Page images

A kind English friend has taught anxious countenances and rapid me,

paces of all I meet, the activity of By dint of hand and eye,

men of business; while carriages How to obtain a perfect tie.

and waggons of every description,

loaded with merchandize, shew, that Indeed I am so metamorphosed, that

in this division of the town the value you would scarcely recognize me.- of time is properly appreciated ; ị can now pass unquizzed through a and if at the dawn of day I take an crowd of dandies; and I had even, a aquatic excursion on your beautiful few days since, the glory of over- Thames, I find it already enlivened hearing one of the most renowned by the animating sight of innumeof these heroes express his approba-rable vessels in full sail, carrying tion of the brilliant polish which my the fruits of your industry to the boots displayed.

most distant corners of the earth, or In respect to hours, I was at first bringing home the wealth of the guilty of some most ante-diluvian world. I often smile, and enjoy a mistakes, by knocking at the doors moment of self-approbation, when, of those, to whom I had letters of after an interesting survey of this introduction, at a part of the day kind, which has busily filled up six when the only persons expected were or seven hours, I direct my steps to the milkman, the baker, or the but- Bond-street, and find the fashionacher. After having had my patience ble morning just beginning. exhausted in waiting at several houses It seems that in the western parti for admission, I found it was uni- of London“ il ne fait pas jour," as formly denied me, while many a we say in France, till about three yawning footman, as he answered o'clock of the natural afternoon ; my enquiries from the area, said his and though from thence till seven master would not be visible for at or eight o'clock constitutes the whole least four hours. I have therefore period between breakfast and dinner, found it necessary on this point also get even that short interval is too to conform to your usages. Being, long for the tedium of idleness. however, habitually an early riser, What vigilant ingenuity has been it was essential to my comfort that exercised in devising new methods the mornings should not be thrown of destroying time and resisting enaway, and I have found a delightful nui. Yet what languor and apathy resource in devoting that portion of mark the features of the most celemy time to the sights of London. In brated votaries of pleasure. What this manner I have already been en- sauntering indifference is displayed abled to visit St. Paul's, the Tower, in the steps of the well-dressed 'peWestminster Abbey, and the British destrians, who, at the accustomed Museum, without interfering with moment, commence their daily pilmy other pursuits. By this arrange- grimage from the top of Bond-street ment (for which I have, as a prece- to the end of Pall Mall. Some stop dent, the high authority of the im- at the fruit-shops, and, careless of perial Alexander) I vary and multi- consequences, run up a bill for early ply my enjoyments, and take care strawberries, forced peaches, and never to appear in the purlieus of pine-apple ices, which becomes not haut ton, till, to use the phrase of one unfrequently the cause of their endof your most celebrated elegantes, ing their days within the walls of " the day is properly aired.” Îndeed the King's Bench prison. Some it appears to me that the British ca

empty their purses in bidding for pital is inhabited by two distinct useless baubles at the splendid ance classes of people, one of whom might tion rooms of Philips and Christie. take for its emblem the bee, and the Some are attracted by the grotesque other the drone. If at nine o'clock prints exhibited at the windows of I go into your courts of law, I find the caricature sellers, and while starthe learned judges of the land at- ing at them pay dearly for their tended by a numerous and respecta- amusement in losing their money ble bar, and by juries, witnesses, and and watches, which become the prey attornies in the full exercise of their of surrounding pickpockets. Some important functions. If I extend are persuaded to try their fortune at my walk to the city, I read in the the gaming tables or billiard rooms,

[ocr errors]

and among the vast crowd of loun- permitted to remark, that I observe gers, scarcely any can resist the va- but few “ merry faces," that every ried temptations which shops of every body seems to come. hither " to see possible kind hold out to the vanity and to be seen,” and that in performor the wants of the passers by. ing a task enjoined by vanity and

