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the court, and who now lived on a pension from love scenes are prosaic enough, but in 'showing their majesties at Windsor, was introduced to the up' a party of vulgarly genteel persons, painting king and queen, and speedily became a favourite. the characters in a drawing-room, or catching the The result was, that in 1786 our authoress was ap- follies and absurdities that float on the surface of pointed second keeper of the robes to 'Queen fashionable society, she has rarely been equalled. Charlotte, with a salary of £200 a-year, a footman, She deals with the palpable and familiar; and though apartments in the palace, and a coach between her society has changed since the time of Evelina,' and and her colleague. The situation was only a sort the glory of Ranelagh and Mary-le-bone Gardens of splendid slavery. 'I was averse to the union,' has departed, there is enough of real life in her said Miss Burney, and I endeavoured to escape it; personages, and real morality in her lessons, to inbut my friends interfered—they prevailed-and the terest, amuse, and instruct. Her sarcasm, drollery, knot is tied.' The queen appears to have been a and broad humour, must always be relished. kind and considerate mistress; but the stiff etiquette and formality of the court, and the unremitting attention which its irksome duties required, rendered the
[A Game of Highway Robbery.] situation peculiarly disagreeable to one who had been
[From "Evelina.'] so long flattered and courted by the brilliant society of her day. Her colleague, Mrs Schwellenberg, à
When we had been out near two hours, and expected coarse-minded, jealous, disagreeable German favour- every moment to stop at the place of our destination, ite, was also a perpetual source of annoyance to I observed that Lady Howard's servant, who attended her; and poor Fanny at court was worse off than us on horseback, rode on forward till he was out of her heroine Cecilia was in choosing among her sight, and soon after returning, came up to the chariot guardians. Her first official duty was to mix window, and delivering a note to Madame Dural, the queen's snuff, and keep her box always re- said he had met a boy who was just coming with it to plenished, after which she was promoted to the Howard Grove, from the clerk of Mr Tyrell. great business of the toilet, helping her majesty off
While she was reading it, he rode round to the and on with her dresses, and being in strict attend-other window, and, making a sign for secrecy, put into ance from six or seven in the morning till twelve at my hand a slip of paper on which was written, Whatnight! From this grinding and intolerable destiny ever happens, be not alarmed, for you are safe, though Miss Burney was emancipated by her marriage, in you endanger all mankind ! 1793, with a French refugee officer, the Count
I readily imagined that Sir Clement must be the D'Arblay. She then resumed her pen, and in 1795 author of this note, which prepared me to expect some produced a tragedy, entitled Edwin and Elgitha, disagreeable adventure: but I had no time to ponder which was brought out at Drury Lane, and pos- upon it, for Madame Duval had no sooner read her sessed at least one novelty—there
were three bishops claimed, Why, now, what a thing is this ; here we're
own letter, than, in an angry tone of voice, she ex. among the dramatis persone.
Mrs Siddons per
come all this way for nothing! sonated the heroine, but in the dying scene, where the lady is brought from behind a hedge to expire she need not trouble herself' to go to Mr Tyrell's, as
She then gave me the note, which informed her that before the audience, and is afterwards carried once the prisoner had had the address to escape. I conmore to the back of the hedge, the house was convulsed with laughter! Her next effort was her novel gratulated her upon this fortunate incident; but she of Camilla, which she published by subscription, that she seemed less pleased than provoked. However,
was so much concerned at having rode so far in vain, and realised by it no less than three thousand she ordered the man to make what haste he could guineas. In 1802 Madame D'Arblay accompanied home, as she hoped at least to return before the capher husband to Paris. The count joined the army tain should suspect what had passed. of Napoleon, and his wife was forced to remain in France till 1812, when she returned and purchased, quietly for near an hour that I began to flatter my.
The carriage turned about, and we journeyed so from the proceeds of her novel, a small but handsome self
we should be suffered to proceed to Howard Grore villa, named Camilla Cottage. Her success in without further molestation, when, suddenly, the prose fiction urged her to another trial, and in 1814 footman called out, “John, are we going right i she produced The Wanderer, a tedious tale in five volumes, which had no other merit than that of afraid we turned wrong.'
