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she was also alarmed by certain repentant scruples which naturally arose in the bosom of her fair associate, who had quitted her parents, and deserted all that was decent and respectable in society, for a female bravo, a masculine virago, whom she now dreaded and submitted to, rather than loved.
Interrupted in her designs and irritated by opposition, this theatric miscreant set fire in the dead of night to the building in which they had been so hospitably received, and, in the general confusion and alarm, securing by force her unhappy victim, fled to a sequestered village, where they remained in concealment several weeks. But the country being exasperated by such flagrant enormity, a diligent search took place, the offender was traced to her retreat, and taken into custody, after a desperate resistance, in which she killed one of the officers of justice, and dangerously wounded two others.
The fair, but frail Marsellaise, was restored to her afflicted parents, and La Maupin, a notorious murderer, a seducer of innocence and an incendiary, was condemned to be burnt alive. But this abominable syren, whose magic tones enchanted every hearer, wbile lawless passions agitated her heart, and the poison of asps was within her lips, this compound of turpitude, insolence, and ingratitude, had secured such powerful interceders, that the execution of her sentence was delayed; and I relate with regret that so odious a character escaped the punishment she deserved.
From infamy and fetters, she hurried to Paris, and was received with raptures at the Italian Opera; but, after so narrow an escape, and still basking in the warm sunshine of public favour, La Maupin could not, or would not, conquer the characteristic audacity and ferociousness of her man. ners.
During the performance of a favourite piece, and in a crowded theatre, conceiving herself affronted by Dumenil, an actor remarkable for mild and inoffensive conduct, she rushed on the stage, poured forth a torrent of abuse on the object of her resentment, and caned him in the face of the audience.
This rude violation of propriety was submitted to without a murmur, and, supported in the strong holds of public patronage, she exercised for many years a capricious and insulting tyranny, over princes, magistrates, managers, and people.
At a ball given by a prince of the blood, in the reign of Louis the Fourteenth, she indecorously paraded the room in men's clothes, and, treating a lady of distinction with rudeness, was called out at different times by three gentlemen, each of whom she ran through the body: yet such was the public infatuation, or so polluted the fountain of justice, that this hell-hound, whose existence was a libel on the laws of nature and humanity, again was pardoned !!
Under the impulse of prevalent fashion, peculiar taste, vicious caprice, or a combination of appetite and curiosity, the Elector of Bavaria made her proposals, which were accepted; and, for a short time, she insulted the inhabitants of Brussels, as an appendage to the loose pleasures of their sovereign.
But the reign of a prostitute, which can be prolonged only by discretion and gentleness, was rapidly shortened by a ferocious virago, who, stripping from infamy the thin veil of exterior decency, soon disgusted her lover.
Although callous to crime, the German Prince shrunk from absurdity; with a mixture of cruelty and kindness, he sent La Maupin a heavy purse of gold, accompanied with a message, that her carriage, with an escort, was at the door, in which she must instantly quit the country; the enraged courtezan threw the money at the messenger's head, kicked him down stairs, and threw herself into the landau.
Returning to France, her chagrin was gradually soothed by the applause of a Parisian circle, and in the decline of life, quitting the stage, she associated with her forsaken husband, who, dazzled by her accumulated wealth, overlooked his domestic disgrace.
A GREAT deal used to be said of Beau Nash and his witticisms; but certainly we never met with any thing of his which was at all equal to the oracular sentences of the gentleman who gives a name to this article. Of all the beaux that ever flourished,—at least of all that ever flourished on the same score,-exemplary of waistcoat, and having authoritative boots from which there was no appeal,-he appears to us to have been the only one, who made a proper and perfect union of the coxcombical and ingenious. Other men may have been as scientific on the subject of bibs, in a draper-like point of view; and others may have said as good things, which had none of the colouring arising out of the consciousness of fashionable pre-eminence. Beau Fielding, we believe, stands on record as the handsomest of beaux. There is Beau Skeffington, now rather Sir Lumley, who, under all his double-breasted coats and waistcoats, never had any other than a single-hearted soul;
-he is to be recorded as the most amiable of beaux. But Beau Brummell for your more than finished coxcomb. He could be grave enough, but he was any thing but a solemn coxcomb. He played with his own sceptre. It was found a grand thing to be able to be a consummate fop, and yet have the credit of being something greater; and he was both. Never was any thing more exquisitely conscious, yet indifferent; extravagant, yet judicious. His superiority in dress gave such importance to his genius, and his genius so divested of insipidity his superiority in dress, that the poet's hyperbole about the lady might be applied to his coat; and
“ You might almost say the body thought.” It was a moot point which had the more tact, his gloves or his fingers' ends. He played the balls of wit and folly so rapidly about his head, that they lost their distinctions in one crowning and brilliant halo.
