Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

novels of Goethe and the plays of them such Examples of Constancy as would Kotzebue and Lessing, than for the eclipse even a Cleopatra ) or a Clelia. Christian duties of wife or maid. These heroic sentiments of Love they learn Lady Mary says nothing on this head, from Romances, which they are vastly fond whatever she might have thought of. But this must be said to their honour, perhaps her code of morality was not

that Gallantry does not take up so much of

their Time or their Thoughts as to make them very rigid.

She openly accuses them, neglect their business ; for they are labohowever, of affectation and its concomitant small vices :

rious, dextrous, and amuse themselves with

all sorts of work." “They are very genteely dressed, after the English and French modes, and have rich dresses, from the Prime Minis

So great was the rage for fine and generally pretty faces; but they are the most determined minaudières in the whole

ter's wife down to the grocer's, that world. They would think it a mortal sin

a nobleman-visiter, who did not look against good breeding if they either spoke deep below the surface, said, on his or moved in a natural manner. They all

return home—“I have just escaped affect a little soft lisp and a pretty pit-a- from a city to which the devil appat step, which female frailties ought, pears to have carried all the riches of however, to be forgiven them in favour of Europe.” their civility and good-nature to strangers, Let the most rigid moralist take up which I have a great deal of reason to

a French novel of the bad kind, and praise."

allow his judgment to remain passive Even the good-natured Pollnitz was

for the first eight of the ten volumes obliged, by conscience, to lay some

filled by the story. If at that stage little faults to the charge of the la- he allows his perception to dwell for dies, after lecturing their husbands, a moment on the other slumbering lovers, and sons, in this wise :

faculty, without waking it to moral

consciousness, it will be found sym“The Saxons are addicted to all Plea- pathizing with the author's views and sures in general, but to none so much as wishes, and utterly insensible to conthe Bottle and Gaming. They love Ex- siderations of right and wrong. Somepense, and are naturally not very engag, thing similar had taken place at the ing, being exceedingly. ceremonious, and Saxon court, and in the society whom affecting more than all the Germans to ape it naturally influenced. The careless the French, particularly in their fondness for new Fashions, their Forwardness in mak

Count Pollnitz could not be expected ing new Acquaintances, and their readiness to be a very rigid " censor morum, to fall out with them on every trifling Oc- for he only lived when moving among casion.

courtly throngs. Hear how he men“Since I have spoken so much of the tions the Countess of Königsmarck, Men, I must also give you some account of when giving an account of the four the Saxon Women. They are all of a fair sons and three daughters legitimized Complexion, and there are among them the by the King :finest Faces in the World. They are generally well-shap'd, too, which is what they "Count Maurice of Saxony* is the eldest are generally taken notice of for. They of the King's natural children. His moare tall and slender ; they dance well, and ther, Aurora, Countess Königsmarck, was have a surprising genteel Air, which they the most worthy of her sex in Europe to be take great Care to improve by rich dress. the mistress of a great sovereign, and of all One Fault I find with them is, that they are the King's favourites, she kept longest in very affected, and that they have too much his favour, so that after her retirement she Action when they talk. As to their tem- continued in the possession of his Majesty's pers, they are reckoned to be good-natured; Esteem and Favour. She is still living, and but then they are subtle and crafty. They after having been the Prioress of the Imlove Dress and Ornament more than all Wo- perial Lutheran Abbey of Quedlinburg, she men that ever I saw. They are lively and rose to be the Abbess.' gay, and passionately fond of Dancing and Merriment. When once they love, they

Once on a time, when her royal love with Tenderness; and there are among lover was in an uncomfortable per

[ocr errors]

* Madame Dudevant (George Sand) prides herself on being the lineal descendant of King Augustus and Countess Aurora. When genius takes possession of an individual of such a race, we cannot expect the results to be otherwise than of a bizarre and eccentric character.

plexity between Charles XII. and his Augustus's minister of state.

He own senate, and concluded that a had scarcely conveyed her to Dresden, private treaty with the Swede was when the King and she became irrethe only means to get him out of his vocably enamoured of one another. difficulty, he empowered the fair The enraged husband at once obtained Aurora to act as plenipotentiary. a divorce, and to spite his faithless With any other European sovereign wife, he took another to his bosom. she would have been successful - If we mistake not, King Augustus perhaps even with the cast-iron must, by this time, appear to our Charles himself, but he took special readers as a sort of suitor irresistible care not to hazard an interview. Count to the too impressible ladies of Poland Piper was indiscreet enough to pro- and Saxony from his manly beauty, mise her that favour, but all his and and the combined dignity and agreeher efforts were to no purpose. Yet ability of his manners ; yet the report she seemed to have everything in her of the wooing subscribed by Lady favour. She was a Swede by birth, Mary ran thus :-Enter Gentleman and had even celebrated the Hero with a horseshoe in one hand, and a of the North in passable French bag containing a hundred thousand verses. (She could speak several Eu- crowns in the other. The expression ropean languages with fluency). These of his face is at once tender, insinuatare the concluding lines of the com- ing, and truculent. position, in which the gods had vied Lady.-0, my sovereign! why this with each other in conferring gifts unreadable expression on your august on the insensible hero:

