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ing a plan of conduct, and from even dying agreeably to it. You remember how the last Ratcliffe died with the utmost propriety; so did this horrid lunatic, coolly and sensibly. His own and his wife's relations had asserted that he would tremble at last. No such thing; he shamed heroes. He bore the solemnity of a pompous and tedious procession of above two hours, from the Tower to Tyburn, with as much tranquillity as if he was only going to his own burial, not to his own execution. He even talked of indifferent subjects in the passage; and if the sheriff and the chaplains had not thought that they had parts to act too, and had not consequently engaged him in most particular conversation, he did not seem to think it necessary to talk on the occasion. He went in his wedding-clothes ; marking the only remaining impression on his mind. The ceremony he was in a hurry to have over. He was stopped at the gallows by a vast crowd; but got out of his coach as soon as he could, and was but seven minutes on the scaffold; which was hung with black, and prepared by the undertaker of his family at their expense. There was a new contrivance for sinking the stage under him, which did not play well ; and he suffered a little by the delay, but was dead in four minutes. The mob was decent, and admired him, and almost pitied him; so they would Lord George, whose execution they are so angry at missing. I suppose every highwayman will now preserve the blue handkerchief he has about his neck when he is married, that he may die like a lord. With all his madness, he was not mad enough to be struck with his aunt Huntingdon's sermons. The Methodists have nothing to brag of his conversion ; though Whitfield prayed for him, and preached about him. Even Tyburn has been above their reach. I have not heard that Lady Fanny dabbled with his soul ; but I believe she is prudent enough to confine her missionary zeal to subjects where the body may be her perquisite.
The following is the account of Walpole's visit to Newsted Abbey,—the seat of the Byrons.
• As I returned, I saw Newsted and Althorpe ; I like both. The former is the very abbey. The great east window of the church remains, and connects with the house; the hall entire, the refectory entire, the cloister untouch'd, with the ancient cistern of the convent, and their arms on ; It is a private chapel, quite perfect. The park, which is still charming, has not been so much unprofaned: The present lord has lost large sums, and paid part in old oaks ; five thousand pounds of which have been cut near the house. In recompense, he has built two baby forts, to pay his country in castles for dainage done to the navy; and planted a handful of Scotch firs, that look like ploughboys dress'd in old family liveries for a public day. In the hall is a very good collection of pictures, all animals; the refectory, now the great drawing room, is full of Byrons ; the vaulted roof remaining, but the windows have new dresses making for them by a Venetian tailor.'
This is a careless, but happy description, of one of the noblest mansions in England; and it will now be read with a far deeper interest than when it was written. Walpole saw the seat of the Byrons, old, majestic, and venerable ;—but he saw nothing of that magic beauty which Fame sheds over the habitations of Genius, and which now mantles every turret of Newsted Abbey. He saw it when Decay was doing its work on the cloister, the refectory, and the chapel, and all its honours seemed mouldering into oblivion. He could not know that a voice was soon to go forth from those antique cloisters, that should be heard through all future ages, and cry,“ Sleep no more, to all the house.' Whatever may be its future fate, Newsted Abbey must henceforth be a memorable abode. Time may shed its wild flowers on the walls, and let the fox in upon the court-yard and the chambers. It may even pass into the hands of unlettered pride or plebeian opulence.—But it has been the mansion of a mighty poet. Its name is associated to glories that cannot perish-and will go down to posterity in one of the proudest pages of our annals.
Our author is not often pathetic: But there are some touches of this sort in the account of his visit to Houghton-though the first part is flippant enough.
• The surprise the pictures gave me is again renewed. Accustomed for many years to see nothing but wretched daubs and varnished copies at auctions, I look at-these as enchantment. My own description of them seems poor; but, shall I tell you truly, the majesty of Italian ideas almost sinks before the warm nature of Flemish colour. ing. Alas! don't I grow old? My young imagination was fired with Guido's ideas ; must they be plump and prominent as Abishag to warm me now? Does great youth feel with poetic limbs, as well as see with poetic eyes ? In one respect I am very young ; I cannot satiate myself with looking : an incident contributed to make me feo! this more strongly. A party arrived, just as I did, to see the house ; a man, and three women in riding dresses, and they rode post through the apartments, I could not hurry before them fast enough ; they were not so long in seeing for the first time, as I could have been in one room, to examine what I knew by heart. I remember formerly being often diverted with this kind of seers ; they come-ask what such a room is called-in which Sir Robert lay-write it down-admire a lobster or a cabbage in a market piece- dispute whether the last room was green or purple—and then hurry to the inn for fear the fish should be over-dressed. Huw different my sensations ! Not a picture here but recalls a history; not one but I remember in Downingstreet or Chelsea, where queens and crowds admired thein,-though seeing them as little as these travellers !'
There is some appearance of heart, too, in his account of Lady Waldeyrave's sufferings on the death of her husband. Slie was a beautiful woman; and Walpole scems to have been really kind to her.
I had not risen from table, when I received an express from Lady Betty Waldegrave, to tell me that a sudden change had happened ; that they had given him James's powders, but that they feared it was too late ; and that he probably would be dead before I could come to my niece, for whose sake she begged I would return immediately. I was indeed too late! Too late for every thing.– Late as it was given, the powder vomited him even in the agonies. Had I had power to direct, he should never have quitted James :But these are vain regrets!— Vain to recollect how particularly kind he, who was kind to everybody, was to me! I found Lady Waldegrave at my brother's. She weeps without ceasing; and talks of his virtues and goodness to her in a manner that distracts one. My brother bears this mortification with more courage than I could have expected from his warm passions : but nothing struck me more than to see my rough savage Swiss, Louis, in tears as he opened my chaise.
