Page images



[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

indeed, was such as is not to be told you that have ruined the Queen's cause hundreds of men were as busy as bees —What have you to do with her guilt working at their bikes, building lafts or innocence, you-baggage-you ?' and galleries for spectators, by which The woman looked at him very sethe owners expected to make a fortune, verely; and as I was only a stranger it being certain that money at the time in London, I thought it best to make of a coronation, as the old song sings nimble heels from the scene to another “ Flies like the dust in a summer's day.” heard her at him, banning the faint

part, and before I was well away I However, there were sedate persons heartedness of him and all his like, for among the crowd, with whom I entere false friends to the queen. ed into discourse; and they told me, The next I spoke to was a young genas indeed the matter came truly to teel man, with a most methodicalgravat, pass, that the Babel-builders of the prejinctly tied, and I inquired at him scaffolds were over-doing the business, what was his opinion. " It will be a for, that although great prices for seats wery fine thing; his Majesty, you see, may have been given at the old King's vill go halong that there platform, vith solemnity, the like would not happen trumpets, and the ouse of peers;

then again, the space now around the Ab- he vill come by this ere place, and get bey, and all the way the procession into the Habbey there, where the was to march, being greatly enlarged Harshbishop vill hanoint im vith the compared to what it was in former hoil, and put the crown hon is ead. times, and so capable of accommoda- Then he vill come back; hand hout that ting a far greater multitude than ofrection yonder; the champion, hall in old.

armour, vill ride into the all, and chalThis observe made me look about lenge to single combat his Majesty's me; and to touch here and there on henemies." the generalities of the subject to other “ You may say that, now that Bopersons, who, having a civil look, en. ney's gone,” cried a pawkey young lad, couraged me, though a stranger, to who was the companion of this gentlebreak my mind to them.

tleman; “ but, it's my opinion, the I fell in, among the rest, with a whole will be a most confounded bore. most creditable elderly man, something Give me a review for a show. How of a Quaker it would seem, by the so- can old men, judges, and privy counbriety of his attire, the colour was a sellors, with gouty toes, and shaking brown mixture,-and he said to me heads, make else than a caricature of that he thought the Coronation a most solemnities?" ill-timed proceeding, to which I re- Very just," interposed a man in a plied that surely in a season of great suit of sħabby black, of a clerical cut. distress throughout the kingdom, it “ The ceremony has survived the uses was not well counselled.

which gave it sanctity in the eyes of “I don't speak of THE DISTRESSES," the people. It will now pass like a pasaid he, in a dry manner, because geant of the theatre, and be no longer that is what should be--the landlords impressive on its own account, but in parliament cannot expect to have merely on account of the superior high rents and regular paying tenants quantity of the silk and lace that may if they reduce their customers to half be shewn in the dresses. Had the spipay. But it is the Queen, sir--the rit of the age been consulted by his Queen's case is what makes it most Majesty, the thing would have been imprudent—all these poor people, with different. It would have been shewn their scaffolds and booths, will be ruin- in some royal act of grace and favour, ed by it-nobody will come to see the such as the foundation of a noble in Coronation, for it is feared there will stitution, where courses of lectures be a riot.”

might be given by men of genius and “ God bless you, sir, you are one of literature, qualified to do justice to the the protectors of innocence, I can see topics." I supposed the gentleman was that," cried a randy-like woman, with a professor of lecturing himself; and a basket selling grozets, overhearing dreading that he might open on me, I our conversation." Get about your walked to another part of the edificial own affairs, hussy !” exclaimed my preparations, where I met with a man sober-looking friend." It is such as of a very sound understanding, who

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

described to me how the floor of the two, roaring full of strangers and wayplatform was to be covered with broad faring people, within the very bounds cloth, which both of us agreed was a and precincts of the coronation palace ! most commendable encouragement of I there forgathered with a batch of trade, on the part of his most gracious decent looking folk, moralizing on the majesty; and we thought, likewise, scene. Some thought the booths and that the expence, both by the King, benches were very handsome; and and the spectators, was a spreading of certainly such of them as were hung money, that would augment the means with the red durant, and serge and of spending to those employed, and, worsted fringes, might deserve a com- » through them, give encouragement to mendation, as they could not but prove the dealers in all desirable commodi- to the profit of business; but as for ties. The very outlay for ale and strong those that were ornamented with padrink, will encourage the brewers, and per and paintings, though they might the colonies, and the traders in wines, cast a show of greater splendour, they from which farmers and merchants will were undoubtedly of a very gaudy nadraw profit; and all traders so heart- ture, and not at all suitable to the soened, will increase the braws of their lemn occasion of a Royal Coronation. wives and families, to the great ad- When I had, by this itinerancy of vantage of the manufacturers and those the preparations, pacified my curiosity, in the fancy line.

