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“ Prosecute my husband the father of my seven children !” The other lord was more moderate in his counsels. The best thing she could do, according to his ideas, was to go where she pleased, and take. with her any of the children she thought proper. “But," added he, “ leave your daughters with your lord.”-“ I shall never forget Lord Thurlow's manner of telling me [no doubt] this ; nor how near I saw tears starting from those eyes which were supposed never to have wept." It was even suggested to her that she ought to communicate the particulars of this unfortunate business to the Queen; but some considerations, not very intelligible to us, prevented her having recourse to the place of “ last resort." Besides, she could not contemplate lightly the chance of a refusal, even from the Queen of England, she was a Plantagenet, and her proud spirit could not stoop to an explanation. “ Contempt, I confess, cool, rooted contempt was all I felt for Lord Craven's folly;" and as for any calumnies he might propagate respecting her, she was content to be no better off than her godmother, the pattern of her manners, the immaculate Lady Suffolk,* whom the Queen's protection (Caroline, wife of Geo. II.) alone had preserved from the ill-treatment of her lord.
Leaving her noble husband in possession of the field, she sat herself quietly down for a while at St. Germain-en-Laye; where the Queen of France's gaucheries, as she terms them, about her, afforded her some : amusement, and occasioned her a little perplexity. Maria Antoinette, for some reason or other, employed a person to watch her ladyship's conduct; who, betraying the confidence reposed in her, confessed to our authoress, that not only she, but the police, transmitted to the Queen a regular account of her ladyship's proceedings. Bnt, said she, “ Vous êtes si aimable, que je me fic à vous !” Moreover, she asked her ladyship, if it was the Prince de Swho came so often to
“ I told this milliner that I never had permitted the Prince de S - to be presented to me, because he had a very bad character; and that it was the Margrave of Anspach who so frequently visited me; that he had known me from my childhood, and had conceived for me the same partiality that all who had known me from my infancy retained for me.' She does not appear to have had any personal intercourse with the Queen, beyond an accidental rencontre in the gallery at Versailles, where her ladyship was present with her child (Master Keppel,) to see the Royal Family pass to chapel. The Queen noticed the child, and exclaimed, clasping her hands,“ Dieu ! le joli enfant.” . On their return from chapel, the Qucen and Madame Elizabeth stopped and curtsied repeatedly to Lady Craven; the former saying, “ Restez avec nous, Madame!" while the other, with a voice as sweet as her angelic countenance, repeated the phrase,
Tired of her fine dairy and her Alderney cows, in reference to which some polite ecclesiastic characterized her ladyship as “ une très-grande dame, qui ne dédaignait pas les détails du ménage," our authoress sets out on her travels. In Italy she excited the astonishment of every body, by riding on horseback on a side-saddle. The peasants, as they passed her on the right hand, would exclaim, “ Ah! povera—una
* For a mention of " our good Sufolk," see “ Heart of Mid-Lothian."
Gamba!” At Florence, the brilliancy of the moon reminded her of a saying of M. de Carricioli,“ Que la lune de Naples valait bien le soleil de l'Angleterre.” In Venice she expected to find a cheerful city, but was disappointed. The gondolas floated on the water like so many coffins; and the windows of the houses, mostly closed halfway by dirty unpainted shutters, “ had flung a cloud o'er Venice' lovely walls." To compensate for this, the advocate Stephano affordcd her some amusement by his action and grimaces. “ His manner of pleading was that of scolding, and he held his two thumbs upright, which he moved rapidly to and from his breast. I found it difficult to refrain from laughing ; nor could I conceive how the judges could keep their countenances.” A Venetian, who had seen Mr. Scarlett beat time with the fore-finger of one hand upon the fore-finger of the other, might have laboured under a similar difficulty. 'Tis all use and wont.
Our authoress leaves Vienna in precipitation, alarmed, it would seem, by a compliment from the Emperor Joseph. When Prince Kaunitz delivered the Emperor's message to her, (requesting that she would pass the winter at Vienna,) he added, “ The Emperor says, he never saw any woman with the modest and dignified deportment of Lady Craven." Joseph, it appears, had no wife, and was, moreover, a gallant of some note. The opinion he had formed of her ladyship was repeated over all Germany; and apprehension of reports injurious to her fair fame made her fly“ like a frightened bird from a net.”
His Polish Majesty, to whose court she next repairs, she found not unlike the Duke of Marlborough, in his face; and as for his mind, there appeared no subject on which he could not converse with taste and good sense. The Princess Czartoriska, whom she had known in London, received her with great kindness, and related to her many anecdotes of her early days. Our authoress is true to the confidence reposed in her; so that we are able only to conjecture the nature of the Princess's stories from an incidental remark which they elicit from her auditor. “ Certainly," says the Margravine," she did not intend they should serve as a guard to that tenderness of heart, and the unsuspecting mind which she discovered in me." One anecdote, however, is preserved, and as it is characteristic enough of the person to whom it refers, we give it at full length.