Mr. Brummell, it is true, is no longer in favour as a settler of fashions. Why, it is not our business to inquire. But though it may be said of his waitcoat, like Troy, that it was, his wit is, and will remain ; and here, for the first time, a few specimens of it are collected. If George Etheridge himself would not have acknowledged a brother in George Brummell, then are no two gloves of a colour.
To begin with what is usually reckoned the prince of his good things. Mr. Brummell having fallen out of favour with an illustrious person, was of course to be cut, as the phrase is, when met in public. Riding one day with a friend, who happened to be otherwise regarded, and encountering the personage in question, who spoke to the friend without noticing Mr. Brummell, he affected the air of one who waits aloof while a stranger is present; and then, when the great man was moving off, said to his companion, loud enough for the other to hear, and placidly adjusting his bibs, “ Eh !—who is our fat friend ?”
Having taken it into his head, at one time, to eat no
vegetables, and being asked by a lady if he had never eaten any in his life, he said, “ Yes, madam; I once eat a pea.”
Being met limping, in Bond Street, and asked what was the matter, he said he had hurt his leg, and “ the worst of it was, it was his favourite leg.”
Somebody inquiring where he was going to dine next day, was told that he really did not know : “ they put me in a coach and take me somewhere."
He pronounced of a fashionable tailor that he made a good coat, an exceedingly good coat, all but the collar : nobody could achieve a good collar but Jenkins.
Having borrowed some money of a city beau, whom he patronized in return, he was one day asked to repay it ; upon which he thus complained to a friend. " Do you know what has happened ?” “ No." “ Why, do you know, there's that fellow, Tomkins, who lent me five hundred pounds; he has had the face to ask me for it; and yet I had called the dog “ Tom,” and let myself dine with him.”
“ You have a cold, Mr. Brummell,” observed a sympa. thizing group. “ Why do you know,” said he, “ that on the Brighton road, the other day, that infidel, Weston, (his valet) put me into a room with a damp stranger.”
Being asked if he liked port, he said, with an air of difficult recollection,“ Port ? Port ?-Oh,port !--Oh, aye; what the hot intoxicating liquor so much drank by the lower orders ?”
Going to a rout, where he had not been invited, or rather, perhaps, where the host wished to mortify him, and attempted it, he turned placidly round to him, and, with a happy mixture of indifference and surprise, asked him his name. " Johnson,” was the answer. “ Jauhnson,” said Brummell, recollecting, and pretending to feel for a card ; “0, the name, I remember, was Thaun-son (Thompson;) and Jaunson and Thaunson, you know, Jaunson and Thaunson, are really so much the same kind of thing !"
A beggar petitioned him for charity, “ even if it was only a farthing : “ Fellow,” said Mr. Brummell, softening the disdain of the appellation in the gentleness of his tone, “ I don't know the coin.”
Having thought himself invited to somebody's country seat, and being given to understand, after one night's lodging, that he was in error, he told an unconscious friend in town, who asked him what sort of a place it was, that it was an “exceedingly good place for stopping one night in.” Speaking lightly of a man, and wishing to convey his maximum of contemptuous feeling about him, he said, “ He is a fellow, now, that would send his plate up twice for soup.”
It was his opinion, that port, and not porter, should be taken with cheese. “ A gentleman,” said he,“ never malts with his cheese, he always ports."
It being supposed that he once failed in a matrimonial speculation, somebody condoled with him; upon which he smiled, with an air of better knowledge on that point, and said, with a sort of indifferent feel of his neck-cloth, “ Why, sir, the truth is, I had great reluctance in cutting the connection; but what could I do? (Here he looked deploring and conclusive ;) sir, I discovered that the wretch positively ate cabbage."
Upon receiving some affront from an illustrious personage, he said, that it was rather too good. By gad, I have half a mind to cut the young one, and bring old G-e into fashion."
When he went visiting, he is reported to have taken with him an elaborate dressing apparatus, including a silver bason; “ For,” said he, “ it is impossible to spit in clay."
On being asked by a friend, during an unseasonable summer, if he had ever seen such a one? “ Yes,” replied B. “ last winter."
On a reference being made to him as to what sum would be sufficient to meet the annual expenditure for clothes, he said, “ that with a moderate degree of prudence and economy, he thought it might be managed for eight hundred per annum.”
He told a friend that he was reforming his way of life. “ For instance," said he, “ I sup early; I take a-a-little lobster, an apricot puff, or so, and some burnt champagne, about twelve; and my man gets me to bed by three.”
JEANIE AND EFFIE DEANS.
[“ It is not, we believe, very generally known, that the celebrated tale of The Heart of Mid Lothian is founded on fact, and that its heroines resided for the greater part of their lives in the immediate neighbourhood of Dumfries. Of these facts, however, our readers wilì entertain no doubt, when they shall have perused the following narrative, which we have been obligingly permitted to extract from a memorandum, made by a lady, long before that series of " The Tales of my Landlord” had been announced, and we distinctly pledge ourselves to the public for the authenticity of its contents.")