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and I said, 'Then I have the honor of speaking to Lord Byron?' he bowed and
said, Why did you not mention in this letter the length, beam, depth, &c., of your schooner, which you say is twice as large as this?'
"Well, I might have done so, certainly, my lord, but you merely said tonnage, and then saying you could build one for £800 put me out; this has cost you more.' 'Double,' said his lordship, and not yet finished.' This schooner turned out afterward a very dull sailer. ARMSTRONG."
NOTICES OF LORDS HOLLAND, GREY, LANSDOWNE, ERSKINE AND MR. PERRY, IN THE HANDWRITING OF COUNT D'ORSAY: THE LATTER PROBABLY THE PRODUCTION OF LADY BLESSINGTON.
C'est impossible de connaître Lord Holland sans éprouver pour lui un vif sentiment de bienveillance; il a tant de bonhomie que l'on oublie souvent les qualités superieures qui le distinguent, et c'est difficile de se rappeller que l'homme si simple, si quièt, si naturel, et si bon, soit un des senateurs les plus estimés de nos jours.
Si M. B. Constant eut mieux connu Lord Grey, il ne voudrait pas laisser ses droits à l'estime et à l'admiration de la posterité rester sur la limite bornée d'un orateur eloquent. Ci titre, qui est le plus beau pour beaucoup d'autres, est le moindre pour Lord Grey, qui est reconnu en outre pour ses principes nobles et inalterables, dignes et éclaircis, et par une grandeur de caractère qui force le respect même de ses ennemis, et inspire l'admiration de ceux qui sont honorés de son amitié. Quand je parle de ses ennemis je devrais dire ceux de la liberté et de la justice pour laquelle il est le vrai champion, sans peur et sans reproche.
Mr. Perry a bien merité cet éloge. Je l'ai beaucoup connu. Sa vie privée était aussi aimable que son caractère public était digne et respectable. Il est mort dans l'année 1821, après une longue maladie, regretté par tous ses amis nombreux, et estimé par tous ceux au quels son nom était connu.
MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE.
Le Marquis de Lansdowne a bien realisé les ésperances données par Lord Henry Petty. Honnête, sage, franc, liberal, moderé, et surtout toujours consistant, il offre un vrai modele d'un homme d'etat. Il est bien rare de trouver un homme qui unit autant de connaissances profondes et variés et de talents distingués avec un caractère aussi doux, si égal, et si digne.
Lord Erskine n'était pas moins remarquable pour son grand esprit et son savoir, qui ont si bien éclairci les lois, et si courageusement defendu la liberté de son pays, que pour sa bonté de cœur, et generosité de caractère. Donné de tous les talents les plus brillants, qui le rendait le charme dans chaque societé, par sa conversation, qui laissait toujours dans l'esprit de ceux avec lesquels il parlait des images frappantes, lumineuses, et agréables, il est mort en 1824, suivi dans le tombeau par les regrets de tous ceux qui venerent le genie, qui respectent les talents, et qui admirent leur union avec les meilleures qualités du cœur.
MADAME DU DEFFAND AND MADAME GEOFFRIN.
MADAME DU DEFFAND.
Lord John Russell, in his "Life of Lord William Russell" (Pref., ix.), tells us, "What most contributes to render biography amusing is a certain singularity, and some degree of forwardness and presumption in the hero."
Campbell said to me, when he was preparing for the press his biography of Mrs. Siddons, "The uniform propriety of my heroine admits of no incidents which her biographer can avail himself of to create an interest and an excitement for the public."
Madame du Deffand can not be complained of in those respects by any of the numerous tribe of writers of memoires pour servir. There is a certain singularity, some degree of forwardness and presumption in the heroine, and certainly no lack of indecorum in her at any period of her career. It always seemed to me this singular woman's power and dominion in the exalted circle over which she presided was owing, in a very great degree, to the fear she inspired, and the belligerent qualities that were mixed up with her personal attractions.
"Many things," it is said, "are regarded with awe and deference, mainly, perhaps, on account of the occasional arrogance of dogmatism bred in solitary ruminations, and promulgated with an oracular tone and air." Many women, too, and ladies of brilliant salons in particular, may inspire sentiments of admiration-wonder-a sense of subjection to their powers, by an exercise of their talents that would be intolerably pretentious and presuming, overbearing and unbearable, only for the beauty, gracefulness, or esprit that accompanies it. We need not travel to France, or go back to the days of Louis XV. or XVI. for instances of this sort of dominion in society, and admiration, mingled with apprehension, excited by it.
The great enemy of Madame de Geoffrin, because her successful competitor in the Parisian salons of literature and philosophy à la mode about a century ago, Madame la Marquise du Deffand, in fashionable society a queen,
having dominion over men of the first order of intellect in her time, had been, for a short period only, a mistress of the regent; and throughout a long career, a woman of wit, of remarkable powers of conversation, wonderful vivacity, and extraordinary agremens, considering that for a considerable period of that prolonged career she had been stone blind. In her old age and blindness she went to operas, plays, balls, and public entertainments. When she was obliged to give these up, she had parties and conversaziones at her own house, gave suppers twice a week, had all new works read to her, and approached eternity making epigrams, songs, and jeux d'esprit, corresponding with Voltaire, and laughing at the superstitious mummeries of religious rites and cer
Madame du Deffand was born in 1697; she died in 1780, retaining to the last her vivacity, conversational power, love of literary society, and repugnance to religion and its ministers.
Madame du Deffand has been immortalized in memoir notoriety by the Baron Grimm and Horace Walpole. The hotel in Paris of the Marquise du Deffand, about the middle of the last century, was the head-quarters of the fashionable infidel philosophy, the political gallantry, and sprightly literature of the day. Her salons were the resort of wits, wags, savants, and literati. In 1754, this patroness of literature à la mode, renowned no less for her hospitality, her influence over men in power, her gallantry, and the grace and elegance of her manners and appearance, was totally deprived of sight. She continued, however, the role of a bel esprit, received intellectual celebrities of all nations at her salons as heretofore, and corresponded with distinguished people, with some in very impassioned language-Horace Walpole, especially, among the number-for a great many years subsequent to her blindness, from 1766 to 1780. In 1769 Walpole thus describes Madame du Deffand:
She makes songs, sings them, remembers all that ever were made; and having lived from the most agreeable to the most reasoning age, has all that was amiable in the last, all that is sensible in this, without the vanity of the former, or the pedant impertinence of the latter. I have heard her dispute with all sorts of people on all sorts of subjects, and never knew her in the wrong. She humbles the learned, sets right their disciples, and finds conversation for every body. Affectionate as Madame de Sevigné, she has none of her prejudices, but a more universal taste; and with the most delicate frame, her spirits hurry her through a life of fatigue that would kill me if I was to continue here."*
'In a dispute, into which she easily falls, she is very warm, and yet scarce ever in the wrong; but judgment on every subject is as just as possible, in every point of conduct as wrong as possible; for she is all love and hatred; passionate for all her friends to enthusiasm; still anxious to be loved-I don't mean by lovers; and a vehement enemy, but open. As she can have no amusement but conversation, the least solitude and ennui are insupportable to her, * Memoirs of Horace Walpole, by Warburton, vol. ii., p. 316. VOL II-Y
and put her into the power of several worthless people, who eat her suppers when they can eat nobody's of higher rank, wink to one another, and laugh at her; hate her because she has forty times more parts, and venture to hate her because she is not rich."*
An able writer in the "Quarterly Review" for May, 1811, describes the intellectual qualities of Madame Geoffrin in the following terms: "This lady seems to have united the lightness of the French character with the solidity of the English. She was easy and volatile, yet judicious and acute; sometimes profound, and sometimes superficial. She had a wit, playful, abundant, well toned; an admirable conception of the ridiculous, and great skill in exposing it; a turn for satire, which she indulged not always in the best-natured manner, yet with irresistible effect; powers of expression varied, appropriate, flowing from the source, and curious without research; a refined taste for letters, and a judgment both for men and books in a high degree enlightened and accurate. As her parts had been happily thrown together by nature, they were no less happy in the circumstances which attended their progress and development. They were refined, not by a course of solitary study, but by desultory reading, and chiefly by living intercourse with the brightest geniuses of her age. Thus trained, they acquired a pliability or movement which gave to all their exertions a bewitching air of freedom and negligence, and made even their faults seem only the exuberances or flowerings-off of a mind capable of higher excellencies, but unambitious to attain them. There was nothing to alarm or overpower. On whatever topic she touched, whether trivial or severe, it was alike en badinant; but in the midst of this sportiveness, her genius poured itself forth in a thousand delightful fancies, and scattered new graces and ornaments on every object within its sphere. In its wanderings from the trifles of the day to grave questions of morals or philosophy, it carelessly struck out, and as carelessly abandoned, the most profound truths; and while it aimed only to amuse, suddenly astonished and electrified by rapid traits of illumination, which opened the depths of physical subjects, and roused the researches of more systematic reasoners. To these qualifications were added an independence in forming opinions, and a boldness in avowing them, which wore at least the resemblance of honesty; a perfect knowledge of the world, and that facility of manners which, in the commerce of society, supplies the place of benevolence."
Horace Walpole thus speaks of Madame Geoffrin: "Madame Geoffrin, of whom you have heard much, is an extraordinary woman, with more common sense than I almost ever met with."
* Memoirs of Horace Walpole, by Warburton, vol. ii., p. 278.
EDWARD RUSHTON, OF LIVERPOOL.
The memory of this illustrious man of humble rank and fortune is indebted to a correspondent of Lady Blessington for a well-written notice of his merits, and some eulogistic lines not devoid of truth and poetry.
This communication is signed "Thomas Noble," and dated the 2d of December, 1844.
"The man to whom these lines are a sincere tribute, united, in a perfection of which there are few examples, those distinguishing characteristics of a reasoning, sensitive being, fortitude and affection. His mind and his heart were equally capacious; the former, endowed with activity and energy of thought, was comprehensive of every moral and political truth; the latter, excited by the purest benevolence, was ardent in domestic love; open, liberal, and independent in social intercourse; boundless in devotion to the freedom and welfare of mankind, his soul had an elasticity of temperament which not bodily infirmity, nor misfortune, nor even affliction could subdue.
"It was this, his elasticity of soul, that has imparted to his poetic composition an unabating vigor of expression. With indignation against the oppressions of mankind, the perverters of intellect, the subjugators of reason, the violators of humble affection, and plunderers of industry, he who, 'midst clouds of utter night,' well knew what mournful moments wait the blind, poured forth from his luminous and contemplative mind eloquent streams of reproof, of commiseration, of hope to the wretched, and of freedom to the enslaved.
"I knew him for little more than three years, but it required only to know him once to esteem him forever. The generous liberality of his opinions proved in an instant the extent as well as the strength of the principles on which they were founded.
"For my own part, I felt immediately convinced that he had taken his stand with Truth, and that he had the tenacity of mind ever to abide by her. I was not deceived: what he was one day, that he was continually; and had he lived, my esteem for him could not have increased.
"In his death, what an example of sincerity, energy, and independence have not I, and all who knew him, to deplore? THOMAS NOBLE."
"Is there a spot to thee, O Freedom, known,
Is there a spot uncursed by martial fame,