The Old Court Suburb, or Memorials of Kensington, Regal, Critical, and Anecdotical Volume I

Hunt, Leigh





THE vicissitudes in the occupation of houses are curious. The first tenant we meet with in Gore House, (we forget his name,) is a government contractor, who was so stingy, that he would not lay out a penny to keep his garden in order. To him succeeded Mr. Wilberforce, famous in the annals


of evangelism and the slave-trade. The next distinguished name is Lady Blessington, who is joined by Count d'Orsay. Then comes Monsieur Soyer, who turns the place into an eating-house for "All Nations" during the Great Exhibition. And now it has been bought by government, in connexion with the new views for the cultivation of art.

Wilberforce, whose head was not strong enough to keep him out of the pale of religious bigotry, but whose heart was kindly, and his temperament happy, contrived (though it is difficult to conceive how even the merriest of such theologians manage it,) to combine the most terrific ideas of the next world (for others) with the most comfortable enjoyment of this world in his own person. He was a little plainfaced man, radiant by nature with glee and


good humour, very "serious " at a moment's notice, an earnest devotee, a genial host, a good speaker and member of parliament; now siding, and now differing with his friend Pitt; now joining in devotion with Lord Teignmouth; now laughing heartily with Canning; now sighing over the table-talk of the Prince Regent; but above all, deep in tractarianism, and at the same time advocating the freedom of the poor negroes; which was by no means the case with all persons of his way of thinking, political or religious.

"About a year and three-quarters ago," says this worthy, ultra-serio-comic person, "I changed my residence, and found myself in the habitation which my family now occupies, and which we find more salubrious than Clapham Common. We are just one mile from the turnpike-gate at Hyde Park Corner,


which I think you will not have forgotten yet, having about three acres of pleasure-ground around my house, or rather behind it, and several old trees, walnut and mulberry, of thick foliage. I can sit and read under their shade, which I delight in doing, with as much admiration of the beauties of nature (remembering at the same time the words of my favourite poet: 'Nature is but a name for an effect, whose cause is God,') as if I were two hundred miles from the great city."

This is excellent, and would have been more so, if Mr. Wilberforce could have allowed others, not quite of the same creed, to have the same right to a comfortable enjoyment of nature, and the same reputation for piety. He was of opinion that you must be continually thinking of God, otherwise God would be very angry. As


if the Divine Father could not dispense with these eternal references to him from his children, or would burthen them with the weight of even too much gratitude ! Our prosperous and lively-blooded saint, however, bore the burthen with singular vivacity, owing to a notion hehad (hardly burthened with modesty, though he always professed to wonder at the circumstance,) that he was a special favourite of God.

His meditations down -road were certainly very different from those of Mr. Wilkes.

" Walked," he says, in his Diary, "from Hyde Park Corner, repeating the 119th psalm, in great comfort."

This is the longest of the psalms, extending to a hundred and seventy-six verses, full of pious self-congratulation, and of rebukes of its deriders.



An anecdote of Wilberforce in connexion with the present royal family, we reserve for our notices of the palace.

Of the successors of this devout person in the occupancy of Gore House so much has been said of late, in consequence of the appearance of a book in three large octavo volumes, entitled "The Literary Life and Correspondence of the Countess of Blessington," that readers of a work like the present will probably expect us to give our opinion on the subject at greater length, than would otherwise have been the case. [1] 



Marguerite Gardiner (not Blessington, as the author has it, misled by the way in which peeresses sign their names) was the daughter of Edmund Power, Esq., a country gentleman of small property in , and was born at Knockbril, near Clonmel, in the county of Tipperary, on the 1st of September, . Her father appears to have been a man half mad with brutality. At the age of fourteen and a half, she was married to a captain in the army, of the name of Farmer, whose temper is said to have resembled her father's, and from whom she separated; and, in her eight-and-twentieth year, she took for her second husband, Charles John (Gardiner) Earl of Blessington, who was a man equally half


mad with self-will, though in a quieter shape, with the addition of prodigality and love of show. All these persons helped to perplex and unsettle her character.

