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but she behaved sweetly to them all, and seems to have succeeded in pleasing every creature.”
"Penzance, 1st Sept. 1820. "Tis long indeed since female profligacy was appointed the scourge of Britain; and that it should be applauded by the multitude, fills me with serious apprehensions. When and where will the painful discussion end!
"Italian ladies will for no man
Forbear defending of a woman:
say some of the wits du tems passé; but English dames are accustomed to treat a frail sister as does in a park do the one singled out by the keeper. If she tries to lose herself in the herd, they fly her as if infected.* Of what people think, however, or of what they say, I guess not here at Penzance, where I mingle very little indeed with the very little society that there is.
"Oh dear! here comes more of this odious Tryal.† Well! I am pleased to see that the Italian men are more delicate than the German women. This Barbara will be torn in pieces by the mob sure, and the gentlemen will fight duels, and how will it all end? and
* "These lovely things have mercy shown
For every failing but their own,
And every woe a tear can claim
Except an erring sister's shame."-Byron. †The Queen's trial.
when? The eclipse next week too, tegunt nigræ latitantia sidera nubes.' Indeed I have never seen a starry night since we came, fine as the weather is; and somehow one does feel horror-stricken. An impressive preacher called the World's End before our eyes last Sunday; and though nobody will own it, my heart feels sure that many went home under an alarm somewhat unusual,
"Dear Doctor Gray, do write again to me, and keep my spirits up by your kindness. That all will last my time, and yours too, I doubt not; but the great fellow with the scythe seems to tread hard, and tread heavy ; and the footsteps he leaves behind him are so large of late! Lord Byron is said to be bringing out a tragedy : unlucky, if Mr. Kean is leaving England for America. They seem to be kindred souls, delighting in distortion, and mistaking it for pathos. Did a strange work (a little thing) ever cross your path called the Modern Prometheus? It is a proof how present taste runs in a current totally different from that which marked the beginning of last century. I wonder what the wits of 1921 will say to both!
"And so all the witnesses, I find, are shut in my greatgrandfather's garden!-Cotton Garden, belonging, in James II.'s reign, to Sir Robert Cotton of Combermere.”
MISS WYNN'S COMMONPLACE BOOK.
THE following extracts from Mrs. Piozzi's letters to a Welsh neighbour, are copied from Miss Williams Wynn's commonplace book:
1797.-'Tis really not unworthy observation, how the vital part of every country has been struck at during the last ten years. Loyalty and love of their Grand Monarque was a characteristic of Parisian manners. Their Sovereign has been executed. Religion and the fine arts comforted the Italians for loss of liberty and of conquests. Their ceremonies are now insulted, their models of excellence taken forcibly away. Our English John, safe in his wooden walls, counted the treasures of the Bank and feared no ill while ships and money lasted. Our guineas are turned to paper, our fleets mutiny, and our boobies here in London run to crown the dead delegates with flowers, forgetting how we were all terrified when the Thames was blocked up, the trade stopt, and an actual civil war at Sheerness, not twenty miles from the capital.
1799. Your heart would melt to hear the horrid tales from Italy! Poor Conte di Fron, late Turinese Ambassador, comes now and then to disburthen his heart and vent his sorrows on us, and, lamenting more his King's misfortunes than his own, tells how that
hapless Prince knelt on the ground in vain before the unfeeling general of the French forces begging a brother's life, while that commander, lately a low attorney of some country town, showed him humbled to his brother officers, and made the scene a matter of encouragement to France to persist in her resolves against crowned heads. This was Sardinia's King. The royal family of Naples suffered little less, &c. &c. Dear Mr. Piozzi's countrymen tell him that the oxen, &c. in the North of Italy have been so put in requisition, that large tracts of land lie waste for want of cultivation, whilst civil war of opinions among the inhabitants, some holding fast by the old way, and some embracing the new notions brought among them by the French, make that once lovely country a theatre of agony, and produce such dearness of provisions, that at Genoa a dog's head was sold for five shillings during the siege, and friends, enemies, soldiers, traders, alike perished more by hunger than by the sword.
1813. Compliments of the season.
It is a very
old fashion. Our ancestors used to send mistletoe to each other. The Romans presented dates and dried figs to their friends, and the modern Italians make up elegant boxes of sweetmeats for the same purpose. We keep our oaks as clean as we can from all parasitical plants. We have the sugar plums for children, and send empty wishes of a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, even that good custom is going out apace. Well, Ovid's line to Germanicus was the prettiest :—
"Dii tibi dent annos, à te nam cætera sumes."
Buonaparte doubtless thought such a speech would suit him some months ago, but he must renounce all hope of being Germanicus.
1814. Your partiality will encourage me to a long chat with you concerning the atmospheric stones which have attracted much of my attention. I do believe that Diana of the Ephesians was no other than one of these, and it was thought, you know, that she fell down from Jupiter, but I have heard a Camb-man maintain that it was possible that the moon might produce them
-an idea best befitting to a lunatic. Dr. Milner's joke on such immechanical notions is the very best I know -the ready-furnished house. They must, I think, go up before they fall down, and certainly there are more volcanoes at work than we are watching, which fill the air with substances of an attractive kind, which, for the most part assume conical shapes, as Nature when alone appears particularly to delight in. The Dea Pessinuntia, or Cybele of classic mythology, was, I fancy, a mere meteoric composition. They washed her with much. silly reverence, you remember, and Heliogabalus's black stone, which he drove into Rome with four white horses, was nothing better, only the form happened to be perhaps a more regular and perfect cone. He was a Syrian, you know, and this, dropping from heaven as they believed, served excellently to represent their Bel, or Baal, or lost Thammuz, the Sun, in short, of which divinity he was priest, as a pyræum of aspiring flame.