* Why, I ain't sure,' said the coachman ; 'but I'm bringing the authoress the large sum of £1500. The only other literary labour of Madame D'Arblay Duval ; why, if you lose your way, we shall be all in
What do you mean by that, sirrah ?' said Madame was a memoir of her father, Dr Burney, published the dark. in 1832. Her husband and her son (the Rev. A.
'I think we should turn to the left,' said the foot. D'Arblay of Camden Town chapel, near London) | man. both predeceased her--the former in 1818, and the "To the left!' answered the other; 'No, no; I'm latter in 1837. Three years after this last melan, pretty sure we should turn to the right.' choly bereavement, Madame D'Arblay herself paid
You had better make some inquiry,' said I. the debt of nature, dying at Bath in January 1840, Ma foi,' cried Madame Duval, we're in a fine at the great age of eighty-eight. Her Diary and hole here; they neither of them know no more than Letters, edited by her niece, were published in 1842 the post. However, I'll tell my lady as sure as you're in five volumes. "If judiciously condensed, this work born, so you'd better find the way.' would have been both entertaining and valuable; 'Let's try this road,' said the footman. but at least one half of it is filled with small unim
No,' said the coachman, 'that's the road to Canportant details and private gossip, and the self-ad- terbury; we had best go straight on.' miring weakness of the authoress shines out in
Why, that's the direct London road,' returned almost every page.
The early novels of Miss the footman, and will lead us twenty miles about." Burney form the most pleasing memorials of her * Pardie,' cried Madame Duval ; 'why, they wont name and history. In them we see her quick in go one way nor t’other ; and, now we're come all discernment, lively in invention, and inimitable, in this jaunt for nothing, I suppose we shan't get home her own way, in portraying the humours and oddities to night.' of English society. Her good sense and correct Let's go back to the public-house,' said the footfeeling are more remarkable than her passion. Her / man,' and ask for a guide.'
No, no,' said the other; if we stay here a few And then he hastily came into the chariot, and minutes, somebody or other will pass by; and the seated himself next to me. I would fain have disenhorses are almost knocked up already.'
gaged myself from him, but he would not let me. "Well, I protest,' cried Madame Duval,' I'd give a Deny me not, most charming of women,' cried he guinea to see them sots horse-whipped. As sure as deny me not this only moment lent me to pour I'm alive they're drunk. Ten to one but they'll forth my soul into your gentle ears, to tell you how overturn us next.'
much I suffer from your absence, how much I dread After much debating they at length agreed to go your displeasure, and how cruelly I am affected by on till we came to some inn, or met with a passenger your coldness !' who could direct us. We soon arrived at a small *Oh, sir, this is no time for such language; pray, farm-house, and the footman alighted and went leave me; pray, go to the relief of Madame Duval ; I into it.
cannot bear that she should be treated with such inIn a few minutes he returned, and told us we might dignity:' proceed, for that he had procured a direction. But, And will you-can you command my absence ? added he, it seems there are some thieves hereabouts, When may I speak to you, if not now !-does the and so the best way will be for you to leave your captain suffer me to breathe a moment out of his sight? watches and purses with the farmer, whom I know very -and are not a thousand impertinent people for ever well, and who is an honest man, and a tenant of my at your elbow?' lady's.
Indeed, Sir Clement, you must change your style, • Thieves ! cried Madame Duval, looking aghast ; or I will not hear you. The impertinent people you 'the Lord help us! I've no doubt but we shall be all mean are among my best friends, and you would not, murdered !
