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that only evinces itself by sweetness. He reminded me of Schiller's Prince in the Ghost Seer. 'And so I am at Rome. As Naples now a second time disappointed me, so Rome which saddened me before, revisited grows on me daily. I only wish it were not the Carnival, which does not harmonise with the true charm of the place, its atmosphere of art and repose. I pass my time quietly enough with long walks in the morning, and the siesta in the afternoon. In the evening I smoke my cigar in the Forum, or on the Pincian Hill, guessing where Nero lies buried -Nero who in spite of his crimes (probably exaggerated) has left so gigantic a memory in Rome, a memory that meets you everywhere, almost the only Emperor the people recall. He must have had force and genius, as well as brilliancy and magnificence, for the survival. And he died so young.'
Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton was back in England in the summer and in the following winter came his poem 'The New Timon.' Writing from Knebworth, December 24th 1846 to Lady Blessington he says 'I am extremely grateful my dearest friend for your kind letter, so evidently meant to encourage me, amidst the storm which howls around my little boat. And indeed it is quite a patch of blue sky, serene and cheering through the very angry atmosphere which greets me elsewhere. I view it as an omen, and sure I am, at least, that the blue sky will endure long after the last blast has howled itself away.
'Perhaps in some respects it is fortunate that I have had so little favour shown to me, or rather so much hostility, in my career. If I had once been greeted by the general kindness and indulgent smiles that have for instance rewarded - I should have been fearful of a contrast in the future, and satisfied at so much sunshine, gathered in my harvests, and broken up my plough. all this vituperation goads me on. can keep quiet when the tarantula him?
'I write this from a prison, for we are snowed up all round; and to my mind the country is dull enough in the winter, without this addition to its sombre repose. But I shall stay as long as I can, for this is the time when the poor want us most.'
One day in May 1846 Lady Blessington whilst working in her library was surprised to hear announced the name of a man whom sentence of imprisonment for life had been passed: and rising up saw Prince Louis Napoleon, looking haggard and pallid, a growth of stubble on his lip. After six years of confinement he had escaped from the fortress of Ham in the disguise of a workman, carrying a plank upon his shoulder. He had at once returned to England and reaching London sought Gore House. Here Lady Blessington invited him to take up his residence, and knowing that he was penniless offered him every assistance she could give. John Forster had been invited to dine quietly that
evening with Lady Blessington, her nieces, and Count D'Orsay, and on arriving was much surprised to find Prince Louis an addition to the party, of which he wrote an account to Landor next day. After dinner the Prince described his way of escape by passing through the fortress gates in a labourer's blouse and sabots, with a heavy plank on his shoulder, flinging off the plank into the ditch by the wall of the château, and afterward, shod as he was, running nearly two miles to where a little cart provided by Conneau waited to take him within reach of the coast, from which he had crossed but the day before: all of it told in his usual un-French way, without warmth or excitement. Before or since I have never seen his face as it was then; for he had shaved his moustaches as part of his disguise, and his lower and least-pleasing features were completely exposed under the straggling stubble of hair beginning again to show itself.'
In August Lady Blessington who had been ordered change of air, went to Bath, selecting that ancient city principally because her faithful friend Landor was there. It so happened that Prince Louis was visiting Bath at the same time, when Landor left his card on Napoleon who in return visited Landor. Thereon a pleasant and friendly conversation followed. Amongst other things the Prince said he was engaged upon a military work, a copy of which when completed he would have the pleasure of sending to Landor:
THE MOST GORGEOUS LADY BLESSINGTON
for which intention the author of the Conversations heartily thanked him but honestly said he could not request the Prince to accept a copy of his works, as they contained some severe strictures on his uncle the Emperor.
To this Napoleon replied he knew perfectly well what his opinions were and admired the frankness with which they were expressed on all occasions. Then Landor congratulated him on having escaped two great curses-a prison and a throne; on which the Prince smiled gravely but made no remark. He kept his promise of sending to Landor a copy of his book Etudes sur le Passé et l'Avenir de l'Artillerie the fly-leaf of which bore the following inscription 'A Monsieur W. S. Landor: témoignage d'estime de la part du Pce Napoléon Louis B. qui apprécie le vrai mérite, quelque opposé qu'il soit à ses sentimens et a son opinion. Bath Sept. 6, 1846.'
The Glory of Gore House is departing-Debts and Difficulties-A Waning Popularity-Letter from Dickens · Prince Louis becomes President Enter a Bailiff
Flight to France
THE glory of Gore House began to pale in the year 1847; for now came vexations and troubles treading close upon each other. Owing to famine and distress in Ireland, the payment of Lady Blessington's jointure had for the last two years been uncertain: but it now entirely ceased. This was the more unfortunate because she had been obliged to give bills and bonds to her bankers and creditors, in anticipation of her dower, for various sums amounting to about fifteen hundred pounds. If her income continued to be unpaid, the ruin which she so bravely sought to avert must overtake her
In her distress she sought advice from a legal friend who assured her that nothing