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Not all the Quaker quietism which was “ drawn away from the simplicity could be brought to bear upon her of the faith.” Perhaps they had heard could quench in Amelia Opie her fas- that the Saint Simoniennes were anxcinated interest in revolutions, and it is ious to beguile the distinguished Enmost amusingly characteristic to find glish woman to their meetings.

" What her starting off to Paris in 1830 alone, a triumph it would be to them," a and telling nobody of her resolution Frenchman introduced by Cuvier said until she had started. On crossing to Mrs. Opie, “ to get off that little the Place Royale she heard with in- cap and exchange it for a large black tense delight some young men singing hat and feathers !” – which, with a Casimir de la Vigne's “ New National blue gown, formed the uniform of their Song :".

sect. Pour briser leurs masses profondes,

The Halls, who met her about this Qui conduit nos drapeaux sanglants ? period, thus describe her: C'est la liberté des deux mondes

Despite somewhat of severity in her C'est La Fayette, en cheveux blancs ! quick blue eye, her manner and appearance The name of La Fayette was like a were extremely prepossessing. . . . Her greeting from a friend, and added to carriage was erect, her step firm and rapid, the “ extraordinary elevation of spirit” her manner decided, her voice low and the adventure gave her. The memo

sweet in tone, her smile perfect sunshine.

She Airted” a fan with the ease and rable “ three days” were of course long over before her arrival, and she was inquiring, and restless eyes made one rather

grace of a Spanish donna, and if her bright, astonished to find how many of their nervous at a first interview, the charm of traces had already been removed. In her smile and the winning grace of her fact, but for the tricolor waving over nature placed one at ease after a few the Tuileries, she might have doubted minutes' conversation. Still the incessant whether any revolution could have so sparkling of those quick blue eyes told that recently taken place. Mrs. Opie vis- e'en in the tranquillest climes, light ited Mme. de Genlis, “a really pretty breezes might ruffle the flower sometimes." old woman of eighty-seven, very un- If a little of the old leaven of love affected, with nothing of smartness or of beautiful adornment clung to the state about her,” who, on parting, em- dainty delicacy and becoming arrangebraced Mrs. Opie, exclaiming : “Je ment of Mrs. Opie's Quaker cap and vous aime !” and at La Fayette's re- kerchief, she was true to the principles ceptions saw crowds of celebrities who of her new sect in curbing her imaginadrew from her the very natural wislı tion. Mr. Hall (of course) asked her that they could“ be ticketed” for the for a story for the " Amulet :". enlightenment of strangers. A few

Thou knowest, or thou ought to know weeks after Mrs. Opie's arrival in Paris [she replied] that since I became a Friend there were mutterings of a gathering I am not free to what is called make a story. storm – cordons formed round certain I will write a fact for thy Annual, or any streets, the générale beating, National little matters of history, or truth, or a poem Guards bivouacking before the Tui- if thou wishest, but I must not lye, and say leries and in the Place Vendôme. such and such a thing took place when it

Her Quaker friends at home, how did not : dost thou understand me ? 1 ever, looked jealously at these little It would be difficult by means of social and political excitements, includ- extracts to give any idea of the olding a quiet “seventh day” evening world charm which still pervades Mrs. spent with Queen Marie Amélie and Opie's writings, as the odor of pot the Duchesse d’Orléans, and told her pourri clings to a china jar. It lies in she had better come back before she the easy dialogue, the knowledge of I perceive, and in a very gossipping mood this human nature, the talent, as one of her evening.” (Correspondence of Robert Southey critics says, “ for perceiving truth withwith Caroline Bowles. Dublin University Press Series, 1881. P. 105.

1 Book of Memories. Virtue & Co. 1871, P. 169. VOL. LXXXIII. 4306


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out the process of reasouing," rather | pleasure, certainly, and those who do this than in any detachable passage. Some have something at least that was in Christ of her “ Tales from Real Life" can be Jesus. read with interest iu days in which the Her next expedition was to Cornaspect of life is widely altered ; espe- wall, to see the remaining members of cially “ Lady Anne and Lady Jane,” her husband's family and the spots asfor its sharp and well-defined contrast sociated with his early life. The fiue

– often drawn at more length and with scenery and air so raised her elastic less skill by later novelists — between spirits that a too tender conscience was the shallow, selfish, fascinating cousin wounded. “I sometimes reprove myJane, who charms in spite of her faults, self for the happiness I feel," she and the generous, high - principled, writes, “and my health so perfect ! " sharp-tougued cousin Anne, whose un- Her crowning joy was a visit to the compromising honesty often prevents castle of St. Michael's Mount, of which her pleasing even when she most de- she writes : sires to do so.

