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As the following Letters were written from
London, at short intervals from each other, and as they were all directed to the same person, I have deemed it unnecessary to affix the dates, as heretofore.
I had rather be a country servant maid,
The threatened coronation, the impending trial of the Queen, and the congregation of the members of Parliament, have collected such an immense crowd in the metropolis, that it is a difficult matter to find beds and apartments in the different hotels. The gay carnival of fashionable life opens every source of pleasure, folly and vice, to those whose only occupation is to get rid of their time and keep off reflection. The British nobility unite in London during the fashionable season; at the end of which, they leave it to those who cannot afford the expense
of a continental tour, or a country seat. The grand theatres close, and make way for the more bourgeois amusements of the summer season, as Vauxhall, Astley's, Sadler's Wells, &c. The rigid sectarian of fashion, would be shocked at the idea of being in Lon
don, when he is supposed reposing himself in the country, after the pleasurable fatigues of the preceding months.
I have seen that unhappy princess, over whom her execrable husband and his satellites have been endeavouring to throw a veil of infamy. She was riding in an open calash, with Lady Hamilton and Alderman Wood. She appears to be the idol of the populace, who spare no means of testifying their respect and affection for her, and their hatred for her dastardly persecutors. Her Majesty was
simplex munditiis" in her dress, and displayed the utmost grace and good humour in her countenance. The people were for unharnessing the horses, and dragging her vehicle in triumph through the streets; but this the Queen would by no means permit. In the mean time, the ministerial papers are filled with daily insults on her Majesty, whose sex at least should preserve her from such mercenary abuse. The Queen has displayed the most heroical courage, and the greatest dignity since her arrival in England, where her presence must be rather galling to her enemies. She has announced her intention of appearing at the royal theatres, where I will most certainly go to see her. Gresset says, very beautifully and truly,
“Le jour d'un nouveau règne est le jour des ingrats." As George IV. has in reality been king for a number of years, there was no chance for the courtiers to evince this feeling on the demise
of his late Majesty; but their atrocious conduct towards the wife of the reigning monarch, will leave a disgraceful page in the annals of courts. They cringe to the meanest vices of their master, and they flatter him into an opinion that every thing must yield to his destructive caprices. Now, to suppose that in this enlightened age, the despotic whims of a prince ought to prevail over the voice of reason and the laws of the land, is little better than the doctrine of the Mahometan officer, who suffered the English prisoners in the Black Hole to die of thirst, rather than disturb the slumbers of the Nawawb!
The fashionable gentry cut a most piteous figure in the present crisis. Every body knows how the Queen would be served and waited upon, and howed to, and deferred to, and smirked at-were she reigning instead of the King. In fact, no one belonging to the high modish circles, has paid her Majesty a visit:
“Who sues, and kneels, and says God save the Queen! Where be the bending Peers that flattered her?
Where be the thronging troops that followed her?” Not even her son-in-law, Prince Leopold, has condescended to pay his respects to this most injured Princess; he thus shows himself as vile, and as cringing to power, as the meanest courtier.
In the mean time, George IV. and his horde, prepare the thunders of impeachment for the devoted head of the Queen, whose offences,
like those of Job, “are sealed up in a bag." The opening of this precious sack took place with the utmost secrecy-but the contents will not be divulged till the eve of the prorogation
-What the bag contains is best known to his most gracious Majesty, and his praise-worthy ministers—but it is probably crammed with all the filth and lies, which contemptible suborners, and the mercenary hirelings of Italy and Germany could rake together.
Horace Walpole says, in his interesting Reminiscences, that, “ perhaps too much difficulty of untying the Gordian knot of matrimony, thrown in the way of an absolute prince, would be no kindness to the ladies, but might prompt him to use a sharper instrument, like that butchering husband, Henry VIII." I have no doubt that the king would have no objection to the keenest edged instrument, that would part him from his loathed spouse; but should he dare to lift his arm against her life, the whole nation would rush forward in her defence, and would drag George from the throne which he pollutes by his presence.
All the charges, slanders, accusations, assurances and hearsays which were formerly collected against the Queen, and most triumphantly disproved, are now repeated with the filthy stories sworn to by a gang of foreign liars of low station and infamous character.Now, it is very evident that no one, at this moment, any more believes the application of these stories to her Majesty, than they do that
she was the mother of young Austin. Nay, it may be safely averred, that the perjuries of the Douglas's, rendered it much more probable that Austin was the son of the Queen, than the oaths of such vermin as Majocci, have made it creditable that her Majesty was guilty of the foul indecencies attributed to her. And yet no evidence upon earth could make that child which was the son of one woman, become the son of another: but, as monstrous as this supposition is, it is less monstrous and much better supported in evidence, than the allegations of the present conspiracy; for, on that occasion, the pregnancy, parturition and labour of the Queen, were deposed to by witnesses of unimpeachable character. But, in this instance, we have filthy, unnatural acts, sworn to by witnesses wholly unworthy of credit, even by their own showing!
The present state of France becomes criti. cal. I should not be surprised if some of Bonaparte's marshals or generals were to place themselves at the head of the troops, and proclaim young Napoleon. The splendid career of the emperor, has given people a restless idea of the comparative insignificance of legitimate monarchs; his diadem dimmed the lustre of all the ancient crowns of Europe; her nobles have been out-shone, out-generalled and out-ne. gociated, by men raised by their own exertions from the common level of the populace. The memory of Napoleon is still warmly cherished by a large party in France, and possibly more