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When, at parting from me on the above night, Nancy shook her head in reply to my question, whether she would "come and take a walk with me?"-I had the sense to know that she meant " and I waited as patiently for the coming of the next night, as the female dove waits for the unclosing of her "golden couplets;" for, like her, I knew instinctively that the blessed moment would come, and when it would come. And it did come.-We met the next night, and walked together towards one of the bridges (if I were to say which of then, we might be getting too near home);—she, all the way, inquiring what it was I wanted with her; and I, all the way, feeling, but not knowing how to say, that, now I was with her, I had not a want in the world. I remember, as if it were but yesterday, that, when we came to the other side of the bridge, we could no longer walk along quietly, my arm linked in her's ;-(for, as I was " only a boy," she permitted this)—but that, as if by a mutual and simultaneous impulse, we set off-(like two long-confined greyhounds when they feel their feet once more on the turf)-scampering along the road in the rich moonlight, hand in hand. I remember the very ringing sounds that my feet made, as I wilfully stamped them on the frosty road,-as the young lambs in spring stamp their little feet on the ground, from the very excess of inward joy. I remember, too, that her feet made no sound at all. Best of all I remember, that, when we could run no farther for want of breath, we stopped short to laugh out aloud; and that then I asked her if her heart did not beat very hard; and that I longed, but did not dare, to ask her if I might feel whether or not it beat as hard as mine did!Does the reader exclaim, that all this is
And dallies with the innocence of love?"
Not if he is, or ever has been, a lover. And it is for the benefit of such alone that these Confessions are made. I am well content that, to all others, they should be "caviare;" as all that they can have to confess would be to me.
I am afraid the reader will be more surprised than amused, at hearing how this, my first" affair of the heart," ended. In truth, it ended as mine always have done; and as I fear, in spite of dear-bought experience, they always will do:-namely, just where it ought to have begun. There is an ancient axiom, which says, that nothing can come of nothing" Ex nihilo nihil fit." I would fain match this with a modern one, not so generally applicable perhaps; but at least equally true, in particular cases: viz. that nothing can come of any thing. The ancient axiom is, in fact, far from being so true generally, as the modern one is in the particular cases to which this latter applies at all. With relation to many persons and things, it is evident that much may come of "nothing;" and in regard to that other class of persons to whom I refer, it is equally clear, that nothing can come even of much. Their whole being is made up of beginnings; "never ending, still beginning," they begin and begin, till at last they end exactly where they began-beginning to live when they are called upon to die. And thus, alas! it is with me, and with these several " stories of my love." I am loth to exhibit them in their present form; and would willingly have thrown them into the shape of fictitious narratives-thus avoiding the egotism which necessarily besets them, and at the same time giving my
self an opportunity of adding and embellishing, in the approved modern taste. But this would not be. Even Mr. Coleridge himself, who can make any thing out of nothing, and nothing out of any thing, might in vain have attempted to work up these " phantoms of the brain," (for facts as they are, in common language, they are, in fact, nothing less)— into regular tales; for they have neither middles nor ends-they have only beginnings. In relating them, I have no occasion to attend to the giant's advice in Rabelais, to " commencer au commencement;" for I can neither begin nor finish any where else. If I were ever so disposed to plunge" in medias res," it may not so be.-There will be, at all events, one advantage attending this; particularly to those who may peruse my Confessions merely as a matter of curiosity. If they should once find their curiosity excited, they may confidently reckon upon its always remaining so,-for it will never be satisfied. The misery of arriving at the last page of a modern romance, usually more than counterbalances the pleasure which has been experienced during the perusal of it; for every character in it, about whom we have felt any interest, has by this time become either married or buried, and we care no more about them. But the reader need not apprehend any thing of this kind happening during the several chapters of this my Romance of Real Life;-not even in the last. And, as I shall certainly not leave off loving till one or other of these events befals me, I shall, by the same rule, not leave off having Confessions to make, and making them.
I shall abruptly close this paper here; otherwise it will be running to an unreasonable length. And I do so the rather, because I would, for once, lay down my pen at a point where I shall not tremble to take it up again. In spite of what I have said at the beginning of this paper, the "ricordarsi del tempo felice" has not been absolutely without its delight, though it has been done" nella miseria ;" and I receive this as a good augury. The truth is, that if a gleam of sunshine breaks through surrounding clouds but for a single moment, during that moment it will perform its office-it will cheer, and warm, and enlighten. The clouds may perhaps look blacker after it is gone; but there is no denying or forgetting that it has been there. Z.
ΤΟ A LADY PROFESSING HER BELIEF IN ASTROLOGY.
