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Protector." Of course "the ingenious knight" received the lecture with much astonishment. He even became gruff and surly, and ventured to treat "the house of Cromwell," with great contempt. To our astonishment, he did not so far lose his politeness as to refuse the young gentlemen an admission to his mill. The facts are here chronicled to the intended discredit of "the old barber," and with all due aristocratical disdain; but in the judgment of some people, the more obvious inference will be, that, unless the race is more improved than the tone of Lord Cloncurry's remarks upon this incident leads us to suppose possible, young Irish lads should not be allowed to travel except under the guidance of some person possessed of a little common sense.-(G. M.)
But poor Rowan did things more unbecoming than his rolling in the mud, and more venturesome than the rescuing of distressed damsels. "In the purest spirit of patriotism," or the most ardent love of excitement, he joined the rebels of '98, and was obliged to seek safety and follow out his fondness for adventure (without his printing press) in America. Remittances from Ireland failed; he was reduced to the greatest distress, and for a time was driven to obtain honest and creditable maintenance by employment in the cotton factory of some pupil or imitator of "the old barber," in New York. Permitted, after many years, to return to his native country, he still clung to the opinions which led to the rebellion, but lived retired. at Rathcoffry, in the county of Kildare, forgotten by the busy world. Lord Cloncurry visited his travelling associate in his extreme age, for the purpose of introducing to him a daughter of Lord Edward Fitz
gerald. He describes the old man as a “mummy," and a "skeleton;" but the spirit of the preux chevalier who had "won the smiles," or whose jack-boots had excited the laughter of the Queen of France, was still manifest in the affectionate gallantry with which he welcomed the daughter of his less fortunate but not less gallant friend.-(G.M.)
The early part of the book contains a good deal of this sort of amusing matter, with here and there an anecdote worth remembering. On his release from the Tower, Lord Cloncurry spent several years on the continent, was presented to Bonaparte in a private interview, and lived more than two years in Rome. Things are bad enough in the eternal city at this time, in spite of French interference, but they are certainly not quite so degrading as they were at the commencement of the century. Lord Cloncurry was there, when the Earl of Bristol, who was bishop of Derry, used to ride about the streets of Rome, dressed in red plush breeches and a broad-brimmed white or straw hat. He says he was often asked if that was the canonical costume of an Irish prelate. He says, also, speaking of the general condition of society,-(G.M.)
"I have often spent a whole morning at a whist table, placed between the beds of a prince and princess, with a cardinal for my partner, and their excellencies comfortably reclining under their bed clothes, for our adversaries. On we played until dinner time."
Of the ignorance and superstition which were then predominant, (we hope we may speak in the past tense,) there are some odd details. We will give one or two of the briefest, selected at random :-(G.M.)
"The King of Sardinia used to march through the streets of Rome, in public religious processions, bearing a wonderful cross, large enough to be used as an instrument of execution. It was of such a size as to be too heavy even for the powers of a coal-porter, but to the universal astonishment, was carried with the utmost ease by the feeble, tottering king. Lord Cloncurry pays the devout sovereign a visit. In his antechamber stands this marvellous cross. His lordship lifts it. It is comparatively light as a feather. He investigates its nature, and finds that it is a mere case of bark."
"When Prince Borghese, the brother-in-law of Napoleon, was nominated to some public office, it became necessary to have a stamp made for the purpose of affixing his mark to public documents, as he was incapable of signing his name."
"When Pius VII. left Rome for France, to crown Napoleon, the cavalcade consisted of sixteen or eighteen carriages, only one of which was provided with springs; and that was one sent from Paris for the express use of his Holiness. This was quite a splendid affair, with a false bottom of silver, to hold warm water, as the weather was cold; but the poor cardinals....were jolted along in vehicles not less inconvenient and rude than the ancient biga, though profusely adorned with gilding, and lined with velvet."
"In Canova's studio were statues nearly finished of the legitimate King of Naples in robes of state, and of Napoleon unrobed, but with the rudder, globe, and other emblems of sovereignty. The contrast was a strange one. 'See how fortunate he is in every thing,' said Canova to Lord Cloncurry, as he turned from the stupid image of the king de jure to the noble figure of the monarch de facto of continental Europe. 'That block of marble is the only one I ever got from Carara Endamaged by a single flaw.' The statue is now, I believe, in Apsley House.”
"Cardinal York was an invalid, and under strict regimen ; but, as he still retained his tastes for savoury meats, a contest usually took place between him and his servants for the pos
session of rich diet, which they formally set before him, and then endeavoured to snatch away, while he, with greater eagerness, strove to seize it in its transit. The cardinal petted a miserable masterless cur, who attached itself to his reverence at the gate of St. Peter's. He insisted that the cur was a King Charles's spaniel, and appealed to its instinctive acquaintance with himself, as a member of the house of Stewart, as a proof of his true royal blood."
"The cardinal seems to have been struck with amazement by a small telescope which Lord Cloncurry presented to him; and he says, 'an ordinary dressing-case given by my sister to Princess Massime, was the admiration of all the Roman ladies, to whom it was sometimes shown as a special favour. Prince Borghese, when he wished to decorate a chamber for the reception of his wife, Pauline Bonaparte, was obliged to eke out a small turkey carpet, with pieces of baize of different textures and shades of colour."
"Abbé Taylor, head of the Irish monastery of St. Isidore, was generally supposed to be the priest who married George IV., to Mrs. Fitzherbert."*
Gossip like this constitutes the staple of Lord Cloncurry's early recollections. When he returns to poor Ireland, the book becomes of course less lively, but the letters of Lord Anglesea and Lord Holland, with those of some others of his correspondents, will give the volume a permanent historical value.
And here we should have pointed out some instances which have occurred to us of our author's occasional failure of memory, but we are spared the ever unwelcome task by our respected correspondent, J. R. of Cork, who has added greatly to his lordship's information, at the same time that he has rectified one or
* I have been assured that it was a Scotch Catholic dignitary, Monsignor Erskine.-J.R.
two of his lapses, in an interesting letter which our readers will feel obliged to us for giving them nearly entire.
Cork, June 1850.
I had prepared this article for the Gentleman's Magazine, on learning from his lordship's letter to Mr. Aylmer, that a new edition, deservedly demanded by the popularity of the subject, and merit of composition, was in readiness, as I was desirous of submitting to his lordship's notice, in case he should consider them entitled to attention, the observations suggested to me by the perusal of his volume, previous to its republication. Having, however, been subsequently informed that the design was either abandoned, or indefinitely postponed, I withheld what I had written until last summer, when, on its reaching the editor of the Magazine, its object, I found, had been forestalled; for a consonant paper was already in the press. Yet, with the uniform kindness which has ever marked our correspondence, the editor sacrificed a portion of what had been thus prepared, in order to admit my offering, to the loss and disappointment, I unfeignedly apprehend, of the reading public. The blended composition appeared consequently in the July number of the Magazine; and I here introduce it as therein presented, always distinguishing each paragraph, at its close, by the initials, G. M., and the extracts from Lord Cloncurry's volume, as usual, by inverted commas, in order to preclude all charge of plagiarism, or of trespass on alien domain.
Lord Cloncurry's work, from various causes, attracted the early notice of several journalists, whose animad