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James's palace, was found diluted into hexameters. That gentleman's History of Brazil was also both diluted and dilated. The family of Mr. Sotheby were alarmed by a floating Beppo which entered that gentleman's library window in Grosvenor-street. Luckily his "goods” are not injured. Mr. Blackwood, a gentleman from Edinburgh, picked up Mr. Hope's Anastasius in Albemarle-street, and laid it at Lord Byron's door. Mr. Hope, on the next day, despatched a polite note, claiming his property, which was accordingly restored to him. Several paintings in St. James's-street have suffered much from the wet; those in water-colours escaped. In Paternoster-row great damage was done to the Novel line, by a Pirate, who swept all the booksellers' shops, like Van Tromp, with a broom at the mast-head. The property carried away by this freebooter is valued at £4000.
Covent Garden Theatre. The house overflowed at an early hour. The novelty of the day was a revival of the Escapes, or the WaterCarriers; with Undine. An accident, however, happened, which might have been attended with serious consequences. Messrs. C. Kemble, Young, and Macready were violently jostled together in the tide. Several spars, which Hoated in from the Shakspeare, were thrust out to assist them in swimming. Mr. Young seized a Hamlet, upon which he floated : Mr. Macready caught a Macbeth, which was too large for his grasp: Mr. C. Kemble might have got home upon a Cassio, or a Faulconbridge, but he pushed them both aside, and disappeared; as he is however an expert swimmer we entertain no fears for his safety. Cleopatra's gallery saved the proprietor. Miss M. Tree ascended the same vessel, and, in the hurry of the moment, showed her legs. The audience were very indulgent. Mr. Liston's Newfoundland dog took care of himself.
Drury Lane Theatre. The tide at one and the same moment touched Mr. Braham's stock (and Mr. Conway's knee-)buckle. Water will find its level. Mr. Elliston, with provident foresight, had built a wooden platform, from the front of the stage to the back of the pit, upon wbich he and the other actors escaped dryshod. Mr. E. afterwards attempted the same passage, in company with a Spanish gentleman from Dublin, but the tide set in against him, and blending itself with some combustibles in the pit, produced
“ A sound of fear,
Unpleasing to an actor's ear.”
Epistolary Communications” could not be found. The band was treated with a wet. The house was a bumper. A beautiful young mermaid was caught swimming on a dolphin's back, and immediately received an engagement to sing for the season in a new piece that is to be got up for the occasion.
The Rev. W. L. Bowles got a ducking in Pope's Head alley. Lady Morgan's quarto was ungallantly boarded by Mr. Gifford, but her Ladyship stepped out into an octavo, and sailed away. Miss Taylor was pent in between a Cobourg audience in front, and a drop mirror in the rear: the poor girl did not know which way to look. Mr. Heaviside escaped by getting into Blow-bladder-lane. One Rowland Hill, a player, was washed over the way to the opposite theatre in Blackfriars:
road, and as returning was impracticable, was under the necessity of playing punch at the wrong booth. Potatoes rose in Covent-Garden market, Piazza high ; but when the wind abated sunk basket-deep again. Mrs. Rundell's kitchen-garden suffered greatly. Cabbages, carrots, parsnips, and cauliflowers were floated from her premises into those of Mr. Murray, in Albemarle-street. Our reporter left the parties scrambling: A pike, measuring seven feet, was caught in Fludyer-street: it was claimed by a serjeant in the Guards. One Winifred Price lost a pail of milk which was upset at the stage-door of Covent-Garden theatre. The poor woman's commodity, mingled with the water, entered a new forthcoming comedy, and produced an effect too melancholy to detail. Colonel Drinkwater was seen in company with Lord Rivers in Port-soken ward. In several parishes the nave of the church was found in the pulpit. On the abaiement of the tide, Mrs. Salmon was found dead upon Fish-street hill. The patent-shot manufactory was saved by being dammed.
Must I drink a health to thee,
With this revel all around me!
Mirth and noisy wit have bound me
With this revel all around?
'Midst far other scene and sound;
Throng and wit about mine ear?
