« IndietroContinua »
the Lord Lyon went forth and decla- “Mr Duffle," said she, “I have got red the obligatory oath to the people; no gude o’t; for the Doctor, at every and all present lifting up their right new o'ercome o' the ceremony, panted hands, stretched them towards the with an apprehension ; and when he king, who was seated on his throne on saw the 'nointing, I was in a terrificathe stage, and cried with one loud and tion that he would speak loud out, and universal voice,. By the Eternal and get us both sent to the Tower of LonAlmighty God, who liveth and reign- don for high treason. But, Mr Duffle, eth for ever, we become your liege do ye ken the freet of yon doing wi men, and truth and faith shall bear the oil on the palms of the hand ? It's unto you, and live and die with you, my opinion that it's an ancient charm against all manner of folks whatsoever, to keep the new King in the kingdom; in your service, according to the Na- for there is no surer way to make a new tional Covenant, and Solemn League cat stay at hame, than to creesh her and Covenant.'
paws in like manner,--as we had an “ Then the minister addressed him- experience of, after our flitting from the self with the earnest voice of a ser- Manse to Hydrabad-house, as we call vant of the King of Kings and the our new place, in memory of the Cornal's Lord of Glory, and pointed out to the legacy; for Miss Mally Glencairn made poor frail human creature that had us a present of one of Miss Nanny been thus invested with the ensigns Pedian's black kittlings, which is a and homages of -sovereignty, how he radical sorrow, like Miss Nanny's own was obligated, as the temporal type hardware self,-thieving baith in panand representative of Him to whom try and parlour, when it can get in. all thrones and princedoms pertaineth, Howsomever, Mr Duffle, this business to ettle, to the utmost of his ability, must have cost a power of money, and to do that which would be pleasant in considering the King's great straits, the sight of his heavenly Master, with- and the debt that he and his ministers 2 out whose favour he could hope for owe to the pesents, out of which, I do neither homage nor honour nor pros- assure you, we were glad to get our perity, but only confusion of face and twa three pounds, for they were never sorrow of heart for ever.
twa days the same, -it must be allow. 12 *“ Far different, ye see, Mr Duffle," ed that it a piece of dreadful excontinued the worthy Doctor, was travagance. But the Lord London. w the old simplicity of our Presbyterian derry, that was the Lord Castlereagh, Coronation, and deeper the spirit of its is surely a genteel man-none more symbolic ritual sank into the hearts of so among all the Lords—and I would the worshipping witnesses. However, fain hope he knows where the moas King George is a member of the ney is to be had to pay the expence. English Church, I'll no find fault with There he is yonder--that's him with what has been done to him this day. the grand cap of white feathers, and the But I think it was surely a great ómis- blue velvet cloke, to denote that he's in sion in the ceremonial, that there was the King's servitude.- I hope he's no no recognition of him by the people, ordained to be one of the auld bluenor covenant, on their part, to be to gowns.-See what a fine band of diahim, in all straits and perils, true and monds he has on his cap. A gentlefaithful lieges; for it, in a manner, man told me they were pickit out of must leave him in doubt whether they the lids of the snuff-boxes that he and are yet with a right sincerity his sub- his lady got from the Emperor Alexjects, the which it is the main business ander and the King of France, for of a Coronation to verify before the putting Boney out of the way, that world."