The housekeeper said she wished me to A recent book of recollections gives stay a week, but I thought she would in the only unpleasing account of Mrs. her heart be very glad to get rid of a crazy Opie on record :

old gentlewoman, who came to look at the I was taken one day while young to pay moon from the ramparts of the castle, as if a visit to Mrs. Opie. . . . The house was she had no moon in her own country ; and of large and imposing dimensions, one of I don't doubt but she fancied me mioonthose ancient and magnificent mansions in struck, which idea was, I dare say, conLincoln Inn Fields now let in offices and firmed by her catching me drawing the faces occupied chiefly by lawyers. I thought her and figures I saw in the fire, a new but, I very gentle and amiable. She appeared to assure thee, a very amusing occupation. me elderly even at that time, yet she lived

.. The sea is close round this magnificent many years after, dying only in 1865, but mountain, with its masses of rock frowning she had then reached ninety-three. No one midway down its verdant sides. And such could see Mrs. Opie without being im- a sea as it is in winter! They are shipless pressed by her calm, quiet, self-possessed waters, for no vessel could live in them,

She seemed the personification of and I did enjoy to see the waves of the repose and unaffected dignity. ... Mrs. Atlantic rolling proudly in on one side of Opie was a musician and sang well, but the castle, telling of greater and more fearshe was apt to expect to be asked to sing ful power beyond, where my eye could not whenever in society, and would then overdo penetrate. ... Next night I sat up till the matters by singing noisy bravura songs moon rose, and, leaning on the balcony, which did not always please. She also witnessed her fight with the wind and the made enemies among her lady acquaint- rain, and her ultimate victory. Such was ances by manifesting a disposition to take the roughness of the sea that the white undue precedence of others on such occa- foam made “the darkness light about it" sions. 1

without the aid of the moon. But where

she did not shine on their jutting points, No sectarian feeling could chill or dark as Erebus were the turrets, the ramnarrow Mrs. Opie's generous apprecia- parts, and the walls of the castle ; while tion of character. On reading the life the little town at the foot of the mountain, of Sir James Mackintosh, she says and the more distant town beyond, lay in a (after acknowledging the justice of sort of half tint of moonshine, and the his strictures on her life of her hus- noble rocks over which I leaned were softband, already quoted):

ened into beauty by the mellowing rays

that rested on them. He (Mackintosh) was no daring sceptic, but a sceker to the last, and fully do I be- After seven months in Cornwall, durlieve he found and was accepted in the iny which she wrote most of her“. Lays Redeemer. And he was kind to every one for the Dead," and arranged them for - oh, so truly kind ! He loved to give publication, Mrs. Opie returned to Yor1 Gossip of the Century. Vol. ii., p. 480.

The wich, and met Dr. Chalmers at the date and age are incorrect,

house of the Gurneys. In his Me


and one

moirs ” Dr. Chalmers speaks of his

LONDON, March 15th.

One thousand, eight hundred and thirty-seven. pleasure in meeting the writer of “the

Thanks, dearest dear friend, for your most exquisite feminine tales,” and also cordial letter. Yes, thank God, 91 is well the difficulty of identifying the plain- in health, and if my beloved friends enlooking Quakeress Amelia with the ac- joyed the same blessing would be perfectly complished novelist Mrs. Opie, until content in mind. . . . Oh, why do you not they talked together while strolling on come to town earlier in the season? There the lawn after dinner, and he felt the are many of your playfellows. Yesterday charm of her “rich and interesting dined with me Rogers, Sydney Smith, conversation."

Granby, and more wits and worthies such A long tour in Scotland, and a yet as you would relish. ... The picture of longer one through Belgium and up the Hannah More is by Gainsborough ; I think

it a little like her. When she was young Rhine, furnished charming material for her letters and diaries ; hier enthusiasm diamond earrings nor were they the fashion

she could not afford to have very fine, long for natural beauty, and her keen sym- when I saw her flirting with Garrick. pathy with all aspects of humanity con- However, all the connoisseurs agree that it tinuing undiminished by advancing age is an excellent painting. N.B.