if you really wished me well, speak of them so disreThe farmer came to us, and we gave him all we spectfully.' were worth, and the servants followed our example. Wish you well! Oh, Miss Anville, point but out We then proceeded, and Madame Duval's anger so to me how in what manner I may convince you of entirely subsided, that, in the mildest manner imagin- the fervour of my passion-tell me but what services able, she intreated them to make haste, and promised you will accept from me, and you shall find my life, to tell their lady how diligent and obliging they had my fortune, my whole soul at your devotion.' been. She perpetually stopped them to ask if they I want nothing, sir, that you can offer. I beg you apprehended any danger, and was at length so much not to talk to me so—so strangely. Pray, leave me; overpowered by her fears, that she made the footman and pray, assure yourself you cannot take any method fasten his horse to the back of the carriage, and then so successless to show any regard for me as entering come and seat himself within it. My endeavours to into schemes so frightful to Madame Duval, and so encourage her were fruitless ; she sat in the middle, disagreeable to myself.' held the man by the arm, and protested that if he did • The scheme was the captain's ; I even opposed it ; but save her life, she would make his fortune. Her though I own I could not refuse myself the so long uneasiness gave me much concern, and it was with wished-for happiness of speaking to you once more the utmost difficulty I forbore to acquaint her that without so many of-your friends to watch me. And she was imposed upon; but the mutual fear of the I had flattered myself that the note I charged the captain's resentment to me, and of her own to him, footman to give you would have prevented the alarm neither of which would have any moderation, deterred you have received. me. As to the footman, he was evidently in torture *Well, sir, you have now, I hope, said enough ; and from restraining his laughter, and I observed that he if you will not go yourself to seek for Madame Duval, was frequently obliged to make most horrid grimaces at least suffer me to inquire what is become of her.' from pretended fear, in order to conceal his risibi * And when may I speak to you again ?' lity.
No matter when ; I don't know; perhaps Very soon after, The robbers are coming! cried the Perhaps what, my angel ?'. coachman.
Perhaps never, sir, if you torment me thus.' The footman opened the door, and jumped out of "Never! Oh, Miss Anville, how cruel, how piercing the chariot.
to my soul is that icy word! Indeed I cannot endure Madame Duval gave a loud scream.
such displeasure. I could no longer preserve my silence. “For heaven's * Then, sir, you must not provoke it. Pray, leave sake, my dear madam,' said 1, 'don't be alarmed; me directly.' | you are in no danger ; you are quite safe ; there is 'I will, madam ; but let me at least make a merit nothing but
of my obedience-allow me to hope that you will in Here the chariot was stopped by two men in masks, future be less averse to trusting yourself for a few who at each side put in their hands, as if for our moments alone with me.' purses. Madame Duval sunk to the bottom of the I was surprised at the freedom of this request ; but chariot, and implored their mercy. I shrieked in- while I hesitated how to answer it, the other mask voluntarily, although prepared for the attack : one of came up to the chariot door, and in a voice almost them held me fast, while the other tore poor Madame stifled with laughter, said, I've done for her! The old Duval out of the carriage, in spite of her cries, threats, buck is safe; but we must sheer off directly, or we and resistance.
shall be all a-ground.'. I was really frightened, and trembled exceedingly. Sir Clement instantly left me, mounted his horse, *My angel ! cried the man who held me, you cannot and rode off. The captain having given some direcsurely be alarmed. Do you not know me! I shall tions to his servants, followed him. hold myself in eternal abhorrence if I have really I was both uneasy and impatient to know the fate terrified you.'
of Madame Duval, and immediately got out of the • Indeed, Sir Clement, you have,' cried I ; 'but, for chariot to seek her. I desired the footman to show heaven's sake, where is Madame Duval ?-why is she me which way she was gone ; he pointed with his forced away?
finger, by way of answer, and I saw that he dared not She is perfectly safe; the captain has her in trust his voice to make any other. I walked on at a charge; but suffer me now, my adored Miss Anville, very quick pace, and soon, to my great consternation, to take the only opportunity that is allowed me to perceived the poor lady seated upright in a ditch. I speak upon another, a much dearer, much sweeter flew to her, with unfeigned concern at her situation. subject.'
She was sobbing, nay, almost roaring, and in the ut.
most agony of rage and terror. As soon as she saw imagined that her want of money had irritated the me, she redoubled her cries, but her voice was so pretended robbers to treat her with such cruelty. I broken, I could not understand a word she said. I determined, therefore, to be carefully on my guard, was so much shocked, that it was with difficulty I not to betray the imposition, which could now answer forbore exclaiming against the cruelty of the captain no other purpose than occasioning an irreparable for thus wantonly ill-treating her, and I could not breach between her and the captain. forgive myself for having passively suffered the de Just as we were seated in the chariot, she discovered ception. I used my utmost endeavours to comfort the loss which her head had sustained, and called out, her, assuring her of our present safety, and begging My God! what is become of my hair? Why, the her to rise and return to the chariot.
