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Lady Hamilton; and secondly, why he became her biograplier : - -

The sum of her life may be told in a very few words. Her youth, and the early part of womanhood, were passed in obscurity or vice; a few years followed of splendour, during which she interfered somewhat in the politics, and more in the pleasures of one of the least considerable and most depraved of the European courts. The decline of her life lauguished in privacy, and, we fear, it ended in bitter distress. Now, if we were to admit, which yet we are very far from doing, that during the few years passed at Naples, the part she played was so prominent, as to entitle her whole life to a substantial place in history, this admission would be of very little service to our author in helping him to his reply. For the very grounds of the admission imply, that her conduct at Naples should occupy the greater part of her history, and that valuable information should be communicated respecting it. Has our author fulfilled this expectation ? nothing less; the proportions are inverted; all that was important is slightly passed over, and respecting the conduct of Lady Hamilton at Naples, nothing is communicated, which no reader of magazines or newspapers was not perfectly well acquainted with before. No new fact is recorded by him either of an important mature, or on satisfactory authority; he ventures indeed to deny on several occasions what others have asserted and believed, but as his denials come no better supported than by his own bare word, he can hardly imagine, that those who love to examine before they believe, will set much store by such comInunlcatl OilS.

The second question it may give him more pain to answer, and we will answer it for him." He did not become the biographer of Lady Hamilton from any of the motives that usually prompt to such undertakings. . He did not know her better, or love her more than other people; it does not appear that he had any the slightest acquaintance with her, that he was possessed of any materials for her memoirs, or that any common friends have communicated to him peculiar sources of information as to her character or history. Rather we should say, that the contrary of all these is demonstrable from every chapter of the book. The same internal evidence alone leads us to the solution of the riddle, and if it be ne very creditable one to the author, it is not our fault. There is a person, whom the unfortunate subjects (we say subjects, for it has more than one) of his book certainly most deeply injured. Whether the esteem of the good and generous , is to be acquired by the display of unrelenting, and unchastised feelings, or whether a desire to conceal wounds, which it seems cannot be healed, would not have been more delicate, more. .

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titled to pity and admiration, as we are no judges of private
conduct, it is not for us to decide. It is, however, matter.of
serious congratulation, that even if the design had been as odious
and unworthy, as many will be inclined to consider it, it could
not have been committed to a feebler or more contemptible in-
Strüsilent. -
It would be very improper for us to go into the proofs of what
we have ventured to insinuate above ; and it would be equally
unnecessary, for they are so thickly spread in every part of the
book, that whoever runs through it, must come to the same con-
clusion. To save, however, so much trouble, we refer to the
13th chapter, and the 384th page. - - - -
Our readers will think that we have detained them long enough
on a production so dull in execution, so worthless in materials,
and so bad in design; but we will beg their patience while we
notice two passages that have particularly attracted our atten-
tion. The first is not important in itself, but it strongly charac-
terises the spirit in which the book is written. A letter from
Lord to Lady Nelson is cited, in which he describes his meet-
ing with Lady Hamilton on the return of his ship from the battle
of the Nile: the passage is short. - * ... " -

“Along side came my honoured friends; the scene in the boat was terribly affecting : up flew her Ladyship, and exclaiming, ‘O God, is it possible?” she fell into my arms more dead than alive. Tears however soon set matters to rights.” . . . . J The comment is somewhat longer. -- “The scene mentioned in this letter as having been so terribly affecting, was no more than one of those fine pieces of acting, which fired the brain of Romney the painter, and made him desirous of running into Sussex, to bring up his friend the poet (Mr. Hayley), to witness a performance which he wanted words to describe. The truth is, that as the boat drew near to the Vanguard, Lady Hamilton began to rehearse some of her theatrical airs, and . to put on all the appearance of a tragic queen. There was a great swell at this time in the bay; and just as the barge reached the ship, the officer, who saw through her affectation, exclaimed with an oath, that if she did not immediately get up the side, the consequences might be dangerous; for that He could not be answerable for the safety of the boat. On this our heroine laid aside her part, till she reaches the gangway, where, instead of fainting on the arm of Nelson, she clasped him in her own, and carried him into the cabin, followed by Sir William Hamilton and the rest of the company.” P. 203. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Properly to comprehend the whole beauty of this unparalleled morceau, our readers must have seen the courtship of Mr. Lubin

bin Log, and the player lady, besdemona, in Love, Law, and Physic; for from that original it must have been drawn. But we cannot trifle on such a subject: the faults, even the follies of a Nelson, are subject for mournful pity, and deep reflection, rather than satiric levity. What shall we say to this senseless, this vulgar, this impudent account; not an individual mentioned, or alluded to in it, but is grossly libelled. First, a British officer, conducting a British ambassador with his wife, on an occasion of great public festivity, to visit his victorious and beloved commander, is represented as treating her rudely, and forgetting what was due to himself as a gentleman. Who the author's naval acquaintance may have been, we shall not presume to say; but he must have been, we think, singularly unfortunate, if he has drawn his specimen from his own experience. For our parts we have been more happy, and with some knowledge of the gallant leaders of our national force. We scarcely know the man among them, to whom such a picture would bear any resem

blance. Next as to Lady Hamilton.—Never, we will venture to say, did malice so overshoot itself. In the beginning, it is said to be “a fine piece of acting;” in the middle, it becomes “a rehearsal of theatrical airs,” and has “ the appearance of a tragic . Queen;” in the end, it is the downright vulgar horse play of the aforesaid Tesdemona. And this then was the chef d'oeuvre of dramatic exhibition, at a time when she desired to produce the most lasting and powerful impression on a simple, manly mind, by a woman whom we all know, and who in a thousand places in this very book is admitted to have been finished in all the arts of deception, who could preserve grace in the extreme of pas; sion, and nature in the most consummate affectation; in whom the voluptuary, the player, the painter, and the sculptor, der lighted to study, whatever was most excellent of beauty, dignity, or harmony in expression, attitude, and manner. . . ! But all this is nothing—for the officers of the navy, they can be injured by no such writer as our author; and for Lady Hamilton; it little matters now to that worthless woman herself, or to any one else, whether she was a skilful or clumsy work-woman in her trade; it is the tendency of this passage, as it affects Nelson, that provokes our indigmation. The memory of a fallen hero is national property, among the most valuable that a nation can possess, we are rich in it; but let us shew that we deserve our wealth, by rightly valuing it. And how does this author shew his value for it? Simply by placing Lord Nelson in the most ridiculous situation, that inventive malice could suggest; by telling a story, which makes this great man (our pen almost refuses to write the words) a dupe to the most awkward o


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and a liar in a plain matter of fact, in which he could not have

mistaken. - -
The second of the two passages is of the same offensive kind,
though from the nature of the subject matter, not so vulgar in
execution. It relates to Lady Hamilton's alleged public ser-
vices, It is well known, that slord Nelson uniformly in his life
time affirmed, and at the solemn moment immediately before the
battle of Trafalgar, when his bodings were such, that every thing
he said or wrote might well be construed into dying declarations,
asserted these services to have been great. It is well known.
also, that he specified amongst them particularly, her exertions
in procuring him permission to victual and water his fleet after
the first and ineffectual search for the French Fleet under Ad-
miral Brueys. Now we think it quite consistent with our re-
spect for Nelson, to doubt whether his representation be wholly
correct, because it implies no suspicion of his veracity to imagine
that he might have been deceived as to the original ground of
these services, and then from excessive partiality have uninten-
tionally exaggerated their extent. And we are the more in-
clined to think this must have been the case; for it is the only
supposition which would justify the total neglect exhibited on
the part of our government towards the repeated claims of Lady
Hamilton for remuneration, and the more painful denial of the
last request of the dying Nelson, -

So far then in the main we agree with the author; but it is

the singular unhappiness of his nature to select on all occasions the most offensive of all the grounds presented on which to build his opinion. His assertion is, that the Sicilian court was most eager to render the fleet all possible assistance, and that if

that had not been the case, the zeal of the people was such, as

to render all interference on the part of the government unnecessary, if favourable, and mugatory, if adverse to our wants. To these assertions is added an assumption, that if Nelson had

been refused a supply, he would have taken it by force. What

is the amount of this? Not that Lady Hamilton deceived Nelson; but that he uniformly in life, and solemnly in death, deceived England. -

We have no time to extract and dissect the suicidal passage in which this charge is contained; in truth, we are heartily tired of wading in a book, where the only relief from disgust is con, tempt—a cheerless and tiresome alternation. Of such a book,

the less we extract, or analyse, the better; it is our plan to make

our readers acquainted with the substance of all the productions which fall under our censure; but it would be a degrading, nor less than an uninteresting task for us and for them, to trace the Professed subject of the present volume under several aliases,


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through all the scenes of low and vicious life, detailed in these pages. The vicissitudes of that miserable class, from which she emanated, are but little varied; short periods of uneasy splendour and gaiety, horribly forced and unnatural, interrupted continually, or for ever succeeded by disease, and want, and misery, by daily violation of the almost inextinguishable remains of female delicacy, by constrained submission to brutal insult, by fictitious delight where indifference or disgust are really felt, by naked and houseless famine, and the deeply knowing sense, that there is no hope, that all is irretrievable; this is their complication, comprisal, collection, and sum of bitterness. o

If Hady Hamilton escaped some part of the dismal catalogue. of evils above enumerated; if, by unusual address, and eminent personal accomplishments, she attained a situation in life, which for her might well be called exalted; if, because our higher classes were found wanting in the stern, yet dignified discipline of former times; she was for a while victorious, and out-faced the good and tried severity of English society; if she was flattered, admired by many, and loved even to his own ruin, by one who had no equal in his day; yet let her not be held up as an instance of successful or unpunished vice; let it not be imagined, that she was free from all visitation. She suffered with the lowest before her exaltation: in the midst of it she encountered much anxiety, and many most bitter mortifications; after it closed, when the foolish and the wicked, who had basked in her sunshine, fled from her distress, and the good and the great, whom she had injured, duped, and misled, were no longer at hand to uphold her, she became indeed an object for the pity of the most inveterate malevolence. Desolate, bereft, and abandoned, harassed by creditors, stripped of comforts, that long use and declining age had converted into necessaries, for some time a prisoner in her own country, and then an exile from it—is it in short possible to imagine any lot more cheerless or gloomy, than the last years, the drooping sickness, and the death-bed of Lady Hamilton.

ART. VII. The Field of Waterloo; a Poem. By Walter
Scott. 8vo. pp. 36. Constable, Edinburgh; Longman and
Murray, London. 1815. -

IT would be difficult to point out a nation in which Poetry and

Fatriotism have for so long a period been more cultivated, or less

united, than in our own. Though plants of the same soil of


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