During a space of eight years, Lord and Lady Blessington travelled and resided on the continent-chiefly in -accompanied by a niece of her ladyship's, and by Count Alfred d'Orsay, son of General Count d'Orsay, one of the old French noblesse. The young Count was invited to be of the party by Lord Blessington, who became so extremely attached to him, that nothing would content him but Alfred must marry one of his daughters by a former wife, (he did not care which) and so become possessed of a portion of his estates. His lordship, also, after the death of his only legitimate son, made him guardian of the son's brother. Alfred, in the year , at Naples, married


the daughter, without love on either side. Lord Blessington died of apoplexy in the year , at . His widow, with Count and Countess Alfred, returned to England, and took up her abode in Seamore Place, May Fair, where she resided till the year , in the course of which time the married couple parted, having lived together ten years; and, on Lady Blessington's removal from Seamore Place to , the Count accompanied her thither, and, from that time up to their departure from England, appears to have resided in the same house, with the exception of a short stay at the little domicile before mentioned. Lady Blessington was then in her forty-fifth year, and the Count in his thirty-fourth.

The house soon became a point of attraction, particularly in the world of letters, her Ladyship, besides giving such dinners as


Dr. Johnson would have thought " being worth asked to," delighting to bring men of different opinions together, for the purpose of softening asperities, and making them take a liking to one another, on better acquaintance. In this benevolent project she was assisted by the Count; and here, accordingly, with somewhat of an excess on the side of universality, were to be seen poets and prose writers, both Tory and Whig, distinguished journalists, Edinburgh and Quarterly reviewers, with actors, artists, travellers, exiles, &c., Thomas Moore being the senior among the poets, and Prince Louis Napoleon at the head of the exiles. Every celebrated novelist, in particular, naturally made one of a circle, over which presided the charming woman, who was herself a novelist.

We do not hear of ladies among the visitors, though the Countess appears to


have had cordial female friends. This was a defect, however, that was to be looked for in a country like England, in consequence of appearances-the residence in the same house of a beautiful widow of five-and-forty, with a model of a man aged thirty-four, suggesting, it seems, no possibilities of self-restraint to the sober fancies of our beloved countrymen. Yet, in his last days, when the hand of death was upon him, the Count said to their friend and biographer, the tears, all the while, pouring down his face, "She was to me a mother! a dear, dear mother! a true loving mother to me !" And referring to her again, he said, "You understand me." "I understood him to be speaking what he felt," continues his friend; "and there was nothing in his accents, in his position, or his expressions, (for his words sounded in my ears like those of a dying


man which led me to believe he was seeking to deceive himself or me."

These parties at Gore House have been compared with those of , and with the companies that assembled at the mansion of Lady Charleville. Of the latter, no memorialist has enabled us to speak; but, with the former, they appear to have had little in common, except the power on the part of some of the visitors to have furnished it, had the hostess so desired. It is stated that she latterly assumed too dictatorial a manner, and that the parties were not so natural and so lively as they had been in Seamore Place. This may have been owing, partly to her pursuit of literature, and partly to a sense of the coming difficulties; and there was one drawback on the agreeableness of the society, and even on the benevolence of purpose above mentioned, in bringing


it together, which we should not have expected to find in any society of the like description-to wit, a love of banter, and a habit of what is called, "fetching out" people's absurdities and self-committals; a practice, generally speaking, which none are so prompt to be offended with, as the " fetchers out." But the habit, instead of being discouraged, was flattered; and flattery, of one kind or another, was the ruin of the poor handsome Count and Countess. Nobody, of course, contemplated such a result; and the flattery was very natural; for they were accomplished as well as handsome and kind-hearted persons, notwithstanding that mistake.

