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stamina. Under the circumstances, therefore, he had but two courses to choose from: either to live through years of dutiful boredom until his father should die, or to break away and sow wild oats for want of any more exciting occupation. It is not surprising that he did the latter, and then his parents made ill luck disastrous by their bad choice of a wife for him. In order to sympathize with this prince we have but to compare his career with the not wholly dissimilar one of his grand-nephew of our own day. "The first gentleman of Europe" was a title that people were fond of applying to George; it was the most significant title that he ever attained.

And it was this person whom it fell to the British conscience, not only to accept and excuse, but to exalt, for he came just in that spasm of conservatism which swept over England in revulsion against France and revolution. How this exaltation was managed by some we may see in Southey's Vision of Judgment. To the credit of British sanity, however, when George signally failed to fulfil the "wild oats" theory, and instead of settling decently down with his wife, spread his domestic scandal abroad under the noses of all Europe, he was, even though king, disgraced and rejected. But it was a sore dilemma that he put upon his subjects. For years this pious people had by parliamentary grant paid for his gambling, his drinking, his dandifying, and his mistresses; they had maintained an establishment of public immorality on the tacit understanding that eventually the wild oats should all be sown. At last the old king died, and the hour came when the new king of fifty-eight ought to have transformed himself into a bulwark of respectability. Instead of this, he sued in parliament for a divorce, violently excluded his wife from the coronation, and according to rumor, at least, was crowned drunk. Thus was public seal given to the shattering of all hopes, and in a convulsion of righteousness George was damned by public opinion,—damned, however, not so much for his vices, as for quarrelling in public with his wife. Even after this the old spell of royalty still swayed some glowing spirits, and so clean a man as Scott could still revere the king in so foul a man as George.

The British conscience did not really make up its mind about

its "first gentleman" until he was fifty-eight; Byron's case was decided on nearly the same grounds when he was twenty-eight. The careers of the two men are in fundamental ways strikingly similar. It is needless to rehearse details. Byron was also a young nobleman who followed the custom of sowing wild oats. We know enough about his life to tell that, even with due allowance for his curious inverse hypocrisy, there was the usual modicum of vice in Byron's young gentlemanhood. He too drank, gamed, had coaches and fine clothes, dandled with loose women, and heaped up debts to pay for these well-bred necessities. All this was done with Byronic picturesqueness,- he kept tame bears, did his drinking out of skulls, carried his college fille-de-joie around in boy's clothing,-but it was done; there could have been no secret about that. Then he blazed out as the latest sensation of London society of the Regency, and extending his intrigues to women of his own class, merely carried on the tradition more magnificently than usual. Caro Lamb made him famous in the rôle of "mad, bad, and dangerous to know," the Lady Frances Wedderburn Websters filled up the series, and the charming but notoriously profligate Lady Oxford closed the grand climacteric. Young, titled, handsome, an intense and fascinating personality, adding to these qualities the vogue of a popular poet and the pathos of lameness,― never had wild oats been sown with such appealing fervor, and never, not even by the prince himself, more conspicuously. At the end of it all Byron married, and here we must pause. What kind of person would such a man take for a wife? What effect would his previous career have upon the consideration given to him as a suitor?

The judgment on George would not have been so long delayed had his wife not been such a person as naturally to alienate the sympathies of Englishmen in her own right. The wife of Byron, however, was very near to their ideal of a perfect lady. We have already noted that the duty of protecting woman originally fell only to a small class of men, and the privilege of being protected only to a few women. As chivalry encouraged the qualities in man which would enable him to protect, so it also encouraged those qualities in woman which rendered protection

necessary. We have now traced the evolution of the "gentleman" type from one of these ideals, and have seen how George IV and his kind were its representatives. "The lady" is descended from the other. First of all it is evident that, in order to perform her function, she must not seem able to protect herself, or in other words, she must be pale to be interesting. In contrast to the freedom allowed to the young gentleman, therefore, she is carefully guarded and restrained by her parents, fenced in by an elaborate criss-cross of proprieties. Hands, feet, waist must be kept small, complexion must be shielded, and she must be able to faint. In order to keep herself in this appealing condition, she must do no physical labor, or the muscles of feet, hands, and abdomen would grow large with strength, and the cheeks ruddy, the nerves steady with health. Cut off from unladylike occupations, she found other more suitable employments. The lady of romance played on the lute, tended the sick and wounded, embroidered tapestries with the adventures of knights, listened to the tales of minstrels, went to church, polished up her knight's shield, inspired him in his battles, and rewarded him upon his return. In later times these pursuits were simply modernized. The lute became a spinnet, tapestry became fancy work, tending the sick and wounded became charity, listening to minstrels became reading, “accomplishments," and "blue-stocking-dom," inspiring and rewarding her knight became catching a husband, and always she went to church. Virtue was the one thing presumably uppermost in her mind, the more so as virtue was for her quite precisely defined.

