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COURT AND FASHIONABLE

MAGAZINE,

For NOVEMBER, 1807.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

OF

ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES.

The Twenty-fourth Number.

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF ETRURIA.

1795.

MARIA LOUISA JOSEPHINA, the Queen entertaining; and in a short time peace Dowager, Regent of the kingdom of Etruria, and content reigned through the whole was born at Madrid on the 17th of July, kingdom. 1782, and is the daughter of Charles IV. In 1803 this Princess mourned the loss King of Spain, and of his Queen Louisa of her husband. He was a man of a weak Maria Theresa, bern a Princess of Parma. mind and constitution, ambitious and timid, She was married to her first cousin, the late superstitious and irresolule, but the mildKing of Etruria, on the 25th of August, ness of his temper and his untiinely death,

They were both descendants of at the age of thirty-two, caused him to be Philip V. the grandson of Louis XIV. and sincerely regretted. He left a son, Charles made by him a King of Spain, and acknow-Louis II. born on the 22d of December, ledged as such by England and all other 1799, and a daughter, born some months countries by the treaty of Utrecht in 1713. after his death. The son succeeded him,

After the series of victories won over the and the Queen Dowager was proclaimed Germans in 1800, the French Government Queen Regent during his minority. resolved to change the grand duchy of When Bonaparte had ascended the imTuscany into a kingdom, and reward the perial throne, it is reported that he sent promptitude with which Spain had made Eugenius de Beauharnais to ask the hand peace by granting the crown of Etruria of the royal widow; wlio returned a polite to a Spanish prince. The treaty of Lune- refusal. ville sanctioned the ascension of the In- Secured from the fear of foreign enemies fant of Spain to the Etrurian throne, and by the same hand that has overturned and the silence of all the sovereigos of Europe created kingdoms, this Princess dedicates acknowledges the legitimacy of the new all the blooming hours of her youth to a monarch's title.

strict performance of the duties of her The virtue and mildness of the royal station, and all her cares to the prosperity couple, vanquished the prejudices which of her subjects and the education of her their new subjects could not refrain from children.

ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS.

PAULINA; OR, THE RUSSIAN DAUGHTER.

ANOTHER HISTORY OF THE RUSSIAN LADY WHICH WAS INSERTED IN OUR LAST MAGAZINE,

AS VERSIFIED BY MR. MERRY.

SINCE the foregoing story was written we

One moonlight evening, whilst walking on the have discovered a poem on the same subject, by terrace, she heard a plaintive love-song addressed the late Mr. Robert Merry, who published it in to her in a manly voice. in 1787; of which we shall give a copious ac

“ The youth advanc'd before th' astonishid maid; count, as it has become extremely scarce.

Around his limbs no wint'ry robe was cast It is entitled, “Paulina; or, the Russian T'oppose the fury of the searching blast, Daughter;" and is comprised in a thousand and

But in despite of cold, his bosom bare ten lines, divided into two parts. The motto we

Betray'd a careless desolation there.” have taken as selected by the poet. In the Preface he says:-“ As the affecting

This she perceived more distinctly as he apand extraordinary combination of circumstances proached the terrace, by means of the light in her that overwhelmed the unfortunate Paulina, ap

chamber. She finds him to be her lover, Mar.

kof. peared to me, upon first hearing, not unworthy

Whilst she was conversing with him a of the generous sympathy of a British public, 1

storm arises. caused a simple relation of the same to be printed

“ The argent moon retires, in a London newspaper, in the month of Sep- || And in a cloud collects her mimic fires; tember, 1783. What impression that account Confusion reigns, and Terror's monster form made I know noi, but I hope it was not such as Stalks in the uproar of the coming storm, to render improper this attempt of treating the His arrowy sleet the genius of the pole subject in verse. And I trust the ensuing pages | Shoots furious forth, and mulering thunders roll, may in some degree serve to show, that unremit- | While with red glance his eye-balls flash around, ting parental severity tends to excite in youthful And the broad lustre glows upon the ground; minds a fatal terror, which the weakness of na. The forest groans, and every beast of prey ture is unable to encounter, and which often- | Hies to his wonted covert far away ; times the maturity of reason and reflection is The startled peasant shudd'ring in his bed insufficient to overcome. From this story also Doubts the weak structure of th’uncertain shed." we may be -taught to consider, that confidence

She invites himn in :and security are not for mortals; that the most pure of heart, the most noble of sentiment, and Seek, if thou canst, a welcome shelter here, the most innocent of intention, are hourly liable Nor shall to-night my father's steps in vade to be involved in all the horrors of guilt, infamy, || The sacred transport of a faithful maid. and despair, from the mere operation of human Tird with a sportsman's toil amid the snows, imbecility, and a hapless train of unforeseen | He early sought refreshment from repose, events. Several persons of chracter and dis- And far, his chamber on the southern side tinction in Russia have given testimony to the From mine long passages and halls divide; reality of the transactions which I have endea- Nor is the terrace high, and love has wings, voured to describe, and which happened in a re- O'er ev'ry human boundary he springs." mote part of that extensive empire.”

