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sion for her, and her strange behaviour towards him, did so disorder him, that often he was not master of himself, nor capable of minding business," &c.
Hamilton's malicious wit has pourtrayed her in more lively but not more amiable colours. The occasion of her being raised to the dignity of Duchess of Cleveland is related in his happiest style of badinage. We are told how his most sacred majesty (as Lady Tillietudlem would say), though not over-nice in such matters, and exceedingly fond of peace and quietness in his ménage, began to be somewhat scandalized at the open infidelities of a woman whom he had so publicly distinguished, and ventured a little advice and raillery on the subject of one of her lovers, either Jermyn or Churchill, I forget which. But the imperious Castlemaine took fire instantly, and blazed away like a mine of gunpowder. Instead of defending herself, she attacked the king: she reproached him with the baseness of his penchant, his devotion to such ideots as Miss Stuart, Miss Wells, and that "petite gueuse de Commedienne" (meaning Nell Gwyn); then followed floods of tears, and transports of rage, in which she threatened, like another Medea, to tear her children in pieces, and fire his palace over his head. The king (good easy man!) seldom ventured to contend for peace without paying pretty largely for it-for what was to be done with a fury who on these occasions, all beautiful as she was, resembled Medea much less than one of her dragons? In the present instance, though his attachment to the lady was on the decline, and Miss Stuart reigned the goddess paramount of the day, he was obliged to buy a reconciliation at a dear rate. The Chevalier de Grammont was called in as mediator, and drew up articles of peace, in which it was agreed that Lady Castlemaine's new lover should be sent to make a little tour into the country-that she should raise no more disturbances on the subject of Miss Wells and Miss Stuart, and that, in consideration of so much amiable condescension on the lady's part, she should be raised to the rank of a Duchess, with all the honours and privileges pertaining to the title, and her pension doubled, to enable her to support her new dignity with becoming éclát. She was forthwith created by letters patent Baroness of Nonsuch, Countess of Southampton, and Duchess of Cleveland. The title of Southampton must have doubly gratified her, as having been that of her old enemy the excellent Lord Southampton, who, as treasurer, had frequently excited her utmost displeasure, by refusing to comply with her exorbitant demands for money.
Pepys mentions a circumstance which, though trifling in itself, shows Lady Castlemaine's disposition in a more favourable light-the worst are not wholly bad. On some public festival, at which the court was present, a scaffolding happening to fall, Lady Castlemaine was the only one among the ladies who, from a benevolent impulse, rushed down among the rabble, to see who had been hurt, and took charge of a poor woman's child, who was endangered by the crowd, "which (adds Pepys) methinks was noble !"
* Afterwards Duke of Marlborough. The five thousand pounds which Lady Castlemaine gave him laid the foundation of his greatness, by enabling him to purchase a commission. Yet he was afterwards known to refuse her twenty guineas, which she wanted to borrow from him at Basset.
In another part of his diary, Pepys alludes to a quarrel between Lady Castlemaine and the Duchess of Richmond, (the predecessor of the fair Stuart in that title) which threw the whole court into confusion, "wherein the Duchess of Richmond did call my Lady Castlemaine Jane Shore, and hoped she should live to see her come to the same end." There was some poetical justice in the catastrophe of this too celebrated woman, though the Duchess of Richmond had not the comfort of living to witness it. In her old age she married a man of desperate and profligate character, known by the name of Beau Fielding, who so barbarously ill-treated her, that she was obliged to have recourse to a magistrate for protection against his outrages. She died soon after, neglected and miserable.
The admirable picture before us, which in spirit and composition is one of Lely's happiest efforts, has much of the imperious character of the original. The face is perfectly beautiful, the full rich lips are curled with arrogance and "womanish disdain," and the eyes look from under their drooping lids with a certain fierceness of expression : the action, the attitude, the accompaniments, are all those of a virago : she grasps the spear with the air of an all-conquering beauty, and leans on her shield as if she disdained to use it, while the grand tempestuous sky in the back ground, with broken gleams of light flashing across it, is in admirable keeping with the whole.
Turn we to her fair and dangerous rival-"The Duchess of Richmond, as Diana." The fitness of the character is by all accounts rather problematical, mais passons sur ce chapitre. This is la belle Stuart, the fair mistress Stuart, sometime maid of honour to the Queen, and bosom friend to Lady Castlemaine, who, proud and secure in her own charms, seems to have encouraged her intimacy with the King, till his devoted attachment to her roused all her jealousy and hatred. The fair Stuart was an instance how very small a portion of understanding may make a very finished coquette. At once vain and cold, childish and cunning, she played with the king's passion, and obtained such an absolute ascendancy over him, that when the queen fell dangerously ill, we are told that Miss Stuart was immediately surrounded by the obsequious and rapacious courtiers, and regarded as her probable successor.