villain has stole all my curls !' Almost bursting with passion, she pointed to her She then ordered the man to run and see if he could feet, and with frightful violence she actually beat the find any of them in the ditch. He went, and preground with her hands.
sently returning, produced a great quantity of hair in I then saw that her feet were tied together with a such a nasty condition, that I was amazed she would strong rope, which was fastened to the upper branch take it; and the man, as he delivered it to her, found of a tree, even with a hedge which ran along the it impossible to keep his countenance; which she no ditch where she sat. I endeavoured to untie the sooner observed, than all ber stormy passions were knot, but soon found it was infinitely beyond my again raised. She flung the battered curls in his face, strength. I was therefore obliged to apply to the saying, “Sirrah, what do you grin for? I wish you'd footman ; but being very unwilling to add to his been served so yourself, and you wouldn't have found mirth by the sight of Madame Duval's situation, I it no such joke ; you are the impudentest fellow ever desired him to lend me a knife. I returned with it, I see, and if I find you dare grin at me any more, I and cut the rope. Her feet were soon disentangled, shall make no ceremony of boxing your ears.' and then, though with great difficulty, I assisted her Satisfied with the threat, the man hastily retired, to rise. But what was my astonishment when, the and we drove on. moment she was up, she hit me a violent slap on the face! I retreated from her with precipitation, and [Miss Burney explains to King George III. the circumdread, and she then loaded me with reproaches which,
stances attending the composition of Evelina.'] though almost unintelligible, convinced me that she imagined I had voluntarily deserted her; but she The king went up to the table, and looked at a book seemed not to havo the slightest suspicion that she of prints, from Claude Lorraine, which had been had not been attacked by real robbers.
brought down for Miss Dewes; but Mrs Delany, by I was so much surprised and confounded at the mistake, told him they were for me. He turned over blow, that for some time I suffered her to rave without a leaf or two, and then said making any answer ; but her extreme agitation and Pray, does Miss Burney draw too?" real suffering soon dispelled my anger, which all turned The too was pronounced very civilly. into compassion. I then told her that I had been 'I believe not, sir,' answered Mrs Delany; at least forcibly detained from following her, and assured her she does not tell.' of my real sorrow at her ill-usage.
*Oh,' cried he, laughing, that's nothing; she is She began to be somewhat appeased, and I again not apt to tell; she never does tell, you know. Her intreated her to return to the carriage, or give me father told me that himself, He told me the whole leave to order that it should draw up to the place history of her “Evelina." And I shall never forget where we stood. She made no answer, till I told her his face when he spoke of his feelings at first taking that the longer we remained still, the greater would up the book; he looked quite frightened, just as if he be the danger of our ride home. Struck with this was doing it that moment. I never can forget his hint, she suddenly, and with hasty steps, moved face while I live.' for rd.
Then coming up close to me, he said, “But what! Her dress was in such disorder that I was quite what! how was it?' sorry to have her figure exposed to the servants, who “Sir,' cried I, not well understanding him. all of them, in imitation of their master, hold her in How came you—how happened it-what-what?" derision ; however, the disgrace was unavoidable. I-I only wrote, sir, for my own amusement-only
The ditch, happily, was almost dry, or she must in some odd'idle hours.' have suffered still more seriously; yet so forlorn, “But your publishing-your printing-how was so miserable a figure, I never before saw. Her head- that? dress had fallen off; her linen was torn ; her negligee • That was only, sir-only because had not a pin left in it; her petticoats she was obliged I hesitated most abominably, not knowing how to to hold on; and her shoes were perpetually slipping tell him a long story, and growing terribly confused off. She was covered with dirt, weeds, and filth, and at these questions ; besides, to say the truth, his own her face was really horrible, for the pomatum and what! what?' so reminded me of those vile Probapowder from her head, and the dust from the road, tionary Odes, that, in the midst of all my flutter, I were quite pasted on her skin by her tears, which, was really hardly able to keep my countenance. with her rouge, made so frightful a mixture that she The what! was then repeated, with so earnest a look, hardly looked human.
