Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

A Description continued.

she lived in splendor, she gave sumptuous dinners, she was the daughter of*

and, thanks to our imitative dispositions, we can boast here of as great a skill in the art as any other nation. The love of dress attends the cradle of the infant girl, and grows with woman through life! But the moment when all its strength is put in immediate requisition, its tricks most usefully played, and all its batteries directed towards half the world, is when the climacteric age of Forty approaches. Then the goddess of the Toilette and her retinue, the milliner, the perfumer, the hair-dresser, must bring their auxiliary assistance, and do wonders. I have been (old many a time that my great aunt, the Baroness of Quincey, was born without the least appearance of Eye-brows, and that as the brightness and eloquence of her eye, the regularity of her face, and the delicacy and sweetDess of her smile, made full amends for the deficit, myriads of admirers fluttered about her when young, and that her marriage with the noble Baron, insured to her as much happiness as may be the lot of any mortal being. Yet, wondrous to tell! as soon as she arrived at that critical period, when the natural bloom of youth vanishes, she reflected on her countenance, and it struck her, for the first time, that she never had any Eye-brows. She

A Note on Eye brows.

and wife to a duke, both of the most ancient nobility. There was elegance about

had never given a thought to it before j thtmgh she allowed them to be a very pretty sort of ornament to the «* crystal windows of the soul." What's to be done? Lamp-black, ground in spirit 'of ginger, the dark ashes of a ham-lone reduced to impalpable powder in a well-luted crucible, the snuff of ivax-candles kneaded with fresh butler, all was tried by the skilful hand of Betty the chambermaid, but to little purpose, for the elegant implements seemed to add mere to her years than to her charms; although these fastitious arcs of ebony colour were often accompanied with the black patch to heighten the whiteness of the skin, and turn away the sight from the incipient wrinkles. The dear Baroness carried her adscititious brows to the agejof seventy, and died of a fit of laughter at loo, with three trumps in her hand. Her case, and that of the Duchess, remind me of the following strophe of an ode to Wisdom, which, when at school, I inserted in my common-place book.

"La Beaute n'est r,u'un bien frivole
"Qu'un Souffle, un rien peut nous ravir;
"Elle brille et bientot s'envole
"Pour jamais ne plus revenir:

Fashionable life.

her, and a something yet piquant and beautiful in her countenance; so that flatterers still buzzed their soft nonsense in her ear, and she thought herself as young and lovely as ever. She therefore trod on the steps of those fashionable females, who heed neither age nor the marriage tie, but are determined "to live all the days of their lives." The Duke, perfectly indifferent to her, let her follow her own inclinations, while he pursued his, without restraint or control.

The scandalous tale of the day had reached the cars of Lady Charlotte Stanmore, and had given rise to the remark which disgusted the Duchess, to think

"Chloris par mille cosmetiques
"Veut couvrir ses rides antiques
"Et resusciter ses attraits;
"Mais c'estenva.n qu'elle s'abuse,
"Ni le carmiu, ni la ceruse
"Ne la rajeuniront jamais."

An Episode.

her child should adopt such an obsolete idea as to blame a woman, who was rather stricken in years, for a few peccadillos.

The Duke of Kersbruch, a nobleman whose ancestors came from Germany, was handsome, learned, and possessed of every requisite to form the finished gentleman. He was at that period of life,, which, when it is not impaired by a too eager and invariable pursuit after pleasure, is, of all others, the most desirable in man; he was forty and some odd years; but he had so wasted his days and patrimony in continued excess, that, though he still preserved his beauty, he was older in constitution than some men at sixty.

He had been unhappy in his marriage, though united to a virtuous and lovely woman, because, as is too often the situation of greatness, inclination bore no part in the union.

Man naturally inconstant.

Long before this marriage, he had attached himself to a Mrs. O'Meara, the beautiful widow of an Irish officer. She was much older than the Duke*, but so mentally as well as personally endowed, that he entirely devoted himself to her. The nature of man is naturally prone to love variety ; and the Duke of Kersbruch, always fond of the sex, could not remain entirely constant to this cherished female; though she was yet lovely in her person, and*the charms of her conversation were

* Mrs. O'M ... is of the most agreeable temper, and gentle manners; and we apprehend that she was the toast of the day, by the three Fs, Fat,. Fair, and Forty. Some dry commentators on the age of women, some ladies of the old school who are so fond of lending to others the'concealed superflus of their years, are of opinion that the bewitching: eye of the lovely Countess had then stared her fiftieth birth-day in the face. But it is all mere supposition, and whatever may be the date of her birth, she is a full confirmation of this saying—Non sene* scit ingcnium.

« ПредишнаНапред »