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ness of feeling and his capacity for enthu- began, and Walpole followed every stage siasm are remarkable in one of his varied, of their progress on a map, delighting to and in many respects disenchanting expe- "drive on with his pen” towards home. rience. When “his clock has struck He had bought for them an adjoining seventy-four,'' he can still write :
house, once occupied by Kitty Clive, I went with General Conway, on Wednes- which he sometimes called “ Cliveden," day morning, to visit one of my antediluvian and sometimes “ Little Strawberry," and passions - not a Statira or a Roxana, but one took the greatest pleasure in preparing for pre-existent to myself one Windsor Castle. their return. And I was so delighted, and so juvenile, that
To that day [he writes] I own that I look without attending to anything but my eyes,
with an eagerness of impatience that no words stood full two hours and a half, and found that half my lameness consists in my indo- can convey, unless they could paint the pulse lence. Two Berrys, a Gothic chapel, and an tasted joy for which it had long hoped and
of fifteen when it has been promised some un. historic castle are anodynes to a torpid mind. been denied. I now fancy that old age was invented by the lazy. St. George's Chapel, that I always In the December following the return worshipped, though so dark that I could see of the Berrys, the third Earl of Orford nothing distinctly, is now being cleaned and died, and the title, with “a small estate decorated — a scene of lightness and grace. *
loaded with debt,” devolved on his uncle, The winter of 1790-91 was spent by the Horace Walpole. Gossip, of course, beBerrys alternately at Florence and Pisa. came more busy than ever with his pame; Walpole's letters show an evident struggle and his anxiety for the society of his to bear this absence patiently and cheer- friends, and the steps he took to establish fully; but on hearing from Mrs. Damer them near him, were made the subject of (the beautiful sculptress, an idol in the a newspaper attack. Strawberry Hill circle) that they may re- Would to God we had remained abroad! main abroad during another winter, he [wrote Mary Berry, in her distress and indig. thinks that they have not been frank to nation] where we might still have enjoyed as him, and all his philosophy deserts him. much of your confidence and friendship as I am forced, for my own peace [he writes] ignorance and impertinence seem likely to
allow us here! to beseech you not to continue a manæuvre that only tantalizes and wounds me. In your Adding that the possession of Cliveden last you put together many friendly words to would be only a source of pain to her if give me hope of your return; but can I be so the world considered it the reward of her blind as not to see that they are vague words? In fact I have for some time seen how
attentions to her friend. little you mean it, and, for your sakes, I cease
Lord Orford's reply was an agitated reto desire it.
monstrance : Then he finds how deeply this reproach
MY DEAREST ANGEL,
Now I read your wounds his favorites, and is impulsively death has already brought a load upon me
note it breaks my heart ! My nephew's and pathetically penitent:
that I have not strength to bear .. I shall I am returned, and find the only letter I want but your uneasiness to finish me. dreaded, and the only one I trust that I shall know I scarce wish to live but to carry you to ever not be impatient to receive from you. Cliveden! . . . Are our consciences no shield Though ten thousand times kinder than I de against anonymous folly or envy? Would serve, it wounds my heart, as I find that I you only condescend to be my friend if I were hurt two of the persons I love the best upon a beggar? The Duchess of Gloucester,* when earth, and whom I am most constantly study- she heard my intention about Cliveden, came ing to please and serve. That I soon re- and commended me much for doing some little pented of my murmurs you have seen by my justice to injured merit. For your own sake, subsequent letters. The truth, as you may for poor mine, combat such extravagant delihave perceived, though no excuse, was that I cacy, and do not poison the few days of a life had thought myself dying, and that I should which you, and you only, can sweeten. never see you more.
Yet I do not in the least excuse my conduct. No, I condemn it
The Berrys yielded to his persuasions, in every light, and shall never forgive myself and took up their abode at “Little Straw
you do not promise me to be guided entirely berry," and he acknowledges in his next by your own convenience and inclinations letter that the obligation is all on his side, about your return.
as the sisters sacrificed their pride to his
wish to serve and to keep them near him. In September the homeward journey
• His niece Maria, married to a brother of George • Letters of Horace Walpole, vol, ix., p. 356.
Mr. Berry would appear to bave been pas. Oatlands with my thanks for the honor; and sive througlout the whole transaction. there, probably, will end my connection with
Whenever his friends were away from Courts, begun with George I., great-great“ Little Strawberry,” Lord Orford wrote great-grandfather to the Duchess of York! It to them almost daily. The following pas- three generations more before Adam ! *
sounds as if there could not have been above sage should be taken to heart by all those provoking correspondents who excuse Although Mary Berry was evidently their silence by alleging want of“ news: foremost in Lord Orford's thoughts, he Don't talk of sending me letters not worth reserved and shyer sister, with whose
wrote often and affectionately to her more a farthing. What are any letters worth but according to the person from whom they artistic pursuits he had great sympathy: come? Do you think that if I had expected The longer I know you, my sweet Agnes, last week one of the best letters Mme. de the more I find new reasons for loving you, Sévigné ever wrote, I should have been as I do most cordially. You threatened not wretched for two days because it had not ar to write, and I have already received a charmrived ? Pooh! Don't tell me of letters not ing letter from you — and now, as you never worth a farthing - let me but have those I disimprove, I am confident you will let me desire, and leave it to me to see the value of hear from you sometimes, though I will not be them!
exacting nor expect you to do what you do Lord Orford went to “ Little Straw.
not love, especially as I shall hear accounts
Lord Orford's letters are a series of der plants," which Mrs. Damer had sent pictures of the past; and exceedingly odd them.
pictures some of them are, showing, more They brought to my recollection (he says] change which has happily come over the
clearly than volumes of moralizing, the the tag of an old song that I learnt in
first baby hood, that I am sure has not been in my
spirit of the time. head these threescore years and ten, but suits
It was printed at the bottom of the Richincomparably with my second infancy :
mond playbills last week (he writes] that Mrs. Rosemary's green, diddle diddle, lavender's blue,
Jordan would not perform, as it was the birthIf you'll love me, diddle, diddle, I will love you!
day of H.R. H. the Duke of Clarence. No, I have a true regard for nonsense, on which I to be sure she would not, for the Prince of have lived man and boy for longer than I will Orange [then living at Hampton Court Palsay. But as you are worthy of better food, I ace] was to dine with him, and she did the had rather have something to tell you that honors at the head of the table. No, the you would care to read.
Princesses were not there. During the absence of the Berrys, Lord
Scattered through these letters are fre. Orford received a royal visitor.
quent allusions to the handsome and galThe Duchess of York [daughter of the King lant General O'Hara, who first met the of Prussia] arrived punctually at twelve, in a Berrys at Naples in 1784, and whose adhigh phaeton, with Mrs. Ewert and Bude on
venturous career and personal fascination horseback. I received the Princess at the interested all the Strawberry Hill circle. side of her chaise, and when she entered kissed He had been wounded and taken prisoner her hand. She meant to ride, but had hurt at the siege of Toulon, and was released her foot, and was forced to sit most of the time she was here. We had many civil con
just before the sisters visited Chelten
ham. tests about my sitting, too, but I resisted, and then she commanded General Bude to sit, that I might have no excuse.
• The Duchess of York was a somewliat eccentric She seemed much
woman, original and intelligent, fond of the society of pleased and commended much, and I can do literary men, and often mentioned by Rogers, Raikes, no less of her, with the strictest truth. She Monk Lewis, etc. Walpole tells a characteristic story is not near so small as I expected; her face of her in a letter to Conway: "The Duchess of York
gave a great entertainment at Oatlands on her duke's is very agreeable and lively, and she is so birthday, sent to his tradesmen in town to come to it, good-humored, and so gracious, and so natu- and allowed two yuineas apiece to each for their carriage, ral, that I do not believe Lady Mary Coke* gave them a dance, and opened the ball herself with would have made a quarter so pleasing a
the Prince of Wales.
A company of strollers came to
Weybridge to act in a barn; she was solicited to go to Duchess of York, nor have been in half so it, and did out of charity, and carried all her servants. sweet a temper, unless by my attentions de Next day a Methodist came to preach a charity ser: vieille cour. ... Tomorrow I shall go to mon in the same theatre, and she consented to hear it
from the same motive; but her servants desired to be
excused, not understanding English. “Oh,' said the • Who, according to Miss Berry, had “fancied her. duchess, but you went to the comedy, which you un. self" in love with the former Duke of York, George derstood less, you shall go to the sermon.' III.'s brother, and “fancied” they were privately mar- she gave handsomely, and for them. I like this."
(Letters, vol. ix., p. 386.)
