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M.P. for some borough in schedule A, had been hardly less prompt about filling his place in the home department.
The broker is much to be pitied; but who is to blame in this case? The moment Ellen was aware of his revival, she had separated herself from Hamilton, and was now, under the resumed name of Cressford, and with her two little Cressfords, living in profound retirement in her old father's cottage. But it is not worth while to speculate as to what would have been a sane man's conduct under such circumstances. No explanation—no submission-no sacrifices, have the slightest effect in softening the insulted bosom of our half.crazy revenant. The lady is too honest to conceal her preference of Hamilton, though she is willing, if Cressford pleases, to resume her station in Bedford Row; and he at length works himself up into such a blind rage of jealous indignation, that nothing will serve him but first to fight Hamilton who determinedly declines his challenge—and then to prosecute Ellen for bigamy; which purpose, as he is not now mad enough to be shut
up, she has no means to prevent him from fulfilling, When we add that the revengeful Cressford has taken his children from their mother, it must be admitted that the poor lady's situation is about as miserable as any person, perfectly innocent, could well be placed in by the imagination of a novelist.
Mrs. Sullivan has the art, however, to heighten this apparently superlative distress, by some additional touches of extraordinary merit. There is a terrible chapter in which all the circumstances of the lady's being arrested by a constable, on the absurd but nevertheless most painful and humiliating charge we have mentioned, and obliged to prepare for waiting on a magistrate, to offer bail, are worked up so as to drive the interest to a truly harrowing extreme. But when all these horrors have been gone through-when the agony of wounded honour, the bitter shame of exposure, everything ex facie incidental to the feelings of a lovely and virtuous woman thus scandalously outraged, have been exhausted—there still remains one last drop of bitterness to make the cup of anguish overflow.
Captain Wareham kept no carriage. The hack chaise came to the door. The lovely, the graceful Ellen, who, as the wife of Mr. Cressford, had been used to all the luxuries of life, and, as the wife of Algernon Hamilton to all its refinements, ascended the jingling steps, and, rustling through the straw, seated herself at the farther corner of the narrow seat, while the constable of the parish mounted on the bar before.'—Chaperon, vol. iii., p. 218.
Ellen's bail is accepted ; and she returns in the hack-chaise to make preparations for the trial, which it is certain must come on the next assizes. The trial scene which ensues is of course
the acmė of all these sorrows; but the authoress was too considerate of our feelings to repeat again the crowning pang of the arrest. No.-Ellen's sufferings are indeed excruciating
• Visions of the hulks, of foreign lands, of being associated with criminals, a thousand half-defined, ill-understood horrors would visit her. In her dreams she fancied herself torn from her remaining child, a stranger and an outcast at Botany Bay ;' &c. &c. But there is balm in Gilead !
• Lord Besville offered his carriage to conduct her to the court, when the awful day arrived, and his offer was accepted with thankfulness.'
The reader will easily anticipate the sequel of the story. The prisoner could not but be found guilty, but the judge (Mr. Justice Park, senior, we think) is much interested and affected by her grace and beauty, and the other circumstances of the case, and she is merely fined a shilling. She rides home to Captain Wareham's in Lord Besville's well-hung coach. Mr. Cressford's disappointment at the result of the trial at Hertford brings back the worst symptoms of his old malady. He dies very shortly; and after giving a month, a little month,' to the decorum of an inky suit, Mrs. Charles Cressford becomes once more Mrs. Algernon Hamilton, and is restored to all the sweets of Belhanger Park, near Dorking, Surrey, which is thus prettily described :
Belhanger was in the Elizabethan style. A spacious hall, in which was an immense fire-place, surmounted by the antlers of some patriarchal stag, communicated with a large low oak dining-room, and, through some smaller apartments, with a drawing-rooni, which was hung with tapestry, and adorned with beautiful oak carving ; the crossings of the beams in the ceiling were ornamented with wooden rosettes, in the most antique taste, while the rest of the room was provided with all the essentials requisite for modern comfort. A broad and massive staircase of black oak led, as is usual with buildings of that period, to a gallery on the upper floor, which extended the whole length of the south front, and which, with its two fire-places, and its innumerable windows of all shapes and sizes, admitting every ray of sun, was one of the most delightful winter apartments imaginable. The exterior of the mansion was as irregular as the most ardent lover of the picturesque could desire. It was built of grey-stone, and composed of gable-ends of every possible angle.'--p. 67.
Mr. Hamilton whispers, · The clouds of our early life are dispersed! All before us is light and serene ;'-and so ends the Chaperon.-- We have quoted chiefly from the comical and satirical parts of Ellen Wareham ;' but the novel really includes several scenes of very graceful pathos ; and the interest, in spite of the improbability of the fable, is maintained throughout.
Mrs. Thomas Sheridan, having proved, in a true romance, her capacity of dealing with tender hearts and real sorrows, has apparently had no end or aim in her new story, 'Aims and Ends,' but to exhibit herself as equally skilful in the delineation of creatures, so petrified with vanity and worldliness, that neither loves, nor hatreds, nor afflictions, can with them be more than skin deep. As a novel, therefore, this is a sad falling off. The heroine has no character but that of coquetry and sheer selfishness—and, this being the case, the talents and graces with which the author invests her, render it only the more impossible to feel any sympathy with or interest about her. The minor personages are little better ; though the novelist shows her observation and sense, in reversing the usual order of things, and making the loves of her gentlemen, such as these are, stronger than those of her ladies. The serious passions of men are to those of women as their physical frames. Very juvenile readers will, therefore, find little to captivate them in · Aims and Ends ;' but we are mistaken, nevertheless, if it be not a favourite with people who look back with tolerable philosophy
• To their hot youth when George the Third was king.' Its narrative is written in a style of singular lightness--and so interspersed with terse, pithy remarks, bright fragments of description, and here and there a fierce satire condensed into a paragraph, that we confess to having gone through it twice, and liked it better the second time than the first. We shall give a few specimens :
• Lord Portbury gave constantly two or three large dinners every week, eating and seeing eat being the principal pursuit of his life; the intermediate days, if he did not dine out, he had two or three men at his table: and in this way his society was very various, for he cared more about what was on the table than who were round it. He had attained the acmé of his ambition when he learned that an experienced gourmand had said, “ that no man had such a cook as Portbury,” or that his claret was the best in London. He took the same interest in Lady Portbury's appearance that he had in his gilt plate. A handsome woman at one end of his table bore the same relation to the coup d'æil as the plateau in the middle. In conversation he was a lavish proser, though talking principally at dinner, which he looked upon rather as a duty in a host. • Lady Portbury was several years younger than her Lord, very very
she had shed a few tears when her friends first advised her to marry Lord P., but ardently wishing to be rich and great, she at last made up her mind, and was afterwards agreeably surprised to find that being rich, and great, and handsome, were enough for her happiness: her business was to dress ; her amusement to be admired. She was too young to wish for an admirer, to prove that she was still admirable ; but she liked to occupy a good
VOL, XLIX. NO. XCVII.
deal of time and attention, and to receive a certain portion of flattery, from those young men whose approbation was most prized at the time; but they were treated rather as courtiers than lovers, and came not "near enough to be denied.” In her female friends she only required rank and fashion, and did not dislike them for being her inferiors in moral conduct, if they acknowledged it by a tribute of submissive flattery.'- vol. i., p. 12-14.
A young beauty, transplanted at once from a Welsh cottage to the London mansion of this amiable couple, finds not a little to puzzle and embarrass her :
• Perhaps nothing is more surprising to a novice in this world's ways than the inscrutable equality with which a well-bred hostess receives a large company, the members of which are of equal rank, but differing in degree of agrément ; while to a company where the guests differ in rank there is a permitted and slight, but detectable, difference of reception and manner: and to execute this difference adroitly and gracefully is the most rare accomplishment of a distinguished hostess, At this moment I can recollect but four who reached the utmost point of address in this game.'—p. 21.