The establishment broke down in under a load of debt for party-giving, for dress, for jewellery, for play (on the part of the Count), and even for charity's self and


the giving of pensions; both the friends being bountiful to the poor, one of them supporting poor relations, and the other helping to do as much for poor exiles. For though it is rightly said that people ought to be just before they are generous, yet when tradesmen give long credits, reckoning upon enormous receipts, their unreflecting victims naturally suppose they can "wait," and that the poor had better be helped first. The Count's boots and hats were advertisements, for the sake of which the shoemakers and hatters were content to wait, till things looked awkward; and then the long credit, having served the purpose of an usurious patience, was to be made the ground of a realising exasperation.

The downfall was unlooked for by the public, but not by acquaintances. Four years previous to it the Count was so embarrassed,


that in a schedule of his liabilities drawn up by himself, the claims of his creditors amounted to a hundred and seven thousand pounds; and his biographer adds, that there were debts to friends, amounting probably to thirteen thousand more. In vain the Countess kept an eye on the household expenses; in vain she thought to turn a jointure of two thousand a-year into four thousand, by "literature;" in vain the Count resorted even to alchemy; in vain, as a last resource, he thought to benefit by those fine arts, in which he excelled as an amateur. Time was not given him for the trial. He had fled to ; there was a sale of the goods at Gore House; the Countess followed him; and the last hope of the refugees was in the Prince President of the French Republic, lately the favourite guest at their table, always their protege' and type of progress


But the man of the reserved tongue and drooping eyelids, was plotting his way to a throne. He liked neither the sincerity, nor the humanity, of his once cherished adviser, the Count; and having discarded his mistress, and looked for a wife, he probably affected a new kind of reserve with the Countess, as a setter of imperial example. The poor lady died of apoplexy; which, under certain kinds of trial, means a shock of despair; and the gentleman only received an appointment, when it was too late for him to discharge it. Strong and fine a man as he had been, he speedily followed her to the grave, aged no more than fifty-one.

The secret of the unlooked for deaths of these two remarkable persons will still be a subject for discussion; nor do we profess to be in the least degree acquainted with it,


unless it is explained by appearances. In our opinion, these are quite sufficient for the explanation. They had taken Louis Napoleon for a man of feeling, and they thought they should die dishonoured, or doubted, by creditors-and by creditor friends; for the proceeds of the sale of Gore House did not amount to more than the Count's debts to his friends, and what would clamorous tradesmen say to those ? The Countess, also, was to subsist; and what was she to do for the Count, or he for her? Injured in hope, in health, and in expectation, their pangs of mind, under all the circumstances, may naturally have been enough to kill them; and we believe they did.[2] 



As to the other and more delicate secret, nothing perhaps is, or can be known of it, beyond the fact of their having lived in the same house; which, if considered a scandal in England, and of evil example, (and it undoubtedly was so considered, and very naturally) is to be judged at the same


time, with reference to those foreign usages, to which one of them had been born and bred, and the other (in residences abroad) accustomed.

The Count's high-born and respected kindred-his mother included - never ceased to express their esteem and affection for the Countess; female relations of hers, themselves esteemed by the estimable, lived with her, and were witnesses of her habits; and if it be asked us, whether we are still " green " enough to believe that there was nothing in the connexion beyond the ill-appearance of it, we answer, that we leave those to believe the worst, who choose it; that a brave man's tears, in his dying moments, go a great way with us; that Irish and French vivacity combined, in a grave country, might be tempted or provoked into hazarding an amount of misconstruction,


inconceivable to our national habits; and, finally, that till the nation itself is bold and virtuous enough to look into the cause of certain other habits of its own, which it suffers to scandalize its towns and cities in open day, beyond those of any other country in Europe, it had better draw as little attention as possible to comparisons between itself and its neighbours.

