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complete varnish of fashion and scientific trumpery, she no sooner reaches home than she looks down with scorn upon her own mother, who is for ever breaking poor Priscian's head, and sometimes offends her ear by a pleonasm, and sometimes by a blunder in prosody. Even the chambermaid cannot ply her broom without doing an injury to grammatical sensibility; our precious blue-stocking reasons about rhythm and the rules of versification, composes somniferous novels upon the question whether Love is a purely metaphysical or material being,' and with all this gallimaufry of words, and of alembicized and ambitious phrases, will never be able to make any water-gruel for her husband in case he should fall sick. What have mythology, the Dryads and Hamadryads, Pan and the Fauns, Endymion and the moon, to do in a butcher's or a grocer's shop? and why should the daughter of such people be able to jabber a few words of Italian, or have her head loaded with the revolutions of the Lower Empire? Young persons, however, should make a serious study of dancing, which is to marriage what the candle is to the moth: it is the principal Aame at which Hymen lights his torch. I recommend them, then, to frequent all balls, public and private ; and if a perfumed billet-doux should be slipped into their hands, they should make a point of refusing the first, as the surest method of receiving a great many more. These little obstacles are the thorns of the moss-rose, which centuple its value. In your anxiety, however, to conjugalize, I beseech you, by the apple of your eye, not to imitate those husband-hunting Nina Vernons, who, perched in the balcony of an alcove or park-pavilion overhanging a high road, holding a book or a guitar in an affected attitude, seem to be fishing with a line for any husband who will nibble at the bait.. I knew a young lady at Lille so possessed with this matrimoniomania, that it was impossible for a young man to pay her the commonest attentions without her considering it as an overture, and threatening him with an action for breach of promise when he undeceived her of her strange error. I recollect an unfortupate young man, who was imprudent enough to reply to some of her ridiculous missives. Heavens ! he had no sooner arrived at Lille, than he was summoned to appear before the father and mother; the new Nina Vernon throws her arms around him with a frantic cry; calls upon him to realize his vows, and declares that she will only release him at the altar. A lucky falsehood enabling him to throw himself upon his horse, and gallop away from this nuptial cut-throat, I encountered him in the High-street of Bethune, still imagining that he saw at his heels all the evil genii and malevolent sylphs of Hymen."
In a chapter devoted to the marriage-ceremonies of England, our author begins by stating, that “ clandestine marriages are no where so prevalent, inasmuch as any two lovers have only to send for a Protestant priest, who, for a trifle, will give the sanction of the law to the caprices or desires of a momentary passion. It is not uncommon for the clergy," he adds, " to write upon their windows marriages performed here upon cheap terms;' and we are informed that women have this great advantage, that, if they cannot succeed by other means, they may intoxicate their lover, who, on recovering his senses, may find himself the husband of the woman whom he most despises." With an unusual scrupulosity, he admits that these fraudulent marriages have lately been prohibited by an Act of Parliament. Guernsey is the new Cythera of conjugalism for which all those embark whose nuptials encounter any legal obstacle, and the throwing of the garter and other exploded ceremonies are described as indispensable accompaniments to every union. Among the anecdotes, we are told of an Englishman who suddenly resolved to be married before he had finished smoking his pipe, which he accomplished with some little difficulty; and of
another, whose wife confessing upon her death-bed that she had been guilty of several infidelities—" Alas!” exclaimed her husband, “you have no more reason to be satisfied with me; I promise therefore not to preserve any remembrance of your misconduct if you in return will forgive me whatever wrongs I may have committed towards you.” Not less surprised than overcome by this excessive goodness, she gladly consented, when he informed her, that having discovered her gallantries, he had taken the liberty of poisoning her, and that she was then dying by his hand !-A Milord Anglais, of great wealth, lately arrived at Paris, was so much smitten with the beauty of the poor woman's daughter in whose house he lodged, that he cried with a sheepish air “ Moi epouser vous toute de suite.” The damsel blushed.
si Volez-ro, voi o no?" (oui ou non.) The young woman being advised to decide instantly, as this marrier à la minute might change his mind, very seriously cried out—" Oui ;” to which Milord replied, “ Une Gentelman ne pas avoir qu'une parole," and the wedding was shortly solemnized with great magnificence. Eight days after, a friend returning from Italy gave him such an attractive account of Naples that he exclaimed afresh—“ Toute de suite, toute de suite, dais chival de la poste, et à Naples .!” and in a few days his new wife finds herself under the burning skies of Lombardy.—These most authentic anecdotes are wound up by the marriage of a Parisian exquisite.
