Page images
PDF
EPUB

COURT AND FASHIONABLE

MAGAZINE,

For. SEPTEMBER, 1807.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

OF

ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES.

The Twenty-second Pumber.

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF PORTUGAL.

MARIA FRANCES ISABELLA, the pre-l in Portugal than in any other quarter of sent Queen of Portugal and Algarve, was the globe. born December 17th, 1734; married June Some years since, when her Majesty's 16th, 1760, to the late King, by whom she distemper was at the height, the Court of has issue, John Maria Joseph Lewis, || Lisbon sent over to England for a physiPrince Regent of Portugal and Brazil. Il cian of eminent practice in this country.

The Queen of Portugal was attacked || The gentleman who was sent for attended early in life by a species of melancholy, ll the summons; but we fear that his skill which produced an occasional deprivation was of no avail. Her Majesty seemed of her senses; and, about twelve years better for a time, but soon relapsed into a since, this malady encreased to such an || more alarming state than ever,-a state, alarming degree, that it was judged neces it is said, of alternate idiotry, and an acute sary to take the reins of government from and agonising melancholy. her immediate guidance, and entrust them | Portugal is almost the only country of to the hands of ber son. His Royal High-|| Europe that has been exempt from the ness was declared upon this occasion || spreading mischief of the French RevoluPrince Regent, and Portugal has never l tion; she is likewise the only state who been more flourishing and happy thau || bas remained steadfast in her friendship under bis dominion. His Royal Highness and alliance with Great Britain. How has been married many years to Charlotte | long she will be permitted to remain so, Joaquina, Infanta of Spain, and has issue | Dow that the power of France and the amby her, a son, born October 26th, 1802, || bition of its ruler have no check from any and a daughter, born February 2.id, 1804. Continental states,--and now that the

The incapacity of the Queen of Portugal Il avowed principle of Napoleon is to drive is said to have had its origin in a species | the commerce of England from every port of religious melancholy; indeed such is of Europe, is a subject of general apprethe excess of bigotry and superstition | hension.-Such is the political situation of which has always prevailed in this Court, Portugal that she can but submit to the that this kind of insanity is more prevalent rigour of a harsh necessity.

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF NAPLES.

[Concluled from Vol. II. Page 229.)

The happy country of Naples remained | The French were now advancing upon the long in a state of tranquillity and peace, till that || Neapolitan territory with great rapidity. Overgeneral explosion of mischief, the French Revo- | throwing every thing in their way, and crowned lution, produced a sudden shock amongst the ll with a general success, at once the reward of Continental Powers, and involved the fairest part their courage and successful practices of corrupof Italy in its spreading ruin. The sister of the tion, they approached with their imminent Queen of France, and of the Emperor of Ger- thunder the confines of the kingdom. many, could not remain unmoved, whilst the The confidence of the Royal Family and the former perished on the block by the hands of all people was implicit, and they expected a certain savage horde of Jacobins, and the latter fell by || victory. The French, with the usual vanity of an assassination of which France was universally their character, they thought reserved to fall by suspected to be the author