The ladies who occupy the splen- fashion, pleasure is rarely enjoyed. did equipages which so thickly fill Nor can I dismiss this part of my the same streets, at the same time, subject without expressing my surseem to be not much better amused prize that, with the whole range of than the humble loiterers on foot ; so fine a park at their command, the and not less anxious than they to frequenters of this favourite promehave recourse to every possible sti- nade confine themselves to the limitmulus which novelty offers, no mat- ed and ill-chosen space between Picter at what expense, to dissipate the cadilly and Cumberland gates, where gloom of unoccupied folly.

they are subject not only to the At the panoramas, bazaars', milli- smoke of the adjoining houses, but ners', perfumers', and above all, at also to the annoyance of city fogs, the jewellers' shops, what strings of whenever an easterly wind prevails; these carriages are seen, and how and, in writing to an old inhabitant beautiful, yet how lifeless, do the of London, I need not remind him women appear whom they contain. how often that occurs. Hither they come, not to purchase For such inconveniencies, hownecessaries or even ornaments want. ever, I suppose they think themed for any particular occasion, but selves indemnified, by being drawn in the vain hope, by lavishing money, into a smaller circle, for I observe, to get rid of the load of ennui, that crowds form so material an in

Indeed, I am told, this favourite gredient in an Englishman's ideas recreation, which your ladies call of enjoyment, that every opportushopping, is often the cause of se- nity, is taken of collecting them. rious injury to the fortunes of their Nothing on this occasion has surhusbands. And a gentleman, who prised me more, than to see ladies, resides here, tells me that he was as well as gentlemen, piloting their under the necessity of laying down way on horseback between the closehis carriage, because he ascertained, drawn ranks of carriages which paby dire experience, that while his rade up and down.- Is it not strange wife possessed an equipage, she could that your wives and daughters should not resist the inclination of shewing thus at once expose themselves to it in Bond-street; and when there, considerable risk, and make an exhishe daily wasted such sums in the bition so very inconsistent with that acquisition of trinkets and other delicacy, which is generally believed costly play-things, as at the end of to form one of the most amiable chathe year amounted to a much larger racteristics of Englishwomen? I am total than his whole income afforded. told, indeed, that the fashion is a

I am conscious, however, that as new one, and that it is only within a Frenchman, I ain not very patrio- these few years, that female equestic in criticizing this habit of your trians of character have made their English belles, for I am told that appearance in this cavalcade. If so, French China, French gowns, French let us hope, that it is only one of pocket handkerchiefs, French bijoux, those accidental whims, in which the and above all, French rouge, are the most faultless of the sex will occaarticles which form the principal al- sionally indulge; and that, after this Jurements.

season, the belles of Britain will disFrom five till seven o'clock a mi. dain to enter the lists with coachmen gration takes place, and I see the and barouche-drivers. same well-dressed crowds assembled Having presumed in this letter to in Hyde Park. Here I again admire censure freely, where I though centhe charms of the women, the beauty sure deserved, I shall not conclude of the horses, and the neat assort- it without performing a more agreement of the numerous carriages able task, in telling you, that take it but while I confess that it is impos- for all in all, I am delighted with sible for wealth and magnihcence to London. The pleasing contrasts (as make a prouder display, I must be I have already had occasion to observe) presented in the two distinct

spend two or three hours in examincharacters and different habits of the ing the numberless treasures of some commercial and idle parts of the po- of your many interesting shops-or pulation of this great city, afford avail myself of that liberality, which a vast and amusing variety of objects. has opened the splendid Picture Gal

. Indeed, I have so many present,

leries of Lords Grosvenor and Stafthat my only difficulty consists in ford, and others, to the inspection selecting between things equally in- of the public; and when evening teresting.-In my early excursions, approaches, I am again puzzled, I hesitate between a walk to Ken- (thanks to your friendly recommensington-Gardens, which, though de- dations) between a number of inviserted, are delightfulin fine weather, tations to dinner, balls, and other or a visit of curiosity to the Wet- assemblies, all of which it is imposDocks, the British Museum, the sible to accept.–Of them I shall say Courts of Law, or the Exhibition at nothing at present, my letter being Somerset - House. When the pro- already too long; but shall reserve tracted morning of fashion begins, my remarks on private society till I find it no less difficult to determine,

Adien, then, whether I will join the gay pro

And believe me ever your's, menaders in St. James's -street


my next.