The worst thing known of Count d'Orsay, is his marriage with a girl of fifteen, without love on either side, in compliance with the wish of a half insane father, and for the purpose of obtaining a fortune. In an Englishman, this would have been very bad conduct indeed, and often is. At least, similar things are often done among us, if not precisely under the same circumstances. In a Frenchman, the conduct would be equally


bad, if he reflected upon it apart from national custom; but custom in , or in , (which is itself, as affects the world) has rendered marriage in general not only a matter of understood expediency, but of an expediency very different from our own, both as regards the restraints of its antecedents, and the independence of it results. In England, the expediency is practised, but with conditions as inexorable on one side, as they are lax on the other; and hence, among other causes, the national scandal above alluded to.

But enough of these questions in a book not intended to moot them. It is creditable to Count d'Orsay and to his friends in general, that whatever fears he may have had of exceptions in particular instances, they retained a belief in his good qualities to the last, and this too not only in spite of his


pecuniary difficulties, but even of the obligations which they led him to incur. It was a piece of good fortune, which many a poor honest man must at once have rejoiced in and have envied-rejoiced in, to think that good intentions are not always to be doubted from inability to carry them out; and envied, because it was out of his power to cut the same redeeming figure of personal and aristocratical enchantingness.

In the interest occasioned by the rest of her story, we have forgotten to speak of the Countess as a writer; and much need not be said. She had an easy, elegant, and sometimes interesting pen; had the art of recommending liberal and amiable opinions without offending conventionality; and wrote better than any one else on the character of her acquaintance, Lord Byron. But her


works are not original or strong enough to last.

The ground on which Gore House stands forms part of the district which is to be occupied by the new National Gallery, its schools of art and science, and its bowers for the exhibition of sculpture. A display of cabinet work and of studies from the schools of art has already commenced operations, and the public are re-admitted to the grounds. All this, it must be allowed, is a good absorption of the antecedent individualities, pleasant as some of them were; though it is to be doubted, whether Mr. Wilberforce's ghost will be quite easy at the sight of the Venuses and Apollos.[3] 



England, a teacher of nations in so many respects, is but now discovering, what has so long been known to and partially known to -that utility and beauty, instead of being antagonists, are friends; that the one without the other, besides being in danger of falling into the gross and the sordid, cannot thoroughly work out its purposes; form, and proportion, and adaptation of means to ends, being constituent qualities of the beautiful; and finally, that as Nature, far from disliking the beautiful, thought fit to be the cause of it, and loves it, and deals in it to profusion, often in the very humblest of her productions, so it becomes Art to imitate


her great mistress in the like impartiality of adornment, and shew us what opulence and what elevation, in the scale of discerning beings, await the perceptions of those, whose ideas are not limited to the commonest forms of the desirable. The use of art itself is but to administer to our satisfactions; and the use of beauty is to refine and perfect those satisfactions, and raise them by degrees, in proportion as we cultivate a true sense of it, to thoughts of the beauty and goodness of its great First Cause. To ask with a sneer what is the use of beauty, is to ask with impiety why God has filled the universe with beauty; why he has made the skies blue, and the fields green, and vegetation full of flowers, and the human frame a model for the sculptor, and gifted everything in existence with shape and colour. The commonest piece of grass, with the straightness of its


stem, the flowing contrast of its leaves, and the trembling fullness of its ears, is a miracle of beauty:-so rich in grace and suggestiveness has it pleased Him to make the houses of the very insects, and the food of cattle! Is it not better to discern this, in addition to the other uses of grass, than to see in it nothing but those uses ? nothing but hay for the market, and so much return of money to the grower? Very good things both, no doubt, and not to be dispensed with; but so much the more requiring the accompaniment of nobler perceptions, to hinder us from concluding that man was made to live by " bread alone;" that is to say, by the satisfaction of his material, as opposed to his spiritual wants. So little was this the conclusion of the good Emperor and philosopher, Marcus Antoninus, that with the uncontemptuous eye of a sage, and with a curious familiar


anticipation of that sense of the picturesque which has been thought, by some, peculiar to modern times, he directs our attention to the outside of a very loaf, as possessing something graceful and attractive in its ruggedness, or what an artist would call the " freedom of its forms." The whole passage in his " Meditations," is itself so beautiful, and in spite of his want of thorough artistic perception as to form and line, expands into such a comprehensive and noble sense of what has been termed the Art of Nature, that although we have already kept the reader standing much longer than we intended at the steps of Gore House with this prefatory digression on such matters, we are sure he will be pleased at having it laid before him.

"Such things as ensue upon what is well constituted by nature, have something graceful and attractive. Thus, some parts of a


well-baked loaf will crack and become rugged. What is thus cleft beyond the design of the baker, looks well, and invites the appetite. So when figs are at the ripest, they begin to crack. Thus in full ripe olives, their approach to putrefaction gives the proper beauty to the fruit. Thus, the ladened ear of corn hanging down, the stern brow of the lion, and the foam flowing from the mouth of the boar, and many other things, considered apart, have nothing comely; yet because of their connexion with things natural, they adorn them, and delight the spectator. Thus, to one who has a deep affection of soul, and penetrates into the constitution of the whole, scarce anything connected with nature will fail to recommend itself agreeably to him. Thus, the real vast jaws of savage beasts will please him, no less than the imitations of them by painters or statuaries.



With like pleasure, will his chaste eyes behold the maturity and grace of old age in man or woman, and the inviting charms of youth. Many such things will he experience, not credible to all, but only to those who have the genuine affection of soul to nature, and her works."[4] 

Yes, most excellent Emperor! and the same might have been said by thee, and probably was said, of the commonest objects of art round about thee, in thy home and thy goods and chattels, thy cabinets and caskets and chains; for art is nature's doing also, being the work of her workmanship, man, and all forms and graces being referable to her suggestion. The chair, as well as the plant, has its straight and its flowing lines; the casket and the cabinet its ornaments


of fruit and foliage, its efflorescence in metal or precious stone; some, their figures of men, beasts, and birds; and all, more or less, their colours, proportions, and uses.

Shall we not then observe, and, as much as possible, spiritualize them accordingly, giving them the grace and beauty which Nature suggests, and so rendering them assistants of our best perceptions against our worst? For effeminacy, the danger of delight, is not a consequence of enjoyments founded in truth and in the spirit of things, but of grovellings in the false and the gross; not a consequence, therefore, of good art, but of bad; of art lulling to sleep on the chair for the mere body's sake, and not of art awakening us to intellectual perceptions, and thus dividing the empire of body with that of mind.



Luther was not the less prepared to hazard martyrdom, because he was a player on the organ. Socrates was not the less an actual martyr, and one of the greatest of men, because he had been a sculptor, and wrought figures of the Graces.

All good things, as well as all bad things, hold together; truth, strength, right perceptions in art; falsehood, weakness, bad taste. Truth, in any one respect, is good for truth in other respects; and it would be ridiculous to avoid cultivating anything which is right, for fear of its degenerating into what is wrong. Upon this principle, we might discommend the teaching of virtue itself, lest it turn sour, and become austerity or hypocrisy. Our duty is to do our best, and leave the rest to Providence.

The collection at Gore House, besides tapestry, mirrors, and a few other things,


consists of cabinet work in oak, walnut, ebony, &c., carved, sculptured, inlaid, sometimes with pictures, oftener in the Buhl style of ornamentation; in short, presenting all the reigning styles of treatment from the latter part of the fifteenth century to the close of the' eighteenth. There are cabinets, coffers, commodes, buffets, chairs, tables, clocks, drawers, presses, couches, flower-stands, firescreens, and even pairs of bellows. The rooms, in fact, are not big enough to hold them; so that the visitors are crowded; and as the materials are chiefly dark and ponderous, the general effect, notwithstanding occasional gorgeousness, is heavy, and even somewhat gloomy.