that, forced to say something, I stammeringly anThe servants were ready to die with laughter the swered, 'I thought, sir, it would look very well in moment they saw her; but not all my remonstrances print.' could prevail on her to get into the carriage till I do really flatter myself this is the silliest speech she had most vehemently reproached them both for I ever made. I am quite provoked with myself for not rescuing her. The footman, fixing his eyes on the it; but a fear of laughing made me eager to utter ground, as if fearful of again trusting himself to look anything, and by no means conscious, till I had at her, protested that the robbers avowed they would spoken, of what I'was saying. shoot him if he moved an inch, and that one of them He laughed very heartily himself-well he mighthad stayed to watch the chariot, while the other and walked away to enjoy it, crying out, “Very fair carried her off ; adding, that the reason of their be- indeed; that's being very fair and honest.' having so barbarously, was to revenge our having Then returning to me again, he said, “But your secured our purses. Notwithstanding her anger, she father-how came you not to show him what you. gave immediate credit to what he said, and really wrote ?'
* I was too much ashamed of it, sir, seriously.' only as my due; but I knew not how to put him off Literal truth that, I am sure.
as I would another person. And how did he find it out?' . I don't know myself, sir. He never would tell SARAH HARRIET BURNEY, half-sister to Madame
D'Arblay, is authoress of several novels, Geraldine, Literal truth again, my dear father, as you can Fauconberg, Country Neighbours, &c. This lady has testify.
copied the style of her relative, but has not her raci* But how did you get it printed ?
ness of humour, or power of painting the varieties I sent it, sir, to a bookseller my father never em of the human species. ployed, and that I never had seen myself, Mr Lowndes, in full hope that by that means he never would hear of it.' But how could you manage that?
In 1784 there appeared, originally in French, the * By means of a brother, sir.'
rich oriental story entitled Vathek : an Arabian Tale. O, you confided in a brother then ?
An English edition (somewhat chastened in its Yes, sir-that is, for the publication.' What entertainment you must have had from has passed through many editions. Byron praises
colouring) was afterwards issued by the author, and hearing people's conjectures before you were known! the work for its correctness of costume, beauty of deDo you remember any of them!' “Yes, sir, many.'
scription, and power of imagination. As an Eastern
tale,' he says, "And what ?
even Rasselas must bow before I heard that Mr Baretti laid a wager it was written with the Hall of Eħlis.' It would be difficult to
it: his Happy Valley will not bear a comparison by a man ; for no woman, he said, could have kept institute a comparison between scenes so very disher own counsel.' This diverted him extremely.
similar—almost as different as the garden of Eden * But how was it,' he continued, “you thought most from Pandemonium ; but ‘Vathek' seems to have likely for your father to discover you?'
powerfully impressed the youthful fancy of Byron. "Sometimes, sir, I have supposed I must have dropt It contains some minute Eastern painting and chasome of the manuscript; sometimes, that one of my racters (a Giaour being of the number), uniting sisters betrayed me.'
energy and fire with voluptuousness, such as Byron * 0, your sister? what! not your brother?
loved to draw. The Caliph Vathek, who had sul“No, sir, he could not, for
lied himself with a thousand crimes,' like the CorI was going on, but he laughed so much I could not sair, is a magnificent Childe Harold, and may have be heard, exclaiming, “ Vastly well! I see you are of suggested the character. Mr Baretti's mind, and think your brother could keep
WILLIAM BECKFORD, the author of this remarkyour secret and not your sister. Well, but,' cried he, able work, still lives. He has had as great a passion presently, 'how was it first known to you you were for building towers as the caliph himself, and both betrayed ?
his fortune and his genius have something of oriental By a letter, sir, from another sister. I was very splendour about them. His father, Alderman Beckill, and in the country; and she wrote me word that ford of Fonthill, was leader of the city of London toy father had taken up a review, in which the book opposition in the stormy times of Wilkes, Chatham, was mentioned, and had put his finger upon its name, and the American discontents. He is celebrated for and said, “ Contrive to get that book for me." having bearded King George III. on his throne on
• And when he got it, cried the king," he told me the occasion of presenting a petition and remonhe was afraid of looking at it, and never can I forget strance to his majesty while holding the office of his face when he mentioned his first opening it. But lord-mayor of the city. Shortly after this memoryou have not kept your pen unemployed all this able exploit Mr Beckford died (June 21st, 1770), time!
and the city voted a statue to his memory in Guild• Indeed I have, sir.
hall, and ordered that the speech he had delivered . But why?
to the king should be engraved on the pedestal ! I-I believe I have exhausted myself, sir.'
