[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

hear of him often as “the faithful Tony,” | his first cousin, Miss Lennox, at whose following his master wherever he went. father's house in Sussex he had been

On the conclusion of the American war, staying on a visit. In this case, too, the the 19th Regiment proceded to the island course of true love refused to run smoothof Saint Lucia, in the West Indies. ly. The lady's father would not hear of Having remained with it there some their marrying, his leading objections months, Lord Edward returned home at being their youth, and the inadequacy of the instance of his relations in Ireland. their means. At length, seeing that his About the same time a dissolution of Par. nephew was likely to prove

lover more liament took place, and he was brought constant than reasonable, he forbade him in by his eldest brother, the Duke of to enter his house. Leinster, as representative for the bor- This was a cruel disappointment to the ough of Athy. He now settled down to young man, and the inactive life he led on lead a life which, when contrasted with his return to Dublin — varied only by his the stirring scenes in which he had taken Parliamentary duties made him feel it part in America, seemed tame enough. all the more. His one wish now was to Still the time passed pleasantly, for he get away – he cared not how far - anyspent it chiefly with his mother, whom he where, so that the scene were changed. loved with a tenderness not at all too Without telling anybody of his intentions, common among sons, either then or now. he set out to join the 54th Regiment, into The duchess, it may here be observed, which he had exchanged at the time of was that lady the full sweetness of whose his leaving the West Indies, and which expression of countenance Sir Joshua was now stationed at St. John, New Reynolds, when painting her portrait, Brunswick. He went first to Halifax, and found it difficult to render, and told Burke made the journey thence to St. John by

She appears to have been quite as land. His letters, recounting what he sweet as she looked, besides being the saw on the way, show that he possessed most indulgent of parents to her soldier no mean powers of observation and deson, and — as one is tempted to imagine scription. her favorite child.

A lovesick man is usually attracted by Dublin at this period was a gay capital solitude, and so it was with the subject of (not a dowdy dowager among cities), and this paper. Uppermost in his thoughts Lord Edward, while mixing in society was the remembrance of his cousin, and there, met, and fell in love with, Lady he repines at the idea that she might have Catherine Meade,* a daughter of Lord been his, had the social status of each Clanwilliam. Before this affair of the been other than it was. " If it were not,” heart had advanced too far, his cautious he writes, stepfather, to get him out of temptation's way, hurried him off to England, and per- that the people I love, and wish to live with, suaded bim, as Parliament was then up, really would join the savages, and leaving all

are civilized people, and like houses, etc., I to go through a course of gunnery instruc- our fictitious, ridiculous wants, be what nature tion at Woolwich. Lord Edward con intended we should be. Savages have all the sented to the plan; yet that, in the midst real happiness of life without any of those inof his studies, his heart remained in Ire conveniences, or obstacles to it, which custom land, is pretty clear from the tone of his has introduced among us. They enjoy the letters to the duchess. “I am as busy love and company of their wives, relations, as ever,” he writes in midsummer, 1786; and friends, without any interference of inter

ests or ambition to separate them. it is the only resource I have, for I have no pleasure in anything. I need not say I hope

Fortunately, his regimental duties kept you are kind to pretty dear Kate; I am sure his mind employed, or he might have you are.

I want you to like her almost as given way overmuch to gloomy reflecmuch as I do; it is a feeling I always have tions. He relates in what manner his with people I love excessively.

days were spent : It would be unfair to accuse Lord Ed- I get up at five o'clock, go out and exercise ward of fickleness, when he at last ap- the men from six till eight, come home and pears to have been serious: nevertheless, breakfast; from that till three I read, write, it is certain that, before the year was out, and settle all the different business of the regihe had forgotten

"pretty Kate,” and ment; at four we dine, at half after six we go fallen a victim to the superior charms of till nine I walk by myself, build castles in the

out, parade, and drill till sundown ; from that

air, think of you all, reflect on the pleasant * Afterwards Lady Powerscourt.

time past as much as possible, and on the dis


agreeable as little as possible; think of all the had long since been formed. When sitpleasant things that may yet happen, and of ting for Athy, three years before, he had none of the unpleasant ones. When I am consistently followed the lead of such tired of myself, come home to bed and sleep lights as Grattan and Curran, and his vote till the faithful Tony comes in the morning, bad been invariably given against the His black face is the only thing that I yet feel attached to.*


