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tally different views; but unfortunately, though she was pious and well-principled, her want of character and understanding reduced her to a negative position in the family; and Ninon, from her childhood, was submitted to very little discipline that did not accord with her own tastes. She manifested a precocious wit and aptness for learning which gratified her father's vanity highly; he delighted in the admiration she excited; and, totally neglecting the foundation of every good education, that moral and religious training of the heart, which gives strength for the vicissitudes of life; he raised a dazzling superstructure of accomplishments and graces, that adorned without exaltThus he formed a woman ing their possessor. whose fame was her disgrace, whose glory was her shame.


were too inveterate to be broken; she returned to her sallies of frivolity, allured new lovers, and again ran the giddy round of dissipation.

She was at one time upon intimate terms with that distinguished woman, Madame Scarron, who died the widow of Louis XIV. It is said that Madame de Maintenon, when at Versailles, offered Ninon the privilege of a residence in that royal chateau. Ninon, however, considered herself happier in her life of independence, and declined the proposal of the all-powerful favourite.

Christina of Sweden visited Ninon when in Paris, and offered to attach her to her household. Less sagacity than that of the witty Parisian would have been sufficient to reject a bondage to so whimsical a personage.

The most surprising circumstance in the history of this woman, a little apochryphal to be sure, is, that she excited a violent passion in the abbe Gedoyn, then twenty-nine years old, when she had actually attained her eightieth birth-day. She may be said, according to Horace Walpole's expression, to have "burned her candle to the snuff in public;" for she never changed her habits of living in company, and engaging in its diversions until her death, which took place in her ninetieth year.


The premature death of both her parents left Ninon an orphan at sixteen. Her inheritance being but moderate, she converted it into a lifeannuity, which gave her the means of living in the enjoyment of affluence. Her personal charms consisted not so much in surprising beauty as in unspeakable grace. She was of the middle height, and perfectly well proportioned; her eyes were remarkably fine; her voice soft and musical; and her manners were irresistibly winning. She was quite famous for her conversational powers and talents for repartée. As she was by no means particular in the selection of her society, and excluded none but the dull and tiresome, her attractions and the miscellaneous group around her rendered her soon celebrated; and all the distinguished men of the day, the courtly, the learned, and the military, resorted to her house.

A volume has been published, said to be her letters, written to the Marquis de Sevigné; but they are well known to be spurious. Some of her genuine letters are to be found in the correspondence of St. Evremond; they are written with simplicity, but by no means justify the reputation of her colloquial powers. St. Evremond is the author of that well-known madrigal in her praise, where he attributes to her nothing less than the "virtue of Cato." Whether we consider sex, place, character, or situation, a less appropriate parallel could scarcely have been found in the catalogue of distinguished persons.

That in an age of lax morality, the meretricious charms of Ninon de Lenclos should have gained her many admirers, and that indulgence should have been shown to her errors, may be understood. Her bon-mots are often repeated; her life of what is called pleasure and gayety; the attentions of the illustrious; the charms that lasted nearly a century; these things, with the thoughtless, sometimes obscure the true view of her career. would be unpardonable, then, in this place, not to exhibit the reverse of the medal. Entitled by her birth, and by her individual talents, to an honourable place in society, she saw herself an object of dread and disgust to those really distinguished


women whose rank was their least title to consi

deration. Madame Sevigné, whose "honest fame"
is contemporary with the name of Ninon, shows in
various passages the shallowness and mockery of
the homage paid by those often cited great men to
this celebrated courtezan. The boast frequently
repeated by her admirers, that if not a virtuous
woman she had the qualities of an honest man, is
She was under no tempta-
indeed an empty one.
tions to commit gross acts of fraud, intemperance,
or other manly vices. If she had been brought to
the trial, it is less than doubtful that she would

She had two sons, one of whom entered the navy; the other, whose father was the Marquis de Gersey, was the wretched being, victim of an unhallowed passion he entertained for her: upon learning that she was his mother, he retreated into the garden and put an end to his own existence with his sword! She was then fifty-six years of age. This sad event appears to have greatly shocked her at the moment; but vicious habits

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have failed; as the much stronger barriers that fence woman's conduct were too feeble to resist her passions. It was her policy to carry off her course of life with a gay air; but, that she bitterly felt its emptiness and degradation, is evident from what she says in one of her letters to St. Evremond. "If I were told I had to go over again the life I have led, I would hang myself to-morrow," are her significant words. It is a well authenticated fact, that upon one occasion she narrowly escaped being sent to a house for the reformation of the lowest objects of public compassion. The queen, thinking her an object for punishment, issued an order to that effect; and it required powerful influence to get it countermanded. Despised, and justly, by her relatives, excluded from her natural station in life; a mother, without filial respect or affection; feeling her life worse than death itself! Such was Ninon de Lenclos!