You might imagine that the fortunes of half-a-dozen ancient houses had been suddenly ruined, and their goods and chattels despatched in haste to an auctioneer's, to be


sold. Better justice would have been done to the individual objects, had there been space enough to show them; for all productions of art have so much to do with proportion, that the proportions even of the spaces round about them become of importance to their display. Perhaps, however, it was not easy to refuse offers from contributors; variety, too, was a temptation; and a liberal abundance is welcome, after all, even at the expense of inconvenience.

The Government Commissioners, with great judgment, have drawn attention to these curiosities, not as models for indiscriminate imitation, but as illustrations of the taste of successive periods; as samples of merit on particular points, especially ornamentation; and in several instances, as warnings against inconsistencies and bad taste. Foreigners, they say, can teach the English


workman nothing in point of mechanical fitness and completion, but he may learn much from them in the art of decoration. This, no doubt, is true; and we hope and believe that foreigners and nations will benefit one another by these exhibitions; the Englishman learning to make his cabinets elegant, and the Frenchman and Italian to make their keys turn smartly, and their drawers come forth without sticking.

We cannot greatly admire such things as Buhlwork; elaborations of brass ornaments upon dark grounds. We prefer the inlayment of paintings, the additions of bas-reliefs, and the quaintest old carvings of human figures, fruits, &c., provided they have any truth of expression. Buhl is no company- has nothing to entertain us with, but its unnecessary flourishes.

Gilding is something, for it is a kind of


sunshine. The jumble called rococo is, in general, detestable. A parrot seems to have invented the word; and the thing is worthy of his tawdriness and his incoherence. We confess, however, to a sneaking kindness for the shepherds and shepherdesses of the times of the Pompadours and the Madame du Barrys. They were the endeavour of no-feeling to get at some feeling; to " assume a virtue if they had it not ;" to play at lovers, though they could only be gallants; nay, let us do our best for them, and say, it was the endeavour to conciliate the remnant of truth and simplicity lurking in their hearts, and to persuade themselves what a golden-age kind of people they were intended by nature to have been, provided only they could have had their own way, and luxurious suppers instead of bread and cheese.

Many of these extraordinary pieces of furniture


are, nevertheless, excellent of their kind, those in the rococo style not excepted. There are cabinets and coffers truly worthy of holding treasure; tables, at which it would be an elevation of mind, as well as body, to sit; clocks, that symbolize the value of time (and not seldom its heaviness) by the multiplicity and weight of their ornamentation; and chairs, which sometimes render the request "not to touch," provoking; for how otherwise are we to test the smoothness of the " Genoa velvet ;" to taste the pleasure of sitting, as sovereigns and beauties sate; or comfortably to contemplate the very objects before us, considering that there are no seats in the rooms for visitors, and that pleasure itself is fatiguing ?

Some interesting memories, also, are attached to these costly moveables. There is a magnificent writing table, ostentatiously


recording some of the projects of the famous busy-body, Beaumarchais, author of the comedy of "Figaro ;" a Buhl writing-table, that belonged to the De Retz family; a grand cabinet in pietra dura (precious stones), made expressly for Louis the Fourteenth; a carved Venetian coffer, that was the property of the first Earl of Dorset, the poet, the worthy precursor of Spenser; and another Venetian coffer, adorned in wonderful alto relievo with the story of Caesar crossing the Rubicon, most life-like and masterly. The work is dated in the catalogue " about ;" and the arms on the escutcheon (a lion rampant and a head in a cap) are stated to be "unknown." We know not the arms of Caesar Borgia, otherwise the story is just like one of the allusions of that energetic miscreant. Or, might it have illustrated some lawless exploits of the


Malatesta family, one of the most ferocious of whom was a great patron of art ?

