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Houses of Parliament belong to it, and a single black-ball at a ballot being, we believe, sufficient to exclude a candidate from its portals.
This club, as already mentioned, is coeval with, if not superior in antiquity to, Brookes's; the original "Master White," by whom or whose patrons it was founded, being a renowned hôte of one of the old chocolate houses in the days of Queen Anne; and its celebrated bow-window being then as famous and favourite a fashionable lounge as now. It formed the head-quarters of the Tories, as the other did of the Whigs; but at the present day it is even less political than Brookes's-and many members we believe are now common to both-is less numerous than the other, and also affords a less ample field for anecdote; the members of the party being, as remarked by Sir Walter Scott, of a less convivial character than the Whigs-with whom, it may be noticed, Sir Walter himself always preferred to indulge when inclined for a symposium.
Yet White's has been the scene of many a bel esprit. Generations of wits have traversed its portals, and the gay and the fashionable still gaze from its windows, as their predecessors gazed a century and a half ago. Many a bright spirit has in the interval shot up, blazed or flickered for a moment, and been extinguished for ever; as, doubtless, many another will, when the present fleeting race itself has passed. Of its early records, no memorial is now possibly existent; but towards the end of the last and beginning of the present century-in the days of Pitt, Dundas, Rose, and Canning-it witnessed many a convivial scene; less, however, than its rival, for though some there-Dundas especiallywere congenial as any, Pitt's whole life was literally devoted to his country, and, when at any time he indulged in recreation, it was rather at the private residence of a friend, than in any fashionable assemblage or political club. His mind, too, was so constantly intent on national affairs, that in company, if not what is termed "absent," he was apt to revert unconsciously to the subjects of the morning, as at night he retired only to dream of the labours of the ensuing day.
Fox, on the other hand, his great opponent, was never in an element more congenial than amid the pleasures of society; and hence when he retired to Brookes's, after the Parliamentary labours of the night, it was the custom of his rival to repair to the residence of Dundas (afterwards Lord Melville) for an hour or two before finally betaking himself to the solitary habitation, which the famous Duchess of Gordon designated "Bachelor's Hall." The anecdotes of him recorded at White's are consequently rather of a reflected nature, and bear reference less to the place perhaps than to the House of Commons, for which it may be saidˇPitt lived and died.
Yet one or two of the anecdotes, if not good, are characteristic especially one in reference to Rose, who, if Fox is to be credited, was always put forward when any assertion of unusual boldness or unusual gravity became necessary. It was on one of these occasions when Pitt himself, somewhat "fresh," was electrified by the magnificence of George's assumption. "Now listen," said he, "George is going to tell a d――d lie," as the other rose up with a solemn aspect, and his hand placed impressively on his breast; and "Splendid! Is not he magnificent?" was the additional
exclamation, as the orator called on "the Ruler of the universe and the Searcher of hearts" to bear witness to his words.
Another story had for its hero Dundas, and possibly also was tinged by opposition tone. Dundas, though popular with the higher classes, was by no means in equal estimation with the lower order of his countrymen in the northern division of the island; and it was during one of his visits to Edinburgh that the adventure occurred. Some act of government had recently given offence in Scotland, and to none more so than to a knavish tonsor of the city, whose services Mr. Dundas had occasion to call into requisition. The fellow was a practical jester too, and determined to amuse himself at the minister's expense. The statesman accordingly had no sooner resigned himself to the operator's hands than the following colloquy ensued.
"We're much obliged to you, Mr. Dundas, for the part you lately took in London."
"What! you a politician? I sent for a barber."
"Oh, yes! I'll shave you directly ;" and, performing the operation on one side, he suddenly drew the back of the instrument across his victim's neck, exclaiming, " Take that, ye traitor!" and hurried down stairs.
The statesman was naturally alarmed; an outcry was raised; and half the faculty in the town were speedily in attendance, when, on removing his hand, which Mr. Dundas had firmly kept to his throat, it was discovered that the blood flowed from some artificial means which the impudent rogue had employed to give effect to his hoax, and that not a scratch was visible. The fellow consequently escaped unpunished; and his triumph was the greater as Mr. Dundas had the mortification of being laughed at, as well as of having to pay for the zealous medical attendants.
Pitt highly relished this anecdote, though it long remained a tender subject with Lord Melville; at whose expense, however, the great minister frequently enjoyed a laugh, and uttered the only mot of which he has ever been accused.
"How is it," said some one, on the occasion of a convivial visit to White's, "that the upper side of the sirloin is called the Scotch? "
"Can't say," replied Dundas, to whom the interrogatory was addressed.
"I'll tell you why," interrupted Pitt, "'tis because the Scotch always prefer the side that's uppermost."
Our limits, however, warn us, for the present, to have done; and we shall conclude with merely mentioning
The last of the three clubs now surviving, identified with a name, and nominally the property of an individual, though governed, like the preceding, by a committee. Its origin is almost equally ancient with theirs, and, like them, it owes its name to an ancient host; but who the venerable Boodle was, our readers now would have little curiosity to learn.
Like the others, it is situated in St. James's street, and is of unpretending aspect compared with some of the lordly modern edifices in its vicinity; but it boasts of highly agreeable arrangements within, and is frequented chiefly by old country gentlemen of no particular shade of politics.
(To be Continued.)
THE ROYAL HOUSES OF EUROPE.
"Sed neque Medorum sylvæ, ditissima terra,
No history is so mournful as that of Italy during the last three hundred years-a period of national decadence unprecedented in the annals of the world a state of shame and misery that has justified the pathetic lamentations of her sons and the triumphant insolence of her foes. May the patriotic feeling which now spreads its beneficent influence over the country of the Tiber and the Arno increase in strength and power, and may the nineteenth century be memorable in ages to come, as the grand era of Italian regeneration!