I returned homeward to the house of While we were thus speaking on Mrs Damask to get a cup of tea, and the beneficial consequences of the co- to consult with her as to what was ronation, a most termagant rioter came best to be done about getting admitup, bawling one minute, “ The Queen tance to the Hall or the Abbey; for for ever!" and then turning his tongue by this time it was growing dark, and in his cheek, and roaring, “ God save there was but the Wednesday between the King !” I really thought the rank and the day fixed, which made me rem and dignity of both their majesties suf- solve, as I did upon her advice, to postfered greatly by this proceeding, and pone all serious thoughts of business I wonder the ministers did not, by a until after the ceremony,- people's proclamation, forbid all such irrevere heads being turned, and nobody in a ence anent the characters of the King state to talk with sobriety on any other and Queen. Saying this to a stiff and matter or thing. dry man, of a pale metaphysical look, While we were thus conversing, and and a spare habit of body, he said to the tea getting ready, a chaise, with a

a me, “ that the coronation did not con- footman behind it, came to the door, cern personalities, but was a solemn and a knocking ensued with the knockrecognition of the monarchical princi- er that was just an alarm to hear,ple in the Constitution, and that they and who should this be but that worwere vulgar fools who considered it as thy man Doctor Pringle, in his gudea custom, which any sensible man con- son's, the Captain Sabre's, carriage, founded with two such mere puppets come to assist me how I could best see as the individuals we call King and the show. “ Knowing,” said he, “Mr Queen.” Surely this was the saying Duffle, that you are a man of letters, of a dungeon of wit, and I would fain and may be inclined to put out a book have gone deeper into the matter with on the Coronation, I couldna but take him; but just as we were on the edge a pleasure in helping you forward to of something of a very instructive na. particulars. Mrs Pringle herself would ture, a gang of rankringing enemies have come with me; but this being of blackguard callants came bawling the first night with her dochter Raamong us, and I was glad to shove my- chel, who is not so near her time as self off in another direction.

we expectit, she couldna think of The first place where I again fell in leaving her, so I came by myself to with other conversible visitants was let you know, that we have a mean in near to a side-door of Westminster- our gude-son to get tickets baith to see Hall, where I was greatly chagrined to the Hall and the Abbey,--so you may find two public-houses within the same set yourself easy on that head. But, -what would our provost think of even Mr Dufile, there's a great impediment, one change-house within the entrance I doubt, to be overcome; for it's orof the new court-houses and here were dered by authority, that gentlemen are

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

to be in Court dresses, and I fear ye'll persuaded by the man to take a skythink that o'er costly, being so far from blue silk suit, richly flowered, with an your own shop, where you could get embroidered white satin waistcoat, the cloth at the first hand; over and adorned with glass buttons. I would above which, the Coronation is so near, fain myself have had one of the plain that I doubt it is not in the power of cloth sort, such as I saw the generalinature for any tailor to make the garb ty of gentlemen preferring, but I was in time.

overly persuaded, particularly by the I need not say how well pleased I man offering me the loan for a guinea was with this complimentary attention less than the others were let for. The of Doctor Pringle; and when I told Doctor, too, in this was partly to blame; him of Mr Solomon and the old-fa for he greatly insisted, that the gayer shioned clothes, we had a most jocose the apparel the more proper it was for laugh about the same; and he said, the occasion,-although I told him, that, as soon as I had taken my tea, that a sky-blue silk dress, with great we would go together in the Captain's red roses and tulips, and glass buttons, carriage to Mr Solomon's shop, and was surely not in any thing like a be. get a suit of Court clothes for me. As coming concordance with the natural for the Doctor, he stood in no need of douceness of my character. However, such vanity; having brought up his persuaded I was; and we brought the gown and bands with him, in case of dress away,-sword, and cockit-hat, being obligated to preach any charity with all the other parapharnalia, and sermons, as he was in his legacy visit the Doctor and me had great sport at to London--and he was told, that my lodgings about the spurtle-sword, clergymen were to be admitted in their for we were long of finding out the gowns. “ Indeed," said the Doctor, way to put it on,-for it was very in

Rachel wrote to her mother of this commodious to me on the left side, as when she pressed us to come to see the I have been all my days Katy-handed. Coronation, which was the cause of Indeed, we were obligated to call up Mrs Pringle putting the gown in the both Mrs Damask and the footman to portmanty; but, you know, if I preach instruct us; and I thought the fellow in another's pulpit, there is never an would have gone off at the head with objection to lend either gown or laughing, at seeing and hearing the bands."