I am delighted (writes Lord Orford] that do not recover my walking at all. In short, I you have got O'Hara. How he must feel his advance to what I have foretold, that I should felicity in being at liberty to roam about as have nothing but my inside left, and then I much as he likes ! Still, I shall not admire shall be but an odd figure. Having nothing his volatility if he quits you soon.
better to talk of than my ruins, I shall not
make my despatches tedious. It will be This was very kind and generous; but trouble enough merely to read them. Adieu. the time was rapidly approaching when Lord Orford's point of view somewhat
Very few letters from him are included changed. During this Cheltenham visit in Miss Berry's correspondence. His in. General O'Hara proposed to Mary Berry firmities rapidly increased, and he became and was accepted; and, however fre- such a martyr to the gout that in Decemquently and sincerely Lord Orford assured ber he removed to Berkeley Square for himself and others that his love for Mary further medical advice, where, in March and Agnes was quite “grandfatherly,” yet of the following year, he died — attended even grandfathers have been known to during every waking hour by the two sisshow some jealousy when their children ters, but unhappily believing himself form closer ties, and it is certain that the neglected and abandoned by them if he news of the engagement was painful to missed them for a moment. him. Probably, too, it was chiefly out of
By Lord Orford's will, Little Strawregard for the feelings and the fragile berry Hill was left to Mary and Agnes health of this devoted friend that Miss Berry, and a box of manuscripts to them Berry made the sacrifice which cast a deep and their father, who was instructed to shadow over the rest of her life. Imme- issue a new edition of his works, includdiately after returning from Cheltenham, ing the papers bequeathed to Mr. Berry O'Hara was appointed governor of Gibral- and his daughters.* The literary work, tar, and urged Mary to marry and accom, however, fell on Mary Berry, as all the
She refused, saying, “ I think work of life had done, and for more than a I am doing right. I am sure I am. con- year she devoted herself to it, finding in sulting the peace and happiness of those incessant occupation the best solace for about me, and not my own; ” but the final the loneliness which followed the loss of result of this refusal was that her engage. her lover and of her enthusiastic and faithment was broken off early in April, 1796. ful friend.t In 1844 Mary wrote as follows :
How she must have missed Walpole it This parcel of letters [O'Hara's] relates to is easy to conceive. The very exactions the six happiest months of my long existence, of extreme affection form a bond which when I looked forward to a future which I the easy-going kindliness of ordinary ac. felt, for the first time, would have called out quaintanceship is powerless to replace; all the powers of my mind and all the warmest and the liberty which follows the cessafeelings of my heart. . . . Letters lost and tion of a labor of love is a cold and mourn. delayed, certainty of meeting more difficult,
ful freedom. questions unanswered, doubts unsatisfied
After Lord Orford's death, many friends, all these circumstances combined in the most unlucky manner crushed the fair fabric of my
clever and appreciative, still surrounded happiness, while for long I could not banish a the sisters ; and Mary Berry's correspondhope that all might yet be set right. And so ence grew more varied, as her daily life it would had we ever met for twenty-four also did, since, whether present or absent, hours, But he remained at Gibraltar until he had absorbed a large portion of her his death in 1802. And I, forty-two years time. afterwards, on opening these papers which In November, 1799, in the opera box had been sealed up ever since, receive the of the beautiful Duchess of Devonshire, conviction that some feelings in some minds are indelible.
Miss Berry first heard of the deposition
of the Council of the Five Hundred and It must have greatly added to the pain her comments are amusing: of Miss Berry's broken engagement, that the friend for whose sake the sacrifice
* The new edition appeared in 1798, in five quarto was chiefly made had but little time re- volumes, with no editor's name. maining in which to enjoy the companion, busy as a' bee," she writes in my garden and green
† Not in mental occupation only. “I have been as ship so preserved to him. In July, Lord house, to which I always return with new pleasure and Orford wrote to her:
satisfaction, convinced that when one likes and enters
into it, it is one of the very best sources of interest and I find that my memory fails in a very novel amusement. There is nothing that so agreeably fatigues
the body and rests the mind.” How many aching I moult many of my letters. My hearts have tried to bury part of their sorrows in a words look like Hebrew without points.