My Clara! when each summer flow'r

Is blooming in its pride again,

fly to thee, and one sweet hour

Shall pay me for an age of pain.
One gentle word—one dear caress-

One look or smile will then suffice
To welcome, from the wilderness,
A wand'rer into Paradise.
Tho' here, when friends around I see,

My heart its sorrow smothiers ;
"Twould rather weep its tears with thee,

Than joy in smiles with others.
For when my life's fair prospect seem'd

A cheerless solitude-a blight-
Thine eye upon its darkness beam'd,

And supa'd it into life and light.
And as a lone, but lovely flow'r,

Which, when all other flow'rs depart,
Still bloometh in its ruin'd bow'r,
Thou bloomest in my lonely heart.
And shall I, then, the rose forget,

Which seem'd in hope's wreath braided ;
And, like a spirit, lingers yet,

When all the rest have faded ?
Oh, no! the heart, which is the seat

Of love like mine, can never rove:
Its fragile pulse may cease to beat,

But uever-never cease to love!
For love is past the earth's controul,

Unshackled as the ocean wave;
It is eternal as the soul,
And lives and blooms beyond the grave.
It is a link of pleasure's chain,

A never-ending tokey,
Whose lustre and whose strength remain,

When all, save that, are broken.



LADY Seldon was weeping, and she exclaimed aloud,-“Behold, Oh the violent efforts, she used to restrain Lord, the worm that dares deny thy her grief, only rendered it the more existence and authority !" — then, hysterical-hér husband was dying bending her eyes on her husband --but she wept not that the friend with a look of desperation, she conof her youth was departing from tinued, — " And I had fixed my her--that he who soothed her in heart on a confirmed atheist-a man sickness and in sorrow, and who on whom the breath of heaven should brightened her hour of gaiety, was not wander." Lord Seldon was now leaving her to waste her lone hours evidently displeased.—“Emily," said in widowhood. No-all these res he; “when I see that religion, whose collections were lost in the over- merits you are always asserting, whelming grief, that their separa. cannot even teach you to command tion would be eternal. She could your temper, you will not blame my have borne his death without an humility, when, I fear, its salutary apparent pang-her sense of duty effects might be equally lost upon had, through life, so governed her myself.”—He then hastily left the feelings, that they appeared almost room, and his Countess internally extinct — but they were the more vowed never more to name religion concentrated from the restraint- in his presence.—Lady Seldon, howand now that she had suffered them ever, descanted daily, nay hourly, to overcome her, they mocked her on its merits to her two children; endeavours to stifle them. Yet, for and she never failed to set forth, worlds, she would not have suffered in glowing colours, the horrors of her children to witness her weak- atheism, and the certain fate that nes; and, at length, her exhausted awaited it :-perhaps an indefined frame, worn with contending emo- hope, that she might reach the father's tions, found relief in slumber. It heart through the medium of his would have been curious to an ob- children, mingled itself with her server of nature, to have compared exertions ; but surely she was misthe agitated sleep of Lady Seldon, taken in the means she took to obtain her convulsive start that threatened this end. every instant to awaken her, with Her children, George and Laura, the placid and gentle repose of her well remembered, that their Sunday lord, the unconscious cause of her pastimes had always been disturbed sufferings.

and prevented by their mother, but Lord Seldon was an atheist-he they vainly tasked their memories was dying-his physicians doubted for the recollection of a single unif he could live throughout the en- kind word from their father. A falsesuing week ; and his lady, who had hood, a theft however trivial, an unbeen brought up in the strictest kindness to each other, he would not tenets of the Christian religion, easily have pardoned; but they were feared he would die an unbeliever. amiable, kind-tempered children, Was there any hope she could now and had never so offended to deserve effect that, which for the space of his reproof. Lady Seldon, on the eighteen years had been the aiin contrary, had often found them reand busines of her life? Daily had miss in their religious duties; and she urged the topic, and was always though, at first

