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COURT AND FASHIONABLE -
MAGAZINE,

For APRIL, 1807.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

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ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES.

The Sirteenth Number.

HER IMPERIAL MAJESTY THE EMPRESS OF RUSSIA.

ELIZAVETA AlexieVNA, Empress of || of a charming family, declined appearing Russia, is one of the most handsome and again, with her daughters, on a stage where interesting figures of her court. She is of she herself had formerly made an unsucthe illustrious House of Baden-Durlach, || cessful appearance, but entrusted them was born January 24, 1779, and on the 9th to the care of the Countess Shuvalof, of October, 1793, was married to the Em- |widow of the author of the “ Epistle to peror Alexander, then Grand Duke. On Ninon," who was charged with the hymeembracing the Greek religion, at the cere- || neal negotiation, together with one Stremony of her re-baptism, by the hands of || kalof, as an escort. the Archbishop of Moscow, a rite indis- | These Princesses, after a long and toil. . pensably necessary for all foreigners pre- some journey, arrived at 'night, towards vious to their adoption into the Imperial || the end of autumn, 1792, and in terrible family, the Empress Catharine II. gave her weather, which seemed considerably to the name of Elizaveta Alexievna, or Eli affect them. They were made to alight at zabeth the daughter of Alexius. These the palace in which Prince Potemkin had patronymics of the Russians have some resided, where they were received by the thing in them antique and respectable. A Empress, accompanied by Madame Bracommon Russian might call the Empress | nicka, her favourite dame d'honneur. At Catharine, even when speaking to her, | first the young Princesses took the latter Ekatarina Alexievna. According to the ll for the Empress; but the Countess Shugeneral rule, however, the Princess of) valof having undeceived them, they threw Baden should have called herself Elizaveta || themselves at her Majesty's feet, and with Carlovna, as she was the daughter of Prince || tears kissed her robe and her hand, till she Charles; but her Imperial grandmother | raised them up and embraced them: they determined otherwise. · That Sovereign | were then left to sup at full liberty. had invited the Princess and her sister into | The next day Catharine came to visit Russia as fit matches for her grand-sons, ll them, while they were yet at their toilette, the two Grand Dukes, Alexander and Con- ll and presented them the ribband of the stantine. Their mother, by birth Princess l order of St. Catharine, together with jewels of Darmstadt, had already been sent thi-|| l and stuffs; then displaying before them ther in her youth with her sisters, one of their wardrobe, looking at it, she said, whom had the unfortunate honour to be- || “ My young friends, when I arrived in come the first wife of Paul. This Princess, || Russia I was not so rich as you." an amiable woman, and the worthy mother. The young Grand Dukes were intro

duced to them the same day. The eldest, | court could not efiace from her mind, and who had already suspected the motive of was at length sent away loaded with pretheir arrival, had a pensive and embar- 11 sents, which afforded her less pleasure than rassed air, and said nothing. Catharine the expectation of soon beholding again told them, that, knowing the mother of the banks of the Rhine, the Princess Louisa these Princesses, and their country being seemed to smile at the destiny that awaited taken from them hy the French, słe had her. An unknown comforter had entereri sent for them to have them educated at her | her heart, and dried her tears. The sight court. On their return from the palace, of the young Prince, who was to be her the two young Princes talked much about husband, and who equalled herself in them; and Alexander said, that he thought beauty of person and gentleness of mind, the eldest very pretty. “Oh, not in the l had inspired her with love: she submitted least," cried the younger, with that brus- \ gracefully to every thing required of her, querie which is so natural to him, “nei- || learned the Russian language, was inther of them; they should be sent to Riga, ll structed in the Greek religion, and was to the Princes of Courland: they are soon in a capacity of making public proonly fit for them."

fession of her new faith, and receiving on What Alexander had said, however, was || her fine-turned arms, and bare delicate reported to his grandmother, who was de- feet, the unctions administered by a bishop, lighted to find that the lady she designed who proclaimed her Grand Duchess, unfor him, and with whom she herself seemedder the name of Elizabeth Alexievna.enchanted, appeared handsome in his eyes. l Catharine chose rather to give her her own Catharine pretended that she had resem-ll cognomen, than leave her that of her fabled Louisa of Baden when she arrived in ther, according to the usual custom. Russia; and ordered the picture taken of In the mouth of May following, the her at that time to be brought, that she ceremony of betrothing was performed might compare it with the Princes; wben, | with extraordinary pomp and entertainas may be supposed, every one present de- ments. Russia had just terminated three clared that two drops of water could not wars, almost equally triumphant. A mulbe more alike. From that moment she be- ltitude of Generals and other Officers, cocane singularly attached to Louisa, re- || vered with the laurels they had gathered doubled her tenderness towards Alexander, ll in battle, augmented the number of the and engaged with more pleasure in the Court. Many Swedes, admirers of Ca. plan of leaving the throne to them as her tharine; almost all the Polish Magnats immediate successors.