I have a bitter scene to come. To-morrow morning I carry poor Lady Waldegrave to Strawberry. Her fall is great, from that adoration and attention that he paid her,—from that splendour of fortune, so much of which dies with him,—and from that consideration which rebounded to her from the great deference which the world had for liis character. Visions, perhaps. Yet who could expect that they would have passed away even before that fleeting thing, her beauty!!
This lady seems to have been afflicted nearly beyond the hope of consolation. Nevertheless, she married again. It is not a bad sign, we believe, when a widow sets in with a good wet grief: she has the better chance of a fine day. Philosophers assert, indeed, that it is possible for a woman to cry a sorrow clean out:-and we must confess, we have now and then heard of such things.
We must draw to a close now with our quotations--though we wish we had room for more. For the author is exceedingly amusing in his attempt at tracing his descent from Chaucer ;-in his remarks on old and young kings,-in his practical and prospective speculations on gout in the feet and stomach,—and in Iris picture of himself, with sweet peas stuck in his hair ! We should have liked, too, to extract a bon mot or two of George Selwyn, whose love of puns and executions was equally insariable; but they stick too fast in the looser texture of his historiun, to be disengaged with any moderate labour. The following little passage is very pleasingly written.
· For what are we taking Belleisle ?-I rejoiced at the little loss we had on landing : For the glory, I leave it to the Common Council. I am very willing to leave London to them too, and do pass half the Week at Strawberry, where my two passions, lilacs and nightingales,
are in full bloom. I spent Sunday as if it were Apollo's birth-day ; Gray and Mason were with me, and we listened to the nightingales till one o'clock in the morning. Gray has translated two noble incantations from the Lord knows who, a Danish Gray, who lived the Lord knows when. They are to be enchased in a history of English Bards, which Mason and he are writing, but of which the former has not written a word yet, and of which the latier, if he rides Pegasus at his usual foot pace, will finish the first page two years hence!'
We cannot understand the Editor's drift in leaving so many names unprinted. The respect for the living has been carried, we think, to a most awful extent: for names are continually left blank, which would visit their sins, if at all, upon the third or fourth generation. In many instances, too, the allusions are aş plain as if the names had been written at full length. At p. 185, for example, we perceive a delicate attention of this sort to the family of Northumberland,-though few readers can be so respectfully uninformed as to be at all perplexed by the suppression. Chevy Chase has not left the Douglas and the Percy in such comfortable security. The mystical passage is as follows.
Lady R--P- - pushed her on the birth-night against a bench. The Dutchess of Grafton asked if it was true that Lady R- kicked her ? “ Kick me, Madam ! when did you ever hear of a P-y that took a kick ? I can tell you another anecdote of that house, that will not divert you less. Lord March-making them a visit this summer at Alnwic Castle, my Lord received him at the gate and said, “ I believe, my Lord, this is the first time that ever a Douglas and a P---y met here in friendship.” Think of this from a Smithson to a true Douglas.
The beauty of the thing too, is, that Smithson (which alone could give ofience) is printed with all the letters—while Percy is delicately left in initials and finals,
There are some verses in the book, of which, out of regarík to the author's memory, we shall say nothing. They are very apparently by a person of quality.' Pope, we think, has written something like them under that signature-which rather takes from their originality:--But we now take our final leave of this lively volume,-with our usual protest against the enormous size into which this collection has been distended. Booksellers now-a-days only stucly how to construct large paper houses for their little families of letter-press-and never think of the taxation to which they ihus subject their readers. These Letters might have been comfortably accommodated in a comely little octavo, and sold at a reasonable price: Instead of which, they are put forth in a good stiff' quarto,--and are, to use old Marall's phrase, 'very chargeable. We hope scon to sçe them in a more accessible shape.
ART. V. Histoire des Cortes d'Espagne. Par M. Sempere, de
l'Academie de l'Histoire de Madrid, cidevant Procureur du Roi en la Chancellerie de Grenade. Bourdeaux, 1815.
M. SEMPERE is one of those Spaniards whose talents and
acquirements would confer honour upon any country, and who have been banished from their own by the active jealousy of its rulers. He is now living at Paris; and although he is kept out of the enjoyment of his dignities and fortune, his hours pass happily in literary retirement. In this work, we find considerable originality of thought combined with great historical diligence and precision. M. Sempere places himself in opposition to the opinions enounced by Marina in his • Theory of the Cortes; ' and he has clearly pointed out many errors into which that able writer has fallen, whose judgment has often yielded to his enthusiasm for liberty. We do not intend, however, to enter at present into a critical examination of the · History of the Cortes; ' for the history of the ancient constitution of Castile, has been discussed more than once in this Journal; and we must now proceed to consider the origin and nature of the ancient laws of Spain. M. Sempere has touched incidentally upon this topic, and in such a manner as to make us regret that he has not been more diffuse. Notwithstanding the valuable publications of Llorente, and Manuel, and Delrio, and Marina, the study of the legal antiquities of Spain is as yet in its infancy; and M. Sempere's avocations have qualified him for the composition of an accurate history of the Spanish law, which would be equally acceptable to his countrymen and to strangers.
It is indeed an interesting employment to an Englishman to investigate the ancient jurisprudence of the nations who dwell on the firm land of Europe. To the constitutional lawyer these researches should be enjoined as a duty; and they are indispensable to all who wish to understand, with precision, our own early history. Excepting in its outermost boundaries and march lands, the European continent has received either its population or its polity from the sons of the same great Teutonic family to which we also belong-once owning the same laws in all their settlements, and now immeasureably diversified in all their institutions. At first we behold the kindred springs gushing forth from the same rock. Awhile they ripple beneath the shade; and at length burst out into day with more rapid flow. Some, however, soon become turbid by the admission of foreign streams; and others are absorbed in marshes, or lost in the arid sand. One alone pursues a steady course, widening as it