« НазадПродовжити »
after he had put the crown upon her head, it was a signal for Princess Augusta and the peeresses to put on their coro
Her majesty then received the sceptre with the cross, and the ivory rod with the dove, and was conducted to a magnificent throne on the left hand of his majesty.
“ I cannot but lament that I was not near enough to observe their majesties going through the most serious and solemn acts of devotion; but I am told, that the reverent at. tention which both paid, when (after having made their second oblations) the next ceremony was, their receiving the holy communion, it brought to the mind of every one near them, a proper recollection of the consecrated place in which they were. Prayers being over, the king and queen retired into St. Edward's chapel, just behind the altar. You must remember it—it is where the superstition of the Roman Catholics has robbed the tomb of that royal confessor of some of its precious ornaments: here their majesties re. ceived each of them a crown of state, as it is called, and a procession was made in the same manner as before, except in some trifling instances, back again to Westininster Hall, all wearing their coronets, caps, &c. You know I have often said, that if one loses an hour in the morning, one may ride after it the whole day without being able to overtake it. This was the case in the present instance ; for, to whatever causes it might be owing, the procession most assuredly set off too late: besides, according to what Harry observed, there were such long pauses between some of the ceremonies in the Abbey, as plainly shewed all the actors were not perfect in their parts. However it be, it is impossible to conceive the chagrin and disappointment which the late return of the procession occasioned; it being so late indeed, that the spectators, even in the open air, had but a very dim and gloomy view of it, while to those who had sat patiently in Westminster Hall, waiting its return for six hours, scarce a glimpse of it appeared, as the branches were not lighted till just upon his majesty's entrance. I had flattered myself that a new scene of splendiil grandeur would have been presented to us in the return of the pro
cession, from the reflection of the lights, &c. and had there fore posted back to the Hall with all possible expedition ; but not even the brilliancy of the ladies jewels, or the greater lustre of their eyes, had the power to render our darkness visible; the whole was confusion, irregularity, and disorder.
“ However, we were afterwards amply recompensed for this partial eclipse by the bright picture which the lighting of the chandeliers presented to us. Your unlucky law-suit has made you too well acquainted with Westminster Hall for me to think of describing it to you'; but I assure you the face of it was greatly altered from what it was when you at. tended to hear the verdict given against you. Instead of the inclosures for the courts of Chancery and King's Bench at the upper end, which were both removed, a platform was raised with several ascents of steps, where their majesties in their chairs of state, and the royal family, sat at table. On each side, down the whole length of the Hall, the rest of the company were seated at long tables, in the middle of which were placed, on elevations painted to represent marble, the desserts, &c. Conceive to yourself, if you can conceive, what I own I am at a loss to describe, so magnificent a building as that of Westminster Hall, lighted up with near three thousand was-candles in most splendid branches; our crowned heads, and almost the whole nobility, with the prime of our gentry, most superbly arrayed, and adorned with a profusion of the most brilliant jewels ; the galleries on every side crowded with company for the most part elegantly and richly dressed: but to conceive it in all its lustre, I am conscious that it is absolutely necessary one must have been present. To proceed in my narration
-' heir majesties table was served with three courses, at the first of which Earl Talbot, as steward of his majesty's houshold, rode up from the Hall gate to the steps leading to where their majesties sat; and on his returning the spectators were presented with an unexpected sight, in his lordship’s backing his horse, that he might keep his face still towards the king. A loud clapping and huzzaing conse
quenty ensued from the people present. The ceremony of the champion, you may remember we laughed at, at its representation last winter; but I assure you it had a very serious effect on those ladies who were near him (though his horse was very gentle) as he came up, accompanied by Lord Effingham as earl-marshal, and the Duke of Bedford as lord high-constable, likewise on horseback : it is needless to repeat what passed on this occasion. I am told, that the horse which the champion rode was the same that his late majesty was mounted on at the glorious and memorable battle of Dettingen. The beast, as well as the rider, had his head adorned with a plume of white, red, and blue feathers.