She inquired of me if I had been at Berlin ; and when I answered in the negative, she said she wished me joy: “For what would he have done to you,” she said, “ since he so much embarrassed me?". And pray,” said I, “who is he that could venture to do any thing to embarrass you?” Le Grand Frederic,” was her reply. She then informed
me, that his Majesty had her invited to dinner by the Queen ; and every body, being assembled before he came, when he arrived, he made one bow, at the door, to the circle, and then walked up to her, took her by the hand, and led her up to a window; where he stood to examine her countenance, with a look so scrutinizing, with eyes so piercing, that she was embarrassed in the highest degree, particularly as he never spoke till he had examined all he wished to look at; and when this was done, he said : "I had a great desire to see you, I have heard so much of you ;” and began an account of what that was, in language so civil, but with a raillerie la plus fine, que c'était presque une persiflage.
“ When he had done,” she added, “I did not know whether I was to feel humbled or elevated, or whether it was a good or bad impression he had received of me, or whether it was satire or compliment he meant to convey.”—“Quel homme ! ne le voyez jamais, chère Miladi ; vous rougissez pour rien ; il vous ferait pleurer.” I felt internally that I should like to see him, and that, as the adopted sister of the Margrave, under that protection, I should not fear even the great Frederic.
After noticing the fact, that Warsaw lies on the Vistula, and that the Polish young ladies are forced by their mothers to wear bells, before and behind, in order to proclaim where they are, and what they are doing, the scene is transferred to St. Petersburgh. Nothing gratifies us, in our authoress's Russian Notices, but the mention of our old friend Lord Byron's Prince Mousken Pousken.
After leaving Moskow, whither she had repaired on her departure from Petersburgh, she proceeded onwards to Pultowa, “ famous for the battle which proved a severe check to the wild spirit of Charles XII.” At Constantinople, she saw from the windows of her apartment, the Sultan sitting on a silver sofa. She appears to have been particnlarly struck with the advantages enjoyed by the Turkish women. “A husband, who sees a pair of slippers at the door of his harem, must not enter;" and the women, when they go abroad, have so many coverings as to resemble walking mummies; “how easy, then, it is for men to pass and visit as women !" At a fire, four Janissaries were thrown into the flames, for not doing their duty properly, “ pour encourager les autres."
At length, having performed a circuit of great length, she finds herself at Anspach, where she was received with great joy by the Margravine ; inasmuch as the latter was aware she was indebted to Lady Craven for the Margrave's early return to his capital. Our authoress had obtained her mother's permission; and she contented herself with informing her husband, that she was invited to pass some time at Anspach, where she was to be treated as the Margrave's sister.
As this event formed a kind of epoch in her life, she opens it, solemnly, with a history of that high illustrious character,–Christian Frederick Charles Alexander, Margrave of Brandenburgh, Anspach, and Bareith, &c. &c. &c., who was born at Anspach, in the month of February 1736, &c. At the age of seven years, he was brought to the Hague, that Geo. II., his uncle by marriage, who passed through that town every two years, on his way to Hanover, might see him. He was turned, full dressed, into a large room one evening at the same time that the king entered by an opposite door. The latter approached him with a candle in his hand, and said, “ Let me see if you are like the family.” This mode of examining with a lighted candle seems to have been a practice usual with the polite princes of the house of Brunswick. It was thus that Geo. I. reconnoitred the features of the Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia; as that Margravine, less profound, but more amusing than the present, has told us in her Memoirs. It would be vain, in our short limits, to attempt to do justice to the history of the Margrave's education. The care of his mind was entrusted to M. Bobenhausen, who was well calculated for the arduous task he undertook. His pupil never lost sight of the views which he instilled into him for promoting the benefit of mankind and fostering the arts and sciences. This sovereign of half a world evinced the happy effects of his education in the government of his principalities, and the administration of his own private affairs. He was particularly partial to the Latin tongue.
The chief occupation of this high and mighty prince, appears to have been breeding horses, of which he had niore than one maguifieent stud. The ruling passion strong in death, was discovered in his last illness, when, long after he had wisely ceded his dominions to Prussia, and retired to England for the more secure enjoyment of his pleasures in those bad revolutionary times, he conjured her Highness, if he should be taken from her, “ on no account to be persuaded by any one to withdraw the grey horse from the course, as I am certain, if fairly used, he will win the Derby!"