the Neapolitan sword, and they waited the moNaples, therefore, was one of the first in the ment of their approach as the day of triumph. confederacy against France. The melancholy | Previous to a battle, General Mack proposed to history of these wars must not be pursued too review the troops, and exercise them in a sham far; it will be sufficient to say, that Naples fell fight-all the people of the city, amongst whom from the same causes which precipitated the rest || were Lord Nelson and the foreign Ainbassadors, of the Continent. Whilst the French army was attended the review; his Lordship, however, overrunning Italy, and the most skilful of its | soon retired disgusted from the scene. Being Generals was employed to subdue the kingdom | interrogated by the Lady, to whom we have of Naples, it was the policy of that unfortunate alluded above, on what account he was displeased, country to send to the cabinet of Vienna for he replied, “ Did you not see that this fellow, the appointment of a General to command the Mack, had surrounded himself? If he fights in Nea politan troops. The conduct of this military earnest as he does in show, there is an end of cabinet is well known; they drew up plans of Naples." His Lordship, indeed, acted as if he battles, and the whole scheme of a campaign, to || thought so; he prepared his fleet, which was anthe execution of the minutest part of which their chored in the Straits, for the reception of the several Generals were bound by the penalty of Royal Family; and in a few days after the battle life and character. For the defence of Naples had been fought on which the fate of the king. they appointed the court sycophant, Mack; a dom depended, the King, Queen, and Court of man who had procured his preferment by a suc Naples, were obliged to take shelter in the cabin cessful course of intrigue, and had been raised by of the Admiral's ship. a party who were in opposition to all the views Upon the peace of Luneville, a new face of of the Arch-Duke Charles, the former sariour | things appeared upon the Continent, and the of Italy, and the bulwark of the Austrian King and Queen were restored to their capital. House.

This tranquillity, however, was of no long When Mack arrived at Naples, he found an | duration - A third coalition involved Naples in army of forty thousand men, in a state of high all the horrors of war; and this country, which discipline, commanded by excellent officers, and I had made peace with France, conceived herself most admirably equipped for a campaign. Lord absolved from all its obligations upon the rupture Nelson, who had just returned from the Nile, between Austria and Napoleon. An English was at this moment in Naples. -Mack was, of feet and an English army were accordingly sent course, introduced to this illustrious man. Lord to Naples, and Bonaparte found it his interest to Nelson made his observations on his character represent the reception of this force by Naples upon the first interview.-" This man,” said his. Il as the violation of a solemn treaty. No sooner, Lordship to a lady high in his confidence, “ is therefore, had his arms triumphed in Germany, an officer well enough for a parade, but I do not Il than he turned his 'revenge upon Naples ; like him for a field of batile. They must as Massena advanced with a powerful army to suredly wish to lose Naples, or they would never seize the capital, and the King and Queen were send him to defend it."

ll again compelled to ay to Sicily. It was the

object of Bonaparte not to suffer so rich an inher:- | a British feet. The island of Sicily is daily tance to escape again from his hands. He re- || threatened with invasion by France, and it is a solved accordingly to annex it to France, by matter of serious moment to conjecture how long creating it into a tributary kingdom, and bestow. we shall be able to defend it. The Queen of ing the crown upon his brother Joseph.

Naples is a woman of heroic fortitude, and is not To this melancholy history we have little more likely to lose any thing of her royal dignity by to add; the Queen of Naples is now at Palermo, adverse fortune; she still preserves an elevation or Messina, a fugitive froin her country, and pent of spirit, and is not dejected by those calamities up in an island, secure only by the protection of which might overwhelm an ordinary mind.

· MADAME TALLIEN.

At the age of eighteen the rich and beautiful || list of the military commission; or, which was the daughter of the Spanish Count de Gabarrus, was same, she knew herself to be one of those unforbarried to M. de Fontenai, a counsellor of the tunate persons intended to be tried and executed Parliament of Bourdeaux, who three years after within twenty-four hours. When she was me. wards, to save his life at the expence of his pro ditating on her fate, Tallien suddenly entered; he. perty emigrated and joined his loyal countrymen threw himself at her feet, and began with proon the banks of the Rhine. Not wishing to ex fessing his sincere affection for her, and avow. pose a woman he pretended dearly to love either led himself her slave though she was no longer to the hazards and dangers of war, or the perils, li his prisoner. “Here is the list,” continued he, contempt, and sufferings of exile, Mr. de Fon 1 “ of the prisoners once condeinned to perish tenai, when emigrating himself, left his wife at

with you; your name is already omilted, erase Parés, to wait there the issue of the pending con- || those of other persons whom you wish to save, test both between states and factions.

