Imágenes de páginas

Darted a glance immensely chilling
Upon our Waltzing and Quadrilling ;
Flown at the Fiddlers in a pet,
And bade them play her minuet;
Her stately step, and angry eye,
Her waist so low, her neck so high;
Her habit of inspiring fear,
Her knack of boxing on the ear
Could ne'er have made the people stare,
Like the lost comb of Lady Clare !
The tresses it was wont to bind
Joy in their freedom ! unconfin'd
They float around her, and bedeck
The marble whiteness of her neck,
With veil of more resplendent hue,
Than ever Aphrodite threw
Around her, when unseen she trod
Before the sight of man or God
Look how a blush of burning red,
O’er bosom and o'er forehead spread,
Glances like lightning; and aside
The Lady Clare hath turn’d her head,
As if she strove in vain to hide
Thạt countenance of modest pride,
Whose colour many an envying fair
Would give a Monarch's crown to wear.
Persuasion lurks on Woman's tongue-
In Woman's smile, Oh! raptures throng
And Woman's tears compassion move-
But oh! 'tis Woman's blush we love !

Now Gallantry is busy round! All eyes are bent upon the ground; And dancers leave the cheerful measure To seek the Lady's missing treasure. Meanwhile some charitable Miss, Quite ignorant what Envy is, Sends slowly forth her censures gravę, How oddly Beauties will behave! Oh! quite an accident !-last year I think she sprained her ancle here; And then there were such sudden halts, And such a bringing out of salts” “ You think her vain ??? " Oh gracious ? no! She has a charming foot, you know;

And it's so pretty to be lame-
I don't impute the slightest blame-
Only that very careless braid
The fault is with the waiting-maid!
I merely mean-since Lady Clare
Was flatter'd so about her hair,
Her comb is always dropping out-
Oh! quite an accident! no doubt!”

The Sun hath risen o'er the deep,
And Fathers, more than half-asleep,
Begin to shake the drowsy head,
And hint “ it's time to be in bed.” .
Then comes chagrin on faces fair;
Soft hands are clasp'd in mimic prayer;
And then the warning watch is shown,
And answers in a harsher tone
Reply to look of lamentation,
And argument, and supplication :
In vain sweet voices tell their grief,
In speeches long, for respite brief;
Bootless are all their “ Lords !” and “ La's!”
Their “ Pray Papas !” and “ Do Papas !”

Ladies,” quoth Gout, “ I love my rest !
The carriage waits !-eundem est.
This is the hour for parting bow,
This is the hour for secret vow,
For weighty shawl, and hooded cloak,
Half-utter'd tale, and whisper'd joke.
This is the hour when Ladies bright
Relate th' adventures of the night,
And fly by turns from truth to fiction,
From retrospection to prediction :
They regulate, with unbought bounty,
The destinies of half the county, .'.
With gipsey talent they foretell
How Miss Duquesne will marry well,
And how 'tis certain that the Squire
Will be more stupid than his sire,
And how the girl they cried up so
Only two little months ago,
Falls off already, and will be
Really quite plain at twenty-three.
Now Scandal hovers laughing o'er them,
While pass in long review before them

The Lady that my Lord admires—
The gentleman that moves on wires—
The youth with such a frightful frown-
And that extraordinary gown.”
Now characters are much debated,
And witty speeches are narrated ;
And Criticism delights to dwell
On conquests won by many a Belle,
On compliments that ne'er were paid,
On offers that were never made,
Refusals—Lord knows when refused,
Deductions—Lord knows how deduced;
Alas ! how sweetly scandal falls
From lips of Beauties—after Balls.

The music stops,--the lights expire,
The dance is o'er—the crowds retire;
And all those siniling cheeks have flown!
Away !-the Rhymer is alone.
Thou too, the fairest and the best,
Hast fleeted from him with the rest;
Thy name he will not, love! unite
To the rude strain he pours to-night,
Yet often hath he turn'd away
Amidst his harsh and wandering lay,
And often hath his earnest eye
Look'd into thine delightedly,
And often hath his listening ear
But thou art gone !—what doth he here?


DEAR COURTENAY,On a bitter snowy day I have resolved to take our Poet Laureat's advice to write like a devil,” and have positively sat down, with the most laudable diligence and solicitude for your amusement, to send you an account of a most delightful party at which I was present the other day; and, if the description pleases you one quarter as much as the more substantial original pleased me, you may be assured that I shall be very well satisfied.

