Page images

She is also alluded to in Codrington's happy and beautiful compliment to Garth.

"The nymph has Grafton's, Cecil's,* Churchill's † charms,

If with resistless fires my soul she warms," &c.

It may easily be supposed that in that age of gallantry and satire, her Grace could not escape unnoticed by more licentious and ill-natured wits. There is a lampoon extant, which insinuates that her maid having unexpectedly discovered Charles Mordaunt hid in her closet, screamed out, on which

"The Duchess flew to his relief,

And saved his being murder'd for a thief."

The picture before us scarcely does justice to the beautiful original, either as a painting or a resemblance. She is standing near a fountain, and is catching in a shell the stream which a young Triton is pouring from his writhed horn; but as she is studiously turning her face the other way, no wonder the water runs over. The features are fine, with an expression of more hauteur than sweetness, and the turn of the head and the whole figure have more dignity than grace. The drapery is heavily painted; the colours, brown and blue, harmonise ill. In spite of these faults, the picture pleases as a fine composition, and strikes yet more as an engraving than as a painting. In the mezzotinto a soft, light, satiny effect is given to drapery which is not in the original, and the faults of colouring are not apparent.

The Fitzroys of Grafton and Southampton, with all their collateral branches, are descended from this lady, and the Dukes of Grafton inherit from her the titles of Earl of Arlington and Baron Thetford, which she possessed in her own right.

(To be continued.)


Next-door Neighbours.

My wife and I live, comme il faut,
At number Six in Crosby Row:
So few our household labours,
We quickly turn from joints and pies,
To use two tongues and twice two eyes
To meliorate our neighbours.

My eye-glass, thanks to Dollond's skill,
Sweeps up the lane to Mears's Mill,
While, latticed in her chamber,
My wife peeps through her window-pane,
To note who ramble round the lane,
And who the foot-stile clamber.

This morn the zig-zag man of meat
Trotted, tray-balanced, up the street-
We saw him halt at Sydney's:
My wife asserts he left lamb there;
But I myself can all but swear

'Twas mutton-chops and kidneys.

• Afterwards Lady Ranelagh.

Henrietta, daughter of the Duke of Marlborough.
Probably Lord Peterborough.

The man who goes about with urns
Is beckon'd in by Betty Burns:
The poor girl knows no better:

But Mrs. Burns should have more sense;
That broken tray is mere pretence-
He brings the girl a letter.

Whether she goes up street for milk,
Or brings home sugar, pins, or silk,
That silly wench for ever
Draws up, pretending at the stile
To rest herself, while all the while
She waits for Captain Trevor.
The Captain, when he sees me, turns,
Seems not to notice Betty Burns,

And round the pond betakes him,
Behind the stables of the Bear,
To get the back way in; but there
My wife's back window rakes him.
There go the Freaks again-but hark!
I hear the gate-bell ring-'tis Bark,
The glib apothecary,

Who in his mortar pounds the fame
Of every rumour-wounded damne,

From Moll to Lady Mary.

"Well, Mr. Bark,"-" I've found her out."

"Who is she?"-" Not his wife."-" No doubt."


'Twas told me by his brother."

"Which brother? Archibald ?”—“ No, Fred.

An old connection."-" So I said."

The woman's"-" What?"-"His mother."

"Who are the comers next to Blake's?

"At number Four?"-" Yes."-"




Sad junketings and wastings.
I've seen them play in Days of Yore,'
He acted Hastings in Jane Shore,

And she Jane Shore in Hastings."

"Pray, Mr. Bark, what party drove
That dark-brown chariot to the Grove ?"
"The Perry's, Ma'am, wet Quakers.
He married Mrs. Hartley Grant,
Whose father's uncle's mother's aunt
Lived cook at Lady Dacre's."
But Sunday is the time, of course,
When Gossip's congregated force

Pours from our central Chapel :
Then hints and anecdotes increase,
And in the Mansion-house of Peace,
Dark Discord drops her apple.

Ope but a casement, turn a lock,
The whole row feels th' electric shock,
Springs tilt, their blinds up-throwing.

And every ear and every eye

Darts to one centre, to descry

Who's coming or who's going.