How deeply rooted this ideal of a young lady was, it is easy to show, but perhaps the heroines of Scott afford us the most familiar example. There is a chapter in The Antiquary which displays her functioning at her best. Isabella Wardour, the daughter of a country baronet, is the young lady who should reward Lovell, the hero, with her hand. Lovell differs in no respect from his brothers in the Waverley novels; there is nothing in his character, that is, which should prevent Isabella marrying him before Chapter I begins. As a virtuous young lady, however, she refuses to have anything to do with him for the

reason, not that she knows or thinks him to be an illegitimate son, but merely that she does not positively know him to be legitimate, and she cannot be protected by him unless he is a gentleman born. One night she and her father are caught by tide and storm under a precipice with no apparent escape. Though young and country-bred she is physically helpless in the peril that ensues. She clings to her old father for support. She can hardly keep pace with the speed at which he walks. She shrieks faintly as the breakers dash upon the rocks. Edie Ochiltree, the ancient beggar, comes to their assistance, and wraps his blue coat around her "to preserve her as much as possible from injury." Although the author says that she is able "to collect the powers of a mind naturally strong and courageous, and which rallied itself at this terrible juncture,' nevertheless the only expedient she can think of is the obvious one of trying to climb up the cliff. Of course the hero comes to the rescue, and helps them to a rock out of reach of the sea. "It was a summer's night, doubtless; yet the probability was slender that a frame so delicate as that of Miss Wardour should survive till morning the drenching of the spray; and the dashing of the rain which now burst in full violence, accompanied with deep and heavy gusts of wind, added to the constrained and perilous circumstances of their situation.

"The lassie!—the puir sweet lassie!' said the old man; 'mony such a night have I weathered at hame and abroad, but, God guide us, how can she ever win through it!""

Isabella courageously exclaims that she can endure the night, but "so saying, her voice failed her—she sank down and would have fallen from the crag had she not been supported by Lovell and Ochiltree."

They are saved before morning, of course, at great peril to the hero, but even under these circumstances, Isabella does not forget herself. She departs with no acknowledgement to him for his services. He may have braved death for her, but maiden delicacy will not permit her to thank a man for saving her life at the risk of his own because it will not let her forget that the man's father may not have married his mother, and this in spite of the fact that there is a bar sinister in her own family. In

other words, she is so determined to be what custom declares virtuous that she does, what is genuinely wrong under the delusion that it is right.

Scott may have conventionalized the characteristic traits. If there are any young women in his pages who rule their conduct with their brains, either they are not ladies, or like Di Vernon, they have been badly brought up. The Rowenas, Edith Bellendens, Rose Bradwardines are all alike, and follow the ladylike pursuits mentioned above. They are all virtuous, pious, kind and gentle, but inexperienced, helpless, and innocent. They do needlework, play or sing, and carry on some mild kind of study. Rose Bradwardine, for instance, has a little embowered library; Lucy Ashton collects ballads. If we wish to see these people in the flesh we have but to turn to Fanny Burney's diary, and read of the sisters of "the first gentleman." They sit in the parlors at Windsor, they go to chapel, they listen to concerts, they sew, they are kissed by their papa, they read only what has first been read and approved by their mother, and they wait to be married off to German princelings. How proper it was, and how stupid it must have been for the sons, and what wonder they took the course that they did.

Not merely stupid was it, however, but inherently false and wicked where all young women had to be nothing but good, and the young men had to be bad not to be bored, and where it was finally all smoothed over and blessed to the tune of wedding bells. For young women like Isabella were married by their fathers and mothers to men who had been young in the fashion of George and Byron. An ignorant, innocent weakling was married to a man who had lived as carnally as he chose, and then the British conscience took out its prayer-book and went to church, saying "Let by-gones be by-gones, boys will be boys, and they were only his wild oats."

Whatever the outcome, George IV and his sort could settle down contentedly to gout and senile bestiality. Not so Byron with his "sincerity and strength." When he married Annabella Milbanke he found his marriage intolerable. Miss E. C. Mayne, in her recent biography, offers once more a certain plausible explanation for the intensity of Byron's distaste for his matrimonial

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