, in early youth, their answered by her husband with ex- little inattentions were easily pardelusive hope, that the morrow age to understand their duties, and would prove more propitious than to fulfil them; they found her harsh to-day. Once, and once only, when and unrelenting. Her temper was she urged him beyond his strength, not naturally bad, but her religious having exhausted all her eloquence feelings had received a wound from in favour of Christianity, and find- the continued infidelity of her husing him still regardless, she could band, that could not be healed ; and no longer restrain her anger, but this gave added asperity to her with clasped hands and raised eyes, opinions, and severity towards her

[ocr errors]

children. It was, therefore, in vain you faith,” said she, her heart upon she assured them, Atheists were the her lips, as she turned to the dying worst of human beings; that they were sufferer. “If there be a God," said he, condemned to condign and eternal "good works will be more acceptable punishment. They well knew their in his eyes, than blind faith, profather's opinions, and would not be- nounced on the threshold of existlieve one they loved so well could be ence; and those benefits my station, denied a resting-place in heaven. my own wishes, have enabled me It was, perhaps, unfortunate for her to confer upon others, will be my propurpose, that Lord Seldon's life had pitiation with the Eternal.” “If," been exemplary; he had fulfilled murmured his wife but he had sunk every duty, public and private. He from excessive debility on his pillow, was so rich in intellectual know- and was totally unequal to further lodge, that he could afford to pay its conversation. Lady Seldon left his tribute wherever he found it; his apartment to indulge her sorrow temper and disposition, naturally freely, and it was after this unsatisgood, had been so well regulated, factory attempt she had sunk into that he cast a sunshine over all with the agitated slumber we before menwhom he associated; her endeavours tioned.-She awoke from a long therefore, to inspire her children with sleep unrefreshed, but with renewed horror of their father's opinions composure, she then descended to were unavailing, and they had this the drawing-room, where her chilbad effect; they led them to make dren were weeping for their father. invidious comparisons, disadvantage “ Dry your tears, Laura-George, I ous both to herself and to her religi- am ashamed of this weakness, when ous tenets; they began to doubt the you ought, both of you, to rouse all truth of what their mother told them, your energies to save your father's and to doubt, they say, is to be lost. soul from eternal punishment, you Had Lady Seldon, instead of dwell- are mourning over his mere bodily ing on the inflexible justice, shewed ailments. Come with me, and save the unlimited mercy of her God, she him, or take warning by beholding had conquered.-Christianity would the death-bed of an Atheist.” George have acquired new beauty in their put his hands to his forehead, his eyes, from its clemency in pardoning body was convulsed; Laura threw even those who denied its power and her arms around him. “ Dear broauthority. She disdained, however, ther,” whispered she, “if he should to use this advantage ; she would die unbelieving, our prayers, and rather govern by fear than love ; and his virtues, will secure him an asyas she never addressed herself to lum in heaven.” Lady Seldon led the God without fear and trembling at way to his apartment--they stepp'd her own comparative insignificance, softly-so softly that the dying man in the same degree she felt her did not hear them-A sad change superiority, and the degradation of had taken place in his appearance those whose faith was not so firmly within the last few hours his disfounded as her own.-She shuddered, solution was rapidly approachingon discovering the wavering opinions one damp cold hand supported his of her children, who were too artless head above the pillow, the other to conceal them; and she forgot her hung listlessly by the side of his love for her husband, when she con- couch-It was a warm autumnal sidered him the original cause of her evening-the sun was sinking in unchildren's apostacy:

clouded glory, amid burnished clouds A great change had lately taken below the horizon--the soft south place in Lord Seldon, an hereditary breeze, that played gently through malady was fast destroying the seeds the open window, wayed the clusterof life-his wife now thought it her ing curls of his dark brown hair, duty to renew every endeavour for darker from being contrasted with his conversion, for once she appealed the livid paleness of his cheek-he eloquently, for she appealed to the had not observed the entrance of his heart, she descanted long on the im- family, and was thinking aloudmeasurable power of the Almighty “Spirit of nature,” said he, “how di- she told him that even yet it was vine are thy works, how delightful not too late, “Repent-believe-have their effects, bear me gently into futuEur. May. Vol. 82.

2 D

[ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »