8 NOVEMBER 1913, Page 17


[To THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] SIR,-With your kind permission I venture to request a place for the following in the columns of the Spectator. It occurs to me that just now, when so much is being written about the great Emperor, the impression he conveyed to the mind of a singularly observant and shrewd woman of the world may not be without interest to some of your many readers. This is an extract from a letter written by my grandmother, Elizabeth Vassal!, Lady Holland, to her sister-in-law, Caroline Fox. The date, though none is given in the letter itself, excepting "22 Fructidor," is probably 1802, when Lord and Lady Holland were on their way into Spain. She writes :—

"I was presented last Sunday to the Consul and Madame ; they were both very gracious. Her figure and tournure are perfect ; her taste in dress exquisite, but her face ! ghastly, deep furrows on each side of her mouth, fallen-in cheeks, shocking, disgusting, a worn-out hag, prematurely gone, as she is not above forty years old. His head is out of proportion, being too large for his figure. It is well shaped; his ears are very neatly shaped and small, his teeth fine. The gracious smile he puts on is not in unison with the character of the upper part of his face; that is penetrating and severe and unbending. The expression of his smile is very like Lord Malmesbury and Dr. Turton."

am, Sir, &c., EDWARD V. R. POWYS.