"Count all the pleasure prosperous vice altains,—
'Tis but what virtue flies from, and disdains."


THE friend of Johnson and Richardson, was
born in 1720, at New York, of which her father,
Colonel Ramsay, was lieutenant-governor. She
was sent to England to be educated; married; was
left a widow with one child; and resorted to her
pen for subsistence. Her latter days were clouded
by poverty and sickness. Some of her works are,
"The Female Quixote;" "Henrietta, Sophia, and
;" "Shakspeare Illustrated;" two plays,
and various translations.

Dr. Johnson assisted her in drawing up proposals for an edition of her works, in three volumes, 4to.; but it does not appear to have been published. Dr. Johnson had such an opinion of Mrs. Lennox, that on one occasion, not long before his death, he went so far as to pronounce her talents as a writer, superior to those of Mrs. Carter, Miss Hannah More, and Miss Burney. She died January 4th, 1804.


Was born in Alençon. Being left an orphan at an early age, she was educated, together with her sister, in the convents of Alençon, and when of a suitable age, she was apprenticed to a milliner. She commenced her vocation by announcing that the superior of the convent of the Benedictines, where she was then living, would be deprived of her office, and she informed her companions of the name, age, and other particulars of the successor of the deprived abbess. For this prophecy, Mademoiselle Lenormand was obliged to undergo a penance; but the event verifying the truth of her predictions, her pretensions as a prophetess were confirmed. Alençon was, however, 'too confined a place for a spirit like hers, and when she was fourteen she set out for Paris, with nothing but the clothes she wore, and six francs in her pocket. Her step-father, who was in Paris, obtained for her a situation in a shop, where she soon became a great favourite, and studied arithmetic, bookkeeping, and mathematics. After remaining there

some time, Mademoiselle Lenormand removed to No. 5, Rue de Tournon, where she continued to exercise her profession, without incurring the censure of government. She attracted people of all ranks in life. The Princess de Lamballe, the Count de Provence, afterwards Louis XVIII., Mirabeau, Murat, Robespierre, St. Just, Barrière, Madame Tallien, and even Madame de Stael, were among her frequent visitors. Josephine, wife of Napoleon, reposed the greatest confidence in her, and constantly sent to ask the result of any enterprise the emperor was about to undertake. She was several times on the point of imprisonment; at one time for foretelling the divorce of Josephine; at others, for prophesying the downfall of persons in power; but she always escaped. She bought lands and houses at Alençon, where she retired after the revolution of July, 1830. At this, her native place, she was unwilling to exercise her profession. She was a short, fat, and very plain woman, with remarkably bright piercing eyes. She left her property to her nephew, whom she adopted after her sister's death.

In 1827, she published "Mémoirs Historiques et Sécrets de l'imperatrice Joséphine." She foretold that her own death would not take place till she was one hundred and twenty-four, that is, till near the close of the present century. In this she proved a false prophet, as she died a few years ago.


ONE of those learned and accomplished women, who have been honoured with the appellation of the "Tenth Muse," was a native of Holland. Her poems were published in 1728. They consist principally of tragedies, which, although they violate the ordinary rules, show frequent marks of superior genius. She died in 1711.


BORN about 1720, was the illegitimate daughter
of Madame d'Albon, a married lady of rank. She
was brought up in a convent, under the name of
Lespinasse, and when she was of age, was placed
in the family of her mother, as a governess. Ac-
quainted with the secret of her birth, her situation
was distressing, and the affection shown her in
secret by her mother, was her only consolation.
But when she died, and the proofs of her birth,
as well as a large sum of money, left her by her
mother, were wrested from her by her family, her
condition became singularly humiliating and deso-
late. At this juncture she met with Madame du
Deffand, and readily accepted her proposal of re-
siding with her as "demoiselle de compagnée."
The cold, selfish Madame du Deffand treated her
young dependant with little kindness. She made
her sleep, like her, during the day, and sit up all
night, in order to read to her. This unnatural
mode of life destroyed the health of Mademoiselle
de Lespinasse. Her chief consolation was in the
friendship of D'Alembert, the friend of Madame
du Deffand. Born under similar circumstances,
his sympathy flowed out to the friendless girl,
and his devotion to her continued till death sepa-