face, so calculated to produce rapture

and dismay? Why are the muscles “Enfin chacun des dieux discourant à sa

of your strong right arm distended by gloire,

that cruel weight, and why is your Le placoit par avance au temple de royal and electoral left degraded by

mémoire, Mais Venus ni Bacchus n'en dirent pas domestic drudge ?

that vulgar adjunct to the foot of a

Gentleman.—Madam, I am a man Other stratagems proving useless, of few words. Quit Hoym; "come she attempted to waylay him in his live with me and be my love," and daily excursions. Meeting him one take, oh take that heavy bag. But day in a narrow road, she at once if you adhere to Hoym and the conalighted from her coach, but the nubial pot a feu, and thus treat your enemy was so dismayed that he at lover and sovereign with neglect, obonce turned his horse, and rode back serve what such contemners may in unseemly discomfiture. So the expect, and tremble ! Twists the fair Aurora failed in her mission, but horseshoe, and it snaps in twain. she had the satisfaction of feeling Lady turns from the terrible sight, that she was the

only mortal of whom kneels by the money bag, and kisses the the redoubted Charles XII. stood in securing string. awe. The unhappy and unprincipled Countess de Hoym being created lover of Sophia Dorothea, wife of Countess of Cozel, rather abused her -George I..of England, was her bro- privileges. The king, though a marther.

ried man at the time, gave her in Lady Mary relates the wooing of writing a matrimonial post obit on the Countess of Cozel at second hand, himself, payable whenever death but the amusing circumstances de- should remove his queen. And if her tailed by her are, we admit, impro- devotedness to his person could enbable. Our readers shall have them, sure happiness, "Seged, King of Ethitrue and false, as they remain in the opia,” might envy him. She more witty Englishwoman's lively gossip. than once exhibited to his admiring We first hear of her as maid of honour though startled gaze, a small and to the Duchess of Wolfembuttle, richly ornamented pistol, and solemnly then as the wife of Count de Hoym, swore, by the unbounded love she bore

un mot."*

* Last of all, each of the gods holding forth in his praise, set him up in the Temple of Memory. But not a word was uttered by Venus or Bacchus,

him, that if he “proved false to his the Prussian Pepys, as he detailed his vows” she would most assuredly experiences to our British tourists : lodge its contents in her own bosom

" The King thereupon desired to see her, do you suppose? by no means—in and she came into his presence in the Amathe most vital portion of his own zonian habit, which was her favourite Dress. well-developed person. An intense The King thought she resembled him very passion of love or hate being irrecon- much; and not being able to resist the cilable with domestic comfort, the tender Impressions of Nature, he embraced poor king began to hint to the coun

her and called her his Daughter. At the tess that his conscience was perpe

same Time he ordered the whole Court to tually upbraiding him about that acknowledge her in that Quality, gave her a

magnificent Palace, with Diamonds without unlucky written promise of rever

Number, and settled great Pensions on her. sionary marriage, as ever was the 'Tis certain that never was Daughter so English Harry when he began to re- like her Father. She had the same Features, flect that he had married question- Temper, and Genius. It was impossible for ably. She hinted that she was by no her to be handsomer, with a more grand means keeper of his conscience ; that Air. She is fond of Magnificence, Expence, being master, he might take her life and Pleasures. One of her Diversions is to at any time, but her precious paper, Habit I saw her for the first time when she

dress in Man's Apparel. It was in this never! So the lovers, who erst found life

was on Horseback, in a purple Habit em

broidered with ilver, and wore the blue unendurable if separated for half a

Ribband of Poland. Being all alone I day, found out at last that they were could not learn who she was; but really not at all too remote from each other, took her to be some young foreign Nobleone at Berlin, the other at Dresden. man whom I had not seen. I never did As she continued inflexible in her see any Body sit better than she did on determination to retain the engage- Horseback, or have a more amiable Air, ment, the Prussian king, at the insomuch that many Ladies would have request of his brother of Saxony, per- been glad of a Lover so handsome. The mitted her arrest and deportation from

same Evening I saw her at the Ball, where his capital. Continuing obstinate, Habit was more rich than it was in the

