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brought some books with me.” “O, but the ghost! the ghost!” exclaimed one of Miss Amphlets, laughing. “O, don't you see that we have bilked the bitch,” says Lord Lyttelton, showing his watch, and running from them up stairs, where Williams had set out the reading-table, &c., and put his master on the yellow nightgown, which he always used. Lord Lyttelton then said, “ Make up my five grains of rhubarb and peppermint water and leave me; but, did you remember to bring rolls enough from London?” “ I brought none, my Lord; I have found a baker here at Epsom that makes them just as your Lordship likes,” – describing how, and stirring the mixture as he spoke. “What are you using?” cries my Lord, — “ a toothpick !” “A clean one, indeed, my Lord.” “You lazy devil, — go fetch a spoon directly ;” he did so; but heard a noise in the room and hastened back, to find his master fallen over the table, books and all. He raised him; “ Speak to me, my Lord, — speak for God's sake, dear my Lord.” “ Ah, Williams!” was his last and only word. Williams ran down to the dissolute company below, his watch in his hand. “ Not twelve o'clock yet," he exclaimed," and dead, dead.”
They all bore witness that no violence came near the man, and I do think that some judicial process then proclaimed him, — “ Dead by the visitation of God.” This, however, might be my hearing those words from friends and acquaintances relating the incident; but when it was reported, twenty years after, that Lord Lyttelton committed suicide, I knew that was an error, or a falsity.
Of this event, however, few people spoke after the first bustle ; and I had changed my situation and associates so completely, that it lay loose in my mind, — never forgotten, though in a manner unremembered.
Chance, however, threw me into company of the gay and facetious Miles Peter Andrews, with whom and Mr. Greatheed's family, and Mrs. Siddons, and Sir Charles Hotham, and a long et cetera, an entertaining day had been passed some time in the year 1795, if I remember rightly; and Mrs. Merrick Hoare, assuming intimacy, said, “ Now, dear Mr. Andrews, that the Pigous are gone, and everybody is gone but ourselves, do tell my mother your own story of Lord Lyttelton.” He hesitated, and I pressed him, urging my long past acquaintance with his Lordship’s uncles,
- the bishop and Lord Westcote. He looked uneasily at me, but I soothed, and Sophia gave him no quarter ; so with something of an appeal to her that the tale would be as she had learned it from her friends the Pigous and from himself, he began by saying: “ Lord Lyttelton and I had lived long in great familiarity, and had agreed that whichever quitted this world first should visit the other. Neither of us being sick, however, such thoughts were at the time of his death, poor fellow ! furthest from my mind.
“Lord Lyttelton had asked me to make one of his mad party to Woodcote or Pitt Place, in Surrey, on such a day, but I was engaged to the Pigous you saw this evening, and could not go. They then lived in Hertfordshire; I went down thither on the Sunday, and dined with them and their very few, and very sober friends, who went away in the evening. At eleven o'clock I retired to my apartment: it was broad moonlight and I put out my candle : when just as I seemed dropping asleep, Lord Lyttelton thrust himself between the curtains, dressed in his own yellow night-gown that he used to read in, and said in a mournful tone, “Ah, Andrews, it's all over.' •0, replied I quickly, "are you there, you dog ?' and recollecting there was but one door to the room, rushed out at it — locked it, and held the key in my hand, calling to the housekeeper and butler, whose voices I heard putting the things away, to ask when Lord Lyttelton arrived, and what trick he was meditating. The servants made answer with much amazement, that no such arrival had taken place; but I assured them I had seen, and spoken to him, and could produce him, ' for here,' said I, · he is ; under fast lock and key.' We opened the door, and found no one, but in two or three days heard that he died at that very moment, near Epsom in Surrey."
“ After a pause, I said very seriously to Mr. Andrews, “ Were you quite sober, Sir?' 'As you are now,' replied he; "and I did think I saw Lord Lyttelton as I now think that I see you.'
Did think, Sir? do you now think it?' I should most undoubtedly think it, but that so many people for so many years have told me I did not see him,' said he. We made a few serious reAections and parted.”
In reference to Wraxall's appeal to the confirmatory testimony of the Dowager Lady Lyttelton, she adds: “ Lady Lyttelton's imagination was supposed stronger than her veracity. She was scouted (as the coarse phrase is) by the family, and with good talents was, I fear, little esteemed by any one, though daughter to Sir Robert Rich, and had been pretty."
66 A day or two before the 7th of June,' said he, Count Maltzan, then the Prussian Minister at our Court, called on me, and informed me that the mob had determined to attack the Bank.'” — Wraxall.