was sic a potentate to them all. But, When the Doctor had made an Mr Duffle, how is it possible sic a stack end of this edifying account of our of duds as the King is, to fight in Scottish national way of crowning the state at the head of his armies, when Kings in times past, I turned round to required, for his crown and kingdom? Mrs Pringle, who was sitting at my Howsomever, I spose, as by law nowright hand, sucking an oranger, with a-dayshe is not allowt to go to the wars, her satin gown kilted up to save it the Parliament winks at him. But from the accidental drops of the juice, can ye think, Mr Duffle, that it's pos. and inquired at her what was her opi- sible all the diamonds on the leddies' nion of the crowning in the Abbey, heads here are precious stones ?—Tho
King's crown, I am told, is sprit new, sordid custom of making the royal an• gotten for the occasion, as the old one cient feast of the King of the realm a was found, on an examine, to hae mony pay show, like the wax-work of Solofalse jewels put in to delude the people, mon in all his glory. the true ones being purloined in times When the Hall was cleared in this of trouble. But now that the Coro, manner, a bustle about the throne annation's played and done, can you nounced that the King was again cotell me, Mr Duffle, what's the use o't; ming, so we all stood up, and the for I hae been sitting in a consterna- trumpets sounding, in came his Mation, trying to guess the meaning of jesty, with his orbs and sceptres, and a' this going out, and up and doon, took his seat again at the table. Then and changing swords, and helping the the lower doors, were thrown open, King off and on wi' his clothes-first and in rode three noble peers on horsewi his stockings and syne wi his back, followed by a retinue of servishoone,' as the sang of Logan Water tors on foot, bearing golden turcens sings.- It may be what the Doctor and dishes, which, after some palaver, calls a haryglyphical ceremony, but were placed on the King's table. Duharyglyphical or rabbitifical, I doubt ring this scene, the learned gentlemen it would take wiser men than Pha- of the daily press, above and behind raoh's or the Babylonian soothsayers me, were busily writing, which Dr to expound it. To be sure it's a fine Pringle observing, inquired what they show, that cannot be denied; but it were doing, and when I explained it would have been a more satisfaction to hiin, as I had been told, he noted to the people, had his Majesty pa- that the ambassadors of the allied raded up and down the streets like powers were placed over against them, your King Crispianus at Glasgow." and said, that the thing put him in
While Mrs Fringle was thus dis- mind of Belshazzar's feast, the newscoursing, in her discanting way, in paper reporters being to them as the high satisfaction and glee, taking every hand-writing on the wall, “ MENE, now and then a suck of her oranger, menE, TEKEL UPHARSIN,” said the the Head Lord Chamberlain came with Doctor, in so solemn a manner, that I his staff in his hand, arrayed in his wished the ambassadors could have robes of crimson-velvet, and wearing heard it, as it might have been to them his coronet on his head, and ordered for a warning to their masters; no the Hall to be cleared, turning out, by doubt, however, they were dismayed his own bodily command, every one enough to see the liberty of the press that lingered on the floor, more par- so far ben, and for the first time, too, ticularly the Earl Marshal's flunkies; in a station of recognised honour at for it seems that the Lord Chamber- a Coronation. :: lain, as I read in my old Magazine, is When the golden dishes were set obligated, at a royal Coronation, to have before the King, they stood sometime gaw
in the Earl's back, and takes untouched, for his Majesty would not this method to show his power and permit them to be uncovered, till one supremacy within the bounds of the of the ministers was got to say the Håll. But the ceremony was, I could grace. Then the lids were taken off, see, not relished by those in the Earl when, lo and behold! as Mrs Pringle Marshal's livery, for the most part of judiciously observed, they contained them being gentlemen disguised for the but commonalities; and surely, as she occasion, had hoped, under that mas- said, there ought to have been, at least, querading, to have egress and ingressone pie of singing blackbirds, on such both to Hall and Abbey. However, a great occasion. However, the King the disgrace was inflicted in a very tasted but little of them ; it was there genteel manner, by the Lord Gwydir, fore supposed that he had got a rewho performed the part of Lord Cham- freshment behind the scenes. But we berlain, throughout the whole ploy, know not the truth of this suppose, with the greatest ability. Nothing, in- and, at the time, I could not but comdeed, of the kind was ever so well passionate his Majesty in being oblidone before ; for his lordship, unlike gated to eat before such a multitude. hiscorrupt predecessors, making a profit it would have spoiled my dinner, and of the office, did all in his power to ren- the thought of such discomfort made der it suitable to the nobility of the Doctor Pringle, as he told me himself, three kingdoms, and suppressed the pray inwardly that the Lord might
never make him a king; a very need- a complexity of sense, as there is in less prayer, in my opinion, considering that type and image of the old contenthe reverend doctor's great simplicity tious times of the monarchy, shewn of parts and talents in the way of po- forth in the resurrection of a champion licy.