she was still dressed like a Man, only her she was confined in a Saxon castle, Morning, and her dishevell'd Locks of Hair until the death of Augustus deter- hung down in fine Curls about her Shoulmined her reversionary claim, in 1733. ders. So that Cupid himself was not more Lady Mary remarks, in reference to tempting when he appeared before Psyche. her determined will, “I cannot for- Her good Mein (sic) and the graceful Air bear having some compassion for a with which I saw her dance a Minuet, made woman that suffers for a point of me enquire who this pretty youth was. honour, however mistaken, especially Count Rotofski, who overheard me, made in a country where points of honour Answer, Come along with me, and I will are not over-scrupulously observed by leave you to come off with him as well as

make him known to you. Then I will ladies.” One of Countess Cozel's successful the Person he was going to usher me to,

you can.' I guessed by these Words that rivals was a certain Mme. Renard, of was the Countess Orzelska, and I was conWarsaw, though the king for a long firmed in my suspicion when I heard Count time did not show much affection for Rotofski say to her-Sister, here is a Genthe daughter, afterwards Countess tleman who has all due Respects for you, Orzelska, whom she presented to and who, I'll engage, will be ready to serve him. Her half-brother, Count Ro you in whatever you shall require of him.' tofski,* finding her in that city in Mademoiselle Orzelska smiling at this discircumstances very unsuitable to the which I owed to her Rank, and she received

course, I saluted her with all the respect daughter of a king, took the liberty

me in the most obliging manner possible. of reminding her father of her con

I saw her next Day in Women's Apparel, dition. We shall here quote the and thought her still more amiable. I words of our valuable acquaintance visited her every day and generally found

* Another illegitimate child of the King's. His mother was a Turkish lady who happened to be made prisoner of war, and Augustus would have probably remained constant to her had it not been for the unprincipled Mme. de Lubomirski, to whom he was obliged to surrender at a very short notice. Rutofski inherited much of the strength, dexterity, valour, and bonhommie of his father.

with her, Charles Lewis, a younger Prince in his service, concluded it with of the Family of Holstein Beck, who, 'twas these words :said, was the happy man for whom she was designed in Marriage.”

" Dixi, et Salvavi Animam."

Flemming, on reading the docuThe King of Poland and his con- ment through, and stumbling on some temporary Philip of Orleans, the Re- uncomplimentary remarks on his own gent, resembled each other very much conduct thus subscribed it :in their good and evil qualities. Both

"Maledixisti et Damnaberis." were above taking personal revenge ; each possessed the qualities that emi- In our paper on Frederic William's nently distinguish the gentleman; household, some of Flemming's proeach was prone to ennui, Philip par- ceedings were discussed. He had ticularly so, when not engrossed by the honour of negotiating the marbusiness or in the full swing of en- riage of the Prince Elector with the joyment. Augustus conceded some- Archduchess Maria Josepha. He obthing to religious etiquettes and de- tained a divorce from his wife, and cencies, Philip renounced them all, his son by his second was only a year and both died before their natural and a half old at his own death in time. Even in their favourite daugh- Vienna. This child dying shortly ters the parallel held good. Countess after, the vast riches which the count Orzelska was as great a favourite had 'accumulated at the expense of with Augustus, as the Duchess of his country and his king, passed into Berri was with Philip. Neither of the hands of his second wife, who the ladies ruled a happy household. soon transferred them to a second Charles Lewis deserted his wife after husband. So, as the French say, the death of her father, and students what was got by the fife was spent of French history are not ignorant of by the drum.” the unedifying life of the “Regent's The count could be courteous when Daughter."

he judged it needful; otherwise his At the time of the visit of our demeanour was contemptuous, and sight-seers, the great Count Flem- bitter jests were no strangers to his ming had gone to his account, and tongue. Pollnitz hadexperienced some very various were the impressions unkindness at his hands, and the chasought to be made on the strangers racter he has sketched of him savours concerning his character and adminis- of his soreness. :tration. He was the son of the Pre

“Count Flemming was taller than ordisident of the Regency of Stargard, the

nary, but a handsome Man. He had very capital of Prussian Pomerania, and regular Features, a lively Eye, a disdainful had served in his youth in the army Sneer, a haughty Air, and he was really of Brandenbourg. He entered the proud, and beyond measure ambitious. He Saxon army during the short reign was generous to a degree of Ostentation, and of Augustus's brother, and served always aimed to do Something to be talked against the Turks in Hungary, in of. He was vigilant, laborious, indefatiga1695-6. In 1697 he was sent into ble, allowed himself little sleep, and when-, Poland, where, by the aid of some

ever he took a Debauch, a Nap of two Hours powerful relatives, he was instru- him to go from a Debauch to Business, than

set him to Rights again. It was no more for mental in having his master elected from Business to a Debauch, and he never king, with the title of Augustus II. fatigued himself, but dispatched the greatest This service procured him the office Affairs with so much ease as if they were of Major General, and laid the foun- only a diversion. He loved to banter, but dation of his fortunes. It is said did not always make use of the terms suitathat he advised the Elector to detain ble to his character; and Persons who did Charles XII. on the occasion of that