He climbs a spreading fir-tree, and from its The story in the poem varies from that already | branches given. We shall tell part of it in the Poet's own

“Springs to Paulina's arms, and clasps her round, words, with a few lines in prose necessary to Sooths with a fond respect her wak’ning fears, connect the selections, which also include the

And on her white haard melis in rape'rous tears, variations.

Tells of the long-felt pangs that tore his breast, “ For twice nine summers had the matron's care Days mark'd with woe, and nights upknown to To ev'ry virtue traind the pliant fair; Alas! twelve moons had sadly waned away, His eyes o'er all her timid beauties rore Since in the tomb that friend, that mother lay.” In sweet delirium of extatic love;

rest.

tween.”

shed,

His plighted faith with solemn oaths he gives Now on her terrace wildly rushing forth
As solemn she his plighted faith receives.

To court the icy fury of the north,
In whisp'ring joy the rapid moments glide, Her fev'rish bosom only seems to find
He looks the husband, and she smiles the bride; || A.burning torrent in each passing wind:
To happier scenes their active fancies stray Oft to Alexis, with imagin'd bliss,
The hop'd Elysium of a future day.”

She madly kneels, and gives th' unanswer'd kiss; This concludes the first part; the second begins

A while unsettled, and awhile serene, with recounting her conversation with Markof.

She doubts, she loves, she hopes, and faints be“ But oh! what horror seiz'd her quiv'ring heart, What un prov'd anguish of distressful smart,

At dawn of day she goes to seek the porter, who When on the steps that to her chamber lead

is thus described :She starting listens to her father's tread;

“ Dark was his brow, and not one gleam of grace With out-stretch'd arm, and terror-rolling eye,

Play'd on the surly featutes of his face; Perceives his steady pace still winding nigh,

His pallid ese-balls shot a villain's gaze, And destitute of ev'ry wish'd relief,

Mingled with abject cunning's hateful rays; She stands a marble monument of grief;

Nor o'er his brows wero Time's white honoure Meantime Alexis' more attentive care Observ'd a chest that time was mould'ring there. But half-form'd gray usurp'd a sallow red; Within the stifling void his limbs he threw,

No pleasing accents glided from his tongue, And ere it clos'd sigh'd forth one deep adieu.”

Like age he seem'd that never had been young; Her father enters, harshly exclaiming,

Yet oft his eye would send unholy fires, “ Thou torment of my life,

That love lasciviousness alone inspires ; Thou living semblance of my hated wife,

For when he saw Paulina's form appear, Why, thus disturbid at midnight's peaceful hour, || He turn'd' away, yet as he turn'd would leer; Sbun'st thou oblivious sleep's consoling pow'r ?"

And by the fiery glance too plainly show'd But thou, when all the living mock the dead,

That brutal passion in his bosom glow'd. Measur'st thy chamber with unquiet tread.

But most cold avarice his thoughts confin'd Perhaps some lawless flame usurps thy breast,

And stift'd ev'ry virtue in his mind." Some youth, tho' absent, suill disturbs thy rest;

She implores relief, and tries to engage him to Nay, such are female arts, this chest may hold

bear the body away and inter it. He, far from Some base selucer, some advent'rer bold.”

being moved by her supplications and her disHe continues to scold and threaten the young || cress, threatens to acquaint her father immedilady jll he is tired, and then leaves her.-Theately with the terrible event, and concludera poet now invokes his Muse:

“ Unless thou willing com'st my bed to share, “ Come now, distracted Muse

Unless thou yielJ'st the treasure of thy charms Inspire my sorr’wing verse, which strives to show

To the warm transport of these longing arms." The start of anguish, and the shriek of woe, The pray'r half-utter'd, and the tear half-shed, The shuddering maid faints, and the villain, When first Paulina found her lover dead."

bears the hapless victiin to his bed. He after

wards “ Nor would she think it true, but ask'd him why So cold his hand, and so unmou'd his eye?

.“ Bore Alexis to a neighb'ring wood, Said that the bitter tempest now was o'er,

Stabb'd his cold heart, and stain'u the wound Her father gone, and he need sleep no more.

with blood; But soon returning reason bade her know

There, welt'ring in the wind, the youth he laid, The wide-embracing agony of woe;

To meet some casual traveller's fun'ral aid. Her bosom rose convulsive, the thick sigh

The inhuman porter, now a tyrant grown, Stuck in her throat with passion'd ecstacy; Smile's at Paulina's rage, and mocks her moan; "And is,' she cried, 'that noble spirit feu ? Whene'er he calls, the unassisted fair O let me also join the sacred dead!'

Is doom'd his execrable bed to share, Then sudden sunk to momentary rest,

Meet the lewd terrors of his dire embrace, Cold on her dear Alexis' colder breast.