in a coat-of-mail, challenging to single At this time, I discerned a very combat. elever and genteel manner of acting on In this conjuncture of the ploy, we the part of the Lord Londonderry, were put to a dreadful amazement, by who was one of the grandest sights in a lady of an Irish stock, as I heard, the show. In marching up the Hall taking it into her head to be most awwith the rest, he took his stance on fully terrified at the sight of a Highthe platform whereon the throne was land gentleman in his kilt, and holding placed, and in the wonderment of the his pistol in his hand. The gentleman time forgot to take off his cap of fea- was Glengarry, than whom,
as is well thers, although then before the pre- known, there is not, now-a-days, a sence of the King's Majesty. Some chieftain of a more truly Highland spifriend at his Lordship’s elbow obser- rit ; indeed it may be almost said of ving this, gave him a jog, to put him him, as I have read in a book, it was in mind that it might be thought ill said of one Brutus, the ancient Roman, breeding. Any common body like me that he is one of the last of the chiefwould have been sorely, put out at tains, none caring more for the hardy committing such an oversight; but his mountain race, or encouraging, by his Lordship, with great ready wit, shew- example, the love of the hill and heaing what a pawky diplomatic he is, ther. Well, what does the terrified instead of taking off his cap on the madam do, but set up a plastic to spot, feigned to have some turn to do disarm Glengarry, thinking that he was on the other side of the platform; so going to shoot the King, and put to he walked past in front of the King, death all the blood royal of the Guelf and making his Majesty as beautiful a family, making a clean job o't for the bow as any gentleman could well do, bringing in of the Stewarts again. took off his cap, and held it, for the Then she called to her a Knight of remainder of the time, in his hand. the Bath, and a young man of a 'slen- i 1: The first part of the banquet being der nature, one of the servitors, and ? ended, the sound of an encouraging bade them arrest Glengarry. It was trumpet was heard-and in came the well for them all that the Macdonell Champion on horseback, in the war. knew something of courts, and the like apparel of polished armour, ha- dues of pedigree, and bridled himself ving on his right hand the Duke of 'at this hobbleshow ; but it was just a Wellington, and on his left, the de- picture, and a contrast to be held in puty of the Earl Marshal. But it remembrance, to see the proud and does not accord with the humility of bold son of the mountain---the noble my private pen to expatiate on such that a King cannot make, for its past high concerns of chivalry; and I was the monarch's power to bestow the besides just tormented the whole time honour of a chieftainship, even on the by Mrs Pringle, speering the meaning Duke of Wellington, as all true Highof every thing, and demonstrating her landers well know ;-I say, it was a ? surprise, that the Duke of Welling- show to see him, the lion of the rock, a ton could submit to act such a play- submitting himself calmly as a lamb to actor's part. Really it's a great vexa- those “silken sons of little men,” and i tion to have to do with either men or the whole tot of the treason proving women of such unicorn minds as Mrs but a lady's hysteric.* Pringle, where there is any thing of
* The particulars of this ludicrous affair are excellently described in a letter from Colonel Macdonell himself, published in answer to a paragraph in that sagacious newspaper, The Times, entitled " A Mysterious Circumstance.” When the " mysterious circumstance” was first read in Edinburgh, it was at once known that it could only apply to Glengarry; but a Highlander thought otherwise from the pistol not being loaded, saying, By Gote, it could na be Glengarry, for she's aye loaded."-We subjoin the letter.
“ SIR-The alarm expressed by a lady on seeing me in Westminster Hall on the day of his Majesty's coronation, and the publicity which her ladyship judged it becoming to
After the champion and his compa- ming forth of the high Lords on horsenions had made their “exeunt omnes, back, followed by their retinue of poor as it is written in the Latin tongue, in Gentlemen, that have pensions, carrythe play-books, there was another co- ing up the gold dishes for his Majes
give to that expression of her alarm by means of your paper, I should have treated with the indifference due to such mock heroics in one of the fair sex, but that it has been copied into other papers, with comments and additions which seemed to me to reflect both upon my conduct and the Highland character. I trust therefore to your sense of justice for giving to the public the real history of the mysterious circumstance,' as it is termed. I had the honour of a Royal Duke's tickets for my daughter and myself to see his Majesty crowned, and I dressed upon that magnificent and solemn occasion in the full costume of a Highland Chief, including of course a brace of pistols. I had travelled about 600 miles for that purpose, and in that very dress, with both pistols mounted, I had the honour to kiss my Sovereign's hand at the levee of Wednesday last, the 25th instant. Finding one of our seats in the Hall occupied by a lady on our return to the lower gallery, (whence I had led my daughter down for refreshments,) I, upon replacing her in her former situation, stepped two or three rows further back, and was thus de prived of a view of the mounted noblemen, by the anxiety of the ladies, which induced them to stand up as the horsemen entered, whereupon I moved nearer the upper end of the gallery, and had thereby a full view of his Majesty and the Royal Dukes upon his right hand. I had been standing in this positiou for some time, with one of the pilasters in the fold of my right arm, and my breast pistol in that hand pointing towards the seat Aloor on which I stood, when the Champion entered, by which means I hung my body forward in any thing but seemingly as if going to present it :' in fact, I had taken it into my hand in order to relieve my chest from the pressure of its weight, after having worn it slung till then, from four o'clock. It was at this instant that a lady within a short distance exclaimed, • O Lord, O Lord, there is a gentleman with a pistol!' to which I answered, “The pistol will do you no harm, madam ;' but a second time she cried out, O Lord, O Lord, there is a gentleman with a pistol !' This last I answered by assuring her that the pistol was not loaded, but that I would • instantly retire to my place, since it seemed to give her uneasiness ;' and I was accordingly preparing to do so, when accosted by a young knight-errant, and closely followed by two others, likewise in plain clothes, one of whom, the first that began to mob me, for it merits no other term, laid his hand on my pistol, still grasped, under a loose glove, in my right hand ; and, observing the numbers increase on his side, he asked me to deliver him the pistol. Need I 6.7 that, as a Highland chieftain, I refused his demand with contempt ? The second gentleman then urged his friend's suit, but was equally unsuccessful ; a Knight of the Grand Cross was then introduced with all due honours, by the name of Sir Charles, into this petty contention, and he also desired me to give up my pistol to that gentleman ; which I flatly refused, but added, that understanding him by dress, &c. to be a Knight of the Grand Cross, he might have it if he chose with all its responsibility; for, as I had already said, it was not loaded, and pistols were a part of my national garb in full dress.
“ Again, Sir Charles desired me to give it to that gentleman;' but my answer was, "No, Sir Charles. You, as a soldier, may have it, as the honour of an officer, and a man of family, will be safe in your hands ; but positively no other shall, so take it, or leave it
, as you please.' Soon after the Knight Grand Cross had come up, I perceived the gentleman in the scarlet frock (who appeared to be sent by Lady A. -y), but his conduct was not prominently offensive in this affair. Sir Charles, after the conversation above referred to, took possession of that pistol, the other being always worn by me in its place; and the Knight Grand Cross, having first declined my turning up the pan to shew that there was no powder in it, I told him I had a daughter under my protection in the hall
, and consequently proceeded in that direction, on his signifying a wish that I should retire, adding, ' I have worn this dress at several continental courts, and it never was insulted before.' I begged the favour of his card, (which he had not upon him), at the same time gave him my name, and the hotel where I lodged, expressing an expectation to see him. Sir Charles at this time begged I would move forward, and I begged of him to proceed in that direction, and that I would follow; this he did a short way, and then halting, requested I would walk first. I said, • I had no objections, if he followed :' however, he and the Squire remained a little behind, probably to examine the pistol I had lent Sir Charles, which the latter shortly came up with and restored. Soon after I was seated, I missed my glove, and returned in search of it to the close vicinity of Lady A., when her gallant Squire pledged himself to fetch it to me if I retired to my seat, and he soon after redeemed his pledge : mean time, Sir Charles must recollect that I spoke again to him, on my way back, and that I then mentioned to him the name of a near
ty's table, in a most humiliated man- there assembled looking on. But when ner, bowing their heads three times, I pointed him out to the Doctor, the and coming away backward ; and when Doctor was terrified at our ignorance, the King had eaten of the dishes, there and told us that it was the Lord Chanwas a great shew of loyalty and regal- cellor. I could not, however, believe ity, performed by divers dukes and this, as it is well known the Lord lords of manors; among others, I was Chancellor is a most venerable characpleased to see his Grace of Argyle per- ter, and knows better how to behave forming the ancient part of his Scot- himself with a gravity when within tish progenitors, and getting a golden the light and beam of the royal eye. cup for his pains.