His only son and heir, the author of Vathek,' was He laughed aloud at this, and went and told it to then a boy, distinguished by the favour and affection Mrs Delany, civilly treating a plain fact as a mere
of the Earl of Chatham. He succeeded to the estate bon mot,
of Fonthill, to a valuable West Indian property, and Then returning to me again, he said more seriously, a fortune, it is said, of more than £100,000 per an* But you have not determined against writing any num. At the age of eighteen he published Biogramore?
phical Memoirs of Extraordinary Painters, a work N-, sir.'
satirising some English artists under feigned names. * You have made no vow-no real resolution of that In 1780 he made a tour to the continent, which sort?
formed the subject of a series of letters, picturesque No, sir.'
and poetical, since published under the title of Italy, "You only wait for inclination ?
with Sketches of Spain and Portugal. The high-bred How admirably Mr Cambridge's speech might have case, voluptuousness, and classic taste of some of come in here.
these descriptions and personal adventures, have a No, sir.'
striking and unique effect. On his return to EngA very civil little bow spoke him pleased with this land, Mr Beckford sat for the borough of Hindon in answer, and he went again to the middle of the room, several parliaments. He afterwards went to Porwhere he chiefly stood, and, addressing us in general, tugal, and purchasing an estate at Cintra—that talked upon the different motives of writing, conclud- glorious Eden' of the south-he built himself a ing with, “I believe there is no constraint to be put palace for a residence. upon real genius; nothing but inclination can set it to work. Miss Burney, however, knows best.' And There thou, too, Vathek !. England's wealthiest son, then hastily returning to me, he cried,
• What! Once formed thy paradise, as not aware what!"
When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds bath No, sir, I-I-believe not, certainly,' quoth I very done, awkwardly, for I seemed taking a violent compliment | Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun.
Here didst thou dwell, here schemes of pleasure plan hands, the trowel and torch being associated for that Beneath yon mountain's ever-beauteous brow: purpose. This must have had a very extraordinary But now, as if a thing unblest by man,
appearance; and we are told that it was another of Thy fairy dwelling is as lone as thou !
those exhibitions which Mr Beckford was fond of Here giant weeds a passage scarce allow
contemplating. He is represented as surveying the To halls deserted, portals gaping wide;
work thus expedited, the busy levy of masons, the Fresh lessons to the thinking bosom, how
high and giddy dancing of the lights, and the strange Vain are the pleasaur
aunces on earth supplied ; effects produced upon the architecture and woods Swept into wrecks anon by Time's ungentle tide. below, from one of the eminences in the walks, and
Childe Harold, Canto I. wasting the coldest hours of December darkness in
feasting his sense with this display of almost superMr Beckford has left a literary memorial of his human power.'* These details are characteristic of residence in Portugal in his Recollections of an Er- the author of “Vathek,' and form an interesting ilcursion to the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha, lustration of his peculiar taste and genius. In 1822 published in 1835. The excursion was made -satiated with the treasures around him, and deJune 1794, at the desire of the prince regent of Por- siring fresh excitement Mr Beckford sold his tugal. The monastery of Alcobaça was the grandest mansion and grounds at Fonthill, and removed to ecclesiastical edifice in that country, with paintings, Bath. "To realise the dreams and fictions of his antique tombs, and fountains; the noblest architec- fancy, it has been truly said, .seems to have been ture, in the finest situation, and inhabited by monks the main purport of Mr Beckford's life ; for this he who lived like princes. The whole of these sketches commanded his fairy palace to glitter amid the are interesting, and present a gorgeous picture of orange groves, and palms, and aloes of Cintra-for ecclesiastical pomp and wealth. Mr Beckford and this he crowned the Wiltshire hills with his rich his friends were conducted to the kitchen by the monastic turrets—for this, in later days, he has abbot, in his costume of High Almoner of Portugal, placed his airy coronet on the turreted brow of the that they might see what preparations had been city of Bladud-for this he collected in his romance made to regale them. The kitchen was worthy of of Vathek every gorgeous accumulation of luxury a Vathek ! Through the centre of the immense and pleasure ; and lived in idea among them, since and nobly-groined hall, not less than sixty feet in a too cruel fate had