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I have a scene to paint, will rouse such rage!
The date and what follows are chiefly taken from Mary's own letter to her ambassador in Paris, the Arch-Bishop of Glasgow.Vide Chalmer's life of Mary Stuart. p. 163.
At length the King with wondering eyes beheld
THOUGHTS ON WOMAN'S LOVE.-A FRAGMENT.
Holyrood-House, April, 1566.
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell.- Whatever were Bothwell's motives for his conduct, he uniformly deserved to be stiled by Mary, during her long acquaintance with him previous to ber disastrous marriage, “ faithful and loyal ;" and he seemed to have transferred to the daughter the love and devotion which be had felt and openly professed towards her mother, Mary of Guise ; for there ja the greatest reason to believe, that this supposed gallant of the youthful Mary waa least sixty at the time of her fancied connection with him.
SKETCHES OF SOCIETY AND MANNERS IN LONDON
From Sir CHARLES DARNLEY, Bart. to the MARQUIS DE VERMONT.
Paris. from vice half its deformity in stripMY DEAR MARQUIS,
ping it of all its grossness.' Though you are somewhat I am told that, however intimately severe in your remarks on that high persons of opposite sexes may have and mighty power, the certain set of passed together the preceding hours London, your last letter has pleased of the day, when they afterwards meet me much; because, in your picture at one of these soirées, they exchange of the family of Mr. Gourville, I the most formal bows, observe the recognize a society in which, above strictest decorum, and address each all others, I wish you to pass your other with all the etiquette of frigid time; for you will find in that res. : civility. Now, though your countrypectable and also numerous circle men are, as I have before observed, (for in London many persons of the best actors in the world, so good families, large fortunes, and unnatural a part cannot be played extensive information, live only for without much restraint on the feelthemselves and their friends, and ings of the performers-and hence decline all intercourse with what is that general stiffness and dulness called “ the gay world”) the best which have surprised me so much antidote to the follies and vices in these assemblies. In England, which may disgust you among the you have occasionally remarked and morei notorious, but less virtuous censured the too great familiarity members of this certain set. ,
with which unmarried young people Indeed, I believe that no person converse together in public. That ought to form an opinion of na- impropriety (if it be one), is octional manners, unless he has been casioned by the difficulty which they long enough in the country which find of meeting in private, owing he is visiting to be admitted behind to the extreme strictness of our the scenes, if I may be permitted to manners. When, therefore, two peruse the expression.
sons are mutually attached, and acYou tell me that already you cidentally thrown together in one of begin to be reconciled to many cus our crowded galas, it is impossible toms in London, which at first ap to check the ardour of youth-one peared to you most improper and speaks, and the other listens, in spite unbecoming. As my acquaintance of all the dictates of prudence and with Paris increases, I not only find propriety, and in spite too of the many things to admire, but, even in presence of a thousand observing those which I cannot commend, and criticising lookers-on. All this much to palliate and soften their is reversed in France; most of the impropriety. In my last letter, 1 ladies who form your society are complained of the gloom which married women; and if one of them seemed to pervade the evening parties is indiscreet enough to receive an of your most distinguished houses. admirer (pardon the supposition), I have since endeavoured to account she has so many opportunities of for a trait so inconsistent with the receiving her Lothario chez elle that general character of the French, both parties would be equally foolish and, I believe, I have discovered it and indecent, were they to tell their in that attention so generally paid tale of love in the presence of all their to the observance of la bienséance, a acquaintance. Yet it must require word which cannot be literally trans no trifling command both of counlated, but which means, I believe, tenance and feeling, after spending an outward appearance of decency the morning tête à tête, to meet in and correctness, which, in the words the evening like acquaintances newly of our celebrated Burke, 16 takes introduced.
A propos, I must not forget to be called for me in his carriage, and tell you of a curious discovery which we drove to a splendid hotel in one I lately made in the annals of gals of the best streets of this city. The lantry. I happened a few evenings mansion, containing a numerous since to be standing at one of these suite of rooms, was scarcely less in assemblies, near the beautiful Vicom- dimensions than the palace of Carltesse de , when Mr. (whose ton-House; and the furniture, degravity you know almost amounts corations, and attendance, all bore to primness) approached her with the appearance of the establishment the usual ceremonious bow,, and of a person of the highest rank. spoke to her for some minutes with We were received by a middle aged distant coldness. As, however, the lady of polished manners. conversation grew animated (for Among the company assembled, I getting, I suppose, where he was) in observed several gentlemen decoa fit of absence, he said, “ Mais, ma rated with stars and other badges chère-;" she coloured and frown. of French and foreign orders; and ed-the rest of the company stared, the female members of the society, and Mr. perceiving his mistake whose dresses were both correct and made a thousand apologies to the elegant, were seated as usual, side Vicomtesse, who indignantly asked by side, in two rows of armed chairs. him what had induced him to ad. When the musicians, consisting of dress her so familiarly, while, by an entire band, struck up a favourite way of excuse, he told her that he air, the dancers selected their parthad been spending the morning with ners, led them with due ceremony his sister in the country, and talking to the centre of the room, and, at to her on family affairs of great in
the conclusion of the quadrille, reportance, which so filled his head conducted them to their places. ihat he really thought he had been Nothing could be more decorous still speaking to her.
