« PreviousContinue »
box the day preceding, and by false keys and | destiny pursues her. The fatal evening arseals had taken all the papers out of it, and rives; and the Princess, with a train forty-five replaced them by harmless and insignificant feet in length, and the spousal crown placed leiters, which they had fabricated in the on twenty-four twisted locks of false hair, course of one day, to the amount of near each thicker than her arm, enters the grand seven hundred. The King, therefore, found saloon, and takes the irrevocable vow !-and nothing to justify immediate execution ; but her mother has just put her to bed, when she kept the Prince a close prisoner at Custrin, hears that her courier has arrived, and leaves and shut the Princess up in her own chamber. her in rage and anguish. His son and Katt were afterwards tried for The humours of the rest of the family apdesertion, before a court-martial composed of pear to no great advantage during the bridal twelve officers: Two were for sparing the festivities. In the first place, the Princess' life of the Prince, but all the rest were base sister, Charlotte, falls in love with the brideenough to gratify the sanguinary insanity of groom, and does her possible to seduce him. their master by condemning them both to Then 'old Frederic cheats the bride in her death. All Germany, however, exclaimed settlements, which amount to a gross sum of loudly against this sentence; and made such near 5001. a year;-and, finally, her brotherrepresentations to the King, that he was at in-law, the Margrave of Anspach, rallies her last constrained to spare his son. But the husband so rudely upon his mother's gallanunhappy Katt was sacrificed. His scaffold tries, that the latter gives him a brave defiwas erected immediately before the window ance in the face of the whole court; at which of his unhappy master, who was dressed by the poor Margrave is so dreadfully frightened, force in the same funeral garment with his that he bursts out into screams and tears, and friend, and was held up at the window by runs for refuge into the Queen's apartment, two soldiers, while the executioner struck off where he hides himself behind the arras,
from the head of his companion. There is no which he is taken in a filthy condition, and record of such brutal barbarity in the history carried to his apartments, "où il exhala sa of Nero or Domitian.
colère par des vomissemens et un diarrhée After this, the family feuds about his daugh- qui pensa l'envoyer à l'autre monde.”—Yet ter's marriage revive with double fury. The the good Princess assures us, that this reptile Queen, whose whole heart is set on the Eng- had “ a good heart and a good understanding," lish alliance, continues her petty intrigues to with no fault but being a little passionate; effect that object; while the King, rendered and then, in the very next page, she records a furious by the haughty language adopted by malignant and detected falsehood which he the English ministry on the subject of the in- had vented against her husband, and which sult offered to their ambassador, determines rendered him odious in the eyes of the whole to have her married without a moment's court. Being dissatisfied with her settledelay; and after threatening the Queen with ments, she puts the King in a good humour by his cane, sends to offer her the hand of the giving a grand dinner to him and his officers, Prince of Bareith; which she dutifully ac- at which they are all “ivres morts;", but cepts, in spite of the bitter lamentations and having mentioned her distresses through the outrageous fury of the Queen. That in- Queen, he is so much moved with them, that triguing princess, however, does not cease to he calls for the settlements, and strikes off intrigue, though 'deserted by her daughter about one fourth of her allowance. but sends again in greater urgency than ever All this happened in autumn 1731; and in to England ; -and that court, if we are to be- January 1732, the Princess being far advanced lieve the statement before us, at last seriously in pregnancy, and the roads almost impassaafraid of losing a match every way desir- ble, it was thought advisable for her to set out able, sends off despatches, containing an en- for her husband's court at Bareith. She is tire and unqualified acquiescence in all overturned of course several times, and obliged Frederic's stipulations as to the marriage- to walk half the way:—But we pass over the which arrive at Berlin the very morning of disasters of the journey, to commemorate her the day on which the Princess was to be so- arrival in this ancient principality. The first lemnly betrothed to M. de Bareith, but are village she reached was Hoff
