Almack’s Assembly Rooms All on the magic list depends Fame, fortune, fashion, lovers, friends; ‘Tis that which gratifies or vexes All ranks, all ages, and both sexes. If once to Almack’s you belong, Like monarchs you can do no wrong; But banished thence on Wednesday night, By Jove, you can do nothing right. Henry Luttrell, Irish poet and wit (1766-1851) Regency Chronicler, Captain Gronow writes, “one can hardly conceive the importance which was attached to getting admission to ‘Almack’s,’ the seventh heaven of the fashionable world. Of the three hundred officers of the Foot Guards, not more than half a dozen were honoured with vouchers of admission to this exclusive temple of the beau monde, the gates of which were guarded by lady patronesses, whose smiles or frowns consigned men and women to happiness or despair as the case might be. These ‘lady patronesses,’ in 1813, were the Ladies Castlereagh, Jersey, Cowper, and Sefton. Mrs. Drummond Burrel, afterwards Lady Willoughby d’Eresby, the Princess Esterhazy, and the Princess Lieven.” “The most popular amongst these ‘grandes dames,’” he adds, “was Lady Cowper, now Lady Palmerston. Lady Jersey’s bearing, on the contrary, was that of a theatrical tragedy queen; and whilst attempting the sublime, she frequently made herself simply ridiculous, being inconceivably rude, and in her manner often ill-bred. Lady Sefton was kind and amiable, Madame de Lieven haughty and exclusive, Princess Esterhazy was a bon enfant, Lady Castlereagh and Mrs. Burrell de très grandes dames.” “Many diplomatic arts, much finesse, and a
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