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topic to topic ; calls in to his aid sometimes sentiment, sometimes passion, sometimes reason; displays a degree of knowledge rarely possessed by an author—a familiarity with all times, and nearly all countries; a perfect acquaintance with the laws of art and criticism. These are his claims, and they are great and numerous, to public attention. We have endeavoured to be just to him, though we have been compelled to pass over, unnoticed, several of his most important writings, such as the “Letters of Pericles and Aspasia,” and the “Examination of William Shakespeare,” each of which would justify a separate article. But where there are so many remarkable productions, some must have the preference, and this is often determined by chance—we mean the chance of the hour, for it was certainly our intention to have endeavoured, at least, to entertain the reader with some account of his Shakesperian performance, which ought universally to be read in this country, where we, very rightly, look upon Shakespeare as one of the greatest expounders of human nature. Some day, perhaps, we may repair our oversight, as those are not works of a season, but things which can afford to wait till critics and the public find them out, when the balance of benefits will decidedly be in favour of the two latter.
RESEARCHES IN BELGRAVIA ;
DEAREST MRs. RUSTLER,
The fluttering sensibilities which have distinguished your poor friend ever since her introduction to this valley of Tears, were never in a state of more active agency than at the present moment. Suspense impending, stands between me and every sober thought —a chaotic confusion involves apparently every halcyon dream— and waters my pillow with the tears of disturbance. The wings of the Dove, my dear, are desirable;—but, checking finite repinings, let me throw together, for your information, a few of the features which distinguish the moral organisation of this remarkable province. Happy they in whom the abstractive faculties induce peace of mind I You asked me to ascertain for the benefit of the watchfully Christian Society at Wailford, how far Lady Tallboys is received : dubious in the delicacy of your own charity, to what measure matrons to whom the virtue of England's daughters is entrusted, should hold communion with one so conspicuous;—and humbly desirous of the guidance of aristocratic example. A question like this, my dear, exuberates beyond the boundaries of established precepts: and while the World's opinion is what no one ought to brave, however summoned by the pleadings of commiserative Humanity, it reserves to itself the power of holding out the golden sceptre, by which a veil of oblivion is cast over the follies of too impulsive Youth, eager alas ! (to quote Mrs. Hemans’ “Psyche,”)
To follow wheresoe'er the flatterer sings,
—and, in pursuit of pleasure, to allow Decorum's stately self to stand eclipsed Moreover the rigidities of rural censoriousness melt in the more liberal metropolitan atmosphere. So it must ever be ; the sphere widened. The bibulous propensities of your Mrs. Wiggs would here merge in the whirl of which she was so undistinguished an atom. Nor do I think that Mr. Podd's unbecoming temper would manifest itself as an evil of such water, in an orbit where the most different opinions must accustom themselves to clash without endangerment to concord. This, my dear, is a city's latitudinarian side : but I am daily learning to temper keen-sightedness with charity, and to veil the abstinence from levity in my own person with the smile that engages, not the frown which dooms the less pure to hopeless despair. Rhadamanthus, dearest friend, was no Christian. According, then, to the milder rule of * * * * pity suggests that the past of Lady Tallboys should be merged. The active kindliness of her disposition warrants the hope that the stray lamb has returned to a sense of uprightness. Every appearance authenticates this. IIow overflowing with the milk of human charity is Belgravia . Her breakfasts are sought for by the most luxurious récherchés; Cabinet Ministers take part in them—their Ladies too. The most immaculate among the Peerage reciprocate companionship in vehicles with Lady Tallboys. Her excellent aunt (a martyr to deafness) never quits her side We have reason to know that Mr. Niblett's advances have been discouraged— who, planning the cunningly-devised bait of a new painted window for the church at Grace-Marie Hill, doubtless hoped to lay one so rich under contribution. “Not at home to any gentleman ” was the discouraging answer. This is decisive. P has manifested a strange anxiety to make herself acquainted with this interesting young creature, “pale as the Latmian lilies by Minerva loved ’’—but from a tract judiciously selected, elegantly inscribed, and delivered at the door by ourselves, no response has accrued ; and we shrink increasingly from undue advances. At the time of our visit, Lady Tallboys was sitting for her picture to Mr. Grant—eldest son of the Lady of Laggan, and strikingly like his mother, with moustaches superadded.* He was mounting the stairs. What munificent patrons are the Belgravians ! Diamonds glistened on his bosom. “Is nothing,” says Mr. Pecker, whose wisdom ripens like the Sybil's books, and whose utterance becomes more impressive than ever, (partly owing to the evolutions of a dentist)—“is nothing to be reserved for the Aristocracy Ż Are those, wont of old to bask in their gleam, and think it enough, now to enter upon the audacities of rivalry 3 Are the easel and the violin to receive honours for which coronets might be proud to contend ?" Who can answer this ? Our expatriation acquires consistency with each new day's insight into the condition of lost England. A mission of Mr. George Robins to Tinglebury is canvassed. I thrill : but submit. Think not, however, my dear, that Belgravian receival holds out a premium to the erratic impulses of unholy flame ! It can judge as well as pardon. Next door to us lodges a person in very deep mourning, whose pallidity attracted P−'s attention, and is ascribed by her searching eye to the artificial use of pearl-powder. An assumed downcastness of air, intended to propitiate, is enough to excite the most vivid displeasure among all reflecters. By devices no less insidious, did Ninon de L'Enclos, after a cloister had yawned for her frailty, maintain her empire over Louis the Eleventh ! An attempt to speak to us, was at once peremptorily frowned aside ; for our landlady assures me that no one speaks to Mrs. Drangton | Her husband is abroad—and she is consigned
* The Editor is obliged out of justice to an accomplished artist, to rectify a slight mistake here made by Miss Rill. The Lady Tallboys, he is assured, never sate to Mr. Grant—so that the gentleman with moustaches and diamond studs remains an unexplained fact.