Thus occupied, in Crosby-row,
We covet not the Grange or Stowe;
Pent in by walls and palings,

Their lordly tenants can't, like us,

Drop in at tea-time to discuss

Their neighbours' faults and failings.



ACCOMPLISHMENTS.-In this country, of late years, chiefly owing to the increase of wealth, and partly to the equalizing spirit of the French Revolution, there has been a rage, now becoming a little mitigated, for what are called accomplishments. By these are generally meant drawing, speaking French, and playing on the piano-forte. Drawing, French, and Music are the three Graces of a boarding-school Venus. An accomplished young lady is supposed to be mistress of them all; but any one of them confers on her the dignity of possessing an accomplishment. The piano-forte is indispensable. Speaking French is taken for granted, and not too much inquired into. The addition of drawing creates an admiring surprise; and if Italian be thrown in, that is to say, if the young lady understands the words of her favourite Mozart and Rossini, or is not very wide of the mark, admiration, as Johnson might phrase it, retreats into humility. The gentleman has nothing further to be astonished at.

We know not whether it be to the disgrace or renown of the other sex, that an accomplished man is not so easily heard of. Whether it be that Greek and Latin are too common in some quarters, and too little expected in others, or that it is thought nothing wonderful for one of the male sex to be able to play on an instrument and take part in a duett, or that a man's life has been so busy a thing of late years between politics and money-getting, certain it is, that the idea of an accomplished young gentleman is not so distinct a thing now-a-days as it used to be. We suspect it will become more so, in proportion as those excellent gymnastic institutions increase, which bave lately risen among us. One real accomplishment leads to another. The sense of acquirement is ambitious, and is for making conquests among the neighbouring territories. Besides, a man has something in him to adorn, when he has the ground of a sure manhood to go upon,-when he has stuff and substance in him to shape and illustrate. His accomplishments, in that case, are not taken for evidences of effeminacy; tendencies to pleasure which he cannot help. They are attainments of his will, and ornaments of his victory. The hand, that can grapple well with a bar, has double grace in dancing over the flute. The conqueror from the wrestlingground goes with a new zest to read about the Greeks and their palæstra. We could lay a wager, that numbers of the pupils of Professor Voelker will be for inquiring into what is to be learnt and added to their stock in very different quarters. They will find with pleasure, that Milton, himself a gymnast, as far as fencing went, recommends the recreation of music after exercise. Socrates, strong in body as well as mind, disdained none of the favours of those three deified Graces, which he knew how to sculpture. Epaminondas, the greatest of the Greek warriors, and one of the most amiable of men, was a dancer and a fluteplayer. The German students, from whom the introducer of our gymnastics has come among us, and whom it shall be no unbearable anticlimax to mention after these great names, seeing that they had a hand in pulling down Napoleon, are the same persons that figure in the war-songs of Kleist, and the tender novels of Augustus La Fontaine.

These are the ways to become accomplished. Body and mind must go hand in hand; not one be left in lurch by the other; not a specula

tive activity swallow up a more healthy one, as it has been too apt to do in our times, when society has done little but fluctuate backwards and forwards from the counting-house to the news-room. However, it is from our experience that posterity will gain; so we will not give the toast we were about to recommend, and which we have sometimes drunk, "May our sons have a contempt for their fathers' muscles!" It is our sedentary thoughts that shall have procured them their active superiority.

