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dignity, and made common cause with Lord Hervey (the Lord Fanny and the Sporus of the Satires.) They concocted an attack in verse, addressed to the imitator of Horace; but nothing could be more unequal than such a warfare. Pope, in return, grasped the blasting and vol. leyed lightnings of his wit, and would have annihilated both his adversaries, if more than half a grain of truth had been on his side. But posterity has been just: in his anger, he overcharged his weapon, it recoiled, and the engineer has been “ hoisted by his own petard."
Lady Mary's personal negligence afforded grounds for Pope's coarse and severe allusions to the “colour of her linen,” &c. His asperity, however, did not reform her in this respect: it was a fault which increased with age and foreign habits. Horace Walpole, who met her at Florence twenty years afterwards, draws a hateful and disgusting picture of her, as “old, dirty, tawdry, painted,” and flirting and gambling with all the young men in the place. But Walpole is terribly satirical; he had a personal dislike to Lady Mary Wortley, whom he coarsely designates as Moll Worthless,-and his description is certainly overcharged. How differently the same characters will strike different people! Spence, who also met Lady Mary abroad, about that time, thus writes to his mother: “I always desired to be acquainted with Lady Mary, and could never bring it about, though we were so often together in London. Soon after we came to this place, her ladyship came here, and in five days I was well acquainted with her. She is one of the most shining characters in the world, but shines like a comet: she is all irregularity, and always wandering: the most wise, most imprudent, loveliest, most disagreeable, best-natured, cruellest woman in the world!” Walpole could see nothing but her dirt and her paint. Those who recollect his coarse description, and do not remember her letters to her daughter, written from Italy about the same time, would do well to refer to them as a corrective: it is always so easy to be satirical and ill-natured, and sometimes so difficult to be just and merciful!
The cold scornful levity with which she treated certain topics, is mingled with touches of tenderness and profound;
thought, which show her to have been a disappointed, not a heartless woman. The extreme care with which she cultivated pleasurable feelings and ideas, and shrunk from all disagreeable impressions; her determination never to view her own face in a glass, after the approach of age, or to pronounce the name of her mad, profligate son, may be referred to a cause very different from either selfishness or vanity: but I think the principle was mistaken. While she was amusing herself with her silk-worms and orangerie at Como, her husband Wortley, with whom she kept up a constant correspondence, was hoarding money and drinking tokay to keep himself alive. He died, however, in 1761; and that he was connected with the motives, whatever those were, which induced Lady Mary to reside abroad, is proved by the fact, that the moment she heard of his death she prepared to return to England, and she reached London in January, 1762. “Lady Mary is arrived,” says Walpole, writing to George Montagu. “I have seen her. I think her avarice, her dirt, and her vivacity, are all increased. Her dress, like her language, is a galimatias of several countries. She needs no cap, no handkerchief, no gown, no petticoat, no shoes; an old black-laced hood represents the first; the fur of a horseman's coat, which replaces the third, serves for the second; a dimity petticoat is deputy, and officiates for the fourth; and slippers act the part of the last.” About six months after her arrival she died in the arms of her daughter, the Countess of Bute, of a cruel and shocking disease, the agonies of which she had borne with heroism rather than resignation. The present Marquess of Bute, and the present Lord Wharncliffe, are the great-grandsons of this distinguished woman: the latter is the representative of the Wortley family.
POETICAL OLD BACHELOR S.
THERE is a certain class of poets, not a very numerous one, whom I would call poetical old bachelors. They are such as enjoy a certain degree of fame and popularity themselves, without sharing their celebrity with any fair piece of excellence; but walk each on his solitary path to glory, wearing their lonely honours with more dignity than grace: for instance, Corneille, Racine, Boileau, the classical names of French poetry, were all poetical old bachelors. Racinele tendre Racinemas he is called par excellence, is said never to have been in love in his life ; nor has he left us a single verse in which any of his personal feelings can be traced. He was, however, the kind and faithful husband of a cold, bigoted woman, who was persuaded, and at length persuaded him, that he would be grillé in the other world, for writing heathen tragedies in this: and made it her boast that she had never read a single line of her husband's works! Peace be with her!