"Italy! through every other land
At the close of the fifteenth century Italy presented the aspect of more extensive and unalloyed prosperity than any other nation of Christendom. Then were displayed the learned grace of Leonardo da Vinci, the brilliant accomplishments of Titian, and the creative genius of Michael Angelo. Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting attained the highest perfection, and Civilization gazed with rapture on the exquisite achievements and sublime conceptions of the Peninsula. Flourishing cities, increasing manufactures, arts revived, letters encouraged-all combined to form, at this epoch, the dazzling amount of Italy's prosperity. But the very circumstance to which she owed this superiority may be regarded as the principal cause of her subsequent degradation. "The number of separate and independent communities," says a distinguished writer, "into which Italy was divided, by directly associating her inhabitants with the governments of their respective cities, and making them feel that their own interests were identified with those of the community to which they belonged, powerfully excited their passions, and called forth all their energies. Those powers which had been dormant for centuries were
again revived; Milan, Florence, Venice, Genoa, and Pisa, became the capitals of so many free states, distinguished by their wealth and their progress in the arts; eloquence, poetry, history, architecture, painting, and every other pursuit that could either add to the comfort or the embellishment of society, were prosecuted with vigour and success. But this state of society, though it gave a powerful impulse to civilization, was also productive of the most implacable animosities. The disputes among the rival republics and their limited territory, and their deeply affecting every individual, were prosecuted with all the eagerness of a personal and all the rancour of a political quarrel. Sismondi's great work ("Republiques Italiennes du Moyen Age") is chiefly filled with accounts of these conflicts. And such a state of society, how incompatible soever with the enjoyment of peace and tranquillity, unquestionably affords a fine field for the development of superior talent and mental energy. Unfortunately the contests between the different parties in Italy, ended as such contests almost always do, by making it an arena for the struggles and subjecting it to the arms of foreigners. German, French, and Spanish troops, after being engaged in supporting the pretensions of one or other of the rival states, turned their arms against those they had supported, or who had invited them into their country, and trampling on their liberties, imposed on them new and despotic masters. Ever since the subversion of the Florentine republic in 1530, the Italians have ceased to exercise any perceptible influence over the deliberations of their multitudinous rulers. Parceled out among foreign sovereigns, or sovereigns descended from foreigners, what interest could they feel in the contests of the Bourbons of Parma and Naples; the Austrians of Milan and Mantua, and the Lorrains of Tuscany? They were not only deprived of their ancient liberties, but the constant state of vassalage in which their petty sovereigns were themselves held by the great transalpine powers, prevented their acting in conformity either with the wishes or the real interests of their subjects."
At the present moment, when Europe watches with intense interest the development of the movement that has originated in the Vatican, and when England, forgetful of the illiberal estrangement that has so long separated her from the Court of Rome, affords the all-powerful weight of her sympathy to the sacred cause of Italian liberty, we feel assured that some details of the existing Royal Houses of Italy will not be deemed inappropriate.
The Peninsula is at this time divided into the following independent States:-SARDINIA, NAPLES AND SICILY, THE AUSTRIAN KINGDOM OF LOMBARDY, THE PAPAL TERRITORY, THE GRAND DUCHY OF TUSCANY, THE DUCHIES OF PARMA, MODENA, AND LUCCA, and the little republic of SAN MARINO.
This kingdom comprises the whole of North Italy, west of the Tessino, including Piedmont, Genoa and Nice, the adjacent Duchy of Savoy and the Island of Sardinia, in the Mediterranean. Its dynasty is the House
of Savoy, claiming descent from the famous Wittekend, and tracing a long and illustrious line of ancestry. Its territory, originally a county, was erected into a Duchy by the Emperor Sigismund, in 1416, in favour of
Lewis or Charles, King of Cyprus, m. Charlotte, dau. of John III., King of Cyprus.
James, Count of Geneva. Philip, Duke of Savoy, m. 1st Mary, dau. of Charles, Duke of Bourbon, and had by her a son and a daughter. PHILIBERT, who s. his kinsman as
Duke of Savoy and King of Cyprus, and of whom hereafter. LOUISE of Savoy, m. in 1476, Charles de Bourbon, Count of Angoulesme, and left a son, Francis I., King of France; and a dau. Margaret, Queen of Navarre, grandmother of Henry IV., King of France and Navarre.
EMMANUEL PHILIBERT, Duke of Savoy, who, by the peace of Chateau Cambrensis in 1559, partly recovered the dominions which France had wrested from his unfortunate father; and, during a long and pacific reign, restored the fortunes of his house. He accompanied Philip, King of Spain, to England, and was honoured by Queen Mary with the insignia of the Order of the Garter. Under his auspices agriculture and commerce flourished, and the production of silk became the staple trade of Piedmont. Emmanuel m. Margaret, dau. of Francis, King of France, and d. in 1580, leaving a son and successor,
CHARLES EMMANUEL I., Duke of Savoy, titular King of Cyprus, a warlike prince, who entirely excluded the French from peaceable entrance into Italy, by exchanging the County of Bresse for the Marquesate of Saluzzo. Charles m. Catherine, dau. of Philip II., King of Spain, and had (with other children, of whom Margaret wedded Francis, Duke of Mantua, and Isabel, Alonzo, Duke of Modena) two sons:
I. VICTOR AMADEUS, his heir.
Carignan, who d. in 1656,
of Carignan, who m. Mary Catherine, dau. of Borsus, of