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roinance, in which she pours out her sorrows in a copious stream of eloquent absurdity. Poor Miss Cherry's brains are so bewil. dered with the trash which she has been reading, that she is mad to be a heroine ; and, though naturally a very amiable, sensible girl, she becomes a perfect maniac in search of adventures. She deplores her hard lot in being doomed to waste her bloom, beauty, and youth, in a series of uninterrupted prosperity. She declares to her beloved governess, that her
K ambition is to be a heroine, and how can I hope to succeed in my vocation unless I suffer privations and inconveniences ? Besides, have I pot far greater merit in getting a husband by sentiment, adventure, and melancholy, than by dressing, gaddiog, dancing, and singing ? For heroines are just as much on the alert to get husbands as other young ladies; and to say the truth, I would never voluntarily subject myself to misfortunes, were I not certain that matrimony would be the last of them. But even misery itself has its consolations and advantages. It makes one, at least, look interesting, and affords an opportunity for ornamental murmurs. Besides, it is the mark of a refined mind. Only fools, children, and savages, are happy."
From this specimen the reader may pretty well judge what kind of ainusement Miss Cherry promises in her history. She discovers that from the beauty of her person, she is well qualified for a heroine; as her form is tall and aerial, her face Grecian, her tresses flaxen, her eyes blue and sleepy, with a remarkable mole just over her temple. So far so well; but then, she is thrown into despair on account of her birth, for she exclaims, if “even my legitimacy was suspected, it would be some comfort; since, in that case, I should assuredly start forth, at one time or other, the daughter of some plaintive nobleman, who lives retired and slaps his forehead." She is also perplexed about her name, which is by no means of the heroic kind. She therefore changes it to Cherubina ; and ruminating upon her hard fate of being wealthy and pretty, she determines to think that she is not the real daughter of her father-but that she is some orphan of illustrious descent, reserved to encounter all manner of extraordinary adventures, equally delightful with those with which her beloved romances so fruitfully teem. She accordingly assails her father in the true romance style; her hands folded across her bosom, and her blue eyes raised to his face, she conjures him to tell her who are her parents; for she has discovered a mystery in her birth, and urges him to confess his crimes, and tell her where her dear distracted father is lingering out the remnant of his miserable days? The poor farmer is thunderstruck, and believes that her senses are lost past recovery. All these scenes, which are made truly laughable, are related to her dear governess by letter, in the genuine dramatic style; and in so doing, she follows the example of all true heroines.
*** lodeed," she says “ I cannot enough admire the fortitude of these charming creatures, who, while they are iu momentary expectation of losing their lives, or their honours, or both, sit down with the utmost unconcern, and indite the wittiest letters in the world. They bave even sufficient presence of mind to copy the vulgar dialect, uucouth phraseology, and bad grammar, of the villains whom they dread; and all this in the beatest and liveliest style imaginable.”
Miss Cherry, or Cherubina, is, however, determined to quit her father's house; and this determination is hastened by learning that a young man, a friend of her father's, is coming upon a visit, and from a hint, which he throws out, that it is not unlikely but that this gentleman may fall in love with her, she is thrown into despair. Threatened with a husband of decent birth, parentage, and education! horrid ! most horrid! so very unlike a heroine !
“ Yes, I will roam,” she exclaims, “through the wide world in search of my parents; I will ransack all the sliding pannels and tapestries in Italy ; I will explore !l Castello di Udolpho, and will then enter the convent of Ursulines, or Carmelites, or Santa della Pieta, or the Abbey of La Trappe. Here I meet with nothing better than smiling faces and honest hearts; or, at best, with but speaking villains. No precious scoun:Irels are here; no horrors or atrocities worth mentioning But abroad I shall encounter banditti, menks, daggers, racks. Oye cele brated terrors, whep shall I taste you ?”
Before she departs she determines on a rummage, in order to find some record or relic that may lead to what she calls her mysterious birth. Accordingly she steals into her father's room, and finds in his scrutoire an antique piece of tattered parchment, on which are written, amongst other names, De Willoughby, and Lady Gwyn, of Gwyn castle. This is enough for our heroine ; though the parchment is nothing more nor less than part of a lease of lives, it is however an irrefragable proof to her that she is no less a person than the Lady Cherubina de Willoughby. With this notable parchment, and an old picture, which she finds, of Nell Gwyn, she elopes from her father's mansion, for London, that grand emporium of adventure for heroes and heroines.