And yield ih’ insulting spoiler ev'ry grace, Alas! reviving sense awakid her care

Till oft repeated pleasures pail his sense ; To deeper horrors of sublime despair;

And interest sought for other recompense. To dire perfection of excessive pain,

Soon as dull night a murky manile spread To weep, to pray, to think, to feel in vain. O'er the dim plain, and mountain's misty head, One while she melts, then stiffens into stone, Some sordid lovers to her couch repair Now mingles laughter with her maniac moan; And press the beauties of th' abhorrent fair;

No. XXIV. Vol. III.

The young, the vain, the hideous, and the old, Then on her knees in agony of sighs,
Bought the reluctant ecstacy with gold,

Thus to th’ Pow'r Supreme her accents rise :
Poor luckless girl!"-

O thou first cause! who rul'st this world below,

Dread scene of complicated vice and woe,
At last she is dragged by the inhuman slave to

If to thine all-embracing spirit seem
a dwelling,

Or good or bad this life's inysterious dream, “Where twelve mean wretches drain'd the frantic if thou canst pity those who suffer here bowl,

The setiled sorrow of the daily lear,
Of manners rude, and infamous of soul,

If ev'ry action of this world combin'd
Barren of sentiment and feeling too,

Still float before thine inexhausted mind,
Sons of severe debauch, a baleful crew;

My injuries shall with my faults be known,
To such as these the meek Paulina borne,

And plead for pardon at thine awful throne.
With eyes that stream'd like A pril's humid morn, || Now too in deep contrition will I swear
Sustain'd the savage wrongs of brutal fire,

To pass my life in penitence and pray'r,
Their mingled insults, and their causeless ire."

To pour the pious hymn at early morn;
Here the poet has the consideration to insert || Quit cv'ry rose, and dwell upon the thorn.
the following note:--" It has been objected by Far from my hear'n-fix'd thoughts shall now be
friends whose opinion I much respect, that the hurld
continuation of Paulina's submission to her | The joys of youth and pleasures of the world;
wrongs, takes from the propriety of pity; but if In humble solitude my days shall Row,
it be considered that the same cause existed which And hallow'd hope be all the bliss I know.
overcame her in the first instance, I hope I shall Grim suicide, to ease my lab'ring heart,
be justified in adhering to the fact.” These Shall vainly lift his sadly.tempting dari ;
wretches all get intoxicated,

For I will suffer what just fate may give, “And drunkenness, than death more dire to view, And all my sins to expiate, dare to live.” Wraps in oblivious veil' the inhuman crew.” Ten lines more conclude the poem; and at the “ Meantime Paulina who with folded arms

end is the following note:-“ It may perhaps Sate silent by, and brooded o'er her harms,

not be uninteresting to the curious to know, that Observ'd th' occasion, while within her breast

the whole of the above related transaction was Revenge awoke for modesty opprest;

discovered by means of the wife of Paulina's She saw weak hope expand a twilight ray,

Confessor; * and that in consequence the magThat offer'd rest to calm her future day."

nanimous Catharine II. took the unfortunate Now comes the catastrophe, ushered in by the girl under her protection, and procured her the

necessary retirement in a convent which she following reflection :

ardently desired.” « Ah! who among the best can ever know We know not from what sources the poet bas What coming guilt can lay lis virtue low?

taken his story. The improbability of Paulina's Strange chance, or injury, or love, or rage, living with a brutal slave, without the knowledge To sudden acts of infamy engage;

of her father, is striking; and the narrative of And the most happy may lo-morrow try

such a young girl's assassinating thirteen drunken The arduous weight of life's calamity."

Russian peasants with impunity, borders so nearly Paulina seizes a dagger from the porter's belt, on impossibility, that it is incredible; conse"And with unerring stroke around,

quently the pity excited by the former part of the In every heart fix'd deep the vengeful wound;

narrative is greatly enfeebled, if not lost in diso Death triumph'd there, while from each villain's gust. The murder of her tyrant alone, would

have been as effectual for her deliverance, and it side The ebbing purple pour'd a smoky tide.

may perhaps be allowed that the poet had not

the least occasion for a dozen more barbarians, Now from the horrid scene she turn'd her view, And with quick-palpitating anguish flew.

and that the chaste story as we have given it in But first in haste the mansion key she tore,

prose, would have been far preferable for the subThat her late tyrant at his girdle bore;

ject of the poem. Of the poetry the reader will Then home return'd across the silent lawn,

be able to judge, as our extracts amount to one

fifth of the whole work.
With all the fleetuess of the bounding fawn.
Soon as she reached her solitary room,
Which yet no streaks of early light illume,

* Confessors have no wives, and it is death to On the hard floor her lovely limbs she throws, reveal a confession, or rather was so at that xime. While many a tear its timely aid bestows;

NOTE OF THE EDITOR,

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