not dare to answer him again, were commad hero's visit to Dresden. Whe- monly the Butt of his Raillery. He was pother he urged his master to deliver lite when he had a mind to it, but in the up the Russian Patkul or not, there general Course of his Behaviour, he carried

an Air fitter for a Captain of Dragoons than existed a confirmed dislike between for a Marshall and a Prime Minister. He the two men. Patkul having pre- never did a Thing for any Body without sented a petition to Augustus for the some view. He scrupled neither Cunning, amelioration of the Russian soldiery nor even Perjury; and provided he could

gain his Ends, all ways were alike fair to a Religion which he treated as Idolatry. I him. All his Life-Time he took care to do told him that I did not think that he need his own Business first, and then his Master's, give himself any trouble about my Conthe King's; and I question if I do him any version, since according to his System, I Injustice if I say that he was the King of was damn'd when a Calvinist as well as Prussia's Minister much more than the King when a Catholic. The Case is not quite the of Poland's.”

Same,' said the Minister. But to turn We have seen that the Elector con

Papist." cried he, 'to adore Baal! to become formed to the Roman Catholic reli- ter to be a damn’d Calvinist! I own that

a disciple of Antichrist! Alas! it were betgion on being crowned King of I had much ado to help laughing outright at Poland. He did not much relish the the Minister's impertinent Zeal. He said inrestrictions attached to that high and deed a great deal; and because I made uneasy dignity, and spent as little 10 answer, he thought he had touched time at Warsaw as he could. His me to the quick. He was actually apSaxon subjects disliked his new faith, plauding himself for the good Work but were much attached to his person, I told him it neither consisted with my

he had wrought upon my Soul, when and remained loving and loyal lieges Character normy Temper, to dispute to his descendants, though they con

about Religion. What Blindness is tinued in the adopted faith of their here ? cried the Doctor again. "What a strong-armed ancestor. Count Poll- mad Papist are you? If you will not be nitz happened to be a Roman Ca- of our Communion, return to the Religion tholic* when Peregrine and Mentor which you have abandon’d, in which there enjoyed the advantage of his society, is some hope, at least, that God will pardon and the three gentlemen being very you." tolerant in their way their intercourse

“Formerly the Preachers had the Pleasure was pleasant enough. The count

of venting their choler in the Pulpit, but the would frequently invoke their sympa- of the Gospel, and to treat of controversial

King has confined them now to the preaching thies for the sufferings he was endur

matters no farther than is meerly necessary ing at the hands of one or other of for the People's instruction. For the rest, the Lutheran ministers, who looked the Parsons need not fear being soon supon him as no better than a brand re- planted, for the Saxons are hearty Lutherans; served for Gehenna. One of these and if they tolerate the Catholics 'tis because complaints took the following shape : they can't help it. They have excluded

them from offices in the Courts of Judicature, 66I happened yesterday to be making a vi- and from the Privilege of enjoying Lands, sit to a Lutheran Lady, who passes for a very but they have not been able to keep them devout one, when who should come to add out of Places in the Ministry, or at Court, himself to the Company but a Minister that

nor from Employments in the Army, which was a Doctor, and by consequence a Man

are three very engaging Articles to make of Importance. As such too he was re- Proselytes among the Gentry.” ceived by the Mistress of the House, who, as soon as she saw his face, said to me. This phase in the progress of so

you will now see a holy Man.' The Good ciety from the sharp warfare of creed Man entered the Room with the air of one

to indifference or toleration, is worth saying Domine non sum dignus. He spoke on serious subjects, and was hearken'd to

a passing thought. The sincere Prowith as much attention as if he was an

testants and Roman Catholics of oracle. I listend to him at first like the Germany in our day, are rather more rest, but at last I thought I might as well interested in checking the spread of talk to a pretty young Lady that sate just Colenso-Strausso-Renanism, than in by me. The Doctor, offended by seeing the girding at each other. little regard I paid to what he said, enquir'd In one of the excursions made by of the mistress of the House who I was. She

our tourists they came to the town of told him my Name, and withal that I was Mersebourg; and entering the church once a Calvinist, but that I was turned Papist. they stood for some time before the What a Thunder-Stroke was this to the Doctor! He threw himself to the Back of monument of Rodolph of Schwartzhis Chair

, lifted up his Eyes to Heaven, bourg, who died in a battle fought sighed, and cried out 'Das Gott erbarme'

with the Emperor Henry IV. He i.e., God help us ! Then transported by a

had lost a hand in the fight, and when fit of Zeal, he turned about to me, and he was dying he held it up with the asked me what had induced me to embrace other and reproached his allies for

* Let it be hoped that the reader has kept in mind his three changes of faith.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »