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of him in the art of throwing his saliva, in a coachman-like style, to á great distance; and that he has had his front teeth filed for the purpose of discharging it with greater dexterity. " Spit like a man,” says
Dick: a man is not å man, who can't spit two yards at least.”
The Baronet himself was once a great friend of Dick's: but the latter has since cut Sir H--y, “ because he is too great a blackguard,” Dick says, 66 and a man ought to be cautious what society he mixes with.” All the young students prefer the outside of the coach; but the cognoscenti rival each other in paying extra prices for the box, in order that they may Have an opportunity of witnessing Dick's skill. On Monday last when I left London, the box was taken by a noted whip; and as he had with him a young man, who was in College language very fresh (that is, not initiated in barouche-driving and other fashionable branches of knowledge), his friend was invited to the honour of a séance with himself and the coachman. Quaker Will is rather jealous of his sovereignty on the dickey; consequently, during his superintendance, the young man had no further opportunity of shewing his talents in stage-coachmanship, than by assisting in harnessing the horses,-conversing with the stableboys at the innsg-ranging through the kitchens and sculleries in & lounging, Jehu-like manner, with both hands in the pocket and a vacant inanity of countenance,-drinking gin and bitters, and throwing the newspapers to the different houses on the road, which he performed with an air, that evinced either great expe. rienee, or an intuitive perception of those graces of the profession which lie beyond the reach of art. But soon distant hints, secret whispers, and sagacious nods of the head, intimated to his friend, that a different kind of coachman was approaching, and that then, in the language of the showmen, he was to see what he should see, The wished-for time at length approached : Dick's nose flamed like the autumnal star,--a nose red as if begot upon the Dog-star by the fiery sun; significant nods of friendship were exchanged at a distance. The actual meeting was tender, animated, affecting. Feeling and pathetic inquiries after his horses :
-how was Spanker's sprain? had Snarler thrown out another kick? did Nutmeg's warm mesh agree?-interrogatories about Dick's dinners (for Dick dines with and gives dinners to Lords and Gentlemen), änd mysterious half-sentences ensued : what they were I cannot pretend to say; for they were conveyed in a lane guage to which, not being of the select few, I was an utter stranger, or, in their own cant, I was not awake. As I was not shielded with the authority of my box-coat, to which Dick would have paid respect, I did not think proper to ask an explanation. Every action, every motion, every look of Dick's, was in the Meau time carefully observed. Every time he opened his mouth,
the two youngsters looked at each other with such a reciprocity of silent admiration, as utterly put to flight all the piddling expressions of French surprize; as, Mon Dieu ! Quel homme ! Quelle vivacité ! One compliment which they paid him, I thought savoured a little of profanity. The conversation flagging, the young Jehu supplied the pause by y’upping to the horses; when Dick, despising the puny effort, and collecting all the powers of his Stentorian lungs, gave such a y’up as made the horses shake to their inmost parts. Struck with the effect, the young gentleman turned to Dick, and with peculiar emphasis of expression observed,
I do believe the horses take you for a god.” Had you but seen this emblem of divinity! The attention, after this, with which they adjusted his seat and the economy of his great-coat,—the promptitude of anticipation with which they prepared to take the vacant reins,—the almost filial tenderness with which they begged him to drink ale at one place and brandy at another, were traits, which must have been witnessed to be properly appreciated. With that insight into character, my dear George, which you possess, Dick would afford you a rich treat; but if your avocations should not lead you to enjoy it soon, you must give up the hope, as he talks of resigning his situation. He pants for that, which is the true end of labour to the poet and the philosopher,--the otium cum dignitate, or, as it has been translated to Dick, an elegant and virtuous retirement."
Art. XII.-Reflexions an the Letters of Mademoiselle l’Espinasse.
Wriiten between the years 1773 and 1776, inclusive. Published at Paris 1809.
It is an unquestionable fact, that however smoothly and regularly life may proceed with those people, who like the Vicar of Wakefield and his wife have no revolutions to fear, nor fatigues to undergo; all whose adventures are by the fire-side, and whose only migrations are from the blue bed to the brown; there are others; whose actual adventures have surpassed all that has been conceived in romance, and whose passions have taken a more eccentric course, than the most unbounded licence of a novelist's fancy has allowed him to conceive. Impressed as the mind of every enquiring person must be with this fact, it still seems diffi. cult to believe, that the passions of a person, not actually insane, should have so far departed from the usual course of things, as is exhibited in the Letters of Mademoiselle l’Espinasse, which have
lately been given to the public. 66 What hath been,” says Aris. totle, 66 is unquestionably so, or it could never have been at all;" and certainly it requires an implicit assent to the proposition of the great master of rhetoric to believe, that such things have taken place in this sublunary world as are contained in these strange volumes. Here is a lady who, writing to one lover, of whom she affects a boundless and most impassioned fondness, entertains him with what? with extravagant encomiums upon a deceased lover; and a succession of doubts, whether she shall die for the one defunct, or live for the one still surviving. In spite of the fullness of these two attachments, which it might have been imagined would have found their full employment, the lady, to fill up all the crevices in her capacious soul, contrives to make room for an affection for two other gentlemen ; . which affection, to use her own language, was so strong, that she could express it no otherwise than by saying, that they were identified with herself; that they were as necessary to her as the air she breathed, and that they filled her whole soul, though they had not the power of disturbing it: so that in short the lady had a dead lover, a living lover, and two sub-lovers, if we may so call them. 66 Veritablement,” as the honest notary in Moliere says, “ c'est trop pour le coûtume.”
