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at the point of death. The idea that this was the case, and that he had not perhaps sufficient means to render his transit to another world as little painful as possible, affected me. The great are not sufficiently attentive to the wants of their dependents-persons who, after passing a lifetime in their service, often die in poverty. This sometimes happens from procrastination ; from a determined neglect or a hardened indifference, but from the vague sensation that we will do to-morrow what we are not inclined to do to-day. The longer I live the more I am convinced, that to put off a good intention is generally to render it abortive.
Note from H.R.H. THE PRINCESS OF WALES. All the news I can offer you, my dear [- -], is a most dreadful blunder which that wonderful woman, Madame De Staël, has committed. She was in some party severai evenings ago, and mistook old Mrs. B[—] for the Marchioness of Hertford. She began by assuring her“ renommée avait vanté sa beauté et son esprit par tout le continent-que ses portraits étaient gravés, et faisaient les charmes et l'ornement de tous les palais.”--Of course, you may imagine that this event has been the laughing-stock of these last eight-and-forty hours. I had the unexpected happiness of seeing my brother return; he gives no sanguine hopes at all of the restoration of Germany, and he has a very sad opinion of Bernadotte. To conclude my letter, I must only give you another piece of information, that Madame De Staël has discovered, not La Pierre Philosophale, but “that Lord Castlereagh's speech about the treaty with Sweden was the most eloquent, most rhetorical and persuasive speech that ever was made in Parliament”: these are Madame De Staël's own words. I fear this is not the way of pleasing in this country, at least not the generality of the English people. She also had a great dispute with Lord Lansdowne about the Catholic Question, which has, of course, given great offence to all the opposition. At least, he might have supposed that Madame De Staël must be tolerant; but
7. Stothard, R.A., pinxt.
i, Murphy, scuipt.
CAROLINE, PRINCESS OF WALES From the Collection of Mr. John Lane
writing and speaking seem to be two different things with her. I will not longer dwell upon her, and only anticipate the pleasure of having an agreeable tête-à-tête with you on Sunday morning. 5 Yours sincerely,
(Signed) C. P.
(CHARLES KIRKPATRICK SHARPE.]
LONDON, Wednesday. DEAR (-),-Lady M. informs me that you desire I should write ; so I hasten to obey your commands, though the weather and my present mode of life are very far from propitious to epistolary exertion. Nothing but smothering heat, and parties that melt one to inanity. To go into the streets is to endure the fiery ordeal ; (which none of us here at present can well abide ;) and to venture into an evening assembly is to tumble into a kettle of boiling sprats. For my part, I have endured every culinary effect of fire mentioned by Hannah Glasse, and all the newer processes of steam besides. I am in the condition of that
Princess in the Arabian Nights, who fought so fatally with the genius, about the transformation of a monkey-(my concerns are full as apish,) and I might most justly exclaim with Nourmahal,
I burn-I more than burn; I'm all a fire ;
See how my mouth and nostrils flames expire ! Thank heaven, however, I am not in love ! That alone saves me from utter conflagration; for indeed, dear[- -], I cannot "join the multitude to do evil," in finding Lady Elizabeth B[ingha]m, and Miss Rumbold, and twenty more, so very, very charming. Perhaps my taste is bad, and these belles are fairer than the houris ; but they do not strike me ; -a circumstance which can give them no concern, and is, on the whole, very lucky for the second son of a poor gentleman. And now, I wonder if you will care to hear about routs and such things. I shall talk a little on that subject at a venture ; for you can burn this as soon as you please, or give it to your hound to mumble, if there happeneth to be no fire (as is most likely) in your chamber. But I am firmly resolved not to say one word about the disasters at Carlton House; though I saw one miserable person brought out upon a board, and many gentlewomen worse attired than Eve in her primitive simplicity. You must have heard all these horrors long ago; so I shall begin with Lady Mary L. Crawford's ball, most magnanimously given in the Argyll Street rooms, to all her friends, or rather her enemies—as, even by her own account of the matter, she is at deadly feud with the whole world. I could admire nothing at the entertainment-not even herself. Fancy her * attired in draperies of muslin, covered with gold spots the size of a sixpence ! When she reclined under that frippery canvass bower at the end of the ball-room, she looked exactly like an ill-favoured picture of Danaë in the shower of gold. To crown the whole, S[keffington],† with rouge on his cheeks and ultramarine on his nose, handed her to supper ! “Sure such a pair !"
I was one of the happy few at H[-]'s ball given in B[-]m House-a house I had been long anxious to see, as it is rendered classical by the pen of Pope and the pencil of Hogarth. It is in a woeful condition, and, as I hear, to be pulled down. The company was very genteel (I can't get a less vulgar word to express the sort of thing) and very dull ; but all the ladies were vastly refreshed with an inscription chalked upon the floor, which each applied to herself. Within a wreath of laurel, like burdock, fastened with fifty crooked true-love knots, were the mysterious words "Pour elle." And what a sensation did these two simple words produce ! First, there was such a flocking to the centre of the roomsuch a whispering—such a “Dear, I should like to see it!""Pray, Lady Louisa, let me see it"-"Goodness! whom can it mean ?”—and then a triumphant retreat; smiles upon every lip, exultation in every eye. It was quite amusing afterwards to ask any lady who the elle” could be—the downcast-look of affected humility—then the little sigh of half-surfeited vanity—and then the stare of confident triumph, crowned with “How should I know ?" were delightful. After all, the true elle is said to be Lady E. B[ingham), for
* Lady Mary Lindsay Crawford, died in 1833.
† Sir Lumley St. George Skeffington, 2nd Bart., born 1768, a celebrated Dandy. The original note says that he was “the very wreck of a beau ; he is to be seen sometimes creeping about like a half dead fly which has outlived the summer.”