, which is on the wickedly kept back by Grumkow and the frontier-and has also the convenience of Imperial Envoy, till after the ceremony had being within three miles of the centre of the been publicly and irrevocably completed. territory: and here the grand marshal, and all Their disclosure then throws all parties into the nobility of the province, are mustered to rage and despair; and the intriguers are made receive her at the bottom of the staircase, or, the ridiculous victims of their own baseness in other words, of the wooden ladder which and duplicity. The indefatigable Queen, how- led to her apartments. However, various ever, does not despair even yet ; but sends off guns were fired off very successfully, and the another courier to England, and sets all her chief nobility were invited to dinner. The emissaries to prepare the King to break off Princess' description of these personages is the match in the event of the answer being really very edifying. They had all faces, she favourable ;—nay, the very night before the says, which a child could not look on without marriage, she takes her daughter apart, and screaming ;-huge masses of hair on their begs her to live with her husband as a sister heads, filled with a race of vermin as ancient with her brother, for a few days, till the result as their pedigrees ;-clothed in old laced suits of the embassage is known. But her usual that had deecended through many generations,
the most part in rags, and no way fitting their damask all in tatters. Her bedchamber was present wearers ;-the greater part of them also furnished with the same stuff—but in covered with itch ;-and their conversation, of such a condition, that the curtains fell in oxen. Immediately after dinner they began pieces whenever they were touched. Hali with the Princess health in a huge bumper, of the windows were broken, and there was and proceeded regularly in the same gallant no fire; though it was midwinter. The dinmanner through the whole of her genealogy; ners were not eatable; and lasted three hours,
so that in less than half an hour she found with thirty flourishes of the old trumpets for herself in the middle of thirty-four monsters, the bumper toasts with which they were enso drunk that none of them could articulate, livened : Add to all this, that the poor Prin"et rendant les boyaux à tous ces desastreux cess was very much indisposed that the visages.” Next day being Sunday, there was Margrave came and talked to her out of Telea sermon in honour of the occasion, in which maque and Amelot, five or six hours every day the preacher gave an exact account of all the -and that she could not muster cash enough marriages that had happened in the world, to buy herself a gown: and it will not appear from the days of Adam down to the last of wonderful, that in the very midst of the wed. the patriarchs-illustrated with so many cir- ding revelries, she spent half her time in bed, cumstantial details as to the antecedents and weeping over the vanity of human grandeur. consequents in each, that the male part of the By and by, however, she found occupaaudience laughed outright, and the female tion in quarrelling with her sisters-in-law, and pretended to blush throughout the whole dis- in making and appeasing disputes between
The dinner scene was the same as her husband and his father. on the day preceding; with the addition of so ill, indeed, with all the family, that her the female nobility who came in the evening, proposal of returning to lie-in at Berlin is rewith their heads enveloped in greasy wigs ceived with great joy :--but while they are like swallows' nests, and ancient embroidered deliberating about raising money for this dresses, stuck all over with knots of faded journey of two hundred miles, she becomes ribands.
too ill to move. Her sister of Anspach, and The day following, the Margrave, her father- her husband, come, and quarrel with her in-law, came himself to meet her. This upon points of etiquette; the Margrave falls worthy prince was nearly as amiable, and not in love with one of her attendanis; and in quite so wise, as the royal parent she had left. the midst of all manner of perplexities she He had read but two books in the world, is delivered of a daughter. The Margrave, Telemaque, and Amelot's Roman history, and w was in the country, not happening to discoursed out of them so very tediously, that hear the cannon which proclaimed this great the poor Princess fainted from mere ennui at event, conceives that he is treated with great the
very first interview ;-Then he drank night disrespect, and gives orders for having his and day-and occasionally took his cane to son imprisoned in one of his fortresses. He the prince his son, and his other favourites. relents, however, at the christening; and is Though living in poverty and absolute dis- put in good humour by a visit from another comfort, he gave himself airs of the utmost son and a brother—the first of whom is des magnificence — went to dinner with three cribed as a kind of dwarf and natural fool, flourishes of cracked trumpets-received his who could never take seriously to any emcourt, leaning with one hand on a table, in ployment but catching flies; and the other as imitation of the Emperor—and conferred his a furious madman, in whose company no one little dignities in harangues so pompous, and was sure of his life. This amiable family so awkwardly delivered, that. his daughter-in-party is broken up, by an order on the Prinlaw at once laughed and was ashamed of cess' husband to join his regiment at Berlin, him. He was awkward, too, and embarrassed and another order from her father for her to in the society of strangers of good breeding - pay a visit to her sister at Anspach. On her but made amends by chattering without end, way she visits an ancient beauty, with a rose about himself and his two books, to those like a beetroot, and two maids of honour so who were bound to bear with him. Under excessively fat that they could not sit down; the escort of this great potentate the Princess and, in stooping to kiss the Princess' hand. made her triumphal entry into the city of Ba- fell over, and rolled like balls of flesh on the reith the next morning: the whole procession carpet. At Anspach, she finds the Margrave consisting of one coach, containing the con- deep in an intrigue with the housemaid; and stituted authorities who had come out to meet consoles her sister under this affliction. She her, her own carriage drawn by six carrion then makes a great effort, and raises morey post-horses, that containing her attendants, enough to carry her to Berlin; where she is and six or seven wagons loaded with furni- received with coldness and ridicule by the ture. The Margrave then conducted her from Queen, and neglect and insult by all her the palace gate in great state to her apart- sisters. Her brother's marriage with the ments, through a long passage, hung with Princess of Brunswick was just about to cobwebs, and so abominably filthy as to turn take place, and we choose to give in her own her stomach in hurrying through it. This words her account of the manner in which opened into an antechamber, adorned with she was talked over in this royal circle. old tapestry, so torn and faded that the figures
“La reine, à table, fit tomber la corrersation on it looked like so many ghosts; and through sur la princesse royale future. Votre frère,' me that into a cabinet furnished with green dit-elie en le regardant, 'est au désespoir de l'épou.
ser, et n'a pas tort : c'est une vrai bête; elle répond mother, and the slights of her whole generaà tout ce qu'on lui dit par un oui et un noii, ac; tion. Their domestic life, when these galas compagné d'un rire niais qui fait mal au cœur. Oh! dit ma sær Charlotte, voire Majesté ne
were over, was nearly as fatiguing, and still connoit pas encore tout son mérite. J'ai été un
more lugubrious The good old custom of matin à sa toilette ; j'ai cru y suffoquer; elle exha- famishing was kept up at table; and immeloit une odeur insupportable ! Je crois qu'elle a diately after dinner the King had his great pour le moins dix ou douze fistules-car cela n'est chair placed right before the fire, and snored pas naturel. J'ai remarqué aussi qu'elle est con- in it for three hours, during all which they côté, et elle a une hanche plus haute que l'au. were obliged to keep silence, for fear of distre. Je fus fort étonnée de ces propos, qui se le
turbing him. When he awoke, he set to noient en présence des domes:iques-et surtout de smoking tobacco;—and then saté four hours mon frère !
Je m'aperçus qu'ils lui faisoient de at supper, listening to long stories of his la peine et qu'il changeoit de conleur. Il se ancestors, in the taste of those sermons retira aussitôt après souper. J'en fis autant. Il vint me voir un moment après. Je lui demandai with insomnolency. Then the troops began
which are prescribed to persons afflicted s'il étoit satisfait du roi ? Il me répondit que sa situation changeoit à tout moment, que tantôi il their exercise under the windows before four étoit en faveur et tantôt en disgrâce ; que son plus o'clock every morning, -and not only kept grand bonheur consistoit dans l'absence ; qu'il me the whole household awake from that hour noit une vie douce et tranquille à son régiment; by their firing, but sometimes sent a ramque l'étude et la musique y faisoient ses principales rod through the glass to assist at the Prinoccupations; qu'il avoit fait bâtir une maison et fait faire un jardin charmant où il pouvoit lire et se
cess' toilette. One afternoon the King was promener. Je le pria de me dire si le portrait que seized with a sort of apoplexy in his sleep, la reine et ma scur m'avoient fait de la Princesse which, as he always snored extremely loud, de Brunswick étoit véritable ? Nous sommes might have carried him off without much seuls,' repartit-il, et je n'ai rien de caché pour observation, had not his daughter observed vous. Je vous parlerai avec sincérité. La reine, him grow black in the face, and restored him de nos malheurs. A peine avez-vous éié partie by timely applications. She is equally unqu'elle a renoué avec l'Angleterre ; elle a voulu fortunate about the same time in her fathervous su'istituer ma seur Charlot:e, et lui faire épou- in-law the Margrave, who is mischievous ser le Prince de Galles.