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rated them. Madame du Deffand's friends soon discovered the attractions of her companion; but in order not to excite her jealousy, they avoided, in her presence, taking too much notice of her. To enjoy her society they secretly visited her in her own room, an hour before the usual time of meeting; Madame du Deffand generally sleeping till the arrival of her guests. For a long time Madame du Deffand remained unconscious of this arrangement; but when she became acquainted with it, her rage was without bounds. She accused Mademoiselle de Lespinasse of the blackest treachery, and announced her intention of dismissing her immediately. The sense of her destitution and helplessness, added to Madame du Deffand's reproaches, acted powerfully upon the excitable imagination of Mademoiselle de Lespinasse, and, in a fit of exaggerated sensibility, she took laudanum. Timely remedies saved her from the consequences of this rash act, but she never entirely recovered the shock given to her nerves. They parted, and the Parisian world took sides in the affair; each had their partisans, and warm and bitter recrimination followed. The friends of Mademoiselle de Lespinasse procured her a pension, and Madame Geoffrin made her a yearly allowance. Placed above want, she soon gathered around her a choice literary circle, many of the friends of Madame du Deffand deserting her for her young rival. All the accounts left of the circle of Mademoiselle de Lespinasse represent it as one of the most agreeable places of Parisian resort; her tact in presiding over society being a quality in which she had attained the highest excellence.

bert, her life-friend, never knew till after her death that Mora was not the only one whom she had preferred to him. Mademoiselle Lespinasse's history is chiefly remarkable as an illustration of the difficulties and miseries which surround the path of a young lady who has no natural or legal protector. All these difficulties were enhanced by the profligacy of French society under the old régime.

LICHTENAW, WILHELMINA, COUNTESS OF, THE celebrated friend of Frederic William II. Her father, whose name was Enke, travelled over the greater part of Europe, as a clever musician on the French horn, and was afterwards received into the royal musical chapel of Berlin. She had two sisters, the eldest of whom, on account of her splendid figure, was engaged at the Italian opera. Count Matuschki eloped with her to Venice, and married her, after which they returned to Berlin, where they lived in a brilliant style, their house becoming the resort of the fashionable world. Her sister, Wilhelmina, when ten years of age, lived with her. The hereditary prince, Frederic William, who visited the house of Count Matuschki, thus accidentally made her acquaintance. She was then thirteen. Her beauty inspired the prince with an enthusiastic love; and when, on some occasion, the two sisters had quarrelled, he considered it most proper to have her sent back to the house of her father. However, his growing passion did not suffer him to stop here; he conducted her to Potsdam, to one of his confidants, procured her a governess and the most skilful masters, and With all the external graces of a French woman came every day himself, to contribute, by his own of the eighteenth century, Mademoiselle de Les- instruction, to her mental development. Their pinasse possessed none of the heartlessness which mutual attachment was pure and disinterested; characterized the period. Her nature had all the but when also in Wilhelmina's bosom a strong fire and passion of the inhabitants of a southern passion awoke for her amiable benefactor, she clime. A calm and even state of mind was insup- was no longer able to resist his protestations of portable to her, and it was perhaps this perpetual unchangeable love. Notwithstanding, the prince mobility of feeling which rendered her presence followed other transient inclinations; and, not to so attractive. Among her visitors was a young be disturbed by Wilhelmina's presence, placed her, Spanish nobleman of distinguished talents, the under pretext of perfecting her mind and accomMarquis de Mora; he became devotedly attached plishments, under the guardianship of her sister, to her, and his friends fearing he would marry (the countess,) in Paris. When six months had her, recalled him to Spain. His passion was re- elapsed, he decided himself entirely in her favour; turned, and during three years of separation, the yet, for the sake of outward propriety, a marriage lovers corresponded unceasingly. De Mora's was feigned with a certain Retz. After the death health declining, his friends allowed him to return of Frederic I. she was elevated to a higher but to Paris; but the fatigue of the journey was too more difficult position. To avoid envy and jeagreat; he died on the road, without having seen lousy, was impossible; neither could she live in the object of his idolatry. Mademoiselle de Les- the same good intelligence with all parties of the pinasse was overwhelmed with grief, and from court, who differed greatly in their views. In the that time she slowly declined; but it was not till year 1792 she travelled, with the king, to Vienna, after her death that it became known that there where she was present at the coronation of Franlay in her heart a hidden sorrow deeper still. cis II.; three years later, she visited Italy, and During the absence of M. de Mora she had con- on her return, received the diploma, which gave ceived a passion for the Count de Guibert, a man her the title of Countess Lichtenaw. On her arwho ranked high in the opinion of the world. She rival in Berlin, she was introduced as such to the loved him with all the impassioned fervour of her queen; at the same time she received for her estanature, which passion he for a short time, through blishment 500,000 crowns, and the estates to which vanity, feigned to return; but he married, and she had a claim by her title. Besides, she possessed wounded affection, united with remorse for her a house in Berlin, (an inheritance of her deceased involuntary faithlessness to her devoted lover son, Count von der Mark,) and a beautiful villa Mora, brought her to the grave. Even D'Alem- in Charlottenburg. Her situation, as well as the

