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from the widow's lips a confession of regard, and the sweetest assurance of it that lips can give. Never did love sit so lightly or so happily on me, though my passion for Matilde, for that she told me was her name, was ardent; and she was beautiful, fascinating, and every way engaging; but she was not to be treated with continual scenes, and her own demonstrations of love were of that nature which satisfied without ever exciting the heart. We felt rather than told each other's hopes, and thoughts, and wishes, and I enjoyed serenely what I had before and have often since squandered in unnecessary or unavailing suffering. Her actions spoke more than her words, and I was too proud of her to doubt her for her silence—her, and her only have I loved rationally—I loved her as a woman ; others I have adored as angels, till adoration became torture; and I have phrenzied myself in seeking and worshipping their attributes.
About four months I led in this way a very happy life, when it was agreed we should be married : a contrât de mariage was necessary, and I was to wait upon a notary to instruct him to prepare it. To enable me to do so, Matilde explained to me the nature and amount of her property, which was ample.
“ And now, Augustus,” said she, “ I must own, I have deceived you in one point.”
“ Indeed!” said I.' “ I am sure it is in a very venial one."
“It is so, indeed; but it is necessary I should now explain it to you, my name is not Matilde Pérollet."
“ Indeed !” said I, at the same time thinking to myself how easy a way this confession would make for my own on the same subject.
That name I assumed to escape the importunities of relations in England. Listen, and you shall soon be made acquainted with the brief story of my life. My maiden name, you must know, was Simp“ Indeed !"
said, we have that name already in our family." “ On my first marriage with Mr. Wilson“ Who?" I cried. " Wilson!” she answered. My hair stood on end—“Were you married a second time?”
I was.” " To whom?" " To Mr. Winckworth.” “Winckworth !" I exclaimed, “ Simpson, Wilson, Winckworth ! Heavens! you are my grandmother!"
The English Abroad-The Musical Festival at Westminster Abbey-Changing
Names—The recent Murder—More Marriages—The Old Age of St. ValentineArchitecture and Peter Wilkins-The Oxford Installation—The Sabbath NonObservance Bill—The War in Portugal—Drawing-room Arrangements—True Locality of the Athenæum_Mr. O'Connell and Baron Smith-The late Lady Duncannon—Paganini—The O'Connell Harvest.
The English ABROAD.— It appears to us, peeping through the loopholes of the world, that, forward as the natural season is, the fashionable season is particularly late. To be sure, Easter has been for some time fixed as the point at which metropolitan dulness is to cease, and the gaieties of the London world are to begin. Easter is to the months what the Recorder of London is to the Aldermen,—those before him have passed the chair, and are shelved; while those who follow in his train are all eligible to the brilliancy which custom assigns them.
The newspapers, who, like Mr. B., in one of Mathews's entertainments, “ know everything," have published a sort of extract from a letter of Lord Lowther, in which his Lordship says that the principal promenades of the continental cities look more like London than any other place, so crowded are they with English nobility and gentry. This, of itself, --since English lords and ladies have not the faculty ascribed to birds by that great ornithologist, Sir Boyle Roche, of being in two places at once-is a sufficient reason why the London promenades should be deprived of their cheering influence and agreeable society; in fact, our promenades seem proportionately crammed with foreigners, who, we rather suspect, prefer London to any other place, because it happens to be the only metropolis in Europe where there is a tolerably well-regulated police, in which street passengers are permitted to annoy their fellow-creatures by smoking cigars in the public ways.
As for our nobility, an agitated country, with a foggy climate, are no great inducements to remain, where the pride of the uppermost faction appears to consist in debasing and dishonouring the class which ought to stand highest. We say, as we said before, and we will say it as long as we can say anything, that it is a mistake in the aristocracy of a nation to stand aloof in times of critical circumstances. Those voblemen whose health requires a milder temperature than that of England are, of course, fully justified in seeking it; and others, whose pecuniary circumstances compel them to nurse their estates, (more sick than themselves,) are borne out in revelling upon maccaroni and salad, until the beeves fatten, and the corn grows again, at home; but for those whose absence is occasioned simply by a distaste for the administration, or a foreboding of evil results from its proceedings, there is no excuse. If the French noblesse had remained at their posts on the first indications of the revolution in that country, which ended in the murder of the King, we firmly believe the events which disgrace its annals would never have happened. If, at the first roar of the wolf, the shepherds fly, who is to save the flocks? Scattered and unprotected, a general panic seizes them, and they are abandoned to the tender mercies of their pseudo-friends, who give them the protection so well described by Sheridan in his “ Pizarro,”
“ Such as eagles give to lambs;
First covering, then devouring them." We hope sincerely that the“ migration” of our nobility will speedily begin, and that we shall shortly have the greater proportion of them “ at home” during the coming season.