There seems to have been but one opinion as to the consummate loveliness of La belle Stuart. So perfect a face and form had never before appeared at court. Nat Lee, the poet, in one of his rapturous dedications, addresses her as a divinity, whose matchless beauty was enough "to make prophets forget their heaven!" Roettieret, the
famous medallist, who was called over to England to cut the die for the new coinage, exhibited her head on the reverse as Britannia; and Walpole says that her profile which the same artist afterwards en
* Mr. Secretary Pepys, who appears to have been a most enthusiastic admirer of Lady Castlemaine, alludes to a picture of her in these terms :-" Went to-day to see the picture of my Lady Castlemaine by Lilly, which methought was a most blessed picture!"
Methought," says Pepys," she was the beautifullest creature that ever I saw in my life!" He even seems disposed to allow her superiority to Lady Castlemaine. See his Diary.
He is sometimes called Philip Roti. He became so passionately enamoured of Miss Stuart while she sat to him, as nearly to lose his senses.
graved for a medal, displays the most perfect face ever seen. Her figure was as exquisite as her face. She danced, walked, dressed to admiration, and sat her horse with peculiar grace. Such a rare combination of the most dazzling charms would have embrasé the whole court; but fortunately for those who were exposed to their influence, Miss Stuart was as frivolous and weak in mind as she was beautiful in person. She had just wit enough to feel her power and abuse it. Her amusements were so childish that De Grammont says, "Tout y etait, hors les poupees." In the presence-chamber she used to employ herself in building houses of cards, while those who wished to secure the good graces of the beautiful favourite were eagerly engaged in supplying her with materials, or affected to imitate her amusement. Buckingham, that universal genius, distinguished himself by his skill in this frail species of architecture, and laid the foundation of his future favour at court, while building card houses for Miss Stuart.
However discomfited by the queen's unexpected recovery, Miss Stuart retained her power over the king, by standing most pertinaciously on the defensive without actually driving him to despair. Her airs, her caprices, her impertinences, her alternate fits of tenderness and hauteur, agitated him to such an excess, that he sometimes appeared at the council-board like a man distracted. He offered titles, which were refused, and presents, which were accepted. He set about reforming his ménage d'amour, in compliance with her affected scruples and pretended jealousy; he gave up Lady Cleveland; he promised to discard his singers and actresses, and other superfluous ladies then on his establishment-in vain! The fair Stuart held out, till, at a critical moment, fortune and the Chevalier de Grammont stepped in to the assistance of his most sacred majesty. De Grammont had just received from Paris a certain caleche, which he presented to the king. Such a caleche, so light, so elegant in its form, so finished in all its appointments, had never before been seen in England; it excited the admiration of the whole court. The queen, the Duchess of Cleveland, and Miss Stuart, were each eager to be the first to exhibit themselves in this wondrous caleche;-the preference was given to Miss Stuart: preference, which, it was scandalously insinuated, cost the fair lady some diminution of that immaculate purity upon which she had hitherto piqued herself. However this may be, it is certain that she had already carried her coquetry with the king even to that extremest verge where a woman looks wondrous wise, and a man wondrous foolish if they stop short; and after the affair of the caleche we hear no more of the fair Stuart's cruelty, till, un beau jour, to the amazement of the court and inexpressible consternation of the king, she eloped from Whitehall, and was secretly married to the Duke of Richmond.
"What dire events from amorous causes spring!"
We are not now to learn, either from tale or history, the caprice of a giddy and profligate woman changed the fate of three kingdoms. The King was transported with rage at a step which seemed to set his power and his love at defiance: all who were suspected of having been privy to the marriage of Miss Stuart with the Duke of Richmond (among whom were some of the king's best friends and wisest coun
sellors, who saw no other means of saving his honour*) were disgraced and banished from court. The great Lord Clarendon was deprived of the seals, and dismissed; and his dismissal was followed by those consequences which paved the way for the Revolution.
So much for the fair Frances Stuart. Her picture does justice to the exquisite beauty which could turn a monarch's head and revolutionize a kingdom. She appears to have been a blonde of the most delicate description: fair yet not insipid, her features are perfectly regular but rather deficient in expression; her hair flows loose; she holds a bow in one hand, and with the other supports her dress as if tripping over the dew. We fancy we can trace in the nymph-like figure that air-de-parure, which excited de Grammont's admiration, as being truly French."
The landscape in this lovely picture is not its least charm-it is beautifully painted, and reminds us as much as Lely can do, of Rubens.
The Clapham Chalybeate.