Doctor's perplexity and mine. HowThe Doctor then went to the wine ever, we came to a right understanddow, and, opening the same, sáid tó ing at last; and the Doctor wishing the coachman, that he might put up me good-night went home to his gudehis horses for a season at a changes son's, with a promise to come down to house, and come back in half an hour; me betimes in the morning. but I could discern that the flunkies After he was departed, I began to were draughty fellows, though they consider of the borrowed dress, and I seemed to obey him ; for when they, was not at all satisfied with myself at the end of the time, came back with for the gaiety thereof ; I thought also the carriage for us, the horses were that it must surely be one very much reeking hot, and when we stepped ing out of fashion, or it would never have to go to Mr Solomon's at Charing been so much pressed upon me at a Cross, the first thing the Doctor laid moderate rate. --But Mrs Damask his hand on was a lady's ridicule, and thought it most handsome, so subhow it could have come into the car. mitting my own judgment to the opiriage was past all comprehension. But nion of others, I reasoned myself into the footman took charge of it; and contentment, and getting a mutchkin said he knew the owner, so the Doce of London porter in, and a partan, tor gave it to him; but when I came which to me was dainties, I made a to reflect at leisure on this, I thought competent supper, and retired to my it was very soft of the Doctor to give bed, where I slept as comfortable as it up without an examination. could be till past eight o'clock next

By the time we got to Mr Solomon's morning, when I rose and had my shop, it was full of strangers, on the breakfast, as I bad bargained with same errand as ourselves, and it was Mrs Damask, for the which I was to long before we could be served. At pay her at the rate of seven shillings last, however, the Doctor and me were per week, a price not out of the way,

considering London and the Coronation the morning; the Doctor and Mrs time, when, as was understood at Glas- Pringle were provided, by the Capgow, every thing was naturally ex. tain's means, with tickets both for the pected to be two prices.

Hall and Abbey, he himself was to be By the time I had got my breakfast, on guard, and Mrs Sabre, being big and was in order to adventure forth, with bairn, and thereby no in a conCaptain Sabre's carriage, with the dition to encounter a crowd, was to go Doctor and Mrs Pringle, came to the with a party of other married ladies, door, to take me out with them to who were all in the like state, to places show me the curiosities of London. in the windows of a house that overBut before going, Mrs Pringle would looked the platform, so that nothing see my court dress, which she examin- could be better arranged, not only for ed very narrowly, and observed "it me to see myself, but to hear what must have cost both pains and placks others saw of the performance in those when it was made, but it's sore worn, places where I could not of a possibiand the right colour's faded.-How-lity be. somever, Mr Duffle, it will do vastly And here I should narrate, much to well, especially as few ken you." the credit of the Londoners, that no

This observe of Mrs Pringle did not thing could exceed the civility with tend to make me the more content which I was treated in the house of with my bargain, but I was no in- Captain Sabre, not only by himself clined to breed a disturbance by send and the others present; for many ladies ing back the things, and I could no and gentlemen, who knew he was to bear the thought of a law-plea about be on guard, and how, through his hiring clothes to look at the King. acquaintance, we had been favoured

Mrs Pringle having satisfied her cu- in tickets, came in to inquire particuriosity with my garments, we all went lars, and to talk about the Coronation, into the carriage, and drove to a dress and whether the Queen really intendmaker's, where she had dealt before, ed to claim admittance. In a like to get a new gown and mutch for the company in Glasgow I would have been Coronation. The mantua-maker would left at the door, but every one was fain have persuaded her to have taken more attentive to me than another, on a fine glittering gauze, spangled and understanding I was the Mr Duffle of pedigreed with lace and gum flowers, Blackwood's Magazine. The Captain but Mrs Pringle is a woman of a con- insisted on my taking an early family siderate character, and was not in a dinner, saying they had changed their hurry to fix, examining every dress in hour to accommodate the Doctor, and the room in a most particular manner, the Doctor likewise pressed me, so that that she might, as she told me, be able I could not in decency refuse, having, to give an explanation to Nanny Ey- as I have mentioned, postponed all dent of the Coronation fashions. She business till after the Coronation. In then made her choice of a satin dress, short, it is not to be told the kindness that would serve for other times and and discretion which I met with. occasions, and adhered to it, although In the afternoon, the Doctor, Mrs the mantua-making lady assured her Pringle, and me were sent out again that satin was not to be worn, but in the carriage to see the preparations only tissues and laces; the mistress, and the scaffolding, and it was just a however, made her putt good, and the miracle to hear the Doctor's wondersatin dress was obligated to be sent to ment at the same, and the hobbleshaw her, along with a bonnet, that would that was gathering around. As for require the particularity of a millin- Mrs Pringle, she was very audible on der's 's pen to describe.

