Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

son 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 * 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 aequires 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 pcarl-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's Her husband is abroad—and she is consigned

* The Editor is obliged out of justice to an accomplished artist, to rectif a slight mistake here made by Miss Rill. The Lady Tallboys, he is ass > never sate to Mr. Grant—so that the gentleman with moustaches and dia. mond 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,” (aether meaning air.) Her children are kept from her: and one deceased not long since in Scotland. Does her levity never think? 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. Peeker 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 lightly 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 —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 §. Not mine to imbibe feelings derelictious to Woman's rightest 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 WII.--To MRs. RusTLER. . --

DEAREST FRIEND,Is it I who write 7–my name Rill ?—Your Diana 2–your fond and unfeigned playfellow of girlhood? Stricken by such a thunderbolt as * * * * * have I nerves? — senses 2 —a heart 2 My pen? 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! Our winning P ! the hope of so many aching bosoms for every one of whose accomplishments supplication has been eager, and human skill indefatigable ! And this to be the fruition —this the concluding scene —this the grateful repayal of love too deep for tears! The blow, my dear Mrs. Rustler, has deprived me of words—but let me narrate to you the astounding series as the minutest particulars occurred Called down, I was, methought, to Lady Highborough—twining unconsciously between my careless fingers some floral trifle, to give at once a tone of ease and simplicity to an interview I felt must be humiliatingly delicate; when, on entering the drawingroom, I perceived no courtly guest, but one of the rougher sex, bidden, I was told, on some judicial errand. Legal individuals, I have often had occasion to remark, are notorious for abrupt unobservaney; nor was the visitant exceptional. Fancy my surprise at the transpiration of the fact, that our swarthy intruder was in quest of one guilty of important abstractions from Lord Highborough's plate-chest, who was known to have had harbourage in the house of Mr. Pecker's party. You guess not yet 2 Remember you not the person of singularly audaeious demeanour and unattractive appearance, whose forwardness on the evening of our ill-starred arrival so amazed us, and whose subsequent familiarities on the occasion of our visit to Lady Highborough (P having since confided to me the whispered proposition of a salute) elicited the most piquant aversion ?—His crowning transactions bore out the above. Acquainted by the fatally-facile Bridget with her deposits in the Savings Bank, and working upon that feminine weakness, which, since the days of our Proto-Mother, renders rosy cheeks unable to resist serpentine tongues, or refuse participation in ingratitude to benefactresses, this treacherous domestic had stimulated Mrs. Pecker's maid to emulate his base example. Her jewel-cases rifled—her purse discharged of its contents—Bridget's chamber empty (her trunks having been nocturnally transported thence!) —you may judge of our relative's discomfiture “This comes,” said dear Mr. Pecker, who never loses an opportunity of unfailingly asserting his principles, “of the attempt to cancel capital punishments : " It has been since ascertained that the unworthy miscreants—whether bound in wedlock's bonds to facilitate crime, we know not, have taken flight for the Belgian Continent. Our landlady affects a significance which is almost intolerable on the occasion. By our desire, indeed, that Lady Highborough's butler was admitted Lax woman 1 The moralism of Tinglebury is, thank " " " " " not that of Belgravia! Twice, I admit as-you will recollect * I mentioned to you, --we passed the youth on the staircase; as also, that P detained him for a few unimportant inquisitions with regard to the families in the vicinity. But if, by this, collusion establishes itself, adieu freedom of intercourse ! Britons will then, indeed, have degenerated into automati, subject to a manufacturing despotism, the counsellor of which is Babylon, concerning whom it is written " * * *. I dally. During all these agitating disclosures, the absence of P usually how centrical in any disturbance or emergency!— excited no surprise. Some one at length inquired, “Where is P ?” No response; and Mr. Pecker hastening to her chamber to demand the reason (his partner's shaken nerves taking the form of distressing wailings, which required the support of every one—and my own giving way in sympathy)—found it void. Nor was mistake allowed to be possible. I shall never forget his countenance as he re-appeared among us! Priam's at the discovered evasion of the Golden Fleece, when Ariadne fled with her perjured boy—wore no sublimer aspects For Wrath, my dear, when unaccompanied by Sin (Procerbs " " * * *) is sublime ; and “a strong man, struggling with the gods, is a sight for the unfortunate.” How much sweeter the Christian than the Pagan Version | Presenting a book to our gaze—“Jane Pecker,” said he slowly, in his deep tones, “this Theory of Dev-elope-ments Whose is it !” A billet traced by P was in his hand : another, more lengthily expressed by the Destroyer accompanying it. . . . . The bewildered Mrs. Pecker faintly repeating her husband's solemn adjuration—of which the syllables “elopement" were alone obvious to the ear—fell back on the sofa in convulsive wretchedness. You will yet be incredulous. Learn the whole. P has left us ; the partner of her flight, Mr. Niblett! Dealt ever Rome a darker blow against the * * * * * Thus to turn the romanticity of a guileless spirit to evil courses! —thus to monopolise the promptings of impulse!—to plant the

* Here, again (and he hopes, for the last time) the Editor of this correspondence is obliged to interpose in behalf of his own correctness. The letters are printed as received, without omissions or transpositions; and, .. the elastic nature of Miss Rill's memory will excite a smile, and possibly wonder, in those who have not studied the remembrances of controversial ladies, his own veracity remains unimpeached.

« AnteriorContinuar »