To begin à principiis, as Allen Le Blanc would say ;-a single Gentleman who had resided some time in the neighbourhood, and had accepted every body's invitations without giving any himself, luckily for me, just before my arrival, was seized with a sudden and miraculous impulse of hospitality, and de termined, out of a proper regard both to economy and good fellowship, to pay all his debts at once, in a general and grand entertainment. The good people here made many very charitable conjectures upon this extraordinary spirit which animated Mr. Hudson. However, as the slander of the place ought not to be circulated too widely, I will only tell you the most unexceptionable of them, that Christmas had its wonted and proper effect in opening his purse-strings. You see this only hints at some supernatural agency, as being necessary for such an important circumstance. To speak to you as a learned man,“ Dignus vendice nodus.Well! to proceed regularly in these important matters, the abovementioned gentleman, after he had resolved to feast his friends upon this extended scale, next began to consider where the collected company could possibly be received, and upon examination discovered that he had no room in his house large enough to hold them. In this terrible emergency he called his housekeeper to his assistance, and after much consideration they agreed upon a contrivance; namely, that he should hire the three best rooms in the Pelican, and send out his cards accordingly. This plan she alleged would give great consequence and notoriety to the party; and he acquiesced in it from other and more feeling motives, that he could probably supply a great part of the necessaries from home, and, by contracting with Monsieur the Innkeeper, save a considerable loss to his pocket, and a proportionable bustle and confusion to his household ; nor did he forget that by these means he could avoid betraying the imperfections or deficiencies of his establishment.

These preliminaries, I assure you, are all authentic; having been partly collected from Mrs. Whitehurst, the old dảme who manages every thing, and partly from himself, for he is very communicative in these respects; much more so, indeed, than most of his acquaintance desire. I dare say you will have thought me dreadfully tedious in these calumnious accounts, which so little concern me; so now, with your leave, I will introduce to you Mr. F. Golightly, in his proper dress and character, not forgetting his quizzing-glass, taking the place of a cousin fortunately absent; and, with his natural impudence, by a sort of self-invitation, proceeding in a royal cavalcade to the Pelican. And prithee, good Courtenay, do not disdainfully regard this Pelican. Take my word for it, it is a House of the very first respectability ; renowned far and wide for every sort of excellence; and decorated, as all Inns should be, with an Effigy of its patron bird, remarkable for its size, its variety of plumage, and, in short, for its total defiance of any resemblance to nature.. Here we arrived in very decent and fashionable time; that is to

say, after everybody else: but scarce had I set my foot within the door, when I was surrounded by a multitude of harpies : one snatched away my hat, another my gloves, another my newlymounted shag coat, and so on, till I really fancied myself beset by pickpockets ; particularly after the terrible instances we have lately heard of their audacity. This, I afterwards understood, proceeded from Mr. Hudson's particular desire that everybody should be expressly attended to at his coming, and ushered into the Drawing-room with proper ceremony and respect. I am sure we had no reason to complain of any neglect;-two or three smart-looking fellows, in a sort of livery, escorted us up the stairs; and two more, standing like sentinels at the door, introduced us to the whole assemblage of company, not forgetting our names and titles. My uncle, who of course, together with his family, was pretty well known to his neighbours, took the trouble to make apologies to the Host for my unexpected appearance, which, of course, were most graciously received ; and he was pleased to express his happiness at having the honour of seeing Mr. F. Golightly. What a fine thing it would be, thought I to myself, if I could but be a Lord just for a few hours : that little augment to my name would sound so well for an introduction, and carry off any kind of singularity; for what is impudence in a Commoner is nothing but condescension in a Nobleman. I did not continue in this fancy very long, but put up my glass, and took a regular, but rapid reconnoitre; by which I discovered, to my great pleasure, that there were a vast number of people whom I knew nothing about : and I was still more gratified to see one person on the other side of the room, whom I determined, in half a minute, to make my oracle. This was a young man of the name of Brooke, who had been at Eton, and was just released from Oxford; and to whom I had taken a great fancy when I met him a few days before at my uncle's. I was by his side in less than a moment, although I was necessarily impeded by several bows and salutations which I was obliged to make in the course of my passing from one side of the apartment to the other. After we had both settled that we were as well as we possibly could be, I took the liberty to ask him the names of several people, both male and female, which will not interest you very particularly; for the greatest part of them were only remarkable for having long noses, high feathers, odd voices, or something particular either in dress or figure. You cannot imagine how much I missed my old Rawsdon Court friend, Mr. Ormsby. My new substitute was but a very indifferent one, compared to him ; for he could not, or would not give me half the information I desired. In spite of my endeavours to keep him to the subject, he was continually flying off to know how we managed different

« AnteriorContinuar »