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232 EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY-THREE.
ourselves, by exchanging dust for verdure, flintstones for flowers, and the eternal jangling and bartering of business, for the melody of birds and the murmuring of brooks; even though we lose what the worldly and would-be-wise tell us can never be regained-time and money.
makes up her mind to wear this article of apparel, either in public or private, the more decidedly and gracefully she does it the better ; but still there must be some affectation in the raptures of the town at witnessing the same. To be sure, no one buttons a coat, adjusts a cravat, wears a hat, handles a cane, or draws a pair of gloves on in the true spirit of knowing and irresistible coxcombry equal to Madame Vestris; and it is really pleasant to sit and see those manly airs and graces played of by a woman, affording, as it does, conclusive evidence that such deep-laid schemes to ensnare the admiration of the fair sex do not always escape detection ; yet still the skill and observation requisite to do this may be rated too highly. But Madame Vestris has better, though perhaps weaker claims than this, on the public favor. She has the ability to make wearisome common-place passable, frivolity agreeable, and sprightliness fascinating
a never-flagging joyousness of spirit, and an almost promethean power of imparting a portion of her exuberance of life and animation to the walking, talking, mechanical blocks by which she is occasionally surrounded. To use a striking, technical phrase, she “keeps the stage alive.” Her motions are graceful in the extreme, and like a greyhound or a thorough-bred racer, she cannot put herself in an awkward attitude. Her chambermaids have an archness inexpressible; and, if it be a merit, (a stage one it certainly is,) no one equals her in a certain quiet and unutterable mode of giving a double entendre. As a singer, Madame Vestris is deservedly admired. There is a hearty, sensible, straight-forwardness in her manner, and an absence of quackery and pretension in her style that is extremely agreeable. She is a good enough tactician to know exactly what she can do, and though a spoiled favorite, discreet enough seldom to attempt more than she can, with credit and safety go through with a rare merit. Her voice is none of your common, thin, clear, unsubstantial organs, but of a full, round, rich, satisfying quality ; her manner of giving the arch, and what may be called dashing songs, she is in the habit of singing, is charming, and the effect of the whole-voice, look, and action-delightful.
There is another particular in which Vestris is unrivalled, though, from the extraordinary notions of delicacy prevalent in the western hemisphere, wherein you are located, I almost despair of making myself understood. I mean as regards the symetry of those portions of the human frame which are situated between the knees and ankles, but which it is the custom of the country never to name by
the right name, except when attached to the bodies of inferior animals, such as dogs and horses; though wherein consists the harm, even when speaking of a lady, of plainly using the monosyllable beginning with an l and ending with a g, with an intermediate vowel, I cannot say, but leave it to people much better acquainted with delicacy and metaphysics, than I pretend to be, to determine. But this I can say, that after having repeatedly looked upon those two unmentionable pieces of humanity belonging to Madame Vestris in the most critical manner, I think them, as far as my judgment goes, perfect in every point. Madame Vestris is also highly accomplished in other matters, being mistress of both French and Italian.
the language in which he has written shall have become a forgotten tongue. I would fain pay a portion of my tribute of thankfulness for the many, many hours of pure pleasure his works have afforded me, in a few scattered remarks, though it almost looks like presumption to do so. Criticism, is out of the question. Criticism, as far as Scott is concerned, should now, methinks, go to sleep, at least for a while. Eulogies—rhapsodies, (absurd or otherwise,) may be tolerated; but formal, frigid criticism, especially from those "whose names are written on the roll of common men," now that the manes of the great magician are scarcely cold, would be little better than sacrilege.
I shall never forget the first time I read Marmion. I was just then emerging from Jack-the-giant-killerism, and similar juvenile portions of the belleslettres--a mere lad, with an "ogre-like appetite" for books of all descriptions, which I despatched with most uncritical precipitancy. Marmion came in my way one summer evening. I read it half through, thought and dreamed of it the rest of the night, and finished it before leaving my bed the next morning. This was certainly devouring a six-canto poem with a most unsophisticated appetite, and without the slighest attempt to make an epicurean selection of tit-bits; good and bad, faults and beauties, were