Vous jugez bien qu'elle enough to recover, after breaking a blooda employé tous ses efforts pour faire réussir son, plan vessel by falling down stairs in a fit of et pour me marier avec la Princesse Amélie.'"
drunkenness. At last she gets away with The poor Prince, however, confesses that great difficulty, and takes her second leave he cannot say much for the intellect of his of the parental roof, with even less regard intended bride ;-and really does not use a for its inhabitants than she had felt on first much nobler language than the rest of the quitting its shelter. family, even when speaking in her
presence ; On her return to Bareith, she finds the old for on her first presentation to his sister, find Margrave quite broken in health, but extravaing that she made no answer to the compli- gantly and honourably in love with a lame, ments that were addressed to her, the enam- dwarfish, middle-aged lady, the sister of her oured youth encourages her bridal timidity ancient governess, whom he proposes to by this polite exclamation, "Peste soit de la marry, to the great discomfiture of the Prinbete!--remercie donc ma swur!” The ac- cess and his son. They remonstrate with the count of the festivities which accompanied lady, however, on the absurdity of such an this marriage really excites our compassion; union; and she promises to be cruel, and live and is well calculated to disabuse any inex- single. In the mean time, one of the Marperienced person of the mistake of suppo- grave's daughters is taken with a kind of sing, that there can be either comfort or en- madness of a very indlecorous character; joyment in the cumbrous splendours of a which indicates itself by frequent improcourt. Scanty and crowded dinners at mid- prieties of speech, and a habit of giving inviday—and formal balls and minuets imme- tations, of no equivocal sort, to every man diately after, in June, followed up with dull that comes near her. The worthy Margrave, gaming in the evening ;—the necessity of at first undertakes to cure this very troublebeing up in full dress by three o'clock in the some complaint by a brisk course of beating; moming to see a review--and the pleasure but this not being found to answer, it is of being stifled in a crowded tent without thought expedient to try the effect of marseeing any thing, or getting any refreshment riage; and, that there may he no harm done for seven or eight hours, and then to return to any body, they look out a certain Duke of famishing to a dinner of eighty covers ;- Weimar, who is as mad as the lady—though at other times to travel ten miles at a foot- somewhat in a different way. This prince's pace in an open carriage during a heavy rain, malady consisted chiefly in great unsteadiand afterwards to stand shivering on the wet ness of purpose, and a trick of outrageous grass to see fireworks——to pay twenty visits and inventive boasting. Both the Princess of ceremony every morning, and to present and her husband, however
, take great pains and be presented in stately silence to persons to bring about this well-assorted match ; and, whom you hate and despise. Such were the by dint of flattery and intimidation, it is general delights of the whole court;—and actually carried through—though the brideour Princess had the additional gratification groom sends a piteous message on the mornof being forced from a sick-bed to enjoy ing of his wedding day, begging to be let off them, and of undergoing the sneers of her and keeps them from twelve till four o'clock
in the morning before he can be persuaded seems to have given her the worst opinion of to go to bed. In the mean time, the Princess him, was his impolite habit of making jokes gives great offence to the populace and the about the small domains and scanty revenues preachers of Bareith, by giving a sort of of her husband. For the two following years masked ball, and riding occasionally on she travels all over Germany; abusing all the horseback. Her husband goes to the wars; principautés she meets with. In 1742, she and returns very much out of humour with goes to see the coronation of the new Emperor her brother Frederic, who talks contemptu- at Francfort, and has a long negotiation about ously of little courts and little princes. The the ceremony of her introduction to the Emuold Margrave falls into a confirmed hectic, press. After various projets had been offered and writes billets-doux to his little lady, so and rejected, she made these three conditions: tender as to turn one's stomach; but at last – 1st, That the whole cortège of the Empress dies in an edifying manner, to the great satis- should receive her at the bottom of the stairfaction of all his friends and acquaintances. case. 2dly, That the Empress herself should Old Frederic promises fair, at the same time, come to meet her at the outside of the door to follow his example; for he is seized with of her bed-chamber. And, 3dly, That she a confirmed dropsy. His legs swell, and should be allowed an arm-chair during the burst; and give out so much water, that he interview. Whole days were spent in the is obliged for several days to sit with them discussion of this proposition; and at last the in buckets. By a kind of miracle, however, two first articles were agreed to; but all he recovers, and goes a campaigning for that she could make of the last was that she several years after.