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king's favour, lasted until his death, in 1797. But as soon as Frederic William had closed his eyes forever, the scene changed. She was forthwith arrested, at Potsdam, and, for four months, strongly secured; during which time her papers were examined, and she herself minutely interrogated. Although no discovery could be made to accuse her of a state crime, she was sent to Fort Glagow, and her property confiscated. Not until after an imprisonment of three years, and an unconditional renunciation of her entire property, was she released, and obtained an annuity of 4000 crowns. In 1811 her estates were partly restored, but the annuity was withdrawn. She afterwards lived in retirement, and died in 1820.

As to the bad influence which, according to the statements of her enemies and misinformed persons, this woman is said to have exercised over the monarch, and, through him, over the Prussian state, and the abuse which she made of her power for the destruction of worthy and the advancement of unworthy statesmen, there is no foundation whatever. Men of undoubted character speak of her with the highest esteem; and she is praised by those who intimately knew her, as a woman of deep sensibility, rare good-nature, correct judgment, and unfeigned self-sacrificing interest in those whom she loved. It is an acknowledged fact, that she never sought distinction or wealth for herself, nor for her nearest relations. Her parents died poor; her youngest sister was married to a merchant; and her two brothers, of whom the one was high-forester, and the other equerry, had never more than a competency to live on, and lost even that during the unfortunate period of the French war.


WAS the daughter of George Michael Moser, of England, and distinguished herself so much as an admirable artist in flower-painting, that she was elected a member of the Royal Academy at London. After her marriage, she practised her art solely for amusement. She died in 1819.


A GREAT florist, was the daughter of Robert Daniel, of South Carolina. In her fifteenth year she married George Logan, and died in 1779, aged seventy-seven. At the age of seventy, she wrote a treatise "On Gardening."

LOGES, MARIE BRUNEAU, WAS one of the most illustrious women in France in the seventeenth century. She was zealous for the reformed religion, and was highly esteemed by Malherbe and Balzac, and all the greatest wits and princes of her time. She died in 1641, and left nine children by her husband, Charles de Rechignèvoisen, Lord des Loges, at one time gentleman in ordinary of the king's bed-chamber.


LOHMAN, JOHANNA FREDERICA, Was born in 1749, at Wittemburg. She was the daughter of the Professor of Law, J. D. RichShe married the auditor Lohman in Schoenbeck, by Magdeburg. She lived at first in Leipzic, then in Magdeburg, and after the death of her husband again in Leipzic, where she died, in 1811. Most of her works were published anonymously. She wrote "The Jacobin," in 1794; "Clara of Wahburg," in 1796; "Carelessness and its Consequences," in 1805.


SISTER of the great Condé, was the daughter of Henry, prince de Condé, and of Marguerite de Montmorenci. She married Henry d'Orleans, duke de Longueville, who, though brave, intelligent, and virtuous, preferred a quiet and retired life; and soon withdrew from the wars of the Fronde, in which his wife had induced him to take an active part, to his own estate. The duchess, whose character was very different, embraced with warm ardour the views of that party, whose heroine she soon, from her high birth, beauty and intrepidity, became. Her influence and charms were of great use to the Frondeurs, by inducing the celebrated


LINCOLN, ELIZABETH, COUNTESS OF, Was one of the daughters and co-heiresses Sir John Knevet, of Charlton, in Wiltshire, England, and was married to Thomas, Earl of Lincoln, about 1602, by whom she had seven sons and nine daughters. She published, in 1628, a small but valuable tract, called "The Countess of Lincoln's Nursery." It was addressed to her daughter-in-Turenne and the duke de la Rochefoucauld to join law, the Countess of Lincoln, and is a well-written them. Turenne, however, soon returned to his essay on the advantages of mothers nursing their allegiance to the king; but the duke remained own children. faithful to the last, à ses beaux yeux." After the amicable termination of the civil war, the duchess was received into the favour of Louis XIII., and from that time devoted herself to literature, and united with her illustrious brothers, the great Condé, and the prince de Condé, in encouraging rising genius. On the death of the duke de Longueville, she left the court, and consecrated the remainder of her days to the most austere penitence. She had a house built at Port-Royal aux Champs, where, although she renounced "the pomps and vanities of the world," she still retained her love for society, and the conversation of intelligent persons. The recluses at Port-Royal were all people who had acquired a high reputation while they lived in the world. Human glory followed them to their hermitage, all the more because they disdained it.


