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the Lord Lyon went forth and declared the obligatory oath to the people; and all present lifting up their right hands, stretched them towards the king, who was seated on his throne on the stage, and cried with one loud and universal voice, By the Eternal and Almighty God, who liveth and reigneth for ever, we become your liege men, and truth and faith shall bear unto you, and live and die with you, against all manner of folks whatsoever, in your service, according to the National Covenant, and Solemn League and Covenant.'
"Then the minister addressed himself with the earnest voice of a servant of the King of Kings and the Lord of Glory, and pointed out to the poor frail human creature that had been thus invested with the ensigns and homages of sovereignty, how he was obligated, as the temporal type and representative of Him to whom all thrones and princedoms pertaineth, to ettle, to the utmost of his ability, to do that which would be pleasant in the sight of his heavenly Master, without whose favour he could hope for neither homage nor honour nor prosperity, but only confusion of face and sorrow of heart for ever.
"Far different, ye see, Mr Duffle," continued the worthy Doctor, "was the old simplicity of our Presbyterian Coronation, and deeper the spirit of its symbolic ritual sank into the hearts of the worshipping witnesses. However, as King George is a member of the English Church, I'll no find fault with what has been done to him this day. But I think it was surely a great ómission in the ceremonial, that there was no recognition of him by the people, nor covenant, on their part, to be to him, in all straits and perils, true and faithful lieges; for it, in a manner, must leave him in doubt whether they are yet with a right sincerity his subjects, the which it is the main business of a Coronation to verify before the world."
When the Doctor had made an end of this edifying account of our Scottish national way of crowning the Kings in times past, I turned round to Mrs Pringle, who was sitting at my right hand, sucking an oranger, with her satin gown kilted up to save it from the accidental drops of the juice, and inquired at her what was her opinion of the crowning in the Abbey,
"Mr Duffle," said she, "I have got no gude o't; for the Doctor, at every new o'ercome o' the ceremony, panted with an apprehension; and when he saw the 'nointing, I was in a terrification that he would speak loud out, and get us both sent to the Tower of London for high treason. But, Mr Duffle, do ye ken the freet of yon doing wi’ the oil on the palms of the hand? It's my opinion that it's an ancient charm to keep the new King in the kingdom; for there is no surer way to make a new cat stay at hame, than to creesh_her paws in like manner,- -as we had an experience of, after our flitting from the Manse to Hydrabad-house, as we call our new place, in memory of the Cornal's legacy; for Miss Mally Glencairn made us a present of one of Miss Nanny Pedian's black kittlings, which is a radical sorrow, like Miss Nanny's own hardware self,-thieving baith in pantry and parlour, when it can get in. Howsomever, Mr Duffle, this business must have cost a power of money, and considering the King's great straits, and the debt that he and his ministers owe to the pesents, out of which, I do assure you, we were glad to get our twa three pounds, for they were never twa days the same,-it must be allowed that it is a piece of dreadful_extravagance. But the Lord Londonderry, that was the Lord Castlereagh, is surely a genteel man-none more so among all the Lords-and I would fain hope he knows where the money is to be had to pay the expence. There he is yonder that's him with the grand cap of white feathers, and the blue velvet cloke, to denote that he's in the King's servitude.-I hope he's no ordained to be one of the auld bluegowns.-See what a fine band of diamonds he has on his cap. A gentleman told me they were pickit out of the lids of the snuff-boxes that he and his lady got from the Emperor Alexander and the King of France, for putting Boney out of the way, that was sic a potentate to them all. But, Mr Duffle, how is it possible sic a stack of duds as the King is, to fight in state at the head of his armies, when required, for his crown and kingdom? Howsomever, I spose, as by law nowa-days he is not allowt to go to the wars, the Parliament winks at him. But can ye think, Mr Duffle, that it's possible all the diamonds on the leddies' heads here are precious stones ?-The
King's crown, I am told, is sprit new, gotten for the occasion, as the old one was found, on an examine, to hae mony false jewels put in to delude the people, the true ones being purloined in times of trouble. But now that the Coronation's played and done,' can you tell me, Mr Duffle, what's the use o't; for I hae been sitting in a consternation, trying to guess the meaning of a' this going out, and up and doon, and changing swords, and helping the King off and on wi' his clothes- first wi his stockings and syne wi his shoone,' as the sang of Logan Water sings.-It may be what the Doctor calls a haryglyphical ceremony, but haryglyphical or rabbitifical, I doubt it would take wiser men than Pharaoh's or the Babylonian soothsayers to expound it. To be sure it's a fine show, that cannot be denied; but it would have been a more satisfaction to the people, had his Majesty paraded up and down the streets like your King Crispianus at Glasgow."
While Mrs Pringle was thus discoursing, in her discanting way, in high satisfaction and glee, taking every now and then a suck of her oranger, the Head Lord Chamberlain came with his staff in his hand, arrayed in his robes of crimson-velvet, and wearing his coronet on his head, and ordered the Hall to be cleared, turning out, by his own bodily command, every one that lingered on the floor, more particularly the Earl Marshal's flunkies; for it seems that the Lord Chamberlain, as I read in my old Magazine, is obligated, at a royal Coronation, to have a gaw in the Earl's back, and takes this method to show his power and supremacy within the bounds of the Hall. But the ceremony was, I could see, not relished by those in the Earl Marshal's livery, for the most part of them being gentlemen disguised for the occasion, had hoped, under that masquerading, to have egress and ingress both to Hall and Abbey. However, the disgrace was inflicted in a very genteel manner, by the Lord Gwydir, who performed the part of Lord Chamberlain, throughout the whole ploy, with the greatest ability. Nothing, indeed, of the kind was ever so well done before; for his lordship, unlike his corrupt predecessors, making a profit of the office, did all in his power to render it suitable to the nobility of the three kingdoms, and suppressed the
sordid custom of making the royal ancient feast of the King of the realm a pay show, like the wax-work of Solomon in all his glory.
When the Hall was cleared in this manner, a bustle about the throne announced that the King was again coming, so we all stood up, and the trumpets sounding, in came his Majesty, with his orbs and sceptres, and took his seat again at the table. Then the lower doors were thrown open, and in rode three noble peers on horseback, followed by a retinue of servitors on foot, bearing golden turcens and dishes, which, after some palaver, were placed on the King's table. During this scene, the learned gentlemen of the daily press, above and behind me, were busily writing, which Dr Pringle observing, inquired what they were doing, and when I explained it to him, as I had been told, he noted that the ambassadors of the allied powers were placed over against them, and said, that the thing put him in mind of Belshazzar's feast, the newspaper reporters being to them as the hand-writing on the wall," MENE, MENE, TEKEL UPHARSIN," said the Doctor, in so solemn a manner, that I wished the ambassadors could have heard it, as it might have been to them for a warning to their masters; no doubt, however, they were dismayed enough to see the liberty of the press so far ben, and for the first time, too, in a station of recognised honour at a Coronation.
When the golden dishes were set before the King, they stood sometime untouched, for his Majesty would not permit them to be uncovered, till one of the ministers was got to say the grace. Then the lids were taken off, when, lo and behold! as Mrs Pringle judiciously observed, they contained but commonalities; and surely, as she said, there ought to have been, at least, one pie of singing blackbirds, on such a great occasion. However, the King tasted but little of them; it was therefore supposed that he had got a refreshment behind the scenes. But we know not the truth of this suppose, and, at the time, I could not but compassionate his Majesty in being obligated to eat before such a multitude. It would have spoiled my dinner, and the thought of such discomfort made Doctor Pringle, as he told me himself, pray inwardly that the Lord might
never make him a king; a very needless prayer, in my opinion, considering the reverend doctor's great simplicity of parts and talents in the way of policy.
At this time, I discerned a very elever and genteel manner of acting on the part of the Lord Londonderry, who was one of the grandest sights in the show. In marching up the Hall with the rest, he took his stance on the platform whereon the throne was placed, and in the wonderment of the time forgot to take off his cap of feathers, although then before the presence of the King's Majesty. Some friend at his Lordship's elbow observing this, gave him a jog, to put him in mind that it might be thought ill breeding. Any common body like me would have been sorely put out at committing such an oversight; but his Lordship, with great ready wit, shewing what a pawky diplomatic he is, instead of taking off his cap on the spot, feigned to have some turn to do on the other side of the platform; so he walked past in front of the King, and making his Majesty as beautiful a bow as any gentleman could well do, took off his cap, and held it, for the remainder of the time, in his hand.