1) who had submitted or were devoted to her, The young strangers made their first || Tartarian Khans, Envoys from Great appearanee at court on the day when the | Bukharia, Turkish Pashas, Greek and deputies of Poland were admitted to thank | Moldavian Deputies, Sopbis of Persia, Catharine for the honour she had done thell with French emigrants, demanding at Republic by keeping three-fourths of it once protection and vengeance, increased for herself. The Princesses were as much at this juncture the crowd of courtiers dazzled with the magnificence that sur- l attending the august autocratrix of the rounded them, as others were with their North. No Court ever exhibited so brilopening charins ; but the elder met with liant and variegated a spectacle. These an accident, which led the superstitious were the last resplendent days that CathaRussians to augur that she would be rine enjoyed. She dined on a throne, unfortunate in their country. As she ap-raised in the midst of different tables, proached the throne of Catharine, she crowned and covered with gold and diastruck her foot against the corner of one monds; her eye carelessly wandered ovec of the steps, and fell fat on the ground the immense assembly, composed of perbefore the throne. Heaven, however, we sons of all nations, whom she seemed to hope, has averted the omen.

behold at her feet. Surrounded by her While the young sister spent the tedious Il numerous and brilliant family, a poet days lamenting her absence from her coun- ! would have taken her for Juno seated ary and relations, which all the pomp of the || amongst the gods of Olympus.

ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS.

TIC CONTRAST OF OUR PRESENT WITH OUR POSSIBLE SITUATION,

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“THE night rolls rapidly away, and I in || tenfold relish for all its pleasures; and while Vain expect the ungrateful man who has de | Celina, in spite of every entreaty to the contrary, serted me. That such coldness should dwell remained moping at home, he was seen by turns in one who calls himself a lover! that my ten- in every fashionable circle in London. derness should thus be outraged! Alas, it is While Celina was indulging in such soliloquies matrimony that has made me miserable! While || as we have given a specimen of, sleep overpowerI was still free, young, and beautiful, I loved, and | cd her, and she was conveyed by Morpheus, in I tasted happiness! but now Dorval is unfaithful. || a dream, to the uncultivaterl regions of North How is the female sex to be pitied among a | America, and landed on the banks of the Missispeople who are called so sensible and so superior, sippi. The scene was wild but sublime, and as so distinguished for their nobleness and their all remembrance of Dorval had now vanishgallantry! Women have every thing to dread; ed, the enraptured Celina began to construct marriage, love, the opinion of the world, and the new fabrics of visionary happiness, which she Jaws themselves. Happy, thrice happy, those doubted not these romantic wilds would realise. remote regions, faithful still to nature, where She traversed with light and .sylpha-like steps a love knows no deceit, but reigns without artifice, path which led into the interior of the country, without anxiety, and without end !"

and had proceeded to some distance from the Thus exclaimed the young and blooming Ce. Mississippi, when suddenly a savage, copperlina as, stretched on a bed of the softest down, coloured, naked, and besmeared with dirt, stood but which to her was a bed of thistles, she laid before her. He addressed her, he told her she anxiously listening for the well known knock of must be his wife ; and laying a quantity of skins, a husband whose manners and habits were too stakes, and tools, upon her back, bade her lasten modish to be agreeable to one who had married to a place which he pointed out, and build thein with the chimerical expectation of finding him a hut. “You must then prepare my dinner," always a lover. Celina possessed a lively imagi added he, “ and when I am satisfied you may nation, and a heart more than sufficiently sus regale upon the remainder.” Trembling beneath ceptible; the latter had disposed her to form her burden, and weeping bitterly the disappointe an early attachment to Dorval, and the former ment of those hopes which had taught her to pictured, in an union with him, a thousand de expect bliss supreme in those artless regions, she lights which life never realized. / Disappointed bent her way to the distant spot where her delis al finding the marriage state not all that she had cate hands were to be employed in the rough fancied it, Celina, by discontent, rendered it much labour her tyrant had commanded. Her slight worse than she might have proved it; by con limbs almost refused to perform their office, and trasting the overcharged picture painted on her the savage finding threats insufficient to quicken imagination with the sober representation of her pace, was proceeding to stripes, when sudwedded life which she found at home, she con- 1 denly she felt herself raised in the air, and in a tinually added to the incidental vexations of the few minutes beheld herself in the charming island marital state, and deepened the mortification and of Otaheite. chagrin which must: invariably result from all New hopes instantly sprang up in her mind, tendency to regard any situation of life as pro- || and were as speedily dissipated by the scenes ductive of unalloyed happiness. Dorval was which presented themselves. The inhabitants, frank, good humoured, agreeable, and sincerely accustomed to obey on the instant every i.npulse attached to his wife, but he was gay, fond of of nature, gave, by their licentiousness, continual company, and had been so completely tired of shocks to her delicacy; every instant she was living only to love, by passing something inore constrained to turn aside her eyes to avoid sights than the honey-moon with Celina in a romantic | which filled her with disgust. Sick of uncivilized bat solitary retirement, that he returned to the life, and convinced that certain restraints, and