DAUGHTER of the above-mentioned lady, was born in 1784, at Schoenbeck, and died, in 1830, at Leipzic. She was a very prolific writer. Some of her best works are, "Winter Evenings," 1811; "Life and Poetry," 1820; and "New Tales," 1823.

The duchess de Longueville died April 15th, 1679, at the age of sixty-one. She left no children.


THE wife of an architect of celebrity, was distinguished for her abilities in music. She composed an opera called "Fleur d'Epine," which was performed at the Italian opera at Paris in 1776, and received much commendation from the musical critics. At the revolution, her husband being banished, she emigrated with him, and passed the remainder of her life in obscurity. She published several sonatas, ariettes, and some works of a scientific class upon music.

LOUISA AUGUSTA WILHELMINA AMALIA, QUEEN of Prussia, daughter of Charles, duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, was born at Hanover, where her father was commandant, March 10th, 1776. In 1793, she and her sister were presented at Frankfort to the king of Prussia. The princeroyal was struck with her beauty, and married her, December 24th, 1793. It was the union of mutual affection. Her husband became king, November 16th, 1797; and she fulfilled all the duties of this high station so admirably, as well as those of wife and mother, that she was almost worshipped by the people, as well as by her husband and those immediately around her. In 1806, when Prussia was suffering severely from the burdens of war, this good queen, by her solicitude for others, even while oppressed with heavy cares and sorrows of her own, was the theme of general praise. Her beauty, her grace, her benevolent and lofty character, attracted the hearts of all, and her goodness won the confidence of the nation. She died in 1810.


WAS born at Paris in 1680. Graceful and intellectual, she was the ornament of both gay and literary society. She had a fine voice, and sang and played exquisitely. Several of her songs have been set to music by the most celebrated composers of her time. She lived unmarried, and died in 1712.


DAUGHTER of Paul Witterpool, was born in London in 1510. She was liberally educated, and excelled in all kinds of needle-work, writing, music, mathematics, and the languages. She was a religious woman, and died in 1537.


LIVED at Sienna in 1601, and was of the same family as John Guidiccioni, one of the first Italian poets of the time. She was distinguished for her poetical taste and talents. Her writings were principally lyrics; but she also composed three pastorals to be set to music.


ELDEST daughter of Henry Fitz-Allan, Earl Arundel, married Lord John Lumley. She was very learned, and translated from the Greek, three

of the orations of Isocrates, of which the MS. is still preserved in the Westminster Library. She also translated the Iphigenia of Euripides. Her death occurred in 1620.


A WRITER very much admired in France for a number of romances which she produced, was the daughter of a coachman belonging to Cardinal Fleury, and was born about 1682. The celebrated Huet observed her early talents, assisted her in her education, and advised her to the style of writing in which she afterwards excelled. She had no personal beauty, but possessed many noble and generous qualities of mind and heart. She supported herself chiefly by her pen; and her works would probably have been more perfect, if she had not been obliged to write so much. Her best productions are "Histoire de la Comtesse de Gondez;" "Anecdotes de la Cour de Philippe Auguste;" "Les Viellées de Thessalie;" Memoirs Secret et Intrigues de la Cour de France, sous Charles VIII. ;""Anecdotes de la Cour de François I.;" &c. Some works were published under her name, which are now known to have been written by other persons, with whom she shared the profits.




A CELEBRATED female historian and politician, was the youngest daughter of John Sawbridge, Esq., of Ollantigh, in Kent. Catharine was born about the year 1733. During her infancy her mother died, and left her and an elder sister to be brought up by a governess, who, it appears, was very unfit for such a responsible task. The two sisters seem to have been left almost wholly to the guidance of their own feelings and instincts. Catharine, at an early age, found constant access to her father's large library, and rummaged and read whatever she fancied. Her first favourites were the periodicals, the Spectator, Rambler, Guardian, &c.; next, history attracted her mind; and at length Rollin's spirited account of the Roman republic struck on the master chord of her noble nature, and made her a republican and a writer of history.

She took the name by which she is best known from her first husband, Dr. George Macaulay, a London physician, to whom she was married in 1760. It was soon after this date that she commenced authoress, by the publication of her "History of England from the accession of James I. to the elevation of the House of Hanover," the first volume of which, in 4to., appeared in 1763, and the fifth and last, which however only brought the narrative down to the Restoration, in 1771. The work also went through more than one edition in 8vo. On its first publication it attracted considerable attention, principally from the double piquancy of the sex and the avowed republicanism of the writer; but, notwithstanding some occa

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