Thus happily established in the bosom of the court of Anspach, Lady Craven amused herself and the Margrave, first, by getting up theatrical pieces for representation, then by the formation of a society for the encouragement of the arts and sciences, in which, apparently, she sat as president. “ I have listened to amusing and instructive details, without being obliged to speak myself.” The astronomer, the metaphysician, &c. took care to collect the best materials, and the meeting never broke up without some one being, for want of time, disappointed of having his paper read. Whenever that occurred, I always made a point of addressing myself to that person, and of informing him that at the next meeting that paper should be read first.” Another project was the establishment of a seminary for children of all classes, at the head of which she was to be placed. But here her benevolent plans were obstructed by the unaccountable ingratitude of those about her. In all“ the pleasing colours her heart could suggest,” she gave the Margravine a description of the projected institution. “ The Margravine listened with apparent satisfaction ; but when I had ended, she gave me a tap with her fan under my cheek, and said, with a look of scorn, “You are too good to trouble your head about these people.' Some part of her speech to me shewed that she knew some people well; for when the intention of this establishment was known, not one person recommended a child, or asked to be informed of the plan or rules of it!” The Margravine certainly shewed, by her speech, that she knew some people well.
Lady Craven's predecessor in the Margrave's favour was the celebrated Clairon, over whom she obtained a complete victory. Clairon is made supremely ridiculous, but she is in the hands of an enemy. She had committed the inexpiable offence of supposing our authoress to be une chercheuse d'aventures à Paris, and had sent a confidential person to watch at the door of the Hôtel de l'Empereur, in order to obtain a sight of this English female, whom she immediately conjectured to be a mistress of the Margrave's. Monstrous supposition ! we do not wonder that Lady Craven should rejoice at her discomfiture. “ As I was in full dress, and probably had an appearance which might strike this observer, he reported to Madame Clairon, that the young English woman was fair and handsome." Clairon, in a transport of fury, wrote the Margrave a valedictory letter, in which she upbraids him for the profligacy of his life; nor was she undeceived till some time after, when she discovered that this woman was a lady of high birth, and therefore exempt from those suspicions which she had conceived. Clairon, however, quits the stage, and the Margrave loses one mistress, without gaining another.
In the capacity of adopted sister, Lady Craven was of infinite service at the court of Anspach. She played at cribbage with the Margravine, followed the stag-hounds with the Margrave, and prevented the possibility of any person having it in his power to say, that she “ created dissatisfaction between the Margrave and Margravine." Our authoress was even kind enough to accompany the Margrave into Italy alone, from whence, for some mysterious reason, they returned by hasty and secret marches to the Margrave's dominions. The occasion of this we are at a loss to imagine, and can only conjecture that there was something treasonable at the bottom, from the fact that the Margrave had no sooner deposited his fair companion at her English garden at Triesdorf, than he galloped off for Anspach. He there found Mr. Schmidt, his minister, confined to his bed by illness. The Margrave went to the man's bed side, and shaking his whip over him, said, “You rascal! give me the key of your bureau. And this is all we learn of this state mystery, which must therefore for ever, along with many others, remain an enigma to exercise the ingenuity of the curious investigators of history. Whatever it was, it appears to have quickened the Margrave's wish to dispose of his dominions and people to his cousin of Prussia. The faction of Mr. Schmidt had honoured our authoress with the epithet of Ultramontaine. “The wretches !" said the Margrave; you whose conduct proves that, as a mother, or a sister, your whole time is occupied in doing good." The Margravine’s farewell salute, on their final departure, is solemn and affecting. They hasten away to Berlin, the adopted sister and her royal brother leaving the Margravine to solitude and her own reflections. At Lisbon they hear of her death.' Lord Craven happening to die at the same time, the title of sister was exchanged for that of wife, and the Margrave and his new Margravine prepare to spend their honeymoon, amidst the security and comforts of England - England, the country of fine horses, where no Mr. Schmidt, with his intrigues, and no revolutionary poison, and no ungrateful subjects could interrupt their enjoyment. But no place is without its evils. The Queen (Charlotte) refuses to receive Lady Craven as Margravine; the English papers introduce calumnies against her spotless reputation to their very breakfast-table; and her daughters welcome her return home with the following note :
“ With due deference to the Margravine of Anspach, the Miss Cravens inform her, that, out of respect to their father, they cannot wait upon
her.” We think we have exhibited enough of her Highness to satisfy the reader, that no reasonable suspicion can be entertained of the authenticity and genuineness of these Memoirs.
We have only one word to add-a word of information to her publisher. Either the Margravine, among other sacrifices, forgot her own language, in her devotion to the Margrave; or Mr. Colburn has employed a réducteur, who labours under a similar misfortune. As we are not acquainted with the history of this manuscript, we are unable to decide to whom we are to attribute the credit of the many beautiful specimens of a language, which is neither English nor French, but both at once, that abounds in these two volnmes. We will venture to affirm that the reader shall not open either volume, at any page whatsoever, without lighting upon a passage as correct and elegant as the following:
Voltaire tore the mask of superstition from the human mind ; that dreadful chain, which fetters the understanding, and which is imposed on us by nurses in our infancy.