The Musical FESTIVAL AT WESTMINSTER ABBEY.—The preparations for the musical festival in Westminster Abbey are proceeding with great activity : the Committee are at work; and the indefatigable Sir George Smart is unremitting in his exertions for the engagement of a sufficient number of adequately-accomplished performers, to give due effect to the magnificent choruses of Handel.
Nothing can be more judicious than this public display of the King's taste and feeling with regard to sacred music. That it was the delight of his Majesty's exemplary and royal father everybody knows; and it is extraordinary to see how unconsciously a nation is led by the influence of the monarch; for certain it is that, since the death of King George the Third, the taste for Handel's music has very much abated. As far as brilliancy and gaiety go, there can be no question but that the modern foreign school far exceeds Handel in attractiveness ; but, for sacred music, never had he his equal. Nothing could be more disappointingwe could go the length of saying disgusting—than the exhibition of one of Rossini's second-rate operas transmuted into an oratorio, with sacred words, at the theatres, under the direction of Mr. Rophino Lacy, who, in his extraordinary wisdom, banished even the divine and magnificent choruses of Handel, which properly belong to the subject, to make way for trumpeting, and drumming, and fiddling, and fluting, perfectly in character with the monstrous absurdities of an Italian opera, but sacrilegiously ridiculous when applied to the theme of Scripture which was selected for the purpose; nay, so fastidiously careful was this gentleman to steer clear of the works of the finest chorus-writer the world ever produced, that, at the termination of his mockery, of which the chorus of the “ Horse and his Rider" is the real and genuine conclusion, it was omitted, although the heroine of the affair favoured the audience by screaming out the preparatory recitative. After she had crowed her crow, down fell the curtain, although the stage was covered with singers who might have given full effect to the splendid composition, and, at least, sent the audience home with the recollection of something like what, by the association of ideas, they had been in the habit of considering suitable music to sacred words. The Bishop of London, however, put a stop to their hooting and howling, by very properly interposing his authority to stop the mummery, which could not fail to revolt the feelings of every man, woman, and child possessing the slightest veneration for the Scriptures, or the smallest regard for religion itself.
The festival in Westminster Abbey is fixed to take place the last week in June. There are to be four performances,—the first as a rehearsal; the three others at increased prices of admission, which prices, however, are to be regulated by the different degrees of accommodation offered
to the purchasers. The band and vocal performers are to amount to six hundred; and the Abbey, fitted up by Mr. Blore, under the surveillance of Sir Benjamin Stephenson, will be laid out with the most careful regard for the convenience and safety of the vast numbers of persons who are expected to be present.
CHANGING NAMES.—It seems to be very much the fashion just now to change the names of things—changing names we admit to be a fashion by no means disagreeable to the ladies—but the changes to which we allude are of things rather than persons. The Yacht Club has twice altered its denomination during the last twelve months. It was called the Royal Yacht Club; this, as its character began to alter, was found not to sound sufficiently nautical, and therefore it was metamorphosed into the Royal Yacht Squadron, and new flags and new regulations marked the happy change. This, however, in time proved not sufficient to mark the peculiar feelings of the leading members; and, accordingly, “Royal,” as applied generally to the King or the Crown, or the royal family, was not quite satisfactory. Accordingly, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent having honoured Cowes with her presence, and that of her illustrious daughter, during the summer, the gentlemen of the Royal Yacht Squadron, having received a medal each from the King of the French, and, perhaps, fearing that the word royal might leave a doubt upon the public mind as to whom they were indebted for patronage, were gratified, we believe through the influence of Lord Durham, by being specially permitted to call themselves the Royal Victoria Squadron-an announcement which will, for the future, prevent any mistake as to the identity of the patronage which they have sought and secured.