gay metropolis, where they now resided, with all even anxieties, heighten the pleasures of love, · No. XVI. Vol. II.

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she was meditating on the means of escaping to advance towards their villages, but with such more polished, though less inartificial regions, solicitude to conceal their approach, that they when again Morpheus opportunely lent his aid, I often creep on their hands and feet through the and transported her among the New Zealanders; woods, and paint their skins of the same colour a race of savages, indeed, but of another descrip with the withered leaves, in order to avoid detion frem those she had quitted.

tection. If so fortunate as to remain unobserved, Scarcely had she shewn herself when she was they set fire to their huts in the dead of night, constrained to receive as a husband one of the and massacre their inhabitants as they Ay naked rude and uncultivated natives. The inhabitants and defenceiess from the flames. If they hope of New Zealand, however, in common with to effect a retreat without being pursued, they other American tribes, are insensible to the carry off some prisoners, whom they reserve for charms of beauty and the power of love; and the | a more dreadful fate; but if, notwithstanding all susceptible Celina found sufficient subject for their address and precautions, they find that complaint in the coldness and indifference with their motions are discovered, that the enemy has which she was treated. Her husband had been taken the alarm, and is prepared to oppose them, at no pains during his courtship to win her fa they usually deem it most prudent to retire ; your by the assiduities which are so gratifying to they regard it as extreme folly to meet upon the mind of sensibility, and he was still less soli equal terms an enemy wiso is on his guard, or to citous afterwards to obtain it by indulgence and give battle in an open field. The most distin. gentleness. But this was not all; the tribe of guished success is a disgrace to a leader, if purwhich Celina had become a member were on the chased with any considerable loss of his followers; eve of a war with a neighbouring horde, and in and they never boast of a victory of sained with conformity to the custom of the country, she the blood of their countrymen. To fall in battle, was ordered to prepare to attend her husband to instead of being reckoned an honourable death, the batile.

is a misfortune which subjects the memory of In carrying on their wars the savages of Ame a warrior to the imputation of rashness or imrica proceed in a inanner very different to the prudence. operations of civilized nations in similar cases; In all these toils the unhappy Celina was com. they never take the field in numerous bodies, pelled to share, except those which the proximity as it would require a greater effort of foresiglit of the enemy spared her. At length her tribe and industry than is usual anong sa vages, to was surprised while asleep (for though vigilance provide for their subsistence during a march of and attention are the qualities chiefly requisite some bundred miles through dreary forests, or | where the object of war is to deceive and sur. during a long voyage upon their immense lakes | prise, the American savages never station senand rivers. Their armies are not encumbered linels around the place where they rest at night), with baggage or military stores; each warrior, and the greatest part of it cut off before they were besides his arms, carries a mat, and a small bag at all sensible of the danger. One of the conof pounded maize, and with these is completely querors seized upon Celina, and grinning with equipped for any service. While at a distance the delight afforried by the anticipation of the from the enemy's frontier, they disperse through luxurious repast her white delicate limbs would the woods, and support themselves with the game il afford, delivered her to his attendants to be roasi. which they catch; as they approach nearer to ed, among other female captives, for the banquet the territories of the nation which they intend to of victory. attack, they collect their troops, and advance The situation of the fair dreamer may be ima. with greater caution. Even then they proceed gined, it cannot be described; she knelt, she wholly by stratagem and ambusc de; they place supplicated, she threw herself, deluged with tears, not their glory in attacking their enemies with at the feet of the remorseless chief; but vain was open force; to surprise and destroy is the greatest every attempt to move compassion in the bosom merit of a commander, and the highest pride of l of the obdurate barbarian. The fire was kindled, his followers. War and hunting are their only and the lovely victim led fettered towards it. occupations, and they conduct both with the Morpheus, however, once more interposed, lent same arts; they follow the track of the enemy her his wings, borne on which she arrived at through the forest; they endeavour to discover | Pekin. their haunts, they lurk in some thicket near to The singular and novel appearance of every these, and with the patience of a sportsman lying thing she beheld riveted her attention. On each in wait for game, will continue in their station side of a wide street extended a long line of day afier day, until they can rush upon their buildings, consisting of shops and warehouses; prey when least able to resist them. If they the particular gooris of which were displayed in meet no straggling parly of the enemy, they i groupes in the front of the houses. Before these