WHO has e'er been at Clapham must needs know the pond
That belongs to Sir Barnaby Sturch:
'Tis well stock'd with fish; and the Knight's rather fond
Of bobbing for tench and for perch.
When he draws up his line, to decide if all's right,
Moist drops o'er his pantaloons dribble;
Though seldom, if ever, beguiled by a bite,
He now and then boasts of a nibble.
Vulgar mud, very like vulgar men, will encroach,
In process of time it enveloped the roach
Five workmen, well arm'd, and denuded of shoes,
Now fearlessly delved in the flood;
To steal unawares on the Empress of Ooze,
And cart off her insolent inud.
The innocent natives were borne from the bog,
Eel, minnow, and toad, felt the shovel,
And lizard-like eft lay with fugitive frog
In a clay-built extempore hovel.
The men work'd away with their hands and their feet,
And delved in a regular ring:
When lo! as their task work was all but complete,
They waken'd a mineral spring.
"We've found a Chalybeate, sir," cried the men :
"We halt till we know what your wish is"
"Keep it safe," quoth the knight, " till you've finish'd, and then Throw it back with the rest of the fishes."
* Lord Clarendon, in the Continuation of his Life, gives an account of this marriage and his share in it. He suspected the King of an intention to divorce Queen Catherine, on the most shameful pretexts, in order to make way for the elevation of Miss Stuart to the throne.
NARRATIVE OF AN EXCURSION TO THE SUMMIT OF
By Dr. Edmund Clark, and Captain Markham Sherwill.
On a beautiful serene summer evening, we walked up the hill from the town of Neuchatel to La Rochette, a charming villa overhanging the lake. Standing here on the terrace walk, surrounded with exotics of gayest tint and sweetest fragrance, we gazed for the first time on the hoary monarch of the Alps. You look down over a green vineyard, and a poplar colonnade, on the blue surface of the lake; beyond rise the green swelling hills of the opposite shore, and then, far above, the eye roams along a snowy range of Swiss and Savoy Alps, extending more than a hundred miles in the sweep of the distant horizon. The sun gradually descended behind the Jura; we watched in silence the shadow of the horizon spreading slowly upwards from peak to peak; but when all the less lofty summits were clad in sober grey, still the colossal summit of Mont Blanc remained conspicuous, like a bright cloud detached from the earth, and glowing with a warm roseate light in the last rays of sunset. The first view of this splendid panorama is certainly one of the strongest, most expansive, and most delicious sensations of life. The illuminated dome of St. Peter's, as seen on a still night from the Pincian hill, brilliant and majestic as it is, has yet nothing like that deep impressive hold upon the memory. If we were looking for a simile to convey some faint notion of this peculiar glow of the mountain at sunset, might we not feebly express it by saying, that you seem to look at a huge hill of Bologna Phosphorus glowing with mitigated light on a cloudy day?
Approaching Geneva near Malagny, a delightful abode, but more cel ebrated from the fame of the elegant Author who inhabits it, we again enjoyed this gorgeous spectacle. Very many times in our evening promenades about the lake of Geneva and its lovely environs, we saw the Mont Blanc at sunset, but never do I recollect to have seen it tinged with so deep a ruby glow as on that evening. To observe it more attentively, we alighted, ran up through a vineyard, and gazed in silent admiration, till by an insensible gradation of tints a bright ruby red had cooled into a deep violet scarcely less beautiful. At the end of August 1824, we took up our quarters at the excellent Hotel de l'Union, at Chamouni, close to the base of the mountain. The weather, however, proved unpropitious; and having waited several days, during which all the high summits were covered with incessant mist, we mounted our mules on the 26th of August, and prepared to quit the valley by the Col-de-Balme. On approaching the summit of the passage, however, the thick vapours suddenly burst away, and, to our infinite satisfaction, displayed the immense colossal form of the white giant lifting his hoary head in awful majesty, and claiming his rightful reverence as indisputable sovereign of European hills. We lingered long, feasting our eyes with this most sublime spectacle: the huge Dome-du-Goûté, and the vast slopes of snow, glittered like silver in the glorious burst of sunshine. At last we turned away to pursue our route to Martigny, little anticipating that by mere accidental coincidence, on that very day twelvemonth, we should be quietly perched on the loftiest pinnacle of Mont Blanc, and gazing down from a height, from which the summit of the Col-de-Balme, though far more elevated than any British mountain, should appear an insignificant eminence.
From the spire of Milan Cathedral, you see the Monte Rosa, but I think not the Mont Blanc; certainly we saw it not. While crossing the noble river Po, we took a long farewell to the Alps, then of a deep violet tinge in the closing evening; they were soon hid by the intervening Apennines. After the interval of a year, we again joyfully hailed our old hoary acquaintance from the heights of the Superga above Turin, and some time after again took