The ministry from whom he received In summer, this routine was varied by an appointment, would, of course, expect exploring expeditions up some river or his support in return. But to desert the creek in his canoe; in winter, by skating ranks of the opposition, and act against or moose-hunting.

his conscience, was what a man, honest The celebrated William Cobbett was at as he was, could not bring himself to do. this time a sergeant-major in the 54th, Accordingly, he withdrew bis acceptance engaged, in his moments of leisure, in of the command that had been offered to that task of self-instruction and self-im-him. At this his uncle was much in. provement which enabled him to make a censed; and it is supposed, not without figure in the world. He tells us that it reason, that the English government bewas owing to the good offices of his ma gan, from this moment, to watch his conjor, Lord Edward, that he afterwards ob- duct with suspicion. tained his discharge from the army.

Liberal as Lord Edward's opinions alIn 1789 FitzGerald set out homewards ready were, the close friendship he formed on leave. His first stage was to Que. while in London with Fox, Sheridan, and bec from Fredericton, a journey of one other Whig leaders, did not tend to make hundred and seventy-five miles, described them less so. The political turmoil comas being “ entirely through uninhabited mencing in France was occupying the woods, morasses, and mountains -a attention, and (as yet) winning the symroute never before attempted even by pathy of all lovers of liberty.

It was the Indians.” He and his companions impossible for any patriotic Irishman to accomplished this unprecedented journey watch the progress of the Revolution in twenty-six days, steering their course there, and not look forward to a time when by compass. But this exploit did not his own country might free herself from satisfy him. He had long set his heart on the bonds that English misrule had cast descending the Mississippi to New Or- around her. So eagerly did he follow the leans, and here was his opportunity for struggle that he seenis almost to have so doing. The voyage, full as it was of remained blind to the hideous excesses interest and variety delighted him. “It which accompanied it. Here is the tone has done me a great deal of good,” he of exultation in which he alludes to it, says in a letter to one of his brothers: “I when writing to his mother from London have seen human nature under all its in October, 1792. It must be remembered forms. Everywhere it is the same; but that only a month had passed since the the wilder it is, the more virtuous.” authorized massacres committed at the

While at New Orleans, awaiting a pas- prisons in Paris, had made the civilized sage to England, he heard of the marriage world shudder. of his charming cousin, Miss Lennox, with Lord Bathurst. He says that he coming to town; he was quite right about all

I dined with Charles Fox, Saturday, on bore the unwelcome intelligence “tolera

the good French news. Is it not clelightful ? bly well;” but, for all that, he keenly felt it is really shameful to see how much it has so sudden a dissipation of his dreams. affected our aristocrats. I think one may fairly

On his arrival in England, he was say the Duke of Brunswick and his Germans offered by Pitt, whom he met at dinner at are bedevilled. the Duke of Richmond's, the command of the then projected expedition against next few sentences, the softer side of his

He speaks out thus bluntly, but in the Cadiz. The opening, an excellent one for

character is apparent. a young, ambitious soldier, was readily and thankfully snatched at.

Next day,

I begin to feel a little pity for the emigrants, however, he learned what he was ignorant though I am sure they deserve none. They of before, namely, that, during his ab-have so completely ruined their cause, that 'Í sence, his brother of Leinster, had re- believe they will lose everything. Some, I am turned him to Parliament for the county honorably; and these, though surprised and

sure, thought they were acting aright and of Kildare. Now his political opinions angry at their errors, one cannot help pitying. * Letters to his mother, August, 1788.

