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SINGULAR LIFE OF LOLA MONTES., Hawkes Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5807, 11 October 1880
SINGULAR LIFE OF LOLA MONTES.
Lola Montes, a beautiful danseuse, came to Munich from Paris, overflowing with a passionate enthusiasm for liberty, equality, and fraternity, a sentiment she had imbibed under the auspices of a young journalist named Dujarrier. At Munich her beauty and distinguished manners attracted the notice of the King. From that moment Bavaria and its king were governed by Lola Montes. This adventuress's exit from Paris was as picturesque as her rise iuto power at Munich. Dujarrier, who was editor of La Creese, quarrelled with a political opponent named Beauvallon. Beauvallon challenged him to a duel, which they fought in the Bois de Bologue. Dujarrier, who could not hit a mark as large as a man twice in fourteen times, was shot through tho brain. For this honorable murder Beauvallon was tried at Rouen and acquitted. Among the witnesses at the trial were Alexandre Dumas, who was a friend of Dujarrier, and Lola Montes. This is what the journals said of Lola's part in the tragedy : — " Madlle. de Montes had expressed a desire to be introduced to Beauvallon and go to the dinner, but Dujarrier positively refused to allow it. She received the letter on her return from rehearsal, and immediately took measures to prevent the duel, bnt ifc was too late.'' " I was,'' said she, in her testimony, " a better shot than Dujarrier, and if Beauvallon wan ted satisfaction I would have fought him myself." She received the corpse from the carriage, and the emotion which she then experienced was still visible in her testimony. Dujarrier evidently entertained a warm affection for her, as, in addition to his farewell letter, he wrote a will on the morning of the duel, leaving her the principal parfc of hia estate. Before Lola Montes became thus notorious, her life had been a varied one. Her baptismal name was Marie Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, and she was born of respectable parents in tho city of Limerick in the year 1818. Her mother waa of Spanish descent. Her fathar was an officer in the 44fch regiment. Shortly after her birth her parents took her to India. Here her father died of cholera, and her mother speedily re-marrying, Dolores, or Lola as she was always called, was sent to Europe, where she was placed under the care of a Scotch family at Montrose. From Montrose she went to France, and thence to Bath. Bath was at that time a centre of fashion, and Lola's visit there was a crisis in her life. She had inherited from her mixed Irish and Spanish descent a fierce passionate temperament, and education and example had done nothing to modify it. Her mother did nothing by her example to correct the faults of the daughter, and unfortunately all other difficulties were complicated by Lola's consciousness that she possessed the all-subduing gift of ' beauty. Under the circumstances for Lola to finish her education with a fashionable course afc Bafch was about the ' most fatal thing that could happen to her. While afc Bath her mother arranged a marriage between her and a gouty old judge of sixty. Lola objected ; her mother insisted on her obedience. ' The impetuous girl settled the dispute
; by eloping with a captain named -Tames, to whom she was married at Neath, inthe i month of July 1837* Captain James remainrd in Ireland wifch his wife eight I. months, when he joined his regiment, the i 2lst Bengal Native Foot, in India. Differences arose, by mutual desire a divorce waa obtained, and Lola was sent 'back fco Europe ut the close of the year 1842. It was decided by her friends that , she should take up her residence witli il branch of her father-in-law's family at Perth. Loin retained no pleasant memories of her previous residence in a Calvinistic Scotch family, ancl ahe refused to accompany Mr David Craigie, who was waiting to escort her to Perth. Sha had a small sum of money wifch which her friends had supplied her before quitting India, and on this she lived for a time. Her intention was to become an actress, but deficient English was a bar to her immediate appearance, so it was settled that she should be a dansettse. A Spanish teacher of that art was soon procured, with whom she studied for four months, after wliich she made her debut at Her Majesty's Thoatre. Ad a dansettse she "\yas not very successful, but hei' style proved a source of attraction iv various cities of the Continent, and eventually placed her in. power at Munich. There, to the surprise of every one, she ruled witli wisdofri and ability, but heir innovations created numerous enemies, who, working on the popular dislike to her foreign extraction and equivocal position, roused disturbances 'wnich ended iv her expulsion from the kingdom. During her brief tenure of power sho unquestionably assisted the Liberal party in Bavaria. King Ludwig, after she had been at Munich a few months, raised her to the ranks of the nobility wifch the title of Countess of Handsfeld, and gave her an estate of fche same name with certain feudal privileges and rights which yielded an income of over £5000 per annum. When the popular disturbsnees drove her from Bavaria he even endeavored to bring her back again, bufc was prevented. Her estates were confiscated and her naturalization as a Bavarian subject was cancelled. Various descriptions of her appearance about this time are extant. In person she was of the middle height, slender, with a mass of raven-black hair, and large lustrous eyes of a deep blue almost approaching black, with long' black lashes. The lower part of her face was symmetrical, the upper part not so good, owing to rather prominent cheek-bones. Her chin was somewhat ungracefully sharp, her nose was delicately fashioned with thin mobile nostrils whose vibrations betrayed every emotion of anger or pleasure. Her complexion was pale and dark. Seen in repose, she did nofc merit her great reputation as a beauty; bufc when in motion or speaking her vivacity and expressiveness which lit up her mobile features and magnificent eyes made her undeniably fascinating. She was a charming and eloquent talker, and displayed in her conversation a wide and keen intelligence and a mental grasp unusual in a woman. From Bavaria Lola was conveyed under arrest to Switzerland, whence she came to London. Her arrival in the metropolis was signalled by various notices in the Press of her career, and the directors of Convent Garden Theatre announced a piece entitled * Lola Montes, or A Countess for an Hour.' The dramatic censor of the day, however, interdicted the representation. While in London, a young lieutenant named Heald, much to the annoyance of his friends, fell in love with and married the beautiful but too notorious danseuse. An aunt, in whose guardianship he had been left, endeavored as a last resource to trace Lola's previous husband, Captain James, and succeeded. On the strength of this she instituted a charge of bigamy against Lola, but before the ca3e was concluded Heald fled with her to Spain. They wandered about Spain and France together for some time, but eventually Heald left Lola and returned to London, where he succeeded in getting his marriage annulled. After a short residence in Paris, Lola's restless spirit flung her from one end of the world to the otlier, and she was heard of in quick succession at the theatres of the United States and of Australia. The last few months of her life were devoted to visiting the outcasts of her own sex at the Magdalen Asylum near New York. While thus laboring, she was suddenly stricken down with paralysis. She lingered for a few weeks and died, sincerely penitent for her past life, on the 17th January, 1861. She was buried, according to the Episcopalian rite 3, in Greenwood Cemetery. A plain marble tablet has been erected above the spot, inscribed with her name and the date of her birth and decease. The remains of her property she bequeathed to the Magdalen Asylum. Thus died Lola Montes at the age of forty-three. ...
SINGULAR LIFE OF LOLA MONTES., Hawkes Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5807, 11 October 1880
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