the waste and extravagance that was When we had settled this matter, visible every where, and said, that alwe then drove home to Captain Sabre's, though a pomp was befitting the occato hear about the tickets, where I got sion on the King's part, the pomposity one, as being a literary character, to of the scaffoldings was a crying sin of the box set apart for the learned that vanity and dissipation. were to write the history of the ban- When we had satisfied ourselves, quetting part of the solemnity, and it and I had pointed out to them the cirwas agreed that I was to be at the cuinstantials which I had gathered the door of admittance by three o'clock in night before, they conveyed me to the


- house of Mrs Damask, where I had my preliminary and prefatory proceedings lodgment, and we bade one another in which I was concerned about the good night; for although it was yet Coronation; the ceremonies and solemearly, we agreed that it would be as nities of which I will now go on to well for us to take, if possible, an hour tell, setting down nought that is not or two's rest, the better to withstand of a most strict veracity, having no dethe fatigue and pressure of the next sign to impose upon the understanding day; and accordingly, when I went up of posterity, but only a sincere desire stairs, I told Mrs Damask of that in- to make them, as well as the living tent, and how I would like, if it could generation, acquaint with the true inbe done, that she would have the cidents and character of that great kettle boiling by times, for me to have proceeding, the like of which has not a bite of breakfast by three o'clock in been in this country in our time, if it the morning, which she very readily ever was in any other country at any promised to do, having other lodgers time, to the end and purpose that the besides me that were to be up and scene and acting thereof may have a out by that time.

perpetuity by being in the pages of my Thus have I related at full length, writings. to the best of my recollection, all the


I HAD but an indifferent night's colours, that seemed like bales and rest; for the anxiety that I suffered, webs of cloth in the galleries fornent lest I should oversleep myself, pre- me, gradually kithed into their proper vented me in a great degree from shut- shape of ladies and gentlemen. ting my eyes. So I was up and stir- I now took my old Magazine out of ring before “ the skreigh oʻday;" and my pocket, and began to make comI was in a manner out of the body at parisons; but for a time I was disMrs Damask, who had not the break- turbed by ladies coming into the galfast ready so soon as I had hoped she lery, and sitting down beside me, talkwould. It was more than a whole quar- ing much, and very highly pleased, ter of an hour past three o'clock in the The performance of the day began morning before I got it and was dress-, by sixteen queer looking men,

dressed ed; and when I was dressed, I durst into the shape of Barons, rehearsing not almost look at myself in the look- how they were to carry a commodity ing-glass, with my broidered garments over the King's head, called a canopy.

, of sky-blue, the sword, and the cockit It was really a sport to see in what hat, I was such a figure. Judge, then, manner they endeavoured to march, what I felt when I thought on going shouldering the sticks that upheld it, out into the streets so like a phantasy like bairns playing at soldiers. Among of Queen Anne's court. Luckily, how- this batch of curiosities, there was ever, another gentleman in the house, pointed out to me a man of a slender who had likewise got a ticket and dress, habit of body; that was the great Mr was provided with a coach for the oc- Brougham, and a proud man, I trow, casion, and he politely offered me a he was that day, stepping up and down seat; so I reached the Hall of West- the Hall, with a high head, and a crouse minster without any inordinate trouble look, snuffing the wind with a pride or confusion.

and panoply just most extraordinar to Having been shewn the way to the behold. gallery where I was to sit, I sat in a By and bye, the nobles, and counmusing mood seeing the personages sellors, and great officers, and their coming in, like a kirk filling. A mur- attendants, a vast crowd, all in their muring was heard around, like the robes of state, and a most gorgeous sough of rushing waters, and now and show they made,---came into the Hall, then the sound of an audible angry followed by the King himself, who voice. As the dawn brightened, the entered with a marvellous fasherie, as Hall was lightened ; and the broad I thought it, of formalities, and so patches of white, and red, and other he seemed, or I'm mistaken, to think

[ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »