« AnteriorContinuar »
LETTERS FROM MISS LANDON TO LADY "28 Upper Berkeley Street West, Connaught Square. "MY DEAR MADAM,—I will not attempt an apology for the liberty that I am about to take; your own kindness will be my best advocate, and to that I venture to appeal. My request is, do you, in the circle of your acquaintance, know one who could and would give me an introduction to Lord Cottenham ? The fact is, there is a living in his gift just become vacant, in Devonshire, where [ ] has been for the last five years, and I have been led to hope that a little recommendation would procure it for him. I am perfectly well aware that I have not the shadow of a claim to make such a petition; but I do think, that if you know the numerous difficulties with which we have had to struggle-left to ourselves, almost children, without a friend but what we could make for ourselves, or a resource but in my exertions-our path through life has been a very hard one. Very probably you may not know, or not like to ask any friend of Lord Cottenham, but I feel assured that you will pardon my intrusion; and will your ladyship allow me to remain your obliged "L. E. LANDON."
(No date.) "28 Upper Berkeley Street West, Connaught Square. "DEAR LADY BLESSINGTON,-I can not say how grateful I am to you. I could not have believed such kindness had I not received it. My only excuse for troubling you was the almost hopelessness of my position unless I could make for myself friends, though I little hoped to have found such a friend as I have in you.
"I am writing in great haste, for a friend has suggested the possibility of [ ] being appointed secretary to the Literary Fund. Such an appointment would give him time to look round, and save us from the very heavy pressure of our present circumstances. I venture to inclose a list of the influential people at the Fund. If there is only one among them whom your ladyship could interest, it would be a great service. I put a cross against those whom I can reach myself.
"Many, many thanks for the letters. I shall yet further intrude on your kindness. I am writing a letter to Lord Melbourne, which perhaps his nephew would place in his hands. But this is for after-consideration. And I shall entreat you to glance over a few letters, bearing testimony to [ J's character and abilities.
"Again let me offer the earnest thanks of
L. E. LANDON."
DEAR MADAM,-We have troubled you so often that it seems quite a privilege, but I am only desirous of laying before you the list of [ J's testimonials. I now inclose one or two. We find, from the meeting of the coun cil on Wednesday last, that the opposition is even stronger than we anticipaVOL. II.-D
ted. We have the whole of the dissenting interest against us and with them. [ ] has two grave faults; he is a clergyman and a gentleman. Our stronghold is with the presidents. If they can be prevailed on to vote, we are certain of success; if not, the majority is decidedly against us.
"I fear that there is some mistake about Lord Carrington-hearing that he supports the other candidate; perhaps he might be neutralized. Lord Ellenborough would be a great object if Count D'Orsay thought he could be induced to vote, for our great difficulty will be, when the day of election comes, to induce them to take the trouble of coming down to vote. Lord Mulgrave's vote will not avail; but it would be a great service if he could be induced to write a few lines, expressing his interest in Mr. [ ], and advocating his claims on literary grounds. Nothing but the vital consequences of success to us would excuse my thus troubling you. I fear that you will exclaim that I want you to quote and act Hector's speech, and say,
"That post shall be my care; Not that alone, but all the posts of war.'
Indeed, but for your kindness, our chances of success would have been very small.
"I have inclosed Dr. Taylor's letter, as it will give you an idea of how the contest stands. The unfairness he mentions alludes to a former letter, which we have been obliged to lay before our different friends of the council. Again and again I warmly thank you.
"Your truly obliged
L. E. LANDON."
"I will not attempt to thank you, but never was there more earnest gratitude than I feel to you. If [ ] obtains the situation, he will owe it to your kindness chiefly-being placed in that respectable and independent position which we have been struggling years to obtain. I inclose some lists of the voters. How much I am obliged to Count D'Orsay. If he could but know the service that he is rendering, it would be the best acknowledgment that I could make. You may well call Mr. Montague a zealous friend; his kindness is as extraordinary as his talents-and they are of a very uncommon order; he deserves to be permitted the pleasure of admiring you as enthusiastically as he does.
"Thanks to you. I have received a note from Lord Francis Egerton. Mr. Bulwer has secured Sir John Hobhouse, and Lord John Russell has also promised; the Marquis of Lansdowne is invaluable-such an old patron of the society. L. E. LANDON."
"28 Upper Berkeley Street West, Connaught Square. "I can not thank you for all your kindness, but how gratefully I do feel it. I never met with any thing like it before. God bless you for it!
"Lord John Russell and Sir John Hobhouse have promised their votes,
and I have just received the kindest letter from Lord Munster. Do, pray, thank Count D'Orsay; but he is always so kind. Will you excuse this scrawl? but I am in a fever of hope and fear. L. E. LANDON.
"Mr. Montague, who has been the kindest friend in the world, is the bearer of this. He originally proposed to me, suggesting [ J's name, and has carried on the project with the zeal and ability he throws into every thing that he undertakes."