and they shall all be set at liberty to-morrow After the unfortunate Queen Marie Antoinette morning." "I shall convince myself," said had been murdered in such a barbarous manner Madame de Fontenai, “ whether you are sincere by the regicide assassins of her royal consort, or not; lend me but pen and ink.” With one Madame de Fontenai easily perceived that her single stroke she at once crossed all the names sex no more than her country would be a safe. on the fatal list. Within twelve« hours afterguard for her; and therefore, by some pecuniary wards all these individuals of both sexes came to Sacrifices, procured a passport for Bourdeaux, thank her for their deliverance, being informed with permission to sail thence in a neutral vesselby Tallien that they owed it to her interference for Spain.

alone. On fer arrival at Bourdeaux, Tallien resided of the preference she then gave to M. de Fonthere as a representative of the people and as a || tenai, this ill-bred and vicious inan seemed but national commissioner; she presented herself little to know the value. Some few days after before the Revolutionary Committee to have her his till then faithful and amiable wife had been pass verified previous to her embarkation, but delivered of her first child, he had the indelicacy being the daug hter and wife of noblemen, instead and brutality to introduce under the same roof in of obtaining leave to quit France, she was arrested his house a common prostitute. The indiscreet as a suspecter person, and as such confined in a || hdelity of a maid informed Madame de Fontenai loathsome goal. Tallien was struck with her su- 1 of the infidelity of her husband. With feelings perior beauty, and immediately was enamoured acute as well as indignant, not considering the of her. Forming his opinion of her however weak state of her health, she rose from her bed, from many other gay, indiscreet, though arrested and flew towards the room polluted by impurity, ladies, he addressed her thus:--“My pretty fe- | She found the door bolted, and was refus d admale citizen, I shall call on you here as soon as | mittance. Smarting however more from the in. it is dark-you understand me I want to see sult offered than regarding the strength she posyou alone.” “But I will not see you alone, ** sessed, in endenvouring to force an entrance she answered she'; “throw your Sultan handkerchief fainted away, and was carried almost lifeless back to some person more complaisant, and more !!coli or bed. A woman, the viciim of the seduce worthy of such insulting and humiliating distinc. tion, corruprion, or negligence of one sex, is also tion." "You shall shortly repent of your | frequently the persecuted object of 'he jealousy, haughtiness," said Tallien, ferociously quitting envy, pride, or unchari ableness of the other. her. The very next day her name was upon the Had M. de Fontenai been prudent and pure,

[ocr errors]

his wife might still have been innocent and form of apparel and appearance, Madame Tallien chaste. *

went to the other extreme in inventing the haut When at Paris, Tallien of course often visited ton of nudity. The ungallant savageness of Madame de Fontenai, who easily obtained a Robespierre, and the ungenteel brutality of his divorce from a husband proscribed as an emigrant. accomplices, had already necessitated erery lady She refused however to regard Tallien in any awaiting death from the revolutionary tribunal, other light than that of a friend, as long as France | or only confined in consequence of the 'revolugroined under the tyranny of Robespierre, more tionary tyranny, to cut off her hair and to cut barefaced, more violent, but less artful and less down her gown, if she wished to avoid the inoppressive than that of Bonaparte.