To be absent from the scene of action


was no longer possible. He hurried over found her as ardent in the cause of liberty to Paris, and put up with his friend, as he was himself; but when the lovely Tbomas Paine, the author of " The Rights Pamela raised her splendid eyes to his, of Man,” for whom he had the profound- and breathed the same sentiments, in est admiration, and to whose “ simplicity language simpler though none the less of manner, goodness of heart, and strength sincere, he was enslaved at once. of mind,” he bears testimony. He at- And if Lord Edward was attracted by tended a meeting at which, besides a host Pamela, no less so was she by him. He of English, several deputies from the Con- was now in his twenty-ninth year. In vention assembled. Here ultra-republican stature, he was rather short than tall. speeches were made, and highly signifi. His figure was strongly and symmetricant toasts proposed. To one of the latter, cally built. His face was oval 'in form, the following fervent wish was tacked on: his features regular, and his complexion “May the patriotic airs . Ca ira,' the “Car-healthfully ruddy. His dark full blue magniole,' and the 'Marseillaise,' soon be eyes were shaded by jet-black lashes come the favorite music of every army, which lent a peculiar softness to their and may the soldier and the citizen join expression. His gait was easy and active, in the chorus !” Another followed "to his demeanor marked by an Irish heartithe speedy abolition of all hereditary titles ness, together with a certain courtliness and feudal distinctions."

acquired during his early youth in France. These irregular doings quickly became To complete his portrait, the following known to the authorities at home, the encomium passed on him by General Sir result being that FitzGerald's name was John Doyle, who had served on the staff straightway removed from the


list. with him in America, may here be quoted: He was not unprepared to hear this: indeed it was only what he expected. He

Of my friend FitzGerald's excellent qualidismissed the matter from his thoughts, I knew so lovable a person, and every man in

ties, I should never tire in speaking. I never which were now completely absorbed, not the army, from the general to the drummer, only by the political crisis of which he would cheer the expression. His frank and was a' witness, but by a subject more open manner, his universal benevolence, his nearly affecting his own personal happi- gaîté de cæur, his valor almost chivalrous, and

In the love affair with his cousin, above all, his unassuming tone, made him the his hopes, as we have seen, had been idol of all who served with him. He had blighted. He had since then indulged in great animal spirits which bore him up against divers fleeting liaisons, but in no serious all fatigue; but his courage was entirely inattachment. He was not destined, though, dependent of those spirits – it was a valor sui to continue heart-whole for long.

generis. Had fortune happily placed him in a Going to the theatre one evening with Situation, however difficult, where he could his friend Mr. Stone, to see a play called into play, I am confident he would have proved

legitimately have brought those varied qualities “ Lodoiska,” his attention was caught by a proud ornament to his country.* the extreme beauty of a young girl who, in company with two other ladies and á And now, quitting our main subject for gentleman, sat in a box near his own. a space, let us turn to Pamela, who, if Mr. Stone was happily acquainted with only for her beauty, merits more than a the whole party, which consisted of Ma. passing glance. In the first place, who dame de Genlis, her daughter and son-in-was she? She is declared by Madame law (M. and Madame de Valence) and de Genlis in her “Memoirs" to have her so-called adopted child, Pamela Sims. been the daughter of an Englishman As soon as the curtain had fallen on the named Seymour, or Seymours, † who, first act, he led the impatient Irishman to though well-born himself, had married the box, and introduced him to those beneath him, thereby offending bis rela. within.

tions. After his marriage, Seymour (alias FitzGerald was very cordially received De Brixey) and his wife (whose maiden by Madame de Genlis, who had only re- name was Sims) fled together from the cently arrived from England, where she frowns of his family, and settled at Fogo had enjoyed the friendship and hospitality Island, off the north-east coast of Newof their mutual friend Sheridan.* He foundland. There, in process of time,

Mrs. Seymours de Brixey gave birth to • The poet Rogers states that Sheridan was himself one of Pamela's numerous admirers, and gave him- * Moore's Life and Death of Lord Edward Fitzself considerable trouble, on one occasion, in putting Gerald, pp. 26, 27. together some French verses for her acceptance. † Strange to say, this gentleman figures in Pamela's "Table-talk of Samuel Rogers,' p. 69.

marriage contraci as William de Brixey.



a daughter, who received the name of there is no difference of opinion among Nancy: The father then died, and his those who knew her. Her beauty is ex. widow, accompanied by Nancy, returned tolled by all. Visitors to the palace of to England in a state of destitution, and Versailles may remember a picture there establishing herself at Christchurch in in which she is represented. The canvas Hampshire, kept the wolf from the door is a large one, the figures somewhat under by taking in needlework. She resumed life-size. To the right sits Madame de for herself, and her child, her maiden Genlis, twanging her harp; in the centre

