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and it made the frais of my party, by giving rise to an infinity of fun, and some philosophical, though humorous, conversation. On the previous morning, the most benevolent, amiable, and sanguine of all philanthropists called on me, with a countenance full of some new scheme of beneficence and utility. It was Mr. Owen, of New Lanark, whose visits are always welcome in Kildare-street, though so few and far between."
As soon as we had sunk into our arm-chairs, and put our feet on the fender, and before we had got on the usual topics of parallelograms and perfectibility, New Lanark and a new social system, he began,
“ My dear Lady Morgan, you are to have a party to-night.”
“ To be sure, my dear Mr. Owen, and one made expressly for yourself. You are my lion: I hope you don't mean to jilt me."
“By no means; but I have brought you a better lion than I could prove."
66 I doubt that; but who is he? where is he?"
“ Here it is," said Mr. Owen, smiling; and drawing forth a little parcel, he unfolded and held up a canvas tunic, or chemise, trimmed with red tape.
“ I want you,” he added, to assist me in bringing into fashion this true costume of nature's dictation, the only one that man should wear.”
“But woman, my dear Mr. Owen ?”
“ The decencies, as you call them, Lady M – are conventional—they were not thought of some years ago, when you were all dressed in the adhesive draperies of antiquity, like that beautiful group on your chimney-piece. You see there the children of Niobe wore no more voluminous garments than my tunic;—that lovely child, for instance, which Niobe is endeavouring to save from the shafts of Apollo. And yet none of your fine gentlemen or ladies are shocked by the definition of forms, which have ever been the inspiration of
you I have already got several ladies to try this tunic on
66 Oh! Mr. Owen !!!"
“ On their little boys, Lady Morgan; and if I could only induce you to try it—"
“ Me, my dear Mr. Owen ! You surely cannot suppose-"
“ I don't ask you to wear it, Lady M- : all I beg for the present, is, that you will give it a trial, by showing it off at your party to-night-recommend it, puff it off!”
Quitte pour la peur, I promised to do so, to the utmost of my appraising abilities; and so we suspended the little chemise from the centre of my bookcase, under a bust of the Apollo.
- There !” said Mr. Owen, looking rapturously at the little model dress of future perfectibility, " there it is worthily placed! Such were the free vestments, that, leaving the limbs of the Greek athlete unrestrained, produced those noble forms, which supplied models for the Apollo of Belvedere.”
“ It is certainly placed to great advantage, Mr.
Owen," I replied with a sigh, “ but it gives my pretty library very much the look of Rag-fair, or a back parlour in Monmouth-street.”
My dear Madam,” he replied, emphatically, “ where the human race is to be benefitted, no sacrifice is too great." And this sentiment, which is the governing principle of Mr. Owen's life, may serve for his epigraph.
The little tunic, however, had a great success, and merited the well-known eulogium of Tam O'Shanter to a similar garment
" Weil loup'd, cutty sark.”
THE accidents and incidents of travelling sometimes produce very odd conjunctions. When I arrived in Rome, I was in all the first bloom of proscription, brought upon me by my work on France, “Femme à pendre, livre à brûler ;" and my introduction to the Buonaparte family, set the seal on my transgression in the eyes of their deputed persecutor, the Comte de Blacas, ambassador of France. Even the secretary's secretary of the representative of his most Christian Majesty, was afraid to turn his diplomatic eyes to the side of the room where I stood, lest he should happen to se compromettre in a furtive glance. On the occasion of one of the many splendid parties given by the Countess of C, by which the hospitality of Ireland was maintained in the ancient capital of the Cæsars, his Excellency the Count de Blacas and myself got so wedged together in the crush at the drawing-room door, that the Italian groom of the chambers, in the breathless haste of his rapid annunciation, cried out de haute voix, “Son Excel lence l'Ambassadeur de France, et Lady Morgan.” Holy St. Francis ! what a tête-à-tête was there !” The whole room was in a titter.