Note. — The foreigners always obtain the first intelligence of everything. It was the Marquis Del Campo who himself informed the Queen of Peg Nicholson's attempt to assassinate George the Third. And one of the ministers of a foreign Court was first to learn the meditated escape of Buonaparte from Elba.*
pv was imaglideration ; an that Peers
“ Suspicions were thrown on the Earl of Shelburne, probably with great injustice. The natural expectation of producing a change in Ministry was imagined to suspend or supersede in certain minds, every other consideration ; and it was even pretended, though on very insufficient grounds that Peers did not scruple to take an active part in the worst excesses of the night of the 7th of June.” †— Wraxall.
Note. — A man remarkable for duplicity will be always suspected whether deserving suspicion or no. Gainsborough drew Lord Shelburne's portrait : my Lord complained it was not like. The painter said " he did not approve it, and begged to try again.” Failing this time, however, he flung away his pencil saying, “D— it, I never could see through varnish, and there's an end.”
* This is far from clear. The Duke of Wellington told Rogers that he got the first intelligence from the English minister at Florence. It is one of the most curious cases of conflicting evidence that can be named. See the Edinburgh Review, No. 227. (July, 1860), pp. 235, 236.
† It was a current story, which I have heard Lord Macaulay relate, that the late Right Honorable T. Grenville was with a party that broke into the Admiralty, and that the second time he entered it was as First Lord.
“ Sir Fletcher Norton, though perhaps justly accused, as a professional man, of preferring profit to conscientious delicacy of principle ; and though denominated in the coarse satires or caricatures of that day, by the epithet of Sir Bullface Doublefee;' yet possessed eminent parliamentary, as well as legal talents.” — Wraxall.
Note. — One of which I remember, except the second line, which is not exact :
“ Careless of censure, and no fool to fame,
Firm in his double post and double fees;
Pockets the cash, and lets them laugh that please.
“So on a market day, stands Whatley's bear,
In spite of all their noise and hurly burley ;
Munching his bunch of grapes, and looking surly.”
The Bear at Devizes was then kept by one Whatley, and stood upon a monstrous double signpost high up in the air, when some wag wrote these verses with a diamond on the window of an eating-room belonging to the inn. They were taken of course into everybody's scrap-book, or everybody's memory.
Note on George the Third. — When the present King was quite a lad, there was a young fellow about the Prince's Court, who being thought natural son to my Uncle Robert, was petted and provided for in some manner by the family, and used to visit familiarly at my mother's; who said that he told her how one day the two eldest boys were playing in the Princess's apartment, when the second said suddenly, “ Brother, when you and I are men grown, you shall marry a wife and I'll keep a mistress.” “What you say there ? you naughty boy,” exclaimed the mother, “ You better to learn your pronouns as preceptor bid you ; I believe you not know what it is, — a pronoun.” .
“ Be quiet, Eddy,” says the King ; “ we shall have anger presently for your nonsense. Fletcher! (to my courtier cousin) give us the books.” “Let them alone,” cries Prince Edward; “I
know what it is without a book : a pronoun is to a noun what a mistress is to a wife, — a substitute and a representative.” The Princess burst out o' laughing and turned them all out of the room.
Prince Edward was the Duke of York, who died at Monaco in Italy.
Mrs. Crewe and Mrs. Bouverie. — The two fashionable belles about the Court and town had been painted by Reynolds in character of two shepherdesses, with a pensive air as if appealing to each other, about the year 1770, or perhaps earlier; and there was written under the picture: “ Et in Arcadia ego.” When the Exhibition was arranging, the members and their friends went and looked the works over. “ What can this mean?” said Dr. Johnson; "it seems very nonsensical, — I am in Arcadia.” “Well! what of that! The King could have told you,” replied the painter. “ He saw it yesterday, and said at once, ‘O, there is a tombstone in the background. Ay, ay, death is even in Arcadia.”
The thought is borrowed from Poussin ; where the gay frolickers stumble over a death's head, with a scroll proceeding from his mouth, saying, “ Et in Arcadia ego.”
'Tis said that those who seek one thing, often find a better which was not the primary object of their search. Queen Caroline looked for popular applause, and gained private esteem. In pursuit of her original desire to please every one who was presented, however, she made herself acquainted with the well-known events in English History; and having been told that a Derbyshire baronet, Sir Woolston Dixie, lived near the spot where Richard the Third lost his life and crown, readily adverted to that occurrence, and when his name was mentioned, said, “O, Sir! it has been related to me your connection with Bosworth Field and the memorable battle fought there.” The gentleman's face, even redder than before, swelled with indignation, till at last he broke out with no very decorous vehemence of protestation, that all her Majesty had heard concerning it was false and groundless ; and that he would find a way to make those repent who had filled the ears of his Sovereign with such gross untruths. “God forgive my great sin!” cried the astonished Princess; and Sir Woolston Dixie left the drawing-room in an agony scarce to be described.