תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub
[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

FOR

APRIL, 1810.

A NEW SERIES.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

OT

ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES.

The Fourth Number.

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE COUNTESS OF BESBOROUGH

The Right Honourable Frances Hen. || Educated under the care of the present rietta Ponsonby, is the second daugliter of Dowager Countess Spencer, whose many John, first Earl Spencer, and sister to the amiable qualities are so well appreciated, late Duchess of Devonshire.

she acquired, early in life, a sober and Her Ladyship was married in the year || steady principle of action, which served as 1780, to the present Earl of Besborough, || a shield against the flattery of the world then Viscount Duncannon. Her Lady- and the seducements of fashion.

Her ship has issue by the present marriage | Ladyship, therefore, has used the world of three sons and one daughter.

fashion as not abusing it; she has drank Her eldest son, Lord Duncannon, was the cup without intoxication; she has not married to Maria, third daughter of the endeavoured to drain it to its dregs, or Earl of Westmorelavd, in 1805. Her | been content to banish or it the consola. Ladyship's daughter is married to the tions of domestic life and judicious friendeldest son of Lord Melburne:

ships. Lady Besborough is a woman of a The Countess of Besborough has so long refined and delicate taste; and like her been intermixed with the fashionable world sister, the late Duchess of Devonshire, is a thal there is little to be communicated re- distinguished ornament in upper life, specting her which is not already known.

ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS.

HYMEN.EA IN SEARCH OF A HUSBAND.

(Continued from page 119.)

" If there be one quality which should

juled in the French writers peculiaily characterize woman,” said my as the offspring of the ancient romances, aunt, “it should be prudence."

but the offspring of the modern romance's “Suppose you say virtue, aunt," said I ; | and novels aie infinitely worse. They are "s for I must suppose that you mean it." mongiel beings, between the ancient he.

“ Virtue, in the rigid sense in which roines and the modern derniies. They you take it, is a sacrifice," continued my bave the extravagance of the Clelias and aunt; “ you demand a degree of modesty the Mandanes without their elegance and which, inasınuch as it is contrary to dignity, and they have so much of modern nature, calls for great restraints. A young manners and of modern accomplishinents, woman, in my opinion, should guard her as are inconsistent with the true female character as a soldier guards his honour, l character, wiih feminine simplicity, and for a woman without character is like a sol- | with feminine softness. I have a letter in dier without bonour."

my pocket from one of these young ladies, “ You surely cannot intend to say that a young friend of mine, who, from being modesty is an unnatuial restraint," con. a good humoured, easy, intelligent girl, tinued I.

but having fallen into the hands of one of “ Certainly not," said my aunt;" as far these modern heroines, has become a mest as it is necessary to our honour."

formal fool, -argues on the plainest points, “ Nor as far as is necessary to virtue, and gives a reason where no one but herself properly so called, -to our duty as Chris. can have a doubt. She has an excellent tians and reasonable beings," added 1.- | furtune of her own, and is addressed by the “ Why will you take a pleasure to con- son of a neighbouring gentleman, of equal found things.- Why will you reason your- | expectations; she was even on the point of self out of just notions of your duty." being married to him, and I am persuaded

“. Be so kind as to inform me," said my || had an ardent affection for him, when she aunt, “ in what respect Clarissa had offend. suddenly at least interrupied the match, ed.--Her vajon was justified and sanctified She took it into her head, that it would be by the church."

more generous to prefer his rival, a young “Be it so," said I," her mystery and man without a penny; and by this ipconconcealment were not necessary, any more ceivable folly has rendered herself the conthan her haste to satisfy her lover. As to tempt and ridicule of the county. She has the happiness of the young Baronet, it was written me a long nonsensical letter arguing a fanciful and silly notion, one of those the point, and requesting my opinion after romantic follies which are madness in com- il she has made up her owo.--Now, my dear mon life. But the young ladies of the day aubt, without being severe on your fa.. take ihe code of their duties from some vourite Clarissa, it does appear to me that circulating library, and form themselves to she is one of these modern heroines who the whole duty of women upon the model, have formed their taste and their judgment of some of the heroes of the Minerva, li on a wrong model, and act on their novels is really inconceivable what' mischief has and romances