“ Saint-Elme was charming, brilliant, witty, fait à peindre ; he fenced, and wrote a billet-doux en vrai Lovelace : the Coryphæus of the side scenes, the actresses contended for his favours, and liveried lacqueys brought him letters perfumed à la Vanille, with appointments from ladies of distinction. Descending from his unpaid tilbury in the Bois de Boulogne, and ogling through a diamond eye-glass, for which he was still in the jeweller's books, he was the darling of those fashionable dames who parade their landaus in fine weather, scattering from their horses' feet clouds of ostentatious dust. Nothing in appearance was wanting to the happiness of our ambered hero, since he took his tea at Hardy's, on the Italian Boulevard, dined at Beauvilliers, employed an English habit-maker, wore a waistcoat of Eau du Nil, had his pockets filled with orange-comfits, candied cherries, pastilles au punch, and Nougat de Marseilles ; and was, moreover, often seen in the private boxes of the theatres ; but alas! his prosperity was soon to end."
Besieged one morning by bailiffs and creditors who offered him his choice-payment or a prison-he decided as firmly as Cæsar when he crossed the Rubicon, and, accompanied by his father, betook himself to the horrible Lady Formes, a Londoner, of a hundred thousand sterling a-year, whose hideous portrait is exhibited in the frontispiece to the volume, and sacrifices himself to this ancient fright for the purpose of paying his creditors. Our author, it will be observed, is about as happy in the names of our nobility as Rousseau in his “ Nouvelle Heloise," and Madame de Staël in her “ Corinne ;” and as to the clumsy ridicule of his story and his caricature, we apprehend that it is much less disreputable to possess the forbiding features of a Lady Formes, than the sordid and profligate soul of a Saint-Elme.
After recommending the revival of a custom among the Babylonians, who used to assemble all their marriageable young women in a public place, and bestow the money which was bidden for the beauties in mar
riage portions for those who were ugly, our author quotes from LEGOUVE
Quand l'homme de la vie entreprend le voyage,
La femme avec douceur guide ses premiers pas ;
Et le console encore aux portes de trepas." A sentiment which ought to have inspired him with a little more respect for the sex: and, when he ventures in another place to exclaim
“ Mais pour moi dont le front trop aisement rougit,
Ma bouche a déjà peur de t'en avoir trop dit," he may rest assured that no decent reader, even in France, will accuse him upon the first line, or acquit him upon the second.
The Watering Places.
“ It scandalous and base is
Frequent my Watering Places.”“ 'Tis passing odd, blue-bearded god,
That men should thus turn otters ;With every due respect for you,
I never liked your waters.
Or dome of Chinese pattern,
Joint Devisee of Saturn.
Seem by the favour undone ;
A longing look tow'rd London.
Like Donaldson's or Lucombe's, In hopes to find food for the mind,
Soon finds he's not at Hookham's. The libraries that edge thy seas,
Are fit for boys in short hose : Their gew-gaw shelves bear tops for twelves, And paper
kites for quartos. Sandgate may
do for those who woo
I'll not increase their number.
Full equi-dismal Cowes is :
• Sea Houses.'
Who think it famous cheer is With gun and shot o'er fields to trot,
Monopolized by Ceres.
Southend's too nigh, and they who hie
To Scarborough too far get:
Mud-carted into Margate.
A bold and jutting work sees,
To fetter thee, like Xerxes.
And walk away to Flushing.
And rolling Lichfield Sam's gait,
To skim thy surf at Ramsgate.
Than moist Leander madder,
For Angels Jacob's ladder.