'Tis eve, and the stars that illumine the night
Diffuse a soft lustre around:
You tell me, dear maid, in those bodies of light
The secrets of fate may be found;
If so, I believe in your bright orbs of blue
So for once I will e'en turn astrologer too,
And study my doom in your eyes.
No science is surely so pleasing as this,
But yet 'tis obscure and perplext,
One moment I read in it rapture and bliss,
And falsehood and sorrow the next :
You smile-now my stars a bright aspect assume,
Then come, dear astrologer, tell me my doom,
MEMOIRS OF GEORGE II. BY LORD WALPOLE.
Ir is only a few months since the attention of the public was called to the Memoirs, by Lord Waldegrave, of the Reign of George the Second. Scanty, and, in some measure, bald as they were, they nevertheless excited a strong degree of interest, on account of the perfect integrity, and simplicity of character, which distinguished their illustrious author; and the consideration that he had not only been an eye-witness, but also an actor in all the scenes which he has described. The same period is now laid open, the same characters exhibited, the same cabals penetrated, by a writer of very different disposition and pursuits; but who had the same advantage of being at once spectator and actor in the busy drama which he delineates; and who, if he had not Lord Waldegrave's habitual integrity of judgment, was at least gifted with that native quickness of discernment which enabled him to trace effects, even though he mistook the cause; and with that liveliness of imagination which prevents his mistakes from being mischievous, by at once revealing the impressions under which he conceived them. We allude to the "Memoirs of the last ten years of the reign of George the Second," just now given to the world, with the name of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford, for their author; decked out in all the elegance of type and decoration which might be looked for from the private press of Strawberry-hill itself, and under circumstances which preclude the most sceptical from entertaining doubts as to their authenticity.
The period of which they particularly treat is, in itself, at this distance of time, but little interesting; being destitute of great events, or any extraordinary features that may be supposed to have extended their influence to the present day. The petty cabals called forth by the forming of an establishment for the Prince of Wales, and, after his death, for his son George, are made, for want of more important matter of dispute, of as much consequence as if they were national feuds, endangering the safety of the state, instead of the salaries of a few domestics, or the nominal dignity of higher officers of the household. Nevertheless, it is always instructive to see how easily the passions of mankind are brought into play, by trifles almost as much as by matters of importance: and even erroneous opinions have their uses, as well as those which are just; if the reader be enabled to see in what respect their erroneousness consists, and to unravel the circumstances which have led to the assumption of them. On all these accounts Lord Orford's work is, to a certain degree, interesting and valuable. It is one of the many, from which the judicious historian may glean occasionally information of importance, and oftener still, the lighter personal anecdotes which relieve the dry details of state negotiations, like flowers unexpectedly springing on a barren heath. The picture of the royal family, as delineated by the spirited pencil of this author, so famous for conveying a likeness by almost a stroke, contains not one amiable portrait. The King acknowledged that he never liked his children when they were young; though the period of infancy is generally fraught with attractions, even to an uninterested observer of its graces; and as his family grew up, the feuds between him and his eldest son early initiated them all into the petty arts of
intrigues, backbiting, jealousies, and suspicions. The character of the King himself, as drawn by Horace Walpole, differs from that given of him by Lord Waldegrave, only as an object would naturally be changed by looking at it through a different-coloured medium: the outline is the same, but all the tints are heightened. The good-nature of Lord Waldegrave, and the habitual satire of Horace Walpole, are distinctly marked in each performance.
