I had the misfortune to lose the water-color sketches which Mrs. Jameson had made of our two drawing-rooms in James Street, Buckingham Gate. They were very pretty and skillful specimens of a difficult kind of subject, and valuable as her work, no less than as tokens of her regard for me. The beautiful G—— S——, to whose marriage I have referred, had she not been a sister of her sisters, would have been considered a wit; and, in spite of this, was the greatest beauty of her day. She always reminded me of what an American once said in speaking of a countrywoman of his, that she was so lovely that when she came into the room she took his breath away. While I was in Bath I was asked by a young artist to sit for my miniature. His portrait had considerable merit as a piece of delicate, highly finished workmanship; it was taken in the part of Portia, and engraved; but I think no one, without the label underneath, would have imagined in it even the intention of my portrait. Whether or not the cause lay in my own dissimilar expressions and dissimilar aspects at different times, I do not know; but if a collection was made of the likenesses that have been taken of me, to the number of nearly thirty, nobody would ever imagine that they were intended to represent the same person. Certainly, my Bath miniature produced a version of my face perfectly unfamiliar to myself and most of my friends who saw it.
sp; DUBLIN, ——.
DEAR MRS. JAMESON,
I received your third kind letter yesterday morning, and have no more time to-day than will serve to inclose my answer to your second, which reached me and was replied to at Glasgow; owing to your not having given me your address, I had kept it thus long in my desk. You surely said nothing in that letter of yours that the kindest good feeling could take exception to, and therefore need hardly, I think, have been so anxious about its possible miscarriage. However, “Misery makes one acquainted with strange bed-fellows,” and I am afraid distrust is one of them. You will be glad, I know, to hear that I have been successful here, and perhaps amused to know that when your letter reached me yesterday, I was going, en lionne, to a great dinner-party at Lady Morgan’s. You ask me for advice about your Shakespeare work, but advice is what I have no diploma for bestowing; and such suggestions as I might venture, were I sitting by your side with Shakespeare in my hand, and which might furnish pleasant matter of converse and discussion, are hardly solid enough for transmission by post.
I have been reading the “Tempest” all this afternoon, with eyes constantly dim with those delightful tears which are called up alike by the sublimity and harmony of nature, and the noblest creations of genius. I cannot imagine how you should ever feel discouraged in your work;