sults of a public executioner, or the horrors of Jean Lambert Tallien was born at Paris in ll his unfeeling operation when on the scaffold. 1770, and though only the son of a porte: had, || It must also be confessed that a nation vicious from the kindness of his father's master, been | to the highest degree before the revolution, had educated above his birth. He was at the begin not improved its morals since; and that the fair ning of the revolution successively the steward sex in France naturally coquettes, vain, dashing, of Mvouis de Bercy, clerk to an attorney, and I and bold, were much more inclined towards the in the office of the treasury; secretary to Bros. || naked than towards the covered or clothed systaret, a member of the constituent assenibly, || tem. Nakedness, absolute nakedness, and no. and assistant to the proprietors of the Moniteur. I thing but nakedness, was therefore seen at the do 1791 he published his own journal, called || play-houses, at the opera, at the concerts, routs, P Ami des Citoyens, which did not meet with suc- and in public walks as well as in private assemcess. He shewed himself one of the most un- / blies. When one lady left off a fickue, another generous and indefatigable enemies of his virtuous) laid aside a petticoat. When one uncovered her King, whose trial he pressed, and for whose death || arms, another exposed her legs or thighs. Had he voted. During his several missions as a re the progress of stripping continued a little longer presentative of the people, he committed the || in the same proportion, it is very probable that greatest excesses and cruelties. It was not till most French ladies would in some inonths bave after his acquaintance with Madame de Fontenai reduced themselves to be ad:nired, envied, that he became more moderate ; as to please her blamed, as the Eves of the eighteenth century. he had spared Bourdeaux, and to obtain her But Madame Tallien did not enjoy undisturbed hand he saved the lives of thousands at Paris by the dictatorship of the fashions; envious, sedi the decided part he took in the destruction of tious, or facetiaus rivals often opposed her. Robespierre; and though his motives were dic Among these Madame de Beauharnois, the gay tated by personal interest alone, he notwithstand widow of the guillotined viscount of the same ing rendered great services tu his wretched coun. name, was most ingenious and most active, though try. His conduct and actions were afterwards at first not the most apprehended. Having better inconsistent and contradictory, by turns the pane shaped thighs than well formed arms, the pride gyrist or the accuser of revolutionary criminals; of Madame Tallien, she, under a clear muslin he was therefore suspected by all factions, and gown, put on flesh coloured satin pantaloons, defended by no party. Such was the regicide to li leaving off all petticoats, but at the same ti whom Madame de Fontenai united herself on lowering the sleeves of her gowns to her elbows, the 20th of August 1794, three weeks after the whose long elastic gloves of grenoble combined death of Robespierre. He was then one of the to conceal even her clumsy fingers. Madame most popular revolutionists, and she soon became || Tallien, in her turn, wore gowns without sleeres; one of the most fashionable belles of the French and to distract the notice of amateurs from the republic. It was however almost as difficult a flesh-coloured pantaloons, affixed borders of large task for her to exchange decency for Vandalism, Brussels lace, not only to her wbite silk petticoat to produce order in place of confusion in the re. 'but to her cambric cheinises. These fashionable gions of fashion, as for French political revolu contrarities entertained many and scandalised few tionists to fix and constitute a regular government of the republican beaus and belles, though the on the republican basis of anarchy and licentious partisans of short sleeves lampooned those of ness. At once tu attempt the restoration of former long gloves, and the cabal of under-periicoats usages and customs, from which five years of re wrote epigrams on the motives of the wearers of volutions had made a distance of five centuries, i pantaloons. Every thing remained unsettled, would have been a vain attempt The court, and a civil war was by inany judged inevitable, gala, or full dress, could not immedi tely sup when a certain situation of the Viscountess plant the sans culotte and carmagnole vestments Dowager de Beauharnois made her resort to false of filth and rags. Instead therefore of commenc.!bellies, which were immediately accompanied by ing with a progressive advancement towards a re- Madaine Tallien's artificial queues. Both ex

time

tremes therefore met, and caused a cessation of her citizens." The author should have added that hostilities and the conclusion of a treaty of neu this eminent citizen' then resided in a simple trality; and the year 1795 passed over without cottage, of which the furniture alone cost four farther disturbances or innovations.

