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M. Beyle has sprinkled his work with many original anecdotes. In the chapter on “ Female Pride," he alludes to the fate of Pia, whose husband, Nello della Pietra, in a fit of jealousy, carried her off to a solitary mansion in the marshes of Volterre, where, as he anticipated, she quickly sunk beneath the effects of the mal-aria.* “It happened once to me in Piedmont,” says M. B., “ to be the involuntary witness of a very similar circumstance, though, at the time, I was unacquainted with the details. I was detached with a party of dragoons into the woods that skirt the vale of Sesia, to prevent the smuggling that went on there. Upon arriving at night in that wild and desolate tract, I perceived among the trees the ruins of an old chateau, which I entered. To my great surprise, it was inhabited. I found within it a nobleman of the country. He was a person of an inauspicious appearance, about six feet high, and forty years of age. He gruffly supplied me with a couple of rooms. My billeting-officer and I amused ourselves there with music. After a few days we discovered that this man had a female in his custody, whom we laughingly called Camilla. We were far from suspecting the horrid truth. In about six weeks she died. I felt an impulse of melancholy curiosity to see her in her coffin. I gave a gratuity to the monk that had charge of her remains; and towards midnight, under the pretext of sprinkling holy water, he introduced me into the chapel where she lay. I found there one of those magnificent figures which continue beautiful even in the bosom of death. She had a large aquiline nose, whose contour, so expressive at once of elevation and tenderness, I never can forget;-—I quitted the mournful spot. Five years after, being with a detachment of my regiment that escorted the Emperor when he went to be crowned King of Italy, I contrived to learn the whole story. I was told that the jealous husband, Count * * had found attached to his wife's bed an English watch, the property of a young man of the little town in which they resided. On that very day, be carried her off to the ruined chateau, in the midst of the woods of Sesia. Like Nello della Pietra, he uttered not a syllable. In answer to all her entreaties he coldly and silently shewed her the English watch, which he always kept about his person. He thus passed nearly three years with her. At length she died of a broken heart, in the flower of her age. The husband made an attempt to stab the owner of the watch -missed him-fled to Genoa-threw himself on board a ship, and has never since been heard of."
We had noted down two or three other romantic situations for insertion; but we are reminded that we cannot afford, like our more susceptible neighbours, to dwell for ever upon this fascinating subject.
* When Dante meets her, (Purg. Canto v.) she disdains to complain of her husband, except in the most covert terms. M. Beyle is justified in pronouncing her words to be peculiarly touchivg.
“ Deh! quando tu sarai retornato al mondo
Ricordati di me, che son la Pia.
Disposando, n'avea con la sua gemma.” “Alas ! when you return to the world, remember me. I am Pia-I received my life at Sienna, and lost it in the Marshes. He from whose hands I got the spousal ring, knows my story."
We would, at parting, recommend to M. Beyle to follow our example. He has talents that fit him for higher things than compiling a “Wooingmade-easy,” for the use of French coteries. He also evinces a laudable desire to emancipate himself from the trammels of French taste in matters of literature and art: and he has, to a considerable extent, succeeded. With such capabilities he can easily find subjects more worthy of their exercise ; or, if it must be “ Love, still Love,” we would advise him to try his hand on a novel. He has many of the requisites for that species of composition :--sensibility, fancy, observation, with facility, and vigour of style and description. This is what he should have done with the materials of the present work; and if he would still be just to himself, and put his out-of-the-way opinions into the mouths of fictitious personages, and cristallize his axioms into interesting human beings, and affecting incidents and situations, we pledge ourselves to him that we are not yet so far gone in cant as not to relish his production ; and that, in spite of all the wealth of the bishops, we shall record our approbation.
SELECT SOCIETY ; OR, A WEEK AT WORTHING. 1822.-Sept. 2d, Monday.-Set off from my tea-shop in Tooleystreet, in Newman's patent safety-coach, for Worthing. Stept in over the front wheel. Stopt at Elephant and Castle. Drew up cheek by jowl with Tom Turpentine, who was outside the Brighton Comet. Asked me why I went to Worthing: told him how select the society was. Tom grinned, and betted me a bottle that I should be at Brighton before seven days were over my head. Bought three pears at Dorking : offered one to gentleman in front, which he declined, and took a paper of sandwiches from his pocket : never offered me one, which I thought rude. Arrived at Worthing at half-past four. Head dizzy with the rattling of coach-steps. Steyne Hotel: ordered a veal cutlet at five, and walked out to view the ocean. Never saw it before, and never more disappointed. Expected waves mountains high, shrieking mariners, swamped long-boat," and all that sort of thing." Smooth as West-India docks. Walked up to Wicks's warm baths, upon the Pebbles,-natives called it the Shingle. Picked up a stone with a hole through it, and put it in my pocket for Jack. Opened window of coffee-room to get health enough for my money. Play-bill—-"Cure for the Heart-ache”-performance to begin at seven. Looked at my watch, and wondered to find it only six. Took a stroll five times up and down Anne-street to pass the time. Saw two ladies alight from a coach that had no legs. Asked the driver (I should say the dragger) what it meant ? Told me it was a fly. Looked more like a tortoise. Tall manager played Young Rapid. Man next to me said bis name was Quinbus Flestrin--an odd name; probably German. Duke of Duck-water in stage box; never noticed me : probably owing to trellis-work. Vining in Frank Oatland ;—plays nothing but Mercury at Drury Lane. What can Elliston mean?
Tuesday.—Prawns for breakfast : like shrinips better. Looked through a telescope. Bathing-machines marked for gentlemen only. Oil painting in coffee-room: woman riding on dolphin's back, without a rag of covering, and black-bearded man floundering and blowing a trumpet beside her.
Asked waiter if that was a picture of a Worthing bath ? Answered " Yes, sir;" and ran out of the room with half a pigeon-pie. Mem. : Machines " for gentlemen only," and ladies obliged to do without. Bathing at Worthing not so select as society. Walked to Stafford's Library; paid seven and sixpence, and put down my name in a book. Looked over list of visitors : Earl of Elderbury; Lady Seraphina Surf; General Culverin; Lord and Lady Longshore; and Sir Barnaby Billow. Rubbed my hands, and thought we should make a nice snug party. Took up a tee-to-tum: counted seven children's whips, eight paper mills, six rocking-horses, and nineteen whistles ;-odd library furniture. Perused a paper on a side table ; subscription for widow of a drowned waiter : laid it down softly, and thanked gentleman in green spectacles for that newspaper, when it was out of hand. · Dined upon fried soles,--tasted too much of the sea. Walked out to view the town; every shopkeeper named either Wicks or Stubbs. Asked man in green spectacles the reason : told me it was owing to the north-east wind. Wondered how that could cause it; but thought it best to say no more about it. Library in the evening : dull and cold: girl in pink played “We're a' Noddin,” and sure enough we all were.
Wednesday-Heard a nurse-maid, under coffee-room window, say the tide was coming in. Despatched breakfast in haste, fearing i should be too late. Ran down to the beach. Stood upon a large flat stone, like the king in Jack's History of England. Little thought there was any danger, till a wave rose above my shoes. Doctor Dragonsblood told me not to mind, for sea-water never gave cold : could not answer him for coughing and sneezing. Asked library-man what were his lions ? Told me the Miller's Tomb. Almost brought myself to the resolution of getting into a machine. Heart failed me: sneaked into warm bath : swallowed a mouthfull of warm water, and went back to hotel sick as a dog. Hired a donkey-chaise, and went to Miller's Tomb. No great things. There are three miller's tombs in St. George's church-yard, Southwark. Dined upon veal-pie. Sir Barnaby Billow came into the room to look at a map of the county. Told him it was a fine day ; to which he answered “ Very :" pulled the bell, and walked out of the room. Wondered when I should be one of the select society ;. and said to myself “ Phoo! he is only a baronet !". Telescope again : cast a longing look towards Brighton : weather hazy: saw nothing but nothing. Play~"Honey Moon." Miss Dance, Juliana, for that night only, from Brighton. Too lady-like ; looked above her business, like Tom Treacle my dandy shopman. Walked to beach, and stood half an hour to see a lighter discharge coals by candle-light; smacked my lips and felt as if I had been eating salt. Went to bed, and dreamt of Miss Dance.
Thursday.-Swore an oath that I would go into the sea, and got into a machine to avoid being indicted for perjury. Began to undress, and in one minute machine began to move; wondered where I was going. Fancied it at least half a mile. Was upon the point of calling out for help, when the driver turned about. Stood trembling on the brink, and at last jumped in: just time enough to be too late. Hit my elbow against the steps, and lost a ribbed cotton stocking. Felt: quite in a glow, and went home in high spirits to get another stocking. Elbow painful. Little finger asleep. Donkey-cart again. Changton
bury Ring. Driver said, finest prospect in all the world. Asked him how much of the world he had seen? Answered, Lancing, Shoreham, and Broadwater Green.” Donkey jibbed at foot of bill. Got out and dragged him up by left ear. Fine exercise for a valetudinarian. Let his ear go, and found that it did not move with the other. Afraid I had dislocated the organ. Paid driver three and sixpence, and said nothing about it. Dined upon cold beef. Appetite on the decline. Mem. Nothing-to-do a very troublesome business. Library. Girl with the harp: all nodding again. Opened “ The Fortunes of Nigel,” and found my nose flat upon the third page, before I knew where I was.