The Royal Victoria Squadron is in a high state of effectiveness; we forget the exact proportion of ships, brigs, schooners, cutters, yawls, cock-boats, and skiffs, of which it is composed; but the aggregate force of the vessels en masse amounts to nearly ten thousand tons-a most extraordinary proof of the present spirit of our islanders, and the zeal and energy with which they carry on a pursuit, which to nine out of ten of them is particularly disagreeable. The next season promises to be particularly gay.
Another change of name has taken place in the Corporation of Poor Knights at Windsor. The King has been pleased to sink the derogatory epithet touching their financial circumstances, and they are now the Naval and Military Knights of Windsor; this change shows both good taste and kind feeling on the part of our Sovereign. In a similar manner, the band of Gentlemen Pensioners, who take rank of the Yeomen Guard, and claim singular privileges within the palace, have ceased to be so called, and are now the “Honourable Band of Gentlemen at Arms."
At Newgate, too, the ancient Jack Ketch is now the “ Yeoman of the Halter;" and in the newspapers, the public singers, with black whiskers and white waistcoats, who howl out “Non nobis, Domine,” and afterwards do comic songs, are called eminent “ vocalists;" a wig-maker to the lawyers in Lincoln's Inn Fields, is called
a forensic perruquier;" a corn-cutter is a “chiropodist;" an ear-doctor, an “aurist;"
a workman, an operative ;” a butcher in South Audley Street is a 'purveyor of meat;" and the skingly-skangly skipping people at the theatre, with their long legs and short petticoats, are suddenly transformed from the ancient grade of figure-dancers into the more classical character of “Coryphees!” Where this love of change will end who
shall say ?
THE RECENT MURDER.—A most barbarous murder—indeed, what murder is not barbarous ?—was committed early in the month near Banstead, upon the body of Mr. Richardson, a farmer, who has left a wife and several children. The criminals were described as being one tall and the other short ; and the consequences have been beyond measure distressing to a vast number of persons who happened about that period to be travelling the country on foot, and who chanced to be of different heights; not less than five-and-twenty couple of men have been snapped up for examination. The real culprits, however, we believe, are now actually in custody, as they have been identified as having been engaged in several audacious robberies in the same neighbourhood.
It is lucky that this disparity of height does not endanger the liberty of judges as well as of criminals; on the contrary, that circumstance sometimes gives rise to bits of pleasantry with which the graver duties of the circuit are seasonably relieved. One of these occurred when Mr. Baron Vaughan and the new Baron of the Exchequer, Mr. Baron Williams, made their appearance at Winchester. Baron Vaughan stands more than six feet in height-Baron Williams reaches scarcely to his elbow; as they passed up the Cathedral to attend divine service, a reverend member of the Winton Chapter whispered to a barrister who shall be nameless, “These may be judges, but, most assuredly, not judges of a size."
More MARRIAGES.- In our last Number we announced the marriage of Lord Glengall and Miss Mellish as about to happen ;-while our sheets were at press the happy event took place. The noble bridegroom and his accomplished countess, after passing three-fourths of the honeymoon at Richmond, have flitted to France; we trust only a skirmishing visit to the marchandes des modes. There may be a good deal to do after Easter in the House of Lords; and we trust that the ladies will let their lords come home and do it. --The Earl of Kerry, Lord Lansdowne's eldest son, is married to Lord Duncannon's second daughter; and several ladies and gentlemen at Brighton have committed matrimony, whose names have not struck loudly enough upon our tympanum to be registered. On the other hand, a noble Duke, no chicken now,” has taken under his most especial care a lady whose name appeared a few months since in a case, the result of which was her complete justification from all suspicion. With this exception, everything has gone on in the world in the most quiet and harmonious manner--in short, nobody has been found out.
THE OLD AGE OF ST. VALENTINE.—That the age of sentiment is over nobody can doubt; every day's occurrences afford the most convincing