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with what I have already noticed—a startling candour of manner; the result either of great confidence, or great singleness of mind—he must decide which ; if he appeal to me, I shall, without hesitation, refer it to the latter cause. And now, supposing my reader to have advanced some steps towards an acquaintanceship—to have got over the chill which the THEE and Thou will not fail to throw over a first colloquy—he will still stand some chance of being frozen back by a want of sympathy in the material of small talk. Music, and places of public amusement, (those staple commodities of the overture of conversation), will not avail him here ; to them, dancing and music are forbidden things. Of all such tastes and sciences, our Protestant nuns are profoundly ignorant. Their education has unfitted them to decide on the respective merits of a Pasta or a Sontag. They cannot descant on the talent of the rival composers, Beethoven or Rossini, or decide on the superior charm of the mazurka, or the gallopade. “But though they can do none of these things, and are not versed in the art of elegant trifling, we will venture to predict, that he will meet with no lack of useful or valuable information among them. If the superstructure be without ornament, the foundation is not without solidity. He will find none of that ignorance of matters which should be of universal notoriety, which is sometimes to be met with in the conversation of their more showy neighbours. No female member of the Society of “Friends” would ever be likely to mistake the Reformation for the Restoration; or confound Scotland's with England's last Catholic King James. “If our friend be a man of science, whether naturalist, geologist, or botanist, we will venture to promise that he shall not enter ten families without finding in five of them, ladies, neither old nor ugly, who are able to encounter him on his own ground; and this too without any assumption of extraordinary learning. With them, such knowledge is too much a matter of course to be made a matter of vanity; and if we must acknowledge that their elders are somewhat rigid in excluding them from the amusements that are to be found abroad, we must not omit to allow, that they amply provide them with such as are calculated to embellish home. ‘Again, if our visitor be a poet, we will ensure him abundant sympathy in his favourite pursuit. Poetic taste, which may almost be said to amount to a passion among the youth of their sect, is, I fancy, the escape-valve through which their repressed musical talent evaporates. Among their most accredited favourites, are Wordsworth, Beattie, Montgomery, Cowper, and Campbell; and if the former have most of their praise, the last has, I suspect, the most of their love. Campbell is, indeed, the Apollo of the Friends; and I scarcely know among them a damsel of seventeen, who cannot repeat the “ Pleasures of Hope,” and “Gertrude of Wyoming,” from beginning to end. “Of prose writers that are not of their own body, their theological favourites are Cudworth and Thomas à Kempis. Indeed, the writings of the latter are in such high repute among them, that had the Quakers a bishoprick to | bestow, he would undoubtedly have been called upon to fill its chair. Of their favourite novelists, I dare not say much, for this class of reading is strictly forbidden, under the designation of “unprofitable books.” Notwithstanding this prohibition, however, I have usually discovered, that the younger part of the body contrive, by some means or other, to make themselves acquainted with the works of our most popular writers of fiction. I feel a tenderness in alluding to this subject, from a fear of getting my fair friends into a scrape. Nevertheless (sub rosd) such is the fact.
“Of their parliamentary favourite, for each heart hath its own peculiar star, Wilberforce was the idol before whom they bowed. This may seem odd in a sect whose policy is so evidently liberal; but in this instance what they consider the smaller good, is made to bend to the one of greater magnitude, and thus they forgive his Toryism, for the sake of his philanthropy.
“So much for mind, and now for outward show.”
‘As a lover of impartiality, I must not neglect to caution any unfortunate husband who may be smarting under the recent infliction of a bill from Madame Carson, and who is ready to wish that his wife had been of the sect that are limited in the choice of their dresses, from being over hasty in his judgment.—I am of opinion that when the Creator, for the sins of | our first parents, ordained that they should need clothing, he imparted to the original offender and all her female posterity, a taste, which converted the penalty into a boon; on this principle only can I account for the love of dress so common to them all. Even the Quakeresses, who, in obedience to the injunction of St. Paul, “refrain from outward adorning,” and are restricted by their elders to garments composed of scarcely more than two colours, contrive from these simple elements to extract as much food for vanity as a painter from his seven primitive colours, or a musician from his octave of notes. It is true the original materials are limited ; but, O for | the varieties that their ingenuity will contrive to extract from these simple elements First there is white, pure unadulterated white; then there is “dead” white, then there is “blue” white, and then there is “pearl” white, then there is “ French" white, and heaven knows how many other whites. Next follow the greys: first there is simple grey, then “blue" grey, then “ash” grey, then “silver” grey, then “raven” grey, and, for aught I know, a dozen other greys.-Then come the fawn, the “light” fawn, the “dark" fawn, the “red” fawn, the “brown” fawn, the “hare's back,” and the “brown paper” colour; –then follow (with their endless sub-divisions) the families of the mulberries, the “bronzes,” and the “London smokes,” varieties innumerable, and with distinctions only visible to the practised eye of a Lady Friend. As for their muslin handkerchiefs, let no unfortunate wight, whilst in the act of paying a bill for Brussels lace, envy those who have no such bills to pay : let him rest assured that his burthen is borne in some shape or other by his graver brethren : he may know that a muslin , handkerchief may be bought for eighteen-pence, but he does not perhaps i know that it may be bought for eighteen shillings also, and that the “Sisters” have a peculiar penchant for the latter priced article. It is true that a double instead of a single border forms the principal, I should say the only difference, between the Indian and British manufacture—no matter; the India is the most difficult to be procured, therefore the most to be desired, and consequently the thing to be worn
‘And then their chaussure—in this point they resemble our French neighbours more than any other people: It is certain that they confine themselves to shoes of two colours—brown and black; but then, their varieties 1 from the wafer-soled drawing-room to the clog-soled walking shoe verily their name should be legion, for they indeed are many.