should have a very large chair, without arms; The Memoirs are rather dull for four or and the Empress a very small one, with them! five years after the author's accession to the -Her account of the interview we add in her throne of Bareith. She makes various jour- own words. neys, and suffers from various distempers- ** Je vis cette Princesse le jour suivant. J'avoue has innumerable quarrels with all the neigh- qu'à sa place j'anrois imaginé toutes les étiquettes bouring potentates about her own precedence et les cérémonies du monde pour m'empêcher de and that of her attendants; fits up several paroître. L'Impératrice est d'une taille au-dessous villas, gives balls; and sometimes quarrels boule ; elle est laide au possible, sans air et sans
petite, et si puissante qu'elle semble une with her husband, and sometimes nurses him grace. Son esprit répond à sa figure; elle est in his illness. In 1740, the King, her father, bigotte à l'excès, et passe les nuits et les jours dans dies in good earnest; and makes, it must be son oratoire : les vieilles et les laides soni ordinaire. acknowledged, a truly heroic, though some- ment le pariage du bon Dieu! Elle me reçut en what whimsical, ending. Finding himself remblant et d'un air şi décontenancé qu'elle ne fast going, he had himself placed early in the pur me dire un mot. Nous nous assîmes. Après morning in his wheel-chair, and goes himself la conversation en français. Elle me repondit, dans to tell the Queen that she must rise and see son jargon autrichien, qu'elle n'entendoit pas bien him die. He then takes farewell of his chil-cette langue, et qu'elle me prioit de lui parler en dren; and gives some sensible advice to his allemand. Cet entretien ne lut pas long. Le dia. son, and the ministers and generals whom he lecte autrichien et le bas-saxon sont si différens,
qu'à moins d'y êire accoutume on ne se comprend had assembled. Afterwards he has his best point. C'est aussi ce qui nous arriva. Nous aurions horse brought, and presents it with a good préparé à rire à un tiers par les coq-à-l'âne que grace to the oldest of his generals. He next nous faisions, n'entendant que par-ci par-là un moi, ordered all the servants to put on their best qui nous faisoit deviner le resie. Cetle princesse liveries; and, when this was done, he looked élois si fort esclave de son étiquette qu'elle auroit on them with an air of derision, and said, nant dans une langue étrangère; car elle savoit le
cru faire un crime de lèse-grandeur en m'entre e“Vanity of vanities !" He then commanded fra çais ! L'Empereur devoit se trouver à cere his physician to tell him exactly how long he visite ; mais il étoit tombé si malade qu'on craigroit had to live; and when he was answered, mêine pour ses jours."--pp. 345, 346. about half an hour," he asked for a looking. After this she comes home in a very bad glass, and said with a smile, that he certainly humour; and the Memoirs break off abruptly ilid look ill enough, and saw "qu'il ferait with her detection of an intrigue between her une vilaine grimace en mourant !" When the husband and her favourite attendant, and her clergymen proposed 10 come and pray with dissatisfaction with the dull formality of the him, he said, "he knew already all they had court of Stutgard. We hope the sequel will to say, and that they might go about their soon find its way to the public. business.” In a short time after he expired, Some readers may think we have dwelt too in great tranquillity.