- There is or two sharp illnesses. In a ring on the wedding finger which does 1835 she was re-established in 6 the not resemble blessed Hannah. Poets are Castle Meadow House, Norwich," springing up like mushrooms, but the novwhere Opie's portraits of herself, her els are sad trash. . . . Yours more than father, and their most intimate friends words can express, says —

OLD M. CORK. adorned the walls, and one of the windows was fitted withi a frame containing

When Mrs. Opie did go up to town prisms, for which she had, says her she describes a dinner with Lord biographer,“ a sort of passion.” “Oh, Brougham at Miss Berry's Twickenthe exquisite beauty of the prisms on ham cottage ; sitting to poor Haydon my ceiling just now !” she writes ; "it (who called her " that delightful creais a pleasure to exist only to look at it. ture”) for his great picture of the I think green parrots and

“ Meeting of the Anti-Slavery Convenflying about in their native woods, tion;" Rogers's famous breakfasts ; a must look like that." Flowers, too, dinner with Sydney Smith ; a “friend

were her constant companions ; she ship struck up with Sam Slick ; ” and luxuriated in them ; filled her window- gives some most entertaining reminissills with stands of them, and her tables cences of poor Hogg, unfortunately too with bouquets. Light, heat, and fra- long to quote. grance were indispensable to her enjoy- Her delight in oratory wherever it ment."

could be heard, and especially with the Hospitality and correspondence occu- dramatic surroundings of the Assize pied a large portion of her time; every Courts, never abated. A succession of visitor to Norwich who could find an judges humored her. We saw ber introduction or a pretext sought her seated on the bench beside Judge out; and she calculated that the letters Gould in 1785. In 1844 she writes : she wrote (excluding notes) averaged The other evening, while Baron Alderson six a day. How many of these were and the High Sheriff and I were talking to answers to appeals for help, advice, gether in the Judges' Room, Sir Edward and charity was only known by the Williams asked me how I was going home, piles of grateful acknowledgments dis- on which the High Sheriff, seizing my covered after her death. She used to hand, said, “Oh, she shall go with us ; we say that if she had not enjoyed the oc

will take her home !" I drew back, of cupation so much, her epitaplı must

course, not believing he could be in earhave been “died of letter-writing.”' her," and Edward pulled me on, saying,

but the Judge said, “Yes, let us take Lady Cork was still among her corre

“Come, Brother Opie !” as he tucked me spondents ; her last letter, written two under his arm. The High Sheriff led the years later, was very characteristic: way, and into the carriage I jumped,


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ashamed but pleased. I sat by my cousin, | mer, and felt her old delight in watchand the astonished chaplain opposite the ing the rising and falling of the tides, Judge, wondering and laughing. . . . Little though now compelled to do so only did I think I should ever ride behind four from the windows of her room. On horses and two outriders with trumpets, her return home she was carried upetc. . . . So much for the escapade of a stairs in a basket-chair, “ never to go grave Judge and High Sheriff.

down again.” Her incurable malady, And, may we not add, a demure her severe and repeated attacks of Quakeress of seventy-four ?

rheumatic gout, and her extreme weakNine happy and peaceful years she ness, rapidly increased. But her pawas still to spend in Norwich. Her tience and grateful love for those who sight perfect, her hearing little im- unweariedly watched by her never paired, her carriage erectas ever. ceased ; and almost her last connected “Never, perhaps,” says her biogra- utterances before her death on the 2nd pher, were so many young and fair December, 1853, were “all is peace,” faces seen clustering round an old one and “all is mercy.” as were to be found in her room week Miss Mitford exclaims, sans phrase, after week ;' they went to confide in with reference to Mrs. Opie's becomher, secure of friendly comprehension ; ing a Quakeress - " what a miserable attracted, too, by “her love of fun, her hash she made of her own existence!” merry laugh, her ready repartee". And Miss Kavanagh, at the end of an and yet more, perhaps, by the wonder- admirable summary of her character ful charity and humility which would and writings, says : see faults in no one but herself. Mrs. Opie still visited London now

She joined the Society of Friends con

scientiously, she adhered to it with perfect and then, on one occasion going to

fidelity, and she never repented. But it Claremont, oppressed by the thought was the work of influence of zealous friends, of the changes in Louis Philippe's fam- and it changed little in her life. . . . It ily since she had seen them last ; Marie was a sacrifice, no doubt, but it was not Amélie's greeting was,

“Ma chère, made in the fervent and productive years ; bonne Opie, que vous êtes bonne de hence it never worked any of those radical venir me voir !” and her farewell, changes which give so much significance to 6. Souvenez-vous, et

écrivez encore,

renunciation. 1 écrivez toujours ! ” At Sir J. Boi

Looking back on the record of Mrs. leau's she met Guizot, with whom she Opie's life, one hesitates to agree with was “ charmed. His manners are very either judgment. There was, indeed, simple, and he played at jeux de société

as we have seen, a period during which, with us young people at night, and en- with the hyper-sensitiveness of a conjoyed it as much as we did."

vert, she felt agonies of contrition for She visited the Great Exhibition of venial faults, and indulged with re1851, being one of the few persons ad

morse in very harmless pleasures. But mitted in bath chairs an hour before this soon passed, and beyond the rethe general public. Another of these nunciation of novel writing (in which privileged ones was Miss Berry, who, it is probable that her best work was looking with admiration at her friend's done, for her imaginative vein was conveyance, which had some superi- neither deep nor strong), her creed ority of make, exclaimed, “Where did does not seem to have entailed any sacyou get that chair, Mrs. Opie? I quite rifice of dear affection or reasonable envy it” – on which Mrs. Opie pro- enjoyment. On the other hand, it is posed a race !

impossible not to recognize, in comparIn the following year she records a ing her earlier and later years, the visit from Fanny Kemble, during which increased activity in every form of beshe was “denied to every one, as I had much to say to her. I much enjoyed

1 English Women of Letters, by Julia Kavanagh. her conversation." She went to Cro- Edit. 1862.

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P. 288.


nevolence and helpfulness to which it Now it came to pass that in the late impelled her. She had a temperament summer of 1844 the fayver broke out at both excitable and indolent, and essen- Rampton. There was a row of squalid tially pleasure-loving. With a sufli-hovels belonging to a small proprietor cient income, absolute independence in the parish — twelve of them in all and leisure, many flatterers, and no - about as ghastly places as any man close home ties or duties, she might need wish to set his eyes on. They easily have drifted into aimless self-in- were almost all horribly crowded, the dulgence in the world l'on s'amuse, water was poisonous, the sewage was had she been without the restraints of thrown out into the ditch on the other deepened religious feeling, and a creed side of the road, and the habits of the which especially enjoined temperance, people were indescribably filthy, reckmoderation, and quietness.

less, and desperate. Everybody drank as much bad beer as he could get; the White Hart over the way was delight

fully convenient, and was kept open From The Nineteenth Century.

through more than half the night ; the AN INCIDENT IN THE CAREER OF THE children were shoeless and ragged, un

taught, unkempt, uncared for. There THEY often talk of him at Ramptou were three or four of the men who even to this day. He has become a were habitual poachers, and one or two mythical personage, though it is only of them who were never sober except about fifty years since he dropped down when they were training for a raid from the clouds among us, and there upon the hares and pheasants in the are a score of people who remember preserves of some neighboring squire. him still; some of them were grown The saying used to be, “Decent folks men and women when he came, and don't come from Rampton ’xcept it's some were boys and girls, who have arter dark." but a faint recollection of him and his When the fayver broke out among ways. They call him sometimes the this wild community it did not spare 'Vangelist, but more often the Wrastler them. Old and young - men, women, in their dialect. Why they should call and children were stricken down. him the 'Vangelist is easy enough to " That was a purple-spotted fayver, I understand, though

thereby tell 'ee,” says one. “I'd ought to hangs a tale," but why they should call know, for I had it mysel'.

I was a him the Wrastler is not to be guessed young chap then, and there was seven until you know a little more about him on us down at once, and we was three and his prowess.

in a bed, and father and my sister Jane In the year 1844 the rector of Ramp- and her baby died on it, and I was off ton was a pluralist, and held another my head for a matter of ten days, as living, at which he resided half the I've heerd tell." year; and as that was a pleasant vil- You may read the entries in the parlage by the seaside, it is hardly to be ish register if you like ; there they are, wondered at if he only gave the sum- thirteen funerals in July and August. mer and autumn to Rampton and spent Gaunt and tottering women, the winter and spring in his marine ragged, hollow-eyed, and wan, stagresidence. As he grew older the rector gered out to do the harvest that year, spent less and less of his time at Ramp- nd how they got it in Heaven only ton, and his curate, a worthy good soul, knows ! but very poor, occupied the rectory Patient, feeble curate Blackie – himhouse with his wife and a single ser- self and wife half fed — did what he vant, and as the people say, “ that was could — a timid, silent man, but goilly a piggy sort of a place, you may de- and kind withal. He went among the pend on, by the time as he'd had it for sick and dying in a helpless, perplexed six or eight months or more."

sort of way, showed he was not afraid




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