Now in our zeal for the accomplishments of the fair sex, which no Muscleman can have more at heart than we have, we must request the dear players of piano-fortes and speakers of French, not to cease regarding music and languages as good things; which, after what we have said, they will not suppose; still less to renounce their music and their languages, albeit they may be farmers' or tradesmen's daughters, or whatsoever other respectable offsprings they choose to be, or however called upon to do so by the envious among their own class, or the silly and supercilious among others; but solely to vindicate the superiority which their accomplishments would imply, by looking into the real end of them, and knowing them to be no more than the wise and the truly accomplished take them for. A truly accomplished spirit would lay down all those ornaments of itself, and still walk forth, the substantial enjoyer of nature, the possessor of that solid power of receiving and bestowing happiness, which the accomplishments in question do but vary a little and adorn. This is the inward body of wisdom, and beauty, and loveliness, for which the other forms a very pleasing investment, but can never be taken as a substitute. Accomplishment, applied in its present sense, is in truth a foolish term, and tends to mislead the superficial. It raises an idea of completeness and perfection, which is as ludicrously false in the particular assumption, as it is too apt to be in the effect. It is like confounding the body of the wine with the colour of it, or the filling up of the eup with a relish added to the contents. By accomplishments we lead people to suppose that they are finished; and so they may be in the tailor's sense, but not in the sculptor's or the philosopher's. The body must be there to be added to or adorned; the nature capable of accomplishment must be there; which is a noble thing of itself, and may, without any accomplishment at all, in the ordinary sense of the word, surpass a thousand natures that have been more educated. By accomplishment we properly mean embellishinent. The embellishment may be small or great, a profit or a deterioration; for a superficial accomplishment, overvalued by the possessor, is a nuisance to all parties: but a genuine nature, capable of the truest accomplishments, or even when incapable of some, carries with it the privilege of being its own embellishment, of being at once the substance and the ornament. When we read of a delightful woman, the charm of all who knew her—such, for instance, as the Duchess of Burgundy at the court of Louis the Fourteenth, we do not think of inquiring whether she drew, or spoke English, or played on the guitar; we are content with her being delightful. It is impossible for any one to be more impartial on this point than we are; for, to say the truth, we are passionate admirers of the fine arts, and have reason to be grateful ones. An air of Mozart or Paesiello runs in our head for a week; and so does a head itself, done to admiration, till you laugh at it, by a fair friend of ours, with no prouder instrument than a pair of scissors.

Mrs. Delany, with her paper trees and roses, would have transported our bosky propensities into a bower of bliss; and as to Anne Killegrew, the paintress and the poetess, she shall see how we like her, when we come to her article under the head of K. But, in all these fair cases, besides music, and scissors, and painting-brushes, there is a fine nature, a genuine spirit, worthy of the ornaments it is put among, and able to oblige and delight us without them. We do not say that good natures, accomplished, have not the advantage of good natures without accomplishment. It is fine to hear a cordial voice speaking to us by means of the other fineness of melody. It is fine to imagine beauty painting beauty, reflecting and doubling itself, living in a world worthy of it, and putting down for other people's eyes the lasting images of lights and shadows, the charm of which we find it difficult to express. But accomplishments themselves, delightful as they are, are but occupied with impressing upon us a sense of something more delightful; to wit, the hidden soul and mystery of the heart, and the refined senses, and the intelligence. Give us those, and you give us the spirits to which accomplishments pay homage, even when in their own hands.

"And every one her with a grace endows;

And every one with meekness to her bows. "

When Mrs. Jordan sang, it was the heart in her voice that came through, and made her very song forgotten. The orchestra ceased, and the house recognized the genuine human being. Even the homeliest utilities, when brought into contact with a refinement, and gracefully managed, reflect upon it an additional beauty, by reason of the secret appeal they make to our paramount sense of good. It was a pleasant surprise to us the other day, when visiting some friends, to hear an answer brought from a young lady who was sent for to take a part in a duett, "That her fingers were all over flour, but she would come to us the moment she got it off." The same hand that could play an instrument, was making a pudding; as it ought to do. This union of accomplishments is less respected now-a-days than it was in the times of my Lady Pembroke and Mrs. Hutchinson, when a lady's hand could at one minute be playing on the "heavenly virginalls," and at the next was deep in pickles and preserves. "They could not spell then," scornfully exclaims a modern fine lady. No, Madam spelling was not so common as it is now. Let us pique ourselves as we ought upon that interesting advantage, especially as it is an evidence of the diffusion of letters among rich and poor; but the real progress of knowledge does not consist in acquiring one utility and leaving another. That hand is most accomplished, which is fullest of power. To be perfect, we would have it be able to spell, and to work, and to play, and to make a tart or a bed, and to dress, and to dandle a child, and to twitch the ear of a pleasant friend, and to wipe the tears from one's eyes, and to be kissed in old age with a love beyond reverence. Is it deficient in any of these perfections? Let it be able to lay itself with encouragement on the young heads of those who possess them, and that action gives it the spirit of them all.

Next to an absolute piece of genius, the greatest accomplishments any one can possess are a love of Nature and of books.


« PreviousContinue »