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whole regiment of volunteers, immediately got under arms, and marched to the quarter in which Sir Sidney lived. The small square overflowed with the soldiery: Sir Sidney went out, and was immediately lost to us, who. were watching for him, in the closing ranks of the troops. Next morning, however, I, my younger brother, and a school-fellow of my own age, called formally upon the naval hero. Why, I know not, we were admitted without question or demur; and I may record it as an amiable trait in Sir Sidney, that he received us then with great kindness, and subsequently expressed his interest in all the members of that school to which he had himself once belonged. He was at that time slender and thin; having an appearance of extenuation and emaciation, as though he had suffered hardships, and ill-treatment, which however, I do not remember to have heard. Meantime, his appearance, connected with his recent history, made him a very interesting person to women. To this hour it remains a mystery with me, why and how it came about, that in every distribution of honors, Sir Sidney Smith was overlooked. In the Mediterranean he made many enemies; especially amongst those of his own profession; who used to speak of him as far too fine a gentleman, and above his calling. Certain it is, that he liked better to be doing business on shore, as at Acre. But however that may have been, surely the man whose name Napoleon could never pronounce without vexation, must have done good service. And, at that time, his connection, of whatsoever nature, with the late Queen Caroline, had not occurred. And altogether, to me, his case is inexplicable. About this time I first saw a person, whom afterwards I came to know. -one who interested me much more, and was indeed as interesting and extraordinary a man as any in my time-I mean the celebrated Walking Stewart.
From the Bath grammar school I was removed, in consequence of an accident, by which at first it was supposed that skull had been fractured: and the able surgeon, my Mr. Grant, who attended me, at one time talked of trepanning. This was an awful word: but I have always doubted whether in reality anything very serious had happened. In fact I was always under a nervous panic for my head; and certainly exaggerated my internal feelings without meaning to do so; and this misled the medical attendants. During a long illness which succeeded, my mother read to me, in Hoole's translation, the whole of the Orlando Furioso: and from my own experience at that time I am disposed to think that the homeliness of this version is an advantage from not calling off the attention at all from the narration to the narrator. At this time also I first read the Paradise Lost; but oddly enough in the edition of Bentley, that great ragadiogloors (or pseudorestorator of the text). At the close of my illness, the headmaster called upon my mother, as did a certain Colonel B., who had sons at the school, requesting, with many compliments to myself, that I might be suffered to remain. But it illustrates my mother's sincere moral severity, that she was shocked at my hearing compliments to my own merits, and was altogether disturbed at what doubtless these gentlemen expected to see received with maternal pride. She declined to let me continue at the Bath school; and I went to another, in the county of Wilts, of which the recommendation lay in the religious character of the
Here I had staid about a year, or not much more, when I received a letter from a young nobleman of my own age, Lord W., the son of an Irish Earl, inviting me to accompany him to Ireland for the ensuing summer and autumn. This invitation was repeated by his tutor; and my mother after some consideration allowed me to accept it.
In the spring of 1800 accordingly, I went up to Eton, for the purpose of joining my friend. Here I several times visited the gardens of the Queen's villa at Frogmore; and, privileged by my young friend's introduction, I had opportunities of seeing and hearing the Queen and all the Princesses; which at that time was a novelty in my life, naturally a good deal prized. My friend's mother had been, before her marriage, Lady Louisa H., and intimately known to the Royal Family, who, on her account, took a continual and especial notice of her son.
On one of these occasions I had the honor of a brief interview with the King. Madame de Campan mentions, as an amusing incident in her early life, though terrific at the time, and overwhelming to her sense of shame, that not long after her establishment at Versailles, in the service of some one amongst the daughters of Louis XV., having as yet never seen the King, she was one day suddenly introduced to his particular notice, under the following circumstances: - The time was morning; the young lady was not fifteen; her spirits were as the spirits of a fawn in May; her tour of duty for the day was not come, or was gone; and, finding herself alone in a spacious room, what more reasonable thing could she do than amuse herself with whirling round, according to that fashion known to young ladies both in France and England, and which, in both countries, is called making cheeses, viz., pirouetting until the petticoat is inflated like a balloon, and then sinking into a curtsy. Mademoiselle was very solemnly rising from one of these curtsies, in the centre of her collapsing petticoats, when a slight noise alarmed her. Jealous of intruding eyes, yet not dreading more than a servant at worst, she turned; and, oh heavens! whom should she behold but his most Christian Majesty advancing upon her, with a brilliant suite of gentlemen,
young and old, equipped for the chase, who had been all silent spectators of her performances. From the King to the last of the train, all bowed to her and all laughed without restraint as they passed the abashed amateur of cheese-making. But she, to speak Homerically, wished in that hour that the earth might gape and cover her confusion. Lord W. and I were about the age of Mademoiselle, and not much more decorously engaged, when a turn brought us full in view of a royal party coming along one of the walks at Frogmore. We were, in fact, theorizing and practically commenting on the art of throwing stones. Boys have a peculiar contempt for female attempts in that way. Besides that girls fling wide of the mark, with a certainty that might have won the applause of Galerius,* there is a peculiar sling and rotary motion of the arm in launching a stone, which no girl ever can attain. From ancient practice I was somewhat of a proficient in this art, and was discussing the philosophy of female failures, illustrating my doctrines with pebbles, as the case happened to demand; whilst Lord W. was practising on the peculiar whirl of the wrist with a shilling; when suddenly he turned the head of the coin towards me with a significant glance, and in a low voice he muttered some words, of which I caught Grace of God,' 'Francet and Ireland,'
* 'Sir,' said that Emperor to a soldier, who had missed the target fifteen times in succession, 'allow me to offer my congratulations on the truly admirable skill you have shown in keeping clear of the mark. Not to have hit once in so many trials, argues the most splendid talents for missing.'
+ France was at that time among the royal titles, the act for altering the King's style and title not having then passed. As connected with this subject, I may here mention a project, (reported to have been canvassed in Council at the time when that alteration did take place,) for changing the title from King to Emperor. What then occurred strikingly illustrates the general character of the British policy as to all external demonstrations of pomp and national pretension, and its strong
'Defender of the Faith,' and so forth. This solemn recitation of the legend of the coin was meant as a joke by
opposition to that of France under corresponding circumstances. The principle of esse quam videri, and the carelessness about names when the thing is unaffected, generally speaking, must command praise and respect. Yet, considering how often the reputation of power becomes, for international purposes, nothing less than power itself, and that words, in many relations of human life, are emphatically things, and sometimes are so to the exclusion of the most absolute things themselves, men of all qualities being often governed by names; the policy of France seems the wiser, viz., se faire valoir, even at the price of ostentation. But, at all events, no man is entitled to exercise that extreme candor, forbearance, and spirit of ready concession in re aliena, and, above all, in re politica, which, on his own account, might be altogether honorable. On a public (or at least on a foreign) relation, it is the duty of a good citizen to be lofty, exacting, almost insolent. And, on this principle, when the ancient style of the kingdom fell under revision, if- as I do not deny it was advisable to retrench all obsolete pretensions as so many memorials of a greatness that was now extinct, and therefore, pro tanto, rather presumptions of weakness than of strength; yet, on the other hand, all countervailing pretensions which had since arisen, and had far more than equiponderated the declension in that one direction, should have been then adopted into the titular heraldry of the nation. It was neither wise nor just to insult foreign nations with assumptions which no longer stood upon any basis of reality. And on that ground France was rightly omitted. But why, when the Crown was thus remoulded, and its jewellery unset, if this one pearl were to be restored as a stolen ornament, why, we may ask, were not the many and gorgeous jewels, achieved by the national wisdom and power in later times, adopted into the recomposed tiara? Upon what principle did the Romans, the wisest among the children of the world, leave so many inscriptions as records of their power or their triumphs, upon columns, arches, temples, basilicæ, or medals? A national act, a solemn and deliberate act, delivered to history, is a more imperishable monument than any made by hands: and the title, as revised, which ought to have expressed a change in the dominion simply as to the mode and form of its expansion, now remains as a confession of absolute contraction: once we had A, B, and C ; now we have dwindled into A and B.
On this argument, it was urged at the time in high quarters, that the new recast of the Crown and Sceptre should come out of the furnace equably improved; as much for what they were authorized to claim, as for what they were compelled to disclaim. And, as one mode of effect