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She changes her Manner.
criminating multitude: but the nicejudging critic, and delicate auditor, perceived that, presuming on the indulgence of a crowded house, Miss Smythe was getting bold and vulgar.
1 When first she played Euphrosync, in Milton's Comus, she had the true idea of the character; agile, various, playful, not languishingly but gaily voluptuous; or, as the French express it, truly folâtre : she gave to the charmed imagination the most accurate semblance of this personification of youthful and frolic mirth. When she adopted Miss Catley's Euphrosyne, she depicted the sailor's girl, dancing a mock hornpipe, in a public-house : her song of,
« All I ask of mortal man, .
was given with nods, winks, and leers, which belong to the frailest of the frail
Her Talent for the Dance.
sisterhood only; and which, if the immortal bari who penned the beautiful masque could be restored to sight and life, and see his character of elegant mirth thus cruelly torn to pieces, he would be compelled to drive the represen. tative, notwithstanding her youth, sex, and beauty, from off the stage, and wish himself blind again.
. This character was not only mistaken by Mrs. Percival, but it is too generally so. The Lady whom Comus wishes to delude, is of the most refined “and consummate virtue; vice tlien must be represented to her under its most alluring, most elegant, and delicate forms; and Euphrosyne must not appear as if she received her education from Drury-lane or Portsmouth Point.
• However, Mrs. Percival's character is, unimpeachable in point of chastity; but she was possessed of a vanity and ambi
tion not easily bounded; the former displayed itself in every refined coquetry in the decoration of her personal charms; but she had one defect in her outward adorning, which, whenever and by whoever adopted, we always think bespeaks not only a vulgar, but, in some degree, indelicate mind; which is that of drawing the eye to the leg by fanciful and studied ornaments.
Miss Smythe was a fine dancer; and we allow her on those occasious, especially on a benefit night, the display of so beautiful an ancie, enveloped in pink silk stock. ings, profusely spangled with silver. But we are assured, that the same shining appendages have graced her supporters in the promenades of Kensington Gardens and St. James's Park. T is decoration, seven on the boards, savours more of St. Bartholemew Fair, and the player, making one of a company of strollers, than of the genteel and elegant actress, belonging
Her Plan for a Life-establishment.
to one of those two theatres, whose correctness was unrivalled in the whole civilized world : but in public walks, when in the character of a private gentlewoman, such gaudy ornaments are unpardonable.
Mrs. Percival was never a woman of atmorous intrigue ; but she knew low to lay her plans for her future establishment in life; she found she had captivated the heart of Mr. Percival, a gentleman of large fortune ; and she succeeded in entirely drawing away his affections from an accomplished lady, to whom he was solemnly, and almost irrevocably, engaged, in an honourable way.
In Miss Rawlins, the above lady, she had a formidable rival to deal with : the endowments of her mind, and her literary talents, had rendered her justly celebrated.
She was, like Miss Smythe, ungifted
by fortune, and very much her inferior in personal attractions; but she was not unpleasing : perfectly the gentlewoman in her appearance and manners, and of an irreproachable character, she did no discredit to Mr. Percival's choice, who had long been, in outward semblance, sincerely attached to her, till the fascinating Miss Smythe made him her captive.
Mr. Percival had, however, carried matters so far with Miss Rawlins, that she had frequent letters in her possession, under his hand, with earnest and supplicating entreaties for her to name the happy day when he might make her, by marriage, his own, for life : indeed, one Jetter, he would now have given worlds he had never written ; which proved, that through his, and her brother's persuasions, she had modestly, though willingly, granted her consent to be wedded to him, on such a day that he had specified; and his letter, in consequcnce,