And O, let her by whom the muse was scorn'd,
Alive nor dead, be of the muse adorn'd! Our own Gray was in every sense, real and poetical, a cold fastidious old bachelor, who buried himself in the re. cesses of his college; at once shy and proud, sensitive and selfish. I cannot, on looking through his memoirs, letters, and poems, discover the slightest trace of passion, or one proof or even indication that he was ever under the influence of woman. He loved his mother, and was dutiful to two tiresome old aunts, who thought poetry one of the seven deadly sins-et voilà tout. He spent his life in amassing an inconceivable quantity of knowledge, which
lay as buried and useless as a miser's treasure; but with this difference, that when the miser dies, his wealth flows forth into its natural channels, and enriches others; Gray's learning was entombed with him: his genius survives in his elegy and his odes;—what became of his heart I know not. He is generally supposed to have possessed one, though none can guess what he did with it:-he might well moralize on his bachelorship, and call himself “ 6 a solitary fly,”—
The joys no glittering female meets,
Collins was never a lover, and never married. His odes, with all their exquisite fancy and splendid imagery, have not much interest in their subjects, and no pathos derived from feeling or passion. He is reported to have been once in love; and as the lady was a day older than himself, he used to say jestingly, that “he came into the world a day after the fuir.” He was not deeply smitten; and though he led in his early years a dissipated life, his heart never seems to have been really touched. He wrote an Ode on the Passions, in which, after dwelling on Hope, Fear, Anger, Despair, Pity, and describing them with many picturesque circumstances, he dismisses Love with a couple of lines, as dancing to the sound of the sprightly viol, and forming with joy the light fantastic round. Such was Collins's idea of love!
To these we may add Goldsmith. Of his loves we know nothing; they were probably the reverse of poetical, and may have had some influence on his purse and respectability, but none on his literary character and productions. He also died unmarried.
Shenstone, if he was not a poetical old bachelor, was little better than a poetical dangler. He was not formed to captivate: his person was clumsy, his manners disagreeable, and his temper feeble and vacillating. The Delia who is introduced into his elegies, and the Phillis of his pastoral ballad, was Charlotte Graves, sister to the Graves who wrote the Spiritual Quixotte. There was
nothing warm or earnest in his admiration, and all his gallantry is as vapid as his character. He never gave the lady who was supposed, and supposed herself, to be the object of his serious pursuit, an opportunity of accepting or rejecting him; and his conduct has been blamed as ambiguous and unmanly. His querulous declamations against women in general, had neither cause nor excuse; and his complaints of infidelity and coldness are equally without foundation. He died unmarried.
When we look at a picture of Thomson, we wonder how a man with that heavy, pampered countenance, and awkward mien, could ever have written “ The Seasons," or have been in love. I think it is Barry Cornwall, who says strikingly, that Thomson's figure “was a personificalion of the Castle of Indolence, without its romance." Yet Thomson, though he has not given any popularity or interest to the name of a woman, is said to have been twice in love, after his own lack-a-daisical fashion. He was first attached to Miss Stanley, who died young, and upon whom he wrote the little elegy,
Tell me, thou soul of her I love! &c.
He alludes to her also in Summer, in the passage beginning,
And art thou, Stanley, of the sacred band ? &c. His second love was long, quiet, and constant; but whether the lady's coldness, or want of fortune, prevented a union, is not clear: probably the latter. The object of this attachment was a Miss Young, who resided at Richmond; and his attentions to her were continued through a long series of years, and even till within a short time before his death, in his forty-eighth year. She was his Amanda; and if she at all answered the description of her in his Spring, she must have been a lovely and amiable woman.
And thou, Amanda, come, pride of my song!