"The King had fewer sensations of revenge, or, at least, knew how to hoard them better than any man who ever sat upon a throne. The insults he experienced from his own, and those obliged servants, never provoked him enough to make him venture the repose of his people, or his own. If any object of his hate fell in his way, he did not pique himself upon heroic forgiveness, but would indulge it at the expence of his integrity, though not of his safety. He was reckoned strictly honest; but the burning his father's will must be an indelible blot upon his memory; as a much later instance of his refusing to pardon a young man who had been condemned at Oxford for a most trifling forgery, contrary to all example when recommended to mercy by the Judge-merely because Willes, who was attached to the Prince of Wales, had tried him, and assured him his pardon-will stamp his name with cruelty, though in general his disposition was mercifull, if the offence was not murder. His avarice was much less equivocal than his courage: he had distinguished the latter early; it grew more doubtfull afterwards: the former he distinguished very near as soon, and never deviated from it. His understanding was not near so deficient, as it was imagined; but though his character changed extremely in the world, it was without foundation; for [whether] he deserved to be so much ridiculed as he had been in the former part of his reign, or so respected as in the latter, he was consistent in himself, and uniformly meritorious or absurd. His other passions were, Germany, the army, and women. Both the latter had a mixture of parade in them: he [treated] my Lady Suffolk, and afterwards Lady Yarmouth, as his mistresses, while he admired only the Queen; and never described what he thought was a handsome woman, but he drew her picture. Lady Suffolk was sensible, artfull, and agreeable, but had neither sense nor art enough to make him think her so agreeable as his wife. When she had left him, tired of acting the mistress, while she had in reality all the slights of a wife, and no interest with him, the opposition affected to cry up her virtue, and the obligations the King had to her for consenting to seem his mistress, while in reality she had confined him to meer friendship-a ridiculous pretence, as he was the last man in the world to have taste for talking sentiments, and that with a woman who was deaf! Ledy Yarmouth was inoffensive, and attentive only to pleasing him, and to selling peerages whenever she had an opportunity. The Queen had been admired and happy for governing him by address; and it was not then known how easily he was to be governed by fear. Indeed there were few arts by which he was not governed at some time or other of his life; for not to mention the late Duke of Argyle, who grew a favourite by imposing himself upon him for brave; nor Lord Wilmington, who imposed himself upon him for the Lord knows what; the Queen governed him by dissimulation, by affected tenderness and deference: Sir Robert Walpole by abilities and influence in the House of Commons; Lord Granville by flattering him in his German politics; the Duke of Newcastle by teazing and betraying him; Mr. Pelham by bullying him,-the only man by whom Mr. Pelham was not bullied himself. Who, indeed, had not sometimes weight with the King, except his children and his mistresses? With them he maintained all the reserve and majesty of his rank. He had the haughtiness of Henry the Eighth, without his spirit; the avarice of Henry the Seventh, without his exactions; the indignities of Charles the First, without his bigotry for his prerogative; the vexations of King William, with as little skill in the manage
ment of parties; and the gross gallantry of his father, without his goodnature or his honesty:-he might, perhaps, have been honest, if he had never hated his father, or had ever loved his son.
The Queen seems to have taken a lesson in the art of hypocritical submission, from Madame de Maintenon, who, all the time that she was secretly married to Louis the Fourteenth, sat "with spectacles on nose," and in all the affected silence and humility of a sempstress, at her embroidering frame, in a corner of the room where the monarch listened, with assumed greatness, to those political communications on which he was all the while resolved to be guided by her sole decision. The Queen always affected, if any body was present, and the King liked she should, the humble, ignorant wife, that never meddled with politics. The Duke of Grafton, who possessed as much acuteness in discovering the foibles of persons around him, as wit in rallying them, annoyed the Queen greatly, by making her feel that he saw through all her assumed qualities. Looking upon himself as of the blood royal, he conversed with her in a tone of familiarity by no means agreeable to her, particularly as she was extremely angry with him on account of the gallantry in which he indulged with the Princess Amelia, her second daughter. The duke, however, cared as little for her real displeasure, as for her feigned civilities. "He always teazed her, and insisted that she loved nobody. He had got a story of some prince in Germany, that she had been in love with before her marriage: "G*d, madam," he used to say, "I wish I could have seen that man that you could love!"- "Why," replied she, "do you think I don't love the King?"—" G*d, I wish I was King of France, and I would be sure whether you do or not." (Vol. i. p. 159.) Her love for the King was certainly not of that delicate kind which shrinks from the idea of participation; as she carried her complaisance towards his mistresses so far, that Blackbourn, the Archbishop of York, thought proper, whether in his spiritual capacity or not is not stated, to congratulate her upon it, telling her "That he had been talking to her minister Walpole about the new mistress, (Lady Yarmouth,) and was glad to find that her majesty was so sensible a woman as to like her husband should divert himself." (Vol. i. p. 513.) The King returned her forbearance by unlimited confidence in her, insomuch that Mrs. Selwyn, one of the bedchamber-women, told him he should be the last man with whom she would have an intrigue, because he always told the Queen; indeed, his conduct as a lover was at all times too cool and methodical to wound any passion in the Queen but her vanity, which, however, it did sorely; though even that might have found consolation when she saw her royal spouse walking calmly up and down the gallery, with his watch in his hand, waiting for his regular hour of seven o'clock, to visit Lady Suffolk, without even evincing the slightest inclination to break through his accustomed rule, by going to her a single minute before his usual time.
In a subsequent part of his Memoirs, Lord Orford speaks somewhat more favourably of the King, and tries to rescue him from the imputation of avarice, on the score of his leaving but little property behind him, notwithstanding the great income, which, from various sources, he was in the receipt of: a circumstance very frequently attendant on royal riches, which seem to possess, in a peculiar degree, not only the