long on such a tissue of impertinencies; and Though the new King came to visit his sister others may think an apology requisite for the soon after his accession, and she went to re- tone of levity in which we have spoken of so turn the compliment at Berlin, she says there many atrocities. The truth is, that we think was no longer any cordiality between them; this book of no trifling importance; and that and that she heard nothing but complaints of we could not be serious upon the subject of it his avarice, his ill temper, his ingratitude, and without being both sad and angry. Before his arrogance. She gives him great credit concluding, however, we shall add one word for talents; but entreats her readers to bus in seriousness to avoid the misconstructions pend their judgment as to the real character to which we might otherwise be liable. of this celebrated nonarch, till they have We are decidedly of opinion, that Monarchy, perused the whole of her Memoirs. What and Hereditary Monarchy, is by far the best
form of government that human wisdom has : In the second place, we presume to think yet devised for the administration of consider that the general adoption of these opinions as able nations, and that it will always continue to the personal defects that are likely to result 10 be the most perfect which human virtue from the possession of sovereign power, may will admit of. We are not readily to be sus- be of use to the sovereigns themselves, from pected, therefore, of any wish to produce a, whom the knowledge of their prevalence candistaste or contempt for this form of govern- 'not be very long concealed. Such kuowledge, ment; and beg leave to say, that though the it is evident, will naturally stimulate the better facts we have now collected are certainly sort of them to counteract the causes which such as to give no favourable impression of tend to their personal degradation; and enable the private manners or personal dispositions them more generally to surmount their perof absolute sovereigns, we conceive that good, nicious operation, by such efforts and reflecrather than evil, is likely to result from their tions, as have every now and then rescued dissemination. This we hold, in the first some powerful spirits from their dominion, place, on the strength of the general maxim, under all the disadvantages of the delusions that all truth must be ultimately salutary, and with which they were surrounded. all deception pernicious. But we think we Finally, if the general prevalence of these can see a little how this maxim applies to the sentiments as to the private manners and disparticular case before us.
positions of sovereigns should have the effect In the first place, then, we think it of ser- of rendering the bulk of their subjects less vice to the cause of royalty, in an age of vio- prone to blind admiration, and what may be lent passions and rash'experiments, to show called personal attachment to them, we do that most of the vices and defects which such not imagine that any great harm will be done. times are apt to bring to light in particular The less the public knows or cares about the sovereigns, are owing, not so much to any par- private wishes of their monarch, and the more ticular unworthiness or unfitness in the indi- his individual will is actually consubstantiated vidual, as to the natural operation of the cir- with the deliberate sanctions of his responsible cumstances in which he is placed; and are counsellors, the more perfectly will the pracsuch, in short, as those circumstances have tice of government correspond with its adalways generated in a certain degree in those 'mitted theory; the more wisely will affairs be who have been exposed to them. Such con- administered for the public, and the more siderations, it appears to us, when taken along harmoniously and securely both for the sovewith the strong and irresistible arguments for reign and the people. An adventurous warmonarchical government in general, are well rior may indeed derive signal advantages from calculated to allay that great impatience and the personal devotedness and enthusiastic atdangerous resentment with which nations tachment of his followers; but in the civil in turbulent times are apt to consider the office of monarchy, as it exists in modern faults of their sovereigns; and to unite with times, the only safe attachment is to the office, a steady attachment and entire respect for and to the measures which it sanctions. The the office, a very great degree of indulgence personal popularity of princes, in so far as we for the personal defects of the individual who know, has never done any thing but harm: may happen to fill it. Monarchs, upon this and indeed it seems abundantly evident, that view of things, are to be considered as per- whatever is done merely for the personal sons who are placed, for the public good, in gratification of the reigning monarch, that situations where, not only their comfort, but would not have been done at any rate on their moral qualities, are liable to be greatly grounds of public expediency, must be an impaired; and who are poorly paid in empty injury the community, and a sacrifice of splendour, and anxious power, for the sacri- duty to an unreturned affection; and whatever fice of their affections, and of the many en- is forborne out of regard to his pleasure, which gaging qualities which might have blossomed the interest of the country would otherwise in a lower region. If we look with indulgence have required, is in like manner an act of base upon the roughness of sailors, the pedantry of and unworthy adulation. We do not speak, schoolmasters, and the frivolousness of beau-, it will be understood, of trifles or things of little ties, we should learn to regard, with some- ' moment; but of such public acts of the govthing of the same feelings, the selfishness and ernment as involve the honour or the interest the cunning of kings.
of the nation.
(September, 1828.) History of the Life and Voyages of ChristorHER COLUMBUS. By WASHINGTON Irving.
4 vols. 8vo. London : 1828.
This, on the whole, is an excellent book; ness of all that it implies. We are perfectly and we venture to anticipate that it will be an aware that there are but few modern works endoring one. Neither do we hazard this that are likely to verify it; and that it probably prediction lightly, or without a full conscious. I could not be extended with safety to so many