“And then their gloves—who ever saw a Quakeress with a soiled glove? On the contrary, who has not remarked the delicate colour and superior fitting of their digital coverings? And well may it be so; for though readymade gloves may do well enough for an undistinguishing court beauty, her refinement must stoop to that of a Quaker belle, who wears no gloves but such as are made for her own individual fingers. • And then their pocket-handkerchiefs—I verily believe that the present fashion of the Mouchoir brodé proceeded from them. It is true that they do not require the corners to be so elaborately embroidered; but for years have they been distinguished for the open work border on cobweb-like cambric; nor are they to be satisfied with the possession of a moderate share of these superior articles. No, indeed; if they are to be restricted to necessaries in dress, they fully indemnify themselves by having these necessaries of the finest possible quality, and in the largest possible quantity. “So long ago as the reign of Charles the Second, it was observed of a great statesman, that he was “curious in his linen as a Quaker,”—and this implied axiom of the seventeenth century, is fully in force at the present day. “One observation more, and I have done. In the management of that most unmanageable part of a lady's attire, yeleped a shawl, we will match any pretty “Friend” against any fair one of the European continent, (always excepting a lady from Spain). O, the smoothing of plaits that I have witnessed, to modify any unseemly excrescence at the back of the neck 1 O, the patience required to overcome the stubbornness of rebellious sleeves, which threatened to obscure the delicate slope of a pair of drooping shoulders —-O, the care that has been required to prevent the beautiful sinuosity of a falling-in back from being too much veiled, or the utter annihilation of the far-famed Grecian bend, in the sweep of its remorseless folds ! ‘All this have I witnessed; yet if any sceptical reader doubt the fidelity of my sketch, and enquire how I became acquainted with all these mysteries, I may tell him that I do not know by what authority he presumes to doubt my veracity. If, however, a knowledge of the truth will lull suspicions, I may as well confess the fact,
“That the glance which I have cherished most fondly and dearly,
And that though my fair one had the bad taste to prefer a husband from among her “ own people,”—that though I am in my forty-fifth year, and a bachelor for her sake, still I cannot forget the trepidation which the rustle of a certain drab-coloured gown used to produce, or the hopes which a placid, sister-like smile once excited in my heart. These are—it may be— dull reminiscences; still I can never see a covey of these human partridges in their annual migration, without a certain anguish feel, nearly allied to melancholy. Still I am unable to pass the plainest of the sisterhood, without internally wishing her “God speed,” for the sake of one who was the flower of the flock, and the queen of them all.”—Literary Souvenir, pp. 149 —160.