to obscurity. The mean lodging must satisfy one who so late queened it in —shire : the penitential robe circle limbs which Senefelder” of Munich modelled, and features that Lawrence dying wished to limn. Her health is impaired : the use of aether being cited as the cause. P , in her jocund way, replied, “The spiritual air you mean,” (auther meaning air.) Her children are kept from her : and one deceased not long since in Scotland. Does her levity never think 2 Though acquitted by Law of the aspersions marital indignation raised against her, Belgravia is not satisfied: and keeps her distanced. A warning, my dear, —how insufficient is Man's justice, when Delicacy bids ! As Mr. Pecker says, “If the barrier be not drawn somewhere, the line will be broken down Sad reward of culpability | Divulge this at Wailford—the name being carefully mentioned to authenticate exactitude, – when next you hear the dwellers of London's West Hightly spoken of Bridget declares that Mr. Niblett has been seen issuing from the house; but circumstances have transpired which shake my assurance in Bridget's veracity. The singular nocturnal sound, mentioned in my last, has again been noted by the vigilant Mrs. Pecker. As she always sleeps in list shoes— owing to a distressing vacillation of ankles—the door of her chamber was approached without outer suspicion. She “will die,” she declares, but she heard the words “my dear !” and these, as you are aware, no known Bird can articulate. Our relative, conceiving thieves, tottered, turned pale — and the sound of her sinking heavily on the bed's foot, of course gave the alarm. When searched the coast was clear. Topknots have been twice noticed on recent days in Bridget's cap — the origin of which also she explained with stammering incoherency. So P-- is sure that Mr. Niblett it could not have been. Erratic as he is in the mazes of fantastical divinity, his old friends are reluctant to admit his seeking the society of one so abandoned as Mrs. Drangton. The change of our lodgings, even, has been placed on the tapis : but as we may ere long become roamers, (not Roman Catholics, dearest friend l—pardon my outburst of inadvertent wit !) it matters little where the interval is expended. “When Politics press us hard,” as Mr. Pecker says, “private virtue must be overlooked.” An arid cough heard through the wall is all that reminds us of the unworthy being's vicinity—but we turn away our thoughts on principle. Not mine to imbibe feelings derelictious to Woman's brightest ornament, whatever the atmosphere : and I have no fears for the at-present preoccupied P She is busy, she assures me, collecting the judgments which have befallen The League; and has already assembled astonishing facts. The Post assures us that three of the early members were strangled in an old red curtain. Two have grown rabid since, and were privately dispatched to Australia. Not the Jews themselves, my dear, when * * * * * were more atrocious than the transactions of the Liberal party have been. The blush of shame will crimson some, when P--'s collection makes its appearance: but of this, I have only heard—not perused. Immured in her chamber, the ardour of her composition deprecates present inquiry or interruption. It is my idea, when complete, to take measures to place so soul-strengthening and tonic a British production under the sponsorial superintendency of Lady M'Dawdley; who, herself prohibited by the ramifying devoirs of her refined district, from active participation in the rainbow field of authorship, is willing to give the lustre of her high name to the productions of her less distinguished sisters. May * * * * *. I am called—some confusion pervading the house — Lady Highborough's name mentioned. 0, believe me, not mine to fling back with inhumanitarian sternness the apologies of a generous spirit ! Expectancy, even adds pain to conscious error I fly. Adieu, dearest, Your sympathetic DIANA RILL.
* Quere Schwanthaler —ED.
LETTER VII.--To MRs. RUSTLER.
DEAREST FRIEND,Is it I who write 2—my name Rill ?—Your Diana 2–your fond and unfeigned playfellow of girlhood 2 Stricken by such a thunderbolt as * * * * * have I nerves 2 — senses 2 —a heart 2 My pen 2 Will it obey my command 2 Open this when you are solitary. Even withhold its contents from Mr. Rustler—for a while. Tinglebury and Wailford will presently be too resonant with tidings calculated to make the Sons of Darkness sing for joy, and the Daughters of Delusion clap their hands aloud 1 Our winning P ! the hope of so many aching bosoms 1 for every one of whose accomplishments supplication has been eager,