Four years afterwards, a Mr. is Mademoiselle d'Orléans, also sweeping Forth, whom the Duke of Orleans had the strings, and reading from a musiccommissioned to pick up une petite An- book held for her by Pamela, whose face glaise as a schoolroom companion for his is seen in profile - a very Hebe such as children, happening to be at Christchurch, Flaxman might have designed, or Thor. saw little Nancy Sims, and having some waldsen wrought in marble. How pure how persuaded her mother to part with in outline are mouth, nose, and chin! her, took her away to France. Madame How gazelle-like in expression is the de Genlis, governess - or governor as downcast eye! She is clad in white, her she styled herself — of the duke's chil. gown fitting close around the neck. Over dren, took a strong fancy to the little one shoulder a yellow scarf is negligently stranger, re-named her Pamela, for the thrown. Her hair, raised, frizzled, and sake of euphony, and bestowed the same slightly powdered, is bound by a pale-blue care on her education as on that of her ribbon, from which a bunch of cherries, more distinguished pupils. Fearing how- stuck at random, gives a little air of coever lest the widow Sims should reclaim quetry to an otherwise simple attire. Pamela at some future time, she went to But we have left Lord Edward in the England, and there induced the good theatre conversing with his new acquaintwoman to sign an acte de cession of the ances. Before they left, he received from girl in the Court of King's Bench, in Madame de Genlis an invitation to dinner return for the sum of twenty-five guineas! at Raincy, a villa outside Paris belonging

This odd story, received with distrust to the Duke of Orleans, where she was from the first, is now classed with the then staying. He went, of course, and many other fictions for which we are in- was more tlian ever captivated by Pamela. debted to the authoress of “Les Annales He afterwards repaired thither daily, ende la Vertu.” The explanation to which joying to the full the delights of courtthe unkind public lent a readier ear, was ship. that Pamela was the daughter of Madame Early in December, Madame de Genlis de Genlis herself, by the Duke of Orleans. set out for the Belgian frontier, in coinIndeed, the striking resemblance she bore pliance with the urgently.expressed desire to madame on the one side, and to one of the Duke of Orleans, who wished the if not two — of the duke's legitimate chil- princess, bis daughter, removed from dren on the other, was taken as sufficient French territory till affairs grew more proof that such was the case.*

settled. Lord Edward joined the travelAs to the personal charms of Pamela, lers at the first stage from Paris, and

accompanied them to Tournay, where * It is amusing to hear how the tongue of London they halted for some weeks. It was here society wagged on this topic. When the celebrated in that his marriage with Pamela took place, structress of youth paid her first visit to England in and that over, he started homewards with 1785, she went to see Horace Walpole, at Strawberry his bride. Kill; and that prince of gossips in relating the circunstance to his correspondent, Lady Ossory, says, “Ma- On getting to Ireland, the young couple dame de Genlis was accompanied by Pamela, whom she did not even present to me, and whom she has educated settled for a time at Frescati, a place near to be very like herself in the face." Later on too, in Dublin belonging to the Duchess of Leinsspent in this country, Miss Townshend, a lady bolding thence, we obtain some pleasing glimpses 1791, the greater part of whichi year Madame de Genlis ter. In Lord Edward's letters to her a post at court, was similarly impressed. night,” she writes, to Lady Hume's, to see some of his early married life. Here is one: French curiosities, Madame de Genlis, Mademoiselle d'Orléans, and the English foundling, as they call her, We came here last night, got up to a delightPamela, who has as French a face as possible, and in ful spring day, and are now enjoying the little my opinion, and in the opinion of many others last night, is very like the first-mentioned lady; though book-room with the windows open, hearing Madame de Genlis is very ugly now, while Pamela is the birds sing. The place looks beautiful. beautiful.

But it is only the difference of age. They The plants in the passage are just watered ; sat in a circle to be stared at, and seemed to like it." Letter from the Hon. Georgina Townshend to Mrs. and with the passage door open, the room Stapleton, published in “Memoirs of Field-Marshal smells like a greenhouse. Pamela has dressed Lord Combermere,” Appendix.

four beautiful flower-pots, and is now working


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

at her frame, while I am sitting in the bay. Lord Edward had by this time joined window with all those pleasant feelings which the society of United Irishmen. The the fine weather, the pretty place, the singing preliminary oath, taken on entering, birds, the pretty wife, and Frescati, give me.

pledged every member to persevere in his A year and a half later, he writes to endeavors to obtain “an equal, full, and describe a cottage in the town of Kildare, adequate representation of all the people where he had gone to live. To those who of Ireland.” know the Emerald Isle, the name Kildare There was nothing especially revolumay only recall a dismal, decayed little tionary in this; it has been said, indeed, town, with a curious round tower, and an by one who knew well the leading memabundance of grunting pigs and dirty bers of the society (of which he was at children. But when a home is truly one time himself a member) that at the happy, it is of little consequence what its outset of their career, they were actusurroundings may be.

ated by the most earnest love of the BritI think I shall pass a delightful winter here.

ish Constitution," and that a treasonable I have got two fine large clumps of turf, which or disloyal thought had never entered look both comfortable and pretty.

I have

their heads. However, as time went on, paled in my little flower-garden before my hall and they saw their hopes scattered to the door with a lath paling, and stuck it full of winds, their intentions in combining beroses, sweetbrier, honeysuckles, and Spanish came considerably extended. They lisbroon. With Pam and the child † beside me. tened to, and at length entertained, an of a blustering evening, with a good turf fire, offer of the French government to assist and a pleasant book — coming in after seeing them, by an invasion of Ireland, in a plot my poultry put up, my garden settled — flower, which they had formed for casting off the beds and plants covered, for fear of frost – the English yoke, and establishing a republic place looking comfortable and well cared for

instead. Lord Edward was selected to - I shall be as happy as possible. I

settle the details of this compact, and he In alluding to politics, which he occa- went abroad for that purpose. It was not sionally does, he writes in a less con- he, however, but an equally active memtented strain; and it is clear that the ber of the society, Arthur O'Connor, who happiness which bung around his hearth made the final arrangement for the indid not attend him in public life. The tended invasion, at an interview with outlook was indeed gloomy for every General Hoche, in Switzerland. Irishman who wished well for his country. A fleet of forty-three sail, conveying The question which most concerned all fifteen thousand men under Hoche's compatriots, at this moment, was that of the mand, set out from Brest in the following enfranchisement of Roman Catholics; December bound for Bantry Bay, the but the bill brought in with that object by point where a landing was to be at Grattan was thrown out, while the viceroy tempted. “Never,” says Moore, “ since (Lord Fitzwillialı), who lent his support the Armada, has an expedition been to the measure, was recalled. A bill doomed to encounter such a concurrence for a sadly needed Parliamentary reform of adverse accidents, such a combination shared the same fate.

of all that is most thwarting in fortune

and in the elements.” One ship struck • Letter of May 6, 1793.

on the rocks, and went down, before she + His son Edward Fox FitzGerald, born 1794.

It is impossible to help contrasting the quiet life was clear of Brest harbor. The others here depicted with the deeply exciting one wirich Pa- were separated in a fog. Sixteen of the mela had been leading in France a few previously. Whether at Belle Chasse, or at the Palais- squadron came within sight of the Irish were but waiting to play a prominent part in the im- shore kept them tossing in the open for Royal, she was constantly in the society of men who coast; but a violent gale blowing from off pending Revolution. The odious but plausible Barère considered himself hier political tutor.

Camille Des six days, and in the end scattered them moulins, it is said, worshipped her at a distance. The completely. It was owing to no energetic very mob were at her feet. Madame Vigée Le Brun, in her interesting “Souvenirs,” mentions how in the

measures on England's part that this suminer of 1789, she saw Pamela in a hat with long expedition did not prove a perfect sucblack feathers, riding about before the Invalides, fol. cess; for though there were two British lowed by two grooins wearing the Orleans livery. As the young girl paced to and fro, the crowd made way Aeets in the Channel, they were anywhere for lier, exclaiming, “Slie it is whom we will have for but near the Cork coast. The attempt our queen!” $ The Irish Legislature, at this time, consisted of a

served to put England on her guard, and House of Lords, of which fifty-three peers nominated that was all. It is generally admitted now one hundred and twenty-three members of the other branch; and of a House of Commons of three hundred so-called representatives of the people, scarcely one- lar election." -"Personal Recollections of Lord Clonshird of whoin were freely and fairly returned by popu- | curry," p. 22.

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »