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or the Lady of the Lake; in the evening, Raphael's madonna or Titian's mistress. That is what I call thorough bad taste: like an actress or an artist, if you please, but not a fit style for a woman of fashion.'
'«The French would suppose she was in a costume,' said Louisa; ♦ they have often said to Englishwomen, 'Madame est en masquerade.''
'And they are quite right,' said lady Anne;«it is, to my fancy, the extreme of bad taste to dress differently from other people. Such affectation spoils beauty, and makes ugliness more conspicuous.'
« Well! I give up her dress; but, my dear lady Anne, if you never admire any Englishwoman who does not dress well!'—
'I shall not have many to admire, I suppose you mean to say, my dear Parisian belle;—but now, really, do you think lady Tresilian so very agreeable?'
'Indeed I do: she has so much eloquence and enthusiasm in her conversation, such a memory for poetry.'
< Oh! she make me sick of learning and quotation. Lady Glenmore's nonsense is far more amusing, because it is so perfectly natural. After one of lady Tresilian's grand bravuras, sung with so much science and skill, one of little Rosa's Indian airs or Irish melodies is such a treat; your own Venetian barcarolles, and French romances, never sound to so much advantage.'
« I do not think the dutchess and lady Mary suit lady Tresilian,' observed Louisa.
< How should they! all their ideas are centred in feeding poultry, and potting plants; accomplishments they think waste time, and learning in a woman quite wicked; it belongs to the men along with their dress.'"
So much for amusements and good feeling among the "distingues" in the country. The following furnishes a curious sketch of manners among the same privileged class. Lady Glenmore is one of the most amiable and least exceptionable of the coterie—the youthful wife of a very respectable old marquess, in the fair way of an heir:—
"In the evening, lady Glenmore was much fatigued; and, according to the fashion of the present day for ladies in her delicate situation, she lay on the sofa all her length, and, much to the dismay of the dutchess, she did not even think of changing her position when the servants came in with coffee. Lady Norbury was all attention, raising and lowering the cushions according to the fancy of the little marchioness, who talked a great deal of childish nonsense upon the occasion; at length she exclaimed, »Oh! lady Anne; do you know I have got a promise from my lord, that I shall go to Almack's when I am in town ? that is, if I am pretty well. I told him I would lie on the sofa now as long as he pleased, if he would promise me thai; and so he did, and I took care to have a written agreement about it. I do so long to go there; and I am to know lady Hauton too, and I hear she is so agreeable.'
One of her ladyship's dearest friends, domesticated under her roof, thus characterizes lady Norbury and her daughter lady Anne:—
"'Oh, there's no telling about them. Lady Anne is all caprice; and lady Norbury so uncommonly odd,—if they don't get on with other people, she will very likely patronise them in order to be singular \ just now she abominates them all, because my lord has taken them up. However, Miss Birmingham is really a handsome girl; I saw her at that election ball at Mcrton last week. She is the sworn friend of these Mildways; and now that this colonel Montague is in such high favour here, and brought forward by them, the whole coterie may very likely advance; indeed, I, for one, expect it.'"
But it is seen anon, that her ladyship is even with her quests.
«« « Well, thank God 1 at last they 're all gone," said lady Norbury, with more vivacity than was common to her. 'I must say, company in the country is a great fatigue; playing at conversation all day long is such a bore. Now I shall have time to answer some letters before we go to town.'"
It would seem, indeed, that the ladies of ton, young and old, are very free spoken. The following samples will suffice—the first is from the conversation of two young ladies:—
"« Odious man!' said Louisa, with indignation; 'how you make me hate him! And pray, lady Anne, what sort of person is the famous lord Killarney, lord George's brother?'
