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some leading members of the Divan. His prosperity at Constantinople, however, was evanescent. His money was soon spent, and he fell into distress. Letters of the most heart-rending kind were written to his friends in Dublin, in which he represented himself as in want of the common means of subsistence. It was in this direful state of destitution, that he addressed himself, in the cemeteries of Constantinople, to a person whom he guessed to be a native of these countries, and whom he discovered to be his fellow-citizen. His condition was lamentable beyond the power of description. His dress was at once the emblem of apostacy and of want. It hung in rags about a person which, from a robust magnitude of frame, had shrunk into miserable diminu、 tion. He carried starvation in his cheeks; ghastliness and misery overspread his features, and despair stared in his glazed and sunken eye. He did not long survive his calamities. The conclusion of his story may be briefly told. For a little while he continued to walk through the streets of Constantinople, in search of nourishment, and haunted its cemeteries like the dogs to which Christians are compared. He had neither food, roof, or raiment. At length he took the desperate resolution of relapsing into Christianity; for he indulged in the hope, that, if he could return to his former faith, and effect his escape from Constantinople, although he could not appear in these countries again, yet, on the Continent, he might obtain at least the means of life from the friends who, although they could not forgive his errors, might take compassion upon his distress. He accordingly endeavoured to fly from Constantinople, and induced some Englishmen who happened to be there, to furnish money enough to effect his escape. But the plot was discovered. He was pursued and taken at a small distance from Constantinople; his head was struck off upon the beach of the Bosphorus, and his body thrown into the sea.
MAIDS OF HONOUR.
A FELLOW in one of O'Keefe's farces (Munden acted him) tells another not to make such a noise, for "he'll wake the Maids of Honour.” This turn always appeared to me wonderfully expressive of the mystery and importance with which those fair personages are invested, the secrecy in which they lie lapped up, and the mixed gravity and surprise with which one regards their very mention when it occurs, which is but rarely. The gravity of the last reign mightily tended to keep up this mysteriousness. People had no definite notion of a Maid of Honour. Was it a Maiden of Honour; or a Lady's Maid of Honour; or what? Were the Maids of Honour old, or young, or middle-aged? Did they wear hoops and lappets? These were the questions that obscurely passed through the minds of the curious. Occasionally, a royal coach, unattended, and somewhat lumbering, was seen in the precincts of the court, or in the suburbs. "A Maid of Honour !" whispered the by-standers, and a glimpse was caught of a head inside, which was always fancied to wear a toupee.
Such is unquestionably the abstract idea of a Maid of Honour; and therefore, one idea being as good as another, and having as many
proofs to bring of its existence, to those who can reason well, such is, as far as one species goes, the Maid of Honour positive. A Maid of Honour, to the general apprehension, is an elderly lady, whose appellation is left involved in a touching mystery, and whose business it is to wait upon queens, take tea, wear a dress of the old school, and occasionally ride out in an old royal carriage, doubtless in mittens, and with her hands crossed.
Persons who pretend to be more in the secret, may laugh at this picture as much as they please. The world are not going to give up their notions for them; nor if they are wise, will they desire it. It was never merry Tory land, since a common opinion came up that a king and queen were like other men and women, looking and dressing in the ordinary way, instead of eternally sitting, as they ought to do, with fine robes on, and a crown and sceptre. The other is the king fantastic. This is the only proper king; and as such, he reigns still in all unsophisticate minds, being the king of little children, and old ladies in the country, and servant maids, and story books, and authors of very great authority. I know one at this minute who denies that there is any other; and who will harangue you by the hour to prove that the commonest prince in Europe, whom you take for an ordinary human being in a coat and trowsers, not better than the rest of us, is no such thing, but invested with a constant splendour and majesty, the halo of a crown being round his head, and he, the author, restraining himself with difficulty from falling at his feet, be the place he stands in never so dirty.
What other Maids of Honour may exist, I do not take upon me to determine; but I grant, that the sisterhood were not always of the above description. In truth, there can be but two real sorts, and those of a very opposite nature. The first are such as I have given an account of; the second, (and some people assert that this is the Maid of Honour natural) are a very lively generation, constantly tormented with a desire to spite and perplex the gravity of their title. I have noticed a similar infirmity in young ladies of the name of Prudence, Patience, and other obligatory baptismals. It is not to be denied, that Maids of Honour, for the most part, have been of this latter species; and I confess, for myself, that from what I know of history and memoirs, and the nature of courts, I find it difficult to entertain that other and staider notion of them, well founded as it is in it's own particular.
