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wine is too much extravagance for We were staying at Plantation a subaltern officer."
House, the country residence of the In this sort of easy, pleasant man. Governors of St Helena, with Governer he often conversed with the nor and Mrs Wilks, about a fortnight ladies of our regiment. I say our just before the arrival of Sir Hudson regiment, for no military lady has a Lowe from England, who succeeded proper esprit de corps until she often Colonel Wilks in the government of catches herself saying our regiment. the Island.
Mrs Wilks one morning entered As I pursued my way through the my dressingroom before breakfast, garden at Longwood, one day, to- saying she came to ask a favour of wards camp, accompanied by my « What is it?" said I, “ for I am little daughter, I met the great Na- sure I shall be but too happy to poleon walking there with General grant you any in my power." Bertrand. The first question Bona- " It is this,” replied she," that you parte always put to E- -y was this, will chaperone Miss Wilks on her * Etes vous sage?” To which she visit to Longwood. She is going to instantly answered, “ No!"
see Bonaparte with her father, but He began on that day to discourse wishes a lady to accompany her.” with me respecting religion. “I I was delighted to chaperone so understand, madame," said he, "that elegant, amiable, and beautiful a you are a Puritan ?
young lady as Miss Wilks,* and felt “ From what circumstance,” re- proud that Napoleon should see so plied I,“ has this denomination ari. perfect a specimen of my fair coun
trywomen. Miss Wilks was then in "Why," returned he, “ I am in the first bloom of youth, and her formed by persons who have at- whole demeanour, affability, and eletended church in your barracks, that gant, modest appearance, conspired you are often seen kneeling on the to render her the most charming and bare floor.”
admirable young person I ever be"My reason for so doing,” replied fore or have since met with in all my 1, “is that there are no cushions, peregrinations in Europe, Asia, and or hassocks, in the barracks, and ha- Africa, for the space of thirty years. ving from infancy been accustomed Governor Wilks was a Colonel in to kneel during particular parts of the East India Company's service at divine service, I took to the floor, Madras. He was a tall, handsome, without minding the want of cu- venerable-looking man, with white shions."
curling locks, and a courtier-like “ Bon,” replied he; "and, pray, manner.
manner. He had been employed in what is your opinion of us Catholics? India in the diplomatic line, and was Do you think that we have any also an author, having published the chance of going to Heaven ?" History of the Mahratta War, which I replied I did think it possible.
he had submitted to the perusal of “Excellent-well! You are much the Ex-Emperor, who, besides admore tolerant than we Catholics- miring his literary performances, refor we all think that you Protestants spected his character as a man and must all burn.” This he said laugh- as a Governor; and never had the ingly, and in a manner which shew- Island of St Helena, since its first ed that he was not of so harsh an possession by the English, been unopinion. He then asked me if I ever der the government of a man so enrode on horseback, and then, with lightened, so judicious, so mild and out stopping for an answer, he be- affable, or so much beloved. His gan to exclaim on his own delight kindness, firmness, and philanthropy, in riding on horseback." I have caused his departure to be regretted
. frequently,” said he, “ rode sixty by all ranks on that Island, where he miles before breakfast. But at pre- had made so many wise and lasting sent I have not quite so much room improvements. to do so." This he said in a half- The Governor, his daughter, and angry, half-joking tone of voice. myself, set forth from Plantation
House in the Government carriage,
* Now Lady Buchan
a huge vehicle, drawn by six bul- His Majesty's 53d regiment being locks; for in the steep precipitous relieved by his Majesty's 66th regi. roads up
and across the Island of St ment, prepared to embark in July, Helena, to proceed in a carriage 1817. Part of the officers, and most drawn by horses would be dreadful of the privates, proceeded to join the ly dangerous, nay almost impossi- other battalion in the East Indies ; ble. These bullocks, therefore, were and part returned to England, under drawn and driven by three men; and command of Major Fafter some hours going across the A few days previous to their sevemost dangerous narrow roads, or ral embarkations, the officers, in a rather paths, sharp turnings, and pre- body, waited on the Ex-Emperor, cipitous horrors beneath, enough to at Longwood House, to take leave terrify the stoutest heart, and turn of their mighty prisoner. Bonaparte giddy the strongest head, we arrived had always expressed his unquaat Longwood House. We proceed- lified approbation of the conduct ed first to visit Countess Bertrand, both of the officers and privates of and the Countess de Montholon. the 53d regiment. They had never
The Countess Bertrand accompa- shown any impertinent curiosity nied us into the drawingroom at when he came within their view, nor Longwood. We found Bonaparte had ever looked or stared at him full dressed, and standing to receive like a wild-beast, or Bajazet in a Governor Wilks with etiquette. He cage. On the contrary, they all rewas arrayed in a green coat, with spected his feelings; so he was well all his stars, orders, and ribbons pleased when they paid him the silk stockings, small shoes with gold compliment of taking leave of him in buckles, and a chapeau-bras under a body. his arm.