In the character of Lady Cherubina de Willoughby, a heroine in search of her parents, she finds, to her utter astonishment, that she cannot do as the heroines do of whoin she had read, and whom she contemplated so inuch. For after walking in the wet for some miles, she finds herself fatigued, cold, and stiff: whereas, all the lovely heroines whom she wished to initate, were able to perform journeys on foot that would founder fifty horses. If she enters a cottage, to her astonishment, instead of beauties, she finds a family of frights, with flat noses, and thick lips. No Annettes and Lubins, but plain Molls and Bets, Jacks and Toms. To follow our heroine through all the mazes of her adventures would be impos. sible ; but we inust remark, that they are extremely well planned, and portrayed with much vivacity and drollery. Some of the scenes are truly ludicrous. The following is the account which Cherubina gives of her rencounter with a Mr. Abraham Grundy, who is one of the understrappers at the theatre.
“At length I reached an immense edifice, which appeared to me the castle of some brow-knitting baron; ponderous columns supported it, and statues stood in the oiches, the portal lay open. I glided jote the ball. As I looked anxiously arouod, I beheld a cavalier descendo ing a flight of steps. He prused, muttered some words, laid his hand upon his heart, dropped it, shook his head, and proceeded. I felt instantly interested in his fate; and as he came nearer, perceived, that surely, never lighted on this orb, which he hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. His form was tall, his face oval, and his nose aquiline : seducing sweetness dwelled in his smile, and as he pleased, his expressive eyes could sparkle with rapture, or beam with sensibility. Once more he paused, frowned, and waving his arm, exclaimed, with an elegant energy of enunciation ! To watch the miputes of this night, that if again this apparition come, he may approve our eyes, and speak to it.' That moment a pang, poignant, but delicious, transfixed my bosom. Too well I felt, and confessed it the dart of love. *** I rushed forward, and saok at the feet of the stranger. Pity and protect a destitute orphan! cried I, · Here, in this hospitable castle I may hope for repose and protection. O Signior, conduct me to your respected mother, the baroness, and let me pour into her ear my simple and pathetic tale.' 'O ho! simple and pathetic !" cried be, Come my dear, let me hear it.' I seated myself on the steps, and told him my story. During the recital, the noble youth betrayed extreme sensibility; sometimes he turned his head aside to conceal his emotion; and sometimes stifled an hysterical laugh of agony. When I bad ended, he begged to kuow whether I was quite certain that I had ten thousand pounds in my power. I replied, that as Wilkinson's daughter, I certainly had; but that the property must devolve to some one else, as soon as I should be proved a nobleman's daughter.' He then made still more accurate inquiries about it; and after having satisfied himself, “Beshrew my heart!' exclaimed he, but I will avenge your injuries ; aud ere long you shall be proclaimed and acknowledged the Lady Cherubina de Willoughby. Meantime, as it will be prudent for you to lie concealed from the search of your enemies, hear the project which I have formed. I lodge at present in Drury lane, an obscure street; and as one apartment in the house is unoccu. pied, you can hire it, and remain there a beautiful recluse, till fortune, and my poor efforts, shall rescue from oppression the most enchanting of her sex.' He spoke, and seizing my band, carried it to his lips • What!' cried I, do you not live in this castle, and are you not its noble heir?' This is no castle,' said he,.but Covent Garden. Theatre.' 'And you?' asked I with anxiety, am an actor,' answer ed he. “And your name ?? •Is Abrabam Grundy,' Then Mr. Abraham Grundy,' said I,' allow me to have the satisfaction of wishing you a very good evening.' Stay! cried he, detaining me, and you shall know the whole truth. My birth is illustrious, and any real name Lord Altamont Mortimer Mooimorenci. But like you, I am enveloped in a cloud of mysteries, apsł compelled to the temporary resource of acting. Hereafter, I will acquaint you with the most secret particulars of my life; but at present, you must trust to my good faith, and accept. of my protection. Generous Montmorenci,' exclaimed I, giviog bim my hand, which he pressed upon his heart. “Now,' said he, you must pass at these lodgings as my near relation, or they will not admit you.' At first I hesitated at deviating from veracity ; but soon consented, on recollecting, tbat though heroines begio with praisiog truth, necessity makes them end with being the greatest story-tellers in the world. Nay, Clarissa Harlow, when she had a choice, often preferred falsehood to fact. *
“*** Thus, my friend, the plot of my history begins to take a more interesting shape, and a fairer order of misfortune smiles upon
Trust me, there is a taste in distress, as well as in millioery. Far be from me the loss of eyes or limbs, such publicity as the pillory affords, or the grossness of a gaol fever. I would be sacrificed to the lawless, not to the laws; dungeoned in the holy inquisition, pot clapped into Bridewell; recorded in a novel, not in the Newgate caleodar. Were I ioelegantly unhappy, I should be wretched indeed. Yes, my Biddy, sensations hitherto unknowo now heave my white bosom, vary the carnation of my cheeks, and irradiate my azure eyes. I sigh, gaze on vacancy, start from a reverie; now bite, now moisten my coral lips, and pace my chamber with unequal steps. For sure I am deeply, distractedly in love, and Altamont Mortimer Montmorenci is the first of men."
