par l'amour, finissent par l'ambition, et ne se trouvent dans une assiette plus tranquille que lorsqu'ils meureut.I cannot therefore be near my end yet : for so far from being in “ une assiette tranquille," I am as restless as an armadillo

Among other indications of my restlessness, two years ago I made a pleasant cruise in the Mediterranean; on pretence of a visit to Alvanley, but in reality to witness the domestic happiness of the La Bélinayes, who are settled in the little Carlist colony at Odessa ; where Clémentine devotes her life in the most exemplary manner to the education of her three sons,-all that portion of her life bien entendu not absorbed by reminiscences of Paris and the olden time.

But London is what is called my home. It is there alone I experience the sensation people called patriotism. Though born in the Château de Boulainvilliers, a circumstance which some accept in apology for my papilionaceous propensities,-London is my country!-

It is needless to say that the old inansion in Hanover Square, inherited by Herries with the other personalties of poor Lord Ormington, bas never taken the length of my august foot since my brother-in-law came into possession,-much to my relief,—for I would neither have lived there, nor brought it to the hammer to be George Robins-ed into flagrancy; and as to shutting it up as a ghost-stud, I have already expressed, à propos to Chippenham, my abhorrence of eccentricities.— I settled myself therefore at

a new ORMINGTON HOUSE, which I flatter myself stands pretty high in the list of the memorabilities of social life.

ORMINGTON House is,-like that of Northumberland, but without intending a pun,-a thing per se. My continental experiences having served to open my eyes, while English opulence enables me to open my purse, -my establishment is one that George IV. would have pro

once in

nounced unobjectionable ; and my Wednesday and Saturday dinners, and Thursday evenings, have been rarely excelled, I suspect, out of the Faubourg St. Honoré.—Every Eminence in the kingdom, except Cardinal Puff, is successively my guest.—Exempt from prejudice of caste, guiltless of Mæcenas-ian vulgarity, I am as well satisfied to collect around me such people as Devereux, Clarensfield, and Chippenham, the Mereworths, or the Ilfracombs, as the intrinsically great men of the day, the Colberts, Louvois, Molières, Boileaus, Racines, La Fontaines, or Perraults, of my Louis Quatorzian saloon,—the stars of my galaxy !

In my little parliament, Bulwer represents the republic of letters,-Landseer, the province of the arts ;-Moore dines with me as the poet,

Lockhart, as the critic,-Louis de Noailles, as the Grammont,-Sydney Smith, as the wit, Sidney Herbert, as the Sir Philip Sidney of the day.--Every god and demigod has his specific shrine in my temple.-I invite Lovelace Milnes (as Lord Ormington, I may allow myself finery enough

When a man's name is Dick, to call hiin Lovelace,

more particularly as “ the Brook side” is nearly equal to Althea, and he has an objection to having it all Dicky with him !)— I invite Milnes, I say, as "young England,” Greville as “old England," and Sir Henry, my Watier's chum, as “old Harry !"-I invite the roué set (just now, by the grace of ministerial anathema, so much the fashion,) whenever I want to pass for a moral man; or when I wish to re-assume my Don Juanic hat and plume, surround myself with the country Baronet husband and sons-in-law of Lady Winstanley, by comparison with whose humdrummery, the innocent fleece of my lambkinism passes for that of a lost mutton !—I give dinners to some men, because they understand them,—to some, because they want them,-to some, because I want them.I do not pretend to any super-exquisiteness of gastronomy, because givers of super-exquisite dinners are apt to be fussy about them, to put their entrées into italics so as not to be lightly passed over, and above all, to be punctilious of punctuality.–A dinner should be good enough to be talked of afterwards, but not so good as to prevent one's talking about other things while the banquet is proceeding.–I call the courses evil courses that demand perpetual notes of admiration

My table comprehends all sorts of talking and talkers ; — "original matter, criticism, gossip of the week, and notices of the fine arts," as the weekly papers have it. - But people do for Cecil what they would not do elsewhere :-Rogers smiles for me,-Howden frowns,-Lupe looks solemn.—My reviewers gossip,—my Chancellors of the Exchequer prattle small talk,-my men about town listen while Ossulston, Courtenay or Dundas is singing,-Luttrell or Macaulay talking.

« ForrigeFortsett »