“ You cannot expect that I should give you a bill of fare, or enumerate the number of dishes that were provided and sent from the temporary kitchens erected in Cotton Garden for this purpose. No less than sixty haunches of venison, with a surprizing quantity of all sorts of game, were laid in for this grand feast : but that which chiefly attracted our eyes, was their majesties dessert, in which the confectioner had lavished all his ingenuity in rock-work and emblema. tical figures. The other desserts were no less admirable for their expressive devices. But I must not forget to tell you, that when the company came to be seated, the poor knights of the Bath had been overlooked, and no table provided for them: an airy apology, however, was served up to them instead of a substantial dinner ; but the two junior knights, in order to preserve their rank of precedency to their successors, were placed at the head of the judges table, above all the learned brethren of the coif. The peers were placed on the outermost side of the tables, and the peeresses within, nearest to the walls. You cannot suppose that there was the greatest order imaginable observed during the dinner, but must conclude, that some of the company were as eager and impatient to satisfy the craving of their appetite as any of your country 'squires at a race or assize ordinary.
“ It was pleasant to see the various stratagems made use of by the company in the galleries to come in for a snack of
the good things below. The ladies clubbed their handker. chiefs to be tied together to draw up a chicken or a bottle of wine ; nay, even garters (I will not say of a different sex) were united for the same purpose. Some had been so provident as to bring baskets with them, which were let down, like the prisoners boxes at Ludgate or the Gate House, with a Pray, remember the poor.
“ You will think it high time that I should bring this long letter to a conclusion. Let it suffice then to acquaint you, that their majesties returned to St. James's a little after ten o'clock at night; but they were pleased to give time for the peeresses to go first, that they might not be incommoded by the pressure of the mob to see their majesties. After the nobility were departed, the illustrious mobility were (according to custom) admitted into the Hall, which they presently cleared of all the moveables, such as the victuals, cloths, plates, dishes, &c. and, in short, every thing that could stick to their fingers.
“ I need not tell you, that several coronation medals, in silver, were thrown among the populace at the return of the procession. One of them was pitched into Mrs. Dixon's lap, as she sat upon a scaffold in Palace Yard. Some, it is said, were also thrown among the peeresses in the Abbey just after the king was crowned; but they thought it below their dignity to stoop to pick them up.
“ My wife desires her compliments to you: she was hugeoulsy pleased with the sight. All friends are well, except that little Nancy Green has got a swelled face, by bea ing up all night; and Tom Moffat has his leg laid upon a stool, on account of a broken shin, which he got by a kick from a trooper's horse, as a reward for his mobbing it. I shall say nothing of the illuminations at night: the newspapers must have told you of them, and that the Admiralty in particular was remarkably lighted up. I expect to have from you an account of the rejoicings at your little town; and desire to know whether you was able to get a slice of the ox which was roasted whole on this occasion.
** Since my writing the above, I have been informed for certain, that the sword of state, by some mistake, being left behind at St. James's, the lord mayor's sword was carried before the king by the Earl of Huntingdon, in its stead; but when the procession came into the Abbey, the sword of state was found placed upon the altar,
" Our friend Harry, who was upon the scaffold, at the return of the procession closed in with the rear; at the expenoe of half-a-guinea was admitted into the Hall; got brim-full of his majesty's claret; and, in the universal plunder, brought off the glass her majesty drank in, which is placed in the beaufait as a valuable curiosity."
In the beginning of March 1761, the king acquired great popularity, by recommending from the throne a method for securing the independence of the judges. He informed both houses of parliament, that, upon granting new com. missions to the judges of assize, the present state of their offices fell naturally under consideration : that, notwithstanding the act of William the Third, for settling the succession to the crown, by which act the commissions of the judges were continued in force during their good behaviour, yet their offices had determined at the demise of the crown, or in six months after that event, as often as it had hapa pened: that as he thought the independence and uprightness of the judges as essential to the impartial administration of justice, one of the best securities to the rights and liberties of his subjects, as well as conducive to the honour of the crown, he recommended this interesting object to the consideration of parliament, that such further provision might: be made for securing the judges in the enjoyment of their offices during their good behaviour, notwithstanding any such demise, as should be most expedient: that he hoped the commons would enable him to grant, and establish upon
the judges, such salaries as he should think proper, so as to be absolutely secured to them during the continuance of their commissions: and that he could not omit the present oppor. tunity of thanking both houses for the great unanimity and application with which they had hitherto carried on the pubYOL.I. No. 21.