But the best part of the ploy was afI think it was in this crisis of the ter his Majesty had retired, for, when entertainment, that Mrs Pringle point-, he departed, every one, according to, ed out to me, sitting by the head of immemorial privilege, ran to plunder the Peers' table, an elderly man, with the table, and the Doctor and me and a most comical wig, and having a co- Mrs Pringle made what haste we ronet over it on his head, just a sport could to join the hobbleshow below, to see. Both the mistress and me won- in order to get a share of the spoil. dered exceedingly what he could be, The Doctor, at the first attempt, got a and when we heard him propose to golden cup, as he thought, but, och drink the King's health, with one-and- hon ! honest man! on an examine, it eighty hurras, we concluded he could proved to be only timber gilt; as for te no other than the King's George me, I was content with a piece of a Buchanan on this occasion; and what most excellent bacon ham, and a corconfirmed us in this notion, was his dial glass or two of claret wine, and a soon after going up as one privileged, bit seed-cake, having fasted for so long and saying something very funny to a period. Mrs Pringle would fain bave his Majesty, at which we could see had a rug at the royal, nappery on the his Majesty smiled like a diverted per- King's table, but it was nailed fast. son. Over and above this, he took great She, however, seized a gilded image of liberties with his royal highness the a lady, like what is on the bawbees, Duke Clarence, at the King's left hand, with a lion by her side, and not a little shaking hands with him in a joke-fel- jocose the Mistress was with it, for it low like manner, and poking and kit- was almost as big as a bairn, wondertling him in the ribs with his fore-fin- ing and marvelling how she would get ger, which was a familiarity that no it carried home. But, as the Doctor man in his right mind at the time would observed on the occasion, most uncerhave ventured to practise at the royal tain are all earthly possessions.--Mrs table, and before the representatives of Pringle happened just for a moment all the monarchies of Europe, as was to turn her back on her idol to take a
connexion of mine, well known in command of the Coldstream Guards; and as neither of these gentlemen have called for me since, I presume they are satisfied that the blunder • was not upon my side, and that my conduct would bear itself through. The conclusion of the day went off very pleasantly, and when satiated therewith, my daughter and I drove off amidst many marks of civility and condescension even from strangers, as well as from our own countrymen and acquaintances in the highest rank.
“ This, sir, is the whole history of the absurd and ridiculous alarm. Pistols are as essential to the Highland courtier's dress, as a sword to the English courtier's, the Frenchman, or the German, and those used by me on such occasions are as unstained with pow. der, as any courtier's sword with blood: it is only the grossest ignorance of the Highland character and costume which could imagine that the assassin lurked under their bold and manly form.
“ With respect to the wild fantasy that haunted Lady A.'s brain of danger to his Majesty, I may be permitted to say, that George the Fourth has not in his dominions more faithful subjects than the Highlanders; and that not an individual witnessed his Majesty's coronation who would more cheerfully and ardently shed his heart's blood for him than
“ Your humble Servant, not © Macnaughton,' but “ ARD-FLATH SIOL-CHUINN MAC-MHIC ALASTAIR, which may be
anglified Colonel Ronaldson Macdonell of Glengarry and Clapronald." ► Gordon's Hotel, Albemarle Street, July 29."