forbidden him, even with the diameter, ran a brisk rivulet of the clearest water, boundless prodigality of his wealth, to equal the son containing every sort and size of the finest river fish. of Motassem.' On one side loads of game and venison were heaped The outline or plot of “Vathek' possesses all the up; on the other vegetables and fruits in endless wildness of Arabian fiction. The hero is the grandvariety. Beyond a long line of stores, extended a son of Haroun al Raschid (Aaron the Just), whose row of ovens, and close to them hillocks of wheaten dominions stretched from Africa to India. He is flour whiter than snow, rocks of sugar, jars of the fearless, proud, inquisitive, a gourmand, fond of theopurest oil, and pastry in vast abundance, which a logical controversy, cruel and magnificent in his numerous tribe of lay brothers and their attendants power as a caliph; in short, an Eastern Henry VIII. were rolling out, and puffing up into a hundred dif- He dabbles, moreover, in the occult sciences, and ferent shapes, singing all the while as blithely as interprets the stars and planetary influences from larks in a corn-field. Alas! this regal splendour is the top of his high tower. In these mysterious arts all gone. The magnificent monastery of Alcobaça the caliph is assisted by his mother, Carathis, a was plundered and given to the flames by the French Greek, a woman of superior genius. Their ambitroops under Massena in 1811. After leaving Cin: tion and guilt render them a prey to a Giaoura tra, Mr Beckford took up his abode on his paternal supernatural personage, who plays an important estate in England, and for twenty years employed part in the drama, and hurries the caliph to destruchimself in rearing the magnificent but unsubstantial tion. But the character of Vathek, and the splenGothic structure known as Fonthill Abbey, and in dour of his palaces, is described with such picturesque embellishing the surrounding grounds. The latter distinctness, that we shall extract some of the openwere laid out in the most exquisite style of landscape- ing sentences. gardening, aided by the natural inequality and beauty of the ground, and enriched by a lake and * Literary Gazette, 1822.-Hazlitt, who visited the spot at fine sylvan scenery. One grand tower of the abbey the same time, says, “Fonthill Abbey, after being enveloped (of disproportioned height, for it afterwards tumbled in impenetrable mystery for a length of years, has been undown á mighty ruin) occupied the owner's care and cxpectedly thrown open to the vulgar gaze, and has lost none anxiety for years. The structure was like a romance.
of its reputation for magnificence-though perhaps its visionary On one occasion, when this lofty tower was pushing glory, its classic renown, have vanished from the public mind its crest towards heaven, an elevated part of it
It is, in a word, a desert of magnificence, a glittering
waste of laborious idleness, a cathedral turned into a toy-shop, caught fire, and was destroyed. The sight was sublime; and we have heard that it was a spectacle and, at the same time, most worthless, in the productions of
an immense museum of all that is most curious and costly, which the owner of the mansion enjoyed with as
art and nature. Ships of pearl and seas of amber are scarce a much composure as if the flames had not been de fable here— nautilus's shell, surmounted with a gilt triumph vouring what it would cost a fortune to repair. of Neptune-tables of agate, cabinets of ebony, and precious The building was carried on by him with an energy stones, painted windows shedding a gaudy crimson light, and enthusiasm of which duller minds can hardly satin borders, marble floors, and lamps of solid gold-Chinese form a conception. At one period every cart and pagodas and Persian tapestry-all the splendour of Solomon's wagon in the district were pressed into the service, temple is displayed to the view in miniature—whatever is though all the agricultural labour of the country far-fetched and dear-bought, rich in tho materials, or rare and stood still. At another, even the royal works of difficult in the workmanship-but scarce one genuine work of St George's chapel, Windsor, were abandoned, that art, one solid proof of taste, one lofty relic of sentiment or 460 men might be employed night and day on
imagination. The collection of bijouteric and articles of rets Fonthill Abbey. These men were made to relieve Mr Beckford disposed of Fonthill, in 1822, to Mr Farquhar, a
was allowed to be almost unprocedented in extent and valge. each other by regular watches; and during the gentleman who had amassed a fortune in India, for £30,0m longest and darkest nights of winter, the astonished or £350,000, the lato proprietor retaining only his family pictraveller might see the tower rising under their | tures and a few books.-Genlleman's Magazine, Oct. 1842.