In treating of those aberrations which are the consequence of a disappointment in the tender passion, a wide distinction is certainly to be made in favour of the female sex; and even among them much is to be allowed for difference of temperament. Men have a thousand outlets for discharging the impetuosities of pas. sion, or transfusing its hues to other objects. Many of those, who can calmly discuss the extravagancies which love sometimes generates in the opposite sex, would not find themselves so much at their ease, if it were not for the channels which politics, war, and business afford for turning the affections into different chan. nels, and for weakening their effects by scattering their powers. Thus it is common to see one man disentangle himself from an affair of the heart by making a distant voyage, and balancing the loss of affection by the gain of credit; a second converts into the asperities of political warfare those feelings, which are the result of wounded pride and disappointed love; while a third, borrowing courage from despair, boldly combats his country's enemies, and ennobles his life by actions which were meant to accelerate his death. Women are not possessed of these advantages; the only passion which is ever likely to interest them violently, is that of love; and if this passion should meet with any opposition, they have no means of relief, but that of easing their sensations hy revealing and descanting upon them, or expiring silently under their influence. The lady, to whose letters,
the reader's attention is requested, chose the former method of easing her burthened mind; but in a manner, and to an extent, as cannot fail, notwithstanding the latitude which must be allowed to her sex, to excite extreme wonder and surprise.
It will be necessary, that the reader may enter into the full spirit of these Letters, to give a short history of the writer's life, previous to the time when these letters commence : :-Mademoiselle l'Espinasse is said to have been the illegitimate offspring of a French Bishop and an Abbess, by whom, however, she was never acknowledged. After receiving her education at a convent, she was admitted into the house of the Marchioness du Deffand, a lady who was among the most conspicuous leaders of those bril. liant circles, which by uniting the literary and fashionable world, have fixed so much attention on that distinguished æra of French history, the age of the Fifteenth Louis. This lady, in the mesi, dian of her life becoming blind, found it necessary to have a companion, who might divert her in those hours which were not more agreeably occupied by company, and who might assist her
in doing the honours of her table to the distinguished friends, by - whom she still continued to be surrounded. Fortune threw in
her way Mademoiselle l’Espinasse ; and for a time nothing could equal the satisfaction which Madame du Deffand found in her young friend. At length, however, the Marchioness suspected that the talents and the manners, the misfortunes and the beauty, of the interesting l’Espinasse, were creating a formidable rival for herself among the
men, who had hitherto evinced the most devoted respect for her charms: she found that many stolen hours were spent by her guests at the toilette of the fascinating companion; that d'Alembert, her distinguished favourite, was devoted to l'Espinasse ; and that even her old lover, the President Henault, was alarmingly assiduous in his attentions. Madame du Deffand became outrageous : an instant breach ensued between her and her companion : a due chastisement was bestowed upon the unfortunate President; and d'Alembert was told, in dụe form, that he must renounce either Mademoiselle or the Marchioness. D'Alem. bert clave unto l’Espinasse, and all future connexion between him and the Marchioness instantly ceased. The friends of Made. moiselle did not abandon her on this occasion : they procured her a small pension from the crown, and the late companion of Madame du Deffand became a fine lady upon her own ground, Her house became the centre of polite resort; and the circle of the interesting l’Espinasse was attended by all that were distin. guished in Paris for rank, talents, and fashion. Released from her fatiguing attentions upon Madame du Deffand (which are said to have been so severe, as to have been the ultimate cause of her death), independent in her circumstances, and honoured with the
friendship of the learned and the great, it might reasonably be expected, that Mademoiselle l’Espinasse's future life would have flowed on in a course of uninterrupted felicity. But happiness is a very precarious blessing. “ Alas!” said an Indian lamenting over his companion; he was fed with train-oil, and the bone of a bird about ten inches long was thrust through the gristle of his nose; what could possibly be wanting to his happiness?” But the Indian, in spite of the luxury of train-oil, and though the bone of a bird ten inches long was thrust through the gristle of his nose, contrived to be miserable; and Mademoiselle l’Espinasse found, that although surrounded with all the comforts of life, it was still possible for her to be unhappy.
By the fascination of her manners, she had inspired the son of the Spanish Ambassador with a profound passion: but whether she herself participated in this feeling to the extent, which she professed, was at the time much doubted. Be this as it may, the parents of the young man became alarmed, and insisted upon his immediate departure from Paris, and Mademoiselle L'Espinasse had the mortification to see the enamoured Mora torn from her
The departure of Mora and the lady's affliction called for the interposition of her friends to alleviate her distress. Among the rest Guibert, the celebrated author of the Tactics, tendered his kind offices. He endeavoured to please, and finished by attaching her; he came to console, and made a violent impression. Mademoiselle had need of repose: her soul was already filled with a sentiment deep and tender; a sentiment in which her lover partook, and to which he answered with reciprocal ardour; when the attentions of Guibert disturbed the settled feelings of her heart, and set it all afloat again in the wide sea of love, amid the agitations of hope and fear, of pain and pleasure, of transport and despair. A temporary absence of Guibert occasioned her to write to him, and the volumes now under consideration, are the fruits of her labour, In her first letters Guibert is merely her friend : this friendship, however, causes her some little remorse, a's trenching upon the affection which she owed to the devoted Mora; friendship soon ripens into love; and her love runs rapidly through the whole thermometer of the passion : she hates, she fears, she desires, she despairs, she loses her senses, every thing in short but her love. In the midst of this correspondencer her lover Mora, for whom, notwithstanding the largeness of her affection for Guibert, she still reserved a fund of sensibility and attachment, dies. A frightful state of anguish succeeds : her frame is rent, her reason totters, and she wishes for death. People, however, never die apropos : and Mademoiselle, in spite of her affliction, survives. The world and she were now to shake hands: Guibert and her grief were all that was to remain for her in ex