, as if they were their prayer. been done by this circulating trash. The books and rules of life.” popular manners of a nation have often “ To return, however to my story,"con. been imputed to their popular songs, and 'tinued my aunt.-" Edward and Clarissa, the manners of the women most certainly as I infornied you, has been privately inarbelong to those wretched works. -We have lied before the former left England, and net indeed those Clelias which have been hael Fasily excused themselves to each

morrow.

atler for the unreasonable mystery, a. d “ No, Heaven has spared her the misery inddicate abruptness of this union, by a of having an orphan child. The child was romantic consideration for the passion of not born alive.' Sir Wrsiam. 'Il is unnecessary', argued “ dud is she acquainted with the loss of Clarissa, 'That William should have the her husband?' pain of knowing my preference. Our mar rol “ She is; her grief at first was nearly riaye may be concealed sill he himself equal to madness. But youth, her mai shall have gone abroad to make his grand tural spiries, and the time that has elapsed tour. The will then failinto other ci nuec. have softened these emotio; 8; she lias too tions, and in the variety of images and pure! inuch energy colose herseit'in useless sore suits, either wholly forget me, or at least' row, she has returned to the duties of life, lose that violence of love for me which,' and is now in the house.' under present circumstances would render! Clarissa,- my Ciarissa, in the house! him viserable. And how could you and exclaimed Sir William. myself, Edward, be happy, if we saw our “My dearest young friend,' said the friend as miserable as disappoiveed love Doctor, “you must calm these transports, would make lim? FL w would you feel in render yourself tranquil, every thing mas the same circumstance?

yet be well, and Clarissa and you seif'enjoy “Edwa: d fully assented to thi: argument, many happy years. If there be anly one and it was agreed, on the eiening of the who can compensate to ber the viriues of departure of Edward, that the marriage .Edward, it is you. You now know my should be kept seciet till the return of puipose if heaven allow me the lile to acEdvard from St. Petersburg. But it' complish it. You shall see Clarissa tobapiens iu love, as in war,-furiulie, or

She is eager to see you, and fiom rather our own imprudence, disappoints some cause or other, the natual levity of all previous calculations, and assents the youth I suppose, forgets the grounds which event to herself. One very slight circum- you have of oilunce. Do not reinind her stance foiled all this excellent scheme. By of them. Retuin without any formality of a very natural course of things, Ciarissa explanation or remonstrance, to that state becaine pregnant, and within less than a of tiiendship, intimacy, and brotherhood year after bis marriage Edwarı, being suill in which you formerly lived together:- If I absent, was about to be a father.--such know any thing of the heart of women, and was ihe state of things when Sir Williamı more particularly of che chiaracter of Ciamade the di.covery. The illness of the rissa, she will soon find you necessary to young Baronet was long and dangerous, he

holl
up

the void of her lost husband. There was just upon the point of recovery when is a tenderness in the nature of women,the Doctor, one day silling by his bed, an they must have something to love. There nounced to bin a most unexpected event. is a mystery, however, which I could wish

“ William,' said be, ' Edward is no more!' you to explain.'

“ No inore !' replied Sir William, arous. Speak, Sir, what mystery?' said Sir ed into attention ;' what mean you?"

William. “I have a letter in my hand, which ex.

No, you are too weak as yet to support plains it better than I cau myself. I have the effort. After you have seen Clarissa, I knowo this event this three months, but will explain myself more tuily:' your state of health would not suffer me to On the following day Clarissa and Sie inform you of it.'