were generally erected large wooden pillars, whose rotunda in London, or by the Jews and old tops were much higher than the sides of the women in Rosemary-lane; pediars with their houses, bearing inscriptions in gilt characters, packs, jugglers, conjurers, fortune-tellers, mounsetting forth the nature of the wares to be sold, il tebanks, quack doctors, comedians, and musiand the honest reputation of the seller; and to cians, left 110 space unoccupied. attract the more notice, they were generally hung While Celina was gazing with astonishment with various coloured Aags and streamers, and on this diversified scene, she beheld with horror ribbands, from top to bottom, exhibiting the a kart pass containing a number of dead b dies appearance of a line of shipping dressed in the of infants. She had read in several authors that colours of all the nations of Europe. The sides the city of Pekin was disgraced by the horrible of the houses were not less brilliant in the several custom of infanticide, but till now she had hoped colours with which they were painted; these the assertion was unfounded in truth. * She consisted generally of sky-blue, or green, mixed shuddered at the conviction, and before her coun. with gold. What appeared to her very singular tenance had lost the traces of her feelings, she was, that the articles for sale which made the was accosted by a Mandarin. Struck with her greatest show were coffins for the dead; the most beauty he made proposals of marriage, which splendid European coffin furniture would make she as prompily accepted; but shut up in a but a poor figure is placed beside that intended | splendid palace, and guarded with the most vigifor a wealthy Chinese. Next to those, her atten- | lant jealousy, she soon bitterly regretted having tion was attracted by the brilliant appearance of formed this hasty union. The splendour of every the funeral biers, and marriage cars, both of thing that surrounded her, and the homage which which were covered with ornamental canopies. she received from inferior slaves, afforded her no At the four points where the great streets inter consolation for the loss of her own liberty, or the sect one another, were erected those singular infidelity of a husband who, she found, far from buildings, sometimes of stone, but generally of confining his attentions to herself, polluted the

ood, which have been called triumphal arches, marital bed by sharing it with a hundred others. but which are, in fact, monuments to the me Disgusted with him, and with the tedium incimory of those who had deserved well of the dent to the solitude in which she passed the community, or who had attained an unusual greatest part of her time, she planned and cffected lor:gevity; they consist invariably of a large her escape. After wandering for some time central gateway, with a small one on each side, | without encountering any interruption, she arall of which are covered with narrow roofs; and, rived at a soliary cabin, inhabited by a youth of like the houses, painted, varnished, and gilt in 1 the Tartar tribe, where she asked permission to the most superb manner. The multitude of repose her weary limbs. A mutual attachinent moveable workshops of tinkers, butchers, cobblers, was rapidly formed, and Celina married once and blacksmiths, the tents and booths where tea, more, and became a mother. In giving birth to fruit, rice, and other eatables are exposed for an infant, she became acquainted with a Tartar sie, with the wares and merchandize arrayed custom no less well authenticated than singular; belore the doors, contracted the spacious street to she was delivered without either pain or trouble, a narrow road in the middle, just wide enough and immediately after her husband entered the fur two carriages to pass. Different trains that are accompanying, with lamentable cries, a corpse

* It is an absolute fact, that no punishment to the grave, and, with squalling music, brides to

I attends, in this country, the inhuman practice of meet their husbands, the troops of dromedaries | destroying infants; on the contrary, carts ap. laden with coals froin Tartary, the wheel-barrows pointed by the police, go round Pekin every and hand-carts stuffed with vegetables, occupy morning, for the purpose of picking up the nearly the whole of this middle space in one bodies of such infants as may have been thrown continued line; all was in motion. The sides out into the streets during the night, and no enof the street were filled with an immense con- li quiries whatever are made. It is said, but we course of people, buying and selling, and barter will hope this is an exaggeration of an inhumanity ing their different commodities. The hurry and sufficiently atrocious, that such of the infants as confused noise of this mixed multitude, proceed are living are thrown along with the others into a ing from the loud bawling of those who were common pit without the city walls. “When I crying their wares, the wrangling of others, with mention," says Mr. Barrow, speaking on this every now and then a strange twanging noise like subject, “ that dogs and swine are let loose in all the jarring of a cracked Jew's harp, the barber's the narrow streets of the capital, the reader may signal made by his tweezers, the mirth and the conceive what will sometimes necessarily happen laughter that prevailed in every group, could to the exposed infants before the police carts cais scarcely be exceeded by the brokers in the Bank | pick them up."--Barrow's Travels in China,

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