Would be more staid and sober,
With thee a blithe October.
The next time blows the wind bad':
Be sepulchred like Síndbad.
Thy forelands, creeks, and mountains,
I'd seek thy briny fountains.
The limb, that last-night felt numb,
Adieu, I'm off for Chelt'nhám !
A WALK TO VINCENNES.
It was in the Spring season, a short time ago, that I walked to the chateau of Vincennes. The day was fine, and the pure cerulean sky, with that vivifying clearness of the atmosphere never seen or experienced in our metropolis, and of which the feeling is understood by most, but which it would be difficult to describe here, gave me more than a common susceptibility of enjoying a walk-it was the exhilaration of incipient inebriety without its deadening effect upon the faculties. The mind wore its keenest edge, and its perceptions were stimulated as forcibly as the fibres of the body were braced. Such a moment is favourable for enjoying the beauties of Nature, and it is then almost an offence against natural feeling not to walk forth and drink in the delight which creation offers us. My resolution was executed sur le champ. I had breakfasted at the Caffé Hardi in the Boulevard des Italiens, when I planned my ramble, and having crowned my déjeuné with a petit verre of brandy, about a good-sized thimble full, (for my
breakfast, be it observed, was à la fourchette,) I proceeded along those charming adjuncts to the French cities—the Boulevards, amusing myself with the endless variety of objects in my way, until I reached the Barrier du Trone. All who have been at the eastern end of Paris know this spot of ingress and egress by the two naked columns on each hand. The road from the barrier runs in a straight line to Vincennes and its pleasant neighbourhood, and is planted with a double row of trees the whole way. The ground on the right is level ; on the left hand it begins to rise at a little distance off, forming the quadrant of a hill, on the side of which is the celebrated cemetery of Père La Chaise, with its white monuments and plantations. This hill is called Mont Louis. The cemetery is the site of the chateau and grounds of the Père La Chaise, the Jesuit confessor of Louis XIV. and bis mistress Madame de Maintenon, who used to visit the Père La Chaise there, as a Frenchman of the Bourbon school would say, from motives of pure piety! The side of the hill without the cemetery, and some of the space intervening between that and the road of Vincennes, was occupied by peach-gardens, then in all their luxuriance of rich blossom. I walked at a slow rate over a road which presented a curious contrast to the busy scene of one situated near the British capital. I met few persons ; a diligence with its grotesque accompaniments in pilotage, passengers and lumber, a gens-d'arme patrolling, and a demi-tasse* or two, if I might judge from their soldierlike air, threadbare coats, and toil-worn aspects, were the most important in the scale of consequence. There were also a few country people with the produce of their ground, seeking Paris for its sale, and jabbering their patois with the accustomed volubility of their nation. No splendid equipages passed me; Paris seemed to have attracted and retained all ; as it retains every idea that a Frenchman can possibly accumulate of beauty, excellence, and grandeur.
I must mention that before reaching the Barrier du Trone, I went a little out of the way to visit a spot, the associations with which presented the most painful aspect, and recalled the recollection of scenes which France must for ever blush to find in the records of her history. It is a piece of ground, not forty feet square, in the corner of what was once the garden of some canonesses of St. Augustin, in the Faubourg St. Antoine. It is scarcely credible that between the 24th June, 1793, and 27th July, 1794, nearly one half of all the corpses of unhappy persons decapitated in Paris during the “reign of terror," as the French denominate that period, were crammed into such a little space. This number amounted to 1298. Over cach layer of bodies some inches in thickness of quick-lime were deposited. Little indeed is the room that mortals require for their last sojourn at this rate, much less even than our scanty London grave-yards can bestow! Though these remains must have constituted a mass of human putrefaction quite appalling, the lime effectually prevented any bad consequences to the living, and the decomposition was rapid and complete. Among the dead thus inhumed here, was the noted Frederick Baron Trenck, who was decapitated only two days before Robespierre.
After this digression, to return to my main object. I pursued my
* The half-pay officers, or demi-solde, who are supposed to possess only the means of paying for half cups of coffee.