Williain had the promised interview with “ Is it possible that this is true' said Sir each other. Sir William could not but see William.

that her widow's weeds infiuliely added 10 “It is unfortunately beyond a doubt,' her charins ; and her tranquillity, whes her said he.-' His death is confirmed by the real or assumed, was such as surprized lim, Petersburgh papers, which accompany this till he reilected on the wature of youth and packet.'

more particularly of women, receiving in“ And Clarissa,' said Sir William, rising pressions quickly and losing them as sudfrom his pillow... Clarissa is a widow, deniy. and her child,' sepeated Sir William. ! Clarissa, on her part, was delighted to

see the young Baronet, and they had not year bad expired, Clarissa and Sir William
been ten minutes together before Edward should be united."
was wholly forgotten on both sides.

“l'll lay my life on it," said I,“ that Cla. “You will allow, my dear Hymenæa, that rissa found out some romantic argument to this is not romance."

excuse Sir William and herself from waitMost certainly not," said I, “but it is ing the whole of this time.” what I expected from Clarissa.-I have

My aunt smiled, and thus continued :never known any of these readers of ro "You seem to forget Hymenxa, the circummance who did not want natural feeling stances of her union with Edward. She in the same proportion in which they was scarcely married before she was sepa. abounded iu romantic extravagance. But rated from her husband.But not to get proceed, my dear aunt, I will not interrupt into any argument on a subject of this unyou."

interesting nature, I return now to the Doc. “ From the moment of this interview | tor's mystery. Sir William-and himself Sir William, upon his part, rapidly return-being one day in the parlour together after ed to health ; as to Clarissa, I scarcely need | dinner, the Doctor without further explasay that though she continued to wear her nation put a packet into his hands.—This weeds, her first love was entirely banished letter was addressed to the Doctor, from from her heart, and the image of her new the patron of Edward, the nobleman whom lover received into its place.”

he had accompanied to Petersburgh. Sir “ If I had known what kind of character William now opened and read as follows:Clarissa would have eventually turned out, I would not have troubled you to have re.

“MY DEAR SIR, Petersburgh. lated bér story," said I.

“It gives me the greatest concern that I "Nay, do not judge so harshly,” said my have to inform you of an event which aunt; “ Clarissa was not a heroine but almost equally interests us both, the death what hundreds of young women may be of the young man whom you had the daily seen to be. I knew her intimately goodness to entrust to my protection. and loved her inuch.--She was delightfully This unhappy event has been attended with handsome, a most charming temper, and some extraordinary circumstances which of riever failing cheerfulness, elegant with render it doubly unfortunate. I confess all, and perfectly easy and unaffected; she that the merit of the young man has rencertainly wanted constancy, but she did dered his loss to me irreparable and so much not want feeling. I compare her to a the more to be lamented by his friends, as child, or rather to girls in general. As long his talents gave a sure promise that he as you were with her, she remembered you would sooner or later altain to great emiand loved you, but her affection was not

[ocr errors]

For some days before his disapproof against absence."

pearance and death, he seemed overwhelm. “Proceed," said I, “in your narrative. ed with melancholy, and lost to what This is an easy way of reconciling yourseliwas passing around him. It was in vain to the want of that ordinary feeling wbich that I exhausted all my efforts to obtain should always be natural to women. If his confidence; he was inaccessiblc. In Clarissa were a French woman, I should the midst of this state of mind, he was one feel no surprize."

morning missing, and all search for him “Well," replied my aunt,“ to return to was in vain. You will do me the justice to my narrative. Clarissa and Sir William believe that nothing was neglected on my now daily and almost hourly passed their part to procure some intelligence relative time together, and Sir William at length to this unhappy and unaccountable affair. musterrd up courage enough to declare his | The only result obtained by my efforts, passion."

however, was, that a letter was stopt on the “It did not require much courage for Russian frontier, the post master, from thai, I think," said I.

having lived in my family, being acquaint“Well, Clarissa acknowledged his merit; ed with the hand-writing of Edward. This and it was at length finally arranged to the letter I have inclosed. You will see that satisfaction of all parties, that when the li it only involves me deeper in mystery:

nence.

« הקודםהמשך »