The first part of the banquet being ended, the sound of an encouraging trumpet was heard-and in came the Champion on horseback, in the warlike apparel of polished armour, ha ving on his right hand the Duke of Wellington, and on his left, the deputy of the Earl Marshal. But it does not accord with the humility of my private pen to expatiate on such high concerns of chivalry; and I was besides just tormented the whole time by Mrs Pringle, speering the meaning of every thing, and demonstrating her surprise, that the Duke of Wellington could submit to act such a playactor's part. Really it's a great vexation to have to do with either men or women of such unicorn minds as Mrs Pringle, where there is any thing of
a complexity of sense, as there is in that type and image of the old contentious times of the monarchy, shewn forth in the resurrection of a champion in a coat-of-mail, challenging to single combat.
In this conjuncture of the ploy, we were put to a dreadful amazement, by a lady of an Irish stock, as I heard, taking it into her head to be most awfully terrified at the sight of a Highland gentleman in his kilt, and holding his pistol in his hand. The gentleman was Glengarry, than whom, as is well known, there is not, now-a-days, a chieftain of a more truly Highland spirit; indeed it may be almost said of him, as I have read in a book, it was said of one Brutus, the ancient Roman, that he is one of the last of the chieftains, none caring more for the hardy mountain race, or encouraging, by his example, the love of the hill and heather.
Well, what does the terrified madam do, but set up a plastic to disarm Glengarry, thinking that he was going to shoot the King, and put to death all the blood royal of the Guelf family, making a clean job o't for the bringing in of the Stewarts again. Then she called to her a Knight of the Bath, and a young man of a slender nature, one of the servitors, and bade them arrest Glengarry. It was well for them all that the Macdonell knew something of courts, and the dues of pedigree, and bridled himself at this hobbleshow; but it was just a picture, and a contrast to be held in remembrance, to see the proud and bold son of the mountain-the noble that a King cannot make, for its past the monarch's power to bestow the honour of a chieftainship, even on the Duke of Wellington, as all true Highlanders well know ;-I say, it was a show to see him, the lion of the rock, submitting himself calmly as a lamb to those "silken sons of little men," and the whole tot of the treason proving but a lady's hysteric."
* 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
ming forth of the high Lords on horseback, followed by their retinue of poor Gentlemen, that have pensions, carrying 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 deprived 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 position 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 floor 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 say 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 manner, bowing their heads three times, and coming away backward; and when the King had eaten of the dishes, there was a great shew of loyalty and regality, performed by divers dukes and lords of manors; among others, I was pleased to see his Grace of Argyle performing the ancient part of his Scottish progenitors, and getting a golden cup for his pains.
I think it was in this crisis of the entertainment, that Mrs Pringle pointed out to me, sitting by the head of the Peers' table, an elderly man, with a most comical wig, and having a coronet over it on his head, just a sport to see. Both the mistress and me wondered exceedingly what he could be, and when we heard him propose to drink the King's health, with one-andeighty hurras, we concluded he could te no other than the King's George Buchanan on this occasion; and what confirmed us in this motion, was his soon after going up as one privileged, and saying something very funny to his Majesty, at which we could see his Majesty smiled like a diverted person. Over and above this, he took great liberties with his royal highness the Duke Clarence, at the King's left hand, shaking hands with him in a joke-fellow like manner, and poking and kittling him in the ribs with his fore-finger, which was a familiarity that no man in his right mind at the time would have ventured to practise at the royal table, and before the representatives of all the monarchies of Europe, as was
there assembled looking on. But when I pointed him out to the Doctor, the Doctor was terrified at our ignorance, and told us that it was the Lord Chan-. cellor. I could not, however, believe this, as it is well known the Lord Chancellor is a most venerable character, and knows better how to behave himself with a gravity when within the light and beam of the royal eye.
But the best part of the ploy was after his Majesty had retired, for, when he departed, every one, according to, immemorial privilege, ran to plunder. the table, and the Doctor and me and Mrs Pringle made what haste we could to join the hobbleshow below, in order to get a share of the spoil. The Doctor, at the first attempt, got a golden cup, as he thought, but, och hon! honest man! on an examine, it proved to be only timber gilt; as for me, I was content with a piece of a most excellent bacon ham, and a cordial glass or two of claret wine, and a bit seed-cake, having fasted for so long a period. Mrs Pringle would fain have had a rug at the royal nappery on the King's table, but it was nailed fast. She, however, seized a gilded image of a lady, like what is on the bawbees, with a lion by her side, and not a little jocose the Mistress was with it, for it was almost as big as a bairn, wondering and marvelling how she would get it carried home. But, as the Doctor observed on the occasion, most uncertain are all earthly possessions.-Mrs Pringle happened just for a moment 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 powder, 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 Clanronald.” ”
"Gordon's Hotel, Albemarle Street, July 29."