Altamont Mortimer Montmorenci, alias Abraham Grundy, is a most entertaining and brilliant personage: and makes no slight impression on the heart, or rather the imagination, of the Lady Cherubina de Willoughby.
“ This young nobleman,” she exclaims in one of her letters to her friend and ex-governess, “ increases my estimation every moment; Dever can you catch him out of a picturesque position. He would exhaust in one hour all the attitudes of all the statues; when he talks tenderness his eyes glow with a moist fire, and he always brings in his heart with peculiar happiness. Then, too, his oaths are at once well conceived, and elegantly expressed. Thunderbolts and the fixed stars are ever at his elbow, and no man can sink himself to perdition with so fine a grace."
This fine picturesque fellow, finding that plain Cherry Wilkin son, the only child of a very rich farmer, will, independently of her father, have ten thousand pounds, humours the extravagant whims of the romantic dame, and makes fierce love to her in the character of Lord Altamont. ' This occasions a rich tissue of very absurd and laughable scenes.
Mr. Wilkinson follows his daughter to London ; and an interview takes place, in which he implores her to return home to a safe shelter under his paternal roof; but our heroine astonishes and alarms her poor father by the following positive refusal :
“ Wilkinson," said I, “ this interview must be short, pointed, and decisive. As to calling yourself my father, that is a stale trick, and will pot pass; and as to personating (what I perceive you aspire to) the grand villain of my plot, your corpulency, pardon me, puts that out of the question forever. I should be just as happy to employ you as any other man I know; but excuse me, if say that you overrate your talents and qualifications. Have you the gaunt ferocity of famide in your countevance! Can you darken the midnight of a scowl ? Have you the quivering lip and the Schedonjac contour? And while the lower part of your face is hidden in black drapery, can your eyes glare from under the edge of a cowl? In a word, are you a picturesque villain, full of plot, and horror, and magnificent wickedness? Ah, 30, sir, you are only a sleek, good-humorired, chuckle-headed gentle man. Continue, then, what pature made you ; return to your plough, mow, reap, fatten your pigs, and the parson; but never again attempt to get yourself thrust into the pages of a romance.”
Notwithstanding this romantic mania of the Lady Cherubina, she is a girl of much good sense and great propriety of conduct and decorum of manners; for, when any thing occurs, which strikes her as improper, she is Cherry Wilkinson directly. In one of her love interviews with Lord Altamont Mortimer Montmorenci, his lordship forgets his proper distance; and assuming more of the character of Abraham Grundy than became him, he catches the lady under the chin, and gives her a kiss on the lips. As Cherry Wilkinson, she feels her modesty wounded, and herself insulted: and, as the Lady Cherubina, she sets the gentleman right, and convinces him that she is not to be so vulgarly treated. She says,
“ I have no notion of submitting to any freedom that is not sanctioned by the precedent of those exalted models whom I have the honour to imitate." I fancy, my lord, you will find, that as far as a kiss on the hand, or an arm round the waist, they have no particular objection. But a salute on the lip is considered inaccurate."
His lordship is open to reproof, and has little else to say for himself, but that it was a practice in his country. Cherry, however, congratulates herself on having repulsed his lordship in the following manner:
“ I think I was right about the kiss. I confess I am not one of those girls who try to attract men through the medium of the touch ; and