« AnteriorContinuar »
“ Before we proceed further in this discussion,” said Lachesis," I must move an inquiry into the conduct of his Excellency the Governor of the Gates. I move then that Cerberus be summoned.”
Pluto started, and the blood rose to his dark cheek. “ I have not yet had an opportunity of mentioning,” said his Majesty, in a low tove, and with an air of considerable confusion, “ that I have thought fit, as a reward for his past services, to promote Cerberus to the office of the Master of the Hounds. He therefore is no longer responsible.”
“0-h!” shrieked the Furies, as they elevated their hideous eyes.
“ The constitution has invested your Majesty with a power in the appointment of your Officers of State which your Majesty has undoubtedly a right to exercise,” said Lachesis. “What degree of discretion it anticipated in the exercise, it is now unnecessary, and would be extremely disagreeable, to discuss. I shall not venture to inquire by what new influence your Majesty has been guided in the present instance. The consequence
difficult situation in which your realm is now placed. For myself and my colleagues, I have only to observe that we decline, under this crisis, any further responsibility, and the distaff and the shears are at your Majesty's service the moment your Majesty may find convenient successors to the present holders. As a last favour, in addition to the many we are proud to remember we have received from your Majesty, we entreat that may
be relieved from their burthen as quickly as possible.”—(Loud cheers from the Eumenides.)
“We had better recall Cerberus," said Pluto, alarmed," and send this mortal about his business.'
“Not without Eurydice. Oh! not without Eurydice," said the Queen.
Silence, Proserpine,” said Pluto. “May it please your Majesty,” said Lachesis ; “I am doubtful whether we have the power of expelling any one from Hades. It is not less the law that a mortal cannot remain here; and it is too notorious for me to mention the fact, that none here have the power of inflicting
“ Of what use are all your laws,” exclaimed Proserpine,“ if they are only to perplex us ? As there are no statutes to guide us, it is obvious that the King's will is supreme. Let Orpheus depart then, with his bride."
“ The latter suggestion is clearly illegal,” said Lachesis.
“ Lachesis, and ye, her sisters,” said Proserpine, “ forget, I beseech you, any hot words that may have passed between us, and, as a personal favour to one who would willingly be your friend, release Eurydice. What! you shake your heads! Nay; of what importance can be a single miserable shade, and one, too, summoned so cruelly before her time, in these thickly-peopled regions ?”
“ 'Tis the principle,” said Lachesis ; " 'tis the principle. Concession is ever fatal, however slight. Grant this demand; others, and greater, will quickly follow. Mercy becomes a precedent, and the realm is ruined.”
“ Ruined !" echoed the Furies.
" And I say preserved !” exclaimed Proserpine with energy. State is in confusion, and you yourselves confess that you know not how
to remedy it. Unable to suggest a course, follow mine. I am the advocate of Mercy; I am the advocate of Concession; and, as you despise all higher impulses, I meet you on your own grounds. I am their advocate for the sake of policy, of expediency."
“ Never!” said the Fates.
“ Then you are unable to carry on the King's government; for Orpheus must be disposed of;—all agree to that. Pluto, reject these counsellors, at once insulting and incapable. Give me the distaff and the fatal shears. At once form a new Cabinet; and let the release of Orpheus and Eurydice be the basis of their policy.” She threw her arms round his neck, and whispered in his ear.
Pluto was perplexed; his confidence in the Parcæ was shaken. A difficulty had occurred with which they could not cope. It was true the difficulty had been occasioned by a departure from their own exclusive and restrictive policy. It was clear that the gates of Hell ought never to have been opened to the stranger; but opened they had been. Forced to decide, he decided on the side of expediency, and signed a decree for the departure of Orpheus and Eurydice. The Parcæ immediately resigned their posts, and the Furies walked off in a huff. Thus, on the third day of the infernal marriage, Pluto found that he had quarrelled with all his family, and that his ancient administration was broken up. The King was without a friend, and Hell was without a Government !
(To be concluded in our next.)
When sultry suns and dusty streets
Proclaim town's winter season,
Sound something like high treason-
Which yet no bard has hit on,
For quietude and Ditton.
Here Lawyers, safe from legal toils,
And Peers, released from duty,
And eke the smiles of beauty ;
Whose name must not be written,
Within the shades of Ditton.
A MISS-DIRECTED LETTER,
[By a very extraordinary accident, arising perhaps from the circumstance of an interregnum in the Post Office department, the following letter, evidently intended for somebody else, has been delivered at the office of the “ New Monthly Magazine.” The direction reads as if it were meant for Mr. Colburn, but it is certain, that although his Christian name be Henry, nobody would address him as “ dear Henriette ; ” besides which, it would be a work of supererogation to write an account of what is going on in England to the proprietor of the “ Court Journal.” The fact appears to be, that the letter is the fulfilment of a promise on the part of some French Nobleman or Gentleman-they are all Counts in the indictment of letters—to give some chère amie a detail of his proceedings in the English metropolis. As it has fairly been delivered in Marlborough-street, we make no ceremony in using it; the signature is scarcely legible—it looks something like " Pickle and Mustard.” We were, however, not sufficiently interested in the result, to send for either Mr. Wilkinson or Mr. Pettigrew to decipher it; as we have it, so have our readers.]