Francis the First is said to have been the first prince who brought ladies to court, or made them a part of the establishment. You will find plenty of notices of them in the works of Clement Marot, very lively. I have a notion, that the two sisters who were married to Chaucer and John of Gaunt, one of them under peculiar circumstances, were something to our purpose; but it is certain, that the first Maid of Honour, whom the history of England speaks of under that title, was a very sprightly person, and may well go at the head of the train that are to follow; to wit, Anna Bullen. The next that we hear of is one of Elizabeth's Maids of Honour, not a whit duller, for she attracted Sir Walter Raleigh,—a young lady of the Throckmorton family. Sir Walter is said to have seduced her; but it was not a seduction in the worst sense, for he behaved like a gentleman, and took her to wife. This was in the taste of the romances, which old cock-fighting Roger
Ascham abused.* Under James there were very ill manners at court; and my Maids of Honour, I fear, were a little given to strong waters and other disconsolate gaieties; frightful evidences of their situation now and then taking place even in public. On one occasion, during the performance of a court allegory, "Temperance" was very drunk. Under Charles they took new bud, something very pretty between court licence and maiden coyness; and very pretty cupids were set fluttering among them by the Carews and Sucklings. But under Charles the IId, how they burst forth in the noontide of that French garden, baring their bosoms, and flaunting in one's very face! They would laugh at Clarendon himself out of the window, till all the bile of his virtue and beef-eating was roused within him. Then did the Maids of Honour furnish history for Madame Dunois, and the Count de Grammont. Then did they carouse all night, and even masquerade it by day. Then did they seek adventures in fairs and in city, dressing themselves like orange-girls, and sometimes like men. Then, in short, did they perplex Mr. Pepys, and make Evelyn hasten to shake the dust off his feet out of their borders. But let the curious and exclamatory Pepys (no averse person either to your giggling damsels) speak for himself.
"26th, (October, 1664.)-At Woolwich; I there up to the King and Duke. Here I stayed above with them while the ship was launched, which was done with great success, and the King did very much like the ship, saying, she had the best bow that ever he saw. But Lord! the sorry talk and discourse among the great courtiers round about him, without any reverence in the world, but with so much disorder. By-and-by the Queen comes, and her Maids of Honour; one whereof, Mrs. Boynton,+ and the Duchess of Buckingham, had been very sick coming by water in the barge, (the water being very rough); but what silly sport they made with them in very common terms, methought, was very poor, and below what people think these great people say and do." Vol. 1. p. 316.
A little while after, he alludes to an adventure which is related in Grammont :
21st, (February, 1664-5.)—My Lady Sandwich tells me how my Lord Castlemaine is coming over from France, and is believed will soon be made friends with his lady again. What mad freaks the Maids of Honour at court have: that Mrs. Jenings,‡ one of the Duchess's maids, the other day, dressed herself like an orange wench, and went up and down, and cried oranges; till, falling down, or by some accident, her fine shoes were discerned, and she put to a great deal of shame; that such as these tricks being ordinary, and worse among them, thereby few will venture upon them for wives: my Lady Castlemaine will in merriment say, that her daughter (not above a year old or two) will be the first maid in the court that will be married." Vol. 1. p. 331.
The next freak recorded is less perilous, but not so pleasant:
"11th, (June, 1666.)—Walking in the galleries of Whitehall, I find the Ladies of Honour dressed in their riding garbs, with coats and doublets, with * See a beautiful passage at the close of one of the chapters of Mr. Southey's Amedis of Gaul.
+ Mentioned in Grammont, under the title of the "Languishing Boynton." Frances Jennings, sister of the Sarah Jennings who was afterwards Duchess of Marlborough. She married, however, like all the other honourable maids. Her first husband was George Hamilton, brother of the author of Grammont's Memoirs: her second, Richard Talbot, afterwards Duke of Tyrconnel.
deep skirts, just for all the world like mine, and buttoned their doublets up the breast, with periwigs and with hats; so that, only for a long petticoat dragging under their men's coats, nobody could take them for women in any point whatever; which was an odd sight, and a sight did not please It was Mrs. Wells and another fine lady that I saw thus." Vol. 1. page 417.
