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colours of the Protestant sectarian is but the counterpart of what appears so ridiculous in the French penitent, “qui se jette dans la dévotion,”-who gives herself up to Heaven when nobody else will have her. On this subject, Madame du Deffand, the blind and aged enamorata of Horace Walpole, is singularly pleasant. When she was young and pretty, and the enamorata of the President d'Hain. hault, she took a sudden fit of devotion; and her director stipulated for the usual sacrifices. Fasts, prayers, &c. &c. were promised at the first word; but when it came to love, and the toilette, she cut him short at once, with “ pour ce qui est du rouge, et du président, je ne leur ferai pas l'honneur de les quitter.”*
*“ As for the rouge and the president, I shall not give them the honors of a rupture.”
HELEN MARIA WILLIAMS.
“ WE dined at Mr. H.'s," says Bozzy, in his delightful book of twaddle, which has proved such an evidence of the world's love of idle gossip“We dined at Mr. H.'s (Dr. Johnson and myself), and Mr. H. expected Miss Helen Maria Williams. He gave her Ode on Peace to Dr. Johnson; and when this amiable, elegant, and accomplished young lady entered, he (Dr. J.) took her hand in the most courteous manner, and repeated the finest stanza of her poem. He complained of ill health, and said to Miss Williams, “I am very ill, when you are near me; what should I be if you were at a distance ?"
Young, amiable, elegant, and a poetess! Sylphs, nymphs, and muses, how ye glided before me when, at sixteen, I read this passage in a green arbour at B-Castle! Then, to think of Dr. Cerberus growling gallantries : hearts of stone! what were your callosity under the influence of Helen Maria's eyes! I immediately wrote an ode to Helen Maria Williams, with all the rhymes borrowed from Pope's Essay on Man, and all the spirit from Anna Matilda's Farewell to Della Crusca (my constant study). My ode was quite as good as the poetry of rhyming young ladies of sixteen generally is. There was not an original thought in it; but then there were such pretty sounding words! and it began, too, I remember, with 6 Oh! thou.” I was most desirous to send my
ode to Miss Williams without knowing any thing of her " whereabouts,” partly for her sake, and very much for my own; for I really thought the composition Sapphic, and when my volume of poems was published immediately after, (my début in authorship, of which nobody ever heard,) I was no less anxious to print it. But I did not. Still, however, my imagination was full of its fair subject, of whom I only knew what Bozzy had told me; and the lapse of time which had intervened since he wrote, never suggested itself.
I was then in the commencement of my intimacy with Mrs. Le Fanu, the presiding priestess of the muses in Dublin ; and I wrote to her on the subject, and received the following pleasant and sensible letter, which I have just tossed out of my portfolio, and which has brought the long forgotten subject to my recollection, in all its original freshness. The whole letter is so fair a specimen of the style of the literary ladies of the old school, so like the charming conversation of the writer, and so good a lesson to young ladies who write odes,
who read and write sentimental novels, (besides its coming from a Sheridan,) that I will transcribe it at large.
Imagine to yourself, ma belle amie, how
very I must feel, when I tell you I have had a confinement of near five weeks. I caught a feverish cold and sore throat, and, at the end of a fortnight, supposing myself in a manner well, I went out to take the air, or rather the damp, (for nothing else was to be had ;) and I came home with rheumatic pains, first in my lungs, which removed to my right shoulder and arm, which confined me to my bed, where I was as agreeably as St. Laurence on his gridiron. Thank God I am better, and hope revives, though the season be cheerless; but every
day brings us nearer the spring, and as Madame de Sévigné observes, no one stops short in the midst of a month, or a bad road, for want of power to get through it. So vive la patience, best friend in sickness or
You recollect, no doubt, Mason's beautiful personification of it, in Elfrida. • Patience here, her meek hands folded on her modest breast, in mute submission lifts the adoring eye, even to the storm that wrecks her.' The following is (I think) no bad invocation to the temperate goddess :
Oh! Patience, heavenly power, hear !
Nor let one murmur rise ;
The sweet domestic ties.'
You are precisely at the age; you are exactly of the character of mind to admire more the splendid than the useful virtues. They ever attract and still deceive. How many have lulled themselves into perfect self-satisfaction upon the strength of quick feelings, tender emotions, and easily excited sympathies, who have never practised the everyday qualities that come perpetually into play, and