'Oh, I must say nothing against him, for you know, or perhaps you do not know, that he is the man, mamma, in her secret heart, would like me to marry: from my very cradle I have been set out for him. He is very handsome, very agreeable, very good for nothing, very extravagant—the greatest rout in Europe, perhaps. No one can withstand him, man or woman. If you believe me, he has neither principles nor honour; he is the soul of whim and pleasure; every thing by starts, and nothing long. Conceive what a prospect before me, to expect to be the wife of such a man! cold water thrown on every proposal that has hitherto been made to me, that I may remain single till his return, that he may throw his handkerchief at his poor cousin's feet, if he pleases :-— this is the fate reserved for Anne Norbury; and my haughty mother will not care if I should break my heart, so that I hold my head high as marchioness of Allandale. Ah! Louisa, I could envy you your brighter prospects, for George'would make any woman happy. Killarney has been years abroad, but he is soon expected home. Report says he has some woman of fashion travelling with him as his mistress, to whom he is entirely devoted. He went abroad after a crim. con. affair; he was unable to pay the damages, and he refused to marry the victim of his perfidy. But, hark! I hear these men again; let us avoid them. How late we have stayed out by the light of the moon! there is the dressing-bell;' and her ladyship turned into the vestibule, repeating, in a careless manner,
'Je vais donner une heure au soin de mon empire,
This is nothing, however, to the Queen of Almack's, lady Hauton—take the following sketch of lady Stavordale, one of the Regency of Almack's:—
"< Foremost in rank is the dutchess of Stavordale, who is as good-natured as she is fat—c'est beaucouft dire., you will allowbut without dignity or spirit; but she is the most popular of the Patronesses, because she cannot be high to any body: Enfin, c'est une mere defamillc, without fashion or pretension. • *
• • • • • She is just fit
'To suckle fools, and chronicle small beer.'"
The following colloquy takes place between her ladyship and a fashionable colonel and his friend, at the first public night, at Almack's, on the entrance of lady Glenmore:—
"« Does not your ladyship think there may be some danger of the accouchement taking place at Almack's V said the everlasting gossip Leach.
'Fie! you naughty man!' replied the Countess.
« Let us put it about,' said Trefusis. 'A young lord Grandison produced in Willis's rooms! Your ladyships would be obliged to be godmothers. He would be patronised from his birth, ne coiffS!"
We might quote a great number of similar witticisms upon the situation of the little marchioness, who, though altogether an amiable woman, and the wife of a most respectable man, seems to be introduced into the work for no other purpose than to afford a subject for these delicate allusions. But we refrain, in the apprehension of making our male readers blush. The last stage of profligacy in females is indicated by grossness in conversation. We should hope, for the credit of English manners, that the tone of conversation which pervades the whole of these volumes, is exaggerated; and for the credit of English morals, that the system of educating young women of fashion, for the sole purpose of throwing them away upon young rakes and old debauchees of rank and fortune, is not so prevalent as
Vol. i.—No. 1. 31
A»t. XI.—Symmes's Theory of Concentric Spheres; demonstrating that the Earth is hollow, habitable within, and widely open about the Poles. By A Citizen Of The United States. Cincinnati, Ohio: 1826. 12mo. pp. 168.
The earth is nearly eight thousand miles in diameter, and the deepest excavations that have been made in it by human art, do not extend to half a mile below its surface. We are, therefore, utterly ignorant of the nature and constitution of the interior of this immense mass, and must, perhaps, for ever remain so. The subject is of too much interest, however, not to have excited the particular attention of philosophers, and, in the absence of facts, many of them have not hesitated to resort to speculation and conjecture.
Dr. Burnet, the earliest cosmogonist whose system is worthy of notice, supposed that the earth was originally a fluid, chaotic mass, composed of various substances differing in form and density. In the course of time, the heaviest portions subsided, and formed about the centre a dense and solid nucleus. The waters took their station around this body; on their surface floated an ocean of oil and unctuous matters; and the whole wns surrounded by the air and other ethereal fluids. This atmosphere was at first full of impurities, being charged with particles of the earth with which it had been previously blended. By degrees, however, it purified itself, by depositing these particles upon the stratum of oil; and there was thus formed a thick and solid crust of mould, which was the first habitable part of the globe. After many centuries, this crust, having been gradually dried by the heat of the sun, cracked and split asunder, so as to fall into the abyss of waters beneath it; and this great event was the universal deluge. Our present earth is composed of the remains of the first; our continents and islands being portions of the primordial crust, from which the waters have retired.
Dr. Woodward, who immediately followed Burnet in this career of speculation, supposed that the bodies which compose the earth, were all dissolved or suspended in the waters of the general deluge; and that, on the gradual retiring of the waters, these substances subsided, successively, in the order of their specific gravities; so that the earth is now formed of distinct strata, arranged in concentric layers, "like the coats of an onion."
Whiston supposed the original earth to be a comet, having, like other comets, a very eccentric orbit; and, therefore, sub