We cannot strongly commend many of the other pieces, whether of poetry or prose, inserted in this volume. But the embellishments, we must repeat, are entitled to our unqualified praise— praise which we yield the more willingly, as we have been obliged,
vo L. III. (1831.) No. 1 v. N N
from an imperative sense of duty, to censure the work in other respects. We should have supposed that the frontispiece, Allegra, had been engraved from a portrait of Taglioni. It is certainly very like her. The “Supper by the Fountain,” from Boccaccio, is a spirited composition. The scenery in the back ground, consisting of trees and ruins, exhibits a fine depth of perspective, though it has the effect of making some of the figures round the table look” small and insignificant. We have seldom inspected a plate that will bear more minute examination, in every part of it, than that of ‘ Oberwesel on the Rhine.’ The proof which we possess might be selected for presentation to a foreigner, as one of the most finished engravings of the English school. When we look at the crowd of masts in the harbour, the different groups at the river-side, the wellladen boat approaching the shore, the signal tower, the church, the castle-crowned rock, and the hills or mountains in the distance, all depicted within so limited a compass, we wonder at the skill with which a work, apparently so difficult, was so admirably accomplished. The painting is by D. Roberts, the engraving by Goodall. Sir Thomas Lawrence's portrait of the Marchioness of Salisbury is familiar to the public. We need only add, that Ensom has here done it justice. The plates of ‘Numa and Egeria’—‘Going to Mass’—‘The Tarantella' and ‘Vespers,’ we should enumerate as our favourites among the remainder of the embellishments. But they are really all excellent. We had flattered ourselves that Mr. Frederic Mansel Reynolds, the learned editor of the ‘Keepsake,” would have appeared no more in that capacity; but we have been mistaken :—here he is again, in his own proper person, though shorn of nearly all his honours. He comes forth without a single line of preface, at least there is no preface in the copy which we have received; and what is more surprising still, he has not bestowed the lustre of his celebrated name upon a single composition in verse or prose throughout the whole volume. So far he is a reformed man, and we congratulate his new publishers upon the total absence from the present ‘Keepsake' of every thing in the shape of his writing, good, bad, or indifferent. There is, however, much in the volume that would be fully worthy of his name. We confess we thought that the concluding verses, entitled “Scan. Mag.’, were the offspring of his pen, until, upon looking at the apology for them at the end, we found they were the currente calamo production of Mr. Jerdan. Certainly a more worthless set of verses than these we never read. We have not time to count all the lords and ladies of title, all the baronets and members of the House of Commons, whose names are printed in the most conspicuous manner among the contributors to this volume. The proprietor seems to be under the impression that any stuff is acceptable which proceeds from writers of those classes. He is much mistaken. The public have learned long since that lords and ladies, generally speaking, are but indifferent
labourers in the mines of literature. We are restrained by a sense of gallantry from pointing out the violations of good taste, and the fulsome conceits which distinguish the verses of some of the ladies, who occupy portions of the present Keepsake. They appear actually to walk upon stilts, lest they should stoop to a single expression with which the commonalty might be familiar. What ridiculous affectation But there are exceptions to this vicious style, and honourable ones too, among the classes to which we have alluded. We shall take as first in order Mr. Bootle Wilbraham's narrative of his ‘ascent to Mont Blanc, which is very neatly written. We shall not give the whole, as, besides being too long for our purpose, it is so far little more than a repetition of Mr. Auldjo's remarks upon the same subject, which we have lately noticed. We think, however, that the reader will be pleased with Mr. Wilbraham's description of the scenery which he beheld from the top of that elevated mountain, as well as his return from his perilous journey.
“After nearly ten minutes, they woke me, and I found myself much refreshed. At the same time, I woke to a more perfect enjoyment of my new situation ; that extreme exhaustion which had overpowered my mind as well as my body, had passed away, and I was myself again ' It is perfectly useless for me to attempt to describe what I saw : I can only say that it amply repaid me for all the dangers and fatigue I had undergone. France, Italy, Savoy, and Switzerland, lay at my feet. The lake of Geneva and Pays de Vaud seemed quite close to me. Mont Rosa, Milan, and the neighbourhood of Genoa, the town itself being hidden by the heights beyond which it is built. On the north, far beyond the Jura, I saw what may have been Dijon, as it has been before seen, and the weather was perfectly clear. The valley of Chamouni was under our feet, with the Arve running through it like a thread of silver, and the innumerable peaks of the Alps, all looking like pigmies compared with the giant on which I was standing. ‘My excessive fatigue caused me to forget two or three things I wished to have done, such as looking for the stars with a telescope, some of which, I believe, may be seen : I could not certainly distinguish them with the naked eye. I forgot, too, to fire a pistol, to hear (if I may say so) it make no noise : I did fire it high up for an echo, and it produced a much weaker report. The sky was an extraordinary dark blue, almost black. “I did not feel that lightness in treading that is often experienced at that height. I lost all appetite and thirst in ascending, but the latter was very great afterwards. The thermometer was at zero. “The summit appeared to me to be about 120 feet long by 50 broad, of an oval shape, with the corner towards the N. W. considerably raised. The shape of the surface consisting entirely of snow, and subject to great vicissitudes of weather, must be perpetually liable to change. ‘I may here remark that the upper layers of the snow on the mountain are unlike those which fall on the lower regions, being composed of separate globules, unconnected with each other, except by the cohesion of frost. “We remained on the summit only twenty-five minutes, the longest halt