thousand louis d'ors. As to French republican When during 1796 fortune had crowned her manners, are they not nearly connected with Det sans-culotte husband Bona parte with un drowning, shooting, massacreing, murdering, prodeserved success in Italy, the ex-viscountess was scribing, and plundering? Society has suffered tempted to encroach on, and even to infringe, but little from Madame Tallien's vanity, while preceding engagements. Until the peace of humanity will for ever deplore and condemn the Campo Formio, when the Parisians saluted | barbarous excesses of the most eminent cirizen, Madame Bonaparte as Notre Dame de Victoires, || Tallien, her republican husband. and abus d Madame Tallien as Notre Dame de l It is averred by all the classes in France, that Septembre, the former had not many or great ad. || the young, handsome, and accompli hed Madanın Fantages; but then the latter, under pretence of | de Fontenai, who so long continued the fashionill health, prudently withdrew from the scene of able idol of men, and the fashionable model of contest. As soon however as the glorious victory women, divorced and married Tallien only to of Lord Nelson at Aboukir was known at Paris, | save her own head, and the lives of hundreds of Madame Tallien sbewed herself perfectly re other innocent persons. She never had any covered, entered the lists with fresh vigour, and affection, not even inclination, for an individual obliged her proud rival not only to shift her it was impossible for her to esteem, and she therequarters but to change her colours. That year, fore treated him rather as a valet than as a hus1793, a third and dangerous pretender started up band; he was used still worse by her father, in the elegant person of the celebrated Madame || Count de Gabarrus. Recamier. whose appearance was sufficient toll in the sense of strict justice and sound mo. transform zivals into a lies. She, however, more rality, no provocations whatever can extenuate from prudence and modesty than from fear of the violation of matrimonial duty. A wife how. the formidable veteran forces of her opposers, lever, circumstanced like Madame Tallien, who soon made an honourable retreat, and tranquillity I had no choice but between the embraces of an has rewarded her sacrifice of vanity.

unworthy and a worthless husband, or a cruel In Norember 1799, after Bonaparte bad usurp and degrading death from the hands of the exeed the supreme authority in France, Madame cutioner, if disgust or revenge led her astray, Tallien, from a certain coolness attended with though she must certainly be to blame, is less certaio airs of hauteur, concluded that the wife culpable than the unprovoked adulteress, whose of an upstart, who endurerl neither an equal nor vicious propensities injure and confer wretched. a superior, would not long respect treaties which ness on a partner, the free selection of her heart, put her on a level with a person whom she con | deserving her love and her fidelity as well as her sidered not only as an inferior but as a subject. regard and tenderness. She the efore made overtures to Madame Re- ll That Madame Tallien has been very gallant, camier for forming a common league against a and very indiscreet in her gallantries, cannot be common foe While their plenipotentiaries were denied; but that also numbers of persons have discussing, the battle of Marengo occurred, and boasted of her favours, and published anecdotes broke off all further conferences; and had not of their successful intrigues with her, to whom another intruder, Madame Murat, presented her she had scarcely ever spoken, is equally true; self, Madame Bonaparte would have been asil and will be believed by every one who has studied zach the undisputed sovereign of toilets as her the character of the vain and presumptuous husband is of cabinets.

Frencla petit maitres, who are greater gasconaders A republican writer thus complains of Madame under the colours of Venus than even under the Tallien's f shionable incitisme: “Tossessed of an banners of Mars. ample income, the whole of which is a: her own Madame Tallien, when Madame de Fontenai command, she indulges in all the extravagance of | was esteemed not only one of the most beautiful dies and decoration. One day her shoulders, and amiable persons of her sex, but also as one chest, and legs, are bare; on the next they are truly respectable and virtuous; she resider at adorned with festoons of gold chains, while her Paris eighteen monihs af er her first husband's bead sparkles with diamonds; and instead of the emigration, and was constantly surrounded by simplicity of a Roman matron, she constantly admirers and adorers; but she afforded no more exhibits all the ostentatious luxury of a Persian occasion for the rumours and clamours of malice sultana, France may be termed a commonwealth, ll and malignity, than for the calumny and accusabut these surely are not republican manners be litions of envy and scandal. She quitted the Fitting the wife of one of the most eminent of capical in October 1793 as pure as she returned to

« PreviousContinue »