For my part I think it will be better deal- | convents of women and their attendant priests ing with one or even with three rogues than in the conquered countries. with five hundred; but it will, in all probability, shortly end in Bonaparte's assassina
A Swiss tailor, patronized by Joséphine, tion; for in a country where every man thinks offered to obtain an interview with her for himself equally able and equally fit to gov- the English ladies. They met him at the ern, the government of one must ever be Tuileries, and he led them through a waitlooked upon with invidious eyes.
ing.room in which there were two or three Her unusually dispassionate and un- little black pages and a mameluke in Turkprejudiced mind, however, in spite of its ish dress, to the door of Joséphine's dressaristocratic predilections, soon saw the ing-room, where she met tiem, and the merits of the consulate.
tailor disappeared. What think you of the Man Bonaparte, ab
She crossed the room to the chairs that solute King of France quietly established at were ranged along the wall, and sitting down the Tuileries ? (she asks in 1800]. For my first herself, begged us to be seated also. part I admire him, and think if he can keep She is a thin, dark, very genteel-looking his place, he does his country a service. woman, about the size of and not unlike Lady Nothing ever gave me so desperate an opinion Elizabeth Foster,* but with a more sensible of our ministers and their yet more desperate and less minaudière countenance. In her manprojects as the daily abuse in the ministerial ners, without assuming those of a queen, she and soi-disant impartial papers of Bonaparte unites much protection and dignity with much and the new order of things. . . If the na- civility. I think elle se tire d'affaire (and it is tion is once in a state to maintain the rela- no easy matter) very cleverly. tions of peace and the conditions of treaties,
A reception at the Tuileries followed what have we, what ought we to have, to do the less formal interview in Joséphine's with the means ? I confess that, as a citizen
dressing-room : of enlightened Europe, after all the tyrannies under which the French have labored, I
There was a range of chaises à dos placed should really be sorry to see them return to round the yellow salon, upon which the ladies their old original worn-out tyranny under the
were invited to sit down, by Mme. de Luçay; Bourbons. For slaves I am convinced they the men remained in a peloton before the wincan alone be fit, till their many stains, con- dow at the bottom of the room. Bonaparte tracted in the fange of the despotism in which and Madame entered at the same time from they were born and bred, have been washed the door of the bed-chamber. He went reg. out and purified by a purgatory of I know ularly round, speaking to every lady for two not how many revolutions; but to return so
or three minutes, M. de Luçay, the Préfêt, soon and after such dreadful convulsions, to having a paper in his hand containing the the point from whence they set out, even I name and nation of each lady, which he andon't wish them.
nounced to Bonaparte as he approached her. Two years later she went to see for her- unaffected. He asked one lady if she could
His manner and address is very simple and self the state of things in Paris, where she ride on horseback, another if she had been renewed her acquaintance with Madame long in France. To the Italians he spoke in de Staël, and was presented to Fouché, Italian, saying much the same sort of royal Berthier, Cambacérès, La Layette, and nothings. My turn happening to come before many other celebrities, none of whom im. Mrs. Damer's, he asked me if I had been long pressed her very favorably; but she found in Paris: “Plus de trois semaines.” “Comit “excessively entertaining to see a num
ment trouvez-vous l'Opéra ?” “Oh, bien ber of persons whose names one has been beau, mais nous avons tant vu l'Opéra." He reading in newspapers these last ten have addressed us better, but totally ignorant
seemed to feel by my answer that he might years.
Mrs. Cosway, the artist, pre- of who we were, he knew not how to change sented Miss Berry, Agnes, and Mrs. the subject, and continued it with Mrs. DaDamer, who travelled with them, to Letitia mer, by asking, “Si nous avions d'aussi bons Bonaparte.
danseurs en Angleterre ?." “Oh, non, nous A woman turned fifty, with large, dark en faisons, venir d'ici.” “Cependant vous eyes, an intelligent, mild countenance, and avez une bien belle voix, c'est Mme. Billinggreat remains of having been very handsome. ton,, je l'ai entendue en Italie.” “Oui, as
surément, ell She has a civil, quiet manner, but no partic
a une très belle voix, et c'est
une Anglaise? “Oui, mais elle a épousé ular cleverness in her conversation. She is said to be in all the height of Swedenborgism, sart], " et étudié en Italie, de manière qu'elle
un Français ” [her second husband, M. Felesor what used to be called quietism here. Her
And so he son when she is ill comes to see her, has appartient aux trois nations." lodged her well, takes good care of her, and I fancy has little more to do with her. She
* Daughter of Frederick Hervey, Earl of Bristot
Walpole's • Right Ir-Reverend Bishop of Derry," and endeavors, I believe, to protect the quondam second wife of the fiith Duke of Devonshire.