"28 Upper Berkeley Street West, Connaught Square. "Once more, but for, I hope, the last time, I venture to trouble you. According to your advice, I have hazarded a brief note to the various vice-presidents, entreating the performance of their promises on the 12th of April. I do not hope for more than to induce Lord Carrington to be neutral, as the lawyers say, 'to show cause.' I inclose a parallel of the claims of the rival candidates. I also inclose a letter which my brother is under the necessity of circulating.
'This very morning has brought letters from Tavistock, his parish, where he was curate for five years, signed by all the proper authorities, and sixty heads of families, relative to his high character, and another from the Literary Institution, bearing testimony to his exertions and abilities, signed by every leading person in the neighborhood. He also originated three schools in different parishes, supported by his own zealous endeavors. Mr. B is quite right in saying that we are poor; I do not know how it could be otherwiseleft at a very early age, dependent on our own exertions, with helpless relatives looking to us for support; but it only makes his conduct doubly cruel.
"I have one more favor to ask. Would you write a note to W. H. Harrison, Esq., Crown Office, Bridge Street? He is the editor of the 'Friendship's Offering.'
"I am sure you will excuse this scrawl; but really I am so nervous that I scarcely know what I am doing. A thousand thanks for all your kindness. Your most grateful L. E. L."
"28 Upper Berkeley Street West.-P.M., April, 1836. "We were 28 to 24-the vice-presidents carried it. The poll was about to close, when Lord John Russell drove into the court, so did Sir Robert Peel, and gave it to us.
"Lord Ellenborough voted against us. I know you will forgive this scrawl --but we owe you so much-I really can not write. God bless you.
66 L. E. LANDON."
The situation sought for, in connection with "the Literary Fund," was obtained for the Rev. Mr. [ ] mainly through the influence and untiring exertions of Lady Blessington. This gentleman was a young clergyman of most exemplary life and
amiable disposition. Bad health had compelled him to relinquish a clerical appointment he had obtained in London. In 1842 he had served as curate sixteen years, but at that date the recent death of his uncle, the late Dean of Exeter, had wrecked all his hopes of preferment. But the interest which Lady Blessington took in his welfare still continued, and was still manifested actively and efficiently.
"May 10, 1838.
"A thousand thanks for all your kindness. What can have become of Mr. Damer's note I know not. Unluckily, I left my letter, with one or two others, to be sealed, and fear it was done carelessly. However, it is of little moment, as I dined with Mrs. Damer yesterday, who told me that she was going to give her last sitting to Mr. Lucas next week; and that she and the boy, who are drawn together, can be separated. She will be happy, very, to have the portraits in both works. If they can not be separated, still, she would be happy, if you like, to have them together.
"Yours most truly,
L. E. LANDON."
"I would have sent the illustration, but last night I was fairly tired out. I have an idea for a poem, which, for so brief a space, will, I think, be better than prose.
"Can it be called 'My Lady Love,' or 'Amina?'
L. E. LANDON."
"I have the pleasure of sending you the story; I have made it as short as possible, and only hope that you will like it. The engraving is singularly beautiful and fanciful, and had it been poetry, I might have ventured on the supernatural; but we are too matter of fact nowadays to venture it in prose: an Oriental sketch, both to suit the character of the engraving, and yet allow reality to the scene. Pray pardon this little explanation; but it is impossible not to wish to do one's best when the judgment I hope to please is at once so distinguished and so kind as that of your ladyship. L. E. LANDON."
"My brother read me your very kind note, which I felt so much obliged by that I declared I should answer it immediately; this, however, has not been in my power till to-day, the first time that I can really say I am better. I never, positively, suffered so much from an illness before; at one time they were afraid that it would turn to typhus, but now that the fever has left me I shall rapidly recover. This is a sad scrawl, but I feel so gratified by a note I saw of yours to-day, that I must write to thank you, whether you can read the thanks or not. It is rather a curious thing that, when I made my agreement with Messrs. Fisher, your name was my sole recommendation, about six weeks ago.
"I can not say how deeply I feel all your kindness. I know nothing to which I refer with more keen gratification than your assistance, your sympathy, your praise. I must indeed be forgetful when I forget. Dearest madam, your very grateful
L. E. LANDON."
Lines of L. E. L. inclosed in a note addressed to Lady Blessington.
ON THE PORTRAIT OF MISS COCAGNE, BY L. E. L.
Has lavished loveliness; the red rose, stooping,
Whose lip is with its weight of sweetness drooping,
Those long, soft curls in graceful rings descending,
With just one touch of golden sunshine blending.
So sweet a face inspires a thousand fancies;
And for thy sake invent such fair romances,
The deep enchantment of his graceful numbers,
Of Geraldine, just called in magic slumbers.
When Isabella was the worshiped sovereign,
The crown of gold and pearl could scarce restrain.”
THE CONTESSA AMERICA VESPUCCI.
IN 1839 I had the pleasure of being made acquainted with this remarkable lady. She was then about thirty years of age, of fine features, symmetrically formed, of the perfect Italian style of beauty, with more of Juno's characteristics than of Venus's peculiarities in its excellency. Her figure was commanding, full, strongly set up, and finely moulded; her eyes were dark and