Friday.-Low water--All the world promenading on the sands. Lady Seraphina and the General on horseback. Patted her ladyship's poodle-dog, and cried “What a beauty!" Lady and General off in a canter, and poodle followed, barking. Thought select society rather rude, and began to doubt whether a touch of vulgarity would not make it more polite. Stood still and beat devil's tattoo. Sand dry as a bone; began to be as dabby as a batter-pudding. Remembered having heard talk of quick-sands, and shifted my quarters. Made for the shore, and found myself surrounded by water. Saw a boy making a bridge of stones ; passed over, and gave him a penny. Lad grumbled: told him I paid no more to cross Waterloo Bridge, which cost a matter of a million of money. Looked at my watch, and wondered it was only twelve. Strolled up Steyne-row into the town. Stopped at the corner of Warwick-street, and looked into grocer's shop. Had half a mind to borrow a white apron, and offer to serve behind the counter to keep my hand in: just as Jack learns a bit of Ovid during the Christmas holidays. Recollected I was a gentleman, and sighed. Took a walk on the Lancing road. Met some gipsies, who told my fortune. Said I should be in a great place shortly. Told them í hoped I should, and that I was a fool for ever quitting it. Play again. A bespeak. Lady Longshore's name at the top of the bills as big as Bish in the lottery season. Went, out of compliment to her ladyship, who never once asked me how I did. Select society beginning to be at a discount.
Saturday.-Market-day.-Spent two hours in seeing the women spread their crockery upon the pavement. Bought a bunch of
grapes, and stood under the portico of the theatre, spitting the skins into the kennel. Saw the Earl of Elderbury and Sir Barnaby Billow in a barouche. Lady Seraphina again on horseback. Overheard them talk of going to Cæsar's camp. Determined to go myself: thought I might know some of the officers : remembered speaking to Lord Banbury when I was a corporal in Colonel Birch's first Loyal London. Sang "the Soldier tired" to myself, but stopt when I came to the quavers. Went to hire a donkey-cart. Fought shy of the donkey with the loose ear, and sidled off to the other stand opposite Wicks's warm baths. Hired a pony-chaise, quite genteel, and trotted to the camp. Wondered that I heard no drums and fifes. Passed the ditch, and found it a complete hoax : nothing but mounds of earth and thistles : General Cæsar decamped ; and I dare say in debt to half the town. Went up to my bed-room, and counted my clean linen nine times over : strange laundresses require looking after. “Romeo and
VOL. V. NO, XXIH.
Juliet :" did not like the notion of “a Tragedy in Warm Weather.” Began to reckon how soon I should win my bottle of Tom Turpentine, and hoped I should not die before it became due, like the starved man who translated the Bible. Yawned five times, and fell asleep. Awakened by waiter with candles. Read the Brighton Herald quite through, including all its fashionable arrivals from Duke's-place and Capelcourt. Wished myself there, and thought Tom Turpentine no such fool. Pored over map of Sussex. Counted the knobs on the fender. Read half through the Army-list on the mantelpiece, thrust my
feet into a pair of slippers without heels, and went to bed.
Sunday.-Chapel of Ease. Sermon for benefit of two free-schools. Plates held by Lady Seraphina and Earl of Elderbury. Happened to go out at Lady Seraphina's door. Meant to give only a shilling ; but, plate being held by a dame of quality, could
not give less than half-acrown. Never so much as said " Thank-ye.” Select society quite out of my books. Could not face the town, knowing that billiard-room and library were closed. Strolled as far as Broadwater-common. Aided by a crooked stick, amused myself with picking blackberries. Broke off a fine branch laden with fruit, which fell on the other side of the ditch. Went round two fields to get at it. When I arrived, found that I had left my crooked stick on the other side. Went back to fetch it. After great difficulty got hold of the branch. Quite refreshing to have something to do. Bore home my prize in triumph, and gave it to a child at the corner of South-street. Walked upon the beach; threw a large stone six feet off, and pitched ninety-nine little stones to try to hit it. Yawned heavily. Mouth so habitually open, began to fear it would never shut, and quite pleased at five to find that it would chew again. Evening pretty much like the last.
Monday.--Remounted Newman's patent safety. Never so happy as when I again crossed its front wheel. Seriously ill at starting, but better as I approached wholesome London air. Sniffed the breezes of Bermondsey with peculiar satisfaction, and reached Tooley-street just in time to despatch the following letter to Tom Turpentine. “Dear Tom,--No more weeks at Worthing! Select society is all very well for select people. Your's to command, Kit Cannister.”
HOW TO SEE THE DEVIL.
“ Were I in England now, as once I was, and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver.”—Tempest.
John Bull is fond of sights,
In England any monster can,
As Shakspeare tells us, “make a man;"
In bottle-conjurors he much delights,
And workers of impossibilities,