passed on to the next person, a Russian, with | field when she first proposed it to me, which the same royal inquiry, “si elle montait à I changed for a proper court face when I cheval,” which put me laughingly in mind of found her looking at me and the thing inevthe “ Do you get out ? ” of St. James's. One itable. The last dance before supper she could not but regret that Mrs. Damer's talents danced with Lord Lyttelton. Such an exhibihad never reached his ears, nor the principal tion! Such an overdressed, painted, eyeobject of our journey to Paris, or he would browed figure one never saw! G. Robinson certainly have addressed us on some other said she was the only true friend the Prince subject and left the opera for younger women.* of Wales had, as she went about justifying While he was going round the circle Mme. his conduct. Bonaparte followed him, always leaving two or three persons between them. She, in turn, The princess made a more favorable spoke to everybody. . . . She did not gain impression on a quiet visit to Strawberry so much as I expected by being more dressed. Hill, then occupied by Mrs. Damer: She wore a pink silk gown with velvet spots, a small white satin hat with three feathers,
She was in her very best manner, and her tied under the chin, a handkerchief in her conversation is certainly uncommonly lively, hand, and no fan. Bonaparte was in undress odd, and clever.* What a pity that she has consular uniform. His hair is very dark, and not a grain of common sense! not an ounce of does not lie smoothly on his head.' He by no ballast to prevent high spirits and a coarse means struck me as so little as he appeared mind allowing her to act indecorously and on horseback. His shoulders are broad, his ridiculously whenever an occasion offers. complexion pale yellow. His mouth has a Were she always to conduct herself as she remarkable and uncommon expression of did here to-day, she would be credited with a sweetness. Indeed his whole countenance remarkably easy and gracious manner, and was more that of complacence and quiet in- natural cleverness above any of her peers that telligence than of decided penetration and I have seen. strong expression. The man of the parade and the man of the circle left totally different
The good opinion seems to have been impressions on my mind; his eyes are light mutual, for after this the diary records grey, and he looks full in the face of the per- many receptions, dinners, and evening. son to whom he speaks — to me always a parties at Kensington Palace, where the good sign. Yet after all I have said of the Princess of Wales was living. Sometimes sweetness of his countenance, I can readily the manifestations of friendship must believe that it is terrible and fire-darting when have been inconvenient, for the princess angry.
would keep Miss Berry walking up and Miss Berry returned to London in April, down in the moonlight till one o'clock in 1803, and in May her comedy of Fash- the morning, pouring forth histories of
her ionable Friends,” which had been
life and present troubles. Lady
very successful when privately performed at Donegal, in one of her lively letters to Strawberry Hill, was produced at Drury Moore, describes some of the penalties Lane only to be withdrawn in three nights, paid for the honor of this acquaintance : although' Kemble, Mrs. Jordan, and Miss The Pantiles [Tunbridge Wells) were put Pope, well supported by other popular into an uproar last Tuesday by the arrival of favorites, appeared in it. The authorship the Princess of Wales on a visit to the Berrys. was carefully concealed, except from Miss She brought Lady C. Campbell and Mrs. and Berry's most intimate friends, and, judging Miss Rawdon with her, but not a man did she from Lady Theresa Lewis's description of bring, nor could she get here for love or the play, it deserved its fate. Neverthe. money, except Sir Philip Francis and old less, Professor Playfair, a little blinded her about, and enjoyed himself more than the
Berry, who, egad, liked the fun of gallanting perhaps by his warm friendship for the fair daughters did, who were in a grand fuss, beautiful dramatist, paid her a graceful and were forsaken in their utmost need by compliment on it.
beaux their former suppers fed, and had to In 1809, at the christening party of the amuse her, as well as they could, with the son of " Anastatius ” Hope, the Princess help of a few women that she did not care of Wales, who was godmother, desired about. t Lady Sheffield to present Miss Berry to In 1810 Miss Berry edited and annotated her.
an edition of Madame du Deffand's let. I don't think she was taken with me (writes ters (bequeathed to Horace Walpole), Miss Berry] as she saw, when I did not sup- which was very well received, and expose she did, the moue I made to Lady Shef- tended her already wide circle of literary
• To offer the first consul a bust of Charles James * This enables one better to understand Scott's findFox, by Mrs. Damer, graciously received some yearsing her “fascinating.” later.
† Memoirs of Thomas Moore, vol. viii., p. 118.