London, June 16, 1834. My dear Henriette --According to my promise, I sit down to give you news of myself, again in this dull city, which its dull inhabitants fancy one of the loveliest spots on the face of the earth, just as a toad, hermetically sealed in a block of stone, believes his sitting-room extremely convenient. People like the English, who eat so much solid food, and drink port wine and porter, have but a very cloudy notion of the volatility and volubility which light food, light wine, and a clear sky naturally inspire. I cannot for myself endure the miserable, smoky, brick houses, ranged like so many dens along the streets, into which their windows give light; and in London there are not a dozen inclosed or insulated houses.
Burlington House is one—it is deserted. Devonshire House is another—but our charming Duke is not yet in town. The Duke of Portland's, in Cavendish-square, is a third-but he is gone to Lisbon with his daughter, Lady Howard de Walden, who has taken her departure to join her husband, who has most favourably distinguished himself as a diplomatist. Rokeby, the agreeable Edward Montague, (of whom I used once to be jealous,) has a fourth, at the corner of Portman-square; a house altogether in a garden, in which, I am told, formerly the chimney-sweepers were wont to banquet on May-day; the present appearance of the building gives one every reason to believe that they were in the habit of leaving the contents of their soot-bags on the premises before they retired.
Lord Lansdowne’s is another good specimen of a garden house, and he has hit upon a mode of lighting a saloon new to me, and quite delightful; the lamps are placed outside of large plate-glass fan-lights, so that you have all the illumination and none of the caloric. Lord Chesterfield's is another such house, but much unemployed. Dorchester House is another, but Lord Hertford, in consequence of the recent death of the dowager Marchioness, has not yet blazed forth in his accustomed splendour. I was making an observation upon the want of fine hotels
in London, to a wit here, and said to him as I have said to you, that there were not above a dozen houses in the town, entre cour et jardin. Said he, I will show you one more than you have reckoned, and that is a bookseller's shop at the corner of Bow-street. How, said I, can that be entre cour et jardin? Because,”
,” said he, “ it is between Martlett-court and Covent-garden."
Although I cannot bring myself to admire London, I must admit that I am extremely well received-absolutely fêted. The women of this country have a decided affection for foreigners, and give the strongest possible practical proofs of distaste for their heavy, plodding, slumbering husbands and fathers, and cluster round an exotic like bees about a rose-bush. Still Henriette, dear Henriette, you are secure; my affections are not to be warped or influenced by these “ agitating attacks.” I like to see the world, and having, as you know and they do not, but limited means, I endure these oppressive attentions in order to gratify my propensity for inquiry upon the most reasonable terms; not to speak of the advantages derivable to me from an unrestricted intercourse with all classes of society in the communications which I am able to make to our friend De M., as to affairs in general, for which, I ought to tell you, he has at last agreed to increase my remuneration. Hating the English character as I do, it is quite glorious so voluptuously to forage upon the enemy.
You will perceive that I am“ Count” in this country—the ladies and the newspapers have given me this brevet; as it is not the fashion in England to appear décoré, my having no kind of order does not appear so remarkable here as it does on the continent. I have got the smallest possible lodgings, in Duke-street, St. James's; but I live entirely on the world, which delights to flatter and feed me; and having got my name into a club which admits “ distinguished foreigners” as honorary members gratis, I breakfast there upon their wretched tea, with blue milk and yellow eggs, which, with all my love of country, do not endear themselves to me by the fact of their having been laid at least three months before, in France. Of coffee, the deluded people have as much idea as they have of conversation.
Every day brings its engagements; indeed, if I were to attempt to describe all that I see and hear, I should fill a volume per week. However, I have attained the highest point, for I have dined with the Kinga circumstance which never would have happened to me in my own country, if I had lived to the age of Methuselah. His Majesty conducted himself exactly as any English gentleman would-gave toasts in the national manner—and made speeches. He is just now extremely popular with the country, on account of an address which he delivered extempore to the Bishops, expressive of his royal determination to uphold the rights of the Church. To show you, however, how small the official power of an English Monarch is, I need only tell you, that within eightand-forty hours of the King's having expressed this solemn resolution, in the most solemn manner, his Ministers issued what they call here a commission (and by which the whole government of this country is now carried on) to inquire into the state of the Church revenues, with a view to appropriate them to lay purposes; and yesterday, Lord Grey appointed a Colonel Hay to some high official situation, who, in Parliament, not three months since, proposed the expulsion of the Bishops from Parliament.