The next day the married officers His secretary and interpreter, waited on him again, accompanied Count Las Casas, stood by his side. by their wives and children.
Governor Wilks having introduced On this occasion he took his usual his charming daughter to Bonaparte, kind notice of E- -y; and put the the Ex-Emperor looking at her with usual question to her of “ Etes vous a pleasing smile, addressed her in sage?” which, in the French idiom, these words :-“I have long heard signifies, “ Are you a good girl ?” from various quarters of the supe- To which she as usual replied, rior elegance and beauty of Miss "No." Wilks; but now I am convinced, “ How old are you now?" said from my own eyes, that report has Bonaparte. scarcely done her sufficient justice." “ Ten years old,” replied she. Saying this, he bowed politely.
" Well,” said he, "you have now And now a most animated conver- attained the age of reason, you are sation took place, through means of no longer a child.” his interpreter, between Bonaparte Saying these words, he placed his and Governor Wilks.
hand kindly on her head, and smiled This most curious and interesting most benevolently; and no one can conversation lasted two hours, du- deny, who has ever seen Bonaparte ring which time Bonaparte became smile, that the expression conveyed animated to excess, and appeared was of the finest and most benevolent almost a supernatural being.
nature. This conversation was committed He then pointed out to the ladies a to paper, separately, by Miss Wilks bust of his son Napoleon, which he and myself, we having been pre- had lately received. It was of white viously requested to note all we marble, and beautifully executed. heard by Colonel Wilks. I gave my The ladies all expressed their adminotes of the conversation to the Go- ration of the bust, and pronounced vernor the same evening on our re- its likeness to Bonaparte ; upon turn to Plantation-house, and Miss which he said, “ Oui; mais il a le Wilks likewise presented hers; but nez de l'Imperatrice.” he did not return them to us again, We soon after took our leave, with Therefore farther the deponent say- an indefinable sensation of regret, eth not.
mingled with a pleasing awe, at our having had for two years so near a
view of that wonderful being whose female friends, that I was at this pename must ever cause astonishment riod Prima Donna; or, as we say in to future ages.
Bengal, Burrah Betee; or, plain
English, Lady of the first rank in I must not forget to give my fe- the regiment, in absence of Lady male friends an account of Countess B-m, who did not join her husBertrand.
band, our colonel, until some months She was the daughter of a noble, afterwards ; consequently, I had ofman of the name of Dillon-by his ten the honour of doing the honours wife, an American lady.
to the French Countesses, at Sir The Countess Bertrand was G- en's house, and in most engaging fascinating woman. tents. She had resided many years in Eng. After dinner, Sir G- e Cn land with her aunt, an English lady said to meof quality. She spoke our language “ I wish you would go to.morrow, with perfect fluency, but with a slight and call on the Countesses Bertrand French accent. Her figure was ex- and Montholon, and shew them every tremely tall and commanding; but attention in your power. a slight elegant bend took from her “ I will do so," said I. Accordheight, and added to her interesting ingly, the next morning I waited up. appearance ;-her eyes black, sparke on them. ling, soft, and animated ;-her de- I was instantly struck with the eleportment that of a lovely young gance, kindness, and dignity of CounQueen, accustomed to command ad- tess Bertrand. The General, her husmiration-yet winning to preserve it. band, who was likewise Grand Maré
She had, in fact, been a sort of chal, presently entered, leading in queen at Trieste, when her husband, two of the most exquisitely beautiful General Bertrand, was viceroy; and children I ever beheld, Hortense and when she held a regular court, her Henri. The latter had a profusion dress was well chosen, splendid and of the most luxuriant fair ringlets, elegant. We had been invited the day hanging from his face nearly to his of our landing at St Helena, to dine feet-his hazel eyes were laughing with Admiral Sir G- -e C --n, and soft-his snowy shoulders and (who came from England in charge of bare arms were only adorned by a Bonaparte,) at his residence in the slight sleeve of rich lace—his dress Castle James Town. He had arrived consisted of scarlet silk trowsers, in the Northumberland, in charge of with a frock body; he appeared the noble captive, some days before about five years of age. us, with the rest of the squadron; Hortense was about six or seven but the frigate, in which was a large years old. She was a brilliant bruportion of His Majesty's 53d regiment, nette, with a sweetness and archness under the command of Captain Y - in her countenance I have seldom being constrained, from distress for seen equalled. An elder boy soon want of water, to put into the Por- after entered the room, about ten tuguese settlement of Bingweeta, on years of age. General Bertrand was the Guinea coast, he did not arrive à fine martial veteran-looking man, at St Helena until some time after apparently about forty ; his manners the squadron.
were open, natural, and dignified. Sir G-C- -n, as I before The pleasing impression of that observed, invited my husband and morning was never effaced. They myself, the captain of the frigate, seemed to like us, and we soon beand some of our officers, to dine at came acquainted-for military men the Castle the day we disembarked. and women seem all brothers and
He banded me to table; for be it sisters. known, for the information of my
VOYAGE FROM LEGHORN TO CEPHALONIA WITH LORD BYRON, AND A NARRATIVE
OF A VISIT, IN 1823, TO THE SEAT OF WAR IN GREECE.
BY JAMES HADIILTON BROWNE, ESQ.
I had resided about a year at Pisa, Messrs Jackson and Lloyd, who dewhen I was seized with a sudden parted immediately after seeing me ardour and enthusiasm in favour of safe on board, as I was apprehensive the cause of Greece, then exciting, that Lord Byron might have conceithroughout Europe, the strongest ved that they had come for the pursympathy. Intending to embark for pose of catching a glimpse of him. the Ionian Islands, on my way to the He put to me some interrogatory reMorea, I requested a friend at Le- lative to them, regretting that I had ghorn to look out for a vessel bound hurried them off. On my informto Zante, or Cephalonia. He inform- ing him that the former gentleman ed me that there was not likely to was son to the Rev. Dr Jackson be any opportunity for some time; who, so unfortunately for his family, but he strongly recommended me to rashly engaged in the Irish Rebellion, apply for a passage to Lord Byron, and would have suffered the death of who had just chartered an English a traitor; only escaping so disgracebrig for that destination. As his ful an end, by having anticipated the Lordship, and I had some mutual sentence of the law, in terminating friends, I ventured, but with some his existence by poison, conveyed to reluctance, to write to him on the bim, it was alleged, by his lady, a subject; he returned a very polite very bigh-spirited woman, who afteranswer, stating, that he should feel wards, with her family, retired to much pleasure in acceding to my re- France, where Bonaparte conferred quest, and that I might either join a small pension on her-Lord Byron his party at Genoa, or he would appeared quite conversant with the direct the vessel to touch off Le particulars of this unhappy affair, ghorn and take me on board. As I and said he should have felt a great was desirous of purchasing some sea- interest in conversing with young stock, and had other business at Le- Jackson. ghorn, I preferred the latter plan, as His Lordship’s mode of address I told his Lordship in a letter of was peculiarly fascinating and inthanks for his kindness; the vessel sinuating—" au premier abord” it accordingly, at the appointed time, was next to impossible for a stranger
a made her appearance, when I imme. to refrain from liking him. diately joined her in the Roads, and The contour of his countenance bad the honour of becoming person. was noble and striking; the forehead, ally known to him. My first person- particularly 80, was nearly white as al introduction to Lord Byron thus alabaster. His delicately formed featook place at Leghorn, on board of the tures were cast rather in an effemiHercules, which vessel he had caused nate mould, but their soft expression to be chartered at Genoa, for the was in some degree relieved by the purpose of conveying himself and mustaches of a light chestnut, and suite to the Ionian Islands, or perhaps small tuft“ à la houssard," which he direct to Greece.
at that time sported. His eyes were He had kindly promised to touch rather prominent and full, of a dark off the port and take me on board, it blue, having that melting character being understood between us, that if which I have frequently observed in he did not intend to communicate females, said to be a proof of exwith Leghorn, certain signals should treme sensibility. The texture of be displayed, when I was to lose po his skin was so fine and transparent, time in joining him.
that the blue veins, rising like small I was accompanied to the ship, threads around his temples, were riding at anchor in the Roads, by clearly discernible. All who ever
saw Byron have borne testimony to Committee seemed to think otherthe irresistible sweetness of his smile, wise, he was going thither in obedi. which was generally, however, suc- ence to their commands. He then, ceeded by a sudden pouting of the as we could not avoid discerning lips, such as is practised sometimes both Corsica and Elba from the by a pretty coquette, or by a spoiled deck, changed the conversation to child. His hair was partially griz- the subject of the life of Napoleon, zled, but curled naturally. In con exclaiming that he had been woversation, owing to a habit he had fully deceived in his estimate of the contracted of clenching his teeth character of that wonderful man; close together, it was sometimes repeating the pain and mortification difficult to comprehend him distinct- which he endured whenever he ly; towards the conclusion of a sen- chanced to glance his eye on either tence, the syllables rolled in his of these islands, as they recalled to mouth, and became a sort of indis- his recollection the humbling continct murmur.
viction of the weakness of human It must have been almost impos- nature. "I at one period,” he said, sible, I apprehend, for any artist to “almost idolized that man, although seize fully the expression of Byron's I could not approve of many of his countenance, which was varying at actions ; regarding other potentates every moment, as different ideas
as mere pigmies when weighed in the suggested themselves to his power- balance against him. When bis forful mind. I have never seen any tune deserted him, and all appeared likeness that conveyed to me a per- lost, he ought at once to have rushed fect resemblance of his Lordship, into the thick of the fight at Leipzig with the exception of a marble bust, or Waterloo, and nobly perished, inwhich was in the drawingroom of stead of dying by inches in confinethe late Honourable Douglas Kin- ment, and affording to the world the naird, executed, I think, by Thord- degrading spectacle of his petty biwaldson. It struck me as being lious contentions with the governors very like him.
to whose custody he was confided Lord Byron was habited in a at St Helena. Even if he had mainround nankeen embroidered jacket, tained a dignified silence amid the white Marseilles vest, buttoned a persecutions to which in his latter very little way up; he wore ex- days he complained of being sub. tremely fine linen, and his shirt-col- jected, I could almost have forgiven lar was thrown over in such a way him; yet this man's fame will desas almost to uncover his neck; very cend to, and be revered by posterity, long wide nankeen trowsers, fasten- when that of numbers more desered below, short buff laced boots, ving of immortality shall have ceased and sometimes gaiters, with a chip to be remembered.” Tuscan straw liat, completed his Byron's suavity of manner surpripersonal equipment. He invariably sed and delighted me; my own previpaid the most scrupulous attention ous conceptions, supported by comto cleanliness, and had a certain mon rumour, having prepared me fastidiousness in his dress, strongly to expect to find in him a man of savouring of dandyism, of which he morose temper and gloomy misanwas far from disapproving; at least thropy, instead of which, from his he infinitely preferred it to a slovenly fecundity in anecdote, he was a most disregard for dress. His Lordship, delightful associate. I had recently who had just dined, instantly order- lost for ever one who was deserved ed some hock and claret to be ly dear to me, and in consequence brought under the awning where he was clad in deep_mourning. I apowas sitting, which he invited me to logized to Lord Byron for the unapartake of. Whilst discussing our voidable depression of my spirits; wine, he plied me with questions he instantly seemed to sympathize relative to the Ionian Islands, and unaffectedly with my grief. "I shall
" my opinion with regard to the pos- ever entertain a grateful recollecture of affairs in Greece; frequently tion of the amiable and soothing atobserving that he did not imagine tentions which he then paid me, that he could render any essential using gentle efforts to draw me into service to the cause, but that as the conversation, and endeavouring at