• Another embarrassment was the mysterious cousinhood and propinquity that exist in the best society ; every body being related to everybody, and branching off, and interweaving, like a flourishing bed of camomile. This, with the difficulties presented by the difference of names and titles, formed a science of such recondite profundity, that she was almost driven to the desperate expedient of committing the whole of Debrett's Peerage to memory.'—p. 33.
The rapidity with which a pretty damsel, even of the humblest ranks and habits, may, under proper tuition, be transformed into a passable fine lady, was first, we beliere, pourtrayed in that episode of Peregrine Pickle, which recounts the history of the beggar girl, bought of her worthy mother, at a hedge side, for a crown, and forthwith conveyed to the Garrison of Hatchway behind the uneasy saddle of Tom Pipes. The same truth had also been illustrated in the biography of Miss Effie Deans, before it engaged the attention of his Excellency the present Governor of Jamaica; but by none of Smollett's imitators has the idea been worked out more happily than in ' Aims and Ends.' Its heroine, this unsophisticated Olinda, soon knows her Debrett-she makes a sensation in Mayfair, is easily induced to gulp down something like a true love, and, following the precept and example of Lady Portbury, finds herself, at the end of the season, the wife of a musical idiot, Lord Sedley, evidently no descendant of Sir Charles. In the
of nature she spends next November at Brighton, and being by this time heartily sick of her Lord's talk and fiddle, engages in an intensely platonic friendship with a younger son of a ducal house, the star of all the Lord Fredericks. At Brighton, balls and dinners, that would be spurned in Lon. don, find favour with the finest people : nowhere does wealth tell with more direct brute force; and, this season, one of the most successful of the plebeian Amphytrions was the head of the wellknown house of Trenchard and Co., Cornhill.
• Mr. Trenchard was a plain unaffected man of business; his wife was comely, noisy, loud, vulgar, overbearing; the daughter, a mass of affectation and conceit. As Mrs. Trenchard was aware that her strength was in metal, she never omitted an opportunity of recalling the company to the recollection of the price of everything, and was a walking tariff. To those who had wealth and titles, she was invariably good-natured and obliging; to those who did not possess either of these qualifications, she was equally rude and disobliging,— not so much from ill-humour, as from the prudent consideration that she should gain nothing by the opposite conduct, and from the agreeable novelty of finding that she had those whom she might treat as inferiors, and be rude to with impunity.
• Mrs. Trenchard was shrewd, and soon saw that a great intimacy subsisted between the Sedley family and Lord Frederick; and caring less for the consequences of promoting it, than she did for the reputation of having the pleasantest dinners in the world,” (which eulogy she was sure to have from those who met there, whom they considered as the pleasantest people,) she never failed to ask Lord Frederick Danesford to meet Lady Sedley. They were amused; the dinner was gay; Lord Frederick danced at the balls with Miss Trenchard, and spent all the time in their house that he did not spend at Lord Sedley's.
* Mrs. Trenchard vindicated the delicacy of her sense of propriety by saying, when she dispatched invitations to both, “ I suppose, as I ask Lady Sedley, I must ask Lord Frederick : well, if I was Lord Sedley, I know what I would do :"- -or to those females with whom she was intimate, she observed, “ I never saw anything like it in my life! -such a flirtation, quite shocking !-poor thing! what a pity somebody does not advise her!” She had the recompense of her courtesy and forbearance, in hearing the sea-breeze on the Chain Pier and Marine Parade bring to her ear the murmur of her passing acquaintance, “Why, Lord Frederick Danesford never leaves the Trenchards ! -he must mean to marry the daughter.”
• This, however, was said by those who had been friends of the Trenchards years before-who, not being initiated into the deeper mysteries of fashion, were forced to content themselves with hearing of an attachment, when the parties were in Doctors' Commons-of a duel, when it appeared headed by “affair of honour" in the Morning Post. Such persons are always more eager than any others to obtain some insight into the affairs of their superiors.
Much to be pitied as these “ fond inquirers' are, it would soothe their pains to know that there is a grade still lower in the scale of worldlings--people who absolutely" burst in ignorance,'' who, from being unacquainted with persons, confuse and misapply names, and in telling a story, buckle