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months afterwards, the "maison bijou,” in Kildare street, again was illumined by the presence of our fair traveller, whose pen was soon mended, dipped in ink, and busily employed. In due time its labours were brought to a termination, and two goodly volumes were ushered into the light of day, purporting to contain an account of “ France in 1829–30.” These are the identical volumes which it is our design in this article to notice.
“Facit indignatio versus,” exclaimed the old Roman satirist, and “indignation makes us write,” would we exclaim, in assigning our motives for devoting a number of our pages to “France in 1829–30,” could we for a moment be persuaded that our readers would credit the assertion. It seems to us, that we already behold every one of them smiling in derision, and giving an incredulous shake of the head, at the bare idea of a coldblooded reviewer being actuated by indignant feelings to place his critical lance in rest, and run a course against an unfortunate author. We must, nevertheless, be permitted to protest, that we do feel a considerable quantity of very honest and virtuous indignation against the trash last put forth by Miladiquite as much, we are sure, as impelled Juvenal to the composition of his searing satires. We may be told, however, that we are waging battle with a lady, and that we should be upon our guard not to give fresh cause for the exclamation, that the age of chivalry is gone.” A lady, true; but, when in your boasted “age of chivalry,” persons of her sex buckled on armour and rushed into the melée, were they spared by the courteous knights with whom they measured swords? Did not Clorinda receive her death wound from the hand of Tancred ? And why should the Amazon who wields the pen, be more gently dealt with than she who meddles with cold iron ? In literature, as in war, there is no distinction of sex. We hope, therefore, we shall not be accused of ungallant, or anti-chivalric bearing, on account of the blows we may inflict upon the literary person of a most daring Thalestris, especially as her vanity is a panoply of proof.
In her preface, Lady M. says, that a second work on France from her pen could only be justified by the novelty of its matter, or by the merit of its execution.
Then do we pronounce this second work, this “France in 1829–30," to be the most unjustifiable imposition on the good nature of the reading community that ever was practised. Its matter is nothing more nor less than Miladi herself ; and is she a novelty ? Something less than half a century ago, her Ladyship undoubtedly was a novelty, and one too of an extraordinary kind. As to the “merit of its execution," it is quite sufficient to know that it is the work of Lady Morgan, to form an idea of that requisite for its “justification.” Out of thine own mouth have we condemned thee. The fact is, that “France in 1829-30," is almost the coun
terpart of “ France in 1816," and the same remarks may be made concerning it which we have already applied to the latter. All the information we could discover we had obtained from it on finishing its perusal, was that its author had improved in neither wisdom, knowledge, nor modesty, since her first visit to the land after which both of these productions have been christened. France ! and what right have they to that name? Would it not induce one to suppose, that their author had at least travelled through the greater portion of that beautiful country, and eked out a number of her pages from the notes, such as they might be, made during the tour? And yet her Ladyship, on both occasions, went to Paris by the high road of Calais, remained in the capital a few months, and then returned by another high road. Even “Paris in 1816," “ Paris in 1829–30,” would be titles with which these publications would possess scarcely more affinity, than that by which children, on whom the preposterous fondness of their parents has bestowed the high-sounding appellations of warriors and monarchs, are connected with those worthies. Their only appropriate names would be, “ Lady Morgan in 1816,” “Lady Morgan in 1829–30;" for what information do they give about France or Paris, and what information do they not give about Lady Morgan ? they even let us into the secrets of her Ladyship’s wardrobe. It was Paris that saw Lady Morgan, and not Lady Morgan that saw Paris, in the same way as, according to Dr. Franklin, it was Philadelphia that took Sir William Howe, and not Sir William Howe that took Philadelphia.
To collect materials for a book of travels, it is necessary to be all eyes and ears with regard to every thing but one's self. Her Ladyship, however, was just the reverse throughout the whole period of her absence from Kildare street,-it seems always to have been her object to attract, and not to bestow, attention. In the volumes before us, it is her perpetual endeavour to win admiration by making known the admiration she entertains for herself, as well as that which she supposes she excites in others. They are consequently, in great measure, filled with what was said to Lady Morgan, and what Lady Morgan did and said during her last visit to Paris. While discoursing about anything else than herself, she appears to be on thorns until she gets back to that all absorbing subject, and no matter what is the title of the chapter, she generally contrives, by hook or by crook, to bring herself into it as the main object of interest. The poor reader is thus often sadly disappointed in the expectations he may form of deriving pleasure or information from various parts of her work, in consequence of the promises held out by their “ headings.” He almost always eventually discovers, that however he may have been induced to anticipate a meeting with other persons or matters, it is
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