Dream, and hie me to a sphere
Star-like and alluring eyes,
Of that prophet's paradise,
I of thee may ever dream.-
To that everlasting theme,
LETTERS ON ENGLAND.
BY M. DE SAINT FOIX.
[These letters, we understand, are the production of a distinguished Frenchman, whose original MS. journal has been obligingly submitted to us by a friend for publication, The Editor admits them on account of the ability which they seem to possess. For this special consideration, he makes in this one instance a departure from his general rule of not inserting any communications bearing the stamp of national prejudice. But he protests against being responsible for a single sentiment which they may contain.]
Dieppe, Thursday, Sept. 18, 1817. My Dear Claire, Contrary to your predictions, the attractions of Paris did not detain us a single day from the ultimate object of our journey. Thus it turns out that you do not know us quite so well as you would have us believe. The truth is, that as neither C— nor I, pride ourselves on the strength of our resolutions when temptations are in the way, we were pretty sure that, if we allowed Paris to detain us one day, there would be no answering for the extent of its influence; so with a prospective prudence which you will no doubt think very creditable to us, at Ville-Juif we paid our postillions for three or four stages forward, and, bidding them drive through Paris, pulled up the blinds of the carriage, and, as it was getting dark, silently composed ourselves into our respective corners; thus contriving to slip through the fingers of the enemy, against whom we might, perhaps, have failed in making a successful resistance. There is no denying that one of us (I can only answer for one) did not sleep very soundly, as he felt himself rattling over the pavé of the metropolis of the world ; and he has a faint recollection of having been once or twice on the point of waking his companion, to consult with him on the inexpediency of proceeding farther that evening, intending to hint at the little chance there was of meeting with fitting accommodation at a country village, and to expatiate on the dangers of damp beds, the miseries of short suppers, and so forth. But perhaps all this occurred to him in a dream. Certain it is, however, that we both retained our corners silently till we had passed the Barriere de St. Denis, and felt ourselves on the terre again. Probably it was this change from noise to silence that waked us both; for we now soon found that we both were awake, and ready to consult on where we should pass the night. In pursuance of a sudden thought of — we agreed to turn out of our road and sleep at Montmorency, that we might idle a few hours there in the morning, for the sake of him who idled away some of the least unhappy years of his life there. We left Montmorency in the middle of Monday, supped at Ecouis, and then travelled on for the rest of the night, to make up for what you will call our lost time, arriving at Rouen early on Tuesday morning, where we staid till to-day.
You know Normandy is one of my chief favourites among our provinces, as Rouen is among the cities. There is infinite character about the latter, with its majestic cathedral, its noble boulevards, and its air of fresh, and as it were, youthful antiquity; and the former abounds in every variety of picturesque beauty. I hastened to the top of Mount St. Catherine as soon as we arrived, and found the view from thence, as it was when we saw it together five years ago, unrivalled by any thing I have seen elsewhere, or ever expect to see, for extent, richness, and variety; and the beautiful Seine still winds through the midst of it, studded with all her lovely little islands; one of which, as you may remember, a person whom you know, when he was a little more addicted to reading and acting romance than he is now, fell in love with, and talked of buying and building a house upon: and was only prevented from doing so, by accidentally learning that he must be content to put up with the slight inconvenience of having his meadow and garden under water all the winter, not to mention the lower rooms of his projected chateau. I paid a visit of compliment to the spot nevertheless, in return for the fancies and images (looking as fresh and green as itself) that it called back to me.
The splendid costumes of the peasantry of this province also remain unchanged; and the females are still, without exception, the finest race in France. In both these respects a market-day at Rouen presents a more interesting subject for contemplation than perhaps any thing else of the kind.
On leaving this city, and proceeding towards the coast, the extreme beauty of some of the female faces that you meet with has seemed even more striking to me now than when I first observed it. We have seen three or four that were absolute models of perfection, as to form, feature, complexion, &c. It is true, they are deficient in that peculiar ex: pression which is so much sought after in France; but I am not at all sure that the perfectly tranquil and unconscious air which usually reigns in their divine faces is not superior in every respect to this boasted piquancy; and I am sure that it is infinitely more poetical.
