four miles from Clonmel, attended by a vast con- 
course of people. The executions took place on a tempmry 
scaffold, in an open space called the Cock-pit. The heub of 
FarrcU and Buxton were brought to Clonmd, and, together 
with those of Father Sheehy and Meehan, were spiked and 
placed over the entrance to the gaol, where, for upwards of 
twenty ycai*s, these wretched trophies of the triumphant vil> 
lany of the Maudes, Bagwells, BagneUs, and Hewet800% 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 519 

continued to outrage the feelings of humanity and justice, and 
to shock the sight of the siuriving relatives of the murdered 
men, every time they entered the town or departed from it. 

The thirst for Catholic blood was not yet appeased. Ano- 
ther batch of Catholic gentlemen, charged with treason, with 
acting as leaders in the Munster plot, were brought to trial at 
Clonmel, in the month of March, the following year (1767). 
Mr. James Nagle, of Garnavilla, a relative by marriage of the 
celebrated Edmund Burke, Mr. Robert Keating, of Knocka, 
Mr. Thomas Dogherty, of Ballynamona, Mr. Edmond Burke, 
of Tubrid, and Messrs. Meighan, Lee, and Coghlan, all charged 
with high treason, and aiding and abetting Whiteboyism.* 
For some of these gentlemen, when first arrested, bail to the 
amount of several thousand pounds had been offered and 
refused. They had lain in gaol for many months previously 
to the trial, and the charge that eventually was attempted to 
be supported against them by the same miscreant who had 
sworn against Father Sheehy, was completely disproved. The 
" managers " of the prosecution had omitted no means to 
procure evidence of the right sort. In the middle of July, 
the preceding year (1766), ample encouragement for new per- 
jury was held out in the public papers. It was therein stated, 
that " the reward promised for prosecuting and convicting 
the other rioters, the sum of £300, had been paid."t 

Several of these gentlemen were of the most respectable 
families in the county. Messrs. Keating and Dogherty were 
persons who moved in the best circles of society, and whose 
descendants still hold a prominent station in it. The two 
latter owed their safety to a circumstance which came to the 
knowledge of one of the friends of Keating, while he was in 
gaol. One of the dismounted dragoon soldiers, then doing 
duty in the gaol, saw the well-known Mary Dunlea privately 

* Dublin Gazette, April, 1 767 j and Saunders* Newsletter, July, 1767. 
f A Candid Enquiry. 



r}20 Tn£ FATE OF THE SHEEHTS 

introduced into the prison by one of the active magistrates ii 
these proceedings, and taken to a window, where she bad ai 
opportunity of seeing Messrs. Keating and Dogherty, withoul 
being noticed by them. This was for the purpose of enabling 
her to swear to persons whom she had never before seen. 

On the morning of the trials, the friends of the prisonen 
keeping a watchful eye on the movements of the same woman 
saw her in a doorway in front of the dock, and Mr. John 
Bagwell in the act of pointing out the prisoners. The friend 
of Keating lost no time in hurrying to the dock, and tdling 
them to change their coats. They did so, and the coats were 
identified, but not the men. The witness, on being asked t€ 
point out Keating, singled out Dogherty : and the manifest 
ignorance of the witness of the persons of those two prison- 
ers was mainly instrumental in causing all to be acquitted. 

The trial of these gentlemen, on account of the great 
number of witnesses examined, lasted from ten o'clock oo 
Wednesday morning until four o'clock on Thursday morning. 
The jury, after much deliberation, brought in their verdict, 
** Not Guilty," upon which the prisoners were enlarged 
** Not, however, without the factious, bold, and open oen^ 
sures, and secret threats against the humane and U|Highl 
judge who presided at the trial (Baron Mountney), so en- 
raged were they to find the last effort to realize this pld 
entirely frustrated."* 

Curry is mistaken in terming it the last effort Two oth« 
attempts were subsequently made before Judge Edmonc 
Malone and Prime Serjeant Hutchinson. John Sheehy, Johi 
Burke, £. Prcndergast, and several others, were tried am 
acquitted on the same charge and evidence. On the 5th o 
September, 1767, once more, ''Mr. Roger Sheehy and si: 
others were tried on an indictment of high treason, for beinj 

« A Parallel between the Plots of 1679 and 1762, p. 89 ; Saunden 

Newbletter, July, 1767. 