We have indulged ourselves at such length in these passing notices of art and manufacture, that we must dismiss, with a somewhat unpatriotic brevity, the other part of the Exhibition-the copies from originals and from Nature sent in by students of the various Government Schools of Art, established throughout the kingdom. Indeed, we could take no very long view of them, and therefore must not be understood as throwing any slur upon those on which we are silent, when we say that we were most struck with the "Flamingo" of Miss Olden (No. 10); the "Madre Dolorosa," (from Carlo Dolce ?) by Miss Gunthorp (No. 24); the "Magdalen," from Correggio, by Mr. Bowen (No. 27); the "Money-getter," (we know not from whom) by Mr. Collinson (No. 32);


"Fruit," by Mr. Gibson (No. 47); the "Study of Ornament in Colour," by Mr. Ellison (No. 101); and those after "Cuyp and Crivelli" (each wrongly referred), by Mr. Armytage. The "Flamingo" is admirably coloured, only we wish he looked less like an ogre, with that long beak of his, holding the eel. It is all true to nature, no doubt; but why need ornithological painters select only those moments ? The " Madre Dolorosa" is very dolorous, and well done; but we have little faith in the permanent dolour of those cheeks. This, however, is the original's fault, and not the copyist's. For the real, natural grief, the amiable, surprised, and patient regret, in the face of Corregio's "Magdalen," we are most thankful, because we feel certain that it brings the original before us; which cannot be said of a late beautiful engraving of the


subject, very lovely, but not at all sorrowful. The " Fruit" is partly bruised with its own ripeness, very true and beautiful. The " Ornament in Colour " is truly graceful and consistent; hangs charmingly together; and the "Cuyp and Crivelli" carry with them their testimony to the fidelity of the copies. These works are all up-stairs; chiefly, we believe, in the garrets. They look as if a parcel of artists had fallen in love with the maid-servants, and hung their dormitories with evidences of their homage.

Little need be said of the grounds belonging to Gore House. Turf and trees are good things, with or without flowers; and the grounds are of unexpected dimensions, considered as appurtenances to a suburban residence; but, as Johnson said of a dinner, that it was a good enough dinner, but " not a dinner to invite a man to," so it may be


said of the Gore House grounds, that they hardly sustain the dignified announcement of being "thrown open to the public;" especially as this "throwing open" is confined to the visitors who have paid their way to the cabinet-work. You must think of the late fair possessor, Lady Blessington, to give an interest to their pathways.


[1] The feelings of the book, as far as the chief persons in it are concerned, are in the main correct; and the author might have attained the repute of moderate powers of reflection and an altogether laudable object. But the three volumes ought, at the utmost, to have been two; and the manufactured nature of the rest (to say nothing worse of it) should have rendered him cautious how he went out of his way to censure judgments which he does not understand.

[2] It is proper to observe, that the opinions here expressed regarding Louis Napoleon's behaviour to the Count and Countess originate in statements made by their friends, and that a counter-statement on his part might, of course,demand for them a new consideration. We are loth also to say anything against the ally of England and the guest of the Queen; and willing to believe, notwithstanding his antecedents, that he not only desires to promote the new cordiality between France and England out of motives better than merely selfish ones, but has objects, for a despot, in furtherance of the good of the poor and the general progress of the community. But those antecedents, and the melancholy doubts taught us by history, forbid the best-disposed of his observers to take promises for performance, or one set of extremes for another. The utmost which they find it possible to do, is to await the evidence of events, and to feel no wonder meantime at the incredulity of the consistent and the outraged.

[3] The observations which here follow on the cultivation of the Beautiful, are retained in the present book, though they were suggested by a transient exhibition, the observations on which are retained for the same reason; namely, because it is hoped they refer sufficiently to general principles to warrant the retention of the particulars. It is hoped, also, that they may be considered a foretast e of what the locality is intended to do for us in succeeding exhibitions.

[4] "Translation of the Meditations." Glasgow, 1749. VOL. I.