We reached Dieppe this morning, and intend sailing for Brighton tonight. On account of the extreme characteristicness of its costume, style of building, &c. Dieppe is certainly the best port we could have chosen to embark from. The last impressions we shall thus take with us from France will, no doubt, afford the more striking contrasts when we arrive on the other side: and it is from contrasts chiefly that the mere external and immediate excitement and pleasure of travelling arise. _Adieu, till we find ourselves in England.
D. S. F.
Brighton, Friday, Sept. 19th, 1817. In spite of all the fools and philosophers that ever thought or wrote, bodily pain is the greatest evil attendant on humanity. Perhaps it is the only real one. For myself I think it is. Against all the evils which spring from the mind of man, the mind itself, omnipotent in its own sphere, furnishes, or at least possesses, the antidote. In the evils, so called, which are engendered by the passions and affections, those who choose to look for them may recognise the elements of all that is beautiful in the human character: evils without which the moral world could no more preserve its healthfulness and perfection, than the physical world could without winds, thunderclouds, and earthquakes. But corporal pain, in its beginning, its continuation, and its end, is the source of unmixed mischief. It shuts up the winged spirit in the dark, narrow, and pestiferous dungeon of the flesh. It concentrates all the energies and emotions of the mind and heart upon the one indivisible point of self, where, not having space to breathe or to look abroad, they stagnate and corrupt and perish. In the violent extremes of danger, the mind and the affections frequently step forth in all their beauty: the friend looks to his friend, and is tranquil; the mother hangs over her child, and forgets there is any other being in the world; the lover clings to the form or the image of his mistress, and is happy. But in the torture of acute bodily pain, or the death-like languor of disease, every thing external is shut out: the charities of life wither; its very delicacies, which are an instinct in the female character, are forgotten; and the strengths of our nature become weaknesses, and its weaknesses rise up into strengths; and self-mean, miserable bodily self-opens and spreads and covers every thing. If there is one general law of our nature in which wisdom is not apparent, it is that which makes disease the constant companion of a death-bed : thus depriving us of the best beauty of the human character precisely at the moment when we more than ever seem to need it, leaving nothing but its worst deformity.
You will wonder how I have been led to make these reflections. But you will cease to wonder when you come to be imprisoned, as I have just been, for twenty-six hours in an English packet-boat. Let those who possess and would retain a tolerable opinion of human nature, avoid this earthly, or rather watery pandemonium: it is a test which nothing can withstand.
We landed here two hours ago, and surrendered ourselves at discretion to the first persons who were in wait to lay hands on us. They conducted us to a hotel, where we now are: - with his unchangeable good humour; but I, ill, fatigued, spiritless, out of temper, and disposed to dislike every thing and every body about me. How is this ? Shall I confess? My mind, and the weak frame to which it is linked, are on the shores of England; but half the energies that keep them healthful, and almost all the thoughts and affections that make them happy, have returned to the flowers, the trees, and the waterfalls of V
“ He will be better and happier to-morrow, if the sun shines," I hear
Asay, and she is always right. She knows him better than he does himself. Good night I do not know why it is, but when my head is on my pillow, and my eyes are closed, and I hear nothing about me but my own breathings, wherever my body may be, my spirit is sure to be at V
Saturday.-A— was right. I got up this morning and walked out;-and the sun did shine, and the sea glittered under it, and the little children were bathing or playing about on the sands, or riding ponies or asses on the shore; gaily dressed people, with their morning faces, were passing and repassing here and there; the fishermen were spreading their nets to dry, and their wives sitting mending them, on a beautiful piece of turf in the centre of the town looking to the sea; the houses I thought had every where a peculiar happy look, unlike any thing I had seen before;-and I was better and happier. I looked once or twice across the sea for the shores of France, but I could not see them; and I do not know whether I was not trying to be melancholy again: but just then I caught a glance of the sunshine upon the water, and came up to me with his smiling spirit looking out from his eyes, and I was happy half against my will.-" Happy against his will! Now is not that nonsense p I hear A-exclaim.