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regard as real life, and deeper into the realms of fiction. We have seen the labourer's daughter, a poor servant girl, a rich man's mistress, the painter's hired model. We pursue her history. Whilst acting in the last-named capacity she became acquainted with Mr. Charles Francis Greville. Mr. Greville was the nephew of Sir William Hamilton, and famous in his generation “ for his taste in objects of art and vertu.” He offered a home to Emma Lyon, and the girl accepted it. But he did more! He attempted to cultivate the wild luxuriance of an undoubted genius, and to a certain extent with signal success. Could he have sharpened her moral perceptions as happily as he improved her mental endowments, he might have lost a mistress, but he would have spared the world much shame, and the woman he professed to love infinite degradation, and long and unavailing sorrow. She had masters for everything. Her knowledge of music was intuitive. Receiving instruction in the art, she soon sang to perfection. An anecdote told of the lady at this period is too characteristic to be omitted. Mr. Greville took her one night to Ranelagh, the Vauxhall of our fathers. Excited by the scene, and carried away by the admiration of those who surrounded her, she insisted upon a public exhibition of her vocal powers. She sang and met with rapturous applause. Upon returning home Mr. Greville, alarmed, remonstrated with the performer upon the impropriety of her act. He knew not the consummate powers of the actress with whom he had to deal. The rebuked penitent retired to her room, discarded the finery in which she was dressed, reappeared in a humble garment, and begged to be IS THE MISTRESS OF MR. GREVILLE. 7 dismissed. Reader, imagine the tableau, and form your own conclusion. Be sure the sorceress was not dismissed; she remained with her protector, and became the mother of three children, who called her aunt. Her own name had been changed from Lyon to Harte; for what reason we are not informed.
We are anxious as we proceed to let what glimmering of light we can upon this dark and melancholy picture. We need all the relief the subject affords, and cannot spare one sunny ray; the shadows fall deep and thick enough anon. In the midst of her renewed splendour the unfortunate woman remembered her mother and her home. Through life she continued attentive and affectionate in her conduct towards that mother, and so far vindicated humanity from the all but unredeemed disgrace her conduct otherwise threatened to inflict upon it. Mrs. Lyon, converted into Mrs. Cadogan in order to fit the poor woman for her equivocal elevation, came to her daughter whilst the latter enjoyed the protection of Mr. Greville, and partook of her child's good fortune.
Such good fortune, however, seldom abides. The affairs of Mr. Greville, like those of Sir Harry Featherstonhaugh, fell into disorder ; though, in the case of the former, the French Revolution, and not the mistress, is chargeable with the disaster. In 1789 Mr. Greville reduced his establishment, called his creditors together, and parted with his mistress. We are loth to go on.
We have stated that Mr. Greville was famous “for his taste in objects of art and vertu.” He had an uncle, already named, Sir William Hamilton, who
was famous in that way too. Sir William Hamilton was a native of Scotland, born in 1730, and minister at Naples for the long period of thirty-six years. He was a distinguished antiquary, remarkable for his taste in and appreciation of the fine arts. He possessed also scientific acquirements, and had some knowledge of mineralogy. He was a trustee of the British Museum, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and a Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries. He was also a distinguished member of the Dilettanti Club, and appears among the portraits in their room of meeting at the Thatched-house Tavern. A portrait of him, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, one of his intimate friends, may be seen in the National Gallery. He is known as an author by his works. With the King of Naples he was a great favourite, and largely shared with him the enjoyment of the chase and other sports, to which the sovereign is well known to have been egregiously addicted.
Now, after such a catalogue of unquestionable virtues, one may fairly be prepared to treat the possessor of them with unqualified respect. How easy it is, however, in this degenerate world of ours, to be scientific, to be the member of every society of the land, and to have your portrait painted, with a title to nothing but the loathing of your fellows, may be seen in the history of this very man. Mr. Greville, for a large consideration, parted with his mistress to his uncle, the Right Hon. Sir William Hamilton, K.B.; and the representative of his Majesty, having completed his bargain with his nephew, set out for Naples, accompanied by Anne Harte and her mother.
mistress to his large consider this very
Italy was a scene fit for the development of this extraordinary woman's powers. Upon this sunny and dissolute soil she was at home and revelled. The external graces, that are not slow to adapt themselves to the dullest genius beneath a soft and southern sky, gave voluptuousness to a form already perfect, and made still more exuberant a spirit rich to overflowing in its passionate character and marvellous resources. All that could heighten loveliness of form and give intensity to intellectual strength came at the syren's bidding. In the midst of luxury and wealth, she had but to command in order to possess. The improvement that took place in the mind and person of this unscrupulous beauty under the tutelage, guidance, and instruction of Sir William, is said to have been extraordinary. Her singing, we learn, rivalled the performances of the great musical celebrities of her time, and when she acted, Siddons could not surpass the grandeur of her style, or O'Neil be more melting in the utterance of deep pathos.
With a common piece of stuff, it has been stated
“She could so arrange and clothe herself, as to offer the most appropriate representations of a Jewess, a Roman matron, a Helen, Penelope, or Aspasia. No character seemed foreign to her, and the grace she was in the habit of displaying under such representations, excited the admiration of all who were fortunate enough to have been present on such occasions. The celebrated shawl dance owes its origin to her invention ; but it is admitted to have been executed by her with a grace and elegance far surpassing that with which it has ever been rendered on the stage of any of our theatres."
Prudent and calculating for a moment, the adventuress resolved to turn the great gifts of nature to account. The ambassador and his mistress went back to England in 1791, and upon the 6th day of September in that year, the two were married in St. George's Church, the ambassador being sixty years of age, his wife just twenty-seven. The world, after all, is not particular. Society welcomed the bride with open arms, and adulation followed her steps. There was but one drawback to a perfect triumph, but it was serious enough in its way. The fastidious court of Queen Charlotte refused to receive the renowned courtezan, though she came endorsed with the name of the King's representative. The happy couple returned to Naples with the lamentations of fashionable life, which we are informed, “was greatly relieved by Lady Hamilton's displays as a singer and an actress," but with a rebuke in bestowing which it is to be regretted that society as well as royalty did not have a share.
Upon the re-appearance of Sir William Hamilton at the court of Naples, it became a question how far the queen of that country could condescend towards an English lady who had been refused by her own sovereign; but Maria Caroline of Naples was far too shrewd a woman, and much too daring in the use of her instruments, to suffer a small matter of etiquette to stand between her and the friendship of a rare ally. Lady Hamilton was not only received at the court of the Queen of Naples, but to all intents and purposes became the prime councillor and chief adviser of the Queen, who having a fool for a husband, herself usurped all the authority of an inde