The conclusion of the following is innocent :
"4th, (March, 1668-9.)-Going out, did meet Sir Jer. Smith going to meet me, who had newly been with Sir W. Coventry. And so he and I by water to Redriffe, and so walked to Deptford, where I have not been, I think, these twelve months; and there to the treasurer's house, where the Duke of York is, and his Duchess ;* and there we find them at dinner in the great room, unhung; and there was with them my Lady Duchess of Monmouth, the Countess of Falmouth, Castlemaine, Henrietta Hide, my Lady Hinchinbroke's sister, and my Lady Peterborough. And after dinner, Sir Jer. Smith and I were invited down to dinner with some of the Maids of Honour, namely, Mrs. Ogle, Blake, and Howard (which did me good to have the honour to dine with and look on); and the mother of the maids, and Mrs. Howard, the mother of the Maid of Honour of that name, and the Duke's housekeeper here. Here was also Monsieur Blancfort, Sir Richard Powell, Colonel Villers, Sir Jonathan Trelawny, and others. And here drank most excellent, and great variety, and plenty of wines, more than I have drunk at once these seven years, but yet did me no great hurt. Having dined very merrily, and understanding by Blancfort how angry the Duke of York was about their offering to send Saville to the Gate-house among the rogues; and then, observing how this company, both the ladies and all, are of a gang, and did drink a health to the union of the two brothers, and talking of others as their enemies, they parted, and so we up; and there I did find the Duke of York and Duchess, with all the great ladies, sitting upon a carpet on the ground, there being no chairs, playing at " I love my love with an A, because he is so and so; and I hate him with an A, because of this and that ;" and some of them, but particularly the Duchess herself and my Lady Castlemaine, were very witty." Vol. 2. p. 310.
Pretty and pastoral! but ye take me not in, thus
I cannot patronize my Maids of Honour in those times. They go too far for me, on horseback and on foot. O willing but dissatisfied Pepys, I agree with thee. O Mistress Wells, with thee, had I lived in those times, I would not have ridden! Miss Price and Miss Jennings, be quiet!" Languishing Boynton," in vain wouldst thou have languished, sick or well. I have no faith in those sleepy eyes of thine looking out of the corners. Ye have shoulders for all, and hearts for none; which is what I cannot put up with. How have time and circumstance, and the despair of men of the world, spoiled your pretty faces, and made their handsomeness ugly! Ye have no faith in any thing better than intrigue and a saraband; and therefore I have none in you.
Maids of Honour of the time of Pope and "my good Howard," (as Queen Caroline somewhat spitefully, but not the less truly, called thee), let me take refuge in your uproarious, but at the same time more cordial circle. I approve not of ye all. There is still a foreign grossness in some of ye. On one kind of licence I am intolerant and not
* Anne Hyde, Clarendon's daughter.
to be appeased, especially in conversation with females. Miss Bradshaw I alternately laugh with and hate. Even the charming Bellenden startleth me. Of Miss Howe, uproarious though she was, I think I could have made something; for did she not blurt out every thing in her gaiety? and, after all, notwithstanding her gaiety, did she not die of a sad heart? Even the prudery of Miss Meadows hath an improvement in it, compared with those other lavish times. Mary Lepell, the graceful and the witty, swims me away with her eyes and her hoop-petticoat; and lovely Henrietta Hobart +, the kind, the candid, the open-faced, the suffering, yet the even-tempered, whom the wives of those that were in love with her loved, and for whom Lord Peterborough entertained a romantic passion, when she was not young, and he was old,—commend me to his memory, for I am in love with her too. I wonder not at your desperate mirth when ye got together, for a dull time ye must have had of it "in the presence,' especially when the presence undertook to be lively. Charming Mary Bellenden, never wert thou more charming than when thou didst overthrow the guineas that the royal miser was counting, and so run away. O Nancy Vane, vain as thou wert, and a bit of a hypocrite to boot, how couldst thou consent to look fond on a countenance like that of the Prince of Wales ‡, and have a child christened FitzFrederick! Let me think of your fair coterie in company with their proper associates, the wits and the poets. Lo! how they issue from the meadows of Twickenham, and come down from the groves of Richmond, to welcome home the new conqueror of Troy! Gay is the master of the ceremonies.
What lady's that, to whom he gently bends?
Who knows not her? ah! those are Wortley's eyes:
The sweet-tongued Murray near her side attends;
With thee, youth's youngest daughter, sweet Lepell.
I see two lovely sisters, hand in hand,
The fair-haired Martha, and Teresa brown;
Madge Bellenden, the tallest of the land;
And smiling Mary, soft and fair as down.
Yonder I see the cheerful Duchess stand,
For friendship, zeal, and blithsome humours known:
See next the decent Scudamore advance,
With her perhaps Miss Howe came there by chance,
* Afterwards Lady Hervey, whose letters have been lately published.
+ Afterwards the celebrated Mrs. Howard and Countess of Suffolk. See her correspondence in two volumes..
See his portrait in the supplementary volume to Bowles's Pope. It is that of
a smirking idiot, scarcely human.