IN 1765 AND 1766. 521 

concerned with the Whiteboys, on the testimony of Toohy, 
who prevaricatmg, as we are told by Curry, in lus testimony 
from what he had sworn nearly two years before, Mr. Prime 
Seijeant desired the jury to give no credit thereto ; upon which 
Sheehy was acquitted."* 

Thus terminated a most foul conspiracy against the lives 
of innocent men. The name of Sheehy's jury became a term 
of reproach in the south of Ireland, that was applied to any 
inquiry that was conducted on principles at variance with 
truth and justice, and which made an indictment tantamount 
to a conviction. 

A passage in Sir Richard Musgrave's History, throws some 
light on the implication of Mr. Nagle, whose name is men- 
tioned on the list of prisoners at the former trial in Mardi, 
1767. "When the enormities,'* says Sir Richard, "com- 
mitted by the Whiteboys were about to draw on them the 
vengeance of the law, and some time before Sir Richard 
Aston proceeded on his mission to try them, Mr. Edmund 
Burke sent his brother Richard (who died recorder of Bristol), 
and Mr. Nagle, a relation, on a mission to Munster, to levy 
money on the Popish body for the use of the Whiteboys, who 
were exclusively Papists." The obvious drift of this passage 
can hardly be mistaken ; but as Sir Richard Musgrave aj^sears 
to have had some misgivings, as to the success of the attempt 
to cast suspicion on the loyalty of Edmund Burke, he added 
the following passage in a note, in type sufficiently small to 
afford a chance of escaping observation ; *^ I have no other 
proof that these gentlemen were employed by Mr. Burke, 
than that they declared it without reserve to the persons from 
whom they obtained money. In doing so, he might have been 
actuated by motives of charity and humanity." 

The extraordinary judgments which fell on the persons who 
were instrumental to the death of Father Sheehy, are still fresh 
in the memory of the inhabitants of Clonmel and Clogheen. 

» * Freeman's Journal, September 8, 1767. 



1 

522 THE FATE OF THE SHEEHYS. j 

1 

Several of the jury met with violent deaths, some draggdl 
out a miserable existence, stricken with loathsome and 
cruciating maladies ; madness was the fate of one, 
the lot of another; recklessness of life, and remorse, I bcEefi 
it may be said with truth, of the majority of them. 

This is no overcharged account. On the contrary, it fib I 
short of the reality. One of the jury, named TuthiD, eol 
his throat ; another, named Shaw, was choked ; anotlMr, ! 
named Alexander Hoops, was drowned ; the last survivor of 
them was said to have been accidentally shot by Mr. Shediy 
Keating in Rehill wood, on a sporting excursion. Feim 
went mad. One of them dropped dead at his own door. 
Another, at a gentleman's house, where he spent the night ia 
company with Mr. Rerce Meagher, the brother-in-law of 
Edmond Sheehy, was found dead in a closet. DumviDe, faj a 
fall from his horse, was frightfully disfigured. Mincbin nu 
reduced to beggary ; and of all, I have heard only of onOi 
named Dunmead, who died a natural deaths or who was not 
signally visited with calamities of some kind or other. 

Sir Thomas Maude, the ancestor of a noble Lord, died ia 
a state of frenzy, terribly afflicted both in mind and body. 
In his last moments his ravings were continually about SheebTi 
and the repetition of that name became painful to his attend* 
ants. Few death-bed scenes, perhaps, ever presented a mora 
appalling spectacle than that of Sir Thomas Maude is de- 
scribed to have been. 

Bagwell, of KiUmore, was reduced to a state of fatoitj fiir 
some time before his death. His eldest son shot himedf in a 
packet going over to England ; his property became involvedi 
and a miserable remnant of the wreck of it, is all that i 
lefl to one of his descendants in a foreign land.* 
* Report of the trial. 

l.ND OF VOL. I.