than the conduct of all the persons I mentioned this occurrence on the who formed the party. Not a word following day to a French friend was said at which the coldest prude well acquainted with la carte du could have taken offence, nor was pays, who was extremely amused, even a meretricious look exchanged and quickly observed, “as Mr. between any of the company. Yet is the coldest and most cautious of after I had given my friend and inmen, I am indeed surprised at his troducer a fair opportunity of enbeing guilty of such a violation of joying his joke, by commending on les usages du monde: I never should this occasion (as I had often done have expected that he would call before) the superior decency of Mde. la Vicomtesse by so endearing French manners, he informed me a name in public, but all Paris knows that, in spite of all this disthat he has long enjoyed the privi- play of exterior correctness, the lege of doing so in private."
place we were at was a common Indeed, though I cannot compli- gaming house (such as we call in ment you by saying that I think London a Hell), and was part of the your morals purer than our's, I con establishment of the too-well known sess you set us an example as to the Salon : that the elegant lady who appearance of propriety; and I am presided was the celebrated Madame every day more and more surprised de NS (whom, in a report of at the external decency which the the gaities of Paris, our_Morning manners of all classes assume, at Post thought fit to call a Duchess ;) Paris, as the strongest proof which I that the ladies, whose proper concan adduce of their general attention duct I had so much commended, to outward decorum. I shall now beg were either kept girls or public leave to relate a circumstance which women, belonging to the Palaislately happened to myself.
Royal; and that the elegant dresses An English friend well acquainted which they wore on the occasion with your manners offered to take were hired from an adjoining masme to a ball about to be given by querade warehouse. a female acquaintance of his, and After this example of attention to brought me an invitation in the appearances, even in the most pra usual form. At the appointed time fligate, it must be acknowledged
that, if you are not votaries of vir- the attributes of propriety, we hide tue, you involuntarily, show your its disgusting form, and thereby respect for it by assuining its garb. assist its progress, is a question in
Whether the boasted bienséance morals which I shall not stop to operates in the way which the words
discuss. of Mr.Burke already quoted express;
Adieu. or whether, in decorating vice with
From the MARQUIS DE VERMONT to SIR CHARLES DARNLEY, Bart.
London, order to prove to their less fortunate MY DEAR SIR CHARLES,
and envying neighbours that they AGREBABLY to the promise with possess that advantage. Some who, which I concluded my last letter, I after various attemps, had proved now resume the subject of that cer. unsuccessful candidates, maintain a tair set who appear to me the dicta- gloomy silence, and tremble every tors of London society, and, who moment lest an awkward question yet are no less implicitly obeyed addressed to them should force a rethan if they received the most legi, ply which might betray their disaptimate authority for their usurped pointment. Others again of humbler omnipotepce. To be thought a per. pretensions, hut equally tinctured son of fashion, or, in other words, with vanity, listen with painful at. to move in this magical circle, is the tention; and, treasuring up every grand object of the vain; and in word which falls on the important what assemblage do not the vain subject, lay up a borrowed fund of form the majority ? For this pur, useful information, by the aid of pose, ruinous expenses are incurred, which, when invited to a city or a debts contraeted, friends. neglected, country party, they too may
be and the most abandoned characters abled to talk of the dear Argylenot only received, but courted, and street Rooms; and, shining with admired. The consequence of this lustre not their own, may hope to prevailing weakness is no less fatal give themselves all the importance to rational conversation, than to of initiated members. morals and dignified independence. And now, my dear Darnley, allow : Not only are costly entertain: me to express to you my surprise ments given, often with great in that, at a moment when the general convenience to the donors, for the diffusion of science and useful knowsole purpose of exhibiting in the ledge of all kinds is rapidly overnumber of their guests a galaxy of turning, on the Continent, those K. C. B.'s, lords, ambassadors, and hateful distinctions by which one cabinet ministers, but the topics portion of the same people is markdiscussed at these tables are all ed and separated from the other, chosen with a view of displaying an that England, viewed by all the intimate acquaintance with what world as presenting the model on is called the great world; but which which all other , national improveis, in fact, a very little and very ments must be made, should suffer contemptible one. The mistress of in its capital the establishment of a the house asks, perhaps, the duke society, the foundation of which „who sits next her, whether his Grace can be directed but to one object; is going to the Almack's Wednesday namely, to draw an insuperable barball, or the Friday's French play rier between the nobility (carry. at the Argyle-street Rooms. The ing in their train a few of their mention of these places sets the whole servile satellites) and the rest of panty on the tip-toe of expectation. their equally well born, equally well Some few of the company, more fa: educated, equally well 'mannered, voured than the rest, are inembers and equally independent country. of this all-ennobling society, and men. 'If I may be permitted to pagreedily join in the conversation, in raphrase the well known expression